Academy

By Mike Douglas

Special thanks to nezabudka1 for help with editing the story.

Rating: NC-17 (Sexual Situations – gay sex, Adult language)

Disclaimer: Luke, Noah, and all related characters, plots, and locations are property of As the World Turns, Telenext Media, and CBS Television. No profit is made from this fan creation. No copyright infringement is intended!

Summary: Noah's in trouble. Will Luke helping him lead to a reunion?

-P-

Thanks to Tom, Nicole, Louise, Paul, Sally, and Chris for previewing this story.

-P-

-P-

"There's Noah Mayer. We were not sure he would make it after what had happened to him a few days ago but we are glad he is well enough to be here. It looks like he has brought along his own security detail. He is looking quite rough but I suppose after what he went through, he is allowed," a female reporter announced as the camera followed Noah down the red carpet. "His date is beautiful in that wine colored dress."

-P-

Luke turned on the TV to watch the Golden Globes. This year, Luke was watching for Noah, who was nominated for best director. "It's on, get in here!" Luke yelled out to everyone in the house.

Holden, Lily, and Emma rushed into the living room where Luke was watching TV.

"Look there's Noah with Maddie," Luke pointed at the TV. "But the presenter said that something had happened to him and he looks like hell."

A close up of Noah showed cuts on his face, swollen lip, shiner on his left eye, and he was walking stiffly. The camera panned back and they could see all the reporters calling to Noah for an interview but Noah gingerly waved to the fans and walked slowly down the center carpet. He entered the building without speaking to anyone. It was clear from the slight contortions of his face, that he was having a hard time walking. Close behind him and Maddie were two men . . . security guards.

Luke could not help but wonder. "What happened to Noah?" He took out his cell phone and called Maddie. He had to know what had transpired.

-P-

The network reporter standing on the red carpet came on the screen again. "Frankly, I'm surprised he is here. He was discharged from the hospital earlier today. Noah's publicist, Jim Smith released a statement stating that Noah, who is nominated for a best director tonight, has suffered cracked ribs but no other serious injuries. To this reporter, it looked worse than they indicated."

-P-

In Los Angeles, Noah and Maddie were standing near the entrance to the theatre.

Maddie burst into a fit of giggles as her cell phone began to vibrate in her cleavage. The clutch purse she was carrying was too small to hold it and her makeup all together. The sensation was quite pleasing but she pulled the phone out anyway. "It's Luke."

"Ignore it!" Noah's voice was harsh.

"Are you sure? He probably saw you on TV."

"Who cares!"

"Noah, you . . . ,"

Just then, someone bumped into Noah's back, causing him to yell out in pain. "Watch where you're going asshole, I have cracked ribs," Noah leaned forward in pain.

"I'm sorry," replied the person behind him.

The bodyguards did not move. Maddie stood there in shock, unable to say or do anything.

Noah turned around slowly. Shock overtook his face as he realized who it was. "I'm sorry, Mr. Spielberg. I didn't know it was you."

"I'm the one who should be sorry," Steven replied with concern. "Are you okay? . . . I really enjoyed your film, Noah."

Noah was stunned that Steven Spielberg knew his name. "Tha . . . tha . . . thank you, sir."

Steven laughed at being called sir. "I'd love to talk to you more but you look like you need to sit down."

"I'd like that and yes, I really do need to sit down," Noah face was losing color.

Steven wandered off after he shook Maddie's and Noah's hands.

Noah was furious that his guards let someone get that close to him. "Why the hell did you two let him get so close for?"

"It was Spielberg, not your father," one of the bodyguards replied.

"You idiots. You know what my father is capable of. Don't think for a minute that he cannot get to me here," Noah was pissed that nobody seemed to comprehend how dangerous the colonel was.

"Noah!" Maddie gave him a disapproving look before she went off to find an usher who could seat them. When she returned, an usher escorted them down to a table on the side. The security guards took the two seats behind them.

"Do you think he will come?" Maddie asked nervously.

"I do not know," Noah's sadness tuned into fear. "We shouldn't have come. If anything happens to you . . . ,"

"There is no way I would let you miss this, Noah," she chastised. "It's funny, I always thought I'd never get a chance to be here after you started dating Lu . . ." she realized what she was saying and stopped before getting the whole name out.

"Um, let's not talk about him tonight," the last thing Noah needed to talk about at the awards ceremony was his ex-boyfriend.

"Okay . . . Look at that dress on Uma. What the hell is that supposed to be?" Maddie laughed.

Noah looked over and tried not to laugh because of his ribs. "That's horrible."

Maddie laughed again as she pointed over to Jennifer Aniston. "What color is that?"

"Looks like something Ethan excreted into his diaper," Noah gasped at the repulsive color.

Maddie could not help but laugh aloud.

Noah laughed as he pointed toward Bjork. "Is that supposed to be a panda dress?"

Maddie giggled. "After that swan thing, one would think she would have learned. Oh, there's Tom. Let's go meet him."

"Forget it. I'm already in enough pain," Noah scoffed and noticed Maddie's questioning look. "I'm not in the mood to be indoctrinated."

Maddie rolled her eyes. "That's true."

They spent the next half-hour talking and laughing at people.

-P-

"What do you think happened to Noah?" Luke wondered aloud. "It looked like he had two security guards following him."

"I'm not sure, but I think we should call Jack. He is on duty tonight and he might be able to find out," Holden picked up his phone and dialed Jack's number. "When was the last time you talked to Noah?"

Luke had to rack his brain. "It's been a while. We're not as close as we once were."

"I talked to him three weeks ago," Emma spoke up. "He seemed fine. I haven't spoken to him since."

Luke looked at his grandmother. "How often do you talk to Noah?"

"At least once a week, if he's not busy," Emma ignored Luke's questioning glare and concentrated on what Holden was saying to Jack.

Holden talked to Jack for a few minutes before he hung up. "Jack is going to call some friends in the LAPD."

The rest of the Snyder clan filled the room waiting to see if Noah would win and awaited a call from Jack.

-P-

"This is it, Noah," Maddie said with excitement as Salma Hayek took the stage to announce the director's award.

Salma began with a joke and once the laughter died down, she announced the nominees. "And the Golden Globe for best director goes to . . . ," she opened the envelope. ". . . Noah Mayer for Polite Conversation."

Noah sat there for a moment, stunned, that he actually won, before he struggled to stand up. His first thought went to Luke. Luke was the first person to believe in his ability and encourage it. He hugged Maddie gently, walked gingerly up to the stage, and slowly climbed the stairs. He leaned on the usherette, who was an FBI agent. He knew there was security in the audience, backstage and the woman handing out the globes worked for the military police. Noah stepped on the stage and slowly walked up and shook Salma's hand before they kissed each other on the cheek.

"You look great in that dress," Noah whispered to Salma.

"Why thank you kind sir," she whispered back.

Noah smiled at her response. "Could you hold that please? I can't." His condition made it impossible to hold the heavy statue. She agreed. He stepped up to the microphone and took a deep breath.

"Just a warning, I'm on a large dose of pain killers this evening," Noah and the audience laughed. "I would like to thank the Academy for this honor. My ex always made fun of me because my movie collection doesn't contain movies made after 1960." The audience laughed. "I co-wrote a screenplay that melded the best parts of An Affair to Remember, It Happened One Night, Casablanca, and my own very strange life and since I got this . . ." Noah pointed at his statue that Salma was still holding. ". . . I guess I succeeded." Noah paused. "My budget was limited for this film but a low budget doesn't mean low talent. I would like to thank Martha Rich who co-wrote the screenplay with me, my cast, crew, who all did a great job, especially Mindy Jones, Jack Uman, and Jessica West. . ." Noah continued listing off his prominent cast and crew. "I would like to thank my publicist Jim Smith and my agent Mark Smith, who both have been very kind and supportive. Thank you to my gorgeous date and classic film buff, Maddie Coleman, for coming tonight and I would also like to thank the Snyder family in Oakdale, Illinois for believing in me when I did not believe in myself." Noah smiled. "Ethan, why aren't you in bed yet?" The audience laughed with him. "I've had a rough couple of weeks but . . . ," Noah and the audience laughed, "being a director was my biggest dream until I met . . . ." Noah paused. All of a sudden, fear began trembling through his bones. He took a step back from the microphone and looked over at the agent on stage. "He's here. I can feel him."

The agent relayed Noah's message and moved closer to him. Security guards came on stage and began looking around. There was a scream from the left of Noah, a split second before a shot rang out in the ballroom.

Noah swayed as the bullet hit him. "Oh my God!" He raised his hand to his chest . . . it was full of blood. He stared at it for a split second before he looked out at the camera. He was only able to get out one word before he collapsed. "Luke."