Title: 'Even Angels Fall'
Series: 'Two Years On VII'
Author: Anna Rousseau <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Set: Alternate Universe Season 7
Songs Used: 'Even Angels Fall' Jessica Riddle & 'Your Winter' Save Ferris [Both from 'Ten Things I Hate About You' Soundtrack]
Previous Parts: 'Someone Old, Something New'; 'I Won't Leave You Lonely'; 'Welcome Back, Dr Carters'; 'This Year's Love'; 'Hopelessly Addicted'; 'Clouds In My Coffee'
Summary: Carter is married to Anna (she came back at the beginning of my season 7) they got married and they are having a baby. Kerry sent them to an ER conference in Hawaii where they met up with Maggie Doyle (who got chatted up by some guy- Max) and bumped into Abby Keaton. Carter left Anna on the beach at after dinner to get a camera. Then, low and behold, guess who should come along with a 'Doug's Being Seeing Them-I Was Married' Baseball Bat MomentTM but Anna's blast from the past - Max Rosher.
Confused? I am.
As you know, putting a series to a close is really sad for most authors, yet the relief of completing something you worked on for ages does seem rewarding. When I wrote 'Someone Old, Something New' it was supposed to be a on-off fic, but somehow it turned into a seven part series, and changed from romance to drama in an odd way. But hey, I loved writing it, and I hope you liked reading it.
Probably you should read Part V ['Hopelessly Addicted'] and Part VI ['Clouds In My Coffee'] so you know what's going on! This is the final part, so I want to say thank you to all those who have read this series and still enjoy Carter-Anna fics, especially thanks to Monica, Pebbles, Kitty, Carrie, Michelle H (for getting me interested in JC-AD fic), Ceindreadh and Cathy for giving me encouragement: this was my first series and I am relatively new on the fic scene, May 2000. And thanks to everyone I forgot!
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters, I'm just borrowing them for a while. I promise to return them all relatively safely...don't sue me.
'TWO YEARS ON VII - EVEN ANGELS FALL'
Anna remained very still for a moment. Just standing there, looking at Max. Looking at all the pent up aggression that showed in his eyes.
"Well," Max asked, in slight despair. "Did you tell him?"
She looked quickly to the floor, feelings of guilt and betrayal flooding over her like darkness of the passing clouds. Rain continued to fall and dampen their clothes, their teeth knocking slightly together every so often.
"Max, I'm cold. Can we go inside," she asked, her eyes pleading with him.
He stepped back, releasing his grip on Anna's arms. She rubbed her skin, now all goosebumped and her fingers wrinkled from the rain. Max ran a hand through his hair and collapsed against a palm tree, staring at the ground for several seconds. He folded up the knife and placed it in his pocket.
"Max...I...it," Anna tried to find a way to project what excuses her brain was rapidly manufacturing, but nothing came out from her mouth.
He looked up at her again, to her smeared makeup, sodden dress and drenched hair. Max breathed slowly through his teeth and suddenly spoke quite softly.
"He doesn't know."
Anna nodded and met his eyes. "Max, it was the most horrible experience of my entire life, those children-"
Her eyes were welling up in tears, "They were there, dying and we had no way of helping them, Max. The bombers just blew them up, regardless. It was the worst way for a third-year to spend a pediatric rotation. I guess that's why I never felt really happy with you."
Max looked at her, "Because I took you out there."
Anna shook her head. "No, that wasn't your fault Max, you weren't really to blame, I was young, naive I guess. I just thought I had fallen in love with you and didn't care were you took me."
She swallowed, her voice was slightly hoarse from holding back the tears.
"Max." She started, reaching for his hand and pushing his chin up. "Every time I looked at you...saw the pain you were in from that bullet they shot at you, because you were protecting the children of their enemy, I saw the blood, and..and the children, all dead and their limbs...all...all...bent back..." she was sobbing through her words.
Max stroked her hair, but Anna recoiled instantly. "I just couldn't, could never stand to be reminded of that day after day."
"So that was it?" Max asked, bewildered.
Anna choked back her tears and shook her head violently. "No, I could have coped with it I suppose if you hadn't used me as a punchbag. So I guess I went to Chicago to get away from the memories."
"I'm a bad person," Max commented looking up at the sky.
"No," Anna said slowly. "Just not a strong one. Well stubbornness is strong but in a negative way."
"I did try, Anna."
She watched him pleading with her, "But you wouldn't accept anyone's help..." Anna trailed off, her eyes raised to the sky. Everything was silent for a few minutes and she laughed softly to herself quite suddenly.
"You know, we have a Croatian attending," she told Max, blinking away the last of her tears. "His whole family was killed in the war, wife and two children...I've only talked to him once about something not related to work, in fact, he's probably the only other person I ever told of my own free will about my time in Bosnia. Max, that is how much it hurts, to even think of it feels like someone's ripping out my heart."
Max touched her on the shoulder and gave her a smile, moved by the emotion in her voice and her emotive bloodshot eyes.
"I guess I've been fighting a losing battle," Max said, retracting his hand and wiping his forehead with it.
Anna took a small breath, "Max, I love John. You know that. We're married, the baby's on the way...I have a new life now, I had one two years ago, but I put it on hold because I wasn't certain."
Max examined her face for a moment, "Are you certain now, Anna? Are you happy."
"Yes," she replied truthfully. "I am happy, I just hope you find a person as good to you as John is to me."
"As long as you love him and he loves you..." Max said, watching Anna's reassuring nod.
He looked out to the sea and then to the sky before his eyes settled on her again. "And that's probably all I needed to know."
Anna gave him a little smile, "It takes a while to realise these things, I know."
"Anna-" Max started tapping tree trunk with his fingers, "I'm very sorry, for everything...I'm clean you know, I am trying..."
Anna shook her head, "Don't Max, it's OK...I was never asking you to get clean for me, I was worried about you. I always thought drug abuse showed a great lack of self-respect, and you had quite a few good qualities you should respect...it's great that you've realised that...I don't mean to sound patronizing-"
"You're not," Max chuckled. "You're just being Anna Del Amico I guess, sorry, Anna Carter I mean...thanks."
"Good luck, Max." Anna replied with a brief hug.
Max smiled back, "I'm sure you'll be very happy, make sure he treats you right, and Anna...tell him, not for me to know that Carter...pities me, but just so he knows what you've been through, and why you're such a strong woman."
Anna nodded, "I'll keep that in mind."
Max walked away from the trees and looked back at her briefly.
"That Maggie Doyle...is she just a bad drunk, or is she attached, cos she gave me a really big brush off back there."
Anna laughed in spite of herself, "She's gay, Max...anyway, were you holding her at knife point at the time?"
Max rubbed his chin, "Sorry about that."
Anna shrugged her shoulders, "You're a worse drunk than Maggie, Max. I know."
"Well, I'm gonna head off," Max said pointing to a car park in the distance.
"Get a cab, Max," Anna asked. "I don't want you killing anybody, or yourself."
"I've got a cell phone in the car," Max nodded then paused. "Good luck with the baby."
"Good luck, bye Max."
Max Rosher turned and walked away down the beach breaking into a run before reaching a small car park where he climbed into his beaten-up Ford and sat with a map on the dashboard.
Anna watched him intently as she sighed into the night air, rain landing in her mouth. Using all the motivation she had, Anna started to walk down the beach.
The grey ceiling on the earth
Well it lasted for a while
Take my thoughts for what they're worth
I've been acting like a child
Your opinion what is that
It's just a different point of view
What else, what else can I do
I said I'm sorry
I said I'm sorry
But what for
If I hurt you then I hate myself
Don't want to hate myself
Don't want to hurt you
Well I won't be your winter
And I won't be any one's excuse to be cry
And we can be forgiven
And I will be here
"Oh God, oh God...ANNA?"
Carter whirled around to face Maggie Doyle, "What?"
His face was flushed red, his brown hair plastered to his forehead by the rain and he was panic struck. The wind was getting stronger and it whistled violently through the trees, driving every drop of rain as hard as a blade against their skin.
Maggie pulled her jacket around her tighter, stamping the sand off her feet whilst dodging the angry sea that was breaking against the beach, "You said you left her here, right?"
Carter looked at the spot in amongst the palms before replying, "Yeah...yeah, right here."
They moved over to the area, Carter knelt down as if he were looking for some sort of clue to her whereabouts.
"Carter, look," Maggie called from a few yards away. She pointed to a set of prints made by a man. He looked closer, they ran alongside prints made by high heeled shoes.
Carter gulped, "Did...did he take her, Maggie?"
She shook her head, her wet curls stuck to her neck. "I don't know...he didn't seem...violent, maybe those are your prints and, and Anna went back to the hotel when it was raining."
He looked back from her to the prints, "Are you sure it was Max?"
"Carter, I was half-drunk...I thought it was him, but maybe-"
"God, God, God..." Carter exclaimed, dropping to the sand and hitting the sand with his fist. "How the hell did this happen?"
Maggie pulled him up by the arm and dragged him in the direction of the hotel, "Let's check the hotel before we start getting worked up. And, uh, and if we can't find her-"
"I'll kill myself," Carter replied wringing his hands together.
"We'll call the police," Maggie corrected. Soon she joined Carter at a sprint towards the foyer along the beach, their trouser legs getting splashed by the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean.
Carter's mind was in turmoil. He wasn't going to loose Anna again, especially not to Max.
Carter knew that if he did have to live without her, he might as well be dead.
You found hope
You found faith
Found how fast she could take it away
Found true love
Lost your heart
Now you don't know who you are
She made it easy
Made it free
Made you hurt till you couldn't see
Sometimes it stops
Sometimes it flows
Baby, that is how love goes
You will fly
And you will crawl
God knows even angels fall
No such thing as you lost it all
God knows even angels fall
It's a secret
One day it's heaven, one day it's hell
It's no fairy tale, take it from me
That's the way it's supposed to be
"What happened, are you OK?"
Anna's teeth were chattering as she spoke, she was curled up in a chair opposite their hotel room, drenched to the bone.
"I didn't have a key, so I...I..." She started to cry dry tears into her lap.
Maggie looked on, concerned, "You OK, Carter?"
"Yeah, you get some sleep."
Maggie nodded and slipped quitely into her hotel room. Carter unlocked their door and picked her up carefully, carrying her into their room and kicking the door shut behind him, "Aww, honey. Are you hurt?"
Anna began to relax in his arms as Carter sat down on the bed with her, stroking her hair and pressing his lips to her face.
"I'm not hurt...I'm fine, just the hormones making me emotional." She sniffled with a little laugh.
Carter looked at her, not believing a word she said. "You better get out of that dress quickly, or you'll get something worse than a chill."
Anna nodded slowly, as Carter helped her to her feet. She began to pull off her shoes and stopped until he came back with a set of fluffy white towels, she could hear the tub being run un the bathroom.
"I can't reach the zipper," Anna said, leaning slightly against the wall.
"I'll get it," Carter said, dropping the towels on the bed and moving behind her. He began to unhook the top of the gown but was interuppted by her weak voice.
"I'm sorry you aren't doing this under more romantic circumstances," she laughed to herself nervously as Carter chuckled. Anna felt him unzip the spoilt dress and let it fall down around her, she stepped out of it and was enveloped by a deep, soft towel and his arms.
He didn't mention the scratch marks on her back and the early signs of bruising on her arms, Carter just wanted to make sure she was warm again before he started to ask her about Max.
Without warning he picked her up off her feet and sat her on the bed. Sitting beside her, Carter picked up another towel and started to dry her hair gently with it, first washing her smeared makeup off with a warm flannel from the wash basin.
Carter paused for a moment as Anna wriggled out of her underwear and stockings, "God that feels better."
He smiled, continuing to dry her hair, "Being wet and cold isn't pleasant."
"Hmm, you look like a wet rat too," Anna answered as she picked up a towel and began to dry his hair at the same time. She watched him laugh.
Anna smiled, "A handsome wet rat, a hamster maybe."
"Thanks!" Carter replied, pretending to be offended. They both laughed.
Neither of them talked for a long time, as they concentrated on getting each other to stop shivering.
Anna looked into Carter's eyes and took a deep breath, "I saw Max tonight."
Carter watched her face, "I know, Maggie saw him earlier."
"He went back," Anna explained. She took another breath, "He didn't hurt me...we sorted things out before he did anyway...the problem was that I haven't been truthful to you."
Carter's eyes fell, "Oh."
"I promised you I'd never leave you Carter, you don't have to look so worried."
Carter breathed out, "What's the matter?"
Anna swallowed and reached for his hand, "Max got hooked on Perocet because someone shot him in the shoulder, about five years ago...I should have told you really-"
"It doesn't matter," Carter said, rubbing her hand.
"It does, it does, because I made you feel sorry for me because of Max's addiction-"
Carter shook his head, "It didn't give him the right to treat you that way, Anna."
"I know, I just feel I should have told you."
"Did he get shot in Philly?"
Anna coughed, "No...that's what I should have told you, Carter. He got shot by a Serb sniper in a UN hospital in Bosnia, they were after the Croat child he was treating; it was terrible."
Carter raised his eyebrows, "You were there?"
"Yeah, I followed Max out of there in the summer after my third year of med school. I thought I was being adventurous, helping out old Uncle Sam, but all it left me were nightmares. I nearly gave up pediatrics after that. Chicago was a new life for me, away form Max and the memories - and I found you, and if those years I spent with Max had one virtue, it's that they brought us together."
Even now, Anna was close to tears at the thought of what a terrible mess she had been in for all those years. She promised herself to tell Carter more about what happened to her in Bosnia, but at the moment she was too exhausted to go through it all again.
"Thank you for telling me," Carter said, kissing her head. "It must have been like awful, I can see how Dr. Kovac was affected by it. I'm glad that I know what you've been through."
"I love you," Anna said, bursting into tears all of a sudden.
"Hey," Carter drew her next to him and gave her a kiss on the lips, an innocent, trusting kiss. "I love you too."
They sat there together, for ages just appreciating each other's closeness, until Anna drew away quickly, wiping her tears with a bath towel.
"Do you hear that?" Anna asked running to the bathroom.
"What?" Carter called from the bedroom.
"The tub's overflowing!"
Carter ran over into the bathroom, "No it's not-"
Anna grinned as she pushed him into the jacuzzi bath, watching as the bubbles spilt over the lip of the tub onto the tiled floor and laughed at Carter madly scrambling to the surface, his evening shirt so wet it was transparent.
"Not fair," Carter spluttered as he waded to the side of the bath on his knees.
"Hey!" Anna giggled as he grabbed her towel off her, she knelt down opposite him on the floor and pointed her index finger at him, "Who do you think you are, mister?"
Carter grinned back at her as he picked her up and let her fall into the tub next to him, sending water flying into the air, "Mr Carter thought Mrs Carter should get in the tub before anyone sees her with no clothes on."
Anna spat a stream of soapy water into his face as she climbed into his arms, pulling his bowtie off and giving him a kiss. "Mrs Carter thinks Mr Carter has an unfair majority of the clothes in this tub."
Carter's arms tightened around her waist, drawing her closer. They smiled at each other for a while before Carter spoke, "I love you, Anna."
"I love you too, John," Anna replied as he suddenly gave her a passionate kiss, ducking them under the suds.
No-one knows why
But oh, the thrill of it all
You're on the ride
You might as well
Open your eyes
Hope you liked