Bitty’s in the kitchen, of course, when Simone starts screaming.
(Their little girl has a powerful set of lungs.)
She’s eight months now, which means she’s already on a walker, can almost sit up completely by herself, hates her baby food half the time and loves it so much the other, and also, they can leave her alone for a little while before she starts throwing a fit. Bitty had barely gotten any time to bake in the last few months, so he was only taking advantage of the fact that Simone can now wander happily about her nursery in her new walker while his wonderful, gorgeous, generous husband is curled up in the armchair in the corner, keeping an eye on her. It was all going pretty well—Bitty’s now working on his second pie—until the wailing started.
The other thing you have to know about Simone Bittle-Zimmermann is that Bitty is her favorite. Jack has been trying his hardest to be at home as much as possible, and he’s, well, honestly, he’s been amazing at it, but whenever Jack tries to pick her up when she’s crying, it takes her a while to respond. So when she starts screaming bloody murder, Bitty springs into action. He turns around quickly to rinse his hands and quickly looks around for a towel. When he doesn’t spot one on the counter, he groans exasperatedly and wipes his hands down the front of his apron instead, before ripping it off and taking the stairs two steps at a time. He’s halfway up and about to call Jack’s name when the wailing abruptly and inexplicably ceases.
Bitty stops dead on the staircase, panic flooding his bloodstream. Not that he didn’t trust Jack, but Simone is notorious for crying for at least two minutes at a time (yes, they’d timed), and even then, it was never immediate, especially if she’d just been fed, which was the case at hand. Her crying receded slowly, in waves and small hiccups, after she’d been held and cradled. He stayed quiet and listened for any other suspicious sounds from the nursery, but—nothing.
Figuring the silence was a sign that Jack probably (at least) had things under control, Bitty continued up the stairs at a normal pace until he reached the nursery. Creaking the door open, he braced himself for every possible worst case scenario, and almost shocked himself still when he heard—soft humming? And giggling?
Jack has his back turned from the door, but he had Simone propped up on his right arm, her right hand curled around his left thumb as they sway back and forth to the song he’s singing softly, under his breath. Like a waltz, just for the two of them. From his place in the doorway, Bitty can just barely make out the words Jack’s singing —
You’re just too good to be true, Can’t take my eyes off you
It’s a scene straight out of Ten Things, Bitty thinks to himself as a grin spreads across his face. Jack’s quiet baritone takes over the small room, singing directly down at his daughter in his arms, and Bitty falls in love with him all over again right then and there. Simone squeaks in delight as Jack goes on, unaware that they’ve gained an audience, and Bitty watches them with his heart so full, he feels like his chest could burst any second.
Jack locks eyes with Bitty as he gently spins them around, making Simone giggle, and he gives Bitty a small smile around the lyrics as he continues to sing. Despite himself, Bitty flushes madly, grinning widely up at his husband, who winks at him conspiratorially.
Oh, pretty baby Don’t bring me down, I pray Oh, pretty baby Now that I’ve found you, stay And let me love you, baby Let me love you
There was a time when Bitty never let himself dream he could have this, any of this—not the successful career, not the beautiful house, not the gorgeous, loving husband, not the perfect little daughter. Standing there, watching his husband dance with and sing to their eight-month-old daughter, he couldn’t help but agree—his life was just too good to be true.
At long last, love has arrived And I thank God I’m alive You’re just too good to be true Can’t take my eyes off you
Jack ends the song with a flourish, bouncing Simone on his forearm and catching her with both hands, pressing a gentle kiss to her cheek. “Look who’s here,” he says to her, turning her in Bitty’s direction. Right on cue, Bitty scrunches his face up, which always makes her smile, holding his hands out to her as he approached them. Jack passes her on to Bitty carefully, and Bitty carries her with one arm to take Jack’s hand with his free one.
“And where did you learn that little trick, hm?” he asks Jack, who smirks mischievously in response, a huge contrast to the softness in his eyes.
“Why don’t you ask Simmy over here?” Jack says, booping Simone’s nose. She shrieks happily, squirming in Bitty’s arms.
Bitty smiles down at the bundle of joy he’s holding, leaning down to kiss her on the forehead. “I love you, baby girl,” he coos, and then he looks up at Jack, who now has his arms wrapped around his waist. “Thank you, baby,” he says, and Jack leans down to press a kiss to his crown.
“Got your back,” Jack says into his hair.
And right there, in that moment, it’s all too good to be true, but with Jack’s solid presence and Simone’s immense warmth grounding him—
He’s so thankful that he has this. He knows he’ll never let this go.