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Feeling Loved

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For a child, Shixun needed little sleep and a lot of attention. While he was quiet, he was also eager and energetic when he had just woken up. He could usually keep himself entertained with his toys that were scattered from his bedroom and into the playroom down the hall but playing just wasn’t the same without his parents. He felt that they slept too much, that they should be awake while he was because they always said that he was the most important thing in the world to them. Most importantly, that he was special. To Shixun, his parents were also everything. While he had friends, like his Han-ge and Taozi-ge, his parents were what made him happiest. His Daddy had long enough legs for him to hold and hide behind when he was nervous or scared and his Baba had strong arms to carry him around everywhere when he complained that his shins hurt after walking. They were his baba and Daddy, they were his superheroes and superheroes weren’t supposed to sleep as much as they did.

He clambered down from his bed, taking the plushie had that matched up with one his father’s had dangling on their bags, and took the shortest route to their room. Their door, as always, was left open and he knew that they would still be asleep but the sun was starting to rise and he needed them to be awake with him. He clutched his plushie tightly in his left hand, his little legs (which his Daddy said were long for his age and that they could grow to be as long as his, and Shixun definitely wanted that) took him to the side of their bed. He looked up and could see his Baba’s back across the sheet and knew there was enough room for him and his dragon to fit onto it. He did what his Daddy had taught him and put his hands on the top of the soft sheet, he bent his legs to jump up ― making sure to keep his palms where they were. It was harder than when he had his Daddy holding his middle, his legs dangling and he knew he would have to kick one up onto the mattress to be able to get to the top, much like he did to get onto the chairs at the dinner table in the morning when his fathers were too busy to set out his high chair.

His left foot hooked onto the top of the plush mattress, he let it wriggle around for a short while before he tried to jump up again with the one that was still on the floor ― it was a task but he had done it. And, all on his own too. He smiled and looked over to his parents to see them not cheering happily for him, but still sleeping with their heads very close on the pillow. He could see that his Baba had his arms around his Daddy’s body like he was hugging him and his Daddy had his very long legs around his Baba's shorter ones, as if they were wrapped up like his Brainy Twist and he thought they looked cute. His fathers looked like they did when Shixun watched them play around while making his dinner in the kitchen or when they would all watch films together and he’d catch them looking at each other without talking.

When he had asked his Han-ge and Tao-ge what that meant, they both said that his parents loved each other and that he should be happy that his Baba and Daddy loved each other because not all parents did. So Shixun decided to let them love each other for a little longer whilst they were sleeping, he tried to play on his own and make up his own stories to act out with his dragon. However, he found himself growing bored because his own stories just weren’t as good as the ones his Baba told; his had knights, dragons, princes and townspeople ― Shixun couldn’t do all of that on his own. Not when he didn’t have his Daddy to save or his Baba to be the prince that his Daddy was saved for. He sat down, looking over his shoulder to see his parents both there, curled up and sleeping. Not a single ounce of attention going his way.

He crawled across the space his Baba was supposed to be in and used his small body to try and crawl between the two adults and he pouted when he felt his baba move, “Xun-ah, what are you doing?”

“I want to play, Ba,” he whispered, still trying to shimmy his way between his parents.

“Yifan,” his Baba called to his Daddy, making the oldest of them all wake up slowly and groan about it being too early, “Shixun wants to play.”

That made his taller father peek his eye open, spying him and his dragon plushie that were still dangling on his Baba’s back. His Daddy, with his arms free and not holding his Baba, reached around and pulled Shixun up, making him hiccup with excitement at the attention his Daddy was giving him. “How about we sleep now and play lots later?”

“I want to play now,” Shixun whined, making his Daddy look at him with one eyebrow raised, “Please, Daddy.”

“We need to sleep, baby,” his Baba whispered, turning his head to look up at the young boy.

“But Ba, I―”

“How about you sleep between me and Daddy? How does that sound?”

Shixun took a moment to consider the offer; knowing fully how comfortingly warm it was to between his two fathers, how they always kissed and cuddled him until he went to sleep again. He only slept with them when he had bad dreams but he looked at his plushie, the small dragon’s beady eyes gazing at him with intent to play. He bit his lip, the choice between his dragon and his parents was too hard but then he knew he could play with it later but that his Baba and Daddy would get up, not going to bed until much later than he did. He kissed his dragon on the head, whispering a soft sorry to it before he pulled himself ― with Daddy’s help ― between the two grown-ups.

His Baba readjusted and held him, as well as his Daddy and he could feel long legs curl up around his baby ones, his parents still as close as they had been with their noses brushing. It made him very small, almost like when he was even smaller, but Shixun wanted to be big ― just like his Daddy.

“More room, too small,” he pouted, making his Daddy look down at him with sleepy eyes.

“But this is how we sleep, Xun-ah,” the eldest said, his voice deep and raspy.

“Yifan, just move over,” his Baba mumbled, making his Daddy gripe about how he had barely any room on his side of the bed. Shixun could feel his Baba move his head down and hide a smile in his hair, which confused him but he didn’t say anything. He felt bigger, like he had grown with the space in the bed and it made him smile too. Maybe that’s what had his Baba smiling too, maybe he also felt just as big as Daddy with more room around him.

Shixun could feel all the warm and comfort coming from his fathers (something else his two gege’s told him was love), it made him draw his dragon plushie closer and hold him to his chest. He wanted his toy to feel loved too and he was happy that his father’s were sleepy, it started to make him sleepy too but he didn’t mind too much.

He knew his fathers would be there, ready and waiting to play, when they woke up in the morning and Shixun snuggled up into his parents’ chins to show his love like his friends had told him. He would have gone back to sleep happy enough with that but then he felt two sets of lips on his head to kiss him into his dreams.