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| Title: The Storm|
Summary: Noah & Luke try to cope in the aftermath of 'the break.' Luke wakes in the night as a massive storm rages through Oakdale.
Characters: Noah, Luke, Holden.
Warnings: Thunder & lightning, very very frightening!
Disclaimer: This site is no way associated with "As the World Turns", CBS, P&G, or Van Hansis and Jake Silbermann. This is not for profit. No copyright infringement is intended. Authors submit and write their own work.
Noah hung up the phone. It was really over. He was so confused. Had he made the right decision? He wasn’t even sure himself. He remembered the hurt and despair in Luke’s eyes. But Noah couldn’t manage to separate the image of Luke standing watching from the boat, from that of his father disappearing down into the freezing waters of the river. He still hadn’t heard if his body had been found. He didn’t think he could feel any worse than he did right now.
Deep down inside himself, really deep down, he knew that taking a break was what he needed to do. If only because he had no other choice. He had to sort things out in his head. First and foremost, he had to make sure Ameera wouldn’t get deported. On top of that, he somehow had to come to terms with losing his father, so soon after finally feeling close to him for the first time, feeling like his father accepted him as he was. The memory was still fresh in his mind of Winston’s face, the pride in his eyes before he hugged him tight to his chest – or had he just imagined it? Not that it mattered now anyway, because his father was gone and there was nothing he could do to change that. Thinking about Luke just made the pain sear even deeper through him. He wanted to be numb, to sleep for a week and wake up and it would all be over.
He got back to the cottage and looked around. Time to pack up his things; he wanted to get out of there as soon as he could. In the short time they had been living here, the rooms were already filled with memories, a jumble of emotions that made his heart ache. He walked towards the bedroom and stopped when he saw Ameera’s headscarf sitting on the table where she had left it, before this whole mess had begun. It still smelled of her. He sat down on the couch, put his head in his hands and let the tears come.
Luke let the door creak shut behind him as he entered the empty farmhouse, the sound of the car fading into the distance. The bustle and excitement of his sisters leaving for camp still hung in the room. Normally he would have suggested to Noah that they go for a walk round the Snyder Pond, take advantage of the alone time they so rarely got. But he couldn’t do that any more. It seemed like a hundred years ago when they were still both staying at the farm, abiding by Emma’s rules, but enjoying just spending time together. So much had happened since then; everything had gotten serious all of a sudden.
He had never expected it to end up like this - whatever happened, he had imagined that Noah would be there, always. They could get through anything together. But apparently, that wasn’t the case. Or at least Noah didn’t think so. He blamed him for what had happened. Why couldn’t he understand that Luke had only been trying to help? He had watched helplessly as the terrible drama had unfolded, as though in slow-motion, Colonel Mayer diving off the boat, as gracefully as if he had been diving into the Snyder Pond on a summer’s day. But he hadn’t come back up to the surface. And Noah’s anguished cry mingling with his own, his desperate urge to jump in too, just to get to Noah and be with him, hold him.
Then back at the marina, the police taking Ameera away, Noah trying his best to negotiate with them, Lucinda making calls right left and centre, being questioned, the coastguard heading out with divers to search the river... and suddenly he was back to reality, in the empty kitchen, without Noah, and with an aching hole in his chest. He felt empty, lost. He still loved Noah with all his heart. And Noah had said the same. But was that supposed to console him, to get him through this? He wanted to talk to him, but he couldn’t. Holden was right; he had to let Noah come to him when he was ready. He couldn’t bear the thought of Noah hating him. Would he ever forgive him?
As he climbed up the stairs from the kitchen he realised that he was exhausted to his very bones. They must had been up for over 24 hours, the fiasco in New York had lasted such a long time, he couldn’t even remember what time he had arrived there. Every muscle in his body ached, and all he wanted to do right now was sleep. He wandered along to his bedroom in a trance, collapsed fully-clothed onto the bed and was sound asleep in minutes.
Holden found him later on. He put his head round the door and saw his son lying on top of the covers, snoring gently. He quietly entered the room and took the patchwork quilt from the easy chair in the corner, laying it over Luke’s sleeping figure. He laid a warm hand on the boy’s head, looking sadly down at him. He wished there was more he could do, even at the very least give his tempestuous son some of the patience he had learned from working with horses all his life. He knew that was the best thing to do – give it time. Noah and Luke’s love was as strong, if not stronger than his and Lily’s; they would get through this. He left the room, leaving Luke to sleep on, untroubled by dreams or thoughts of Noah.
Luke awoke with a start as lightning flashed outside the window. Suddenly he felt wide awake, as though the storm had filled him with electricity. He had no idea what time it was, he knew it must be after midnight because it was black as pitch outside. The rain lashed against the window pane, sounding like somebody was throwing handfuls of gravel at it. He shivered with excitement as thunder rolled around the sky, the muffled roar engulfing the entire house.
He got up and stood at the window, looking out over the farm buildings. Water gushed out of the gutters and splashed in the puddles forming rapidly on the ground. Lightning split the sky and illuminated the rain that drove down like arrows, then swelled and billowed in the wind. The horses had been brought in for the night, he could hear one or two neighing anxiously from the stables. He looked further across to the woods that surrounded the pond, wondering if it would be in spate by morning.
Suddenly something caught his eye, lit up by the lightning: a figure in the courtyard. Was it his imagination or was there somebody down there? It was so dark outside he had to wait for the next crack of lightning to come before he could see. The thunder was so loud it made the house seem to reverberate all around him. He peered out into the gloom, becoming more convinced that somebody was out there. Lightning struck again, this time even closer. In the flash, he saw him. It was Noah, standing outside the farmhouse in the rain, absolutely drenched, looking up at his window. The shock made his heart stop for a beat.
“What the hell?!” he murmured. He was frozen to the spot in disbelief. Then his mind clicked into gear. Rousing his limbs into action, he rushed down the stairs and through the kitchen, out into the rain. He didn’t even stop to notice that he had no shoes on; Holden had taken them off when he found him asleep earlier. He was hit by what felt like a solid sheet of water as soon as he left the porch. Soaked to the skin, he ran towards the spot where Noah had stood. There was nobody there. He turned, squinting through the darkness with rain dripping into his eyes, trying to peer into the shadows of the buildings. He wasn’t hallucinating: he had seen Noah. He was sure of it.
“Noah!” he yelled, over the crashing of the storm. He turned back towards the farmhouse and there was Noah, standing a few metres away from him, soaked to the skin. His shirt stuck to the contours of his chest, his hair was plastered to his forehead and rain dripped from the end of his nose: he had never looked better. He smiled, a look in his eye that Luke had never seen before. The storm was doing crazy things to people. Luke took a step towards him and then stopped, suddenly unsure.
“Noah, what the hell are you doing? It’s like, two o’clock in the morning?!”
“Actually it’s three. I had to come. I couldn’t sleep, I kept thinking about what I did, what I said. I had to see you, I had to...” The thunder swallowed the rest of his words.
“This is crazy!” Luke moved closer until they were standing just inches apart, looking into eachother’s eyes. God, how he had missed those eyes, even though they had only been apart for a matter of hours.
“Did you have to come over right now?” he shouted over the whistling wind.
“Yes! I couldn’t stop thinking about you!” bellowed Noah.
“Well, why did you come? What did you want to say?” he yelled back, hoping it would be short, as he could barely hear himself think.
“This,” was all Noah replied, his expression serious.
He leaned down towards Luke and kissed him. Luke was unprepared at first, this was the last thing he had expected Noah to do. He still had his eyes open, and had seen the tiniest droplets of water glistening on the ends of Noah’s eyelashes as he came in close to kiss him. And now Noah’s lips were on his, Noah’s tongue was slowly brushing against his upper lip, the rain water was running in rivulets down their faces and over their lips and into their mouths, mingling with the taste of sweat and skin and Noah’s mouth.
He let himself be carried off by the kiss, with the storm raging about them and mud between his toes, Noah’s hands were on his hips and then running underneath his shirt, up his back... He put his hand up to the nape of Noah’s neck and then ran his fingers through his hair. He traced his finger along Noah’s jawline as they kissed. The kiss became stronger, more intense, he felt his stomach drop and his knees weaken slightly as a wave of pleasure broke over him. Noah’s strong arms enveloped him and he felt as safe as he ever had, standing out in the middle of the biggest storm Oakdale had seen in years.
They broke apart and Luke looked up into Noah’s face once more. The warmth and tenderness was back in his eyes, like always, like before. All the love he felt came rushing to the surface and he flung his arms around Noah, clinging to him for dear life. Noah wrapped his arms around Luke in a bear hug, gripping him so tight he felt like he was being crushed. But he didn’t care, it felt so good to be back in his arms.
They embraced for what seemed like an age, not caring about the cold, standing there until the rain began to ease. The first hint of light was bleeding into the eastern sky. He wiped the raindrops from Noah’s cheek; they looked like tears.
“I love you. I can’t exist without you.” Noah said, quieter now the storm had died down. “I thought I needed to have time alone, but I need you more.”
“I’m so glad to hear you say that. I was going crazy without you, I missed you so much!” Luke cried, holding Noah’s face in his hands and covering it with quick, butterfly kisses.
“I...I don’t blame you, Luke. I want you to know that. I blame myself more than anything. I need your help to deal with that.”
“You know that whenever you need me, I’m here. And I will always be here for you. We’ll get through this, just like we got through everything else.” Luke’s words were like a warm blanket to Noah’s soul, he felt his worries ease right there, the soothing words were like a magic spell over him. He knew everything would be fine.
“Come on.” Luke said, steering Noah towards the porch, their arms round eachother’s shoulders.
As they squished through the mud, dodging the puddles, Luke leant his head on his boyfriend’s shoulder. “It’s good to be home.” He murmured. Tomorrow they would begin to figure out how they were going to help Ameera and resolve this whole situation, but for now it was all about them.
Luke went up to his bedroom for the second time that night, this time in a blissful dream. They undressed eachother, peeling their sodden clothes from their shivering bodies and letting them fall to the floor in a saturated heap, then quickly crawled under the covers and curled up together, warming eachother and feeling closer than they ever had before. They fell asleep in eachother’s arms, and that was how Holden found them the next morning.
He stuck his head round the door to see if Luke was awake and his eyebrows shot up in surprise. Perplexed, he withdrew from the room and wandered downstairs with a bemused smile spreading across his face. However it had happened, sometime in the night they had made up. All was right with the world.
Latest page update: made by pobgoblin
, Jun 25 2008, 6:30 AM EDT
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