Jul. 1st, 2011

marsabi1: (Default)
Title: Anywhere USA
Author: Marsabi
Summary: This is a two part story with multiple chapters.
Part One: Abandoned as a teen, Reid is forced to live on the Snyder farm as a foster kid for a few months, before he heads off on his own, but will a certain child worm his way into Reid’s heart?
Part Two: Reid returns to Oakdale as a favor for Bob, something he planned never to do, and he can’t wait to leave town, until his past slams into him in the form of Luke Snyder and damn if Luke isn’t all grown up.
Warning: Sexual Content in some parts
Rating: PG-NC-17
Thanks to the following friends for their support of this story: shadownyc, traciamc, and Rhiannonhero
Author’s notes: This was bid on by Rhiannon Hero for the Japanese auction. Because I know Rhiannonhero loathes short chapters, these chapters will be long.

Chapter 13 (last)

It wasn’t going well. Reid tried to do it all quietly, but Bob refused to listen.

“I’m perfectly fine," he kept on insisting.

He wouldn’t take the test and Reid had to get Kim involved. She’d forced Bob to do it, all the while shooting looks of hatred at Reid. Kim turned her back on him and made some phone calls, and Reid just paced the hallway. They’d given each other space for a good hour. Kim kept the phone glued to her ear and made more calls, and Reid had fallen back into his old habit of doing math problems in his head. Every so often, Reid took out his own phone and checked for messages. None. Well, what had he expected? He had been pretty harsh at Java. He had no right to think Luke would call him. Even if he did, nothing had changed. Reid hugged his arms to his body. He walked the halls some more. His scrubs felt sweaty and Reid tugged at them, an unwanted image of following Bob around in his first pair of scrubs came to his mind like a painful flash. Reid turned, almost knocking his body into the wall, wanting to pound his hand into it or butt his head against it or do something, anything, to release all this feeling zeroing in on him. Reid squeezed his eyes shut. He would control himself. He picked up some stupid magazines and paged through them. Let me be wrong, Reid thought, let me be wrong.

Some more time passed. Suddenly, waiting, Reid understood what Luke had been trying to tell him about building a family wing. Waiting in a hospital sucked so much. Families needed a place to go, to grieve, pray, cry or whatever. Luke had been so right. Thinking about him, Reid held himself motionless, trying to ward off the wave of pain moving through him. Reid blinked hard, a burning feeling behind his eyes. Even if Luke hated him now, Reid just wanted him here. He wanted to hold him, to hear his name on Luke’s lips, and to be in Luke’s arms.

Finally, Bob came back and the results arrived. It was confirmed. Bob had senile dementia. It was still in the early stages, but seeing the results, Reid had to lean against the hospital wall. Bob took the news without expression, locking his office door, leaving Kim and Reid to face one another.

“Did you have to push all this so soon?” Kim said to him. “Why couldn’t we do the test without his knowledge? “

“Because I needed his consent,” Reid said, speaking to her like a dimwitted child. “And because Bob should know what’s going on.”

“And now he’s in his office devastated,” Kim snapped. She yanked off one of her earrings and glared at him. “You know, I think we should just slow all of this down and wait a moment. “ Kim ran her hand through her short hair. “I need to think.”

“Wait?” Reid replied. “Wait for what? Bob to start drooling? Incontinence?” Reid shook his head. “Bob needs treatment to begin right away.”

“This is a delicate matter,” Kim argued. “Bob is a proud man. “ She tightened her lips. “And frankly, Dr. Oliver, I question your motives.”

“My motives?” Reid gave her a look like she was certifiable.

Kim nodded emphatically at him. “Yes. You come to me, insisting on tests, making all kinds of assumptions about Bob.“

“I’m not assuming anything. We have the test results.”

“-And I’m not promising you anything,” Kim cut him off. “I want to take a long moment and examine the situation clearly.”

“Bob needs treatment,” Reid said again. "Right now. He can’t wait for you to go to high tea with the gals and mull it over. By the time you think about it, you’ll be pushing Bob in a wheelchair and chewing his food for him."

Kim gasped. “You're an awful man. I have no idea what Bob sees in you. You don’t know what Bob needs; I’m his wife. And I want another opinion. I’m going to call Christopher in Africa and –“

Reid groaned. “If you’re going to get a second opinion at least get an expert's,” Reid said. “Not some idiot relation’s bad advice.”

“Chris is not an idiot.”

“Sorry, was that not PC? Intellectually challenged,” Reid corrected himself.

“I ought to flatten you!” Kim exclaimed.

“Well, have at it,” Reid snapped back. “I’ve been hit for less important reasons –“

“Okay, that’s enough! Stop right now!” Luke was suddenly there, grabbing Reid, dragging him away from an irate Kim.

“Wait,“ Reid protested, but Luke shoved him down the hall and into his office.

Luke let him go and closed the door.

“You had no right to do that. You have no idea what was going on there.”

“Maybe not,” Luke agreed. “But I know that making Kim crazy isn’t the answer to any problem you might be having with her. Can you just calm down?” Luke took his shoulder.

“Can you just mind your own business?” Reid rolled his eyes. He broke away from Luke’s grip.

“Whatever it is can be worked out with Bob’s help -“

“Bob can’t help,” Reid barked out. “I need to help Bob. “

Luke’s eyes darkened with concern. He reached out to Reid again, attempting to calm him. Reid dodged the touch. He couldn’t bear it. He staggered farther away.

“What’re you doing here anyway?” Reid’s voice was raw.

Luke shrugged. “I have a board meeting about the new wing.” Luke puffed out his chest defensively. “I didn’t come to bother you.”

They faced each other, unable to avoid looking at each other any longer.

Reid couldn’t help the disappointment at Luke’s words, his heart skidding to a stop.

“But since I am here,“ Luke said. “Why don’t you tell me how bad is Bob?”

“I’ll give you the short version. Bob needs my help. Kim is an idiot. You pulled me away from a fist fight.”

“Reid,” Luke half-smiled. “I know you’d never physically fight with Kim.”

“I wouldn’t be too sure of that,” Reid grumbled. “I was prepared to clock her.”

Luke frowned. ”Then Bob must be showing symptoms already? ”

Reid shook his head, his eyes glistening a moment. “I can’t talk about it. It’s privileged.” Then he realized what Luke just said. “Wait, you know?”

Luke nodded. “This is Oakdale, Reid . The whole town knows. Kim called Barbara and Margo. That’s all it took. Margo called everybody else, including Casey. He got in touch with me. So you don’t need to keep quiet. Talk to me.“ Luke knitted his brows together. “How bad off he is. Reid?”

Reid stood silently, unable to speak, his fingers digging into his skin.

As usual, Luke easily understood what Reid couldn’t say out loud. Luke drew in a breath. “God. Can you help him?”

Reid threw up his hands. He began to pace the room. “Sort of. There are medications, memantine or donepezil. Vitamins.“ Reid swallowed hard. “He’ll need haloperidol too for his mood changes; things that might help for awhile, but only awhile.”

“Well,” Luke said. “That’s good. It’ll help him. Help his symptoms.”

“No it’s not,” Reid snapped. “It’s temporary. Do you understand? He can’t be fixed. I can’t cut open his brain and solve this. There isn’t a magic pill or a surgery to help him and over time his mind - “ Reid broke off.

He stumbled over to the wall, leaning against it for support, and ran his hands over his face.

“How is Bob taking it?” Luke asked gently, and took a small step in Reid’s direction.

“How do you think?” Reid rolled his eyes. “He doesn’t want to admit it’s happening.“ Reid frowned at Luke. “He’s a doctor, after all.”

“What does that mean?”

Reid let out an exasperated noise. “You can’t be a doctor and a patient. It doesn’t work that way. “ He paced back and forth again, pinching his nose. “We don’t have illnesses, we treat them.”

“That’s stupid,” Luke protested. “Doctors can get sick – they aren’t Gods.”

“You don’t get it,” Reid said, his voice cracking.

“Once a doctor is patient -” Reid just shook his head. "All the lines are blurred. And with Bob, it’s only a matter of time. I’ve been looking at the research, trying -“ Reid closed his eyes a moment. “I can’t figure out what to do.”

Reid put his hands to his temples and then slowly opened his eyes again. His eyes felt bloodshot. Reid felt a tug of desperation as he looked at Luke, his hands twitched, his insides contracted painfully. He’d always been so sure of what he wanted and where he was going, and now Reid felt like his life was somersaulting. He kept his eyes on Luke, not moving.

Catching his lip with his teeth, Luke came closer, making a sympathetic sound and giving Reid a tender glance. “Reid-“ Luke said quietly, his eyes soft, he tilted his head to one side. “You can’t fix everyone.”

“Why not?” Reid answered. He breathed deeply, his chest rising and falling.

Luke’s face was etched with compassion, and he started swiftly toward him again.

Reid jumped back, putting up a hand to stop Luke. “No, no, no,“ Reid mumbled to himself. He shook his head vigorously, banging his forehead with his hand. “This was all a mistake.” He looked at Luke. “Why did I let Bob bring me here? Reminding me of all the times he helped me out as a kid? The medicine he taught me.“ Reid swallowed hard, choking on his feelings. “Why did I ever come here and have to see him again?” He looked at Luke. “And see you-“

Reid stopped talking, unable to finish his sentence, his eyes lingering on Luke’s.

“Bob won’t be able to practice medicine soon. His entire identity as a doctor will be just gone.” Reid could barely push the words out of his mouth. Reid gazed at Luke, and he knew his face must be revealing too much by the way Luke was gazing back at him, starting again to come closer.

“But Bob isn’t just a doctor,” Luke said, running his tongue over his lips. “He’s a person too.” Moving slowly, his eyes fixed on Reid’s, Luke closed the distance between them. He reached out a hand and cupped Reid’s face, Luke’s fingers stroking gently. “Bob can hold onto his family. He can hold onto the people who love him.”

At Luke’s touch, a violent shudder ripped through Reid’s entire body, his ears rang, his skin felt feverish, and Reid opened his mouth, trying to gather his ragged thoughts. Luke wavered toward him, and it was pointless to resist.

Reid lunged forward, seeking solace in Luke, kissing him so hard their teeth clinked. Luke's hands were all over him now, and Reid couldn't get enough. They pulled and tugged, moving their shirts up and opening buttons, getting skin under their fingers. They kissed again and again, breathing heavily, struggling and grunting for more contact, more flesh.

Luke’s hands were at Reid’s zipper, yanking it down, and then his hand was there, firm, soft, warm, and stroking Reid’s dick frantically. They stumbled for a moment to get their pants all the way down, pushing their clothes off, and then Reid let out a growl, cupping Luke’s ass and lifting him onto the desk.

Luke’s hands sought out Reid’s skin, gliding over his chest, digging his thumbs at Reid’s nipples, pinching them. Reid groaned and pulled Luke’s body closer, biting his ear and his neck, tasting the saltiness of Luke’s skin. They scratched and grabbed at each other, wildly intertwining their limbs, needing more.

Luke bucked his hips up, as his hands reached around to grasp Reid’s lower back. Reid pushed his hand under Luke’s ass again, taking hold of it. With his other hand, Reid spat into his palm and his fingers found Luke’s dick, his balls, his hole. All Reid could think about was getting inside Luke’s body. He pumped his hand over Luke’s erection again, getting him ready, feeling it harden more, caressing the silken warmth.

Luke made a guttural sound low in his throat, and the hand at Reid’s back clawed into his skin. Reid ground his mouth against Luke’s one more time, tasting his lips and tongue. His fingers pushed in and everything inside of Reid felt unshackled. Luke whimpered at the rough finger fucking, but he spread his legs wider. Reid kissed him again, demandingly and thrust another finger inside Luke’s hole. Luke hit at Reid’s shoulders, pounding at Reid, and then Luke rose up his body and threw back his head, moaning, “Yes!” Reid increased the pressure of his fingers against Luke's prostate, and Luke’s hard dick began to leak.

Withdrawing his hand, Reid gave Luke’s cock one hard suck, and then he broke away, fumbling for his wallet and tearing the foil package with his teeth. With a low keening sound, Reid entered Luke quickly, almost falling into his body. All of Reid’s bottled feelings exploded into passion as he rutted in and out of Luke, and Luke scrabbled at his back, trying to drag him in tighter and harder. Reid’s body pinned Luke’s, and he pummeled into him. Reid charged on, knocking the breath from his own lungs, slapping his body at Luke’s. He couldn’t get enough of him; he needed all of him, every thrust, every inch. He could never be close enough. Reid clutched Luke to him, giving him everything, fucking him raw. Luke’s dick was trapped at Reid’s stomach, hot and pulsing, until finally Luke gasped and a shudder ripped through him, his cum streaking out at Reid’s belly, chest, and even his neck. Reid’s own orgasm followed quickly, rocking his entire body, and he burrowed his face in Luke's neck, riding out the aftershocks, trembling and feeling emotional in a way that hurt and scared him, until they both were still.

“Reid?” Luke asked, lifting his head, his expression vulnerable and disorientated.

Reid held him, both of their bodies slick with sweat, and rubbed his cheek against Luke’s. But Luke rolled out from under Reid, pulling their sticky bodies apart, and carefully climbed off the desk. He didn't look at Reid as he put on his underwear and pants.

“Luke-“ Reid stared at him, watching him dress. Reid sawed his finger up and down at his jaw. He wanted to touch him all over again, but gently this time. He had done it all wrong. He should have been tender and sweet, not rough and crazy. He wanted to worship Luke with his body, suck his cock, slowly, all night. He wanted to get down on his knees and grovel, if that’s what it took. Luke was standing right in front of him, but he could easily walk out the door and disappear, and if Luke left, he’d take all the important parts of Reid with him.

“What?” Luke said, and jammed his hands into his pockets. The room smelled of sex, the papers on Reid’s desk all fallen away. Luke’s hair was mussed, anger had tightened his lips.

Reid, still naked, and sweating with fear, exertion, and love, stared at him.

“I’m not a boy,” Luke said, his jaw clenched. “I knew what I was doing on the roof that day. I know what I’m doing now.”

Reid nodded, swallowing hard. He wasn’t looking into the eyes of a boy, but the face of a man.

“Sorry,” Reid voice was strained, the word awkwardly stumbling off of his tongue, but he met Luke’s gaze steadily.

Just the simple act of looking at Luke’s face again, the act of looking at his expressive mouth, looking into his eyes, so naked with their wistful expression, the act of looking at his hair all kicked up in deliberate spikes that begged to be played with, looking at his creamy skin that demanded to be licked, looking at Luke and seeing the hidden pieces inside of him, just looking at Luke, all of Luke ,the whole of him, filled Reid with a fierce need to acknowledge what was still between them, always there, and to make Luke forever, irrefutably, his.

Luke frowned and shifted his weight. “That’s all you have to say?”

“Why ruin a sincere apology with a lot of cheap excuses?”

Luke snorted at that and Reid offered him a glimmer of a smile.

“When are you going to admit that you need me?” Luke asked. ”Cause you do.” But there was a slight question in his voice.

Reid shook his head, smiled, and shrugged his shoulders. “Maybe a little.”

They looked at each other. Luke rubbed his sleeve across his nose. He watched as Reid threw his clothes back on.

“You look terrible, by the way.” Luke told him.

“You don’t.” Reid answered. He let his gaze sweep over Luke’s body.

Luke sucked on his lips and just stared at Reid. Both of them grew still a moment. Luke’s expression was full of yearning but he remained motionless, and Reid knew it was up to him, and even though his legs were shaking, he didn’t take his eyes off of Luke.

Reid approached him slowly, his every step heavy, his heart hammering, his hand out. “I’m not good at all this. I’ll forget your birthday. I’ll work too much. I’m pretty much crap at romance. And if we do this thing, really do it…If I put myself out there, it’s got to be for good, for keeps. I can’t do it halfway because I’m just not that kind of guy and I don’t work like that. And the only thing I understand about relationships is they can’t be calculated like math problems, so I’ll probably- ”



“Breathe,” Luke advised.

Luke’s face softened as Reid neared. He opened his arms and Reid slipped in, nuzzling his lips at Luke’s collarbone, holding his waist.

“I know who you are,” Luke said. He ran his fingers through Reid’s hair and then down the nape of his neck. “And I don’t want halfway either.”

Reid looked into Luke’s eyes. Reid inhaled and then exhaled painfully.

Luke touched his cheek gently. “Trust me.” He leaned in and their foreheads touched.

“I’m trying,” Reid said.

Reid felt Luke’s hand snake around him firmly.

“I get that you’re afraid, “ Luke whispered. “But you have me, all of me.“

Reid’s body trembled. He managed a nod.

“All those years with Noah, it never felt right,“ Luke murmured, “and the moment you came back I figured it out.”

“What?” Reid asked, pulling back slightly, so that he could look into Luke’s eyes.

“That you stole my heart when I was just a kid,“ Luke answered, “and you never gave it back.”

His heart tightening in response, Reid kissed him softly, his mouth barely touching Luke’s at first, hovering. The kisses were light and sweet for a moment, then Luke opened his mouth wider and Reid pressed his lips to Luke’s, seeking the warm, true taste of Luke’s tongue. When he released Luke, Reid noticed Luke’s lips were swollen and wet, and his eyes were shining brilliantly at him. Reid traced a finger down Luke’s face.

“I love you,” Reid said simply.

“I know,” Luke said. “I’ve always known.”

They kissed again, capturing each other’s lips in a promise.


6 weeks later

“I should step down,” Bob said, waving Reid into his office. “It would be for the good of the hospital. Memorial has to come first.”

“Bullshit,” Reid retorted, closing the door. “This place would fall apart without you.” He went over to Bob’s desk, picked up his ham and cheese sandwich, and took a bite. “This isn’t bad. Is it from Al’s?“ Not waiting for Bob to answer, Reid ate some more. “And you’re not going to step down, not yet.“ Reid talked as he chewed. “Don’t let those old buzzards bother you. “

“Those old buzzards on the board are all younger than me,” Bob sighed. “And they have a right to question my ability to run the hospital.”

“Your medication is working, right?” Reid half-smiled at Bob’s nod. He had prescribed the combination himself, and it seemed to have Bob’s symptoms controlled. “Then forget them.”

Reid knew Bob faced difficulties in the future, such was the nature of his illness. Illness had no sentimental side, no sense of fairness, and it would pursue Bob with a steady detachment and a stubborn relentlessness for the rest of Bob’s life, but Reid was ready to fight back at every step, and he’d rather attend a thousand trustee dinners or kiss every phony ass in Oakdale than admit defeat. He would see Bob through this the best he could and he had to believe that the fight make some difference-might give Bob the one gift he could offer-more time.

“Reid,” Bob paused, stroking his jaw. “I am not sure how to say this, but I wanted to thank you for all that you did for me, son. I really –“

“Improve the food around here, keep the nurses off my back, and that’s thanks enough,” Reid waved his words away. Reid preferred not to have Bob speak, offer his gratitude, force Reid to acknowledge his own deep need to help Bob, or worse, force him to reveal the filial attachment he had for Bob in some schmaltzy moment of bonding.

Bob was about to reply, when Reid’s phone buzzed. He smiled down at the message from Luke requesting that Reid meet up with him as soon as Reid could get away.

Luke, on the other hand, could drop to his knees, show him some gratitude, and Reid wouldn’t object at all. Just last night, Reid had introduced Luke to a little light bondage, wrapping a tie around his eyes and another at his hands, and it been ridiculously hot having Luke at his mercy, writhing under his kisses, and helplessly ejaculating all over the sheets.

“Well?” Bob asked, and Reid blinked at him.

“What?” Reid said, tapping the side of his head with his fingers, clearing it.

“Nothing much,” Bob frowned at him sternly. “I was only asking you if you would perhaps consider being the next Chief of Staff here. Obviously, you have other important matters on your mind?”

“I thought we just agreed you’re not going anywhere.”

“Eventually, Reid, we both know the time will come.”

Reid said nothing to that, examining his hands a moment, thinking about how he would feel if they ever failed him.

“Memorial is a fine institution,” Bob said, ignoring Reid’s sudden smirk. “With you at the helm, it could be great.”

“I have to be honest, Bob. I don’t see myself pushing papers and calling meetings. Right now,” Reid finally answered. "Let’s just concentrate on your time as Chief. “

Bob nodded, a small smile on his face. “Fair enough, Doctor Oliver. While I am still Chief, it will give you time to hone those people skills of yours.”

Reid rolled his eyes. “Half the staff here are more qualified to serve coffee at Java or flip burgers at Al’s than be part of any hospital that I run.”

Bob shook his head and sighed at Reid. “I can see that this conversation is going nowhere. I guess I’d better stay healthy for a long time.”

“A very long time,” Reid agreed.


Reid arrived at the pond. As he got out of his car, he was still dressed in his blue scrubs, and the air had turned chilly, making Reid want a jacket. Hugging his body, Reid looked around. The water was surrounded by trees, vibrant with color, and there was Luke, sitting quietly, his knees pulled up to his chest, his cheek resting on his palm, eyes gazing worriedly out at the water.

“Hey,” Reid called, making Luke jump. “Got your text,” Reid said, walking over and kissing him hello. “What’s up?”

Luke kissed him back, but then sighed. He picked up a few pebbles and skipped them into the pond water. Reid waited patiently. He picked up a pebble too, feeling how smooth and cool it was in his fingers, and threw it across the water. They sat there awhile, shoulder-to shoulder. Finally, Luke stopped tossing in the pebbles and looked at him anxiously.

“Did you really get your last paycheck from the Mayo Clinic today?”

“Yep.” His old boss had been playing games, trying to make Reid reconsider. “Why?” Reid cocked his head at Luke. “Worried about my being able to wine and dine you in the style you’re accustomed to?”

Luke laughed at that, cuffing Reid on his head. “Idiot. And I pay for most of our dinners, which usually are cheeseburgers and shakes, hardly breaking my bank account.”

“I’m a cheap date,” Reid agreed.

“And you put out,” Luke teased, throwing back Reid’s old words at him. "That’s a plus.”

They laughed, but then Luke’s smile started to slip away again. He picked up another pebble and watched the ripples in the water. Reid watched him, his gut uneasily stirring. He reached out to touch Luke, massaging his arm, and Luke looked at him again, his eyes soft.

“What’s wrong?” Reid asked. He braced himself, trying to trust that Luke wasn’t disappointed in him somehow.

Luke shook his head. “I’m just thinking about all you gave up: leaving the Mayo Clinic, living at the hotel, your stuff in boxes, and working at Memorial, which you’ve told me a half dozen times is totally inadequate and not up to your standards at all. When you called and mentioned the paycheck, I realized,“ Luke paused, gulping hard. “I realized today that I’m being incredibly selfish.”

Reid merely raised his eyebrows. As far as he was concerned, the words selfish and Luke didn’t belong in the same sentence together.

Luke turned to him, his face full of guilt and doubt. “I never even discussed anything with you; I just assumed you’d be here with me. But I can move the foundation anywhere. You deserve to work and live in a place that makes you happy, Reid. “

“What’re you saying?” Reid narrowed his eyes. “That you’d leave here with me?”

Luke nodded. “I would. Or,“ he looked away, ducking his head. “If it’s too much too soon, I could visit you. Fly to wherever you are as much as you want.” Luke gave a wobbly smile. “As you’re always pointing out, I’m stinking rich.”

“Hell no!” Reid exclaimed. He gripped Luke by the shoulders. “I want you, all of you, “ he growled. “Twenty-four seven.”

Luke grinned at that, and he wiped some imaginary sweat from his brow. “Whew.“

He leaned into Reid, resting his head at Reid’s collarbone. “I don’t want to be apart from you either.” Luke eyes softened. “But I meant the rest. We can go, if you need to live and work elsewhere.”

Reid stared down at him. Luke, who loved this town and his family more than breathing, was offering to leave it all. For him.

Amazed and shocked, Reid said nothing. He stroked Luke’s hair and then rested his hand at the nape of Luke’s neck. Reid could feel the final resistance inside of him melting away. He slowly let the feeling of happiness, so new to him, wash over his body. Luke really did love him. Reid examined Luke’s tense face. Luke needed to be in Oakdale, and Reid would never force Luke to leave. He only wanted to give Luke what he needed, what he wanted.

“Reid?” Luke asked at his silence. “What are you, calculating math equations or something? This is the part where you talk back.”

Reid grunted, pretending he couldn’t speak. Luke nudged him, exasperated, making Reid give him a quick smile. Luke was so easy to rile up, and Reid liked to see his eyes flash, lips twist.

“What do you think about leaving?" Luke persisted.

“Well, I can’t just desert Memorial, even if the place is from the dark ages. My arrival did chase off the other neurosurgeon.”

“Oh.” Luke bit his lip. “That’s right.”

“As far as Memorial goes, you can bet your sweet ass that if I remain there, I plan to drag it into this century. After all, they now have a family wing being built, and they have the finest neurosurgeon in the country, so…”

“What modesty,” Luke said.

Reid ignored him. “When I’m through with it, other doctors will be begging to come and work in Podunk.”

“If anybody can get it to happen with sheer determination and huge ego, it would be you.”

Reid nodded emphatically. “And there’s Bob. He has a long road ahead. I should keep my eye on him. God knows, Kim will be of no use. She’s even calling Chris daily and I can’t let Doogie fly back to be in charge of Bob’s medication; he’s a complete moron.”

“Reid.” A small glimmer of hope was entering Luke’s eyes.

“What? “ Reid smiled quickly. “Kim stuck me on the phone with him the other day, and he hasn’t gotten any smarter. He approaches medicine like it’s an 8th grade history test- all memorization and no critical thinking. I don’t trust him.” Reid would have had a little more respect for Chris if he’d flown back to the States to be with Bob, or had even argued with Reid about Bob’s care. But Chris had been all false joviality on the phone, oozing charm, quoting medical statistics, and all that civility was sickening to Reid because in the end, Chris did nothing of use.

Luke just pursed his lips at him. “If he does visit, try and get along. “

Reid nodded. Since Chris was too selfish to actually get on a plane, it wouldn’t be a problem. Reid studied Luke. He had never expected to end up with him. He had never expected to have love in his life. He smiled at Luke wordlessly. His heart pounded just looking at him. Reid never wanted to do him wrong.

Reid scooped up Luke’s hand and held it firmly, Luke’s fingers threaded in his, palms together. “And let’s not forget the most important thing keeping me here.”

“What’s that?” Luke said eagerly, his eyes widening on Reid’s.

“Emma’s pies.”

Reid nearly laughed at Luke’s face. “Your cooking is pretty good too. And then there’s the crumb snatchers to consider.“ Reid shrugged. “I have to teach Natalie about blood and guts; I promised her.“ Reid looked out at the water. “And God knows we can’t leave Natalie and Ethan to the whims of your parents. “

“Reid,” Luke murmured. He hesitated, his face looked strained. “I admit I’d like to be here, and I’d miss my family. But I can’t let you do this just for me. You could be at Hopkins or Cleveland Clinic- anywhere.”

“And I can stay anywhere too,“ Reid argued, gazing at Luke steadily. “As long as I stay with you.”

Ignoring Luke’s startled gasp, Reid leaned in and kissed him, his lips coaxing Luke’s open, his tongue gentle in Luke’s mouth. Luke took a deep inhalation, and kissed him back, their arms holding each other, their bodies fitting, molding together. Reid could feel the steady beat of Luke’s heart at his own chest. He kissed Luke again; his fingers nestled at Luke’s face.

Luke pulled back slightly, searching Reid’s eyes. “I love you so much. And I love you for offering to stay here. But are you sure?” Luke chewed his lip.
Reid smiled, thinking that Luke looked pretty sexy when he bit down on that lower lip, his face hopeful.

“I know how much you hate Oakdale,” Luke added.

“I don’t hate it,” Reid finally admitted, rolling his eyes. “I mean, yeah, it’s a dump…But you know,” Reid shrugged at him. “ It’s the closest thing that I ever had to a home.”

Luke smiled then, that huge, blindingly beautiful smile of his, the one where his dimples appeared, his eyes lit up, and his face glowed, radiating joy; the one that was Reid’s favorite look of all. Reid put his fingers to the corner of Luke’s mouth and sucked in a shaky breath, and Reid knew beyond a doubt that Luke’s smile was all the welcome he’d ever need.

The End

Thank you for reading! I love this community lots and lots!


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December 2011


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