PLEASE SEE INDEX PAGE FOR DISCLAIMERS & OTHER CHAPTERS
Chapter Notes: Written for the schmoop_bingo prompt "Love letter".
Chapter 6 :: Vernal Equinox
By A. Magiluna Stormwriter
++ Dana ++
It started out like a normal Monday morning. I got up to shower first, planning to get breakfast made for everyone while Monica napped a little longer. It was a crazy weekend of starting the weeding process in the gardens and we all ended up pretty worn out last night. William passed out in the bathtub and never actually ate his dinner. By now, he's been asleep for over twelve hours, which means he's going to be a ravenous bear when he finally wakes up. I already decided last night that I'd make waffles this morning for my two dearest loves.
I yawn and start a pot of tea before getting the bowl and the Bisquick out of the cupboards. Going to get the milk, I find a piece of paper taped to the carton. Curiosity could easily kill this cat, and I tug the paper off the carton easily to read it. Immediately recognizing Monica's distinctively angular handwriting, I have to wonder what she's forgotten and needed to tell me via note on the milk carton.
I know it's not our anniversary or your birthday, or even William's birthday, but I felt the urge to write you a little letter. I guess it's probably silly to be doing something like this, when I tell you that I love you several times a day every day, but I know that having it written down, tangible proof, is a good thing, too.
I just wanted to let you know how much I love you, and how very fortunate I feel to have you in my life. Well, you and William both, actually. You mean everything to me, and every single day I take the time to thank any deity that's out there and listening for bringing you into my life. I've never known anyone like you before.
I love you, baby.
Blinking back unexpected tears, I set the letter aside and move to start mixing the waffle batter. It doesn't last long, and I find myself picking up the letter again to reread it. The tea is fully brewed before I can really get myself to leave that letter alone long enough to start making breakfast. It's pathetic how sappy and pathetic a simple letter from Monica can make me. I've grown soft over the years, that's all there is to it.
Reaching for the remote, I turn on the television, intent on listening to the morning news while I cook for my beloved family. The local news anchors drone on in the background, a more or less pleasant hum to keep me from obsessing over that letter from Monica. The first two rounds of waffles turn out beautifully and as soon as I get the third started, I head back to the refrigerator to grab the eggs and bacon. Monica and William did an awful lot of work over the weekend, and I'm feeling in the mood to truly spoil them this morning.
The bacon cooks up just the way they like it: crispy and just this side of burnt. I wonder sometimes what they find so wonderful about nearly charred bacon, but they both gobble it up like their lives depend on it. William takes after his Mami just a little too much sometimes, but far be it from me to complain about that. I am thrilled that they are as close as they are.
Stowing the bacon in the oven with the waffles, I get started on the eggs and the toast. William's scrambled eggs are the easiest to make, and I'm once again glad that I snagged a little bit of the grated cheese from the main kitchen last night before bed. He can't eat his eggs without their yellow hair. I have absolutely no idea where he got that idea from, but I am not going to change his mind and potentially get him to stop eating something over a silly little thing like that.
Speak of the devil! William's sleepy voice comes over the baby monitor, and I feel my heart beat just a little faster in response. Shifting the pan off the heat, I head into his bedroom to find my son sitting up in his crib, rubbing at his eyes with one hand and clutching at his Thomas toy with the other.
"Good morning, handsome," I say in a soft voice, leaning over to pull him up out of the crib. His sleep-warmed body feels good against my chest, and I stand there for a long moment, just reveling in the scent and feel of him as he rests his head on my shoulder. "Did you have a good sleep?"
When he nods, I grin and press a kiss to each of his cheeks, which makes him giggle and mimic the movement with the sloppy enthusiasm of the very young. As he leans back to smile at me, I see his nostrils flaring as he smells the breakfast, his little tummy rumbling loudly. "Hun'ry, Mama," he says with another giggle.
"Yes, you are! You didn't have your dinner last night." We head out of his bedroom and into the kitchen. Plopping him into his high chair, I break off a small bit of waffle for him and fill his sippy cup with orange juice. "How about you have this while I finish your Mami's eggs; then we can go wake her up? Does that sound good?"
William claps delightedly, reaching for the food as Thomas falls to the floor. Without thought, I lean over to pick up Thomas and set him on the counter where William can see him. Stroking a hand over his pale red curls, I sigh happily and turn back to working on my and Monica's eggs. Just as the eggs are ready to be plated, I hear the bedroom door open, followed quickly by William's squeal of greeting.
"Good morning, love," I murmur, as she comes up behind me to nuzzle at my neck. "Sleep well?"
"I woke up lonely and smelling bacon. I didn't know if it was real or a really messed up dream."
Chuckling, I turn to bestow a light kiss on her lips. "At least you didn't say it was a nightmare," I tease, stroking her cheek. "But you are in trouble with me right now." Her face falls and I can see the wheels turning in her mind as she tries to figure out what she's done wrong. "You made me get all teary eyed this morning when I read that letter you wrote."
"Oh! That," she says, relief etched in every line on her beloved face. "I wanted it to be longer, more eloquent, but I was falling over dead from exhaustion last night."
"I'm not surprised, Mon, you did a lot yesterday."
With practiced ease, I pull the food from the oven while Monica gets the plates and silverware. We get the food dished up and moved to the dining table with a minimum of fuss. As I grab the juice, tea, and Thomas, Monica wheels William's high chair over to the table. Silence descends over us as we decimate the food in front of us. William doesn't even cry for his beloved Blue's Clues as he eats. I'm not sure who ends up eating more: William or Monica. But I'm definitely glad that I made extra bacon and waffles this morning.
"So what's on the agenda today?" Monica eventually asks as she leans back to sip at her tea.
"Not much," I reply honestly. "I figured we'd let Alexis and Tory have a day alone today to decompress after all the work in the garden over the weekend. It was an awful lot of exercise and exposure to a lot of people for Alexis."
"Yeah, I figured I could work from here."
I shake my head emphatically. "Nope, no work today. Today is for us. Just the three of us doing something fun and not work-related. I don't want any responsibilities beyond making sure that you and William are happy today."
Monica chuckles and clucks her tongue. "Wow! The mighty Dana Scully shirking responsibilities? And on a weekday to boot? I think the world's coming to an end!" She laughs delightedly as my swat comes nowhere near her shoulder that I tried to aim for. At William's happy giggle, we repeat the movement; neither of us can deny that boy much of anything. "So what do you want to do then?" she finally asks when his attention is drawn to his waffle again.
"I don't know. All I do know is that I'm not interested in anything that has to deal with gardening or plants today."
A commercial comes on the television for the Las Vegas Zoo, complete with that massive lion roaring. William goes completely still when the commercial begins, eyes glued to the television. I can see his little body quivering in anticipation of that great roar, and I tense against his reaction. Right on cue, the lion's roar reverberates in the room, quickly followed by William's higher-pitched echo of the sound. Another commercial replaces it, and his attempts at a roar are replaced by his chant of "Arr! Arr! Big kitty arr!"
One look at Monica shows she's doing her damnedest to bite back the urge to join him. There's a twinkle in her eyes that makes her look so much younger than she is, and I find it adorable and exacerbating by turns most days. Today, it's one of the cutest -- and if I'm honest, one of the sexiest -- things I've seen, and I look back and forth between them.
"The zoo then?" I ask dryly. When the pair of them begin to clap happily, I chuckle and shake my head. "You're as bad as he is, Monica Reyes."
"But you love me for it, right?" she asks, leaning in to brush the tip of her nose against mine.
"Of course! Perish the thought that I would ever not love you, Mon," I reply, wrapping my arms around her neck to kiss her lightly. "You are the world to me, amante."
"And you to me."
With a sigh, I straighten up and begin to gather the dishes. "I'll get the kitchen if you get handsome over there dressed and ready to go. And while you're at it, you might as well activate the phone tree and see who else wants to hit the zoo with us. I think we all deserve it after the work we did this weekend."
"Great idea, babe!" Monica replies, scooping William up into her arms. "Come on, mi hijo, let's go get you cleaned up and call Auntie Darya and see if the kids want to come to the zoo with us."
As they wander off into the bedroom, William's excitement has him stuttering his words a bit as he repeats Emily's name and makes his adorable lion's roar. I'm not surprised in the slightest that he knows exactly what cat spirits the younger Sentinels have. Shaking off the thoughts that will lead to work and reconsidering my decision to shirk responsibilities today, I return to the task of cleaning up the detritus of our devoured breakfast. In fact, other than a few of William's favorite snacks, I'm going to give us a major treat and we'll eat everything at the zoo itself.
We deserve it, my loves and I, and our extended family, as well. If only Tory and Alexis could join us, it would make the outing all the sweeter.