A/N: Rated K for this chapter. M overall. Decided to keep the whole thing posted in this category. Will continue to explore this plot if there is an interest. Thanks for taking the time to read!
Luke's scream is on a whole new level of shrill. You lurch awake, back arching high off your bed. In a matter of thirty seconds you have gone from deep sleep to sweat soaked movement. You swing your legs to the side of your bed, give yourself one long moment to breathe deep through your nose. You hold the air there for a second as the baby's scream silences instantly.
He has not fallen back asleep, he has not quieted or somehow rolled into his pacifier. No, it is that silence of so much energy that his body, his voice can not physically handle it. You know that face, that face that is red, angry, helpless, mouth wide in a silent scream until his breath kicks back in. The piercing cry is erupting from his tiny body as you step into the nursery.
"Hey, hey, hey," you whisper.
You try to keep your eyes normal, not wide and full of sad and sympathy pain. You scoop him up into your arms, brush your long dark locks away from your face and settle the infant onto your shoulder, palm immediately rubbing soothing circles on his back.
"Lukey boy." You coo it at him in that voice that came so natural that it startled you the first few weeks. "It is all going to be okay. I'm here, I'm here."
You sway with him and he gasps a few times trying to find his breath before crying small little sobs into your neck.
You change him, continue to talk to him in that voice as you head into the kitchen. It takes you less than three minutes to warm his bottle. Maura says you no longer just stick the thing into the microwave, that it destroys all the healthy blah blah found naturally in breast milk. But you've made your own changes in the routine. You pour the milk, bought from the hospital milk bank, into three separate bottles. Hot water goes into three mugs that warms them each individually. You watch them bob, urging them to heat faster, exchanging the water only twice before combining all three into his feeding bottle.
Ten minutes my ass.
Even Maura uses your method at three AM feedings. He gulps it down, lets out a few induced burps before he really calms and then you feel his head lose all control and his tiny weight crash into sleep against you.
Your own breathing evens out with his and you eye his crib from your position in the rocker, the outline of it barely visible in the darkened room. Two months ago this room was your tiny makeshift office, now it belongs to Luke, Lidia's baby. Although if you are honest with yourself you stopped seeing him as belonging to Lidia the moment she finally answered her cell phone and told you she was no longer in the state of Massachusetts. Ten days later and papers arrived at Maura's home in which she officially signed off on her parental status. A week after that and the blood results showed that the baby was your fathers. He too signed over his rights and by next week Luke will officially be your son, your child to raise. He has never felt like your brother. For the last two months you have not spent a night away from him. Although the majority of nights you are not alone, the majority of nights Maura is in bed next to you, the two of you taking turns in every responsibility that a child demands. Maura's nursery is bigger, full of everything he doesn't even need yet, but you prefer him here and for some reason so does Maura.
You swaddle his sleeping form, smiling when he doesn't so much as shift a limb and then carefully set him back down. His dark eyelashes are long, so long, almost girly, and you laugh as your stroke the air above his cheek. You are barely down the hall to your bedroom when you hear a key in your front door. Your mother has been a godsend, taking Luke with willing arms when you and Maura are at work, but at night, at this hour, it can only be one person. You hear her set her purse down on your kitchen table before you watch her tiptoe, head down, towards you. She hasn't realized that the hall light is on.
"Hi." You breathe it out as she snaps her head up, eyes startled.
"Oh, Jane. You scared me." Maura clasps one hand to her silk pajama chest. "Was I loud?"
"No, no." You hold your bedroom door open for her. "Just missed the late night feeding."
"Oh." She eyes the nursery before smiling sheepishly at you and stepping towards his door. She slips inside and you give her her moment, make your own way to your own bed. She follows a few minutes after.
"Gosh he's cute," Maura sighs it and pulls her jacket off her shoulders, slips hers shoes off next to your bed before climbing in.
You nod your head in agreement. "Couldn't sleep?"
She turns onto her side, props her head on her arm and you find her eyes in the dark.
"Not well," she says.
"Funny how a house with a waking infant is somehow more peaceful."
Exhaustion is rushing in. Maura sits up briefly to angle the baby monitor so that both of you can see it. His image is blurry but the soft sounds of his room greet you both.
"I'll get up in the morning. You sleep Jane." Maura settles back down and you barely catch her words, sleep almost overwhelming you.
"Not if BPD has anything to say about it." You mumble out your response and she giggles softly, scoots into your body. The two of you no longer struggle over this type of physical contact, especially not this late at night. You are mothers. Somehow, against all odds, you and Maura are mothering together. Yes, it may be your name on his birth certificate but Maura holds your child like he is hers. And he is.
You mumble out one last thing as your body relaxes against hers. You tell her you love her. Because you do. Soon, the two of you will have to define what this is, this home that you've now both created. But now, now you sleep. Tomorrow you will work and manage and attempt to stay functioning. Tomorrow you will keep on loving Maura and tomorrow you will both keep on loving that little boy.