Fic: A Beautiful Mess, 21/22
Summary: Luke is a pediatrician! He is officially Dr. Luke Snyder.
Spoilers: References to Luke's past from canon and that's about it.
Disclaimer: Wish they were mine but they're not.
Note: This was inspired by this entry in lure_prompts by the brill _alicesprings. Feedback, concrit, etc. welcome! ♥
Reid knows he won’t be welcome at Matthew’s funeral and Luke believes otherwise.
“I think it shows you’re also mourning for him and shows you as a professional who cares about his patients,” Luke tries to reason, buttoning his white shirt.
“I think the reaction will be more like, ‘Hey, what the hell is the doctor who was there when the kid died doing here at the funeral? Is he trying to compensate for making the huge mistake of operating in the first place?’ I don’t think you’re being realistic here, Luke.”
“And I don’t think anyone will think that.”
“Then you’re being completely naive.”
Reid shoves himself off of the edge of the bed, bringing himself to his feet as he walks several steps forward to reach Luke, and helps to button his shirt. “Any other time and I’d be unbuttoning this shirt.”
“Reid,” Luke speaks with a mixture of affection and annoyance in his voice. Whatever he’s feeling, he leans forward to press a kiss to Reid’s forehead. “I’m going to the funeral.”
“I’m not telling you not to and if you haven’t noticed, I’m helping you dress,” Reid’s fingers motion to Luke’s outfit. “That means I support you going.”
Reaching for Luke’s jacket, he holds it out for him, and then helps him put it on. He leaves his hands on Luke’s broad shoulders, feeling the expanse of them underneath his fingertips as Luke turns around again to face him. “It’d mean a lot to me if you went. I’m sure it’d mean a lot to Matthew if you went.”
“Luke, I don’t go to the funerals of my patients.”
“I just thought this one would be different for you.”
“Yeah, you’re wrong.”
Luke pulls away from him abruptly, grabbing his tie hanging on the chair. “Fine. Don’t come.” He both walks and stomps out of the room with Reid following him, and watches as Luke shoves his socked feet into his nice dress shoes he’d shined earlier.
“Don’t do this. Don’t you think you’re going to be a witness to enough drama today?”
“Reid, I don’t know how you can be so …” Luke pauses as if realizing there’s no end to that sentence. Reid knows that Luke knows who he is and he knows exactly how he “can be so.”
“It is,” Reid interrupts. “It is different for me. This is different for me because I’ve never been with someone who’s been this close to a patient of mine before. Hell, I’ve never been with someone this long before but that’s, that’s beside the point.” Luke smiles a little anyway. “Point is, I’ve had patients I’ve been close with who’ve made me smile and make me feel good and then one minute they’re here and the next they’re gone. This is my job, Luke.”
“So, you think of it as just a job?”
Reid sighs. “Are you even listening to me?”
“I’m listening! I’m just …” he rubs his fingers against his temple and leans back against the back of the couch, resting against it, and still holding his tie in his other hand.
Reid follows him until he’s standing directly in front of him. “I’m used to seeing this whole cycle. There’s life and then there’s death. This is the first time you’ve been exposed to it, professionally, and believe me, I know how much it sucks. So if you hear anyone bad mouthing me or blaming me then let them.” Luke wants to protest but Reid goes on. “Let them. Whatever I’m feeling is nothing compared to the way they’re feeling.”
Luke nods in understanding and slips the tie around his neck. Reid watches as he expertly ties it without the use of a mirror.
“I’ll see you later?” Luke asks.
Reid nods and Luke leans in for a kiss. His lips linger against Reid’s for a moment and Reid gives him whatever he can provide for him in this brief moment -- comfort, assurance, affection, love.
When the door closes behind Luke, Reid feels a pang. After all, isn’t he the guy who told Luke he’d never be alone and now he’s letting him walk right out the door to a situation he may not be emotionally prepared for. Just the other day, Luke was sobbing in the shower, and now Reid thinks he’s going to be okay at the funeral?
Reid does think Luke’s going to be okay at the funeral. Luke’s going to be too busy concerned about other people’s feelings to think about his own. He’ll speak to Matt’s mom and meet the rest of the family. Luke does care about every single one of his patients. Reid may not have that connection with everyone the way Luke does but he has to let Luke do this his own way.
Reid deals with this whole death thing another way. He moves on to the next. He prepares the next case, he consults the next patient, and he makes sure never to make the same mistake twice.
Reid heals in the operating room with scalpel in hand, each brain new territory.
Thinking about Matthew gives him a sense of determination and he knows he won’t be here in the apartment when Luke returns. He’ll know where to find him.
”Patient’s an excellent candidate for surgery. A little whiny and talks way too much about her cat but has many options available for post-op. Schedule her in for several tests --” Reid pauses his dictation when he sees his office door is open.
Bob Hughes walks inside, hands in his coat pockets as he approaches the desk.
“May I be of assistance, Dr. Hughes? The Alzheimer's finally kick in and you need some help finding your office?” Reid stops his recording and leaves it on his desk to continue later.
“Reid, I have missed your quips,” he takes a seat across from Reid, that same pleasant expression on his face he uses for everyone. “Is Dr. Snyder doing all right?”
“He should be ready to heal some cuts and bandage some bruises this coming Monday.”
“Well, tell him the cuts and bruises will have to wait a little. I don’t want him coming in on Monday.”
That immediately infuriates Reid, keeping his hands on the desk so they don’t accidentally fly out and punch his chief of staff. “What gives you the right to dictate whether or not he’s capable of working? He’s perfectly fine and whatever’s happening in his personal life, I can assure you that --”
“I don’t want you coming in either,” he interrupts.
“Bob, you have no right --”
“Reid, if you let me get two words in then maybe I can explain.”
Bob looks way too amused, a small chuckle escaping his lips before he speaks. Then he clears his throat so he can appear more professional. “I know this last patient was difficult for you both. Luke’s health took a hit,” Bob holds his hand up just as Reid’s about to protest.
“What’s your point, Dr. Hughes?” Reid bites his tongue to hold back a quip about being ancient, using this moment as the only opportunity to tell long, boring old people stories, but he manages to have a little restraint.
“You’ve been working almost nonstop and I think it’s time for you two to take a break.”
“A vacation, Dr. Oliver. It’s one of those things where you book plane tickets or sip drinks on the beach with little umbrellas in it. Mrs. Hughes and I went on a cruise last year with this all you can eat seafood buff--”
“No. That might be okay for the chief of staff and his wife and you should be retired anyway, I don’t know why you aren’t,” Reid mutters under his breath. “It isn’t okay with me and I’m sure it won’t be okay with Luke.”
“Reid, listen up,” Bob’s commanding voice does grab Reid’s attention. He knows that tone and advice is just around the bend but Reid often finds himself listening to what this man has to say. “You and Luke, you’re both young, you’re successful, and you’re both excellent doctors. I’ve never seen two doctors more dedicated to the health and well-being of their patients. But take that energy and take some time to take care of each other, give yourselves a break to be happy without the day-to-day worries and stresses.”
“So, you’re telling me you want us to …”
“No, I don’t want you to. This is an order. Effective at the date and time that’s convenient for you, you and Dr. Snyder are taking a two week vacation. Two weeks. I don’t want to see you here around the hospital. Everything will run smoothly while you’re away.”
“You realize we don’t have that much vacation time accrued yet. We haven’t even been here a year.”
“Excuses, excuses, doctor,” Bob stands and offers him his hand. “Do we have a deal?”
Reid stares at the outstretched hand and sighs. He hasn’t really given him much of a choice. But, he does reach forward to shake his hand.
“Good,” Bob smiles, obviously pleased with himself as he leaves Reid’s office, closing the door behind him.
Reid reaches for his digital recorder again, dictating a few more notes, “Kill or thank chief of staff depending on boyfriend’s reaction.”
He lowers the recorder a little and sighs before he continues with his dictation.
“Look into rescheduling appointments for next month and cancel upcoming sur -- no, schedule Mrs. Renz for next week.” If he’s going to be forced into a vacation then he’ll give himself one more surgery.
Reid takes his cell phone out of his pocket and considers a text, leaving a voice message for Luke but the rest of his day has already been thrown off by Bob’s little announcement.
Taking some of his files, Reid packs them up in his briefcase, and heads home.
Luke comes home several hours later, eyes red, the tear stains still visible on both cheeks. He looks weary, run down, and Reid’s starting to think a vacation isn’t a terrible idea.
“Hey,” Luke strains to speak, clearing his throat of the lump lodged deep in there.
“Hi,” Reid greets him from his place at the table, files scattered everywhere.
“You went to work?” he wonders, walking to the fridge, and grabbing a bottle of water to drink.
“I was planning on being there today but due to unforeseen circumstances, grabbed what I could, and came back here.” Luke takes the seat next to his and opens his water bottle. Reid watches as he takes a long sip and then places the bottle down on the table. “How’d it go?”
“Can’t you tell?” Luke points to his eyes. “I can’t talk about it right now, Reid. What do you mean unforeseen circumstances?”
“Bob thinks we’re working too hard and we need a break. We’ve been ordered to take a vacation.”
“Wait, what? He can’t do that! I have patients to attend to and I’ve already taken a break because of this and now he thinks taking a trip is going to make me not think about --” Luke pauses, shaking his head. “He can’t do that.”
“I don’t think it’s a terrible idea.”
“Reid, you’re joking right? You, of all people. You have to be kidding me. You’re practically addicted to your work and you’re telling me you’re okay to just take off?” Luke stands up and walks away from the chair, pacing into the living room.
Reid drops his pen and finds himself following Luke. He doesn’t know how it happens but as soon as Luke moves anywhere in this apartment, Reid isn’t far behind.
“No, I’m not okay with taking off. I even tried to convince Bob that, in fact, neither one of us are okay with our chief of staff telling us to take a vacation. I have my patients to attend to, you have yours, and you’ve just returned to work not too long ago.”
“Right, that’s exactly it.”
“On the other hand, Matt’s death threw us for a loop. I don’t know how much of a dedicated doctor I am when I’m thinking about my previous patient and how he’s affecting you and how you’re recovering. Don’t,” holds up his hand. “I’m thinking about you regardless of Matt. I’ve been worried about you ever since your stint in the hospital so it’s not all Matt.”
“Reid,” Luke steps forward and takes one of Reid’s hands into his own. “I don’t want to be the reason your work is suffering.”
“It isn’t suffering. I’m still perfectly capable of performing up to my standards,” he assures Luke. “I just think regrouping isn’t a terrible idea.”
“I didn’t know you regrouped. I thought your idea of relaxation is beating me at chess, watching the Godfather, and reading medical journals.”
“There are other ways to relax,” Reid laces his fingers through Luke’s and pulls him close until their bodies are pressed together. “I’ve …” he can’t believe he’s about to admit this but it’s Luke. Luke always knows things about him he’d never tell another living being. “I’ve never been on a vacation.”
“What!” Luke shouts. “Wait a minute, how can you never have been on vacation?”
“I’m the head of a neurology department and before I ran my own clinic and before that I was in residency and an internship and school and chess tournaments. Who has time for a break?”
“You never took a break during med school to just take some time off?”
“How many different ways are there to say no? No.”
“Reid, that’s just …” Luke takes on a different tone, his body language becoming more comfortable again, and Reid’s annoyed. It’s typical Luke to turn the situation from his problem and focus completely on someone else. If this is going to get Luke to agree with what Reid wants to do then he’ll just go with it. “Well, if you were to go anywhere, where would you want to go?”
“I don’t know,” Reid shrugs his shoulders, releasing Luke’s hand, and falling back on the couch.
Luke falls back with him, pressing himself to Reid’’s side while Reid automatically raises his arm to fit Luke underneath it. “I went to Bali once for spring break.”
“Completely and totally alone,” Luke smiles and rests his head against Reid’s shoulder, Reid instinctively tightening his hold around Luke. “It was beautiful. I went hiking and went down to the beach. I bought souvenirs for everyone in my family, just little things for Aaron, Natalie, and Faith. Ethan wasn’t born yet. I’ve never felt so at peace as I did when I was over there.”
“I’m surprised you didn’t end up a drug mule. They prey on the young and hot.”
Luke laughs and shakes his head. “I wasn’t around very many people. I stayed in this hut that was practically on the beach.”
“Being rich does mean you don’t have to stay in the hostels.”
Luke playfully slaps Reid’s stomach and then leaves his hand there. “I wasn’t exactly calling room service either. I went into town to eat and just brought back a lot of fruit to snack on. Anyway, I think being there definitely helped. I was having a pretty rough freshman year being away from all my friends and family. I spent every break with them and summer and I realized my junior year if I was diving into med school I wanted to take a trip first.”
“You haven’t traveled since your junior year and you’re giving me a hard time about not traveling?”
“At least I did it. Even if it was only once. The other side trips to Malta certainly don’t count.”
Reid can’t believe he’s referring to the kidnappings as side trips. But, there’s Oakdale and Luke way of thinking.
“So, let’s do it. Take me on my very first vacation.”
Luke lifts his head as he looks at Reid, a list of pro’s and con’s forming. Reid’s able to see that through Luke’s eyes.
“Bob said we have the two weeks whenever we wanna go. I’m already scheduling and rescheduling my patients. I suggest you do the same.”
“Really?” Luke smiles widely. “You wanna go on a trip with me?”
The corniest line in the world briefly flashes through Reid’s mind but there’s no way in hell he’d ever, ever say it out loud. Instead, he says, “Anything to get the hell out of Oakdale.”
Luke smiles and leans forward to kiss him, his fingers coming up and burying them in Reid’s hair. As Reid deepens their kiss, his tongue already snaking into Luke’s mouth, Luke pulls away.
“Patients first and this later.”
“Yeah, no. I don’t really have a lot of patience.”
“Patients, with a T,” Luke chuckles and leans in for another kiss. “Thank you. I don’t know what I’d do without you,” he speaks, a serious tone in his voice that Reid can’t mock, not when there are still tears lining the surface of his eyes.
Reid bows his head forward, nodding, and Luke climbs off of him. Luke immediately puts a call in to his assistant and begins to rearrange his schedule.
Did he just agree to go on a trip with Luke Synder? Dr. Reid Oliver on a couples trip. Well, stranger things have happened like moving to the middle of nowhere Illinois, finding himself happy with the quality of work in a no name town, and falling in love with the town’s golden boy.
As he looks over at Luke, he realizes he’s much more.
Luke cares about everyone in his orbit and sometimes Reid can’t believe he’s part of that. He’s transfers the same amount of care to his patients, never once considering them to be just strangers. Reid’s seen the ups and downs of that all in one patient: Matthew. Reid will never forget Matt and he’ll never forget the affect he’ll have on Luke because Luke’s going to carry it with him forever.
Luke smiles at him in the middle of his phone call and Reid can’t help but smile back at him.
That’s what Luke does to him. He makes Reid smile even though he doesn’t want to. He makes Reid care even though he never wants to. He has this power over Reid that’s overwhelming in both the worst and best ways.
If this is what it’s like to date Dr. Luke Snyder? He’ll take it. He’ll take all of it.