Monday, March 26, 2007

Drunk /10 Hurt Comfort and Sex/100 Situations


"I should go." The woman's voice woke him and Luka roused from sleep, turning over toward the sound of it, only to rub his eyes as he tried to force his still blurred thoughts to clear.

"Hmm?" He blinked several times, before pushing himself up on one arm, unable to immediately put a name to the woman's face.

"Good morning." The blond smiled before leaning over so she could kiss him.

"I said," She allowed the blanket to drop, exposing her nakedness as she tempted him further by trailing her finger along his jawline. "I should go, unless you want to pay for me to stay longer."

"No, that's okay...I have things I need to do today." He closed his eyes, trying to ignore the feelings her attentions were stirring in him.

"Why don't I believe you?" The prostitute smiled before she moved closer, anticipating the potential for success, and the monetary rewards that came with it, before she crawled on top of him.

"We could play a little before breakfast, or play with breakfast?" She leaned forward so she could kiss him between words, before finally settling herself on his lap.

"I can't. Look, I'm need to go." If it hadn't been for his stirring erection under her he might actually have succeeded in convincing her of his sincerity. Now, if she would just stop running her hands over his chest so he could think.

"Valerie, please...aaaah" He sucked a breath of air in quickly as the woman laughed and leaned forward to flick her tongue around one of his nipples.

"You have to go." Realizing he would have to be the one to take action Luka pushed the woman off of him and rolled out of the bed, ignoring the fact he was naked, before grabbing the pants he'd discarded the night before.

"I'm going to get dressed, the bathroom is there, shower if you want, but you need to go. I'll be downstairs." Without giving her a chance to protest he snagged up his shirt and left the room. Pausing on the landing to dress, he couldn't help but question what was he doing with his life? The answer came almost too quickly and too clearly and it was something he found himself unwilling to deal with.

Rather then returning to the woman in the bedroom he knew his only other escape would be found downstairs in the kitchen and it was there hewent. Pulling open the refrigerator door he grabbed a bottle of beer from it he twisted the cap off and took a long pull off of it. The day hadn't even begun and he was ready to hide from it in the bottom of a bottle.

"You're sure you don't want me to stay?" Valerie's voice interrupted his thoughts and he looked up to find the prostitute watching him from the doorway. How long had she been there?

"I'm sure, you should go." He took another drink, seeking fortification from the contents.

"Will you call me again?" She moved over to where he stood only to take the beer away from him.

"I'll give you a special rate." She took a drink then handed it back.

"Sure...I don't know when though." Even as he agreed he wanted to believe that this was a one time thing, that he hadn't fallen so low as to have to pay for sex more than once.

"You're a nice guy, Luka, if you ever just want to talk, call me, maybe we can go to coffee or something." Valerie raised up on her toes to kiss him once more, realizing that whatever hope she'd had for prolonging things had finally ended. "Take care of yourself, I'll let myself out."

"Yeah, sure." As the door closed behind her whatever momentary physical comfort he'd gotten from being with her vanished with her, leaving behind only more of the guilt and despair that had driven him to her in the first place. Opening the refrigerator he pulled the remainder of the six-pack out and carried it to the living-room.

There was only one escape left for him now...

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Fight /10 Hurt Comfort

"Abby...I'm here, what's wrong?" As he slid his key in the lock Luka was surprised to find the door already unlocked, and as he pushed the door open he froze in his tracks.

"What are you doing here?" He was surprised that he could speak at all as he saw Curtis Ames standing there in the apartment, worse though was absorbing the rest of the scene before him.  Abby was sitting on the couch, her face red from crying, as she stared at the man who now held her son, their screaming son.  She must have fought him, one eye was swollen almost closed and her lip was split.

"Put him down." Luka started to move toward the man only to stop as Ames gripped Joe's arm even more tightly, prompting an acceleration in the intensity of his screams. "He's just a baby, what kind of a man are you?"

"Please, don't hurt him."  Abby added her plea's to Luka's.  As much as she wanted to stop him, she was afraid to move, not so much for what might happen to her but for what he still could do to Joe.

"Please...let me have him." The infant's cries were becoming choked sobs as he looked from one parent to the other, clearing not understanding why neither were coming to his aid.

"'s me you want...let my son go.  Whatever you want, I don't care, just put him down." Luka hated that he was having to plead with the man, but he knew too he would do anything to save the child's life, even to the point of sacrificing his own.

"You want me to put him down?" Ames dangled Joe by one arm, taunting each parent in turn as the baby's screams renewed their intensity.

It was too much for him to watch, shooting Abby a glance before he moved into action Luka charged toward Ames, ready to fight for his son's life.

"You shouldn't have done that." In the next moment Ames defiantly released Joe and pulled the gun he had in his pocket, knowing that neither parent could reach the child before he hit the floor.

Luka's scream of horror woke him from the nightmare and left him gasping for air, and it took him several moments to realize that none of what he'd been seeing was real.

"Luka, are you all right?" Abby sat up beside him, rubbing his back, only to realize that his t-shirt was soaked with sweat. "What was it?"

"Joe, Ineed to make sure he's safe." Even as he voiced the concern Luka found himself unable to move.

"I'll go, Luka." Abby was already climbing off the bed as she spoke, understanding the need for urgency.  When she returned with Joe in her arms she wasn't surprised to find that Luka remained exactly as she'd left him.

"Here he is Luka, see, he's safe, he's safe." Sitting next to him, she carefully placed the infant in his arms.

"Safe....he's safe." Luka repeated the words quietly before leaning his head against Joe's.

"Yeah, he's safe, it was only a dream, Luka." She offered the reassurance quietly, while wondering if he even heard it.  Would this nightmare never end?

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Uh oh/Realm of the Muse

You just woke up and found yourself in bed with the very LAST person(s) you ever expected to. How did this happen, is this real, and now what will you do?

I'd like to say that it was only a dream, but it wasn't, it was just the start of a downward spiral that very nearly cost me my career as well as my life.  What's worse is that as bad as what it might have cost me, the affect my actions had on others was far greater, and nothing I can say or do now will ever undo those damages. 

It happened a few years back during the time when Abby and I were apart and she was dating Carter.  Susan was hosting a Christmas party for the staff of the ER and I made the mistake of attending, I should have known better, I should have stayed home, but I went anyway. 

I think I knew from the start that I was just asking for trouble by going, but they were doing a hospital Secret Santa gift exchange and I had picked Abby as the person I was supposed to buy my gift for. Anyway, I'm not going to lie and say I didn't still have feelings for Abby then, because I did, I knew I had messed things up with her and even though she was with Carter I thought we could still fix things.  I was wrong.

I don't know what it was exactly that prompted me to do it, whether it was seeing her and Carter so happy, seeing everybody there so happy, or just knowing that I wasn't, but, I started drinking from the minute I set foot in the door. I never should have gone, I found myself hiding out in the bedroom and by the time I had a chance to actually talk to Abby I was pretty messed up.  I'm not even sure what I said to her that night, but whatever it was it did nothing to change things, neither did the gift I gave her, no, she and Carter left together and I kept drinking.

When I drink too much I get stupid, or I should say I do stupid things, I don't mean to, they just happen.  Erin was one of the medical students in the ER at the time, she was a good kid, and on that night she just kept flirting with me.  Maybe I was lonely, I know I wasn't thinking about the consequences of what it could mean to her if word got around that something happened between us, but, I let her take me home.

I was wasted, but that didn't stop me from hitting on her, from kissing her once we were in my apartment, and if she hadn't of refused me I likely would have done more.  As it was, she ended up taking me to my bedroom where I passed out,

The next morning Kerry had Abby call wanting me to come in to work and Erin answered the phone, she was half dressed and I honestly couldn't remember if something had happened between us.  When I took the phone, the last person's voice I wanted to hear was Abby's, how could I know what to say to her when I wasn't sure myself what had happened?  To make things worse, Erin was standing right there, if I wasn't already ready to get sick from having had too much to drink the night before, I was sure the guilt was going to cause me to be.

I wish I could say I learned from my mistakes of that night, but, I didn't.  What happened then was the beginning of a journey that would take me very close to death before I found my way back.  It would injure some around me, and cost several others their lives before I  learned the lessons that I needed to learn. I can't undo the mistakes I made, I can't bring back the lives that were lost, I can only apologize and ask forgiveness. I would like to think I learned from those mistakes, I do somehow know that Abby and I once again found each other, we welcomed our son into our lives and are now looking forward to our marriage, there must be truth to the old saying that everything happens for a reason. If my life were to end tomorrow I would be able to die knowing I was truly blessed and I can't ask any more than that.

Friday, March 23, 2007

What is the biggest mistake you've made in a relationship?/Theatrical Muse

As Abby and I begin making plans for our marriage, I can't help but think back on the mistakes we've made, mistakes I've made. I know that I can't go back and undo anything that happened, so the best I can do is hope that in the years that have passed, I've learned enough for them not to be repeated.

If I were to regret one mistake more than any other though, it would be the way that Abby and I broke up the first time we were together. I know I wasn't thinking about the consequences of the words I used that night any more then she was thinking about what she was saying to me.  The objective for both of us was likely the same, we wanted to hurt each other and the words we threw were ones meant to sting,  They were meant to inflict a pain that would last well past that cool Chicago night when they were first used, and they did.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

If you could choose the manner of your death, what would it be?/Canon Muses

I used to think about death a lot, after losing Danijela and our children, I taunted it, I threw caution to the wind, challenging it to take me as it had taken them.  I would listen for the sound of the mortars, beg them to target me, to bury me under rubble like they had my baby boy.  At other times I was sure I wanted to suffer a long, lingering death as my wife and daughter had. That same guilt that I carried for not being able to save them had me convinced that I deserved a pain as great as that which they'd suffered if not worse.

Times change though, we grow older and wiser and we see things in ways that we can't when we're too close to be objective. I look back at all that I've been through, the lives that I've touched, that I've saved.  I think of Sakima and her daughter Chance, who put my safety above their own, of Patrique who gave his life to save mine, and I know that I owe it to them, and to those who I lost before him, to live my life now to the fullest.  I think of Joe, and I realize how much Abby and I have to look forward to as he grows, and I think of the life the three of us will share together. 

So, if I had to choose my manner of death now, I really only have one choice, and that is to ask to die of old age. I can think of no better way to honor the sacrifices of those who have passed before me, or to repay the gifts given me by those still here, than to remain on this earth as long as I can.  What better reward can I offer those who have given me so much than to give of myself for as long as I'm able? Through it all, I cling to the hope that when my time does come, the good I have done will out-weigh the bad and as I enter the gates of Heaven, I'll once more be reunited with the family I lost so long ago.


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Love Letters/Talking Muses

"Kovac, Luka" At the sound of his name Luka made his way through the throng of other soldiers waiting for the Kapetan to make his way through the stack of envelopes in his hand, hoping that the announcement of their name will reward them with some piece of mail from home. Most of those there were within a year or two of his age, just entering manhood, and fulfilling their obligated military service.

"Hvala." He took the envelope with a smile as the scent of his young fiance's perfume drifted off of it, then felt the heat of his creeping blush as he took good-natured ribbing from those near enough to catch the scent as well. 

He missed Danijela, they'd had so little time together before it'd been time for him to leave, but, he'd had no choice, he had to go before he started medical school.  Moving away from the crowd he found a quiet place to open her letter, a place safe from prying eyes and teasing voices. 

"My dearest Luka..." Her words brought a smile to his lips as he read them, if he closed his eyes he could almost hear her voice saying the words aloud...almost.  If only they'd had more time.  It had been so hard to steal moments together before he left. Not just because of her age, but, because of their fear that her parents might discover the budding relationship, they would tell them of course, but, in their own time. 

"I miss you so much, and count the hours until you'll be home again, and I can hold you in my arms."  Time, they had thought they'd have more time, but now they had only the letters to tide them over.  Letters in which they professed their love for each other, letters in which they shared their dreams for the future. Two years he would have to wait to make her his wife, it seemed a lifetime with her so far away.

"All my love, Danijela"  As he finished reading he slid the paper back into it's envelope and tucked it in his pocket.  He would never survive if not for her letters, he was sure of it, he could only wonder if it were the same for her...

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

March 001: Surreptitious/Creative Muses


1. marked by quiet and caution and secrecy; taking pains to avoid being observed; "a furtive manner"; "a sneak attack"; "stealthy footsteps"; "a surreptitious glance at his watch" [syn: furtive]

Vukovar 1991...

They were coming.

He could feel his heart pounding in his chest as he lay under the debris in the abandoned building.

Oh God...please don't let them find me.

This couldn't be happening, but it was. He could hear the sounds of gunfire as the Serb soldiers made their way through the streets of Vukovar, clearing the buildings of any and all that they found. He was worried about those still in the hospital, patients, doctors, aides, there was nothing he could have done for them had he remained behind, but that did little to ease his concern.

The crunch of broken glass over his head sent his heart into his throat and he held his breath, praying that the beating that sounded deafening to his ear wasn't nearly so loud to those who were searching above. He lost track of how long he lay there in the darkness, feeling the dust rain down on his head as broken wallboards and fallen timbers shifted positions under the soldiers boots. He lost track of how many times he was forced to smother a cough as the smoke from their cigarettes stole what little air remained in the hole that hid him.

He had never known a fear as strong as this, he was sure of it, and then somehow, in the midst of the fear of being discovered, he had found a way to sleep, and when he had woke, it was to silence. Easing the debris aside he cautiously wormed his way out, if he was wrong, if they were still here, it would mean his death. But, the building was empty, the soldiers were gone, and he was alone.

It was time to make his escape...

Has your life worked out like you expected?/Canon Muses

Once upon a time, a young man and a young woman pledged their lives to each other. They spoke of love, and honor, of hopes and dreams, of the family they would raise, and of life they would share until death would finally part them.  Neither could have known when they shared those hopes, those dreams, that their world would end before it even had a chance to begin, but that was exactly what happened.

No one expects war to touch their lives, and when it does you try to find the best way to survive, hoping that whatever you choose is going to be in the best interest of your family.  You do what you think is going to keep them safe, you do what you think is going to keep them alive, I failed on all counts.

Instead of growing old with the first woman who had stole my heart, instead of watching my daughter grow into a beautiful woman and looking forward to walking her down the aisle, instead of watching my baby boy grow into manhood, I would bury all three. 

I accept that some things were beyond my power to change, I accept that the decisions Danijela and I made during those early days of the war in Vukovar we made together, never knowing how much we would regret them.  I will forever blame myself for not taking my family to the market with me on that fateful day, but how could I know the very place that on any other would offer safety, would on that one become their tomb? 

So, no, I can honestly say that my life has not turned out to be anything like what I expected it to be. If anything, it seemed as if it were a nightmare that I would be doomed to relive over and over as I wallowed in the guilt of failures that were mine alone to bear. But time changes our perceptions and I've finally allowed myself to see the truths I never before could see, and as I have allowed myself to see these truths, I have finally allowed myself to begin living again.

Life goes on...and a new page has begun.


Monday, March 19, 2007

Happily Ever After/Talking Muses

When you're young, you believe in miracles, you believe in the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, you believe in "Happily Ever After," it was that way with Danijela and I when we were married on that bright spring day.  I couldn't have imagined anyone more beautiful than she was in her white dress, more innocent than she looked with the veil shielding her face as she walked down the aisle,, her flowers clutched tightly in front of her.  We had a lifetime in front of us on that day, and if fairytales were real then this had to be what they looked like.  As we traded rings in front of our family and friends we spoke of undying love and loyalty, of embarking on a life together that would carry us to old age and beyond. Why should we think there would be anything less?  How could we know it would all go so terribly wrong in only a handful of years?

I'm older now, wiser, I've long since learned the truth about miracles, about pots of gold, about "Happily Ever Afters."  For far too many years I let my knowledge of those truths stop me from living, for what was the point if I could never reclaim what I'd once had, the happiness I'd known back when I was still innocent? 

It took facing death to make me find the reason to live again, to enable myself to look past the present and to once again live for the future. As I embark on this new journey with Abby and Joe, I'm beginning to wonder if I might find a way too, to once more believe in miracles, and if I can do that, then perhaps I might at long last know a true "Happily Ever After."



Friday, March 16, 2007

Time/Theatrical Muse

One Day

As the alarm clock sounded Luka's arm snaked out from under the blankets and patted it's way along the nightstand, seeking to silence it without his having to fully come awake. When it's ringing suddenly stopped on it's own before he had found it he surfaced only to groan and squint in the sudden brightness of the new day.

"Luka, I'm sorry, I meant to shut it off when I got up with Joe." Abby's apology came as she stood beside the bed, the alarm in one hand and Joe on her hip. "Why don't you go back to sleep, it's still early."

"Mornin," what time is it?" He smothered a yawn with the question before smiling in response to the toothless grin that he was receiving from his son as the small boy saw his father for the first time that morning. "Hey, Joe."

"You want him?" Realizing the answer even as she asked the question Abby returned the clock to the table then took a seat on the bed and handed the baby over. "It's six, to answer you question. What time did you get in?" She managed to sneak a kiss in around Joe before tucking one foot under the other thigh as she watched the two men in her life.

"I think it was around three, we had a pretty serious pile-up come in just after midnight and it really backed things up." As he spoke he turned over so Joe could sit on his stomach.

"What are you so happy about, little man? Mama get you all fed did she?" He tickled the baby's belly which prompted more giggling on the infant's part. "You going to let Tata go back to sleep? Hmm, are you? What are you laughing at?" He lifted him up in the air which brought on even more laughter from him.

"He's such a happy baby." Abby offered the observation from where she watched the two. "You should let me take him though so you can sleep. Don't worry, you'll still have time to spend with him before you have to go in when you get back up."

"I used to not mind night shifts, but, that all changes when you have kids." Luka shifted his attention to Abby, though he kept half an eye on Joe as he discovered the chain to his crucifix.

"Did you have to work many nights when you had Jasna and Marko?" The ground she was treading on was dangerous, but, she'd been finding it becoming less so since Joe's birth.

"It just depended on how bad things were, in the beginning we traded off so you might work one week of nights and then have two or three weeks off, then repeat, later, it depended how bad the shelling was." He found it harder to look at her as he spoke, and if anything found himself seeing his other children in Joe's face.

"Everything was so different then, I think about how much you enjoy taking Joe to the park, and then I think about all the times Jasna and Marko begged me to let them just go outside for a little while and I couldn't. What kind of a life was that for them, locked up in that little apartment 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? He pried the crucifix out of Joe's grasp as he started to chew on it then kissed him. "You can't eat eat that, Joe."

"I'm sorry, Luka, I know it must have been hard for you, for Danijela too, but what else could you have done, you wanted to keep them safe."

"We wanted to, but we couldn't, we didn't..I didn't." The guilt and self-blame immediately changed the mood in the room.

"Luka, don' was a long time ago, and there was nothing you or Danijela could have done more then what you did. You're a wonderful father now, and I know you were a wonderful father then, and a wonderful husband to Danijela, that's all that's important and all you need to remember. They loved you, you loved them, remember and cherish the good times you had with them. It's time to let the rest of it's time. Now, let me take Joe, and you try and go back to sleep." Climbing off the bed she leaned over him and gave him a kiss before relieving him of their son.

"Now, try and go back to sleep, okay?" She offered him a small smile, hating that the conversation had taken the turn it had, but at the same time glad that he was beginning to open up to her.

"All right...I'll try." He returned her smile with a small one of his own as he released Joe, then turned over on his side. She was right, it was time to let the guilt he still carried finally be laid to rest, but, that didn't make it an easy thing to do. He breathed a weary sigh with the realization, it would day.

Muse: Luka Kovac
Fandom: ER
Words: 849

Night Out Pt 1/? 052 Movie/100 situations

"I can't believe you talked me into seeing that." Luka held the door open for Abby as they made their way out of the theatre following the movie's end.

"What do you mean I talked you into it?" She nudged him with her elbow as she slipped passed, then stopped once she was on the sidewalk to wait for him. "You said you wanted to see a movie, you didn't say what kind."

"Very funny," He extended his hand to her as he neared her.  "Do you know where you want to go for dinner?"

"I'll leave it up to you, since you let me choose the movie." Abby laced her fingers with his then smiled before looking up at him as he pulled her to him. "It wasn't that bad was it?"

"No, it wasn't that bad." He smiled down at her.  "Do you want to call and check on Joe before we go to the restaurant?"

"You're worried about him?" Abby's face took on a more serious expression with the question.

"Not really worried, I just..." He raised a hand and brushed his bangs off his forehead. "I don't know, I just feel like we should make sure that everything is okay, you know, maybe it's the over-protective father in me."

"Luka, Ames is gone, you don't have to worry about Joe being safe." Releasing his hand Abby slid her arms around his waist as she offered the words of comfort. "But, if you still want to call and check on him we can." Somehow she managed to smile, hoping he would find some reassurance in it.

"No, you're right, he'll be fine with Louise, and she has both of our cell numbers if she needs to reach us." He managed to find a small smile of his own for her. "So, where were we going to go eat?"

To be continued...



Tuesday, March 13, 2007

20 A: What is the most romantic thing you have ever done?/Talking Muses

I'm sure many people won't understand this, some may even think of it as old fashioned, but the most romantic thing I have ever done, was really something that both Danijela and I did together.  Danijela and I were married young, she was 18 and I was 20, we had known each other for almost two years, and from the moment I saw her I knew she was the woman I would marry.

Both Danijela and I were raised as Catholics, though she was far more strict in the practice of her faith than I was.  Where I would go to Mass twice a week, it was not unusual for her to attend daily morning Mass. Initially I think it was because of our faith that we made the decision to abstain from sex until our wedding night, but looking back on it now, I see it as more than that.

I think back now on all of that time we had together before we were married, and all of the opportunities we had to break that vow we had made to each other, but, we both knew it wouldn't happen.  I do think that part of it was because we felt that it was a sin in the eyes of God. I also think that we both felt that this was a gift we could give to each other only once, and the idea of taking away the value of it was just something neither of us wanted to do.

Our wedding night is one that will always hold a special place in my heart, a memory that shares space alongside those of the births of all of my children, those few birthdays that we shared together, and those of their deaths.

The memory of Danijela on that night is one I will always cherish, from the sight of her in her wedding dress, to our shared nervousness as we consummated our vows.  I can think of nothing more romantic than that.

Muse: Luka Kovac
Fandom: ER
Words: 331

Monday, March 12, 2007

Sin/Realm of the Muse

Forgive me Father for I have sinned...

As I look at my life now, look at what I know is yet to come, I can't help but replay all of the mistakes I made in between losing my first family and gaining my second.  I think of all of the years I wasted in self pity, in guilt, in hatred, and blame of others.  I think about the years when I retreated inside myself, the years when I refused to allow myself to open up to anyone and even worse when I refused to let anyone close to me. I think of the years that I turned my back on my faith, and the depths to which I sunk before I found it again. 

It was during those years when I turned to self abuse as a way of punishing myself.  Whether it was through the excess of alcohol or in meaningless sex, I took everything that I had held so dear and destroyed it. It was during that time too that in the act of punishing myself that I began punishing others. Whether through mistakes I made because my mind was somewhere other then on my work, or through those who were harmed as my indiscretions crossed over into the sanctity of someone else's marriage. 

I don't know that I can ever fully atone for all of the sins I committed during those years, I know I can't undo the damage I did or give back the lives I took. All I can do is vow to live my life as I once did, to accept responsibility now for my actions as they happen, to respect my training, and to honor my family, and my faith and hope that is enough.


Friday, March 9, 2007

Fragile/Theatrical Muse

You don't realize how fragile a child is until you hold their lifeless body in your arms.

As my son Joe grows I find it hard not to make comparisons between he and Marko, my first baby boy. Marko, who would be almost a man now if his life hadn't been taken so brutally on that crisp fall day.  Marko was fearless, still unsteady on his feet, he was always on the move, from the moment he woke until he was too tired to keep his eyes open, there was always something to keep him busy.

I used to watch him as he ran through the apartment with the protectiveness of a father's eye.  At first I'd worry when he tripped and fell, but that soon faded away as time and time again he would shake it off, usually with a giggle before climbing to his feet, ready to take on his world all over again.

I wonder sometimes what all he might have achieved had his life not ended so young, what mountains he would have climbed?  Would he have been a doctor like me? Would he have chose to marry young like his mother and I, would he be thinking of starting his own family?

I never got a chance to ask Marko what he wanted to be when he grew up, only 18 months old when he died,  he had few words to express himself.  My daughter Jasna was different, at five she wanted the world, but her dreams ended that day as well.  The only blessing that came on that day, if you could call it that, is that neither child made that final journey alone, their Mama was with them and as hard as it was to lose them all, it would have been worse to think of them alone.

Muse: Luka Kovac
Fandom: ER
Words: 304

Prompt 1B: Coffee Shop/Canon Muses

I was a moonlighter when I first started working at County, you list with an agency and they would call you in when they were short a doctor. I had no reason to think that it would lead to anything permanent, or to even think that anyone would know me as anyone other than that. The day that they had all the mass casualties come in from the truck that had crashed through the coffee shop window changed things though.

I remember walking toward the hospital and seeing this little girl sitting all alone in the back of one of the ambulances, her arm was in a splint, she couldn't have been much older then my Jasna had been. I asked her if she wanted to come out so I could look after her, but, I guess she was too frightened, I ended up going in and talking to her, then eventually taking her in the hospital. Her mother had been badly injured and Dr. Weaver didn't think Michelle should see her, I felt differently, she needed to know that her mother would be okay, so I took her in, even though they had told me not to. I explained to her about the tubes, about the medicines her mother was being given, I wanted her to see the doctors were doing everything we could for her.

Later Carol, one of the nurses, asked me about it, it was the first time that any of the staff had really talked to me. I think she wanted to understand why I went against what I was told, but that wasn't all we talked about. As a moonlighter people really don't get a chance to see you for your skill, they don't get a chance to understand how you got to where you are. Usually you're doing simple things, things that any resident could do, in time if you're lucky you'll earn their trust, more often you'll just move on. I was lucky, not that day, but later I was hired on full-time, and now I'm Chief of Staff, had you told me it would happen then I would never have believed it.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

02 General Bonus:Inevitable/10 ER Fics

Title: Missing Pt. 5
Character/Pairing: Luka and Josip "Joe" Kovac, Abby Lockhart
Prompt: 02 General Bonus: Inevitable
Find Chart to earlier Chapters here:
(Pt 1/Nightmare, Pt 2/Memories, Pt 3/Tangled, Pt 4/Questions)
Word Count: 443
Rating: PG
Warnings/Spoilers: Spoilers to Season 13
Summary: Could Luka's greatest fear have come true?
Disclaimer: Neither Goran Visnjic's image nor the character of Luka Kovac of ER belong to me. No copy-write infringement is intended by their use, they are being borrowed here strictly for entertainment purposes

There was no escaping it now, it was inevitable, the thing he had most feared most was coming true.  As he walked away from Louise's apartment door the full weight of the realization crashed down upon him. It was his own fault, all of his mistakes, his excesses had to have led to this.  As he reached their apartment door he stopped, knowing even as he looked inside that he couldn't enter, there was too much of them inside, too many things of Abby's of Joe's.  Without thought he let the blanket slip from his fingers and pool in the doorway, he couldn't stay here.

Luka turned away from the apartment in a daze, unable to even muster anger at Ames for what he was sure the man had done.  He couldn't start over again, if they were gone, if somehow the man how thought to punish him by stripping his family from him the way he believed his own had been taken. He found himself on the sidewalk without even realizing how he had gotten there. 

Where would he go?  What would he do?  What would it matter? His life was over, without Abby, without had taken everything he had in him to start over after he'd lost Danijela, Jasna and Marko, there wasn't anything left to do it again.  He was drained, empty, unable to even find tears to grieve for the loss of them now.

"Luka!" The sound of Abby's voice crept into the blackness and without daring to hope he found himself looking for the source.

"Luka, what are you doing?" Abby came down the sidewalk toward him, balancing Joe on one hip as she waved with her free hand.

"Abby." Her name was little morethan a whisper on his lips, as fear kept him rooted to the spot where he stood.  What if she wasn't really there?  What if he was only imagining them?

"Luka, come take Joe." As Abby called to him again the spell seemed to break and swallowing his fear he forced his feet to move.

"Abby?" The fear lingered in his voice and as he reached them he couldn't help but wrap his arms around them, pulling the two of them close, thus assuring himself that they were real.

"I was afraid Ames had you, the blood..." Abby silenced him with a kiss.

"Luka, Shhh, I'm sorry, I should have called you, I cut myself, the closest thing was Joe's blanket, I didn't think, Luka, I'm so sorry."  It was Abby's turn to hold him as relief washed over him, they were home, they were safe, and nothing else mattered.

The End




Luka Kovac/01. General: Rain/10 ER Fics

Title: Rain
Character/Pairing: Luka Kovac
Prompt: O1. General: Rain
Word Count: 388
Rating: PG
Warnings/Spoilers: Spoilers to "The Lost"
Summary: Having fled from the Mai Mai, Luka questions his decision to remain behind at Matenda.
Disclaimer: Neither Goran Visnjic's image nor the character of Luka Kovac of ER belong to me. No copy-write infringement is intended by their use, they are being borrowed here strictly for entertainment purposes.

What had he gotten them into? Hunched into himself with the rain soaking him to the skin, Luka couldn't help but begin to question the choices that had led him to this place, led them to this place.  Why hadn't he gone back to Kisangani with Carter and the others?  Why hadn't he allowed them to take these patients when they had taken all of the others?  The questions were ones he had no answers for and ones he knew would haunt him as so many other things in his past haunted him.  If only he could stop the shivering.

Lifting his head from his knees he looked around at those who had put their trust in him, how was he going to answer when asked what gave him the right to put so many at risk? The shirt that Patrique was trying to shield them with had long ago stopped offering any protection from the rain and if anything only made things worse. He was so cold, and the rain showed no signs of letting up anytime soon.

He dropped his head to his knees again before hugging them tightly in hopes of willing the shivering to stop. What was going to happen to them?  Without access to medical treatment what hope did his patients have now?  What had he done?

"Dr. Luka, let me give you the quinine." Patrique couldn't help but try again despite the multiple refusals he'd already received.

"No, I told you, save it for the boy." Luka lifted his head only long enough to do just that.

"Will you at least try to rest then?" Patrique's concern over the doctor's worsening condition was impossible for him to conceal.

"I'll try." As he made the concession, Patrique spread the shirt he'd been shielding them with on the ground next to Luka, offering him somewhere other then the mud to lay his head as he coaxed him to lie down.

He should be thinking of a way to get them all tosafety, but he was so tired, maybe Patrique was right, if he rested for just a little while. Curling onto his side he tucked his hands between his knees and closed his eyes, maybe he would see things clearer after he had slept, maybe... The thought was lost as sleep claimed him.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Luka Kovac ER 05.Emotion in 10 Hurt Comfort

Title: Of Those Left Behind
Author: JD
Fandom: ER
Rating: PG
Character: Luka Kovac
Words: 601
Summary: Luka faces the prospect of life alone and receives support from one of his teachers.
Warnings: Deals with potentially sensitive subject matter related to the War of Independence.
Notes:  Visit my Chart at:

"Luka, you need to eat something." Even as he made the request the older doctor knew he was fighting a losing battle with his resident.  Barely a week had passed since the young man had buried his wife and two small children, a week since he had lost his home, and what he saw as his life.

"I'm not hungry." Luka gave the plate that had been placed in front of him little more than  a glance before pushing it away in refusal, the very thought of eating enough to turn his stomach.

"What exactly are you hoping to prove by not eating?" Catching a nearby stool with his foot the doctor pulled it over, then lowered himself onto it so that he could talk more privately with the man in front of him.

"Look at me when I'm talking to you, Luka." He waited for the young doctor's eyes to reach his before continuing.

"What do you think you're going to accomplish by not eating, I want to know?" Ante Srna locked his eyes on his student as he waited for his answer.

"I don't know, nothing, why does it have to mean anything?" Truth was he didn't know, the grief that had been been feeding on him since the funerals had left him incapable of thinking of anything beyond it.

"Why can't you just leave me alone." Luka raised a hand to wave the man off, hoping that the gesture alone might be enough to put an end to the conversation.  Why couldn't they just let him go to work, let him lose himself in the the chaos of the hospital?

"Because I care about you, Luka, and I'm worried about you." He took in the younger doctor's appearance with a worried shake of his head.

"You're not eating, you're not sleeping, I can't know that you're not going to make mistakes that could cost someone their life." 

"I need to be working." Anything to keep him from thinking about his family he wanted tosay, but didn't.

"Until you eat and get at least eight hours of sleep that I can verify I am not going to let you touch any patients, I'm sorry, I can't take that risk." He shook his head, it was his turn to stop the words before they came.

"Eight hours and you eat something."  Ante Srna pushed the plate of food back over toward his resident before standing and placing his hand on the man's shoulder

"Luka, you'll get through this, I know it doesn't seem like it now, but you will." He gave his shoulder a squeeze before releasing him.

As much as he wanted to believe the man it was still too soon and Luka found himself unable to agree, but rather then argue he remained silent. He knew he was retreating farther into his thoughts to avoid allowing the emotions to fully surface, but he had no choice, if he released them now he was sure he would never gain control of them again.

"I need to go see some patients, if you want to talk just page me."  As much as he hated leaving, the older doctor knew he too had no choice, life had to go on, his resident's losses were no different then any of the hundred other people's they might see on any given day. 

"I'll check in on you later." He gave Luka a sad smile and turned away from him, grabbing a chart as he did. As much as he hated to say it, the young man would learn to live with his grief because he had to, his life would go on, whether he saw it now or not.


Monday, March 5, 2007

03 Children/10 ER Fics


"Tata, I'm hungry." The young girl draped herself across the desk her father was working on as she made the proclamation.

"Jasna, you know it's not time to eat yet, when dinner is ready Mama will tell you." Luka look up from the book he was reading as he answered her.

"But I'm hungry now..." Her request began to drift more toward a whine as she persisted.

"Jasna, you heard Tata, why don't you come help me fix dinner." Danijela's voice drifted across the small apartment from the kitchen where she was cutting vegetables for the evening meal as Marko sat in his highchair near her gnawing on a carrot.

"I don't want to help, I'm hungry NOW." Without thinking of the consequences the small girl stomped her foot to accentuate her demand causing her father to finally turn her full attention to her.

"That'll be enough of that, you're not starving, you can wait until Mama is done, now, go help or find something else to do until it's ready." He let his gaze lock on his daughter's as he spoke.

"I am too starving..." Her lip trembled as she attempted to push the issue, knowing even as she did that she was walking a very fine line.

"Come here Beba," Shifting in his chair, Luka motioned his daughter to him before pulling her onto his lap, what had she eaten for breakfast, for lunch? The questions moved quickly through his thoughts, he knew that rations had been tight but were things so bad that she would really be hungry enough to feel she were starving? The questions were ones he was almost afraid to know the answers to.

"Jasna, tell me the truth, are you really that hungry or are you just bored?" He brushed the dark curls off of her face as he questioned her, searching her face for the signs of hunger that he might have missed.

With her father's full attention now on her the five year old found it more difficult to exaggerate her condition and instead of immediately answering she released a long sigh.

"We only had bread for lunch, Tata, that was a long time ago." She leaned back against his chest, welcoming the time alone with him despite how it had come to be.

"I know, Jasna, I'm sorry, I wish there could have been more, but sometimes the market doesn't have very much to buy so we have to make what we have last longer, do you understand?" Even as he tried to make her see why things were the way they were, he hated having to do it, hated having to tell his five year old that she had to go hungry because there wasn't enough food.

"I understand, but I'm still hungry, Tata." As much as she wanted to be strong for him it was just too hard and as she finished the tears began to fall, leaving her father little to do except pull her into his arms as she cried her frustration out.

"It's all right, Beba, it's all right, I know you're trying..." How long would they have to keep doing this? The question was one he couldn't help asking himself as he held her, no more then he could stop blaming himself for them being here to begin with. Why hadn't they left when they'd had the chance? The questions were ones he knew he would continue to ask of himself until this was over and even after, and ones which he would most likely never have answers to. This was the path that had been chosen for them, these were the sacrifices they were being asked to make, this was God's plan for them, only time would tell where it might lead them.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

March Prompt D: Jars of Clay lyrics /ineffablefandom

"I'm waiting for the world to fall
I'm waiting for the scene to change
I'm waiting when the colors come
I'm waiting to let my world come undone" -- Jars of Clay

Ever since my encounter with Curtis Ames I've been left with a sense of foreboding, a feeling that somehow that was only the beginning of something far worse. I can't talk about this with anyone, I know what they would say, I've been through it all before.

If I go back and let myself remember how things were before the war, it's easy to get lost within so many competing emotions. I think back on how happy we were, but then I remember too those times I try and tell myself never happened. The times after the war had begun, the ones I want to forget because they spoil that perfect picture. I don't want to think about the arguments that Danijela and I had over her taking the children and leaving the City. I don't want to think about the nights when she cried herself to sleep over what we were putting our children through after we ended up staying. I don't want to see the terror on my babies faces, or hear their screams when shells came too close to the apartment. I don't want to see their bruised and bloodied bodies on that final day.

As the years have passed I've found it easier to be more selective with my memories. I no longer find the darker days haunting my every thought, or invading my sleep through nightmares so real that I often forgot where I was. There was a time when I would never have thought it possible to go an hour let alone a day or even a week without finding myself swallowed by the guilt, or the grief, but that's what has happened. Even more of a surprise though was that I somehow moved on without my realizing it had happened.

When I first came to the United States, I was running away. Croatia held too many memories I needed to escape from and I somehow thought that the farther away I was from there the easier it would be for me to forget. I was wrong of course, but, I couldn't know that then. When I first got here I found myself still running, after getting my license I moved from hospital to hospital, never staying anywhere long enough for anyone to get close, it was too great a risk, not for them, for me. If I let people close it would mean talking about what I had lost, what Ihad left behind, what I wanted from life, and I couldn't answer that, so I ran. Until I found County.

I'll never know why this place was different, and I know, it's had it's ups and downs, maybe that's why I'm so wary now. What Abby and I have now, what we're building between us, and for Joe, it's so close to what I had with Danijela that it scares me. I'm afraid that the sins of my past will come back to haunt me again and God will decide that I don't deserve to have any of this. I'm afraid that he'll take Abby and Joe away from me the way he took Danijela and my children away from me all those years ago and it scares me...

What do you strive for most in your life?/Canon Muses

When I was younger I thought I knew what I wanted from life, a wife, a family, a career.  When I met Danijela and we immediately fell in love I was sure that our life would be the one we'd always dreamed of, the one our parents had told us we would one day find.  For over four years everything seemed perfect, we were in love, we had two beautiful children, I was on my way to getting my medical degree, how could we possibly know that it would all be ripped away from us?  I don't know that either of us realized what the war would do to us, I know we never dreamed it would steal our future, let alone our lives, but it did.
When Danijela and my children died I felt like my life had ended with theirs. I stopped making plans for the future and simply went through the motions of living.  I remember blaming myself, questioning every move I'd made that day and wanting nothing more than for death to find me so I could be with them again.
It took me years to get past those feelings and it meant leaving my homeland, but eventually it happened.  It took longer for me to realize that I could love again. But, it wasn't just about loving, I wanted a normal life again, a wife, a child, stability.  Maybe that's what we all strive for, I don't know, but I never saw it until I'd lost it and found it again.
Abby and I are talking marriage now, we're talking about giving our son Joe the security of knowing both of his parents will be there for him as he grows up, and as he graduates. For the first time since Danijela and my children were alive I can honestly say I'm happy and I didn't think that would ever be possible.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Croatian Archway Prompt/Artistic License

Title: Stolen Kiss

 Challenge written for this picture...

Danijela's laugh was light as it drifted up through the narrow walkway and as Luka followed it to the arches he found his own joining it.

"What do you think you're doing?" Stepping over the sill he took a seat on the stone arch before extending his hands to the dark-haired girl who waited in the grass on the other side.

"Nothing." Shaking her head she walked over to take his hands in hers before allowing him to pull her close. "What do you think you're doing?"

"I was thinking I might kiss you for starters." A smile spread across his face as he revealed his intentions.

"Oh you did, did you? What if I won't let you?" Her own smile broadened in response as she moved closer to him.

"I think you will, now, come here" Pulling her onto his lap with a soft laugh Luka released her hands so he could slide his arms around Danijela's waist. "Have I told you how beautiful you are lately?"

"You think that's going to help?" The young woman blushed under his scrutiny. "My parents are going to be wondering where I am."

"Which is why you should let me kiss you." His smile deepened as did her blush. "I'm not letting you go until you do."

"That's not fair, Luka Kovac and you know it." Even with her protest her smile joined his. "All right, one kiss, and then we have to go." With the permission given the young couple gave in to the intimacy of the kiss, sharing the moment as had others before them within the shadows of the ancient archway.

Party/Theatrical Muse Challenge

When most people think of parties they think of happy times, balloons, candles and cake. I suppose I could talk about things like that when in truth the two parties that come to mind for me both bring thoughts of sadness.

The first is the one that would prove to be the last for my daughter, Jasna, the one that would leave me with the only physical reminder of a family taken too soon.  It was her 4th birthday, and somehow we were able to return to Zagreb to celebrate it with our parents, our siblings, with aunts and uncles, cousins. 

I don't remember when I had last laughed so much as I did that day and I know I didn't realize how much I missed having family so close.  It wasn't like we had a choice though, Vukovar was where we needed to be for my classes, and it wasn't like we were going to be gone for that long, or so we believed.  I can't remember who took the picture of Danijela and Jasna that day, a small black and white that would freeze both in time. I only know that without it I would have nothing to remember them with but my memories.

The second party would come years later and half a world away.  This one wasn't a true party in the sense that Jasna's was, it was held at the hospital in Chicago where I was working, a celebration of Valentines Day.  I remember it wasn't really busy and when Mark handed the board off to me I didn't really think there was anything wrong with letting the staff enjoy themselves. 

I've replayed that day's events over and over in my mind since then and I can't think of anything that happened that could have warned me of what was to come, or of anything I could have done to prevent it. Even knowing that, it doesn't change the fact that while we were having a good time two other staff members were being stabbed by a schizophrenic patient.  We found them too late to save one of them, Lucy a med student died, Carter, one of the residents battled back from his injuries for months.  I can't help but wonder if we could have prevented the attacks, saved Lucy's life if only we hadn't had that party, but I guess we'll never know.