The author, a dragon and a newborn
Dragon Believer fluff.
Mom’s gone to work already when he wakes up. It’s spring break and he slept in, way in, because the sun’s high over the snow. He heads down stairs in the quiet house. After little Neal he thought babies cried a lot, but but baby Alma is only two weeks old and she snuffles and grunts rather than crying. She sounds like a baby Wookie.
Mom shut off the coffee pot and ran the dishwasher because she’s Mom, even when she’s not sleeping that much more than Mal. Mal can drink coffee again and he can bring it up. She’ll like that. He grinds the beans and starts on coffee while he sticks oatmeal on the stove.
He should probably feed her too, because she half-forgets to eat until she’s starving. Maybe he should make eggs and bacon instead. It’s break.
He eats half a grapefruit while the bacon cooks and the coffee finishes. Cracking eggs into the bacon grease (like Mom does) he fries two eggs, then two more and puts it all in the oven. Grabbing a cup of coffee, he carries that up and knocks on the bedroom door.
“Mal, are you awake? I made breakfast.”
A moment later she’s there, in her pyjamas with her robe pulled half on. Mal’s blonde hair falls loose on her shoulders and she smiles at him with such gratitude that he almost blushes.
“Breakfast and coffee?” Mal manages to pull the robe on one shoulder before the baby makes a noise and she moves but he can help.
“I can hold her.”
“Would you?” Mal looks at the coffee as if it’s a magical elixir and he nods.
“Is she hungry?”
“She ate, and ate.” Mal shakes her head and lifts up the baby to hand to him. Alma’s so little that her head won’t stay up and her dark blue eyes can’t even focus on faces. He puts the coffee down and then she’s there, warm and snuggled into his chest.
Baby makes noises. Little noises he barely knows what to do with. He looks at Mal in case he’s doing it wrong. She’s so little he must be doing it wrong and yet…
“There you go, she likes you rocking.”
She has that look on her face, grateful and soft, and he never knows what to do with that look. They get along. They share the house well and they’ve been fine since Mom decided to ask if Mal could move in. Not that he would have said no. Mom was so happy, but it’s nice to be asked.
Then it was: what if we got married? what if we had a child? “I know it’d be very strange for you.”
And it was strange. Is strange.
No one else in his class has a baby at their house. No one else’s moms can teleport in a cloud of smoke or save the town from vicious goblins with fireballs so he was already weird. And it’s less weird than Emma and Neal and his grandparents because he’s only fifteen years older than Alma, that’s way less than thirty.
Mom’s very careful and always asks, and it’s not that his stepmother is any less concerned with how he gets along with his sister, but she’s just more tired exhausted so while Mom always asks if he’s okay holding the baby, Mal just looks at him, and it’s his turn.
She’s so tired, even though she’s a dragon and she’s tough, she just had a baby, and he heard enough to know there were stitches and of course she’s allowed to be tired because Mal sleeps when the baby sleeps and that’s not very much.
Right now, Alma’s awake and she stares up at him unfocused because she can’t tell the difference between him, Mom, Lily, or Emma she doesn’t seem to care who was holding her just that she’s being held.
Safe and she likes it when he rocks back and forth.
“Food’s in the oven. I didn’t know if you’d want to come down right away.”
Mel looks at him, coffee in hand and grins. “Thanks.”
"Eat,” he says, lifting his elbow towards the oven. “I can hold her.”
“You don’t have too.”
He shrugs and shifts the baby so she’s lying on his chest. She seems to like that. “I eat playing video games all the time. I’m good at one handed.”
That makes her smile even more. “I’ve never tried to eat while I was playing video games.”
Mel devours her breakfast and eggs really aren’t that hard to eat one-handed. His left arm is sore but Alma still isn’t fussing and Mal’s so happy just to have both hands to eat with that he grins. He’s got this. He can help.
“Would you eat another egg?”
He chuckles. “Yeah, I would.”
“And more toast?”
He stands and rocks back and forth with the baby next to the stove. Mal finishes her first cup of coffee and they laugh when Alma twitches (she squirms, not because she can move or she wants to go anywhere but because she has all these muscles that she doesn’t understand).
It’s weird, and cute. He keeps looking down at her face and she’s so cute.
She looks like Mom.
Mal’s phone chirps, as does his own and Mal picks it up and smirks. “Your mother.”
“What does she want?”
“To know if I’ve eaten.”
Mal sends off a quick reply and Henry’s phone chirps again on the far side of the table. He’d have to get up to reach it and he’s comfortable. Alma’s comfortable, her little fingers wrap around his and he’s got this. He’s doing it right. She’s happy.