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Schroedingers_Dragon t1_j29izqt wrote

A firefighter having to save the guy they’ve had a crush for two years from a burning hospital


prejackpot OP t1_j29wqpv wrote

Dale couldn’t get his face out of their head as the truck sped through the streets. Would he be there? Was he okay?

“Memorial General?” Larkins said loudly as they pulled up. “Don’t we usually go here after the incident?”

“Hey, buddy?” Lieutenant Hoss put a hand on their shoulder. “You good?”

Dale nodded. And as they put on their turnout gear, they realized they were. This is what they trained for. “I’m good.”

The captain pulled the teams together and laid out the attack. Later, Dale would think it had felt like a fugue state. Moving with the rest of the crew under the flashing emergency lights, the world reduced to the cone in front of their eyepro, tuning out the whine of the alarms and the screams of the evacuating patients, and, eventually, the heat of the fire that had started in the second-floor kitchen and picked up fuel from an overstuffed supplies closet. They must have seen him on the way in, helping get patients out of the ER. They must have recognized him. But in that moment, for the first time in two years, his face wasn’t a distraction. There was a fire. Dale’s body knew what to do.

He found them later, out in the parking lot, after the fire was finally out. He’d lost his white coat, and someone had given him a thermal blanket that he draped over his t-shirt like a cape. “Dale Brown, right?” he asked.

“Dr. Mitchell,” Dale blurted out. “I’m surprised you remember.”

“I never forget a patient,” Dr. Mitchell said airily. “Well, not usually. Not when I save their life.”

“I guess today I get to return the favor,” Dale replied.

Dr. Mitchell laughed at that. His laugh was deep and rich, and it had the familiar tone of tension being let go. Finally, he pointed behind Dale, to where some cardboard boxes of coffee had been set up on a folding table. “Can I get in on that?”

Without talking about it, they sat side by side on the curb nursing coffee in paper cups. “You don’t need to be working now, do you?” Dr. Mitchell asked. Dale shook their head.

“Listen,” Dr. Mitchell said at last. “Can I ask you something? Do you get used to it? Almost dying in a fire?”

Dale smiled. “A little bit.”

He sipped his coffee. “Well, today was my first time. I’m used to other people almost dying,” he added with a laugh that sounded forced this time.

Dale noticed that Dr. Mitchell’s hands were shaking. And for the second time that night, they acted without needing to think about it. Their body knew just what to do.