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1. The field

“Hey Eddie, grab the jaws!” Buck yelled over his shoulder, holding the driver’s head and neck steady until it was safe for Hen and Chim to take over. Buck had spotted the fuel leaking and informed Bobby then called for his partner. Eddie’s head snapped up, mid-conversation with Chim, and he disappeared for a moment before returning with the heavy equipment. Buck scooted over enough to make room and waited for Eddie to get the right angle.

Fuck. Biceps. Eddie has great biceps-

“Watch out!”

The jaws kicked back a little and Buck shifted, catching Eddie with his shoulder in the nick of time. Eddie stabilised himself and retracted the jaws when the driver’s door popped open, calling out to Hen and Chim as he gave Buck’s arm a squeeze. Buck moved to the hose reel and like clockwork, he and Eddie got to deescalating the fire/explosion risk. In the background Hen and Chim rushed the gurney into the ambulance and Buck adjusted his helmet, clearing his throat.

“Hey, Eddie, I almost forgot; how did Chris go with that presentation thing in History?”

Eddie grinned at the opportunity to talk about his son.

“Carla said it went well. I used to hate oral presentations but he seems to do better at them than the written ones.”

With a final squirt from the extinguisher, Buck turned to his best friend.

“He was really excited to talk about the pyramids. It’s good to see he’s still interested in things other than video games.”

Eddie just shrugged with a sigh.

“He mentioned that he thought a classmate was cute last week. I’m taking all the time I’ve got with him.”

“How old do you feel right now?” Buck teased. Eddie rolled his eyes.

“So old. I was thinking of handing in my retirement letter next week, living out my days by a golf course.”

“I have the feeling you’ll be too busy being a grumpy old man to play golf- wait. You grew up in Texas; do you even know how to play golf?”

Buck wrinkled his nose in the cute way he does sometimes and Eddie laughed, bumping Buck’s arm.

“Of course I can’t play golf, Buck, but that has nothing to do with Texas and more to do with the age of 70-80 being the best time to learn. Sometimes, you can teach an old dog new tricks.”

“I wouldn’t be surprised if Chris put you in a nursing home.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“You’re grumpy now and you’re 33; what are you gonna be like in fifty years?”

“Now that’s just cold.”

 

2. Buck, Chris and a fever

As the night began to wind to a close, Buck found himself leaving the adult conversations to go inside. Harry and Denny were playing Mario-Kart, Christopher watching on and Buck sat on the couch next to him, patting his knee. As the youngest of the three (by three months!), sometimes he was unintentionally left out by the other two. It didn’t help that Denny and Harry had been friends since they were in diapers while Christopher had only really met them a couple of years ago and didn’t go to the same school.

Christopher leaned into Buck, yawning and Buck smiled.

“Ready to go home, huh?”

“Where’s dad?” Christopher asked quietly. Buck leaned to glance past him, spotting the fire pit and sure enough there Eddie was, holding a can of Coke instead of a beer because he knew he had to drive home that night.

“Do you want to go and sit with your dad for a bit?” Buck suggested. Chris nodded so Buck stood, lifting Chris on to his feet.

“Say goodnight to the other two and we’ll go see your dad.”

“Night guys,” Chris said, both Denny and Harry waving in return. Buck hefted Christopher on to his hip, pulling the sliding door open.

 

“Hey, Eddie, looks like someone’s looking for you.”

Eddie turned his head when Maddie gently interrupted the conversation, gesturing past him and he couldn’t help the smile on his face when he saw Buck carrying Christopher. Son reached to father and Eddie moved him on to his lap. Buck ruffled Christopher’s curls on his way past, flopping back into his seat beside Eddie. Christopher burrowed into his dad’s shirt and Buck reached for his denim jacket, tossing it over the little boy. Eddie nodded in thanks, brows furrowing when he pressed a kiss to Christopher’s forehead.

“You’re a little warm, buddy. Does anything hurt?”

“No dad. M’just a little cold.”

Buck scooted over and pressed his hand to Christopher’s forehead too, frowning at the result. A silent conversation between Buck and Eddie had Buck taking Eddie’s truck keys so he could carry Chris, letting him sleep a little.

 

Pulling into Eddie’s driveway, Buck quickly switched off the engine and got out, unlocking the door to let Eddie carry Christopher inside. He managed to locate the children’s Tylenol and a pair of pyjamas for Christopher. It was easy to get him changed and tucked into bed, no story needed. It was getting late but Buck decided to stay an extra hour or so before calling an uber considering he drove Eddie’s truck so Eddie could sit with Chris in the back.

When Eddie walked past twenty minutes later, Buck passed out on the couch, he didn’t have the heart to wake him.

 

3. Maddie + Jee-Yun

“Man, I feel like it’s been ages since Chris was this little.”

“Eddie, it wasn’t that long ago. Try thirty years.”

Maddie’s eyes twinkled in the same way Buck’s do when he’s teasing and Eddie laughed, glancing down at Jee-Yun in his arms. The little girl’s cute sleeping face made him reconsider his no more kids! Stance for a moment.

“Have you ever… thought about what would have happened, y’know, if Shannon had stayed- oh my god. That was so personal. I’m so sorry.”

“Don’t apologise. It’s a question, Maddie. A good one at that.”

Eddie didn’t flinch, his focus mostly on the baby in his harms. He just shrugged.

“We always kind of discussed having just one. Christopher was- he was a shock, and an amazing one at that- but after he was born things got messy and I took off back to Afghanistan then she came here to look after her mother. We- we reconnected, and I guess I got my hopes up.”

Maddie had heard the rest through the grapevine and she frowned.

“You’re a great dad, Eddie.”

“As much as you don’t believe it yet, Maddie, you’re a great mom to Jee-Yun.”

Maddie’s eyes immediately welled and she squeezed Eddie’s arm in thanks. Between them, the baby gurgled and then farted in her sleep. Eddie and Maddie looked at each other.

“That was so-“

“-Buck.”

“What about me?”

The front door opened; Buck, Chim and Albert pausing to wash their hands before they came any further into the apartment. Almost immediately after though, all three of them made a beeline for the baby in Eddie’s arms. Maddie stopped them, shushing the squabbling going on between uncles.

“Eddie has only just managed to get her to sleep. Do not wake her.”

“Yes ma’am,” Albert whispered and Chim snorted. Buck just smirked.

“His magical touch does that sometimes.”

“I’m going to ignore what you just said for the sake of my sanity,” Maddie said. Buck grinned, slathering hand sanitiser on just in case as he approached the couch, sitting beside Eddie and wrapping an arm around him to kiss his forehead. Immediately shushing noises were made from both parents and Eddie. Buck just laughed.

“C’mon guys, it’s a well-known fact Eddie is a baby magnet. He could get her to sleep in seconds.”

“Since when?” Albert asked, already moving to search the fridge for food. It was the little things.

“As long as I’ve known him. Between him and Bobby, our team is always prepared for a baby.”

“I have two sisters who both had babies before I was twenty,” Eddie said, blushing slightly and Maddie lightly nudged his shoulder.

“I always forget you’re a youngest child,” she said with that same twinkle in her eyes and Eddie groaned. Buck scratched at the back of his neck, frowning at Chimney.

“Hey, did you bring the food up?”

“I thought you had it.”

 

4. Frank

Sitting in Frank’s waiting room, foot going a mile a minute against the lino floors, all Eddie could see was the bathroom door and a messy panic attack in his near future. Before the shooting, he’d never really experienced them- then again, he’d never really had someone like Buck who gently pried into his feelings, made him feel this vulnerable. In a good way. The problem was once he started, it was hard to stop.

Mandated talk therapy made him feel like he was weak. Inadequate. Not strong enough. Back to the start.

“Eddie, come through.”

He barely heard Frank, only really drawn back into the present by Buck’s hand on his thigh.

“I’m going to be right here, reading whatever dumb magazine they’ve put out this time.”

Buck’s voice was firm, warm, a source of comfort. Safe. Blinking, Eddie nodded and stood, following Frank to his office.

 

“First off, it’s good to see you in one piece, Eddie. The shooting, when I heard it was you who got shot… the last twelve months have been rough.”

Eddie sat in the designated ‘patient’ seat, frowning at Frank’s statement as he tried to wipe his sweaty hands.

“It- uh. Yeah. It…”

“Do you want me to start with what the department had told me, or do you want to tell me how you felt?”

“I thought I was safe,” Eddie blurted. Frank’s shoulders relaxed and he leaned back in his chair a little.

“Let’s start there.”

 

That night Eddie tossed and turned, flopping on to his stomach but that made him nauseous so he rolled on to his side. Buck was sleeping soundly for once, completely relaxed in his doze on his back and Eddie felt bad for his restlessness. The last thing he wanted to do was wake Buck.

Too late.

Shifting on to his side to face Eddie, Buck yawned as he placed a hand on Eddie’s chest.

“Did you take the sleep drugs?” He whispered and Eddie nodded.

“Side effects can be further insomnia before they start working.”

“Fuck, forgot about that. C’mere.”

Buck pulled Eddie into his chest, holding his back to keep him close before rolling flat. For some reason, lying on his stomach with his face buried in Buck’s neck didn’t make Eddie even slightly nauseous. Buck’s hand came up to the back of his neck, playing with the ends of Eddie’s hair.

“Try and get some sleep,” Buck said quietly. Breathing in his shampoo, Eddie’s eyes closed and he felt his restless legs beginning to settle.

“That’s it,” Buck soothed.

Eddie was too tired to complain about the baby voice Buck used.

 

5. Eddie, Ana and Buck

Eddie and Ana’s breakup was… just about forgotten by the firehouse after a week. Buck and Eddie had been in love for years, unknown to each other of course (driving everyone around them insane) so it was seamless for them to start dating.

Where dating Ana was nice, dating Buck was seamless, fun, sexy; Eddie’s own words, to everyone’s surprise.

So when Ana came by the station, looking for Eddie, so many jokes crossed Chim’s mind.

“Eddie,” he jokingly scolded, “did you forget protection again? I thought you learned from the last time.”

“Buck, have I learned from the last time?”

Eddie looked to Buck who blinked.

“I’m not pregnant so I’m going to say yes.”

“I can ask her to leave,” Bobby offered, ignoring Buck’s comment for the sake of his sanity.

“It’s okay Bobby, but thanks. I got this.”

Eddie got up, tracking down the stairs.

 

“Ana.”

“Hi, Edmundo.”

She never got used to calling him Eddie. It still made him die inside a little.

“So… did you need something?”

Eddie crossed his arms, raising an eyebrow. Ana blushed.

“I saw a little boy who reminded me of Christopher and I just- is he happy, after everything? I mean, the shooting, our breakup, Buck leaving-“

“-Buck never left. Not like you’re implying. He went home but he was only a phone call away. As for the shooting, we’re both going to weekly therapy, and he talks to Buck if he has any questions he’s not ready to ask me.”

“Does he… does he miss me?”

“We dated barely six months-“

Ana’s eyes watered and Eddie changed his tone even though he had a feeling she was shedding crocodile tears.

“He was… he was a little confused, sure, but between the shooting aftermath and his Buck being around more he found his routine again which helped him settle.”

“Edmundo-“

“-it is incredibly unsexy to call him by his full name. Between you and me, I prefer Eddie. It’s a lot easier to moan.”

Buck appeared, standing slightly behind Eddie. He looked more irritated than concerned as he placed a hand on the small of Eddie’s back. Ana stared blankly for a moment, looking between the two dots, before she blushed harder and cleared her throat.

“Well. Congratulations. I’m, well- I’ll be going now.”

“Ana, wait-“

Eddie caught her by the hand and she paused.

“I just wanted to ask if you wanted to come to dinner sometime. I wanted to try us again, Edmundo, but it looks like you and Evan are happy. I’m going to leave so I can keep what dignity I have left.”

She rushed out of the firehouse, heels hitting the concrete and Eddie turned to Buck, eyebrow raised.

“When did you get so sassy? Between you and me, I prefer Eddie. It’s a lot easier to moan.”

“What can I say?” Buck grinned, giving Eddie’s butt a pat before going back upstairs. Eddie blinked for a moment, before clearing his throat. Possessive Buck?

That’s fine.

Eddie can be possessive too.

 

 

+1. “Eds”

 

After the last call, the team had dispersed to various places.  Hen had taken the kitchen island, Chim was at the dining table, Buck was on the couch and Bobby was sure Eddie mentioned trying to go for a nap. Plating up the carbonara into a large serving bowl, Bobby cleared his throat.

“Hey guys, there’s food here if you’re hungry.”

“Thanks Bobby,” Hen smiled and Chim rubbed his hands together.

“Hey, Buck, you wanna go see if Eddie’s hungry?” Chim asked. Buck’s head lifted from the couch, feet hanging over the edge, and he put a finger to his lips.

“Let me get him.”

He didn’t move and Hen cleared her throat.

“Buck, he’s in the bunk room.”

“No, he’s right here. Everyone be quiet.”

 

Pressing his lips to Eddie’s hair, Buck ran a hand down his back and cleared his throat. To his surprise, around twenty minutes ago Eddie had come out of the bunks and woke Buck from his snooze on the couch, unknown to the rest of the team, and lay on top of Buck. Buck hadn’t really said anything, instead wrapping his arms around Eddie and holding him. It always made everyone nervous when Eddie showed vulnerability like this but what they didn’t know is that he’s actually quite snuggly.

“Hey, Eds, it looks like Bobby has dinner ready.”

“I’m not hungry.”

“Buck, are you talking to yourself again?” Hen teased. Buck ignored her to focus on Eddie, rubbing down his back in small movements.

“You good?” Buck whispered. Eddie shook his head, burying tighter into Buck who frowned.

“Eddie said he’s not hungry,” Buck called back to the team. Bobby put down the serving spoon, waving off Hen and Chim.

“Eddie?” Bobby asked, firedad mode on, “are you okay?”

“I’m good. Just not hungry,” Eddie replied loud enough for Bobby to hear. Buck lifted his head, reaching out to Bobby.

“Can I have some? I’m starving.”

Eddie hefted himself up but Buck stopped him.

“Hey. Where are you going? I was enjoying that.”

“I don’t want pasta in my hair,” Eddie said. Buck rolled his eyes.

“Get something to eat, cranky ass.”

“I’m not-“

“-Eds. You’re grumpy.”

Buck smiled lazily at his boyfriend who rolled his eyes. Bobby passed Buck a bowl of pasta and Eddie an apple.

“At least try and eat something.”

“What- guys-“

“-Eddie, you miss a meal and you’re Oscar the Grouch.”

Hen was laughing behind her medical book while Chim just beamed, proud of himself. No one really called Eddie out except for Buck and, on the rare occasion, Bobby. Eddie scoffed, then took a bite of the apple.

“That’s just rude,” he mumbled.