A follow-up to the Congo arc, this story interweaves with the actually aired episodes
Dr. Johannesson's decision to leave him alone was a mixed blessing to Luka. True, a part of him saw it as a means of postponing the questions he knew would come with his return, but there were other feelings as well. Walking across the room he took the man up on his offer to look around and found himself at the window. The view it offered was nothing special, a small backyard with the remains of the previous year's garden, a small cobbled path. The kind of yard a family might enjoy...a place for children to play. He let the thought drift without meaning to...how many times had Jasna wished for a yard such as this? How many times had she and Marko begged to play outside only to be refused the request again and again? What he wouldn't have given to have been able to give Danijela and the children a place such as this...
"Luka?" Dr. Johannesson had hesitated as he entered the room. That the young doctor had not turned in response to his initial entry made it clear his thoughts were somewhere other then on the view outside. The temptation was there to leave him to the memories or thoughts that held him, but he knew too that it would serve no purpose. He sat the tray down on the coffeetable before speaking again. "Luka. would you like anything in your coffee?"
For the briefest instant he was sure he could see them there and he raised his hand to lay it on the glass as if that could bring them even closer. Danijela standing on the cobbled path, the flowered skirt she wore blowing gently in the breeze, nearby, Jasna and Marko playing in the small grassy area. He tried to get a firmer hold on them but as quickly as the images formed they were gone, replaced by the emptiness of the yard.
"Luka?" The doctor repeated the man's name as he saw his shoulder's slump a moment before he lowered his hand from the glass.
It took Luka a long minute before he felt it safe to turn, the fear that his face would reveal more then he wanted it to holding him back. "Pardon?"
"Please, have a seat, would you like anything in your coffee?" It would have been easy to make assumptions from the change in the young man, there seemed to be a sadness in his eyes that had not been present when he entered,and he filed that fact away to ask about when they began to talk.
"Black is fine, thank you." Luka moved back across the room then took a seat in the chair beside the couch.
"You'll have to come and see the garden when it's in full bloom, my wife has a special touch with it." The older man's feelings for his own wife shown through as he spoke of her, and he made the offer without expecting a response. Once he had poured both coffee's and handed Luka his he took a seat opposite him. "Luka, I know this isn't easy for you...coming here, talking to me, you do understand why it is necessary though, yes?"
"Kerry's worried I might screw up again." The response was almost too quick, and he regretted it the moment it had been voiced.
"Is that really the reason?" The doctor took a sip of his own coffee.
Luka found himself shrugging before he sighed and shook his head. "I don't know, maybe that's just part of it. This hasn't really been a great year for me..." He let his eyes fall to the cup he held between his hands.
"Can you tell me about it?" There was no pressure in the request, all he could do was ask and see if the man before him answered.
"I'm not sure where to even start." That much was true...where could he start? When had his life started falling apart? Not in the Congo...no, it was gone long before that. When he'd nearly killed Erin...when he had killed Rick? When his sexual needs became more important then the care he gave to his patients? No, even that wasn't the start...how far back did he really have to go to reach the single moment that had changed him from the man Danijela had married to the one he was now?
to be continued...