A/N: I wanted to copy the model 9-1-1 gave us where it was a one sided conversation. You can see Maddie's responses, but you don't get to hear what the parents say. So Buck's dialogue is split into lines, and after every line there is a response (that we don't get to see.) I hope it makes sense when you read it. ~Meowser
Maddie had been in the hospital overnight before Buck brought it up.
"So," he said, sitting on a chair in the corner of her room.
She blinked her eyes open; she was definitely awake, but she'd dozed a little. These pain meds had her unable to stay in one place for long...thank god.
"Are you going to tell mom and dad?"
The words hung in the room. Maddie blinked again, trying to figure out if Buck had actually said them. "What?" She finally asked, pressing the button to bring the bed to an upright position. She stared at her brother, eyes wide.
Buck hesitated, shrugging his shoulders, avoiding her gaze. "I feel like they should be told before they hear it on the news," he said slowly.
Maddie shook her head. "They haven't wanted to talk to me since I was nineteen," she said. "They left me with him, knowing that he wasn't a good man. I don't care how they find out."
She folded her arms, her mind and heart swirling. She knew that Buck hadn't meant to disturb her like this, and maybe he had a point, but her wounds were too deep. She didn't want to think about them right now.
"I'm going to call them, if you won't," Buck said. "That's all I wanted to say."
She felt tears prick her eyes. Buck was going to be her savior, for the second time in 48 hours. "Buck, you don't have to," she said, feeling emotions flooding her again. "Seriously. I don't want you to feel like you're obligated."
"It's not obligation, not really," he hedged. "Maybe it is, I don't know. I understand if you aren't up to calling them. But I'm not leaving them to see it on the news. Remember how worried you were during the earthquake?"
He was trying to prompt sympathy, trying to get her to see it in another way. Maddie nodded mutely, feeling utterly miserable.
He had a point. Her parents weren't great people, but no one should have to learn about something like this from TV.
"You're a good person," she mumbled. "I'm sorry, Buck. I'm so sorry. But I can't do it."
"You don't have to," he said, standing up and coming to take her hand. "Maddie. You don't have to. I got you."
More tears threatened to spill. Maddie squeezed his hand, and he brushed a kiss over her forehead before he left the room.
She was supposed to be the older sister. She was supposed to protect him.
She'd failed him though. He didn't even know about Daniel. He'd come to her rescue deep in the woods, he'd found her.
And she couldn't even tell him the truth of his childhood.
And he was going to call their parents about Doug. She didn't have words for this moment. She wanted to call him back, to tell him that she would do it.
She was supposed to be the big sister, but Buck was the one doing all of the care taking. He had helped her so much this year. He'd found her a job. He'd found her a friend group, to an extent. He'd shared the 118.
She owed so much of her current life to him. Chimney was alive because Buck had found him so quickly, and administered CPR. She was alive because Buck hadn't given up the search.
Her heart ached, wanting to go after her brother, but the meds were overtaking her consciousness again, and she found herself drifting off, instead of going after him.
Hi, yeah, it's Evan.
I'm doing fine.
No, I just wanted to let you know something.
Just let me talk, please.
Mom. Can you grab Dad?
This is important. Doug-
Yes, I know we don't talk about him.
Doug kidnapped Maddie, but she managed to escape. Doug is dead.
It was self defense.
No, she won't be prosecuted. Everyone agrees it was self defense.
She's in the hospital, she'll be here for a week at least.
No, she's fine. Battered, but she's going to make it.
Please don't say it was coming. There was no way to-
Okay. I'm going to go now.
No, I took off work to be with Maddie but I can't talk anymore now.
Buck hung up, cutting his mom off midsentence, but he was unable to listen to her anymore.
He should have known-maybe he did know-what their response would be, but somehow he'd still hoped for the best.
They hadn't given their best. They never did. His mom had gasped in horror, and his dad had interrupted the first time he mentioned Doug to say that they weren't going to talk about him.
As if Buck didn't already know that his parents refused to talk about Doug.
He huffed out a breath, scraping a hand through his hair, realizing that his other hand was fisted at his side. He needed to calm down before he went back to see Maddie.
He walked down the hall, just trying to forget all the awful things they'd said, before he realized he was outside of Chimney's room.
So he went inside.
"Hey, Buck," Chimney said, sounding surprised. "How's Maddie?"
It didn't surprise him that that was the first question Chimney asked. Buck smiled, knowing that as weird as this was, Chimney and Maddie were actually good for each other.
"She's tired," he hedged. "And a little mad at me."
"What now?" Chimney sighed.
"I told her I was going to call our parents," he said. Chimney's brow rose.
"Why would she be mad?" Chimney asked, and Buck realized that Chimney and Maddie weren't as close as he'd thought. Then again, Maddie didn't open up like that to anyone. Not even Buck himself. He figured it was hard to break years of habit from living with Doug.
"She wanted to wait," Buck said, shrugging. "I didn't want them to find out on TV."
"That makes sense," Chimney said slowly. "You don't want to worry them, I guess."
"Right," Buck said. "Well, I have to go back and face the music. I'm glad you're doing better today."
"Thanks," Chimney said, sounding thoughtful.
Buck ducked out, but when he got back to Maddie's room, she was asleep again. He thought about waking her up, but instead settled into the chair, deciding to wait.
Maddie stirred at the noise, and her eyes opened again.
"Buck," she said, and he tensed. "Thank you." There was choked emotion in her tone, and he could tell she was holding back tears. "Um, I couldn't have done that myself, and…" She trailed off, and he knew she was trying to find words.
"It's okay," he said softly, and she reached a hand out to him. He went to take it, looking down at his sister.
"Thank you," she repeated, and Buck squeezed her hand.
Anything that he could take off her shoulders right now, anything he could make easier...he would. He would do anything. Just to see her okay.