#fandom discourse made me sad and spicy today so have some interior designer eddie because
The thing is, Buck designed the shirt when he was drunk. It didn’t take any particular fashion prowess, and he’d gotten a coupon for the custom shirt website in the mail. Apparently, five tequila shots deep was the appropriate timeframe to have an epiphany, fumble around in his junk drawer for the coupon, and bring said epiphany to life.
The point is, the whole thing was a joke.
Unless you’re Eddie Diaz.
Buck walks through the front door of the Diaz household and nudges it closed with his heel. Some nebulously fall-scented candle permeates the room. Eddie had called him more or less demanding his assistance with the fall renovation, insofar as Eddie was capable of demanding anything. Anyway, Buck would be lying if he said he didn’t enjoy watching Eddie’s “Agent of Renovation Chaos” alter ego make an appearance.
“Eddie?” Buck calls, stepping out of his boots. “Chris?”
“In here, Buck!” Chris returns, voice carrying from the living room. Buck steps around the corner and has to bite his tongue. Eddie’s back is to him in a familiar black t-shirt, the words, LEAVE ME ALONE, I’M RENOVATING screaming at him via enormous block letters. It was a joke. But ever since Buck gave him the gag gift for his birthday a couple years back, he wears it every time he starts on a decorating kick. And he wears it unironically.
“Hey, did you get started without me?”
Chris smiles at him from the couch, but Eddie is statuesque in front of the fireplace, deliberating between a sign that says Fall Into Gratitude and a sign that says Life is Gourd. Buck would never have believed Eddie Diaz himself picked those two placards off the shelf, unprompted, if he hadn’t been standing next to him when he did.
“Well, you gotta go with Life is Gourd,” Buck says, standing beside Eddie in front of the fireplace. “I mean, no contest.”
Eddie’s face is pinched in, lip pulled between his teeth. “You think so?”
“I mean, it is a pun. You can’t go wrong with a pun.”
“They’re both puns, technically, but that pun just happens to be better.” He plucks the other sign out of Eddie’s hand and nods to the mantle. “Now, I know you’ve been standing here for fifteen minutes trying to decide, so put that one up so we can move on.”
Chris makes a strangled harrumphing noise from the couch. “More like twenty minutes.”
“Ouch, sold out by your own son. That’s rough, Eddie.”
Eddie looks up for the first time, his brown eyes twinkling, always a bit calmer and brighter when in his interior design headspace. He puts the sign on the mantle and bumps Buck’s shoulder. “Come on, the other stuff is in the kitchen.”
Buck ruffles Christopher’s wild mass of curls on the way to the kitchen. “Hey, Ed, you will never believe what I saw on TV the other day. You would’ve loved it. Something about amateur home renovat—oof.” Something cottony soft hits his face. When he peels it off, he realizes it’s a black shirt. Eddie’s lips are pressed together when he meets his eyes. “Eddie.”
Eddie leans against the counter, arms crossed. “Buck.”
“What is this?”
“I don’t know. Look and see.”
Sure enough, Buck unfurls the shirt in front of him and the words, LEAVE ME ALONE, I’M RENOVATING (TOO) gawk back at him. Garish, blocky white letters. Exactly the same as Eddie’s. His throat tightens for reasons unknown. He can’t get his heart to behave. Feels like it might beat out of his fucking chest.
“We match!” Christopher’s voice, loud and excited from the entryway to the kitchen, and when Buck angles to the side to look at him, Chris sports his own black shirt with the words, RENOVATOR IN TRAINING emblazoned across the back.
Buck drops his gaze to the shirt in his hands, looks up at Eddie, is immediately swept up in two warm, brown pools of fond. “Do you like it?” he asks.
The laugh that blows through his lips is thick and wet. “Yeah. Yes. Obviously.”
A broad, coy grin cracks Eddie’s face. He ducks his head a moment, hands shoving in the pockets of his jeans, and then nods to himself. “Good. Alright, let’s get the rest of this stuff up. Chris wants to watch Hocus Pocus.”
Eddie and Chris leave the kitchen, and Buck hears them engage in a decidedly one-sided debate over the specifics of his bedtime. He can't tear his gaze away from the shirt, and the warmth that percolates through every nerve ending and fiber of his being feels like a fever, feels like something he wants inside him forever.
He slides the shirt over his head, over his long-sleeved V neck, twists around to peek at the wording on the back.
“Buck!” Eddie calls. “In your own time, obviously!”
“Patience is a virtue, Eddie," he retorts, but the smile twisting his lips softens the bite. He grabs the rest of the bags off the table and joins his boys in the living room.
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