They’re in the hospital. Again.
Bobby honestly hadn’t realised that recruiting their newest member of the team would require so many trips to the hospital (enough that he now knows the names of half the doctors and nurses here) but, evidently, Evan Buckley had managed to prove him wrong. Normally, they end up in the ER for a few stitches or a quick check to make sure there’s no serious damage done however, this time around, the accident was a little more serious.
Buck had managed to fall from a ladder on their call earlier today after they attempted to enter a booby-trapped house. He’d been unfortunate enough to choose the one window of the house where a bowling ball (or something similar, at least) swung out of nowhere and knocked him off balance. Landing awkwardly from a height such as that had left Buck with a painfully broken arm.
He’s okay, though, thankfully. It was a fairly clean break, only a couple hours in surgery. Bobby’s glad, unbelievably so. He’s not entirely sure what he’d do if Buck had been seriously hurt.
Bobby is drawn out from his wandering thoughts when the door is carefully pushed open and a nurse slips into the room. She offers them each a small smile, heading straight towards the machines Buck is hooked up to, checking on his vitals.
“How’s he doing?” Hen asks from the chair she’s occupying, not bothering to hide her concern. Bobby guesses they all look as worried as she does.
Buck’s pretty much become a part of their tight-knit family in the past few months.
“He’s doing great.” the nurse assures them. “He’ll probably wake soon, but he might be a little out of it whilst the anaesthetics wear off so if he seems a little confused don’t worry too much. It’s perfectly normal.”
“Oh, man, we have to film this.” Chim chuckles, sharing a glance with Hen, who’s already grinning wickedly. Bobby shakes his head. He didn’t expect anything less from them both.
The nurse laughs. Presumably it’s a common occurrence here.
As she heads back out of the room, she pauses and turns back towards the three of them. “Oh, we managed to contact his partner too so I’m sure he’ll be glad to see another familiar face when he wakes up.”
She leaves as quietly as she came, not aware of the total bombshell she’s just dropped on them.
Bobby holds his breath, squinting at Buck’s peaceful face.
“Partner?” Chimney’s voice cuts through the silence, speaking the very thoughts running through Bobby’s mind. “Buck is dating someone?”
“Why didn’t he mention it?” Hen wonders aloud.
Bobby glances up at them both, shrugging when their confusion is directed his way. “I didn’t know anything about it. Maybe it’s new?”
Chimney nods but Hen doesn’t seem convinced.
“No,” she says with conviction, “if it was new why would they be listed in his contacts?”
She makes a good point.
Chimney snorts, leaning forward in his chair with a gleeful look on his face. “I wonder what they’re like! We’ve never really seen Buck flirt with anyone, I have no clue what his type is.”
Hen matches his sudden intrigue, clapping her hands together. “Oh, they must be equally chaotic as Buck. There’s no way he would date someone strict and proper.”
Chimney snorts, shaking his head unconvinced. “Nah, I bet it’s some tall, straight-haired blonde with glasses. She probably dominates the relationship and keeps him in check.”
“Please,” Bobby scoffs, “nobody can keep this boy in check.” Hen raises her eyebrows, nodding in agreement. Bobby shrugs, settling further into his chair and pushing back thoughts of how uncomfortable it’s becoming. “Whoever it is must have the patience of a saint to date Buck.”
Eddie wastes absolutely no time rushing to the hospital from base the moment he gets a call from the hospital telling him that Buck has been admitted. He calls Carla on the way, feeling bad about having to ask her to work late today but she cuts him off before he’s even finished explaining that Buck’s had an accident, reassuring him that she doesn’t mind in the slightest. Eddie sighs a breath of relief as he hangs up, not before thanking her profusely and convincing Christopher that everything’s fine.
Because it is.
It definitely is.
Someone should really tell Eddie’s heart that.
He takes a deep, steady breath, reminding himself that if anything was seriously wrong they would have told him on the phone. He knows that it’s just a broken arm, it’s not even Buck’s first broken bone, but that doesn’t seem to rid the heavy feeling of dread laying low in his stomach and bringing the bitter taste of bile to the back of his throat whenever he pictures his man in pain.
The receptionist gives him Buck’s room number, offering him a sympathetic smile and Eddie supposes his worry is painted very obviously across his face.
He quickly thanks him, taking the route of endlessly identical corridors until he reaches the room. It’s tucked away at the end of the second floor, this area of the hospital a lot quieter than the rest, and Eddie steels himself before pushing the door open.
He’s expecting a lot when he walks in; the beeping machines, the drips attached to Buck’s arm, the stale smell of disinfectant. What he’s not expecting it to be greeted by three strangers, all of whom are crowding around Buck’s bed, laughter rippling through the room.
The light-hearted atmosphere catches him off guard and he comes to an abrupt stop, barely a foot into the room.
One of the people, a woman with shaved hair and stylish glasses, has her phone out. It’s directed towards Buck and she’s clearly recording on it, not noticing Eddie’s arrival. The other two people, a smaller man who’s laughing whole-heartedly and an older man who’s grinning fondly, are clearly distracted too.
Buck is in the hospital bed, propped up with pillows, and waving his arms around exaggeratedly. “-it’s like a huge balloon, you know?” His speech is slightly slurred and Eddie has no clue what he was talking about but it has the other three bursting into another fit of laughter. Buck looks proud of himself.
That’s when his eyes drift upwards and he catches sight of Eddie.
Something about seeing those familiar baby blues, the ones that he knows inside out – knows every fleck of grey, every different shade they turn, knows them better than his own damn eyes – brings a warm comfort to Eddie and finally his heart seems to relax. He smiles, shoulders sagging as the tension seeps out of them.
But then a wrinkle forms between Buck’s brows and he squints at Eddie. “Are you a doctor? Where’s your uniform?”
That catches the attention of the other people in the room and suddenly there’s another three pairs of eyes on him, but Eddie only has eyes for his husband right now – looking exhausted and beaten but otherwise pretty fucking happy.
He shakes his head, taking a few tentative steps forward. He notices that the woman has now panned her phone in his direction but he tries not to pay too much attention to it.
“No, Buck, I’m not a doctor.” he says, relief evident in his voice as he takes a place by Buck’s side. He reaches out, fingers trailing down Buck’s arm.
Buck watches him, eyes wide in wonder.
“You’re really handsome.” Buck says, which isn’t much of a surprise; Buck never did have a filter and the woman on the phone had told him he’d been put under anaesthetics so he might be a little out of it once he wakes up. “Do I know you?”
Eddie nods, smiling down at Buck. “Yeah, you do.”
The confirmation doesn’t seem to ring any recognition in Buck’s mind and he simply tilts his head to the side and gives Eddie a once over. He’s not subtle, whistling loudly in approval as his eyes dance over Eddie’s body, and Eddie has to fight back his laughter.
He doesn’t even look good right now; he’s still wearing his PT gear, sweaty and a little muddy since he didn’t bother to shower before coming here. That doesn’t appear to bother Buck, though.
“Are you a model?”
The man to Eddie’s left snorts, loud and unashamed. Eddie shakes his head again.
“No. I’m in the army.”
Buck gasps, sitting up a little taller. “You are? I was in the Navy SEALs once, did you know that? Did I tell you?” He sounds so excited, a hint of the same wistful tone in his voice that he usually gets whenever he talks about his past adventures. Eddie chuckles.
“You did, yeah.”
Buck hums, scrunching up his face as though he’s thinking very hard about something important. When he meets Eddie’s gaze again, there’s a familiar glint of mischief in them. The same one that always makes Eddie’s knees weak. The very look that started their whole relationship.
“I do like a military man.” Buck says, matter-of-factly.
There’s a few shocked gasps from the other occupants of the room and Eddie has a sense that they’re all leaning forward in their seats. Buck probably never told them about him. It would explain the looks of confusion they had when he walked in.
Buck reaches his free arm up, the one not hooked up to anything, and teases his fingertips over Eddie’s bicep. “Y’know, if you want, we could get out of here. I know how to have a good time, if you know what I mean.” There’s a quirk in Buck’s brow, a smirk playing at the corners of his mouth, and he directs Eddie’s eyes downwards with a few very unnecessary thrusts of his hips just in case Eddie hadn’t understood.
“Jesus, Buck.” the older man, sat by the bottom of the bed, groans. The others laugh.
Fighting back a blush, Eddie bites down on his lip and nods again. “Oh, I know you do.”
Buck’s smirk shifts into another frown. “Do I know you?” he repeats, sounding almost upset. Eddie sympathises with him, taking Buck’s hand in his and lacing their fingers together. “Who are you? What’s your name?”
“My name’s Eddie. I’m your husband.”
The air shifts around them and Eddie spares the other people, he assumes they’re Buck’s co-workers, a quick glance. They all look mildly surprised, but otherwise not too bothered. He guesses they must have figured out he was Buck’s partner by now – whether they realised Buck was married, Eddie isn’t sure. Probably not, if he knows Buck’s hatred of sharing personal information. Which he does; Buck had worked at the bar in Texas for almost two years before anybody knew he was married.
“You’re my husband? Holy shit!” Buck’s face lights up, staring up at Eddie like he’s an angel sent from the heavens.
“That’s right.” He gives Buck’s hand a light squeeze, smiling when he gets one in return.
“Wow…” Buck whispers, eyes not leaving Eddie’s for a second. “How long?”
Something about his voice, the soft amazement of it, melts Eddie’s heart. He reaches out with his free hand and runs his fingers through Buck’s hair, smiling as Buck leans into the gentle touch. “Almost five years now.”
“No way. How did I manage to land you?”
Eddie chuckles, the love he feels for his husband only growing in size. “Same way I landed you.”
Buck’s face splits into a wide grin and he pulls his hand away, leaning back to hold his own head as though he’s afraid it might fall off. “Oh my God! I hit the jackpot!”
There’s a soft laugh and Eddie glances up to see the woman smiling at them both, phone still in her hand. He makes a mental note to ask her for the video once they’re done here; he definitely needs to keep this to tease Buck once he’s lucid again.
“You sure did.” she says, meeting Eddie’s eyes and sending him a wink.
“We live together, right?” Buck asks, drawing Eddie’s attention back to him.
“Yeah, Buck. Course we do.”
“Do we have a huge bed?” Buck smirks, eyes sparkling. Even like this, stuck in a hospital gown and high on anaesthesia, Eddie can’t help but think that he looks gorgeous.
“You’ll have to wait and see.” he smirks, leaning down to press a soft kiss to Buck’s forehead. “You need to rest up, first. Then I can take you home.”
Buck’s eyes are closed now, a blissful smile on his face. He nods. “Yeah, okay.”
“I’ll be here when you wake up.” Eddie murmurs, stroking Buck’s hair again.
He doesn’t get a reply, Buck’s already drifting off with a smile still plastered over his face.
Eddie let’s out a long sigh, unable to tear his eyes away from his husband just yet. His adrenaline is beginning to fade away and now he’s left shaky and exhausted.
“Here,” the smaller man in the group breaks him from his thoughts, voice understanding, as he stands up. “You look like you need to sit down.”
Eddie huffs out a tired laugh, smiling weakly at him. He takes the offered seat. “Thanks. I wasn’t really expecting this today.”
The man drops a reassuring hand down onto Eddie’s shoulder.
“None of us were. Buck’s clumsy, sure, but…” the woman pipes up, causing Eddie to chuckle slightly.
“Tell me about it, I can’t even count the amount of plates we’ve had to replace thanks to his butterfingers.”
They all laugh and it relaxes Eddie a little bit more.
The man sat by Buck’s feet leans forward then, offering his hand to shake. “I’m Bobby, by the way, and these two are Hen and Chim. Sorry we didn’t introduce ourselves earlier.”
“No, I’m sorry. I was trying to keep calm but it’s never easy seeing him in hospital.”
“It’s not.” Hen says, “I can’t imagine how I’d feel if it was my wife in here.”
“Yeah,” Eddie runs a hand down his face, groaning. He shifts his eyes back to his husband, face softening into a smile. “He definitely keeps me on my toes.” Eddie doesn’t need to look at the others’ faces to know that they can detect the love in his voice.
There’s a short moment of comfortable silence, everyone taking in Buck as he sleeps, totally oblivious to the world around him.
Then Hen scoots to the edge of her chair, wicked grin on her face, and leans closer.