I had some time these last two days and so it was time for me to begin with the Buddie fic recs. This is the first one, more to come in the future (don't know when, honestly, I usually organize my fics folder when I have time/when I feel like doing it). Enjoy 💚
PS: I usually tag the authors, but sometimes I forget to do it, I'm sorry but I'm a bit chaotic.
Don’t Want no Other Shade of Blue But You [Words: 11050] by @fangkinkdiaz
This is an entire series, complete, and I suggest to read it all because it’s perfect.
“You can’t go see your son like this.”
That gives Buck pause. “He’s not—he’s not my son.”
“Isn’t he, though?” she says.
And part of Buck wants to argue, but a bigger part of him thinks, isn’t he, though? Not by blood, sure, or legally, but in all the ways that matter, Christopher is as good as his son.
Hungry For Your Love [Words: 1847] by @evcndiaz
I'm so in love with this one. It makes me laugh every single time I read it. Also the characters are so perfectly portraited it's like reading the script of an episode.
prompt: "who’s gonna write a fanfic where chris is not cooperating with buck and eddie accidentally says “listen to your dad?" or; breadsticks are a metaphor for love and boning
Habits [Words: 4926]
I read this over and over again. I loved it so much it became a comfort fic for me.
Buck's not sure what's going on when Eddie starts kissing him on the head after a rough call, only now it's A Thing, and it's a thing Buck would very much like to continue if he knew what it meant.
(or another Buddie fic where everyone knows except Buck.)
Fire on Fire [Words: 6668]
Absolutely one of my favourites. It's very well written.
"You’re sleeping with him.”
“I’m not—” Eddie rolls his eyes and corrects himself halfway through. “I’m not sleeping with him like that, okay?”
Sophia looks at him for a long moment as her gaze turns from teasing to thoughtful.
“But you want to be. Right?”
[Or: Buck and Eddie get in the habit of sharing a bed while living together during quarantine. It's platonic until it isn't.]
To Build a Home we deconstruct our rituals [Words: 44248]
I really enjoyed this fic. More like a journey. I loved the way Eddie has been portraited.
After the shooting, Eddie realizes he needs to put some things in place. Like who will get his assets if he dies. Who will speak for him if he ends up in a coma. What might happen if his family contests Buck's guardianship. Luckily, he's got a simple easy-peasy solution that won't result in insanity, catastrophe, or heartbreak:
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Through It All
Bobby looks at something behind him and Buck just has enough time to think, oh shit, before he’s asking, “But you two are fine?”
“Of course, Cap.” Eddie steps into his space, one hand gripping Buck’s shoulder. “Right, Buck?”
Buck doesn’t say anything. Bobby sighs like he doesn’t get paid enough for this.
Or: Buck pushes and Eddie keeps pulling away
Read on AO3
Buck knows a warning when he sees one. Eddie’s mouth is set in firm, rigid lines and his head snaps away when Buck tries to see through it. His hands tremble on the way up to the roof and he swallows like he’s not too sure his emotions are going to stay in his stomach. Buck’s no fool: he knows a plea for help when he sees it.
Am I serious? Buck wants to scream. It’s you, Eddie. Did you really think I wouldn’t be?
“Mind telling me what’s going on with you and Eddie?”
Bobby’s the first one that clocks it because of course he is, watching over his fire station and his family resting at home with the same brand of concern — Buck’s never known a captain so capable of it. Which is probably why the white lie makes him feel like a criminal.
“Nothing,” he says, a little too convincingly. People never suspect Buck of keeping a secret, not when he blinks up at them and smiles like that. It’s probably how he got away with it for so long. Until…
Well, until Eddie sat him down on that damn hospital bed and told Buck he wasn’t expendable. Fucking hypocrite. As if Eddie’s any more expendable than Buck is. As if Buck isn’t more expendable than everyone else in this-
Something about the end of that sentence feels like a betrayal. He shuts it down fast.
“He’s just tired,” Buck offers, totally unaware that anyone’s in the loft except for him and Bobby. “It’s been a long week.”
Bobby looks like he’s about to say something, but falters as he looks at something by the stairwell. Buck has just enough time to think, oh shit, before Eddie’s gripping his shoulder. “We’re good, Cap.” And god, Buck wants to roll his eyes. “Right, Buck?
Like a child, he crosses his arms and resolutely stares at the floor. The alarm rings and the moment breaks, though Buck isn’t sure which one of them backs down first.
He has half a mind to break the tired silence in the ladder truck by telling them about the will, in a vindictive sort of way. Hen’s on her phone and Chim and Bobby are talking to each other through the headset and Buck sort of wants to light something on fire just to watch it burn.
He nudges Eddie’s knee instead, shoots him a look. Buck isn’t quite sure what he sees, but it makes him tap twice on the pulse point on Buck’s wrist. “ We’re good,” Eddie insists, headset resting on his neck.
And maybe that’s what Eddie thinks Buck needs to hear, but Buck’s so far beyond caring about whether or not Eddie’s mad at him that it’s honestly ridiculous. He leaves his hand brushing against Eddie’s, stomach stuttering between longing and frustration, and keeps his voice low “Fuck you. Tell me why you were in the hospital.”
Eddie huffs and nods at Hen when she sends a questioning glance their way. “You know why.”
Buck could hit him. Seriously, he means it. He’d deduced that it was a panic attack an hour after the cardiologist said, “Mr. Diaz? I wasn't expecting to see you again so soon.” as if she wanted to put Buck in the hospital too. He saw the way Eddie froze at that call at the air traffic control center, even if no one else noticed, and he knows Eddie’s working twice as hard to compensate.
None of that answers his question.
“Eddie-” he tries again, but then they stop and Eddie’s leaping out of the truck like it’s physically painful to sit next to Buck any longer.
He squeezes his eyes shut and sees Eddie lying on the asphalt in a pool of his own blood and feels sick. There’s a fire blazing in front of them and all Buck can think about is how much he hates the color red. Eddie’s leaping out of the truck like it’s physically painful to be next to Buck any longer — but god, maybe it is.
“Alright,” Bobby calls. “Everyone’s been accounted for except two cats. Fire’s not too bad yet. Buck, Eddie, you two have five minutes before I pull you out. With or without the animals.”
There’s a flash of a moment where Buck wants to ask Bobby if he can go with Ravi instead, for Eddie’s sake — so that he doesn’t have a panic attack in the middle of a structure fire. But Eddie’s not an idiot, and everyone knows Bobby always puts them together for the dangerous shit because Eddie’s the only one Buck has ever listened to.
“We got a location on them?” Eddie asks.
“T-they like to hide in the master bedroom upstairs,” a woman around Buck’s age stutters out. She’s got one of her arms wrapped protectively over who must be her daughter. “Under the bed. One’s black and the other’s a calico.”
Calico cats are almost always female, Chris’s voice says earnestly in his head. And what the fuck? It’s like Eddie put Buck on a pedestal for Christopher and is content to stand by while he rusts. He can’t stand it. He can barely breathe around it. Nothing about this makes any sense. He decides he’s moving up his next session with Dr. Copeland.
Eddie drums his fingers on Buck’s upper back, just to the left of his spine, and Buck holds his breath waiting for … something. Something. “Where’s your head at?”
“With you,” he answers.
They wade into the fire together.
“It was a stupid mistake.”
“I wasn’t paying attention.”
“It was a fire, Buck.” When he’s satisfied with his too methodical wrappings and abundant application of burn cream, Eddie sits on the bench beside him. “You promised you wouldn’t pull this shit anymore.”
Buck glares. Eddie’s wading into dangerous territory and he knows it. “It was an accident.”
“Right,” the other man replies drily, worry lines still stark on his forehead. “Because Bobby didn’t tell us to pull out a good two minutes before that.”
They lapse into a tense silence. It’s late. Most people would be in the bunk room by now: a good shower and a good night’s rest is self-preservation for an overnight shift. Buck’s had a shower, but he thinks the idea of sleep has already slipped away for tonight.
They sit with about a foot of gap between them but it’s still too close for Buck to get a grip on his sanity. He stands, pacing the locker room. Eddie doesn’t take his eyes off him the whole time.
“Look,” Eddie starts quietly. “Maybe we’re not okay-”
What. The. Fuck.
“Eddie, no,” Buck thinks he should be angry, but he can’t bring himself to the brink when Eddie looks this small in front of him. Not when his hands shake like that. Not when he looks so sad.
Eddie closes his eyes, opens them with his jaw clenched and breathing through his nose. His words come out choked; barely intelligible. “Are we not good?”
“We’re…” They’re honest with each other. That’s their whole thing. “Eds, you’re not okay. Fuck,” his voice trembles and he punches it down. This isn’t about you. “You got shot, Eddie. In broad daylight. You’re not okay.”
“That’s not why it happened,” Eddie mutters as if compelled, like he doesn’t really know what he’s confessing. “I… suit shopping with Ana. The salesman called her,” he’s already speaking slowly, but now it’s punctuated by heavy breaths and Buck has half a mind to grab a disconnected oxygen mask.
“He called her Christopher’s mom,” he continues with momentous effort. “And I...fuck I lost it. Thought I was having a heart attack.”
“And ended up in the hospital,” Buck finishes, trying to process, well, all of that. “So that was the first one you had?”
Eddie’s voice is microscopic. It doesn’t suit him at all. But that line of thinking is probably what got them here. “The first one in public.” He inhales sharply. “ Chris was there.”
Buck’s heart sinks. The amount of trauma that kid’s had to go through is a dagger straight to his heart. “Hey, that’s not your fault,” he insists. “Chris will be okay. It’s you I’m worried about right now.”
Eddie gives him a half-smile. “You’re always worried about me.”
Buck holds his gaze. “You deserve to be worried about.”
And Eddie crumbles.
He’s not crying, but Buck can hear the low whine in the back of his throat anyway. It’s an intrinsic reaction, to touch Eddie; to hold him; to be there for him when he’s gripping Buck’s arms like a dying man, attempting to parse together sentences about how he doesn’t panic and what his father taught him.
God knows how long they stay like that — Buck murmuring reassurances that don’t mean as much as he’d like them to, trying to coax Eddie into breathing oxygen into his system. Saying shit like, “It’ll be okay,” as if that’s supposed to help when the world is falling apart at your feet.
“I need help,” he makes out finally, somewhere in the ramblings. It reads like an admission of guilt, but Buck refuses to take it as one.
“I’ll get you help,” he replies, staring at him, knees pressed together and Eddie’s hand still gripping his; because that’s the one thing he can promise, like he wouldn’t promise Eddie the world if he could. “We got each other’s back, Eds. That’s the deal.”
In the morning, they’ll worry about Ana and Chris; about therapy appointments and triggers. But tonight Buck will bully Eddie into getting some sleep and the other man will grumble but allow his shoulders to drop ever so slightly. They’re not okay, but they will be; they’re not okay but they can be.
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Dr. Diaz and his stupidly cute patient
Warnings: Minor descriptions of injuries, but like blink and you miss it.
With the rush of fear of seeing his sister looking at him murderously, he didn’t pay attention to the doctor until he was close to Buck and then he was swallowing hard to contain the groan that threatened to escape his mouth. The doctor was gorgeous. Magazine cover worthy gorgeous. He was stunning, with the lab coat and a binder between his hands. He had the most amazing brown eyes and his hair looked so soft that Buck wanted to run his fingers through it until it was messy.
“Good afternoon, Mr. Buckley. Nice to see you back with us.” The doctor interrupted his inner thoughts which were basically singing poetry about how precious he was. Dang. Buck 1.0 would have asked for his number in that exact same moment. But he wasn’t like that anymore. Also, he probably looked like shit, so there was a very little chance of it working.
5+1 times Buck had an accident and Dr. Diaz had to patch him up.
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Chapter 3 of the soccer/football au is up!
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in which, Eddie and Chris actually talk to each other and our boy does not pull punches. technically speculation for 5x03
“Hey, can we talk for a second?”
Chris looks up from his book, the camp light beside him throwing weird shadows across his face that make him look so much older than eleven. If Eddie thinks about that too hard, it’s going to break him.
Break him more.
“What’s wrong?” Chris asks.
“Nothing’s—” But that’s just not true, is it. Eddie sighs and sits down on the foot of Chris’s bed. “It’s about Ana.”
Chris just stares at him, waiting for Eddie to continue.
“I’ve been thinking,” Eddie starts, slow while he tries to put the words together in a way that’ll make sense to an eleven-year-old. “I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. And I have to break up with her.”
He braces himself for the explosion, the broken salad bowl all over again, the running away.
He doesn’t know what to do with himself when Chris’s response is a level, even, “Oh. Okay.”
He keeps talking before he’s really processed Chris’s non-reaction, because it had taken him so long to get the words right in his own head.
“Because I don’t love her, and I don’t think I’m ever going to, and it’s not fair to her to do that to her. And I know you’ve liked having her around, and that you like spending time with her, and if you want to be friends with her, that’s—you—what do you mean ‘okay’?”
“No, no shrugging,” Eddie says. He squeezes Chris’s foot under the bedsheet and gets the tiniest hint of a grin in response. It fades just as quickly. “What do you mean ‘okay’? I thought you liked Ana.”
“She was my favourite teacher,” Chris confirms. “And it’s been nice having her around sometimes since I didn’t get to see any of my friends during quarantine.”
The unsaid “but” echoes in Chris’s bedroom. Eddie waits for him to say it, and when he doesn’t, he squeezes Christopher’s foot again.
“But?” Eddie prompts.
Chris shrugs again.
“I didn’t want to say anything because she’s nice and I thought you liked having her around,” Christopher says, completely avoiding Eddie’s eyes. “But sometimes, some of the stuff she says reminds me of Grandma.”
Before Eddie can even begin to process the instant bile that goes along with the “oh god I’ve been dating my mother” of it all, Chris continues.
“And I love Grandma! And I know she loves me! But, I don’t know, sometimes it feels like she thinks I can’t do anything,” he says. “And sometimes it feels like that with Ana too.”
“Why didn’t you say anything?” Eddie asks. He doesn’t know how successful he is at choking down his horror. He hasn’t been very good at swallowing back any emotions these days.
“Because I thought you liked her,” Chris says. “And I want you to be happy, Dad.”
“I thought me dating her made you happy,” Eddie replies.
“It doesn’t make me unhappy,” Chris says, which is at least something of a relief. “But I don’t understand why you can’t date someone who makes both of us happy. Like Buck.”
Eddie’s pretty sure he’s going to need 5-7 business days to recover from this conversation.
“Buck dating Taylor makes you happy?” Eddie asks.
Chris rolls his eyes and looks so much like a teenager, Eddie kind of wants to run and find a way to time travel so he can make his kid be a little kid again.
It would get him out of this conversation at least.
“No,” Chris says. “I mean, you could date someone who makes you happy and makes me happy. Someone like Buck.”
Eddie doesn’t know how long he sits there, slack-jawed, but it’s long enough Christopher has to lean over and tap him on the shoulder to break him out of it.
“Buddy, that’s not — Buck and I aren’t — I’m not—”
“It would be okay if you were,” Chris says, and if Eddie has to hear an entire it’s okay to be gay speech from his child, he might have to check himself back into the cardiology ward. “And I always like having Buck around, so you wouldn’t have to worry about that part.”
It feels a little like his life flashing before his eyes.
Dropping Christopher off at Buck’s loft before the tsunami.
After, telling him there’s no one in the world Eddie trusts more with his son.
This is my kind of therapy.
Putting Buck in the will.
This is what I want for him.
All the time Buck had spent with Christopher while Eddie was recovering. Hell, all the time he’d spent with Eddie.
Of course he can’t handle a pre-fab, just-add-water, ready-made family with Ana. How the hell is she supposed to fit when he’s already built an entire family, a real one, an unbreakable one, with Buck?
“Too bad he has a girlfriend,” Chris says, and there’s something just a little teasing about it, like he might have noticed the disgust on Eddie’s face when he mentioned Buck and Taylor.
“Yeah, well, right now so do I,” Eddie replies, and when Chris grins at him, Eddie thinks that he might, somehow, have just followed all of Eddie’s internal processing. Or, at least, the broad strokes of it. “One problem at a time, okay?”
And now, he’s just got to rip the bandaid off. That part, at least, should be easy.
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I've been thinking a lot about a scene Eddie calling Chris "our son" while talking with Buck or Chris calling Buck dad I want it to happen so bad Ciara! Do you think, maybe, if you're up for it, u can write something tiny??? It's okay if you can't! I love your writings so much! always feel like you get the essence of these characters!
anon, i'm so glad i saved your message until after 5x02 bc ooh boy does that ep make this even more meaningful!!! apologies for the delay but i really hope you like it! :')
“Our son is insisting he can’t turn the light off until he says goodnight to you again,” Eddie says, coming back into the living room. He rolls his eyes but it doesn’t stop the feeling of warmth that spreads through his chest when he thinks about Christopher’s wide eyes and not-so-innocent smile as he’d asked to talk to Buck one last time.
He drops back down into his spot on the couch, reaching for his beer and raising an eyebrow when Buck stays sat there, completely frozen.
“What’s wrong?” he frowns.
Buck blinks, seeming to rouse himself out of whatever daze he’s in and gives Eddie a wary look. “You just said ‘our son’.”
A ‘yeah, so?’is on the tip of Eddie’s tongue until his brain catches up with him and all of his thoughts promptly come to a screeching halt. Holy shit. Holy shit, he just called Christopher theirs. His mouth parts but nothing comes out and he stares at Buck as if he’ll somehow be able to explain how easily the words rolled off his tongue.
Buck bites the inside of his cheek, watching him anxiously before abruptly standing up from his seat. “I’m gonna say goodnight to him,” he says tentatively, like he’s afraid Eddie might kick him out instead. “I’ll uh- I’ll be right back.”
With that, he’s gone and Eddie listens to the sound of his socked feet padding down the hall, listens to the creak of Christopher’s bedroom door as Buck opens it again, listens to the soft hum of their voices and imagines Buck tucking Christopher in, smoothing his hair back and kissing his forehead like he always does.
It’s a lot to digest at 9 o’clock on a Friday evening.
There is one thing though, one thing that’s surprisingly absent. Panic.
His hands aren’t trembling, his chest doesn’t feel tight, he’s breathing normally. He’s overwhelmed but he doesn’t think it’s for the same reasons as before.
Buck is back before he’s had a chance to come back to himself, sitting a careful distance away from Eddie on the couch. He’s watching him with a guarded sort of concentration, as if he’s looking for the signs of a panic attack he’d picked up on so easily before.
Finally, Eddie wets his lip, takes a breath and turns to him. “Why doesn’t that scare me?”
Buck starts, clearly not expecting a question. “What?”
“I- Buck, a store clerk called Ana Chris’ mom and I had to be rushed to hospital because I thought I was having a heart attack but I just said-“ he cuts off, brow furrowing as he tries to make sense of what he wants to say.
“It was a slip of the tongue, Eds. It’s not a big deal,” Buck tells him quietly but Eddie can see it hurts him to say it. The way his expression dims slightly, the slight downturn of his mouth, the resignation in his eyes.
And that’s not right either.
“No, but-“ He shakes his head, forcing himself to meet Buck’s eyes. “I already chose you,” he says lowly. “With the will, I chose you because- because you love him like I do and you hug him the same way I do and- and you took care of him when I was in hospital and nobody questioned that. You know his routine and you help him with his homework even if he’s better at math than both of us combined and you take him to the zoo and-“
He looks at Buck, feeling realisation crash over him in waves as Buck’s throat bobs and he seems to swallow down whatever emotion he’s trying not show on his face.
“I already chose you,” Eddie repeats – half a question, half a realisation because- “It wasn’t about the act of Shannon being replaced or not being ready for a new family. It was because I didn’t want that with Ana.”
It was because I wanted it with you.
Buck inhales a sharp intake of breath and the brief jerk of his head gives Eddie a quick view of the glassiness behind his eyes. “Is this- are you-“
He can’t seem to find the end of his question but Eddie nods anyway, shuffling a few inches closer until their knees bump. “Buck, you’ve supported me from the moment you met Chris. You’ve been my partner outside of work almost as long as you have inwork. I trust you with him so much I put it in writing. I’d be kidding myself if I said we weren’t raising him together by now.”
Buck’s expression breaks out into a brilliant, disbelieving smile almost at the exact same moment his tears finally spill over and Eddie doesn’t think about it when he pulls him in. It strikes him as he does it that it’s probably presumptuous to kiss Buck. All of this – even if Buck wants to consider Christopher his kid – it doesn’t mean Buck wants him.
But then their lips are meeting and Buck’s sighing into his mouth and cupping Eddie’s jaw like he doesn’t plan on ever letting go. For all that it’s a charged kiss, it’s a chaste one too. It’s a delicate press of lips that acts as a punctuation mark to everything Eddie’s just confessed. Or a postscript, maybe.
After a beat Buck pulls away, just enough to meet Eddie’s gaze and smooth his thumb across his cheekbone. “I didn’t just choose Chris. I didn’t just do all this for him. I chose you too. I always have.”
Something syrupy and soft dissolves inside of Eddie then and with it he melts against Buck, brushing their foreheads together.
Turns out following his heart and Christopher’s is easy when they both want the same thing.
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↳ what a wicked thing to do, to make me dream of you by prettyboybuckley
Look, Buck is okay with stripping his way through college to survive. It's only for the two years his associate degree takes, anyway. And he likes the money, and the attention, and his colleagues are great. But then Bobby had to go and hire Eddie Diaz, who swoops in and charms all the customers and starts stealing Buck's tips. So he has to deal with Eddie Diaz four nights a week, and then he goes home, and while he sleeps he dreams vivid images of large hands, strong biceps and an ass you could bounce a quarter off of.
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feeling the ache is better than nothing at all
coda to 5x04. Eddie has a conversation with Chimney, and two with Buck.
[read on ao3]
Chim punched me.
Eddie gets the text at 8.34pm and doesn’t even reply, just closes the kitchen door behind himself after a quick glance at Christopher to make sure he’s fine in front of the TV, and calls Buck.
“Hey,” Buck answers after a few seconds, sounding resigned but mostly normal.
“What happened?” Eddie asks, and the whole story immediately spills from Buck’s lips.
How he knew what happened to Jee-Yun and why Maddie thought it would be better to leave, how he tried to stop her but couldn’t, how she wouldn’t tell him where she was going and begged him not to say anything to Chimney. How he thought he could still help Chimney keep it together. And how, in all his pain, Chimney punched him in the face when he found out.
“But this isn’t about me,” Buck finishes, and Eddie bites his lip, wonders if his face looks as fond as he feels.
“It’s a little bit about you, Buck.”
“Eddie. I’m worried about him.”
Buck told Eddie last week how Chimney reacted to Maddie leaving, how he convinced himself that someone was forcing Maddie to leave. Buck’s been worried about Chimney for eight days, and so has Eddie, but this is a new level. Chimney’s not a violent man, but Eddie knows what it’s like when you feel so helpless that punching someone feels like the only way to regain some control.
“Yeah,” he sighs. “Me too. How’s your face? Where’d he get you, did it bleed?”
“No, he socked me clean in the eye. I think it’s just gonna bruise.”
“Any dizziness? Blurry vision?”
“I’m fine, Eddie,” Buck says, and Eddie can hear the eye roll in his voice. He wonders if that hurts, too.
“I could come over and check it over for you,” he offers anyway.
“You don’t have to,” Buck says softly, and Eddie suddenly imagines Taylor there with Buck, pressing an ice pack to his face, cradling his face as she does so. It makes something deep inside him ache. “It’s almost Christopher’s bedtime, and I’m fine, really.”
“Okay,” Eddie relents. “Did you ice it? Is Taylor there to keep an eye on you?”
“No, she’s not,” Buck says, and doesn’t offer an explanation. “But I can ice it myself.”
“Make sure you do. And I’ll come over tomorrow when Christopher is at school to check on you.”
Buck laughs. “Chimney was angry, but he didn’t hit me that hard. Stop worrying, I don’t have a head trauma. But you can come over tomorrow, bring something for lunch?”
“Okay,” Eddie says. “I’ll swing by that Thai place you love.”
Buck hums. “You spoil me.”
Eddie flushes bright red, grateful they’re on the phone and not on FaceTime, and clears his throat. “It’s on my way anyway.”
They’re quiet for a few moments, and then Eddie asks, “Hey, are you…are you mad at Chimney?”
“No,” Buck says. “No, I’m not. I’m worried about him, but I get…I get why he did it. I was so angry at him for not telling me about Daniel, and now I did the same thing to him.”
“Because you promised Maddie.”
“Yeah,” Buck sighs, and he still sounds guilt ridden. “I don’t know what to do. I want to help him, but I don’t think he wants help from me right now.”
“Let me talk to him,” Eddie suggests. “I’ve been meaning to call him anyway.”
“Okay, thanks,” Buck says, hesitating before he adds, “How are you? Your texts earlier were…well, you didn’t say much, but that must’ve been rough.”
“I think Hen took it harder,” Eddie deflects, then decides to go for half-truths so Buck will stop worrying. “It’s always hard when it’s kids, and it wasn’t made easier by the mix-up. Watching their parents go through that...all four of them...yeah, it was rough.”
He doesn’t tell Buck about the blood on his neck, about the way he’d stared at it for too long in the mirror of the hospital bathroom, about how his hands had shaken when he’d scrubbed it off. It all hit a little bit too close to home, the best friends, the blood, the hospital. He knows it’s something they have to talk about, that they’ve been circling around it for too long, but he’s not ready. He doesn’t want to think about that day, and he wants to talk about it even less. Especially over the phone.
Buck lets him get away with it this time, just says a quiet, “I’m sorry.”
They’re silent again, and again it’s Eddie who speaks first. “I should get Christopher to bed so I can call Chimney.”
“Yeah,” Buck says. “Give him a hug from me, okay? And when you talk to Chim, can you tell him I’m sorry? I’ll tell him myself too, just...later.”
“Yeah, of course. Put some ice on that bruise, Buck, you hear me? And I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“See you tomorrow,” Buck says quietly. “Goodnight, Eddie. And...thanks.”
“Anytime,” Eddie replies just as quietly. “Goodnight, Buck.”
Eddie hangs up and pockets his phone, rubbing at his forehead. He still kind of wants to march over to Buck’s place and take a look at the bruise, but Buck is right, Christopher needs to go to bed and Eddie can’t leave him. He’s too old to sleep in the car and too young to stay up as long as it takes Eddie to check on Buck, and if Buck’s face is already bruising, he probably wouldn’t want Chris to see him like that anyway. Plus, Buck’s an EMT – he should be able to tell if his orbital bone is fractured, and he knows what to do with a blunt force trauma. So tomorrow will have to be enough.
He leaves the kitchen and tells Christopher it’s time for bed, which his kid thankfully accepts without much fuss tonight. Eddie lets him read a chapter of his book in bed after he’s brushed his teeth, and then kisses Christopher’s forehead.
“Goodnight, buddy,” he says, watching as Chris happily tugs his blanket up over his shoulders. “I love you.”
“Love you too, dad.”
Eddie kisses his temple once more before straightening up and backing out of the door, pulling it shut behind himself.
He goes back to the kitchen, door closed so he won’t disturb Christopher, and sits down at the kitchen table to call Chimney.
“Did Buck tell you?” Chimney answers the phone, and Eddie has never heard his voice sound the way it does right now. Frantic, almost.
“I talked to him, yeah,” he says carefully, and Chimney starts talking before he’s even finished.
“I really don’t have time for a lecture right now, Eddie. I know I shouldn’t have punched him and I don’t really know what happened, but he knew, and he didn’t tell me–”
“Chimney,” Eddie interrupts. “Chim. I’m not calling to tell you how wrong it is to punch someone. I think you know, and it would be kind of hypocritical of me, don’t you think?”
Chimney doesn’t laugh, but Eddie pushes on. “Buck isn’t even mad at you. We’re just worried.”
Eddie can hear Jee-Yun crying in the background, and Chimney snaps, “Well, great, but that doesn’t help me either. I can’t do this right now.”
He hangs up on Eddie, and Eddie stays sitting at the kitchen table, feeling exhausted. He’s so tired of constantly having to go through drama and hardships, of watching the people he loves do the same. When will they just...get to be happy?
Chimney clearly needs help and support right now, and Eddie wants to give him that. Buck told him to bring lunch, so Eddie figures he’s got plenty of time in between dropping Christopher off at school and going to Buck’s place to see Chimney.
In the morning, Eddie takes Christopher to school and then heads over to Maddie and Chimney’s place.
When Chimney opens the door, he looks a lot better than he sounded on the phone last night, but still tired and jittery.
“I guess I should've expected this,” he says instead of hello.
“Can I come in?” Eddie asks.
Chimney opens the door a little wider. “I don’t have a lot of time, but sure.”
There are bags by the door, and Jee-Yun’s stroller, and it’s obvious that Chimney’s in the middle of packing. “Sorry to barge in here unannounced.”
“Are you here about Buck?”
“Um, no,” Eddie says, following Chimney to the kitchen, where he starts putting stuff from the fridge into an insulated bag. “I’m here about you. I talked to Buck yesterday and he told me what happened – we were both worried about you, so I thought I’d come by and see how you were.”
“Not great,” Chimney says drily. “If he’s so worried, why didn’t he tell me he knew why Maddie left?”
“Because she’s his sister.” Eddie sighs. “You know how they are, Chim. I think it was them against the world for so long, they still sometimes forget to let other people in. Maddie begged Buck not to say anything, I think he was trying to do right by both of you.”
Chimney doesn’t turn around, but his voice sounds choked when he asks, “Why would she ask him to keep it from me?”
Eddie wants to reach out, offer some comfort, but Chimney still hasn’t turned around.
“I’m not Maddie,” he starts, “but I know what it’s like when you feel like you’re a bad parent. When you think leaving is the best thing you can do. I think...maybe she feels ashamed, and that’s why she didn’t want you to know. You’ll find her, and then you can ask her. But remember that this doesn’t mean she doesn’t love you and Jee-Yun.”
“I know,” Chimney says quietly, finally turning around. His eyes are red-rimmed. “I know she loves us. I just...I wish I’d checked in more, I wish–”
“It’s not your fault either. It’s the PPD messing with her head, I don’t think there’s a lot you could’ve done differently under the circumstances.”
Chimney is quiet for a while, and then he says, “I thought you were here to chew me out for punching Buck.”
“I think you’re doing a good enough job of that yourself. Besides, I happen to know what it’s like to feel so helpless and out of control that lashing out seems like the only way to regain some of it. So does Buck, by the way.”
“I just wish he’d told me. He saw the hell I was going through – Maddie told him to make sure we were okay, but he saw that we weren’t, he knew–” Chimney’s voice breaks and he sucks in a shuddering breath. Eddie reaches out and squeezes his shoulder.
“He thought he was doing the right thing,” he says softly. “I think...Chimney, I think you and Buck have very different perceptions of Maddie. She’s his big sister, she’s always seemed so strong to him, I think that’s why he believed her when she said she needed time, and to take care of things herself. I don’t know what’s right for Maddie, but if you think she needs your help, then I believe you.”
He’s not Maddie, but Eddie can relate to always being the strong one, the protector. And if he’s really honest with himself, maybe it’d be nice to have someone else take care of him for a change.
“Okay.” Chimney swallows audibly. “Okay, thank you Eddie.”
“I’m still mad at him,” Chimney admits. “At Buck. I shouldn’t have punched him, but I...I’m just so angry.”
“I understand that it’s hard to see his side right now. And Buck knows that, too.” Eddie thinks about bringing up the fact that Buck forgave Chimney for keeping the secret about Daniel, but he knows it’s not the right time. He doesn’t doubt Chimney will eventually forgive Buck, anyway. But maybe he needs to feel this anger now, he has every right to.
“Can you tell him that? That I’m angry, but I’m sorry for punching him?”
“I’ll tell him. And you’re really going after Maddie?”
“I have to,” Chimney says with conviction. “She needs me.”
“Well, I know what it feels like to be left, too, so I get the urge,” Eddie sighs. “For what it’s worth, I think this is a completely different situation than mine, because Maddie only left because her brain tricked her into thinking it would be safer for your daughter. You know you can always count on us, we’re all here for you.”
“Thank you,” Chimney says thickly. He turns to the cupboard and pulls out two glasses, filling them with water and setting one down in front of Eddie. “Can we talk about something else? Anything else? How’s working with Hen?”
“Oh, yeah, of course – it’s great. She’s really helping me find my footing. I’m not a permanent replacement for a paramedic like you, obviously, but with her help I think I can fill in for you until you get back. And I think we make a good team, after yesterday I guess we can get through anything.”
“What happened?” Chimney asks. “I haven’t really paid attention to...well, anything else.”
“Yeah, I wouldn’t expect you to. But we don’t have to talk about it–”, Eddie tries, but Chimney interrupts.
“Come on, Eddie, give me 5 minutes of thinking about anything else.”
So Eddie tells him about their day, from the crash at the parade to the mix-up and what followed it, how Hen insisted on being the one to tell the parents, and Chimney lets out a low whistle when he finishes.
“I’ll be honest, I didn’t expect that. Maybe I should check on Hen.”
“I think she’d be pretty mad if you left town without telling her,” Eddie says, “so you should do that anyway. But she’s...okay, I think. Shaken up – that hit us both hard – but okay.”
“I’ll talk to her. Hey, Eddie – thanks. For everything.”
“Of course, man,” Eddie says. He claps Chimney on the shoulder once more. “I should get going, but...good luck. I really hope you find her and can get her the help she needs.”
“Yeah,” Chimney mumbles. “Yeah, I really hope so too.”
Eddie pulls him into a hug, and for a moment, Chimney’s hands clench in the fabric of his shirt and he presses his face to Eddie’s shoulder before he steps away again.
“I’ll see you soon, Chimney.”
Eddie leaves Chimney’s place and stops at the grocery store to pick up pain meds for Buck and a sixpack of beer, gets their usual from Buck’s favourite Thai place and then drives over to Buck’s apartment.
In the elevator, he looks at himself in the mirror, wondering if Buck will think he dressed up. Maybe he shouldn’t have put on a button up shirt? But he wants to seem put together to Buck, like he’s fully back in control. Besides, Buck wears shirts like this all the time, so he probably won’t notice. And if there’s a tiny voice in his head reminding him that he looks good in black, he’s ignoring it. That’s not why he picked this shirt.
When Buck opens his door, the skin around his left eye is a colourful canvas of red, yellow and blue-ish tones, and Eddie sucks in a breath.
“Jesus, Buck,” he says. “I thought you said he didn’t hit you that hard.”
Buck scowls. “Maybe I just bruise easily.”
“Let me take a look at it,” Eddie says, setting the bag he brought down on the kitchen island and looking around. “Light’s best outside. Come on!”
He drags a barstool outside to the balcony and waits until Buck has followed him, climbing onto the stool with a petulant expression on his face.
“You’re making too big of a deal of this,” Buck protests, and Eddie grabs his chin to turn his face so he can get a good look at the bruise.
“Did you check for fractures?”
“Yes,” Buck says. “It’s fine, no fractures, no dizziness, no blood. Just a bruise, Eds.”
“Hm.” Eddie carefully brushes his thumb over the bruised skin before he catches himself and drops his hand, taking a step back. Buck’s eyes are very blue. “Are you icing it regularly? Where’s your ice pack?”
“Uhh,” Buck makes. “I have iced it.”
His eyes wander to something behind Eddie, and Eddie turns around, immediately spotting the melting ice pack on the kitchen counter.
“Buck,” Eddie groans. “Why didn’t you put it back in the freezer? Please tell me you’ve got another one.”
The look on Buck’s face tells him everything and Eddie rolls his eyes before making his way back inside. He grabs the ice pack and puts it back in the freezer, rifling through the drawers to find something else to put on Buck’s eye.
“Don’t you even have frozen peas or anything?” he calls out to Buck, looking at the pint of Christopher’s favourite ice cream he’s just found. “How is your freezer this empty?”
“Can’t I just wait until the ice pack is cool again?”
“That’ll take too long, and judging from how warm it is you’ve already spent too long not icing it.”
Eddie puts the beer he brought and the Thai food into the fridge, figuring it’s too early for lunch, so they can just heat it up later. When he closes the fridge door, he spots the ice dispenser and has an idea. He gets a ziploc bag and fills it up with ice cubes, figuring it’s the best option right now.
Then, he remembers the feeling of Buck’s skin under his fingers and grabs two beers, figuring it’ll be better if his hands are occupied.
Outside, he hands the bag of ice to Buck, who snorts but presses it to his face carefully.
“Isn’t it a bit early for beer?”
Eddie shrugs, twisting the cap off his bottle. “I figured we deserved it after the day we’ve had.”
“Good point,” Buck says, putting the ice bag down to open his own bottle and take a long swig. “I bet yesterday you wished our job actually always ended outside of the hospital doors.”
“Yeah,” Eddie sighs. “Though I guess it was our mistake in the first place.”
“How’d it happen anyway?”
“When the girl was regaining consciousness at the scene, Hen asked her name, and she gave us one. Turns out she wasn’t telling us her name, though, she was asking for her friend.”
“Shit,” Buck mumbles. “And you told the wrong parents their kid hadn’t made it?”
“Actually, we told the wrong parents their daughter had.” Eddie rubs at his forehead. “Hen had to tell them she was the one who died after all.”
“It wasn’t your fault, though,” Buck tries. “How were you supposed to know she wasn’t telling you her own name?”
“Well, it made me think that we should probably be more careful what we tell people on calls. I don’t know. Just wasn’t a fun day. How’s Ravi holding up?”
“Good, I think,” Buck says. “He’s still got a lot to learn, but we all did in the beginning. Or I guess, everyone but you did.”
Eddie rolls his eyes at him and Buck grins, then winces and lifts the ice back to his face.
“Did you talk to Chimney?”
“I went by their place this morning,” Eddie tells him. “He’s...well, you’ve seen him, he’s not great. Better than yesterday, though, he asked me to tell you he’s sorry for the punch, but he’s still mad. He was packing when I got there, too, so he’s probably already going after Maddie now.”
Buck sighs. “I don’t think anyone could’ve stopped him at this point.”
Eddie doesn’t tell him he didn’t even try to change Chimney’s mind. He’s not sure yet how he’s gonna tell Buck that maybe Chimney does know better what Maddie needs right now.
“So,” he says instead, after they’ve been sipping their beers in silence for a few minutes. “Tell me why a certified EMT only has one ice pack and doesn’t ice his bruise as much as he’s supposed to?”
“I don’t know what happened to my ice packs,” Buck says, “I could’ve sworn I had more at some point. As for the other thing...I don’t know, my head’s kind of all over the place right now and it hurts and I was feeling bad for myself –”
“You won’t feel any better with that bruise swelling up even more,” Eddie interrupts, pointing at where Buck has lowered the bag again already, “put it back.”
Buck grumbles but does as he’s told. “I guess that’s also part of the reason. I knew you were coming over to take care of me.”
Eddie’s face goes hot and he hopes he’s not blushing, when he coughs out, “Someone has to do it. Speaking of, do you want another beer?”
He’s already pushing off the bannister he was leaning against without waiting for Buck’s reply, heading straight for the fridge. He sticks his head inside for longer than strictly necessary to locate the beers he put in there himself, squeezing his eyes shut and trying to cool down.
It’s getting harder and harder, acting normal around Buck. Sometimes, Eddie catches himself staring at him, getting distracted watching Buck just go about his day. Sometimes he takes something Buck has said and turns it over and over again in his head, trying to figure out if there’s a double meaning to it or if he’s just going crazy. But Buck’s still dating Taylor, so Eddie can’t get his hopes up.
“Hey,” Buck calls from outside. “Can you grab my phone from the kitchen? I’m thinking about taking a selfie so I can show Chimney a picture once he’s back, who knew he could punch like that?”
Eddie laughs and grabs Buck’s phone from the counter. The screen lights up and shows Buck’s wallpaper – it’s still a picture of him, Eddie and Christopher at the zoo. Eddie bites down on a smile and slides Buck’s phone into his pocket so his hands are free to carry the beer.
“It actually really hurts,” Buck continues from outside, his voice sounding a lot less happy again. “He must’ve meant it.”
Eddie grabs the beers and starts heading outside, trying to get his head back on straight so he can actually be helpful to Buck now.
“Well, there’s nothing wrong with his aim,” he says, handing Buck, who’s wincing while pressing the ice to his bruise again, a bottle. “He got you good.”
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attn 911/ls fic writers!
a conversation in a server made us realize that we need to find a way for 911/ls fic writers to get the attention they deserve. it’s rare for fic writers to get a lot of notes on their fic and we all know that the ratio on tumblr sucks.
so we have a proposition for everyone: let’s use #911fic and #911lsfic as a way for people to get their fic out in the same way that gifmakers use edit tags. the main tags for the shows are still good of course but it’s easy for things to get lost among the text posts, memes, etc.
people who want to find fic can track the tags and hopefully normalizing the usage of these will help fic writers get their work out there (especially if they’re newer/smaller blogs).
please signal boost to help us spread the word!
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"I am fed up with half-measures. I deserve better." (Got huge buddie and malex vibes from this one 👀)
The last thing Eddie expected to find at his door was Buck, of all people – not because Buck was an unusual fixture in his home; no, because Buck was supposed to be on a date.
Eddie had been trying his best for weeks now, to be the dutiful best friend, and support Buck’s relationship with Taylor – regardless of how much he wished Buck wasn’t dating anyone else – and it was hard. It was hard, and so Eddie was halfway through a tub of his favourite flavour of ice-cream (the excessively expensive one Buck had introduced him to, the one Eddie only bought when he knew Christopher wasn’t home). He’d also cracked open a bottle of wine Hen and Karen had given him as a thank you for babysitting Denny, one Saturday afternoon (he’d made a mental note to thank Karen – the woman had good taste in wine) and so Eddie was well settled in for an evening of feeling sorry for himself while Christopher was at a sleepover party.
Until – well, Buck decided to bang his door in.
Tucking his ice-cream into the crook of his arm, Eddie raised an eyebrow. “You have a key,” he reminded, looking a frazzled Buck up and down. He was clearly dressed for a date – wearing that blue striped shirt that made Eddie’s mouth water, a neat jacket over the top – but he was also clearly not on said date.
“I have had the worst day,” Buck declared dramatically, kicking his sneakers off in the hallway, brow furrowing as he noticed the bottle of wine on the table. “Do you have company?” he asked, clearly confused – Ana was long gone, to be fair, their relationship having ended weeks previously.
Eddie swallowed, glancing down at his very sad outfit of a pair of raggedy old sweatpants, and a grubby sweatshirt that had definitely seen better days – Eddie wasn’t a sentimental man, really, but Christopher always called it Eddie’s cuddliest sweatshirt, so Eddie didn’t have the heart to throw it out.
“No,” he reassured. “I don’t.”
“Are you questioning my methods of self-care?” Eddie retorted. “I like wine, sue me.”
“All wine tastes the same,” Buck sighed, throwing himself on the couch, reaching for the bottle.
“You can have a glass,” Eddie intervened. “But I will kick you out of my house if you drink directly from that bottle, Buck. I’d like to pretend I have some level of class,” he sighed, padding into the kitchen and grabbing another wine glass – a set Abuela had bought him, when he’d moved to LA. “So,” he said, setting the glass down on the coffee table, pausing to take a scoop of his slowly melting ice-cream before he continued. “Are you going to tell me what’s wrong, or are we going to play charades?”
Buck rolled his eyes, but took the wine glass, all the same, pouring himself a generous measure. He took a swig, before he spoke, raising an eyebrow. “Did you pick this out?” he questioned, no doubt thinking back to the evening where Eddie had been in charge of getting wine for their family dinner and had accidentally bought cooking wine. It was an easy mistake to have made, if you asked Eddie.
Eddie shook his head. “Present from Karen and Hen,” he clarified. “Stop deflecting.”
“I broke up with Taylor,” and oh, if Eddie hadn’t been waiting to hear those words for so long.
“I’m sorry,” Eddie tried, because he couldn’t look that happy about it, could he? It would give the game away – and in so many ways, Eddie was convinced his feelings were obvious, that he’d given the game away a long time ago, but Buck had never mentioned it.
“I’m not,” Buck looked furious, again. “I – we had this nice date planned, right? We made sure to pick a night where we were both off, where she doesn’t need to be in work early tomorrow, and I’m off, so we could get breakfast, too – really spend some time together,” he explained. “And I got to the restaurant and I waited, and I waited, and I waited for a fucking hour, Eddie, and nothing – no text, no call from her. I was sitting there, spiralling, wondering if she was – if she was dead, or something. Right? So, after an hour, I decided I was going to pass by the news station, and see what was happening, and do you know what she said?”
Eddie shook his head.
“That she’d told her intern to call me and cancel our date, because a story came up,” Buck practically spat. “I mean, is she serious? And like – I love that she has a career she loves, because she gets how I feel about being a firefighter, but she does this all the time and I just never feel like I’m even getting close to the top of her priority list. So, I – I asked her, if I was ever going to be something she prioritised over work, and she said no.”
Eddie winced. “She was honest, at least,” he tried.
“Totally,” Buck agreed. “And I appreciate the honesty – really – and it’s not like it ended on bad terms. We just didn’t want the same thing out of a relationship, and I’m not going to resent her for it. But – fuck, this is nice wine by the way – I am fed up with half-measures, Eddie,” he sighed, slumping back on the couch. “I deserve better.”
Eddie swallowed thickly. Buck did deserve better – and Eddie wasn’t going to sit here and pretend as though he was better, as though he knew he could be boyfriend of the year and give Buck everything he needed. But – Eddie loved him, and surely, surely that had to be enough? It had to be enough to love someone so much it felt like your love for them was etched into the very bones of who you were? Eddie so badly wanted to be enough.
“I wouldn’t,” Eddie said quietly, suddenly conscious of the melting ice-cream he was still gripping tightly. It had cost eleven dollars, he reminded – he should probably put it back in the freezer.
Buck looked at him, utterly confused. “What?”
“I wouldn’t love you in half-measures,” Eddie wasn’t sure where he was finding the bravery, to finally say it, to tell Buck how he felt, but somehow, somewhere, he’d found a bravery he wasn’t sure he’d ever had before. He had thought he’d be spending the rest of his life trundling along, desperately in love with a best friend who didn’t love him back. Eddie had accepted it, almost – because having Buck as a friend was better than not having Buck at all.
Buck’s cheeks were flushed, his eyes wide, and excited. “How would you love me, Eddie?” he asked, his voice soft, and trembling – the only giveaway that he felt as nervous as Eddie did, there and then, dangling on the precipice of something new, and wonderful.
“Forever,” Eddie said. “I’d love you forever, Buck.”
(And when Buck kissed him – he tasted like wine, and Eddie knew he tasted like wine, and Buck’s shirt was soft, under tentative fingertips as Eddie reached out to hold him the way he’d so desperately wanted to for so long, and –
Well, it felt like the beginning of forever.)
send me a prompt from this list
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I didn't want to hijack @extasiswings 's post but I also started thinking about Eddie not being around when that man's being dug out, aaand I couldn't stop...
Eddie looks down at his phone in surprise. Buck's ringing him, but he's supposed to be on shift, and if he was just bored in the station house he'd normally FaceTime, or send Eddie a litany of texts about his latest internet deep-dive (the great Canadian maple syrup heist was his latest obsession), but a phone call?
"Hey man, what's up?"
Buck doesn't immediately respond, but Eddie hears the shuddered inhale down the line, and now he's concerned.
Eddie gives Christopher a reassuring smile while he waits for an answer, and nods to his aunt that he's stepping out for a moment before ducking to the front door when he still doesn't get a reply.
"Buck?" he tries again. "Buck, come on, I'm here, okay? What's wrong?"
"I just..." Buck starts, faltering for a moment. "I just needed to hear your voice."
Buck sounds... shattered, honestly, something so much deeper than exhaustion, and the hairs on the back of Eddie's neck stand on edge.
"Talk to me. Did something happen on a call? Are you hurt?"
"No—we're fine, I'm fine," Buck says, but his voice is barely above a whisper and Eddie's not convinced.
"There was... this man got.... Eddie, he was buried alive. And dispatch tracked his phone but they couldn't get a precise location and by the time we started to dig things weren't looking good and—"
Buck's voice is shaking, but now that he's started speaking he can't seem to stop and his words are gaining fervour as he goes on. Eddie can feel his own grip on his cellphone getting tighter and tighter until finally he has to sit himself down on the steps of the front porch to try and catch his own breath. He knows where Buck's head is at—he can't help but go there too.
"—a-a-and I just...I couldn't stop thinking about the well collapse, and dispatch said the guy wasn't answering and I started thinking about trying to get a hold of you on the radio but we couldn't and suddenly I wasn't looking for the vic anymore, I was looking for you. I was back there in the rain and I was clawing at the ground, at the mud, and it felt like there was this vice around my chest and—"
"Breathe, Buck," Eddie interrupts a little desperately at the fear in Buck's voice, "breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth," he says as he tries to follow his own advice. "Take a deep breath, c'mon, do it with me, in for four, hold it—and breathe out for eight, and again..."
For a while there's nothing but a stream of breaths down the phone from the both of them, until finally a long steady exhale is followed by a stuttered, "sorry, I shouldn't have—"
"Don't be stupid, you can always—"
The siren rings out loud down the other end of the phone and Eddie jumps to his feet out of habit before he remembers that he's not actually on shift.
"I've gotta go," Buck mumbles, and Eddie can hear the rustling movements as he's obviously making his way over to the trucks.
"Yeah of course," Eddie says, and continues before he can second guess himself; "come over after your shift in the morning, we can go out for breakfast with Chris."
There's another exhale down the phone, but this one sounds lighter, happier, like it's being chased by a smile, and Eddie feels his own tight chest loosen considerably at the image he's conjured in his head.
"Yeah, that'd be great." Buck says, "I'll see you then."
"Perfect, it's a date." Eddie says, before hanging up.
(His own words don't register for another 30 minutes and by then Buck's already sent a smiley face emoji over text, and Eddie can't find it within himself to regret anything)
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HIPAA versus the Heart
buddie (3.3k) (read it on ao3)
inspired by this post by @free-byrd . thank you for letting me riff off your idea!
Dr. Carolynn Richards is a patient woman, so when her newest client says he’s not ready to talk about the incident that brought him in, she allows it.
“Why don’t you tell me about yourself, instead?” she suggests, and he does.
Eddie Diaz, former Army medic, current firefighter. Single father of the best kid in the world (his words). Best friends with another firefighter, recently recovered from a serious injury, recently out of a not-serious relationship. In Carolynn’s experience, ten months is usually fairly serious; she doesn’t vocalize the thought. She makes a note to ask about the injury.
Eddie holds his arms close to his sides as he speaks, not entirely closed off, but not very open, either. He shifts uncomfortably as Carolynn writes the observation down.
“Tell me,” Carolynn says, watching carefully as Eddie’s posture stiffens, “what’s your favorite thing about your job?”
Eddie relaxes almost immediately. “My team,” he says. “They’re my family.”
A few weeks later, Eddie walks through the door practically vibrating. “You would not believe what Buck did today,” he says, throwing himself into his regular chair.
Carolynn’s eyebrow raises. It’s the most emotion she’s ever seen Eddie share willingly. Perhaps they’re finally making some progress. “Tell me,” she says.
“He tried to transfer stations,” Eddie says flatly. “As if the rest of us wouldn’t care. I don’t know what I have to do to get it through his thick skull that I - that we want him around.”
“Is that your responsibility?” Carolynn asks.
Eddie looks at her like she’s grown a second head. “Of course it is,” he says. “Buck’s one of the most important people in my life, and he’s been through a lot. I’ll tell him as many times as he needs to hear it. I just hope one of these days it really sinks in. My life - all of our lives are better with him in it.”
Carolynn nods. “Why don’t you tell me about him?” she asks.
Eddie smiles softly, an expression she’s only seen before when he’s spoken about his son. “What do you want to know?” he asks.
Carolynn startles, so caught up in the article she was reading that she hadn’t noticed her colleague enter the room.
“Dr. Copeland,” she acknowledges, smiling. “What can I do for you?”
“You’re aware that I’m taking a sabbatical to do research, yes?”
Carolynn nods. “I am.”
“I have a patient that I believe would do well with you. Do you have any open slots? His name is Evan.”
“I think I need to talk about it,” Eddie says quietly. It’s the first thing he’s said since he arrived, aside from a mumbled greeting.
“Talk about what?” Carolynn asks gently.
“I told you I was injured,” Eddie says. It’s not really a question, but Carolynn nods all the same.
“I was shot,” he says, expression carefully blank. “On duty. By a sniper.”
Carolynn knows this story. She’d seen it on the news, just like every other citizen of Los Angeles. “I’m sorry that happened to you,” she says.
Eddie frowns. “I - it didn’t just happen to me, though, did it?”
“The shooter’s other victims-” Carolynn begins, but stops when Eddie shakes his head.
“No. I mean - it did happen to them, too, but that’s not what I’m talking about. My partner, Buck. He was there.”
“Was he hurt?” Carolynn asks, keeping her tone carefully neutral.
“No, not physically at least. He saved me.” Eddie swallows. His eyes are far away.
“What made you want to discuss this today?” Carolynn asks.
“Something happened at work,” Eddie says. “I - I thought I was fine. I thought we both were. About the shooting, at least.”
“A hostage situation. We all made it out, but there was a gun, and-”
“Good afternoon, Mr. Buckley, it’s nice to meet you.”
“You too, Dr. Richards. Call me, uh, call me Evan.”
After discussing it with Evan, Carolynn chooses not to review Dr. Copeland’s notes. She can look at them later, she decides, but for now she’d like to form her own impressions, uninfluenced by her colleague’s. Still, though, she’s tempted. Evan spoke briefly about his sister during their session, and Carolynn suspects there’s a great deal more to their story than he lets on.
“I’m a firefighter,” Evan tells Carolynn proudly when she asks about his job.
“I’m surprised you’re not seeing one of the fire department’s counsellors,” she says.
Evan shakes his head. “I know how to be a firefighter,” he says. “This was never about the job.”
“Tell me what it is about, then.”
“A lot of things,” Evan says. “Me, I guess.”
Eddie makes a noise of frustration. “I want to talk about it, I just-”
“Don’t have the words?” Carolynn suggests when he doesn’t continue.
Eddie blows out a breath. “No, that’s not it. I know what to say, I just… can’t seem to make myself say it out loud.”
“Would it help if I asked you some direct questions?”
“I - maybe?”
“Alright then. Let’s give it a try. Did the shooting remind you of your time in the Army?”
“I just want Maddie to be okay, you know? She’s made it through so much - I know she can make it through this, too. And Chim... I just wish he’d talk to me.”
“You speak about your sister the same way many people speak about their parents. Is there a reason for that?” Carolynn asks gently.
Evan’s expression shutters slightly. “Yeah, uh, Maddie… She did most of the heavy lifting growing up. Our parents were pretty distant most of the time.”
“I see. Have you considered that you might not have the same understanding of your sister that her partner has? That you might each know her in different ways?”
Evan shakes his head but smiles a little. “Somebody else told me the exact same thing.”
“Did I ever tell you about Ana?” Eddie asks.
Carolynn very nearly jumps in surprise. “No,” she says, I don’t believe you have.” With some prodding, Eddie will talk about the shooting. He’ll talk about Afghanistan, his job, his son, his friends, sometimes even his deceased wife. Eddie will not, however, talk about his most recent relationship. Not until now, at least.
“She was perfect,” Eddie says. “Everything I should want in a partner. Pretty, nice, my kid loved her. At least, I thought he did.”
“What was missing?” Carolynn asks.
“Nothing. Everything, I guess. She was perfect and I didn’t feel anything for her.”
Carolynn waits a moment, and Eddie chuckles darkly. “Well, that’s not quite true.”
“What does that mean?”
I had a panic attack.” Eddie grimaces, like it pains him to say the words. “I had a panic attack,” he repeats, “because someone thought she was Christopher’s mother and I couldn’t… I didn’t… I didn’t want that.”
“It sounds like ending the relationship was the right choice,” Carolynn says carefully.
“I just… why didn’t I want that? She was everything I’m supposed to be looking for, and most days I couldn’t even bring myself to kiss her. What’s wrong with me?”
The anguish in Eddie’s eyes and voice nearly breaks Carolynn’s heart. For a moment she thinks of her own son, how if he said such a thing she’d pull him against her chest and stroke his hair and tell him that he’s perfect just as he is. She wonders if Eddie’s mother ever told him that. She doesn’t ask.
“We can choose how we express our emotions, but rarely can we choose our emotions themselves,” Carolynn says instead.
Eddie shakes his head.
“Have you spoken to anyone about this? Buck, perhaps?”
Eddie snorts. “No, Buck’s the last person I want to talk about this with.”
“Why is that? He’s your best friend, isn’t he?”
Eddie’s eyes widen.
“What do you want, Eddie?”
“My best friend got shot six months ago and he won’t talk to me about it,” Evan says one day. “He - I can still taste his blood,” he whispers.
“I think I might be gay. Or - or bi, or something,” Eddie says in their next session. He’s tense, like he’s bracing for Carolynn’s judgement.
“I’m glad you’re considering that,” Carolynn says softly.
Eddie leans back in surprise. “Why?”
“In our last session, you mentioned several times what you ‘should’ want. I suspect this means you’re thinking about what you want for yourself, not just what other people want from you.”
“So what do I do?” Eddie asks.
“You don’t have to do anything, not if you don’t want to,” Carolynn says warmly. “But is there anyone in your life you’d like to tell?”
“I… yeah. There is.”
“Eddie’s been acting weird and he won’t talk to me about it,” Evan says.
“Eddie?” Carolynn asks.
“Yeah, my best friend? I’ve told you about him, he’s the one that got shot. He’s been acting weird ever since I broke up with Taylor.”
Oh. Oh. Oh no. Surely it’s a coincidence. There has to be more than one Eddie who’s been shot in LA.
“Do you and Eddie work together?” Carolynn asks
“Yeah, we’re partners. Most of the time, anyway. Right now he’s working with Hen, just until Chimney gets back.”
Ah. This is not ideal.
It’s not illegal. That’s the first thing Carolynn triple checks. Usually she has a rule against treating the close relations of her patients, but it’s not actually breaking any laws to do so. Still, she’s not sure it’s a good idea. After all, Evan and Eddie frequently discuss each other with her. She’s sure she knows things about both of them that they didn’t choose to share on their own.
Maybe she should send them both to different therapists. Eddie though… she’s made so much progress gaining his trust. She’s not sure he’ll be willing to go through that again with another therapist. And Evan will be back with Dr. Copeland in January, not even two months from now.
It’s fine, Carolynn decides. It’ll be fine.
It is, decidedly, not fine.
“I’m in love with Buck,” Eddie says, wide eyed and disbelieving. “I don’t know how I didn’t see it before. I - he’s practically co-parenting my child.” He laughs, almost hysterically. “What am I supposed to do?”
“You could tell him,” Carolynn suggests gently. She likes to think she knows Evan well enough to know that, even if he doesn’t reciprocate Eddie’s feelings, he won’t do anything to hurt him intentionally.
“Absolutely not,” Eddie shakes his head. “I can’t lose him. Not over this.”
“I just wish he would talk to me, you know?” Evan says. “I can tell something’s eating at him, but he won’t let me help.”
“Maybe it’s something you can’t help with. Maybe you need to let him come to you?”
“You sound like Taylor,” Evan grouses.
“You never told me why the two of you broke up,” Carolynn prompts.
“I need a partner, and I want a family. She was never going to give me either of those.”
“When you imagine those things, what does it look like?”
“Buck’s being weird. Or maybe I am?” Eddie says. “Do you think he knows?”
“Well that depends,” Carolynn says. “Have you told him?”
Eddie snorts. “I told you, I’m not going to do that. Why would I risk messing up what we already have? Whatever he’s willing to give me, that’s enough. He’s enough.”
“What if he’s willing to give you more?”
“I’m in love with Eddie,” Evan says, wide eyed and scared. “What am I going to do?”
Carolynn wants to laugh, or maybe cry. “You could tell him,” she suggests gently.
“No, no I - just, no.”
No. It certainly couldn’t have been that easy.
She’s done something to anger the universe, Carolynn’s sure of it. Because every week she listens to Eddie wax poetic about Evan’s smile, and Evan bemoan his surely unreciprocated feelings for Eddie. And she. Can’t. Do. Anything.
“Would it be so bad,” she asks Evan, the first week of December, “if Eddie found out how you feel about him?”
“Yes!” Evan exclaims. “He’s my person. Him and Chris… they’re my family. I can’t risk that.”
Carolynn wants to bang her head against the wall. “If you’re not going to tell him… are you going to try to find someone else?”
Evan shakes his head and smiles sadly. “There’s never going to be anyone else. Not after him.”
“Evan,” Carolynn says softly, “you should tell him. It’s hurting you not to.”
“Better me than him.”
The office decorates for a few weeks leading up to Christmas - lights and a tree in the waiting room, mistletoe hanging over the door that leads to the offices. It’s not much, but it brings some cheer into the space. It’s something many of Carolynn’s clients appreciate, either because it reminds them of their families, or because it helps them replace traumatic memories with healing ones.
It seems to make Evan, in particular, smile when he comes in.
“You seem happy today,” Carolynn observes.
“Maddie’s back,” he says simply.
“That’s wonderful news, I’m so glad to hear it. How is she?”
“She’s doing a lot better. Excited for Jee’s first Christmas. She spent some time in an in-patient facility. I think it really helped.”
“I’m so glad,” Carolynn says, and she means it. Both Evan and Eddie have told her about Maddie, and from what she’s heard, she seems like a wonderful woman who’s been through a great deal of trauma.
“I think… I think I might tell Eddie,” Evan says. “Maddie says I’ll regret it if I never do, and I think she might be right.”
“That’s good, Evan,” Carolynn says. “You deserve to be happy.”
Evan’s face twists, and he sniffs. “Do you think he’ll hate me?” he asks.
Carolynn bites her lip. She wants to shake his shoulders and tell him exactly how Eddie feels, tell him that there’s nothing he could ever do to make Eddie love him any less. After all, Eddie’s said it to her himself. It’s not her place, though.
“Buck, if he’s anything like the person you’ve described to me, he won’t hold your feelings against you.”
Buck stiffens and his brow furrows. “I didn’t think I ever told you that name.”
Fuck. Fuck! Carolynn keeps her expression as neutral as possible. “No? Maybe it was Dr. Copeland that mentioned it. I apologize if it made you uncomfortable, I’ll stick to Evan in the future.”
“It’s, uh. It’s fine,” Evan says, still sounding wary.
The rest of the session is stilted and awkward. Carolynn’s sure Evan isn’t aware that she’s seeing Eddie as well, but she’s just as certain he didn’t buy her excuse about Dr. Copeland. She should have done something as soon as she’d discovered the problem. Who knows what kind of irreparable damage she might have done? To both of them! She probably won’t lose her license over this, but god, maybe she should.
“Hey, uh, Doc?” Evan says. “Are you okay?”
Carolynn flushes. “I’m fine, yes, I apologize. Could you repeat the last thing you said?”
Evan looks at her with furrowed brows. “It’s okay if you read Dr. Copeland’s notes, you know,” he says finally.
“I know we said at the beginning you wouldn’t but I gave her permission to send them to you for a reason. It’s fine if you looked at them.”
It’s an out. It’s an out and she should take it but she just can’t bring herself to lie. But she also can’t violate Eddie’s confidentiality and tell the truth. She was only seeing Evan for another two weeks, then Dr. Copeland would be back.
Two weeks, Carolynn tells herself. It’ll be fine.
“Thank you,” she says noncommittally.
The week of Christmas, Carolynn’s booked solid. Between the shortened week and the many clients who struggle during this time of year, Carolynn’s fairly certain she doesn’t have more than five minutes to herself until Friday.
She doesn’t realize the problem until it’s too late to solve it. She glances at her schedule as Eddie walks in, only to realize that, this week, Evan has the appointment directly after his. The odds that they don’t run into each other are astronomically low. The jig is up, as it were.
“I invited Buck over for Christmas,” Eddie says. “I think I’m going to tell him.”
“That’s wonderful news, Eddie,” Carolynn says. “What changed your mind?”
“Chimney, actually,” Eddie says with a rueful smile. “He gave me my own advice.”
“And what was that?”
“It was about Maddie. I told him that tomorrow wasn’t promised, so if he loved her, he should tell her.”
“That sounds like very good advice, Eddie.”
She follows Eddie out of her office, hoping she can somehow prevent him from running into Evan. Eddie beats her to the waiting room door, though, and standing on the other side is Evan, already reaching for the door handle.
“Buck?” Eddie asks.
Carolynn dives behind a fake plant. It’s not her proudest moment.
“Eddie? What are you doing here?” Buck asks.
Through the leaves, Carolynn sees Eddie shrug. “I, uh… therapy. I was going to tell you.”
“You didn’t have to, Eds,” Buck says softly. “But I’m proud of you.”
Eddie looks up at him, smiling brilliantly. “You are?”
“Always,” Buck says.
The way they look at each other… Carolynn wonders how they don’t see it. Too blinded by their own love, she supposes, to see it reflected back.
“You’re still coming on Friday, right?”
“Wouldn’t miss it,” Buck says, ducking his head and smiling.
“And you’ll stay?” Eddie asks quietly.
Buck’s head snaps up. “Eddie,” he whispers.
“You know,” Eddie says slowly. “I was going to wait until Friday to say anything.”
“But?” Buck asks, breathless.
“But we are standing under mistletoe,” Eddie says, looking up.
Buck follows his gaze. “We are,” he confirms.
Eddie takes Buck’s hand and weaves their fingers together. There’s an entire waiting room of people beyond the door’s threshold, and an overly invested doctor hiding behind a nearby plant, but they might as well be the only two people on the planet if the way their eyes never waver is any indication.
“Do you know what I told my therapist, just now?” Eddie asks.
Buck shakes his head.
“I told her that I was going to tell you.”
“Tell me what?”
“I’m in love with you,” Eddie says in a rush of air. “You walked into my life and made every single thing better, just by being you. And Evan, I just - I love you. I need you. I always want you to stay.”
Buck’s eyes are wide and shiny. “Do you know what my therapist asked me?” he says after a moment.
Eddie shakes his head. The corners of his lips are turned up in a small smile, like the fact that Buck’s hand is still in his hasn’t escaped his attention.
“She asked me what I pictured when I thought about the future. About having a partner and a family. And Eds, it’s you. It’s always been you. I’m in love with you.”
Eddie breaks into a wide smile and curls his free hand around Buck’s jaw. “I’m going to kiss you now, okay?” he murmurs.
In lieu of an answer, Buck surges forward, pressing his lips against Eddie’s.
The waiting room bursts into cheers - apparently Carolynn hasn’t been the only one watching.
Buck and Eddie break apart slowly, cheeks pink and grinning widely.
“Let’s go home,” Eddie murmurs.
“Yeah,” Buck agrees. “Oh, I, uh, I should let my therapist know,” he says.
“Pretty sure she already knows,” Eddie says, tipping his head towards the plant Carolynn’s hiding behind.
Carolynn hits the ground, cheeks flaming. She’s definitely going to lose her license over this.
To her surprise, Buck laughs, loudly. “I think it’s time for me to go back to Dr. Copeland,” he says.
“I’m sure Dr. Richards will understand,” Eddie says warmly. “Now, home?”
“Yeah,” Buck says, “Home.”
231 notes · View notes
to be perfectly queer — 25% of Americans are queer. There are 20 firefighters on shift. Hen thinks Eddie’s straight. For some reason, everyone else does not. (Rated G, 2k words)
knit together (the family we chose) — Some days, family hurts a little more than you bargained for. Then again, some days, family is all you have. (Rated T, 2k words)
crossed lines — “Eddie, I have been Ana.” A character study. (Rated T, 2k words)
through it all — Season 5 spec set after 5x01. Buck keeps pushing and Eddie keeps pulling away. (Rated T, 1.5k words)
can you see right through me? — Buck knows self-sabotage like an old friend’s voice. OR: Everyone always leaves, so Buck never expected Eddie to stay. (Rated T, 2.5k words)
a time for american heroes (we reach for the stars) — Eddie injures himself making dinner. He really doesn't think that warrants a conversation with a trauma specialist. (Rated T, 5.5k words)
take my hand (let the storm come down) — Buck leaves Eddie’s life just as quickly as he entered it. OR: Buck returns; Shannon doesn’t. Thats the crux of the matter really. (Rated T, 2.5k words)
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So we know Eddie is a sweet little technophobe right? And my tiktok feed keep showing me videos about smart appliances for home, and apparently there are even smart pans that shows what’s the temperature and how you should grill your steak m and so on, and I just can see Buck being curious about it and wanting to try and Eddie being like: no smart pans on our houses Buck lmao
so this, uh, how you say, got away from me a tiny bit. idk man i'm not in control of my life. (once again rip to my job)
it starts, like—well, like almost nothing ever does—with the late-night shopping channel.
look, it's not that buck makes a habit of watching it—it's just that it's the middle of the night, and he's the only one on shift who is apparently incapable of sleeping, and there's nothing else on tv, and he's far too comfortable in his nest on the couch to get up and start fiddling with any of the gaming systems.
and, okay, maybe he kind of finds the ridiculous cadence of the salespeople soothing.
and, okay, maybe he's a little bit fascinated by the sheer variety of things on sale. gadgets he's never even considered might exist, but which he is now increasingly convinced he needs.
his phone is in his hand before he fully knows what he's doing, and he's pulling up the website listed in the corner of the tv screen. when the site asks for delivery address, he puts in eddie's house without thinking about it.
it just makes sense. he does most of his cooking at eddie's house, anyway. it just doesn't seem worth it cooking for one when he's alone at his loft.
it's not because he's in love with eddie. really, it's not. it just makes his life easier when he doesn't have to try and adjust recipe ratios so he doesn't make too much for just himself and end up with leftovers slowly mouldering in his fridge.
the alarm goes off just as he hits confirm, and in the only mostly controlled chaos of the apartment fire they're sent to, he forgets all about his spur-of-the-moment purchase.
until he's on eddie's couch watching a movie with christopher and the doorbell rings, and eddie comes back from opening the door holding a package and looking confused.
"it's—for you," eddie says, looking at buck. "why are you getting mail sent to my house?"
"i'm not—oh!" he says, practically leaping off the couch. "i forgot!" he grabs the package from eddie and heads into the kitchen.
"forgot about what?" eddie asks, trailing behind him.
"i was watching the shopping channel the other day—"
"i'm pretty sure nothing good has ever come of the sentence i was watching the shopping channel," eddie interrupts.
"then you're clearly not talking to the right people," buck says, working to get the box open. "anyway, so i was watching the shopping channel, and—" he pulls out the contents of the package and brandishes it at eddie. "see?"
"what am i seeing, exactly?"
"it's a singing pasta timer!" buck exclaims. "look, you put it in with the pasta, and then it starts singing when the pasta is done."
eddie takes the box buck is holding out and inspects it. "he looks creepy."
it's... not an inaccurate assessment. the timer is made of white plastic, and shaped like a rotund man in a chef's hat with uncomfortably pursed lips.
"i don't think you're really supposed to look at him," buck says. "i mean, you know what they say about watched pots and boiling."
eddie huffs. "still creepy, though. and putting a humanoid thing in boiling water also seems creepy."
"he's plastic," buck points out. "i don't think he's exactly bothered by the heat."
"i don't want to teach my child—"
he's interrupted by a laugh from the doorway, where christopher is leaning on his crutches. "he's not real, dad."
"there you go," buck says. "chris knows that he's plastic. why are you so opposed to letting the little pasta man help you stop overcooking your pasta?"
"i'm not—" eddie starts, and buck raises his eyebrows.
"fine," eddie sighs. "i just don't—how does he know?"
buck blinks at eddie for a second before he realises what eddie means, and then he's laughing before he can stop himself, so hard he has to grip the kitchen counter for support.
"eddie," he says when he can breathe again, trying hard to keep his tone as neutral as possible. "are you afraid of the little plastic pasta man?"
"no!" eddie says, and it would be a lot more convincing if he wasn't still holding the timer and eyeing it warily. "i just don't like it when things know things."
"it's hardly hildy," buck says, still trying to hold back laughter. "it's just a thermometer and a timer, look, it just senses when the water starts to boil and counts time from there. i promise you it doesn't have any kind of unnatural knowledge of pasta."
he gets a glare for that, but it melts into a sheepish grin soon enough. "well, in that case," eddie says, sounding like he's acquiescing to something much more harrowing than a plastic pasta timer. "i suppose he can stay."
they try him out that very night, and eddie almost jumps out of his skin when the timer starts singing. buck only laughs at him a little.
later, once they've put christopher to bed and get started on cleaning the kitchen, eddie tries to hand the now-clean timer to buck. buck stares at him, uncomprehending.
"don't you want to take it home?" eddie asks. "it had your name on the package, i assume you bought it for yourself."
"good thing, too," buck says. "i'm not convinced you wouldn't have tried to exorcise it if you'd opened it without me around."
"no comment," eddie says, and buck laughs.
"i was gonna just leave it here, though," buck says. "assuming you're not going to try and cleanse it with holy fire in the middle of the night?"
"i make no promises," eddie says. "why? don't you want it after all?"
"it's not that," buck says. "i just—don't really cook so much at the loft. not when it's just for me."
"oh," eddie says. "well, i'm happy to share custody. full visitation rights."
"we already co-parent an entire child, what's one unnecessarily humanoid kitchen appliance on top of that?"
buck freezes with a glass in his hand, suspended halfway to the cabinet he was returning it to. they haven't talked about christopher, about any of it, not since eddie was released from the hospital. they certainly haven't talked about co-parenting. "eddie—"
slowly, buck turns to face eddie. he doesn't know what he's expecting—regret, maybe, or that fish-out-of-the-water face eddie sometimes makes when he says the wrong thing without thinking—but all he finds on eddie's face is fond amusement.
"you can't tell me you're that surprised," eddie says.
"no, i just—we haven't really—you've never said," buck says.
"only because i didn't think i needed to," eddie says, barely holding back an eye roll. but unlike when other people roll their eyes at him, it doesn't make buck feel small. just warm.
"i'm saying it now, okay?" eddie continues.
two weeks later buck is watching the late-night shopping channel again when eddie emerges from the bunk room and settles on the sofa next to him.
"what are you—no," eddie cuts himself off when the words smart pan flash across the screen. he snatches buck's phone out of his hand and hides it in his pocket.
"eddie," buck whines. "i was just going to—"
"no, you're not," eddie says. "i can accept the pasta man, but you are not bringing a smart pan into our kitchen. i am drawing a line. the line is drawn. no artificial intelligence that also controls temperature, not in our house."
and eddie's staring him down like he's expecting buck to argue, but buck's brain is stuck on one thing. one specific word, to be exact.
eddie gives him the same look he sometimes does on a call when buck doesn't immediately get moving. the one that means catch the fuck up, buckley.
"we share custody of a child and an upsettingly realistic pasta man," eddie says. "how is this news to you?"
"you keep not telling me things!" buck says. "what else are you not telling me? are you secretly royalty or something?"
"no, but i am in love with you," eddie says.
buck stares at him. "if you're just trying to distract me from the smart pan, that's a dick move."
"just trying to—jesus christ," eddie mutters. "okay, do you believe me now?" and then his lips are on buck's and, okay, maybe it wasn't just a distraction. because buck's kissed a lot of people in his life, but very few of them have kissed him like this. like he matters.
eddie pulls back just enough to look buck in the eye. "okay?"
"okay," buck says, and leans in to kiss eddie again.
some time later, eddie pulls away again, and this time he's frowning at buck. "you better be trying to feel me up right now," he says. "you better not be trying to get your phone to order that unholy frying pan."
buck grins. "i can multi-task."
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Chapter 4 of my Buddie soccer au fic
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well you still make sense to me, your mess is mine
or, a 5x03 coda about cleaning kitchens
Buck has just closed his eyes when his phone buzzes.
He turns it over on his chest, expecting it to be the front door asking him to buzz Taylor in – she’s done it before, after all, been on his screen and then shown up at his door – but it’s not. It’s a text from Eddie. And unlike the text suggests, Buck is not sleeping, and he’s not hanging out with Taylor, and there’s a certain finality in the way Eddie writes out “Ana’s gone” that makes him want to ask questions, and he doesn’t actually process what he’s doing until he’s sitting in the driver’s seat of the Jeep with his keys in the ignition.
He hesitates for just a moment, and then decides no, he really doesn’t want to sit alone in his apartment.
He lets himself into Eddie’s house when he gets there and is instantly greeted by Christopher, which, after everything with Harry, just warms his heart.
“Buck!” Christopher says, wrapping him in a hug.
“Hey buddy,” Buck replies, squeezing him tightly for a second and kissing the top of his head.
“Dad’s in the kitchen,” Christopher informs him and then returns to playing video games on the couch, now that he can for the first time in however many days it’s been. They’ve all blurred together in Buck’s head.
Buck ruffles Chris’s curls one last time and ducks into the kitchen only to freeze.
There’s disaster everywhere.
The cabinet doors are open or partially shut and mostly empty because almost every dish Eddie owns is scattered across the counters and the kitchen table and the dishwasher is already running, but it doesn’t seem to have any effect because there are still dirty dishes…all over the place. And that’s before the half-filled muffin tins and the empty boxes of muffin mix and the mixing bowls and the half finished containers of milk and eggs that must have gone into all the muffins but which are definitely no longer fit for human consumption if they’ve been out on a counter in LA during this weather for longer than ten seconds.
And then there’s Eddie with his back to the door, washing dishes with—
“Are those frog-shaped dish gloves?” Buck asks.
There’s no way Eddie hadn’t known he was there, but he still startles like Buck’s caught him mid deep-thought.
“Uh,” Eddie says, looking down at his hands, which are definitely clad in bright green gloves to match his soap holder, and then doesn’t confirm or deny. “Sorry for the mess.”
“Hey, I don’t mind,” Buck says. “Besides, it’s not like you made it, right?”
“It’s still my fault,” Eddie points out, which…
Buck shrugs and when the dishwasher beeps a second later, he opens it, dodges the cloud of steam, and starts putting the stuff away. They don’t talk for a while, just cleaning in companionable silence, while Buck loads the dishes Eddie hands him into the dishwasher.
When all that’s left is foodstuffs rather than dishes, Buck grabs one of the muffins and unpeels it as Eddie puts the rest into a Tupperware. Buck stuffs the thing whole into his mouth and instantly regrets it when it goes claggy and gluey, with just a hint of bad aftertaste like maybe the milk had already kind of been off by the time it went into the batter.
“Huh,” Buck says.
“What?” Eddie asks, trying to stuff a few more of the things into the Tupperware.
“I didn’t know you could fuck up muffins from a box that badly,” Buck says. He considers just spitting it out, but perseveres and immediately washes it down with about a gallon of water.
Eddie watches him with a frown and picks up one of the muffins himself.
“I wouldn’t,” Buck warns, but Eddie ignores him. Unlike Buck, he takes a sensible bite of it, but he still makes a face of instant regret.
“These should just—” he starts, and Buck grabs the garbage from under the sink while Eddie tips the awful muffins into it.
And then they clean out the fridge, which they probably should’ve done first because anything that was in it and truly perishable had not survived the week and Buck’s honestly a little shocked that Ana hadn’t thrown all of it out already, but, well, maybe there’s something in there about clinging to things you know aren’t working. Or, maybe it’s just gross and she didn’t want to deal with it, which Buck gets but also does not get at all.
“You know, they say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach,” Buck says when they’ve gotten all of the dead food out of the house. “I’m a little concerned about her roadmap.”
Eddie snorts and then searches Buck’s face for a second. They’ve been cleaning long enough that it’s afternoon now, and the beers Buck had brought have been in the fridge long enough to be cold, and Eddie hands him one while they lean against the counters in the delightfully fresh-smelling and clean kitchen.
“I thought you were on Ana’s side,” Eddie says quietly.
Buck recoils. “Dude, no? I’m on your side, always. Even if sometimes that means telling you to pull your head out of your ass. I mean, yeah, I empathise with her, because I’ve been there and it—”
He’s been there, he’s been the person in a relationship holding onto it as tightly as he can when it’s been about as effectual as a lapdog pulling on its owner’s sock to try and keep them from going to work in the morning. He’s been there, he was there with Abby, and he’s…
There’s a reason he’s at Eddie’s house instead of at home.
Eddie’s foot taps against his and startles Buck out of his unpleasant realisations. “Buck?”
“I’m good,” Buck says. “But I’m on your side, you know that, right?”
Eddie’s smile is a little slow and almost a little shy, but it warms Buck from the inside out, which is nice. It’s also the first time Eddie’s smiled since Buck’s come over.
“Yeah, I know,” Eddie says.
“Good,” Buck says, using some of the beer to swallow down the lump in his throat, and then reaching for the fridge. “Okay, let’s figure out what survived and see if we can’t cobble together something that looks like a late lunch.”
Eddie nods and squeezes his arm, and Eddie’s hand is warm and strong and grounding all at once. “Sounds like a plan.”
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i don't swim and you're not in love | buck/eddie | 32 400 words
She turns to Eddie and says something else, but Buck is busy fighting the headrush he gets at the sound of Ana Flores calling Eddie and Christopher 'the boys'. Like they belong to her already.
God, what’s wrong with him? What is this?
or, eddie cooks, chris domesticates a slug, and buck tries to figure out why he hates his best friend's girlfriend. to everyone's immense shock and surprise, it goes badly.
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I'm absolutely fine thinking about eddie in a hostage situation i promise
“We’re coming out!” Eddie shouts, his hands in the air, as he moves out of the building. The lights are so bright and there’s so much noise and so many guns.
Through all the shouting one voice cuts through, “Eddie! Eddie!” It’s raw and scared and it’s Buck, and Eddie needs to get to him. He forces himself to move, a couple of steps first and then he’s running towards the police barricade, at the same time Buck is ripping through the tape and heading for him.
The tight feeling in his chest only loosens once he has Buck in his arms, Buck’s face buried in his neck. He thinks one or both of them are crying, but he’s not sure, so wrapped up in the feeling of Buck.
Eddie isn’t sure how long they stand there, how many people are looking, how many news crews are streaming this live, before they pull away. They don’t go far though, his forehead resting on Buck’s.
It’s Buck who speaks up first, with shaky breaths “Eds, I- I thought. I can’t.” He takes a moment to try and steady himself, and Eddie brings one hand up to cup Buck’s cheek in reassurance. “I can’t lose you. I can’t- can’t do any of this without you..and Chris? God, I. I love him so much but he needs you, and- and I need you.”
Eddie strokes his thumb back and forth on Buck’s cheek, wiping away tears, “You-Buck, you don’t have to, okay? I’m here. I’m- I’ll never leave you. I love you” and he knows he’s definitely crying himself, and it probably won’t be perfect, but Eddie can’t resist leaning forward and finally kissing Buck.
They’ll be okay, together.
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Ooh, if your taking prompts, could you do 1 or 7 from the angst list for Buddie? Or alternatively 7 from the fluff/general ideas? I love your writing, happy 1K! 🐙
thank you so much!! i went with the fluff, hope that's okay <3
“wait, no, don’t take kissing away from me.”
“Wait, no, don’t take kissing away from me.” Buck hops off the kitchen counter to walk over to Eddie, who dodges him with a grin he tries to hide.
“Admit it, then!”
Buck crosses his arms and glares at him. “I didn’t do it! Besides, you realize that in taking kissing away from me, you take it away from yourself too?”
Eddie pauses, but manages to lean back against the counter and put on a confident grin. “Easy.”
Narrowing his eyes, Buck steps into Eddie’s space, grinning down at him. “Are you sure?”
He brushes his nose along Eddie’s cheek, who turns his head away and tries to resist pulling Buck closer, even though it’s hard when he can feel Buck’s body heat from where he’s leaning in, hands on the counter beside Eddie, caging him in.
“Yep,” he lies, shoving his hands into his pockets to keep them away from Buck.
“Eddie,” Buck says, brushing his lips along Eddie’s jaw. “Come on. It wasn’t me.”
Eddie stays still, hoping Buck won’t notice the goosebumps on his skin. “I don’t believe you.”
There’s a retching sound from the doorway, and Buck snorts and takes a step away from Eddie.
“Good morning, buddy.”
“Good morning,” Chris says. “You guys are disgusting.”
“Careful, or Buck might not make you breakfast,” Eddie teases, reaching out to ruffle Chris’ hair.
“No, you’re the one taking stuff away as punishment.”
“Only because you’re so stubborn! Just admit it.”
“There’s nothing to admit!”
Christopher looks back and forth between them. “What are you fighting about?”
“Buck claims he didn’t reprogram the stupid Hildy coffee maker, but it greeted me by name this morning even though I made sure to disable the voice function,” Eddie says accusingly, shooting Buck another glare.
“Maybe it found a way to turn itself back on.”
Chris giggles, way too delighted by all of this, and Eddie turns to narrow his eyes at his son instead. “Christopher? Do you know anything about this?”
Chris tries and fails to hide his laugh behind his hands, and Buck grins at him.
“I’m so proud of you right now, buddy. Did you do it all by yourself?”
“It wasn’t hard,” Chris says.
Eddie thinks back to how hard it was for him to disable Hildy’s voice and shakes his head. “You know way too much about that stuff, kid.”
“And to think you didn’t believe me when I said it wasn’t me,” Buck complains. “I can’t believe you don’t trust me.”
“I trust you with what matters, not with Hildy.” He leans closer for a kiss, but Buck moves back.
“Maybe I should punish you with no kisses, so you see how that feels.”
Eddie groans and Chris laughs, clapping when Buck jumps away as Eddie tries to reach for him.
Their kitchen isn’t very big, so the chase doesn’t last long before Buck lets Eddie catch him, laughing when Eddie wraps his arms around him tightly.
“Please don’t take kissing away from me,” Eddie echoes Buck’s earlier words and Buck grins, wriggling free from Eddie’s grasp until he can wrap his own arms around Eddie.
“I could never,” he says and punctuates his words with a chaste kiss.
Eddie tilts his chin up and kisses him again, because he hasn’t stopped wanting to kiss Buck since he did it for the very first time, and Buck was right when he said he was essentially punishing himself too. Yeah, they’re never doing that again.
“Dad, Buck, you’re being gross again,” Chris complains, and Buck and Eddie break apart, and laugh.
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I saw a post about Buck and his clipboard and the tags were wondering what Buck is like grocery shopping 😂
It wiggled into my brain and I smashed this out.
"Hang on." Buck jerks the shopping cart back. "That's not on the list."
"Uh." Eddie stares down at the bottle of juice he'd been about to place in the cart. "So?"
"So, it's not on the list," Buck repeats, brandishing his phone in the air. "Which we wrote so we wouldn't make impulse purchases."
"It's just juice, Buck," Eddie says, dropping the bottle in with the rest of their groceries.
"This time it's juice," Buck points out, pushing the cart down the aisle. "But what about next time? What will it be then?" he asks.
Eddie laughs and shakes his head. "I knew I shouldn't have put you in charge of the shopping list. It's worse than giving you a clipboard."
"I'm not that bad," Buck argues, grabbing a loaf of bread from the shelf before marking it off on his phone. "It's called being organised."
"It's called being a tyrant," Eddie teases, reaching for a pack of bagels and tossing them into the cart.
"Hey, you put me in charge," Buck reminds him. "And bagels definitely weren't on the list."
"Uh huh, sure. Can I just see that for a second?" Eddie makes a lunge for the phone, wrestling it out of Buck’s hands. "Oh, look at that." He taps at the screen. "Bagels. See right there." He shows Buck the screen and taps something else out. "It also says we need pizza and beer."
"Well," Buck says, grinning. "If it's on the list…"
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