Character: Luka Kovac
Summary: Luka tries to comes to terms with life after Vukovar
Warnings: Deals with potentially sensitive subject matter related to the War of Independence.
Notes: This ficlet explores more of Luka's time in the displaced person's camp following his escape from Vukovar. I have previously touched on this time in my longer fics Ghosts, Time Heals all Wounds, and For One Life which I co wrote with M. Blais. All three can be found on the journal link on my info page.
The rain had been falling steadily for days, a damp chill hung in the air and scattered puddles pooled on the floor of the tent. Weather like this seemed to suit Luka's mood and where many of the men grumbled about being confined inside he saw it as a relief, for it meant he wouldn't have to defend his decision to do just that.
There was more to it today though and as he lay on his cot he gave in to the hoarse cough that seemed ready to rip his lungs from his chest. He wasn't alone in the battle, the cough was prevalent here, weakened immune systems, combined with spartan living conditions made an ideal breeding ground for it.
"Son, you need to drink something." The old man was at his side again, Luka opened his eyes as he felt a cup being pressed to his lips. "It's tea, take some." The man's tone remained coaxing and even as he wanted to refuse he knew that he couldn't.
"Slow sips," as he issued the warning the man supported Luka's back so that he could drink. "You've got a fever, son." When Luka's response was nothing more then several more of the deep harsh coughs the man frowned.
"Maybe you need to see the doctors, make sure you don't need some medicine, it sounds pretty bad." He tried to coax a few more sips into the younger man before giving up and easing him back down on his cot.
"No..." Luka shook his head in refusal only to have to turn away as another round of coughs tore through him. By the time they eased he was exhausted and the last thing he wanted was to continue arguing with the man.
"No, just sleep." His eyes closed before the final word was finished, time would tell if they would be enough.