A/N: so after much deliberation I decided to split this chapter up into two because I wanted the focus to be on Sam and not anyone else and yeah. You'll see. The second part will be up tomorrow.
*whispers* also you should all tell me your feelings about this chapter because I was an emotional wreck after writing it *hides*
Sam is born on a Friday.
Unlike both his parents, his birth is relatively quick and without complication. He almost makes it to Saturday, but at 11:42 on the 14th of July his loud, startled cries fill the hospital room and his mother collapses back against the hospital bed, exhausted.
His father is stood by her side with a punch-drunk look of wonder on his face and then the doctor gestures for him to come over, muttering something about cutting a cord and Will takes a hesitant step towards the strange, mottled mess of a screaming baby that now belongs to him.
Nothing in his life has ever been that excruciatingly nerve-wracking he thinks; from Mackenzie's pained face to the ache in his hand where she was holding it to those few, horrid seconds when Sam first came into the world and everyone held their breaths waiting for his voice to kick in.
It had been as if time had stood still, but then Sam had cried out loud and reality had rushed back and the noise and the colour and the texture of life had returned to the moment.
Suddenly there were nurses rushing back and forth around the small room and the doctor was placing something strange and metallic in Will's hands and then Sam had been cut free and now there's a heavy weight, like an extra limb, being cradled tight in Will's arms.
He stands still a moment, trying to process what's happened and then one of the nurses knocks into his shoulder gently and shoots him a smile and it's only then that Will fully realises the strange, warm weight in his arms is Sam - he's holding Sam.
The weight in his arms feels heavier all of a sudden and he glances down into a startlingly red and messy face, with screwed up eyes and wrinkly skin and white blobs of whatever across his tiny brow.
"Sam," Will punches out roughly, voicing his name, and then he clears his throat past the heavy feeling in his chest, and mutters, "Hi, Sam, hello," whilst rocking gently.
Sam's face is still screwed up but his cries have lessened softly and despite the thick, white blanket wrapped around his body he has a little hand curled tight and twitching by his chest.
"Can I see him too?" Mackenzie's exhausted, rough voice questions and Will turns quickly; takes once glance at her red face and sweat dabbled brow and her hesitant but awed smile and can't help but smile back.
He feels a little nauseous, actually, but that's perhaps because he's not been so overwhelmed with such feelings in too long to remember. It's bubbling up inside of him and he feels light headed as he steps towards the hospital bed.
"Here," he croaks, and gently passes his son into his mothers arms. Already he misses the slight weight of him, but at the same time he's almost glad someone else is holding the newborn. He's ridiculously small and Will feels too large and clumsy and liable to break him just by breathing – and he supposes that terrified feeling isn't going to dissipate any time soon.
He stays leant up against the hospital bed so that he can watch Sam's face and then the little boys eyes flutter open and Mackenzie makes a soft, awed noise – like all the breath and emotion has been punched out of her.
She must be exhausted but she's holding Sam close to her breast and Will's never been more in love with anything than he is the sight of the two of them. It's swelling in his heart and making his lungs ache as it pushes against his insides but nothings ever felt so good – no high or rush or pump of adrenaline.
"Hi," Mackenzie murmurs at the baby and Will buries his face in her hair as she coos at Sam.
"We did good," he whispers in her ear, because it's hard in this moment to believe that anything they've done otherwise is of any consequence. They've messed up monumentally – both themselves and each other and things out of their control – but they also created the little boy gazing wondrously at them through bleary, unfocused eyes and Will can't help but think that's incredible.
Mackenzie laughs wearily, and murmurs, "Yeah, we did."
She falls asleep soon after that.
Sam's been fed and cuddled and Mackenzie looks like she's about drop so Will gently suggests she sleep whilst prying the tiny boy from her vice like grip. She hesitates a moment, but then the thought of slumber wins and she settles back against the bed in minutes.
Will finds himself in a quiet hospital room with a sleeping Mackenzie and his peaceful, well fed son.
"So," he starts, rocking the child gently. He takes a deep breath, unsure how to continue, and then decides sitting down would probably be a better idea lest his earlier dizziness return and he drop the poor boy on his head.
"This would be easier if you could talk," he rumbles. "Actually, perhaps it's a good time to get some things straight?"
Sam's quiet in his arms. Through the blankets Will can feel his feet kick and stutter out from his body sporadically and each time the soft blanket is pushed against his arms and chest something warm settles in his heart. It's so unlike feeling the baby kick through Mackenzie's stomach – that had been like a thousand butterflies exploding under her skin – but now that Sam is real and breathing it's a hundred times more exciting and nerve-wracking.
Will had never realised just how fragile babies are – not just their tiny bodies, but also their individual toes and arms and eyelashes and even their skin.
Sam's been wiped clean of all the mess from birth, but his skin is still rubbed red and purple and wrinkly. It has a fine layer of dry skin that the doctor has assured them will peel of naturally over the next week, but it still leaves him looking like he fought a tough battle with the sun and lost. Will finds himself wanting to cover the little boy in blankets to protect him from the air around him – and that's a stupid thought. But Will's beginning to think that fatherhood is lots of little, stupid thoughts alongside some rather large terrifying ones that are only made better by the feel of Sam's feet kicking against his arm rhythmically.
"You like that, huh?" he questions, because despite his sleepy face Sam's not stopped waving his hands and feet around ever since Mackenzie let go of him. It's almost comical, because his miniscule fingers are still curled into his palm and it almost looks as if he's waving it angrily.
"Yeah," Will commiserates softly, "I'd be pissed off too if I was born."
He takes a moment to simply sit and watch Sam's face; from what they've seen his eyes are a startling blue but apparently all babies are so they'll have to wait and see what they settle on. But his hair is faint, wispy strands of blonde that can barely be seen on his scalp unless you run a gentle finger over them, and Will can't help but feel something warm and proud at the thought of sharing that with his son. He's never really understood how people can match a newborn's features to their parents – lord knows the kids nose looks like a nose and his eyebrows are eyebrows; but his hair is Will's and that's special in its own way.
"You're going to have lots of adults in your life, Sam," he mutters. He's not quite sure what brings on the words, but they feel important, even if no ones around to hear them.
"Very smart adults, who'll tell you lots of important things – and some very stupid things – depending on who it comes from. But I'm first, okay," he smiles.
"My name's Will, and I'm dad. I'm a news anchor – I tell people what's happening in the world. But before that I was a lawyer and I hope I helped a lot of people. That's important, Sam. Helping people is important. You're mom's name is Mackenzie and she's my Executive Producer and I know that's a big word, but it's probably the most important job anyone could have. She gets to make all the big decisions and she keeps me in line, and basically she's the reason I have anything," he tells him. His voice softens and Sam pushes against his chest with a rather insistent fist, "Sometimes your mom can be a little insane but she's the smartest person I know and we should listen to her more often, okay?" he whispers. "You'll see what I mean," he adds, and then settles back into the chair with Sam cradled high against his chest.
There's a brief pause – Sam yawns widely and Will gets caught watching the way his face shifts and contorts as his muscles stretch for the first time. Then the room is silent once more. "This could get old quite quickly," he mutters, bemused, because everyone always told him that all babies do is scream and cry but no one ever warned him what to do when they were silent.
"Shouldn't you be screaming bloody murder or something?"
Sam - completely disinterested in the idea - bats his long eyelashes at his father endearingly and spends a few seconds sucking at his lips.
"You were named after my uncle, did I ever tell you that? He was a good man – more of a father than your actual grandfather ever was. If he were here he'd be banging down that door to come see you. Samuel Lucas McAvoy," Will whispers, awed.
It's unlike anything he ever imagined, holding Sam close in his arms.
Over the past few months he's spent countless nights imaging this moment, but never did he think it could feel like this – so wholly content and overwhelming and special all at the same time. Sam's eyes, when they're open, are bleary and unfocused but also bright and true, and Will finally understands what people mean when they feel the weight of someone else entirely upon them.
It's startlingly and horrible all at once but he doesn't want it to end.
"What are you doing?" comes a quiet, bleary voice and Will looks up at Mackenzie – blinking in exhaustion but also straining upwards to take a look at her son.
"Just explaining the facts of life; or something."
Mackenzie makes a face and chuckles, and then motions for Will to come towards her. "My turn?"
Will stands and then settles on the edge of the bed with Sam still in his arms and Mackenzie's head resting against his shoulder so that they're both gazing down at him, "What did you tell him?" she asks quietly, and Will shrugs lightly.
"I was telling him about how he came into existence. How you were obnoxiously stubborn about that damn message and force-fed me those cookies and then we were high and had sex –"
"Shut up," Mackenzie growls, interrupting him but unable to stop her smile.
It's a little bit like being drunk, Will thinks, sitting here with the woman he's been in love with for the better part of a decade, holding a child he never once thought would exist. It's almost poetic considering how Sam came into being.
"We didn't plan you Sam," Mackenzie tells the little boy instead, "I certainly never planned you. But I think we're going to be okay," she hums, and Will couldn't agree more.
The tiny infants drifted back off to sleep and his parents spend a few moments simply watching him, marveled by him, before Will glances at the woman against his arm and remembers why everything feels so damn good to begin with.
"Hey," he whispers, soft eyes on Mackenzie, "I love you, okay."
She tips her head back against his shoulder and with a weary, watery smile echoes, "Me too."