Elizabeth then surprises Romano on the bridge. "How'd it go in Plastics?" she asks. Romano groans. "What did Gallant do, post it on the bulletin board?" he sighs. Elizabeth reveals with a tiny grin that Plastics consulted her because she'd treated him before. Romano lists a litany of treatment options they want him to pursue, and she quite hopefully says that sounds reasonable, but he already looks defeated by it. "I was making tea," he admits. "I put the pot on, I got distracted. My sling got caught on the burner, and my arm was on fire, and I didn't realize it until I saw the flames." Elizabeth tries to ascribe it to a lapse in sensory recovery, but Romano's heard that song before, and it only sounds good when two hammered male truckers sing it on karaoke night at the tiki bar. "I'm not recovering," he says. "I'll never get the feeling back." Elizabeth begins a lecture about how he has to take care of the arm at all costs. "It's over," Romano says. "You can't afford to have another infection!" she continues. "Lizzie, you're not hearing me. It's OVER," Romano says. She practically chokes on whatever was about to come out of her mouth. "It's time for me to cut my losses," he says softly. Elizabeth tries to protest, but he cuts her off: "We both know I'm better off without it," he says flatly. "You as much as said so." Her eyes moisten as she insists that all she meant was that amputation might be a possibility down the line. "I'm very, very glad we had this chat," Romano nods, effectively ending the conversation. She is the picture of shock and sadness, her mouth open slightly and her eyes close to tears. "Check the OR schedule and set it up?" he asks, trying to stay calm. "As soon as possible. I just want to be rid of the damn thing." And with a joyless smirk, he turns and lopes away, leaving Elizabeth looking totally gutted. Great scene for both of them.
Luka is in the lounge. Abby bursts in with a perturbed expression, seeking Carter. "He was here before," Luka replies. "Everything okay?" Abby starts to answer, then bites it back and shrugs hopelessly. "I heard about the boy," she says brightly, to change the subject. "Congratulations." Luka thanks her. "See you tomorrow," she says, moving to leave. Luka drops the bomb that he won't be there -- he's off to the Congo for the Alliance de Médicine Internacionale. Abby stops, startled. "I didn't realize it was so soon," she stammers. Luka nods. Gingerly, Abby moves toward him and they hug, first a little stiffly and then with a little more feeling. Luka smiles, looking almost relieved to be receiving affectionate human contact that didn't cost him a few dead presidents. Abby clings to him like he's the last thing she's got, with Eric crazy and mostly unwashed and Carter wearing undies that are wadded into a thong. She fights tears and pulls away. "Take care of yourself," she smiles mistily. "I mean it." He nods. "Hold down the fort," he says affectionately, and they part. It seemed like this hug was finally acknowledging that they're important to each other -- although, I think, just as friends. But it's still pretty sweet.