Destiny- it's an odd term but no more so than the downright eccentric stereotype surrounding it. No matter it's name, fate, luck, providence, around it there was a befuddlement of chaos close by. Some believed, some felt, and some just lived. Edward Masen was one of those that just went on about his usual business with no regard to others. Not that he wasn't polite or caring, he just never meddled in anyones life unless it directly affected him. Those that had never said a word to Edward may believe he was selfish, but anyone who had the fortune to get to know Edward knew he was the most selfless person they had ever met. That is, unless they had the even greater fortune of meeting Mother Teresa, god rest her soul.
So when when Edward awoke on a typical Monday morning and everything just went exactly right with no mishap he mused about his situation while munching on his toast. He was young, only mid-twenties, living in moderate townhouse just a ten minute drive from his place of work where he enjoyed his job and the people's company he was surrounded in. Edward was the living motto for 'Hard work gets you places'. Immediately finishing high school he enrolled himself in a Firefighter Training Program at his local college. Upon earning his certificate and a glowing recommendation from the course instructor, he landed himself a position at a well-known department within Seattle. And ever since he has worked his four on/four off schedule and only missing a handful of calls. The perseverance and determination did not go unnoticed by his superiors and he was one of the youngest Lieutenants his department had ever seen.
Edward smiled to himself in pride. He enjoyed where he was in life and thrived under the stress of his career. He was made to be a firefighter, of that he was certain. His mother nearly had a heart attack when he told her what his plans were. But Elizabeth Masen had known that once her son set his mind to something, there was no going back.
When Edward glanced up and saw the time on the clock above his oven he dumped his plate in the sink before clipping his radio to his belt, shoving on his boots and heading out the door to his car. On sunny days he biked to the fire hall, but as per usual to a spring day in Seattle, it was overcast and the clouds were threatening to spit. The humidity made his radio crackle in and out of the news station that the tuner was permanently set to, due to a broken knob busted by a careless passenger years ago. He drummed his fingers against the steering wheel as he waited for a red light to change. Traffic was light and it seemed 6am was too early for the majority of Seattle.
However, the hall was in full swing when he arrived. Alpha medic crew was out on a call and Bravo team was cleaning and stocking the ambulance in order to be ready to go at a moments notice.
"Morning Marcus, Alec," Edward greeted. They responded with muffled hello's from the back of the ambulance. Edward was the first firefighter of A crew to arrive while a tired C crew was just waking up.
"You have no idea," Emmett grouched to Edward. "Easy calls but just a fuckload and one right after the other. No time to sleep."
"You better not complain to Rose about no sleep or she'll kick your ass," Edward said, laughing at his long-time friend. He had met Emmett when he first joined the department and had instantly felt at ease in his presence.
"Yeah, yeah I know. I tell you, pregnant women are no fun," he grumbled. Edward had sympathized for him, knowing how much the hall had enjoyed when the receptionist, Angela, was pregnant. He could not begin to believe how it was going home to that somedays.
"You watch how you talk about my daughter, McCarty," Chief Cullen warned as he walked out of his office. It was easy to tell he was just poking fun and Emmett rolled his eyes.
"Man, you know how high maintenance she can be," Emmett protested.
"When you reach eighteen years you can complain," Carlisle laughed. "Until then, suck it up. It only gets worse with each kid." Emmett let out a loud groan at that and the kitchen laughed at him. Some jesting, others in compassion because they had families and knew what it was like. As C crew slowly made their way home, B crew trickled in. The guys knew the routine and began the daily task of cleaning the massive hall which was swept, mopped, and dusted twice daily, sometimes more depending on the amount of calls they received. The rule was leave it like you found it so no matter how tired they were all the equipment was cleaned and replaced after every call.
Edward was glad when the day passed uneventfully without a single call as it gave him and his team time to prepare for the weekly practice day that evening. Practice was mandatory every Monday evening as it kept safety procedures as well as uncommonly used tactics fresh in everyone's mind in case a situation arose where they were needed. It also gave some of the newer and volunteer members a chance to learn something before they were shoved blind into a situation. Practice kept everyone safe, and that's why it was mandatory, no matter how much anyone complained about it. Edward also new that there was a new recruit starting out this evening, a recent graduate from the city college with a Medic/Firefighter certificate, which was becoming increasingly more common. Being dually trained made you extremely useful in an emergency situation.
Edward and the rest of the team liked to test out new recruits so those practice nights usually help the more rare and fun setups. Often with controlled burns and vehicle extraction just to see if the newbie could handle their shit or not. Sixty percent of the new recruits dropped within a few months. Being a firefighter wasn't cut out for everybody and they had to be the best. People's lives were in their hands every day.
Six o'clock came faster than expected on such a slow day as him and the guys passed is watching movies and doing random chores around the hall. Soon enough the parking lot was packed and there was a buzz of noise as men and a few women made their way to the racks in the middle of the hall to gear up. Edward watched the clock, not knowing exactly when the new student was due to arrive. He wasn't going to hold up everyone else just because one person was late, however. When they were all heard up and standing in a circle, Edward and the Captain, Jasper Whitlock, announced to everyone what was in store for tonight. There would be two stations- hose and technique and the back of the hall, facing the grassy area where a few permanent structures were place for target practice, high angle lift on the side of the hall with the large tower to mimic a tall building where this procedure was most used. Anyone not bust was instructed to watch and listen.
Jasper took the hose while Edward watched over the high angle lift.
"Edward," Carlisle called, motioning him over to where a petite girl in mismatched bunker gear stood. "Edward this is Isabella Swan, our new student. Isabella, this is Lieutenant Edward Masen. He's going to show you the ropes." Carlisle rushed off to meet with other errands leaving him with Isabella, who was shifting nervously from foot to foot.
"Carlisle said he'd have to order smaller bunker gear, this is a little big," she said shyly. Edward could easily see that as the jacket nearly swallowed her, which would impair her movement.
"It's going to have to do for now, it'll take awhile to come in," Edward said gruffly, not impressed with the looks of her. Firstly, small guys got a rough time about their size, not to mention she was a girl and tiny to be exact. She was going to have a hell of a breaking in, he could tell. "Now we have a couple things set up here. I'm going to get you in the basket here for the high angle lift."
"What?" Isabella squeaked, paling slightly. Edward groaned mentally. This girl was not giving a good first impression about her ability as a firefighter. He new the course was tough, he took it once himself too, but in school is one thing and real life was another. If she couldn't handle practice in a controlled environment there was no way she'd be put out in the field.
"You have all the papers signed, don't you?" He asked.
"Well yeah, um, I just didn't expect to be doing this so soon," she said.
"Better to jump in rather than tiptoe."