The knock wakes Buck from an uneasy sleep, tearing him from dreams of his team wandering through the woods, a growing mist swallowing them whole and making it impossible to keep track of them all as they trudge away in different directions, losing them one at a time to a fog that's too thick to see through.
It takes a few seconds to get his bearings, to remember that he's home, in bed.
And a few seconds longer for his eyes to focus enough to read the time on his phone to discover it's nearly two in the morning.
"What the hell?" Buck huffs, throwing back the comforter before he tosses his legs over the side of the bed, ignoring the shiver that shoots from the balls of his feet up his spine as the cool floor chills his bed-warm skin.
He's halfway down the stairs when he realizes he's only in his boxers, but just as he turns to go back up and grab some clothes, the knocking starts again, echoing through the space with an insistence that ties Buck's stomach up in knots.
Nothing good comes from someone pounding on the door at two in the morning.
He pulls the door open mid knock, ready to lay into whomever the hell has decided that the middle of the night is a reasonable time for a visit, but the words turn to ash on his tongue when he finds Eddie standing there, his fist still raised to pound on the door as Buck swings it open.
And Eddie looks like shit.
It's not even the bruises blooming up his arms and spreading over his cheekbone. It's not the split and swollen knuckles that are so prominently on display with how his fist is still floating in midair between them.
It's the nearly wild look that's burning in his eyes — pain and sorrow and grief that's smoldering just beneath the surface, threatening to explode, to consume him completely.
"Buck, I fucked up."
Buck takes a step back, clearing a space for Eddie to step in from the hallway, then leans out and looks down the hall, left and right, making sure no angry neighbours are about to come seeking out the source of the commotion. When he finds it clear of curious (or irate) neighbours, he closes the door and spins around, only to find Eddie pacing furiously in front of the kitchen island.
"Eddie, what happened?" Buck says, stepping forward just far enough that he doesn't wind up in Eddie's path. He's inexplicably worried that if Eddie stops, he might just blow. "Hey. Talk to me."
The pacing doesn't stop and Buck isn't honestly sure if Eddie even realizes he's doing it. He just moves back and forth, back and forth, a hand coming up to scrub through his hair, tugging viciously at the short locks as he goes. Buck aches to reach out and stop him, to comfort him and take away that lost look in his eyes, but he's not sure if Eddie would welcome the interruption or the touch.
"Eddie," Buck says firmly when Eddie merely continues his pacing. The tone is enough to finally get Eddie to look up, even if he doesn't break pace.
"Buck, I did something stupid," Eddie says. Buck watches helplessly as both of his hands drop down to his sides, curling into tight fists and leaving no doubt that Eddie is thisclose to swinging. "I almost killed someone tonight."
"You—what?" Buck's eyebrows draw in close, failing to understand what Eddie is talking about. His confusion must be pretty clear on his face, because Eddie's shoulders drop, just a little, some of the tension bleeding away as he provides a few more details.
"I've been fighting. Underground fight clubs, MMA stuff."
And that's...not what Buck was expecting.
"You've been fighting? Why?" The bruises and swelling finally make sense, even if he doesn't understand why the hell Eddie was doing it in the first place.
"It was—" Eddie struggles to find the words but Buck just waits as patiently as he can, which...isn't really patiently at all. He finds himself mirroring Eddie's body language as he waits, fists balling up next to him, shoulders pulling up as tension seeps into his muscles. He's getting so wound up that it almost startles him when Eddie speaks again. "It was a way to blow off steam. I've been so angry lately, and it was an outlet, a safe space to let it out. And the money didn't hurt, either."
"You were getting paid to fight? Illegally?" Buck asks. He's honestly not sure where to start. He needs more information, wants to push Eddie to open up, but there's one thought that's swirling through his mind and taking up all the space inside of him.
Eddie could have died.
The fact that Eddie was stupid enough to get involved in some sort of street fighting ring when he knows just how severe the injuries from that can be sits like lead in Buck's stomach. He could've died. And Buck doesn't know what he would have done if that had happened.
"Yeah," Eddie says, as if Buck's world hasn't just disappeared from under his feet. "And it was fine, too. I was better. It was working. But tonight...fuck, Buck I could've killed him. He almost died because I kicked him in the face so hard that his nose was knocked into his nasal cavity."
Eddie's pacing is getting more erratic, his breaths coming out faster and faster, on the edge of losing control. Buck does the only thing he can think to do.
On Eddie's next pass in front of him, Buck steps forward, directly into his path, putting a halt to the frantic steps as Eddie nearly barrels into him. Buck reaches out to steady him with hands wrapped firmly around his biceps, squeezing muscles that are rock hard with how stiffly Eddie is holding himself.
"Eddie stop. What happened?"
And Eddie deflates right in front of Buck's eyes, the words coming out rushed and messy, tripping over themselves in their rush to leave Eddie's mouth. It's painful to watch, to hear. To know that Eddie has been struggling for weeks, months even, and Buck wasn't there to help.
"I just. I needed to be in control," Eddie finishes, sucking in a breath and straightening up, his shoulders pulling back the way they do when he's calling on his military training to help see him through a difficult situation.
"And fighting seemed like the best way to do that?" Buck asks, thumbs idly stroking the skin just beneath the sleeves of Eddie's t-shirt. He should stop, take a step back now that Eddie isn't quite so wound-up anymore, but he can't seem to break the contact, to pull his hands away from the heat of Eddie's body.
"Seemed like a good idea at the time," Eddie huffs and rolls his eyes. He obviously knows that it was a terrible choice, so Buck doesn't feel the need to pile on recriminations or lectures of just how stupid it all was.
What Buck really wants to do is lean in and kiss away the hopeless look that's settling heavy and wrong on Eddie's face, but he knows that's not his place. Perhaps it could have been, once, but Buck closed the window on that opportunity when he opened the lawsuit.
Prior to that, things looked like maybe they were heading that direction. Shared looks that lingered just a little too long, casual touches that were more intimate than ones shared between people who were just friends. Buck was working up the nerve to ask Eddie out back then.
And then he found out he no longer had a job doing the one thing in his life that he'd ever been good at. The one thing that gave his life purpose.
The lawsuit changed all the 'could-be's into 'could-have-been's, and Buck has regretted it every day since then. He not only lost an opportunity of growing something more with Eddie, he lost him as a friend, too. At least, for a while. Their road to recovery for their friendship was rocky as hell, but they got there. A little bruised and tender, but they got there.
But Eddie hasn't looked at him, even once, like he did before the lawsuit.
Buck has mostly accepted that he blew his chance. He chose his job over the possibility of finding love and he needs to live with that. He has been living with that, every day since the lawsuit was filed.
So, despite the crushing urge to pull Eddie into his arms, he forces his fingers to loosen their hold, letting his hands hover next to Eddie's arms before he pulls them back to himself, crossing his arms over his chest in an effort to keep from reaching out again.
"Buck?" Eddie says, the single word coming out strained, pulled so taut that it nearly snaps. And when Buck looks up from Eddie's arms, he finds that spark in Eddie's eyes again, no longer smoldering but burning bright, spreading and growing and raging.
Buck's breath catches in his chest, his body jerking and reacting instinctively, growing hard even as he takes a step back. That look screams danger, screams heartbreak, but Buck is drawn to it like a moth to a flame, so very ready to be destroyed.
And there's nothing he wants more.
He's not sure if he closes the distance between them or if Eddie does, but between one shaky breath and the next, Eddie's lips are crashing against his, teeth knocking together with the impact, splitting Buck's lip or maybe Eddie's — he doesn't know, doesn't care. All he knows is the copper tang spreads over his taste buds, transferred from Eddie's tongue to his as Eddie forces his way into Buck's mouth, and Buck can only moan and grasp at Eddie's body, pulling him closer as if they're not already chest to chest and pelvis to pelvis. As if Eddie's hardness isn't already pressing up against the vee where Buck's leg meets his torso. As if he could crawl into the man if he can just get another inch closer.
Eddie's hands roam Buck's body, sliding up bare arms, left hand latching onto his shoulder with a bruising grip while the other continues on to wrap around the back of his neck, fingertips digging into his flesh, causing Buck to moan obscenely into Eddie's mouth as the pleasure and pain coalesce into something fucking amazing and Buck wants it to last forever.
Sooner than he'd like, the hand on his shoulder disappears, leaving a faint throb where Eddie's fingers had been pressing so relentlessly, but then a warm hand is slipping beneath the waistband of his boxer shorts, sliding over the curve of his ass before questing fingers part his cheeks and start rubbing at his hole.
Buck's knees nearly give out.
If it weren't for the crushing grip around the back of his neck, Buck thinks he may have just hit the ground, but Eddie keeps him up, trapped between his hands and his lips as he massages the furled muscle of Buck's asshole, seeking to loosen him up. With a rush, Buck suddenly realizes exactly where this is going and absolutely keens, Eddie swallowing down the sound the moment it passes his lips.
Eddie's cock twitches against him, the kiss becoming impossibly deeper at the sounds Buck is making, but just as the tip of Eddie's middle finger presses in past that first ring of muscle, his lips disappear and Buck is left gasping for air, feeling like he's caught in that tsunami all over again as the sensations come and go and leave him floundering and breathless and lost in the feelings coursing through his body.
He doesn't even know what he's asking for.
But before the words can even be lost to the silence of the night, Eddie is spinning him around, slamming him against the kitchen island and shoving his body down until he's bent in half, his chest pressed against the chilled countertop, goosebumps erupting on his skin at the sudden cold.
The small shiver that racks his body is amplified tenfold, though, when Eddie jerks his boxers down, giving him just enough time to step out of them before his cheeks are being spread open and a hot breath is tickling his exposed hole.
"Eddie, what are you—"
The flat of Eddie's tongue presses up against Buck's asshole, stealing Buck's words and breath and every single fucking thought that had been floating around in his head. And Eddie doesn't give him a chance to catch up, to adjust. He laps at Buck's hole, tongue flat at first, but then becoming pointed suddenly as it wriggles its way past tight muscle and into Buck's body.
"Holy fuck!" Buck shouts, gripping the edge of the counters so tight that the color in his knuckles bleeds away, leaving them bone white and aching. "Eddie. Fuck."
Eddie hums a response against Buck's rim and the vibrations shoot straight to his cock, nearly sending him over the edge from the sensation alone. And Eddie doesn't stop. He licks and sucks at Buck's rim, pausing only to spit in his hole and Buck suspects it's the only lube he's likely to get and he is just fucking fine with that.
He likes it to hurt a little.
With a wanton groan, he pushes his ass back into Eddie's face, demanding or begging for more, he isn't quite sure, but Eddie gives it to him anyways, doubling down in his efforts to get Buck wet and open. A thick finger presses in, hard and fast and straight to the knuckle, and Buck has to turn his head and bite down on his shoulder to keep from shouting because it burns in all the best ways and he wants more.
Wants it all.
"Fuck me," Buck pants as the initial burn fades away with each thrust of Eddie's finger, pain becoming pleasure in the blink of an eye.
Eddie doesn't break his rhythm, merely adds another finger and starts to scissor Buck open. "Not gonna hurt you," Eddie forces out through gritted teeth. Buck can tell he's barely holding himself back.
"It's what you've been wanting, isn't it?" Buck says, trying to provoke Eddie into giving him what he so desperately craves. It takes all his willpower to form a coherent fucking sentence as Eddie's fingers stroke his walls and brush over that tiny bundle of nerves inside. "You wanna be in control, blow off some steam. Maybe even hurt someone, just a little."
Whether as confirmation of the words or punishment for them, Eddie picks up the pace slamming his fingers into Buck over and over until Buck is a wailing mess, holding on for dear life as Eddie jackhammers into him.
"Is that what you want, Buck?" Eddie practically fucking growls. "You want me to fuck you hard and fast. Hurt you just a little."
"Yes!" Buck shouts, tears forming in his eyes as his prostate is battered again and again.
The fingers disappear from his ass so abruptly that Buck is sure he would have collapsed if it weren't for the fact that his upper body is already pressed flat against the countertop. He sucks in a shuddering breath but it's punched out of him even faster as Eddie lines his cock up and drives into Buck with one quick thrust of his hips, seating himself fully inside of Buck, stuffing him so full that Buck thinks he might just burst.
None of Buck's fantasies about Eddie hold a candle to just how good it feels to have the man inside of him. Eddie is big. Thicker than the toys Buck uses on himself when he's alone at night, pretending they're Eddie fingers and tongue and cock.
The real thing is a million times better.
And when Eddie starts to move, Buck sees stars.
The grip on his hips is borderline painful, but necessary for how hard Eddie is fucking him, hips snapping at a brutal pace until the entire apartment is reverberating with the sounds of skin slapping against skin, Eddie's forceful grunts, and Buck's wailing moans.
Everything else just...fades away. The world around them slowly disappears until the only thing that exists for Buck is the feeling of Eddie's cock splitting him open, filling him up like he's never felt before, and all at once it's too much. It's everything. And Buck is painting the side of the island with creamy ropes of white as he comes untouched on Eddie's cock, pleasure spiking from where they're connected all the way out to the tips of his fingers and toes.
He floats there, in a sea of bliss, feeling like his body has disappeared entirely until Eddie somehow finds the strength to pick up the pace, the already violent jerking of his hips becoming even rougher. And fuck, Buck is so sensitive from his orgasm that the overstimulation leaves tears streaming down his cheeks and has him begging between ragged breaths that sound an awful lot like sobs, but he can't bring himself to care.
"Fuck. Eddie. Come in me. Please. Fill me up. Need your come. Please. Please. Please." The words are punched out of him with each thrust until Eddie's rhythm starts to falter and Buck knows that he's close, knows that Eddie is about to give him exactly what he wants. Eddie jerks Buck back on his cock one last time, the force of the move dragging Buck's bare chest across the countertop and drawing a surprised yelp from deep inside, and then Eddie is unloading inside of Buck, just like he'd been pleading for. It's so fucking perfect that Buck can't form a single damn thought, just lays there, panting and dazed, as Eddie collapses over his back, pinning him to the countertop. Hot, ragged breaths ghost over damp skin where Eddie's mouth is pressed against Buck's spine, cooling the light sheen of sweat that's coating his body in spite of the chill in the air.
As he comes down and comes back to his senses, he sinks into the aches that litter his body, basking in the sensation of being so very well used. His neck still stings from Eddie's touch and he can already feel the bruises blooming on his hips from Eddie's crushing grip.
And it's absolutely glorious.
Better than all of that, though, is the ache in his ass and the knowledge that he's barely going to be able to sit tomorrow. Just the thought that every tiny movement he makes will throb or twinge and remind him of tonight leaves him damn near purring under Eddie's weight.
But he can practically hear Eddie's thoughts brewing above him.
"Stop thinking," Buck slurs, sounding obscenely fucked out, even to his own ears.
Eddie pulls out surprisingly carefully, considering how rough he was only a moment ago, but Buck still winces and fails to bite back the quiet hiss that slips between his teeth at the sting, his hole feeling puffy and sensitive from the battering it just took.
Buck straightens up with a groan as his body flares in all the places that Eddie marked him. He pays no mind to the feel of Eddie's warm seed as it leaks from his body and drips down his thigh, focusing his attention on Eddie himself instead.
And his heart fucking shatters at the sight.
The emotions that Eddie was broadcasting so clearly when he first showed up at Buck's door are dialled up to eleven now, threatening to destroy them both.
"Buck, I'm sorry," Eddie whispers, looking absolutely horrified. He can't seem to look Buck in the eye, choosing instead to tuck himself back in his pants. He's still fully clothed so it takes no time at all for him to be completely presentable while Buck stands there, naked and dripping and feeling like he's been gut punched. "Fuck. I'm so sorry."
Eddie is at the door before Buck can shake the shock enough to move, but it's already too late.
"Eddie, don't leave," the broken plea crashes against the door as it snicks shut behind Eddie, leaving Buck alone with a gaping void inside his chest that he has no earthly idea how to treat.
He doesn't bother putting his boxers back on. Doesn't even clean himself up. He just climbs the steps to the loft and falls into bed, curling in on himself and wishing he'd never answered the door in the first place.