Title: And The Sky Is Full Of Stars (1/1)
Series: 100 Original Fics
Character: Fox Maharassa
Prompt: 046 - Star
Pairing: Post FH strip, no OPB
Summary: Fox and Collin have special time with their girls before their lives undergo another significant change.
Word Count: 1246
Date First Posted: 10-03-12
Date Revised: -
Notes: Inspired by a comment Collin made about sparklers and what Fox should do as a dad from his long defunct LJ. I didn't wait for this to be betaed before I post. I could live to regret this decision.
Feedback: always welcome, as is constructive criticism.
Also Archived At: LJ
They don't know it yet, but this is the last big outing that the twins will have with their parents all to themselves.
Nefertari and Vixen are turning 5, and they are about to become big sisters. The girls understand that their Aunty Cici is looking after their new baby brother in her tummy for another month. Nefertari delights in putting her ear to Aunty Cici's rounded stomach to see if she can hear the new heartbeat. Vixen loves to feel him kick.
And while this is rather exciting, even to small children, a sense of impending change is looming.
The local travelling fun fair comes to town, and Fox decides it's the perfect location for a special Daddies-Daughters outing. Collin agrees amicably, but isn't convinced that this is solely for their children's benefit.
After a morning of burnt toast and lukewarm coffee, the little family piles into their car. The trip there is full of games of 'I Spy', and boisterous songs. They arrive just before lunch and proceed to stuff themselves full of hot dogs and cotton candy.
Nefertari holds Collin's hand fast as they weave their way through tumultuous crowds, while Vixen rides high on Fox's shoulders, tugging at his hair when she wants him to notice something. Collin wins a huge jar of jellybeans when his guess is the most accurate as to how many are in there, and Fox's premier ring-toss skills net Nefertari a white stuffed dog with a black patch on his eye. She decides to call it 'Valentine', after a character in a Mary Poppins book.
Ferris wheel and ghost train rides later, with night falling fast and the twins still on a mega sugar rush (as well as Fox), the Maharassa-Sri'Vastra family wanders back out to the grassy sportsfield where their car is parked. The lights from the fun fair illuminate the hoods of various cars in their happy neon colours.
As Collin packs their bags and treasures into the car, Fox makes an announcement of a final surprise. Collin raises a suspicious eyebrow, not having been made privy to this information earlier. From nowhere, Fox produces a box of sparklers. Collin forgives his partner when he sees their girls' eyes light up like tiny suns.
Even though he's long given up smoking (save for the very occasional cigarette that no-one knows about), Fox has never quite gotten out of the habit of having a lighter handy, as its uses are innumerable.
They walk a short distance across the field where there aren't as many cars. Collin waits with the girls while Fox lights sparklers. When they catch alight and burst into life, he hands one to Collin who helps Vixen hold on. Fox kneels next to Nefertari, her small hand clutching the metal end; his gently over the top between her soft skin and the sputtering sparks.
Waving the sparklers through the air, watching the phantom trails of yellow, Collin watches Vixen try and write her name in the sky. Nefertari draws a flower with five petals.
When the sparklers are nearly burnt out, Fox reaches in his back pocket and touches the tip of the fresh one to the dying embers, watching it spark to life. The combined 'oooh's from the girls make him smile.
This continues until there are just two left. Fox tells the girls that when the last ones are about to die out, he'll do something cool. After burning a heart and a star and a sun into the night sky, the girls quickly hand over their sparklers in the dying moments. With a wind-up worthy of a professional baseball has-been, Fox throws the sparklers into the sky.
"Make a wish!" he calls out.
They cut through the air like shooting stars, to burn out about halfway through their arc.
Collin looks down to see both girls have their eyes fixed to the darkness of the sky, lips moving silently. "What did you wish for?" he asks.
"Can't say," Vixen says adamantly, "otherwise it won't come true."
"That's for real shooting stars," Fox puts in. "You can say for sparkler shooting stars, it's allowed."
Vixen ponders this. "Oh. Then I wished for rollerskates."
Fox grins. "What about you, 'Tari?"
Ever the shyer of the two, Nefertari has picked up Valentine from the grass and hugs him to her chest. Her answer is muffled in his ears.
"What was that?" Collin prompts gently.
"I wish Aunty Cici would have a girl instead," she mumbles a little louder.
Fox and Collin exchange glances. This is the first that either of the girls has expressed dissatisfaction with the sex of their unborn sibling. "Honey, it's not something that Aunty Cici can really change," Collin begins.
"But I don't want a brother anymore," she says again, uncharacteristically stomping her foot.
"Because I don't want to do boy stuff all the time!"
Fox hunkers down next to his little girl. "Well, you won't have to do boy stuff all the time... but to be fair, we'll do things that you like to do, as well as what he likes to do, too. You know, just like you and Vix like to do different things."
"We'll have to share the back seat with him, and it's all squishy now!"
Fox dips his head. "That's true, but your Daddy and I have been talking about maybe getting a bigger car. That would mean there's more room for you guys."
"Boys smell," she says with authority.
"Sometimes," Fox agrees solemnly. "But do you think Daddy and I smell?"
Nefertari looks between her two dads, and cautiously shakes her head. "We'll teach him not to smell," he assures her.
Nefertari doesn't look convinced, so Fox sits down beside her and affects a casual air. "Besides, having boys around can be handy."
"Why?" she asks, scooting next to Fox and pulling her tiny knees up against her chest, hugging them to her body.
Fox numbers things off on his fingers. "Well, they're good for reaching things in tall cupboards, sending into dark sheds to check for monsters, and catching spiders."
Collin makes a face. "I was with you until you said the spiders bit."
However, it seems Nefertari is finally convinced, as she too dislikes spiders.
"Ok," she says, "I guess a boy is ok."
Fox's warm smile at her melts into a sigh of relief when he catches Collin's eyes over the heads of their girls, Collin nodding in approval. He reaches out a hand, which Fox takes and squeezes briefly.
They sit in silence for a few moments, looking up at the stars. Fox points out the Dog Star and the constellation of Cassiopeia, as Nefertari burrows into his side. When it falls suspiciously quiet, he looks down to see Nefertari nodding off; thumb of one hand in her mouth, the other hand with a stranglehold on Valentine. Vixen isn't quite there yet, but her yawn is so large, Collin can see her little pointy eyeteeth.
Fox and Collin pick up the girls and take them back to the car. The ride home is silent, save for the murmurs of adult conversation from the front seat.
In one month's time there'll be an excitable phonecall from Aunty Karen, and piling into the car to head to hospital, followed by changing diapers and many sleepless nights.
But for now, it's just Fox, Collin, two little girls, and a future of endless possibilities stretched out in front of them.