So this came to me while I was listening to "The Best Day" by Taylor Swift. Despite my lack of like for country music, I have a soft spot for her.
"Daddy, can we go to the candy store?" Mar'i peered up at her father, swinging his hands back and forth as she held it loosely – which was actually quite tightly, if you asked Nightwing.
He smiled down at his daughter. "How 'bout we do that on our way back, okay?"
She beamed a very Starfire-like beam and nodded. Her face turned curious in an instant as she looked around. "Where're we going?"
"You'll see; Daddy has a whole day planned out. A Daddy-Daughter day." He winked. Starfire had gone with a pregnant Raven out on a baby shopping spree, and the other two were at a gaming convention, so that left him alone with his daughter. At first he was irked since he had so much paperwork, but he figured it would be a nice bonding time with his daughter.
Mar'i giggled and added a spring to her step. "I like spending time with you, Daddy. You do work too much!"
He winced at her words and silently made a vow to spend more time with his little girl. "You know how those villains are; always trying to take up my time."
She nodded seriously. "I don't like bad guys."
He chuckled. "Glad to hear that, sweetheart." He looked ahead of him and nodded toward a nearby restaurant. "There's our first destination. Steak n' Shake, your favorite."
She let go of his hand and clapped, jumping up and down. "C'mon Daddy!" She flew up and began to drag him along.
He stumbled as she moved by quickly. "Whoa! Mar'i, slow down!"
She stopped abruptly, causing Nightwing to fall forward. Her eyes widened and she caught him before he fell, blushing. "'M sorry."
He smiled at her when he got his bearings. "It's fine, sweetheart. Can't really help that your stronger than your daddy, now can you?"
She giggled and shook her head.
He grabbed her from the air and 'held her captive' as he hugged her to him tightly, making her laugh. He smiled broadly as he carried her to the restaurant, setting her down on the ground once they were at the door. He opened the doors for her. "When you get older, always make sure a boy holds a door open for you. Though you won't have to worry about that, since you're never dating."
She cocked her head, blinking up at him. "…You're silly, Daddy." She giggled.
He smiled down at her and ushered her through, going up to the host. She instantly beamed at the two. "Hello, welcome! Table for two?" She seemed ridiculously over-excited, starry-eyed at being able to come in such close proximity with Nightwing and his adorable daughter.
He nodded, holding Mar'i tightly to him. "Yep."
She nodded. "Would you like a kid's menu?"
He nodded silently.
She smiled and nodded back, leading them over to a table near the window; the best view from the restaurant, as well. She set down the menus and stepped aside to let them sit down. "Enjoy your meal." She gave one more giddy glance at the little girl, and then left.
Nightwing looked at her daughter who was currently coloring the pictures on her menu, and smiled. He made a point to ignore all of the stares and murmurs – mostly happy from the mothers around them. He could also catch some red-faced boys who were currently dealing with their excited girlfriends speaking of cute children and how they can't wait until they have their own. He laughed to himself and shook his head; oh how he remembered those days.
"Hello, I'm Samantha; I'll be your waitress. Can I get you something to drink?"
Nightwing looked up to see a young waitress smiling down at them, pad and pen in hand. He nodded. "Yeah, I'll have water." He turned to Mar'i. "What do you want, Mar'i?"
She smiled at the waitress. "Strawberry shake, please!"
Samantha laughed at the little girl and nodded. "Of course, hun." She put the pen and pad in one of her apron's pockets and turned back to Nightwing. "I'll be right out with those."
Nightwing turned to his daughter. "Sure you don't want a mustard shake? It's what your mother always gets."
Mar'i crinkled her nose and shook her head.
Nightwing laughed. "Strawberry shake it is, then."
She nodded vehemently. "Mustard is yucky."
He shook his head with a smile. "Your mother would be very disappointed to hear that."
Mar'i smiled and shook her head. "Nooo."
Before he could retort, Samantha came back out with their drinks. "Water for you," she set it on the coaster in front of him, "and one strawberry shake." She smiled and set it down in front of Mar'i who clapped.
"Thank you miss waitress."
She chuckled and nodded. "Of course." She turned to Nightwing. "Are we ready to order?"
He nodded. "Yep. New York steak, medium-well and mashed potatoes as a side, please." He turned to his daughter. "What d'ya want, Mar'i?"
She kicked her feet under the table and smiled up at the waitress. "Grilled cheese, please."
Nightwing smiled; grilled cheese was her favorite, so there was no point in her even looking at the menu. She just got it to color.
Samantha nodded toward them. "Be right out." She walked away.
Mar'i turned away from the retreating waitress to smile at her father. "She's a very nice lady."
He chuckled. "Mhm." He peered over at her menu. "Whatcha drawing?"
She turned the picture toward him. "'Tis you, mommy, and Silkie!"
He cocked his head to the side, vaguely seeing the image. "Very good, sweetheart."
She smiled happily, looking exactly like her mother. "Thank you, Daddy."
He nodded to her and smiled, reveling in the fact that they'd already raised her so polite.
Samantha was true to her word and was already on her way over to them. If he didn't know any better, he would've sworn that they were making their meals first priority…just like every other time they come. He rolled his eyes and shook his head with a smile.
"Here ya are." She set the plates in front of them. She looked between the two with a smile. "You just holler if ya need anything else."
He nodded. "Thanks." As she left he turned back to his meal, starting on it and watching little Mar'i devour hers.
Mar'i and Nightwing made their way to the playground in the middle of the park, Mar'i's eyes twinkling as she skipped beside him. He knew how much she loved the playground, though it was usually her mother that took her. He went to sit down on one of the benches pointing toward the playground, and allowed her to go and play. He always kept a careful eye on her, doing his best to stay in place instead of crawling over with her to keep her from danger. Starfire always scolded him lightly for being so overprotective. The thought made him chuckle.
"Excuse me, are you Nightwing?"
He turned slowly to see two teenage girls staring at him with starry eyes. He sighed. Even as a grown man he still attracted teenagers. "Yeah. What do you need? Any danger?"
They seemed to be fighting back squeals as they stared at him. One spoke up quickly. "No, it's just super cool meeting you." She looked over at the playground. "Oh my God, you're daughter is so cute!"
He raised an eyebrow. It seemed more common for the girls to swoon over him and his child, rather than degrade Starfire out of jealousy. He was thankful for this, but also protective of his daughter, usually not letting any of his fans near her. Hey, it was his job. No one touched his little girl. "Yeah, she's pretty great. Looks just like Starfire." Both girls nodded, and he could have sworn their heads would fall off any second with the force. He cleared his throat. "Anything else I can help with?"
They looked at each other, and the one girl bit her lip, pulling out two pieces of paper. "Just wondering if you could, ya know, sign an autograph?" She giggled.
He sighed, but nodded. "Sure." He signed them quickly and then shooed them off. The best thing about being older and married with a child was that it didn't take a lot to ward off his fangirls any longer. Ah, the joys of age.
"Daddy, look!" Mar'i ran up to her father with a football in her hand. "It was on the ground!"
He looked over at it, reaching for it. "Mar'i, put that down. It's not yours and you don't know what kind of germs it could carry."
She held the football away and cocked her head. "What are these 'germs'?"
Before he could take the ball and respond, he heard a man call out to them. He looked up and noticed a man motioning toward the ball. He looked down at Mar'i. "Mar'i, sweetie, that ball belongs to that man." He pointed over to him.
Her mouth made an 'o' and she nodded. Before Nightwing could try and swipe the ball away again, she smiled and threw the football back to him…causing the man to fly back about twenty feet at the force.
He groaned and looked at his smiling daughter. "I gave it back daddy! I can throw far!"
He sighed and nodded, a small smile working its way onto his face.
He and Mar'i were once again walking down the sidewalk, this time back to their home. As they passed by a few stores, Mar'i stopped and held Nightwing at bay. He raised an eyebrow at her.
She glanced at the candy store. "You said we could go in…" She dug her foot in the ground, blinking up at him.
He nodded. "Yep. Thanks for the reminder." He motioned for her to head in the open door. "Go ahead and pick something out; I'm right behind you." He was true to his word, being exactly right behind her, watching her eyes twinkle at the vast amount of candy in the small store.
She looked around the store, moving directly toward the chocolate section. Nightwing glanced over at the counter, seeing the same man that helped him when he sent Starfire on the small scavenger hunt that led up to their engagement. He smiled at the thought.
He startled at her cry, his eyes wide. "What's wrong?" He rushed over to her, but saw her smiling. He breathed a sigh of relief, his heart rate calming.
She floated a couple inches above the ground and peered into the large basket of Ghiradelli caramel-filled chocolates. She licked her lips and began to fill up a small clear plastic bag with as much as she could.
Nightwing laughed. "Definitely your mother's daughter." He grabbed the full bag of candy from her and tied one of the golden ties from the bag rack around the top, ushering over to the counter. "C'mon. Your mother's waiting for us back at home." He placed the bag down on the counter, smiling at the man. "That should be all."
The man smiled and shook his head. "It's on the house." He winked at Mar'i, who giggled merrily.
Nightwing shook his head. "Oh no, it's fine. I insist on paying."
The man shook his head again and moved the bag toward the two. "Please, take it. It's the least I could do."
Nightwing scratched the back of his head and grabbed the bag, handing it up to Mar'i, who was currently floating up to his height. "Say thank you, Mar'i."
She grinned at the man. "Thank you mister man!"
The old man laughed and nodded. "Of course." He nodded toward the door. "Now you two hurry along."
Nightwing smiled. "Thanks." He grabbed Mar'i's hand and grounded her. "C'mon, let's go see your mother."
She bounced happily as she held the bag in one hand, and grabbed his hand in the other. "I'm excited to see mommy and aunt Raven. She has a baby in her tummy, just like I was in Mommy's tummy!"
Nightwing chuckled and nodded. "That's right."
They made it back to the tower in no time, Mar'i running up to her mother to give her a hug once she laid eyes on her.
Starfire beamed at her daughter and grabbed her up in her arms. "Did my bumgorf have fun?" She brushed the little girl's bangs out of her face.
Mar'i nodded with a large smile. "Mhm. Look what I got!" She held up her bag of chocolate proudly.
Starfire smiled, glancing over at Nightwing. "I see that."
He smiled and crossed his arms, walking over to the two. Mar'i turned to him and floated out of her mother's arms to hug him. "Thank you Daddy. This was the best day ever!"
He smiled and patted her back. "Yes it was."
It made me nice and happy writing this :) They're just so cute.
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