TITLE: Three's A Company
SUMMARY: Yixing finds a baby and Luhan learns a little more about his husband.
FINAL NOTES: If I wasn't a piece of trash, this would be longer. But, I hope you like it!
|Luhan comes home after a long day, groaning at the fatigue that he can feel in his bones and stripping off his coat and work shoes. He feels about twenty pounds lighter and he can breathe a little better, but the tiredness weighs on him in an entirely different way, unable to be simply peeled off, and he’s reminded again of how he woke up at three this morning so that he could make it to the conference on time and beat the morning rush.
He hears a creak from upstairs and smiles. The only reason he enjoys coming home to his horribly ordinary townhouse is to be able to see the man in it. He does so now, passing right by the leftovers sitting on the table, waiting for him, and skips stairs on his way up. He throws open the door to their shared bedroom and promptly stops. And stares.
“Welcome home!” Yixing greets, walking over and happily planting a kiss on Luhan before pulling away and grinning. “So, how was work? You must be tired.”
“What,” Luhan thinks better of it and changes his question, “why do you have a baby?”
Yixing freezes like he’s a child who has been caught stealing candy. He stands to the side to hide the baby he has perched on his hip. “What baby?”
“Yixing,” Luhan groans, “I’ve seen it. You can’t hide something I’ve already seen.”
The man frowns and takes a step forward, the slumbering little human on full display. “I knew you wouldn’t be happy about it,” he mumbles sadly.
Luhan pauses, takes a deep breath, then speaks, “where did you get it from? Are you babysitting? Is this for research?” He sighs. “It’s late, Yixing.”
“I know.” The dark-haired man gently places the baby on the bed. “I found her on the front porch. In that box.” He points to said box, a beat-up cardboard delivery carton labelled Amazon. Luhan steps forward to take a closer look at it.
The cardboard is ripped, wet, and damaged. Inside, he finds a pink blanket and a note. He throws the blanket onto the bed and takes a closer look at the note.
I’m leaving so I need you to watch over her for me. Take good care of her, and remember that she likes to be held.
Luhan drops the note back into the box. “We need to call the police.”
“No!” Yixing shouts, picking the child back up and holding her to his chest. “No! Please, no! You read the letter, we have to look after her!”
Luhan already has the phone in his hand. “What would I report this as? Abandoned child found on the doorstep of my phone? Does that sound about right?”
Yixing grabs the phone and smashes a finger down on the off button, and then throws it across the room for good measure. “Please don’t do this,” he begs, “you haven’t even gotten to know her! She’s such a sweetheart, you’ll love her in no time!”
“Yixing,” Luhan starts sharply, “I don’t want to get to know her.” He thinks the I don’t like children is implied. Apparently, Yixing doesn’t hear it.
"Come on," the man pleads, eyes sad. "Please don't take her away. I can do this. We can do this."
Luhan sighs. What is he supposed to say when Yixing acts like this? "Alright, fine. You get to keep your baby. Now what? Yixing, we both work. We don't have time for a child."
"I took a week off," the man says. "So by the end, we can decide if we want to hire a babysitter or look for a daycare."
Luhan narrows his eyes. A lot of thoughts has been put into this. "Yeah," he agrees carefully. "Well, I'm going to take a shower."
When Luhan returns to his room, Yixing is is the middle of soothing a crying child. Luhan groans and grabs clothes, opting to sleep in the guest room for tonight.
Luhan steps inside his house the next day and can't see his kitchen.
"Yixing!" he shouts, "What is this?"
His husband appears in the living room, baby strapped to his chest via a strange blue mechanism that the definitely hadn't owned when Luhan left for work this morning. "Everything the baby needs. Food, diapers, cleaning supplies. The crib is already set up in our room but I couldn't fit the changing table in there so it's in the guest bedroom." He jiggles as he talks, bouncing in a way that has the baby laughing hysterically.
"Unbelievable," Luhan mutters, not even about to try and convince his husband that he shouldn't have bought any of that, that they don't have the money for this, that the baby isn't even theirs. Instead, he heads upstairs for a nap.
The week progresses slowly, Luhan trying to deal with the suddenly heavier load of work along with Yixing's attempts to get him to play with the baby are draining, and each day he falls asleep before Yixing. He barely had time to peel his clothes off, shove food in his mouth, and brush his teeth before his falls into bed, exhausted down to his bones.
But Friday is different. On Friday, he wakes up at an absurdly early hour to a slap on his face.
"Xing," he grumbles, "What on earth–"
"The baby's crying," the man mumbles. "I've taken care of her every night so far so now it's your turn. Just hold her, she likes to be held. Have fun." Then he rolls over and promptly falls back asleep.
Luhan merely stares at the sleeping man, doesn't even try and argue. He pulls himself out of bed and drags his feet over to the crib at the end of their bed, staring down at the baby inside. She's thrashing and crying loudly, something Luhan hadn't even heard until now–he's the heavy sleeper, Yixing is not–and it's with a sigh that he picks her up, heading out of the room so as not to disturb his husband.
Luhan doesn't know how babies work. He's an only child, the youngest out of all his cousins. He's only seen the little things in public with their harried, exhausted parents. Luhan's never wanted one, perfectly happy with living his life alongside Yixing, bickering together, growing old together, the works. But as he looks down into her serene little face, dark curls sprouting wildly on her head, he thinks he might see a glimmer of whatever made Yixing decide to keep the little one as soon as he saw her.
Luhan doesn't work weekends, and Yixing demands that they go out as a family both days. Luhan doesn't even try to argue.
On Saturday, they wake up at an absurdly early hour due to loud cries. Luhan tries not to fall asleep in his cereal while Yixing sings upstairs, trying to entertain the child as he changes her diaper.
They all settle in the living room and decide to watch a movie. Luhan picks out three to choose from and Yixing lets the baby decide, setting her on the ground and seeing which one she crawls towards.
They end up watching a romcom and Yixing makes obnoxious kissy noises each time the main characters so much as look at each other and the baby goes nuts, screaming in glee and wiggling in Yixing's hold each time. Luhan watches and finds himself smiling at the pair.
Yixing says he feels like eating out afterwards, so they all walk down the street to a place they like but haven't gone to as much of late, both too busy with work, then too tired to do anything on the weekends. The menu's the same, and the workers are just as nice. Yixing radiates pride–Luhan can't quite make fun of him for it–as their waitress cooes over the baby, who seems to be enjoying the attention, judging by her pleased gurgles and excited kicks.
She sleeps well that night and both Luhan and Yixing are ecstatic.
Sunday, Yixing demands they go to the park. Luhan prepares a picnic and they eat lunch on a flannel blanket in a quiet area, tall grass waving in the wind and flowers starting to wilt to give way to autumn. The baby plays on the blanket, crawling from here to there, Yixing sometimes getting up to move her back so that she doesn't wander too far away.
"She can't walk yet," Luhan observes, taking another bite out of his sandwich.
Yixing nods. "Probably not for another few months. Her legs aren't quite strong enough, yet."
Luhan turns to face his husband, realizing that this entire time, his husband has seemed very knowledgable about this whole baby subject. "You know a lot about babies."
"I babysat a lot in high school," the man admits. "I've always wanted a big family. Two or three kids. I had it all planned out in college," he states with a chuckle, breaking off when the baby crawls toward him. He grabs her, falling onto his back and making ridiculous noises as the child erupts into laughter.
Luhan takes another bite and watches thoughtfully.
When they get home, there is a woman knocking in their door. Luhan and Yixing share a look and Luhan steps forward. "Ma'am," he begins, "can we help you?"
"Have you seen–" she breaks off, running forward when she sees them. She pulls the baby out of Yixing's hold and crushes the little body to her chest. "Jiseun!"
Yixing looks horrified. The woman is practically crying. Luhan takes a deep breath and ushers everyone inside.
Apparently the woman had been trying to drop the baby off at a relative's place. They live on the same street as Luhan and Yixing, but she had gotten the numbers mixed up and didn't have time to stay and check. She had a flight to catch.
"Wait so you just left her–"
Luhan stops his husband from continuing. The woman is obviously beating herself up about it still, she doesn't need any more grief. He offers to give her the supplies they have leftover, but she kindly refuses and he sees her out the door, wishing her and Jiseun well, shaking the baby's tiny hand when she reaches out for him.
Then the door closes. Yixing still seated at the table.
"Are you okay?" Luhan asks hesitantly.
"I'm fine," Yixing dismisses, standing. "I'll be upstairs if you need me."
Luhan sighs, knowing that Yixing won't believe him if he tells him that he understands, but Luhan thinks he has the same feeling of loss and frustration curling in his gut.
They go back to work. Life goes on. But Yixing is a little less energetic, a little quieter and slower to greet Luhan when he gets home, though his greetings and kisses are no less filled with love. But there's something hanging over the man like a dark cloud. When Luhan brings it up, Yixing apologizes and promises that he'll be better soon, he just needs a little time, a few more days to lay in bed and stare at the ceiling, to take out his phone and stare at the pictures he'd taken over the past week. Just a few more days and he'll be over it.
But Luhan knows that he's had a taste of what it might be like. If they had a family, what it would be like. So he thinks and he searches, and after a few days he finally has something to show for it.
When Luhan comes home, Yixing is seated at the dinner table. Luhan takes the seat across from him and drops the folder on the table, casually opening it. Yixing's eyes begin to skim and he starts, looking up at Luhan incredulously.
"I don't know about two or three," Luhan says instead of giving the man an answer to the unasked question, "but we can start with one."
Yixing jumps up, pulling Luhan into a crushing hug as his husband laughs, adoption papers falling from the folder onto the floor.