Fic: A Beautiful Mess, 18/?
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! ♥
Luke's tossing and turning in bed again. Reid didn't get much sleep the other night after returning home from the hospital. He and Dr. Huang made a conference call to the one missing member of their team, sent over some x-rays, and Reid had rounds the following morning.
After giving the surgical options to Matt and his mother earlier this evening, Reid went straight home, making it in time to have dinner with Luke. After an hour of mindless television, they both went to bed to sleep. Now, Reid glances over at the clock that reads 2:00 A.M. and places his hand on Luke's shoulder.
"Hey," Reid whispers, clearing his throat to be a little louder.
It takes a couple of minutes but Luke eventually wakes up. "Wha, huh?"
"If you move your legs any more, you're going to shove me right off the bed. I bruise easily, Dr. Snyder."
Luke sighs and turns toward Reid. "I'm sorry," he sighs and places his fingers against Reid's bare chest. "I should just start sleeping on the couch so I don't wake you."
"Stop it," Reid captures Luke's hand in his and holds on to it. "Are you going to tell me what's wrong now?" Reid's tired of waiting and he's given Luke plenty of time. It's time to go for it. When Luke says nothing after a minute, Reid goes on, "Is it Matt? Is it your nutty family? Is it --"
"All of the above," Luke doesn't speak above a whisper but Reid's close enough to hear him. Luke moves even closer and ends up tucking his head underneath Reid's chin. Reid moves on his back and wraps his arm around Luke as he waits for him to speak. If he knows Luke, and he does, he'll definitely start talking. "It's just all a little bit too much right now. It's starting to remind me of why I left."
"How did you feel when you left?"
"Overwhelmed by everyone around me. I had the pressure of school. I wanted to get to med school and I was stressed out by that and then came all of my family's problems piling on top of me. My parents relied on me to take care of my brother and sisters. The pressure ... it was too much."
Reid's dreading what's coming next and he takes in a deep breath, almost involuntarily tightening his arm around Luke. "So, what did you do?"
"Before I left, I was at my mom's house, and," he stops speaking and turns his head into Reid's chest. "I had a drink. I stopped myself from going further but I -- God," he groans, sitting up a little, and looking at Reid. "I wanted it so badly. I couldn't resist and I couldn't stop myself. I couldn't."
Reid brings his hand up to cradle the back of Luke's neck and he positions himself so he's resting on his elbows instead of the bed. In the darkness, Reid can see Luke beginning to lose it. "You're the strongest person I know."
"No," Luke quickly shakes his head and takes in a deep breath.
"Yes," Reid states firmly, gently squeezing the back of his neck. "Are you kidding me, Luke? I wouldn't have been able to handle half the things that you have. I probably would've been some crazy nutjob, panhandling on the side of the road." That gets a laugh out of Luke as he lifts his head to meet Reid's gaze. "You've gone through things that no one should ever have to go through and you've come out of all of it as a well-liked, well-loved person. Everyone immediately falls in love with you."
"Took some time to work on you," Luke smirks.
"Took like, what? A day? You got me buying that damn candy bowl." They both laugh and Luke rests his hand against Reid's chest once more. "Point is, a different man may have taken his experiences and really screwed up his life. You've taken them and you've become stronger because of them. It's only one but one of the many reasons that I fell in love with you."
"What's another reason?"
"Well, the money, of course. You're loaded," Reid says with a completely straight face.
Luke gives him a real smile and leans in to kiss him.
"Before ... before I left here, there wasn't anyone that I could go to. There wasn't anyone that I trusted enough to help me or to remind me that I am strong enough to fight this. I was trying to get away from Noah so I wasn't talking to him at all. My parents were in the middle of another fight. My friends just didn't understand where I was coming from."
"What'd you do after the drink?"
"Um," he pauses, appearing to still be stuck in that moment. "My grandmother was the only one who really supported my move. I told her what I did and she took me to an AA meeting. She stayed with me and she never told me that I was a bad person for what I did or put me down because I wasn't able to control that urge."
"Don't tell me that someone actually said that to you," Reid has no problem with finding that person and giving them a piece of his mind. And now that Luke's told him all of these things, he still isn't sure why Luke's moved back.
"Maybe implied it or it was insinuated. But, I got away and focused, got help, and now I'm ... it just seems really easy to fall into old patterns."
"You won't," Reid says confidently.
"How do you know that I won't?"
"Because you're not the kid that you were when you left. You're a smart, sexy, successful doctor and you have me on your side. Don't forget it."
"What does me being sexy have to do with anything?" Luke tries to hold back a smile but Reid can see that it's there and that he's getting to him.
"Just stating a fact that benefits me," Reid says as he leans in for a kiss. "Don't change the subject." Reid's hand reaches forward to cup Luke's cheek in his palm. "You know that I'm right about absolutely everything so know that I'm right about this. Okay?"
Luke stays silent for a moment as he stares back at Reid and nods a moment later. "Okay," he whispers.
Reid settles on his back with Luke against his chest again. Reid keeps an arm wound tightly around him, his thumb rubbing slowly against Luke's skin to comfort him. Maybe Luke will sleep well tonight.
Reid enters Java and heads straight for the counter, getting his usual order before he takes a seat at a table. He has a very important meeting with someone here today and he wants to be awake for it. He didn't sleep well the previous evening and Luke didn't either. Even after their talk, he still moved in bed, keeping them both awake. Reid's taken the morning off and insists that Luke does the same. Thankfully, Luke had been too tired to argue and is still back in their place. Hopefully he's sleeping. Reid said he'd go right back there after this early morning meeting.
He takes a few sips, reading the newspaper he'd picked up before coming here, and when he looks up, he sees his companion walking through the door. Well, it's more like bursting through the door.
She takes off her sunglasses and sits across from him, her eyes glancing at his drink. "And where's my coffee, Dr. Oliver?"
"I thought that you'd have one of those fancy machines at home where the beans are ground down and the coffee's presented to you in a gold mug or something," he smiles knowing that the description is probably not too far from reality.
"Please, Reid. I'd never use a mug," she says with such disgust. "Gold chalices only," she smirks and unwraps the scarf from around her neck. It is warm inside.
"Thought as much," he folds up the newspaper and takes another sip.
"Well, you know how much I love our social visits but what is this really about? Could it be about my darling grandson?"
"It would be," he confirms for her. "I," he hesitates before speaking, tapping his fist on the table a couple of times. "I'm just worried about him and I know that you helped him before he left Oakdale. He didn't give me any of the details. He's been really stressed lately."
"Ah," she nods knowingly.
"You know where I'm going with this?"
"I may," she stares at him for a moment and he knows that anyone else would be completely unnerved by it. He feels comforted by it, always up for any kind of challenge that's presented to him. "Stress is definitely one of his ... triggers. Anything in particular that's bothering him?"
"A lot. Everything," he revises his words. "Literally everything. His parents are asking way too much from him --"
"They always do, darling. They always do," she rolls her eyes and he nods.
"He's worried that if he's ill then the parents of his patients won't allow their children to see him anymore. And there's also a patient of ours and I know that Luke's very concerned about him."
"Is the patient all right?"
"Luke's been his primary doctor for a year and the boy has a difficult tumor. Luke's really close to him and his mom. I'm trying to do everything that I can for the boy and I've been trying to do everything I can for Luke. I know what I can do for the boy. I might need some help with Luke."
Reid's never been afraid to ask for help. Professionally, if he isn't able to do it (as difficult as that always is for him to admit) he'll fly in the people who he knows are capable of helping. Personally, he's mostly always helped himself, and he's never really had anyone around to help him or anyone who would want to help him. Then Dr. Luke Snyder came into his life and flipped that all around.
"You're doing the right thing, Reid."
"I know that he had a drink right before leaving and you helped him through that. I thought he might need someone other than me in his corner."
"Of course, of course. Anything. I'll do anything," she folds her hands together, looking away from him as if already contemplating what she's going to do. Reid's feel very, very grateful.
"He's at home now. We took the morning off. We haven't been getting a lot of sleep lately and before your mind goes into the gutter, not for those reasons."
"My mind's always in the gutter," she smiles.
"I wouldn't doubt that," he chuckles. "But, Luke just hasn't been sleeping very well," Reid takes another sip of coffee, reminding him of what he's just said. "So, you'll talk to him?"
"I'll drive," he finishes his coffee and takes his keys out of his pocket.
When they're in the car together on the way to what was formerly Luke's apartment and is now their apartment, Reid speaks up. "Thanks, Lucinda."
"Reid, there is absolutely no thanks necessary. You're the best thing that could have ever happened to Luke. You love that boy in a way that I've never seen and not only that but you both have the most stable and loving relationship that I've ever seen in this one horse town. If anyone tells you differently then they answer to me."
Reid glances over at her, a smirk on his face before he looks back at the road. "Compliments and threats all in one sentence. You're a woman after my own heart."
"No, I think that it's a little full in there with my grandson but I appreciate the offer."
Reid doesn't even roll his eyes at that comment. He is getting way, way too soft.
When they arrive at home, he takes her inside, and takes her coat for her. Luke walks out of the bedroom, hair sticking up all over the place, still in his sleepwear as he rubs his eyes. He stops when he sees the both of them standing in the doorway. "Grandmother," he smiles when he sees her. "This is a nice surprise."
The two walk toward each other, pressing kisses to cheeks, and exchanging embraces.
"What are you doing around these parts?" he asks her.
"Just thought that we could have a talk," she breezes past him, removing her scarf once again.
"Can I get you anything, Lucinda?" Reid asks as he hangs up her coat.
"For you to leave, Reid," she speaks without skipping a beat as she takes her place on the couch.
"Grandmother, what's this about?" he looks confused, looking between the both of them. "Reid?"
"I'll go get us lunch," Reid offers. He won't stand in the way of whatever Lucinda needs to do. As long as she helps to calm Luke down and try to ease some of his worries, he'll do whatever she wants.
"Reid," Luke says his name again and Reid walks toward him, placing his hands on his arms. "What's going on?"
"Nothing," he promises. "Just talk to her and have a nice little chat. I'll come back soon," he promises, leaning in to kiss him. The look on Luke's face tells him that he doesn't really feel a lot of reassurance. Reid can't blame him. They're being very mysterious. He squeezes Luke's shoulders and leaves, closing the door behind him.
He hopes that this helps.
Reid returns an hour later. After leaving the apartment, all he could think about was Luke and Lucinda and their talk. Lucinda's the person that Luke spoke to before he left when he was having a stressful time. Reid thinks that she's the person who can help Luke now. At least he hopes that he made the right move. He's new at all of this. He cares about Luke and he thinks that he's doing the right thing but will Luke think that he's running away from the problem or that he doesn't want to take care of it himself?
They argue about things. They argue all the time even though their form of arguing can easily be mistaken for some kind of foreplay between them. But, it's difficult when the arguments turn more serious like the confrontations they've been having lately. He hopes that this decision about Lucinda doesn't turn into another one of those arguments.
After wandering around, attempting to read, pretending to busy himself, he orders lunch for all of them, and eventually makes his way back to the apartment.
When he opens the door, he sees that they're still sitting on the couch. Luke wipes his eyes with the back of his hand and Reid places the bags of food on the dining room table. They're speaking in hushed tones. Reid can barely make out what they're saying.
Returning to the living room, he looks at them both, "Everything okay in here?"
"Yeah, it's great," Luke smiles at him, his words still sound a little choked as if caught in his throat. "I needed this."
"Darling," Lucinda tells him, placing her fingers over his. "This man loves you more than anything," she glances at Reid when she says it. "You feel overwhelmed or uneasy? You trust him. You have Lucinda Walsh's approval."
Luke laughs and then leans forward. She envelops him in her arms, holding him close.
"You'll be all right, my dear boy," she speaks in his ear and then pulls away to look at him, making sure that he catches her gaze before she releases him completely. "We'll all talk soon. I'd like to go to dinner and I'm sure that two medical professionals can afford to take me out," she stands and Luke follows. Luke gives Reid's arm a squeeze before Reid falls into step with Luke, walking Lucinda to the door. "I'll have my driver pick me up."
"I brought lunch," Reid's attempt to try to keep her here is weak. He wants to have Luke to himself.
"I'm sure that you'll be happy to make two meals all your own, Reid." She knows him so well and that's a strange thought. Before she leaves, she turns around to cup Luke's cheek in her palm, and they smile at one another. She leaves Reid with a nod and quickly pulls on her sunglasses before walking away from the apartment door.
Luke closes the door behind her and turns around, pressing his back against it.
"You okay?" Reid walks closer toward him and Luke nods. Without saying a word, Luke wraps his arms around him and holds on to him tightly. Reid can only hold him back, pressing a kiss to Luke's temple. Reid's given Luke everything that he needs and he isn't going to stop now. "We're staying here today. Let me just call Bob."
"No," Luke says immediately, pulling away to look at him, fresh tears running down his cheeks. Reid brings his thumb up and gently wipes them away. "Reid, Matt's surgery's coming up soon and you have patients to attend to. I don't mean to keep you home."
"You're not," he argues. "Luke, listen. It's important that you take care of yourself. But, it doesn't hurt to ask for help if you need it. I think that you were asking for help and that's why I brought Lucinda here. Don't ever be afraid of that because I'm not gonna turn you away." He doesn't know if any of this is reassuring Luke but he's still crying so he thinks that he needs to hear something else. "One day, Luke. One day and we'll both go back to work. Taking care of yourself is the most important thing right now."
Luke is a strong person but there are things that Luke needs to hear, reassurances that he needs from the people that he loves. Luke's past has taught him not to rely on others but that needs to change right now.
"All right," Luke nods and wipes at his eyes. "Okay, one day," he repeats. "Thank you, Reid."
"I love you. I wouldn't do this for some ordinary Joe Schmo walking down the street." He thinks that this is the most that he's ever told Luke that he loves him but it's something else that Luke needs to hear.
"I love you too."
Reid remembers telling Luke once that tears don't help. They make everyone look really unattractive and all runny and the last thing that he wants to be near is a sniffling, snotting person. Experiencing Luke's tears, feeling them cut inside of him as they fall, he's starting to think that they're not as useless as he once thought they were.
Reid leads him to the couch but Luke takes him to bed. They crawl into the covers and Reid pulls it over the both of them, Reid still fully clothed. It doesn't matter. They both finally fall into a peaceful rest.