He's the guy next door, He's a man with the sharp memory of a little boy who never got over the excitement of engines and sirens and smoke and danger.
He's a guy like you and me with warts and worries and unfulfilled dreams, yet he stands taller than most of us.
He's a fireman! He puts it all on the line when the bell rings. A fireman is one of the most fortunate and the least fortunate of men.
He's a man who savors life because he has seen too much death.
He's a gentle man because he has witnessed the awesome power of violent forces out of control. He's a man responsive to a child’s laughter because his arms have held too many small bodies that will never laugh again
He's a man who appreciates the simple pleasures of life... hot coffee held in numbed unbending fingers... the gust of fresh air pumping through smoke and fire convulsed lungs.... a warm bed for bones and muscles compelled beyond feeling... the camaraderie of brave men, the divine peace of selfless service and a job well done in the name of humanity.
He doesn't wear buttons or wave flags or shout obscenities and when he marches, it is to honor his fallen comrade. He doesn't preach the brotherhood of man. He lives it!!
Luke groaned loudly as the phone’s loud ring tone filled the empty cold house. He knew that he should probably answer it, but that meant getting up from the bed and just the thought of it made him want to snuggle deeper into the warmth that his bed provided him. With a heavy sighed he threw the covers away and slowly made his way over to the phone, which seemed like a thousand miles away at the moment.
“Snyder.” He answered with a hoarse voice.
“You sound terrible honey.” His husbands light voice sparked on the other end.
“Thanks.” Luke muttered back.
“Seriously though, how are you feeling? When I spoke with you yesterday you sounded much better”
“I feel like a truck just ran over me” Luke sighed, as another wave of dizziness hit, making him stubble a little before grabbing hold of the table.
“My poor baby.”
"Yeah, well, your poor baby wants his husband to come home now." Luke pouted on the other end, well aware that it wouldn’t work on his husband who was miles away from home.
He was getting tired of never seeing him and, it was a quite miracle that they had managed get married in the first place. He knew that on some level his husband’s boss had a secret crush on his husband; why else would you try to ruin a wedding, not to mention, keep sending him on business trip after business trip.
"It's just for a couple of days more Luke."
"You said those exact words three days ago." Luke pointed out.
"Well, something came up."
"It always does" Luke muttered. “You know, one of these days I think you’ll be glued to your desk, and won’t be able to come home to your poor lonely husband.
"Luke, I swear, if I'm not home by Friday, you can personally punish me,” there was a sight serious tone in his voice.
“Does that mean if I want to drag you to one of those terribly bad action movies that I know you hate, have a nice dinner at that Italian restaurant where you personally think one of the waiters has a crush on me, and recreate our wedding night, I can?" He asked with a teasing voice.
“Yes, but on one condition though.”
“You need to get better first; that means a lot of rest and food for you Mister.”
“Like your mother isn’t smothering me enough as it is.”
“Luke,” He heard his husband reply being interrupted by another voice in the announcing “Last call to…” but the last word was muffled into the background as soon as it had come.
“Wait?... Are you at the airport?”
“They don’t have airports in New York Luke or at least not where I am.”
“Then where are you if you don’t mind me asking?”
“What are you doing at a train station?
“Obviously going on a train” His husband replied with a chuckle. “I’ve got to go, love you.”
“Love you too.” Luke managed to reply before hearing a click as the phone line went dead. He starred at it for a moment, trying to think back of what he was sure he had heard in the background, but when another dizziness wept by, he left the thought and slowly started to walk back to the now cold bed.
Luke could have sworn that he heard the front door being unlocked and then carefully close, as if the person who walked in, did his or hers best to make as little noise as possible, so as not to wake him up. He heard someone place a duffle bag down on what could have been the sofa with a light thud, again trying to make no noise at all, and a second later foot steps walking over the wooden floor.
He could have sworn that he heard his bedroom door creak, as it always did when someone opened it, and a pair of footsteps creeping closer to the bed. He moved slightly in his sleep as he felt a weight onto the madras followed by a light feather kiss on his forehead.
Whoever it was seemed to leave the room as quietly as he or she had come, the door creaking again as it was closed.
Luke would have sworn it he heard something, but maybe it was only his fever playing tricks on him.
Luke slowly woke up from his sleep, the dream still like a clear picture in his mind. He slowly rose from the bed, bring the cover with him, swept like a big blanket around him and when out to the living room. He let his eyes glance across the room and into the hallway; everything seemed to be exactly where it was before. He touched his forehead where the touch still seemed to linger.
‘It just seemed to be so real… I guess my fever really is playing tricks on me.’ He thought still looking around the room.
He shook his head as his stomach growled, breaking his thought. He walked to the kitchen; nothing seemed to be out of place there either.
His movements were slow and unsteady as he started to pick up a pan and a moment later the stove was ready to be used. After what seemed to have taken forever he managed to cook some chicken soup, and even balance the hot bowl back to the bedroom.
As Luke walked back to the bedroom, he didn’t notice the extra pair of shoes almost hidden in the hallway, or the half-closed guestroom where a tall, dark headed man was resting peacefully, almost invisible, nor did he smell the smoke that had started filling the house, and he didn’t notice the small flame creeping over the floor from the kitchen as he went back into a peaceful sleep.
The sound of sirens filling the neighborhood didn’t managed to wake Luke up, as both he and his husband had gotten used to it over the past month, since they lived to close by a fire station. However, the sound had started to increase loudly, almost as if they were right outside his door and if Luke hadn’t had a fever, he might have woken up.
However, he did wake up a while later, as a dull pain started to spread across his arm. Luke yelled loudly as it started to increase, and soon he was fully wake, to find his left arm burning. The flames where digging into his flesh, and a helpless scream started to fill the room.
Somehow, despite the pain he managed to stand up, and crawled off the bed, but the fire had already spread across the room, trapping him behind the bed with no way out, as the fire crept closer, surrounding him completely, he couldn’t stop screaming as the pain was overtaking his whole system.
Luke knew it was matter only a matter of time before he would either passed out, or let the pain embraces him, to let the darkness come and take him.
‘Oh my god… This is isn’t it? I’m going to die’.
He thought as tears started floating down his face. Maybe it was tears of sorrow, or simply just the burning pain that he wouldn’t even describe to begin with, maybe it was both.
‘I don’t want to go.’
Noah took a deep breath and swallowed as he saw the burning house in front of him; he could hear the scream inside filling, what would have been a wonderful the night. The flames where spreading fast and faster and he knew it was only matter of minutes before the whole house would collapse.
Without fear or even hesitation he started running into the house, as long as there were a breathing soul in that house, he would save it. As long as air filled those lungs, he would make sure that its heart didn’t give up, as long as there were life in that house which stood in flames, he wouldn’t give up.
It didn’t take long for him to find whoever was in the house. His eyes tear filled from the smoke came face to face with the blond standing behind the flames with tears streaming down his face from fear and the smoke. He rushed to the man, and soon the flames that danced across his skin where gone, leaving a burned mark. Carefully he lifted the blond into his arms, and slowly exited the room, as the flames tried to grab a hold of them.
They were almost by the front door, when whatever had managed to hold the house up, fell apart, blocking the front door, hitting Noah’s arm in the process. He held back a moan as he managed to jump out of the way as it created a cloud of dust; he looked down at the blond who was clinging to him.
“We’re going to be fine” He whispered as he tried to find another way out of the house. The flames where burning and he knew that they couldn’t stay another minute inside this house, or else the blond would suffocate to death. Scanning the room one more time, he finally saw a window near them, free from any fire.
Noah took deep breath as he started to walk towards the window, as soon they finally reached it, unharmed. He carefully handed the blond to one of his colleague, and as soon as he saw that the blond was safe, he slowly made his way of the house.
“Noah, are you okay?” John asked, as he saw his friend holding his shoulder as he walked back to the fire truck.
“I’m fine” He replied back, still massaging his shoulder as he kept his eyes on the paramedics as they franticly worked on the blond. “Just hit my shoulder on the way out”
“Then go with the ambulance.”
“What? No” He protested.
“You know the rules Noah, if you get injured in anyway; it’s straight to the hospital, no matter how small your injuries are.”
Noah sighed, knowing he wasn’t going to win this one as slowly made his way towards the ambulanced and hopped in. He almost hoped that one of the paramedics would protest, but they reminded silent.
“Is he going to be okay?” Noah asked and nodded towards the blond.
“He suffered a third degree on his left arm, but as long as we can keep him calm so he doesn’t go into shock, he should make it through.” The female answered as she closed the door and started the car.
He saw how the blond started to pull of the oxygen mask. “Shhh” He whispered as carefully removed his hand from the mask. “You’re going to be fine.”
“You need to call my husband.” The blond somehow managed to whisper with a hoarse smoke laden voice.
“We will” Noah replied with a soft voice and he saw how the blond relaxed a bit more. “You just rest and let the doctors take care of you.”
Noah hated hospitals, mostly because he had spent what seemed like half a lifetime there, so being sent for something as little as a shoulder irritated him, especially since he needed to get home as soon as possible.
Finally, the doctor arrived and almost left as quickly as he had come. He started pulling his shirt back on and was ready to leave the exam room, when he saw John, his boss, walking in.
“Nothing broken, just a small bruise, that’s all.”
He saw how John blew out a breath that he seemed to been holding. “Glad to hear everything is fine.”
Noah rose to get his jacket, but he couldn’t help to glance at John, who had a sad look on his face. He immediately recognized that look; it was one of those looks when they didn’t manage to save someone.
“What’s going on?” Noah asked as he straightened his jacket. “Everything went fine today, we saved a life.”
“Yeah, but apparently he wasn’t the only one in there.”
“Oh No” Noah was beyond shock.
“Yeah, they found another body. His name is Scott Snyder, they were married and he was supposed to be in a business trip according to a friend, but it apparently he came home early to surprise his husband. “
“And he didn’t know?”
John shook his head, he swallowed before continuing. “The stove was on, and it seems that a towel had been near and caught on fire which made it spread. He was found in the guestroom, suffocated by the smoke, so at least he didn’t have to suffer.
“Shit.“ Noah swore.
“I thought you wanted to know… As soon as he gets out of surgery, I’m going to have to tell him. “
“You mean us” Noah corrected him.
“No, I” John said. “You need to go home before a certain she is going to start calling half of the fire department again, to know if you’re still alive” He managed to muster up a smile.
“She did do that last time, didn’t she?” Noah remembered, he too managed to force a smile.
“Oh yeah, and if we can, we want to avoid that happening again, so go home!” John said, as he started to push him towards the doors.
“All right, I’m going” Noah said with a laugh as he started to walk down the corridor.
“Home!” John yelled before he disappeared out of sight.
As he walked through the white halls filled with hospital smell, he caught a glimpse of the blond being wheel towards the E.R…
“I’m so sorry” Noah whispered quietly, and he truly was because he had been right there, he had faced the same thing Luke would be facing the moment he woke up.
Okay, so Right now I'm in the middle of a panic stage, and excited at the same time.. Mostly because I know there is no one who's take this road when it comes to a fan fic plot, so I'm not sure what you people are going to think, and other panics are more of personal matter..
I have to thank Kim (Naptown) twice right now, one becuase she gave me the idea to this plot, not to mention giving me that first push and sticking by me through this story , and second becuase she took a swing at the gramma part.. If there are any mistakes left, they are all mine..
As always, comments warm my heart... I really hope I didn't scare anyone away... and for those who are wondering about Nothing Is Ever Simple, I won't be writing anything on that one until I manage to get this out of my system..