It was a late night in the Rivers household, Hadley had been asleep for exactly three hours now, and her parents were beginning to fall asleep.
That is, until a storm started.
Thunder boomed over head, bringing Hadley out of her deep sleep. She sat up in bed, holding her Minnie Mouse blanket around her shoulders and watching the lightening flash through the window.
"I will not be scared, I will not be scared.." She chanted quietly to herself.
"I'm scared!" Hadley squeaked as the thunder crashed.
She quickly jumped from her place on the bed, running full speed to her parent's bedroom.
"Daddy, save me!" She screamed, jumping onto the bed.
"Just as I was falling asleep.." Caleb mumbled.
He sat up and pulled Hadley onto his lap. She hugged his neck and buried her face in her arms, her blanket still in tow.
"What's going on?" Hanna yawned.
As soon as Hanna sat up, lightening flashed, lighting up the room. It didn't take long for the thunder to crash, sending Hadley into a fit of screams.
"That!" Hadley squealed.
Caleb laughed softly, rubbing small circles on his daughter's back. He liked that Hadley was still so young that she was scared by small things like this.
"It's just a storm, Hadley. Nothing's going to happen."
"Yeah huh! Luke told me that his grandpa said that he saw lightening hit a tree once! And it caught on fire!"
"Well, that does happen.."
"Not helping, Caleb!" Hanna shot back.
"We should move." Hadley deadpanned, giving her mother a very serious look.
Hanna and Caleb both erupted into a fit of laughter, but Hadley didn't get what was so funny. In fact, she was a little mad that they weren't taking her seriously.
She stood up between her parents, crossing her arms as she watched her parents laugh hysterically.
"Stop it!" She screamed, stomping her foot next to Caleb's head.
"Alright, alright!" Caleb said shakily, trying to hold back his laughter.
"It wasn't even funny." The tiny girl said, a look of anger displayed on her angelic face.
She let herself fall back onto the bed, her curly blonde hair fanning out underneath her head. Hanna slung an arm around Hadley, pulling the small girl closer to herself.
"I'm sorry pretty girl, we didn't mean to make you mad." She smiled at her five year old daughter.
"Well, you did! But its okay mommy, I decided to forgive you."
Thunder clapped and Hadley squealed, hugging Hanna even tighter. The lights flickered a few times, and finally went out all together.
"Mommy!" Hadley pulled herself closer to Hanna, her already iron grip growing even tighter.
"It's alright, Boo." Hanna said softly as she ran her fingers through Hadley's hair.
Hadley smiled. Boo was Hanna's nickname for Hadley, it started when Hadley fell in love with Monsters Inc when she was two years old. It was Hadley's favorite nickname, she loved when her parents called her Boo.
"I'm sleeping in here with you and daddy."
Caleb pulled both Hadley and Hanna closer to himself and laid an arm across Hanna's waist. He leaned down and kissed his daughters head as she fell back to sleep, wrapped in her parents arms.
Caleb woke up the next morning with one of Hadley's feet on his face and the other buried beneath his back. He carefully lifted himself to look at the way his daughter was laying – Hadley's head was on Hanna's stomach and she had her Minnie Mouse blanket lying across half of her face. He smiled; leave it to Hadley to turn sideways in her sleep.
He lay back down and sighed, it had been a sleepless night because of Hadley. She woke up off and on, sometimes crawling to him and asking to be held, and sometimes crawling to Hanna. The storm lasted nearly half of the night and Hadley was terrified of the thunder.
Hadley started to squirm as her eyes fluttered open. She sat up and looked at Caleb, her curly hair tangled wildly around her head.
"Good morning, pretty girl." Caleb smiled.
Hadley yawned in response as she crawled into Caleb's arms. She wasn't much of a talker in the mornings, and he was just fine with that. She lay down next to him, resting her head on his chest.
"Did you sleep well?"
He got a simple nod in response.
"I want pancakes." She said quietly.
"Pancakes we shall make." Caleb nodded as he ruffled Hadley's hair lovingly.
Hadley sat up and looked at him, a look of confusion displayed on her face.
"You talk funny sometimes, daddy. Let's just go."
She slid carefully over the edge of the bed and grabbed Caleb's hand, dragging him out of bed and downstairs to the kitchen.
"Pancakes." She demanded as she sat at the table.
Caleb shook his head and walked to the stove, noticing that the clock wasn't showing the time as it usually would.
"Uh, Hadley, I don't think we'll be making pancakes."
"Yes, daddy! Now!" She crossed her arms across her chest as she spoke.
"Nope, the powers out, Boo."
Hadley didn't say anything, she simply put her head down on the table and groaned. Caleb laughed silently while Hadley continued to keep her head on the table; she was clearly distressed over the situation at hand.
"You know what we could do for breakfast?"
"Not make pancakes."
"Well yes," Caleb laughed, "but we can go to McDonald's."
Hadley immediately shot up out of her seat, jumping to her father's side and smiling brightly at him.
"You're the best daddy ever!"
"Go get mommy, crazy girl."
Hadley quickly spun around on her heels, racing out of the kitchen and back upstairs to her parent's bedroom.
It was four o'clock in the afternoon now, and Hadley sat at her Minnie Mouse table in the living room coloring pictures in her princess coloring book. Hanna sat across from Hadley, in a too small chair that was meant for children. Caleb had left for work right after they got back from McDonald's, leaving Hanna and Hadley to find their own ways to entertain themselves.
"Hads, do you have the purple crayon?"
Hadley nodded; she was too focused on her picture to speak to Hanna. Her eyebrows furrowed together as she colored Rapunzel's dress, she was a tiny perfectionist when it came to coloring pictures.
"Can I use it?"
A simple shake of the head was all Hanna got out of the five year old girl, not that she expected anything else from her. She knew how Hadley was when it came to coloring pictures.
"Fine," Hanna sighed, "I'll make Ariel's shells blue."
"Done!" Hadley squealed as she held the coloring book up in the air.
She smiled her signature Hadley smile as she admired her work.
"Mommy, can we see Grammy today? I want to give her this picture."
"Maybe not today, Grammy is working. But next time we see her, we will give her this gorgeous picture, okay?"
Hadley sighed, she hated that Hanna's mom, Ashley, worked so much. She loved spending the day with her, but was often disappointed to find that she couldn't visit her Grammy whenever she wanted to.
"I'm sorry baby, we'll try to visit her tomorrow."
Hadley nodded, staring sadly at the floor.
"Hey, you know what would be fun?"
Hadley looked up, her eyes showing a small hint of excitement.
"If we played the lava game."
"Lava game? Mommy, you're crazy."
"No, it's fun!" Hanna smiled, trying to get her daughter into it.
"What is it?"
"You can't walk on the floor, because it's lava."
Hadley shook her head, clearly confused by what her mother was saying.
"So I have to stay sitting here? That's no fun at all mommy."
"No, Boo, you have to jump on things! Like pillows and stuff. Come on, I promise it's fun!"
"Fine. But it doesn't sound very fun."
Hanna laughed and stood up, grabbing a few pillows from the couch. She threw them down to form a little path, but they were spread apart so they would have to jump from pillow to pillow. Hadley thought it was fun to throw pillows down because it was "making a mess", so she ran to her bedroom and brought all of her pillows to put down too.
"Hurry Hadley, jump on a pillow! You're going to melt in the lava!"
Hadley shrieked as she jumped onto on of the pillows, slightly losing her balance and rocking back and forth on her heels. Hanna laughed as she stood on a pillow across from her.
"You got it?"
"Yes!" Hadley giggled.
The two of them went back and forth for what seemed like hours, jumping from pillows, to the couch, and back to the pillows, giggling the whole time. Hadley had fallen from the pillows quite a few times, giggling and faking her lava-death in the most dramatic way she could.
The front door creaked open as Caleb stepped inside, surprised to find Hanna and Hadley jumping wildly from pillow to pillow.
"Daddy!" Hadley cried as a smile spread across her beautiful face.
"Hadley!" Caleb replied as he spread his arms, expecting her to come running to him like she usually would.
Hadley thought about it, and almost let her foot him the floor, but quickly pulled it back.
"Sorry daddy, I can't run and hug you. The floor is lava, I have to stay on the pillow."
Caleb smirked, looking towards Hanna, who was standing on a pillow beside Hadley.
"When did our house turn into a volcano?"
"When we didn't have electricity to watch tv."
Caleb walked towards the two girls, but quickly stopped when Hadley screamed.
"Daddy, stop! You'll melt!"
"No I won't, didn't you know that daddies are immune to lava?"
Hadley wrinkled her nose in confusion, staring at Caleb.
"It means lava doesn't hurt me, Boo."
"Well then, save us!" Hadley yelled, her arms stretched out.
Caleb picked Hadley up and kissed her forehead, then he looked at Hanna.
"Well, come on." He smirked.
"Caleb don't you dare pick me up!"
"Oh come on, I can't let you melt in the lava."
"Come on mommy!" Hadley screeched.
"No, mommy will take the pillow path. Really, Caleb, don't."
"Oh, but I have to."
And with that, Caleb reached out with his free hand and pulled Hanna up over his shoulder, causing Hanna to scream to Hadley to burst into a fit of laughter.
"Caleb Alexander Rivers, put me down right now!"
"No can do, Hanna Lydia Rivers."
"Hadley Sage Rivers!" Hadley said proudly as Caleb sat his family down safely on the couch.
"What?" Hanna laughed.
"Everyone was saying middle names, so I said mine!" Hadley smiled at her parents, giggling softly.
"Well, I love you, Hadley Sage Rivers." Hanna smiled as she pulled Hadley onto her lap, wrapping her arms around the tiny girl lovingly.
"I love you mommy, and I love you daddy!"
"No, don't talk to daddy right now. He picked mommy up when she said no." Hanna whispered to Hadley.
The two girls were sitting opposite of Caleb on the small couch, Hadley sitting in Hanna's lap and cuddling into her embrace.
"I heard that, and I was just trying to save my lovely wife from a firey lava death."
"But your lovely wife could have escaped the lava on her own."
"I wanted to feel manly and save her myself, plus our daughter was practically begging me to save you. And we all know that I can't say no to miss Hadley."
Hadley smiled and nodded, her curly pigtails bobbing up and down with her every movement.
"It's true, he's wrapped around my finger!" Hadley smiled proudly as she held up her small finger.
Hanna laughed and hugged Hadley a little tighter. It didn't take long for Caleb to reach out and take Hadley from Hanna's grip, placing her on his lap and hugging her tight.
"That you do, my little love."
The three of them sat cuddled up together for the rest of the night, talking and laughing and just enjoying each others company. Hadley always had the funniest stories to tell, although they had no idea where she got her sense of humor from. She could tell the funniest jokes for just being five years old. Caleb and Hanna listened to her ever word, loving every second of what she said. They enjoyed just listening to her because of the way she would stumble on her words and mispronounce words every now and then; it reminded them that she was still a little girl. Their little girl. And they loved her endlessly.
How's that for a sappy ending? Hah, I hope you all like it. I thought about splitting this into two different chapters, but I figured I'd leave them as one and let you all have a semi-long chapter to read. I thought it would be cute to include the lava game, because in the books Hanna's dad talks about how Hanna loved to play that game when she was little. Plus, who didn't play that game?! Thanks again to everyone that has reviewed, I really appreciate you all!