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Stunning

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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.

"Eddie. What—"

"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.

"Eddie, please."

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.

Guilt.

Regret.

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.

Chapter Text

He doesn't sleep.

For nearly four hours, Buck lays in bed, unmoving, unseeing. His mind cycles through every version of what he could have done differently, what he should have said, what's going to happen when he sees Eddie at the station come morning.

It's an unending parade of hypotheticals and self-recriminations, all the way up until his alarm signals the start of a new day.

It's not a day he particularly wants to face.

But then he remembers the look on Eddie's face just before he left; the self-loathing that hurt to bear witness. Regardless of what happens with their relationship — whatever their relationship is — Buck knows they need to have a conversation about what happened. He's not willing to let this destroy their friendship or cause tension between them at work. There's far too much at stake to allow for either of those things to happen.

So he drags himself out of bed and heads to the bathroom, still naked and coated in dried come and feeling none of the glow that suffused his blood only hours ago. He steps directly into the shower and blasts the water as hot as he can stand it, hot enough to sting his skin and make him flinch away from the heat.

His shower lasts a little longer than usual, but he's not terribly worried about being late. Not today. It's more important to take some extra time to get his head on straight than it is to show up right at shift change. He takes his time getting cleaned up, washing Eddie from his skin with a twinge of loss that he does his best to brush aside, knowing there's a very real possibility that he'll never have the man on him or in him again.

After he finally shuts off the water, he gives his hair a quick once over with the towel before wrapping it around his hips, but he freezes in place the second he catches sight of his reflection in the mirror.

Eddie's hands are all over him.

Red marks, faded but so very real, wrap around his shoulder and the back of his neck, but it's his hips that truly capture his gaze. Peeking out over the top of the towel are clear, finger-shaped bruises, already a deep purple that makes his heart flutter wildly against his ribs. A flick of his wrist and his towel is sinking to the ground, puddling around his feet, leaving himself bared to fully inspect his skin.

The livid marks spark vivid memories, flashes of their encounter looping in his mind, made all the more real by the glorious marks that litter his body. He brings a hand down to press on the bruises, trying to match his fingers up with Eddie's handprints, relishing in the dull throb that resonates through his body.

He gives himself a moment to enjoy the feeling and then hurries to get dressed, and is out the door and on his way to the station less than ten minutes later.

He intends to fix this.

He's in the locker room when Eddie comes in, but Buck doesn't even have a chance to get to his feet before Eddie is having it out with Bosko. Buck watches curiously as she yells something about her cat as she walks away, wondering what the hell that was all about but putting it on the back-burner for the time being. He takes a deep breath and gets halfway to the door of the locker room, fully intending on pulling Eddie to the side before their shift starts to get things sorted out, but Bobby beats him to the punch. The captain calls Eddie up to the loft area before Eddie even has a chance to change, and something about the tone of Bobby's voice has Buck on edge where he stands, still completely unnoticed.

And he knows he shouldn't, that it's none of his business, but his feet carry him to the stairs, going up just far enough to overhear some of the conversation without being spotted.

He hears Bobby tell Eddie he doesn't have to lose everything before he allows himself to feel anything.

He hears Eddie struggle to keep from breaking apart as he talks about letting Christopher down, the crack in his voice saying more about the pain Eddie is in than the man himself would ever admit to with his carefully chosen words.

Then he hears about Shannon asking for a divorce before she died, and Buck's heart drops into his stomach. Eddie had tried so damn hard to make things work with her, opening himself up in a way that didn't come naturally to the stoic and reserved man, so Buck understands intuitively just how devastating that news must have been.

With everything Eddie's been going through — everything he's been keeping bottled up inside — it's no wonder he turned to fighting as an outlet. Buck is in the middle of firming his resolve to be there for Eddie — to make him understand that he can talk to him when things get difficult and life just piles the crap on until it's impossible to move, to breathe — when Eddie's final words float to him, just barely loud enough to hear.

"I wasn't enough."

And those words fucking hurt. Because Eddie is more than 'enough' to Buck, and has been for a long time now. The fact that Eddie doesn't seem to realize his worth leaves Buck reeling, leaves him reaching out to grab onto the railing just to keep himself steady.

As much as he'd love to rush over to Eddie and tell him just how much he means to him, he understands now is not the time. Eddie needs some space to decompress and Buck needs some time to process.

Lost in a flurry of thoughts, Buck makes his way down the stairs and back to the locker room.

"Hey there, Buckaroo," Chimney says, clapping a hand on his shoulder right where he's red and tender from Eddie's grip and Buck has to bite down a moan at the abrupt reminder of last night. "You're not looking so hot. You feeling okay?"

Buck knows he needs to get his head on straight. He can't be distracted by this as they work, and he definitely doesn't need the team checking in on him throughout the day. So he takes a deep breath and lets it all fall away, knowing that it can wait until the end of their shift to deal with.

"Yeah, I'm good, Chim," Buck says, his trademark smile slapped on his face. Chimney eyes him for a few seconds but, thankfully, drops it with a quick pat to Buck's shoulder.

And then they're called to a warehouse to rescue a man who was attacked by a robot after he pissed on it, and the job takes over every inch of space in his mind. He and Eddie work flawlessly together like they always do, like Eddie didn't just show up at Buck's apartment the night before and fuck him raw. Like Buck isn't feeling a pleasant twinge, inside and out, every time he moves.

Once they finish in the warehouse, once Hen and Chimney have loaded their patient into the back of the ambulance and driven away, Buck takes the opportunity to head over to Eddie where he's stowing their gear back in the truck, far away from prying eyes as everyone goes through the motions of wrapping up the call.

"Uh. Hey, Eddie," Buck says, doing his best to keep the conversation light. Breezy. He doesn't want to delve into anything here, just wants to set up a time when they can talk. "I was wondering if you wanted to come back to my place after shift. To talk about…" Buck takes a quick look around and drops his voice to a near whisper as he says, "what happened last night."

"Buck, I'm so sorry." Eddie scrubs a hand over his face but it does nothing to hide the anguish that overtakes his features. "I never should have—" Eddie huffs out a laugh that's full of pain, and God, does Buck ever miss the warmth of Eddie's laughter. His real laugh, though. The one that crinkles his eyes and comes from deep in his chest, lighting up whatever room he's in. Not this poor imitation that holds none of the joy that Eddie's laugh should. "Shit, I never should have done most of the things I did yesterday."

Buck isn't quite sure how to take that, but then the radio is crackling to life, calling for units to an accident, clipped sentences explaining that Hen and Chimney's ambulance was involved in a collision. Just like that, their baggage disappears. Firefighter Buckley and Firefighter Diaz are on the move, ready to do whatever it takes to save a life.

Unfortunately, despite doing everything that can possibly be done, some lives just can't be saved.

The rest of their shift is filled with statements and red tape and by the time they're given the all clear to leave for the night, Buck is more exhausted than he would have been had they been battling a five alarm blaze. Eddie has avoided him since they cleared the scene of the accident and Buck's resigned himself to the fact that their conversation is just going to have to wait another day. He's pretty damned stoked, then, when Eddie catches him just as he's about to head home for the night.

"That offer to come to your place still stand?"

"Uh. Yeah. Of course," Buck stumbles over his words.

Twenty minutes later Buck is leading Eddie into his apartment, trying to disguise the shiver that rocks his body as he glances at the kitchen island and remembers exactly how it felt to have the weight of Eddie's cock inside of him, to feel the strength of his hands as they bruised his hips.

"Beer?" Buck heads to the fridge and pulls the door open.

"No. Thanks," Eddie says quietly. At a questioning glance from Buck he shoves his hands in pockets and adds, "Need a clear head for this."

"Well, that sounds ominous." Buck lets the fridge door swing closed, hands empty of the beer he'd been searching for. He's nervous all of a sudden, worried about where this conversation is heading.

Eddie moves to the far side of the island, keeping a space between them that Buck wants to bridge more than anything else.

"Look, Buck," Eddie sighs. "I'm sorry."

Buck's about to give him hell for apologizing, again, when Buck had been wanting it — wanting Eddie — for years, but Eddie's next words lock Buck's tongue in place.

"Our first time shouldn't have been so rough."

Buck's mind short circuits for just a second or two, stuttering to a halt before he can form the words that he so desperately needs to ask. "Our first time? As in...th-there'll be more?"

He doesn't want to get his hopes up. If last night was just a way for Eddie to burn off some pent-up energy, he's okay with that (he has to be okay with that, because he's not going to do anything else to risk their friendship).

But Eddie doesn't look like he regrets anything when he quietly states, "Only if you want there to be."

"Of course I do," Buck says simply. Eddie's smile, small as it is, lights a fire inside of him, lending him a warmth he didn't even realize he'd been missing since Eddie walked out that door last night. "I just wasn't sure if it was something you wanted."

Eddie chews on his cheek for a moment, his eyes cast down. "I didn't exactly handle things well last night. I took you too hard and I left you alone. Fuck, Buck, I really messed up. I'm sorry."

Buck rounds the island, only stopping when he's close enough to Eddie that he can feel the heat of his body where they're so close to being pressed together.

"Pretty sure you didn't hear me complain about how rough you were with me," Buck says, his voice thick with arousal just from being in such close proximity to Eddie. "Frankly, if you want to use me like that more often, I'm game. Seems like a good alternative to cage fighting for you to blow off some steam."

Eddie chuckles despite his obvious attempt to hold it in, and Buck thinks that, just maybe, it wouldn't be such a bad thing to get his hopes up after all.

"Maybe just...stick around next time?" Buck murmurs, slipping his hand into Eddie's and tangling their fingers together. The sex was mind-blowing, but being left alone afterwards was crushing. He needs to know it's not going to happen again if they pursue something more between them.

Eddie uses his free hand to cup Buck's jaw, angling them so they're face to face and Buck is looking him in the eye. "I'm tired of running, Buck. I'm tired of pretending I don't feel this way about you. The accident today reminded me how fast we can lose everything, and I don't want to waste another minute away from you."

When Eddie leans in to kiss him this time, it's so much softer than the night before. All of the need, none of the ferocity. It feels like love and Buck smiles into the kiss, feeling Eddie's lips mirror the movement almost immediately.

"Next time, we do this right," Eddie says quietly, words floating into Buck's mouth. Into his soul. "Next time, I take you apart slowly. Take my time with you. Show you how much I care about you."

"Maybe next time can be, like, now?" Buck grins, grinding his hips against Eddie's. He still hasn't felt Eddie's hands on his cock. Hasn't gotten to taste Eddie's release. He wants it all, and more.

"Oh, that's how this is gonna be, huh?" Eddie chuckles.

He's beautiful when he smiles.

Buck decides then and there that it's going to be a life goal of his to make that happen more often.

"You know you like it," Buck teases, nuzzling into Eddie's neck and breathing him in, letting Eddie fill him in the only way he was missing the night before.

The soft hum that thrums through Eddie's chest is merely confirmation that he's right.

Before he knows it, Eddie is walking him backwards into the living room, dropping kisses to his lips with each step they take, strong arms guiding him to keep him from falling. Ever so gently, Eddie lowers Buck to the couch and climbs up over his body, mouth trailing along his neck, stopping only to suck a light mark over Buck's pulse point before continuing on, kissing and licking and nipping at every inch of skin he can reach like he could explore Buck for days and never get bored.

It's exhilarating.

But as Eddie's fingers move to Buck's pants, popping the button free and moving to the zipper with practiced ease, Buck realizes he needs to say something about what he heard today before things go any further.

"Eddie," Buck says so quietly that it takes a few seconds for Eddie to realize Buck has spoken at all and look up from where he's licking over the shell of Buck's ear.

"Hmm?" Eddie's features have all softened, adoration wiping away the worry lines that have a tendency to crease his beautiful features. He looks...happy. and Buck can only hope he isn't throwing a wrench in the works.

"I um. I overheard something today," Buck admits, waiting for Eddie's raised eyebrow as a sign that he's truly listening before carrying on. "You're enough, Eddie. You're so much more than enough."

For half a second, as Eddie's face begins to crumple, Buck thinks he's ruined everything before it can even start. Again. So it takes a beat to realize it's not hurt that's tugging at Eddie's features. It's love.

Buck pushes himself halfway up, just enough to reach Eddie and slide their lips together, soft and slow, letting it say everything that he can't find the words for just now.

With all their cards on the table, with no more secrets between them, kissing Eddie is...a revelation. He pours everything he has into it and drinks in Eddie in return, and it feels like his world is rearranging as Eddie lays him back down, following the movement with his own body, taking Buck apart with nothing more than his lips and his tongue.

Soon, though, Eddie's hands are slipping beneath Buck's t-shirt, gently pulling it up over his head, his lips only leaving Buck's long enough to remove the fabric before he's devouring him once again, their tongues performing the complicated dance with an ease that makes Buck soar.

When Buck pulls back to catch a breath, Eddie simply moves down, kissing along his jaw to his throat, then down his chest. He detours to each nipple, one at a time, licking and sucking and biting oh-so-lightly until Buck is moaning beneath him. And then he looks up with that cocky fucking smile as he works on Buck's pants, tugging them down just far enough for his cock to spring free, slapping against his belly with a muted thud.

Eddie pauses as Buck is bared, but it's not because of his newly freed erection; his eyes lock on the bruises on Buck's hips, the perfect match to Eddie's hands. His mouth opens and closes, clearly at a loss for words, so Buck decides to lend him some of his own.

"I like them," Buck says quietly, bringing his right hand down to trace over the marks on his hip, pressing down with a satisfied groan. "I like the reminder that you were here. Like to push on them and feel the ache."

He's already hard and leaking precum just from being kissed senseless, and pressing on the bruises only makes his cock twitch on his belly, proof of the truth behind his words. And Eddie...well, Eddie doesn't waste a second more, wrapping a fist around Buck's cock and guiding it to his mouth, lapping up the moisture there like the sweetest nectar, all while looking up at Buck through those thick eyelashes.

Buck knows he isn't going to last.

Eddie seems to know it, too.

"Come for me, Buck," Eddie says after releasing the tip of Buck's cock from between his lips with a filthy pop. His hand moves in slow steady strokes over Buck's length, jacking him off as he speaks. "Let me taste you. Let me make you come in my mouth."

As soon as the last word is out, Eddie is dropping his jaw and taking Buck deep inside. He works his hand and mouth in tandem, alternating shallow bobs with deep dips of his head, taking Buck all the way into his throat, all while he jerks Buck's shaft and fondles his balls.

And Eddie watches Buck almost the entire time, only looking away when his eyelids flutter closed as Buck's cock presses into the tight ring of his throat. It's like he's cataloging every twitch of Buck's hips, every moan that passes his lips.

Like he's learning how to play Buck's body.

Like he intends to practice until he's perfect.

The thought has Buck shooting down Eddie's throat, orgasm taking him so suddenly that he doesn't even have time to warn Eddie before he's spilling into his mouth. Eddie doesn't seem to mind. In fact, he seems mighty pleased about it as he strokes Buck through it, swallowing every last drop and only pulling back when Buck hisses at the contact.

But Eddie doesn't go far. He lays Buck's cock back down against his stomach then scoots down on the couch, grabbing a pillow to toss under Buck's hips, and then he's settled between Buck's legs, tilting his hips up just enough to bury his face between Buck's cheeks.

If last time was a sprint, this time is a marathon. Eddie takes his time, circling Buck's rim with kitten licks around the muscle, waiting until Buck is writhing beneath him before he even makes it to the center. Then he licks and sucks and drives Buck absolutely wild for what feels like hours before he pokes his tongue through the wet and waiting ring and starts to lick Buck open.

Fingers come next, but by that point Buck is already so far gone, lost in his pleasure, that he doesn't even feel the stretch as Eddie goes from one to two to three fingers. There's never more than a gentle graze over his prostate, but even still Buck can feel himself careening towards another climax.

"Eddie, I'm close," Buck cries, arching his hips off the couch, chasing his pleasure while simultaneously trying to keep himself in check, and Eddie is having none of that.

"Good. Come for me. Show me how much you like having your hole played with," Eddie says, pumping his fingers a little faster. "Let me make you come before I fuck another one out of you."

Buck blames the flood of hormones in his brain for the fact that he's only now realizing that this was Eddie's plan all along, to pull as many orgasms out of Buck as he possibly can.

The knowledge makes his toes curl, but it's not until Eddie licks up his perineum and sucks his sack into his mouth, tugging playfully while he massages Buck's prostate with his fingers that Buck comes a second time. It's like a jolt of electricity through his entire body, muscles pulling taut, head arching back as he comes all over his stomach, shooting his release as far up as his chest.

And Eddie sees him through it once again, pumping his fingers nice and slow, the suckling of his balls becoming a series of gentle kisses as Buck comes down, slowly but surely. It's not until Buck turns into a puddle of jelly on the couch that Eddie pulls out completely and kisses his way back up Buck's body until his lips are just next to Buck's ear.

"Lube?"

"Nightstand," Buck breathes out. His eyes are still closed but he can sense Eddie's smile at just how fucked-out he sounds. He can't bring himself to do more than aimlessly swat his hand in Eddie's general direction, but Eddie's heat has already disappeared from on top of him and the sound of footsteps padding up the stairs announces Eddie's arrival in the loft above.

By the time Eddie gets back, Buck is laying boneless and spent on the couch but has at least managed to drag his eyes open. He feels almost drunk as a crooked smile tugs at one corner of his lips, watching as Eddie crouches down next to him and cups his face with a tenderness that makes Buck sigh.

"I'd really like to fuck you now. You up for that? Or do you need to wait a little?"

It's entirely possible that Buck has never wanted anything more in his life.

"Yes. Please," Buck murmurs. There are few things he loves more than being used after he's already come and his sensitivity is dialed up to eleven. The thought of Eddie fucking into him after two orgasms has his blood buzzing before Eddie's even moved from next to him.

"Fuck, you're beautiful like this," Eddie whispers kissing him one last time before he's pushing up from the floor, dropping the lube next to Buck's hip on the couch.

Eddie had remained fully clothed during their last encounter, but now, he's pulling his shirt over his head and kicking off his shoes the minute he's upright. As much as Buck would love to lean back and enjoy the view, though, he finds himself pushing up and leaning forward as Eddie's torso is bared.

His body is a Jackson Pollock of bruises, shades of livid purple and blue tempered by healing hues of green and yellow, all splashed across Eddie's skin with no apparent rhyme or reason.

"Jesus, Eddie," Buck whispers, reaching out until his fingertips are grazing the marks.

How had he not noticed this?

"It's fine," Eddie says quickly, a gentle hand coming up to meet Buck's, wrapping around his fingers and giving them a quick squeeze. "It looks worse than it is."

Buck has basic medical training. He knows it's not as severe as it looks, but he also knows exactly how bad it could have been. His biggest concern right now is making sure that Eddie isn't going to do this again. Ever.

"I need you to promise me that you're done with this," Buck says, looking up at Eddie from his perch on the edge of the cushion. "I can't lose you. Neither can Christopher."

"I know," Eddie says, eyes cast down to the ground. "I'm done with fighting. I promise."

Buck doesn't doubt Eddie's word for a second. He can feel the sincerity in the promise and knows that Eddie is finished with his life as a cage fighter. Buck hopes that, together, they can move forward. Support each other. And if a rough fuck works anywhere near as well as a fight to relieve the pressure when it builds in Eddie, well, Buck is more than happy to step in and take that kind of pounding.

"Okay," Buck says simply. He doesn't want to weigh down the moment with heavy discussions and vows to do better, so in lieu of all that, he tugs his hand free and trails his fingers to the waistband of Eddie's pants, intent on finishing the job Eddie started.

And Eddie lets him. Soon enough, Eddie is in front of him, gloriously naked for the first time and Buck's mouth waters at the sight. He's just considering taking that gorgeous cock into his mouth, tasting the man and putting the considerable skills he earned as Buck 1.0 to good use, when Eddie's chuckle draws his attention back up. Warm eyes look down at him, paired with an amused grin that makes Buck's heart sing.

"Maybe next time?" Eddie suggests. He lifts a hand to Buck's chin and tilts his face up, leaning down to kiss him, sucking on Buck's lower lip for a moment before pulling back and adding, "You've got me so turned on, I'm not gonna last long. And I still want to get one more orgasm out of you."

Buck's honestly not sure if he's going to be able to come again. Coming twice in such a short span of time was already pushing the limits of his refractory period. But the fact that he's half hard again gives him hope and, frankly, if Eddie wants to try, he's definitely game.

"So what are you waiting for?" Buck tosses on his cockiest smirk, egging Eddie on and before he knows it, he's laying back on the couch again, one leg over Eddie's shoulder and the other wrapped around his waist, sucking in a deep breath as the lubed head of Eddie's cock nudges up against his loosened hole.

Buck is still tender from Eddie pounding him so hard last night, so the first slide in, as slow as Eddie takes it, is still a beautiful combination of pleasure and pain and Buck absolutely adores the sensations. He only realizes he was holding his breath once Eddie is fully seated, his balls nestled up against Buck's body, and the air rushes out in a needy sigh.

"Beautiful," Eddie whispers as he moves his hips in tiny circles, waiting for Buck's legs to tighten around him and pull him in further before he starts to move in earnest.

And it's fucking glorious.

The slick slide, gentle where it was hard and fast the night before, is everything Buck's ever wanted. Everything he's ever needed.

The pace Eddie sets is slow, steady, his muscles tensing and releasing as he moves inside of Buck, drawing moans and sighs and curses from them both. And watching Eddie like this, chasing his pleasure and Buck's alike, is a sight to behold. He's breathtaking.

"Can you come on my cock, Buck?" Eddie grits out after a while. His pace is becoming a little more halted the longer they go, and Buck suspects he's keeping himself from coming until Buck does. "Or do you need a hand?"

When Buck reaches for his cock, knowing he's going to need a little more if he has any hope of coming a third time, Eddie bats his hand away and takes hold of Buck's cock himself, stroking him in time with his thrusts without ever breaking his rhythm.

Buck whimpers.

He's so fucking sensitive and having Eddie brushing over his prostate with each pump of his hips while jerking him off is almost too much.

Almost.

"Fuck," Buck pants, fingers scrambling for purchase on the couch below him as his body rocks and shakes. "Eddie."

"I got you," Eddie grunts, strung so tight that Buck doesn't understand how he hasn't blown yet. But then Eddie reaches down with his free hand and wraps his fingers around Buck's hip, the heel of his hand resting on the darkest part of the bruises there and he squeezes, and every single thought in Buck's mind vanishes.

He's vaguely aware of his own climax and even more distantly aware of the warmth that blooms inside of him as Eddie follows him over the edge and comes with one last thrust into Buck, but he's mostly just lost in the ether, untethered from his body.

When Eddie's weight drops on top of him, hot breaths sliding over his neck, Buck thinks it's possible that he's never been happier.

They lay there like that, silently wrapped in one another's arms, until both of them have caught their breath, until their heart rates approach something bordering on normal. Until Buck's mind comes back online and starts firing off a million rapid-fire questions about what this all means and where they go from here.

"So, um," Buck asks eventually, "Are we like, dating now?"

He really hopes the answer is yes.

"Hate to break it to you, but I think we've been dating for like, a year." Eddie says, the words slightly muffled since his face is still buried in the crook of Buck's neck and shoulder. There's a happiness in Eddie's tone that makes Buck damn near giddy.

Buck thinks back to all the times they've gone out for drinks after a shift, or back to Eddie's place to spend the evening playing video games with Christopher. All the weekends they spend together, all the times people have mistaken the three of them for a family.

"You know, you might be right," Buck says, attempting to keep a straight face and failing miserably as a determined smile breaks through. "Did you know Maddie asked me about my crush on you back when I was still living at Abby's?"

"That long ago, huh?" Eddie asks, shifting them around so that Eddie is in the crease of the couch and Buck is laying half on top of him. It's surprisingly comfortable and there's not a single place Buck would rather be.

"Don't let it go to your head," Buck laughs and nips at the nearest bit of skin he can reach, startling an answering laugh from Eddie.

The way Eddie holds him a little bit tighter at the admission, though, and the way he kisses him so softly it steals Buck's breath away, it tells Buck that he's not alone in his long-harboured feelings.

It may have taken them a good long while to get there (with a few heartbreaking detours along the way), but laying there with Eddie, sated and feeling cared for in a way that he's not sure he's ever experienced, Buck thinks he wouldn't change a single moment. Their journey was theirs, and it led them here, to this, to each other.

And the view from here — the view of their future, together — is pretty fucking stunning.