Author's Greeting: Hi. This is my first story here on FF. This story is extremely fluffy. It's also heavy on Philippa and James Cobb. It was written for this prompt: Five visits they (Ariadne/Arthur) made to the Cobb family and one they made to them.
Silly Uncle Arthur
"You're not worried she'll be terribly upset?" Arthur parks the car in front of a large two-story house.
"No. Little girls are more resilient than you think. Besides, she probably doesn't even remember." Ariadne grabs the shopping bag filled with wrapped presents from the back seat. A drawing set for Philippa and an ant farm for James.
Arthur isn't convinced. "How can she not remember? She was quite adamant about it the last time I was here. And I only agreed to it because that was before you came to your senses."
"I came to my senses!" She scoffs, turning to give him an annoyed stare but he has already exited the car, hurrying over to open her door. Once he lets her out she starts up again.
"Arthur, this may be hard for you to believe, but you are not god's gift to wo—mmph." She's silenced with a kiss.
"Maybe not to all women, just one." He winks and smiles his little self-satisfied smile, the one that says he knows he's right and is going to get his way. She loves and hates that smile. Glaring at him, he just laughs. "Come on, let's see Dom and the kids."
Taking her hand they walk up the steps to the Cobb residence and ring the doorbell. They can hear the patter of young footsteps running towards the door before seeing two small blonde heads peeking out from the thin glass panes that frame the door. From inside Philippa yells out, "Daddy! Daddy, hurry!"
As soon as Dom opens the door Philippa launches herself at Arthur. The point man laughs and picks up the little girl.
"Uncle Arthur! I missed you!"
Arthur kisses her on the head before setting her down. "I missed you too, Pippa." She giggles at the pet name he always uses.
He then bends down to pick up the more reserved James who gives his Uncle Arthur a big bear hug. "Did you miss me, Uncle Awtur?"
"Of course, James."
"Kids, you remember Auntie Ari, right?" Dom asks, once Arthur is done giving hugs and kisses.
"Yeah, she's the one that makes the best forts!" Philippa gives her a hug, one less enthusiastic than what she gave Arthur.
James raises his arms to be picked up, saying, "I founded a cwicket."
She sets down the bag of gifts to lift James up. "You did?" The little boy smiles and nods his head.
Ariadne smiles herself, remembering her first visit to Dom and his family after the inception job. She helped James root in the ground for bugs in the backyard; then she and Philippa built a fort in her bedroom out of bed linens, blankets, pillows, and her miniature table and chair set.
"What's in the bag?" Curious, Philippa peeks inside.
"Your Uncle Arthur and I brought you both presents."
"Congratulations." Dom raises his beer in a toast. "I knew this day would come, the first time I saw you two together. It's about goddamn time."
Sitting on the backyard patio set, Arthur and Ariadne have just finished telling Dom they've become engaged.
"I'm worried about telling Philippa though." Arthur watches the little girl using her new drawing set while sitting in the playset swing.
"Why are you worried about telling her?" Dom frowns at him.
"He thinks she'll be upset and disappointed because now he can't marry her when she grows up like promised."
Dom's look of amused disbelief causes Ariadne to chuckle, which causes Dom to shake his head and start snickering, which leads Ariadne to laugh harder and Dom to slap Arthur on the back.
"Arthur, you're not god's gift to women, you know," Dom says. Ariadne's laughter gets louder. "Besides, I have a feeling she'll get over it."
Arthur crosses his arms, the only one not amused.
Philippa and James run over to find out why almost everyone is laughing.
"What's so funny, daddy?"
"Nothing sweetheart, we're all just happy. Your Uncle Arthur and Auntie Ari have some good news. They're getting married."
Everyone turns to focus on little Philippa's face. She turns a serious one to Arthur.
"You and Auntie Ari are getting married?"
Arthur bends down in his seat to address the little girl gently. "Yes, Pippa, I love your Auntie Ari and we're getting married. But that doesn't mean I love you or James any less."
"Oh good. Now I can marry Benji."
"What? Who's Benji?"
"He's a boy in my class. He knows all his alphabet letters and he's so smart and funny and he shares his animal crackers with me. Now that I don't have to marry you, I can marry Benji when I grow up."
"So, you're not upset that we won't get married?"
"No." She giggles. "You're silly Uncle Arthur. And old!"
She runs off to return to the swing set, James in tow.
Coming over to sit on Arthur's lap, Ariadne puts her arms around her deflated fiancé. "Awww, I'll still marry you silly Uncle Arthur."
Dom's backyard was organized chaos. That was the only way to describe a four year old boy's birthday party turned impromptu water fight war zone.
Dom, James' uncles, the hired magician, and a couple of the fathers of the birthday boy's guests were all running around in small teams ducking under or behind makeshift bunkers otherwise known as the patio furniture, plants, the large trees in the front and back yard, and the play set.
Ariadne and the mothers were relegated to watching from the inside the house after removing all the food, presents, and birthday cake from the path of destruction. The women are currently sipping wine that they break open once they realize their men and children are going to run amok.
Standing apart from the other women, Ariadne holds a towel and smiles as she watches Dom, with James on his shoulders shooting a water gun, run by. James hit his targets, a group of three children with one of the fathers. Scanning the backyard she sees the hired magician with his little band of children sneak up on an unsuspecting father and his group by the patio furniture. The shouts and laughter were testament that all the children and the men were having a good time, the men probably more so than the kids.
As the minutes flew past she saw almost every child and adult male run past in some state of wetness. Most had emptied their water guns and were heading back toward the house where towels were waiting. But there were two groups, two men specifically, who were suspiciously absent.
"Which one is yours?" One of the mothers comes up to her.
"If you're referring to the little children, then none of them are. One of the big boys is mine though."
The woman chuckles and points to one of the fathers. "The one that's wearing the drenched jeans and blue polo shirt is mine, along with the little girl in the purple dress." She sighs before adding, "It's going to be a soggy ride home."
Ariadne smiles back and is about to make a comment when she sees Arthur with Philippa and another little boy. They are all miraculously dry. She points out Arthur to the woman.
"That one in the khaki pants and white dress shirt is mine."
"Oh, you're so lucky. He's completely dry."
She watches as Arthur and the children walk undeneath the tree house. She sees a flash of Hawaiian print and two small heads above.
"Yeah, not for long."
Suddenly, a loud accented voice yells, "Air strike!" Three huge, bloated water balloons fall from the tree house, breaking onto the unsuspecting trio. Philippa and the boy scream and laugh as the water soaks through their clothes.
"Oh, my, I guess you're not so lucky after all!"
With Eames' laughter bellowing in the late afternoon sunshine, Ariadne makes her way over to her dripping wet fiancé. His white shirt becomes translucent and begins to cling to his hard body. With dry towel in hand and big smile on her face, she softly corrects the woman's words.
"No, I'm pretty damn lucky."
Prince Arthur and Sleeping Beauty
"So what do you think?"
Arthur and Dom are sitting in Dom's kitchen, drinking beers and discussing a job that Arthur and Ariadne are thinking of taking.
"You came up with the idea?" At Arthur's nod Dom sips his beer before answering Arthur's question. "I think it's pretty damn good and it should work." He pauses to smile at Arthur. "You know, you've gotten more imaginative since we've stopped working together. Ariadne must be a good influence on you."
Arthur smirks. "Yeah, well, she's got an advantage over you. She can apply certain highly satisfying influencing methods on me." Dom snorts and shakes his head, taking another drink of beer.
"Uncle Arthur! Hurry! Auntie Ari was put under a spell by a wicked witch! She's trapped in the castle and won't wake up until you fight the dragon and save her! Hurry! Hurry!" Philippa tugs at his hand and Arthur looks to Dom.
Dom just shrugs and explains, "She's been watching 'Sleeping Beauty.'"
As Arthur lets Philippa drag him up the stairs to her bedroom, he notices that Dom's couch is missing its cushions. They stop at her bedroom doorway where he sees James dressed in a dinosaur costume, growling at him in front of a makeshift castle. The castle is really Philippa's canopied bed covered by bed sheets hanging down from the bed posts. The missing couch cushions have been repurposed as a drawbridge that one has to crawl through to get inside the bed.
"Slay the dragon Uncle Arthur!"
The dragon brings his arms out, growling and clawing at him. The prince lets the dragon run him down, falling to his knees with the dragon on top of him. The dragon pretends to gnaw on the prince before the prince reaches out to tickle the little dragon, causing fits of laughter that continue when he lifts the dragon high above his head.
"I've vanquished you dragon. Be gone!" He puts the dragon down on the ground, making a tickling motion with his fingers. The dragon runs behind his sister, giggling.
"Yay, Uncle Arthur! You did it! Now you have to go inside the castle and wake the princess with a kiss."
"With a kiss? Are you sure I have to kiss her?"
"Yeah, that's the only way she'll wake from the witch's spell. She's been sleeping for a hundred years."
"A hundred years? Then she's going to be old and ugly."
Philippa considers this. "Well, she still looks the same as she did when she fell asleep."
It's the prince's turn to consider. "But if she's been asleep for a hundred years, then she hasn't taken a bath in a hundred years. She's probably smelly."
"Uncle Arthur! The princess is beautiful and smells nice! Go and kiss her!"
"Alright, if I have to." The prince gets down on his hands and knees to crawl through the castle entrance where he finds the princess lying on Philippa's bed, arms folded across her stomach, smile on her face, eyes closed. He maneuvers his way to lay by her side.
Philippa and the dragon poke their heads through the hanging sheets at the foot of the bed.
The prince looks down, examining the princess. "Well, she's not old and wrinkly."
Giggles come from the foot of the bed.
The prince nuzzles his face into the crook of the princess' neck, sniffing. The princess presses her mouth together to suppress a laugh.
"And I guess she smells okay considering she hasn't taken a bath in a hundred years."
"Come on, kiss her already!"
The prince leans down and gives his princess a loud kiss. The princess sits up in bed, opens her eyes and exclaims, "My prince has come! He has awoken me with a kiss." The prince sits up as well and leans in to give his princess another kiss, longer this time.
"Ewwww! Gross! Stop!" Footsteps race through the hall and down the stairs.
A minute later with lips still locked and the prince partially on top of the once again supine princess, the bed sheets are drawn apart. Dom is standing above them.
"Alright Prince Arthur and Sleeping Beauty, get out of my daughter's bed."
The thunder wakes Philippa up. She knows it probably woke James up as well so she waits for him to run into her room. In less than a minute her brother is opening her door, wrapped in his blanket.
"Pippa, the noises are scarwee." Entering the room he runs to her bed.
"I know James, but we have to be brave because daddy's not here. But he said the noises won't hurt us." Just then another clap of thunder booms, the loudest one so far.
Philippa wants to be a brave girl but it is too hard. She grabs James' hand and they run out of her room and down the stairs.
"Come on, let's go to Uncle Arthur and Auntie Ari's room." The two small children make their way towards the guest room next to the kitchen. Philippa is about to raise her hand to knock and call out when she hears her Aunt Ari on the other side of the door.
"Oh god, oh god, oh god …please…oh…god!"
Philippa stands frozen in front of the door. Despite her fear she remembers her grandmother telling her it isn't polite to interrupt someone who is praying to god.
The two children stand hand in hand in front of the guest bedroom door for a few minutes.
"Pippa, let's go inside Uncle Awtur and Auntie Awri's woom."
"No James. Auntie Ari's praying to god to stop the thunder. I think it's working. It stopped raining." The rain outside has indeed stopped. The storm passed.
"Let's go back to our rooms."
"Can I stay in your woom Pippa?"
"Okay, come on."
The following morning Arthur is at the stove in the Cobb kitchen, making chocolate chip pancakes. Ariadne sits at the table with the children, putting whipped cream smiley faces on the finished cakes.
"Hi everyone." A soggy and tired Dom enters the kitchen.
"Daddy!" Two sets of voices greet their father who scoops his kids up into his arms.
"Hey, I missed you guys. I'm sorry I couldn't be here last night. Were you two scared during the storm?"
James nods his head but Philippa answers, "It was okay daddy, Auntie Ari made the rain and thunder go away."
Everyone turns their heads to the supposed miracle worker.
"Yeah. Me and James came down here last night and heard you praying to god."
Suspicious, Dom asks, "You heard Auntie Ari praying?"
"Yeah, she was saying, 'Oh god, oh god, oh god, please, oh god.' And then the rain and thunder went away."
"You didn't…see Auntie Ari and Uncle Arthur…praying to god did you?"
"Oh, god." Ariadne moans and puts her head in her hands.
Arthur, standing by the stove, laughs.
Both Dom and Ariadne give him a warning look.
Philippa doesn't pick up on any of the tension between the adults. She beams up at her father and proudly says, "No, I remembered grandma told me not to interrupt someone who was praying, so me and James went back upstairs. We weren't very scared at all, huh James?"
The little boy nods enthusiastically.
"Well, Pippa, I for one am glad you didn't interrupt your Auntie Ari. She was praying to god for a long time before her prayer was answered. And god wouldn't answer my prayer until he answered hers first."
"What did you pray for Uncle Arthur?"
"Oh, I prayed for god to quickly answer your Auntie Ari's prayers."
A smiley face chocolate chip pancake hits Arthur in the face.
"Now remember guys, don't tell your Auntie Ari she's fat. Her stomach is getting bigger because there's a baby growing inside."
"Did Auntie Ari eat the baby?" James asks, in childish innocence.
"Ewww. James, that's gross!" Then turning to her father, horrified, Philippa asks, "Auntie Ari didn't eat a baby did she?"
Dom chuckles. "No, she didn't eat a baby. No one eats babies."
"Then how did the baby get inside of her?"
Uh-oh. Dom stepped into this one. He has been dreading the 'where do babies come from' talk ever since he heard Ariadne was pregnant. He forgot to pick up the book that taught parents how to talk to their children about this and now he's caught unprepared.
"Uh, well, you see…" His mind gropes for answers, anything other than telling them the truth. "There are these birds and these bees." Wait, even he didn't know how the hell that worked.
"What about the birds and the bees?" Philippa asked.
"Birds lay eggs! Bees make honey!" James chimes in.
"That's right James, very good." He ruffles the boy's hair. "Birds do lay eggs and bees do make honey."
"Dad, what does that have to do with Auntie Ari having a baby inside of her?"
Philippa's curiosity and persistence are both a blessing and a curse. "I'm not sure actually. Nevermind the birds and the bees. Uh, you see, when a man and a woman…that is, when a man loves a woman and a woman loves a man…they like to…uh, show each other…in a, uh, special way…and sometimes that uh, makes a baby grow inside the woman." That sounded okay.
"What kind of special way?"
Shit. He isn't out of the woods yet. "Well, uh, a man and a woman who love each other…like to...uh...give each other, uh, special hugs. And when they…hug…a special seed passes from the man to the woman and then it grows into a baby." He hopes Philippa will accept that because he's running out of metaphors.
"So Uncle Arthur gave Auntie Ari a seed. Like a plant?"
"Sort of, but this seed is a special one that turns into a baby."
Philippa turns a worried look to her father. "Dad, Benji hugged me yesterday by the swings, am I going to have a baby?"
"No! Oh, god, no sweetheart, only grown-ups can have babies. Besides, the hug is a special one that grown-ups do while they're lying down." That isn't so bad. Still, Dom can't help but think that that isn't entirely true. A woman can get pregnant during 'stand-up hugging', but now isn't the time to get technical about positions.
"Oh, good. Benji and I aren't ready to have babies. We'll have them when we get married like Uncle Arthur and Auntie Ari."
"Good, I'm glad to hear it. No special hugging until you're married."
"Do you want to feel the baby, Dom?"
Dom tentatively places his hand over Ariadne's stomach. He startles when he feels the baby kick. "This kid's got a kick like Philippa did. I swear she was playing soccer in there."
Ariadne laughs. "I'm not surprised. She's bursting with curiosity; she probably couldn't wait to get out and explore the world."
"Speaking of curiosity, today she asked about how you got pregnant."
Amused, Ariadne asks, "And how did that go?"
"Pretty good, if I do say so myself. Oh, and don't worry if she asks you and Arthur about special hugs and seed transferal."
"Hmmm. I guess that's not so bad. There's a bit of truth in that."
Just then, Philippa storms into the living room. Arthur, carrying James, is right behind her.
"Dad, you lied to me! Uncle Arthur told me the truth about making babies. Boys have penises and sperms and girls have vaginas and eggs!"
Lady Bugs Are Boys, Too
"James! James! Where are you! Please come out!"
James didn't want to come out of his hiding place. He was mad at his Uncle Arthur and Auntie Ariadne. Ever since the new baby was born no one had time for him anymore. Everybody wanted to see the baby and hold the baby. Nobody cared about him anymore.
The new baby was a boy, just like James. Andy. Andy cried all the time and Auntie Ari always had to feed him and she didn't have time to look for bugs or play with James. And Uncle Arthur always carried baby Andy around and didn't lift James up in the air or make him chocolate chip smiley face pancakes like he always used to do.
And they didn't come to visit their house in California anymore because the baby was too small to fly in the airplane. Instead, his dad and Philippa and he had to go to a place called France where they stayed in Uncle Arthur and Auntie Ari's house; they didn't even have a yard with a sandbox.
"James! Please, James, come out!"
Suddenly the baby starts crying. James just gets madder because now everyone will stop looking for him and thinking about him because they will all just worry about the baby and not him.
James wants to take care of that. Crawling out of his hiding place underneath Andy's crib, James drags the little foot stool by the rocking chair and moves it to the side of the crib. Climbing on top of it he looks through the slats of the crib to see Andy's little face scrunched up and crying.
"Shhhhh. Andy, be quiet!"
James gets down from the stool and walks over to the shelf. He picks out the gift that Philippa chose for Andy, a little cow that moos when you squeezed it. Climbing back on the stool he squeezes the cow but Andy just cries harder. James climbs back down and finds the gift he picked out sitting on the rocking chair. It's a lady bug shaped stuffed animal that rattles when shaken. Going back to Andy he reaches through the slats and shakes the toy in front of the baby's face. Andy abruptly stops crying. He's looking at the lady bug. James shakes it some more and the plastic antennas wobble. Andy continues to stare, eyes transfixed on the toy.
"Do you like this toy, Andy?" He shakes it again and this time Andy kicks out his legs.
"I picked this toy for you. Pippa said it was stupid, but I thought you'd like it." Pushing his other arm through the slats he pulls both black spotted wings up, making the toy look like it's flying. James moves the lady bug so it is flying. Andy puts a fist in his mouth and kicks out again.
"You like the lady bug, don't you? Did you know that lady bugs aren't all ladies? Some of them are boys too. Like you and me." Andy makes a gurgling sound.
"I can teach you about bugs. I know a lot. Your mommy and daddy bought me an ant farm and a book all about bugs. When I can read good I can read it to you if you want." He shakes the lady bug again and this time Andy turns his head to look at James.
"Hi Andy. I'm your big cousin James." Andy continues to gurgle and stare. "You have a big cousin named Pippa, too, but she's a girl, not a boy like you and me."
"The boys have to stick together so the girls don't boss them around. Especially the older sisters." James sticks a finger out in front of Andy which he immediately grabs and tries to stick in his mouth. "We can be like brothers, since I don't have one and you don't have one either."
Suddenly, a hand rests on James' head. He looks up to see his Auntie Ari smiling down at him. She looks like she's going to cry. James pulls his finger away from Andy's grip. Andy starts to cry again.
"I'm sorry, Auntie Ari. I didn't mean to make the baby cry."
"No, James, it's okay. Andy likes you."
"I like him too." James watches as Ariadne lifts Andy out of his crib.
"We've been looking all over for you, James. But you've been here taking good care of your cousin Andy all along." She takes a seat in the rocking chair. "Why don't you go downstairs? Uncle Arthur is making you chocolate chip pancakes. You can help him make the smiley faces."
"Okay." He smiles and starts to walk out the door but then turns back and grabs the toy from the crib and then hands it to his Aunt. "Auntie Ari, if Andy cries again, just show him the lady bug toy. He likes that one."
Ariadne smiles, taking the toy. "I know. It's his favorite."
A/N: I hope you enjoyed. Sorry if I gave you cavities =)