alicesprings: (shirtless reid)
[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|2



Day four.


Reid's thumbing through his phone when Luke returns to camp from collecting berries.

"Whatcha doing? Did you get a signal?" Luke asks excitedly.

Reid shakes his head no. "Just looking at some pictures."

"Oh." Luke frowns. "I didn't even think to check my phone. I bet I have pictures in there too, huh?"

"A few," Reid agrees. "Your brothers and sisters, mostly."

Luke swallows. "I bet they're all grown up." Intellectually, Luke knows that they'll look different. Especially Ethan and Natalie, but he's not sure he's ready to see the proof of it just yet. "What are you looking at?"

"Pictures from our wedding."

Luke swallows. "Can I- can I see?"

"Are you sure you want to?"

Luke nods, and sits on the sand next to Reid.

Reid tilts his phone so Luke can see the picture on the screen. It's of he and Reid facing each other, kissing. It looks like they've just said their 'I do's'. They're both wearing suits, light grey for Luke, tan for Reid, and crisp white, open-collared shirts.

"We got married by the pond," Luke says softly.

"You picked it."

Luke nods. "I always wanted to get married out there. It's my favorite place in Oakdale."

"I know," Reid says, and brings up another picture. It's the two of them again, a close-up this time. Luke's looking right at the camera, grinning widely. Reid's smile barely turns up the corners of his lips, and he's not looking at the camera, he's looking at Luke, and his eyes reflect so much emotion, so much affection, that Luke's mouth goes dry. The next picture is Luke and his parents. His mom's dabbing at her eyes with a handkerchief and smiling at the same time, one arm around Luke's waist. Holden's standing on Luke's other side, his arm around Luke's shoulders, and Luke feels a pang in his chest. He loves them, and misses them so much.

“They're probably mourning us right now," Luke says.

Reid clears his throat. "Don't think about it."

"How can I not think about it, Reid!"

Reid sighs, rubbing his eyes with his fingers. "I know this sucks," he says. "But we're going to get out of here soon, and back home. And until then, we need to focus on getting through each day out here, and that means not dwelling on things like that."

"How can you be so cold?" Luke asks. "Don't you have any feelings at all?"

Reid's head whips around, and he looks at Luke sharply. Luke swallows. Of course Reid has feelings. He's just seen a picture of them.

"You think I don't hate this too?" Reid asks. "Katie's probably having another breakdown, and the vultures are no doubt swooping all over Memorial, ready to take over my job."

"Katie?" Luke frowns. "Another breakdown? What are you talking about?"

Reid ignores him. "I can imagine what they're saying too, what sort of fake platitudes they're spouting. Just like last time. It's bullshit!"

"What are you talking about?"

Reid stands up, slipping his phone into his pocket. "I'm going for a walk."

"Reid!" Luke calls out, but it's too late, he's already disappeared through the jungle, and Luke's left feeling more confused than ever. He runs his hands through his hair, frustrated as hell, and wishing he had all the pieces to this puzzle, wishing he had his memory back, and wishing he knew what the hell was going on inside Reid's head. It's the secrets that he hates the most.

*

Reid stomps through the jungle, putting some distance between himself and Luke. He finds a fallen tree and sits down on it, picking at the rough bark with his fingers.

Luke's just so damn... emotional about everything. Reid hates to admit it, but he's having some feelings about this whole situation himself. He hates feeling vulnerable, but sometimes, with Luke, he has to be. And he doesn't mind it so much then, because Luke knows him, and loves him. But the Luke that's out here now? He doesn't know Reid, and he certainly doesn't love him. And what if he never does again? Reid can't put himself out there, he can't share all that private stuff about his accident and his recovery with a Luke who might never get his memory back. With a Luke who might not want anything to do with him once they're rescued and off this island. He shakes his head. No. Reid won't tell him about any of that stuff. Not now, not here. Maybe once they're rescued, and back in Oakdale, with the safety of a hospital nearby, an everlasting supply of Luke's meds, and their family and friends around...

Reid sighs, and rubs his eyes. He's tired, and he's frustrated, and he's sad. He hates that most of all. He just wants to put his arms around Luke and kiss him, and touch him, and have Luke want the same thing. But he doesn't. And he might never again.

"Shut up," Reid mutters.

*

Day five.


“I miss food," Reid says, throwing a shell into the fire.

“Oh God, me too,” Luke agrees, nodding his head vigorously.

Reid snorts.

“What?” Luke asks with a smile.

“I really miss food,” Reid says. “I’m a big fan of food. You can't possibly miss food as much as I miss food.”

Luke eyes Reid’s slim physique skeptically. “Well you must not be too big of an eater,” he says. “You’re not carrying any extra weight.”

Reid smirks knowingly, and Luke turns away with a huff. So maybe Reid's caught Luke looking at him with his shirt off once or twice. There's no shame in that. It's not like Reid doesn't do it too.

“I have a fast metabolism,” Reid says. “I like to eat. I’d kill for some of Hank’s chili and cornbread right about now.”

“Mmm, I love Al’s chili and cornbread.”

“Sandwiches,” Reid says. “I miss sandwiches. Fresh white bread, mustard, mayo, ham, bologna…”

Luke takes over. “Lettuce, tomatoes, cheese.”

Reid moans appreciatively.

“And coffee,” Luke says.

“Mmm,” Reid groans. “Yeah, coffee.”

“Caramel lattes,” Luke teases. “Whipped cream, extra shot.”

Reid’s nose wrinkles. “I haven’t drank those in years.”

“Oh.” It’s disconcerting how often Reid corrects Luke, how many things are no longer what they used to be.

Reid breaks the awkward silence first. “Emma’s pies.”

“Huh?”

“Cherry, apple, key lime. I miss Emma’s pies,” Reid sighs. “She makes the best pies on the planet.”

Luke tilts his head to the side. “Yeah she does,” he agrees. “You’ve eaten them a lot?”

Reid’s lips twist a little, but he nods.

“Do we… do stuff?”

Reid raises one eyebrow, and runs his eyes slowly and deliberately up and down Luke’s body.

Family stuff,” Luke huffs. “Dinners at the farm?”

“Oh,” Reid says. “Yeah we do that too.”

“You don’t strike me as the family dinner type.”

Reid shrugs. “I like food,” he says. “Emma cooks good food. Heck, great food, and I’ll put up with almost anything, including your crazy family, for a good meal.”

“Can't we get through one conversation where you don’t insult my family? Or me?”

“Where’s the fun in that?”

Luke rolls his eyes and Reid snorts in amusement. “I put up with all sorts of things since we got together, Luke. We can’t make it through one family dinner without your mother throwing some sort of snide comment my way.”

“My mom doesn’t like you?” Luke asks, perturbed by this new little factoid. Noah and his mom had always gotten along so well.

Reid shrugs. “She finally came around on our wedding day.”

“Our wedding day? But we were together for four years before that!”

“Believe me, I know,” Reid says drolly.

“So what made her finally change her mind?”

Reid looks at him for a long moment. “She said she could see how happy you were. How happy I made you, and that she couldn’t help but love anyone who made you so happy.”

Luke licks his lips, as a mix of emotions swirl inside him. He doesn’t even remember the last time he was truly happy. It was months and months ago. Before Noah’s accident, before Mason. It was probably back when he and Noah first started making love. Luke felt like their relationship was finally getting on track then. The happiness didn’t last long though. It never did. There was always some new problem or drama that would come up and then things would fall apart.

“I- I don’t remember being happy with you, Reid,” Luke says.

Reid gives a jerky nod, and looks away.

“But I wish I did.”

Reid turns back to Luke, his face a mixture of startled surprise and happiness, and Luke smiles. When Reid smiles back, Luke's stomach gives a little flip.

*

Day six.


“Okay, I’ve had enough.” Reid tosses his empty coconut aside and stands up, brushing sand off the seat of his pants.

“Enough of what?”

“Enough of coconuts, and bananas, and berries. I’m starving. I want some protein.”

“I’m hungry too, Reid,” Luke says. “But we don’t exactly have any other choice.”

“I’m going fishing,” Reid says.

“Fishing?” Luke laughs. “How? We don’t have any fishing line, or bait.”

“I’m going spear fishing,” Reid says, a look of determination etched on his face.

“Do you know difficult that is? How much skill is involved?”

“I’m a surgeon,” Reid says. “I have excellent reflexes, and I can stand still for long periods of time.”

“I don’t know…” Luke’s skeptical.

“Well we’re certainly not going to catch anything if we don’t even try,” Reid says, and disappears into the jungle.

“Where are you going?”

“To find a spear,” Reid shouts back.

Thirty minutes later, Reid’s sharpened the end of a long, thin tree branch into a sharp point with the pocket knife.

“That actually looks like it might work,” Luke says, surprised.

“Your faith in me is overwhelming,” Reid says drolly. “Really, I appreciate it.”

“Catch a fish and I’ll be impressed,” Luke counters.

“Watch and learn, Mr. Snyder,” Reid says, slipping out of his jeans and shirt and stalking into the ocean. When he’s submerged up to his waist, he stops, and holds the spear in a pose ready to strike.

“Now what?” Luke cups his hands around his mouth and shouts out.

“Now we wait,” Reid calls back.

And wait they do. Luke leans back on his elbows and watches Reid. True to his word, he’s as still as a statue, his eyes trained below the water’s surface, and the muscles in his arms flexed ready to strike. After about ten minutes or so, Luke calls out.

“Any action?”

“I see fish,” Reid calls out without moving. “But they’re a little shy. I’m waiting for them to come closer.”

Another ten minutes or so passes as Luke continues to watch. Reid hasn’t moved a muscle yet, even as the sun beats down and sweat forms on his bare torso. Luke watches as it clings to Reid’s chest and arms, highlighting the cut of his pecs and abs, and the wiry muscles in his shoulders and arms. Luke’s body responds to the picture Reid makes, and he feels his dick start to harden. He presses his palm against the bulge in his pants, enjoying the sensation for a second, then determinedly moves his hand away and forces himself to think unsexy thoughts. Just because Luke doesn’t remember being with Reid, it’s clear his dick does. Time and time again. Luke sighs, and then suddenly there’s movement, and Reid powerfully forces the spear through the water. A second later, he pulls it out of the water and waves it in the air, a decent sized fish flopping on the end as Reid whoops loudly.

Luke jumps up from the sand. “Oh my God! You actually did it!”

Reid strides through the water, heading for Luke, while the fish flops helplessly on the end of the spear.

Luke grins and throws his arms around Reid in a quick impromptu hug. Reid clears his throat, and Luke pulls away, “I can’t believe you,” Luke says. “You’re amazing!”

Reid smirks. “Told ya so,” he says smugly.

Luke shakes his head in amusement. “How are we gonna cook it?”

Reid’s lips twist in thought. “Hot coals,” he says. “I’ll gut it and you get the coals ready.”

Luke nods, and half an hour later they’re eating steaming hot fish.

“So good,” Luke says around a mouthful.

Reid’s too busy eating to speak, he just nods and moans obscenely before swallowing and licking his fingers in a way that makes Luke’s pants feel uncomfortably tight. Again.

Luke swallows, and pulls some more flesh off his half of the fish with his fingers.

“Some salt would be good,” Reid says.

Luke shrugs. “I’ll take what I can get.”

“True enough,” Reid agrees. “I’ll try and catch two fish next time.”

“Maybe I’ll catch one too.”

Reid snorts.

“What?” Luke kicks some sand in his direction. “Don’t be an ass. I could catch one!”

Reid laughs and brushes the sand off his leg. “You don’t have the patience for it,” Reid says. “You couldn’t stand still out there for five minutes, you'd scare all the fish away.”

“Bet I could,” Luke counters.

Reid’s eyes narrow, and size Luke up. “What are the stakes?”

“Fifty bucks,” Luke says.

Reid scoffs. “Fifty bucks? Out here? That’s not exactly useful.”

“But it’ll be useful when we get out of here and are back in Oakdale.”

“You’re forgetting something.”

“What?”

“We’re married,” Reid says. “Your fifty bucks is my fifty bucks anyway.”

Luke narrows his eyes. “Fine. What do you suggest instead?”

Reid holds two fingers to his lips, and makes a show of thinking.

“If you catch a fish, I’ll collect all the firewood for three whole days,” he says. “And if you don’t, you’re firewood boy instead.”

“You’re on,” Luke says, and holds out his hand so they can shake on it.

They finish up the last of the fish, and wash it down with coconut milk, then Luke heads into the jungle to look for a suitable piece of wood to make his own spear. It’s not until later, when he’s sharpening it with the knife, that he realizes he just made a bet that depended on them needing firewood for three more days out here. He wasn't even thinking of rescue. Reid catches Luke’s eye from where he’s lounging on the sand nearby, and gives Luke a lazy smile. Luke smiles back, and keeps sharpening his spear.

Luke turns out to be a hopeless fisherman. His spear either pierces the water too early, or too late, and his targeted fish swim away time after time. Reid laughs as Luke grows increasingly frustrated.

"It's not nice to laugh at your husband," Luke tells him.

Reid just grins. "You really don't remember me at all, do you?"

After almost two hours, and thirteen failed attempts at spearing a fish, Luke finally concedes defeat and tries to feel cranky at the way Reid crows over his own victory, waving around two fat fish on the end of his own spear, but he can't help but laugh at Reid's antics instead. Luke does suck at catching fish. But he gets really good at collecting firewood over the next three days.

*

Day nine.


Luke yawns, rubbing at his eyes with one hand. It’s early, Luke can tell, because the light outside their shelter is still dim. Luke rolls over under the blanket covering him, expecting to see Reid sleeping next to him, but he’s not there. Luke crawls forward and pokes his head out of the lean-to, not quite ready to get up yet, but curious about where Reid is.

Reid’s a little way down the beach, and he’s doing what looks like… yoga? He doesn’t seem the type to be into yoga, but there he is, twisting his body in a series of graceful moves. Luke watches him for a while. He’s just wearing his underwear, and Luke can’t tear his eyes away. Reid’s body moves from one pose to the next with so much fluidity and grace, it’s kind of mesmerizing. His sinewy muscles flex as he contorts his body. Who knew Reid was so… bendy? Luke swallows, his mouth suddenly feeling a little dry.

Luke watches as soft, morning sunlight begins to appear. The sun rises on the horizon and lights up the beach, casting a warm glow on Reid’s skin. He rests his head on his hand, propped up by his elbow as he watches Reid go through his movements, until finally, Reid stands, and brings his arms down from above his head, ending with them in front of his chest in a prayer pose, before he starts walking back towards their camp. Luke scrambles back inside the tent and feigns sleep, then silently chides himself for being an idiot as his heart pounds fast in his chest and the sounds of Reid preparing breakfast drift inside.

He throws off the blanket and crawls out.

“Morning,” Reid says quietly.

“Morning,” Luke answers. “Been up long?”

“Half hour or so,” Reid says. “I was doing some yoga.”

Luke feels his cheeks heat up, and he prays Reid won’t notice he’s blushing. “Yoga? Really?” Luke says. “You don’t strike me as the crunchy granola Om type.”

“I’m not,” he says. “But yoga’s great exercise, especially for a surgeon. It helps keep me loose.” Reid smirks.

Luke flushes and looks away, ignoring Reid’s quiet chuckle.

“Sleeping on the beach isn’t doing my body any favors either,” Reid continues. “Thought yoga might help me stretch out.”

Luke nods. “Did it help?”

“Yep,” Reid says. “You should do it too. I doubt your back’s faring much better than mine is.”

Luke grimaces, and reaches a hand behind him to rub his sore muscles. “Definitely not,” he agrees. “But I don’t know any yoga moves.”

“Sure you do,” Reid says. “I taught you.”

“You did?”

Reid nods. “Sometimes I come home late after a long surgery, and I’m wound up tight, yoga helps me relax.”

Luke nods.

“You- you usually wait up for me, when I’m in surgery late,” Reid says. “It’s… nice.”

Luke smiles.

“Anyway, you’d watch me, and then one night you wanted to try it yourself, so I taught you a few things. You enjoy it.”

“I do?”

Reid nods. “Hmm,” Reid says. “Let’s try something.”

“What?”

“Sometimes amnesia patients are able to perform tasks they have no memory of learning, like playing the piano, for example.”

“Really?” Luke says. “That’s kind of cool.”

“Come try some yoga,” Reid says, holding out his hand to pull Luke up. “See if you know how to do it.”

“I don’t know, Reid,” Luke says, a little skeptical. “I don’t remember ever doing this.”

“Just watch me,” Reid says, and moves into a starting pose. Luke mimics him automatically, and Reid moves into the first movement. “Salutation pose,” Reid says, and Luke moves into the pose.

“Warrior,” Reid says, and again, Luke moves into the pose in unison with Reid.

Luke grins. “I know this!”

Reid smiles. “The human brain,” he says. “It’s pretty extraordinary.”

Luke tilts his head. “It’s like a tangled mass of grey spaghetti, right?”

Surprise shows on Reid’s face. “You remember that? The elevator at the Lakeview?”

Luke chuckles. “Feels like it was just a few weeks ago.”

Reid snorts. “Downward dog.”

They both move into the position, and Luke feels the stretch. It’s a good feeling, kind of familiar, and he experiences a little de javu.

“I- I think that’s when I first started to like you,” Luke says.

“When I did the downward dog?” Reid murmurs. “Kinky.”

Luke rolls his eyes. “No,” he says. “That day we were stuck in the elevator together. You were freaking out. You’re claustrophobic, right?”

Reid licks his lips and nods.

“The way you spoke about the brain, and the things it helps us do… walk, talk…”

“Love.”

Luke nods. “That’s when I started to like you.”

Reid sucks in a breath, and his eyes shine just a little brighter. Luke smiles shyly, then Reid begins a series of finishing poses. Luke mimics the movements, enjoying the way his body seems to know just which way to bend and move. He wonders what else he knows how to do that he doesn’t remember.

*

Time is strange out here. Some days feel like they last a week, and others go by in a flash. There’s nothing to do except survive. And so, their day is divided into tasks; collect firewood, keep the signal fire going, gather food and water, fishing for Reid, cooking and eating. Sometimes they swim, and sometimes they exercise, but mostly, their days are lazy, and they both spend a lot of time napping out of sheer boredom.

Reid’s iPod survived the crash, and provides a temporary reprieve, but after a week, the battery’s dead and they have no way of recharging it. They play hang man, drawing with sticks in the compacted, wet sand by the shore, but it gets boring fast. Luke would kill for a book to read, but his ereader broke in the crash, and apparently 2014 Luke Snyder doesn't travel with paperbacks.

Reid’s often twitchy, and anxious, pacing along the beach a lot and sighing loudly. Luke remembers him telling Luke that he was nothing without his work, back in Oakdale, before their trip to Dallas.

“Do you miss surgery?” Luke asks later that afternoon, when Reid’s wearing a hole in the sand, his hand tapping nervously against his thigh.

“Of course,” Reid says.

Luke wrinkles his nose in sympathy. “I remember you telling me you hadn’t had more than a day off since med school,” Luke says. “You must be going crazy by now.”

Reid looks at Luke strangely then, his head tilted to one side.

“What?” Luke asks, self-conscious.

“I told you that a long time ago,” Reid says. “Years ago.”

“I remember it like it was last week,” Luke says deadpan, and Reid rolls his eyes.

“Your amnesia humor is not as funny as you think it is, Mr. Snyder.”

Luke grins. “So, what?” Luke asks. “You take days off now?”

“I took ten days off for our honeymoon, didn’t I?”

“I guess,” Luke says. “Did I have to talk you into that?”

“Not as hard as you’d think,” Reid says, then rubs a hand over his face. “Look,” he sighs. “Things changed. We started dating, and you know, we actually wanted to spend time together, believe it or not.”

“No, no, I believe it,” Luke says quickly. “Of course we would, if we were dating.”

“You still don’t believe we dated? Or that we’re married?”

“No,” Luke shakes his head. “I mean yes, I believe it. I’m wearing the proof.” Luke holds up his left hand, flashing his wedding ring. “It just feels like… it happened to somebody else, not to me. “

Reid gives a sharp nod, and looks away, and Luke sighs. He knows he’s disappointed Reid with his answer, yet again, and he can’t even help it.

*

Day eleven.


Bored beyond belief, Reid tears up their copy of The Intruder, which they’ve both read cover to cover – twice – and makes a makeshift chessboard, coloring in the black squares with a pen he fishes out of his bag. He tears up more paper to make pieces, labeling each one, and they play endless games of chess, sitting in the shade of the trees by the jungle’s edge.

There was all kinds of eye-opening stuff in the newspaper. Luke was surprisingly choked up to read about his fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Hudson, passing away, and equally choked up to read about Maddie's engagement, to some guy named Todd.

Reid mocked him, but Luke just shrugged. He figured being stranded on a desert island entitled him to be a little emotional.

There was a story about Craig Montgomery's latest failed business venture, which was on the shadier side of the law, though police were merely "investigating" at the moment and no charges had been laid yet. Luke didn't even know about the previous business failures listed, including a French perfume factory he'd apparently invested in with Luke's mother. Luke shook his head.

There were articles on a group of Oakdale University students who were holding a charity bike race to raise money for Memorial Hospital, which made Luke smile, and less savory articles, including the gossip section, which was a thinly disguised attempt at news, but was really all about airing people's dirty laundry, like which "mystery" Oakdale residents were having affairs, or getting plastic surgery. Luke could always tell who was being talked about in that section - he'd been the subject of some of the gossip himself over the years, but Luke couldn't make any sense of the items. Reid, however, knew exactly who was being talked about, and Luke was equal parts amused that his husband seemed to be such a gossip hound, and sad that life in Oakdale had changed so much in the four years Luke had forgotten, that he couldn't even recognize it anymore.

Reid turns out to be a chess shark, and Luke protests when Reid beats him in under two minutes the first time they play.

“How did you get to be so good at this?” Luke asks, both amused and annoyed.

Reid sighs. "When I was a kid I used to hang out with these old guys who played chess in Harvard Square,” he says. “They taught me a few things and I got to be pretty good.”

“Wow.”

Reid nods. “Play again?”

“Sure,” Luke agrees. “I’m not going anywhere in a hurry.”

Reid snorts, and Luke grins. It’s become their unofficial catchphrase. It’s funny, in a perverse way. Nope, they’re not going anywhere in a hurry.

“I’m going first,” Luke says, setting up the pieces again. Reid just nods and smiles in a way that lets Luke know this game’s lost before they even begin. Luke sighs, and makes his opening move anyway.

*

Day fourteen.


“So who proposed?” Luke asks Reid. “Me or you? What was it like?”

“Why do you want to know?” Red asks cautiously.

Luke shoots him a look. “Uh, because I’m curious? Duh.”

Reid opens his mouth, and then closes it again, not sure what to say. Luke senses his reticence.

“Is it embarrassing?” Luke asks. “Did you get down on one knee? Did you cry? Were there rose petals, Dr. Oliver?” Luke asks, cheekily.

Reid snorts a laugh. “You seem pretty sure that I was the one doing the asking, Mr. Snyder.”

Luke shrugs amiably. “So tell me if I’m right.”

Reid pulls his lips into his mouth for a moment, studying Luke’s open face.

“Look,” he says. “Don’t take this the wrong way, but I don’t want to talk about it, okay?”

“Why not?” Luke frowns.

“Because it’s – and I can’t believe I’m about to say this it's so gag-worthy – special, and Luke, my Luke, he knows how it happened, and it’s just for him and me.”

Luke’s mouth wobbles slightly, and Reid can tell he’s hurt, but he tries to smile anyway, and nods his assent, then slaps his hands against his thighs and stands up, muttering something about needing the bathroom.

Reid sighs, and pinches the bridge of his nose between two fingers. He feels like a jerk, but the alternative – telling Luke about the proposal, and everything it was wrapped in, Reid’s accident and his long, painful recovery – is just not an option.

*

Day fifteen.


“I wonder what’s going on back home,” Luke says. They're idling at camp, sick of playing chess and too hot to do anything else. “I wonder how my mom’s coping? Not very well probably.”

Reid frowns. He’s pretty sure everyone’s written them off for dead by now. It’s been more than two weeks since they crashed and they haven’t spotted a single ship or plane. Reid’s sure any official search would have been called off by now, but he has no doubt Luke's family hasn’t given up on them. They have the money to keep a search-and-rescue mission going indefinitely, and even if they've written them of as dead too, Reid’s sure they'd want their bodies found and returned home.

Luke is telling Reid how Holden had once been presumed dead, killed in Kentucky, and how Lily had fallen apart and become basically useless. Reid's pretty sure she'll be equally useless now, but he has faith in Lucinda. That tough old broad won't have given up on them just yet.

“When we thought my dad was dead,” Luke continues. “She was a wreck. I moved back in to help out with the kids because she was a total mess.” Luke lets out a sharp breath.

“She has your dad to lean on this time,” Reid says, trying to be reassuring.

“And the kids,” Luke says, ignoring him. “Poor little Ethan and Natalie. They must think I’m dead. And… and you too. They’d be mourning you too, Reid. You’re their brother in-law.” Luke presses his palms to his eyes, and a moment later he hears Luke sniff.

Reid can handle almost anything, but he hates it when Luke cries. He moves over to sit next to Luke, and places an arm around his shoulders. To his surprise, Luke leans into him, burying his face in Reid’s neck and wrapping his arms around Reid in a sideways hug. Luke must be feeling really crummy for him to react like this. Reid sighs. Luke's already taken half of his meds. They both thought they'd be rescued days ago, but they're still here, and the clock is ticking. Fifteen pills left.

“Hey,” Reid soothes. “Come on now, it’s all right. You can’t think like that. We’re okay, we’re alive, and we’re going to get out of here soon, and get back home safe and sound.”

Luke’s clinging to him pretty hard, and still hasn’t taken his face away from Reid’s neck. “Okay?” Reid says again, gently.

Luke exhales shakily and nods, his soft hair brushing the underside of Reid’s chin. Luke sniffs again, and Reid drops a kiss on the crown of his head, wishing that Luke wasn’t so upset, but enjoying the feeling of holding him so close without needing the excuse of huddling together at night for warmth. He’s missed it more than he even knew.

*

Day sixteen.


Luke joins Reid for yoga again the next morning. He's feeling in need of some centering and calming after yesterday's emotional breakdown. They perform a series of moves together, and Luke focuses on his breathing. He pictures the air as a blue cloud going in his mouth and down into his lungs until it fills every corner, then expelling it slowly with each exhalation. He used to do breathing exercises like this to try and control his alcohol cravings, and sometimes it worked, and sometimes it didn't. He feels pretty good now though. That might have something to do with the view, Luke decides.

Reid's wearing just his black boxer briefs, as usual, miles of his tanned, taut flesh on full display as he contorts his body, and holds his poses steady.

Luke takes another steadying breath, and focuses on not getting an erection. He's grateful Reid's standing next to him, instead of in front of him, because he'd have no way of hiding the fact his focus is failing. He discreetly readjusts himself as they move into a new pose, and if Reid thinks it's weird Luke mutters something about a swim and dashes into the cold ocean as soon as they're done, he doesn't say anything about it.

*

"Sixteen days," Luke says glumly later that day. "We've been here sixteen days."

Reid swallows, and nods. It's a long time. Too long. "Oh hey," he says, calculating the math. "Happy Thanksgiving."

"It's Thanksgiving today?"

Reid nods.

"Happy Thanksgiving to you too," Luke says politely.

Reid snickers. "Well yes, we do have so much to be thankful for," he says sarcastically.

Luke shrugs. "We're alive, aren't we? There's always that."

"True enough," Reid agrees. "We're supposed to be having dinner at the farm today," he says. "I think I'd actually kill someone for turkey and pie right about now."

"Well, I'm the only someone around," Luke says. "And killing me won't get you pie so, hands off."

Reid chuckles.

"Do we usually go to the farm for Thanksgiving?" Luke asks. "Together?"

"Usually," Reid says.

"Ah," Luke says, waggling his index finger. "But have you tamed the mighty Hubbard Squash? It's a Snyder male bonding tradition of the ages. Grandma Emma must have offered you the cutting honors our first Thanksgiving together?"

"Uh, no," Reid says. "I cut it the second year though."

"Macho," Luke says, waggling his eyebrows.

Reid smiles weakly, and turns away, digging into a coconut with his pocket knife just to give himself something to do. Luke and Reid's first Thanksgiving together was spent in the hospital. Reid was still recovering from his latest surgery, and his hand was too weak to cut his own turkey, let alone saw through a squash. He wasn't entirely convinced he'd ever be able to saw through a skull again at that point, and when Luke had had to cut up his meat for him, he'd snapped that he wasn't a baby and could Luke stop trying to mother him, it was insulting.

The whole room had gone silent then, and seeing the look on Luke's face made him feel like the world's biggest asshole.

"Sorry," Reid had muttered. "I apologize to you all. That was out of line."

"That's all right, dear," Emma had said, smiling kindly. "We know this is a difficult time for you."

Reid had just nodded, his jaw tight, and the Snyders who had gathered in his hospital room, bringing their Thanksgiving dinner there to share with Luke and Reid, had all gone back to eating and chatting quietly to each other.

Luke hadn't moved though, still staring down at his lap from where he was perched on Reid's hospital bed so they could share the tray.

"Hey," Reid had said quietly. "Look at me."

Luke's face was a mess of emotions, his eyes shiny with unshed tears, and his mouth wobbling.

"I'm an ass," Reid said quietly. "I didn't mean any of that. I'm sorry."

Luke swallowed and gave an almost imperceptible nod.

"I mean it," he said seriously, needing Luke to believe him. "I- I can't use a knife at the moment. I do need your help to cut my meat, and that makes me feel like crap, like a useless kid."

"Reid." Luke frowned.

"But I shouldn't take my frustration out on you," Reid continued. "I'm a jackass."

"But you're my jackass," Luke had said, a small smile lifting on his face.

Reid had breathed a sigh of relief, and Luke had finished cutting up his turkey for him, and they'd finished eating dinner together, Reid's weak left hand clasped in Luke's the entire time.

After everyone had gone home, and it was just Luke's mother left in the room, she'd smiled stiffly and wished him a happy Thanksgiving. "Walk me out?" Lily had asked Luke.

"Sure. I'll be right back," Luke had said, smacking a kiss against Reid's cheek.

They hadn't gone far though, when Lily started. "Luke, baby, that man is not good for you."

Reid raised one eyebrow, wondering if they realized he could hear them.

"Mom," Luke said. "Please don't start this again. Not today."

Again?

"Baby," Lily said condescendingly. "He's a difficult man. Even more so now than he was before the accident. Is he really the sort of person you want to... saddle yourself to? His recovery will be so long and difficult. You're so young, baby! You shouldn't feel obligated to take on this burden."

Reid had swallowed nervously. Although Lily was way out of line, she was asking the sorts of questions Reid had asked himself. Luke was young, and Reid was difficult. Luke deserved better than a broken boyfriend who was a burden. Hell, they hadn't even made love yet, and Reid didn't know when he'd be well enough for that. Lily was right. Luke did deserve better.

But Luke had laughed. "It's not a burden, Mom! I don't feel obligated," he'd said incredulously. "I love Reid. I want to be there for him."

"But honey-"

"No buts," Luke had said firmly. "Mom, I'm serious about this. If you can't support my relationship with Reid, well... Mom, just please don't make me choose. Because Reid needs me right now, and if I had to choose..."

"You would choose that man over your own mother?" Lily had hissed.

"I don't want to have to make that choice, Mom. Please don't make me."

There had been silence for a long moment then. Then Lily said, "Fine, I- I'll stay out of it. As long as you know what you're doing."

"I do," Luke had said sincerely. "I love you, Mom. And I love Reid, and he loves me too. Trust me."

"It's not you I don't trust, baby."

"Mom!" Luke had said exasperatedly.

"Okay, okay. I love you too, baby. I'll talk to you later."

"Bye, mom."

Lily hadn't tried anything like that again, as far as Reid knew, but she'd always been stiff and formal with him over the years, and it wasn't until their wedding day that the ice had thawed.

"Reid?"

Reid was still caught up in the memories, and didn't realize he'd carved far too big a hole in the top of the coconut.

"Reid?"

"Huh?" Reid looks up at Luke, who nods down at the coconut in amusement. The water inside is trickling out onto the sand, and Reid shakes his head. "Sorry, just thinking about stuff."

"Good stuff?" Luke asks.

Reid just shrugs.

*

Day twenty-one.


Luke knows it's wrong. He knows he shouldn't be sneaking around like this, but he does it anyway, his heart kick hammering in his chest the whole time.

Luke had just rolled out of bed a few minutes earlier, when Reid had picked up his soap and told Luke he was headed for the waterfall to bathe. Luke had nodded disinterestedly, but once Reid was out of sight, he'd scrambled to his feet, and followed behind at a discreet pace.

Luke peers around the base of a tree, doing his best to stay hidden while getting a good view of Reid at the same time. Reid's naked by the waterfall, standing in water that comes up to his knees and rubbing soap lather onto his arms and chest. he soaps up his underarms and then bends at the waist to wash his legs and feet too. His skin is bronzed brown from the sun now. Luke's is too. Sunburn only lasts so long before it becomes a tan, and it's so hot out here that it's pointless for them to wear clothes most of the time, and they usually walk around in just their underwear during the day, before getting back into their clothes when the weather cools down at night. Luke figures he'll worry about skin cancer later, if and when they get out of here alive.

Luke swallows hard. He's followed Reid out here every day for a week, watching as Reid washes his body, and his hair, and sometimes jerks off. It's wrong, and he knows that, especially when he slides his hand inside his own underwear, and beats off in time with Reid, but he's become addicted to the sight of Reid in orgasm, the way his body stiffens just before he comes, and then jerks with shudders afterwards. It makes Luke hard, and he has to muffle his own cries against his forearm when he climaxes. He always feels guilty afterwards, but it doesn't stop him.

Reid soaps up his hair, his fingers vigorously working the lather through, then he rinses off under the sheet of falling water. Clean now, with his hair slicked back and dark with moisture, he lets his fingers skim along his cock, which starts to harden. Luke takes a step closer, and a twig snaps under his feet. He sucks in a breath, and darts behind the trunk when Reid's head snaps around, and he looks in Luke's direction. Luke flattens his back against the tree trunk, his heart hammering hard in his chest and his palms suddenly sweaty. A moment later, he peers around again. Reid's turned to the side, and he has his hand wrapped around his cock now, stroking it in firm pulls. His head is tilted back, and Luke takes a moment to admire his long neck, and the line of his nose. His jaw line isn't visible, covered by the beard they've both been forced to grow, and Luke closes his eyes for a moment, picturing it from memory. He unsnaps his jeans and slides his hands into his boxers, wrapping his fingers around his hard cock. Under the waterfall, Reid's still jerking himself steadily, his other hand roaming across his chest, stopping to tug a nipple, then dip into his bellybutton before pinching his other nipple.

Luke mimics the movements, tugging his own nipples under his t-shirt. He groans softly, it feels good, and he takes his hand away and puts it against the tree trunk instead, steadying himself while he widens his stance and picks up speed on his cock.

His eyes dart all over Reid's body, drinking him in, and he tugs himself faster, whining in the back of his throat as he chases his climax. A second later, he shudders, shooting his come all over the tree trunk, and shivering through the aftershocks.

He tucks himself away, and watches as Reid shoots against his belly, his moan barely perceptible above the rushing sound of the water. As Reid rinses himself off, Luke turns away, heading back to the beach.

He doesn't know what he's ashamed of exactly, watching Reid without his permission, or jerking off. As Reid's husband, Luke figures he's entitled to do both, but it doesn't stop the guilt from gnawing away inside his stomach, wishing he could be the husband Reid wants him to be, the husband that remembers him and the life they had together.
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