Alex looked down into the baby's unfocused blue eyes and smiled. All children were born that way, she knew, but she also knew that this little girl's eyes would stay, would grow even more vibrant with each passing day. Her arm was beginning to ache, and it seemed like the bottle was more full of bubbles than the baby full of milk. The weight didn't feel right yet--that almost made Alex feel guilty--but the moment did. She looked to Patrice, who was sleeping soundly, resting finally after what had been an incredibly long day and an even longer night. Alex couldn't pretend that this quiet moment, in the dim light of a hospital room, where everything that mattered was suddenly around her--asleep across from her and now squirming in her arms--wouldn't stay with her.
She might have wanted to hold them there, in that breath...to whisk both of them out of time to ensure that the reality, the gravitas would never fade. Alex carefully flipped the baby on her stomach, bracing her with her arm and knees as she gently patted her back, listening carefully for a sound she knew would become familiar. To stop something so abruptly, to pull it away from its course, she knew all to well, only lessened it. She turned the child again in her arms, looking down at her before looking to realize Patrice had woken and was watching. Alex met her eyes and smiled.
"I'm ready to go home," Patrice said quietly.
"Soon." She watched Patrice's eyes fluttered closed and listened as the blonde fell back to sleep. The baby shifted, making sounds that seemed both loud and soft at the same time. Alex held her tighter as she thought of taking her home, of closing the door safely behind her and Patrice as the dogs waited for them, of closing the world out for a little while in order to cling to her small family. She shook her fears away as they tried to settle in again, and the baby fought falling asleep.