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Triangle chp13
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One year later.

Noah was surprised to see Luke walk in the front door of Mirage.
He could tell Luke was surprised to see him as well.
"How are you?" Noah said a little stiffly.
"Good, good."
There was an awkward silence. Noah noticed that Luke looked good. Really good. Not just his looks, those hadn't changed, but his aura. More directed, more mature, something.
"So, uh, how’s Reid?"
"Oh, um, he’s fine. I just talked to him last week."
Noah looked a little puzzled. "You mean…you’re not together anymore?"
"No. We…er…I broke it off like half a year ago."
"You did?" Noah’s tone was on the edge of being hostile all of a sudden.
"No, no," Luke laughed a little, "it’s not bad between us. We’re still friends, talk pretty often! Just decided we weren’t all that compatible."
"Oh." Noah looked only a little relieved. "Well, I’m sorry to hear that it didn’t work out."
"Yeah, it was a bummer for a while, but I don’t think either one of us regretted getting involved. We agree that we both made some really good changes in our lives as a result of knowing each other."
Noah nodded while he took in this last statement but Luke could tell he was hoping for more information. Luke didn’t give him any. He turned the tables instead.
"How about you, Noah? How are you?"
Noah looked a little older to Luke all of a sudden, still so handsome but a bit more world weary. "Well…I guess this has been a rough year for me." But, he tried to strike an optimistic note, "I did get one thing straight."
"What?"
"I’m not."
They both laughed.
"Well, I guess I owe you a little bit of an apology then. I didn’t think you had it in you."
"Well, why would you?" Noah smiled a little ruefully.
Luke looked over his shoulder for a moment and waved at someone. He turned back to Noah. "Listen, I’d better run. I’m meeting a couple of business associates and one of them is already here." He paused. "I’m editing my own webzine these days. It’s actually doing quite well! Focuses on entertainment and culture in the city." He leaned in. "Actually, don’t mention it to your boss but the reason we're here is that we’re doing a little review of this place tonight! We aren’t afraid of putting Brooklyn to the test, too!"
Noah looked both ways for effect, then put his finger to his lips. "Don’t worry, I won’t breathe a word," he said in a low voice. "Truth be told, the guy's a prima donna, but you didn’t hear that from me. Any attention he gets is good attention in his book!"
Luke chuckled.
Noah smiled back. "Man, that’s great that you started your own zine!" He seemed genuinely impressed.
Luke looked thoughtful for a moment. "I think that’s one of the things Reid did for me. Made me remember I could have some goals. Well, bye Noah." He started to walk away and then turned back. "Listen, maybe I’m out of line here, but you should go look Reid up one of these days. He’s up to his ears in med school, but, I don’t know, I think you two should talk."
"Is he at Mount Sinai?" Luke noticed that Noah didn’t quite respond to his first statement.
"Yup, he got in just like he’d hoped." Luke smiled. "See you, Noah!"
"Bye, Luke."

--

Reid turned the corner. He had all of fifteen minutes to grab something from a vending machine before he had to get to a seminar. The place was busy, lots of people rushing on their way to somewhere. So Reid didn’t realize that Noah was in front of him until he was just a few steps away. For a moment Reid looked like he was seeing a ghost. Then he seemed to snap out of it.
"Noah!"
"Hi Reid."
"In the neighborhood?"
"Actually, yeah. My cousin and his family live down the way, and after I left his house, I thought...well...I heard that you were here now."
"Yeah, Luke called me the other day. Said he told you to drop by and see me sometime." Reid paused. "I didn’t think you really would."
Noah nodded almost imperceptibly.
"I thought about going to your apartment, but I forgot to ask Luke if you still lived there, and, well, it just would have been too damn depressing if you'd moved."
"I didn't," Reid said softly.
"How are you?"
"Strapped for time." Reid seemed to stiffen a little and looked at his watch. "Have a seminar in like 11 minutes. They keep us on pretty short leashes here. I was just running to grab some lunch out of the vending machine..."
"Yeah, I was pretty surprised to see you just now actually. Thought I was gonna have to page you or something." Noah reached out and lightly fingered the material of Reid’s top. "Like the scrubs. You’re official now." He smiled a little.
"Yep." Reid kept his tone light. "How about you?"
"Well, I’ve been promoted to management at Mirage. I’m also in talks with the owner about going in on rehabbing the neighboring property, which would be a good thing..." Noah's voice trailed off. He looked down, then back at Reid. "So Luke said you and he aren't together anymore."
"That's true. He broke up with me. Well, we kind of both broke it off in a sense. Decided we made better friends than anything else."
Noah nodded. "That's what he said. He also said you both thought some good things came out of it?"
"Well, let’s see. Luke finally got somewhat of a past time besides being a constant man whore, as he put it. Went back to school part-time. Got his own webzine going."
Noah nodded. "Yeah, he told me a little about that."
"I guess it’s being pretty well received. Actually garnering some outside advertising revenue. Of course, it was totally financed by his family’s money, but we all knew that was a given…" They both smiled. "
But, yeah, Luke definitely taught me a few things too."
"Like what?"
"Encouraged me to be more outgoing, have a little more fun, get in other people's faces a little bit more when I need to..." Reid looked at Noah, hard. "Luke, uh, also told me that you made some decisions about your…life."
Noah smiled a little. "You mean I came out? Yeah, I did."
"How’s that been?"
"About how you’d expect. Some good days, some bad days, but mostly relief."
Reid nodded.
Noah grimaced a little. "My dad just started speaking to me again. Of course, he's still hoping it's a phase."
"Do you think it is?"
"No." Noah stared at him. "So, you seeing someone?"
"Nope." Reid gestured around the hospital. "Too busy anyhow."
"Anyhow?"
"Haven't met anyone lately that interested me."
"Oh." Noah looked at Reid. "So you and Luke just decided you weren't right for each other, huh?"
"Yeah, well that and there was something else."
"What?" Noah said softly.
Reid paused, his blue eyes locked on to Noah's. "He told me he was also kind of tired of dating a guy who was still in love with someone else." He looked away for a moment and then back at Noah. "I had to agree with him."
"Reid, I…"
"No." Reid set his jaw. "I don’t think I can do this right now." His eyes suddenly looked a little red. "I have to go. Thanks for coming by Noah." He turned and walked quickly back the way he had come. Noah watched Reid leave and wondered if this was the last he would ever see of him.

--

Noah’s back was to the bar, he was crouched down and trying to reach a hose that kept popping of the back of a cooling unit. He finally was able to grab it and jam it back on. He had spent the afternoon training in a new employee and sent her to the back room half an hour ago to check inventory. He picked up his clipboard off the top of the unit and put it under his arm. He needed to go check on her progress. Noah called down to another one of his employees wiping down the other end of the bar.
"Mason, can you cover me? I need to go in back for a bit."
Mason gave him a thumbs up. Still kneeling, Noah pushed the cooling unit back in place. He heard a fairly inebriated female voice behind him. Someone obviously seated at the bar.
“Hey, are those scrubs under there? What are you, a doctor?" Pause. "I’ve always wanted to find me a doctor.”
Noah couldn’t help but smile, half amused at the conversation he was overhearing and also because a small part of him couldn’t help but think of Reid when he heard ‘scrubs,’ especially after seeing him at the hospital yesterday.
“Well, no, I’m not a doctor, yet…but thanks for noticing. I don’t usually wear them to bars. There were extenuating circumstances…”
Noah felt a rush of emotions. He slowly stood up, set his clipboard on the counter, turned and looked. Reid was sitting at the bar. He was wearing his scrubs, underneath a leather jacket, and he was seated next to a woman, a rather drunk woman who was gazing at him rather happily. But Reid wasn’t looking at her, he was looking at Noah, and he was smiling, too, a little smile, Noah’s favorite one.

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That would be a fun direction to take it, wouldn't it? Since I know you enjoy a little Reid/Noah I will for sure email when I post the fic I have been playing around with for a while. It's called Birthday Boy. I guess I have the Reid/Noah itch right now and I'm really scratching it!

Thanks for reading!

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