for @omgcpanniversaryweek because i can’t get the extras of Jack with his dad out of my head
You try your hardest to leave the past alone.
This crooked posture is all you've ever known.
It is the consequence of living in between
The weight of family and the pull of gravity.
The first time Bob feels his son kicking, Alicia is six and a half months pregnant. He hears her shouting from the bedroom and he drops the plate he’s holding into the sink and he runs down the hallway.
“What is it?” he asks.
Alicia is sitting in the middle of her bed and she has her hands on her belly. He sees tears streaming down her face and for a miniscule, terrible moment, Bob thinks that something terrible has happened, and then he sees Alicia grinning.
“Bob, come here,” she says.
And so Bob jumps over the end board and onto the bed and he kneels in front of her. She puts her hands on top of Bob’s and places them gently on top of her belly. His hands are still wet, bubbles clinging to his arm hairs and he’s looking down at his wife’s stomach and it’s quiet for a second. He feels it, faint, then stronger, movement.
“Your son’s kicking,” Alicia says through tears.
And they had been worried for a while, because the doctor told them they should feel him kicking around five and a half months and so far there hasn’t been anything and they had thought that maybe something was wrong.
Bob keeps one hand on her stomach while the other holds her cheek and kisses her, both of them smiling so wide.
“What does it feel like?” Bob asks.
“It feels kind of like I’m hungry,” she giggles, “Or like I have gas.”
And then Bob’s giggling too, his head resting against her shoulder.
“I love you so much,” Bob says, overtaken with it in that moment and he presses another kiss to her cheek and then he scoots down the bed and puts both hands above Alicia’s stomach and presses a kiss to her belly, “And I love him too, so much already.”
Alicia’s hand smooths out the top of his hair and Bob didn’t know that he had so much love in him to give and that thought… that thought’s almost terrifying.
“I can’t wait to meet you,” Alicia props herself up on her elbows and looks down at her bump. Bob feels the baby kicking again. Bob Zimmermann has more career fights than goals, and he has more than 300 career goals. He never thought twice about getting clocked in the jaw or taking a stick to the face. Blood and bruises and bumps were part of the gig and he never questioned it.
And he won’t question being a Dad either. He knows already that he’ll love Jack with everything he has, that he will do anything for this baby. The enormity of his love has never felt more correct, it has never felt more terrifying.
“I’ll never let anything bad happen to you,” Bob says, his head resting against Alicia.
Alicia laughs, hand on top of his head.
“I don’t know if you can promise that, my love.”
“I can’t try unless I promise first,” Bob says.
Alicia just hums and runs her fingers through Bob’s hair.
“Well if he plays hockey like you I don’t know how much you can keep it.”
And Bob just smiles.
“Helmets are better now than when I was a kid.”
“Yes, they actually wear them now.”
And Bob laughs, but that’s not what he meant. He’s lost teeth to hockey, drawn blood for it, come home with bruises and spent nights in the hospital. But that’s not the hurt that he wants to protect Jack from. Jack will never wonder if he’s good. Jack will know, Bob will make sure of it.
Bob is tired, hockey does that to a man. He wonders what fatherhood adds to that, hopes he can be enough to give this baby everything he needs. Bob feels an energy that he’s never felt before every time he thinks about it. He knows now, before he’s even held his son, that he would do anything for him.
Read more on ao3