Summary: Reid Oliver is not yet due.
Warning: Some character-bashing further along that may be considered crack.
Disclaimer: No one but Luke and Reid own each other. As for the rest of Oakdale, eh.
A/N(1): One-shot inspired by this week's FFF prompt "Late September". A fix-it of sorts as some liberties with the story and the timeline should be taken into account. Douche-bag no. 2 is not much of a factor here. No Beta. Feedback is to me what sandwiches are to Reid :D
A special shout-out to the lovely lemondrop34: here's hoping this piece ticks some important boxes for you. (",)
Autumnal Equinox, 2010
Luke was freaking out. Scratch that. Luke was way past freaking out and well into hysterical mode by now. He put in a fifth call to his cousin-detective Jack Snyder, only to be told – yet, again – to ‘calm down’.
“Stop saying that,” Luke snapped, before sighing regretfully. “I’m sorry, Jack. It’s just that... no one will let me talk to him.”
“They’re looking him over as we speak, Luke. Trust me – if it were anything serious we’d be heading straight to Memorial instead of your place. He should still go in for a thorough check afterwards, though. Hang in there, OK? We’re just a few minutes away.”
Luke lowered the phone onto the coffee table with trembling hands. He was trying to regulate his breathing but, clearly, nothing but seeing Reid for himself and feeling his body alive under his hands was going to cut it.
His heart thumped with a familiar old worry, the suspicion that everything good in his life would be taken away somehow.
“Margo? Is everything OK?”
“Dr. Oliver’s car was hit by a freight train, Luke.” Seeing all the colour drain from the young man’s face, the Chief of Police hurried on to say, “He’s OK. The back of his car got hit by an out-of-control 4x4 near Bay City’s railroad crossing – it landed on the rail tracks but Dr. Oliver was able to get out of the car in time. The paramedics are looking him over. We've ascertained the other driver was driving under the influence, and will be taken into custody once their injuries have been dealt with by emergency services.”
That’d been well over an hour ago. Reid had been on his way to a Kidney Transplant Conference: a series of seminars the doctor would have never insisted on attending had it not been for the concerns surrounding Luke’s (future) health – a crucial detail which was only serving to agitate the blonde further.
Luke looked up as Reid finally appeared by the open front door – Luke hadn't even registered not closing it after Margo left – prominent bruises on one side of his face and bandages covering part of an arm, but otherwise walking and strong enough to embrace Luke who was now holding him so tightly his whole body shook with the effort. “Reid,” Luke hiccupped through tears now seamlessly flowing. “Reid.”
Reid buried his head face in the crook of Luke’s neck, breathing him in. “It’s OK, Luke. I’m here.” He steered Luke gently towards the couch and held him there, fingering the blonde locks and kissing the salt from his cheeks.
“You could have died,” Luke’s voice cracked, barely above a whisper.
“But I didn't, Luke,” Reid said softly, laying kisses over Luke’s salty eyelids as the blonde caressed his curls.
It had been a close call. Too close.
“Please don’t leave me,” Luke held Reid’s face between his palms, brown eyes wild with emotion. “Please.”
“Never,” Reid said fiercely, cupping Luke’s wet cheeks in turn. “I’m not going anywhere, Mr. Snyder. I promise.”
“How?” Luke persisted, his face crumpling. “How can you be so sure?”
Reid thumbed away the stray tears across Luke’s cheekbone. “If they ever try to and succeed in getting me to some limbo-like plane even, the um... transition officers – or whatever the heck they’re called – yeah, I’ll be the biggest, most obnoxious pain in the astral arses they've ever known. It’ll make them so incredibly miserable they will have no choice but send me right back to you.”
Half a sob half a laugh escaped Luke as he drew Reid in for a desperate kiss, both men trying to find the passage to melt completely into the other.
“What are you looking at, 101?”
“One of mine,” Transition Officer 101 sighed. “Arrogant, stubborn, crabby, lacks a filter... Thankfully, he’s not due for a long time.”
“Another one from Oakdale, huh?” Transition Officer 328 noted. “Nothing you wouldn't be able to handle, I’m sure. He can’t possibly cause more trouble than the Stenbecks.”
Transition Officer 101 snorted. “His inner strength alone would make the Great Stenbeck Saga of the 80s & 90s seem like a walk in the park.” He smiled fondly at Luke and Reid getting busy on the couch before turning to his peer. “How are things coming along with your latest charge?”
“Christopher Hughes II?” An unimpressed look appeared on Transition Officer 328’s face. “He scoffed at the notion a foraged mushroom could have landed him here and is currently spewing an inordinate amount of verbal diarrhoea around the place, demanding to see The Boss. Imagine what it’d be like if the man actually knew he was due to start life afresh as a dung beetle.”
A/N(2): I took to browsing the net for a few minutes after writing this piece and, lo and behold, came across the GIF further below. Ah, the synchronicity! It is so spot-on I had a hard time believing it myself.
For the record, the imaging and coincidental reference in the fic above do not reflect my views on the unusual insect in any shape or form, but rather Doogie Hughes' character on the show.
The dung beetle plays an important role in agriculture, and is currently the only animal (other than humans) known to orient itself using our very own galaxy – the Milky Way. (Source: Wikipedia)
And now, I give you: Doogie Beetle!