"Are you awake?" As Abby eased the door of the hospital room open, part of her hoped she would find him asleep, while the rest was relieved to find Luka alone. Her biggest fear though had been that she would find Gillian sitting vigil at Luka's bedside, and she wasn't sure she was ready for another encounter with the Canadian nurse just yet.
Instead of answering Kovac shifted in his sleep on the bed, a soft moan his only response. When she had met him in the hallway the day before she hadn't been able to ignore the lingering bruises, or his pallor, seeing him now against the white sheets only emphasized them more.
Letting the door close behind her, she moved over to check the flow of his IV's then smoothed the tape down over his bruised hand before taking a seat in the chair beside him. She'd hated the idea of both he and Carter going to the Congo in the first place, and then when the news had come of Luka's death. Abby wiped at her eyes before the tears had a chance to get started. She wondered if she would ever be able to forgive either of them. Damn both of them for putting all of them through this.
"Hey...what are you doing here." Luka's quiet voice drew her attention away from her own thoughts and back to him.
"Hey, yourself, did I wake you?" She sniffed back the tears and hoped he wouldn't notice.
"No...was dreamin'." His accent came a little thicker almost as if he was making no attempt to control it.
"Gillian's not here?" His eyes swept the room as he spoke and he seemed a little surprised to find the other woman absent.
"I didn't see her, it's early though, she probably just stepped out for a bit, maybe she went to get some sleep or change clothes. Do you need something? I can call a nurse." She reached for the buzzer even before he had answered.
"No, just wondered." He shook his head before laying his hand on top of hers to stop her.
"Doesn't matter. You on your way to work?" As he quizzed her he first raised the head on the bed so he was sitting up, then picked at the tape that held the IV needle in place on his hand.
"Later, I just thought, I don't know, maybe we could talk." Abby hesitated, watching him and wishing she had something to do with her own hands, in the end she settled for simply dropping them in her lap. When had she felt so uncomfortable in his presence?
"Sure, we can talk, what did you want to talk about?" Maybe it was something that passed across her face, as he asked the question, or maybe it was something that went deeper between them, but he instantly regretted the question.
"Luka, I know you don't want to hear this, it's hard for me to even talk about it, but I can't just pretend that it never happened, that it isn't true." Abby wiped at her eyes again, wishing she had never even come to see Luka let alone begun the conversation she now found herself stumbling through.
"Luka, they told us you were dead. You went there knowing you were willing to risk your life, to throw your life away, without even thinking about how it would affect those around you and then you convinced John to do the same thing." There was a tremble in her words but she somehow managed to finish.
"How could you be so selfish?" The anger bubbled to the surface and with it came the tears she had fought so hard to hold back.
"It wasn't like that." Even as he denied her words Luka knew there was a truth to them that he hadn't recognized at the time.
"Luka, you've been spiraling out of control for months, how can you deny it?" Abby came up out of her chair so quickly that it rocked backward and nearly fell backward before she steadied it.
"Just lots goin' on...needed to try and make sense of it." The conversation was one he knew he needed to face but at the same time he knew it was too soon.
"You need to talk to someone, Luka, really talk to someone, you can't keep living the way you were before you left." The words were barely out of her mouth when the door opened and Gillian stepped into the room.
"I know." Luka's reply was almost lost to the nurse's appearance.
"Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't expect anyone else to be here." Gillian smiled and moved to Luka's bedside, then leaned down to give him a friendly kiss.
"Good morning." She smiled at him before brushing her hand over his forehead, checking for fever.
"'Morning. Abby stopped by before work." Luka offered the explanation as he looked before the two women.
"You still have a fever, have they brought your meds in yet?" She automatically began tidying up the area around his bedside, straightening his blankets and the table alongside the bed.
"I should go." As much as she wanted to continue the conversation with him, Abby knew that it was impossible with Gillian present.
"Is it okay if I come by after my shift?" She moved to the door and opened it lingering in the doorway as she waited for his answer.
"Sure, I'd like that." Despite the turn their conversation had taken Luka managed a weak smile for the dark haired woman.
"Thanks for coming, Abby. His smile broadened, reflecting the sincerity behind his words.
"You're welcome, Luka, take care of yourself." Abby found herself easily returning his smile before slipping out into the hall. Despite her anger at his actions, her feelings for him remained and she doubted that would ever change.