Maes, Gracia and Elysia family fluff and general cuteness. Practially no plot whatsoever. Written because Maes Hughes is awesome and I don't write enough about him, and because fluff makes me smile.
I own nothing.
Maes Hughes bent over the bed and laid a kiss on his daughter's head.
"Morning, sunshine," he lifted her into his arms. "How's daddy's little angel today, huh?"
Elysia giggled at him. "Mornin' Dada!"
Maes set her down in her chair and unbuttoned her pyjamas, helping her into a flower-patterned sundress and brushing her wispy hair gently, pulling it up into two little bunches on each side of her head. "There we go." he grinned and hoisted her up again. "Breakfast!"
His wife greeted him with a kiss on the cheek. "Good morning, honey. Coffee's on the table for you."
"Thanks Gracia. You coming to the park with us this morning?"
Gracia shook her head. "I'm afraid not. I've got some errands to run this morning, Maes."
"That's alright." he said, reaching up to ruffle his daughter's hair. "It can be just me and Elysia today, right sunshine?"
A bib was fastened around Elysia's neck, and she was carefully strapped into the highchair. Gracia sat beside her to feed her while Maes buttered his toast. Shortly afterwards, Elysia was buttoned into her coat and her sunhat was placed on her head.
"All set. Okay, Gracia, we'll see you later!" he called.
The day was bright and the sky clear, and even if the wind was a little strong, it was still a perfect morning. The walk to the park was not far, so Maes set Elysia down, taking her hand in his to allow her to toddle along beside him.
Once they arrived, Maes sat on the grass and watched his little girl totter around the tiny park, watching her clamber up the ladder of the slide and down again. A wide smile on his face, he snapped off photographs of his beloved daughter. He watched as Elysia befriended another little girl, Jenny, and the two sat in the grass together, making daisy chains- or at least, Jenny made daisy chains while Elysia scurried about fetching daisies, as Elysia's hands and fingers were too small and too chubby for the delicate task. Soon, both girls had crowns of flowers in their hair and they laughed together.
Maes smiled. Click! He took a photograph of his daughter, fallen breathless and beaming to the grass.
Elysia smiled up at him as she presented him with a clumsy daisy chain, made all by herself (with only a little bit of help from Jenny) just for him. Maes laughed and placed the ring of flowers in his hair, to both girls' glee.
Now Elysia and Jenny were princesses, awaiting a knight to rescue them from their tower, otherwise known as the swingset.
Playing hide-and-seek and tag, racing around after each other giggling.
"I want to take a picta!" called Elysia, struggling to get her child's tongue around the words. Maes, unable to resist his daughter's request, handed her the camera.
Crown of daisies in his hair, laughing and smiling in an off-center photograph taken by small, clumsy hands.
Elysia handed the camera back as her attention was stolen by something else: "Dada, I want ice cream!"
Maes was only too happy to oblige, and after seeking permission from Jenny's mother, both girls had an ice cream cone in their hands and their flavour of choice smeared stickily over their faces.
Soon a little boy arrived with a kite, and Elysia was thoroughly delighted by the flying toy, chasing after it, hands aloft, shouting and laughing.
The morning ended too soon for both Maes and Elysia. The walk home was brief, but filled with chatter and giggling as Elysia recounted to him her adventures of the day. Maes was an excellent audience, laughing in all the right places, and he never once said the wrong thing, squeezing a small sticky hand gently in his own.
Gracia welcomed them both home with a wide smile and open arms, and they had a picnic lunch together in the garden. Elysia, only just wiped clean form the ice cream, soon became sticky once more with jam.
Maes pulled out the little inflatable paddling pool and filled it with water while Gracia took Elysia indoors to get changed into her swimsuit. Soon she was splashing her parents with water from her pool, soaking both Maes and Gracia from head to toe. She stood grinning in the pool, dressed in her mother's sunhat, as her parents mock-scolded her.
Once dressed and dry again, Elysia snuggled on the couch with her mother to listen to a story.
She fell asleep before dinner was served, and Maes gently lifted her and took her upstairs, slipping her sundress over her head and her nightgown on in its place, careful not to wake her, before tucking her under the covers.
He knelt beside her bed and kissed her forehead. "Goodnight, sunshine."
Startled by the unexpected camera sound, Maes looked up, to see his wife standing in the doorway with a fond smile on her face and the camera in her hands.
"There's the last of the film," she said, shaking her head with a smile. "Shutterbug."
"How can I resist?" he asked softly. "She's just so cute."
Gracia laughed quietly. "I love you, Maes."
"Love you too, Gracia."
Gracia stood back and looked at the photograph she had just placed on the mantelpiece. It was one of the few pictures they had of Maes- he was normally the one behind the camera, not in front of it. But there he was, caught unawares, bent over Elysia's bed with a tender smile.
"There's your daddy, Elysia. He loved you so much, you know." she whispered.
Elysia stared at the face of the man in the picture, so strange and so familiar, a face from her childhood memories.
She took it down and held it in her hands, studying somebody who meant so much to her and yet who she knew so little about.
"I love you, Dad."
Love you too, sunshine.