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Lieutenant Buckley

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“Captain Nash, I am Lieutenant Buckley” Buck says approaching the table where the captain and a few others were sited
“Lieutenant, nice to meet you, come on sit” Bobby says
“Buck is fine, sir”
“Then call me Bobby” He says smiling “This are Hen, Chimney and Eddie”
“Nice to meet you all” He smiles brightly “Are they my crew?”
“No, they are mine, yours is to arrive, I asked you to come earlier so I would have time to show you how the house works”
“Very well”
“So, where you worked before coming here?” Hen asks
“I used to live in L.A. a couple years ago and worked as an aerial firefighter, but I wanted to be in more contact instead of only piloting a plane so I moved to San Diego and have been working there since, I became a Lieutenant six months ago and when I saw there was an opening here, I had to take it, I kinda missed L.A.” He says smiling
“Impressive” Hen says
“I know” He laughs being a bit cocky
“So, you from L.A.?” Chim
“No, but I feel like I am sometimes”
“L.A. has that effect on people” Eddie
“Well, this is a very good conversation, but we do have somethings to do” Bobby says at Buck who smiles at the others and leave with the captain
“That is a beautiful man” Chim says
“Where is the lie? And I like girls” They watch as he goes with Bobby
“Isn’t Maddie’s last name Buckley?” Eddie
“It is” Chim says with his eyes wide “You think he might be the brother she came looking for?”
“It could be, he moving to San Diego could explain why she didn’t find him, even if it doesn’t explain why he didn’t contact her” Hen reasons
“I’ll ask her to come to the station some other time” They get up and walk away from each other
“We have visitors!” Hen says seeing Christopher coming in with Carla
“Daddy!” Chris says when Eddie approaches him
“Hey, what you doing here?”
“ Someone was missing daddy” Carla
“Carla?” They all turn to see the new Lieutenant
“Buckaroo!” She goes to him hugging him tightly “Oh, baby! It's good to see this beautiful face”
“Like wise, what you doing here?”
“I take care of Eddie’s son now” She says indicating the boy with his father
“Oh, aren’t you a handsome fella” The boy smiles brightly at him
“What you doing here? I thought you were in San Diego”
“Came back just last week, I am a new Lieutenant in the 118”
“I am proud of you”
“How do you two know each other” Eddie
“Carla took care of the mother of one of my ex-girlfriends" Buck says
“Small world” Hen says thinking how much smaller it could get if Buck was truly Maddie’s brother
“Well, we have to get together soon, you have to tell me everything, how is your husband?” Buck asks Carla
“He is good, he misses your cookies still”
“Well, I still have the same number, just hit me up” Buck says and kisses her cheek “I’ll see you later and was nice to meet you all, especially you” He says putting his fist up and Christopher hit it giggling
“See you around”
“Tell us everything!” Hen says after he was gone
“He just the sweetest, Abby left him soon after her mother died and he tried to keep in touch, but after he moved, we kinda lost, didn’t know he had become a Lieutenant however”
“I see, what else?”
“I don’t know much, he wears his heart on his leave, but his history is locked away, Abby was just starting to get him to trust her, when she left”
“You say she left him?” Chim
“Hmmm... I don’t like to gossip, but she did him wrong, she said she needed to travel to find herself, he waited for her for months and she didn’t even send a text to break it off”
“Damn, that’s cold” Chimney
“How about we stop talking about our new colleague and find some work that I am sure you all still have”.

***

It was three shifts later that found Eddie, Hen and Chim sited around the table again, talking about the new addition to the 118
“So you had a extra shift with him, what you think?” Chim asks blowing a bubble
“He seems fine, way too friendly in the station but very professional once on a call”
“What you mean way too friendly?” Hen
“I don’t know, it doesn’t seem like we’re talking with a Lieutenant a superior, the others said that he gave them a speech, saying that if they want to disobey an order to tell him and he will 99% of the times allow, but if they go off the grid without communicating than it’s trouble for them”
“That is because he was a troublemaker himself, still is I guess, so he tries to trust his crew as he would like to be trusted, but he probably learned that sometimes we can’t see the whole picture from the inside” Bobby says almost impressed
“You seem to approve” Hen
“I do, it would give me a few extra grays to be his captain, but we need people like him sometimes”
“He seems like an impressive guy”
“Do I hear a hint of the start of a crush in there?” Hen
“No, I would never”
“Technically, it’s no forbidden, right cap?” Chim
“Technically no, it’s discouraged because he is your superior inside the same house, which means that you would probably not be able to take as many shifts with him, but it is not forbidden” Cap says while still chopping his veggies
“I...” Eddie didn’t know what to say, it was not like he didn’t think Buck were attractive, but it was so not what he was thinking about “Why was he given a team being only a Lieutenant?” He asks trying to change the subject, which only made they laugh even more
“San Diego works differently, their Lieutenants have their own teams, but he wanted to come back to L.A. so he saw the opening and got in contact, the department really liked his resume and opened an exception, he will be sitting the captain exam in a few months, but we need someone immediately” Bobby explains
“He must be really impressive for that kind of exception” Hen
“He is”
“Are you going to share with the rest of the class?” Chim
“Well, you heard him the other day, there were a few other things that was even redacted”
“Redacted? Like military redacted?” Eddie
“Yeah, not even I had access to it”
“Damn!” Eddie says and signs

***

Maddie hadn’t seen her brother in the last five years and true for two of those it was her own fault in a way, but he had told her he was in L.A. and she came after him, just to not find him or a clue where he could be, so here she was in L.A. for the last three years, she wanted to know where he was, but there was nothing she could do, she never had a way of contacting him, he always sent the post cards, but there was almost three year of radio silence.
She was going to surprise her boyfriend by picking him up and taking him home since his car was still at the, but she barely knew she was in for a big surprise herself. She let herself in and went up the stairs seeing everyone sitting around te table, she approached, but before she could - reach them
“Maddie?” They all turn to the new lieutenant
“Evan!” She wispers tears in her eyes she runs to his arms “I finaaly found you” Buck who was still confused Just hugged his sister
“What you doing here?” He asks with his face in her neck
“I came looking for you, but I never found you” He steps back and look her in the eye
“What are you talking about?” His eyes were red and tears fell from hers
“I left Doug and come after you, Iknew youwere her from your post-cards, but never where exactly, I knew you were a firefighter, but never knew where or the house, I spent a longo time looking for you it’s how I mer Howie” She says turning tô look at Chimney, finding them all there looking at them
“I moved to San Francisco, I sent a card telling you that” He says confused, she Just said she got them, why was she under The impressiona He was still in L.A.
“When I left, I left it all behind and didn’t tell where I was going to anyone, I was probably already here when you sent it then”
“It seems we have a lot to talk about”
“Yeah, we do”
“My shift starts in half an hour, so what about we get together tomorrow”
“I have a shift until ten am”
“Tell me the hospital and I’ll pick you up”
“I am not working as a nurse anymore” He looked confused at her “I work at the call center now”
“Oh wow! Small Word, huh” He smiles and it’s her turn to be confused “Nevermind, what about tomorrow afternoon then, we Will both have sometime to rest and then we can sit and talk”
“That would be perfect” Se hugs him again the others were still watching, Chimney with a watery smile and the others with relified smiles, they all knew how much it weighted on Maddie to not know what had happened to her baby brother, but now they were reunited and rest to know what their relationship would be from now on.
So the next day, Maddie met Buck At his house, where she told him everything about how she got sthraight from his post cards to run, how she got there and only knew He was a firefighter, she looked in all The firehouses but never found him or anyone Who knew something about him, about how only after months looking she decide that she would restart her life in L.A. and that is when she got a job at the 9-1-1 dispatcher and through Athena she met The 118 and Chimney and only after months as friends she opened up to him and told him about Doug, how He encouraged her to let go of the past and at the same day se sent the divorce papers she asked him on a date and how on their first date Doug showed up and stabbed Chim and kiddnapped her and that she was only alive now because of Athena
“And during all that you still worried about what happened to me?”
“Well, Yes. You were so sure about L.A. that I never thought you would move, I didn’t know you were an aerialfirefighter so I didn’t even look there”
“I Just kept sendig The cards to The hospital, you never answered them before so I just thought it was The same” He says a bit sad for loosin three years that could’ve been spent with his sister
“Why did you move?”
“I… It was a few things. I met Abby, she was someone I thought special, she took me of the party life I was living, she showed me how it was to have a real relationship, but her mother was sick and after a couple of months she died, Abby was sad and lost so she went to tour through Europe and I better than anyone knew what it was like to want to get away to find yourself, so I waited for her, more than I want to admit, but I did, after a while I realized she wasn’t coming back and I waned to leave The aerial firefighting and became a ground firefighter, at The time, there was no opening in L.A. and I kinda wanted to scape to, so when I saw The oportunite in San Diego I took it”
“Her lost” Maddie says and they both smile, they spent The rest of the day talking and telling each other about their lives, what they had missed, but they were together again and that was what mattered.
***
Almost two months went by after Maddie and Buck met again and they were The Best of friends and Best sibling duo, the Day after The two got together and told each ther everything, when Buck got to the station He hugged Chimney and thanked him for being there for his sister when he couldn’t and since then he was accepted into the family and Buck couldn’t be happier
“So, what do I have to do to get you to go on a date with me?” Buck asks one day when they were at a family dinner at Athena and Bobby’s
“Wha… what?”
“You and me on a date, what do I have to do for it?” He says stepping closer
“You want to go on a date with me?”
“Better question, why wouldn’t I?”
“I… don’t know what to say”
“A simple Yes would be enough”
“Yes!” Eddie says with a bashfull smile on his face
“Good, tomorrow at seven, can you find a baby-sitter or should I plan something for the three of us”
“You would want to take him too?”
“You two are a package deal, I know that”
“I’l find a sitter, we can take him another time”
“Already planing a second date, I don’t know If I should take this as a compliment or not”
“A complement for sure”
They both smile and Buck Kiss him on his cheek and says “I’ll see you tomorrow!” He grins even wider and then leave

***

Their first date couldn’t be better, Buck found a nice, low key bar, where there was Live Music but not loud, where they could sit, eat, drink and talk in peace.
“You don’t have to answer me if you don’t want to, but what about Christopher’s mother?” Eddie hesitate for a moment
“She left us a few years ago, we haven’t seen her ever since”
“Is she crazy? Why would she leave you and Christopher”
“I wasn’t a good husband for her after I came back from the army, I wasn’t a good husband even before that” Buck looks at him for a minute or two
“I know, first hand, how your mind can be when you’re trying to adjust to civilian life, I don’t know what happened and I don’t want to assume, but if she couldn’t handle your emotional state and vulnerability to the point that she left Christopher behind, I would say you are better off, but again I don’t want to assume and her lost, my gain” He smirks and rase his beer in a toast
“What about you? Carla told us about Abby”
“Carla? I’m surprised, she is not a big gossip”
“She isn’t, doesn’t mean she can’t tell us a few things every now and then, but you are deflecting, I told you part of mine, tell me of yours”
“We… I… After I left the Navy I was alone, had no family and the one I had, I couldn’t count on, now I know why and don’t blame Maddie, but I was still alone and I just got out in the world, I was too young when I enlisted, so I tried to do it all, find myself out of force. I partied a lot slept with a lot of people. When I met Abby, she saw past the frat boy persona I was displaying, she helped me find who I am. When she left I thought I needed to hold to what we had because I was petrified I was going back to my old ways and I likes who I had became and didn’t want to change backwards. It took me a while to realize that I had become me because of who I have always been and it was only then I could finally move on from her” Eddie smile at him
“Well, her lost is my gain” Eddie parrots toasting too, making Buck laugh.
They end the night with a sweet and deep kiss in frint of Eddie's house and a promise for a brighter future.