#pepa wasn’t amused
Bruno: “hey, remember that time you tripped down the stairs right into Camillo?”
Pepa, very confused and tired: “that never happened, Bruno.”
Bruno, realizing he should really make a journal: “right, well, it’s gonna be funny when it happens-”
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dos-oroguitas · 22 days ago
AH I just read your Camilo x short reader one and it was adorable your writing is my favorite thing but it gave me the idea to request a Camilo x a tall reader :))
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You were six feet tall and super strong. You always got along. Alright, Alright, Oh, you’d pick him up at 8 and and not a minute late. Cause he don’t like to wait. You were kind and ain’t afraid to cry, or treat his mama right.
masterlist !!
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Camilo Madrigal was smooth. Camilo Madrigal was confident. Camilo Madrigal was a charmer. Those were the words he was used to hearing from everyone. And he would usually agree. He was smooth. He was confident. He was a charmer.
Until you snatched that title up and held it above him. Literally above him.
He was a bit taken aback by your height but he had found it absolutely stunning. He was a short king just like his father. He wasn’t at all threatened by people taller than him, your boy was secure about himself. You were almost a foot taller, just like how his mamí was with his papí. They were his role models and having him mirror his parents’ relationship with you and him? He loved it. You were caring, so passionate with what you loved, and plus you got him snacks that Tio Agustin would hide away up the cupboards of his Tia Julieta’s kitchen.
And his parents loved you too. You were always so respectful and polite, always happy to help out and calm his mamá down by making her some coffee or fetching her favorite book.
The first time he had met you, he was so sure he would get you to fall first. Yeah he lost that bet he himself had made since he fell for you at first sight. He came out strong, you would say, using every pickup line in the book.
And you laughed. Laughed! At him! At his usually smooth pick up lines!
You had honestly found his flirting endearing rather than flustering. And he swore he would make it his life mission to make you blush. He was sure today was the day.
He reviewed and rehearsed the pick up line he would use so that he wouldn’t fumble.
“Hey,” He clears his throat as he settles by your side, your nose stuck in a book as he moves close. “I heard the air is pretty thin up there, why don’t you lean down and give me a kiss so you can catch your breath?” He would smirk.
Yeah. That was the best he could do. And he was looking pretty confident about it too. He’s gonna write that one down for sure. He expected you to be flustered, act bashful or even shy but what he didn’t expect was you to look up and chuckle, placing your book down and humming softly.
“Y’know the best part about being this tall is that it is easy to see cute boys like you in a crowd.” You had cooed down at him and he swore he felt his heart stop before starting right back again. He sat back in his seat, stammering with his cheeks warm.
And you would chuckle, your laugh making his heart beat faster as you leaned down to press a kiss on his lips.
“Nice try, mí camarón.” You would tease while he huffs up at you. “You gotta try harder than that to reach.. my level.”
You had stifled a laugh at your own joke. Damn you and your charming laugh, your lovable smile, and the eyes that he could get lost in.
“I’ll best you one day, mi amor. I will make you blush.” He declares, the warmth on his cheeks not leaving as you reached down to ruffle his curls.
“I’ll be waiting for a longggg time then, bello.” You taunt him once again, eyes twinkling in amusement as the boy stood up, cheeks burning at the pet name. “I will, you’ll see! You’re cocky now but I’ll get you!”
Camilo had huffed, throwing his hands up in the air like a child did whilst you threw your head back in laughter, continuing to tease him.
Pepa and Felix had watched on with amusement, hugging each other close and smiling softly, remembering themselves in the two of you.
“They’ll make a wonderful addition to the family, wouldn’t they?” Pepa asked, rainbows on the top of her had as Felix had nodded in agreement.
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For our tall kings and queens, it was highly requested after the short! reader one so I came to deliver! I hope you guys like it!
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imlonelyalt · 24 days ago
Bruno X reader babysitting Antonio together please <333 (Bruno and reader are dating :)
꒰ ➼ ❝ the jaguar doesn’t bite !! ❞ ꒱
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bruno x reader
warnings: nothing!
a/n :: THIS IS SO SWEET I LOVE THIS ASK SM ANON !! this was so much fun to write 🙏 😭 :: i have a few asks to get through, so if you are asking me if i got your request i probably did, i just have a few drafts i need to finish, sorry. tumblr has been eating some of my requests though i’m pretty sure, so don’t be afraid to ask me if i got yours.
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you and bruno had both agreed when felix asked you to take care of antonio. pepa seemed a bit hesitant, leaving her kid in the hands of someone else, bruno even more so. even after they reconciled their relationship did have rough patches. she didn’t say anything, though the small cloud above her head said enough.
antonio welcomed you into his room, and you couldn’t believe your eyes. sure, you had been in there for the ceremony, but you swear everytime you visit it just keeps on getting bigger. as you were admiring the scenery of the room, you began walking towards the large birch tree with antonio. bruno looked around with you before letting out a scream. you whipped your head back, and watched bruno race off in a hurry as a jaguar raced towards him with mighty speed.
‘he doesn’t bite!’ antonio exclaimed, grasping your hand and racing after bruno, who was racing with purpose and fast pace before his foot slipped beneath a root of the large tree, tumbling as he groaned. the jaguar had caught up to him now, and had resorted to licking him. kneeling beside him, you rubbed a thumb over his forehead, which was red with pressure and in the future going to become a rough bruise. antonio halted parce, which you learned to be the jaguars name. bruno groaned, sitting up. antonio blinked.
‘i told you he didn’t bite.’ he reminded, shifting away. bruno shook his head, saying it was fine, but you swore you could hear him muttering that ‘it’s a jaguar…’ under his breath.
once you had made your way to the tree, you sat bruno down and pulled out bandaids from the bag you insistently brought with you. (for antonio of course, but you didn’t want to embarrass bruno anymore). he protested as you stuck a bright pink bandaid on his leg, sighing. you drifted your attention to antonio, who seemed happy enough to play with his animals by the river.
‘are you alright?’ you soothed, running a hand through his hair. he blinked, rubbing his forehead slightly.
‘yeah, yeah i’m good..’ he reassured looking on as antonio played around with the capybaras. ‘.. should we..?’ he muttered flicking his eyes ever to antonio and back to you.
‘..oh!’ you laughed. ‘yeah, sorry.. i’m not good with this type of stuff.’ you listened as he hummed.
‘neither am i. we can do this together, right?’ he asked, eyes flicking to you as you grasped his hand. placing a gentle kiss on your forehead, you turned your attention once more to antonio. he looked at you, all of his animals pausing as he raised an eyebrow.
you let out a laugh as bruno turned into a flushed mess, trying to recover himself. ‘oh, i’ll show you gross!’ he exclaimed, placing his hands on his hips. antonio clapped his hands, and parce was ready to jump into action. bruno deflated, shrinking behind you. ‘you know what…? nevermind! we can just… talk it out. yknow?’ he chuckled. you had to admit, time really did fly by when you had fun. you had been amused by antonio for so long that time had slipped by, only being altered of what time it was by antonio as he got fatigued, tugged you along as he asked you to tuck him into his comfortable bed.
he wasn’t the first to drop, though. bruno had forced himself to stay awake, rubbing his eyes like a tired child and eyes drooping the moment he wasn’t engaged in conversation. he had curled up on the bed next to antonio (because it was obvious to both of you that he needed to sleep). you were going to wake them up, you swear; but you just didn’t have the heart. seeing them curled up together comfortably was just a sight that you really didn’t want to end.
in the end, you gave up and leaned into bruno, delving into a land of dreams along with them. you just hoped that pepa and felix weren’t going to come back home anytime soon.
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ast3r0se · 29 days ago
Mr. Madrigal (Part 1)
Request : Nope
Fandom : Encanto
Pairing : Camilo x M!Reader
Warnings : Spoilers, Mentions of Cheating
DISCLAIMER : While the fic does end the same and follows most of the same situations, there are some drastic changes and tons of adapted scenes.
DISCLAIMER 2 : The reader is the SAME AGE as Camilo and Mirabel. He is 15. I don’t want anyone worrying about age differences here :]
Y/N L/N, the second odd one out of the Encanto. Like the Madrigal family, he had a power. The power to fly without wings. One issue though. He wasn’t part of the Madrigal family. He was the youngest son of la familia L/N. His family didn’t have magic like the Madrigals. They never had, until Y/N was born.
That’s why he was so “special”. He was popular around town, known as the “supposed to be Madrigal”. Everyone swarmed around him whenever he used his gift. Some watched in awe. Some tried to prove it wrong out of envy or skepticism. And others tried to win him over for the sake of popularity by association.
That’s exactly what Y/N’s boyfriend did. Julio Robledo, the “golden child” of la familia Robledo. An eye catching boy and the one and only lover of Y/N L/N. In the eyes of the town, they were the dream couple, second only to Isabella and Mariano. But as always, things were not as they appeared.
Of course, enough about that! It’s time for the story to begin!
Y/N hummed happily to himself, walking out of his house. He was greeted by the Madrigal family swarming about the town, helping in every way they could. Well, all of them except for Mirabel, who just so happened to be passing by him. He tagged along with the swarm of children surrounding her, listening to her sing about how wonderful the Familia Madrigal was.
The intros began with her abuela, her parents, and her tios and tia. Pepa, the weather woman. Julietta, the healing chef. Bruno.. the estranged fortune teller. And of course, Agustin and Felix, the men who married into the family.
Information on the adults did not seem to please the children, or Y/N for that matter, as Mirabel danced about the town. She looked awkward, but happy to talk about something for once. It was amusing, really. Y/N watched as his friend moved on to talk about the grandkids of the family, wondering if she was going to mention her own.. erm- information.
He barely noticed what direction he was walking in until he walked straight into another Madrigal, stumbling back and nearly falling, was it not for the other’s quick reflexes. Y/N opened his eyes to see the one and only Camilo Madrigal watching him curiously, the two quickly pulling away from each other once Y/N had regained his balance.
“Uh- Sorry, Camilo! I didn’t mean to uh— run into you like that.. heh.. Sorry,” Y/N scrambled out, rubbing the back of his neck bashfully.
Camilo let out a soft chuckle that had butterflies swarming Y/N’s stomach. He had that effect on him, okay? “Don’t worry about it, cariño. Just watch where you’re stepping next time. Don’t wanna fall into my arms again, do we?~” the brunette teased.
Y/N felt his cheeks heating up, sputtering out in a whirl. He only barely recomposed himself before Mirabel quickly returned to where Camilo and him were, taking Y/N’s hand and dragging him along.
“Wait! Will I see you at the ceremony?!” Camilo called, running after them.
“Hopefully!” the H/C male responded, watching as his friend nodded with a grin and ran ahead. He huffed in defeat and turned, quickly catching up with his best friend. “Mirabel, wait! I can’t run that fast!” he laughed.
Mirabel shot him an apologetic look, continuing on past the bridge and towards her family’s house.
Y/N let out a breathy laugh, watching as the kids found out about her gift. Or rather lack of a gift. He walked up to her and offered to help with the basket. He added in a gentle nudge after taking it, giving his friend a knowing smile.
“Come on. We have to get this stuff to your family.”
The two walked in, met with the crowded bustling of the casa Madrigal. Looking around, Y/N spotted Camilo leaning against the banister. He held the basket with one hand and waved to him with the other, sending him a warm smile before he was interrupted by Pepa’s tornado. He squeaked and stepped back, stumbling into Mirabel.
He sent her a silent apology before Isabella showed up. The H/C male rolled his eyes, watching with an uninterested look as she spoke to her sister. He took Mirabel’s hand and, with her help, took the basket of supplies to the kitchen. He gave Mirabel one last hug, waving to her parents as he left. “Adios senora y senor Madrigal! Bye Mirabel! I’ll see you at the ceremony,” he called, leaving.
The male flew back to his own house to get ready, changing into a simple, but charming outfit. He walked out of the house with his family into the moving crowd of people, catching up to his boyfriend.
“Julio! Wait up, amor!” he called out, just barely catching up. He reached out to hold his lover’s hand but was quickly denied as Julio grabbed his wrist and dragged him along. The pair approached the entrance of the house and, much to Y/N’s dismay, walked right past Camilo. Y/N looked back at his friend, seeing his crestfallen look. He smiled apologetically, being pulled further into the crowded courtyard of people.
He sighed softly as his boyfriend pulled away from him to quickly go join a group of older girls who had been fawning over him. He didn’t dwell on the empty ache in his chest, turning to watch as the ceremony began and Abuela beckoned Antonio up the steps, with Mirabel walking alongside him.
Y/N gave Mirabel and Antonio an encouraging smile, waving proudly. “You got this,” he whisper yelled.
Mirabel smiled back, walking up the steps and to the side as Antonio walked up to his door.
A burst of light and some awkward conversing between the child and a toucan later, and the whole village was dog piling into Antonio’s new room along with a whole herd of animals.
Y/N laughed and followed them, looking around the room in awe. “Wow! This is amazing!” he grinned. Looking around some more, he saw Camilo giving him a soft, seemingly loving look. And just past him, Julio stood with several girls swarming him, some even clinging to him and.. kissing him all over.
His face went from one of awe and happiness to an empty, pained expression. The male walked over to his boyfriend and shoved the girls away, slapping him right on the cheek. “You dirty cheater! You disgust me!” Y/N spat, not giving him a chance to speak before he continued. “It’s over! We are over! I’m done waiting around on you while you let these girls swarm all over you!!”
With that, Y/N left just as a picture was being called, sickened to his very core. He spotted Mirabel in the middle of the courtyard, going to speak to her only to feel.. shaking?
He shot his gaze up to see Mirabel holding a broken shingle from the roof. “Mirabel?” Y/N walked down the steps to her cautiously in hopes that she’d respond. She didn’t, far too worried about Casita and it’s shaking.
Y/N went to try and get her attention again, but was stopped by more and more shaking and cracking. “Mirabel? What’s happening..?” He helped her to her feet, following her up the steps as the doors began to flicker along with the candle. “Mirabel! The candle!” he gasped. The two turned and ran into Antonio’s room to tell the family the news.
As Mirabel led her abuela out into the courtyard to show her the damage, Camilo walked up to Y/N and placed a hand on his shoulder. “Hey. You alright? You- you look scared,” the boy asked.
“I’m fine, Cami- I think.. I don’t know.. It’s just- Julio practically cheated on me, we broke up, Mirabel cut her hand on a roof shingle, your house was kind of breaking down, everyone thinks she’s going crazy now.. it’s a lot..” Y/N rambled, looking up at Camilo with a nervous smile.
Camilo sighed softly, pulling Y/N into a gentle hug. “Hey. Don’t worry too much about it. I’m sure everything’s gonna be just fine. And as for Julio, he wasn’t good for you anyways. Just between you and me, he doesn’t know how to treat you right.”
“Oh? And I suppose you do?”
“Course I do!”
“Well then how does one treat me right, hm, Senorito Madrigal?”
“Well- uh-“ Camilo sputtered out. “I’d uh- I mean. You deserve to be cherished and doted on by your lover. You deserve all the love and affection in the world. A man as perfect as you needs someone to love you for you and not for the popularity or the fame. You know?”
Y/N stared at him in shock, face bright red with embarrassment. “You- you really mean all of that? Even the.. um. perfect part..?” he squeaked.
“Well- I mean, yeah.. I’d never lie to you, Carino. Not when it comes to the amount of love you really deserve,” Camilo hummed softly.
Y/N smiled up at him, sharing Camilo’s lovesick look of admiration. “Thanks, Cami. Really. That helped lots.”
“Anytime, Y/N. Now cmon. We’ve got a party to enjoy!”
Y/N laughed as he was pulled further into the party, allowing himself to be swept off his feet by the shapeshifter. He danced into the mesh of bodies, sticking close to the one he felt safest with. The two stuck as close to each other as possible, dancing the night away as if nothing else in the world mattered. As if the miracle wasn’t dying, as if the cracking had never happened, as if a heavy unease wasn’t weighing more than just one person down.
They danced, and they laughed. They sang and they cheered. They had fun until they simply couldn’t anymore.
And once the party was over, Y/N snuck over to Camilo with a soft smile. He placed a gentle kiss on his cheek, giving him a loose hug. “Until next time, Cami. Sleep well,” Y/N whispered, letting go of him to go join his family as they left.
Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4
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hourlyencantohcs · 7 days ago
Pepa got that gap in her teeth cause she secretly never got rid of her childhood habit of thumbsucking. Julieta, Felix, and Dolores know. But besides them she likes to keep it a secret. What was amusing too her was that Dolores also had the same problem. She got rid of it in her teens. But Pepa reassured her that it wasn’t embarrassing.
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the-enchanted-archiver · 7 days ago
✧・゚: *✧・゚:* A Family Affair *:・゚✧*:・゚✧
Chapter Three
Camilo is such a little jerk... with a heart of gold. Bruno has been found but not in the state Mirabel hoped for.
Pairing(s): Bruno Madrigal X Reader
Reader: Gender Neutral
Warnings: None
Type: Fluff
✧・゚: *✧・゚:*✧ One ✧ Two ✧ Three ✧ Four ✧ Five ✧*:・゚✧*:・゚✧
The dread was back. Bruno willingly went missing this time and was not found in any of his usual haunts. This was not good. With the repaired ruana in a safe place until a better time, Mirabel’s focus shifted into search mode. She tried her best to calm the panic rising in her chest as she peeked around a corner downstairs to take inventory of the family. She knew her mother was in the kitchen. The hard part was knowing if Pepa and Abuela were helping her at the moment. The thought of asking Casita again had crossed her mind, but also considered that if Bruno did not come back to the home, Casita wouldn’t be much help in the matter.
“And all those stairs!” Agustín complained behind Mirabel. “Only to find the cave at the top empty! I don’t know how you did it!”
“Shhh, Papi, if you don’t want Mom and-” Mirabel waved her hand to try to quiet him but then snapped upright with a pause. “What cave?”
“Bruno’s vision cave? Across the rope bridge?”
“What rope bridge?!” she narrowed her eyes at her father behind her. Agustín then went on to explain the trek he took again, including a rope bridge and an apparent cave at the top. “There wasn’t a cave-in at the top?”
Agustín shook his head.
“No, just one big, empty cave with creepy carvings in the walls.”
“Tío Bruno told me his cave was still busted…” Mirabel furrowed her brow which made her father shrug.
“Considering the Casita has been rebuilt and both Bruno and the magic have returned, it looks as if it’s back to what it used to look like.”
“Ugh, Bruno! I should have known-!” she chided herself. Without warning, Agustín pulled her back into the stairway and quieted her down.
“It’s Félix and Pepa!” he hissed. Mirabel seized up as her tío and tía walked past where they were standing and Pepa let out a sigh. The area suddenly became windy enough for the pictures on the wall to sway which were halted immediately by Casita.
“What’s wrong, mi Vida?” Félix pulled her by her waist closer to him as he walked.
“I have this feeling that something is going to go horribly wrong tonight,” Pepa threw her hands out in front of her as she talked and the wind began to pick up. Agustín and Mirabel shared a nervous glance but remained still. “Like, we’re going to run off the only person Bruno has been interested in since- never!”
“Ah, that’s just nerves, Pepi. I’m sure it’ll be fine.”
“I hope you’re right,” she sighed, rubbing her forehead and the wind slowly died down “I just need to calm down.”
As she was speaking, a rat ran in front of Pepa’s and Félix’s feet, causing her to scream and jump into her husband’s arms. Félix jumped as well but fought hard not to let out a laugh.
“It’s just a rat, mi amour,” he snickered, nuzzling his face into her hair. Pepa’s face fell hard with a glare as she was set on her feet.
“And then there’s the rats. Dios Mío, this man is going to be hard to sell…” she rubbed her temples and Félix only rolled his eyes before escorting his wife to the kitchen. Mirabel and Agustín leaned out to make sure they were gone before making their way through the rest of Casita.
“Who do we talk to first?”
“Well-” Mirabel skidded to a stop just outside of the sitting room where voices could be heard.
“What is he like? Oh, well…” Isabela’s voice caused the father/daughter duo to look toward the sitting room. “He’s… ah…”
“Eccentric!” Luisa exclaimed.
“Right! Eccentric! And he’s got a lot of r-” Camilo started but was cut off by his sister nudging him discretely.
“He’s an animal lover,” Dolores added cooly. “He adores small animals.”
“Yes! That’s right!” Isabela grinned. “He takes such good care of them too!”
“He sounds wonderful,” your amused voice rang through Mirabel’s ears, causing her to panic.
“They’re already here!? Papi, we have to hurry!” she hissed back at her father. While they were headed for the front door, Dolores snapped her large eyes in their direction before side-eying her brother while clearing her throat. When Camilo didn’t respond, she brought her heel down on his foot.
“Ow! What?!” Camilo grunted, pulling his leg away from her to rub the assaulted area.
“Mirabel,” she whispered, jerking her head slightly toward the door. “Go see her. Something is happening with Bruno.”
“O-Oh…” he cleared his throat, a look of realization falling across his face.
Dolores turned her attention back to you with a smile as Camilo excused himself and left the room.
“Mija, where are we going?” Agustín asked as Mirabel gripped the doorknob to the front door.
“If he’s not here, we have to talk to the villagers to see if they saw where he went,” she turned her head to him before opening the door and charging out onto the front lawn.
“That could take hours we don’t have!” her father stressed as he followed. “Dinner is going to be announced any time now!”
“What else can we do?”
“How about thinking harder before you run off in the wrong direction?” Camilo’s voice called out from the doorway. Turning back, Mirabel found her cousin leaning against the doorway with his arms crossed. With his usual smug smirk, he raised a brow. “Lose something? Again?”
Mirabel groaned in frustration.
“Camilo, I don’t have time for this! What are you talking about?!”
Camilo just continued to smirk as he slipped his hands into his pockets and sauntered over to his cousin.
“Ah, Miracita, I sometimes forget that you’re younger than me,” he teased.
“Think about what you’re doing. Then think about WHO are you dealing with,” he tilted his head. “Where does Tío Bruno go when he wants to get away?”
“I know, but Papi’s already checked Tío Bruno’s-”
“Where does Tío Bruno go when he wants to get away?” the cousin repeated.
“UGH! Casita, but-!”
“Exactly! Casita!” Camilo threw his arms out then patted Mirabel on the head in a patronizing manner. “Good job, Primo! I knew you could do it!”
“Take it off before I break it off,” Mirabel bore her teeth. Camilo pulled both hands back defensively and tilted his head sardonically which caused Mirabel to growl and snatch him by the collar, pulling him close enough to where their noses were inches away. He only responded by slipping his hands back into his pockets and leaning his body toward her grip with the same. Damn. Smirk. “You better start talking, Camilo Gracia Escobar Madrigal or I swear I’ll-!”
“Bruno’s up in Antonio’s room. He slipped in just before Abuela brought Y/N in,” he jerked his head back toward Casita.
“Gracias a Dios, I’m not going to die tonight,” Agustín sighed in relief before wandering back into Casita looking as if a load has been taken off of him.
“Dinner’s ready!” Abuela called out from inside, which Mirabel ignored.
“He’s in Antonio’s room?” she muttered. Camilo only stared at her, still grinning, before planting a light kiss on her nose, a la Looney Tunes style, which caused her to throw him away from her to wipe her face. “EW! Really?! BLEGH!”
Camilo laughed and bolted back toward Casita.
“Don’t get in the way of me and Tía Julieta’s cooking, Mirabel! Next time, I’ll bite!” he called back. “Go get Tío Bruno!”
Mirabel gagged before growling.
Still grossed out, Mirabel made her way up to Antonio’s room, muttering about how much of a jerk Camilo was as she knocked on the door. Before she could call out to the boy, the door opened, revealing the small 5-year-old.
“Oh! There you are. Dinner’s ready- Oh!” she paused at the sad expression on Antonio’s face. Kneeling, she set a hand on his cheek. “What’s wrong? Why are you sad?”
“Because I think Tío Bruno’s sad…” he whispered. Mirabel frowned.
“What makes you say that?”
Antonio glanced over his shoulder before taking her hand and leading her inside. Mirabel slowly entered Antonio’s room and glanced around. The sun was setting, giving a soft orange glow to everything around the tree. Antonio pointed up to one of the large hammocks hanging above them with an indent in it.
“He was crying when I found him so I brought him here,” Antonio whispered. “He hasn’t moved from there since. I don’t know why.”
“Is… Tío Bruno going to be okay?”
Mirabel bit her lip as she stared up at the indention.
“I’m-I’m sure he will be…” she gave the boy a brave smile. She wasn’t exactly sure what else to say since she didn’t know he was upset or why he would be. “How about you go meet Y/N and head down for dinner while I get Tío Bruno?”
Hesitantly, the boy nodded then moved toward the door, leaving Mirabel to figure out how to get up to the hammock. Her eyes traced each path leading up the tree and carefully made her way up. The path was wide at first but then began to narrow and twist the higher it went. It wasn’t long before Mirabel had to climb out onto an actual branch to reach the hammock with the indent in it.
Once she was high enough, Mirabel peered into the hammock to find Bruno just laying there with several coatis curled up around and on him. One was curled up in a ball on his stomach with another practically sitting on his head. One of his rats was laying in the crook of his neck, its head near his cheek as if trying to comfort him. Under one of his arms was the stuffed jaguar that Mirabel had made for Antonio. His sad, reddened gaze remained firmly on the sky. His hand was clutching his new ruana over his chest close to his heart. He looked so broken.
“Tío Bruno?” she called down. When he didn’t answer, Mirabel carefully climbed down closer. “Tío? Are you okay?”
When Bruno finally did something, it was to moisten his lips and swallow hard as if it was difficult for him.
“I should have known something like this would happen,” he scoffed with a broken smile, his voice slightly hoarse. “Same as the others.”
“What do you mean?” Mirabel asked, gathering her skirt to try to climb onto the hammock. Thankfully, it was big enough that it wouldn’t just flip and dump them off at the slightest weight shift. “Papi said you just disappeared on him. What happened?”
“The walk was going well. I started feeling more confident the more I listened to Agustín… But then…” the smile slowly faded and his eyes began to well up again. “I saw them.”
Mirabel furrowed her brow.
“What? Where?”
“At the hotel. They were getting ready to come here and talking to some of the villagers.”
“Tío Bruno, you can’t get cold feet just because you saw them,” Mirabel scoffed with a sympathetic smile. “They’re waiting for you downstairs-”
“They’re going to leave during the dinner, Mirabel. And they aren’t going to be happy,” Bruno turned his head weakly to her. “When I saw them at the hotel, it triggered another vision.”
Mirabel slowly sat on her knees on the hammock. Her heart began to pound against her chest, knowing good and well what that meant. She shook her head, trying to make her smile return the best she could.
“Maybe… maybe you didn’t understand it-”
“It was clear as a bell. They excused themselves then stormed out. I don’t think… I don’t think they were happy with meeting me… Or I said something wrong or hurtful…”
“How do you know that’s what set them off?” Mirabel leaned closer to him, careful not to tip the hammock.
“I was in the vision too. They looked in my direction before they got up and left. The glare they wore when they turned away… felt like a knife to the chest... It was so different from the smile they had seconds before,” Bruno pressed his palms against his eyes with a sob. “I did something wrong and drove them away.”
“That can’t be true…”
“It is and there’s nothing I can do about it!”
Mirabel felt her heart plummet into the pit of her stomach seeing her tío so upset.
“No, no, this can’t be right! Come downstairs and meet them, at least.”
“I’m can’t…”
“You can! It could all be just a misunderstanding-”
“They won’t leave the house so angry if I’m not there. At least they’ll enjoy the family.”
“Bruno, you can’t-”
“I said NO, Mirabel!” Bruno snapped at her, loud enough to echo across the room and disturb the wildlife around them. “I am not putting myself through this again! Six times is more than enough! I'm sorry I even let it go that far, to begin with instead of just putting my foot down after the first two or three! I was an idiot to think this time would be any different!”
The two stared at each other before Bruno pulled his hood over his head, apologizing for yelling at her then turned over in the hammock.
“Go enjoy dinner, Sobina. Forget I’m even here,” he muttered softly under his breath before settling back down. “It’ll all be forgotten in a couple of days.”
“Tio Bruno…” she whispered.
“Mirabel,” Camilo’s voice called out from below. His tone was stern so it wasn’t something she could just brush off. Heartbroken and not knowing what else to say to her tío, Mirabel carefully made her way off of the hammock to meet the older male cousin. “Something’s wrong with Tío Bruno, isn’t there? Why is Antonio upset?”
Mirabel opened her mouth a moment but no sound came out. Her chest began to hurt and tears welled in her eyes as she hugged herself tightly and began to tremble. This startled Camilo who glanced up at the hammock before pulling Mirabel away and lowered his voice.
“What? What is it?”
As quietly and as calmly as she could, she relayed the situation to him through heavy tears.
“I-I don’t know what else to do,” Mirabel hiccuped, pulling her glasses off to wipe her eyes. “His visions always come true.”
“Hey! Hey, hey, hey,” Camilo place both hands on either side of Mirabel’s face, using a thumb to wipe away a tear, his voice soft and warm, channeling his father in the way when Dolores became overstimulated to sound. Mirabel could feel Camilo’s fingers hesitate near her ears but relax below them. She half-expected him to start singing “Sana, Sana, Colita De Rana” like Félix had. “Easy. Don’t get so worked up. So what if he saw a vision of Y/N leaving in a huff? It could have been over anything!”
“I-I know but-!”
“Shhhhhhh. Listen. We now know that Bruno’s visions do not tell the whole story. Your sister is proof of that. She wasn’t going to have the "life of her dreams" if she kept down the original path. Something had to break first.”
Mirabel stared at her cousin who watched back with a gentle expression.
“You’re right…” she sniffled. “You’re right. There has to be something else. But what are we going to do? He’s already given up and won’t give it a chance…”
Camilo’s face fell and he raised a brow.
“Seriously?” he asked flatly.
He released Mirabel and with a flourish, a green glowing-eyed Bruno stood before her, still looking paler but at least he kept the height right and had been updated to wearing the new properly fitted ruana.
"No,” Mirabel shook her head immediately. “Camilo-!”
“Not only are your parents going to wonder where you’re at, but you also can’t hold any form for longer than ten minutes without issues,” she stressed. “And you’d have to make sure you act exactly like Bruno or your mom and my mom are going to know something is up!”
“Tío Bruno isn’t the talkative type and doesn’t usually talk unless spoken to!” Camilo retorted. “He’s going to be stunned in the presence of both his family and Y/N! The most I’ll have to do is smile and nod and answer any question Y/N has for Bruno!”
“You still have issues making Tío Bruno look like Tío Bruno!” she motioned to his eyes and skin. Camilo shook his head, changing the features to create a perfect Bruno clone.
“Old habits die hard,” he shrugged, using Bruno’s voice.
“What if you’re asked something that only Tío Bruno would know?”
“I’ll wing it! Besides, I only have to do this long enough for what happened in the vision to happen and then-”
“What if you’re the cause of the storm out?”
“Then Bruno has nothing to worry about! I’ll come out and tell Y/N everything!”
“And your parents?”
Camilo shrugged again.
“Dad already saw me inhale the leftovers from lunch, YOU just have to tell them that I’m full and I went to my room. I’ll raid the kitchen later.”
“This could backfire so hard-”
“He already believes the worst-case scenario. Anything else would be better than that.”
Damn. Mirabel was having a hard time finding something wrong with this, other than the fact that Camilo was not Bruno, but if Bruno wasn’t willing to show up, what other choice did they have? They had to show Bruno that his visions weren’t just black and white. With one final glance up at Bruno’s indent in the hammock above, Mirabel heaved a sigh.
“All right. You win. Just tell me what you want to do.”
“I knew you’d see it my way! Now…”
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althememelord · 11 hours ago
Not Waiting On a Miracle
Prev Chap/ Masterlist
Mirabel was walking through the town aimlessly, having stormed out of Casita with an unsteady but determined gait. She didn’t wait for anyone, assuming the Ortega’s would know her well enough to give her space to think. Since the incident, her sleep has been restless causing her to be more than a little irritable at all times. Her abuela’s need to hold on to the miracle over the well-being of her family had tipped the scales enough that she had ruthlessly torn into her. Past her would be disappointed but she couldn’t bring herself to care, it had to be said.
The townspeople were all the same as they always had been, if a little wary of her now. She could recognize a few faces in the crowd such as the children she used to play with in the streets, now much older and on their way to becoming teenagers. She wondered if any, like Antonio, had remembered her or whether she was simply a distant memory of a giftless Madrigal.
 Walking further and further through the town, Mirabel didn’t stop even when the stone pathways gave way to lush greenery and jungle terrain. She was not worried about getting lost, she had played in these jungles since she was a child and her feet took her to a place that her mind had forgotten and shelved in the deepest recesses of her mind. An alcove, next to a calm river where she had made flower crowns with her hermanas when they were all children, before their grandmother’s expectations cracked and blistered their relationship.
 Speaking of which, Mirabel carefully took a seat on the ground, lying down to gaze at the bright blue sky, “being the star of the town doesn’t make you the sneakiest person when trailing someone.”
 A rustling sound accompanied with the crunching of leaves were the only indications she had before a shadow blocked the sunlight shining on her, “how did you know it was me.”
 “Again, you’re status doesn’t exactly afford you with anonymity. I would have known you were trailing me even without the oohs and ahhs when you used your vines to get on the rooftops” the younger Madrigal said as she opened one eye to gaze up at Isabela who looked pensively back at her.
 “Y-you have a point there,” gesturing to the grounds next to her, “may I sit.”
 Mirabel shrugged, “I don’t own the jungle; do what you want.”
 Isabela tucked her dress close to her as she lowered herself on the ground, her head resting on her knees as she looked at her little sister who was not so little anymore. In fact, Mirabel had a surprise growth spurt when she was 17 causing to grow tall enough to tower over he sister at 5 foot 7 inches, still much shorter than her sister Luisa but about as tall as her aunt Pepa. This thought greatly amused Isabela as it meant that despite being the oldest she was now the smallest of the Madrigal sisters.
 “What’s got you smiling like that” Mirabel asked causing Isabela to reflexively put her hand on her face, surprised to find that she was indeed smiling.
 “It’s nothing; it’s just weird to see you so grown now. Everything about you seems so different.”
 “Well when you don’t see someone for 6 years, you’ll tend to find they do change” Mirabel noted, laughing lightly but Isabela merely frowned.
 “Hey” Mirabel said as she got up into a seated position, “it wasn’t your fault you know.”
 The older girl shook her head, “I should have said something. We should have never let Abuela send you away. I should have been a better sister to you.”
 Mirabel looked at her sister thoughtfully, sighing deeply “you know for all the misgivings and treatment I had, it wasn’t all bad. Not when I was here or when I was out there” she said gesturing to the large mountains that covered the Encanto.
 “I learnt a lot of things while I was gone and yes I did miss home but I’m learning to live a life without regrets.”
 “I wish I could do that too” Isabela replied, hiding her face as she looked down at her knees covered by her now stained dress.
 “What happened……you know with Mariano. I noticed he wasn’t in Casita.”
 Isabela brought her hand up, clutching tightly to her hair as she replied shakily, “y-yeah it didn’t work out. Abuela wasn’t happy when I ran from the altar.”
Mirabel’s eyes bugged out, “you ran from the altar!!!”
 Isabela smiled hesitantly and shrugged, her hand seemingly gripping harder as the stress came off her in waves. Mirabel grimaced, gently taking her sisters fist in her own and nudging the fingers to release their tension on the hair, lest she ends up bald on one side of her head.
 Interlacing their fingers, Mirabel held on firmly yet softly onto her older sister’s hand, rubbing soothing circles on with her thumb, “you want to talk about it?”
 Isabela shook her head muttering a “later.”
 Mirabel nodded her head in understanding, clearly it was a sore topic for the older Madrigal and she would not be the one to force something out of someone who didn’t want to speak. “Well, how about I tell you about what happened whilst I was out there, after all we have 6 years to catch up on” Mirabel said changing the topic, much to Isabela’s relief.
 And that is what they did, until the sun began saying its goodbye’s, the sky darkening as to moon made itself known. The two slowly ventured back to the Casita, giggling and laughing as Mirabel told her the story of the guy in her class who fainted from a surgical class she had. And far away at the top of Casita, where the candle burned, its flame alighted just a bit brighter.
 Things were going to be okay. Slowly but surely.
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reachgirl · a year ago
On Buddie and them potentially being aware of their feelings
So we definitely see evidence of how Eddie might feel about Buck, how he clearly loves and trusts him. He absolutely relies on Buck a lot as someone who loves Christopher, as that person you go to who cares about your kid as much as you do. And he clearly doesn’t handle not having Buck around very well during the storyline that must not be named. 
He also looks at Buck like “you’re lucky you’re pretty”, a LOT. And he’s shown to think about Buck’s wellbeing and Buck’s feelings. For a guy who’s not usually great at ~the talking~, he seems to sense that Buck needs to hear him actually *say* things like that he trusts him, out loud. For Buck, someone who’s been told that he’s reckless and impulsive, not diligent, not reliable (and to be fair to Bobby, has been all those things at times, but is desperate to change that view of himself), to be told that he’s trusted - more than anyone else - with someone’s kid? That’s huge. And Eddie knew that he needed to hear that, he also knew that he needed to feel like part of something when Buck was depressed and hanging around at home after the truck bombing. And Eddie was the one who noticed Buck wasn’t around at the station. For Eddie, the fact that they “have each other’s backs” is so important, because, and it’s insane how this is not wishful thinking on the fandom’s part, he actually tells Shannon that she doesn’t have his back. So yeah, absolutely nobody is disputing that Eddie loves Buck.
And I’ve talked about how I believe that Eddie might be bi leaning towards more into men than women (his “not my type” and aunt pepa’s reaction to buck are the foundation for this theory), and his particular combination of upbringing, experience and location really messing with him admitting that to himself (Conservative religious culture, Texas, army, getting married young because of outside expectations). But many of the scenes we get from him could - FROM THE OUTSIDE - very well just show a guy who has a lot of love and respect (and occasionally some fond exasperation) for his best friend. Possibly more, but not in that active, pining way. Not like he’s truly aware of it, yet.
But Buck? He pretty much always looks at Eddie like he’s the best thing that has happened to him, ever, and he can’t believe his luck of getting to be around this man. The smile he constantly gives him, and - in seasons 2 and 3 - only him, is the actual “I want to sleep with you smile” from season 1 Buck. I don’t make the rules.
He constantly finds ways to help him out, reads up on things he knows Eddie is interested in or things that are for some reason something Eddie is dealing with (whether it’s baseball biographies or summer camp brochures), and absolutely always looks to him for approval anytime he does something well or remotely badass. Or even when he makes a joke. It’s almost like 95% of the stuff he does, he does so that Eddie will see.
He sees himself as part of Eddie’s family to the point of not feeling like he’s a guest at their house, he has proven he would actually die for Chris, and he spends much of his free time finding ways of making Chris, the most important person in Eddie’s life, happy. He shares in both the happy and the difficult parts of raising Chris, he gets involved in school problems, and he’s there for Eddie to talk through all the little things that come up when you’re a parent. Often times, with single parents, when the other parent isn’t around, the problem is that there’s nobody else in your life who shares the same love and enthusiasm or worry you have for your child. You could talk about everything relating to them for hours, but even the best meaning friends will at some point reach the limit of how interested they are. Not so with Buck.
But unlike Eddie, Buck is also aware, to a point, of how much he’s focused on Eddie. Where Eddie’s jealousy comes across as more spur-of-the-moment, not something he’s even aware of, Buck seems like.. he’s thought about how he feels about Eddie. Others definitely have. Maddie’s comment about his “man crush” aside, even a random christmas elf (long may she live) comments on it. Hen and Karen immediately agree Buck would invite Eddie, like, Karen knows about this even. Their reaction when Buck is acting irrational over how they might get Eddie out when he’s buried alive and most likely dead already is that reaction of “Oh fuck, this will break this person” that is usually reserved for the significant other or parent. Bobby definitely reacts to Buck in relation to Eddie the way a father would, carefully weighing being amused at how obvious he’s being, and concern over not wanting him to get hurt doing something stupid trying to save Eddie, or by falling for him when it might not be reciprocated. They all know that Buck’s a little (more than) smitten with Eddie. And Buck... of course he’s going to notice how his friends and family react. I think he’s been aware of it for a while and is constantly trying to navigate and balance this. 
Of course he hasn’t told his face about balancing anything at all yet, because look at that man’s face any time he looks at Eddie, look at that scene with the medal. He absolutely can’t help it. And sometimes it’s like he wants them to pick up on it - for example, pushing Maddie on the fact that he doesn’t consider himself a guest. And that’s completely understandable, sometimes you want people to pick up on something and maybe even comment on it (because their reaction reaffirms to you that maybe you’re not crazy) while also not wanting attention on that point. People are complicated like that. And Buck may be a himbo, but he’s complicated AF.
We get Buck being really weird about Eddie and Shannon in general - right off the bat. When Shannon shows up at the station and she and Eddie talk, Buck’s in the background and overhears that they’re sleeping together. He clearly struggles with this information, (and Chim possibly notices..) then he get’s real petty about them potentially getting married again (”Maybe you can get a discount”) - and he nopes out of the situation as quickly as he can - because he doesn’t want to risk saying anything snarky.
Then Chim and Buck go christmas tree shopping, and Chim comments on how Buck can’t let Eddie’s situation with Shannon go, and it’s true, he can’t stop himself. But when Eddie asks him for advice in front of the fountain (/metaphorical water penis as I like to call it), he’s suddenly all “I didn’t think it was my business” ... ok, sure, Buck. Then he basically tells Eddie to try and make it work with Shannon. In terms of character development, in a romance, this is the part where person A wants to be with person B but doesn’t think they have a chance, so makes the choice to try and settle for being their friend, which, heartbreakingly, involves pushing them into the arms of someone else.
Also, his kind of “oversharing” of Eddie’s situation with Ana to the rest of the team is, to me, a pretty clear indicator that the topic makes him uncomfortable and he’s trying a Ross Geller-I’m making Fajitas- “let’s show everyone how very completely normal I feel about this” approach, which.. it doesn’t.. work that well. And when does this ever work, it’s super easy to see through this, and it usually just serves to draw more attention to the fact that you’re uncomfortable with whatever is being discussed.
Buck also takes everything Eddie says to heart. Like, fucking takes it and will not let go of it. Half a season after Eddie tells him that he makes everything about himself, he breaks down telling Maddie he’s worried he’s making the situation with the old firefighter about himself again. During the kitchen scene (or “The actual how-to-guide of what to do when you thought the guy you have a crush on doesn’t reciprocate but then you have a fight and he really doesn’t handle being away from you so well so you kind of might as well see where being a little more openly flirty will get you”), Buck’s clearly thought about Eddie’s words from the grocery store fight, and he’s gonna call Eddie out. And maybe do other stuff.
Looking at what the writers are actually doing, to end the season, there’s the clawing at dirt of it all, Buck falling apart when Eddie’s buried alive. Buck being in almost all of Eddie’s memories when he’s close to dying. And Maddie’s comment about not wanting to set Josh up with Buck, which is innocent enough, but why throw that in on top of all of the above, if not because maybe what we’re actually looking at is that they’re setting up a sexuality crisis for Buck, and him realizing he’s maybe into Eddie, but Eddie not actually reciprocating (yet)? And say Buck is then somehow forcefully pushed to see the truth about how he feels, maybe by, i don’t know, coming across TK and/or Carlos on a call, and one of them asking him how long him and Eddie have been together? We might get Eddie with Ana, and a very long, drawn out process of Buck realizing what’s happening and trying to leave them alone, and Eddie being really confused about why Buck’s being like that. Then we would have two options (well, more, really, but these are two I like): 1) Eddie pushing Buck on that point and demanding an explanation and Buck just coming out with it because fuck it and sorry and please let me see Chris still 2) Buck’s sexuality crisis (or not crisis, if he’s always been pan/bi, which, look, nothing I’ve seen has disproven this theory) leading to him dating a guy and Eddie getting really jealous but not actually being aware of the fact what he feels is jealousy (because he doesn’t realize how he feels about Buck, see this whole essay you just read), and Buck being the one who confronts Eddie about why he’s being such a homophobic asshole about this, and Eddie straight up kissing him because he can’t not anymore.
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diaryofassortedimagines · 9 months ago
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~~~what a man, what a man~~~
summary: after a few weeks of having his emotion chip, data grows strong affection toward you, and consults geordi to help him charm you. cant remember shimoda’s rank so if he’s not a lieutenant dont call me out lol. title inspired by “ whatta man “ by salt n pepa. this title was meant to serve as irony, fuck a gender :)
warnings: none
“although most men are hoes, he flows on the down low”
“geordi, i have an inquiry. a very human one,” data said the word ‘human’ with pride. “an inquiry that the ships computer cannot thoroughly answer.” geordi looked up from his pad.
“don’t you always have human inquiries?” geordi was only joking, but data appeared to be ever so slightly disheartened. “well, i’m listening.” he tried to encourage him again.
as data opened his mouth to speak, Lt. shimoda exclaimed geordi’s name.
“commander, something seems to be wrong with the ships propulsion engine. we’re steadily slowing down.” geordi strode toward him with strong composure as though he’d done this a million times... probably because he has. data watched and tried to ignore his feelings of anxiety, despite being completely on edge. truth is, anxiety had become very well acquainted with him since the chip. it was what he felt when having to leave spot alone, it was what he felt when the ship went to red alert; he felt it daily. it was for this reason that he knew that anxiety wasn’t quite what he was feeling around you. the same flutter in his stomach, the same warmth, but somehow a different alarm sounded in his head at the sight of you.
data chirped up a bit as geordi walked back toward him, solving the ships issue within minutes, a very short amount of time for the human brain, and although it felt like hours to data, he knew geordi’s finesse was above human average. “sorry, data. listening now, promise.” geordi nodded at him encouragingly.
“it’s about someone on the bridge... lieutenant y/n.” embarrassed, he spoke your name quietly. geordi made a face of suspicion as he examined data before laughing. “i fail to understand why this is funny, geordi?” he looked back up at data.
“finish your point, data. it’d make it easier for me to explain.” he was still giddy and amused. data could only be silent for a few seconds. “well, i— it’s a n-new and... intriguing sensation a-and i—“ geordi let out another string of giggles. “you like them. don’t you?” geordi made sure to whisper. “...yes. yes, i think that is the case.” he said after a moment of hesitation. “perhaps you would attempt to describe your brief relationship with christy in the past?” geordi scoffed a little bit, humorously. “well, for starters, i felt good around her. a different kind of good i feel around you or other friends.” “did you find her pretty, as well?” data believed he had found you pretty, but had trouble learning humans methods of distinguishing a lovely painting from a lovely moment, person, etc. geordi laughed. “yes, of course, data.” he seemed to drift off in thought for a moment. “by the way, why did you choose to come to me? why not deanna?” bluntly, data said the truth:
“they say you learn more from the losers than the winners.”
by the next day on the bridge, geordi was well over data’s rude, thought unintentionally rude, comment and they were once again seated next to each other. all had been normal, and apart from the occasional distractive thought of spot’s well-being, he was rid from anxiety thus far.
however, you’re shift started soon, and data knew from experience (memorizing your average routine, 1200 hours-1800 hours) that the thrilling anxiety that geordi called ‘butterfly’s’ was soon to return.
door after door slid open, almost teasingly, to reveal an ensign or lieutenant that wasn’t you. the first door that was to slide open, data zipped his head around a bit too fast, and drawing a bit too much attention. each and every door after that he gazed at the reflection on the blank screen to check for you, but some suspicions had already been raised, namely geordi.
finally, you came into view of his peripherals. if his heart was physically capable of “skipping a beat”, it would have- hell, it may’ve even stopped. you looked... different today, albeit surreal. data had your proportions memorized by heart, and as he eyed you in the blank screen he took notice of a few things- your uniform, it was new, and slightly more form fitting than the former; slightly more appealing, despite data’s thought that you couldn’t get any better. your uniform was clean and ironed, but your hair was a different story. it was more tousled and touchable than usual. it was bare of any accessories such as hairpins or bows, a change that he happily accepted
the stars aligned unanimously and you caught data’s gaze in the view screen. quicker than most humans could, he looked away, but you continued to stare. slowly he turned his head back to your direction, and his breathing grew the slightest bit heavier as you smiled at him, purely and genuinely. he smiled back, and gosh did you love that. it was wonderful to see a smile on him. you had spent most of the time distracted and looking back at each other, smiling. eventually, time passed too quickly, even for data, as the end of his shift rolled around. he looked at you one last time before heading on his way out, and with unauthentic ease he stood, and stopped at your post for a moment.
“lieutenant, would you care to accompany me to ten forward at the end of your shift?” he was quaking on the inside. “oh, and i already know your shift. how about 2000 hours?” you didn’t want to hesitate to answer, but a blast of surprise didn’t allow you to get the words out for a moment.
“i- i would love that... commander.” your lips curled a tad more flirtatious than before, and it was one of the few times in his life that he smirked.
from over your shoulder, one of your crewmates whispered in your ear.
“whatta man he has become, hasn’t he?
you stared at him as he left, and smiled in silent agreement.
why is it so hard for me to write pure, unadulterated fluff 💀 sorry for it being so short! part two, perhaps? i hope u enjoyed :) <3
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forciela · 17 days ago
one trip only (yeah right)
a/n: not the first chronologically in the one shots, but it's the first i worked on. takes place a year and a half after the ending of encanto. in this oneshot camilo & my oc, tatiana, are 17. not a native spanish speaker so sorry if things seem. weird? i tried with my knowledge of spanish but it's not colombian : ( anyways!! oneshots take place in different courses of camilo and tati’s life :)
genre: fluff, i guess? just some cute little characterization.
characters mentioned: camilo, julieta (just mentioned), other ocs, pepa (just mentioned).
word count: 0.7k
masterlist ♡︎
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“Tatiiii, cariño, mi belleza! ¿Quiubo, Parce?”
His voice. His stupid, sweet, loving voice. She hated it and with the power of her hate she decided Camilo’s soft grin and macho bravo wasn’t working on her today. Nuh uh. She had things to do. People to see! Work to finish! Her padre’s shop was not going to get stocked by itself, y’know.
Anyways, her mamá was not happy with slacking off in the middle of her work hours. Tati swore she wouldn’t be like this if Camilo just…stopped being him! So when that last slipper was thrown at her, she had decided to go on a strike against the man who started it all…
Camilo Madrigal.
Yet now that he’s here…she’s not sure why the words get a little…stuck. She groaned in annoyance. How hard was it to tell him that she wanted nothing to do with him for the rest of her life? Come on, words! Start wording!
Her body tensed when she felt his fingers graze across her skin.
No, no, no. But yes….but no!
Tatiana Mejia bit down her wishes, pulled away, and finally met his amused eyes. “Not now, Camilo! Can’t you see I’m working!” They both looked down at the heavy box full of supplies.
Camilo hummed. “Huh. You actually did work today.”
Tatiana rolled her eyes, pushing his shoulder with a huff. “Yes! I did! And I would like to keep it that way!”
After filling up the box, all she needed to do now was set it on the shelf for shipping to the village’s many needing members. But before she can really do anything, Camilo is there. He’s shapeshifted into her father (give her even more guilt Camilo!) and put the box up onto the top shelf.
As quick as lighting, he shifted back and kissed her calloused hands. “Great. We’re done here? Sí o no?”
“No!” She said.
Camilo sighed. “Oh, come on, Tati! Just one trip!”
Tati kicked out of Camilo’s hold with her foot (which he dodged! The audacity!). She pointed her finger accusingly at his seemingly innocent figure. “You say that every single time, Camilo! It’s lies. You might be cute, but you’re still a man!” Camilo’s face doesn’t change for a second. She hoped, maybe he’d taken her words to heart and change his ways.
But when a smirk instead took over him, she knew she fucked up. Now he’s staring at her with the classic Madrigal puppy dog eyes. Honestly, she deserved this. He knew no matter how hard the girl tried to deny it, Camilo would always be her biggest weakness. It’s his cheapest trick in the book and she hated him for it.
“For me, Tati? Please, preciosa?”
Tati tried her best to stay away from him, but when he’s appearing and disappearing, getting bigger and smaller, it’s almost impossible. It’s when Camilo is in his best form — the real him — with his grown-out brown ringlets, large hazel eyes, and light freckles that coated the bridge of his nose that she caved all too quickly.
“Fine! Fine! Just…for two minutes, okay? After that I have to come back. No funny business, okay Camilo?”
He giggled in victory. “Anything you want.”
“Ay, stop it..” Her chest heated up impossibly and she wondered if Senora Pepa was feeling alright (it was her doing this, right?)
“No! No! I’m serious! Anything you want, I’ll give it to you.”
Tati smiled. She knew it was true. Ever since they were kids, that’s all Camilo had said. But he was always enough.
She shook her head, “I don’t want anything but you.”
Camilo leaned down to her height, “You say that but look at you. Still pouting.” He nuzzled her cheek, leaving her with a scrunched up expression.
“I’m not pouting, Camilo.” Tati said with an even bigger pout now.
Camilo stopped to examine her closely. “Nope. Definitely pouting.”
A smile cracked on her lips, “Qué pesado eres."
“Only for you~” He sang. His hands fall to her waist. They fit perfectly, as if they were always made to be there.
“Shut up.” Tati sighed and leaned up on her tippy toes to kiss him.
She melted into him as if she was made for him too.
His lips were sweet. She could taste his tía’s wonderful cooking. She pulled away, leaving Camilo pouting now, “We should probably leave now. I don’t want my hermanos to catch on because God if they do, so help us-“
“One more kiss.” He murmured.
One turned into many, many kisses. Camilo is almost surprised when Lorenzo Mejia walked in ready to kill him. He could only grin.
He didn’t regret a single thing.
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luv-eddiediaz · 3 months ago
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I wanna join in on the fun too!
“And now it’s time for the weather with KTLA’s meteorologist, Evan Buckley, Buck, what can we expect this week?”
Eddie bites his lip to hear Diaz missing from Buck’s last name. He isn’t surprised he dropped it, and they’re getting a divorce for christ’s sake, but it stings every time Eddie’s reminded they failed. 
“Well, Dana, it’s going to be pretty nice. High 70’s all week; maybe - just maybe a little rain down on the coast Wednesday morning, but honestly, most of that is probably just going to be verga.”
Eddie watches Christopher more than he watches Buck. That was the most challenging part when things started to fall apart, explaining to their child that they wouldn’t be together anymore. As if it wasn’t bad enough that the woman he knew was his mother died, but then the arguing and the bickering and the name-calling between his dads stopped, and Christopher never heard them cry anymore. He thought that meant things had gotten better, but really, they’d gotten worse. Someday, Eddie will tell him they held on as long as they did for him, but there wasn’t anything anyone could do in the end. 
“Surf forecast has a high rip current risk just about everywhere, but great swells coming in from the west, so ride those waves, but be careful out there. Here’s a look at your week's temps; like I said, pretty gorgeous; a little chilly on Wednesday dipping down to 72; only 59 at seven in the morning, and that’s with or without that rain, but otherwise, this is why we live in LA right?”
“That’s right, Buck. Thank you.”
“Alright, buddy, that’s it. Time for bed,” Eddie says and helps him off the couch and into the bedroom. 
“Dad?” Christopher asks, snuggling underneath the covers of the roll-away bed in the corner, “are we here because you have to get the papers that say you and dad aren’t married anymore?”
Eddie’s face falls along with his heart, and he kisses Christopher’s forehead, “That’s part of it. Also, because you had the week off school and you wanted to see dad, he wants to see you. And we get to see Pepa and Abuela; there are lots of reasons we’re here.”
“But the papers are really why?”
Eddie sighs, “it is part of it,” he repeats, “but hey, we’ve both told you that doesn’t mean we love you any less, okay? Just because we aren’t married, and because dad lives here while we’re in Texas; he loves you very much, and I love you too.”
“But you don’t love each other?”
Eddie isn't amused, but he laughs anyway and shakes his head, “You’re killing me tonight, you know that? You know how I love your mom because she was your mom?”
Christopher nods as he plays with a loose thread on his blanket.
“Well, I love your dad the same way; because he’s your dad, and I can’t love you without loving them. It’s just a different kind of love than how I used to love him.”
“Why is it different?”
“Because adults need more than just love; they need trust and loyalty-”
“You don’t trust dad.”
“I trust your dad with a lot of important things; most things, actually, but there are some things…” he gently pushes his finger against Christopher’s lips to shush him before he can say anything else, “go to sleep now, so you’re all rested to see him tomorrow, okay?”
“Okay. Goodnight.”
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ohtragedy-archived · 6 days ago
∗ 12﹕ sender  invites  receiver  to  dance . / félix to pepa
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A GIGGLE escapes her lips, green hues SOFT with emotion as a hand is HELD out to her. Teeth SHOW when she laughs, cheeks SCRUNCHED in amusement before Pepa moves her hand to GENTLY rest on top of her husbands.
Pepa STANDS, free hand moving to Félix’s SHOULDER, her body relaxing as she feels his hand at her WAIST. There’s no MUSIC—it’s just THEN, and she couldn’t be HAPPIER.
The moment PULLS her from REALITY for a moment. She feels as though she’s gone back in TIME—When they got married—NO—further back. Back when they were young as teenagers In LOVE, back when they had NO responsibilities. Back when it was just THEM against the WORLD.
NOW, life was more HECTIC. Now, they had THREE beautiful children TOGETHER. Eyes WELL up and TEARS run down freckled cheeks; but she LAUGHS. There’s no RAIN—no CLOUDS. She’s happy.
She’s so HAPPY.
Lips press GENTLY to his—They’re still MOVING. Still SWAYING to music that wasn’t THERE.
“Te amo, Mi Corazón.”
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Hold On to Me
Evan Buckley Week 2020, Day 3: “Hold on to me.” + hurt
Read it on Ao3
“Hey Buck?” Buck glanced in the rearview mirror. Christopher was sitting in the backseat, watching him. Buck was off that day and Eddie had asked Buck to watch Christopher since Carla was on vacation and both Abuela and Pepa were busy. Buck had of course said yes, since he adored Christopher. And Christopher had been equally excited to spend the day with ‘his Buck’.
 So far, they had gone to the park, gone to the movies, and gotten some food. Now, they were heading to the station, just to stop in and see everyone. It had been Christopher’s idea, since Eddie was on a twenty-four hour shift, but Buck was more than happy to go along with the idea, since he didn’t love when everyone else, especially Eddie, worked a shift without him. Part of it was because it reminded him of when he couldn’t work. The other part was he couldn’t keep his friends and family safe if he wasn't there. He knew they were all capable adults who were good at their job, but it made Buck a little worried when he couldn’t be there himself to make sure. 
 “Yeah Superman?” Buck focused back on the road. 
 “Are we almost there?” Buck smiled. 
 “Ten or so minutes.” Christopher nodded. “We’ll just pop in to say hi and then head home. You look tired anyways.”
 “I’m not tired,” Christopher objected. But Buck had to chuckle as the boy yawned and pushed his glasses away to rub his eyes. He sighed a little as he kept driving. He was looking forward to their quick stop at the station, maybe grabbing some of whatever Bobby had made, and then going back to Eddie’s. He blinked a little, noticing lights in the other lane growing closer. 
 “What the,” Buck mumbled. His eyes went wide with realization. “Shit!” 
 “Buck!” He swerved hard as the car came speeding towards them, pointing the car towards the side of the road. But the car still came crashing into theirs. Buck’s ears filled with screaming, car horns, and the sickening crush of metal against metal.
 And then, everything went dark.
“Buck! Buck!” Buck’s eyes slowly opened, a groan slipping from his lips. All he could see around him was darkness. His ears were ringing and his head hurt worse than he could remember. He gently reached his hand up to his forehead and felt something wet. As he brought his fingers down, he realized it was blood.
 “Christopher!” Everything came rushing back to him and he turned around, searching for the young boy. Though it was dark, he could still see the boy in the back. 
 “Buck!” The boy was crying, a terrified look on his face. Buck went to say something when he felt the car move. “Buck, I’m scared!”
 “Just hang tight, Superman.” He felt the car move again and winced, pain rushing to his head. He had a bad feeling why the car was moving but didn’t want to think about it. He unbuckled his seat, trying to mask how much pain he was in. “I’m going to come back there, okay?” Christopher just nodded and Buck thanked god that his car was spacious enough for him to make his way to the backseat. 
 “Buck!” Christopher grabbed onto him as soon as he was in the backseat. Buck hugged him gently, both because he was in pain and he didn’t know if Christopher had been injured. 
 “I got you,” Buck said, before pulling away. “Now, we’re going to have to get out of the car, okay?” Christopher just nodded. “I’m going to unbuckle you.” He released the buckle and tried not to wince when Christopher let out a whimper. “You’re doing great buddy.”
 “I’m scared.”
 “It’s going to be okay,” Buck said, running a hand through his curls. He slowly scooted towards the door. He could tell he was hurt from the pain radiating through him. But he needed to get Christopher to safety. So, with a quiet grunt, he reached for the door. He let out a sigh as it opened. 
 “Alright Chris,” Buck said, turning back to the boy. He paused, noticing the view behind Christopher seemed to be moving. He gulped, trying to stay calm. His car was definitely not sturdy on the cliff ledge and he had to get them out of there.
 “Buck?” He tried to stay calm, not wanting to scare Christopher.
 “We’re going to slowly get out of the car, okay? I just need you to hold tight, okay?” Christopher nodded as Buck reached over and picked him up. Christopher wrapped his arms around Buck’s neck. “Whatever you do, don’t let go, okay?”
 “Okay.” Buck took a breath before slowly pulling them towards the open door. He paused when he heard the car creak. He felt the car move suddenly and Christopher let out a startled yelp as Buck held onto him. He could feel the car starting to move away from the road. 
“Hold on to me, Christopher. Do not let go.” Everything in him was hurting, his vision starting to grow fuzzy from how much he was exerting himself. But he needed to get them out of the car.
 So, with as much speed as he could muster, Buck pushed himself out of the car. 
 Christopher shouted again as they felt the car falling away from them. Buck couldn’t see anything, both because of how dark it was and because of his obscured vision, but for a moment, it felt like they were free falling. He just held onto Christopher, keeping the boy pressed to his chest. 
 And then they hit the ground. 
 Buck groaned, pain burning through him worse than before. His eyes started to droop, the pain dragging him down, away from consciousness. He tightened his hold on Christopher, needing to know the boy was okay, that he was safe. 
 He could hear voices shouting, could see lights shining towards them. But everything hurt, too much for him to keep his eyes open. 
 “Buck!” The last thing he saw, before the darkness took him under, was Eddie’s face, concern mapping his tan skin. 
 And then, everything went dark. 
Buck knew where he was before his eyes fully adjusted to the lights. He had spent enough time in the hospital after everything with his leg, that he immediately knew those harsh lights and that overly clean smell.
 “Buck?” As his eyes adjusted, he glanced around, trying to locate who had spoken to him. He felt something on his chest and looked down. Christopher was lying next to him, his head resting on his chest, fast asleep. He had a few tiny cuts on his forehead, but looked fine. He felt some relief settle through him as he continued to scan the room. 
 Eddie was sitting on the other side of the bed, watching him. He noticed a relieved look cross Eddie’s face and Buck smiled a little. 
 “He’s okay?” Buck asked, nodding towards Christopher. 
 “Other than a few cuts and not wanting to be away from you, yeah.” Buck nodded. “I was terrified when I realized it was your car, dangling over that edge. I wanted to rush over as soon as I could, but Bobby could see how the car was teetering. We were trying to come up with a plan when you rescued yourself.” Buck just nodded, glancing back at Christopher. He felt such immense guilt. He had, once again, put Christopher in danger. He adored the kid, but sometimes he had to wonder if being around him did more harm than good.
 “Hey.” He turned towards Eddie, feeling Eddie’s fingers wrap around his. “You saved him. Again.”
 “I…” Buck tried to disagree, but Eddie shook his head. 
 “Buck, the other driver was drunk,” Eddie explained. “She put you and Christopher in danger. Her, not you.”
 “I just hate letting him down,” Buck said sadly, glancing at Christopher. He felt Eddie tug on his hand and he glanced back at the brunette. Eddie offered him a slight smile, his thumb running up and down Buck’s hand. 
 “You could never, Buck,” Eddie said. “Not because of some drunk driver, not because of the tsunami. You could never let him down. He loves you Buck. I…” Eddie trailed off, his cheeks growing pink. Buck watched him, the bubble of pain that had been growing in him starting to reduce, something else taking its place. 
 “Say it. Please.”
 “I love you.” The bubble of pain burst, replaced only by love, as a smile crossed Buck’s face. He leaned slightly towards Eddie, trying not to wake Christopher. Eddie smiled back and closed the rest of the distance, pressing a tender and chaste kiss to Buck’s lips. Eddie pulled away, just slightly, his thumb caressing Buck’s cheek. 
 “I love you too. Both of you.” Eddie smiled and pressed another kiss to Buck’s lips. Buck could feel himself falling deeper into the kiss, forgetting all the hurt and pain around him, falling into only that warm, sweet feeling of love, when Christopher stirred. Eddie sat back in his seat as the nine-year-old’s eyes opened. 
 “Hey superman.” Christopher hugged him tightly and Buck chuckled a little, before pressing a kiss to the top of his head. 
 “Thank you for saving me,” Christopher said, looking up at him. Buck just smiled, remembering what Eddie had said. He didn’t need to feel guilty for what happened. They were both okay, more than okay, as Buck glanced over at Eddie, who was watching them with a smile.
 “Alright you two,” Eddie said. “Since we’re here until the morning, you should both get some more rest.”
 “While you stay in that uncomfortable chair for the next couple hours?” Buck asked. “Seems unfair.”
 “And what do you suggest instead?” Eddie asked, an amused look on his face. Buck glanced at the hospital bed and Eddie raised an eyebrow. “That would be a bit of a tight squeeze.”
 “What do you think, Superman?” Buck asked, glancing down at Christopher.
 “Come on dad,” Christopher said with a slight yawn. Eddie sighed with a slight chuckle before getting up. He walked around to the other side of the bed, before lifting Christopher up. Once he was situated on the hospital bed next to Buck, he gently set Christopher down, so he was using both of them as a pillow. The boy smiled happily, his eyes drifting shut. 
 “Still kind of tight,” Eddie said, turning his head to look at Buck. 
 “It’s called cuddling,” Buck said with a playful eye roll.
 “You’re lucky I love you,” Eddie grumbled. Buck just smiled before pressing a kiss to his lips.
 “Yeah, I am.” He let his head drop down to Eddie’s shoulder, his eyes growing heavy. He let out a content sigh, one arm gently wrapping around Christopher, as he felt Eddie press a kiss to both of their heads.
 And then, with a smile on his face, he drifted off to sleep.
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stellarstacey · a year ago
Girl you're gonna kill me with all these prompt-fills!! Would you be up to doing something a little different? Like, Buck and Eddie have been together for a while but nobody, except Chris and Eddie's fam, had any clue or they never even thought about the two of them being an item?
Ramon walked into the station with a black duffle bag. Bobby had spotted him and laughed. 
“Reporting for duty, Diaz?” Bobby teased and Ramon laughed lightly. 
“No, no. Just dropping this off.” Ramon answered with a small smile. 
“Right.” Bobby nodded but frowned in slight confusion considering Eddie’s was off today. 
“Mijo!” Ramon called out and Bobby turned to see Buck walking down the stairs of the loft. 
“Hey Ray! Thanks so much for this. I swear I would lose my head if it wasn’t attached to my neck.” Buck joked grabbing the duffle bag.
“No problem, mijo. I gotta get back to Pepa’s. You still coming over after your shift right?” Ramon asked as Hen and Chim came closer to listen to the conversation.
“Of course. I’m bringing the wine since Eddie has no taste.” Buck stated earning a laugh from Ramon.
“Alright then. Be careful, Mijo. Te amo.” Ramon squeezed Buck’s shoulder.
“Love you too.” Buck stated as he took a step back. 
Ramon waved goodbye and Buck turned to see everyone staring at him.
“What the hell was that?” Chim asked and Buck frowned. 
“What?” Buck asked confused.
“You and Eddie’s dad. You two are close.” Hen muttered with a raised eyebrow.
“Well I would hope so. I’ve been dating his son for over a year.” Buck laughed earning gasp from everyone.
“What?” Buck asked confused. 
“You and Eddie are dating?” Bobby asked in slight awe. 
“Yes? We had you sign the forms for HR...” Buck muttered confused. 
“That’s what that was. I skimmed it...” Bobby blinked and Hen was staring at him.
Chim was rubbing the back of his neck. 
“Right well...I’m going to go take a nap...” Buck said awkwardly walking away. 
“So who wins?” Chim muttered with amusement. 
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patroclusonly · a year ago
Be reassured, you will neverbe alone 
Eddie Diaz Week Day 3: Eddie y su Abuela 
I don’t like this but I love Eddie’s abuela so. She gives him the love his parents don’t and he really needs it 
also, if from their talk you get some subtext about eddie’s sexuality being the reason he couldn’t be happy in texas, you might be right 
also wtf is that title 
read on ao3
Abuela’s birthday used to be a huge thing. The whole family would fly from Texas and stay there a whole weekend if they could. They didn’t get to see her much and those special days were always taken advantage of. 
But the last few years, specifically after the first year Eddie made clear he wasn’t going back to Texas, his family seemed to make a point to not go over as much, not even for birthdays.
They didn’t explicitly say it was because of that, but their excuses were always the same. ‘Sorry Eddie, but we can’t just drop everything we have to do to drive to LA and plane tickets are too expensive.’ ‘If you all lived here, it would be so much easier.’
He couldn’t do much but roll his eyes and accept the excuses they gave him, but the fact that because of him, they weren’t showing up to his abuela’s birthday was unbelievably selfish. 
He would like to say it was a surprise, but it really wasn’t. 
It was okay though, because him, Chris and Pepa made sure to plan a nice day for her. They took her out for lunch, Chris made him a drawing and they got her some presents, Eddie made her a nice cake, he may have gotten a little offended when she asked if Buck had helped him with it.
‘I may not be able to cook but I’m pretty decent at baking, abuela.’ He had said, pouting a little, but he would deny that if she ever brought it up. 
Now, they were back at her place. Chris was out like a light and his abuela and Pepa were on the couch talking while he washed the coffee cups they used. He was lost in his head, thinking about how his abuela must be feeling about not having her whole family there, that he didn’t hear her come in. 
“Thank you, Edito.” She said softly, smiling at him and stroking his arm. 
“I know you don’t like getting help, but washing the dishes is not a big deal.” He joked and he gentle hand turned into a smack. 
“Edmundo.” She said with a serious tone but rolling her eyes in amusement. “You know what I mean.” 
“It’s the least I could do, seeing I’m the reason no one will come to LA. Not even for your birthday.” He spit out but sighed, trying not to get angry in front of her. She didn’t deserve that. 
“Edmundo, look at me.” She moved him around so he was facing her, a hand going to cup his face. “Look at me.” She repeated when he avoided her eyes. 
“I know your parents don’t understand you, and the rest of the family listens to what your father says. But don’t think for a second that I blame you for anything.” She pulled her hand away from his face only to place it in his chest, right over his heart. “I know it hurts you too, but I would rather spend any day with you and Christopher happy and here in LA, than back in Texas where you can’t be truly happy” 
He wanted to joke, to say something to lighten the air and let the wave of emotions caused by her words go. Instead, he took in a sharp breath, trying to keep up his stoic front. “Abuela…” He whispered, trying to smile.
“I love you, Eddie. And I’m glad you made your own life here, no matter what your parents say. As long as you’re happy, I’m happy.” He tried to remain calm and put together, but the rebellious tears that gathered in his eyes were threatening to fall, and her next words were the last push they needed. “I’m proud of you.” 
“Thank you abuela. I really needed to hear that” He breathed out, as a quiet sob left him and the tears started to flow freely down his face. 
“Ah, Edito. Come here.” She pulled him into a hug, tight and protective but soft. Like those only she could give, making him feel safe and loved. “You know I love you with all my heart. You and Christopher living close to me make my days much brighter, if your family can’t see that, then I’m sorry for them, but I have you two and that’s enough for me.” 
She wiped the tears on his cheek and smiled at him, drawing him close to give him a kiss on his forehead. She patted his cheek and let him go, taking a deep breath. 
“Okay, go wash your face now. We have some more cake. It’s my birthday and I can treat myself with two pieces.” She started to walk back to the living room before turning around, a playful grin on her face. “Are you sure nobody helped you make it? Because it’s really delicious.” 
Eddie couldn’t help the laugh that he let out. “I did it myself! With Chris, because he wanted to help.” He answered smiling and wiping away the last trace of tears from his face. 
“Ah, so Christopher must be a natural baker then.” She said, her laugh leaving a trail of joy behind as she left the room. 
“Really?” He said loud enough for her to hear his offended tone but with no real meaning behind it. He knew his cooking history wasn’t good, of course they wouldn’t believe he made a cake from scratch. But he did, and he was proud because now he could make one for Chris’s next birthday. 
After washing his face and drying it with paper towels, he let out a deep breath and smiled to himself. He had been so scared when he decided to  move to LA with Christopher and no one else to help, but as soon as he got there his abuela had been there for him and never complained. 
Not after the unschedule days with Chris, the late nights, all the cooking she did for them, not after she broke her damn hip. 
And knowing she was proud of him made him feel so much better about his choices. He lived under his father’s shadow for so long, being the good, obedient son. Breaking that habit had been hard, but necessary. And having her support meant everything to him. 
His abuela and Pepa made everything a thousand times easier and better for him and Chris and him would always be grateful for that. 
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zeethebooknerd · a year ago
a christmas miracle - Chapter 3
Heyy!! I’m back with the next part to this fic!! 
We're back with (some) reactions!! This chapter got so long that I ended up having to split it anyway :// I'm sorry about that! The last and final part will be up soon as well, but in the meanwhile, I hope you enjoy this fluff monster in all these trying times!
@tk-strand makes a guest appearance down here ;) See if you can spot her.
As always, I recommend reading this on AO3 because of how long it is xD
Chapter 1: [AO3 Link] [10,760 words] Chapter 2: [AO3 Link] [9,892 words] Chapter 3: [AO3 Link] [8,318 words]
(that last chapter could’ve been 15k but i’m not doing that to y’all xD we’re gonna ignore how each chapter has less and less words because this is my longest fic we love to see it xD)
Entire Chapter below cut:
They ended up being late for dinner.
Abuela had wanted them to show at 5:00 to help set up, but naturally, they were pulling into her driveway at 6:15.
They had gone home after the courthouse, to relax together for a bit before they realized that they’d fallen asleep on the couch while finishing A Christmas Carol from the morning. By the time Buck jerked awake, it was already 5:30. He’d woken the other two up, the three of them rushing around to change into something more casual before racing out the door to make it to Abuela’s at least before dinner.
“Great impression to make on your husband’s family.” Buck muttered to himself, now agitated as he picked up the fruit salad and the cookies Eddie had baked. He hated being late. Eddie noticed the tension bunched in Buck’s shoulders and rubbed a hand comfortingly at the small of his back.
“It’s just Abuela and Pepa. And one of my sisters and a couple other cousins.” Eddie assured him, taking one plate off his hands. Christopher was already climbing Abuela’s porch, eager to see the other kids Buck could hear.
“Not your parents?” He relaxed a little, then immediately felt like a jackass. Sue him, he needed time to prepare for this. Eddie clearly wasn’t offended as he shook his head.
“Nah, they usually don’t come up during Christmas, they come during Thanksgiving. Possibly New Year’s Day. That’s when practically everyone makes it.” Eddie stole a quick kiss before shutting the trunk. “You can pin the blame on me if you have to.”
Buck only snorted. “Oh don’t worry, I won’t need to. They’ll automatically pin it on you.”
“Not even 4 hours into our marriage and you’re already throwing me under the bus.” Eddie rolled his eyes while the two walked up. Buck could feel himself grow nervous for the first time today. Objectively, he knew that Abuela and Pepa loved him. “Hey, it’ll be okay. They already love you. And I love you, and you make me and Chris happy.”  
“I know.” Buck squeezed Eddie’s fingers once before balancing the plate with his left hand, hiding the ring in plain sight. The ring he still wasn’t able to stop looking at.
Once again, Christopher had excitedly drafted a plan. They were to act as they normally did, and see who figured it out first. All three of them thought it would be Abuela but with a house full of people, who knew?
Eddie knocked on the door, smoothing Chris’ hair down as he did so. An unfamiliar woman opened the door, gasping as she pulled Chris into a hug first.
“Oh mijo, you’ve gotten so big!” She rambled something else in Spanish that Buck didn’t catch before turning to Eddie and flinging her arms around his neck. Eddie laughed and hugged her back before turning towards him.
“Sophia, this is Buck. Buck, this is my oldest sister.” Buck extended his hand for her to shake, unsure of what the formality here was but she dragged him into a hug too.
“I’ve heard so much about you, it’s so nice to finally meet you!” Her and Eddie looked very similar, with the same sloping nose, full lips, and thick, dark hair, enough that they could pass as twins. While Eddie’s eyes were like warm chocolate, Sophia’s were coal black.
“Likewise.” Buck grinned at her, already feeling his nerves settle.
“Is that Evan and Christopher? This late?” Pepa’s voice came from inside. Eddie winced at the lack of his name but pushed Buck inside first, effectively hiding behind him. He only laughed as he walked in behind Christopher, greeting Josephine and Isabel with a kiss on the cheek and placing the tray down.
“With Eddie in tow, yeah. Merry Christmas, Pepa, Abuela. Sorry we’re late.” Buck turned to his now-pouting husband, snickering at the childish look as Sophia pulled his cheeks.
“I thought I told you to leave Edmundo at home.” Abuela teased as she hugged Buck and then her properly chagrined grandson. Christopher had long since ditched them to scurry off to where his cousins were playing board games.
“I’ll leave Buck and Christopher here if that’s what you want.” Eddie bartered playfully, trying to get back in her good books. Abuela’s eyes lit up at the suggestion as she giggled. Buck’s chest warmed at the unbridled love, even as he turned to help Pepa, shaking his head at the pair.
“Anything I can do?” He followed her into the kitchen, which was now laden with a variety of food that made his stomach rumble. Their breakfast had been big enough to not garner lunch, but now he was famished.
The house smelled cozy, like spice, tomato and chillies. There were trays of dishes that Buck had learned to cook from Abuela, mostly ones that he loved. It didn’t miss his eye that Abuela had also made Eddie’s favourite pozole verde.
“You can tell me where that ring came from.” Buck choked on the piece of carrot he’d snagged. Pepa only smirked amusedly at him as she leaned across the fridge. He smiled bashfully at her, his face no-doubt red now.
“It was supposed to be a surprise.” He said weakly. Pepa raised a knowing eyebrow.
“Oh it’s a surprise. alright. Want to explain it?”
“Eddie and I got married this afternoon.” Josephine’s eyebrows shot up as Buck slowly stepped back. Clearly, she wasn’t expecting that.
“Eddie? You married Eddie? Today?” He nodded, absently twisting the ring between his fingers.
“We were sure about this, and I’m still sure about it because I love him but I don’t want you guys to be mad at me or him for practically eloping after only being together for a few hours because-” He started rambling nervously, hoping his voice wasn’t carrying. Pepa came closer to grip his shoulders, looking confused at his freak-out.
“Hey, hey, cálmate, hijo . No one will be upset. I am so glad you came into my Eddie’s life, because my nephew is happier than he has ever been. And Christopher too.” Pepa drew him into a hug, smoothing a hand down his back. “You are the best partner for him, Evan; I saw that when I met you for the first time. I do not care how you two got married, as long as you are happy. Felicidades, mi hijo.”
“Thank you, Josephine. I promise I won’t hurt him.” She only brushed her fingers across his cheek affectionately.
“You two would die before hurting each other, and this I know.” Then she grinned. “Don’t tell him I found out. I have to make fun of him first. And you must show me pictures.”
“We thought Abuela would find out first. Christopher’s excited to be the one to break the news.” Buck admitted, laughing lightly. Eddie was loved so brightly by his grandmother and aunt, and it showed. That’s what made this the perfect meet-the-family, if Buck had ever heard of one. Pepa only scoffed, directing him to pick up the tray of burritos and stick them in the oven to stay warm.
“Trust me, mijo, I know my mother. She is a smart woman. She probably already knows.” With one more meaningful glance his way, she left the kitchen. Buck only stared after her.
Shaking off the initial surprise, he went to pick up the dish just as Eddie came in to set the fruit salad in the fridge, a brilliant smile on his face.
“Did you make it up to her?” Buck asked.
“Obviously, no one can resist the Eddie charm.” he boasted, pulling Buck close with two fingers hooked in his belt loop, yet again. "Clearly, not even you."
“You know they’re going to find out if you keep putting your hands on me.” Buck grumbled. Secretly though, he quite liked this Eddie; playful and a little dangerous. For such a private person, it was a side of him he’d never seen before.
But then again, he hadn’t been the object of his affections until last night either.
“I can’t help it.” His tone was fond, but a little heated and definitely X-rated. Buck flushed as Eddie’s gaze raked down his body, just like he’d done to Eddie many times before. Before he did something stupid like jump Eddie in Abuela’s kitchen, he untangled himself from his husband and grabbed the burrito tray to stick in the oven.
“You can wait until tonight.” Buck kissed the corner of his mouth to placate him before he left. Pepa only arched her eyebrow at him as they came out, careful to keep her knowing expression hidden from Eddie, who had made a beeline to make sure Christopher was settled.
Before he knew it, Buck had a can of soda in his hand and he was parked on the couch, deep in conversation with Eddie’s sister, who was introducing him to her husband and two kids. Somewhere down the line, Eddie had joined them and Sophia resorted to switching gears to talk about embarrassing stories of Eddie as a kid.
“Then he decided that he absolutely had to have a bright red popsicle, and so Dad got him one. He was wearing a white shirt that day, by the way. The popsicle melted all over him and by the time he was done, he looked like he’d been part of a crime scene.” It was an amusing image, a 5-year-old, round, chubby, adorable, Eddie pouting like a child and coming out of a dessert spree looking like he’d committed a murder. “Mom still has pictures of that.”
“Wow, first Trevor and Nathan, now you.” Eddie complained, tugging good-naturedly on his sister’s braid.
“You met Trevor and Nathan?” Sophia’s eyes lit up at that as she cackled gleefully. “They probably have so many other stories. Be thankful Abuela hasn’t pulled out the childhood album yet.”
“Yeah, they told Buck and Christopher about the charity calendar incident.” Buck laughed at the memory; Eddie had been a gorgeous teenager as well, which was unfair really.
“Maddie would be more than happy to tell you about my childhood. Trust me, there’s a lot going on over there.” He shook his head, taking a drag from his can. Maddie would get along swimmingly with Sophia, since both of them liked to pull their younger brother’s leg to the point of no end.
Incessant vibration from his phone dragged his attention away from the conversation. He expected it to be Maddie, boasting more details about her trip, but surprisingly it was Maya, who was sending him images from this afternoon.
The very first image had Buck grinning like the Cheshire Cat, even as his vision blurred a little. It was a picture of the two of them leaning into one another, foreheads pressed together. This particular shot was right after Nathan pronounced them married, right after the kiss. They were holding onto each other tightly, fingers twisted in fabric.
The next image was one of the staged ones that actually ended up looking pretty natural. Eddie was leaning in, his nose bumping along Buck’s as the two grinned widely at each other. Then right after that was a candid of Eddie’s fingers hooked in Buck’s belt loop, which seemed to be Eddie’s favourite way of keeping him close.
The next one was a picture of them hugging Christopher and smiling at each other over the kid’s shoulders. Instantly, Buck knew that it would be one of his favourites.
He mused that this was the worst time to be looking at these pictures (not to mention rude) because anyone could lean over the couch to see them after noticing his goofy grin, but he couldn’t look away. It was actual proof that him and Eddie had gotten married and he wasn’t living in a dream sequence.
Maya had edited the images beautifully, especially the one of them on the stairs. He grinned wider as he saw the pictures of Eddie, who looked so heartwarmingly gorgeous in his charcoal suit.
There was one of his husband posing while adjusting his cuff link, a candid of him laughing at something Buck and Christopher had said, and another with his head in his hands. Maya’s expertise clearly showed here, because that last one hadn’t been a posted shot. It’d been an expression of his exasperation over the baseball pictures.
She had turned it into an aesthetic photo of Eddie’s thick hair spilling over his nimble fingers, the ring glinting in the sunlight, nestled on tan skin. The two blue lines on the ring shone brightly in the edit. His heart swelled at the sight.
Buck was speechless at the sheer amount of talent, and how quickly she’d gotten back to them with these.
Maya: Sorry for the spam. These aren’t all of them, but a few to get you started ;)
Buck quickly typed out a long expression of gratitude before passing the phone to Eddie. He watched Eddie’s expression lighten until he was sure they were about to get caught, a lopsided smile taking up residence on his husband’s face. The look he exchanged with Buck was private, intimate and warmed him all over.
“What’s that?” Sophia asked curiously, looking between them. Their eyes widened slightly as they tried to come up with a plausible excuse for why they couldn't stop smiling. Buck absolutely wasn’t about to lie to the Diaz family.
“Edmundo Rafael Diaz.” Abuela was looking at Eddie with narrowed eyes, a wooden spoon in hand threateningly. With a jolt, Buck realized that her gaze was on his very visible wedding ring from where he was holding Buck’s phone. Eddie peeked around the device to look at it too and cringed, muttering Spanish prayers under his breath as he slowly got to his feet. “Do not tell me you idiotas got married without us.”
The room exploded into a fury of shouts, indignation and excitement as Abuela chased Eddie around the house with the wooden spoon, the man stopping periodically to plead with his grandmother to listen. Buck knew Eddie was just playing with her, being careful of Abuela’s hip, but her rage was palpable. She moved faster than Buck had assumed she would, her spoon rapping on Eddie’s arms lightly.
The chaos almost made the quaint house shake. Even the children had abandoned their game of Chutes and Ladders to come see their Tío Eddie being scolded. Christopher looked highly amused at his dad trying to escape, clapping along all the other children who were rooting for Abuela.
Buck had no idea where to go or where to look, but somehow, he ended up standing right in front of Abuela with wide eyes while Eddie cowered behind him again. While Eddie was busy hiding his face in Buck’s back, Abuela only winked at him.
Relief spread through him. He’d been so worried that his in-laws wouldn’t accept him, and that Abuela would be genuinely mad at them.
Naturally, Buck stepped aside, smirking at his husband who was looking at him with a glare of utmost betrayal.
“You promised me in sickness and in health, Evan!” Eddie’s jaw dropped just as Abuela caught hold of his ear, twisting it. Eddie yelped, begging his grandmother to let him go while the children cheered on from the sidelines. It was comical, really.
“How dare you marry without even letting us know?” She ranted in Spanish in the middle of everyone now swarming Buck.
“You married my brother? ” Sophia squealed, grabbing his hand to look at his ring while she gushed. “Julio, look at this, they’re so cute!” Sophia’s husband, a quiet man to his wife’s chirpy nature, smiled and congratulated him. Buck thanked him quietly as two of his cousins came to do the same, ribbing Eddie all the while.
“It was a surprise! Christopher was going to tell you!” Eddie was clearly flustered by no one listening to him because he shouted over everyone’s voices. “Okay, stop!” His tone held the echo of an Army man’s command, which really had no business being that hot. Instantly, the house quieted. Buck grinned widely as he made his way back to Eddie’s side. “Christopher, tell them.”
The kid in question sighed and shook his head at the two of them. “Buck and Daddy got married this afternoon, because Daddy realized he loved Buck and we wanted to make Bucky part of our family forever.”
“See?” Almost absently, Eddie’s hand reached to wrap around Buck’s while the other gestured around the room wildly.
“We have a few pictures if you want to see them.” Buck offered. “Not all of them have come through, but I have a few. That’s what we were looking at, our photographer just sent them.”
“That’s why you saw Trevor and Nathan today!” One of Eddie’s cousins smacked her head in understanding. Arianna, if Buck remembered correctly.
“What does that have to do with anything?” Pepa asked, satisfied after having yanked Eddie’s chain.
“Trevor Morgan, Pepa! Remember him? Eddie’s friend from high school?” Sophia tried to jog her aunt’s memory.
“Is he the one whose brother is a priest?”
“Nathan isn’t a priest, he works in security consultation, but he’s qualified to officiate. He officiated our marriage and Trevor helped us get the license. Buck’s friend Maya did the photography.” Eddie explained, letting go of Buck to plop down on the sofa. Buck had learned that Nathan was a member of the clergy at a Church, but he hadn’t seemed too keen on talking about it, so Buck hadn’t pushed.
“Show us the pictures, Tío Buck!” Before Buck could even register his newfound title, he found himself swarmed with a bunch of kids trying to pull his phone out of his hand.
Now normally, Buck thought himself to be pretty good with kids. He loved them and they loved him. But when there were five kids zeroed in on one common goal, all at or under the age of ten, Buck was in danger of falling flat on his butt.
As they quickly found, cramming five tiny faces into one tinier device fared well for no one.
Before things could escalate, Julio intervened. “How about...we link Tío Buck’s phone to the TV?”
A chorus of “Yeah!” rang out as all the kids raced to the litter themselves around the living room. Chris perched himself on Eddie’s lap while Buck sent a grateful look to Julio.
“It was just like this when Sophia and I got married too. Granted, everyone had attended, but we spent one entire night just looking at the digital wedding album.” The kind man laughed as they got to hooking up Buck’s phone to the flat screen. Well, Julio did. Buck was hopeless when it came to things like that.
“There isn’t enough for us to spend the entire night, but maybe we’ll be able to tide everyone over before dinner.” He joked.
Buck loved the Diaz family. There was never a dull moment with them, even if it was just Abuela and Pepa. He’d joined the pair of them multiple times, but it was the first time he was meeting anyone else, outside of Eddie’s probationary ceremony.
They got comfortable as Buck sat cross-legged on the ground with the rest of the kids, swiping through the photos so they reflected on the TV. He craned his neck to see them, Sophia and Julio’s daughter Silvia now sitting right with him. The 4-year-old was clearly comfortable enough to start tracing patterns on his pants as the two joked around.
On the bigger screen, the pictures were grander. He flicked through them, listening happily to the chatter of the Diaz family around them. More gushing resounded at a photo of Buck, Eddie and Christopher, the boy held between them as they grinned at the camera.
“I knew it. The second I met Buck for the first time in the hospital with Eddie, I knew they were going to get together.” Pepa boasted.
“You did not, Tía, we'd literally just met. I was still married.” Eddie said. Buck laughed at his husband’s indignation. It was true; neither of them thought they’d end up here. When he’d met Eddie, he had still been so confused over Abby.
“How’d you two meet?” Sophia asked curiously. Now it was Buck’s turn to groan as Eddie whooped out a laugh.
“Oh this is awesome. It’s my turn to take revenge.” Eddie smiled devilishly at him before turning to his sister. “So Buck and I work together. My first day at the 118, everybody’s there to greet me except this man.”
Buck wished the ground would just swallow him. Not even Abuela or Josephine knew this story, both of whom were looking highly intrigued. “He was so threatened by my presence and I was so confused, I had no idea what was going on. Couldn’t figure out what I’d done to make him so mad. Buck was so territorial over the entire firehouse, practically preening.”
“In my defense, this man just shows up out of nowhere, Army veteran, Silver Star, medic, former staff sergeant and all these other things Bobby kept going on about, and I’d done literally nothing but be a firefighter in my life.”
“That is so not true. You were a SEAL for a while.” Eddie admonished, just like he did every time Buck tried to downplay himself.
“For literally the training, Eds.”
“You didn’t go ahead with it?” Julio asked. It was a common question from everyone who heard Buck had done the SEAL training.
Buck shrugged. “It wasn’t about the physical part. They wanted people to flip a switch in their head to turn off all their emotions, and that wasn’t for me.”
“How’d you two become friends? And then get together? And what magic have you bestowed upon this man, because I don’t think I’ve heard Eddie talk this much in one night, ever.” The other of Eddie’s cousins, Daniel, spoke, beaming at the man in question.
“We had an emergency one night where someone had gotten in an accident with a live grenade.” Eddie explained, keeping the details sparse for the sake of the children. “We couldn’t take the man to the hospital because there was a chance it would’ve gone off. Buck and I coordinated with LAPD and the bomb squad to get that live grenade...away from the man.”
There hadn’t been anything like that in any other emergency, that was for sure.
“And that was the time Eddie realized that I’m the most amazing person on this planet.” Buck continued, Silvia now having sat straight on his lap to play with his birthmark. Eddie shook his head, smiling around his can. “Oh, and he ended up blowing up an ambulance, did he mention that?”
Abuela giggled loudly at that as another round of laughter rang out at Eddie’s expense.
“Hey!” His husband protested. “It was because of the proximity sensor. The man with it got out of range and the truck…”
“Went ka-boom!” Silvia shouted eagerly, tugging on Buck’s hair in her excitement. He held back a wince even as he pulled her fingers free of the strands.
“Yeah mi reinita, exactly.” Eddie said adoringly, looking at the two of them softly. “The truck blew up, thankfully out of range, and the damage did not come out of my paycheck.”
“That still doesn’t explain how you got together.” Sophia pointed out, relaxing back against her husband.
“I’m getting there.” Eddie scolded. The wedding photos were forgotten now, everyone focused on his words. “A few weeks later was that earthquake, and I was trying to call Chris’ teachers. At this point, no one at the station knew anything about my life outside of my resume, so it was surprising to hear for all of them. But Buck took one look at a picture of Chris and melted immediately. He was the one who drove me to his school after our shift. From then on, it’s been...a journey.”
That was one way to put it. Eddie locked eyes with Buck, a small, private smile playing at his lips.
“Buck is my best friend, and he loves me.” Chris told the room, still happily perched on his father’s legs. Buck grinned at him and told him he was right.
“Let it be put on record to the room that I was using Eddie just for Christopher.” He teased. Eddie chuckled as a chorus of “awws” went around the room. Buck picked up the story from where Eddie left off. “That was nearly three years ago. At that time, we were both in such different places, it’s crazy to even think that we’d end up here.”
“Oh mijo, we all saw this coming.” Abuela said sympathetically, ruffling Eddie’s hair.
“I only met you today, and the two of us saw it coming from how fondly Eddie and Chris talk about you.” Sophia said, sticking her tongue out at her brother.
“Well, it seems that everyone saw it before I did.” Eddie rolled his lips into his mouth.
“Yeah, I’m the one who told Daddy that he loved Buck.” Christopher was so proud of his hand in the turn of events that he couldn't stop himself from bringing it up again and again, much to the amusement of everyone else.
“That was yesterday, by the way.” Buck added, laughing at how much had gone down in twenty-four hours.
“Yesterday? Eddito, I have told you so many times to confess.” Abuela scolded him, apparently not put off by the part about the shotgun wedding.
“I didn’t know I was in love with him then. I thought you were just teasing!” Eddie defended himself. Buck could hear the hint self-loathing in his voice, and immediately came to his rescue. He didn’t like that Eddie kept beating himself up about it.
“Eddie’s love language has never been words, it’s always been his actions. So, I knew he loved me, even if he didn’t quite know it then. We were just too scared to, you know, take that risk.” He left out the part about Ana, not sure if Eddie wanted to talk about it in front of the entire family.
He’d honestly thought that there had been something between them. Up until Eddie had started going out with Ana, Buck had completely believed that Eddie cared for him the same way Buck cared for him. He’d trusted that Eddie would talk to him when he was ready.
Then when Eddie and Ana started going out, Buck’s attention shifted to thinking that he’d just misread all the signals, which was honestly one of the most torturous periods of heartbreak in his life. But he had enough faith in his heart that it would bring Eddie back to him.
And it had. In the most beautiful way.
By now, the children were getting bored with the story, and got up to go back to their board game, leaving the adults to continue the rest. Sylvia managed to step right on Buck’s foot as she clambered out of his grip, but Buck watched her leave fondly.
With the children gone, Eddie clearly had no qualms about mentioning Ana. “Around four months ago, I started going out with this other woman. I wasn’t even sure why I did, we just did, I guess. We never dated or anything, but we’d go out together maybe twice a month? It was fun, but it wasn’t the same comfort level that I have with Buck. It was always kind of awkward, but I guess it had been kind of drilled in my head that I had to love a woman in the long term.”
This was a part that Eddie hadn’t shared with Buck. He turned from his position on the floor to look his husband in the eye.
“Not that I was having a crisis or anything, because I’ve known I was bisexual since a little bit after high school, but I don’t know, I never came to exploring that part of me. Not with the Army and then Shannon and then Chris in the mix. So then realizing that I loved a man wasn’t a shock. It was hearing that I loved Buck and hadn’t realized it. That was the catch.” The words were honest in a way Eddie usually wasn’t in front of an audience.
“Awww, that’s adorable.” Arianna cooed. Buck tried keeping all the names straight, even though he knew this wasn’t even a fraction of Eddie’s family.
“Thanks, Ari.” Eddie tipped his can in acknowledgment to her before continuing. “Yeah, so this morning, Chris and I asked Buck to marry us, and the rest is history.” Eddie concluded, gesturing towards the TV. which was now showing a picture of the two of them standing in front of Nathan, hand in hand. “Maya is supremely talented. She was telling me about how courthouses are aesthetic or something like that, and seeing her work, I believe it.”
“The photos are so gorgeous.” She said, admiring them with a critical eye. “You two make an amazing couple.”
“Well, not to brag, but we do.” Buck smirked, laughing lightly. “On a serious note, that’s Maya for you. We’ve been friends for years, and I’ve modelled in more than a few of her portfolios, which is how I knew she’d be the best choice. She has a way of seeing things that others normally wouldn’t and capturing them through her lens.”
“You’re a model!” Sophia and Pepa squealed in unison, clapping their hands in excitement. Eddie laughed as Buck’s eyes widened.
“No! No, I’m not.” He quickly denied the allegation, much to Abuela’s amusement. “Maya roped me into the photos because she needed to present a portfolio of portraits to a potential client, and hiring someone was way out of her range. She’s looking to open her own wedding photography business, so I called her for ours.”
“Honestly, she’d be great at it.” Daniel commented.
“She got this one picture of Eddie...” Buck scrolled to the one of Eddie’s head in his hands, which was now one of his favourite pictures ever. A hint of possessiveness took hold of him at the sight of his ring on Eddie’s strong fingers.
“Oh, that one came out nicely. I don’t even remember taking that.” Eddie admired his own self, leading to a bunch of scoffs around the room.
“This was taken while Eddie was trying to bury his face in his hands in embarrassment over the charity calendar pictures.” Buck explained. “When he says he doesn’t remember, he really doesn’t. Eddie actually didn’t know it was being taken. Maya managed to turn it into a display of his ring while he was wallowing.”
“Oh yes, the rings. You didn’t tell us about them.” Arianna rubbed her hands eagerly, looking at the portrait of their hands. Buck was highly amused at how much detail the Diaz family wanted, but happily complied anyway.
“They were from a shop in City Square. We got them like...maybe fifteen minutes before we had to be at the courthouse. She had silicon rings, so we picked those up too. Metal rings are not a great idea for firefighters.”
“Did either of you end up changing your last name?” Julio asked.
“All three of us did. We just hyphenated both of ours, so it’s Buckley-Diaz.” Eddie revealed, to more cheers and hooting.
“I’m so happy for you guys, oh my God.” Sophia sniffed. Buck started at the sight of her tears but Julio waved him off.
“She’s just emotional.” Sophia elbowed her husband and punched Eddie in the arm when he teased her about it.
“I am just glad you two finally figured it out. We were going crazy trying to get you two to see the light.” Abuela stood up. “Now, let’s eat.”
Buck disconnected his phone from the TV with Julio's help while Daniel called the kids to go wash up before dinner.
Dinner was just as lively of an affair, jokes and easy-flowing conversation all around. Abuela and Josephine had gone all out to make tonight’s food. There were so many dishes, Buck didn’t know where to start. Just like at the firehouse, Eddie was seated on Buck’s left. Christopher was sitting with the other kids; Sophia and Julio had bought pizza that the kids were guaranteed to eat so they were seated separately.
Eddie’s family included Buck whole-heartedly in their fold, something that made him say an extra prayer of thanks, even though he wasn’t religious in the slightest. It was nice to have this closeness after so many years of traversing on his own.
It wasn’t until after dinner that he got a chance to talk to Abuela on his own. He was arms deep in soap and hot water, scrubbing at the dishes while Abuela dried them. Eddie and Pepa were busy cleaning the rest of the house, while Sophia and Julio had left with their son because Silvia had fallen asleep. Apparently waking the child would have been an exercise in noise control.
“Abuela, are you really okay with me having married Eddie?” Buck held his breath, focusing on the large spot he was trying to scrub off, rather than the seeking look he knew the matriarch would have.
“Of course I am, mijo, why wouldn’t I be?”
“I don’t know, maybe that you all thought it was too fast.” His voice was low, not wanting anyone to overhear.
“Is that what scares you?” As usual, she saw right through him. Buck was terrified of hearing from any of their loved ones that they’d made a rash decision, even though his brain knew that he would never regret it. “Evan, you cannot worry about what other people think. It will drive you loco. You and Eddie know what is best for you two and for Christopher.”
“But you’re not just ‘other people.’ You’re his grandmother, and mine too, now that I think about, and I just…” He didn’t know how to word this. Abuela was patient with him, and let him try to find the words, even as she turned off the water. “I don’t want you guys to think I’ll ever regret marrying Eddie, even if we hadn’t been together before this. I want you guys to know that I’ll be by his side for as long as I live.”
Abuela was quiet for a moment before she gripped Buck lightly by his shoulders, turning him slightly to face her. “You and Eddie have been in sync ever since you met and even formed a small family. All of us have seen how close you two are. Eddie trusts you in a way he did not even trust Shannon, may her soul rest in peace. It is not because he did not love her, no. It is because she did not show him she cared about him enough to stay, to stop pushing him, even when he was struggling after war.
“Do you know why we named him Edmundo Rafael? Edmundo means protector and Rafael after the angel Raphael, the God who heals. And somewhere in his life, he took both those names literally, as his purposes in life. God knows he made some mistakes, but he did everything to repent for them. I know my grandson, Evan, and he has always fought himself on every decision he makes. The last time I saw him so sure about his decisions was two years ago, at Shannon’s funeral. His parents tried to convince him to move back to Texas, but Eddie was adamant to stay here. He had an argument ready for every point his parents threw at him.”
Buck remembered Eddie telling him about that. He remembered the stark fear that had gripped him at the thought of Eddie and Christopher leaving, even though he hadn’t known them for long.
“Love is not in our control, but marriages need work. They are not the same. You must put that love and care into your marriage, it is not present from the second you are married. It is a dedication to your partner. You must learn to work through hardships together, not apart from each other. Do you understand?” Abuela’s wisdom was literally unmatched. Buck hadn’t thought of it that way. This marriage was a sign of commitment, but it was also a commitment to go through the ups and downs of life together. He hadn’t thought of it as being something separate from love.
Buck thought about the words for a little while longer. He and Eddie had gotten married for love, and though Buck fully believed love was one of the strongest powers in the universe, a marriage was much more than that. Just like they’d said in their vows, it was promising each other to stand by every situation life threw them in.
And with the job they were in, there would be a lot of situations where they'd have no one but each other.
Abuela must’ve seen the moment the words sunk in, because she spoke up again. “That is exactly why I am not worried about you two. You listen. Listening is very important. And I have not seen you this happy in months, Evanito. And my Eddito has not smiled and laughed this much in years.”
“This is truly the happiest I’ve ever been.” Tears pricked at his eyes as he smiled at her around the lump in his throat.
“You boys deserve all the happiness you can get. And I am very happy you found it in one another.” Abuela pulled him down into a warm hug, even though his arms were still submerged in soapy water.
“Thank you” was all Buck could manage, emotion choking him. The matriarch only rubbed his shoulder before going back to drying the dishes.
Working in tandem, Buck finished scrubbing the rest of the pots and pans, swiftly moving around the kitchen to help her clean up a few other things.
“Eddie, what are you and Buck doing tonight?” Josephine asked as Buck came out from the kitchen to see his husband vacuuming the carpet.
“Um...going home?” He looked confusedly at Buck, who simply shrugged in the same confusion.
“On your wedding night?” Pepa gasped. Buck froze where he was standing, a red flush crawling up his neck. He hadn’t thought of it like that; obviously he was looking forward to getting Eddie to himself for a night, but with everything, he hadn’t quite thought of it as exactly that. By the looks of the deep blush that kissed Eddie’s cheeks as he fumbled with the vacuum, he hadn’t thought of it like that either.
“Well, yeah, where else are we going to go?” Eddie managed to shake the surprise enough to turn the loud device off and give his aunt his full attention.
“Christopher can have a sleepover here.” Abuela declared. Daniel chimed in with an affirmative, since he and his twin kids were staying with them too.
“Yeah man, it’ll be fun. You two should take the night for yourselves.” He waggled his eyebrows as Arianna whistled loudly, both of them barely avoiding the flick of Pepa’s towel at the suggestive looks. If Buck’s face could flame any brighter, it did just then.
“We’d have to ask him.” He exchanged a look with Eddie. Neither of them were so worried about a night to themselves if Christopher wasn’t comfortable. “Hey, Chris, could you come here?”
“Francisca, Francisco, can you come here too please?” Daniel called out to his twins. Buck smiled at the twinning names, and then at the three kids who were now piling in through the back door, where they’d been working off a sugar high.
“How do you three feel about a sleepover with Pepa and Abuela?” Eddie asked, grinning at the answering cheers. “That answers that. You sure you don’t mind, Abuela? Pepa?”
“Of course not, you need to take a breather sometimes. I don’t get enough time with my grandkids as it is.” She looked pointedly at all three of them. Buck had found out that Daniel was a single father, because someone had dropped the twins at his doorstep mere days after they were born. Buck didn’t know if Daniel had known their mother or not, but he admired the man for raising two adorable kids on his own.
The sleepover had been decided for them, so all that really needed to be done was bid the kids, Arianna, Abuela and Pepa goodbye.
“Hey, you need a ride somewhere?” Eddie asked Daniel as they were putting on their shoes, who shook his head.
“Nah, I’m just going to go for a run and come back. It was really nice meeting you, Buck, congratulations once again.” Buck thanked him again as Eddie slipped his hand in his.
“That went well.” Eddie kissed him as soon as they were in the car. Buck smiled against his lips and pulled away to start the car.
“So, Edmundo Rafael.” Buck stifled a laugh as Eddie made a choked sound of embarrassment. “Hey, it suits you. I like learning things about you.”
“I’m so asking Maddie for all your secrets.” Eddie grumbled as Buck pulled out onto the street. “I feel like everyone spilled all my secrets in one day.” He laughed at his ever-broody husband.
“You know we’re going to have to do this exact thing at least twice more.” Buck was looking forward to their reactions, but not to the endless teasing they were going to have to endure from their found family. “Bobby has a thousand horror stories of my life, and that’s only from the past four years. Imagine.”
Eddie laughed loudly, his wide smile glinting in the lights they were zipping past.
“Are you going to wait until Maddie and Chim come back to break the news to them?”
“I feel like we should tell your parents first. But yeah, I would rather Maddie find out before everyone else because she’ll definitely kill me otherwise. We can just ask Chim to be quiet.”
“We can call them tomorrow. Tonight though…” Eddie let himself trail off, Buck’s posture automatically tensing in anticipation. “I want you to myself tonight.”
“You have me.” He said softly. Eddie smiled over at him and linked their hands.
The shift in energy was palpable, going from a simmer to red-hot flame near immediately. Want, desire and need clung to them as Buck pushed the vehicle to go a little faster, anxious to just get home already. There was something special about having their first time be as a married couple, and he wasn’t about to spend the entire night just driving.
By Eddie’s soft chuckle, Buck assumed that he must’ve been thinking on the same lines.
Eddie watched him ardently as the two entered the now-quiet house, a stark contrast to the hustle and bustle of Abuela’s. Buck set the car keys down with a soft plink on the mantle, the sound echoing in the silence.
There was something special about the intent with which they came back home, too.
They reached for each other at the same time, drawing the other impossibly closer until it felt like they were ready to crawl into each other’s skin. Buck could feel every hard line of Eddie’s body against his, ready to tear whatever barrier remained between them. He flicked his eyes downwards towards Eddie’s lips and back up again, content to roam his gaze over the planes of his husband’s face.
Anticipation stretched taut between them. A pulsing need settled beneath his skin, pushing Buck to take.
He captured Eddie’s lips with his own as they moved further into the house, a mess of limbs and energy, gravitating to one another like a moth to flame. Eddie managed to get them twisted around enough to direct Buck to the bedroom, keeping them connected the whole while.
Eddie flicked on a lamp, casting a dim glow through the sparse room. Silently, he padded to where Buck was patiently waiting, fingers coming to slowly slip each button free. It was torturous, to have him so close and yet not be touching him.
Putting himself out of his misery, he reached out to slip his hands beneath Eddie’s shirt, blindly exploring the warm skin just as Eddie did to him. His skin pebbled wherever Buck’s calloused fingertips dragged along the golden grooves and planes. Heat pooled low in his core with the drag of Eddie’s nails scraping lightly along his muscles.
That’s what tonight was about. It was about freeing another side to their relationship, exploring one another in more than just physical ways.
Eddie finally stripped Buck of his shirt and Buck took the opportunity to pull Eddie’s Henley off. Dragging Eddie close with one arm hooked around his waist, Buck ghosted his lips along his collarbone, coaxing a moan from the other man as he nipped and suckled at the thin skin.
As they moved to the bed, the frantic need for each other mellowed out, shifting into a primal need to study every nook and cranny of the other man. Eddie crawled on top of him, his hazel eyes nearly black with desire. Their bodies fit together perfectly, like two puzzle pieces snapping into place. Buck’s body formed a cradle for Eddie’s frame that aligned the two men faultlessly.
He was more than happy to let Eddie set the pace, a slow, languid exploration of his mouth. His husband took him apart piece by piece as they moved together, making him feel more vulnerable that he had been in ages. Eddie’s stubble scratched sweetly along Buck’s skin, adding a heightened layer of sensitivity.
“Eddie.” Buck whispered, guiding Eddie out from where he’d moved upwards to ghost his lips along Buck’s jaw. His husband pulled back to look him in the eye, his gaze burning so brightly with love that it made Buck’s heart swell. He was almost afraid to break the bubble of peace that had surrounded them.
With another lump lodged in his throat, he flipped the two of them over so now he was on top.
Starting at his temple, Buck pressed little kisses along the skin, teasing his husband with flashes of teeth and swipes of his tongue.
“With all that I am, and all that I have, I honor you.” Buck whispered into the sensitive skin at the hollow of Eddie’s throat, pressing another kiss where his wedding vows had just been. He smiled at the goose flesh on the golden canvas of his husband’s body, blowing cool air where his mouth had dampened the skin.
“With all that I am, and all that I have, I honor you.” Eddie repeated the words, his fingers tracing whatever part of Buck’s body he could reach as he branded the words into his skin.
Like this, they continued marking each other with the reverent words. Against the curve of Eddie’s neck, along the tattoo on Buck’s chest. Against the side of Eddie’s waist, woven into Buck’s hair. Another whisper along the cut of Eddie’s hip, another press of the words into Buck’s shoulder.
When he moved back to finally kiss his husband, both of their eyes were glassy. Buck felt like the luckiest man in the universe, barely feeling like his feet were still on the ground.
“I love you so much, mi vida.” Eddie croaked quietly, voice low and thick with a heady blend of reverence and captivation, cupping the back of his neck to drag him into a long, worshipping kiss. Nobody had ever looked at him like he was that precious before; he had always been the means to a very pleasurable end, but here, in this moment, he knew that Eddie would never see him in that way.
Buck let himself be pressed into the mattress again, only for Eddie to whisper against his cheek. “With all that I am, and all that I have, I honor you.”
“You don’t know how many times I’ve had to stop myself from touching you.” Buck spoke softly, moving a hand into Eddie’s hair. The thick, silky strands slipped between his fingers as he moved his thumb in circles along his temple as he gazed up at his husband. “So many times I was afraid that I’d touch you once and everything I felt for you would be burned into my skin. That you’d know and...you wouldn’t feel the same way.”
Eddie closed his eyes as he linked their left hands, ducking his head to kiss Buck again. The tenderness of the action tore him apart. He pulled back to make eye contact with him, warm, molten eyes naked with emotion. “I’d have regretted it for the rest of my life if I pushed you away. I need you to know...that if there ever was a choice, I would always, always choose you.”
Buck smiled at the reminder of Eddie’s vows as he coaxed his husband’s weight back onto him, surrounding him with love and safety. He couldn’t stop his hands from ghosting along the sides of Eddie’s warm and pliant body above him, along each bump and groove of his spine, of the two indents at the base of his spine.
Eddie seemed to be moving with the same slow fervour, exploring the expanse of Buck’s body with just as much adoration. It brought another wave of tears to his eyes at the feeling of being so treasured.
That night, as they moved together as one, stripped of everything but their wedding rings, Buck finally understood what making love meant. This...this was vulnerable in a way they hadn’t allowed themselves to be, intimate in a way that he hadn’t imagined sex to be. They just...fit together, so in tune with one another.
This was what the joining of two souls felt like.
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srychrlie · 4 years ago
mysterious shape or beauty mark
saturday night, boys’ night ft. charlie and braxton
There was a racetrack in his mind. Synapses flared at 200 mph, tires squealing, crowds roaring. There was nothing slow about the way Charlie existed. He often found himself popping pills to operate at normal speeds when it got too much. That night, he was headed straight for a car crash. 
He’d come home the night before to Brinley and Braxton asleep in his bed. He was torn between feeling glad that Brin had gotten there safely, and some other weird mixture of emotion he didn’t have the energy or the desire to decipher. His phone was heavy in his pocket, its presence unrelenting. He slept in the bathtub.
The texts were still there, on Saturday. Charlie’s greatest talent, however, was ignoring his problems. He fed himself hard liquor until nothing mattered anymore and his sole focus became a fun night with the guys. Poor Braxton, really. No one should’ve had to suffer Charlie’s full focus.
“Four shots of Don Julio,” was his first order of the night. Charlie had learned that ordering top shelf shit usually bypassed the whole carding process. He was right, and they were free to drink themselves silly without issue. 
It was a cool bar, relative to the shitholes they normally snuck into. They’d decorated with vintage memorabilia, and some indie band was covering a 90s one hit wonder. The crowd was college-aged, but not the usual sorority/fraternity spread. Hipster bar, that’s what Charlie called it when he told the guys. 
“They’re gonna dig your glasses,” he’d told Braxton when he got exasperated complaints from both Dean and Oliver.
He was trying, they had to give him that much. 
Perhaps in a manner that was more obnoxious than helpful, as everyone would find out as the night wore on. Charlie approached girls with his standard confidence, spoke to them with his standard bluntness. He was honest, sharing his philanthropic effort of attempting to get his best buddy laid. The girls either found him gross or charming in that ridiculous kind of way, but it was having a zero percent success rate and Braxton was on his phone. 
“Who are you fuckin’ texting? I’m gonna throw your phone in the toilet and let some dude piss on it.”
Braxton said it like it should let him off from Charlie’s threat. He didn’t know, though. He had no idea. 
It’s not that Charlie was mad at her. He was... he didn’t know what he was. He just grabbed Braxton’s arm and tugged him over to a new set of girls.
“Ladies, ladies,” he greeted as he approached, reluctant and annoyed Braxton in tow. “Meet my friend, Braxton. He’s smart, he’s handsome, and he’s very single.” 
“Charming,” one of the girls said, sarcastically. “And what’s your name?”
“Well, Charlie,” she said, “my name’s Alana. This is Meg and Cassie.”
“Pleasure,” he replied. He swung an arm around Braxton’s shoulders. “So which one of you wants to have the night of their dreams with my boy here? C’mon, look at this face.” He touched Braxton’s chin. It was a little dim in the bar, so he couldn’t tell whether Brax was amused or annoyed. 
He saw Brax’s phone light up. He persisted.
“We might have to pass, we’re classy girls,” Meg said over her giggling friends.
“They’re playing Salt-N-Pepa,” Charlie pointed out. “You can’t stand alone with your friends to Salt-N-Pepa. That’s so fuckin’ depressing.” 
“Yet here we are,” Alana said coyly.
Charlie groaned and rolled his eyes. “I’m starting to feel like this is a lesbian bar.” 
“So what if it was? Would that bother you?” 
Charlie grinned a devilish grin. “The day I complain about a girl kissin’ another girl is the day they lay me down to rest.” 
A silent expression passed amongst the three girls. Alana turned back to Charlie and Braxton.
“Is this where the fuckboy asks us to kiss for him?” 
“I mean, if you’re offering...” Charlie could feel Braxton shove him a little, maybe in an effort to rein him in. 
“We’ll kiss,” Cassie offered, earning herself an immediate sharp look from Alana. She held up her finger, as if to say ‘wait for it’. “But only if you two kiss first.” 
The three girls laughed at this, clinking glasses as though they’d uncovered a genius way to get Charlie and Braxton to run off in a panic. 
The major crack in their plan was this: 
They didn’t know Charlie North.
He’d never kissed one of his guy friends before, but he’d never been asked to before. There’d been that time they were playing spin the bottle and it had landed on Dean, but Dean had quickly refused before Charlie ever had the chance to admit he wouldn’t mind. 
He put his hand on Braxton’s chin again, to turn his face just so. Then he kissed him right on the mouth. He could feel a hesitation in Braxton, and he was fully prepared to be pushed away. But it wasn’t happening - not immediately, in any case. The girls were squealing, laughing, and Charlie was pulling his friend closer. 
This was Braxton. Brinley’s brother. Her twin. Her... 
Braxton who meant more to her than Charlie ever would, ever could. Braxton who Charlie played second best to. 
Charlie’s hand slid to the back of Braxton’s head, threading fingers through his hair as he insistently deepened their kiss to elicit some kind of response.
Kiss me back or punch me, either way I win.
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coochiewrites · 2 years ago
a gaywad02/11/2018
Paco sat in the waiting room, his hand in Roma’s. Roma was about to get an ultrasound to find out the sex of their baby and he was pretty excited about it. Before Roma he dreamed of being a father, but it seemed like a far off dream. So the fact that he gets to be a father so soon felt surreal to him. “Do you want to have a boy or a girl?” he asked her, his deep brown eyes lighting up when he spoke. “I know you’re going to say that you just want him or her to be healthy. But I really want to know what you want.” @outfromthesea
February 13, 2018
@outfromthesea 02/13/2018
Roma still felt a sense of guilt. Four and a half months into her pregnancy, and she still felt like she had trapped Paco - dear, sweet, tender, and wonderful Paco - into this. She was the one to tell him that they didn't need a kondom when they made love to each other! And she did that knowing she had been taking the fertility medications to get pregnant, so here they were. Sure, sure, Paco had said he wasn't upset. She could tell he wasn't angry with her over it, but the guilt remained. She bit her lower lip, a bit distracted in wondering what kind of crib to buy when Paco's words captured her attention. She really liked holding his hand, but his voice brought her back to the present. She blinked for a moment before shyly smiling when he correctly guessed that she would say she'd just want the baby healthy. But after everything she had been through, wasn't that what she deserved? A beautiful, healthy, alive, baby? "I think..." She said, finally, taking a moment to make sure her English was correct. "I think this time, I would like a little boy. What would you want?"
February 25, 2018
a gaywad02/25/2018
When Paco first learned Roma was having his baby, he was a lot calmer than he thought he’d be. There was a lot to think about in terms of whether or not he wanted to be in the baby’s life, but after a few days of thought and the realization that he did indeed want to be a father, he decided being involved was what he wanted. At first, he’d visit Roma at her place to make sure if she was alright and to hear about any firsts she may have experienced. Then, one day, on a whim, he asked her to move in with him, and to his surprise she did. Sharing his home with someone was different, strange even, yet he didn’t hate it all. He liked that he was given a chance to get to know Roma as a person instead of just his baby’s mama. “A little boy would be amazing. Hopefully he’ll receive your looks, because I have a funny face,” Paco laughed, trying to make light of the situation. “And I kinda want a girl, but again, I hope she has your looks.” Gently, he nudged Roma with his elbow. While Francisco had been called handsome several times in the past, he thought Roma was the most beautiful woman he’d ever laid eyes on.@outfromthesea
February 28, 2018
The first time Roma was pregnant, she was married to a handsome man, but he was so cold that she felt as though she went through the entire pregnancy alone. Losing her tiny miracle Emily was hard, but harder still when the father of her child wasn't there to comfort her. No one, aside from her brother Jaromir and her few close friends, comforted her. Her then-husband never seemed to think twice about the loss and moved on so suddenly. To be going through pregnancy again - as a welcome surprise - with someone by her side who was actively engaged and excited was thrilling. It was a bit nerve-wracking when Paco had asked her to move in with him, but saying yes felt so right. Everything about being with Paco felt right. They were getting to know each other each day, and Roma felt truly comfortable with him. She couldn't help but giggle when Paco said he had a funny face. "That's not true, you have a lovely face. Like the face of the statues in art museums." She commented, her cheeks turning a bit pink. "You're far too kind to me, Paco. But I appreciate it." She smoothed a hand over her growing bump. "It is hard to feel... Confident when I seem to just keep gaining weight. I blame all the, um... Delicious cake you make. How do you say what it is called again?"
April 16, 2018
a gaywad04/16/2018
Her comment about his facing looking like statues in art museums made him rub his elbow and look down at the ground. This was the first time he had heard such a thing, specifically such a thing from a woman as beautiful as Roma, and it made him feel really good about himself. “Thank you. No one’s ever complimented me like that, you know? It’s usually - you’re hot and stuff like that. It’s never more than tht,” he told her honestly, lifting his head up so that their eyes could meet and so he could look in the ocean of blue that were her eyes. Hilariously, before Romana, he wasn’t the type to get involved with blondes. His type were typically tall brunettes. But after meeting Roma after therapy, he grew a fondness for the hair color - and the woman in front of him with such sunny hair. “I’m really not. I think if you think I’m far too nice that maybe you should surround yourself with people who are just as, or much nicer, than I am. I think you deserve it.” Gently, he nudged her with his elbow, wanting to show he had her back without stepping over any boundaries. “It’s Tres Leches cake. And, God, I don’t make it. My mom makes it and is always making it for you as a gift - I should’ve said so sooner, but I love the smile you make whenever I take the cake out of the fridge.” He nods his head, amused by the image that popped into his head. “Do you want to meet her?” It’s such a sensitive topic, but since Roma is carrying their baby it just seems like a good idea that she meet his family; his huge family. “My mother...She’s been bugging me about it. I think it would stop her from bothering me so much.” He laughed at that. @outfromthesea(ooc: soooo long. sorry. got carried away lol)
May 9, 2018
Roma bit down on her lower lip, blushing a little when he thanked her for the compliment. "Hot - as you say - compliments the surface. To say that you are like art is to... Say that you make me feel." She reluctantly met his eyes, that beautiful dark brown that she hoped their child would inherit.  "I should surround myself with nicer people, it is true. My brothers are the people I spend the most time with, and they are all rather... Selfish. It makes it hard. Maybe once the baby comes, I can go to those... Mother groups? Where they do fun things with the baby and sing... Even though I don't really sing." Roma admitted with a soft laugh before she rubbed her bump. "For our baby, though. I would sing." She smiled when Paco nudged her. "Tres leches cake. It sounds beautiful... I didn't know, but that's so nice of your mother. I smile when I see that cake because I just have never before loved sugar as much as I do now." She said before she squeezed his hand reassuringly. "I would love to meet your mother. I could thank her in person for the delicious cake."
June 2, 2018
a gaywad06/02/2018
Paco made note to place that compliment in his memory bank. It was unique and made him feel special - but then again, Roma always managed to make him feel special, wanted even. “I met them. They aren’t so bad, but I’m not sure if they liked me. Then again, you are having my baby and after a hook-up and I don’t think a lot of brothers would be a fan of that.” Paco rubbed his face with his hand, trying to contain laughter that he assumed was unappropriate. Their situation wasn’t unique, since he was sure lots of people around the world were dealing with something similar, but it was something a lot of people (including his family) were perplexed by. “You can’t sing? If you really can’t, I’m sure the baby won’t mind. I think all that would matter is that you’re giving him or her attention.” His smile softened as he nodded his head. Paco wanted to tell her that he could sing and play guitar, but he thought it wasn’t the right time. “Good. I think it would make her week. Knowing her she’ll invite the whole family, so you’ll have to prepare yourself for introducing yourself to a lot of people who will wanna touch your stomach.” He winked at her, teasing; obviously. @outfromthesea
June 10, 2018
Roma nodded, vaguely remembering Paco meeting Vladimir, Richard, and Jaromir, or better known as the Ventluka brothers, at a function at the brewery. It was just before she felt comfortable telling people who weren't Paco or her doctor about the pregnancy and she had spent the better part of the evening fretting about how her brothers would like this man who would come to be known to them as the man who had knocked her up. Jaro had taken it lightheartedly, Richard didn't care - but he didn't care about anything much outside of his own hedonistic pleasures  - and Vladimir hadn't understood. He still didn't. As her pregnancy progressed, however, and she grew closer with each day to Paco, she didn't care what her brothers thought. She was about to respond when her name was called by a nurse. "It would, um, appear that it is time to face the music... That is the saying, yes?" She asked Paco, her blonde eyebrows knitting before she shook her head a little. "It is a strange saying, I always thought." She squeezed his hand a little as they were lead down the hall to the examination room. "I can't sing." She did admit once they were alone. "I am sure the baby wouldn't mind. I do have a little secret, though. I can rap pretty good. It helped me to learn English, memorizing songs like by Salt N Pepa or Eminem.” Smiling, she carefully got up onto the paper covered exam table with caution. "Then we shall have to do it..." She chuckled a little, her hands cradling her blossoming bump lovingly. "They are more than welcome to touch my stomach. I don't mind it so much now that I am... Showing, as it were."(edited)
August 11, 2018
a gaywad08/11/2018
Growing up speaking Spanish, Paco understood Roma’s confusion when it came to sayings. In middle school he had complications with them and took them literally. As an adult though, he had a better understanding and heard enough of them for him to know what meant what. “You used the saying right. I think they’ll get used to seeing me around. I’m really good at getting people to like me,” Paco reassured her. He wasn’t positive he could really get them to like him, but he was damn well willing to try. “Then I’ll do the singing - and oh my god, no way! You can rap? That’s something really interesting I didn’t know about you. You should rap for me sometime.” He gave her a wide grin at that before laughing. The receptionist gave him a glare, so he quieted down. “You’re going to love them, then. They’re all really loving and talkative. There won’t be a moment at the visit where you’re bored because someone will always be around to talk your ear off.” He gently elbowed her. “I’m excited for you.” @outfromthesea
August 16, 2018
Roma gave him a tender smile, grateful for him when he told her that she had, in fact, used the turn of phrase correctly. "Oh. Wonderful." She responded, touching his forearm as a show of her gratitude. "Mm, yes, yes, they'll have to get used to it, and they will. Jaro - he's the one that is my twin - he likes you already, I think." She confessed, giving him another small smile. "But he's very easy to win over, and you're an improvement from my ex, so..." She fiddled with the end of a sweater sleeve, looking down for the moment before smoothing her hand over the paper covering the exam table. Giggling girlishly, Roma nodded. "Yes. I can, but I don't generally showcase it unless I'm very drunk... And it would be quite unwise for me to get drunk now." To explain, she gestured briefly to her bump. "I'd be glad to meet them. The people who made you so... Handsome and kindly... I'd be very happy. I'm... Very glad our child will have grandparents to spoil him or her." Rubbing her bump once more, she thought of how much her mother would have loved this. "I don't mind my ear being talked off, you do it all the time." She teased, but something in her eyes looked a bit sad, as she continued to think of her mother.
October 16, 2018
a gaywad10/16/2018
Paco was thankful that at least one of Roma’s brothers was easily won over. He dreaded the idea of no one in Roma’s family liking him, when in fact, they would all be family soon. Family was important to Paco, and though Roma’s family was different than his, he still thought they at the very least that they should at least get along. “Do you think Jaro would go for a beer with me? Or is it too soon to ask?” he asked Roma, his eyes wide as he waited for a response. “Oh - yeah, right. We can’t have you getting drunk. I think you can have a bit of wine though.” Or at least, that’s what he’s heard. At the mention of his family, his smile is soft and spread out so wide that it hurts his cheeks. “I don’t have a father, but my mother will spoil the baby rotten, I can assure you. Same with my tios and tias. I’m pretty sure when you’re visiting that they’ll insist on having a baby shower and the spoiling will start from there.” He gives her hand a firm squeeze, then gives her a wink. “But don’t let it get to your head. I can’t live with a diva, you know?” He laughed at his own joke before rolling his eyes at himself. @outfromthesea
November 19, 2018
Roma smiled at the idea of two of her favorite people (yes, she would admit as much, despite Paco not being in her life long) having a beer together. "I think he would like that very much. Especially if it's at the family brewery so he can make you a... taste tester? I don't know if that's the right word, but if he can talk you into trying the new beers he's been creating, then it would be even better for him. He cannot force me to try since I have the excuse of being with child." She chuckled a little at her own attempt at a joke before shrugging. "Maybe so. I know my mother was always fond of a nice red and so am I." Roma couldn't help but reach over and touch Paco's face as he smiled so wide. "I was not aware that you don't have a father, but is okay. I'm sure your mother is an amazing woman to have raised such an amazing man on her own." She giggled when he winked at her. "I'm sure they will, but I think it would be very nice. And I would never be a diva, Paco. I have too many brothers for that!"
March 15, 2019
a gaywad03/15/2019
Paco liked the idea of being a taste tester. It sounded exciting and was a good opportunity for him to get to know Roma's brother. Paco also thought it would be great to finally see Roma's family brewery. “You said it right. I bet they'll be good for the most part, and if they're bad, I'll troop through it and politely tell him that it doesn't work for me. I hope he doesn't get offended if that's the case,” he told nodding his head as he spoke. During their conversation his eyes had yet leave her face and he wasn't sure he was willing to look away from her anytime soon. “Yeah, my mom is amazing. I would be nothing without her, I think - well, her and my tias.” He let out a loud laugh at her next statement and closed his eyes when she touched her face. The action was gentle and made him close his eyes for a moment. “Alright, but I hear pregnant women can be divas. I wouldn't mind ir since your pregnant with our child, but I felt the need to tease.” He paused and a thought popped into his head. “What do you want for dinner tonight?” @outfromthesea
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3:09 PM
I’ve been trying to avoid Jose since yesterday. I told him last night that I was still super upset. We slept in separate beds.
This morning I wake up around 11, and I know that I absolutely do not want to go to church. I don’t want to go EVER, but especially today. I go to walk out the door to go do the shopping that we were supposed to do yesterday together. He doesn’t ask me where I’m going, doesn’t ask me how I am, doesn’t ask me anything that matters. He asks me “Vas al iglesia?” (are you going to church today?) Motherfucker NO I’M NOT. That’s the LAST fucking thing I want to do. All day err day ESPECIALLY TODAY. How the fuck you gon ask me that? I swear to fucking god that’s all he cares about. And he does this every. single. time. He did it last week when we were arguing about god knows what. Asked me that Sunday if I was going to church. Really? You think I want to go to church when I’m feeling this way about you?
Now. I haven’t been to church in about a month in a half. If it’s not because we’ve been fighting, it’s because I didn’t feel well (lie) or something else. So he’s probably getting upset that I haven’t gone in a long time. But idgaf, don’t fucking ask me if I’m going to church after you fucking humiliate me in public the day before. Fuck off.
In the beginning of our relationship, I was honest with Jose and told him that I didn’t believe in god. It wasn’t a deal breaker for him, but he was shocked. I don’t think he had ever met anyone in his life that didn’t believe in god. He didn’t really go to church himself but maybe a couple times a year, but he had a very strong faith. After we had been dating about a year, his younger sister died at the age of 26 of some kind of bone disease. It shook him to his core, and that’s when he started going to church. I think he was desperate to make himself believe his sister didn’t just go into the ground and nothing else. So he grasped onto his religion that he already had, but didn’t practice. I went to church with him, because I wanted to make him happy, but I did not want to. I ended up lying to him after several months, and told him that I had started to believe.
We started going to church once or twice a month on Sundays. Then it became every Sunday. Then it became some Tuesdays and some Thursdays. Then it became additional events or gatherings that they had on Friday or Saturday. Then he stops listening to secular music. At this point, I’m about to lose my mind. I can’t handle it anymore. I stop going on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and this upsets him. I go so far as to change my schedule at work to work in the late afternoon, so I have the excuse that I CAN’T go, and he can’t blame me. For awhile, I was going every Sunday. But for the past 4 months, it’s been sporadic, and the past month and a half, I haven’t gone at all. Sometimes he doesn’t go, but sometimes he goes without me. I think deep down, he doesn’t like to go either. I think he would rather stay home and relax, watch soccer on TV, or do anything else. But something inside of him makes him go, to make sense of the death of his sister.
So this church is interesting. It’s a Spanish speaking Pentecostal church. They don’t handle snakes or anything, but they speak in tongues and (the women) writhe around when they are filled with the spirit. I’ve never seen the men “writhe”, and I’m not sure why. The people are very nice to me. It’s mostly people from Honduras, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Dominican Republic.
The sermons begin with a male member of the church speaking up front for about 15 minutes, while pacing back and forth. It’s not a story or a sermon, it’s usually just “Hallelujah” or “Praise God” or worship like that. They will get emotional and start shouting.
That follows with about 3-4 members of the church going up front to sing songs. There is a 4 piece band to accompany them. A keyboardist, bassist, rhythm guitar, and drums. Most of the time they are slow worship songs, sometimes they are fast inspirational songs. When they sing the fast songs, someone will play a “guira” (I had to look this up). It’s like a cylindrical cheese grater, and you swipe a metal brush up and down on it to the beat of the music. Apparently it’s a Dominican instrument, but I’ve heard it in cumbia and bachata music. It’s actually cool as hell. They usually do about 4 songs, but the songs are about 10 minutes long apiece, singing the chorus over and over and over and over.
After the music comes the sermon from the pastor. It takes about an hour or so.
After this, people from the church will go up front to where the pastor is, sing songs and pray. This is typically when people start going crazy and shaking (well, the women). Sometimes they will go so crazy they will collapse on the floor, and another woman from the church will cover her with a sheet. This is about 20-30 minutes long.
After this, they collect the tithe, and the pastor or someone else will make announcements (birthdays, marriages, births, future events, etc). This can take another 5-15 minutes.
So the whole thing can last anywhere from 2 and a half to 3 and a half hours (there were a couple times it was 4 hours!), usually 2 hours and 45 minutes.
There is this one woman, I believe she might be Dominican, she’s probably about 50 years old. She has this amazing sheaf of thick, black, healthy shoulder length hair. It bounces around when she dances or is playing the guira. No gray. I’m super jealous.
This other Dominican guy, he’s young, like late 20′s I believe. Attractive guy. His wife is afro latina and beautiful. He has talked about his past, how he was into drugs, gangs, and was in prison for some time. But he has completely turned his life around.
The pastor is nice...but strange. He’s from Honduras, and so is his wife. His wife speaks perfect English, but he struggles with it. He’s a small man, about 5′6, slender build, bald, with a gray mustache. He’s 62, and his wife is 49 (I was nosy and looked them up in the county clerk of courts). When the church is singing, he will be up front sometimes. Part of the time, he’s got his eyes closed, singing and worshiping along with everyone else. The rest of the time, he’s scanning the people in the church. Observing. Almost like he’s checking to make sure everyone is doing that they are supposed to be doing. I could be wrong, maybe he’s just observing people in a totally innocent way, but his eyes seem piercing and accusing. He is super aware of everything going on in that church. I am completely uncomfortable with this.
He has brought up his past a couple of times in his sermons. He talks about how he used to live in Miami, and he was addicted to drugs, and had sex with prostitutes. I really think it’s amazing how people can do a complete 360 from drugs and prostitutes to Christian pastor.
No one else in the church is notable or unique. Even though they are all nice to me, they all annoy me because they are gullible and blind, and waste their lives worshiping a fictional book and man, and deprive themselves of harmless things like music and recreational alcohol and drug use. Sometimes I will look at someone in the church (usually a younger member, 30 and under), and wonder if they really truly have 100% faith. There has got to be 1 or more people in that church that aren’t really into it, but go because they are forced or coerced by family. I always try to figure out who it is, but I can’t. Or maybe I’m wrong, Maybe every single person that church is 100% faithful and devoted. But it would be super interesting to find out who is not, and talk to them. I wonder if anyone else has figured out that I’m not 100% into it. Surely they have. I feel like I’m so obvious.
Sometimes I get emotional during the music, because I’ll be thinking about something sad. Like when Jose’s sister died, and how destroyed he was. Or I’ll be thinking about the people like the pastor and the Dominican guy, how unhappy they were with their lives before, and how much they must have struggled with depression before they found god. Or I’ll be thinking about how I know this whole religion thing is inevitably going to destroy my marriage with my husband, because I can’t handle it (or his attitude). That stuff makes me cry. And I’m sure everyone thinks I am crying because I am filled with the spirit. Sorry, but no. I wish I was.
When everyone is singing or praising, I close my eyes and mouth the words to songs. But it’s not Christian songs. It’s either No Doubt or Salt N Pepa. I don’t know why I always gravitate towards these 2 groups, because I have such an extensive library of songs in my memory going back to childhood. I think it’s amusing that while everyone else is praising Jesus, I am singing about twelve inches to a yard have you soundin like a retard.
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derickandveronica-blog · 4 years ago
D #7. My Date with the Duolingo Owl
There was the day I overslept because my mind had just reached the crest of accustom to hearing the song “Who Will I Be” by Demi Lovato stream out of my tiny iPhone speaker in the morning to wake me from sleep. The old woman calling the shots in my brain must have decided to dismiss it as the good ol’ outdoors song and not my very important alarm clock, and it was something I needn’t mind after all. I imagine she was reading the morning paper and drinking chamomile at a table made of brain cells as I rolled over the bed and through the ninth hour.
On the bus to work my phone’s heart relayed a little beat—a sound I’d usually miss having already turned off my notifications by 10:37am—and there he was on the lock screen, probably wondering how I had been, where I might have been going, if he and I could talk shortly. Did he know I was riding the bus? I only watched the screen fade to black, without really reading what it had said, and put the phone back in my pocket, making sure not to tangle the earphones cord on the buttons of my overcoat. It wasn’t always like this. The truth is that I didn’t ignore the message because I was late to work and too frantic to sit still and pay attention to the present, but that I simply couldn’t think about him anymore. It was getting tiring all the talking. It used to be different.
A month ago, we met for coffee at Target after a somewhat successful meet cute at a church pancake dinner. He insisted that Target had delicious coffee and he went there often to get it—even when he didn’t need to buy thank-you cards, which is all I’d ever purchased at Target. He didn’t even mean the Targets that had joint or in-store Starbucks cafés. There was no visible middle man between Target and the coffee in this situation. Something about Target trying to convince anyone that they make their own coffee and that I should pay to purchase it shook me to my core.
The seats were not comfortable. This was a Target that had plans to be converted into a Super Target and so I imagined would be granted a Starbucks soon, but for the time being the dining area felt a little chintzy. There were big red circles plastered across the soda fountain that were a red too bright to be appetizing and made me think of ringworm. This was our first date. He told me I could get anything I wanted. I wish he hadn’t because suddenly I felt like I was ten-years-old and with the parent with whom I only spent every other weekend. There were no more than seven items on the menu but I agonized over them. There were no special names for the foods and everything was visible right next to the cashier: the rolling hotdogs (beef or classic), the spinning soft pretzels, and the personal pizzas, which were non-moving if I remember correctly. (Imagine if the pizzas got up and danced.)
Somehow all the food looked red to me. Was he going to order food too or just the coffee? I didn’t want to be eating alone. There was a pale white couple, both members with greasy grey-blond hair, at one of the tables whose presence really wasn’t helping sell the whole experience. The Wal-Mart down the road had more options but I didn’t want to make the Duolingo Owl feel bad that he enjoyed dining at Target behind a glass half-wall that kept us only partially hidden from all the mothers buying large packs of Hanes socks. In fact, once we sat down, every person who checked out at aisle 12 seemed to stare both us and our food down while pushing the cart out and toward the exit.
I ripped my entire soft pretzel to shreds like a napkin. The Duolingo Owl asked me to try a sip of his coffee and I was truly choked for tears because I couldn’t think of anything more pathetic than a mysterious non-brand coffee bringing someone so much uninhibited delight that they would then want to share that joy with someone else, me, and of course I knew it would only make me more miserable. The whole date felt like a mistake. I looked at my lacerated soft pretzel. At least the coffee was passable, though I really never the drank the stuff at any other point in my life.
My plan was to text Kelly and tell her to call me with news that someone in our friend group had just woken from a coma, but then the Duolingo Owl did something that surprised me. Maybe he saw I was not equally enchanted by the afternoon. For whatever reason there were disposable coasters set out for these particleboard bench tables. He took one and stuck it out halfway out of the edge of the table so it was still even with the surface. He lowered his head a little and then put his wing out of view and then flipped the coaster and caught it in the air.
I was immediately drawn in and my attraction to him revitalized. I didn’t dare ask him how’d he done it, defied gravity right before my eyes, right before the eyes of the greasy white couple and right before those of the man at aisle 12 buying Yu-Gi-Oh cards and a bottle of Diet Rite. In that moment we all knew that I would go on a second date with the Duolingo Owl, maybe at the Target on Harmony instead this time. As we left, he gave me the coaster to keep, and I put it in my pocket.
And so we did go to another Target. I didn’t even pretend to want a soft pretzel that time. This Target just as inexplicably but fortunately had disposable coasters set out for our amusement, and so I pleaded with the Duolingo Owl that he flip the coaster again. I fell in love with every part of him, every little thing, every feather. The way he smiled so gently, the way he whistled while he waited, and the way he did his best to poop in human toilets even though it was obviously uncomfortable for him, being an owl.
Our next few dates were equally as successful. I swam through a sea of red circles and white cotton socks.
“Learning a language requires a little practice every day. Practice your Spanish on Duolingo.” His eyes were blank when he said this. It sounded hauntingly familiar. Maybe I was able to dismiss it before as small talk, but this time he was assertive, and I couldn’t have possibly circumnavigated the comment. I looked down at my coaster, which had fallen down to my feet the last time I tried to flip my coaster. I could barely make it out between the crack of the bench and the table. I sent a low smile his way and took a sip of his Target coffee and shrugged, “Okay.”
Hablamos en español como la tarde se convirtió en la noche sin problema pero me había notado que algo había cambiado y así llegó a preocuparme. ¿Le conozco de verdad? ¿Quién era el búho de Duolingo? Quién lo supiera. Me llevó a casa en su Toyota Prius. Puso la banda sonora de Space Jam pues una vez le había dicho que me la gustaba, pero era que no tenía muchas ganas que escucharla en aquel momento, así que Salt-N-Pepa me había dejado menos que esperanzada.
The next few days were difficult. A little shaken by the Duolingo Owl’s words, I started to take longer to reply to text messages. I turned off read receipts on my phone and thankfully he seemed not to notice. It’s not that I didn’t want to keep practicing my Spanish, but, as I slowed down on the text messages, I did tell him I wasn’t sure how much I could learn in a model of language comprehension that placed equal emphasis on the student’s mother tongue as it did the new language, when in reality what I needed was an immersive or at the least more comprehensive Spanish program to truly develop my grammatical skills and fluency level. He did not seem to understand this. In a final attempt to get through to him, I sent a pretty long-winded text about linguistics and even included a link to an article I found on JSTOR about language immersion, and he ignored it. A few hours later, I received this text: “Learning a language requires a little practice every day. Practice your Spanish on Duolingo.” I used to find it sweet that he referred to himself in the third person, but at this point, I was disenchanted.
This brings us back to the bus. I was late to work. My hair was still wet. I was still not completely awake, inattentive. While the old lady in my brain was probably watching Jeopardy, I was watching the Target-colored blood ebb out of my relationship. Now unable to get him out of my head, I felt for the phone in my big overcoat pocket and pulled out two things at once: the phone and a red and white coaster stuck to its case. I attended to the phone first. I pressed the lock button and on the screen were a few words that I hadn’t expected, hadn’t realized were there all along: “These reminders don’t seem to be working. We’ll stop sending them for now.”
How corporate, how cold, how cruel. I thought the Duolingo Owl was the coolest, but now I knew better: he was the cruelest. Just because someone knows how to flip a coaster from the edge of the table and catch it in the air doesn’t mean he’ll make a good boyfriend. I read his message three times to understand, then I peeled the Target coaster off my phone and discretely let it fall under the bus seat.
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