Title: Cold Comfort
Rating: PG-13ish for a couple of swears and the Bon Jovi references
Word Count: 36 hundo!
Characters/Pairing: Luke and Noah. Seriously, they are the only people in this story.
Disclaimer: Luke and Noah aren't mine. Never have been, never will be. But if they were they would never wear pants.
Warnings: Hurt/Comfort stuff. And in order to get to the comfort you gotta go through the hurt.
Author's Notes: Written for the lovely and wonderful rosengirl for the Lemonade Project. I am so glad I ended up getting paired with you cause I kind of heart you big time. I know you're asleep right now, so good morning bb!
A/N #2: I am not a writer. A butcher (yes), a baker (occasionally) and (on the off chance) a candlestick maker, but that's it. So a big thanks to the kick-ass carolinablu85 for her lightening fast beta-fu. Love you Elbed!
Now that he had taken some time to clear his head, Luke couldn’t really remember why he and Noah were fighting.
Well he knew why, but he didn’t know how they let it get to the point where Luke was storming out, slamming the farm door behind him, leaving Noah in the kitchen, fuming.
It was stupid really. All he wanted was to spend a nice quiet Christmas with Noah, away from the snow, away from Oakdale, and yes, away from his family.
Not that he didn't love them to bits, but it was his and Noah’s first Christmas back together, and most of the plans he had in mind weren’t entirely family friendly.
Unfortunately Noah wanted to spend it in Oakdale, at the farm. And while Luke understood why, he still couldn’t help but be a little disappointed that spending time with him, just him, wasn’t his boyfriend’s main priority.
So he stormed out before he said something he knew he would regret, something he couldn’t take back. He hated fighting with Noah, especially now that things were so good between them again after all that time.
They had been lost for so long, torn apart by their own doing. After Reid died, Noah had been so patient and so loving. It was impossible for Luke not to fall in love with him all over again.
And that’s why Luke discreetly made arrangements for them to spend their first Christmas back together in a bungalow on the beach in Hawaii. Not that Noah knew that, because Luke hadn’t told him. He really wanted to surprise him, and even as they argued Luke kept that piece of information to himself. Holding on to the hope that Noah would change his mind and just say yes.
So before he played the very last card he had, he just walked out. He need to take some time out to think about his next move. But as he walked he started to regret not picking up a coat on his way out. When did it start snowing? But going back now would be like admitting defeat, and everyone knew that Luke was too damn stubborn for his own good. So he just kept walking, holding himself tighter as the wind picked up, just needing a little more time to get his thoughts in order.
“What the hell just happened?” Noah asked himself as he stood in the kitchen of the Snyder farm. One minute he and Luke were talking about how excited they were for Christmas, and the next they were fighting and Luke was storming off.
Now that he had had a chance to calm down a bit Noah could see things from Luke’s point of view, but he couldn’t help but wonder why Luke couldn’t see his. Of course he was excited to spend time alone with Luke over the holidays, but this was also a chance to have a real happy family type Christmas for the first time in a long time too.
Last year he stayed in L.A., feeling too awkward at the thought of being around Luke while not being with him, the year before that was the sad blind Christmas from hell and though they had spent a happy Christmas together the year before that, it was quickly followed up by the worst. New Years. Ever. So yes, he wanted to go to the farm, open presents with the kids and live out all of his (admittedly lame) Walton style Christmas fantasies. He was ecstatic to have Luke back, but he was also pretty damn happy to be part of the Snyder family again. Why couldn’t Luke see that?
Noah was shaken from his thoughts by the sounds of the screen door rattling. The wind was picking up pretty quickly and Luke hadn’t come back yet. As much as Noah loved Luke, he also knew he had an impulsive streak a mile wide, and couldn’t help but worry that Luke would stay out longer than was strictly necessary (not that storming out into the cold winter night was ever necessary) just to spite him.
After another five minutes passed, Noah really began to worry. The still cold evening was turning into a storm right before his eyes. So he grabbed his coat, and Luke’s, along with a flashlight and headed out the farm door.
“Fuck!” Luke screamed into the cold dark night. When he had left the farm he had expected to take sometime to calm down and clear his head. Not to be wandering around the at night in what was now practically zero visibility.
The wind whipped through his sweater, leaving him as cold as if he was wearing nothing at all. He was so wrapped up in his thoughts that he had wandered further than he had planned, ending up all the way to the far end of Snyder pond. So he lowered his head to shield his face from the wind and snow and started walking almost blindly back to the farm.
Normally he knew the layout of the pond like the back of his hand, but this situation was anything but normal. So he kept moving faster, cursing Noah, the weather and even himself. He moved with renewed purpose as he could finally see the faint glow of the farm’s porch light in the distance. But the extra speed did not allow for extra care, and soon he was stumbling. Tripping on a rock and rolling down a gentle incline.
Seriously? Could this day get any fucking worse?
And to Luke’s chagrin it did. As his body finally came to a full stop, he couldn’t let out a sigh of relief, nor an exasperated “thank you” to the heavens. Because Luke was now laying flat, face first in Snyder pond.
“Luke! Luke, where are you? Luke, answer me!” Noah was frantic now. After finding the barn empty, he couldn’t help but worry about where Luke may be.
“Calm down” he reassured himself. “Luke knows this farm like the back of his hand, he’s going to be fine.” And try as he might to believe it, it just wasn’t working. The only way he was going to believe that Luke was fine was in seeing him, in the flesh. He didn’t even care if Luke was still angry, as long as he was okay.
Upon leaving the barn Noah wrapped the spare coat he brought for Luke around himself, When did it get so fucking cold?, heading for the only other place he could think of. Not that it made any sense for Luke to be at the pond, but as much as he loved Luke he also knew that common sense was not always his strong suit. Especially when he was upset.
As visibility lessened he slowly but determinedly made his way to the pond, walking from one end to the other in the hopes of seeing something, anything, that would indicate that Luke was alright.
And just as he was about to head back to the farm (hoping that Luke had made it back), he caught a glimpse of a dark figure in the distance, unmoving.
Fucking fuck! Only me. God this sucks! Luke’s thoughts were racing a mile a minute, and he didn’t dare speak out loud since anything more than breathing was, for the moment, a daunting and overwhelming task.
He had managed to drag his now frozen body out of the pond, but his strength pretty much died in that moment. With his last ounce of strength he pulled his knees up to his chest, trying in vain to keep whatever body heat he had left sealed in.
Unfortunately sitting in a snow storm in soaking wet clothing pretty much nullified any concept of body heat. His jeans and cable knit sweater, heavy and wet, were now beginning to crystallize, water turning to ice. He knew he couldn’t stay there for much longer, but he was cold, tired, and just really cold and tired.
As his eyelids started to droop under the weight of his fatigue he was roused somewhat back to consciousness as he heard his name. Great, I’m hearing things now. At least my hallucinations sound like Noah...that’s comforting, he thought to himself. He tried to direct his focus towards the voice as it got louder and louder, but he couldn’t see through the whipping winds and blinding snow. Since when does snow go sideways anyway?
Soon he was not only hearing Noah’s voice, but feeling Noah’s hands on his shoulders. Or at least he was hallucinating Noah’s hands, as far as he was concerned. Then he was being lifted up into imaginary-Noah’s arms, a coat wrapping around his shoulders. He couldn’t help but think about how a lovely a way this was to die. In the arms of the man he loved. Then everything went black.
If Noah thought that finding Luke was the hardest part of his night, he had thought wrong. The hardest part was dragging a barely conscious, obviously delirious Luke back to the empty farmhouse.
“Luke baby, wake up. It’s me, Noah,” was all Noah could say over and over again, desperately wanting to get through to his boyfriend. But soon the talking stopped as he just focused on slowly but briskly dragging an obviously hypothermic Luke back to safety. And though it took him longer than he would have preferred, he got him there in one giant frozen piece.
All the while Luke kept mumbling incoherently, the only words making any sense being “Your face,” “Reid,” and “Morrissey”. Noah was confused by Luke’s delirium, wanting nothing more than to make sure that he was lucid and okay. After removing all of Luke’s frostbitten clothing and adding a couple pairs of wool socks, he laid him in his bed wrapping him with blanket after blanket. He then sidled up behind him, wrapping his arms around him, praying for Luke to warm up.
“Baby, can you hear me?” he whispered in Luke’s ear. “I need you to try and stay with me, okay? Tell me about what you were saying earlier. Something about my face and Morrissey and Reid?” Noah couldn’t help but feel a twinge of jealously that in his delirium Luke still thought of Reid. It was selfish and stupid, but hey Noah never claimed to be perfect.
Luke was still cold. Really fucking cold if he were to be honest, but something was different. He no longer felt the burn of the wind hitting his face, and as he slowly opened his eyes it finally dawned on him that he was no longer outside.
“Am I dead?” He asked slowly, his voice hoarse and low. He felt a chuckle low and soft vibrate against his back, felt arms squeezing him impossibly tight. “No baby, you’re not dead. You had a rough night but you’re safe now, I promise. I’ve got you.”
“Noah?” Luke asked, still confused about what was real and what was all a figment of his imagination. “Is that really you?”
He felt lips on the back of his neck and he shivered. More from the contact than from the cold. He felt Noah tense up, wrapping him tighter in the cocoon of blankets he had created.
“Yeah it’s me. You’re doing so good baby, just keep talking. Stay with me.”
“I thought, I thought I was going to die out there, Noah.” And suddenly Luke began to cry, heavy shuddering sobs. It was as if he was slowly thawing from the inside out. Noah quickly but carefully turned Luke around so that they were now face to face. Luke could see that his face also red and streaked with tears.
“You think I’d let a little blizzard take you away from me? No matter what I will always find you. I will always come for you. You’re not losing me that easily.”
And for the first time in hours they both smiled.
“Do you remember what you were saying when I found you?” Noah figured he probably should drop it, but something in him needed to know. Was Luke still hung up on Reid, in his confused state was he calling out for the man he truly loved? Noah needed to know.
“‘M not too sure” Luke replied as he burrowed deeper into the blankets, deeper into Noah’s warmth. “What was I saying?”
“Well,” Noah started, not quite sure how to approach the subject. “You said the words ‘your face’, which I assume to be mine, ‘Morrissey’ and um, ‘Reid.’” Noah swallowed thickly, the tension finally gone from his shoulders, now pooling in his stomach which was now a bundle of nerves.
“I, uh. Hmm.” Luke inartfully replied as he formulated a real response. “It was a mistake for me to walk out on you like I did,” he began. “I knew it from the moment I let the door slam, but I was just so, so frustrated and I just- I just needed some time. By the time the weather really picked up I was out by the pond and just wanted to get back to you. I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face, and it was so hard to focus. So I just kept moving, faster and faster and that’s when I tripped and landed in the pond.”
“Oh baby” Noah whispered, he could tell that Luke was wet and cold, but he had no idea he had fallen in the freezing cold water. He held him tighter still.
“So when you found me, I was just so tired. So out of it. And I think that’s why I said the things I said. I think I was trying to tell you that your face was the best thing I had ever seen. I was pleasantly surprised that it was you I was seeing before I...before I died.”
He cleared his throat and quickly continued. “For some reason I thought that dying would be different, that I would be met by people who had already passed away, like Brad or, or Reid. But instead I saw you and it made a truly shitty situation a little more bearable.”
Noah gently kissed Luke’s temple, happy to feel a warmth previously missing from his skin. “I am so sorry that you went though this. You must have been so scared.”
Luke looked up at Noah from under his lashes, his eyes still wet with tears. “I was, but seeing you, even if I thought you were just in my head, made it better. Made me calmer, stronger. Cause that is what you do for me every fucking day of my life Noah. I love you so much, and I never want you to forget that.”
And for the first time in hours, they kissed.
Luke was exhausted. Emotionally and physically. He wanted nothing more that to just let himself sleep for the next few days, but Noah was worried and staying awake helped to calm him.
“So.” Noah asked, “you going to explain the Morrissey thing to me? Cause he’s not dead, so I don’t think you were anticipating him at the pearly gates.”
Noah smiled a soft and sad smile. Luke could tell he was trying to do his best to lighten the mood, even if his expression betrayed his efforts.
“Actually, the Morrissey thing was technically a Smiths thing. Seeing you there right by my side brought a song into my head.
“What song?” Noah asked, now incredibly amused by Luke’s story.
“Uh, I don’t know the name of the song, you know the one from 500 Days of Summer? The one that goes To die by your side is such a heavenly way to die. That line just kept running through my head, because it’s true.”
And with that Luke finally saw the last of Noah’s tension slip away, a large and genuine smile creeping across his face. It made Luke warmer than all the quilts in Snyder Farm combined.
“Aww, baby.” Noah beamed. “Can I just say how relieved I am that in what you thought were your final moments, your brain’s soundtrack picked such a good song?”
Luke shot Noah a glare at the comment. “Are you implying that I don’t have good taste in music Noah?” His glare dissolved into a smirk. “I have great taste in music, thank you very much.”
“Well, your vast Bon Jovi and Josh Groban cd collections would beg to differ.”
“What?” Luke sputtered “Bon Jovi rocks and Josh Groban is very soothing. We can’t all be as cool as you listening to Neutral Milk Hotel and Animal Collective. Some of us like music that makes sense!”
And for the first time in hours, they laughed.
“Okay, okay, okay.” Noah pleaded through gasping breaths. “Let’s just agree to disagree on the music thing. Because as wrong as you are, I love you anyway.”
Just as Luke was about to reply with a smart remark, Noah kissed him. He poured everything he had into the kiss. All the sadness and the pain of their time apart, the passion of their reunion and the fear of ever losing Luke again. He kissed him senseless, leaving them both breathless and smiling.
“I am so sorry about tonight Luke. I don’t blame you for wanting to spend the holidays alone. I guess I just got so wrapped up in having a happy family Christmas again, I didn’t see it from your point of view. We can-”
“No, I’m sorry Noah” Luke interrupted. “I was selfish and childish and obviously really fucking stubborn. I know how much my family means to you, and just because I have the tendency to take them for granted doesn’t mean you should. I love how much you care about them. And it’s not like Hawaii is going any where. We can stay.”
Noah’s jaw hit the floor, or it would have had there not been a boyfriend and a bed in between. He had no clue Luke was planning something so extravagant. He thought maybe a weekend in Chicago, New York at the furthest. Noah really needed to remember not to underestimate his boyfriend.
“Hawaii? Are you kidding me? I thought you maybe wanted to go to New York, catch a show, go to Times Square to see the tree. I never would have thought you had something like that in mind.”
Luke looked at Noah sheepishly, as if his mouth had betrayed him somehow by revealing the details of his plan. “Actually I rented a bungalow for us on a really private stretch of beach. I thought a nice relaxing, private vacation would be perfect for us. I know things have been great since we got back together, but I just wanted some seriously alone time. Just the two of us. And as usual I went overboard, making plans without even consulting-”
Luke’s words were silenced with a kiss. Noah couldn’t believe all the trouble his boyfriend had gone to, and he needed him to know that it was definitely appreciated.
“We’re going to Hawaii,” is all Noah said, his hands soft on Luke’s face, searching his eyes. Imploring him to understand how much he wanted this too. They would make time for the family, he was certain of that. But the thought of him and Luke alone on a private beach was just too good to give up.
“Are you sure? Cause we don’t have to.” Luke less than convincingly replied.
“As sure as I am about everything when it comes to you. So I’m pretty damn positive!”
And for the first time in hours, they agreed
Luke“Um,” Luke began, a familiar blush rising in his cheeks. A blush that Noah seemed very happy to see again. “I’m totally naked, yes?”
“Uh yeah, except for the wool socks I put on your feet. Why? Do you want me to get you something to wear?”
Luke looked at Noah as if he were crazy. Putting on additional clothes was the last thing on his mind. “But you’re not naked, am I right?” Noah had wrapped Luke so tightly in his cocoon of blankets that their bodies were only touching though the many layers of fabric.
“I am indeed clothed. If you hadn’t noticed, it’s pretty damn cold out.”
Luke laughed as he reached his arms out from under his blankets and pulled away the duvet that was currently covering his boyfriend. This would just not do at all.
“I think,” Luke said softly, his voice breaking ever so slightly. “That you are wearing far too many clothes, and that we need to correct that as soon as possible.”
He unzipped the hoodie that Noah was wearing, pulling it off. He then moved on to Noah’s t-shirt, removing it swiftly, as if nothing should ever be covering up that body.
Noah sighed at the touch of Luke’s hands on his skin. Luke could see some hesitance in his eyes. Worry that Luke wasn’t healthy enough for anything beyond his current role of bed burrito. So he just began to kiss down the length of Noah’s chest, choosing to show him just how okay he really was. By the time he had removed Noah’s pants and underwear, any signs of concern seemed to have vanished. Replaced by nothing but absolute want.
“Thank you for saving me Noah. Thank you for keeping me warm, and safe, and loved. I promise to always do the same for you.”
Noah took Luke’s face in his hands, his eyes welling with tears once more. He kissed him soundly, and Luke could feel everything Noah wanted and needed to say. No more words were required. Just lips and mouths and teeth and tongues.
And for the first time that day, Luke and Noah made love.