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fierce

Hazard Pay - Chapter 28

Posted on 2013.08.05 at 13:49
Title: Hazard Pay – Chapter Twenty-Eight

Pairing: Noah/OMC

Rating: M

Prompt: Action!Noah in action ripped from the headlines!

Disclaimer: Don’t own ‘em. Don’t make no money.



Hello, readers! Today’s chapter is short, but there will be a follow-up one soon.

***
***

Hazard Pay – Chapter 28

Noah jackknifed off the bed, letting out a startled “Oof!” as his forehead collided with Jeff’s.

Jeff fell backward, arms windmilling, and stumbled into the rolling cart, upending it with a tremendous crash.

Noah, propelled in the opposite direction, collapsed back on the bed, the sudden movement sending pain coursing through his leg.

“GOD DAMMIT, CASEY!” he bellowed, as his erection beat a hasty retreat. “WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?”

“DUDE, MY EYES!” Casey screamed back, covering the offended organs with both hands. “MY EYES!”

***

Five minutes later, order had been restored. Noah reclined on the bed with his leg propped up, while Jeff hovered nearby. Casey knocked cautiously and waited for permission before re-entering the room.
“Everybody decent for reals this time?” he asked.

Noah sighed. “Jeff, this is my friend Casey Hughes,” he said. “Casey, this is my boyfriend Jeff.”

Casey grinned. “Kinda figured that, since you two were humping like bunnies. Dude, it’s no big deal,” he added when Noah blushed. “It’s not like you never walked in on Ali and me doing the deed, back when you lived together.”

“Don’t remind me,” Noah groaned. “I still haven’t recovered from the Naughty Nurse incident. Casey’s wife Ali is another friend,” Noah explained when Jeff raised an eyebrow. “She took me in when I needed a place to live.”

“And according to Ali, he’s still the best roommate she ever had,” Casey said, casually dragging up the guest chair and sitting. “She likes to remind me that Noah did a better job doing the dishes when he was blind than I do now. Noah’s a bit of a neatnik,” he told Jeff.

A faint line appeared between Jeff’s brows. “I’m aware of that.”

Casey’s eyes narrowed a little. “That’s good. I wasn’t sure how well you actually knew one another.” He leaned forward. “Let’s get one thing straight: If you ever—”

“Casey,” Noah interrupted. “Don’t start.”

“Okay, okay.” Casey slumped back in his chair. “I can’t help being on Team Luke. He’s my oldest friend.”

“I know,” Noah said gently. “But I’ve made my choice.”

“Trust me, after that eyeful, I get it,” Casey huffed. “Speaking of eyefuls, are you guys aware that you’re all over the Internet right now?”

Noah sighed and rubbed his eyes. “We know.”

Jeff spoke up. “Any idea who might have leaked the photo?”

Casey thought for a moment, then shrugged. “Coulda been anyone on the staff, or a volunteer or visitor.” He smirked. “Apparently, you guys don’t lock the door when you get frisky. Look, it’s a small town,” he added when Jeff frowned. “We don’t get a lot of famous people around here. Someone recognized you from the TV and saw the opportunity to make a quick buck.”

“You don’t think Snyder did it?” Jeff asked.

Casey’s brow wrinkled. “Snyder? Who...oh, Luke.” He shook his head emphatically. “Nah, there’s no way Luke would do something like that.”

“See?” Noah said to Jeff. “Told you.”

Jeff ignored him. “Why wouldn’t he?” he asked Casey. “He’s threatened to out me before.”

“Yeah, you,” Casey said, like it was obvious. “Luke would trash you in a heartbeat. But he’d never do something like that to Noah. Not when he knew the press would dig up that shit about his mom.”

“What shit about my mom?” Noah asked.

“Um, yeah.” Casey squirmed uncomfortably in his chair. “That’s why I came over here. Well, there’s another reason, too. But I thought you might need some moral support, especially after—”

“After what?” Noah asked when Casey broke off.

Casey glanced anxiously at Jeff. “Well, um, your mom kinda had a record...”

“It’s okay,” Noah said. “Jeff knows the whole story.”

“Oh.” Casey blinked in surprise. “The whole story?”

“Yeah.”

“Oh. Well. That’s good, actually,” Casey said, scratching his head. “Because the gossip sites are saying you’re some kind of, uh, gold-digger.”

“Is that a polite word for whore?”

Casey scratched his head again. “Kinda.”

“Oh, for fuck’s sake.” Noah rubbed his eyes. His headache was starting to come back.

Jeff swore under his breath. “How do you know Snyder didn’t do this?” he demanded of Casey. “He might not mean to hurt Noah, but things like this have a way of getting out of hand.”

Casey sighed. “I gotta admit, things getting out of hand is kinda the story of Luke’s life.”

“That does it,” Jeff said. “I’m kicking his skinny little ass.”

The door flew open so hard it slammed against the wall. Luke walked in, visibly seething, and pointed his finger at Jeff. “You son of a bitch!” he spat. “I’m about to kick your ass.”

“You’re welcome to try,” Jeff said mildly. “Noah, hold my glasses.” He pulled his frames out of his breast pocket and handed them to Noah.

“This is ridiculous!” Noah sputtered, as Casey scrambled out of the way. “Stop it, the both of you!”

Jeff and Luke ignored him, preferring to circle one another with their fists raised.

“I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time,” Jeff said.

“I’ve been waiting for this since the day we met,” Luke replied.

Fed up, Noah put two fingers in his mouth and whistled as loud as he could. Luke and Jeff both flinched.

“For the last time, knock it off!” Noah ordered in the silence that followed. “If you don’t, I’m going to pull this cord.” He indicated the emergency cord in the wall. “And then Ali is going to come in. She is seven months pregnant—”

“Seven and a half,” Casey put in.

“Seven and a half,” Noah corrected. “I ran into her at the vending machine earlier. She’s already in a bad mood because she had to cover for another nurse today. Her back hurts, her feet hurt, and trust me, she is in no mood for your shit.”

“He’s right,” Casey said. “She nearly took my head off this morning when I asked her how she felt, and then she burst into tears.”

He turned to Noah. “I’m actually supposed to be pricing nursery sets right now, so if you’re gonna call her, just give me a head start. I can be in the parking garage in two minutes.”

“Please,” Luke huffed. “Like your grandparents would let you pay for any baby stuff anyhow.”

“Right?” Casey asked. “I told Ali to pick out the most expensive set, but she says we should pay for it ourselves. And then there’s this Hughes heirloom crib that my mom wants us to use, but Ali says it doesn’t meet today’s safety standards.”

“Well, does it?” Noah asked.

“Nah,” Casey admitted. “I used to crawl out of that sucker all the time.”

“And land on your head?” Luke asked. “That explains so much.’

“If we could please get back to the topic at hand,” Jeff interjected, rubbing his eyes.

“Fine.” Luke scowled at Jeff. “I suppose you think you’ve won.”

“It’s not a contest,” Noah said.

“Like hell,” Luke and Jeff spoke simultaneously, then glared at each other.

“You’ve been in town less than twenty-four hours,” Luke told Jeff. “And already you’re up to your old tricks.”

“Possibly,” Jeff said haughtily. “If I knew what the hell you were talking about.”

“That photo,” Luke spat. “You and Noah got back together...” Luke’s voice wobbled. “And you wanted to rub my face in it.”

“Hang on,” Jeff said. “You’re saying I sent that photo to the gossip sites?”

Luke folded his arms. “Who else?”

“You!” Jeff bellowed.

Luke frowned. “Why would I do that?”

Jeff’s eyes widened. “Seriously? To out me, just like you said you would.”

“I threatened to out you, not Noah.” Distressed, Luke turned to him. “Noah. You know I would never do that, no matter how mad I was.”

“I know, Luke,” Noah said reassuringly.

Luke’s lips trembled. “Noah, you have to believe me!”

Noah held up his hands. “I believe you.”

“Well, I don’t.” Jeff folded his arms.

“Likewise,” Luke snapped. “How do I know you didn’t manipulate Noah into this whole thing?”

“What whole thing? Kissing me?”

“It wouldn’t be the first time,” Luke sniffed. “Not to mention, he almost got blown up in Iraq thanks to you.”

“Luke!” Noah said, exasperated. “For the last time, I’m with Jeff because I want to be. And yeah, my job is dangerous, but I like it. I chose my life. Why is that so hard for you to understand?”

Luke flushed. “Because you’ve changed.”

“People change, Luke,” Noah said gently.

“Not you, Noah,” Luke argued. “You were always responsible. Never reckless. That was me.”

“And you’re the one who drove him to it,” Jeff muttered.

Luke narrowed his eyes. “Excuse me?”

“You heard me, Snyder. You’re the reason Noah has a death wish.”

“For the last time!” Noah yelled. “I do not have a death wish!”

Luke and Jeff looked at each other and shook their heads.

“Denial,” Luke whispered.

Jeff nodded, then stepped forward. “Look, Snyder, you may hate my guts, but you’ve seen what those gossip sites are saying about Noah. Do you honestly think I’d put him through this just to get back at you?”

Luke raised his chin, stubborn. “Yes.”

“Well, get over yourself!” Jeff snapped. “I’m not threatened by you.”

“Then why wouldn’t you let me see Noah in Baltimore?” Luke asked, his eyes filling with tears. “I thought he was gonna die, and you wouldn’t let me spend five minutes with him to say goodbye.”

“You broke his heart and threw him away, and I had to pick up the pieces,” Jeff hissed. “You didn’t deserve five minutes.”

“That’s enough!” Noah said, starting to get angry. “Neither one of you think I’m capable of making my own decisions.”

“You were in a coma, Solo,” Jeff pointed out. “I respect your decisions when you’re fully conscious to make them.”

“What was it you said last night?” Noah snapped. “Oh, yeah: ‘Don’t interrupt me when I’m mad at you!’”

“Fair enough,” Jeff murmured, stepping back.

“Like I was saying,” Noah resumed. “I’m sick of you guys acting like I’m some sort of trophy for you to fight over.”

“Noah has a point,” Casey interrupted. “But I gotta say, if this was a straight scenario, and I was the trophy? I’d be so turned on right now.”

“Shut up, Casey!” everyone yelled.

Noah put his head in his hands. “Can we please get back to the problem?” he asked. “Luke says he’s not behind the photo, and I believe him. And Jeff, I know you aren’t. So who the hell posted it?”

“I did,” said a voice from the doorway.

To be continued…

Comments:


myalterego1 at 2013-08-05 21:15 (UTC) (Link)
Squee! So excited. And I am pretty sure I know who leaked the picture and why too. Can I have Reid to knock sense into Luke for 100?
willwork4dean at 2013-08-05 22:50 (UTC) (Link)
Darn! You guys keep figuring out all my surprises!
BOOM! goes the dynamite!
mslauren2930 at 2013-08-13 17:01 (UTC) (Link)
I can't believe it took me a few days to figure it out. ;) I guess this means no more smoke breaks for Reid and Noah?
willwork4dean at 2013-08-16 19:36 (UTC) (Link)
Hmmm...the next chapter is up now, so you can find out!
willwork4dean at 2013-08-16 19:36 (UTC) (Link)
Okay, Chapter 29 is up. I hope you like it! (I'm a little nervous that you won't.)
valenti1965
valenti1965 at 2013-08-06 05:16 (UTC) (Link)
Ah no!! You can't leave it there!! Who is it? Loved Luke and Jeff squaring upto one another and Casey's quip lol another wonderful chapter!! Cannot wait for the next one!! X
willwork4dean at 2013-08-16 19:36 (UTC) (Link)
The next chapter is up. Let me know what you think!
Shavon
jeri_1116 at 2013-08-06 06:49 (UTC) (Link)
Stop playing with me! Who said that?! Was it Reid?

Anyway Luke is obviously hurt by Noah's choice, but I like that Noah has real feelings for Jeff.

I don't blame Jeff for not letting Luke see Noah when he thought he was gonna die. Jeff didn't know Luke. All he knew was that he was the guy who broke Noah's heart.

Loved Casey in this, he's always a breath of fresh air.

Also is wondering... is Luke more hurt that Noah has changed, then he is about them not being together?

Great chapter!
willwork4dean at 2013-08-16 19:37 (UTC) (Link)
THanks for your comments! The next chapter is up - and it has more Casey!
seajellybaby
seajellybaby at 2013-08-06 07:17 (UTC) (Link)
That was hilarious! Comedy in it's purest form! Luke and Jaff just mirror each other perfectly, then to add Casey (Mr Farce himself) to the mix was a strike of genius!

Love how in the middle of the arguing, Luke, Noah and Casey fall naturally into their old comradery to discuss Ali... So left field!

Now... Could Reid be the culprit?
willwork4dean at 2013-08-16 19:38 (UTC) (Link)
You are correct! I thought I was being so sneaky, but once again everyone figured it out. The next chapter is up now, so you can find out what happens next.
wheelie47
wheelie47 at 2013-08-06 11:40 (UTC) (Link)
Totally loved this chapter!!

It had everything. Luke and Jeff squaring up to each other, Noah calling them both out on it. And Casey... Well Casey just being his usually brilliant self!!

Now who's at the door? I think I know but I'm so glad it wasn't Luke. He wouldn't do that to Noah...But who would?!
willwork4dean at 2013-08-16 19:38 (UTC) (Link)
Chapter 29 is up now, so you can find out who's at the door!
random_nic
random_nic at 2013-08-10 13:41 (UTC) (Link)
Ugh, why did Reid go and do such a thing? Well whatever, if it brings him back in the story that's a plus. And Casey is always welcome!
willwork4dean at 2013-08-16 19:39 (UTC) (Link)
He's back with a vengeance! I just posted the next bit, so you can find out what happens. Plus, more Casey!
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