A/N: A small little one-shot to satisfy my ever-hungy muse. All mistakes are my own.
See profile for disclaimer.
As the elevator doors slid open, Danny wearily stepped in and hit no. 3 on the panel. He leant back against the cool metal wall of the elevator car and smiled at a chance to close his eyes, if only for a moment, as he felt just about ready to drop. After the 15 hour shift he had just exhaustingly endured, Danny was mildly surprised that his feet were still able to hold him up, and aside from the slight mishap in climbing out of the car, he was faring better than expected.
The elevator dinged open far too soon and Danny was once again faced with the trial of walking. With a mighty effort, he pushed off against the back wall and slowly shuffled out, his work bag slung over one shoulder, his clothes slightly damp from the rain, and into the adequately lit hallway of the third floor. At the other end was a large, open window, which against the opaque, wallpapered walls, allowed streams of sunlight and a healthy, cooling breeze to flow into the otherwise artificially lit and stuffy hallway. There was little noise save the shuffling of his jeans and the distant sounds of the city: loud cries and car horns. Once or twice, the tiles before his feet would creak as the pieces had come away from the cement fixing below.
Door after door Danny trudged by, stopping only when he reached the last, closest to the far end window. The sunlight revealed the old and dark wooden door whilst the others lingered in semi-darkness. He leaned forward and rested his forehead gently against the wood then slipped his fingers into the left pocket of his jeans to fish out his keys. Clanging loudly as he filtered through the numerous keys, he cringed at their volume against the silence, their piercing sound seemingly spearing straight through his bearable yet still growing headache. He found the key but in a moment of weakness, his eyelids fell to a close.
The correct one between his fingers, Danny blindly searched for the keyhole, knowing the chance of him actually managing to get the door open with his eyes closed was slim. After several failed attempts, he peeked and inserted the key into its hole and unlocked the door, savouring the satisfying click of the lock as it opened. With a grunt, he turned the handle and pushed the door open and immediately was hit by sunlight, shining through the large windows on the opposite side of the apartment.
Closing and locking the door behind him, Danny was about to call out when he heard a soft voice, murmuring, just above a bare whisper that caught his ear coming from the kitchen. He let his bag drop to the floor and cringed as the metal buckle of the strap hit the polished wooden floor with a thud. On the coat hanger standing beside the door, he hung his jacket before ridding of his shoes and padding into the kitchen in his socks.
Danny smiled at the sight of Lindsay, cradling their sick three year-old son in her arms. Only against his mother's small frame did he realise how big his son was getting, the thought serving to only widen his grin. Before he could utter a word, Lindsay spoke with her back still to him.
"Are you just gonna stand there all day?" She said softly. "It's not a free show you know."
With a grin, Danny stepped forward as Lindsay turned around with a smile. "Hey," he greeted, leaning forward to kiss her on the lips.
"You knew I was home?" he asked.
Lindsay rolled her eyes and shifted Owen in her arms. Owen however didn't seem to enjoy the need to move or the sudden noise that had befallen the kitchen and he whined in complaint.
"With the noise you make, honey, who didn't?"
Danny chuckled and shook his head. "How's he doing?" he asked, tilting his head towards Owen.
Lindsay smiled and bounced Owen slightly in her arms, making the little guy lean back to seemingly glare at his mother. Turning to Danny, he stretched out his arms and was happy to be transferred into his father's arms.
"Hey, big guy," said Danny as his fingers ruffled his son's short, brown hair.
"Hi, Daddy," Owen replied, his voice tired and flat. Bringing his arms around his father's neck, he held on loosely as he was gently swayed from side to side. It didn't take long for him to fall asleep with his head pillowed on his father's shoulder.
Knowing that Owen had fallen asleep, Danny turned to Lindsay, who was now leaning against the island counter, smiling at the likeness between father and son. There was no doubt that Owen was theirs, having inherited his mother's dark hair and seemingly everything from his father's face. Lindsay suspected that Owen may have inherited her height but had kept from saying anything. Their little bundle of joy still had plenty of time to grow.
"Can you take him?" Danny asked, carefully handing Owen over so as not to wake him. "I'm a little wet."
"I'll go put him back in bed," said Lindsay softly as Danny disappeared around the corner towards their bedroom.
Lindsay turned the other way and slowly walked to Owen's room, which lay on the opposite side of the family area, closest to the kitchen. The walls of his room were a light yet concentrated peach colour, which seemed to glow in the yellow sunlight. All around the room were pictures of cars, some hung, and some simply stuck on with clear tape. Scattered across the floor were his many toy cars, a few in line on the small road map carpet they had bought him, to his very delight, earlier that year. On the far left corner, opposite the open window was his bed; it had been his cradle before, which was then transformed into a child's bed. The bedding was a dark blue in contrast with the bright walls, with little cars zooming by here and there. Owen had picked it out himself.
Threading through the mayhem of vehicle accidents happening all over the floor, Lindsay crossed the room with practiced ease and slowly lowered Owen into his bed. Shaken awake, Owen blinked and stretched and rubbed his eyes idly as he twisted and turned and then fell asleep again, snuggling Toddy, his stuffed elephant.
In silence, Lindsay turned and slowly lowered the blinds, twisting them open just enough to let light in but not so that the light fell directly onto Owen's face. Making her way back to the door, she turned around and sighed happily, accompanied by a warm smile. A pair of arms snaked around her waist and Lindsay leaned back against her husband's chest. She turned her head and happily accepted the kiss he offered, which was gentle and loving, and warming as it always was.
"How was work?" Lindsay asked in a whisper, rubbing Danny's arms gently.
"Boring," replied Danny. "I missed you."
"I missed you too."
Nuzzling their cheeks together, Danny began to gently sway them on the spot, side to side, and their eyes fell closed as if in a floating dream, bearing them away from noise and troubles of the real world.
"How's he doing?" Danny asked.
Lindsay's eyes opened and her sight landed on the sleeping form across the small room. "Better," she replied. Then her eyes closed again. "I want him back, Danny. I want to see him running around the apartment. I want to hear him sing along with the radio. I want to dance with him on the couch, help him climb onto your bike…"
"Climb onto my bike?" Danny repeated.
Lindsay grinned. "He likes to sit on it but he can't reach the handle bars. He likes pretending to be you if you hadn't noticed."
"I noticed," Danny replied with a smile. "I think I need to have a little talk with Jr. about playing with Daddy's bike."
Lindsay laughed and Danny tightened his embrace. Her laughter died down as her eyes scanned the room once again and the sight of their son, peacefully sleeping on the bed, so small yet such a force to be reckoned with. Noting her silence, Danny bent down and kissed her temple, holding her tight as they both stood, swaying in the doorway of their son's bedroom.
"He'll be fine in no time," said Danny, nuzzling his scruffy jaw against Lindsay's neck. He smiled as she squirmed slightly in his arms. "You'll probably be wantin' him to be sick again pretty soon."
The thought of wanting their son to be sick seemed foreign in Lindsay's mind and she shook her head. "He's just like you, you know that?"
With a grin, Danny steered the out of the room and onto the black leather couch that sat in front of the TV. He groaned in comfort as the soft leather moulded to the shape of his back and Lindsay leaned in to cuddle beside him.
"What time's your shift tonight?" asked Danny as he ran his fingers through her hair.
Lindsay shifted slightly and leaned in closer, resting a hand on his chest, content with its slow rise and fall and the rhythmic thump of his heart. "Ten," she replied with her eyes closed.
"So we can still have dinner together before you leave," said Danny, happy with the prospect of having dinner with his entire family. He smiled and kissed the top of Lindsay's head tenderly and she brought one of his hands to her lips.
"He's going to be a nightmare tonight."
"What do you mean?" asked Lindsay.
Danny chuckled. "You know he never sleeps when you're not home."
"He sleeps when you're home," Lindsay said.
"And he wakes up every ten minutes looking for you."
Lindsay smiled and Danny brought his hand to his mouth.
"Why don't you go and sleep, Dan?" asked Lindsay. "You're exhausted."
"I can't sleep without my beautiful wife next to me," said Danny as he stifled yet another from a never-ending string of yawns. Lindsay leaned forward and turned to gave him a look; her eyes narrow and her eyebrows high.
Danny grinned and raised both his arms in comedic surrender. "Alright, I'm going!" And stealing one last kiss, he got up and padded into their bedroom, closing the door slightly after him. A moment later, Lindsay heard the bathroom door close.
Tucking her legs beneath her, Lindsay leaned forward and grabbed the book that was sitting on the glass coffee table. The coffee cup that sat next to it laid forgotten, dry and empty, and she resolved to take it to the sink later. Turning the pages of the book, she began to read and hours that passed seemed like mere minutes. Outside the sun rose higher and higher and stood proud above the indifferent city below.
It was still a while before Lindsay was able to extract herself and she noted that it was already nearly two in the afternoon. She closed the book and replaced it by the coffee cup but before she could do anything else, a soft padding of feet could be heard upon the floor, slowly at first and then hastening as it neared. Lindsay turned and saw a blur of brown hair pass the arm of the couch and a force landed in her lap.
With a touch of difficulty, Owen climbed onto his mother's lap and sat there, a toy car in one hand, his elephant in the other, and his face buried in her shoulder. Lindsay smiled and kissed the top of his head lovingly. "You hungry?" she asked and Owen nodded, running his car over the top of his mother's arms.
Taking him in her arms, Lindsay carried Owen into the kitchen and sat him on the edge of the island counter. The elephant was remained on the couch but the car followed, and Lindsay couldn't help but smile when he began to drive the car along the counter-top.
"Can you drink some water for Mommy?" Lindsay asked. Owen looked up and nodded with a smile.
Turning around, Lindsay brought out a green plastic cup and filled it with water. She turned back around and laughed. Owen had apparently leaned across to the fruit basket and picked out a banana, which he was now pointing around like a gun. He pointed the end at his mom and said, "BANG!"
Lindsay feigned a shot and stepped back in mock pain. Owen giggled and bounce in his seat. Lindsay laughed and held out her hand and Owen gave the Banana which she traded for the cup of water. He drank slowly and spilled only a tiny drop. Lindsay smiled and gave him a kiss on the cheek and took the cup away before handing him the banana she had just peeled.
Dropping the cup in the sink, Lindsay watched as Owen ate in silence, one hand holding the banana whilst the other drove the car through the air; up and down, in circles and swirls. His legs swung back and forth over the edge and Lindsay stood near in case he fell. A movement in the corner of her eye caught her attention and Lindsay turned to see Danny leaning against the fridge, a warm smile on his face which she could do nothing but reciprocate. Owen, noticing his father, turned and raised his arms, banana and car included.
The coffee cup in front of the TV remained forgotten amidst the smiles and laughter.
A/N: Thoughts? Suggestions? Please review and share them.