Warm & Fuzzies

Michael yawned as he quietly shut the front door behind him and made his way into the house.

He was about to climb the stairs when a light coming from the kitchen gave him pause. Thinking it might be Jackie, he made his way over to the kitchen.

He stopped short when he opened the door: standing by the counter in her pyjamas and waiting for the kettle to boil, was ten year old Katrina.

"What are you doing up?" he asked, recovering from his surprise and coming over to join her.

"I couldn't sleep," she told him, turning back to the kettle as it finished boiling.

Michael watched in silence as she carefully poured the boiling water into her mug, "What are you doing?" he asked after a moment.

She glanced back at him, "Sorry, Daddy, I'm making coffee; would you like some?"

Michael shook his head, "No thank you," he said as he took a seat at the table.

Katrina brought her mug over to the table to join him. She regarded the coffee for a long moment, "This coffee stuff does work doesn't it, Daddy?"

Michael raised an eyebrow, "Is there a problem, Katie?" he asked gently.

"I had a bad dream," Katrina explained, taking a sip of her coffee and pulling a face, "and I don't want to go back to sleep."

"You have school tomorrow," Michael reminded her, "you should get some rest."

"But every time I close my eyes I see what happened in my dream, couldn't I just stay here?" she pleaded.

Michael ran a weary hand across his face, "Would it help if you came to sleep with us tonight?" he asked.

Katrina was on her feet in the next instant, "Yes, Daddy, I'd like that very much," she told him.

Michael heaved himself out of his seat, "Just for tonight," he stipulated, taking her hand as he turned off the light.

"Ok, Daddy," she agreed, following him up to his room.

In reality Katrina stayed in their room for another three nights, but Michael was always a bit of a soft touch when it came to his children and their night-time terrors.