I NEed something with Emily and Alex with a baby
Oooooh my god
Alex being so afraid to hold Emily’s niece, because she’s so tiny and fragile and oh god why had he agreed to help Emily babysit her tonight?
And Emily is so sweet. She’s already so maternal and lovely, and watching her with this baby does something to Alex that he can’t quite explain. Especially when she looks up at him from her spot on the couch and smiles. “Want to hold her?”
Alex instinctively takes a step back and shakes his head. “S’okay.”
And Emily only giggles. “Alex she’s not a bomb. She’s a baby. And she loves cuddles.”
Alex nods his head towards Emily. “Well you seem to be handling the cuddling aspect pretty well.”
Emily rolls her eyes. “Oh honestly.” She sighs and looks down at her niece again. “Uncle Alex is a bit of a crab sometimes but I promise you’ll learn to love him.”
The words ring in Alex’s ears over and over and over. Uncle Alex. He steps forward slowly. “Em…” But he doesn’t even know what he wants to say. Maybe he just wanted to say her name in that moment.
“Why don’t you hold her, Alex? She doesn’t bite. She hardly even has teeth yet.”
Alex swears that Emily could get him to do just about anything with that smile, and this instance is no different. So he sighs and gives in, walking over to sit beside her.
It’s been ages since Alex has held a baby, and he feels awkward while Emily transfers the little bug from her own arms into his. “Now careful with her head,” Emily instructs, and Alex raises his elbow a bit to give the baby a bit more of a cushion.
Emily allows her hands to linger for a bit more support once the baby is in his arms, but then she pulls away. “Good! Look at you, Alex!”
Alex can’t take his eyes off of this beautiful little thing in his arms, and he suddenly feels such an indescribable pull towards Emily. He wants one of these. One of his own. And he wants it with her.
“You should give yourself more credit,” Emily says. “You’re a good cuddler, too.”
Alex smirks. “Yeah well. This is just like holdin’ you.”
Emily’s jaw drops at that. “What’s THAT supposed to mean?”
The dimple in Alex’s cheek is on full display. “Well, you’re small. And you’re adorable. And you’re sleepy 90% of the time.”
Alex notes the redness in Emily’s cheeks and it makes him smile. “You’re a baby, Emy.”
“Am not,” she mumbles. “Be quiet.”
Alex chuckles and turns back to the little thing in his arms. “Hi there,” he coos. “You like me, don’t ya? You’re nice and cozy, huh?”
The baby reaches up to grab Alex’s dog tag that hangs— still— around his neck. He blames the fact that he still wears it on pure laziness, but he and Emily both know he wears it for the memories and because, slowly but surely, he is learning to be proud of himself. To wear it like a Medal of Honor. He survived.
And seeing it now in this baby’s dimpled hands has his eyes welling up with tears. He doesn’t know why, but he thinks he may just be overwhelmed. He swallows what feels like a brick in his throat. “Like that?” He says, pretending like his voice isn’t cracking. The baby goes to put it in its mouth, and he chuckles. He reaches for it and pulls it away, tucking it into his shirt. “No, lovey, we don’t chew on that.” He pokes at the baby’s lower lip and gasps at the two little white teeth that are coming in. “Emy, she’s teething.”
“Ooh, yeah, my sister mentioned that,” Emily says, nodding. “Might be why she was so fussy earlier. She needs something to chew on.”
“Here.” Alex wiggles his finger between the baby’s parted lips, and she chomps down. It doesn’t hurt, of course, but Alex still lets out a little wince. “Sharp little things aren’t they? Poor little bugger.”
Emily giggles, watching Alex completely melt over this baby. Little by little, he is coming back. Her Alex, who he used to be before. And she loves being here for it all. She loves watching him soften, and she loves cracking away at the walls he’s built around himself.
“Looks like you’ve got the cuddling aspect down as well,” she says quietly.
“Hmm? Oh… yeah.” Alex’s cheeks turn the lightest shade of red, and Emily wants to kiss them and feel their heat against her lips. “S’not really that hard is it? Common sense and that.”
Emily knows she wants to spend her life with this man. She knows it’s not going to be easy by any means, but they belong together. Looking at him feels like home. Familiarity. Like she’s looking at something she’s known all her life. She smiles. “Yeah. Common sense.”