Summary: Luke and Reid meet again as adults
The next morning Reid was running late. He’d slept poorly and hadn’t heard his alarm, and now he hurried into the locker room. He had no time for breakfast before he needed to start to prep for Ameera's operation, and so he quickly downed some vending machine snacks. He’d have to operate on sugar and adrenaline. He'd done it before, and he could do it again.
Briefly, he wondered how Luke was doing this morning. He imagined Luke already at Ameera’s room or lingering out in the hallway. After last night, Reid hoped he wouldn’t see him. His feelings for Luke confused him. Luke wasn’t just a little brother; Reid could admit it now. How could he tell himself that Luke was like a brother, when he kept picturing those lips on his cock? If it was only an attraction, Reid would deal with it, but Luke brought out weird, messy feelings of affection - and it was so much more complicated now that he knew Luke was gay.
Reid ran a hand over his face. He would do his job, avoid all this craziness, and leave as soon as possible. With any luck, he’d barely have to see Luke today. Besides, given how things ended last night, Luke was annoyed with Reid too, so he’d probably just stay away.
Feeling slightly better, Reid began to change. He took off his pants and put on scrub bottoms, and he had his shirt off, just about to change into the scrub top, when the door swung open.
“Reid,” Luke called out.
Reid paused in shock, his shirt still in his hand. Jesus. It was like Luke had a sixth sense. He always knew where to find Reid.
“Don’t you knock?” Reid snarled, annoyed at the way his heart raced at the sight of Luke.
Luke said nothing, his eyes on Reid’s bare chest. Reid could practically feel Luke’s eyes move like a caress, gliding over his bare neck and shoulders, then sliding down to his pecs, staying a moment on his nipples before moving to his lower abs. When he saw that Reid was watching him, Luke quickly averted his gaze and stared off at the lockers.
Complicated, Reid thought again and frowned.
Reid noticed Holden standing just behind Luke, a warm smile on his face, and the usual farm-ready wear making a drab fashion statement.
“Sorry for interrupting you, Reid,” Holden said. “I just wanted to stop in and say hello. It’s been a long time, and I didn’t want to miss you after the surgery.”
Social niceties always confused Reid. Who really cared? He nodded and said, "Okay."
“And you became a doctor,” Holden smiled, stating the obvious like he always did. “I guess you really did like all that medical stuff.”
“Nah,“ Reid drawled. “I only did it so I could wear these scrubs.” Reid pulled on his top. “They’re like pajamas. “ He glanced at Luke. “The medical stuff was just a bonus.”
“Well,” Holden went on, “I know Luke’s glad it’s you taking care of Ameera. He was ecstatic to tell me that you had returned to town and that you were the one operating on her. Ecstatic.”
Reid eyed Luke curiously. Luke was flushing a slightly pink color. He appeared to be still transfixed by the lockers.
“So you’re close to Ameera too?” Reid asked Holden.
“Oh, sure. And Noah. I’m here to support Noah through this, and Luke too.”
“I didn’t realize the Mayers meant so much to your whole family,” Reid said. He knew the Snyders were meddlesome busy-bodies, but everything about this situation reeked of weirdness.
Holden was about to answer, when his cell phone buzzed. “Excuse me, I gotta take this. “ Holden answered it with an annoyed glare. “Not here,“ he told the person on the other end. “Later.” He walked out the door to talk in private.
Reid wondered if he should mention the small fight he and Luke had had from last night, but Luke didn’t seem to be thinking about it. His eyes were at the door as he listened to Holden talking. They heard Holden whispering and then his voice rising at the person on the phone. Luke looked at Reid and smiled a bit ruefully.
“New girlfriend?” Reid guessed.
Holden’s voice carried again. Then silence.
“Yeah. And maybe, well Mom thinks - new long lost sibling.”
Luke sighed deeply. “I wish. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love Abigail and Aaron, and I’m fine with anything Dad does.” Luke didn’t look fine to Reid. He looked stressed. Now that Reid was facing him, he could see circles under Luke’s eyes, tension in his face.
“What I worry about,“ Luke said. “Are the little ones. I really hope there’s no truth to Mom’s worries. I mean for Faith, Nat and Ethan’s sake. It will just upset them. Confuse them, you know?”
Reid nodded. “Maybe Lily’s wrong.”
“Maybe.” Luke ran a tired hand over his eyes. “You’re so lucky in some ways not to have anybody.”
Reid said nothing.
“Oh, God!” Luke said, his mouth dropping open. “I didn’t mean - that sounded so - I’m sorry. That wasn’t how I meant-“
Reid held up his hand to stop Luke’s words. “It’s just the truth,” Reid replied calmly.
Luke gazed at him with a mixture of guilt and compassion. “I’m sorry,” Luke repeated softly. “You know that I feel-“
“I have medicine,” Reid interrupted. “And being a doctor is fine; it’s more than enough for me.”
Luke gave him a troubled look.
“So you really might have another sibling out there?” Reid said crisply, trying to get the subject off of how alone he was. Why did that fact keep coming up?
Luke looked at him a long moment and then he nodded. “Seems to be the case.” He walked a few steps closer to Reid. “And the strange part is that Dad was the one who gave me the whole birth control lecture.”
Reid raised an eyebrow at that.
“Before he knew I had no danger of knocking anybody up.” Luke half-smiled.
“Worried about the girl next door and that tempting barn house, was he?”
“Yeah,” Luke said. “He stumbled over a few basic pointers and then handed me a book about it. It had some really nice pictures too, colored illustrations.“ Luke laughed. “Not really the book I needed though.”
“I doubt Oakdale library carries that book. If I recall, their circulation material stopped around the 1950s.”
“And now Dad once again might be in a paternity mess,” Luke sighed.
“Well,“ Reid offered. “I’m about to go into brain surgery, but if you want I think I could handle giving Holden a quick neutering afterward.”
“Reid!” Luke exclaimed “That’s awful.” But his eyes gleamed and mouth curved up.
“Snip , snip?” Reid made a scissor with his hand.
Luke snorted out a laugh.
“You know these heterosexuals,” Reid continued, “they can never keep their pants zipped.”
The door swung back open. “All done.” Holden smiled at them. “Luke? Want to head with me to Ameera’s room? I’m sure Reid has to get ready.”
“I do,” Reid said
“Okay,” Luke answered. He moved closer to the door.
“Oh, Holden,” Reid said, turning to the other man for a moment.
Reid saw Luke’s eyes bug out. He flashed Luke a quick grin.
“There’s something I wanted to tell you.”
Luke frantically mouthed, ‘please no.’
Reid held back the urge to laugh. He gave Luke an innocent stare and Luke shut his eyes like he had on Casey the night before.
Reid walked over to Holden, and, forgetting about teasing Luke, Reid studied Holden’s face. He’d been planning to say something to both Lily and Holden, and the time seemed as right as any. “Look, I,“ Reid paused. “I wanted to say I appreciate that summer that you took me in.” He extended a hand out to Holden and they shook.
Even though Reid didn’t think much of Holden as a reliable husband and questioned his choices as a father, he knew that he’d done him a kindness way back then.
Looking stunned, Luke watched them shake hands. Then his eyes became all big and melting. Reid could practically hear all the sappy, gooey thoughts running in Luke’s head. Reid rolled his eyes at him.
Luke’s grin widened at the eye roll, and he just wrinkled his nose back at Reid.
“Thank you for that,” Holden nodded.
Reid nodded back.
“We all just hope you can save Ameera,” Holden said. “We’re counting on it.”
“I’ll do everything I can.”
“We should go,” Holden replied. He clasped a heavy hand on Luke’s shoulder. “I’m sure Noah needs us there, right?”
Reid was watching Luke’s eyes, and he could just see the light going out of them. The moment of teasing and sweetness evaporating before him, Luke appeared miserable now. He shifted his feet.
“You’re right. I should go and see.”
“I’m sure it will all soon work out and return to how it was before,” Holden told Luke cryptically. It felt like he was speaking in some odd code.
Luke merely shrugged.
Once again, Reid felt like he was confused by the situation. He couldn’t figure out the Snyders and the Mayers deep connection. Since learning that Luke was gay, and therefore not in love with Ameera, the situation baffled Reid. But then again, this was Oakdale, where nothing made sense and everything got lost in translation.
“Bye, Reid,” Holden said. “We’ll be waiting outside the OR.”
“Bye,” Luke said quietly.
Whatever this bizarre situation with Ameera and Noah was, Reid was firmly on Luke’s side. Reid just wished that Luke would stop blaming himself about Ameera . Wasn’t he sick of that yet? Luke always blamed himself for everybody else’s troubles; he’d been that way as a kid, too.
With his eyes, Reid attempted to communicate his desire to help him. Something gentled on Luke’s face, and Reid knew he understood him. Luke had always understood him.
But Luke said nothing else, his gaze swept over Reid’s body a moment, and then he followed his father out the door.
During Reid's final briefing of Noah, Luke had been nowhere to be seen, which wasn't too much of a surprise given how adamant Noah had been about leaving Luke out of all decisions concerning Ameera's care. But the presence of Holden and Lily, both physically supporting Noah with hands on his arm and shoulders, had triggered another round of questions for Reid to ponder as he walked toward the OR. They were treating Noah almost like a son, and hadn't Luke said that Noah had no family? Was he yet another stray the Snyders had taken in at their farm? Was he a warmer, touchy-feelier version of Reid himself? Had he milked cows for a few summers in exchange for a home, and managed to wriggle his way into their family, to actually be one of them?
Reid snorted. Who'd even want that?
Turning toward the OR, Reid saw Luke slumped against a wall; avoiding Luke was proving impossible today. Luke straightened up at the sight of Reid and came toward him, provoking in Reid an odd combination of feelings. As Luke nearly reached him, Reid couldn’t determine if it was fear or thrill that made his pulse leap slightly.
"What are you doing here?" Reid said, not stopping, but continuing on to the OR.
"Waiting for you." Luke was immediately at his heels, and Reid stepped up the pace, hoping that he still stood a chance of shaking him.
"Just 'cause," Luke said. "I wanted to say good luck in there."
Reid stopped short, unable to keep himself from looking at Luke again. "Don’t need it."
“Oh, course not,“ Luke said, amusement on his face. “I forgot who I’m talking to.” Luke gave a little, mocking bow and then grinned.
Reid smiled back at him, almost shyly. “I thought you were angry with me last night, but you came in to see me with Holden before and now you’re here again.”
Luke shrugged generously. “I was angry, but if you’re only here for a few days…I don’t want to waste them being mad at you.”
“Oh,” Reid said. Luke was so close to him there wasn’t an inch of space between their bodies.
“Even if I’m a blip,” Luke added.
“I-I never said you were a blip- I never,” Reid couldn’t believe he was actually stammering now.
Luke gave him a saucy grin.
“Are you being a wise-ass?” Reid asked him.
“Maybe. “ Luke tilted his head. “What’re you gonna do about it?”
“Listen, If I wasn’t on my way to surgery –“ Reid began stepping threateningly at him.
Pain suddenly shot through his leg. Cursing, Reid began to hop around on it, trying to make the charley horse go away.
Luke frowned, his teasing grin gone. “Are you okay?”
“Do I look okay?” Reid replied. He stamped his foot on the floor to try and stop the cramping pain.
“What is it?”
Reid sat down in a nearby chair and pulled at his toes. “Just a charley horse . I get them, mostly in the morning. I’ve had too much surgery lately and not enough stretching. And my hotel bed sucks. ”
Reid left out the fact that he had barely slept. The reason for it was staring him in the face all full of concern now, making the empathetic sounds that Luke made so well.
“You should try yoga,” Luke advised. “I’ve heard it’s good for loosening up muscles.”
“Yoga?” Reid snorted. “Do I look like an earthy-crunchy type?” Reid made a face.
“And for a doctor? Your diet is terrible.” Luke scolded him. “I saw all those vending machine snacks.”
Reid shot him a glare. “Thanks, Mom. Damn it. Right now, I'd try anything. Getting a kink in my leg right before a major operation is going to set it back. Can't go in until it's resolved.”
“Here,” Luke said, “let me help.”
“How?” Reid grimaced and pulled at his toes again. After a moment, he stood up, and tried to walk down the hallway.
“Wait, Reid,” Luke cautioned. “Give it a minute.”
“I don’t have time for this.” Reid made it one more step, when pain sliced through his calf muscle.
“At least lean on me ,” Luke said, grabbing at Reid’s waist and hoisting him close, causing Reid’s body to stiffen and his heart to speed up.
“I’m not leaning on you . Don’t you have a foundation to fulfill all these obsequious, do-gooder instincts of yours? Go rescue a small country or something. Leave me alone.”
Luke pursed his lips. “Being a jerk might scare off most of the people you meet. In fact, I’m sure it causes the hospital staff to flee in terror, but it doesn’t work with me. “
“Why not? Too much hayseed between the ears?” Reid grumbled, but he grabbed Luke around the shoulders, which felt firm under Reid’s hands.
“Too much exposure to you,” Luke replied, “and at a young age.” He wrapped his arm at Reid’s waist and, half-carrying him, helped Reid into a nearby room and over to another chair.
As he sank down, Reid couldn’t help letting out a small yelp of pain, and of course Luke noticed it, his eyes went big with worry and a stubborn look crossed Luke’s face. Reid knew there was no escaping Luke’s strange need to fuss over him. Reid made a sour face at him, but he found he couldn’t object any further, both because he knew Luke was a person of singular purpose and because the idea of Luke’s attention turned solely on him wasn’t entirely unappealing.
“Does it hurt that much?” Luke asked, clucking sympathetically. He gave Reid a small touch on the side of his leg; the touch was both a pat and a poke. “Should I get a nurse?”
“Do you want to kill me? Just let me up, alright?” Attempting one final escape, Reid started to rise, but Luke pushed him firmly down into the chair. Their eyes locked on each other and the force of Luke’s determination struck Reid. Luke’s eyes were so large and so deeply brown, Reid became momentarily lost in them. A faint spot of color was on Luke’s cheeks and he seemed equally compelled to just gaze back at Reid. Then Luke sighed deeply and dropped his eyes.
Luke bent down between Reid’s legs.
“What are you doing?” Reid snapped, coming to his senses again, trying to squeeze his knees together.
“I’m helping you,” Luke said, practically gritting his teeth.
“You know, I can prescribe you something for this irrational need you have to meddle. Or there might be a shot for it. Say the word and I’ll put a big needle right in your butt.”
God, Reid really had to stop fixating on Luke’s ass. First he threatened to tattoo it and now he was prattling on about sticking something in it. He’d been trying to change gears deliberately and get rid of Luke’s attentions, but now he’d only boxed himself into a corner with his own big mouth.
“I’m helping you,” Luke repeated, his lip jutting out. “Now quit fighting me.”
Luke stared him down, practically daring Reid to argue, and when Reid didn’t say anything more, Luke lifted up Reid foot, and quickly rolled the scrub bottom up to his mid-thigh. Then Luke placed Reid's foot on his knee, and began to knead Reid’s calf muscle, stroking the knotted flesh with his fingers. He had really warm, surprisingly strong hands, and Reid swallowed back a soft moan.
Luke scooted closer, massaging Reid’s leg in steady circles with the pad of his thumb. It felt good, really good, and a small shudder passed between Reid’s shoulder blades; he had to concentrate on not allowing his breath to come too quickly. Luke’s fingers dug harder into his flesh, creating equal parts pleasure and pain, and Reid had to fight the urge to contort his body in reaction to both. Reid’s heart thumped violently just under his ribcage as Luke dug his thumb in again, pressing on just the right place.
“Mmm,” Reid said, the sound escaping his lips before he could squash it.
“Feel good?” Luke stopped and looked up at him. Luke’s palm pressed flat against Reid’s leg, generating warmth, and Reid’s eyes felt pulled to Luke’s. For a second, he again lost himself in their clear gaze; the energy between them was electric.
“It ain’t bad,” Reid admitted, attempting to sound breezy and unaffected, but watching Luke from under his lashes, examining Luke’s flushed skin, he knew -- something was brewing between them. Reid could feel it in his gut, not that he planned to act on it, but just knowing that Luke might want him too caused a delicious coiling sensation in Reid’s groin.
Luke smiled quickly, bashfully, and went back to the massage, using all of his fingers on Reid’s skin, pushing into the muscle and then rubbing softly. Luke’s mouth hovered near Reid’s knee; his breath blew gently out, his fingers stroking Reid's skin, as his hand traveled up to Reid’s thigh, and worked the flesh there. For some reason, Reid didn’t protest. He didn’t remind Luke the pain was in his calf. Luke ran his other hand up Reid’s thigh and then glided it back down, moving closer, close enough that Reid could feel the heat coming off of him.
Reid gazed at the top of Luke’s golden head, bent practically at Reid’s crotch, and groaned. He firmly pushed Luke’s hands away, rubbing a hand over his eyes, trying to keep his dick from making itself very obvious to Luke and anybody else who might enter the room.
“Better?” Luke asked him softly.
Reid was incapable of speech; he nodded.
Luke flashed his dimples at him and grinned, jerking Reid's pants leg back down as he stood up. “I’m glad. Listen,” Luke said. “After the surgery, when all this is over, you know, if it goes well and all, do you want to meet up? Maybe grab dinner. Or even come over to my mom’s and I’ll make something for us.”
Reid stared at Luke for a moment, still trying to shake the image of Luke's head by his crotch, and asked the first thing that came to mind. "You cook?" He took a deep breath and focused on that thought. He was desperate to focus on anything after that massage to prevent getting hard. “You cook real, actual meals?”
“I do,” Luke laughed. “It was a matter of survival, since Mom never did. Once we moved out of the farm, I practically starved every night. Anyhow, I begged Grandma to teach me. She tried to teach the girls too, but they weren't interested. I started fooling around with it more and more. I mean, I’m not as good a cook as Grandma Emma, so don’t expect anything like that, but I can make a killer chicken parmesan.“
Reid just stared at him.
“It’s cooking Reid,“ Luke teased, "not brain surgery.“ Luke dropped his eyes a moment. “It was nice hanging out last night, right? I thought maybe we could get together tonight too. Let me thank you for all you’ve done.”
Reid raised his eyebrow in question, “Don’t you want to celebrate with Noah, Casey or your family? Assuming I’m my usual brilliant self today?”
Luke shook his head.
“I did a lot of thinking last night,” he said softly. "About them all…. I’ve made some decisions today that-“ He stopped and his body hunched forward protectively. “My timing sucks. Look, you’re about to go into surgery, right? I’m sure you need to do some things. We’ll talk later.”
“I’m holding you to that promise. “ Reid examined Luke curiously, wondering what decisions he’d made.
Luke just smiled warmly “I know you will. Just like I know you’ll be great in there with Ameera. You’ll be great.”
Reid didn’t know what to say to that, so he kept his mouth closed, and stood awkwardly to his feet. He angled his body closer to Luke’s, wanting to thank him, touch him. Reid started to lift his hand up and hesitated. He could sense the weight of Luke’s body and it would be so easy to just lean forward and kiss him, but one kiss would lead to a thousand problems, so Reid lowered his hand to his side.
Luke stared at him, like he’d known exactly what Reid was thinking, and then he moved back to let him go.
Reid left the room without looking back, forcing his mind off Luke, and the way Luke could look at him as if he mattered more than anyone else in the world.