Buck and Eddie had been pining over each other for years. This is a fact that Hen knows. Most days she just wants to smack them both upside the head and scream “kiss already”. She’s been able to refrain from doing that so far. These boys needed to figure out their feeling on their own.
She didn’t even know if either of them knew that they weren’t straight.
There were a lot of things that Hen didn’t know about Buck or was not sure he was telling the complete truth. The main of these suspected half-truths she thought Buck told all of them was about his time in South America, something just seemed odd about that story. There were also things that happened on calls that made her wonder about the true nature of Bucks past. Like when they were dealing with a woman on the highway sign. Before Buck put his hands up, he seemed to sway, putting most of his weight on his left foot and moving his right hand seemingly down to his hip, before changing his mind and raising open palmed hands to her. Another time she thought there was a story behind his actions but did not ask is when they all went to an air soft gun range to play against each other in which team could “kill” the other team first. Bucks team won in all of six minutes without anyone but Buck firing a single shot.
The most recent thing she noticed about Buck, but never questioned, is when Buck was talking to Eddie he would sometimes say “hayati” there was also “eini”, “ma atyabeck”, “aziz-am”, “joon-am”, “hamsar-am”, “qinai de”, “Shagua” and “xingan”. There were many more that she never could quite hear all of. She could never remember quite what these words sounded like or had even an inkling of how they could be spelled, meaning she could never look them up. She also never asked about it. Even if she did, she would probably get a half-truth story at best.
During a slow day at the station about three months after she started noticing these unknown words, she was sitting at the table, one of her med school textbooks spread out in front of her. Buck was getting a snack from the kitchen and Eddie was sitting on the couch watching the news. It was a recap of the crazy things that had been happening in Texas for the last few weeks. The volcano, wildfire, and some sort of waterpark mishap. Bobby, Chimney, and all but two other firefighters had gone on a call and were still there.
“Ma atyabeck” called Buck
“¿Si?” responded Eddie
“Where’s my phone?”
“your locker. You put it there before our last call”
“oh yeah. Thanks!”
Buck set his plate down and went to go downstairs to presumably get his phone from his locker.
‘’Oh no you don’t” Hen jumped on the chance to finally ask them about the unknown words since they had finally said them loud enough that she could reasonably question them about it. And there is no way in hell that she is going to give up that chance.
“both of you get over here and sit your asses down now” She followed up
They both looked very confused.
“What’s up Hen?” asked Buck
“I want to know what is up with the random words you have been using when you are talking to Eddie” she pointedly looked at Buck.
“what do you mean” questioned Buck
“you know exactly what I mean, I know you are a whole lot smarter than you want the world to know, so spill”
Buck got really quiet and wouldn’t meet her eyes. Snack completely forgotten. She realized he was very uncomfortable, so she softened her demeanor and voice.
“It’s just me Buck, no one else is here, Montgomery and Stovern are doing chores and won’t be done for a while and no one else is here. If you tell me I promise that I won’t tell anyone without your permission”
Buck visibly relaxed at her words.
“it will be easier to show you than to just tell you. I’ll be back with my phone, promise”
Buck got up and ran down the stars
“Slow down Buckaroo, you are not going to break another leg, especially not on my watch, Bobby would kill me!”
Eddie burst out laughing next to her. Buck didn’t respond but he did visibly slow down.
When Buck returned, he sat down and started talking, phone discarded on the table.
“so, I didn’t actually just bounce around south America before I came here…”
“ya don’t say” Hen interrupted sarcastically
“… I did spend some time in South America but with a purpose”
At that he opened his phone and clicked on an album from his gallery and then handed the phone to Hen. There were pictures of Buck surrounded by about eight to eleven people in each picture sometimes as few as just him some of about fifty people. They were all wearing military uniforms in most of the photos. The backgrounds ranged from dessert to forest to terracotta colored everything and everything in between. She did not recognize most of the people in the photos, but towards the end she saw some with Eddie in them.
“You were in the Army Buck?”
“No, I was a Navy SEAL”
Hens stunned silence seemed to fill the station. Their human form of golden retriever, youngest member of the team, almost always cheerful, had been a part of the most elite fighting force in the world.
“You knew Eddie before you met here” It was more of a statement than a question.
“Yes, we met briefly at a base that I cannot disclose, but you’ll have a pretty good idea of where if you ask Eddie where he was deployed in 2010.” Buck smiled at Hen
“So, Eddie… Where were you deployed in 2010?”
Eddie smirked “I was deployed in Iraq”
“That was a long time ago Buck, why do your pictures suddenly stop while Eddie is still in them?”
“Because when I was transferred to SEAL team six, I was no longer allowed to take any pictures”
“you were SEAL Team six? For how long?”
“from 2010 to 2018, when I joined the reserves to finish out the last three years of my contract”
“Does that mean you were there when they killed...”
Buck cut her off “You can’t tell anyone this, or I could go to jail for a very long time, but... I was more than just there”
Silent understanding came to Hen “but everything I've ever seen says that Robert O’Neil fired the final shot”
“we were the only two that came out of that room alive and he wanted the credit and I didn't, so we said that O'Niel fired the kill shot in the reports, that’s why I could go to jail for a long time, lying on a report that crossed the desk of the Oval office”
“Why haven’t you told any of us about this? Obviously not the thing that could put you in jail, but about being a SEAL?”
“When I first came here, I didn’t know if you guys would pry, and when I did feel comfortable sharing it, I felt like it would have been too late”
“It’s okay Buck” Hen said smiling at Buck “So what about the words, that I have no idea what they mean” Hen continued.
“Well, being a SEAL, I picked up a lot of languages. I am fluent in Spanish, French, Arabic, Farsi, Chinese, Mandarin, German and surprisingly quite a bit of sign language”
“See, I knew you were smarter than you were letting on, that is both amazing and impressive Buck” Hen gushed, then turned to Eddie “you have been surprisingly quiet this whole time, what’s up with you?”
Buck and Eddie looked at each other and seemed to have an entire conversation with their glances. When they seemed to come to a conclusion Eddie said “well it’s my boyfriends’ story, figured I’d let him tell it”
“I knew it, I knew you guys had a thing for each other! How long have you been together?”
“Six months” Eddie gave Hen her answer
“that was a little enthusiastic”
“yeah, I sorta might have started a betting pool about when you guys would get together and I just won like four hundred dollars”
“Who all was betting on our getting together?!” cried Buck
“You guys all suck” Buck said with a look that Hen could tell meant, I love my weird huge and slightly twisted family.
“I still want to know what all of the words mean”
“They are words from all of the languages I know, some mean “love you”, some mean “my boyfriend” and some loosely translate to things like “my world” “my soulmate” and “my everything”
Both of the boys are now smiling like they couldn’t be more in love with each other and hen had tears in her eyes.
“you guys are the cutest” Hen gushed
“So now that you know my deepest darkest secrets, anything else you want to know while we’re at it?”
“thank you for telling me Buck, I know how hard it must have been”
“you’re welcome, Hen. It was easier than I thought it would be, it’s kind of nice to have told someone”
“I am very glad you told me”
“you should start a betting pool about when you think we will tell everybody about us and have your time frame include next Sundays firefam dinner at Bobby and Athena’s” suggests Eddie
“I think I will”
“consider it a gift for med school”
“thank you, guys, you are awesome”
Just then the bay doors opened, and the firetrucks Bobby had out for the call rolled in.
“guess we should go greet them huh?” suggested Buck
“yeah, I guess we should” responded Hen
“Hey Bobby, hey Chim” the group of three walked up to the exhausted looking pair “rough call?”
“Let’s just say I’m glad our shift is done in ten minutes” responded Chim.