If you looked up the word idiot in a dictionary, it would tell you this:
Idiot (noun) - A foolish or stupid person.
Below this definition, to provide further explanation, would be a picture. And that picture would be of Evan Buckley and Eddie Diaz. The two biggest idiots Hen has ever met.
These men could put out fires, scale buildings, and even survive natural disasters. What they couldn’t do however, was open their eyes and see what was right in front of them.
You see, Evan Buckley and Eddie Diaz had an… interesting relationship. When they first met, Hen thought that her and Chim would be breaking up fights between the two men left and right. They were in this awkward period of hating each other for… about a day , if even that, and reconciled fairly quickly. After putting their differences aside, the pair became instant best friends. Best friends that were practically inseparable. Nobody really thought anything of it. Not until the tsunami- or, to be more specific- not until Buck, who just suffered a pulmonary embolism, saved the life of Christopher, Eddie’s son with cerebral palsy, during a tsunami .
That’s when something changed. Something shifted between them. In Hen’s humble opinion, they started acting like kids in middle school. Obviously crushing on each other, yet refusing to do anything about it. The heart-eyes and nervous giggling- yes, these grown men were giggling - was becoming too much. The time had come for Hen to, for lack of a better word, meddle .
It was another typical Wednesday afternoon for station 118. Bobby was doing some paperwork in his office. Chimney was on the phone with Maddie downstairs. Buck was washing down one of the engines with a few other members of the crew. And all that left was Eddie. Sweet, sweet Eddie.
He was sitting, coffee in hand, at a table upstairs overlooking the trucks below. Normally she would think nothing of this, if it weren’t for the handsome man covered in suds within Eddie’s point of view. As Buck bent over to reach for a towel, Hen could practically feel the eyes pop out of Eddie’s skull. She’s surprised she didn’t slip on the love oozing out of the man’s every pore as she made her way over to him. This was the perfect chance to confront Eddie on his feelings for Buck.
“Oh. My. God…” She drew out, taking a seat next to Eddie.
His head snapped towards her quickly, like he was a kid getting caught looking at his christmas gifts. Something wasn’t clicking in his mind though, so he just widened his eyes, silently urging her to continue.
A smug grin crept onto her face as she quietly pointed out to him, “You have a crush on Buck.”
Eddie’s eyebrows shot into his hairline and nearly spit out his coffee, “W-what?”
“I saw how you were staring. You like him,” she said, feeling like Captain Obvious.
The man continued to stare wildly at her accusation, “N-no. I do not like Buck. Okay? No, he’s loud. And he’s impulsive. And… Oh , don’t even get me started on that little hop thing he does when he’s really happy or excited about something… so annoying. I don’t have a crush on him. Okay?”
“Okay…” Hen replied with an amused tone. “But just so you know, I’ve worked with Buck for a lot longer than you have, and I’ve never noticed his little hop thing. ”
“ … Shut up,” Eddie grumbled, standing up and making his way down the stairs.
All Hen could think about for the next few moments is how far gone that boy was. She glanced back down at the area below and noticed him talking to Buck. It sounded like he was asking if he wanted to work out with him or something, to which Buck nodded eagerly. And sure enough, as Eddie turned to walk towards the gym area, Buck did a little hop before falling into step with the man in front of him.
These two were going to be the death of her. Hen would be damned if they didn’t confess their feelings for each other soon. Eddie was a dead-end. Which only left his more, emotionally open, partner.
A few days passed, and she was ready to talk to Buck. Hen decided not to change her approach. If it almost worked on Eddie, it will for sure work on Buck. That boy was one of the strongest people she had ever met, but he wore his heart on his sleeve. So when he was alone in the locker room during shift one day, she seized her opportunity.
Now, Eddie was currently nowhere near the locker room, so she couldn’t sneak up on Buck ogling at him, like she did his other half. She would just have to be bold about this, nothing she hasn’t done before.
“Hey Buck,” she started, taking the open spot next to him on the bench. “Can I ask you something?”
He looked up at her with his classic smile, “Shoot.”
“Do you like Eddie?” she asked bluntly.
“Um… Of course I like him,” he said with a laugh. “He’s my best friend.”
Pulling a confession out of these boys, was going to be like pulling teeth. But Hen wouldn’t give up the fight that easy.
“No, Buck… I mean do you like like Eddie?” she inquired again, this time with a slight wiggle of her eyebrows.
The color of the blush spreading across his face mirrored that of the fire they put out earlier. She half expected him to deflect her insinuation, just like Eddie had. But that never came. He just sat there, mouth agape with his cheeks dusted in a light crimson.
After a few moments, he took a hard swallow and gained the courage to speak. “How…How did you know?” he worried quietly.
The poor guy looked like he just saw a ghost. Hen had never seen him so nervous, especially over something so simple. Was he scared about what she would think about it? Oh , Hen thought to herself. This isn’t about her. All of this anxious energy was about him . And by him, she means Eddie.
Like Hen has said before, these men were idiots. Buck is so blind, that he can’t even see that the man he has fallen for, fell for him as well. He probably thinks that he’s been so obvious about his feelings, and Eddie noticed but didn’t feel the same way. Luckily, Hen knows Buck very well and can talk him down from his internal panic.
“First off, relax. I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who knows,” she said, seeing his shoulders ease. “Second… Buckaroo, you look at the man like he hung the moon and all the stars. And , you may or may not do a cute little hop when you get excited, especially around him.”
The blush sprinkling his cheeks reddened, “Okay, I know you have eagle eyes, but that is some next level observation…”
She chuckled lightly at that, “Okay, okay, someone may have tipped me off about that. And by someone, I mean the man that is quite clearly smitten with you… name rhymes with Schmeddie.”
And there was that deer in the headlights look again. It was kind of endearing. Hen could see why Eddie adored the man in front of her.
“If this is some sort of joke, Henrietta, I swear… I- I’ll call Karen on you,” Buck chided.
Hen scoffed with feigned offence, “When have I ever steered you wrong Buckley? You know what… don’t answer that.”
She moved to put a hand on Buck’s knee, “In all seriousness, I really think you should talk to him about your feelings. I think it just might work out for you.”
Hen ended the conversation with a wink, and then was out the door. As she went about the rest of her day, she couldn’t help but let her mind wander.
Were her and Karen ever that oblivious? No, no because women weren’t idiots. So if you brought up all the time leading up to them getting together, where Hen would just mindlessly pine after the woman of her dreams, she would ignore it. It’s not that she was afraid of making a move or anything, it’s just… Karen’s hair was so beautiful. And her smile was so warm and caring. Not to mention how smart and clever she is. But none of that mattered now. Now, they were married with children and madly in love. They weren’t the idiots hopelessly yearning for each other… anymore.
It had been a few days since Hen and Buck’s conversation, and she was about to lose her mind. These boys were so dumb, they probably thought Dr. Pepper was an actual doctor. They both more or less affirmed that they had feelings for their best friend, yet the waltz around each other continued.
She was about to find Eddie, march over to him, and pull his stupid head out of the sand. She would then let into him about how idiotic he was, and Buck for that matter. The whole ‘You Two Love Each Other! Why Don’t You Recognize It!’ speech had been bookmarked in her mind for a while now, and she was finally going to take it out for a spin.
That’s when she saw it. (And nearly collapsed out of relief at the sight.)
Eddie and Buck were standing painfully close to each other. They were talking about something Hen couldn’t quite make out. Whatever it was had them blushing and giggling, like the idiots they were. Before she could bust over there, and smash their heads together, Eddie leaned in. Thank god Hen didn’t blink, otherwise she would have missed the chaste kiss he placed upon Buck’s lips. It was a sweet kiss, as if to say see you later . And then he turned to walk towards the area he was designated for chores, leaving Buck in a loving daze.
Hen approached the man slowly, the grin spreading across her face. He eventually took notice of her presence and met her with a grin of his own.
“So…?” she bugged with an arched brow.
“You were right,” Buck said shyly. “Thank you.”
“Ooh, what was that? Sorry, can you repeat that one more time?” she teased.
He let out a happy laugh, “Henrietta Wilson, you were right.” His smile softened a tad before continuing, “We talked about it last night and… we're gonna give this- us a shot.”
“Well it’s about damn time! I was this close to calling Athena and having her put you two in a holding cell until you figured yourselves out,” she informed. “But I’m happy for you two. You guys are disgustingly cute.”
“I’m happy too… Now how about we go upstairs and I can give you all the details?” he asked, offering her his arm.
“Oh my god, please, ” she replied, hooking her arm in his.
As they walked up to the dining area, Buck recounted last night’s escapades between him and Eddie. And while she was glad they finally saw the light, all she could think was, I can’t wait to tell Karen all about this .