charlie is just the cutest thing ever

2

Okay, so this is me trying to get over my writer’s block.  This might not be the best/cutest thing I’ve ever written, but here you go.  It’s mostly dialogue because it’s just people chilling in a room together, and there’s not too many ways you can break that up, I guess.  Anyways, I hope you enjoy.  It hasn’t been edited, so they’ll probably be a ton of mistakes I cringe over and change later.

This is part two of ‘Charlie and Stiles have a kid’.  You can find part one here.


Her mouth was dry.  It was so dry it felt like she might as well have been chewing on sand—like a terrible hangover.  Which, quite frankly, was ridiculously unfair since she hadn’t touched a drop of alcohol in what felt like an eternity.  Not that it would have made much difference to her either way.

Charlie shifted in the bed.  The first thing she noticed was the sheets.  Those sweat-soaked ones were gone, replaced by fabric that was fresh and crisp.  The light coating of dust caked over her face cracked as she moved, flaking off her face in small chunks.  People always said motherhood was supposed to give you a glow.  She was pretty sure that was yet another exercise in mass delusion perpetuated to preserve the joy of new parents.  Kind of like when people say that all babies are cute.  That wasn’t true—she had definitely seen a few decidedly not-cute babies.

Not hers, though.  Hers was all kinds of adorable.

Charlie’s eyes fluttered open, breaking that crusty barrier that sealed her eyelids shut.  At first her surroundings blurred together into a series of differently colored smudges—like a too-close viewing of a Monet painting—but as she continued to blink the world finally came into focus.  A warm light spilled in through the windows, soaking the room in muted yellow tones.  Everything seemed to have shifted somehow.  All of the wires and machines were gone and the sounds of beeping monitors barely reached her ears now.  They had moved—she was out of the maternity ward and into the so-called ‘recovery suites’.  She had a vague memory of that.  It’s funny how things get hazy after nine full hours of labor.

Slowly, Charlie rolled over in the bed, the sheets twisting around her and tightening their hold.  She was about to struggle with them—try to extract herself from their clutches—but the scene that came into view made her pause.  Right next to her bed was that plastic hospital crib, lined with soft pink blankets.  Charlie pushed herself up on her elbows to peer inside.  Nestled amongst those pink blankets was an even pinker face.  The smile that pulled at the corners of her lips was completely involuntary, and soon morphed into a grin so wide it hurt her cheeks.  And it didn’t go away.  Maybe it was those little mittens they had put on her hands.

Leaning forwards, Charlie hovered over the crib, reaching down and letting a finger gently brush against her baby’s cheek.  The little one smacked her lips and shifted in the crib, waving those gloved hands around a bit in a way that lacked all forms of coordination.  Barely out of the womb and she had already picked up some of her dad’s mannerisms.  “Hey,” Charlie whispered, pushing some of the fabric aside to get a better look at her.  “We’re going to get you some blankets that don’t conform to gender stereotypes too.  You’re going to get all the color blankets.  Every last one.”

The baby made this little hiccoughing noise, which Charlie decided was a noise of approval.  Then she heard a second hiccoughing noise, only this one was a lot deeper in register and significantly less adorable.  Actually it was more along the lines of a hacking, spluttering cough.  Wrenching her eyes away from the child—a process which took a full minute—Charlie looked in the direction of the sound.

A snort forced its way out of her nose.  The scene that lay before her was not a dignified one.  Stiles had managed to collect a couple of guest chairs and lined them all up in a row before somehow draping himself over the lot of them.  She still had no idea how he managed to sleep like that—armrest digging into his back and in imminent danger of collapsing on the floor in a giant heap.  Charlie smiled to herself as he smacked his lips and began mumbling incoherently.  Or at least almost incoherently.  She was pretty sure she heard the words ‘Star Wars’ thrown in there somewhere.

Charlie pushed herself into the sitting position, causing an ache in her lower abdomen that somehow seemed to be dull and sharp all at once.  She let out a low hiss of pain, which seemed to set off a chain reaction.  Stiles jolted into consciousness—actually flailed into consciousness would be a more accurate description—waving his arms wildly and somehow managing to maintain his balance.  As soon as he was safe from self-injury he jumped from his seat and darted to the bed.  “Hey, hey, hey,” he whispered urgently, glancing up and down her form, his hands moving frantically with the direction of his gaze.  “How are you feeling?”

Charlie shrugged and continued to push herself up.  “I’m fine.  Thirsty and a bit sore I guess.  Pretty sure that’s to be expected.”

She made a move to lean back against the frame of the bed, but before she got the chance Stiles held up a hand, indicating for her to stop.  “Whoa there—wait just one second.” He grabbed the pillows from behind her and began adjusting them with such careful precision she could swear he was trying to feng shui the hospital room. “Hold on while I fluff the pillows,” he murmured, his tone thick with an unnecessary amount of concentration.  “As your husband I am your designated pillow fluffer.  It is my responsibility to keep the pillows thoroughly fluffed.”

Charlie frowned to herself.  “Is it just me, or does that sound kind of dirty.”

“Today it can sound however you want it to sound,” Stiles muttered back.  

Finally he finished rearranging the damn pillows and let out a contented sigh.  Grabbing her shoulders, he gently eased her back onto what was admittedly a very comfortable surface.  Charlie opened her mouth to say thank you, but he darted away, only to reappear by her side mere seconds later holding a water bottle complete with a brightly colored straw.  Charlie let out a small laugh and took the  bottle.  “You know by raising the bar in terms of solicitousness, you’re kind of shooting yourself in the foot for later.  I might get used to being pampered.”

“Please,” he quipped back.  “There’s no way you’d let me pamper you for more than a week.  I’ve got to get all the pampering in while I have the chance.  High octane pampering will be happening for as long as I can get away with it.  Pretty soon you’ll be all self-sufficient and saying things like, ‘I can do it myself, Stiles,’ before you karate chop something to prove a point.”

“Oh, you know me so well.”

“You bet I do.  Senseless violence is kind of your jam.  Against people and inanimate objects.”

Letting out a groan, Charlie rolled her eyes heavily.  “Would you get over the damn printer already?  The thing was practically defunct.”

“Defunct—it was a paper jam!” he spluttered.  “Bashing it with a hammer is not a reasonable reaction to a paper jam!”

“Well it is when it decides to jam when I have a deadline,” she deadpanned.  “It was a spiteful machine, and I’m glad it’s gone.”

“You email your articles in!”

“You know I edit better with hard copies!”

Stiles opened his mouth to argue, but seemed to reconsider.  Instead he just let out a huff and looked down at her with a bemused expression.  “Just drink your water.”

Charlie pulled the straw from the bottle and tossed it aside, inciting a little scandalized scoff from Stiles—“that was festive”—and tipped the contents down her throat.  When she had practically drained the bottle she let out a satisfied sigh and looked up at him.  “How long have I been out?”

“You make it sound like you were knocked unconscious,” Stiles muttered absently.  Charlie just raised her eyebrows expectantly, waiting for an answer. “A few hours,” he replied.  “Probably not long enough.”

“And her?” she inquired, tilting her head in the direction of the baby girl.  Their baby girl.

“Asleep the whole time too,” he replied, a supremely satisfied smirk pulling at the corners of his lips.  “Only sound she’s made are those adorable little smacking noises.  You know we might actually have it easy with this one.”

A loud groan emanated from Charlie’s throat, one that had nothing to do with pain and everything to do with exasperation, and she rolled her eyes heavily.  “You realize what you just did,” she grumbled, glowering up at him through her still salt-encrusted eyelashes.  “You just jinxed us.  We are now jinxed.  Be prepared not to sleep for the next four months.”  

“Oh, shut up,” Stiles sighed back.  “Jinxes are pretty much the only thing left that I don’t have to believe are real.  Well, that and vampires.”

Charlie gave a strangled cry and stared at him in disbelief.  “Now you’ve gone and jinxed that too!  Pretty soon Count Chocula’s going to just show up on our doorstep!  We have a newborn!  We can’t deal with vampires!  Use your words responsibly!”

“Okay, first of all,” Stiles said, staring down at her with raised eyebrows, “that’s totally impossible.  We live in a third story walk-up and vampires can’t enter buildings, so the guy would be stuck on the sidewalk.  Second of all, if he did show up on our doorstep, I’ll take the delicious cereal and slam the door in his face.  Which if you think about it is actually a win for us.  Free cereal.  Third of all, I don’t think he’d be that much of a threat.  Fourth of all…..” He trailed off and stared up at the ceiling, searching for more words to throw in but seemingly coming up short.  “Yeah, that’s about it.  Let’s say three is enough.”

“And he’s fictional,” Charlie prompted in a deadpan tone.

“Right,” Stiles agreed with a curt nod.  “And he’s fictional.”

Charlie bit her lip, trying her best to conceal the smile that was threatening to form.  Whenever she and Stiles bickered, she made a valiant effort to keep a straight face—to preserve the illusion of frustration.  You would think that it would get easier over the years.  More practice, right?  But it wasn’t.  It was harder.  The stoic scowl was virtually impossible to maintain.  Pretty soon she would be nothing but smiles and where the hell would that leave them?

The look Stiles gave her in response made her shiver.  She wasn’t sure how he could still do that.  Twelve years since he had first given her that look and she still couldn’t get used to it.  It was like he could see through all of the layers she had built up over the years, straight through to the center.   She wasn’t even sure what was there, but for some reason whatever it was, it made his eyes almost glow.  Maybe it was happiness, but it had a different color to it.   Maybe she would never figure out exactly what it meant or what he was feeling.  But—as much as she liked to solve all mysteries in her path—she was strangely okay leaving this one alone.  Just as long as he kept looking at her that way.  The warmth in Charlie’s chest began to grow until she couldn’t return the look anymore.  

She broke eye contact, instead fixing their eyes on their girl.  As she did, a different sort of feeling settled in her chest—one that made her feel full and hollow all at once. Maybe it was the light streaming in through those soft curtains—layers of an orange and pink sunset forming some sort of celestial mosaic—but the baby had ethereal look about her.  Innocent, pure, and completely perfect.  It was like tunnel vision.  There was just this one thing, and nothing else in the world existed.  It all just melted away—there wasn’t much of a point to anything else.  There was just this one thing and she was the one in charge of it.  It was her job to take care of it.  That one little thing became everything, and that scared the crap out of her. For something that looked so other-worldly and beautiful, it was all so frighteningly real.

“You can hold her, you know.”

Her head and her heart were so full, Stiles’s voice made her jump.  It was almost as if she had forgotten he was there for a few moments.  She must have appeared absolutely terrified at the prospect, because the corners of his lips quirked upwards in a tight, amused smile.  Until he realized that was something a little more real behind that expression she was wearing.  Actual fear.  Actual worry.  Actual insecurity.  The smile faltered and faded, replaced by a small crease between his eyebrows.  

Wordlessly, he leaned down over the crib, gently scooping up the tiny figure inside.  Carefully supporting the baby’s head, he sat down on the bed next to Charlie, shifting so he could place the girl in her arms.  Charlie shrank back into her pillows slightly, but he shook his head encouragingly.  “You’re not going to break her,” he said quietly.  “She’s not made of glass.  If babies were that fragile, humanity would have died out a long time ago.”

Steeling her nerves, Charlie extended her arms outward.  Stiles gently lowered the girl into them, and Charlie found herself holding her breath.  As soon as the child was wrapped in her embrace, she shifted, nuzzling into Charlie’s shoulder.  The short, quick breaths caused her hair to flutter against her neck.  The closeness made her heart race.  Whether that was caused mostly by love, fear, excitement, or anticipation she had no way to tell.  Stiles shifted on the bed, scooting back until he was leaning against the keyboard, shoulder to shoulder with her.  “See,” he murmured quietly.  “That’s not too hard right?”

“What if I screw her up, Stiles.”

The question came out so quietly, it barely reached her own ears let alone Stiles’s.  But he still heard her.  He somehow always managed to.  And arm wrapped around her shoulder, pulling her closer in towards him.  It was a move he’d had to make a few times, whenever the cold pit of doubt settled in the pit of her stomach.  Those times he found her sitting up in bed in the middle of the night, wondering if she had been fixed yet—if she wasn’t broken anymore.  And wondering if she’d ever stop wondering that.   Thinking that maybe it was only when she stopped wondering that she would actually be fixed. And then thinking that if that was the case, she would never realize she was actually fixed to begin with.

But as messy as she got inside her head, Stiles would always be there.  It was like he had a sixth sense or something.  He would flop over and let out a loud snorting noise, shake himself into consciousness, and then sit with her. “Hey,” he whispered, pressing a firm kiss against her temple.  “Hey, we both know that’s not going to happen.  Nobody in this family is going anywhere.”

Charlie’s heart jumped at the word.  Family.  It still felt like a strangely foreign word.  Growing up she thought the word sounded like what Christmas morning was supposed to be—those cheesy Walmart ads and such.  The mom, dad, and children would all be laughing and opening presents and eating cookies.  Then the doorbell would ring and the door would swing open to reveal a set of grandparents, with even more smiles and cookies. She never used the word ‘family’ all that often.  It didn’t match the picture.  To her it was always ‘me and my dad’.  And that didn’t make it any less real or less important—it just didn’t look the same.  “Family, huh?”

“Yeah,” he replied in an even tone, nodding at her.  His thumb brushed against her shoulder comfortingly.   “You and me?  We’ve got this covered.  Completely covered.  Totally covered.  We’ll be two of the most functional adults the world has ever seen.  We’ll be the opposite of every TLC show on the air.”

“Family,” she murmured again, tasting the word on her tongue.  She exhaled sharply, glancing up at him over her shoulder.  “I think I like the sound of that.”

“Well that’s good to hear.  Because you are stuck with me.”

She jutted out her chin and nodded in what looked like indifferent acceptance.  “That’s cool,” she replied, mild sarcasm coloring her tone.  “I can think of worse ways to spend a lifetime.  I mean, not a lot of them, but—“

Stiles let out a loud snort and elbowed her in the side.  “Thanks for the ringing endorsement.  I feel so loved right now.”

Chuckling to herself, Carlie sank back, leaning against him and resting her head on his shoulder.  The hand gripping her shoulder slid upwards, winding itself in her hair.  Letting out a sigh, she tilted her head back, pressing a quick kiss against his jaw.  “We’re gonna have to name her soon, you know.  We were supposed to have another month before making up our minds.”

“Yeah—it’s kind of a lot of pressure, isn’t it,” Stiles mused.  “Like we need to pick a name that we’ll want to hear every day for the rest of out lives.”  He let out a loud huff, his breath causing her hair to flutter against her neck.  “Okay, so what do we do?  Throw darts at a board covered in names?  Play an intense game of proper noun Scrabble?”

“Scrabble?” Charlie scoffed.  “Are you for real right now?  Leave our child’s name up to fate and a board game.”

Stiles shrugged and made a face at her.  “We could always go with my initial suggestion.”

“We are not naming our daughter L—”

“Seriously, could you have worse timing?”

Charlie blinked in surprise at the sudden presence of another voice in the room, cutting her off with no ceremony whatsoever. Its appearance was so abrupt, she didn’t even have time to register the words before its owner barged into the room.  But she would recognize that exasperated tone anywhere.  It was Lydia’s voice.

Charlie’s eyes weren’t even able to focus on the girl she moved so quickly.  All she saw was a blur of red hair, followed by the wafting scent of Chanel No. 5.  The redhead marched in through the doors, threw her slouchy, oversized Hermes purse into the vacant chair and spun on her heal to face her and Charlie and Stiles, her hands planted firmly on her hips.  “Are you kidding me with this?” she demanded, waving her hand around the room.

Stiles and Charlie glanced at each other, bemused expressions on both of their faces as they tried to decipher what precisely Lydia was talking about.  “Okay,” Charlie said, making a face and bobbing her head a bit along with her words.  “So the first time my baby hears your voice, you’re criticizing me. I like it.  It feels appropriate.  I’d be super-interested in knowing what you’re criticizing me for……”

Lydia rolled her eyes and let out a prim scoff, folding her arms across her chest.  “I just can’t believe you picked now of all times!  It completely conflicts with my schedule.  With all the opportunities you had to go into labor, you picked now.”

Letting out a snort, Charlie bit her lip to force back the wide grin threatening to form.  That would only have pissed off Lydia more.  It was interesting how her regret and frustration seemed to channel itself into this sort of display.  “What can I say, Lydia,” Charlie sighed out.  “Technology is not yet able to sync my uterus with your Google calendar.  It’s a tragedy, I know.”

For a second there Charlie half expected Lydia to pick up her purse so she could throw it at the chair a second time, even more violently.  “Don’t sass me, Oswin,” Lydia replied.  “I just missed the birth of my goddaughter.  This whole—” she gestured in the direction of Charlie’s now significantly flatter belly “—this whole situation was supposed to resolve itself in nine months, which was why I cleared my schedule for the entirety of next month.  But no!  You have to go and have the baby early! I just hauled myself all the way from D.C. two days before I was supposed to leave.  I had to leave the seminar I was teaching twenty minutes early to catch the train.  You couldn’t have waited two more days?”

Charlie narrowed her eyes curiously and cocked her head to the side, but it was Stiles who responded.  He tightened his hold around her middle and perched his head on her shoulder.  “You know that this isn’t something she can actively control, right?  When your water breaks you can’t just cross your legs and keep the baby in.  It’s not like trying not to pee. ”  Charlie’s face scrunched up into a slightly perturbed expression and she twisted around to look up at Stiles.  He just made a face and shrugged in response.  “What?  Those parenting books get graphic.”

“O—okay,” Lydia said, holding up her hands like she was trying to physically shove back both the words and the mental image accompanying it.  “I just had to sit in a train seat squashed between a fat guy and an old woman with an infinite number of stories about her eighteen grandchildren and seventy-three cats.  The least you idiots could let me do is officially meet my goddaughter.”

The pair of them glanced at each other before looking at the ball of tense energy that was Lydia Martin.  “Nobody’s stopping you,” Charlie quipped.

The change was pretty much immediate.  The patented Martin disapproving scowl was replaced by a soft smile and she took a few tentative steps towards them, leaning over the pudgy pink little figure still wrapped in Charlie’s arms.  Slowly she reached out a finger, gently brushing against those little mittens the nurse had insisted they put on her so she wouldn’t scratch her face.  The tiny hand shifted slightly, trying to grasp Lydia’s finger, causing the quietest ‘oh my God’ to slip from the redhead’s lips.

“You look terrible, by the way,” she whispered to Charlie, her eyes still fixed on the baby.

Charlie couldn’t help but smile at the tiny barb.  Even after all these years, she could still see little bits of the Lydia Martin who had knocked on her door, insulted her clothes, and told her they were going to be friends.  Give a criticism instead of an insult, throw out an insult instead of an apology.  Classic Lydia deflection.  They both knew what she meant.  “Thank you, Lydia,” Charlie murmured back, her tone genuine.

“It looks like your hair’s crusted onto your head.”

“My hair is crusted onto my head,” Charlie replied with an easy not.  “It’s called sweat.  It’s what tends to happen when you leak fourteen cups of ice chips out of your pores while pushing a human out of your vagina.”

Finally, Lydia looked up at Charlie and Stiles, her lips pressed together in a thin smile.  It was a happy one, but tinged with a hint of regret.  “I’m sorry I wasn’t here.”

Charlie didn’t respond.  She just reached out and took Lydia’s hand, giving it a reassuring squeeze, silently telling her it was okay.  Lydia’s smile widened ever-so-slightly and her gaze shifted back to the baby.  Charlie couldn’t blame her.  I was pretty much impossible to look anywhere else.

“I wouldn’t be too broken up about not being here for the theatrics,” Stiles drawled out, waving his hand dismissively from his position curled around Charlie.  “You really didn’t miss much.  Just the miracle of life.  And Charlie threatening to kill me about a thousand times.”

“So basically you average Thursday,” Lydia whispered snarkily.

“Pretty much,” he said, nodding in agreement.  “Though weirdly there was less cursing than usual.”

Lydia let out a gasp of mock shock and placed her hand over her heart.  “Does this mean she’s growing up?”

“God, I hope so,” Stiles chuckled.  “Mel is not going to be happy if her first word is ‘dumbass’.”

Charlie’s eyes widened and she smacked Stiles’s shoulder, looking at him seriously.  “Dude, how awesome would it be if her first word actually was ‘dumbass’?”

“Um, better question,” Lydia declared, raising a single finger to interject.  “How the hell are you a journalist for the New York Times?”

“My elegant prose, obviously.”

“Says the writer who once submitted a byline whose title literally read ‘John Boehner Is a Douche’.”

“It was a working title,” Charlie replied, widening her eyes innocently.

Lydia rolled her eyes and stepped forwards, holding her arms out almost expectantly.  She kept a slight distance, though, silently asking if it was alright.  Charlie smiled and shifted forwards, allowing Lydia’s arms to collect the precious little bundle.  The corners of her lips twitched slightly, finding it difficult to maintain that typical expression of mild disapproval.  Letting out a sigh, she began to pace back and forth in front of the bed.  “This kid is so lucky it has me around,” she said, raising her eyebrows pointedly.  “There should be at least one adult in her life who’s sane.  I mean, there is Mel, but she’s in France and there’s only so much she can do over Skype.  She and Chris should be on a plane right now, by the way.  They touch down in a few hours.  You’re welcome.”

“Wha—how the hell did you manage that?” Stiles spluttered.  “Scott’ll barely beat them here!”

“Is it really still worth asking how I do what I do?” Lydia sighed.  “You just need to accept the fact that I’m a miracle worker and move on.”

“Wizardry,” Stiles mumbled absently, staring off into the distance.

That self-satisfied glint filled Lydia’s eyes and she smiled that inscrutable smile of hers that made the Mona Lisa look candid as hell.   “So,” she chirped.  “What am I supposed to be calling her?”

Charlie and Stiles exchanged a single glance before Stiles spoke up.  “We were just talking about that, actually.  I mean, I still think we should consider ‘Leia’.”

All of the sudden, Lydia stopped pacing.  Her eyes snapped towards the pair of them, the look in her eyes even fiercer than that time sophomore year of high school when she had tried to wear flip-flops to a party.  They narrowed into slits as she slowly walked towards the bed.  “Leia?” she growled.  “No.  No way. I’m not letting you name my goddaughter after a Star Wars character.  I’m using my veto power.”

“Wha—who says you get veto power?” Stiles spluttered.  “I don’t recall there being anything about veto powers bestowed upon the godparents.”

“It’s in the bylaws,” Lydia replied tersely.

Stiles’s mouth dropped open as he directed one of his more perplexed looks Lydia’s way.  “Byla—there are no freaking bylaws.  It’s a nice name!”

“Yeah…….I think I’m going to have to go with Lydia on this one, pookie bear,” Charlie drawled out, nudging him in the side with her elbow.  “I’m not hugely in favor of Leia.”

Based on the look that she received, Stiles probably considered this one of the larger betrayals of his lifetime.  His mouth opened and closed for a few moments, searching for words and ending up babbling incoherently.  “But you said that you’d consider it!”

“I said I would consider naming our kids Luke and Leia if we were to have fraternal twins,” Charlie shot back.  “I was relying pretty heavily on the small statistical likelihood that that would happen.”

Stiles shoved his fist in his mouth, using it to stifle a small scream of frustration.  He pressed his lips together in a thin line and began shaking his head.  “Man, this is the worst,” he grumbled.  “I had the whole thing planned out.  I’ve been trying to get Scott to agree to name his kid Han, that way when our kids inevitably fall in love, it’d be Han and Leia.  There’s no way you can tell me that’s not totally adorable.  We’d never hate family reunions.”

Lydia, who had begun to meander around the room, let out yet another snort, casting a sardonic look in his direction.  “There’s no way anybody in their right mind would name their kid Han Solo.”

The scoff Stiles let out in response was so pronounced, Charlie felt his body physically shake behind her.  “And that kind of attitude is why your hypothetical son will never date my daughter.”

“Um, don’t you think it’s a little early to start getting all threatening about hypothetical boyfriends,” Charlie said, looking at him pointedly.

He just stared back at her, shaking his head in disapproval.  “I will never apologize for my paternal instincts.”

Charlie was in the midst of forming a pithy, sarcastic remark, but before she could  a sound filled the room.  All of them suddenly froze as a small whining noise emanated from the bundle wrapped in Lydia’s arms.   Her eyes suddenly went wide and she held the baby just a little bit further away from her body.  The whining noise quieted down a bit, but she still moved back towards the bed, holding the baby out.  “Okay,” she said, placing the baby back in Charlie’s arms.  “This is where I play the ‘cool aunt’ card.  I am not familiar enough with small children to hold them while they’re crying.  I haven’t sufficiently prepared myself for spitup—practically or emotionally.”

Charlie let out a laugh and reached her arms out to receive the precious little package.  It was probably Charlie’s imagination, but she seemed to quiet down pretty quickly after that.  Not that she had been causing much of a fuss before that, but she just became more still.  All that was left was the quiet breathing.  It was almost musical.  In that moment Charlie realized that she was actually looking her future.  A damn bright one too.  One that they all deserved, but not all of them got.

“I think I got an idea for a name,” she murmured, glancing back and forth between the two of them.  “I think we should go all Harry Potter on this one.”

The two of them stared at her blankly for a few moments, but then she saw the light of comprehension dawn behind their eyes.  Liquid pooled in Lydia’s eyes, but they never became tears.  Instead she pressed her lips together in a thin line and gave an almost imperceptible nod.  Stiles didn’t say anything either.  He just pressed a kiss into her hair and tightened his hold around her waist.  She took that as a yes.

All of the sudden, a crash echoed down the hallway.  Given her usual experience with hospitals and loud noises, a sense of fear jolted through her.  That fear was replaced almost immediately, though, when it was followed by a string of apologies that somehow managed to be louder than the crash in the first place.  The three of them found themselves staring at the door as the sound of sneakers squeaking against laminate approached.

Three….two….one…..

Suddenly Scott skidded into view, colliding pretty heavily with the doorframe.  He stood there, staring at the lot of them with those wide, puppy dog eyes of his, a stuffed animal in one hand and a semi-deflated balloon in the other.  “Is it over?” he gasped out, because apparently even werewolf powers didn’t accommodate the speed with which he was flying down the halls.  He gulped down a few more breaths, sinking against one of the walls.  “Did I miss it?”  His eyes darted back and forth between each other their faces almost manically before settling in on the baby in her arms.  His shoulders sagged again, only this time with disappointment.  “I missed it.”

“That’s okay,” Stiles replied, smiling in the face of his almost childlike dismay.  “I’ll edit you together a compilation of the more creative threats she made.  They got pretty graphic.  Like….not fit for basic cable graphic.”

Scott exhaled sharply in something resembling a laugh and nodded.  He stepped towards them, placing the stuffed wolf on the bedside table.  As he looked down at the baby, his eyes almost bugged out of his head.  Honestly the way they all ended up staring at her, you would think that she was some sort of mythical creature that none of them believed existed in the first place.  Which, given the fact that the room was filled with banshees and werewolves, kind of took a lot of doing.

Charlie found herself scanning all of their faces.  It had been a while since the lot of them had been in the same room together, but it didn’t feel that way.  Life had taken them different places, but somehow it never felt like they weren’t together. Screw those Christmas commercials.  This was what family was supposed to look like.

“Everybody, I’d like you to meet Allison Claudia Oswinski.”

That moment felt a little like they were in a TV show or movie or something.  The type that layers on a warm-toned instagram filters on top of the image, and then the camera slowly pans in on the group of people as they bask in the glow of their friendship and love while a soft, hopeful-sounding piano piece plays over it.  It felt like that.  Closure and the promise of many beautiful tomorrows.

“Wait, hold on a second,” Lydia’s voice suddenly demanded, breaking through the calm.  “What do you mean her last name is ‘Oswinski’?”

Charlie and Stiles exchanged a look and both shrugged.  “Hyphenating took up too much space on the page,” Stiles replied, jerking his head to the side noncommittally.  “We decided to just—just mash the names together.  Equal representation.”

Lydia stared at them, her mouth hanging open slightly in disbelief.

“That’s the stupidest damn thing I’ve ever heard.”