*rinnng... rinnng... rinnng...*
"What the... 'lo?"
"Did I wake you up?"
"Umm... sort of, yeah."
"Don't worry, I was planning to get up in a few, uh, minutes anyway. How are you?"
"Pretty good. Just catching up on some journals. There's an interesting article in this month's Annals about the adverse effects of the concurrent use of midazolam with nitrous oxide in children."
" 's nice."
"I should let you go back to sleep. You sound tired."
"Nonononono, it's okay, Kerry, I just need some coffee. Where are my -– aaaigghh!"
"What? Are you okay?"
"Floor's cold. Ah, that's better."
"I'll bet you have on bunny slippers."
"You are so wrong."
"Um... Kermit the Frog."
"Someone at the hospital once gave me a pair of Grinch slippers for Christmas. Anonymously, of course."
*flush-whoosh* "Do you wear them?" *splash splash splash screee*
"Donated them to Goodwill."
"A very Grinchy thing to do."
"Hey, I gotta reputation to protect."
"That is without doubt the worst Godfather impression I've ever heard."
"That's because it was supposed to be Tony Soprano."
"I 'i'n't 'ow -– 'ang on." *spit swish gargle* "I didn't know you watched TV. Hell, I didn't know you even owned a TV. God, my hair is a mess."
"I didn't, until I started renting out my basement. Had to get cable in for my tenants, so I figured I might as well buy a TV myself. There's only a handful of shows I bother to watch."
"Obviously 'The Sopranos.' What else -– no, let me guess. Discovery Channel documentaries?"
" 'Life in the ER'?"
"Too much like work, except that they never run out of supplies or worry about funding."
"True. 'Antiques Roadshow'?"
"Never miss it."
"Me either. It's like furniture porn. How about 'This Old House'?"
" 'The New Yankee Workshop' is better."
"Norm Abram is my hero. I lust after his workshop."
"So the way to a woman's heart is through woodworking tools?"
"Mine, at least. There's this new laser-guided router I've had my eye on at Home Depot for a while now."
"Seriously. I built my bookshelves. My dining table, too, though you probably didn't get a good look at that the other day."
"No. I was too blinded by the horror of your front hall. What are you going to do with all that stuff, anyway?"
"I'm not really sure. I'm a little leery of throwing it out. I'd hate to think of it lying in some landfill for hundreds of years because eventually someone's going to accidentally uncover it and then they're going to need prolonged post-traumatic stress therapy. In the meantime it's sort of amusing for its shock value." *slurrp* "Ohhh..."
"World's best. I've got this Vietnamese thingie. You fill it with coarse grounds, pour boiling water over and let it drip directly into your cup, then you stir in a big glop of condensed milk. Heaven."
"I'll have to try that sometime. Listen, Kim, I wanted to tell you that I had a really good time last night."
"I did too, Kerry."
"Although I hope the manager at the Berghoff will let us come back someday."
"Probably. I don't think the waiter even really minded all that much. Those old guys have seen everything."
"It was the beer. That dark draft sort of sneaks up on you."
"Two pitchers in an hour isn't exactly sneaking. More like inviting someone to drop a sandbag while you point neon arrow signs at the target painted on top of your head."
"Well, it certainly put 'Tosca' in a whole new light for me; I'm a little surprised we didn't get kicked out of there, too. How did you get tickets, anyway? I thought the run was sold out."
"Friend of mine is an administrator at the Lyric Opera education department; she gets me comps when I ask for them."
"A friend. Like the friend who got you your house?"
"What are you saying?"
"Nothing. You do seem to have a lot of... friends."
"Kerry, I've been in Chicago for nearly six months; that's a pretty long time to establish a network."
"Sorry, I was thinking about when I'd been here six months. I barely knew anybody outside of the hospital. Except for Mr. Pritzker, my crazy neighbor, who insisted on my examining him every time he developed a new carbuncle."
"He was probably flirting. Maybe that was the only way he could think of to attract the attention of the pretty little redheaded doctor lady."
"By dropping his pants on my doorstep and showing me his 88-year-old ass?"
"Hey, for some people, that works."
"Don't you dare make me laugh, Kim Legaspi."
"You were about to go all broody on me."
"I'm Irish; I'm genetically programmed to be maudlin on occasion."
"Well, I'm Spanish-French-Polish-German, and if you go back far enough, there's even a little Filipino in the mix. A real mongrel."
"Nope. Back in 1565 a Spanish navigator named Miguel Lòpez de Legaspi conquered the Phillippines. Legaspi is now the capital of one of the provinces, and there are probably tens of thousands of Filipino Legaspis running around."
"We don't claim to be related. But it was a family joke when one of us kids came out dark-haired and brown-eyed instead of blond and blue: 'Yep, must be Miguel's.'"
" 'One of -– '... just how many kids are there?"
"Nine, counting a handful of steps."
"Good heavens. Where are you in the lineup?"
"Right in the middle. Classic screwed-up background for a psychiatrist. What about you?"
"You don't seem to be all that screwed-up."
"Oh, no you don't, Kerry Weaver. Tell me about your family."
"Not much to tell."
"Look, Kim, I was adopted when I was a baby. My adoptive parents died years ago. I never knew my birth parents. That's it, okay?"
"Oh. Oh... Kerry, I'm so sorry."
"Don't be. I'm not."
You going to tell me what I'm supposed to be feeling? I've had my whole life to work through any 'abandonment issues.' My parents were completely supportive about -– goddammit, are you taking notes?"
"Um... Not any more." *tchik* "How could you tell?"
"I heard scratching, and then you turned a page. And you just now put down your pen. Opening a case file on me, are you, Dr. Legaspi?"
"Not exactly." *sigh* "It's how I deal with things that are too complicated to comprehend immediately. I write them down and then analyze them to death."
"Keep that up with me, you'll wind up with a record longer than 'Gone with the Wind'."
"Whatevah shall Ah do with you, Kerry?"
"Please stop putting me under a microscope."
"I'll try. You realize that not being nosy goes completely against my nature, right?"
"Kerry, promise me something."
"Promise me that if you ever do want to talk about anything, you'll let me know. Okay?"
"So. Now that I've managed to put a damper on your good mood, what are you doing for the rest of the day?"
"Well, as soon as I finish with the journals, I need to start preparing for next quarter's budget review. After that I figured I'd go for a swim, then take a nap so I won't fall over during my shift tonight. Pretty typical Sunday routine. Real exciting, huh?"
"No less than I would expect."
"What, boring, plodding and predictable?"
"Try meticulous, disciplined and responsible. I overheard Romano the other day -– it's not like you can ignore the little troll, once he gets going. He was telling one of the Board members that since you took over, the ED has had its lowest mortality rate in over twenty years. And you've done it all with less than full staffing and consistently come in under budget. You should be proud, Kerry."
"Thank you, I am. But it's so frustrating sometimes, like being the only adult in a roomful of squabbling children."
"All right, now you are getting maudlin. I think I should make it up to you. Tell you what. When's your next shift after tonight?"
"You mean you haven't got my schedule down in your notes?"
"Kerry, I'm trying to date you, not stalk you."
"Oh, ha ha. When's your next shift?"
"I have the 3 to 11 on Tuesday."
"Perfect. So get a few good hours' sleep after you get off in the morning and come over for dinner tomorrow."
"You can cook."
"Are you kidding? I've been cooking since I was eight. That many kids in the family, we all had to take turns, even if it was only PBJs from the little ones."
"I'd like to hear about them."
"You will. I've got so many stories about them that you'll probably wish I had been orphaned. So you'll come over?"
"Doesn't matter; I'll cut out early. You emergency docs are always bitching about how easy Psych has it, I might as well live down the reputation."
"Can I bring anything?"
"Nope. Except maybe an overnight bag."
"Kerry? I'm not pushing. Just think about it."
"Okay, I will. Think about it. Goodbye, Kim. I'll see you tomorrow."
"Smooth, Legaspi, real smooth. Damn it. I think I love her."