They haven't even met their granddaughter yet and already, Charles thinks, being a grandparent is much better than being a parent. For one thing, they get to pull up to the hospital calmly and park in a leisurely manner. Charles still has flashbacks to their frantic 3am drive to the hospital when the twins were born, flying through town at 30mph over the speed limit through red lights and illegal turns while Erik bellowed and cursed at him from the passenger seat, huffing and sweating with rapidly accelerating labor pains. Now Erik just sits calmly in the passenger seat, holding the teddy bear they'd brought and smiling quietly out the window. Already this whole grandparenting thing is much nicer.
"Here we go," Erik says with a nervous hand through his silver hair. They shut the car doors behind them and walk through the parking garage to the main hospital entrance. The signs for Mutant Maternity lead them through an atrium to the newest wing, all state of the art and top of the line. They have Crystal's room number from Pietro's text, and they find it at the far end of the hallway.
When they walk in, Pietro is standing in the middle of the room, baby in his arms, rocking her and cooing with shining eyes, and Charles admires yet again how much he looks like Erik. Their daughters, Wanda and Lorna, both look like a blend of their fathers, leaning slightly towards looking like Charles, but Pietro's always looked so much like Erik that Charles sometimes jokes that, when it came to Pietro, Erik autoinseminated. And he's never looked more like Erik than he does now, looking down at his newborn daughter with hypnotic wonder. Erik looked at their children the exact same way.
Pietro grins when he sees Charles and Erik enter the room, and barely allows them time to put the teddy bear down and say hello to him and Crystal (who is nearly passed out, still recovering from labor) before he thrusts the baby into Erik's arms. "Meet Luna," he says.
Erik takes the baby gently and holds her to his chest. He's looking at her the same way Pietro just was and whispering, "Hello, Luna. Hello, sweetheart." She's pink all over with feathery soft brown hair, and when she opens her eyes, they're startlingly blue. And she's so small. She's tiny. Though Charles isn't holding her himself - he's standing next to Erik, an arm around his waist - he can sense the surprise in Erik's mind at how light she is. There's a little hospital bracelet on her ankle, and Charles spins it around to get a look at her weight.
LUNA LEHNSHERR - B: 05/16/12 - 5LB, 10OZ - HUMAN
Human. Charles knows that Erik must have noticed that little detail. Pietro hadn't said anything to them, and Charles can now read the tendrils of worry emanating from him, fear that Erik would reject his granddaughter. Not even reject, really - Pietro knows that Erik would never fully reject her - but he fears what Erik might say, fears Erik might make some backhanded comment about Luna, or about him for fathering a human, that Luna would face a lifetime of snide remarks from her grandfather, that Erik would always think less of her - that no matter how much Erik might deny it, deep down, he'd always disapprove of her.
Charles doesn't want to admit to himself that he has the same worries, but when he looks up at Erik, the expression on his face hasn't changed. He's murmuring nonsense to her, "I'm your Poppa, yes, and look at you, with your big blue eyes, you know you're going to have me wrapped around your finger, don't you, and you're going to drive your Daddy crazy, yes you are..." Charles thinks that maybe Erik didn't notice.
Certainly his mind is clouded with affection and wonder for his new granddaughter, without a hint of concern about her humanity, and when he finally gives her up and passes her to Charles, Charles' mind goes similarly blank. His granddaughter. Their granddaughter. She's looking up at him with a mischievous glint in her eyes, and her tiny, barely-formed, wordless mind is radiating glee and amazement at the world around her and the wonderful people she's meeting, and Charles falls even more in love than he expected he would.
They stay and visit for less than an hour, until Luna starts crying and has to be changed and the nurses rush in to administer some test or another, and Charles and Erik leave them to it. Another perk of grandparenting: none of that is their responsibility. They get to play with a happy, healthy baby, and when things take a turn, they can go home to their clean, diaper-free house, and see the baby again tomorrow.
They're laughing about that as they walk back out to the parking garage. "The vomiting!" Charles is laughing, "I just remember being spit up on constantly!"
"Pietro needs to be spit up on. It will be good for him. Take him down a peg."
"That's terrible. He's your son."
"Doesn't make it less true."
They get into the car and Charles starts the engine, puts the car in reverse, then stops. Puts the car back in park and turns the engine back off.
"What is it?" Erik asks.
Charles pauses before he speaks, not wanting to ruin the moment, but knowing it needs to be brought up. "Luna is human. You noticed that, didn't you?"
"I did," he smiles and shakes his head, like that was an adorable thing she did, being a human, just to mess with her Poppa, that little rascal. Charles checks: his mind isn't any less charmed by her than it was when she was in his arms for the first time. There is probably very little Luna could do, Charles thinks, to make Erik think she is anything less than the most wonderful creature he's ever met.
Charles lets out a breath he didn't know he was holding and starts the engine again. He backs the car out of the space and steers them out of the parking garage. Their hands are clasped the whole way home.