The Fastest Year

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The Fastest Year

Thanks to ChinaCat, jackie, and Wing Chun.

Previously on ER: Chuny interrupted Kerry and Mark's bickering to say that Samantha Sobriki had showed up in response to a phone message from Lucy Knight; an overworked Luka asked Romano when Kerry would return, and Romano implied that she might not return at all; Carter overreacted to Pablo's knocking over an equipment tray, and Carol demanded, "What's the matter with you?"; Holling freaked out when Mark brought home a port-a-potty for him; a stranger in Magoo's mistook Luka, Carol, and the twins for a "beautiful family," and Luka made a "yikes!" face, and Carol made a "whatever" face.

Fade up on the Greenehouse. Mark "Unfavorite Son" Greene nags David "Holling" Greene to keep a thermometer in his mouth. Back-and-forth about biting down on the thermometer. Mark listens to Holling's chest, and after more grousing from Holling, Mark announces that it "sounds like pneumonia," and that they'll have to go to the hospital and have Holling's chest x-rayed. Holling asks if they "have to," and Mark asks if Holling has something better to do, and Holling remarks in a hopeful voice that it's Sunday and he thought maybe they could "go to church." Mark snorts, "Yeah, right," and says Holling has a temperature of 101. "Big deal," Holling scoffs good-naturedly, and Mark takes his pulse and gives him an exasperated look.

Cut to the ambulance bay doors swinging shut behind "County" Kerry Weaver, back from suspension. Randi greets her, and Robert "Shad" Romano turns when he hears Kerry's name and greets her also, and as she heads for the lounge, he follows her and hopes aloud that a few weeks off "was long enough for [her] to rethink some of [her] professional choices." Kerry turns the question around on him: "Was a few weeks long enough for you to get buried down here, [what] with Mark taking extra time off?" Romano denies that he got buried and says he loves getting "up-close and personal with [his] troops," then points out that Kerry didn't answer his question. Kerry hangs up her coat and says flatly that she doesn't intend to. Good for Kerry. Romano comes over to her locker with his cup of coffee and says he'll interpret her decision to return to work as a "yes," and adds that he didn't appoint her chief so that she could turn "all soft and mushy" on him. She says she knows that. Romano reminds her that he can just as easily "unappoint" her, should she choose not to uphold the standards of the emergency department; she says with growing impatience that she knows that too. "Well then, top of the morning to you," Romano says, leaving the lounge, and Kerry punctuates his departure by slamming her locker door.

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