ER
Dead Again

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Heathen: B- | Grade It Now!
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Dead Again

When we return, Dr. Robert "Puts the 'Arm' in 'Smarm'" Romano is undergoing some physical therapy on his hand. Dr. Kerry "Dream" Weaver observes. "You are one sadistic bitch, you know that?" Romano groans to his therapist. "Give me your middle finger," she orders him. "I would if I could," he mutters. Weaver updates him on an emergency administrative meeting to discuss the rash of local ER closures that have sent their patient load skyrocketing by 34%, and hands him some files. Romano skims the paperwork while wincing in pain. "Who'd you take to La Scala's?" he asks suspiciously. "Which board member's ass are you kissing?" Weaver defends herself by saying she was simply making herself handy, compiling a report on patient overload. She defensively insists that she's not sucking up to anyone, and that she only acted as she did out of necessity. Meanwhile, Romano interjects with assertions that his recovery is well in hand, and will be rapid. "It's not my dominant hand," he avers. "I'll be back in the office in two weeks and back in the OR in two months." Weaver levels him with a firm glance. "I hope you are," she says sincerely. Romano ignores her, his face twisted with agony. This doesn't go unnoticed, and Weaver suggests that he arm himself with a higher dose of Vicodin. "Ibuprofen," Romano corrects her. "I want to stay clear-headed." The therapist finishes; Romano -- ever the overachiever -- wants to continue but she's got to hand him off and go help another patient. "Don't get too comfortable, Kerry," Romano warns as he settles into his sling. His tone is light, but with serious undertones.

Just then, Dr. Elizabeth "The Bitch is Back" Corday rounds the corner and pauses, shooting an extremely out-of-character affectionate smile at the sight of Romano. Seriously, it's more pure joy than was on her lips at any time last season. "Lizzie!" Romano exclaims, barely masking the extent of his delight. Looks like someone's crush isn't completely dead. Weaver, on her way out, pauses next to Elizabeth and asks how she's doing. "Good," Elizabeth says coolly, the bitch wall firmly erect. Weaver sputters that she'll try to catch up with her later, and beats a quick retreat, without even getting a direct glance from Elizabeth. Charming. Romano gazes at her for a second. "I heard rumors," he says. "All true, I'm afraid," she smiles. Romano sighs. "The one face I missed seeing in recovery," he says, attempting casualness but hitting a few soft notes in the process. "I'm so sorry, Robert," Elizabeth whispers gently. "What, about my arm or about not being there?" he asks. Elizabeth, sensing that this is inching toward being a real discussion, changes the subject in order to remain as detached as possible. "How are you healing?" she asks. "It hurts like a son of a bitch," Romano shrugs. "You?" Again, Elizabeth steers the conversation out of personal territory by asking about his arm's sensory function, but she's paged to the ER almost immediately and makes a reluctant -- yet paradoxically, relieved -- exit.

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