Two Men And... Baby Coleman
Summary: And then there were three.
Disclaimer: No one but Luke and Reid own each other. As for the rest of Oakdale, who knows?
A/N(1): Takes place in the Cake-universe around early November 2013. You need not read the other pieces to understand this one-shot. No Beta. Feedback and sandwiches are one and the same :-D
A/N(2): Please note that in this universe, Casey and Alison do not get back together after the wedding-that-didn't-happen fiasco. Thanks :)
Baby Coleman’s relationship to Casey was quickly reaffirmed when she devoured eight ounces of formula in no time. By the time the bottle was empty, the baby was drowsing again, her heavy head lolling back in Luke's arms.
It had been a while since he'd done this, but it all came back to Luke pretty quickly. He hesitated though, when it was time for burping. This was the tricky part. He had only ever once managed to burp a baby that didn't spew a gallon of formula as a result.
Luke threw a cloth over his shoulder and lifted the baby so that her little belly was firmly against his collarbone. "Okay, sweetie," Luke said softly, "let's give this a shot." The baby was a limp, warm bundle against him, breathing wetly against the blonde's neck. He started to pat Cath's back with three fingers, probably too cautiously, but this was a clean shirt, after all –
A prolonged wave of milk breath hit Luke in the face without a trace of spit-up and he grinned against his goddaughter's silky head. "That's my girl."
In the summer of 2012, Maddie Coleman had returned to Oakdale for good. Soon after, she’d rekindled her relationship with Casey Hughes and not six months later, the couple were married and expecting their first child.
Maddie and Reid had taken an instant liking to each other, and their witty jousting was highly amusing to watch, especially when Hank happened to be in the vicinity. Reid had offered to run a DNA test to ensure the apparent brother/sister relation, earning him an epic and amused eye-roll from Maddie and a smack upside the head from Luke as Henry walked off in righteous indignation.
So it came as no surprise really, when at dinner one night the couple had asked Luke and Reid to be the child’s godparents. Luke’s eyes had gone big and round, touched by the request, while Reid just seemed plain scared. In fact, the look on the doctor’s face had been akin to someone who had just been told to pack up and move to Kazakhstan – or something equally ludicrous. Luke and Reid had had a swift conversation with their eyes only, and seeing the support and openness on Luke’s face coupled with Maddie and Casey’s encouraging smiles, Reid Oliver – the Godfather – had cordially accepted the honour.
By the fall of 2013, baby Catherine Henrietta Hughes-Coleman had arrived. Luke and Reid had had a wager going on which one of their friends would win the surname battle, with Reid eventually boasting victory as Madeline Coleman emerged triumphant. The new parents soon fell off the social radar, juggling their daily lives with Casey’s law studies and tending to baby Cath. Luke had really felt for his friends and had offered to babysit his goddaughter for an entire weekend one early November. Casey Hughes, who’d been living mostly on fortified protein shakes lately and was sporting impressive dark circles under the eyes these days, had flung himself at Luke – practically knocking the blonde over – and thanked him profusely.
So here was Luke, staring at the sleeping bundle of joy in his arms when his husband walked in.
“Hey,” Luke said softly, looking over. “What happened? I thought your conference was meant to last both days.”
“It was,” Reid said, removing his jacket and walking over to place a kiss on Luke’s forehead. “But there’s a freak snow storm about to hit Chicago and we had to turn back. We’ll need to resched-“
Right at that moment, their goddaughter was startled awake from sleep. Her eyes flew open, revealing irises that were somewhere between grey and blue, hands flexed and splayed out, and Reid’s gaze was drawn to her tiny, tiny fingernails, so perfect and round. He glanced back up to see Luke’s sweet smile and longing gaze and thought: oh, crap.
The baby made a couple of disgruntled noises, then turned her head into Luke's chest and closed her eyes again as though her eyelids weighed a ton. Luke couldn't move, watching the tiny chest move up and down beneath the homespun little onesie she was wearing. It wasn't until Reid gave him a nudge that the blonde started towards the bedroom.
Reid and Luke had had just over an hour to tidy the place up, shower and start the dinner prep before Cath was wide awake and screaming at the top of her lungs. Luke lay her down on the bed, grabbed a disposable diaper from the nearby stack and calmly proceeded with changing the baby’s diaper.
“Urgh!” Reid helpfully expressed from the doorway as the stench reached his nostrils. “She sure poops a lot. What on earth have you been feeding her, Snyder?”
Luke spared Reid a quick look and stuck his tongue out. The doctor chuckled and joined his husband at the foot of the bed. Once she was dry and warm again, the baby quieted down and lay in the middle of the couple’s king-sized bed, blinking slowly and contently up at them.
"She’s smiling,” Luke said, bouncing on his heels. “Let’s take some pictures.”
“It’s probably just gas,” said Reid, scrunching up his nose adorably as Luke opened and closed drawers in search of the digital device. “No need to have a record of that.”
Luke huffed out a laugh and then a frustrated groan. “Ah, I think I left the camera in the car. Will be right back.”
As Luke exited the room, Reid turned his attention back to this goddaughter.
“So, listen up Coleman,” Reid kneeled down to the baby’s eye-level. “You really need to reign in on the production of that toxic poop you love to do so much.” Cath cooed, gurgling a few bubbles. “I mean, I know you’re a baby and all but that’s not very lady-like, you know?” The baby made a grabbing motion with her tiny hands and Reid offered her the smallest finger.
On a rare sighting of Casey Hughes at the grocery store soon after Catherine was born, the new dad had revealed to Luke that it’d taken him an entire week of sleepless nights to figure out his daughter only liked the pinky finger. A few weeks after that, he’d barged into Reid’s office over a couple of Cath’s sneezes.
“She has a common cold,” the doctor had reiterated after looking the baby over again amid Casey’s insistence. “And babies need to develop immunities.”
“So you just want her to suffer?”
“Oh, don’t be so dramatic, Hughes. If she had a serious illness I’d be the first person to tell you, but she doesn’t,” he’d said, even as his goddaughter let out a pitiful cough. “So in the meantime just watch her and fret like a normal person!”
Back at Luke and Reid’s, the doctor was still talking to the poop-machine. “...and you better not develop your uncle’s fashion sense,” Reid said with a fake pout, nodding his head until the baby copied his movements. “Good, so we have an understanding.”
Reid’s attention was then drawn back to the bedroom door as Luke returned.
“Ready?” he said excitedly, as Reid stood up.
Luke snapped some shots of Maddie’s smile as Casey’s eyes stared back at them.
Soon after, Cath blessedly went back to sleep and the exhausted couple retired to bed also.
The baby woke at o’three-hundred on the dot, and Reid was awake as soon as he heard the soft snuffling noises. Disentangling himself from Luke, he rose and scooped Cath up into his arms just before the baby was drawing breath for what would have been a really impressive scream.
"Hey, hey, there's no need for that," Reid said, cradling her close. "We didn't leave you."
The baby blinked up at him in the darkness, the breath leaving her in a disgruntled huff that was so like Hank Reid chuckled.
"That's right," he soothed, jiggling her gently, "you're not alone. We're right here, and we're not going anywhere." He turned toward the bed, and his heart stopped when he saw Luke propped up on his elbows, watching Reid with the baby in his arms. There was a bright moonbeam falling on his face, illuminating his features, and Reid sucked in a breath himself at what he saw there.
“What?” he said, attempting and failing miserably at producing a scowl in face of Luke’s bright smile.
“Nothing,” Luke said, shaking his head. “It’s just that... you’re really good with babies. I mean, I’d seen you with Jacob at times but never like this, you know?”
Reid hid his smile against Cath's temple as he lifted her up to rest against his shoulder. "Well, I am a genius.”
Luke rolled his eyes. "Of course.” he said, flopping back onto the bed.
With the baby still in his arms, Reid made his way over to Luke, kneeing his way onto the bed.
Carefully, Reid lowered a squirming Cath onto the mattress between them, and then lay down beside her. He placed a calming hand on the baby’s tummy, and her fussing immediately stopped. Looking up, he saw that Luke was still staring, all love and awe. He leaned over carefully, and couldn’t resist placing a dizzying kiss on the blonde’s mouth.
Breaking away moments later, he answered Luke’s unasked question while running his thumb over his husband's strong jaw line and flushed cheek.
“Soon, blondie,” Reid whispered. “Very soon.”