The hustle of shift change over had just come to an end, and the firefighters of the 118 were lounging around the table upstairs, fresh coffee in hand and the gentle buzz of early morning conversation filling the room. Buck climbed the stairs two at a time, a box full of fresh bagels in one hand and a paper bag in the other.
He slid the box onto the table in front of Chimney and Hen, and took a seat next to Eddie, bumping their knees together. He placed the paper bag in front of him.
“I know how you feel about bagels, so I got you one of those chocolate croissants you like so much.”
Eddie rolled his eyes fondly, but pulled Buck in for a quick kiss, both of them grinning at each other softly, “Thanks, babe.”
The conversation around them died, the only noise being coughing coming from Chimney who had clearly choked on his bagel.
“Did you just-“ Hen started, before looking over at Bobby and Chimney, “did they just...?”
Bobby was looking equally shocked, given away by the tell-tale raise of his eyebrows, and he looked quickly between Eddie and Buck, as though expecting one of them to say something.
Eddie frowned and looked at the other firefighters, “What’s wrong, what did I say?”
Chimney, who had now recovered from his choking was looking thoroughly entertained by it all, turned to Hen with a sly grin, “Oblivious, they’re utterly oblivious.”
Buck frowned, “I don’t get it, what did Eddie do? Why are we oblivious?”
Hen glanced at Chimney again, who shrugged, grins on both their faces, “He called you babe, Buck, and kissed you right on the mouth. I know you guys a close but best friends don’t call each other babe and make out in front of their coworkers.”
“Firstly, boyfriends certainly call each other babe, and secondly we weren’t making out, it was barely a peck. I don’t know what’s gotten you all so freaked out today.” Buck said with a huff, crossing his arms.
The room fell quiet again, while Hen and Chimney both openly stared between Buck and Eddie.
“Boyfriends?” This time it was Bobby who spoke, “for how long?”
“You guys are kidding right,” Eddie began, looking between Buck and the others quickly, “the Christmas party? A classic Buck gesture? I took Buck back to mine afterwards, you all joked about Christmas magic and mistletoe the next day?”
“Uhh yeah,” Chimney said slowly, “we were kidding. We didn’t realise anything actually happened.”
“You’re telling me you two have been dating since Christmas and didn’t think to tell any of us?” Hen added.
Eddie ran his hands over his face in frustration, “We weren’t keeping it a secret, we just thought you all knew.”
Buck let out a confused sort of laugh, “You’re telling me that not one of you realised we’ve been dating for months?”
The others all shook their heads, disbelief written all over their faces. Eddie lifted his head from where he had hidden his face in his hands, and gave another disbelieving shake of his head.
“I know we tend to avoid PDA at work but we definitely share a bunk at least half of the time, and I know I’ve kissed Buck’s forehead or cheek more than once after a call.”
Eddie looked at Buck who nodded in agreement, “We share coffee and hold hands at the table, and arrive in the same car more often than not - are you all seriously saying you didn’t know we were dating?”
Bobby shrugged, “You’ve been thick as thieves since day one, I guess we assumed you were both just comfortable enough in expressing your affection physically.”
“That and we thought you were both just in denial about your feelings,” Chimney added with a dry chuckle, “turns out we were the ones missing all the signs.”
“We live together,” Buck said, throwing his hands in the air in disbelief, “you were all at our housewarming party!”
Hen shrugged, “We just thought your lease was up and you were rooming with Eddie so you could both save on money.”
Buck and Eddie shared another look of disbelief before dissolving into full-bodied laughs. It wasn’t long before the entire firehouse was filled with incredulous laughter at the sheer ridiculous of the situation.
Their laughter was broken by Maddie arriving at the top of the stairs and clearing her throat.
“Should I be concerned?” She asked as she scanned their amused faces. The room was quiet for a moment, until Buck caught Eddie’s eye again and they both dissolved into another laughing fit.
“Did you know,” Chimney started with a flourish, as he stood and ushered a confused Maddie into the seat next to him, “that our dear Buck and Eddie are dating.”
Maddie’s eyes widened and she jumped from her chair to embrace them both.
“Finally!” She exclaimed as she released them both, “And why on earth am I finding out from Chimney?”
There was a pause following her question, and she levelled Buck with a glare, the moment was broken again by both Hen and Chimney’s laughter.
Maddie switched her glare to Chimney, “Can someone please explain to me what’s going on before I call Athena, I swear you’ve all been dosed again.”
“Well you see,” Bobby began, “Buck and Eddie have been dating since Christmas and failed to mention it to anyone because they thought it was obvious.”
Maddie’s eyes flicked from Bobby to where Buck and Eddie we’re sitting, the latter having the good sense to look sheepish while Buck just grinned up at her.
“Evan Buckley, please look me in the eyes end tell me Bobby is kidding right now.”
Maddie continued to glare, while Buck’s grin only widened, undeterred by her fury.
“It’s not my fault,” Buck began, “that all of you considered the kissing, hand-holding, living together, driving together, raising a child together and Eddie’s undeniable heart eyes as entirely platonic.”
“Or worse, you thought we were completely clueless and in denial about our feelings and none of you thought to lock us in a closet or force us to face our feelings.” Eddie added, ignoring the heart-eyes comment.
“Oh we definitely considered it,” Hen said with a grin, “but according to Bobby that’s ‘unethical and against LAFD policy’ or whatever.”
They all began to laugh again, and Maddie sat back in her seat with a shake of her head.
The rest of the team watched as Buck reached out, intertwining his fingers with Eddie’s, and they passed a look between them. Eddie raised an eyebrow and Buck nodded, before another grin spread across both their faces.
“Well then,” Buck stood as he began to talk, hand still wrapped around Eddie’s, “it’s time we make things super clear. Eddie and I are dating and have been since Christmas.”
Eddie also stood, “We were waiting to tell Christopher first, but since were trying to avoid any further misscommunications we figure you all deserve to know.”
The 118 once again looked confused, but waited to hear what they had to say. Buck and Eddie shared one last look, and Buck slipped his other hand down the collar of his shirt, withdrawing a ring looped through a gold chain.
About four people began to speak at once, and there was definitely a scream from either Maddie or Chim, but with timing like no other, the alarm rang out and the 118 hurriedly jumped from their chairs and down the stairs to the waiting fire truck, Buck and Eddie still hand in hand.