ER
The Letter

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Heathen: C+ | Grade It Now!
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The Letter

Sandy and Kerry walk the stairs at the El station, waiting for the train. Sandy is trying to convince her girlfriend to blow off their plans and go celebrate with her co-workers. "No," Kerry says lamely. Sandy insists that Kerry should be with her staff tonight of all nights. "They were being polite," Kerry self-pities. "They're your friends," argues Sandy. "They're people I work with," corrects Kerry, a distinction she's made before and which says a lot about her attitude at the hospital. Sandy contends that it's a good way to handle trauma; when they lose a firefighter, they get sloshed. This plays into my lifelong theory that there's nothing margaritas can't do. "It's more for the unit than the guy who's gone," Sandy explains. Kerry shrugs as they board the train. "Mark and I always butted heads," Kerry says sadly, sitting down with her back to the window. Sandy perches in a spot at a ninety-degree angle to Kerry and leans forward, listening with concern. "I was always trying to maneuver him, gain some kind of edge, like it had to be a competition. And he just wanted to do his job well and go home," whispers Kerry morosely. "I've known this was coming for a while, and I never imagined that I would feel like this." She looks broken. Kerry? It's just Mark. Maverick lived on and triumphed without him, and so will you. Sandy closes her eyes and says with feeling, "You've lost a friend." Kerry exhales shakily and faces her girlfriend. "I think I have," she realizes.

Carter and Pratt hover over Al's bedside. "All I got out of him was that they put him on dialysis for three days upstairs once, and he hated it," Pratt says. "Then he passed out." Carter squints. "As in vagaled?" he asks. "As in 'old,'" Pratt snorts. He goes on about the sheer size of the man's chart, underscoring that he's a regular patient, and asks Carter to cough up the cash because Al's glucose is way over four hundred. Al is also altered enough to have called Pratt "son," and might be uremic. "Your basic 'mimp,'" Pratt concludes. Carter looks at him like he's insane. "MMP -- multiple medical problems," Pratt clarifies, as if again, Carter is old and stupid. "You just make this stuff up!" Carter groans. He orders up a bunch of tests, then changes his mind; Pratt ribs him about this cruelly. Suddenly, Carter's all indecisive, as if the very promise of a living, breathing Mark gave him a poise and certainty that has been cruelly yanked from him. I hate, hate, hate that. Don't rob Carter of his skills just because some owlish walking phallus kicked the Hawaiian bucket.

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