This is where is started, as a one-shot from nowhere. Things slightly grew after that... :)

Where it will end, I can't say yet. But I'm sure we will eventually find out.

The sound of a creaking floorboard just outside the bedroom made Danny look up from his book. His wife Annette glanced at him, pausing in the writing she was doing in an elegant hand with a fountain pen in one of her ever-present notebooks, then followed his eyes as their door slowly swung open.

Revealed in the doorway was a six year old girl, large green eyes blinking at them under messy curly black hair that was identical to if somewhat shorter than Annette's own. She was dressed in deep blue pajamas covered in various mathematical symbols, something she'd picked out herself at the store because 'they looked so cool.' Clutched in her hands was a stuffed figure that her grandmother had given her at her christening, something that had been a constant companion her entire life. The huge yellow eyes of the little doll almost glowed in the reflected illumination from the bedside lights.

Danny smiled at his daughter. "It's late, Taylor, you should be asleep. What's wrong?"

"The monster in the closet is keeping me awake," the girl said quietly, entering the room and climbing up onto the bed between them, then snuggling back into the pillows. "He keeps growling."

"I see." Danny looked at Annette who was fighting a small smile as she looked fondly at the girl. His wife put out a hand and ran it through Taylor's hair, causing their daughter to smile. "That's rude of him."

"That's what I said," she complained, hugging her doll harder, making the tentacles move. "But then he laughed and said he didn't care."

"Ah. How unfortunate."

"I told him you'd get angry and beat him up, but he just laughed again."

With a sidelong glance at his wife, who was silently giggling now, Danny sighed faintly but in a good natured manner. "Did you, now? You know I try very hard to control my temper and so should you. Beating people up isn't really the best approach."

She looked up at him, one hand running over the dolls head and down its beak. "But it works, Dad, I know that."

Putting his hand on hers, he quietly said, "It can work, dear. It can also make things much worse. It's best not to resort to violence unless there's no other way."

"I just want him to shut up," she grumbled, pouting. "I think he's new or he'd be more polite after last time."

"I suppose that's possible," Annette said soothingly. "Or it might all be your imagination. We do remember the time you said the monster under your bed was stealing your socks, don't we?"

Taylor scowled. "That was mean. It was the dryer monster trying to get the bed monster in trouble."

Danny did his best not to laugh, as the expression of annoyance on such a young face was really rather hilarious. And much cuter than you'd think plausible.

"Sometimes monsters don't always work together, Taylor," he said after he'd suppressed his snicker, speaking calmly and quietly. "And sometimes monsters aren't bad, never forget that. Some are, some aren't, and you have to be careful not to let your own feelings lead you to the wrong conclusion. Which is why beating people up isn't a good idea, at least without trying more peaceful things first."

"It's always better to talk things through when possible than jump immediately to violence," his wife added softly. Taylor looked up at both of them in turn, her eyes searching their faces. He could see she was thinking carefully.

"But if they're still mean we can jump to violence then?" she queried after a few seconds.

He looked at her earnest face, then at Annette, the woman clearly doing her best not to burst out laughing like an idiot and leaving him to work out how to extricate himself from this. Giving her the evil eye, which only made her expression more mischievous, he returned his attention to Taylor. "Only if talking doesn't work, and nothing else will, Taylor."

"OK," she said, smiling at him. She bent her head over her doll, her long hair shrouding both of them for a while, and he could hear faint whispering from under the curly mass. Eventually she surfaced and said, "Thuley thinks you're right, but says that sometimes an example must be made."

Annette snorted with hilarity, clapping a hand over her mouth to keep it in, but her eyes were twinkling. Danny smiled, ruffling Taylor's hair.

"He may be correct. Sometimes you can prevent something worse happening if you act quickly. But again, that can go badly wrong, so you need to learn how to do things correctly," he told her.

"I think I understand, Dad," she nodded, her expressive mouth curving up into a small smile. "So I should talk to him and ask him politely to stop growling?"

"That is probably the best thing to do, yes, dear," he responded.

"And if he laughs again and still doesn't stop, then I break his kneecaps?" Her face was screwed up in careful thought.

He sighed, rubbing his forehead, while Annette dissolved into giggles.

"That is… not quite what I meant, Taylor," he sighed. "And it's kind of a big escalation. Going right from a polite request to a beating is… excessive."

"Oh." She bent over the doll again. More whispering happened. She nodded a couple of times, the curly hair moving, until her eyes came up once more. "I should ask him politely, then if he's still rude, I threaten to break his kneecaps," she announced triumphantly. Looking down at the doll, she frowned. "No, I threaten to break his wife's kneecaps. Then his."

"Oh, lord," he murmured as he laid his head back against the pillow. His wife's constant giggling was becoming just the tiniest bit annoying…

"I would suggest talking first, Taylor," he advised after a moment. "Leave the threats of violence for a last resort, along with actual violence."

The young girl slumped back on the bed and sighed loudly. "All I want is for him to shut up so I can get some sleep," she grouched. Giving him a put-upon look, she added, "Monsters are so annoying sometimes."

"Life is like that, dear," he said, patting her head fondly. "Now why don't you go back to your room, ask the closet monster very politely to stop growling, and get some sleep? Emma's coming over tomorrow and you don't want to be too tired from being up all night."

She nodded, hugging her doll as she scrambled off the end of the bed, then smiled at them both. "OK, Dad. Night, Mom."

"Good night, Taylor," Annette said, smiling. "Sleep well."

"I will if I can get him to shut up," their daughter mumbled sleepily as she left the room, pulling the door shut behind her. Moments later they heard her bedroom door also shut, and shortly after that her voice faintly but authoritatively saying, "Dad told me to ask you to stop growling."

Both exchanged glances then started chuckling.

"No, it's rude to growl at people in the middle of the night. Bob doesn't growl at me. He's nice. And I'm sorry I blamed him for eating my socks."

There was a long pause.

"I know, Bob, Mike was really mean. I told him that. It wasn't your fault."
"No, you need to stop growling right now, cause I need to go to bed. It's late."
"If you don't stop growling there will be trouble."
"And laughing at me won't help. Thuley will get mad if you don't stop and that's not going to be fun for anyone."

Husband and wife exchanged looks again.

"You really are new, aren't you? What happened to Richard?"
"You're growling again. Please stop that."

There was quite a long pause, then the young girl's voice said with a determined tone, "OK, I was being nice, but if you're going to keep on growling like a meanie I'm going to have to insist. Stop growling or you won't like what happens."
"Fine. Dad said it was OK to resort to violence if people won't stop being rude after I ask nicely. Remember, this is your fault. I'll be right back."

The door to Taylor's bedroom creaked again as it opened, then they heard small footsteps. A moment later their door opened once more as well, and Taylor came back in, holding her doll under one arm and with a very stubborn look on her face. "He just laughed at me. And Bob. Bob tried to get him to stop too but he's a poohead."

"I'm sorry to hear that, Taylor," Danny said as he watched her head for the closet on the other side of the bedroom and pull the door open.

"Me too. Thuley said his type doesn't respond to threats and direct action is the only way to make them learn," her voice said as she disappeared into the closet. After some rummaging sounds, she reemerged holding his old aluminum baseball bat in her free hand, the thing nearly as long as she was tall. "I'll bring this back in a couple minutes, OK?"

Stomping out of their bedroom, she vanished again.

Danny looked at Annette, who was staring after their daughter with amused tolerance. "Have we raised her properly, love? Only sometimes I feel that I may have… slightly taught her some things that are not entirely ideal."

She put her hand on his. "We did a good job, Danny, and she'll be fine. Don't worry about Taylor."

There was a loud metallic 'clang!' from across the hall, which made both of them wince. "I said stop growling, and I meant it," Taylor said quite firmly. "You were rude, and now I have to teach you a lesson. So hold still."

Several more clangs sounded in rapid succession. "I said hold still! Stop squirming. Bob, grab his legs and hold him down, I'll get his knees!"

A couple more clangs echoed through the house, accompanied by a loud roar that made the room quiver. Danny reached up above his head without looking and straightened the picture that hung over the head of the bed, which had a tendency to go askew sometimes. "Now are you going to be good? Or do I have to go for your head?"

Another clang, this one louder than most of the others.

Another screech of pain. "I warned you. Next time I'll get angry. Don't make me angry. And if that doesn't work I'll tell dad and you really won't like what happens then."

Everything went quiet. Shortly Taylor came back in holding the bat which looked somewhat bent, but wearing a satisfied expression. She stalked across the room, went into the closet, came back out and closed it, and headed for the door. "He'll be good now," she assured them.

"Sleep tight, dear," Danny called as he shook his head fondly.

Annette, who was quivering with giggles again, waved to their daughter, who waved back with a broad smile, then pulled their door shut. The last thing they saw was the reflection of the eyes of her doll which was perched on her head.

Once the sound of Taylor's door closing reached them, Danny smiled to himself, put his glasses back on, and went back to reading.

"Yeah, I think you're right, love, she'll be fine," he commented, turning the page. "I pity her first boyfriend, though..."