The Meaning of the Word 'Fun'
The house was warm and quiet, and as Seth stepped through the front door, the heat washed over him in a pleasant way while the silence did not. It was rather customary of Eirika to greet him at the door, to help him out of his coat or take his briefcase or his gym bag or whatever he happened to be carrying, and usher him to the table to shove her latest cooking attempt at him.
He rather enjoyed the little routine, and in fact looked forward to it, especially after a hard day's work.
Even the cat was nowhere to be seen, and she always wound around his ankles for the sole purpose of tripping him up. Or perhaps the feline's ulterior motive was to get her white fur on his black pants, her black fur on his white pants, and the brown fur on everything it would show up on.
He shrugged out of his long coat and paused to hang it up before taking off his hat and placing it on the hook above it. His briefcase remained by the door as he took off his suit jacket and left it on a random chair in the dining room.
Eirika's car was still in the driveway, and he doubted she had left in the snow on foot, so his best guess was that she had fallen asleep on the couch watching the evening news.
The living room was a mess. The sheer clutter left him reeling for a moment before he managed to compose himself. Blankets were piled on the couch, and pillows scattered all over the floor. Chairs from the dining room had somehow made their way into the middle of the floor, and underneath a blanket was a flailing figure he identified as his wife.
He hugged her blanket-clad figure and after she got over being startled, she laughed and hugged him back.
"I have a great idea," she said to him, pulling the blanket off of her head.
"I see that," he answered, his lip twitching upward in amusement at her strange behavior.
She let the blanket fall to the floor and removed their cat from a pile of blankets on the couch. Their sole pet (and secret "daddy's" girl) didn't seem bothered by the change in the least, settling right back down on the very next available pile of blankets. Seth rubbed her ears as he watched Eirika shake out the blankets she had taken.
"Now, I know you don't know what the meaning of the word fun is," she began, a cheeky grin beginning to spread across her face as she spoke, likely due to him having raised an eyebrow curiously in an, "Oh, really?" sort of way. "But," she continued, "I think that you need this experience to make your life complete."
"And what," he said, letting the cat get back to her sleep and moving over to Eirika's side, playfully grabbing at her ticklish ribs, "pray tell, is that?"
"A blanket fort."
Her expression was so serious, he wasn't sure if she was trying to mess with him or not. But the clutter in the room pretty much told him she was serious.
He grabbed the blanket out of her hand, his expression as flat as he could make it. "I'll have you know," he said, pulling up one of the chairs, "that I am an expert blanket-fort maker."
"But I'll bet you don't have a degree in it, yet."
"We'll see," he said, combing his hair back from his face with one hand as he pulled another chair nearby.
"You can be such a child sometimes," she said a half-hour later, pouting at him from inside her own blanket fort.
He chuckled. "I win?"
He let the room grow silent except for the sound of the vents blasting hot air and the purring of the cat (that Eirika had taken hostage in her own fort). "I'll bet if we worked together we could make our blanket forts into one big blanket fort."
"Fraternizing with the enemy?" Eirika asked, seemingly to the air. "I'm not so sure that's a good idea."
His lip twitched in amusement. "Innes does it all the time."
"Hmm, true… I suppose I could assist you in making your blanket fort as cool as mine."
"So what do I win?" he asked, crawling out of his fort and scooting the chairs closer to her fort a little bit at a time. "Maybe something good?"
"Oh yes," she said, coming out to move her fort closer to his. She paused to loosen his tie, and twirled the end of it around her hand. "Something very good."
"As good as my expertly-built blanket fort?" He could hear the sounds of the cat as she attacked the blankets that moved beneath her. "I think I could go for some hot chocolate."
"I might be able to arrange that," she said. "But only if you finish the blanket fort by yourself. And," she said, poking her finger directly into his chest as she spoke, "you will get no choice as to how many marshmallows are in it."
He made a face. Marshmallows always melted and then stuck to his face. "I might require your assistance in marshmallow removal, then. I do not have a degree in that field."
"Luckily for you," she said, disappearing into the kitchen, "I do."
With drinks in hand, they sat together under the blanket fort in the semi-darkness. He felt a little silly sitting there in a white dress shirt a tie, but Eirika looked right at home with her head on his shoulder wearing corduroy pants and a red sweater.
The cat had moved on to attacking the outside of the fort, and Eirika teased her by trailing her fingers across the material.
He took a sip of his hot chocolate, and as predicted, he felt the sticky marshmallow fluff plaster itself to him. It did not escape Eirika's notice.
"A chance to put my degree to good use?" she asked before abandoning her game with the cat and leaning up to kiss him before sucking the sugary stuff from his upper lip.
He kissed her back, setting his mug on the floor nearby and wrapping his arms around her. "I don't have a degree in it," he said, licking at a little bit of it that had stuck to her chin, "but I hear practice makes perfect."
"Oh?" she asked innocently, and then, before he could react, wiped marshmallow fluff all over his lower lip. "I guess we'll have to find out."
He retaliated immediately by dipped his finger into her mug and smearing it across both of her lips. "I guess we will."
Twenty minutes later, when the cat had given up mauling the blankets, and they were out of fluff to use, Eirika snuggled up against him and set her empty mug beside his.
"I guess we're about even," she said after a moment.
Suddenly the fort fell in on them along with a startled cat (who, of course, had thought the top of the fort looked as if it could be treaded across).
Seth put his arms around her under the pile of blankets, as one of the chairs tipped over backward and landed beside them. "We're under attack," he whispered in her ear. "I don't think we stand a chance."
"We're done for," she agreed, pressing her lips against his for a brief moment. "I guess we'll have to make the most of our last moments of life, won't we?"
"It's our only option." But before he could say anything else, a small cat head appeared under the blankets and uttered a plaintive, lonely meow before it settled between them and kneaded its claws on Seth's white shirt, purring all the while.
She giggled, "It looks like the enemy called a truce. Lucky us!"
He couldn't help but smile and reach his hand between them to rub the cat's ears. "Well, I tried to be fun."
"This is," she assured him, rubbing her nose against his.
Wolfraven80 has been through a rough year this year, and I wanted to be sure to get this 'fic out before Christmas for her. Lots of silly cuteness! I hope everyone enjoyed this!