Une Nouvelle Vie

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Literature Text

Remy couldn't remember exactly why Alfredo had left suddenly a few days ago. The wiry human usually didn't explain his reasons for coming and going all that often, and Remy had learned that over time. Though, this time he thought for sure Alfredo had said something, but couldn't recall what it was or why he was so frantic to head out the door.

Meanwhile, the rat chef had busied himself at the apartment creating new dishes and sampling them to his little heart's content. For once in a long while, there had been no one around to curb his cooking time, no one to tell him to put away the food because the delicious smells were keeping them from sleep. It was so incredibly freeing, and he enjoyed every minute of his time alone.

He had to wonder why Alfredo closed La Ratatouille for the week, however. That boy was so dodgy these days. It was hard to get him to explain anything, really; especially hard with their limited means of communication. When Alfredo announced that he wanted to close the restaurant for an entire week, Remy protested the best way he possibly could – refusing to cook the human dinner, throwing small tantrums of noisy squeaks, or climbing into the young man's hair to give a nice, hard tug on it for good measure. Nevertheless, it hadn't helped.

In the middle of dressing a plate, Remy's ears pricked at the faint sound of the lock clicking, and whipping his head around, he saw the handle on the door turning. He put down the spoon he was holding and sat up on his hind legs, smiling when he saw Alfredo walk into the apartment.

Err… what in the world was he holding?

Remy had never seen a basket like that before. It was quite large and oddly-shaped, and it had a sort of hood on it, obviously built to keep whatever was inside sheltered from the elements, and rightly so, as it was presently raining outside.

Alfredo kicked off his shoes, placed the basket thing on the ground, and threw off his saturated jacket. He looked up and smiled when he saw Remy patiently waiting for him on the countertop.

"Hey, Little Chef," he happily called, taking the basket into his hands again. He brought it with him as he stepped into the kitchen. "It smells really great in here… what'cha been cooking?"

Remy excitedly ran back to the plate he'd finished, smiling proudly as he showed it off to his best friend. He even lifted a fork off of the table and held it out for him to take. Alfredo gave a huge grin in return, gently refusing the fork.

"It's okay, Little Chef. I'll try it in a minute," he assured him. "There's something I want to show you, too."

Curious, Remy clasped his paws together and looked down at the basket. Obviously, whatever Alfredo wanted him to see was in there, otherwise he wouldn't have brought it in. Sure enough, Alfredo lifted it right onto the countertop, pushed the hood down, and turned it around for Remy to look inside. The rat stood as high on his hind feet as he could, but still couldn't quite make out what was underneath all the cloth.

The cloth suddenly moved on its own accord, and Remy drew away in shock. Alfredo laughed out loud at the reaction and placed his hand down on the table.

"Hey, it's all right," he chuckled, motioning for the rat to climb into his palm. "Come here."

Remy carefully took a seat in the palm of Alfredo's hand, and his nose caught the scent of something… different. He couldn't exactly place what was different about the scent, which was strange because normally he could identify even the most obscure smells. But he was certain he'd never smelled this before, this soft and delicate fragrance that gently clouded his olfactory glands. He cautiously stepped onto the blankets and tilted his head to get a better look at what was in this large basket.

His eyes caught a shade of red akin to Alfredo's bright auburn curls. He took a few more steps forward and found himself looking at a… rather small human face.

To the best of his knowledge, he'd never encountered a human this small. He didn't even know ones this tiny even existed! Blinking a few times, he now noticed how strikingly similar this human was to Alfredo. Its nose was the same. Its ears were the same. And of course, the hair was almost an identical match! He'd never seen this before in his entire life, and it was slightly unsettling that this little guy looked so much like Alfredo.

Remy looked back up at Alfredo, his eyes wide and confused. Alfredo's grin dissolved, and his eyebrows lifted ever so slightly.

"What… what's wrong, Little Chef?" he wondered. Remy pointed at the tiny human. Giving another chuckle, Alfredo shook his head. "You've never seen a baby before?"

Remy's nose crinkled. What the heck was a baby?

"I take that back. You've probably seen babies… just, rat babies, though. Not human babies," Alfredo continued. He reached into the basket-thing and took the baby's small hand. Remy mentally compared how miniscule it was even compared to one of Alfredo's fingers. "Well, uhh, I'm… not really sure how to say this but… this little guy is… my baby."

This time, Remy scrunched his brow.

"Umm, think of it this way," Alfredo awkwardly carried on. His fingers rubbed the baby's hand all the while. "You know how you have a dad, and he was like, your… dad?" He shook his head and cleared his throat. "Wow, no, okay that wasn't the right way to explain at all." Remy was staring at him uneasily with his head slightly turned to the side. "What I mean is… your dad is someone who took care of you all your life, who was always there for you. And he was the one who kept you fed, and had somewhere for you to sleep at night. And as a bonus, I guess, you kind of resemble him, too. What do I know, though, I don't think I've ever seen your dad, how would I know if you looked like him?"

The little chef's eyes shifted down to the baby for a few moments, but quickly snapped back to Alfredo. The young man laughed nervously.

"I'm sorry, I'm not really helping you understand, am I?" he apologized.

Remy twisted his paws together and waited for him to continue. After all, what he had been saying did help, it was just hard for the rat to wrap his mind around it all.

"If this helps it make more sense, Colette is his mom. Nolan belongs to both of us." Alfredo paused. The words felt heavy in the air, and Remy could tell it was painful for Alfredo to speak them. "I've already told you about what a complicated mess that whole thing was. Just know that… I guess in some ways, it's worked out, and Nolan's part of the family now. You and I… we get to take care of him together. You can be like his uncle, who's a rat, and isn't exactly related, but I'm sure he won't even know the difference since he'll be growing up around you."

Up to that point, Nolan had been slumbering peacefully, but he began to stir and softly whimper, startling Remy. Alfredo reached down and took the little human into his hands, and the rat watched on, suddenly feeling more distant from Alfredo than he'd ever felt since colliding with him over a year ago. Something about the way the young man gazed into the infant's delicately-featured face, or the way he calmly spoke to him and kissed his curly head, made Remy feel entirely disconnected, as if he were watching this unfold from behind a glass separating him from reality.

He wasn't sure whether to be welcoming of the baby's presence or upset by it. No one – besides Colette, for a time – had ever been a thief of Alfredo's attention. Remy liked being the only creature of concern to the son of Auguste Gusteau. And now that son had a son of his own to look after and devote his energy to, leaving less time for cooking with Remy, or watching movies together… and work! How in the world would Alfredo be able to keep La Ratatouille going or work his normal shifts with this baby in the picture?

What was he thinking? This was so selfish! He didn't know all the details. Maybe the young man hadn't even been expecting the baby's arrival and was forced to adapt to life with it, just as Remy was going to have to do. Who was he to judge, anyway?

Sometimes, he honestly had to remind himself that he was still a rat.


It had taken Alfredo three hours to put Nolan to sleep. Once the infant had finally dozed off, Alfredo placed him into his crib and trudged to his own bed, where he fell asleep not long after his son.

Not even an hour later, Alfredo found himself groggily opening his eyes at the sound of the newborn's wailing. Everything in him wanted to ignore the cries, roll over in bed, and pull the blankets over his head to block out the sound. But he couldn't. It was all part of having a baby.

Unfortunately, this was only the first night.

He moaned as he tumbled out of bed and rubbed his eyes furiously while slowly inching toward the crib. The baby squirmed and fussed, moving around so much that the blankets covering him began to twist around his little body. Alfredo reached down into the crib and gently took Nolan into his hands, making soft noises and slowly swinging him back and forth to soothe him.

"Shh, Nolan," he whispered. He was trying hard to stay awake and focused. "It's okay. You're all right. Daddy's right here… it's time to go to sleep."

Alfredo was exhausted. It had been an extremely long day – bringing the baby home for the first time and learning how to get through his day and care for his son at the same time, arguing with Colette on the way home from the hospital about who Nolan was staying with, not to mention the fact that he hadn't slept at all for two days straight, which was the entire time Colette and Nolan had been in the hospital. Not only was he physically tired, he was mentally and emotionally drained as well. There was so much to handle and process at once, and it wasn't going to be an easy adjustment.

Nolan continued to whimper and fuss, wriggling in Alfredo's hands despite everything his father was doing to calm him. Alfredo sighed and lifted the newborn up onto his shoulder, and decided to walk around the room a bit as he gently bounced the baby. His throat tightened. Stress and overwhelming emotion kept flooding his senses, and this wasn't the first time today he had started to get choked up.

At this point in time, he felt like the weakest and most vulnerable person in the entire world. He was barely twenty years old, and already he had a little one that entirely depended on him for all of its needs. And he had no other half to help ease and balance the load of responsibilities that had so suddenly been forced upon him.

Nine months weren't enough time to prepare him for this.

Alfredo closed his eyes and gently rested his cheek against the baby's head full of soft curls.

"I'm so sorry it had to be this way," he whispered into Nolan's ear. "I… I really wish your mom was here for you." Pausing, he took in a deep breath and stopped pacing. The baby had calmed a little, and his cries were now only whimpers. Alfredo still had his eyes tightly closed, but could feel them stinging with tears anyway. "Nolan, I feel so… stupid. I don't know the first thing about taking care of babies. And I love you like I've never loved anyone… I don't want to screw up and ruin your whole life."

Nolan had pacified himself by sucking on Alfredo's shirt.

"I know your mommy loves you too, and I hope she's told you so," Alfredo continued, "it's just that… right now, things are kind of… kind of tough between us. It has nothing to–"

His throat caught midsentence. It had nothing to do with Nolan? That was a lie. The very reason why Colette ended the relationship was because she was pregnant with Nolan, not to mention she'd been cheating on Alfredo weeks prior to finding that out.

Don't you dare say that out loud. You'd be lying to him. The last thing you want to do is make a mistake on your very first night of officially parenting.

"I don't mean to say all these awful things to you, buddy. I'm just really, really overwhelmed right now. I'm so sorry." He gulped hard, forcing a lump of emotion down his throat. Thankfully, the tears he was fighting never escaped from his closed eyelids. Nolan's fingers dug into Alfredo's clothing, as if to assure him that he wasn't judging a word that came from his father's mouth. In the newfound silence, Nolan let go of a soft sigh, followed by a quiet, gentle coo. Alfredo couldn't help the smile that pulled at the corner of his mouth.

That baby couldn't understand a word he spoke. All he could feel was the love of his father, and that was enough for him. He wasn't worrying about how everything would work out, nor was he fretting and losing sleep over how he and his father were going to face life from this day forward. All he knew is that he was safe and that he was loved. That was enough for him.

"You're being so good right now," Alfredo whispered after a long pause. Nolan rubbed his face against his dad's shoulder. "Yeah. You're a good boy. We don't want to wake up Little Chef, okay? Can you… stay quiet like this… all night?"

He stepped back to the crib and blinked a few times to keep his eyes from glazing over with sleep. As gently as he could, he pulled Nolan away from his shoulder and eased him back down into the crib, then covered him up with his blankets and slipped a pacifier in his mouth, which the baby contentedly sucked on.

"Goodnight, Nolan," he lovingly said, touching his son's curls for a few seconds. "Sleep tight. I love you."

Alfredo released one loud exhale and pressed a hand to his throbbing head, beyond relieved that Nolan was finally settled down.

The exhausted new dad crawled back into bed and gripped his pillows, praying that it stayed this way for the remainder of the night.

Fat chance, but it was certainly worth hoping for.
Another writing piece worked on and finished late at night. :sarcasticclap:

Sorry for the cliche French title, I honestly have no brain to come up with good titles right now. The file name of this piece - which was started in July, herp derp - was "Sleep", and I would have kept it, but really only works with the second part and not so much the first bit, which is what I worked on tonight.

I'll peruse it for mistakes and such tomorrow, but let me know if you find any ahead of time. Or, just enjoy it as is. You can do that too.


Remy and Alfredo Linguini, and all elements of Ratatouille belong to Disney-Pixar.

Nolan Tamil Gusteau mainly belongs to meeee.
© 2011 - 2023 SaraPlutonium
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iluvhttyd's avatar
This is amazing! And isn't there something that says that newborns aren't supposed to have blankets with them in their crib...or is that with pillows....I might just be talking there gonna be more?