Characters: Harry Dresden, Miranda Dresden, Baby!Fay
Word count: 1,084
Summary: What it says on the tin - moving day, Dresden style.
Author's notes: OMG, you guys, I wrote something! Well, finished something really, since this has been sitting in a folder for awhile. But it's being posted!
Written for the 'Dance' prompt on my occhallenge table. Set in the mini!Dresdens 'Verse, pre-Family Dynamics.
“Please tell me that’s the last box,” Miranda said, sounding desperate.
I placed the box I was holding amongst all the other billion boxes in the hallway. “Um, that’s the last box?” I said. “Except for those other two, which are still in the van?”
Mira started breathing those deep breaths she does when she’s trying to calm herself down and I hurried out to the van to grab the last two boxes before she had a stroke. She was still standing the hall breathing when I returned and put the last two boxes on the ground.
“Hey, guess what?” I said. “That’s the last box.”
“I’m going to go crazy,” she said. “I am going to go crazy and have to be committed and I’ll be dressed in these horrible moving clothes because I will never, ever be able to find my actual, good clothes, because they will be stuck in one of these gabillion boxes for all eternity. And for the rest of my life I will be in the mental hospital, gibbering about all the boxes and dressed terribly!”
“Don’t be silly,” I said, soothingly. “They’ll put you in a straightjacket.” For a moment she looked like she was going to hit me, but then she started laughing. “I would come over there and hug you in a supportive, husbandly manner, but I can’t reach you.”
“It’s okay, I can feel the waves of support radiating from you over here,” she said. She looked around and sighed. “Where’s Fay?”
“Oh, did you want me to pack her?” I said. “I thought we were donating her to the Salvation Army. I put her in the box with all your used books and left her at the curb.”
“Haaarry,” Mira said, in her ‘don’t push me’ voice. “Where’s Fay?”
“She’s in the living room with Bob,” I said. “Sleeping, last I checked.”
Mira nodded and turned to face in the direction of the living room, the way to which was blocked by, you guessed it, boxes. “Seriously. Mental hospital. I give it four hours, tops. Have them on speed dial.”
“Roger,” I said. “But I’ll have to find the phone first.”
The townhome we’d gotten wasn’t very big, but it was big enough for us and with room to grow if we wanted. It was better than my apartment, where Fay’s crib was in the loft with us and our room didn’t have walls. Here, Fay could have her own room and we could have our own room. Plus, there was a small backyard for her to play in when she got older. It was all very practical and grown-up and stuff.
All our plans for room assignments would have to wait, since by eight o’clock that night things were really not that much better. We’d gotten a few things unpacked, but mostly we’d just cleared a path out of the boxes to enable us to move freely and spent the rest of the time searching through the boxes which held the most essential items.
We could neither find Fay’s crib, nor would I have had the energy to assemble it if we did. So she was going to sleep in our room, in a laundry basket. Because that’s how things work. You can’t find things like chalk to ward up the doors, or the box with all the baby food in it, or the phone, but you can easily find the laundry basket for the laundry you aren’t doing and the box of socks you won’t be wearing because it is a bajillion degrees out.
Because you also always have to move when it’s a bajillion degrees out.
I ended up the warding the doors with a pencil. It wasn’t the best, but it would keep most things out and we’d have a threshold built up soon enough with all of us living there. Families make strong thresholds, which is why my apartment was fairly easy to get into for so long. Bachelor pads do not great fortresses make. Bob had left me to check out his new ‘room’, after making sure I was drawing the runes correctly.
After I was done, I weaved my way back to the living room to find Mira bopping around amid the boxes, holding Fay in her arms. She’d found the record player and the box of LPs. Typical Mira.
“In an octopus’ garden, in the shade,” Mira sang along to The Beatles, as she bopped past me. Fay looked about ready to drop off to sleep. She’d been very good all day. I think she behaves better for Bob than she does for us.
I plopped down on the couch in the one free spot, moving a paper Burger King bag from under my butt. Mira had refused to eat anything that came in a box, which made ordering dinner difficult.
“Should I feel guilty that I found the record player but my daughter is sleeping in a laundry basket?” Mira asked, placing Fay down into the makeshift cradle.
“Nah, she should be grateful,” I said. “There are children in Third World countries who don’t have laundry baskets to sleep in.”
“There are mothers in Third World countries who don’t have record players either,” Mira said.
“Are you grateful?” I asked.
She nodded. “Immensely.”
I laid my palms out in a ‘so there’ manner. “Then it’s all good.”
She smiled. “Thank you, zenmaster Dresden. Now get your ass over here and dance with me.”
There’s not a lot you can do with an order like that. I got my ass over there and danced with her. We managed not to trip over anything, including my feet, until the record ran out and then I collapsed on the couch again and pulled her down with me. We both surveyed our surroundings in silence for a bit, while Fay made happy noises in her sleep. Eventually, Mira kicked everything off the couch and slumped down until her head was in my lap. I played with her curls and she made happy noises too.
“You can put off the asylum thing,” she murmured. “ I think I’m gonna make it.”
“Good,” I said, leaning my head back on the couch and closing my eyes. “Because I never did find the phone.”