Written By: _alicesprings
Author’s Notes: Gapfiller for the final episode of ATWT. Sad, and probably cheesy as hell. IDEK. *shrugs*
Luke’s looking at Reid’s picture on the promotional brochure for the neuro wing when he hears the sound of feet shuffling into the room. He looks up and smiles at Natalie before she fits herself under his arm on the couch. She misses Reid as much as any kid who’d only spent one afternoon with him can. She had liked him though, and not just because he’d let her have two pieces of wedding cake. She and Ethan had had fun with him that day and Reid had seen them briefly once or twice again after that. Reid was surprisingly good with kids. This is a thing Luke knows. Natalie didn't know Reid well, but she hugs Luke because she knows he's sad, and he holds her close and he kisses her hair and he remembers that day they'd all spent together, and it helps.
Later, after the non-wedding, Reid had told him that Natalie reminded him of Annie Judd, his lips twisting into a smile that was more like a grimace, and Luke knew how deeply he still felt that loss, how deeply he felt all of them. It's another thing Luke knows.
Luke remembers now, remembers all the things he knows about Reid. It's a lot and not nearly enough all at once. They may not have gone to the movies together or gone shopping or bowling, but they knew each other - the important parts. Luke knew Reid.
Luke knows that Reid cared about saving lives. He cared about Katie and Jacob. He cared about the hospital and the neuro wing (Luke's going to make it the best, and that helps, too). Most of all, Reid cared about Luke. He loved Luke. This is a thing Luke knows better than he knows himself. He can close his eyes and picture Reid’s face. I love you. So sincere and matter-of-fact, so Reid, and he holds onto that now, holds onto the memories and he thinks of the lives Reid saved with his organs. Luke thinks of his bravery and his calmness and his acceptance of death, and that helps.
Luke sits with his mom on the couch late at night, after the kids have gone to sleep, and he talks about Reid. He tells her all the things she never got the chance to find out for herself. He tells her that Reid liked kids and sandwiches and chess. He tells her that Reid was claustrophobic and babbled when he was nervous. He tells her that Reid liked The Godfather, Parts I and II, but III not so much. These are all things Luke knows.
His mom holds his hand and she laughs at his funny stories, and she cries when he cries, and during the day he gets hugs and kisses from Ethan and Natalie and Faith, and that helps, too.
He finally goes swimming at the pond, and when he closes his eyes he can almost feel Reid gliding up behind him in the water. He can imagine how he’d have dunked Luke under the surface and laughed when he came up spluttering. He can imagine chasing Reid around in the water and splashing him in the face. He can imagine how their bodies would have come together, eventually, their arms sliding around each other and their legs tangling under the surface while they kissed.
Reid would have liked the pond. It’s a thing Luke knows, because he knew Reid. And he’ll never forget him.