Title: John Carter, The Boy Who Lived
Feedback: Yes, please!! Casccara@yahoo.com
Archive: Not without permission from moi! :-)
Time Frame: During season five [the last of the good seasons :-( ]
Notes: Big thanks to Emmyjean for the idea for this story! ;-)
Dr. John Truman Carter wrapped his thick wool scarf around his neck and shrugged on his long winter coat as he stepped outside into the freezing Chicago winter. He strapped his bag over his shoulder and slowly made his way down the steps of his current residence, taking his time on the slippery stairs covered in a thin sheet of ice. He knew that he wasnít the steadiest person in the world and that was why he was taking extreme caution as he climbed down the steps. When he reached the last step, he breathed a sigh of relief.
Then he glided forward at top speed, and landed flat on his face in a pile of snow.
Carter groaned at the various muscles and bones he had injured, along with a sharp pain piercing his forehead. He swore loudly, got clumsily to his feet and reached up to peel a tiny twig off of his wet forehead. The twig left a dull pain in its absence. Carter pressed his hand to the spot where the twig had been and felt his skin was slightly raised in the exact shape of the twig.
Shaking his head, he clambered into his jeep and flipped the rear-view mirror down to get a look at his cut. There was a red mark directly above his eyebrow in a small, zigzagged shape. He rubbed it, trying to make the redness fade, but it only got brighter as he fussed. Shaking his head again, Carter started his car and pulled out of the parking space.
When he reached his destination, County General Hospital, Carter got out of his jeep and took tiny baby steps across the snow and ice covered street. He barely had time to wonder at the quality of the cityís street maintenance, when he heard hysterical laughter coming from the ambulance bay. It appeared that he was the butt of a very funny joke. Several of the ER staff were standing near the doors of the bay, laughing loudly and pointing at him. As Carter approached, he saw that Mark Greene, Carol Hathaway and Malik were among them.
"Iíll have you know, the street maintenance in this city is a joke," he called at them.
"So is the population of clumsy men in this city," Malik snorted.
Carter personally thought that Malik could do much better in the way of jokes, but he chose not to voice this and headed into the ER. He went straight into the staff lounge where he opened his locker and hung up his coat. After slamming his locker door, Carter spotted a small square mirror hanging on Carolís locker and stopped to peer into it.
There on his forehead was a thin lightning-bolt shaped red mark. He made a furious noise and tried to flatten his hair over it, but the wind had chosen to blow his dark locks in every direction. It was then that Carter realized he was highly overdue for a haircut. He was about to go out and ask one of the nurses for a comb, when Halehís head burst through the door and barked, "Carter! Trauma!"
Carter turned and raced from the room, fumbling into his lab coat as he went.
A few hours later, after the nine-year-old little boy had been stabilized and sent up to the OR, Carter made his way up to the desk and contemplated the board. Spotting a case that had his name written all over it, Carter flipped through the charts and selected one. As he made his way from behind the desk, he turned at Dr. Weaverís voice.
"I know I didnít see you passing up certain cases to take the one you want."
"Dr. Weaver!" he said mock surprise. "Would I do that?"
"Hmm," was the only response she gave him and Carter grinned and turned to walk into curtain area three.
But Carter jumped slightly at the scene that met him when he turned around. There was a man with his back turned to John, holding a little boy who looked to be around five years old. The boy was staring over his fatherís shoulder at Carter, his big blue eyes round with awe, and his mouth open in a small "O."
Carter smiled at the little boy and watched his eyes go even wider. Then the boy grinned and buried his face in his fatherís shoulder, lifting his eyes for a peek and then giggling madly before hiding again.
Smiling fondly, Carter made his way into the curtain area and got to work.
Later on, Carter situated himself at the front desk and got started on his labs. Heíd worked for around thirty minutes before he noticed that there was a lot of giggling going on in Chairs. He glanced up to see what the commotion was. There were three small girls, identical triplets around ten years old, sitting side by side, giggling and pointing to him. When they saw him look at them they giggled even harder and huddled in a whisper.
He was sure having a strange affect on children today, he thought to himself, and returned to his labs. But now the young girls were whispering and Carter stopped typing and opened his ears to listen.
"He looks just like him," one girl was saying.
"I know. Except for the green eyes," an identical voice chimed in.
"Do you really think it could be him?"
"No, he doesnít wear glasses."
"He could have contacts! Jimmy Hendersonís older sister wears contacts and they change her eyes to blue! Maybe his contacts change his eyes to brown."
"Why would he want to change his eyes?"
"So people won't recognize him," one of the girls retorted.
"Yeah, he doesnít like when people recognize him."
"But heís too old to be-"
Just then the ambulance bay doors opened and a flood of noise swept into the ER as Chuni and Randi came in from the cold talking and laughing loudly. Carter rolled his eyes and returned back to his labs.
After he finished, the board looked quite empty so Carter decided to go up to the OR and check on the little boy heíd stabilized earlier. The young boy, Jack Corby, had been hit by a car and it had taken a long time to stabilize him. He had been rather sweet, becoming attached to Carter throughout the trauma and asking him if he could come with him while they wheeled him up to surgery. Carter had told him that he couldnít but he would come up to see him later on.
Keeping his promise, Carter stepped off the elevator on the OR floor and walked to the desk. He flipped through the list of names on the chart and glanced up as his name was called.
"Hey, Carter." Lucy Knight, his former medical student, made her way behind the desk and began rummaging through some paperwork.
"Hey, whatís up? Missing the ER madly?"
Lucy wrinkled her nose. "Actually today I am. Dr. Corday has me doing scut work."
Carter smiled knowingly. "Ah, well, surgical rotation has a lot of glamour but much, much more scut."
"Iím beginning to realize that," Lucy glanced at him over her papers. She did a slight double take and her lips curved into the smirk upon looking at his face. "Have a run-in with the Dark Lord recently, Carter?"
Carterís head snapped up. "Huh?"
Lucy smiled and pointed to his forehead.
Carter touched his head. "This? Is it still there? I bumped it this morning on a Ö something. Dark Lord? What are you talking about?"
Lucy opened her mouth as if to tell him something, but shook her head. "Oh, nothing."
"Donít you have somewhere to be?" he asked her after enduring a few moments of her staring at him.
"Yup," Lucy grinned and clipped the papers to her clipboard. "See you later. Oh, and give my regards to Sirius."
Carter stared at her retreating figure frowning. Sirius who? Shaking his head to clear it, he glanced down at the list of names, Carter quickly found his patientís location.
He entered the room where nine-year-old Jack Corby lay awake staring at the ceiling. He was a cute little boy with thick sandy brown hair and big brown eyes.
"Hey, Jack," he said, pulling up a chair. "Howís the head?"
Jack grinned tiredly. "Hey, Dr. Carter. Feels much better. So does my leg."
"Glad to hear it."
"Howís your head?" Jack asked.
Carter looked surprised. "My head?"
Jack grinned again, a lopsided grin that took up half his face. "Yeah, you know. Your scar."
Carter laughed. "Oh, this isnít a scar, itís just a cut."
"Awe, thatís too bad," Jack said sleepily. "Itíd be cool if you had a scar just like him, ya know?"
Carter looked confused. "Just like who?"
"Harry Potter, duh."
Carted let out a choked laugh. "Harry Potter? What does my cut have to do with Harry Potter?"
Jackís tired eyes looked shocked. "You mean you never read Harry Potter?"
Carter shrugged. "Never thought about it. Isnít it a kids book?"
"Naw, man, itís the coolest. Harry Potterís got a scar just like your cut. Only you prolly didnít get yours from an evil wizardís curse?"
Carter had to grin. "Not unless you count the icy grounds a curse."
"Eh, ya never know. Lord Voldemort could very well be responsible."
"Lord Voldemort?" Carter asked, enjoying himself.
"The evil Dark Lord in the books. He gave Harry Potter the scar when Harry was a baby."
"Yeah, why did he do that?"
Jack shrugged and let out a yawn. "Nobody knows, itís a mystery. Hopefully weíll find out more in Book Five."
"Hmm. So youíve read all of the books, have you?"
"Yup," Jack said on another yawn. "And Iím not going to tell you any more. You should read them yourself."
"Well, weíll see. Hey, Jack get some sleep okay, kiddo? Iíll stop by to see you tomorrow."
"Okay," Jack called out, shutting his eyes on a smile.
Carter grinned and then remembered something. "Hey, is there a character in the books named Sirius?"
Jack opened his eyes. "Sirius Black, how did you know?"
"Whatís he like?"
Jack sighed. "I canít tell you, it would ruin Prisoner of Azkaban. But my older sister and her friends have the biggest crush on him, they think heís hot." Jack rolled his eyes and muttered "girls," before closing his eyes again.
Carter walked out of the room with a smile on his face. Spotting Lucy at the front desk again, Carterís grin widened. He walked up to her and placed his hands flat on the desk in front of her. "Have you seen my magic wand anywhere?" he demanded with a strait face.
Lucy grinned widely and handed him a pencil from the holder, her eyes never leaving the chart she was reading.
"So Lucy reads Harry Potter," Carter teased, leaning on the desk. "How cute."
"Itís not a kidís book, Carter," she told him strictly.
"Iíve heard. So tell me, who is this Sirius Black and do you think heís "hot" like Jack Corbyís sister does?"
"Every female whoís read the books thinks heís hot, I imagine. The dangerous type, you know. Tall, dark, and mysterious. And thatís all Iím going to say in case you ever want to read the books."
Carter laughed indignantly. "Yeah, right."
Lucy let out a breath. "Who are you to scorn Harry Potter?" she asked, throwing the pencil at him.
"I didnít scorn him. I am him," he said gravely, pointing to his forehead.
"Iíll have you know Carter, that the Harry Potter series is not only for kids. In fact when you examine the books, you realize that most young children could not even remotely understand the full meaning behind the books, the profound messages that are hidden beneath all the magic and excitement, the character development that grows steadily throughout each novel. Itís a work, actually several works, of pure genius."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah. For kids."
Lucy rolled her eyes. "Whatever. Your loss."
Carter threw the pencil back at her. "Try not to hold it against me, huh?"
"I will," Lucy replied solemnly. "Forever and ever." Then she took the pencil, pointed it at his head and shouted. "Stupefy!"
"Whatís that, like a love spell or something?"
She groaned. "In your wildest dreams, Carter."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah," Carter grinned as he walked down the hall towards the elevator.
A few weeks laterÖ
Carter glanced up to see Jerry the desk clerk, motioning for him to come to the desk. "Whatís up, Jerry?" Carter asked him, approaching the desk.
Jerry held out a package wrapped in brown paper. "This came for you, I just signed for it."
Carter took it. "What is it?"
"How should I know?"
"Hmm." Carter turned the package over and peeled off an envelope. After opening the envelope, Carter pulled out a piece of yellow construction paper folded into a card. There was a big red lightning bolt hand drawn in crayon on the front. Carter opened the card and read the sloppy child cursive to himself:
Dear Dr. Carter,
Thank you for everything that you did for me, saving my life and all. And also, thank you for keeping me company after my surgery while my parents were getting dinner. I hope the cut on your forehead went away, even though it would be even cooler if it stayed and you had a scar like Harryís. You probably wouldnít think so cuz you never read the books. So as a thank you gift for saving my life, I had my Mom buy this for you. You have to read it cuz itís a gift and it would be rude of you not to.
From, Jack Corby
P.S. I know you probably save a lot of kids lifes but Iím the one with the brown hair and brown eyes and the cunbustion.
Carter let out a laugh at the way the boy spelled "concussion." There was a huge smiley face below the last sentence and a large red lightning bolt scar across the forehead. He opened the package and sure enough, pulled out a brand new copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcererís Stone. He grinned at the boy on the cover, flying on a broomstick, a bright red scar on his forehead and Carter flipped open the cover to read the jacket. After the short three-paragraph intro, Carter glanced at the near-empty board and tucked the book under his arm. "Jerry, if anyone asks, I took a lunch break," Carter said mildly. Then he slipped into the lounge, stretched out across the sofa and opened the book.
"The Boy Who Lived . . . Mr. And Mrs. Dursely of number four Privet DriveÖ" he mumbled and continued to read.
Feedback is welcome!
Other fanfic by Casca at:
Between the Lines - A Fanfic Archive