AN: Little bit of a time jump here! Sorry for the wait.
After Sara let CC take Grace that first weekend, it became a regular thing for the two of them. Once a month Grace would spend the weekend with CC. If the other children asked where Grace was, the response was that she had a play date which wasn't really all that far from the truth. As much as Niles loved this idea, it always broke his heart that he wasn't allowed to be there at the penthouse with them. But this was their thing. Grace was so much like CC it wasn't even funny. She was smart and witty and beautiful. He couldn't have asked for a better daughter.
Most times this agreement worked out. The first time that it didn't work out Niles thought all hell was going to break loose.
It was a Friday morning before Grace was supposed to spend the weekend with CC. By this time Grace was seven years old. Up until now, Fran had never suspected where Grace was during that one weekend per month. She was always told that Grace was spending the weekend with either with a friend or Sara's parents which sometimes even happened. This weekend however Fran was insisting that Grace come with her to a family function.
"Please, Mr. Sheffield. Please let Grace come with me his weekend. "
CC's eyes shot up from where they were focuses on the file in her lap. her eyes went big when she realized that she might not be able to spend the weekend on the couch with Grace, a few books that she would help her read and a couple of cheesy cartoon movies. She might not have been comfortable around the other kids but it was different with Grace. Things with her came naturally to CC. They only became closer after Sara died and most of the previous nannies knew about their meetings. Fran on the other hand was a completely different story. CC wanted to keep things as low key as possible and with Fran that was hardly ever the case.
Niles who was also in the office at the moment had stilled his hand from where he was dusting. He clenched his eyes shut and prayed that Maxwell would remember that this was CC's weekend with Grace. CC might have pretended to dislike Grace along with the other children when the nanny was around but it was almost a mutual agreement between CC and Grace. It was their little secret.
"Grace, already has plans this weekend, Miss Fine."
"But it's just a play date, Mr. Sheffield. And you know that I can't go to this alone! Could you imagine the look on Aunt Ramona's face if I didn't bring one of the children to cousin Mel's birthday party. It would be worse than putting on a play without ever reading the script."
"He's done that-" chirped Niles.
"Niles, please. I'm sorry, Miss Fine, but Gracie looks forward to this weekend with her friend every month and she would be much too disappointed if we cancelled just for this party."
"But just this once, please?"
CC thought that Maxwell was going to crack under the annoying pressure of the nanny and it just about broke her heart knowing that this weekend was probably going to go to hell in a hand basket very fast.
"Maxwell," CC decided to step in hoping that she knew Grace as well as she thought she did. "Why don't you simply ask the child what she would like to do? Although I am sure that she would prefer to do anything but spend time with the clowns of the big haired yenta club."
Maxwell gave her a pointed look for insulting his nanny but didn't say anything knowing that the time that CC and Grace spent together was just as special for CC as it was for Grace.
"Fine, Miss Fine, if you would go and collect Grace, I would like to speak to her for a moment."
Fran was just about to get up off of her perch on the corner of the desk when Niles jumped in and said "Allow me to get her Miss Fine, I was headed in her direction anyways."
Niles quickly made his way to the little girl's room and like always took notice of a few new toys that scattered the room knowing that they came from either himself or CC.
"Miss Grace, you are needed down stairs."Niles said as he helped her off of her bed.
"What is it, Niles?" The smart child asked.
"Miss Fine would like you to visit some of her family members this weekend with her, but Mr. Sheffield wants you to decide whether or not you would like to attend."
"But I'm going with CC this weekend, Niles. We were going to watch movies and make popcorn and she was going to help me with my reading again."
"I know that Miss Grace, and Mr. Sheffield knows that too which is why he is letting you decide what to do."
"I don't want to hurt either of their feelings, Niles."
Niles squeezed his daughter's hand tight and envied her kindness. "You are such a sweet girl, Miss Grace, but it won't hurt either of their feelings. You have to do want you want to do."
"But I only get one weekend with CC and she is really really busy."
"Then you should pick to spend the weekend with her."
"If I do that Niles, won't Fran be upset with me?"
"No, Gracie. She won't but if you don't want to go with her then you be firm with you decision."
"Like CC is when she is yelling at an actor!" Gracie let out a giggle.
"Yes, just like that."
In the office CC was beginning to get nervous, Nanny Fine kept bragging about how meeting her family would be a good experience for Grace to meet new people even if they were a tad bit obnoxious. Maxwell looked over at CC and he just happened to catch her eyes and could tell that she was worried about her secret being exposed as well as the fear that Grace might not choose to stay with her this weekend. He realized then that maybe he should have been more firm in telling Miss Fine no.
He broke eye contact with CC as Niles and Grace entered the office. The look in Niles' eyes was shooting daggers at his boss. He couldn't believe that he could be so stupid some times.
"Grace, Miss Fine has asked if you would like to join her this weekend for a family function. I know that you have other plans this weekend but would you like to go with Fran this weekend and reschedule your plans."
At this both Niles and CC were giving him looks of disgust and yet CC was curious to see what Grace would say.
"I want to keep my plans for this weekend, daddy." Both Niles and CC let out a breath that neither one of them realized they were holding and CC shot Niles a smile from across the room and he couldn't help but send one back.
"Are you sure Gracie?"
"Yes daddy I'm sure."
"Aww, come on Gracie." Fran whined. "You would have a lot of fun if you came with me."
Niles having enough of this conversation and realizing that Mr. Sheffield wasn't going to stick up for CC finally spoke up. "Miss Fine, the child said that she didn't want to go. I wouldn't recommend pressuring her to go with you."
"No, I believe Miss Grace has made her decision and her plans are settled. Come along Miss Grace we need to get you packed for your weekend."
They left the office headed to Grace's room where they were soon met by CC.
"I'm staying with you this weekend, CC!" Grace said as she ran up to CC.
"I know you are. I am so proud of you for sticking up for yourself."
"I was just like you!"
"You were. So what would you like to do this weekend?"
"I want to read. And watch movies. And make popcorn and go to the park."
"Okay okay calm down there, Gracie. We can start the weekend off with some movies and then tomorrow we can work on your reading." CC noticed that Niles was still in the room and was getting Grace's things together. Niles often made visits on their weekends together because since Grace started school he didn't get to spend much time together. It was the only time that Niles and CC ever got along. It was also the only time they ever agreed on anything. No pranking, teasing, bickering or fighting when they were both around Grace.
"Can Niles come too?" Grace asked.
"If he would like to. What do you say Niles? Would you like to spend the evening watching kiddie movies and eating popcorn?"
"When do I ever say no to you Miss Grace? Of course I would like to watch movies with you tonight."
Downstairs things weren't going so smoothly.
"Mista Sheffield! You're her fatha. You should have made the decision not her!"
"I'm sorry Miss Fine that Grace decided to spend the weekend with your family but I am sure that there will be another function that you can take her to."
"What is so important about this weekend anyways? And why would you take advice from Miss Babcock when it came to your children? It's not like she cares about them anyways."
"Sometimes Miss Fine you have to admit defeat and move on." Maxwell said before he walked out of the office and headed toward his bedroom.