I really enjoyed the movie The Pacifier. The character of Shane Wolfe was interesting and I'm slightly dissapointed they didn't go into it deeper. Uh, this story isn't warm and fuzzy. Please review :)

Shane smiled at Peter who was watching him expectently. "Alright, here we go," said Shane clapping his hands together.

"When you're feeling low

Lower then the floor"

He lowered himself to the floor in a crouch.

"And if feels like no one's got your back


With each "bum" he straightened himself out. Then he waggled a finger at Peter.

"Don't make a move 'till you're in the groove

Do the Peter Panda Dance

Just hop three times like a kangaroo"

Shane proceeded to hop across the floor in three jerky motions. He glanced at Peter who was watching him happily.

"Side step twice just like those crabs do

Three steps forward, one step back"

"Quick, like a turtle, lie on your back"

Flat on his back, Shane launched himself into the air for the next part.

"Jump real quick like there ain't no floor

Hold your breath

Slide to the left

and that's the Peter Panda Dance…"

Shane finished with a florish, his hands outstreached. Peter was smiling sleepily with drooping eyelids. He walked over to the toddler and tucked the blanket around his chin.

"Goodnight, Peter Panda." Shane said quietly.

"Goodnight Daddy." Peter answered, smiling.

Shane's stomach felt like someone slipped ice into it. He wavered for a moment, then turned to Peter with a smile and kissed him on the head. Turning off the light, he slipped quietly from the room.

Shane felt slightly dazed. He wondered if Peter knew the truth, and hoped for the kid's sake he didn't. He couldn't know. Not yet anyway. For some reason Shane felt his hands shaking.

Passing Zoe's room, he noticed her sitting onthe small balcony. She was propped on the balcony ledge with her hands wrapped around her knees. Her blond hair, which was usually perfect, was now a mess. It was obvious she had been crying; her face was red and splotchy. Shane approached with a worried look. He felt like he should say something to her, but he wasn't sure what.

"Zoe?" he asked quietly. As she turned toward him, Shane was shocked at how the seemingly confident teen now looked. Her chipper mask had completely crumbled away leaving only a face of remorse.

"Is this about Scott again?" Shane asked, stepping onto the balcony. The cool night breeze felt good against his skin.

"No…you were right…he's a jerk." Zoe laughed sullenly and brushed a strand of tangled hair from her eye.

"Then what is it?" Shane probed gently.

"Nothing." The word hung in the air for a moment. Shane sighed and turned to the moon lit lawn. Suddenly Peter's words floated through his mind. Goodnight Daddy. Shane knew what troubling Zoe. It wasn't hard to figure out. She was only sibling in the family who held a steady façade. Not once had he seen her look upset or cry about the death of her father.

Shane drew in a breath. He wasn't the kindof person who talked about his feelings. Ever. He remembered that day when he was seven.

He had been walking home from school. A bunch of older students had surrounded him.They beat him up, all the while hurling insults at him.When they left Shane went home, crying. He went to his father and told him what happened.His father had hit him across the face. Stunned, Shane had stopped crying immediately. His father said crying shows that you are weak.If you want to be strong then youshould never show feelings. Shane never cried agian after that.

The memory passed swiftly but painfully. He looked at Zoe and saw his own teenage life mirrored in her face. Sadness, loneliness, confusion…they were all there. Shane knew he had to speak to her.

"When I was a kid, my father was a SEAL. Just like I am now. He would always be gone. I hardly ever saw him. I was a dissapointment to him. He wanted a son who would become a soldier, follow in his footsteps. I didn't want any of that. And yet…all I wanted to do was to make him proud." Shane paused. A gentle wind blew across both of their faces. Zoe was looking at him intently.

"When I was eight, he sent me to military school." He heard Zoe breath out sharply. " I went because I wanted to do something my dad would approve of. When I was fourteen we had a huge fight. I never heard from him again. Then when I was seventeen, I got a message. No more dad." He turned to her with slightly moist eyes.

"That's terrible!" Zoe whispered in genuine sympathy.

"I never talked about it to anyone." Shane said looking at the tops of the suburbian trees. "Like if I didn't talk about it…" he turned to Zoe and said thickly "I was being brave or something."

Zoe sniffed and wiped her eyes with the back of her hands. "It's just that…I want to be strong. For Lulu and Tyler…Peter, Seth and Mom." Shane looked at her painfully. "That's such a big burden," he whispered. Zoe nodded and tears splashed down her cheeks.

"It's alright to miss your dad," he whispered. Zoe suddenly flung herself onto Shane and wept into his chest. "I do miss him," she sobbed. Shane hugged her. They stayed like that for a long time.

Zoe finally pulled away and wiped her eyes. "You know, when you first came here I was afraid that…you would replace Dad. I know it sounds stupid. The truth is, you're the best thing that happened to this family in a long time. And I'm sorry for all those horrible things I said to you." More tears leaked out of her eyes and she brushed them away. Shane put a firm hand on her shoulder. "Zoe, don't beat yourself up for something that already happened. It's in the past."

"You're right, as usual," she said grinning slightly." Shane smiled back with a reassured feeling. "And you guys are the best thing that happened to me in my whole life," he said with complete sincerity.He glanced at his watch. "Whoa, it's getting late. You, Seth and Lulu should get to bed." The phone let out a shrill ring from the house. "I'll get it" said Zoe, hurrying inside. Shane followed after her closing the door gently behind him.

A few minutes later, Zoe hurried from her room waving the phone triumphantly in the air. Her sad face now was full of happiness and she practically leapt across the hallway.

"Guys, Mom's coming home!" She shouted to her siblings. Seth and Lulu ran from their rooms with excited exclamations. Peter groggily came out of his, rubbing his eyes. Seth swooped him up in his arms. "Buddy, Mom's coming home!" Seth told him. Peter grinned from ear to ear and pulled on Seth's hair for good measure. The siblings talked animatedly amongst themselves.

Shane stood at a distance and smiled to himself. Then he walked slowly down the stairs. For some reason he felt empty. He was happy for the Plummer children, but with that happiness came an undefined sadness. Shane felt a connection with the family that he never had with anyone else. He felt belonging. And now he would have to leave.

He sighed and opened the front door of the house. The night was beautiful and the moon reflected off the grass like sliver. He sat on a bench and stared into the night. His own father crept into his mind. Shane never spoke to his father again after they fought. It was so hard to forgive him. Yet despite everything he still loved his father. Shane put a hand to his face. It was something that hurt him deep inside for years; his own pride never wanted to let go of the anger. But he had to let go. He wanted to.

Shane spoke in faintest of whispers, his voice carried by the night breeze.


And for the first time in over thirty years, Shane Wolfe wept.