I'm technically proficient

...despite certain attitude issues

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I need help [RP for Lee] (spoilers for tonight's ER)
standing in the elevator
lockhart_md
After a strangely jarring conversation with the new hospital chaplain, Abby finds herself taking the elevator upstairs, to the surgical department. Making her way to her husband's office, she waffles outside the door, pacing, stalling.

It's not until she sees one of the surgical nurses casting a curious look in her direction that she knocks softly on the door, then pushes it open. She takes a deep breath, running her fingers through her hair, and lets the door close behind her as she steps into Lee's office.

She begins to speak but has to clear her throat before she tries again.
Hey...how's the leg feeling? She approaches her husband slowly, gesturing to his injured leg.

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She nods as they reach the car. Need help here?

If you can get the door? He asks, fairly confident he can handle things from there.

She uses her keys to unlock the car, then opens the passenger side door for him, waiting by the door for him to get in.

He sits sideways in the seat as he places the crutches behind him it he back seat of the car, hopeful that after a day or two he won't need them. Turning around and pulling on his seat belt, Lee looks at her. Thanks.

She nods and makes sure he's settled before closing his door and rounding the car to the driver's side. She slips in and fastens her own seatbelt before pulling out of the parking space. She's conscious of the fact that they'd left a conversation hanging in the elevator, but she's not sure how to bring the subject up again, or even if she should.

He'd like to continue their conversation, would really like to understand why she never comes to him when she needs help, but he doesn't know if he should push her right now. Instead he studies the passing scenery as they head home.

She takes her cue from him, keeping her eyes on the road, her mind on the tasks she'll have when they arrive home. The radio had been playing when she started the car, and she flips through the stations at random, distractedly.

He finally reaches over and puts his hand on hers, stilling the channel surfing. Is it me that you don't think you can rely on, or everyone in general?

She returns her hand to the steering wheel, gripping tightly. What?

You don't need me, or want to need me, whatever. Amounts to the same thing, doesn't it? He can't look at her as he speaks, afraid of how she's going to reply. You never come to me when things are hard, you want to do it on your own. I don't understand why. Why you didn't want me there when your father was dying. Why you wouldn't tell me you wanting a drink...do you think I'm incapable of being any help?

I need you. I *need* you. She swallows, not knowing how to tell him that, were it not for him and Lily, she may not even be trying right now. Doesn't know how to admit it to herself, even. I need you to help me with this. But you can't do it for me, Lee. It doesn't work that way.

I know I can't do this for you. He sounds bitter. But it didn't have to get to this either. You could have let me be there for you when you went to Texas. You could have told me what was going on when you came home. You could have said you needed help then. You never talk to me about things, not the important things.

Stopped at a stoplight, she turns to face Lee, though she can barely look at him. I shouldn't *need* help staying sober. Do you know what this is like? I should be able to do this...I hate this. She looks back at the road as the light changes and she pulls away from the intersection. I'm...ashamed of this, of me. Her voice is quiet, she almost hopes he doesn't hear her.

He hears her, doesn't agree with what she's saying but he hears her. But you can't. Why can you talk to your AA sponsor and people at meetings but not me?

She grips the steering wheel so tightly her knuckles turn white; all she hears is 'you can't' and it hurts, even though it's true. Because they know. They understand what it's like to fight with yourself like this, to want something so badly you should never want... She feels uncomfortably exposed; hopes she's not crying.

I'm your husband...Hands move through his hair in frustration. He doesn't know how to make her understand that he needs to be let in sometimes, that this being shut out of her life hurts him in ways he can't even describe. How am I supposed to be married to an alcoholic, be supportive of your attempts to stay sober if you won't even talk to me about it? When I said this wasn't you, I meant it. It's not the you I know because you never let me see you. You shut me out.

I don't want you to know this part of me! You shouldn't have to! She's surprised herself with the sudden outburst, swipes at her eyes as she turns onto their street.

He's relieved that they are nearly home, this conversation getting too heated to have in the car. For better or for worse, Abby! I married you for better or for worse. I didn't only marry the part of you that I like...I married the whole person.

You didn't sign up for this, Lee. I know you didn't. She, on the other hand, is dreading being home.

What I didn't sign up for was you excluding me from your life, I thought all of this bullshit would stop once we were married. To him this isn't just about her falling off the wagon. I told you long before we were together that I didn't judge you for being an alcoholic. I was glad you were honest with me about it. But maybe that's how you like it, being honest with strangers instead of the people who love you.

She parks in their driveway but makes no move to get out of the car. What does that even mean, Lee? I'm more honest with you than I've ever been to anybody else. Ever.

Sure. Honest about the fact that you won't discuss things with me. He unfastens his seatbelt but otherwise makes no move to exit the car. I thought you wanted to spend your life with me. But you don't. You want to keep part of yourself completely separate. Anything that deals with you being less than perfect you don't want me to have any part of...and I hate that. I hate it.

Of *course* I want to spend my life with you! Me not wanting you to have to deal with this shit has *nothing* to do with wanting to spend my life with you! I hate it too, you know that? I wish this wasn't me, Lee. I do.

You don't want me to deal with an addiction you have? Always an addict, Abby, we both know the adage. He can't hide his contempt for her at the moment. You didn't want me to deal with your father dying. Your mother being bi-polar. What next? Should I ever run into your ex husband am I not allowed to talk to him? We do run in similar circles after all. Anything else I'm not allowed to know about? Some other facet of your life you want to keep me out of?

I want to protect you from this because I *love* you! She doesn't understand how he can't see that.

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