Title: The Interview (Part 6b)
Author: nouveau_monday
Pairing: Noah/Luke
Rating: PG
Word Count: 2.2k
Summary: Hot chocolate. Making up.
Spoilers: This is completely AU for the boys. So yeah, any relation to the story line is minor. Facts I kept were the Colonel, Noah's mom, and Oakdale. Other characters resemble themselves, but everyone, by definition is not quite him/her self.
Disclaimer: As I said, this is AU. The characters belong to CBS and P&G and possibly others, but definitely not me. That is the real travesty of all of this.
Notes: This part had no beta. All mistakes are mine and mine alone.





Luke chews on his lip. He lost his Chapstick and never replaced it. What was the point when the only guy he wanted to kiss was ignoring him? He drums his fingers on the cheap fabric of the sofa in the living room area of Noah’s studio. He’s tired and he’s angry. He can’t tell if he’s more pissed at himself for showing up and giving in, or coming back on the stairs. Or maybe it’s Noah? Noah who looks like he hasn’t slept in the last two weeks, who looks like he’s taken anyone and everyone six ways to sunday.

He shoots to his feet. Pacing might burn some energy. Don’t think of the bed. Don’t think of the shower. Don’t think of beautiful naked wet Noah in the shower and then on the bed. Nothing has changed since their pseudo-date. The apartment is just as empty and taken up primarily by the bed that Luke is not thinking about. He peels off his hat, gloves, scarf, coat, stacks them on top of each other on the edge of the sofa. Probably he shouldn’t spy, but Noah said to make himself at home.

Luke stands in front of the shelves across from Noah’s bed. There are a few beaten up paperbacks, a cheap television, a laptop, and some notebooks in not much better shape than the books. His fingers itch to open the clasp on a manilla envelope, soft and frayed around the corners, the distinct impression of photographs inside it. His hands hover over it, but no, he can’t. Life would be easier with fewer scruples. The silence of the shower turning off justifies his wussing out. “Want me to order food or something?” He asks now that the water is off.

“What?”

“Food? Are you hungry? Because I’m starv-” Luke feels his jaw snap shut.

Noah wipes the small blue towel in his hair to dry it. His pants stay in place by a gravity defying miracle and the exaggerated jut of his hip bones. When Noah went into the bathroom, he had been fully dressed. Luke would have noticed the almost nakedness. He’s not dead yet.

Luke closes his eyes, shakes his head. “Starving,” he whispers.

“I could do food. I couldn’t really eat before the gig, and room service at the Lakeview didn’t appeal.” Noah shrugs. “Not that I didn’t appreciate the offer, but come on? Tony thought three, turned out to be five. Nice bonus and all, but really? Sometimes I don’t want to eat where I work.” He flops the towel over the bathroom door and then himself across his bed. Nimble fingers rifle through a drawer, the same drawer that Luke knows has condoms and lube and other stuff. He fans take out menus with an amused glance. “I’m easy.” He flushes. “Well, duh, I guess. I mean. Here. Take your pick. My treat. It’s the least I can do.”

“Don’t be an idiot. I can afford it. And anyway, I’m the one pathetic enough to wait outside your door. Maybe I’ll make up some man points if I buy us food.”

Noah frowns, stands. “You don’t need man points, whatever those are. You need to let me be grateful that you’re here now. And let me make you hot chocolate.” Pink slides across his cheeks and briefly Luke can see him as younger than his experience makes him. “I maybe looked up a few recipes. I thought, well, I thought that maybe if I worked up the courage to find you, that I would try to convince you back here with it.” He busies himself at the stove, naked back to Luke. “That’s really lame. See, all testosterone clearly in your court. Leaving aside the fact that I just took it up the ass multiple times in multiple ways and can barely walk.” He slaps his forehead. “Umm, we can forget I just said that.”

Luke debates dropping to his knees and licking the infinity sign on Noah’s back. He wants to hug him and hit him simultaneously. “It’s your job. I can hate it a bunch and still understand that. I do hate it a bunch, but it brought you here, brought you now. And, I’m trying hard to stay in the moment.” To prove this, he goes with his first instinct and slips to his knees, wraps his arms around Noah’s torso, traces his tongue around the dark ink. The tense of muscle reminds him once again that jumping on someone who has just been used about as much one can might not be a good idea. “Shit. I’m. Fuck. Sorry. Really sorry.” He feathers kisses across the expanse of back, lets his hands grip at Noah’s hips, pet down his thighs. “I didn’t want you to think that it couldn’t happen. That I wouldn’t want you. I know what you’ve done, what you do. You don’t have to think it, but I promise. If I had any doubt, I’m pretty sure I know who Tony is. I know what he likes.” Luke presses his forehead to Noah’s vertebrae. “I don’t know how to do this, exactly, but please.”


*****

Noah eases the pan to the stove with a soft clink. His fingers cover Luke’s. “Shh. Shh. It’s me who should be apologizing, groveling, whatever. I’m not used to being around people who ... I don’t know. I don’t know how to be other than what I am, even if I want it.” He unthreads himself to pour the milk and ignores his jitters. “You need to let go of me, so I can measure stuff. Can you? Would you stand up? It makes me anxious. I don’t, you shouldn’t.” He pauses. “You shouldn’t be on your knees for me, Luke. No one should.” Ever. He measures out vanilla and cocoa powder, dumps them in to bloom. That’s what the recipe says. Bloom. Noah likes that word. It had made him think of Luke’s smile.

He turns within the bracket of Luke’s arms, cards his hands through the blonde strands. “I don’t hate being a whore. It’s hard to say I like it. I didn’t plan on it, that’s for sure. But, I don’t hate it.” He closes his eyes against the mistrust he’ll see. Juan never got it. He understood survival, the need to sell himself, but the rest? Ultimately it was a secret Noah held tight.

“Can you tell me about it?” Luke stands, shifts his grip to rest on the oven door handle. “It maybe didn’t come out how I expected it, but I came to interview you once. I have a pitch for you still, if you’re interested?” He takes a step back. “Part of me wants to try to separate what we had, could have, and what I’m asking. But hear me out.”

“It’s the least I can do.” Noah leans forward, enjoys the slightly sour heat of Luke’s breath against his eyelashes. “The hot chocolate’s almost ready. Let me serve you. We can sit on, umm, the couch, I guess? I bought cookies too. If you want?” He grits his teeth against his own pathetic optimism.

“Cookies would be great.” Each puff of air binds itself tight around Noah’s heart. “Do you want me to get them while you pour?”

He nods, tongue firmly between his teeth.

“And they are ... where exactly?” Luke prompts.

“Right. Umm. Top shelf, next to the fridge.” He turns before he makes more of an ass of himself. Again. He adds the double shot of instant espresso, turns off the stove and stirs. Noah stares at the recipe, sniffs at the pan. It smells like it might actually taste good. He waits until Luke steps away from his space, until he can’t feel his scent, until his knees won’t give out. Several deep inhales later, he readies their drinks. Noah toes open the refrigerator, pulls out the can of whipped cream and mounds it on. He decorates it with chocolate sprinkles.

The mugs burn his hands slightly but Noah doesn’t spill. He can pretend to be calm, even though it’s a total lie. There’s not a lot he hasn’t learned to fake. Chalk up another benefit to the life of a rentboy. He hands off one to Luke and curls himself into the far corner. He squishes his face up. “This shouldn’t poison us. I made sure that I removed all potentially harmful products before making it.”

“Since when do you have whipped cream and sprinkles?” Luke holds his cup up to his face. “Come to think of it, when did you get these? I think I would have noticed these two when I was here last. Bright green with blue dots? Not exactly subtle.”

Noah laps at the cream on his. At least he couldn’t screw that up. “It was a thing.”

“What?”

“It was this thing.” He glares over the steam. “It was this thing. I saw it and thought, that maybe if I purchased something it would help with the courage thing. That if I had the cups and the ingredients, I couldn’t not eventually find you and tell you that I’m a mess. I don’t buy things unless I need them. It’s not practical.” He clacks the barbell on his tongue against his teeth. “And there’s no reason for you to know that, or care, or know me. And I get that I’m always gonna be this weird loser who hangs onto strange sappy dreams and never gets it.” Noah places his mug on the floor so he can grind his palms against his eyelids. “But you came back, and you were here waiting. And you knew when we’d last seen each other down to the moment. I don’t know what to do with that.”

Noah hears the thump of Luke putting down his hot chocolate. “I don’t know what to do with that either. I’m not even sure I understood what you were trying to say.”

“Yeah. Not sure myself.”

The shift in the couch warns him Luke moves, but he doesn’t expect to have his ankles tugged by strong, warm hands. “What are you doing?” Noah should panic. People don’t grab him. Well, they do, but only when the contract is clearly defined. Payment up front or nothing.

“Saying thank you.” Luke’s thumbs rubs into Noah’s arches. “I love whipped cream, and sprinkles on my hot chocolate.” He digs into the soft pads between Noah’s toes. “I really love that even with nothing in your apartment, you have these ridiculous mugs. They don’t really belong, but they’re here now.” He slides up, circles over ankles and higher still to Noah’s calves. “Gives me hope for me. That maybe you might want me to be here as well.”

Noah fists his hands into Luke’s hair, rubs at his scalp. “God, I do. I really do. And not just because you have a secret talent for massage which I’m just this minute figuring out.” He stares at the cracks in the ceiling, the peeling paint. “Aside from my regulars, I’m set for the next month. Tomorrow, tomorrow I was going to find you, even if that meant begging Roth. I don’t care about any pitch, about any anything. I don’t care how, but I want you around.” He tugs Luke up, pulls him forward, stares at him with an honesty he hasn’t been able to find in years. “I can’t, no, I won’t ask you for anything. But, if you want to be here. I’ll try to let you. It’s the best I can do.”

Luke melts across Noah, nuzzles into his neck, kisses at the skin behind his ear. “That’s all I can ask for.” He rubs their noses over each other. “If you could find a way to try and trust me, you’ll see, it’s all I ever wanted.”

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