TRICK OR TREAT
*Disclaimer - none of these characters belong to me. The ER crew is the property of NBC, Amblin, etc. Duncan MacLeod, and the rest of the HL gang belong to Panzer/Davis etc. They are only here on loan.
Dr. Luka Kovac didn't think he'd ever understand Americans or their holidays. Especially Halloween, dressing children up in silly outfits, sending them out begging for candy, and even worse, adults acting like children. He was in the locker room, changing into a scrub top. The last little trick or treater he had just seen had managed to upchuck over everything in the room - including Luka. Allow a child to eat a whole bucket of candy, he thought irritably, and then wonder why they have a stomachache! And the adults were even worse! The staff was still laughing over the case Luka had dealt with earlier on his shift. He thought he had seen it all. Now he wasn't sure anymore.
A man and woman had arrived, looking like they had just stepped out of some old vampire movie, the man in a tux, cape, the whole bit even down to the fangs. And the woman was trying to look like 'Elvira.' Once in the exam room, the man complained of a cut in his groin area that wouldn't stop bleeding. Upon inspection Luka had found a puncture wound that had managed to hit the femoral artery. It was a wonder the man hadn't bled out. After some sandbags and pressure to the area, Luka had finally gotten the bleeding stopped. When asked how the injury had occured, the man rather sheepishly explained that after a 'few drinks' they had been 'fooling around' and wearing her fangs his lady friend had bitten a little too hard.
Luka was still shaking his head over that one as he walked into the lounge to grab a quick cup of coffee. He reflected it would take a whole lot more than a 'few drinks' before he a let a woman in fangs near such a major organ. With my luck, Luka thought, she'd have PMS and I'd end up a soprano! He had just settled down with his coffee when Malik opened the door and yelled, MVA coming in, Dr. Kovac! Luka managed a quick mouthful of the coffee before he headed out the door to prepare for the incoming trauma. Watching the paramedics wheeling in the victim, a female paramedic doing compressions, he told them Trauma Room 1 now! Report? He asked as he quickly gowned and gloved.
Male, approximate age mid 30s, trapped in vehicle for over an hour. Took the Jaws to get him out. Couldn't get a BP, pulse shallow and irregular at first, multiple fractures, massive blood loss at the scene. Lost rhythm and pulse in route, started CPR. This guy's a real mess, Doc!
By now Luka, Malucci, and Kerry Weaver, who had arrived to help, had finished their assessment and had begun treatment of the man on the gurney. He had an obvious skull fracture; there were broken bones in the arm that had almost pierced the skin, a fractured leg, chest trauma. A mess was right, Luka thought. After working on the man for over 30 minutes, they were not able to restore a heart rhythm. Luka motioned for the team to stop. Time of death, he glanced at the clock, 1830.
What a pity, Luka heard Connie saying, This had been one fine looking man. Looking down at the body on the gurney, Luka noted that he had been tall, in fact almost as tall as Luka himself, shoulder length dark brown hair, well muscled. The man had obviously been in good physical condition. Until he had encountered the drunk driver in the truck that had hit him. Luka reached down to remove the IV from the man's arm when he jumped back in surprise, uttering a Croatian expletive. Everything all right, Luka? Kerry inquired.
That was strange, Luka replied, When I touched his arm I could swear I felt bones moving back together under the skin. Kerry gave him one of her Kerry looks. I think you need to go home and get some sleep, Dr. Kovac. She said in that snippy tone she too often employed, then turned and walked out leaving him standing there. He glanced at Lydia and Connie, who had started to hum the theme from The Twilight Zone. Malucci was doing a zombie/vampire imitation, and getting on Luka's nerves. Very amusing, he snapped at them and left the room.
As he was finishing up his paperwork, Luka could not get his mind off that strange MVA case. He knew he wasn't crazy. He had felt those bones moving. He also had noted abrasions and cuts and then they weren't there. He was glad he hadn't mentioned that part to Kerry, she would have him sedated and locked up on the psych ward by now. His professional curiosity was piqued. He finished up, and instead of heading to the locker for his coat, he made his way to the elevators and punched the button to the basement where the morgue was. He wanted one more look at the body. Thinking of Malucci, Luka amusedly thought, maybe he just wanted to see for himself the guy wasn't a zombie. Still chuckling at his own absurdity, Luka used his key/ID and pushed open the door of the morgue, flipped on the light and walked in.
Thank god he still had a grip on the door or Luka knew he would have been on the floor. He felt his knees start to buckle. Standing by the gurney, wrapping himself in a sheet, was the 'corpse' of the man he himself had pronounced dead.
Please, shut the door, the dead man said, I won't hurt you. I just have to get out of here now.
All the old legends and stories used to frighten children he had heard growing up came rushing back to Luka, and without thinking he crossed himself, hoarsely whispering the Croatian word for un-dead.
No, I'm not a vampire, the man assured, I won't go for your throat, and you won't need any wooden stakes. Besides, he thought, wouldn't kill me anyway but it sure would hurt like hell!
But who, or what are you? Luka finally found his voice.
I am Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod, was the reply, and I'm an immortal.
You're a what?? Either he was going crazy or the man standing in front of him was, Luka would have bet money on either at this point.
Listen, MacLeod said. I will be happy to explain everything to you, if you're interested, if you will please just find me my clothes so I can get out of here. I really don't want to end up on the 6 o'clock news. "
If he was interested? Luka would not have missed this explanation for anything. For a moment he stood there trying to convince himself this was a trick his colleagues were playing on him. He pictured Carter and Malucci planning this. He looked around for the hidden cameras, hoping he would find them. At the same time he knew that couldn't be the case. This had been a patient in his care. He knew when injuries were real - and the ones MacLeod had been brought in with had been brutally real in their extent. And now looking at him professionally, Luka could see where most of the injuries had healed completely - not even a scar remained.
I can't bring you your clothes, Mr. MacLeod. Luka told him. They were soaked in blood, and we had to cut those off of you when you were brought in. I can probably find you some scrubs.
Duncan sighed, I was afraid of that. Damn, that was one of my favorite sweaters. Oh, and please, call me Duncan, Dr. Kovac. He had read Luka's name off his ID badge. Luka stared at him increduously - this guy was back from the dead and he was worrying about the loss of a sweater!
Scrubs will be fine. Anything would be a little less conspicuous than what I'm presently wearing. MacLeod gestured to the sheet he had wrapped around his waist. Ah, when you were dispensing of the clothes, you didn't happen to find my wallet or anything, ah, MacLeod hesitated, searching for the right word, unusual?
No wallet or ID, Luka answered him, You're listed as a John Doe. And if by 'unusual', you mean the sword, yes, we found that. Unusual, Luka thought, that was a rather mild way of describing this whole situation! And why a sword? he questioned, You couldn't settle for a knife like everyone else?
MacLeod was relieved to hear he hadn't been identified, at least that way he could perhaps stay in the Chicago area a while longer. Do you know what happened to my sword? He questioned Luka. Its rather imperative I get that back.
Luka knew where the sword was. It was stored safely in his locker where he had placed it after taking it away from Malucci, before the damn fool performed an accidental amputation on himself or someone else. He had made the mistake of walking up behind Dr. Dave as he was swinging the sword around, just missing Luka - who definitely wasn't ready to part with that piece of his anatomy quite yet!
Its safe. Luka assured Duncan. I'll see if I can retrieve it for you when I get you some clothes. In the meantime, here. He quickly stripped off his white lab coat, tossing it to MacLeod. That's not much, but it's probably better than that sheet. MacLeod caught the coat with one hand, carefully hanging on to his sheet with the other. I'll get those scrubs now. Luka said as he turned to leave.
Thank you, Dr. Kovac.
It's Luka, he told MacLeod. If I've lost what sanity I had left and am standing here conversing with a dead guy, we might as well be on a first name basis. He heard MacLeod laugh as the door was closing. Luka leaned against the closed door. He wished he had his stethoscope, he was sure his own heart needed checking. As he went to get the clothes for MacLeod, Luka marveled that he didn't need a change of underwear right about now.
After the young doctor had left, Duncan allowed himself to slump against the gurney. He wasn't 100% yet; the pain of his body healing and restoring itself, returning from the dead was still with him. Damn, he hated waking up in a morgue. It made getting away more difficult, and now he had to contend with the good doctor. He knew with all his martial arts training, he could quickly render Luka unconscious when he returned, and make his escape, but MacLeod's sense of honor would not allow that. With the wisdome gained from his years of living, Duncan had become very adept at reading people, and he saw courage in Dr. Luka Kovac. And along with honor, the Highlander respected courage in an individual.
Somehow Luka had managed to get the scrubs, and the sword, all back down to the morgue without attracting any attention, although trying to hide the sword had been an interesting experience, he wondered how MacLeod managed it. Thankfully the ER had been busy so nobody really noticed him. Now as he waited while Duncan dressed, Luka pondered the quickest way out of the hospital. He ought to just walk him right up through the ER. He pictured the expression on Kerry Weaver's face as he walked by with Duncan. 'Nite Kerry, just giving the old corpse here a ride home.
Luck was on their side, and they had managed to get to Luka's car without anyone stopping them. Just act natural, like its just routine. MacLeod advised. No problem, Luka retored sarcastically, I walk out to my car with a walking-talking cadaver at least once or twice a week. He heard Duncan chuckle, Then this should be a piece of cake! Following the directions Duncan provided, Luka drove quickly, stopping in front of a rather nondescript building. Upon entering the room, Luka was surprised to see that it was a dojo, and there was a young man performing some routine with a sword. For a moment Luka doubted he would get out of this place alive. What's with these guys and swords? He wondered.
Geez, Mac! the red-haired teenager approached them, You been out trick or treating? He waved a hand towards the scrub suit. No, Richie, I'll explain later. MacLeod answered.
So, who's your friend?
Richie Ryan - Dr. Luka Kovac. MacLeod introduced. Luka shook hands with Richie, Pleased to meet you. He said. Same here, Doc. Richie replied. Luka saw the look that passed between Duncan and the teenager. He knows? Richie softly inquired. Yes. MacLeod responded. I'll talk to you tomorrow, Rich, Luka and I have some things to discuss now. Please lock up for me on your way out. Sure thing, Mac, Richie replied, Catch you later. Nice meeting you, Doc. See you around. He added as he walked to the door. Nice kid, Luka commented, rare to find a teenager with some manners. It took him a while, MacLeod said, but now that he's close to 50, he's getting there.
That kid is 50? Luka asked incredulously. You mean he's immortal too? Just how many of you guys are there?
Don't know for sure, MacLeod responded, the Immortal Census Board hasn't done a count recently. Glancing at Luka expression, Duncan said, That was just a joke, by the way, we really don't have a Census Board!
Duncan led Luka through the dojo to his personal quarters. Make yourself at home, he invited. How about a drink? Luka nodded. Yeah, he definitely could use some alcohol about now. He wished he had a cigarette. MacLeod handed him a glass of amber-colored liquid. I hope you like Glenmorangie.
I don't know, what is it? Luka inquired.
Just the finest single malt brewed in all of Scotland. Slainte. Ducan said, toasting Luka. After the first sip, Luka had to agree. The man had excellent taste when it came to liquor, he noted. After both men had settled into comfortable chairs, Duncan looked towards Luka, I guess you are waiting for that explanation. This may take a bit of time."
No problem. Luka told him. He certainly wasn't going anywhere as he waited for MacLeod to begin.
End Part 1
**In case you are wondering, the 'vampire wound' in the ER is based on an actual event
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