Summary: When Damian disinherits Luke, can he survive in the “real world”? Will he drive Reid crazy in the process? Pairings: Reid/Luke, Maddie/Casey, Henry/Vienna, Lily/Damian, Lucinda/John
Rating: PG – NC-17 (depends on chapter)
A/n: This is a companion to Camp Queer. It is helpful to read that one first. Here is the link:
If you don’t have time to read CQ, you can still enjoy this story by itself. This story opens at Luke and Reid’s first date. Luke has just come out of the closet, but he had a secret relationship with Reid going on. Noah was never his lover, and when Luke came out of the closet, he was rejected by Lily (married to Damian), but accepted by Holden. Thanks traciamc for the read, and cas74 + rtruffles for the encouragement!
Part One - With A Cherry On Top
Danger. Warning. First Date with Near Virgin. Proceed with Caution.
As he waited for Luke, Reid could almost see these signs of trouble flashing in his head. Why had he ever agreed to let Luke pick him up? Why had he agreed to a formal date at all? Reid nervously paced his apartment over Al’s diner. It was Luke’s fault. Luke had turned those Bambi eyes on him and asked him about a real night out on the town. Like a sap, Reid had found himself agreeing. Now he felt ridiculous; like a schoolgirl waiting for prom more than a brilliant neurosurgeon only hours ago performing a procedure on a tricky brain aneurysm.
For Reid, sex had always been just simple fun, a rush of endorphins, an elation at release, like drinking two or three caramel lattes in one shot. That was it. With Luke, however, it was more like a hundred caramel lattes. It had been explosive, euphoric, and beyond anything in Reid’s past experience.
It had all started out as a mission of mercy. Reid had helped Luke accept the fact that he was not straight, practiced some sex moves on him, and assisted him in peeking his cute blond head out of the closet. That was all it was supposed to be.
But then there had been Luke with his goofy grin and tears of joy the night they had finally slept together. . .Usually after sex, Reid just wanted the guy to go away. But with Luke, it was all different. Reid was Luke’s first, and that fact alone made him feel like he was hanging on the top rung of a very high ladder.
And now, they were dating. Reid felt a bead of sweat drip down his forehead. Reid didn’t date. He just had to take things slowly, very slowly.
The doorbell rang. Gulping hard, Reid quickly tucked in his silver dress shirt and eyed his dark slacks in the mirror. Reid snorted at his image. This was what it had come to – he was checking out his own ass.
Frowning, Reid swung open the door.
Luke stood there with a single, pink flower in his hand. His eyes sparkled. He pursed his lips and coyly drew back his head, in what Reid could only describe as a “pretty” face.
“You’re late by fifteen minutes,” Reid greeted him sourly.
“Here,” Luke handed him the rose. Reid impatiently threw the flower on his coffee table, missing the slight flicker of hurt in Luke’s eyes.
He gave Luke a stern glance, and was met with the sheer beauty of Luke’s gaze.
“You look great!” Luke enthused, giving him another one of his sparkly smiles, making Reid scowl more.
Everything about dating irritated Reid: the need for polite exchanges, the games of twenty questions, the boring stories- it was like being in a foreign land. He would nod his head, but confuse the language. Reid understood medicine, chess moves, and dirty sex. What if he failed to offer Luke what he wanted? Worse yet, what if Luke actually wanted to make small talk? Reid cringed. Trouble. Trouble. Too much trouble! The signs in his head went crazy. The pressure was making him choke.
“Let’s go,” Reid grumbled and began to lock his door.
“Are you always this bubbly on your dates?” Luke inquired.
“I don’t go on dates,” snapped Reid.
“I can see why,” Luke mumbled and studied the ground.
The suddenly crestfallen expression on Luke’s face had Reid silently cursing. He had screwed it up already. Reid never regretted a thing usually, but now he wished he could rewind back to the moment Luke had first come to his door. Luke had such a fragile heart and the last thing Reid ever wanted to do was crack it. Reid inhaled deeply. He needed just a moment to calm himself down.
Reid paused. “You know what? I forgot my wallet.” He would go back into his apartment, splash some water on his face, and try again.
Luke shrugged. “ Don’t worry about it. I’ll pay.”
“Thanks Trust Fund, but we at least go dutch.”
“Can you please stop calling me that?” Luke’s smile faltered.
Reid just shrugged. “I’ll just be a minute. Go and wait downstairs.”
Luke hesitated on the stairs and sucked in a nervous breath. He had not touched him. Not since that night during Annie’s crisis, when Reid had come home and they’d made love. He had waited in Reid’s apartment, brought pizza and massage oil, and then… Had he done something wrong? Luke had no experience to compare it. For Luke, the night had been magical.
The only relationships Luke understood were with his family members, and most of those were messy and hurtful and left Luke constantly apologizing. He was divided between his two fathers, pulled by them in different directions. He had felt off balance for most of his life, as if he had been tumbling down a dark hole. The expectations on him were so high that it had driven Luke to bury his own feelings and deny his own nature. It was only now that he was attempting to climb his way out and truly try to live. He had no idea what he wanted yet, except for one clear thing in his mind: he wanted Reid. How he wanted him! Just the thought or the whisper of his name could make Luke’s pulse race. Reid. Luke shuddered with both longing and hope. He held the railing a moment as his body quaked. He imagined Reid’s intense gaze as they had made love.
It went beyond the physical yearning though. After Luke had come out to his mom and dad, Reid had been so supportive at the July 4th party, and then helping him move out of his mother and Damian’s house. Reid had been amazing. His mom had taken his siblings and left for Malta on an extended “vacation” until summer was over. Even now, the sting of that rejection made Luke ache. If it had not been for Holden and Reid’s support, Luke might have crumbled. He wondered now what would happen when Damian and Lily and the kids all returned. But he was so much happier at the farm with Emma and Holden. He was so much happier not having to act straight all the time- it had been exhausting.
Luke glanced at Reid’s door and then continued down the steps. Why hadn’t Reid even tried to kiss him again? He chewed his lip and worried. His gut wrenched . Maybe he had not really satisfied Reid that night? That was the real question burning behind Luke’s uncertainty. But how do you ask your new boyfriend on your official first date a question like that?
Luke went down the stairs and into Al’s. Of course, Reid would live above a diner, with all that food waiting just below. The diner was quiet at this hour. Only Henry was there, behind the counter , cleaning up.
“Luke!” He called surprised. “What are you doing here?”
“Er- “ Luke swallowed hard. He took a deep breath. “I’m on a date.”
“What?” Henry frowned. “Maddie said you guys were just pretending to date- that she was just distracting me from that no good Casey. Thank God he’s still in jail.”
“So you’re not on a date with her?”
“I’m uh,” Luke examined his shoes, “ dating somebody else now. A man. “ His whole stomach twisted as he added,” I’m gay.” Luke’s heart beat with fear as he waited for Henry to react.
“You’re gay?” Henry repeated. “Does Maddie know?”
“Yes,” Luke nodded. He could tell that Henry was not disgusted or anything, unlike his own mother, and he felt the tension inside of him ease.
“You’re gay?” Henry said again.
“He was the other night, when I had him in my bed,” Reid quipped, coming into the room
Luke blushed all over. “Reid!” He hissed.
“Do you have any manners,” Luke said back, crimson now.
“You’re dating him?” Henry said to Luke. “Really? It’s fine your gay and all, but him! Anybody but Oliver!”
“Now, now Hank- “ Reid drawled , “Don’t be jealous.”
Henry looked at Luke pleadingly, “You’re a nice kid. Run away from him- far away.”
“You still can’t have me,” Reid deadpanned to Henry.
“I don’t want you! I’m straight.”
“Come on Hank, I’ve seen the dress. “ Reid raised his eyebrows suggestively. “ We all know you long to be the next RuPaul.”
Luke looked from Henry to Reid in confusion.
“Ignore them , Luke,” Vienna instructed , as she came from the kitchen with Maddie in tow. “They bicker like two dogs.”
“If anybody should be upset about Reid and Luke, “ Maddie declared ,“it should be me. Luke was my boyfriend first,” she batted her eyes, kiddingly.
“You know, just wait until your rent check bounces, Oliver,” Henry was threatening, “just once.”
Reid had stopped listening to him and was busy opening up the cookie jar that sat on the counter.
Henry looked back at Luke, “Flee now,” he said. “And you’re paying for those cookies,” he told Reid.
“Don’t get a tear in your pantyhose,” Reid answered, throwing down a few dollars.
“Oh Henry,” Maddie groaned, “not drag night again?”
“Henry makes a delightful girl,” Vienna said.
“You- you’re gay too?” Luke asked Henry, bewildered.
“Of course not,” Henry said, while he rummaged around for the fixings of a martini, “ I love Vienna. She just likes it when I put on some silk.”
At Luke’s open mouth, Vienna squeezed his cheeks, “So innocent, this one.”
“Henry tries to embrace his inner gay,” Reid offered, chewing another frosted cookie, “but the real mystery here is why Vienna wants him at all.” Reid turned to Vienna. “You sure you don’t want me to take a look inside your brain? Could be some damage you just don’t know about?”
“I’m sure,” Vienna said.
“Great,” Henry whined, “I have to deal with Oliver and I’m out of alcohol. “ He looked up to the heavens. “That’s just dirty play.”
“How about you, Luke? “ Maddie teased. “You sure about the gay thing, right?’ Maddie gave him a smile.
Luke nodded. “I’m sure.”
“Too bad.” Maddie sighed. “ All the ones I like are gay or in jail.” Maddie looped a friendly arm through his.
“We straight gals can all mourn the loss of Luke, “ Vienna grinned, taking his other arm.
Finally relaxing with the easy and warm acceptance from them, Luke laughed.
“Aren’t you going to fight for him?” Henry said to Reid dryly. “Because either of my girls here can kick your butt.”
Reid was shoveling in a few more cookies at record speed. “ I don’t fight. I might hurt my hands,” Reid retorted licking icing off of his fingers.
“Aren’t we going to dinner?” Luke asked, watching Reid.
Reid shrugged, “A pre-dinner snack.”
“Tell Luke he looks good,” Vienna instructed Reid. “Doesn’t he look good?”
Reid pretended to examine Luke closely, taking in the spiked blond hair and fit of his expensive blue suit. “He’ll do. “ Reid said. Then Reid gently touched Luke’s cheek. “Ready?”
Luke ducked his head in an endearing manner, “Sure.”
“Aww! “ Maddie and Vienna both exclaimed . They released Luke to Reid and smiled.
“Take care of him!” Vienna said.
“Show him a nice time,” Maddie added.
Reid rolled his eyes at them. “Next you’ll want me to check that he has clean underwear.”
“No, we want Luke to keep his pants on,” Vienna scolded and Reid gave a bark of laughter.
Luke blushed again .
Henry just shook his head. “You poor kid. Like a lamb to the slaughter.“
As they walked through Old Town , Reid took Luke by the hand. Their fingertips touched lightly, sending delicious, electric currents through Luke’s entire body. But then he darted a glance all around him and Luke tugged his hand away. He jammed them into his pockets.
“Watch out!” Reid said.
“A homophobe – over there by the bench- “ Reid gestured to an overweight man.
“And another Luke, hide! I think one is coming at us now,” Reid taunted, pointing at a small girl and her mother.
“Okay,” Luke muttered, “You’ve made your point.”
“Really? Cause if you think the fat guy is about to rush us- I have 911 on the speed-dial.”
Luke stopped walking. “It isn’t easy for me still, alright?”
Reid stopped walking too. “Not everybody in town is full of hate for homosexuals,” he said to Luke quietly. “Some people maybe, but there are plenty of others who just don’t care if two guys are holding hands.”
Luke shifted his feet. “That, as you well know, has not been my experience.” In the past, Luke had been sent to a camp to “fix” his gay impulses and his family had not supported his sexuality at all. They had convinced Luke that a homosexual lifestyle was immoral and that most people would agree with this view. He glared at Reid. “And stop making fun of me.”
Reid pulled at his hair, “But making fun of you is so entertaining.”
“You are such a jerk,” Luke put his hands over his eyes and shook his head, but amusement was in his voice now. “How can I be dating such a jerk?”
“Pretty much, I’m always a jerk,” Reid agreed.
“Are you ever going to learn some manners?” Luke asked.
“Depends,” Reid’s eyes flirted with him a little, “Are you ever going to be comfortable being out ?”
They stared at each other a moment.
“Okay,” Luke drawled slowly, suddenly feeling silly. “I’ll make you a deal. I will come out to more and more people and in return…you have to be nice to them.” Luke absently brushed some cookie crumbs from Reid’s shirt.
“Nice?” Reid scowled. “ I don’t do nice. I didn’t say I –“
“Afraid?” Luke smiled.
“Hardly.” Reid scoffed. “Fine. For every person you come out to in the next few weeks, I’ll be nice. “
“Great. Give me back your hand then.”
Luke did. They began to walk some more. Luke did feel like some people’s eyes were on him, but he was determined to ignore the looks he felt and concentrate on Reid.
Besides, Luke craved the touch of Reid’s firm fingers woven with his. The was a tingling in Luke’s body as their palms met. My boyfriend . Luke’s heart leapt at the thought. He snuck a peek at Reid. Now if he could only get him alone and get a kiss again…
“Where are we headed , anyhow?” Luke asked.
“This French restaurant that Vienna told me about. It’s the only fine dining in Oakhell.“
Reid glanced at Luke. “Is that okay?” He wanted to treat Luke to a special place for their very first date. The place cost big bucks and Reid had actually saved a little from his last paycheck.
Luke nodded, “Sure. “
Luke did not have the heart to tell him that restaurant was a favorite of Damian’s. Luke had been there many times over.
“You like French food, right? ” Personally, Reid liked the food at places like Al’s, but he knew Luke came from a sophisticated background. Besides, you don’t give your boyfriend a first date of burgers and fries.
“Absolutely!” Luke heard the unspoken concern in Reid’s voice and responded to it immediately. He would have preferred a good burger and fries to French cuisine, but he never wanted to hurt Reid’s feelings by changing his plans.
“Good,” Reid said with relief.
“Great,” Luke smiled.
They reached the front of the restaurant. Luke dropped hands and they went inside the door.
The host warmly greeted Luke.
“Snyder,” Luke told him.
“Are your parents coming too?” The host asked him pleasantly.
“No- um- no.”
“How many in your party tonight? “ The man asked.
“Two, just me and- “ Luke suddenly was sweating, he didn’t look at Reid. “my friend.”
“Under the name Oliver,” Reid said.
As the host hurried away to check Reid’s reservation, Reid leaned down to Luke’s ear and whispered, “Now, who’s the chicken?”
“Bock Bock,” Reid said, smirking. Then he glanced around the restaurant. “Hmm, who will I be an asshole to first?” His eyes were gleaming with mischief.
“Fine!” Luke pouted. “I’ll tell this guy we’re on a date.”
“That’s the spirit, “ Reid said with mock encouragement,” Just tell him, I’m a fag as he serves you foie gras and cherries jubilee.”
“Reid! “ Luke squealed in protest, “You really have no boundaries do you?”
Reid shrugged, “I don’t believe in pretense,” he said, “life’s too short.”
“Yeah,” Luke answered softly.
He suddenly thought about his friend Armand, who had been his bunkmate at Camp Straight Heart. He had killed himself rather than face the world as a gay man. Learning about the suicide, had been one of the central forces that had motivated Luke to come out. The other force, of course, had been Reid. He swept his gaze over Reid’s lean frame. Maybe Reid had a point about just being honest.
The host came back,” We have your family’s favorite table open,” he told them.
“Wait,” Reid said in confusion, “you’ve been here enough to have your own table? “ He narrowed his eyes. “How many times?”
Luke shrugged and didn’t look at him.
“Oh the Grimaldis come here often, “ the host told Reid happily, “they actually own the building.”
“Terrific.” Reid shot Luke a look. Luke pretended not to notice.
“It’s fine, “ Luke tried to reassure him. “The food is fantastic here.”
Just then Reid’s pager went off. He glanced at it, still upset that his big fancy dinner for Luke was not really special. He read the text and groaned.
“Emergency. It says they need my help.”He glanced at Luke regretfully. “I don’t think it’s a long one, want to come and wait while I do this? Or you could stay and eat…? ”
“No, I’ll go with you.” Luke’s sudden smile took Reid’s breath away. “Let’s continue our date.”
They left the restaurant and headed for Memorial.