"You're never too young to learn the family business, Willa," an eight year old Timo told the three year old, grasping her hand in his own as he led her from the bus stop to the track.
Originally Timo hadn't planned to bring Willa but her parents were busy and her mother was going to leave the young girl with the neighbor. He knew that Willa hated staying there; she told him that the older woman was grumpy and wasn't very kind to Willa so before he knew it, he was volunteering to take Willa with him for the day.
Besides, Timo had a soft spot for Willa. She was kinda funny, even if it was unintentionally, and she looked at him like he hung the moon. It was nice.
The fact that Willa was adorable would defintely help her when he taught her this con. He'd yet to meet a person who could stand up to her puppy dog look, himself included, which explained the messy braid she was sporting. He'd tried to refuse when she'd asked him to do her hair before they left but her bottom lip had started to quiver and suddenly Timo was thinking he'd seen his mom do her hair enough times to figure it out. Willa seemed pleased with it and he thought it was pretty good for his first try.
When they reached the track, Timo knelt before Willa to explain what they were doing. "For today, you're just gonna help me gather up the paper slips, okay? Stay close to me." While Timo didn't think she was too young to start learning, she was definitely too young to apply her knowledge. Willa nodded, looking so serious that Timo couldn't help but smile.
Every thing was going fine. Timo and Willa worked together in relative silence, Willa picking up the tickets and Timo selling them. He occasionally caught the girl's eye and made funny faces at her, making her giggle. He was in the middle of a sale when things went wrong.
He was in the middle of talking to a man about the upcoming races, he had started to pick up some race jargon, and it had drawn his attentive gaze from Willa for longer than usual. When he heard her let out a frightened cry, he spun around so fast, he almost fell over. His heart skipped a beat when he saw a security guard with a grip on Willa's arm and Willa looking at him with pleading eyes.
Now normally gypsies adopted an every man for himself policy but this was Willa and it was his fault she was here and he was just not that kind of guy so he headed toward them. The security guard spotted him.
"You shouldn't be here either! You need to come with me, n-" His sentece was cut off by a yelp of pain as Timo kicked him in the shin as hard as he could. The man released Willa's arm so he could clutch at his leg and Timo quickly snatched her hand up and started running, tugging her along. When she couldn't keep up, he quickly scooped her up in his arms and kept running. Luckily, the man was overweight and had no chance of catching up to Timo and would probably be too embarassed to mention it to anyone else.
When they got far enough away, Timo set Willa down and leaned against the nearest wall, panting. When he caught his breath, he looked over to see Willa still looking frightened and shaking slightly. Timo knelt down and opened his arms. After a moment of hesitation, Willa threw herself at him. He caught her easily.
"I'm sorry Willa, this was a bad idea. I guess you are still too young," Timo said softly, apologetically. He felt Willa's nod against his neck. He rubbed circles on her back until he felt her shaking stop then pulled back to look at her. "C'mon. I'll take you to get some ice cream."
At that a sunny smile spread across her face, all her troubles forgotten, and Timo allowed her to drag him down the street
A/N: I've been wanting to write some stories about Willa and Timo before they met Walter and Leo and this was the first one that came to me after seeing The Inheritance. R&R! Also if you haven't noticed, the Finder has a forum now and I've started a thread for Finder Challenges so if you have an idea that you want me or someone else to write, post it there and see if someone is up for it. If you don't have an idea you can still go there to chat about the show. Do it! Go, go, go! :)
A/N 2: It's my headcannon that Willa was quiet and shy when she was little because her parents didn't pay as much attention to her as they should have so she had no one to talk to and Timo helped bring her out of her shell.