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Chapter Two

He wanted to call in sick. He'd almost done it. Several times, in
fact. He'd picked up the phone. Dialed. Hung up. Picked it up again.
Dialed again. Hung up again. Once he even got a vicious Randi, telling
whoever it was on the other end to stop pranking or she swore she was
going to *69 his ass and then kick it.

He didn't call again. Instead, he went into work, looking over his
shoulder at every possible moment. He was distracted, and it showed.
Twice Dr. Greene asked him if everything was all right. Once Dr.
Weaver yelled at him. Several times had Lucy Knight bugged the Hell
out of him, psycho-analyzing him as she tried to figure out what was

"Nothing!" he finally snapped, in the middle of the hall. "Nothing is
wrong. So leave me alone, okay?"

"Jeeze," she said, rolling her eyes. "Excuse me for caring. I have a
patient somewhere. Someone who actually *wants* my help."

He took his chart and gently hit himself in the forhead with it. Could
everyone just leave him alone? Please?? He really didn't need this.
Not today.

"This is Admin," he heard Dr. Weaver saying, saw her firey red hair
out of the corner of his eye. "That's Randi."

"Hi, Randi."

His eyes widened and he lowered his chart, peeking over it. He
couldn't see him. There were too many people! He couldn't see him! He
kept his chart over his face but inched his way closer to the front
desk, straining to get a glimpse..

"Hey," the desk clerk replied. "Don't fuck with my desk."

He heard that musical laughter, felt his heart speed up. Oh, man, did
he remember that laugh. "You got it."

"Don't worry about her, Dr. Dave, she doesn't bite -- most of the
time," Dr. Weaver said, and then continued with her tour. "X-rays end
up here, labs end up here. Charts here: in, out. Do not pick through
the charts, like some of the over-eager residents are prone to do.
They are in order, you will take them that way."


He could see Randi now, hunched over the desk, balancing a phone in
one ear and an angry patient at the other.

"Use your social security number to log into the computer," Weaver
continued, and he saw her standing behind it. "Your birthday is your
password. Don't tell anyone your social or password."

"I guess nobody celebrates birthdays around here."

There! Right there. Right.. right in front of him. John ducked behind
the teller window of Admin, peeking around to see.. Dave. He was
older. Obviously, but he was.. different, he was grown up.
Broad-shouldered and muscled in a scrub top, his hair short and dark.
His skin was dark too, that same golden color John remembered from
their summers together. Oh, God. Had it really been this long?

"Let me show you where you treat the patients," Dr. Weaver now said,
interrupting John's thoughts. "There's the exam rooms, the curtain
areas, and the trauma rooms. It's not hard to tell the difference."

"Let me guess," Dave said, flashing a grin, and now John really had
it. His heart just broke, all over again, seeing that beautiful smile.
"The curtain areas have.. curtains? And the trauma rooms have all the
fancy stuff."

"Good," Weaver said, smiling wryly. "I was a starting to worry since
you were from Grenada that meant you were stupid."

Dave's grin broadened. He was smiling too much. The Dave John had
known was quiet, and shy. Reserved. Mysterious and gentle. This Dave..
was this his Dave? It had been so long. He couldn't tell. Maybe his
Dave didn't exist anymore.

"But do we only do exams in the exam rooms? And do I have to study for

"Forget what I just said," Weaver retorted, equally as playfully. "I'm
still worried."

"Carter!" He snapped out of his reverie and glanced at Randi,
thoroughly startled. "I don't know what you're doing there, and I
don't care. But you need to move. You're starting to creep out the

"Right," he said, grabbing his chart. "Sorry, I was just.. um.. leaving."

"Carter!" Again, but this time from Weaver. He didn't turn around. He
kept walking. He couldn't face Dave. Not yet. What was he saying?? Not
yet? Not ever. Not after what happened. "Carter! I -- residents..
You'd swear they were all deaf, blind and dumb."

He glanced back over his shoulder. Dr. Weaver was walking away, but
Dave was still standing there, watching him. He met those eyes, those
deep brown eyes, so dark they were almost black. They were still quiet
and shy, reserved. Still mysterious and gentle. So familiar despite
the five years that separated now and the last time John had seen them.

And that's when he knew.

This was still his Dave.

And he still loved him.


To be continued..
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