All characters still not mine….Cordano twist on 'Rampage'
Chapter Eighteen -
Robert woke up alone again. He rubbed his eyes and glanced at the clock, listening out for any kind of noise, but was met with only silence. He got up and went first to the nursery, then went down the stairs and found Elizabeth sat on the couch cradling Molly.
"Hey, how long have you been up?"
Elizabeth looked up at him with tired eyes. "She was up three thirty until six then wanted to feed again at seven."
"Okay, well give her here and go lie down and grab some sleep," he said taking the baby from her. "You missing my mom's help, yet?"
She sighed. "It's crazy. I couldn't wait for everyone to leave so it was just us and now I'm desperate enough to wish even my mother was still here."
"That is desperate," he said and gave a small laugh. "Why didn't you shake me?'
She sighed. "I need to pump more milk."
"Lizzie, you know formula's not going to do her any harm."
"I know, but you're back to work tomorrow so you need to get some level of rest."
"Yeah, which means you also need some rest. Why don't you go back to bed?"
"There's no point, really. As soon as she wakes up I hear her, and when she is asleep I can't sleep because I lie there listening for her to wake up! Oh God, do I sound whiney?
"No, you sound tired," he chuckled. "Tell you what, go get a bath, relax then go back to bed. I'm going to take her out for the day and guarantee you some peace and quiet. I wanted to swing by the hospital anyhow to see exactly what Kerry's got in store for me tomorrow."
"You're taking her in to work?"
"I won't stay too long. Long enough for you to rest and I can show her off. Its a win win for everybody."
"Well, when you put it like that," she said smiling up at him.
Robert strutted into work with Molly strapped snugly to his chest and stopped short when he noticed Frank openly gawking at him.
"What are you looking at?" he snapped out irritably.
Frank made a point of looking past Robert's shoulder, shaking his head. "Nothing, I'm just waiting for one of the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse to ride in next."
"He kind of has a point," Kerry chuckled. "I don't think any of us here would have thought we'd ever see 'Rocket Romano' with a baby strapped to his chest."
"Ohh, now isn't she just the sweetest little thing!" Haleh said, coming out from behind the admit desk with Chuny and Malucci. "Hiiiii sugar!"
"She certainly is."
"She's a baby. You seen one you've seen 'em all!"
"Shut up Frank."
Benton came up from behind him with Cleo, and they both peered over at Molly and smiled.
"She obviously gets her looks from Elizabeth," Peter said.
Robert shrugged taking no insult; his wife was after all, beautiful. "Well, she is her mother's daughter."
"That she is," Benton said with a smile that seemed almost rueful and earned him a scowl from Cleo.
"She does however, get her lungs from me...that's why we're here. Lizzie needs to catch up on some sleep, so I said I'd take the nipper out for the day."
"Awww, Doctor Romano, that is so sweet of you," said Chuny.
"What the hell happened to all the manly men," Frank said, snorting in disgust. "You've let the side down Doctor Romano."
"Oh, shut up Frank!" Chuny said. "There is nothing more sexy than a man with a baby!"
"Reeally?" Malucci said raising an eyebrow. "Hey boss, do you think I can borrow.."
"I think that if you finish that sentence Malucci, you're fired!" Robert said and turned to Kerry. "Is it okay with you if I take my office back a day early?"
"No problem," she said pulling a funny face at Molly. "I'm down here today anyhow."
He nodded his thanks, scowled at Malucci and Frank and headed for the elevator. By some stroke of luck he managed to reach his office undetected. Brenda was at her desk and looked up surprised to see him, though her surprise quickly turned to a smile on seeing Molly.
He waved his hand and rolled his eyes. "Yes, yes, I know she's gorgeous, and sweet and beautiful and looks just like her mom, blah-blah..."
She giggled at him. "Doctor Romano, what are you doing here?"
"Giving Elizabeth a break and seeing what the Weaver has been up to. How'd she do? Anything I need to worry about?"
Brenda shook her head. "As per your request I delayed most of the important meetings."
"Excellent," he said and gave her a wink. "Well, me and this one are going to go hide in there," he said nudging his head at his office. "I was never here and you haven't seen me. In fact, you know what Brenda? As a thank you for your outstanding loyalty, why don't you take the rest of the day off."
"Just said so. Now I'm going in there and I'll see you tomorrow."
She smiled and nodded, reaching for her bag. "And I'm going thatta way."
He stepped into his office, put the phone on silent, drew the blinds and settled himself down on the couch. It wasn't long before he nodded off himself. Molly woke him up grizzling some time later and he grabbed a bottle out of the bag and made his way out to the lounge to heat it up. That's when he noticed they were busier than usual and just about every O.R looked to be in use.
Shirley hurried past him and he called out to her. "Shirley, what the hells going on?"
She did a double take at the sound of his voice clearly surprised to see him. "Doctor Romano, what are you doing here?!"
He shook his head dismissively. "Long story. What's going on?"
"Someone's been shooting people all morning and now there are more GSW's coming in...we've really missed you up here Doctor Romano!" She looked at Molly and smiled. "But you should leave now...if you don't get out of here.."
"I know, I'll get sucked in. Okay, you never saw me, thanks Shirley."
He abandoned heating up Molly's bottle and stuffed it back into the diaper bag then headed straight back to the elevator. He'd almost made it to the exit when he heard Kerry's voice calling to him.
"Robert!" she shouted. "Robert wait...we could use your help!"
The desperation in it made him halt and turn. "Kerry, I'm not supposed to be here!"
"I know!" She caught up to him and reached out a hand to his arm. "I wouldn't ask, but Peter's still busy with the car-jack victim and they've just brought Adele Newman in.."
"The social worker?" he said incredulous, his hands shielding Molly's ears from all of the chaos and noise.
"Robert, she's been shot and surgery's backed up...could you at least take a look?"
He looked down at Molly who was beginning to become vocal and against his better judgement nodded. He followed her into the trauma room, where Mark and Malucci were already working on her. A policeman hovered by her head firing questions at her.
"Was it a white male, late thirties, wearing a yellow wind breaker?"
"Cord injury, 1.8 grams Solu-Medrol every fifteen minutes," Mark said.
"Yeah, I think so," Adele said a little confused. "I don't understand it, how did he know where I live? I only saw him at the hospital."
"They can get anything of the internet these days," the policeman said and Mark and Kerry exchanged a worried glance which Robert caught. "What am I missing?"
"She was shot at her house, in the mid back by a man called Derek Fossen," Mark said. "We put his son Ben, into protective custody last week and it seems he's out for revenge."
"So this wasn't random?"
Mark shook his head.
"Is he in custody?"
"Not yet," said the policeman. Robert turned back to Mark. "Is there a chance he's coming here?"
"He could be...my name was on the paperwork too."
"So you could be a target too?" Mark nodded.
"You," he said to the policeman. "Do you have people outside the hospital, right now?"
"Good. Get more if you have to. Greene, you or anyone else associated with this creep does not leave the hospital until this guy is caught. Understood?"
He stepped forward and looked down at Adele, who's scared eyes found his, pleading for help.
"Dammit!" he cursed and began to carefully unstrap Molly's harness. Her eyes moved watching him. "I'm guessing you're not supposed to be here," she said her eyes on Molly.
He gave her a small smile. "What gave that away? Can you move your legs?"
"Well I guess I better get you fixed up then, huh? Getting shot hurts like a son of a bitch, right?"
She blinked up at him. "Been there, got the scar and look at me now." He winked. "Don't worry, you'll be okay."
He freed himself of Molly who started to protest loudly and Haleh stepped forward, her arms outstretched. "Give her to me." He nodded his thanks and carefully passed Molly over into her waiting arms.
"Come here sugar, lets go find some place quiet shall we while your daddy works."
He slipped off the baby bag and hooked it on to her shoulder. "She's hungry, there are bottles in there and..." She shook her head at him. "Not my first baby Doctor Romano...don't worry, I've got her," she said and gave him a look that gave him every confidence.
Chuny stepped forward with a trauma gown and helped him into it. "Do you want me to have Frank get hold of Doctor Corday to come get her?"
He shook his head while snapping on some gloves. "No, I don't want her coming here if there's even a chance that this lunatic is. Haleh, can you take Molly to my office and stay there until I come get her...I don't want her down here, okay?"
She nodded and he started to probe Adele's abdomen with his hands. "Get an ultrasound in here."
"Adele, any pain in the belly?"
"BP 92/65. Pulse 110."
"Could be be a pneumothorax," Kerry said.
"Lungs sound good. Pulse ox is 99."
"For an intra-abdominal bleed?"
"There's spinal shock," Robert said. Chuny reappeared with the ultrasound and Robert set to work with it.
"Patellar reflexes are absent," Kerry said "And she's hypotensive."
"Up her to 10mics. Adele can you bend your knee?"
"I can't, no."
Robert finished with the ultrasound. "Call up to the O.R and tell them to clear a room. Tell them we may have an emergency laminectomy...tell them to set up the microscope, and that we're coming up now! Chuny, get onto Neuro and tell them I need some help with a thoracic decompression. Let's go!"
They moved quickly and got her into the elevator.
"Robert, am I paralysed?" Adele asked.
He looked down at her scared face. "Hopefully its only temporary," he said, softly. "There's a piece of bone in your mid back pressing down on your spinal cord."
"And that's why I can't move my legs?"
He nodded. "Yes, but if I remove the fragment you should recover."
"But there's a chance I could be paralysed?"
He smiled encouragingly at her. "Not if I can help it. See, luckily for you Adele, your unlucky day just got lucky 'cause I'm gonna get you through this."
The doors opened and he wheeled her out of the elevator onto the surgical floor where he caught Shirley's rueful smile.
"Didn't quite manage the getaway then?"
He grinned. "Well, you did say you missed me...shall we?
The surgery went well and as soon as he got Adele settled in recovery he headed straight to his office. His eyes quickly scanned the room and he saw Haleh sat on the couch, with Molly cradled in the nook of her left arm. She looked up and smiled as he entered lifting a solitary finger to her lips.
He closed the door gently and walked over and smiled down at her. "How's she been?"
"An angel...ate, slept, woke up took another bottle then zonked again."
"Great. Probably means she's gonna be up all night," he said softly his smile still fixed. "Thank you for looking after her."
"It was my pleasure. How's Adele doing?"
"She should be okay, but we'll know for sure after twenty four hours."
"Good. You heading home now?"
He nodded and started putting the diaper bag back together, then strapped himself back into the harness. Haleh stood and helped put Molly into it.
"Can you do me one more favour?" he asked.
She looked at him quizzically. "What?"
"Can you check the coast is clear?"
She smiled and stepped out, waving him forward when she deemed it safe to do so and they rode the elevator down together.
Haleh got out first, and again checked the coast was clear. As he passed the admit desk he saw Frank. "Hey, do you know if they've got this Fossen guy yet?"
"Oh, yeah they got him all right. Doctor Greene's in there working on him right now. Some have a go hero popped him real good."
Robert felt no sympathy for the gunman. "Well, that's a relief," he said and walked to the exit as fast as he could.
He pulled into the driveway to see Elizabeth putting her key in the front door. She turned around at the sound of the car engine, and walked towards him wearing a smile.
"Hey," she said as he climbed out of the car. "Thank you for today." She pulled his face up and kissed him lingeringly on the lips.
"Had a good day I take it?" he chuckled, reaching into the back to take Molly and her car seat out.
She nodded. "I went back to bed, had a good few hours then treated myself to a day spa and some shopping. So, what did you two get up to?"
"We err, hung out. Went into work, showed off. Can you, err take her a minute?" he said and reached back inside for the diaper bag. When he turned back around Elizabeth was stood holding Molly looking directly at him.
"I know that face Robert. What did you really get up to today?"
He made a mental note to work harder on his poker face; she was getting far too good at reading him. "Can we go inside first," he said and started heading for the house. She followed him inside and together they got Molly settled, then walked through into the kitchen.
"Right you, start talking," she said sitting down at the island.
He poured himself a glass of water. "Want one?"
She shook her head and crossed her arms expectantly. He sat down and took a quick swig, draining most of the glass and looked up at her. "You haven't watched the news today have you?"
She shook her head. "No. Why? Just tell me."
"Okay, so I went into work like I said and something happened."
He placed the glass down on to the counter. "Okay, first promise you won't get mad."
"Okay Robert, now you're worrying me."
"Don't," he said shaking his head. "There's nothing to worry about."
"Well then, why do I have to promise not to get mad?"
"You know Adele Newman, right?"
"The social worker?"
He nodded. "She was shot as were a lot of other people today. A crazy guy went on a rampage this morning shooting just about anyone he came into contact with and surgery was swamped..."
She felt her temper rising and shook her head knowing where this was going. "Robert please tell me you didn't..."
"I had to...they were short and.."
"What did you do with Molly?"
"Haleh looked after her in my office."
She slammed a hand down on the counter. "Haleh?! Why the hell did you not call me!"
He held his hand up. "I didn't call you because I didn't want you walking into possible danger. Molly was perfectly safe and the police were outside."
"Why would I have walked into 'possible danger' and why were the police outside?"
"I told you there was a lunatic with a gun running amok. He lost his son into protective custody courtesy of Greene and Adele last week and he was out for revenge."
She shook her head. "I don't believe it! How could you have taken her into a situation like that?!"
"There wasn't a situation when I took her in and I didn't know there was a lunatic on the loose, Lizzie!"
"Well you should have left as soon as you did know!"
"I tried to!"
"Well, you should have tried harder!"
"What, and left Adele? There were no other surgeons available Elizabeth, what would you have had me do?! Molly was safe with Haleh! Lizzie please, I've actually had a pretty shit day and I don't need this right now!"
"Fine!" She got up and walked out.
He watched her go then got up and walked to the lounge and poured himself a scotch. Gretel nuzzled at his hand for attention as he sat down on the couch and he made a fuss of her scratching behind her ears.
A few minutes later he heard Elizabeth come in and could feel her standing behind him. "Were you in danger?" Her tone was calmer.
He craned his neck up to look at her. "No. There was concern that the guy might come after Greene, but like I said, the cops were there in force and I told him to stay put until it was safe."
"You were worried for Mark?" she almost laughed. His eyes hardened a little and she noticed the change.
"I'm not a total ass-hole, Lizzie. I have been shot remember? I know what it's like!"
She came around the couch and sat down putting her arms around him and laid her head on his shoulder. "Hey, I'm sorry, that came out wrong." Her hands dropped to where she knew his scar lay underneath the fabric of his shirt and spread her fingers across it. "And I'm sorry I overreacted...I know you'd never put Molly in harms way, and that you were put in a tough situation. Forgive me?"
He smiled at her and put his arm around her.
"How is Adele?"
"She should be okay. We'll know for sure tomorrow."
"She's lucky you were there," she said hugging him tight.
He turned his head a little and burried himself into her hair. "You smell good," he said closing his eyes and breathing her in.
"I'm not surprised. I was after all, pampered today to an inch of my life while you got sucked back into real life."
He let out a small chuckle. "Yeah, I think you got the better end of the deal today... but you deserve it."
"Well you deserve to be pampered too."
He cracked his right eye open just a little. "Got anything in mind?"
She smiled and started nuzzling his neck and instantly a small moan escaped his mouth as he felt his body react to her lips. He quickly pulled himself away and turned to face her, with a pouty face. "Don't write checks your body can't cash. This no sex for another month is killing me!"
She laughed. "It's two more months Robert...you've only survived one so far."
"Well that one month felt like two," he said sulkily and she smiled. He lifted a hand and cupped her cheek, looking deeply into her eyes. "Especially looking the way you do right now."
She leaned in and kissed him again and again he tried to pull away but she held on tighter to him and pushed him backwards against the couch. Deepening the kiss she wrapped her hands behind his head, climbed onto his lap and pressed her body against his.
"Ahh, Lizzie...that's not funny…. Lizzie, what are doing...get off," he gasped.
"I'm pampering you," she purred between her kisses.
"We can't," he groaned.
"We just need to think outside of the box," she said in a silky voice and tightened her grip on him deepening her kiss and he couldn't help but respond, his hands travelling up her back into her soft curls.
She dropped her mouth to his neck as her fingers worked loose the top buttons of his shirt granting her better access to his collar bone.
"Okaay...I'm always open to ideas...so now you've got me where you want me, what have you got in mind?"
She pulled back her mouth and smiling, looked into his eyes. "Told you already….I'm going to pamper you."
He smiled lovingly at her. "Well, pamper away.'
She returned her mouth to his neck while her fingers worked on the rest of his buttons. As she slid down him, he closed his eyes and let her do just that.
A week later Robert sat out the back on the deck, sprawled out on a recliner staring up at the night sky. In his left hand was a heavy glass tumbler filled with scotch. His mind was working overtime, and the fingers of his right hand were busily drumming out a steady rhythm on the armrest of the recliner.
He heard the French doors opening and the light from within sliced out onto the deck announcing her presence. He tipped his head back with a small smile as she reached him and peered down.
"What on earth are you doing out here?"
"What, you can't think indoors?" She noticed his drumming fingers. "Ohh, you really are thinking aren't you? Care to share?"
"With you? Always."
"Hah, you smooth sod, if only that was true. Talk to me Robert, you've been distracted for the last few days now...what's bugging you?"
He took in a deep breath, drawing the cool, night air into his lungs and moved himself upright into a sitting position. Patting the space between his legs, he wrapped his arms around her as she sat down, leaning against him.
"I don't want to do this any more Lizzie...I don't want to be here any more." He realised how that might sound and hugged her tightly to him. "What I mean is...I'm sick of all the crap that seems to come with County. I got shot there, we could have lost Molly because you got stuck in the middle of a fight. Greene was attacked, Carter….we lost Lucy! And now we have psycho's looking up our information on the internet and hunting us down! What the hell's next? A pox on us all?! I don't want us in that environment and also...I don't want to miss Molly's first steps because I'm stuck in a board meeting or out having to kiss some rich donor's ass to secure funding when I should be home for dinner."
She swivelled round in his arms and looked at him shocked. "Where on earth has this all come from?!"
He shook his head a little. "Actually, it's something I've been thinking about for a while now...since something your mom said after Molly's scare. The Fossen thing just made my mind up really."
"Well what do you suggest we do?"
"Okay, so I've had this idea rolling around in my head for a while now, but it can only happen if you're onboard with it."
"Onboard with what exactly?"
"I want us to move, leave….I want us to relocate."
"Leave Chicago? To go where?"
"Philly," he said watching her face closely. "I've been talking to Carl. He's just accepted a position in New York and they're already a surgeon down. Lizzie, there are two surgical attending spots just waiting for us..."
"But our lives are here."
"No, our lives are with each other. Where we choose to spend it, is just a matter of geography. Think about it...we'd have less admin, I'd have no stupid meetings to attend. We'd be equals at work, still get to do what we both love and have more time to spend with each other as a family. Plus, last year my mom was really ill...too ill to even come to Chicago when I was shot and I know that was really hard on her. She's not getting any younger Lizzie, and I want to be able to look after her...and I want Molly to grow up knowing her Grandma. Everything here is...it just seems so...so random. Now, I'm not naive enough to think that bad stuff doesn't happen in Philadelphia, but I'm pretty sure the odds of us not getting shot at will be stacked more in our favour. Will you at least think about it?"
"But you've worked so hard to reach the top here, Robert."
He shook his head. "That's all before I had you...before we had Molly. It means nothing now. Please Lizzie, will you consider it?"
She had to admit. The idea of less hours, less admin and more time for themselves was a big draw. Leaning forward she brushed her lips against his and touched her forehead to his. "Of course I'll think about it. Now can we go inside? It's bloody freezing out here!"
When Robert got home the following evening he was only just through the door when Elizabeth appeared and passed him Molly.
"She's all yours. Needs a bath and putting down."
Robert let out a quiet breath. "Everything okay?"
"Everything's fine. I'm just finishing dinner."
He looked at her retreating back then smiled down at Molly. "Have you been trouble?"
He took her upstairs and bathed her, then got her changed and sang a lullaby as he watched her fall asleep. Then he went into their bedroom and changed out of his suit into sweats and a t-shirt.
When he got back downstairs he went first to the kitchen. "Lizzie, where are you?"
He walked in to find dinner on the table complete with lit candles. She stood and passed him a glass of wine. "She go down okay for you?"
He nodded and smiled. "We're eating at the table like grown-ups...what's the occasion?"
She turned and poured herself a glass of grape juice. "The future."
He tilted his head and looked at her. "You've decided?"
She smiled and nodded. "I have. I've been thinking about it all day and you're right. Let's do it. I can't fault your logic and I don't want you staying here if you're unhappy.."
He put the wine glass down on the table and reached for her hands. "So, you're okay leaving it all behind? Your friends, your position?"
"Well I happen to be married to my best friend and we'll make new friends," she said squeezing his hands.
"I love you, Lizzie." He pulled her into his arms and kissed her. "Thank you."
"Love you too."
They sat down to dinner and Robert filled her in on his day and the latest daily politics of the hospital. As they were clearing the dishes Elizabeth asked. "By the way, what is it you sing to Molly to get her to go down so fast? I could do with learning it myself. It sounded lovely, but certainly isn't any lullaby I've ever heard before."
"That's 'cause its not really a lullaby."
"Well what is it?"
"Love of my Life," he mumbled.
She arched an amused eyebrow at him. "And here was I, thinking that was me?"
"And so you are, but she is also by extension a mini you." He offered and smiled backing out of the room.
She crossed her arms and smirked. "Where are you going?"
"I'm going to let Carl know we'll take the jobs!"
"Coward!" she called after him, laughing.
The following day Robert offered to take Donald to lunch in an attempt to soften the blow. He wasn't happy about it, but said he understood their reasons and wished them well. They agreed between them that they'd work out two months notice giving the hospital a chance to advertise and fill their positions, though Elizabeth was still on maternity leave for the most part of it anyhow. News spread quickly and most people were both shocked and quietly impressed by the announcement.
The following two months passed quickly in which time the house was put on the market and Kerry was approved to take over as Chief of Staff, much to the collective groans of most people.
Elizabeth's first few days back to work were a quiet success. She'd eased herself back into it with a few gentle surgeries, before quickly finding her stride again. Leaving exam three after having ruled out a patient as non surgical, she spotted several people standing idly by, chatting at the admin desk and wandered over to say hello.
"Hey, Doctor Corday! Nice to be back at work?" Chuny said, looking up as she approached.
She smiled and nodded. "Indeed it is. It's nice to feel like a grown up again and actually engage in grown-up conversation."
"Yes, I imagine you don't get much of that at home," said Kerry.
"Well, no Molly is after all, only three months old."
Kerry smirked. "I wasn't referring to Molly."
"Ha-ha! I'll tell him you said that, shall I?"
"How is sweet little Molly?" asked Haleh.
"She's just gorgeous! You want to see a picture?" Elizabeth said and proudly pulled out the latest set of photographs she carried around with her, and everyone craned their heads to see.
"So if you're here, who's holding the baby?" Frank asked peering at the photograph.
Frank snorted and she looked at him. "Something you'd like to say?"
He curled his lip and shook his head. "Just wondering where all the real men have gone..."
"They evolved is what they did Frank," she said and fixed him with a glare. "However some Neanderthals are determined to stick around, it seems."
He pulled a face at her and turned back to the computer secreen.
"Idiot," she muttered.
"I must admit, I'm surprised you haven't got a nanny," said Kerry.
Elizabeth shook her head. "Well, once we decided we were leaving there really wasn't much point in trying to find someone for only a few weeks...and since we're moving in with Robert's mother to begin with, she's more than looking forward to babysitting duties...so until then, we're both quite happy taking turns. You know, he's very hands on with her and not quite the dinosaur some of you seem to think he is."
"Actually Elizabeth, I don't think there's anyone here who thinks that way about him. At least, not any more."
"Yeah, you definitely brought out his better side, Doctor Corday," said Haleh.
Frank turned and opened his mouth to speak and Elizabeth put a finger up to silence him. He settled for a disparaging sound and Elizabeth turned and muttered, "Arsehole."
She made her way back upstairs to the fourth floor. On her way to her office Shirley called her over to the front desk. As she got closer Shirley reached down behind the desk and came back up with a beautiful flower arrangement.
"Flowers for you," Shirley said. "Now I know its not your birthday and I know its not your anniversary, and I know its not your last day...so what's the occasion?"
"Who says there has to be an occasion?" Elizabeth said reaching for the small envelope. She opened it up and broke into a grin as she read the message which was signed, 'love M.'
"What's it say?" Shirley said craning her neck to try and peer over.
Elizabeth pulled the card back quickly and shook her head. "Just a rather elaborate invite to dinner."
Shirley smirked and snapped her fingers suddenly. "Of course! Three month anniversary! Oooo, someone's getting laid tonight!"
Elizabeth felt her self blush much to Shirley's delight.
"What?" she said innocently, then giggled. "Oh, and after what you told me on your wedding day, I'll require details tomorrow."
"Got your flowers I see," Robert said when she walked through the front door.
"I did, thank you very much. They're beautiful."
"Yeah, you know my florist actually cried when I told her we were moving out of state."
"Ha-ha," she said planting a kiss on his cheek. "So your message promised me dinner?"
"It did, and you can do better than that," he said wrapping his arms around her waist pulling her down for a long kiss. When he released her lips he whispered, "I thought maybe you'd like to go back to Chez Chloe's?"
She smiled against his cheek. "Trying to recreate our first date?"
"Well, it ended well if memory serves."
"And I suppose you'd like me to wear a certain off the shoulder, black dress?"
"See, you know me so well."
She laughed. "So long as you don't expect me to do a walk of shame in to work tomorrow."
Robert chuckled at the memory. "No, I think we can leave that bit out."
"Well all this sounds lovely, Robert but I think you may have forgotten one detail."
"Well as lovely as Chez Chloe's is, I don't think it's exactly child friendly, and speaking of, where is she?"
"She's upstairs asleep and you have about one hour to get yourself glammed up before Abby gets here."
He nodded. "She's babysitting."
"You asked Abby to babysit?!"
"Didn't have to really. Molly already has her own fan club and they were lining up to do it. Haleh was actually annoyed she was working and out of the running."
She kissed him longingly on the lips before racing upstairs to get ready. By the time Robert had finished briefing Abby, Elizabeth appeared at the top of the stairs.
"You look stunning," Robert said softly, his eyes drinking her in.
She reached the bottom of the stairs and kissed him. "Thank you."
"You look lovely, Elizabeth," Abby said stepping out from the lounge.
"Thank you. I must admit, its nice to get dressed up and wear make-up again. And thank you so much for doing this, Abby."
"Hey it's my pleasure. You two go have fun then!"
Robert proffered his arm to Elizabeth. "Shall we?"
As he passed Abby he said. "We won't be late back."
Abby smirked at him. "I bet you won't!"
He just grinned and true to his word they were not late back, but they were up very late.
The day came to leave and the house was emptied of most of its furniture and placed in storage until they found their ideal place. The rest was put in a U-haul to be towed by Robert's newly upgraded Jaguar SUV. They planned to do their road trip to Philadelphia over a couple of days taking in the sights along the way.
But before they left, they visited County once last time as Robert was required to officially hand over the department to his replacement. After all the formalities were finished he went to lunch with Donald, while Elizabeth elected to say her goodbyes at an impromptu get together at Doc Magoos organised by Mark.
"I can't believe you're really leaving," Mark said and gave her a hug.
"I know, but I must admit I'm really excited!"
"Well, I wish you and Romano," he said then shook his head and corrected himself. "I wish you and Robert all the best. Stay in touch?"
She nodded. "Absolutely! You'll have to keep me clued in to the gossip."
"Hey, is it true you're moving in with Romano's mother?" Chuny asked.
Elizabeth laughed. "Yes and she's absolutely lovely before any of you start!"
"You know we all thought you were mad when we found out the two of you had got together, but now we're like...well, you're one clever lady Doctor Corday for seeing in him what no one else could."
"Well admittedly, it took me a good while to see past his bluster, but fortunately Robert didn't get fed up waiting for me come around and find someone else."
"Nahhh-ah-ah, no way would that have happened...that man has only ever had eyes for you Doctor Corday," Haleh said taking her turn to cradle Molly in her arms.
Peter ran in. "Oh, good I thought I might have missed you!" He held his arms open and she walked into them. "Good luck."
"Thank you, Peter and good luck yourself. Give it a few years and you'll be running the place I expect."
He stepped back and shrugged. "Maybe, maybe not. Part of me is already wondering if I should be following your example and put Reece first."
She smiled. "Actually, I think you mean Robert's example?"
He smiled and shook his head.
"Just can't do it can you? Can't give him the credit..."
He held his hands up. "Okay, okay. I guess he's not all bad. Keep in touch?"
She turned back to look at all of their smiling faces. "Thank you everybody. I'm going to miss you all terribly...but I won't miss the chaos...that you can keep," she said reaching for Molly.
After their lunch, Robert re-entered the hospital with Donald and they rode the elevator back up together. Robert caught Donald looking at him a bit odd.
"You okay, Don? Touch of heartburn?"
Donald let out a small laugh and shook his head. "No, I'm perfectly fine thanks."
"Good to know," Robert said slightly amused as he watched Donald shuffle his feet. If he didn't know better he'd swear the man was nervous about something.
"There was something I wanted to say to you though, before you leave," he said clearing his throat. "Elizabeth told me that you lost your father when you were very young?"
Robert inclined his head a little wondering just where exactly he was going with this.
"Well, I just wanted to say that over the past year I've watched you grow Robert, and...well, I think he'd be very proud of the man you've become. I know I feel proud to know you, and I want you to know that, as a friend and a colleague, you are going to be very much missed around here.
Robert smiled, oddly touched by the man's words. "Thanks Donald."
"And, I don't blame you for going either. In fact, I think its a very brave thing you're doing. You've made some decisions, that with hindsight I wish I'd taken, and I almost envy you for it. I would hope that if I could have my time over, then I too, would have the courage and conviction to put my family first. To be able to have had that time back and spend it with Scott?" He shook his head sadly and shook Robert's hand. "Well done you."
The doors opened and Donald slapped him on the back before heading off, and Robert made his way out for one last hurrah round the Surgical department. The front desk was full of flowers and smiling nurses.
"You got them then?" he said smiling and Shirley rushed around the desk and he held his arms open for a hug.
"Thank you so much, they're lovely! We're going to miss you, Doctor Romano," she said and then whispered in his ear. 'You were always my favourite."
"Ditto," he whispered back and gave her another hug, before saying goodbye to Jacy and the other nurses and grinned. "Now ladies, don't be too hard on the new guy. I know I'm a tough act to follow!"
He headed off to take one last look around his office, only to find Kerry already in there. "Couldn't wait, huh?"
She stood up and came out from behind the desk. "I thought you had already gone?"
"All but. Just taking one last mosey for old times sake."
"Ahh, I see. Well, since you're still here...do you have any last words of wisdom for me?" she asked.
"Words of wisdom?" He looked around again at the walls that had once meant so much to him and turned to look her in the eyes. "Yeah...don't let this become your life, Kerry."
She nodded her understanding and they both looked around as Elizabeth rapped on the door with Molly in her arms.
She smiled at him. "You ready to go then?"
He returned the smile and nodded. "Absolutely." Walking over to her he placed a kiss on her cheek before taking Molly from her, holding her snugly to him with his left arm. His right hand reached for Elizabeth's and together they walked out of there for the last time without so much as a backward glance.
So there you go, our boy gets to leave with his gal(s) and both his arms and dignity intact….Hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed writing! Special thanks to Lorraine, RocketFuel24 and Diane (BBIRedDi) for all of their encouragement.