Characters: Bob, Harry, Fay (OC), Miranda (OFC)
Spoilers: None; set in my Family Dynamics/Mini!Dresdens 'verse, so it will probably make more sense if you are familliar with it.
Word count: approx. 1000
Summary: Bob contemplates his new role in life/death. (Introspective)
Author's notes: Written for the 'Bob' challenge @ dresdenflashfic and the 'First' prompt for my occhallenge table.It is fluff with a side of fluff and fluff for dessert. You are thus warned.
Bob had been many things over the years of his life and unlife. He’d been a son, a brother and a lover. He’d been a wizard, a sorcerer and a necromancer. He’d been an advisor, a cohort and a teacher. This role he’d been given now, however, was something new. He wasn’t even sure it had a name. He wasn’t quite an uncle, nor was he a godfather. Those roles required the ability to interact with the world around oneself. He couldn’t even be called a babysitter, because he was ill-suited for that, too. Even so, he knew he must be something to this child, because he felt it. There was a bond there of some sort, even if it didn’t have a name.
He hadn’t dealt with many children over the years. He’d had none of his own, nor any younger siblings and most owners were either recluses or died before they’d gotten around to reproducing (probably better in the long run, Bob admitted, that those bloodlines had not continued). It seemed fitting that Harry would be the exception to that general rule. Harry had been the first child Bob had interacted with on such a personal level, after all, and now this infant would be the first person Bob had known from her first days in this world.
She was sleeping. She did that most of the time, alternated with screaming in a voice far too big for her size. He found that quite an interesting mechanism, the screaming. As soon as she started, he felt the innate need to stop her from doing so in any way he could. It was some biological programming still left in him and, frankly, he liked knowing there was still something to him besides his form and intelligence.
Of course, he couldn’t actually do much to stop her screaming. He could talk to her, which sometimes worked, but he couldn’t change her diaper (not that he much regretted that) or feed her. One thing he could do that both Harry and Miranda seemed to find useful was watch her. It meant the new parents could leave the room and know that if anything went wrong, Bob could let them know. Today, for example, Harry was out and Miranda was dozing lightly on the couch. Since Miranda clearly needed the sleep, Bob felt he was of some use.
Fay stirred in her sleep, stretching out her little limbs before settling back again. She was very small, even for a baby. She’d put on a lot of weight in the hospital, according to Harry, but still seemed a little undersized. Considering how premature she was, and what could have gone wrong as a result, it was a small price to pay.
Bob often tried to decide who she looked like. Miranda thought she looked like Harry and Harry thought she looked like Miranda. Mrs. Faintree insisted she had the Faintree nose, while Murphy thought she had Harry’s mouth. Even Morgan had offered the opinion that she looked ‘like a Morningway’ during one of his visits to accuse Harry of wrongdoing. It was said in just a way as to be neither complimentary nor insulting. A wise choice, considering Miranda was there and her hormonal state was often scarier than the darkest of wizards.
Then there was Ramirez, who, when questioned, said ‘dude, she looks like a baby’. Bob had decided that was the most accurate description. She was a little first draft of a human, without any of the characteristics to identify her as unique, at least to Bob. Her hair was blonde and her eyes were blue, both traits which Miranda said would change over time to something closer to one parent or the other. She was somewhat chubby with baby fat, so one couldn’t tell if she’d have Miranda’s heart-shaped face or Harry’s more angled features. For the child’s sake, Bob hoped she would take after her mother in looks.
Fay waved her arms around again and this time opened her eyes. Bob winced in expectation of the screaming. Surprisingly, she stayed silent. She looked around and found Bob, or rather the buttons of his vest which she always seemed to find more interesting than his face.
“Bababah,” she said.
“Hello,” he replied.
He glanced to Miranda on the couch and hoped to buy some more time before she had to get up. If he could keep Fay distracted, she might hold off her screams for attention.
He drew a spiral in the air, over her play pen. Her eyes followed his movements and settled on the golden shape. It was a game he liked to play when no one else was watching. When in public, he would play the part of the disinterested, grumpy ghost. One had to keep one’s reputation. In private, however, he felt comfortable enough to fawn over her.
He drew a few more shapes in the air before gently poking them. They fell to dust, scattering harmlessly over Fay’s face and dissipated. She shrieked with delight and waved her fists through the falling particles. He smiled at her.
“Hello?” Harry called. The front door slammed.
The ghost straightened up and took a step back from the play pen. He put a finger to his lips, indicating Miranda on the couch. Harry crept past her and over to Fay.
“How are my girls?” Harry asked.
“Well,” Bob replied.
Harry bent over to tickle Fay’s feet and Bob smiled at her giggles. He hid it again when Harry picked Fay up and rested her against his chest.
“Let’s go the kitchen so Mommy can sleep,” he suggested, in his ‘talking to the baby’ voice. He looked over to Bob. “She didn’t bother you, did she? Fay?”
“No,” Bob said. “She was quite quiet.”
Harry cooed about Fay being a good girl and carried her off to the kitchen. Bob watched them go, giving Fay a small wave over Harry’s shoulder. Whatever this was, whatever role he was playing, it was a good one.