Disclaimer: I don't own it. Leave me in peace.
A/N: This story was a request by Elizabeth Kimblee, and I sincerely hope that she likes it. :)
Lost and Found
Elysia Hughes was lost. Very, very lost. She had been out with her mommy, and she had only wanted to go look at the pretty flowers across the street…but when she looked up, she hadn't been able to see her mommy anywhere! She had thought that maybe her mommy had gone back to their house, but when she went off in the direction she thought it was in, she got lost. Now she wasn't in the happy street with all the pretty shops, but in a grimy, dingy part of Central with scary looking people that kept looking at her funny. Then she had seen a doggy and gone up to pet it, but it had growled and barked and chased her. Now she was hiding behind a trashcan in an alley and it was getting dark and she was scared. So she did what any three year old would do in this situation; she started sobbing loudly.
Scar was leaning against an alley wall, staring at the sky and thinking, when he heard an odd noise. Curious, he decided to investigate; it turned out to be a crying little girl hiding in an adjoining alleyway. She noticed his shadow fall on her, looked up…and stopped crying immediately, staring up at him with wide eyes. For some reason, he always seemed to have that kind of effect on children.
"What's the matter, kid?" he asked gruffly.
She sniffled, "M' lost an' I can't find my mommy," she stood up, "Mister, do you know where my mommy is?"
"No," he saw her eyes start to fill with tears again and panicked. He could not deal with crying children. Not knowing what to do, he quickly knelt down so that he was on eye level with her, "What's your name?"
Luckily for him, the question distracted her, "My name's Elysia, an' I'm three," she proudly held up three little fingers, "What's your name, mister?"
He flinched at the question, but, knowing full well that a child like her wouldn't understand the fact that he no longer had a name, he answered, "Scar."
"Oh," Elysia gave a short giggle, "That's a silly name!"
"Hnn," Scar stood up and turned to walk away, fully intent on finding someone else to deal with the child, but was stopped by a sudden weight. Looking down, he saw the girl clinging to his leg.
"Mister Scar, are you leaving me all alone?" she looked up at him with gigantic puppy-dog eyes that were beginning to tear up again.
Scar hesitated. He really didn't want to have to deal with a child, but…aw, hell, there was no way he could say 'no' to that face. He sighed, "No…I'm not leaving you. Come on."
Elysia beamed at him, then yawned widely, her eyes drooping. She was rather tired after her long day, "Mister Scar, 'm sleepy…"
A few seconds later, she just nodded off, leaning against Scar's leg. He sighed again, and looked up at the overcast sky which promised rain that night. Shelter wouldn't be a problem, as in this section of the city there were quite a few empty or abandoned houses, but unfortunately that wasn't the only problem. He didn't know much of anything about taking care of children, and here he was stuck with one until he found her parents. That could take days. With an uneasy feeling that he was in way over his head, Scar picked up Elysia as gently as he could and began to walk. In less than half an hour he had come upon a suitable shelter from the fast gathering storm; it was an old, long-abandoned house with only two rooms, a small kitchen, and a bathroom. It was completely devoid of furniture, but the storm had started and Scar was not about to go back outside to look for a different place. A loud crash of thunder woke Elysia, and, startled, the little girl began to cry.
To say that the look on Scar's face was comical would have been an understatement. The normally calm and collected Ishbalan was frantically trying to calm the little girl he was holding, "Nonono, don't cry! Please don't cry, it's all right…"
Elysia buried her face in his shirt, still sobbing, "M-mister Scar, 'm scared of th-thunder!"
'Oh, great…' he thought grimly, still trying unsuccessfully to stop the crying, "Thunder can't hurt you, it's just a noise…don't cry, there's nothing to be afraid of…"
Elysia sniffled and looked up, "R-really?"
"Yes, really. Now please go back to sleep…" Scar couldn't believe it. He was pleading with a small child! The sooner he found her parents, the better.
"Where'sa bed?" she asked innocently.
Scar sighed and sat down with his back against a wall, "There isn't one, kid."
"But it's cold…" she gave him the dreaded Puppy Eyes again.
"All right, here, just go to sleep," Scar shrugged off his trenchcoat and wrapped it around her.
She snuggled against his chest, "Mister Scar, can you tell me a story?"
"Story?" Scar's mind went completely blank. What in the name of Ishbala was he supposed to tell her a story about?
Elysia giggled, "You're silly, Mister Scar! My mommy tells me a story every night so I can go to sleep!" she said this as though it was common knowledge and that Scar should already know about it.
"Okay…a story…" Scar racked his brain for anything resembling a story that he could tell to a small child. Finally he remembered one that his brother had told him when he was younger, "Once, there was a small boy…"
He continued, growing steadily more confident as he talked, and Elysia stared wide eyed at him, taking in every word. Eventually she nodded off, head resting against his chest. She was an endearing child he supposed, the barest hint of a smile tugging on the corners of his lips as he fell asleep.
Morning sunlight streamed in through the dusty windows of the house, waking Scar instantly. He looked down to see that Elysia had shifted sometime during the night, and was now hugging his right arm as though it were a teddy bear rather than a dangerous tool of destruction. It made him slightly uncomfortable, but when he tried to slip the arm out of her grasp, she frowned and squinted as though she were waking up, so he sighed and stopped trying. To think that he, of all people, was virtually being held prisoner by a sleeping three year old. Not that he minded terribly, but he knew that he had to go get some kind of food for her before she woke up. Maybe if he moved very, very slowly…
It took nearly ten minutes of extremely careful movement and several close calls before she was off his lap and on the floor, mostly because once she actually was on the floor he had to extract his arm from her vice-like grip. He didn't even try to retrieve his trenchcoat; he would just have to go without it. Hoping beyond hope that she wouldn't wake up while he was gone, he walked out into the morning air.
He was lucky; when he came back carrying a small loaf of bread, she hadn't moved at all. Not having any idea what she would eat, he'd thought that bread was the safest bet. He was right. When Elysia woke up and declared that she was hungry, she ate the bread without complaint. After that was when the problems started.
"Mister Scar…" she tugged on his shirt, and when he knelt down she whispered something in his ear. Scar's eyes got all big, and he turned slightly red.
"Oh," was all he said before quickly leading her to the small bathroom and proceeding to wait awkwardly outside the door, wondering what how he was going to handle this for possibly days. He pointedly steered his thoughts away from what might happen if he never found her parents; it didn't bear thinking about.
Once the pair finally left the house, Scar led Elysia in the direction of the main part of the city, hoping that she might recognize something to point in the direction of her house, or better yet that she would see her parents looking for her. He got several suspicious looks from passersby, but thankfully none of them actually confronted him.
I suppose you're all wondering exactly how Hughes was taking this. Actually, you probably already know; the man was practically in hysterics. He was putting all of his Intelligence Dept. skills to work, and asking everyone he saw if they had seen his daughter look at this picture isn't she cute. Nobody seemed to have, until finally he came across one fairly old woman who said she'd seen Elysia.
"Oh, I saw her just earlier! She was with a surly looking man."
Now Hughes was really worried, "What did he look like?"
The old woman thought a little before replying, "He was tall, and very tanned, with white hair and sunglasses. He was wearing a yellow trenchcoat, too. Oh, yes, and he had a large, X-shaped scar on his forehead."
Hughes, whose suspicions and fears had risen with each part of the description, nearly had a heart attack when the woman mentioned the scar. Scar had Elysia. His daughter was in the hands of a serial murderer. Trying to keep his voice calm, he asked, "Was she all right?"
"Oh, she was perfectly fine, dear. Actually, it looked more like she was leading him than the other way around," the woman smiled, then pointed down the street, "They were headed in that direction."
Hughes nodded before sprinting off, "Thank you for telling me!"
It was around noon when Elysia finally ran out of energy and fell asleep. Scar was thankful; although it meant that he now had to carry her, it was preferable to being dragged through the streets by a hyper little child. He'd been asking people if they knew who or where her parents were, but hadn't had any success so far. He walked up behind a man with short black hair and glasses and tapped him on the shoulder.
"Hey, do you know where-?" he started as the man whirled around and gaped at him.
"ELYSIA!" he shouted, half joyful and half panicked.
The noise woke Elysia, and she put her hands up in the air happily, "Daddy!"
Scar looked at the man, who was looking back and forth from him to Elysia nervously, "This your kid?"
"Daddy, this is Mister Scar! He's really nice, and he tells good stories!" Elysia said cheerfully.
Hughes gaped. He never thought he'd hear the words 'Scar' and 'nice' in the same sentence without a 'not' in between them. And…stories? Scar had been telling his daughter stories? He held out his arms for Elysia, but she didn't come right away. Instead, she shakily stood up on Scar's arms, turned, and hugged him around the neck. And he let her. This was getting a little too surreal for Hughes, and he was glad when Elysia was safely in his arms again.
"Well…" Hughes, for once, was having difficulties thinking of what to say, "Thanks for finding her…" Scar just nodded, and Hughes turned to walk away.
"Bye-bye Mister Scar!" Elysia waved at Scar over her daddy's shoulder, and he gave a small wave back, much to her delight.
A/N: Aaaaawwwww…so cute and fluffy! Has anyone else noticed that children seem to automatically like Scar? They're like, unconsciously attracted to him (platonically). There's Al, Rick, Leo, Nina(xander)…I think it's cute. Anyway, review and tell me what you think!