Father's Day Surprises


aura_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif richard_icon.gif

Scene Title Father's Day Surprises
Synopsis It's the first time he's known his real birthday. Two special gifts are given.
Date June 16, 2019

Richard's Apartment, Raytech Corporate Housing

"Sssshhhhh!" The hissing sound from Aurora is accompanied by giggles.

Elisabeth's grin is evident in her voice and she stage-whispers in return, "I'm not the one laughing, Pixie." Sure, she could keep the little girl quiet — she's a frigging audiokinetic! But this is more fun. Besides, it gives Richard warning that something is coming so he doesn't come up swinging.

He's ambushed.

A FWUMP! sound as a small body lands on his prone form in the bed is accompanied by the little voice crowing, "HAPPY BIRFDAY, DADDY!"

A single eye cracks open as the door opens and there’s the giggling sound in the bedroom, but Richard remains still and silent until there’s that leap upon him. “Oof,” he laughs, coming up from beneath the sheets and using them to grab for his daughter and engulf her in sheets, “Is it my birthday? Already?”

The small form continues to giggle as she's tumbled into sheets and stuck in the tangle. "You gets to have a birfday on Daddy's Day — Two presents!" Aurora scrabbles around under there and wraps herself around her father's neck so as to sweetly kiss him on the cheek. "Me an' Mummy made bur-reakfast for you, an' for special you gets to have it in bed!" She's very impressed by this, clearly.

"It's just muffins and coffee," Elisabeth chuckles from the door, where she's got one shoulder leaned on the frame as she holds a small tray and watches the sneak attack. Seeing them together, able to play, these are still scenes that she often has to store in her head. Small moments she never really thought to have.

As she moves into the room to deposit the tray (it's really just a cutting board, stolen for this purpose) on the nightstand, she observes, "It seemed singularly appropriate for you to have your first real birthday on Father's Day somehow."

“It’s not my… oh, right,” Richard realizes, eyebrows going up, “I’d nearly forgot.”

His arms wrap around Aurora to give her a fierce hug, and then sets her beside him with a chuckle, reaching over for the coffee, “Hey, breakfast in bed is always a special occasion. I should’ve cleared all my work for the day, with all these holidays on the same day.”

Aurora snuggles in, her little feet sliding under the blanket to rest on his leg… and much like happens occasionally with her mom, they're cold. She's giggling again, knowing it, and tells him, "We made a chocolate cake for later too!" Because Aurora insisted it wasn't a birthday without cake. "Cuz you an' me gots birfdays on a'most the same day, Daddy!"

Perching on the bottom of the bed, Elisabeth brings her legs up to sit cross-legged. "Summer birthdays are cool — no one has to go to school on their birthday that way," she grins. Winking at him, she asks, "How much you got going today?"

The little girl eyes him and insists, "you can't work on your birfday!" She sounds scandalized.

A twitch of his leg answers the cold feet, and Richard smirks down at her, reaching a hand over to ruffle through her hair. Then he takes a sip of coffee, asking his daughter, “Oh, I can’t? Maybe you should tell Sera that…” Teasing, although probably the receptionist would take it seriously.

He shrugs then, looking back to Elisabeth, “Not much, really, just a few nod-and-sign meetings probably. I really need to find someone to replace Kaylee soon…”

"Okay, I will!" Aura tells him, taking him seriously. She scrambles to try to extricate herself from the blankets, fully intending on doing just that!

Elisabeth is forced to cover her mouth to keep her laughter in. The little girl may not get far, but it appears if he doesn't want the pixie to get him excused from work, Liz is gonna let him be the one to stop her! She meets his eyes and just lets him see her amusement. "I wish I could make any useful suggestions on that front, but I'm afraid I'm pretty well useless on it."

“No, no, I didn’t mean right now, little rainbow, get back here,” Richard laughs— setting down the coffee before leaning over to catch his daughter before she escapes, hefting her up off the bed and then pulling her back in against his bare chest in a bear-hug, “No running away to play with Sera yet.”

“I’ll have to do some interviews,” he admits, pressing a kiss to Aurora’s hair, “What do you have planned for today?”

Aurora giggles as she's swooped around and snuggled. She's perfectly content to sit in her daddy's lap while he has his coffee. "Pwesents." That's what she has planned for today.

Elisabeth chuckles and gets up from the bed, coming back from the hall with a relatively large, flat parcel and a smaller box. Setting flat on the bed in front of Richard and his lap companion, she goes around to the far side of the bed to rejoin them. There's a bit of uncertainty to her, as if she's not entirely sure he's going to like what he finds.

Their daughter has no such fears and bounces in his lap. "Open 'em, Daddy! The big one is for your birfday an' the square one is for Daddy's day!"

“Ooh, which one should I open first,” Richard teases— reaching out to pat the bed with one hand to invite Elisabeth to join them as she circles the bed, flashing her a smile before looking back down to the gifts, “Hm. I think… the square one!”

He tickles his daughter’s side briefly before reaching out to pick up the smaller box, arms working around Aurora as he gets it unwrapped, grinning.

Leaning on one hand to look over his arm while he opens it, Aurora gleefully helping, Elisabeth smiles. The square box yields a photo album, which when opened has first a portrait of all three kids together on the first page, with the following several as he turns them having one of each child doing something fun — Ricky's playing basketball in the courtyard, Lili is bent over a book looking at something very intently, Aurora is apparently teaching her stuffed animals. The pages after contain the only pictures Elisabeth was able to salvage from the Bright world — several shots of the little girl as an infant, a couple of her with her mother obviously taken by someone else, and one that she didn't show him when she pulled them out originally - a shot of Aurora, perhaps only days old, curled up sleeping on a fuzzy pink and write blanket with a little stuffed red cardinal next to her.

The album’s opened up, and Richard’s smile softens at the sight of the three of them. “Aw,” he murmurs, turning the pages slowly to examine the photos - the few pictures of Aurora’s younger years that he missed. At that last view, he brushes his fingers over it, looking down, “You know who that is, little rainbow?”

Aurora grins at the picture. "That's me, silly! When we leaved home to come home to you, Mummy said you needed pitchers of me so you could see what I looked like when I was bald!"

Elisabeth laughs. "She was pretty bald for a really long time, it seemed like. Finally got a decent head of hair by the time she was about a year. She wore a lot of pink that first year."

Aurora nods emphatically. "I like pink. But I like purple better. It's my favoritest color." She looks up at him. "Do you like it? I got to put the pitchers in."

“She was right,” Richard agrees, flashing a smile over to Liz - one hand reaching out to trail over her thigh and knee briefly - and then he closes the book of photos, planting another kiss on the top of Aurora’s head, “I love it. I was sad that I didn’t get to see you growing up as a baby, but now I’ve got all those pictures.”

He sets the book aside, and chuckles, “Should I open the other one now, or wait until after breakfast?”

The smile he gets as he touches her leg is brief, and Elisabeth is amused at the question. "You know better than that," she says even as Aurora demands, "Now! Yer birfday one is bigger!" Laid flat, the package only a couple of inches tall but it's broad. About 16 inches by 20 inches. Aurora is bouncing there very excitedly while he starts to open it, but Elisabeth's expression is perhaps a little more watchful than excited.

The paper comes off easily revealing a painting, although there are not very many that have the depth and quality of this one. It's a candid image, perhaps taken from a photograph, a park bench with a couple holding hands and a younger woman sitting in a casual pose leaning on one hand on the ground in front of them. Michelle and David Cardinal look happy, and Rianna Cardinal has a vaguely mischievous smile quirking her lips. It's a simple moment in time. One that it is literally impossible to have been done in this world.

“Okay, okay,” Richard laughs at his daughter’s demands, reaching out to pick up the package and drawing it in closer to unwrap. He doesn’t tear the paper, instead unfolds it carefully with the touch of a burglar. Some things never change. Setting it off to one side, he lifts the painting in both hands, brow knitting a little as he lets the effect of the image sink in.

One hand lifts almost to touch the paint, but not quite, drifting across it before pausing over Rianna. “Is this my sister,” he asks softly of Liz, without looking away from the work before his eyes.

"Yeah," Elisabeth replies in a soft voice. "She…. I met her. I, uhm… she showed me that picture of your parents. It was taken just before the Flood. Kaylee helped pull the image out along with my memory of Rianna and that young chromakinetic you said you knew… she does all kinds of art. She was able to sketch from my memories…" They weren't all together in the original picture, but Elisabeth thinks it came out beautifully. Not that any of the words she just said really matter at all.

"I… couldn't bring your whole family home any other way."

“You did your best,” Richard replies softly, his hand falling to rest on Aurora’s head and ruffling her hair gently so he doesn’t worry her, “And you did everything you could. Thank you— “

A sad smile as he looks over, reaching then out for Liz’s hand, “At least I know what she looked like, now. I wish our David wasn’t such a piece of shit, maybe he could’ve… I don’t know.”

She's maybe still a little worried it wasn't the right thing to give him. Twining her fingers through his, Elisabeth smiles softly. "She was very much looking forward to meeting you." Leaning over to kiss him softly over their daughter's head, she murmurs, "Your real father loved you." It's the only gift she can give him — his family. The knowledge that he was not unwanted or unloved.

Richard’s fingers curl through hers, and he leans in to meet her in a soft kiss. “I know,” he says sadly, though it’s bittersweet as he leans back again to look at the painting, “I know. I wish I could have known them, but… at least I have my mother.”

A sidelong look, a twitch of his lips, “And you. And Aurora. And the twins. Honestly I have an embarrassment of family now.” He’s trying to make himself feel better, but it’s honest as well.

She considers for a moment and then grins. "You're right. We're gonna have to ditch some of them." Elisabeth grins cheekily as Aurora looks up. "You can't ditch fambly, Mummy. You said nobody gets left behind cuz we're all fambly!" She looks a little alarmed, and Liz leans over to kiss her head. "I'm teasing, Pixie. Daddy knows I'm teasing." She grins and looks at him. "So… you're just gonna have to get used to it… your mom, me, my dad, Aurora, the twins, your cousin, your brother and sisters, Izzy, Magnes even… you're deep in it."

“You’re damn right there, little rainbow,” Richard leans down to peck a kiss on the top of Aurora’s head as well, right after Liz withdraws, “Good girl. You never leave family behind.”

Then he shoots his lover a look and arches a single brow, “I am not related to Magnes.”

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