Written By: _alicesprings
Author’s Notes: Shameless spoiler!fic chock full of fix-it and fandom kinks. And there is dancing which I stole from this thread. Based on future spoilers, and this one in particular: A celebratory date at Metro after Reid's presentation turns sour. It deviates from canon after the PDA kiss/union reps meeting episode.
It had been a good night, a great night in fact. It turned out Reid was surprisingly good at the courting thing. He'd aced his meeting with the union reps – thanks to Luke’s coaching – and had planted a celebratory kiss on Luke right there amid the scurrying nurses, and promptly invited him to dinner at Metro. Now, with dessert eaten and coffee drunk, Reid tosses his napkin down on the table, leans back in his chair and pats his stomach. “So full,” he groans.
“No wonder,” Luke laughs. “I’ve never met anyone who eats as much as you do.”
“I’ll just have to work it off,” Reid says suggestively and Luke looks down at the tablecloth, trying to fight back the blush he can feel rising on his cheeks. Reid pushes his chair back and stands, holding a hand out to Luke.
“What?” Luke asks, confused. Reid wiggles his fingers. “Let’s dance,” he says, like it’s obvious. “I need to work off all this food.”
Luke grins and takes Reid’s hand, following him to the dance floor. Reid pulls him in close and they start to sway together. Luke hooks his chin over Reid’s shoulder and closes his eyes as they dance. It feels nice, really nice. Luke loves dancing and he’s full of good food and feeling sleepy and Reid smells really good and it feels so nice to be close to him. He sighs happily. “Noah and I used to dance here sometimes,” he says, without really thinking about it.
Reid immediately stiffens and pulls back and Luke is confused for a moment. “What’s wrong?” Luke asks.
“What’s wrong?” Reid repeats, a slightly hysterical note to his voice. “Oh gee Luke, I don’t know, maybe the fact that I’m on a date with my boyfriend and he’s thinking about his ex!”
“Reid,” Luke says nervously, looking around at the half-dozen or so people who have suddenly become frozen on the dance floor. Reid glances around and scowls at their blatant eavesdropping, heading back to their table and throwing a few bills down for the check. Luke follows him outside.
“Don’t you think you’re overreacting?” Luke asks once they’re outside.
Reid looks incredulous. “We were dancing together and you were thinking about Noah,” he says loudly. “And you think I’m overreacting?”
“Look, I told you I associate Noah with this kind of stuff and you said you were okay with that,” Luke says, his own voice rising. “But you’re clearly not okay with it are you? All you’re interested in is sex!”
Reid looks shocked and Luke feels a smidge of guilt, he knows that's not true but he's pissed now, and he pushes it straight back down and keeps talking. “Noah is a big part of my life and he always will be so you’re just going to have to get used to it!”
Reid’s mouth opens to argue back, but in an instant his shoulders slump and he seems to deflate. He takes a step closer to Luke, cupping his cheek in that familiar way, and the gentleness of the gesture surprises Luke after the fight they were in just a moment ago. Reid shakes his head a little, as though he’s fighting an internal battle Luke’s not privy to.
Luke starts to feel a little scared. “Reid,” he murmurs, “what is it?”
Reid’s thumb brushes across Luke’s cheekbone and he smiles sadly. “It’s not your fault,” he says kindly. “It’s my fault. It’s all my fault.”
“What is?” Luke asks, confused. “Reid, what are you talking about?”
Reid shakes his head again, his palm warm against Luke’s cheek. “You can’t help it,” he says quietly. “He’s the love of your life, you told me that yourself.”
“Reid—” Luke tries to interrupt but Reid’s not listening, his eyes are far away. “It’s my fault,” he repeats. “It’s my fault for falling in love with you.”
Luke sucks in a sharp breath, completely stunned by the admission but he doesn’t have time to process it because Reid’s still talking, more to himself than Luke. “I knew you were with Noah but I couldn’t—I couldn’t help myself,” he smiles wistfully. “And then you two broke up and I thought it was my chance but it’s not. It never will be,” he shakes his head. “You’re never going to get over Noah. It’s been months now and you’re still thinking about him, still associating him with all this,” Reid waves a hand toward the restaurant.
“Reid,” Luke says, trying to explain again, “It’s not—” but Reid cuts him off, his attention refocused on Luke and his eyes sharp and serious. Reid brings his other hand up and now both of them are cupping Luke’s face. “You should go make up with him, Luke,” Reid says quietly. “It’s what you really want.”
“What? Reid, no,” Luke shakes his head, tries to explain, but Reid is leaning in and pressing a soft kiss against his mouth, keeping the words at bay. He pulls back and brushes his thumb across Luke’s lips. “It’s okay, Luke,” he says, smiling one last time, then turns and walks away.
Luke stands there for a long time after Reid’s gone. It’s a warm night but his face feels cold where Reid’s hands aren’t touching him anymore.
A few days go by and Luke thinks he must have slept and eaten and gone to work at some point during that time, but he doesn’t remember any of it happening. He feels like he’s walking underwater or like his brain has been replaced with cotton wool. He can’t make sense of anything.
He has a meeting about the neuro wing scheduled for 9am on a Tuesday but he shows up early, hoping for a chance to talk to Reid first. However, Reid’s nowhere to be seen and the meeting gets under way without him. He slips in almost twenty minutes late, a cup of coffee in one hand, and nods an apology at Bob. He doesn’t look at Luke.
Luke tries to catch his eye throughout the meeting but Reid studiously avoids looking in his direction and when it ends, Luke plans to go after him but is stopped by a hand on his arm. “Do you have a minute, Luke?”
Luke watches Reid slip out the door, and sighs. “Sure Bob. What’s up?”
“I just wanted to say I’m sorry things didn’t work out between you and Reid,” Bob says kindly.
Luke can’t hide his surprise. “He told you?”
“He wanted to inform me I didn’t need to worry about any future conflicts of interest.”
“Oh,” Luke frowns and Bob pats his arm. “For what it’s worth, I thought you two were good together,” he says with a fatherly smile, leaving Luke alone in the board room feeling just as utterly confused as he was before the meeting.
Life goes on. Luke goes to work in the mornings and he comes home at night. He goes to Java for his coffee and to Al’s for his takeout, and through it all he still has no idea what the hell happened. He goes to another meeting about the neuro wing and Reid’s there again, painstakingly avoiding eye contact with him. He doesn’t hear a word anyone says the entire time, his focus is purely on Reid. On the way Reid’s hair curls behind his ears, on the crease that appears between his eyes when he frowns, on his mouth, on his lips. Reid loves him. Reid loves him.
The meeting ends and Reid’s the first one out the door. Luke blinks and stands up, gathering the paperwork he didn’t even look at and shoving it back inside his bag. He has no idea what the hell anyone talked about. He’s walking out to his car when it hits him that Reid is still there. He’s still there. They’re broken up but Reid’s still working at the hospital, still planning the new wing, he’s not leaving town.
Luke pulls up short in the carpark. Reid’s not leaving town. For the first time in days, Luke smiles.
There’s a knock at the door that night and Luke answers it to find Noah on the other side.
“Hey,” Luke says with a smile. “What are you doing here?”
“I need to talk to you,” Noah says. “Is now a bad time?”
“No no, come in,” Luke says, gesturing at the couch. “Sit down.”
Noah perches nervously on the edge of the couch cushion, resting his elbows on his knees, his hands clasped together.
“So what’s up?” Luke asks.
“I wanted to come and tell you in person,” Noah begins. “I’m moving to LA next month.”
Noah looks at Luke, waiting for ... well Luke’s not sure what but he smiles, “That’s good, for you I mean,” he says.
Noah nods. “Yeah I figured Oakdale isn’t exactly the place to be if I’m serious about getting into films. I got this job at a studio in Hollywood, it’s pretty crappy actually, practically a go-fer,” Noah laughs, “but it’s a start. And I mean, there's not really anything else keeping me here, right?"
“Well you’ve got friends here Noah, and don’t forget you’re part of the family. Like my mom would ever let you forget,” Luke laughs and Noah joins in. “Yeah, Lily’s kind of ... protective,” Noah says.
Luke chuckles. “But it’s really great about the job,” he says sincerely. “It sounds like a good career move.”
“Yeah,” Noah says slowly. “Thanks.”
Luke nods and there’s silence for a beat or two before Noah stands up. He studies Luke for a moment and Luke tilts his head and smiles questioningly but Noah doesn’t say anything, just reaches out and briefly squeezes Luke’s shoulder.
Luke walks him out. “So I’ll see you before you go, of course,” Luke says, and Noah nods.
“We’ll have a going-away party or something.”
“That sounds good,” Noah says. “I’ll talk to you later.”
Life goes on. Luke goes to work in the mornings and he comes home at night. He runs into Noah a few times and pretends he doesn’t get the not-so-subtle hints he drops about possibly staying in Oakdale, like, if there was a reason. He goes to board meetings at the hospital and he listens again, paying attention to the never ending details a project like this demands. But his focus is always on Reid. He can’t tear his eyes away from him for more than a few seconds and he doesn’t even care that half the board notices and are probably all gossiping about him behind closed doors. Reid loves him. Reid loves him. Reid loves him.
Life goes on and Luke does too. He realizes that he’ll miss Noah when he goes to LA but that he doesn’t want him back. He realizes that some distance might even be a good thing, just what they need. And he realizes that he misses Reid so much it hurts. He doesn’t want Noah, he doesn’t miss Noah. But god does he want Reid.
Luke knocks on Reid’s door again. He knows someone’s home because he can hear the faint sounds of the television, but he’s knocked three times to no avail. He knocks again.
“All right I’m coming!” he finally hears a muffled shout and then Reid’s opening the door, hair damp from the shower and wearing only a pair of jeans. Deja vu.
“What are you doing here,” Reid frowns.
“Can I come in,” Luke says. “Please.”
Reid moves aside, making room for Luke to walk in. He closes the door and turns back to face Luke, crossing his arms across his chest and raising an eyebrow in question. Luke’s eyes flicker across Reid’s bare torso and arms and his tongue darts out to lick at his lips, seemingly without realizing. Reid clears his throat and Luke looks up, blushing a little.
“You’re in love with me,” he blurts out. He hadn’t planned what he was going to say when he got here, but that wasn’t high on the list. He blushes again.
“You’re in love with me,” he says it again anyway and Reid opens his mouth but Luke steps close and puts a finger against Reid’s lips before he can speak. “You’re in love with me and you’re staying in Oakdale and you’re not leaving,” Luke says. “You’re not leaving and I know you have no idea how much that means to me but it means a lot, Reid.”
Reid opens his mouth again so this time Luke clamps his whole hand over his mouth. “Don’t say anything. I just need to ... get this all out,” he says, and when Reid nods he takes his hand away from Reid’s mouth and shoves it in his pocket instead, pacing back and forth.
“There’s so much crap,” Luke says. “So much stuff you don’t know. About my drinking and god, there’s just so much stuff!” Luke says, waving distractedly. “I’m so messed up, Reid, there's my kidney, and my father and a lot of stuff with Noah.”
At the mention of Noah’s name Reid rolls his eyes and steps past Luke, heading for the fridge and attempting to put some distance between them, but Luke grabs his wrist and spins him around, putting his hands on Reid’s warm shoulders and feeling a delicious tingle run down his spine.
“You were wrong,” Luke says quietly. “I am over him.
Reid rolls his eyes again, a sharp retort no doubt on the tip of his tongue but Luke cuts it off.
“I know I’m over him because I know I’m in love with you.”
Reid’s double-take is comical, and Luke laughs. “I love you, Reid,” he says. “And I’m over Noah – he’s leaving town anyway – and I don’t care, Reid,” a laugh bubbles up out of Luke. “I don’t care that Noah’s leaving town, doesn’t that tell you something?”
Luke is beaming and his fingers are rubbing slow circles on Reid’s bare shoulders and slowly, slowly Reid’s stance relaxes and his arms come out to encircle Luke’s waist.
“So, you love me?” Reid says.
Luke laughs again, nodding happily.
“Well that’s good,” Reid says, and he moves forward and Luke moves forward too and then they’re kissing, and it’s the start, the real start.