partially inspired by this fic by @capseycartwright. special thanks to my love @zeethebooknerd ❤
buck/eddie, 1108 words, fluff.
the first time they kiss is when chris and eddie have had a fight, and eddie’s in the kitchen upset and spiralling and doubting himself, and buck reassures him and comforts him and promises that he's not going anywhere. it’s small, it’s quick, barely noticeable among buck's words and the way he has their foreheads pressed together, but it warms eddie to his core.
they don't talk about it.
maybe it's for the best — maybe they're not ready, but it's okay because christopher comes out and he and eddie apologise to each other and eddie still has his family. he still has his son in his arms, and he still has buck, with fond glances and soft touches and seamless partnership and his friendship.
(if his gaze lingers sometimes, if every time he touches buck he wants to grab on and never let go, well. he’ll tell buck one day.
he's just not ready yet.)
the second time they kiss is also in eddie’s house.
(he’s starting to think this house, his home, will always contain traces of buck. he wouldn’t want it any other way.)
they’re off shift, and his son is asleep down the hall, and he and buck are lounging on the couch, half-ignoring whatever movie’s playing on the screen in favour of just existing with each other, and eddie thinks this is the most relaxed he’s ever been. it’s been a perfect evening, extremely domestic in its simplicity, and maybe it should scare him — the level of comfort and dependency he has with his best friend — but instead it just makes him feel secure.
a loud sound from the tv startles him out of his musings, and he rolls his head against the back of the couch to turn to buck to find him looking right back at eddie, mirroring his position on the couch as his eyes twinkle.
they both lean in at the same time. it’s a little longer this time round, and eddie has time to wonder at the softness of buck’s lips and the warmth of his skin before they break apart to beam at each other.
they still don’t talk about it.
(and it’s not like eddie’s unsure of his feelings for buck, but he’s definitely not sure of himself, and he knows buck has his own hang ups too, so. they don’t talk about it, and they keep being companions and partners on and off the field and whatever this something-more-than-friends zone is that they’ve found themselves in.)
the third time almost doesn’t count, except eddie can’t stop thinking about it.
it’s been a rough call, and as they all return to the station and get cleaned up, and bobby heads to his office to call athena and hen and chim head upstairs to watch one of their dumb reality shows, eddie waits in the locker room for buck to come out of the showers.
he’s so wrapped up in his own thoughts, though, that he doesn’t even notice buck’s footsteps until his shadow falls across his lap and eddie looks up from the ground to see him in shorts and an (is that eddie’s?) lafd hoodie and damp hair. buck wordlessly holds out a hand and eddie lets himself be pulled up, but instead of keeping him still, buck uses the momentum to wrap his arms around his waist and pull him into a hug. eddie folds himself around him in return, feels his partner relax into him and bury his head in the crook of eddie’s neck like he always does.
eddie’s very aware of the way his own hands are gripping buck’s hoodie tight, and the way buck’s breath feels on his skin, and that after minutes pass and buck shows no signs of letting go, they’re in a room with glass walls and have been hugging longer than friends ever do, but he can’t make himself let go, either — especially when he feels buck’s lips press into his neck in the ghost of a kiss and stay there.
that small bit of comfort stays with him, even as they break apart and move upstairs, as they work their way through a simple meal, as bobby puts them back on rotation and they go out for more calls, as the sun rises and they all head home to sleep off their shift.
but they don’t talk about it.
eddie’s not an idiot - he knows they can’t go on like this forever, but he’s content with this slow pace, in this limbo with buck.
(maybe he’s a little terrified of himself, though — every relationship he’s ever been in, he’s been selfish and inconsiderate and pushed and pushed until his partner broke. he’s already lost his child’s mother, in more ways than one, and he thinks — no, he knows — he wouldn’t recover from losing buck.)
the fourth time is different.
the fourth time isn’t by happenstance, the fourth time eddie makes happen, because. because - he can’t stop thinking about the way buck hugged him, the way he comforted eddie and let eddie comfort him, the way he and buck have always been so in sync with each other, how after a bad day all eddie wants is to see christopher and buck, and he’s lying in bed in the middle of the night, about to drift off, when his own words from that same locker room come back to him, unbidden - tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone. so if you love her, tell her.
suddenly eddie’s wide awake.
he doesn’t get any sleep that night. he gets up before his alarm, wakes up christopher and feeds him breakfast, gets him ready, drives him to school, and when christopher has disappeared into the building with a kiss on the cheek and a love you, dad!, eddie’s driving to buck’s loft on autopilot before he knows it.
he doesn’t know what he’s doing, can’t form a coherent thought beyond tell him. he’s not even sure what he wants to tell buck, he’s not sure he’s not going to fuck everything up, he’s not sure why he’s banging on buck’s door at eight in the morning, but when buck sleepily opens the door and mumbles ‘eds, what-’ all eddie can do is take buck’s face in his hands and press their lips together right there in the doorway until buck relaxes in his hold and kisses him back.
the need for air forces them to break apart eventually, and buck’s smile could power a thousand suns. eddie can only grin back helplessly and think that maybe ready is overrated.
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