DISCLAIMER: ER belongs to a lot of people and I am not one of them. I do own the character of Madison.


"Hey, Dr. Ross! Good to see you back," Malik said as I entered the ER for my first shift after my trip to Seattle.

"Morning, Malik. How's it looking," I asked.
"Good. Got two new R2's for you to manage," he said.
"Just what I live for! How's our lowly R3 handling it," I asked.
"He's actually waiting for you," Malik said.
I rolled my eyes and hung up my coat in my locker. I put on my lab coat and headed out into the foray at Admit.

That's when I met Dave Malucci.

"Well, well, I thought I knew all the residents. Who is that," he asked Randi.
"That is someone who can chew you up and spit you back out. She makes me look tame," Randi said, grinning.
"Looking like that, she can chew on me anytime," he said.

I heard the comment and decided to take him down a bit. I turned around and asked, "Who the hell are you?"

"Who wants to know," he asked, taken aback at my forceful tone, but still taking time to look me up and down.
"Fine, be cute. I'm Madison Ross, chief resident. Now, if you're finished admiring my attributes, I asked you a question: Who. The. Hell. Are. You," I asked.
"Dave Malucci, second year," he said.
I looked at Haleh and Malik. "Really? Are you guys pranking me," I asked.
Haleh tried not to laugh and Malik just rolled his eyes.
"Fine, Malucci, you get to work with the esteemed Dr. Carter. Speaking of which, were in the world is Carter," I asked.
"Right behind you, Madison," he said.

"Welcome back, Madison. How was Seattle," Mark asked as he approached admit.

"Seattle? What's in Seattle," Dave asked.
"Coffee," I said, never taking my eyes off Carter. "You get to work with the wonderful Dr. Malucci," I said.
"Come on, Maddie! Is this because you're mad," he asked.
I ignored him and looked at the board and took clipboards for the patients that had been waiting the longest.

"I'm sorry about that comment, Dr. Ross. I didn't know who you were and you're a beautiful woman and I was kind of lost for a minute," Dave said.

I slammed the clipboard on the desk and looked at him. Pasting a sweet smile on my face, I batted my eyes. Everyone that knew me, backed away from the desk, including Carter, leaving Dave at the center of Admit.
"Look, let's just end this right now. I'm the chief resident. I just got back from a short vacation so I could cry my sorrows about breaking up with my jack-ass ex-boyfriend. Now, I'm not in the mood and will gladly knock you out and let the med students practice intubation on your unconscious body. Are we clear," I asked.
He slowly nodded his head.

"Good, now get to work," I said, taking my charts to go and see patients.
Dave looked at Carter and said. "Looks like Dr. Itsy-Bitsy is a feisty one."
"That's good, Dave. Why don't you call her that to her face and see what happens. You couldn't handle her," Carter said.
"So you tried and failed, eh? Well, I'd like to try," Dave said.
Carter rolled his eyes, "Who said I failed?" Dave stood at the desk, jaw on the floor.

"Don't look so surprised. Who do you think the jack-ass ex-boyfriend is, Dr. Dave," Carter added, heading off to see a patient.
"Dr. Carter and her," he asked out loud.

"Yup. Lucky guy," Malik said before heading to help me.

Half-way through the shift, I was working on some charting when Lucy Knight, Carter's med student, approached me. "Dr. Ross," she asked.
"Yeah, Lucy," I answered.
"Would you mind helping me with my cases today," she asked.
"Sure. Carter's not being helpful," I asked, before shaking my head. "Never mind, don't answer that. I've worked with Carter before."

Lucy went off to see her patients.

Mark sat down next to me. "How's life as Chief Resident," he asked.
I put down the pen I'd been using to write on the charts and looked at him. "Too much paperwork," I said.
Mark laughed. "I know that feeling. What I mean is..." he started to say.
"What you mean is how is it working with Carter now that we're broken up? It's fine Mark. We're both adults and understand how important it is for us to get along," I said.
"Just checking. Let me know if you need anything," he said.
I smiled and thanked him and went back to my charting.

Carter and I spent the next few weeks working together, but avoiding the situation as much as possible. I still loved him, but I was learning to let it go.

I also spent the time knocking Malucci down a few notches. Truth be told, Dave was a very attractive and sexy guy, but I'd never tell him that to his face.

And, given my track record, I'd never get involved anyway.

Life turned in its usual way in the ER and I just decided to let it flow around me. I worked on my house.
I managed to get the basement apartment fixed and was debating the thought of renting it out.

Carter and I went about our lives, without each other.

It wasn't long before Carter started dating. I'd be lying if I said it didn't matter to me, but it did.

Of course, I covered well. I was all about my career now. All about being the best doctor I could be. Who needed the distraction of men.

A few weeks later I had made plans to meet an old friend, but she called after I'd arrived and said she couldn't make it. I understood. Instead of going home, I stayed around to have a beer and watch the game on TV. I had just taken my first sip of my beer when I heard a voice behind me.
"Well, if it isn't Bitsy, herself," Dave said.

"If it isn't Dr. Dave," I said, rolling my eyes at him.

"What brings you here," he asked as he sat down next to me.
"I live in this neighborhood. I was meeting a friend who can't make it," I said, finishing my beer.

"Well, I just got stood up, so how about we drown our sorrows together," he asked.

I eyed the man in front of me. Since I had nothing else planned and figured Carter shouldn't be the one having all the fun, I smiled.
"You buying," I asked.

He winked and ordered shots of tequila.

The bartender set the shots in front of us along with limes and salt.
"You game," he asked.
"Always," I said, throwing caution to the wind.

Three shots and an hour and a half later, I had developed an appreciation for Dave's wit.

"I still think you're a pompous ass," I said.
"And I think you have a nice one," Dave said, grinning over the rim of his glass.

"Well, thanks. Nice to know that I have some appreciating qualities," I said, downing my beer.
"You have a lot to appreciate," he said.
"Are you flirting with me," I asked.

"Me? Flirt with you? Don't think so, Bitsy," he said, ordering two more beers.
"Really? Seems you do it enough at work. Guess I'm not that appreciating," I said, taking a drink.

"I know it wouldn't work. You're way out of my league. I understand that," he said.

"Thanks. I think. I've never thought I'd ever be considered out of someone's league. Not good enough for them, possibly, but never out of their league," I said.

We sat at the bar watching people coming inside to finish watching the game.

"Now why would you say that? You're chief resident. You're a doctor. You're very, very attractive," he said.
I shrugged. "Just stating the obvious. I don't exactly have much experience with men. Carter and I were friends for all of med school and then together for the last three. First and last serious relationship. I'm oh for one," I said, taking a drink of my beer.

"You want to get out of here," he asked.
Deciding I had no where else to go and wasn't on until seven the next night, I nodded.

I grabbed my jacket off the stool and headed toward the door. I turned and saw Dave throw some money on the counter and head toward me.

I was getting ready to put on my jacket when he helped me. I zipped it up and headed outside.

The spring evening was cool, but I liked the cool weather.

Dave stood beside me. "Where are we going," he asked.
"Can you walk two blocks," I asked.
He nodded and I took his arm and led the way to my town house.

We made small talk as we headed down the street. And he asked about my relationship with Carter.

"So, why Carter," Dave asked.
"He and I became close during med school. We started dating right after residency started. He was there when I was attacked in the parking garage. He dealt with a lot of crap during that time," I said.
"What happened? If you want to tell me," he asked.
"I got beat up by this surgical resident that was stalking the hospital's female employees. He would attack them and rape them. However, with me it was more personal. I had turned him down every time he asked me out and Carter was his biggest competition during his surgical residency. It was personal for all those reasons. I had a broken jaw, nose, ankle and lower leg. I ended up with a concussion and had to have Peter remove my spleen. Carter and I had just gotten serious right before it happened," I said.
I stopped in front of my town house, undid the gate and walked up the sidewalk to the front door. I unlocked the door and disarmed the security system. The lights flicked on in the foyer and I heard Dave gasp. "Wow," he said.
"Not what you were expecting, huh," I said.
"This is amazing," he said.

I led Dave into the house. I climbed the stairs to the second floor and Dave followed behind me.
"How did you afford this place? You get it from Carter," Dave asked as he peeked into the bedrooms.
"Nope. My father managed to acquire it, somehow. He gave it to me when I graduated medical school. My own brother didn't know about it and I moved in here when he decided to move in with Carol," I said.

I opened the door to my bedroom and entered my private sanctuary.

I started to enter the room and he grabbed my arm and turned me around. "What are we doing, Madison," he asked.
"I honestly don't know, Dave," I said.
Then, he kissed me. And it was an awesome kiss. I have to admit that.

He pulled away and looked at me.

"You going to leave me hanging like that," I asked, staring into his eyes.

His mouth descended onto mine again and I lost all self-control. We ended up in the bedroom and spent the rest of the night and the morning in bed.

We fell asleep just before the sun came up and curled against Dave, I fell into a dreamless sleep.

Carter's POV

Madison returned from Seattle. I was hoping that when she returned, we might be able to talk about what had happened. I didn't expect her to believe me, but I still loved her.

She walked into Admit looking wonderful. She didn't even glance my way as she took in the scene of patients before her. She was starting as Chief Resident today and, like it or not, she was going to be my boss.

She was greeted, rather rudely in my book, by Dave Malucci. I could tell he thought Madison was extremely attractive. I saw him looking her over, not once, but twice.

Madison is a beautiful woman. And, knowing Dave was looking at her like she was conquest, brought out my protective nature.

I pulled myself out of the daydream and focused on the conversation going on around me.

"Fine, Malucci, you get to work with the esteemed Dr. Carter. Speaking of which, were in the world is Carter," Madison asked.
"Right behind you, Madison," I said.

"Welcome back, Madison. How was Seattle," Mark asked as he approached admit.

"Seattle? What's in Seattle," Dave asked.
"Coffee," Madison said, never taking her eyes off me. "You get to work with the wonderful Dr. Malucci," she said.
"Come on, Maddie! Is this because you're mad," I asked.

I couldn't believe she was doing this to me. I didn't think Madison had it in her. Sticking me with Dave. That was low. I'd certainly have to talk to Mark about that one.

Then it hit me. I couldn't talk to Mark about the way Maddie was handing out the assignments. I couldn't let on that I thought our breakup was the reasoning behind her assignments. That LAST thing I needed was to have Mark remind me of the bonehead thing I did to ruin my relationship with Maddie.

I saw Dave move closer to Maddie, something that irritated me to no end.

When she proceeded to tell him off, I was elated. 'That's my girl,' I thought to myself with a smile.

Dave looked at me and said. "Looks like Dr. Itsy-Bitsy is a feisty one."

I bit my tongue to stop from laughing in his face.
"That's good, Dave. Why don't you call her that to her face and see what happens. You couldn't handle her," I said.
"So you tried and failed, eh? Well, I'd like to try," Dave said.
I rolled my eyes, "Who said I failed?" Dave stood at the desk, jaw on the floor.

"Don't look so surprised. Who do you think the jack-ass ex-boyfriend is, Dr. Dave," I added, heading off to see a patient.

I watched Dave confirm my admission with Malik before heading into exam 1 to see a patient. It was going to be a long residency year.

I knew I had to think of something I could do to get Maddie back. I wanted Sonny back in my life again.