Summary: When Damian disinherits Luke, can he survive in the “real” world? Will he drive Reid crazy in the process?
Disclaimer: Owned by ATWT
Rating: PG- NC-17 (depends on chapter)
A companion to Camp Queer
Thanks traciamc for the read
Part Three - First Steps
“How was your night out? “ Holden greeted Luke the next day. Luke glanced at his grandmother, who was busying making pancakes by the stove.
“Okay, you know,” he ducked his head away, “fine.”
Holden, sensing Luke’s embarrassment, merely smiled and returned to his morning paper.
“Eat,” Emma said, and gave Luke an enormous plate of food.
After their swim, Luke and Reid had both been starving and had driven through the closest Taco Bell, munching away on some soggy tacos. They had just sat in the car, eating and listening to various radio stations repeat the same 3 songs over and over. Luke had felt ridiculously happy.
When they had reached Al’s, Luke had walked Reid to his door.
“Wanna come in?” Reid had asked, his voice deepening.
“Doctor Oliver,” Luke had answered playfully, “this is our first date. I’m not a slut!”
“Too bad,” Reid had retorted with smiling eyes. “And don’t underestimate the power of a good slut.”
“Hey, you were the one who was used like a sex toy on the rooftops of Memorial,” Luke protested.
“It’s not gallant of you to remind me,” Reid teased. “But at least now I have a fallback career.”
That had ended up making them crack up again. It was still a surprise to Luke just how much Reid made him laugh. The last few years of his life, he had spent either apologizing or trying to rigidly remain on the “right” path. With Reid, he could finally let go of all that.
“Anyhow,” Reid had drawled, when they’d stopped laughing, “ We’re talking about you.
“Are you saying you’d like me to be easy?” Luke had flirted, not wanting to stop the silliness of the moment.
“I like you any which way,” Reid had flirted back.
Luke had flushed, thinking about all the ways they had yet to do it. He had looked down bashfully. Reid had cupped Luke’s chin then and lifted up his head, kissing him sweetly.
“So how much dating before you put out?” Reid had asked.
Luke had giggled, “Oh, maybe the third or fourth one.” The talk at the pond had made him feel good again, assured of Reid’s desire for him. He had smiled at Reid, and he had smiled back.
They both knew the time was coming to be together again.
Luke doubted either of them could hold out for that third date.
His grandmother’s voice suddenly brought Luke back to the present, “Well, I’m off to go food shopping,” Emma declared, picking up her big purse and kissing both Holden and Luke, “You boys are just eating me out of house and home.”
Emma waved at them and left. Holden looked at Luke with laughter on his face, “Don’t be fooled. She loves nothing more than a big house full of Snyders to feed.”
They ate their breakfast in companionable silence.
“Listen,” Holden said to him suddenly, “ don’t feel you have to come back here for our sake.”
“What do you mean?”
“From your date. You’re not a teenager, Luke. You can do what you want.”
“Oh, right,” Luke stammered. He did not want to discuss sex with Holden, not any kind of sex.
He had already spent that one night with Reid, and Luke was longing to be back in his bed. Holden was right; he was not a kid. He was an adult , on the verge of graduating and making his way in the world. Still, he had lost years of his life, years of normal experiences , pretending to be straight.
“Thank you so much…for taking me in and for everything.”
“You don’t have to thank me, “ Holden said simply, “I’m your dad.”
There was a pause. Both men sipped their coffee. Luke’s eyes were moist.
“I know Mom took the kids to Malta to keep them away from me,” Luke said finally in a quiet voice , “and that keeps them away from you too.”
“They have to return at the start of school,” Holden answered, “And let me handle your mom and Damian.”
“It not fair to you, Dad, the trouble I brought when I came out.”
“Luke,” Holden said firmly, “stop blaming yourself. “
Luke half-smiled. How easily he fell back on his old habits, when he was not with Reid. “I wish Mom could just be more like you. “
“She used to be different,” Holden’s eyes narrowed. He always blamed Damian for Lily’s poisonous attitude. “The kids will come home soon, you’ll see, and we’ll all spend time together here on the farm.”
Luke shrugged, “I hope so. “ But an insistent voice inside of Luke didn’t think that Holden was right.
Luke’s mind drifted back to Reid and their date. Luke’s face softened as he thought about him. He wondered how Reid’s day was going at the hospital, and if it was too soon to call him and hear his voice.
Across town, Reid could barely believe the bullshit he was hearing come out of Bob Hughes’ lips.
“I’m not sure why Damian Grimaldi has decided to put a stop to the grant,” Bob was saying to him,” but your work here at Memorial has been excellent and I’d like you to stay on- you just won’t make the extra income that the Grimaldi-Walsh grant provided.”
The table of doctors nodded their agreement. Not all of them were fond of Reid and his blunt attitude, but most of them respected his work.
Reeling back from the shock of what Bob was telling him, Reid quickly attempted to compose his face. He could guess why Grimaldi was trying to pull the grant from him, the very grant that had brought Reid to Oakdale in the first place, and it made Reid furious.
“We can talk over the new salary privately,” Bob told him.
Reid was barely listening, still calculating the loss of income from the cancelled grant. He’d have to consider the best way to handle the situation. For Luke’s sake, he needed to think it all through.
“Fantastic,” He said to Bob, “I can use the three pennies Memorial gives me now to start a new piggy bank.”
“Too bad, Reid,” Chris said, looking at him with an insincere smile. “Maybe you won’t want to stay in Oakdale?”
“What and miss out on all my chances to fix your incompetent work? No way.” Reid smiled back as Chris glared at him. He had no idea why Chris Hughes seemed to hate him on sight, but then again most people hated him. Reid didn’t waste too much time worrying about it.
Now Luke, on the other hand, would be devastated at being disliked. Not that people disliked him. Who would? Luke was sweet and kind to everybody. Just last night, for instance, he had chatted with the girl at the Taco Bell on and on, listening to her life story and offering her genuine sympathy. Reid wouldn’t have minded at all, except his food had been getting cold. Then Reid had seen Luke slip the girl a big tip. Who tipped the drive-thru girl at Taco Bell? Only a sap like Luke. Thinking about him, Reid’s heart warmed.
“Now,” Bob was saying, “We have a one more thing to discuss.”
Reid sighed. This meeting was never-ending.
” I want to announce that Dr. John Dixon will be joining our staff again in the Cardio wing.”
“What?” Chris said, surprised.
A few of the other doctors at the meeting looked surprised too. There was suddenly a great amount of whispering among them. They looked like schoolchildren playing a game of telephone.
“Apparently, he and Lucinda Walsh have –er rekindled their old flame in Amsterdam, and are both coming back here to Oakdale in a week or so.”
At the name of Lucinda Walsh, Reid looked up. Luke’s other grandmother was headed back to town? He wasn’t sure if that was good news or not for Luke, but he hoped Lucinda Walsh would support her grandson’s choices. Besides, Lucinda Walsh was the other half of the Grimaldi-Walsh grant, maybe she would support Reid too. It was worth investigating.
Bob dismissed them, and everybody went their separate ways, except for Chris who was following Reid into the elevator
“We both know why you lost the grant!”Chris sneered, as the door shut.
“What?” Reid asked him with impatience; he punched his floor several times and took a deep breath. He hated elevators, and he was beginning to actively dislike Chris.
“The real reason you lost the Grimaldi grant was you’re doing his son.” Chris said nastily.
“And you know this how?”
“I ran into Luke, mooning over you, just the other day.”
“And I heard my dad too,” Chris went on, “on the phone. He was telling somebody that Damian was really angry and not acting rational about canceling the grant.”
“You know,” Reid told him, “ grown men who spy on their daddies usually do it because they have no life.”
“I have a life!” Chris said.
“Sure,” Reid nodded, “If being overly bitter and undersexed counts as living.”
“It won’t be long before my dad sees through you, Luke dumps you, and you’re gone,” Chris predicted.
“You can dream,” Reid retorted. Why couldn’t he have used the stairs?
They rode for a minute in hostile silence. Then they reached the fifth floor for Pediatrics. Reid thought Chris’s specialty suited him well; he was such an entitled brat.
“This is where I’m getting off,” Chris said needlessly, waiting for the door to open.
“Your ability to state the obvious is one of your few skills,” Reid told him. “Too bad we can’t add being a good doctor to that list.”
Chris stormed out.
Reid sighed as the doors closed again. He hoped he would see Luke later, cause so far his day had really sucked. A moment later, as if by magic, Reid’s phone buzzed with an incoming text. He looked at it and felt some of his stress lift.
Luke wanted to meet him at the end of his shift for date number two.
After an exhausting set of rounds, Reid could finally relax. He had spent hours dealing with fearful patients, irritating family members, and more than one idiotic intern. But now his shift was over. Now Luke was there. In his office. In his arms. Reid had Luke by the waist. Luke was starting to lean his body into Reid’s and allow Reid to gently find his mouth. Luke smelled as good as he always did – like fresh bread. And Reid was ready to savor his lips.
Just then, the door to Reid’s office swung open.
“Dr. Oliver? Oh!” Nurse Gretchen stepped back, blushing. “I’m sorry.”
“Did you ever hear of knocking?” Reid growled, and glanced at Luke as he jumped off of his desk in a hurry.
“I’m sorry, “ she said again, “but I needed to talk to you.”
“What ignorant thing you did today?” Reid snapped.
Luke shot Reid a reproving look.
“I’m sorry, Doctor.”
“That seems to be all you can say,” Reid complained. “Just tell me what it is and we’ll pretend you actually have earned your job title.”
Luke, feeling badly for the nurse, seized on a sudden plan to rescue her.
“In case it wasn’t obvious, “ Luke interrupted, and told Nurse Gretchen calmly, “I’m gay and Reid and I are dating.” The words felt surprisingly good, but what was even better was the look on Reid’s face as he realized he would now have to be “nice” to Nurse Gretchen.
“Oh- um- fantastic,” the poor nurse was stuttering, her eyes like a trapped rat’s.
“So once more, why are you here?’ Reid asked neutrally, and then seeing Luke’s raised eyebrows, he added “You look nice today, by the way.” He plastered a fake smile on his face at Gretchen.
“Are you saying I normally don’t look nice? “Gretchen asked in a wobbly voice. Tears started in her eyes.
“I try my best,” She whined. “But I’m a single mother with two kids, and just brushing my hair and finding clean scrubs takes effort.”
“I – well-“ Reid shot Luke a look of desperation.
“And my ex-husband picks them up and he looks at me just like you do –like I’m an unattractive slob!”
She began to sob loudly. Luke went over and gave her a hug. “Nobody thinks that here, Gretchen. “ Luke told her soothingly. “We all know what a hard worker you are.”
He gave Reid a withering glare over Gretchen’s head. To which Reid mouthed at him not my fault.
“Really?” Gretchen sniffed.
“Yes.” Luke’s mouth twisted. “ Reid told me just the other day that you’re his favorite nurse.”
Gretchen looked up into Luke’s eyes doubtfully, “He did?”
Reid frantically made a slicing motion across his throat at Luke and shook his head.
“Sure.” Luke smiled.
Gretchen turned to Reid.
“I’d love to be in the OR more, Dr. Oliver, if you’d request me.”
Reid just nodded, resigned. “We need stable influences like you in there,” he said dryly, his slight sarcasm floating right over Nurse Gretchen’s empty head.
She beamed at Luke, gave Reid a wary smile, and backed out of the room.
“She didn’t tell you why she was here?” Luke said puzzled.
“She probably forgot. She’s like a preschooler- you have to remind her 20 times a day. Now I have to find a way not to have her in my OR.” Reid scowled at Luke. “You so got the better end of this deal.”
“You know what?” Luke said swiftly and with his usual impulsive generosity. “I’ll release you from it. “
Luke shrugged. After growing up in a world of manners and secrets, the way Reid said exactly what was on his mind was refreshing. Luke really didn’t want him to change. But it had been fun to see Reid squirm.
“Great,“ Reid grinned, and the power of his smile hit Luke forcefully. “Cause I thought I might explode holding back all my insults.”
“I feel like I’m exploding for different reasons,” Luke said before he could stop himself. He saw Reid’s mouth fall open, and Luke dropped his eyes ,”Oh my God! I can’t believe I just said that out loud to you!”
Reid laughed richly. “Are you kidding me? You just made my whole crappy day ! ” He pulled Luke to him and rubbed a hand over Luke’s crotch, confirming Luke’s arousal. Luke’s knees buckled and he might have fallen if Reid hadn’t put his arms around him.
“We- we can’t here,” Luke glanced fearfully at the door.
Reid gently put him on the desk.
He turned and locked the door. “Here and now. ”
He sauntered back to Luke and stroked him again through the material of his pants. “I’m a doctor, after all. I can’t see my boyfriend in pain.”
Luke found his pants unzipped and pulled off in a matter of seconds.
He watched Reid drop down to his knees. Luke was already a puddle of mush at the word, boyfriend. Reid had never said that to him before. Luke closed his eyes as he felt those firm fingers holding him at his base and then gliding slowly down to his tip.
“Now tell me,” Reid said hoarsely, clearly getting turned on by Luke’s obvious lust.
“What?” Luke mumbled as the hand stroked him again. His toes were beginning to curl.
“Suck my cock.” Reid ordered as his mouth nibbled the side of Luke’s thigh. “Say it.”
Luke shook his head back and forth, even as he raised his hips towards Reid’s lips.
“Come on , Luke. Be loud and proud. It’s just us.”
“You suck,” Luke managed, but it came out like an accusation.
“You suck, please,” Reid returned, laughing. Part of him just enjoyed hearing Luke say things in that sweet, polite tone of his, but another part of Reid really did want to begin to encourage Luke to learn how to ask for what he wanted, in and out of bed.
Reid’s tongue gave a small , teasing lick.
“Suck me please!” Luke nearly shouted.
“Good,” Reid murmured and his one hand soothed Luke, gently rubbing circles on his lower back. “And yes, I will.”
Reid slurped Luke into his mouth like a tasty treat.
He took Luke all the way down his throat. Luke’s fingers grabbed onto the desk for support, as his legs clenched. He tried to open them up wider, allowing Reid closer.Reid’s tongue worked the underside of Luke’s erection . His hands cupped Luke’s backside now. With a gasp, Luke felt Reid whole mouth pull at him. He exploded right then, unable to stop himself, trembling with release.
Reid helped clean him up as Luke just slumped down, dazed.
“Okay?,” Reid said softly.
“Well,” Luke considered, “I’m in no pain.”
Reid nodded. “That’s because I’m a damn good doctor.”
“And not a bad boyfriend either, ‘Luke teased, deliberately using the word again out loud.
“So, where do you want to go now?” Reid just smiled, offering him a hand up.
“Oh,” Luke had forgotten everything but the feeling of Reid’s mouth.“I don’t care.” Luke would go anywhere with him. He sighed. “I’m flexible.”
“Yeah, “ Reid answered, his eyes suddenly gleaming , “I remember that about you.”
He led a blushing Luke out the door.
At the same moment Reid and Luke were leaving Memorial, Maddie was just coming out of the Oakdale library, a thick stack of novels tucked under her arm. The day was hot and sticky, making Maddie’s thin blouse cling to her skin. She looked down, trying to pull the material away from her, when a familiar voice shouted her name.
Maddie stared at Casey wordlessly. He stood in the center of the street, arrogantly daring any cars to come, his feet planted firmly. His reddish-blond hair was blowing in the humid air, and his eyes were challenging.
Maddie approached him cautiously, unable to believe he was real.
“What? How?” She gasped.
Casey shrugged,” I got released early for good behavior.” His eyes wandered up and down her body. “I see you’re still a geek,” he said finally, nodding to her books.
“Reading doesn’t make me a geek,” Maddie replied automatically, her heart still nearly bursting out of her chest with desire and surprise.
Casey seemed to be about to come closer to her, touch her maybe, but then his eyes filled with something unreadable and he backed away.
“Casey,” Maddie said, hating the vulnerable quality in her voice, the begging, but unable to stop it.
“No,” He shook his head,” Don’t. Like I wrote you, we’ve nothing left. “ His mouth twisted with regret, but his eyes remained cool. “Go home, Maddie,” he told her.
She just watched him stalk off, wondering where it had all gone wrong.
Maddie swallowed the lump in her throat. She really wanted to talk to somebody about this. But Henry, and by extension Vienna, were out. Henry loathed Casey, ever since he had gambled too much and then had stolen to pay his mounting debts . Henry would advise her to not give Casey another thought. Maybe she could talk to Luke about it. He and Casey used to be friends. Luke wouldn’t judge her harshly.
Because regardless of what anybody else thought, she knew Casey. He was not a bad person; he had just made mistakes. The biggest one, in her opinion, was trying to end their own relationship. If Casey Hughes thought she could be dismissed so easily than he forgot who she was. Maddie squared her shoulders determinedly and walked on. She planned to remind Casey of all they had shared and soon.
Casey repeated the mantra in his head over and over, ”I’m no good for her,” until he almost cared. He paused outside of the Hughes house, and lit a cigarette, another habit he’d acquired in jail. He blew out a ring of smoke and scowled. It was amazing to be free. To be out of prison and just looking at the sky and sun. But the price was high. So damn high. Maddie was not alone in her sudden misery. Casey wished with all of his heart that he could be with the girl he loved.
Sighing, Casey whipped out his phone and punched the one number saved. When the voice answered, Casey simply said, “I arrived. It’s begun.”
Then, feeling sick at himself but resigned, he walked into his house. He had just traded one prison for another.