The characters and setting of ER are the property of NBC, Warner Bros and Constant C tv.
Drusilla and Sunnydale the Hellmouth, along with everything else in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, are the property of Joss Whedon, Twentieth Century Fox and Mutant Enemy.
Day of Days
She just doesn't get it, does she. She never gives up, I'll give her that, but she never really got it, either.
When you're in hiding? Please. My ass is out the door, and you're - where, exactly? Right behind me. And how far behind exactly would that be?
Who's we? We the lovers? That was then and this is now. We sister lesbians? Only that would be out lesbians, Kerry, still with the programme? Or we friendly co-workers?
Time to move on.
There were no omens, no signs. There wasn't even a full moon. Just another day. Just another shitty day. Early shift, doze on El, swing in on autopilot, become alert as I punch the buttons on the elevator. Go straight to Jail Ward. Do not pass ER. Do not collect injured looks from ex-lover.
Two nurses short, one resident faking flu, one vacant attending position. So this shift it's me, DeRaad and an intern. DeRaad's in meetings off and on all of the day. Since the last one may unfreeze the hiring for the other attending position, you won't hear me complain. Much. The intern will do fine in private practice but hasn't got it for County. But it's him and me keeping the shop today. I leave him at our admit desk with strict instructions to page me only if something really big comes up. Meaning, you're on your own buster, just don't screw up. I do the rounds. See my scheduled patients for their sessions. Zap a squillion e-mails. Watch DeRaad slob past my door on his way down to the ER for a consult. Scan the Journals in my in-tray for relevant articles and wish I could absorb their contents by osmosis. I think about accidentally leaving my overdue charts where Frankie the arsonist can get to them. Then I flash on Kerry's expression if she heard me think that. Great. My inner Weaver's back. Never fall for an older woman. Stay professional, Legaspi.
Loud noises. Commotion. BANG. Screeeech. SMASH. It's not glass - there's none breakable up here, and incidentally I never figured why Kerry doesn't order this stuff for the ER the amount reglazing must eat into her recurring budget - but I can tell it's not good. Two screams, both male. Somewhere down the corridors, behind by the admit desk, a woman starts an inhuman wailing. What the - ?
"Look away Malik, look away, you're threatening her with your gaze - aaagh!"
"Shit, she bit me! She bit me!"
I'm through all but the last set of locked internal doors before my pager goes off.
"Security! SECURITY!" squeaks the intern. Ha. In his third year and still doesn't know you'd be better off calling for the Tooth Fairy.
The wailing is coming from a woman on the floor still attached to a gurney by padded restraints. She looks my age, a bit older maybe. Even on the floor, even held down, she doesn't let up thrashing from side to side. On its way down, the gurney took out an equipment trolley and a corner of the admit desk. The other bitten guy is Yosh. Both from the ER. Kerry is going to be so pissed with me. Not with them, since they're the ones that got bit and chewing them up twice just wouldn't be fair.
I lock the door behind me and stand well back to get some perspective and give the guys some space to right things. At least the intern isn't actually making things worse. The woman is on the floor, freaking out and only just restrained and she's - well, she's not good. I don't just mean the outfit. Half-Goth, half-hippy, all black. And fringes. And layers. Somewhere in there's at least one shawl. More layers. Button boots. And - are those bugle beads? Jet black hair scraped back from a high forehead. Skin as pale as if she never saw the sun. It's her eyes that make me freeze. She has a thousand-yard stare that I last saw on a Vietnam vet traumatized by all the killing. Not the killing he had to see, the killing he had to do. Then her eyes turn to me and I realise I had no idea how bad she was. I can feel the force of her intense dark eyes compelling me towards her, to draw me into her world. If she could. If I would. The last time anyone looked at me like that it was Kerry in Doc Magoo's, and I feel a shiver of memory pierce me right through as I kneel besides her. The fu -?
"... I raised a demon before because he was all broke. Grandmother used to make her lips and fingers all red. Beautiful as the moon. Do you remember? Fear no more. I could do it".
The accent's English, but nothing like Corday's - it's weirder than Daphne off of Frasier. What creeps me out is that she intones the words just like Sister Edmund Campion, my fourth-grade nun, with the same approximate regard for tonality. There are some seriously bad drugs out there.
"He said he'd chain me up if I didn't stop betraying him. Hurt me.You're not her. All in pieces. My precious boy. He promised!"
Why do women do this to themselves?
"I'm his pet. It's what he calls me, my precious boy, all the time. I'm his kitten. He made me a promise. Poor little thing. Not what we may be."
She doesn't know her own name.
"Grandmother's hair will be golden like the sun again, and your eyes will dazzle. I can smell her all over you. Chains. Terrible as an army.Your hair's golden like the sun too. Come to dust. I could make you."
During all this we must have wheeled her into a secure room with a proper bed. I don't remember: adrenalin can do that to you. Human bites are the worst, so I send Malik and Yosh back to the ER to be patched up. Damn. Her chart's downstairs.
"Powerful trouble. You know you want it, my precious boy, yes, you know you do. Fear no more: put on incorruption. All broke. I really could. Deceivers ever."
All this time she hasn't let up, trying to bite, twisting, thrashing, and this time the bed nearly goes over. Jeez, how strong is she? Shouldn't that be, what's she on? Holy shit, she nearly got the intern that time. And while I'm staring - fuck, that was close! Emergency sedation. We'll have to. Whatever else is in her system.
"You're not her, no, you're not her. Dead and gone, lady, dead and gone. But I could make you, I could, only what would your angel say? Your poor body all broke and tore. Will she not come again? Come to dust. I could do it, I really could."
Out of her line of sight, I draw down the drugs.
"Chains. Deceivers ever. You didn't even know. It's not your promise to keep You know you want it. Hear her? Grandmother says there'll be powerful trouble ..."
I approach calmly and -
"Fear no more. Not what we may be." -
the intern holds one arm more or less still -
please don't let me stick him, I pray -
"You know you want it." -
and I shiver again as her dark eyes meet mine one last time before the Haldol takes her a long way down.
I sneak up to the roof for a furtive smoke. Nowadays I keep a packet in my desk. Things have got so I can't face going down to the ER to arrange to meet Abby up here for a quickie. But I am going to have to go down, today, soon. Crazy woman's charts. Malik. Yosh.
Oh, and while I'm multi-tasking, speak with Kerry about the first love letter she wrote me. Three months after we split up. Why?
Then things got worse.
You tell yourself you can see trouble coming from a long way off, and you prepare yourself to deal with it, and you steel yourself for what will go wrong. But when trouble did hit, when the big moment did come, I didn't recognise it. Nobody expects their life to change forever.
So there I was on the roof, making my plans, while downstairs in the ER real life was happening.You'll have read about it in the papers, it was everywhere on TV, and radio. There's probably going to be a mini-series. I know there's a website.
That homophobic slaphead Romano ordered me to take responsibility for post-op complications in the Psych Ward. Hello? With what post-op facilities? I'd just told him about the nurses. Supplies? One intern, one attending, and a fully-booked chief? What about possible complications? What, we just stick 'em in soft restraints and wait for Darwinism to swing into action? Hey, I've got a better idea: why don't we just shove 'em in the next elevator and have whichever floor it goes to, take care of them? We could have a pool and everything. Call it elevator roulette.
He can't be serious. We haven't got the facilities. This is so wrong. Some of the patients could die. In my ward. I'm not taking the rap for his axing post-op facilities in order to save money.
He was serious. Only when he smirked did the anvil hit me. Framed. Damned if I do, damned if I don't.
Time to move on.
Actually that was my second visit down to the ER on the day of days. The first time, I'd spoken with Kerry. About her letter.
I don't know which was worse.
Then Kerry came up Psych. That was the worst of all. "We." Ha.
I look at the wreck of the woman I once believed I loved and don't know what to say. Inside me anger and grief are mutating into each other and back again. Can't she see what she's doing to herself - betraying me, us, herself? I thought she had integrity, months ago. How could the idiotic bitch stood cringing before me do that to a woman I thought was worth loving?
Rage is beating in my throat so I can't speak. I am on the verge of losing control - what has she done to me? Does she have any idea how much she is hurting me? My body's shaking so hard, I can't stop it. From fear. I'm afraid of losing it completely. I'm so scared this is going to hurt even more. Why is she doing this to me? Why can't she give up? Don't let me lose control, not here, not now, not in front of her. Let me stay in control, let me do this.
Can't she see she has to move on from this? The way she's acting, it's killing everything good about her. She has ten years on me but right now it looks like twenty. She has to move on. Killing every good thing there was about us. Everything I ever felt for her. But if she can't see it herself, I can't make her. She thinks there's grounds to fight this. The poor silly bitch. She thinks she'll win if she's in the right.
Those intense eyes.
We had something good. For a while.
Bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch BITCH.
It's like watching a dead woman walking. I can't bear it. I show her out. I just want to move on, I tell her, so should you. The locks click behind her.
Before I can take my own advice, up runs the intern. I guess he hasn't heard I'm out the door. I can't quite believe what he's saying. Our mystery woman cannot have shaken off that much Haldol already. It's just not possible. You couldn't build up a tolerance for that kind of dose if you lived to be a hundred and twenty.
I'm on my way out of here and I'm not insured to do this. Still ...someone has to look after the poor woman, and let's face it, the intern can't.
Those intense dark eyes.
So I schlep back down the corridor yet again, past the room where Kerry and I just ... Unprofessional, Legaspi.
Scenes of lovemaking with Kerry flash before my eyes. Focus, I tell myself, focus. I'm going to treat one more patient, one more time in County, yet as I lean over her about to treat her, I have to turn my head aside as the memories of Kerry burn up one more time ... so fierce that I really could be back in my bed, our bed, that first time ... as she pulls me down to her breast and kisses the top of my head, and I take her nipple in my mouth to bite ... first soft then hard ... those intense eyes ... and I break off from kissing my way down her body to ask her if she likes what I'm going to do and ... as I look down into the older woman's intense dark eyes beneath me, I understand for the first time how much older than me she really is. Not just in years, in experience. She's seen things that human eyes could not look on without anguish, done things that human tongues cannot speak of with indifference. She's been places no human could walk away from unscathed. And though she's firmly held beneath me, the force of her will draws me to obey her. She whispers something I can't quite hear ... Kerry could always get me that way ... but I bring my head nearer, nearer, to the tip of her shoulder and start to nuzzle my way along her collarbone, licking and tasting the hollow by her neck. As she is doing to me. Slight sharp pain. Jesus. What is she doing to me? What is this? What am I going to do? This time I can make out her whisper.
"Go with the flow, pretty-pretty, go with the flow."
Her voice is inside my head. And though I didn't think this was possible, even, somehow I'm not dismayed, though I never believed things like this happened in this world, certainly not to me, not now, not here ... time to move on ... I let the silent darkness take me down, as the old Kim Legaspi goes, with the flow.
Primal therapists don't know jackshit. Trust me. They have no fucking idea whatsoever. But it's not like I could write this up as a case study for one of the unread and unloved Journals in my intray. Even if I ever went back to that life. Could go back, even.
How long have I been alone in the Jail Ward? Long enough for it to get dark. I am so hungry.
Crazy's no longer in her restraints. Figures. I sort out the paperwork, careful not to be perfect.
Too bad about the intern, I guess.
All the bitter things we said: I'm not interested in adopting a lifestyle. I can't believe you said that. It's not about you, it's about a young girl ... You're in hiding .. who'd rather die ... maybe this about you .. than deal with the stigma of being a lesbian ... You think everyone is as comfortable as you are with this ... living in the shadows ... No, wait ... You're in hiding ... rather die than deal with the stigma of being a lesbian. The stigma of being a ... Deal with being a ...maybe this is about you, Kerry.
I sling my case over my shoulder ready to go. I have to find out if this is about her, because if it is - I'm going to have to deal with it. Her.
ER. I realise I'm looking at Randi with new eyes. And Haleh. And Abby. Even that jerk Malucci. No Luka though, thank - thank what? And no Chen either. Double relief. I'd always thought of this as a place of death. Was I wrong. Her staff are slumped all round the ER on any flat surface, exhausted, stained, grim. But alive, alive, alive. So full of life it exhilarates me even as I look at their drained faces. I can feel a grin - bigger than all the previous grins in my entire life put together - threatening to split my face apart, and I have just enough of a sense of self-preservation to clamp my jaws shut so tight I think the muscles will snap.
Babble all round me. Weaver's gone. The Chief's out of here. Anyone seen Yosh and Malik? She went home. Looking like shit. Man, that was a bad one. Hey, she'd worked a double.What was all that with Romano? In a hurry. They better show before she gets back. If she gets any nastier ...
So I just nod at Randi and walk out.
She stares at my back and pops her gum. You're welcome.
How do I know that?
Thanks to Kerry's closeted paranoia, I have never been to her house. She always came round to mine. I think of those couple of inches of closet space I cleared for her in another life, and my head swims and my knees buckle. I am so hungry. I get a bit lost in the unfamiliar streets. Thinking of Kerry. What I want to do to her. What I am going to do to her. Things she's never heard of. Yet.
Will I tell her first?
I am so hungry.
Kerry is all I can think of. Her body. Petite. Tiny. Small. Snack-sized.
Then I round a corner and realise I've come right. Hers is the third block on the left. Not long now. Without my realising it, I'm running, running harder and faster than I ever ran before. The blood should be crashing through my veins, but it's not. I should be gasping for breath, but I'm not. My heart should be pounding in my chest, but it's not.
What the -! Her house is dark. By now my eyes have become so adjusted to the darkness that they could spot a single candle. It's dark in there alright. Yet her car's parked. There's no music, either, and personally I'm grateful, because, well, Grace Jones, what can you say? Apart from, Turn. It. Off. Now.
"Can I help you?" Passive-aggressive. Great. She would live in a Neighbourhood Watch area. Hey, she probably started it. Why do I just know it's got a record board, a spreadsheet listing incidents over a week old, and pie charts for its quarterly presentations to the Chicago PD? It's called the T-system, she'll train you. Improvise, Legaspi.
"I'm a colleague of Dr Weaver's. She left her pager in the hospital. Admin asked me to drop it round since I pass by on my way home." I pat my case in what I hope is a convincing manner.
"Colleague, huh? So how come you don't know she just took it into her head to visit friends in Africa?"
This I do not believe. Not the Africa part, I know she lived there, travelled all over the continent. I've heard her wonderful stories, she showed me the photos, she even cooked an African meal for me. Once. I have no trouble with the spontaneity part either, not after she ambushed me that time by the Lake with the lion-on-the-cheese-grater position that she'd invented. The memory's enough to make a girl blush. If she still could.
No, it's the friends part I have trouble believing. What friends? Kerry Weaver hasn't got any friends. By definition. Something doesn't fit here.
His stare hardens. Time for damage control. I lower my voice, and drop it about a minor third the better to persuade him, letting him think I'm confiding in him.
"Those shootings ... the ones on the news? I guess it threw everyone out a bit. You know how it can be at work sometimes. She'll still need her pager when she comes back, and it'll only get lost at the hospital. I'll just drop it through the door now."
Out of my case comes my pager, ready to go through the letterbox. Like I'm going to need it again. For a few seconds we make eye contact. My eyes are telling him, Blond + Female = Harmless. Go in, go in, I urge him silently, or I'll have to ...
He goes back in. Relief. Don't shit on your own doorstep. Ex-lover's doorstep.
If she knew how the Neighbourhood Watch behaved when she was off the case, she'd tear them all new ones.
At the top of Kerry's steep steps - how does she manage them? - I freeze again. Coming from the still, dark house is a sense of her presence. Don't ask me which sense. There's no sound. Certainly nothing and no-one that I can see in the dark. No movement either. And those traces of her perfume and her own scent fill my nostrils whenever I have an erotic thought of her, which is most of the time now. The memory of her sure touch dances all over my body like a thousand tiny ghosts.
I moan. I want her. I have to have her. Now. My instincts tell me she's in there. How dare she hide from me. I'm snarling angry now, strong enough to kick her door down and burst in on her. I step back a little to judge the kick, I poise myself, ready ... Something stops me.
I just can't.
It's the leather pants that first catch my eyes. Then the white t-shirt fitting snugly over breasts to die for. Very tasty.
The music in this bar is too loud for conversation, which suits me. And what could I say, anyway? She makes eye contact. There is a snap as we connect, a crackle of electricity.
I've been in this bar waiting for her, or someone like her, for a couple of hours now. In that time, I've had six neat vodkas and apparently I'm still sober. I can recite the names of all 206 bones of the adult human body in sequence from the skull to the fifth metatarsal, and refute Lacan in nine separate ways, all internally consistent, each starting from different premises. After six vodkas? This makes no sense. That would mean there's enough alcohol in my blood to ...
I'm still hungry though.
We dance for a bit. It's more swaying, but it feels good anyhow. She tells me her name. Kate something. Katie. I don't pay much attention. She is so hot. I pull her close and rest my hand above her breasts. I can feel her heart crashing and pounding inside its cage of bones. That rhythm. So hot. Systole. Diastole. How strongly it beats.
I can't bear it any longer so I drag her into the ladies' room. She is so hot. And all I can think of is, Kerry. I should be with Kerry for this. You should have been my first. It should have been you. I wanted this to be with you. I wish this woman was you.
Time to move on.
We kiss for a while. She undoes my blouse, up comes her t-shirt, down comes my bra, her bra. I stand still and silent while she kisses my body. Hot. Her lips are so hot on me. Her tongue. I let my arms fall but still cup her full breasts, brushing my palms over her nipples. She breaks off, and I see a look of concern on her face. I speak first to reassure her.
"Don't stop, don't, this is wonderful. I'm OK. Don't worry."
"You sure, honey? You're as cold as ice."
At that a huge grin does split my face apart, and my instincts take over. I bend right over her to nuzzle at her neck. It's like nothing I've ever known before. So hot. So intense. I can't believe how right this feels.
Afterwards, she gives one little almost sigh and goes limp. I want to tell myself that it was the sound of contentment, but when I was a doctor I heard that sound often enough to know what it really was.
I still lay her gently on the floor.
Time passes. Don't ask how much. It felt like years, but it could have been five minutes on the clock. I'm sitting on the floor with my back against a tiled wall and my arms resting on my raised knees. I'm shaking, a bit. Guess these are the new aftershocks. I wipe my mouth with the back of an unsteady hand. Thankfully, the grin has faded to nothing, and I look like -
Yeah, how do I look? Dammit. That's going to take some figuring out.
Slowly, carefully, gently, I rearrange our clothing.
Out to the parking lot. I know I don't have much time. I slide my hands into the pockets of the leather pants until I find a set of car keys. Press the button. I can almost smell the danger. A chirp over to my left. It's old, it's beat up, but it's got a nearly full tank and at least it's not a convertible.
The clock on the dash says it's 2 AM.
Time to move on.
It starts first time. I pull out of the parking lot, out of Chicago, into the night, on the long drive to Sunnydale.