A/N: A sweet moment between Claire and Quil at the early stages of their imprint.
Two year old Claire was sleeping in her big girl bed, in her new room at her new house in La Push. Her big sister, though she was sleeping down the hall, no longer shared the room with her and Claire was scared.
It took her mommy three bedtime stories, a sippy cup of warm milk and two goodnight kisses to get Claire to stay in her bed. It was too dark, her nightlight didn't cover enough space and she was alone. There were probably monsters in her closet, monsters under her bed and monsters outside the window.
Claire squeezed her eyes shut super tight and clutched her stuffed wolf, trying to forget about the monsters. They weren't real, they weren't real.
Eventually her body got tired and she let herself relax and go to sleep.
"Mommy! Mommy!" Claire screamed, tears running down her scared little face. Her mommy came running in, panicked. Claire lifted her arms up and buried her head in her mommy's shoulder, sobbing. "Monster." She sobbed. "There a monster."
"Shh, Claire, it's not real." Her mommy cooed. "There are no monsters, I'm here, and you're safe."
But Claire didn't believe her, she remembered it had huge teeth and black eyes and a big, hairy hand that grabbed her leg from under the bed. She screamed again. "It was! Under the bed." She couldn't have imagined something so real. Mommy reached for the sheet and Claire burst into tears and hysterical sobs. "No, no, no, no!" She cried in a mantra. "No monster! No more monster!"
"Okay baby, no more monster." Mommy said and took her downstairs to get her some warm milk. Claire's hiccupping sobs continued. "Drink this and you have to go back to bed okay? It's very, very late."
Claire pushed away the milk and cried. "No! No woom!"
"Okay, you can sleep with daddy and me okay?" Claire shook her head rapidly. "Marie?"
"No!" Claire cried more. They couldn't protect her from the monster. Only one person could protect her. "Qwiw. I want Qwiw." Quil was the biggest, bravest person she knew. No monster would get near her with Quil around.
Mommy sighed. "Quil can't come here baby, it's late."
Claire sobbed more. "Qwiw, Qwiw!" She refused to close her eyes without her Quil. He had to come, there was no way he would let Claire be scared.
"Alright, I'll get Quil." Mommy tried to put Claire down, but she screamed bloody murder until she just sighed, hoisted her on her hip and grabbed the phone. "Hello, Sam? I'm sorry to call so late…"
Down on the other end of La Push, Sam was speaking quietly into the phone. "Yeah, Quil's around but he's on patrol. What's wrong?" Long pause. "A nightmare, and she refuses to go back to sleep? How about I put him on the phone?" Silent murmuring and he nodded to himself. "Okay, I'll see what I can do. Don't hang up; I'll be back in a minute."
He put the phone down gently and ran out the front door, phasing just on the outer ridge on the woods for a quick second. Quil! Phase and come to the house as quick as you can.
He phased back into a human, put his shorts back on and waited on the porch. A short minute later, a not so teenage looking teenager ran out of the woods, stark naked and shaking leaves out of his curly hair. Sam tossed him a pair of shorts and he slid them on, looking confused. "Got here as quick as I could. What's up Sam?"
"Phone's for you, it's Molly."
Worry flittered across Quil's face as he followed Sam into the house. Molly was the mother of his imprint, the girl he cared most about in the whole world even though she was only two. It just made him want to protect her even more. "Hello, Molly?"
"Quil!" Her voice was relieved and he could hear consistent screaming in the background.
"Is everything okay? I hear crying."
She sighed over the phone, sounding haggard. "Claire had a nightmare and she refuses to go to sleep without you. She says it's not safe until you check for monsters." His heart broken into a million tiny pieces as he heard his girl blubber his name.
"Let me talk to her." He waited until he heard sniffling. "Claire Bear, sweetheart?"
She hiccupped. "Qwiw?" I smiled because I love the way she says my name.
"It's me. Tell me what's wrong."
"There was a monster!" Claire cried. "He twied to eat me. He was big, hairy and mean."
"Psh, he doesn't sound so scary." She had stopped crying all together, so he kept trying to distract her. "The monster isn't going to hurt you anymore Claire, so you should try to go back to sleep."
"How you know?" She whispered.
"Because I promise that when you're sleeping and he tries to come out again, I will come scare him away. You won't even know he was there."
"Of course Claire Bear. Go to sleep and I'll see you in the morning."
She screamed into the phone and Quil sighed. Sam was getting anxious for him to get back out there, but he couldn't leave her like this. "No go, Qwiw! Stay wiff Cwaire."
"I have to go." He whispered to her.
"No, no, no!" She sobbed.
"Claire, don't do this." He moaned, vaguely realizing that he was trying to reason with a two year old. "Please go to bed, for me. No more crying, you're making Quil sad."
She was quiet and he was amazed that he had gotten through to her. "Sing. Sing for Cwaire."
"Right now?" He asked desperately. The fact that Quil sang Claire to sleep was his little secret and Sam was standing way to close for comfort. But he couldn't deny her if she asked, she was his world.
"Pwease, sing for Cwaire. Sing about the ponies."
Embarrassed beyond belief, Quil started to sing into the phone. "Hush a bye, don't you cry, go to sleep, my little baby. When you wake, you shall have all the pretty little ponies." He paused to breathe.
"In your bed, Momma said, baby's riding off to dreamland. One by one, they've begun, dance and prance for little baby. Blacks and bays, dapples and greys, running in the night. When you wake, you shall have all the pretty little ponies. Can you see the little ponies, dance before your eyes? All the pretty little ponies will be there when you arise."
The other end was silent except for soft little breaths and Molly voice peeped through the receiver. "Thank you so much Quil, I'm sorry for keeping you." Her voice was low, gentle and grateful. "I'm going to lay her down. I'll see you in the morning."
Quil put down the phone, face still burning red, too afraid to face Sam. "You can go now." Sam said, in a completely neutral voice, but the threat of laughter threatened to break through.
"I'm never going to live this down." Quil muttered before he ran off into the woods, trying desperately to clear the thoughts of Claire's pleas before he phased.
Imprinting on a two year old wouldn't be so bad, he just had to take it day by day.
One crisis adverted.