Buck woke up surrounded by early morning light. He didn't need to open his eyes to know where he was; the familiar smells and rhythmic ticking of the clock on the living room wall revealed he was in the Diaz household.
It was in those brief seconds in the in-between, right when sleep gave way to wakefulness, that he noticed the less familiar feeling of a hand resting on his stomach. The surprise cleared his head and brought back flashbacks of the night before.
(Soft, slow kisses leaving him breathless, strong thighs enveloping his hips, big hands caressing his arms, lips leaving wet kisses across his pecs.)
There was a smile on Buck's face before he even opened his eyes. He looked to his side to find Eddie there, face pressed against the pillow and mouth half open. He was making those little snuffling sounds that Buck had learned to love during countless naps in the firehouse bunk room.
Buck let the memories of the night wash over him. The evening had started the same way as many others, with Buck following Eddie home in his jeep after a particularly exhausting 24-hour shift. They had prepared dinner together, played video games with Christopher and tucked him in. Essentially what had become his favorite way to end a long day.
Never mind that lately Buck had been finding himself spending every night at the Diaz’s, whether it was at the end of a shift, babysitting Christopher or keeping his best friend company when Chris was at a sleepover. Never mind that he rarely stepped into his own apartment, just enough for a quick shower and a change of clothes.
He had know for a while that his loft had never felt like home the way Eddie’s place did. His love for Eddie seemed to spill over every single aspect of his life. Eddie's felt like home more than any other place he had ever lived in, his childhood home included.
Not to say that Buck didn’t like the loft. No, the problem never lay in the space itself, but on the emptiness that came with it. Buck had always longed for a family, for someone to come home to. He was always happier with living with someone, as short-term as it had always been. Unofficially staying at Eddie’s had been the ideal living situation for Buck, or as good as it could get while also being in love with your straight roommate.
He had accepted his love for his best friend a long time ago; loving Christopher too had been an inevitability. How could he not, when Chris was a part of Eddie, when Eddie’s love for his son shone through every one of his words and actions?
After Eddie and Christopher, it didn’t take long to fall for the rest: their home, Abuela, Pepa, the little family Eddie had welcomed him to with open arms.
It was confusing sometimes, how much he loved everything that Eddie loved, how much he wanted everything Eddie owned. Like his heart was trying to fuse the two of them together, to bury Buck so deep in Eddie's life that he could never leave.
Which brought him to the night before. Buck had been getting the bedsheets out to make up the couch when Eddie had turned to him with a grave look on his face. Buck had been waiting for that moment, when Eddie would inform him he had overstayed his welcome and ask him to leave. Or that, somehow, Eddie had figured out Buck’s feelings and made him uncomfortable.
He had been frozen in place when Eddie had taken the bedsheets from him and put them on the coffee table. He had grabbed Buck’s hands in his and stepped closer. Buck barely remembered hearing Eddie stutter through his words, face red and eyes shifting back and forth between Buck’s eyes and their joined hands. Buck’s head had come back online at the feeling of Eddie’s breath on his lips, his eyes asking for silent permission to close the gap.
At that moment, Buck had pulled on Eddie’s hands, crashing the man into his lips in a bruising, passionate kiss.
In the early hours of the morning, Buck’s heart picked up at the memory of what had followed that kiss. His eyes dropped to Eddie’s neck, where last night’s urgency was evident. He was glad they both had the next 48 free, otherwise Chim would never let them live it down.
The snuffles turned into light breathing, signaling Eddie was waking up. The eye not pressed against the pillow fluttered open and focused on Buck. A sleepy smile appeared on Eddie’s face.
"Mornin'," Eddie mumbled, cuddling closer. His left hand twitched on Buck's stomach, fingers trailing along his ribs and up his torso. A shiver run through Buck’s spine. The fingers reached his tattooed peck and traced the black lines softly.
“Morning. You okay?” Buck asked, voice raspy with sleep.
“Mh-mm,” Eddie confirmed, nodding slightly with his face still pressed against the pillow. Then he mumbled, “time is it?”
“Still early. We forgot to close the curtains,” answered Buck. “We have some time before we have to wake Christopher.”
“I don't wanna move. We should stay here all day.” He pressed a kiss against Buck’s shoulder.
“It’s a good idea.” Buck turned towards Eddie, leaning on his elbow. He raised his arm and pushed Eddie’s hair out of his forehead. “Counter-offer: we get up.” He dropped a kiss on Eddie’s forehead. “I prepare breakfast while you shower and wake Chris.” One on the tip of his nose. “We take him to school.” One on his cheekbone.
“Yeah?” Eddie sighed, eyes fluttering close.
“And then you and me go buy a new mattress,” Buck finished, drawing away with a smile.
Eddie frowned, raising his head from the pillow to look at Buck with confusion.
“Eddie, this is the worst bed I have ever slept in. It’s worse than your couch, which is already pretty terrible,” he explained, smiling widely at the shock on Eddie’s face.
Well, kind of. The bed was uncomfortable.
Eddie recovered quickly, identifying his jesting tone, and smiled back, propping his arm on the pillow to mimic Buck’s posture.
“Did you have sex with me just so you could sleep in the bed?” He asked with a teasing lilt.
“Well, you know. I thought I was upgrading from the couch. Is this how you make sure your one night stands don't come back for seconds?”
Eddie chuckled and slapped Buck’s chest softly. Then he cuddled closer, tucking his head under Buck's chin. They sighed in unison, tightening their arms around each other.
Buck marveled at how easy and natural it all felt. The intimacy, the teasing, the easy camaraderie and quiet comfort. It felt all new and settled at the same time. The lines between best friends and lovers were blurry, they had been for some time.
“You are not a one time thing. You know that, right?” Eddie muttered against his neck.
“I know,” Buck answered honestly at the same volume. He planted another soft kiss on Eddie’s forehead.
They stayed quiet for a few minutes, breathing each other in.
“I wasn't kidding about the mattress, though,” Buck clarified. “You do need a new one. It doesn't have to be today-”
“No, you're right,” Eddie interrupted. “Let’s go today. I’m kinda hoping you'll stay here often. Can't have you sleeping in a subpar mattress.”
“Not even your mattress can keep me away,” Buck replied sincerely. He was rewarded with a smile so bright he couldn't help but kiss it.
They made out lazily until Eddie's alarm went off. With one last kiss, Buck crawled out of the covers and into the kitchen to get breakfast ready.
By the time Chris and Eddie ventured into the kitchen, there was a stack of blueberry pancakes on the table and a fresh pot of coffee in the counter. Buck watched his two favorite people move around the kitchen with practiced ease, feeling deliriously happy. Eddie approached Buck and kissed his cheek, stealing his coffee mug in the process. Christopher looked on from the table. Buck looked at him in alarm, worried about his reaction, but the kid grinned and gave him a thumbs-up behind his father’s back.
In the end, they did go buy a new mattress for Eddie’s bed.
Buck insisted on trying every mattress at the store, laying on them while making grabbing hands at Eddie until he agreed to lay with him. They finally decided on one similar to the one Buck had in his apartment, which Eddie knew was infinitely more comfortable than his, having slept there for months during the pandemic.
Buck suggested buying it together, as he would be using it as much as Eddie. That turned into a whole new conversation about Buck’s loft, Eddie's home, and what to do when Buck’s lease was up in a few months’ time. They agreed that, while they both wanted Buck to move into Eddie’s as soon as possible, neither of them wanted to make a decision without consulting Chris first.
(Both of them were aware that Chris would be over the moon about Buck moving in, finally making him officially part of the family. When they did tell him, sitting on the couch with Chris between them, the kid let out a loud laugh. Then, he laid his hands on their knees and claimed to know that Buck moving in was only a matter of time and he had been simply waiting for them to figure it out. Buck and Eddie looked at each other over Christopher's head, awestruck, before proceeding to get their asses beat in Street Fighter.)
The christened the mattress as soon as they got home.