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#to talk with the men. he listened to people who lost their husbands and sons. he was also doing work to raise money for a
marinobaby · 10 months ago
Text
Closer
Arvin Russell x reader
+ fluff and a kinda maybe angst?
+Summary: Y/N worked late at the gas station, and in an act of defense, killed a man. Arvin Russell's car broke down and he stumbled upon this scene. The two find themselves now tangle close, with no way out.
+Warnings: murder, kinda off from the actual story?, heavy talk of rape, alcohol, places and characters not mentioned in the book or movie
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Brenda's Gas, Ohio, USA
Y/n prayed that her shift would be over soon. She felt like such a fool, filling in for Samantha today. But how could she say no? The poor girls baby was sick and her husband was out working. But now it was 10:30 pm, and all Y/n wanted to do was kiss her Momma goodnight and go to sleep. The streets were such a dangerous place these days. With the bars staying open later and later, racking up more cash from either cheating old men or broken hearted house wives, young girls like her were more likely to get... No, she wouldn't think of any of that. It only served her poor little head more wrong than good.
"Y/n! Clean down the table outside, and see if you can get Charlie to go home. Old bastard's drunk out of his mind again. Lock up whenever you leave. " Her boss slurred in the southern drawl. The petite girl could do no more than roll her eyes and let out a hushed "Yes sir." Once the man left, she took a deep breath and rested against the door frame that led outside. Charlie was a good man. Drunk as hell most days, but a pure heart beat in his chest. Just like most families, Charlie lost his son to the war not long ago. Out of all the people that sat outside the gas station, he was the only one that Y/n could stand. 
Yet again, Charlie was sitting on the worn down leather chair, going on about what a good man his son was. No one was out, the lights swinging from the light breeze being the only source of illumination. With a heavy heart, Y/n walked out towards him. "Hey there Charlie. It's late out, why don't you go on home now? The wife's probably missing you laying next to her." She said in a hushed voice. It seems like he was startled by the girl, as he stood up quickly and looked towards her with something like fear in his eyes.
"Little girl, you're so young. Tell me, darling, would you have dated my good boy? Maybe you couldve stopped him from going to that good for nothing war. Would've listened to you, such a pretty thing." Charlie stumbled slightly while walking towards her. This was routine now, he would go on about how they would've made such a nice pair, and one of the workers would shove him in the general direction of his small house. Hoping he would make it home, just to see him shuffle to the bar a few stores down the dirt road in the morning.
Y/n was never much of a drinker, and her family wasn't too pushy on her religious beliefs. She just never thought of a reason to drink. Seemed more than pointless, reckless and harmful was what it looked to be. For the millionth time that day, she sighed loudly. Her dusty hands turned the drunk around and pushed him lightly towards the road. "Now stop talking that nonsense Charlie, go on home or Marilyn'll have my head by sunrise." She spoke into the night air. Come on, the quicker you leave, the quicker I leave.
He continued to talk to himself as he tripped his way to his wife. A warm home awaited him every night, food on the table, and a companion in his bed. Y/n shook her head, and troubled herself with finishing all the half assed jobs her boss did before jumping ship. Her heart beat faster in her chest as she imagined the journey home. Sadly, with her attire, it was wrong of you to assume she was just a gas station cashier. Although all her requirements were to ring people up, serve the people who sat outside, and clean up the place, her uniform didn't match that at all. "You will wear a skirt no longer than mid-thigh, and white form fitting blouse, hair curled and make up heavy. Need to be presentable for the useless men that walk in here." Were the first words any new employee heard after walking in. If you questioned or refused that rule, there was no job for you. With that being said, at this time of night any girl dressed like y/n was like a deserted piece of meat waiting for a vulture to snatch her up.
After all her task were complete and the station was closed up, the small girl wrapped her piece of cloth (which was meant to resemble a scarf) around her shoulders, trying to cover up as much skin as possible. The walk home was undesirably long, and it was now half past midnight. Y/n's mind was littered with thoughts. More worries than anything else though. Worried about her Momma and big brother. Y/b/n worked as a construction worker, building started at the crack of dawn and ended whenever the supervisor said so. Unbeknownst to him, he was pulling away emotionally from his two girls. No cheerful "Have a good day"'s were said before leaving, much less a "Welcome home" when he returned. Once through the door, he'd wash up, eat, and sleep. And poor Momma. Too old for her children, she was sat on the couch from when he left until Y/n got home.
In the last few days word had gone around that a new preacher was coming to town, and the two siblings new how their shriveled up Momma wanted to welcome him. So the least they could do was get her a new dress. If enough shifts were picked up, some shoes could be made. That meant less time at home, later nights and earlier mornings. But now, as y/n walked home, her thoughts took control too much, and she fell victim to the predator stalking his prey. A drunk man's gaze caught her scurrying down the road, and he couldn't look away. Then he got to thinking. No one would notice her this late. He could scare her to keep her mouth shut. But no matter what he had to do, he had to have y/n in his arms tonight. She could say no, struggle, scream for help. Hell, that would only excite him even more.
So he followed her, walking a few feet behind her. He soon realized that she was paying no mind to her surroundings, that it would be easy. And it happened, fast, too fast for her mind to catch up with her body. A hand clamped around her mouth, heavy booted feet kicked her knees out, and her hands were clasped in a much larger one. Her body took over, her mind not being able to handle what was occuring. It was primal, animalistic, and almost dehumanizing the lengths the small vessel stretched to to save itself.
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Arvin cursed loudly. "Piece of shit car, what're you good for anyways?" He mumbled and he jogged up the road. What was he doing out so late? Just driving. His mind was not a pretty place to dwell it at the moment. Lenora told him yet again about a group of boys bullying her relentlessly that day at school. It took all the will power in his body to not find them and show them who they were really picking on. That was his Lenora. No one picked on her and got away satisfied. But the words his Daddy told him all those years ago rang loud and clear. He had to wait for the right time. Do it right so that they would be scared enough and not do it again.
The air was chilling, and Arvin had nothing but his jacket to keep him warm. He kept his head down, cap pulled lower on his head, and pace fast. Wincing as he passed the bar and gas station, he could practically taste the alcohol that poisoned the midnight air. His hand twitched towards the pack of cigarettes that lay heavy in his pocket. And he almost lit one, that was until he saw the leather purse that thudded against the road. Then the flat clad feet that seemed to struggle for release. Release? "Goddammit, some bastard probably got some girl. Fucking no good drunks." Arvin grumbled and ran to the scene.
Now, he wasn't surprised by what he assumed he'd see. Just as he predicted, there was a drunk man and a scared girl. What he was surprised by was what the girl was doing to the man. Her grunts pierced the silent air as she repeatedly slammed the man's head into the tree he had dragged her behind. He noticed the small girls knuckles go white by how hard she was gripping his bloody hair. Her shirt was unbuttoned and slightly ripped, her skirt rid up her legs and her hair and make up messy. But still, the sound of his skull cracking was louder than it would've been during the day. Arvin sat stunned while the drunks pleas for her to stop cut off. How had she gotten the upper hand? She had to have been at least a foot shorter than him, a good 5 or 6 inches shorter than Arvin even.
To caught up in his absurd thoughts, he let out a laugh. How the hell could he be sat there, witnessing murder, and wondering how the small girl did it. It was obvious to him that she was simply defending herself. Doing what she had to do. But to anyone else it looked like she was just killing an innocent man. Arvin set his mind on getting her up and out of here. Leaving the body and just getting the girl to safety. He didn't know why, but he had to protect her. See her through until the shock left her system and she could cope with her family.
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The blood was warm as it soaked her sleeves and all that surrounded her. The crack of his skull was comforting in a sick way. He was dead. Therefore he couldn't hurt her. But that all came to a screeching stop. A warm soothing voice broke through her single task mind. "Darling, I know you may be scared, but I need you to get up and leave the man alone. Look, he's gone now, he can't hurt you no more. It'll be okay, why don't you get up and come towards me, yeah?" Y/n looked up, her neck snapping towards him too quick. Suddenly, she noticed what was going on. He's probably with the police. "N-no listen! He.... he was going to hurt m-me! I won't go with you.... I had t-to." Quickly stumbled out her mouth. Her now blood stained hands grabbed around for a rock, shoe, anything to defend herself with.
"I know doll, I know. I'm not here to hurt you, and I ain't gonna take you no where you don't wanna be. My name's Arvin Russell. If you tell me your name I could help you." Seeing as he still didn't know what exactly happened, and he didn't need to, Arvin chose his words and actions wisely. Both not to scare the poor girl kneeling before him already shaking with fear, and to keep his life. He crouched down to her level, one hand stretched out towards her and one in the air in surrender. He needed to get her out of here because it did look mighty suspicious, two young adults and a dead body.
She stared at his hand for what felt like forever before she clutched it in her shaky one. A sigh quietly passed his lips and he hesitantly pulled her closer. The comfort of this boy, Arvin, enveloped her as she crashed into him. Even bloody and exposed beyond what was appropriate, Arvin held her tightly to his solid chest, pulling her up along with him. He waited until her legs stopped shaking so he could bend down and pick up her small purse. The unknown girl tried to cover herself, feeling silly worrying about that and not the fact that she killed a man in cold blood.
"Y/n. My name's y/n. I'm sorry you ran into this, but you have to know that I didn't want to kill him. He was going to ra-rape me. Please, please don't take me to the police. I'll leave you alone I-i swear, I just need to...to get out of here." The desperation that laced itself with her pretty southern accent, much like everyone in this town, was pitiful. He would never. "I was on my way to do what you did to him, doll. But worse. So much worse."
That bridge of conversation died quickly in his throat, the last thing he wanted to do was scare her anymore. He knew what family y/n was from. Seen them the few times he'd gone to church. "Shhh now, doll. Where do you need to go? I don't have a car right now but I'll take you wherever you need." He assured her. She shivered, the cool air feeling like ice against her too-hot skin.
Y/n shook her head, her hair springing out of the tangled curls and bouncing on her shoulders. "No, I can't trouble you anymore than I've already done. 'M sure you've got a lovely wife to get home to. I'll find somewhere to go, Lord knows I can't show myself to Momma like this." Her eyes cast downwards, recognizing Arvin Russell as Lenora's older "brother". They never talked, but with his lack of church attendence he either worked a long job or had a family already. Or both. "Now I insist. I don't got no wife, just Lenora, my grandma, and my uncle. What'd you say I take you to my house? Promise I won't do nothin' to you. Everyone's gotta be asleep, here take my shirt just in case." And with that he pulled away from the flustered y/n and pulled of his jacket, the white cotton shirt he was wearing pulled up and off his body.
The breeze felt nice on his naked torso. Y/n had no will to fight him anymore, so hoping that this wouldn't come to bite her in the ass later on, she finished unbuttoning her tattered and bloody blouse and pulled his shirt on. It was massive on her shaking form, hanging off her shoulders and reaching almost down to her knees. Arvin pushed he fact that she basically stripped in front of him to the back of his mind, and pulled her along with him towards his house. She turned her head and kept watching the area around the incident, feeling a part of her being ripped away and tethered to that spot. Her innocence. Gone in a matter of seconds by a meaningless man.
"Come on now doll, look at me. It'll be okay, I've got you." Arvin whispered in her ear and she smushed herself against his side. She didn't know him, but he was the only person she had right now. The only person she could have. But she didn't want that. Not for a good man like Russell.
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After that, they arrived to Arvin's house, and much like he said, the lights were off and everyone was in their rooms asleep. Y/n changed into one of Lenora's nightgowns that was outside drying and immediately fell asleep on Arvin's small twin bed. He however stayed up in the dining room. He was now involved in a murder. No. An act of self defense. Arvin knew that was true, but the police would call bullshit. Y/n had carved out a spot in Arvin's heart, next to Lenora, and she would stay there. All in one night. By an act of sin. But no matter how many times he tried to convince himself that she was an acquaintance at most, he felt something big brewing between them.
And y/n dreamt of him. Of him saving her, him being the one taking care of the nasty man. Of kissing him instead of saying a small thank you. Kissing him? No, she just met him. And in the worst possible situation. No doubt she made a horrible first impression. Surely he would kick her out once her actions caught up to him. But even with that thought, she felt sadness and fear grab at her heart. She didn't want him to leave her, or see her as a monster, a sinner.
That night was the night that stitched the two unlikely strangers close. Closer than anyone could ever be to someone else. They couldn't, and wouldn't, leave each other. It was Arvin Russell and Y/n Y/l/n.
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A/n: Oki so this is my first every public fic! I'm really scared, it's not easy putting your art out there, but I feel like it's something I need right now. This may get no attention, but that's not why I'm here. I'm Kida and I love to write. Massive thanks to @kelieah for helping me with this. She brainstormed with me and inspired me so, thanks so much bubba! Btw, criticism is welcome!!
Part two: Down Together
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madamewriterofwrongs · 6 months ago
Soft Eddie thought: the first time he mentions Buck in passing as 'my husband' and then all of a sudden it hits him for the first time that, holy shit, he has a *husband*! And either tears up a little or can't stop smiling.
Hey Nonny, I hope you see this, I know it’s been awhile. 
Subconsciously Drawn Together
911/Buddie
Eddie would never call what he feels a crush – after all, he’s a grown adult who hasn’t had a crush on anyone since Jenny Rodriguez broke his heart in eighth grade by picking Eugene as her lab partner instead of him. (Coincidentally, they are both married to someone named Makayla and neither of them lived outside of Texas for more than a few months).
He always thought that would be him. Not, married to Jenny or Eugene (or either Makayla for that matter), but there was a part of him that knew he was destined to live a quiet life. Marriage, children, maybe a dog and a white picket fence if they wanted to be really cliched. And he was okay with that – he really was. For Eddie, there was no other life than the one laid out for him.
Going to war didn’t change that. A poor country boy joining the military to provide for his pregnant wife back home? Even pulp fiction novelists thought it was too obvious. But, again, he never minded living an uninteresting life. Not everyone was destined for adventure and drama. Most people were made to get through the day.
Even when the nightmares came and he struggled to keep his family together, it just seemed like the next chapter in his boring novelization of a life. Everyone had marital troubles after coming home, everyone had bad dreams and phantom pains. Everyone worried where the money would come from to support their family. Everyone snuck into their son’s room to watch him sleep because they were afraid to admit that they’d forgotten what he looked like while he was away. Everyone felt guilt and shame and fear and regret. It was a part of life.
And then his wife left and his parents offered to take Christopher and for one moment, the thought crossed his mind. Could he let his son go (be with people who could stay at home and give him the care he needed)? Could he forget about Shannon and move somewhere else? Could he start over (relive his 20s in the carefree manner he’d seen others struggling to find)? Could he run away again and make it stick this time?
By the end of the week, he and Christopher were packed into his truck and headed to Los Angeles.
It didn’t feel like running away when he was mumbling his way through the Frozen soundtrack or listening to his son talk about his old school’s pet turtle that he’ll miss (and wonder what kind of pets the kids in Los Angeles got to have). It didn’t feel like running away then. It felt like they were running towards something.
Running towards a new life, of sorts, as it turned out. Sure, he still dealt with his parents’ criticism, and Shannon came back into their lives and for a moment, it felt like she’d never left him. But in LA, he had a purpose, he had freedom. For the first time in a long time, Eddie looked forward to opening his door in the mornings; for the first time in a long time, he never knew exactly what to expect, and LA was full of surprises.
The biggest surprise of all was named Evan Buckley.
Buck was a lot of things: a friend, a skilled firefighter, endearingly enthusiastic, subtle as a brick, and the first person outside of his real family that he called ‘family’ and truly meant it. He loved the men and women he served with in Afghanistan, but the moment they departed at the airport, he lost that connection. Joining the 118 had been a way to get that back and it had worked out fantastically. He had sports fanatics to cheer with, parents of blended families to vent with, people who knew his past and loved him despite it all.
Eddie never told anyone (except his therapist who never commented on it, but made a face that said they’d circle back to it at a later date), but he felt as though he’d known Buck for years. Once the man opened up to him, the trust he felt was strong, and the way he took an instant affection to Christopher made it easy to let this man into his life.
Within less than a year of joining the LA Fire Department however, his world imploded.
Or exploded, actually. First Shannon died, then Buck was injured, then his son was nearly taken by a natural disaster and he didn’t even know it. He spent so much time after that trying to put the pieces back together. For all the things he’d assumed his life would be – a wife and kid and a white picket fence – the only thing he had left was a son now dealing with immense trauma for such a young child to handle. And he had Buck (who was so bright and eager to please that one might describe him as a puppy at times). Nothing of his life had turned out the way it was meant to.
Suddenly, a year had passed since Shannon’s death and his life was still an unrecognizable sort of decagon shape instead of the standard cookie cutter circle. But none of that mattered because he was staring into bright brown eyes and a luminescent smile that was telling him that he was doing a wonderful job of raising Christopher on his own.
Others had been trying to tell him that for years (never the ones whose opinion meant to world to him, but he was learning to let that go) but that beautiful face was so sincere that he forgot himself. He forgot that he was a widow with a grieving son. He forgot the fear and regret that went along with the phantom pains when the weather turned cold. He forgot that he had failed in his ambition to live an entirely ordinary life. For a moment he thought: ‘when she smiles at me, I feel happy’.
He wanted to feel that way again.
There were several reasons that things just wouldn’t work out with Ana. For one: she was Christopher’s teacher, and even if it wasn’t against the rules, it still felt wrong. Two: he’d seen the moment she thought differently about him after he yelled at her at school. She was too professional and kind to say anything but even if it was possible, she was definitely no longer interested. The third reason was that he was a firefighter who worked insane hours and when he wasn’t at work, he was home with his son. There wasn’t exactly a lot of time for dating. Fourth: she wasn’t Buck.
That thought had been the one that kept him up at night. It had come to him while he stood in the shower, recounting his day, wondering how long he had until it would be time to pick up Christopher from school. He wasn’t feeling overly ambitious so he figured spaghetti and meatballs would be perfect for supper. He wondered what it would be like to cook for someone who wasn’t ten years old. Someone he could cook beside without having to keep a constant eye. There were times (in the early days with Shannon) where the two of them would cook together, do laundry, clean, do all the domestic things side by side. She had been insistent that they both learn to care for the house that they shared and he was happy to stand beside her in all things.
Remember to throw Buck’s gym clothes in the laundry next time he comes over. He keeps forgetting to throw them in his basket.
A simple little thought, really. He’d thought it before. His friend would leave his gym bag by the door for work and forget to empty it out when he went to do laundry. It was unlikely that anyone other than Eddie noticed the state of Buck’s clothes, but he’d been paying closer attention to him lately. Like how after the train derailment, his smile seemed easier; his shoulders relaxed more often – especially when he was with the 118 or Christopher. Buck seemed happy now that he’d gotten his closure from Abby.
He deserves to be happy. He makes me feel happy.
Buck did make him feel happy. The way he interacted with Christopher, the way he entrusted his son to this man without a second thought. But even when Christopher wasn’t around, Eddie enjoyed Buck’s company. Going to baseball games (dragging him, more like), sitting together when the crew went out for drinks after work. With Buck, he felt…
Safe.
Which wasn’t surprising, really. Buck was a kind man. Sweet and thoughtful. He put other’s first – just like Eddie does, he could hear Frank’s voice in his mind – and cared deeply about the people in his life. Not to mention, he was physically a very strong figure. In some other life, he and Buck met on the wrestling circuit but never fought. Him: with his MMA, and Buck: with his Greco-Roman Wrestling. With those broad shoulders and firm arms, he wouldn’t mind being pulled into a stronghold once or twice.
He knew Buck was conventionally attractive from the day they met. There was no hiding the sharp blue eyes or curly blond hair and rounded jaw.
Nothing like Ana.
Another correct statement that still seemed ominous in context. Why was he comparing Buck to Ana – or Shannon, for that matter? It wasn’t fair to compare friends to lovers. Although, Buck did fit into several categories on both sides.
Buck was a loyal friend, caring and trustworthy. He made Eddie and Christopher feel safe and loved. He wanted to do Buck’s laundry. He thought he was attractive. Slowly, one side of the column began to build in size.
Perhaps Buck was a bigger part of Eddie’s life than he realized. He hadn’t thought seriously about dating anyone until Ana and that never felt right but Buck…
Buck always felt right. Like he belonged with them. Like he’d known them all his life.
Could it be that Eddie wanted something other than friendship? Had he been climbing the wrong ladder all this time only to find himself at the top with no way across? After all: Buck had never given any indication that he was romantically interested in Eddie.
Though, to be fair, Eddie had given no indication either.
But that was because he’d just figured it out. Surely Buck had some idea that best friends didn’t act the way they did. Or maybe he didn’t. Maybe he wasn’t interested, in any way, with Eddie. Could he forget it and go back to the way things were? Now that his fingers seemed to tingle with the new realization, could he take it back? Could he put those feelings in a box until someone else came along?
Would there be anyone else?
What did he want to happen with Buck?
Kissing him, for starters, might be interesting. Those plump, pink lips exploring his entire body. Having someone in his bed every night would be nice – and not just anyone, but someone who understood his work and the stressors of the day. If anyone was going to stand by his side while he freaked out about Christopher going on his first date, it should be Buck. Next to Eddie, that man was the most protective when it came to that little boy. He’d only seen it once or twice but Eddie knew that Buck looked good in a suit. Would he look even better in a tux? Years from now, when he retired from the LAFD, it would be nice to feel the weight of a ring on his finger, knowing he had someone he loved waiting at home.
Oh.
Oh damn.
Eddie’s shower ran a little bit longer than expected that day.
That simple thought had sent him on a spiral two weeks ago and every night that he struggled to fall asleep, he found himself rolling to the empty side of the bed, wondering what it would be like to wake up next to his best friend.
The conclusion he inevitably came to: it would be wonderful.
If the worlds aligned, of course. He hadn’t spoken to anyone about his sudden, escalating realization (not even Frank). There was no way to know if Buck reciprocated his feelings in any way. Though he knew with uncanny certainty that he would be safe to confess his feelings without fear of losing his relationship entirely, it still seemed safer to gather more information before making any sort of move.
I’m safe with Buck no matter what.
So, no. Eddie would not describe what he felt for Buck as a simple ‘crush’.
It was everything.
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The accident scene was a mess. It always was. They so rarely rolled up on an event that was neatly organized – not that it would make him any less stressed or worried for the safety of his patients. It was his job to worry, to be surrounded by chaos. Perhaps that was his new normal now, and his idea of an ordinary life had shifted to one that involved heavier boots.
There was still a sense of satisfaction and ease, knowing that he got to go home to his son every night, that he was helping people, and there were people in his life who loved and supported him. Unlike his old army mates (as strong as those relationships were), he also knew that if he woke up and decided to be a baker instead of a firefighter, the 118 would still treat him as one of their own.
Perhaps ‘baker’ wasn’t the best example, baking had never been one of his favourite activities. A florist, or a construction worker, maybe. Firefighting meant a lot to him but it wasn’t his calling – the way it was for his… for Buck. How would the man react if one day, Eddie told him that they would no longer be partners in work? There was no doubt in his mind that Buck would still be over on Thursday nights with pizza and video games. And perhaps if Eddie was working more regular hours, he could go over to Buck’s on occasion and make dinner for the three of them. That would be a nice surprise. Buck would smile that impossibly bright smile and open his arms to Christopher, swinging the boy around gently because he was overly cautious about roughhousing with him – something that only made Eddie’s heart beat faster. Then, Buck would make his way over to Eddie and kiss him with a sort of reverence; like he can’t quite believe that Eddie’s real. He could rest assured that the feeling was mutual.
What a ridiculously outdated fantasy. He’d clearly grown up watching too much ‘I Love Lucy’.
The firefighter shook his head as he hopped out of the truck, turning his thoughts towards the work at hand.
That was something he’d always been good at: focus and calm under pressure. It was what had made becoming a firefighter so appealing. Sure, being a combat medic meant he was more than qualified for field rescues, but all that stoic strength he possessed was better used at work rather than at home. At home, he could be Christopher’s dad. At work, he was Firefighter Diaz.
There was no room for fantasies in Firefighter Diaz’s mind.
The chaos of the accident mostly consisted of cries of pain from passengers trapped in their vehicles as they tried in vain to free themselves before the qualified company could arrive. It wasn’t uncommon to come across a major pile up in the middle of the day, when Angelenos weren’t kept at a complete standstill, and impatient drivers were a staple of life in the LAFD.
Eddie took his orders from Bobby, clearing a path of bystanders for the heavy equipment, and assisting those who were stuck somewhere between freeing themselves and receiving a particularly crude hemicorporectomy. For all the noise, it was a relatively calm affair. Sure, some were screaming and crying – and one woman definitely threw a fit when told to climb out the passenger-side window of her shattered vehicle. But those in need of help received the assistance they required, and the worst injury they encountered was a broken rib and neck bruise from a young man who remained conscious throughout his entire extraction.
It was messy, it was chaotic, it was loud, but it was all right. There were still a few people with minor concussions and bloody wounds that could hopefully be tended to at the scene (most of them unwilling to take the ambulance ride if it wasn’t strictly necessary). He was admittedly a little hyper-focused today, his mind fighting the urge to wander away from its regular duties. Eddie chided himself for feeling so lovesick at work. He’d gone all this time loving Buck, he could handle a few more hours. It was that hyper focus which would be his undoing.
“All right, I think you’re going to be just fine. Head on over to my husband over there and he’ll get you some gauze for your arm.”
An innocent enough sentence – one that didn’t register in his mind through the haze of moving from one patient to the next – but one that only fed into that dangerous fantasy of his.
“What did you call Buck?”
And one that Chimney had apparently heard loud and clear.
Eddie blinked, as he kept his eyes trained on the man before him (some poor bystander who’d bumped his head when he’d stumbled backwards to avoid the oncoming collisions), determined to remain professional in the face of his own idiocy.
Clicking his penlight on with a little too much enthusiasm, he shook the device over his patient’s face. “Can you look up, sir?” Eddie felt his coworker’s eyes trained on him but he kept his focus on his work. As he continued his examination, Chimney crept closer, eyebrows furrowed in confusion and amusement but still, the ex-soldier remained stoic as ever. Some part of Eddie knew that ignoring his friend now would only lead to a confrontation later but right now, he had work to do. And dividing his attention between his duty and his teasing friends was not how he wanted to spend his afternoon. So, he stayed focused. After a few moments, he saw Chimney shake his head and move away, letting Eddie take a much-needed breath of relief.
He was safe from his own stupid brain. For now.
Eddie knew it was coming when Chimney let him be during the rest of their scene cleanup. It was inevitable; but knowing and experiencing were two entirely separate matters.
“So.” Chimney wore what could only be described as a ‘shit-eating grin’ as he began his sentence, pulling all eyes in the back of the truck to him. “Is there something that Buck and Eddie would like to tell us?”
Buck, innocent as ever, turned to Eddie for guidance. “No…?” Eddie could only stare out the window, sorely tempted to remove his headphones if only to prolong the inevitable conversation. Was he blushing or was his face simply burning from the inside out?
“Are you sure?” The man was unrelenting, his voice growing higher with his escalating amusement. As if giving them a chance to confess would be easier than Chimney spilling the truth.
Not that there was any truth to confess. There was just one, very, very, idiotic man who got one simple crush and couldn’t keep it in his pants.
“Chim, what’s going on?”
There were two options Eddie faced in this moment where his head filled with warning sirens (not dissimilar to the ones that normally filled the truck). He could come clean and confess his sins to the team, facing the consequences with what meager amount of dignity he had left. Or, he could lie and pretend Chimney had misheard him, and they could all go about their day. That seemed the safer option. Of course, he hated lying to his team – to his friends – but what was the alternative?
“I called Buck my husband at the scene.”
Apparently, the alternative was exclaiming his idiocy in front of his teammates and denying the flash of a smile on his partner’s face. It was a simple upturn twitch of his lip, hardly noticeable, but the only opinion that mattered to Eddie as he gave his confession was from the man sitting across from him – and he was decidedly attuned to Buck’s ever-changing expressions. On a normal day, he enjoyed the way their knees bumped as the truck bounced through the streets of Los Angeles; it was just another reminder of how connected they were. Now, it made the space between them feel too close – yet still not close enough.
Buck’s face, upon hearing the news that Eddie had tied them together in the mind of some random stranger, flickered once before falling to something neutral and curious (almost amused). As if he was studying something.
“Oh, I don’t mind.” His partner shrugged and Eddie’s heart stopped. “Were they hitting on you?”
Again, Eddie appeared at a crossroads. “No.” And chose the more embarrassingly honest answer.
“Were they hitting on me?”
“No.” So many forks in his path but he continued to veer in one direction, as Buck furrowed his brows in confusion.
“Then why did you”
“I don’t know.” Eddie tried to sound casual as he grumblingly cut him off before he could continue his innocent interrogation. Through the headset, he could hear Chimney snort in disbelief but his eyes remained solely locked on his partner.
He knew why Chimney might scoff at his dismissal – those type of slipups didn’t ‘just happen’, after all – but it was as close to the truth as he could muster. He didn’t know why he’d said what he said. His mind was still frazzled from long hours contemplating what he wanted and what he felt.
Apparently, his subconscious had taken over and now he had his answer.
An answer which was decidedly too large to attempt to unpack while he was still on duty.
He wanted Buck to be his husband. He was ready to get married again – and to his best friend, no less. All wonderful information to process at another time.
The rest of the trip back to the station was filled with noise: the roar of the engine, the shout of the horn when someone inevitably cut them off, the clank of metal against metal. Eddie’s head was silent. He stared out the window at the passing world, feeling the eyes of his partner drilling into his cheek for a time, and then return to his phone. No one spoke, but the absence of voice was deafening. Teasing or pestering would have been better than the juxtaposing silence that told him everyone knew what he’d meant.
Buck had given him every out for his little mistake and, instead, Eddie had barreled straight into his own demise. There was no other explanation as to why he’d said what he said: he’d meant it. Or wanted to mean it, rather. Sure, his dirty little secret had been outed, but Buck had yet to make a comment one way or the other.
I don’t mind.
One friend helping out another: that was what it meant to Buck. And he loved that. But there was no mistaking now what Eddie felt in his heart.
He wanted it to mean something else.
Climbing out of the truck at the end of their journey was harder than usual. The silent stares wouldn’t stop because they were back at the station, it would only be worsened by the fact that there was nothing else to focus on. Eddie never prayed for a call – and he still wouldn’t now – but if there was any mercy in the world, he could avoid all of his friends and co-workers for the rest of their shift.
Simple enough.
“Hey.” Eddie cursed at the familiar voice following him towards the cubbies. Naturally, they were alone, naturally, there was no real excuse to leave – and apparently, he’d decided to suppress his ability to tell white lies for the sake of his pride today – naturally, his heart pounded behind his eyelids as Buck stopped jogging in front of him.
“I just want to say…” and here came the inevitable turndown Eddie dreaded and secretly hoped would never come. “It’s okay, I get it.” Buck’s smile was small but sincere. That man couldn’t be anything less than sincere.
It’s one of the reasons why I lo-
“It was just a slip of the tongue,” Eddie cut off his own thoughts before they betrayed him the way his subconscious had. He needed at least some of his faculties to survive the day. “Don’t worry about it.”
He stepped to the side, intending to escape his own personal hell – was it always this hot in the station? Did they always stand so close to one another? How had he never realized his feelings before now? – but Buck blocked his path.
“No, really, it’s fine.” Was Buck blushing now? “I kind of think of you as my work-husband, too.”
Another perfect opportunity for an out. He could flounder excuses about being tired and meaning it in a work-related setting the way Buck implied.
“Right.” His words sounded weak to his own ears. Who knew what they sounded like to Buck, as the man finally let him pass. Freedom secured, Eddie quickened his pace so as to escape the curious eyes of his fellow crewmates as quickly as possible.
Or at least, that was the plan, until Buck called out: “But you know, I’m free tonight if you wanted to talk about it.”
It felt as though the world stopped spinning – but the distant sound of clanking cutlery from the loft reminded him that it had not. His stomach dropped into his shoes, and his skin burst into flames from the buzzing in his ears. Eddie pivoted on his heel slowly to face his partner, uncertain he’d even heard the words he’d said. But there was Buck, blushing as brightly as he felt, but smiling a much more lopsided grin.
“Talk about what?” He cautiously asked.
Buck moved first, filling the minimal space Eddie had put between them with his broad chest and bright, eager eyes. He smelled of smoke and pine (despite interacting with neither today) and a thin sheen of sweat made him appear more disheveled than perhaps he was. Had he always been so intoxicating? What were they talking about?
“About being husbands… outside of work.”
“What?” Now Eddie was certain that he’d misheard his friend.
Buck simply smirked in response to his question, eyes moving slowly over Eddie’s face. He was always examining, questioning, confident. He had been doomed from the start.
“Christopher’s in bed at eight, right?”
“We’re pushing it to eight-thirty.” His mouth moved on autopilot, too stunned to comprehend the sudden shift in subject.
Again, Buck’s blue eyes circled his face slowly, absorbing all Eddie’s focus as he felt himself physically affected from the mere sight of his partner with his knowing grin and wandering eye. So entranced was he, that he didn’t notice how closely the other man had leaned into his space until he felt his hot breath against his skin. Eddie swallowed the lump in his throat.
He was absolutely doomed.
When Buck spoke, his tongue danced along his teeth, an enticing show of some unfulfilled fantasy that had never occurred to Eddie in the first place.
“Then I’ll be there at eight-thirty-one.”
Buck’s flirtatious demeanor melted into a giddy smile that snapped through the tension he’d pulled between them. “I was a little- a lot worried you didn’t feel the same.” He confessed, still filling Eddie’s space with his infectious energy. One word from him, and Eddie melted.
“You…were…” No more words filled his mind beyond a string of victorious swears and the sound of panicked cheering, but Buck seemed to understand him nonetheless. Buck had always understood him.
“I’ll see you tonight.”
If he hadn’t been so preoccupied with using the truck to keep his legs underneath him, he would have turned to see Buck walk away, pumping his fist in excitement. As it was, several crewmembers looked on from the balcony, shaking their heads at the pair of idiots acting like lovesick teenagers over a single date.
Chimney shooed them all away before taking the opportunity to shout: “Buck, tell your husband that lunch is ready.” Which earned him more than a few chuckles from the firefighters upstairs, and two overexaggerated groans from the men below.
They were definitely not going to be living this down for a while.
For once, Eddie didn’t mind – and if the grin plastered on Buck’s face for the rest of the shift was any indication, neither did he.
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squidproquoclarice · a year ago
Do you find it hard to reconcile some of the cruel, outright despicable actions Arthur takes (particularly during the debt collection missions) with his moments of kindness and charity? Sometimes it honestly feels like playing two different characters. High honor Arthur is a rough-edged but selfless, patient, responsible, rather sweet person 95% of the time, but he has this hidden ugly side that almost comes out of nowhere. Maybe he's more weak-willed and morally cowardly than outright evil.
I generally agree, Nonny.  Tumblr search function is, as usual, total ass.  But I wrote a meta back in the day about how debating whether Arthur is a good or bad man at the start of the game maybe isn’t the right question.  Because he’s not necessarily good or bad, but weak, having subverted his will (and overall his sense of responsibility) almost entirely to Dutch’s decisions.  He does things he hates and feels deeply loathsome for, because he knows they’re wrong, but tries to justify it with a claim of necessity, because Dutch does.  But unlike a true sociopath, he doesn’t buy that argument.  His guilt and self-loathing is clear. It’s strange seeing the duality you’re talking about, especially early on.  My free roam Arthur was damn near a Boy Scout, whereas story missions showed a man who readily dealt out violence, sometimes thoughtlessly. Arthur is no angel.  He’s done awful things, both at Dutch’s behest, and from his own recklessness.  He has a temper and has been raised to offer ready and sometimes excessive violence in a way that has devastating consequences--things like hastening Thomas Downes’ death, causing Tommy’s irreparable traumatic brain injury in their fistfight by continuing to beat him after the fight’s clearly done. He’s had a pretty traumatic life, as the son of a criminal who seems to have been abusive, living on the street for several years, and then being taken in by a manipulative man who’s molded him into the perfect weapon, particularly once Dutch likely saw how big and physically imposing he’d be.  He’s lost a son, and a woman he at least respected, even if probably not loved, to violence. So there’s the aspect of Arthur acting based on both his unresolved trauma and his expectations--in story missions, on gang jobs, he’s being the man Dutch insists that he needs Arthur to be: big, scary, violent, and dumb, tough enough to withstand an uncaring world full of bastards. But with strangers, and in free roam, we see a different Arthur.  And I think this is the truth of Arthur, the man he is and would maybe have been in full had he had the chance to choose his own way.  And he’s almost entirely the opposite of the persona he shows as Dutch’s lieutenant.  
He’s not a swaggering bully.  He’s a shy man, pretty humble too, not seeking the spotlight, and reacting awkwardly to attention or praise.He’ll still fight, because he’s not a pacifist, but he’s doing it to protect others from harm.  
He’s not a dumb thug.  He’s intelligent and fairly well-read.  He’s insightful and introspective.  He’s often somewhat philosophical.  He’s artistic.   He’s not brutal.  He thinks a lot about what he’s done.  He’s kind, eager to help for the sake of making people happy.  He’s showing compassion to vulnerable people that the social Darwinism of Micah derides as “weak” and worthy of death.  He’s pretty selfless.
He’s not ruthlessly “macho”.  He listens, not commands.  He loves his family passionately, listens to women and believes they’re equal to men.  It’s clear that the thing he longs for the most isn’t power, money, or anything like that, but to be a husband and a father. This Arthur, the High Honor Arthur that feels like it’s the canon Arthur (he just makes so much more sense), is a good man.  And it’s the man he is by the end, really, as he makes that choice and breaks free from Dutch’s expectations.  He finally resolves that lifelong conflict within him.  That doesn’t absolve him of previous actions, no.  But in a scenario where he has years to continue to become more himself, and to choose to do more good in the world, I think the scales tip very firmly one way.   Low Honor Arthur is an Arthur who’s entirely given up on the inner truth of himself and become that brutal mask.  Far less interesting as a character, to be honest.
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kickassfu · a year ago
17/28 kiss meme for Geralt/Jaskier??? if you're still doing it
17 - Needing to kiss to hide from bad guys 
28 - First kiss
Thanks for requesting this
The best luck of all is the luck you make for yourself
Jaskier often thinks himself as lucky, when the day happens to be sunny and his belly full, but in truth he is anything but lucky. But then again, luck is what you make of it, isn’t it? 
People find him aggravating, grating, and maybe, just maybe, they aren’t exactly thrilled with him screwing their wives and husbands and daughters and sons. He’s a lover; it isn’t his fault his heart is full and loving. Can’t fault him for it, can you? Apparently not only can they fault him for it, they’re inclined to rip it right out of his chest, who would have guessed?
It’s dark and cloudy, the beautiful moon hidden from view, and Jaskier sighs, he’d much rather die while looking at something pretty. Obviously, he’s running away from the increasing mob of angry cuckholders, but sooner or later he will be caught, unless-
Oh, he really is lucky - if you forget about the whole being chased thing. Jaskier sees his good, old companion, dismounting Roach, and runs to him. Yes, he could have just asked Geralt to send the big, mean, men away, that would have made sense. But no, Jaskier’s brain had another brilliant idea.
Geralt notices him, with his lovely grumpy face, as per usual, and before he can even say hm, or fuck, or whatever else Geralt can monosyllabically get away with, Jaskier is pulling him into a kiss. He turns them around, so the mob can only see Geralt’s back, as they kiss. Hoping they’d get on their way and avoid angering a man of Geralt’s size.
Jaskier is surprised when instead of Geralt pushing him away, he kisses him deeper, one of his hands on his lower back and the other lost in his hair, pulling him nearer still. It’s a passionate kiss, wonderfully so, and Jaskier gets lost in it. Forgets why it’s even happening- 
Someone coughs, “Have you seen a bard around here?”
- until someone interrupts them, and Jaskier hides his face in Geralt’s chest.
“Fuck off.” is Geralt’s very restrained, very angry, answer as he glares at the man. It works particularly well, seeing as he almost falls over multiple times, trying to get away.
Well, this is going to be awkward, Jaskier thinks, his face still hidden trying to find a way out of the situation.
For once, Geralt starts the conversation, still not pushing Jaskier away, “We don’t see each other for a few months, and you get in trouble. What did you do?”
“In my defense I was bored and lonely after you abandoned me.” maybe that’d work?
“Yeah, no. You need to start choosing better places to hide your pickle in. And I didn’t abandon you.”
Maybe so, but the fault doesn’t lie solely with him. He isn’t the one cheating in the first place, he loves those who come to him freely, if they’re married or not, that’s their problem. Well, that way of thinking almost gets him killed on a constant basis, so maybe he should listen to Geralt for once.
After a beat of Jaskier still not answering him, Geralt speaks once again, regret filling his face as soons as the words leave his lips, “Why did you kiss me?”
Oh, shit.
There wasn’t a right answer to that question, nor a straightforward one. 
Because yes.
He kissed Geralt to save his own arse.
But he didn’t have to do that. 
Jaskier knew that very well. 
So why did he kiss him?
Perhaps he was relieved to see him. Happy. Excited. Feelings he bottled up long ago, surging up once again, as they did every time he saw him after a long time apart. The single thought of kiss him, just for once in your life, just fucking kiss him before you die.
For all that he loves to talk, and ramble away, only Geralt can make him completely lose his words so completely. Looking up at his golden eyes, he can’t stop his heartbeat from speeding up, wanting to kiss him more, to fall asleep in his arms. But then again, he doesn’t have to answer, “Why did you kiss me back?”
It isn’t often that he catches Geralt off-guard, but when he sees his surprised expression mingled with confusion, he looks absolutely unsure of himself. It’s endearing, and funny, and adorable all at once. Which, isn’t something one calls a Witcher. Probably. Jaskier certainly had no qualms in doing so. He cuts Geralt’s suffering short, before his head exploded, “Exactly.”
“Hm.”
They’d get back to this conversation eventually, Jaskier is sure of it. Hearing angry shouts, he remembers he’s still being chased, “Oh yeah, I kind of need to...leave this village. Now.”
Jaskier sighs, thinking he has to separate from his Witcher once more, seeing as he had just arrived and probably needed rest and food. It’s a shame, and the warmth that had been spreading throughout his body grows colder by the second. Still, he can’t bring himself to say goodbye and walk away.
“Right.” Geralt simply says, mounting Roach in one soft move, and stretching his hand towards Jaskier.
“What?”
“It’s faster.”
Jaskier isn’t surprised, he’s utterly and unbelievably shocked. Not once had Geralt let him ride Roach. This is a day of firsts he reckons, as he grabs his hand and lets himself be pulled up. 
First kiss, first time riding Roach, first time hugging Geralt from behind, first time he gets a glimpse into Geralt’s true feelings for him.
A good day indeed. 
Maybe he is lucky after all.
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