Title:With Purpose I Stand Here.
Author: jeri_1116
Rating: G
W/C:1,477
Character's: Luke, Noah and such.
Disclaimer:I own's nothing, not a thing. I would however love to have one of Holden's horses though, although that would probably be a bad idea since I don't know how to take care of one and would probably kill it. It wouldn't be my fault, but you'd probably all blame me. And seeing as I didn't pick up the first book to learn how to care for one, I wouldn't blame you if you did. I would probably be better at running Java.
Summary:I'm pretty sure there's a summary for this, but I'm legit to lazy to fix one up right quick. I used up all my extra strength for my disclaimer.
Author's Notes: Written for the what_did_you_docommunity
Prompt:"You promised it wouldn't hurt" given to me by wheelie47
Prompting: random_nic with "well that was unpleasant"

It looked the same, sitting there unmovable, unchanged. Duck's lazing about; their head's dipping in and out of water washing away the filth of the day-pigeons, mice and chipmunks, moving along the edges- the shadow of clouds floating across the huge mass, leaving silly pictures of lambs, rabbits, and spaceships behind.

He takes a deep breath; the air pushing out of him like smoke. It disappears rapidly, like it was never there. "I shouldn't have come here," he whispers- The smoke once again escaping past his lips, his eyes on the ducks that swim by.

He hears the laughter behind him, the giggle of small voices over lapping each other. A small smile over comes him as he hears his name continuously past through lips. A few more minutes he thinks.

A few more minutes and he'll go back in. He'll go back in wearing his smile. He'll sit at the table and watch as women move about fussing over him- complain how he's too thin and discuss what might be done too rectify that.

The chatter behind closed doors doesn't die down, the giggles and call of his name never cease. Even if he wanted to ran away, never look back he couldn't. He had been ingrained in this world, this life- A life where people loved you no matter what and were a constant to the point of infuriating nosiness. It was family. Running would only kill him or at least slowly day by day chip a piece of him away until he was nothing more but a hollow shell.

"It's cold for April. Don't you think?" He chooses to not answer. Instead his eyes stay focused on the ducks, their persistent squabbling. He hadn't heard when the man approached.

He pictures him standing quietly in back, hands balled in fist stuffed in pockets, head slightly bowed, hair falling over eyes like silk. He smiles softly imagining the image that sits perfectly in his mind like a brightly colored Polaroid.

"The ducks are back. I thought maybe another week or two, before…." The blond hair moves slowly back and forth brushing over forehead. His bow lips set in a tight thin line.

The urge to stop speaking is massive. It's better to just stand there be more like a statue and watch. Become just as engrossed in those ducks.

It's foolish to speak of such minuscule things, things that are only used to ignore what should be broached.

"Noah I'm…."

He can't help but smile again, feel warmth inside at the sound of that voice, the nervousness that erupts from it as he says your name.

"I wish you'd turn around. We need to…."

"I won't leave" he finally pushes out, eyes still focused on the ducks.

There's heavy breathing now; a deep sigh that fills the space between them.

"You lied." The voice quakes like thunder hitting a tree.

"I didn't know it at the time." He licks his lips; teeth peeking out to nibble at soft flesh. "You seemed content when I left. You said you were happy." He turns- his eyes landing were they need to. Unconsciously he sucks in a deep breath, eyes still roaming over body taking in the sight. "I didn't mean to lie." He shrugs as if indifferent to the situation.

It's a lie, all a lie- a façade; it couldn't be further from the truth.

He's not willing to walk away though, give up the family who took him in, loved him like he had always been there, and existed in the happy times that overwhelm him every time he steps through the front door.

He won't give it up- not even for him.

He bows his own head, the weight of their situation sitting on his shoulders heavy like wet sand. "I heard Ethan yelling my name, I should go." He doesn't wait for a reply, doesn't even look up.

He passes by almost like lighting; catching a glimpse of golden blonde in his peripheral.

He's almost clear, almost home free. But the tug on his arm, the grip that follows stops him. "Luke, please" he pleads.

The grip becomes tighter. A slight jerk and he's bumping into a solid chest, lips sliding pass his ear. "You promised it wouldn't hurt. You….you said it wouldn't. Noah, you said….."

There's silence- A breeze that moves around them, sending little ripples of waves over the pond, the upset doing little to affect the ducks.

They seem frozen in time listening to the silence, that slight breeze blowing through their hair; bow shaped lips still dangerously close to an eager ear. "Noah, if you stay, I'll….." Again the sentence is dropped. Distance occurs, hand loosening its grip, dropping like dead weight.

That indifference he had been trying to keep in check slowly slips back into place, like a mask. Dark blue eyes linger on that dropped hand, roaming over fingers that twitch for something, for anything.

They long to touch.

"Noah, don't…. I can't do this."

"Not my problem." He shudders as he pushes out the words, eyes finally reaching its destination as he looks up. He couldn't stomach the hand anymore, the way it flinched and fisted.

It must hurt to resist, he can feel it as it vibrates in the air. But that's not his problem- not anymore.

The hazel almost makes him fold- give in. He thinks maybe looking up was the wrong decision, maybe watching the flinch was better.

"Noah, your dinner is ready. Come child."

No matter how heated it is, how thick the tension is, they both give way to smiles listening as Emma yells from the screen door; her apron littered with slashes of spilled food, hair blowing back from that breeze that won't let up.

Their eyes land on her, the heat they exchange between each other turning soft. "She called you child." The words are spoken teasingly.

"Shut up. She does the same with you and you know it."

"Come on Noah, don't let it get cold."

He backs up, and away from the tension that never really leaves- it just takes a brief break. "Coming Emma…I'm coming." He licks his lips, feet guiding him back to the house- to family. "Tell Reid to suck it up, I'm not going anywhere." He lingers for a moment, can feel Emma's eyes on them watching intently. Lily's probably joined her now in the doorway, leaning over her, watching just as fixated.

"Noah-"

"As for you….I'm sorry it hurts. It hurts me too."

"Noah you-"

"It hurts me too!" He won't be made to be the bad guy here; he'll get his point across. He shakes his head "…. but I didn't lie, or at least I didn't mean to."

The bang of a screen door echo's in the air like a fire cracker.

"I guess they knew we should talk."

"No more talking. You made your decision and he's waiting for you."

"Noah" the name comes out mixed with a deep sigh "don't make this-"

"You're the one making it hard- not me."

He doesn't stay and wait for a response, an excuse. He's heard it all before.

Pretty soon he's seated at a table, a big bowl in front of him, a set of eyes watching him as he takes a sip. "Always good Emma" he murmurs as he drags the spoon slowly out of his mouth before dipping it back into the bowl.

"You want French bread?" She asked softly as her hand runs through his hair. He gives a nod, his smile saying thank you when it suddenly appears.

"You know…." she starts as she pulls out a chair and sits next to him. "You and Luke will be together, it's just a matter of time. He's just stubborn. He hates to be wrong. But he hurts….he hurts so much."

He says nothing- focuses all his attention on his meal. Her tsk, tsk at his disregard has him looking up. "So good" he praises trying to appease, giving her a lazy, sleepy smile as he does it.

She rolls her eyes seeing right through him. "Dinner Sunday?" She'll let the topic drop for now, but that doesn't mean it's over. It's far from over. "I mean since you're back. And you said you were staying. I mean Lily said as much and the kids they were so overjoyed to hear such news."

"I'm staying" he says, needing to reassure her. "And of course, Sunday it is. I've missed your cooking."

"Church?"

"You're pushing it."

She gives a pointed stare, a sweet smile playing on her lips.

"Church" he says bringing the spoon to his lips. He's been back only a few hours and the conceding comes so easily. "I can't say no to you."

"Good." She pats his knee and stands up. "Love you dear."

"Love you too."

The End