October 25th, 2018
(Cheshvan 16, 5779)
Northern Junive Hospital
1880 Harrin Ave, Snowpoint City, Sinnoh, 10993.
The room was quiet except for the consistent ping of the heart sensor and next to him, Ash could see the slow drip of medication into his IV line.
He was in pain. A lot of pain. He curled his legs in a bit as his hands moved down to his stomach which had turned out to be the worst mistake of his life as the pain intensified. “Don’t move. You’re pulling your stitches.” A warm hand was placed down on his stomach as he looked over at Paul, who used his other hand to press Ash’s legs back down. “You’re okay, you’re gonna be okay Ash.”
Tears welled in his eyes as he held onto Paul’s hand, “Did everything go okay? Where is?..” He looked around the dim room and his eyes landed on his mother, who was cooing softly to a tiny bundle of red hair that was swaddled in her arms. His father sat next to her, gently rubbing his finger along the baby’s cheek while Pikachu peered over his shoulder, staring at the baby with big eyes and a smile.
They’d wanted to be surprised, and Ash thought it’d be different, that he’d know what the baby was when he saw.. it. But his mother had the baby bundled in yellow and Ash didn’t even care anymore. “Ash...” He watched as she got up and carried over his baby, “He’s beautiful. An angel. He hasn’t cried once.”
Ash’s mind went blank as Paul stood and moved him into a sitting position as Delia placed the baby in his arms. Pikachu hopped over and curled up around his neck as Ash looked at his son for the very first time. “A boy?” The baby was lighter than he’d expected, smaller, like Pikachu. “Hi there... you seemed so big when you were inside me, what happened?” He couldn’t help but poke the baby gently, receiving a tiny yawn and an eye blink in return.
“I said the same thing.” Paul’s voice rumbled through Ash as the man laid himself in the hospital bed with him, a large hand ghosting over the tiny fingers peeking out of the burrito in his arms. A long kiss was pressed to his head as he adjusted the baby. “Thank you, you have given me the greatest gift I could have ever asked for. Second only to you.” Paul wrapped an arm around him as the baby cuddled himself against Ash’s chest.
It was then that Ash started to cry, a bit overwhelmed as he ran his fingers over the birthmark on his son’s cheek. “I..” He didn’t know what to say, what to even do except hug his son. His son, his child. “I love him. I love him. I love you, sweet boy.” He smiled down at him as half open eyes looked at him before closing again.
Ash held him for a while longer until he felt himself getting sleepy and passed the baby over to Paul, who held them both in his arms. Pikachu cooed behind him and he felt paws fluffing the pillow for him. “Thanks buddy.” And a tiny “Pika!” was returned to him.
He yawned as he noted that something was missing in the tiny room. “Paul? Where’s Reggie?”
“He and May Daisy are on their way with the kids. Gary’s on his way too. I mean, this one didn’t give us much of a warning huh?” And as if the boy in his arms knew he was being talked about, his eyes opened and looked at Paul, his already dark brows furrowed.
“Aw! Paul! Look at him, he gets that from you.” Ash turned over carefully and kissed his head. Ash’s only response was a chuckle from Paul and a yawn from the baby.
And he yawned in return, as if his son’s yawning was contagious.
The room faded away as he watched Paul and their son, Paul kissed his forehead again. “Rest. We’ll be waiting for you when you wake up.”
Ash gently got himself comfortable in Paul’s arms as three other children ran into the room, Reggie and Gary’s older sister, May Daisy following behind quietly.
Reggie and May Daisy went to give Delia and Sebastian hugs as Paul quietly showed his nephews their cousin.
”Why is he pink?”
”Uncle, what’s that on his face????” The boys asked, all at once as an excited Reggie reached for the baby.
Paul gently pulled back, “Hey Hey, a little too excited there. Don’t drop him.” And he cracked a grin as he held the boy for Reggie.
“Thank you for your sacrifice, your debt has been paid.” Reggie stuck his tongue out at Paul as he carefully cradled his very first nephew, the boys climbing up next to him to get a better look at the red-haired baby in their Papa’s arms. “Oh, look at him. He reminds me of you as a baby Paul.” The man, who was six years older than Paul, started tearing up as he placed a gentle kiss on the baby’s head.
“Oh please, the baby is all Ash. I could never make something so good, so pure. He came from Ash.” Now that his arms were empty, Paul had focused his attention on holding his husband, who was peacefully sleeping.
“You were still a factor.” May Daisy smoothed down her skirt as she sat down on the bed next to Paul, “You two did a great job. You’ll be amazing parents.”
Paul only smiled at her as yet another familiar head of red hair entered the room. “Too late, Reggie’s holding him, you’ll have to pry him from Reggie’s dead hands.” And Gary looked over to where Reggie was cooing to the baby as if he was the birthfather.
“I can wait.” And Gary sat down next to Delia and Sebastian patiently as May Daisy soon had the baby pressed to her cheek gently.
Paul looked back down at Ash and kissed him while he slept. “Thank you.”