The brokings are mind-consuming, you know that? And Hayden is my favourite bro~ Fado is very close on second place. Anyway, this fic was written for the very first challenge at the 'magvel' comm and I just had to fill it with Hayden+Tana cuteness 8D I heart doting fathers~
Hayden´s concentration was broken by a quiet, but determined knock on the door. "Come in," he said, turning around curiously. His men knew that he didn't want to be disturbed when he looked through his paperwork.
The door handle was pushed down. But it suddenly sprung up again and Hayden heard the person stumble against the door. That confused him.
On the second try the person managed to open the door. A smile entered Hayden´s face when he saw his little daughter standing in the door, almost hanging on the door handle.
"Hello, Tana." His voice dripped with love and he opened his arms for her. Giggling, she sped over and hopped into his embrace. He placed her on his lap and pushed her wild bangs out of her eyes.
"Hello, papa," she said, grinning, showing the gap in her teeth - she had lost her first milk tooth just yesterday. "Papa, I want to play with you."
Hayden sighed. "Tana, I have work to do. Why won't you play with your nanny?"
"But I want to play with you!" She gazed up at him with her big, stubborn eyes.
"Tana." He tried to look stern and strict, but he felt himself growing weak already. "Look." He pointed at the stack of yellowish paper on his desk. "I have to read all those letters and reports today. I have no time for you."
Tana had frowned at the papers while her father had been talking, but now she turned to him again, with an adorable pout and almost teary eyes on her round face. "But, papa..." she said in such a sad and disappointed tone that Hayden felt his resistance melt away like snow in the desert. Tana looked down, playing with the hem of her white, frilly dress. "I miss you. I want to play with you. Not with Maggie. Please?"
Hayden tried to look away; he would never be able to deny her request if he continued to look at that absolutely disarming expression. His daughter was already so clever that she had found out his weakness and used it against him. She had the keen perception of her mother. He tore his gaze away from her and looked at his desk.
There is work, my work that I have to do! Only think of your work, just your work. Not of Tana and her pout-
"Papa," she said in a whiny voice and flung her arms around his neck. "Papa, please." She pressed her cheek against his. "Please." Hayden was almost crumbling; he couldn't give up now! "Papa..." She pecked his cheek.
That was it. He sighed and hugged her to him; he never had a chance. Her happy giggling told him that she knew that she had won. And probably would always win. "Let's go, papa!" she exclaimed and held tight onto him when he stood up and carried her to her room. His work had to wait.
Lady Syrene was on her way to the princess´ room, wondering why King Hayden was not working even though it was Wednesday afternoon between lunch and tea time. She had an important letter to deliver, but she was not sure if she was allowed to interrupt the princess´ time with him. Her instructors had never taught her how to act in a situation like this.
Syrene stopped in front of the decorated door; there were wooden pegasi and flowers carved into the dark wood. The door was a special commission the king had ordered as soon as he had heard that his second child was a girl. Syrene knocked gently and waited.
"Come in!" the princess called from within and Syrene entered, opening her mouth to greet her liege, but when her gaze fell on the princess and the king, the words stuck in her throat.
The princess and the king were sitting at Tana´s little table; it had the perfect height for Tana and she looked very cute with her dress and the bow in her hair. But King Hayden was...
The two had turned to Syrene when she had entered. Tana waved at her enthusiastically and exclaimed "Hello, Lady Syrene." But Syrene could only stare at the king. He nodded to her with a perfectly serious expression while holding a tiny teacup and wearing a flower bonnet.
"Good day, Lady Syrene," Hayden said and raised his teacup as a sign of greeting. Syrene was still stunned into silence. King Hayden was wearing a flower bonnet! A straw bonnet with one red, two white and two blue flowers, and a green hatband. And how could he keep such a straight face? He had to know how- how... ridiculous he looked like. "Lady Syrene, do you want something from us?" Hayden asked when she failed to greet him back.
She startled slightly and gulped down her shock. And the laughter that crept up her throat. "I'm sorry, sir." Her laughter had almost bubbled out of her mouth! She dropped her gaze. She couldn't look at him. "I have a letter for you. I was told to present it to you in p- person." Her mouth twitched horribly; she would never be able to look at the king again without remembering this moment.
"I see," the king said and nodded. Syrene tried to glance up at him - it was impolite to not look at the person you're talking to - but she had to look down again immediately, because her laughter would not let her hold itself back at the sight of the king taking a sip of the imaginary tea. "Put it on my desk in the study. I will look at it later."
"Y- yes, s- sir," Syrene´s voice wobbled and she bowed quickly. Tana waved her goodbye, which Syrene didn't see because she was already half out of the room. When the door fell close behind her, she strode quickly away. After she turned around the corner, she dared to let her giggles well from her mouth.
Queen Aileen was in search of her husband and daughter after she had found a giggling pegasus knight mentioning the words "king" and "bonnet" in the same sentence. That sounded like an highly amusing sight!
Aileen knocked at her daughter´s door and entered. And she was not disappointed. Tana was just pouring imaginary tea in Hayden´s cup and he thanked her with a bow of his head. The bonnet slipped forward; he pushed it back to its right place. They seemingly hadn't heard the knock. But they heard her short but loud giggle bout.
"Mama!" Tana exclaimed, put the teapot on the table and sped over to her mother to hug her. Hayden had looked surprised at first and Aileen thought she had even seen embarrassment scurrying over his face, but he had quickly gained control again and his expression was inscrutable.
"Hello, my darling," Aileen said affectionately and leaned down to press a kiss on Tana´s forehead. "What are you doing?"
"We're having a tea party!" Tana grabbed her mother´s hand and pulled her over to the low table. Hayden raised his cup and said: "Do you want to join us, Aileen?"
Aileen bit on her lip inconspicuously and tried to keep her expression blank. Her husband wanted to play this game straight and she would not be second to him. She could act all serious as well.
"Have you decorated the table all by yourself?" she asked Tana. The little girl nodded with a broad and proud grin. "And did you decorate your father as well?" Aileen smirked at Hayden. He tugged at his bonnet, adjusting its position, and stuck his chin out.
"Yes," Tana said with a giggle. "It's my favourite hat."
"And it looks very good on your father. The colours of the flowers match with his hair."
Tana nodded enthusiastically. "Papa is pretty." Tana turned to him and looked so cute that Hayden didn't argue that men never look "pretty".
"He is." Aileen tried to hide her giggles behind her hand. Tana didn't seem to notice her slip, but Hayden had that reproachful look in his eyes. "Tana, dear." The girl leaned her head backwards to look up. "I need your father. Would you release him?"
"No!" Tana exclaimed, pursing her lips.
"Tana, your father has to work. It was already very generous of him to play with you at all. Enough is enough." Aileen´s stern gaze worked far better than Hayden´s; Tana didn't even try to argue with her and only looked down pouting. Aileen smiled slightly and leaned down to whisper in Tana´s ear: "Your brother´s lesson is over in a few minutes."
A big grin appeared on Tana´s face and she ran to the door. Before she slipped out of the door, she seemed to remember to say goodbye to her parents; she waved to them quickly and then left.
Aileen turned to her husband, her hands on her side. He stood up, arched his back - Aileen heard a little 'pop' - and stepped over to her. Her gaze was glued to his head. "You are pretty."
He huffed and took off the hat. He turned the hat once and put it on Aileen´s head. "It looks much better on you," he said, smiling. Aileen grinned and corrected the hat´s position; it should sit more at the back of the head. "Now that I see you in that straw hat, I feel like we haven't been at the beach for a long time."
"We haven't," Aileen agreed and ran her fingers through Hayden´s hair; the hat had messed it up. Hayden used the opportunity to kiss her.
"Then we should take a day off and change that."
Aileen nodded, but stepped back from him. "But not now and I fear not in the near future. You do remember that there is still paperwork waiting for you?" The corners of his mouth twitched downward for a second.
"I know." He made for the door, placing a fleeting kiss on his wife´s cheek, when she called after him, laughter in her voice.
"When you join me for tea later, will you wear your pretty bonnet again?" He just shook his head laughing.