Work Header

Before You Can Walk

Work Text:

Charlie wants to crawl.

It’s amazing how easily Eames can read it on his face – the way his little eyebrows knit together as he pushes himself up on his hands and knees (a feat only recently accomplished) the little moue of determination he makes with his lips as he rocks back and forth and tries to all but launch himself across the rug towards Arthur. There is nothing more that Charlie wants in life than to reach his Papa’s outstretched hand.

He’s not quite there yet, unfortunately. He understands that crawling requires forward motion, but he doesn’t have the coordination to move his hands and legs independently of one another; so eventually, he has to give up, and then it’s back onto his belly, with and irritable huff.

Charlie already does such a perfect imitation of Arthur’s frustrated scowl that Eames can’t help but laugh.

“It’s alright, baby.” Arthur joins Charlie, belly-down on the rug, putting himself almost nose-to-nose with their little boy. “You’ll get it any day now.”

“He will,” Eames agrees. He’s stretched out next to both of them, propped up on one elbow. “Just look at him, he’s determined now, isn’t he?”

Eames scoops Charlie up, rolling over onto his back so the baby is on top of his chest. Charlie coos in delight and pats Eames’ stubble-covered chin with one tiny hand, laughing when Eames growls and mimes biting at his fingers.

“Soon you’ll be crawling,” Eames tells Charlie, tapping his nose with one finger. “Then walking, then running...talking, starting school, making friends, kissing girls – or boys – learning to drive, going away to uni...”

“Eames!” Arthur swats at the side of his head, but he’s laughing. He squirms across the rug until his upside-down face dominates Eames’ vision, and winds his fingers into Eames’ hair. “That’s not even funny. Can’t we just...enjoy this?”

Arthur looks unexpectedly terrified, that Eames tilts his head back and kisses his chin in apology.

“I’m not in a rush, darling, I promise. Anyway, he’s going to go at his own pace. Aren’t you, little man?”

As if he knows exactly what they’re talking about, Charlie puts a hand on Eames’ chin to boost himself up and reach for Arthur, babbling joyfully; and Eames thinks that if they never leave the rug again, it would be all he wants in life.