Never Too Late

AUTHOR: Lara_2113
SPOILERS: Up to Foreign Affairs
DISCLAIMER: I own none of the ER characters or the songs used.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: Tallies with the show up to FA, becomes AU after that.
SUMMARY: A series of Luka/Abby songfics, beginning the day after Foreign Affairs.

1. I Will Always Be With You

Abby watched, silently, as he walked away from her, down the airport terminal. She stood silent, knowing all she had to do was call out. She knew him, better than he seemed to know himself, at times. If he knew she were there, he'd turn back, risk missing his flight...maybe even not take it at all, if she asked him to. But how fair would that be? 'Hey, Luka! I know I've been ignoring you for months, but Carter's mad at me, and I'm lonely, so could you please not take this trip that you've been wanting to take for so long?' Abby snorted, quietly. It wasn't true, but that was all anything she could say would sound like. Her parting words rang in her ears.

"Take care of yourself...I mean it." And she did. She meant it, and more.

*I will always be with you,
Makes no difference where, your road takes you to,
Even if we're apart, now we're joined at the heart,
Though our moment may be gone...
You and I will still live on.*

He disappeared around a corner as the announcement of his flight echoed from the loudspeakers. Shaking slightly, she sank down onto a bench, resting her head in her hand, trying to make sense of the emotional roller-coaster her life had turned into. Her joy at hearing from Eric once more, and her sadness at the state she found him in. The fear of her encounter of the delusional patient, and the niggling thought that 'that's what your mother might turn into...your brother...maybe even you...' Clinically, she knew that that man hadn't been manic-depressive, but still...

Carter...her shock and sudden horror at the side of him she'd never seen before. If she'd been asked, before, she'd have said that no matter what, he'd never be that cruel to her. That was one of the things that had attracted her to him the most - his stability, his constant sympathy. Even with all he'd been through, how could he treat her so only a few weeks after he'd carried her engagement ring in his pocket? He'd almost done it that night, but he'd backed out; she still didn't know why. The scary thing was...she might well have said yes. She wasn't so sure now.

*I will always be with you,
I'll be by your side whatever you do,
Other memories may fade, but the ones that we've made,
Are eternal as a star...

Now I'm part of who you are.*

And Luka...her heart broke freshly, remembering the feeling of being in his arms once more, for what she was terrified to think might be the last time...because if she knew one thing about him, she knew how he was with risks. If there were problems out there in the Congo, she could just see him laying his life on the line to fix them. He'd always been like that, since she'd known him. He'd nearly been fired countless times for breaking hospital rules to save his patient...even yesterday, she'd seen him rushing around the hospital, bending over backwards to get one little boy treatment.

And...he'd taken a risk with her. With all he'd been through in Croatia, she almost couldn't believe that he had let another person get close to him, given her a piece of his heart that he could ill afford to spare and trusted her to keep it safe...her own heart wrenched. Because, of course, she hadn't kept it safe.

*And I'll be there with you in the sound of your laughter,
I'll be in the tears you cry,
'Cause the way you and I, have touched one another,
Doesn't end with good-bye.*

Her tears were coming thick and fast now, but no one noticed. She wasn't surprised, of course. After all, weren't airports always like that? For every joyous reunion, there was a woman left sobbing on a bench, her heart tearing itself to pieces because she might never again see the one she loved...

Loved. Despite herself, Abby managed a bitter, watery smile. It had been so long since she'd even thought that word. Even before, when she had been with Luka, she'd told herself it was something else...surely it was just lust. Meaningless. She'd told herself that when she'd walked away that last night. She'd reminded herself of it again when Carter started paying attention to her.

She shook her head. 'You just don't realize until it's too late."

"Too late for what?"

Despite herself, she jumped at the soft touch on her shoulder. She looked up...into dark eyes as familiar to her as her own.

*I will always be with you,
Now and forever, constant and true,
When you're lost in the night, and you can't see the light,
My love will see you through...*

"They cancelled my flight," he said softly. "Abby...are you all right?"

At his gentle query, her tears came faster, rushing from her body in the flood that had been pooling for so long. After a moment, he sat down beside her, and she leaned into him, letting him hold her and letting the tears come.

She wasn't sure of most of what he said - he just murmured softly to her. Only two words came through, and somehow, they were the most comforting she'd ever heard.

"I'm here."
*I will always be there...
You'll have me there...
I will always be with you.*

Part 1   Part 2   Part 3   Part 4   Part 5   Part 6
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