ER
Benton Backwards

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Benton Backwards

Props to Glark for helping me with the character nicknames this week, and to Sars, who had a much harder row to hoe this week.

Previously on ER: Romano told Benton, "You fired yourself"; Weaver gave Abby a job nursing in the ER; Carter came back to work; Abby kissed Luka; Finch told Benton, "We'll work it out."

Peter "Fired, In the Hole" Benton is in the same house he was in at the end of last week's episode; it's either his place, or Finch's, or they're living together. It's a mystery. Not one I'm especially keen to solve just now. Anyway, Benton's wearing a natty suit and offering to go somewhere for a second interview: "As a matter of fact, I could come in this morning." There's a pause, and Benton reminds whomever he's speaking to, "But you said you were interested. Actually, you said you were very interested." Cleo "3P0" Finch trots down the stairs wearing a t-shirt and track pants -- her pyjamas? -- and crawls over the back of the couch, rubs his back briefly, and kisses him on the cheek as he grumpily hangs up the phone. She offers Benton some breakfast, which he laconically declines. She asks the fairly self-evident question of whether he's going over job applications, and follows up, "I thought you took the position at Loyola." "Withdrawn," snaps Benton. She asks why, and he tersely says, "I don't know, Cleo. Maybe because I took a job somewhere else." She asks him whether he's tried Northwestern or the University of Chicago, and he barks, "What do you think?" I know she's just trying to help in her own binary way, but I can see where he's coming from, too; obviously, if he's trying to get a job in another teaching hospital, wouldn't the local universities be the first place he'd look -- like, duh? Finch gets a bit overheated and yells, "Right now, I think you're being an ass!" Benton stomps toward the door. The fans in Finch's case start up as she switches to whining: "You barely say anything, and when you do, it's rude." Benton flatly says that he talks to her, and Finch pouts, "Not about this. Why don't you let me help you?" Benton shrugs on his coat, muttering that he doesn't her help, he needs a job: "I should have left County when I had the chance." Well, hindsight is 20/20. The odds that Finch won't annoy you, on the other hand, are 20 to 1.

John "Scuttin' for Punishment" Carter shoots hoops in the ambulance bay. Abby "Lisa" Lockhart wanders out, wearing a long, black leather coat (not done up) and crossing her arms under her breasts for warmth. She politely asks him if he's "out for fresh air," and he informs her that there's a "man found down" coming in. Lisa exposits that Weaver and Mark are "finally letting [him] work on traumas," and Carter says it's on the condition that he only work on two patients at a time. Lisa gathers her coat around her as they kvetch about Weaver's rules: "Play by 'em or die by 'em," Lisa snorts. Carter snickers, "Thanks!" and tosses her the basketball, whereupon she lines up a shot while adding, "She didn't exactly ask me if I wanted to be assigned to the ER." Oh, boo freaking hoo. You're not in jail; go back to OB if you don't like it. You're an adult. Plus, we already saw the "previously"s, so don't waste our time. Lisa asks what Carter's supposed to do while he's waiting for labs, and he says he's supposed to catch up on medical journals. "That sucks," offers Lisa. Yes. Being informed about developments in your field -- particularly when people's lives are in the balance -- really "sucks." And you wonder why you were so crap as a med student.

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