He’s wanted to be a paramedic ever since he first saw them working when he was out with his dad, watching him do his job. He had been fascinated by what they do but especially by the inside of the ambulance. A dream had been born.
And now, here he is, finally a fully trained paramedic, at the scene of a car crash. His heart is racing, his hands are shaking, he’s excited and he’s also pretty fucking scared. Erica, his partner, had told him to go take care of the driver of a black Camaro that looks a bit like an accordion, squished from the front and the back. Stiles feels bad for the driver, not just because they are probably hurt but also because a car like that must cost a fortune and it seems like the damage is irreparable.
Stiles crouches down next to the driver’s side of the Camaro and comes to face with a load full of airbag. There’s a hand hanging out of the broken window on the side and a person pressed face first into the white safety cushion. There’s a head full of dark, short hair, it’s a man appearently but other than that Stiles can’t see much. For a second he holds his breath, thinking that maybe the airbag has suffocated the driver. It wouldn’t be the first time Stiles hears of something like that happening although it would be his first time actually seeing it happen.
“Hey…hello there. Can you hear me?” Stiles asks and stretches out his finger to tap the hand hanging out of the window. The driver’s fingers move, just a bit and Stiles breathes out in relief. He’s alive, at least.
“Yeah. Yeah. I can hear you.” a croaking voice answers. The man in the car moves his head upwards, slowly and Stiles squeezes his fingers.
“No, don’t move. It’s possible that your spinal cord or head is injured, so just…try to not move around, okay?” Stiles hurries to gently put his other hand on the man’s head without pushing him down, just a signal to tell him to stay down. He checks his pulse with his other hand.
Stiles hears the man sigh. “It’s okay, I put my head down after the crash myself. I think I blacked out after that but I am alright. My spinal cord is fine…might have broken a rip or two though.”
The man sits up, going against everything Stiles had just said and Stiles swallows when he sees the man’s face. Damn, that’s one beautiful dude. He’s got a light stubble going on that makes Stiles swoon and when he reaches the guy’s eyes he nearly falls on his ass because somehow that man’s eyes managed to have all kinds of colour in them and Stiles can’t decide which one they actually are.
Stiles swallows, remembers he’s got work to do and that this isn’t exactly the time to get a boner over an injured guys face. Not that there ever was a time for that to be okay.
“Alright, great. I mean…not great that you passed out but great that you remember yourself laying down?” Stiles gives the man an unsure smile.
“Anyway, I still have to check you for injuries. You seem to have cut open your head a bit but I think stitches will be enough to fix that. I can’t say anything about your ribs until we remove the airbag and get you out of here. Can you maybe…describe to me what kind of pain you are feeling and where?”
The driver gives him a weird look and his mouth turns into a scowl. “Are you even a real paramedic?” he asks and Stiles moves back, a bit hurt. He looks at the man in the car incredulously.
“Of course I am. I am…I am even wearing my uniform, dude. I mean, sir. Ugh, whatever. Yes, I am a real, trained paramedic, okay? I am just a bit nervous because this may or may not be my first ever service at the scene of an actual car crash.”
“Good to know.” the guy says gruffly and Stiles immediately regrets he even said something. Who the hell tells their patient it’s their first time working an accident? Yeah, Stiles, he does. Great job.
“Sorry. I’ll…I’ll get someone else for you, okay? Someone more experienced. I mean, they won’t ask you any other questions than I already did but whatever…”
Stiles gets up and looks around to see who he could switch with. He sees Erica talking to one of the fire fighters that have arrived.
“No, no, no, please stay.” There’s a grip on Stiles’ hand and he bends down again.
“Stay with me.” the guy says and his eyes are desperate. “I am scared and in pain. Sorry. I didn’t mean to insult you.”
Stiles crouches back down next to the car and squeezes the driver’s hand again. He almost feels guilty for reacting the way he did. Of course he’s scared, he’s trapped in a car that just crashed, it was just natural.
“It’s okay, it’s okay. I am not going anywhere. Let’s just…start again, okay?” Stiles looks at the guy gently, still squeezing his hand lightly.
The driver nods in response and Stiles smiles.
“Great. Hello, I am Stiles and I will help you get out of that car. Everything is going to be okay. Are you feeling alright? Please describe any pain you are feeling and try to be precise about where you are feeling pain.”
The guy behind the wheel lets out a breath and Stiles can practically see him trying to think of something to say.
“I am Derek Hale, my blood type is O positive. I think I have broken two of my lower ribs, the airbag pressed them in and I think they are bruising. I don’t think there’s any internal damage though. My legs hurt but I can feel them, so I don’t think there’s damage on the spinal cord. I can’t move them though, they are trapped. I can move my neck and head without a lot of pain except for the normal amount of whiplash pain. I have some cuts on my arms and face from the glass but other than that I am okay.”
Stiles nods. “Right, I should have asked for your blood type, sorry. But you’ve given me some great information. You are also conscious and reacting to questions. You can communicate with me, that’s a pretty good sign, Derek. Thank you for your help.”
Stiles smiles again and nods slightly before he moves to stand up to get Erica to come over. He needs to tell her about Derek’s condition and that he’s trapped in the car, so the fire fighters can cut him out as soon as possible.
“Don’t leave!” Derek’s voice comes out of the car and Stiles looks down in surprise as Derek’s fingers wrap tightly around his hand.
“Hey, it’s alright. I am not leaving. I just need to tell my colleague what’s going on. She needs to know that we need a fire fighter to get you out of the car. Don’t worry, Derek, everything will be fine. Do you trust me?”
“No, I just met you.” Derek groans and Stiles knows he shouldn’t feel hurt by that.
“Well, but…you should trust me to do what’s best for you, which means telling my co-worker about your condition. Okay?”
Derek nods reluctantly and Stiles gets up again, not letting go of Derek’s hand.
“Hey Erica!” he shouts and the blonde woman gives the fire fighter she’s talking to a short wave of her hand before she jogs over to where Stiles is clutching Derek’s hand.
“Found a friend, I see?” she grins and Stiles rolls his eyes at her. It’s a good sign though, Erica making jokes means that no one is in grave danger and no one’s dead either. That’s good.
“I’ve got Derek Hale, blood type O positive. He has some cuts on his arms and face but nothing major. There’s a chance that some of his ribs are broken from the impact and he’s suffering from light whiplash. His can’t move his legs, they are trapped but he can feel them and he says they hurt, which probably comes from being squeezed into the tight space. We’re gonna need one of the fire fighters to get him out of there. There’s a chance he’s got some internal damage but he doesn’t show any signs of it…yet.”
Stiles races down all the information he’s got without even taking a breath and Erica nods along, jotting down everything. Then she bends down to Derek in the car, who is still holding Stiles hand.
“Hi, I’m Erica Reyes. You alright in there, Mister Hale?” she asks.
“Yeah, I am fine. Just getting a bit of a headache.” Derek huffs and Stiles wonders if maybe he’s having trouble breathing because his voice sounds strained. He’ll have to keep an eye on that.
Erica writes that down.
“Okay, you are doing a good job so far, Mister Hale. Just hold on a little longer, we’ll get you out of there in no time. If you feel sick or something changes, gets worse, you tell
Stiles here immediately, alright?”
Derek nods. Erica stands up, looking back at Stiles.
“Alright, keep your eyes open for signs of internal injuries. If he starts coughing blood or gets dizzy, you call me immediately. Things can still change but for now he seems stable. You want someone to take over for you?”
Stiles feels Derek squeeze his hand tighter.
“No thanks, Erica, I think I am doing alright here.” he says.
“You are doing a great job, Stiles. Hang in there.” Erica smiles, turning around to continue her conversation with the dark skinned fire fighter.
Stiles crouches down to look at Derek who seems to be relieved.
“Told you I’m not going anywhere.” Stiles gave Derek another shy smile. There’s a minute of silence before Stiles speaks again. “It will still take some time before we can move you out of the car, though. I can’t give you any pain killers yet, don’t know if you’re allergic to anything and we don’t want to make this situation worse, right?”
“I’m not allergic.” Derek murmurs and Stiles smile falters a bit. Derek doesn’t really look that well, he looks tired and worn out which isn’t all too surprising after a crash like that but still.
“Hey, hey, come on. This is not the time to get tired on me, Derek. You need to stay with me. Come on, talk to me.” Stiles gets out hurriedly. Derek’s eyes seem to fall closed on their own account and Stiles puts his other hand on the man’s face, gently patting his cheek.
“Derek. Hey, Derek. It’s alright.” Stiles looks around, a bit panicked and he knows he should stay calm, he’s trained for this situation, he’s gone through it time and time again. Hell he even reanimated someone before, this is not the worst he’s seen but somehow it feels much worse.
“Erica!” he shouts. “Erica, he’s passing out. I don’t know what happened.”
Erica looks up in surprise and sprints over to him, falling to her knees next to him. Derek’s eyes have opened again but he looks pretty out of it.
“My chest hurts.” he croaks and his fingers tighten around Stiles’ hand as a new wave of pain seems to roll over him. “It hurts a lot.”
“Okay, we need to get him out of there asap. Boyd will take care of this.” Erica jumps up and waves over to the fire fighter she’s been talking to. The man gives some commands to two of his colleagues and within seconds they come running with the needed equipment.
“Please…Stiles…” Derek groans and Stiles looks back at Derek whose eyes are begging him to do something, anything at all.
“It’s gonna be alright, Derek. It’s alright. See, the fire fighters are gonna get you out of here in no time. They’ve already started working on it. Just a few more minutes.” Stiles puts his hand back on Derek’s face, doesn’t know why but it seems to calm Derek down a bit.
“Talk to me. Just…distract me. Tell me…tell me about your family.” Derek demands and Stiles nods hurriedly.
“Sure, talk, I can talk. I love talking. I am very good at it, you know. My dad always told me I talk way too much.”
“Can’t imagine why.” Derek smiles weakly.
There’s the sound of an electric saw and Derek jumps a little when it hits the metal of his car.
“Hey, look at me, Derek. Eyes on me. Only me.” Stiles puts one finger under Derek’s chin, gently turns it in his direction. “So, let me tell you about my dad, yeah? My dad’s a sheriff, you know? He’s here right now, probably. I haven’t actually looked around to find him but I am sure he’s here because he’s the sheriff, duh.”
Stiles smiles when he sees Derek’s lips create something that looks like a grin.
“When I was little, my dad always took me to the station with him. I think he regretted that later one because I always listened to all of his calls and dug through all of his files. Man, he was pretty annoyed with me when I was a teenager. With my ADHD and all that I wasn’t really the easiest child to have, I guess.”
Derek nods, like he understands. “My sister had ADHD too.”
“Well, then you know how it is.” Stiles says and stops himself from asking about Derek’s sister. He said she had ADHD which means she doesn’t have it anymore and Stiles knows that ADHD doesn’t just vanish. He doesn’t know if Derek means she’s taking meds now to help her or… He doesn’t want to think about what else could have happened.
“Anyway, I was a pain in the ass and my dad always told me that he’d lock me in a cell if I didn’t stop snooping around in his stuff. Naturally I didn’t stop but he never locked me in a cell. Well…not on purpose anyway. There was this time when my best friend Scott, he’s a vet by the way, played hide and seek at the station and my dad accidently locked me in a cell. Scott was looking for me everywhere, my dad nearly sent out a search party. They found me in the call about two hours later because I fell asleep and didn’t hear them calling for me.”
Derek stares at him, a bit unbelieving. “You weren’t scared?”
“Uhm, no, I guess not. I mean, I was an eight-year-old little shit and it’s not like someone else was in the cells, so nothing could have happened. I knew my dad would find me at one point or the other, soooo…”
Derek grimaces and Stiles strokes his cheek gently.
“It’s okay. Squeeze my hand as hard as you can whenever you feel the pain, it will help a bit.”
Derek squeezes and Stiles bites his lip. That guy has a really tight grip, nearly crushing his knuckles. Stiles looks at the working fire fighters and catches one’s glace. It’s Isaac, Scott’s boyfriend. Stiles recognizes him immediately.
“We’ll be done in a minute.” Isaac says, giving him a reassuring nod. Stiles nods back.
“You hear that, Derek? It will all be over soon and you’ll be able to go home to your family in no time at all, I’m sure of it.”
Stiles checks Derek’s pulse again, just to make sure everything is still alright. It’s slower than before but still pretty normal.
“Tell me more about your best friend, Scott’s his name?” Derek urges and Stiles is a bit surprised that Derek isn’t fed up with his talking yet.
“Yeah, Scott. He’s my best friend since kindergarden. I jumped into his sand castle when we were four, he cried and then I gave him some of my gummy worms. We’ve been BFF’s for life ever since then. You know, his mom might even marry my dad someday. I mean, if everything goes the way we want it to. My dad’s been pretty lonely ever since my mum died and Scott’s mom had a rough time with her ex-husband. They would be perfect together…and it would make Scott and me actual brothers which would be awesome.”
“Good for you.” Derek huffs. “Sorry about your mum though.”
Stiles shrugs his shoulders. “I was eight when she died, it’s been a while. I am not totally over it, I’ll always miss her but…I don’t mourn her anymore. I have come to term with her being dead. I can’t exactly get her back by crying, you know? So yeah, it’s alright.”
“Losing people is always hard. It never really stops hurting, does it?” Derek says and Stiles stills for a moment.
“No, it doesn’t. But it does get easier. You know, Scott actually played a big part in me getting better. He listened to me and stood by my side every day, went through all the shit with me. He never let me down. He’s a great friend.”
“Certainly sounds like it.” Derek smiles.
“That one time we wanted to-“
“Hey Stiles, we’re done here. You should be able to get him out safely now.” Isaac tells him and Stiles waves over to Erica. He sees her getting a stretcher with the help of Kira, who had seemingly already taken care of her patient.
“Seems like our little talk show’s over now, Derek. You’re getting out of here.” Stiles says with a smile and Derek looks happily at him.
“You’re a good paramedic, Stiles. You really are.” Stiles feels himself blushing at Derek’s words. “I am serious, I was pretty scared about this but you…you are good at this.”
Erica taps Stiles on the shoulder and Stiles nods at Derek, whispering a quiet ‘Thanks’ before moving out of the way. Kira wretches the door open carefully, with her hands ready to catch Derek in case of him sliding out sideways. He doesn’t.
Together they move him on the stretcher, careful not to twist and turn his body too much. Derek’s eyes are glued to Stiles’.
Stiles can’t get himself to look away and this time it’s not because he thinks Derek’s face is beautiful, it’s something else. Something that makes him worry about what’s going to happen to Derek once he’s in the car. He wonders if he’ll ever see Derek again once they get him to the hospital and asks himself if that will happen with all of his patients from now on. He doesn’t think it’s supposed to feel this way.
“Will you stay with me in the ambulance?” Derek asks, his voice thin and weak.
Stiles looks at Erica. He drove here, he should be the one driving the ambulance. Erica raises her eyebrows at him but then rolls her eyes.
“Sure thing, Derek.” Stiles says and laces his fingers with Derek’s again.
He knows that this isn’t supposed to happen, especially not the first time he’s actually at a scene but he also knows that when fate comes knocking at your door, you don’t throw it in fate’s face. And he’s pretty sure that his fate’s face looks like Derek Hale.