It wasn’t often that Ken was trusted to drive Isa’s car, and when the drow hadn’t hesitated to give him her keys, he knew she was exhausted.
So he wasn’t surprised when she’d fallen asleep in the passenger seat on the way home; her head tilted forward and down, and her breathing coming out soft and even….
A stark contrast to his daughter, who’s intermittent snoring drowned out the radio as she lay limply against the window. She spoke a little in her sleep, mumbling nonsense.
Shortly after getting back to town Ken had bounced over a pothole and heard her head thump heavily against the glass.
She hadn’t woken up (Ken wasn’t sure that anything could wake her, with this new medication she was trialling) but regardless, he had still slowed down and taken a different, longer-but-less bumpy route home.
He didn’t mind that it added an extra ten minutes to the drive; he didn’t want either of his girls being woken up until they had to be. Plus, after such a long day he was enjoying the quiet company of the two people he’d actually wanted to spend the day with.
He glanced in his rear view mirror at his daughter again, and felt himself smiling.
He still couldn’t believe that she had trusted him to help with the wedding when, just two years ago, she’d hated him.
Or, at least, he’d thought she hated him. She certainly hadn’t trusted him, at least.
And it wasn’t undeserved distrust, either; he’d hurt her so many times before…. He’d always had good intentions, but he just always seemed to do the wrong thing….
Who would have known that it was losing his patience at her that would have brought her back to him?
It was funny, really.
It was the one thing he’d always told himself he would never do was yell at his daughter; never take his temper out on her or raise his voice. He never wanted her to fear him. Not like he feared his father. Or like her mother feared hers.
But it had been the thing she’d wanted him to do more than anything else. To show her that he saw her. Really saw her, and not just some idealised version of her he’d created for himself in his head….
He was glad that they could talk about these things, now.
That doctor Goodhuman was a lifesaver!
Ken let out a breath as he pulled into his driveway, and he dug through the car’s glove box for the garage door opener.
Ugh, that terrible squeak— He’d need to ask one of the Sladers for help fixing it sometime.
At least it didn’t wake anybody. Person or mimic.
Ken climbed out of his seat and made his way to his daughter’s door… but then realised that she was leaning on the window, and if he opened the door she would fall out.
So, he headed to the other side of the car —the side that her mimics were carefully strapped into— and removed the carrier. He made sure not to jostle them as he pulled them out of the car and peered inside….
They were all fast asleep; curled up together in the toys and blankets that had been put in with them.
Hm…. He might as well take them upstairs, now, so that he wouldn’t forget and leave them in the garage overnight.
The temperature was so extreme in this small room, exposed to all of the elements— It would be worse than just leaving the creatures outside! And he knew if he did that Becky would have his head…. He couldn’t imagine what she would say if he left Mimi and her babies here.
So he took the carrier upstairs and cleared some space in their widow-side pen so he could set them down and open the door.
None of the mimics stirred, thankfully, and Ken returned downstairs to retrieve his daughter.
He crawled in through the open door and shuffled over to Becky so he could pull her off the door.
He had intended to go back around to the other side of the car once he’d moved her; but with the way she flopped limply over when Ken backed out of the car… there wasn’t any point. She was now splayed over the entirety of the backseat, so it wasn’t too difficult to drag her out and heft her up into his arms—
God, she was heavier than she looked!
Ken stumbled, but refused to fall or drop his daughter.
If Isa could carry the girl over her shoulder while she was kicking and screaming, he could get her into bed without waking her….
Ken adjusted his grip, summoning all of his strength and will, and managed to get ahold of Becky bridal-style.
He made sure not to bump her on doorways as he made his way through the house, and made the difficult climb up the stairs…. Then he lay her softly in bed, adjusting her bedding to the most comfortable he knew how, and pecked a kiss on her forehead.
She let out a sigh and mumbled something about “the sheep,” which in itself was humorous enough before she let out a quiet bark.
At least it wasn’t another nightmare….
Ken rose to his feet and stumbled to the door where he paused, waiting a moment to watch his daughter with a smile, before heading back down to the car to retrieved Isa.
He wasn’t sure if he’d be able to carry Isa, if he could barely handle carrying Becky… though luckily he saw that he wouldn’t need to try, as she was already out of her seat and sleepily closing the car doors Ken had left open.
‘Mon amoureuse,’ he hugged his girlfriend from behind; wrapping his arms around her middle and pressing a kiss into her neck. ‘I have just taken Becky to bed…. Would you like me to run you a bath?’
‘Mmm,’ Isa let out a long, contented sigh and leant back into Ken’s embrace. ‘I would love that.’
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