ER
Four Corners

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Heathen: C | Grade It Now!
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Four Corners

Peter suits up and heads to trauma one, in which Zombie now lies. He's stunned to learn that she jumped the four storeys while waiting for her consult, and swiftly assumes control of the situation from a blood-soaked Kerry. He orders a chest tube and a milligram of atropine, suspecting a case of pericardiocentesis -- which absolutely would have been my diagnosis, had I ever gone to medical school. Peter commences compressions to revive her flagging pulse, but with blood seeping into her pericardium -- the sac encasing her heart -- it looks bleak. Luka prepares to tell Leona that Zombie is dead, but Peter isn't ready to call it yet because, if he does, he'll have to go pay attention to his niece again, and he's not interested enough in her life. Luka insists that Zombie is moments from death, quietly exiting to find Leona. Abby and Haleh yank Benton's attention back to the patient, who is in asystole -- her heart is fast losing the ability to force blood through her body, and she's all but officially toast. Haleh looks sad. Benton pumps her chest a few more times, then resignedly calls the time of death as 12:17.

At night, having apparently donated one thought to his sister's plight, Peter strolls casually toward her garage. Jackie is clearing the whole thing out and donating to the Salvation Army; the whole process has the distinct air of a forced distraction from deeper problems. Benton makes a lame stab at excusing his visit. "I came by for...a snow shovel," he offers, then shakes his head at the silly falsehood and confesses that he's checking up on her because he knows she's unemployed. "We'll just have to wait to extend that porch," she non-sequiturs. Peter is confused. "Thought it was time for a change," explains his sister. "Walt took some pictures of the back yard that we could draw on, make plans...When I went to pick up the prints, I found three pictures of Jesse left on the roll. Fell apart right in the store." She weeps for the cruel loss of a young life, and for a son frozen in time at age fifteen, unable to grow and change and mature. Sitting dejectedly on the hood of her car, Jackie whispers, "You think every day you're getting a little better, getting through it. And then you're right back to the day it happened." Peter listens intently, sensing her desperate need to speak unchecked. "He's still my baby, Peter," she finishes. "I'm supposed to take care of him. I feel like somewhere, sometime, he's going to be sad or cold or scared. Who's taking care of him? Who's being his mother?" During her final speech, Benton sits beside her and wraps his arm around her neck, letting her lean on him.

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