Title: Good Things Happen....
Summary: This one shot is inspired by a comment made by Brenner to Neela during 15:10 The High Holiday. It inspires her to make changes in not only her career but her personal life as well. Reela.
Author's Notes: This story will take place right after the episode ended when Neela and Morris left the NICU. Brenner's comment to Neela, 'Good things happen when you take a chance', was very telling and hopefully will send her towards a certain former roommate. In this story, it does.
Disclaimer: The characters in this story belong to John Wells Productions, Warner Brothers and NBC.
Neela walked out of the NICU with Morris and they parted ways as he got into the elevators and she went into the surgical lounge. When she got there, what Simon had said to her earlier went through her mind.
'Good things happen when you take a chance.'
She thought about putting her patient in a cab to go to another hospital and giving her a chance to stay with her baby. It had felt good trying to help Gloria and her husband and keep them from being separated.
It had also made her think of Ray and how much she missed him. She really hadn't spoken to him since before Thanksgiving when he had told her about his girlfriend, it had hurt too much to think about him being involved with somebody else. Neela had a feeling Ray had talked to Morris and that was why he hadn't called her since then as well.
There was Simon and she knew he still was attracted to her despite the fact he was dating other women but she didn't see him that way. Neela couldn't turn to him in an effort to take her mind off of the man she really wanted. It wouldn't be fair to Simon and she would just be repeating the same patterns she always had when things turned to crap in her life.
Neela pulled out her cellphone, looked up the numbers on her memory and dialed Ray's number. She waited as it rung several times until his voice came over the phone.
"Merry Christmas, Roomie."
"Merry Christmas, Ray. How are you doing?"
"I'm good. In fact, I have some news to tell you."
Neela heard people talking in the background and she realized that he was at a party. She felt a sense of dread at the thought he might be with his girlfriend's family again.
"Are you at a party?"
"Oh yeah, it's the Christmas party at the hospital where I work at. Let me step out of the room."
Neela waited a few seconds before Ray started to speak again, this time in a place that was quieter than where he was before.
"Okay. So what is this news you wanted to tell me?"
"They are transferring my residency to Johns Hopkins so I can help out more with that program I was telling you about."
"The one with injured soldiers and veterans?"
"What does your girlfriend think about you moving to DC?"
"I'm not seeing her anymore."
Neela felt happy at what he had just told her and had to fight not to let him hear it in her voice. She took a breath before responding to his statement.
"Our trip to Georgia didn't work out the way I thought it would and it was over not long after that. So how are you doing with the lawsuit?"
"Lucien just told me that the judge threw the case out of court. It's over. How did you find out?"
"Archie told me after he called me and told me that you were planning to come and see me on Thanksgiving until you found out I was leaving town with Leah. I figured that you didn't want to talk to me so that is why I haven't called you lately."
"I was very disappointed to find out about your girlfriend because I really did want to come and see you."
"What made you call me tonight?"
"I treated a patient tonight that really got to me. She was pregnant and the INS was going to deport her. We did an ultrasound and found that the baby had a mass on his neck. We did a c-section and had to trach him. The INS was going to take and put her in detention the next morning, speparating her from her baby and putting her at risk for all kinds of infections."
"That sounds bad."
"I didn't bloody like what they were going to do to Gloria, her husband and their baby but I didn't want to do anything to risk my career because of the lawsuit. Ironically enough it was Simon Brenner who gave me some good advice. He told me, 'Good things happen when you take a chance'."
"I may not have liked him when I first met him on Halloween but it sounds like what he said made sense. What did you do about your patient?"
"I put her in a cab to take her to another hospital with insructions to her care. Hopefully the INS will leave her alone and she and her husband can be together with their baby."
"It sounds like the self rightous pain in the ass is back."
Neela smiled as she remembered their conversation in the elevator as they were taking a cheerleader up to surgery. He had told her she had a moral code that made her a self rightous pain in the ass but it was one of the best things about her.
"Yes she is. I am going to take Simon's advice in other aspects of my life as well. I need to tell you something Ray and I don't want you to say anything until I finish speaking."
"I miss you.
"I miss you too, Neela."
"Sorry. Go ahead and finish what you were going to say."
"I think I have missed you from the moment I moved out of our apartment. The year that we didn't speak to each other was the hardest time of my life, even worse than after Michael died. All I have done since the night I left is miss you. Even when I was seeing Tony, in the back of my mind I wanted you. It bloody pissed me off to see you with Katey and there were moments when all I wanted to was rip her hair out. Especially my first day back at the hospital after my accident and she got an attitude with me during a trauma, all of over the fact she blamed me for what happened to you."
"I know. She called me after your argument, pissed off that I was writing to you and ignoring her. The conversation didn't end very well and I haven't talked to her since."
"Ray, would you object if I found a position at either Johns Hopkins or somewhere in at general area?"
"That is up to you, Neela but what about County?"
"There is nothing left for me here in Chicago, Ray. I feel like I need to make a fresh start somewhere else and I want it to be with you." She hesitated for a second before she finally said what she had been wanting to say to him for years. "You told me that you fell in love with me right before you left Chicago. What I didn't say was that I fell in love with you, too."
There was silence on the other end of the phone and Neela felt her heart sink at the thought that he might not feel the same. Tears filled her eyes as he started to speak and was coming up with a reason to end the phone call when what he said took her by surprise.
"I still love you, Neela but the choice to come to Baltimore is yours. I can't make it for you."
"I will talk to Anspaugh, Dubenko and even Dr. Banfield in the ER about it and I will let you know what happens."
"Okay. I better go, my Chief Resident is motioning that he wants to talk to me."
"Okay. I love you."
"I love you too. Merry Christmas, roomie."
"Merry Christmas, Ray."
"I'll call you tomorrow."
She hung up her phone and walked out of the lounge to join the party. Simon saw her from where he was talking to Banfield and her husband, Russell and he smiled at her. Neela returned it before she walked over to where Dubenko was standing. He was drinking his virgin eggnog and watching the people who were dancing at the party.
"May I speak to you for a minute, Lucien?"
"I want to see what I have to do to transfer my residency to Johns Hopkins or any other hospital in Baltimore."
Lucien was in shock for a minute before he finally glanced at Neela with a shocked and questioning look on his face.
"Is this about how hard I have been on you lately or the lawsuit?"
"No, Lucien. This is about taking a chance for once in my life and being happy."
Lucien stared at her before realization came into his eyes and he started to understand what she was talking about.
"Who are you following to Baltimore? I hope it is not Brenner."
"No. He and I are only friends and that is how it is going to stay. This is about Ray. He has started a residency in PM&R and when he was up here on Halloween, he told me about the injured soldier task force that he was apart of. They are transfering his residency to Johns Hopkins and I am going to join him as soon as I get my residency transferred to either the same hospital he is at or one in the area."
"I should have realized that you had feelings for him. I can remember a conversation a few years ago when we were at a conference and you told me that all you wanted to do was hangout with your roommate. It wasn't long after that you moved into Abby's apartment. You were falling for him, even back then when you were married to your husband, weren't you?"
"Yes. I tried to deny it but I'm tired of running from my feelings for him and it's time I stopped pushing him aside. I thought I had lost him when he met someone else and went with her to Georgia for Thanksgiving but it didn't work out so I now have another chance. I'm not going to waste it this time."
"I understand. I will help you out as much as I can and I would also speak to Anspaugh and maybe Dr. Banfield could help out. I think she used to work at Johns Hopkins so she might be able to talk to someone there. I would hate to lose you but I do understand."
"Thank you, Lucien."
She smiled at him and walked away to the sight of Brenner standing near her. From the look on his face, he had overheard most of her conversation.
"So who were you lying to the most when you told me that you and Ray were only friends?" Me or yourself?"
"Me. I'm sorry, Simon. I know you want more from me than friendship but that is all it can ever be. I'm in love with someone else."
"I understand. Good luck on finding a job in Baltimore and Ray is a lucky man."
"No, Simon. I think I'm the lucky one in the fact that I finally told him how I felt about him and that it wasn't too late. I know that you don't want to hear this but it was actually your advice about Gloria that made me decide to call him. Thank you, Simon. You have become a very good friend to me but that is all it can ever be between us."
Neela turned and left the party, going to check on her patients before she went home.
Three months later,
Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport
Ray was waiting at the gate where Neela's flight from Chicago was going to let off its passengers. He was anxious to see Neela and hold her, that way he would know that it's real. They are finally going to be together.
She had came to visit him for New Years and they had spent a couple of days together. He had introduced her to his friends and family and she had become reacquainted with his mom, Jacy.
They had become closer than ever and had talked about everything that they hadn't on Halloween. She had admitted to sleeping with Simon Brenner on the day Pratt had died but had told him it never happened again. It was a moment a bad judgement on her part and the only reason she told him about it was so they could be completely honest with each other.
She had gotten her residency transferred to Johns Hopkins in their surgical department and it seemed like she was going to be happy there. She had gotten along great with the Chief Of Surgery, Dr. Ramsey and the other woman had been impressed with her after their interview a month before, the last time they had seen each other.
Ray was pulled out of his thoughts by the sight of a group of people walking out of the gate and he anxiously started to look for Neela. It wasn't long until he saw her walking out towards him with a loving smile on her face. She went into his arms as they held each other and shared a sweet and tender kiss before they left the airport, going to his apartment to start their new life together.