Let’s try this again. Hopefully the weird symbols are gone this time. This is a gift drabble for @vorchagirl. Shega and kid, plus kitchen disaster.
It was the quiet that finally woke Shepard. The apartment was never this quiet, not since the tiny tornado figured out how her legs worked. The tiny, lovable terror that inherited her father’s infinite energy. The gap toothed smile she’d been so proud to show off once her tooth fell out, and the resulting freak out when Gabriella realized that there was a lot of blood involved with teeth falling out. Jane referred to them as the dynamic duo on a good day, the destructive duo when something had been broken. Add in a lovable fur ball known as Rico, and she was glad they’d gotten sturdier furniture for the apartment. Jane sighed as she snuggled further into the pillow to enjoy some sleeping in time, until the loud clanging crash from downstairs prompted her to check on her family. There was no telling what they were getting up to.
The sight that greeted her in the kitchen filled her with laughter. James stood at the counter, covered in flour as their daughter rolled on the floor laughing at him. Gabriella was suspiciously free from any of the kitchen catastrophe mess while Rico, the usual partner in crime, was lapping at what looked like milk on the floor. Jane tried to muffle the laughs but the look on James’s face was too much. He had a look of utter helpless defeat mingling with amusement, the look of the long-suffering father to a mischievous daughter, as he stared at the mess on the kitchen floor and counter. The sound of her laugh grabbed both father and daughter’s attention. Jane liked to imagine Gabby got some of her features, but the little girl was practically a carbon copy of her father. Not that this bothered her. She loved being able to look at Gabby and see James in the way she smiled or wrinkled her brow when she was concentrating. Her heart almost burst every time she saw the smile on Gabby’s face and remembered seeing it on James’s face.
“Mama!! Daddy made a mess!” Gabby ran up to her mother full of twinkling smiles as she conveniently left out her own part in the mess. Those cute little dimples flashed as she put on the perfect face of innocence for her mother.
“Oh? And you and Rico didn’t have any part of that at all, did you?” Shepard asked as she scooped up the pint-sized terror. Her tone was indulgent. Gabby settled onto her hip and clutched at the loose night shirt, stolen from James of course, as Jane stared down at her with a calm and cool gaze. The tactic worked well in the past, Jane just simply kept quiet after asking the question in a calm voice and Gabby would incriminate herself or the real troublemaker. The guilt nagged at Gabby and she squirmed in her mother’s arms. Shepard noted that her little girl was getting big, and soon she’d be too big to pick up like this again. It was just a tiny pang in her heart to realize the little girl was growing up.
“Maybe…” Gabby chewed on her lower lip as she debated how much she could get away with telling her mother. “But Rico didn’t mean to trip Daddy.” James snorted from his spot wiping down the counter. It took all the discipline Shepard every culminated to keep the smile at bay as her daughter used that angelic face on her, but they both knew Jane was made of stronger stuff.
“Uh huh. Why don’t you keep Rico busy in the living room while I help Daddy clean up?” Jane pressed a quick kiss to her temple and set her daughter down with a small pat on her back. “That is not an invitation to jump on the couch.” Gabby darted towards the living room with Rico hopping behind her, tongue lolling. Jane padded over to help James with clean up. She picked up the fallen bag of flour and noted that it was still more than half full. “Dare I ask what was the end goal?” Her shoulders bumped against his companionably as she grabbed a towel to help wipe down the counter that had been dusted with flour.
“Pancakes,” James answered as he finished cleaning the counter. Jane turned and smiled up at him. The laugh bubbled up before she could stop it. There was flour all over his shirt, but there was a broad white stripe streaking down his cheek. The giggle couldn’t be smothered as he narrowed his eyes at her. “What?”
“Pancakes?” Jane laughed as she reached up and wiped the flour off his face. A face she knew so well, and had seen every morning except for when duty took them away. The beginning had been a bit bumpy, but now they had the little girl full of energy. Life hadn’t turned out just the way Shepard had planned, but she couldn’t think of a better place to be than just there. Her lips parted on a sigh as he leaned down for a kiss, warmth rolling through her. His hand cupped the back of her neck as he angled his head to deepen their kiss. The warmth spread and burned as she parted her lips for him.
The crash, ceramic bouncing off the floor, broke the spell. “Rico did it!!” The high-pitched shriek from the living room was followed by the sound of shrill barking as the dog was no doubt bouncing around. James started laughing as he pressed his forehead against Jane’s. “We’d better go check on the damage.” There was no telling what their daughter was getting into with the maniacal fluffball as her partner in crime. Jane laughed and headed for the living room, she started as his hand grabbed her around the waist and pulled her to him. She smiled up at him as they went to survey the damage done by their daughter and incorrigible dog. A thought struck Shepard as she watched James go over and try to get the details from their daughter. She watched as he scooped their petite child up with one arm, her bracing her small hands against his shoulders as she grinned impishly at him, and both turned to look at her in the doorway. There really wasn’t anywhere else Jane would rather be at.