Title: The Wish Your Heart Makes
Author: Keira Marcos
Challenge: Wish Babies (Trope Bingo 2020)
Relationship: Evan Buckley/Eddie Diaz, background Eddie Diaz/Ana Flores & background Evan Buckley/Taylor Kelly
Genre: Romance, Wish Babies
Warnings: Mild Angst, Grammarly Beta, Religious Issues, Ana’s an asshole in this
Word Count: 3,992
Summary: Buck learned a long time ago that sometimes the universe will give you a little nudge to put you on the right path, and sometimes it would shove you right off a cliff.
– – – –
Buck stilled the urge to cross the room and help Eddie stand up from the couch. Ana was there, had been at his best friend’s side for months, and Buck found he missed the days before he’d met her. She was a nice enough woman. Chris seemed to like her, but sometimes there was a tone about their interactions that spoke to frustration for both of them. He’d asked Chris and the boy assured him he was fine and would deal with Ana’s overprotectiveness in his own way. Buck didn’t want to know how much of Chris’ decision revolved around the idea that Ana made Eddie happy.
He hoped none because it was clear, at least to Buck, that the two of them were missing happy by a couple of miles. Taylor shifted into his space, and he barely refrained from moving away. They’d agreed to try dating, and he already knew it was a mistake. She seemed invested against her will, and Buck really didn’t appreciate the potential for resentment such a thing would cause. Taylor didn’t want to want him, and he didn’t know what to do with that. Part of him figured he should ride it out as long as possible to avoid the bullshit he’d deal with at work for another failed relationship, and he didn’t want to hurt Taylor. She’d come to her own conclusions quickly enough.
Buck focused on Eddie and found that his friend had moved to the recliner. He was giving off the appearance like he was fine, but Eddie was so far from okay it was starting to look like a real problem. Was it the crowd? Maybe they’d allowed too many people to come to his welcome home party. It had been Ana’s idea, and she’d insisted on inviting their friends from the 118 and all of Eddie’s family in LA. She’d have invited Eddie’s parents if she could’ve gotten their contact information out of anyone. Buck had point-blank told her it was a dumb idea and to drop it. The conversation had gotten a little frosty after that.
Ana Flores clearly didn’t like being told what to do. It made him wish he had given her Helena Diaz’s number. It would’ve been a straight-up boss battle. Still, Eddie didn’t deserve that kind of stress.
“He looks exhausted.”
“Yeah,” Buck agreed and glanced toward Taylor, who had a glass of wine in hand. “Probably should’ve put a time limit on the party.”
“The girlfriend wouldn’t have been on board with that,” Taylor muttered. “It would’ve shortened her showtime.”
“Showtime?” Buck questioned lowly and shifted closer to her as she motioned him to.
She pressed a quick kiss to his mouth, which he knew immediately was a front because then Taylor leaned in, so her mouth was close to his ear. “Looks like your friend’s girl is pretty invested in her image of being a supportive girlfriend and potential wife. She’s pulled out all the stops—making sure friends and family see her take care of Eddie like a good wife. Except, it’s awkward as fuck.”
Buck huffed a little and shifted away. He glanced toward Eddie and found his best friend openly frowning in their direction. Buck raised an eyebrow, and Eddie shook his head. “Seems pretty shallow.”
“Couldn’t dip a spoon in it,” Taylor agreed. “And it’s gross since she’s barely spared his kid a single moment since you brought Eddie in. Before you got here—she was basically stalking Christopher around the house. Isabel had to run interference.”
“I’ll talk to Chris again. Earlier in the week, he told me that everything was fine with Ana.”
Taylor hummed under her breath. “Maybe she said something about marrying his dad? I overheard her telling Isabel that she’s always dreamt of a big wedding and her parents had a savings account dedicated to it.” She made a face. “She has awful situational awareness if she thinks Eddie Diaz is gonna take a knee for her any time in the next decade.”
Buck snorted and wrapped an arm around her as he laughed. She grinned up at him, and he hoped that when everything went to pot, they’d remain friends. It must have shown on his face because she flushed and smiled a little sadly.
“It’s okay,” Buck said.
“I know that’s not true. I don’t know why I’m like this,” Taylor admitted. “You’re perfect.”
“Hardly perfect at all,” Buck assured. “You probably have fucked up childhood syndrome.”
“I have fucked up childhood syndrome,” Hen announced as she joined them. “Every adult I know does.”
“Right.” Buck shook his head and took a sip of beer. Eddie was glaring at them. Well, no, he was glaring at Taylor. “I think his pain medication is wearing off.”
“Chim’s sorting that bag of prescriptions you brought in,” Hen said. “He’ll get a delivery of pills and water soon. Looks like getting shot didn’t do a damn thing to slow his roll on the jealousy front.”
“Agreed,” Taylor said.
“Jealousy?” Buck questioned.
“You sweet, oblivious idiot,” Hen said fondly and walked away while Taylor leaned on Buck and laughed.
Eddie was taking the pills with a bottle of water while Chim hovered nearby the next time Buck looked his way.
“He’s been moody since we left the hospital,” Buck murmured. “I mean, he was basically fine when I went to his room. Except for the whole lecture thing and the will thing…then we were outside, and I had to go get the Jeep. When I pulled up, a woman was waiting in the area in a wheelchair—she had a baby in her arms. It was sweet.”
Buck laughed and shook his head. The fact that Taylor had no desire for children at all, ever, was proof enough that their relationship would never get very far. Chim joined them at that point with a frown in place.
“He only accepted OTC pain medication,” Chim reported in a low tone. “Eddie said he wanted to make sure Christopher is okay and his girlfriend expects to stay. You need to do something, Buck, because he clearly isn’t going to take anything narcotic while she’s here. I don’t…well.” He shrugged. “I’ve not been a parent long, so maybe I’m missing something, but it has been months, and he doesn’t trust her to supervise his kid?”
Buck started to respond, but the soft, sweet sound of fey bells sounded in the room. Conversation grounded to a complete halt as magic started to sparkle in the air above the empty coffee table. The air in the room grew heavy, and Buck took in a deep breath as he’d never witnessed the emergence of a wish baby in person. There were whole YouTube channels dedicated to it, so he’d watched more of it than he ever should’ve. A few weeks after Abby left him, he’d dedicated a few minutes of every single day wishing for a baby, but it was rare, bordering on a myth, for a single parent to be given a wish baby. Traditionally, a wish baby required the mutual love of at least two adults who had the desire to raise a child together. The intent had to be pure and without any sort of manipulation.
He focused on Hen and Karen, who had been wishing for a baby for over a year. At least, since IVF had failed and they didn’t have the funds to try again. Buck offered them a hopeful smile, and Hen just clenched her wife’s hand with a nod. He looked around the room and found most everyone staring at the gathering magic with happiness. Taylor looked mildly appalled, and he almost laughed. Ana Flores looked irritated like the emergence was interfering in her plans or something.
The magic flared, and a woven Moses basket appeared on the coffee table. No one moved at first as the magic faded. Buck understood that no one actually hoping for a baby wanted to check and face that crushing disappointment of the baby not being theirs. He knew that Hen and Karen weren’t the only couple in the room wanting a baby.
Isabel Diaz stepped forward and smiled down at the baby. She reached out carefully and pulled the packet from the basket. Isabel looked around the room as she held the large envelope that held the child’s birth announcement, then focused on Buck.
“Evanito, I believe this is for you.”
“Me?” Buck questioned. “But I haven’t…it’s been years….” He hesitated because that wasn’t necessarily true. “I mean, for a while, I would make a wish every single morning when I woke up.” He flushed at the fond looks that earned him. “But I stopped wishing since single parents are so rare.”
“The child has a head full of curly blonde hair and is clearly mostly white,” Isabel said bluntly. She looked around the room and shrugged as more than one person laughed. “Come try to open this now, young man.”
Buck released Taylor, who made a face at him.
“Go look at your baby, Buckley,” Taylor said and took a sip of wine. “I’ll organize a baby shower later because I’m gonna be an awesome ex-girlfriend.”
“Yeah,” Buck said with a laugh. “Deal.” He took the envelope that Isabel offered with trembling fingers. If the baby wasn’t for him, he wouldn’t be able to open the envelope. He hesitated just once before he tried to break the wax seal. His stomach clenched as the wax gave away easily with a flash of magical sparks. “Oh.”
“It’ll be fine, Buck,” Eddie said. “You’re going to be a great dad.”
“Shouldn’t he leave and do this elsewhere?” Ana questioned. “It’s…” She trailed off when Buck turned to her with a glare. “It’s ungodly.”
Buck blinked in surprise. “What?”
“Wish babies come from the fey….” She made a face. “It’s….” She shuddered, and her fingers glanced over the cross she was wearing.
“My second child was a gift from the fey court,” Isabel snapped with a glare. “Are you calling my Pepa ungodly?”
“No, of course not…I’m sure you raised your daughter well, Mrs. Diaz,” Ana exclaimed. “But there are children here….” She glanced toward Christopher. “They shouldn’t witness this.”
“Since not a single child in this room is yours, that’s not for you to say,” Athena interjected and patted Buck on the back. “Come on, Buckeroo, introduce the baby to our family.”
Buck took a deep breath and pulled the paper from the envelope. He stared as his mouth went dry, and tears welled in his eyes and slipped down his cheeks before he could prevent it. Buck brushed the tears away and cleared his throat.
“The Tuatha De Danann are pleased to present Magdalena Isabel Buckley-Diaz, daughter of Evan Buckley and Edmundo Diaz. Danu, the mother goddess, entrusts you both with this child created with magic and a deep abiding love.” He cleared his throat and couldn’t make himself look at Eddie as he checked the second page. “There’s a birth certificate—the fancy kind that you frame, not a legal one.”
“This is…impossible,” Ana blurted out, and Buck focused on her with a frown.
He looked down and found Christopher standing beside him. “Hey, Superman.”
“Is she my sister?”
“Yeah, she is, mijo,” Eddie answered firmly when Buck hesitated. “Abuela…could you?”
“Right,” Isabel said. “We should all leave. My grandson and Buck need privacy to adjust to the amazing gift that’s been given to their family.” She focused on Ana. “It is not your place to question the workings of the goddess Danu, young lady.”
Ana took a deep breath and focused on Eddie. “Edmundo, you don’t have to accept this creature as your child. Just because Buck made a reckless wish….” She trailed off when Eddie glared at her.
“Are you serious? My name wouldn’t be on the announcement and birth certificate if I didn’t wish for her, too! She’s named after my grandmother! How dare you call my baby a creature….” He tried to leave the chair.
“No, stay seated, Eds,” Buck said sternly. “You’re clearly in agony.” He turned to Athena.
“Isabel has stated this party over,” Athena said. “So, it’s over. Ms. Flores, since you’re clearly overwrought and auditioning for the role of the crazy ex-girlfriend, you’re leaving right now. Get your things, and I’ll escort you to your car.”
“Edmundo, you’ve suffered a trauma, and you’re emotionally compromised. Clearly, Buck has taken advantage of the situation….” Ana trailed off.
Eddie glared at her. “I’d like you to be the ex-girlfriend I never fucking see again as long as I live.”
She gaped briefly but then rushed to get her purse from the coat rack. Buck winced as she slammed the front door.
“Someone should trot after that woman and tell her that Buck isn’t pretty enough to seduce the fey queen into wish baby trapping Eddie,” Chim said wryly.
“He totally is that pretty,” Taylor protested hotly. “Don’t you guys like shower together? You’ve seen him, right?” She held up a hand when Hen started laughing, and Chim gaped at her. “No, don’t tell me otherwise. Please don’t ruin my hot firefighters showering together fantasy. I can only take so much.”
“Shush, niña,” Isabel said sternly, but Buck was kind of horrified to see that she was barely refraining from laughing as she took Taylor’s hand and tugged her toward the door. “You’ll give me a ride home. The baby shower will be at my house. Buck will have to share his awesome ex-girlfriend with us.”
Buck couldn’t make himself move as the house quickly emptied. He looked down and found that Christopher had sat down on the coffee table and was staring intently at his sister. He took a deep breath as Eddie moved to stand beside him.
“I…” Eddie cleared his throat. “Buck.”
“You need to sit,” Buck said and maneuvered Eddie onto the sofa. “Let’s…” He carefully picked the baby up. “Chris, we can sit with your dad, okay?”
Buck let himself focus on his daughter’s face for the first time as he settled between Chris and Eddie. Both Diazs leaned right into him and stayed there. “Hello, sweetheart.” He cleared his throat. “I thought…wish babies arrived older than this?”
“My mom said that Sophia looked to be at least six months old when she came. How much do you think she weighs?”
Buck balanced Magda in his hands. “Maybe seven pounds?”
“That’s in the range of a newborn infant,” Eddie said. “Chris weighed six pounds eight ounces when he was born.”
“She has our hair, Buck,” Chris said. He curled his fingers into the baby’s blankets. “I wished for her, too. I know I’m too young to make a real wish, but I’ve always wanted a little sister. She’s beautiful.”
“Yeah,” Eddie said and cleared his throat. “She is.”
“At the hospital, you were staring at that woman and her baby.”
“And I…” Eddie took a deep breath and shifted his arm in the sling even as he grimaced in pain. “I just wished we could be a family. Her baby was a little girl. Her name was Elena, the baby, that is. I didn’t bother to get the mom’s name. I mean, she was all about bragging on her new baby, so I don’t think she cared that I never asked her name.”
“My parents…” Buck frowned a took a deep breath. “They used to lie about my older brother, Daniel, and say he was a wish baby. I didn’t know that for a very long time, but it came out around the same time it was revealed they only had me to be used as a bone marrow donor for him. Daniel had leukemia. My father was convinced that he got sick because of their lies about him being a wish baby. They both loathe the Tuatha De Danann because of it.”
“Do you think the fey court punished them?” Eddie questioned.
“No, of course not. My parents are arrogant as hell to assume the court even paid that much attention to them.” Buck looked down and found that Magda had opened her eyes. Her eyes were dark brown with little flecks of gold in them, just like Eddie’s. “You’re a wish baby, too, Eds,” he said. “Ana didn’t know that.”
“No, I don’t share it often,” Eddie said. “I’ve only ever told you at the 118. Adriana was the only child my mother was able to conceive and carry to term. Wish babies are pretty common in my father’s family. Sophia is so proud of it that she put it on a T-shirt recently. That’s not to say I’m ashamed. It’s just people have these expectations for wish babies, and I’d rather not deal with it.”
“Where will Magdalena live?” Chris questioned. “At Buck’s new house?”
Buck had started house hunting when Albert had started going all-in on dating Veronica. He’d agreed to lease the loft to the younger man, but he couldn’t fucking stand Veronica, so that was a no-go situation. He’d been living in his new house for just a few days when Eddie had gotten shot.
“We could…all live there,” Buck said and looked toward Eddie. “I have the room.”
“Because you planned to make a family with Taylor,” Eddie said flatly.
“Oh, no, Eds, not at all,” Buck assured. “Taylor is so child-free that the only wish she’d ever make would be the spontaneous disappearance of her ovaries. She meant that ex-girlfriend business utterly.”
“Sorry, I know you liked her.”
“I still like her,” Buck pointed out easily. “But we knew that the shelf-life on that relationship was short because of the kids thing. Regardless, I never intended on asking her to live with me. I did…however…make sure that one of the bathrooms was accessible for Chris because I was going to give him his own room there.” He flushed when Eddie raised an eyebrow at him. “Don’t look at me like that after that whole will thing you threw on me at the hospital.” He didn’t know if Chris knew about the legal guardian thing and knew now wasn’t the time to discuss it.
“I would like to have a room in Buck’s new house,” Christopher decided. “We don’t have any food for the baby.”
They didn’t have a damn thing for the baby, Buck thought, and that was alarming. A sharp knock on the door caught their attention, and Buck shifted Magda in his hands before turning to Eddie, who looked at him like he’d grown a second head.
“Dude, you’re gonna hold our baby.”
“I only got one arm.”
“Then sit still,” Buck said and tucked the baby into the crook of Eddie’s good arm. “Chris, you scoot over here so you can help your dad if needed.” He watched Eddie focus on the baby, and his friend’s face softened immediately.
He opened the door and found Athena standing on the porch. She held out two bags which he took without protest. “What…”
“Diapers, wipes, baby soap, formula, a few onesies, and two blankets,” she reported. “Karen’s putting together a bigger shopping list for the basics, and the rest of them are going to hit a Target. Expect more supplies to arrive before dinner. Bobby’s at home cooking that dinner, despite medical instructions. Harry’s helping. Lord knows what you’ll get. I’ve called Michael to go over there and supervise. Send Bobby a picture; he’s stupidly excited. You’ll want to set up a registry for the shower your awesome ex-girlfriend and Eddie’s grandmother are planning.”
Buck kind of wanted to grab her and make her come into the house, but she was already backing away, and honestly, he’d never had a damn bit of luck making Athena Grant do a damn thing. He was just suddenly petrified of what he’d left on the couch. He shut the door when Athena just offered him a little grin and trotted down the front steps. Buck flicked the lock into place.
“Did you know that Ana was…anti-fey?” Buck questioned as he put the two bags in the chair Eddie had spent most of the party in.
Eddie shook his head. “I’d have never dated her if I’d known. I mean, she actively disdains the magic that created me.” He grimaced. “Which is awful. I sure as hell would’ve never introduced her to my grandmother if I’d known.”
“Abuelita doesn’t like her anyways,” Chris said as he leaned forward to stare at the baby. “Can I hold her, please?”
“Yeah, of course,” Buck said. “Let’s get a pillow to prop your arm up on.”
Buck snagged a throw pillow, then grabbed another, which Chris took and arranged under his right arm. Shortly, he lifted Magda out of Eddie’s hold and settled her on Chris’ lap. He knelt in front of them in a place of sentry.
“She’s perfect,” Chris declared with such certainty that it made Buck’s heart hurt. “Just what I wished for.”
Eddie shifted around as much as he could and pressed a kiss against Chris’ head. “What we all wished for, mijo.”
“Yeah, about that,” Buck began and took a deep breath as he focused on Eddie. “Eds?”
Eddie flushed brightly and cleared his throat. “There’s no one else I’d rather make a family with, Buck, than you. I mean that. I just didn’t realize you felt the same way. I only started Ana because…I was bored and lonely.”
Buck pursed his lips briefly. “I only started dating Taylor because you asked Ana out.”
“You guys are really silly,” Chris said and shook his head. “We got clueless dads, Magda. I’m sorry.” The baby yawned in response.
Platonic life partners could and certainly had wished for a baby and been gifted. Buck knew his own feelings were deeply romantic; he just didn’t know where Eddie was on that front. The man had confessed years ago after they’d drank far too much beer, that he was demisexual. A situation that had apparently frustrated the fuck out of Ana Flores on the regular. Buck hadn’t said much about that situation, but he’d thought it was toxic as fuck that she put pressure on Eddie regarding sex. He knew that Eddie hadn’t even tried to sleep with the woman, but the fact that she hadn’t respected his boundaries was galling.
Eddie reached out with his good hand and put it on Buck’s forearm. “Hey.”
“A deep abiding love,” Eddie said.
That’s what the announcement had said, and it sounded romantic as fuck, so that was…Buck stared at Eddie for a moment as the realization of what they had bloomed between them.
“The fey court outed us and all our dumb feelings in front of everyone,” Buck complained.
“At least Grandma and Abuelo weren’t here for it,” Chris consoled, and Eddie snorted. “You should take a picture of us together and send it to everyone.”
Buck took out his phone and set it up to take a picture of the three of them.
“No, all of us,” Chris said. “We’re a family.”
Buck slid on the couch and found the angle to include all four of them in the picture.
“You called me dad,” Buck said suddenly and focused on Chris.
“And silly and clueless,” Chris reminded, and Eddie laughed.
Buck took the picture because there was really precious little on Earth he loved to see more than Eddie Diaz laughing.