A heart defect (Bondi Rescue)
When y/n’s summer day is interrupted by her dodgy heart kicking up, she seeks the help of some of Australia’s favourite lifeguards.
Completed for @shayleefischer as she approached me and I was so keen to write this! Thank you so much for feeling like I could do you justice, I really hope I did :)
Is that the best way to describe this? Hm. Probably not.
Note: I can’t write fem!Reader whump. Like at all. This is probably going to be a flop. Sorryyyyyyyy!!
A friend of mine from school has a heart condition where she can’t do a lot of exercise because it makes her heart skip a beat and they just about have to reset it whenever it happens. It’s awful and I feel for her so much, but this time it may have come in handy as I’ve witnessed a couple of these episodes. Watch me fuck this up, fam.
Everyone gathered in the shed for Hop’s debrief, Hoppo himself standing beside the whiteboard.
“Box what are we looking at today?”
“It’s gonna be fuckin’ hot today boys, so we need to be on high alert for heat stroke and the elderly as well as young kids. We’re expecting a top of 47°C so everyone keep an eye out.”
“Great, thanks mate. Has anyone got anything to add?”
“Does everyone know where they’re stationed on first?” Reidy piped up, everyone nodding. Maxi glanced around in confusion, a frown coming to his face.
“Hang on, where’s-“
“-your best buddy is on his death bed,” Hoppo explained shortly, in reference to Maxi’s Kiwi best friend/ ex roommate. Maxi ahhhh’ed and then nodded.
“Okay, then I think we’re good.”
Harries and Maxi were patrolling, Reidy doing the med jobs as people appeared with various issues ranging from heat stroke to cuts and blue bottle stings. He’d care for them and treat what he could before sending them on their way- if it had been any other day he would have let them hang around depending on the severity but the casualties just kept coming- especially with Jesse on the jetski occasionally bringing up someone who had copped a concussion or something.
There was a knock on the door just as Reidy was in the middle of something, him groaning.
“Maxi or Harries, please,” he called. Maxi got up, heading down the stairs and opening the door.
There stood a young woman who had gone completely beet red in the face, and she half smiled.
“D-do you think I could… could I get some ice?”
30 Minutes Before
None of my friends had wanted to come to the beach in the heat; they preferred to be inside under the air-conditioning in their expensive apartments sipping expensive water that was no different to the cheap stuff. Note: I love my friends. Don’t tell them I just talked shit.
Bondi Beach is always packed but I’ve never seen it like this before, even as a local. I wasn’t a surfer or a body boarder so I couldn’t tell you about the swell but it looked fucking huge to me. Was this a good thing?
The sun beat down on me, its rays heating up my skin all over and I closed my eyes despite the fact they were protected by my sunglasses, grimacing.
“Holy shit it’s hot,” I muttered to myself. I reached for my phone and covered it with my rapidly drying towel to keep it relatively cool, opening up the weather app.
It was barely 11am and the temperature had already reached 43°C. I winced, trying to think about whether it was safe for me to stay out. I have a heart defect that I was born with, and it can be dangerous for me to stay out in the sun when it’s really hot. Sometimes I have to be treated in hospital if I do exercise and it’s too hot for my heart, so I have to be careful.
“Miss? Hey, it’s okay I’m a lifeguard. You alright?”
My eyes opened slowly and I was faced by someone kneeling down beside me, their hand on my shoulder. I tried to sit up but he shook his head, stopping me.
“Just hang on a sec, you might be dehydrated.”
“I- I’m fine… must have fallen asleep. Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you.”
“No, no that’s okay. I’m Ryan but everyone calls me Whippet, are you from around here?”
“Yeah, I grew up here. Nice to meet you Ryan, I’m y/n.”
“Well y/n, I’ve been driving past for the past thirty minutes and I just wanted to check if you were okay. It’s a really hot day today, make sure you stay hydrated.”
“Will do, thanks Whippet.”
He went to get back on his quad bike but paused, gesturing to the tower.
“There’s three guys up there at the moment so they can spare someone to help you if you need it. Just say I sent you if they get tetchy.”
He disappeared down the beach when his radio crackled to life, and I lay back down. My entire body felt weak and I yawned, moving to grab my phone again from under my now dry towel.
46°C at 2pm. Great.
As I lay there reading I began to feel more lethargic and my heart was occasionally having an arrhythmia- something that I already knew was a heads up it wasn’t coping. I sighed and put my book into my bag, reaching to tuck my phone into the waistband of my shorts. I hefted my bag on to my shoulder and peered through my sunglasses as I got up from the sand, trying to locate the tower. It stuck out like a sore thumb usually, but against the crowds I could barely see it.
“Yeah, what’s up- woah c’mon in, you don’t look so good.”
“D-do you think I could… could I get some ice?”
“I think you should come inside first up.”
A tall, tanned blonde guy offered me a hand and I accepted the help, nearly collapsing against him as he helped me to sit on the blue gurney beside some guy who was groaning a lot, another lifeguard sighing. His voice held very little sympathy as he bandaged something, gesturing to the door.
“That’ll teach you for jumping off Flat Rock, mate. Be more careful next time, aye?”
“Sure. Thanks Reidy.”
“No problem mate.”
The man limped out of the tower and the lifeguard who had helped me in turned to his colleague.
“Reidy, do you think she’s got heatstroke?”
“Hi mate I’m Andrew Reid and this is Trent Maxwell. I’m Reidy and he’s Maxi if that helps. You’re feelin’ a little hot are ya?”
I nodded and Reidy poked his head up, calling to someone up the staircase.
“Hey Harries mate, d’you think you could grab us some ice?”
Maxi meanwhile wandered upstairs, this third guy appearing after a couple minutes with a black bag in hand.
“Here mate. I’m Harries.”
“Hey. I’m y/n.”
I felt my heart ‘skip’ a beat again and winced, clutching it. Harries frowned, hand on my shoulder.
“Are you okay?”
“Oh- uh, yeah. I just- uhm, I just- I have a heart defect, I was born with it… and sometimes it kicks up when it gets really hot and I can’t cool down fast enough.”
Harries handed me some ice and took off his blue long-sleeve so I could put it over my bikini, offering me some modesty. I accepted, thanking him quietly as I slipped the bag of ice on to my back. Maxi suddenly reappeared, carrying a couple more bags.
“Should I call the ambo’s?” He asked, and Reidy shook his head.
“Not yet. Get back on patrol, call someone to give you a hand if you need to.”
“I’m good mate.”
Maxi gave my arm a sympathetic squeeze, heading up the stairs. I felt a wave of dizziness wash over me and as I lay down Reidy answered the door to someone else, going to help them outside. Harries brushed a hand over my forehead, frowning as he picked up one of the ice bags Maxi had dumped.
“Here, this should help.”
He placed one under each armpit, followed by around my neck which apparently would cool me down fast. He cracked open a cold bottle of water and offered it over, sending me a sympathetic smile.
“Here, slow sips though. Just in case.”
I followed his instructions, trying to keep my breathing steady. My heart’s latest skip was only just calming down and I was exhausted, closing my eyes. I could hear the three lifeguards talking around me, Reidy calling to Maxi at one point.
“Mate, d’you think you could grab us an ambo?”
I tried to sit up but my heart protested and Harries held me to lie back down, shaking his head.
“Just stay with us, okay? We’re gonna get you checked out, I can tell the ticker’s playin’ up a bit so we just want to make sure you’re good to walk out of here without collapsing a couple metres away. S’not a good look on us, I’ll be honest.”
I was too tired to laugh.
“Hi y/n, I’m Michael. What seems to be happening today?”
Harries was sitting on the end of the gurney, a steady hand on my leg as I felt my entire body shaking. It was exhausting just to lift an arm and wave.
“What’s the story Harries?”
Michael turned to the lifeguard, who quickly filled him in on what I’d told them and what he and Reidy had noticed while I’d been there. I realised they’d redone the ice and Maxi was now sitting quietly in the corner, observing. Reidy was filling out some paperwork and I realised there was another lifeguard in the tower now, watching out over the water.
“Oh, I- I uhm, I don’t- you guys don’t have to watch me,” I mumbled, and Maxi shook his head.
“Pretend I’m not here, I’m trying to learn from the pros.”
“Cheers mate,” Reidy replied, clicking his pen once and chucking it to the side as he knelt down beside my head.
“Listen, if you’re feeling crowded we can leave you with Michael. We don’t mind; don’t be embarrassed to speak up.”
I nodded, closing my eyes as I took a deep breath.
“D-do you- would you mind staying? J-just- just you?”
I heard Maxi getting up and opened my eyes just in time to see him wave at me before heading up the stairs, relieving whoever was up there patrolling. Reidy sent me a half smile and waved too before following after Maxi. It was now just me, Harries and the paramedic, who was quietly doing his job of checking me over.
“So, Harries, got kids?”
“Hm? Oh, yeah actually. Five and three, two boys.”
“I thought I detected a fatherly tone to you.”
He laughed, looking up when Michael hummed.
“Yeah, something’s not right. Would you consent to us taking you into hospital, Miss y/n?”
I nodded and he sent me a sympathetic smile.
“Okay then. Can you walk to the ambulance, it’s parked nearby.”
“I- I don’t- I don’t think so.”
Harries stood then, offering me a hand.
“C’mon, I’ll help ya. Maxi mate, come take her other side.”
Maxi appeared from buttfuck nowhere, helping me to stand. He and Harries took a side of me each, slinging my arms over their shoulders to help me walk. Michael packed everything up and gestured to the door.
Finally loaded up and lying down with an IV, I thanked the two men who had been a huge help.
“Seriously, you guys have been so generous and I’m really grateful.”
“It’s our job,” Harries replied. I remembered I was still wearing his shirt and went to take it off when he stopped me.
“Come by when you’re better and drop it off, okay?”
He stepped back and I weakly hugged Maxi, whispering a thank you in his ear.
“Nah, don’t worry about it. As Harries said, it’s our job. Besides, who could leave a damsel in distress?”
I laughed at this, just as Michael appeared.
“Okay, we’re good to go.”
“Thanks again, guys,” I smiled, waving until the door closed.
4 Days Later
“Hey what can I help you with toda- y/n!”
Reidy broke into a huge grin and I blushed, smiling.
“Hey, Reidy. Are the other two around?”
“Mmhmm, two seconds.”
He grabbed his radio and held it to his mouth.
“Maxi and Harries, you two better come up to the tower, our heartbreak girl has finally returned.”
“Oh shit, on our way!”
I heard Maxi and burst out laughing, another lifeguard appearing from upstairs. He was tall and tanned, but his hair was a brown with sun-bleached blonde ends. I raised an eyebrow at Reidy, who just smiled.
“This is Maxi’s best friend and fellow lifeguard Harrison Reid. Huxy, this is that girl we helped with heat stroke.”
“Oh, right! Yeah, I’ve heard a lot about you.”
His accent was clearly Kiwi with Australian undertones- the two accents are very close, but sometimes Kiwi’s have a different tone.
“Sure, sure. All about how I nearly passed out because I couldn’t handle my own health, hm?”
“Not at all,” Harrison replied with a smile that made me believe him.
“Actually, Maxi kept going on about how brave you were. Your heart was quite literally trying to give up and you were still laughing and cracking jokes. That’s incredible.”
“I heard my name.”
Maxi appeared through the door and Harrison grinned, rushing over to him. I assumed he was going to hug him but I was slightly shocked when Maxi wrapped his arms around him and kissed Harrison, square on the lips. I tried to stop my jaw from dropping, glancing around.
“-oh, yeah… uh, best friend’s kind of an understatement.”
I burst out laughing when Harrison ran a hand through his hair awkwardly, Maxi’s hand on his hip. I held in the coo threatening to escape, shaking my head.
“You guys are so cute. I ship.”
Harries came through the upstairs door and rushed down the stairs to hug me, wrapping me up in a hug I’d detect as fatherly protection. I smiled, hugging back.
“How are ya darlin’?”
I shrugged, blushing at all the attention on me in the small room. Harrison, sensing my awkwardness, gave Maxi a pat on the ass, waved at me, and went back to patrol. I smiled at him, shrugging at the others. Reidy grinned at me, shaking his head.
“It’s really good to see you doing well, y/n. We were worried; I don’t think I’ve ever treated someone with a heart defect.”
“I was born with it. It’s not usually an issue but during the summer I have to be careful and I guess I got lazy. It’s my own fault.”
“It happens, honestly,” Harries spoke up, holding my shoulder. I turned and smiled at him, grateful.
“You’re okay though? Nothing serious come from it?” Maxi asked. I shook my head, gesturing to my heart.
“Nah, it just got tired. Slept for over 24 hours in hospital though. They were scared too, but when I woke up I felt a lot better and they agreed that sleeping did help my heart recover.”
“Wow. That’s incredible.”
Reidy was now standing to the back of the room and I reached for my bag, opening it.
“As a thank you gift, I got you a little something… I’m sure you guys get this all the time, but it’s the least I can do. You guys kept calm when I was freaking out inside. If you hadn’t been calm things could have really taken a turn for the worst.”
I pulled out three boxes of Favourites, handing them out. Maxi grinned, thanking me before dashing up the stairs.
“Hux, we’ve got chocolate!”
The two older lifeguards chuckled, both giving me a hug.
“You didn’t need to do that, but thank you. Really appreciate it.”
I nodded at Harries, checking the time.
“Well, I have to go, but thank you all so much. You really do an incredible job down here and I hope others can see that.”
I’d make sure of it.
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