For Father's Day. In honor of Ecliptor, the best PR dad (feat. littlest Karone)
"'cliptor!" The urgent, childish voice rang throughout his house followed by pounding feet. "'cliptor!" She repeated running to the kitchen. "I need a cloth."
Ecliptor handed her one before turning to face her. "Karone, you're bleeding!"
Blood trickled down the back of her hand that she held over her mouth. "I know, that's why I needed it," she replied, words muffled by the cloth now in her mouth.
"You're bleeding," he repeated. "What happened?"
Karone held open her other hand. "I lost a tooth," she said simply.
Ecliptor peered cautiously at the object in her palm. "You lost... your tooth? Why?"
"I dunno, it happens. So then the big ones grow! Like this one!" She pointed to her front tooth which was half grown already.
Ecliptor sighed. "How did it fall out?"
"I was playing with it and it just popped." Karone took the cloth out and inspected it before shoving it back into her mouth.
"And all of your teeth have to fall out and bleed everywhere?" Ecliptor asked. "Why are humans so fragile?"
"Yeah," Karone replied nonchalantly. "All of them. Not a big deal."
"I don't think I'll ever get used to you running over with a bloody mouth, child. That's not normal."
Karone giggled. She pulled the cloth out of her mouth again and poked the empty void in her gum with her tongue. She flashed him a smile. "See? Not a big deal. Means I'm growing."
"Is anything else of yours going to fall off and regrow, or is this it?" Ecliptor asked, more serious than not.
"Uh. No? Hey, this one's loose! Look!" Karone proudly showed another one, and Ecliptor couldn't help but sigh. "I'm gonna go play again, bye!" She scurried off back to her room.
Ecliptor glanced at the child as she ran off. "I am in way over my head."
Karone sat up abruptly in bed. "What is it?" Ecliptor asked. She shoved her blankets off and ran to her little dresser and grabbed her tooth that was just sitting there. She could have asked for a cup. Anything. "Karone—never mind. What are you doing?"
Karone hopped back up onto her bed and gently placed her tooth under her pillow. "For the Tooth Fairy, of course!"
"Tooth... Fairy?" Ecliptor sounded bewildered. "Care to explain, child?"
"You don't know who the Tooth Fairy is?" Karone asked, sounding equally bewildered.
"I don't have teeth, and I was never a child. Tell me who it is." Ecliptor didn't know whether or not this was another of her attempts to stall going to sleep, but at this point, he simply could not care less.
"Ok, so," Karone began, sitting back up. "When you lose a tooth, you put it under your pillow. Then the Tooth Fairy comes when you're asleep and takes it! Then she gives you money or somethin'! One time, Andros got a whole dollar. I haven't got that much yet. But maybe I will tonight!"
"A fairy takes your tooth and pays you for it?" Ecliptor asked. "Why?"
"I dunno, but yeah! You think I'll get a lot for it?"
"I don't know, Karone. I hope so." Ecliptor had encountered many different creatures throughout his life, but never fairies. Especially never ones who break into houses, take teeth, and leave money. But maybe things were different on KO-35. "You said she takes it when you're asleep, and you're awake. What do you think that means?"
Karone looked puzzled for a moment. "Uhh, that I should go to sleep?"
"Exactly," Ecliptor replied. "Good night, child."
"No bedtime story?" Karone pouted.
"I think your Tooth Fairy story was good enough, don't you? Sleep well." He gave her hair a soft ruffle and got up to leave before she could protest more.
"'cliptor!" Karone yelled from her room. She heard him answer from the front room, so she called him again. "Come here! Please?"
"What is it?"
She almost looked on the verge of tears. "My tooth is still here."
She has a hole in her mouth. And there were more to come. And this 'Tooth Fairy' character didn't show up like Karone thought she would. Why did nobody tell him humans did this, too?
"Well, ah, maybe... Maybe she couldn't find you. We're far from KO-35, remember? She may not be used to travelling to different planets."
"She goes to Earth, too, 'cliptor," Karone told him.
"We're also far from Earth."
Karone slumped back into her pillow. "She's magic. She should have found me!"
"There are not a lot of humans on this planet. Maybe she doesn't think about coming here." Or maybe it isn't real. "How about after breakfast, we go into town and get you a little something instead? Maybe she'll find you next time." Anything to keep her from pouting more.
Karone perked up slightly. "We can do that. Thanks!" Ecliptor relaxed again and left her to eat in peace. It wasn't long until he heard her run to her room to get her shoes before running to find him and drag him towards the door.
As usual, Karone stayed glued to Ecliptor's arm, still afraid of the various creatures at the market, still frightening despite their frequent visits to get food. Ecliptor made no effort to pry her off, but instead led her over to a small shop that he knew had small things that would be satisfactory enough.
"Go look around," Ecliptor told her. "See if you find anything you like. I'll be right here."
Karone was overwhelmed with the amount of stuff in the store, but her eyes soon locked onto the racks of bracelets, shinier than any jewelry she had seen on KO-35. She snatched a purple one with silver floral beading and raced back to Ecliptor. "Is this ok?" Karone asked. "I can find something else."
After inspecting it briefly, Ecliptor said, "No, it's just fine." Karone smiled. Ecliptor placed a coin on the counter, huffing at the merchant who had fallen asleep.
"Thank you!" she exclaimed jumping up and down after getting her bracelet back. "It's so sparkly!" Karone grabbed his hand again as they left. She gasped in awe as her bracelet caught the sunlight and cast rainbows in front of them.
"It's very pretty. I'm glad you found something."
"Yeah!" Karone agreed. "Do you think the Tooth Fairy is ok? She just couldn't find me?"
"I'm sure she's fine," Ecliptor replied. He made a mental note to look into this Tooth Fairy. After he researched more about human children and their rather odd growing habits.
"What happens if she doesn't come next time?"
Ecliptor swore he felt a headache coming on. "Not a big deal?" he suggested.
"Ok!" Karone replied, looking at her bracelet again. "Not a big deal."