Author's Note: This story is about the characters Luke and Noah from the soap opera 'As the World Turns'. They are a gay couple, so warning for slash – though there is no sex in this story, just some kissing. The first half of this story is taken directly from the show, and the second half is my little fic. If you'd like to see clips of this episode, you can go to YouTube, and type in 'Luke & Noah's story – ATWT – episode 221' and also episode 222.
Sobriety is Overrated
Noah looked at his caller ID with irritation. He flipped open the phone and said, "Look Casey if you've called to ream me out for telling the Dean what really happened, I just don't want to hear it."
"No, no, it's not that. It's Luke. He's in trouble."
Irritation turned to worry, and Noah said, "Luke? What's wrong with Luke."
"What's wrong with Luke?" Noah could hear the irritation in Casey's voice. "Let's see, I found him at Yo's drowning his sorrows in beer, and when I took his beer away he punched me!"
"What?" Noah had trouble believing that. Not only was Luke not supposed to drink because of his kidney, but it also seemed way out of character for him to punch his friend. But then stuffing a ballot box and stealing an election also seemed out of character for Luke, and he'd done that just last week.
Sounding indignant, Casey said, "I know! And then when I tried to take his keys away so he couldn't drive, he shoved me! He insulted Ally and actually called her a porn queen! I know the guy's drunk and hurting, but that was uncalled for."
Wincing because he knew how much Luke would regret that the next day, Noah said, "I know he didn't mean it. Did you get his keys?"
"No, but I can still see him. He's just sitting on a bench out front right now."
Noah looked at the clock. He only had ten minutes left of his shift, and they hadn't been very busy all night. Yo's was only a couple of blocks away from the Java Hut, so Noah said, "I'll be right there, don't let him out of your sight."
Hanging up, he turned to his co-worker and said, "I need to go, can you cover for me for the next ten?"
"Thanks." Noah grabbed his jacket along with a couple of coffees, and rushed out the door. He practically ran over to Yo's, and found Luke sitting on a bench out front, right where Casey had said he'd be. He looked around, and saw Casey and Ally standing near the entrance. Noah gave them a nod of thanks and a small wave to let them know he would take it from here, and the two of them went back inside Yo's.
Sitting down on the bench next to Luke, Noah said, "What do you think you're doing?"
Startled, Luke looked over and saw Noah had sat next to him. He smiled happily and said, "Hi Noah."
"Casey called me. Said you'd been drinking."
Luke nodded "Yep."
"You know how dangerous that is!"
Luke scoffed and didn't reply.
Noah glared and said, "I really hope you haven't been driving. There's no way you'd pass a breathalyzer right now."
With a bitter laugh Luke said, "Well its nice to know that you care."
"If you're trying to make me feel guilty, you can forget about it. I didn't do this to you. You got drunk all by yourself."
Luke slurred out; "I'm not drunk. In fact I can see much clearlier now."
Noah rolled his eyes. "Yeah right." He sighed and added, "All I'm saying is don't blame everything on me."
"Of course not." Luke's tone got more sarcastic as he talked, "I won't. Because you're Noah, and you're perfect." The sarcasm went away and he said with honesty, "I'm the big mess up."
Not happy with Luke's behavior or his comments, Noah said firmly, "Shut up. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and just drink your coffee."
Luke refused to take the coffee, and instead mock saluted his ex boyfriend. "Yes Sir. Colonel Mayer Sir."
Noah just stared at Luke with disbelief. Luke gave him a snide, "What? Can't you see you're acting just like your father? Colonel don't ask don't tell."
Getting more and more angry, Noah stood up and said, "Okay. Stop it."
With mock surprise Luke said, "What?" Then he added in a nice tone that was meant to hurt, "Noah, you really shouldn't be ashamed of your dear old dad. 'Cause you are just a chip off the old block."
Noah had taken all he was going to take. "Okay give me your keys." He reached down to grab them out of Luke's pocket.
Luke tried shoving Noah's hands away, and stood up so he'd have more leverage to fight back as he said, "No!"
When Noah kept trying to get the keys, Luke turned his body away, and tried to keep Noah's hands away from his jacket pockets. "No! No!"
Noah's frustration came to a boiling point, and when Luke turned away from him in an effort to keep his car keys, Noah said, "That's it!" He saw his opening and gave Luke a hard swat to the seat of his jeans.
Luke whirled around and stared at Noah for a millisecond. "Noah!"
Noah could hear the shock and hurt in Luke's voice. While Luke was stunned into being still, Noah reached into his pocket and took the car keys from him. Noah said with quiet frustration, "Luke."
Luke's body wavered with the struggle to stand up straight, and Noah put a hand out to steady him. Luke leaned into Noah, and gave him a look that clearly said, 'Help me.' even if the words didn't come out.
Sighing, Noah said quietly, "Alright. I'm taking you home."
Noah put his arm around Luke's shoulders and walked them towards Luke's car, which was in the parking lot of Yo's. Luke was a little confused. He thought he should be pissed, but Noah had his arm around him, and that felt good, so he let himself be led to the car.
Noah put Luke in, and helped him buckle his seatbelt. He got in, and started driving them home. Luke felt the movement of the car and said, "I think I'm gonna be sick."
Noah pulled over quickly and pushed the button to roll Luke's window down for him at the same time. Luke didn't have the coordination to get himself out of the car, and leaned out the window to barf.
Once Luke was done, Noah put a hand on his shoulder and said, "Okay?"
Luke nodded, and Noah pulled back onto the road. Luke kept his head half out the window the rest of the way, and tried not to be sick. They pulled up to the farm, and Noah helped Luke get in the house.
Hoping no one was there; Noah knocked on the door to the farm once and called out, "Hello? Anybody home?"
The two of them walked into the empty kitchen, and Luke pushed Noah's hand off his shoulder, remembering that Noah had dumped him even after he'd apologized. Noah asked with some sympathy, "Are you okay?"
Luke walked away and said with anger, "I'm fine."
Not believing it for a second, Noah said, "Yeah? Well you won't be in the morning." He walked to the refrigerator and pulled out some bottled water. He handed it to Luke and said, "Not unless you drink some water and take some aspirin."
Luke wouldn't take it. "No."
Noah sighed. Now that Luke was safe at home, Noah was ready to put some space between them. He said, "Look I've got to go. Want me to call somebody? Your dad?"
Seeing that Luke was shutting him out, Noah said, "Alright, well I'm going."
Luke saw Noah heading towards the door, and rushed after him. Grabbing his hand Luke said, "Wait Noah. Noah wait."
Noah turned to see what Luke had to say. Dropping all of his sarcasm, Luke pleaded, "Will you stay here with me?"
Closing his eyes to block out the sad look Luke was giving him, Noah thought about all the reason's that was a bad idea. Luke still pleading said, "Will you stay with me please? I just want things to be like the way they were."
Opening his eyes, Noah took his hand out of Luke's and said with quiet seriousness, "How? I couldn't keep you from cheating in the election. I couldn't keep you from getting drunk and risking your life tonight. How can it be the same?"
Luke didn't have an answer for that. He wished he'd listened to Noah. Noah had told him not to rig the election. Told him his conscience would get the better of him if he did. But Luke had done it anyway. And then when Noah had refused to lie to the Dean about it, Luke had been pissed. But after having time to think about it, he knew Noah had been in the right all along.
Not getting an answer from Luke, Noah went on, "All I can do is keep you from hurting anybody else. So, no driving for you." Noah held the keys up for Luke to see, and put them in his own pocket to take them home for the night.
Noah headed for the door and said, "Go get washed up and go to bed. Get some sleep."
Luke sat down at the kitchen table, and said, "You were right, and I was wrong."
Taking his hand off the doorknob, Noah turned back around to look at Luke. "What?"
Luke kept his eyes on the floor and said, "You're right, I don't deserve you anymore. You told me not to steal the election, but I did it anyway. And because of it, I've lost everything that I love. School, my parents respect, and you."
Not able to leave him like this, Noah walked over to the table, and sat down in the chair next to Luke. He put a hand on Luke's knee and said gently, "Things aren't going to get any better if you keep drinking. They're just going to get worse."
Luke leaned his head over onto Noah's shoulder. He whispered, "I know."
After a couple of minutes, Noah stood up, took Luke's hand and pulled him up as well. "Come on, let's get you showered off, and into bed."
Luke let himself get pulled up the stairs and into the bathroom. Noah turned the shower on to get warm, and said, "You get in, and I'll go find you some pajamas."
Feeling like he was going to start crying, Luke nodded and watched Noah head out. A few tears went down his face as he fumbled with his clothes. He eventually got them off, got into the shower, and rinsed himself off.
A few minutes later he heard Noah's voice; "Your pajamas are on the top of the toilet."
Then he heard the shower curtain rustle, and saw Noah's hand holding his toothbrush out to him with toothpaste on it. "You might want to brush too."
Luke took the toothbrush gratefully, and brushed his teeth while showering. Once he was done, he peeked out from around the shower curtain, only to see that the bathroom was empty. He wondered if Noah had left while he dried off.
While putting on his pajama pants and tee shirt, Luke thought about how much he loved Noah, and wanted to prove to him that nothing like this was going to happen again. He saw that Noah had left a bottle of water on the sink, and drank some. After drying his hair with a towel, and combing it out once, Luke went out to see if Noah was still there.
He found Noah in the hallway, leaning against the wall with his arms crossed, obviously waiting for Luke. Once they made eye contact, Noah stood up straight and said, "Let's get you in bed."
Luke tried to smile and tease; "You don't know how often I've dreamed of you saying that." But as he said the words, he felt tears coming down his face, and thought that he may have screwed things up to the point where he never would get to have a first time with Noah.
Noah knew exactly what Luke was thinking, but he didn't have any answers that would make him feel better. So he simply went over and put his arm around Luke's shoulders, and steered him towards his room. Letting go of Luke when they were standing by his bed, Noah pulled the covers back and said, "Get in."
Luke sat down on the bed and said, "Get in with me."
"Luke…" Noah was already shaking his head and backing away.
Grabbing Noah's hand so he couldn't get far, Luke said, "Please just stay with me for a few minutes, I'm not asking you to be with me, I just don't want to be alone."
Giving in, Noah stepped closer to the bed, and held the blankets up so Luke could stick his legs in. "Okay. Lay down."
Luke scooted over to the other side of his bed, and did lie down. Noah pulled the covers up over Luke, and then sat down on top of the covers next to him. After a few seconds of silence, Luke shifted around and lay his head on Noah's thigh, using it as a pillow. Almost unconsciously, Noah started running his fingers through Luke's hair soothingly.
A few seconds later Noah felt Luke start to shake, and when he looked down at him, he could tell Luke was crying. Noah said gently, "Hey, you need to calm down and try to get some sleep."
With tears still coming down his face, Luke said, "I can't help it. I know I screwed up, and I don't know how to fix it. I don't know how to make you forgive me."
"I still love you, but forgiveness may take a while. You've been doing a lot of self-destructive things lately, and when I've asked you to stop, you've ignored me. I don't know if I can be in a relationship with someone who doesn't respect me enough to listen to me."
Crying even harder, Luke got out, "I will listen to you."
Rubbing Luke's back in comfort Noah disagreed. "Like you listened to me tonight when I told you to give me your keys because you were in no shape to drive?"
After a second to think about that, Luke sat up in bed and said excitedly, "That's it!"
"What's it?" Noah asked with confusion.
Luke kicked the covers off his legs, and maneuvered himself so that he was laying face down over Noah's thighs.
"Um…. What are you doing Luke?"
Luke looked back over his shoulder at Noah and said, "When I didn't listen to you about the keys, you made me listen."
As the confusion left him, Noah started to shake his head no. Luke stayed where he was and said, "I feel horrible about what I did. You said you didn't know how things could go back to the way they were because you couldn't stop me from doing self-destructive things. Well, if you spank me, then I can start to feel less guilty, and you can forgive me because you'll know that you have a way to stop me from doing something like this again."
Noah held his hands up in surrender and said, "I'm not going to spank you Luke. I love you, I don't want to hurt you."
Not willing to give up on the idea now that he had what he saw as a workable solution, Luke said, "Come on Noah, it will be good for both of us."
"You're drunk. You need to get into bed, and I need to go home." Noah pushed gently on Luke's side, thinking Luke would get himself up.
Refusing to get up, Luke turned slightly onto his side so he could look at Noah without straining his neck. He reached up to grab one of Noah's hands, and guided it down to his own rear. With a look of exasperation Noah turned to Luke and said, "You're still not listening to me. I said I'm not going to do it. It won't make you feel better Luke, it will just make us both feel worse."
Pleased with the feel of Noah's hand on his ass for the moment, Luke let the hand go, and turned back to face the covers. "How do you know, have you ever been spanked?"
Looking down at Luke's behind, Noah couldn't stop himself from rubbing his hand lovingly across both cheeks as he said, "No, have you?"
"Then how do you know it won't make us both feel worse?" Noah countered.
"I don't. But I hate that you can't forgive me. I can't go forward and try to make up for what I've done without you there to help me. I hate myself for letting Kevin get to me again after all this time, and I hate myself for letting my emotions get in the way of your good advice."
"I don't know Luke, it seems…" Noah couldn't come up with the right word. Silly, absurd, unpleasant, mean, awkward, and wrong all went through his mind, but none of them seemed quite right.
Closing his eyes for a second, Noah thought about it. Luke lay still and waited to see what Noah would decide. Noah hated being away from Luke, and decided if there was a chance this would work, he should take it. Opening his eyes, Noah said, "Okay."
Thinking the whole situation was a little surreal; Noah put one hand on the small of Luke's back, and raised the other hand in the air. He brought it down and smacked Luke's butt with the flat of his hand.
Luke jumped slightly from surprise at the impact. After five more slaps to his rear, Luke said with some disapproval in his voice, "Noah, you're not even trying. It's supposed to hurt."
Glaring at the back of Luke's head, Noah said, "If you're trying to make me mad it's working."
"I'm not trying to make you mad, I just don't see this doing any good if you're not going to take it seriously. Maybe you should… Ow!"
Having heard enough, Noah tried a much harder swat while Luke was talking. After the first harder swat, Luke clammed up. Noah started a series of hard swats and said while spanking, "You know what? Maybe this will make me feel better. You have been irresponsible, irrational, childish, underhanded, and unreasonable for the past three weeks, and I've had it. Letting Casey stuff the ballot box, refusing to admit the truth once Kevin questioned it, lying to the Dean, punching Casey for trying to protect you, insulting both Casey and Allison, and getting drunk when you know it could kill you, are all things that you know are wrong. You know they're wrong, but you did them anyway. You're a good person Luke, but you haven't been acting like it lately."
Gripping the comforter in his fists to make sure he didn't try to block Noah's hand, Luke tried to be stoic through the spanking. He hadn't been surprised by the increase in pain, but he was a little surprised at how the pain made him feel. Instead of feeling better, or sorry for what he'd done, he felt worse. Not only did he still hate himself for the things he'd done, but now he also hated himself for talking Noah into doing this to him. He listened intently to Noah's lecture, and tears of shame and pain rolled down his face.
Noah ran out of steam after his speech, and stopped swatting. He turned his focus to the back of Luke's head, and took a deep breath to calm himself down. He said quietly, "You've been purposely hurtful to me all night, and I think I deserve an apology."
Once Noah stopped the rapid fire swats, Luke took a shaky breath to try and will the pain to a manageable level. When Noah asked for the apology, Luke couldn't help but break down into sobs as he tried to give it. "Sorry… I am…. I'm sorry."
Deciding this hadn't helped him feel better after all; Noah pulled Luke upright so that he was sitting next to him, and pulled him into a hug. They stayed in the embrace for a long time while Luke tried to get his crying under control, and Noah tried not to break down into tears of his own.
Eventually Luke muttered, "Maybe that wasn't such a good idea."
"Yeah," Noah agreed.
After another stretch of silence, Noah asked, "Did it help you feel better?"
"No." Luke wiped some of the tears off his face, and sniffed.
Luke pushed away slightly so that he could look in Noah's eyes and asked, "Really?"
Using his thumbs to wipe the rest of the tears off Luke's face Noah answered with a kind smile and a question of his own; "Did you think I'd feel good about hurting you?"
Breaking eye contact, Luke shrugged. "Maybe."
"Well I didn't."
"Okay." After a few seconds Luke added, "But you thought it was justified?"
Noah saw a fresh tear go down Luke's face and said, "Hey, look at me."
Once Luke looked at him Noah said, "I love you, and I'm sorry I spanked you. I should have never agreed to it, especially since you've been drinking."
"You didn't answer my question."
Sighing Noah looked away and said, "You're the one who talked me into it, not the other way around."
Nodding Luke said, "I'm sorry I talked you into it. Really sorry."
Noah pulled Luke back into a hug, and Luke rested the side of his face on Noah's chest. Luke squirmed while trying to find a position for his rear end on the mattress that was more comfortable, and said with a pout, "My butt is gonna hurt for a while."
Noah lifted Luke up so that he was sitting on his lap instead of sitting beside him, and made sure Luke's butt was pressure free. Luke got comfortable and leaned his whole upper half into Noah. Luke's voice was barely above a whisper as he said, "The things you said when you s.. spanked me… well… I could tell you thought it was justified."
"Luke…" Noah started to quietly protest, only to have Luke put a finger over his lips to stop him.
"It's okay Noah. I agree."
They made eye contact again and Luke said, "I hated it, and it didn't make me feel better, but I can't say that I didn't deserve it."
Noah leaned down and kissed Luke on the lips. After a few seconds of kissing Luke said, "Was that a goodnight kiss, or an I forgive you kiss?"
Kissing Luke one more time, Noah said, "Both."
Gently pushing Luke off his lap, Noah stood up, and fixed Luke's covers. He said, "Get under the covers, lay down, and go to sleep. I'll be back tomorrow morning, with my stuff, and we can talk about where we go from here."
Luke did lie down and then said, "You mean it Noah? You forgive me, and you're moving back in?"
"I mean it."
Closing his eyes Luke smiled and said, "Maybe it made me feel better after all."
Noah kissed the top of Luke's head and smiled as he walked out of the room.