A follow-up to the Congo arc, this story interweaves with the actually aired episodes.
Dr. Martin Johannesson
Luka fingered the gray card as he listened to the sleepy voice on the other end of the line. What had he been thinking? The man most likely wouldn't even remember who he was and he certainly wouldn't have expected a call at...what time was it anyway? His eyes darted to the small clock and registered the red numbers on it's face...3:30am, what had he been thinking? "I'm sorry...this was mistake..." He was better off just hanging up, but the man's voice stopped him.
"Dr. Kovac...Luka...it's perfectly all right, I told you anytime...I remember." He could hear the rustle of the man's movements in the background, a whispered voice to someone else, a wife perhaps, then he was back. "How can I help you?"
How could he help? How could anyone help? They were just dreams...stupid dreams, no different then those he'd had before...but they were different even if he refused to admit it. "I'm not sure." That was the truth wasn't it? He didn't know how the man could help anymore then he knew if he could be helped...but he had called.
"You maybe need to see me...talk to me?" The man's voice was calm..patient, as if time didn't matter even if it was the middle of the night.
Luka continued to toy with the card as if it somehow help a clue to his next action, the words he would say next. He'd promised himself that Africa would allow him to change...he'd told Abby it had, why was it still so hard for him to believe? "I think I do...Gillian left to go back to Canada tonight." Why was he telling the man this?
"You are alone then." It was more a statement then a question as if the answer was already known to him.
"You are at home now, yes?" The doctor again confirmed what he already knew. Gillian had in fact called him herself before she had left the airport, concerned about her friend but not wanting him to know she was acting behind his back.
"Yes..." His voice held an unsteadiness to it that he couldn't seem to control...why was this so hard to do?
"You are getting around better now then the last time I saw you in the hospital?"
"I'm not sure I could..." Luka stopped himself in mid-sentence...he could have gotten worse, much worse. He could have ended up like Patrique, like the others. "I'm sorry, yes, I'm doing better. This can wait until your office is open...I wasn't paying attention to the time." It wasn't too late to let this go.
"I assure you the time is no problem...why don't you come to my office? You can get a cab?" He made the suggestion cautiously, sensing the young man on the other end out carefully.
"I have a car..."
"I think a cab would be better, not so much of a walk at this hour of the night, yes?" The last thing he wanted was someone on shaky ground driving, he eased Luka to his way of thinking.
"I didn't think of that...sure...I can get a cab." He let his eyes fall to the card again, reading the address on it then releasing a breath in relief as he saw it was not located at the hospital. "I should call later for an appointment?"
"No...it's not necessary, my office is close by, you come now." Come before you change your mind, the Doctor found himself thinking.
"I have to get dressed...and call..." He found himself grasping for excuses that would prolong the meeting.
"Dr. Kovac...Luka...I will go to my office now to wait for you." Dr. Johannesson left Luka no time to protest or change his mind and the click of the call ending followed by the dialtone, sounded in his ear before he fully processed the call was over.
It was too late to not go...he knew that even as he stared at the still buzzing phone in amazement. How could the man be sure he would even show up? How could he even be sure he could bring himself to go to the man's office? Without conscious thought he reached for the phonebook and opened it..searching out the number for one of the cab companies. He reset the dialtone and punched in the numbers automatically, knowing on that deeper level he would go even if he had not fully accepted it himself. Once the call was made he knew there was no turning back, he dropped the receiver back into the cradle. The dispatcher had said fifteen minutes, too soon, yet not long enough he found himself thinking...and he still needed to change and get downstairs.
to be continued...