It starts as an accident. Buck had agreed to pick up Christopher from school so Eddie could help his cousin fix their Abuela's fence. Buck had offered to help too, of course, but Eddie knew he'd be distracted if Buck and Chris were there. He'd end up watching the two the whole time because Christopher would insist on helping and Buck would indulge him as he always does. His Abuela would notice his staring, she always does when he finds himself getting lost in his own mind around Buck, and it would only encourage her teasing. It was bad enough they bring up his feelings in private, he did not want to have the same conversation with Pepa and Erick around. Abuela at least waits until they're alone, his tia had always had a habit of bringing up his crushes while they are around and Eddie hates it; the fact that people can't understand what they are saying doesn't make it any less embarrassing or noticeable when he's turning red at her teasing.
Instead of helping, Eddie had encouraged Buck to keep Christopher home, using the excuse that they would all be busy outside and Christopher would be bored inside alone if Buck came to help. Buck had luckily accepted the excuse and smiled as he detailed all the activities he had planned to do that evening. Apparently, the fact that it was Friday and none of them had to be up the next day meant mess, sugar and a late night watching movies if Eddie was deducing correctly. Eddie's protests to the planned mess fell on deaf ears, Buck waving off his concerns as if he hadn't spoken.
"It's Christopher and Buck time, you don't get a say" Buck insists with a shit-eating grin "we'll tidy up before you get home and you won't even notice"
Eddie notices. He steps on two stray Nerf bullets before he even makes it to the living room and sees the chaos awaiting there. The furniture has been moved, strategically placed as obstacles with sheets and blankets draped to create various areas of cover to hide in. More foam bullets are scattered across the floor and furniture, orange and yellow dotted around the room like sprinkles on a cake.
The house is quiet, the tv screen asking 'are you still watching?'. With no answer, Eddie steps further into the living room and makes his way to where the couch should be. The spot is now occupied by two standing lamps draped in a sheet to create a tent, and Eddie notices a shadow from the light of the tv that looked suspiciously like the culprits of this mess. Mess Buck had specifically ensured him he wouldn't even know had been there , Eddie thinks before he sighs out loud at the scene and shakes his head as he begins to walk around the makeshift tent.
His annoyance is quickly replaced with fondness as he spots his boys and takes in the scene in front of him. The missing couch cushions are laid out on the floor along with the spare duvet and what must be every pillow in the house, the two boys curled together on top of them. Buck is sideways across their tent, propped up by pillows with his whole body facing the tv whilst Christopher is draped across him, legs stretched outwards as his torso rests against Buck's. A plate of crumbs sits between them, only half a cookie remaining, the rest of the chocolate chip remnants are smeared around Christopher's mouth.
Eddie can't help the little chuckle that escapes at the sight, both having clearly fallen asleep during the movie. The sight of them is overwhelming, Eddie feels like he's been slapped with his own hurricane of adoration as he takes in the sight of them together.
His crush on the younger man is not a new development, he'd always had feelings for Buck that allude to more than just friendship. Just recently though, those feelings have intensified.
Buck had begun spending even more time with them after the tsunami and what followed. Both he and Christopher were comforted by each others presence and there had been more than a few nights that Buck had come over late at night, struggling to sleep without seeing for himself that Christopher was okay. Both struggled with harrowing nightmares and sought comfort in each other in a way Eddie both understood and was envious of at first. As much as he was glad Christopher could seek comfort from his trauma, he couldn't help but be a little jealous that he preferred Buck's comfort than his own when the other man was around. Christopher never settled with him after a nightmare as well as he did when it was Buck's arms he snuggled into to fall back to sleep. During those months after the event, it wasn't uncommon for Eddie to find his son curled up to the older man just like this when he stayed over. He would search out Buck instead of Eddie whenever he was around and sleep beside him with streaks of dried tears across his face from his terrors.
Eddie understands now, though, and is glad they had each other during such a dark time. They helped each other and both are continuing to move on each day. Here they rest peacefully, neither face marred with signs of fear or distress, Buck's fingers curled into Christopher's hair where his head rests over his heart. Eddie can't help himself as he takes out his phone and snaps a picture of the scene, mess included, and send it to the team. He hesitates before also selecting his Abuela's contact and typing out the message to them all: Never trust these two when they say they'll tidy up before you get home. Eddie rereads the message, checking he isn't being too obvious about his fondness before he hits send.
His Abuela replies almost instantly as he'd guessed she would. No matter how old any of them get, every member of the Diaz family can expect Isabel Diaz to be sitting with her phone in hand from the minute they leave her house, waiting to receive confirmation that they've made it home safe.
Tu familia es muy lindo ;)
Eddie groans quietly to himself at the sight of the winking face, questioning why he ever taught her to use emojis. It only intensified her teasing and leaves him blushing to himself in the dark. He sends back a quick eye-roll before his eyes find the subjects of his torture again. He can't deny she is right, the two make for an adorable sight. Eddie's desires bubble in his chest at her implication, wishing they could be a family as she had said. Buck fits right in and Eddie would give anything for Buck to want them the same way Eddie wants him in their lives.
The word slips out through his lips almost against his will, a little too loud in the deafening silence of the room. Eddie's adoration boils over, unable to hold in his endearment as he looks at them. Terror strikes him as, at that moment, Buck's eyes flutter open. He blinks at Eddie tiredly, eyes questioning and Eddie freezes hoping to God he hasn't heard him. Buck's not an idiot and is curious and determined by nature, traits Eddie usually admires of the younger man. It is a dangerous combination for Eddie right now, though, and only stirs up worry. Eddie knows that if Buck heard Eddie and wants to know what he said and Eddie denies him, it would be easy for the other man to look it up. Eddie would be humiliated if Buck caught on to his feelings from this slip-up. Luckily, Buck doesn't react beyond a soft confused hum that has Eddie smiling softly in relief. Buck gently sits up, cradling Christopher so he didn't jostle him awake.
"Damn we fell asleep, I'm so sorry man I swear we were going to tidy up the rest after the first movie"
Eddie snorts and raises his eyebrows asking "was that your idea or his?" as he nods down to his son. Buck bites his bottom lip looking sheepish as he turns his head to the side. Eddie hums knowingly at Buck's avoidance and the other man caves,
"I couldn't say no man, your kid has me hooked. He said wanted to watch a movie first and we'd already cleaned the kitchen and he wanted to make a tent too so there wasn't a point in cleaning until after"
Eddie chuckles, he'd be lying if he said he hadn't been expecting something of the sort. Buck has a habit of giving into Christopher and Eddie had been expecting something like this from the moment Buck agreed to watch him with that excited glint in his eyes.
"So what you're saying is my eight-year-old tricked you into abandoning clean up to build a tent and watch movies and somehow didn't realise he was planning to fall asleep before he had to help?"
Buck scratched at the back of his neck and Eddie shook his head at him laughing at Buck's speechless "uh, well-"
"You let him get away with too much, Buck"
"Yeah well, he's too cute. I don't think there's much he could ask of me that I'd be able to deny him" Buck admits, chuckling softly at himself before yawning "I promise I'll clean up before I go"
Eddie's heart whimpers, yearning to reach out for the man in front of him. Instead, he steps forward and picks up up Christopher before his hands could follow his thought and mouth down a path of betrayal and caress Buck's face like they want to.
"Stay, it's late. I'll put this little trickster to bed and he can help clean up the mess you both made in the morning. I think your battle tired you out"
"We had a lot of fun, I wish you had been here. I could have used the backup, in here and the kitchen" Buck jokes.
"Dios, food fight? do I even want to see the kitchen?"
"Relax Eds, I told you we cleaned that up already. We even saved you some cookies" Buck grins and Eddie can't help but return it with his own smile as he carries Christopher off to bed.
"Well feel free to leave me in bed whilst you finish cleaning in the morning" He urges as he carries Christopher to bed, leaving Buck to make his own way to the spare room "Goodnight Buck"
Eddie lays in bed that night and recalls Buck's adorable confusion after Eddie had called the two lindo, sure he'd heard and thankful that Buck hadn't asked what it meant. He hadn't meant to say it, but now he had said it out loud and somewhat to Buck's face, he couldn't help but yearn for a day he could speak his feelings freely.
Buck lay awake across the hall, his heart and mind at war. His logical mind knows that Eddie was talking about Christopher when he'd voiced his cuteness out loud. These thoughts pound, trying to drum out the sound of his hopeful heart trying to push his desires into his head. His heart beats on loudly, determined as it asks then why was he looking at me?