A Test Of Love by Ceindreadh
Summary: A continuation of the love story begun in the Waiting series.
Categories: Regular Characters: Dave Malucci, Luka Kovac
Genres: General
Warnings: None
Challenges: None
Series: Waiting
Chapters: 3 Completed: No Word count: 5132 Read: 37122 Published: August 28, 2004 Updated: August 28, 2004

1. Chapter One by Ceindreadh

2. Chapter Two by Ceindreadh

3. Chapter Three by Ceindreadh

Chapter One by Ceindreadh
"Here, let me get it," said Dave as Luka fumbled awkwardly with the door keys.

Luka glared at him, but stepped back. He let out a yelp of pain as Dave pushed past him, jarring his left arm, which was cocooned in a sling.

"Shit, I'm sorry," said Dave, biting his lip. "You okay?"

"I will be fine as soon as I can sit down," said Luka through gritted teeth. "This is all your fault you know," he said as Dave unlocked the door to their apartment.

"Mine?" said Dave indignantly.

"Yes," said Luka following him into the apartment. "It was your idea to have a 'trolley race' at the supermarket."

"I didn't see you objecting," replied Dave as he helped Luka take his coat off. "And if you'd been keeping an eye on the aisle ahead of you instead of looking to see where I was, then you'd never have crashed..."

"And I wouldn't have to wear this for the next six weeks," said Luka gloomily as he waved his casted arm in Dave's face. "Ouch," he yelped as the pain shot through it.

Dave gently guided Luka to the couch and sat him down. "I'm really really sorry Luka," he said softly as he sat down beside him. "I thought it would be fun...I never wanted you to get hurt..."

"I know...and it wasn't your fault," said Luka softly. "I should never have let you talk me into it...but it was fun...well, until I went head first into that stack of tins..."

Dave smiled. "You should have seen the managers face...I thought he was going to throw us out of the store."

"We're lucky he didn't ban us for life," muttered Luka. "He probably would have called the police if I hadn't been hurt."

"More likely he'd have called his lawyer to make sure we couldn't sue," said Dave with a wry smile. He frowned as he saw Luka wince. "You okay? Do you want some more painkillers?"

Luka shook his head. "It doesn't hurt...much...it's more the humiliation...I'm not sure which was worse...having everyone stare at me while I was flat on my back in a pile of cat food...or the look on Haleh's face when you told her how I'd hurt my arm."

Dave pulled Luka into his arms. "Well I couldn't think up a good enough story on the spot..." He gently kissed Luka on the top of his head. "Besides...have you ever tried to lie to Haleh? She can sniff out a fib a mile off. She'd have got the story out of me eventually." Dave paused for a moment before continuing. "Course she probably thought I was making it up to cover for some exotic sex games we'd been playing that went wrong."

Luka rolled his eyes. "Oh great...that really makes me feel better." He groaned, "How am I supposed to face them again knowing that they think that?"

"Hey, I was only kidding...I'm sure they won't think that..."

"Yeah right," muttered Luka, grumpily.

"Anyway, it's not all bad," said Dave trying to cheer up Luka. "At least you don't have to work your double shift tomorrow. I'll only be working the first half of it, so we'll have the rest of the day together."

"Yeah...I guess so," said Luka. He lay there in Dave's arms for a few minutes before sitting up straight on the couch.

"What's up?" asked Dave.

"I need to shower and wash my hair," announced Luka.

"Um, dude, you've got a cast half-way up your arm...how d'you think you're gonna manage it."

Luka looked down at his arm and swore in Croatian. "What the hell am I supposed to do for the next six weeks?" he grumbled.

"Well," said Dave with a grin. "I could always give you sponge baths."

"Hmm," said Luka. "Maybe there are some advantages to this after all."

Dave smiled at him. "Well, let's get your hair washed first," he said, standing up and pulling Luka to his feet.

"Okay," said Dave when he had finished wrapping Luka's cast in a plastic bag. "That should keep it dry."

Luka looked at the many layers of plastic and tape that now covered his left arm from his fingers almost as far as his shoulder. "You sure about that?" he smiled.

Dave stuck his tongue out at Luka. "Just shut up and kneel down," he said. "Use your good arm to keep your balance. I'll get the shampoo."

Dave frowned as he looked at the bottles of shampoo and conditioner arranged neatly on the bathroom shelf. "You got any preference?" he asked.

Luka shook his head. "I don't mind."

Dave picked two bottles at random. Rolling up his sleeves, he set to work.

"Careful," said Luka. "You are getting foam in my eyes."

"Keep them closed," ordered Dave. "And stop squirming, dammit."

Luka yelped as Dave sent a stream of water down his neck. "Sorry," said Dave, unrepentantly, "But I told you not to move."

Finally Dave had Luka lathered and rinsed. Wrapping a towel round his head, he helped him sit up on the edge of the bath. Luka did his best to towel dry his hair one handed while Dave tidied away the bottles.

"Uh-oh," said Dave.

"Uh-oh, what?" asked Luka.

"Um...you remember when I bleached my hair a few months ago? Well, it looks like I forgot to throw away the mixture..."

"What?" yelped Luka. He dropped the towel and hurried to the mirror peering anxiously to see how much damage Dave had done to him. To his surprise, his hair was no lighter than usual. Luka turned around to see Dave in fits of laughter holding a regular bottle of shampoo.

"You..." said Luka. His eyes fell on the shower attachment, which was dripping idly in the tub where Dave had left it. Quickly he reached for it.

"You wouldn't," said Dave.

"Oh wouldn't I?" Luka quickly flicked the 'on' button and started directing the resulting stream of water at Dave. Dave tried to wrestle it away from Luka, but he wasn't exactly trying too hard.

"I'll teach you to scare me like that," grunted Luka as he aimed the nozzle at Dave.

"You and whose army," he grinned. Luka's response was to aim the next jet of water down Dave's jeans.

Dave yelped as the water made contact with his crotch. "Shit, be careful with that," he said, as he managed to grab the shower attachment and turn it on Luka.

Within a few minutes both men were soaked and the bathroom was a mess.

"Look at this," said Luka. "It's going to take you ages to clean it up."

"Me?" said Dave with mock indignation. "You started it..."

"Yeah, but you wouldn't expect an invalid to do all the work?" said Luka with a mock expression of innocence on his face. "Don't worry...I will help..."

"Ah no, you don't have to," said Dave.

"But I insist," said Luka. "And I think that first we should get out of these wet clothes..."

"Good idea," said Dave with a grin as he pulled his t-shirt over his head. Dave was standing there naked while Luka was still struggling with his shirt buttons and cursing under his breath.

"Let me," said Dave softly, moving Luka's hands out of the way. Dave slowly opened Luka's shirt and pulled it open. Once Luka's nipples were revealed, Dave bent his head and sucked them one at a time. Slowly he kissed his way down Luka's chest until he was stopped by Luka's belt.

Sinking to his knees, Dave undid Luka's belt and slowly undid his fly. Luka's cock was straining at his boxer shorts as Dave pulled down his trousers, followed by his shorts. Luka quickly stepped out of them and then groaned as Dave started sucking and caressing his cock. He wobbled unsteadily as Dave took his length into his mouth. Dave noticed Luka's unsteadiness and quickly pulled away.

"No," moaned Luka, grabbing Dave's shoulders in an effort to pull him back.

"Uh-uh," said Dave, pulling Luka down to the floor. "I don't want you toppling over while you're in my mouth."

Luka lay down on the floor, ignoring the puddle of water beneath his back. Dave knelt between his legs and bent down to Luka's crotch. Soon Luka had forgotten the pool of water...had forgotten the cast on his arm...had forgotten everything except the sensation of Dave's tongue and lips as he was swept away on a wave of ecstasy.

Later, Luka lay exhausted in Dave's arms. "You okay?" Dave asked him, worried at Luka's silence.

"Yes I am," said Luka softly. "I was just thinking..."

"Oh yeah? Anything interesting?" asked Dave lazily.

"Maybe," said Luka. "I will tell you later." He kissed Dave's hand in the hopes of distracting him from any further questions. It worked.

The next day, Luka walked into the ER. Checking his watch, he smiled. Dave's shift was nearly over. Hopefully he wouldn't be delayed too long. Luka had made plans...important plans for the afternoon, and he didn't want them spoiled.

"Good afternoon, Randi," said Luka, smiling as he walked up to admit.

"Hi Dr. Kovac," said Randi. "How's the arm? I heard you had a little...er 'accident'."

"It's fine," replied Luka. "Do you know where Dr. Malucci is?"

"He's in exam one with Weaver," replied Randi.

"Thank you Randi," said Luka walking away.

"Wait..." called Randi after him, but Luka either didn't hear her, or chose to ignore her. "Shit," said Randi to herself as she saw Luka opening the door to exam one.

Luka only intended to look in exam one long enough to attract Dave's attention and let him know that he was here. He was idly wondering what type of injury Dave and Kerry were working on when he opened the door. Luka's eyes widened as he saw Dave sitting on a bed and Kerry with her arm around him.

To be continued.

Author's note - This fic becomes a little darker and more serious than the previous installments, but I just got the idea and had to write it. And if anyone finds the water fight scene in this a little familiar it's because when I wrote the original version, I found it very hard to turn it into a slash scene...but I thought it would be fun to use it again.
Chapter Two by Ceindreadh
Luka pushed open the door to exam one. His eyes widened as he saw Dave sitting on a bed and Kerry with her arm around him.

"Dave?" said Luka uncertainly, wondering just what was going on.

Kerry let go of Dave and picked up some blood samples that were lying on the bed. "I'll talk to you later Dave," she said, patting him on the shoulder.

Dave nodded dully as Kerry left the room, looking sympathetically at Luka as she passed him.

"Is there something I should know about?" said Luka as he sat down on the bed beside Dave. His light tone belied the worry he was feeling. Surely Dave and Kerry weren't...no...he pushed that thought away. He trusted Dave...and besides...Kerry was an honorable woman. Even supposing that she had harbored a hidden...make that a well-hidden desire for Dave, she would never do anything about it...not when she knew that he and Dave were happy together.

"What?" said Dave, looking up for the first time since Luka had entered the room.

"What's the matter Dave?" asked Luka, shocked by the forlorn look on Dave's face. "Did you lose a patient today?" He remembered a few months ago, when Dave had been treating a young girl who had been hit by car while cycling. In spite of all Dave and Kerry's best efforts they had been unable to save her. Dave had come home that evening almost in tears at what he perceived as his failure. Luka had done his best to comfort him, having heard the details from Kerry earlier, but Dave had been very much affected by the incident. So much so, that he had even started wearing a helmet while cycling.

"I...no...no I didn't," said Dave, quietly.

Luka put his arm around him, but to his surprise, Dave pulled away. Luka looked at him in puzzlement. "What is wrong? Please Dave, don't shut me out...whatever it is...maybe I can help..."

Dave laughed hollowly. "Help? Nobody can help..." he said. Luka reached for him again, but Dave stood up and started pacing the floor.

"Dave..." said Luka, stepping in front of him and grabbing him by the arm.

"Don't touch me," said Dave, almost sobbing. "I...I'm...I'm contaminated...diseased..."

Luka stared at Dave, but didn't let go. Finally Dave lifted his gaze from the floor and looked Luka in the eye. "I...I was with a patient...a junkie...he was freaking out...he...he bit me...Luka, he could have AIDS...I could have it now...I...I don't want you to get it...I don't want to hurt you..."

"Oh Dave," said Luka softly, as he pulled Dave into his arms. Dave tried to pull away, but Luka held him tightly. "Shh, little one...it will be all right," he whispered softly in Dave's ear.

Tears were rolling down Dave's cheeks as he finally relaxed in Luka's grip. "I...I was checking him for injuries...he was spaced out on something...we were trying to put restraints on him...and...and he bit me...and I saw the track marks in his arms...Luka...I don't want to die...I don't want to infect you...oh God..."

Luka led Dave back to the bed and sat down beside him. He gently stroked Dave's hair and held him close. "I take it Kerry was drawing blood in order to test it?" he said softly.

Dave nodded as he wiped his eyes. "Ye...yes," he said. "But it could take weeks for the virus to show up. We...we can't...we can't sleep together...not until I know...and if I am...if I am infected...I...I don't want to put you at risk..."

"Shh, the chances of you being infected from a single bite...they are very very small...that is even if you were bitten by an infected person. Is he HIV positive?"

Dave shook his head. "I...I don't know...the Chief was gonna go and get him tested...once he'd come down..."

"So he might not even be infected...which means that you will be all right," said Luka, doing his best to cheer Dave up.

"But what if I am infected?" said Dave, softly. "If...if you don't want to take the risk...I...I'd understand if you left..." He turned his face away from Luka, not wishing him to see the pain he was feeling.

"You really think that little of me?" asked Luka, a little shocked. "You think that sex is the only important thing in our relationship? I love you Dave...yes I enjoy having sex with you...but I love being with you...I love talking to you, laughing with you...I love to wake up in the morning and feel you beside me...I love that your face is the first thing I see in the morning and the last thing I see at night...I love every minute that we spend together and I promise you that whatever happens...I will never leave you..."

"I...I don't want to die...I don't want you to see me like that," said Dave, tears rolling down his face.

"Look at me Dave," said Luka softly. "In the last ten years there have been so many advances in AIDS treatment...there's experimental treatments. Better drug 'cocktails' than there were ten years ago. Even if you are infected...you can still have a long and healthy life...and I will be there for you no matter what happens...I will stand by you no matter what. I'm going to be there till the last breath...the last wisecrack and final practical joke. I'm going to be there when you're gasping for breath and there's no hope left. I'm going to be there, holding your hand when the drugs are screaming through your body. I'm going to hold you tight, as you lay exhausted after experimental treatments. I'm going to be there through drug trials and bad hospital food and cute nurses changing your bedpans. I'm going to be there when you get sick on yourself from the drugs... I'm going to clean you off as you cry into my arms, because you hurt so much...and...I'm going to cry with you because it even hurts me now to imagine you in so much pain. I'm going to be there no matter what. I love you Dave and I'm never ever leaving your side."

"I...I don't know what to say," said Dave, numbly as he looked up at Luka. Today hadn't been the first time he had been potentially exposed to the HIV virus. He had had his share of needle sticks and bites...but he had never been as worried about it before. He had always taken the attitude that if it happened, then it happened...but he had never before had so much to live for.

"Come, let us get out of here," said Luka, standing up and pulling Dave to his feet. "Do you have any patients to finish up on?"

Dave shook his head. "The Chief said she'd take care of them...she...she said I should finish up on some charts." He didn't need to say that Kerry didn't want him seeing any patients until his blood work was back.

"Okay then," said Luka. "You go and finish your charts...I need to speak to Kerry...but I will find you and wait with you afterwards..."

"What happened to 'I will never leave you'?" asked Dave, with a half smile.

Luka punched him gently on the arm. "Am I not allowed time off for good behavior?" he joked, relieved to see that Dave was recovering at least some of his good humor.

Before leaving the room, Luka put his arms around Dave and hugged him tight. "Be strong...everything will be all right," he said softly as he kissed him.

Dave nodded, unable to speak, and then headed for the Lounge.

"Kerry," called Luka, seeing her limp along the corridor in front of him. "May I speak with you in private?"

He followed her into the empty suture room. "Kerry, are Dave's results back yet?"

Kerry looked at him, frowning slightly. "No they're not...but Luka, even if they were, I couldn't tell you what they were."

"What? But why not? Dave and I, you know about us..."

"Yes," said Kerry patiently. "But unless Dave gives me permission, I can't discuss them with you...I'm sorry Luka."

"It...it is alright," said Luka quietly. "I...I understand. But can you at least tell me if he exposed to the virus or not?"

Kerry bit her lip. "No...I can't."

"I see..."

"No you don't," said Kerry. "I can't tell you, because I don't know...Mr. Harris refuses to perform a HIV test. I'm afraid that Dave is just going to have to wait to be given the 'all-clear'."

Luka stared at Kerry in shock. He did not know how Dave would cope, knowing that it could be months before he was in the clear.

To be continued

Author's notes. Many thanks to Sarah for letting me rewrite one of her RPG posts to use as Luka's speech of support to Dave.
Chapter Three by Ceindreadh
"No you don't," said Kerry. "I can't tell you, because I don't know...Mr. Harris refuses to perform a HIV test. I'm afraid that Dave is just going to have to wait to be given the 'all-clear'."

Luka stared at Kerry in shock. He did not know how Dave would survive the next few months with this hanging over him.

"Can't you persuade him to reconsider...after all, his health could also be at risk?"

Kerry sighed, "I did what I could to persuade him," she said. "I'm going to talk to him again a little later...maybe when he's had time to think, he'll reconsider...but if he doesn't...I'm afraid that there's not a lot I can do."

Luka was about to say something else when the door opened and Haleh stuck her head in. "Dr. Weaver," she said. "We've got an incoming MVA, one major, two minor."

"Damm," swore Kerry. "Okay, I'll be right with you. Find Carter and Chen."

"Should I get Malucci as well?"

Kerry didn't even hesitate before saying, "No...we can handle it." Haleh nodded and then hurried away. Kerry turned back to Luka. "I'll talk to Harris again. You...you stay with Dave. He's taking it pretty hard."

Luka watched as Kerry limped away towards the trauma room. Quietly he headed for the admit desk.

"Randi, I need to get a few patients charts," he said, nonchalantly. "I'm going to help Dave with some paperwork."

Randi raised an eyebrow but didn't comment as Luka started rummaging through the stack of charts.

Luka pulled out the chart he was looking for, and gave the rest back to Randi. She watched as he walked off down the corridor, and wondered briefly if she should let Dr. Weaver know that Dr. Kovac had taken the chart belonging to the jerk that had bitten Dave...and was now heading for curtain 3 to confront him.

Shrugging, she decided that is was none of her business.

Luka glanced briefly at the chart before walking up to the patient who was no longer in restraints. "Mr. Harris?" he said. "I'm Dr. Kovac...I'd like to have a word with you."

Harris looked at this tall guy who was standing in front of him. "Thought some chick named Weaver was my doctor?"

"Dr. Weaver is busy with a patient," said Luka. "She asked me to take over your treatment," he lied smoothly.

"Yeah? Well, I don't have a problem with that," replied Harris. "To tell you the truth, she gave me the creeps...limping around the place like that."

Luka refrained from commenting. Instead he took another look at the chart. "I see that you are an intravenous drug user," he said casually.

Harris tensed, "Yeah, so? What's it to you anyway?"

"I merely bring it up because it puts you in the 'high risk' category for several infectious diseases. It would be wise if you were tested for Hepatitis and AIDS."

"Hey, I already told that red-headed gimp that I don't need no AIDS test...I'm not a god dammed queer."

"Do you sleep around? Share needles? Because if you do, then it doesn't matter what your sexual preference is...you could still be HIV positive...and you could pass it on to anyone you come in close contact with."

Harris frowned at Luka, "This is all about the guy I bit, right? You don't give a damm about me, you just want to make sure that your precious little doc didn't pick up anything from me...well you can stop worrying...I told you, I ain't gay, so I don't have any of their diseases." Harris stopped as he saw the expression on Luka's face at the mention of Dave.

"We are concerned about your health as well," said Luka, trying not to lose his temper.

"Yeah right," sneered Harris. "If I hadn't a bit him you wouldn't be acting so concerned for my health. It was his own dammed fault anyway...if he hadn't been hurting me...trying to strap me down...I wouldn't have had to bite him..."

"It'd serve him right if I did have something contagious," muttered Harris angrily. Looking up, he caught a flash of anger in Luka's eyes. "Just why the hell are you so concerned?" he asked suspiciously.

"Da...Dr. Malucci is a colleague of mine...and a friend," said Luka, in as neutral a voice as he could muster.

"Yeah right," scoffed Harris, "I'll bet the two of you are 'friends'..." his voice trailed off as he saw the expression on Luka's face. "Shit...you and he...oh fuck...you're a pair of god dammed queers," he said, a look of disgust appearing on his face. "You just stay away from me, okay. I'm straight...you just get the hell away from me."

Luka looked at the man who was frantically pushing at the call button. "Look, all I want to do is persuade you to reconsider getting tested...you could be HIV positive and not even know it...one simple test...it would be to your benefit..."

"Get away from me or I'll break your other arm," said Harris.

Luka was about to say something when the door opened and Yosh walked in. "Is there a problem here, Dr. Kovac?" he asked.

"Dammed right there's a problem," snapped Harris, "And he's it...I want him out of here...now...I don't want no fucking fairy in the same room as me..."

Yosh raised an eyebrow to Luka, who shrugged and said, "I will leave...but I want to ask you one more time to reconsider...please..."

"Just get out," yelled Harris.

Luka bit back an angry retort. He turned and was heading out of the room when he heard Harris yell at Yosh, "And get me the boss around here, I want to make a complaint."

"Oh shit," thought Luka, as he made his way to the lounge. "Kerry is going to be pissed."

"You asked to see me, Mr. Harris?" asked Kerry tiredly.

"Damm right I did," snapped Harris. "I want to complain about one of your so-called 'doctors'...some foreign guy...got his arm in a sling...gave me a hard time."

"Oh God," thought Kerry. "I should have known that Luka wouldn't give up on this."

Out loud, she said, "What do want to complain about?"

"He barges in here and starts going on at me about how I have to get tested...just so his 'boyfriend' can put his mind at ease," sneered Harris.

"If Dr. Kovac wanted you to be tested, then it was for your benefit as well as Dr. Malucci's," said Kerry patiently. "Any sexually active person is at risk...no matter what their sexual preference."

"Yeah well...about that test...I've changed my mind...I want to take it..."

Kerry looked at Harris in surprise, "You do?"

"Too right I do," snapped Harris. "And not cause of anything that that guy said...but God knows what I could have caught from biting that little pervert."

Kerry's face hardened at Harris's comment, but she kept her voice neutral. After all, the important thing was that Harris was agreeing to be tested. The reason for his change of heart didn't matter. "I see," she said. "Well, I'll send a nurse in to draw some blood."

"Yeah, well hurry up with it...the sooner I get out of this godforsaken place, the better."

"My sentiments exactly," thought Kerry. Out loud, she said, "We'll get the tests run as quickly as possible." Turning, she limped out of the room. Once safely in the corridor, she leaned against the wall and closed her eyes.

"You okay Dr. Weaver?"

Kerry opened her eyes to see Haleh standing in front of her. "I'm fine," she said. "Could you draw some more blood from Mr. Harris, please. Send it down to the lab for HIV testing."

"You mean that bastard finally changed his mind?" blurted out Haleh.

Kerry nodded. "And you needn't be too gentle with him," she said as she headed for the Lounge, and her confrontation with Luka.

"Hey," said Dave, as Luka opened the door to the Lounge. "Where've you been?"

"I...I went to talk to Mr. Harris," said Luka as he sat down beside Dave on the couch. He could see Dave's expression change to one of hope. "I...I wanted to try and persuade him to get tested. I...I am sorry Dave...he would not listen." Luka sighed. "I thought that once he heard the risks...that he would agree...I am sorry..."

"It...it's okay, Luka," said Dave, putting his arm around Luka. "I...I guess I'll just have to wait...I...I'll be okay..."

"We will be okay," said Luka, correcting him. "We are in this together...for better or for worse..."

"In sickness and in health?" said Dave, with a wry smile.

Luka sat up straight and looked at Dave. "Yes," he said, an idea forming in his head. "That is what I want...is...is that what you want?"

"What are you saying Luka?" asked Dave, slightly puzzled.

Luka pushed himself up off the couch and pulled Dave to his feet. Dave watched in confusion as Luka sank to his knees in front of him. "Um Luka," he said, "I...I don't think this is the best time or place...I mean apart from the fact that someone could walk in...I...I don't want to risk you..."

"Shhh," said Luka, as he took Dave's hands in his. "Dave. I...I know that we are not the most 'conventional' of couples...and I know that we can't do this in the same manner as a man and woman...but...will...will you marry me?"
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