Saturday, July 30, 2005

Healing 18/30

Chapter 18

A follow-up to the Congo arc, this story interweaves with the actually aired episodes

As the session ended Luka still found himself still battling the chills, but even worse was the dread of facing the evening alone.  He'd felt this way before after a particularly difficult session, but he'd always been able to shake it off, why was tonight so different?  He kept the afghans pulled around him as he willed the warmth they should hold to find him.

"Luka, are you all right?"  The doctor's voice broke into his thoughts and he lifted his eyes to him.

"I don't think so..."  The admission came quietly.

"Is it the malaria?"  The doctor reached over to lay his hand on Luka's forehead with the question, only to frown with the results.  "You're running a temperature again."

"It comes and goes..."  That was the truth wasn't it? 

"Luka, do you have anyone who can stay with you tonight?"  Dr. Johannesson made no attempt to keep the concern from his voice.

"Not really..I'll be okay.."  The shivering only seemed to be worsening and Luka knew the night would be another of those he would spend huddled under every blanket he could find.

"I don't think you should be alone tonight."  The doctor rose from the couch.  "I'll ask my wife to turn down the spare bed, you can stay here tonight."

"You don't have too...besides, my meds are at home."  Luka's protest came without conviction.

"I know we don't, but I'll feel better being able to keep an eye on you tonight, or at least until your fever breaks.  As for your medicine, if you tell me where they are, I can go get them for you."  The doctor's voice assumed the tone of persuasiveness he'd found useful when working with the younger man.

Luka knew that whatever protest he'd offer now would only fall on deaf ears, and lacking the energy to argue further he instead leaned back against the couch, he was just too tired to fight.  "Keys are in my coat...meds are by the sink in the kitchen." 

"I won't be long, Luka, I'll let Ingrid know you're staying and then I'll go pick them up, do you need anything else while I'm there?"

When Luka simply shook his head and let his eyes close, the doctor found himself smiling, the trust was coming...slowly but surely.

He must have fallen asleep and at the touch on his arm Luka's eyes flew open, the disorientation at where he was clearly on his face.

"It's all right, Luka."  Mrs. Johannesson's voice was quiet, offering reassurance as she allowed him time to recognize her.  "Let's get you upstairs to bed."  She waited for him to stand then slid her arm around him for support.  He was warm, too warm, she could feel the heat coming from him despite his continued shivering.  "Martin will be back soon."

He was past having the strength to answer, and instead he put what energy remained into obeying the woman's words.  By the time they reached the top of the stairs he was sure he could go no further, and he grabbed the top of the bannister to steady himself as his balance faltered.

"Just a little ways more, Luka, then you can rest."  Ingrid managed to coax him the remaining steps, and as they entered the room she helped him to sit on the bed. "Let's get your shoes off."  She released him so she could kneel and unlace both then slipped them off, before rising again.  "Lay back's all right." 

"Maybe just sleep for a little while."  The words came slowly, as if the very effort of forming them was exhausting and once he was done, Luka gave in and stretched out on his side. 

"I'll just get you covered up and then when Martin gets back I'll have him check in on you."  The woman continued to talk even as she realized that Luka had fallen asleep and as she drew the last of the blankets over him she found it hard to resist the urge to plant a kiss on his forehead.  Smiling at her own actions she slipped out of the room, leaving the door ajar so they would hear if Luka woke.

The hands were pulling on him...jerking him roughly to his feet before the IV was ripped from his vein...even before he was fully conscious they had grabbed his arms and begun to wrap the wire around his wrists.  Why couldn't they stop the screaming?  He struggled to comply with the shouted orders despite his weakness, forcing himself to kneel then raise now bound arms that felt like they weighed a ton over his head.  He was going to fall...he could barely hold his balance, the chills leaving him unsteady.  "Don't hurt the little girl..."  The words came without his even realizing he had spoken when he heard the screams of Chance and her mother, then came the blow meant to silence him.  He fell forward, unable to stop himself, only to once more struggle to his knees at their command.  Patrique's voice, warning him to silence...but how could he stay silent.  "Please..don't hurt the little girl..."  He begged for her safety in the French they would understand and suffered yet another blow for the effort.

"Luka...wake up."  Dr. Johannesson sat on the side of the bed, aware that his wife had followed him upstairs.  "Luka..."  He touched the young man's head, frowning at the heat that radiated from him.  "It's just a dream...just a dream."

At the touch on his skin Luka's eyes flew open, the panic of the nightmare clearly etched in his eyes as he had yet to fully escape the memories.

"No one can hurt you here,'s just a dream."  The doctor withdrew his hand, giving Luka time to adjust to his surroundings.  Despite what they had accomplished in the last month there was still so much left to do.  The dream obviously tied to things he had yet to share.  "I have your you think you can take the pills now?"  At the slight nod he helped Luka sit up enough that he could take two of the tablets and a few sips of water.  "That's it, why don't you get some more rest, and if you need anything just call."

The nightmares were draining, never more then bits and pieces of what had happened, but always exhausting, and despite the fear that remained he knew sleep was what he needed most.  Without protest he closed his eyes and within moments he was once more asleep

to be continued...

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