The moment he rests his head on his pillow – his phone rings. He answers the call with an annoyed tone and zero time to be patient because he has to be an early bird the next day for work.
He swallows his curse words when the woman on the other line says she's a nurse from the local hospital Jongin has been staying at for a few days now– his heart drops when she mentions Jongin’s name–and says his son decided he wanted out three days earlier than planned.
He's so nervous he loses the feel in his legs and his words get stuck in his throat – he faintly hears the nurse asking him if he’s going to be there. The hospital about is a good hour away– he won’t be able to make it on time.
“I’ll be there,” He breathes out.
He gets there already feeling like a wreck and doesn't get to feel like because a nurse is already on him and leading him to who knows where – she might have mentioned where she’s taking him but he's stuck nowhere he doesn't even know what he's own thoughts are and his legs trail behind her hurriedly.
They stop in front of a door – and that’s when he remember her telling him that Jongin has already had the baby– during the 50 minutes he was crazily speeding to get here; the lack of traffic after midnight is always a blessing. Chanyeol doesn’t get to dwell over the fact that he’s late because the nurse stops right outside a door.
"Go on," The nurse says before she scrams off somewhere else without waiting for his response. He thinks of cussing her out but holds it in, he knows he only wants to let his nervousness out in frustration and that hasn’t worked out too well for him in the past.
He stares at the door handle, almost burning a hole through and wishing he could see what’s behind the door. He kind of wants to just stand there and hope for some miracle the door opens itself.
He does know how long he'll keep feeling like . It's not normal that he always feels like he's done something wrong. He doesn’t know what he’ll say when he enters – congratulations on the baby – , that will make it sound like it kid isn’t his.
Sorry, I tried to catch five minute of sleep when they called and you unexpectedly went into labor three days early? – Sure, that will be taken extremely ing well.
He wonders of Luhan or Wufan – god help him – are in the room but he hears nothing and he remembers reading a sign saying father and grandparents only. Siblings and others have to wait until patients are discharged. We hope you understand at the receptionist’s desk.
Jongin is asleep when he enters and he doesn't stop the sigh of relief that escapes him. He steps further into the room. The lights are dimmed too dark but enough for him to not stupidly bump into anything.
There’s a sofa on the right side of Jongin’s bed with blankets and a pillow on it – he vaguely remembers the nurse telling him he’s allowed to sleep over if he wishes to.
He stands by Jongin's bedside; hands instantly come up and he carefully runs his fingers through Jongin's hair. His skin is pale, cracked lips and dark circles under his eyes. Chanyeol leans forward and presses his lips against Jongin’s forehead – he mumbles a soft thank you for reasons he can’t even think of because his thoughts are too disorientated.
He doesn't freak out much when Jongin doesn't even stir under his touch – he faintly remembers the nurse mentioning something about the dose being too much and epidural had to be done twice because the medical intern was foolishly nervous.
A soft whine has him freezes and his heart skips beats he doesn’t manage to keep count– the sound isn't from Jongin and definitely not from him. He looks up – eyes wide and he notices the crib on Jongin's right side for the first time and swallows, so dry his throat feels cut and starts to hurt.
He feels dumb for forgetting that healthy newborns are now placed with their mothers – Jesus, mother feels strange – and according to the nurse because Jongin insisted he wanted the baby in the room and she couldn’t deny him his wishes.
He wonders if Jongin will wake up at the sound of crying but brushes the thought away before the younger man looks dead.
He removes his hand from Jongin’s hair but doesn't attempt to walk over to the source of the sound. He's ing nervous and feels dumb because it’s only a baby– who obviously doesn't even know who he is and doesn’t a mind to judge the out of him.
He's fairly certain that once the baby learns to think for himself and enters the rebellious teen years– he'll be the punching bag instead of Jongin. He ing hopes his son doesn't follow after him – , anyone but him.
And suddenly he feels so scared and rooted to the floor. He's curious to see what wrinkly thing their son looks like and he doesn't know why he's holding back. He’s afraid of being judged by a baby and feels ridiculous– so much guilt.
He steps around the bed quietly – his whole body tensing before relaxing; heart pounding behind his ribcage as he struggled with what to do next– the kind of pounding that tells you you've wronged someone.
He looks so much like Jongin that it’s so ing surreal and Chanyeol sort of wants to cry for reasons he can’t comprehend himself. He bends over to take a closer look at the newborn– tiny beanie over his small head, round cheeks rosy and he’s wrapped in so many blankets.
"Hi," He whispers breath hitching a little, watching the tiny human being for any other reaction. He has seen babies before but never this tiny and never this fragile looking.
He jumps back when the baby opens his mouth and lets out a cry – he doesn’t know how to handle crying adults very well – let along a ing infant so he awkwardly and gently shakes the newborn. He stares wide eyed at how something so small can be so loud.
He looks back at Jongin – he’s still out cold. Chanyeol sees a red thread trailing from the wall and is resting within arm’s reach of Jongin. He grabs it and pulls before dropping it and attention jerking to the crying infant.
A knock comes at the door and he mumbles a shaky come in. The same nurse from earlier walks in – all smiles and brightness – and carefully carries the newborn out of his crib and he immediately goes silent. “He’s just a little hungry.” She says, “Do you want me to take him for the night?”
“Uh – Sure,” He nods, looking a little dazed.
“Alright,” She laughs softly and looks at him steadily in the eye, “Pull the red thread if you need anything or if Jongin wakes up – he’ll be a bit groggy because of the anesthetics,” He’s nodding at her words – eyes still on the newborn and swallows.
“What’s his name?” He blurts out – taking her words into consideration but obviously more curious about what his son’s name is than anything else. She gives him a confused look before shaking her head.
“He hasn’t decided yet,” She says, forehead wrinkling as she flicks her eyes to Jongin. She adjusts the baby in her arms carefully and she’s out the door before Chanyeol has another chance to ask more dumb questions.
“The nurse didn’t put this in right,” The croaky voice has Chanyeol looking away from the television hang up on the wall – there’s a boring cooking show on and everything’s that’s been shared between the two people doesn’t sit on his brain. “It hurts.”
“Hey,” He whispers ever so quietly as he takes in Jongin’s tired appearance – he reaches out for the glass on the nightstand behind him and holds it out to him.
“Thank you,” He says as he holds the glass – his left arm stays still on his side and Chanyeol notices to PVC on his hand connected to the emptying drip another nurse hang up a few hours ago after checking up on him. He guess that’s what Jongin meant by didn’t put this in right. Chanyeol watches him gulp down the water and he doesn’t miss how unsteady his whole frame is.
“Should I call the nurse–”
“Where is he?”
They blink at each other for a moment – Chanyeol gets the glass from Jongin’s hand before it slips from his hand. “He’s with the nurse – she’s had him the whole night.” He informs as he looks carefully at Jongin’s expression – he fails to read it.
Jongin says nothing more – stares down at his hands for a moment before looking up at him. “Is he okay?”
“Do you want to see him?” The fact the Jongin looks unsure makes him uncomfortable about everything because it’s had to know what’s getting on in his head. It’s frustrating – Jongin has always been the easiest person to read.
“Not now,” Jongin responds and Chanyeol doesn’t get a chance to say anything else before he continues, “I named him after your father.” His voice is so low he almost misses it. “Make peace with his grandparents and we’ll come home.” He says in one breathe and Chanyeol can only blink before what he’s suggesting – pleading – sinks into his brain and he wants to argue.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Jongin is already horribly moody. He nods curtly and reaches out to place his large hand over Jongin’s. “Sure,” He says – deciding he’ll pick another time to protest; preferably when Jongin can speak and move without wince every few seconds.
Jongin stares at him for a moment. “Sorry,” Chanyeol murmurs, “I wasn’t on time – you must have been so scared,” He swallows thickly.
The bitter laugh that escapes Jongin dry lips make his stomach turn, “It’s okay. You have a job–”
“I promised I’d be with you.” He says firmly and Jongin shake his head gently.
“And he decided to come early – it’s not your fault.” His eyes get drowsy as his voice goes softer. Chanyeol rubs his hand lightly before getting to his feet and presses a kiss on his forehead. “At least you’re here.”
A knock has him straightening his posture and looking back at the door – Jongin murmurs a come in and yet another nurse pops in with their son in her hands. She greets them and asks Jongin how he’s doing as he walks towards them.
Chanyeol is too entranced by the bundle in her arms that he pays no attention to the response she’s given. He watches her gently hand over the infant to Jongin – he doesn’t miss the wince that escapes Jongin’s lips when he tries to sit up.
“You don’t want to ruin your stitches – take it easy, hm?” She tells him softly as she makes sure he’s a bit upright before carefully placing him in his hands. “There.” She smiles, “Would you like a family picture?”
Jongin looks up at him with a nod and Chanyeol reaches into his pocket – handing over his phone to the nurse before taking a seat next to Jongin on the bed and pulls him close before flashing an awkward smile at his phone when the nurse says smile, new parents!
took a while because even after a month
of doing nothing (????) I still don’t have a ing name for the kid jfc b ye asdfhk