Luka and Alison

Paradise

by JES 2

 

  Alison felt Luka's hand brushing back her hair; she sighed contentedly and opened her eyes to see him smiling down at her.  A sight I'll never grow tired of, she thought.

  "Morning," Luka said, still toying with her hair.

  "Morning," she answered, snuggling closer to him.  It was just so nice to be near him, to have him with her always.

  "So," Luka asked, trailing his hand down her arm, "What do you feel like doing this morning?"  She chuckled wickedly.

  "What do you think?"  She tilted her head up to him for a kiss, but as she did so, a loud crash came from the kitchen, distracting her.

  "What are they doing down there?" she sighed, looking at the door.

  "Who cares?" Luka replied, pulling her back to him.  "They're big kids. They can take care of themselves."  She laughed again, and decided to forget about the mess being made in the kitchen, at least for now...

  Alison and Luka lay amid the tangled sheets, arms wrapped around each other, content.  All was quiet in the house- almost too quiet, she thought. 

"What do you think they're doing down there?" she asked Luka.

  "I'm sure we'll find out soon enough," he said with a shrug.  

  "Mom? Dad?"  Matt called tentatively from outside the bedroom door.  "Are you awake yet?"  Alison sighed.  Right on cue, she thought.

  "Yes, dear," she answered reluctantly.

  "Are you, um, decent?"

  "Give us a minute,"  Luka called.  "Only took him nineteen years to learn to knock first," he whispered to Alison as she dug through the sheets, looking for her top.

  "What are they doing in there?" she heard Chris ask his brother.

  "What'd ya think they're doing?"  Matt replied.  There was a beat as the implication sunk in, then Chris exclaimed,

  "That's gross!"

 Luka looked up at the door.  "What's so gross about it?" he whispered.  Alison just smiled.

  "Tell me, when you were seventeen, did your parents ever make love?"

  "You mean- my mom and dad… ?" Luka asked, feigning incredulity.  Alison laughed and swatted him with a pillow.

  "Mom? Dad?" Matt called impatiently, "I don't mean to, um, rush you, but I have to go to work soon."

  "Okay, okay," Luka answered.  He finished smoothing the covers while Alison arranged the pillows.  "Ready?" he asked.  She nodded.

  "Come on in, boys," she called.  She sat next to Luka, propped up on pillows, trying to look innocent, but failing miserably.

  Chris held the door for his older brother- Matt had a huge bouquet of flowers.

  "Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad," they chimed in unison.  Matt put the flowers on the dresser, then came to give his parents a hug and kiss.

  "They're beautiful!" Alison exclaimed.  And so typical of Matt, she thought- always a romantic.  Chris had followed his brother to the bedside, and he handed a package to his mother.

  "Its not much," he said.

  "Maybe if you didn't spend all your money on Patty," his brother teased.

  "Like most of your money doesn't go towards stuff for Jenny!"  Chris shot back.

  "Boys..." Luka warned, instantly quieting them.  Always a competition, Alison thought.  She smiled at Chris as she opened his gift; she could see her younger son looking anxiously from his gift to the flowers Matt had gotten.  Poor Chris, Alison thought- it always seemed that he had to struggle for things, while everything seemed so easy for Matt- and his older brother never let Chris forget it.  But even though the wrapping was really birthday paper, she knew the gift inside would be perfect.  Chris might not realize it yet, but he had special talents of his own.

  She wasn't disappointed.  Chris had gotten a photo album with a large "20" on the cover, to mark their twentieth anniversary.  Inside he had collected pictures of all the highlights of Luka's and Alison's life together, starting with their wedding in front of the Justice of the Peace, then going through the birth of first Matthew, then Christopher, and finally Mary-Anna. 

  "Where is your sister?" Luka asked when they got to her picture, "Still sleeping?"

  "No- she's making you two breakfast in bed," Matt informed them.  Alison and Luka exchanged looks- their daughter's cooking left a lot to be desired.  No wonder there had been a crash before, Alison thought.

  "I hope she doesn't poison you," Chris said.

  "At least there's a doctor around if she does," Matt put in.

  "Doesn’t help if he's one of the victims," Chris pointed out.

  "Boys..." Luka growled.  Then he laughed and whispered to Alison, "We'll eat just enough to be polite."  She punched her husband in the shoulder.

  "She tries," Alison said, trying to be diplomatic.  "And after all, she's just fourteen." 

  "When my mom was fourteen..."Luka started; Matt and Chris rolled their eyes, anticipating another "when I was younger" story, but Alison stopped Luka short.

  "You weren't around when your mother was fourteen," she reminded him.  Luka gave her a funny look, but held his tongue.  They went back to looking at the photo album.

  Chris had missed nothing- he had found pictures of nursery school and first communions and all their trips- pictures of them all in Disney World and Croatia and Ireland.  He even included shots of Luka at work in County, with first Kerry Weaver as chief, and then John Carter.

 Now a days Luka didn't spend too much time in the ER; he was mostly in the classroom, teaching new med students; but at least once a week he took a shift, to keep his hand in.   Chris had pictures of Alison's classes, too.  She had switched from teaching college to teaching high school, after a break for having the children; Luka hadn't been real happy when she went back to work, but with so many mouths to feed, the extra money came in handy.  And teaching at St. James had meant a break on the kids’ tuition, as well.

 There were more pictures- of picnics and family days and Little League and school plays- twenty years of good memories, of good times, of love.  Luka's arm was around Alison, and he squeezed her to him.

  "Did you ever think we would be so happy?" he whispered. Alison kissed him lightly on the cheek.

  "Actually, yes," she answered.  She looked at their sons, tall and handsome like their father- but more importantly, happy and healthy.  They looked so much alike- people often asked if they were twins-  but they were so different.  Matt breezed through life; he had decided when he was five that he was going to be a doctor, just like his dad- and there was no doubt in anyone's mind that he would succeed.  It was just that easy for him.

  Chris, on the other hand, struggled with his studies, fighting his way through school, studying for hours to get Cs and Ds while his brother got As almost without trying.   No, Chris's talent lay in his hands, Alison thought; give him any kind of tool, and he could make anything, fix anything.  He still had one year of high school left, but already the appliance shop and the local carpenter were fighting over him.  We haven't done half-bad with them, Alison thought with a smile.  They've made us so proud already.

  Mary-Anna breezed in with their breakfast on a tray.  Mary-Anna, who would have been spoiled rotten if the boys hadn't had a say in things; she had been unexpected, Luka and Alison had been told the boys would be it, that there’d be no more children.  And then Mary-Anna had come, completing things somehow.  She was always so happy, so carefree.  The boys would bicker and tease, and even fight sometimes, but it never bothered their sister; she would just laugh and let everything roll off her back.  Mary-Anna had many talents- unfortunately, cooking wasn't one of them. 

  "A special breakfast for special parents," she announced with great fanfare.  She put the tray between her parents on the bed; Luka and Alison couldn't help but exchange smiles- she had made them chocolate chip pancakes. 

  "Thank you, sweetheart," Luka told her, kissing her forehead.  "That's really very special."  Mary-Anna just beamed.

 "I think you'll find they came out perfect," she promised.  "Try them!"  Alison bravely took a fork and was ready to bite into a pancake when the doorbell rang.

  "Saved by the bell," Luka whispered so only Alison could hear; she had to stifle a laugh.

  "That'll be Patty,"  Chris said.  "I have to go to work."  He gave his parents a quick kiss and hug.  "Sorry I have to run," he said as he headed out.  "Happy anniversary, mom and dad!"

  "I have to go, too," Matt said reluctantly.  "Can't be late for work."  A statement that had been drilled into his head by his father a long time ago, Alison thought.

  "Can you drop me off at the pool?" Mary-Anna asked.  "I have to help teach the beginning swimmers class today.  Matt rolled his eyes and nodded yes- part of the deal of having his own car was that he had to give his siblings rides whenever possible.  He and his sister gave their parents hugs and kisses, then they were gone, too, their "Happy Anniversary!" echoing down the hall as they breezed out.

  Luka looked at Alison, and then started laughing at the sudden quiet.  "Just a typical morning in the Kovac Castle," he said.  He picked up a fork and stabbed at a pancake.   "Do you think it's safe?" he asked, just looking at it.  Alison tried a bite of hers.

  "A little- heavy," she commented, reaching for the chocolate milk to wash it down.

  "Ah, then they are perfect," Luka said with a smile.  Alison looked at him curiously.  "Just like the ones at Doc Magoos!" Luka explained.  Alison had to smile, remembering that day twenty years ago when they'd had their first date.  But suddenly the smile left her.

  "What's the matter?" Luka asked.

  "The kitchen..." Alison answered.

  "It probably looks like a disaster area," Luka acknowledged.  Alison took the tray and started to get out of bed, but Luka stopped her.

  "It'll still be there later," he whispered, a gleam in his eye.  "Right now, we're all alone.  And it is our anniversary."

  "I like how you think, Dr. Kovac,"  Alison said as she put the tray on the floor.  "It's been a good twenty years, hasn't it?"  she asked as she pulled him to her.

  "Pretty damn good," Luka said as he started kissing her.  "And here's to at least fifty more."  Luka wrapped his arms around her and kissed her deeply.   Flashes of the past played through Alison's mind.  It hadn't all been perfect; there had been fights and tears along with the joy, but always, always, there was their love for each other, keeping them together, making them stronger, making them whole.  Surely, Alison thought as she gave herself to Luka for the millionth time, surely this is paradise.

The End

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