He wasn't sure what it would be like, coming back to County, not after everything that had happened. He knew of course that they'd gotten word that He'd been killed. He knew too that without that call John would never have returned to search for him, granted, at the time he thought he was only coming back to claim a body, but, if he hadn't come.

"Luka? Are you okay?" At Gillian's touch on his arm he let the train of thought go even before he had fully taken hold of it.

"Yeah, just tired." It was almost a relief when the elevator doors closed, if only because it meant that at least for the time it would take to travel from the ER to the ward, it shut out all the well-wishers. It wasn't that he didn't appreciate their concern, but, it was just, just too soon.

"Your fever is up." Gillian's hand moved automatically to his forehead before she drew it back. "We'll get you settled in your room and you can rest."

"Yeah, been doing that a lot." It was hard not to roll his eyes with the admission, what else could he do? But, at least he was alive, Patrique couldn't say that. He closed his eyes as the unwanted memory once more surfaced, then blinked back the tears that almost immediately collected on his lashes.

"It'll get easier." Gillian's words were quiet, spoken barely above a whisper. She hated seeing him like this, but, she wasn't yet ready to walk away from him, not even here among those that might think him their friend. It she meant to say more she was saved from it by the bump of the elevator as it stopped on his floor.

"I doubt it." He opened his eyes as he made the comment, only to close them again as he read her reaction.

"You're going to be a wonderful patient, I can tell already." The sound of the doors sliding open overrode his answering "Hrumph," as well as her responding laugh.

"Dr. Kovac, hi, I'm Sarah, I'm going to be one of your nurses, let's get you checked into your room." The waiting nurse reached for the gurney as she introduced herself, if Gillian had wanted to say more, it would have to wait, it wasn't going to be easy.

"I'm tired." The words were the most Luka found himself able to muster before his eyes again slid closed.

"That's to be expected, check-in won't take long, then you can sleep." She shook her head as her words seemed to merit no response from him and instead shifted her attention to Gillian.

"Is this common, the dropping off? The question was only the start of a long line of questions that she would ask before Luka's check-in was complete, and as Gillian answered she found herself wondering just how deep into what he'd been through they'd go. Or more importantly, whether Luka would be willing or able to answer.

Muse: Luka Kovac
Fandom: ER
Words: 505
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