Used to be part of Bits and Pieces. I'm just splitting them up. Because they really have nothing to do with each other.
"Check!" She slapped her hands down on her knees.
"Check!" She slapped her left hand on her right elbow.
"Daad!" She laughed. "Can we just start already! At this rate I'm never going to learn how to ride a bike without training wheels."
Derek was tough. He wasn't the buffest man. But, everyone knew that if you got into a fight with over something really extremely important, you didn't stand a chance. Casey, Marti, and Tiffany was his weak points. His girls. Oh! And what was worse than knowing you had weak points was that they knew they were his weak points. But, he didn't mind he would do anything for his girls.
"Well, Tiff, you are only six. Why don't we try next year?" Derek asked praying that she would take up the offer. He couldn't stand how fast she was growing up.
"No! It's now or never. I'm ready!"
"Okay." Derek pulled out her new Barbie bike with the streamers coming out the handles. "Hop on!" Tiffany hopped on and Derek grabbed the back of her seat to help her balance. When she felt it wiggle she got a little queasy.
"Don't let go!" She screamed.
"I won't let go." Derek reassured her.
"Promise me." Her voice quivered.
"I promise!" He hated that part. He knew he eventually had to let go and that was killing him. They started pedaling down their suburban street when Derek let go. She was doing it. She was riding the bike. The next thing he knew she was turning her head back to look at him and when she realized he wasn't there she lost her balance and fell.
Derek flew over to her to make sure she was alright. "Baby, you okay?"
"NO!" She cried as she saw blood on her leg. "You said you weren't gonna let go."
"I had to baby. How else were you gonna learn?" Tiffany took this statement into serious consideration.
"You said you weren't gonna let me get hurt. You promised." She looked up at him with tears running down her face.
"I know baby. I'm sorry." He scooped her up in his arms, brought her into the house, and handed her off to her mother. "She's got a little scrape."
Casey looked at him, then at Tiffany, and decided not to say a word. Instead just brought Tiffany into the bathroom to clean up her scar.
"Mommy, he lied to me."
"What are you talking about Tiffany?" Casey took out the Neosporin and squirted it onto the band-aid.
"He said he wouldn't let go." Tiffany looked at her in amazement that only a six year-old could. "He promised."
Casey laughed at her six year-old. "It's not funny, mommy." Casey just continued laughing. "Stop!" Casey's laughter made Tiffany crack a smile. "He said he wouldn't let go. And then I said 'promise' and he said 'I promise'. He lied to me! How can I ever trust him again." Where did she get this overdramatic gene from? Casey thought.
"Oh, honey. One day you will be begging your father to let go." Tiffany stared up at Casey. "He's just doing what's best for you. And hopefully sooner than later you'll figure that out." She patted her on the head, stood up, and said, "Now, are you gonna get off your butt, and try again, or are you going to give up?"
"Try again." Tiffany mumbled.
"That's my girl." Casey smiled and led her into the room Derek was in.
Derek was sitting on the couch flipping through the channels. As soon as Tiffany saw him she jumped up and pounced on his lap. "Let's go again!"
Derek stared at her in awe. "No. No. No. No. Not again. Clearly you are not ready to learn how to ride without training wheels."
"Yes. Yes. Yes, I am!" Emphasizing each 'yes' with a jump.
"No, I can't watch you get hurt again."
"Well, then close your eyes. 'Cause I'm gonna fall a couple of times." Derek winced at the thought of watching her fall repeatedly. "But, how can I learn how to get up if I don't fall down."
"Hey! Where did you get so smart?"
"Mommy." He mocked in a really high voice. "Mommy, doesn't know half the stuff I know!"
"HAHA! You want to eat tonight?" Casey joked as she walked away to go upstairs into the nursery.
They went outside to try again. And this time Derek didn't let go. At all. He wasn't going to let her get hurt!
"Daddy, let go!"
"Nu uh! I'm not gonna let you get hurt." Tiffany took one hand off the handles and started pushing him to get him off the bike. "LET GO!!"
"Are you sure?"
"Yes!" Despite his inner gut screaming at him not to, he let go. And she was riding the bike. He was so proud of her. He started screaming, "WHOO!! Look who's riding a bike!" really really loudly.
The neighbors all looked at him with raised eyebrows and he just looked back and said, "My baby is a pro!"
Tiffany pedaled back with a huge smile on her face. She jumped off the bike and gave him a big hug, "I love you daddy! Thank you for letting go!"
"Der-ek, stop acting like an ass!" Casey whispered fiercely.
"Casey, she is way too young!" Derek pointed at the stairs behind him.
"Derek, please. I started dating at 14 and I ended up fine. Look at me now. I'm fine."
"Some would disagree with that statement." She punched him in his arm.
"Derek, you are hurting that girl. Tiffany is upstairs bawling her eyes out. You know she will do whatever you say now. You tell her not to go on that date with James, who by the way is a really nice kid, she won't go. But, eventually she'll be sneaking out, without your permission and then who's going to feel really bad. I'll give ya a hint. It's not me!"
"Case, what if she get's hurt? Huh? What do I do then?"
"If she get's hurt, we'll be here to give her a band-aid, a pat on the head, and set her off again. We can't shelter her from the world, Derek."
"Casey, listen to me. I know his type!" He peaks back into the living room. "He looks like one of those players, with that whole leather-jacket-smirk thing going on. That dude is obviously up to no good. I mean who does he think he's kidding with those baggy pants and that shaggy hair."
Casey just folded her arms and raised her infamous eyebrow. Derek just put his head down knowing how ironic he sounded right now. "Ya know? I read this article somewhere once, that said girls tend to look for guys who are exactly like their fathers. They don't plan to, but that's how they end up." She lifts Derek's chin up and says, "If that boy, James, is anywhere near as good to her as you were, I think she'll be okay."
"I know she'll be okay." Derek glared at her and you could just sense the love he felt for his daughter. "But what if she's not."
"Derek." Casey sighed.
"I mean, I know she's a good kid and I'm not questioning that he's not a good kid either. I know she's 15, and I know she's ready to let go and leave me. But she's my baby girl. And, I just don't think I'm ready to let go yet."
"Of course you're not. We as parents are never ready. But when they're ready to let go, we have no choice, but to let go. That doesn't mean she doesn't need you anymore." Derek looked really frightened with this news. "Don't worry. If she makes a mistake she knows you will be there for her. Just like you were always there for Marti."
Derek glares at her again. She wraps her arms around his neck and kisses him. "God! You're such a sap!"
"I am not! Take that back!" Derek playfully yelled as he poked her in her tickleish sides.
"Uh, there is no way I'm taking that back!" Casey giggled as they became wrapped in a powerful lip-lock.
"Uh, Dad? Mom?" Casey and Derek look up to see Tiffany at the bottom of the stairs looking gorgeous. Their eyes light up and Casey says, "Oh! Let me get the camera!" She runs out the room to go find it.
Derek grabs Tiffany's arm. "Tiff, you look…"
"Amazing, Dashing, Drop-dead sexy." Tiffany joked as she spun around.
"All of the above, EXCEPT the last one." Tiffany wrapped her arms around him and gave him a huge hug.
"Just kidding. Anyways, I, uh, heard what you guys… your conversation or whatever and…I … Thank you for letting go, daddy."
Derek was tough in other areas, in the courtroom, with discipline to all of the children, in all the spats him and Casey would have for the rest of their lives. But, he was a sucker for his daughter. And everyone knew it.
"Yeah! Just go! This sappy stuff is making me sick!" Tiffany laughed and ran into the living room.
In the background he hears 'Hey James' and Casey snapping a million pictures, but all he could think about was his little girl riding a bike without him.
So, I hope you all enjoyed this one-shot. I did. I was watching Finding Nemo actually. I love how i get my inspiration. LOL!