'Messer', Danny grumbled groggily into his cell phone. He glanced over at his neon alarm clock that flashed a lurid shade of green. Despite his blurry vision without his glasses he could still make out that the time was 3.17 am.
Mac's voice crackled over the line. 'Danny, its Mac. I'm sorry to call you out but I really need you to head over to the lab'.
'Mac I can't', Danny stated. 'Rosie's asleep; it's too early to take her to my ma's. She really needs sleep; I think she's coming down with something'.
'Danny I know, I know. I'm sorry but I really need you. Hawks, Stella and Lindsay are all in the field and I need someone to work trace. Bring Rosie; she can sleep in the office. Please Danny, I wouldn't ask if it wasn't important'.
'Okay, I'll be in when I can', Danny reluctantly agreed.
Flipping on his bedside light Danny rubbed his eyes to try and wake himself up. Groaning, he threw back the covers and headed to the bathroom for a shower. 15 minutes later he was showered and dressed and headed into Rosie's room.
He quietly filled a bag with a change of clothes and some things for her to do during the day. Next he grabbed some food from the kitchen before heading back to fetch his daughter from her room.
'Daddy no'! She half sobbed as Danny lifted her into his arms. 'It's too early'.
'Sshh baby its okay, just try and go back to sleep'.
Rosie let out another moan as she buried her face into her daddy's chest and did what he said. Fell back asleep. Danny left the apartment and headed downstairs to the parking lot. Bundling her into the passengers' side and buckling her seatbelt he gently shut the door before heading around to the drivers side of his silver SUV.
20 minutes later they arrived at the lab and Danny lay Rosie down on the couch in the staff break room and covered her with her soft fleecy peach blanket that he had taken from home. He then headed across the corridor to the trace lab he would be working in that day. Like most of the rooms in the department the walls were mostly made of glass and from here he could see straight into the break room and keep a careful eye on his sleeping daughter.
Time had passed and it was soon 9.30 am and Danny was due a break. Rosie was still asleep on the sofa and he went to wake her.
'Rosie', he whispered to her as he gently rubbed her shoulder.
'Rosie, sweetheart, its time to get up', he said a little louder.
This time she stirred and her eyelids fluttered open.
'Morning', he beamed. 'You wanna get up and have some breakfast'.
Rosie nodded and tried to push herself up with one arm and rub the sleep out of her eyes with the other.
'Why are we here'? Rosie asked as Danny sat her up on a high stool at one of the tables.
'I got called in at the last minute. But as soon as I'm finished here we can do whatever you like, okay'?
Rosie nodded and yawned as Danny set a plate of fruit salad down in front of her and then one for himself. Despite his sometimes erratic working hours he always tried to eat most, or at least some, of their meals together. He poured two glasses of orange juice and sat down at the table to eat.
10 minutes later Rosie had finally finished eating; Danny had finished his 7 minutes previous.
'You done'? Danny asked. 'You want anything else'?
'Thank God for that', Danny joked as he rolled his eyes. 'I have NEVER met ANYONE who takes SOOO long to eat before. You sure don't get that from your Daddy'. His last few words were said through his own laughter as he grabbed Rosie, picking her up and tickled her sides.
'Daddy, STOP', she squealed through her giggles as she squirmed against him. He pulled up the bottom of the pyjama t-shirt and blew a raspberry on her tummy making her giggle more hysterically. Finally he stopped and planted a huge kiss on her cheek. He rose to his feet holding Rosie up on his hip.
'Okay beautiful. Let's get you dressed'. He dumped their dirty dishes in the dishwasher and grabbed his bag and headed to the locker room.
Rosie sat perched on the vanity unit next the sink and brushed her teeth while Danny pulled the clothes out of the bag and unfolded them. When her teeth were clean Danny wetted and soaped a facecloth and washed her face and neck. Danny asked what she wanted to do that day and she told him she wanted to go to the park and play on the swings.
'Arms in the air baby', he said. She raised her arms over her head and Danny pulled of her t-shirt and put on a clean, soft, cream coloured t-shit in its place. Rosie stood on top of the vanity as he help her change out of her pyjama bottoms and into cream woollen tights, a little denim skirt and a pair of cosy chocolate brown Uggs. He zipped her into a soft chocolate brown hoodie to match and lifted her down to the floor. He pulled the loose, soft brunet curls off of her face and into a ponytail and playfully tugged it.
'There, my baby is looking beautiful', he said with a big grin. Rosie grinned back before rocking a little on her feet as a huge sneeze shuddered through her body.
Danny looked at her in concern and felt her forehead and cheeks, she felt a little warm. He hated it when she was sick. She always looked so miserable, and he always felt so helpless. Another thing was that when she felt poorly she was always really clingy and rarely would let him out of her sight. It was this that broke his heart when he would have to leave her to go to work.
'It's okay sweetie, I've got a bottle of Tixilix that'll clear that right up'.
Gathering up her things he led her by the hand back to the break room.
'Hay hay hay, who's the cute brunet'?