Secrets & Confessions

AUTHOR: Melissa Larkin
CATEGORY: SL/LKo Drama/Angst
SPOILERS: This takes place after "Secrets & Lies" which aired in March 2002
DISCLAIMER: I don't own anyone or anything on ER. Everything here comes from my creative little imagination! :)
SUMMARY: Susan and Luka become friends after Susan confides in him. SL/LK friendship, romance follows.

Susan Lewis was not in the mood to be at work today. In fact, her mood had dramatically worsened after the events of the past few days. As she entered the doctors' lounge, she ran into her ex-boyfriend, John Carter.

"Morning, Susan," John said, pouring himself a mug full of coffee.

"Hi," Susan replied quietly. She opened her locker, hung up her coat, and put on her lab coat. She glanced at her reflection in the small mirror that hung in her locker. Her eyes were red and puffy from crying the night before. I hope nobody notices, Susan thought to herself. She closed her locker and Carter approached her.

"Listen, I wanted to talk to you about what happened the other day," Carter began, referring to the sexual harassment training that he, Susan, Abby Lockhart, Luka Kovac, and medical student Michael Gallant had been forced to attend. The next time a dominatrix leaves her bagful of goodies n the ER, I am *not* going near it, Susan thought.

"Carter, this isn't the best time," Susan said. She could feel her patience dwindling.

"I know, but something doesn't make sense about you spending the night with Mark." Susan rolled her eyes.

"Carter, this is none of your business. I told you that." Carter sighed, a sigh of impatience and anger. "I can't believe that you're being so immature about this!"

"I'm not being immature," Carter replied. "Something doesn't add up. Why did you spend the night at Mark's? Why isn't he here today? Or yesterday, for that matter?"

"I can't tell you," Susan said, feeling as though she wanted to scream and cry at the same time. She did want to tell Carter -- she wanted everyone to know what hell Mark was going through. Mark Greene, her best friend for so many years, was dying of a brain tumor. His wife, Elizabeth, didn't know, as they were recently separated. Mark's teen-age daughter, Rachel, had no clue of her father's condition either.

"There is one thing I would like to know," Carter began. "You never really told me why you left Arizona." Susan felt her lower lip begin to tremble, as it often did when she thought back to her life in Arizona. There had been some good times, but some tragic ones as well. Tragic enough, heartbreaking enough, to send her back on to a train to Chicago.

At that moment, Haleh opened the door and called out to Susan.

"Susan, we have a trauma coming in now. Carter, you come too!" Susan and Carter quickly abandoned their chat and ran to trauma room 1. There lied a small infant boy, his worried parents gathered around him, as Susan, Carter, and the nurses worked to save him. At that moment, Luka Kovac entered the trauma room.

"Is there anything I can do to help?" he asked. Carter looked up at him.

"Help us save this baby," he said. The parents of the sick child began to cry and Luka turned to Haleh.

"Can you please take them to the waiting area?" Haleh nodded and escorted the parents out of the trauma room.

"How long has he been down?" Luka questioned. Susan glanced at the clock.

"About 25 minutes. The paramedics tried to resuscitate him but they couldn't." Luka and Carter both looked down at the small baby boy. They were both thinking the same thing: Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, more commonly known as SIDS. Susan looked up at her two colleagues.

"Come on! We have to try!" Carter and Luka jumped in to try and save the baby, but 20 minutes later, it was no use. Another victim of SIDS had lost his battle. Luka glanced at the clock.

"Time of death, 8:54 a.m." Susan, shaken, walked out of the trauma room. She quickly leaned against the wall of the hallway and sobbed uncontrollably. Luka exited the trauma room and approached Susan.

"Susan, I'm sorry. I know it's always hard to lose a child, especially such a young baby." Susan glared at Luka.

"What would you know about losing a child, Luka?" she snapped, then ran off. Carter entered the hallway at that moment.

"Do you want to tell the parents, Luka, or should I?" Luka, barely paying attention, walked off towards the end of the hallway where Susan had run. "Luka!" Luka disappeared around the corner. "I guess it's up to me. I hate delivering news like this," Carter said to himself. He slowly walked to the waiting area and spoke softly to the parents. They dissolved into tears as Carter told them the devastating news.


The rooftop. Susan shivered, wearing only her lab coat. The door opened and she spun around to see Luka approaching her.

"I was worried about you," Luka said. "I wanted to see if you were all right." Susan buried her head in her hands and sobbed. Luka wrapped his arms around her and stroked her hair. "Susan, whatever it is, you can talk to me. What you tell me will remain between us."

Susan looked up at Luka. She didn't know him that well, but the gentleness in his eyes told her that she could trust him. "Okay," she whispered. Luka guided her over to a bench. They sat down, and Luka removed his lab coat and placed it around Susan's shoulders. "Thanks." She took a deep breath. "The trauma...seeing that baby reminded me of when I lost my baby." Susan leaned forward, her elbows resting on her knees. Luka began to gently rub her back. "I was in Arizona when I learned that I was pregnant. My fiancee was less than thrilled. He told me that if I didn't have an abortion, that our relationship was over. I couldn't kill my baby, Luka. I decided to have the child and raise it on my own."

"That was a very brave decision," Luka replied. Susan nodded in response.

"My pregnancy was going well until around the second month. I began to have a lot of pain and one day at work, I began bleeding. I passed out and when I woke up, I was told that I'd miscarried." Luka wrapped his arms around Susan and hugged her.

"I'm sorry," he began. "I'm so sorry. It's a pain that will never go away." Susan questioningly looked at Luka.

"You do know what it's like, don't you?" Luka shook his head, sadness apparent in his eyes. "What happened?"

"In was the wife and son were killed," Luka said softly, his voice cracking. Susan hugged him.

"I'm sorry, Luka...what I said before --"

"You had no idea," Luka reassured her. "It's all right."

"Thank you for being here for me," Susan said. "I haven't told anyone in Chicago about losing the baby. It's just too hard to talk about."

"I want us to be friends, Susan," Luka replied. "I'll be here anytime you need to talk." Susan smiled, a genuine smile, for the first time in days.

"Thank you, again," she said, and hugged Luka again. She shivered. "It's getting cold. We should go inside."

"I bet Carter is wondering where we went," Luka said. He and Susan stood up. Luka put his arm around Susan's shoulder and they walked to the rooftop door. Susan put her hand on the doorknob and looked at Luka.

"You meant it when you said I could talk to you about anything?" Luka smiled and nodded. "I might take you up on that soon. And the same goes for you. If you need a friend, I'm here."

"Thank you, friend," Luka said. Susan smiled again.

"Anytime, my friend," she responded, as they entered the hospital, both feeling as though they had both lost something, a beautiful friendship had been gained.

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