#911 lone star fic
9-1-1: Lone Star
Carlos Reyes/TK Strand
for those who hadn't seen the spring
TK has pills in his hands, a hole in his chest, and Carlos' love in his eyes.
Infinity times infinity
Carlos loves stars, and he, somehow, found them inside of the most beautiful irises he's ever seen.
falling for you
Three times Carlos had had his heart broken and one time he could mend it.
TK writes a letter to Carlos, just because three little words are not quite enough.
you are the future, and the future looks good
TK has late night thoughts and a lazy morning beside Carlos.
i'll hold you close in my arms
The aftermath the the hostage, when TK’s at the hospital (again).
if i share my thoughts with you, would you share your life with me?
After a shift from hell, Carlos could use a little bit of kindness.
so dark up above, the sun's in my heart (and I'm ready for love)
TK could really, really use a hug and something to break the deaf sound of his blank thoughts. Instead, Carlos offers him space ― and a little bit more of his heart, even if it already belongs to TK.
you knew what it was ― he is in love (and so are you)
TK gets home to find his boyfriend dancing and singing to songs he doesn't know ― and he stares at him just because he can.
there is nothing new about me (but you)
After Owen finishes helping TK and Carlos moving in, the two of them have a little celebrating to do.
there ain't no way to burn when the fire's out
TK and Carlos have a fight over Owen and his stupid actions, and Carlos is alone when the fire starts ― and even more when, for him it ends.
gonna be okay (but surely not today)
TK apologizes as he should have done, and they talk about feelings, fires, and maybes.
let's have conversations in the dark
Getting home to Carlos, even a sick one, was the best part of TK's days. Even more, so, when sleepy conversations led to the future.
tell me your secrets (and ask me your questions)
TK was never used to be seen. Carlos had always been to scared to be heard ― and if Carlos could see TK through the veils of sorrow he carries around, TK could get used to hear some anwers in the silence.
hearts don't break around here ― multi-chaptered
In which TK is a florist in his free time, Carlos is skeptical in full-time, and they fall in love among flowers and through windows.
Anatomy of a broken heart (and its pieces) ― series
Although pain is not everlasting, scars stain more than just skin ― and if broken hearts still beat, broken souls might just mend themselves again (if given a chance, of course). Or in which the relationship with Alex left more scars on TK than only over his soul.
there'll be happiness after you
I know my love should be celebrated
falling feels like flying
if you never bleed, you're never gonna grow (and it's alright now)
he's got my past frozen behind glass, but i've got me (and you've got me too)
you drew stars around my scars
and when i break, it's in a million pieces
gleaming, twinkling (eyes like sinking)
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absolutely loving all your writing, you’re feeding us so well! I’d love to request something if you’re up for it: tk seeing carlos in his glasses for the first time and just being 😳 no thoughts head empty
thanks for the request! not quite sure if this counts as pillow talk but i'm submitting it for day 13 of @flufftober2021: pillow talk
ao3 | 460 words | fluff, very mild sexual innuendo
TK was not prepared to be attacked this early in the morning.
In theory, he knows Carlos wears glasses. He’s watched him put his contacts in and he’s seen the pair sitting on Carlos’s nightstand. And, yes, he has imagined how Carlos would look in them, which, yes, has led to some very interesting showers.
Turns out, his imagination (which TK considers plenty creative, thanks) falls far short of reality.
Because Carlos is wearing his glasses now, and holy shit. TK doesn’t think he’s blinked once since he first opened his eyes, having been instantly assaulted with the utterly deadly combination of glasses and loose curls.
Carlos, meanwhile, seems totally oblivious to TK’s predicament. “What are you staring at?” he mumbles, not looking away from his book, totally calm as if he hasn’t just changed TK’s entire life.
What TK means to say is an eloquent rant about how a) he has the right not to be murdered first thing in the morning and b) Carlos has been holding out this whole time and he demands to know why.
What comes out instead is a strained, “Glasses.”
Carlos quirks an amused eyebrow, side-eyeing TK. “Yeah. So?”
“So? You—” TK rolls to pout at his boyfriend as he fights to get his tongue working again. “You could have warned me,” he settles on, not even caring about how petulant he sounds.
Carlos’s other eyebrow shoots up. “I could have warned you?”
“That I was going to wear my glasses this morning?”
“When I didn’t even know myself before I actually put them on, at which point you were asleep?”
Carlos, clearly still not understanding just how serious this is, laughs. “Okay babe. Next time I don’t know I’m going to wear my glasses, I’ll be sure to warn you.”
TK groans and swats at Carlos. “Jerk.”
Unfortunately, this has the effect of making Carlos smile even wider, and TK has to shove his face into the pillow so he doesn’t have to stare at fucking Michelangelo’s David over there. “Arrest yourself,” he mumbles.
“On what charges?”
“Attempted murder. Looking unreasonably good at eight in the morning. Making fun of me. You choose.”
“Okay.” The sheets rustle as Carlos leans closer, and TK shivers at the hot breath ghosting across his skin. “Not sure I’ll be able to get the handcuffs on myself, though. Why don’t you come over here and help me?”
Oh, with pleasure.
TK’s up immediately, swinging a leg over to straddle Carlos’s lap. “On one condition,” he says, leaning forward so there’s barely any air between them. “The glasses stay on.”
Carlos smirks and grabs at TK’s hips, pulling him impossibly closer. “Oh, baby,” he murmurs. “After this morning, they’re never coming off again.”
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Under the cut you can find 30+ tarlos AU prompts I came up with cause I’m not obsessed with this trope at all lol
I apologize in advance for any kind of inaccuracy
Feel free to write any of these and if you do please tag me cause I’d love to read anything you guys write <3
I’m tracking #actuallysara on here and I’m actuallysara on AO3 too
This list will be updated regularly
1. Physical therapist!Carlos
Set after 1x08. TK needs physio for his shoulder after getting shot and Carlos ends up being his physical therapist — filled here
Owen and TK just moved to Texas and they turn to realtor Carlos Reyes to find the perfect house for them. TK keeps finding things that are wrong with the houses they’re being shown and Carlos starts to think he’s doing his job wrong while TK was just making excuses to see him more. Owen is so done with his son
Carlos is a counselor at a LGBTQ+ center in Austin. TK just moved to the city and one day he’s feeling on edge and while walking around the city trying to calm down he comes across the center and he goes inside out of desperation. He finds himself in the middle of a meeting held by Carlos and he’s so fascinated by him he sticks around. When the meeting is over Carlos approaches him before he can leave. Maybe he ends up helping Carlos out /volunteering at the center?
4. Canon divergence
Set after 1x03. Carlos’ condo is set on fire then, maybe as a revenge from someone Carlos arrested in the past. Story is canon until 1x03. TK works on the fire and is devasted for Carlos and for his house. TK wants to be there for him and wants to help him find another place and they just go from there. Carlos would probably be like “I don’t need your pity” and TK would be like “shut up I wanna be there for you, please let me be”
5. Cop!TK + enemies to lovers
TK moves to Austin and he gets paired with Carlos (maybe Carlos’ partner moved away or something like that). Carlos is annoyed at being paired with the new guy and is not impressed by him at all. Then one day TK saves him (maybe jumping in front of him/pushing him away and taking a bullet for him ) and things change from there.
Carlos is the doctor treating Owen’s cancer. He’s there for TK in ways a doctor shouldn’t be but he just can’t stay away.
Carlos works as a barista at a coffee shop and it doesn’t matter how far it is from the 126 station, TK keeps going there every single day just to see him. TK lets slip that he works at the 126 and when he gets shot and doesn’t go to the coffee shop for some time Carlos gets worried and he goes to the fire station with coffees for everyone and they tell him what happened to TK. The 126 tease TK about it and they tell him to expect a text cause they gave Carlos his phone number.
8. Dog trainer!Carlos
TK wants to get Buttercup trained and he goes to a training center where he finds Carlos. Buttercup is a quick learner but TK keeps bringing him there cause he wants to keep seeing Carlos. Carlos calls him out on that cause Buttercup is perfectly trained and TK just plays dumb.
9. Therapist!Carlos (not TK’s therapist)
Carlos works at the hospital as a therapist for people who have family members suffering from cancer/illnesses. TK is taking Owen’s cancer news very hard and when his dad gets hospitalized because he’s not feeling well one day, he can’t stay still and starts wandering down the corridors. He ends up in front of Carlos’ office but he doesn’t bring himself to knock on the door. He just sits there but eventually Carlos comes out of his office because he’s done with his shift and sees him there and he asks him if he is okay and they start talking. TK keeps going with Owen to his chemio appointments and he keeps seeing Carlos around the ward and they soon develop a friendship in the waiting room. All the talk happens when Carlos is not on the clock/he just makes time for TK.
10. Football players!Tarlos + enemies to lovers
TK gets transfered from a NY team to one in Austin and he starts playing for the same team as. There’s always been a rivalry going on on the pitch between them and things are tense after TK’s arrival.
11. Different first meeting
TK and Carlos have been seeing each other during calls but they never actually interacted with each other nor hooked up, no matter how much they both wanted to. One day TK rescues a dog and he can’t find the owner so he takes the dog home with him for the night. Maybe the dog ran away because there was a storm and it was scared and TK doesn’t wanna leave it in the street under the rain. He takes it to the vet the day after and the dog ends up being Carlos’.
Set during 1x08. Carlos is a nurse at the hospital where TK ends up after being shot.
Carlos is the paramedic who takes Tim’s place and TK is still a firefigther.
TK and Owen never move to Austin. It’s Carlos who moves to NYC as a firefighter. TK and Carlos starts off on the wrong foot (Carlos considers TK the coach’s son, see Judd at the beginning of S1). TK is still dating Alex and everything goes down as in canon. When TK overdoses Carlos is there and helps Owen saving him. Things start to change for them from that moment.
15. Different first meeting
TK gets pulled over by a hot cop and he tries to charm his way out of a ticket by flirting with him. It doesn’t work out but Carlos does leave his number on the ticket.
16. Summer camp!Tarlos
TK and Carlos meet at a summer camp when they’re teenagers. They become friends right away and of course they like each other. They eventualy share their first kiss there. When summer is over and they have to get back to their normal lives they promise to keep in touch and they do for a while. Then they just stop. Maybe TK becomes an addict around that time and that’s why he doesn’t keep in touch with Carlos? They meet again years later when TK and Owen move to Austin.
Carlos attends college in NYC and during his last year there he meets TK. TK is studying at the academy. Maybe they meet at a party. They become close friends. One week before Carlos has to leave to go back home in Austin, they finally come clean with the feelings they have for each other and they hook up. They try to enjoy their last week together knowing that they’ll get back to their normal lives soon. When Carlos leaves for Austin they decide to keep in touch and see where things go but then they just stop. Maybe TK becomes an addict around that time and that’s why he doesn’t keep in touch with Carlos? They meet again years later when TK and Owen move to Austin.
18. Pediatrician!Carlos + single parent!TK
When TK moves to Austin with his daughter and she gets ill he’s afraid he won’t find a good pediatrician for her there and then he finds Carlos.
TK is a barista at a coffee shop. Carlos’ precinct gets coffee there every single day. TK notices Carlos and keeps writing him little notes on his cup. Carlos doesn’t know who is writing those to him even if he really hopes it’s the cute guy with the green eyes. One day TK leaves his number on the cup and Carlos texts the number trying to understand who the person is but TK won’t tell. They exchange texts for awhile. Maybe Carlos doesn’t go to the coffee shop because something happens and TK worries about him? Eventually Carlos wants to meet up in person and when they actually meet he’s happy to see the person he’s been falling for through messages is TK.
TK keeps going to the same supermarket every single week to see the beautiful man working there as a cashier. He constantly goes there even when he doesn’t really need anything, probably buying one item only and refusing to wait in line for cashiers who aren’t Carlos. Carlos is amused because TK is not even subtle about it.
21. Different first meeting
TK just moved to Austin. Carlos and him still haven’t met. One of them has a panic attack in the middle of the street. The other finds himself there and they help them through it.
22. Different first meeting
Judd and Grace’s first meeting but make it Tarlos. Carlos works at a helpline callcenter. TK is struggling with everything that’s been going on his life and with the move and he calls the helpline. Carlos picks up. TK falls in love with Carlos’ voice not knowing that the same thing is happening to Carlos.
23. Different first meeting
TK is on a walk with Buttercup when the dog runs away and he breaks into a stranger’s garden. That, of course, ends up being Carlos’ house. From that time on TK never changes his route when walking Buttercup always hoping to see the other man. If he lets the dog free leading him to break into Carlos’ garden once or twice more no one has to know.
TK and Carlos live in adjacent apartments and their bedrooms are on opposite side of a very thin wall. One night one of them hears the other crying and he starts talking to him through the wall. They start a routine and keep talking to each other through the wall every single night without ever meeting each other in person. Then one night one of them is really down and the other says that they really wanna see them and hold them and the other person finally goes knocking on their door.
25. Professor!Carlos + student!TK (sort of)
Carlos is working on his doctorate and teaches night classes for people who decided to go back to college, like TK, and they meet there. They try to keep things professional until the academic year is over but that proves to be very difficult for them.
26. Soulmate AU
Everyone has a soul mark that only their soulmate can see, not even the person himself can see it. Carlos marks is very visible and TK sees it right away while TK’s one is more hidden so Carlos hasn’t seen it yet. TK doesn’t really wanna say anything about it but then one night, after they’ve been seeing each other for a while as “friends” Carlos sees TK’s mark and he’s hurt by TK’s behaviour. (Maybe TK has his mark on his ankle and he sprains it one day and that’s when Carlos sees it)
Carlos is working a case as an undercover cop. He meets TK during the job and he tries to be professional but he just can’t stay away from him. When TK finds out the truth he thinks that nothing was real between them and he’s heartbroken.
28. Delivery guy!Carlos
The 126 always order pizza from this place Carlos works at as a delivery guy and that’s where TK notices him. TK starts ordering take out from that place every week just to see him and specifically asking for Carlos not knowing that the he can see the “please let the hot guy deliver” notes he keeps leaving on the app. Carlos is like “do you really eat this amount of unhealthy food every single week?” and TK is like “I don’t even eat it, it’s just an excuse to see you”
29. Best men!Tarlos
Judd and Grace are getting married and Judd chooses TK and Carlos as his best men. TK and Carlos’ story is canon until 1x09 so they never got together in the end. Now they have to organize Judd’s bachelor’s party together. They start spending more time together because of it and maybe during the actual bachelor’s party they hook up again and that brings up unresolved feelings.
TK just moved to Austin and while he waits to get back on his feet and to start working as a fireighter again he decides to take up a waiter job offer at a restaurant. One night while he’s at work he sees this beautiful man who clearly got stood up on a date and he decides to make it his job to cheer that man up. That’s how he meet Carlos.
31. Wrong number/email AU
Carlos keeps emailing/texting the wrong person (maybe there’s one different digit/letter from the email/number he needs) and that’s how he finds himself talking to TK. Maybe they already know each other from work and they don’t get along that well irl and they don’t have each other’s numbers so they don’t realize they’re talking to each other for a while.
Carlos works at the 126 as a firefighter but on a different shift from TK. So they always bump into each other when they exchange shifts but they never manage to actually hang out together. Everyone teases them about their mutual crushes.
33. Queer as Folk AU
TK and Carlos have been fooling around for months now. TK doesn’t want anything serious while Carlos wants a serious relationship. One night TK is in a taxi on his way to the airport to go back to NYC while Carlos is out at a club for a LGBTQ+ event. An explosion happens at the club and TK hears about it live on the radio. He tells the taxi driver to drive back to the club and once there he starts looking for Carlos. When he finds him covered in dust and blood he just can’t keep his feelings inside anymore and he tells him he loves him right on the spot.
TK and Carlos live in the same building. One night TK is coming home from a shift and he hears the fire alarm from his neighbour’s place going off. He sees smoke coming from out of the door and can hear some girls screaming from inside. He doesn’t even think twice about kicking down the door to put the fire out and save whoever is inside. What he finds instead is a small kitchen fire that has already been taken care of and a very attractive man, Carlos, who was babysitting his nieces and got distracted by them while cooking. TK is mortified while Carlos is very impressed even if he doesn’t have a door anymore.
35. Pet shelter AU
(pre Buttercup) Carlos works at a pet shelter. TK has always wanted a puppy since he was little so when he finds himself in front of a pet shelter one day he doesn’t resist the urge to go inside. Everytime he’s sad, mad or when things are going wrong he finds himself there petting every single dog there is and Carlos can’t find it in his heart to stop him or say anything to him. Time passes and TK starts going to the pet shelter more for Carlos than for the puppies.
36. Subway/Bus/Train AU + artist!TK
TK and Carlos both take the subway/bus/train to go to work. TK is either an artist or he just draws in his spare time and he’s really good at it. They see each other every single morning on their way to work and they sit relatively close to each other. One day TK just gets this sudden urge to draw this beautiful stranger sitting in front of him and he gets pencil and paper out and stars drawing. When it’s time to get off for TK, he slips the drawing to the stranger and hurries out. Carlos is left speechless and he can’t wait to see the mysterious man again the day after. But the day after TK is nowhere to be seen cause he was just too embarassed about what he did and he took a different train/bus. And then they eventually bump into each other again.
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If you’re taking prompts off the list you just reblogged, #18 (“This is definitely what you think it is." )With Tarlos please 💜💜
Thanks for the number nonnie! hope you like it. 💜
TK is sitting on the edge of the tub in the middle of applying antiseptic to the cut on his thigh when he hears a disapproving clearing of a throat. Looking up, he finds his fiancé watching him from the bathroom door with his arms crossed and an eyebrow raised as he stares at him.
“This isn’t what you think it is,” he blurts out quickly, wincing when it makes Carlos’ other eyebrow join his first one.
“Really?” Carlos asks, his tone drier than the Sahara. “So you’re not tending to a wound in our bathroom instead of listening to your Captain and your partner when they suggested you get it checked out at the hospital after the patient you guys were transporting cut you?”
TK cringes at the sarcastic question. “Okay, so maybe, it’s definitely what you think it is,” he admits begrudgingly, rolling his eyes when Carlos lets out a scoff. “Who told you?”
Carlos makes another noise as he walks deeper into the bathroom, coming to stand in front of TK before kneeling between his open thighs. “Everyone,” he answers with a shake of his head, taking the tube of antiseptic from TK’s hand. “It was one text after another. Judd’s was particularly colorful, had a few choice words about your level of intelligence.”
“Snitches,” TK pouts, hissing when Carlos experimentally pokes at the cut with a concentrated frown on his handsome face. “It’s not too deep,” he whispers softly, reaching out to smooth the wrinkle that appears between Carlos’ brow.
Carlos looks up at him with so much tender love and concern that it still blows TK away to know how much he’s loved by the man before him. It doesn’t matter how many years they’ve been together or the fact that he’s wearing Carlos’ ring, a promise of their future; he’s still left breathless by the knowledge that Carlos is his and his alone.
“I just hate it when you get hurt,” Carlos whispers back at him, and TK makes a noise in agreement. While he’s definitely the danger magnet of the two. There have been a few times where Carlos, due to his work, has gotten hurt, and TK has hated it every single time.
“I’m sorry, babe,” he answers softly, earning another huff from Carlos, this one reluctantly amused.
“Don’t apologize,” he says with a gentle smile. “You were helping someone,” he continues, his grin growing. “You wouldn’t be you if you didn’t try to help every person you met, and I love you exactly the way you are.”
TK smiles back, his heart fluttering like it always does when Carlos says those three precious words to him.
Carlos smiles again like he knows what he’s thinking, leaning up to press a kiss at the tip of his nose, chuckling when it makes TK wrinkle it in response.
“Okay, let’s get you fixed up,” he continues as he spreads a thin layer of the antibacterial before reaching for the gauze TK had readied before he came in. “And then I’ll order us some food. I don’t feel like cooking tonight. I rather spend the time cuddling you on the couch.”
TK grins happily, letting out a small giggle in response. Taking hold of Carlos’ face, he gives him a series of soft kisses that leave them both smiling into each other’s mouths.
“I really love you, Carlos Reyes,” he breathes out between them.
“And I really love you, TK Strand,” Carlos answers back.
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only you can ease my mind
10.7k || ao3
There are serial kidnappers in Austin.
Their victims seem to be coming from everywhere; the only things they have in common are that they are all men in their 20s and Carlos is acutely aware that that description covers far too many people he loves, so he throws himself into the case. He needs to do everything he can to stop this before someone he loves becomes the next victim.
TK is just worried about Carlos. He knows his boyfriend is pushing himself too hard but he doesn’t know how to tell him he should stop when there is so much on the line. He’s worried that Carlos is going to push himself to the breaking point.
Turns out, they were both wrong.
Finally finished that collared and chained square for @badthingshappenbingo! Only 2 more squares to go! Shout out to the Anon who suggested this plot, I hope you enjoy it!
Carlos was exhausted.
Austin had been plagued by a series of kidnappings over the past few months but lately it seemed like things were picking up at an alarming rate. Now it seemed that every other day there was a new missing person report coming across his desk and they all had one thing in common: male, in their 20s.
It had taken a while for them to find that connection because everything else about the victims was so different. They came from different backgrounds, different races. They worked different jobs and frequented different establishments. The only thing that tied them together was their gender and age.
That, and the fact that they turned up dead within a few weeks of disappearing.
HIs entire precinct had been focused on this case and Carlos in particular had been working closely with one of the detectives. He had been putting in long hours and pushing himself to the brink, but he didn’t care. All he could think about when he saw the missing persons reports or the bodies in the morgue was that it could have been him. It could have been one of his friends. It could have been TK.
And that last thought alone was enough to keep him moving forward.
He had talked to TK about it, at home. If he didn’t he would have cracked weeks ago and TK always knew when something was bothering him. He had kept most of the graphic details to himself — TK got enough of that in his own job — but he knew his fear and exasperation were clear. It had just been so long. So many people had been hurt and they were nowhere close to stopping it. What was worse was the knowledge that it showed no signs of stopping. That any of those people he was worried about could be next.
“Why are you looking at me like that?”
Carlos was pulled from his reverie to see TK giving him a beseeching look. He swallowed, trying to take a moment to gather himself. How did you tell your boyfriend that you weren’t sleeping not only because of the images of broken and bloodied bodies in your head but also from the knowledge that he could very well be next?
“Just promise me you’ll be careful?” he said after a moment. When TK looked like he was going to argue he pushed on, “You fit the profile, Ty. I just need you to promise me you’ll keep an eye out.”
TK sighed and gave him an exasperated look, “I will, I promise. All I was going to say is that you do too. If I’m going to be careful, you need to do the same.”
Carlos gave him a small smile and stretched a hand across the table. TK took it on instinct and Carlos squeezed it as he spoke. “I will,” Carlos assured him, “I promise. You should warn Paul and Mateo too,” he said after a moment, “they also fit the profile and I wouldn’t want anything to happen to them either.”
“I’ll talk to them at work tomorrow,” TK agreed. “Our shifts overlap for a few hours.”
Carlos nodded, feeling relief rush through him. This case was bad enough, the last thing he needed to do was worry about the people he cared for. But the images of the bodies they had found wouldn’t leave his head. He repressed a shudder as TK turned back to their dinner, starting to tell a story about a confused patient and an unfortunate call. He tried to follow along, but those images wouldn’t leave his mind. He didn’t even have to imagine what they had gone through before their deaths; he had read the reports that said it all. The thought of that happening to one of his friends, to TK, was more than he could bear.
But he couldn’t do anything about that now so he pushed it aside and dug out a smile as TK got to the climax of his story, trying to stay in this moment. If he dwelled too much he would lose his mind. He needed to take a break, and TK deserved to have him present. He wanted to be present, to enjoy this time they had together. So he made a conscious effort to push the ugly thoughts and horrifying images away and focus on what he had in front of him: a quiet night with the man he loved in the home they shared. It really didn’t get any better than that, after all.
continue reading on ao3!
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WHUMPTOBER 2021 MASTERLIST
the series can be found here!
DAY 1: trapped | you never know when the wave's gonna break but I'll be there
The fire was quickly eating at the structure of the house, the wood creaked and moaned around Carlos with every step he takes. The team managed to get the parents and son out but the daughter was still unaccounted for. They were running out of both places to look and time. And it’s so hot, the smoke getting heavier and Carlos can feel the heat even through the protection of his turnout coat and his gear, can feel the sweat rolling down his neck and back under his Austin FD t-shirt.
A firefighter!Carlos AU where a collapse during a rescue traps Carlos under a beam, pinning him as the fire gets closer, while TK watches from outside, heart in his throat, praying that it isn’t the day he loses the love of his life. In the aftermath, TK takes care of Carlos, in more ways than one.
word count: 4.3k
DAY 4: taken hostage | a love like ours
A simple trip to the grocery store is turned on its head when TK is taken with no clear motive. APD and the Texas Rangers pool their resources together, racing against time to find TK before the kidnapping tears Carlos and TK apart, as it threatens to prematurely end their future together. And Carlos won’t rest until TK is back in the safety of his arms.
word count: 10.1k
DAY 6: bruises | we carry each other
It speaks volumes of how persistent TK’s danger magnet is. Take today, it was supposed to be a fun day, a relaxing day spent with loved ones while raising awareness on important causes and doing some good. They were supposed to be spending the day together, walking through the beautiful park, holding hands and laughing, carefree after the series of brutally tedious and hectic shifts they worked. But instead, they find themselves in the ER, TK hurt and Carlos worried out of his mind as he waits to see him. It’s not the way Carlos thought they’d be spending their day together.
It should have been a fun and relaxing day spent together after their long shifts. But TK’s danger magnet had other plans when he stepped onto the football field.
word count: 5.5k
DAY 8: “definitely just a cold | leap (I will catch you)
“He’s insisting that it’s definitely just a cold,” TK says, dropping backwards on the couch, holding the phone to his ear. He scrubs his other hand over his face and sighs.
“And what do you think?”
“I don’t know, it’s just…I can’t shake this feeling that it’s more than that,” TK replies. “It’s been a week, he got better for a couple of days but then he started getting worse.”
It happens so quickly. An accident during a call has Carlos diving into a lake in the middle of the night. TK takes care of him in the aftermath, but they get thrown a curveball during the officer’s recovery.
word count: 4.5k
DAY 10: flare up | you light me up
Carlos visits TK when he’s home from the hospital and helps to calm the storm of thoughts raging inside the firefighter’s head. Carlos’s presence grounds TK and anchors him, as they navigate their developing relationship and dynamic with a few realizations along the way.
Missing scene from 1.09
word count: 2.3k
DAY 16: aftermath | remembrance
TK sighs and runs a hand through his hair, eyes roaming over his boyfriend’s battered figure.
“I’m okay, baby,” Carlos continues, his voice has been regaining its strength but there’s still pain etched into his tone. But he’s doing his best to reassure the paramedic. “All of this will heal.”
TK nods and starts to move then, gently sitting down on the couch next to Carlos, careful not to jostle the officer’s injured body.
TK takes care of Carlos in the aftermath of an accident. And Carlos takes care of TK, too, in his own way.
word count: 2.3k
DAY 17 AND 21: “please don’t move!” and blood-matted hair | I believe in us (I believe in our love)
TK’s head is buzzing, and his vision a little blurry as he tries to recall what happened. The noises and sounds around him are muffled and he squeezes his eyes shut for a few moments, trying to regain his balance.
Then he starts to remember, putting the pieces together. They were at the festival and—Carlos!
TK’s worry spikes up and heat crawls up his face when he realizes amid the haze that Carlos hasn’t called for him or looked for him. Carlos was walking right next to him and where is Carlos!
Their first common day off in over a month is spent at a food truck festival, Carlos and TK finally spending quality time together after a series of long and hectic shifts. But their day is turned upside down when an explosion at the festival threatens to tear them apart.
word count: 5.4k
DAY 26: fallen | free falling
A successful rescue is turned on its head when the combination of a strong storm and a ground tremor leaves TK hurt on a call, the team working quickly and efficiently to get him to safety. Carlos holds his breath while he waits to find out TK’s fate, praying he doesn’t lose the love of his life.
The aftermath is filled with comfort and love, with some revelations and heartwarming moments along the way.
word count: 6.3k
DAY 27: vertigo | steady me
Carlos felt the migraine starting about half an hour before he left the precinct. It started out slow, a slight discomfort which kept growing and getting louder until his head was thumping by the time he was leaving. He pushed it to the side, though, focusing on getting home to TK and hoping it would go away or starts to subside by the time they left for dinner.
Carlos and TK’s dinner plans are halted when the officer gets a rough migraine. TK anchors and supports Carlos, in more ways than one.
word count: 1.5k
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Almost everyone in TK’s life knew who Carlos was long before they got together and when they finally did, it was sort of just common knowledge. Nobody made any big announcement and nobody batted an eye when they started showing up to places as a duo.
This is the first time Carlos has actually said ‘this is my boyfriend’.
Or, 5 firsts in Carlos and TK’s relationship, and 1 last.
4.7k | 5+1 things, fluff, falling in love
Carlos blinks awake, slow and groggy from not getting enough sleep as he should have, and fumbles for his phone on the nightstand to shut off the alarm. He miscalculates, still not entirely awake, and ends up knocking the phone to the ground, the annoying ringing still echoing throughout the bedroom.
“Turn it off,” a muffled voice calls out from the other side of the bed right before Carlos silences it.
Logically, he knew TK was still here, he could feel the warmth of his body next to him all night, but it still startles him to hear the other man’s raspy morning voice. He rolls back over to face his guest and finds him buried in his pillow, eyes still shut.
Read on ao3
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rafa: “carlos reyes will be put to the test next week...”
lone star stans:
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I can’t imagine my life without you
Ao3 | 6.3k | Rated: Teens | Established tarlos, time travel (sort of), angst with a happy ending.
What would you do if you’d woken up in the past as if the last 2 years had never happened?
That’s what happened to TK. He went from being happy and in love with Carlos, hitting his stride as a paramedic, having found his place in life with the 126, only to wake in the hospital back in New York, But things are not as they seem
For @jamieetartt Sorry, it's taken so long, love you to the moon and back and hope that you enjoy this belated birthday present 💖💖
Your eyes give life a new meaning
It's like I found the north light
I never knew what I needed
Until I felt your hand holding mine, yeah
There were a lot of things that TK wasn’t sure of in his life but one thing he knew for sure was how in love he is with one Carlos Reyes. He once thought he knew what love was, but it was nothing in comparison to how much he loved his boyfriend.
When they had met, he was lost, adrift, unable to see any life or colour in his life. Picking fights just to be able to feel something without relapsing into a world that he had tried to leave behind. It was a tenuous lifestyle one filled with a lot of action and yet still too much time for his mind to wander and affect his personal life.
And then he had met Carlos, and life seemed to fall into place. Of course, it took him longer than it should have to understand what was right there in front of him. A man who was willing to love him for all his faults and misgivings in a way that he never truly understood up until that point.
Life seemed to be perfect, or at least he thought it was, with him finally looking to the future, eyes wide open and in technicolour, right up until the point that he woke up in the hospital. One that he recognised.
The only problem being is that it was in New York.
And he hadn’t been in New York for 2 years, not since he’d moved to Austin.
TK gathered his bearings, confusion washing over him as a knotted ball of wrongness settled deeply in his gut. It had been a long time since he’d been in this hospital, but it was recognisable enough for him not to mistake it for anything but the one he had been to in New York. The seats by the bedside were wrong, as too was the entryway to the room that he was in.
And with that recognition of where he was, so to came the panic that came with it of how he got there. TK could hear his heart rate monitor pick up speed as he tried to comprehend his circumstances, belatedly noticing that he had drip attached to one arm and a nasal cannula wrapped around his face which didn’t help matters when he jostled both.
His increased heart rate alerted the nurses nearby and before long a flurry of voices were telling him to calm down, to breathe. It took some effort and eventually he was able to take long deep breaths, settling back against the overly soft pillows behind him.
He asked one of the nurses about his dad, as the man checked the I.V. ensuring that it hadn’t been jostled by the activity and was told that his dad had been contacted that he was awake. He didn’t get much more information than that.
The light from outside changed from morning sunlight to an afternoon glow as he waited for his dad to arrive, to come and explain how he had ended up there. The last thing that he could remember was walking with Carlos.
TK felt his heartbeat spike once again, pulsating in his ears as he recalled his boyfriend. How could he have forgotten? He and Carlos had been walking together, fingers intertwined as they strolled along one of the bridges that crossed the Colorado River. But that was the last memory he had before waking in this hospital bed.
Where was Carlos? Why was he here?
The two questions continued to swirl around and around in his head. Multiple scenarios were created to answer them, but none made enough sense to be true. So they remained unanswered. Unanswered until his dad arrived some hours later, still smelling strongly of smoke and dressed in his undershirt and pants as if he’d just come off a call.
“I came as soon as I could,” Owen said hurriedly as he strode to his bedside and engulfed him in a smoke-scented hug. TK let him. Let him take his time in the embrace before parting.
He opened his mouth to speak, but before he could get the words out to ask the question that has been on his tongue, he swallowed them as he took in his dad’s uniform. “Why are you wearing an NYFD shirt?”
“What do you mean ‘why am I wearing my NYFD shirt’? In case you have forgotten that’s who we work for.”
“What I mean is why aren’t you wearing your Austin Fire shirt?”
“My Austin Fire...?” Owen drew out the question trying to make sense of what TK meant, “TK what is going on?”
“What’s going on is that we’ve been working in Austin for the past 2 years on, and now, for some reason, we’re back in New York and you’re working here again.”
“TK I don’t know what you’re going on about, we’ve never left New York, you know that.” Owen looked at him as if he’d grown a third arm, “I was offered a job in Austin, but I didn’t accept it, but how could you have possibly known that?”
It was too much. It was all too much. What his dad was saying didn’t make any sense. They had moved to New York soon after he’d overdosed after breaking it off with Alex. Had he gone back in time? How was that even possible? There was only one way to be sure.
“Dad. Why exactly am I here?” TK asked as the thought formed.
Owen sighed and sat on the end of his bed as if he were about to break the worst kind of news, “You overdosed TK. We found you in your apartment. You were on the floor and not breathing. We got you back with Narcan and you woke up for a short while before falling unconscious. You’ve been asleep for the past 4 days.”
TK jolted at his dad’s confession, feeling as though he had been struck by lightning. “Nononono this can’t be happening again,” he murmured to himself.
How could this be? TK felt like the universe was playing one huge practical joke on him. Has everything he remembered of Austin been a dream? Did he dream up two years of a life he never had in 4 days of unconsciousness? That couldn’t be possible. Oh god. Or if he had gone back in time then that meant that he hasn’t met Carlos yet. How the hell did this happen?
He looked up at his dad, hands shaking, “No. We moved to Austin. You got the job to put together a new team for the 126, I went with you. Everything was good, great even. I had a boyfriend. I had Carlos; I was happy.” Tears sprung to his eyes at the thought of it not being real and peered beseechingly at his dad, “I can’t have just imagined that.”
“TK, you’re just confused from being asleep for so long. Let me go and get a doctor and get them to check you out.” His dad moved in the direction of the door.
“No. Give me a phone. I want to call Carlos.”
Owen turned back carefully, eyes full of concern as he said gently, “TK, there is no Carlos. If I’m not mistaken you’re in a relationship with Alex, last I heard you were going to propose to him.”
TK stopped listening to him as his mind spiraled over his dad’s first sentence.
There is no Carlos.
He couldn’t have made him up.
Carlos sighed as he shuffled to the self-serve coffee machine, absent-mindedly fiddling with the edges of the thin bandage wrapped around his hand and wrist.
He yawned as he poured in the powdered coffee from its sachet before adding the boiling water. It wasn’t much, but he wasn’t planning on leaving anytime soon, it was too late for any place to be making any, so it meant stooping to the lows that was getting his caffeine fix from the poor excuse that granulated coffee was.
It was enough to get him by. God knows he couldn’t imagine leaving just yet.
“So TK, how have you been since I saw you yesterday?”
TK spun the hospital wristband around his wrist. The questions had been the same for the last few days since it had been decided that he was to stay admitted at the hospital because of the concerns of his confusion.
At first, he had tried to convince his dad and the doctors that his dream was real and they were lying to him for some reason. But they had just looked at him like he was crazy and had him hooked up with daily visits with a hospital shrink. Looking back, he might have been able to convince his dad using the knowledge of his cancer diagnosis but even then his dad would probably still think he had lost the plot.
In the meantime when he wasn’t being therapised, he started plotting, feeling this intense need to get to Austin no matter what. Feeling as though if he saw Carlos everything would be alright. He wasn’t sure why he felt that way, well he did, he’d been in love with him for a solid year before he’d woken up in this nightmare. He couldn’t put his finger on it, but he just needed to see his boyfriend, hold his hand, and make sure that he was alright because he had this feeling in the pit of his stomach that something happened, he just couldn’t remember what.
So he started playing along with the therapist.
“I’m doing better. I realise now that what I was remembering was a dream. That it never happened. Even now I’m starting to forget it.” Liar. You still remember everything. “I feel much clearer now.”
“You do seem to be more grounded since I first started seeing you. If I can just ask you a few more questions, I’ll look into seeing if we can get you discharged today.”
TK sat patiently answering the questions brought forth. Yes, he is in New York. No, he had never been to Austin. No, he can’t remember the names of the firefighters he dreamt of. Yes, he proposed to Alex, but Alex told him that he was cheating on him with a spin class instructor named Mitchell which led to his overdose. No, he didn’t know anyone by the name of Carlos.
His responses must have seemed sincere enough to appease the doc, and he wondered if he should consider acting as a career because somehow he got the approval to be discharged that afternoon.
Owen picked him up. It was a quiet affair. TK could tell that his dad was worried, why wouldn’t he be when he had practically gone off the deep end right in front of him.
All he wanted to do was broach the subject of Austin, of his dad taking that job offer, but it was now a sensitive subject and he felt like his dad would be even more concerned if he brought it up again knowing that was the place that he had been so convinced about not 3 days ago.
No. He knew what he was going to do.
He bided his time. Listened to his dad as he lectured him on the fact that he would be staying with him for the time being. Agreed to go to therapy sessions and start going to AA meetings. They collected some of his things and by the time they got to his dad’s apartment, it was dinner time.
They ordered Thai food and ate in mostly companionable silence. Eventually, they talked about the overdose and his breakup with Alex, a conversation that TK felt so far removed from because it happened so long ago for him, but in this world, it was still new to his dad.
He was exhausted by the time they parted for the night, but his night was far from over. He knew he was never going to rest properly until he knew for sure. Couldn’t stand the thought of not being with Carlos for the rest of his life unless it was definitive. So with a flight and hotel booked, and an overnight bag packed, he left in the early hours of the morning, leaving a note for his dad on the fridge.
As he traveled, he couldn’t help but feel ridiculous about how intensely he felt about this. About the thought of not having Carlos in his life. He felt like one of those teenagers in a corny rom-com. Regardless, he couldn’t shake the feeling that nothing was right, that his world was off-kilter, and it would somehow be solved if he saw Carlos, looked him in the eyes, and held his hand. Or if he found out once and for all that he did imagine him all along.
TK arrived at his hotel room by mid-afternoon. His phone had been blowing up steadily by his dad, and his mum surprisingly, in both calls and texts which had been accumulating over his flight. He sent them both a text saying the same thing, he was alright, and he just had something he needed to do before he came back home. If he came back home.
He wouldn’t be surprised if one or both of them showed up by the end of the day though, near positive that they would be able to figure out where he had gone.
He changed his clothes and set off, intent on re-exploring the city that he had apparently lived in his head for 2 years, to see if it was how ‘dreamed’ it was. He first passed by the station. It was how it was when he and his dad first moved there, still unchanged. The wilting flowers surrounding photos of the lost firefighters still sat outside, untouched just like last time.
Of course, that hasn’t changed yet.
He and his dad hadn’t moved there and begun the process of updating the station and recruiting new firefighters yet. He wondered if they still will, or if his dad had truly said no because of him and things here will never change for the better.
TK moved along, stomach grumbling. It was around lunchtime by now and he wandered the streets aimlessly, soaking in the sunshine beaming down against his skin causing small beads of sweat to spring upon his forehead and the palms of his hands.
TK stopped then. Frozen to the spot as he felt a crushing sense of doom wash over him, a phantom feeling of a hand in his. TK stumbled and pressed his hand against the building beside him to steady himself as he felt as though the ground was crumbling beneath him. He looked around to see if anyone else had noticed the ground shake, but everyone appeared to be going about their business as if nothing happened. Not so much as even a shout was thrown to the wind.
He was getting some strange looks, however, from passer-by’s and one middle-aged woman even stopped to check to see if he was alright. He nodded his head and lied, saying he just felt lightheaded for a second but was fine. She gave him a warm smile and patted his shoulder as she moved off. He righted himself and did the same, continuing on in the opposite direction.
TK let his feet carry him forward as he poured his focus into his hand. There was no denying what he had felt moments ago. He had definitely felt a hand in his, which was impossible because there had been no one there. Their fingers had been entwined, a warm palm had been pressed against his, the slight sensation of dampness between them against the sun’s rays. It had felt so familiar. He knew that was Carlos’s hand. How many times had they walked hand in hand together in the time that they had been together? Too many to count.
Everything that was going on with him didn’t make sense. If someone were to ask him, he wasn’t sure if he would be able to put it into words.
Eventually, TK stopped and became aware of his surroundings. It was yet another familiar spot. Just across the road was the bubble tea shop the day everything electrical went nuts. And just off from where he was standing was where that bus had flipped.
He crossed the road towards the tea shop and went inside. There were multiple stickers on of the glass windows detailing foods available in cutesy graphics just how he remembered. There was no denying that he had been here before. He wouldn’t have been able to imagine the very specific details of this street without having been there.
He hung around that shop for a couple of hours, eating his lunch outside in the sunshine with a cool milk bubble tea to wash it down. By that point the sun was on the downturn of the afternoon and, feeling as though he had used up enough time, TK started his trek to the one place he knew Carlos would be on a Tuesday after work. The Trap.
He had considered calling for an uber but decided against it, knowing that he would be sitting there for a good couple o hours before the people that he knew deep in his heart would start showing up.
So he took the long way on foot, enjoying the fresh air, and arrived an hour and a half later, just as the early trickles of the night crowd started stepping in for the night.
TK bided his time, ordering himself some mineral water and lime, and perched himself in the corner of the room and waited, feeling slightly like a stalker. Eventually, Judd and Grace were the first to appear, setting themselves up at one of their usual tables.
Even from the distance between them, TK could see the way Judd was holding himself. Still suffering from the unresolved grief that he had yet to address. It was so obvious to him now, especially knowing what Judd was like after he worked through his pain.
It just made him miss his future even more.
Shortly after Grace and Judd, Tim and Nancy were next shoulders bumping together playfully as they navigated their way to the bar looking as close as TK remember them being. And with that thought came a wash of sadness at the realisation that in 2-years-time, Tim wouldn’t be around anymore. His longing for that future dimmed considerably.
TK let the din of the crowd envelop him and brush away the dark thought. He tapped a toe to the live music being played, realising he’d gained quite the appreciation of it than what he remembered.
He was so focused on it that he almost missed Michelle’s entrance, and two steps behind her was the reason why he had come to Austin. Carlos.
Just seeing him again sent an electric shock through him causing him to shiver. Seeing him again meant that without a doubt there was no way that he imagined everyone in his supposed ‘dream’ while unconscious. Dreams are filled with people that you see in real life which meant that he had known or at the very least seen each and every one of them before waking up in the hospital which was extremely unlikely.
So, that left him with one other option.
He had time traveled.
Only problem was that he had no idea how that could have happened.
Carlos scratched around the scabs starting to form on his hand, the bandage removed as soon as he noticed that the bleeding had stopped, and the scratches had started to crust.
He was home now having been told in no uncertain terms that he needed to go home, have a shower, eat a proper meal and sleep in an actual bed rather than the fitful episodes he’d been getting in the hard plastic chair.
He had protested of course, knowing that he had all the time in the world, having taken as much leave from work as he could to stay where he was but even he had to admit, he had missed his bed and shower.
TK took a large gulp of what was left of his mineral water and maneuvered himself over to the dance floor, leaving the glass behind. He had purposefully worn the same shirt as he had the first time he and Carlos had met, hoping to catch his eye a second time. Except this time, he was going to make the first move considering that they had never met before now in Carlos’s world.
He bobbed his head to the beat of the music and wandered along the fringes of the dance floor before eventually catching the eye of the man he had been looking for. He waited until Michelle stepped away before sidling up to Carlos.
“Hey,” he said casually when he was feeling anything but casual as a sense of rightness settled over that had been missing since he had woken up. The heavy feeling of foreboding was still present even though he was finally putting things right.
“Hey,” Carlos answered cautiously, eyes searching his as if trying to figure out the sudden greeting.
“Wanna dance?” he asked, indicating towards the throng of dancers.
Carlos smiled softly at the invitation and nodded, “Yeah.”
He followed him onto the dance floor, and they danced just like the first time, except this time he actually knew how to line dance. The energy between them was as electric as it always was and TK’s body thrummed with it, buzzing under his skin. He almost forgot that his world had been flipped on its head in this moment, all that he knew was Carlos.
“You’re not from around here,” Carlos stated loudly over the music.
“I guess not,” he half-shouted in response leaning in closer for Carlos to hear.
“What does that mean?”
Carlos leaned in closer, enough that his breath tickled the hairs on the side of his neck, “Why don’t we go somewhere quieter, and you can tell me.”
TK nodded eagerly and let Carlos take his wrist but stumbled at the touch, feeling that wave of dread wash over him again. He tried to shove it aside and smiled reassuringly at Carlos when he looked back in concern. He reinforced that reassurance by stepping ahead of him as he tangled their fingers together.
And that’s when the crushing feeling of foreboding and dread fell on him like a pile of rocks, Carlos seemed to be saying something, but he couldn’t hear him over a deafening noise he couldn’t place. He looked back at Carlos only to find a different Carlos staring back at him, alarm and fear clear as day on his face, as his step faltered, a shout on his lips as he fell backward and felt the world swallow him up in darkness.
Carlos woke with a start, breathing heavily as if he had just run a marathon. Blood thundered in his ears as a clammy sheen coated his body. He slowed his breaths as he took in his surroundings.
He was back at the hospital. Waking in one of the uncomfortable chairs that sat beside the hospital beds. He regretted not moving to the small sofa that was pushed up under the window as his back and neck protested his sleeping position. It wasn’t the first time that he’d woken up like that.
He lean forward dropping his elbows to his knees and let his face fall into his hands rubbing aggressively at it in an attempt to wipe away the memory of his dream. Except it wasn’t really a dream. Ever since the incident, he had been plagued with reliving the memory over and over. Sometimes he would be able to change the outcome but more often than not it actually turned out worse.
Regardless, it was something that he couldn’t stop thinking about it no matter how hard he tried.
It was impossible to forget the way the semi-trailer’s horn sounded in his ears just seconds before the deafening crack and shudder of the path beneath their feet. The way the concrete seemed to crumble beneath their feet. TK had been half a pace ahead of him, hand still in his.
It had been a hot day and their hands had both been a little sweaty but neither of them had minded at the time. It felt like it had happened in slow motion, the path beneath TK’s feet went out from under him, taking him with it while Carlos was still on solid ground. He had managed to get his other hand on TK’s wrist enough that they could change their grip but taking on his sudden weight in his hand combined with the sweat made it difficult to hold on.
He managed to keep TK’s hand in his long enough to see the desperate look in TK’s eyes as their grips slowly slipped, TK’s nails digging into his palm and leaving deep scratches as he fell, disappearing amongst the rubble below.
It took him far longer than he would have liked to find a safe route to get down below, and by the time he did the dust had settled enough for him to be able to find TK half-buried beneath the rubble. Shoulder dislocated, a heavily bleeding head wound was what he saw, and he could only have guessed what else wasn’t visible.
As it turned out surprisingly little. He did have a dislocated shoulder and a multitude of cuts and bruises from the debris as well as some broken ribs but aside from that, his body had miraculously gotten away with minimal injury. His brain, however, was the biggest worry.
They had to put him in a medically-induced coma when he finally got to the hospital… something to do with a traumatic brain injury and his brain swelling, Carlos wasn’t well read up on it, but he was told it was meant so the brain could rest and help it reduce swelling which is what it had been doing since the fall. They had managed to get the swelling to reduce quickly, and they had reversed the coma 2 days ago. TK's brain function looked normal and as far as they could tell, all of his reflexes were intact which was a very positive sign. All they were waiting for now was for him to wake up.
Carlos traced the crusting scratches with his fingers. Apparently, it could take some time to happen. The brain can be a fickle thing is what the neurosurgeon had told him.
All he knew was that he needed TK to wake up. For his own selfish reasons. Now that he has had him in his life, Carlos couldn’t imagine his life without him. TK challenged, made him enjoy life in a way that he never had before. Accepted being loved uninhibited and unabashedly and gave that love in return.
He knew in no uncertain terms that he was going to need to talk to someone about it. But not yet, not until he knew what the outcome was. Not until he knew that TK was going to be okay.
He didn’t want his last memory of TK to be of him falling, being engulfed by the plume of concrete dust, and looking so broken and unconscious to the point that Carlos had thought the worst when he found him after the dust settled. He wished, God, he had wished that he could go back in time and just be able to hold onto TK’s hand, been able to pull him to safety.
Carlos dropped one hand to the bed and reached out to TK’s, picking in up to brush his thumb over his knuckles. Even now, he could see the remnants of blood under TK’s nails that he knew was his and it made his heart clench at the thought of what TK must have felt in the moment.
Carlos let out a long-drawn-out sigh and stood up, not yet letting go of TK’s hand as he stooped down to press a kiss to his forehead and murmured, “I’ll be back in a minute, I just need to stretch my legs.”
He started to step away and release TK’s hand when he felt a finger twitch against his palm. Carlos froze. “TK? Can you hear me?”
He watched intently and saw the barest tick of an eyebrow as he felt TK once again trying to move his fingers. He quickly sat down and shuffled to the edge of his seat, not once letting go of his hand as he searched for the nurse call button. “You’re doing such a good job! Can you try to wiggle your fingers again?”
Carlos felt two fingers slightly curl in his hand and his heart soared in response. A nurse stepped in then and she must have picked up on his excitement because before he even had to utter a word she was quick to nod and say, “I’ll page the doctor.”
After what felt like forever, the neurosurgeon arrived and went over his usual checks before including checking TK’s seemingly conscious responses. With a look of satisfaction, he turned to Carlos, “It looks like he’s working his way back to consciousness. It may take him some time before he is able to wake up fully. So far, he seems to be responding remarkably well which gives me hope that he has avoided any serious deficits, but we won’t know for sure until he is fully awake.”
The doctor bid him well and said she’d be back periodically to check on TK’s progress and left at that leaving Carlos to let out a pent-up sigh of relief. He reached into his pocket and pulled out his phone to call Owen, not surprisingly getting his voicemail as he had sent the man home not a few hours ago to get some rest. He left a message update explaining what the doctor had told him.
Carlos barely left TK’s bedside in the hours to follow, knowing that there was no way that he was going to voluntarily leave now that he knew that TK could wake at any time.
Knowing that TK was able to react to his voice, he began a non-stop monologue detailing anything and everything even going so far as to recount the beginning of their relationship. Surprisingly regularly in those hours, he would get micro responses from TK; a minute squeeze of the hand or a mild furrowing of the brow, which became more and more pronounced until they stopped, which caused him to panic enough that he asked for Dr. Nevin to be paged.
Dr. Nevin returned and gave TK’s vitals a once over before she turned to him with a reassuring smile. “You can relax Carlos. Judging from his charts, I’d say he’s fallen asleep for the night.” She gave him a pat on the shoulder as she passed him on the way to the door, pausing in the doorway giving him a pointed look, “Maybe you should do the same.”
He smiled at her tiredly in acknowledgment as she left before turning his attention back to his boyfriend. This wasn’t the first time that she had gently suggested that he take care of himself and at the reminder, he yawned, sliding down in his chair, and stretched out his legs, crossed his arms as he fell asleep to the quiet beat of TK’s heart rate monitor.
It was the next day when TK had his first true awakening. Owen had just returned to the room bringing with him barista-made coffee which Carlos quickly inhaled half of before slowing down to appreciate the taste. He has a lazy hand outstretched in TK’s loose, open palm and was talking quietly with Owen when he felt TK grip his hand. He paused sharply mid-sentence eyes zeroing in on the hand before flicking up to TK’s face. His eyes were squinting back at him, lips slightly parting before closing again as his eyebrows knit together in confusion.
This was to be expected and what Dr. Nevin had prepared them for. Both he and Owen did their best to ease TK back into the waking world with the help of Dr. Nevin and soon enough TK tired himself out and fell back asleep in exhaustion. And that’s how it went for the rest of the day with TK waking up periodically more cognizant than the time before.
Much to Dr. Nevin’s surprise, TK was recovering rapidly considering his initial testing and she was confident with his current condition that he would be suited for outpatient rehab for the residual functional and mental deficits still present. She had said that she was confident that he would recover fully over time and was happy to be able to discharge him so soon provided that there would be someone around to keep an eye on him if any negative symptoms developed.
Carlos breathed a sigh of relief when they finally were able to take TK home and was thankful that he and TK had opted to get a place that was one story after the fire, so there were no stairs that they would have to navigate. Soon enough they were both showered and collapsed in bed, lying on their sides facing each other. TK top shoulder still in a sling for the time being.
“Hey,” TK said softly, gazing at him under heavy-lidded eyes.
“Hey.” He answered, reaching his hand to claim TK’s bottom one in his own, “How are you doing?”
“Tired. Fuzzy. Uncoordinated.” TK drawled, punctuating it with a fumble as he threaded his fingers between Carlos’s.
TK bit his lip, scrunching his face, and squeezed his eyes shut, “Wanted to ask… What happened?... I remember someth...” he trailed off, but Carlos could tell he wasn’t done, knowing that would take some time for TK to string together long sentences.
“I remember falling?” TK opened his eyes peering back at him inquiringly.
He should have expected this. even now it was still raw, and he had been avoiding the subject, not wanting to relive it, hoping that TK wouldn’t ask. But of course, he did, and Carlos had no choice but to tell him, breaking it down for TK to easily digest the information.
“It was sunny, and we went for a walk across the Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge. And had just made it to the loop at the end when a semi lost control. Crashed into legs of the bridge,” he said slowly, pausing to make sure that TK was still following along and waited for him to nod him on, “You had just stepped ahead of me when the bridge broke. We were holding hands, but I lost grip of yours before I could pull you up.”
TK released his hand and brought it up to pat his cheek haphazardly before leaving it resting on his jawline, “I’m sorry…” he sighed, eyes drooping as he struggled to stay awake from processing the conversation.
Carlos put his hand over TK’s, “No reason to be sorry. These things just happen.”
TK started to say something else to the contrary, but he faded out mid-sentence, leaving Carlos to watch him fall asleep right then and there. He had thought that would be it for that particular conversation, but weeks later, TK brought it up again. This time, though, he was much more like himself again, able to have complex conversations with only brief lapses of concentration from time to time.
They were having lunch together outside on their patio, a small stack of sandwiches between them to pick at as they quietly soaked in the sunshine with a glass of lemonade in hand and lo-fi beats floating in the background from a neighbour's speakers.
TK had a far-off expression which prompted Carlos to ask, “What’s on your mind babe?”
“Remember when I asked you what happened that day and you said that I fell off the bridge?”
“Yeah. I’m surprised you remember much of that; you were so tired that day. Why?”
“I’ve been slowly remembering pieces of that day and then just now had this weird sense of déjà vu.” He trailed off at that, lost in thought before coming back to the conversation, changing the subject slightly, “Did I ever tell you that I dreamed when I was unconscious?”
“Ah, no. You didn’t” Carlos leaned over to settle his elbow on the table, face cupped in his palm, intrigued, “Tell me about it.”
TK went on to recall how he had dreamed of his past after he had his overdose that triggered them to move to Texas but because he had been self-aware he changed the course of what had originally happened. It was fascinating to Carlos that TK was able to dream and remember that dream even from that state of unconsciousness. It was crazy to think of how layered it was and still, Carlos got one main take away from TK’s subconscious.
“Aww even unconscious, you couldn’t live without me.”
TK shrugged and smiled ruefully, “I’m starting to think more and more that soulmates exist, and you must be mine if even my damaged brain couldn’t deal with not having you in my life. Sorry babe you’re stuck with me forever.”
“Well just so you know, I stayed by your bedside almost 24/7 because I couldn’t live without you either, so I guess I’m okay with being stuck together forever.” Carlos reached for TK’s hand and brought his knuckles to his lips. He watched as TK blushed, feeling smug that he could cause such a reaction so easily,
TK couldn’t keep the grin from his face, “Guess we're just a couple of hopeless romantics huh.”
“I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
I can't imagine my life without you
I can't imagine one night without you
If something happened, don't know what I'd do
I can't imagine
I can't imagine my life without you
46 notes · View notes
holding hands while skating, with anyone from Lone Star, platonic or romantic!
TK wiggles his fingers in Owen's hand, causing his dad to smile. "We're almost there, buddy," Owen assures him with a smile. TK tugs on his hand, urging him to go faster.
Owen laughs fondly. At seven years old, TK has been begging to go ice skating and since the divorce is almost finalized, Owen figured the kid needs something good in his life.
Another block or so of TK tugging at his hand, they finally arrive at the ice rink at Rockefeller Center. TK looks up at him, eyes aglow with happiness. Owen squeezes his hand, "You ready, kiddo?"
"Yes!" TK cheers.
It's a pain to get TK to sit still while Owen ties his skates on (he almost ends up with a toe pick in his eye), but eventually Owen is standing on the ice rink, beckoning TK to join him.
But for all his excitement, TK looks nervous, clinging to the railing with his gloved hands. "Dad?" TK asks. "I don't know how."
Owen smiles and bends his knees to be eye to eye with his kid. "That's what I'm here for." He offers TK both of his hands palm up. "I'll help you."
"What if I fall?" He asks, tentatively putting his hands in Owen's.
"Then you can pull me down with you," Owen promises. TK laughs and steps onto the rink. His feet almost immediately slip out from under him, but Owen keeps him steady. "I got you, kid."
TK grins and takes another step, grin growing even wider when he doesn't fall. They take it slow, Owen skating backwards with both of his hands in TK. TK isn't so much skating as he is letting Owen pull him along.
The whole time, TK's smile never goes away, not even when he stumbles because he knows his dad will catch him. When they leave the rink a few hours later with unsteady legs, Owen swings TK up onto his hip. The kid's getting a bit big for it, but Owen doesn't care.
TK must not either, because he immediately curls into Owen's side. They walk for a few minutes before TK hesitantly asks, "When you get divorced will we still do stuff like this?"
"Of course, buddy," Owen assures him immediately. "Your mom and I will both be there for you no matter what. We're not going anywhere."
"You promise?" TK asks.
"I promise." Owen presses a kiss to TK's head.
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tarlos fic: (put your arms around me) and i'm home
Title: (put your arms around me) and i'm home
Pairing: Carlos Reyes/TK Strand
Summary: It's been five days, two hours, and twenty-three minutes since he's seen Carlos for more than a passing glance.
Not that TK has been counting, or anything.
Tk is sick of it. He wants to see his boyfriend, wants to hold him and talk to him and be with him. He doesn’t quite sleep right, anymore; he’s grown far too used to strong arms wrapped around him at night, his scent on the sheets, warm breath on the back of his neck. He’s constantly tossing and turning in his bunk at the station, searching for the piece of him that simply isn’t there. It’s not doing much for his mood, given how his teammates and friend are starting to avoid him.
He can’t even blame them. TK would be sick of himself, too, if he’s honest with himself.
Author’s Note: Gifted with love to @immortalstrand @lire-casander and @meloingly, all people I adore that need some fluff today.
Also on AO3
It’s been a hell of a day.
Call after call after call, and TK is so tired. Exhausted, really. He’s ready to call it a day, and he still has four hours left in his shift. Four hours, in the Texan heat, and he just wants to go home. Get a shower, wash the day off, maybe even see his boyfriend. It sounds crazy, ridiculous even, that it’s been five days since he’s seen Carlos for more than a passing moment.
First, TK worked a twenty-four-hour shift, while Carlos was off. That would have been fine, but then Carlos got called in the next day, to cover someone unexpectedly out with a stomach bug. After that, it was opposite shifts, another twenty-four, and finally, finally, today.
Outside of shared calls, and a few stolen seconds in the hallways of their own place, he hasn’t said a word in person to his lover. It’s been text messages and Snapchats, and phone calls, squeezed in between whatever emergencies had come their way. One time, TK had even started a FaceTime but had needed to hang up before Carlos could even answer, as the bell rang.
Tk is sick of it. He wants to see his boyfriend, wants to hold him and talk to him and be with him. He doesn’t quite sleep right, anymore; he’s grown far too used to strong arms wrapped around him at night, his scent on the sheets, warm breath on the back of his neck. He’s constantly tossing and turning in his bunk at the station, searching for the piece of him that simply isn’t there. It’s not doing much for his mood, given how his teammates and friend are starting to avoid him.
He can’t even blame them. TK would be sick of himself, too, if he’s honest with himself.
The rest of the day goes quickly: they’re dispatched to a car accident, a slip down the stairs, and then, finally, a kid stuck in a thornbush. The bus is barely put away and restocked for B-shift before he’s running into the locker room and grabbing his things, the Uber already on its way.
He’s so, so ready to get out of here.
It’s both the longest car ride ever, back to their new place and a complete blur.
TK unlocks the front door with his key, the door opening on silent hinges. The smell of spices and meat permeates through the air, which can only mean one thing: Carlos is home, and he’s cooking.
That can mean that his boyfriend is in a good mood, that he wants to do something special to treat them both. It can also indicate that he had a rough shift, and he needs to ground himself in routine or tradition; TK never knows which until he investigates. He toes off his shoes and walks towards the kitchen on socked feet, trying not to make any sudden noise. Surprises and knives do not mix well.
Music is playing from the speakers, something rhythmic and fun, lilting Spanish words echoing throughout the room. The beat is lively, with just a hint of bass; it’s something you can dance to, something that rolls right through him. Carlos must be in a good mood; TK recognizes the tune, if not the words. It’s on the playlist his boyfriend uses when he has the energy to burn, and it’s best worked out by dancing around the island, wooden spoon in hand.
That’s not quite what TK sees when he walks in; Carlos’s back is to him, facing the stove. The muscles of his back clench and unclench in time as he’s stirring something. TK doesn’t know enough about food to determine whatever it is, but it smells amazing. He double-checks to be sure that there’s nothing sharp nearby before sliding up behind his lover, locking his arms around a trim waist. They end up swaying in time to the music for a moment, with no words required.
Carlos smells like his shampoo - sandalwood, spice, something citrusy - and their shared laundry detergent. It smells like home and safety and comfort, and TK can’t stop himself from nuzzling into his shoulder, lips pressing a soft kiss against the plane of his back.
“Welcome home, my love,” Carlos hums, leaning back into his chest. “Bad day?”
“No,” he answers truthfully. “Just long. I missed you.”
A day without Carlos feels like an eternity; five is a lifetime. TK needed his touch and his, well, everything, and now that he has it, he can’t bear to let it go. It’s why he keeps close, drawing a laugh from his lover as he follows Carlos from the stove to the fridge, to grab out the block of the good cheese, as well as the grater.
“Are you just going to hang off me all night?”
TK snorts at that, brow arching up in challenge. “You saying I can’t? Are all these muscles for show, then?”
Carlos laughs at that, low and sweet, and it soothes that ache that has been building for… five days, two hours, and twenty-three minutes.
Not that TK has been counting, or anything.
“Go set the table, baby,” Carlos requests, hips bumping back against his own. “Dinner’ll be ready soon.”
“I’m comfy,” he protests, clinging a little bit tighter. “Also, you’re warm, and I missed you.”
“So you’ve said, but unless you plan on eating this rigatoni from the pot, we need settings. Go.”
TK groans playfully, but lets go, not without a swat to the side of Carlos’s leg. “Slave driver.”
“Oh, yes, so you’ve told me before. Keep that up, and I’ll eat this dinner all by myself.”
“You wouldn’t dare,” TK shoots back, before going to the cabinet to get their plates. Carlos seems to be incapable of actually denying him much of anything. Whether it’s because they’re sickeningly in love (his team’s opinion) or he’s just that good, TK isn’t sure. Doesn’t matter either way, he figures, since he certainly doesn’t plan on doing anything to jeopardize it.
The plates he grabs, silverware fished out, and soon enough, the table is set and ready. It’s nothing fancy, but TK lights a candle or two, for the ambiance, and makes sure there’s a trivet ready for the serving dish. Just in time, as Carlos brings out the pot of pasta, following along with what appears to be homemade bread (when did he have the time?) and drinks for them both.
“It’s not an occasion or anything, right?” He questions, mentally going through the list of important dates. It’s not an anniversary, or a birthday, or anything like that, not that TK can recall. There’s no rhyme or reason to this, other than it’s simply been too long since they’ve spent any real time together. A fact Carlos confirms with an easy smile on his face as he sits down at the table.
TK faces him, serves himself first as is their tradition. He waits for Carlos to grab his own food before taking a bite, humming in delight as the blend of perfectly seasoned meat, and spiced sauce, and melted cheese over pasta hits his tastebuds. The dish is simple, but well-made, comforting and filling.
It’s utterly perfect.
“How?” He moans, once he’s swallowed his mouthful of food. Carlos tilts his head in a silent question, unable to answer verbally. “Babe, this is just - so good. How do you always do that?”
The praise has his boyfriend blushing softly, just visible in the dim light. It’s endearing, and TK wants to see it every day, for the rest of his life. He’s starting to think he will, and that’s as wonderful and thrilling as the surety that he can have this, in general. A home, someone to come home to, all of it.
“It’s nothing special, just a recipe I’ve made enough times to not mess it up.”
“It’s perfect,” TK insists. “Rather like you.”
“Stop that,” Carlos chides in return, though the pink cheeks and sheepish grin don’t do much to truly dissuade him. “No flirting at the dinner table.”
TK laughs at that, pausing to take a sip of his lemonade that was, no doubt, freshly made that afternoon. “And afterward?”
Carlos shoots him a look, dark eyes sparkling. “Hmm, I suppose I could be persuaded.”
Well. TK can work with that. He sends back a slightly saucy (possibly literally) grin, and continues to eat.
They have the whole night ahead of them; TK doesn’t plan to waste a single moment of it.
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Masterlists of my fanfictions
9-1-1: Lone Star
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Please please please- I’m gonna need both of those things in fic like yesterday. thanks! 😉🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣
for you my darling 💜 anon
(referenced things here and here)
ao3 | s3 spec, fluff, soft tarlos
TK knows how scared Carlos was, how scared he still is. It had been painted all over his face when he’d come barrelling into the hospital, and that wide-eyed look still lingers even though TK was given the all clear hours ago. He’s trying not to comment on it—god knows he’d be the same if Carlos had gone under—but this is too much.
“Carlos, I’m fine,” TK whines, doing his best to resist yet another blanket from being wrapped around him. Carlos huffs at TK’s wriggling and pauses in his ministrations to glare, which TK takes full advantage of to break out his best puppy dog eyes. “I’m okay.”
“No, you’re not,” Carlos retaliates, doubling down in his efforts. “You were severely hypothermic—”
“You were severely hypothermic, and you heard what the doctor said. You need—”
“Alright!” TK gives in and accepts the blanket, letting Carlos tuck it firmly but gently around him. “Just don’t complain when I’m all sweaty and gross later.”
Carlos stands back, looking mollified at last, and TK thinks he finally has a hope of getting him to sit down. But no sooner has he opened his mouth than Carlos jumps back into action, turning towards the kitchen.
“I’ll get you a tea, is herbal okay?”
He steps forward, and TK has had enough.
“Carlos, stop!” he cries, lunging forward and just managing to snag Carlos’s sleeve. “Please, just…just stop.”
Carlos’s brow furrows. “What’s wrong?” he asks, more than a hint of worry in his tone.
TK sighs. “Nothing. Nothing’s wrong, except…” He shakes his head and smiles softly, speaking in a hushed tone. “Except I don’t need teas or a million blankets or anything else like that. I just need you.”
To emphasise the point, TK shuffles across on the sofa and holds out his arm, extending the blanket. Carlos looks torn for a moment, but eventually, he relaxes and nods, joining TK in his blanket nest.
TK instantly curls into Carlos’s side, his head resting on Carlos’s chest and his arms slipping around his waist. A contented smile overtakes his face as he feels Carlos tugging him closer, and TK’s eyes slide closed.
“You okay?” Carlos murmurs, pressing a kiss into TK’s hair.
“Now I am.”
“Not too cold? You’re comfy?”
“Carlos.” TK groans and twists his face into Carlos’s shirt. “Shhhhh. Sleeping.”
Carlos chuckles and kisses him again, and they’re both asleep in minutes.
Owen had expected everyone—TK and Carlos especially—to be in bed when he got back, which is why he’s surprised by the soft snores that greet him when he steps through the door.
He tiptoes into the front room to investigate, instantly smiling at the sight that greets him. TK, still a touch too pale, but otherwise looking much better, tightly curled in Carlos’s lap, and Carlos slumped to one side, yet still maintaining a tight grip around TK’s shoulders. The blankets surrounding them both have begun to slip, so Owen carefully reaches out and fixes them, being careful to make sure the boys don’t wake up.
Today was a lot for all of them, but looking at TK and Carlos’s peacefully sleeping figures, Owen knows they’re already getting through it.
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I Want to Hold You Like You’re Mine
Summary: TK gets lonely in the ER.
Notes: idk if anyone is going to really read this because everyone is kinda distracted with the new episode and the promo for next week but yeah. this idea wouldn’t leave my head so now you get to read it too.
title from “agnes” by glass animals
beta’d by @marjansmarwani
read on ao3
Watching the bustling waiting room, TK nervously twiddles his thumbs. He’s spent far too much time getting to know the emergency room at St. David’s that when he closes his eyes, he can picture the entire layout.
And yet, he somehow found himself back here again.
It wasn’t exactly his fault though. Granted, he could have been a little more careful going up the ladder on the truck. But the situation was getting urgent and he was so focused on getting to the top of the ladder that he didn’t even notice when his right foot got caught on one of the rungs and twisted his ankle in the wrong direction.
Which is how he ended up sitting in the waiting room yet again, his right ankle elevated on the chair across from him and the now melted ice pack resting on the swollen joint. He knows that he could just ask someone for a new one, but he’s been here long enough that they should be calling his name any moment now.
However as the minutes tick on, he gets more and more restless, and he wishes that there was someone here to talk to and take his mind off the persistent ache in his ankle. There had been some discussion about someone from his team staying with him but he had insisted that there was no real reason for the team to be two members down for something as minor as what’s probably only a sprained ankle. And of course, the 126 was called to another scene before it could be discussed further.
After Tommy dropped him off at the ER entrance, he thought he would be okay. However, on this abnormally busy day at the hospital, he only gets lonelier as he waits for his name to be called.
His loneliness getting the best of him, he pulls his phone out of his pocket and shoots a quick text to Carlos.
TK: are you busy?
He doesn’t even have shut the messages app before he sees the typing dots appear on his text thread.
Carlos: I’m on a call right now, but I can call you in a few minutes?
Of course. TK knew Carlos was working today, he should have known better than to bother him.
TK: nevermind, forgot you were on shift. it’s okay.
He shuts off the device, only for it to light up again with Carlos’ name in the call ID. TK frowns, hitting the red decline button. His boyfriend should be focusing on his job, not needing to worry about how accident prone TK is.
His phone lights up again, and he declines it again.
By the third time it lights up, TK sighs in resignation and presses the green accept button.
“Hey Carlos,” TK greets with his best cheery voice and fake smile.
“TK, you denied my call twice. You do not get to ‘hey Carlos’ me. What’s going on?”
“It’s nothing, I forgot you were working today,” TK answers quickly. “I can talk to you later”
“It’s clearly something. Just tell me TK,” Carlos says, pausing while he waits for TK to answer.
TK wonders if it’s worth it to explain the situation to his boyfriend. He knows that as soon as he tells him, that the other man will drop everything to come be by his side. And while the companionship would be welcome, he would feel guilty pulling Carlos away from his job.
Unfortunately, he waits too long to answer and Carlos speaks up again. “Wait, aren’t you on shift today too?”
“TK, where are you?” he firmly asks.
TK can tell he’s beginning to put the pieces together. The ambient noises of the waiting room are no doubt filtering through his phones speaker, not to mention the red flags it raises that TK is calling him while on shift to begin with.
“That’s not really relevant,” he says, trying to shift away from the topic.
“You’re at the hospital, aren’t you?”
“Shit, TK. Okay,” Carlos says, and TK can hear him mumble something in the background before coming back to the phone. “I’ll be there as soon as I can.”
“That’s not really necessary,” TK tries to wave him off before Carlos cuts him off.
“Is anyone with you?”
“No,” he trails off.
“Then I’m coming.”
TK smiles to himself. He knows at this point there’s no talking Carlos out of it, and he’d be lying if he said he wasn’t looking forward to seeing the other man. “Okay, I’m still in the waiting room.”
“See you soon.”
The call disconnects, and TK cycles through the apps on his phone while he waits for Carlos to arrive, periodically looking up at the sliding glass doors of the emergency room entrance.
Eventually, Carlos does make his appearance in the waiting room, still in uniform and face flushed as he scans the area before meeting TK’s eye.
TK gives him a little wave and small smile, greeting his boyfriend with a kiss when Carlos takes a seat next to him.
“Hey, what happened?” Carlos asks, trying to mask the concern in his voice but TK still picks up on it.
TK explains the situation, watching as Carlos’ eyebrows furrow in worry as he processes the story. When TK finishes, Carlos smirks a little before speaking up. “I thought you making the transition to being a paramedic was supposed to be less dangerous.”
“It’s not my fault they needed a medic up there, and I have more experience on the ladder than Tommy or Nancy.”
“Clearly,” Carlos stifles a laugh, gesturing to TK’s ankle while the other man gently swats him. Leaning down, Carlos removes the ice pack to further inspect the swollen joint. “TK, this ice pack isn’t very cold.”
“Yeah, I’ve been here a while,” he shrugs.
Carlos presses his lips together, before getting up, ice pack in hand, and making his way over to the reception desk. TK watches as the other man exchanges a few words with the nurse sitting at the desk. After their brief exchange, Carlos returns with a fresh ice pack which he places gently on TK’s ankle.
“The nurse says they should be calling you back next,” he says with a smile.
“Thank you,” TK says softly, returning the smile.
True to his word, just a few minutes later his name is called and Carlos is helping him transition into a wheelchair to be wheeled back to an exam room.
After being poked and prodded, and an x-ray just to confirm it’s nothing more major, the doctor verifies Tommy’s initial diagnosis that it’s just a bad sprain. He’s given a sturdy black brace, a pair of silver crutches, and strict instructions to take the next few weeks off work.
That last note causes a pout to settle on TK’s face as the doctor exits the exam room.
“Hey,” Carlos catches his attention, rest his hand on top of TK’s own. “It’ll be fine. Tommy will understand.”
“I’ve barely been on the job for a week, and I already have to call out. Not a great reflection.”
“Well she’s been working out your house for a few months, so I think she knows to expect that her newest paramedic is also a danger magnet,” Carlos chuckles.
“Yeah, I guess,” TK sighs.
Carlos gently runs his hand through TK’s hair, knowing that it calms the other man down. “You ready to get out of here?”
TK nods. “Can you just drop me off back at the station?”
“I thought I would just take you home. You should probably rest and ice your ankle a little more.”
“There’s ice at the station,” TK says with a mischievous grin, only to be met with Carlos’ unwavering expression. “I just would rather be around the team that sitting at home alone while you finish your shift.”
“TK, my shift ended 30 minutes ago.”
“Shit, Carlos,” he looks up meeting the other man's eye. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean for you to get pulled away for this long. I hope you don’t get into trouble.”
“It’s fine, I told my captain what was going on after you called and she let me go. I wasn’t planning on going back anyway.”
TK smiles, wondering how he got so lucky to have a boyfriend this caring that he really would drop everything to spend a few long hours in the emergency room with him.
“Now, why don’t we get out of here, yeah?”
He nods eagerly, letting Carlos help him off the bed and graciously accepting the crutches the other man hands to him. “Thank you,” he whispers to Carlos with a smile, before making their way out of the hospital.
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All night, I'll riot with you
After the fire, Andrea lashes out at Gabriel and Owen for putting the boys in danger. At the end of his rope, Carlos joins in when he hears them say they weren’t thinking of them.
He and TK have a conversation about what happened at the firehouse between them.
Spoilers for 2.12
For my forever love @beka1820
TK stands quietly beside him as the doctor checks his lungs. They’ve already run tests on TK, and he should probably be outside with their fathers, but TK goes stony silent when the doctor even suggests it. Instead, he stands inches away from him, holding his hand, watching him like a hawk as he breathes for the physician.
“I’m fine, babe,” he says for the third time since they arrived at the hospital. TK’s frown just deepens at his reassurance, having the opposite reaction he wants. He lets out a low sigh before breathing in again like the doctor asks him to.
It takes another ten minutes before he’s allowed to leave the observation room after promising the doctor he’s going to take it easy.
“You’re going to experience some shortness of breath for the next few days,” she tells him, getting an absent nod from TK. “Rest. The both of you,” she looks at them sternly before she turns to leave the room.
“Thank you, doctor,” he calls out to her to be polite as she leaves him alone with TK.
“Home?” his boyfriend questions, cringing instantly at himself.
Carlos can’t help the humorless chuckle that escapes his sore throat but nods anyway, standing up sluggishly. TK instantly lets go of his hand to wrap his arm around his waist, and Carlos finds himself leaning into him, pressing a kiss at his temple as a silent thank you, ignoring the smell of smoke on him.
They walk out slowly, making their way down the hall where they had left Owen and where he knows his father is with the fire captain.
He hears his mother before he sees her.
“Of all the reckless, stupid things you have ever done, Gabriel Antonio Reyes, this one really takes the cake. Our son could have died tonight,” he hears her hiss angrily at his father. He feels TK tense against his body, and when he turns to him, he finds his boyfriend looking back at him with wide, fearful eyes. They round the corner to find his mother’s back to them as she points a finger in his father’s face. Carlos stares in shock, watching as his larger-than-life father shifts uneasily in the face of his mother’s rage.
“Andrea – “ Owen interrupts, proving he truly has no preservation skills as he stands closer to his father, providing a united front. “You can’t blame Gabriel – “
“I don’t just blame him,” his mother cuts Owen off, and he winces at the sharp edge he hears in her voice as she turns her head to look at him. “I blame you too.”
Owen’s eyes widen at her words, opening his mouth once more, but his mother doesn’t give him a chance to speak.
“Two old men acting like cowboys,” she says with a disgusted shake of her head. “So concern with your secrets and catching this guy, you never once stopped to think about the boys and how your actions and arrogance put them in harm’s way.”
“Andreaita, vieja,” his dad says softly, and Carlos swears under his breath. That pacifying tone is the last one his father should be taking with his mother right now.
“No me llames así cuando estoy enojada, Gabriel,” she says tightly, her jaw clenched. “No jodas conmigo ahora mismo.”
“Andrea,” his father says roughly, stunned, and Carlos knows it’s because he’s not used to his mother being vulgar. Neither of them are.
“Your secrets got our boys hurt,” she continues calling them out. “It cost them their home, and it almost cost them their lives. You two messed up. Own up to it.”
He watches as Owen and his father share a look between them, both letting out deep sighs, and Carlos feels something ugly tighten in his chest.
“We were trying to catch an arsonist,” his father explains, or maybe he’s trying to justify his mother’s criticism. He isn’t sure.
“We weren’t thinking about them at the time,” Owen says softly, and Carlos feels the last bit of his restraint snap. He moves out of TK’s hold, pushing his hands away when he tries to steady him.
“You weren’t thinking about us?” he questions, anger coursing through his body so strongly he thinks he’s vibrating with it.
“Carlos,” Owen says with surprise. His gaze moves over his shoulder to look at TK, his eyes shifting downward quickly with something like shame in them. He doesn’t turn to look at TK, but he can only imagine the look he just gave his father. Instead, Carlos focuses on the source of his anger, the two men he admires and who let him down tonight.
“So you lied to us to put on this great spectacle, pretending that you,” he points at his dad. “Arrested my boyfriend’s father,” he says, letting out a bitter chuckle. “Never once stopping to think how that could hurt my and TK’s relationship.”
“Carlitos, mijo – “ his father tries gently, and just like with his mother, it’s the wrong tone to take, and he continues, ignoring the attempt to defuse the situation.
“But hey, you got your bad guy,” he grins cynically.
He feels his eyes sting, ignoring it when a tear rolls down his face. “TK and I fighting over the two of you is just collateral damage, right?” he questions.
Owen and Gabriel share another look, guilt coloring both their faces.
“Except that wasn’t the end of it, was it?” he continues, the anger he feels and the fear from earlier colliding inside him until he thinks he’s going to explode. “A madman tells the two of you that he’s going to take what is most important to you, and you didn’t think of us?”
“Carlos – “ Owen tries again, but Carlos can’t hear it over the rushing of blood in his ears. “We didn’t know – “
“We lost our home, Owen!” he shouts, his throat screaming in protest, but he doesn’t care. “We almost didn’t make it out, and I have to live with the fact that I could have lost TK tonight. I don’t care about me, but I almost lost him because of the two of you,” he points at both of them, his hand shaking as he cries. “My father, and the man who is supposed to take care of TK when I can’t.”
His head spins as his vision clouds from sudden dizziness, and he tries to take a breath as panic claws at his chest. He feels hands he would recognize anywhere on his back and sternum as TK presses himself to his side.
“Breathe, baby, slow and steady,” he whispers urgently, and Carlos hates how worried he sounds. He does what he asks, taking a trembling breath and then another.
“That’s it, cariño,” his mother murmurs to the other side of him as she rubs his back softly like she did when he was a kid, needing her comforting hands.
He takes another breath, grateful when it’s easier to take than the one before. Once he feels in control again, he lifts his gaze to Owen and his father.
“I’ll get past this eventually. I’ll forgive you both,” he tells them quietly, knowing he will in the end. “But I’ll never trust either of you with TK’s safety again.”
Everyone is quiet as his promise resonates through them. After a moment, his mother clears her throat, holding out her hand to his father.
“Keys. I’m taking my boys home with me,” she says to him, leaving no room for argument. His father, still shocked by his words, hands over the keys silently. “Let’s go boys, you two need a shower, some tea, and rest.”
“Dad,” he starts to say to her, looking over at him.
“Your father’s new buddy can drive him home later, or maybe offer him somewhere to sleep for the night,” she answers as she herds him and TK away from the other men. “Either way, if he comes home, he’s sleeping in the den,” she declares, looking over her shoulder at his dad one more time before they leave them behind.
Carlos doesn’t look back like she does. Instead, he focuses on TK’s hands on him, and breathing. Slow and steady, just like his boyfriend asked.
Carlos walks into his childhood bedroom, fresh out of the shower. He’d rubbed himself red, but he can still smell the smoke clinging to his skin.
He finds TK on his bed with a cup in his hand, a soft smile on his face as he looks at him.
“Your mom made us some chamomile tea,” he explains, lifting his cup to show him. “It’s really good.”
“It’s fresh,” he answers as he hangs his towel before coming to sit down next to him. “Mom grows the herb in her garden.”
TK makes a soft sound at the back of his throat before passing him a cup of his own. He takes a sip, smiling down at the familiar taste before placing the cup on the bedside table.
“How are you?” TK questions softly as he runs a hand through his wet curls.
“I’m okay,” he answers automatically, getting a sigh in response from TK and a shake of his head.
“I don’t think you are, baby,” he whispers before leaning in to press his forehead against the side of his face, his breath tickling his skin as he circles his arms around him. “And it’s perfectly fine if you’re not. You don’t need to hide it from me.”
Carlos brings his hand to TK’s arm, pulling him in closer, closing his eyes as he clings to his boyfriend’s warmth, feeling safe for the first time in the night.
“We need to talk about what you said tonight,” TK continues softly, kissing his shoulder before pulling back to look at him. “I’m so sorry about pushing you, Carlos.”
“TK,” he starts with a loud sigh. “We talked about this. You don’t need to apologize – “
TK shakes his head at him again. “You’re wrong,” he says to him, remorse clouding his green eyes. “I do need to apologize. You didn’t deserve that, and I should have never put my hands on you.”
“You were upset,” he tries again, only for TK to stop him once more.
“That is no excuse, and you know it,” he says, now completely out of their embrace as he looks at him. “I hurt you, and that’s the last thing I ever want to do. I fucked up, plain and simple, and I am so sorry for it, baby.”
Carlos looks at TK, taking in the gutted guilt in his expression, and reaches out to touch his face. “I forgive you,” he says softly as TK’s shoulders drop with relief. Carlos is ready to take him back into his arms when TK’s expression changes yet again.
“There is one more thing,” he starts, biting down on his lip as Carlos realizes he is trembling. “When you said you almost lost me and that you didn’t care about yourself,” he whispers, his voice cracking as his eyes fill with tears. “Please never say that again.”
“TK – “ he whispers as TK shakes his head, tears rolling down his face as he takes a deep breath.
“I would lose my mind if I lost you,” he continues, steadier. “I love you so much. I don’t know how to do this without you anymore, and I don’t want to. So please, never say that again, and never put my safety above yours.”
“It’s my job to protect you,” he whispers, feeling his eyes burn again as he remembers how close he came to failing tonight.
“And it’s mine to protect you,” TK shoots back fiercely, taking his face in his hands in a desperate hold. “So let’s do that. Let’s take care of each other together, equally, but never putting one above the other, okay? Please,” he begs once more.
Carlos hates the pleading in TK’s voice, not standing the pain he hears there. He takes TK’s hands off his face, bringing them both up to his lips, laying a few soft kisses over his knuckles. “Okay, baby,” he breathes the words into his skin. When he looks up, he finds TK watching him with the same love Carlos feels in his eyes. “Let’s take care of each other.”
Spanish translations to what Andrea said:
No me llames así cuando estoy enojata - Don't call me that when I'm mad.
No jodas conmigo ahora mismo - Don't fuck with me right now
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a storm to weather
17.9k || ao3
Austin has been hit with a freak ice storm, of all things. And, as TK quickly learns, dealing with winter weather is not the same as dealing with winter weather in a place where no one is used to it. Of course, everything turns to disaster, as it so often tends to, but when a rescue gone wrong puts TK at risk it's all his family can do to save him and hope for the best.
A 3x01 spec fic, apparently
This was not supposed to be this long. But it also wasn’t supposed to be a spec fic originally, so here we are. This started as a “how would all the members of the 126 deal with the ice storms” and then that teaser dropped and that became this. All the love to @moviegeek03 and @justaswampdemon for all their help and support with this 💕
When TK rolled over in bed and got his first look out the bedroom window he was immediately disoriented. He was fairly certain he had fallen asleep in Austin, in the bed he shared with his boyfriend. He was almost certain of that. But if that were true, it didn’t explain the white blanketing everything. It almost looked like…
“Is that snow?”
TK twisted to see Carlos’s sleep mused head peering around him as he squinted at the window, his expression mirroring the confusion TK felt.
“I think so,” he told his boyfriend, turning his gaze back out the window. “Assuming I’m not seeing things. We’re still in Austin, right?”
“Last I checked,” Carlos confirmed. “But your mom has been after us to visit and frankly I wouldn’t put anything past her.”
TK chuckled at that before pulling back the blankets and preparing to climb out of bed. But the cold air hitting his body was unexpected and he let out an involuntary yelp that had Carlos looking at him in concern.
“Sorry,” he said sheepishly, putting a reassuring hand on Carlos’s arm as he yanked the blankets back over himself. “It’s just, really cold in here. I wasn’t expecting that.”
“Maybe your dad doesn’t have the heat on yet?” Carlos suggested. “It’s not like we were expecting this.”
“Maybe,” TK allowed, “but I doubt it. Owen Strand has religiously had every thermostat in every place we’ve ever lived set to 69 degrees my entire life. Seems like a weird choice to stop that now. But,” he countered with a smile as he slid back under the blankets and moved closer to Carlos, “it’s plenty warm right here.”
“So that’s your solution?” Carlos asked with a laugh even as he wound his arms around TK and pulled him closer, “Hideaway in bed until the snow is gone?”
“Just until it warms up in here,” TK corrected. “I actually like the snow. I’ve kind of missed it.”
(read the rest on ao3!)
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you light me up: a tarlos fic
Carlos goes to visit TK when he’s home from the hospital and helps to calm the storm of thoughts raging inside the firefighter’s head. Carlos’s presence grounds TK and anchors him, as they navigate their developing relationship and dynamic with a few realizations along the way.
Missing scene from 1.09
missing scene, hurt tk strand, worried carlos reyes, hurt/comfort, whump, emotional hurt/comfort, developing relationship, comfort, tk needs a hug, carlos gives him hugs
whumptober 2021: day 10 - flare up
2.3k | rated T | on ao3
TK’s been in the same position on the couch for the past thirty minutes since he finally managed to get Owen out of the house to make it to his shift on time. The fire captain hesitated in the living room for a good ten minutes before TK reassured him that he’s fine, totally, completely okay on his own. But TK could tell his father was starting to reconsider going to work.
“You know, I think it would be okay if I take one more shift off, Judd is in charge and everything is fine at the firehouse.”
“Dad,” TK pressed while his eyebrows traveled up his forehead. “Go, I’ve got everything I need.”
“Take it easy, TK. I mean that, you’re still in the early stages of healing and any—”
“Any effort or wrong movement can cause more damage,” TK had continued for him. “I got it, dad, I promise.”
A moment later, Owen sighed and nodded. “Okay, but if anything changes…”
“I’ll call,” TK concludes.
He decided to play a random comedy movie after surfing Netflix for a few minutes. He just needed some background noise to hopefully quieten the storm of thoughts raging inside his head. And maybe the movie can get a laugh or two out of him, that wouldn’t hurt either.
He was still wrapping his head around it, getting shot and the prognosis. The doctors were hopeful about his recovery, his initial tests after he woke up showed promise and they said PT would guarantee that TK’s shoulder would be back to a hundred percent. It would take some time to get there, but they assured him he would be able to go back to work with no complications once he was cleared.
But the question currently bouncing inside his head, did he want to go back to being a firefighter?
The doorbell ringing brings him back from his thoughts, and he gently puts the cushion he was hugging down and gets to his feet.
TK opens the door and a smile spreads on his face. “Hi.”
“Hi,” Carlos replies, reciprocating the smile.
Carlos quickly surveys TK’s form and his facial expressions morphs into one of concern at how TK is holding up his injured arm in midair across his stomach and then moves to cradle it.
“Are you sure you shouldn’t be wearing a sling?” Carlos asks as he steps into the house.
TK shrugs his good shoulder but the movement still slightly aggravates his other one. “Probably, but I’ve been sitting down all day and I had it resting on a pillow.”
TK leads Carlos into the living room and slowly sits back on the couch again, Carlos following him.
“You sure you’re okay?”
TK nods around a wince. “Yeah, the pain comes and goes, it’s fine.”
Carlos wants to say you’re not fine, TK, you have a hole in your chest, but refrains from doing that because TK is pretty aware of said fact. So Carlos nods, not wanting to push. He settles for keeping a close eye on the younger man.
They lapse into comfortable silence, and TK feels lighter in Carlos’s presence as they both watch the TV screen. Carlos easily emits comfort, the man’s been there for a few minutes and TK already feels better. And even in silence, there’s a sense of calm and tranquillity that radiates off of Carlos, and it’s infectious. And if TK is being completely honest, he’s starting to long for it.
He directs his gaze to the officer and Carlos returns it with a smile, the silver sparkle shimmers in his beautiful brown eyes and TK can willingly get lost in those irises forever. If he chooses to.
He deliberates with himself for a few seconds before speaking a statement that makes his heart beat faster in his chest.
“I’m glad you could make it before your shift,” TK says, his eyes not leaving Carlos’s.
And the way Carlos’s smile widens and his eyes get even more captivating, the leap was worth it.
“Me too, I was happy to get your text this morning,” Carlos replies.
They’ve been exchanging texts on and off since TK woke up. Well, more off than on, and they had slowed down a bit once TK got home, TK trying to find his footing amid the curveball life had tossed his way, but he always longed for the officer when they weren’t talking. Carlos never pushed, was always responsive and easy going and TK wanted to keep the conversation going for hours, but found himself pulling back every while.
He and Carlos have been in uncharged territory for some time now, more than friends but not quite a couple. They were heading towards something, something bubbling between them in the weeks prior to TK getting shot, and they both felt it, but then said curveball happened and knocked TK off balance.
It took him by surprise, how quickly and easily he started falling for Carlos. It had never occurred to him, nor was he ready for it to happen, when he first moved to Austin. But it feels natural with Carlos, it feels right, even if it’s terrifying for TK. It’s a constant tug of war inside him, wanting to be close to Carlos and feeling that pull between them, the pull that feels so genuine and so organic, yet on the other side, TK is still reeling from what happened in New York, and his walls still built high and thick.
But he also knows that slowly, Carlos has been helping him bring those walls down. TK realizes he wants to bring down those walls when he’s with Carlos, and maybe that’s what scares him the most.
But with the way Carlos is looking at him now, the amount of genuine care and affection drawn on his face and flickering in his eyes, TK feels that fear start to trickle away.
“How was your morning?” TK asks, a small smile on his face.
“It was good,” Carlos replies. “I went for a run and then had an orange juice. It’s a pretty nice spot, that juice bar. I think you’d like it,” he says easily.
TK’s smile widens a little. “I’m sure I would. You know all the best juice bars in Austin.”
“I do,” Carlos confirms. “We can stop by this one when you’re feeling better,” he suggests.
TK nods after a moment. “I’d love that.”
A few moments tick by and TK takes a deep breath, thinking, just a few seconds of bravery and then he’s reaching for Carlos’s hand.
“Thank you for being here,” TK voices, his eyes not leaving Carlos’s.
Carlos’s expression softens even more and he gently squeezes TK’s hand. “Of course.”
Carlos’s relaxed expression changes into one of tension and concern when TK starts wincing and closes his eyes, clamping his jaw shut and Carlos can see the way his teeth are pressed harshly against each other.
“TK?” Carlos speaks, worry coating his tone.
TK wants to reply, to reassure Carlos that he’s okay, but he currently can’t utter a single word, the fire in his veins and the pain pulsating in his shoulder and down his arm are the only things he can focus on.
He tells himself to breathe through it, that it will pass, but all he can do is push out a throaty groan. He feels Carlos stiffen even more next to him, unsure of what to do, but his weight on the cushion next to him gives TK something to focus on aside from the burning in his shoulder. But it hurts, it hurts so much, the pain throbbing and TK wants to scream.
He must have let out a strained noise because a few moments later, through the haze of hot agony, he can hear Carlos’s words filtering into his ears, his comforting and soothing words.
“It’s okay, it’s okay,” Carlos repeats. “It will pass, just squeeze my hand if you need to. You’re okay.”
And TK does. He squeezes Carlos’s hand and the pain, finally, starts to lessen until he can draw in a full breath. He shakily exhales and when he opens his eyes, he’s much closer to Carlos than he remembers. In fact, he’s so close to Carlos there’s no doubt the other man can feel the pants he’s currently puffing out colliding with his neck.
He unconsciously gravitated towards Carlos.
The realization sends heat crawling up TK’s neck and face, settling into his cheeks and painting them pink. He slowly lifts his gaze to meet Carlos’s but Carlos doesn’t comment on their sudden close proximity and he doesn’t pull back. TK is met with wide, worried brown eyes, and he’s so close he can see the speaks of light brown swimming in Carlos’s dark brown irises. They’re breathtaking.
Carlos’s eyes roam over TK’s face, intently studying him with a slight crease engraved in his forehead.
“Hey, TK, you with me?” Carlos asks a moment later.
TK clears his throat and pulls back a little. “Yeah,” he whispers. “Sorry, that was a bad flare up.”
“There’s nothing to apologize for,” Carlos replies kindly, a hand going to rest on TK’s uninjured shoulder. “Do they usually get this bad?”
“This has been the worst one so far,” TK says. “But the doctor said the flare ups will range in intensity, but knowing that doesn’t make being ready for them any easier,” he sighs.
“Do you need anything?” Carlos follows up. “Is there anything I can get you?”
“Maybe some water?” TK answers. “The glasses are in the top left cabinet and the fridge has a water dispenser.”
Carlos nods and gets up, returning with the glass of water less than a minute later.
“Here,” he hands it to TK, who accepts it with a slightly trembling hand.
“Thank you,” TK breathes before taking a sip and then letting Carlos help him place it on the table in front of them. “Carlos, I’m okay,” he adds when he still observes the worry lines on his face.
Carlos gives TK’s hand another squeeze and runs the pad of his thumb across TK’s skin.
It’s intimate and grounding, the gesture sending a silent message between them as they keep their eye contact, peering into each other through brown and green gates.
TK feels bare, like Carlos can read him inside out, can read him like an open book, and he feels his walls crumble a little more. He swallows and doesn’t shy away, because it also feels safe.
Carlos feels safe, and TK lets himself soak up that safety, he lets is engulf him.
There’s a lot bouncing around in TK’s head, a lot he needs to work through and figure out, but for the first time since he woke up in the hospital, he feels a weight has been lifted off his chest, and he attributes that to Carlos being close.
Yeah, Carlos is safety.
He gives Carlos another smile before he hesitantly starts to pull back and untangles their connected hands, immediately missing Carlos’s touch and warmth.
He leans back against the couch, his eyes drifting back to the television.
“This movie has some good laughs,” TK says with a smile.
Carlos follows TK’s line of sight. “Yes, it does.”
They sit in silence for a while, TK zoning out every now and then and it doesn’t go unnoticed by Carlos.
“What are you thinking about?” Carlos asks in a low tone.
Too much, TK wants to say. But it’s all a jumbled mess in his head right now and he’s not sure he can even voice it in proper words or thoughts yet, so instead, he answers with the thought he can properly voice.
“I’ve been thinking about that little boy,” he eventually replies. “What he must be going through.”
Carlos nods. “It’s tough.”
“He just wanted to protect his family,” TK says.
“Do you know how he’s doing?”
“Dad told me he’s getting help and seeing a counselor,” TK nods. “But it must be so much for a child to carry.”
“He’s got his family looking out for him and helping him, that’s the most important thing,” Carlos says with empathy.
“I was thinking maybe there’s something I could do to help,” TK states.
Carlos waits for him to elaborate.
“Maybe I can go visit him, if his parents would be okay with that, of course,” TK continues. “I’m still wrapping my head around what happened, I don't even remember it, but I’ll be fine. I’ll go through recovery and some PT and I’ll be fine, but what about that boy? Thinking about what he’s going through, I want to help and maybe seeing me will help him.”
A soft smile spreads on Carlos’s face. “That’s very thoughtful, TK. I think they would appreciate the gesture.”
“I just want to make sure he knows I know that it was an accident and that I’m fine and I don’t blame him. I think that would make a difference.”
“I think it would, too,” Carlos agrees. “And I think that would help you feel better, too.”
Butterflies flutter in TK’s stomach at Carlos’s reassurance and support, and he feels a warmth settling in his core.
When it’s inevitably time for Carlos to leave for his shift, he tries stalling a little, not wanting to leave TK. TK notices and reassures him he’s fine, and Carlos makes absolute sure that TK doesn’t need anything before he steps out.
And when TK leans in for a soft hug, Carlos gently wraps his arms around TK, mindful of his injury and TK once again, gravities towards the officer and closer into his arms.
“I’ll text you,” TK promises when they separate.
Carlos smiles and nods. He studies TK a little more for any signs of lingering pain or discomfort. Assured that TK is okay, and after a moment of consideration, he leans down and brushes a kiss to the corner of TK’s mouth.
TK’s eyes light up.
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Hello! I'm so glad you are doing BTHB! According to today's little promo, may I request drowning or hypothermia because of falling through the ice for TK? 😀
hi :) thanks for the request!
cold as ice
bthb masterpost | 2.6k | hypothermia, hurt/comfort
It should've been a simple rescue, but when was luck ever on TK's side?
Bad Things Happen Bingo: hypothermia
TK doesn’t mind the cold. Being a native New Yorker, the snow always felt comforting to him. It reminded him of when he was little and his parents would take him ice skating at the Rockefeller Center or when he was older and snuck out to watch the ball drop in Times Square. Even as he got older, working as a firefighter in the cold wasn’t that bad either. Sure there were more car accidents caused by black ice and more fires caused by malfunctioning space heaters, but for the most part, it was relatively calm.
That is not the case when the ice storm hits Texas. Most people here aren’t prepared for this kind of situation, leading to many, many car accidents, frostbite cases from people who aren’t dressed warm enough to be outside like this, and idiots who think ice fishing on two inches of ice is a good idea.
Needless to say, they’ve been busy.
Continue Reading on ao3
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Flufftober day 5
Prompt: Watching the Sunrise (Tarlos)
WC: 1100 words
As always, thank you to Sarah for the beta!
TK slowly made his way halfway down the stairs and paused. He leaned on the railing for a moment, watching as Carlos scurried around the kitchen, his baking supplies strewn about. It wasn’t entirely out of the ordinary, and TK normally wouldn’t be concerned, except for the fact that it was nearly 6 am and they both had shifts in a few hours.
He hadn’t heard Carlos get up, and TK yawned, wondering how long Carlos had been baking. The table was already covered with cooling racks full of goodies, and he knew that both the APD and AFD would get their fill of treats, an occasion that was happening more and more often lately.
TK had never seen anyone who stress-baked before, and although he was glad Carlos had an outlet, something to calm him when he was worried, TK just wished Carlos would talk to him.
“Baby, have you gotten any sleep tonight?” TK gently placed his hand on the small of Carlos’ back and pressed a kiss to his temple.
Carlos shook his head. “I’m okay.”
TK sighed. He didn’t point out that wasn’t his question, opting for “Babe, what can I do? How can I help you?” instead.
Carlos turned on his mixer and stared blankly into the bowl for a few seconds. He stepped back and then pressed a bottle and a red spoon into TK’s hands. “Two teaspoons of vanilla.”
TK’s eyes widened. They both knew his skills in the kitchen amounted to burning water, and TK was worried this would end with either a mess, or with Carlos being more frustrated than he currently was. “That wasn’t what I meant.”
“I know.” Carlos nodded toward the mixer and stood behind TK, watching over his shoulder as he carefully poured in the correct amount of vanilla. He put the spoon down and tightened the cap on the bottle. As soon as he set it on the counter, Carlos slipped an apron over his head, tying it behind him.
“Two eggs, one at a time.” Carlos held out the small bowl in his hand and nudged the carton closer to TK.
“I hope you have a trick to get eggshell out of there. Because we both know that’s what’s going to happen if I crack these eggs,” he muttered, grabbing an egg.
Carlos huffed a laugh. “Wanna know a secret? That’s what the bowl is for. You crack the egg in there and it’ll be easier to get the shell out. Then you can dump it in the mixer.” He explained.
“You’re a genius, Reyes.” TK cracked each egg and successfully dumped them into the bowl sans shell.
“Good. Now I’ve already mixed up the dry ingredients. Dump about half in and let it mix before you add the rest.” Carlos settled his hands on TK’s hips as TK grabbed the mixing bowl and slowly added the flour, trying to be careful not to spill too much.
“I can blame that on you distracting me, right?” TK brushed the offending flour off the counter into his hand and then into the sink.
“Am I a distraction?” Carlos asked, an amused smile playing across his lips.
“The best kind.”
TK watched as Carlos shut off the mixer and detached the bowl. He filled two muffin tins with the batter and set them in the oven, setting a timer for 12 minutes. He filled the coffee pot with water and pressed the ON button. “Go get a sweatshirt. Bring me down one too?” TK blinked owlishly at the request but complied. He untied the apron and left it on the counter before hurrying upstairs, taking them two at a time.
TK shivered and cupped his steaming mug in both hands. His coffee was cooling down quickly and it wasn’t doing much to warm him up anymore. It wasn’t long before Carlos joined him with his own coffee in one hand, and a plate with a few of their muffins in the other. He set both down on the picnic table and straddled the bench behind TK, allowing his boyfriend to lean against him. TK carefully set his coffee down and grabbed a muffin, pulling off the top. He broke it in half and popped a piece into his mouth, feeding the other bit to Carlos.
TK sighed contentedly as Carlos gently kissed the top of his head wrapped his arms around him. The pair sat in silence and watched the golden hues of the sunrise illuminate the sky.
“It’s always so beautiful.” Carlos murmured, holding TK a little tighter. “I’ve seen my share working graveyard, but it’s better here. With you.” TK shifted and tipped his head back, his green eyes meeting Carlos’ brown ones. “Everything’s better with you.”
“Marry me?” He felt TK tense against him and let out a small sigh. “Shit. That wasn’t- I didn’t mean-”
“So, now you don’t want to marry me?” TK asked. He sat up and turned to face Carlos, anxiously tugging on the strings of his hoodie.
“What? No, I-” Carlos took a deep breath. “Actually, that was exactly what I wanted to say. That’s just not how I wanted to say it.”
“Wait, Carlos, is that why you’ve been so…off lately?”
Carlos nodded, “I just wanted to it be perfect. And then I screwed that up. Wait here.” He stood turned back towards the house.
“I’ll be right back.” Carlos promised as he disappeared into the house. TK only waited a few seconds before he followed Carlos into the house and up the stairs, pausing in the doorway to their bedroom. He watched as Carlos rummaged through the drawer of his nightstand, emerging triumphantly with a small, black box.
“Yes, Carlos, yes!”
“I just… I wanted to do this right. I wanted to make sure that you know how much you mean to me.” He paused, gently running his fingers over the velvet box, and looked up, meeting TK’s gaze. “You already said yes?”
TK laughed and made his way across the room. “Yes! Carlos, I love you. Look, I get that you wanted a perfect proposal, but for me, this was perfect. My favorite part of the day is the part I get to spend with you. When we’re not together, all I can think about is how I can get back to you. Then when I’m with you, all I can think about is how I never want those moments to end. And now, they never will. So yes, you’re stuck with me.”
Carlos grinned. “I wouldn’t want it any other way.”
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Not Alone (Tarlos AU 4/?)
Summary: Movies had always been a comfort for TK. When he was left home alone. When his parents didn't have time for him. When he was going through withdraw. Everything. It was the one thing he could always count on. One he definitely hoped he could count on following his disastrous leave from New York and shaky arrival in Austin. Too bad he had to go and fall for the owner of the old theater he discovered....
(aka Firefighter-Movie Buff TK/Theater Owner Carlos AU)
As always, special thank you to @marjansmarwani for putting up with me and all my updates and plotting. I can't thank you enough and am so happy you gave me the encouragement an help on this one. Thank you to everyone who has been commenting/messagig about it as well! I'm pretty shocked by all the love on this little fic and really appreciate it. Special thanks and shout out to @lire-casander, @mtnofgrace, and @halsteadmarchsfor also giving this a glance and encouraging.
He held his breath as Carlos gave him a once over. He felt the blood crusting on his face. His ribs ached. Hell, his whole body did really. He didn’t dare move. Not when Carlos was standing there staring at him.
God he couldn’t get this day right.
Continued on AO3
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