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The Weak Link, Part 4

By Alyssa Santos

Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters. This is my first Fan Fiction and I have little to no medical knowledge so give me a break. You can E-mail me at yellowbrick_1@hotmail.com


“So there me and Mark were, sitting on the floor holding his wrists...” Carter gave a short laugh. “It must have been a sight.” 
“Can you get into any more detail?” The psychologist that had come down asked. Carter looked at him, he seemed young, this was probably a learning case for him. As far as Carter knew he was the first of the ER staff he had seen.
Mark was up against the wall. I was on the side facing the stalls...”
“How about Dr. Malucci. Any descriptions you can think of?” he interrupted.
“Well, his head was turned towards me. His eyes were closed, he was unconscious. His lips were slightly parted... I don’t know. I spent most of the time looking away...” Carter ambled.
“That’s OK. That’s enough. Now I heard you just got back from.... taking a break. That Lucy’s death took you really hard. Didn’t someone else close to you try to commit suicide?” He asked. Carter thought for a while.
“Oh... You mean Gant. That was ruled an accident.”
“Did you think it was an accident?”
“I don’t know. I guess I was leaning towards suicide, but I really don’t know.”
He looked back at the psychologist, who was looking down scribbling on a pad of paper. He looked up again. “Well Dr.Carter, that’s all I have for now. I might contact you again sometime. Oh, and here are some numbers... If you need to talk to someone.” Carter took them and nodded. The psychologist stood up to shake Carter’s hand. “It was nice talking to you. Would you mind calling Dr. Chen in here please?”
“Sure.” Carter said and he smiled as he left the room.

He walked up to admitting. “Randi, where’s Jing Mei?” He asked. Randi pointed at a room. “Thanks Randi.” Carter said sarcastically. Carter walked up to the room and entered quietly. Jing Mei was talking to a patient about her options.
“I’ll give you some time to think about it.” Jing Mei said with a smile. She started to walk and motioned for Carter to follow her out.
“What is it?” She asked.
“The psychologist wants to see you.” He answered. Jing Mei nodded and started walking towards the lounge. “How long will this take?” She asked as an afterthought.
“Took me 15 minutes.” Carter answered. Jing Mei nodded and continued on.
~~~

“I heard about it when he was already in the trauma room. Me and a crowd of people waited outside the doors. Ignoring our patients, trying to get a glimpse. It was impossible though, there were too many people crowded around him. So we all just waited. Later John came out and told us what happened. When he and I were alone we started conjecturing why he did it. I kept on saying how we weren’t nice to him. He kept on insisting that we were only mean because he was.”
“Um Hmmm. So Dr. Carter was denying quilt.” he stated, waiting to see if Dr. Chen contradicted.
“Well not exactly.” Jing Mei started, she mentally kicked herself for ever saying it. “He was just saying that he was mean too. And he was. Dave wasn’t a very easy person to get a long with.”
“So he didn’t have many friends.” The psychologist was writing again.
“What about family?”
“None that I heard of.” again he started writing.
“Girlfriend? Was he seeing anybody.” Jing Mei just shrugged. Jing Mei knew what he was doing. She knew very well that he wasn’t the psychologist that was seeing Dave. He was secretly trying to get her to realize that Dave had a very sad life and they should have been more supportive. Well it was working.
~~~

“Hi Carol, how are you doing?” Mark asked into the receiver. “Good. Oh I’m fine. I know I haven’t called you. I wasn’t planning on either. Oh No.” He smiled at Carol’s sarcastic wit. “I’ve been busy. Any way the reason why I called you.” His voice turned grave again. “It’s about Dave. Yeah, that Dave.”
This time he hadn’t laughed at her joke, and now she knew something was wrong.
“He tried to kill himself Carol.” He paused. Neither one of them spoke. “Hey, we didn’t expect it either. I just thought you’d like to know. And I thought maybe you’d.... Oh you’ll talk to him? Great. Thanks a lot Carol. I’ll call you again
I promise, I’m on shift right now.... Ok....I call you. Bye.”
~~~

Dave woke up again. He had a pounding headache. He figured his medication was wearing off. They told him to call them in if it did, but he had no intention of calling them. Even now he was planning to play the tough guy. He had already seen the psychologist twice in the three days since it happened. He had told him things he hadn’t planned on telling anyone. Things he wasn’t planning to tell anyone ever again.
~~~

“Hey Carol.” Dave said as he got on the phone. Carol was unnerved. She had expected him to be sad, to talk softly or not talk to her at all, but he wasn’t.He sounded perfectly normal.
“Hey.” she managed.
“So, I guess you’ve heard.” He stopped to crunch on whatever he was eating.
“Yeah. Mark told me.”
“Mmmm... Good old Mark. Aren’t you supposed to be comforting me now?” He was sarcastic, and there was a laughing tone to his voice. She could imagine the smile on his face and the glimmer in his eyes.
“I was supposed to, but you sound all right to me.” She said. She was trying to tread softly but wasn’t too sure if she was doing it right.
“That’s right. And do you know why? Because I am fine.” Carol found herself clenching her teeth. He was himself all right. and yet she knew she had to be nice to him. She knew what he was going through, and she planned on being
supportive.

“Dave, I know what you’re going through. I did it too, before you came to work here.” she said slowly
“Yeah? I heard that but wasn’t sure if it was true.” he said sounding a little interested.
“Yep. Except I did pills.”
“Yeah I thought about pills, but where’s the heroics in that?” Carol sighed, she had once heard that from Shep.
“So what method did you use?”
“Slit the wrists.” Dave answered bluntly.
“Really?” Carol asked, intrigued.
“Yeah, in the hospital bathroom too. I was on duty.”
“Really?” Carol asked again.
“Yep.” Dave said. Then a strange thing happened, they both started to laugh.
Soon they were trading suicide stories.
~~~
“I was up in the OR when it happened. I only heard it later from Benton.” Elizabeth Corday was trying to explain to the young psychologist across from her.
“Yes so you’ve said, but I still have to talk to you. Now I heard that you were often lecturing Dr. Malucci on his competence as a doctor.” He looked up from his notepad for once to look at Elizabeth. She wondered briefly who had told him that then quickly snapped to her defense.
“Only really on one occasion. He had made a big mistake and I was simply trying to set him on the right path.”
“So you didn’t really think he was a bad doctor.”
“I didn’t think he was a bad doctor but he wasn’t an extremely good doctor either. But he did have his moments... occasionally.”
“So did you let him know this? That you thought he was OK?” the psychologist asked. Elizabeth sighed, glancing at the clock and hoping she would be paged.
~~~

Carter walked into the room and saw that Dave was on the phone. “Uh Huh. Yeah.
Not much but Carter just walked in.” Dave was saying. “Uh huh. Yep. Ok I’ll talk
to ya later.” With that Dave hung up the phone and turned to Carter. “Why good
morning Carter. I was starting to get worried, you aren’t usually this late.”
“Yeah I’m sorry, I was busy. Who was that on the phone?”
“Carol.”
“Oh.” Carter said lamely

“So I’ve heard the psychologist is seeing you guys.” Dave said with a sly smile.
“Who told you?” Carter asked surprised. He would have thought that Dave was out of the loop.
“Oh Randi calls me when she gets bored.” Dave smiled and looked down at his hands. “Hey, I didn’t cause any emotional harm did I?” he asked without looking up.
“Actually you did. We’re all your friends you know.” Carter looked at him sincerely. Dave looked up at him briefly then shrugged, turning back to his hands.
“Yeah, whatever.” He mumbled. Carter sighed, he didn’t know how to convince Dave that they really were his friends.
“Look Dave, I know we didn’t always show it, but we do care about you, and none of us wanted this to happen. We act like jerks sometimes, but so do you. Doesn’t mean that we don’t care about each other.”
“Did your psychologist tell you do say that?” Dave asked mockingly.
“No.” Carter replied honestly.

Dave looked up at him again, sizing him up, making sure he was telling the truth. He shrugged and laid back. He didn’t mean to groan as he did so, but he must have.
“Are you all right? Do you need more meds?” Carter asked, a little worried, he knew what pain could feel like.
“Are you kidding? I can handle it.”
There was a long awkward silence. Finally Carter decided to break it. “We tried to get a hold of family..”
“Good luck.” Dave interrupted with a snicker. Carter continued, ignoring Dave’s comment.
“Now that you’re awake, is there anyone you’d like us to call for you?” Dave was shaking his head before Carter even finished.
“Nope. “

“When you are released from the hospital you should have somewhere to go.”
“I have somewhere to go. My apartment. Thanks for your concern Carter, but I think that I can handle THIS myself.” Dave said, emphasizing ‘this’ as if it was nothing compared to some of the things he’d handled before.
~~~
A WEEK LATER

“Hello Kerry. Well, I haven’t seen you in a while.” Dave said as Kerry walked into his room. “So, Bill the psych man is releasing me today.” His hands were resting behind his head and he had a sneer on his face. Kerry limped over to
stand next to his bed.
“Yes I heard. He said you can get back to work in no time.” She said casually, trying to be her normal self, as Bill had suggested.
“Well that’s good isn’t it?” Dave asked, calling her bluff. “Good for both of us.”

~~~

Dave walked leisurely through the ambulance bay entrance and waltzed towards the lounge. Carter was the only person in the lounge, quickly getting ready so he wouldn’t be late. Carter turned around and his jaw dropped in surprise.
“Dave, what are you doing here?”
“I’m on.” Dave said, as he walked over to his locker and started getting ready.
“You’re on?” Carter didn’t understand, then it hit him. “You’re on. Isn’t it a little early?” He asked cautiously.
“Nope. Bill the Psych man has cleared me for take off.” Dave said, making fun of his psychologist.
“When was that?”
“Yesterday.” Dave said as he opened his locker. He already had his scrubs on so he just looked at it then closed it again.
“And you don’t think you need more rest?” Carter asked aimlessly.
“Nope, the thought never crossed my mind.” With that he threw a phony smile at Carter and left the lounge.
~~~

Dave worked as much as he could, he took any shifts offered to him and even asked other people to give him their shifts. He often worked more then one shift at a time, and when he did have time off he barely ever rested. Many times he would spend his in between hours in the hospital, sometimes sitting in the cafeteria for hours waiting for his next shift to start. Kerry and the rest of the ER staff was worried. They didn’t want to deny him shifts. They thought that if he was at least at the hospital he wouldn’t try to kill himself again.
~~~

The day was going slow and Dave had a double shift, so he decided to catch a couple of winks while he could.
~~~

“Kerry, MVA trauma is coming in. Three victims. ETA two minutes.” Randi announced as Kerry walked by the desk.
“OK page Carter, Jing Mei, Kovac, and Benton.” Kerry said, already leaving to prepare for the patients
“Should we wake up Malucci?” Randi asked.
Kerry seemed to think for a moment. “No let him sleep unless we really need him.”
~~~

“Why didn’t you wake me up!?!” Dave demanded marching towards Kerry after learning of the trauma.
“I thought it would be better..” Kerry started
“Kerry, you’re not my mother! You’re not my sister! You’re not even my friend! You are my boss! I’m supposed to be working and you’re supposed to be enforcing it!” He stood, pointing his finger at Kerry for a second then storming off
again. Kerry stood there dazed and confused. She wasn’t really sure what she was supposed to do. Jing Mei walked up to her and touched her lightly on the shoulder.
“He’s going through hard times Kerry. You can’t listen to everything he says.
Kerry nodded and walked stunned to the Exam room she had been heading for.

Dave had found his way to the bathroom. He Picked a stall and locked himself in it. He let out a deep breath and rested his head in his hands. He shouldn’t have gone off on Kerry like that. He was mad, for sure, but he shouldn’t have done it. He knew what he thought of people with tempers, he didn’t want anyone to think of him that way. It was just that his emotions were all over the place, he reasoned with himself. He had tried to comment suicide and he realized that he was probably still mildly suicidal. He sat there, thinking of what he should do, what he wanted to do. He sat there for ten full minutes, then slowly emerged and found his way back to the admit desk.

“Hey Kerry. Listen, I’m sorry.” Dave said apologetically before she even knew he was there. Kerry turned and saw Dave’s solemn face. 
“It’s ok Dave. First days back are always rough.” she said. There was a long awkward silence that followed. Finally Kerry broke it by saying, “There are some patients who need attention.” Dave nodded and walked off with out another word.
~~~

So far he had seen one mild concussion, two chest pains, and a small laceration. He carried the chart over to Exam 2 reading it on his way. 
*Exciting* he thought. *A broken wrist.* He walked into the room and looked up at the woman sitting on the table. “Mrs. Mason?” He asked. She looked up, looking mildly startled at seeing him standing there.
“Yes?” She said meekly.
“Hello, I’m Dr. Dave. I’m going to be looking at your wrist.” He aid and he pulled up a chair besides the bed. He noticed now that she had a big bruise over one eye and her lip was swollen.
“So what happened?” He asked, forming his own idea as he carefully picked up the wrist.

“I fell of my bike.” she said softly.
“OK.” Dave said, knowing perfectly well she was lying. “I’m going to send you to get an X-ray on your wrist. Would you like me to look at your bruises?” He asked. The woman just nodded no.
“OK.” He said. He didn’t get up, he stayed where he was and looked intently at the woman, then looked down at the chart.
“I see you’ve been in the hospital a lot lately.” He said casually, as if to strike up a conversation. She merely nodded. Dave turned to her again and looked her straight in the eyes.
“Mrs. Mason, has anyone been hitting you.” There was nothing that resembled an answer.
“Mrs. Mason. If you tell me I can make it stop.” still she didn’t answer. He sat there for a few minutes, then stood up to go. When he was almost to the door a little voice popped in.
“My husband sometimes loses his temper. But he loves me.” The woman said mildly.
“Is your husband in chairs?” Dave asked. The woman nodded.
As he walked out of the room he stopped at the admit desk.
“Randi call psych. I’ve got an abusive husband in chairs.” He said, eyeing chairs slowly.
“Has she admitted?” Randi asked, already dialing the number. Dave nodded. He stalled a while, pretending to look at charts, giving pysch some time to come down. Then he stood in front of chairs.

“Mr. Mason?” He asked. A man in the corner stood up. It took Dave all his strength to keep a calm face and a casual voice.
“Is my wife all right?” he asked. Dave was surprised, he actually sounded concerned.
“Yes. She probably has a broken wrist, and she has some bruises on her face. We’ll get an X-ray on the wrist then we’ll splint it and she should be able to go home.” Out of the corner of his eye Dave saw some men walked up to Randi.
Randi pointed to Dave then continued to watch intently. As the men walked up behind Mr. Mason, Dave tried to talk slowly.
“Mr. Mason, these men want to ask you a few questions. Will you go with them?”
Mr. Mason turned around, a little surprised that two men were behind him, but managed to nod.
“Sure.” He said and he allowed the men to lead him away.
~~~

Dave had just finished his last patient and Kerry had insisted that he go home and get some sleep before his next shift. He put his last chart down and was about to head for the lounge when Randi got his attention.
“Hold on.” She said to the person she was talking to on the phone. She covered up the end then looked back at Dave. “That man you sent psych on was released.”
She said. “I think the lady denied it this time.”
Dave merely nodded and headed for the lounge. It happened so often, and he couldn’t do anything about it.

He grabbed his coat and slipped it on. It was pretty cold and riding his bike in the wind would make it colder. He walked out through the ambulance bay door and stood momentarily to adjust to the cool wind. He started to walk towards his bike. He had just leaned down to unchain it when he felt something hard connect with the back of his head. He fell immediately sprawling to the ground. He landed face up, and he was conscious just long enough to see the face of his attacker.

Lydia and Mark went outside to meet the ambulance coming in. They didn’t have to wait long because it came zooming up to the bay. Almost before stopping two paramedics burst through the doors of the ambulance pulling a stretcher with them. One began to rattle off the details, “Motorcycle versus truck. 34 year old male...” All of a sudden he was interrupted by his partner.
“Who’s that?” She asked motioning over to a crumpled form by the bicycle rack.
“He looks like one of yours.” The first paramedic said, looking at Mark.

“Lydia, go get a gurney!” Mark called leaving the paramedics to bring their patient in as he rushed over to the figure. A bike had fallen to partly cover the person’s body. Mark removed it quickly and looked down at the deformed
face. Mark shuddered. It was Dave.

End of part 4