[This post is from Thom’s point of view.]
His son was crying. That was the sound that jarred Thom awake from the dream that was more memory. He took one breath, then another, reorienting himself. In the basket next to the bed, Lin was still crying.
Damn and damn. Thom slowly pushed himself up on an elbow, wincing. The room spun slowly, then righted itself as he swung his legs over the side of the bed. “Shh,” he said quietly. “Shh, it’s all right, little guy. It’s all right.”
For a moment, the crying eased, then Lin ramped up again, back to the same level he’d been at before Thom had spoken. Thom sighed quietly, leaning forward to reach for his son. His shoulders screamed and his head swam, but there wasn’t another choice.
“It’s all right,” he murmured as he carefully lifted the infant out of the basket. “Daddy’s got you. I’m here.”
His son quieted as he cradled him against his chest, settling back onto the bed with a relieved sigh. Everything still ached and the fever wasn’t quite broken. It would have to eventually, though. He knew that much for certain.
Everything healed with time.
“Did you have a bad dream?” he whispered to Lin, reaching with one arm to adjust the pillows at the end of the bed before he swung his legs back up under the covers again. The baby, of course, didn’t answer. Thom smiled faintly, leaning back, resting his son against his chest. “It’s okay. Nothing’s going to hurt you here. I’m here. Daddy’s here. Everything’s fine.”
The infant stayed quiet, watching him with huge eyes for a few seconds before his eyelids started to droop. Thom brushed a hand gently over his son’s hair, then reached to tug the blankets a little closer.
Lin yawned and closed his eyes. Thom lay there, watching him in silence as the baby drifted off to sleep again.
“There we go,” he whispered. “Sweet dreams, Lin. Only sweet dreams.”