Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Ghosts 24/37

Chapter  24

An ER Fanfic following the "Bishop Stewart" arc

The need to stay close to him was strong and as Luka walked away from her, Abby found herself instinctively moving to follow.  She'd seen what this had been doing to him, how could she let him face this alone...regardless of what he said.  "Abby."  She tried to ignore the call from Kerry Weaver as it reached her, her eyes still on Luka's retreating back.  He needed her...she had to go.  "Abby."  The increasing shrillness of her superior's voice stopped her and she turned to face her.  "We have an MVA coming in less then five, I want you meeting it...where's Kovac?  Has anyone seen him?"  The redhead turned her attention to those around her, allowing Abby to cast a sideways glance down the hall again.  No..she wouldn't follow him, more importantly she wouldn't pull him away from doing what he felt he needed to do.  The decision reached, she turned and without another glance she headed for the doors to the ambulance bay.

"How did you sleep?"  Alexander Fletcher asked the question even as he took in the appearance of the woman beside him.  "Good.."  Angelique Forquet glanced out of the planes window to the city below then returned her attention to her companion, noting that his gaze had dropped to the folder still lying in her lap.  Luka..she lay her hand on the top photo as his name found it's way into her thoughts.  "Do you keep in touch with all of them?"  The question surprised her and she closed the folder with a shake of her head, as if that would silence the thoughts.  "Very few of them actually, most don't want to dwell on what they had to go through...I'm a reminder of that."  

She reached for her carry-on, intent on sliding the evidence inside.  "Is he one of those?"  Angelique paused, a look of momentary confusion flooding her face.  "Who?"  Reaching over Alexander tapped the still exposed portion of the folder.  "The young man on the crutches...I've noticed you spend more time looking at his picture then you do the others."  Nodding lightly she withdrew the folder again and opened it to fully reveal the photo.  "Luka." She glanced down at the frozen image then back up at him.  "I don't know where he is now."  She let a finger trace the outline of him.  "He was so lost when I first spoketo him, all he wanted was to die so he could be with his wife and children."  She lifted her gaze to her companion.  "They were killed in Vukovar...and he survived...he never really forgave himself for that."  She closed the folder again and slid it into the carry-on before offering him a weak smile.  "Part of me wants to believe that he remarried and has a new family, he deserved that.  I don't know though, I lost touch with him a long time ago."

Alexander reached across the short distance that separated them, laying a hand on hers as she turned away once more to look out the window.  When she finally spoke again her voice was softer and he found himself leaning closer to hear her over the noise of the plane.  "We tell ourselves not to get attached...but it's hard...especially when they are hurting as much as he was..."  She raised a hand to wipe the threatening tears as they formed, her eyes finding his as he began to speak.  "I know....but we all do it...we wouldn't be human if we didn't."

"Excuse me...Father?  I understand you were looking for me."  Even as he spoke Luka was fighting the urge to flee, he didn't have to do this.  "Dr. Kovac."  The smile that filled the Priest's face was genuine.  "I'll be right with you."  He turned his attention back to the woman sitting beside him only to lay a hand on her head before sharing a whispered prayer with her.  Not wanting to intrude, Luka walked to the windows on the far side of the room, letting his attention wander as he watched those outside.  What good would it serve to bring everything to the surface again?  That was a lifetime ago..

"Dr. Kovac? " At the unexpected sound of his name he found himself jerked out of his thoughts and he turned suddenly.  "Father."  He struggled to regain his composure before he revealed too much, as his eyes settled on the man.  "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to startle you...thank you for seeing me."  Unwilling to trust his voice to hide his feelings Luka could only nod.  "I've missed you at church and I also wondered if you had made a decision on tomorrow night."  Offering little more then a shake of his head Luka let his gaze wander back outside the window....what was he supposed to say?  Did the man even realize how hard he had worked to build the walls that kept his ghosts at bay?  Now he was supposed to just walk in andlet them be knocked down ....he ran his tongue around the inside of his lips as he searched for the words to explain.  

"Dr. Kovac...Luka, if you don't want to come for yourself, come to help the others... you're a doctor, think of what that means."  The Priest struggled for just the right words that would accomplish his goal.  Releasing a breath, Luka lifted a hand to brush it back through his hair before finally turning to look at the Priest fully.  "No one will ask more of you then you are ready to give Luka...but it's time you faced this, it's time you stopped hiding."

to be continued...

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