wriggling baby was placed in MAKISHIMA’s arms for the first time, he froze. He
held the child awkwardly and off balance. She’s the first baby he had ever held which,
seeing as this was his first child, was probably a grave oversight. In all
honesty, the baby was ugly. She had a scrawny face and wrinkly skin, her eyes
were crusted together and her head was a wonky shape. She hadn’t been cleaned
properly either so she was still quite red and disgusting. Gremlin, he considered, I
have a gremlin child.
baby started screaming, and with the screaming came more wriggling. In fear
that that he would drop his daughter, Makishima rushed to hold her closer to
his body in a panic, a nurse rushing over to him to help him adjust her until
her head was nestled in the crook of his elbow. The now red faced baby began to calm down
and nestle into his chest. A mild panic came over him as he considered the state of his
shirt, but soon began to calm as he watched his daughter settle. He walked over
to the seat next to his partner and sat down, looking up to see her sleeping
peacefully – well deserved rest indeed. Looking back down, he considered the
bundle he held in his arms. He reached out and ghosted his hand over her head,
and traced her facial features, looking for his face in hers. As he was about
to pull his hand away he felt pressure on his pinky finger – a tiny hand
grasping hold as a sigh rocked though the tiny body.
Yes, he thought, You’re
“Well, it’s a good thing you take after your mama” ARAKITA said, trying to keep the volume of his voice to a minimum as he leaned over his daughter’s crib, wonderstruck by the baby before his eyes. “You’re a pretty little thing, aren’t you?”
The tiny, prematurely born girl shuffled and whined in her sleep, kicking free of her swaddling. He laughed under his breath as he tucked her back into the wrappings, letting his hand linger against her torso, feeling her steady heartbeat beneath his palm.
“Guess there’s some of me in there too, huh. That’s my girl, you keep fighting.”
He backed away quickly as a pair of nurses entered the room, scowling at them for interrupting his quiet moment alone with the baby, and protesting furiously as they cooed over how adorable a father he was.
FUKUTOMI’s hands trembled as his son was passed to him; his limbs felt wooden and heavy as the nurse showed him how to cradle the fragile newborn’s body.
Sensing his distress, the baby screwed up his face and screamed, going a bright shade of red as he cried loudly.
Not wanting to ask for help but at a complete loss for what to do, Fukutomi stood there, frozen in place, staring at the baby and getting more nervous by the second- which in turn fed his son’s distress, making him wail louder and flail his tiny fists.
“Listen to daddy.” He finally managed. “Stop crying.”
Whether because he didn’t hear his father, or he was simply too caught up in his screaming, Fukutomi didn’t know… but the baby ignored his instructions.
“You need to stop crying now,” he continued gruffly, “because we Fukutomi men are strong.”
His chin wobbled dangerously and he felt a prickling behind his eyes.
“We… w-we are…” a single tear rolled down his cheek, splashing on to his son’s forehead. “Strong.”
Many more tears rained down silently, long after the baby fell quiet.
RIN cries a
lot, and it is well known that he cries a lot, but he had never cried as much
as the day his son was born – his beautiful perfect son.
the labour experience was terrifying. Part way though
delivery, the doctor mumbled something to the assisting nurse, who rushed over
to the side of the room to grab extra tools. Scary looking tools. It turned out
that somehow the umbilical cord was caught around his baby’s poor tiny neck. In
those few terrifying minutes, Rin didn’t know how his partner had the strength
to keep pushing, but when the boy was suddenly free, mother and father sat
terrified in the silence. he didn’t know how he had tears left, but nevertheless, both parents started crying silently, barely
breathing themselves, as they waited and waited while the doctor and nurses
worked to save their baby. When their son finally cried, it was like music to their ears, both parents collapsing in relief.
Those were the longest seconds of their life.
the ordeal was over; his partner was resting, and his baby was declared healthy
and safe for now, Rin cradled his son in his arms as he rocked in the rocking chair.
His son was beautiful, the most precious child in the entire world.
“I love you
so much already, and it has only been a day,” he whispered, so as to not wake
his partner. “I was so scared; I thought I was going to lose you before I even
got the chance to hold you.” Silent tears started to fall as he continued his
whispered rambling. “I want to promise you something but I know all too well it
is a promise I might not be able to keep. But I can promise I’m going to try my hardest. I’m
going to try so hard to never leave you…” At this point he was crying so hard he
could no longer produce words as he continued to rock his sleeping son though
hours of labour were some of the most terrifying hours of SAKURAI’s life. He
spent the entire time apologising on repeat for the pain and discomfort his
partner was experiencing (amplified entirely by the shrieking and yelling he received
for being responsible for it all). But the moment his tiny newborn was placed
in his arms, he found the first thing in his life he could never apologise for.
MURASAKIBARA had been present for the entire, gruelling labour;
cradling his partner, letting them grip his hands so tightly he could
feel his bones creaking and trying very, very hard to hide just how
scared he was. The midwife had tried to make him leave once, in the
middle of the ordeal.
The pain and the screaming and the
blood was all gone, his partner was fast asleep, it was just him and the
bundle in the crook of his elbow, freshly washed and staring up at him
with eerily calm, unfocused eyes.
“They tell me you’re big for a fresh baby,
potato-chin.” He said quietly, stroking from the top of the baby girl’s
forehead to the tip of her squished nose over and over. “And you’ve got
hair like mine already, so maybe you’ll be tall like me.”
His daughter scrunched her tiny, wrinkled face up and grabbed at his fingertip, holding on tightly.
pretty tiring being tall, I hope you’re a bit smaller. But so long as
you don’t take my snacks I’ll love you however tall or short you are,
because you’re my potato-chin.”