Life as he knew it
Chapter 3 - We're gonna be okay.
"Baby girl, this is your new family. Everyone, meet my daughter."
Also on ao3 (3/?)
If you had asked Evan Buckley 24 hours ago if he had imagined his life would be like this, he would have laughed in your face and called you crazy.
However, here he was, marveling at how his apartment - his bachelor apartment - had become a place completely ready to receive a child.
Explaining everything to those he considered his family had been far more chaotic than Buck had imagined it would be.. Karen, Carla, and Maddie apparently knew all the curses in the dictionary, and they had no problem saying them all. Hen and Chim were silent for a few seconds - probably imagining that it was all a joke - and then joined Maddie and Karen.
Athena and Bobby acted exactly as Buck would have imagined. Surprised, and then congratulating him on the news, saving any further comments for later.
And then there was Eddie. Eddie said nothing.
For a few seconds - infinite seconds, if you asked Buck - he just said nothing. And then he raised his hand in a gesture for everyone to shut up and looked at Buck, with those serene brown eyes, as if inside he was no longer furious and more agitated than a storm.
"What do you need, Buck? How can we help?"
"I need to buy everything I’ll need for my daughter. Make this place safe for a child, find a lawyer to analyze these documents and the others that I’ll be getting. Damn, I need to choose a name, because that woman wasn’t able to do even that..”
And that was how Maddie, Carla, and Karen went out shopping like three women on a mission.
"Here's my credit card, Maddie..."
"How much can we spend ?!"
"As much as necessary, everything my daughter will need, Maddie. Don't worry about money."
"This credit card is from that account that..."
"Yes” - he interrupted his sister in a low voice so that no one could hear them -” so don't worry about spending. Whatever she needs; I mean it"
Hen and Chim volunteered immediately to go shopping for everything needed to make the apartment baby-proof. And well, who’s better than two paramedics to guarantee it was done properly?
Athena took the folder with the documents from Buck's hand, assuring him that she knew a child custody lawyer and would personally take those papers for him to review. Before Buck could even say anything, she had already walked out the door.
With that, only Eddie and Bobby remained.
Bobby, who went straight to the stove and started making something for Buck to eat, because he knew perfectly well that the men wouldn't have eaten yet and...
"You need to take care of yourself, kid, now more than ever."
And Eddie, who just put his hand on Buck's shoulder like he had when he had brought Chris after the tsunami, smiled as comfortably as possible, saying everything Buck needed to hear, without even saying a word.
"I'm here, Buck."
"I have your back."
And now he was here, hours later with his apartment completely clean and safe for a baby. A crib installed next to his bed upstairs and a dresser full of baby clothes, everything needed to help with changing diapers, and a comfortable changing mat on top of the furniture.
One side of his wardrobe had been completely emptied and now it contained diapers, more clothes (really, how many clothes did a baby need ?) And several other things that apparently a baby needed and that Buck hadn’t even known existed.
His kitchen was like that too, cupboards full with baby cups, bottles, pacifiers, formula...
Because Buck was going to have a baby living with him in less than 24 hours.
A baby... fuck.
"I still can't believe that I’m an aunt now! She is so beautiful Evan, just like you when you were a baby." Maddie sounded like she was three seconds away from bursting into tears
"Except for her hair; she has a shade of red that she got from her mother, mixed in with all that blondness."
"That woman is no mother."
"I know that, Karen. But what about my daughter? What am I going to tell her when she's old enough to ask?"
"The truth, Buck, you tell the truth. It will hurt like hell, but you need to be honest with her." Hen reached out to hold his hand for a few seconds.
"What matters now is that this little girl has you, Buck." Chimney smiled at his brother-in-law.”And she couldn't have wished for a better father."
"Damn, right. And when will the newest member of our clan join us?" Athena said in a happy and energetic tone, trying to change the mood of the conversation.
"The nurse said tomorrow; I need to prepare some documents that they need for the birth certificate."
"And a name"
"Yes, Maddie, and a name... I need to think of something."
"You’ll l find a perfect one for her, kid. I'm sure."
"Thanks, Bobby. I just... how am I going to do this? How am I going to be the father of a little girl? I have no idea what to do. I don't know how to take care of a child."
"Of course you know, Buck, you took care of Chris more times than I can count. You’re a natural. I don't know any child who doesn't gravitate towards you completely in adoration."
"This is different, Eddie; yes I am fun and great for spending a day with, playing with them and everything... but what about the rest ?!"
"Buck, dear, you’re being too hard on yourself."
"No, Athena, I'm being realistic. It's different."
"Okay, last week Chris had that stomach bug. He spent the whole night throwing up, tearful and angry. You knew I took an extra shift that night and offered to stay with him. Buck, you sat all night on the floor of his room, cleaned every time he vomited, bathed him and made him eat the soup that Pepa left for him, gave him the medicine at the right time, took care of him, and gave him all the attention and love he needed. You know exactly what to do Buck; you always knew.”
"When Danny got that flu? You showed up at our house without us calling you. You took a plush of some cartoon that he liked at the time and a full meal for all of us because you knew we were going to be taking care of him and completely forgetting about ourselves, and then you spent hours with him watching all the cartoons he wanted just so that Karen and I could eat and get some rest. Eddie is right, Buck, if there is one person in this world who is prepared to become a father, it’s you.”
"Thanks, guys. I just... I don't know; I'm terrified."
"And it's okay to be scared, kid."
"But that's why you have us, Buckaroo, we’re here for everything you need."
"I know, Carla, which reminds me, I need to ask you if you know someone to refer me to as a nanny. Bobby got two weeks off from 118, but I'm going to need someone to look after her when I get back."
"Boy, you didn't just ask me that. Do you really think I'm going to refer someone else to you to take care of our little princess? Oh, no sir, I'll take care of that beauty myself."
"What? No, Carla, you already take care of Chris and..."
"We already talked." Eddie smiled.”Carla said that she can take care of them, no problem. And besides, Christopher is going to love helping."
"Oh, he's going to go all big brother with her."
"Just take a deep breath, kid; you'll be just great, you'll see. And at the end of the day, you still have all of us ! We're all here to help you."
"Bobby is right, Evan. You’re going to be a great dad."
"Yeah...we're gonna be okay."
Sometime later, when he was alone in his apartment, Buck ran to the bathroom to shower and get ready, looking forward to going back to the hospital and seeing his daughter again. He couldn't wait to bring her home with him the next morning.
Having her in his arms again made Buck's heart grow two sizes, and if he cried with excitement when the nurse let him feed his daughter for the first time, well... who could blame him?
Leaving a hospital with his daughter in his arms was definitely not something Buck had imagined doing so soon in his life. But as he drove through the streets of Los Angeles with the adorable little girl, making all the cutest sounds while lying in the baby car seat, Buck was sure that if he could go back he would have done everything exactly the same.
Yes, he would still have gone to that bar days after removing the cast from his leg, determined not to stay home feeling sorry for himself after Ali had left.
Yes, he would still have accepted Taylor Kelly's company even if he couldn't drink himself.
Yes, he would still have had sex with her in the bathroom - again - in that bar.
Because all of that had taken him to this moment, driving to his apartment with his daughter in the backseat.
Just the two of them, because...
"Yes, Maddie, I want to pick her up alone."
"Yes, Karen, you can wait for us here in my apartment to meet her. All of you can."
"I already chose a name, but no Eddie, I'm not going to tell you!"
So when he opened the door he found all his friends there just like the day before, with the addition of Michael, May and all of the other children. There were balloons all over the first floor and a banner hanging from the window welcoming "Baby Buckley". There was a huge cake on the counter, with an image of a stork.
Everyone was waiting with a huge smile to meet his daughter.
Because Buck was not alone.
He had his family there beside him to help him every step of the way.
"Oh my God, Buckaroo, she is so beautiful. That photo did not do justice to how gorgeous she is." Athena approached as soon as Buck entered the apartment.
"My niece is the most beautiful baby in the world."
Maddie stayed close to Athena so she could see her better, both with huge smiles and tears in their eyes.
"Baby girl, this is your new family. Everyone, meet my daughter." Buck smiled, raising his arm a little so that everyone could see the baby, whose eyes were wide and curious.”This is Isabella!"
Nobody in that apartment could resist falling completely in love with the new member of the 118 family. Everyone approached to see her better and praised how beautiful she was while Buck sat on the couch to be more comfortable and hold her better in his arms.
"Oh Buck, she really looks just like you."
"Look at this birthmark; so tiny!"
"She is so adorable, she makes me want to bite those cheeks."
"Oh my God, mom, are you and Bobby crying ?!"
May exclaimed so loudly that everyone turned to see Athena and Bobby, who really had tears in their eyes.
"Give me a break, May, this is our first granddaughter." Athena waved her hand in the air, returning to focus exclusively on the baby while Bobby was beside her, nodding in agreement with his wife.
If Buck stopped breathing for a few seconds, no one seemed to notice; Athena had just called his daughter her granddaughter.
His daughter. Granddaughter to Athena and Bobby.
Of course, he had always seen Bobby as a father figure and consequently Athena as a mother figure, but knowing that the feeling was reciprocal really caught the fireman off guard.
The sound of crutches against the floor was enough to wake Buck out of his thoughts and make him smile as he saw Christopher approach, with Eddie beside him. Bobby and Athena smiled between them and then walked away leaving the three alone and went to the kitchen where everyone was preparing food for lunch.
"Chris has something he wanted to give to our new baby girl. Isn't that right, buddy?"
"Really, buddy? What do you have there?" Buck asked as he laid his daughter down in the baby nest bed beside him on the sofa.
"It's a gift for Isabella!"
With that beautiful smile that Chris always had, the boy handed the gift to Buck, who smiled even more as he took the package in his hands and opened it eagerly with both Eddie and Christopher’s eyes on him. Inside was the cutest little thing Buck had ever seen; it was a baby cow plush with little arms, and then in place of the body it was a shaggy, warm piece of fabric. Buck had no idea what it was, but he already loved it.
"It's a blankie or a security blanket. Chris had several of these when he was a baby, and it always made him sleep better." Eddie explained knowing that his friend didn't know what the gift was.
"This one was my favorite."
"Is this yours, buddy?"Buck asked, looking at Christopher with a puzzled expression, and when the boy nodded, stating that the plush was, in fact, his, Buck felt his eyes sting with tears. He looked at Eddie, who just smiled at his friend without saying anything.
"This is really nice of you, Chris; are you sure you want to give Bella your favorite blankie?"
"He protected me from monsters, Bucky, now he's going to protect Bella too. He was my best friend! Until you showed up."
"Oh buddy, you are my best friend too, did you know that ?! And I'm sure he will protect Bella just as he protected you."
"Do you think she'll like Moowie ?!”
“Moowie? You named him Moowie? Moowie the cow?”
“Yes, that's his name. Moowie. Do you think she'll like him?”
"Yes, I'm sure she will." He took the blankie to the baby, placing it right next to her. She looked at the plush with curiosity, then made a noise, apparently enthusiastic about the new toy.”See?! She loved her gift, buddy. I promise I will always keep it with her when she goes to sleep."
"To keep the monsters away!"
"Yes, buddy, to keep the monsters away."
Later, Christopher was sitting beside him on the sofa holding his daughter in his arms, with the biggest and most beautiful smile that Buck had ever seen on the boy's lips. Eddie was kneeling on the floor facing them, helping Chris to hold the baby while he played with Bella at the same time. All of his friends were around him, talking and laughing, like a big family.
Yes, Buck did not doubt that everything would be fine.
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I love nothing more than to see you talk abt things so I'm gonna give you questions from the meta game! >:D 7, 18, 20 and and 5!!!! (Giving you so many cause I miss talking to you :( )
Ok but I love nothing more than to stare lovingly at your icon while whispering sweet nothings so where does that leave us. HUH. Come manifest in my kitchen and hug me softly about it
(From this ask list! // this one got a bit long, so under the cut!
5: I answered this one HERE and I hope you feel deep kinship that I also said in most cases Li Cu ✨👀
7: What do you think are the characteristics of your personal writing style? Would others agree?
Ok I’m going to try really hard not to be self-deprecating in my answer to this 😭😂 I think my style tends to be...
Rather wordy; I have a lot of loosely structured, long sentences, and I use a lot of “extending” punctuation (like hyphens or semicolons)
Lots of (cough religious cough) metaphor and simile, but not necessarily a lot of physical description (I think I’ve mentioned before that this is something I’m working on improving, inspired by @merinnan and @xantissa’s amazing use of descriptive language?)
I tend to write adjectives in sets of 2 or 3, i think? This isn’t something I’ve actually noticed, but I’ve seen people comment on it!
LOTS of body locators (RIBS! STERNUMS! MORE RIBS!)
Discrete / contained arcs; I tend to write shorter one shots over longer pieces, and that impacts how plot shows up (...if at all) in my stories
Honestly I think @cross-d-a and @humanlighthouse put it best, respectively, with:
18: I answered this one HERE and I’m YELLING because what plots do y’all think I’m hiding in my 1000 word fics !!! I love you all so much holy fuck
20: Tell us the meta about your writing that you really want to ramble to people about (symbolism you’ve included, character or relationship development that you love, hidden references, callbacks or clues for future scenes?)
Oh fuck :) you’re really in it now aren’t you :) you really do be asking :) you did this to yourself :)
For language/symbolism: I really, really, REALLY love metaphors that are incongruous, or that don’t really match with the part of the body you’re describing. Using color to describe taste, using smell to describe sensation, using impression to describe tactile touch. @cross-d-a is a MASTER of writing this way, and @s1utspeare also uses this style a lot! It’s not my own style, yet, but it’s something they have both inspired me to try to do more, and I think a few examples of small descriptive phrases that I’m proud of are:
“loved the Wu Xie whose sharp canines promised the blistered edge of a supernova” from Basket of Bone, Ch. 4
“He stumbles, almost drunk on the barbed gouge in his heart,” from the PangXie chapter of Cross’s Bday Bundle
Also I described someone’s voice as “like steel wool” somewhere, and I vibe with it
In terms of character development: y’all know I have to talk about the threesome fics here. So to preface: I’ve always found threesomes, smut or otherwise, a wonderful way to explore the dynamics and identifies of characters, both individually and in concert. It’s honestly probably why the Iron Threesome I’ve written has been porn-with-minimal-plot? Because, to me, I really like exploring their cohesive selves through the sex? I don’t know if that makes sense lol. But I think Pangzi in Amen, Amend is probably the most obvious example here — I really loved getting to frame him as someone in this amazing, adoring, caretaking sense, for both of his partners, and how they both react to him in that same vein. I think I understood Pangzi much more as a character when I finished that piece, to be honest.
Sorry that was a lot more description of my porn than anyone asked for 😭 but it’s something I don’t really talk about that I do put a lot of thought into!
@s1utspeare actually also commented on intimacy in my smut the other day and it kind of made me cry, so I think it’s extra on the brain
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