An ER Fanfic following the "Bishop Stewart" arc



Had it not been for the continuing beeping of her alarm clock Abby was sure she could easily have returned to sleep. Easing open a bleary eye she looked around for the offending culprit of the noise, then realized she never had made it to bed. A glance to the still blaring television and an all too cheery news anchor was the final reminder that morning had come, and she had still heard nothing from Luka. With a groan she forced herself to her feet and stumbled in to shut the alarm off. How could he not have even bothered to call her? She wasn't sure whether to be angry or hurt by being ignored and as she grabbed a towel and made for the bathroom, she decided to be both.

How dare he? She had been the one who had been there for him through all of this and he couldn't even be bothered to pick up a phone. She resisted the urge to scream her frustration as she turned the water on and then stripped. No more, if he wanted to do this he could do it on his own, she was finished. She stepped under the spray and grabbed the shampoo before pouring a large dollop into her hand. What did he think she was anyway? She began to scrub her hair and imagined that she could somehow scrub away their past as well. No, she wasn't doing this anymore. If he wanted to lose himself in his past then he could do it on his own. If he wanted to spend his life married to a ghost, play father to two more ghosts than she wasn't hanging around to watch.

She tilted her head back and closed her eyes, letting the spray wash away the suds and pretending that it was washing away the past several months with it. Fresh and clean Abby, that was how things would be from now on.

Angelique groaned, why hadn't she thought to pull the curtains all the way closed? Squinting against the stream of sunlight that was creeping between the crack, she stretched then looked to the bed where Luka still slept. At least he hadn't had any more nightmares. He had moved only enough to roll onto his side, one hand curling up to rest next to his face and for a moment it was easy to forget what had led to him being here. She reached across to brush a strand of hair from his face then withdrew her hand quickly as he moaned slightly in his sleep. She had to be careful, he needed the sleep now and the longer she could keep him there the better for him.

Standing, she made her way across the room, then pulled the curtains closed as she reached them, plunging the room back into darkness. How many times had she watched him sleep in the camp, how many times had she listened to his fevered cries? She covered her mouth as the memories surfaced. How long had it taken before she had gained the trust that allowed him to even admit what his tears were shed for?

"Dr. Forquet, I'm sorry to bother you." Angelique looked up from her paperwork at the young nurse before her, then seeing the expression on her face laid her face down to give her full attention to her. "Gretchen, what is it?" She watched as the young woman glanced across the tent then back to her before speaking. "I know I should be able to handle this but, it's the man in bed 7." She paused, biting her lip as she debated how to explain. "Luka." Angelique found he gaze shifting for a minute to see if he appeared to be in pain before looking back to her, "His name is Luka, what about him?" He forehead creased slightly as she waited for the reply. "I just don't know what to do with him. He won't eat anything, I can't get him to let me change his dressings, and when I suggested he might feel better if I gave him a bath he told me to, well, let's just say it wasn't very polite. Maybe someone else should take over his care." Angelique shook her head slightly as the young woman explained then stood. "That's all right Gretchen, let me try, go ahead and see to the other patients."

As the woman walked away Angelique poured a cup of tea, she should have seen this coming, ever since he had been forced to talk about what he had gone through he had been retreating into himself. Dropping a sugar-cube into the cup she carried it over to his cot, he was laying on his side and without looking she knew his photo would be on the pillow beside him. "Luka?" She saw him tense at the sound of his name, though he did not move. "I know you're awake, we have to talk about what is going on." Still no response. She exhaled and walked around to the other side where he would be forced to look at her, then pulled one of the stools over so she could sit. "Sweetie, Gretchen was pretty upset, all she was trying to do was her job." She let her eyes settle on his and immediately noticed the dullness in them. "I brought you some tea, will you take some?" She leaned forward, offering the cup to him only to see him turn slightly away from it. "Luka, you can't keep this up, your dressings need changed before your wounds get infected. I did not patch you up to watch you die of something you don't have to die from."

"I didn't ask you to save me." He spoke almost too softly for her to hear him. "I know you didn't, but it's my job, and it's my job now to help you get better." She sat the cup on the floor and pulled the stool closer to him as he spoke again. "I don't want to get better." She watched as his eyes fell to the small black and white photo. "I am not going to stand by and watch you will yourself to die." How far was she willing to go to stop him? "Why? What difference does it make? He refused to look at her, his eyes all but locked on his picture. "What difference does it make? Luka, what would your dying accomplish? Would it bring either of them back? Would it bring your son back? No, you're looking for an easy way out and there isn't one. I wish there was but there isn't." She reached across to brush her fingers across his hair, wincing slightly as he flinched, then relaxing when he didn't attempt to stop her. You can keep their memories alive Luka, but only if you are still here yourself." She withdrew her hand and leaned down to pick the cup up again, then held it between her palms as she waited to see if he would react to her words. "It hurts too much." The confession was even quieter then his earlier words. "I know it does Sweetie, but, it'll get better, you're just going to have to give it some time. Now, I want you to drink some of this for me, then I want to change your dressings." She offered the cup again without waiting for him to either refuse or accept, then smiled as he raised himself up on his arm to take it. It was a beginning and for now she was willing to take what she could get from him.


To be continued...
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