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Summary: Four years and continents apart. What keeps Yi Jeong and Ga Eul's hope alive are the letters that they write to each other from time to time…
Yi Jung woke up when he felt Ga Eul rubbing his shoulder gently. "Sunbae," she whispered and he smiled, his eyes still closed. Even after two and a half years of marriage, she still called him sunbae at times. It was like a habit that couldn't be broken; at least most of the time, she called him Yi Jeong. She was still his Ga Eul yang though, that was his nickname for her. It always had been.
"I'm tired. What time is it?" he murmured, rolling over on his side and reaching for her.
"It's two in the morning."
They'd been asleep for less than three hours. "You insatiable minx," he muttered, burying his face in her neck as he reached for the hem of her nightgown. Only to find her pushing him away and smacking his shoulder. "Ow, that hurt Ga Eul yang."
"So Yi Jeong, I am not a minx and you are the insatiable one. But more importantly, you have to get up now."
"Why? Let's just cuddle and go back to bed."
"Because I…" Ga Eul stopped speaking and the hand that was resting on his bare shoulder suddenly dug painfully into his skin. And then she let out a startled gasp that drove the sleep from his eyes. "My water just broke."
For a second Yi Jeong just stared at her, blinking. The baby was not due until three weeks from now. That was the earliest date the doctor had given them. The baby couldn't be arriving now. Had they done something wrong by making love so late into the pregnancy? But the doctor had said it was fine. The research he had done had yielded the same answer as well. The baby couldn't be arriving... Switching on the bedside lamp, he practically leapt out of bed and hurried to Ga Eul's side, supporting her as she slowly got to her feet.
"I'm going to the bathroom. Could you get me some clothes?"
"Clothes?" To say it was a little hard to think at the moment was an understatement. He'd had everything perfectly planned. Ga Eul had opted for a Caesarean. The operation was to have taken place in the afternoon, at one. None of that was going to happen now.
She smiled sweetly even though the contractions had her in a firm grip by then. "Yes Yi Jeong. I can't possible wear this wet nightgown to the hospital right?"
"Ah, I suppose not."
It occurred to Ga Eul that her cool, collected and intelligent husband's nerves had deserted him at the moment. "After you bring me the clothes, you'll call Dr Lee and tell him we are on the way. And then you will get dressed."
"We're having a baby."
He sounded so amazed; those were the same words that he had uttered when she had first told him the news. It always touched her heart. "Yes, we're having a baby."
"You're having my baby." And then he leant down and kissed her deeply. "Give me one minute."
Ga Eul tried not to wail too loudly and Yi Jeong tried not to wince as she practically crushed his forearm as she pushed down hard.
"That's very good! Now, just one more push," the doctor called encouragingly.
'That's the fifth time he's said that," Yi Jeong thought indignantly.
"That's the fifth time he's said it!" Ga Eul grimaced as another contraction rocked her body. "He's lying! This baby is never going to come out!"
"Yes, it will sweetheart," Yi Jeong said soothingly as he brushed her wet hair back from her face. By the time they had gotten to the hospital, the nurses had said Ga Eul was dilated enough to rush her to the delivery room. Ga Eul had refused an epidural; she was scared of the thought of a needle going anywhere near her spine. By the time she was done squeezing on his arm, Yi Jeong suspected he would need to see a doctor for possible factures.
"This is why I wanted a Caesarean," she said through gritted teeth. "And you can forget about four children. We're stopping at one."
Yi Jeong still wanted more children but after looking at her pale face and sweat soaked hospital gown, plus having to hold her while she cried out in pain for what felt like endless hours, he felt he was in no position to disagree. Besides, she had graduated from his forearm to his wrist and he thought it would be wise not to contradict her.
Ga Eul bore down again, pushing with all her might. And then miracle of miracles, she heard the sound of an infant wailing. Through the haze of exhaustion, pain and adrenaline, she could hear the doctor telling her to push again but she didn't need that instruction; she was already pushing with newfound determination.
"The baby's out!" Yi Jeong pressed a quick kiss to his exhausted wife's forehead as she slumped back on the bed, eyes closed. His own gaze was glued to the tiny red crying infant in the doctor's hands.
"Congratulations. You have a healthy baby girl."
They had spent months guessing the gender of the baby, opting to wait until delivery to find out. "So Yun Hee," Ga Eul murmured as the doctor passed her daughter to her. It was the name they had decided on if the baby was a girl. "She's so pretty."
"Well, she will be once she's not so red," Yi Jeong teased gently but his eyes were wide with wonder and love as he lightly touched his child's hand. This was their baby, their daughter. At that moment, Yi Jeong felt such a fierce rush of love that it took his breath away. Ga Eul was the most precious person in his life but this tiny being came a close second. "Thank you sweetheart," he whispered as they both held her, oblivious to everything else around them for that moment.
Yi Jeong was outside the nursery, gazing at the latest addition to his family when he heard Jae Joong's excited high pitched voice. "I want Omma!" he squealed as his reluctant father handed the toddler over to his mother.
"I see you haven't won your son over yet," Yi Jeong joked as Woo Bin reached him.
"That's what I get for letting her name him after a pop star," Woo Bin grumbled before turning his attention to the babies. "Which one is she?"
"Fourth to the left," Yi Jeong said proudly. "Ga Eul is still sleeping but she said to wake her up when you guys arrived."
"Congratulations bro. It's a little wild at times," Woo Bin nodded at the energetic bundle in Jae Kyung's arms as she finally got to them. "But there's nothing like it." He ruffled the little boy's black hair affectionately.
Jae Kyung flashed her husband a bright smile as she adjusted her grip on Jae Joong. "The wildness comes from Woo Bin's side of the family. Anyway, Jan Di sent a message while we were on the way here. She and Jun Pyo will be on their plane by tonight. They should be home by tomorrow and Jan Di says they'll come straight to the hospital."
"Jun Pyo sent me that message too. He also said that Yun Hee must be adorable by virtue of her being his goddaughter." Yi Jeong smiled wryly.
"Yah, what about me and Ji Hoo then? Oh, by the way, have you told him?"
"He knows. He said once the honeymoon is over, he and Hyun Jae will come visit us."
"Maybe they'll have baby news too," Jae Kyung said cheekily and squealed as her husband poked her in the side before wrapping an arm around her waist, much to the dismay of their son.
"Be satisfied that your attempt to play Cupid was successful. Leave the children bit to Ji Hoo and your cousin to work out."
"Hey! She is the one who wants children immediately. She told me so!"
As Jae Kyung and Woo Bin squabbled affectionately with their noisy son in between them, Yi Jeong bit back a grin and turned to look at his daughter once again. A few years earlier, no one would have expected any member of F4 to be happily settled with a family, let alone all four of them. 'And now look where we are,' he thought as he watched the nurse check on his daughter. "Come on, let's go see Ga Eul. Woo Bin, it's not dignified to let your son pull your hair that way."
"I know! Yah Monkey, look at what your son is doing!"
"I told you, he gets that from your gene pool!"
Official visiting hours were over but exceptions could be made, especially when the person who owned the hospital had made it clear that So Yi Jeong could choose to move into the hospital room if he wanted to. Yi Jeong held his daughter close to him, careful to support her head. Tucking the baby blanket closer around her, he once again marvelled at the tiny perfect ears, the light dusting of hair that covered her round head, the tiny closed eyes and pouty lips that she had inherited from her mother.
"She looks like you I think."
Ga Eul had been sleeping but when she had awakened, she was greeted by the sweet sight of father and daughter. The love in Yi Jeong's eyes brought a lump to her throat. It had been worth all the pain to give him this child.
"Do you want to hold her?" Yi Jeong moved from the chair and sat carefully beside Ga Eul on the bed.
"Not yet." Ga Eul reached up and stroked Yun Hee's cheek lightly. The infant yawned and then tucked her head closer against Yi Jeong's arm.
"She has your mouth," Yi Jeong said softly. "She looks like us."
"Well, she's pretty enough for Jae Joong to ask if she could be his monkey."
"When you and Woo Bin went to get us some food. Jae Joong said Yun Hee was very pretty and he asked me very nicely if she could be his monkey."
"I swear, that rascal of Woo Bin's…"
"Who happens to be our godchild too," Ga Eul reminded him.
"Well, he'll have to wait at least twenty years before he asks me that question," Yi Jeong said protectively, causing Ga Eul to laugh.
"I think that's why he waited until you were gone. For an almost two-year-old, he's pretty intelligent."
"Don't tell Woo Bin that. He's already convinced his kid is the smartest in the world."
Ga Eul slowly shifted until she was sitting up in bed and held out her arms for Yun Hee. Yi Jeong handed over the baby before wrapping an arm around his wife. "My two favourite girls," he murmured. "It doesn't get better than this."
Ga Eul smiled mischievously. "Oh, I don't know. What will you say when Number Two comes along?"
Yi Jeong paused for a moment, unable to believe his ears. "Are you serious?"
"Well, it might take a few months, nights of romantic dinners, long soaks in a petal strewn bath, and massages to change my mind—" She stopped speaking when he kissed her.
"I love you sweetheart."
She touched his face, her heart in her eyes as she looked up at him. "I think, this time, I can safely say that I love you more."