HAHA! You thought I was DONE? Well BAM! Now THIS is happening. (I was expecting a lot more reviews for the last chapter. I wonder if I disappointed somehow.)
The New New Mission
"Daddy, can you tell me another hero story?"
"You know, most little girls are ready to fall asleep after a lullaby like that." Dave pointed out with only the tiniest amount of exasperation.
Meanwhile, Mindy watched and listened from the hall through the slightly open door. Most fathers probably sing actual lullabies instead of just crooning Red Hot Chili Peppers songs. She smiled in silent mirth.
"Not me." Young Robin countered.
"No, not you." Dave smiled. She was going to cause him immeasurable grief in the future, if only because he couldn't resist her. "Who do you want to hear about?"
"Kick-Ass!" She answered with a huge grin. At least she was predictable.
"Hmm. I don't know. I think maybe you've heard about Kick-Ass's entire life by now." Dave smiled skeptically. "What haven't I told you yet?"
"He fell in love with Hit Girl, but did they live happily ever after?" The little girl inquired.
"They..." Dave began, thinking he might just say 'yes' and be done with it. But Robin wanted a story, and he knew she wouldn't let him leave until she'd heard one. "They almost didn't." His daughter's eyes widened in surprise and excitement, and he merely nodded seriously at her appropriately enthralled response.
"One night, Hit Girl was walking home from seeing Kick-Ass. An insane villain had fallen in love with Kick-Ass, and wanted him for herself. So she laid a trap for Hit Girl." Dave recalled a building with a purple awning and a young girl with a coloring book.
"But Hit Girl doesn't fall for traps. She sets traps!" Robin clearly thought she knew where this was going.
Mindy smiled wryly to herself. Mommy's not perfect.
"Hit Girl did fall for this trap, because it was baited with a little girl. The girl was almost as cute as you, so of course even Hit Girl wouldn't have been able to resist." Dave shook his head sadly. "The villain's name was Goodbye Nurse, and she knocked Hit Girl out and tied her up while her guard was down. Goodbye Nurse was a coward, so she called another villain to help her finish the job. But while she waited for her partner in crime to arrive, Kick-Ass realized that Hit Girl was missing. He left his house and started running. He ran all over New York looking for her." He made a sweeping gesture as if indicating a vast distance.
Mindy rolled her eyes. It was only a small chunk of Queens, but when you're that worried I suppose it might feel like the whole city.
"How did he find her?" Robin asked with concern.
"He closed his eyes and concentrated as hard as he could on his love for Hit Girl. He could feel that she was still alive, and that she was close, so he kept running until the love felt so strong his chest hurt." Or because he was slightly out of shape. "He finally found her by following his heart."
Robin was too engrossed to protest the sappy turn the story was taking. "What happened when he found Hit Girl? Did he have to fight Goodbye Nurse and the other villain?" She demanded.
"Not quite." Dave admitted. "Goodbye Nurse's mind was warped and twisted around her love for Kick-Ass, and when she saw how much Kick-Ass loved Hit Girl, all the hate left her at once. When she saw how angry she'd made Kick-Ass, she knew he would never love her. That's how Kick-Ass defeated her. He never even had to hit Goodbye Nurse, even though Hit Girl really wanted him to." He smiled, recalling the threats Mindy reported making to Katie before he arrived.
"But doesn't he always do what Hit Girl wants?" Robin asked with genuine confusion.
Mindy nearly lost it in the hallway, doubled over with silent laughter.
"Most of the time. Not always." Dave said defensively. "But it's usually what he wants to do anyway." He assured her, and - to some degree - himself. "And when it's not, he doesn't mind because he loves her so much."
"Why does Kick-Ass love her? They're both heroes, but there are lots of heroes. Boys and girls. Why did Kick-Ass fall in love with Hit Girl?" She asked.
"Do you remember Hit Girl's origin story?" Dave asked.
"Yeah... kind of." She hemmed. "She beat Death the day she was born, so when Big Daddy had to die, he was already friends with Death."
"Yes, but do you remember why Death left Hit Girl behind?" Dave prompted. Robin shook her head sheepishly. Dave smiled wryly. "Death saw what Hit Girl would become. He saw how beautiful, kind, and strong she would be. Kick-Ass could see those things in Hit Girl too, and that's why he loves her."
"Oh. So Kick-Ass saved Hit Girl and then they lived happily ever after?" The little girl summarized.
"Ah, no." Dave scratched his neck in memory of the clusterfuck that followed. "Then - just when Kick-Ass had set her free - Hit Girl had to rescue Kick-Ass from a dangerous gang."
"Was it the Russians?" Robin gasped.
"Nope. More dangerous. They called themselves the five-oh." Dave explained cryptically.
Mindy let out another snort of mirth.
Robin's interest was piqued. She'd heard about Crips, Bloods, and MS13. But never these Five-Oh's. "What happened?" She demanded.
"Story for another night!" Dave declared. "That was also the night Hit Girl finally convinced Kick-Ass to give her the kiss she'd been wanting for so long."
"That's not right." Robin insisted. "They had their first kiss in a forest. You already told me that story."
"Oh." Dave chuckled nervously. "Maybe the other time was their first hug and I got them mixed up." He shrugged. "Might ask your Mom about that one."
Mindy narrowed her eyes at Dave. Thanks a lot, asshole. Now I've got a day to come up with a child-safe version of our first time.
"Oh come on!" Robin whined. Her father had left the story hanging in a precarious place. "Dick move, Daddy." She crossed her arms and harrumphed adorably.
"Maybe, but you need your sleep." He bent down to kiss her forehead and turned to leave. "Night, sweetie."
"Daddy, where are Kick-Ass and Hit Girl now?" The young girl asked quietly.
He paused at the door. "I don't know. Nobody's seen them in a long time."
"Why?" She asked.
"Maybe they found a new mission. Something more important than fighting crime." He smiled lovingly at her, and, as predicted, it sailed right over her little head.
"Oh. That's good." She yawned. "Goodnight, Daddy."
"Goodnight sweetheart." Dave replied. He opened the door and closed it lightly, turning to find Mindy looking up at him - she never had grown much - with a self-satisfied smile. He'd learned that this particular smile meant she was very happy with herself for shacking up with him. He liked seeing that smile. Her happiness was a barometer for his own.
"Good story." She wrapped her arms around him, and he did the same. "But I'm pretty sure we designated us as the New Mission."
"I guess that makes the munchkin the New New Mission." Dave sighed in contentment, kissing Mindy's forehead.
"That sounds about right." Mindy agreed, closing her eyes and leaning into Dave's chest. She'd had a few missions in life, and this one was definitely her favorite.
NOW I'm done.