Boy, it's been awhile since I posted anything on here. College life, and all that. Anyway. I'd just like to thank all the lovely people who left reviews on my original Big Daddy Story: His Everything over the years; I'm so happy that you enjoyed it and left me feedback.
I decided to try something a little different this time; it's a similar drabble from the perspective of the Little Sister this time. It was a little bit harder to write because I had to try to put myself in the perspective of a child, so some might find it a tad OC. Please read and review!
She doesn't understand.
That really is the essence of the issue at hand-she doesn't understand. She's too young. Just a child, as it were, as they always say. She doesn't understand why the all the grown-ups always shrink away from her-why they always look so repulsed, and sad.
People aren't meant to be sad. They're meant to be happy. Little boys and little girls are supposed to grow up into handsome and beautiful men and women, and fall in love, and then ride off into the sunset together, holding hands. It's so simple, to her, at least.
She asked, once. There was a time she remembers rather vividly, of approaching one of the prim and proper ladies who stood and stared as she poked her needle into the poor man on the floor and collected the ADAM that was slowly wasting away. She had approached the woman, who shrank back against the wall with wide, horrified eyes – again with that expression; why? – and asked a simple question.
"Why do people get sad?"
She hadn't really understood the answer she had gotten either. Nor the look of almost tangible pity the pretty lady had given her. Something about how sometimes things aren't so simple.
And then Mr. Bubbles had gotten involved, and, well, when Mr. Bubbles isn't happy, she isn't either.
She likes Mr. Bubbles. She understands him, at least. And he's always there. He's always just a few steps behind her, nudging her along with his odd little crooning hum. She gets so fascinated by all the sounds that he makes – the vroom of the drill that rests upon his arm, the clomp-clomp of his big shoes that boom through the corridors, the clink-ing of his joints that accompanies every movement he makes.
She doesn't understand why everyone's so scared of him.
When he walks alongside her as she looks for the latest source of ADAM, people part left and right, fearful looks upon their faces and hushed whispers leaving their lips, like he's some kind of big bully. She doesn't like that, of course. Mr. Bubbles, a bully? The idea is so ridiculous that she doesn't know whether to laugh or to shout.
It's so unfair that sometimes she finds her eyes filling with tears, and she has to sit down for awhile and sulk, pouting her lips downwards as she looks at just how wonderful Mr. Bubbles is, and how much she likes him. It's not fair that people don't like him.
And when Mr. Bubbles pauses and glances at her, she knows he's worried because his big eyes are suddenly yellow, and he clomp-clomps towards her and there's the crooning hum that washes over her ears, and then she knows that everything's going to be all right.
Because Mr. Bubbles is there.
He's always there. He's always nearby, always picking her up when she trips, always shoving back the scary, nasty men who leer and grimace at her. And when she tells him something she thinks is funny, he always listens and watches patiently as she giggles, trying to explain why she finds it so amusing. And then he makes that strange, lovely little humming sound, and she knows that he understands, and she likes to think that it's his own weird little way of laughing as well. And he doesn't edge back like everyone else when she walks towards him, hands held out to be picked up. And it's so fun to sit on his shoulder when she gets tired and doesn't want to walk anymore.
Sometimes she wonders if the reason why she doesn't get so sad like all the grown-ups is because she gets to hold Mr. Bubbles' hand when she doesn't feel happy.
Maybe all people really need is just a hand to hold, or someone to pick them up when they're sad.
She has vague memories of Mommy and Daddy. Sometimes she remembers, sometimes she doesn't. But she doesn't like to think about them very much, because they make her sad, and she feels like crying-and then Mr. Bubbles gets all worried again and she has to hold his hand and sniffle as quietly as she can so that he knows that she's all right. But she does miss them, sometimes. She misses Mommy always straightening her dress and fixing her hair, sitting her on Mommy's lap and lamenting about how little girls aren't supposed to go playing in the muck because it's dirty - sometimes she does feel savagely gleeful that Mr. Bubbles doesn't really care about that – and she misses Mommy tucking her into bed when she's tired. Nowadays, she sleeps on Mr. Bubbles' shoulder, which isn't really all that comfortable-what, with all the hard metal plates and bolts that stick out of them.
She misses Daddy, too. She likes being sung to sleep; sometimes she gets scared of all the nasty evil monsters that lurk within the darkness. She remembers how Daddy used to sing in his soft, wonderfully deep voice about sheep and little fluffy lambs, and suddenly it wouldn't seem so bad anymore.
She doesn't see Daddy anymore. She hardly remembers what he looks like, and she doesn't think about him very much; it's just too much of a bother to keep trying to remember when she could be playing or talking to Mr. Bubbles. And she feels like a big girl now, because Daddy always told her that she was his little girl and that he'd always sing her to sleep. But one time, when she just couldn't doze off because it was just so dark, and cold, and wet-which was that stupid Andrew Ryan's fault; what kind of moron builds a city underwater anyway?-she had scampered towards Mr. Bubbles' head and mumbled that she couldn't sleep. And so Mr. Bubbles had paused for a moment, and then, after a few seconds of blank silence, he had started to sway back and forth slowly, ever so slowly, a soft, crooning call wafting out from the speaker grilles on the side of his big fishbowl helmet.
Mr. Bubbles can't sing. He's really rather awful at it, in her opinion. Just flat, keening hums and drones, and then she finds that she's thinking of whales rather than going to bed. Not that she'll ever say that, because she doesn't want to hurt his feelings. But at that moment, just knowing that Mr. Bubbles had tried, knowing that he really didn't have a very nice voice, to sing her to sleep had made her warmer and happier than Mommy or Daddy ever did.
Because Mr. Bubbles was there.
And so, as she skips daintily down the winding corridors of Rapture, Mr. Bubbles clomp -ing away beside her, she pauses for a moment and angles her head upwards to look at him, her curious, youthful gaze filled with childish fondness.
Mr. Bubbles is always there.
And so when the young man appears, bristling with all kinds of guns and electricity dancing from his fingertips, she scuttles behind Mr. Bubbles in fright. She watches with wide eyes as Mr. Bubble's big green eyes turn yellow and he immediately shuffles in front of her, his familiar, comforting bulk shielding her from this new potential threat. Just go away, she wills in her head. She doesn't like seeing Mr. Bubbles fight because sometimes he gets hurt. And then, her eyes go wide as she hears a reassuringly deep, urgent voice pierce the gloom.
"Hey-hey, it's okay, honey. I'm a good guy. I'm not going to hurt you, so don't be scared, alright?"
His voice startles her – it's been so long since she's heard a voice aside from her own that isn't stained with madness. She tilts her head slightly, and peeks out from behind Mr. Bubbles' big, metal boot.
The man isn't like the others, she realizes. He looks healthy, clean, and has neatly combed brown hair, with kind brown eyes. She can, however, smell the whiff of ADAM on him-and for a moment, she wonders if he's just another splicer. But then he speaks again.
"My name, Jack, sweetheart. Don't be scared, okay? You don't need to be scared."
She wants to believe him. He sounds and looks so nice and gentle. And then she hears the next few words that leave Jack's lips.
"You don't need to be afraid of him; I'll protect you. Come out, now."
And immediately, she rejects the idea of even being friends with Jack, as nice and kind as he looks.
Of Mr. Bubbles? Who holds her hand when she's scared, who keeps all the nasty, scary men away, who sings her to sleep when she's scared even though he can't sing, and is always there?