“She’s just my friend. She’s not my girlfriend,” Buck rolled his eyes.
“Right, sure,” Eddie mumbled. It was no secret he didn’t like Taylor Kelly but something about how close she and Buck were bothered him. After all, why would Buck want to be friends with someone who almost ruined their captain's career?
When Buck suggested teaming up with Eddie and Taylor on the treasure hunt, he tried not to feel like the odd one out. That didn’t work when they seemed so in sync with each other as they mapped out possibilities and shut down his idea.
The next day when they were having family breakfast with the team at the Grant household Eddie could hardly contain his shock at seeing Taylor at the table. Not only at the table, but in the seat next to Buck which was usually his.
“Hey you didn’t bring Ana?” Buck asked him from across the table.
Shit. He hadn’t even really thought about her the past few days if he was being honest.
“Uh, didn’t know we were bringing people over to family breakfast,” he glanced at Taylor before going back to cutting his pancakes. It wasn’t a lie exactly, he didn’t know Taylor would be here. But he also didn’t want to invite Ana, he realized.
Ana was great. She was a beautiful, kind, caring woman who did well with Christopher. She made sense in his life and being with her was easy.
You don’t find love like that. You make it. It was something Eddie found himself thinking about lately.
Maybe being with Ana was too easy. She fit the mold his parents would want for him. She was a caring well educated woman with a job and if he had to get money on it and his parents had to pick someone for him they would pick Ana Flores.
“Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t realize this was a work thing. I can go-“ Taylor started to stand when Buck put his hand on her arm to stop her. Whatever he was about to say was cut off by Athena.
“Nonsense sweetheart. Any friend of Bucks is a friend of the family and is always welcome here.” Eddie tried to pretend he didn’t feel Athena's gaze pointed at him at the last statement.
It was a few hours later when he went to go try and talk to Buck when he found him talking with Taylor in the backyard. He really hadn’t meant to ease drop but he found it hard to hide the smirk on his face when he heard Taylor telling Buck what a good friend he was.
That didn’t make any sense. Why would he be happy that his best friend was getting rejected by someone he was clearly interested in? He shook that thought from his head when Taylor passed by him on her way in.
“Taylor, hey,” he called out to her. “I’m sorry about earlier, I didn’t mean to make it seem like you weren’t welcome.” Okay that was a lie, but he knew if he didn’t apologize he would never hear the end of it from Athena and that woman was terrifying.
“Thank you, but it’s okay. It was nice getting to get to know everyone a bit more,” he smiled at him. He took a look at her and he got it. Eddie might not like her but it was hard to say that the blonde with blue eyes and pale skin wasn’t attractive. It kind of reminded him of-
“We’re gonna head out. Taylor’s got an afternoon shift,” Buck walked in and interrupted his train of thought.
“Oh I was hoping to talk to you real quick,” Eddie said.
“Shoot,” Buck smiled at him.
“Just wanted to check we were still on for tonight. Chris has been asking for you,” Maybe it was a dirty move on his part using his own kid to make sure Buck didn’t cancel but he wanted to spend time with his friend alone. Well, alone plus Christopher.
“Yeah of course, I wouldn’t ditch my favorite kid,” he clapped a hand on Eddie's shoulder and walked past him. He could faintly hear him saying goodbye to everyone in the kitchen.
“I’ll bring dinner? Don’t need you poisoning us with your cooking after all,” Buck was suddenly back at his side teasing him before he headed up the stairs with Taylor at his side. He tried not to notice the hand at the small of her back guiding her out the house.
That night while Buck was making spaghetti, per Christopher’s request, he went to talk to his friend.
“So you brought Taylor this morning,” he tried to say casually.
“Yeah and thanks for making her think you didn’t want her there by the way,” Buck put down the spoon he was using to stir the sauce before turning to Eddie.
“I didn’t mean it like that,” yes he did. “I just didn’t think we were inviting girlfriends over to Athena's thats all.”
“She’s not my girlfriend, we've been over this,” Buck turned back to stir the sauce.
“Right but you want her to be,” he pointed out.
“Eddie, I-“ he was cut off by the doorbell ringing. Eddie looked at Buck confused.
“Dude don’t look at me like I’m not the one ringing the bell it’s your house,” Eddie went to the door to see who was there.
“Ana?” He opened the door to see her standing there. “Did we have plans…?” He racked his brain trying to see if maybe he missed something but it came up blank.
“Oh! No, I just thought I’d surprise you and Christopher. I knew you had today off and I thought I’d stop by,” she made her way into the house. Eddie tried not to be annoyed by this.
“Actually-“ he was cut off by Buck walking out of the kitchen.
“Ana? Hey, I didn’t know you’d be stopping by,” he moved in and gave her a quick hug.
“It was a surprise, but I see you have company, it's okay, I’ll go,” Ana moved closer to the door. Yes please go, Eddie thought to himself.
“Hey, why don’t you stay and have dinner with us? I always make too much anyway,” Buck asked her. “I hope spaghetti is okay with you.”
“That sounds great actually,” she set her bag down on the table by the door. “Do you need help with anything?”
“No, I’ve got it, everything is almost finished. You two sit for a while,” Buck went back into the kitchen before leaving and coming back with Christopher in tow. The boy said a quick hello to Ana before joining his Buck in the kitchen.
“Sorry I should have called before,” Ana apologized.
“It’s fine, the more the merrier,” he tried to not be annoyed. Why was he annoyed? What kind of guy doesn’t want his girlfriend over on one of the few nights he’s actually free?
Dinner went… okay. Buck picked up on the awkwardness and tried to include Ana as much as possible in whatever conversation was going on. After dinner she left, having said she would leave them to themselves for their “guys night.”
“Dude why were you so weird about Ana being here?” Buck asked as he washed dishes.
“I just didn’t know she would be here that’s all,” Eddie worked on drying them.
“I don’t know man you just seemed kind of pissed she was here,” he said.
“Can you just drop it?” Eddie slammed down the bowl, a bit surprised it didn’t break.
“Okay,” Buck eyed him cautiously before taking the bowl from his hands and checking it for cracks. After deeming it safe and crack free he gathered the rest and put them away.
Eddie leaned against the counter with his head in his hands as Buck left the kitchen. It was a few minutes later when he came back in.
“I’m gonna get going,” Buck slipped on his jacket.
“What why?” That definitely got his attention.
“Dude you’re obviously in a mood and don’t wanna talk about it and that’s fine. You don’t have to, I’d just rather not be the personal punching bag while you are. I already said goodnight to Chris so he knows I’m leaving.” He pulled his keys from his pocket and headed towards the door.
“Night Eddie,” he shut the door behind him.
Eddie wasn’t trying to be a dick to his best friend. Everything was just confusing right now. Okay he was a little upset about Taylor in the morning then again with Ana showing up. He just didn’t like surprises. And he missed hanging out with his friend even though he saw him practically every day.
He’d try to talk to Buck after work tomorrow.
Turns out talking to him after work wasn’t going to happen he realized as he felt the bullet rip through his shoulder.
The last thing he really remembers was Buck's eyes on him from under the fire truck and the pain of having his injured arm pulled to move him under the truck.
He woke up a few times in the hospital, only for a few seconds or maybe minutes before passing back out but each time he did the person he most wanted to see wasn’t there. But Ana was.
“Buck?” He was able to get out.
“He’s with Christopher, remember Edmundo?” God he hated when she called him that. Well if Buck was with Christopher he knew his son was taken care of.
With that he passed back out with the uncomfortable feeling of Ana’s hand in his.
When Buck came to pick him from the hospital he told him about his updated will. He told him about being Christopher’s legal guardian in case this happens and he doesn’t make it home.
He had told Buck before there was no one he trusted with his son more and it’s still true. Sometimes he trusted Buck more than himself with Chris because at least he knew his kid was being fed something other than food from a box.
When Buck walked him into his house he was looking forward to relaxing with his two favorite boys. Instead he was greeted with the sight of his Abuela, tia pepa, Carla, Ana… and Taylor. What was Taylor doing in his house?
He bent down to give his son a kiss before giving a forced smile to Taylor. Ana moved in to give him a kiss which he moved to a kiss on the cheek before greeting the others.
As Abuela moved around him insisting he relax and enjoy being home he couldn’t help but notice something about Buck and Taylor seemed off. No, that wasn’t it, they seemed closer.
He felt nauseous as he watched Buck pull her close and she pressed a kiss to his cheek. He should be happy his friend isn’t chasing after the girl he wanted anymore.
If he should be happy then why does it feel like his heart just got broken in two?