Title: Encore!

Disclaimer: I don't own ER, Ray, Neela, or any of the music. I'm not trying to profit from any of the songs, it's for entertainment purposes only.

A/N: Thanks for the reviews! It really means a lot to me! KG, I'm glad I could brighten up your day. Aww, I was hoping I could fool you guys, you all are just too smart. Hopefully the rest of the story won't be predictable, and I'm hoping there will be a few surprises.


Ray was in his room going through his laundry. That was the best thing about having a girl roommate, she did his laundry. She even folded it for him; she was a keeper. He was putting his clothes away with a small smile on his face. He did the cooking and she did the laundry. That was fair. He continued putting it away and came across something that wasn't his. It was a red lace g-string. That definitely wasn't his. How did that get in there? For a split second he thought maybe it belonged to one of his girl companions, but then he realized that he hadn't had one for several weeks now. Not since he had gotten feelings for…never mind that. The important thing was that, that wasn't it. If they didn't belong to one of his groupies then it had to be…oh, no.

Red? She didn't seem like the type. He couldn't just keep them. She would find out they were missing sooner or later. Maybe she would think they got lost in the dryer. No, that's socks. He could actually picture what they would look like on her body. Hugging her hips, covering her smooth, beautiful cocoa skin. Of course, she could be dressed in rags and he would still think she was the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen, and she was. As much as he wanted to, he couldn't keep them.

He made his way to her room. He stopped just outside the door. He felt that it was only appropriate to knock first. They were close, but it was still the polite thing to do. That's right, knock on a girls door before you give her back her underwear, that way you won't seem as sleazy. This was weird. Things had been on the awkward side lately, especially since the other night. She had been acting different around him since then, and he didn't understand why. He knocked but, there was no answer. That's when he started to hear the sound of someone playing music on the other side of the door. Then he realized that she must have been playing the viola he had given her the other night. He had never actually seen her play before. He knocked again, this time a little louder than before. She finally answered the door.

He looked at her, not really sure what to say. He was feeling really weird and uncomfortable. How was he going to say it? He had to give them back but, he didn't want to come off like a pervert. A pervert wouldn't be standing in her doorway trying to give them back, but that still didn't change the fact that this was really strange. "Hey" he said and she said the same. He held up the panties slightly so she could see them "These got in with my things somehow" he said with a slight blush on his cheeks.

She didn't think she had ever seen him blush before, it was kind of cute. She was a little surprised and embarrassed at the same time, and reached out to take them. When she finally grabbed them, her hand was softly touching his. He wasn't letting go of her and started to look in her eyes very seriously. She was wondering what he was thinking about. Sometimes when he looked at her he made her feel so exposed. Like he was seeing her for what she really was, almost like she was standing naked in front of him. He could have been picturing her that way. He seemed like the kind of guy whose mind was always in a dirty place. "Thank you" she said. He finally came out of his dream-like state, let go of her, and cleared his throat nervously. This was just as uncomfortable for him as it was for her.

She turned around, put her panties away in her drawer, and picked her viola back up again. He noticed that she hadn't shut the door. If she wanted to be alone then she would have shut the door in his face, right? He took the invitation and walked in. "You sound amazing." She smiled a little and shook her head. "You do" he reassured her "Will you play for me?" She looked at him and he noticed a part of her seemed a little shy. She hadn't played for an audience in a long time. "Please? I've never seen you play." Neela couldn't turn down someone asking her that sweetly. He was too charming and sweet for her own good sometimes. If it wasn't for him, she wouldn't have the instrument in her hands in the first place, so it was only fair for her to play something for him. It was the least she could do. "Okay" she said.

He sat down at the end of her bed. Their relationship had basically been about her bed and her underwear lately it seemed. It had to have been subconscious, there was no way it was just a coincidence. He did his best not to think about that. "Is there anything you want to hear?" she asked. She couldn't think of anything to play so she was hoping he would. "Play whatever you want." Thanks a lot. He's a big help. He thought it was adorable how nervous she was getting, thinking that he was doing that to her. He kind of liked it. She thought for a second and then decided to just play what she had been playing before he came in. She raised the instrument to her chin and started playing. Ray watched as she glided the bow skillfully across the strings. The only time he had ever seen her this focused was when she was working on a patient but, he didn't think he had ever seen her this at ease before. She looked exactly like how he felt when he played the guitar. She looked so peaceful, and had a calmness on her face.

He wasn't sure what she was playing. He didn't know much about classical music. It was probably Mozart or Beethoven but, whatever it was, he liked it. He couldn't take his eyes off of her while she played masterfully, perfectly, and to him it looked like it was almost easy for her. He hadn't listened to a lot of classical music in his lifetime but, after hearing her play he knew it was the most beautiful music he had ever heard. She was amazing. It was then that he realized that she could do anything. She could be a doctor or a violaist, what else could she do? Everything. It wouldn't surprise him. This was a new beautiful side to her and it only made him fall for her that much more. He could listen to her play forever. After she finished, he sat there applauding her. "If you ever quit medicine, you should become a violaist." She loved that he was taking an interest in something she really cared about. She knew that if it wasn't for her that he wouldn't even care about this kind of music. It proved that he was a great friend. He cared about the things she liked and cared about. He would always be there, always be her friend. She needed that, she needed him. Since he had taken an interest in the things she liked, naturally she started taking an interest in the things he was doing, too.

She smiled at him. She put her viola in the case, walked over to her closet, and pulled out a box. He gave her a suspicious look. What was she doing? She sat next to him on the bed and placed it in-between them. "It's for you" she said. He was a little surprised she had gotten him something. He opened it. His shock was written all over his face. He hadn't even said anything yet and she already knew he liked it. She had bought him a personalized guitar strap with his name on it on one side. The other side had the name of his band, Skunk Hollow. It was pure leather and looked expensive. "I wanted to get you something to say thank you for what you did." He was grateful to her but, now he was more confused than ever. This whole time he thought she had been a little upset with him for what he did for her. If she wasn't upset with him about it, then why had she been acting so weird around him since then? "I don't know what to say." Ray had traded just one of his guitars, he had others besides that one. He still had the one his father had given him, along with a couple others, but the one he traded had been his favorite. Unlike Neela, who had broken the only viola she had. He leaned forward and wrapped his arms around her, holding her tightly. "Thank you. This means so much to me."

"I'm glad you like it." she held onto him tightly. She pulled him closer and placed her head on his chest. Ray was a little surprised she was holding him so closely but, he wasn't about to complain. In her opinion, her gift was nothing compared to the gift he gave her but, he was acting like it was the greatest thing he had ever gotten from anyone. Maybe it was because he liked the fact that she appreciated his interests. She didn't understand why he wanted to be a famous rock star because she felt he was such a good doctor, and why let that go to waste? No, she didn't understand it, but at the same time, she did show respect for the things he was interested in. If it was interesting to him, then that was good enough for her. There had to be something good about it. She had her eyes closed and slowly breathed in his scent. There was that cologne again, the one that drove her crazy. He wore it all the time, he must know that it drives her insane, why else would he wear it?

He heard her take a slow, deep breath. Did she just smell him? No, it was just in his imagination. He's just imagining things that he wants to be there. He had been having so many fantasies about her lately and now his mind was playing tricks on him. It was just because he was holding her so tight. She probably couldn't breathe. Reluctantly, he released her from his grip. He probably had been holding her too tight. She's small, she can't take being held that way. Ray looked into her eyes, he wasn't really sure what to say again and found himself getting lost in her eyes for the umpteenth time.

It was at this moment that Neela realized that they were both sitting on her bed. They weren't doing anything but, with everything she was feeling and the way Ray was looking at her, she felt like she did before. Exposed. He had to have been seeing her feelings for him. She felt so embarrassed and the next thing out of her mouth did not come out the way she meant it "I guess we should go to bed now" He looked at her surprised, but in a good way, and he couldn't help but look a little happy and curious just the same. She didn't mean it like that, did she? Her face looked just as shocked as his did. Obviously, she couldn't believe what she just said either and she started to get very nervous and a little flustered "Um, I mean, you know, me in here, and you in there." He did his best to hide his disappointment "Of course" he said. He picked up his guitar strap and stood up. They said goodnight and he made his way out of her room. She had her back to him and placed her hand over her face as a blush came to her cheeks. That was very embarrassing.

He started to open her door but, before he walked through, he turned around and said in a very sweet tone "Thanks again for this." She faced him and he held up his strap. She smiled at him sincerely. He shut the door and made his way back to his bedroom. Neela fell back onto her bed, but neither one of them would be able to sleep anytime soon after what just happened.


A/N: Please review!!

Okay, I know I've been putting this off for a while, but I promise that the next chapter will be where the real story starts. I want to thank everyone who's reading my story. There's still a lot more left. I'm not exactly sure but, in all, this story is going to be over 20 chapters long. That's just an estimate. Could be a little shorter, could be a little longer. Anyways, it all starts in the next chapter, so keep reading! I'm sorry for drawing this out for so long, but it was necessary. I feel better now that this story has a good, solid foundation. At least, I hope! And I can't wait to start getting into the good stuff!!

A big thanks to DocRock and KG for reviewing every chapter!! It always makes my day, thanks so much!!! Please review, and please keep reading! I hope I'm not boring you right now, but just believe me, it will pick up!