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It had been three days since he'd seen Dave, at Dave's apartment or
otherwise. John wasn't avoiding him, it was the opposite now; Dave was
avoiding John. And John hated it, he hated it so much he wondered how
Dave had managed to get through nearly a week of it.

The first day went by. John thought that either Dave wasn't working,
or just good at eluding him. The second day went by.. and John began
to worry. It was only on the third day that he began to become
frightened. But he was *too* frightened, too scared to even ask where
he was, what had happened to him. Had he taken a vacation? This soon
after beginning at County, John doubted it. So was he calling in sick?
Three days in a row, John doubted it.

So what could've happened to him?

"Randi," he asked quietly, so quietly she didn't even hear him. He
needed to know, he couldn't keep it in any longer. Louder, he asked,

She jumped, spinning around to face him. "Jesus, you scared the shit
out of me. What is wrong with you lately, are you mentally ill?? We
have doctors for that."

He shook his head. "I just have a question."

She waited. "Okay.. "

"Do you know what happened to Dr. Malucci?" he asked. "I was trying to
get some help in an exam room, but nobody seems to know where he is."

"Oh, he quit."

"Quit?!" John nearly yelled, startling the desk clerk once again. "He

"Quit," she repeated slowly.

"Did he say why?"

"I don't know," she replied, looking at him distastefully. "I'm not
the one he has to answer to."

"How can he just quit?" John asked. "Doesn't he have to give two weeks

"I don't think even Weaver can force someone to leave their home and
come in," she retorted. "Can you please leave me alone now? Some of us
actually have work to do around here."

He left her, fazed. This was his fault. His entire fault. He'd done
this, he'd pushed Dave away all because he was afraid. God, he was so
stupid. How could he be this stupid?? He was an asshole, that's why. A
completely self-absorbed asshole, making Dave cry like that. What was
wrong with him??

Whatever it was, he had to fix it. He had to fix *this*, what he'd
done. He had to make it right, no matter what it took. Everything Dave
had sacrificed, everything he'd done.. John would do the same for him.
He'd go to the ends of the universe if he had to. He just had to make
this right again. And he had to hurry, if he wasn't already too late.


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