Just wanted to say sorry for the long delays. Gbc and I have been having some editing problems, but they should be fixed now. I have lots of chapters done that are just waiting to be edited then they're all yours.
This is a stand alone story blah blah blah. Hope it will keep you guys busy until I get the next few chapters of Geist and APR out there.
No one may use these works, or show them on another website, without my permission.
Love opened his eyes and stretched. He looked over at the clock and saw he had only slept for an hour and a half, but shrugged and rolled over. He sat on the edge of the small twin bed and rubbed his eyes. He yawned and stood up, leaving the sleeping quarters.
"Been sleepin', Gordon?" The chief asked as he passed him in the hallway.
"Just dozing...Have the guys eaten yet?" Love asked.
"Nope, you know it's your turn to cook." The chief laughed and walked into his office, closing the door behind him. Love stumbled down the stairs slowly, finding himself in the kitchen.
"Hey, Gordon." The series of deep voices greeted him.
"Hey, I'll start making dinner." Love said, walking over to the stove and turning on the burner.
"We voted, we want steak."
"Well, you get chicken. You have a problem with it you can get your asses up here and make your god damn steak." Love smiled at his fellow firefighters and winked. They rolled their eyes and grumbled, going back to their cards or newspapers. Heavy footsteps were heard on the floors of the kitchen.
"Hey, Adams." The same deep voices greeted the man walking into the room.
"Hey, what's for dinner." Adams leaned over Love's shoulder. "Aw man, I thought we were having steak." Adams frowned and sat down at the table, peeking at the others cards before he sat.
"Shut up. You're all just a bunch of whiny ass bitches." Love shook his head.
"Pay attention, assholes." The chief walked in. A few looked up, most kept doing what they were doing before.
"What's up, Chief?" one of the guys said, a cigarette hanging from his mouth. The chief pulled away the cig and crushed it out on the table, throwing the butt into the trash.
"We have a new guy joining the crew, after losing Reed...We needed another guy around." The chief said, trailing off when mentioning their fallen brother. The room was quiet as they all thought about their friend.
"When is he joining." Adams asked, in his thick southern drawl.
"Now. Guys, this is Garrett." A tall man stepped into the kitchen, a smile across his face. Love looked him up and down and went back to his food without saying anything. He didn't have anything against the guy personally, but no one could replace Reed.
"Hey." Garrett held up a hand. The guys looked at him before going back to what they were doing. The chief sighed and rolled his eyes.
"Don't be dickheads." He said simply, before walking back to his office. The room was awkwardly quiet as Love set down the plates of food. It was a simple meal; Chicken, rice, and peas. He set down the plates in front of each crew member and then stared up at Garrett.
"Have a seat, I'll make another plate." Love said.
"Gordon." Love said, introducing himself by his last name. The other men dug into their meals, still complaining about the chicken. Love set down the last plate in front of Garrett.
"So, Gordon. When are you gonna learn how to cook food that doesn't taste like shit?" Adams teased, poking him with his fork.
"When you learn how to cook at all. So basically, when pigs shitting snowballs in Hell start flying." Love threw a pea at him. Suddenly, the alarm went off and immediately all the men stepped into action. As they tried to crowd out the room, a few jumped over the table and rushed to the room where the truck was. They pulled on their gear quickly and climbed into the vehicle. Adams got behind the wheel and the rest of the men piled in. Love sat on the end and during the drive, took the chance to look at himself and the crew. He stared at his reflection in the window silently.
He supposed he was good looking. His hair was black and straight, hanging down just above his eyes and barely above his neck. His eyes were green, his skin lightly tanned and his nose small. He was the smallest on the crew, weighing only 180 pounds. He stood at only 5' 5" while most of the others were 5' 10" or taller. He was small, but he was the fastest on the crew. And, as a bonus, his size allowed him in the small places they often found themselves in. He turned to the rest of the crew in the car. He had been on the crew for over six years now.
The main crew consisted of himself, Adams, the Chief, Ross, Thomas, and now Garrett. Of course there were a lot more people. But the ones he usually had contact with were just those five. Adams and the Chief had been on long before he had. They were both older, being on the crew for more than fifteen years now. Adams still looked young, his blonde hair was cut short in a buzz and his features were sharp and hard, unlike his personality. He was always the first to make the jokes.
Love looked at Ross, the permanently stoic one. He hardly ever spoke and was always the first one in and the last one out of a fire. His father had been a firefighter also and, though Ross had joined the crew only a month or two before Love did, he was more dedicated to the job than any of them. He even shaved his head to stay safer in the fires. His eyes were so dark they were almost black.
Thomas had joined at the same time Love had. He was shy and quiet. He was so timid that a lot of the time it was a burden on the crew. But he worked the best with the children and women. His equipment skills had much to be desired, but his people skills were the best on the team. His red hair was usually kept under his helmet and few of the crew had actually ever seen it. But it was cut short falling in small curls around his head. His brown eyes had a way of sucking people in, making them trust him with their lives.
Love looked at Garrett. It sucked being thrown into a call with a new crew member. They didn't even know if they could trust him. Adams pulled the truck up next to the building. Love pulled his helmet on and made sure it was on tight. They stared up at the burning building with smoke pouring from the windows where screams could be heard.
"Gordon, Thomas, Garrett. Inside. Ross, Adams, on the hoses." The Chief walked around. Love, Garrett, and Thomas turned on their radios.
"Please!" A crying woman ran up to Garrett holding his jacket in her fists. "Please, save my daughter!" She begged, in tears.
"We're going to do our best, Ma'am." Thomas said. One of the paramedics led the hysterical woman away.
"Garrett," The Chief said. The new member turned around. The Chief handed their largest member an axe. "Get your asses in there." He shouted, over the roaring fire.
Love was the first one in. His oxygen mask was on firmly and he got used to breathing through it quickly. Garrett was close behind him, and Thomas trailed behind.
"Get up there fast, boys." The Chief said, through the radio. "She's on the third." The chief said.
"You guys hear that?" Love asked. The other two men nodded to affirm. They reached the third floor and Love hesitated. "What room?" Love asked. The apartment building was large and there had to be at least twenty rooms on this floor alone.
"Fuck if I know." The Chief said.
"Shit." Garrett muttered behind Love. They heard feint crying, but it was impossible to tell where it was coming from.
"Little girl?" Thomas called out through his mask, which muffled the call. The crying got louder. Garret turned towards the nearest door.
"Get away from the door!" He shouted, before swinging the axe hard at the wood. It crumbled beneath the metal, already soft from the fire that had been weakening it. The men piled into the room, searching the apartment quickly.
"Next one!" Love sighed, there was no way they were going to find her in time. He could already feel the floor bending with their weight. Suddenly, his foot fell through the floor. He shouted in surprise and Garrett and Thomas tried to help him up quickly.
"Spread out, the floor is too weak! We have to split up! Check the right rooms, make sure to test the floors before entry!" He said to Garrett. "Check the left, I'll go through there." He said to Thomas, pointing out his direction under a fallen piece of ceiling. He ducked under a huge piece of wood and continued to the other half of the hallway. The crying was definitely louder here.
"She's somewhere over here! Can you guys get through?" Love asked.
"No, it's too small. We'll just make it fall all the way." Garrett answered.
"Throw me the axe. Get your asses out of here." Love said, the radio crackling. The axe slid across the wooden floors, through the gap under the piece of wood. Love took it, and checked each door, listening for the crying and feeling for the heat that indicated a fire behind it. Finally, at the end of the hall was a cooler door with the crying behind it.
"Get away from the door!" He shouted loud enough so she could hear. He heard the floor creak under his and her weight and he pulled back the axe. It took several swings but the door finally cracked in half. He kicked the rest of it down before stepping into the room. The room was small and he found her quickly. She was huddled in the far corner of the living room behind a couch. Love stepped forward and the floor whined under him. He heard it begin to snap and crunch. He stepped back.
"I need you to come to me, just walk slowly over here." He held out his hand to the little girl. She picked up the teddy bear she was holding and began walking slowly over to Love. He held his hand as far as he could, inching over the burning floor. She held her teddy bear to her with her left hand and reached out for Love's with the right. He stretched farther and wrapped his slim fingers around her wrist as the floor gave out under them. He ended up hanging over the edge halfway. She dangled above a pit of burning splinters of wood. She screamed and dropped her bear. It landed in the fire and began melting with the heat.
"Gordon, what the fuck is going on in there?" The chief asked. Love couldn't speak. He held himself and the girl with all the strength he had. He tugged her back up, hearing her wrist crack with the force he had to use. She screamed louder and he scooped her up, holding her against his chest. He stepped out of the room and walked down the hallway.
"You have to climb through there, I'll be right behind you, just wait for me." Love directed her. She shook her head and held on to him. "You have to go, now." Love pulled her off him and set her down on the creaking floor. He heard the roof above them creak and groan as a huge chunk of it fell to the ground floor only five feet behind them.
"Shit!" He cursed. She shook her head and tried to back up against him. He was getting frustrated. If they didn't move now, they would both die. Suddenly an arm appeared under the fallen beam. It grabbed her and pulled her under the piece of ceiling. Love crawled through right behind her. Garrett stood on the other end.
"I told you to get the fuck out of here." Love shouted. Garrett didn't answer. Half the hallway collapsed behind them and they got moving. Love scooped up the girl and they high tailed it out of there. A piece of ceiling fell in front of them, blocking off that path. Love looked around quickly. In the room to their right the floor had caved in, a large wooden beam slanted down towards the ground floor.
"That's the only way." Garrett said.
"Fuck me." Love cursed. He looked over at the girl and saw she was coughing. He took off his mask and put it over her face.
"What are you doing?" Garrett asked. Love didn't waste any of the valuable oxygen he had taken in before giving up his only source of air. He handed Garrett the girl and tested the weight of the thin beam. It creaked, but didn't bend. He wrapped his legs around it and crawled down slowly. A few feet separated his out stretched hands from the girls dangling feet.
"I have to drop her." Garrett said, as another piece of ceiling fell behind him, making him flinch. Love nodded, beginning to feel dizzy. Garrett counted down slowly. "One, two...Three!" He dropped the girl and Love caught her, falling back on his ass. Garrett climbed down the pole quickly and the two men and child ran out of the building. Not thirty seconds after they got out, the building collapsed sending smoke and ash everywhere. The girl cried while Love choked and coughed on the ground. Garrett picked up the girl and handed her to the medics who took her to the ambulance waiting with her mother. He knelt next to Love patting him on the back as he choked and coughed.
Another medic came and sat him down on the back of the ambulance. He breathed in deeply through an oxygen mask as the Chief walked over.
"You're an idiot." He said, a scowl on his face. "And a god damn hero." He gave a small smile, slapping Love on the back, making him cough again. Love pulled the mask away from his face, giving it back to the medic.
"Why didn't you send Garrett back out here?" He asked, voice raspy.
"It's a god damn good thing I didn't. If he hadn't been there you wouldn't be sitting here right now, you moron." The chief slapped him on the back of the head. Love nodded.
"Yeah, where is he?" He asked. The chief pointed. He pushed himself off the back of the ambulance and headed towards Garrett who was grabbing a bottle of water and chugging it.
"Hey." Love said.
"Hey." Garrett greeted him between a gulp or two of water.
"Thanks, for what you did back there. Staying in..." Love said.
"It's no problem, Gordon. It's what crew members are for." Garrett shrugged. Love nodded before beginning to walk away. He stopped and turned around.
"Call me Love." He said. Garrett wrinkled his brow.
"It's my name, doofus." Love smiled, walking back to the truck to get his own bottle of water.
"Daaaamn." Adams said, slapping Garrett on the back.
"He's only ever let one other person call him Love. Ever." He explained.
"Is it really his name?" Garrett asked.
"Yep, on his birth certificate and everything. Love Gordon." Adams said. "If any of us calls him that, he'll kick our asses. He "
"Who was the other person?" Garrett asked.
"Reed, the guy you replaced." Adams said, suddenly serious. He slapped Garrett on the back again, and walked away. "He was the only other person who's ever saved his life." Adams called back over his shoulder. Garrett watched him walk away, and then let his eyes wander over to Love.
Four months ago
"Hey, Love." Reed stepped up to the smaller firefighter.
"Reed." Love smiled without looking up at him. He sat there, cleaning his gear while he was on his four days off. Reed had to work five days on four days off this one time, replacing one of the other crew's members while he was in the hospital.
"I'm off tomorrow, we should go out." Reed smiled, sitting next to Love with a hand on his shoulder.
"Reed." Love pushed his hand away and looked at him, angry.
"What? No one's around." Reed looked around the empty room, proving his point.
"But if someone came in and saw us." Love mumbled, going back to cleaning his gear.
"You're too paranoid. What's so bad about somebody seeing us together?" Reed asked.
"You know what's so bad about that. We work in a firehouse for Christs sake Reed. The fact that we work together should be reason enough not to do anything." Love said.
"Well...We're not working together now." Reed smiled.
"But we will be later." Love pushed away the hand that had been wandering up his thigh.
"Hey guys, Gordon, what are you still doing here?" The Chief walked in suddenly.
"Just getting some shit done before my shift starts in a few days." Love said.
"Oh, well don't work yourself to hard. These 4-4 schedules are a bitch." The Chief said, leaving the room.
"I told you," Love said. "We can't. It's too dangerous." He went back to washing his boots.
"Maybe I like the danger." Reed moved his chin to face him and kissed his lips firmly. Love moaned and leaned into the kiss. They kissed for a minute before his brain decided to come back to him. He pushed him away and wiped his mouth.
"Reed." He said, not needing to say anything more.
"I know, I know. " Reed sighed and pulled away from Love.
"I'm sorry. You know it's not that I don't want it." Love said.
"I know." Reed repeated. Love looked at the sadness in his eyes and he felt his heart break.
"Just one date. When neither of us are on shift." Love said. Reed's eyes lit up.
"And we have to go to the next town over." Love said. Reed seemed unhappy about that, but agreed. He stood up and began walking away.
"I'll pick you up tomorrow at seven." Reed smiled, and walked away.
"Hey, Gordon." Garrett said as he walked into the locker rooms.
"I told you, you can call me Love." Love said.
"It's fine." Love smiled. He wrapped the towel around his waist and went to his locker.
"It was really impressive, what you did today." Garrett said. "You saved that little girl's life."
"It's my job," Love shrugged. "Besides, I couldn't have done it without you." He smiled.
"You did majority of the work, but I couldn't just let you stay in there alone." Garrett said.
"Yes, you could have. Thomas did." Love laughed.
"Yeah, well. I'm not Thomas." Garrett looked at Love, with something that Love couldn't exactly place in, in his eyes.
"Well thank you anyways." Love smiled. He pulled on his shirt and began buttoning it up.
"Are you off?" Garrett asked.
"Yeah, the last call was my fourth day." Love said.
"The Chief said I start on your schedule, so technically I only had to be on call one day." Garrett laughed. "You want to go get something to eat?" Garrett asked.
"Sure, I'm starving. I didn't get to eat dinner last night." Love said.
"Me either, come on." Garrett pulled on his shoe and grabbed his jacket, before Love followed him out the door.
They sat at the small diner. Garrett ordered the steak and Love ordered a salad. They waited for their order to arrive from the older waitress and took the time to talk.
"So, how long have you been a firefighter?" Love asked.
"Seven years, now." Garrett said.
"Wow, not bad. And here we all were thinking you were a scrub." Love asked.
"Nope, how about you?"
"Six." Love said, smiling at the waitress as she set down their food.
"What made you start?"
"Well, when I was little, my house caught on fire. I had to have been five or six. I remember it was really early in the morning, still dark out. The house caught fire and the door was warped so I couldn't open it. My room wasn't on fire, but it was filled with smoke. I remember this older firefighter was sent to get me. He had to have been on the crew for at least ten years, he was definitely seasoned. But anyways, he broke down the door, and carried me out. I don't think I'll ever forget that. He held me when they told me they couldn't get my parents out." Love said the last part with bitter remorse.
"I'm sorry." Garrett said, and he sounded sincere.
"Yeah, me too. I just wanted to keep that from happening to any other kid. You know?"
"Yeah, that must have been rough. Growing up without parents." Garrett said.
"Yeah, my foster parents were just in it for the check they got each month." Love shrugged. "What about you? Let me hear your sob story." Love smiled, stealing one of Garrett's fries.
"I don't really have one I guess. My dad was a firefighter, he retired a few years ago. I just wanted to follow in his footsteps. I have a big family, three sisters and two brothers. My oldest sister lives in New York, an she's decided to follow in my dads footsteps too." Garrett laughed.
"Sounds nice, having a big family."Love smiled.
"It is, except when we have to share the bathroom. There's never any hot water left." Garrett smiled. "That's why I moved out so fast I guess." Garrett laughed. "Now I'm stuck in this little one bedroom apartment."
"Sounds like my place." Love laughed.
"Yeah, it's tough finding a decent place to hang your hat in this town." Garrett smiled.
"So why did you leave your old crew?" Love asked. Garrett hesitated. "What?"
"I can't tell you." Garrett said, sadly.
"Why not?" Love frowned. "We saved each others lives back there, I don't think a whole lot is going to change that." Love said. Garrett looked at him.
"I can't risk it, I can't change crews again after one day." Garrett shook his head.
"Come on, Garrett. You can trust me." Love promised, putting a hand over Garrett's. Garrett stared up at him.
"The crew found out I was gay." Garrett said, staring at Love to judge his reaction. Love pulled his hand away, staring at Garrett.
"You're right, you shouldn't tell anyone." Love said. Garrett looked hurt. "It's not like that, Garrett. I just meant that people can be cruel. That's...why I haven't come out yet." Love said, after a moment of hesitation.
"Yeah, yeah. Just...Just keep all of this between us." Love grumbled, digging in to his salad. Garrett stared at him before nodding and cutting into his own steak.
"Will you tell me about Reed?" Garrett asked. Love looked up, shocked. He hesitated.
"...No." He finally said, before looking back down at his plate of salad.
"Why not?" Garrett asked. Love sighed.
"Why do you want to know?" Love asked.
"Did he die in a fire?" Garrett didn't answer Love's question. Love seemed to sigh and swallow.
"Yes." His voice cracked.
"Were you two together?" Garrett asked. Love looked up at him, shocked.
"He wasn't gay." He said. "He...He was a good man." He was almost angry.
"If he was gay, that doesn't mean he wasn't a good man." Garrett said, Love didn't know how to respond to that. "You talk about him like he's a lost lover." Garrett said, after a moment of silence.
"It's none of your business." Love glared at Garrett. He took the hint and changed the subject as fast as he could.
"So your parent's really named you Love?" Garrett laughed. Love laughed with him, the anger gone from his eyes.
"Yeah, they were hippies." Love smiled.
"I bet that was rough during high school." Garrett smiled, cutting into his near cold steak.
"Yeah, that was an adventure." Love chuckled, looking at his fellow firefighter across from him.
Three months earlier.
"See, aren't you glad you gave me a chance." Reed said, out of breath after their love making. Love rolled over and snuggled into his chest.
"Oh hell yeah." He mumbled, breathing in Reed's scent. "We really shouldn't be doing this." He added.
"Our pagers are right there, Love. If they need us we can be-" He was interrupted by both of their radios going off. They jumped out of bed and threw on their clothes quickly. They ran out of the door, still putting their shoes on.
"Where the fuck have you two been?" The chief said, as they drove up to the fire in Reed's truck.
"We were..." They both hesitated.
"Fuck it, get your asses in there." The chief said. They grabbed their helmets and Reed grabbed an axe and they ran after Adams who was waiting near the building.
"You two were together?" Adams asked as they went in.
"Just shut up and lets get to work." Love said. "What are we doing in here?" He asked.
"Have a woman on the second floor." Adams said. Love headed towards the stairs and began climbing them when he heard a crash behind him. He looked back to see a piece of ceiling fall at the bottom of the stairs. Reed and Adams jumped back as flames and burning chunks of wood flew in their direction.
"Shit!" Adams cursed.
"Go around, there should be another set of stairs down that hall." Love said, through the radio. Adams took off down the hallway but Reed hesitated.
"Go." Love said, whispering it, hoping that no one else would hear him. Reed swallowed before following Adams down the hall.
Love continued up the stairs and turned down the hall to meet the other two men.
"Where are you two?" Love asked when a good thirty seconds had passed.
"The stairs collapsed, there's no way up there." Adams said.
"Alright, I'm calling it. Get out of there." The Chief said through the radio.
"But Chief, I'm up here. I can find her." Love said.
"Yeah, your up there. But you can't get down and it's only going to get worse. Get your asses out of there!" The Chief repeated. Love froze before moving to the first door and slamming against it with his shoulder. It broke under his force and he searched the apartment quickly before moving to the next one.
"Gordon, where are you?!" The Chief asked. "The other two are already out!"
"I'm staying in here, I'm going to find her." Love said.
"God damn it Gordon, get your ass out of there!" The Chief was really pissed. "Reed, where the fuck are you going?" He heard him over the radio.
"He's not going to stay in there alone." Reed said.
"No, Reed. You stay out there." Love said over the radio.
"Fuck you, Love. I'm already inside." Reed said. Love heard wood splinter and the roof begin creaking. Reed suddenly appeared at the stairs that had been blocked off.
"What the fuck?"
"It's called an axe, Love." Reed held up the large fire axe.
"You know how dangerous that is!" Love slapped him on the shoulder. "Fuck it, you're already up here. Check those rooms." Love said, he took the axe and cut down his doors while Reed slammed through his.
"Love." Reed said. Love ran to the room Reed was in and saw him kneeling next to the burnt corpse.
"Do you think...?"
"Yeah. Come on, we need to get out of here." Reed said. Love stared at the woman before following Reed quickly down the cleared stares. They got out and Love went directly behind the fire truck sitting near by. Reed followed him and soon they were alone. Love ripped off his helmet and leaned against the truck. Reed turned off his radio quickly.
"Love," Reed said.
"It was my fault, I should have found her faster." Love said, tears falling from his eyes as he ripped off his mask and turned off his radio.
"It wasn't your fault, you know as well as any of us that this kind of stuff happens. She was probably dead long before we got there, Love." Reed stepped behind him, putting his large hands on his shoulders.
"That's bullshit Reed, and you know it." Love said.
"No, it's not. You're too god damn hard on yourself." Reed said. Love cried and shoved his face into Reed's soot covered chest. Reed stroked his back and let him cry. Love pulled away suddenly and wiped the tears from his face.
"We can't let anyone see us." Love sad. He put on his helmet again, and walked back to the crew, getting ready to search the ashes.
"Hey, Gordon." All the guys muttered when he stepped into the room.
"Hey, Love." Garrett's voice rang out above the rest. All the other guys grumbled.
"Hey, Love." The Chief said, in a girly voice. Love set down the can of soda and picked up the large chef knife.
"I will cut you, seniority and career be damned." He said, pointing the knife at the Chief. The Chief laughed and walked off in the direction of his office. Love put the knife down and turned back to the soda.
"So you guys, I was with this chick last night," Adams started. "Oh, my, god! She was as tight as a virgin but as wild as a well seasoned whore." Adams and most of the other guys laughed.
"You're such a pig, Adams." Love laughed, and the other guys nodded their agreement.
"What about you, Gordon. You never tell us about your hot dates." Adams smiled.
"I don't think what you do counts as a date, Adams. More like sucking, fucking, sleeping." Love laughed.
"Come on, tell us."
"You know I never tell you guys shit." Love rolled his eyes.
"What about you, Garrett?" Thomas asked.
"What about me?" Garrett asked.
"Who have you fucked lately?" Adams asked.
"Your mom." Garrett said without missing a beat. Adams threw a fork at him.
"Asshole, come on tell us."
"I'm with Love on this one, I don't kiss and tell. Sorry boys." Garrett laughed.
"Prude." Adams threw a spoon at him.
"No more silverware for you." Garrett pointed the spoon at him with a scowl. Adams stuck his tongue out at Garrett.
"Children, Children." Love rolled his eyes. Suddenly the alarm went off and the men piled into the truck as fast as they could, some still putting on their helmets.
"What do we have, Chief?" Ross, the ever quiet, asked.
"Some dumb-asses tried looting a burning building. The fire burned itself out, but those two daredevils got trapped under some rubble." The chief laughed.
"Jesus..." Garrett shook his head with a smile on his face.
"People get more and more stupid every day." Love mumbled.
"What dumb shits." Ross even chimed in, Adams and Thomas nodded in agreement. They arrived at the scene to see several cops standing around.
"Useless pigs." Ross muttered.
"You say somethin', fireboy?"
"You got arms, use em." Ross gestured towards the rubble where several groans of pain were coming from.
"That's your job, shithead." The cop put his coffee down on his car and stepped towards Ross.
"Guys, Chief will have my ass if I let you two go at it." Love stood between the two bigger men.
"You sayin' you refuse to help out if there's not a pay check in it for you?" Ross ignored Love.
"Guys!" Love shouted, as the two pressed against his hands trying to separate them. Garrett, Adams, and Thomas watched, surprised with several cops.
"Bite me, you piece of shit!" The cop shouted, and the two lunged at each other like territorial cats.
"Fuck.. Me!" Love grunted as he tried to keep the two apart. Ross swung at the cop, and missed, hitting Love in the cheek. Love grunted and lost his temper. "Enough!" He shouted, He pushed the cop back violently, and Garrett grabbed Ross around his chest, keeping him away from Love and the cop.
"Sit your ass down!" Love shouted at the cop, who had fallen on his ass on the ground. "Get your ass in there!" He shouted at Ross.
"Fuck off, Love." Ross growled. Love picked up the fire axe he had dropped when force to pry the two men apart.
"What did you say?" He pointed the axe at Ross, who seemed to go just a little pale.
"That's what I fucking thought, now get your stupid caveman pansy ass in that fucking building Ross." Love scowled. Ross spit on the ground, before walking over and pulling a large slab of wall off of the pile that sat on top of the men. Adams, Thomas, and Ross stepped into the mostly standing building.
"Jesus, Gordon. You got more balls than I do, looks like I made the right choice making you the crew leader." The Chief said.
"Right." Love mumbled, before walking towards the building. Garrett caught up to him and stopped him before he could enter.
"Are you okay, he hit you pretty hard." Garret ran his thumb over the already purple cheekbone.
"I'm fine." Love slapped his hand away. Garrett frowned.
"Alright." He said. The crew spent the next hour digging out the would-be-thieves from the rubble.
Love groaned as the hot water washed over his shoulders. The steam filled the showering room and he let the hot water wash away the dirt and grime. He heard the door open and let the water run over his face. He heard the sound of another shower head being turned on. Love moved his face away from the water and turned to see the muscled back of Garrett. He swallowed and let his eyes wander down to the firm twin globes. He licked his lips and turned forward again. Love ran his hands over his face and winced at the large bruise that formed on his cheek.
"It looks pretty bad." Garrett said. Love looked over his shoulder. Garrett hadn't turned around, but spoke to the wall instead.
"It hurts pretty bad, too." Love mumbled, over the roar of the two shower heads. Love couldn't help but watch over his shoulder as Garrett soaped up his body. He felt his cock twitch and forced himself to look away. As soon as he did he heard Garrett hiss in pain.
"What's wrong?" Love turned around, looking over his shoulder again. At this rate, he was going to get a crick in his neck.
"I think I hurt my wrist, when I pulled Ross off of you." Garrett moved his right hand carefully. He rotated his wrist and hissed in pain again, bringing it close to his chest.
"Let me see." Love said. He walked across the tiled floor and took Garrett's hand in his, completely forgetting they were alone and naked in the shower. He held his wrist gently and turned it.
"Does this hurt?" He asked. Garrett shook his head.
"What about this?" He put pressure on his thick arm. Garrett winced and nodded.
"I think your arm is broken." Love said. "You'll have to take off until it's healed. You should go get a cast." He turned and walked back to his hot water. He turned to see what Garrett was doing and saw him staring at him. "Were you looking at my ass?" He frowned.
"I showed you mine." Garrett smiled.
"Busted..." Love mumbled, and turned back to his water.
"Garrett is taking a few days off boys, it seems Ross here fractured his arm while trying to beat the crap out of Gordon and that blue suit." The Chief said.
"When will he be back?" Adams asked, but they all knew how bad it was. Losing even one team member could mean someone loses their lives. The odds were against them as it was.
"As soon as his arm heals he'll be back, luckily it's only a small fracture and the Doc said he should be able to come back to work in a week or two. As long as he goes easy on his arm." The Chief said. He turned to Ross. "You're lucky he's not pressing charges, shit for brains. Get in a fight again, and I'll lock you alone in a room with Love." The Chief pointed over his shoulder at Love with his thumb.
"Stop calling me that!" Love threw a wooden cutting board at the Chief, who scurried out of the room. The cutting board smacked the wall loudly and snapped in half leaving a dent in the wall.
"Jesus," Thomas laughed quietly. "That's why I stay on Gordon's good side." He said, turning back to his paper and coffee.
"Just a second!" Garrett called out. He was making dinner as the knock on his door echoed through his tiny apartment. He turned the stove down and jogged towards the door. He was as surprised as possible to see Love standing there.
"Love... What are you doing here?"
"I came to see how your hand was, you got it hurt trying to help me so I figured the least I could do was come check on you." He had a small blush to his cheeks.
"Oh, that's really nice of you...Sorry, come on in." Garrett stepped aside.
"Smells good." Love said.
"Pasta, there's plenty if you want to stay." Garrett offered.
"I'm fine, but thanks." Love smiled. Garrett's arm was in a blue sling, with a brace to match. "Hows your arm?" Love asked.
"It's okay. Hurts if I put any pressure on it, but other than that it's painless." Garrett shrugged, looking down at his arm. "How did you find out where I live? Not that I'm not glad you're here." Garrett went to stir the sauce for the fettuccine.
"I broke into the Chiefs office and found out." Love shrugged, looking down at the ground.
"Isn't that illegal?"
"Maybe a little... Bastard should know better than to call me Love." Love shrugged again. Garrett smiled and laughed, he looked at the shorter man quietly for a second.
"Are you sure you don't want to stay? There's really too much for me to eat alone, and to tell you the truth, I'm kind of lonely here." Garrett smiled. Love hesitated.
"Sure," He finally nodded. Garrett beamed.
"I'll set another plate." He grabbed a plate and set it down in front of the second chair on the table. Love took off his jacket and set it on the chair.
"Are you on call?" Garrett asked.
"Yeah." Love said, as the radio he had to carry with him cracked as a call was given out.
"Do you need to go?" Garrett asked.
"No." Love sat down. Garrett poured the sauce over the noodles and dished up both plates. He opened a bottle of wine. "I shouldn't." Love shook his head.
"But you will?" Garrett smiled and set down his glass.
"I get off at Midnight." Love shrugged and sipped the wine, it wasn't often that he was this care free when it came to his job. He usually took it seriously enough.
"This is really good." Love smiled and pointed at the mushroom, chicken, cheese, and spinach filled pasta.
"Thanks, I'm not much of a cook but I do make a mean Fettuccine Alfredo." Garrett smiled. Love laughed. "So how are you guys holding up without me?" Garrett asked.
"Fine, I guess. It's weird being back to just us again, I think we all kind of miss you." Love said, honestly.
"Good to see that the party of hate that greeted me my first day finally went away after two weeks." Garrett laughed.
"Yeah, I guess we were all just missing Reed. We weren't really open to replacements." Love said.
"I'm sorry, about Reed." Garrett said.
"Shit happens, we all know what we sign up for when we take this job."
Three months before
"Love, can we at least talk?!" Reed chased after him as he walked down the street.
"Fuck off, Reed." Love said, over his shoulder.
"Come on, Love." Reed begged.
"I said, fuck off." Love repeated. Reed caught up to him and took his hand in his.
"What's up with you? One minute you're cuddled up in my chest, the next your telling me to piss off." Reed asked.
"Just leave me alone." Love tugged against Reed, trying to wiggle out of his grasp.
"Not until you tell me what's so bad about me liking you." Reed said.
"Maybe I don't like you back, did you ever think about that?" Love snapped.
"No, because I know you do. Come on, Love. Don't be like that." Reed begged.
"You're wrong, I don't feel that way about you." Love pulled against his grip.
"Shut up, god damn it!" People began staring and Reed quietly pulled Love inside his apartment building.
"Get out of here, Reed."
"No, not until you admit that you're into me." Reed said.
"Fuck off!" Love cursed.
"No!" Reed shouted even louder. Love stared at him, they were both breathing heavily. They stared at each other silently. Reed gripped Love's hand and the two were in an intense gaze for a long moment. Finally, Reed saw tears forming in Love's eyes. He leaned in and kissed him passionately.
"Shit..." Reed mumbled between kisses. Love pressed him up against the wall and nearly climbed up his body. Reed moaned and pulled Love into his chest. Love sighed happily into Reed's kiss. "Told you you would come around." Reed smiled as he pulled Love through the hallway.
"This doesn't mean anything." Love pulled away. Reed followed him to the apartment and through the door.
"Oh no,you don't." Reed pulled him into the bedroom. "You're mine now."
"Love?" Garrett spoke up. Love blinked.
"No problem, you kind of just spaced out there for a second." Garrett smiled over a forkful of pasta.
"Yeah, I was just...thinking about something. So what about you? You came out at your old department and had to move?" Love asked. Garrett went a little pale. He looked down at his dish and set down his fork, wiping his mouth.
"It's a little more complicated than that." Garrett mumbled.
"I'm sorry, touchy subject?"
"No, it's just... Yeah I guess it is. But it's only fair, I asked you about Reed..." Garrett said, a little louder but not much. He sighed. "I was with somebody, Jack, he.." Garrett's voice cracked. He took a deep breath. "He didn't want me to come out. Said that it was too dangerous. But I was so sick of hiding. I just wanted to be myself, you know?" Garrett said. Love nodded.
"I didn't listen to him." Garrett looked at Love with regret. "I came out. Some of the guys reacted badly, I should have thought it through more. But I didn't. They followed me home one night. They beat me unconscious. When I woke up..." Garrett stared off into space. "There was so much blood. Jack had been there with me... They'd broken a few ribs and my leg... But they had done worse to Jack. Hospital rushed Jack into surgery, but there was too much blood loss. When I last saw him..." Garrett began crying. He tried to continue but he only sobbed quietly. Love stared at him for a second before getting up and stroking his hair.
"It's alright, Garrett. It wasn't your fault, you just wanted to be free." Love said softly.
"My wants cost Jack his life." Garrett whispered.
"You were unhappy. We all are. No one is happy in the closet." Love said.
"I should have listened to him." Garrett said.
"You had every right to your freedom." Love tried to convince him. Garrett just shook his head. Love closed his eyes. "It wouldn't have gone any better, if you hadn't come out." Love said.
"You don't know that." Garrett shook his head.
"But...I do." Love whispered. Garrett looked up at Love, confused.
"I'll tell you what happened to Reed." Love said.
Two months before
"Hey, baby." Reed kissed Love's cheek. Love groaned and stretched. His back cracked and he winced.
"This job is hell on my back." He mumbled.
"Damn right. Here, I made breakfast." Reed smiled. Love opened his eyes and smiled at the plate of deformed pancakes.
"You know you can't cook worth a damn." Love said.
"I know, but it's the thought that counts right? You don't have to eat them." Reed laughed. He set the plate down, an accepting but somewhat sad look in his eyes. Love stared at him and rolled his eyes, smiling. He reached for the plate and began eating the semi-burned pancakes.
"They're not bad." Love smiled.
"Really?" Reed beamed like a child who's parents had praised him.
"Yeah." Love lied, they tasted like burnt horse shit. But he put on a fake smile anyways.
"I'm gonna go make more." Reed skipped off.
"Oh jesus what have I done." Love asked himself. He looked around before taking the pancakes off the plate and stuffing them between the two mattress's he sat on.
"You ate quick." Reed smiled.
"Really hungry, I thought you were making more?"
"We're out of flour." Reed said. Love silently thanked god.
"Oh, are you on call tonight?" Love asked.
"Yeah, we both are." Reed curled up in bed again.
"Damn." Love cuddled into Reed's chest.
"Yeah, but we can still spend the day together." Reed said.
"The Chief wanted us at the house, today." Love pouted.
"Fuck, can't a guy get some ass without his boss butting in?" Reed asked, squeezing Love's ass playfully. Love smiled but stayed quiet.
"Is that all I am to you? A piece of ass?" Love asked quietly.
"What? No, it was just a joke Love. I'm sorry." Reed kissed him. Love smiled at the kiss and began dozing on Reed's chest. "We need to get dressed, Chief will want us there early I'm sure." Reed said.
"Yeah... Okay." Love said. He got up, and began getting ready.
Reed and Love walked through the door to the firehouse at the same time.
"Where have you two been?" Adams asked.
"None of your fuckin' business. Where's my coffee?" Love smiled.
"In the pantry, waiting for you to make it." Adams smiled, and sipped his own weak coffee.
"There you two are...Did you come in together?" The Chief asked.
"Yeah, we saw each other on the street." Reed said. The Chief shrugged and was about to say something when the alarm went off.
"So you two started seeing each other?" Garrett asked.
"Yeah. He was so outgoing. He wanted to come out. I didn't. I was scared. So he kept lying, for me. It just made him upset. He wanted to be with me, but he was unhappy." Love said.
One month before
"Why are you so scared all the time, Love?" Reed shouted. "All I want is to be able to walk down the street and hold your hand, is that so much to ask? God damn it!" In his anger he threw the glass cup at the wall. It shattered, sending water everywhere. Love sat there quietly while Reed yelled at him.
"I'm sorry." Love said quietly.
"I want to kiss you in public, I want to go on a date in THIS town. Not the next one over. I want to move in together, I want to be with you but I can't because if we're within a mile of ANYONE, you won't even let me touch you!" Reed shouted, his anger cooling. He sighed, his anger gone. He walked up to Love, who stood there like a scolded child. He wrapped his arms around his shoulders and brought him to his chest. "I want to hold you after a long day. After a bad fire. I want to kiss you, and love you. But I can't, Love. You won't let me." Reed said, quietly.
"I'm sorry." Love repeated, just as quietly. Reed sighed and dropped his arms. He began backing towards the door. He threw his hands up.
"I don't know what to do anymore, Love. This won't work." Reed shook his head and opened the door.
"I..." Love didn't know what else to say.
"I'm sorry." Reed said the words this time. He opened the door, and left.
"He left me." Love said. "It was for the best, really. He deserved better. He wanted a relationship where he didn't have to lie everyday. I never resented him for that." Love said.
"But it had to be tough for you, to watch him walk out like that." Garrett said.
"It was, but I couldn't stop him. It wouldn't be fair." Love said.
"What did you do?" Garrett asked.
"Nothing. I didn't...I didn't have time to do anything." Love said. "There was no time." He whispered.
Several weeks ago
The fire was bad. A large apartment building had caught fire and it was coming down fast. Several trucks sat outside the burning building. Hoses were on and they were working out how many people were inside when the Chief began making teams.
"Reed, you're on the axe. Love, crew leader. Ross, go in with them. Thomas and Adams, stay out here on hoses." The Chief said. Several other crews had teams going in and they made sure they all could communicate with one another.
"Love, wait." Reed grabbed his arm before they climbed into the inferno.
"We don't have time for this, Reed." Love said. He turned on his radio, and pulled away from Reed.
"Fine, but after..." Reed said.
"Yeah, okay." Love nodded. Reed gave him a small smile and the team climbed into the building.
"We have a daughter and her dad on the third floor." Ross said.
"Is it really a good idea to go up that high?" Reed asked.
"It's on the south side of the building, it's blocked off by that corner market. We can't get to it with the ladder." Love explained.
"Well shit." Reed cursed quietly.
"The stairs are still intact over here, come on." Love said. Reed followed close behind him and Ross was at the back. They walked down the second floor and past an elevator. The doors were open and suddenly one of the large metal elevators came screaming down. Sparks flew and Love covered his face from the red and orange sparks. Someone was screaming and soon the elevator hit the ground floor, with a large crash that shook the building. The screams stopped.
"Holy shit..." Ross said. Reed gulped loudly and Love turned away from the gruesome scene that would lie at the bottom of the shaft.
"Come on." Love said. They continued walking through the hallway, looking for any sign of life in the red and black building. The walls were practically melting under the heat. They found the second set of stairs and began climbing.
"There's a piece of wall or some shit blocking off the top. Get up here, Reed." Love said. Reed pushed past him on the stairs and began hacking at the object blocking the hall. Finally it collapsed under the force of the axe and the small crew continued.
"I can hear them." Ross said. somewhere on the floor they could barely make out the cries for help. Reed lifted his mask for a second.
"Can you hear me?" He called out, before replacing his mask and taking a few deep breaths. There was no answer besides the cries for help.
"They must be farther down the hall." Love said. "Come on." They walked carefully over the weak floor and tried to find the source of the cries. The floor creaked and groaned more and more as they walked across the floor.
"We need to hurry up, this isn't going to hold much longer." Reed said.
"That's it, spread out. We need to find them now." Love said. The three men split up and began searching the hallway. They kicked and hacked down every door until there wasn't a single room on the floor left unchecked.
"They're not here, Chief!" Love shouted. They had wasted too much time.
"What? They said they were on the third."
"We can hear them." Reed said. "But we searched everywhere."
"Do you think they're a floor up?" Ross asked. They were silent.
"They could be below us." Reed said.
"No, we would have heard them down there. Ross is right, they must be on the fourth." Love said.
"Are we going? We need to move now if we are." Reed said.
"Chief?" Love asked, he wasn't allowed to make this kind of call.
"Go, quickly. Now." The Chief said. The three men turned and walked as fast as they could in the heavy gear. They climbed the crumbling stairs to the fourth, and sure enough, the cries for help were louder here. This time Love lifted his mask.
"Can you hear me? We're with the fire department." He shouted. The cries paused.
"I can hear you!" He heard, over the roar of the fire.
"What room are you in?" Love asked.
"8C" The voice answered.
"Find it." Love replaced his mask and spoke to his team members. They searched and after a few second they found it.
"Here." Reed said.
"Get away from the door and cover your eyes!" Love shouted. He heard a pair of feet scurrying around and waited a second. He felt the door with the back of his hand, and when he was sure it was cool enough, he moved aside for Reed.
Reed hacked at the door, that seemed stronger than the others. The floor cracked and fell as the hallway crumbled. Only half of the wood floor was intact now and Reed began hitting the door faster. He was sweating more of the other and the axe looked fairly beat up. Finally, the door gave and he stumbled as the weight of the axe sent him forward.
The man was probably in his forties, with a young girl in his hands. He was covered in soot and looked dizzy. Love took a deep breath before taking off his mask.
"I'll get the father, get the girl." Love said. He put the mask on the older man and let him lean on his shoulders as they walked out of the room. The floor creaked and groaned and they tried to move quickly.
Reed carried the girl in his arms and it was obvious she was knocked out. Reed put his own mask over her face and would take turns taking a breath from the fresh oxygen. She curled up into his chest. They moved down the stairs quickly and got down to the last flight of stairs when Reed tripped. He was the last one in the line and cursed as he dropped the girl.
"Are you okay?" Love turned. The father was about to pass out and it was obvious Love was having trouble keeping him up.
"Yeah, go ahead. I'll get her." Reed said. He stood up and picked up the girl gently again. Love and Ross turned, Ross helping Love with the weight of the now unconscious man. They made it out the door as the building collapsed, the force of the building coming down sending the flying. Love coughed as smoke, dust, and debris fell over them.
"Jesus..." Ross coughed. They stood up shakily and the paramedics took the man off their hands.
"Where's the girl?" Another paramedic asked.
"She's right there, Reed has-" Love turned to point Reed out and all he saw was the crumbled building. His heart stopped. "No..." He whispered. He took a step and stumbled. "No!" He shouted, louder this time. He scurried over to the rubble and began digging through it with his bare hands.
"Gordon!" The chief shouted. The rest of the crew looked on, shocked. Ross began digging with Love. Loves hands bled as they were cut and burned by sharp debris and hot metal. He tore at the rubble with his hands and suddenly froze. The rest of the crew finally made it over to the building and stopped. Reed's larger hand had been unburied from the rubble. Love was sitting on the ground, staring at the still and pale hand that was uncovered from the broken building.
"I'm sorry, Love." Garrett said. Love was crying silently. "I cant imagine...I've never lost anyone in a fire..." Garrett mumbled. "What happened to the girl?" Garrett asked.
"She lived. They dug her out. Reed covered her with his body." Love said.
"He was a brave guy." Garrett said. "I don't think I could do it." He whispered.
"I never got to hear what he wanted to tell me." Love said.
"I'm sure he would have told you that he loved you, and that he wanted to try and work out the relationship again." Garrett said.
"Maybe." Love wiped the tears from his face.
"Can I ask you something, Love?" Garrett said. Love nodded.
"Why are you so scared of coming out?" Garrett asked, Love looked up at him confused. "Most people are afraid of disappointing their parents, or losing the people they love. But the guys at the firehouse are pretty easy going. I don't think they would give you any shit over it. And even if they did, you have me as a friend, and you won't ever lose me." Garrett whispered the last part. Love swallowed.
"I don't know. I guess... I just... I don't like it when things change. It's so much easier if they just stay the same." Love said.
"Easier...Yes. Better? I don't think so." Garrett said. Love sighed.
"Do you mean it?" Love asked.
"That I'll never lose you..." He whispered. Garrett was shocked.
"Yes." He answered. Love paused for a second before resting his head on Garrett's chest. Garrett stroked his hair.
"I don't think I can lose anyone else." Love said.
"I don't think you can either." Garrett said.
"I should get going." Love stood up.
"Are you sure? I made dessert." Garrett said.
"What did you make?" Love asked, the smile returning to his eyes.
"Chocolate cheesecake." Garrett smiled.
"From the box?" Love raised an eyebrow. Garrett nodded with a smile. "Fuck that. That processed box shit is not cheesecake. Goodnight, Garrett." Love said.
"Wait," Garrett said. "Go out with me." He asked.
"Please, I know it's really soon. But I'm not asking for much, just a date. Let me take you out to dinner." Garrett asked.
"Garrett, I can't. It's all still too fresh, and if someone from the firehouse-"
"No one will find out. We can go four towns over if you want." Garrett said. Love hesitated. The thoughts ran through his head.
'I can't... After Reed...' His thought trailed off. 'But I'm so alone... I don't want to be alone anymore.' He swallowed.
"Alright." He nodded. Garrett smiled.
"When?" Garrett asked.
"Two days, give me time to rest up from my four on." Love said.
"Good, I'll pick you up at your place?" Garrett smiled. Love nodded and wrote down his address for Garrett.
"Goodnight." Love said, as Garrett opened the door for him.
"Night." Garrett smiled, and shut the door behind him.
Love and the others carefully dug through the debris, searching for any embers. Every now and then someone would spray a fire extinguisher, snuffing out any of the red sparks. It was just past midnight and technically Love was off duty, but he had to finish this job before going home. He had his date with Garrett coming up and wanted to make sure he was well rested.
'Since when do I care?' He thought. 'It's just one date.' He convinced himself. He wasn't really paying attention and was surprised when a woman walked over to him, helped by a tired looking paramedic.
"Excuse me." She said, voice scratchy from obvious smoke inhalation.
"Can I help you?" Love asked.
"You're the one who pulled me out, right?" She asked. Love finally took a look at the woman he had saved during the fire and nodded.
"Yes, are you okay?" He asked. She nodded and waved her hand dismissively.
"I just wanted to say thank you. You saved my life. I have two boys and I don't know what they would do if I...If you didn't...Thank you." She finally said with tears in her eyes.
"It's no problem. I was just doing my job, do your boys a favor and get healed up." Love smiled at her. She nodded and waved before the paramedic helped her back to the ambulance.
"It makes the job worth it, doesn't it?" Thomas spoke up. Love looked up and saw most of the crew had been watching. He nodded.
"Yeah, it does." Love nodded.
"It's why I got into this job. I wanted to help people. I may not be the biggest or the strongest, but the looks in their eyes when they realize they're still breathing...It gives me all the strength I need." He said, and continued poking through the bits of fallen building.
Love messed with his hair for the thousandth time. Garrett would be picking him up any minute and his hair looked like shit. He brushed it out again, before trying to put it in a pony tail, and then deciding against it. He glared at his reflection before he just shook his head wildly and let it fall naturally on his shoulders. He looked up, and was finally satisfied. He shrugged before tying his shoes once more. He straightened his black shirt and looked at his teeth when the knock on the door sounded. He breathed deeply before opening the door.
"You look great." Garrett smiled.
"Not so bad yourself, handsome." Love smiled.
"Come on, we have reservations to make." Garrett said, with a wink. Love buckled himself up in the small car a minute later and waited as Garrett started the engine.
"So where are we going?" Love asked.
"It's a surprise." Garrett smiled over at him. Love scowled, he hated surprises.
"How was your first day off?" Garrett asked.
"Good, I slept most of it away." Love laughed.
"I always do, too." Garrett smiled. Love twiddled his thumbs in his lap and looked out the window as they drove.
"Will you just tell me where we're going?" Love frowned.
"Nope." Garrett laughed.
"Mean." He growled. "The guys want to know how you're holding up, I think Ross is even sorry." Love said.
"I'm fine. The arm feels better every day." Garrett held up the arm that was still in the brace.
"Good, now where are we going?" Love asked casually.
"Not telling." Garrett smiled over at him.
"Ass." Love slid down in his seat and sulked until they got to their destination.
When Garrett pulled up to the beach, Love was surprised.
"What are we doing? I thought you said we had reservations." Love asked.
"Reservations for two, smoking or non smoking?" Garrett said in his best french accent.
"You're a dork." Love stared at him. Garrett smiled and reached into the back of his truck. He pulled out a picnic basket and a blanket. "It's like negative four degrees out here, you know that right?" Love stared at him, slightly amused.
"That's what the blankets for, dumb shit." Garrett wrapped an arm around him and pulled him through the sand. Love carried the blanket and they stumbled over hidden sticks and clumps of seaweed. Finally Garrett stopped and Love laid out the blanket. Garrett sat down in the sand and pulled Love down next to him.
"I repeat, you're a dork." Love smiled.
"But this is better than sitting in some stuff restaurant, right?"
"That's very true." Love nodded, breathing in the cold night air. He looked out at the ocean and the moonlight bounced off the waves. "It is beautiful." Love whispered.
"Yeah, it is." Garrett said in a dreamy voice. Love looked over and saw he wasn't looking at the ocean, but at him. He took a handful of sand and threw it at Garrett.
"Dork." He said, between their laughs. Garrett opened the basket to reveal four or five frozen pizzas. Love laughed and Garrett took a slice from one.
"I like frozen pizza." He shrugged. Love stared at him.
"You know what?" Love said, seriously.
"What?" Garrett said, a little worried.
"I do, too." Love stole his slice of pizza and began munching on it.
"You butt-munch!" Garrett shouted. Love laughed and rolled away into the sand as Garrett chased after him.
"Bend over for me and I will." Love winked. Garrett gasped.
"My delicate sensibilities!" He covered his mouth like he was shocked.
"Dork." Love threw another handful of sand at him and Garrett chased after him. They wrestled for the slice of pizza like it was life and death, for awhile. Until, the slice went flying and landed face down in the sand. They stared at it silently for a second, Garrett lying on Love who was on his stomach.
"Look what you did. You broke it. You bastard." Love stared at the slice.
"Good thing I brought more." Garrett said. He pushed himself up and ran after the basket full of pizza. Love scrambled to get up as fast as he could.
"You asshole, save me some!" He shouted, chasing after Garrett on the cold beach.
"Look who's back!" Adams shouted, as Garrett walked through the door.
"Hey!" The rest of the guys cheered.
"Welcome back." Love smiled at him.
"Thanks." He directed his gratitude at Love, for the most part.
"Hey, Garrett." Ross said.
"Hey." Garrett nodded his head.
"About what happened."
"Yeah. We're fine." Garrett shrugged.
"Cool." Ross went back to his food.
"Men will always be a mystery to me." Love shook his head. "Ya broke his arm and put him out of the job for a week, and all he gets is 'cool'." Love rolled his eyes.
"That's not true." Ross said.
"Yeah, it was only a fracture." Garrett and Ross laughed.
"Idiots." Love rolled his eyes.
"That's dork, to you." Garrett smiled. Love took a sip of his coffee to hide the wide grin that spread across his face.
"So you're all healed up now, right?" Thomas asked.
"Yeah, for the most part. I just got to take it easy on that arm." He said.
"It's good to have you back, now go clean the bathroom." The Chief handed him a plunger.
"Yeah, Love made burritos last night. They did NOT sit well with me." Adams stretched.
"Aw damn it." Garrett frowned at the dirty plunger.
"Have fun." Love stood up and walked past him. "Karma for throwing that pizza slice." He whispered as he walked by, making Garrett smile.
"Please be a fire, Please be a fire, please be a fire." He chanted, looking at the speaker and light on the wall that would sound when they were needed.
"No luck, Garrett. Get outta here." Adams laughed, throwing a balled up napkin at him as he left the room in pretend tears.
"This movie is shit." Garrett said, making Love laugh. They sat in the theater watching RENT. They had been dating for over a month now. Garrett somehow managed to convince Love to go out with him at least once or twice every time they had their four days off, and during their four days on he constantly teased him and gave him hints about their next date.
"No it isn't, how can you hate this movie, it's a gay icon." Love whispered.
"The guy is sad because he doesn't have AIDS, like all the cool queers out there?" Garrett said.
"It's not like that." Love shoved him playfully. Someone behind them shushed them loudly. They looked back and sank down in their seats, blushing.
"Yes it is, long-haired-queer just said to short-haired-queer that he was being a baby." Garrett pointed at the screen.
"Their names are Rodger and Mark." Love whispered, the person shushed them again and they giggled quietly.
"Well long-haired-queer is right, short-haired-queer is being a dick." Garrett laughed. They got into a short fight like they were little boys, shoving and pushing each other playfully.
"Shut up!" The guy shouted.
"No you shut up!" Garrett stood up and turned around,
"It's a fucking movie theater, stop talking!" The guy yelled from somewhere dark in the back.
"It's a free country and I do what I want!" Love turned around with Garrett.
"And get your fag friend out of here!" The guy shouted.
"Hey!" Love frowned.
"Who's the one sitting through RENT, douche-bag? Where's your girlfriend, I don't see no one up there!" Garrett put his hand over his eyes, pretending to look closely at where the stranger was sitting.
"Faggot!" The guy shouted.
"Man, I'mma go up there and beat his ass." Garrett said to Love.
"Wait! I wanna kick him in the shins!" He began tripping and running over the movie theater chairs. They began walking down the isle when they saw several employee's of the theater walking down to meet them.
"Oh shit! Da' po-po!" Love laughed. Garrett smiled and began taking off towards the green exit sign at he bottom of the theater. The employee's chased them as they giggled and ran. The door opened and another employee came through. Garrett changed direction quickly, grabbing Love around his wrist and dragging him towards the real exit to the theater. They laughed as they ran from the employee's wearing the dumb red vests. Soon, they were cornered and were being forced out of the theater.
"Hey! We're with the fire department! You can't do this to us!" Garrett shouted, still laughing. The employee's just rolled their eyes and literally kicked them to the curb.
"You better hope this theater never catches fire! We'll remember your faces!" Love shouted.
"Yep. Going in the mental vault right now! Do not save..." Garrett squinted to see their name tags.
"Rodger and Mark, really?" He stared up at the employee's, who rolled their eyes and walked inside. Love and Garrett stared at each other before beginning to laugh so hard they were crying.
"Maybe we shouldn't have gotten drunk before we came." Love said between laughs.
"Maybe... Do you have money for a cab?" Garrett asked. Love looked in his wallet.
"I have five bucks." He began laughing at their horrible situation.
"That should get us close enough to my house, come on." They hailed a cab and it dropped them off several blocks from Garrett's home. They ran through the pouring rain and into his house as fast as they could. They were laughing, and very drunk.
"I can't believe we just got kicked out of the movie theater." Love laughed, almost in tears.
"Yeah, we probably shouldn't go back there." Garret was gasping and laughing. Love sighed and rested his head on Garrett's chest.
"That's was the most fun I've had in a long time, thank you." Love said.
"You're welcome. I always have so much fun with you." Garrett smiled.
"Yeah, we are pretty great together, aren't we?" Love looked up at him.
"Yeah, we are." Garrett smiled even wider at him. Love starred up at him before he leaned up and kissed him. Garrett kissed him back and held his face gently with his large hand. Love pulled away and smiled.
"Our first kiss." He whispered.
"It was a good one, too." Garrett smiled.
"Damn right it was." Love moaned. Garrett held him closer.
"See, aren't you glad you gave me a chance?" He whispered in his ear, sending shivers up Love's spine.
"Yes." Love said.
"Good." Garrett smiled. He kissed Love's ear, making him groan.
"You're beautiful, you know that?" Love said.
"Me?" Garrett blinked innocently.
"Yes, you. Dork." Love shoved his face away. Garrett pinned him to the ground.
"You think so? I think you're the beautiful one." He kissed a trail down his neck.
"Garrett..." Love shied away.
"What?" He looked up.
"I'm not ready." Love shook his head, blushing.
"It's not like you've never done this before, Love." Garrett chuckled. Love's blush got deeper.
"I know, it's just that I've never been with anyone but Reed before." Love admitted. Garrett's eyes got wide.
"Really?" He said, shocked. He seemed to think to himself for a minute, before pulling away from Love and lying down next to him on the floor. "I can wait."
"Really?" Love asked, surprised.
"Yeah, for you I'll wait forever if I have to." He said. Love turned his head and soon Garrett heard him crying besides him. "Love, what's wrong?" Garrett asked.
"I didn't think that you cared that much..." He admitted.
"I told you I liked you, maybe I even love you. I don't know yet, but I know there's definitely something here. I'm not going to fuck it up by dumping you because you won't blow me." Garrett said. Love looked over at him.
"I never said I wouldn't blow you." He blushed. It was weird for Garrett, seeing this other side of his coworker and boyfriend. On the job he was so commanding and strong, here he seemed so shy and quiet.
"Love, you don't have to-" Garrett was silenced with a kiss from Love, as he unbuttoned his pants slowly. He moaned as Love fished out his half hard cock. Love slowly slid down his body and sucked the fat cock head into his warm mouth. He sucked on it gently, moaning and looking up at Garrett with lust in his eyes. Garrett looked down at him, mouth open and gasping for breath.
"Jesus, Love...You look so hot with my cock in your mouth." He gasped. Love smiled around his cock and sucked more into his mouth. Garrett groaned as Love began deep throating his heavy cock. "Oh god, you're good at that." Garrett moaned. Love hummed and moaned around his cock and reached a hand down to play with his balls. Garrett gasped as he felt his balls tighten up.
"Love, I'm gonna cum. I can't last any longer." He gasped. Love nodded that it was okay, and hummed once more making his cock vibrate. Garrett cried out as he filled Love's throat and mouth with cum. He gripped Love's long hair with one hand and the other grabbed the carpet he was lying on. Love swallowed and let Garrett force his head down on his cock. He liked the feeling of Garrett's hand in his hair.
Finally, Garrett let go. His hand fell to the ground and he was panting softly. Love lifted off his cock and licked it clean, before stuffing it gently back into his underwear and zipping up his pants.
"Thank you, you didn't have to do that." He said. Love wiped the corner of his mouth and sucked the bit of cum off his finger.
"I wanted to." He smiled.
"Now, time to return the favor." Garrett rolled over and reached for Love's crotch.
"No, that was just for you." Love smiled.
"Are you sure?" Garrett frowned. Love nodded.
"I should go." He stood up.
"Stay the night with me." Garrett said suddenly.
"Garrett...I told you I-"
"Not for that, I just want to wake up with you in my arms." It was Garrett's turn to blush. Love smiled and nodded. Garrett beamed and stood up, albeit with shaky legs, and brought Love to his room. He stripped Love down to his underwear and Love did the same for him. He crawled into bed and patted the space next to him. The image of Love standing at the foot of his bed in only his underwear was one he wouldn't soon forget. Love crawled up to him from the foot of the bed and curled up with him under the warm covers.
"Thank you for staying." Garrett said.
"How could I say no, you were blushing. Dork." Love smiled.
"Does this mean we're boyfriends, now?" Love smiled.
"I guess it does. Though I thought we already were."
"Well damn, now how am I going to get rid of you." Love joked. Garrett laughed lightly.
"I love you." Garrett said quietly, the endearment slipped out of his mouth. Love was still and quiet. He opened his mouth to speak but didn't know what to say. "You don't have to say it back." Garrett said, before Love had to lie or break his heart. "I just want you to know, that I do. I won't ever let anything happen to you, Love. I promise." Garrett said. Love listened to his promise and didn't know what to say. Without a word, he held onto his hand and cuddled back against his chest. He couldn't bring himself to say it. He just couldn't.
The office building was small, only two stories. But that didn't make the fire any less dangerous. The crew pulled up as a man jumped from the second story window of an office. He hit the ground hard and started screaming.
"Jesus Christ." Ross swore. Thomas looked sick. The medics ran to help as a man from a different crew pulled the injured guy away from the building.
"All of you, in there. Except you Adams, I need one guy on the hose." Chief said. They all nodded and ran into the building. The group got smaller and smaller as each of them found someone they had to lead back to the fresh air outside. Soon, it was only Garrett and Love in the small burning office. They heard screams from a woman somewhere on the lower floor and were searching as fast as they could as the building began falling apart around them.
"I got her!" Garrett shouted, coming into sight with the woman wrapped around his shoulders in a fireman's carry.
"Let's go." Love shouted, leading the way through the bright fire. Suddenly another cry was heard.
"Someone help me! Please! My leg is stuck!" A man shouted.
"We'll have to come back to get him." Garrett said.
"But if we don't make it back in time..."Love said.
"I can't find my way out, Love. You need to lead the way. We'll make it back." Garrett said. Love turned towards the guy.
"We're coming back for you, just stay low to the ground and take slow breaths." Love instructed him.
"Please don't leave me!" He man was crying.
"I'm coming right back, I promise." Love swore to him. He pulled out of the man's grip and ran ahead of Garrett. He heard the man screaming behind him and it killed him inside, knowing he was leaving someone behind. With the axe in hand he chopped a path through the fallen beams and walls. Finally they could see blue sky and Garrett handed the woman to a medic.
"We're going back in Chief, there's a guy in there." Love said, as he and Garrett ran back.
"Like fuck you are, Love. The buildings coming down, get out of there." The Chief said, but they were already halfway through.
"I made a promise, I'm not going to break it." Love said. He went back to where the man was screaming and saw he had stopped. He looked down at the man and saw that he was pinned to the floor with a metal desk. The metal had heated and had been burning the leg that was stuck under it. He sat on the floor and cried quietly, nearly unconscious.
"Hold on, I'm going to get you out of here." Love said. "Pull him out while I lift the desk." Love said. Garrett nodded. He tried but the desk only groaned. "Shit, you have to do it." He handed him the axe. He gripped the mans wrists and Garrett wedged the axe between the floor and the metal. He pushed down, lifting the desk with leverage, as Love pulled the man out. His leg was charred down to the bone. Love grabbed him, about to lift him into a fireman's carry, when Garrett shouted.
"Love, watch out!" He pushed Love away, as a chunk of building fell. It landed right where love was standing, missing the hurt office worker by inches.
"Holy shit!" Love shouted. Garrett was panting and so was Love.
"Get the fuck out of there you dumb ass mother fuckers!" The Chief shouted. Love was pale and shaky, but stood again. He lifted the much much larger man into a fireman's carry and Garrett led him out of the burning building. Love set the injured man down on a gurney next to the ambulance and took off his helmet and his mask. He panted as he went around to the other side of the truck where he was alone.
He leaned against the bright red engine and felt his legs shake below him.
"Are you okay?" Garrett ran up to him. Love nodded.
"Just scared the shit out of me, you know?" Love said. Garrett nodded. He hugged Love to him tightly. "You scared the shit out of me. Why do you always have to be the god damn hero, Love?" He asked.
"If I'm not the hero, who will be?" Love's voice shook.
"We can take turns." Garrett smiled. Love laughed and swallowed. His hands were shaking and he was still breathing heavily. He looked like he was about to cry.
"I thought I was going to die like Reed did." He said, voice shaking. He began crying and Garrett pulled him to his chest.
"You're not going to end up like Reed did, I promise." Garrett said. He pulled Love away from him and saw the paths his tears had cleared through the soot and dirt. He kissed his dirty face, trying to make the tears ago away. "You're okay." Garrett said. "I meant what I said when I promise I wouldn't let anything happen to you."
"I know you did." Love said. "Thank you." His voice still cracked, but his tears had stopped. Garrett kissed him on the lips once more before he put Love's helmet back on, and winked at him. Love took a deep breath before returning to work.
"Steak, steak, steak, steak, steak!" The men shouted as Garrett looked for something to cook.
"Jesus, you guys are horrible." Garrett rolled his eyes. Love laughed.
"Garrett, Love. My office, now." The Chief came in before walking back towards his office. The room went silent.
"The fuck is that about? Chief never calls anyone into his office." Adams said.
"I don't know." Garrett shrugged. He could already see Love sweating.
"I haven't seen him call anyone in since I joined the crew." Thomas said.
"Me, either." Ross said.
"I have, once." Adams said. "About ten years ago, this guy on the crew nearly set the god damn house on fire." Adams said, waving to the surrounding firehouse. "Chief called him into the office, he came out in tears. No joke, this guy had to be at least 6' 4" and three hundred pounds." Adams said. "He practically ate nails for breakfast. He was bawling when he came out, the next day he left the crew. Haven't heard from him since." Adams shrugged. This didn't help the feeling of terror running up Love's spine.
'He knows, oh fuck he knows.' Love cursed, his hands were shaking.
"What the fuck are you two still doing in here? Get your ass in there I said." The Chief said.
"What's this about, Chief?" Garrett asked.
"I'll tell you, when you move your sorry asses into my office." The Chief said. They both hesitated. "Fine, you want to do this here? In front of everyone?" The Chief crossed his arms. Neither of them moved, they didn't want to go with the Chief, and they didn't want to stay there.
"Alright then, there was a complaint about you two." The Chief said.
"What?" Love was pissed.
"The fuck? From who? Give me their name, I'll be sure not to save their sorry asses the next time." Garrett said.
"It wasn't about the way you saved them." The Chiefs arms were still crossed.
"Then what?" Love asked.
"I'll give you one more chance to scurry into my office." The chief said.
"No way, if someone makes a complaint about one of our crew members, we'll show 'em who's boss. These two work just as hard as anyone else on this crew. They make a complaint about them, they're complaining about us." Adams said, crossing his own arms over his chest.
"Fine, but remember that you chose this." The chief said. "In the office fire a few days ago, after you two went back to dig out that guy who was pinned by that desk." The chief began.
"Yeah?" Garrett urged him on.
"Fuck this, I'm not doing this. Miss, could you come in here please?" He shouted down the hall. A woman with blonde shiny hair stepped into the room, looking thoroughly pissed off.
"Who the hell is she?" Ross asked.
"She's the one registering the complaint." The Chief explained. "Please tell them what you told me." The chief waved his hand at Garrett and Love.
"After you brought out my husband, that man under the desk, I went to go thank you. I saw you go behind the fire truck so I walked around to tell you how thankful I was." She said. Love's blood went cold, he couldn't breath. Garrett glanced at him. The others in the crew looked confused, they all knew that it was a place used to calm down after a close call, if any of the crew went back there, no one ever asked questions or followed them. Sometimes you just needed a second alone to make sure your heart was beating.
"I walked back there, and I saw him," She pointed to Garrett. "Making out with him." She pointed to love. "That's just sick, my children look up to firemen, what if someone had seen that? How the hell am I supposed to explain that to my son?" She asked, pissed off.
"Is this true?" The Chief asked. Love couldn't speak, his chest was tight and he was worried tears were going to fall from his eyes any minute.
'Don't cry like some little bitch.' He scolded himself, trying to hold the tears back. He should lie, he wanted to lie. But he couldn't he saw the look in Garrett's eyes. The look that said he wanted to say yes, to be out. He wondered if Garrett could see the absolute terror in his.
"I asked if it was fucking true!" The Chief shouted.
"Yes." Love's voice cracked. All of the crew looked at him, including Garrett.
"That will be all, Miss. I'll see to it that your complaint is taken care of." He said coldly. The woman walked past Love and Garrett with a scowl. The sound of the door closing echoed in the dead silent room. Love felt like there was a snake wrapped around his chest. This was it, he was going to lose his job, his home, his lover. Everyone sat awkwardly quiet in the room.
"That bit I said, the one for all and all for one bullshit...Can I take that back?" Adams whispered, no one said anything.
"In my office." The Chief said, just as quietly. He turned and walked down the hallway. Love swallowed and stood up from the chair he had been sitting in. Garrett followed him down the hall. They stopped outside the Chief's closed door.
"Shit, Garrett. I told you we shouldn't, I told you." His voice cracked and a few tears leaked out.
"It's going to be okay, I promise." Garrett whispered to him.
"You can't promise that!" He said, almost yelling. Garrett shushed him and stroked his hair.
"It's going to be okay." He whispered. Love pulled himself together quickly. Garrett gave him a weak and fearful smile before opening the chiefs door.
"Shut the door." The Chief said, not looking up from his paperwork. Love shut the door, quietly. "Sit." The Chief said, and like obedient dogs they both took a seat in the green and brown chairs in front of the desk. The Chief set down his pen and sighed. He reached into his desk and pulled out two files.
"Gordon, Love. Been on the crew almost seven years, strong fireman, works well in a team, balls of fucking steel." He said. "Not a single scratch on the record." The Chief looked at him. He put it under the other folder and picked that one up.
"Morris, Garrett. Been on the crew a few months, was on a previous crew for seven years. Been a fireman for almost eight. Hard worker, dedicated, works well in a team, braver than a bull with fucking shotguns for horns." The chief glanced up at him. "Again, not a single mark." He set down the folders.
"So please, tell me. Where in the fucking hell did you two get the idea to start banging each other?" The Chief shouted, breaking his calm and collected attitude. Love flinched in his seat and Garrett looked at the ground.
"You're a fucking legend in this town!" The Chief screamed at Love. "And you! You have sure as hell made an impression in the short amount of time you've been here, fucking A the guys have already warmed up to you!" The Chief turned towards Garrett. He sat back down and sighed, shutting his eyes for a second.
"How long has this been going on?" He asked. Like a bull ready to charge, he was practically snorting with anger.
"Two months, sir." Love's voice cracked.
"Two fucking months." The Chief laughed and whispered the curse. "You've been here for three!!!" He shouted at Garrett, who winced. The Chief took another deep breath.
"Look, Gordon. I know it was hard on you, losing Reed like that. You two were great friends and amazing when you worked together..." The Chief began. Love swallowed. "Oh fucking hell. Please don't tell me that you and he..." Love didn't look up. The Chief threw his hands up in the air, looking lost. he rubbed his temples like he was in pain.
"And I hoped to god it wasn't true." The Chief mumbled.
"You knew?" Garrett looked up.
"You two dumb shits forget to turn your radios off. Your dumb shit crew members out there never listen to the god damn thing once they're out of the building so I'm sure I was the only one who heard a thing." The Chief stared at him.
"I'm sorry, Chief." Love said, voice cracking again.
"You're damn right, you're sorry." The Chief swore. "Do you know how much bullshit trouble this is going to cause? I have no doubt in my mind that that dumb bitch is going to the press about this." The Chief said. "We have a policy, you can't date coworkers!" The chief said. "Though I'm not exactly sure it applies to members of the same god damn sex." He sighed again. Suddenly the alarm went off. The Chief stood.
"Get your shit on." He mumbled as he walked out the door.
The group of men sat in the truck awkwardly.
"Not a god damn word about this until we're done here, understood?" The Chief said. The crew mumbled that they did.
"Love, Ross, and Adams inside. Garrett and Thomas stay out." The Chief said.
"Chief, Garrett and I are always together." Love said.
"No shit?" Ross mumbled, as he stepped past Love.
"Well you're not today." The Chief said. "Get in there. We have a kid somewhere inside." The Chief said, turning to help the other two men get the hoses out.
The house was suburban and somewhat small. Smoke poured from every window and the parents sat near the side, held back by paramedics and police. They stared at the building, the mother silently praying for her son.
"Be careful." Garrett grabbed Love's arm as he was walking towards the building. He nodded and said everything he wanted to with his eyes.
"Come on." Adams said in his southern drawl, annoyed. Love grabbed the axe off the truck and followed Ross and Adams inside. The entire house was on fire. Curtains, carpet, ceiling, furniture, everything. They stepped around patches of melting carpet as they looked for the kid. Crying could be heard, but it echoed around the house. Luckily it was only one story and they found him quickly.
"Got him." Adams said.
"I'll lead the way." Ross said, stepping in front of Adams. Adams followed him closely. Love was about to follow when he heard more crying.
"Guys, there's someone still in here." He spoke up.
"Shut up, come on." Adams said.
"I'm still team leader, we find whoever else is in here, then we leave." Love said, using his commanding voice.
"Fuck you, queer." Ross said, and began walking out of the building. Adams hesitated, before following him.
"Guys, you can't leave me in here alone!" Love shouted. That was their biggest rule. No one is ever in a fire alone. That's how Reed died, that's how Love almost died, it was just a rule that would never change. But the two men didn't listen. They continued walking and Love was torn. His own safety, or the trapped person. It was the center point in his job. But he couldn't risk it. He took a step towards the door. He saw Ross and Adams disappear through the open front door. Then he saw the roof began to crack and cave, as it collapsed.
Garrett was attaching the hose to the hydrant when he saw Adams and Ross come out. They walked up and handed the crying girl to the medics before walking over to the rest of the crew.
"Where's Love?" Garrett asked. The two shrugged. "You left him in there alone?!" Garrett shouted, furious.
"He wanted to stay." Ross shrugged.
"You can't just-" He heard a loud cracking sound, and then the house collapsed. Screams were heard as the house caved in and Garrett froze. Where a house once stood was now only burning rubble, and somewhere under all that rubble was his lover.
"Love!" He shouted.
"Shit!" The Chief cried out. Thomas shut off the hose and all of the men ran over to the collapsed building. "Find him god damn it!" The Chief shouted at the digging and frantic men. Several cops came over to help and another crew began to dig as well. Garrett moved the fastest of all of them, pulling up splinters of wood and stone.
"Wait, stop!" Thomas shouted. They all froze. It was silent for a second before the men began hearing a weak coughing sound.
"Love! Where are you, it's Garrett!" Garrett shouted towards the rubble. The coughing got louder as Love tried to speak.
"Garrett..." A weak voice coughed out, a little to the right of where they were digging. Garrett moved and began pushing away large chunks of house. He uncovered a hand, and then an arm, and shoulders, and soon a head. He cleared the area and stood back. A large wooden support beam had landed on Love, on his lower back. He lie there, crushed by the large beam. Garrett looked around for medics and saw that they were all full. The Chief called for another and they said there was one already on the way.
Garrett reached for the beam and, with all his strength, began pulling it up. A few loose rocks fell from around it, but it didn't budge.
"Help me!" He shouted. The other men snapped out of their trance and the five of them tried to push up the beam. It moved a few inches and Love cried out in pain. Thomas slipped, accidentally kicking Adam's feet out from under him. They both let go and the added weight made the other three drop it back on Love. He squealed in pain, like a broken dog toy. Blood spurted out of his mouth as he coughed.
"Garrett..." He cried out softly. Garrett scrambled over to him.
"Hold on, Love. I can hear the sirens. We're going to get you out of here." Garrett said.
"You made me a promise." Love said, in his weak and tiring voice.
"I know. I know I did. I said I wouldn't let anything happen to you, and I broke that promise. I'm sorry, I'm so sorry." Garrett said.
"Not that one." Love said. Garrett wrinkled his brow.
"You said...Everything would...be okay." Love coughed and wheezed.
"I did..." Garrett nodded.
"Will you make...everything....okay?" Love asked. The sirens were louder now, and Garrett could see the lights through the tree's.
"Yeah, I'll make everything okay, I promise." Garrett couldn't stop the tears from falling. He held Love's hand tightly, Love rested his head on Garrett's lap.
"Good." He whispered. They sat quietly as the ambulance got closer and closer. Garrett noticed Love beginning to fade in and out.
"Stay with me, Love. I need you with me. Just talk to me, baby." Garrett said.
"It hurts..." Love whimpered.
"I know, but you have to." Garrett said. "I need you awake, who is going to keep me from freaking out?" Garrett tried the lame joke, and was glad it made Love smile. Though the small smile was coupled with a small trickle of blood leaking from Love's mouth.
"Dork." He whispered, his voice even more quiet.
"Shit, shit, shit." Garrett looked around, he just wanted someone to help him. To help Love.
"I'm sorry." Love whispered, beginning to cry.
"For what? You have nothing to be sorry for, Love." Garrett shook his head.
"I'm sorry, I couldn't keep our secret better." He whispered. Garrett shook his head.
"It was a dumb secret anyways." He smiled through his tears.
"I'm sorry, I couldn't.... I couldn't say...it." Love mumbled, more blood pouring from his mouth.
"Say what, baby?" Garrett asked. The ambulance pulled up and he watched them get out a gurney. Thomas finally returned with a chainsaw. He tried to start it and it only gurgled. The medics stood by, waiting for them to pull out Love.
"I'm sorry..." He mumbled.
"Sorry for what, Love? Sorry for what?" Garrett asked, his voice was getting weaker and weaker by the second. The chief took the chainsaw from Thomas and tried to start it himself.
"I couldn't say it..." Love said, tears and blood muddling his word.
"What? Love. What?" Garrett asked. The chainsaw roared to life and the medics sat by, waiting.
"I love you..." Love closed his eyes.
They dug Love out with the help of their crew, the police, and the other crew. The medics pushed him onto the ambulance, and said Garrett couldn't go.
"No, please. I'm all he has, please I need to be with him." Garrett pushed against their hands.
"I'm sorry, only family." The medic shook his head. Garrett cried and cursed at them, spitting and blindly throwing punches. The Chief held him back as the medics closed the door and drove off. He stared at the back of the ambulance until it was out of sight. His eyes were blank and unseeing, and his heart felt as cold as his gaze.
"We need to finish up here, Garrett. Thomas will take you to the hospital, and stay with you. Go." The Chief said. Garrett hardly heard a word he said and only noticed when they arrived at the hospital. He pushed his way inside, still in his full gear, and Thomas was close behind him.
"Can I help you?" The nurse at the front desk asked.
"Love, his name is Love Gordon. He's part of the Fire Dept. Please, where is he? Can I see him? Is he okay?" Garrett fired out his questions.
"They just brought him in a minute ago, let me go check." She said, walking through some double doors. Garrett stared after her, even though she couldn't be seen. She came back a minute later.
"They rushed him directly to surgery, he's in bad shape." She said, sympathy filling her eyes.
"Is...Is he going to die?" Garrett asked.
"We don't know, honey. Why don't you have a seat." She said. He nodded and Thomas led him over to a chair. He stared blankly at the wall for over an hour. Suddenly the hospital doors slid open and three men came crashing into the waiting room, all of them dressed in full gear. Garrett turned and saw the Chief run up to the nurse he had spoken with.
"Chief.." His voice cracked. The Chief turned and he turned back to the nurse for a second, saying thank you, before they all three ran towards Garrett.
"What's going on? How is he?" The Chief asked.
"He's in surgery." Garrett said. "They said it doesn't look good." Garrett whispered.
"Shit. Not another man." The chief swallowed. "How long ago did he go in?" The Chief asked. Garrett shook his head, it felt like forever to him.
"Just over an hour." Thomas answered. The Chief nodded.
"Well, we'll all stay here with you." The Chief said, taking a seat.
"Really?" Garrett asked, shocked.
"Of course, you look like shit. You're even paler than Thomas' ass." He cracked a smile, and even Thomas chuckled. Garrett didn't laugh.
"I thought you all hated us now?" Garrett asked.
"We don't hate you." Adams said. "Or Gordon. We were just a little shocked was all." Ross added. Adams and Thomas nodded in agreement.
"Just give us a minute to adjust, you know?" The Chief said. "You gotta remember we've been showering with you for three months."
"And Gordon for six years." Adams laughed.
"I swear to god, if you checked out my ass even once." Ross said. "Though it is pretty perfect, isn't it?" He pretended to look back at his ass.
"I didn't know you could make jokes, Ross." Garrett cracked a small smile. Ross smiled at him.
"We're a crew, and crew's stick together until the end." Ross said. "And even past that." Adams added. Garrett gave a weak smile and started to cry again.
"He was so scared. He didn't come out all these years because he was scared. Reed left him for that. They had a fight before he died. He never got to say he was sorry." Garrett whispered. "I hope I get to tell him how sorry I am." Garrett cried. The crew looked around quietly, before Adams let him cry into his chest.
"You tell anyone about this...and I will rip you so many new assholes, Gordon won't know which one to fuck." Adams said. The crew laughed and so did Garrett, through his tears. Garrett wiped off his face and sat back in his chair. The next few hours were the longest of his life.
Sometime after the crew had arrived, three woman did as well, and it took Garrett a moment to remember that Ross, Thomas, and Adams were married.
"Hi, Garrett. We've never met, but my name is Sheila, I'm Joe's wife." She introduced herself.
"It's nice to meet you." Garrett shook her hand.
"I'm sorry it couldn't be at a better time." She said. He nodded, sadly.
"Did Ross call you?" Garrett asked, remembering that Joe was Ross' first name.
"Yes, I brought everyone something to eat. I know you probably forgot to eat something." She said, handing him a Tupperware full of spaghetti.
"Thank you, it means a lot to me. But I'm not really hungry, right now." Garrett said. The truth was he felt like he was going to throw up.
"Okay, but I'll have it with me so if you get hungry, you just let me know." She said. Garrett nodded and she patted his cheek before walking over to Ross.
"Here." Adams said. Garrett looked up and saw he was handing him some clothes. "You smell like shit and some of the other people are starting to stare." He smiled. Garrett looked down and realized he was still in his gear. He took the clothes Adams offered and followed the nurses finger towards the bathroom. He washed the grime off of what he could, using only sink water. After drying himself with his dirty undershirt, he took a long look at himself in the mirror.
He looked awkward in Adam's clothes, but he looked cleaner. He was sure he still smelled pretty bad. This was the first time he had really took notice of what was going on since he came in. It was like he was in a haze. He splashed cool water on his face and took a long drink. He was dehydrated and the cool water hitting his stomach made him realize how starving he really was. He thought he would take Sheila up on that spaghetti once he got back out there. He put his shoes back on and left the bathroom.
After he had eaten and asked how long they had been there, it almost made him sick. He had been in the haze for over five hours. He swallowed hard and rubbed his face. He just wanted to know what was going on. Even bad news at this point was better than knowing nothing.
Suddenly, the double doors to the operating room opened. A doctor in blue scrubs and a white coat stepped out, discarding his gloves in the trash, he headed over towards the waiting room.
"Is anyone here for Love Gordon?" The doctor asked. The crew and their wives all stood up, bringing the total to eight people. The doctor nodded. "Maybe I should only talk to one of you." The doctor said. Garrett stepped forward.
"Is he okay?" Garrett asked.
"He was in really bad shape when he got here, Mr....."
"Just call me Garrett. All I want to know, is if he's alive." Garrett said. The doctor stared at him a second, and Garrett's blood stopped flowing. The doctor nodded. He exhaled heavily and was out of breath. He didn't realize he had been holding it for so long.
"But he's not in good shape, Garrett." The doctor said, making Garrett look back up.
"We did all we could for him, but that wasn't a whole lot. He had severe damage to his back and spine." The doctor said.
"Yeah, the building collapsed. A support beam fell on him." Garrett said.
"Well, when that support beam fell. It crushed his lower back. Another piece of debris must have landed up higher, because he had damage higher up on his back as well." The doctor said.
"Will... will he be able to walk?" Garrett asked.
"Honestly, we don't know. We repaired it as best as we could, but there's honestly no telling." Garrett scratched his head and turned towards the front desk before turning back.
"Okay, and what else?" Garrett asked.
"When the beam landed on him, it broke a few of his lower ribs. They shattered and sent bone debris into his abdomen. He had some pretty bad internal bleeding and a rupture in his small intestine, but we managed to close it before it got any worse. He also hit his head pretty hard. We did a CT scan and it showed a minor bleed and it doesn't look like there will be any permanent damage to his brain though, so he got lucky there." The doctor said.
"So basically, everything we do know, is pretty good news. Everything we don't, is a fifty fifty chance." The doctor shrugged. "I'm sorry I can't give you anything more."
"Thank you, doctor. Can I see him?" Garrett asked.
"Only for a second, he really needs his rest right now." The doctor said. Garrett followed him behind the double doors and into a small room. Love sat in the middle of a hospital bed. Different machines and tubes were attached to his body. The doctor began checking a machine and Garrett walked over to his boyfriend. He looked so frail.
"Love..." Garrett whispered.
"You can touch him. Just be gentle." The doctor said. Garrett looked up at him, before gently reaching out and running his hands across Love's hand. He wrapped his own hand in his boyfriends and squeezed it gently.
"You're going to be okay, I promise. And i mean it this time. I'll keep my promise, I swear." Garrett said. He bent over and gently kissed Love's forehead. The doctor was waiting for him at the door and Garrett let go of Love's hand, and walked out the door.
After explaining to the rest of the crew how Love was doing, they all decided it was time Garrett went home and got some rest. After dragging him into his own apartment, the crew said goodnight and told him to get some sleep. Garrett stared up at the ceiling thinking of Love trapped in the cold and dark hospital room. He wanted more than anything to help him. To make his hurt go away. The doctor had told him he hoped he would wake up tomorrow. He would be drugged, but conscious.
He set his alarm for an hour before visiting hours started at the hospital, and closed his eyes.
He had had nightmares all night. About that horrible crunch the building made as it collapsed. Or how his lover spat up his own blood after the wooden beam was dropped on him the second time. Or how small he looked in that hospital bed. He kept waking up in the middle of the night, terrified. He would call out Love's name and then remember he wasn't there. He arrived at the hospital fifteen minutes before visiting hours started and found that Adams and Ross were there as well.
"Hey." Garrett greeted them.
"Hey, how did you sleep?" Adams asked.
"Not great. I had nightmares." Garrett frowned.
"Us too." Ross looked sympathetic.
"You two? Why did you two have nightmares?" Garrett asked, sitting down.
"He's our friend as much as he is your boyfriend. Plus...It was our fault he was alone in there." Ross said. Adams nodded.
"What? No it wasn't."
"He heard somebody else, we told him to fuck off and that we were leaving." Adams said.
"He wanted to stay and find the guy, he hesitated and didn't get out in time. It was our fault." Ross said.
"What? You left him in there alone?!" Garrett looked up at his crew members, horrified at what they had done to the man he loved. "Love was right, about you guys..." Garrett said, bitterly. The two men looked hurt.
"We're sorry." Adams said, quietly.
"Sorry isn't going to make him be able to walk. It should be the two of you covered in tubes and beaten, not Love. Go to hell, the both of you." Garrett scowled at the floor. "I'm going to go see if he's awake." Garrett said. He walked over to the front desk and came back a short time later.
"She said he is, but only one visitor at a time. I'll go first, even though if it was up to me, neither of you would get within twenty feet of him." Garrett growled, but he was to tire to fight with them.
"We really are sorry, Garrett." Ross said.
"Fuck you both."
"Tell him we said that we're sorry... Please..." Adams said.
"You can tell him yourself when it's your turn, you fucking bastard." Garrett scowled as he walked by them.
He stepped into the hospital room and was met with the pale and fragile looking sight of Love in the hospital bed again. He stood still for a moment, his eyes were closed. Maybe he had fallen back asleep.
'Or maybe he's dead...' Garrett thought. Love shifted in the bed and his eyes fluttered open.
'No, of course he's not dead. Don't think something like that.' Garrett thought to himself.
"Hey, baby." He smiled, still standing in the doorway. Love seemed to have a small smile cross his face, though there was a tube down his throat. "How are you feeling?" Garrett asked. Love reached for a notepad by his side. He scribbled something down and held it up. Garrett stepped closer to read it.
'Closer?' It read.
"Yeah, sorry. I guess I"m just a little afraid of hurting you." Garrett blushed. He stepped up to the bed and sat down. "Are you in any pain?" Garrett asked. Love shook his head slightly. "Don't you dare lie to me." Garrett said. Love hesitated before scribbling something down.
'It isn't bad.' He wrote.
"Liar." Garrett whispered.
'You're just smarter than me, is all.' He wrote.
"No I'm not. God I was so scared, Love." He broke down and started crying. "The building came down, and I didn't see you anywhere. And then, with that beam crushing you... God, I was so scared." Garrett cried. Love reached up a hand with an I.V. line in it and stroked his hair. He pulled his hand away and wrote something down.
'Everything is going to be okay.' He wrote. Garrett smiled.
"Who told you that?" He asked.
'Some dork.' He scribbled down. Garrett laughed.
"I'm glad it's still you under all those machines and tubes." He smiled.
'I must look awful.' He scribbled down, and when Garrett read it, he saw Love was blushing.
"I think you look beautiful. Maybe because I thought I would never see you again. Never see those beautiful green eyes," Garrett brushed a hand across his cheek, which was scrapped up pretty bad. Love leaned his head into it, craving Garrett's touch. "Did...Did they tell you how you're doing?" Garrett asked.
'Yes.' He wrote down.
"How are you holding up?" Garrett asked. Love scribbled something down that took him awhile.
'Scared.' He wrote.
"Of what?" Garrett asked.
'What if I can't walk? What if I can't be a firefighter anymore? What if I can't go to the firehouse and see the guys, and help people, and save lives, and what if I can't be with you?' He wrote.
"You'll always be with me." Garrett said. "Don't you ever think that anything can change that." He said. "I don't care if you're blind, deaf, mute, and paralyzed from the neck down. I'll always love you." Garrett said. He stood up and kissed his forehead.
'I love you, too.' Love scribbled down. Garrett smiled.
"Those words will be so much sweeter when they come out of your mouth." Garrett beamed. Love gave a small smile around the tube down his throat.
"Can you feel yours legs, at all?" Garrett asked. Running his hand down Love's left leg.
'Yes, but the doctor said that doesn't mean anything. He said it's possible for me to still be paralyzed, but be able to feel." Love wrote. 'He said-' He got through the first two words in the sentence before stopping.
"What is it, Love?"
'He said that there's a chance I can't ever get it up again.' He blushed.
"You'll be fine. I'm sure of it. Don't worry about any of that bullshit." Garrett said, though he was worried just as much as Love.
'Where is everyone else? I'm sure they didn't come.' Love wrote down.
"No, baby. They're here. They stayed here with me almost all night. They sat next to me and brought me food and clothes. I was a wreck. They had to drag me home and force me to get some sleep, but it was impossible without you." Garrett said. Love wrote something down.
'They were all really here? They don't hate us?' He asked.
"No, baby. Ross and Adams are here now, they're waiting to see you." Garrett said.
'I want to see them, please?' he scribbled quickly.
"Let me go see if I can talk the nurse into letting all three of us in here. The Chief called this morning and said that he and Thomas were coming down later." Garrett said. He stood up and left the room for a minute, returning with Ross and Adams.
"Hey, Loverboy." Adams laughed. Love scribbled something down.
'That counts, as soon as I'm out of this bed I'm beating you with a frying pan.' He scribbled, his face still calm and somewhat foggy from the pain medication. The three men laughed.
"How are you doing, Gordon?" Ross asked.
'Good, I'm planning a vacation to Hawaii.' He wrote.
"We're sorry, about what happened back at the house." Adams said. Love picked up his pen.
'I know.' He wrote simply.
"We're you're friends, Gordon. Your crew members. We were acting stupid back there and it's our fault you got hurt." Ross said.
'Yeah, it is. But there's no hard feelings.' Love wrote.
"Really? You're forgiving us that easily?" Adams was shocked.
'You just found out that the guy you've known for seven years isn't who he said he was. I would be pissed, too.' Love said. Adams smiled, and so did Ross.
"We'll make it up to you, Gordon. Any way we can." Ross said. and Adams nodded his head in agreement.
'There is one thing you could do for me...' He wrote down.
"What is it? We'll do anything."
"That's the last of it." Ross wiped his hands on his pants.
"Thank you, so much for this guys." Garrett stood in his living room, filled with half of his stuff, and half of Love's. Love told the men that he would forgive them if they helped move his stuff into Garrett's apartment. It was nicer and a little bigger. Big enough for both of them. Garrett was more than happy with his request, and Adams and Ross were happy to help.
"Come on, we need to get to the hospital. They're taking out that god damn plastic pipe down his throat, and they're going to see if he's going to be able to walk." Garrett said. The three men rushed to the hospital and found that their wives, the Chief, and Thomas were already there.
"Hey, we've been waiting for you." The chief said.
"Sorry, we just finished moving all of Gordon's crap." Adams said. "That man has a porn collection that all of us shall envy." He said, his wife slapping him on the arm.
"Maybe he'll let you have it. With me around the house, he won't need it anymore." Garrett flexed.
"Whatever, he'll need the porn to get the images of your limp dick out of his mind." Ross shoved Garrett playfully. The men laughed and the doctor came up.
"He's got a big family." The doctor smiled.
"And we love him to death." Ross said.
"Yeah, that was the problem. We were loving him a bit to hard, that's why he's here." Adams smiled, Garrett shoved him.
"How about Garrett comes with me and the rest of you wait here. If...If things don't go well, it could be hard on him." The doctor said.
"Can we be there when you take out his breathing tube?" Ross asked. "Then we'll leave."
"Sure." The doctor smiled. The large group of people piled into the room.
'What the fuck, a guy comes out of the closet and all I get is a fire and a 100 pound beam on my back. Guy gets a tube removed from his throat and the fucking President of the U.S will show up.' Love wrote down, making the group laugh.
"Okay, Love. We're going to take out the tube, when you feel the tickle in the back of your throat, cough." The doctor said. "Got it?"
'Yeah, just one thing.' He wrote.
"What's that?" The doctor asked.
'After I beat Adams with the frying pan, you're next.' He wrote.The doctor looked confused but the rest of the crew laughed. The doctor shrugged and removed the tape holding the tube in place.
"One...Two...Three." The doctor pulled the tube out and Love began coughing. He nearly threw up but managed to keep it down.
"You big baby. You had no problem taking my tube down your gullet after our movie date." Garrett winked. Love glared at him, before throwing his notepad at his chest. Garrett tried to dodge it and it hit his face instead. "Ow..." He closed the eye the notepad poked.
"Come on, Gordon. Let's hear those words out of that pretty mouth of yours." The chief asked. Love cleared his throat roughly and put a hand to his throat like it hurt to talk.
"I..." His voice died out after the first word. He cleared his throat again and looked at Garrett.
"I love you, too." He said. His voice was gravely, and his lips cracked. But those words were the most beautiful thing Garrett had ever heard.
"Alright, we'll be waiting outside for the good news, because we're sure you're going to be fine, Gordon." Thomas said.
"Well, Thomas does. I have a cool hundred that says you implode as soon as you start walking." Ross said.
"Fuck you, Ross. Get outta here." Love smiled as his friends retreated to the waiting room. The door shut and his smiled began to fade as he looked up at Garrett. "Do you think I'm going to be okay?" Love asked.
"Yes, I do." He smiled. Love held his hand tightly.
"Alright, Love." The doctor started. "I'm going to push your leg up, see if you can try and push it back down. The doctor put a hand against Love's right foot and pushed, just until his knee was a little bent. Love concentrated a second, and then sighed.
"I can't..." He whispered.
"Keep trying." The doctor said. Finally, after Love had actually broken a sweat, his hand moved back slightly.
"That wasn't exactly what I was hoping for doc, what does this mean?" Garrett stroked Loves hair.
"It's good news. He does have some motor function left and that's promising. The rest will be up to physical therapy. He'll have to learn how to walk again and we still don't really know how much he'll be able to do. He could regain all of his movement back, or he may need a wheelchair for the rest of his life." The doctor said. Love looked like he was in a trance.
"Thank you, Doctor." Garrett dismissed him. The doctor nodded before walking out of the room.
"This is good news, Love. He said you have a chance. That's better than nothing. You're strong, I know you can do this." Garrett said. Love whispered something he couldn't hear. "What?"
"Will you be there? I can't do it alone." Love said, still staring down at his legs covered by the blankets.
"I'll always be there." Garrett kissed his head. "You look exhausted. Get some sleep, I'll be here when you wake up." Garrett said. Love nodded.
"Okay. I love you." He said, grabbing Garrett's hand as he walked out.
"I love you too, baby." Garrett leaned in to kiss him again while holding his hand.
"Garrett." Love stopped him before he got all the way out the door. With a smile he turned around.
"Yes?" He asked, raising an eyebrow.
"You'll still love me if I can't walk, right?" Love asked, his voice cracking at the end. Tears started to fall down his face. Garrett's face went serious.
"Love, of course I'll love you. We talked about this before, nothing's going to change that." Garrett crouched down by his bed. "You're mine, you're not getting rid of me." Garrett smiled. Love laughed and nodded.
"Okay." He said.
"Okay." Garrett smiled. He stood up, stroking Love's hair before leaving the room.
Garrett told the crew what the doctor had said, and some of them had started praying for Love right there. Garrett told them he was going to go home, shower, and maybe stop by the book store to get something to read before returning to watch over Love's bedside.
"Alright, I need to get back to the station, but he's in my thoughts." The Chief said. Adams and Ross said the same.
"See you, Garrett." Thomas waved, and he was alone. He bought a bottled water from the vending machine and began chugging it. He hadn't realize how dehydrated he was. He wasn't paying attention and found himself staring at a woman in a wheelchair. He stared at her for a long time, the thoughts turning in his head.
'What if he can't walk? I would never leave him, but... My apartment doesn't have wheelchair access so we would have to move. He couldn't work on the crew anymore. He would be so sad...' Garrett thought to himself.
"Can I help you, buddy?" The woman rolled up to him and glared.
"Oh, my god. I'm so sorry. I was just thinking and...Christ." He put a hand over his face. "I wasn't staring at you, I mean I was, but not like that." Garrett fumbled over his words.
"Garrett." The doctor called out. He walked up to Garrett and thankfully interrupted the awkward conversation. "I just wanted to let you know, that in my personal opinion I think he's going to be fine. He's strong willed and made it this far. I don't think he's going to give up now. Physical Therapy will be hard, but as long as he has you by his side I think he'll be fine." The doctor said.
"Thank you, Doc. It means a lot to me." Garrett smiled.
"So you have someone in here?" The woman asked.
"Yes, my boyfriend." Garrett nodded.
"How's he doing?" She asked.
"They don't know if he'll be able to walk again." Garrett said.
"Ah, I see." She nodded. "What happened?"
"We're with the fire department." Garrett said. "A building collapsed and he was in there alone." Garrett explained.
"That's pretty bad." The woman said, rolling over to a chair for Garrett to sit down.
"Yeah..." He said, sitting down and sighing.
"What are you going to do if he can't walk?" She asked.
"I'm not going to leave him if that's what you're thinking." Garrett said. She nodded.
"Good man." She smiled. "But besides that, he's going to need a lot of help." She said. Garrett looked confused. "It's harder than anyone can know to be told you'll never walk again. You feel like your life is over. It's not going to be easy for either of you. I almost drove my husband up the wall." She smiled and laughed, rolling off down the hallway. Garrett looked after her.
"But you'll be okay. I can see that you love him, and I'm sure if I looked into his eyes, I would see the same love. You should tell him that you love him." She said, disappearing around a corner. Garrett stood up and walked into Love's room, his eyes were closed and he was breathing deeply.
"Love?" Garrett asked. "Are you asleep?"
"No, what's up?" Love opened his eyes, very drowsy.
"You look tired." Garrett smiled.
"You woke me up to tell me that?" Love frowned.
"No, it was something else, but never mind. I'll let you sleep." Garrett waved and walked out the door when Love called him back.
"Garrett, wait." Love called out. Garrett popped his head back in.
"What did you want to say?" Love asked. Garrett stepped into the room and looked at the ground, playing with his feet. He looked like a nervous schoolboy.
"I just wanted to say...You know when we went to go see that queer movie." Garrett said.
"Rent." Love rolled his eyes.
"Yeah, and Long-haired-queer was yelling at short-haired-queer because he was sad that he didn't have AIDS."
"Neither Rodger or Mark are gay so I don't know where you got this long haired short haired queer shit. But yes, go on." Love laughed.
"Well, I said I agreed with long-haired-queer." Garrett said. "But now I understand what short-haired-queer was saying."
"When that building collapsed. I thought I lost you. I thought I was alone." He looked up from the ground at Love with tear filled eyes. "I thought I was going to have to stand by and watch the person I love die." He sobbed. "Please, don't leave me alone." Garrett said. Love looked surprised.
"Come here." Love held out a weak hand. Garrett crossed the room in a second and held it, crying into his palm. "I wont leave you alone." Love whispered. "I promise."
"I thought you were dead. I thought you were dead and that you were never coming back. I thought my world had died under that house." Garrett sobbed, hysterical.
"Shh, I'm here. I'm still here, Garrett." Love shushed him gently, stroking his hair with his other hand. Garrett laughed and wiped away his tears with Love's hand.
"I'm sorry." He said, still crying and laughing.
"It's okay." Love smiled.
"I'll let you sleep." He stood up. "I just wanted you to know...I love you." He said.
"I love you too." Love smiled. "And now we both have promises to keep. You can't ever let anything happen to me, and I can't ever leave you alone." Love said, holding his hand tightly. Garrett nodded.
"Get some rest." He kissed Love's cheek, and left the room.
Over the next few weeks, Love had to endure physical therapy, a clingy boyfriend, and even more clingy crew members.
"Need anything? Water? More blankets? Are you hungry? I'll get you some food." Was all he constantly heard from his crew.
"Oh my god, you guys. Shut up. You're like buzzards." Love laughed. Garrett smiled and looked up from his book.
"How has your therapy been going?" Adams ignored his comment and sat down.
"Good, I guess. They're just trying to get some strength back in my back before we start working on walking again." Love said. "I can almost sit up on my own." Love said.
"Nice, you're improving from that limp noodle in bed you were a month ago." Adams laughed.
"It's a really slow process, but I'm getting there." Love said. "My head hurts all the time though. So does my back. I'm constantly drugged up. I think I've been hearing colors ever since I got out of surgery." Love smiled.
"You promise to share once you get out?" Ross laughed. Love smiled.
"When do you get out?" Thomas asked.
"They said as soon as I was able to get myself into a sitting position and stay there for a decent amount of time I can go home, I just need to come back for physical therapy after that." Love said.
"That's soon, right? I want you home." Garrett reached out his hand, taking Love's in his.
A chorus of 'Aww' came from the crew of men.
"Shut up, bitches." Love rolled his eyes, squeezing Garrett's hand.
"Hey, Gordon. I just wanted you to know that I'm sorry." The Chief said suddenly. "I haven't said it yet but I should have sooner." He continued.
"Sorry for what, Chief?"
"I sent you in there without Garrett and that was a bullshit call." The Chief said.
"It happens, we're used to you making bullshit calls." Love smiled.
"Shithead." The Chief laughed and picked up his paper again.
Garrett beamed as he carried Love into their apartment, shutting the door with his foot.
"This is SO, not okay." Love grumbled.
"Come on, I like it. Makes it feel like we got married." Garrett winked at him. Love rolled his eyes.
"Dork." He mumbled. Garrett set him down on their bed and Love smiled up at him. "It feels good to live here now. It always felt more like home than mine did." Love said.
"My home is where you are." Garrett said, kissing Love.
"Dork." Love repeated. "Take a nap with me?" Love asked. He was sleeping a lot more than usual as his body tried to heal itself. The few burns on his back were nearly completely gone now, and only pink scars remained. His spine itself had healed up decently, though he had to retrain all of his muscles to work the right way. It was a long process, one that left him tired most of the day.
"Sure." Garrett stripped off his shirt, and then pulled off Love's.
"What are you doing?" Love laughed.
"I haven't gotten to see you since the house collapsed, it's been killing me." Garrett stripped off his pants and threw both pairs to the floor next to their shirts. He crawled in bed and covered them both with the blanket. He spooned up behind Love and felt up and down his spine, fingers running over the strange bump that would always be there.
"That feels good." Love mumbled, already half asleep.
"Mhm." He said. "My back always hurts now. It wasn't the greatest to begin with." He laughed.
"You're right there. How's this?" Garrett dug deeper into his back with the palm of his hand. Love moaned.
"Oh man, that feels fantastic." He said, half snoring.
"Good." Garrett smiled, glad he could bring Love some relief. In no time at all Love was sleeping.
"Come on, sweetheart. You can do it." Garrett held out his hands as Love struggled the very short distance to him. He was sweating heavily and his face was red. He stumbled and Garrett stepped forward and caught him, knowing that he couldn't hold himself up with his arms yet.
"God damn it!" He shouted. He always got angry during his therapy.
"It's okay, you were almost there." Garrett comforted him.
"I can't do it." Love whispered, angry.
"Yes you can, try again." Garrett said. Love sat on the ground now, his back to Garrett's chest.
"No, I can't." Love said, louder. "It's not going to work, I can't walk. Just drop it." Love said.
"I won't drop it. I know you can do this and you're just not pushing yourself hard enough."
"You don't know how hard this is!" Love said, tears falling from his eyes.
"You're right, I don't." Garrett shouted just as loudly. He picked Love up and set him back on his feet. Love wobbled unsteadily and gripped the parallel bars for dear life, all while glaring at him. "So get your ass over here and beat the crap out of me, show me how hard it is." Garrett said to him. Love glared at him.
"I can't." He said simply.
"Yes, you can." Garrett said each word slowly.
"No I cant!" Love shouted back. Garrett dropped his hands to his side.
"Fine, then maybe I should leave you." Garrett said. Love looked up at him, tears falling again.
"What?" His voice wavered.
"Well, if you're not even going to try." Garrett laughed. "I'm not going to be with some pathetic loser who just says 'I can't' and stands there crying." Garrett said.
"Garrett.." Love said, softly.
"No, you're being a useless sack of shit. Stop wasting space and get over here." Garrett said coldly. Love stared at him, lip quivering before he set his jaw and took a weak step. He stumbled and fell.
"Fuck!" He shouted.
"Again." Garrett pulled him to his feet and stepped back to his position. Love cried harder as he tried again. He stumbled through four steps before falling. He cried harder. His arms shook as they held him up on the twin bars and he struggled to move forward.
"Again." Garrett pulled him to his feet once more. Love sobbed as he took a few steps. He wobbled uneasily on his feet and took another, and another. He fell again, into Garrett's arms. He cried and gripped Garrett's shoulders for dear life. His breath came in shaking sobs.
"I told you, you could do it." Garrett whispered in his ear. Love nodded through his tears. He glanced at the physical therapist who was standing by, and she nodded. "Come on, lets go home." Garrett kissed his forehead and picked him up. He carried him gently to the wheelchair and set him down, before rolling out of the hospital.
After setting him in bed, Garrett went to fix dinner. He came back to the room and found Love still awake. He was usually asleep by now, and would eat his dinner later.
"Still awake?" Garrett asked. He hoped the things he had said to him weren't bothering him. It pained him to say such cruel things but he knew that's what Love needed. Love nodded silently.
"What's wrong?" Garrett asked, sitting by the bed. "If it was about what I said, I hope you know I wouldn't leave you. You just need a good kick in the ass sometimes." Garrett brushed his hair aside.
"It's not that." Love said, voice shaking.
"Then what?" Garrett frowned.
"My back hurts. I wasn't crying from what you said, earlier." Love said. Garrett frowned.
"Roll over, I have a present for you." Garrett said. Love looked up at him, confused. After Garrett helped him roll onto his stomach, he left the room for a second.
Love sat there with his arms wrapped around a pillow, and his bare back exposed to the cool air. Garrett returned and sat down on the bed again.
"I was going to save this, as a surprise for when you could walk. At least with a cane. But I think you need it more, now." Garrett smiled, kissing his neck. Love suddenly felt something warm and wet sliding down his back. He smelled a sweet hint of vanilla and almond.
"Garrett?" Love questioned what was going on.
"I've been taking classes, at the hospital. While you were in therapy or sleeping." Garrett explained. "I needed something to do with my time. I found out the hospital gives this massage therapy class. For people to take when their loved ones get into an accident and need it." Garrett put his warm hands onto Love's back, rubbing in the warm oil. Love moaned and sunk into the bed.
"After that night a few weeks ago when I started rubbing your back when we took a nap together." Garrett explained. "I didn't realize how much pain you're always in. Maybe this will help with that." He whispered softly in his ear. Love moaned again and rested his head on his pillow. Garrett ran his large hands up his back, one hand on each side of his spine. Love's back cracked and he sighed.
"Helping?" Garrett asked. Love nodded quickly, not trusting himself to be able to use real words.
"You're amazing... Have I mentioned that?" Love asked. Garrett smiled.
"You could stand to mention it more." He laughed. Love chuckled and then hissed as his back popped again. "Did that hurt?" Garrett asked.
"Yes, but in a good way." Love said. Garrett continued to give him the helpful massage when he suddenly stopped. Love whined in protest. "Whyyyyyy?" He drew out the word in a high voice.
"Just hold on, I'm coming back." Garrett said. He shut off the lights and Love heard the flick of a lighter before the room was illuminated with several vanilla scented candles.
"How did you know my favorite smell is vanilla?" Love asked.
"Your shampoo is vanilla, and so is your cologne. I love it." Garrett kissed his neck again.
"You DO pay attention." Love raised an eyebrow. Garrett climbed back on the bed and resumed the massage. Love sighed and relaxed into the bed again. "Garrett?" Love whispered.
"Yes?" He answered, his deep voice echoing in the quiet room.
"I want you to make love to me now." Love said. Garrett stopped.
"Are you sure?" He asked. Love nodded. "But, you've only ever been with Reed." Garrett said.
"I know," Love paused. "But...I think he would want me to move on. There's always going to be a special spot for him, in my heart." Love said.
"I hope there's room in there for me." Garrett smiled.
"I said he gets a spot, you get the whole damn thing." Love said. Garrett chuckled softly.
"But what if I hurt you?" He asked.
"You won't. I talked to the doc..." He blushed. "He said it's fine, as long as I don't have to support myself, I can lie on my stomach." He blushed harder.
"If you're sure you want to do this." Garrett said. Love nodded again.
"Yeah, I want to." He turned his head to the left and kissed Garrett warmly. Garrett smiled into the kiss and began kissing a trail down his neck.
"On your stomach, huh?" Garrett gave a small frown.
"I want to be facing you, but I know I can't." Love said. Garrett nuzzled the back of his neck. With more oil in his hands, he moved lower to Love's firm ass. He massaged the firm cheeks, making Love groan with pleasure. He parted the globes and, for the first time, saw Love's tight rosebud. He licked his lips and smiled.
Love gasped when Garrett dived down and began licking at the tiny hole. He sucked and nibbled at the ring, before sticking the tip of his tongue inside Love's tight ass.
"Oh god, Garrett." Love moaned.
"I want you so bad." Garrett moved back up his body and whispered in Love's ear. He took an oiled up finger and slid it between Love's cheeks, teasing his tight hole.
"Please..." Love begged. Garrett pushed his finger in all the way and Love cried out. "Oh god!" He pushed his ass back against Garrett. He began rubbing his hard cock against the silk sheet's under him, needing release. Garrett reached between his legs and began jacking the firm cock waiting for him.
"Your cock is beautiful." Garrett whispered to Love. Love bit his lip as Garrett finger fucked him and jacked him off, all while nibbling at his shoulders.
"Garrett..." Love was panting heavily. "I can't last much longer. I need you in me." Love begged. Garrett kissed his neck once more before pulling away to line up his cock with Love's tight tunnel. Love panted as Garrett began pushing into his tight hole. He moaned as Garrett's head suddenly popped into his hole. He gasped and groaned as Garrett quickly filled him, his oiled cock sinking in to the hilt.
"Yes..." Garrett hissed in his ear. "You're so tight, Love." He whispered. Love didn't know whether it was his name or an endearment. He thought it was both.
"Fuck me, Garrett. Please..." Love said.
"You bet, baby." Garrett bit his shoulder. Love moaned and whimpered as Garrett began fucking his tight hole. Garrett ground his hips against Love's tight ass and stirred another moan from his smaller lover.
"I'm gonna cum." Love panted.
"Me too, baby. Just hold on. Cum with me." Garrett whispered. Love writhed on the bed in pure pleasure and tried to hold back his orgasm. Garrett pumped into his ass harder and faster, bringing them both to their climax. Love cried out as he sprayed his release on the bed below him, and Garrett roared as he filled Love's ass with warm cum. He collapsed to the side of Love and smiled.
"How was that, baby?" He asked, after taking a second to catch his breath.
"Why did I wait that long?" Love mumbled into the pillow. Garrett laughed. He stumbled out of bed and blew out the candles.
"No clue. But I'm sort of glad we did. It made it more special." Garrett climbed back under the covers and cuddled up with Love.
"Dork." Love mumbled, as he fell asleep in Garrett's arms.
Love walked into the station, only to be met with confetti and streamers. Adams and Thomas blew party favors and they all cheered and clapped. A large poster with the words 'Welcome back Gordon!' hung from one wall of the kitchen. Love smiled.
"Thanks, guys. It means a lot to me." He said, and it was the truth.
After a year of physical therapy, he had finally learned how to walk again. He spent another month making sure he was back in shape. He had lost a lot of muscle tone he had previously had and worked hard to get it back. He was weaker than when he started, but was working his way back. The doctor had said he could return to work. He was able to man the hoses, but not strong enough yet to carry people out of the burning buildings. It made him sad, that was where he belonged, and he hated to leave Garrett in there without him. But he was just glad to be back. Garrett walked up to him, tossing a green streamer in his face. Love pushed it away and kissed Garrett.
"You two are lucky that the rule about dating coworkers just happened to have a loophole in it about same sex couples." The Chief laughed.
"That makes us kind of unlucky, chief." Ross said, as Love and Garrett made out, with extra tongue, just for his pleasure.
"You two are nasty." Adams laughed and threw more confetti on them. Garrett pulled away and smiled. He put his arm around Love and led him over to the table. He sat down, taking the chair Love was about to. The rest of the guys sat down, not leaving a chair for Love.
"What the fuck, you guys?" Love frowned.
"Steak, steak, steak, steak, steak!" They all began banging their forks and knives on the table. Chanting their dinner order at their returned crew member.
Hope you guys liked it, I'll be posting the next chapter of APR soon. Leave lots of comments, make it a good one and maybe I'll pick you to do my next Beta read (I pick two or three people).