Author's Note: I really want to take the time to thank Moxie-Proxie for letting me use the cozy family she'd built up for this little one shot. Please check out and review her pieces she's written -- "The Snapshot Collection". Thanks so much!
Daddy's Little Girl
Hannah's frightened cries woke both me and Nick. He rolled over and kissed my forehead. "I guess this case calls for a specialist," he said with a smirk. I laughed softly and watched Nick as he left the room. Hannah no longer crawled into our bed halfway through the night. Now it was once every few weeks, waking up to comfort Hannah when the Boogey Monster crept out from the closet.
I heard Hannah's tearful bout as she described her dream to Nick. I couldn't quite make out what she was saying, but from her tone of voice, it sounded like the Boogey Man had picked up a couple friends on his way out to the closet.
Funny, but Nick and I had never gone over together to chase away the Boogey Man. I didn't know what his style was. And, quite honestly, I was slightly jealous -- Nick had always had such a better talent for getting Hannah to sleep than I did. So, curious little investigator that I am, I decided to check out the competition. I slid out of bed and crept toward Hannah's room, stopping right before her door to lean against the wall.
"But, Daddy, what if the Boogey Man comes back?" Hannah whimpered softly. I smirked. Ha! Answer that one!
"Well, if the Boogey Man comes back, Mommy and Daddy will arrest him and take him to the police station." I could hear the smile in Nick's voice. I crept closer to the door and peeked in. Nick was sitting on the side of Hannah's bed, my gorgeous little angel wrapped safely in his arms.
"And will Uncle Greg run the Boogey Man's fingerprints?" she asked. "Uncle Greg" was always volunteering to babysit Hannah. It made me wonder what exactly he was teaching my little girl, and if she was going to be a DNA expert by the time she reached the fourth grade.
"Of course Uncle Greg will run the Boogey Man's fingerprints. And your Mommy and Aunt Catherine will interrogate him. And then Uncle Gil and Uncle Warrick will beat him up and take him away."
Hannah giggled. "Are you sure Uncle Gil could beat the Boogey Man up? Uncle Gil doesn't look very strong."
"Well... Maybe just Uncle Warrick will beat him up. But Uncle Gil will definitely make sure he goes to the Closet Monster Prison." I could tell Nick was trying hard not to laugh, and, I had to admit, I was covering my mouth to keep quiet, too.
"Oh, okay, then. And what will you do, Daddy?" Hannah looked up at him and my heart filled. Her eyes sparkled with this immeasurable awe and love, as if she truly believed her Daddy had put the stars in the sky. And, knowing Hannah, she probably had every faith in the world that Daddy had done exactly that. With a little help from Mommy of course.
"What will I do, princess? I will have to take the victim of this horrible crime out for ice cream! But right now, it's your bedtime, little girl, and if you don't get back to sleep soon, you'll miss everything that's going to happen tomorrow." Nick laid Hannah back down and tucked her in underneath the blankets.
Hannah's eyes became wide. "What's happening tomorrow, Daddy?"
Nick smiled at her. "I don't know, princess, but you'll miss it if you sleep all day. So you better get back to sleep!" He leaned down and kissed her forehead.
"Okay, Daddy!" She smiles up at him and then closes her eyes. Nick stands to leave, but Hannah opens an eye at him. "Daddy?"
He stops and looks down at her. "Yes, princess?"
"I love you."
A lump forms in my throat that I can't explain, but there's a smile on my face. And when Nick kisses her forehead again and says, "I love you, too, princess", I find my eyes misting over. I blink a few times to clear them.
"And what are you doing awake, gorgeous?"
Nick's voice startled me and I fumbled for an answer. "Just... y'know... checking out your technique."
"Ah, I see. Trying to get tips for next time?" He grinned, sliding an arm around my waist and leading me to our bedroom.
I smirked at him as we laid down together. "Oh, and you think you're that good? Things like that take practice, you know," I said teasingly.
"Practice? Nah, I think it comes naturally, babe." Nick wrapped his arms around me and I snuggled close against him.
"And why do you think that?" I tucked my head under his chin and sighed contentedly.
"Because," Nick said easily. "She's Daddy's little girl."