Luke was reviewing mission plans with three of the new recruits. The sandy haired one whose name he couldn’t be bothered to remember was asking some asinine question when suddenly, he screeched and jumped a foot in the air.
“What the fuck just grabbed me?!” He looked around wildly and stared down at the annoyed toddler standing there. “Where did you come from?!” The seasoned warrior who Luke knew had battled his fair share of demons, was pale faced and panicked.
“I wan’ juice.” The boy stated.
“Alec, where is your mama?”
“Busy. I wan’ juice.” Alec turned his attention to Luke with wide impatient eyes.
“What’s the magic word?”
The others tried to stifle laughter as Luke sighed. “Will you say ‘please’?”
“Then you can go get your own juice.”
Alec started at him for a moment. And then another. Just as Luke’s skin was beginning to crawl from the intensity of the child’s gaze, Alec nodded. “Otay.” He declared, and marched off in the direction of the nearest fridge.
“What the fuck was that?!” Sandy demanded.
“That was Maryse’s kid. So don’t be a dick to him.”
“I didn’t even hear him come in!”
“He does that. Can we get back to work now?”
Luke was half dozing on the Morgenstern’s couch, enjoying a moment of peace and quiet. When out of nowhere, thirty pounds of sharp knees and elbows dropped onto the squishiest part of his torso.
Luke gasped for breath as his eyes flew open, landing on the grinning little imp on top of him.
“Alec, buddy, what are you doing?”
Luke blinked at him for a moment. He not only didn’t hear him come into the room, but from the way he landed on him, he must’ve climbed onto the back of the couch and jumped down. How in the hell had he done that without Luke noticing?
“You wanna take a nap with me?”
Alec settled down, a process that involved more elbows and knees jabbed into Luke’s squishy bits. Eventually, he was nestled partially between Luke and the couch, partially on top of him, blissfully still and not causing trouble. Luke’s hand nearly covered the kid’s back. It always amazed him how small the boy actually was, when he was constantly such a colossal terror.
Luke was reading out behind his house, sitting against a tree. It was a warm day, and he intended to enjoy it.
“Do you have ice k’eem?”
Luke shouted in surprise, book flying from his hands as he jolted at the tiny face next to his and the sudden voice in his ear.
“What the fuck, kid?!” He pressed a hand to his chest. There were sticks and crunchy leaves all over his yard. How had Alec snuck up on him?
“What do we say?”
“Now you’re intentionally being a brat.”
Alec let out the biggest most exasperated sigh Luke had ever heard.
“Peeeassse?” Who the hell taught the two year old how to roll his eyes?
“Alright, buddy. Let’s go get some ice cream.” He held his book in one hand, and scooped Alec up with the other, holding him over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes, holding him by his knees, mostly upside down behind his back. Alec squealed with laughter as they went into the house.
“Can we go?”
Luke startled and nearly fell over. They were standing on gravel. Loud crunchy gravel! How had Alec crossed the lot and grabbed Luke’s hand without a single damn sound?
“Child, where is your mother?!”
“Yellin at morons. ‘M bored.”
Luke sighed. “Wanna go throw rocks at the new recruits?”
Maryse heard a light jingling bell behind her and turned to see her son jumping along into the livingroom. A red cat collar with a little copper bell hung around his neck.
“Baby?” She asked calmly, feeling the seething rage rise in her chest. “What’s that around your neck?”
“My bell!” Alec grinned and jumped up and down, jingling the bell as much as possible.
“Where did you get it?”
“I see.” Her voice was clipped and dark. Turning on her heel, she marched out of the house, Alec skipping and jingling after her.
She found Luke talking to one of the men in front of his house.
“Hey, Lucian?” She called nonchalantly, to get his attention. As he turned to look at her, she stepped in front of him and punched him square in the nose, feeling the cartilage break under her knuckles.
“What the fuck?!” He shouted, stumbling back, his hands flying to his face.
“Why, mama?” Alec asked, calmly.
“Because Uncle Luke’s an ass, baby.” She replied gently. “Really, Lucian? You put a fucking cat collar on my child?!”
“He is a creepy little ninja, and he must be contained somehow!” Luke shouted, his voice garbled by his broken bloody nose. “Besides, he likes it! He was all excited when I gave it to him.”
Alec giggled and jumped up and down again, jingling loudly. “I got bell!” He shouted, gleefully.
“See?!” Luke exclaimed, gesturing at the happy toddler. Maryse was unfazed, glaring at him stonily. “I’m not afraid of you.” He mumbled, holding his nose. She raised an eyebrow. “I can take you.” She raised the other eyebrow. “I’m gonna go.” He turned and scurried into the house to tend to his injury. Maryse smirked and shook her head.
“You’re not gonna let me take that thing off you, are you?”
“Whatcha doin Uncle Luke?”
Luke let out what he would insist was a manly scream and leapt up, whirling around to see the toddler that had just snuck up on him and spoken in his ear.
“Wha- How? The bell?!”
The collar was still in place around Alec’s neck with the little bell hanging from it.
“Hold it, no jingle!” Alec exclaimed proudly, closing his little fist around it and shaking it to demonstrate that the sound was muffled.
“Fucking great.” Luke muttered. “Thwarted by a two year old’s basic understanding of physics. Do me a favor buddy, don’t tell your mama or Uncle Val about this. I will never live it down.”
Alec just giggled.