“This is probably going to sound crazy, but I am almost sorry that there aren’t any more victims to treat.”

Doctor Ellen Burgess watched her companion press the button that would take their elevator to the eighth floor.  “Yes, it would sound crazy if I didn’t know what you meant.  It has been quite awhile since we’ve been in the thick of so much nonstop action.”  The couple rode in silence.  “Tomorrow this time we’ll be back in Port Charles, though.”

The elevator doors slid open onto their destination.  Doctor Matt Harmon effortlessly maneuvered his wheelchair up to the hotel room door and swiped the plastic key card through the lock.  “We don’t have to be,” Matt suggested hopefully.  He allowed Ellen to precede him into the room.  “We don’t have to return to Port Charles in the morning.  We can stay here and make this our honeymoon.”

Matt pretended not to see the way Ellen stiffened at his suggestion.  He didn’t think she was even aware of her reaction every time Matt so much as hinted at making their relationship more permanent.

“I promised Alan that I would be back by the eighth.  That’s two days from now,” Ellen said.

“If it’s not your interns or the timing, then it’s your promise to Alan Quartermaine… It’s always one excuse after another.”  Matt crossed his arms.  “What’s really going on, Ellen?”

“I don’t want to do this now, Matt.  I am tired and I just want to take a hot shower.”  Ellen crossed to the bathroom and firmly closed the door behind her.  It was her way, Matt knew, of also closing the door on any notion he might have had about joining her there.

Matt privately acknowledged that their trip to London was not what he had envisioned.  Ellen had never shaken her resentment of Matt for inviting himself along as soon as they had gotten word of the bombing.  She was too concerned about her aunt Carlotta Jensen to expend much energy on fighting with Matt about his pushiness.  So instead of fighting, Ellen allowed a wall of silent distance to drop between them.  For five days she and Matt had been nothing more than medical colleagues who just happened to share a room.

They also shared a bed.  But there was no intimacy in that fact.  Each night they wearily made their way to the spaciously appointed bed and climbed gratefully beneath the covers.  Eighteen-hour days left them with little energy to do more than that.  Yet despite their weariness, Ellen and Matt spent the first few moments in bed holding themselves rigidly still.  They did not go out of their way to maintain distance, but the icy state of affairs was evident in the way that they lay facing away from one another.  Ellen did not want to encourage Matt in any way and Matt did not want to make things worse.

Morning found them as distant as possible on opposite sides of the bed.

~ Port Charles, 2 weeks after the Attack ~


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