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Luke knows he'll need to fight for Noah. He has a few ideas.
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Luke and Noah are about to see each other for the first time since Noah left for LA! Let's see how this goes!
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A single sentence makes Noah question what kind of family he and Luke can make together. An abandoned kitten may just hold the answer.
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(g) Recovery

by Seajellybaby
[Reviews - 13]   Printer
Table of Contents

- Text Size +
Chapter Notes:

This story follows my LA series so you might want to read these stories first:

1. Right For Each Other

2. Start Again

3. Moving On

4. Understanding History

5. Happiness

6. Separation - (Consists of four chapters)

All my stories can be read on their own as individual one-shots or you can read the LA Series as a whole. Recovery should at least be preceded by Separation.

 

********************

Please comment!

 

He woke with a start! He thought he might have screamed out loud but he wasn't sure. His heart was racing and he felt completely disorientated. He tried to remember where he was but his mind was clouded with thoughts of flames and burning bodies. He was leaning back on his arms, taking in quick jagged breaths. His eyes were stinging and his head was pounding.

He looked down at the sweat soaked gown he was wearing and realised he was sitting up in a hospital bed. He flew forward suddenly as a fit of wheezy coughs seemed to take control of him, burning his lungs. When he moved his hands from his mouth, they were covered in black particles. Quickly he grabbed a wipe from beside the bed.

He jumped slightly as a soft voice mumbled something to his right and when he turned his head his breath caught and his heart melted with love and relief at the amazing sight of Luke sleeping soundly in the single bed next to his. Moonlight from a nearby window fell directly on his face making him glow and his blonde eyelashes flickered every so often in his sleep.

“Luke.” He said softly shaking his head. Noah had no memory past clinging to Luke in the smoke filled air of Big Bear Lake. He thought that at some point they must have passed out and been take to the hospital together.

Slowly he pulled back the sheet that was covering him and lifted himself off the bed. The floor felt cool and refreshing on his bare feet as he made his way over to Luke’s bedside. As quietly as he could, he pulled up a small stool so that he could sit and watch him. He wanted to remain that way for the rest of his existence. Just sitting there, guarding over Luke while he slept. Safe!

Noah brought both of his hands up to cup his face and breathed into them in a shuddery breath. His father had nearly succeeded in separating them in the most permanent of ways and his body began to shiver as the reality of how close they had come to death washed over him.

Tentatively he reached out a hand and ran a finger softly down the side of Luke’s face, stopping halfway to tuck a curl behind his ear before continuing down to his chin. Noah didn’t want to wake him but he couldn’t hold back from touching him, reassuring himself that he was real. He cocked his head to the right so that his face was level with Luke’s and then ran his fingers lightly along the outline of Luke’s lips, studying every feature.

********************

When he opened his eyes he found himself face to face with Noah. Smiling, he realised Noah must have woken up during the night and climbed beside him on the single bed. Noah was in a fretful sleep, his breathing hoarse and laboured his head on the pillow. He was lying on his side on top of the sheet, with his left arm around Luke’s waist. The pressure was making the stab wound throb, but Luke didn’t care and he made no attempt to move Noah. He frowned wondering whether to wake him, but then decided a nervous sleep was better then no sleep and decided to leave him.

He recalled his alarm when Noah had suddenly passed out as they lay on the grass by the cabin. The relief he had felt at discovering Noah alive after fearing him dead was quickly replaced once again by panic. He had refused any medical care in the ambulance or at the hospital until he knew that Noah was okay. It was only then that he had allowed himself to relax. Lucinda had arranged the private twin room for them and he couldn’t have been more grateful to her. He had watched Noah right up until the moment he could no longer keep his eyelids open.

Surprisingly, Noah had escaped with only minor burns to his body, despite being inside the cabin as it burst into flames. Besides the smoke inhalation, the worst of his injuries were from splinter wounds and scratches on his arms and legs. These were now bandaged up. Luke placed his right arm around Noah and leaned his head forward gently so that their brows were just touching and he could feel Noah’s breath on his neck. So comforting. So alive!

Gradually he fell back to sleep.

********************

“Hey… hey…” A soothing voice penetrated his nightmare and his eyes flew open. “Sh… sh… you’re safe.” And he was staring into the hazel of Luke’s eyes as he whispered. “It was just a dream.”

Slowly he felt himself calming down and he drew Luke a little closer towards him, causing him to flinch, “God, sorry!” he said, hastily lifting up his arm.

Luke reassuringly shook his head and reached up to pull Noah’s arm back down and around him. “I’m fine, just keep holding me…”

They lay in silence for a while, communicating only through eye contact. Eventually Noah’s hands were cupping Luke’s face and he leaned in to place a desperate kiss on Luke’s lips. He pulled back for a second and then went in for more, eventually finding Luke’s tongue with his own and savouring every part of it. He broke away and pulled Luke’s head in to him; so that Luke’s cheek pressed up against his chest and he lifted his own head back and sighed deeply. “I thought I’d never get to do that again!”

Luke moved back, confusing Noah for a minute until he whispered, “Get under here with me…” And he pulled at the sheet so that Noah lifted his body up and crawled under it until they lay even closer together, bodies entwined.

Again they slept.

********************

Noah’s body convulsed violently, rocking Luke out of his sleep. Noah was turned away from him and his entire body was shaking and heaving rhythmically as he vomited over the side of his bed.

“Noah!” And he placed his hand on Noah’s shoulder blade, leaning over to get a better look at him. “Oh my god, baby? Nurse! Nurse!” he shouted as he reached over the top of Noah’s head to press the call button.

Noah was retching up a thick black mucus and to Luke’s horror, blood. Just as he noticed this two nurses ran into the room. He looked over at them and pleaded, “There’s blood! Please!”

“Move out the way Luke…” and the curly haired nurse called Maggie soothingly guided a reluctant and shell shocked Luke back into his own bed.

“Is he okay?” He asked her, the painful sounds of congested coughing still being emitted from the other side of the room.

“Just wait here please.” She answered firmly, “And stay in the bed!”

Luke watched her join her colleague, where they spoke gently and calmly to Noah as he expelled the fire particles from his lungs. It seemed to go on for hours but eventually the gaps between the vomits grew fewer and fewer and the nurses were able to carefully manoeuvre an extremely weak and shattered Noah back into the bed. Maggie skilfully proceeded to give him a soothing bed bath while Nurse June cleaned up the floor. By the time they were finished he was fast asleep.

Luke cried silent tears as they inserted a needle in Noah’s arm and installed a drip by his bedside. As they were about to leave, Maggie looked over at him and said, “Not to worry Luke, that was a normal reaction to smoke inhalation. That’s why he needs this hospital observation. It’s difficult to tell how much damage there is and it can take sometime for the body to heal itself.”

Luke nodded. “Thank you.”

“And don’t fret over the drip. It’s just for rehydration.” Then she seemed to come to a realisation and she placed her hands on hips. “What were you doing back in his bed anyway? How many times do I have to tell you two? You need to have your own space in order to recover. You can’t be squeezed together in a small bed like that!”

Luke’s eyes must have been glassy with tears and fright as he gazed over to her because her tone softened as she said, “It’s for your own good you know? The sooner you mend the sooner you get out of here…”

Luke nodded again as both nurses left the room. Of course the moment they were out the door he was back in Noah’s bed, kissing his face and lovingly rubbing circles on his chest.

********************

“Feeling better?” Noah asked as they lay on their backs, Luke in the crook of his arm. Using both hands, Noah was playing softly with the hospital bracelet around Luke’s wrist, reading and re-reading the name printed neatly around it, “Luke Snyder, Luke Snyder, Luke Snyder.”

“I’m fine.”

“You really scared me, you know? When I saw you lying there and I…” His voice broke, “I couldn’t get to you and I couldn’t tell if you were alive or…”

“Sh, I’m fine. I promise…”

“What were you thinking of? Trying to attack my father like that? God Luke! You of all people know what he’s…”and then correcting himself, “what he was capable of…”

“I wasn’t thinking. I was just so angry. And so scared for you!”

“We’ve talked about this before?”

“What?”

“This business of you acting before you think!”

“I know. I’m sorry.”

Noah brought Luke’s precious hand to his lips and kissed slowly up each of the fingers, gently massaging his palm at the same time.

“I guess we’re even then…” Luke suggested.

“What do you mean?”

“I jumped in without thinking, and you left me!”

“Luke…”

“No Noah! If you get to tell me off then I get to tell you off too! Leaving me like that was sh*ty!”

“Luke… He was going to kill me no matter what we did! There was no way I was going to let him take you too!

“Noah!”

“NO LUKE!” And he moved above Luke to give him a stern look. “You would have done the exact same thing so don’t try to pretend otherwise!”

Luke stared up at him for a minute and then pulled him into a fervent kiss.

********************

Noah had just returned from the bathroom when he noticed the missing cash. “Hang on… I’ve been robbed!”

“Hmm?” Luke responded.

“I’m missing $300! I had $400 dollars here and now there’s only $100 left…”

“Really?”

“Luke? Did you take it?”

“What?”

“It had to be you Luke! There’s nobody else in the room! And the nurses have already done their rounds for this morning! I mean I was only gone for five minutes!”

“I can’t believe you would accuse me of theft Noah! Is that REALLY what you think of me?”

“At the moment… YES! How could you Luke? Now give it back!” And he struggled with Luke for a few seconds, finally managing to snatch $300 from him. “This was to get me back for taking the car, right?”

“It’s your move!”

Noah smirked, rolled the die and moved the little silver car forward four spaces landing on Luke’s Boardwalk hotel. “Bast*rd!”

Luke flashed an evil grin.

********************

Luke and Noah had just finished eating their lunch when there was a knock at the door. They exchanged a quizzical glance before Luke responded. “Come in?”

Two men entered and Luke immediately recognised them as the plain clothed policemen who had tried to visit a few times before.

“He’s already told you that he’s not ready to talk about it!” Luke went straight into defensive mode.

“Luke, it’s okay.” Noah said softly reaching over the gap between their beds to squeeze his hand.

Luke turned just in time to see the look of apprehension on Noah’s face, “Are you sure?”

“We realise this is difficult for you both,” cut in the man who had previously introduced himself as Detective Gresham, “but we really need to close off this case.”

“It’s okay.” Noah nodded.

Speaking softly and taking his time Noah laid out the whole series of events, from receiving the call his father made from Luke’s phone; to finding Luke in the basement; the motel and finally the fire and his father’s death.

Whenever things became difficult, he would stop for while and Luke would squeeze his hand in encouragement.

Although it made him sick to think of it, Luke couldn’t help but wonder why the Colonel hadn’t also soaked his son in the flammable substance. Perhaps he had thought it unnecessary. Luke shivered and turned his attention back to Noah.

“And this Joshua? Is there anything else you can tell us about him? Anything else you remember?”

Both men shook their heads.

“And your father never gave you a last name for Joshua?”

“No.”

“Okay. I think we have all we need for now. Thank you for your time Mr Mayer… Mr Snyder.”

They turned to go but Noah called out, “Um Detective?”

Gresham turned.

“If you catch Joshua… what happens to him?”

“That’s up to the courts, son.”

“He saved my life.”

“I’m sure that will count in his favour. Thank you again.” And they left.

********************

Time didn’t seem to exist in the small hospital room. Luke had no idea how many days he and Noah had been there, nor did he care. They measured time mostly via the rhythm of the hospital rota, which operated on rules all its own. The nurses seemed to have become fond of the two boys in room 116 and sometimes they would drop by just for a chat. Luke and Noah didn’t mind as it kept them entertained and more importantly distracted them from the memories of what had happened.

And of course his parents would visit once a day. Luke thought back to Lilly’s face the night of the fire. He’d never seen her so scared and the moment she’d been allowed in to visit them, she’d ignored him entirely to head straight over to Noah and grip the shocked man in a bear hug, kissing him all over his face. “You gave me the fright of my life, young man!”

So Luke wasn’t sure what the time was at that moment, but he knew it was late. VERY late! His latest dream had consisted of a blazing Noah walking towards him from out of the cabin and he didn’t want to fall back to sleep after that. Instead he was just lying there in the bed listening to the soft sounds of the hospital at night.

Then he heard another sound… a sniff and a sigh. He turned to look over at Noah in the other bed. He was curled up, his back to Luke. He’d been very quiet all day and it had worried Luke somewhat. Then slowly Noah’s breath began to shudder more and more on each exhalation and Luke realised he was crying. The sight broke his heart and brought tears to his own eyes as he quietly stepped out of bed, holding his side briefly where the pain usually hit him, and tiptoed across to Noah.

He lifted the sheet up and crawled in to spoon behind Noah, softly inserting his left arm under his neck while reaching over him to grab hold of his hand. He squeezed it tightly and rubbed his thumb along the knuckles. He lightly kissed Noah’s dark hair and then rested his face alongside Noah’s ear.

Silently they wept together.

********************

“Am I a woman?”

“No”

“Can you watch me on TV?”

Luke shook his head.

“Am I famous?”

“Not yet.”

“Hmm… Do I have blonde hair?”

“Nope”

“Red?”

“No”

“So I’m a man, I’m not famous, but I might be one day and I don’t have blonde or red hair? This is a hard one!”

Just then Nurse June walked in with a polite, “Good morning.” She proceeded to check Noah’s pulse and then looking at him asked, “Why do you have your name stuck to your forehead?”

“Ah man!” Luke complained.

“What?” Noah asked, removing and glancing at the yellow post-it, “Luke! You can’t make me guess myself! That’s not how the game works.”

Luke laughed.

“Are you cheating?” Asked the nurse, removing the paper stuck to Luke’s head and throwing him a wink, “I’d expect better from you… Hillary Clinton!”

And it was Noah’s turn to burst into fits of laughter at the look on Luke’s face.

********************

“Do you want to know something funny about all of this?”

“Something about this is funny?”

They were lying in Noah’s bed this time, wrapped tightly together, staring at the ceiling. Noah had woken up with an ear-splitting scream, shaking and sweating all over, prompting Nurse Maggie to burst through the door and treat him for hyperventilation. Now neither of them wanted to sleep.

“I got what I wanted in the end, didn’t I?”

“What do you mean?” Luke asked.

“All I ever wanted was for my dad to accept me… to accept my choices.”

“I know.” And Luke kissed the palm of Noah’s hand.

“The thing is? In the end he did. He accepted everything, my career, you…”

Luke lifted himself up on his elbow so that he could look down on Noah.

“So I got what I always wanted… it’s just… it’s just…” And he sniffed slightly prompting Luke to kiss his forehead, “… it didn’t make any difference. He may have accepted it but he would never have understood it. He would never have lived with it.”

“How do you feel about that?”

Noah simply shrugged.

********************

“Well!” Said Nurse Maggie as she completed her usual ministrations, “I heard a rumour that the two of you are out of here today…”

Luke had actually been cleared for release a few days before, but Lucinda had arranged for him to stay with Noah for the rest of his care. They couldn’t stand to be separated… at least not for the moment. What this meant for the future Luke didn’t know, but he wasn’t going to worry about that until he had to.

“I guess June’s mission to turn Noah can now officially be called a failure…” laughed Luke.

After only a few days in the hospital June had playfully indicated her mission to attract Noah with her charms. It had since become a running joke throughout their stay.

“Oh yes,” Agreed Maggie, “But then she obviously hasn’t spent as much time with you boys as I have! I don’t think I’ve ever seen two people more connected! Something tells me it would be easier for her to turn Noah straight then it would be for her to break up the love you two have for each other!”

They both beamed at her.

“We really are going to miss having you boys around you know.”

“I’m sure you will forgive me when I tell you that the feeling’s not mutual!” Noah replied with a smile. “You guys have been amazing looking after us and everything but I for one can’t wait to get out of here!

And it didn’t take long for Luke to agree, “Same here!”

Chapter End Notes:

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