Bella's Baby Brother
a drabble from my Imprinting: The Mating Imperative AU
I'd never seen him look quite like that, before. I knew he was tired – Leah's labor had been almost twenty-four hours and boy, could my stepmother (is it wrong that I giggled whenever I thought of her that way?) swear – but still, life seemed to vibrate from him as he stood, half-bent over Leah, a curved finger caressing the baby's cheek.
I'd never seen him look quite like that, before. Younger, for sure, as he laughed at something Leah whispered to him. His eyes lit up and his smile deepened before he ducked his head and brushed a kiss over her forehead. The finger that had touched my baby brother was gripped in a tiny hand, now, and I knew just how that felt. I had three babies of my own and never failed to feel a little silly-sappy over how it felt when their newborn hands had gripped mine.
I'd never seen him look quite like that before. He turned toward me, joyous and abashed to have been caught going all ga-ga over his wife and son.
"Bells! Come here. Come meet your baby brother!"
Tentatively, checking visually with Leah, I approached. "I can't wait," I whispered, my smile wide. "You look great, Leah."
She grinned, proud and exhausted. "You did this three times! Bells, I've got tons more respect for you, chick!" She slid the baby into Charlie's arms.
He hefted the boy expertly, his arms molding to the infant body as he took the two steps necessary to reach my side. Then, he looked at me, square in the eye. "This is Jimmy, Bells. Named him after that great uncle of ours. You'll always be my firstborn, you know. He's not replacing you or anything."
I'd never seen him look quite like that before. That proud uncertainty in his eyes - so like my own - as they darted from Jimmy's face to mine. "I know, Dad. But he's your son."
His smile split his face. "My son. Yep."
My heart twisted a little bit in my chest. I'd never seen him look quite like that before.