(For Prompted Quill - Five times your character fell in love and one time they didn't)
Five Times Dixie Dunsbi Fell In Love At County General....
Robert "Rocket" Romano
"It's raining." Robert Romano announced as they stepped out of the bar where they'd spent the last two hours drinking Bailey's Irish Creme and reminiscing. "Let me drive you home."
"It's just a two streets down," Dixie smiled. "No need to go through the trouble. I won't melt, you know."
"Maybe not, but I'll feel like a huge ass if I don't make sure you get home safely."
Three hours ago Dixie wouldn't have believed that County's Chief of Staff and head surgeon would care about someone getting home safely. Now, however, she'd seen a different side of him and she rather liked it. The doctors in the ER would say she was crazy, but running into him at the bar where she'd gone to mourn her father over his favorite drink had been the best thing that could've happened on this cold, unusually mild Father's Day.
"Okay," She gave in with a shy smile.
They made small talk on the way over to her apartment, including an observation from Romano that the crime had been increasing in the neighborhood she lived in. Dixie made an observation in return that crime was increasing all over Chicago. And then they were in front of the brick building she called home.
"I don't know how to thank you," A light, happy laugh came from her as she watched the rain beat hard on the windshield. "I would've been drowned if I had walked."
"Thank me by letting me take you out to dinner tomorrow night."
She blushed once again, not surprised he was angling for a date with her. He'd been in trouble a few times for sexual harrasement at the hospital. But when she turned to look at him, his face was soft and beautifully sincere. Then he leaned over and kissed her lips very tenderly.
When they parted, she was the color of a tomato and he gave her the most adorable little boy grin she'd ever seen on a man.
"My shift ends at four." Dixie nodded. "Anytime after six would be perfect for me."
"Dixie." The voice came out of the darkness as Dixie slowly came to on a gurney in the on-call room. She squinted in the darkness, seeing the face of Mark Greene looming into focus. There was a slight glare from the computers reflecting in his glasses, but she could see he was excited.
"C'mon..." He nudged her gently. "I want to show you something..."
She glanced at her watch and saw she'd only been asleep for about twenty minutes. Considering she had gotten roped into pulling a double shift anyone else would've been told not to bug her for anything short of an emergency. However, Mark Greene was not anyone else in Dixie's heart at all.
"Mark, if this is something a kid crammed up his nose..." She yawned as she sat up and slid off the gurney.
"It's much better then that." He smiled proudly. "And it's for you."
"Uh-huh..." Mark took her hand and led her out to the ambulance bay. In a less tired state she might have noticed the fact he was holding her hand more, but through her tiredness she did notice the cold as he led her outside. She opened her mouth to protest, and then she noticed the huge, white flakes falling from the sky.
"I thought you'd want to see it." Mark smiled at her sweetly.
Dixie held her hands out and laughed as the flakes fell into her open palms, stinging as the cold met her warm skin. She hadn't seen snow in fifteen years. It reminded her of Christmas back on the dairy farm in Virginia where she had spent the first thirteen years of her life happily being a country girl.
When she turned to Mark, her face was glowing. "It's beautiful, isn't it?"
"So are you," Mark replied, wrapping his arms around her to ward off the chill. "So are you."
"You deserve better," Luka Kovac said in a low, firm voice as his large fingers gently traced the bruise on Dixie's cheek. It had healed alot in the past week she'd been staying with him, but it was far from faded. "And you deserve more..."
Dixie hung her head in shame. A week ago Luka had found her nearly passed out on the couch in the lounge after the man she'd been dating had beaten her badly. She didn't call him her boyfriend. She held no affection for the man, in fact she hated him, but she was also terrified of him. Once Luka found out what was going on, he immediatly took Dixie in, bringing her to stay with him and promising to protect her from the man, a specialist at the hospital no less.
Luka's hand moved from her cheek to chin, gently tipping her face up to look at him. He bent down and captured her lips in his, kissing her softly but with a fiery passion beneath it. She closed her eyes and melted into the kiss, her arms wrapping around his neck as their tongues collided, unable to keep things soft and innocent. They both had wanted this since the first night, when he'd gotten into bed with her to soothe her through a nightmare.
He steered her towards that same bed now, and she willingly followed him. Clothing began to disappear, piece by piece, Luka gently kissing and caressing each new bit of her skin revealed. Not only was her arousal building with each moment, but she felt like he was healing her, inside as well as outside. He laid her back against the pillows, covering her naked body with his and beginning to love her.
This wasn't just sex, it truly was making love. Their eyes remained in contact and she felt an emotional intimacy like nothing she'd ever felt with a man before. At the height of their passion, Luka pressed his hand to her face again, whispering breathily. "Volim Te..."
An explosion of pleasure kept Dixie from asking what that term meant, and she didn't start to really think about it until she was comfortably snuggled in Luka's arms enjoying the afterglow. She assumed it was Croatian in origin, and the fact their love making had induced him to speak his native tongue in the heat of the moment made her feel sort of wobbly inside.
"What does it mean?" She whispered to him, not sure she wanted to know and have it mean something that would crush the warm feeling inside. "Volim Te?"
"It means," Luka gave a bashful, handsome little boy smile. "I love you."
And she believed him.
First impressions were generally the strongest and Dixie would never forget the first time she'd met Lucien Dubenko. The short, bespectacled surgeon with curly hair and puppy dog brown eyes was giving a lecture to some residents. He started writing a formula out on a white board, and when he ran out of room he kept writing the theorum out on the wall with his black sharpie. Weaver just about had heart failure later.
From that moment on, she had a bondafide crush on him. Several weeks later Dixie was sitting at the nurses station doing charts in the middle of the night. The ER was dead for a change and she was catching up from the rush of patients they'd seen earlier. The quiet was nice, but she was also starving to death. Morris and Ray had went across the street to get something to eat and they wouldn't be back for awhile. They would be able to hear if an ambulance came up, so they would undoubtedly be little boys playing hookey for as long as possible.
"Looks pretty dead around here."
Dixie couldn't help but smile at the sound of Dubenko's voice as she looked up from her charts. "If it stays that way for another hour or two I might be able to finish all these charts before the shift change."
It was then she noticed that Dubenko had a paper bag in his hands. Her eyes went up to his curiously, wondering if it was some sort of sample or other medical paraphenalia. He smiled at her shyly and opened the bag, setting a half dozen white chinese food cartons of different sizes on the desk before her.
"I..I was thinking you might be hungry..." He stammered awkwardly. "And Abby told me you love Chinese food." A little smile crossed his face. "And that you're single. So I don't, ah, have to worry about your boyfriend beating me up, right?"
Dixie looked at him for a moment, blushing a little as a happy laugh escaped her. "Well, Abby was right on both counts. I do love Chinese food and I am single."
Dubenko pulled up a chair beside hers and produced paper plates and plastic flatware. He picked up the cartons one by one and loaded up their plates. Dixie watched him the whole time with a smile. It was one of the most considerate things a man had done for her since, well, she honestly couldn't remember.
"This was very sweet," She smiled at him as he handed her a plate. Taking a bite of egg foo young she sighed contently. "God, that's good. I haven't eaten since noon."
"I hear the south in your accent...but I'm not sure where you're from." Dubenko studied her over the chow mein. "West Virginia, maybe?"
"Very close," Dixie nodded. "Virginia proper. My father had a dairy farm."
"It's hard to picture someone as pretty as you milking cows."
She laughed. "There's alot you don't know about me. Alot of it would surprise you, I think."
"I'd like to know everything about you. Anything about you." He smiled at her awkwardly, making it obvious to her that he didn't have a clue what he was doing when it came to trying to woo the opposite sex. "Do...do...do you like
The flu had hit County General's staff hard that year, as it had most of Chicago. Almost every doctor in the ER succumbed, usually in groups of two or three, and everyone else had to work harder to take up the slack. Of course, the longer hours and tired bodies left the doctors still standing more vulnerable and each wave of sick doctors seemed to go down harder. Dixie was one of the last to come down with the virus. Being ER Chief now it was important to her that she be at the head of the crisis and keep things running as smoothly as possible. Along with the County staff the restof of Chicago was suffering from the flu outbreak as well and they needed to tend to their patients.
The day before she had come down with the flu, but she trudged into work anyways that morning. Within two hours she went down right while she was debriefing the new shift in front of the board. Not the most chiefly thing to do, but she allowed Morris to help her into the uncall for a small rest. When she got back on the floor she went down within ten minutes the second time. On top of that she couldn't keep anything down and Morris coaxed her to let him put her on IV fluids before she became more dehydrated.
Archie Morris was now the senior attending in the ER, which anyone who was there when he arrived five years ago would've found frightening. But despite still being obnoxious, immature and sometimes an all around dumbass, he'd matured into a wonderful doctor that Dixie counted on as her right hand man. They'd also become quite good friends over the years and had recently begun to date.
"Hey honey," He came into the room after Dixie had been down for two hours, feeling her forehead and checking her vitals and fiddling with her IV an it's almost empty saline bag. "Time for another?"
"I have to get home," Her eyes felt too heavy to open. "Maddie's sitter is already staying later then normal..."
By some miracle her five year old daughter had managed to only have a mild brush with the flu that lasted two days. Apparenlty she had her late father's strong constitution. Maddie herself had never known him and Dixie worked twice as hard at being a mother to make up for it.
"Alright," Morris declared after a moment's thought. "I'm going to take you home right now. And I'll make sure you get the rest you need."
Dixie felt too horrible to argue and merely nodded. The next few hours passed in a haze. She felt Morris disconnect her IV and guide her out to the car. Then they were back at her house and he was tucking her in under a thick stack of blankets. And then she only felt warmth and darkness. She wasn't sure how long she'd slept, but when she woke up next it was dark out. Her stomach had stayed in one place for awhile, and while she still felt like walking death, it seemed like she was going to be okay.
As she crawled out of bed and into the hallway she could hear Morris's voice coming from Maddie's room. The scene she saw when she peeked in made her heart melt. Morris was sitting on the bed with the little girl on his lap, reading her a bedtime story. Dixie watched as he used different voices for a conversation between two characters, much to little Madeline's delight.
"Mommy!" She called when she noticed Dixie in the doorway. "Come read with us!"
Dixie smiled and sat down next to Morris, resting her head on his shoulder and snuggling in close to him, putting her arm around Maddie. Morris was smiling happily and looked down at Dixie, placing a kiss on top of her head.
"And the first little pig said...." He began to read again.
And One Time She Didn't...
It had been almost fifteen years since she'd been on a horse and petting the velvet soft muzzle of the mare Carter had picked out for her to ride had been enough to bring tears to her eyes. He helped her up into the saddle, and for a brief moment she wondered if his gesture was friendly or more. And then the thought was gone, Dixie too overjoyed at being in the saddle again to worry about relationships.
All afternoon they talked and laughed together as Carter showed her around the massive grounds of his family's main home. He was a good rider, Dixie noticed, and he was boyishly handsome. He was also kind, caring, intelligent.... And then she realized she was seeing him in a different way. Maybe there was chemistry. Maybe there was a little flicker of flame between them that could develop into something more.
After they had both dismounted, Dixie and Carter were standing close together as the early summer sun sunk down into the trees and the light all around them went soft and purple. He turned to her, his brown eyes staring down into her green ones, and kissed her softly on the lips.
And at that moment Dixie knew her first impression had been right.
"John..." She blushed a little with embarrasment. "I've had a wonderful time, but I'd like it very much for us just to stay friends."
"Oh.." Carter seemed to blush a little bit too, and looked like he wanted to crawl into a hole in the ground. "Of course. That's fine. I'd like for us to be friends too."
And despite that awkward moment, they really did stay friends. Through her marriage to Romano and his trip to Africa. And when he returned to Chicago and built the Carter Center, Dixie was there to toast him after the opening ceremony. A friendship built on horses and watered with years of laughter and tears. Not a romantic relationship, but one worth it's weight in gold anyways.