Title: Of Those Left Behind
Character: Luka Kovac
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: http://dr-luka-kovac.livejournal.com/24138.html
"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.