A follow-up to the Congo arc, this story interweaves with the actually aired episodes
Nothing was said on the short walk to Dr. Johannesson's car, the bond still too fragile to test with conversation outside the safety of the office. "This is it." Releasing the hold he had kept on Luka's arm he unlocked the door then walked around to the driver's side. "I hope you don't mind, I looked up your address when we spoke earlier, so I would know how long it would take you to arrive."
"It's okay..." It was too late for it to be anything but now anyway Luka found himself thinking as he climbed in then reached for the seatbelt so he could secure it. Propping his elbow on the armrest he let his head drop into his hand...he felt exhausted.
"It shouldn't take too long to get you home..then you can sleep...and I'm sure you will feel much better." The doctor fastened his own belt then slid the key in the ignition, when there was no reply he simply smiled and turned his attention to the traffic as he pulled into the street.
It would have been easy for him to let his own thoughts go back over the earlier conversation, he would have to when he returned home, especially if he were to document it. But there was something in the moment that kept him from allowing himself to. There would be no easy answers as he worked with the young doctor, whatever he was battling within himself went farther then what had happened to him in the Congo.
He knew from the doctor's personnel files that he had been through a particularly difficult year, and that twice he had been asked to seek counseling, he would need to get access to those files. Dr. Johannesson found himself glancing over to Luka as the thought surfaced, would he see him having that knowledge as a sense of betrayal? Maybe he should wait...let the young doctor speak for himself before he biased his opinions with the impressions of others.
He had no doubt in his mind that the man's method of retreating within himself would be seen negatively by many. Why was it different for him? No, it was simply a means of protecting himself, he was sure of that? What are you hiding from Dr. Kovac? He let his eyes return to the road with the thought.
While Dr. Johannesson questioned what made Luka tick,he did the opposite. He didn't want to think about the visit now...about what he knew had to eventually be spoken about. He needed simply to sleep...to forget...if only it could be so easy. Luka moved his head so his chin rested in his palm and let his eyes take in the passing scenery. He wasn't fully ready to admit it to himself, but he felt that maybe he could trust the man at his word. Maybe...there wasn't any certainty yet, there rarely was...but was he willing to try? The fear surged and then receded again...why was it so hard for him to trust? Not since Danijela had he felt that he could open himself completely. He had tried of course...or as much as he could...with Carol, then Abby..but in the end it was hopeless and he had failed miserably. No...he couldn't do this now. He wiped at his face as if that could erase the thoughts and then sat up, letting his eyes flick to the older man to see if he had given himself away.
"Almost there." The man's face moved easily into a smile as he felt the young doctor's eyes on him.
"Yeah." Why hadn't he noticed the familiar scenery himself?
"Now, I will see you at 2pm this afternoon, and we will talk some more, yes?" He pulled to the curb in front of Luka's building with the question.
"You don't have to." Luka released the belt and reached for the door to open it.
"No, but I want to, and I think maybe you want to know you have someone you can talk to as well." He let the smile deepen. "Even if you are maybe not ready to admit that yourself. Now, go sleep...and I will see you at 2."
"All right...thanks for the ride." He was too tired to argue, and a smile of his own was more then he could manage now but he hoped the doctor would accept the words in it's place.
"You're welcome...sleep well, Luka, and if you need to come see me sooner you have my number." The offer was a genuine one and he had voiced it without knowing why. As he watched the man move towards his apartment Dr. Johannesson knew his new patient was unlike anyone he had seen in sometime. He also knew he would require special handling if he wanted to get anywhere with him. They had made a start though and that alone had made their first visit a success, the rest would come in it's time, and that, fortunately was something he had a luxury of these days.
to be continued..