A/N: I hate obsessions. I find myself writing about one, under the influence of another. God, I'm pathetic. Thanks to Liz, Aimee, Steph, and everyone else who has helped me with this, albeit bits of help. Also, if anyone reading this could remember my friend, Justin Scalf, I'd love you forever. He's my age, and he's been diagnosed with cancer…
Disclaimer: ER isn't mine. The song is Bon Jovi's
Guess who just got back today?
Those wild-eyed boys that had been away
Haven't changed, haven't much to say
But man, I still think those cats are great
They were asking if you were around
How you was, where you could be found
I told them you were living downtown
Driving all the old men crazy
The boys are back in town
You know the chick that used to dance a lot
Every night she'd be on the floor shaking what she'd got
Man when I tell you she was cool, she was red hot
I mean she was steaming
That night over at Johnny's place
Well this chick got up and she slapped Johnny's face
Man we just fell about the place
If that chick don't want to know, forget her
Friday night they'll be dressed to kill
Down at Dino's bar and grill
The drink will flow and blood will spill
If the boys want to fight, you'd better let them
That jukebox in the corner blasting out my favorite song
The nights are getting warmer, it won't be long
It won't be long till summer comes
Now that the boys are here again
The boys are back in town
~The Boys Are Back In Town by Bon Jovi
John Carter turned around for one last glance. "This is it…" he sighed, his soft brown eyes sweeping the distant tangles of what was the Congo.
His ticket home was the jet engine in front of him. He still was not sure he wanted to leave. But he could not stand being away… from anyone. Reassuring himself that two years in an African jungle had kept him deprived from any extensions he might have left in America, and that he was not returning because he missed it, John Carter boarded the plane.
"Last call for borders, we will be departing in five minutes. Last call for borders." John Carter found the seat marked on his ticket and sat down as the flight attendant's voice came over the speakers.
Before his faded cargos could touch the seat, he had rolled up the sleeves on his white button-up. He spread his long legs wide, leaning his head against the back of the dark blue airliner seats. Going home was something he had not dreamed of doing. He had written a single letter in the long time he had been away. That letter made everything so much harder.
He testily swiped at a loose strand of light brown hair running down his cheek. He knew he would have to have his hair cut before going to see anyone. His beard was short, but it was coarse and somewhat annoying; however, he was used to that by now. All the clothes he owned were bought from local markets in the village… and there were not many of those. They were all secondhand, and poorly made. He did not mind though; it was the Congo, afterall. The clothes he wore now were the best he had. Leftovers, they were, from his first few weeks in the jungle.
John Carter's nerves seemed to be ripping at his soul; at his heart. He was happy to be going home. He missed everyone. He had severed ties with anyone in the states, not wanting to be interrupted by anything. Often, he caught himself wondering what would have happened if something serious had happened… what if Abby had died? Or, for that matter, Susan, Luka, Elizabeth, or any of his other colleagues and friends? Not one letter had been sent to anyone, not since that last one two years ago. Not one letter had been sent to him. But that was the way he had wanted it. He knew that if he let anyone know where he was, letters begging him to come back would pursue.
It was not long before John Carter's flight was so far up, all he could see was thick white clouds surrounding him. Slowly, he slid forward in his seat, as if intent on watching the colorless swirls.
"How long have you been gone, dear?" asked an elderly voice to his right.
He jumped, but turned to face an old woman with a kind smile nonetheless. "I've been here… a bit over two years. With Doctors Without Borders. I got the notion to come home. I've been away from home too long." Oddly, he did not feel uncomfortable telling this strange lady this, as he might with others.
"So you're a doctor, then? That's awfully nice of you. You came from America originally?" the woman said, her smile still plastered to her wrinkled face.
"Yep. No life left there, so I came here. I felt a sense of belonging here. I could… I could help those people," said John Carter, sighing.
"So why did you come back?" The lady paused. "Tell me if I should mind my business."
He smiled. "I don't mind." Why, though? "I left because… I don't know really. I just had a feeling that someone really needed me back home."
"Did you have a family?"
John Carter frowned ever so slightly at the mention of a family. No, he did not have one. Gamma, Abby, his parents, his brother… no, he did not have a family. If he were to count other doctors in Chicago County General's Emergency Room, then that was different.
"No. No, I didn't have a family."
This time, it was the lady's turn to look slighted. "I'm terribly sorry." Another diminutive hiatus. "My name is Emil Greystone. I'm a grandmother of four. My son, Richard, paid for my trip down here, and I'm on my way back." She leaned further toward him. "I believe we're the only Caucasians on this here aero-plane."
It took all John Carter had to stifle a laugh. "It looks like it. I'm John Carter. I think most people call me Carter. Started when I was a Med Student. No respect at all." He smiled to show the lightness of the subject.
"Well, Carter, I'm please to meet you."
A/N: I was going to make it longer, but I wanted to get some reviews in before I hit the hay. :) In other words, review, will ya?