ER
The Letter

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Heathen: C+ | Grade It Now!
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The Letter

Weaver walks in on the embrace, and starts to back out uncomfortably, apologizing. "No, I should get back to work," Susan says, wiping her eyes. "I have a pilonidal cyst in Five waiting to be lanced." Weaver cracks, "Give it to Pratt. He needs the humility." Ha! "It'll be cathartic," Susan says as a thank-you. She exits.

Kerry walks to Mark's locker and opens it while Carter watches. He draws out of her that she snagged the locker combination from the personnel department and needs to give the locker to Pratt, in addition to hoping this will spare Elizabeth the painful chore of cleaning out Mark's things. "Heard you had trouble with Romano yesterday," she says lightly. "He was right," admits Carter. "I took too long making a decision." Weaver pauses and levels him with her gaze. "Well, you don't have that luxury any more," she says. "Never really thought I did," he retorts, not unkindly. Kerry clarifies that because Mark's gone on to the great Hair Club in the sky, Carter -- as the doctor who's been at County longest -- will be expected to fill the void. "Big void," Carter murmurs. "Yes, it is," Kerry says with feeling. She stops, turns her head, and rests her face against the door of Mark's locker. "I can't do this," she whimpers. "Will you do this?" Carter nods, engrossed. Kerry thanks him, with difficulty, and hightails it out of the lounge.

Slowly, Carter makes his way to the open locker. In one swift motion, he wrenches A Hero's Nameplate off the door and empties A Hero's Worthless Knick-Knacks into the cardboard box Kerry provided. Mark has approximately five things in his locker. Carter spies Mark's stethoscope, and with a grin removes his own and drops it into the box, because Rachel is a giant sucker, and anyway, who the hell cares if she or Ella or Elizabeth get to keep anything of Mark's? Chopin's lesser-known master work, "Channeling My Dead Colleague's Soul in D Minor," swells as Carter grabs A Hero's Last Standard-Issue Stethoscope and caresses it, fondles it, massages it, commits other unmentionable molestations to it, and then snakes it around his own neck, a self-satisfied, post-coital smile smoldering on his lips. He is filling the void. His hairline, filling the void a little too well, begins to recede on the spot. Gently, Carter closes the locker, and we fade to commercial wondering if, as the new Mark, Carter will have to be neutered.

Outside in the ambulance bay, Carter shakes out a yellow trauma gown as he waits for the rig to arrive. Abby exits, already clad in her gear. "Shotgun to the face?" she grimaces. "This is going to be fun." Carter jokes that it's cheaper than plastic surgery. Abby moves behind him under the auspice of helping him tie up his gown, but really she's checking the freshness date on his buns. "How's the bite?" she asks. "I'm not howling at the moon," he teases. "How'd it go?" Abby immediately says, "What?" and she's genuinely not getting his drift. "The meeting," he prompts her. "It was boring," Abby says generically. But I think her first answer was too quick, and her second too trite, to have been sincere. I don't think she actually went, or if she did, she ducked in and didn't stay. She gets defensive when he's surprised that she actually went. I still think she's full of more shit than a shit sandwich on sourdough-rye shit bread. "You went for you, or because you promised me you would?" he asks seriously. Abby is silent as the sirens scream and edge closer. "Is this going to look like hamburger?" she asks, grossed out. "More like ground chuck," he answers. There's another pause. "I went for you," Abby finally admits, bolting to the ambulance. Carter stares after her and appears flattered, but he shouldn't be, because it's obvious she's not committed to her own recovery for the right reasons.

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