Babies. Babies were weird. They were tiny bald people who communicated by crying and drooling on things. Babies made Sara uncomfortable, she’d never spent much time around babies; back in the Milky Way she didn’t know anyone with babies. Back in the Milky Way, a lot of people would forego having children altogether, Earth was overpopulated, careers were too important, et cetera, et cetera. She didn’t know anyone who even really wanted children. Her social circle consisted of scientists, researchers, Alliance specialists and soldiers, none of which were that interested in children when they were too busy chasing new discoveries.
Sara didn’t give babies much thought before she joined up with the Initiative. It wasn’t until Gil mentioned that the Andromeda Initiative was just a glorified dating service and that his friend Jill was a reproductive specialist that the thought even blipped on her radar.
Now her she was holding baby Meri-- still couldn’t believe Jill actually went for that one-- and internally panicking. She’d never even held a baby before, then suddenly her friend was okay with plopping one in her arms like it was nothing. Meri wiggled in her arms, terrorizing Sara’s nerves making her immediately want to hand the baby back to Gil.
The party was in full swing, everyone mingling, there was a dull roar of adults conversing and laughing, clinking of beer bottles and no one was concerned that someone had put a baby in the arms of a wildly under qualified adult. Of course these were also the people that had thought her being the damn Pathfinder was a good idea too. Sara looked down a Meri, she was blowing spit bubbles which didn’t inspire much confidence.
As if he seemed to sense her infant-induced anxiety, Liam appeared, two beers in his hands and his trademark easy smile on his face. Rescue.
“Somebody decided it was a good idea to give me a baby,” she said.
Liam laughed, “It’s like you’re the Pathfinder or something.” He set the beers down on an end table and casually offered a reprieve. With ease he took little Meri in his arms with a gentle bounce.
Sara was relieved to not have the responsibility of not dropping the 15th human baby born in Andromeda, and gratefully reached for the beer Liam had brought her. She was taking a swig from her bottle when it hit her hard...
Liam looked so damn natural, he always had an easy smile that could turn her whole day around; but seeing him with a baby sparked something in her. Oh no. Oh hell no, Sara Ryder, baby-fever is not a thing for you! You were completely against it 30 seconds ago! She could imagine him holding their own children like that, that easy smile on his face with their tiny bundle in his strong arms. She realized in that moment that was their future. Maybe not soon, but someday. And she couldn't imagine having such a future with anyone but Liam. He looked up at her, it was as if he knew what she was thinking, easily reading the look on her face. He smiled and her heart melted in her chest.
“Isn’t she the damned cutest thing in Andromeda?”
Gil sauntered over, Meri continued to blow spit bubbles and stare in awe at Liam’s hair. “Pretty cute, good thing she takes after Jill,” Liam quipped.
Gil laughed, “Give ‘er two years, and she’ll take you to the cleaners at poker, Kosta.”
“Because that’s exactly what Andromeda needs,” Sara laughed taking another swig of beer.
“You still dodging the ‘batter-talk’, Ryder?” Gil had roguish look in his eye.
Shit. Was it that obvious? She glanced across the room to see if Jill was still where she had been encouraging Cora to consider “boosting the batter”, Cora did not look the least bit interested. Sara took a long drink from her beer bottle.
Liam had heard his fair share of the damn baby talk, ever since they tied the knot on Eos it had become almost insufferable and came from almost anyone. Since Meridian, all anyone could talk about was babies and repopulation and fate of the species. She even overheard Peebee and Jaal talking about it. PEEBEE! Of course the first Asari/Angaran baby was born less than a month ago and the Asari were losing their collective minds over her. The Angara were pretty excited about it too. Sara hadn’t heard anything from Peebee and Jaal since, perhaps it was just the allure of being first. The first human baby was born while she and Liam were still in the storeroom phase of their relationship, so being first in that department was never an option.
“Know the best part of still having procreation blockers?” Liam asked no one in particular. “The absence of dirty diapers, here Dad.” He carefully handed Meri back to Gil.
Gil took his daughter in his arms and took a quick, noticeable whiff and wrinkled his nose. “Damn kiddo, we’ll be right back,” Gil said cheerfully before disappearing into the bedroom wing of Jill’s apartment.
Liam picked up his beer from the end table and draped his arm over her shoulders. The room was noisy filled with their friends, laughing and enjoying themselves. It was moments like these that made all the bad moments they’d endured feel far away. She wrapped an arm around Liam’s waist.
“You do know that when we do have a baby, it’ll be so cute it wouldn’t be fair to all the other Heleus babies,” she said taking a drink of her beer. She could almost picture it, a little round face with shiny brown eyes and coffee colored skin and patch of dark curly hair. They looked like what she imagined baby Liam looked like.
“Oh I know it,” he laughed.