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ER Fic: Again - tranquility... best achieved in chaos
ER Fic: Again
Title: Again
Rating: PG
Category: John Carter/Abby Lockhart.
Spoilers: None.
Disclaimer: Owned by others.
Author’s Note: Merry Christmas, nobodysomeday! Caaarby!


“Took this love and I took it down
Climbed a mountain and I turned around
And I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills
‘Til the landslide brought me down”
-- Fleetwood Mac, ‘Landslide’


It’s simple, really.

A massive collision, staff from three hospitals called to the scene, and she works until she has lost all sense of time.

“Abby,” he says, surprise in his voice, and when she looks up from yet another black-tagged casualty, he’s there.

It happens just like that.


She’s physically exhausted, hands dry and red from too many pairs of gloves in too short a time. She takes a seat in the back of an empty rig – she wants a cigarette badly. A quick glance at her watch tells her she missed lunch, but it’s only been a handful of hours despite what feels like a day’s worth.

She dials the sitter and closes her eyes briefly as Joe comes on the line and tells her about kindergarten and how he got to use paint and how it’s all over his clothes and wait until you see my picture!

John shows up then, a coffee in each hand and a small bag tucked under his arm. “Coffee and pastries,” he mouths. He sits across from her, a bemused expression on his face as she tells Joe he is so getting a bath tonight, and they say their goodbyes and love yous.

It’s all incredibly domestic, and a situation far removed from the one she’d occasionally envisioned. She’s not surprised that John has found her in the middle of the chaos, and aside from being a few years older, he’s remarkably unchanged.

“Joe?” he asks after she hangs up.

“You heard about him?”

He nods, gives a wry smile. “Nurses talk.”

She accepts the coffee he offers, and it is exactly the way she drinks it; that he remembers despite the years, flusters her.


They walk the perimeter, emergency medical personnel still arriving around them. The casualties already number over three dozen, and the scene is solemn, but frenzied.

She explains the past he missed, about Luka and Joe, being a single mom, and he tells her of Africa, the return to Chicago, and the new children’s clinic he’s opened.

“There’s a place for you there if you ever want it,” he says.


The explosion rips through the north side of the scene, and she can’t be more than four or five steps ahead of him, when she’s blown a clear ten feet sideways, the heat of the fire following. The hood of a car stops her – thankfully, also painfully, but aside from a good number of cuts and bruises, she’s surprisingly okay.

Carter is next to her in an instant, perfectly untouched, and it’s all so fitting – this life, their life even all these years later – that she laughs. His concern jumps exponentially, and it takes her some time to explain, to wave away his insistence that she go to the ER to be sure.

Despite her objections, he does a quick check over anyway, and pauses, thoughtful, when his fingers are gently over her rib cage. “This is familiar,” he says with a smile.

“I’m beginning to think it might have something to do with you.”

He grins. “I’ll try not to make it a habit.”

She’s declared extremely lucky, and they’re both back in the fray again before she has even thought to thank him.


By the time the sun is low on the horizon, the worst of the disaster is under control, and she is finally waved away. Carter is waiting, of course, and she knows he means to walk her home.

It’s comfortable with him - in conversation and in silence – the El ride brief. She’s missed this, him, in a way she hasn’t thought about in a number of years.

“Don’t forget about the offer,” he says, and when she looks at him questioningly, he finishes the thought. “About coming to work with me.”

When she doesn’t respond, because she isn’t sure how to respond and what going down this path might bring, he hands her his number. “Just in case.”

“I’m pretty sure this will be a catastrophe in the making,” she points out.

He shrugs and smiles. “There’s always coffee and pie.”


Tags: ,

17 whispers :: tell me a secret
tvisgood From: tvisgood Date: December 26th, 2010 01:28 am (UTC) (Link)
Aww, Jen. Do you know how long it's been since I've seen a Carby fic?

This made me smile. :)
phrenitis From: phrenitis Date: December 31st, 2010 03:51 am (UTC) (Link)
I know! It's a travesty! There must be an annual Carby fic event or something - I've missed them. :(
muldy From: muldy Date: December 26th, 2010 02:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Carby fic omg!!

It's been a while but still awesome.

Loved it. Merry Christmas :-)
phrenitis From: phrenitis Date: December 31st, 2010 03:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks hon!!! Merry Christmas (or, er, New Year at this point) to you too. :)
finnstardust From: finnstardust Date: December 26th, 2010 08:56 am (UTC) (Link)
Aww, I miss this ship SO much! Loved it - thank you for writing this.
phrenitis From: phrenitis Date: December 31st, 2010 03:54 am (UTC) (Link)
Me too! *sniff* Glad you enjoyed!
(Deleted comment)
phrenitis From: phrenitis Date: December 31st, 2010 03:58 am (UTC) (Link)
<3 <3 <3! I haven't written them in forever, and I actually went back and watched Carby scenes to get the feel again. HARDEST THING TO DO EVER. Those clips KILL me with how amazing it all was and how it all fell apart. *weeps*

At least we all know how it was truly supposed to end! ;)
ceruleantides From: ceruleantides Date: December 27th, 2010 01:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
I miss Carby. So much. And YOUR Carby. *loves*
phrenitis From: phrenitis Date: December 31st, 2010 03:59 am (UTC) (Link)
*hugs* Thanks for helping on this one, too!! Carby in March!
fading_ripples From: fading_ripples Date: December 27th, 2010 04:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Carby! ::bigsigh:: You're made of teh awsome, Jen!
phrenitis From: phrenitis Date: December 31st, 2010 04:00 am (UTC) (Link)
*LOVES* Thanks hon!!
anr From: anr Date: January 2nd, 2011 08:34 am (UTC) (Link)
oh. OH. I miss these two. *hearts*

Lovely, lovely fic. I adore it.
phrenitis From: phrenitis Date: January 3rd, 2011 10:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Me too! *clings*
just_liv From: just_liv Date: August 21st, 2012 02:33 am (UTC) (Link)
And she writes Carby too!! <3 (I'm not a stalker, just a curious reader I promise)
phrenitis From: phrenitis Date: August 21st, 2012 04:05 am (UTC) (Link)
Bwahahaha! :)

And oh man, Carby is my baby. I have a ridiculous number of fics all over the place with these two. I'm sure the ones on FF.net from years and years ago are even still there. ENDLESS HAPPY PLACE (except when it wasn't, but in my head it ended just the way it was supposed to).
(Deleted comment)
phrenitis From: phrenitis Date: June 15th, 2013 09:49 pm (UTC) (Link)

You like Carter/Abby?! NO ONE WAKE ME. THIS IS THE BEST.
17 whispers :: tell me a secret