Lucas shook his head. No, no boyfriend. The thought of relationships made him feel a tad bitter, in fact. He felt like nothing good would ever come out from one. Which was ironic because if somebody like Nathan (who was he kidding? Nathan, in particular) did ever take interest in him, he didn't think he would be able to say no.
"You'll make me your best man, won't you?", Lucas laughed at Nathan's response. He thought it was admirable, even a little endearing, how collected and well put-together Nathan appeared to be. He was everything that Lucas was not. His smile slowly shrunk on his face, slightly taken aback by Nathan's more or less serious confession. He didn't know where to begin with processing that information, and settled for just saving it for later. There was one thing that stood out to Lucas though.
"You... you're not scared I'll out you or anything? Like to the press?, Lucas asked before shaking his head, dismissing the question. He would never do that anyway, so there was no point in asking. Even though the two of them had shared some time together playing cards and making small talk, he didn't think Nathan would trust him that much though. It made him nervous, and his throat was a bit dry.
"Yeah— Tired", he grinned sheepishly, jumping at the next topic. He quickly got up on wobbly legs, ready to follow Nathan to the guest room. When Nathan disappeared to fetch him blankets, he was still too awkward and panic-stricken in his drunkenness to sit down. He patted himself on the face a few times, imagining how red he must look.
Soon he was settled in, falling back onto the luxurious bed. Nestled in the softest of sheets, sleep finally came freely to him.
Lucas had woken up the next morning wondering when someone had changed his ceiling. They weren't stained with leakage, and there was a wealth of sunlight pouring over his face. The sheets smelt clean and fresh and he buried his nose into it, trying to remember where he was. Oh right, Nathan. Actually make that "oh shit, Nathan". He sat up quickly, almost tripping over the sheets wrapped around his limbs. He eased the door open and inspected the quiet apartment. As he thought, empty. Lucas sighed and wondered how big of a mess he must have made last night. He consoled himself thinking it mustn't have been too bad, considering he woke up in a room of his own without another body next to him. Rubbing the sleep out of his eyes, Lucas checked his phone for the time and was surprised with a text message. He only ever got the occasional message from his roommate asking if Lucas needed any shampoo or anything, or his sister checking in on him. He definitely did not expect Nathan to care enough to leave him a message. He smiled and shot him a quick text before grabbing a shower before he left.
Thanks for letting me crash! Eloped with your cat, btw. See ya.
Since Nathan's message had seemed innocent enough, he assumed nothing extraordinary last night. For all he knew, he could have passed out on the couch as soon as he stepped through the door. He decided to think that was the case, better not to ask.
Lucas found himself texting Nathan on most days, more often than not. It would be a blatant lie to say they both weren't busy, but Lucas enjoyed the periodic text he got to send to the other, and reading his messages too.
Dr Schneider had even commented on it once, when he was briefing them for the morning and Lucas was too preoccupied trying to think of something clever to say.
"Wipe that disgusting smile off your face, Odierno. You better not have a girlfriend", the old doctor had told him and the entire health care team let out little sniggers.
"Never thought I'd see quiet little Dr Lucas texting like a teenage girl", his colleague had said to him, punching his shoulder as they filed out of the staff room.
Lucas frowned petulantly. He wasn't really upset at all though. Talking to Nathan, no matter how briefly, broke the monotony of his life. Just a month ago, his entire routine had been a continuous cycle of hospital, apartment, bar, hospital, apartment, hospital. Rinse and repeat.
Monotony is still monotony though, and routine catches up to you soon enough. It's another nameless, faceless, relentless Saturday night at the bar. The old boss had reassigned him to his usual shifts on the weekends, and he can almost imagine his bank account heaving a sigh of relief. Today is a pair of skin tight leather shorts, looking as if they were painted on, and a cropped shirt to match. Lucas had made it clear that he absolutely refuses to go shirtless, but he can't escape the shorts. He tugs them down (but they'll probably hike up later) and makes his entrance on stage. They start with a sultry, slower song and Lucas takes it easy, just swaying his hips, eyes closed. He goes through the motions, from the furiously fast songs to the final roll call on stage. He's starting to think he can actually live it down, the fact that he does this to finance his unhealthy hobby and rent. That soon changes though.
Lucas is in his trust coat and beanie, all bundled up and ready to head to the hospital when he sees a face in the dark of the alleyway. He had dealt with the occasional creep before, what Alex affectionately calls his "fanboys". Typically they are just lonely older men. They never get aggressive with him, but still make his skin crawl. He swallows and prepares for another one of these encounters, his speech already poised on the tip of his tongue and ready to go. Sorry, I'm not that guy you see up on stage. I don't really like this. I'm in med school. Please understand.
He's mouthing the words to himself silently, they give his confidence. All of that is shattered when he sees the familiar face though, even under the hood and shades. He wishes the ground would swallow him up and is seriously considering just pretending not to know Nathan. His mouth seems to have other intentions though, and a choked out "Nathan?" beats him to it.
"H-Hey, long time no see. What are you doing out here? It's really cold", he asks, a slight twinge in his expression. Keep cool, Lucas. You might be able to play it off like you were just taking a short cut down this alleyway. Or something. But now his memory is flooding back to him and he has a vague feeling he had basically lead himself into this awful situation.