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Sand And Water

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Sand And Water

Mark and Weaver watch tensely as Carter shuffles papers in his hands. "Random urine tests," he reads. "Yes," Weaver replies. "And I get to pay for them too, I see," Carter observes. "Is that a problem?" Weaver asks blandly. Just as blandly, Carter says it isn't. As Mark pussies out by staring intently at his hands, Weaver adds, "In addition to the state Caduceus meetings, we'll require ninety NA [Narcotics Anonymous] or AA meetings within the first ninety days." Carter says that won't be a problem, since he's been attending meetings anyway. Weaver says that's good. She adds that the three of them will meet once a week, "just to, you know, check in -- make sure [he's] handling the stress."

Carter nods curtly and takes a pen from his pocket, joking weakly, "I came prepared." As he goes to sign it, Weaver over-explains, "The naltrexone binds to your opiate receptors --" "I know what it does," Carter interrupts her. She looks down. Carter, signing, continues, "It protects you. It blocks the euphoric effects of the narcotics." Perhaps since it's not clear whether the "you" refers to Carter himself, in the second person, or whether he means the naltrexone protects Mark and Weaver from having to worry about his fucking up in the ER again, Weaver gently notes, "It protects all of us." Mark -- who's heretofore been sitting uselessly by Weaver's side, as is his wont -- produces a bottle of prescription pills from his scrubs and tells Carter, "You need to, uh, begin today, if you want to begin work next week." Carter inspects the label a moment. Mark pours a glass of water. Carter starts to put the bottle away, and then twigs to the rationale behind the water: "You want me to take it in front of you." Weaver says that they'll periodically monitor Carter's regimen. Carter asks, "How much?" Mark says it'll be fifty milligrams a day. Carter knocks back his dosage with a belt of water, and swallows. After a beat, he opens his mouth and moves his tongue aside to show them he hasn't hidden the pill. Mark and Weaver both start a bit, as if wounded. Carter realizes what he's done, and then shakes his head a little and says, "Sorry. That was, um --" Mark says it'll be difficult at first, but that they'll all work it out. Weaver sighs wearily, and then says they'll put Carter on the schedule for the following week, but nothing too heavy. Both her and Mark's beepers go off at once, and they both get up to leave. They both welcome him back, and Carter says, "Thank you. Thank you both." "Sure thing," says Mark breezily. No, Mark, he meant -- oh, forget it. Get lost, Goose. Left alone, Carter regards the water glasses and pitcher, and sighs.

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