The Fear of Change
fanfic written by 0hedvig0
Eddie expected something to happen. What happened yesterday at Christopher's birthday party, there was no way it could go back to normal between him and Buck. That's why everything from now on was going to be different, which left him feeling weird. He know he's never been into guys. Sure, he has always had an open mind, but he’d never felt drawn to guys. But in honesty, he’d never really felt drawn to girls either. With Shannon everything just felt good, like being with a friend who made him feel safe to do things he otherwise wasn’t comfortable with. Until she left him and Christopher.
With a sigh, Eddie lifted the arm covering his eyes and instead stared at the ceiling. He knew there's only been a minute or two since he last checked the watch to his left. It was too early to wake Christopher, but Eddie couldn’t stay in bed.
The skin shivered by the sudden change, leaving the warmth of his bed, and Eddie quietly moved towards the stairs to go down to the kitchen. A nice cup of coffee would do him good. First, Eddie stopped by Christopher's and peeked into his room and he couldn’t help the big smile on his lips by the sight of the boy holding the robot Buck gave him. It really was the right decision of letting Buck back into his son’s life.
Eddie padded down the stairs and when the bitter taste of his first coffee touched his lips, he was sitting down on the sofa in the living room, watching the sun rising over the neighborhood.
Entering the fire station, Eddie clenched his fists while feeling like a ball of nerves. He couldn’t stop his heart beating hard against his ribs when walking up the stairs to the sound of everyone else. Their voices lead him to the kitchen, which really was no surprise there.
"No, you fold it like this" Hen snatched the rope out of Chimney's hands and started twisting it, ignoring Chimney's glare. Eddie snorted with a shake of his head and walked by them and Chimney's "But that's what I did!".
Sitting down on the barstool, Bobby came and slided a plate of freshly made food in front of Eddie who nodded his thanks. He felt Bobby's heavy gaze while cutting into the eggs.
"Are you alright? Looking a little pale." Eddie nodded with his mouth full, both because it was really good but it also gave him the chance of not speaking. "Here." Bobby placed a hot cup of tea and Eddie really wasn’t a tea drinker, but he wasn’t going to complain. Instead he took a gulp of the hot drink, feeling it burn nicely in his throat.
"Yo, big fam!" the sudden voice walking up the stairs tensed every muscle on Eddie's body. This was it, the time when everything became unusual and different. A change which made him feeling even more weird now when he was in the moment.
Bobby noticed the change on Eddie and his eyes wandered from Eddie to the reason of his sudden change of posture. Buck had stopped by Chimney and Hen, laughing at their fingers being caught in the rope. Explaining how they’ve seen a video on how you fold a rope into some sort of knot, that would keep you more secure while climbing, made Buck stay to see the video himself. Which reminded Eddie of their plans to go climbing in a few weeks.
"Let the Buck man show you how it's done" Buck mocked and began twisting the rope, but by the time Eddie finished his breakfast, Chimney and Hen was helping him getting out of the rope- twisted around his legs and arms. Eddie snorted at the sight and spun around, facing the group of clowns nagging at each other “Spin this way. No, not that way!" " But you told me to!" "Quit stepping on my fingers" "Then quit putting them where I step!".
Bobby leaned against the counter next to Eddie, crossing his arms with a fond smile. Eddie felt his own lips twitch “Such morons” he mumbled and Bobby made a noise, agreeing. “Nothing that has changed, then” and Bobby’s words was like he had read Eddie’s inner turmoils and Eddie swallowed by the sudden dryness in his throat. He stared at the three in front of them- still trying to get Buck’s legs free from the rope.
The sudden blare from the alarm cut off Eddie’s chance to try elaborate what Bobby meant and everyone dropped everything they was doing to get to the trucks. Which left Chimney and Hen letting go of Buck and him “Hey! No! Don’t” to their retreating backs while trying to go after them, stumbling in the ropes and falling down on his face.
Eddie sprung to help him, cutting the ropes and chuckling to Buck’s voice muffled by the floor “Thanks man, one of you who don’t leave me behind”. His warm hands grabbed onto Eddie’s arms and he hauled the taller body up from the floor. They hurried towards the others - grabbing their gear on the way- climbing into the fire truck. Buck gave Eddie a pair of headphones, putting on his own and then started bickering with Hen and Chimney for leaving him face planting the floor.
Bobby quieted them down before informing about the alarm. There had been a gas explosion in a restaurant, setting fire to buildings around it too. Several units was connected to the case so they had to wait until arriving to see what their assignments would be.
They all fell into silence, feeling the seriousness in Bobby’s voice and they readied themselves. Eddie’s eyes fell on the blue ones in front of him and they smiled reassuring, which relaxed his shoulders a bit and he let out a huff of air through his nose- his hand finding the pocket holding the photo he nowadays always carried in his jacket.
Arriving, on Bobby’s order Buck grabbed Eddie to go check and clear the buildings where the fire had reached- the restaurant already aflame and firemen trying to get the fire to not spread more than it is.
Grabbing the gear they needed, Buck and Eddie chose the building closest to the restaurant and most affected to the flames. They took turns breaking down doors and checking for people hiding to get away from the thick smoke. But when reaching the fifth floor of sixth-the smoke not even reaching this floor- they started to believe they all had cleared the building.
Feeling a little out of breath from carrying the equipment and breaking down doors, Buck turned his head to Eddie “After this I would like a cold ass beer”. Sweat shone through the visor and a drop trickled down Eddie’s forehead when he nodded “Yeah, that sounds about perfect. But first I want a big cold soda and the biggest and fattest burger”. Buck snorted “But you just ate breakfast” and pushed a door open in the apartment they checked, before joining Eddie who’d went out to the corridor.
Eddie shrugged, almost invisible in the heavy gear “Yeah but I reckon we’ll not be finished here until afternoon, if not by night”, Buck nodded at that “True. I could really use something like that after this shift” and started to climb the stairs to the last floor of the building.
Buck turned to look down at Eddie while grabbing onto the handle to the door “Maybe we could make burgers with Chris?” and Eddie nodded “Sounds like a great plan in my ears”. Buck pushed the door open and gasped “Oh for fuck sake!”, the floor was filled with thick smoke- making them only see about 2 feet in front of them.
With quick steps they went into the corridor with unusual amount of smoke “There must be something wrong”, Eddie quickly checked the vents and agreed with Buck “Yeah, the smoke is pouring from the vents!”. They agreed on splitting up, because if the vents carried the smoke from below it was a high chance people from this floor would still be here -not having time to escape.
“Hello! Unit 118, call out if you can hear me!” Eddie walked as fast as the smoke let him, not wanting to run into something. There was just pure luck his eyes lowered to the floor in time. A small hand came into view and Eddie got into action checking after a pulse “Buck! I found a child” and found a weak one. “Yeah I found more people here!” Buck said and continued reaching for back up on the radio while Eddie got out the oxygym mask from the tank, to put it over the child’s mouth and nose.
His eyes searched for a way to clear the smoke, when a thought came to mind by the sight of sprinklers. In a swift movement he broke the glass and pushed the button triggering the sprinklers. It wouldn’t help all the way, but enough to give them more time before losing everyone on this floor.
“Great thinking!” Buck called from Eddie’s right side where he came into view and was carrying a young boy towards Eddie to get a mask onto him “I found a total of seven people” Buck coughed of exertion while laying down the small body. The tank Eddie had carried was set on the floor and it held ten masks, so he quickly got onto his feet to help Buck.
Eddie followed Buck into of the last apartments, when his ears picked up a faint sound and he looked confused around the apartment. Buck lifted a small child into his arms and turned to see Eddie looking around “What is it?” and walked towards him. Eddie brows furrowed “I hear this strange sound from the ceiling” Buck passed him while listening and Eddie started to follow when he suddenly found himself holding a child in his arms.
Buck clapped with his thick gloves on the side of Eddies helmet “I’ll check, you take the child” and Eddie snorted at Buck leaving him with the child to do the hero stuff.
Eddie held the child closer to his chest and lifted his own mask from his face to the child’s to give some clear air. He heard Buck’s voice from behind “Huh, it’s coming from the vents” and Eddie turned to leave the apartment “I suspected as much, but let's hurry to leave-” and his words died on his lips, looking back at Buck by the sound of a loud explosion. Then fire rained down over Eddie.