Work Header


Chapter Text

Buck’s keys clattered against the marble countertop when he threw them down haphazardly moments after walking through the door to his loft. It was late evening, sky slowly turning to dusk after a long shift at work. He slipped his bright white sneakers off next to the wall where his bike was mounted, leaving his socks on so that he could glide around on the floor like he enjoyed, never having to pick up his heavy feet, simply shuffling tiredly. He had no jacket to hang up today with it being late spring and already reaching sweltering temperatures in LA. Instead, he begrudgingly trudged up the stairs and dug through the bottom drawer of his dresser. He tugged off his button-up and tight jeans, exchanging them for his favorite pair of loose sweats, not even bothering to put a shirt on, feeling much more carefree with a bare chest.

His next step, same as every Tuesday, was stumbling back toward the kitchen and digging through the drawer of takeout menus before decided which food he was going to order in for the night. After ten minutes of contemplation, he landed on Thai. It was his favorite, after all. Buck called in the order quickly, and then he went over to his dining table, examining the camera and light fixture already set up there. He made sure his camera still had enough battery charge for at least thirty minutes of recording. He checked that the angle of the lens was correct, tested the quality of the microphone, adjusted the brightness of the artificial light. Everything was perfect.

The food arrived in fifteen minutes, and Buck’s growling stomach was eternally grateful. He tipped the delivery woman generously, sending her off with a thankful smile. Then, he un-bagged the few containers, arranging them carefully at the table in front of the camera setup. Finally, he sat down on the dining chair in a relaxed position, shoulders slumped, and one leg tucked up under the other. Buck began to eat. And talk.

It had started a little over a year ago. Buck had been lonely. So so lonely. Sure, he had Bobby and Hen and Chim at the station and who sometimes joined him for drinks or karaoke. He also had Maddie now that she’d finally left her abusive husband. But what Buck really had always longed for was someone to come home to. Someone to eat dinner with. Someone to whom he could relay all the crazy stories of his day, to help him wind down and decompress. When Abby didn’t come back, it had left a giant emptiness in Buck’s life.

Things only got more lonely when Maddie paired up with Chimney and Bobby started seeing Athena. Buck became the eternal seventh wheel to his group of friends, and he had been finding it harder and harder to accept invites when they were all going out together.

He’d tried various hobbies, attempting to keep his mind and body occupied, distracted from the aching in his heart. First cycling then hiking then painting then podcasts and reading and cooking and baking and rock climbing and even a brief stint of boxing at a nearby gym. None of it really helped though, because each activity only increased that haunted feeling Buck kept getting, like everything he did would be a hundred times more enjoyable if only there were someone there to experience it alongside him. Someone to share his life with.

Then, he stumbled upon a suggested video on YouTube one night and hatched a ridiculous idea. And that’s how MukbangsWithBuck was born.

He figured instead of eating dinner every night alone in silence, perhaps he could film himself and talk to a camera. As a firefighter, he had a never-ending supply of wild stories he could go on about while he ate, and even if the content didn’t bring in millions of viewers, he was sure at least a few people would be interested in what he had to say. So, he did quite a bit of research about filming equipment and editing software, and then with his next paycheck, he purchased a rather expensive camera and the other tech he might need for the endeavor.

His first few videos were awkward, of course. Anyone could tell that he was nervous. The flow of the stories were a bit choppy, and Buck often lost his concentration mid-sentence. He never gave specific details about where he lived or the station he worked. He would mention Cap or Hen or Chim as they were always integral to his firefighting stories, but he never divulged their full names nor his own. Still, this did not deter him from rambling about a thrilling save of a woman being strangled by her own snake, or explaining the maneuver they often performed to rescue someone from a suicide attempt, or lamenting the horror of a sinking plane crash, or chuckling ridiculously as he attempted to explain how a woman got her head stuck in a tail pipe.

His uploading was scattered and unorganized at first. He was hardly getting any views on the half-hour videos, and so he would only record them once every few weeks when he was feeling really down and needed something to cheer himself up. But then the 7.1 earthquake had happened, and it had been a hellish shift, one of which they almost ended with their team losing a member. And Buck had come home that night, made himself a grilled cheese sandwich, and sat in front of a camera and cried about almost losing Hen. He described the way he’d careened through a tilted, crumbling building with Johnson at his back, the way they’d had to risk going through an elevator shaft to save two civilians, and then he recalled the horror of hearing over the radio that his coworker and good friend had gone missing, lost somewhere in the depths of an unstable building, at risk of being buried in concrete any minute. He’d sobbed for her over each bite of grilled cheese, telling the camera how she has a beautiful wife and kid at home that would have been gutted to lose her, how she has so many friends and people in her life that wouldn’t have gotten through without her comforting presence. Finally, Buck cried for the relief he felt when he, Bobby, and Chimney had located her at last and found that she was completely uninjured and had even rescued a little girl and dog.

That video blew up the day after Buck uploaded it, and within the following week, he gained a hundred-thousand new subscribers.

So, he decided to get more organized about the hobby, setting a schedule of two regular uploads per week, and that’s how he ended up with Takeout Tuesdays and Homemade Thursdays, both of which were sort of self-explanatory. When his popularity continued to climb over the next few months, Buck then decided to add a special livestream on Sundays where he’d film from his kitchen counter as he baked some sort of dessert from scratch and answered any interesting questions his fanbase might have.

He told Maddie and the 118 about it eventually, feeling a little bashful about internet fame at first, but then realizing that it wasn’t anything to be ashamed of. It was something Buck genuinely enjoyed doing, and it wasn’t hurting anyone. It was a way to encourage his cooking and baking practice, as well as helping him improve on his tech and computer skills. With each week that passed, his videos improved in quality, and he grew prouder of the content he was creating. This led to him spilling the beans over a game of poker that Maddie was hosting.

“This is probably going to sound insane to all of you,” they raised their brows as Buck went on, “but I sort of have an online presence now.”

“An online presence?” Bobby repeated, sounding completely lost as to what that meant.

“Like on Instagram?” Hen wondered.

“YouTube actually,” Buck corrected.

“You film videos?” Maddie sounded baffled, like this was something Buck definitely should have informed her about sooner.

He nodded.

“Of what?” Chimney asked around a mouthful of Doritos.

“Of myself eating…” he started, but felt at a loss of how to explain this to them all in a way they would understand without making him seem absolutely sad and pathetic.

“Is this like a fetish thing? Because I don’t want to know about it, if it is,” Hen remarked, only half teasing.

“What?! No, of course not.”

“Oh! Are they like mukbangs?” Chimney offered, and Buck smiled at his friend.

“Exactly like mukbangs! That’s actually the whole concept of the channel: MukbangsWithBuck. Basically, I make dinner, or order takeout, and then I film myself eating while also telling loads of stories about the crazy stuff that happens to us on the job.”

Bobby flashed a concerned look, and Buck hurried to assure him, “Don’t worry, I never give any specific details about our station or the personal details of everyone there.”

“That sounds really interesting, Buck,” Maddie chimed in, always the supportive big sister.

“Yeah, it does, Buckaroo. Mind if we check out your channel sometime? Or would that be weird?” Hen asked.

“Not at all. I’d love for you guys to see it and tell me what you think. That’s sort of why I brought it up. Also, the channel is getting kind of big, and I thought it might make more sense to tell everyone about it now rather than leaving you to come across it by accident on your own.”

So, he’d gained all their reassurances, and sometimes they even offered suggestions or advice of new things to try for his videos. Bobby would teach him new recipes on their shifts and mention that Buck could recreate them for his Homemade Thursdays. Hen and Chimney would remind him of cool stories that he hadn’t mentioned in past videos, so that he was never searching for something new to talk about. Maddie would gift him random home-décor items that she believed would look nice in the background of his shot. It was all so comforting, and it made Buck’s heart swell with love, pushing out the emptiness just a tad bit.

The interaction with his fans was what really kept Buck going, though. The comments would pour in with people’s fascination for the life of a firefighter, their morbid curiosity about less than pleasant things, and their disbelief at the stupidity of some of the people Buck has had to rescue. He also would get messages of solidarity from other first responders all across the country. 911 operators and police officers and paramedics and firefighters alike. It made Buck feel a sense of true community, made him feel understood, made him feel known.

His fans found him funny and charming. Sometimes, they were a little thirsty in their comments, but he mostly ignored the ones of that fashion. They would tease him when he told dumb jokes or went off on tangents about the science behind meteorites or nearly choked on his food because he got a little too excited while talking. Although he had never met any of them, he started to think of them as his family just as much as Maddie and his crew.  

Now, over a year into the channel, and he couldn’t imagine himself ever quitting his uploading. It was almost as important to him as firefighting itself, and Buck believed that his stories touched peoples lives in a similar way to when he was out there on the streets of LA saving them. He imagined there were hundreds of thousands, almost a million, people out there, just as lonely as him, just as tired of eating dinner in silence, who would press play on a new video of his and feel that same sense of family. He expressed as much, sometimes, when he was feeling particularly vulnerable on a livestream while attempting a two-tiered chocolate cake or between bites of a greasy burger and steak fries at his dining table.

He was currently finishing up the last few bites of his noodles in curry sauce and winding down the grand tale of an ice-skating show turning disastrous all because of a loose sequin. He reluctantly left out the part about Bobby being a former pairs champion in his youth, fearing it might anger his Captain if Buck shared that particular detail. He said a brief farewell, wrapping up the video. Then, he ended the recording and immediately transferred the memory chip to his laptop, wanting to get the editing process done quickly so he could get to bed and sleep tomorrow’s day away.

Buck always listened to music while he worked on his computer, playing softly in the background from the speaker of his Hildy device. He chopped up the video footage, cutting out any moments where he sat in silence for a little too long or accidentally chewed with his mouth hanging wide open. This whole process had grown a lot speedier with repetition and time. Buck was pretty sure he could edit a mukbang video with his eyes closed nowadays. Frank Ocean songs filled his ears as he made the final touches, setting a timer for the video to automatically upload at midnight his time, while he was hopefully far away in the floaty space of his dreams.

He slowly climbed the stairs of his loft once more, cursing himself for the hundredth time that he didn’t choose a single floor layout plan instead, and then he collapsed on his bed and pulled the duvet around him. His body was as weak as limp spaghetti, and his muscles ached from all the running back and forth he had performed during a three-alarm fire that day paired with an earlier call of a little girl getting stuck in a hot air balloon alone as it drifted away. He’d had to use every bit of strength he could muster to latch onto the passenger basket and pull the thing down.

But although his body was weary, Buck’s mind still raced, as it often did. He was almost positive that he had ADHD and reminded himself for the hundredth time to bring the subject up with Dr. Copeland the next time they had a session. He pulled his phone off the nightstand where he’d plugged it in to charge when he first got home, and then he clicked on his most recent video from Sunday, scrolling back through the live chat feed and reading any comments that he had missed while baking.

There were, of course, a plethora of ones about the way Buck looked in his blue apron that made him blush wildly in the darkness of his bedroom. Then, there were a few that suggested he write a cookbook. He wrinkled his nose at that. Writing was never his thing; he didn’t have the patience for it. Besides, all the recipes he used were Bobby’s, not Buck’s, and he had told his subscribers this many of times. If anyone should write a cookbook, it was Cap.

Almost an hour later, Buck had nearly made it to the end of all 6,743 comments, when he spotted one that caught his eye more than any of the others had. Some fan by the username of CaliGirl21 had asked, “Do you work with BrownEyedFirefighter? He’s in LA too.”

By this point, Buck’s fans had pieced together that he was stationed somewhere in LA. It was a little obvious from the nature of his calls involving earthquakes and palm trees and the Hollywood Hills and even that disastrous tsunami at the pier last month. However, they still had no clue which firehouse Buck actually worked at, and he planned to keep it that way.

He had no idea who this BrownEyedFirefighter channel was though. He quickly typed the name into the search bar of his YouTube app, and Buck’s eyes were greeted by a thumbnail starring a very handsome man with dark hair and soft brown eyes. His jawline was perfect, his smile beautiful. Buck clicked through to the man’s main page and scrolled through his content.

It seemed that Brown Eyes, which was what Buck would be thinking of him as until he figured out his actual name, did a combination of two sorts of videos. He mostly had education-type videos where he told his audience of useful tips in emergency situations. It seemed he came from a background of being a combat medic in the army and would give advice on how to immediately treat minor wounds until first responders could arrive on scene. He had videos about the most important information to give when calling 911, when you should give someone chest compressions and how to do them, how to create a makeshift tourniquet, the best points of exit from a building on fire, strategies for surviving an earthquake, and many other incredibly useful things for the general public to know. Despite Buck being trained with all this knowledge already, he watched every single video with rapt attention, holding onto those brown eyes as the man spoke in deep timbres.

He learned that his name was Eddie, only mentioned in passing during a video of how to get out of a car when it’s been submerged in a body of water. And Buck was pretty sure he was already in love.

What really sealed the deal, though, was the other variety of videos on Eddie’s channel. Casual vlogs in which Eddie did fun things around LA with his very adorable ten-year-old son. They would vlog while eating pancakes at some diner and then film during their entire trip to the zoo. Or Eddie would document Christopher’s weekend surfing lessons and the giant ice cream cones they’d buy at the beach. And then other times Eddie would simply vlog while he ran errands or cleaned his house. It was incredibly domestic and sweet and everything Buck had ever longed for.

He stayed up all night watching the entire backlog of videos from BrownEyedFirefighter, feeling a mixture of slightly pathetic for having a crush on this guy he’s never met, but also rather consoled by the kind, endearing nature of Eddie and his son.

A few days later, after arriving right on time for a morning shift, Buck tried to discretely ask if anyone at the 118 knew of any LA firefighters named Eddie. Unsurprisingly, his three best friends all had many questions.

“Eddie what? Does he have a last name?” Bobby pressed for more information.

“Uh, I don’t actually know his last name, nor what station he works at.”

“Is this a new love interest or something?” asked Hen.

Buck scratched the back of his neck bashfully. “Not exactly,” he said.

“How do you know this mysterious Eddie, then?”

“I don’t technically know him.”

They all gave him looks of confusion. Rather than trying to explain with his own words, Buck dug his phone out of his uniform pants and quickly looked up a random video of Eddies, pressing play on one about the dangers of smoke inhalation before presenting the screen to Hen, Bobby, and Chim. They watched for a few minutes in silence, clearly trying to wrap their heads around what was going on here.

“So, this guy also just so happens to be an LAFD member who is YouTube famous?” Chimney said to clarify.

Buck rolled his eyes and chuckled. “I’m not exactly famous, Chim… but, yeah I guess. All I really know about him is that he was a combat medic before getting into firefighting, he works somewhere in LA, and he has a son who’s in his videos sometimes. Sound familiar to anyone?”

“I think I’d know that face if I’d seen it before,” Hen told him.

“That is a beautiful man,” Chimney agreed.

“Where’s the lie? And I like girls,” Hen added.

“Now that you mention it,” Bobby cut in seriously, “about a year ago there was a new recruit that had experience as a combat medic. I tried to get him for the 118, but he ended up landing at station six. I can’t remember what the guy’s name was though.”

Buck’s blue eyes lit up with hope. “Do you think you could find out?” he inquired to Bobby, mentally cursing how desperate he probably sounded.

“What exactly are you wishing to achieve here, Buck?” Chimney pointed out.

“Yeah, please tell me you’re not turning into some sort of stalker,” came from Hen.

“No, no,” he hurried to quell them, “nothing creepy. I was simply wondering which house he’s in so that if our crews ever got put on a call together, I could make sure to introduce myself. He seems cool, that’s all.”

He was certain he managed to make his voice not sound wistful at all.

“I’ll look into it,” Cap promised as a way to end the conversation.

But a week later, this subtle sleuthing of Buck’s did not prove fruitful. Bobby explained that his request for the recruit happened so long ago that he couldn’t seem to place his name in any old paperwork. He offered to make a call over to Captain Ahuja at station six and inquire about any Eddies, but Buck was afraid that would seem too odd and raise suspicion. He told Cap not to worry about it anymore.

Instead, in the lonely walls of his empty apartment, after filming a mukbang of him eating homemade chicken parm, Buck decided it would be completely okay to actually subscribe to Eddie’s channel. Nothing strange about that at all.

Three days later, he prepared the ingredients for simple snickerdoodle cookies and started his live streaming. Friendly hellos immediately poured in, and Buck smiled fondly as he set about mixing the dry substances and mindlessly replying to comments. Just as he’d finished up arranging the dough on a cookie sheet and placing it carefully into the oven, Buck spotted another mention of BrownEyedFirefighter in the chat. Something from a random user about how hot Eddie and Buck would look as a couple.

Great. People were officially shipping them.

He went about cleaning up the counter, pretending he hadn’t read that particular comment, choosing to answer a different one about if Buck’s station has a real firepole and if they ever actually use it.

Another week went by where Buck could not stop thinking about Eddie. He’d turned on his notifications for the man’s videos, and if he wasn’t busy on a call, he would immediately watch them the moment they were posted. There was a funny vlog about Eddie’s Abuela lecturing him for being late to a family cookout last weekend, and then there was the more formal video of Eddie going into detail about the tests one has to pass while going through the LA Fire Academy.

It didn’t really matter what the content was, Buck inhaled anything the man would give him. He’d literally listen to Eddie talk about gauze for three hours if that was the sort of thing being posted on the channel. Unfortunately, the videos were only about fifteen minutes long on average, and Buck was progressively starting to feel like it wasn’t quite enough. He needed more Eddie in his life, and he wasn’t quite sure how to make that happen.

One Friday night, while slightly tipsy after having joined the crew at Maddie’s favorite karaoke spot, Buck realized that in the description for the BrownEyedFirefighter channel, there was a link to Eddie’s Instagram account. Buck immediately clicked on it.

The account was public, mostly promoting Eddie’s new videos when he uploaded them, and then there were also random selfies or cute snapshots with his son. Perhaps it was his inebriated brain that was misguiding his thinking and dimming his inhibitions, but Buck didn’t even hesitate before following the account.

He almost fell off his barstool ten minutes later when he got a notification from Instagram that Eddie had followed him back. His sip of vodka tonic went down the wrong pipe as he read over it for a second time to double-check he wasn’t imagining things. Chimney clapped him on the back with concern.

“You all right there, Buck?” his friend asked.

Buck could only nod numbly. He could not believe Eddie had followed him back, and so soon. He tried not to let it get his hopes up in any way, knowing that there were some people on social media who would instinctively follow back any accounts who followed them. It didn’t really mean anything significant. It wasn’t a sign that Eddie was secretly pining for Buck from a distance as well.

“I think I’m gonna go ahead and get a ride home,” he announced before opening the Uber app on his phone. After selecting a driver, Buck’s foggy brain instantly drifted back to Eddie, and then it sent him into a spiral of panic, thinking about what Eddie would see when looking at Buck’s Instagram page. He hastily switched back over to the app and did a frantic scroll through all his past posts, making sure there wasn’t anything too embarrassing or unflattering, just on the off chance that the brown eyed man was interested in doing some sleuthing of his own.

His uber arrived a few minutes later, and Buck bid his friends a slurred goodnight. He kept his phone in the back pocket of his jeans the entire ride home, choosing to gaze out the window instead, trying to focus on the bright lights of the LA nightscape rather than the interesting turn of events his night had taken.

He arrived home soon enough, and he chucked his keys at the counter while calling out to Hildy to play his drunk playlist (yes, he had one of those), and then he was mindlessly plugged his phone in upstairs, still in a daze, before stripping and climbing into a steaming shower. The heat and humidity worked to clear his brain, and by the time he stepped out, squeaky clean, he didn’t feel so tipsy anymore. Buck pulled on a pair of grey boxer-briefs, got situated in bed, and then took a very deep breath in an attempt to calm himself before choosing to look at Instagram once more.

To his simultaneous delight and dismay, Eddie had sent him a direct message.

Hey, you’re that other LA firefighter, right? I’ve seen your YouTube videos a few times in my suggestion feed.

So, Eddie did know of his existence. Buck wasn’t sure how he felt about this news, but it was probably somewhere in the area of frenzied glee. But also, he was terrified of the thought of having to come up with a message of his own in response.

Seven minutes of hard contemplating produced a so-so result.

Hi! Yeah, that’s me. I think we have some mutual subscribers. A few of them have mentioned your channel in my comments, and that’s how I heard of you.

You do mukbang and baking videos, right?

Yeah, I talk about the rescues our crew has done while I’m eating and whatnot.

Buck could not believe he was currently having an actual conversation with the man whom he’d been embarrassingly pining after for at least a month now.

Huh, that sounds pretty entertaining. I’ll have to check it out sometime.

Okay, so Eddie hadn’t actually watched any of Buck’s videos. That was a slight blow to the ego, but he could live with it.

Do you really go by Buck? Eddie had sent next before Buck could form a reply to the previous message.

Yeah, it’s a nickname that started when I was still in the academy. I have a pretty common first name, and it got a little confusing with some of the other recruits.

But how did you land on Buck for a nickname? Lol

Buck cringed, trying to decide how much he should actually give away to the person who was technically a stranger.

It’s actually a shortened version of my last name. It just kind of came about naturally.

Ah, sorry. Didn’t mean to pry. That actually makes a lot of sense. Eddie is a nickname as well.

Short for Edward? Edmund? Eduardo?

Ha! Thankfully none of those. Edmundo. But I highly prefer Eddie. Only a few people in my family still call me Edmundo.

Good to know. How long have you been a firefighter, Eddie?

Just over a year now. I started the academy right after moving to LA.

You’re not from Cali?

Nope. Texas born.

Buck paused his typing as he tried to imagine the man from the videos with a large shiny belt buckle and a ten-gallon hat. The two notions did not intercept naturally.

A cowboy?! I’m shocked.

Hardly. What about you? Born and raised in Los Angeles?

No. Grew up in Pennsylvania. Moved around a lot after dropping out of college, and then I ended up here in 2016. Sort of fell into firefighting by accident and then loved it so much I could no longer imagine myself doing anything else.

I know the feeling. There’s nothing better than saving people’s lives on a daily basis.

Buck smiled to himself. A giddiness had washed over him in splendid waves. They were talking, getting to know each other, possibly becoming acquaintances or maybe friends. This was better than anything he could have hoped for.

I’m guessing you were here for the tsunami then? Did your crew have to work it?

Yeah, we were stationed more on the outskirts, wrangling wandering survivors and directing them to the field hospitals. We didn’t actually go out on the rescue boats. Did you?

Yeah, I just recently uploaded a video about it a couple weeks ago if you’re interested in hearing some of my stories from that day. We saw some pretty gruesome stuff. Almost got crushed by the pier Ferris wheel getting pushed over in the backwash.

Damn. Was everyone on your team okay?

Oh yeah, all good. But it definitely made for a long shift.

I remember. My son was pissed at me that I didn’t make it home in time to tuck him into bed that night.

Buck’s heart swelled again, picturing the adorable scene of Eddie reading his son a bedtime story.

Awe, that sucks. But it’s also really sweet that you guys are so strict about bedtime routines.

Chris takes it very seriously. And perfect story selection is of the utmost importance. There’s no chance of getting him to sleep if the book is less than satisfactory.

Haha, he sounds like a great kid.

One hundred percent. What about you? Have a family of your own?

Buck frowned, reluctantly typing out the pathetic state of his loneliness.

Just me at the moment. No significant other. No kids. My firehouse is my family. And my sister.

That must be nice. I work well with my crew, and we get along, but there’s no hanging out after shifts or anything like that. I’ve been in LA over a year now and haven’t really met anyone that I could call an actual friend. It’s sort of lonely sometimes, but I’m thankful to have Christopher and my Abuela and other members of my family that live close by.

Buck hesitated for a moment, trying to decide between brushing the heaviness of the conversation off with a dumb joke or allowing himself to be a little vulnerable.

Trust me, I know all about being lonely. Although my crew does get drinks after work sometimes and we have poker nights and birthday parties, I’m literally the only one at the 118 that isn’t partnered up. It’s always a little sad being around everyone and their spouses while I’m eternally the single guy.

And I’m guessing you’ve had no luck dating around here? I’ve had a few people try to pass me their phone numbers on calls, but I’m honestly a little terrified of the whole dating scene. It’s a little pathetic.

Is Christopher’s mother no longer in the picture?

Buck hoped the question wasn’t too personal.

No. We divorced a few years back when we still lived in Texas. She actually lives in LA too now, visits Chris every once in a while, but I have full custody.

Also, the 118 huh? That’s your house?

Buck’s eyes widened at the realization of what he’d accidentally sent. He hadn’t meant to let Eddie know his station number so soon into their getting to know each other.

Shit. Yeah, I didn’t exactly intend to reveal that, but I guess there’s not much harm in you knowing. As long as you promise not to reveal it publicly on my Instagram or YouTube comments.

No worries, Buck. I’m not gonna dox you or anything. And I promise I won’t track you down in person like a creep. Lol

I’m at station six, btw.

Oh! I actually think my Captain tried to get you for our house when you first came through the academy. I remember him mentioning something about a former combat medic who landed at station six.

You know I used to be a combat medic? So you have watched a lot of my videos, then…

A few, yeah. Buck wasn’t sure if the message came off as nonchalant as he was intending.

I guess I’ll have to do some research of my own then, see what I can learn from these mukbangs of yours.

Help yourself :)

Was that too flirty? Buck groaned. He could already tell that this man was going to have his anxiety skyrocketing day in and day out.

Will do ;)

Buck swooned a little, feeling dizzy, but from the alcohol still in his system or from Eddie’s message, he wasn’t quite sure.

It’s getting pretty late and I have an early shift tomorrow. I should probably get off.

Okay, no problem. It was great talking to you, Eddie. Maybe we could do this again sometime?

Surely that didn’t come off as too desperate.

You too, Buck. And I’d really like that. Message me anytime, and I’ll reply if I can :)

In the morning, Buck was sure he’d find that this had all been a fantastical dream. There was no way this was his real life.