Erik set his quill down in its ink well with a sigh and ran a hand through his hair as he overlooked the composition on his desk in front of him. He had been trying to work on it for weeks, but since the arrival of his son three months prior, his focus had been on something much more important to him than music; words he never thought he would say, but when his baby was in the question, he could say that a hundred times over.
His baby. Even just thinking about those words made a smile form on his face. He had never thought he would be so privileged as to have a loving wife by his side, never mind a child of his own to cradle in his arms and love. He was able to give them everything he had wanted as a child; the embrace of a parent, the pleasure of being kissed whenever they wished...the love from a father. He had never been privileged enough to have any of that as a boy, but he was determined to give his son exactly that and more.
With a glance at the clock, he realized that he had stayed up far too late and knew that he would end up getting an earful about it from his wife come morning, so he left his composition unfinished for another day and made his way towards the master bedroom. He pushed the door open at a snail's pace, wanting the hinges to squeak as little as possible so he wouldn't wake either of the people that were already fast asleep in the room; he knew very well that neither of them would be happy if they were woken up.
He was glad that he was already in his nightclothes; Christine had gotten him into the habit of changing out of his shirt and trousers when he was simply lounging around the house in the evenings. To be fair, it was much more practical when it came to taking care of Charles. No article of clothing was particularly safe when there was a baby around and his nightshirt and trousers were so much easier to wash than his suit. Not to mention that they were significantly more comfortable.
He tip-toed over to the bassinet in the corner of the room, near Christine's side of the bed, and looked down at his son, smiling fondly as soon as he set his sights on the little boy's face. He shared a few physical traits with his mother, for certain - he had her round cheeks, her small ears, and her button nose, which Erik thanked God for every night - but he could tell that his own features ran through the boy. He had been named for his grandfather on Erik's side; a father he didn't know outside of a few details and a photograph that was set on his desk in his study. But true to his namesake, the little boy shared the pale complexion and dark hair that both his father and grandfather possessed. His personality, talents, and interests would develop later but would be intriguing to discover nonetheless.
"Hello, my boy," Erik whispered as he leaned over the bassinet, reaching down to gently brush the baby's cheek with the backs of his fingers. "I'm sorry I was working tonight and couldn't let you fall asleep on my chest like I usually do; I promise that I'll make up for it tomorrow. For now, I have to sleep myself so Maman won't get upset with me, though. Sleep well, my son. I love you very much."
Leaning down, Erik gently brushed his lips against Charles' forehead, smiling warmly at him as he watched the baby stir slightly while he slept, a quiet coo escaping him as he wandered through the dream he was having. Whatever it was, his only wish was that it was a sweet, peaceful dream and nothing less for his son.
He stepped over to the bed then, gently pulling back the covers on his side and slowly slipping under them so as not to rouse his sleeping wife. That was the last thing he wanted to do; as much as he knew Christine adored motherhood, he was well aware that the lack of sleep was taking its toll on her. Looking at her then, though, even in the dark, with her messy hair, pursed lips, and the strap of her nightgown falling off of her shoulder, she had never looked so beautiful to him.
He hadn't thought it possible for her beauty on the day of their wedding to be surpassed; her flowing white gown, delicate lace veil, and beautiful rose bouquet had emphasized her beauty tenfold, setting a record for said beauty to him. But then, the news of the pregnancy came and, once he had gotten past his shock and fear, the sight of seeing her in her maternity gowns, her hands cradling the swell of her belly had blown away any previous moment in which he found her the most beautiful. Never could that sight be beaten, he had thought.
And yet, he had been proved wrong once more, on the day of their son's birth. Seeing Christine propped up with pillows in their bed beaming down at their newborn son cradled in the crook of her arm, had made his heart swell and tears immediately fill his eyes. That moment had been enough to tell him that that day and every day from then on was going to be absolutely beautiful.
A fond smile on his face at the memories, Erik pulled the bedsheets over him, untied the strings of his mask and slipped it off to set it aside on his nightstand. He had never felt so comfortable with removing the mask - to take it off had meant vulnerability and weakness his entire life - but in his new life, in his room, in his home, with his wife cuddled close to his side and their baby boy resting peacefully nearby, he knew he was safe to be vulnerable and fall into a truly restful sleep.
That restful sleep didn't last. If the last three months were any indication, that was his new reality for the next little while.
Charles' shrill cry brought him out of his slumber, though he kept his eyes closed when the light from Christine's bedside gas lamp filled the room. Half-asleep, he listened to his wife's soothing voice as his son's cries grew closer and louder, only to quiet into content little gulping sounds, which was what moved Erik to open his eyes and smile sleepily at what he saw; Christine was sitting up in bed, smiling down at Charles as she held him to her breast while he nursed. That was a sight he had grown used to over the three short months of his son's life; at the start, he had tried to step out of the room whenever his wife breastfed their son, wanting to give her the privacy that she needed. Gradually, though, she helped him to see that she had no qualms with him being present, and after that, he enjoyed getting to be part of such an intimate moment between mother and baby. He counted it as a wonderful privilege that he had been awarded.
"Someone was hungry, hm?" Erik asked, his voice thick with sleep as he rubbed his face and sat up beside his wife.
"He was, yes, though he slept longer than I expected him to," Christine said softly. "That was quite nice; I got some extra sleep in. He didn't wake you, did he?"
"Oh, he did, but I don't mind. Any disturbance from him is a welcome one," Erik replied, gently smoothing down his son's hair with a fond smile. "He seemed to be sleeping well when I came in to go to bed. He was dreaming as well."
Christine laughed quietly and nodded her head. "He certainly does dream quite a bit. He moves around and makes little noises in his sleep so often that I can only imagine what runs through his brilliant little mind. Needless to say, he must be creative for that to happen. Just like his Papa."
Erik simply smiled and leaned his head against his wife's, falling into a content silence for a time until his attention was drawn to his son when he finished nursing and vouched to gaze up at his father instead.
"Well, hello. You've finished now, have you?" he said, carefully taking the boy from his wife and propping him up on his shoulder before beginning to gently pat his back - yet another example of something that Christine had taught him was necessary in his journey as a parent in order to avoid a very cranky, uncomfortable baby.
"Feel free to go back to sleep, my angel. I can make sure he goes back to sleep," he added with a glance over at his wife, only to smile when she vouched to shuffle closer to him and leaned her head on his shoulder. "Or you could do that instead and stay awake with me and Charles, though I'm not sure why you would do that instead of going back to sleep. We'll only disturb you and then you'll never be able to get back to sleep."
"As you said, my love; a disturbance from you two is one that I count as a welcome one," Christine said softly, pressing a gentle kiss to her husband's cheek and setting her hand over his where it still rested on Charles' back. "And any time that I get the chance to spend with my husband and son is time well spent indeed."