our mistakes (they were bound to be made)
Christopher and Denny have to work together after Buck is knocked unconscious, while they're playing a game of hide and go seek.
Christopher Diaz Week, Day 6: Chris and the Firefam Kids + “It’ll be fine. I think.”
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Denny’s house was a maze, so meant it was the best place for hide and go seek.
Christopher was knelt behind the couch, covering his eyes with his hands, counting to twenty while Denny and Buck went to hide.
He bounced onto his feet, throwing his hands up into the air, “I’m coming!”
“Wait!” Buck’s squeaked, darting past, “I wasn’t ready!”
Christopher turned his head, rolling his eyes, “Buck!” He shook his head, “You’re out!”
Buck ignored the rules, running towards the dinner table.
Christopher opened his eyes wide, when he noticed that Denny’s electronic toy police car was in the middle of the floor and Buck was about to stand on it, “Buck, look out—”
Buck’s left foot trampled the car and the wheels slipped under it, which sent Buck falling backward, arms flying out as he yelled, he hit the floor with a loud crash.
“Buck!” Christopher shouted, he ran over, making his voice louder, “Buck!”
Buck’s eyes were closed. That was bad. He must have hit his head pretty hard.
It wasn’t like when Buck fainted in the garden at his party. That time, the adults were there to help, but now, there was no Dad, or Auntie Hen, or Uncle Chimney to save the day.
Buck only had Christopher and Denny, he was spending the whole day with them, while Christopher’s Dad and Hen worked extra shifts at the firehouse.
Christopher got onto his knees, poking Buck’s shoulder, “Buck?” He was scared, like when he couldn’t find Buck after he fell off the firetruck during the tsunami, and he thought he would lose him, like he lost his mom, “Buck?!” He grabbed his arm, shaking it, “You gotta wake up!”
Paisley skipped over, barking as she went, she stopped, nudging her face against Buck’s arm. When he didn’t move, she barked louder.
Christopher shouted as loud as he could, “Denny!” He kept rocking Buck’s arm, “Denny, we’re not playing anymore!”
There was noise upstairs as a door was opened, “What?” Denny called, “Why?”
“Buck fell over!”
Denny appeared, standing at the top of the stairs, “Oh—” He ran down quickly, eyes open super wide.
“He’s hurt.” Christopher scrunched his nose, he pointed, “He tripped on the police car.”
Tears were in Denny’s eyes and his chin was wobbling, “I left it out, I didn’t—”
Christopher remembered something his dad said once when he stubbed his toe on Christopher’s toy box, “It was an accident.” He told him, “It won’t happen again.”
“Okay—" Denny wiped his arm over his eyes, “We need to get help.” He stepped closer, “He’s not up, and that’s not good—that could be, um, a concussion, I think, that’s what Mom says it’s called.”
Christopher had heard the word before but wasn’t sure what it meant, “We should phone 911.”
“Umm…” Denny nodded, “Buck put his cell phone on charge, I’ll get that—” He ran into the kitchen, and then returned with Buck’s cell, “I’ve never done it before.”
“I have.” Christopher held up his hand, taking the phone, “When my Abuela fell over.”
Paisley licked Buck’s face, “Paisley…” Denny knelt by her, stroking her fur, “Don’t do that.” Paisley listened, laying her chin on Buck’s arm, almost like she was a guard dog.
Christopher pressed the emergency button on Buck’s phone, dialing 911, he placed the cell near his ear and waited for somebody to pick it up.
Denny reached out, squeezing Buck’s hand.
Something warm spread over Christopher’s chest when May answered the call with, “911, what’s your emergency?”
“Christopher?” She sounded worried, “What’s going on? Are you hurt?”
“No,” He hiccupped, “I’m at Denny’s house, Buck is taking care of us, but he won’t wake up.”
“Who won’t wake up?” She asked, “Denny or Buck?”
“Buck.” He sniffled his nose, “He tripped over a toy car and hit his head.”
“Okay…” He could hear her typing, “Is anybody else there? Is Harry with you?”
“No, it’s just us,” Christopher shook his head, “Harry is coming over later.”
Denny squeaked, getting up on his knees, “Chris—”
Christopher lifted his head, clutching onto the phone, that’s when he saw what Denny could.
Buck was opening his eyes.
“He’s awake!” Christopher pushed his arm, “Buck, you okay?”
Buck’s blinked slowly, gasping out in pain, “Uh—Chris?” His voice sounded funny, “Den—”
Denny put his hand on Buck’s shoulder, “Mom said you shouldn’t move when you hurt yourself really bad,” He told him, “You could make it worse.”
Buck’s face crumpled up, “Okay.”
“Chris.” May called through, “You still there?”
“He woke up, but he sounds weird,” Christopher blinked tears out of his eyes, “I think he’s hurt bad.”
“He’ll be okay, Chris, and I’ll stay on the phone until help arrives,” She told him, “Your dad and Auntie Hen are already on their way with the team.”
Christopher could hear his heart in his ears, “Dad’s coming?”
Denny held up his head, “Is my mom gonna come?”
Tears ran down Denny’s cheeks, “My moms are gonna be so mad at me!”
“Chris—” May spoke, “What’s happening?”
“Denny’s scared—” Christopher got up onto his feet, “But it’s okay, he’s got me.” He sat by Denny, wrapping an arm around his back, “It’ll be fine.” He whispered to his friend, hugging him, “I think.”
Denny’s shoulders moved, up and down, “I didn’t mean to hurt Buck.”
“It was an accident,” Christopher reminded him, “Your moms will know that, and we won’t ever leave toys out again.”
Denny nodded, “We won’t.”
“The team is one minute away, Chris,” May told him, “Do you think one of you can open the door?”
“Denny—” Christopher hiccupped, “Can you open the door?”
“Yep!” Denny got up onto his feet, Paisley followed, barking as she went, “Paisley—” Denny picked her up into his arms, and then opened the door, “You can’t go out there.”
The sirens of the truck and ambulance come from outside.
Denny jumped, running back over, “They’re here!”
“Who—” This time, Buck’s eyes were open properly, “Christopher?” He lifted his head a little, “Ow.”
“You fell over,” Christopher squeezed his hand, “But it’s okay.”
May asked, “Are the team there yet?”
Buck’s eyes found the phone.
“They’re coming in,” Christopher told May, “And Buck’s awake.”
“Good.” May sounded relieved, “I’ll see you later, okay?”
Hen sped over to close the back doors to the ambulance as Chimney jumped into the passenger’s seat at the front. It had been a day of medical and nonsense calls, Hen thought that maybe somebody had jinxed them, but she didn’t say anything to her partner, Chimney had a history of overreacting.
She watched as Eddie pulled open the engine door, he looked bored out of his mind, but that was what happened whenever they worked a shift without Buck; Eddie looked as enthusiastic as a sad puppy.
“Wait—” Bobby held up his arm, clenching his fist to halt what they were doing.
Hen stopped, while Chimney poked out his head, and Eddie froze, one foot through the door, “What is it?” He asked, noticing the same fear in the captain’s eyes that Hen did.
“I spoke with dispatch,” Bobby kept his voice calm, “It was May, and um, the call was from Christopher.”
Eddie’s eyes were saucers, as he stammered, “I don’t—”
Protocol flew out of Hen’s head, “Is Denny okay?” She asked panicked, “Is—”
Bobby cut her off, “It’s Buck.” Panic had gripped him tight, but Hen could understand that Buck was his kid, at the end of the day, “He was knocked unconscious and according to the boys, he’s speaking gibberish.”
“Okay—” Hen calmed her breathing, “We better go, he could have a concussion.” She cast her eyes on Eddie as she headed to the front of the ambulance, he sent a nod her way as he clambered into the engine with shaking hands.
Hen trusted Buck with her Denny, with her house and dog, as much as everybody else, so whatever this was, it wouldn’t change that, because accidents did happen, but it didn’t stop panic from settling on her chest, trying to work out what could have happened.
It was meant to her mom who took care of the kids, but she’d gone to rekindle a friendship with an old friend, Buck jumped at the chance to help.
“I’ll drive—” Chimney climbed over the controls, taking the driver’s seat as Hen climbed into the passenger seat, “You okay?”
Hen nodded as he drove out of the station, “Just thinking.”
“It’s Buck,” Chimney reassured her, “He’ll be fine.”
Hen started second-guessing herself, wondering if either she or Karen left any shoes hanging around on the floor, that could have sent Buck flying. Maybe it was that damn carpet in the living room that they all kept tripping over, Buck could have caught that at the wrong angle and hit his head off the coffee table.
She clenched her fists, fear shooting up her spine. She could only imagine how Denny and Christopher were feeling, they were young, probably terrified, but confident enough to make a 911 call, that pride from that spread across her chest like wildfire.
She wished that she was in the engine with Eddie; to reassure him, tell him that everything was going to be okay, as much as they all loved Buck, Eddie was his boyfriend, they worked together brilliantly, but whenever one was hurt, the other was stuck in overdrive.
He had Buck and Christopher to worry about, fret over what could have done wrong if the boys would be able to move on from what happened.
Pulling up onto her own road, parking outside her house, was the strangest sensation and Hen felt unwelcomed by her neighborhood.
“We’ve got this, Hen,” Chimney opened the door, hopping out, as Hen spun, opening hers with a trembling hand, jumping onto the sidewalk below, which felt soft like carpet, under her feet.
Eddie moved over, slowly, without the confidence he usually had.
“Hey.” Hen caught his wrist, squeezing his hand, “It’ll be okay.”
The front door was open.
Bobby cleared his throat, holding up a bravado as he headed up the porch stairs, “Boys?”
Making it inside, reality didn’t crash around Hen, until Denny sprung up, wrapping himself around her with a loud exclaim, “Mom!”
“Hey….” She released Eddie’s hand, wrapping an arm around her son, “We’re here now, baby.”
Chimney’s voice was soft, “Hey Buckaroo.”
Hen lifted her head, eyes wide.
Buck was sitting, laid heavy against the wall, with Christopher, knelt beside him, holding his hand.
“I told him not to move,” Denny said, “But he said he could.”
“Buck should know better,” Chimney shined the torch in Buck’s eyes, “Right?”
“I just hit my head,” Buck slurred, “Not too bad.”
“Sure…” Chimney teased, reaching behind the check for a lump, “Well, at least it’s not bleeding.”
Eddie didn’t say a word as he stepped over, crouching in front of them, “Hey.” He managed to say, smiling at them, “How we doing?”
Buck sighed softly, “We’re great.”
Christopher blurted, “I called 911!”
“Great job, buddy,” Eddie praised, ruffling Christopher’s hair with the palm of his hand.
Bobby bent down, eyes scanning Buck for further injury.
“Oh, hey Cap,” Buck smiled, “Sorry.”
“Accidents happen, Buck,” Bobby reassured him, “Just a shame it’s you.”
Hen chuckled, “Again.”
“So, what happened?” Chimney asked, checking Buck’s pulse, “Do you know how long you were out?”
“Umm, not long,” Buck scrunched his nose, “A few minutes, maybe.”
“You’re gonna need—”
“To go to the hospital,” Buck sighed heavily, “I know.”
“Athena is right,” Bobby crossed his arms, “We do need to wrap you in bubble wrap.”
“Ha.” Buck chuckled, “Maybe.”
Denny clamped his hand around Hen’s, not saying a word, “Hey, sweetheart.” She sang, “You’re being uncharacteristically quiet.”
“Denny’s scared.” Christopher spoke up, “That you’ll be mad.”
“Umm…” Hen was caught off guard, “Mad?”
“You can’t be mad,” Christopher told her, “It was an accident.”
The clogs in Hen’s brain were working overtime, trying to figure out what was happening.
“I tripped over the toy police car,” Buck explained, “I wasn’t looking where I was going.”
“Oh…” Hen understood, “That’s—”
“I’m sorry, Mom!” Denny exclaimed, “I won’t do it again.”
Hen didn’t have the confidence or time to be angry, “It won’t.” She used her calmest “mom” tone, gripping onto her son’s hand, “Buck’s gonna be okay.”
Christopher got up onto his feet, moving over, “Told you it’d be fine.” Denny moved forward, enveloping his friend in a hug.
Michael’s voice filled the room, “What the hell happened here?”
Hen turned on her heel, to find a concern Michael and confused Harry, hovering by the front door.
Bobby clapped his hands together, “Buck here, took a quite the tumble,” He pressed his hand to Buck’s shoulder, “But the boys saved the day.”
“Of course, they did,” Michael crossed his arms, “You doing okay, Buck?”
Buck waved his hand out, “Oh, I’m fine.”
Everybody rolled their eyes.
“Sorry, boys,” Buck said, darting his eyes from Christopher, to Denny, and Harry, “I was gonna take you to the carnival.”
“That’s fine, we can go another time,” Harry stepped inside, “We won’t go without you.”
Michael smiled fondly, eyes on his son.
“Well,” Hen pressed her hands on Denny and Christopher’s heads, “I think these two deserve a pizza.”
“I was going to meet David for lunch,” Michael said, “But I’m sure we’d be happy to welcome some guests.”
Eddie tilted his head, “You sure?”
Hen stuttered, “Yeah, we could—”
“Of course,” Michael held up his hands, “These two are the heroes of the hour.”
“That’s so cool!” Harry skipped over, hugging Denny’s other side, wrapping an arm back, holding onto Christopher’s shoulder, whispering, “You’re awesome.”
“Now,” A mischievous grin grew across Michael’s face, “Has anybody called Athena?”
Buck groaned, resting his head against Bobby’s shoulder as he squeezed his eyes closed.
“Oh,” Hen clapped, “Mama bear is going to come out.”
Bobby hummed, “I wonder if May’s called her.”
Buck blinked slowly, “May?”
“She took the 911 call.”
“Oh,” Hen laughed, “Small world.” She smiled, looking over to Eddie, who was fuzzing over Buck while simultaneously keeping an eye on Christopher.
Watching Denny, Harry, and Christopher, rock side-to-side, in their hug, the panic pushing against Hen’s chest, fell away.
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