Author's Note/: Meaning of names Rocky and Adam almost chose for Bridge (for the curious), because I have an obsession with name meanings.
Aidan - Little Fire
Isaac - He Will Laugh
Kevin - Beautiful at Birth
Aaron - Mountain
Austin - Venerated (respected)
And the One Way He Did ...
Adam looked up from the impossibly tiny baby in his arms, resisting the instinctive urge to hold him tighter for fear of breaking him. "What?" he asked softly, blinking. The baby wasn't completely asleep yet, but he was quiet, and Adam didn't want to disturb him.
"The baby," Rocky clarified from his perch on the side of Aisha's hospital bed. "I was thinking we should name him Bridge."
"I thought you two were still arguing over Aaron and Isaac," Aisha said with a frown. She still looked weak and tired, but at least she was finally able stay awake for more than an hour or two at a time.
"And Kevin and Austin," Adam corrected. "And Rocky likes Aidan."
"Aidan?" she repeated. "I like that."
"I used to like Aidan. And Aaron," Rocky interrupted impatiently. "But now that we've actually seen him, none of those names really fit. So I'm thinking we should name him Bridge."
"Why Bridge, man?" Zack spoke up from where he leaned against the doorway, watching over them all. He raised his eyebrows. "Don't you think that's a little cruel to name a kid after a piece of architecture?"
Rocky gave him a dirty look. "I'm not talking about naming him after that kind of bridge. It's more of the connection type of bridge."
" ... Which would be the meaning of the word 'bridge," Aisha pointed out dryly.
Rocky huffed. "I mean bridge in the link sense. You know, 'bridging the gap' and all that? Not in the literal way. In the people way."
"The bridging people way?" Zack gave him another weird look.
Something about this conversation was starting to bother Adam. And it wasn't the fact that Rocky wasn't making sense.
Rocky sighed. "Think about it. This baby is the reason we're all here in this room, right? Not just because we're all friends, but because we've all had a part in making him. Me and Adam provided the DNA, Aisha provided - uh, the important stuff - " He ignored Aisha's muffled snort, " And Zack ... man, you're the reason - " He cut off abruptly, swallowing hard and wrapping an arm around Aisha as he blinked rapidly for a moment. "You're the reason everyone made it. And all of us, together, made this baby."
Aisha blinked slowly for a moment, before at last giving a soft smile. "Yeah ... you're right. We did."
"Not to mention the whole trans-pacific thing," Zack pointed out with a grin. He paused, frowning. "So ... does this make him a Capricorn or a Sagittarius? I mean, he was technically born ... the day before we landed."
"Bridge," Adam said softly, tracing a gentle fingertip down the baby's face. The infant wrinkled his nose, blinking sleepy dark eyes at him. They should take pictures soon; his eyes probably wouldn't stay that color for long.
... And there was that feeling again.
"So did you two finally finish haggling out over whether it's Park-DeSantos or DeSantos-Park?" he heard Aisha ask, sounding amused.
He looked up, blinking at her, before turning to frown at Rocky. "You mean you didn't - "
"I thought you told her!" Rocky protested, hurriedly hushing himself as the baby made a noise.
"Told me what?" Aisha demanded suspiciously.
Adam was busy rocking the baby, murmuring softly to him under his breath to calm him, which meant Rocky was the only one able to explain.
He heard his husband sigh quietly. "Well ... we sort of ... See, we were talking about it a few weeks ago, and we finally decided that DeSantos-Park doesn't - "
"Park-DeSantos," Adam interrupted, melting as the baby yawned.
Rocky made a noise of frustration. "Whatever. Anyway, we decided that joining our names is kind of long and awkward, and it doesn't really fit. So we decided we're gonna give him Carson for a last name instead."
There was a pause.
"Why Carson?" Zack wondered.
"From our names," Rocky explained. "'a' and 'r' from Park, and 's', 'o' 'n' from DeSantos. The 'c' is ... " He paused again, clearing his throat awkwardly. "Well, since Aisha helped make him, we thought she should have part of his last name, too."
Adam glanced up at the sudden silence.
Aisha had gone very still. "Rocky ... " she whispered.
"That is, if it's okay with you," Adam offered quietly.
She turned to look at him, tears filling her eyes. "You guys ... I don't know what to say."
"Say yes," Rocky suggested.
She swatted him weakly on the arm, but she was already fighting a smile. "I ... I'm honored. But .. this is your son, not mine. I'm just the surrogate."
"Not true," Rocky said firmly. "Aisha, after everything you went through for us ... everything we've all gone through together ... "
"Bridge needs a mom, too," Adam put in, giving her another smile. "And he has one. It's you."
Then Aisha was trying not to cry, Rocky was demanding his turn to hold the baby, and Adam found himself forced to finally let go of his son - for a few minutes at least. It wasn't until then that he realized Zack had slipped out while they were distracted. He glanced around out the door and found him talking with the doctor further down the hall.
He shut the door quietly, turning to look at his husband, their best friend, and their son. "Guys ... " he said quietly.
They both looked up at him, and Rocky frowned in concern. "Adam? You okay?"
He shook his head. "I'm fine. It's just ... I was thinking. About a middle name."
Aisha raised her eyebrows. "Still fighting for Isaac?"
Adam sighed, shaking his head again even as Rocky started to scowl and opened his mouth to argue. "Not Isaac," he said firmly. "Taylor."
Aisha blinked. Rocky looked confused. "Taylor?" he repeated.
"For Zack," he explained.
And that was all he needed to say. Aisha's expression had already softened into a warm, loving smile, and Rocky was starting to grin. "Bridge Taylor Carson," Rocky said slowly, drawing out the name as he beamed down at the baby.
Something clicked, and Adam's world went white.
"Xander Bly. You can call me Xander."
"I'm Kira. Kira Ford."
A pause, and suddenly the kid who'd been staring at them all stepped forward with an embarrassed laugh. "Oh! Oh, right. Sorry. I'm Bridge. Bridge Carson."
Bridge. What a weird name, he thought distantly as he nodded in acknowledgement.
He came to his sense much later, stretched out on a cot in a darkened room. There was a hand running gently over his hair, and he didn't have to open his eyes to know who it was.
"You're finally awake," Rocky commented softly. The hand slipped from his head to grasp his fingers instead, squeezing gently.
He swallowed painfully. "Yeah," he rasped.
"The doctor thinks you finally collapsed from all the stress of the last couple days."
Stress? Was that seriously the best they could come up with?
He made a non-committal noise.
There was a pause.
"You ready to tell me what really happened?"
"I can't tell you about the future," Bridge explained, looking genuinely regretful. "See, if I tell you about something that's gonna happen, and you do something that changes that something, then other somethings might not happen. And even though it's good to want to change the bad somethings, it's actually a bad idea, because when you change the bad things you're still changing something, so you end up changing the good somethings, too. And I don't want to change the good somethings."
"I can't," he whispered finally. His chest ached, and his eyes burned as he fought back the urge to cry. Bridge ... if he'd only known ... man, if he'd known ...
I'm so sorry, Bridge, he thought desperately, remembering how awkward and rude he'd been around the young man. I'm so, so sorry.
Something brushed the corner of his eye, and he felt lips press against his. "Hey... " Rocky murmured softly. "It's okay, Adam. Everything's gonna be okay. You don't have to tell right now."
But it's not okay. I ... I hurt our son. I'm going to hurt him, and there's nothing I can do to stop myself because it's already done.
He forced himself to nod, opening his eyes at last to meet his husband's.
There must have been something in his expression, because Rocky stared at him for what seemed like forever. "Okay," he said again, quieter now. "But ... will you tell me someday? When you can?"
Adam swallowed hard.
"Yes," he whispered finally. "As soon as I can."
Rocky nodded, looking pained but understanding. He leaned down again, pressing his forehead against Adam's. "Okay," he murmured. "I love you, Adam."
There was a sharp stab of pain in his chest.
You shouldn't, he thought brokenly. Bridge ... You shouldn't.
"I love you, too," he breathed, heart aching.