A/N: Just a sweet story about Frank and Nancy's daughter Kate "Katie" Hardy. I think I kind of named her Kate because of The Silent Spy, in which Nancy's mother's name is Kate (no spoilers for the game here, though). But Katie is such a cute name, I just thought it suited her.
Also, huge thanks to everyone who reviewed this story and my others!
Rated: K because I think something like this has happened to pretty much everybody.
Disclaimer: Owning Nancy Drew or The Hardy Boys is like having mad ice skating skills - I just don't! ;)
"Mommy? Daddy?" a little voice came through the moonlit room. Frank slowly drifted awake and looked towards the doorway, seeing four-year-old Kate "Katie" Hardy standing there with a teddy bear and blanket hugged closely to her.
"Yes, Katie?" he asked her. Next to him, Nancy was shifting as she awoke.
Their daughter's lip trembled and she hugged her possessions closer to her as she said, "I had a bad dream."
"Come here," Nancy said softly. The small girl crawled up onto the bed and in between her parents. Once she was within reach, Nancy stretched her arm out and pulled the dark-haired girl up next to her. "What happened in your dream?"
"We were playing hide and seek," she sniffed, "And I couldn't find you or Daddy! You were both gone!"
Nancy hugged her closer murmured softly, "Oh, baby, it's okay."
Frank gently ran his fingers through Katie's dark brown hair, which had become tangled. He glanced at the clock, which now read 2:03 A.M. It came as no surprise that his daughter had nightmares sometimes. After all, she was only four. But that didn't make it any easier to know that she was scared.
After his wife had calmed the girl down, he said, "Hey, Katie? How about I take you back to your bed, okay?"
She nodded pitifully and it broke his heart all the more. He slipped out of bed and picked her up, carrying her down the dark hall towards her room. For a short bit of the walk, the four-year-old clung to her father. But when something caught her attention, she was off rambling like her little Pre-K self. "You must be strong, Daddy," she said. Pointing to his Superman t-shirt which had been paired with dark gray lounge pants, she added, "Like Superman."
She'd always had a way of charming her dad. "Why is that?" he asked playfully.
"Because, you can pick me up, silly!" she giggled, though really only weighing fifty pounds. To an athletic guy like Frank the girl was as light as a feather.
"You should have seen me carry Mommy a few years ago."
Katie's faced filled with awe. "You can pick Mommy up?" she gasped dramatically.
Laughing, Frank said, "I've picked her up on several occasions."
"Well, there was this one time when your Mommy and I were trying to solve a mystery, and a mean guy made her go to sleep for a little while. I found her in the hallway and I carried her to her room." That was the child-friendly version. Once on a case Nancy had been caught snooping and somebody chloroformed her. Frank had found her and carried her back to her and Bess' hotel room and set down on the couch.
"Wow, Daddy!" she cried out in amazement, "You really did?"
He smiled and nodded. "Yeah, I did."
As they came into Katie's room, she kept talking in awe of her dad. "Will you teach me to solve mysteries someday?"
"You bet, sweetie." He told her, gently laying her down on the new twin-sized bed covered with a bright pink Disney Princess bedspread. Soft light glowed from the lamp on the table next to the bed, which also held a few storybooks and a digital clock.
Katie settled down into her pillow as Frank pulled the blankets up close around her. "Goodnight, baby." He murmured after kissing her forehead.
Just as he was turning to go, Katie sat up and cried, "Daddy, wait!"
"Yes?" he asked, turning back to face her.
"What if you don't come back?" Fear showed in her brown eyes. People always said she looked just like her father, and acted just like Nancy. Distantly, Frank realized that when it came to mindset, Katie was a mirror image of her mother. Nancy had frequently experienced childhood nightmares after losing her mother, and it came as no surprise that her daughter would exhibit similar behavior out of worry.
The detective knew he couldn't leave her like that. Though he knew he probably should have gone back to bed, he found himself stepping towards her. "Scoot over," he said softly. After she had moved to one side of the bed, Frank lay down next to her and propped his head up on his arm. Putting a hand on her tiny shoulder, he asked, "You know Mommy and I aren't going to leave you, right?"
"But what if you do?" she cried, tears finding their way down her little cheeks.
It was a legitimate question, Frank knew. He and Nancy had both been kidnapped on multiple occasions, and he knew it could happen again and Katie would be left home alone. It worried him to think of his baby sitting by herself in a deserted house.
But she was still too young to completely understand kidnapping, blackmail, violence, and dozens of other consequences of detective work. There had to be a way to let her know that it could happen, but if it did, not to be scared.
"Alright, Katie. Listen to me." He told her seriously, but not harshly. She looked at him, all joking gone from her expression. "If you're ever home and you really can't find me or Mommy, then I want you to pick up the phone in the kitchen and hold down the three button. That will call Uncle Joe and Aunt Vanessa. Okay?"
It was a bit of a desperate hope that she would remember, but he had to remember that she was very perceptive for her age. And she was growing up so fast.
"Okay. If I can't find you or Mommy I go hold down three and call Uncle Joe and Aunt Vanessa," she repeated back to him.
Though he knew he may have to remind her sometimes of the task, Frank knew that his daughter definitely had the mindset to be a future detective. "That's it," he nodded with a small smile. "Do you think you can go to sleep now?"
She looked at him with sparkling crystal blue eyes, and said, "Will you stay with me, Daddy? And don't be gone?"
Now he knew she was yanking his chain. But those eyes were something hard to say no to, even after growing up with Joe. He smiled and tickled her neck. "Alright, but just for tonight, you little stinker."
Katie drew back and giggled. Taking a deep breath, she laid her head on her Daddy's shoulder and nestled her little body next to him, her feet not even reaching his knees. "Can you tell me a story?"
"The one about when you and Mommy first met!" she gushed.
"Alright," he grinned softly to himself. "Once upon a time…"
So Frank told his baby girl a story of adventure, good versus evil, two brothers, and (of course) the girl detective that eventually won his heart.
Many minutes later, just as Frank was finishing the story, Katie snuggled in deeper and murmured, "I love you, Daddy." Then her breathing slowed and she drifted off to sleep, her nightmares forgotten.
Frank smiled warmly down at her. He didn't ever want to let go of his little girl. "I love you, too, Katie." He whispered just before kissing the top of her head and closing his eyes.
At six-thirty in the morning, Nancy quietly opened the door to Katie's room. She smiled softly when she saw her daughter hugging Frank even in her sleep. It was heart-melting, seeing their love for one-another. The four-year-old meant everything to Frank, and every time she needed help, Katie always ran to her Daddy.
Unwilling to spoil the moment, Nancy quietly closed the door and went downstairs.
A/N: Come on people, for the sake of my sanity, review!
Thanks for stopping by and reading! :)