Reid stood just out of sight, watching Luke chat with his and Noah's friends, anxiously waiting for news. How he was supposed to do this, go out there and tell Luke that Noah had died on the table due to an unexpected bleeder, he didn't know.
He took a deep breath and slowly approached Luke. Luke's friend, the blonde nurse, noticed him first and alerted the others to his presence. Luke turned, met his gaze and offered him a heart melting smile. Reid worked hard to keep his expression neutral but judging by the way the nurse was watching him, he assumed that she knew something was wrong.
"When I got in there, I found some damage that wasn't revealed in the CAT scan or the MRI. A blood vessel leaked. There were complications." Reid said.
"So, what does that mean? That Noah might not get his eyesight back?" Luke asked. The fear etched in his tone caused Reid's throat to close up. Reid cleared his throat, and took a calming breath before continuing.
"Luke, I did everything I could but… Noah didn't make it." Reid finished. Luke just stared at him as his brain processed this information. Reid continued.
"With this kind of neurosurgery, to restore his eyesight, as I said, it came with a high potential for failure and complications. I can know a lot before I operate, but I can't know everything until I get inside and once I got inside, there was far more damage than I anticipated. A blood vessel leaking – "
"All right, you know what? Just stop, just stop." Luke interrupted, his expression changing from fear to grief then anger.
"What?" Reid asked.
"Just stop with all this doctor talk. Since the day you got here, you've been swaggering around town saying that you are the only person in the world who can perform this surgery on Noah and that you had utmost confidence in it and in yourself, and now - now you are gonna tell me that something went wrong?!" Luke yelled.
"As I said – " Reid started again
"You just said Noah DIED! What else could you possibly have to say?" Luke asked.
"You and Noah knew about the risks, Mr. Snyder." Reid said.
"Mr. Snyder", Luke repeated, and Reid knew in that instant he'd said the wrong thing, "Really. After all of this, I want you to talk to me like a human being, and I want you to talk to me like someone who gives a crap about what happened to Noah, you selfish son of a bitch!" Luke yelled.
"Luke, Luke! Just try to calm down." The older Mr. Snyder said, physically restraining Luke just as his mother walked up.
In the instant it took for Ms. Walsh to realize something was wrong and ask about Noah's surgery, Luke's anger had dissipated into pure grief, for his large liquid chocolate eyes to become glassy with unshed tears. Sensing a change in his son, the older Mr. Snyder relaxed his grip, and immediately Luke fell into his mother's embrace, silent sobs racking his body.
"Noah died." Luke whispered.
"Oh sweetheart." His mother cried. Reid stood there awkwardly as the news spread among the various people waiting the results of Mr. Mayer's surgery. A single thought buzzing around his brain like an angry hornet.
My one chance with him is gone.
It seemed like he stood there, glued to the spot for hours, until he felt a hand on his shoulder. He turned to see Bob looking at him with sadness in his eyes.
"I heard about Noah. Reid, I'm sure you did everything you could but you're obviously physically and mentally exhausted. I called Katie to come take you home." Bob said.
Part of Reid knew he must be exhausted to not be irritated with Bob for calling Katie but mostly that angry hornet of a thought continued to sting Reid's brain. Reid made his way to the locker room, changed quickly and grabbed his phone and keys before escaping the hospital. He thought about walking to Yo's for a beer or maybe something a little stronger when he remembered that Bob had called Katie.
He doesn't know how long he sat there before he heard Katie calling his name, her voice emotional.
She knew. Duh, this is Oakhell where good news travels fast, bad news travels faster, and everybody knows everybody else's goddamned business.
"Reid." She said her face full of concern. And of course Katie knew about Reid's thing for Luke since she'd guessed about it not long after he'd agreed to stay in Oakhell….
And don't forget that she knows about the kiss in Dallas.
"Don't Katie. I really just want to be drunk." He said.
"Okay, Yo's?" She asked. He nodded.
Ten minutes later, she pulled into Yo's and parked.
"I'll be fine Katie. You should go home to your son." He said, as she got out of the car.
"Jacob is with Margo tonight. You need me more. I know it, roomie, so you're not getting rid of me that easily."
"Katie I'm fine. Patients die occasionally. This wasn't the first and whether I like it or not, it won't be the last." He said, taking a seat at the bar. The bartender nodded at him in acknowledgement.
"Scotch on the rocks." He said. The bartender looked at Katie as she sat down on the stool next to him.
"I'll take what he's having." She said. The bartender nodded, and as soon as they'd been served. Katie responded to what he'd last said to her,
"But this is the first time you've had more to lose than just the patient. Reid, I've known Luke a lot longer than you have so if you see that Luke's gonna have a hard time moving past his guilt now that he can't work that out with Noah, you have to know I have. But, Reid your chance isn't gone, it's just gonna be a lot harder work."
By the time she'd finished her little speech; he'd already downed his drink and had signaled to the bartender for another.
"Reid, you will have your chance, you're just gonna have to be patient and work a little harder." She said.
He scoffed, downing his second drink.
"Reid, talk to me." She demanded. He signaled for another drink.
"And say what? That you didn't see his expression when I broke the news, that his father had to PHYSICALLY restrain him to keep him from attacking me. Or maybe you'd like me to bleed a little and tell you that I watched my chance with him die with Noah fucking Mayer." He snapped.
"Oh Reid" she said sadly. He rolled his eyes and sipped his drink. It didn't matter what Katie said, he knew that it was gone. She hadn't seen the way Luke had looked at him, hadn't heard the inept way he'd reacted, the way he'd retreated to the comforting, emotionless, clinical doctor talk even though he knew, HE KNEW that Luke wouldn't respond well to that because he didn't know what else to do, and how it had just made everything worse.
"Reid, just give it time. It'll happen, I know it." Katie said, firm in her believe. He turned to face her, stunned at her naïve romanticism.
With that note, he downed the rest of his third drink and ordered another. He wanted to drown those memories away, hell he wanted to drown Luke away, out of his head; out of his heart although he still couldn't figure out how the hell the brat had gotten there in the first place.
On his sixth or was it seventh drink, Katie started to protest to how much he was drinking.
"Come on, we're leaving." Katie said.
"No, I want to be drunk." He slurred.
"I'm pretty sure you've accomplished that." She said, grabbing his arm and dragging him off the bar stool. Reid grabbed the scotch that Katie had ordered and left untouched, downing it as Katie talked to the bartender, and seemed to know her.
Of course she does, I wonder if she's any relation to Luke?
"Hey Terri, can you put this on my tab, I'll come in and settle it tomorrow?"
"Sure thing Katie."
"Keep this to yourself and I'll throw in an extra large tip."
"Keep what to myself?" the bartender asked, winking at Katie. Reid groaned.
Katie rolled her eyes before leading him out the door and to the car. He was asleep before she even started the car.