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death by blood thinners

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Adrenaline is Buck’s drug, and he chases the pushing sensation with narrow, hungry eyes. He’s racing up a ladder to save an expecting mother from a house fire, hands and feet moving in perfect sync, leaving no room for error. Even in the dark, with only a flashlight and the street light below, he’s moving effortlessly, and he doesn’t blink, doesn’t even hesitate when he reaches the window.

He orders the woman to stand back, and the second she’s out of his line of sight, he slams his elbow into the glass, two, three times until the window spiderwebs against the force. One more hit, and the window shatters. He knocks jutting shards of glass free, not even feeling the small scrape that sneaks past the sleeve of his jacket, and then he’s hopping into the room.

Smoke is billowing from below the closed door, coating the room in a grayish, dark haze, and he gestures to the woman who’s speaking rapid, panicked Spanish.

“Uh,” he drags out, glancing from the woman to the window. “Es…” He tilts his head, jerking his brain through the brief Spanish lessons Eddie’s been giving him, “escapamos?”

The woman jerks her head into a tight nod and starts to the window, and Buck’s close behind her, raking through his incredibly small Spanish vocabulary. He can’t think of the proper way to tell the woman to take it slow and steady, so he radios Eddie, and he can practically hear the eye roll.

“ Señora,” Eddie starts, grabbing the woman’s attention, “tenga mucho cuidado cuando baje.”

The woman nods and slows her pace as she carefully starts out the window. Buck follows, watching her climb down a few rungs. “What did you say to her?” he asks Eddie through the radio, and Eddie scoffs, voice crackling through the radio slightly.

“Something you should already know from our lessons.”

“Oh, sorry,” Buck draws out, sarcasm mixing in his tone. “It’s a little hard to remember this shit when you’re out saving lives.” He starts on the ladder, fingers easily gripping the sides.

“I told you to let me get her.”

“Fuck off,” Buck mutters under his breath, a hint of a smile playing at his lips. He spares another glance below to see Eddie and Hen helping the woman off the ladder, and a brief bout of relief swells in his chest as he easily makes his way down, bypassing the last few runs with a small jump.

A loud crack of thunder over head has him pulling a quick gaze toward the dark sky just as it splits open, bringing sheets and sheets of rain. It’s helping with the fire, but he still needs to work, and when Bobby shouts “let’s wrap this up,” he moves back to the truck to help put out the remaining flames while Eddie, Hen, and Chimney tend to the woman.

Buck’s focused on the hose, on the strategic aim of the water, when Eddie comes up to him, shouting over the wall of rain.

“She wants me to ride with them to the hospital!”

Buck spares a brief gaze to Eddie, and Eddie takes his moment, leaning forward to plant quick kiss to Buck’s lips, their helmets knocking together.

“I’ll meet you back at the station!” 

Buck nods, smiling at the faint tingle clinging to his lips, and he struggles to rip his gaze away from Eddie racing to the back of the ambulance.

“Focus, Buck.”

Bobby’s voice, suddenly a hot breath at his ear, as him whipping his gaze back to the lingering flames, and together, they douse the remaining fire within minutes.

When they make it back to the truck, both thoroughly drenched through, Buck sighs, ripping his helmet off and running a hand through his dripping hair.

“I’m glad it rained, but a little warning would have been nice.”

“If you had spent a little more time looking at the TV instead of Eddie’s ass, you would have seen the weather report that predicted this storm–”

“–I wasn’t staring at his ass!” Buck’s voice is defensive, yet heat creeps up his neck to his cheeks until they’re glowing red.

“Yeah, keep telling yourself that,” Bobby says around a hearty laugh that Buck scoffs at, slumping in his seat and crossing his arms as Bobby pulls away from the scene and heads back to the station.

Bobby and Buck make it back first, and Bobby waves a tired hand to Buck as he starts up the steps. “Go shower. You stink.”

If exhaustion wasn’t pushing down on Buck’s shoulders, he would spit out a sharp retort, but it’s been a long day for all of them, more calls than usual, so he shuffles to the showers, shedding his clothes with half-lidded eyes.

The warm water is heavenly against his skin, and he tilts his his head up, eyes fluttering closed as the heated spray pours over him, washing away the dirt and grime built up from an incredibly long day. He’s quick with the soap, not really paying attention for his mind is focused on being in bed with Eddie, and he wraps a towel around his hips when he’s finished, stepping out of the shower with a slight shiver.

He bypasses the mirrors and steps into the locker room, his left hand keeping the towel clasped at his hips while his right hand digs around his bag for his clothes.

Faintly, he can hear the others return, and shortly after, he can just make out Bobby telling Eddie where he is. Smiling, he turns to the door just as Eddie pulls it open, but the matching smile Eddie’s sporting drops in the blink of an eye, curling into a deep frown that plays off the concern etched across his paling face.

“Eddie, what’s wrong?” Buck asks, but Eddie’s eyes are cast downward, and Buck slowly follows his gaze until he, too, pales at the sudden sight of blood pouring from a small cut on his arm, drenching his towel in a sea of red and pooling at the floor just by his feet.

“Shit.”

Eddie’s at his side in seconds, breathing fast, heart hammering against his rib cage, and he reaches in Buck’s bag for a loose shirt, pressing it to the wound. Buck winces slightly, but he’s more focused on Eddie’s heaving chest.

“How long have you been bleeding?” Eddie asks quickly, words spilling from his tongue. He leaves Buck’s side, following the trail of blood all the way to the shower where the remaining puddle of water on the shower floor is painted a faint red. He makes his way back to see Buck drop down heavily onto a bench, frowning at the white shirt that’s quickly fading to a pinkish red.

“How did you not notice?” Eddie presses, taking quick note of Buck’s normally healthy skin taking to a pale tone. “Even in the shower?”

“I don’t know,” Buck admits. “I think I was half-asleep in the shower–”

“–Jesus Christ,” Eddie spits out, though worry takes center hold of his tone. “I’m going to get some bandages from the ambulance, so keep applying pressure to that.”

Buck’s eyes follow Eddie’s almost erratic movements until he’s out of sight, and only then does he allow his shoulders to slump. He’s beginning to grow dizzy, and a little cold, but then Eddie’s busting back into the room, and he can see the others hovering at the door.

“I told them you’re naked,” Eddie says, crouching down in front of Buck. He carefully moves the shirt away, frown deepening at the amount of blood gushing from a cut that’s not even that big or that deep for that matter.

“These fucking blood thinners are going to be the death of me,” Eddie mutters under his breath as he starts wrapping the bandage around Buck’s arm.

“I’m pretty sure they’ll actually be the death of me,” Buck tries for a light joke, but the sharp, almost desperate gaze Eddie shoots him has Buck dropping his small smile, eyes cast in concern.

“Hey, Eddie, I was kidding, okay? I’ll be fine. I must have cut my arm when I broke the window earlier.”

Eddie’s muscles tense with each of Buck’s words. Buck takes quiet note of the rigid motions, cupping his free hand to Eddie’s chin to pull Eddie’s gaze up to his. “You know I’m going to be fine, right?”

Eddie only offers a curt nod, not trusting his voice to work in sync with his racing heart, and Buck sighs, frown matching Eddie’s.

“Then breathe, Eddie. I’m pretty sure you haven’t taken in a solid breath since you walked in.”

Eddie’s exhale is deep, shaking. “You’d be the same way if you saw what I saw.” He keeps his voice quiet, moving away from Buck’s hand to turn his gaze back to Buck’s arm. Already, blood is pressing against the bandage, but he keeps working it around Buck’s arm, just until he can get Buck to the hospital.

Buck’s not sure that any reply will ease Eddie’s tense fear, so he opts to remain quiet, allowing Eddie to finish bandaging his arm, to help him into underwear, jeans, and his jacket, his shirt bunched up in a bloody pile on the floor, and to help him to the truck for the quick drive to the hospital.

Buck offers his doctor a sheepish grin when the two walk into the hospital, and his doctor is quick to scold him for the unnecessary risks he keeps taking. He’s taken into a back room for an hour, and Eddie remains tense and quiet at his side, working through his emotions slowly while Buck gets stitched up.

By the time they make it back to Eddie’s place, Buck is thoroughly exhausted, and Eddie looks every bit uncomfortable still in his damp, dirty clothes from work.

“Christopher?” Buck asks, eyeing the empty bedroom as Eddie begins shedding his clothes.

“Staying at abuela’s tonight.” Eddie’s voice is a little clipped, tired, but there’s a faint, muted heat that’s got Buck frowning.

“How long are you going to be mad at me?” He asks, following Eddie into his bedroom.

“I’m not mad,” Eddie grumbles, flopping onto his bed in only his boxers, his hair a mess from the rain and stress-induced pulling.

Buck slips his boots and jeans off before shrugging off his jacket. “That’s exactly what someone who’s mad would say.” He drops onto the bed beside Eddie, head rolling to the side to meet Eddie’s tired, drawn gaze.

“Seeing you literally bleeding out is fucking scary, okay? I thought I was going to have a heart attack.”

Buck reaches out, resting one hand to Eddie’s chest to feel the steady thump of Eddie’s heart. He considers his next words, digging through his tired brain. “Lo… lo siento.”

“ Lo sé, por favor deja de asustarme así,” Eddie’s voice is barely above a whisper, mirroring the emotional toll that’s the night’s event have taken on his body, but he manages a hint of a smile, a breath of a laugh, at the clear confusion taking over Buck’s face.

“Uh, yeah, what you said.”