Kaldur knocks apprehensively on his girlfriend's door. Earlier that day, she asked, no pleaded, for him to help her babysit Lian. The pleading wasn't necessary; he would have gladly done it anyway. But she was under the impression he didn't really like children, because, well as she put it "You don't really seem like to guy who would get down and play pretend."
Her statement was false, for the most part. He liked kids, he simply had very little experience with them. He was an only child, and he didn't have any younger neighbors or cousins, so beyond holding Arthur Jr. and Amistad for a few minutes, he never really had to deal with children. He certainly didn't dread babysitting, as Artemis seemed to think he did.
That still doesn't stop him from being a little bit nervous.
She smiles as she answers the door, and gives him a quick peck on the cheek before letting him in, "You're here. Thank you so much for helping me out. Normally I'd be able to watch her myself, but this week is finals week, and I really need to study. It's kinda hard to do that with her tugging on your pant leg asking you to play."
"I don't mind. Just, do you know where Jade is or what she's doing?" He asks concerned.
She rolls her eyes,"I've learned not to ask. If Jade doesn't find a sitter, she takes Lian with her. She has one of those backpack baby carriers and she just straps Lian in, and goes off and kills people."
His eyes widen, "Is she crazy?"
"That's what I said. And as much as I disprove of Jade's activities, I'd rather she did them without Lian in tow."
He nods slowly, "Agreed."
"Looking after her isn't that hard. She is just starting to walk though, so make sure she doesn't wander off and hurt herself. As you can see my apartment isn't exactly baby proof. She brought her stuffed animals, Juju Bear and Cece the Octopus, she loves it when you make up stories with them. If she gets bored with that you can put in a movie, her favorites are Lilo and Stitch, Aladdin, and Jurassic Park."
"Isn't Jurassic Park a bit violent for her?"
She sighs, "She laughs every time the Lawyer gets eaten. Quite frankly, I'm a bit concerned."
"I think I'll stick with the Disney movies."
"That's probably a good choice. I'll be over in the next room if you need me."
"I won't need you Artemis. You need to study."
She crouches down, so as to address Lian, "Will you be a good girl for my friend Kaldur?"
It looks like she nods, but he can't really be sure. She is, after all, a bit young to comprehend anything Artemis just said.
"Have fun you two." She playfully waves goodbye, and shuts her bedroom door.
Now it's just him. And Lian. Alone.
She stares up at him with these huge, saucer-like brown eyes. Just a moment ago Artemis had her smiling and giggling, now she looks incredibly bored. Talk about emotional whiplash.
What exactly is he supposed to do? How should he keep her entertained? What do babies even like?
"Uh… would you like to hear a story?" He asks. She just keeps on staring.
He'll take her lack of response as a yes. "I'll tell you about Theseus and the Minotaur. I think that was one of my favorites when I was younger. How does that start again? Uh.. There was The King of Crete Minos, and every 9 years he demanded that Athens, a city in Greece send 7 men and 7 women to err… fight this beast called the Minotaur. He was a scary creature, he had the body of a man, but the head of a bull, and the Athenians never stood a chance. But one year… uh Lian?"
Sometime during his presumably not very entertaining monologue, she got up and tottered off. He notices this in the nick of time. She had wandered over toward an uncovered electrical outlet, and she looked like she wanted to play around with it.
He quickly scrambles over and scoops her up before she can touch it, "No! No no no no Lian, we don't play with electric plugs."
She smiles at him. Of course now she's entertained, right after she almost electrocuted herself.
"We're going to have to try a different approach." He says, mostly to himself, and he places Lian back on the floor, far away from any outlets.
She spots her toys a few inches away, and smiling she picks one, Juju Bear, and hands her to Kaldur. "Play! Play!" She squeals.
He considers for a moment acting out Theseus and the Minotaur with the stuffed toys, but he's afraid that might bore her, again. He figures he'll just have to make up something as he goes. It can't be that hard.
He waves the stuffed bear's arm, "Hi Lian! I'm Juju bear." He says in a screechy falsetto. He holds the bear by the back and bounces it across the coffee table, as though it's walking.
"Ooh, what's this?" He says, tilting the bear's head down toward a package of M&M's. He has the bear pick it up and bring it to its mouth. "Om nom nom nom." He says as he pretends to have the bear eat the candy. He then has the bear continue to "walk" until it reaches the table's edge.
"AHHHH!" he screams as he pretends to have the bear fall off the table. When it hits the ground, he sticks out his tongue, and quickly exhales, making a sort of explosion noise.
Lian's giggling. Good, all her attention's on him.
He decides it's time to bring in Cece the Octopus. "Oh no!"He cries, giving Cece a deep voice, dramatically more than his own, "I need to give Juju Bear CPR. One! Two! Three!" He has two of his tentacles pounding on his chest.
"Oh Cece, you're my hero!" Juju Bear revives, and gives Cece the Octopus several kisses on his mouth, "Mwah! Mwah! Mwah Mwah!"
"Eww… Cooties! Get away! Get away!"
"No! Come back Cece, I love you!" He has the two chase each other around the table, switching off wailing in each of the character's voices. Until finally Juju Bear stops running after Cece the Octopus.
Kaldur crosses her arms, "Fine! If you don't want to be my boyfriend, I'll find someone else!"
"No Juju! I'm sorry, I'll be your boyfriend."
"You will? YAY! Mwah mwah mwah!"
"Stop kissing me! That's gross!"
"But you're my boyfriend. Boyfriends and Girlfriends are supposed to kiss all the time!"
"So? I don't want to kiss. I want to FIGHT!"
"AHHHH!" Cece the Octopus leaps atop of Juju Bear and Kaldur has the two of them roll around.
"You'll never defeat me Cece! I'm a bear, and I'm stronger than you."
"Oh yeah, well I have INK POWERS! Ksshhhhh!" He makes ink spraying sound effects.
"Ahh! My eyes! I'll get you, with my BEAR CLAWS!"
Over in the corner he hears laughter, more specifically Artemis' laughter.
"I um… how long have you been standing there?" He stammers, and nervously and drops the toys, embarrassed by his childish behavior. This outlandish story was meant only for Lian. He certainly didn't want Artemis to see, or hear, him acting it out.
"Why'd you stop?" She asks, stifling a laugh, "You were doing such a great job. I haven't seen her so entertained since that time I showed her Jaws."