Tomas was trying to decide what to have for lunch when his phone rang. He smiled in recognition of the special ringtone as he accepted the call: "Hey, babe."
"You have to get to the hospital!" Ryan ordered, clearly struggling not to panic. "The baby's coming!"
"What?!" Tomas nearly dropped the phone. "I thought the doctor said Thursday! It's only Sunday!"
"Don't ask me!" Ryan groaned. "I'll text you any details I get."
The call ended before Tomas could say anything further. With a loud sigh, he put on his shoes, grabbed his wallet and keys, and hurried to the car. It took about five minutes for him to calm down enough to properly enter the hospital's address in the car's GPS, but soon enough he was on his way.
Tomas didn't get a single text during the drive to the hospital. On the one hand, this meant he didn't have to pull over to read the text; on the other hand, this meant he had no idea where to go within the rather large hospital. He decided to send a text to Ryan: I just got here. I'll see if I can find her.
He pocketed his phone and walked to what looked like the main entrance. The lady at the main desk smiled calmly as he approached. "May I help you, sir?"
"My surrogate doesn't have my number because Ryan's usually with me, but today he had a special event to go to, and the baby wasn't supposed to come today -"
"Sir?" She held up a hand, and Tomas stopped talking. "Are you saying that your surrogate is in labor now?"
"Okay, then you'll want to go to the maternity ward." She pointed down the hallway. "Turn left at the elevators and follow the signs."
"Thank you." Tomas hurried down the hallway, turned left at the elevators, and looked at the signs. He was struggling to find the phrase the woman had used when his phone buzzed.
It was a text from Ryan: I'm stuck in traffic. She says to check in at the main desk in the ward and they'll tell you where to wait. They're expecting us.
'Ward,' that was it! Tomas looked up at the sign, only to groan when he saw that word several times. One of the phrases seemed familiar, so he decided to check with a native speaker: Maternity ward? I think that's what the lobby person said.
Yes, maternity ward. It's like 'maternal.'
Tomas was vaguely familiar with that word, but didn't feel like trying to remember where he'd heard it. Thanks, babe!
He followed the signs to the maternity ward, where several nurses were standing at the main desk. The tallest one spoke: "Can we help you?"
"My surrogate is giving birth here," Tomas explained. "I'm supposed to check in and wait, I think?"
"That's right." One of the other nurses began typing on a computer. "Could you please tell me your surrogate's name and your name?"
Tomas did so, grateful that none of the nurses seemed to recognize him.
"Ah, yes, it says here that we're expecting you," the nurse at the computer said. "You can have a seat out here. We'll tell her you're here and keep you updated."
"Thank you so much!" Tomas found a chair in the waiting area and texted Ryan: I checked in. The nurse is telling her.
Ryan didn't text back. Instead, about half an hour later, Ryan hurried into the maternity ward, almost falling over when he stopped at the front desk. He was scowling when he sat down next to Tomas: "Stop laughing at me!"
"You almost fell at a hospital! It's funny!" Tomas sighed and rested a hand on Ryan's knee. "Relax, babe. We're together now, waiting for our baby!"
"Waiting for our baby," Ryan repeated in awe. "We're going to be fathers soon."
Ryan's statement wound up being overly optimistic. They had to wait two more hours before being paged over the intercom and directed to the private room where their surrogate and baby were resting.
"It's a boy," Ryan whispered. "He's our son."
"Hi!" Tomas waved to the baby before picking him up and rocking him very gently. "I'm Papa. And that very handsome man is Dad."
Ryan chuckled as he waved at the baby. "The name we discussed?"
"The name we discussed." Tomas held still so Ryan could take a picture of the baby. "Just to the group and our families for now, right?"
"Right. I'll help with the paperwork, then we can make phone calls and stuff."
Tomas nodded and smiled at his little son. "You have so many uncles here in Vegas. I think they're going to buy all the baby stuff in the team store once they see that you're here."
If the near-constant vibrating of Tomas' phone was any indication, his teammates had, in fact, seen that the baby was here. Once Ryan finished the paperwork, he walked over to Tomas with a laugh: "Let me have him while you check the group chat, eh? I can read over your shoulder."
"Sounds good." Tomas handed over the baby, took a moment to smile at the sight, and opened the group chat on his phone.
The Knights of the Golden Table
Sir Reavo has posted a photo.
Sir Reavo: Josef Willard Nosek-Reaves is here!
Sir Flower of the Net: AWWWWW!!!!!!!!
Sir Wild Bill: Move over, Chance - VGK has a new mascot!
Sir Deryk the Local: I'm sure Chance will willingly share the role.
Sir Malcolm of the House of Subban: What's your room number? I'm going to stop by with presents.
"No," Ryan said firmly. "They can wait until we're home."
Sir Tomas of Pardubice: No.
Five people are typing...
Sir Tomas of Pardubice: CALM DOWN
Sir Tomas of Pardubice: YOU CAN COME VISIT ONCE WE'RE BACK HOME
Sir Tomas of Pardubice: AND YOU WILL BE THE FIRST TO KNOW WHEN THAT IS
Sir Deryk the Local: Sounds good. For now... Schedule time!
Sir Deryk the Local has shared a Google Doc: 'Visiting Baby Reavsek'
Sir Wild Bill: That's a stupid name.
Sir Wild Bill: Why do we have to take turns anyway?
Sir Tomas of Pardubice: So you don't overwhelm him.
Five people are typing...
Tomas put his phone away and gave Josef a kiss on the forehead. "Let's leave the schedule to your uncles, little one. I'm just happy you're here."
"So am I," Ryan agreed. "Very, very happy."