Monday, July 25, 2005

Healing 7/30

Chapter 7

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

Make it stop.  Luka groaned as the unidentifiable buzz intruded on his sleep, then pulled his pillow over his head as if that might silence it.  When the act had no affect on the seemingly worsening sound he groaned again and sat up.  His alarm...that was what was making the noise.  As soon as he had identified it he reached over to silence it, then blinked in amazement as his still sleep addled mind registered the time on it's face.  12:30pm?  He had slept for close to six hours without waking?  Slept for almost six hours without the nightmares waking him he corrected. How long had it been since he could claim that without the influence of the drugs?  Rubbing the sleep from his face he allowed himself a few more minutes to comprehend what he still didn't quite believe.

He'd fallen straight into bed after the doctor had dropped him off, not even sparing time for more then removing his shoes.  He hadn't even thought about the meeting once there.  No...he remembered laying down...then what?  Nothing...everything else until the moment the alarm had woken him was a blank.  If he had dreamed he couldn't remember it, and unlike most days when he woke, the blankets weren't tangled around him or cast to the floor.  He rubbed at his face again, still not quite accepting it was true.  Maybe the doctor was right...maybe this was what he had needed.

It wouldn't be easy even if it was...he would still have to be wary...couldn't say too much, the risks were still too great.  Maybe it had just been a fluke..he knew he had been tired when he'd gotten back...way too tired.  As the doubts began to intrude on the positives of the visit he felt the fear creeping back in.  He has to be careful...he had learned that by now hadn't he?  How many more times did he have to fail before he learned his lesson?

No...he wasn't going to do this now.  Casting the blankets aside he rose and pulled a change of clothing from the dresser...jeans and a sweater...nothing the doctor could read anything into.  He'd shower, then keep the appointment..and then...he drew a breath, if only he knew what to expect.

While Luka had slept, Dr. Johannesson had not.  Once back at his office he had found himself struggling to recall all the details of the visit...on paper they seemed so few, but sitting across from the man at the time he felt as if they were scaling a very steep mountain.  He'd made several calls and after he had Luka's consent he had been assured the files could be sent over.  That in itself, would be a sensitive matter, without them coming right out and saying it he'd been left with the impression that the men who'd offered earlier counsel had been anything but enthusiastic about their sessions with the young doctor.  Granted he was not a patient who willingly offered information, but he had seen none of the hostility that at least one had implied he exhibited.  The man was an enigma...very different to everyone he seemed to know.  It would take time to unravel him, to discard all the facades he had built to conceal who he really was.  How long had it taken for him to become the man who had stepped into the office this morning? 

The sound of the doorbell stopped him from making any further notes and laying the pen on the tablet he rose to answer it.  A quick look through the peephole in the door revealed a very nervous Dr. Kovac on the porch and he immediately opened it before the man acted on what seemed to be a battle with himself over fleeing.

"Luka...I'm glad to see you, you're right on time, please, come in."  He opened the door fully so the man could enter past him. 

"Dr. Johannesson." Luka found himself extending his hand to the man.

Clasping it tightly the doctor offered a smile in return.  "You were able to sleep when you got home, yes?"

"Yes...thank you."  Luka's hands went into his jean pockets to conceal his nervousness.

"Good, very good...can I offer you some tea, or coffee maybe?"  He lay his hand on the young doctor's shoulder as he motioned him towards the office.

"Coffee would be fine...thanks." 

"Make yourself comfortable and I'll be right back, it won't take me a minute."  Dr. Johannesson withdrew his hand and offered a warm smile as he caught Luka's hesitance to immediately sit.  "Feel free to look around while I'm gone if you like."

"Thank you."  He didn't think he could manage the return smile to the doctor, but he had and he was sure the older man's own broadened in response before he hurried off.  It had been so long since he felt willing to trust someone, but maybe he could try again with this man...

to be continued...

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