alicesprings: (reid putting on his shirt)
[personal profile] alicesprings
Title: Stranded
Written By: [livejournal.com profile] _alicesprings
Rating: NC-17
Summary: Luke and Reid are on their way to their honeymoon when their plane hits some turbulence...
Author's Notes: I wrote the first draft of this for NaNoWriMo, which was a great challenge and lots of fun! I didn’t reach the 50k word count goal, but the fic is now complete and I'll be posting a chapter a day for the next few days. A big thank you to [livejournal.com profile] rhiannonhero and [livejournal.com profile] cindergal for the beta!

Previous chapters: 1



Luke’s awakened a couple times during the night by Reid, who shushes him back to sleep again almost immediately, and in what seems like no time at all, he wakes up to the feeling of warmth on his face, his eyes squinting a little at the brightness of the new day.

Luke sits up, groaning as his body protests sleeping on the hard ground all night. Reid’s sitting exactly where he was last night, opposite him by the fire, stoking the dying embers.

"Morning," Reid says.

"Morning," Luke croaks out.

"How are you feeling?"

"Like I slept on the ground all night."

Reid smirks. "You’re not as young as you used to be."

"Oh my God," Luke says as it hits him. "How old am I now? Twenty-six?"

"Twenty-seven," Reid says. "Almost twenty-eight."

"God," Luke moans, dropping his head into his hands. "I’m almost thirty and I don’t even remember my twenties."

Reid snorts, and Luke looks up. "Hey, I’m almost forty, what are you complaining about."

"Almost forty?"

"Fine, forty," he grumbles. "I’m forty."

Luke grins. "Aww, don’t worry, you look good," he says. "Uh, for your age, I mean." He stands up abruptly. "I need to uh, use the bathroom."

"Good luck with that," Reid says.

Luke stalks off into the jungle and relieves his bladder. He can feel himself blushing, and he hopes it dissipates before he goes back out there. Dr. Oliver – Reid – is an attractive man, Luke can see that. And there may have even been a little subtle flirting between them before this trip to Dallas. Not to Dallas, Luke reminds himself. To their honeymoon. But Luke has no idea how they went from subtle flirting to married, and the weight of all the things he doesn’t know suddenly feels suffocating.

He stalks back to their campsite and confronts Reid, who’s eating some nuts for breakfast.

"How did we start dating," he asks, and Reid looks up, surprised. "How did we end up married? This is just too weird," Luke says. "I need some answers."

Reid looks at him thoughtfully for a long moment. "I kissed you in Dallas," he finally says. "And told you I had feelings for you."

"In Dallas?"

Reid nods. "After I was reinstated," he says.

Luke frowns, thinking, trying hard to conjure up some sort of memory of the event. There’s nothing. The last thing he remembers is boarding the plane, a bag of Al’s takeout chili in his hands, on the way to Dallas. Except, that was years ago, apparently. Luke remembers seeing Noah and Richard together in the diner, laughing and joking around, on a date, and he remembers the hurt he’d felt in that moment, but as he tries to dredge up that same feeling now, he finds that he can’t. The hurt’s no longer there, and it’s both strange, and a relief at the same time.

"And what? We just started dating?" Luke asks, incredulous. "Just like that?"

"Is that so hard to believe?"

Luke snorts. "Of course! Of course it is!" Luke says. "We can’t stand each other. All we do is is fight and insult each other and you call me names. This is that hard to believe!"

Reid just chomps on his nuts.

"Reid!" Luke throws his hands up in frustration. "I have amnesia! I need you to fill in the blanks for me."

"Look," Reid says. "The truth is, you yanked me around for weeks. You couldn’t decide what the hell you wanted. I wanted you. You wanted Mr. Mayer, but Mr. Mayer didn’t want you. Especially not after he saw us kissing."

"He saw us kissing?" Luke asks, his eyes wide.

"He came to your house the day he got out of hospital. He saw us through the window."

"Let me get this straight," Luke says, his head spinning. "The day Noah was released from the hospital – by you, I assume?" Reid nods. "Instead of picking him up and driving him home, I was at home, kissing you, and he saw us."

"In a nutshell."

"There’s no way I wouldn’t have been at the hospital with Noah the day he was released."

"He didn’t want you there, Luke. He’d been pushing you away for months, or did you forget that too?"

Luke narrows his eyes, pissed now.

"When I released him from the hospital I asked him if he wanted to call you," Reid plows on. "He had some guy there instead."

"Some guy?"

Reid shrugs his shoulders. "Dorky looking. I don’t remember his name."

"Richard," Luke says, remembering him like it was just yesterday. That’s because it seems like it was just yesterday.

"Richard," Reid repeats, then shrugs again. "Maybe. It kind of rings a bell."

Luke rubs his forehead. "And then what happened?"

Reid sighs, his annoyance evident.

"Mr. Mayer knocked on the door, we stopped kissing – just as it was about to get good, too." Reid frowns. "You went to answer the door but Mr. Mayer pretended he hadn’t seen us, that he was still blind."

"No way!" Luke scoffs. "There’s no way Noah would pretend that! Not after everything we went through."

Reid rolls his eyes. "Yeah, well, he did. We all went out for a drink together-"

"Oh yeah, I bet!" Luke scoffs. "I don’t ‘go out for a drink’," he says. "I don’t drink!"

"I know you don’t," Reid says, seriously.

Luke licks his lips and swallows. "I- I didn’t drink, did I?"

Red shakes his head. "Just soda."

"Oh." Luke exhales, feeling foolish.

"We had sodas," Reid says. "All four of us. I wouldn’t lie to you, Luke. I’m not that guy."

"I don’t know who you are," Luke says, quietly.

Reid’s lips twist into a sad little smile then, and he looks away. "We were at Yo's. I told you to make a decision – him or me, you chose him, then he told you he saw us kissing and dumped you, you came crawling back to me to lick your wounds and I kicked you out."

Luke blinks, trying to take it all in. "Noah dumped me? How could he? We weren’t even together. And wait, what? You kicked me out? So how did we end up married?"

"It’s a long story."

Luke laughs, a quick, high-pitched sound, bordering on the hysterical. "We’re not going anywhere in a hurry!"

"Christ, you’re like a freaking dog with a bone," Reid mutters under his breath.

"Charming," Luke says, sarcastically. "I can see why I married you."

Reid’s face changes then, it gets… harder somehow, and Luke feels a strange kind of clench in his chest.

"It was only two days ago," Reid says quietly. "Our wedding." He wipes a hand across his face. "It was a really... good day." Reid smiles sadly.

Remorse floods Luke. He might not like Reid too much, but he is married to him, and Reid loves him, and it's obvious this conversation is causing Reid pain.

"I’m sorry," Luke says. "That was uncalled for. I hurt your feelings."

Reid just shrugs, and there's awkward silence for a long moment. Luke decides to change the subject. "So I'm trying to remember what I learned about the jet when I was younger."

"Do you think there's some sort of emergency tracking device on board?" Reid asks. "Anything to help them find us?"

"I’m not sure," Luke says. "I don’t think so, but there might be some flares or something stowed somewhere. They might come in handy."

Reid nods, then scrubs a hand through his hair. He starts to pace by the fire, talking under his breath. Luke can sense his agitation.

"Look, it might take a couple days but they know where we were when we lost radio contact, and they’ll figure out a search area from that information. I’m sure my grandmother’s already got people working on it."

"You’re right about that," Reid says. "Lucinda’s the person we want on our side in a situation like this."

"Sure," Luke agrees easily. "So don’t worry. We just have to get by a couple days and we’ll be rescued in no time. In the meantime, let’s see what there is out there. Maybe this island isn’t as uninhabited as we first thought?"

Reid nods, and then claps his hands together. "If nothing else, we need to look for a water source. There's only a few bottles left, and dehydration could become a problem."

Luke nods and throws two bottles of water and the last two sandwiches in his carry-on bag, as well as the empty bottles, and shoulders the bag.

They start walking along the beach, and after a long time, Luke breaks the silence.

"How is everyone?" Luke asks. "My family? My parents, everyone in Oakdale?"

"Your family’s fine," Reid say. "Your parents are back together – again. We’ll see how long it lasts this time." There’s a note of derision in Reid’s voice, and Luke has to wonder how many other reunions his parents have had in the four years Luke doesn’t remember. If their track record is anything to go by, there's bound to be a few.

"Emma’s fine," Reid continues. "She’s slowed down a little since the stroke-"

"Stroke?" Luke asks, alarmed.

"Just a mild one," Reid says. "She’s okay, just taking it a little easier these days, instead of looking after all the crazies in your family tree."

"Hey!"

Reid smirks and continues. "Lucinda’s as fierce as ever," he says. "Still married to John Dixon."

"John Dixon? Again? How did that happen?"

Reid looks weird then, his face doing this strange, grimace type thing, and he looks away. "Long story," he says. "Natalie and Ethan are fine, doing well in school."

"That’s great!"

Reid nods. "Faith and Parker are holding it together too, for the sake of the demon spawn."

Luke’s eyes widen, and he grabs Reid’s arm, stopping him in his tracks. "What now?"

Reid sighs. "Your family dramas are so tiring," he says. "Even more so when I have to explain them because you don't even remember." He sighs again. "Parker knocked up Faith when she was seventeen, they have a kid. He’s a nightmare."

Luke blinks. "I have a nephew? I'm an uncle?"

Reid gives him a withering look.

"What's his name?"

"Edward," Reid mutters.

"Edward? That's a … serious name for a baby."

Reid gives an exaggerated shudder. "Yeah, well, when it turned out he didn’t sparkle, just cried and pooped a lot, they started to call him Eddie instead."

"He didn’t sparkle? Am I supposed to understand that?"

"Never mind. It was a movie. Or a book. I don’t know. Your sister has terrible taste, and her kid is a brat."

They follow the beach around until their camp is out of sight, and lapse into silence again as Luke tries to digest all the information Reid’s given him. He’s glad his parents and his brother and sisters are doing well, though he’s worried about his grandma’s stroke, and hopes she really is taking it easier, and not just telling everyone she is.

Luke feels like there’s still a lot he doesn’t know about Noah and what happened between them, but Reid doesn’t seem like he wants to revisit that topic again in a hurry, so Luke puts it aside, for now.

As they walk, they keep an eye out to sea, hoping to spot a boat, or even another island, but there’s nothing. The jungle isn’t giving up much either, the overgrowth looks thick and untouched, and Luke’s rapidly losing hope this island has anyone else on it besides them. They walk another half-mile or so, as the beach twists back around until their signal fire's visible in the distance, and then Luke’s hand shoots out and grabs Reid’s arm, halting him in his tracks.

"Do you hear that?" Luke asks.

Reid tilts his head, listening, and then he hears it. "Water!"

Luke smiles and nods toward the jungle. "There must be a stream or something," he says. "Let’s go."

They enter the jungle and follow the sound of the water. It gets louder as they walk, and it’s only fifty yards or so until they find the source. It’s even better than Luke could have imagined.

"A waterfall," Luke says, his face splitting into a grin.

Even Reid cracks a smile then, and they walk closer. "But is it safe to drink?"

The waterfall’s about 50 feet high, flowing from above down into a sizable pool. "Look for animal tracks leading to the water," Luke tells him, remembering something Holden had taught him once. "If animals are drinking from it, it should be safe."

They do better than that, spotting some kind of odd looking native animal - a cross between a possum and a rat - drinking at the edge of the pond.

"It's fresh!" Luke sighs in relief.

Reid says, "But it could still contain parasites."

"Right, we have to boil it first." Luke frowns. "We don't have a container we can use, do we?"

"No, but we don't need one," Reid says.

"How are we supposed to boil it then?"

"I saw something on TV once," he says. "Believe it or not, plastic bottles also work for boiling. You just have to fill the bottle right to the top, cap it, and drop it on some hot coals. The lack of air in the bottle should keep it from melting."

"No kidding?" Luke's impressed. "Okay, let's fill these up."

They crouch by the edge of the pond and fill up the bottles, and when they're done, Luke stands up and strips off his shirt, then hesitates, his hand on the button of his jeans. What the hell? Luke thinks, if Reid’s his husband he’s seen Luke naked before. Besides, he’ll keep his boxer shorts on. He kicks off his shoes and socks just as Reid fills his last bottle and looks up.

"What- what are you doing?"

"Going swimming," Luke says. "It’s hot out, and as long as I don’t get it in my eyes and don't swallow any, it should be fine."

"But- but," Reid stammers. "You have a head injury."

"I’ll try not to hurt my head then," Luke says, wading into the water. It’s cool, and feels amazing on his heated skin. He swims out to the center of the pool and then turns, treading water while he waves at Reid. "Come in!" Luke shouts. "The water’s great!"

Reid hesitates a second, then shrugs, and strips off his t-shirt. His chest is surprisingly well defined, firm abs on display, but it’s marred by a long scar right down the center of his chest. The scar’s thick, the skin white against the light tan of his chest, but it doesn’t detract from Dr. Oliver’s… beauty. Luke swallows hard and looks away, treading water while Reid makes his way over.

"There’s not a body of water out there that you won’t swim in," Reid says, grumpily.

Luke wrinkles his nose. "What?"

"That filthy puddle back home," Reid says. "You love it."

"The pond?"

Reid nods.

"I do love it," Luke smiles. "How did you- do we-"

Reid nods again, short and sharp. "You drag me out there whenever you get a chance."

"You don’t like it?" Luke tilts his head curiously.

Reid shrugs, one glistening shoulder emerging from the water.

Luke thinks there’s something more to the story, but Reid’s got that awkward look on his face again. The one that means Luke has asked certain questions that Reid doesn’t want to answer.

Reid swims over toward the waterfall, and Luke follows. Where the water hits the pool it splashes back up in needles, and mist fills the air. They tread water for a while, admiring the way the sun turns the mist into rainbows, the light refracting off the water.

"It's so pretty," Luke says.

Reid looks at him, a half smile on his face, and nods.

Luke pushes away and swims a lazy backstroke, turning in a wide arc in the water. He keeps his eyes on Reid though, who's swimming an improvised breaststroke without putting his head under water. Reid's hair glows a dozen different shades in the sunlight. Luke can't pick just one color to describe it - it's multi-faceted, kind of like Reid. There’s still so much Luke doesn’t know about the man he’s stranded alone on this island with, the man he’s apparently married to. He wonders what kind of things they do together, if they go to the movies, or bowling, or to the Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings. He wonders what they could possibly have in common, but there must be something. After all, he married the guy.

At that moment, Reid must have found a ledge of rock to stand on, because his torso lifts up from the water, and Luke again admires his stomach and the way the muscles in his arms flex in the sun. It occurs to Luke, in that moment, that he's touched that scar, and probably had his hands all over Reid’s body, that he's had his mouth on Reid's skin, and on Reid's... penis. Reid’s eyes land on his and Luke feels exposed - an embarrassed blush heats his cheeks.

If Luke’s had his hands on Reid, then Reid’s had his hands on him, too. Luke squeezes his ass a little and notices that it's tender, and he's mortified to realize that it's because the night before last was his wedding night, and Reid was obviously inside him, because they are married. Luke feels a weird twist inside - he’s never even thought about being with anyone other than Noah. And until recently - no, not recently, four years ago - he’d thought he’d be with Noah for the rest of his life. Now, though, he’s staring at the body of a man who has intimate knowledge of Luke, and he feels the disadvantage in a visceral way. It’s one thing to try to accept that he’s lost four years of his life in what feels like a single day, but it’s another to feel the physical effects of an intimacy that he can’t recall. It was his wedding night, and he doesn’t remember a thing about it.

"You okay?" Reid asks, swimming closer, an expression of concern on his face.

Luke stares at him, the realization that Reid’s emotions for him are deep and sincere, and that he’s been naked and incredibly intimate with this man, stuns him. He swallows hard, and then says, "Yeah. Just... it’s a lot to take in."

Reid frowns. "You should get out. You’re hurt."

Reid heads back to shore, and Luke follows him, deciding that since he can’t remember his entire relationship with Reid, he can either freak out about it, or stay calm, and he figures they have enough to worry about without adding a freak-out to the list. He sprawls out on the bank next to Reid, who is wiping water off his chest with his hand.

Luke tries not to look, but he can’t help sneak in a few surreptitious glances. Reid interlocks his fingers and puts them underneath his head, resting it there on his crossed arms, and from this angle Luke notices another scar, running from the front of his chest to his back, between two ribs, passing just underneath his armpit. Luke tears his eyes away, trying not to stare, though he's curious about the scars, wondering how Reid got them.

Luke can’t help himself. Reid looks good almost naked. Reid looks good wet and almost naked. Luke wonders what he looks like completely naked, and it’s not hard to imagine, his wet boxer briefs are tight and… clingy. Luke squeezes his ass again, feels the tenderness where the penis outlined so clearly against Reid’s leg had obviously thrust into him so hard he can still feel it today, and then Luke clears his throat and forces his mind away from the thought before his body embarrasses him.

"So," Luke broaches the subject, anything to detract from his other thoughts. "How'd you get the scars?"

Reid frowns, and looks away, refusing to meet Luke's eyes. "Car accident," he finally says, and his tone of voice makes it clear that he doesn't want to elaborate, so Luke just nods.

They lie there for a few minutes, catching their breath. Luke closes his eyes, enjoying the feeling of the sun’s warm rays on his wet skin. When he opens his eyes, he catches Reid staring at him with a look Luke doesn’t think he’s ever seen before. Reid’s not looking at Luke’s body though, the way Luke was, he’s watching Luke’s face, and Luke turns away, flushing under the onslaught of such an intense look of… longing? Reid doesn’t look away though, and Luke sighs. Luke can’t really say he wishes he remembered their love. Reid doesn’t mean anything to Luke. Not now. Not what he should mean. If anything, Luke still feels like there should be a lot of antagonism between them.

Still, Luke does wish he could remember, if only to take away the look of hurt that flashes across Reid’s face sometimes, before he notices Luke watching and schools his features back into a look of nonchalance.

"So," Luke says, breaking the silence. "The island’s deserted. There’s no one here to help us."

Reid rolls his lips inside his mouth for a moment, then releases them. "It doesn’t matter," he finally says. "Rescue’s on the way. We just have to sit tight for a day or two."

It hits Luke, in that moment, that Reid’s lying. "Oh my God."

"What?"

"You don’t actually believe that," Luke says. "I can tell you’re lying. I can tell! How can I tell?"

Reid rubs his forehead, briefly closing his eyes before reopening them. "You know me, that’s how."

"Oh my God," Luke says again. "So you were lying."

"Fine," Reid says. "I was lying. I don’t think we’ll be rescued in a day or two. We were way off-course and now we’re on some tiny, uninhabited blip of an island in the middle of a vast ocean. I think it’ll take them a while to find us."

"Gah!" Luke throws up his hands. "Are you always this pessimistic?"

Reid shrugs. "Just realistic."

"And this is something I like about you?"

"Rumor has it that after years of being yanked around by someone who didn't know what he wanted, you're fond of my ability to cut through the bullshit and face facts, yes."

Luke frowns. His first instinct is to defend Noah, but it's not a strong instinct, so he ignores it. It's not like Reid's wrong about Noah's indecisiveness.

"Look, it’s okay," Luke says after a moment of contemplation. He hooks a thumb toward the waterfall. "We found water, which was the most important thing. I’ve got my meds, and I bet if we look hard enough, we’ll find something we can eat. Coconuts, or bananas or something. It’s not an ideal situation, but we’ll be all right until rescue arrives. Right?"

"Right," Reid says, and starts putting his clothes back on. Luke does the same, and Reid packs up their now full water bottles.

"So let’s go find some food."

They do find coconuts, and bananas, and lots of trees near the waterfall populated by fruit bats. The tiny red berries on the tree are delicious, tart and juicy, and Luke fills his stomach with them.

There's an abundance of coconuts, too, and Reid tells Luke the green ones are best for drinking. "Each coconut can contain up to a quart of water," Reid says.

Luke tilts his head curiously. "How do you know that?"

Reid lets out a somewhat self-deprecating chuckle. "I saw it on Man vs. Wild."

Luke's silent for a full ten seconds, then he bursts into laughter.

"Shut up," Reid mutters. "Bear Grylls is hot, and besides, I knew how to boil the water, didn't I? And now I not only know how to get those coconuts down." Reid points up, where the coconuts hang high above them. "I also know how to get them open."

Luke just laughs again, but when Reid shimmies his way up the tree, his jeans stretching tightly across his butt as he climbs, the laughter dies in his throat, and he almost gets clobbered in the head when the first coconut drops.

"Look out!" Reid shouts. "You've already got amnesia, you want to be unconscious next?"

Luke shrugs sheepishly, and pays careful attention as the rest of the coconuts drop. He pays even closer attention to the view on Reid's climb back down.

Later that day, Luke watches Reid quickly and efficiently get the camp fire started. “You're not too sucky at this survival stuff," Luke says. “For someone who's never been camping, you know almost as much as I do. Just how much Bear Grylls do you watch? As your husband,” Luke begins, trying it out. It still sounds weird as hell. “Should I be jealous?" Luke grins.

Reid snorts, somewhat bitterly.

“What?”

“Nothing. Forget it.”

“Tell me,” Luke says.

“Just let it go! You’re so stubborn.”

Luke grins. “So just tell me. You know you will eventually, since I’m so stubborn and all.”

Reid shoots him a dirty look.

“Oh, wait,” Luke’s smile falters. “Is it… something I already know? From before?”

“No, I’ve never told you this before.” Reid shakes his head. “I’ve never told anyone this before,” he adds quietly.

“Oh,” Luke says. “Uh, you don’t have to tell me. It’s probably none of my business.” Luke silently curses his big mouth. Reid’s entitled to his private thoughts without Luke pushing. He always pushes. It's what Noah hated about him. It's the reason they broke up. He wonders if it's something Reid hates about him too.

Reid looks at him sharply then, his eyes piercing and intense. Luke squirms under the scrutiny, and Reid sighs, closing his eyes briefly and pinching the bridge of his nose between two fingers.

“I read a book once,” Reid says. “When I was a kid. About survival skills.”

Luke nods.

“I still remember it,” Reid says. “I have a photographic memory. It’s all coming back to me.”

“You have a photographic memory? Wow, that must have come in handy in med school!”

Reid sighs, and gives a tiny nod.

“So why’d you read the book?” Luke asks. “No offense, but you don’t strike me as the outdoorsy type.”

Reid snorts. “Angus, my uncle, he thought I was… weird. I was always reading medical books or playing chess. I didn’t have too many friends growing up.”

“You didn't have too many friends growing up?” Luke asks. "But you're so sweet and friendly!" He wrinkles his nose to take the sting out of his words, and Reid huffs.

"Anyway," Reid goes on. "Angus said he’d take me camping this one time. I read the book to prepare.”

“That’s cute.” Luke smiles. “How old were you?”

“Twelve.”

“So, how was the camping trip? Did you impress your uncle with all your knowledge?”

“We never went,” Reid shrugs. “Something came up.”

“That’s too bad.”

“I didn’t even want to go anyway,” Reid says. “I just didn’t want him to think I was the pussy little fag he said I was.”

“He called you that?” Luke’s incredulous.

Reid just shrugs again, and wipes his hand over his face. “Whatever,” he says. “It’s in the past.”

“Do you still talk to your uncle?”

“Not since I left for college,” Reid says. “Miserable, old bastard.”

Luke nods, feeling awkward, and not sure what to say. Finally, he recalls something Reid had said earlier in the conversation. “So... you play chess. I play too.”

Reid nods. “I know,” he says. “We play together sometimes.”

"Oh.” It's yet another thing he doesn't remember. Luke looks away, watching the waves break on the ocean. He tries to conjure up a memory of playing chess with Reid, of how Reid looks during a game. Is he all intense concentration? Or does he get that look of contentment on his face, the same one he had when they were trapped in the elevator together and he was describing the brain, and all the things in the world he loves. Luke takes a breath. “So,” Luke says, attempting to change the subject yet again. “We know my grandmother and my parents will be looking for us by now. Will anyone be missing you?" Luke asks. "Your family? Parents?"

"My parents are dead," Reid says.

"Oh," Luke says. "I'm so sorry."

Reid shrugs, and looks away.

"No other family?" Luke prods. “Besides your uncle?”

Reid looks at him, his eyes sharp. "You're my family, Luke," he says, mouth pressing into a hard line. "And you don't remember me."

"Reid-"

Reid exhales sharply, and stands. "I'm going to take a walk."

*

Later, Luke’s poking at the fire with a stick, stoking it up for the night when he feels a drop of rain hit his nose.

Reid curses from where he’s sitting on the other side of the fire, and Luke looks up.

“It’s going to rain,” Reid says.

“Maybe just a quick shower?” Luke asks, hopefully.

Luke’s answer is a low rumble of thunder, and the sky, blue and clear just a few minutes ago is suddenly grey, ominous clouds gathering in the distance.

“Storm’s coming,” Reid says. Then, “Shit.”

Luke stands up and starts shoving things inside his carry-on bag. “Pack up your stuff,” Luke says, nodding down to Reid’s bag. “We have to get off the beach.”

“And go where?”

“I don't know,” Luke says. “But we can’t just sit out here. The fire will go out, and we’ll be wet and cold."

"We’ll have to go to the plane,” Reid says. "It's not too far."

“No,” Luke says. “I don’t like that idea.” The thought of sheltering next to John’s dead body freaks him out

“Well do you have a better one?”

Luke hesitates a moment. "The back of the plane, not the front. John's there and..." Luke trails off, but Reid's eyes widen in comprehension, and he nods. "The back it is."

Another loud rumble of thunder cracks in the sky, and fat raindrops begin to fall. Reid shoulders his bag and heads into the jungle just as a flash of lightning bursts in the sky, and Luke hurries after him.

By the time they get there, Luke’s soaked to the bone. They both clamber up into the wreckage and get out of the rain, and Luke shivers, shuddering at the feel of his wet clothes clinging to him uncomfortably.

“Get your clothes off,” Reid says, unbuttoning his shirt and pulling it off.

“Huh?” Luke asks, dumbly.

“Take your clothes off,” Reid repeats, stripped down to his bare chest now, as he wrings the water out of his shirt. “You have to dry off. You can’t risk getting sick. Not out here.”

Reid kicks off his shoes, then takes off his wet jeans, pulling the blanket out of his carry-on and rubbing it briskly across his damp body.

Luke swallows, and turns around, shucking off his wet t-shirt and jeans, and drying himself with the slightly damp blanket Reid hands him, while Reid wrings as much water out of Luke’s clothes as he can.

Luke scrubs the blanket through his hair, then wraps it around his body and watches as Reid spreads their clothes out across the chairs to dry, his wet underwear clinging to the not unimpressive bulge there. Luke shivers, the cold already setting into his bones, and his teeth chatter loud enough that Reid hears them over the sounds of the storm whipping outside.

Reid starts pulling out the armful of fire wood he gathered up and shoved into his bag back on the beach.

“It’s a little wet,” he says. “But hopefully it’ll take.”

"Maybe there's some dry paper or something in here," Luke says.

Reid starts prepping a fire close enough to the edge of the wreckage that the smoke will blow outside, but inside enough to keep them away from the rain that’s being kicked inside the wreckage by the wind, while Luke heads toward the back of the plane. He spots a copy of the The Intruder on the ground and picks it up, bringing it over to Reid.

"Here, use this," Luke says.

“Good,” Reid says, grabbing a couple of pages from the center and scrunching them into a ball. He sets it under the stack of wood he’s arranged and then lights it up with John’s lighter. Luke holds his breath as the flame hovers under the damp wood, praying that it will ignite, and when it does, he lets out his breath.

Reid nods, and smiles up at Luke in satisfaction, his curly hair hanging in wet tendrils on his forehead, and Luke can’t help but return the smile.

"We make a good team," Luke says.

"We make a great team," Reid says, and looks away, smiling a little sadly.

Luke swallows past the lump in his throat. “Here,” he says, unwrapping the blanket from himself and holding it out to Reid. “Get warm.

Reid shakes his head. “You keep it,” he says. “You can’t afford to let your body temperature get too low. Not with a compromised immune system. You can't afford to get sick out here.”

“Well you shouldn’t get sick either,” Luke says, shaking the blanket.

“I’m not taking it from you,” Reid growls.

Luke rolls his eyes and drops down onto the cold metal of the plane next to Reid. “Fine,” he says, handing one half of the blanket to Reid. “We’ll share.”

“We can do that,” Reid agrees, wrapping the blanket around his shoulders. He tugs Luke closer, wrapping them both more securely, and Luke shivers a little at the contact of their chilled skin pressed together.

“Cold,” Luke mutters, closing his eyes.

After a few minutes, the fire is roaring, and Luke greedily sucks up the warmth. Reid’s still shivering beside him, and Luke moves even closer, hunching over his folded up legs and managing to cocoon them entirely in the blanket.

The rain is falling hard, sheets of water cascading off the roof of the plane, some of it being whipped inside by the wind.

“That came out of nowhere,” Luke says.

Reid hums his agreement. “Tropical storm,” he says. “I think they do that.”

Luke shivers again, despite the fire, and the blanket they’re wrapped in, and Reid wraps his arm around Luke’s back, urging him closer to Reid’s body heat.

“Thanks,” Luke mumbles, another shiver going through his body, though this one’s not because of the cold, but because of the closeness of Reid’s body to his own. He swallows hard, and tries to tamp down the hard-on he feels stirring. Christ. Not again. Maybe Luke’s body knows what his brain doesn’t – he’s married to the practically naked, extremely attractive man sitting next to him.

They sit in silence, and watch the fire crackle and burn, while the occasional lightning strike lights up the sky. It’s dark outside now.

“Will we have to stay in here tonight?” Luke asks.

“Probably,” Reid nods slowly. “I don’t think the rain’s letting up. And even if it does, it’s too dark to find our way back to the beach. We don’t even have a flashlight. With any luck, this damn plane will hold together tonight.”

"At least we’re far enough off the ground that I don’t think wild animals will be a problem.”

Reid’s eyes widen. “Oh geez, I hadn’t even thought of animals.”

Luke chuckles. "It's okay," he says. "The fire will keep them away too."

“We should make some kind of shelter on the beach tomorrow,” Reid says.

“Do you… do you really think that’s necessary? We’ll be rescued in a day or two.”

Reid shrugs. “Yeah, but it might rain again tomorrow, and we’ll be more comfortable sleeping on the beach than we will be here.”

Luke can’t disagree with that. Even though they’re out of the rain, the wind is still tossing water into the plane, and Luke has no idea how they’re going to sleep huddled around the fire tonight.

Luke reaches an arm out of the blanket and snatches up the discarded newspaper, hoping for a distraction.

"Wow," he says, as he sees the date. November 11th, 2014. "That's really... weird. Seeing the date written out like that."

"You okay?" Reid asks, a note of concern in his voice.

"I- I guess." Luke's mouth wobbles, and he feels a surge of emotions swirling inside. It's cold, dark and raining, he's stranded on a desert island, and he doesn't remember the last four years of his life. He closes his eyes, blinking away the tears that are threatening to fall.

"It's okay," Reid says gently, as if he knows exactly what Luke's thinking. "I know it's tough right now but once we get out of here, and back to safety, things won't seem so bad, okay?"

Luke nods, but says nothing, too scared to open his mouth in case he starts crying. Reid just pulls him even closer and rubs a reassuring hand up and down his forearm. Luke shivers at the sweet touch, and Reid mistakes it for cold, and throws another stick on the fire. Reid's being kind to him, Luke notices, and it makes him feel good, if a little strange. Luke can count the number of times Reid's been kind on one hand. Only because you don't remember any differently, he reminds himself.

They watch the fire for a long time, as the rain and wind continue to fall and howl outside the plane, then they each eat a couple of bananas for dinner, and wash it down with more water.

"It's so cold," Luke says. "I don't know how we'll get any sleep tonight."

"We won't," Reid says. "Not out here anyway. Our best bet is to sleep in the chairs." Reid nods back into the plane.

"Away from the fire?"

"Away from the fire," he says. "But also away from the rain and the wind. At least the seats are comfortable. We've both slept in them before."

"But it's so cold back there."

"We should... share a chair, and the blanket," Reid says. "Our combined body heat will be better than shivering on this cold metal by the fire. If that's all right with you?"

Luke swallows. "Of course, sure," he says. "Whatever you think is best. You're the doctor, and the survival skills expert," Luke nudges him, and smiles, and Reid snorts softly, smiling back.

"Come on then," he says, standing up and holding out a hand to help hoist Luke up.

They move their still damp clothes closer to the fire and stoke it up with a few more sticks for the night. They recline one of the chairs and then Luke hesitates. It's bigger than a standard seat, but not that big - it'll be a tight squeeze.

"Spooning up is best for sharing body heat," Reid says.

Luke blinks.

"Usually, you're the little spoon, but if you're more comfortable being the big spoon, then that's fine, but can you hurry up, I'm cold."

"Uh, no, that's fine," Luke says, climbing awkwardly into the chair.

A moment later, Reid's chest presses against Luke's chilled back, and he can feel Reid's hard nipples against his skin. He shivers, and Reid tucks the blanket in around them. "Okay?"

Luke nods, and Reid tangles their legs together so that their bodies are touching from head to toe. They fit together perfectly, and Luke wonders how many times they've slept this way in the past. They seem to just... fit, and Reid seems comfortable, showing no signs of the awkwardness Luke feels. After a few minutes, Luke starts to feel warm and he yawns widely, his tiredness catching up with him. He drifts off to sleep with Reid's arm snugly tucked against his chest.

*

Luke's dreaming. He feels warm and snug, and happy. Really happy. He's got a little morning wood, and he can feel another hard-on pressed against his ass. He moans happily, not quite ready to wake up, just enjoying the sensations for now. Soft kisses are pressed to the back of his neck and shoulders. Luke sighs, his whole body beginning to tingle, and then the hand that's resting against his chest slides lower, and grasps his erection lightly, the fingers teasing Luke's shaft. It's been so long since he woke up like this. So long since he last made love. It was months ago, before Noah's accident, and Luke rubs his face into the pillow, happy about the turn of events.

"Noah," Luke sighs. "Feels good."

Suddenly, the hand is gone, and Luke feels a rush of cool air on his skin as the body behind him moves away and the blanket is ripped off them. He blinks his eyes open, waking up, and is momentarily disorientated as he looks around. This isn't his bedroom, or even the one he shared with Noah. This is... his grandmother's jet. And that hand didn't belong to Noah. It belongs to Dr. Oliver. Reid. Luke's husband. He has his back to Luke and is picking up his clothing and putting it on.

Oh, God. That wasn't a dream, that was real. Luke's hard-on shrivels away, and he feels mortified. "Uhm," Luke clears his throat. "Good morning."

Reid grunts, but doesn't turn around. He just sits down and puts his shoes back on.

Luke runs a hand through his hair, trying to flatten it down into some semblance of normalcy, while Reid, finished with his shoes stands up and claps his hands against his thighs.

"I'm going back to the beach," he says, without turning around, and before Luke can answer, he drops over the edge of the plane, landing with a gentle thump on the ground outside.

Luke waves a hand after him. "Sure," he says to himself. "Okay, sounds great. I'll come with you. Oh wait, too late, you're already gone."

Luke sighs, and scrubs his hands across his face, wiping sleep from his eyes and standing up to pick up his own clothes. Once he's dressed, he heads for the beach, where Reid's forcefully throwing wood onto the signal fire.

"Need some help?"

Reid grunts, and bends sown to pick up more wood. "I've got it," he says, flinging logs onto the pile.

Luke hesitates. "Uh, about earlier-"

"It's fine, Mr. Snyder," Reid says, cutting him off.

Mr. Snyder? Ouch. "It's just that-"

"I said it's fine," Reid says, throwing the last log with more force than strictly necessary, before turning on his heel and stomping off toward their camp.

Luke trails after him. It's clear Reid doesn't want to talk about it, but it feels weird not to acknowledge what just happened. Luke wants to talk about it, clear the air, but when he catches up, Reid's already shouldering his carry-on bag.

"Where are you going?"

"I'm going to get started on building a shelter," Reid says. "We don't want to get caught out like last night again."

Luke nods slowly.

"See if you can find some long lengths of wood. I'm going back to the plane to see if I can scrounge anything up from there."

"Want me to come with you?" Luke asks, but Reid's already stalking through the jungle, away from him. "Just look for wood," Reid calls back without turning around.

Luke sighs, and drops down to the sand. First thing's first. Breakfast. Some water, and then wood. And maybe later he'll try to talk to Reid again.

*

"Bonehead," Reid mutters under his breath as he heads for the plane's wreckage. "Bonehead, bonehead, bonehead."

Reid had been still half-asleep and not exactly cognizant of his surroundings when he'd grabbed Luke's cock this morning. He wasn't thinking yet, his brain not running on full capacity, and he'd done what came naturally, he'd touched Luke's morning hard-on, the same thing he did every morning - unless Luke got in first.

Luke saying Noah's name though, that was a shock. An unpleasant shock, like a cold shower he wasn't expecting, and his own hard-on had shriveled away.

"Don't take it personally," Reid tells himself. Luke has amnesia. Luke thinks it's 2010. Luke doesn't remember you. Luke doesn't even like you.

It's that thought that hurts the most, Reid can admit. He puts the thoughts out of his mind when he gets to the front of the plane, instead focusing on finding anything he can salvage and turn into a shelter. Some sort of tarp would be ideal, but he doubts there will be anything like that on board. After all, why would there be? As Reid gets close to the cockpit, where John's body lies under a blanket, he gags at the smell. John's body is decaying in the heat of the jungle, and Reid takes off his button-down shirt and holds it over his nose and mouth, attempting to block out the stench.

There's a narrow cupboard outside the cockpit, and Reid opens it up. There's a first-aid kit on one shelf, and Reid unzips the bag. There's a few basic supplies; band-aids, bandages, aspirin, and insect repellent, and Reid grabs it. Another shelf yields spare batteries, which Reid has no use for, while another has surplus toilet paper, bathroom soap, and toiletry kits comprising of toothbrushes and small tubes of toothpaste, which Reid puts in his carry-on with a silent thank you to whoever's listening from above. Finally, tucked away on the bottom shelf, Reid finds some rope and a couple of shiny, orange-colored sheets. Reid pulls one out: Heatsheet: Two Person Survival Blanket.

Reid unfolds one, and it's sizable. It would have come in handy earlier, and Reid curses himself for not looking here yesterday. It's too late to cry about it now, though, so Reid grabs them both and heads back out of the plane. He heads for the wreckage further in the jungle. He tries to access the luggage hold but there's no possible way it can be done, so he heads inside to see what he can salvage. Their fire from last night is out, there's just a few charred remains, and Reid closes his eyes for a moment, remembering how Luke had clung him to him last night. He was just cold, Reid tells himself. He doesn't feel anything for you. Reid shakes his head and heads in. He already went through the cupboards, so he knows there's no food or water to be found, but he eyes everything else, determining if it could be used to build a shelter in some way. There's nothing useful though, so he grabs whatever's not bolted down - the discarded newspaper from last night, a couple of plastic trays used to serve meals. If nothing else, they can use one of them to dig holes for latrines, and they have more toilet paper now. Reid suppresses a shudder at that thought, thinking of the luxuriously appointed bathroom in their house back in Oakdale, and wishing, not for the first time, that he was back there.

Back at camp, Luke's managed to find a few long, thin, branches, and has about a dozen of them lined up on the sand.

"How'd you do?" Luke asks.

"Good," Reid says. "Got some toiletries, and a few things. He throws a toothbrush kit at Luke, whose face lights up. Reid chuckles. "Got some soap and toilet paper too."

"What about the shelter?"

Reid pulls out the heatsheets and unfolds one. "I figure we could use this for a roof, if we can rig up some of those branches for support."

Luke nods. "Good idea."

Together, they manage to erect a basic lean-to by the camp fire, with Reid giving Luke instructions. The rope, and John's knife come in very handy.

"How do you know how to do this?"

"That book I read," Reid grunts.

"Right." Reid had told him about that yesterday, before everything had gotten weird and awkward between them.

"It's... cozy," Luke notes, as they construct the small shelter.

"The smaller the better," Reid says. "The bigger it is the harder it will be to keep warm."

Luke nods. That makes sense. He wonders if Reid's thinking about this morning, and how close they'd been then, how cozy, and warm, and about... what had happened.

As they spread the heat sheets over the shelter and secure it to the wooden frame, Luke decides to broach the subject again.

"Can we talk about this morning?" Luke asks, tentatively.

"There's nothing to talk about," Reid says, his jaw tightening.

"I think there is," Luke counters.

"You thought I was Noah," Reid says. "I'm not."

"I know that," Luke says. "I- I'm sorry, that I upset you. That wasn't my intention. But I don't remember the last four years." Luke waves a hand in the air. "I don't, and the last time I slept with someone, it was Noah, and this-"

Reid interrupts. "The last time you remember sleeping with someone, it was Noah."

"Right," Luke says. "And this morning, I was still half-asleep and I forgot where I was, and what had happened to me."

Reid exhales. "I know all that," he grits out. "We don't need to go over it again. It was an honest mistake and now I'm really done talking about this. I'm going to go get some water."

Reid swings up his carry-on bag, loaded with empty water bottles, and stalks off before Luke can say anything else.

"Stubborn ass," Luke mutters, sinking down onto the sand and scrubbing a hand over his face. Luke sighs. How in the heck did he marry that guy?

*

They’re sitting around the fire that night when Luke brings up the subject he’s been too scared to know more about until now. Still, he needs to know what he’s dealing with. “How long does amnesia usually last?”

“It depends,” Reid says. “Every case is different. Sometimes it lasts a few days, sometimes a few months.”

“Months!” Luke exhales sharply. Months of not remembering the last four years of his life? No. No way.

Reid pokes a stick at the fire, and opens his mouth, but doesn’t say anything.

“What?” Luke prods. “What aren’t you telling me?”

Reid looks up and meets Luke’s eyes, and there’s something in them Luke doesn’t like. “What?” Luke asks again, a chill running down his spine.

“Some people never get their memory back,” he finally says. “There are cases that stretch out for years. Decades, even.”

Luke’s eyes widen. “Never?” Luke swallows. “Is it… is that dangerous? Is there something wrong with their brains?”

Reid shakes his head. “You’re all right,” he says, reassuringly. “Even if you don’t get your memory back there’s no risk to your health. And you’ve only lost four years. In one of the most extreme cases I’ve read about, the patient lost 46 years worth of memories.”

Luke blinks. “I wish that made me feel better,” he says. “But it doesn’t.”

“How do you think I feel?” Reid snaps.

Luke swallows hard again. “I- I’m sorry,” Luke apologizes. “I know this is hard for you too.”

Reid snorts. “The last four years might not mean anything to you,” he says. “But they mean more to me than the 36 years that came before them.”

Luke shakes his head. “I’m sorry,” he says again, because he doesn’t know what else to say.

Reid stands up, tossing the stick into the fire. “I’m going for a walk.”

“It’s dark.”

“Don’t care,” he says, his voice cold. He stalks off down the beach, walking along the water’s edge, and Luke watches as he disappears into the darkness. He sighs, and clutches handfuls of his hair in his fists, squeezing his eyes closed against frustrated tears that are threatening to fall, and tries to remember something, anything, from the life he shared with Reid. If he could just remember one thing, just one memory, he knows it would help. It would help Reid, and it would stop the pit of fear he can feel opening up underneath him, just waiting to drag him down. He's terrified at the thought of never getting his memory back, of there being four years of his life he'll never be able to account for.

Luke concentrates, willing his brain to give him even one memory. He tries to picture Dallas, and his first kiss with Reid, he tries to picture them being at Yo’s with Noah and Richard, he tries to picture any of the things Reid’s told him about, but there’s nothing. Luke growls in frustration, slapping his hands hard against the ground, and watching as the sand flies up.

Luke used to drink to forget the things that were going on in his life. He used to drink to forget about his parents' endless marriage troubles, and then he drank to forget about his own problems with Noah. They had so many problems. But drinking never did help. When he’d sober up, the problems were still there, except they were worse than ever. He used to drink to forget, but now all he wants to do is remember.

Sometimes, Luke looks up from whatever he’s doing and he catches Reid staring at him, his face a mix of sadness and longing before he turns away abruptly, and it always unnerves him. Reid’s mourning for his husband, for the Luke who loves him, but Luke’s not that guy. He doesn’t remember any of their life together, and every time Luke sees that look on Reid’s face, his own gut twists in sadness, and a strange kind of guilt at not being able to ease Reid’s pain. He feels like an imposter. An intruder in Reid's husband's body. He wishes he could remember.

*

Reid walks quickly down the beach. It’s dark, but there’s enough moonlight for him to be able to walk without too much trouble. Sometimes, the weight of all the things Luke doesn’t remember gets too much and he needs to get away from him, to be alone. Reid sighs, and drops down to sit on the sand. He looks back up the beach, and sees their signal fire blazing in the distance, and their smaller camp fire further back. Reid rubs a hand over his face, sighing again.

Reid used to love being alone. He’d been alone practically his whole life before he went to Oakdale, before he met Katie, before he fell in love with Luke. He was used to it, he liked it, even. But he didn’t know what he was missing, because not being alone? Being with Luke? It was ten million times better than the life he was living before Oakdale. And now he's stuck here on Amnesia freaking Island, and Reid misses Luke. He misses kissing him, and the million different ways they touched each other every day. The thought of Luke not regaining his memory, of not remembering Reid, and the life they have together? It cuts Reid on a deep, primal level.

It’s true, what Reid told Luke. The last four years of his life have been the best. Better than anything that came before. When his parents died, he was twelve years old and his whole world fell apart. He went to live with Angus, who redefined the words ‘cold’ and ‘rude’. If Luke thought Reid was an ass when they first met, he’d have been shocked by Angus. Angus who didn’t care about anything except chess, and himself. Angus, who forced Reid to start playing again. He’d quit a year earlier, sick of being his parents’ trained seal, but when he went to live with Angus, the competitions started again. He saw Reid as his meal ticket, and whether Reid liked it or not, he was going to play, and play he did. He won every competition – legal or otherwise – that Angus entered him in, and when he was sixteen, and won a full ride to Harvard, he left Angus’s house without looking back. He was on his own from that day until January 19, 2010, when he walked into Memorial Hospital, met Luke Snyder, and knew he was in deep shit trouble.

Reid listens to the sound of the waves crashing, and water lapping at the shore. Sometimes the moonlight glints off a wave cap, lighting it up, and the horizon doesn’t seem so black and far away.

Reid stands and brushes sand off the seat of his pants and heads back towards camp, letting the fire guide him to Luke.

*

When Luke wakes up the next morning, he's alone in the shelter. He yawns widely, and rubs some sleep from his eye, then rolls outside and stretches. Reid's sitting by the remains of the fire, eating a banana.

"Morning," Luke says.

Reid just nods, his mouth full of fruit.

"Gimme one of those, please."

Reid tosses Luke a banana and they eat in silence for a moment. Luke still feels disconcerted after their conversation last night. Luke might never get his memory back, and the thought terrifies him, but he can't help but feel sorry for Reid too. When he came back from his walk, he was calmer but quiet, and he went straight to bed. Now the air between them is strained, and Luke can't stand it.

"Tell me about some stuff," Luke says. "Maybe it'll jog my memory?"

"What kind of stuff?"

"Um... well the last thing I remember is getting on the jet on the way to Dallas," Luke says. "Tell me about the hearing."

"I won," Reid shrugs.

Luke rolls his eyes. "Gee, doc, all these details are really helping jog my memory."

Reid snorts, and rubs his eye. "When we first landed in Dallas, I took a cab to my place and you went to your hotel," he says. "I met up with you there later and we went over the details together. You helped me prepare for hours."

"I did?"

Reid nods. "I had all the facts and figures, and I knew there was nothing I could have done better or differently."

"I'm sure," Luke agrees earnestly. "You're a brilliant doctor. But what about Annie? What did you say about her?"

Reid blows out a breath, a small smile on his lips.

"What?" Luke asks, with his own smile.

"That's exactly what you wanted to know in Dallas too," Reid says. "You told me that Annie wasn't just facts and figures, that she was a person, and that that's what they'd want to hear about."

"That does sound like me," Luke grins.

Reid laughs.

"So what did you tell me?"

Reid takes a deep breath. "I told you that she had a nice smile," he says. "She did. And she always smiled when she saw me, no matter what, she lit up when she saw me."

Luke can't help his own smile forming.

"Not too many people smiled at me like that," Reid says. "Not back then."

Luke tilts his head. "They do now?"

Reid's eyes go soft. "One or two," he says warmly.

Luke's startled to find himself blushing, and he looks away, clearing his throat.

"Tell me more about Annie."

"I missed her," Reid says. "The world misses her, and they don't even know it. She was a great kid and I couldn't save her." He shakes his head. "I still miss her, sometimes."

"Reid." Luke swallows the lump in his throat. "You care," he says quietly. "That's why you're such a good doctor."

It's a big realization, an important one, and Luke's glad for it. Reid's a good guy. Luke's husband is a good guy.

Reid shrugs. "It worked, anyway," he says. "At the hearing. I was reinstated."

"I'm a good coach, huh?" Luke waggles his eyebrows, and Reid laughs.

"So what else did we do in Dallas?" Luke asks. "What is there to do in Dallas anyway?"

Reid shakes his head, an amused smile on his face.

"What?" Luke asks, missing the joke, yet again.

"We went bull riding," Reid says.

"Get out!" Luke laughs. "We did not!"

"Oh, we did." Reid chuckles. "Well, mechanical bull riding."

Luke shakes his head in disbelief. "I can't even imagine you doing that. It must have been my idea, right?"

"You talked me into it," Reid agrees. "It was actually pretty fun." Reid smiles. "You've talked me into doing a lot of things since then," he says. "I have to admit, it usually works out for the best."

Luke can't keep the grin off his face.

"Was this before or after you kissed me," Luke asks.

"Before," Reid says, his eyes darting from Luke's eyes down to his mouth and back again.

Luke feels a rush of heat in his gut and he pulls his lips inside his mouth to stop the ridiculous grin he feels threatening to overtake his face.

"So, do you remember anything?" Reid asks.

Luke shakes his head. "No," he says. "But thanks for telling me all that."

Reid just nods.

*

Later that day, Luke walks toward the waterfall. He's been collecting firewood for almost an hour, and he's worked up a sweat. He can hear the waterfall, the sound of water rushing getting louder with each step he takes, and he can practically feel how good the cool water will feel on his overheated, sticky skin. He’s looking forward to it so much he’s not really paying attention to his surroundings, so when he looks up through the trees as the pond comes into view, and sees Reid standing behind the sheet of water tumbling over the cliff above, he stops short, slapping a hand against his mouth to stop the loud gasp he can’t help but let out.

Reid doesn’t hear him though, too caught up in what he’s doing. And what he’s doing makes Luke feel even hotter than before. Reid’s jerking off. Reid’s naked, and jerking off, with his eyes closed and his head tipped back. Water runs down his body, leaving slick trails behind it, and Luke can see that Reid’s panting, his chest expanding with each breath, and each stroke of his hand against the hard length in his hand. Luke swallows. Reid’s cock is thick and almost purple, it’s so hard. His pubic hair is dark with water, and his body is lean yet strong looking, his wiry muscles highlighted by the water. Reid’s fist moves quickly against his cock, his strokes speeding up, his hand blurring with the speed of his movements. Reid’s nipples stand out in hard little peaks against his chest, and the hand that’s not wrapped around his cock comes up to rub and pinch his nipples. Reid groans, loud even over the sound of the waterfall.

Luke’s own cock is hard in his pants, and he presses his palm against it, stifling a groan of his own. He wants to reach in and fish it out. He wants to stroke it in time with Reid’s strokes, but he’s also too scared to move. Reid’s fist speeds up even more, his groans getting louder, and Luke rubs his cock through his pants, his eyes riveted on Reid’s blurry hand, and then suddenly, Reid’s entire body goes stiff and tense, and he groans as come shoots out of his cock and splatters against his wet abs. Reid keeps milking his cock, more come spurting out, though with less force, and Luke’s own cock is so unbearably hard now that he doesn’t think he has a choice, he has to jerk off. And then Reid’s cock is finally spent, and he rubs his come into skin, a low moan on his lips, along with one word. “Luke.”

Reid takes a deep breath and releases his spent cock. “Luke,” he says again, and brings up his trembling fingers to touch his own lips. His voice sounds so sad that Luke feels a prickle of tears behind his eyes, and he takes his hand away from his groin.

“Luke,” Reid whispers again, then steps under the waterfall and washes the come off his body. Luke turns, and runs back through the jungle toward camp, his mind whirling so fast he feels like he’s about to fall over.

*

Luke's shuffling uncomfortably at camp later that afternoon, his shoulders twitching underneath his t-shirt.

"What's wrong?" Reid asks.

"I got sunburned," Luke says, squirming a little. "I know, I know," he says, before Reid has a chance to speak. "I should have kept my shirt on, you told me."

Reid just rolls his eyes. "Show me."

Luke reluctantly takes his shirt off, wincing as the stretch hurts his burnt skin. "No 'I told you so's, please."

Reid observes Luke's red shoulders with a critical eye. "I saw some aloe vera growing a little ways in," he says, nodding toward the jungle. "Sit tight, I'll be back."

A few minutes later, Reid returns with a bunch of thick, fleshy aloe leaves, their ends dripping with juice. Reid cuts into them with the pocket knife, and drips the soothing liquid onto Luke's aching shoulders.

Luke sighs in relief.

"Feel good?" Reid asks.

Luke nods, and a moment later he feels Reid's fingers lightly brush his shoulders. He shivers a little, and Reid murmurs, "Sorry. Didn't mean to hurt you."

"You didn't," Luke whispers, feeling strangely choked up by the gentle touch. Reid's fingers rub the aloe into Luke's skin lightly, soothing the burn. Luke moans quietly, and then he feels Reid's cool breath against his neck as he blows soothingly on Luke's shoulders.

"Thanks," Luke says quietly, when Reid finishes. Reid nods and gathers up the used aloe leaves, walking back into the jungle to toss them. While he's gone, Luke readjusts his cock, willing away the hard on that developed while Reid was touching him.

Maybe Luke's body really does know something his brain doesn't remember - that he's sexually attracted to Reid. If he's honest with himself, Luke can admit there was something there between before they even went to Dallas. He vividly remembers the day Reid came over to explain about Dennis Judd. Luke has just broken up with Noah a few hours earlier, but when Reid had gotten mouthy and Luke had shoved him, there'd been a... spark. Reid had shoved him back, and Luke can admit, it felt good to experience that sort of passion. It had been a while since he and Noah had shown ardor like that. Probably not since that big fight that had led them to making love for the first time. There'd been passion then, lots of it, and when Luke and Noah had finally made love after waiting so long, Luke had been giddy and almost out of his mind with happiness. It's kind of sad that Luke can't remember another time after that when things had been that good.

With Reid though, there was passion right from the start. Admittedly, not the fun kind to begin with. Reid was pissed that Luke had forced him to Oakdale with threats and blackmail, but after a while their arguments had taken on more of a flirtatious tone. Luke thinks back to that day in his house again, the way Reid's shoulders felt under Luke's hands, and the way Reid had gripped Luke's forearms firmly, his eyes blazing with fire as he panted. For a second, he'd thought Reid might even lean in and kiss him, but then he'd pulled away and left, and Luke chalked it up to his imagination.

Luke groans, his cock has grown hard again under the onslaught of memories.

Imagination? Luke's starting to suspect he was right the first time.
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