Violet Parr went to her room immediately after returning home from school. She had seen Tony Rydinger again - hanging out with his friends and never noticing her at all. Of course he would never notice her. Tony was the handsomest boy in the whole world. Everybody knew that, but nobody knew that better than Violet. Having been painfully shy all her life, she had no friends and had never been on a date. She just wasn't brave enough, pretty enough, or smart enough. At least that's what she told herself.
Suddenly, the door banged wide open.
"Go away!" Violet yelled, without even looking at the intruder. She didn't have to look. Only Dash would come into her room without knocking first.
"Hi! I'm bored. Wanna play?" asked the Speedster.
"I don't have time for you and your annoyingness," Violet barked. "Get lost!"
Dash strolled over to his sister's bed, where she lay with her face in the pillow. She lay motionless for a full minute, not saying a word.
"I'm still heeeere," he sing-songed.
"And I'm still piiiissed," she responded.
"Want to play a game or something?"
"Stop acting like you're Jack-Jack and go away."
"I bet you'd play with me if I were Tony Rydinger..."
Violet's head bolted up. "How dare you come in here and start teasing me about Tony! Get out of my room! NOW!"
Violet shot him a death glare. "Or else? Or else?!"
"I asked you first," he snickered.
Growling, Violet bunched up her fists and stood up straight.
Then Dash began to sing, "Violet and Tony...sitting in a tree...k-i-s-s-i-n-g!"
"Haha, very original," Violet said, dryly.
Dash stepped away from her until he was backed against the door.
"Do I have to beat you up?" she asked, in a dark tone.
"Sheesh, it's no wonder Tony hasn't asked you out...you're too mean."
"WHAT?! I am NOT mean! You're the miserable little grub who barged into my room and started this whole thing! It's all your fault! You started it! You always start it...and you have the nerve to say I'M mean?!"
Before Dash could reply, they heard their mother's voice from downstairs.
"Kids, dinner is almost ready!" Helen called. "We're having rice and sausages."
"Mmmm, sausages!" Dash said, smirking.
Violet rolled her eyes and walked back to her bed.
"What's wrong, Vi? I thought you liked sausages."
Violet let out a disgusted groan.
Then Dash opened the door and called out, "Hey, Mom? Violet doesn't want your sausage, but I bet she would like to have Tony's."
That did it. Violet let out a war-cry as she lunged at her brother, tackling him to the ground. She threw punches down on his face and chest.
"Hey, don't hurt me!" Dash shouted. He tried to slap her but she turned herself invisible so she could dodge his hands. But since her sweater was visable, the Speedster resorted to biting her shoulder. They wrestled all over the floor until Helen heard the commotion and ran in to break up the fight.
"Stop it, both of you!" she shouted, using her ultra stretchy arms like ropes to tie them up.
"But Mom, he started it!" Violet whined. "He's bothering me again!"
Helen glared at Dash, who tried giving her an innocent, puppy-dog pout. But Helen wasn't buying it.
"Just make him leave me alone, Mom. I had a hard day. I need quiet."
Helen shot each of her kids another warning glare before she released them.
"No more reindeer games up here, guys. You know how stressed out Daddy can be after a long day at the office. Speaking of which, he'll be home in a few minutes so let's clean up our act, okay?"
"I don't feel like eating dinner," Violet grumbled.
"You sure, Vi?"
"Yeah, I don't want to go downstairs."
Helen lifted her daughter's chin and gazed into her one exposed eye.
"Sure, honey. You can stay in your room as long as you need to."
"Can I stay in here too?" Dash asked.
"No! Get downstairs and set the table for dinner," Helen ordered.
"Alright, alright, I'm going..." The Speedster zoomed out of the room.
"I'll save your dinner in the fridge if you get hungry later, okay?"
Violet nodded. "Okay."
Helen pecked her on the cheek and left the bedroom, closing the door softly behind her.
Violet sighed in relief. She curled up on the bed and put on her headphones. Sometimes listening to one of her favorite bands cheered her up. She grabbed a movie magazine and skimmed through the pages before tossing it on the floor.
She soon dozed off, face-down on her bedspread.
Light knocking on the door woke her up. She probably wouldn't have heard the knocking at all, except that her headphones had fallen off at some point during her nap.
"Uhhh...I'm ready for your next ambush. You come in here again and I'll smack you against the ceiling like a lump of pizza dough and then peel you off and fold you into a turd-shape and flush you down the toilet. Are you listening to me out there, you little booger?"
"The booger is helping Mom with the dishes," came the reply.
Violet sat up and rubbed her sleepy eyes. "Oh. Come in, Dad."
Bob had come upstairs to check on her. It wasn't uncommon for her to skip family dinners on account of feeling sad, angry or depressed. It happened even more often now that Violet had reached her womanhood, so to speak.
"You missed a great dinner, kiddo," he said, sitting on her bed.
"Nothing I haven't eaten before," Violet sighed.
"So, whatcha been doing in here?"
"Thinking," she replied. "I've decided that all little brothers should go extinct, starting with Dash."
"Hmmm, I doubt we'd be much of a family without Dash and Jack-Jack..."
"No, not Jack-Jack. He can stay."
"Oh, phew! You had me worried there for minute," Bob joked.
Violet rolled her eyes and sat back to listen to her music.
Bob sighed, and casually picked up an old stuffed cow that Violet played with as a baby.
"Hon, sometimes you feel a certain way towards someone...you may be annoyed with them, or dislike, or maybe even hate them. But you have to be careful with those people. When you're angry or stressed, you can spit out things you don't mean. The things you say can affect the way a person feels about themselves. It change them for the worst. Even I've done things I'm not proud of, and I don't want you to make similar mistakes. Does that make sense?"
Violet had been staring into space during his pep talk. She finally glanced at him, then pointed to her headphones.
"I can't hear a word you're saying, Dad. The music is too loud."
Bob frowned, but then his lips curved into a sly smile. He yanked the cord from the wall, killing the distracting rock music.
"Hey, wha-?" She adjusted the headphones, trying to figure out what was wrong, until she realized what her father had done.
"Do I have your attention now?"
"Uhhh, Dad...I'm not in the mood for this." She rolled over and buried her face in the blankets.
He tugged at her boney ankle. "Come on, talk to me. I'm here for you, honey. You can tell me anything."
"I...I'm just tired," Violet said, though her voice was muffled from being pressed into the blanket.
"And I'm sick too. I'm sick of my life. I'm sick of school. I'm sick of being teased. I'm sick of being too shy. I'm sick of not having any friends. I'm sick of being weird..and I'm plain sick of being sick."
Bob lifted the frail girl into his powerful arms and hugged her.
There was peaceful silence for a few moments. Violet never felt safer than when she was in her father's arms. It was the one place where she could completely let go of her fears and know that nothing in the world could hurt her. She smiled softly as he kissed her head.
"Sweetie, we all love you. I know you don't hear that as often as you should, but it's true."
"I love you too, Dad," Violet said, quietly.
Father and daughter shared another moment of tender silence before Violet lifted her head to gaze into her dad's' face.
"Dad? I have a question."
"Are you sure we can't sell Dash?"
Bob playfully tossed her down on the bed and wriggled his fingers at her.
"Who's ready for the Tickle Monster?"
"No, Dad, I'm much too old for that!" Violet protested, bracing herself for the inevitable attack.
She squealed with giggles as Bob started tickling her small belly.
"Noooo! Heehehehehe Daaaaddy, stohohohop!"
Bob chuckled in a villainous manner. "Mr. Tickle Monster knows not the meaning of 'stop'!" he said, in a deepish voice.
Violet laughed harder as he scratched at her ribs.
"HEY, WAIT! HEEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEE! STOOOOP THAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"
"Ah, yes...between the ribs. You haven't changed since you were a little kid," Bob chuckled.
"PLEASE DAD, NAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA NOHOHOHOHOHOT THEEEERE! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"
Violet grabbed his hand and tried to push it away, which of course, was useless. He was gentle, but still too strong to be forced away by anyone, least of all a teenage girl. So, she began kicking him in the chest. Bob simply took hold of her thin legs and tickled them with gentle squeezes.
Violet held her sides as she caved with laughter. Her cheeks turned bright pink and her silky hair was glued to her face with light sweat. She didn't absolutely hate being tickled by her father; she just wasn't accustomed to it. Whenever Bob was in a tickle mood, his target was usually Dash. While Dash was just as ticklish as she was, he seemed to enjoy the sessions more than she did. He would even ask for more. Violet didn't love tickling, but she couldn't downright hate it either. But she would never admit to that, as no teenager would.
"HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH EEEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHE! DAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAD!"
Then Bob stopped so she could catch her breath. He folded his arms and gazed down at her with a satisfied smirk.
"N-no...no..." she breathed.
"You don't like this, Vi? Cause if you really hate this, I won't do it anymore," Bob said, with sincerity in his voice.
"I don't hate it...I guess," Violet admitted.
"You loved it when you were little."
"I'm not little anymore, Dad."
Bob reached down to hold her chin in his hand. "So you aren't my little girl anymore?"
Violet pursed her lips. "Well, I, didn't say that exactly."
Bob smiled, glancing over at his daughter's socked feet.
"Hey, when was the last time I gave you a 'footie-blootie'?" he asked.
Violet made a gross face. "What a stupid word...who came up with that?"
"You did," Bob laughed. "Many years ago."
"What was I smoking at the time?"
Bob laughed again. "Do you remember when I used to give them to you?"
"Hmmm, no. What the hell does that even mean?"
Bob grinned mischievously as he grabbed Violet's feet. He put her socked soles against his lips and blew raspberries on them.
Violet giggled and shrieked, tossing around on the bed as she tried to escape this form of tickling that she suddenly remembered from her childhood. But she didn't really want to escape from it anymore. She was actually starting to enjoy this annoying, yet exciting activity that Bob used to play with her.
When he noticed Violet laughing too hard for her own good, he stopped his ticklish assault on her dainty soles and scooped her up into his strong arms.
Violet smiled as she caught her breath, glad to be sitting in her father's lap. Although that wasn't the safest place to be either, if he had more tickling ideas up his sleeve.
"Are you...finished now? Have I...tired you out yet?" she asked, through her panting.
Bob held her closely, kissing the top of her dark head.
Violet sighed contently and rested her head against his broad chest. She was a teensy bit tired now, but certainly in a much better mood than when she first came home. She had never considered herself much of a "Daddy's girl". But deep down, she knew it was true.