possible warning for long post! and #rvb season 15 spoilers maybe
“Happy birthday, Isaac. Daddy sure does love his little big man.” -Horizon: Zero Dawn
dont let the quote fool you, this is about Lavernius Tucker and Michael J Caboose.
Caboose totally thinks of Tucker as his dad.
After Junior was born Tucker had was obvious a father, right, but Caboose tends to confuse things that get even slighty complicated. So Tucker being a dad became Tucker Is A Dad became Tucker-Dad - whose dad? a dad has to be someone’s dad. my dad? …my dad- became Dad Tucker and finally just (Dad) Tucker.
These two are the only original BGC blues left after (a year each season? 15 years?!???) all these years and they’ve clearly developed a strong friendship especially in recent seasons but in Caboose’s mind I think it’s more than that.
Caboose’s opinion on Tucker never seems to really stick because while he was initially competing for Church’s attention, Tucker has proven himself to be a consistent and caring presence in his life unlike Church and even Wash. Tucker’s still mean to him but it lacks the disdain and heat from earlier, and at this point when Caboose says he doesn’t like Tucker its just reflex from so many years and for Caboose adaptation is hard.
When Caboose was reassigned the new Blue Team didn’t know how to handle him and he killed/hurt a bunch of them so they locked him up. Jones still got killed but I think thats getting into the darker side of Caboose of which no one in fandom speaks. (we should tho I think Miles Luna said he was a nearly unhinged murderer or something? and thats terrifying based on what we know but it could…get worse?)
Caboose listens to Tucker when he knows its important and Tucker cares about Caboose. When Epsilon!Tex was kicking their asses and Tucker told Caboose to help him, he immediately did. But even before that he saved him without being prompted. When fighting the Meta, Tucker ordered him to stay away and to “try not to kill, [Epsilon] on accident” and Caboose just said “okay!” even though, strength-wise, Caboose could have physically fought Maine on more even footing than anyone else. Whether Caboose has the martial arts knowledge to have a Fight Scene is debatable I think, but its a clear indicator that Tucker doesn’t want him to potentially get hurt regardless.
After being without a team at Valhalla, there is no way Caboose didn’t stick to Tucker’s side (and Wash’s) and try to make up for lost time. He tried to build himself a friend (a body for Epsilon) because he was lonely. He got Sarge and Grif to help him find Tucker because he was lonely. He wanted Tucker around. If he didn’t, he could have just stayed in his base with Donut as his “prisoner” or have tried to play with the Reds. Instead he went and found his friend (and still got Epsilon a body and got two friends). He probably spent days living on top of Tucker and literally sleeping on top of him so he couldn’t get reassigned in a dream and leave or something because Caboose is like that. Caboose didn’t want to end up somewhere they’d just lock him up again (and i’m willing to bet they mistreated him a bit as revenge) and don’t know how to handle him. He probably had nightmares and Tucker had to pull double duty comforting Caboose when he was dealing with Wash too. Tucker would warm up milk and put a big marshmellow in it (because he found out the hard way that the little ones can be a choking hazard for Caboose), wrapped him in a weighted blanket, and talk with him until he fell asleep, calling him Mikey and petting his hair. Tucker knows how to care for Caboose as his friend but I think also as a psuedo-parent.
GoodDad!Tucker tried to be the best father he could for Junior, and a key skill parents have to have is patience. Caboose requires patience not just because he can be obnoxious but also because words, especially difficult concepts, and strong emotions can overwhelm him. Omega scarred and damaged his brain and he progressively worsened over time (i know the writers said it was for comedic effect). He doesn’t understand things and needs them explained many, many, many times. If he doesn’t get closure (mostly from Church’s dissappearences apparently) he sinks into depression and tries to distract himself with busy work (trying to build a body for Epsilon, digging through rubble to unleash a mechanical pet that he spent a lot of time “training” and making a tiny sombrero for). When Wash semi-fixes his helmet, Tucker is the one to fix his visor which begs the question, how did Tucker know how to do that when I-built-a-capture-unit-Wash couldn’t figure it out? Answer: because he’s done it before.
Tucker is the one that explains thing for him, who helps him remember to do what he would forget. Caboose likes routine- he likes when things go back to being the way they are (at a given moment). I would bet money that Tucker has a routine for Caboose to follow every morning and every night. A specific step-by-step deal: wake up, brush you teeth, try not to kill anyone while you’re brushing you teeth, change from pjs into clothes, no you can’t wear your pjs under your suit you’ll over-heat, etc. Caboose knows it so well muscle memory does most of it for him so he doesnt get lost in remembering a step and if he does Tucker knows- Tucker is ancient. Too old to be Church’s best friend- that’s me. So after years together Tucker has to have developed the patience of a saint but also a method of caring for his big, slow friend who just needs a little help sometimes. and that’s something Caboose will have noticed.
Caboose is clumsy and breaks things. His helmet is high on the list of things he could break, and given his refusal to change helmets, it must have been very old and required maintainence for visor upgrades or seal re-fittings or what have you. Alpha!Church was terrible at most things involving hand eye coordination and at being an AI so he wouldn’t have been much help, and Caboose has/had (is it still a thing?) a rivalry with Lopez so only Tucker was left as an option. and much like a parent sewing up their kid’s torn stuffed animal as the kid sniffled by their side, so too did Tucker repair Caboose’s helmet.
Tucker tries to give advice as the self-proclaimed “love doctor”- as enbarassingly as any parent asking you “whats the haps” or “w-t-f. why the face” (dad!tucker for me is a lot like phil dunphy). Tucker’s word is law. In a “while you live in my house you live by my rules” sort of way, what he says goes. Stay where its safe and dont get shot. Dont shoot me or anybody else this early in the morning. Yes, fine, we can keep the ex-Freelancer but you’re walking him and cleaning any wet stains in the carpet and if i find any hairballs i swear to god. (if Freckles didn’t have guns he’d’ve been all over that).
and Caboose acts like a teen who says “i hate you” but means “i love you” instead. When Tucker nags him now its probably “take the pills Grey gave you” or “dont run around the pool” and “run AROUND the pool damn it, its on FIRE! NO NOT THE SLIDE ITS PLASTIC AND FULL OF FUMES” and “put your crayons away AND wash your hands and you’ll maybe find a cookie on you plate dude” like. Tucker has clearly come to care so much for Caboose, especially in s15 i swear imma cry.
Tucker has even been more consistent in his behavior than Wash. Carolina rolled on in and Wash stepped back in line with her for a while, scaring the RedsandBlues. Even separated on Chorus, Tucker was with him. Tucker was by Caboose and on his side the entire time. Tucker was reassigned to the desert and had to go. Even when Omega!Caboose was threatening him, Tucker didn’t leave Blue Base.
Tucker has never abandoned or left Caboose by his own volition. Tucker looks out for him physically, mentally, and emotionally. Tucker is who Caboose turns to when he wants permission for a pet, to fix the boo-boo on his helmet, and to comfort him when he’s feeling low. Caboose realizes it on some deeply buried level that Tucker ISN’T his actual dad but has assumed a father-like role, and remained steadfast and loyal while in that role just by caring about Caboose. so in his head whenever he addresses him his mind goes, (Dad), but his mouth says, Tucker.
Wash is Team Dad but Tucker is The Dad on the team.
i have so many feelings. do my boys justice. where all the fics at? more caboose/tucker friendship and family fics for 2017 please. tucker taking care of caboose. caboose appreciating and loving tucker. please. even just brotherly-fluff. im deprived.
i swear i start these intending to make a paragraph and instead write a fic outline.