Disclaimer: I own nothing, but my words and the order in which I put them. Don't sue, cause I don't want to give you my cat.
Characters/Pairings: Luke/Noah, Luke/Reid
Word Count: 21 500 for all 8 parts
Warnings: Angst, Adultery, Alison (she's not really a warning, I just like alliteration)
Spoilers: None unless you haven't watched in the last few months. No future spoilers.
Summary: Following the events of the past six months this is the story of how three men Luke Snyder, Noah Mayer and Reid Oliver found themselves at the mercy of love, friendship and betrayal.
Luke is going to end things with Reid today. As much as he had once convinced himself that having the two men he wanted in his life was a good thing, it's really only just brought him a ton of grief. He can't fully commit to Noah the way he wants because he knows that Noah deserves better that this. But he can't let him go either. When the hell did he become so goddamn selfish?
So he's going to fix it. Going to tell Reid they can't keep doing this. And it's not like this was supposed to last forever, right? Reid must want a more fulfilling relationship than Luke can provide. So really, he's doing them all a favour by breaking it off. At least that's what he's convinced himself of.
He heads over to Reid and Katie's apartment unannounced, worried that Reid will find a way to change his mind if he's given anytime to prepare. Noah's been calling him all night, and Luke has sent every call to voicemail. He really can only deal with one thing at a time. But once this is over and done with he's going to make it up to Noah in a big way. Maybe, just maybe, Luke thinks, this was all just a great big lesson. To prove to himself that Noah was what he really wanted. The only man to ever have his whole heart. And as long as things go smoothly tonight, the only man that ever will. He is confident that things will turn out okay, because he really can't fathom the alternative.
"Luke? What are you doing here?" Reid sounds surprised, but happy. Man, Luke isn't looking forward to this at all.
"Reid, we need to talk." Reid's face drops at that, which makes Luke feel pretty shitty. But at least they're now on the same page.
"Okay, talk." Reid's tone is cold, like the way he used to speak to Luke when they first met. Luke's not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing.
"This has got to stop. Today. I can't keep doing this to Noah. And let's be honest, I can't keep doing this to you either. We all deserve better than this mess."
His confidence starts to waiver as Reid approaches him, a look of determination in his eyes Luke hasn't seen since the night before Noah's surgery. "Okay, Mr. Snyder." Reid replies with an icy tone that is at odds with his body language. He is now so close Luke can feel his breath on his cheek. "You may say you want to end this now, and you may really believe it. But I don't. For all your talk of how much you love Noah, you really have a shitty way of showing it."
Luke can't deny that Reid is right. Can't deny that he has been a terrible boyfriend. But that's why he's here right? To fix things before they get too far gone.
"You're right, Reid," he admits. "I have been terrible to Noah, and let's face it, I haven't been that great for you either. I was scared of getting hurt again and somehow that lead me to hurt others. Seriously Reid, what kind of fucked up logic is that? You deserve someone you can date openly and honestly. You deserve someone who loves you, that you love in return."
"But I do." Reid says, his face pale and pitiful. Replying so quietly Luke not even sure if he heard him correctly.
"You do what? Deserve this? Because you don't Reid. You deserve so much more than this, you deserve-"
"I do love you," Reid declares. Huh, what? Luke wasn't expecting that at all.
"I do love you Luke, and I think that you could love me too. I just think you're scared. You've been with Noah for so long that he's all you know. But he isn't all that there is. Don't get me wrong, Noah is a great guy. But maybe he's not the right guy for you. Maybe I am."
Luke is absolutely thrown by Reid's admission. Sure he knew they had some feelings for each other, but love? Those words had never even entered his mind as far as Reid was concerned. This is so much worse than he ever anticipated.
"Oh God," Luke replies. His stomach is a ball of butterflies tied up in knots. He has really fucked up big time. "I am so sorry Reid, but I love Noah. It's always been Noah. I do care about you, but it's not the same thing." His voice then drops to a barely audible level. "It never was and it never could be"
Reid looks stricken, like he really believes that telling Luke he loved him would have changed everything. It changes nothing. It only makes Luke's resolve even greater that he is finally doing the right thing.
"I am so sorry Reid, I just can't give you what you want. This was a mistake from the beginning, but I was too caught up in the excitement of you and this to see. I know I have no right to ask anything of you, but could you please not mention this to Noah? Not any of it. You yourself now know what a great guy he is and he adores you. So can we just try, for his sake, to let this go?"
It's a lot to ask, but Reid seems to understand. He just shrugs his shoulders sadly, as if acknowledging defeat.
"I should probably go," Luke says, his voice as sad as Reid's face. Though he's not all that upset about the end of their affair, he is pretty broken up about breaking Reid's heart. Of all the possible outcomes, he's not sure why this particular one never dawned on him.
Reid walks Luke to the front door and out into the hallway. He seems distracted as Luke is apologizing once again. Like he's paying attention to something else. something coming down the hall.
Luke is so caught up in his own feelings and sorrys and goodbyes that he doesn't notice Noah coming around the corner of the hallway pizza box in one hand, six pack of beer in the other. And by the time he does notice, Reid has him pushed against the hallway wall kissing him so hard it's almost painful. He's startled and confused and most definitely pissed off.
As he pushes Reid away he sees Noah standing in the hallway slack jawed, slices of pizza now strewn on the floor from the box he must have dropped.
"Goodbye, Luke," Reid says, as he goes back into his apartment, closing the door behind him. Leaving Luke to deal with an incredibly confused, very angry and apparently fully sighted Noah.
"Oh my God Noah!" Luke exclaims. He doesn't know what else to say. What can he say? What words can make your world stop from falling apart right in front of you?
"I knew it. I knew something was going on. But with Reid? He was my friend. And you were. My everything. How could you guys do this?" The sound of Noah's voice cracking is just too much for Luke to bear and he rushes towards him, not knowing what to saying, but needing to do something.
Noah shoves Luke away as he approaches, screaming, "Get the fuck away from me!" in a voice so angry, so hurt. It's like New Year's Eve and Brian all over again. But much, much worse.
"Luke, I am warning you. Stay the fuck away from me. And here." He forcefully shoves the beers into Luke's hands "Why don't you just go back to Reid? Make a night of it. It's on me."
And with that Noah walks away from Luke, and for a moment Luke really considers becoming intimately familiar with the six bottles he is now cradling in his arms.
As Noah's feet hit the pavement outside Reid's apartment he starts to walk. No real direction or destination in mind. He just needs to keep moving, because a part of him feels like he'll die if he stops. He thinks that maybe he should call someone, but what would he say anyway? Hey, so the boyfriend I just got back with is cheating on me with the new friend I just made. Nope, not happening. And calling anyone wouldn't help. Ali just started her shift at the hospital and Casey, well, Casey would probably just do something stupid and get them both arrested or something.
So Noah keeps walking. Holding back tears that he knows eventually will come. But he'd rather keep that part of his sad bastard evening to the confines of his bedroom while drowning his sorrows in Jeff Buckley songs. So for now he's alone. And he's angry and sad and just plain tired. He can't stop asking himself why Luke would do this to him. Why would he agree to get back together only to- Noah doesn't even really want to think about it. But what the hell else does he have to think about right now?
This night started off so well too. In the past few hours his sight became clearer and clearer, and all he wanted was to find Luke and tell him. He thought that maybe, just maybe his impaired vision was what was holding Luke back. Boy was I ever wrong. So instead of just sitting around the apartment looking at everything for another hour, he decided if he couldn't share this moment with the man he loved, he would share it with the man that made it all possible. His friend Reid. Friend, what a fucking joke.
So here Noah sits on the night he gets his sight back, brokenhearted and alone. Did Reid even like him? Was it just all an act to get closer to Luke? They both really played him for a sucker. He's ashamed he didn't figure out sooner. As soon as he let his guard down again, let people in again, the rug is pulled out from under him like a magician's tablecloth. Only it was a really shitty magician and instead of being intact on the table, he's a million shattered pieces on the floor, no clue on how to put them back together.
So Noah just sits. On a bench in Old Town, our bench. Not knowing what to do besides the obvious choices of drink himself back to blindness or beat Reid Oliver into a coma. And as appealing as both those options sound, he can't even muster the energy for that. He is overwhelmed and tired and sad, and just really needs to go home.
On his walk home his phone rings repeatedly, Luke, Luke, Luke, ah Holden that's different, nice try, Luke. Only when he receives a text from Reid, of all people, does he take the time time to check the message. It was never about you. It was always about him. I am so sorry. And while an apology is just lovely, Noah doesn't know what the fuck he's supposed to do with that. The best new friend he had made in years was sleeping with his boyfriend, and he's supposed to forget about it cause he's sorry? Reid mustn't have a clue about real people if he thinks that's remotely okay.
By the time he gets home Noah has deleted all the voice messages and texts in his phone. Well, almost all. Anything from Ali or Casey remained, but any trace of Luke or Reid is now gone. He'd delete their numbers too, but he doesn't want to risk answering a call accidentally because he wasn't paying close enough attention to the digits on the call display. He shuts off his phone and heads straight to his room. He's so pathetic he's even too sad for sad music. Like any of the weepy 14-year-old-girl style reactions he may have considered just seem overindulgent and melodramatic. So he gets undressed, gets in bed and just stares at the ceiling, tears falling against his will. And for the first time since his surgery, Noah wishes for a return of the absolute darkness that he once knew.
Part 6: la-fours.livejournal.com/4649.html#cutid