Here we go with the snapshots. And I know that I should pay homage to What if: A new Legacy before Second Chance, but this bunny has started to get really violent…
Anyways, this takes place just after Vince, Orwell, and Rosalia move into their new home from the epilogue. So, Vince and Orwell haven't gotten married yet, nor have they adopted Rose yet.
I own nothing. And, if you're just reading this out of curiosity, the prequel to this is under the "Trauma Center" archive. I posted it under Cape because it needs the fic.
Rosalia Rossellini-Fleming had an acute case of Achluophobia—commonly known as fear of the dark—but she tried not to let it show. Of course, this was normal for an eight-year-old. Some adults never even get over this fear, so how would you expect a child to deal with it?
When her guardians first took her in again, they stayed at their previous hideout until they could get their own place to stay at. Rose didn't have to deal with the dark much then; she made sure to fall asleep while her mother-figure still had her computer equipment up and running. That way she still had plenty of light to fall asleep to. The rare times that she woke up in the middle of the night wasn't fun by any means, but she was managed to burrow herself under her covers, either that or she wound up in Vince and Orwell's bed like the little kid that she was.
Now everything was different in their new home. Her bedroom was on the other side of the house and she had yet to mention the fact that she was afraid of the dark. Vince never thought anything of it; Trip had grown out of his fear of monsters when he was rather young. He had it wrapped around his head that the Cape would save him from the monsters under his bed. So when they first started moving in, he had a terrible habit of shutting her bedroom door all the way. Leave it to Mama Bear Orwell to be the brains of the operation, even though she had no prior experience with children.
Rose hated the dark; she had this constant feeling that she was being watched, or something was hovering over her, even if it wasn't. Which was why she couldn't stand being in the dark by herself. She could sleep in the dark if she had a source of light, of course. When they first moved into the house, she would put her TV on mute and sleep with it on a cartoon channel. Some nights were worse than others were, however; sometimes the light from the TV wouldn't be enough. Sometimes the eight-year-old would have to turn on her bedside lamp, or worse, leave her bedroom light on.
Her legal guardian didn't think anything was wrong when she first saw the lights being left on. Orwell thought that Rosalia had just fallen asleep while watching TV, or something. However, when it started becoming a nightly routine, she decided to talk to her child. Maybe it was an easy fix, like she had to sleep with some light. However, if something was bothering her little angel…
Orwell gently knocked on the little blonde's door a few nights later, sincerely hoping that she would open up to her about this. Was she afraid of the dark? It was quite possible, the brunette mused to herself. She remembered when she had a fear of the dark. Her own mother had been very understanding about the whole thing. She smiled to herself as she opened the eight-year-old's door after hearing a distant reply; she could only hope that she'd be just like her mother was.
"Hey, Rose, can I talk to you for a sec?" the hacker began, sparing the child a warm smile. "I know it's late, but I think it's important."
Rosalia sat up in bed and scooted over so that her guardian had room to sit next to her. "It's okay. What did you wanna talk about?"
Orwell sat down next to the pale blonde and wrapped an arm around her shoulders. "Sweetie, has something happened since we moved in? I noticed that you keep a light on at night. Is that intentional?"
"I just really don't like the dark," Rosalia began, leaning against the blogger's side. "Monsters are silly to be scared of, I know, but I'm still scared."
Her mother-figure began to stroke her thin hair as she smiled down at her. "It's not silly, you know. Everyone is afraid of monsters. They may not be the same monsters that we fear as children, but we still are afraid of them. And… to be honest, I don't really like the dark, either."
"You don't?" the little blonde looked up at her guardian, "what do you do about it, then? I mean, when you're in the dark and stuff?"
"Well," Orwell began, casting a look over at the door as it opened quietly, a mop of curly blonde hair peeking into the room, "when I was your age, I had lamps, the glow from the television, and my cats to cuddle. Now, though, I have Vince."
And, mostly, when we're in the dark now, I actually want to be there. She mused to herself, the ends of her lips twitching up into a little smirk.
The vigilante flopped down in front of his girls, kinda getting the gist of the whole thing already. Rose had her lamp on beside her bed, the television set was still on, and her body language told him that she was scared of something. Ah hell, that meant he screwed up with… something.
"Do you girls mind filling me in on some things?" Vince asked, his puppy-dog expression just waiting to come out.
"Rosalia is afraid of the dark, Vince. That's why her lights have been on for the past few days after she's fallen asleep," his girlfriend told him, rubbing their child's back soothingly.
"Rose, why didn't you say anything? I never would have kept shutting your bedroom door if I knew what was up. If it had helped, I would have kept the hall light on, too," the formerly framed cop gently ruffled his daughter's hair with a tiny grin. "We wanna keep our kid happy."
"I didn't know if I was too old for a nightlight or not…" Rosalia began, shrugging quite sheepishly.
The blogger had a light bulb moment after her child's words finally registered. "I've got an idea. I'll be right back." She took her arm back from around Rose's shoulders and padded out of the room. She returned about five minutes later with a cube in her hand.
Vince and his daughter watched Orwell as she came back into the room, setting the cube on the pale blonde's bedside table.
"What's that, babe?" the former cop asked, prompting a smile from his girlfriend.
"It's a hologram, basically. Only it casts individual light across the ceiling," Orwell explained, touching the side of the cube to turn it on.
"That's not all you use it for though, is it?" Vince watched their daughter closely, noticing that she seemed much more relaxed with more light there.
"Of course not. It's a hologram for a reason; but, I'm giving this to Rose. I've got plenty of tech to keep me company," the brunette smiled down at the pale blonde, who got up to hug her mother-figure as tightly as she could.
"Thank you, Miss Orwell!" Rosalia nuzzled into her stomach, tears prickling in the corners of her eyes. She couldn't ask for better parents, really.
"Just know that you're never too old for a nightlight," the brunette hugged the child back, clenching her eyes shut at the heartwarming moment. She then scooped her up into her arms and placed her back on the bed. "Do you think that you can get some sleep now that you've got plenty of light?"
The pale blonde nodded slowly. "I think so," she had to stifle a yawn before continuing, "I am kinda tired."
Orwell placed a kiss on the child's temple and gave her one last goodnight hug. "If you need us, we'll leave our door cracked, okay?"
"Okay." Rosalia flipped onto her side and turned off the lamp. The hologram's light was actually very bright, all things considered. "Night," she added quietly.
As her parents left the room, the brunette left a crack in the door. And, thankfully, the eight-year-old was able to slip into a deep sleep soon after that.
"You're one hell of a woman, you know that, right?" Vince began rather proudly. He cupped his girlfriend's face in his hands and shared a few quick kisses with her. "I would've just thought of a regular old nightlight. But yours is all fancy and colorful," he kissed her again. They were back in their bedroom but, as promised, they left a crack in the door as well.
"Call it mother's intuition, I guess," Orwell smiled up at her boyfriend, nuzzling into his neck. "You didn't do so bad yourself."
"Well, I had a bit of practice," the vigilante smiled, wrapping the blogger up in his arms. "But you," he continued, placing a kiss on her nose, "you didn't have any practice before, and you're already an amazing mom."
"It's going to be surreal after we legally adopt her. I mean, being her guardian is one thing, but being her mother… it's kind of a scary thought," the hacker tucked her head under her boyfriend's chin, snuggling in deeper as he stroked a thumb against her shoulder.
"It's always like that for a first time parent. You want to have that child in your life, but you're scared as hell about actually being the mom or dad. But, after a while, it'll finally click," Vince softly explained, still stroking Orwell's shoulder in a rhythmic pattern.
"Promise?" she asked, picking her head up to send him a little pout.
"You betcha. Plus, I come from a big family, anyways, so I do wanna have more kids someday. I'll make sure that you have plenty of practice," the formerly framed cop began, receiving a look from his girlfriend.
"After we get married, though. Now that your divorce with Dana is done, we've got a lot of stuff that we need to think about. Rose especially," Orwell sighed before adding, "like getting married, legally adopting Rosalia, getting her in a real school system with kids her age. I hate to say it, but I think that she'll be our limit for a while."
"That's why I said someday. I don't want to rush anything that you're not comfortable with yet. Even if you're not ready to get married quite yet, that's fine by me," Vince tightened his grip around his girlfriend. "You just let me know when you are ready."
"Vince, I am ready. I'm ready for those wedding bells and to finally be a part of a family again. Just, after we say I do and get everything straight with Rose, I just want it to be us for a while. I want to get a feel of you, me, and Rose as a family. And, of course, Trip when he comes to visit. I'd like to carry a baby of our own, but just not so soon," the hacker replied, tucking herself back under her boyfriend's chin and closing her eyes.
The vigilante traded stroking her shoulder for running a hand up and down her back, holding her that much closer to his chest. "Sounds like a plan to me." Neither of them said another word, but occasionally they would steal more kisses until they finally drifted off to sleep, just as their daughter had done earlier.
Okay, so I have no idea why, but this fic gave me some problems. It wanted to be written, but then it didn't. But now, here it is. Hope you all enjoyed!