|A Father's Day Tale
Author: alynwa PM
A Sugar and Spies story. Leona wants to give her parents something special for Father's Day.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Family/Friendship - Illya K. & Napoleon S. - Words: 2,591 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 1 - Published: 06-13-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8215340
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A Father's Day Tale
Saturday, a week before Father's Day
Four and a half year old Leona Nicole Reilly was not happy. Aunt Rosie had taken her and Paige to the mall in Valley Stream to look for Father's Day cards. Paige had taken a little while but, she had, with the help of her mother, found the perfect card for her daddy. Though she had found a "Like a Father" card for Uncle Lamont, Leona had not been as lucky.
It's not fair, Leona thought glumly, Paige only has a Daddy. I have a Daddy and a Papa and I have to look for two good cards. Aunt Rosie wants me to get them the same card. That's no good; they're not the same. Every card Aunt Rosie showed her, she found something wrong with it. She knew her aunt was losing patience with her.
"Leona Sweetheart, we can't stay here all day. I tell you what: why don't you ask Miss Davis if you can make Daddy and Papa cards for Father's Day? That way, you can make them the way you want and they will love that you took the time to do it."
Monday before Father's Day
It had sounded like a great idea at the time and when she got to pre – school on Monday, Miss Davis said she was planning to have the class make Father's Day cards and she would help Leona make hers. And, she did but, Leona was still feeling they were not enough. This was the first Father's Day since she came to live with Daddy and Papa that she could really remember. Aunt Rosie said she had given them cards when she was two and three but, she had no memory of doing that.
Miss Davis had helped her fold the construction paper into card shapes. She chose a sky blue paper for Daddy's card and drew a picture of the two of them in the kitchen, her sitting at the table and him at the stove. Papa's card was made with a light green paper and she drew them holding hands sitting on a park bench.
Using a pencil on the outside of Daddy's card, Miss Davis wrote in large block letters, "To Daddy" while on the other she wrote "To Papa" and inside both, she wrote out "Happy Father's Day! Love, Leona Nicole" so that Leona could trace the letters with crayons. Leona traced each letter with a different color so that both cards were bright and pretty. Miss Davis told her she did an excellent job.
"Children, I'm going to keep all the cards here until Friday and put them in envelopes that say 'Do Not Open until Father's Day,'" Miss Davis announced, "That way, you don't have to worry about hiding them. Is that alright, class?"
A thunderous "Yes!" was her response.
"That will be all, meeting adjourned." Mr. Waverly watched as his section heads gathered up their pad, pens and coffee cups and began to move toward the door. He knew they were as glad to be done with the meeting as he was. He couldn't imagine a more boring, tedious and stressful organizational event than a budget meeting. Number Ones arguing why their section should be spared financial cuts even as they agreed with Finance that cuts should be made. Just as the door slid open Mr. Waverly called out, "Mr. Solo! A moment of your time!"
Napoleon stepped out of the way of his departing comrades and returned to his seat. When the door closed after the last person, he asked, "You want to speak to me, Sir?"
Picking up his pipe and matches, Mr. Waverly harrumphed, "Yes, I do. In celebration of Father's Day, my children, grand and great grandchildren are coming to spend the weekend with Mrs. Waverly and me in our Connecticut estate. We are having a cookout on Saturday and my wife mentioned that she hasn't seen Leona since the gathering at Serendipity and the children said they also would like to see her again."
Napoleon smiled thinking about how Mrs. Waverly had made The Old Man apologize to him and Illya for ordering them to bring Leona to work one day with no explanation. "So, Leona is invited to your house on Saturday?"
"As are you and Mr. Kuryakin, assuming you are in town, of course. Do you think you would be interested in coming?"
"I would be honored and I am sure Leona will love seeing her friends again. I will pass the invitation along to Illya; if you don't hear from him that means we will all be there. Thank you, Sir."
After Illya picked Leona up from pre – school, they arrived home, changed clothes and met up in the kitchen for their traditional after work and school snack. Leona had brought her homework paper and two pencils. She sat at her place; in front of her was an orange cut into quarters. "Thank you, Papa," she said as she happily bit into the piece she had picked up. "Would you like some?"
"Nyet, spacibo. I am content with my bread and jam. Would you like a sip of my tea?" When she nodded, he held the cup and said, "It is hot, be very careful and blow on it." He grinned watching her blow on the tea very diligently before taking a little slurp.
"Spacibo, Papa. I have to trace the numbers and letters on my homework paper and then write them on the line underneath. You want to stay with me while I do it?"
"I will do my homework, too; I have an article to read. Before we begin, I have something to ask you. Daddy told me that Mr. and Mrs. Waverly are having a barbecue this Saturday and want you to come. Their great grandchildren will be there and they would like to see you. Does that sound like fun?"
"Oh, yes! I want to go, please?"
"Good, we will go. Now, let us do our work before Daddy comes home. You know he does not like to have us in here still doing homework while he is preparing dinner."
The Day before Father's Day
The cookout was a rousing success. The weather was cooperative; it was mostly sunny, not humid at all and not too hot. The men had fired up several grills and taken turns cooking franks, burgers, chicken wings and legs for the children and as the day progressed, corn on the cob and steaks for the adults. The women had made the salads; macaroni, tossed, and potato plus baked beans with pineapple, fresh lemonade and iced tea.
There was a badminton court, croquet and horseshoes for everyone. The youngest children played tag until they couldn't run anymore. They were given lemonade to refresh themselves while they watched the women play croquet. The men had retired to the Waverlys' den to watch baseball
"Leona," Mrs. Waverly said as she sat next to the little girl who was sitting on the front porch with the other children, "why do you look like you have so much on your mind? Is something wrong?"
"Tomorrow is Father's Day and I made cards for Daddy and Papa but, I wish I had something else for them."
Mrs. Waverly smiled down at her and replied, "I am sure they will be delighted to have cards you made."
Letting out a big dramatic sigh, Leona said, "I guess."
Just then, Mrs. Waverly was struck by an idea. "Wait here for me, alright?" When Leona nodded, Mrs. Waverly went in search of Napoleon and found him eating a frank and getting a beer from the cooler in the back yard. "Mr. Solo, I was wondering: Do you happen to own a reel to reel?"
Napoleon straightened up when he heard her speak to him. Putting his drink and food down, he wiped his mouth to appear more presentable and answered, "Ah, yes ma'am, I do. Is there something I can do for you?"
"No, no. Is the baseball game still on?"
He laughed, "Yes, I'm supposed to be bringing more beer in for the guys. Don't tell them I'm stuffing my face first, especially Illya."
"Your secret is safe with me. I am an agent's wife, you know." She winked at him and then went back to the front porch and motioned for Leona to follow her. "Children," she called, "Leona will be back shortly. If anyone asks, she is helping me with something."
The cookout started winding down at six. The baseball game was over, most of the food was gone, the children were getting tired and the adults were feeling sated and mellow.
Illya had just finished winning a game of chess against Alexander, Jr., the Waverlys' oldest son. He caught up with Napoleon and said, "I am ready to go, are you?"
Napoleon stretched and replied, "Absolutely. Why don't you find Leona while I start saying our goodbyes?"
Leona was playing jacks, or trying to, on the front porch with two of the Waverly great grands when Illya came around front. "Возлюбленная(Sweetheart), we are going home. Say goodbye to your friends."
"Da, Papa. I have to go home now, bye – bye." She stood and went down the porch steps to take her father's hand. "Is Daddy coming?"
"We are all going home, Daughter. Let us go find Mrs. Waverly to thank her for her hospitality."
As they walked towards the rear of the house, Leona asked, "Papa, what does 'hospitality' mean?"
"It means that she treated us kindly while we were in her house."
Leona laughed and said, "I said that!" and then clapped her hands over her mouth.
Confused, Illya looked at her and asked, "You said what when?"
"I can't tell you, Papa; it's a secret."
Before he could question her further, Napoleon exited the back door followed by Mr. and Mrs. Waverly. They said their goodbyes and then Mrs. Waverly pressed a large brown envelope into Napoleon's hands. He could feel that it was a reel of tape. His eyebrows raised in an unspoken question.
"This is something I helped Leona with; please don't listen to it before tomorrow. Can I count on you two to do that?"
Napoleon bowed slightly from the waist. "Yes, you can, Mrs. Waverly." Smiling at his daughter, he asked, "Are you going to give Papa and me a hint, at least?"
"No, it's a secret! You have to wait until Father's Day. Okay, Daddy? Papa?"
Illya answered for both of them. "We promise, Leona."
Father's Day Morning
Leona was so excited, she woke up earlier than usual. After she came out of the bathroom, she hurried to get the cards out of the envelopes that were in her backpack and onto the kitchen table. She knew Papa heard her toilet flush and would be coming to check on her momentarily. She placed the cards in front of her parents' chairs and sat in her chair to wait.
Less than five minutes later, Illya entered the kitchen. "Happy Father's Day, Papa!" she declared as he bent down to collect his hug and kisses.
"Thank you, Leona." He picked up his card and examined the writing and picture. "I like my card very much; you made my hair a nice bright shade of yellow and it is so long!"
"Happy Father's Day, Daddy!" Leona squealed as Daddy lifted her up and kissed her all over her face. "That tickles!" When he put her on the floor, she said, "I can make you both cereal and milk for breakfast."
Daddy read his card and complimented Leona on her choice of brown crayon to color his hair on the card. As he started to make coffee he said, "Thank you for your kind offer but, I want something a little more substantial than cereal and milk. How about I make us pancakes, bacon and eggs? Afterwards, we'll listen to the tape Mrs. Waverly gave us."
Illya looked at Leona and smiled. When she smiled back, he looked at Napoleon and said, "You talked us into it."
After breakfast, they settled into the living room; Napoleon and Illya with cups of coffee and Leona with a cup of hot chocolate, which was as close to coffee as they let her get. Napoleon put the reel on his machine and threaded the tape to the other reel and turned it on before sitting on the couch with Leona between him and the Russian.
A few seconds later, they heard Leona's voice come through the speakers.
I've been living with my Daddy and my Papa forever. Papa told me I was born in Korea and lived there first but, I don't remember that at all. When Papa and Daddy are out of town, I stay with Paige and Uncle Lamont and Aunt Rosie. I like it there but, I love when Daddy, Papa and I are together. I'm very lucky to have a Daddy and a Papa; all of my friends at school only have a Daddy.
I love my Daddy because he makes good things to eat and he lets me make cookies with him. He tells me jokes. He always thinks of fun places to take me like the zoo and the beach. He teaches me Italian and French. He smells really good.
Papa teaches me about God. He takes me to the park and tells me about the different trees and animals. He laughed at my "knock knock" jokes. He speaks to me in French and Russian and Korean. He reads books to me. He gives me a bite of his food sometimes even when he's really hungry. I love Papa so much!
I love Daddy and Papa for loving me. I think they love me because they are best friends and they love each other. Paige and I are best friends and we share stuff. They share me. I have a friend in school who has a Mommy and Daddy who don't live together and he says his Mommy doesn't like when he spends time with his Daddy. I'm happy that Daddy and Papa know that just because I am with one doesn't mean I don't love the other one. Father's Day cards didn't seem like enough for them.
I don't have any more to say. Mrs. Waverly, do you think that Daddy and Papa will like this?
The recording was shut off before Leona got her answer. Leona looked at her parents and was shocked to see both had tears in their eyes. "I didn't mean to make you cry! I'm sorry!"
Papa spoke first. "Don't be sorry, these are happy tears. This is the best Father's Day gift you could have given to me," he said as he hugged her tightly and kissed her temple. He only let go because Daddy had snaked his arms around her to pull her to him.
"I love you, Leona Nicole," Daddy said as he held her and kissed her cheek. "No daughter has ever made a daddy prouder than you have made me."
"I love you, Daddy and Papa. Happy Father's Day!"