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Family Unit

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It’s just another Wednesday. They had a long shift the night before and they’ve spent the whole morning sleeping. It’s mid-afternoon now, but they don’t have the energy to do anything. So here they are, at Buck’s apartment laying on the couch, something playing on the TV.

Eddie is laying down on his back, his head propped against the armrest. Buck is sprawled on top of him, his head on Eddie’s chest facing the TV, his arm around Eddie’s waist, their legs tangled.

The sun casting its warm light through the windows, the voices playing on the TV, Eddie’s fingers in his hair, and Eddie’s steady heartbeat are heavy on Buck’s eyelids, slowly lulling him into a peaceful sleep. He has almost fallen into a dreamless sleep when his phone vibrates on the coffee table. 

He startles awake, blinking his eyes open, and before he can do anything Eddie stretches his arm out and grabs Buck’s phone. Without asking Buck, he unlocks it. A message from Maddie. Buck hums. Open it. Eddie does.

It’s a picture from when they went over to Chim and Maddie’s for dinner last week. Chris is on Buck’s lap, holding Charlotte, and Eddie is wrapped around them. Buck and Chris are looking at Charlotte, but Eddie is looking at them with a fond smile. Maddie had added a caption, ‘The Buckley-Diaz’.

“It’s a good picture,” he hears Eddie say, but Buck can’t pay attention to him, his mind focused on the picture. Is this how they look from the outside? Can everyone around them see it? And how could he not?

Deep down he has always known it, it has always felt right, but he has never put it into words until now. They are a family.

Their lives have merged so organically he hasn’t noticed it before. But it’s true, he can’t conceive his life without them anymore, they are part of him. When he’s with them, he doesn’t need anything else. Time could stop, and he wouldn’t notice. It should be scary, knowing that his whole world is in the hands of his Diaz boys, but it’s not. It’s safe and grounding, Buck trusts them with his heart. He trusts Eddie with it.

Eddie. He’s been in love with him for so long it’s like second nature now. And he knows Eddie feels something too. He’s not blind, he knows what the lingering touches and the charged glances mean. That the blind trust and the feeling of safety go both ways. They’ve been heading towards something more for a while, their relationship evolving and solidifying with every tap of their fingers, with every night spent together sharing a bed, with every we that has left their lips.

Eddie, who is holding him in his arms, watching him cautiously. He’s been quiet for too long.

He needs to do something, say something. Now that he has put it into words there's no going back. He needs to live this truth and that means to acknowledge what's going on between them. The slow pace they had silently agreed on it's not enough anymore.   

“We are a family,” the words leave his lips in a tentative whisper.

He feels Eddie’s body vibrate with a chuckle. Buck lifts his head from Eddie’s chest and looks at him in confusion. Eddie just smiles, “I know,” he says softly.

Buck places his open palm on Eddie’s chest to support himself as he stares at Eddie in awe. There’s no doubt in his eyes, no surprise. I know. Eddie had said so easily, so confident. For how long has Eddie known? How long has he been waiting for Buck to catch up?

Eddie places his hand on the back of Buck’s neck, grounding him. As if reading his thoughts, Eddie says, “You’ve been ours for a long time.”

Buck’s breath hitches. Eddie adds, “We love you, Buck. You belong with us.”

He needs to take the leap, Eddie will be there to catch him. “What does it mean for us? You and me,” he asks.

“Anything you want, Buck, I’ll take it.”

Buck’s hand closes in Eddie’s chest, gripping his shirt. He swallows, “I just want you, all of you.”

Eddie’s smile is blinding. He moves forward and with the hand on Buck’s neck, he brings them closer. They are inches apart, their lips brushing, Eddie whispers, “You have me.”

The angle is weird, the position uncomfortable, but none of that matters. Their lips meet in a gentle kiss, nothing complicated, just a soft press of lips at first. It’s simple and familiar, tastes like home.

Before it turns into something else, Eddie leans back. He places his hand on top of Buck’s on his chest. Holding Buck’s gaze, he says, “I love you,” each word marked with a tap of his finger.

Buck chuckles, soaring in love for this man. Eddie is staring at him, happiness softening his features. “I love you,” Buck answers, three taps on Eddie’s chest, consolidating the new silent message.

Eddie surges forward and captures Buck’s lips in his. The first kiss was soft and simple, sealing their decision of moving forward together. This kiss is different. This one is deeper, more urgent, catching up on all the times they held back. Buck gets lost in it, all his senses flooded by Eddie, nothing else matters, just them.

This is all he’s ever wanted, to belong, to share his life with someone. He found all that long ago, he just didn’t see it so clearly. And now he can’t stop repeating it in his head, they are a family, Eddie, Christopher and him. The Buckley-Diaz.

Time loses meaning, only they matter now, so when Eddie’s alarm goes off Buck pulls back startled, Eddie laughs at him. He turns off the alarm and steals a kiss.

Eddie's voice is hoarse when he says, “Come on, let’s go get our kid.”