Eighteen

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(3 month time jump!)

[not edited x]

"Em!" Louis gasps, the baby giggling loudly and grabbing at Louis' nose. Harry's heart swells–Louis can say words. Simple phrases, like no and hi and, best of all, a part of Emma's name. He's also regained his strength enough to hold Emma in his lap.

Harry walks in from the kitchen, smiling widely as he watches his two babies. "How you feeling, Lou?" He asks quietly, sitting down in front of his chair. Louis smiles and gives him a nod, telling Harry that he's fine, before going back to playing peek-a-boo with Emma.

Harry watches intently as Louis covers his eyes, suddenly uncovering them and making Emma shriek with laughter. Harry just finds it so amazing that Louis, even with his limitations, can be such a good father.

"Pez is coming to hang out while I'm at work," Harry mentions quietly, rubbing at his tired eyes. "Please go easy on her, Louis."

Perrie is having a bit of a rough time with her pregnancy. She's getting lots of Braxton Hicks and everything aches more than it normally should. Harry feels bad for her, honestly, because it seems as though being pregnant is not as fun for her as she thought it would be. But, she insisted on coming to watch Lou, so Harry didn't protest for more than fifteen minutes.

The doorbell rings, and Harry gets up to answer it. Perrie is standing there in sweatpants and a baseball shirt, hair up in a ponytail. Her stomach is round and her face is tired, and Harry immediately engulfs her in a hug. Instead of saying a normal greeting, he whispers in her ear, "You okay?"

She nods, patting his back. "Yeah, 'm fine," She says quietly, tugging at the bottom of her shirt. "Just tired. Zayn said he'd come over sometime in the afternoon so I can take a nap."

Harry nods, leaning down in front of Louis' chair and kissing his forehead. "I'll be back at four, okay?" Louis nods as Harry leans down and pressing es a kiss to Emma's cheek as well. "Be good, baby girl," He whispers before grabbing his keys and walking out.

Perrie sighs softly and rubs her eyes. She then looks to Louis, who's staring back at her with sympathy. "You need anything, babes?" She asks. Louis shakes his head. Perrie nods and walks toward the couch, lowering herself down and huffing. "Oh, god, I'm tired."

Louis frowns as Emma starts to fuss. He sniffs before wrinkling his nose. This is definitely a problem that he can't fix, nor does he want to. Perrie sighs and gets up again, picking Emma up and bouncing her on her hip.

"Oh, love, don't cry," She sighs, walking up to the nursery to change Emma's nappy. Louis stays downstairs and waits, sighing heavily. He can tell Perrie's struggling, and he wishes he could help.

Perrie comes back downstairs with Emma, who is no longer crying and instead finding pleasure in trying to pull at Perrie's hair. "Ow, no, Emma!" She scolds, and the baby starts to cry again. Perrie groans, trying to bounce Emma a bit to calm her down.

Louis holds his arms out toward the two. "Em!" He squeaks, giving Perrie a pleading look. Perrie hands Emma to Louis, and Emma immediately stops crying.

"Are you serious?!" Perrie cries out, growling and collapsing onto the couch again. "I can't even get a damn baby to stop crying! I can't do this, Lou, oh my god."

Louis frowns. "Pez," He says quietly, but that's all he can say. Perrie sighs and puts her hand on her stomach, closing her eyes. The doorbell rings, making Perrie groan again. She gets up and answers it, smiling slightly after seeing that it's Zayn.

"Hi, Pezza," He greets, kissing her forehead. Perrie just hums in response as Zayn enters, closing the door behind him and walking towards Louis. He takes Emma out if Louis' lap and kisses her cheek, making her giggle.

"Are you actually serious?!" Perrie growls. "Does this child love everyone but me?!"

Zayn furrows his eyebrows and gives Emma back to Louis, standing in front of Perrie and grabbing her hand. "Pezza, what are you talking about?"

Perrie sighs. "Emma hates me, I swear. I couldn't make her stop fussing, but as soon as I gave her to Louis she stopped. How the hell am I going to get our baby to stop crying?!"

Zayn laughs, making Perrie glare at him. "I mean, who doesn't like Louis? Besides, babies always find the most comfort with their parents. I guarantee when our little girl is crying, you'll be the one that gets her to stop."

Perrie smiles. "Really? You think so?" She asks. Zayn smiles and nods, pulling Perrie into him and kissing her forehead.

"I know so," He assures quietly. Louis gives them both a bored look, looking at Emma and shaking his head.

"I'm home!" Harry calls out, throwing his keys onto the table near the door. "Where's my baby girl? I miss her."

"Hi!" Louis greets, holding Emma out toward Harry. Harry smiles and takes Emma out of Louis' hands, peppering her face with kisses and making her giggle.

"Hello, love," He greets, leaning down and pecking Louis' lips. Louis beams, cheeks a rosy pink as Harry looks around with furrowed eyebrows. "Where's Perrie and Zayn?"

Louis nods his head toward the kitchen. Harry walks toward the kitchen to find Zayn and Perrie sitting at the table, both of them looking stressed.

"How were they?" Harry asks, sitting down at the head of the table with Emma in his lap. Perrie gives him a small smile.

"They were both good, no crying from Louis, only a little from Emma," She picks at her nails. "It was fine." Harry smiles proudly, leaning down and pecking the top of Emma's head.

"I'm setting you free," Harry chuckles, nodding toward Perrie. "But thank you so much, Pez, I can never repay you for this."

Perrie waves him off, holding her hands out to Zayn so he can help her up. "It's no problem, babes," She assures tiredly, rubbing her eyes and sighing. Harry smiles and stands up, giving Perrie a hug goodbye and Zayn a nod before they leave.

Once they're gone Harry looks over to Emma, who's sucking on her fingers and looking up at him with bright blue eyes. "Let's go see Daddy," He mumbles quietly, kissing the top of her head again and walking into the lounge. Louis is sitting there, staring off into space. Harry smiles adoringly and kneels down in front of him.

"You up for a nap?" He asks. "It's time for Emma's." Louis nods and Harry smiles, standing to take Emma to the nursery. He'd come back afterwards to carry Louis up the stairs.

After getting the two of them upstairs and into bed, Harry collapses into the bed next to Louis. Louis reaches up shakily and brushes Harry's cheek, making Harry smile. He leans forward and kisses Louis' cheek, saying, "My perfect, strong boy."

always in my heart jay x

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