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Strawberries & Cream (aka The Power of Love)

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The week had been a long one, the day even more so, all that pent up stress making it the perfect occasion to take Chris up on his offer to spend the weekend at his cabin just past the outskirts of the city. With their work loads having tripled in the last few weeks, the two hadn’t had much opportunity to get together outside of work, and Buck was hankering for some mighty good Chris specific distractions.

JD had opted to work late, much to Buck’s disappointment, but he had relented and at least gotten the kid some takeout on his way back to the apartment they shared, shoving it in the fridge. He knew JD would forget to eat until he got home, and likely would bury himself in work and video games all weekend, which was why Buck had thoughtfully gotten extra food. He scrawled a note quickly, making sure to provide essential Buck Wilmington advice, before packing a duffle full of clothes and other essentials. JD knew he would likely have the entire weekend to himself but even so, Buck liked him to know where he was and what he was doing.

Headed off to Chris ’ place. Food in the fridge.

Don't forget to eat and come out to breathe once in a while!

See you on Monday, kid. And try to have some fun without me.

- Buck

It didn’t bother Buck that JD was the only one - that he was aware of, anyway - that knew about his relationship with Chris. Hell, they shared everything else, so why the hell should Buck’s relationship status be any different? Still, he was careful about what exactly he said to the kid, especially since Chris didn’t know that he knew.

And what Chris didn’t know certainly couldn’t hurt him, and therefore couldn’t possibly result in Chris hurting Buck and JD.  

Chris had offered to pick him up but Buck had declined. He liked the drive out of the city, all its obnoxious sounds and lights fading away into the distance until Buck could actually think again, and he had a lot to think about too. Sooner or later, he wanted to be the one to propose to Chris. The man had gone through so much trauma in his life and Buck wanted to let him know in the only surefire way that he knew that he wasn’t alone, that this thing between them was permanent.

That Buck had pined after him for so long now there was no living his life without him.

Plus, he just really wanted to see the look on Chris’ face when he got down on one knee, popped open the box housing the band - which would be intentionally similar to the one Sarah had given him to keep those memories in their hearts - and buttered Chris up with some sappy love words, maybe a few song lyrics, until he said yes.

These thoughts contentedly consumed Buck until he turned onto the road leading up to Chris’ cabin, gravel crunching beneath his tires until he parked next to Chris. If they started getting more weekends like this, Buck smiled as he followed the sounds coming from the kitchen, then they definitely could think about settling down here. With an add on area to the cabin for JD if he wanted it, of course.

“Mmmm,” Buck greeted, sauntering into the kitchen and only now wishing he had brought flowers to tease Chris with. “Smells good, babe.” He pressed himself up against Chris, wrapping his arms around his waist and planting a kiss to the back of his neck, knowing anything further would make the man growl at him for trying to burn their dinner.

“Dinner’s ready in fifteen. Feel like chopping some vegetables for me?”

Buck kissed him again before moving away to wash his hands. “Sure thing.” This was something he had come to look forward to: cooking together. It always put his mind at ease, made him think that they could have their own little slice of normal just like Chris had and lost with Sarah. He wanted to give that to Chris more than anything else: happy normality. And this was just about as happy and as normal as it got. “You about done over there!” Buck called with a satisfied smile after he had finished his task. “You’re gonna starve a guy to death over here.”

“Hold your horses,” Chris commanded, though it was with a smile. Buck wasn’t paying attention after that, diving in on the vegetables to sate his growling stomach, and Chris snuck up behind him and squeezed his ass for a long moment, scooping up the vegetables in his other hand to throw into the pan on the stove.

Buck really wished Chris had pulled him along so he could have left his hand there; then again, dinner would have long gone cold if that had happened. “Don’t get me all riled up now, ya hear? Man’s liable to hold off on your cookin’ just so long as he can get a piece of ya.”

Chris rolled his eyes and held a spoon up to Buck’s mouth, pasta sauce making his head swim in hunger. He tasted it quickly, nearly stealing the spoon from Chris until he snatched it back. “Sit the hell down, Buck. Take a load off. We’ve got all weekend to cook,” he teased, shoving Buck into the other room.

And for other things.


 

After a dinner fit for kings, ‘cause Chris was a damn good cook, they had finally made it into Chris’ bed when Buck’s phone rang. Chris, as much as he chastised Buck for his hovering - hey, couldn’t blame a man when he had to go all day at work keeping his hands off ‘the boss’ - licked a long stripe up Buck’s bare chest while he checked the screen, and Buck had to swat him away before answering.

“Hey, Buck.”

“You tryin’ to ruin my night, JD?”

“Nah. Just thought I’d let you know you forgot the strawberries on the counter.” Buck swore at his stupidity, and swore again when he heard JD chewing on the other end. “And they’re mine now.”

Buck decided to hell with it. “Sad, kid. Lest you got a girl to share ‘em with?” JD hung up and Buck chuckled, shoving the phone back on the bedside table before turning to find a confused Chris. “Kid’s jealous is all,” he explained.

Chris grinned at that, straddling Buck again. “Who isn’t? I’m the only one who’s managed to snag Buck Wilmington.”

“Now, stud, I resent that,” Buck beamed, practically falling into Chris’ mouth. It was just so warm and wet and so damn sweet in there, he’d thought twice on more than one occasion about resurfacing. “Ya know I can’t be snagged. No one owns me, not even Chris Larabee himself.”

“We’ll see about that, sweetheart.” Chris pulled back, reaching for something on the bedside table. Buck didn’t much care what it was, he was content right where he was: comfortably stuffed, pillows in all the right places, and the perfect view above him of the man who was all his.

And the weekend was theirs. 

“I sure do love when ya sweet talk me, Chris. Makes a man go all gooey inside, makes ‘im start thinkin’ ‘bout doing stupid, crazy things.”

“Crazier than this?” Chris shook the bottle that had come out of nowhere hurriedly and aimed it at Buck’s chest, creating a whipped cream mountain before Buck even knew what hit him. He jerked in surprise more than discomfort, regretted his head bobbing forward because the spout was in his mouth next, and whipped cream and Chris Larabee were a deadly combination.

He started to talk around the cream cramming his mouth, but Chris shook his head in amusement as he stuck his fingers into the fluffy white mound on Buck’s chest, licking them off one-by-one. Buck reached for the can, fingers only scraping it before Chris pulled it away - damn good reflexes - and filled up his own mouth. He did let Buck pull him down and kiss him, whipped cream making a mess, and Buck only pulled away once he caught sight of something red on the bed.

Strawberries. That perceptive son of a bitch.

Buck was still full, but he certainly didn’t object to Chris hand-feeding him strawberries. Until he started in with the whipped cream again, ‘cause that’s just not fair.


 

Buck had Chris tucked securely in his arms, kissing the top of his head as they lay there too content to sleep, basking in the barely perceptible yet soothing cadence of nature outside the open window. There were few other places where Buck felt truly safe and he knew Chris felt the same. These few and far between weekend getaways had become life-sustaining, something to look forward to for months if need be.

Chris shifted and Buck rested his cheek against his lover’s soft hair, just listening to him breathe. He always tried to rattle Chris with endearments when they got all quiet like this, and he figured now was as good a time as any.

“I’m lovin’ this, Buttercup.” The man resting securely in his arms tensed. Buck had been saving that one for weeks, and no, he’d never once used it in the past on the ladies.  “What? Your hands are as soft and as warm as butter, feelin’ oh so toasty on a cold winter’s night,” Buck related dreamily. He slapped Chris’ hand away playfully when he wielded the whipped cream can again. “Where the hell are ya keeping that thing?”

Chris smiled deviously. “So, why don’t I butter you up then?”

“Why don’t ya, sugar lips?”

They kissed lazily for a while, until both of them were too worn out from the week to do anything more. Still, both of them were far off from sleep just yet, and Buck figured he had better get this off his chest while he felt mushy enough to say it. Not that he wasn’t always just a tad too mushy around Chris, just even more so when they were up here, so close to the sky and the stars and to normal. “You’re my family, Chris. You and JD and the team. That’ll never change.”

“No, it won’t. Not until someone blows us up, that is.”

Chris always liked to say that. Usually it was stated jokingly given the risks they all took on a daily basis, but it had been used seriously in the past when any of them had even remotely considered leaving. Chris was like a bloodhound, sniffing out any discontent or trouble well before it could fester, and he rooted it out lickity split. The only reason why all seven of them worked the way they did, as a team, was because they were the closest of friends too. It wasn’t always so big as ‘I’ve got your back’ and ‘I’d take a bullet for any one of you,’ sometimes it was as simple as grilling out or celebrating a birthday or keeping guard and lending support when one of them was hurt, even, hell, going on vacations and goofing around at amusement parks together.

They all kept an eye on each other outside of work, not out of obligation, but because they were family.

There was such a deep respect and admiration and love for each other it was startling to ponder sometimes, how fate had seemed to bring them all together. Buck couldn’t imagine his life any other way. He’d die with those guys, his team and his family, but if he did he’d be in Chris’ arms.

And in a lot of ways, Chris and Buck felt like the heads of their little family. They had known each other the longest, after all, even longer than Nathan and Josiah had been friends. When Chris got too overwhelmed, it was Buck who seamlessly stepped in and picked up the slack, damn good at it if he could say so himself. And when Buck needed a breather, Chris sensed it sometimes before Buck himself did, and they always ended up right here.

“Aw, Chris, they try blowin’ us up and the power of love will save us time and time again.”

Chris snorted, turned in Buck’s arms and kissed him until Buck was floating on candied clouds of serenity.

FIN