Author: Casccara Casccara@yahoo

Author: Casccara  Casccara@yahoo.com

Title:  Together Again

Classification: Carter/Lucy friendship/angst

Spoilers: Power

Feedback: Yes, please!!

Archive:  Not without permission from moi! J

Disclaimer

Time Frame: This fic is set during the episode Power.  While watching this eppy rerun, I just couldn't resist adding a little more Carter/Lucy fun. J 

            "Together again?" Lucy asked Carter dryly, a secret smile playing on her lips as she walked away from the desk. 

Carter grimaced.  That's what it looked like.  Lucy had finished her psych rotation and was about a begin a second ER rotation.  Carter had just given her a hard time about it, teasing her about her "bravery" for taking on another ER rotation.  He hadn't admitted out loud, what he'd secretly been thinking: he was rather glad to have Lucy around again.  That is, until he'd found out he would be her supervisor for the second time.

"Wipe that goofy look off your face, Carter, you have a patient," Haleh said mildly, thrusting a chart at his chest.  

"Lucy can handle it for right now," he said, now preoccupied with the fact that he was Lucy's teacher again.  Why did it make him so mad?  His mind flickered to a wild afternoon in exam 6 earlier that year and he became preoccupied with the image the memory aroused.  The doctor and the med student.  It was torrid and against the rules and he should never have gotten carried away like that.

Then why was he getting all hot and bothered abut it?

After about one whole minute of him staring into space, Carter jumped when he realized that Jerry's and Haleh's faces were watching his intently.  "You look like your still trying to picture Dr. Romano's mother," Haleh said with a snort.

"What?" he asked, his eyes narrowed.

"Something distracting you, Carter?" Jerry asked in his knowing way.

"Huh?" He looked from Jerry's bemused face to Haleh's cocked eyebrow and back again.  "What could be distracting me?  I have a patient."

"Mm-hmm," Haleh said knowingly as Carter walked off.  She and Jerry exchanged meaningful looks.  Everyone in the ER knew that the tension between Carter and Lucy had been pretty thick when Lucy had left the ER and gone into her surgery rotation.  It seemed that time hadn't dulled the chemistry that fizzled in the air when Carter and Lucy were in close proximity.

As it turned out, chemistry was all over the ER that day.  Lucy, Chuni and Lydia were gathered around the patient, Ms. Far, who was showing off chemistry in jars.  "Pheromones," the exuberant redhead told the nurses and student.  "It's Bio-Chemical Awareness Therapy!" 

"Hmm," Lucy muttered, pressing her nose lightly to one of the bottles and smiling secretly to herself.  The idea that she was now Carter's med student again was beginning to warm her.  At first she'd been horrified, then amused, and now with the perfume of the pheromones wafting her senses, Lucy admitted that she was rather pleased to be in the close propinquity of John Truman Carter again. 

Even though it had been just that morning when Roxanne, Carter's girlfriend, had asked Lucy to join her for coffee and the two women had sat at a table talking about the complex personality of the man.  Roxanne had apparently been worried that Lucy and Carter were . . . involved.  Lucy had been quick to assure her that there was nothing going on between she and Carter, although at one time there had almost been. 

But now as she watched Carter enter into the curtain area and take in the scene before him with an amused smile on his face, Lucy sighed softly.  He was, she decided then, the dreamiest male on the face of the earth.  With his puppy dog eyes and cute little dimples, messy brown hair and polite stance, the discussion on Carter's messed up life flew out of Lucy's head.  She started to wonder if the pheromones were getting to her or if she really was head over heals.

Carter was in an oblivious state, of course, as he watched with confusion while Lucy shoved a pen at him, practically hitting him in the face.  His eyes narrowed as Chuni whispered something to Lucy and ran out of the room.  Was it just him or was something strange going on? 

And what the hell was that smell? 

~*~*~ A Few Hours Later ~*~*~

It was over. Done. Through.  And all he had to say was "I wanna break up."  Carter stopped where he was, in the middle of the hall, and narrowed his eyes.  For weeks he'd been preoccupied with figuring out just what he was doing with someone who he didn't respect, didn't have true feelings for and was getting on his nerves daily.  It had been easier than he thought.  He really should have done it sooner, it felt as though a huge weight had been lifted-

"CARTER, MOVE!" someone shouted. Carter was shoved forward by an inhuman force which happened to be Chuni.  He crashed into a supplies cart, sending bandages and bottles flying.  Trying to salvage as much as he could while Chuni pushed and shoved him to search through the supplies cart, Carter suddenly realized that the ER was in pandemonium. 

"What's going on?" he asked.

"A patient was attacked," Chuni informed him matter-of-factly.  "Where have you been?"

"Attacked?!"

"Yeah, beaten and sexually assaulted.  The entire staff is on alert, including residents," she said with a meaningful look and ran off, her arms full with a tubing kit.  

"Jeez," he muttered, thinking of the terrible act.  Who could do such a thing?  Had it been a patient or someone who'd just walked into the hospital?  And the patient, had she been in intensive care or just some healthy person-

"CARTER!"

Yet another female collided with him in the middle of the hall, this time the person had been running towards him. As he crashed against the wall, he found his own body in direct contact with a soft feminine one and his senses were filled the sweetest scent he'd ever smelled.   His mind went blank. 

"Are you okay?" Lucy demanded, pulling herself away and straitening her sweater.

"Yeah, I'm . . ." He drifted off, staring at Lucy's face intently.  Her eyes were the bluest of blues, he realized suddenly.

"Carter? Are you sure you're okay?" she asked dubiously. 

He shook his head and tried to clear the thought from his mind.  The scent from those perfumes or whatever they'd been were still wafting around his senses.   "Yeah, I'm fine.  Are you still . . .?"

"Waiting on the psych consult for-"

"I'm telling you he doesn't need a psych consult, he's just a grumpy old man," Carter steered Lucy down the hallway, back into the ER.

"So you said.  Look, I'm concerned about him, I really think that he needs to be examined, considering his history and the fact that-"

"Yeah, yeah, yeah.  So what are you doing right now?" he asked as they reached the desk.

"I was going to check on Ms. Far, have you decided to order her the head CT yet?"

"No, because she doesn't need one and I think you'll do much better suturing this leg lac," he said, taking Ms. Far's chart out of Lucy's hand and replacing it with another. 

She shot him an exasperating look.  "One of the nurses can do that-"

"Ah, ah, ah," Carter wagged his finger as if he were speaking to a three year old.  "There are no small patients, Lucy." 

Annoyance clawed at her.  Had she been liking Carter a few hours ago?  "I never said anything about small patients, Carter-"

Lydia interrupted them.  "Carter, your patient, Ms Far, wants to see you."

"Thanks, Lydia."  Lucy started to go in the direction of Ms Far's room, but Carter stopped her by sliding an arm around her shoulders and turning her towards the sutures room instead.  "No, no, no, Miss Knight.  Sutures. Now."

Lucy practically groaned aloud as Carter nearly pushed her down the hallway.  Of all the dirty, rotten nerve.  She'd bet her last dime that he was going to order the CT and all the tests Lucy had wanted originally for Ms Far.  And he would get the credit for it, not her. Of all the pretentious, pompous, arrogant, pigheaded-  "Good evening, Mr. Hartford, I'm Lucy Knight, a medical student and I'll be suturing the laceration on your leg."

~*~*~ A Few  More Hours Later ~*~*~

The ER is bathed in darkness.

CRASH!

"Ow!"

"Jerry, hand me the flashlight over there."

"Where?"

"There."

"Where?"

"OVER THERE!"

"I can't see anything, who's hand is that?"
            "Mark, is that you?"

"Yeah, it's me, is the flashlight under the desk?"

"No, I think it was in the middle drawer the last time I saw it."

"Someone better remove their hand from my butt."

            That last comment was from Randi, whom nobody could see.  The power had completely gone out in the ER, that is, in the entire city of Chicago. Needless to say, the Emergency Room was in total chaos.

            Carter wasn't having a good time either.  He'd been trying to locate Lucy for the past half hour and to no avail.  Now that it was dark in the hospital, it would be even more difficult.  He'd looked in every exam room, every curtain area, the sutures room, the X-Ray rooms, and even the cafeteria, although he'd once heard Lucy say that she would not eat cafeteria food should her life depend on it.   The fact remained that he needed to ask her a few questions about Ms Far. She'd taken a complete history on her and even though Carter could read exactly what she had written, he wanted her, as a student, to evaluate what she had predicted.  And to tell her that she'd been right all along, while his hesitancy had been off the mark.

            It wasn't the first time it had happened.    

            And it probably wouldn't be the last.  Carter would just have to deal with the fact that she was more knowledgeable than he had been at her level. 

            "Has anyone seen Lucy?" he snapped at the desk.

            Jerry, Haleh and Mark glanced up. 

            "Problem with your student, Carter?" Mark asked, and went back to his labs, trying to see the computer screen in the darkness.

            "What student? I have no student," Carter said sarcastically.  Why, why, WHY was Lucy better than he had been?  And why didn't he want her to succeed all of a sudden?  He'd spent the better part of year trying to get her to be her best so that he could show everyone he was a good teacher.  And now that she showed promiss, he was more angry than he'd been in a long while.  More angry that he'd been when he'd broken up with Roxanne.

            Whoa.

            He stopped for a minute.  Was it true?  All the times Roxanne had accused and all the times Jerry and Malik had teased, had they been right?  Did he really harbor feelings for Lucy?  Was this the resentment he felt towards her?  Was this why the attraction to her was so strong, why he was so upset that he would have to be her teacher again?

            He was suddenly angry.  He would not succumb to this stupid attraction, these childish feelings.  It was wrong, end of story.  Carter would not break the rules for some little med student with big blue eyes.  He couldn't believe he was even contemplating, even thinking about her this way.  He was weak for letting himself fall under her trap.

Damn Lucy. 

"Our restroom is out of order," Lily said as she slid up to the desk.  "I'll be right back, I'm going to use the one upstairs."

Mark spoke up, still gazing at the computer screen. "Jerry, would you please accompany Lily upstairs and back?  Carter, I suggest you find your med student. No female employees are supposed to be alone while that rapist is on the loose." Mark's eyes flickered to Carter.  He watched the understanding dawn in Carter's eyes and the color drain slightly from his face. 

The anger fled from his mind and Carter felt something like fear grip his heart.  He tried to ignore it as he swung from the desk and walked swiftly down the hall.  As he poked into each and every curtain area and exam room, his heart beat wildly against his chest.  If she'd been hurt. . . she wasn't hurt.  She was probably just reading some psychology book or talking to someone.  Yeah, that was it.  She was probably gossiping with some nurse or tech.  Once she started talking, she never shut up.  He couldn't count the number of times he told her to be quiet or to shut up . . .  He opened the door to sutures for the fifth time. No Lucy.  He went upstairs to the psych ward, the OR, even OB. No luck.  Something was wrong, he knew it.  He felt it.  His heart in his throat, he made a lunge to the stairs that lead to the top of the roof.  He suddenly needed to breath fresh air. 

He yanked open the door and slammed right into her. 

"Lucy!" Relief swam through him.

"Carter! Sorry, I just realized you paged me, someone must have turned the sound off on my pager-"

"What the hell are you doing?" he demanded, his voice echoing off the roof. 

She took a step back.  "What?"

"You're not supposed to go off on your own, Lucy!  Jesus, there's a murderer roaming the halls and your sitting on top of the roof alone-"

"I wasn't alone, Carol just left-"

"Carol! Oh, you two are a great pair for a raping murderer."

Lucy sent him a venomous look with her eyes.  "Is this your way of saying you were worried about me? Because I can tell you one thing, Carter, you're not doing a very good job!"

"Oh, I'm not?"

"No, you're not!"

"Well, I was! Worried, I mean!" he shouted.  "There, are you happy?"

"No," she yelled.  They stood on top of the roof and glared at each other for a whole minute. 

Finally Lucy looked away and sighed, hugging herself when a breeze came through.  "Sorry, I didn't think-  I didn't realized I'd be missed." Her voice held a hint of resentment and she was suddenly looking everywhere except at him.

Carter peered at her face.  Something had shifted, he realized.  The relief that had turned into anger at his being worried was now relief again.  The fact that she wasn't an innocent party and that perhaps her disappearance had been the smallest of tests she'd given him, hit him hard.  Since those feelings for her weren't fake or wrong, he felt something tug at his heart.  Guilt, perhaps?

And because he was her teacher and he couldn't act on those feelings, he tried to make light of it.  "Well . . . when I didn't hear that constant voice in my ear telling me what to do, I got worried.  Things were actually . . . peaceful for a minute without you.  It was strange." He opened the door and took her arm as they descended the narrow staircase.

He was always doing that, Lucy realized . . . taking her arm, laying a hand on her back while they walked together, putting a hand on her shoulder while he explained things about a patient or procedure.

            She let out a little laugh. "You're not that used to me again, are you?  I mean after only one day together?"

            They reached the base of the steps and walked onto the elevator heading down to the ER. 

            "What can I say, Lucy?" Carter gazed at the ceiling.  "I guess I missed having you around."

            Lucy tried not smile as the elevator doors slid closed. "Likewise, Dr. Carter."

Finished

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