"Papa?" Chris had called out from his bedroom. That's new. The kid usually calls him 'dad' and 'daddy' less often. Either way, it's never been this before. He doesn't think he necessarily likes it for himself, but he doesn't exactly hate it either.
Before opening his son's door, he knocks on the wooden surface twice, awaiting a response.
"Come in," Chris announces.
He's smiling widely at the entrance to his room, and starts to giggle when he sees his dad's face. Quickly, his soft giggles turn into bellyaching laughter, and Eddie can't help but to follow suit even if he has no idea what's going on, but his laughter is so contagious.
Eddie is knelt to the side of Christopher's bed, looking him in the face through crinkled eyes.
"Not you, Daddy," he says after catching his breath. There's a presence behind him, and he knows straight away that it's his boyfriend. "I don't call you Papa. I was talking to my Buck."
Eddie smiles wider at his son, over the moon to know he feels that way about Buck. He turns his head to watch his boyfriend, but is unable to decipher the reaction. He can't imagine it being a bad one, however.
"Daddy, go. It's a secret."
He knows when he's not needed. Man, he loves his kid. "Okay, okay. I'm going. No talking smack about me behind my back."
As he stands from his place, he gently presses his lips to the hard surface of where Buck's upper arm meets his shoulder. It's soft, and caring, and hopes Buck understands it's silently telling him not to freak out and that things will be okay.
They do that kind of thing often to each other. Mostly when they're heading out to high risk calls, where one or both of them has to put their life in danger. Oftentimes it's a small hand squeeze, or a chaste peck on the lips, or even a meaningful "I love you".
Eddie waits out his two favourite boys in the kitchen, wondering what their conversation could be about. The curious side of him wants to eavesdrop, to essentially spy on them, but the logical parenting side of him tells him to not do anything of the sort. He respects his son's privacy too much for that, always trying to be as good of a parent as he can. If it's anything terrible, he has to trust that Chris would open up to him about it. Of course if he didn't want to do that, if he wanted to only tell Buck instead, Eddie trusts that Buck will sort things out perfectly, because that's just the kind of man he is.
He figures he could make two mugs of steaming coffee in the meantime, hoping that their talk won't take long so Buck's beverage won't get cold. He flicks the kettle on, listening to the water steam and heat up, and in time, boil until it automatically turns itself off at the right temperature.
With Buck, he's either just on time, or way late, nowhere in between. At this moment, he's perfectly on time, coming up behind Eddie and winding his arms around Eddie's torso as the coffees have just been poured. Perfect timing isn't the only thing that is perfect to Eddie right now.
"It's nothing to worry about, babe," Buck whispers into Eddie's clothed back muscles. "Just needed my help on your birthday gift."
Being home, with his boyfriend and his son? That's more than perfect if there ever were such a thing. Or at least, it was a quintessential moment in his life, until he heard the smallest of sniffles from the man attached to his back.
He turns faster than ever before, Buck's arms still around his body, and cradles his face in his hands, forcing eye contact.
"Evs, baby? What's wrong?" Today had been going so well. They had been partaking in a lazy day, doing nothing but fun activities around the house. First they had played with Lego, building an extravagant but indefinable medieval castle. It was a mess of colours and shapes. But it was fun. Then they had watched a few Disney movies, before Chris said he was going to do some crafts in his room. Shit, could it be what Chris had said?
The tears in Buck's eyes swim dangerously close to the edge, ready to spill over at any moment. "Do you hate me?"
What?! He could never. No matter what. "Cariño, how could I ever? What makes you say that?"
"He called me Papa, I don't want you to think I'm replacing you in his eyes. Or Shannon. She will always be his mother, I'm not related to him. I don't want you to be hurt by it." Wetness falls from his eyes, leaving a trail on either cheek, and Eddie swipes dearly at them with his thumbs.
"Love, no. I would never think that. I love that he thinks of you like that, and I know you love him the same as I do. That's all I could ever ask. Do you hear me?" He needs Buck to not only hear his words, but to actually listen and believe as well.
"Really?" Buck asks wetly.
Nodding in reply, Eddie smiles softly. "If it makes you uncomfortable, I can talk to him, tell him to stop."
The way his voice raised ever so slightly at the end of the sentence made it sound like he was asking a question. Which, he guesses, he was, but really it was more a suggestion, a hope that he wouldn't have to because that would suck, but for Buck, he would.
"No," Buck quickly responds. "It made me feel loved, special."
"Good," mumbles Eddie, and he leans forward to capture Buck's mouth with his own, slowly trailing soft kisses up his face before landing a last one on his forehead. Then he pulls him closer into a warm embrace.
But he can't wait any longer. He needs to quickly pop his head in to Christopher's room and ask him what he had been planning on asking for the last three months.
"Wait here," he says hurriedly before rushing off in the direction of their bedrooms.
He leaves a confused Buck standing in the middle of the kitchen, but doesn't look back as he jogs away.
"Chris," he speaks through the half open doorway.
"Would you be okay with me asking Buck to marry me?"
Like a switch was flipped in his head, the boy goes from pure concentration towards his artwork, to wide-eyed glee. He nods vigorously. "Yes, Daddy. I would love that. When are you going to ask?"
He doesn't even take a beat before answering. "How does right now sound?"
Again, like he did with Buck, he doesn't wait for any type of response or confirmation, he just takes off. He's had a ring for quite some time now, never knowing when the right time would be. He was sure he had to plan it all to the last minute detail. But right here, right now, he knows this is the right time.
Crutches clack softly behind him, and he instructs his son to sit on the couch and watch from there, without making it too obvious.
The ring is a super simple gold band, with a single small diamond sitting flush with its smooth surface. He hopes Buck likes it.
"Evan," he starts, walking up to the love of his life, manoeuvring around him so that Chris has view of both their side profiles.
"What's going on, sweetheart?"
Fuck, he loves hearing him say that. Buck calls him the sweetest names, and every single time without fail, it makes Eddie's heart flutter and his stomach perform somersaults.
Buck's eyes are full of intrigue and confusion.
"When I met you, I will be the first to admit that, we did not get along. Not for my lack of trying, but because you, for some reason, felt threatened by my presence. I never understood why, not even to this day. You are the most," he inhales deeply, stuffing the ring box momentarily in his back pocket before grabbing Buck's two hands in his own, "amazing, frustrating, beautiful, kind hearted man I have ever met, Evan Buckley."
By now, Buck has more than likely caught on to what's unfolding in front of his eyes.
"I love you, so much. Our son loves you," he mutters, quickly sending a glance Christopher's way before looking back at an overwhelmed and once more teary eyed Buck.
Then, Eddie gets down on one knee. His fingers release their grip on Buck, and he pulls out the ring, holding it in front of his face.
Buck lets out a soft gasp and allows the tears to flow freely down his face. It's a mixture of laughter and tears.
"You are the love of my life, and I want nothing more than to be yours forever. Will you marry me?"
Buck pulls his hands up to his face, wiping haphazardly at his damp cheeks.
"Oh my god, yes. Yes I will marry you, Eds. I love you so much."
Not giving Eddie time to take the jewellery out of its safe place, Buck falls to his knees, his eyes resting level with Eddie's, and pulls him in roughly by the back of his neck for a passionate kiss. More. More is all he wants. He wants Eddie to take him on the floor where they are. But Chris is there, cheering happily for them, and for himself too.
So for now, Buck settles for making out slightly too heavily for an eight year olds eyes. When Eddie puts the rig on his finger, he lets out another choked sob.
"I love you," Buck says to Eddie, then to Chris, "I love the both of you."
Chris is there in an instant, wrapping his arms around both adults necks, laughing along with them.