Written By: _alicesprings
Category: Noah Who? Alison’s POV
Author's Notes: This is a sequel to my fic Realizations, though it can be read as a stand alone that deviates from canon after the PDA kiss/union reps meeting episode. I had a lot of issues writing this, and I’m still not entirely happy with how it turned out. Alison POV turned out to be haaaard! Regardless, I’m posting it anyway. A big thank you to rhiannonhero for the thorough and excellent beta!
Alison’s walking out the door on her way to meet Casey at Yo’s after a long day at work when Luke calls to invite her to a going-away party he’s throwing for Noah. Alison had been assigned to work with Dr. Oliver – or Dr. Evil, as the nurses call him behind his back – and it was hell. She can’t wait to forget his litany of insults, play some pool, and relax.
“Are you guys back together?” Alison asks Luke, surprised, and pleased.
“No,” Luke laughs. “But we’re still friends and I want to give him a nice send-off.”
“Well of course you do,” Alison says. Luke’s thoughtful like that.
“You’ll make sure Casey’s there?”
“Sure. Like Casey’s going to pass up free food!”
Luke laughs. “Okay, so, Java at nine o’clock on Friday. Frank’s letting us have the place.”
“Great. I’ll see you there,” Alison says, snapping her cell phone closed.
Luke says he and Noah are just friends, but she knows better. This isn’t the first time Luke and Noah have broken up, and they always get back together again eventually. This time it’s just taking a little longer than usual, that’s all. Alison knows Noah still loves Luke, and misses him. She’s seen the way he mopes around the apartment. He might be going to L.A., sure, but she knows how important Luke is to him. She wishes that she hadn’t been so distracted lately by the mess with Casey and Vienna that she couldn’t have been there for him more; she knows he's been going through a lot, and she's not sure why he and Luke haven’t worked things out yet, especially with Noah leaving so soon. Now that she’s got her own love life back on track maybe she can weave a little magic before Noah leaves, and get the two of them back together where they belong.
The flaw in Alison’s plan becomes apparent as soon as she and Noah walk into Java, and spot Luke in the far corner talking to Dr. Oliver, who is busy stuffing his face with mini sandwiches. Alison’s surprised at first; she’s not used to seeing Dr. Oliver away from the hospital, and it occurs to her that’s she’s never given any thought to what he does when he’s not at work. Recharges in his coffin, Alison thinks uncharitably. She wasn’t expecting to see him here but then she remembers that he’s the one who gave Noah his sight back, so it makes sense he’d be at Noah’s party.
“Great,” Noah mutters under his breath.
“What’s wrong?” Alison asks. “Did you forget something at home?”
Noah nods his chin toward Luke. “I can’t believe Luke had the nerve to bring him to my party,” Noah says, crossing his arms in front of his chest.
“Who, Dr. Oliver? Why?” Alison asks, searching Noah’s face in confusion.
Before Noah can answer, Luke calls out and waves at them from across the room. Alison waves back and steers a reluctant Noah over, whispering. “Come on, I know he’s a jerk but you don’t have to talk to him for long.” The last time the four of them had all been in the same room together, Noah had been fresh out of surgery and Dr. Oliver had been kicking them out of his hospital room and yelling about turning it into party central. Man, the guy was such a dick.
“Hey, Ali!” Luke smiles when she approaches, giving her a quick hug. “It’s good to see you! Thanks for coming!”
“You too, Luke,” Alison smiles in return. “Great party.”
“Thanks, where’s Casey?”
“He had to run an errand for his mom but he’ll be here soon.”
“You’d better eat quick,” Luke says with a grin over his shoulder at Dr. Oliver, then turns to Noah. “Hey, Noah.” His smile is tentative but sincere, and Alison hopes it’s a positive sign that her matchmaking plans will go well.
Noah nods. “Thanks for the party, Luke,” he says. “It was nice of you.”
Luke shrugs. “You deserve it,” he says with a shy smile, and Alison’s hopes rise even higher. This might be easier than I thought.
Dr. Oliver pipes up then. “How’s the eyesight, Noah?”
“It’s fine,” Noah says tersely, and Alison looks at him in surprise, not sure what the tone’s about.
“No hazing, everything’s in focus?”
“No headaches, dizziness...?”
“I’m A-OK doc, made a full recovery.”
Alison’s head bounces back and forth, taking in Noah’s progressively curter answers. Luke’s shoved his hands in his pockets and is shifting uneasily, and Alison’s confusion grows.
“When are you heading out to L.A?”
“Don’t worry, I’ll be out of Luke’s life by the end of the week.”
“That’s not why I asked the question,” Dr. Oliver says. “I want to give you the name of one of my colleagues out there.”
“Thanks, but I can find my own doctor, Noah says dismissively, crossing his arms in front of his chest again.
Alison has no idea what the hell is going on but the tension in the air is palpable.
“Noah,” Luke interrupts gently, placing his hand on Noah’s shoulder. “You should take the name.”
Noah shakes Luke’s hand off. “That’s how it works, huh?” Noah says snidely. “Reid passes on a name and I pass along... you.”
Alison’s eyebrows shoot up as the pieces slowly start to click into place. Noah’s anger is beginning to make sense to her now. And even though she’s starting to get it, she frowns at Noah’s comment, because no matter what’s going on, it’s a really shitty thing to say.
Luke winces. “Noah –“
“So, we’re square now, right doc?” Noah claps a hand hard against Dr. Oliver’s shoulder and stomps off. Dr. Oliver’s jaw tightens and Alison sees a muscle in his cheek twitch, but he doesn’t say anything, just glances at Luke for his reaction.
“O-kay,” Alison says. “What the hell was that about?”
“Told you I shouldn’t come,” Dr. Oliver says pointedly to Luke. “But you insisted.”
“Oh shut up, Reid,” Luke says, only half seriously, finally looking up from where he’s been staring at his shoes.
“Uh, it was good of you to come, Dr. Oliver,” Alison says, feeling the need to fill the awkward silence.
“Luke made me,” Dr. Oliver says, and Luke chuckles, slapping his arm half-heartedly . Dr. Oliver flashes a quick smile then.
Alison is utterly confused. “Luke, what’s going on here?”
“Um,” Luke bites his lip and shifts from foot to foot.
“What?” Alison asks impatiently.
“Reid and I are dating.”
Alison’s eyes widen and she’s sure her dismay must be written on her face, but she tries to stifle it quickly. “Ohh! That’s um, that’s great!” she nods rapidly.
“I think so,” Luke says shyly, looking up at Reid through his eyelashes. Dr. Oliver doesn’t say anything, he just steps even closer to Luke, until their arms are brushing together, and Luke’s eyes twinkle. Alison’s smile loses some of its phoniness. “I’m happy if you’re happy, Luke,” she says, mostly sincerely.
“I am,” Luke smiles, and he does look happy. Alison smiles back, a real one this time, and squeezes his arm. “And Noah, he knew about this...?”
Alison wonders if Casey knew anything about it, and if so why the hell he didn’t tell her. She feels totally blindsided. How long has this been going on anyway? And what does Luke see in Dr. Oliver? He’s a jerk and Luke’s a sweetheart; she doesn’t understand the appeal.
Luke nods. “Yeah, he’s uh, not so happy about it.”
Dr. Oliver snorts loudly and Alison turns to him, and takes a deep breath, determined to be civil for Luke’s sake. “Congratulations,” she says.
“Which one are you again,” Dr. Oliver says.
“Reid!” Luke grabs his shoulders and shakes him playfully. “This is my good friend Alison Stewart,” he says warningly. “You know, Nurse Stewart, from the hospital.”
“Yeah, I try not to give them names,” Dr. Oliver says. “Then they think you like them and if they think you like them, you can never get rid of them. Like strays.”
“Reid!” Luke slaps him again, but he’s laughing when he does it.
“Well, it’s been a pleasure as always, Dr. Oliver,” she says with a tight-lipped smile, a little annoyed and still more than a little confused. “I’ll talk to you later, Luke,” she says, before heading off to find Noah and drag the whole story out of him.
“You’re such a jerk,” she hears Luke say as she walks away, though there’s no malice in his voice. She turns back around but doesn’t catch Dr. Oliver’s reply; it’s drowned out by a sudden burst of laugher to her right. Instead, she sees him lean close and smile against Luke’s lips before brushing them together in a kiss, then pulling back and stuffing another sandwich in his mouth. Luke just shakes his head and laughs fondly.
Noah’s standing across the room with his arms crossed, his expression stony, and his eyes locked onto Luke and Dr. Oliver.
“Geez, party boy,” Alison says. “Lighten up and mingle. You’re the guest of honor.”
Noah doesn’t move; he doesn’t even blink. Alison sighs, her brilliant plan’s been shot to hell and she’s still trying to process the idea of Luke and Dr. Oliver. Dating. She shudders.
“Noah?” Alison snaps her fingers in front of his face, and he finally blinks. “Sorry, Ali,” he says. “What were you saying?”
“So, Luke and Dr. Oliver, huh.”
Noah frowns, looking down at the ground. “Yeah.”
“Why didn’t you tell me? I thought maybe...” Alison trails off, waving a hand in the air.
Alison shrugs. “I thought I might be able to play cupid tonight, help get you guys back together where you belong. I had no idea he was dating Dr. Oliver. I thought they hated each other.”
Noah laughs humorlessly. “Me too,” he says. “Turns out, while I was blind the doctor who was supposed to be helping me see again was putting the moves on my boyfriend.”
“You’re kidding me?” Alison’s shocked, and appalled.
Noah’s lips twist into a grimace. “I wish I was,” he says. “I never thought this would happen to us. I thought we’d get back together! We always do! But now it’s too late, that creep’s already moved in on him.”
“I’m so sorry, Noah,” Alison says, patting his shoulder. “I can’t believe it. This doesn’t seem like Luke.” Luke is the most loyal person Alison knows, she can’t believe he’d cheat on Noah, and especially not with a guy like Dr. Oliver.
“I know!” Noah says. “And that guy’s selfish; he’s going to hurt Luke.”
“I don’t know what to say,” Alison shakes her head. She’s worried about Luke now, too. Dr. Oliver is rude and callous; she can’t imagine he cares about anyone’s feelings except his own. “I’ll watch out for Luke while you’re in L.A,” Alison says. “I’ll keep an eye on him.”
“Thanks, Ali,” Noah says. “I just don’t want to see him get hurt.”
“I know, sweetie.” Alison says, patting Noah’s shoulder. She looks back over at Luke and Dr. Oliver who are still standing by the refreshments. Dr. Oliver has finally stopped eating and is pouring soda in two cups. He passes one to Luke, who takes it, then slips his arm around Dr. Oliver’s waist. He catches Luke’s eye and they smile at each other, which is two smiles more than she’s ever seen from him in the past.
“I guess I should go out there and mingle,” Noah says, breaking Alison out of her thoughts.
Alison smiles. “Yeah, try and have some fun, okay.”
Noah pulls a face but heads over to talk to Lily and Holden. Alison sighs. Oh Luke. What have you gotten yourself into?
“Hey,” Casey says from behind her, grinning and holding a present in one hand and a bottle of wine in the other.
“Hey you,” Alison kisses him hello, then hugs him too, glad he’s finally there.
“He’s over there,” Alison gestures vaguely behind her where Noah’s talking to some of his co-workers.
“I’ll go say hi,” Casey says, waving the present in the air.
“Wait,” she stops him with a hand on his arm. “Did you know Luke was dating Dr. Oliver?”
Casey looks bewildered and then laughs. “Yeah right.”
“No, I’m serious,” Alison says. “The four of us just had an... awkward conversation.”
“Are you serious, serious?” His eyes are wide and his mouth is gaping open.
Alison rolls her eyes. “Yes, Casey. I’m serious serious.”
“Huh,” Casey says, clutching the wine to his chest.
“I know, right? The guy’s a jackass.”
“Well, my aunt Katie’s always been a fan of his. She was talking to my mom the other day actually, saying how he’d helped her get over Brad and get ready to give things with Chris a try.”
“Really?” Alison asks skeptically.
Casey shrugs. “Apparently he’s pretty good with Jacob, too.”
“No way!” From Alison’s experience with the man, she would have been less surprised to hear that Reid eats babies than that he’s good with them.
“Oh yeah, she was saying Reid sings him to sleep.”
“Shut. Up.” Alison slaps his arm hard and swivels her head around to look at Dr. Oliver.
Casey laughs. “Who knew Dr. Neuro was actually human?”
Alison opens the door to the storeroom and takes a left. Frank had said the paper cups were on the last shelf down but just as she’s about to round the corner she hears a chuckle, and then a low moan, and stops short.
She peers around the corner of the aisle and sees Luke and Dr. Oliver pressed up close together, Dr. Oliver is leaning back against a crate and Luke’s standing in front of him. Their arms are around each other, with Luke’s hands disappearing underneath the back of Dr. Oliver’s jacket, while Dr. Oliver’s are in full view, resting on Luke’s ass, and pressing their groins close together. She can’t see Dr. Oliver’s face – it’s buried in Luke’s collar – but judging by the breathy sounds Luke’s making, she suspects he’s sucking on Luke’s neck. Her suspicions are confirmed a second later.
“Stop it,” Luke moans. “You’ll give me a hickey.”
“So?” Reid lifts his head long enough to ask before latching back onto Luke’s neck.
Luke grasps Reid’s head and pushes him away. “So my parents are here, Reid. I don’t want them to see me with a hickey.”
Reid rolls his eyes but complies, squeezing Luke’s ass instead, eliciting another low moan from Luke. Alison debates whether to make her presence known or just back out of the room quietly, but Dr. Oliver’s next words surprise her and she has to admit, she’s curious as hell about this situation with Luke and Dr. Oliver – Reid.
“Better now?” Reid asks, his voice uncharacteristically soft.
Luke shrugs. “I can’t believe he said that we couldn’t be friends,” Luke says, his voice hitching.
“He’s a jerk.”
“He’s not a jerk, Reid.”
Reid rolls his eyes. “Why are you still defending him?”
“He’s just upset. He’s not ready to let the idea of us go yet.”
“He threw you out of his life a long time ago, Luke. He pushed you away for months, blaming you for his accident.”
He did? Even Alison knows that wasn’t Luke’s fault. How could it be? And wait, what? Noah told Luke they couldn’t be friends anymore? Alison frowns.
“I know he did,” Luke says meekly.
“The accident wasn’t your fault, Luke.”
“I know that,” Luke says, looking away.
“It wasn’t your fault.”
Luke faces Reid again, and nods. “I know. It wasn’t my fault.”
Reid makes a frustrated noise. “I’d go rip his balls off – if I didn’t have to protect the hands.”
Luke snorts. “My hero.”
Reid grins and then grows serious again. “The way he treated you, the way he punished you, it’s not right. I am a jerk and even I could see that.”
“I know, Reid. I do. It took me a long time but I see it now. And it wasn’t just the accident, it was like that from the start. Whenever I did something he didn’t like he’d make me feel so bad about it, but I was –”
“What?” Reid asks gently, brushing his thumb across the dimple in Luke’s chin.
“Nothing... It’s embarrassing...” Luke trails off.
“Tell me,” Reid says quietly.
Alison takes a silent step closer.
Luke takes a deep breath. “I thought no one else would ever love me,” he smiles sadly. “I thought Noah was it. I was so scared that if I didn’t stick it out with him that’d I’d be... that I’d end up alone.”
Alison covers her mouth with her hand, stopping a surprised squeak.
Luke bites his lip. “I’m a drunk, with one kidney, who got kicked out of college –”
“Thanks to your boyfriend snitching on you,” Reid interrupts.
Luke pulls a face. “I never thought anyone else would have me,” he shrugs.
Christ. Alison feels like crying a little. She thinks back over the last year or so and yeah, Luke and Noah hadn’t been happy in a long time. How had she not noticed that until now? She shakes her head, trying to make sense of it all, trying to make all of these crazy puzzle pieces slot into place. She’d always thought Luke and Noah had the perfect relationship, but maybe she was only seeing what she wanted to. People never really know what’s going on in a relationship unless they are in it, after all. Case in point, her and Casey.
“I can still go out there and rip his balls off,” Reid says. “Hands be damned.”
Luke smiles and cups Reid’s face between his palms, dropping a quick kiss on his lips. “Thanks for the offer, Dr. Oliver, but I’m rather fond of your hands, we don’t want to see them damaged - I’ll need them later.”
Reid laughs and pulls Luke into a hug, stroking his hair. Alison notices the way Luke’s body seems to melt against Reid’s, the way the tension eases out of his shoulders, and she smiles warmly.
“He’ll come around eventually, Luke,” Reid says reassuringly.
“I hope so,” Luke sighs.
“And you were wrong,” Reid whispers against Luke’s ear. “A guy would have to be an idiot not to want you.”
Luke pulls back and Alison can see the tips of his ears turn red. “Shut up,” Luke says.
“Hey, I’m a genius, remember. I know what I’m talking about.”
Luke laughs and shoves Reid playfully, then hooks his chin over Reid’s shoulder. “Thank you,” Luke mumbles against Reid’s neck, hugging him again. “For being with me.”
“Christ,” Reid says, his voice thick. “You don’t have to thank me for that, Luke.”
Luke takes a shaky breath and Reid holds him close, rubbing a hand up and down Luke’s back. After a moment Luke pulls back and tweaks Reid’s collar. “We should probably go back out now,” he says unenthusiastically. “We’ve been in here a while.”
“In a minute,” Reid murmurs, leaning in to kiss Luke softly on the mouth. Luke smiles into the kiss and then a moment later Alison sees a flash of tongue as it deepens. Reid’s right hand slips down the back of Luke’s pants and a second later Luke makes a strangled sound in his throat and she’s momentarily stunned. She’d never seen Luke and Noah do anything more than kiss chastely the whole time they were together, but Luke and Reid are quickly heading toward NC-17 territory, and she finds herself frozen to the spot. And strangely enough, a little turned on, too.
Reid’s other hand has slipped around to Luke’s fly and he’s attempting to tug Luke’s pants open when Luke wrenches his mouth away with a gasp.
“Reid, no,” Luke says, stilling the hand that’s trying to get into his pants.
“Why not?” Reid asks.
Luke barks out a laugh. “Why not? Because we’re in public. Sort of,” Luke shrugs. “And all my friends and half my family are just outside.”
“Let me guess,” Reid says in a mocking tone, pulling his hands out of Luke’s pants. “You and the barista never did anything even remotely risqué in public.”
Luke frowns. “Don’t make fun of him, Reid.”
Luke makes a face and Reid sighs. “I’m not,” he repeats. “And I won’t even mention how mediocre your sex life was ever again.”
“Reid!” Luke laughs and slaps Reid’s arm. “I never said it was mediocre!”
Reid laughs too and tugs Luke close again. “You didn’t have to,” he says, leaning back in to nuzzle Luke’s neck.
Luke bats him away and Reid sighs and pulls back. “Can you honestly tell me you and Noah had better sex in two years than we’ve had in the last two weeks?”
Luke bites his lip but says nothing and Reid smirks. “That’s what I thought,” he says smugly.
Alison’s eyebrows scrape her hairline. Damn. She winces in sympathy.
Reid grins. “You know,” he says. “I’m actually grateful to Mr. Mayer.”
Luke snorts. “Oh yeah. Why’s that?”
“Because if he’d done an even half-decent job of fucking you the way you deserve –” Luke blushes then, and looks down, but Reid puts a finger under his chin, forcing him to look up and meet Reid’s eyes – “I wouldn’t have the distinct pleasure of getting to do it myself.”
Luke’s still blushing but he takes a deep breath then wraps his arms around Reid’s neck. “I like that thing you did last night,” Luke whispers.
Reid smirks. “Oh I know you do, Mr. Snyder.”
Mr. Snyder? Really. Amused, Alison raises an eyebrow.
“If we ever leave this damn party, I’ll do it again,” Reid says.
“I never... Noah never liked to...”
Reid rolls his eyes again. “Christ. That’s like gay sex 101,” Reid scoffs. “You have been deprived,” Reid says. “Wait ‘til we actually do something kinky.”
Luke laughs and Reid’s eyes soften in a way Alison’s never seen before. It’s... nice. Really nice, actually. He’s looking at Luke like he’s something precious, something amazing. He cups Luke’s cheek in his hand and Luke leans into it, looking up at Reid through his eyelashes as Reid’s thumb brushes across Luke’s cheekbone. Alison can practically feel the heat from their gaze from her spot across the room.
Reid smiles at Luke and the way it transforms his whole face into something gentle, something incredibly handsome, makes Alison’s heart beat a little faster.
“I love you,” Reid says, and okay, wow, three hours ago she’d have never expected that. She had no idea things were this serious between them.
Luke’s eyes light up and his smile is so big when he says “I love you, too.”
And then they’re kissing again and Alison backs out of the room, closing the door quietly behind her.
She can’t remember the last time she saw Luke smile like that. In fact, now that she thinks about it, Luke’s had a grin on his face all night, and Dr. Oliver – Reid – has been unusually smiley too.
Alison looks around for Noah, who’s laughing with some of his friends from Oakdale U, seemingly unaffected by the conversation that had left Luke so upset.
“Where’s the cups, babe?” Casey asks, coming up and throwing an arm around her shoulders.
“Huh?” Alison says, lost in thought. Until tonight, she’d never seen Reid be anything but rude, short-tempered and full of himself. But the way he looks at Luke, and the ‘I love you’ that had fallen so easily from his lips is making her reassess him. And Luke, God Luke looks so freaking happy, and so infatuated. And all that stuff about Noah, and the way he’d treated Luke? It’s kind of blowing her mind.
Casey squeezes her shoulder. “Cups?”
“Oh,” Alison says, shaking herself out of it. “Um, I couldn’t find them.”
“I’ll go look,” Casey says, heading toward the storeroom. Alison grabs his arm and stops him. “No, wait,” she says, just as Luke and Reid emerge, holding hands and grinning at each other.
“What?” Casey asks.
“Uh, they’re supposed to be on the last shelf on the left.”
“Okay,” Casey nods and heads into the storeroom.
Luke and Reid are back over by the refreshment table. Reid’s shoving more food down his throat. Jesus, does he ever stop? Luke’s got that permanent grin on his face, and Reid returns it with his own lightning-fast smiles between mouthfuls, which makes Luke grin even more.
Casey comes back with a stack of paper cups. “I’ll go put these over there,” he nods toward the refreshment table.
“I’ll come too,” Alison smiles. “We should make an effort to talk to Dr. Oliver.”
Casey pulls a face. “I know, I know,” she says. “But look at Luke; doesn’t he look happy to you?”
Casey follows her gaze and nods. “Yeah, I gotta admit, the doc seems to be doing something right.”
“I know, right?” Alison says. “It’s crazy – the guy usually acts like a total jackass – but I was just thinking about the last time Luke looked that happy with Noah.”
Casey’s face goes blank. “Exactly,” Alison says. “I don’t remember either.”
“Yeah, but Noah’s our friend, Ali.”
“I know. I’m not saying we have to stop being friends with him, I’m just saying we should give Dr. Oliver a chance, for Luke. I think maybe... I think they might be actually kind of great together.”
Casey shrugs, and throws an arm over her shoulder. “Whatever you say, babe.”
“And I think maybe Noah’s kind of a douche.”
“What?” Casey laughs.
Alison shrugs. “I’ll fill you in later, let’s go chat. And maybe we can go make out in the storeroom later?”
Casey grins at that, waggling his eyebrows, and leads them over to the refreshment table.
“So, bro,” Casey says as they approach, punching Reid on the shoulder. Luke snickers as Reid’s eyes widen comically at the greeting and he chokes on his mouthful of brownie. “Wanna hear some embarrassing stories about our young Luke here?”
Luke groans and covers his face with his hands as Reid grins, and Alison smiles.