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Sweet (Secret) Child Of Mine

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When Bobby Nash was 17, he found out he was going to be a father for the first time. He was scared when his girlfriend who was only 16 herself at the time, Layla showed him the ultrasound but he was going to be there for his son no matter what.

Too bad his parents didn’t have the same sentiments. Upon hearing the news they immediately moved their family to Minnesota forcing Bobby to leave Layla and his son on their own.

28 years later and Bobby has not a clue what happened to Layla or his son. All he knows is that she went through with the pregnancy and that his son’s name was Evan due to a postcard sent to Bobby a year after he moved by Layla’s parents. No idea at all where they could be. Both his parents and Layla’s parents tried to keep them apart. Both sets of parents wanting nothing to do with a teenage pregnancy. He’d learned that Layla’s family moved as well after she had the baby from an old friend who he managed to contact. The further away the better or something like that. His unknown son was something that weighed on his mind constantly after losing his other two kids but he definitely wasn’t in the right mental state to find his first born he decided.

The 118 were heading to a woman in labour call. When they got there they were welcomed by two people yelling at a teenager. A teenager with a screaming baby in her arms having obviously just given birth.

It immediately made him think of his son. Pushing those thoughts aside he intervened ushering the parents out of the bedroom so that Hen and Chimney could attend to the mother and child.

“How could she do this?” whispered the woman who he presumed was the girl’s mother.

“I don’t know but she is NOT keeping that baby. She’s only 16! She’s still a child herself.” The girl’s father argued.

Those words sent Bobby back to when he told his parents. They had said that there was no way he was going to be apart of that child’s life if she decided to keep it. That he had so much potential and a child would ruin that. Hell they were even willing to give him money for her to have a secret abortion.

Both mother and child were deemed okay and stable enough to transport to the hospital and soon enough they were on their way. Bobby’s mind was going a mile a minute. He just couldn’t shake the thoughts of his son. His team knew something was up with him just by the far away look on his face.

“You good Cap?” Chimney inquired. Bobby nodded his head absentmindedly still deep in thought.

Maybe it was finally time to tell Athena and ask her to help him find him. He had no idea how she’d react but he hoped she’d understand.

After his shift Bobby took his time driving home. He was scared to tell Athena but he knew he had to if he wanted to find his son and maybe build a relationship with him. God he hoped his son wanted a relationship with him.

Now don’t get him wrong. Bobby loved May and Harry like his own but he longed for his son Evan.

Evan.

Named after Bobby’s favorite uncle who passed away when he was a just kid. He remembered talking about the future with Layla saying that if he ever had a son he wanted to name him after his uncle to honor him. Bobby couldn’t believe that she had honored his wish after what he did. He couldn’t imagine how hurt she was that he had left.

With teary eyes Bobby parked his car and entered the house immediately seeking out his wife.

“Thena?”

“In here!” She called out from the bedroom he assumed. Dropping his keys on the kitchen counter, he rushed to the source of her voice.

Rushing into the bedroom, Bobby stood at the foot of the bed and blurted out “I have another son.”

Athena could not believe the words that left his mouth. She immediately wondered if he was drunk but immediately threw away that thought because she knew he would never compromise his sobriety.

“You have a what?” Athena was genuinely confused at this point.

Bobby sat on the bed and took a deep breath, “I have another son. His name is Evan and he was the result of a teenage pregnancy.”

Athena looked at him incredulously. She had thought she knew everything about her husband but apparently not.

“I know this is a lot but I didn’t want to talk about him because of the pain it brought but we had this call today with a teenage mom and when we got there her parents were screaming at her and it just brought back so much memories of when I told my parents my girlfriend was pregnant.” He explained looking into her eyes.

“Well lucky for you your wife is a good listener.” She grabbed his hand and began to rub it soothingly.

And so Bobby began to tell her the story. How his parents packed them up the next week and made them move. How Layla’s parents helped keep them apart. About the postcard and his name. By the time he was done he was sobbing.

Athena was at a loss. She couldn’t understand how a parent could make their soon to be parent son abandon his child. In that moment she vowed to help her husband find his son.

Athena could only hope that he was willing to meet his father because she knew it wouldn’t end well for Bobby if Evan wanted nothing to do with him.

“What about the team? Are you going to tell them? You know they’d want to know. I’m sure they’ll support you and help in any way they can.” Athena said steering her mind away from the possible fall out if Bobby’s son didn’t want to meet him.

“I want to tell them. I think I just need to get it out there and it’ll definitely be nice to have as much help as possible.”

Athena nodded in agreement. Releasing her hand from Bobby’s she cradled his face and looked him in the eye,

“Whatever happens, I’m here. The team will be here. May and Harry will be here. Hell even Michael will be here because we’re your family okay?”

Bobby nodded and hugged her. As much as he appreciated her words the thought of Evan not wanting anything to do with him stung but he wasn’t going to allow himself to think like that.

Soon exhaustion after his long shift and all those emotions kicked in and Bobby tucked his wife into his arms. That night he dreamt of a baby boy with ocean blue eyes. His Evan.

Chapter Text

Athena hadn't actually gotten the chance to start the search for Bobby's son until almost a week later. She ran both Evan Nash and Evan Buckley in the system but got nothing. Bobby had told her that mostly Layla had given the kid her surname but to run both names just in case she had given him Bobby's even though it was unlikely. She supposed she should feel relieved that the kid didn't have a record but it left her with no choice but to seek out the help of another officer's help.

She didn't know much about Detective Powell. Only that he had served in the Navy as part of special operations and that he came highly recommended. She also knew that his nickname was apparently Cage but he only allowed certain people to call him that. He was very skilled at finding flighty suspects so she figured he'd be the best person to ask.

"Detective Powell," She said putting out her hand for him to shake. He shook it and inquired as to why she requested a meeting with him. She explained herself to him noting his unusual expression when she mentioned the name of Bobby's son.

"I knew a guy with the same name back in the Navy. He's still in but I'm not sure if it's a coincidence or not but I can get in contact with him for you," He explained.

Athena was shocked. She felt hopeful due to his admission. Maybe just maybe this was Bobby's Evan. Thanking the detective for his help Athena decided to rush to the firehouse to tell Bobby the news.

Athena climbed the firehouse stairs two at a time approaching the team. The team welcomed her with various greetings.

"Hey what are you doing here?" Bobby asked while pulling Athena close and placing a kiss on her cheek.

"I have some news about your son." She said seriously. The team immediately erupted in various expressions of shock and disbelief.

" Wait what? Cap I thought your son died.." Hen trailed off not sure if she was going to touch a sore spot.

"Not that son." Bobby sighed and sat down, "I have another son and before you say it it's complicated and it's been almost 30 years that's why I never said anything about him."

The team just stared at him in disbelief. Chimney thought Bobby had told him everything but guess he was wrong about that. He just had to trust that Cap had a good reason for keeping his other son such a closely wrapped secret. The team sat and listened as Bobby recalled the timeline of events that led to him having to abandon his son. Without a doubt in their minds, the team pledged to help their captain look for his son.

Eddie had never seen his cap so distraught. He related to how Bobby felt especially since he knew the feeling of having to leave his son but at least he got to come back and be active in his life. Hell he was the only parent Christopher had now. He couldn't imagine never getting the chance to know him and see him grow up.

"As I was saying I have some news about him. I checked his name in the system but nothing came up so at least we know he doesn't have a record," Athena gave Bobby a small smile before she continued, "So I decided to seek help from a colleague of mine. It was just my luck that he had actually served with an Evan Buckley in the Navy. Said he'd get in contact with him in case that's your boy."

Bobby's heart skipped a beat. He hoped that was his son. He was so close to being able to know him. He got up and hugged Athena tightly, blinking away tears at the thought of the guy possibly being his Evan. Soon enough the team joined the hug.

"Alright alright I need space to breathe," Athena exclaimed as she pushed her husband and his pseudo children away.

The 118 plus Athena thrummed with nervous energy as they sat down for lunch to celebrate the possible finding of Bobby's long lost son. He didn't say anything but Bobby's gut told him everything he needed to know. That Athena's colleague's friend was his son.

 

While his father rejoiced in Los Angeles, Evan Buckley felt exhausted as his flight landed at his base in Virginia Beach. He loved flying but hated the exhaustion it brought especially after a mission. It was even worse when you knew you had no one waiting for you at home.

For as long as Evan knew it was just him and his mom. No dad, no grandparents, no siblings or aunts and uncles. His mother had told him that her family had basically disowned her just after he turned a year old. That she was told to pack herself up and go one night. She grabbed him and took the earliest bus out to New York. She never looked back. Family holidays were always so lonely. He hated it. He loved his mother and he knew she tried her best to make things as memorable as possible but part of him longed for big family gatherings. It didn't help that that was the norm for holidays where they lived in Albany, New York. Looking back he wished he had appreciated those times with his mom more.

At the tender age of 18, Evan Buckley lost his mother. His only family dead because of a selfish drunk driver who remained unscathed. At 18, Evan Buckley sold his childhood home and moved to Boston to attend Harvard University. At 21, he graduated with a degree in biochemistry. Even with his scholarship, he struggled to pay his tuition. Using the money from selling his home, he payed off his loans and was officially broke. After careful consideration he made the decision to join the Navy. It was a win-win for him. He'd get money and if he died he had no family to miss him. Well no family except for his father who was in the wind. Evan doubted he'd even care to mourn the son he never knew. Something he never expected was to be so good at his job.

At 23, after 2 years of being in the Navy, Evan was handpicked to train to become a Navy Seal. From there he became known as Buck, one of the best snipers his command had ever seen due to his penchant for headshots. Buck loved being a Seal but he always felt as though there was a part of him he had lost. The countless secret operations took a toll on him but for him it was a small sacrifice because he had gained the family he longed for in the form of his team.

Now at 28, Buck was the youngest Master Chief in his unit with his own team with a Navy Cross under his belt and he was pretty damn happy. Too bad life decided to throw a grenade at him in the form of his birth father. Buck should have known something was up when his commander pulled him aside on the tarmac as he was disembarking the plane after yet another mission overseas.

"Got an urgent message from Cage. Said a fellow cop has been looking into you down in LA," His commander looked at him worriedly, "Kid is there something you wanna tell me? You in some kinda trouble?"

LA? Buck didn't know anybody in LA. He certainly didn't give anybody a reason to be looking into him either. It had to be important if Cage bypassed him and went straight to command to get a hold of him. He hadn't spoken to his supposed 'big brother' as Cage had coined himself in months. He felt a bit of guilt at that but he had barely had time for himself in between missions much less anybody else.

Looking his commander straight in his eye Buck said, "I didn't do anything I swear. I don't even know anybody in LA." His commander nodded clearly believing him. "Cage said to call him when you can. He's concerned about this whole thing. Said to tell you he'd jump on the first flight back to Va Beach if you didn't reach out to him." Buck grimaced. He'd never get Cage out of his hair if he decided to visit.

Buck followed his superior to their after action review and decided to call Cage the moment he was free.

Buck actually didn't get the time to call Cage until he had gotten to his apartment the next day. Sitting on the couch, he dialed his former team mate's number and braced for the ensuing conversation.

"About damn time Buck." Buck issued his apologies wanting to get to the bottom of matter as soon as possible.

"A Sergeant Athena Grant has been looking into you. Apparently she's trying to find her husband's long lost kid or something like that. You know her?" Cage asked curiously.

The name definitely didn't ring a bell in his head. He relayed this to Cage.

"Well she said to tell you a Robert Nash is looking for you." At the sound of that name Buck froze allowing his phone to fall on the floor. Robert Nash. His father. A name his mother had told him at 16 after he expressed his desire to seek out his father on countless occasions. She'd gotten fed up of him asking and just blurted it out. He never did seek him out. He was too scared that his father would want nothing to do with him. He knew logically that it was both sets of his grandparents fault his father wasn't in his life but there was still a small part of him that thought his father never once tried to reach out to him so he didn't want to know him.

"Kid? Buck?"

Snapping out of his frozen state, he picked the phone off of the floor and he replied, "Yeah I'm here...Cage.. I think that my father is the one looking for me. His name is Robert Nash..Fuck I don't even know what to say right now." He pulled his knees to his chest to comfort himself.

There was a small pause over the phone before Cage replied, "Holy shit kid. What do you want me to do?" Cage was aware of Buck's family situation. Cage was the first person on his team Buck had told about his family or lack thereof.

Buck didn't know what to do. It was fear vs desire for him. The fear of not being wanted or not being what his father expects versus the desire to actually meet him and potentially have a relationship with him. In the end that desire won by a long shot.

"Put Sergeant Grant unto me. Tell her I'd love to have a conversation of Mr.Nash. You can give her my phone number."

"Alright kid I will. You been okay otherwise though?" That was all it took for Buck to launch into a retelling of his last couple months. By the end of the phone call Buck felt a little bit of excitement. He was finally getting a chance to know his dad. Some part of him had a feeling they'd get along just fine.

Chapter Text

It started off slowly with a simple text from Bobby simply introducing himself. He insisted that Buck call him Bobby saying that no one calls him by his given name. Buck learned that his father was a firefighter. A captain at that at the 118 in LA. He also learned that his father had been carrying an enormous amount of guilt for not being there for his son but Buck had been quick to reassure him it was fine even though Buck wasn't actually sure that it was. He was too scared to let his true feelings known about the situation fearing the admission would break the already fragile relationship. Eventually after a couple of weeks, they had worked themselves up to the point where they were ready to speak on the phone. Buck had felt that it was the right time considering they had been texting almost daily now.

Buck woke up with the distant inkling that today was gonna be a shit day. He was supposed to call Bobby today for the first time. Buck wasn't overly religious but he prayed that the call would go well. Buck rolled out of his bed grabbing his phone from the nightstand to check the time.

6:21

He had about about 39 minutes before he needed to leave for work. Buck decided to start breakfast and message Bobby to see if he was free to call now. He wasn't sure what his schedule would be like today so he just wanted to get the call over with to spare himself the anxiety. He was rewarded almost immediately with an incoming call from Bobby. Buck grabbed the phone and took a deep breath before answering, "Hi."

Bobby let out a nervous chuckle before responding, "Hi Buck. Isn't it early there?"

"Yeah but isn't it even earlier there?"

"I'm on shift"

"Oh.." Buck trailed off unsure of what to say now. It was awkward to say the least. "Uh I'm getting ready for work," Buck said hoping to keep the conversation going.

"You know you never exactly told me what you do. All I know is that you're in the Navy. I think fathers are supposed to know the jobs of their children."

"Well you weren't really my father for 28 years now were you?" The words slipped out before Buck could stop himself. Silence greeted him on the other side of the line. Guilt pooled in his stomach making him nauseous. Here he was already putting his foot in his mouth.

"Buck-" Before Bobby could continue Buck heard the ring of the alarm in the background.

"Look you gotta go. I'll talk to you later." Buck said and hung up without giving Bobby a chance to reply thinking it was better to end the call than continue to make things worse. Buck dropped his phone on the kitchen island bringing his hand up to his face. Of course he fucked up on the first phone call with Bobby. He was such a mess no wonder Bobby never sought him out.

Truthfully, he didn't even know why he was hesitating to tell Bobby the true nature of his job. He was proud. He had a Navy Cross for Christ's sake. He had worked hard to get where he was but he wasn't sure if Bobby would approve. That's it. He craved Bobby's approval. I mean that was normal. Bobby was his father. It was only normal for him to crave his approval.

With that realization, Buck decided to skip breakfast and head straight to work. Maybe he could get an hour or two on the range to clear his head. Unfortunately for him as soon as he signed into base he was summoned into a meeting by command.

Walking into Commander Jackson's office he noticed that the rest of his team was also there. That could only mean one thing. Yet another mission. Great because that's exactly what he needed with his head out of the game he thought sarcastically.

"Where to?" He asked taking his usual seat at the table.

"Middle East." Fuck he hated the heat. As Buck went through the motions of preparing to go on the mission and getting into that mindset, the last thing on his mind was to tell Bobby he'd be unavailable for a while.

 

Two weeks. It had been two weeks since that phone call. Two weeks since he had heard from Buck. Bobby had called countless times but to no avail. Bobby was worried that he'd messed up on that awful phone call. Nothing could soothe his worries that he'd effectively ruined the developing father-son bond. He shouldn't have pushed but he was curious. According to Athena, her co worker Detective Powell was in Special Operations. Did that mean that Buck was involved with Special Operations too? He wouldn't doubt it considering how cagey he'd been about his job details or maybe he just didn't want Bobby to know that part of him. Maybe it was reserved for the people close to him and not the father that had been absent for all 28 years of his life.

It was movie night at the Grant-Nash household. Every Friday night once Athena and his shifts coincided they'd let the kids pick a movie for them to watch. Bobby was busy fluttering about the kitchen making popcorn when breaking news flashed across the screen in the living room. Something about a seal team being ambushed. Those guys had real guts he thought. Yeah he was brave. I mean he was a firefighter but he wasn't near brave enough for the military. His son was though. He was proud of Buck and he hoped that he'd get the chance to tell him that in the near future. He was snapped out of his thoughts by May changing the channel and hollering at him to hurry up. He grabbed the bowl and rushed to his seat next to his wife. This quiet night with his family was exactly was he needed. The only thing that would make it better was if Buck was here.

The call came the next morning. Bobby couldn't help the surprised sound he made at the name that flashed across his screen. He rushed to accept the call.

"Buck?"

"So I know it's been two weeks but I had to leave the country for work and long story short I'm in the hospital but I wanted to call to let you know I wasn't ignoring you." Buck had saw the countless calls and messages he'd missed from Bobby and had felt like shit. He didn't mean to worry him like that.

"What do you mean you're in the hospital?" Bobby asked almost hysterical as Athena entered the bedroom to see what all the fuss was about.

"Well I'm not sure if you saw on the news but that seal team that was ambushed? Well that was my team." Bobby swore he was about to have a heart attack.

Chapter Text

Bobby couldn't believe his ears. His son on a Navy Seal? He could already tell this kid was gonna be trouble but he didn't mind.

“Well I figured you had to be connected to special operations somehow if you knew Cage,” Athena mused as she joined the conversation guiding Bobby to sit at the edge of the bed.

“Oh yeah Cage and I were team mates at a point in time. He drove me up a wall but I guess all big brothers do.” Buck chuckled fondly.

“Big brother?” Bobby inquired.

“Yeah. Cage took me under his wing when I became a Seal. Started calling me his baby brother and it just stuck. The team ate it up and now all call themselves my big brothers even though I’m their leader and I out rank them,”

“Wait so you’re not only on a Seal team but you lead one? Buck you’re already giving me gray hairs and we haven’t even met yet!” Athena couldn’t help the laugh that escaped her. Soon enough all three of them were laughing.

“You’re okay though? How’s your team? I mean it had to be pretty serious for it to be reported on considering most of the time what you guys do are classified.”

“Ah yeah. I got the brunt of the attack. Dislocated my shoulder but I’ve had worse injuries. The team’s okay. We’re all just happy to still be kicking. Should be heading back state side soon.”

The fact that Buck said he’d had worse injuries flagged in Bobby’s mind but he didn’t say anything. Honestly, he wasn’t sure how to deal with the fact that his son ran headfirst into danger for his job. In fact Buck could have died before Bobby even got to know him in is line of work. He supposed he shouldn’t be shocked considering he ran into danger for his job as well. Like father like son he thought.

“Well, if you need anything when you get back we’re here. Just give us a call okay?” Athena said while putting on her boots for work. In no time she was saying her goodbyes to Buck and kissing Bobby before she headed off.

“So what you been up other than blowing up my phone?” As Bobby got up and moved around the bedroom he recalled some of the more interesting calls they had attended to. Buck had grown fascinated with all the duties of a firefighter. It seemed like such a cool job. He thought that those guys were just as brave as he was.

Eventually, Buck grew exhausted and Bobby had to go or else he’d be late. Bobby let out a sigh of relief knowing Buck was safe and not mad at him anymore.

Bobby loved the kid. Hadn’t even met him and had only been in his life for a couple of weeks but a parent’s love knew no boundaries. He could only hope that they’d be able to meet soon. He wanted to tell him just how proud he was of him. That he was so so brave and that he was so lucky to have him as a son. Wanted to let him know that he’d always be there no matter what but it didn’t feel right to pour his emotions out over the phone.

Days passed and Buck was back on US soul. His cuts had started healing and his bruises were way less prominent. The dislocated shoulder was definitely still a bitch though.

Buck had been forced into taking medical leave by his command for a couple of weeks. Something about needing to take time for himself considering this was like his fifth injury in about a year and a half.

Truthfully, Buck didn’t have much of a life outside of being a Seal. He didn’t have a boyfriend or girlfriend. Hell he didn’t even have a pet. As much as loved animals it wouldn’t have been fair considering his sporadic schedule. Sure he had hookups but nothing ever came out of them. Imagine liking both genders and still not being in a relationship Buck thought bitterly.

He might not have had much of life other than his job but he sure as hell wasn’t lonely. His team made sure of that. His so called big brothers were over at each other’s houses more often than not. He loved spending time with these guys but it got overwhelming. Sometimes he just needed a break. This was one of those times.

Buck had been toying with the idea of going to LA to visit Bobby since he got back. Father’s day was coming up and he thought it’d be a nice surprise. It would also give him a much needed break and he’d be able to see Cage who he hadn’t seen in almost two years. Although he wasn’t sure the older man wouldn’t suffocate him with brotherly affection when he saw his injuries.

Buck was glad he decided to let Bobby into his life. He knew Bobby would have been there for him and his mom if he could and so he didn’t hold a grudge against him. In all honesty, Buck felt really close to his father even though it had only been weeks. They had just clicked. He’d known people whose dads had been there all their life who had way worse parental relationships than him and Bobby so far.

In a way Buck was relieved that Bobby had only reached out recently. A couple years ago Buck had had nothing but resentment for his absent father. That Buck would have never let Bobby into his life and would have rather to have no relationship with Bobby at all. Buck couldn’t imagine a world where he and Bobby weren’t this close. A part of him suspected that when they finally meet they’ll be even closer.

Making up his mind Buck reached for his phone on his coffee table and called Athena. She was the perfect person to help him plan this surprise. By the next day Buck had a flight booked and a standing invitation to stay at the Grant-Nash household.

Buck was packed and ready to head to LA in no time but not without alerting his team he wouldn’t be around for a week or two. Promising he’d bring back souvenirs Buck left their usual hangout and headed to the airport.

Buck thrummed with nervous energy the entire 7 hour flight constantly fidgeting his long legs. He was happy he’d made the right decision to splurge on first class tickets. He may have been broke at after college but Buck definitely wasn’t anymore. He’d gotten into investing a while ago and he seemed to be really good at it considering the hefty amount of money in his bank account. It definitely helped that it was only himself he had to take care of.

After a restless nap, they finally landed in LA. Buck texted Athena who was supposed to pick him up at the airport that he’d landed and headed to baggage claim.

Buck traveled light with only a carry on and his duffle bag. In less than 15 minutes he was walking out of arrivals in search of Athena. He spotted her instantly and approached her.

“Buck!” She exclaimed happily and hugged him, “It is so nice to finally meet you in person,” she said as she cradled his face inspecting his still healing cuts. He knew he looked a bit of a mess but that didn’t seem to matter to her.

Buck couldn’t help but smile at her warm welcome. She led him to the police cruiser parked outside.

“Wow really rolling out the red carpet for me eh?” Buck joked.

“Boy just get in the car,” Athena said fondly. The boy had already won her over. No doubt in her mind this was Bobby’s son. He charmed had her instantly just like is father.

Buck winced in pain slightly as he maneuvered the seatbelt around his shoulder. His shoulder was sore especially after having been seated on a plane for so long.

“You okay baby? Need a painkiller or something?” Athena asked concerned.

“I’m okay for now. I’ll probably need one in an hour or two but I’m good.” He reassured. Truthfully, Buck had barely taken any painkillers since he got injured. His pain tolerance scale was absolutely fucked as his team had told him after he barely flinched when he had gotten shot back when he was still a rookie.

Athena pulled out of the parking spot and soon they were on their way to Firehouse 118. Athena could tell Buck was nervous. It wasn’t too obvious but she could tell Buck was too unbothered to hide his emotions right now like he’d been trained to do. Attempting to start conversation to ease him she asked, “So anything in particular you want to do in LA?”

“I want to see Cage definitely but honestly I’ve been here a couple times already and done the whole tourist sight seeing thing so I’m not sure what else I wanna do while here,” Buck explained.

That was interesting. Buck has been to LA before. Maybe he had crossed paths with them before. LA was a big city though so maybe not.

“When did you come to LA?” she asked not being able to contain her excitement.

“Back when I was in college. A guy from my frat’s dad has a place here so we came down for spring break.”

Buck being a frat boy definitely surprised her. He didn’t seem like the type at all. This boy was just full of surprised it seemed.

“Frat boy huh?” She teased.

“Yeah but my frat was actually pretty laid back. Super cool dudes. I still talk to most of them but you know how life is so I haven’t seen them in forever. Alot of them actually stayed in Massachusetts for grad school while I moved to join the military,” He explained.

She had known Buck had gone to college in Massachusetts. He’d revealed that to Bobby when he was telling him why he had joined the military. She couldn’t recall where he had gone though.

“What college? May is looking at colleges on the east coast right now. She isn’t exactly sure where she wants to be so she’s keeping her options open.”

“Ah I uh actually went to Harvard.” Buck said hesitantly.

Not only was Bobby’s son very brave but he was also very much smart. He’d gone to an Ivy. Athena was more than impressed.

“Impressive.” She remarked with a slight smile.

The conversation eventually shifted to food with Buck talking fondly of how he almost burned the frat house down trying to make brownies. He was helpless in the kitchen. He could manage eggs and pasta but anything else and he’d probably burn his place down. He never struggled to eat though as his team mates wives loved to send him home with tons of food and baked goods.

After a considerable amount of time in LA’s mid day rush they arrived at their destination. Buck took a deep breath to steady himself as Athena squeezed his hand to show her support. They’d barely spent an hour together but Athena had felt love for him already. This boy had managed to weasel his way into her heart and she had no doubt she’d be referring to him as her son soon.

Athena lead him into the station and up the stairs into the lounge. The team had been milling about the kitchen as it was almost lunch time and Bobby was cooking. Athena looked at them and placed a finger to her lips so that they wouldn’t give away the surprise.

Eddie couldn’t help but check out the greek god that had just followed Athena into the lounge. He couldn’t help but wonder if this was Bobby’s famous missing son. Whoever he was Eddie hoped he’d stick around because he wanted a chance to get at that. The broad shoulders, the blue eyes and gorgeous blond hair. The man looked as if he’d been blessed by God himself. He’d kill to have a piece of that ass. He couldn’t help but wonder about the arm in the sling and the cuts that littered his face but if anything it made him look even hotter.

“Damn. He is fine.” Chimney whispered.

Hen couldn’t help but agree. The man looked as if he’d fell from heaven, “Definitely and I like girls.”

“Hey Bobby, I have a surprise for you,” Athena said not being able to contain her excitement. Bobby turned around with the spoon he was using to stir the pot of creamy pasta with at the voice of his wife.

“Hey I heard my dad was the captain here. Have you seen him?” Buck questioned as he smiled nervously. Bobby dropped the spoon in shock at the sight of his son.

Chapter Text

Bobby rushed to hug Buck while the team all cheered at the reunion.

"Hi Bobby. Happy early Father's Day," Buck said and brought his hands up to return his hug trying not to jostle his shoulder. Bobby reluctantly pulled away from Buck asking, “What are you doing here?”

“Wellll had some time off from work so thought I’d surprise you. Hope I’m not intruding or anything..” Buck trailed off.

“You’re my son. You’d never be intruding.” Bobby said with finality and gently pulled Buck to where the team was assembled.

“Everyone..meet my son, Buck.”

“Uh hey. Nice to meet you all.” Buck said and smiled charmingly.

“Hey man. I’m Chimney,” An asian man said introducing himself.

“Weird name. I’m assuming there’s a story behind that. What happened? You got stuck trying to climb in like Santa or something?”

Chimney grimaced while the rest of the team burst out into laughter. If only you knew Chimney thought.

“Hi. I’m Hen,” A beautiful black woman said holding out her hand for Buck to shake. Buck shook her hand and give a charming smile.

“And I’m Eddie.”

Holy Fuck. His voice was deep. Buck turned his head to the side to find the source of the voice and was met with stunning brown eyes. Buck looked him up and down noticing his large hands and the muscles peaking out of his uniform. Buck’s mind immediately wondered how it’d feel to be pinned under that rock hard body. Those lips. Shit. They’d look so pretty on his dick. Buck’s eyes caught on a a glint of sliver that looked suspiciously like dog tags tucked into Eddie’s shirt.

“You military?” Buck asked curiously.

“Yeah Army,” Eddie said and raised his eyebrow.

“Ah a Grunt.” So Buck was military then. He wondered what branch he was in. He was way to cheerful to be in the Marines or Army. Maybe Air Force or Navy. Eddie decided to jump out on a limb and assume he was in the Air Force. Buck was too pretty for the Navy.

Eddie looked at him incredulously and retorted, “Okay flyboy.”

Buck burst out laughing, “As if I’d ever be in the Air Force.”

Bobby rolled his eyes at the antics as the team watched the exchange amusedly.

“Buck’s a Navy Seal.” Bobby said voice filled with a pride. Eddie’s eyes widened at the revelation.

Now that was a surprise. He’d been wrong. Shit just as he thought Buck couldn’t be any hotter. Eddie wondered if this is what love at first sight felt. He was impressed. He’d heard stories of the kind of ops Seals did when he was deployed. He had an unmeasurable amount of respect for anybody who could do those things.

Eddie smirked at him teasingly, “Well a squid isn’t much better than a flyboy anyway.”

Buck rolled his eyes playfully enjoying the playful banter wincing when he accidentally moved his arm too much.

“You okay?” Eddie asked immediately.

Before Buck could answer Athena responded for him, “Buck needs to eat and take a painkiller.”

Bobby immediately pushed him gently into a vacant chair next to Eddie, “I made pasta for lunch. I’ll get you some.”

Buck smiled in thanks as everyone around him got up to grab their own plates of food. Soon enough they were all eating happily.

“So how’d you cut up that pretty face?” Buck blushed slightly at Eddie’s blatant flirting. No guy had ever been that open with him. It was making him feel all kinds of ways. Buck wasn’t so sure he liked it. He didn’t like being vulnerable.

Carefully putting on his emotionless mask as he noticed the team was staring at them he replied, “My team got ambushed.”

“Shit where?” Eddie asked.

“Middle East. Not exactly allowed to say where.” Buck said shoving a mouthful of pasta into his mouth. Shit this was good. Bobby was a damn good cook. Maybe he could ask him to teach him a bit while he’s here.

Eddie couldn’t help but notice the slight change in Buck’s tone. It was as if that cheery Buck had disappeared and replaced by a robot in a matter of seconds. Buck was enigma but Eddie couldn’t wait to figure him out.

Not wanting to talk about his job anymore Buck changed the subject. Soon the topic was forgotten as they moved onto some tv show Chimney and Hen were binging.

As time went by, Buck grew more and more exhausted. As much as he was loving Bobby’s team he wanted nothing more to lay down and sleep. Athena noticing that Buck had grown quiet remarked, “I think someone is a little tired.”

Buck smiled sheepishly and apologized.

“It’s okay. You’ve had a long couple of days and you’re exhausted and in pain.” Bobby assured.

Bobby got up to clear the table and kissed his wife goodbye as she suggested she take Buck home. LA blurred past him as Athena drove to her and Bobby’s house. Soon enough, she was pushing a painkiller and a glass of water into his hands and tucking him into bed. Buck was out like a light in a matter of minutes.

By the time Buck woke up it was dark outside and he could hear voices. He got up and followed the voices to the kitchen. There was girl who looked to be a teenager and a young boy with Athena and Bobby.

Ah. That’s probably May and Harry his step siblings he thought.

“Buck you’re up!” Athena explained and pushed a plate into his uninjured hand.

“Just in time for Dinner,” Bobby said and smiled. Bobby was excited for Buck to be here. He wanted Buck to be apart of the family he had here. Buck had already fit in so well with the team and Athena. He hoped desperately that it was the same with May and Harry.

Buck spooned some mash potatoes onto his plate with some vegetables and meat. Athena guided him to the dining table where they assembled for dinner.

Dinner was filled with lots of teasing and jokes. Buck was apprehensive at first but eventually fell in line with teasing May and Harry. They were nice and welcomed him without second thought. They seemed to genuinely like him and he was grateful for that. He didn’t know if Bobby would want him to be around if May and Harry weren’t comfortable with him. After all, he’d been their step dad for longer than Buck has been in Bobby’s life.

After dinner Bobby asked Buck to sit outside with him on the patio. Buck kept his gaze on the sky. He’d always loved the stars. He could tell Bobby wanted to say something but he wasn’t going to push him. It wasn’t his place and he didn’t want to ruin how well things were going.

“There is something I need to tell you.” Bobby said seriously which prompted Buck to look at him.

Knowing he had Buck’s attention Bobby continued, “I had two kids after you..Bobby Jr and Brooke. They died.”

Buck hadn’t known Bobby had other kids. He wasn’t going to lie that hurt. His father was raising other kid while he and his mom were on their own.

“I know it might hurt you and you have every right to be upset but I wanted to seek you out but then they died and it was my fault and I was struggling with drinking and I was in no position to find you. I didn’t think you would want a drunk as a father in your life. I’d been gone for so long by then I thought you’d be fine without ever knowing me. I know that it was selfish but a part of me couldn’t help but think that I’d failed my kids and I’d probably fail you too.” Bobby looked up at the sky avoiding eye contact. He didn’t know how Buck would react to this admission but if he wanted to have and continue a good relationship with Buck he had to come clean.

Buck had no idea what to say. Yeah it hurt that Bobby had never looked for him until now. Yeah it hurt that he had other kids and were now raising Athena’s but he was torn. Bobby had been going through so much and he did eventually seek him out so it wasn’t too bad. Bobby wanted to protect him from himself because he wasn’t in a good place at the time. Buck could understand that even if he was still a little hurt.

“It’s okay Bobby. I forgive you for everything. Mom always told me about you. Said that how you’d have done anything to stay. Always said to not hold a grudge against you. I’m not gonna lie yeah it hurt that you didn’t look for me sooner. It hurts that you had other kids but to be honest. Had you found me earlier I sincerely doubt I’d let you be in my life. After mom died I had a lot of resentment for you. It’s only after I joined the Navy I let go of it. I learned that life was too short.”

Bobby smiled at Buck. His son had a heart of gold if he could forgive him just like that.

“Buck. I’m super proud of the man you’ve become. I’m so proud to call you my son.”

Buck teared up a bit but hid it. Very few people had told him that they were proud of him.

“Thanks Bobby.”

“Soo. What was that with you and Eddie today?” Bobby asked and raised his eyebrow.

“Just flirting,” Buck shrugged.

“You know I support you no matter what right. I don’t care if this father son thing between us is new.”

“Yeah I know.” Bobby nodded and dropped the subject. They sat in relative silence for a couple of minutes before Buck started talking.

“I’m bi. I came out to mom when I was a teen. It isn’t really a big deal. My team knows.”

“That’s great son. It doesn’t change anything between us. Eddie’s a great guy but you have to take your time with him. He’s got a son. He can’t be as carefree as you in terms of relationships,” Bobby revealed.

That took Buck by surprise. Eddie had a son. That was certainly interesting. It would be something he had to think about if he wanted to continue this flirting game with the man.

“and his son’s mother?” Buck inquired. He wasn’t going to be a home wrecker. Buck wasn’t that type of person. He didn’t notice a wedding ring when he was checking Eddie out but it’s possible he didn’t wear it while at work.

“Died in a car accident last year. They were gonna get divorced but he hasn’t dated anyone since.”

Buck couldn’t help but feel a bit relieved. Eddie was someone he definitely wanted to know and get closer to. He was hot and was sure the man would be good in bed but Buck was hoping that maybe he’d get something more with Eddie.

Bobby and him lapsed into a comfortable silence until Bobby decided to head to bed. Buck chose to stay outside with his thoughts a bit more.

So far this visit was going way better than he’d hoped. He barely been here a day and yet still he felt completely at home. He was beginning to cherish the blossoming relationship with his father and the Grant-Nash family. His thoughts ran onto Eddie. The man was gorgeous but he had a kid. He wasn’t sure how to navigate that. His job was dangerous and he knew it’d take a toll on the kid. The extended period of absences with no contact. He had experience with absent fathers.

Buck was getting ahead of himself. He didn’t even know if Eddie was interested. He guessed that he’d just have to keep teasing him to find out.

Chapter Text

Buck had been in LA for almost a week by now. He hated to admit it but LA felt like home in a way Virginia Beach never did. That thought scared him considering it had only been a couple of days.

While he was no longer walking on egg shells after his talk with Bobby but he couldn’t help but struggle with his place in the new found family. Buck had been on his own for so long and before that it had just been his mom and him. He loved his team and yeah they were family but they were family in a different way. Bobby was blood and while Athena and her kids weren’t, they sure as hell felt like it to him. He struggled with the easy acceptance. Thought that there was no way it was just that easy. Life hadn’t been kind to him before so why would it be kind to him now?

On Saturday morning Buck found himself home alone. Bobby and Athena were working and May had taken Harry to his basketball practice.

Easing himself out of bed Buck winced as he reached for some sweatpants. His shoulder was doing a lot better but it definitely still hurt a bit. Buck padded into the kitchen noticing the note pinned onto the fridge addressed to him.

Breakfast is in the microwave - Bobby

Buck smiled and pocketed the note. Of course Bobby had thought of him. Buck was fairly helpless in the kitchen and with one less arm there was a good chance he’d probably end up ruining Athena’s expensive cookware.

Buck ate enjoying the silence. He made a mental note to call Cage to tell him he was in LA. He’d been so busy with dealing with everything he hadn’t had the time.

The shrill sound of his phone cut through the silence and Buck rushed to the guest room to grab it.

Lifting the phone to his ear he answered, “This is Buck.”

“Buck? It’s May. Can you come get me and Harry?” Buck noted her frantic voice and grabbed his shoes.

“May what happened?” He asked as he got up to get a shirt.

“We got into an accident. I don’t want to call Mom and Dad to worry them while they’re at work so can you come get us?” Buck was touched that she’d though to call him when she was in distress. They had gotten closer spending the last couple afternoons together while waiting on Athena and Bobby to get home from their shifts. He was floored that even though he’d only been in May’s life for such a short period of time that she trusted him so much already.

“Sure kid. I’ll have to get an uber or something. Where are you exactly?” Buck said walking out the door.

Buck reassured her he was on her way and hung up only to bump into a solid chest.

“Buck? Hey you seem in a rush.” A deep voice said.

Eddie.

“Yeah sorry I have to go get May and Harry. They were in an accident.” Buck said as he looked into deep brown eyes. God Eddie was so beautiful. He stashed those thoughts away as now wasn’t the time.

“Shit what happened? I was just dropping off some stuff for the barbecue tomorrow but I can take you to them if you want,” Eddie said hopefully.

“Yeah yeah. Thanks so much. I was gonna take an Uber.”

Eddie led him into his truck and soon they were heading to where May and Harry was.

“Big brother duties already huh?” Eddie teased.

Buck smiled but said nothing in return.

“Is Athena at the scene? I know Bobby’s working but he wanted to finish some paperwork today so I don’t think he’s out on calls.” Buck paled.

He had no idea if May had told Athena and Bobby. Should he call them? Yeah he should. Bobby and Athena would probably be mad if he didn’t.

Buck grabbed his phone out of his pocket and was about to dial Bobby’s number when his phone flashed with a call from Athena. He swiped at his phone in a haste to answer the call.

“Buck? May got into an accident. The officer on the scene relayed it to me but I’m at another scene right now. Said that how May had already called you to come and get them. Please make sure they’re okay. Officer said they were unharmed so you can take them home and I’ll meet you there.”

Again. The easy acceptance and trust just like that. Her kids had been in an accident yet Athena was trusting him to go make sure they were okay.

“Yeah Athena. I’m on my way. I’ll make sure they’re okay....are you mad May called me?” Buck asked hesitant.

“No. She trusts you and I do too,” She said with conviction, “I have to go but call me when you guys are home okay?”

“Okay be safe.”

Buck hung up the phone and noted that Eddie was glancing at him inconspicuously.

Buck raised his eyebrow asking a silent what. Eddie just shook his head and smiled.

“Athena and Bobby trusts you. I remember how broken up he’d been when he told us about you.” Eddie said keeping his eyes on the road almost as if he knew what was going through Buck’s mind.

Buck had an idea of the guilt Bobby had been carrying especially after their talk the other night. He had no idea that his hurt was so visible though. Bobby wasn’t exactly the type of person to wear his heart on his sleeve.

“I know you might be thinking that they just accepted you like it was nothing but that’s just how Bobby and Athena are. They loved you before they even knew you and you are a part of the family now so get used to it.”

Hearing that from Eddie made Buck feel a bit more at ease. He’d seen how Bobby and Athena interacted with the team and their significant others. Hell a stranger would probably think that everyone was related. They were a family through thick or thin.

“I suppose I have to get used to you then?” Buck asked cheekily.

“I’d love it if you get used to me as a matter of fact. Maybe you can get used to other things too.” Eddie suggested.

“Yeah? Other things like what?”

“You in my bed.” Buck was speechless. Well Eddie sure as hell was forward. Buck blushed at the implication.

Eddie smirked when he looked over at a red light seeing the red tint to Buck’s cheeks, “You blush so pretty for me baby. I wonder if you’d get red in other places too?”

Shit. Images of Eddie pinning him down and having his way with him flashed through Buck’s mind. Shit Buckley now was not the time he thought. No man or woman had ever made him feel how Eddie was making him feel right now. Buck felt out of control and it had only been a couple of minutes with him.

“Eyes on the road,” Buck retorted weakly.

Eddie hummed and soon they were pulling up at the accident scene. Buck pushed Eddie out of his thoughts while getting out of the truck and focused on getting to May and Harry. He found them talking to a cop by the ambulance.

“May! Harry!” He said as rushed over to them.

“Well imagine my surprise when this little lady told me her brother Evan Buckley was coming to come get them. Now I know an Evan Buckley and I also know he lives in Virginia Beach and would let me know if he was in LA.”

Buck turned to the source of the voice and winced. He really should have called Cage sooner.

“Hey Cage! Long time no see.” Buck said sheepishly.

Cage took note of Buck’s appearance noting the sling.

“What the hell happened to you?” He said pulling him closer to inspect his injury.

“Op went sideways. It’s dislocated. No biggie.” Cage looked at him incredulously. It had been years but Cage still found himself shocked at Buck’s nonchalance when it came to injuries. He had absolutely no sense of self preservation.

“Next time you’re in LA warn a guy. I don’t like surprises even if they’re from my little brother.” Cage said as he playfully punched Buck’s uninjured arm.

“Wait little brother?” May asked cutting in.

“I know Cage from work,” Buck explained, “but that’s not important. What happened? Are you guys okay?”

He fretted checking May and Harry for any unseen injuries.

“We’re fine,” May said exasperated as she shrugged him off.

“Buck! The car drove straight into us!” Harry exclaimed. Well at least Harry wasn’t scared. Buck felt a bit of relief at that. He knew that accidents could be traumatic.

“They’re free to go. They’ve been checked out. I already radioed Athena. We’re gonna get the car wrecked.”

“Thanks man. So much,” Buck said and hugged Cage, “I’ll call so we can meet up.”

Cage nodded, “Don’t get yourself into any more trouble Buckley.”

Buck glared at him but Cage only laughed and walked off to talked to another officer.

Eddie glared at the cop as he walked away. He’d seen how excited Buck looked to see the cop. He’s decided to hang back to give Buck space with May and Harry. He couldn’t hear anything the man was saying to Buck but clearly they were well acquainted. Eddie hoped that the man wasn’t an old lover or anything like that. Eddie finally approached the ambulance to see what was going on.

“Hey. Everything good?” He asked.

“Hi Eddie!”
“Eddie what are you doing here?”

“Eddie drove me here,” Buck explained. May raised her eyebrows at that. She swore she could see the sexual tension between them every time Eddie and him interacted. She hoped that their feelings were mutual because then Buck would have a reason to move to LA. May loved having Buck around. He’d only been there for days but he’d fit into the role of big brother so seamlessly.

“Come on. Let’s get you guys home. Athena said she was heading there in a while,” Buck said and shuffled them towards Eddie’s truck.

The ride home was quiet. They’d ended up stopping to get something to eat because being in accident apparently opens up your appetite for McDonald’s as Harry claimed. When they pulled up to the house Athena’s car was parked outside. Harry and May rushed inside while Buck hung back.

“About what you said earlier. Maybe I need a test run first before I get used to being in your bed.” Buck said smirking and pulled Eddie into a kiss. The kiss was hot. It was all tongue and teeth clashing. Eddie grabbed Buck and pulled him even closer taking control of the kiss. Buck pulled away needing air looking directly into Eddie’s eyes. Eddie smirked and grabbed his chin roughly.

“There’s more where that came from baby,” He said and pulled Buck into another kiss. Eddie pulled away after a couple of seconds. Buck was absolutely flushed. His baby blues were dazed and his cheeks were such a nice shade of red. God he’d love to turn Buck’s ass that shade of red. Eddie bit his lip at the thought of Buck across his lap.

“Such a pretty boy.” He remarked and pulled away completely. Buck held back a whine at action.

“Better get inside before Athena comes looking for you.”

Buck groaned and headed inside as Eddie pulled off. He took a deep breath to get himself steadied and opened the door. He found Athena in the living room hugging May and Harry tight. She looked at him as he entered raising her eyebrows at the flush on his cheeks.

Good for him and Eddie she thought. Maybe Eddie will make him stick around. She was already so accustomed to having him in the house.

“May told me Eddie was there with you.” She questioned with a glint in her eye.

Buck avoided eye contact and shuffled into the kitchen to grab a a glass of water, “Yeah. He pulled up as I was leaving to grab an Uber.”

He returned to the living room and plopped unto the couch.

“Everything good?” He asked as Athena pulled away from Harry and May to let them go get cleaned up.

“Yes. Thank you so much for going to get them.” She said as she sat on the couch next to him.

“It wasn’t a problem. Glad that May trusted me enough to call.”

Athena looked at him and grabbed his hand, “Of course she does. You’re her big brother.”

“It’s only been a couple of days though.”

“So? You’re family Buck. You’re Bobby’s son which means you’re also my son. That also means you’re Harry and May’s older brother so get used to it.” She said as she patted his cheek in a motherly manner.

Buck smiled, “Cage was at the scene. He assured me everything was okay with them after he chewed me out a bit for not telling him I was injured and in LA.”

Athena laughed a bit at that. From what she’d heard from both Cage and Buck she could tell they were close. She was glad Buck had people like him around.

Eventually, Athena got up to go make lunch and to call Bobby to let him know that everyone was okay. Buck retreated back to the guest room to lay in bed for a bit due his shoulder hurting. Buck’s thoughts drifted while he dozed landing on Eddie. The last thing on his mind as he fell asleep was those full lips and brown eyes.

Chapter Text

The Grant-Nash household was pretty active on a normal day but today it was bustling. Bobby and Athena were hosting their weekly get together or as they were saying “Buck’s Welcome to the Family” dinner. Buck was touched and also pretty excited to meet the team’s families. Hen, Chim and Eddie were nothing but nice to him so he could only assume their families would be just the same or even nicer.

Currently Buck was being chased around the yard by May, Harry and a very hyper active 5 year old he’d learned was Hen’s son. Usually May will be caught dead running around with her Harry but considering Buck had squirted them with a hose less than 10 minutes ago the only thing on her mind was getting back at him.

“YOU’RE DEAD BUCK!” She said and lunged after him. Buck sprinted and ran into a solid chest.

“We really need to stop meeting like this,” Eddie said amused and looked at Buck.

“You’ve gotta hide me. May’s gonna kill me.” Eddie raised his eyebrows. Before he could ask May rounded the corner with the hose.

“Step away from the traitor Diaz.”

Eddie stepped away from Buck and pulled Christoper along with him not wanting either of them to get soaked. As soon as they were out of May’s range, she pointed the hose at Buck and sprayed him.

“Okay okay. May! MAY!”

Eddie couldn’t hold in his laugh. Buck was soaked from head to toe.

“That’s not funny.” Buck pouted

“Children are you done?” Athena said as she approached them, “Hello Eddie and hello Chris.” She bent down to hug Chris, “Food’s ready. So get changed Buck.”

She walked off with May so it was just Eddie, Buck and Chris left. Buck approached Eddie, “and who’s this?”

“This is Christopher, my son.” Eddie said and looked at Buck awaiting his reaction.

“Well nice to meet you Christopher. Those are some cool stickers you got there on your crutches.” Buck said and smiled not paying any mind to Eddie.

“Thanks! They have superman on them. He’s my favorite super hero of all time!” Christoper smiled.

“Really? Well my favorite has to be Iron Man.”

“But he isn’t really a super hero. He has no powers!” Christopher explained.

Buck gasped, “Just because he doesn’t have any powers doesn’t mean he isn’t a super hero!”

Eddie was shocked at how well Buck interacted with Christopher. Buck was Seal and they weren’t exactly known to be the most cuddly. Buck however was proving to be the exact opposite of the rigid stereotype. Before they could get into a proper argument about who was considered a super hero and who wasn’t Eddie interrupted, “Alright alright. Chris come on let’s get you to the table and Buck you should probably change.”

“This isn’t over!” Buck said to Christopher before stalking into the house to change.

Eddie led Chris to the dining table where everyone else was seated. The food had just began to pass around when Buck came back outside wearing a new shirt. The new shirt clung to his muscles and Eddie couldn’t help but stare. Buck sank into the seat opposite to Eddie and winked at him. That cheeky shit.

Dinner was a joyous affair. Buck got along pretty well with everyone but to everyone’s surprise he gravitated towards the kids. Buck seemed to be very good with children to everyone’s surprise. Buck had fit seamlessly into the family which was a relief to Bobby.

Buck had wandered off inside to watch a movie with the kids while all the other adults sat down outside.

“Honestly Bobby, Buck’s not what I expected. When Hen said he was a Seal I didn’t expect him to be so..playful? If that’s the right word.” Karen expressed.

Maddie shared her sentiments agreeing with Karen, “I definitely didn’t expect him to be so good with the kids. I mean Seals are said to be pretty serious right?”

“Buck was pretty closed off at first but when he got comfortable around us it was like a whole other side of him came out. I can tell you I much rather playful Buck than the serious one we dealt with the first few days. It was kind of off putting.” Bobby said as he recalled how Buck seemed so blank the first few days. He couldn’t tell how Buck was feeling at all and he was usually so good at reading people.

Athena hummed, “I think Buck keeps the Seal part of himself locked away for now. Cage told me he’s one of the best. Was hand picked. Somehow I don’t see why the Navy would handpick the playful Buck we are seeing but it’s up to him to show us those parts of him. For now I’m just grateful he’s been so open to having a relationship with us.”

Athena turned to look at Eddie with a glint in her eye, “I do say that he’s been the most open emotions wise with you though Eddie. That day after May got into the accident he came into the house practically vibrating with excitement and somehow I don’t think it had anything to do with May and Harry.”

Eddie blushed a bit as he remembered their encounter. Bobby raised his eyebrow at Athena’s suggestion.

“I think it goes without saying but if you hurt him it will be between you and me Eddie,” Bobby said sternly.

“Got it Cap but I think Buck would probably handle me himself if I hurt him.” The table burst out into laughter knowing that Eddie was right.

Weeks passed after the dinner and Eddie and Buck got closer. Before Eddie and Chris had left, Eddie had given Buck his number and invited him to movie night with Chris. He had come and they watched Avengers. It soon became a weekly thing.

Chris loved Buck already. He liked that Buck didn’t treat him any differently and was willing to argue about super heroes with him. Eddie was grateful that they both got along so well. As much as he liked Buck he knew that his son came first and that if Chris didn’t like Buck, Eddie would have no choice but to give up on the blossoming relationship.

Buck and Eddie texted all throughout the day. It became the norm to see Eddie checking his phone between calls to reply to Buck’s texts. Bobby was quite amused by the situation after hearing that Eddie had officially asked Buck to be his boyfriend.

He was very happy for the two but couldn’t help but worry what would happen when Buck inevitably went back to Virginia Beach. Buck had given them an idea of the kind of operations he went on when he told them stories at dinner. It was dangerous and Bobby worried but he knew Eddie would worry more having seen the kind of injuries people get in those situations first hand from his time in the Army. He’d expressed his concerns to Eddie and Eddie couldn’t lie and say Buck’s imminent return to Virginia Beach wasn’t on his mind especially with his shoulder healing so nicely.

It came to ahead one unsuspecting morning. Buck had spent the night at Eddie’s after date night and they had woken up in bed tangled with each other. Eddie ran his fingers through Buck’s hair in the comfortable silence. The sound of Buck’s cell phone killed the silence and he reluctantly untangled himself from Eddie to answer. His blood ran cold when he saw who was calling him.

“Commander Jackson.” Eddie sat up knowing this call was important.

“I see. Thank you for telling me. I’ll be there.” Buck hung up and sighed.

“What’s going on babe?” Eddie asked worriedly and pulled Buck closer to face him.

“We have orders. I have to go back to Virginia Beach.”

“Orders? But you’re not even fully healed yet.” Eddie argued growing emotional at the thought of Buck leaving.

“Yeah but they’re pre deployment orders. I’ll be healed by the time we have the leave and I need to be there when they go through the ins and outs of this operation. From what I’ve been told it’s big.”

“You’re getting deployed?”

“Yes Eddie. I am a Navy Seal you know. It was bound to happen sooner or later.”

Buck didn’t want to go back. He was happy here. Happy with the family he had found. Happy with the relationship he was building with his father. Happy with his relationship with Eddie but of course life wouldn’t let him enjoy it for now.

Eddie pulled Buck close and guided them so that Buck was laying on his chest. Eddie was scared. He’d been to war. He’d seen things and it wasn’t pretty. He’d heard things about what Seals endured on deployments from his time in the army and from Buck as well. Buck had opened up to him one time after date night when he couldn’t seem to fall asleep.

It didn’t help that Buck probably wouldn’t be able to contact him much. When he was in the Army he barely had time to call Chris and Shannon. With Buck being in Special Ops he’d probably have even less.

Eddie knew he always came back from deployment changed. Shannon had pointed that out to him. He hoped that Buck wouldn’t but he didn’t know the Seal side of Buck. They’d only been together for a couple of weeks officially and while they’d talked about Shannon and other important things like Buck’s childhood without any family but his mom they hadn’t talked about everything. Eddie didn’t know if he’d be able to deal with it if the Buck he had now wasn’t the one that came back form war. If he came back even.

“I’m scared.” Eddie voiced his concerns.

“I know. I’m sorry.” Buck said and nuzzled into his chest, “I’m going to have to tell Bobby.”

“He’s going to be devastated.”

“I know.” Buck said and lifted his head to kiss Eddie. Right now all he needed was to be as close to him as possible because soon he wouldn’t be able to do this for a long time.

Chapter Text

It was official. Buck had to report back to base in 5 days. Both he and Eddie were still coming to terms with his orders despite it being two days since the phone call from his commander.

Eddie was supportive but he knew that the older man was scared. He felt a little bit guilty for putting Eddie and Chris through this and had even given Eddie a chance to get out but no. His Eddie had protested and stood his ground. They were going to make this work and Eddie and Chris would be waiting when he got back.

Buck had yet to tell Bobby. He had no idea how to approach the subject. He knew he’d be devastated. The possibility of losing the son he’d only just formed a bond with was one Buck knew he’d struggle with.

Right now all Buck wanted to focus on was spending as much time as possible with everyone including Cage. Cage and him had hung out a couple times over the weeks he’d been in LA. Cage was like a rock guiding him through his relationships with both Eddie and Bobby. Cage was delighted that he had new material to tease Buck about.

Cage and Eddie had also gotten close. They had only just made things official when Buck decided it was time to introduce them. There was a bit of tension at first but in no time they were laughing and trading stories about Buck. He was grateful that one of his best friends and boyfriend was getting along. He hoped that Eddie would fall back on Cage when he was gone if he needed it.

Right now Cage was over at Eddie’s house. Buck had invited him to movie night.

Buck had made a last minute run to the store to get popcorn leaving Eddie and Cage behind on the couch. Christopher was at a sleepover leaving the men with some adult time.

“What’s bothering you?” Cage asked as he took a swig of his beer. Some craft shit Buck had bought.

Eddie glanced at him, “How’d you know something is bothering me?”

Cage looked at him disbelieving, “You do know I was a Navy Seal with your boy right?”

“Fair enough..I just can’t stop worrying about what’s gonna happen when he leaves. Like I know what’s gonna happen but I’ve never been on this side before you know? He hasn’t even left yet and I’m sick with worry.” Eddie looked away and took a swig of his beer.

“Buck will be fine. He’s a damn good Seal and the team will protect him if anything happens. Honestly that kid has faced death so much and won I swear he’s a cat.”

Eddie grimaced thinking about all the possible near death situations Buck had been in before, “Somehow that doesn’t make me feel any better.”

“He’ll be fine. He’s in good hands. He doesn’t have a Navy Cross for no reason.”

“Wait Buck has a Navy Cross? He never told me.” Cage raised his eyebrow.

“Somehow that doesn’t surprise me. Buck is never one to boast about his achievements. You know he tried to decline the medal? Command wouldn’t let him.” Cage shook his head at the memory of Buck arguing with Commander Jackson.

“Still I told him about my Silver Star,” Eddie pouted.

“The op we were on when he got it was rough. We lost someone. Buck had a hard time dealing with it after.”

“I understand that,” and Eddie did. He knew what it was like to see your comrades die. He remembered the helpless feeling when he knew he couldn’t help someone.

“Look,” Cage put down his beer on the coffee table, “Just talk to Buck. He’ll understand. He’ll also understand if you don’t want to do this and while I know you have talked about it, you have to be prepared to deal with the aftermath when he gets back. It’s never easy. God forbid something happens, it’ll be even worse. So are you in it for the long run? Are you prepared to deal with the aftermath no matter what? Are you going to be okay with the not knowing. The not knowing of where he is or what he’s doing. Those are questions you have to ask yourself.”

The conversation lulled as Eddie processed Cage’s words. Eddie came to a startling conclusion. He loved Buck. He’d do anything for him. He’d be there for him no matter what. He was ready to stand by his side.

“I’ll never leave him. I love him.” Eddie confessed.

“Then you need to tell him that because knowing him he’s probably been worried about what you’ve been thinking.”

Cage was right. Between his worries about telling Bobby and mentally preparing himself for another long deployment he couldn’t stop thinking about the burden he was placing on Eddie. The man had a child he needed to worry about him. It had only been weeks but he loved Eddie. Call it love at first sight but this was the man he wanted to come home to. The man he wanted to wake up to in bed. His son was an added bonus. Buck loved kids. He never thought he’d have his own. Too scared to commit to anything long term but then came Eddie and Chris.

Buck walked into the house he’d started calling home. He’d been sleeping there more often than not to Bobby’s chagrin but his father didn’t complain. Bobby was just happy that Buck was happy.

“Hey. I got the popcorn,” He said greeting Eddie with a kiss.

Cage gagged jokingly.

“What? You want a kiss too?” Buck puckered up his lips and went to pull Cage in. Cage shrugged him off.

“Gross.” Buck stuck his tongue out at him.

Sometimes Cage wondered how Buck kept the other side of him hidden so well. Buck’s actual personality was akin to that of a golden retriever. Very playful but at work Buck was a machine. He’d seen Buck switch off his emotions at the snap of a finger first hand many times but it always surprised him. For many others they couldn’t separate and it engulfed them but Buck was able to separate work from his actual personality.

Maybe that’s what made him such a good Seal. Sooner or later it would weigh on him though. It always happens to the best. Cage hoped that Eddie would be able to pick up the pieces when that time came. Before Cage could dwell on this thoughts any longer Buck started the movie.

Soon enough the movie was over and Cage had taken his leave. Buck and Eddie had just settled into bed when Eddie decided now was a good time to talk to Buck about what was on his mind.

Eddie placed his head on Buck’s chest and intertwined their legs. Buck placed a kiss in his hair feeling content.

“So I had some things on my mind and I talked to Cage about it,” Buck looked down at him curiously, “and I just want you to know I’m in it for the long run. I will be here when you get back. Whenever you need me I’ll be here. I don’t care about the baggage you may come back with. I love you.”

Buck’s breath hitched at the confession, “You love me? I love you too.”

Buck sat up causing Eddie to raise up. Buck placed his hand on Eddie’s cheek and pulled him in for a soft kiss. With his hand rubbing soothing circles on Eddie’s cheek he admitted, “I wanted to tell you for a while but I didn’t know what was going through your head or if you felt the same. I know it’s a burden with me leaving and I didn’t want you to feel bad if you had decided to end things.”

“Buck I would never. I told you, I’m in it for the long run. Chris loves you. I love you and we’re excited to have you as ours.”

Eddie pulled Buck into a kiss. Buck smiled against his lips. He was in pure bliss. The kiss soon turned heated and Eddie flipped them over so he was pinning Buck to the bed.

They separated for air and Eddie looked straight into Buck’s blown pupils with a piercing gaze, “Are you gonna be a good boy for me baby?”

“I’ll be whatever you want.”

Eddie smirked and worked on getting Buck and him naked. Buck found himself naked with Eddie holding his arms above his head as Eddie kissed his way down his body.

Buck had an amazing body. He was all muscle and pale skin with the occasional scar from old injuries. His dick was even better though. Eddie popped his dick into his mouth sucking on the tip roughly.

Buck moaned in response and writhed in Eddie’s hold.

“So responsive,” Eddie teased jerking Buck’s cock.

Eddie let go of Buck’s hands,”Be a good boy and keep your hands up.”

Eddie let his hands wander over Buck’s body before settling on his muscular thighs. Eddie bent down and sucked repeatedly at the skin on Buck’s thigh until it was filled with spots of red.

“Look at you all marked up.” Eddie said looking down at Buck with dark eyes. Buck flushed bright red.

Eddie guided his hand to Buck’s neglected cock and moved his hands up and down rhythmically. Buck moaned resisting the urge to grab onto Eddie.

“Eddie I’m gonna cum.”

“Then cum.” Buck exploded all over his hand. Eddie brought his hand up to his mouth and sucked Buck’s cum off his fingers one by one never breaking eye contact with him.

“Fuck.” Buck said coming down from his orgasm. He pulled Eddie into a searing kiss tasting himself on his tongue.

Eddie pulled away and grabbed Buck’s discarded shirt to wipe the mess of cum from over them. Eddie collapsed unto the bed next to Buck and rearranged them so that he was the big spoon.

“That was good.” Buck said sleepily.

“Well you better enjoy that bliss for now because you’ve gotta tell everyone you’re leaving tomorrow.” Eddie said punctuating his sentence with a soft kiss to Buck’s neck.

“Shit.” Buck still wasn’t sure how to break the news to Bobby. He was running out of time. He’ll deal with that tomorrow he thinks as he drifts off into a peaceful sleep.

Chapter Text

Another family dinner. Buck had grown to love them. These kinds of gatherings Buck had craved growing up and now he finally had it. Too bad he was too busying worrying about telling everyone he had to leave to actually enjoy himself. God Buck would miss this when he was gone.

Buck was currently sitting at the dinner table savoring Bobby’s cooking while listening to Chris rave about his newest obsession dinosaurs. Buck smiled at the kids enthusiasm interjecting with the small facts he knew about dinosaurs occasionally. The adults at the table smiled at the interaction while engaging in their own conversation. The ring of Buck’s cellphone broke the peaceful moment.

Commander Jackson.

God what is it now Buck asked himself. Excusing himself from the table ignoring the curious looks of everyone Buck answered the phone.

“Commander?”

“Buck. We’ve got a timeline. We’re looking at about a month before we leave then about 6-10 months on deployment.”

Buck sighed, “I’ll be back in Virginia Beach by Monday. My flight is already booked.”

“Okay. How long again till your shoulder is healed?”

“I’ve got an appointment the day I get back but things are looking good. I should be cleared hot.”

“Got it. Don’t be late”

“Yes sir.” Buck sighed and sat down on the couch putting his head in his hands. If he knew anything about the Navy he was sure his deployment was going to be the maximum of 10 months rather than 6.

Bobby came into the the living room taking note of Buck’s demeanor.

“Is everything okay?” Bobby asked taking a seat next to Buck putting a hand on his back.

Buck lifted his head and Bobby could see the stress in his eyes. Bobby immediately went rigid knowing something was wrong.

“Bobby I have something to tell you. That was my commander. I have to leave this weekend. I have orders and we’re gonna be shipping out for deployment in about a month.”

Buck bit his lip waiting for Bobby’s reaction. Those words struck fear and worry into Bobby like no other. His son was going on deployment. He was going to be running headfirst into danger or more like dropping in from helicopters in Buck’s case. His heart raced as he thought about the possibilities. Buck could get hurt. He could get shot or even worse killed. Bobby knew Buck’s job and it’s dangers but this was putting everything into perspective and he was left with no choice but to confront the fear that Buck may not come home alive.

“How long?”

“Six to ten months but knowing how things go it’ll probably be on the longer side.”

“Do you know where or?”

“Yeah but I can’t say.”

Bobby let out a shaky breath, “Does Eddie know?”

Buck nodded, “He was there when I got the first call. I didn’t know how to tell you.”

Bobby took a few moments to come to terms with the announcement. He had to be strong for Buck and Eddie and the family.

“When are you going to tell everyone?”

Buck rubbed the back of his neck sheepishly, “I was hoping for tonight?”

Leave it to Buck to announce something as big as this last minute.

“Okay. We’ll tell everyone when we go back out yeah?”

“I just want to tell the adults. Eddie and I want to tell Chris on our own. It might be better for him to process things when it’s just us.”

Bobby nodded in agreement, “Me and Athena will explain to May and Harry.”

Bobby pulled Buck into a tight hug, “Gosh kid I’m gonna miss you.”

Buck brought his arms up to return the hug and squeezed Bobby tight ignoring the slight dampness he felt on his shirt, “I know.”

Bobby got up rubbing at his eyes to disguise his teary eyes. Buck followed his lead preparing himself to tell everyone.

Bobby dismissed the kids sending them inside and Buck stood at the top of the table. The team noted Bobby’s red eyes but didn’t comment knowing something was up.

“I have something to tell you guys.” Buck said and looked at Eddie for support. Eddie nodded at him knowing that now was the best time to tell everyone.

“What is it?” Hen asked.

“Is something wrong?” Athena asked ready to help her boy.

“I have to leave. I have orders and I’m being deployed.”

The team broke out in various noises of surprise.

“But aren’t you still injured?” Hen asked.

“My shoulder is healing fine. I’m supposed to be cleared when I get back.” Buck answered.

“How long and where?” Chimney asked nervously. Buck had become like annoying little brother to him. He willingly traded jokes and bantered with him. He’d miss him.

“About six to ten months but more than likely it’ll be around ten months. I can’t say where I’ll be.”

And so the not knowing started. The team was reeling. They never really had to deal with something like this before. It’d be a long couple of months. They’d miss Buck like crazy. He’d become one of them. The puzzle piece they didn’t know they were missing.

Athena got up and grabbed Buck pulling him into a tight hug.

“You better be careful you hear me? I don’t want to lose a son.” She said pulling back and cupping his face with her hands.

Buck smiled tearfully at her words and pulled her back into a hug. The only woman to ever refer to him as son was his mom. Athena had slowly started to fill the void left by his mom. He was immensely grateful that the woman had loved him like her own in such a short space of time.

Soon enough the team and their partners were all pulling Buck into various hugs. Buck basked into the feeling. He was going to hold onto this for as long as possible. This was the thing that would keep him going. The unconditional love he felt by the family he’d only known for just weeks.

The night ended with lots of tears and doting. The team knowing that this could very well be the last time they had Buck with them.

Buck and Eddie decided to sit Chris down to explain the situation to him.

“Buddy I’ve got something to tell you.”

He stooped down to Chris’ level directly in front of his bed.

“So you know how your daddy was in the army and had to leave for work sometimes?”

Chris nodded not sure where the conversation was going.

“Well you know how I’m in the navy and that I told you that I leave for work sometimes too?”

Chris immediately knew something was up, “Are you leaving Buck?”

“Yeah bud. I have to go for work. I won’t be here for a little while.”

Chris immediately burst into tears launching himself at Buck. Eddie stood in the doorway looking helplessly knowing this was something Buck had to do on his own.

“Please don’t go. I don’t want you to go.” Chris sobbed and Buck felt his heart breaking.

“I’m sorry.” Buck said holding Chris tight.

“NO. Please papa you can’t go.” Buck burst into tears at Chris calling him papa.

The two had gotten increasingly close during these short weeks. Buck had thought that he and Eddie were moving too fast by Eddie involving him with Chris but Eddie had assured him that every relationship moves at their own pace. He’d fit seamlessly into the co parenting role.

Eddie’s heart broke seeing both his son and his lover crying. He joined them on the floor pulling them both into a tight hug.

“Chris. Buck will come back. I promise.” Truthfully, Eddie couldn’t be sure Buck would but he had to calm Chris somehow.

Buck pulled back and cupped Chris’ face with his hands trying to wipe his tears.

“Buddy I will fight until the ends of the earth to come back to you and your dad. I love you okay?”

Buck pulled Chris back into a hug to try to comfort him. Eventually, the young boy drifted off and Buck got up and placed him in his head.

Eddie pulled him into his bedroom or well their bedroom considering Buck had unofficially moved in.

Eddie dragged him into bed with Buck on his chest as Buck burst out into a new round of sobs at the thought of leaving. Eddie wordlessly rubbed his back knowing if he opened his mouth to speak he’d burst into tears too.

Eddie knew this was only the beginning. They still had months of worrying and tears ahead. Chris was devastated and he knew it’d only get worse. Chris had gotten so attached to him. Even called Buck Papa tonight. Eddie couldn’t help but second guess things.

Was it the right decision for him to integrate Buck into their life so soon? Maybe not but Eddie would do anything for the joy he felt in the moments spent with Buck and Chris and if Chris felt comfortable enough to call Buck his Papa after such a short time then so be it.

With heavy thoughts on their minds, Eddie and Buck drifted off to sleep holding each other tightly.

Sunday came in no time at all and before everyone knew it, it was time for Buck to leave. Buck spent all Saturday with Christopher while Eddie was working trying to reassure the boy he’d be back as soon as he could and that he would stay if he could.

The team + the significant others decided to throw a leaving party at lunch for Buck because he had to leave for his flight before dinner. Everyone was there doting on him. Buck felt so loved. He couldn’t help but worry that he’d never get a chance to have this again. He knew the danger he was going to be in. He didn’t know for sure he’d be coming home alive much less in one piece. He could only hope for the best.

After a lively lunch filled with laughter and hugs Buck headed off to the airport with Bobby, Athena and the kids and Eddie and Chris who insisted on seeing him off.

Buck had just checked in and had to head off to his gate soon. It was time to say goodbye.

Eddie pulled Buck into a kiss not wanting to let go.

“I’ll be waiting right here for you okay? I love you.” Eddie promised. Buck nodded and pulled him into one last kiss.

Buck bent down to embrace Chris who was hugging his legs, “I’ll see you soon okay? I love you kid.”

Chris sniffled holding back tears and nodded. May and Harry rushed to hug Buck too. Buck hold onto them tight promising them to come home as soon as possible.

“Okay you guys gotta let go so I can say goodbye to Bobby and Athena.” The kids reluctantly let go of him. May pulled Buck back into a hug.

“You better come back. I need my big brother.” Buck smiled and hugged her back, “Of course baby sis.”

Buck pulled out of her hold and approached Bobby and Athena. Athena pulled Buck into a tight hug as if he’d disappear if she let go.

“Evan Buckley. Don’t do anything stupid. I expect you back home unharmed.”

Buck looked at her sheepishly, “Don’t look at me like that. Cage told me stories.” Athena said pulling him down so she could kiss his forehead.

Athena let her go so that he could say goodbye to Bobby.

Bobby pulled him into a tight hug. He wasn’t ready to let Buck go as yet. He wanted him to stay in his sight where he knew he was safe and where he could protect him but he couldn’t.

“You be safe okay? I love you son.” Bobby said holding Buck’s head to look at him.

“I love you too Dad.” That caused Bobby to lose his composure and his tears flowed freely. This was the first time Buck had called him Dad. He’d celebrate normally but it was dampened with Bobby knowing this could be the first and last time he would hear Buck call him that.

Over the airport announcement system boarding for Buck’s flight called and he had no choice but to let Bobby go.

“I love you all okay?” Buck said as he wiped tears from his face not being able to hide behind his cold Seal facade. This was the first time he was overwhelmed with such emotion. This first time he didn’t want to leave. He used to love deployments. It excited him. The unknowns and being in a new place but now he had a family waiting for him back home and he wanted nothing more to stay in their loving embraces.

“We love you too Buck. See you later.” Buck picked up his bag and started to make his way to the gate after a last round of hugs. He stopped right in front of the security and looked back at his family. He promised himself then and there to fight to get back to them. It was going to be a hard fight but he had a child and a man he wanted to marry waiting for him. He had his Dad waiting to carry him on the promised fishing trip. He had so much to live for and Buck would try not to forget that.

With one last wave Buck turned around and faced security before walking into his gate to board his flight.

Chapter Text

Buck had finally been cleared for training. The last couple of weeks had been filled with team meetings and training operations. Buck had barely had time to actually miss anyone back in LA.

The texts to Eddie had been scarce. The phone calls were even scarcer but he really and truly just didn’t have time. It was meetings and training and by the time he got home he was just ready to go to bed. He felt guilty. He was stateside and barely had time to manage a phone call. Imagine when he left and had even less. Couple that with spotty internet and no phone service it was going to put more of a strain on the both of them.

Not to mention the fact that Eddie forfeited most of the calls they did have to Christopher. They’d barely had time to speak; just the both of them.

Eddie couldn’t lie, he was frustrated. He knew Buck was busy but it was hard not to feel frustrated when Buck’s replies were so spaced out.

Eddie would message him in the morning before or after a shift and wouldn’t get a reply until late at night or early the next morning. He supposed he should be grateful because Bobby was getting replies even less than he was.

The only thing Buck had managed to make time for was facetiming during family dinners. It was the one time he could talk to everyone even if it was just for a few minutes.

Eddie sighed as he checked his phone for the fifth time in the past hour.

“Still nothing?” Chim asked knowing that there had been a lack of replies on Buck’s end.

“Nope.” Eddie sighed before continuing, “Like I know this is to be expected and he warned me but I just didn’t realise it’d be like this. Now I know how Shannon had felt all those times I couldn’t call home and trust me it’s not a good feeling.”

Chim patted him on the back soothingly.

“The worse part is he’s stateside. He hasn’t even left yet and it’s going to get worse. It’s just frustrating.”

Eddie’s phone pinged. Message from Buck the screen read.

Eddie opened the message to see it was a video and immediately tapped the screen to play it. It was a video of Buck landing with a parachute attached having just jumped out a plane.

Buck had started to send little snippets of his days within the boundaries of what he was allowed to tell and show people. Sometimes it was pictures of him in gear or sometimes it was just things his team were doing.

Buck looked hot. Eddie never thought that a man could look so good with tactical gear and a parachute and he was in the Army but then again Buck could a paper bag look like designer clothes.

Eddie’s phone pinged again with another message from Buck.

‘Team thought my boy needed some new material. Done for the day. Talk later?’

Eddie smiled and replied,

‘Tell your guys I said thanks. I’ll call after my shift.’

Bobby sauntered into the lounge seeing Eddie’s expression.

“Is that Buck?”

“Yeah he sent a very interesting video. Wanna see?”

“Please tell me it’s not a dick vid.” Chim said.

The team gathered around Eddie and he played the video.

“Did he just jump out a plane?” Chim whistled, “Now that is impressive.”

“How does he make it look so effortless?” Hen asked incredulously.

“That boy is gonna give me a heart attack.” Bobby muttered, “Don’t show that to Athena. She’ll fly to Virginia Beach and drag him here in handcuffs.”

Athena had been worried about Buck. She had conveyed to Bobby she had a bad feeling about this. Bobby had assured her that Buck would be fine. That he’d been doing this for years. It did not put her at ease one bit.

The alarm sounded and the team jumped into action. By the time Eddie got home he was exhausted. The last call had been a car accident involving almost ten cars. Their shift had been over by the time they got back to the house. Carla had already put Christopher to bed leaving Eddie with nothing to do but to call Buck and put himself to bed.

He dialed up the number and waited as the phone rung on the other end of the line.

“Hi babe.” Buck answered.

“Hey baby.” Eddie replied fighting his exhaustion.

“You sound tired.”

“The last call was crazy. Took us hours to get the scene cleaned up.”

“That sounds rough. You wanna talk about it?”

“Nah. Tell me about your day. I see you were jumping out of planes.” Eddie said getting comfortable in bed.

“Just a routine exercise. Nothing much.”

“Routine he says.” Eddie snorted in disbelief, “Chim and Hen were very impressed by the way. Bobby was a bit more concerned.”

Buck groaned, “I know he messaged me this whole paragraph about safety. While I appreciate the sentiment, I’ll be fine. I’ve been doing this for a long time now.”

Eddie hummed acknowledging his answer, “He’s just worried. He misses you.”

“I know and I’m sorry I haven’t had much time to talk to anyone lately. It’s just so busy and we finally have a shipping out date and it’s just been crazy.”

“Wait you have a date? When are you guys shipping out?” Eddie sat up in the bed at the revelation.

“Friday. I thought I told you. I guess it slipped my mind?”

Eddie took a deep breath. Buck’s deployment was becoming very real very quickly.

“I’m gonna try to call all you guys before I leave. I know I’ll never hear the end of it from Bobby and Athena if I don’t.”

Silence greeted him at the end of the line.

“Eddie?” He asked wondering if Eddie had hung up.

“Sorry. I’m here. It’s just that...forget it.”

Buck was now very concerned. He wondered if Eddie was having second thoughts. He didn’t want to lose him. Especially right before he had to leave.

“Please babe. What’s wrong?” Buck asked desperately.

“I just miss you. We haven’t really had much time to talk. I know you’re busy but I’ve never been on this side of things before and I just worry. I worry about you and us and I just miss you.” Eddie explained.

“Babe I’m sorry. I’ll try to make more time for calls but I can’t promise that I’ll be able to. I miss you too and you have every right to worry, just like how I worry every time I hear about your calls.”

“I know babe I know. Just didn’t realise it would be this hard. You know with Shannon our relationship wasn’t the best but with you it’s different. I love you like no other. You and Chris are everything to me. I just don’t want to lose you.” Eddie confessed.

“I’ll be fine babe. I love you too so so much. It’s just for a short period of time. I’ll be back before you know it.”

Eddie felt a bit better after telling him what was on his mind. He knew this would be tough but Buck was so worth it. He loved this man so much it scared him. Eddie already knew he wanted to spend the rest of his life with him. He had vague plans to propose when Buck came back.

“You better come back quick so I can make you Evan Buckley-Diaz.” Eddie joked waiting for Buck’s reaction.

On the other side of the line Buck beamed. Eddie was thinking of marrying him. Buck wanted nothing more than to be with this man for the rest of his life. He couldn’t wait to get back to him.

“Evan Buckley-Diaz does have a nice ring to it.” Buck teased.

Their playful banter was cut short by a loud yawn from Eddie.

“Get some sleep babe. We’ll talk when we can okay? I won’t leave before calling you and Chris. I promise.”

“Okay love you.”

“Love you too baby.” Buck responded and hung up leaving Eddie to get some sleep. That night Buck dreamt of a wedding at the beach with two grooms and a little boy.

Before Buck knew it he was packing his bags and heading to the air strip. He’d called everyone last night after they had an impromptu family dinner. He spent all night talking with them not even caring that he’d be bone tired in the morning.

Bobby hadn’t wanted to end the call and Buck didn’t have it in his heart to so they ended up talking about the most random things until Buck ended up falling asleep. Buck knew Bobby was scared. He’d only just found him and now he had a chance at losing him. There was nothing Buck could say that would ease the father’s worries.

This morning Buck had exchanged tearful goodbyes with Chris and Eddie over face time. It broke his heart to see his boys so upset but Buck had no choice. He had a job to do.

He boarded the C-17 and prayed that the next time he did, he would be coming home to his boys hopefully in one piece.

Chapter Text

As predicted contact with Buck was limited. The calls were few and far between but Buck had somehow managed to not miss a single family birthday.

Christopher’s birthday was today and Buck had promised to call him before his party when he’d have some free time before catching some sleep. It pinged in Eddie’s brain that Buck was gonna be sleeping while it was day time in LA so where ever Buck was it had to be nighttime but then again Buck had told him that his team usually did operations at night and slept during the day.

Eddie and Chris had gone to Athena and Bobby’s house early this morning so that they could set up for the party and that everyone would get a chance to talk to Buck.

Eddie had just placed a plate of pancakes in front of Chris on the dining table when Buck called.

“Daddy! It’s Buck! Hi papa!” Chris rushed to answer while Bobby and Athena rushed to the table to get a glimpse of their son.

“Happy Birthday Buddy!” Buck exclaimed.

Eddie took in Buck’s appearance. He had on unmarked uniform and there was some dirt in his face and hair. The bags under his eyes spoke volumes of his exhaustion. Buck had clearly just gotten back from an operation and his first thought wasn’t even to clean himself up but to call Chris.

“You look exhausted baby.” Athena voiced his thoughts.

“I uh I had a long night but that’s not important. What did the birthday boy get for his birthday huh?” Buck asked trying to steer the conversation away from himself.

Truth be told, last night had been a rough one for Buck. The team wasn’t making headway in their operations and he missed home like crazy. He felt the exhaustion down to his bones but he had to keep pushing. This was the last deployment he decided. His enlistment was up soon and Buck was hoping to get discharged. He didn’t want to live on the edge anymore. He had a soon to be fiance and a son waiting for him at home. As a matter of fact he had a whole family of first responders waiting for him at home.

Chris got up and grabbed the lego set Eddie had bought for him to show it to Buck.

“Wow buddy! That’s alot of pieces.”

“I know. It’s like a thousand but I was thinking that me and you could build it when you get back?”

Buck smiled fondly, “Sure kid. Just make sure your dad doesn’t step on any or he’ll never forgive us.”

Chris and Buck talked for almost 20 minutes when Eddie sent him off to finish his breakfast so that the adults could talk to Buck.

“How have you been baby?” Eddie asked concerned.

“Ah it’s been okay.” Buck replied.

“You don’t look like you’ve been sleeping much.” Bobby added.

“We uh we usually sleep during the day but we’ve had a lot going on so I haven’t slept in like two days.” Buck winced thinking about the last time he had slept more than four hours.

“Jesus Christ. As if being in a dangerous situation wasn’t enough. You have to take care of yourself Buck.”

“I know I know but when we’ve got orders I don’t have a choice.”

“Do you guys know when you’ll be back yet?” Bobby asked hopeful it’ll be soon.

“Ah no but honestly I think we’re gonna be here for a while longer.”

Eddie sighed sadly. It had been 8 months already. Eddie just wanted Buck to be home so he could wrap him up in a blanket in their bed where he’d be safe and secure.

“You sure you’re okay?” Eddie asked one more time not satisfied with Buck’s answers.

“Yeah babe. You’d be the first to know if I was hurt. You are my emergency contact after all.” Buck reasoned.

They had discussed it before Buck had left LA. Buck’s previous emergency contacts for when he was deployed was his team mate’s wife because he had no other family at the time. Now that he had Bobby and Eddie he decided to change it to them. It was only fair that if something happened that they find out first.

“I know baby but I-“ A siren went off in the background and another man dressed in the same gear as Buck came into frame.

“Kid we gotta go!”

“Shit I gotta go. Love you!” Buck said grabbing his rifle he had leaning against the wall next to him before cutting the face time call.

 

Eddie started at the screen for almost a minute after Buck cut the call. He knew those sirens from his time in the Middle East. Those sirens meant air raids. You were supposed to hunker down and take cover until the sirens ceased.

“What the hell?” Bobby questioned.

“They’re air raid sirens. I know them from my time in the Middle East.”

“Air raids?” Athena questioned concerned.

“Yeah. Missiles and stuff being sent on their way to whatever base.”

“Jesus.”

Eddie was paralyzed by fear. He prayed that Buck would be okay. He didn’t know how he’d carry on today knowing how the call ended but he couldn’t let Christopher know something was happening with his Buck. It was his birthday and he deserved to have a good day.

In an attempt to lift the mood Eddie put on a fake smile, “We need to finish decorating.”

The rest of the team immediately picked up on the mood when they arrived. Bobby explained the situation and how the call had ended so abruptly. The team worried for Buck but they needed to stay strong especially for Eddie and their captain.

It wasn’t easy knowing your loved one was in danger. It certainly didn’t help ease worries when you got a glimpse at the danger they faced everyday.

The party had started to wind down as there were only a few guests left when Eddie got a message from Buck.

‘I’m okay. Talk soon. Love you.’

The message was short but it felt like a weight was lifted off of his shoulders. Buck would probably be in meetings and have reports to do after the missile strike so he couldn’t talk but Eddie appreciated that he thought about him and how he might have needed to be reassured (he definitely needed to be reassured).

“Buck’s okay!” Eddie announced to table of adults.

The family let our various sighs of relief at the news.

“Your boy had me scared for a minute.” Carla said.

“That boy might just send me to an early grave.” Bobby joked.

The mood immediately lifted and the team all decided to toast to Buck.

“To the boy with nine lives.” Chim toasted.

Everything was good. Buck’s deployment was up soon and he was unharmed. Eddie couldn’t help but think something would go wrong. He felt like he was waiting for the other shoe to drop. Too bad he didn’t know it would drop sooner than later.

It was an out of the ordinary mid week shift. It had been an absolutely crazy day with the most taxing call being a 20 car pileup. It was call after call after call all day for the 118.

Eddie was not having a good day to say the least. Chris had thrown a tantrum about not being able to talk to Buck before school like Buck had initially promised. The man had been super busy the last week. He had only returned one singular message the entire week. Buck’s team had been working on something big. That much he knew.

To top it all off on the first call of the day Eddie had gotten puked on. On the next call he had to go into the sewers so yeah he was having a pretty shit day and it had been months since he’d last seen his boyfriend. Sue him for being grumpy.

The team had just sat at the table eating a late lunch between calls when Eddie’s phone rang. He fished it out of his pocket to see who was calling when he saw ‘Unknown Caller’.

His blood ran cold. Buck had told him that if something were to happen to him he’d most likely get a call from an unknown number.

He quickly accepted the call and put the phone to his ears.

“Hello?”

“Hello. This is Commander Jackson calling about Evan Buckley. Is this Eddie Diaz?”

“This is him.” Eddie said with his heart racing in his chest.

Something was wrong. Oh god. Was Buck dead? No if he was dead notifiers would have shown up. Eddie wasn’t home though so maybe they did and he just didn’t know?

“I’m sorry to inform you like this but Evan’s team carried out a very high risk operation last night. We have been told that the helicopter tasked with bringing them back to base went down. The team members including Evan as well as the pilot who was on that helicopter have all failed to check in as of 0600 hours our time. We have now declared Evan Buckley as M.I.A. or missing in action.”

Eddie could barely register the faint voice of the Commander hanging up. Eddie stood up on shaky legs.

“Eddie? What’s wrong?” Bobby asked standing up looking at him.

“Buck-“ was all Eddie managed to get out before his knees buckled and he dropped into a heap on the floor unconscious.

Chapter Text

Bobby raced to Eddie has he fell into an unconscious heap. Hen and Chim rushed to him grabbing a medical bag they kept in the lounge in case of emergencies.

“Eddie? Can you hear me?” Chim asked holding up Eddie’s head.

Eddie’s eyes blinked as he came to. He tried to sit up on his own but he was still shaky after fainting.

“You fainted Eddie.” Bobby explained noting Eddie’s confusion.

Eddie suddenly burst out into a round of loud sobs as he remembered the phone call.

“Eddie. Who was that on the phone?”

“Buck-“ Eddie let out a loud sob not being able to talk without crying. He was hysterical at this point. Nothing Chim and Hen did could calm him.

Bobby sat next to him and allowed Eddie to lean on him as he cried.

“What about Buck?” Bobby asked fearful. This wasn’t a good sign. The fact that Eddie was hysterical after the phone call only muttering things about Buck.

“They said,” Eddie sniffled, “He’s MIA. The team’s helicopter went down. He hasn’t checked in since.”

Bobby felt his stomach drop. Chim and Hen dropped to the floor alongside the two in shock.

Oh God. Please no. Not Buck please. Bobby couldn’t lose another child. If Bobby lost Buck there was truly nothing that would stop him from picking up a bottle for the first time in years. Bobby felt tears cascade on his cheeks.

“Did they say anything else? Do they know where? Are they looking?” Hen asked hysterical. Oh God someone had to tell Athena. Athena was going to freak. She had taken Buck under her wing and adopted him. She had no idea how they were going to tell her that her eldest was MIA unsure to ever return home again.

“No. They just wanted to inform me of the situation. I don’t know anything else.” Eddie’s tears had slowed down a bit. The only thing on his mind was Buck. What if he never got to propose? What if he never got to hold him again? Or tell him that he loved him?

Buck had came into his life like a hurricane and turned everything upside down. Eddie was convinced that Buck was his soulmate. He’d never experienced such an intense love in such a short time. What if that short time was all he got with Buck?

Eddie’s thoughts were interrupted by loud footsteps coming up the stairs to the lounge.

“I brought snacks!” Athena hollered. Her steps faltered as she took in the scene before her eyes. She immediately knew something was wrong. Anxiety creeped into her creating a pit in her stomach.

“What’s going on?” She asked.

Hen stood up and approached her.

“Athena maybe you should sit down for this.” Athena let herself be guided onto a chair next to where Bobby, Eddie and Chim were still on the floor.

“I got a call..” Eddie started as his tears flowed freely.

“It’s Buck. They declared him MIA.” He continued.

Athena could have sworn her heart had stopped.

“How is he MIA? What happened?” Athena asked borderline shouting almost hysterical at the thought of losing her eldest.

“His team’s helicopter went down. That’s all we know.” Chim explained.

Athena felt sick to her stomach. She knew she had a bad feeling about Buck’s deployment. Her instincts were right and now Buck was hurt and possibly dead. What if she never saw him again? May and Harry would be devastated. God Bobby would be devastated. She herself would be devastated. She wasn’t sure that this family would survive if Buck didn’t come home.

“What am I gonna tell Chris?” Eddie asked.

“I’m not sure. I don’t even know where to begin with telling May and Harry.” Athena said quietly thoughts occupied with Buck only.

At this point lunch was forgotten. Nobody had an appetite. They were sick with worry. Bobby had called the Chief and requested that they be taken out of rotation. They were still reeling from the phone call and nobody’s head was in the game. If they went out on calls they’d probably do more bad than good.

They’d all decided to head home and regroup later. Eddie didn’t even know how he got home. One minute he was at the firehouse and the other he was in his driveway.

It was just after four in the afternoon so Chris was most likely home by now with Carla. Eddie had no idea what to tell Chris. Chris had already struggled after losing Shannon. He could only imagine how hard it would be for him to lose Buck.

Eddie broke down in his truck. He felt so helpless. He didn’t know what to do. He needed Buck. He prayed and prayed and prayed that he was okay but Eddie didn’t want to be selfish.

If the helicopter went down that would mean if Buck had survived that he’d probably have severe injuries. He’d probably be so scared and in so much pain. He’d probably be hurting seeing his team mates either dead or just as injured as him and not being able to help them.

He didn’t want Buck to be in pain. Who knows how long it’d be before they found them. What if his last moments were painful. Eddie didn’t want them to be. A selfish part of him wanted Buck to be okay but the thought of knowing that he could possibly be in so much pain, scared not knowing if he’d be rescued had Eddie praying that if Buck was to die or had already died, that his last moments were peaceful and painless.

Eddie tried to compose himself. He couldn’t let Chris see him like this. He had to he strong for his son. Eddie had no idea what he did to deserve losing two partners in this life. He must have been awful in his past life to deserve this kind of pain. To have to tell his son that his other parents were hurt.

Eddie took a deep breath to steady himself and went into the house looking his truck. Carla immediately took note of Eddie’s red eyes.

“What happened?” She asked knowing something was very wrong.

“It’s Buck...he uh I got a call. He’s been declared MIA. His team’s helicopter went down. None of them have been able to make contact.”

Carla took a deep breath. She knew this would devastate both Diaz boys. Buck was a welcome addition in the household. While he had been staying at Bobby and Athena’s originally, Buck ended up sleeping at Eddie’s more often than not. Imagine Carla’s surprise when she came to help Chris get ready for the day and found a handsome (very muscular) man shirtless in the kitchen. Buck was a total catch and she was glad Eddie had found someone so amazing after Shannon.

“Are they looking? How long ago was this?” Carla questioned.

“I don’t know. All they told me was that he’s MIA.”

Before Carla could respond, Christopher came into the kitchen. He picked up the solemn mood not knowing what was going on.

“Daddy? What’s wrong?”

Chris saw how his dad took a deep breath and looked to Carla. The two shared a look as if they were communicating without speaking.

“Sweetie why don’t you come sit down.” Carla guided him to the couch where she sat next to him as Eddie kneeled down in front of him.

“So you know how Buck is away for work right now?” Eddie asked.

Chris nodded.

“Well something happened and your papa got hurt. We don’t know when he’s going to come back.” Eddie explained.

Eddie didn’t have it in his heart to tell Chris that he wasn’t sure if Buck would be coming back at all. If it came to that they’d cross that bridge when they got to it.

“Is he going away like mom did?” Chris turned hysterical, “I want papa to come back. Make him come back. Please daddy.”

“I’m sorry baby but it’s out of our control.” Carla said trying to soothe him.

Chris burst into tears as flung himself onto his dad’s chest. He wanted his papa home now.

Eddie hugged Chris tightly trying to comfort his son. God he really wished Buck would come home.

Things weren’t any better at the Grant-Nash household. Harry and May were at an age where they understood what was going on. They knew that there was a very big chance that Buck was not coming back and that if he did it would most likely be in a casket.

The household was subdued. Harry had decided to go to bed early while May had sat in her room trying not to cry. She and Buck had gotten so close in such a short space of time. He was the big brother she never knew she needed. He promised that he’d be back. He promised that he’d be back in time to see her graduate. Buck had to come back.

Bobby and Athena weren’t faring any better. Bobby was scared. He was losing another child. His son. His baby. He’d only gotten to spend a couple of months with him. There was so much he and Buck had yet to do.

He wanted to take him fishing. Wanted to see his face when Eddie proposed. Wanted to get a chance to watch the two of them get married. He wanted to make up for all he time that he missed out on. Now he wasn’t sure he’d get any of that.

Athena was upset. Buck had weaseled his way into her heart. She couldn’t imagine what the damage would be if Buck didn’t make it back. Would they have to have a funeral? Would they even have a body to bury? The not knowing consumed her and she felt like she was going to be sick when she had had an idea.

“Maybe we can ask Cage if he heard anything. He was on Buck’s team at one point.” Athena suggested getting up to grab her phone.

She dialed the number and waited as the line rang.

“Athena?” Cage answered.

“Something happened to Buck. They said he’s MIA. His team’s helicopter went down or something like that.”

Cage sucked in a breath. Shit. That can’t be good.

“I’m gonna make some calls to find out what’s going on. I’m coming over. How’s Eddie?”

He knew that Eddie was probably going crazy. Hell he himself was going crazy. Buck was like a little brother to him. He was so young. Had so much to live for still. He’d already lost Tate. He couldn’t lose Buck too.

Tate had been the leader before Buck joined. The two got along well. No body saw it coming when Tate dropped to the floor with a bullet in his head. Buck had been right next to him. Cage had seen the fear and shock in Buck’s eyes as he froze. The realization that his pseudo father was gone.

Cage couldn’t explain it but Buck had changed that day. Buck had gone out of his way to make sure that everyone else had gotten out safe. Buck had been injured himself with a bullet to the arm. It didn’t even seem to matter to Buck as he dragged Tate’s lifeless body the entire hike back to their exfil point.

Buck had taken over commanding the team as the rest of the team were too shaken up. He patched everybody up ignoring the fact that his arm was bleeding profusely. He powered on despite the severe mental and physical exhaustion as he stormed into that shack in the desert and rescued that politician that had been taken during an ambush on his visit to the troops.

Turns out that by the time they’d gotten back to base and Buck had finally gotten medical attention that any longer and he would have died due to blood loss. Buck ended up with a Navy Cross for his efforts. Needless to say after losing Tate, he didn’t want it.

“Eddie’s not taking it well.” Athena said.

“Tell him to come over. I’m gonna find out what went down.” Cage said before he hung up and called up Commander Jackson. He only hoped that the man could give him the answers he desperately sought.

After the call from Athena, Eddie took Chris and came to the Grant-Nash house. He was going to leave Chris with Carla but Chris refused to let go of Eddie.

It reminded him of the time when he’d just came back from his last deployment. Chris refused to let him go for days after he came back. He was scared that if he let go that Eddie would leave again. His mom was gone. His papa was probably gone too and so Chris didn’t want to lose his daddy who was the only one he had left.

Cage was already there when Eddie entered the house. The man had been on the phone and directed Eddie in the general direction of Bobby and Athena.

Eddie sat down in the chair opposite the couch with Chris on his lap looking at them Bobby and Athena expectedly.

“Cage is on the phone with his old commander trying to find out what happened.” Athena explained.

Cage came into the living room with a look on his face that just screamed bad news.

“Commander Jackson couldn’t tell me everything but he said that the helicopter was shot down by combatants in enemy territory. They haven’t been able to get anybody on the ground yet to find them. They don’t know if they survived or not. He says it’s not looking good especially if the combatants get to them before they can.”

Eddie was losing hope by the hour. Buck’s situation was just getting worse than worse. The physical scars would be bad he knew that but the emotional scars would be even worse if Buck was captured. If Buck had survived the crash but was taken as a prisoner they’d torture him. They could even kill him.

That night every single member of their little family said the same prayer.

Lord please let Buck come home safe.

Unbeknownst to them, Buck was praying for the same thing as he sat bleeding out in a cave next to his dead team mate while monitoring the shaky breathing of their pilot.

Chapter Text

Buck had lost track of time for how long they’d be in the cave. It could have been days or weeks. He suspected days because with his injuries he doubted he’d survive weeks.

The actual operation had gone well. They’d been training and planning for this for weeks. It was definitely surprising that exfil is when everything went to shit. They hadn’t even seen it coming. One minute they were talking and laughing and the other they were spiraling down.

They had gotten intel that a high ranking leader in a terrorist organization was camping out in an area close by US forces. The brass had been working up to this particular operation for months. The president himself had signed off on it.

They’d been tasked with bringing him back dead or alive. Although alive was preferred. They’d managed to get him with minimal casualties. It was a big win.

The rest of Buck’s team had boarded another helicopter with the captured man for exfil while he and his second in command boarded this one.

Just his luck the combatants that came in as reinforcements had managed to shoot the helicopter down. Buck had gotten flung from the it and ended up passing out. By the time he had come to the chopper was already down.

Buck’s adrenaline was pumping. He’d managed to get up and look for survivors. It had only been him, the pilot and his team mate Shark. Shark was already dead by the time he got to him.

The pilot was alive but barely. Buck had managed to drag him out of the chopper by sheer will. If the smoke was any indication, the helicopter was gonna blow soon.

He couldn’t just leave Shark. He wouldn’t be able to forgive himself. His family deserved to be able to give him a proper funeral. No man left behind.

Buck had to find cover. They wouldn’t last long with them being so exposed. Anything or any one could take them out.

Ignoring the sharp pains all over his body he trekked over to a cave he saw in the corner of his eyes.

Close enough to the wreckage that if someone came looking they’d find them but far enough he’d be able to see anybody before they saw him. Perfect spot to hide out.

Dragging Shark and the pilot into the cave, Buck felt like he was going to collapse. He needed to get ammo though. There was no doubt in his mind that the combatants had seen where they had went down. They’d be heading in their direction soon.

Dragging himself by to the chopper he grabbed two rifles. That would have to do for now. Something pinged in Buck’s mind as he found it harder and harder to walk on his left leg. He was injured. He couldn’t worry about himself now. He needed to make sure the pilot was okay first.

Here he was in an impossible situation thinking about others first. Buck was selfless even in the face of death.

He dropped to the floor of the cave in exhaustion and surveyed the pilot’s injuries. He was still unconscious. Buck tried to shake him awake.

The man came to slowly. Buck didn’t really know much about him. Just that he exfiled them often when they were in this region. Other than that they didn’t interact. Buck didn’t even know his name.

“Hey man. You gotta stay awake.” Buck slurred feeling lightheaded. He blinked furiously trying to get the black spots in his vision to go away as he peered down at the other man.

The pilot’s eyes fluttered before shutting close again.

Buck sighed as he tore piece of his uniform to make a make shift tourniquet. The pilot had a very obvious piece of metal impaling his leg. The best thing to do was to slow the blood flow. He was worried about the pilot’s breathing but if it was a collapsed lung or something there was only so much he could do here.

Buck shifted and leaned back against the wall. The adrenaline was wearing off and Buck was starting to realise just how bad the situation was.

Buck’s leg ached and when he looked down to see what was going on he gasped. He had a very obvious deformity. It was likely broken. His head didn’t fare any better as he was pretty sure he hit it when he was flung from the chopper. If the pain in his side was any indicator he’d probably guess he had hurt his ribs too.

Buck began to sob. He felt so hopeless. He didn’t want to die. He wasn’t ready to die. He wanted to go home to Eddie and Chris. He wanted to be able to go fishing with Bobby. Now he may never get to do that.

His time was running out. Now he was going to die here in this cave in the middle of no where without his new found family. If his injuries didn’t kill him, the dehydration and lack of food probably would. The enemy combatants would probably find him before that and take him out of his misery.

The blood loss finally caught up to him and Buck drifted into unconsciousness.

He drifted and drifted and drifted. His head hurt. He was thirsty and wished that he’d just die already.

He wasn’t even sure of the status of the pilot. He was too weak and out of it to even move. Buck was delirious.

He was pretty sure he was hallucinating because he knows for a fact somewhere in his muddled brain that Eddie was in California not here with him. He also knew that his mother was dead so there was no way in hell she could be sitting right in front of him right now.

Buck slumped to the ground even further. He was freezing. He couldn’t stop shivering. He didn’t even have the energy to cry anymore. Shark was dead and rotting at his side and the pilot was not doing much better. Hell Buck himself wasn’t doing better than either of them.

All he could do was pray. Pray that someone found them. Pray that it was US forces and not combatants. Pray that the next time he went home it wouldn’t be in a casket.

Eddie must be out of his mind with worry Buck thought. He hoped that he and Chris was okay. The last thing he wanted to do was have them worried sick. He needed to stay strong for them. It was so hard though. He was absolutely terrified. The pain was unrelenting and all he wanted was to give into it.

His eyes closed as he began to drift again. The next time he came to, it was to loud shouts.

He recognized those shouts. Was that the rest of his team?

“Eagle Eagle” He called out weakly hoping they could hear him.

“Oh my God Buck.” Someone called out. He couldn’t open his eyes to see who it was. He was too weak and that required too much energy that he didn’t have. He was violently shaking at this point. The massive blood less coupled with the freezing temperatures at night in the desert certainly didn’t make for the most comfortable conditions.

“We’re here. We got you.” The person patted him down taking note of his injuries.

He knew the person but couldn’t place them. His head was too fuzzy. He couldn’t think straight. Buck felt so safe with them though and so he allowed himself to drift away with thoughts of his family.

Peace at last.

Chapter Text

Eddie couldn’t sleep. Every time he closed his eyes his brain would paint a picture of the condition Buck could possibly in right now. Chris wasn’t doing much better. The only time Chris was able to sleep was when he was next to his father in the big bed.

He laid there until the sun came up eventually getting out of bed and going into the kitchen to start breakfast.

Eddie sighed as he cracked some eggs into the heated pan. The last few days had been the most emotionally exhausting. He just wanted to know what was going on with Buck.

He’d been trying to mentally prepare himself for the worst. As time had passed Eddie’s hope had waned. It was unlikely that Buck was even alive at this point. It was a reality that he had to face. He’d have to bury yet another romantic partner.

As Eddie was plating the eggs his phone rang. He jumped in surprise and rushed to the phone hoping that it was news about Buck.

Cage was calling. Eddie steeled himself in anticipation of bad news.

“Hello?” He answered.

“They found Buck. He’s alive. Got a heads up but you’ll be getting an official call some time today.” Eddie cried out in relief and fell to the floor. Happy tears trailed down his face.

“Is he okay? Where is he?”

“He’s...he’s in rough shape. It’s been touch and go. He’s at a field hospital but they’re gonna fly him back to their hospital in Virginia Beach.” So they weren’t quite out of the woods yet. Buck was live but very hurt. Eddie would take injured Buck over dead Buck any day.

“Try to act surprised when they call you okay.”

Eddie laughed, “I will. Thank you so much Cage. I can’t even begin to-“

Cage cut him off, “Anything for my future in law. Don’t worry about it. It’s gonna be rough just make sure and be there for him.”

“Of course. Always.”

Eddie hung up and placed his head into his hands in disbelief. Buck was alive. God that man was so strong. It had been almost 4 days since he’d been declared MIA. Eddie had no idea how he’d managed to hang in there. He could only imagine the toll it took on Buck mentally. They had a very long road ahead.

Oh god he had to call Bobby and Athena. He had to tell Chris. He needed to start looking at flights to Virginia Beach. He had to be there when Buck came home.

Eddie began to put the food away. It was better to tell Bobby and Athena in person. He ran to Chris’ room to wake him up but stopped at his door. He needed to wait until he got the official call before telling Chris. He had to be sure.

Backtracking, Eddie called Carla to see if she could get here a bit earlier so that he could go to Bobby and Athena’s.

Eddie had just pulled up in front of their house when his phone rang.

Unknown Caller.

Eddie answered the call quickly.

“Hello? This is Edmundo Diaz”

“This is Commander Jackson. I have some good news. Evan Buckley is no longer MIA. They’ve been found. He’s not good shape and will be airlifted back to Virginia Beach on Saturday. I’ll have some arrangements made for your arrival.”

“Thank you so much. So much.”

“Buck is my best man. I wasn’t going to leave him out there.”

“Thank you sir.”

Eddie was crying again. Buck was gonna here in the flesh soon. God he really needed to get it together. He flew out the truck and knocked on the door.

Bobby opened the door still in his pajamas. His eyes widened as he took in Eddie’s state.

“What happened? Is he..is he-“ Bobby said not able to get the words out fearing the worst.

“He’s alive. Oh God Bobby he’s alive. They found him.” Eddie practically squealed in happiness.

Bobby let out a big sigh of relief. All the tension immediately bled out of him. Athena came to the door tying off her robe wondering what all the noise was about at this early hour.

“He’s alive Athena. They found him.” Athena’s eyes widened and she placed a hand on her chest.

“Oh thank God. That boy is something else. Come in and have a seat Eddie. I think this calls for some coffee.”

The three of them shuffled to the kitchen where Bobby and Eddie took seats on the stools at the kitchen island.

“Well how is he? It’s been days.” Bobby asked concerned. Bobby had seen first hand the kind of damage being stranded with no supplies for days could cause. He’d responded to many hikers who got hurt and found themselves stranded in the most remote of places. Buck could be facing dehydration and other injuries from the crash. He could only imagine the boy’s mental state.

“Cage said it’s been touch and go. That he’s in rough shape. Neither his commander nor Cage specified the injuries. He’s supposed to be flown back to Virginia Beach on Saturday.”

Bobby and Athena shared a look. They could tell this was going to be rough for everyone. Either way Buck’s recovery was going to be hell. They had no way of knowing what was going on in his mind the entire time he’d been MIA. Not to mention the obvious physical injuries.

“I’ll go to Virginia Beach with you. I want to be there.” Bobby inserted.

Eddie nodded, “I think he would want that.”

“I’ll take Chris but the two of you better keep me updated. Speaking of the boy, have you told him yet?” Athena asked. She knew that Chris was taking this hard. Chris loved Buck and saw him as his other father. The boy had been crushed when he found about the situation.

Eddie shook his head, “Cage gave me a heads up but I wanted to wait until the official call. I got it as I pulled up here.”

Athena hummed and decided to voice what was on everybody’s minds.

“It’s going to be rough for him. There’s no telling what he went through when he was missing. His mental state is probably not the best right now. Couple that with the physical injuries we’re looking at a very long road ahead.”

“I know. We just have to be there for him. Make sure he gets the help he needs. I’ve seen what PTSD can do to people. We won’t let that happen to Buck.” Eddie said.

“I just have to wonder if he’ll go back after. He loves his job but with this I don’t know.”

“We’ll just have to see I guess.” Athena said reaching out for Bobby’s hand.

When Eddie got him he decided to send out a group message telling everybody the news. The groupchat erupted into numerous messages of relief and questions Eddie didn’t even have the answers to.

“Carla? I’m back.” He called out. Carla rushed to him and pulled him into the kitchen.

“What’s going on?” She asked wondering what the rush was all about this morning.

“They found Buck.”

“Oh Thank you Jesus.” She exclaimed and hugged him.

“How is he?” She inquired.

“Eh it’s been touch and go apparently. He’s being flown back here to a hospital in Virginia Beach. I want to head there as soon as possible.”

“It’s going to be a long road but you have to be strong.” Carla looked at him holding his shoulder in support.

Eddie nodded, “I have to tell Chris.”

“He’s going to be so relieved. You know he made sure to pray every morning and night for Buck?”

“I know.” Eddie smiled thinking about his son. So full of hope.

“Go wake him up.” Carla said pushing him out of the kitchen.

Eddie went into Chris’ bedroom and sat on his bed. He gently moved some of his soft curls out of his face.

He gently shook him, “Wake up buddy.”

His small eyes opened slightly and Eddie grabbed his glasses off of the bedside table handing them to Chris. Chris put them on and looked at his dad.

“Morning Dad.” Eddie smiled and continued running his hands through Chris’ curls.

“I have something to tell you. They found Buck baby. He’s alive and coming home.” Eddie said leaving out the fact that Buck was hurt knowing that that was not what Chris needed to hear.

Chris let out a loud shriek of happiness.

“When can we see him?” He said practically shaking in excitement.

“Not sure buddy. He’s going to Virginia Beach to take care of some things first.”

“But then he’ll come here?”

“Yeah buddy.” Eddie smiled knowing that it would be a while before Buck could actually come to LA. It would depend on how bad Buck’s injuries were.

Chris launched himself into Eddie’s chest. Eddie wrapped his arms around him tightly. Buck was alive. He was safe. Chris was safe. The only thing that would make this moment better was if Buck was here as well.

 

Buck had no idea whether he was awake or not. His mind was muddled and his leg was on fire. Matter of fact Buck himself felt like he was on fire. He could hear vague voices.

“Buck? Can you hear me?” He heard as somebody touched his cheek.

“His fever is out of control. I think he has an infection.” Another voice said.

“I wouldn’t doubt it. He’s probably in septic shock with how long he was out there.”

“Push comes to shove the leg’s gotta go.”

That was the last thing Buck heard before drifting off again. He wondered what they meant. Buck liked his leg very much.

Buck basked in the peace where ever he drifted to. It was quiet and he wasn’t in pain. The only thing that would make here better was if Eddie and Chris could be here. He wished they were because he wasn’t sure he wanted to leave where ever his mind currently was.

Chapter Text

Bobby and Eddie had boarded a flight to Virginia Beach first thing Saturday morning. Buck had already landed in the states and taken to the hospital. Cage had informed him that the surviving members of the team had come back with him as well and would meet them at the hospital.

Buck had always spoken very fondly of his team and Eddie had to admit this wasn’t how he wanted to meet them. He would have preferred to meet them at a more informal setting while his boyfriend wasn’t in a hospital bed in bad shape.

When they arrived at the hospital, they were greeted by a tall man in uniform. Eddie could tell that the man was extremely high ranked from the way he carried himself with an air of power and dominance.

“Commander Jackson.” He said extending his arm for Bobby and Eddie to shake.

“I wish we could have met under better circumstances. Buck hasn’t shut up about you all for the entire deployment.”

Eddie raised his eyebrow. This man was not what he expected for a commander in Special Ops. He seemed way too chill and informal. Eddie was a bit put off by this.

“But then again he doesn’t ever shut up so I suppose that wasn’t anything new.” The man continued fondly.

Buck clearly had a good relationship with his commander just by the way he spoke about him. No other commander Eddie knew of would go out of his way to greet loved ones at the hospital after a deployment.

“Come on. Let me show you to the waiting room where the rest of the team are.” The man led him to a private room where a handful of burly men were scattered about.

“Boys.” The men looked up at Bobby and Eddie curiously. They were clearly examining them with their intense gazes.

“Buck’s dad and his boy.”

Recognition dawned on their faces and a tall man with long blonde hair (that was clearly out of regs Eddie noted) approached them.

“I’m Ty. Nice to meet you.”

Eddie smiled unsurely.

“We don’t bite..unless you want me to.” An dark haired man teased.

The man put his hands up in surrender.

“No hitting on Buck’s dude. He’ll kill you when he wakes up.” Another man with a backwards cap said.

“That’s Jake, Trent and JT.” Ty continued as he pointed to each of the men. Eddie vaguely recognized them from a picture Buck had sent him when he had gone back to Virginia Beach for training.

“Come sit you two.” Ty said and guided them to some chairs in the corner of the room.

“How is he?” Eddie asked a bit scared at their answer.

“He’s uh not doing so well. When we found him he was in and out of consciousness. By the time we got to the field hospital he was still incoherent.” JT said.

Eddie let out a deep breath, ”What’s his injuries?”

The men shared a look unsure whether to tell him
the truth or not. Usually they wouldn’t to try to protect the family but these circumstances were unique.

“I was an army medic I can handle it.” Eddie asserted. The team had known that. Cage had let it slip when he called to check in with them. Leave it to Buck to find a military man to date.

“Leg was broken in more than one place. Obvious head injury. Definitely a major concussion. His ribs were bruised but not broken. He uh went into septic shock. They had to sedate him. They’ve said that if things don’t improve they’re going to have to get rid of the leg.” Trent explained.

Eddie let out a shaky breath and Bobby grabbed his hand and squeezed it in support. Losing his leg might just be Buck’s breaking point. God knows it’d kill him. Buck was super independent. He hated asking for help. Having to lean on someone for basic things if he lost his leg would break him.

Buck didn’t deserve this. Nobody did. The man had already been through so much in life and now this. Losing his mom. Having no family until recently. The universe dealt Buck with the shitiest hand of cards Eddie had ever seen.

The room lapsed into silence for a bit before the Commander announced, “I’m going to see if there is any news.”

He left the room and the room continued in silence.

“So uh you guys’ commander seems.....chill?” Eddie said not being able to take the silence anymore.

“He and Buck are close. Pretty sure Buck is the reason for all his greys.” JT said.

“We’re all close. Like a family.” Jake contributed. Both Eddie and Bobby understood that. When you’re in a career where you’re running head first into danger you learn to lean on your team. You get close and cherish those people who have your back no matter what just like a traditional family.

“But from what Cage has told me Buck found his own family eh?” Ty said.

Eddie smiled choosing not to reply. The moment was ruined by Commander Jackson coming into the room with a doctor.

“This is Dr. Taylor. She’s Buck’s doctor.”

Eddie launched up from his seat eager for any news. The team followed suit desperately hoping for good news. Buck was a fighter. They knew that but there was only so long someone could fight for.

“How is he?” Bobby asked.

“Evan is hanging in there. He has bruised ribs and a major concussion but no other head trauma. His leg is what we’re most concerned about. It’s broken and we had to install a rod and screws. It’s also infected which we expected given the circumstances. He’s in septic shock. We’re
managing it but like I relayed earlier if it gets worse he’ll have to lose the leg. For now to treat the infection we’re put him into a medically induced coma. It’s the best thing we can do for him right now.”

Eddie ran his hand over his face. Buck may have come home but the fight was far from over.

“Can we see him?” Ty asked.

“Yes but one at a time please.” Dr Taylor said.

“Eddie should go first. Then Bobby...we can wait.” Jake said and sat down with the rest of the team following suit.

Bobby gave him a shoulder pat in support before he followed the doctor to Buck’s room. She stopped him in front of the room’s door.

“Now I have to warn you. This might be scary.”

“I can handle it.” Eddie said just wanting to see Buck already.

She opened the door and ushered him into the room. Eddie gasped as he saw the state of the love of his life. Buck was hooked up to a ventilator that was breathing for him among other countless machines. His leg was propped up in a cast and Eddie could see a peak of stark white bandages on his chest.

Buck looked so small and fragile in that hospital bed. It broke Eddie’s heart to see him laying there all banged up.

He took a seat in the chair next to Buck’s bed and traced his cheek with his fingertips.

“Hi baby. I’m here. I’m not leaving you. I love you.” Eddie said before breaking down in tears.

“You fought so hard to get home to us baby. You just have to fight a bit more okay? And when you’re all done I’m gonna marry the hell out of you because I can imagine living life without you baby.” Eddie said and carded his hands through Buck’s blonde curls. His hair hand grown out a bit since he last saw him in the flesh. Eddie liked it alot. It made him look more softer.

“I’m gonna give Bobby a chance to see you. He’s been worried sick about you. Athena was scared that he’d drink again when we found out you were MIA but he didn’t. He knew that you wouldn’t want that so he hung in there for you baby. We all did.”

Eddie give him a kiss on his forehead and left the room to call Bobby in. Bobby steadied himself outside of Buck’s room before going in.

It took everything Bobby had to not burst into tears at the sight of his son laying in that hospital bed.

“Hi Buck. I’m here. You’re dad’s here and he’s not going anywhere. I promise.” He said holding Buck’s hand tightly.

Bobby felt helpless. He was transported back in time to when Brook and Bobby Jr had died. He hadn’t been able to help them and now he couldn’t help Buck.

“You have to fight okay? Not just for me but for Eddie and for Chris and for everybody back home.” He sunk into the chair at Buck’s bedside as he continued talking to the seemingly lifeless body.

“Eddie hasn’t slept since the call that you were missing. Chris hasn’t smiled since. You are their world and you cannot give up okay? I won’t let you.”

“Your team is eager to see you so I’m gonna give them a chance okay? I’m right here.” Bobby said before leaving to get Buck’s team.

The day passed with various Seal’s rotating in and out of Buck’s room. Buck was clearly well liked in his unit. He had the personality of a golden retriever but his team had likened him to more of a pitbull. Loving but aggressive when threatened. The only constant was that Buck stayed asleep.

The visitors passed time by telling various stories about Buck. Eddie and Bobby were eager to know the kinds of things he got up to before he had met them. Buck was clearly surrounded by lots of people who loved him. Eddie hoped that he could hear and feel the love in his hospital room even though it was unlikely in Buck’s state.

Buck was drifting again. This time he ended up on a beach. He could feel the sand between his toes and hear the waves crashing on the shore. He felt at peace but he knew something wasn’t right. The last place he remembered was being in the desert. He had been deployed so how had he ended up here?

A beautiful woman sat next to him on the beach. Buck recognized her instantly, “Mama?”

Chapter Text

“Hi baby.” She said and Buck launched himself at her pulling her into a tight hug.

Buck pulled back with tears cascading down his face.

“How are you here? Wait am I dead?” Buck asked starting to panic. He wasn’t ready to die. He couldn’t leave Eddie and Chris and Bobby and everybody else.

“You’re not dead baby. You’re just..drifting.” She said trying to calm him.

“But I- How?”

She shrugged, “I don’t know.”

Buck bit his lip unsurely. So he wasn’t dead but clearly if he was here he wasn’t exactly living either.

“Don’t worry about it sweetie. Let’s just enjoy the time we’ve gotten to spend with each other for now.” She said placing her hand on his cheeks.

“I see you found your dad huh?” She asked.

“Yeah. He’s amazing mom. I’m so glad I got to know him.”

“I always knew he’d be an amazing father. Just like that boyfriend of yours.” Layla smiled.

“You know about Eddie?” He asked.

“Of course baby. Can’t you hear them? Listen closely to the waves to hear their love.”

And so Buck listened concentrating on the sound of the waves on the shore and just like that he could hear voices. He recognized the voices of his team. He could hear JT and Ty and Jake. That laughter. That’s Bobby.

Then there it was. That deep voice that belonged to the man he had grown to love and cherish. Eddie.

Eddie and Bobby were here with his team.

“They’re all here for you baby so make sure you fight for them okay?” She said looking at him lovingly.

“I don’t want to leave you mama.” Buck said holding onto him tightly.

“You won’t have to just yet okay? But you can’t stay. You have a family waiting for you so enjoy it for now.”

Buck and her walked on the beach just talking. He missed his mom dearly and was happy for this time
with her even if it was a just a weird dream. It felt so real though. Buck couldn’t miss the feeling of love that had enveloped him since he got to this beach.

This break was exactly what he needed. Just he and his mom like old times and so Buck continued drifting.

Buck’s infection eased up after a couple of days and so they had started to lift the sedation. His body had been severely weakened by the sepsis but they didn’t want to keep him under for any longer because it was too much of a risk.

They’d taken him off the sedation completely two days ago. A full 21 days since Buck had been brought back to the states. The doctors had said that it was up to Buck to fight to wake up now. The bright side is that Buck was going to keep his leg and his injuries were healing nicely. Buck just had to wake up.

Bobby and Eddie had taken extended leave to continue to be here for Buck. Bobby was grateful that Chim had taken over and was running things smoothly back home. Bobby had had to stop Athena from flying out here on multiple occasions because at the end of the day someone needed to look after the kids.

JT’s wife, Anna had given Eddie the extra key that Buck had given her for his apartment in case of emergencies when she dropped by to see Buck. Eddie had learnt that Buck was a regular fixture in their household and regularly babysat their kids whenever he could. No wonder he had been so great with Chris.

Anna had also not so subtly expressed her happiness at Buck finding love and reconnecting with his father. Buck had radiated loneliness to her and she was happy to welcome him into their household because the boy clearly had no one else.

Eddie understood what she meant. Buck had no real blood family after his mom died until he and Bobby connected. With Buck’s personality people naturally gravitated towards him but those people were friends not family. There were only so much friends could do because at the end of the day they all had their own families to return to while Buck had nothing but an empty apartment.

Buck’s apartment was actually pretty nice. It was two bedrooms with an open floor plan and a fairly big kitchen which surprised both Bobby and Eddie considering Buck couldn’t cook for shit. The apartment clearly cost some money and Eddie couldn’t really figure out how Buck had managed to afford it. The military didn’t really pay that well even with the many bonuses being a Seal gave.

Anna had told him that Buck had made of a hobby of investing in different things. Turns out the kid was pretty good at it too. It certainly helped that Buck had some friends from college working in finance who helped him.

Buck’s apartment was nicely furnished but it felt cold and barely lived in. It fit with how often Buck traveled for work. Buck’s office was a different story how ever. It had bookshelves lining the wall filled with tons of books that had clearly been read before if the page markers indicated anything.

There was a book on some chemistry concept that was open on Buck’s armchair. Eddie remembered that Buck had a degree in biochemistry from Harvard. He really lucked out. Imagine that his boyfriend had a degree from thee Harvard. The armchair had a fluffy pillow and blanket and Eddie could tell Buck spent a lot of time sitting there reading. This office was the only room in the apartment that felt like Buck.

Much like Buck, Bobby and Eddie barely spent time at the apartment. They spent most of their days in Buck’s hospital room and only came by to shower and catch some sleep.

In the time that they’d been in Virginia Beach, they ended up learning more about the operation Buck had been hurt on. The president himself had held a press conference about it. They’d been informed that Buck was actually being nominated for the Medal of Honor.

He’d led a successful high risk operation and then when it went to shit he fought through and managed to save his pilot while he himself was severely injured. He’d also managed to secure the body of his second in command which his family had been so grateful for. His family had been able to bury their son and give him a proper send off.

Shark’s family had invited him and Bobby to attend the funeral but Eddie had decided not to. It didn’t feel right and Buck had needed him more right now. Shark’s family had actually stopped by to see Buck. They’d left flowers and well wishes saying that they’d pray for him. Eddie was grateful that they had had it in their heart to pray for Buck even though he came home alive while their son didn’t.

The rest of Buck’s team was a welcomed constant. They visited frequently sometimes together and sometimes individually. Cage also called often to check in. Eddie was grateful for their willingness to fill up the silence in Buck’s hospital room. Other than that it was just him and Bobby and their thoughts. His thoughts were fixated on the kind of hell Buck had gone through.

Eddie still couldn’t imagine what it had been like for Buck during that time period. Buck had to deal with his own injuries while helping the pilot. Both of which would have been in close proximity to their dead man. Eddie wasn’t sure how he’d begin to process that if it were him in that position instead.

He had begun to research therapists and psychologists who specialized in dealing with veterans. He wanted to be proactive so that he could get Buck help sooner rather than later if he needed it. The team had even pitched in some suggestions and had pledged their help.

Eddie sighed as leaned back in the uncomfortable chair. Bobby had gone to get something for them eat. Eddie had so much on his mind right now he was glad for the little alone time even if he wasn’t technically alone with Buck being there.

He had to go back to work soon. There was only so much time he could take off. He needed the money to help care for Chris. Bobby and Athena had assured him that they could help but it didn’t feel right to take money for them just so he could stay at Buck’s bedside.

Buck needed to wake up soon. Eddie was so close to hitting his breaking point. He felt overwhelmed. He knew that Buck’s body was healing but he really wished that it would heal faster. He would do anything to see those beautiful ocean blue eyes.

“Buck baby please wake up. I need you so much right now. I don’t know how much longer I can do this.” Eddie pleaded at his bedside.

Buck was still on that beach. He was laying on the sand with his mom with his head on her lap when he heard Eddie’s pleas.

“Baby I love you. Please just come back to me.”

Buck’s heart broke into two. He needed to go back to Eddie. His time here was over.

Buck sat up looking at his mom. She looked so radiant and angelic. She had a knowing look.

“It’s time for you to go baby. They need you.” She said holding him tightly.

“I know mama. I love you. I wish you could come
with me.”

She looked at Buck sadly, “I will always be with you baby. I love you too.”

Buck hugged her one last time and closed his eyes feeling himself letting go until he could no longer feel his mother’s loving embrace.

He came to slowly. He could hear an incessant beeping sound and smelled antiseptic. He came to the conclusion that he was in the hospital. How did he get here? His chest felt weird. Kinda like he was being forced to breathe. He noted that his hand was clearly being held by someone. Probably Eddie his head filled in.

Buck mustered up all his energy and slowly opened his eyes and squeezed Eddie’s hand. Eddie shot up in shock and locked eyes with him. His eyes widened as he noticed Buck was awake.

“Oh my God Buck.”

Chapter Text

Buck tried to open his mouth only to realise that he had a tube in his mouth. He began to panic and heard the monitors start to go crazy.

“Hey hey. Calm down it’s okay. I’m gonna get someone okay.” Eddie said caressing his cheek trying to calm him knowing that Buck was probably scared. Eddie hurried to find Buck’s doctor pushing her in the direction of Buck’s room. She stopped him at the door before calling in a team of nurses and other doctors.

“Okay we’re gonna have to check him out okay? You can head to the waiting room and let everybody know the good news.” She said.

Eddie headed to the waiting room dejectedly. He wanted to be there for Buck but he knew that the doctors had to do their jobs. On his way down he bounced into Bobby carrying their lunches.

“Eddie how come you’re not with him?” He asked.

“Buck woke up!” Eddie exclaimed with a huge smile. He finally felt like he could breathe again. He hadn’t been this relieved since he got discharged from the army.

Bobby almost dropped their lunch all over the floor in shock. Eddie stumbled and managed to catch the boxes of food before they could land all over the hospital’s floors.

“What? When did he wake up? Is he okay?” Bobby asked with his heart racing in excitement.

“He woke up just now. The doctors are checking him out now.”

“How was he?” Bobby asked knowing that waking up with a tube down your throat could be terrifying.

“Seemed to recognize me. Started to panic when he noticed the ventilator though.” Eddie relayed still reeling from the events of the past 30 minutes.

“That’s understandable. Oh my God. We have to call Athena and Buck’s team and everyone.” Bobby said.

Eddie and Bobby headed to the waiting room to call and tell everyone the good news. They called Buck’s team mates first and they immediately announced that they were on their way. Eddie knew that they had to be the ones to tell Buck what went down after everything.

Bobby dialed Athena’s number.

“Bobby?”

“‘Thena he woke up!” Bobby exclaimed.

Athena let out a loud cry of relief.

“Thank you Jesus. How is he?” She asked.

“We’re not quite sure. He’s with the doctors right now.”

“I knew he’d be okay. That boy is a fighter.”

“He sure is.” Bobby agreed.

“Just like his father.” Bobby smiled.

“Everyone is supposed to come over later. I’ll let them know he’s awake. Keep me updated okay?”

“I will. I love you.”

“I love you too. Now make sure our son is okay.” Athena said and hung up.

Eddie felt giddy. Buck was awake. Buck would be able to come back home to LA soon. Well he hoped that Buck would want to come back to LA but he knew that Buck would have to sort things out with his command first but after that maybe he’d want to come to stay in LA for good. LA where he and Bobby could wrap him up in bubble wrap and keep him out of trouble’s way.

Buck’s doctor chose that moment to come into the waiting room and motioned for them to join her.

Bobby was quick to question her on Buck’s condition, “How is he?”

“He’s doing well. We’ve removed the tube and he’s breathing fine. He seems to be in good shape. You can go see him now.” She smiled.

The two men had been at Buck’s bedside day and night when they could. Buck had to be one of the most loved patients she ever had. She was happy to see that he pulled through with minimal residual physical damage. The mental damage was a whole other story.

Bobby and Eddie practically raced to Buck’s hospital room. When they walked in Buck had turned to see who was coming in. They rushed to his bedside.

Eddie reached out his hand for his hand to hold, “Hey baby. You have no idea how happy I am to see you.”

Buck smiled holding his hand tightly.

“What happened? Don’ remember much.” Buck asked voice hoarse from disuse.

“Your team’s helicopter went down. They found you and carried you to get treated before they brought you back to Virginia Beach.”

“Oh.” Buck said. His smile dimmed as he started to remember bits and pieces of what happened. The cave. Shark. Oh god Shark was dead.

“Shark and the pilot?” He asked already knowing the answer in his heart. He wanted to hear it officially though. To him nothing that happened after the chopper crashed seemed real. It was as if his dreams and reality blurred together.

“Pilot’s alive. The tourniquet saved him.” Eddie said not sure how to break the news about Shark to him. Buck would be devastated.

“But Shark?”

“He’s dead Buck.” Bobby said delivering the news.

Hearing the confirmation that Shark was dead broke Buck. So that part of it was real. Buck broke into controllable sobs.

“I- I tried. Dead when- when I got to him.” Buck said trying to explain.

“Hey hey. It’s okay.” Eddie said trying to console him. That only made Buck cry more.

“Should have been me.”

“No. No. Don’t say that. You were so brave and saved who you could.” Eddie tried to reason with him.

“I didn’t try hard enough.” Buck was spiraling with the loss. He hadn’t felt so out of control due to a loss in a while. It took him back to when Tate died.

“You did your best. Even your command thinks so. They want to give you the Medal of Honor Buck. That’s how well you did.” Bobby said trying to get Buck to understand that he did all he could and that he was a hero.

“Don’t want it. Don’t deserve it.” Buck said as his tears eased up. He pulled his hand from Eddie’s and turned to face away from his boyfriend and his father.

Buck just wanted to be alone. He felt overwhelmed and consumed by grief. Shark had so much to live for. He had his parents and his girlfriend. He was going to be a father soon. He didn’t deserve to die.

Both Bobby and Eddie were at a lost for words. They didn’t know how to deal with Buck pushing them away. The room filled with silence until they noticed that Buck’s breaths had evened out.

The next day wasn’t much better. Buck had woken up screaming after a presumed nightmare. It broke Eddie’s heart to hear Buck screaming in his sleep knowing that there was nothing he could do to help him. Eddie was at a loss.

Buck had been withdrawn all day. Not even his team could cheer him up. They had tried everything. Talking to him. Sneaking his favorite food. Hell they even snuck in the canine Apollo. Buck loved Apollo. Apollo had become attached him much to JT, his handler’s chagrin buy not even that helped. To Buck seeing his team was just another reminder that Shark was gone.

Commander Jackson had stopped by as well. He had announced that Buck’s nomination went through and soon he’d be receiving another medal. Buck didn’t even have the energy to tell him off and continued staring out the hospital’s window.

Eddie had one more trick up his sleeve, Chris. Chris was the one kid who could make anything better. Buck adored the kid and was happy to set into the role of his other father. Eddie called up Carla asking her to put Chris on the phone.

Carla and Chris has been over at Athena’s. Athena was hosting an impromptu get together to celebrate Buck waking up. Everyone had gathered hoping that Buck had enough energy to talk to them. They were saddened to hear that Buck wasn’t having a good day.

Pushing his phone into Buck’s hands Eddie said, “There’s someone who wants to talk to you.”

“HI PAPA!” Chris exclaimed. The boy had been over the moon to hear that Buck was okay and could talk to him now. Chris had missed him so much and was eager to fill him in on all that he’d missed.

Buck gave him a small smile, “Hi buddy.”

“Daddy says that you’re having a bad day. You cheer me up when I’m having one so I want to cheer you up.”

God Buck loved this kid. He didn’t have the heart to tell him that he couldn’t fix what Buck was going through. He’d try to stay strong for him though. He didn’t need to drag Chris down with his emotional turmoil.

Chris launched into the stories of all that happened when Buck was presumed missing. The kid didn’t even seem phased that Buck had barely given any input. Soon Chris had run out of things to talk about and Athena decided to pass the phone around thinking that maybe hearing everybody would help him.

“Hey Buck!” The crew screamed into the phone.

“Miss you big brother!” He could hear May exclaim.

“Hi guys.” Buck said quietly.

None of them seemed phased at his lack of enthusiasm and simply continued on passing the phone from person to person until everybody had talked for a bit. The phone ended up in Athena’s hands again.

“Hey baby. I love you okay? Thank you for coming back to us.” Buck smiled at his step mom.

If only she knew that Buck wished he hadn’t come back. Maybe things would be easier and he wouldn’t have to deal with anything. He should have just given up and stayed with his mom on the beach.

Buck didn’t even notice when the phone hung up. Eddie took the phone and sat on the bed next to Buck running his hands through his hair. It was just the two of them at the moment. Bobby had gone to Buck’s apartment to get some supplies for them.

The silence settled between the two of them as Buck let his thoughts consume him. He didn’t even notice when his breathing had picked up. In no time he felt like was struggling to get air in. His heart raced with the lack of oxygen.

“Babe? Babe you have to breathe with me.” He heard Eddie saying. Eddie had identified that Buck was having a panic attack. He had been to many calls where persons were having panic attacks and couldn’t come down from it eventually leading them to passing out.

When he didn’t respond, Eddie grabbed Buck’s face to look at him and encouraged him to mimic his breathing. Buck took deep breaths until his heart had stopped racing.

What the hell just happened to him?

“Buck baby. I think you had a panic attack.” Eddie said looking at him worriedly. Buck made eye contact him and whimpered before bursting into tears.

Buck felt so lost. He didn’t know why he was struggling so much. He was alive. He was home. He had Eddie and his family. So why did he feel like he was drowning?

Eddie just brought Buck’s head to his chest rubbed soothing circles on his back to calm him down. Eddie had just gotten a glimpse of what Buck was dealing with mentally. The road ahead was going to be rough. He only hoped that the two of them would make it out together.

Chapter Text

Buck was still having nightmares. Those nightmares had translated into Buck choosing not to sleep which left him exhausted as his body continued to heal.

His doctors had suggested the Buck see the hospital psychologist. He came by every day for Buck to have a session. Buck wouldn’t say a word the entire time he was there. He didn’t want to talk.

Buck was finally off antibiotics and the doctors had decided it was time for Buck’s cast to come off but he still hadn’t been discharged due to the doctors taking precautions with his injuries. With the cast coming off came physical therapy.

Eddie had taken to staying awake with Buck at night so Bobby had taken over staying with Buck during the day. Bobby had never seen Buck cry so much when they tried to have him walk on his leg for the first time.

He had taken a couple steps before the pain had set in. They wouldn’t let him stop and pushed him to walk some more.

When the pain got worse, Buck had yelled out, “Daddy please make them stop.”

It broke Bobby’s heart in two and he continued to hold Buck as tight as possible until he had managed to walk back to the bed. Buck had collapsed into a heap on the bed refusing to let go of Bobby’s hand needing his comfort as pain coursed through him.

They eventually stopped for the day noting that Buck had clearly had enough and gave him some pain medication. Buck had fallen asleep exhausted which left Bobby alone with his thoughts as he sat as his bedside.

Eddie had told Bobby about the nightmares and the panic attack Buck had. They knew they needed to get him help but Buck was resisting that at every turn starting with the hospital’s psychologist. Buck had stone walled him at every session. Buck was a sniper, he had the world of patience and never gave any indication that he’d be losing this ‘battle’ of participating in therapy.

The only relief that came out of this for Bobby (and Eddie and everyone really) was that Buck would not be able to return to the Navy. The brass had decided that with Buck’s mental state which was related to them by Commander Jackson that he would not be able to return to duty. Buck was going to be honorably discharged after he received his medal.

Buck was not happy to say the least which had actually left his team confused. They had thought that Buck would be happy after he expressed his desire to leave while on deployment but now Buck was fighting his discharge with tooth and nail.

Bobby had an inkling of why Buck had changed his mind. Buck was a leader on his team. He called the shots and made the decisions. Buck being discharged was not his decision and he felt out of control.

He couldn’t control what happened to him, couldn’t control Shark dying, couldn’t control whether he wanted to go back to the Navy or not and he couldn’t even control his body’s recovery.

Bobby decided to call Athena to see if she had any ideas on how to help.

“Bobby?” She answered.

“Hey ‘Thena”

“Are you okay? You sound exhausted.” Athena could tell Bobby was tired from the way his words slightly dragged on. Almost as if he was trying not to fall asleep.

“It’s been a long day. A physical therapist came by to give Buck some ideas on what he’d be working on when he leaves the hospital. He cried ‘Thena. He was in so much pain and he said ‘Daddy please make them stop’ and I couldn’t do anything. It broke my heart.”

The way that Buck had called out for him reminded him of how Brook and Bobby Jr would call out for their daddy when they were unwell. Bobby wished he could take away all of Buck’s pain. Both physical and emotional.

“Oh that poor boy.” Athena said, “You just have to be there for him. There’s not much else you can do.”

Athena understood the feeling of helplessness. She remembered when May tried to kill herself how she couldn’t help her. The only thing she could do during recovery was to support her and made sure she knew that her mom loved her no matter what.

“I wish I could take all of the pain away. He’s hurting and not just physically.”

“Oh Bobby. He’s a fighter. He’ll be okay. He has me and you and Eddie and everyone else.” Athena said trying to ease his worries.

“I know but I don’t know if that’s enough...you know what he said? That he should have died instead of Shark. I just wish he could see that he was meant to come home and that his life has value too. It definitely doesn’t help that he won’t talk to the psychologist here.” Bobby ranted.

“Come on you know that a person who doesn’t want to be helped cannot be helped. Buck needs to make that decision on his own. We just have to support him okay?” She reasoned.

“I know but what if he never seeks help? What if we lose him? I can’t go through that. I just got him back.” Bobby had been so close to breaking his sobriety when Buck went MIA. If Buck did something to hurt himself, there would be nothing stopping Bobby from doing it this time.”

“That’s not gonna happen because he had us okay? We won’t let that happen. Did the psychologist say anything about how we could help?”

“He said he would refer him to a psychiatrist. He may need medication if things get worse. He said he give some LA based ones when he heard about plans to come home.”

“Speaking of coming back to LA. Did Buck say anything about it? Does he want to or?” Athena asked.

Bobby sighed, “I don’t know. When me and Eddie brought it up he didn’t object but he hasn’t really been doing much talking lately. Plus the doctor said it would be better for him to be with family during recovery especially with his current mental state.”

Athena hummed in agreement.

“Maybe we should have a little get together. Show him that everyone is glad he’s home safe.” She suggested.

“I think he’d appreciate that.”

“Have yall booked flights yet?” Athena asked.

“Yeah Eddie thought it would be best to leave after Buck’s ceremony so we’ll be back by Friday. He thinks that taking him away from everything will help.”

Eddie thought that if the sooner Buck was away from his soon to be former Seal life the sooner he’d be able to adjust to his new life. A change of scenery would also help his mental health especially with all the sights to see in LA.

“I agree. The sooner he’s away from it all the better. Eddie has truly been a rock during this ordeal.” Athena noted.

Eddie had taken over taking care of all of Buck’s business in Virginia Beach so that they could head back to LA. Eddie had learnt that Buck’s apartment had actually been paid off for and so he packed what everything he though Buck would want to take back to LA not knowing whether Buck wanted to keep or sell the place. Eddie had also went and gotten Buck’s dress uniform dry cleaned so that he’d look pristine for his ceremony.

“He’s in it for the long run.” Bobby commented feeling grateful that Buck had someone like Eddie to lean on. He was his father and he knew that Buck appreciated him being there and wanted him there but he knew that Eddie could offer Buck a different kind of comfort that you could only get from your partner.

The day of Buck’s medal ceremony he was even more subdued if that was possible. He had refused to get out of bed and put up a fight to get dressed knowing it was his last time in this uniform. His last day as a Navy Seal before he was a civilian.

He’d finally gotten discharged and had gone home the previous evening. Buck had been pissed that they’d packed his stuff. He’s hobbled into his office using his crutches and slammed the door in Eddie’s face locking him out. He still refused to accept that he was leaving the Navy or more like being forced out for his own good.

Buck didn’t come out of his office until almost midnight when his pain medication had worn off and he simply couldn’t bear the pain any longer. The pain had been greater than his anger at that point. Eddie simply guided him to bed and give him his medication before tucking him into bed without saying a word.

Buck was secretly grateful that Eddie and Bobby were here. As much as he was pushing them away he didn’t want to be alone. He was scared that it’d remind him of his time in the cave in the desert. All alone on his own.

Buck’s ceremony was blessedly short. His commanders had known that Buck had little tolerance for official ceremonies before but now his tolerance was even less.

Eddie wouldn’t lie that he teared up a bit seeing Buck presented with the medal. As a former military man himself he knew what a honor it was to receive a medal of such caliber.

Buck’s team mates had all given a speech relaying fond memories of Buck as well as their fallen team mate. Every one had ignored the tears that escaped Buck’s eyes not wanting him to feel cornered.

JT and his wife hosted a small gathering after the ceremony. It was more like a goodbye party with everyone not knowing when or if Buck would return to Virginia Beach anytime soon (Eddie secretly thought that it was unlikely he would).

Buck mostly hung around with the kids. He didn’t feel on edge with them as he did with the adults. All the adults were coddling him but the kids treated him as normal not knowing what their Uncle Buck had just endured. Buck hated being coddled. He was a God damn Navy Seal. He could handle anything.

Soon every one was saying their goodbyes.

“You call you hear me?” Jake said.

“Don’t be a stranger. You know the kids love to talk to their favorite Uncle Buck but don’t tell Trent that.” JT said pretending to whisper.

“Hey!” Trent protested.

“You better call and I don’t wanna hear any excuses. Matter of fact you better visit.” Ty threatened.

All the guys hugged Buck tightly. They had almost lost him and now he wasn’t going to be around to guide them or have their backs. They were gonna miss their friend.

As soon as Buck had gotten back to the apartment he ripped off his uniform and ran to his office putting full weight on his leg not even caring to grab his crutches. He locked the door and slumped into his armchair crying out in pain.

He sobbed as he realized everything was changing. He wasn’t a Seal anymore. He was moving and he could barely walk on his leg without feeling like it was being crushed by a Mack Truck. Buck was struggling but he’d never admit that. He was supposed to be strong. He was supposed to have better control of his emotions than this.

He was weak. He couldn’t save Shark and now he couldn’t even hold it out enough mentally to be able to stay in the Navy. He was losing everything. He lost his friend, his career and essentially life as he knew it. He hated his life.

The next day Buck didn’t even have the energy to put up a fight at the airport. He just let himself be guided through the whole process.

When it was revealed that he was a military returning home, he was applauded on the plane. Buck didn’t have the energy to even smile. He couldn’t understand why they were thanking him. He was a shitty Seal. He couldn’t even save his second in command.

By the time he had gotten to Bobby and Athena’s he wanted nothing more than to go to bed. It didn’t even register that he had been driven there instead of Eddie’s with him so deep in his thoughts.

They walked through the front door and were greeted with shouts of “Surprise!”

Buck jumped in fear and was ready to jump his attackers like he was trained to not expecting to be ambushed by his friends and family. When he realized it was them he let his guard down and relaxed.

Everyone swarmed him as he took a seat on the couch still not being able to put a lot of weight on his leg and pretty quickly he started to feel overwhelmed. His breathing quickly picked up and soon he was having another panic attack. Eddie noticed that Buck had gone still and tried to see what was wrong.

“Buck? You okay?” He said pushing Chim away from him.

He quickly noticed Buck’s erratic breathing.

“Baby you need to calm down. You’re having a panic attack. Breathe with me just like last time okay?” Eddie said making Buck focus on him.

As soon as Athena heard the word panic attack she ushered everyone to the backyard giving Eddie and Buck some space.

“We had no idea that he would react like that.” Chim said with a grimace.

“He’s been through a lot we should have known better.” Hen said.

“It’s not your fault. Bobby said it’s been happening often. Buck is on edge. He’s been through a lot.” Athena soothed.

“Why wasn’t Papa happy to see us?” Chris asked innocently not understanding that Buck was having a panic attack.

“Baby, I’m sure your papa was very happy to see you. He’s just having a hard time with everyone showing him love all at once.” Athena said trying to get Chris to understand.

“Oh.” Chris said seeming satisfied with her answer. Athena knew he wasn’t. Chris had proven to be very intelligent in the time they spent together. She knew that he was probably realizing that something was very wrong with his Papa but wasn’t sure if he should bring it up with the adults or not.

When Eddie had finally brought Buck down from the panic attack Buck expressed that he didn’t even want to go outside to the party. All he wanted to do was to sleep. Eddie wordlessly helped him to the guest room that Athena had now dubbed Buck’s room for when ever he needed it.

When Eddie joined the party without Buck he was bombarded with questions.

“He had a panic attack. He just wanted to go to sleep. I didn’t want to upset him anymore.” Eddie explained sitting down in one of the available chairs feeling his exhaustion settling in.

“He’s been having them often?” Carla asked.

“Yeah. He had his first one the night Chris called to cheer him up. It wasn’t pretty.” Eddie said.

“God. I can only imagine what’s been going through his mind right now. I wouldn’t know what to do if I had to hide out with my dead friend while trying to keep another alive.” Hen said.

“He’s strong. He’ll get through it and he has all of us to lean on.” Maddie said.

“He knows that but he refuses any help. He wouldn’t talk to the psychologist. He wouldn’t talk to his team. He wouldn’t even talk to me or Bobby! I know he’s hurting but it’s so frustrating to see. I just feel helpless.” Eddie said voicing his frustrations.

Silence lapsed unto the crew with no one knowing what to say. They might have not known what to say but they all knew one thing. Buck and by extension them had a very long tumultuous road ahead.

Chapter Text

Eddie was thrumming with nervous energy. He was going to propose to Buck today. Athena and Cage had helped him pick out the ring after he had asked Bobby and Athena for permission. It was a simple gold band with two rows of diamonds. It had cost him almost an entire month’s pay check but it was so worth it. The look on Buck’s face when he finally got a chance to slide it on his finger would be priceless to Eddie.

Buck was an old school romantic and Eddie knew that he’d appreciate him asking for his parents permission.

It had been two months since Buck came home to LA and things had sorta settled down. Buck was participating in physical therapy and he was doing really well. He rarely ever used his crutches now except for colder days when the metal rod in his leg made it hurt. Eddie had officially asked Buck to move in with him and Chris and they had a pretty well established routine now with Buck taking care of Chris while Eddie was at work.

Buck hadn’t decided what he wanted to do now that he was out of the Navy. He had a fair amount of money saved so he wasn’t in too much of a hurry to go back to working. Cage had suggested that Buck would make a good cop and could even try out for SWAT with his skills but Buck wasn’t sure if that was what he wanted. He didn’t think that was right for him considering his unstable mental state.

The nightmares had lessened in frequency and so did the panic attacks but Buck still didn’t like being out of the house and being around too many people for too long.

Eddie knew Buck was hurting inside. He was trying to help him but there was only so much he could do. Buck had been going to therapy but in every session he would clam up and slip on his SEAL mask avoiding talking about the actual problem. Eddie always kept an eye on him just in case he spiraled.

Buck had good days and bad days. To Eddie the number of good days outweighed the bad. What Eddie didn’t know was that Buck had mastered hiding when he had bad days. Eddie had enough on his plate and Buck didn’t want to worry him. Not when Eddie had spent the better part of the last year worrying about Buck while he was abroad.

If Buck was having a bad day he’d drag himself out of bed and get Chris ready for school and make breakfast but as soon as it was only him in the house he’d go straight to bed where he’d spend the day only getting up right before Eddie came home with Chris making it look as if he’d been up and about all day. Eddie would be too tired after his shift to pick up on anything so it worked out.

Today though was a good day. Today was Buck’s 29th birthday. Eddie had woken him up with a spectacular birthday blowjob and then Chris and Carla had made him breakfast with all of his favorites. They were now heading to Bobby and Athena’s for Buck’s birthday party and surprise engagement. When the team had found out that Eddie was planning to propose they had all pitched in ideas before he had settled on a plan involving everyone.

Eddie couldn’t help but glance at Buck fondly the entire ride over. He couldn’t wait to make this man his husband and he hoped desperately Buck would say yes. It was just the two of them in the car. Chris had begged to stay at Bobby and Athena’s or as he called them his grandparents’ house to help set up for Buck’s party. (Bobby had teared up the first time Chris referred to him as his grandfather.) Eddie couldn’t say no to his puppy eyes and so Buck and Eddie ended up thoroughly enjoying the kid free house all night.

“Why do you keep looking at me? Keep your eyes on the road.” Buck said looking at him suspiciously.

It reminded Eddie of the day he and Buck first kissed after they had picked up May and Harry after the accident. They hadn’t even been together officially yet but Eddie was one hundred percent sure he already loved Buck. Buck had stolen his heart and Eddie couldn’t even put up a fight against those baby blues.

“Well I have a very pretty boyfriend so forgive me if I want to look at him.” Eddie teased.

“I don’t feel like getting into an accident on my birthday so watch the road.”

“Anything for you my baby.” Buck made a face at that.

“You’re acting weird.” Buck stated as he took off his seatbelt when they pulled up outside Athena’s house.

“Am not.” Eddie retorted as they jumped out his truck. He grabbed Buck’s hand and pulled him in for a soft kiss just outside the front door.

“I just love you a lot.”

Buck smiled before replying, “I love you too.”

They leaned in for another kiss but was interrupted when Chim yelled from the window.

“Stop making out like teenagers and come inside before I come out there and hose you two down!”

They both groaned and headed inside. Buck was greeting by his son barreling into his legs. Buck picked him up and held him in his arms.

“Happy Birthday Papa!” He yelled as Buck winced at the loud sound.

“My poor ears. Thank you kiddo.” Buck said.

“No yelling buddy. Did you have fun last night?” Eddie said placing a kiss on his son’s forehead.

“Yeah! We had pizza!” He said as Buck placed him back on the ground.

“I thought I heard the birthday boy!” Athena said pulling Buck into a tight hug, “Happy Birthday baby.”

“Thanks ‘Thena.”

Athena pulled away and led them outside to where the rest of the team were milling about.

“Come on. Bobby is on the grill. Go and make sure he hasn’t burned himself.” Buck snorted and went knowing that Bobby had gotten burned numerous times trying to work the grill. It was quite ironic given he was a firefighter.

Athena pulled Eddie to the dining table where the adults were sitting.

“Do you have the ring?” Athena asked.

“Yeah yeah. Chris helped me wrap it.” Eddie said feeling the nerves building. Chris had been overjoyed when Eddie told him of his plans to propose. Chris insisted that he help officially make Buck part of the family.

“Does Buck suspect anything?” Hen asked.

“No no well at least I don’t think so.”

“Eddie relax. It’ll go fine.” Maddie said trying to calm him down. Eddie looked as if he was on the verge of a panic attack.

“But what if he says no?” Eddie had no idea what to do if Buck said. Hell he’d probably move back to Texas and face his parents just to get away from the embarrassment and the hurt.

“He’s not going to say no. That boy loves you with his entire heart and soul.” Athena said.

“Yeah man. Buck loves you. You know that.” Chim said patting him on the back.

He did know that. Buck made sure to tell him that before work and every night before they went to bed. Eddie thought it was sweet.

“I can’t wait to plan a party to celebrate!” Karen practically squealed.

“A party for what?” Buck said reappearing out of nowhere. Eddie almost had a heart attack hoping that Buck didn’t hear the rest of their conversation.

“A party for May’s graduation soon.” Athena said quickly coming to their rescue.

“Ohhh. Yeah that’s pretty soon right? Has she figured out what she wants to do after yet?” Buck said taking a seat next to Eddie.

“She’s still thinking it over.” Buck hummed acknowledging Athena’s reply.

“Who’s ready to eat?” Bobby said bringing over trays of meat.

The table was filled with laughter as everybody ate. Buck was filled with happiness. It was one of those few times where he actually felt joy and was thankful to be alive.

The day started to wind down and soon everybody was scattered into their own little groups anxiously awaiting the engagement.

“Hey babe. You ready to open your gifts yet?” Eddie asked. Everyone took that as their cue to gather around.

“You guys didn’t have to get me anything.” Buck insisted.

“We wanted to.” Athena said gently holding his arm and guiding him to sit down on a chair they had put out for him.

“Okay who’s first?” Athena asked.

“Me!” Hen said handing him a nicely wrapped box.

Buck opened the box carefully to find two new books on Biochemistry. The two had bonded over their interests in medicine and science and often found themselves reading and discussing various scientific studies.

“Thank you so much Hen. I love it.” Buck said reaching out to give her a hug.

By the end of the gift opening session Buck had received various gifts included gift cards, a new wallet and various books on science. Cage had even gotten him passes to a science conference at USC knowing how much of a big nerd Buck secretly was. The last gift left was Eddie’s.

Eddie handed Buck a small wrapped box and eagerly watched him open it to find the ring box. He opened it and gasped when he saw the ring. He immediately looked at Eddie only to find him down on one knee.

“Evan Alexander Buckley Nash, I have loved you from the day I met you when you came to surprise Bobby and I couldn’t stop looking at your beautiful blue eyes. I missed you so much the entire time you were gone and when you went missing I was worried that I’d never get the chance to do this and tell you how much you mean to me. I love you so much Buck. You’re the first thing on my mind when I wake up and the last thing I think about when I go to sleep. You took Chris in and treated him as if he were your own son never making him an issue. It fills my heart with immense joy to see the two of you get along so well. I am so grateful to have you in my life and I want you to be in my life forever so will you do me the honor of making me the happiest guy in the world and marry me?” Eddie said looking up at him with teary eyes.

“Yes. Yes.” Buck said tearing up as Eddie slipped grabbed the ring on slipped it onto his finger. Buck pulled him into a kiss as everyone cheered at the happy couple.

Chris rushed to hug Buck, “I knew you’d say yes!”

“You knew?” Buck asked surprised.

“We all did.” Bobby confirmed.

“No way. I had no idea.”

“I kinda threatened them.” Eddie said sheepishly.

“Come on baby let’s see the ring!” Carla said.

Buck held out his hand for everybody to inspect it.

“That’s so nice!” Maddie said.

“Must have cost an arm and leg.” Hen said looking at the diamonds.

Eddie winced, “You have no idea. Only the best for my fiance.”

Buck’s smile radiated pure joy. At the end of the night after the initial excitement died down everybody headed home. Chris opted to spend another night at his grandparents when Athena promised him ice cream before bed. She knew that Eddie and Buck would want time to celebrate on their own.

Eddie and Buck had barely managed to make it inside the house before Eddie had Buck pinned against the wall pulling him into a searing kiss. The two continued kissing as Eddie guided him into their bedroom shedding their clothes haphazardly along the way.

They pulled apart and Eddie shoved Buck onto the bed before crawling on top of him so that he was straddling him. He intertwined their hands and looked straight into Buck’s eyes.

“You look so pretty under me fiance.” He said smiling.

“I bet I’d look even better with your cock in me fiance.”

Eddie grinned and grabbed the lube from the bedside table. He started kissing his way down Buck’s body gently biting in some spots as he started opening Buck up with one finger.

Buck moaned as Eddie bit his nipple and added another finger.

“Look at you baby. So pretty spread out like this under me.” Buck groaned at his words unable to get a coherent sentence out. Eddie was skilled with his hands. Those fingers never failed to bring him to a writhing mess.

Eddie gave him a third finger while biting on his inner thigh hard enough to leave a mark.

“Love to see you all marked up. Let’s everybody know you’re mine and mine only. Who do you belong to baby?” Eddie asked scissoring his fingers.

“You. Shit baby. I’m yours.” Buck managed to get out between moans.

“That’s right. My fiancé. Can’t wait to make you my husband.” Eddie said taking out his fingers and lining himself up to Buck’s hole.

He reached out and grabbed Buck’s jaw and he pushed in slowly.

“Look at me as I take you baby. I’m gonna fuck you so good no body will be able to doubt that I took you as mine.”

Buck and Eddie locked eyes as Eddie bottomed out. He stilled to allow Buck to adjust and leaned down for a kiss.

He started thrusting slowly wanting to take his time.

“Harder babe please.” Buck moaned out.

Eddie sped up and pulled almost all the way out before slamming into Buck. Buck let out a loud moan and grabbed onto Eddie’s shoulders needing something to hold onto.

“Eddie I’m close.”

“Come for me baby.” Eddie said he drove a deep thrust straight into Buck’s prostate. Buck moaned out so loud Eddie was sure the neighbours had heard him as he came with Eddie following soon after.

Buck whimpered slightly as Eddie pulled out and he felt his fiance’s come trail out of him. Eddie picked up some of his come and stuffed his fingers into Buck’s hole.

“Took me so well baby.” He said leaning into Buck pulling him into a soft kiss. He pulled his fingers out and rearranged them so that they were spooning and they pressed against each other.

They didn’t even care to disentangle themselves to clean up as the afterglow started to fade instead falling asleep in each other’s arms, happy and sated.

Chapter Text

Buck was glowing with happiness after the engagement. He felt as if he was on top of the world but as he knew that what goes up must come down and soon Buck found himself in one of the worst funks he’d ever been in since he came back home.

The nightmares were back and they were way worst than before. Every time he closed his eyes he was back in that cave sitting next to Shark. Sometimes he would see Shark alive next to him and other times he’d see him dead as he’d been in real life. He’d had a couple of dreams where it was Eddie in Shark’s place dying. It terrified him. Buck had taken to not sleeping to avoid the chance of having a nightmare.

Eddie had noticed and sometimes he’d stay up watching movies with him or sometimes he’d just hold Buck as they laid quietly in bed but eventually he’d fall asleep as the exhaustion from his shift caught up with him. Buck didn’t mind. He was glad that at least one of them was sleeping and Eddie deserved the rest way more than he did after working all day.

Buck felt like he was going insane. It had been days since he last slept. He hadn’t been so sleep deprived since back in SEAL training.

Things only got worse when Buck started to hallucinate from lack of sleep. He’d see Shark’s dead body sometimes. Hell he even saw Tate a couple times. It was like their deaths were haunting him. He couldn’t protect them and now he couldn’t stop himself from thinking about if he couldn’t protect Eddie and Chris.

Buck was currently having a bad day. It was like the bad days of bad days. He had given in and tried to sleep but woke up after a nightmare. He then proceeded to have a panic attack and had to bring himself down because Eddie was working a 24 hour shift.

Buck was never so grateful that he was home alone as in that moment. Chris was at at a sleepover and wouldn’t be home until the next day. Chris had been noticeably worried about Buck lately. He’d woken up a couple times after hearing Buck scream from nightmares. It had scared him and Eddie had to sit down with him and explain that his papa had been through something traumatic when he was away for work and that he was having a hard time dealing with it but that he’d be okay (or so Eddie hoped.)

Eddie had ended up spilling the beans about the worsening nightmares to Buck’s psychiatrist who had insisted that Buck increase the number of sessions he attended weekly and consider medication for his sleep anxiety. He had also helped Buck to look into alternate methods of relaxation like yoga to help him sleep better.

Buck’s leg still hurt on occasion so it’s safe to say that the yoga didn’t help much. Buck still refused to talk about what happened to him when he went missing.

Buck had been laying in bed staring at the ceiling for almost an hour after his latest nightmare. This time the nightmare was accompanied by some troubling thoughts.

Buck couldn’t help but think about himself as a burden. He wasn’t working so he wasn’t really contributing to the household even though Eddie had assured him that he didn’t need to. He had a fucked up leg. His nightmares made for restless sleeps for Eddie and Chris almost every night. Buck couldn’t help but think that they would be better off if he was dead. Those thoughts had been plaguing him for weeks.

He should have died instead of Shark. Nobody would miss him anyway. Bobby had lived without him for 28 years so he’d be fine. Eddie would probably find a man who didn’t have nightmares every night and Chris would have a papa that didn’t wake up screaming and could watch war movies with him. Shark had a family and a whole life ahead of him. Buck should have died instead.

The voice inside of his head kept telling him to just end it all. It would make the pain go away. It would be better for everyone if he just killed himself. Maybe he’d be able to meet his mom again on that beach again. He could finally be at peace.

No more nightmares. No more panic attacks. Nothing but peace.

Buck sobbed uncontrollably as the thoughts flooded his mind. He just wanted it all to stop. He was tired. He wished he could just sleep. Maybe there was a way where he could sleep forever.

If he just died he’d be able to. He’d stop being a burden and everything would be better. Everyone would be happy.

Buck got out of bed as he had made up his mind. He didn’t want to do this anymore. He just wanted to sleep. The voice was right. There was only one way to make everything better.

Buck’s heart raced in anticipation as he tried to decide which way was best. They didn’t have guns in the house and his pain medication had run out not too long ago. The only medication in the bathroom cabinet was over the counter and that wouldn’t do the trick.

Buck paced around the house looking for a means to the end. He found himself back in his and Eddie’s room where his eyes fell onto Eddie’s heavy duty belt. It was good quality leather and it was thick enough that it might actually work. Buck dragged in a chair from the dining room and positioned it. He climbed up and attached the belt to the ceiling. He was about to put himself in the loop when he caught sight of his engagement ring on the bedside table.

Eddie. He needed to make sure that Eddie didn’t blame himself. He needed to know that this is what Buck wanted. He climbed down from the chair and rummaged through the bedside table looking for a pen and paper. He needed to say goodbye to Eddie and Chris first then he’d go.

Tears cascaded down Buck’s face as he wrote and wrote and wrote until the tear stained paper was filled with words. He folded the paper on the nightstand and climbed onto the chair pulling the belt tightly around his neck. He sobbed as he thought what he was doing. Before he could talk himself out of it he kicked the chair away from him and let himself drop.

Eddie was worried. Buck hadn’t texted him for hours now. He’d usually have checked in by now. He knew that Buck could probably be sleeping but something felt off. Buck had been struggling more than usual lately. Eddie had been trying to help but nothing seemed to work.

As soon as their shift was over Eddie rushed to get changed to head home. For some reason he just couldn’t shake the feeling that something was terribly wrong.

As he was about to walk out the door Bobby stopped him, “You headed home? Mind if I come with? I wanted to check on Buck.”

“Yeah sure. I just wanna make sure he’s okay. He still hasn’t been sleeping.”

“Wow still? It’s been almost a full week.” Bobby said.

Eddie just sighed. It had been one of the longest weeks of his life. It was almost on par with the one he had experienced when Buck was MIA.

“I’ll follow you home.” Bobby said before jumping into his truck.

Every minute that passed Eddie felt more and more anxious. Something was wrong. He drove as fast as he legally could. He needed to get home. He pulled in the driveway with Bobby right behind and practically ran into the house.

“Buck?” He called out but received no reply in return. He checked the living room and kitchen before heading into the bedroom to see if he was still sleeping. The sight as he opened the door made his heart stop. Buck was hanging from the ceiling.

“BUCK!” He screamed out as he rushed to Buck pushing his legs up trying to ease the strain on his neck.

“BOBBY HELP ME!” He screamed sobbing. His Buck had tried to kill himself. How did Eddie not know it was this bad? He was an awful fiance. How did he not notice?

At Eddie’s screams Bobby sprinted into the bedroom. As he took in the sight before him Bobby felt as if he’d be doused with a bucket of cold water. Bobby rushed to get something to cut Buck down. He managed to get a pair of shears from the garaged and ran into the room climbing up and cutting Buck down as his heart raced.

Buck’s lifeless body slumped into Eddie’s arms. His lips were blue and Eddie trembled as he laid him down on the ground and felt for a pulse.

Bobby had called 911 and despite dispatch saying they were on their way Bobby didn’t feel at ease one bit. His son had just tried to commit suicide. Bobby felt as though he was in a dream. A nightmare more like.

Eddie sobbed even louder as he realized Buck had no pulse. He immediately started compressions and CPR.

“You can’t do this to me baby. Baby please.” Eddie pleaded as tears blurred his vision as he realized that Buck might not make it. That it was a very real possibility that he’d never get to see Buck walk down the aisle to become Mr. Buckley-Diaz or that Buck would never get a chance to see Chris grow up and graduate high school and college.

He lost track of time as he continued compressions and was surprised when he was pulled away from Buck’s body by Bobby as the paramedics that had arrived jumped into action.

They hooked him up and Eddie tried his best not to fall to the ground as he saw the flatline on the monitor. He couldn’t lose Buck, not like this.

Please Buck come on he pleaded silently as he watched the paramedics try to shock his fiance back to life.

The sound of Buck’s heart rhythm as it restarted might as well been the best song he heard all year. The medics rushed to get him into the ambulance and Eddie followed them in, leaving Bobby behind.

Buck had managed to make it through the ride to the hospital without coding again and he was immediately whisked away by doctors who kept muttering about possible brain damage and oxygen deprivation. Eddie slumped into a waiting room chair as he tried to process what had just happened.

His fiance had tried to kill himself. Chris’ other father had tried to kill himself. Things had gotten so bad that he had hung himself from the ceiling in their bedroom because he felt like that was the best thing to do.

Eddie put his hands to his face and started to sob. He had no clue where to go from here.

Chapter Text

Bobby stood frozen at the front door as he wanted the ambulance with his son speed off towards the hospital. His only living biological child had tried to kill himself. How did they not notice it was that bad? They knew Buck was struggling but he was in therapy, he was taking things easy so how did it get to this point?

Bobby couldn’t lose another kid. Not when he had just gotten him back. Why was life so cruel? What did his baby boy do to deserve all of this?

Bobby took a deep breath before going back inside and calling Athena. She had to know what was going on. It was going to kill her to know her eldest had just tried to take his life especially after her experience with May. Bobby moved on autopilot dialing her number and sank onto a heap on the floor.

“Bobby? Are you on your way home yet?” She answered.

“Thena. Oh my God Buck-Buck...” Bobby trailed off. He couldn’t even get the words out as he broke into tears.

“What happened to Buck?” Athena asked immediately on alert.

“He tried to kill himself Thena.” Athena felt her heart stop. Her baby boy tried to kill himself. No There was no way. Buck was so happy after the engagement. He was making progress in therapy. It was slow but slow progress was still progress. How could this happen? Her baby boy didn’t deserve this.

“Where are you? I’m coming.” Athena said grabbing her car keys and rushing out of the house.

“At Eddie’s....he- he hung himself. Oh God Thena. I can’t.”

“Where’s Christopher?” Athena asked praying that he was not at home when this happened. The boy had already been through enough when Buck went MIA. He didn’t need to see this too.

“At a sleepover. Oh God he’s supposed to be home soon. He can’t see the house like this.” The belt was still on the floor in Eddie’s room next to the chair. It wouldn’t take a detective to figure out what went down and Chris was already too smart for his own good.

“We’ll make sure he doesn’t know what happened. He doesn’t need that. I’m pulling up now.” She said hanging up the phone.

Athena parked her car and ran inside where she found Bobby crying slumped on the floor in the hallway. Athena sat next to him and pulled Bobby into her chest holding him tightly.

“It’s okay. He’s gonna be okay.” She said. Although she really wasn’t sure who she was trying to reassure, herself or Bobby.

“He was just hanging there. He was so lifeless Thena. He had no pulse. He wasn’t breathing. I-I..”

Bobby was full on sobbing at this point. Athena couldn’t hold back her tears anymore. They knew his recovery would be rough but they could have never imagined it would be so bad that he’d try to take his own life.

“It’s okay. He’s strong. He’ll make it. We’ve gotta clean up before Chris gets here okay? He can’t know what’s going on. He’ll be broken.” Athena said taking a deep breath to steady herself. They needed to be strong for a couple of minutes.

“Okay okay.” Bobby said trying to calm himself down.

Athena stood up and held out her hand for Bobby to take helping him up. They entered the bedroom together. Athena froze at the door as she saw the kicked chair and the thick belt. She took a deep breath asking the Lord to give her the strength she so desperately needed.

They made quick work of placing the chair back into the living room and putting the belt away. Athena surveyed the room to make sure they didn’t miss anything when her eyes landed on a piece of paper on the floor by the bed. She picked it up noting that it was addressed to Eddie and Chris.

She gulped as she realized what it was. Buck had left a suicide note. It must have fallen on the floor in the chaos of things. She opened the note and skimmed it with her heartbreaking at every sentence. The tear stains which had smudged the ink on the sheet of paper were unmistakable. Her baby must have been in so much pain to do something like this.

The pain from May’s attempt was still lingering and this only added to it. How was it that two of her children had gotten to a point where they felt like they had to take their own life?

“Bobby?” She called out as she closed the bedroom door behind her.

“Yeah?”

“He left a note.” She said she approached him. Bobby took a deep breath as he saw the sheet of paper in her hands.

“I don’t- I don’t want to read it.” He couldn’t. That would just break him. If he read that note he was sure he’d end up taking a drink. He couldn’t do that right now. Buck needed him and he had to be sober to help him.

“Okay. Then we won’t but we have to give it to Eddie. He needs to know. Maybe it will help him process.”

Bobby nodded in agreement. At that moment Carla walked in with Chris. She noticed the glum faces and just knew something was wrong.

“Chris go put your stuff down.” She said sending him off.

“What’s wrong?” She asked the duo fearing the answer.

“Buck tried to hang himself. They’re at the hospital.” Athena answered.

Carla took a deep breath and held onto the wall trying to steady herself. Why do bad things keep happening to this family? How had they not seen the signs? Or maybe they did and just wanted to ignore the fact that Buck was dealing with severe trauma from his deployment.

“Chris can’t know.” She said knowing the boy was probably too young to understand the concept of suicide. He’d be devastated to know his papa was hurt but Carla couldn’t have him finding out that his papa was hurt because he hurt himself. It was too much for a young boy like him to handle. That was a battle for when he was older and connected the dots.

“We know. We cleaned up. Can you stay? We’re gonna head to the hospital and see what’s going on.”

“I’ll stay. It’s not a problem at all. Please keep me updated.” Carla said. Bobby and Athena practically raced out of the house. They were eager to get to the hospital to find out any news. There was no telling what shape Buck would be in. They had no idea how long he’d been hanging for. They had to steel themselves for the possibility that the Buck they knew, they’d never get again.

Eddie hadn’t moved from the waiting room chair since Buck had been brought in. Bobby and Athena had joined him not too long after and soon all of the team were rushing into the emergency room waiting area to hear any news on Buck after Bobby had texted their group chat. Bobby had given him a piece of paper that was addressed to him and Chris when he came in. It was Buck’s suicide note. Eddie couldn’t bring himself to read it.

Eddie kept thinking that maybe this was an awful dream. Maybe the lack of sleep was getting to him and now he was having nightmares. Unfortunately, the situation was very real and he couldn’t escape it no matter how hard he tried.

“Eddie? Eddie?” He heard as he emerged from his thoughts. He must have zoned out.

“Do you want to call Chris? He’s probably wondering where everybody is.” Hen said.

Chris had been at a sleep over. Shit Carla had probably taken him home by now. He didn’t want Chris to see the remnants of Buck’s attempt in their room.

Eddie bolted up, “I have to go. Chris can’t see..He’ll...he can’t deal with something like that. He’s too young.”

Athena placed a hand on his arm trying to soothe him and guided him back into the chair.

“Me and Bobby took care of it. Carla is with him. Don’t worry.” Eddie nodded and took a deep breath. He was exhausted. His shift had been a 24 hour one and now the adrenaline was fading after finding Buck. He couldn’t leave though. Buck needed him more than ever so he had to suck it up.

Gosh he wondered if Cage knew this was going on with Buck? Buck told him everything maybe he had said something but if he’d send anything that raised any red flags, Cage would have said something. He knew the signs. There’s no way he would have let Buck carry on knowing how those situations end.

“Did-did anybody call Cage? He’d want to know.” Eddie said. Truthfully he just wanted Cage to come and comfort him. Cage always knew what to say. He’d be able to help. He knew that Cage would want to be there for Buck too.

“I’ll call him.” Athena said getting up. She jumped at the opportunity to get a minute to herself. The situation was now setting in and she was filling with dread every second the passed without news about Buck.

Cage showed up within ten minutes of the call. He’d clearly broken some speed limits but given the situation they all turned a bling eye. Cage had no idea Buck was struggling so much. Buck was one of the strongest people he knew. He was always trying to make the best of a shitty situation. Life had dealt the kid a shitty deck of cards and now they were dealing with the consequences.

He’d ended up messaging the team to let them know what was happening. They deserved to know that one of their own was in trouble. JT had called and threatened to get on a flight before Cage had to calm him down with them eventually agreeing to hourly updates.

They’d been waiting for almost three hours before they finally got word of what was happening. Buck’s doctor had taken them into a private room so they could get some privacy given the delicate situation.

“I’m Doctor Henderson.” She said introducing herself.

“Is he?” Eddie asked afraid of the answer.

“He’s alive.” Eddie let out a sigh of relief before she continued.

“Unfortunately we do not know long he was without oxygen. That said we have him sedated for now. We won’t know if there are any deficits or brain damage until he wakes up but so far his scans look good.”

Eddie had forgotten that brain damage was even a possibility. He had no idea how long Buck had been hanging for before he found him. All it took was minutes without oxygen for the brain to become damaged.

“Now given it was a suicide attempt. When he wakes up we’ll have to put him on a mandatory psychiatric hold. It’s time for you guys, his family, to decide what the next step will be when he wakes up. There are a number of options and many facilities that can help so please consider them all.” She said giving a small smile.

Eddie had no idea why she was smiling. He knew she was trying to be comforting but Eddie’s fiance was in a hospital bed after a suicide attempt so forgive him for not being the most cheerful.

“When can we see him?” Bobby asked impatient after waiting so long.

“I’ll have the nurses show you to his room now. It’s important that family be there for him so we can arrange for cots to be brought in if you all would like to stay.” She said.

A young nurse came in and escorted them to Buck’s room. She gave them blankets and offered to pray. Eddie appreciated the sentiment more than she’d ever know.

Eddie felt a sense of deja vu as he sank down into one of the chairs at Buck’s bedside. Buck looked the same as he did when he was in the hospital after his deployment.

Buck looked so small and fragile. Eddie couldn’t help but gulp as he noticed the red angry marks wrapped around Buck’s neck. The tell tale evidence that Buck had tried to hang himself. Eddie felt sick to his stomach and looked away holding back tears once again.

Buck must have been in so much pain. Eddie couldn’t help but imagine what those moments must have been like for Buck. Was he scared? Or was he feeling at peace in that moment? Eddie felt an overwhelming amount of guilt. He was supposed to be there for Buck. He had promised. How did he not see that Buck needed him?

Athena’s loud gasp startled Eddie slightly as she noticed the bright red marks on Buck’s neck. For the first time they were being confronted with the sheer magnitude of the situation. The team scattered themselves throughout the room. Eddie had taken the holding Buck’s right hand while Bobby held the other. A perfect parallel to when they’d been in Virginia Beach.

Eddie needed to feel Buck. He needed the reassurance that Buck was here and he was alive because for a minute he wasn’t. He’d had to confront the fact that had he come home any later Buck would have been gone.

Eddie would do anything for Buck. He’d be here no matter what. They hadn’t even made it down the aisle yet but he vowed to be with Buck in sickness and in health. He’d never leave him. He couldn’t.

Day turned to night and Buck still hadn’t woken up. The doctors had eased his sedation after a couple hours because the doctors were eager for him to wake up so they could assess whether he had brain damage or not.

The team were still here, nobody wanting to move until Buck had woken up and they were reassured that he was alive and okay. Their little brother in a hospital bed was a jarring image and they could only imagine what Eddie and Bobby had been feeling when Buck was in the hospital after he came back to the States.

Maddie and Karen had popped in to check on everyone bringing coffee and changes of clothes. They’d taken on helping out Carla with the kids in the mean time. Bobby had gotten himself together long enough to call the fire chief to let him know of the situation and that they wouldn’t be able to come to work. He understood having children of his own. He couldn’t even fathom the fear and pain the team was feeling.

Everything was in place. The only thing left was for Buck to wake up.

Buck felt weird. He felt as if he was floating in darkness. Was this what it was like to be dead? Did he succeed?

Buck had no way of knowing. He had hoped he’d see his mom again but quickly figured out that wouldn’t be possible. He thought you’d see your loved ones when you died but he guessed that was just a common misconception people perpetuated to try to make death seem less frightening.

The darkness was so empty and quiet. It was unnerving but this was what he had wanted right?

He hoped that Eddie and Chris were doing okay. He hoped that he didn’t scar them too much but things were better right now or at least he thought so. He had no idea what to do now. The darkness had engulfed him.

Suddenly, Buck was thrown into a bright white light. The first thing he registered was sounds. He could hear a beeping noise. The next was smell. Where ever he was smelled like antiseptic. He also registered a weight around both of his hands almost as if somebody was holding them but that wasn’t possible right? He was dead...right?

Buck opened his eyes and the first thing he saw was a white ceiling. He was in the hospital. It made sense. All the sounds and the smell. Buck let out a loud sob which drew the attention of everyone in the room.

He had failed. He was still alive. Imagine being such a failure he couldn’t even kill himself right.

Whereas everyone else felt relieved that Buck was alive and had woken up, Buck only felt humiliation and pain.

Eddie rushed to stand up at the sound of his sob.

“Cariño? Oh my God. I love you so so much. You had me so worried.” Eddie said trying to pull Buck into a hug.

Buck pushed him away with all his strength and screamed, “JUST LEAVE ME ALONE! I SHOULD HAVE DIED. I WANTED TO DIE!”

Buck broke out into full blown sobs curling into himself.

Eddie stood at his bedside stricken as everyone else in the room froze. He didn’t even put up a fight when nurses rushed into the room and pushed him aside to subdue Buck after his outburst giving him a mild sedative to calm down.

Just how much was Buck really struggling? Eddie wished he had an answer to that question.

Chapter Text

The second time Buck woke up after his attempt he just laid still and stared at the white tiles on the hospital’s ceiling. They had taken him for countless scans but the good news was that Buck was okay and seemingly had no physical damage except for the bruises around his neck from his attempt.

Buck’s psychiatric hold had begun and he was subjected to a psychiatric evaluation. The psychiatrist had told Eddie that Buck was showing clear cut signs of PTSD. It simultaneously broke Eddie’s heart and relieved him that Buck had a diagnosis. They’d be able to pick the best route of treatment for his diagnosis now.

Buck hadn’t said a word to anybody except the psychiatrist when he was forced to answer their questions since his outburst the first time. His silence unnerved Eddie. Eddie was happy Buck was alive but Buck didn’t seem to reciprocate those feelings.

Eddie was stretched thin between working, helping out with Christopher and dealing with Buck at the hospital. Eddie had used up all his leave when Buck had gone MIA so now he was stuck working shifts trying to figure things out. Carla and the team were god sent but Chris needed his fathers too. Unfortunately, he could only have Eddie at the moment so he had to try his best to be available for Chris.

They’d been staying at Bobby and Athena’s since the attempt. Eddie almost had a panic attack the first time he came home and went into his and Buck’s bedroom. He just couldn’t shake the image of Buck hanging there from his mind. He couldn’t stay in the house any longer so he took up residence with Chris in Buck’s “room” at Bobby and Athena’s who welcomed them with open arms.

Chris had been so upset that he hadn’t seen Buck in almost 3 days now. The hospital didn’t allow children to visit on Buck’s ward and even if Eddie wouldn’t have brought him. Chris didn’t need to see his papa in that state. Eddie needed to preserve his innocence around topics like this for as long as possible. How would he even begin to explain suicide to a child?

Truthfully, Eddie was feeling mentally strained. Buck’s attempt was taking a toll on him. The last couple months as a matter of fact had taken a toll on him. He loved this man and he really couldn’t understand why Buck would want to do that to himself. Eddie was holding off on reading Buck’s note but maybe it was time. He needed to understand how Buck felt maybe that way he could make him see just how valuable his life is.

Eddie had just gotten back from the hospital. Buck was under strict visiting hours so he could only stay with him for a couple hours a day. He sat on the bed and pulled out the note from his jacket pocket. He hadn’t been able to put it away because of his conflicting feelings. He wasn’t sure if reading the note would make things better or worse for him as he struggled to process what this meant for their relationship.

He took a deep breath and unfolded the paper starting to read.

To Eddie and Christopher,

I love you. I needed to start by saying that. Eddie, I’ve never felt a love so intense in my entire life. From the moment I met you, I knew you were meant to be something special in my life. I love being your fiance and I wish I could have held on long enough to become your husband but I can’t. I feel like I’m going insane. I just want to sleep but I can’t. Every time I sleep I’m back in the Middle East stranded. The image of Shark’s body slowly decomposing over the days we were there is permanently branded into my mind. Sometimes I see him when I’m awake, just staring at me. Sometimes I see my old buddy Tate too. I couldn’t save him either. He died right next to me and there was nothing I could do. I would do anything to have been in their positions dying instead. They had so much to live for and I had nothing. If they didn’t get to live then I don’t deserve to be alive either. That’s what the voice tells me. That I should end it and everything will be okay. Everything will be okay soon. I’ll be gone and I’ll be able to sleep and I won’t be a burden anymore.

Eddie was openly sobbing at this point. He could tell Buck struggled to write this and express just how much pain he was feeling. The smudged ink as a result of tears was unmistakable. It was like his pain was bleeding through his words and Eddie felt heartbroken. He turned the page to see what was written on the other side.

Eddie, I need you to know this wasn’t your fault. I was hurting and I needed to go so I could stop bringing you down. I love you and you deserve so much better than me. You deserve someone that can sleep more than an hour a night. Someone who can tell you things about their job. I love you so so much baby. Everything will be okay and I’ll be in a better place so don’t worry about me. I never told you this but when I was in that coma I saw my mom. We were on a beach and just talked the entire time before I heard you pleading for me to wake up. I woke up for you then but I’m sorry that I won’t be able to this time. I hope to see my mom again on the beach. I had never been in such peace until that moment. I love you always.

Chris, you are the sweetest and most intelligent boy I’ve ever met. You don’t let anything get to you and I admire that. I wish I had a dad as good as yours when I was your age. I’m very lucky to have met mine when I did though. I need you to know that this wasn’t your fault. I loved being your papa but I was hurting and I needed to go before I started hurting you and your dad too. I love you buddy. Always remember that. Please look after your dad for me. Keep swimming for me. Love you and I already know you’re going to make me proud no matter what. I love you.

I love you two so much. Please look after Bobby and Athena. Let them know I love them and tell that I’m grateful for having parents as great as them even if it was for such a short time. I hope Bobby and you guys continue to be close. Maybe you could be the son that he deserved. Please tell the Hen and Chim and Cage and everyone that I love them and tell them I’m sorry I couldn’t say a proper goodbye. It’s time for me go now. I love you all.

Your Buck.

Eddie let the tears slide down his cheeks. Of course even is his presumed last moments Buck would think about others and how they would feel about not getting a proper goodbye for him. Buck had a heart of a gold and that was one of the reasons he fell in love with him.

The part where Buck had written about his mom made Eddie realize just how close he was too losing him then. How close he is to losing him now.

Buck didn’t think that he had anything to live for. He’d been on his own for so long that now that he actually had a family he still thought that he had nothing to live for. Eddie needed him to see that he was surrounded by people who loved him and needed him to live. He needed him to see that he deserved to live and be happy, that Tate and Shark’s deaths weren’t his fault.

With a better understanding of what Buck was thinking Eddie hatched a plan. He got to work messaging everyone. It was late but hopefully they were awake and would be able to help. It was time to ensure Buck knew he deserved a good life and all the love their family had to offer.

The next day after his shift Eddie walked into the hospital with a box filled with letters, pictures and anything else Buck was allowed to have that they thought would help from everyone. Today was Buck’s last day on psychiatric hold. This was the last chance they had to get him to admit he needed help before he was released and potentially attempted again.

He cleared it with the nurses first making sure that the box didn’t have anything Buck could use to hurt himself before entering Buck’s hospital room. He was laying in bed staring at the ceiling again. Just like how Eddie had left him the previous day.

“Hey baby. So I uh read the note you left me.” Eddie said. Buck surprisingly turned to look at him. Now that he had his attention, Eddie continued.

“I didn’t want to at first but I needed to understand why you did it. I needed to understand your feelings and now I do. You have been through a lot and your feelings are totally valid but you have to understand-” Buck just stared at him, barely blinking.

“Baby. You are so loved and you deserve to live a good life. You have a family that adores you and I know you don’t understand that because you’ve on you own for so long but we love you. We are happy you came back to us and while we’re sorry about Shark and Tate, there was nothing you could do. It was their time and they had to go but it wasn’t yours then and it isn’t yours now and that’s why you’re still here.” Eddie said looking him straight in the eyes.

“If you don’t believe me, then here.” Eddie handed him the box of things.

“We spent all night putting together this for you so that you could see how loved you are. There’s letters and pictures and other stuff and I want you to go through it. If you don’t want to that’s fine but we want to help you so let us please.”

Eddie took a seat in his usual seat next to Buck’s bed and waited to see what he would do. Buck continued staring at him and Eddie was about to give up when Buck let out a soft sigh and began to look through the box pulling out the letters. He slowly began to read each one.

The first letter Buck read was from Christopher. He hoped that the boy was okay. Buck really didn’t want to pull him into this mess.

Hi Papa. Daddy said that you’ve been sad lately. I want to try to cheer you up like you always do for me. I love you papa. You make daddy and me so happy. I hope you’re not too mad but I read the next chapter of the Hardy Boys book without you. I needed to know if they would get caught or not but maybe you can read it now and we can talk about when you get back? - Love Christopher (and Carla)

Buck reached into the box and found the blue covered book him and Chris has been making their way through for the past month. They had taken to reading a chapter every night before bed but sometimes Chris would fall asleep mid chapter and they’d have to start over. Buck felt a small spark of joy for the first time in days at how thoughtful his son was.

The next letter was from Bobby.

To my dearest son. Buck you have no idea how much I love you. I’m not good with talking about feelings but I wish I had said it to you more before. I wish I had been able to be there for you from birth and maybe this would mess would have been avoided. I’m sorry I didn’t see how much pain you were in. I’m sure that the pain I felt when I saw you hanging is nothing compared to what you were feeling. I love you and I’m so happy you’re alive. It was the scariest moment in my life when me and Eddie had realized you had no pulse but when they brought you back and you had a rhythm again I swear the sound you heart made felt like sunshine after a rainy day. I love you and I’m always here for you. Dad.

Buck didn’t know that Eddie and Bobby had been the ones to find him. That must have been so painful for them to see him hanging there lifeless. He never wanted them to have to associate his death with pain. Buck was starting to see that maybe his almost death had caused more bad than good.

He read the other letters from Athena, Maddie, Hen, Chim, Karen, May, Harry and Carla. There was even one from Michael, Athena’s ex husband and Bobby’s best friend. The last letter left was Eddie’s. It must have been almost almost the same length as Buck’s note.

When Eddie noticed that Buck had picked up his he said, “You wrote me so it was only fair I wrote to you too.”

Buck looked away from him and down at the paper before him. Eddie’s writing seemed rushed as if he was trying to get all the words out and his hands weren’t moving fast enough.

To my fiance Evan,

There was a time where I wasn’t sure I’d ever love again. When Shannon had decided to file for divorce I’d felt broken. It was even worse when she died because I thought she had been my true love and I’d now lost her. I was wrong. You thought me to love again. I’d never felt such an intense love that came on so quickly in my life. I wish I could begin to describe the feeling to you but I don’t know how or where to begin. It’s like a warm breeze in the summer. Mild but soothing. It’s also like a blazing fire in the summer. Passionate and heated. It feels like a warm bed on a cold winter day. Comfortable and cozy. It’s like a hurricane in the ocean. Wild and unpredictable. It’s like a test you didn’t study for. Intense. That’s what our love feels like to me.

That day I knew something was wrong when you hadn’t replied to my texts. It was like a pit in my stomach had suddenly appeared and I knew I had to get home to you. I couldn’t stop myself from screaming when I saw you hanging from our bedroom ceiling. I haven’t been able to stay in the house. Me and Chris have been staying at Bobby and Athena’s. Every time I think about having to go to bed in our room at home I think about you hanging there lifeless. It’s an image I wish I could erase from my brain. When Bobby cut you down and you fell into my arms your body was so lifeless. Your lips had turned blue and you weren’t breathing. You had no pulse and as I laid you down and gave you CPR I couldn’t stop myself from sobbing. The heartache I felt in that moment when you were ‘dead’, I wouldn’t wish on my worse enemy.”

When you woke up the first time, it broke me to hear the words you said. You said that you had wanted to die and I couldn’t understand why. I thought you were doing okay. I knew you weren’t at your best but I thought you were fine. I wished I had been able to help you better before it came to this. I wish I could say I understand your pain fully but I can’t. I wasn’t stranded with my dead team mate and I wasn’t there when your other team mate was shot dead in front of you. I didn’t experience the nightmares or the hallucinations but I can tell you what I did experience.

I experienced fear and pain when I found you. I felt guilt when I realized how bad you were hurting. I felt helpless because I couldn’t do anything to help you. I felt love because I will never not love you. I felt relief when you woke up and had no permanent damage. I felt happiness when I thought about the fact that you got a second chance.

I love you Buck. We’re not even married yet and I’ve vowed to love you in sickness and in health. I will always be here for you and try to help you or even get help for you if I can’t if you want it but that’s up to you to decide baby. I can only do so much but whatever you decide, I promise to support you. I decided to include your ring in the box because it represents my love and commitment to you. Love Eddie always and forever.

Buck reached into the box pulling out the gold ring. It was the first thing he had noticed missing when he woke up and he had remembered he left it on the nightstand before he attempted. Buck slid it on and broke into tears as everything sank in.

Oh God. How had he been so blind? How did he let it get this bad? He was now starting to see all the pain he had caused. He never wanted to hurt anybody. He thought he was making things easier. How could he hurt his family like that?

Eddie regarded him carefully not sure if Buck had wanted to be comforted or not. Buck turned to look at him in the eyes and Eddie swore he could see the pain and conflict.

To his surprise for the second time since his attempt Buck spoke,

“I think I need help.”

Chapter Text

Eddie pulled Buck into a tight hug. Tears soaked Eddie’s shirt as Buck sobbed.

“It’s okay baby. We’ll get you help. I love you.” Eddie said reassuring him.

Hearing Buck admit that he needed help was an immediate relief and it felt like a weight was lifted off Eddie’s shoulder. They had gotten through to him. Eddie finally felt like he could breathe. He knew the battle was far from over but this was a step in the right direction.

“I never wanted you to find me. I’m sorry.” Buck sobbed gripping Eddie’s shirt tightly.

“Shh baby. It’s okay. I’m glad I found you. You know why?” Eddie asked pulling away from Buck. He gently tipped Buck’s jaw to look at him. Buck shook his head no.

“Because if I hadn’t, you probably wouldn’t be here right now so I’m grateful that I found you when I did.”

Eddie’s eyes held sincerity and love. Buck knew that Eddie had meant every word he said. How did he get so lucky?

Eddie pulled him into another hug before pulling away one last time.

“We need to talk about where we’re going to go from here. I’m so proud of you asking for help baby. Whatever you need I’ll get it for you. Whether it’s inpatient or outpatient I’ll be here. We all will okay?”

Buck nodded.

“Can we talk about this tomorrow? I just- I just want to be held. Please?” Buck asked sheepishly.

“Of course baby. Whatever you need.” Eddie said climbing into the hospital bed with Buck. He maneuvered them so that Buck was the little spoon and their legs were intertwined. Eddie held him tighter when Buck’s body started to shake with sobs not saying a word until they both fell asleep.

If the hospital staff saw them like that when they came to check on Buck, they just dimmed the lights and didn’t say a word.

The next day Buck’s psychiatric hold was officially over and the doctors were willing to discharge him as long as he had a treatment plan in place. He had asked that Bobby and Athena come so they could discuss what to do. He wanted them to be a part of the decision because he needed some parental guidance and support.

They were currently discussing all the options.

“This is your recovery Buck. You have to know what would be right for you.” Bobby said.

Buck didn’t know what he wanted. He felt that if he went home he’d probably hurt himself again especially if he reverted back to not being able to sleep due to nightmares but he wanted to be surrounded by his family for his recovery. He needed them. He couldn’t stand the thought of being alone anymore.

“I think..I think I need to do inpatient but not for long maybe a week or two. I think I might still hurt myself but I don’t want to be alone for this. I can’t.” Buck confessed.

Eddie rubbed Buck’s hand soothingly. It scared him a bit that Buck thought that he might hurt himself but the fact that Buck had been able to admit it was a sign that things were looking up. He knew that the thoughts wouldn’t go away magically and that it would take time but that doesn’t mean it scared Eddie any less.

“Okay. If that is what you need then we’ll start looking into it.” Athena said.

She wasn’t thrilled at the idea of Buck going to somewhere unloving like an inpatient facility but if that was what he needed then she’d just have to deal with it. After May’s attempt, she had done outpatient and it had worked for her but Athena know that everybody was different and so was their recoveries.

Eventually they settled on a small inpatient facility in Long Beach. It had good reviews and had a bunch of a different therapy options that differed from the traditional talk therapy. The place suited Buck. It would allow him to recover but not be hovered over. Buck had finally been discharged from the hospital and his one request before he headed to the facility was that he see Chris. Eddie couldn’t say no.

Chris had been ecstatic when he heard that he’d be able to see his papa. Buck’s angry bruises from his neck had faded and Eddie was glad that Chris wouldn’t have to see them. It had been hard enough for Eddie himself to look at them.

Chris still didn’t know the full story of what happened with Buck. All Eddie had told him was that Buck had gotten hurt and had to stay in the hospital before going to another one to get recover for a little bit. Chris hadn’t understood why Buck couldn’t recover at home but Eddie had to explain that because of how Buck had gotten hurt meant that he couldn’t recover at home. Chris hadn’t been satisfied with his answer but Eddie had managed to placate him with the idea of seeing Buck before he left.

Eddie had ended up taking them for ice cream on the pier. They both loved to sit on the benches and watch the ocean. It was nice to see Buck so relaxed. Chris has been catching him up on all the things he’d missed (again).

“Wait wait. It was the shopkeeper? Chris I haven’t gotten to that chapter yet!” Buck exclaimed as he and Chris talked about the Hardy Boys book they were reading.

“Oops?” Chris said innocently.

“How did he even pull it off? Wasn’t he at the mansion that night?” Buck asked prompting Chris to launch into a full time line of how the boys had figured out it was the shopkeeper that stole the diamond from Mrs. Windermere.

All too soon it was time for Buck to go to check in at his facility. They’d had to drop Chris off at home where Carla was waiting for him to get him settle. Having to say goodbye to Chris was a struggle for both Chris and Buck.

“But papa I don’t want you to go!” Chris sobbed much like he did when Buck had told him about his deployment almost a year ago.

“I know baby but I have to. Papa needs to go to get better. I promise I’m coming back.” Buck said trying to calm him down.

“You said that last time!” Chris said gripping Buck’s
shirt tightly.

“I know but I will be coming back. I’m not even leaving California. It’s just for two weeks.” Buck said hugging him tightly.

“Okay.” Chris still refused to let go of Buck.

“Papa needs to go now baby.” Eddie said as he gently pried Chris off of Buck.

“I love you okay buddy?” Buck said.

“I love you too papa.” Buck smiled and ruffled Chris’ hair before turning to Carla.

“Take care of them. Please Carla.” He said giving her a hug.

“I will baby. Don’t worry about them just focus on yourself.” She said returning his hug.

As Buck and Eddie drove off, Buck looked back to see the two waving until they became specs of nothing. Bobby and Athena had spent most of the morning with him already and the team had all sent their well wishes by messages so now it was just Eddie to say goodbye.

The entire drive was filled with comfortable silence. Eddie didn’t want to say anything because if he did he was sure he’d cry. He knew this is what Buck needed but his emotions were still raw after Buck’s attempt. He wanted nothing more to keep Buck in his line of sight where he reassure himself that Buck was fine.

They’d finally arrived at the facility and had gotten Buck checked in. Buck’s room was nice. It had a decent size bed and the room resembled one of an upscale hotel rather than the typical inpatient facility. Of course there were some modifications in that there was nothing in the room that Buck could possibly use to hurt himself.

Eddie stalled for as long as possible getting Buck settled in before he actually had to leave.

“I’ll call everyday and I’ll visit as often as I can okay?” Eddie promised. The place had allowed Buck to retain his phone. Eddie was grateful for that as it would allow him to lean on the family if needed their support from miles away.

“Okay.” Buck said.

“I love you so much baby. I’m so proud of you for taking this step. You are so brave for asking for help.” Eddie said pulling him into a tight hug.

“I love you too. Please don’t forget about me.” Buck said into his chest.

“I could never baby. You are the love of my life. Nothing could make me forget about you.” Eddie said.

Eddie gave Buck a quick kiss.

“That’s to remind you of what’s waiting when you get home okay? I have to go now cariño.”

Buck held onto Eddie’s arms tightly.

“Please don’t go. I’m scared” He voiced. Buck was terrified. He knew he had to take this step but he didn’t know if this would even work. What if he was wasting his time? What if he never got better?

“I have to baby. I wish I could stay with you but I can’t. It’ll be okay. I promise.” Eddie said pulling him into one last hug.

“See you in two weeks baby.” Eddie said kissing his cheek before leaving then it was just Buck and his thoughts.

The first day was rough. Eddie had barely been able to concentrate on his shift all day worrying about Buck. He missed him like a phantom limb and it had only been a day. He wondered if Buck was doing better today. He had been so scared when Eddie had dropped him off and it hurt him but this is what Buck needed. Buck had a full schedule of various therapy sessions so Eddie knew that he wouldn’t have been able to answer his texts.

By the time he had gotten home, Carla had already put Chris to bed so all that was left was for Eddie to do the laundry, eat and call Buck before sleeping. Eddie and Chris had finally moved out of Bobby and Athena’s guest room and back home. Eddie still couldn’t sleep in his and Buck’s bedroom so he’d taken to sleeping on the couch. He’d eaten and started on the laundry before checking the time.

9:02 pm.

According to her the itinerary the facility had given them, Buck would have had dinner by now and was probably in his room getting ready for bed. Lights out was at 10:00 so they’d have a little less than an hour to talk.

Eddie sat on the couch and dialed up Buck’s number. Not even two rings had passed before Buck answered.

“Hi.” Buck answered a bit breathless. He’d been pacing anxiously waiting for Eddie to call. His day had been so long and he craved his comfort.

“Hi baby. How was today?” Eddie asked genuinely curious. Buck made a noise that Eddie wasn’t sure how to interpret.

“It was...hard.” Buck finally settled on struggling to find the words to describe his day.

He’d been shuttled from therapy session to therapy session. First it was an individual session. Buck had actually put in the effort this time and he and his psychiatrist had managed to break his ground. It was a start. Buck then had morning yoga which definitely helped his mind a little then he had a group session.

The group session was tougher than the individual. Buck was too scared to say a word and ended up just listening. The conductor had assured him that it was okay and that it’d take time for him to open up to people about what he was going through.

Buck couldn’t help but feel a bit put off by that. If he couldn’t talk to strangers about how he was feeling, how would he be able to talk to his family?

Buck had another group session after lunch but this specifically for veterans who were seeking treatment at the facility. Buck was grateful that Bobby and Athena had gone out of their way to find somewhere that catered exactly to Buck’s needs. It was nice place. It hadn’t slipped past Buck that the place was probably pretty expensive.

After that afternoon session Buck was free to do as he pleased before dinner. He’d ended up in a workout class at the facility’s gym not having been cleared to use the pool as yet.

“You wanna talk about it? It might help.” Eddie suggested.

“I- it was just long. Lots of sessions and stuff.” Buck said not really elaborating. He didn’t want to burden Eddie. The man had just worked a long shift and didn’t need to know that Buck couldn’t bring himself to participate in any of the group sessions.

“Okay.” Eddie said not wanting to push him. He needed to be patient with him. When Buck felt comfortable he’d tell him everything.

“Can you tell me about your day?” Buck asked settling into bed.

“Sure baby.” Eddie launched into the stories about the calls they’d gotten today making sure to leave out any gruesome details that might trigger Buck. Soon their time was up and Buck had gotten his last check in before lights out.

“I love you okay baby? You can do this. I know you can. You are so so strong.” Eddie said.

“I love you too. Thank you...for staying by my side.” Buck said. Buck was sure that any lesser person would have left Buck a long time ago not being able to deal will all of the baggage he had.

“Always baby. In sickness and health. I can’t wait to make it official when you get better.”

“I can’t wait to be Evan Buckley Diaz.” Eddie smiled. Buck was looking forward to the future without even thinking about it. Progress.

“Okay. Get some sleep. Love you.”

“Love you too. Be safe.” Buck said and hung up. Eddie stared at the phone for a long time before getting up and going back to the laundry.

Just 13 more days to go and Buck would be back into his arms.

Chapter Text

Eddie had finally been able to visit Buck on Day 8 of his treatment. He’d had to fill in for somebody on the B team after they got into a car accident and then Chris had gotten sick so he couldn’t leave him. Eddie hoped that Buck wasn’t mad at him.

They’d continued talking every night over the phone and sometimes they’d return texts during the day but those moments were few and far between.

Eddie was shown to the patio where Buck was having breakfast by an assistant. He slumped into the seat opposite to Buck greeting him.

“Hi baby.”

Buck looked at him and smiled brightly. Eddie was taken aback. This was the first time in a while he’d seen Buck smile so brightly. His smile was almost blinding. He looked good. This place was clearly doing him well.

“Hi babe.” Buck replied.

“Sorry for not coming sooner.” Eddie said apologetically.

Buck shrugged, “It’s okay. I know that if you could have come sooner you would have.”

“You look really good baby.” Eddie said.

“I know..and I feel really great too.” Buck was doing well. His individual sessions were going really good and he was making some headway. He’d only participated in the group sessions a couple times but slow progress was still progress.

“That’s great news. I’m so proud of you.” Eddie said reaching out his arm to hold Buck’s hand. Buck intertwined their fingers and smiled.

“So they changed my meds and these are so much better. It’s like I can actually think you know? I just feel really great.”

“I’m happy to hear that baby.” Eddie smiled.

Admittedly, he’d been skeptical about sending Buck away but seeing him now looking one thousand times better than the day he dropped him off, Eddie knew they’d made the right decision.

“So in therapy we were talking about something and it got me thinking.” Buck paused and Eddie motioned for him to continue.

“Well it’s just that...we haven’t really talked about that day and how you felt or even how Bobby felt. It’s been on my mind because I have all these people to talk to but who do you two have to talk to? You all went through something traumatic as well. There’s this girl in one of my groups...she found her friend after they’d committed and she spiraled. I just want to make sure you guys are okay.” Buck reasoned.

Eddie wasn’t going to lie, he had been struggling a little with everything that had happened. He couldn’t even go into their room without hyperventilating for fuck’s sake. He didn’t want Buck to worry though but maybe Buck had point. He should probably talk to someone.

“You’re right baby. It was a lot but I’ll talk to someone and I’ll make sure that Bobby does too if it’ll help ease your mind. I don’t want you to worry.” Eddie said.

“I always worry. I can’t help it.”

“I know.”

Buck always worried. He constantly worried about the people he loved. When he’d been back home, every day he’d worry if Chris had enough food at school, if he was okay, if the other kids were giving him shit. He worried about Bobby and Eddie and how dangerous their jobs were. He worried about his team doing operations in whichever God forsaken corner of the world they’d been sent to. He just couldn’t help it.

“So..since we never talked about that day. Well I mean we technically talked about it in the letters but.....can I tell you about it? It’s just that I trust you and it’s only fair you know what was going on in my mind and my psychiatrist thinks it might help me open up but if it’s too much then-“ Buck rambled.

He didn’t want to possibly trigger Eddie and have him relive that night if it was too much for him. If Eddie didn’t want him to talk about it then he was fine with that.

Eddie cut him off, “Of course baby. If you think you’re ready to talk about it then I’m ready to listen.”

Buck took a deep breath before he started.

“It had be happening for a while you know? The thoughts...I didn’t want to say anything to worry you. You already had so much on your plate and I just couldn’t not after what I put you through. That night I tried to sleep and I had the worst nightmare. I was back in that cave and you and Chris were there and I couldn’t protect you. I woke up and I couldn’t even move from the bed. My mind was racing. I just wanted it to stop you know? I just wanted to sleep.”

Eddie squeezed Buck’s hand encouragingly.

“There was just this voice in my head telling me that if I ended it, things would be better. I’d be able to sleep and I wouldn’t be a burden on you guys anymore and everything would be okay.”

Hearing those words come out of Buck’s mouth made Eddie choke up a little. Eddie couldn’t imagine the mental hell Buck experienced that faithful night.

“So I got up and said you know what I need to go. I paced around the house for a while trying to figure out how before settling on the belt. I was about to but then I remembered Chris and you and I knew I had to say goodbye so I wrote the note. I was full on sobbing at the time. I was scared but I needed to do this.”

Eddie wiped his cheek as he felt something wet drip down. He hadn’t even realized that he was crying.

“I- I just climbed on the chair as quick as possible and wrapped the belt on my neck and let myself drop before I could talk myself out of it. I can’t even explain it but I felt like I was watching myself do it. I didn’t even struggle and for a moment I was at peace and then I woke up in the hospital and I was so mad. I didn’t even stop to think about how all of you were feeling. I had just wanted to sleep.”

Buck was sobbing as he recalled the event. Eddie pulled him into a hug and they both held each other tightly.

“It’s okay baby. I’m so sorry you had to deal with all that.” Eddie said holding him. Buck pulled away to wipe the tears from his face.

“That day was...I don’t even know how to describe it. I just knew something was wrong and when I saw you hanging there I couldn’t stop screaming. We got you down but then you had no pulse, you weren’t breathing and we had no idea how long you’d been hanging for. Although now we know it must have been less than 3 minutes considering how well you are now. It scared the shit out of me you know? Had I been one minute later you would have been gone forever. I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself.” Eddie said thinking about that day.

“I’m sorry I put you and Bobby through that. I just wanted it all to stop.” Buck said. He felt guilty knowing that Bobby and Eddie would have to deal with the trauma of finding him. He’d seen how it could affect people.

“It’s okay. I’m glad we found you. I’m so happy you made it and you’re doing so well baby. I couldn’t be more proud.” Eddie gave him a soft smile.

“Couldn’t have done it without all of you.”

“We love you so much yeah?”

Buck nodded, “I know. I know that now.”

Buck felt so much lighter now that he’d been able to talk about his attempt. He was starting to see the benefit in opening up. Things could only get better from there.

The rest of the visit had consisted of talking about different things that were happening. They even called Christopher who was practically bouncing off the walls with excitement to talk to his papa. Chris had let it slip that Athena had been planning a welcome home party for him and Buck had been sworn to secrecy to pretend he didn’t know about it. Just 6 more days and he’d be home.

Those six days flew by. Buck continued with his sessions and was doing well for the most part excluding the two days where he hadn’t even had the energy to get out of bed. One of the nurses had come to check on him and reassured that everybody had bad days sometimes and that it was normal.

Eddie had managed to convince Bobby to see a therapist with him. Bobby was secretly grateful that Eddie had insisted that they talk to someone. He’d been struggling lately with the urge to drink lately. He’d finally processed everything and the magnitude of the situation stressed him. He couldn’t stop worrying about Buck and if this could have been avoided. He kept thinking what would be their reality had they not found Buck in time.

They’d only been to two sessions so far. Bobby’s first session went well and he was glad that he’d been able to talk it out a bit but Eddie’s was more strained. Eddie want really sure where to begin. Should he start with the emotional toll that Buck being MIA caused or should he just go straight to the attempt and how he found his fiance hanging from their bedroom ceiling?

It certainly didn’t help that with his past service in the Army, he himself had a hard time opening up. The second session was better and he hoped that the following sessions would continue with that trend.

Buck was coming home today and that was all that mattered. He had reluctantly admitted that he didn’t think he’d be able to come home to their house. The memories were still too fresh and he was scared that he might trigger himself or have a panic attack.

Eddie had ended up looking at houses online after that. Maybe a fresh start in a new house was what they all needed. The house was far from Christopher’s school anyway so they could get one closer and maybe with a bigger yard.

Eddie had been tasked with picking up Buck from the facility. Chris had wanted to come but he didn’t want Chris to see where Buck was and ask questions.

When Buck walked out of those doors with his bags Eddie was blown away by his beauty. Buck’s hair had grown out a bit and his curls were in their glory. He had some stubble from not being able to shave and overall he just looked happier. Eddie couldn’t ignore the small spark in those electric blue eyes if he wanted to.

Buck dropped his bags and ran towards Eddie smashing right into his chest.

“I missed you so much.” Buck said.

“I missed you too baby.” Eddie said placing a kiss on Buck’s forehead. “Ready to go to your surprise party that you’re not supposed to know about?”

Buck snorted, “That kid can’t keep a secret for anything.”

“He takes after you.” Eddie teased and grabbed Buck’s bags taking them to the truck.

Buck settled into the front seat and Eddie took off to Bobby and Athena’s.

“You look really good. How do you feel?” Eddie asked.

“Good. Honestly, I was scared to leave but my psychiatrist reassured me that I was ready and that it was time.” Buck said fiddling with his hands.

“It’s okay to be scared. What you went through was scary and now you have to face everything head on but it’s okay because you have people to support you.” Eddie assured.

Buck smiled and the truck lapsed into a comfortable silence. It was a sunny day with bright blue skies and for the first time in a long time Buck was grateful he was alive to see it.

Outside of Bobby and Athena’s house was filled with various cars. The whole gang had gotten together to welcome Buck back. Cage had even managed to get Buck’s old team to come with Buck’s permission of course. They had been dying to see Buck after they got the run down of what went down but the last thing Cage wanted to do was stir up those thoughts and feelings again.

Buck felt nervous as they walked up to the front door. This was the first time he was seeing everyone since the hospital after his attempt. Eddie grabbed his hand and squeezed it gently showing his unspoken support.

As they went through the house and came into the backyard everyone yelled “Surprise!”

Buck couldn’t help the wide smile he broke into. He was immediately passed from person to person as everyone had wanted to give him a hug.

Athena had hugged him tightly and whispered asking if he was okay. He had told her yes and hadn’t been able to stop himself from calling her mom. She just beamed and kissed his cheek.

Bobby had held him closely for a long time before letting go. Almost as if he was afraid that Buck might disappear if he let go.

Everyone was relieved to hear that Buck was doing better. They had tip toed around him at first but quickly fell back into the usual banter as they realized Buck was the same Buck from before just with some healing courtesy of therapy.

Buck hadn’t felt overwhelmed once like he did with his last welcome back party. If anything he craved the love. It assured him that he wasn’t alone and that he had people who loved him and cared for him.

After dinner when everyone scattered into various groups, Buck pulled Bobby aside.

“What is it?” Bobby asked worried that something was wrong.

“I just want to say that I’m sorry you and Eddie had to find me. I never wanted to put you through that pain and I- just thank you for saving my life and giving me another chance.” Buck said sheepishly.

“Buck..you’re my son. I’d save you again in a heartbeat. It’s okay. I’ve been talking through it in therapy. Don’t worry about me okay? I love you.”

“I love you too dad.” Buck said giving Bobby a hug.

The moment was broken by Buck’s former team mates dragging him into a game of cards.

As Buck sat there in the midst of his family and friends surrounded by their love, he knew that everything would be okay.

Chapter Text

The big day was finally here. It was Buck and Eddie’s wedding day. The pair had decided that they wanted to get married as soon as possible but due to unexpected circumstances like yet another disaster in LA (a tsunami this time in which both Buck and Chris had gotten caught up in), they’d had to wait a couple of months but now the long awaited day was finally here.

Buck was finally going to become Evan Buckley-Diaz. He wasn’t sure who was more happy about the wedding. Him, Eddie or Chris. Chris was ecstatic that Buck was officially going to be a part of their family. He had even given Buck adoption papers as an early wedding present. (Buck had cried and pulled Chris into a tight hug as he told him he’d love to be his other dad officially.)

Chris had also been extremely involved with the wedding attending various appointments with the wedding planner with them and looking wedding things in magazines with Athena. His favorite part was definitely getting to try all the wedding cake samples and help to design their cake.

Maddie, Karen and Athena had been the most involved after Chris with May helping as well. Maddie and Karen loved weddings and jumped at the opportunity to help plan one and Athena wanted her eldest’s wedding to be perfect. After all it would be a while before any of her other children got married (or so she hoped because she really wasn’t ready to acknowledge the fact that they had grown so much.)

Bobby had mainly contributed with his opinions on the food as that was more his forte rather than color schemes and flowers. He only wanted to best for his son and he knew what everybody liked after having to cook for them so often (and yes Buck was still helpless in the kitchen but he had stopped burning soup so Bobby thought that it was progress.)

Bobby had really stepped up with helping Eddie take care of Buck after he came home, making sure that Buck went to all his therapy sessions and took his medication. As a matter of fact, everyone had really stepped up to help him with his recovery, with even Harry and Michael reminding him to write in his journal and take his medication on numerous occasions.

They had finally been able to take thar father-son fishing trip. Michael and Harry tagged along and Buck caught his first fish ever. Not even the rash he got from mistakenly walking into a bunch of poison ivy bushes, chasing after Harry when he stole his sleeping bag could ruin that memory for him. (Buck had been covered in hives for days. Athena said she’d be attending the next trip to make sure they didn’t accidentally kill themselves again.)

Buck was doing much better mentally. He still had the occasional panic attack but it happened way less now. He had also gotten better at identifying when he needed to step away when a situation got to be too much for him. It was progress and Eddie had been so proud of him.

He still had nightmares sometimes but he’d learnt to deal with them and the thoughts they brought about. He would log them in his journal and wake Eddie if he needed someone to be awake with him. Eddie never protested, not even after a twenty four hour shift knowing that Buck was too scared to admit that he felt to hurt himself still sometimes after nightmares. He rather miss a couple hours of sleep than wake up to find that Buck attempted again.

Speaking of Eddie, his soon to be husband in a matter of minutes. He was heaven sent. Buck was convinced that God had sent Eddie specifically for him. He couldn’t believe he’d gotten so lucky. Eddie had found them the perfect house. Neither of them could stand to stay in their old house anymore not when they knew what had taken place there. They needed a fresh start.

Their new house was close to Chris’s school and only ten minutes away from Bobby and Athena. It had four bedrooms for any eventual additions to the family (they’d talked about adopting), a designated office for all of Buck’s books and a good size yard with a pool. It was steal and Buck didn’t hesitate to sell his apartment back in Virginia Beach so that they could afford it. He didn’t need it anymore. Virginia Beach wasn’t home. His home was with Eddie and Chris and their family here in LA.

Buck was brought out of his thoughts by Bobby entering the room.

“It’s almost time. You ready?” Bobby asked as he approached Buck, fixing his blazer. Buck had forgone a tie and the traditional bowtie. He still wasn’t comfortable with wearing those after his attempt, something he had discovered when he tried to wear a tie for Eddie’s Shield ceremony. The mere thought of anything wrapped around his neck sent him into panic mode.

“I’m nervous.” Buck admitted to his dad. What if Eddie changed his mind?

“Why? Are you having second thoughts?” Bobby asked trying to discern what Buck was worried about.

“No but what if Eddie is? What if he changed his mind and doesn’t want to marry me anymore?”Buck was working himself up with the nerves.

Buck would understand. It would break his heart but he knew he was a lot sometimes. No one was obligated to deal with him. Not even Eddie.

Bobby looked at him unimpressed. He had never seen two people so sickeningly in love. Eddie loved Buck and vice versa. Neither one of them wanted to end what they have (and no one else wanted them to end it either.)

“Buck, Eddie loves you. He was the one who proposed to you. That boy’s love for you is as serious as a heart attack. As a matter of fact he sent me here to check in on you because he’s scared you would change your mind and not want to marry him.”

Bobby guided him gently to sit down on one of the chairs in the room.

“Buck, that man loves you with everything he has. All he has wanted since you two got together was to marry you. He had already decided that you had to become Evan Buckley-Diaz before you had even left for your deployment. He loves you so much he sucked it up and asked me and Athena permission to marry you.”

Buck smiled. Bobby was right. He was being silly. Eddie loved him and wanted this as much as he did. Eddie had been a constant through it all. Panic attacks happened, nightmares and even a suicide attempt and he was there without a second thought. Bad days came and went and Eddie was still there for him, ready to support him however Buck needed.

Standing up Buck said, “I’m ready.”

Bobby escorted him to the garden of him and Eddie’s house where they met with Athena who was walking him down the aisle with Bobby as the bridesmaids and groomsmen arranged themselves to walk out. Buck’s old team had formed some of the groomsmen with Chim while all the ladies served as bridesmaids. Chris and Harry had been the ring bearers.

The wedding was small but it had all the people that mattered to them both. Eddie’s family from Texas had flown in and Buck’s team (and his old commander surprisingly) had flown in to be a part of Buck’s wedding.

As the wedding party walked down the aisle, Buck squeezed Bobby and Athena’s arms for support. They squeezed back and began to escort him down the aisle. As soon as Eddie saw him, he broke out into tears.

Buck looked angelic. He was so beautiful and he couldn’t believe that he’d be able to call this man his husband at the end of the night. To think they were so close to never being able to experience this day.

Bobby and Athena let him reluctantly go at the end of the aisle, giving him to Eddie not quite ready to see their eldest get married but knowing that he was in the best of hands.

“You look gorgeous.” Eddie whispered to him making Buck beam with happiness as the officiant started their ceremony.

“I understand the grooms have written their own vows.” The officiant smiled. They had both agreed that the traditional vows weren’t enough to truly convey how they felt about each other so they decided take things further and write their own. They thought that it would make the day even more special.

Eddie and Buck pulled out their vows out of their suits’ pockets and the officiant signaled for Eddie to go first.

“Evan Buckley Nash, I knew I’d marry you from the time I met you. You are my everything. You are the first one I think about in the morning and the last one I think about before bed, other than Christopher of course. I am so happy to be able to stand here and say my vows as I make you my husband. I promise to love you no matter the circumstance. In sickness and in health, for richer or poorer till the very end of the universe. My love for you is so strong that I doubt even that death will be able to tear us apart. I love you and I wouldn’t want to spend the rest of this life with anybody else.” Eddie said with the widest smile reaching up to wipe a stray tear off Buck’s cheek with his finger.

 

“Edmundo Diaz you have been my rock through the roughest of times. I’m so grateful to be standing here today as we became husbands. Without you that would have never been possible. I want to thank you for saving my life that day. Truthfully, I’m not sure how I ever thought that I could die without ever becoming your husband and Chris’ other father. I love you more than words could describe and I promise to always cherish that love. I promise to hold you when times get tough, to make you laugh when you feel like crying, to clean when you don’t feel like doing your chores.” That drew laughs from all their friends and family.

“But most importantly, I promise to love you and only you forever.” Buck continued and smiled at him.

There wasn’t a dry eye in the audience after their vows were said. Their vows oozed love and no one could deny the love they had for each other. They exchanged rings and the officiant pronounced them husband and husband. Buck and Eddie shared a sweet kiss as their wedding guests broke out into cheers.

Buck couldn’t stop smiling all throughout the reception. He felt like he was on top of the world. His smile didn’t even falter for a second when Chim teased him about how love struck he looked. It was his wedding thank you very much. He was allowed to be disgustingly happy and in love on a day like this.

He shared dances with Bobby and Athena when Eddie shared a dance with his parents earlier after everyone had eaten and now he was having his first dance with his husband as everyone looked on at the happy couple.

“Penny for your thoughts?” Eddie asked looking into those gorgeous blue eyes he fell in love with as they swayed gently with the music.

“Just thinking about how happy I am right now.” Buck said smiling.

“Surely, not more happy than me now that you carry my last name.” Eddie retorted. He didn’t know what it was but it stirred up something in Eddie to know that Buck was now Evan Buckley-Diaz. It was like staking a claim on him so everybody knew how lucky he was that Buck was his husband.

Buck laughed and pulled Eddie in for a quick kiss.

“Gosh I love you so much Mr Diaz.” Buck said.

“I love you even more Mr Buckley-Diaz.” Eddie responded.

Buck grinned and was about to reply when he felt something run into his legs.

“Hi Papa!” Chris said excitedly. Buck picked him up and Eddie pulled the both of them into a hug.

Nothing could be more perfect in that moment as Buck stood there with his boys. He was so happy he got a second chance at life. There was nothing else he was looking forward to more than making a lifetime of memories with his husband and their son officially, as the Diaz family.