A follow-up to the Congo arc, this story interweaves with the actually aired episodes
He smelled perfume...he was sure of it, and somewhere within his memories Luka tried to find the source for it. It wasn't the smell of Danijela...he was sure of that, the scent was too much of flowers. He moaned softly, hovering on the edge of awareness and the desire to sink back into the comfort of oblivion.
Ingrid Johannesson rarely intruded on her husbands sessions with his patients, it was an understanding they had developed over the long years of their marriage. Perhaps that was why she'd been surprised when her husband had asked her to keep an eye on the dark haired man who slept restlessly on the couch. Martin had promised only to be gone long enough to run to the store and back, the patient would most likely never know he was gone, but he wanted to be sure if he did wake it was not to a sense of being alone.
She had taken to looking in on him each time she passed the door and when she'd noticed the afghan had slipped from his shoulders it seemed only natural to recover him with it. Without thinking she found herself brushing his hair off his face with a soft smile. She never asked her husband about his patients, that too was an understanding between them, but without the words being exchanged she knew this young man to be different then most of those before. Moving away she gathered the cups of coffee and replaced them on the tray, the slight chiming of the china on it's surface the only sound breaking the silence.
She felt his eyes on her rather then saw them and with the tray still in her hands she turned to find him watching her, the drowsiness of half sleep still reflected in his face. "I'm sorry if I woke you...I'm Dr. Johannesson's wife."
Luka blinked, then began to raise himself up on his arm, in preparation of sitting up.
"You can go back to sleep...my husband will be a while longer." Ingrid replaced the tray on the table, unwilling to leave the man now that he no longer slept.
As if the permission was enough he eased himself back down again before speaking. "What time is it?"
"Not late...almost 5." The white haired woman smiled as she took a seat in the chair he had earlier occupied.
"Should go..." He said the words without commitment.
"You don't have to, Martin doesn't have any more patients tonight. You should rest." She found herself easily warming to the young man, realizing how vulnerable he must be feeling, and sensing his need for reassurance. "Would you like another blanket?"
"No, thank you." Luka found himself refusing the offer even as he pulled the one that now covered him more tightly around him.
"Why don't I get one for you anyway." He was shivering, and even if he denied the need she could see he could use it. "Are you feeling all right?"
"Just a little cold." It was more then that though, and without revealing it to her he was sure his malaria was spiking. When she rose and retrieved a second afghan from a small closet he resolved himself to her fussing. When she had covered him and then lay a hand on his forehead he offered no protest.
"You, my boy, are running a temperature." Her voice became more motherly with the observation.
"Been sick." It seemed easier to admit the undeniable and at his admission he watched the woman's face take on a look of concern.
"Can I get you anything before my husband gets back?" She adjusted the covers around him with the question.
"Not anything..can do..." His thoughts were drifting again, making it hard to find the words he wanted to use to answer her. "Think...sleep again..'kay?" He was barely keeping his eyes open now and he knew he was losing his hold on staying awake.
"I think that would be a wonderful idea." Ingrid Johannesson smiled at the man again then brushed her fingers across his forehead before trailing them over his eyelids as they slid closed. "You sleep now, and if you need anything you just call me." She doubted he heard the end of her words, his breathing had already slowed and most likely he was already asleep before they were out. She'd needed to say them though, just as she felt the need to straighten the afghans that covered him before she picked the tray up again. Just once she might ask her husband to break the agreement they'd held between them for so many years. Just once she would ask him to tell her about the young man who without meaning to had warmed up a part of her heart she'd held empty for too long.
to be continued...