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"You Like My Costume?"

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TK is actually kind of bummed to be working on Halloween.

Sure, it’s not like he has to work Thanksgiving this year--he somehow finagled the day off and he has yet to tell Carlos that he will be making a surprise visit to the ranch for dinner and he absolutely can’t wait to see his fiancé’s face when he walks in--but he was kind of looking forward to doing the cutesy couple’s costume thing. He’s a sucker for that kind of thing, and he’s bummed, okay?

They’re out on a call that’s frankly more of a time waster than anything else since the fourteen year old in question wasn’t actually suffering from alcohol poisoning but rather he’d yarfed because his friends had dared him to drink a teaspoon of dish soap--honestly, kids these days--so things are looking pretty mellow so far for the evening. He half expected full-moon level type calls tonight but in all honesty he’s been kind of bored. Which really makes it doubly crappy to be working. There’s not even any excitement.

“At least we’re off at 11, you’ll get to see the last of the trick-or-treaters,” Nancy says with a smirk.

“Who trick-or-treats at 11 p.m.?” he asks. “By then it’ll just be the dumb teenagers TP-ing old people’s houses and that’s if anyone actually does that anymore.”

“What, you’re too old and married for those kinds of shenanigans?”

“Screw you, I’m not old, and I’m not married yet,” he quips back at her.

“Mmmhmm. Coulda fooled me.” She’s smiling her mischievous smile, the one she gets when she’s contemplating how to jump-scare him in the bunk room in the middle of the night because one time he yelped in such a high-pitch that she nearly peed herself laughing, and she’s been trying to recreate it ever since.

“Hey, the thrill is not gone, I can promise you that.” Now it’s his turn to smirk back at her.

“Ugh ugh, okay, don’t wanna hear about it.” She waves her hands in front of her face like she’s shooing away fog. “And TK? I mean that. Whatever it is you’re going to be doing tonight, I never wanna hear about it, okay? Just...please. Keep it in the bedroom. Everyone’s going to be making enough assumptions as it is.”

He turns to look at her from the driver’s seat, puzzled. “What do you mean, tonight? What’s so special about tonight and why are people making assumptions? Carlos had to work until half an hour ago anyway, so we’re probably both going to just pass out when I get home. Also, what do you mean ‘assumptions’?”

She just smiles at him again. “Just drive, Strand.”

When he pulls the rig into the bay at ten minutes past eleven, TK just wants to shower and collapse. Boredom held out for only so long before giving into three separate calls where the patient coded on the backboard. He’s tired, he’s hungry, and he feels like he will never be clean of all the sweat. His fingers are aching and his shoulders are sore. He’s never been more ready to just slip into their sheets at home and pass into blissful oblivion. He can’t even make himself look up from the floor as he walks toward the locker room.

“Hey TK! Why don’t you say hi to the new probie?” Mateo’s voice is nearly a giggle, and it actually causes TK to lift his head. With great effort.

“Huh? We have a new probie? Whose first shift is on Halloween? Who did he piss off to manage that?” TK asks, following Mateo through the kitchen.

It’s Paul who answers from where he’s leaning against the archway leading back into the bay where the ladder truck is parked. “No one. You might be a little peeved that he took your old turnout gear, but I really, really doubt that.”

“What?” Now TK is just thoroughly confused.

“Yeah,” Marjan says when he rounds the corner, “and it doesn’t fit him all that well, but I also highly doubt you’ll be upset about that either.” She’s practically glowing with mirth.

“Okaaaay...what’s with everyone? Is this some kind of Halloween prank? Is someone going to jump out and scare me?”

“Trust me, it won’t scare you. Just...don’t scar the rest of us once you see it. Behave yourself until you get home,” is Nancy’s last line before she turns and practically runs up the stairs.

TK darts his gaze around to the rest of them, brow furrowing.

“Just go, man. We’ve been keeping this from you for like a week and we want to see the fruits of our labor,” Mateo says, shoving at TK’s shoulder so that he walks toward the ladder truck.

Still confused and slightly nervous, TK rounds the back of the truck and looks around to see what it is they’ve conjured up to prank him with. He scans the floor, wondering if someone in a scary mask will slide out from under the truck. He moves around to the other side while still in the team’s line of sight, looking back at them for some kind of indication that he’s on the right track. Marjan points subtly up and he follows with his gaze.

His mouth goes instantly dry and his breath stops. He might gasp, but he can’t be sure.

“Hi babe. Happy Halloween,” Carlos croons in a low voice, though he’s blushing slightly which removes some of the effect.

TK can only stare. His old turnout gear, indeed.

His fiancé his perched on top of the truck, casually leaned against the ladder and looking down on him. His hips, clad in baggy pants only held up by bright suspenders are slipped forward just so, inviting TK’s eyes to travel up the long line of his glorious body. The AFD t-shirt is straining at the seams, defining every muscle in his abs and pecs, the suspenders caressing against the hard planes of his chest, peeking out from the turnout coat hanging open.

When Carlos notices where TK’s eyes have gone, he lifts himself out of his ridiculously sexy lean to stand and shrug out of the coat. How on earth anyone can make the removing of standard-issue PPE look so goddamned alluring, TK will never know. The movement causes Carlos’ shoulders to flex, and the cotton of the t-shirt nearly gives out. TK catches a peek of his own name in bright orange lettering across the back of the coat before it’s casually flipped over one massive shoulder, clinging to one finger.

“I...holy shit,” is all he can say. He has been robbed of his entire vocabulary. He can hear his team snickering at him from the kitchen, but he pays them no mind. The view from here is much better.

Carlos blushes a bit more, and tosses the coat down to TK, who catches it dazedly. Then, he watches as his absolutely gorgeous fiancé nimbly climbs down the footholds on the side of the truck like he’s done it a thousand times before, and between drooling and sucking in subtle breaths of air TK’s eyes are drawn directly to his ass. It’s a marvelous sight.

Dropping down lightly onto the floor with a tiny bounce in his step, Carlos turns to face TK in all his glory. TK’s gaze once again runs the gambit from his shoulders down his torso, right down to his own spare pair of boots.

Carlos saunters closer, knowing full well what he’s doing and loving every minute of it, the bastard. “So, babe,” he says in that same low voice, closer this time. “You like my costume?”

TK still can’t really form words. He might stutter a bit, but he’ll deny it later.

Carlos leans in close--presumably to deter their audience from hearing his next words, which are whispered directly into TK’s ear.

“I chose to dress up as your secret fantasy,” he says, his lips caressing the shell of TK’s ear. He shivers, though from the words or the touch or the outfit or all of the above, TK can’t say. The next words he hears don’t help matters much.

“What do you say I rescue you from work? Take you home and give you some mouth-to-mouth?”

TK can hear the desire behind the words, but he can also hear the tiniest giggle at the blatant dirty talk that Carlos actually doesn’t do that much of, and it makes his heart melt. This man is everything.

When he regains some coherency, TK decides to give back as much as he’s gotten. He runs his hands down Carlos’ torso, nearly dropping one suspender completely off his shoulder with his vigor in grabbing a handful of pectoral muscle.

He leans back in and says into Carlos’ ear, “Well, have you still got your uniform in your car? It might be a bit big on me, but I think I’d look good in nothing but your utility belt. Should I handcuff you to the bed, firefighter Reyes?”

He leans back just enough to catch Carlos scrunching his eyes shut and biting his lip--desire written into every line of his face--and suddenly remembers their audience. This is not a free show, no matter how much help they provided Carlos in surprising TK with this. “Take me home, now.”

“You got it, babe.” With that, Carlos bends down, grabs TK by the waist, and lifts him like he weighs nothing. TK is thrown over his shoulder in a full fireman’s carry to the tune of his team, his friends, whistling and catcalling as he’s carried off to Carlos’ car.

Yeah, this is a good Halloween. Maybe the best one yet.