Francine opened her mouth to wail again- her screams mirrored her mother's only moments earlier- but she quieted down as soon as she was placed in her daddy's arms. Her big, bright eyes stared up at him and her sobs turned to coos. He could remember the day Mary told him she was pregnant; he had picked her up and spun her around, feeling his heart jump in his chest, much like it was doing now. He was bursting with pride. She was tiny and he worried he'd drop her or lose her or something. He could barely take care of himself and now he was responsible for someone else. The thought was terrifying and amazing and he felt his face would split from smiling so much.

Mary had been asleep for an hour now and Frankie had his little girl in his arms, softly singing her to sleep. He was thankful for this small amount of time together, and it killed him to think he'd ever have to spend time away from her. This was a brand new person, not yet marred by life's cruel ways. She was pure and innocent, the exact opposite of him in every way, except looks. She had a tuft of dark hair and his eyes and his nose and there was no denying that this was his little girl. He'd do anything to protect her and he'd spoil her and show that he'd always love her.

His marriage had been a little rocky lately, but he still loved his wife, even if he didn't show it much. A small part of him foolishly hoped that Francine would mend things between the two parents, but he'd seen stay-together babies enough to know it failed more often than not. Francine, however, felt like a fresh start to him, a chance to do right by his wife and his family.

She softly sighed, and his heart jumped again, and his eyes welled up with tears. He placed a kiss on her forehead, and pulled a chair close to Mary's bed, settling in for the night. He smiled at the woman before him, happy that she was the last person he'd see before closing his eyes.