Britin ([info]_alicesprings) wrote on December 18th, 2011 at 08:09 am
Stranded, Chapter 5
Title: Stranded
Written By: [info]_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 [info]rhiannonhero and [info]cindergal for the beta!

Previous chapters: 1|2|3|3|4

It doesn't take long. Luke starts feeling sick two days later. At first, it's just a little uneasiness and discomfort, and he tries to laugh it off, thinking that he's just psyching himself into believing he's sick. But by the third day off his meds he knows it's more serious than that. He starts to feel nauseous and fatigued, and by day four his legs, ankles and feet are swollen with retained fluid, and he can barely stand up without feeling dizzy. Reid confines him to their shelter, sternly telling him to rest while he performs the daily tasks; collecting firewood, boiling water, fishing, and gathering coconuts and fruit.

Reid monitors him closely, fretting about his decreased urination, which stops completely on the fifth day, and doing everything he can to tempt Luke to eat; preparing fish for him, and gathering up the tiny berries Luke likes, even though they're a pain in the ass to pick, but Luke's appetite has disappeared, and he can only manage a few mouthfuls before he has to stop or risk vomiting it all back up, making his dehydration even worse.

“Reid?” Luke taps his fingers against Reid's back

“Hmm?” Reid mumbles from where his head is buried in the groove between Luke’s neck and shoulder. It turns out, Reid likes cuddling, and these days, he only leaves Luke alone when he absolutely has to, spending the rest of the time by his side - a lot of the time in moody silence. Luke doesn't have to wonder what he's thinking about, it's pretty obvious, and he hates himself for putting Reid through this.

“What’s our house like?” Luke asks.

“What?” Reid lifts his head and blinks himself awake. It's so hot, it's hard to stay awake most of the time.

“Our house,” Luke says. “Or our apartment? Where do we live? What’s it like?”

Reid sits up, crossing his legs, and Luke smiles up at him. "I want to know before I... I just want to know."

Reid clears his throat, and looks away, his eyes focusing on the waves lapping against the shore nearby. "It's nice," he says.

"Nice?" Luke scoffs. "What sort of adjective is that? I want details, Dr. Oliver."

Reid smirks, looking back down at Luke, a smile in his eyes. "It's a house," he says. "On Mayfair Avenue."

Luke hums approvingly. "Swanky neighborhood."

Reid nods. "We renovated it," he says. "New kitchen, new bathrooms, but we kept some of the original features. Restored the old fireplaces, kept the big, claw-footed bathtub."

Luke smiles dreamily. "Sounds great. How long have we lived there?"

"About two years," Reid says. "We- you lived with me at Katie's apartment for a while first," he says. "And then we bought the house."

Luke closes his eyes, and smiles at the picture of the house in his mind, thinking about the life he shares with Reid there. Luke doesn't remember it, but he knows it's a good life, a happy one. He's happy. Reid makes him happy.

"You okay?" Reid asks quietly.

Luke nods without opening his eyes. "Jus' tired," he sighs. Before he succumbs to the tempting pull of sleep, he feels Reid's lips brush across his forehead. "Sleep then, Mr. Snyder," he says softly.


Luke slips into dreams. He dreams that he and Reid are rescued, and he's filled with joy. He feels it suffuse through him, warm and yellow, like sunshine, starting in his chest and radiating out over his whole body. He dreams about being back in Oakdale, and seeing his family. He dreams of Faith and the baby nephew he's never seen. He dreams of his grandmothers and his brothers and sisters. He dreams of his and Reid's house, wondering what the rooms look like, and what sort of furniture they'd picked out to fill each room. He dreams of Reid, looking handsome and healthy, and smiling at Luke like he's the only thing in the world worth looking at. He dreams that they'll renew their wedding vows, by Snyder Pond. He might not remember their first wedding, but he'll remember their second one. He dreams of how Reid will look, with the sun in his hair as they pledge themselves to each other again, and he feels warm all over.


Reid watches Luke after he falls asleep. His color is terrible, and his body is puffy and swollen. Reid rests the back of his hand against Luke's forehead. He's feverish, and Reid frowns. Luke's been off his meds for five days and even without the facilities to run tests, Reid knows Luke is in renal failure. He can only guess at the extent of the damage to Luke's kidney, but he knows the longer they're stuck out here, the closer Luke gets to needing another transplant.

The doctor part of his brain knows what's happening. Luke's dying, the voice in his head says, but the rest of him refuses to believe it. "Shut up," Reid mutters through gritted teeth as he cards through Luke's hair with trembling fingers. "Shut up."

That night, Reid spoons up close behind Luke, burying his nose in the back of Luke's neck and smelling his hair. Luke hasn't washed in days, he hasn't had the strength to walk down to the pond, but Reid doesn't care. He clings to Luke's thin frame, his hand underneath Luke's t-shirt, stroking his soft skin, feeling each rib that protrudes. He's lost even more weight over the past few days. They're both too skinny as it is, but Luke definitely couldn't afford to lose the extra weight. His heart still beats though, under Reid's palm, and Reid squeezes his eyes closed. Luke doesn't even stir, not even as hot, tears slide down Reid's cheeks, wetting the back of Luke's hair as he sleeps.


Luke's whole body aches. He's hot, but somehow cold at the same time. He vaguely hears noise, but it's so far away, he can't make out what it is and he tries to ignore it. Luke groans as the noise gets louder, until he can't keep his eyes closed any more, and he blinks them open with some effort.

Reid's concerned face is hovering just inches above his own. "Luke!" Reid says, relief evident in his voice. "I've been calling your name for a while." Reid swallows hard, his adam's apple bobbing. "You wouldn't wake up."

"Sorry." Luke winces, his throat feels like it's on fire, and it hurts to speak. He licks his lips. "M'okay."

Reid's eyes are wide, and terrified, and Luke weakly lifts his hand, trying to offer some comfort, but it flops uselessly back onto his stomach.

"You want some water?" Reid asks.

Luke inclines his head a little, and Reid darts out of the lean-to. Luke hears him swear under his breath, and he reappears a moment later. "We're out," he says. "I'll run and get some. I'll be right back."

"No," Luke protests. "Stay here."

Reid cups Luke's cheek in his palm, and bends down to drop a kiss on his forehead. "You need water," he says. "I'll be back before you know it."

Reid disappears before Luke can protest, and he rolls onto his side and attempts to sit up. Everything spins then, and Luke clutches his head, blinking away the black spots that dance across his vision.

His head clears a moment later, and Luke crawls out of the lean-to on his hands and knees. He's dying, he knows that. He sees it objectively, and he accepts it. He messed up when he was a teenager, and he's going to pay for it now. Reid though, he doesn't deserve this, and Luke's heart aches for him, hoping that he'll be okay after Luke's gone.

Luke crawls a few feet, his knees dragging uselessly behind him, and leaving furrows in the sand. He just needs to get to Reid before he dies. He needs to tell Reid that he loves him, because he does. He's in love with Reid. The past doesn't matter, he's in love with Reid now, and Reid deserves to know that. He takes a shuddering breath, and crawls a couple more feet, then an overwhelmingly sharp pain hits him in his side, and his last thought before everything goes black, is Reid.


Reid fills the empty plastic bottles as quickly as he can, cursing himself for not doing it earlier, and having them boiled and ready. Luke had looked like hell this morning, his breathing was shallow, and it took Reid so long to rouse him. Too long. Luke's ill, deathly ill, and the thought of it makes his fingers shake so hard he can barely screw the caps back onto the bottles. When they're full, he runs through the jungle and back to camp as fast as he can. When he's about fifty feet away, he spots a lump on the sand outside the lean-to, and he squints, trying to figure out what it is.

"Luke!" Reid sprints forward, his feet kicking up sand, and as he approaches, he sees that Luke's slumped forward on the sand, unconscious.

"Luke," Reid says, turning him onto his back. "Luke!" Reid slaps his cheek lightly, trying to wake him up. "Luke," he calls again. "Luke, wake up."

But Luke's not moving, so Reid grabs him from under his arms, and drags him back to the lean-to. He's always been slightly bigger than Reid - taller and broader, but now he's like a rag doll, and he's lost so much weight even his dead weight is easy to heft. Dead weight. "He's not dead," Reid mutters to himself, and manages to get him inside the shelter and out of the sun.

"Luke, wake up," Reid says, checking his pulse. It's erratic, and so faint he can barely feel it. Chills run down Reid's spine, and he wipes an angry hand across his eyes. "Wake up, Luke," he says. "I need you to wake up. I- I need you. I love you."

Luke's still, and unbearably quiet. "Luke!" Reid shouts. "Open your eyes, goddammit!"

Luke doesn't move, and Reid's heart squeezes painfully inside his chest. "Luke, please," he chokes out. "You can't leave me, you can't!"

He doesn't move, his face is deathly pale, and Reid chokes on a sob, clutching Luke's shirt in his fists and resting his forehead against Luke's chest. "I can't do this without you, Luke," Reid whispers. "Don't make me, because I can't. I need you. Please wake up. Please."

Reid prays to a God he stopped believing in years ago, asking for help. "Please, I'll do anything," Reid begs. "I don't care if he never remembers me, or he never loves me. I'll do whatever you want just don't take him."

Time passes. Reid doesn't know how long, and after a while, he hears a low, humming sound. He lifts his head, wiping his wet eyes on his forearm and cocks his ear. The sound is getting louder, and Reid's confused, unsure what it is. He pokes his head outside and looks around the beach. It's deserted, the way it always is, but the humming is getting louder, becoming a low rumble. Reid crawls outside and stands up. The rumble is louder, and Reid shakes his head. "No," he says. "It can't be."

Reid runs toward the water, then turns around, looking above the jungle's tree tops, and there, in the distance, coming closer by the second, is a plane. Reid can't control the sob that bursts out. Relief, incredible, overwhelming relief overcomes him, and has to bend over and catch his breath. The plane is close enough to see properly now, and the air is thick with the hum of the plane's engines.

Their signal fire is looking a little depleted. Reid hasn't stoked it today at all, too concerned with waking Luke up this morning, and then everything that followed.

He takes off in a sprint, heading toward the stockpile of firewood, and throwing as much of it on the fire as he can. It sizzles and crackles as it ignites, and slowly, the flames start to rise.

It must be a rescue plane, Reid thinks. It must. They haven't seen anyone else out here in over a month, no planes, and no boats. If someone's flying near the island, they must be looking for Luke and Reid. Still, he's seized in terror at the thought of the plane not seeing them, and he starts to run along the beach, waving his arms in the air and shouting up at the plane.

It's futile - they won't hear him, and he knows it - but he can't help it, and he shouts until his throat is hoarse. The plane passes over the island, and Reid chases it down the beach.

"Come back!" Reid yells. "Come back here!"

Reid suddenly remembers the flares they'd recovered from the plane all those days ago, and he frantically digs through Luke's carry-on bag, pulling them out and running back to the beach to release one. It produces a brilliant flash in the sky, and Reid grins, sure they must have seen it.

In the distance, the plane slowly starts to turn, sweeping in an arc and heading back toward the island. Reid can see it more clearly now, and recognizes it as a seaplane, which means it won't have any trouble landing. He closes his eyes and sends up a silent thank you, then pumps his fists in the air.

"Yes!" Reid shouts. "Come back!"

The plane makes another sweep past the beach, flying low above Reid's head. They've seen him. Reid sinks to his knees. They've seen him.

Everything happens fast then.

They stretcher Luke onto the plane, where there's a middle-aged guy with a receding hairline who introduces himself as Dr. Petersen, and a nurse on board, as well as the flight crew.

"Ms. Walsh will be pleased," the co-pilot tells Reid as they climb on board.

"Lucinda sent you?"

At the pilot's nod, Reid sighs in relief. "I knew she wouldn't give up," he says. "But what took you so long?"

"We've been looking for you in the waters close to New Zealand," he says. "But you are quite far off course."

"Just take us to the nearest major hospital," Reid says. "Luke needs a kidney transplant immediately. He's in renal failure."

"The closest city is Santiago, Doctor."

Reid thinks for a moment. "Chile?"

He nods. "You were exceptionally off course, Doctor."

Reid rubs a hand across his tired eyes and swears under his breath. "No wonder you couldn't find us," he says. "Just get us there fast. Luke doesn't- he doesn't have much time."

"But Doctor, there is no guarantee of a donor kidney being available there."

"He'll have mine," Reid says. "I was tested years ago. I'm a match."

"Very good," he nods. "What about the pilot? John Henderson? Is he with you?"

Reid rubs a hand across his eyes, then shakes his head. "He had a heart attack in the air," Reid says. "Before we crashed. His body in the wreckage but we don't have time to retrieve it right now. We need to get Luke to a hospital STAT. You'll have to come back for John later."

"All right," he agrees. "Now strap in, we're about to take off."

Once they get Luke hooked up to oxygen, IV fluids and a mega dose of anti-rejection meds, the doctor on board tries to examine Reid. "I'm fine," he snaps, batting away the doctor's hands. "Just a little dehydrated. And malnourished. If you want to help, get me some food."

Dr. Petersen raises one eyebrow at the order but sends the nurse off to get a small meal for Reid. The food is like sawdust in his mouth, but he eats it anyway. His body needs the nutrition, and he needs to be healthy for Luke.

Luke is still unconscious, his face is swollen and off-color. Reid holds his hand tightly, squeezing his cold fingers, and murmuring words quietly by his ear. I love you. You're going to be okay. Hold on just a little while longer. Don't leave me. The last one he whispers over and over. Please don't leave me.

Reid's not sure how long the flight takes. He's not aware of anything except Luke, so it's almost a surprise when the nurse nudges his shoulder gently, and tells him to buckle up because they're preparing to land.

The trip to the hospital is a blur. They get off the plane and immediately into an ambulance, speeding through the crowded streets of Santiago and arriving at the Clinica Las Condes.

Reid barks orders in Spanish at the emergency staff when they arrive, grateful not only that his photographic memory makes learning foreign languages easy, but that his time in Dallas helped improve his accent. He's so overwrought he can barely choke out the words, but they seem to understand him just fine. They're both immediately prepped for surgery, and as Reid counts backwards from ten, waiting for the anesthesia to take hold, his last thought before everything goes black, is Luke.


Luke blinks awake, his eyes darting around the room. He looks down, and sees that he's in a bed, covered in white sheets and a white blanket. There's a chart clipped to the end of his bed, and the sound of beeping and humming of machines around him. He's in a hospital. Thank God. They were rescued. And he's alive. He tries to sit up, but a sharp pain in his side halts his movements. He carefully slips a hand down under the covers, and feels a bandage on his side. He must have had another kidney transplant. He wonders who the donor was. When he had his first transplant, no one in his immediate family was a match. His little sisters were too young to be tested then, but maybe one of them was a match now? Even with the four years he doesn't remember, Ethan's still too young.

Luke clears his throat. He wonders where Reid is, or his family, and why they're not here in his room. Before he can do anything though, a nurse bustles in and smiles, apparently surprised to see him awake.

"Buenos días!"


She smiles kindly, and pats his arm as she checks his blood pressure and vitals.

"Where's Reid?" Luke asks, his throat scratchy and sore.


"Reid, my husband," Luke croaks. "Where is he?"

The nurse just shrugs, and smiles again before bustling back out.

"Wait!" Luke calls after her, but she disappears. He presses a hand against his forehead. His head aches, and he's confused, and he wants Reid.

Luke takes a few deep breaths, preparing to get out of bed and find Reid himself, when a man walks in.

"Wonderful to see you awake!" He says. "My name is Dr. Petersen. You've just had another kidney transplant, but you're doing well."

Luke says. "Where's Reid?"

"Dr. Oliver is still in recovery," he says.

"Recovery? From what?"

Dr. Petersen's surprise is evident. "He donated a kidney to you," he says. "I assumed you knew he was a match?"

"I- I didn't know," Luke says. "I have amnesia. Didn't Reid tell you?"

Dr. Petersen frowns. "No he did not," he says. "He was extremely agitated when you were rescued. You were gravely ill and Dr. Oliver's only priority was getting you to hospital. You were in renal failure."

Luke swallows hard. "Where are we? Where's my family?"

"Your family is flying in as we speak," he says. "They should be here within hours. You're in Santiago, Chile, Luke."

"Where?" Luke can't make sense of anything the doctor's saying. He aches all over, and his head is killing him.

"Chile," Dr. Petersen repeats. "South America. You were rescued from a small island off the coast of here."

Luke blinks. "How? What happened?"

"Your grandmother, Ms. Walsh, has had a search party scouring the ocean for you both for weeks. I was hired to be on board to provide medical assistance for when you were found," he says. "It's a good thing we arrived when we did. You were in a bad way."

Luke nods. "I remember being sick," he says. "Reid was worried about me."

"He was frantic," Dr. Petersen agrees. "But you were rushed into surgery and you're going to be just fine. There are no rejection issues so far, and we've started to repair the damage done to your body during the renal failure."

"How long until Reid wakes up? I want to see him?"

"A few more hours," he says. "You should get some rest in the meantime."

"But I want to see him."

Dr. Petersen smiles, and pats his hand. "Get some rest, Luke. Your family will be here soon, and we'll talk more then."

Luke wants to protest, but his eyes are already drooping closed, and he sleeps.


A few hours later he opens his eyes again, and this time his parents, and his grandmother Lucinda are sitting in chairs by his bed talking quietly.

"Mom," Luke says, grimacing as his throat burns.

"Oh, baby!" His mom kisses his forehead and hugs him as best as she can while he's lying in bed, then his dad hugs him too. "Hello, Son," Holden says, subtly wiping a tear from his eye.

"Darling!" Lucinda chirps, smacking a kiss on his forehead, then wiping away the lipstick she left behind. "You gave us quite a scare."

"I'm sorry," Luke apologizes.

Lucinda tsks. "You have nothing to be sorry for, darling," she says. "I knew we'd find you eventually. You didn't make it easy for us though, did you, hmm?" She cups his cheek, stroking his beard. "I like this. Very rugged."

Luke can't help but smile. "Sorry, Grandmother, but you know I like to keep you on your toes."

Lucinda laughs throatily, then squeezes his hand, serious now. "We were very worried, darling."

Luke nods. "I'm so happy to see you guys."

His mom squeezes his other hand, and Luke smiles at them.

"Baby," his mom says cautiously. "Dr. Petersen told us you have amnesia."

Luke nods. "I hit my head when the plane crashed. I don't remember anything after 2010."

His mom gasps quietly, and Lucinda frowns at her before shaking Luke's hand lightly, turning his attention back to her. "It's quite all right, darling," she says reassuringly. "I'm certain your memories will return soon."

"It's been more than a month," Luke whispers.

"Pssh," Lucinda waves a hand in the air. "Don't worry about that right now," she says.

"How's Reid?" Luke asks. "Is he awake yet?"

Lucinda and his mom look at each other then, and even his dad looks away, avoiding eye contact with Luke.

"I didn't remember that he was my husband when we first crashed," Luke says. "But it doesn't matter. He looked after me, and he's- he's a good man. I- I fell in love with him."

"Oh, Luke," his mom says, biting her lip.

What's wrong?" Luke asks. No one will make eye contact with him, and he starts to feel panicky. "Where's Reid? How is he?"

"Darling, there were some post-surgery complications," Lucinda says.

"What? What happened?"

His mom and dad exchange looks, and his mom fiddles with a thread on the blanket covering Luke's bed.

"Grandmother, what happened?"

Lucinda clears her throat. "I'm sorry, dear, but he's in a coma."

"No!" Luke pushes the blanket away, and tries to get out of bed,

"Oh ho, no you don't," Lucinda says. "You're not well enough to get out of bed yet."

"Let me go! I need to see Reid!"

His dad and grandmother force him back into bed, and he's too weak to push them away. "Please, I need to see him," Luke pleads. "I- I love him. He saved my life. He gave me his kidney!"

His mom sniffles, and dabs at her eyes with a tissue. "Please, mom, dad?"

Luke tries to sit up again, and Lucinda says, "All right, that's enough. Sit back, darling. I'll arrange for a wheelchair and you can go and see Reid."

"Thank you, Grandmother," Luke breathes out.

Lucinda walks out, her heels clicking on the floor, and Luke sighs, a warring mix of emotions stirring inside him. Reid's in a coma. Reid.

"I'm scared," he whispers.

"Oh, baby, I know you are," Lily says, hugging him again. "We're so grateful to Reid for what he did, but maybe... maybe you should start preparing yourself ..."

"Preparing myself? Mom, God!"

"Calm down, Son," Holden says, placing a gentle hand on his shoulder. "Lily, now's not the time," he says firmly.

"I'm just trying-"

"Lily," Holden hisses, and his mom holds up her hands in the surrender pose.

Luke takes a few ragged breaths, squeezing his hands into fists.

Lucinda comes in a few minutes later with Dr. Petersen pushing a wheelchair. "Luke," he says. "You're not physically well enough to be out of bed just yet."

"I don't care," Luke says. "Take me to Reid or I swear to God I'll crawl there myself."

His grandmother arches one eyebrow at Dr. Petersen, who sighs, and wheels the chair closer to Luke's bed.

It hurts when he moves, and he tries hard to stifle a gasp of pain, but he can't.

"Baby-" Lily starts, but Luke ignores her, and grits his teeth as he gets out of the bed and into the chair with his dad's and Dr. Petersen's help.


His dad wheels him into Reid's room, and when he sees Reid, he can't help the sob that bursts from his chest. Reid's pale, despite his tan, and he's attached to a myriad of wires and tubes. His face is barely visible beneath the oxygen mask, and the beard that covers his chin and cheeks.

"What- how did this happen?" Luke asks Dr. Petersen.

"Dr. Oliver developed an infection after the surgery," Dr. Petersen says. "It happens, sometimes. Unfortunately, he reacted badly to the drugs which were used to treat the infection, and he slipped into a coma."

Luke shakes his head. "No."

His dad lays a hand on Luke's shoulder, and squeezes gently.

"When- when will he wake up?"

Dr. Petersen and his father exchange glances.

"Don't say if," Luke grits out. "It's not if, it's when. When will he wake up."

"I don't know, Luke," Dr. Petersen says. "We just have to play the waiting game now, I'm afraid."

Luke takes a deep breath. "I want some time alone with him now please."

Dr. Petersen nods. "Of course," he says. "But you'll need to get back to bed soon."

Luke doesn't reply, already turning his attention to Reid. He hears the door close softly behind them, and he picks up Reid's hand, bringing it up to his lips and pressing a kiss to it.

"Hey," Luke says quietly. Reid is motionless, and the only sound in the room are the machines beeping steadily, Reid's been cleaned up a little, and he's wearing a white hospital gown, but his hair is still long, flopping in overgrown curls across his forehead.

"You saved me," Luke whispers. "We're safe now, so it's time to wake up."

Reid's fingers are lax in Luke's hand, and he twines his own around them, bringing Reid's palm flush against his own. He kisses Reid's hand again, and holds it against his cheek.

"Reid, I love you, and you need to wake up now." Luke rubs his cheek against Reid's hand, and exhales a shaky breath.

Reid doesn't stir.

"Please wake up, Reid," Luke whispers the words against Reid's hand. "I love you."

Luke blinks, and then Reid suddenly looks different. He's still attached to tubes and wires, but his hair is shorter, and his face has just a hint of a five o'clock shadow.

Please wake up, Reid. I love you.

Luke gasps, as a flood of memories begin to pour through his mind. He moans, clutching his head as piercing pain hits him.

"I'm going to go to Bay City and pick up that heart. Then I'm going to bring it back here and put it in Chris Hughes' chest, where it belongs."

"I love you. There I said it."

"Luke, I'm sorry. His injuries are severe. They're beyond repair. It's just a matter of time before his body begins to shut down."

Luke cries out as the memories assault him. Reid at Memorial, his face broken and bloody, with wires and tubes covering his body. Bob telling him there was no hope. John Dixon examining Chris Hughes. Fighting with Tom and Margo about Reid's heart. Chris dying and Katie falling apart. Luke being terrified that Reid would die, and begging him not to. "Please wake up, Reid. I love you."

Luke moans as the pain of it hits him anew. He was so scared he was going to lose Reid. Everyone told him there was no hope, and that he should give up on Reid, but he didn't. And they fought - together. Reid turned a corner, making it through the first night. His lung had collapsed in the accident, and they performed an operation to repair it. It left him with the scar under his armpit. They had to crack his chest too, leaving him with the scar down the center of his chest. He had so many internal injuries, they tried to write him off as a lost cause, but Luke insisted they not give up, and slowly, very slowly, Red started getting better.

They fought so hard, the two of them, and it was long, and it was painful, but Reid got better. And he made a full recovery. He went back to work, and he ran the neuro wing, hand-picking the best doctors in the world to work there. And they were happy, so happy together.

Luke takes a shuddering breath. It was just a few months ago when Luke proposed. Four years to the day of Reid's accident. They were watching TV when Luke clicked off the remote, and got down on one knee in the living room of their house.

"What are you doing?" Reid had asked, his eyes widening in unconcealed panic.

Luke had just grinned. He knew Reid well enough to know that a wedding was just a formality at that point. They were both in it for keeps.

"I love you," Luke said. "And I want you to be my husband. I want to be your husband. We've been through a lot, with the accident and everything." Luke swallowed. "And whatever else comes our way, I want us to deal with it together. Always. Will you marry me, Reid?"

Reid had sighed, and rubbed a hand over his nose.

"Yes, yes," he said. "Get up already."

Luke grinned, and punched one fist in the air. "Woohoo!"

Reid had snorted. "You're an idiot, Mr. Snyder."

"But I'm your idiot, Dr. Oliver."

"Is that supposed to be a selling point?" Reid muttered.

Luke straddled Reid on the couch and leaned in, pressing their foreheads together.

"I love you."

Reid couldn't hide his smile then.

"I love you, too."

"God," Luke moans, tears running down his face as the memories wash over him. "I remember, Reid. I remember everything. Please wake up. Please, Reid. Please."

The machines beep steadily, and as Luke watches Reid's form, so lifeless and pale, he's devastated by everything he has to lose.


Two days pass. Luke insists on being moved into Reid's room, refusing to be separated from him, so they move his bed in there, and Luke watches over him, while his family drifts in and out of the room, sitting by his bed, holding his hand, and taking turns going back to their hotel for showers and sleep.

Luke talks to his grandma Emma, Faith and Natalie and Ethan on the phone, and they tell him they love him and miss him, and hope he comes home soon. It makes the knots in his stomach untangle just a little.

Luke goes through the days on auto pilot. He eats the food that's put in front of him, and does the tests his doctors order, making sure he'll be well enough to travel when Reid wakes up from the coma.

Doctors monitor Reid closely, tweaking his medications, upping then lowering the doses, and passing in and out of the room with grim faces.

They try to tell Luke things; Reid's about to pass the point of no return, if Reid doesn't wake up soon he risks suffering permanent brain damage. Luke doesn't listen. The doctors were wrong about Reid once before, and they're wrong again now. He knows it. He feels it. Reid's going to be okay. Because if Reid's not okay... No, Luke refuses to think about that.

On the fifth night, long after his family has left for the day, and the corridor outside their room is quiet, broken only by the night nurses' occasional squeaky footsteps, Reid's hand, clasped loosely in Luke's own, twitches.

Luke sucks in a breath.

Reid's eyes move under his eyelids, and his hand twitches again.

Luke squeezes his fingers. "Reid," he murmurs. "It's me, it's Luke, wake up."

Reid's eyelids flutter, and a moment later, his eyes open, unfocused and tired, but still blue and beautiful, and still Reid.

Luke lets out his breath. "Reid!" He hovers a few inches above Reid's face, and Reid's eyes blink rapidly a few times, then lock onto Luke's eyes.

Luke smiles. "Hey," he breathes out.

Reid licks his lips. "Luke," he croaks.

"Yeah," Luke nods. "It's me."


"I'm all right," he says. "You saved me."

Reid's lips turn up at the corners, and he closes his eyes.

"Are you all right, Reid? How do you feel?"

"Crap," Reid murmurs .

Luke chokes out a laugh. "Yeah, I bet you do," he says, brushing the hair off Reid's forehead and pressing his lips there.

"It's so good to see you awake. I've been- I've been so worried," Luke chokes out.

"Mm s'okay," Reid says, blinking his eyes open before closing them again.

"Reid, I have to tell you something."


"Reid, wake up for a second, I have to tell you something."

"M'wake," Reid blinks his eyes open, and shakes his head slightly.

Luke smiles, and strokes his fingers across Reid's beard. "I love you, Reid."

Reid's eyes reflect his surprise. "Did you get your mem'ries back?"

"Does it matter?" Luke asks.

Reid blinks slowly. "No."

"It doesn't matter to me either, Reid. But I want you to know that I loved you before we got off the island. I was- I was coming to tell you, but I was sick, and I couldn't get to you in time."

"You did?"

Luke nods, and presses his mouth to Reid's. "I did. I do, love you."

Reid's eyes go impossibly soft. "Love you too," he murmurs against Luke's lips.

Luke draws in a shaky breath, and brushes Reid's hair off his forehead. "Reid, I remember everything."

Reid frowns, a crease appearing on his forehead. "'Mnesia?"

"Cured," Luke says. "I remember the last four years."

Reid closes his eyes, a relieved sigh escaping his lips.

"They've been the best four years of my life too, Reid."

Reid smiles. "Love you, Mr. Snyder." he says,

Luke rubs his nose against Reid's. "Love you, Dr. Oliver."


Eleven months later.

"Welcome, everyone," Emma says, a beaming smile on her face as she stands at the head of the table. Almost every Snyder in town has gathered for Thanksgiving dinner at the farm, and the table is loaded down with a huge turkey and all the fixings, while half a dozen pies are cooling down on the kitchen counter. They make Reid's mouth water.

"I think it goes without saying that most of us here today are especially thankful for one thing this year," Emma says. "And that's that our darling Luke and his husband Reid returned to us safe and sound."

"Hear, hear," Holden says, holding his glass up in a toast, as everyone else around the table joins in.

Emma smiles. "So, Luke and Reid, would you like to say what you're thankful for?"

"Same as you, grandma," Luke says. "I'm thankful that we're back home with all you guys, and that we can be here to celebrate together today. There were a couple of times on the island when I- I wasn't sure we'd make it." Luke smiles, and swallows visibly, getting his emotions under control. "I'm so grateful to have you all in my life, and especially to have Reid. I love you all so much."

Emma reaches over and pats Luke's cheek, and Luke smiles up at her.

"That was beautiful, sweetheart," Emma says. "Reid?"

Reid clears his throat. "I'm thankful for your pies, Emma," Reid says. "They're the thing I missed the most while we were gone."

"Reid!" Luke scolds, as the rest of the table collectively groans and rolls their eyes.

"Did you miss pie more than you missed me, Uncle Reid?" Jacob asks, his lower lip trembling.

Reid picks him up out of his chair and sits him on his lap. "Of course not, sport," Reid says, tweaking his nose. "I was just kidding around. I missed you a lot." Reid looks around the table. "And I too am thankful that we're able to be here to celebrate with you all today," he says. "Happy Thanksgiving, everyone."

"Cheers!" Emma says, holding up her glass.

"Happy Thanksgiving," the crowd murmurs to each other, before dishes start being passed around. Reid leans close and speaks in Luke's ear. "I'm thankful for my husband too," he whispers. "But I'm thankful for that every day."

"Reid," Luke says softly, his eyes shining. He presses his forehead against Reid's for a moment, sharing a smile with him before he pulls back and starts spooning yams onto his plate.

"Lemme go, Uncle Reid!" Jacob squirms on his lap, and Reid sits him back into his own chair, right next to Reid's - at Jacob's insistence - where he immediately grabs a slice of turkey off his plate and shoves it in his mouth.

"Jacob," Katie sighs. "We've talked about how we can't eat with our fists anymore and we need to use forks now, honey."

"Give the kid a break," Reid says.

"He certainly takes after his Uncle Reid when it comes to table manners," Katie smiles sweetly, still trying to pry the turkey out of Jacob's hand.

Reid snorts and loads up his own plate, and as the table dissolves into laughter and loud conversation, Reid glances around at his family, and a warm, content feeling bubbles up inside him. When Luke slips his hand into Reid's under the table a moment later, it gets even better.


"Let's go for a walk," Luke tells Reid after dinner. "To the pond."

Reid shrugs. "Grab a blanket," he says. "The ground's probably wet and cold."

Luke nods and gets one out from the cupboard behind the stairs, then he and Reid head to the pond hand-in-hand.

Luke smiles to himself as they walk. It's been a good day. Heck, it's been a good month. Luke and Reid celebrated their first wedding anniversary a couple weeks earlier. They spent a few days in Chicago, both of them agreeing that they weren't quite ready to fly, or hit the beach again just yet. It had been great - no pager for Reid, and no work for Luke, just lots of good food and lots of good sex. And today had been great too. It was fun to have his whole family there, and he'd gotten to play with his nephew and his brother and sisters. His mom was especially attentive, she has been ever since they flew back to Oakdale from Chile, and he gets a real kick out of how much she seems to have changed, the way she even dotes on Reid these days. Luke grins, remembering the look on Reid's face when she'd left a lipstick mark on his cheek earlier, and called him sweetheart.

"I liked it better when she hated me," Reid had muttered in Luke's ear, swiping at his cheek with a napkin. Luke had laughed, elbowing him gently in the ribs.

When they reach the pond, Luke spreads out the blanket and they sit down. The air is cool, and Luke snuggles up close to Reid, slipping his fingers under Reid's sweater to stroke along the scar on his side. It matches the new scar on Luke’s body, where Reid’s kidney went in and saved his life almost a year ago. Reid's literally a part of Luke now, although he has been for five years now anyway.

As they look out over the calm waters of the pond, Reid sighs quietly, a content smile on his face, and Luke brings up something he’s been thinking about for a while now.



“I’ve been thinking.”

“Did it hurt?"

Luke rolls his eyes and slides his hand around to pinch Reid’s nipple before laying his palm over Reid’s heart. “Reid, listen.”

Reid turns his head to face Luke. “What’s up?”

Luke licks his lips. “I’ve been thinking about- I think it’s time... I want us to have a kid.”

“Now?” Luke detects a note of surprise in Reid’s voice.

“Well, yeah,” Luke says. “We talked about it before we got married and we said we’d talk about it again when the time was right. I think that's now.”

“Why now?”

Luke thinks for a moment. “I don’t know,” he shrugs. “There’s no specific reason. It just feels right. I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. I’ve been thinking about a little boy with curly hair and skinny little legs. I’ve been thinking we can take him camping, and his daddy can teach him how to fish, since he’s so good at it.”

Reid smiles.

“And we can teach him how to play chess – just for fun though, no competitions – and you can do science experiments with him, and I can take him out to the farm and teach him how to ride a horse.” Luke shrugs. “He’ll be ours, and we can love him and do everything right by him. We can do better than our parents..." Luke trails off. "We can give him a childhood filled with good memories."

Reid thumbs at the dip in Luke’s chin, his eyes glowing with affection. "It could turn out to be a girl, you know."

Luke shrugs. "I don't care, as long as it’s healthy, and happy."

After a moment, Reid says, “That sounds nice.”

“Doesn’t it?” Luke asks, his own eyes glittering with excitement. “So what do you say, Dr. Oliver?”

Reid smiles, brushing his thumb across Luke’s cheekbone. “Sounds like a plan, Mr. Snyder.”

Luke grins, and as they sit together by the pond, a million memories flash through Luke's mind. The first time Reid ever kissed him, in a hotel room in Dallas. Their second first kiss, Luke terrified at the thought of losing Reid. The first time they ever made love, at the old apartment, after months of painful rehab. The second first time they made love, in a tiny lean-to on a beach in the South Pacific. Luke could lose his memory a hundred times and it wouldn't matter. Reid's it for him. He'll always find his way back.

"Hey," Luke says. "I love you."

Reid smiles. "Love you, too."
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