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Title: After The Rattle
Author: Marsabi
Summary: This story srats when Reid and Luke roll over the baby rattle at Katie's house. It fixes the Chris problem and other things... 
Disclaimer: These characters  are from ATWT ...I don't own anything
Rating: PG

Chapter Five:

"Well, " Bob put a friendly hand on Reid's shoulder, " this is your night. We are offiically celebrating your new job as Chief of Staff."

Reid looked around at the tacky banner and smell of cheap punch and then took in all the people he did not know standing stiffly around with fake smiles. Then he took in the nurses and other doctors'  fake smiles.

"Great," he said to Bob. Nobody could replace Bob Hughes, except another Hughes...What had he been thinking?

"How is the hand?"

Reid shrugged. "Don't worry. I will be operating soon. I have a special therapist flying in today."

Bob nodded. "You know, the Chief often does paper work anyway- can't remember the last time I actually operated," Bob said.

Reid forced a smile on his lips. He would never be that type of Chief.

"Hey guys!" Katie and Chris sauntered over.

Chris had a hand on Katie's butt. Reid wanted to slap it off. First, Katie had nursed him back from the transplant. Then she had to hear him turn down the Chief of Staff job. Now, Katie had told Reid that Chris wanted to "find himself" some more and take their relationship a few steps back. Bonehead. Doogie Hughes did not derserve Katie!

Not that Reid Oliver cared about her personal life. No, of course not. He was a practical man, a surgeon, focused on medicine and that was it. He had no time to get involved in the love lives of Oakhell. 

"Hey, sorry I am late," Luke came up beaming. Reid noted how all the people around Luke beamed back. 

"You didn't have to come," Reid told him grumpily. 

"I enjoy parties." Luke smiled. He waved at Kim Hughes and then waved at Casey and Alison.

"And this one is so elegant." 

"Don't be snarky, Reid," Luke scolded. Then he patted Reid on the shoulder. "Poor Doctor Oliver- all these people to charm and impress."

"Hey, I can be charming, "  Reid defended himself.  Then he meant Luke's eyes. "Okay, I can be civil. Occasionally. With you by my side."

Luke laughed. 

"Reid, " Bob interrupted them, "They need a picture of us together."
Reid just rolled his eys and sighed. "Great. Maybe you can be the Chief." He said to Luke. " They all love you. And you take a much better picture."

Reid allowed himself to be photographed.  Katie stood behind the photographer once and made a funny face. Reid scowled in return. The photographer took the picture. Katie was cracking up now. Reid walked over to her.

"Terrific," he growled at his friend. 

  "Hey, you were supposed to laugh at that."

"Well now I look mean; everybody on staff will fear me."

"Reid," Katie chuckled and grabbed his arm, "they already do."

Reid sighed. What was it about people? He really had no clue. He tried to talk to them rationally; they were so messy and emotional. People never made much sense to him.  Medicine made sense. Before coming to Oakdale, his whole life had been about medicine. It had been so clear. 

"Look at that," Katie nudged him and pointed to Luke. Luke had a group of older trustees laughing and nodding. 

"He is good," Reid acknowledged.

"Face it Reid, " Katie giggled, "thanks to Luke you are now it."

"What?" Reid asked blankly. 

"You, my friend, are the gay Bob and Kim!"  Katie went into hysterical giggles. "Member when you told me Noah and Luke were the next Bob and Kim? Jokes on you, dear. Get ready to celebrate your 25th anniversary!" 
"I'm glad you enjoy laughing at my expense." 

"Always," Katie patted him.

"There is one big difference. I'm not married to Luke."

"Not yet," Katie teased. 

Reid shuddered. "Worry about your own wedding plans."

Katie stopped laughing and looked sad. Reid cursed under his breath. He wanted to kick himself for saying that. Katie would marry Chris, if the guy was not such an idiot. 

Suddenly, Reid wished Luke would come over. He would know what to say. He would make Katie laugh again. Reid really did need Luke. Without Luke, people just were too confusing. 

As if he read his mind, Luke walked over to them. He hugged both Reid and Katie impulsively, and then said, "Katie, check out how cute Jacob looks with Jack."

A smile returned to Katie's lips and she went over to see her son. 

Reid let out a long sigh. 

"What," Luke asked.

"I'm terrible at all this," Reid confessed. 

Luke grinned. "Reid, that's nothing new. " Then as he saw Reid's face actually fall, Luke tapped him lovingly on the cheek. "Don't worry. They have big sandwiches over there. Come and get one."

Reid saw love and acceptance in Luke's eyes.

"You always know how to cheer me up."

"Well, Doctor Oliver, it is a full time job. Still, somebody's got to do it. " 

Reid spent the next few hours stuffing his face with food and avoiding small talk. Truthfully, he was excited at the idea of becoming Chief. He had worked all his life, nobody had handed him a damn thing, and now the job was his.

Still, Reid acknowledged to himself, none of it would have mattered much without Luke. Reid took in Luke's proud smile and the way Luke lighted up as Bob officially made the announcements. Reid had never felt so lucky. He glanced around the room. He half-expected something to come and ruin all his happiness.

Luke watched as Reid went up to the podium and shook Bob's hand solemly. He was such a good man. Underneath it all, despite often being misunderstood, Luke knew that Reid would lead with compassion and professionalism. He was so proud of Reid. He would show him later. Maybe in the hospital break room. Maybe in the car on the drive home. A saucy smile played on Luke's lips. He could never get enough of surprising Reid  and touching him all over. 

Luke's dreams were suddenly interrupted by a commotion at the front. Two men had come in, one in a long doctor's jacket and the other in jeans and a red shirt. They rushed up to Reid and shook his hand. Reid let the one dressed as a doctor examine his hand quickly. They got into a deep discussion. The other man was simply staring at Reid. Reid was ignoring him. But the hairs on the back of Luke's neck stood up. He walked over. 

"Luke!" Reid said, almost startled. "This is the doctor friend I was telling you about...James Davis - he is sure he can continue to help my hand."

Dr. Davis smiled and said, "I can't imagine a world where Oliver here can't operate. "

Luke smiled stiffly. He turned to the other man, a handsome man with short dark hair. The man was still staring at Reid.

"And you are?" Luke said smoothly and cooly. Inside, he felt nervous. He had already guessed the answer. 

"Oh," James was saying , "this is my brother Alec. He just came to hang around with me."

"What," Reid said a bit nervously, "wanted to see the sights of this grand  town?"

"Excuse me,' Luke said suddenly. "I need to talk to my boyfriend." 

And with that, the normally charming Luke Synder pulled Reid Oliver out of the party.  


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December 2011


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