ER
Lockdown

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Heathen: F | Grade It Now!
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Lockdown

Abby enters Trauma Yellow and says, "Fifty ccs of urine output in an hour." We presume she's referring to Adam, but the way this episode went, she might be referring to Chen. Carter and Abby commiserate about how tired and drained they are. Torres enters and delivers the news that the virus is an orthopox of an as-yet unspecified nature. "We need to limit contact," he says. "Haven't we been doing that?" Abby gapes. Torres inhales sharply and then babbles something perfunctory about what a marvelous job they're doing, and how grateful the department is for their hard work. "You're welcome," snarks Carter, aware of what's coming. Sure enough, Torres confines him and Abby to Trauma Yellow. "Why?" Carter challenges. "We're not infectious." But you've been exposed, haven't you, hence the brouhaha about removing your mask during Adam's tracheotomy? I am confused. Am I supposed to be? Abby wants Torres to give them the vaccine so that they're not quarantined and can help out elsewhere. He promises they will -- as soon as they've confirmed that it's smallpox. Carter's pretty sure it is. He hates being wrong. Torres regurgitates the party line about how it's been more than fifty years since the last documented smallpox case, so they're being extremely cautions until all the fine points are handled and everything's above board. "It won't be much longer," he lies. "Thanks, guys."

Carter and Abby gape after Torres. "How much does this suck?" Abby metas. She is so singing my tune right now. "The department would like to thank you, but we can't bring you a fan," Carter mocks. He's drenched in sweat. Concerned, Abby moves to feel his forehead, but Carter flinches and laughingly swears he's fine. She mothers him, making him sit down while she whips out a thermometer and confirms that he's okay. He won't comply. "Just stick the thermometer in your ear," she scolds, fetching an ice pack. Silence. "Today started out like a normal day," he muses, fondly and silently remembering when she doused him in fire-extinguisher powder, and how normal that is. The thermometer reads 99 degrees, so Abby is content to crack the ice pack and apply it to Carter's neck. "You're still hot," she husks. She slings the ice pack around him and holds it to the nape of his neck, while he closes his eyes and moans in delight. No joke. He does.

While Carter revels in the cold-pack treatment, Abby stares off into space. "Worst of this is over, right?" she frets. Carter raises his head and they stare at each other. Abby keeps her hands on the ice pack. "Tell me we're going to be okay," she whispers, looking less scared than flirtatious. She seriously doesn't seem bothered by any of this. Carter searches her face, then leans forward and kisses her plainly. No fireworks explode. No earth quakes. No pulses race. Some paint does peel off my wall, but that's about it. Nothing moves for a few full seconds -- not Abby, not Carter, and certainly not their lips. When Carter pulls away, Abby tilts forward slightly, as if chasing his mouth before regaining her senses. Carter slowly stands up, and Abby leaves her hands around his neck. Suddenly, Abby seems very, very small. Carter's dwarfing her with his manhood. He's filling the Mark void by sending us down the path of another chemistry-free pairing. Except this one had some promise, right up until Noah Wyle was required to use his tongue and feebly declined AGAIN. "We're going to be okay," Carter repeats twice before leaning in for more. Maura Tierney looks suddenly very frightened, as if knows a terrible secret about Noah Wyle's oral hygiene. They kiss again, this one blocked as if it has more intensity, but in actuality it's as lackluster as the first. I swear to God, Carter, PUT YOUR FUCKING TONGUE IN HER MOUTH. You won't regret it. It's not just for licking stamps any more. And don't try to pretend that you're worried about giving her smallpox, because baby, that's not your problem here. Still, Abby leans in against him and slides her hand down his arm, "melting" into the "kiss" as if she's enjoying it. Which she might be, if she wasn't kissing a piece of wood wearing Carter's clothing.

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