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A few hours later, Mark went into the bathroom and found Carter brushing his teeth, looking slightly better than he had when he first saw him.

"How's the head?" He asked, using the urinal. John smiled slightly.

"Thanks, Dr. Green. I didn't mean to come in like that. I was fine when I woke up on Abby's floor but somehow got worse by the time I got here." He explained, hoping no one was mad at him. Mark snickered.

"Don't worry about it, Carter. No one expected you to actually show up today so half a Carter is better than none. It's still one hundred and twenty five thousand dollars worth." He laughed.

"I still can't believe that. Two hundred and fifty thousand is a lot of money, no matter who you are." He rinsed his mouth and replaced his toothbrush into its holder.

"Did you find out anything yet on the bidder?" Mark washed his hands.

"Not yet. They're supposed to make contact with me here. We'll see. I just hope I don't know them but Gamma assures me it wasn't anyone she knows." He shrugged.

"You up to seeing patients?" Mark asked, holding the door for him.

"As long as no one throws up on me, I'll be ok." Carter smiled. He returned his shave kit to his locker and made it to the admit desk.


"Feeling better?" Haleh asked, brushing the back of his hair down and handing him a bagel.

"Yeah, thanks." He ran his hands through his hair, having forgotten to check it before he came out.

"Carter, the girl in curtain three needs a wrist cast." Mark handed.

"Thanks, Mark." He said, smiling sheepishly.


Much later that same day, a delivery arrived for Carter. He was feeling much better and was working on trauma so Haleh signed for it and left it on the desk. Abby dropped off a few charts and noticed it lying under a pile of papers.

"Hey, what's this?" She held it up. Randi glanced at it.

"Something for Carter." She shrugged, snapping her gum loudly. Abby rolled her eyes.

"I can see that, Randi. Who signed for it?" She asked. Haleh was on the other side of the desk, dealing with a very angry six year old.

"Oh, I did. It's for Carter." She said over her shoulder. Abby decided that no one knew anything so she went to find Carter.

She found John stretching his back in an empty exam room. He looked tired.

"You up for coffee?" She asked, placing a gentle hand on his shoulder.

"Huh? Oh, hi. Yeah, sure. You on a break?" He smiled as she led the way to the front desk.

"Yeah." Abby motioned that she and Carter would be outside. Randi nodded. As soon as they stepped outside, Abby pulled out her pack of cigarettes and offered John one.

"Thanks." He accepted and pulled his lighter out of his pocket. He lit Abby's before lighting his own and took a deep drag.

"How's your head?" She asked, seeing him squint from the light. They got coffees from the roach coach and sat on the bench outside the bay entrance.

"Dull throb. Thanks for taking me to your place last night. Sorry about the rug." He smiled sheepishly.

"Yeah, well, you're paying for it to be dry cleaned." She snickered. "Here." She handed him the UPS letter.

"What's this?" He asked. He never got deliveries at work. She shrugged.

"Why don't you open it and find out?" She suggested.

"Your wisdom fascinates me." He snickered, shaking his head as he opened it. Inside was a cashier's check for two hundred and fifty thousand dollars made out to the hospital and a note. "Shit." He said quietly.

"Think we can erase the name and put ours on it?" She suggested, taking the note. "Oh, the mystery grows. Read this." She handed him the note. John read it.

'At 9:00 am tomorrow morning, there will be a limousine outside the bay doors at the hospital. It will take you to the airport where a private plane will be waiting. Bring casual cloths and the suit you wore during the fundraiser. Don't worry. You will be returned in time for your shift on Thursday night. Sweet dreams, Dr. John Truman Carter.'

"I'm going to be killed." He said dryly.

"Well, whoever it is, they know your work schedule. I mean, how many people know you have the next four days off."

"Ok," He stood up and began pacing. "This is getting really weird. Plane? Where the hell do they want me to go? I can't just get on a plane and go see someone who paid a quarter of a million dollars for me! Abby, they can't expect me to go through with this, can they? I mean, this was just supposed to be a simple dinner, a sign of gratitude for the donation, you know? I'm old enough to know that you just don't hop on a plane with a stranger and spend four days with them. I'm going to end up chopped up into tiny pieces, spread across the county and you'll never see me again." He was starting to hyperventilate.

"Carter, Abby! MVA rolling up!" Kerry yelled from the bay door. Carter turned to her with a look of shock on his face. She waved them over. Abby gently pushed John towards the doors.

"We'll talk later." She whispered, putting on the disposable gown she was handed.


They finished with the trauma and Carter had once again disappeared. Abby helped push the gurney of the patient she and Weaver had been working on towards the elevator on his way up to surgery. Weaver stood in the trauma room watching her.

"Abby, can I talk to you?" She said, not really asking. Abby felt she had no choice but to return to the trauma room. She came in and saw that they were the only ones in there. Weaver looked concerned.

"Did John get the envelope?" She asked, speaking quietly. Abby was surprised she even knew about it.

"Uh, yeah and he's freaking out pretty bad. He's terrified that who ever sent it is going to kill him." Abby tried to make light of it but she was also worried. It wasn't every day someone paid that kind of money for you, arranged to have a car and a plane for you to take you who knew where. Weaver looked a bit uncomfortable.

"Uh, Abby, look. I can't tell you how much I know but I need you to assure John that he will be perfectly safe. He will never be in danger and the donor only has the best intentions in mind. This is, well, just a sort of, well, sort of a fantasy for someone and," She said quietly.

"For John or for the donor?" Abby asked, very surprised that Kerry was in on this. Kerry smiled.

"For both. Just work at reassuring him, alright?" She said. Abby looked at her eyes and could tell that Kerry truly cared about John.

"Are you working on getting Carter laid?" Abby asked, shocked. Kerry blushed.

"Only if John wants that. Let's just call it a very big thank you from a former patient of his, shall we?" She regained her professional composure. Abby smiled.

"Sure. Let me talk to him." She agreed. "I need to find him first."

"Try the basement." Kerry said, walking toward the door.

"The basement?" Abby asked. She'd never known John to go to the basement.

"Everyone knows he likes the roof so when he really wants to get away, he goes to the basement." She smiled. Abby nodded.


Abby took the elevator to the basement and looked around. She saw John near a window, slowly banging his head against the wall.

"Hey, there." She said. He stopped and looked at her with a blank look. "I just heard something that I think will make you more comfortable."

"What?" He asked quietly.

"John, do you trust me?" Abby questioned, looking directly into his eyes. He looked back for several minutes trying to read her mind.

"Yes." He said honestly.

"Whoever has arranged this whole thing for you is not going to hurt you. I guess they just think that you've been working too hard and could use a break. Let your guard down this once, John. Trust me when I say you'll be safe and won't have to do anything you don't want to do." She said. Just then, both their pagers went off. John mechanically reached for his and looked at it.

"Trauma upstairs." He sighed.

"You all right?" She asked.

"I will be. Give me a while, ok?" He smiled.


"The glass in curtain four extracted, the hemorrhoids in six are cooled down and the hypochondriac in exam two will live to see another day." Carter said, finally returning to the admit desk. Kerry had seen him working feverously since his return from the basement, trying to keep his mind busy. He did have a habit of over analyzing things.

"Do they know they have the million dollar doctor working on them?" Chuny giggled.

"Only a quarter of a million but hey, who's counting." He joked back, Kerry glad to see him kidding around. "Oh, hey, Kerry. Whom do I give this to?" He pulled the cashier's check from his lab coat pocket and handed it to her. Kerry choked when she saw it.

"Um, I'll have to call someone." She took off her glasses and glanced to the phone.

"Oh, so you've heard from your donor? When are you going to meet her?" Chuny asked.

"Whoever it is will be sending a car for me tomorrow morning." He smiled, finally beginning to accept the fact that he would not be killed.

"Morning? I thought this was supposed to be dinner?" Susan asked, documenting in a chart. Carter shrugged.

"I guess for that kind of money, they get me whenever they want me." He smiled.

"Do you think that's safe? How much time do you have to spend with them?" Susan asked for more information.

"Only as much time as he wants, Susan. Can you take the head lac in curtain one?" Kerry interrupted. Carter and Susan looked at her, Susan for the sudden interruption, and Carter because he could see the twinkle in her eye.

"You know who I'm meeting, don't you?" He whispered, grinning like a cat that caught the bird.

"I don't know what you're talking about, John." Kerry tried to play it off.

"Ah, ha. That proves it. You do know." He accused. "You never call me John unless we're alone or it's personal. How much do you know? Do you know where I'm being taken? Who is it? Come on, Kerry. Tell me what you know." He begged, pulling her away from interested ears.

"Look, Carter." She insisted. "All that I will tell you is that they contacted me this morning. I do know who it is and you have nothing to worry about, all right? This whole thing is a show of gratitude. You were their doctor several years back and this is how they wish to repay you for what you did." She whispered.

"Kerry, Sobricki repaid me for what he thought I did to him, too. I'm just hoping they're happy with whatever I did for them." He asked cautiously.

"Very happy, John." She nodded and began to walk away. Another thing came to John's mind.

"They?" He questioned. Weaver just turned back, winked and continued on.


"Are you finished?" Luka asked, coming in to the lounge where Carter was taking off his lab coat.

"Yep. Only five hours late. Hey, I heard you had your date this evening. How'd it go?" He asked while putting his jacket on.

"We went dancing. She was very disappointed when I told her I didn't know the Tango. I think that she thought because I have the accent I would know it." He explained. Carter laughed.

"Ask Mark. He knows it. Well, I'm outta here for the next few days." Carter walked to the doors.

"Enjoy your 'date'." Kovac called, giving John thumbs up.

Near the end of his shift, rumors had begun flying because people found out about John's plans. Well, they weren't really his plans. Actually, he had no idea what the plans were but as time wore on after Kerry's reassurance that he'd live, he too began to get excited. Apprehensive, but excited all the same.

"Good night, Dr. Carter." Kerry called as he walked out the door. He smiled.

"Good night, Dr. Weaver."
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