"So, did you hear about the fundraiser?" Abby asked, watching Carter suture up a kid's foot.
"Uh huh." He nodded, placing the last suture. "Great job, Seth. You were so brave. I think that Nurse Abby here knows where we keep the balloons." He smiled at the child. Seth's mother looked relieved. "He's fine, mom. Bring him back in ten days to have the stitches removed and keep the bandages clean. Seth, next time you go outside, what are you going to do?" He asked, making a note in Seth's chart.
"Wear shoes!" Seth said as Carter helped him off the table.
"Good." John smiled as he returned to the admit desk.
"Are you going to do it?" Abby asked after getting Seth his balloon. Carter was wiping Seth's name from the board.
"I get the feeling I don't get much of a choice." He shrugged, looking for something interesting on the board.
"Don’t get a choice for what?" Luka asked, overhearing part of the conversation.
"About you and I being auctioned off for the fundraiser next week." Carter said, flipping through the charts of patients waiting in chairs.
"It all sounds a bit medieval." Luka said as he checked the computer for his lab results.
"What's medieval?" Susan asked, dropping off her latest chart.
"The hospital selling our bodies for this fundraiser." Carter commented, reading the intake form on a new patient.
"They don't expect us to do anything, do they?" Susan asked Carter and Luka. They looked at each other and shrugged.
"Mercy did one last year and each doctor prepared music, props, costumes. It was wild!" Randi snapped her gum. Haleh nodded in agreement.
"Hm, Hm. Went all out, I hear. Of course, none of the staff from our department will go to any trouble. I hear the doc that brought in the most over there had a fog machine and dancers when he hit the stage. My friend said he was the hottest thing in that room!"
"I hear that the department that brings in the most money gets their doctor's lounge remodeled with new furniture and brand new lockers along with a hefty raise." Chuny said, joining the conversation. All three doctors listened in shock. The nurses smiled to themselves.
"Are we supposed to put on some kind of show or something?" Luka asked.
"Hell, yes, honey. You need to sell it to all those rich folks watching and paying money for you! When you get up there on that stage, just act like Malucci would have!" Haleh laughed.
"Mr. Harrington?" John chuckled, walking towards chairs. Weaver had lied to him. A frail man stood and walked towards him. "What seems to be the problem?" Carter walked the man to curtain four.
"Carter, what's the deal with the guy in four?" Kerry asked, depositing a chart and wiping a name off the board. John laughed.
"Well, he needed some privacy. He's a seventy five year old man with a twenty something year old girlfriend. It seems he took a few different herbal supplements to help maintain, uh, his, well, it's been two days and he's a bit uncomfortable." He explained, blushing himself.
"You're not having him do what I think you're having him do, are you?" She asked.
"Why do you get all the fun ones?" Susan asked, tickling Carter in the ribs. Ever since she found out he was ticklish, she couldn't resist.
"You can take him when he's done." Carter offered, squirming away.
"Uh, ewe. No thanks." She laughed.
"Carter, the guy in four is asking for you." Abby said as she clocked out. Carter checked his watch.
"Hm. That was quick." He said more to himself.
"That's what happens when you get older." Kerry couldn't resist. He smiled and winked at her.
"Man, I hope not." He kidded.
"From what I hear, you have nothing to worry about, Carter." She kidded back. His blush was instant.
Carter walked into the lounge with his leftover sandwich from the cafeteria. It had quieted the rumblings in his stomach for the moment and he would need the rest later. It was a long shift and the thought of walking all the way to get food when he was tired was not something he looked forward to. He noticed Dr. Weaver on the phone.
"Yes, Veronica. Sounds like a plan." She smiled toward John but acted strangely.
'Maybe a new girlfriend.' John snickered to himself. He had missed the 'kiss' everyone was still talking about and he hadn't found the nerve to come right out and ask Kerry if the rumors were true. Actually, when he thought about it, the idea of Kerry with a woman wasn't that far off. He'd gotten to know a side of her while they lived together and maybe she really was gay. He just never liked to assume. Like his Gamma always said, 'Those who assume only make an ass out of you and me' or something like that. He stood at the coffee pot trying to remember how the saying went.
"How much?" Kerry exclaimed a bit louder than she had intended. Then she giggled. "Well, I guess so. No, Veronica. I don't think he'll have a problem with that. Ok, well, I'll talk to you later. I need to get back to work." She hung up the phone, giggling to herself.
"You sound happy." Carter said, forgetting his quest of phrases and turning his attention on Kerry's smile.
"Uh, yes, well." She grinned. "Just talking to an old friend from college." She got up and headed towards the coffee pot. Seeing this, John poured her a cup.
"College, huh? I don't even have time to stay in touch with people I had as friends a year ago much less college. Good for you. I'm glad to see you have a friend." He smiled but it quickly vanished when he saw her scowl.
"I have plenty of friends, Carter." She snapped, taking his comment offensively. He held up his hands in defense.
"Hey, I didn't mean that you don't. I just see how much time you spend here and it's nice to see you doing something social for a change, even if it is just by phone."
"Carter, you really should learn to stop while you're ahead." She glared at him. She tossed her coffee down the sink and went back out into the ER.
Carter shook his head and headed off to find an empty exam room for a nap.
"You done?" Abby asked, finding Carter in the lounge putting his lab coat in his locker. She was just coming in for the start of her new shift.
"Yeah." He said, trying to get his neck to crack. "Twenty seven hours, six traumas, twelve sutures, eight virus's, two food poisonings, one fatal MI and a very satisfied seventy five year old." He smiled. Abby looked confused.
"What?" She asked. Carter laughed.
"Long story." He managed to get his neck to finally crack. "You on for eight or twelve?" He asked.
"Eight. I'm off tomorrow. You want to go to the mall with me to buy a new outfit for the fundraiser? I need a new dress and you need something." She offered. He shook his head.
"No, I don't need anything. You know I have a tux and this fundraiser is black tie so I'm set." He hung his bag from his shoulder.
"John, nothing personal, but your tux won't work. You're going to have to work a bit harder than that. Just walking out ain't going to bring in the money." She explained.
"Abby, were the nurses serious when they were saying this needs to be a whole production?" He asked. She smiled.
"I'm sure we can come up with something. Besides, you do need new clothes. I mean, you've lost all your baby fat and," She explained.
"Baby fat? I didn't have any baby fat." He acted hurt but he knew what she was talking about. His body had finally matured over the last year.
"Your love handles, then." She teased. "Anyway, you're a lot thinner and if you're going to be selling yourself, you need something sexy. John, I've known you long enough to know you don't own any 'fuck me' clothes." She joked.
"Abby, I don't need any suggestive clothing, ok? That's not the idea behind this auction." He stated.
"Grow up, John. You're going up against some pretty hunky guys." She tried. "And you're up against the Croatian. Luka oozes raw sexual energy and you, well, you're Carter."
"You don't think I can be as sexy as Luka?"
"Well, you do have your moments but honestly, they're quick and fleeting. Of course, your royal blue shirt is pretty hot but it's not the same. This is going to be a really big event. You need to look as sexy as possible up there." She said.
"Ok, fine, Abby. But I'm not going to buy any 'fuck me' clothes." He laughed.
"We'll see. Be at my place at ten."
"Fine." He walked to the door.
"Carter?" She called. "Bring coffee!"
John parked right out front of Abby's apartment building, thankful for the perfect spot. He grabbed the bagels, tucking the bag under his arm and held two hot coffees in his hands. When he got to the door, he knocked with his foot. After several minutes, Abby finally answered.
"Took you long enough." He grumbled as he shut the door behind him.
"Has anyone ever told you that you are not a morning person?" She laughed, taking her coffee. John always knew how to order her latté just the way she liked them.
"There are many different things I'd like to do in the morning than to go 'to the mall'." He laughed, knowing she was kidding.
"Oh, yeah? Like what?" She teased, getting her shoes on.
"I'll never tell." He smiled mischievously.
"You like it in the morning? Man, Luka never did. Nights only with him, which really sucked when one of us was working nights." She tied her tennis shoes as Carter sat down at the kitchen table, putting cream cheese on his bagel.
"No, no, no. There is nothing sexier than waking up to a warm body touching you or to wake someone up with your mouth, doing wicked things to certain body parts." He smiled, suddenly feeling a bit aroused.
"Oh, my. You'd better hope that who ever wins you has something naughty in mind." She teased. "You need it bad."
"I couldn't do that." He protested. "That would feel too much like prostitution and I'm not letting the hospital pimp me out for the sake of a fundraiser, Abby."
"John, have you ever had sex?" She asked, joining him at the table and getting a bagel. He choked on his.
"What?" He asked, shocked.
"I mean have you ever had sex for the sake of a physical need? Not making love, just raw, uninhibited sex?" She asked.
"You never met Roxanne, did you?" He asked, remembering how it seemed like that was the only think she was interested in him for. That and showing off her 'doctor' boyfriend at social functions.
"You dated her. I'm talking about sex with someone who you just met, someone who you would never see again? Someone who you didn't date. Someone just for the physical release?" She asked, giving a better explanation of what she was asking.
"Once, but she gave me a STD when I first started at county. They posted the results on the board and everything. No, I think I learned my lesson with that one." He finally said after thinking for several minutes. Everyone he'd ever been with he'd seen more than once, even in college. "No, that's not true. There was another time. My deflowering. That was a one-time thing but I don't think that counts. I had no idea what I was doing back then and it was over way too quickly." He smiled, barely able to even remember her face.
"You should try it. Might do you some good." Abby said, knowing what his answer would have been even without having asked.
"Why? Have you?" He asked. She smiled.
"I've had my wilder days. Yes, I went through a period that I had a lot of sexual partners." She shrugged.
"You have to be more careful these days. I mean we see it every day. There are a lot of diseases out there." He said.
"You can have sex and still use protection. Personally, I think what you need is a good fuck buddy." She suggested. John blushed.
"I cannot believe we are having this conversation. Thank you, Dr. Lockhart. Can we go shopping now?" He smiled.