Abby bumps into Luka, who exposits that Marlene's ultrasound showed bilateral renal scarring. She needs surgery. Abby can't believe no one caught this before, with all those UTIs that had her seeing other doctors. "Somebody should have," Luka grieves. "The moral of the story is..." Abby prompts him. "Never sleep with the patient's mother," Luka suggests. "At least not 'til the labs are back," Abby whispers conspiratorially. Luka has the grace to look really embarrassed. Hey, honey, don't worry -- you got laid twice in one show. That makes you a genius, by these people's standards. Elizabeth was married and pregnant, and yet based on her moods, I'm not sure she's had sex in about three years. "You know, a little girl's sick," Abby muses. "Next to that, nothing much matters." As she walks away, Luka looks grateful for her discretion, but tortured by the Tragedy of Ho Mommy.
Abby catches sight of Carter leaving. He meets her eye, then turns on his heel and scurries away. She fobs off her work onto Chuny so that she can give chase.
It's raining outside. Carter plows through it in order to put distance between himself and Abby. "Hey," she calls out to him, reluctant so far to leave the cover of the hospital. She busts Carter on leaving early; he says he got Chen to agree to cover the rest of his shift. They stare at each other for a second, until Carter averts his eyes. "I'll call you later," he lies. This galvanizes Abby, who blurts that she can't figure out why they aren't talking about this. Abby, he's being a child. He's being that thirteen-year-old boy who lost his virginity to a maid and never talked about it again. Carter would rather wait until neither of them is working before they hash it out. "I never lied to you," she swears. "I guess I must've talked myself into something," Carter retorts. "Let's figure this out," she begs. She's following him in the rain now, toward the El station. "I agreed not to rescue you, or help you, or fix you, so I guess I'll just shut up and wait for the car wreck," he grunts. Oh, that's so judgmental. You know, Abby's being ridiculous about dealing with the alcoholism as if drinking is something she can dabble in occasionally, but is it any wonder that she does it? I mean, Carter's constantly watching her, waiting for her to fall off the wagon because he fully expects her to do it. So of course she's going to self-sabotage. Her boyfriend has no faith in her, so she might as well live up to his expectations.
So, naturally, Abby doesn't appreciate this last remark. "What is that supposed to mean?" she asks, following him into the station. "We both know where this is going," he says bitterly. Where? Oh, please take it there. Abby gets stuck in the turnstile, but keeps blazing until she makes it through. "I'm hardly drinking at all," she insists. "Good night," Carter sneers, leaving. She won't relent, giving him a laundry list of what she's ingested in the past two or three weeks. "You're keeping close track," Carter sniffs. "It's under control!" she shouts. Except it isn't, it never is, which is why Abby's schtick is getting way annoying. This sucks, though, because Carter looks like a complete prick and Abby looks reasonable, which is dangerous because you almost believe her that it's okay for her to drink when she's an alcoholic. And it so isn't okay. Carter doesn't understand why she's dabbling at all. "I was drinking last year, you know that," she says. "Now it's not about being scared and alone." Too bad, because that was a better excuse. Carter charges up the stairs, with Abby at full tilt behind him. "It's still drinking," he judges. "Look, wait," Abby begs. Carter turns on the steps and glares expectantly at her. "I used to drink because I was miserable, I was in a lousy marriage, a life I didn't want," Abby says, impassioned. "Now I'm happy, with you, things are good, and being able to have a drink with my friends makes me feel like I'm past the bad part." Carter throws up his hands and keeps going upstairs. "You know, maybe I just have a little bit more faith in me than you do," she accuses. Carter doesn't get how she reaches that conclusion. Wake up, Johnny. Get the maid to de-wax your ears and listen to yourself.