The first time it happened he was picking up Christopher from school. Eddie's shift lasted a few hours longer than his own and Carla had called him to tell him she had an emergency and couldn't pick up Chris that day. So as soon as he got off of work, he was on his way to get him and bring him back to Eddie's to cook dinner.
When he got to the school and got out of his jeep most of the other kids had been picked up already. Even though he’d rushed there he was apparently slightly late. He grinned when he spied his favorite kid waiting with a teacher on the steps and Christopher's face lit up just as much when he realized who was there to get him.
"Hey little guy!" Buck said, running up to grab him and swing him around.
When he put him down finally, he realized he didn't recognize the woman with Chris today. It was far from the first time that he'd picked the boy up, so he would usually recognize the teachers.
"Hi, I'm Buck. Thanks for waiting with him," he said, shaking her hand.
"Ah, so you're the infamous Buck. Chris talks about you so much. I'm Mrs. Yoon."
Buck beamed at the comment.
"He's so lucky to have such wonderful fathers!" She continued.
"Oh um, I… I'm not his dad. I'm just a good family friend," he explained awkwardly, rubbing his neck.
He felt bad for even saying anything when he saw how embarrassed the teacher looked.
"I'm s-so sorry for assuming, you were down as guardian to release him to… And the way he'd talked about the two of you."
"It's fine, we get that a lot," he replied, trying to make the situation less awkward for her.
As soon as the words left his mouth he realized that what he said was true, he'd just never thought about it before. People did mistake them for a couple quite often, probably because of Christopher. He loved the boy to death and he guessed it showed.
"Are we getting pizza?" Chris asked from below him.
Buck snapped out of it and waved goodbye to the teacher, walking the boy back to his jeep.
"Nah, dude. I'm cooking tonight so I can surprise your dad when he gets home."
"But you're not good at cooking."
"Hey, that's not very nice. Besides, the only way to get better is to try, right?"
Chris giggled and nodded as he buckled him into the back safely. Any thoughts from earlier disappeared as he began driving away, too focused on seeing Eddie again later.
The next time it happens, he and Eddie are holiday shopping on their day off. The older man had been unsure of what to get Christopher this year and Buck needed help finding gifts for everyone at the 118, so they'd partnered up. They were also trying to dodge the Black Friday shoppers, but the mall still seemed ridiculously crowded.
While it didn't bother Buck, it seemed like Eddie was unhappy about the amount of busy people bumping into him. His temper was much better than what is was a few weeks ago, but he worried about what outlet he’d use now that he stopped street fighting. Buck tried to be there as much as possible to make a difference, but he didn’t know for sure if it was working.
The pair settled on going to Macy's first, knowing that Chris needed a new winter coat and Buck wanted to get himself a hat. They started out in the kids department, filling a cart with a lot more than they planned on. The adorable little hat and glove sets were too irresistible not to buy, and they ended up buying two coats since they couldn’t decide on a color. As they moved their way towards the mens department, when something colorful caught the corner of his vision.
When Buck turned and saw the rack of cheesy hideous Christmas sweaters, he didn’t even get to speak before he saw Eddie shaking his head.
“Buck, yes,” he said back, grin on his face.
Several minutes later a sales woman found them bickering with Buck wrangling Eddie halfway into one of the monstrosities, trying to determine which size he needed. He knew what size his partner normally wore, but the sweaters looked like they ran small and he wanted to give him room to layer it. She made a coughing sound behind them to get their attention and they ceased their movement.
“Are you young gentlemen finding everything okay?” she asked, giving them a sweet grandma esque smile.
“Yep! Just trying to convince him that his son would be upset if he didn’t match the two of us,” Buck replied.
Eddie groaned, either out of annoyance or embarrassment.
“Aw, how sweet,” the old lady cooed, clutching her hands together and looking at Eddie, “I remember being your age and in love! I wish I’d gotten the chance to do such things with my husband too, you should listen to yours.”
Buck was pretty sure she was just trying to get them to buy more merchandise, but her act seemed quite sincere. He felt a blush creeping up his neck and looked at Eddie, waiting for him to correct her. Last time he’d told someone they were wrong he’d felt horribly guilty. His friend simply stared at the saleswoman though and Buck sighed, giving in.
“We aren’t married.”
“Oh, well we’re having a sale on rings in our jewelry department today,” she replied without missing a beat.
Buck choked. He knew she wanted to make a profit, but did she really just-
“I’m afraid that’s not in our budget today, sorry ma’am,” Eddie said, putting his arm behind Buck and shoving him along to escape her.
He was grateful that Eddie gave them an excuse to leave and quickly buried himself in the clothing racks to forget what had happened. When they’re checking out later Buck realizes that Eddie had put the sweater into the cart after all and can’t help the smile that creeps onto his face.
The third time it happens, it’s while they’re on a call.
A wedding had gone terribly wrong after the bride had kicked the arch above the altar and it had collapsed onto the groom while the couple was fighting. Apparently the bride had not been happy with the vows he was giving. If the man wasn’t currently dying, Buck would almost find it funny.
“Ma’am I’m going to need you to give my partner and I room while we work,” Eddie requested, trying to get around the hysterical woman to her fiance.
The fireman was doing his best to cut through the wood pieces stuck in the victim's chest as Buck held him down by the shoulders. They needed to leave them in for transport and they couldn’t move the whole arch with him.
“I-I didn’t mean to- I didn’t know that-” she babbled, clutching the grooms hand.
Buck knew she wasn’t going to be easy to move away. She was distraught, it was supposed to be the best day of her life and now she was seconds away from losing the one she loved.
“Look I know you love him, but we can’t save him unless you move,” he said to her softly, trying a gentler approach than Eddie.
“It’s okay, Sharon. We’ll redo the wedding,” the victim groaned beneath them.
She nodded hesitantly and backed up finally so that Eddie could reach around her. A few screams and a lot of blood later, they had him loaded onto the back board and into the ambulance. Buck was sure that he’d be just fine, they’d stabilized him, but the bride looked unsure.
“I bet your wedding went a lot better than this,” Sharon sighed when she saw him looking at her, and wiped a mascara stained cheek.
“My uh- my what?” Buck asked confused.
“He said you two were partners.”
The blonde turned and looked at his friend, standing shoulder to shoulder with him but he was looking at the ground. He was surprised that she’d actually heard anything Eddie had said from the way she didn’t respond to him earlier.
“Uh, he meant partners as in at work. Like in our squad. We aren’t married.”
Buck’s not sure how he feels about the look that she gives both of them after he clarifies their relationship. The disbelief was clear on her face though and it frustrated him. They had just met her, why did she think she knew anything about them?
Bobby called out to them and told them it was time to go before he had a chance to say anything else though. He watched her climb into the ambulance from his seat in the fire truck and hoped that things would work out for the couple. Winter weddings were hard to reschedule.
“Hen, why does everyone always think Eddie and I are married?” he asked after their shift ended.
“Oh, buckaroo,” she sighed.
“I don’t think I need to tell you the answer to that. You might be a dumbass, but you aren’t that dumb .”
Buck stared at his ceiling for hours that night trying to figure out what Hen meant.
“We aren’t married,” they said in unison.
“Not many men book a reservation at a restaurant this nice just for a bros night out,” the waitress giggled.
Eddie shrugged, “I like nice food, he does too.”
Buck glanced around the Italian place they were in and realized how many of the other tables were made up of couples. He’d been so engrossed in conversation with his best friend that he hadn’t even noticed it before. How long did it take to get a table here? He fiddled with the edge of the table cloth while Eddie ordered himself a glass of wine, waiting for the annoying waitress to leave.
“You should try the lasagna, it’s really good.”
Buck perked up, “You’ve been here before?”
Eddie's smile wavered slightly and he instantly regretted having asked him.
“Yeah, uh, Shannon and I came here once.”
Buck hated the silence that filled the air between that after that and quickly buried himself into the menu. He couldn’t help the snort that escaped him a moment later though as he began reading the names of the meals. Eddie looked at him surprised.
“Who names a meal ‘Lovers Linguini’ dude?” he giggled.
“Would you like to order some ‘Cherubs Cheesecake’ for dessert?”
If the rest of the restaurant was glaring at them while they laughed, Buck didn’t care. Their night turned out perfect even after the awkward moments they’d suffered. It turned out that cheesy sounding food was actually amazing and he gorged himself on it until he felt like exploding. It wasn’t his usual cup of tea, but Eddie had chosen a great restaurant and he lowkey hoped that he’d take him their again some day.
The fifth time it happened was on Christopher’s birthday.
Buck was nervous as hell because Eddie’s mother was coming to visit for the day and bring her grandson a gift. He didn’t know much about his friend’s mother despite how close they were and he wanted to make a good impression. Buck had a sneaking suspicion that their relationship was strained because of Eddie moving, but he never pried.
The good news was that he knew that the woman wasn’t planning on sticking around long because she didn’t want to get stuck in last minute holiday flight delays. According to Eddie she hadn’t seen Christopher in two years and hadn’t wanted to miss the chance while she was in town for work. Buck couldn’t help but feel sympathy for her, knowing what it was like to miss the boy.
Buck was playing with Christopher when the knock on the door made him jump, not expecting Eddie's mother so soon. He put down the colorful legos he was holding and smoothed himself out before opening the door. The woman that stood on the stoop was short with glasses and long dark hair, but only a slight resemblance to his friend. She looked surprised to see Buck answering the door and he realized that maybe Eddie had forgotten to mention him to his mother. He didn’t know why but that thought kind of hurt him.
“Hi, you must be Mrs. Diaz! I’m Evan, but you can call me Buck. Eddie's uh- in the shower right now, but c’mon in,” he said.
“Evan… Nice to meet you,” she replied clearly seizing him up.
As he awkwardly lead her to the living room he sort of wished that he'd just said his name was Buck.
“Abuela!” Christopher screamed from behind him, hurrying down the hall to them.
His grandmother quickly set down the box she was holding and scooped the young boy into her arms. After the two of them exchanged greetings they ended up sitting on the couch together, Chris showing her his new lego set. Buck watched from a distance sipping a mug of coffee and smiling to himself over how happy Christopher seemed to be. A door clicked behind him as Eddie slipped out of his bedroom, pulling a clean shirt over his head.
“Daddy! Look what abuela brought me!” Chris shouted, waving around a set of toy firefighters.
“Oh, she's here already?”
“Si mijo, your boyfriend let me in.”
Buck choked on his coffee, even though he knew he should be used to it at this point. When he looked over Eddie’s face was burning red, but Chris at least seemed oblivious to the awkward situation his grandma had just put them into.
“El no es mi novio,” Eddie hissed at his mother.
“Él está viviendo en tu casa,” she chuckled at him, raising an eyebrow.
“No hagas suposiciones. Él es mi amigo-”
"¿Te gusta Evan? ¿Es este chico por qué no vienes a casa?"
"Esta es mi casa," Eddie responded firmly.
"No, Edmundo. Tu casa está con tu familia."
"¡Evan es mi familia!"
His mother made a scoffing sound and Eddie motioned her into the kitchen. Buck realized maybe they wanted some privacy, even if he wasn’t going to understand a word of what they were saying. Well, aside from his name being tossed back and forth.
The blonde put his mug down and slid down against the sofa to play with Christopher, hoping the boy wouldn't notice them fighting on his birthday. Clearly he was going to need to build a firehouse with his new legos for the badass fireman figures he’d just gotten. The boy cheered when he sat down next to him and started to show him which fireman was supposed to be him.
By the time he heard the pair cease arguing, he and Christopher had built a lopsided square of a building. Eddie's mom was smiling fondly from the kitchen door as she watched them, apparently no longer harboring negative feelings towards him. He let out an internal sigh of relief.
“Let’s eat breakfast,” Eddie called out, motioning for them to join them.
The blonde picked Christopher up and followed him, having already forgotten about the fight. He was starving and wanted some of Eddie’s perfect fluffy pancakes.
When Chimney told him about the pop up holiday ice skating rink that he wanted to take his sister to, Buck thought it was a great plan. He wanted his sister to go out and have the fun that she’d missed after being chained to Doug for so many years. She was doing much better with the holidays this year and he had a strong feeling Chim was responsible for that.
When his sister insisted that he come too, he decided to drag Eddie with him. Christopher had gone to Eddie’s abuelas to bake cookies and he knew that the older man had no plans after work. There had been a little bit of protestesting because Eddie had never skated before after growing up in Texas, but Buck pouted enough that he caved. Nobody could resist his sad blue eyes when he wanted, a talent he was quite proud of.
The rink was decorated with lights and wreaths, filled with happy skating families, and right in the middle of it all was a terrified looking Eddie. Watching his friend flounder around on the ice like Bambi was one of the greatest things he’d ever witnessed. The glares he would receive when he’d perfectly glide past and do a twirl made it even better.
Maddie and Chim were also able to skate perfectly fine, he watched them hold hands as they circled the rink. It was adorable in the way that made Buck wanna gag.
He frowned when he noticed the brunette trying to scramble to the edge of the ice and escape, sliding over and grabbing his arm before he could. He laughed at the small yelp Eddie let out and spun to face him, skating backwards slowly.
“Give me your hands,” he demanded, reaching towards him.
Eddie reluctantly obliged, a small blush on his cheeks, probably from the cold air.
“I’ll teach you to skate,” he explained, finally feeling enough pity.
“I can skate just fine,” Eddie huffed defensively, clearly not liking that he couldn’t do something.
Buck rolled his eyes.
“You can’t magically just know everything, it’s alright.”
After a few minutes of getting Eddie to steady himself correctly, Buck moved to his side and held only one hand. His balance was getting better and he didn’t need the blonde to hold him up completely anymore. Buck beamed, happy that he’d been able to teach him.
Then they crashed.
Buck hadn’t even notice the stranger slide out in front of him, and as they collided he tumbled to the floor he yanking poor Eddie down with him by his hand. He started laughing at Eddie’s expression before the man they’d skated into turned to yell at them.
“Watch where you’re going faggots!”
Bucks smile quickly faded, dropping Eddie’s hand to stand up and face the stranger. He could hear scrambling behind him as his friend likely tried to follow suit.
“What did you just say?”
“You heard me, you and your faggot boyfriend better watch where you’re going,” he hissed back.
Buck suddenly saw red, unable to believe the audacity of the man, and opened his mouth to shout when he felt a hand slip back into his and warmth press against his side.
“Me and my 'boyfriend' will do whatever we damn please,” Eddie growled.
Buck turned to look at him stunned, when Eddie cupped his face with his free hand and kissed him gently. And oh so that was happening, not Eddie decking the guy. It was a pleasant surprise and he was fairly sure he made a small sound as he melted into it.
“Disgusting,” he heard the man in front of them grumble under his breath as he left.
Buck flipped him the bird and deepened their kiss. The stubble and warm lips against his own felt so good that he couldn’t bring himself to care about anything else in that moment. When Eddie pulled back Buck stared at him breathless and in disbelief, unsure of what to say. That was the best kiss of his entire life.
“You sure know how to piss off an angry homophobe even more,” he finally managed to get out.
“That… was not the only reason I did that cariño,” his friend said, looking worried that he’d misunderstood.
But Buck already knew that. People didn’t kiss another person the way he’d just been kissed unless they meant something to them and the past few weeks had suddenly clicked into place for him. He put his hand on the side of Eddie’s face and stroked it with his thumb.
“I know, Eddie.”
He cherished the surprised expression on the other mans face.
"Damn, now I owe Hen fifty bucks," he heard Chim groan from behind him, making Maddie giggled.
Buck sighed. They weren't gonna hear the end of this any time soon.
"If I see him in the parking lot later I'm still decking that fucking pendejo," Eddie huffed, seemingly suddenly remembering why they'd been kissing.
"No, no, no. You are not going back to punching people again.”
"Yeah where's your holiday spirit?" Chim chimed in.
“My holiday spirit? Did you hear what he said to us?” Eddie grumbled.
“Uh, no. But Maddie and I definitely saw you making out like a bunch of horny teenagers.”
Both of them sputtered and his sister started laughing again. When he looked at Eddie this time his brown eyes were warm and the anger was gone. Buck wanted to kiss him again, but resisted the desire. They had plenty of time to make up for lost kisses later.
“C’mon let’s just go have fun and forget about it,” he urged, grabbing Eddie’s hand again as he began skating.
When his partners fingers intertwined with his he smiled. This was the best Christmas gift he could have ever asked for.