Wrote this real quick, I’m in a strange mood today. Have some softness! :D
Word Count: 1875 words
Eddie thinks this is what belonging to someone means.
He doesn’t think it in a possessive manner, doesn’t think of it as staking a claim, doesn’t think of it as a way to earn ownership over an independent entity. Rather, he thinks that belonging to someone means that they have all these little parts, all these little nuances that one is made of — the good and the bad, the perfections and the flaws — and they choose to stay.
He thinks of this as Buck presses against his side, at three in the morning, where the station is nothing but a sea of stillness, overcome by the drowsy allure of sleep.
They don’t say anything — they’ve never had to. All it takes is one touch, one look to let each other know what’s going through their heads — it’s all it’s ever taken.
He doesn’t know what he’s doing up, doesn’t know what prompted him to steer himself into the kitchen instead of the bunk rooms, doesn’t know why Buck came to find him. Despite the exhaustion carving its name in his bones, Eddie doesn’t think he can fall asleep.
But he sees the sleep lining Buck’s shoulders through the well-fitted T-shirt, sees it curve its way around golden skin, until it peeks at him, teasing him for something he can’t have.
Not quite yet.
Quietly, Buck leans forward to flick on the full kettle that Eddie had somehow forgotten about, slotting back into his side with all the ease of belonging. There’s a type of poetry to the way they snap together like magnets — as if they’ve spent millennia in this very spot, rooted to each other in the way of soulmates.
They’ve talked about it — spent days trying to peel back every nook and cranny of their hearts, trying to learn to be open again, trying to press bruised words and feelings into each other’s skin with all the vulnerable energy that they could muster, even if the words weren’t quite as articulate. And bit by bit, it became easier to trust each other with a new facet of their hearts they’d spent so long denying.
Somehow, it hasn’t quite sunk in that this is his for the taking.
The thought propels Eddie sideways, enough to sink into Buck and knock their temples together softly. Buck laughs softly at his insistence, but an arm comes around him anyway, curling around his waist to fit his fingers in the duvets made for him. Eddie feels like all of his skin was made to love Buck — every single part of him has somehow gravitated to everything Buck means to him.
It’s strange. For a man weathered by every form of love he’s seen in his life, still trying to build himself up while this very life kicks his feet out from under him over and over again, to earn a love as great as Buck’s...part of Eddie still doesn’t believe the other shoe won’t drop.
But he’s willing to fight to keep him close. He’s always been willing — with Buck by his side, he feels like he can do anything.
It was this drive to keep Buck close that led to a confession in the middle of Buck’s apartment, with nothing to blame it on — no alcohol, no sleep-drunk confessions, no Chris to serve as a buffer. Just three naked words, hanging above the counter top as Buck looked over at him with a wide grin, the dark of the night somehow brighter for it.
Eddie remembers the contentment of not having to keep those words locked tight around him, of not having to hold his breath every time Buck wrapped himself around Eddie, just in case they left him in a burst of emotion.
In the end, they had. They’d left him in the middle of Buck reciting a long list of information on serial killers, of all things, and Eddie wasn’t quite sure what’d prompted him to say the words at that exact moment, but he’d cut off Buck’s tirade on The Scorecard Killer by laying his heart open for Buck to read.
A few short months later, and here they both were, standing with matching rings around their fingers.
His thoughts derail when Buck nudges a warm mug into his hands, the enticing scent of chamomile and honey tickling his nose. He fits right back into Eddie’s side, arms pressed together as Eddie brings the mug to his mouth, pressing his shoulder back into Buck’s in silent gratitude.
It’s this knowledge, this intuition of his fiancé’s that catches him off-guard, every single time. Buck always knows what he needs, always freely gives it to him, but never lets him stand on an irrational leg.
And to some extent, Eddie knows that parts of him have helped Buck bloom, too. This exact intuition, this exact stand Buck takes to call him out on his bullshit...none of it has ever been part of any of their previous relationships. In Buck’s words, he knows he’s safe enough, he knows what his worth is and he knows Eddie’s not going anywhere even after they fight. He knows he can come forth and silently step into Eddie’s space without question.
To know that he gives Buck that security, Eddie almost marvels over it. Because before Buck, Eddie didn’t know what it meant to be so secure, so he understands how his partner feels about it.
He was so young the first time...so young, and far too innocent for the twisted paths that laid his way. All he knew was to react — to do what felt the most right to him. He’d made so many mistakes, had made so many decisions that’d swirled between right and wrong before ultimately choosing the one that had the greatest percentage of right when all the factors were weighed together .
He remembers telling Buck that he’d enlisted because he told himself it was to pay the bills. He also remembers trailing off, remembers his best friend filling the blanks in for him.
But back then, all those months ago, Eddie was drowning in his own guilt, guilt that had no place to go, festering in him like a parasite.
Now, he realizes. He realizes that it was to pay the bills. What made him guilty was what the decision had done to his wife, what it’d done to his relationship with his family — not for signing his name on the line, because at the end of the day, it had paid the bills during the time where neither Eddie nor Shannon could keep their heads above the water. No matter how much he regrets staying away for so long, he knows that they wouldn't have been able to afford everything they needed to keep themselves afloat, especially with a child in the mix.
It was a realization that had been a long time coming. And when Eddie did finally realize it, it opened his mind to all these other flaws that he’d been raised with, the stereotypical nature of what a husband meant, the role of provider he’d so easily melted and solidified himself into without question.
Now, all he can do is try to melt it back piece by piece, to raise his son with values that won’t hide who he is, to let him know that it’s okay to cry, it’s okay to be sad, and most importantly, it’s okay to come to his dad when he needs anything. Here, he’s confident of this love between him and Buck being a partnership, one where they both bring things to the table that build each other up, not tear each other down.
Buck presses his lips against Eddie’s temple, letting him unwrap all of these thoughts carefully without a single word.
Setting the empty mug onto the counter, Eddie turns in his fiancé’s grip, tucking his face into the nook between neck and shoulder and just breathing in. Buck’s skin is sleep-worn and pliant under him, cooling with the chilled air of the firehouse, pulse steady and beating warmth into every cell of his body.
These thoughts become a monster of jumbled threads when Eddie faces them all at once, all of them unraveling to the same conclusion, the same feeling of not deserving to be this content with his life.
He knows it’s better than it was before. He knows the cosmic irony of getting two people that form every part of him, both of which so bright, so loving, so prone to wrapping around his bruised heart and making him whole again. He knows that he has to have put some good into the universe to deserve all of this in return.
Eddie lets out a soft exhale as he relaxes against Buck, curling into the arm around him as it fits yet another piece into his fragmented body, tucking his own arms between their chests — the way Christopher sometimes does. Here, he’s safe from any of the thorns that prick him on a daily basis, even if they've dulled over the years. He doesn't know if it's because of the man he's leaning on, or because Eddie's grown calluses to protect himself, but no matter the reason, he's grateful for it.
Parts of Eddie feel consumed by just how much he feels for Buck, the remaining parts belonging to Christopher who’d been his guiding light since even before he was born. Together, the two make up the best elements of him, fitting around his shadow like a silhouette of all the best qualities — he’s only a reflection of them in moments like these, and he couldn’t be prouder for it.
Buck makes a soft sound, unintelligible to anyone but Eddie who knows there’s a question hidden in the cadence of his fiancé’s voice, in the press of his fingers against Eddie’s waist, how one hand comes up to fit itself at his nape.
Eddie curls his fingers around the metal ring he’d fished out of his locker just before coming up here, a reminder that he does have this, and even if he’s in Buck’s arms, it’s not an exhausted-fueled hallucination, not a mirage. In another couple of months, there’ll be another form of a ring on his finger, two within the span of the one year they’ve spent together like this, only cementing this reality they’ve built for themselves with every relationship they could — friends, best friends, co-parents, boyfriends...husbands.
He realizes he’s been silent too long, for the slight tension he can feel under Buck’s skin, and turns his head to wordlessly press a grateful kiss beneath his ear. His partner goes lax, holding him tighter and pressing a smile against the top of his head in an unabashedly intimate gesture.
Words fail him every time he comes forth to tell Buck what goes through his head when Eddie looks at him, the feeling that overcomes him in varying shades of fondness and affection, layered in some form of infinity because that’s how much he feels for him.
So instead, he holds Buck close, hopes that’s enough, and vows that one day he’ll be able to put this infinite, limitless feeling of love and strength into words.
One day — but for now, he's content here.
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tagged by @daredeviil zee i fucking LOVE you oh my GOD
1. Name 4 fictional characters who showcase your personality the best, with explanations if you want.
natasha romanoff, probably. we’re both just. filled with vodka and rage and also i’ve been told by several people that we give off the same vibes, and i’m inclined to agree. sort of in the sense that you know someone will fuck you over, but also if you fuck with their friends, they’ll kill you? that’s me. and then sherlock holmes (specifically from elementary) i honestly based my personality around sherlock. it’s kind of stated that he’s not neurotypical, and throughout the whole show, he’s just “weird” and people don’t like him and he’s an outsider. and he just follows logic and reason and he doesn’t give a shit about formality or politeness. and he just basically says “fuck society,” and has his own strict moral code and i’m a lot like that. sirius black. he and i are both rocking the whole “black sheep of the family” sort of thing, and also i’m just a sarcastic piece of shit most of the time, so. merida, from brave. merida honestly means a lot to me, but like. we’re so similar. the whole sense of “fuck marriage, i want freedom,” the whole conflicted relationship with her mother, the growing and learning. and just her sense of adventure? i stay inside a lot but i’m kind of impulsive and stupid and i do a lot of dumb things that turn out to be fun but also probably dangerous?
paint on fingers, big, oversized hoodies, tea stains, paintbrushes in mugs, pens everywhere, books stacked high, sunlight streaming through windows. blood on teeth, an empty ocean, waves crashing on rocks.
3. Favorite musical/play? (If you’ve never seen a musical or play, one you’d be interested in seeing?)
don’t like either, sorry
4. What is the best compliment you’ve ever received?
don’t know? probably whenever someone says “you made me cry” with my writing, or something like that. also anything @alexeishostakoff says about my writing, because eliza is a god, and when god compliments you, that kind of matters.
5. How many times have you been in love?
6. Embarrassing story or fact about yourself that makes you laugh now?
one time i was at karate and they told me to kick this guy in the face and so i did but he moved wrong and so i actually kicked him and my foot slapped his face and my toenail scratched his cheek and he was bleeding and that was pretty bad
7. Favorite Disney/Pixar movie?
8. Favorite flower or plant?
i’m just really fond of jasmine. i grew up with them, and i think they’re so fucking. they’re like dainty and pretty and yet not at all conventional, which i like.
9. What’s your favorite holiday?
christmas!!! not religious but i love the “holiday spirit”
10. Name three things that made you laugh or smile this past week.
@daredeviil , now you see me 1, and now you see me 2
11. What song would you play to introduce yourself to someone?
probably catastrophize by noah kahan
12. Name something that truly makes you feel peaceful even at your most stressed moments.
bubbly, by colbie caillat
13. What do you, did you, or would you study at college?
communications/media studies! literally u know all the times i’ve rambled about movies/social media? that
14. This is kind of a weird one, but which outfit of yours makes you feel most like yourself?
my pajamas? i know there’s that whole thing of like “dressing up makes you feel better/be more productive” but i literally hate normal clothing and when i’m in a shitty t-shirt and some shorts, i can paint or write or make anything i want
plus im like. insecure? about clothing i really can’t make outfits to save my life and so when i look “nice” i always feel like i’m playing a part, because. i’m not good at clothing so when i do look good i’m not rlly. me
15. What is a quote you live by?
i don’t really have one, sadly.
16. Name the funniest playlist name you have.
i have a playlist named “jigs” and it’s just all irish music and i have a playlist called “rando 2″ because i already made “rando 1″
17. Make a reference to an inside joke you have with someone you love with zero context.
duality and complexity
18. What is a message you would give your younger self if given the chance?
yo hey so one day ur gonna be eating lunch and staring at ur fish thinking about ur trauma and wondering how u didn’t do some bad things to urself and then ur gonna get rlly sad for like 5 hours basically just go drink some water u edgelord
19. Who is your favorite family member? (If you have no good blood family members, feel free to mention someone in your found family)
my niece, because she’s a baby, and she can’t talk
20. What’s a secret dream of yours?
to paint a wholeass wall. to just. paint the whole thing
tagging: @avengersandco @alexeishostakoff @antifaironman and @lovelyirony (sorry if u’ve been tagged already)
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