A/N: Hi again! First of all, I'd like to give a little shout-out to TheVoice1993 for always reviewing on my Mills/Dawson fics; it means a lot to me! But anyway, this is the second chapter/prompt of "Consumes Me Like a Fire", and it's called Middles. I really loved the idea of this one so I hope y'all do too. Please review, it's really inspiring! No flames please.. - Autumn
Summary: Not that he likes bad dreams or anything, but the feeling of his baby girl snuggled in the middle of him and his wife is a sight he'll always love seeing.
But somebody had a bad dream
Mama and daddy
(Can) me and my teddy
Come in and sleep in between
- Phil Vassar, Paradise
Peter Mills picks his four year old daughter, Kaia, up from the floor and puts her on the chair next to him that's in front of their kitchen counter. His wife, Gabriela, is gripping the little girl from behind so she can steady herself. Kaia turns to her dad and puts her hand on his shoulder. "What are we making tonight, Daddy?", she asks, smiling at him. They had a tradition where Kaia would help them cook every night. Peter and Gabriela both thought that it was extremely important to spend as much quality time with their daughter as possible. It was a must to implement a love of cooking at a young age, also; after all, cooking was the thing that brought Kaia's parents together.
"Well, Kai", he murmurs, leaning down to kiss her on the forehead. "Tonight, we're making pizza." He leans over to give Gabi a kiss before continuing. "You can start by rolling out the dough while Mommy and I get the toppings ready", Peter says, handing his daughter the rolling pin from on top of the refrigerator ,and he ruffles her curly dark hair. He puts a clump of dough down in front of her. She proceeds in starting to roll it out. "Why can't I cut the vegetables, Momma", Kaia says, turning to Gabriela and crossing her arms over her chest in an upset gesture.
"Well, baby", Gabriela says, putting a yellow pepper in front of her and she starts to chop it up. "Daddy and I aren't strong enough to roll out the dough", Gabriela murmurs and winks at Peter, he chuckles quietly before he proceeds to chop the mushrooms. Gabriela continues, "we need someone big and strong like you to do it while we do the easy stuff, like cutting the vegetables." Kaia grins, and returns to her job of rolling the dough, seemingly satisfied with her mother's response. Peter leans to his wife and gives her cheek a peck. He loved that she was so clever and know exactly how to respond to their daughter's crazy antics. Once Kaia presents her rolled out dough to her parents, Peter puts the sauce in front of him. Using a spoon, he takes a bit of sauce out of the container and puts it on the dough, handing the spoon to Kaia.
"Now use this to spread it all over the dough", He takes her hand and shows her how to spread the sauce in a circular motion. Gabriela sighs from behind, she was so lucky to have him. When the saucing was finished, Gabriela took the opportunity to add the cheese onto the pizza. While she was sprinkling the cheese, which Peter thought looked very similar to a Chicago snowstorm as it was coming down from her fingers, he took the time to very discreetly ogle her body. Coming behind her, he wraps his arms around her waist and buries his head in the crook of her neck. "Looking good, Momma", he whispers. Gabriela giggles and turns around, swatting him with a towel.
Kaia takes the opportunity to start layering on the toppings, and when she finishes; she states to her parents, who are now setting the table, "The pizza's done!" Gabriela comes over and looks at what her daughter has created, she chuckles. "That looks awesome, Kai!", she says, looking at her daughter. This pizza had mushrooms for eyes, yellow peppers lined in a mouth shape, and a clump of onions for a nose.
"Thanks, mommy", Kaia says, jumping down from the chair; she goes to stand beside Peter as he puts the pizza in the oven to bake. When the pizza is done baking, Peter sets it on the table and cuts it. Putting it on plates, they eat and converse about various things. After dinner and a bit of reading with her daddy, Kaia is given her bath. And then it's bedtime, Peter tucks Kaia in and gives her a kiss on the forehead.
"Good night, baby girl. Daddy will see you in the morning, okay?" He gives her one last peck on the forehead. "I love you", he whispers, before walking toward the door of his daughter's room.
She turns to look at him before he disappears from her view. "Daddy, I love you more." Gabriela's heart does a little flip, she was so lucky to have such an amazing family. She goes up to her daughter's bed and kneels down, giving Kaia a warm hug and a kiss on the forehead in the same place her husband had a few moments prior.
"I'll see you in the morning, baby. I love you", Gabriela says. "Sweet dreams", she whispers quietly. Gabi turns on the star night light that's on her daughter's dresser as she passes by before finally turning her light off and leaving her daughter to fall asleep. A half hour later, Gabriela is snuggled in bed, her husband is spooning her from behind. He leans over and nuzzles his face in her neck.
In the minutes before he drifts off to sleep, he whispers to her. "Thanks for giving me the perfect daughter, Gabi. I love you.", he says and falls into a deep slumber. It's a few hours after that, 2:45 A.M. to be exact, when Peter feels something tugging at his blankets and he hears small whimpers from in front of him. He sits up in bed immediately, heartbroken at what his eyes see. Kaia has tears running down her perfect little cheeks and her teddy bear, named Cuddles, clasped to her chest.
"Daddy", she sobs, as she climbs on his lap and buries her head in his shoulder. Her body is shaking and her breathing is loud. She has her tiny arms locked around his neck, Cuddles has somehow been tossed next to Gabriela's pillow.
"Shh, baby. You're okay, I'm here." Peter murmurs, rubbing her back. By this time, Gabriela has been woken up and is sitting Indian style, running her hands through her daughter's dark hair. "What happened?" Mills asks, coaxing his daughter to look at him.
"I had a dream that some bad guys tried to take me away from you and Mommy", she cries and snuggles into her father's warm embrace. Dawson has now turned on the bedside lamp and has her fingers intertwined with her daughter's.
Peter looks at his daughter. "Kaia, I will never let anything bad happen to you or Mommy, okay? I'll always be here to protect you." He kisses her forehead. "Now, lay down here and get some sleep. Mommy and I have work in the morning." Kaia crawls over him and lays down beside Gabriela, who has laid back down. Rolling on his side, Peter drapes his arm protectively over his daughter and wife. He places a kiss on each of their foreheads and a quiet "I love you", leaves his lips as he looks at them. Not that he likes bad dreams or anything, but the sight of his baby girl snuggled in the middle of him and his wife is a sight he'll always love seeing.