Have you ever been terrified to lose something that isn’t even yours? Digging helplessly at the mud with your bare hands, so determined not to let go, not to give up. Your heart going so fast you think it might just beat out of your chest. Then you get tugged back, you struggle to keep going but there’s no point. You can’t help it when your face twists up in anguish and all that’s left to do is sob.
Buck stared blankly, his eyes unable to focus on anything as Bobby went on explaining their plan. His voice sounded muffled, nothing more than a low hum. Buck inhaled shakily as his thoughts spiraled. He couldn’t give up on Eddie, Christopher needed him, he needed him. But what if it was too late? He didn’t even know if Eddie had enough oxygen, and it was raining and the tunnel could flood or he could be pinned down under-
Then something snapped him out of it. Eddie’s voice sounded from behind the crowd, exhausted and weak. He stumbled forward, and Buck rushed to meet him. Buck had Eddie in his arms, he was alive. He was alive and he was safe.
Once Hen had finished Eddie’s mandatory checkup (“Diaz if you don’t sit your ass down right now and let me make sure you aren’t dying I’ll sit on top of you”) and declared him healthy other than a few nasty bruises, everyone had gone back to the station to clean up and headed home. Eddie was driven home by Bobby who insisted he shouldn’t be driving.
Buck had gone home to his apartment and immediately got in the shower. Showering at the station was fine for getting off all the dirt and gunk, but showering at home just felt like washing off the rest of the day. He sighed as he leaned against the shower wall, letting the heat from the water soak into his muscles. He pointedly ignored every single thought racing through his head in favor of quickly scrubbing himself down with his home body wash. The one he kept at the station was a different scent.
Buck quickly dried himself off after stepping out of the shower and turning off the water. He pulled on some boxers and some sweatpants, then immediately got into bed. Exhaustion set in and he let his eyes close, falling asleep almost immediately.
Have you ever been terrified to lose something that isn’t even yours? Digging helplessly at the mud with your bare hands, so determined not to let go, not to give up. Your heart going so fast you think it might just beat out of your chest. This time you aren’t tugged back, everyone stands around looking at you. You struggle to keep going but there’s no point. You can’t help it when your face twists up in anguish and all that’s left to do is sob and scratch at the mud but you know he’s-
Buck’s eyes snapped open in the dark. His breathing came in short gasps, he couldn’t take a full breath in. His heart was once again pounding so fast he thought it would beat out of his chest. His mind felt fuzzy and unfocused. At some point he rolled out of bed and sat on the floor, he wrapped his arms around his knees and struggled to regain control. He listened to his clock ticking, the low hum of the fan in his room, and he felt the rug against his feet. He leaned back and felt his blanket soft against him.
Slowly Buck was able to calm himself, counting his breaths in his mind. Four seconds in, four seconds held, four seconds out. Still counting, he stood and pulled on a navy blue sweater he found thrown over a chair. He grabbed his keys from on top of his dresser, hearing Maddie’s voice in his head telling him it wasn’t a good idea to drive right after a panic attack. He toed on some shoes, locked his apartment, then got in his car and drove.
Eddie woke up slowly. He knew he didn’t have to get up right away, Carla took Christopher home with her the previous night, insisting that Eddie needed to rest. He let her, but only after he’d hugged his son close and just held him for awhile. He rolled over, his eyes still shut, listening to the peaceful silence in his room, only broken by the sound of soft snoring.
Eddie’s eyes snapped open and he shot up. He scanned his room and his gaze landed on the recliner in the corner of the room. The one that had definitely been vacant when he went to bed, but was now filled with a snoring firefighter wearing his sweater.
He cringed at the position Buck was in, one leg thrown up over the arm of the chair, half of him falling off towards the ground.
“Buck.” Eddie whispered.
Buck’s face scrunched up and he sniffed, but immediately fell asleep again.
“Evan.” Eddie grabbed a pillow from behind him and threw it at his best friend.
Buck woke up with a yelp, falling the rest of the way onto the floor. He looked up at Eddie, his face screaming betrayal.
“Any reason why you broke into my apartment while I was sleeping?”
Buck yawned and sat up, stretching his arms above his head. “Legally it’s not breaking in if I have a key.”
Eddie watched as Buck’s face turned pink and he scratched the back of his neck. He mumbled so quietly Eddie could barely tell what he said. “Had a nightmare and needed to make sure you were still alive.”
“Oh.” Eddie understood that far too well. “Well you could have slept on the bed, it’s big enough. Falling asleep in that chair is terrible.”
“Oh good morning Eddie, I broke into your house at four in the morning and climbed into bed with you after a panic attack for some snuggles, would you like some breakfast?” Buck rolled his eyes.
“I’d absolutely love some breakfast, but I’m going back to sleep. You can too, or you can make breakfast, you know where everything is.” Eddie shrugged and dropped back down onto his bed, wincing at the movement. He waited a few long moments, then felt the blanket lift up and the bed dip next to him. His eyes shut and he fell once more into a deep sleep.
The next time Eddie woke up, one of Buck’s arms was wrapped protectively around him.