Chapter Fifty-One: Hope

Yuu lazily opened his eyes and stretched his arms with a hearty yawn. He had dozed off again in the chair beside Hisashi's bed. They had spent the night at the hospital and Yuu hadn't gotten much sleep. Not only was the hospital cot subpar, but his mind had been wide awake with worries. Worries for Hisashi and Atsushi both.

He glanced over to the bed to his boyfriend, who was watching the TV with dead eyes. Ever since the birth he had seemed a little down, which the doctor attributed to acute post partum depression. The sensei had had a long talk with Hisashi yesterday about it, as the blond had shown he was at a high risk for it with a past history of mental issues. But as he was already on an anti-depressant, the doctor had only given them the name of a specialized counselor, whom Yuu fully intended to contact once immediate things were taken care of. Though truly, he didn't think Hisashi's baby blues were entirely hormonal, but rather the stress of the premature birth and the awful fact that their baby was still in the NICU being tested for just about everything. Yuu himself was having a hard time not seeing his baby, and he imagined Hisashi was feeling twice as bad. He'd hardly said a word all day and this morning he started crying for no apparent reason. Renaka-san and Yuu had done their best to comfort him, but now his surrogate mother had run out unexpectedly on an errand, leaving just the two of them.

Yuu sighed and got up, choosing to sit on the edge of the bed. He then reached over and grasped Hisashi's white, lifeless hand, giving it a squeeze. Hisashi didn't look over, but Yuu noticed his eyes blinking back moisture.

"Yuu," He whispered. "Do you think Atsushi is okay?"

"I don't know, Sa-chan….But, I do think if there was something majorly wrong, they would have told us by now."

Hisashi's eyes lifted at the suggestion and he gave a light nod. Believing in a false hope was better than believing in nothing. The two sat in silence for a time, holding each other's hands for comfort. And when they heard a knock on the door, both looked over with expectant and fearful eyes.

"Pardon the intrusion," Hisashi's nurse said with a wide smile. "But Sakurai-sensei has someone here to see you."

Yuu stood up as the doctor entered the room, and his heart leapt as another nurse came in behind Sakurai, carrying a blanketed bundle. She immediately went to Hisashi and handed it to him, and when he looked down, he saw the face of his tiny son.

"Atsushi-chan," He murmured with reverence, cradling the baby in his arms. Yuu turned to the doctor and bowed with unfathomable gratitude.

"Thank you Sensei," he said. Sakurai nodded back and flipped through the baby's chart.

"We've run every single test and I'm pleased to tell you that everything came out normal. He is a little underweight, so I'm going to refer you to a dietary pediatrician. We'd still like to you both to stay a few days just for observation, but for the most part, you're baby is a very lucky boy."

Yuu bowed again, hardly able to contain his joy, and when the doctor left, he went over to Hisashi's side, looking down at his son and smiling. Atsushi was indeed his father's son, with beautiful slate blue eyes and light skin. He was wearing a pastel blue baby cap, but a few wispy golden curls peaked out from beneath it. Atsushi gave a low gurgle as Hisashi cradled him, and Yuu noticed his partner blinking back tears again.

"You okay?" He asked.

Hisashi nodded, hastily wiping another tear away from his eye.

"I'm just so glad he's okay."

"Me too," Yuu murmured, leaning down over the baby's face. "Can I hold him?"

Hisashi nodded and Yuu gently reached out.

"At-su-shiii," He cooed, taking the bundle from Hisashi's arms. The baby felt so light in his arms he could hardly believe it, and the more he looked at his son, the wider his smile got.

"He looks just like you," Yuu said, blinking back some moisture. Hisashi laughed under his breath.

"That means he's probably going to be just like you."

"Wouldn't that be nice," Yuu grinned at his partner. Hisashi snorted and leaned back on his pillow, his medicine and all the broken tension making him drowsy. The last thing he wanted to do was sleep when his baby was finally with him, but soon his drooping eyelids were so obvious that Yuu spoke.

"Sa-chan, get some sleep. I'll watch Atsushi."

"You sure?"

"Of course," Yuu smiled, sitting down in a chair and cradling the baby. "I think it's about time I got to know my son."

Hisashi reluctantly nodded and curled up in the bed, and before he knew it, he was fast asleep.

A few hours later, Hisashi's eyes fluttered open and he dazedly looked around the room. And a wave of relief flooded through him as he spotted Yuu standing near the window, Atsushi still held securely in his arms. As he watched his partner cuddle the newborn, Hisashi's lips crept into a small smile. Yuu was going to be a huge baby hog.

Knock. Knock.

Yuu turned around and Hisashi sat up as they heard a rapping at the door.

"Come in," Yuu said, expecting it to be a nurse. However, when the door opened, the couple's mouths both dropped.

"Mein Sohn! Und mein Enkel! Ich kann ihm nicht glauben!"

"Dad?" Hisashi said in complete surprise as his Japanese father burst into the room with German rolling off his tongue. Araki Hiroshi was the primary assistant to the Japanese ambassador and travelled extensively, making it quite a shock that he was here. And Hisashi was further surprised as his stepmother Saki quietly came in behind him, along with Renaka, whom Yuu regarded with a shaking head.

"I take it that 'errand' was to the airport?" He said. Renaka smiled.

"Well, I didn't know they were coming myself until I got a text this morning, so I figured it would be a nice surprise."

"Please no more surprises," Hisashi gasped as his dad gave him a too-tight hug. However, once greeting had all been given, all eyes turned towards the bundle in Yuu's arms. Hiroshi immediately melted at the sight of his grandson as he carefully took the baby from Yuu.

"Oh goodness," He murmured, rocking the newborn. "He reminds me of your late mother, Hisashi. So beautiful."

"Thanks dad," Hisashi smiled. Saki and Renaka gathered around Hiroshi, and their faces were both filled with wonder and joy as they all took turns holding the baby. Saki and Renaka were probably remembering the births of the own late sons, and were experiencing the miracle of life all over again through little Atsushi.

Renaka passed the baby back to Yuu, and gave Hisashi a sheepish smile.

"Sorry Sashi-chan, but there is one more surprise…though I think you'll find you like it."

"What is it?" Hisashi asked.

"Well son," Hiroshi interjected, exchanging a smile with Saki. "Your stepmom and I are moving to Tokyo to be closer to you and the baby. In fact, we're moving right up the street!"

"What?! You can't be serious." Hisashi exclaimed.

"And," Renaka said. "I'm moving here permanently as well. It's no use being stuck in Sapporo all by myself. I want to watch my godson grow up."

"Wow," Yuu said. "It'll really be great having Hisashi's whole family down here. I'm sure Atsushi will love it."

Hisashi smiled in agreement, but it faded as something else nagged at his mind.

"Yuu? Have you told your sister anything yet?"

Yuu looked at his in surprise.

"No. Why?"

"I'm sure she'd like to know. Why don't you call her? Atsushi is going to need his family as he grows Yuu, his whole family."

Yuu begrudgingly pondered this for a few seconds and sighed.

"I guess you're right. She should know…though don't blame me if Atsushi learns sarcasm before he hits his teens."

Hisashi laughed under his breath and took the baby from his partner before Yuu headed out into the hallway. As soon as he shut the door, he leaned against it, closing his eyes and sighing with unfathomable relief that his son was not only safe, but would live a good life, surrounded by friends and family.

And soon after, Yuu dug into his pocket and pulled out his cell phone. And he not only called his sister, but his own mother as well.

Thank you to everyone who has reviewed, faved, and subscribed as this story has topped 100,000 words! WOOT!

I know a lot of you are concerned that this story is ending soon, but don't worry. We still have at least 5 chapters to go :) and I'm sure it will please...or at least I hope.

Nostalgia is next, and it's a taste of baby life. Heh heh.

With love,