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    Bedtime Story

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    elanya
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    Bedtime Story

    Post by elanya on 27/09/13, 11:34 pm

    Things were always a little crazy in the run up to Christmas, which was now only a week away. Everything seemed to be running smoother this year, but Nathan was still getting home later than he'd have preferred. He was gratified, at least, to find Lil home and surrounded by books – less so when he realized she was passed out asleep. It wasn't that late – only 9:30. Movie credits were scrolling on the screen.

    Nathan leaned over the back of the couch and put a hand on his daughter's shoulder. "Lil honey?" He flinched backwards as she jolted awake, but she relaxed, looking grumpy, when she saw it was him. "Did you fall asleep studying?"

    "Yeah," she grumbled sleepily. She still looked exhausted.

    Nathan scanned the pile of books again, but on closer inspection, he wasn't sure they were textbooks at all. He nodded slowly, wishing that she would tell him the truth. It didn't seem like a good time to press the issue – it never did. "If you're that tired, maybe you should just go to bed."

    "No." She struggled to sit up, reaching for the nearest book and then eyeing him surreptitiously. She deflated a little. "I don't want to sleep in my room. I've been having pretty bad nightmares."

    Lilith had had nightmares ever since she was little, and Nathan knew from experience just how bad they could get. Sometimes, they happened for no reason, but sometimes, Lil would stir them up by watching or reading things she knew she shouldn't... He sat down on the other couch.

    "Is everything okay, honey?" Ever since Hallowe'en, he'd known she was hiding things from him. He really wanted to trust her, to think that she wasn't in any trouble, or that at least she knew that she could come to him if she was. But he worried – about her and her new friends. There was something more going on than typical teenage shenanigans, he was sure.

    "Daaad..." She whined almost out of habit, but cut it short when she realized he was serious. "Dad – I'm okay. I'm going to be okay. I just don't want to sleep up there."

    She wasn't lying, and it wasn't false bravado, but her confident pronouncement didn't quite reassure him. Irrational fears that he tried to keep well buried were trying to worm their way to the surface of his thoughts, and it was getting harder and harder to push them back down.

    "Okay." He knew he couldn't' make her tell him anything, and that he would have to keep trusting her. Pushing too much would just push her away. "Try to get some sleep, Lil." He leaned over and patted her foot. "I'll be here if you need me."

    Lil nodded, setting down her book and abandoning any pretence of further 'studying', and burrowed back under her comforter. "Thanks dad," she mumbled. It didn't take long for her to fall asleep.

    Nathan waited until he was sure she was out, and then got up to grab himself a beer from the fridge. Apparently she'd had Stardust playing in the background, and he restarted the movie. Maybe Charlie Cox and Claire Danes could push back his concerns for a little while... Christmas season fatigue won out over his worries, and it didn't take long for him to fall asleep either.

      Current date/time is 24/07/17, 11:43 am