Thank you to everybody who has reviewed this first chapter, I'm glad so many people have liked this story so far. This chapter will take place the next day and will move between Chicago and Baton Rouge as Brenner meets Julia, the intern that was played by Alexis Bledel in the finale, for the first time and Neela will meet her new coworkers at Lechatlier, among them the aunt of Ray's ex girlfriend, Jennifer, who will, at first, make things difficult for Neela.
It had been two days since Neela's last shift at County and Simon Brenner was walking into the ER to start his 9am shift. He'd had the previous day off and after his therapy session, had gotten some sleep after being awake all of the night before.
He was still dealing with the fact that Neela had left Chicago to be with Ray in Baton Rouge. It hadn't been a lie when he had told her at the airport that he wasn't ready for a relationship yet but it hurt to know she had moved on so quickly after breaking up with him. Sometimes it felt like Neela hadn't felt the same feelings for him that he had felt for her and that was another issue he would have to make peace with, along with what had happened to him as a child.
He walked into the locker room, to the sight of Archie and Claudia sharing a kiss before the young police officer left so she could go to work at the precinct. The argument the two of them had over her continuing to work after being shot a couple of weeks before forgotten.
Brenner walked past them and over to his locker, happy that they had worked things out between them but also feelings jealous of the two of them. Why is it everything was destined to work out for Archie and Claudia and not him and Neela? What did Ray Barnett have that he didn't? What was the hold that the other man had over her?
He had heard the stories of how they had been roommates for a year, half of their intern year and the other half of their second of their ER residencies. He had also heard about Neela's long distance relationship with Michael Gallant, a doctor who had been deployed to Iraq at the end of the his 1st year. The quickie marriage two years later, him going back to Iraq not even two months after the wedding, rumors of Neela and Ray sleeping together while her husband was gone, and her moving out of their apartment either because of them or as Simon suspected, she had fallen for her roommate while her husband was overseas fighting for his country. He had then heard for Chuny about Gallant's death, her rebound relationship with Tony Gates, and Ray's response to that, in a fit of jealousy, was to date Neela's med student, Katey. He had then heard about the very loud arguments that Ray and Neela had ended up having in front of everybody in the ER over their relationships with Tony and Katey. Then came the accident that had cost Ray both legs and the fact that Neela blamed herself for what had happened to cause him to be in the middle of the road in the first place.
Simon was pulled out of his thoughts by the sound of the door to the lounge closing. He looked over and saw Archie watching him and could see that the other man was worried about him.
"I'm fine, Archie. I wasn't ready for a relationship and Neela had to do what was best for her."
"I know and even though I'm happy for Ray and the fact that my friend, after all the pain his love for Neela has caused him, is getting a chance to be with the woman he loves, you are my friend too. I hate that you were hurt by this whole situation and were pulled into the drama that is Neela and Ray. Maybe things will calm down for not only them but you as well."
"Thank you for saying that, Archie. I know you are friends with Ray too and you shouldn't have to feel bad for being happy for your friend. I'm beginning to think that Neela was right, there is someone out there for both of us, someone more right than the two of were for each other."
"Well we better get out to admit, there is a new intern starting today and one of us will most and likely be assigned to show her around, to get her familar with how we do things around here."
Brenner grabbed his stethoscope and his lab coat before closing his locker door. He pulled out the coat and followed Archie out the door and walked up to admit. He stopped short at the sight of a young woman standing there beside Dr. Banfield. She had long ng dark hair that pulled away from her face and a slender build. She was lovely with tiny and delicate features and it took his breath away for a second. Dr. Banfield, who was covering rounds, started to speak so Simon focused on what she was saying and not the young woman standing beside her.
After she had went through all of the cases, she quietly spoke to the young woman at her side and then the both of them walked over to where Simon was standing. She smiled at the young woman and the attending before introducing them.
"Dr. Brenner this is Dr. Julia Wise, she will starting her internship today and I am assigning her to you. You are to show her around the ER and let her help out with your patients, at least until she feels comfortable enough to have her own."
"Of course." He turned to face Julia, who seemed to be watching him with an unreadable expression on her face. "Are you ready to get started, Dr. Wise?"
"Yes, I am."
The two of them walked away from the admit desk, going over to where a five year old girl was lying on a bed with a young woman at her side. Morris watched them for a second before exchanging a look with Banfield, who had a strange smile on her face before they each started to taking care of their own patients.
At the same time, Neela was walking into Lechatlier with Ray at her side, they were holding hands and giving each other loving glances. The night before, they hadn't gotten a whole lot of sleep, having spent most of the night getting lost in each other but neither one was tired. For the first time in a long time, both felt more alive than they ever had.
They could feel the eyes of the nurses, doctors and other people at the hospital watching them, most and likely questioning who the beautiful woman was with Dr. Barnett. Their questions would soon be answered and when some people, two in particular, found out, they wouldn't be happy about Neela coming to work there.
They both got into the elevator going up to the surgical floor where Neela was meeting Dr. Gavion, who would be showing her around and getting her acquainted with everybody she worked with. As the car got closer to it's destination, Ray could feel how nervous Neela was and he pulled her hand up to his lips, gently kissing it. She smiled at him, grateful for the fact that he was here to help her get used to this new place.
"Thank you for coming up to the surgical floor with me. I know you have appointments this morning that you will be late for but I'm glad that you are here."
"You're welcome. Besides I'm not going to hide the fact that we are together, Carrie and Jen can hate it all they want, but I'm not ashamed of what we have together, Neela."
"Neither am I and the two of them will bloody get over it because I'm not going anywhere. I'm in this with you for however long you want me."
"Then I guess you will never leave because I will always want you."
He leaned down and gently kissed her before the door to the elevator opened on the surgical floor. They pulled apart as the door opened and stepped out into the hall, walking up to the admit desk and still holding hands. Dr. Gavion was standing there, smiling as watched them because he was one of the few people who knew about Neela and her relationship with Neela.
An older woman in her late forties was standing there near him, her blond hair pulled back into a severe bun that didn't nothing for her appearance. She had an average build, was a few inches taller than Neela and had a plain face that was starting to have deep lines around her mouth and eyes. This was Carrie, the lead surgical nurse, and after seeing the look she was giving Ray, Neela knew that she hated him with a passion. When the other woman grabbed the phone and started to quickly calling someone, Neela knew the other woman was calling her niece.
"Hello, Dr. Gavion. Thank you for taking the time to help me get to know everybody I will be working with here," Neela said, before turning to Ray with a loving smile on her face. "I will be okay from here on out, Ray. I don't want you to keep your patients waiting for too much longer. I will call you later and let you know where my office is, we can meet there before going home."
"Okay. I love you."
I love you, too."
They shared a kiss in front of Dr. Gavion, who was smiled in wicked delight at the discomfort of the woman standing near him. He and Carrie had not gotten along since a long time before he had grabbed her niece's ass at the Christmas party and it gave him pleasure to see her so pissed off. Besides this young woman that Dr. Barnett was now romantically involved with made her niece Jennifer, who was a assistant for the Chief Of Staff, look like a plain jane in comparison. If he would have grabbed Dr. Rasgotra at that party, Dr. Barnett would have knocked him on his ass as well as pulling him off of her. He knew that whatever scheme Carrie and Jennifer came up with to try and break them up would drastically fail.
Ray walked away from Neela, who turned to face Dr. Gavion and was confused at the smile on her new boss' face. The look changed as he led her down the hall towards the conference room, where most of the surgical staff was waiting for them. She could feel Carrie come walking behind them and the glare the other woman was directing at her back.
'Well at least things won't be boring around here and this bloody bitch and her niece are about to find out just how much I will fight for Ray and our love for each other. The two of us have been through too much to let another person come between us and the future we deserve.' She thought to herself before stepping into the room to meet her new coworkers, particularly the residents she was going to be in charge of.
AN: The next chapter will deal with Carrie, Jennifer and their attitude towards Neela. Ray and Neela will also finally call Abby, who will make plans to visit them along with Luka and Joe. I will most and likely write about the events of I Feel Good and what I think led up to the video chat that took place during that episode, Joanie's relapse that caused Brenner's attitude and the aftermath.
I'm also introducing some tension in the next chapter or two between Sam and Neela over a video chat that deals with her past with Gates, the way she flipped flopped between Ray and Brenner, and it will be up to the men in their lives to put aside their own differences, with a great deal of help from Abby, and help them restore their friendship.
Brenner will also get closer to Julia but not without some difficulty, especially when she notices his lingering feelings for Neela, who wants to continue to be friends with him, to Ray's disgust and lingering jealousy at the fact she actually got involved with the other man. This won't break them up but it will cause some drama and angst between them for a little while. Brenner's past and his going to therapy over what happened to him will also cause him to be afraid to get involved with any woman.
Even though Abby and Luka are in Boston, Ray and Neela are in Baton Rouge and the others are still in Chicago, I'm still trying to weave all of them together where they are all still a part of each other's lives. If I am doing this wrong, leave me a review and give me constructive advice on how I can improve it. I will continue to write this as long as I have ideas for it.