With the amount of life he’s helped bring into this world back on the farm, you would think the shine would have worn off. But, no, here he is, a mix of emotions flowing through him as the infant in his arms makes her first cries.
He’s a little nervous- he’s so large and the baby’s so tiny. He nods to Torbjörn. “Would you like to do the honours? Scissors are over there.”
He holds her steady as the man cuts the cord, then Jack is moving away to quickly, but gently, wash her.
He smiles. She really is cute. Nice round cheeks and bright red hair and pretty blue eyes.
He cradles her close and approaches the exhausted woman. “Would you like to meet your beautiful daughter now?”
There are tears in her eyes, as she nods, weak, but enthusiastic. “Yes, yes, please!”
He carefully sets her in her arms, making sure she’s secure before letting go.
“She’s precious! Absolutely perfect.” She looks at Jack, and then at her husband, tears beginning to fall. “Thank you so much.”
Torbjörn laughs. “There’s no need to thank us, sweetheart. You did all the hard work.”
He kisses her cheek, then gently moves to kiss the baby’s head.
He lets out a cry as the child yanks his beard.
Jack can’t help but laugh, and the woman giggles. He kisses the ‘wounded’ man’s cheek tenderly. “You gotta be more careful from now on. Children are fond of doing that, you know.” He grins. “I’m sure Reinhardt will be having the same problem.”
“I wish he could have been here. Ana, too.” There’s a sadness to her voice that makes Jack’s heart ache. With one hand he soothingly rubs her arm, with the other he grabs Torb’s hand, squeezes it as if he could use the support himself.
“Me, too. But you know how important this mission is.”
She nods. “I know. On the bright side, at least she gets to meet two of her fathers.”
Jack freezes up. All these months and with a single sentence, it had finally hit him. He was a dad now.
He must have looked like a deer in headlights, because he can hear the deep rumble of his partner’s laugh before the man is pulling him close.
“Don’t worry, Jackie. There’s nothing to worry about. This wee babe is going to be showered with more love and attention than she’ll know what to do with.”
“Yeah.” He eases into the touch, smiling warmly at the child. “Yeah. Everything’s going to fine. We got this.”
Jack couldn’t wait to take this next step. He couldn’t wait to be a part of this kid’s life.
Imagined scenes of the future flash before his eyes and he can’t help but feel emotional.
He has the sudden urge to call up Gabe, show him the blessing that’s been brought into this world, gush to him how he wants to one day teach her how to ride a bike and plant a garden and how to motivate and support people. How Gabe can teach her how to sing and dance and play guitar and come up with perfect strategy. Reinhardt could teach her fun games and self-defense and how to look out for others, and Ana could teach her about herbs and medicine and sewing and how to improve aim. And Torb could teach her mechanics, and her mother could teach her how to write poems that would make grown men weep and cook food that they would kill for.
They’ll protect her. They’ll make sure she grows up in a world of peace, full of all the love and support she could possible need.
They’ll take care of her. They’ll be fine.