Rosie sat silently watching her father prepare tea, a habit they picked from Aunt Jemma. Every time something was wrong a pot of tea should be prepared because apparently that was the answer to everything, or so the British thought. She ignored the tickling pain at her knuckles as she flexed them. Seven minutes later her father set her favourite M&Ms mug (courtesy of Uncle Lance, bought specifically for her by then M&Ms shop at Piccadilly for her fifth birthday) in front of her.
"Let me see your hand." He said and she extended her bruised fingers to him. Her father took it carefully and cleaned her wounds, the same way he had done many years before for a rookie he once had, with as much cation and care as he could muster. Rosie had seen him doing that with her mother many times over the years. Mainly after missions gone wrong. Her father gathered the first aid kit he had brought with him and pushed it aside as soon as he was done. His gaze locked with hers and he didn't need to speak for her to know what he wanted to say.
"Wanna tell me what happened?" He asked finally after what seemed ages.
"Nothing." She shook her head and tore her eyes from his.
"Let me rephrase that." He said with a warm smile. "Your Aunt told me what happened when she called me down to the academy but I wanna hear your version too." Leave it to Aunt Bobbi to snitch on her, she thought bitterly.
"I got into a fight." She shrugged and took a sip from her tea.
"You don't say!" She'd swear that her mother's sarcastic side was rubbing off of on her father too.
"Some kids were being assholes." She grumbled into her cup.
"And?" Her father pushed and Rosie sighed loudly.
"They were talking about you and Uncle Sunil, Dad, and Amelia was just a few feet away. I couldn't let them get away with it!" Something darkened in her father's eyes and he put his cup down carefully.
"Look, sweetheart," He started, taking hold of her hand gently, careful of her wounded fingers. "What is done, it's done. Your Uncle and I paid our dues the best way we could. Trust me, if your grandfather thought, even for one minute, that we shouldn't be in the agency, even more in his family, he would have put a bullet through us a long time ago." They had been through this many times, once she was old enough to understand, her parents sat her down and explained everything to her. It wasn't easy for her make the connection, mainly because the people they talked about had nothing to do with how her parents behaved around her but there wasn't something she could do to change the past.
"I know and most of the time I can tune the assholes out but it's not the first time that group said something about you. I guess it got to me because Amy was around she's just a kid, Dad! You know how much she loves Uncle Sunil! I just couldn't leave it alone. I'm sorry." Tears burned in her eyes and her bottom lip started quivering which was all her father needed to know.
He stood and walked over to her side, pulling her into a tight hug, kissing the top of her head. "Don't tell your mother I said that but I'm proud of you." He said pulling back slightly. "Not for pulling a Romanoff on those kids but for standing up for your family."
"So I'm not grounded?" She asked hopefully.
"Oh no, baby." He shook his head. "You have training an hour early every morning for a week."
"But you'll talk to Aunt Bobbi, right?"
"I'll see what I can do."
"And calm down mom?"
"That I can do."
"And talk granddad out of giving me a lecture?"
"You're pushing it." His words brought a small smile on her lips and just like that her day wasn't so bad anymore, grounded and all.