Written By: _alicesprings and newssodark
Rating: R (for language)
Disclaimer: We own nothing.
Author's Notes: The next part in our series of pic!fics! Dial-up users beware!
The Reason Luke is Forbidden to Buy Groceries Alone
January 13 (14-17)
How Reid Says Yes
Week of October 18
The Thank You Card
Reid’s slumped down on the couch with his feet propped up on the coffee table, head resting against the back of the seat and arms crossed over his stomach. The rain is soothing white noise on the roof of the house, and he can vaguely hear the commentators on whatever ESPN show he’s got turned low on the TV. He’s incredibly comfortable, and just on the cusp of what promises to be an extremely good nap when a warm, familiar weight settles on his lap and knees press in tight on his hips. When hands start to tug gently at the top two buttons of his shirt, he reluctantly cracks an eye open. Luke grins down at him.
It’s just the one word, but Reid knows Luke too well by now not to read into that particular tone. He immediately forces himself to wake up. He’ll need all his wits about him to keep Luke from making whatever disastrous decision he’s considering. He wets his lips and yawns hugely, straightening up a little so Luke slides closer.
“Hey,” he says, cautiously.
“How’s it goin’?”
Reid narrows his eyes suspiciously. “Fine.”
“Good,” Luke says, still playing idly with the buttons of Reid’s shirt. “That’s good.”
“Yeah,” Reid agrees, studying Luke’s face. Luke’s still smiling, but his eyes keep darting to the side, and Reid sighs resignedly and rubs his palms up and down Luke’s thighs. “All right, out with it. What d’you want.”
Luke makes an attempt to look shocked and offended, an earnest expression on his face. “I don’t want anything!”
Reid smirks at the outright lie and slips a hand up under the hem of Luke’s shirt to drag his fingertips just under Luke’s navel, where he knows Luke is ticklish. Luke reacts immediately, jumping and sucking in his stomach and grabbing Reid’s wrist to stop him.
“No tickling,” Luke says seriously, fighting a smile.
Reid shrugs. “Tell me what you want.”
Luke sighs, long-suffering, and ducks his chin a little. He grips Reid’s shoulders and starts to massage them slowly. It’s a dirty, dirty trick, but Reid can’t even begin to deny himself the pleasure of Luke’s hands on him, especially with the knots he’s got from the hours-long surgery earlier in the day.
“It’s just a little thing,” Luke says, leaning in to mouthe at Reid’s cheek sweetly. “Really.”
“Uh huh,” Reid murmurs, winding his arms around Luke’s waist, “how little?”
“Well, see. It’s just common sense, really. I mean, I’ve been feeding it for months. It likes me. It obviously needs a home, somewhere to go, y’know, when it’s raining like this.”
He’s speaking in this low, calm, slightly hypnotic voice that just oozes potential and good will and practicality. It’s a trick he’s perfected over the past few years as the C.E.O. of a multinational business, and it almost, almost, works on Reid.
“We’re not keeping that damn cat, Luke,” he says at once.
Luke isn’t deterred. He just kisses his way across Reid’s cheek, down to the line of his jaw, nuzzling gently under the hinge. “C’mon, Reid...it’s pretty much ours already. It’s here all the time. We feed it, and pet it, and I named it. It’s supposed to rain the rest of the week. We can’t just leave it out there.”
“We can,” Reid says easily. “We can and we will.”
“Reid,” Luke whines, sitting back to meet his eyes. Reid just shakes his head, perfectly calm in the face of Luke’s big round eyes.
“No. It’s a stray. It’s dirty and probably full of fleas and ticks and heartworm. It’ll tear up the house and get fur all over the place and you’ll get attached to it and then it’ll get old and die and you’ll be obnoxious. No.”
Luke looks at him for a long time, brow furrowed, lips pushed out just slightly in a pout. Reid tilts his head to the side against the back of the couch and cocks an eyebrow. Gimme your best shot. The answer’s still no.
And then Luke is leaning in again, and his lips are on Reid’s neck, and his fingers are tracing the shell of Reid’s ear. Reid’s eyes close without his permission and he tilts his head a little further to give Luke more room to work.
“Please?” Luke murmurs in a low, soft voice. “Please, Reid? You won’t have to do anything. I’ll take care of it, I promise.”
“I said no,” Reid reiterates, but his voice has lost some of the determination it had just moments before.
Luke kisses Reid’s neck again, right behind his ear and Reid moans softly against his will.
“Please, Reid?” Luke pulls back, ending the kisses and the gentle fingers and the rhythmic gyrations on his lap he hadn’t even noticed until they’d stopped, and giving Reid the look. The same look that saw him eating Easy-Mac for a solid month and agreeing to a huge Snyder wedding and goddamn him, taking in a stray cat.
“Fine,” Reid relents, and Luke bounces on his lap delightedly. “But there are going to be some rules.”
Luke is at least gracious enough to keep the blinding triumph mostly off his face, though he doesn’t quite subdue the obnoxious smile.
“Rules,” he repeats, nodding agreeably. “Sure, I can do rules. What’cha got?”
“It’s yours,” Reid says immediately. “Yours to deal with and yours to take care of.”
“It’s not allowed in our bedroom or in my office. If it goes anywhere near either of those places, I will throw its ass back outside. If it scratches me, ever, I will throw its ass back outside. If it claws up any of my possessions--this includes you, by the way--I will take it to the pound and tell you it ran away.”
“Thank you, thank you, thank you!” Luke smacks kisses all over Reid’s face and then bounces off the couch and heads straight over to the sliding glass door to the porch, opening it up and bending down to pick up the bedraggled cat.
“I wasn’t finished with the rules!” Reid says, but Luke’s already holding the cat close to his face and whispering endearments to it. “Hey, don’t bring that thing inside yet, it needs shots and stuff,” Reid protests.
“I already took her to the vet yesterday,” Luke grins. “She has a clean bill of health!”
Reid scowls but before he can protest, Luke’s opening the storage closet in the hallway and pulling out bags and bags of shit with Oakdale Pet’s Paradise written on them. The cat, balanced precariously, is looking at Reid over Luke’s shoulder. It’s a long-haired orange alley cat that’s easily the size of a small dog. Most of the time Reid forgets that it’s not just a big fuzzy rock on the top step of the back porch. Now with its fur all matted down from the rain, it looks truly pathetic. Reid rolls his eyes.
“You already bought all that shit?” Reid asks. “Before I said yes?”
Luke smiles his thousand-watt grin. “Have I told you lately that I love you?”
Reid just narrows his eyes and makes a point of turning back to the TV, raising the volume and ignoring Luke as he talks to the cat about baths and cat beds and god knows what else.
“What’s it called, anyway?”
“I’ve been calling her Candy,” Luke says.
“What are you, an eight-year-old girl?” Reid says disgustedly.
“Whatever Reid, it’s my cat, remember?”
“I am not having something called Candy in my house,” Reid says. “I get veto power on the name. It’s one of the rules.”
“Fine,” Luke says. “What’s your suggestion?
Reid pauses a moment, tilting his head in thought. “Gertrude.”
“Gertrude! What the hell, Reid?”
“Gertrude B. Elion," Reid says nonchalantly. "Nobel Prize winner for Medicine 1988.”
Luke rolls his eyes. “Gertie.”
Reid shrugs his agreement and turns back to the game, leaving Luke to his cat.
It becomes apparent to Luke within a matter of days that what’s supposed to have been his cat, has really become Reid’s cat.
They’re watching a movie one Saturday night. Usually, they’d sprawl across the couch together, Luke in Reid’s arms or Reid in Luke’s, pressed close and warm and together. Tonight, just their shoulders are touching. Reid’s not even holding his hand, because he’s too busy scratching the ears of the cat curled up purring happily in his lap.
Feeling disturbingly left out, Luke reaches over to pet the cat too.
“Hi Gertie,” he whispers.
She hisses and bats angrily at his hand. He jerks away just in time, toppling over a little on the couch.
“Hey,” Reid complains, tearing his eyes away from the TV. “Stop moving so much. You’ll dislodge the cat.”
Luke stares at him, open-mouthed, the shock obvious on his face. But Reid’s so busy soothing the damn cat, he doesn’t notice.
It’s three in the morning and Luke’s having trouble sleeping, even though he’s exhausted. He yawns insolently at the alarm clock and turns over onto his other side with every intention of tucking his head under Reid’s chin and breathing him in until he can fall asleep.
But he can’t. Because the cat is there, curled up on Reid’s chest and looking imperiously at Luke. He stares at it for a long time, but blinks first, and, defeated, flops onto his back and stares moodily at the ceiling.
Luke shuts his laptop and slides off the bed. Gertie is asleep at the foot, and Luke pats her head gently, once, and then suddenly searing pain is shooting up his arm, and he cries out in shock.
By the time Reid rushes into the room, the four inch scratch on Luke’s arm is bleeding all over the place, and he’s staring down at it in shock.
“What happened?” Reid asks from the doorway, concerned.
“What happ--It scratched me!” Luke says irritably.
Gertie drops off the bed and trots over to Reid, who scoops her up and holds her to his chest. “I’m sure she didn’t mean to,” he says reasonably. “What were you doing?”
“What was I doing?” Luke says a little hysterically, pressing his palm over the cut on his arm. “I was trying to pet it!”
“You probably scared her,” Reid says. And then he actually presses a kiss to the top of the cat’s head. Luke stares at him, completely nonplussed. Reid gestures to Luke with his elbow. “You’re bleeding on the carpet. There’re band-aids in the bathroom.”
“That’s it?” Luke asks. “Your little beast just scratched the fuck out of me, and that’s all you have to say? There’s band-aids in the bathroom?”
“Aww, Gertie,” Reid coos, rubbing his cheek against the cat’s side. It purrs so loud it sounds like a lawn mower, and Reid grins at it. “Luke’s just being a whiny pain in the ass, isn’t he? Yes he is.”
“It scratched me!” Luke cries. “You said you’d take it to the pound if it ever clawed me up!”
“Who’s a bad kitty?” Reid says in a gooey voice to the cat.
Completely, irrationally jealous, Luke throws a balled up pair of socks as hard as he can at Reid’s head and stomps into the bathroom, the sound of Reid’s laughter following him.
“It tried to tear off my wedding ring, Reid,” Luke says, unamused.
Reid strokes the cat on the arm of the sofa next to him thoughtfully. “Yeah, she does that to me, too. Weird, huh?”
Luke starts to work late, missing dinner every night for a week before he chides himself on his ridiculousness and heads home early on Friday night, determined to drag Reid out for a nice dinner, just the two of them. When he gets home, however, Reid’s looking settled in and comfortable in a pair of sweatpants, bare feet propped up on the coffee table and a plate with a giant sandwich on the couch next to him. Gertie is, of course, on Reid’s lap, delicately eating little bits of sandwich from Reid’s fingers.
Luke takes one look at them, slams his briefcase down on the coffee table and storms off to the bedroom.
Reid comes home from work the next day and hears voices in the kitchen. He stops short just outside when he hears the slightly hysterical note in Luke’s voice, wondering who the fuck has him so upset.
He peers around the door jamb but there’s no one else there, just Gertie, sitting on the kitchen island and Luke, elbows resting on the bench, staring sadly at the cat.
“I had him first, y'know? You can't just come in and scratch me all up so he doesn't want me anymore. YOU'RE just a cat. I'm his husband.”
Gertie purrs, self-satisfied and Luke looks like he’s on the verge on tears.
“Sometimes, I kinda hate you,” he whispers brokenly and turns, heading upstairs.
Reid orders Luke’s favorite take-out for dinner that night and makes sure he keeps an arm around Luke’s shoulders while they eat. Gertie is in her usual spot on his lap but for the first time in weeks Reid’s fingers are stroking Luke’s hair, and not petting the cat.
Luke’s more than a little confused but he’s not about to complain, especially when Reid drags him to the bedroom after dinner and deliberately closes Gertie outside.
“What’s going...” Luke’s words are cut off by Reid’s mouth on his, kissing him softly on the mouth before pulling back and smiling.
Luke smiles back, still a little confused, but quickly getting excited about the prospect of having sex without a four-legged audience for the first time in a month. His fingers reach for the buttons on Reid’s shirt, deftly undoing them as Reid tugs Luke’s shirt off over his head. They kiss again, more hungrily and then Reid pushes Luke back onto the bed and drops down on top of him.
Suddenly there’s a loud yowling and the sound of Gertie scratching at the door.
Luke sighs, resigned. “You better let her in or she won’t stop.”
Reid cups Luke’s face in his hands, smiling down at him and shrugs. “She’ll be okay,” Reid says. “She’s just a cat, you’re my husband.”
Luke smiles a little dopily and loops his arms around Reid’s neck. “Have I told you lately that I love you,” he says, and Reid grins before kissing him again.