(Takes place between "Flight of Fancy" and "The Visit.")

Despite the assurances by the police that his actions were justified, Luka's guilt over the mugger's death continued to weigh heavily on him. It wasn't just that no one seemed to be offering any value to the mugger's life, no, there was more to it than that, he had killed the man with his bare hands, and no one seemed to care. The man had to have a family, parents, siblings, someone who would grieve his passing, how would they take the news of his death? Would they see his shattered skull, and the resulting brain damage as a reasonable response to what he had done? The questions were ones that refused to remain quiet and even though he had managed to make it in for his shift, he was finding it difficult to keep his focus on what he was doing.

So it was that he now stood in the hall, staring at the same set of x-ray films that he had been looking at for the last five minutes...
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Abby...the jury verdict came in...they ruled in my favor. I'll look for you when I get back to the hospital. Luka
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He hadn't been able to shake the feeling that things in the Courtroom were not going to go in his favor despite the reassurances of the Hospital's attorney's. He'd thought some time alone would help him shake the feelings off, but they hadn't and so he arrived now at the apartment with that feeling of doom still hovering around him.

"Abby, you home?" He made the call almost as soon as he opened the door, not exactly sure what time her shift was supposed to end.
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To some the noise of the NICU might seem the worst place to find sleep, between monitors sounding their warnings, and the hiss of the ventilators it was anything but quiet, but the father sleeping in the chair it might have been the quietest room in the hospital. For the last two hours he had somehow slept through the sound of the doctors and nurses as they moved around him, undisturbed as the machines on the child in front of him held his own. It was only when the small boy displaced one of his monitor leeds and the alarm sounded that the man came instantly awake, sitting bolt upright in the chair.

"What?" He blinked several times as he tried to comprehend what was going on as the nurses moved to reconnect the wire.
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It was almost 5:45 as Luka rounded the corner to County, fifteen minutes before the start of his shift, and with luck he might even manage time to look through the day shift's charts before his started. Lifting his eyes from the game on his phone he had been playing his eyes took in the scene in front of the Emergency Room's entrance. Two ambulances were already present, while one looked to be idle, the other still seemed to be in the proceed of off-loading. Slipping his phone into his pocket he stepped off the curb only to immediately find himself having to make a flying dive and then roll to avoid a car that seemed to come squealing around the corner from out of nowhere.

The next several seconds were a blur of squealing tires, crumpling metal, screams, and finally yelling in a myriad of languages as the car came to a halt when it crashed into one of the ambulances.

It took Luka a moment longer to register all that had happened then he sat up and rubbed his bruised shoulder. Shaking off the last of his confusion he hauled himself to his feet and jogged over to the car, ignoring his own aches as he realized their was a woman in the backseat.

"Just hang on ma'am, we'll have you out in a minute. I need some help here!"
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It was never easy to re-adjust to an overnight shift after being on days and the fatigue he was feeling by the time he reached the apartment was doing it's best to remind him of that. The shift had been fairly quiet for the most part, or at least it had been until they had found themselves overflowing with the victims of a string of car accidents prompted by a semi driver falling asleep at the wheel. At last count the total number of vehicles involved stood at ten, with three fatalities and another two who were barely hanging on. His shift should have ended at six, but an hour later had found him still working on patients, most likely he would still have been there had not Kerry finally stepped in and ordered him home to sleep.

Fishing his key from his pocket Luka unlocked the door and stepped into the apartment.

"Abby, you still here?" He closed the door and dropped his keys on the table before starting toward the kitchen and the coffee he hoped he would find there.
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"Abby, I'm home." Luka made the announcement as he unlocked the door and stepped inside the apartment, only to realize she might be sleeping. He glanced around the livingroom, then started for the stairs that would lead to the bedroom. "Abby, you up here?"
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With the World Cup match over Luka made his way into the ER, he wasn't expecting a busy shift. It was after all a Sunday afternoon, and Father's Day on top of it. How much trouble could people get into at dinner?

Three hours later he was eating his words as they had been busier then ever with a steady stream of minor accidents, two heart attacks and a case of food poisoning.

Dropping his latest chart into the rack to await test results he glanced at the board, 3 rooms empty and at least 25 people waiting in chairs, so much for his quiet afternoon....
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(a bounce off from here: http://luciendubenkomd.livejournal.com/1239.html?thread=25559 and the 97 previous posts.

Abby:
"Okay." Abby said with a shrug then left before either one of them could say another word. Half of her was hoping that Luka was behind her and the other half hoping he stayed behind. She wanted to check on her patient, she didn't want to discuss cutting down on working.

Luka:
"Sorry." Luka offered a shrug to Dubenko before hurrying out behind Abby. As he caught up to he he couldn't resist laying a hand on her back. "You're pretty mad?"

Dubenko:
Lucien picked up the empty coffee cups and tossed them in the trash when the other two left. He did however pause to look at the rim of Abby's cup, running his thumb over the slightly colored marks her lipgloss had left on the container.

With a sigh the surgeon shook his head sadly and made his way back to the hospital, taking the main entrance so as to not run into either Dr. Lockhart or Kovac on his way back to the surgical floor.

Abby was pregnant. Pregnant...and there was no doubt as to who the father was after that little show in the coffee house. *No wonder she turned me down* he thought to himself as he went into his empty office. She was already involved with that...that...he couldn't think of a fitting descriptor for the ER doctor her often argued with.
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