AN: I love ER, I've been watching the show since I was a little girl with my mom and I fell in love with Carter. He was always so cute and innocent and I was thrilled that Noah Wyle was going to be back on the show for a little bit. (This story is dedicated to my friend Henry 3/6/09 I miss you so much little guy) Takes place after What We Do. Hope you enjoy!
No such thing as a random act.
John Carter kept his eyes closed, he was tired but not enough to go to sleep he was also happy that he couldn't feel anything not that he was numb nothing hurt at the moment. It seemed like every time he opened my eyes there was someone there, It wasn't a bad thing but when people were looking at him with pity in their eyes and it was worse when he was looking at someone he knew. He knew they didn't think he was weak, most of them knew he was a hell of a fighter, but, the looks made him think differently.
He could hear the machines, he almost wished that he thought that they were annoying but sadly he was finding them oddly comforting and he really didn't like that feeling. He heard the door opened and knew it was probably since Morris just left a few minutes ago and if it was anyone that he knew they would have started talking as soon as they walked into the door.
He started to think in was a nurse, but, they didn't check on him instead they put something down and walked around for a bit. He knew it wasn't a nurse at that point, they didn't check on him and he knew the nurses would be checking his pulse or poking him with something. Then he started to wonder if it was someone from his family, he didn't want them to be called, he didn't want them to be worried.
Would they really go behind his back and call them? He thought to himself. He almost laughed when he thought about it, if they thought it would hel them they definably would but something made him think that it wasn't a family member. They didn't come straight to his side or grabbed his hand so he was pretty sure that it wasn't a family member
He heard a chair being pulled to the side of the bed band someone sitting in the chair but they still didn't touch him. He heard a sigh and knew it was a female voice but couldn't really place who it was. Finally he decided he had to open his eyes just to ease his curiosity. When he opened his eyes he saw a young blond girl in her late teen's, her dark outlined eyes looking at the floor.
She looked familiar to him, not really sure if he could place her name or why she was even here. She leaned forward in the chair resting her elbows on her knees and her face buried in her hands with another sigh. It bugged him that he couldn't remember who she was if she was here then she must have important at one point. She lifted her head and jumped to see him looking at her.
"Jesus!" She said quietly sounding surprised. John smiled then shook his head.
"Don't make me laugh." He said through clenched teeth. "It hurts." He said holding back his laughter.
"My bad." She said pushing her chair closer. John took another look at her now that her face was up and he could examine it, but she still didn't ring any bells in his mind. "You don't remember me, do you Doctor Carter?" She asked quietly.
"No but you remember me."He said, his voice a little raspy. "I must have made quiet an impact." He said with a slight smile closing his eyes and leaning his head back into the pillow.
"You never forget the guy who saved your life." She said looking down and away from him when he looked at her. He didn't know why he couldn't remember her, he'd saved her life then she should be easy to remember. But he's saved many people. "It's okay, it was a long time ago." She said looking away."
"What's your name?" John asked and she smiled and looked up at him, her pale blue eyes looking at him then away from him.
"Peyton Harlow." She answered. John thought for a minute then looked at her with a sad smile. He did remember her and what happened to her. It was ten years ago, and she was eight. She was brought in with bruises and her father said she fell down the stairs, but he always thought there was something more going on.
He also remembered fixing her broken wrist, stitching her forehead and inspecting her bruising. She was just a little girl, he short blonde hair in pig-tails and her eyes covered in glasses. He tried talking to her but she mostly kept herself quiet and would just nod when he asked her questions.
One of the most important things he remembered was when he was stitching her up he asked how her home life was. She told him her mom died and it was her, her dad and an older brother but he moved away. John asked her how it was and he remembered what she said more then anything "It's hard." She said plainly, when John asked why she just shrugged. He told her that if she needed anything that she could find him at the hospital anytime, but she just shrugged again.
"Are you okay?" Peyton asked looking at John a little nervous, but, he nodded.
"Um, yeah." He said but she looked confuse. "What are you eighteen now?" He asked and she nodded. "Do you still live with you dad?" He asked and she looked away.
"No." Peyton said playing with her ring. "I guess you remember huh?" She asked and he nodded. "I knew you knew better Doctor Carter, I was just afraid to tell you." She said. "I thought it would just cause more trouble and I didn't want to get hu..." She stopped talking and looked up at him.
"What happened?" John asked. "How'd you get out?" She opened her mouth but closed it a few times. She took a deep breath looked up at the ceiling.
"It doesn't really matter now." She said with a smile. "What about you, I'm guessing this isn't a good place to be?" She said looking around the room, the place making her shiver.
"Well," John said looking around to. "Got stabbed a few years back and it's affecting me now." He said plainly.
"What do you mean?" She asked. "I know nothing about medical crap, are you really sick?" She asked. John nodded.
"You could say that." He muttered. "I need a kidney." Peyton looked almost scared. "It's okay, you know."
"Is there any way I could help." She said almost franticly. "Maybe I could give you my kidney, don't people have two of them anyway, I don't mind sparing one...." John stopped her, he placed his hand over hers that was laying on the bed.
"You don't have to do anything for me." John said giving her hand a squeeze, he wanted to laugh at her for how innocent she was but decided against it, so it would hurt him any. "You're still young...." He started but she cut him off.
"So." She said looking at John. "Isn't that a good thing."
"What I mean is you shouldn't have to make a decision like that." John tried to explain.
"I'm eighteen, I can make my own decisions." Peyton said. "What if I can really help you?" She asked.
"I don't want you to worry about me." He said and she looked away from him. "How did you find me anyway? How'd you know I was here?"
"I had to bring my Gran in for blood work." Peyton started to explain. "While I was waiting for her I heard someone mention your name and I got kind of nosey. I asked if they were talking about John Carter and they said yes but it wasn't my business." She answered with a smile.
"So how did you get here?" John asked raising an eyebrow.
"I dropped my Gran off at home, and snuck around here for about an hour. When I found your room I waited for the doctor to leave then it took me a few minutes to get the courage to come in here." John looked up at the clock then back at Peyton.
"Don't you have school?" Peyton just shrugged.
"They won't miss me much." She answered giving John a smile. "I'm not really their favorite student anyway.
"You know," John said patting her hand. "I never really saved your life?" She shook her head in disagreement.
"I beg to differ." She said crossing her arms on the bed and laying her head on them. "You made me realize that what my dad was doing wasn't normal. I thought that everyone's dad punished them when they were bad, I figured I was just a really bad kid." She turned her head to the right so she was looking up at him. "When you asked me what was going on at home, I didn't know what you meant. I thought you meant that because my mom was gone, but the way you looked at my dad I knew what you meant."
"What did you do about it?" John asked. "You were just a little girl and I didn't see you again?" She pressed her lips together and looked at the machine next to the bed.
"I wanted to, but..." She stopped so John finished for her.
"You were scared." She nodded.
"Do you blame me?" She asked with a sarcastic tone. "I didn't know what the hell was going to happen, but when I was thirteen I guess I had enough. I called my grandma and told her I needed help. When she found out everything I thought she was going to beat my dad with her cane." She said and John had to smile.
"The old lady's got spunk." He commented.
"Yeah, she packed up all my stuff." Peyton said. "Got full custody of me." She said. "Been living with my Gran and Pop ever since, but it was only because of you. I always kept what you said in the back of my head and it gave me the strength to get out of there." He looked at her a little surprised. He didn't think that anything he said would really matter that much to someone. When she laughed he looked towards her.
"What's so funny?" John asked moving some stray strands of hair out of her eyes.
"I read this book, Five People You Meet In Heaven." Peyton said. "In it this blue guy, I forgot how he turned blue..." John interrupted her with a laugh he tried to suppress.
"The condition he has is called argyria, he drank a silver preparation that turned his skin blue."
"Are you done with your giggle fit mister?" She asked with a smirk and he nodded. "Good now keep your smart ass remarks to yourself until the end."
"Continue." He said with a smile.
"Well, he said every live is connected weather they know it or not. There's no such thing as a random act." She looked at the ceiling.
"It could be just dumb luck." John said with a smile. "So you don't think this is a random act?" He said but she smiled.
"I guess I kinda do, sounds dumb huh Doctor Carter?" He shook his head.
"No." John said. "And you can just call me John." She shrugged. "I think it's a good way of thinking, expecially if your a doctor. Doctors deal with life and death on a daily bases, sometimes you forget just how many peoples lives you touch and who will remember you." Peyton leaned back in the chair looked at John.
"There was no way I was going to forget you Doctor.... I mean John." John gave her a nod. "When I went to school the first thing I told them was how cute my doctor was." She said with a laugh and he didn't care if it hurt he had to laugh too.
"You didn't?" He asked but she nodded.
"Hell yeah I did." She said with a smile looking away. "I was eight, what do you expect from a little girl." She waited for the quietness in the room then looked back at John. "Can I ask you a personal question?" He nodded for her to go on. "Why didn't you tell your family?"
"How do you know I didn't tell them?" He asked in return.
"Because if you did they would be right here with you." She pointed out. "And you didn't deny it." He nodded. "So why didn't you tell them?"
"Didn't want them to worry." He answered plainly.
"What if something happens?" She asked.
"Like what I die?" He asked again in return. "Then I die." Peyton leaned closer to the bed and placed her hand on top of his.
"I don't understand you." She said. "Why would you want to be alone, I'd be scared shit less and you seem so brave." She shook her head. "Why aren't you scared?"
"I am." He said calmly. "I just have to face it, I can't hide or run from it so why try?"
"Point taken, but," She said giving his hand a squeeze. "Would you mind if I check up on you, I won't bug you." John smiled.
"I'll make you a deal, you can come whenever you want, as long as it's after school." She sighed and rolled her eyes.
"Are you kidding me?" She asked standing up and he shook his head. "Fine." She said giving in. "If that's the deal." John reached his head out and she took it making the deal official. When the door opened they both looked up seeing Morris standing in the doorway. He looked at Peyton.
"Who are you?" He asked before Peyton could open her mouth John spoke up.
"She's a friend." He said. "Archie this is Peyton." He said with a smile. Dr. Morris greeted her with a hello and she ust waved. "You have to get back to school." John scolded her.
"Okay." She said. "Just hang in there alright?" He smiled and nodded. She leaned down and kissed his cheek. "And thank you, for everything. I'll see you later." She said walking past Dr. Morris. He looked after the young girl the at John again.
"Who was she?" He asked again.
"A friend." John answered with a smirk.