sweetsalome: (wee!sal big eyes)
[personal profile] sweetsalome
Is he sleeping?

He sleeps a lot, even during the day! 

Doesn't he know only babies nap?  Guess not.

Wee Salome learned at a tender age not to make too much noise, well, ever.  Not that she was ever a very loud child but it was easily apparent even to her that loud noises weren't something enjoyable around the house.  Outside was fine, but inside she had to be quiet. 

It's really, really, really, hard to be quiet.  Really, really, really, really, really hard.  Especially when there is nothing to do.

Bear ear between her teeth she does a slow crawl up to the couch and slowly, or as slowly as she can manage, inch up to peer over the edge of the cushion at her dad.  It's all in the eyes, if he opens his eyes then he is not asleep and she can climb up with him and try and get him to do something.  Or at least put a different video in.

She isn't allowed to play with the VCR.  Any more.

Taking the bear from her teeth she lifts it as well and lets it's floppy little legs dangle over his arm and up to his chest till Richard Vasko is nose to muzzle with stuffed bear face. 

WAKEY WAKEY MOTHERFUCKER.

Date: 2012-09-29 05:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] soursanguine.livejournal.com
Hey. Hey. Babies got that shit down, they know what's good. They have people feed them, wipe their ass, by them everything they need, talk about how cute they are. They can sleep wherever they want and can suck on a woman's tit in public.

Life doesn't get that good again until you're 90. So until then, he'll take what he can get, and let drugs lull him into a sweet, sweet stupor.

Child-rearing is murder. That's why a man has to take advantage of distracting movies whenever he can. Richard pulls all hours during the week, running drugs for Susan, working part-time, chasing skirt, and still trying to manage his art; yet, on the weekends, Salome still manages to destroy him. Never does he need his sweet, sweet drugs more than he does when that child is wreaking havoc.

Not that he doesn't love her. But god damn.

The tickle in his nose is really his first indication that it's time to wake up, though he fights it in his stupor. His sleeping brow furrows, his lips grimace, his nose wrinkles. Richard groans faintly, his eyes squeezing tight as semi-pleasant consciousness fights through his chemical exhaustion. Oh, wakefulness. You cruel mistress.

But, despite being awake, he's still lazy, and he enjoys getting a rise out of the kid; so, without opening his eyes, he snags the teddy bear in his arms and cuddles it to his chest, turning over to face the back of the cushion with a comfy smack of his lips and a sleepy yawn.

Two can play at this game.
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Date: 2012-09-29 05:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] soursanguine.livejournal.com
Ah, that giggle. There is no sound in the world that is such a combination of 'adorable' and 'ominous'. Only silence is a more terrifying noise when Salome is about. But for now, her quiet giggling is the perfect little terrifying accent, until it's broken by that teeny gasp that crushes his heart into a tiny ball.

As Salome clambers up the couch and over him, he turns his face into the arm of the couch to try to hide and stifle his own sniggering; it's hard to hide his grin, but he manages, barely, lying in wait until she manages to wiggle over him, then squeeze between his body and the couch.

He'll never understand how that girl manages to defy physics. When she was a baby, whenever she was having a fit of temper, she could somehow manage to stiffen her body and make herself a thousand times heavier than normal; now, she can fit between the thinnest cracks and crevices, like a mouse squeezing through the secret passages of a house.

But here, now, he can use it to his advantage, because when she gets close enough, the bear suddenly isn't his only captor. His arm snaps her up; now he's got both Salome and her precious bear, and he drags her up to tuck her beneath his chin with a low hum of total contentment.

"Ahh. There's my stuffed animal. I was wondering where she'd gotten off to." He pecks a kiss upon her delicious-tasting little baby skull and nuzzles his cheek against her hair as he curls around her. "Now I can hibernate properly."
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Date: 2012-09-29 06:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] soursanguine.livejournal.com
He really doesn't know what it is about her. She has a thousand magic powers, half of them dedicated to endearing her to him, and half of them dedicated to making his life a living hell. As far as he's concerned, she also has the ability to teleport, to know exactly when she shouldn't appear and then appear, and to be impossibly cute.

If he had her every day of the week, he would have snapped by now. She's twice Susan's fault as she is his. That damn bitch swore up and down she was barren.

But, as accidents go, he could do a whole lot worse than this giggling one. And he's good at it, too, this whole 'being a dad' thing. Just look at that face, she eats it up.

"Rrrrawr." The little bear-growl starts in the back of his throat and rises to a deep snarl and he nibbles on the top of her head while he sits up, adjusting the child in his lap. One hand returns her bear; his fingertip slips beneath her round little chin, tipping back her pretty head to see properly that eye that's a carbon copy of his. His free hand sweeps back over his hair, smoothing a few loos, dark strands back upon his head.

He squints at the clock, but his eyes can't make sense of the numbers, yet. It's impossible to see through his own, foggy eyes, veiled as they are with his total exhaustion, but after regarding her for a few sleepy seconds, he yawns and leans his forehead against hers. In a voice meant to mimic that of a certain subnormal cartoon mouse, he says, "Gee, Brain, what do you want to do tonight?"
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Date: 2012-09-29 06:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] soursanguine.livejournal.com
It's a talent, it really and truly is. He shouldn't ever have underestimated the ability of such a teeny little girl to put on a one-woman parade through the house, or flood the bathrooms, or rearrange his bookshelves, or illustrate his walls, or arrange her stuffed toys in an ominous circle around him like cultists ready to preform a human sacrifice.

But, if nothing else, it's those things which keep him on his toes.

Pft, fuck no, he's not giving a baby soda? What do you think he is, hi-- okay well, he's usually high, but he's neither high enough, nor, ahem, rural enough to give a child under the age of ten soda. Jesus, even the sugar in fruit juice seems to be enough to wind her up some days.

However, yes, the cheese-and-cracker sandwich idea wasn't his brightest. But the macaroni and cheese made after an emergency trip to the grocery store made up for it, as far as he's concerned.

Indeed, the child has taught him many lessons. But he'll never have enough pairs of eyes to properly act on all of them. The poor man is forced to work on a handicap. Several, really.

He just likes looking at her. She's got a cute face, and he can see himself in that eye. She's a good thing to focus on when his eyes are otherwise unable to focus. That Brain impression gets a lazy grin out of him, and he laughs, swings her into the air and rises with another, tremendous yawn.

"That's right, kiddo. So. What do you feel like doing? You in the mood for lunch? Maybe take a walk? Chalk drawings? Game playing? Swimming? Reading? Lion taming? Fire-eating? Race-car driving?" He holds the girl to his chest with one arm while at the same time reaching down to turn off the television and the VCR. Then, both hands on her, he gives her a little twirl and sets her upon the floor. "We're going to need to get you fitted for a helmet if you're doing the last thing, though. And none of that NASCAR sh-- trash, we don't live in the south, young lady."
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Date: 2012-09-29 04:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] soursanguine.livejournal.com
If he's going to be subject to human sacrifice then goddammit he needs fair warning. That needs to be written up in a document somewhere or something. The constitution of their happy little home has to include at least one line warning about Wicker Man-esque stuffed animal cultists.

Although that drive-by giggling was pretty adorable once the eerie stuffed animals broke up.

Terrifying, giving children soda like that. Not to mention the things it does to their teeth. He's thinking of putting a padlock on the fridge--the poor man's already had to move the cookie jar like he's trying to hide drugs from her.

He's definitely thought about running away. That, or just gently placing a pillow over her face when she sleeps. It would be so easy. So peaceful. She'd make such a pretty corpse. But there wouldn't bee much hiding that, and Susan would be annoyed, and he prefers her alive and a part of his life because she is a beautiful child whose every antic amuses as much as terrifies.

Her suggestion makes him laugh and for a few seconds he vividly pictures that. For whatever reason the lion in his imagination hates him but is a big fan of Salome. "I don't know that a lion is going to fit in the car, baby. And the last time your daddy freed a wild animal from the zoo he got in trouble, that can't happen again."

His hand rests upon the top of her head to keep her steady while she regains her balance, and then he chuckles, watching her make for the garage. As she stops on the threshold and peers back over her shoulder at him, he chuckles and cuts a slow path after her.

"Why are you afraid of the garage, baby? It's where the car lives." Not that he's complaining, there's dangerous tools and shit in there he doesn't want her fucking around with. The last thing he needs is the world's most adorable one-armed child.
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Date: 2012-09-29 05:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] soursanguine.livejournal.com
The basement and the attic. They're on all sides, Salome. But that's what fathers are for. He chuckles and bends to stroke her hair, eternally charmed by her fears. "Oh, now, it's not that bad. After all, the clown only comes out at night."

Oh, he's a prick. But a hilarious prick. As far as he's concerned, anyway. Besides, the fact that he obviously knows about the monsters is proof that he is well-equipped to fend them off. Most parents don't even believe in monsters, but Richard's got this shit.

He laughs, pinching her cheek. "Oh, the woes of being tiny. Sure, we can walk to the park, baby. We can stop for ice cream."

On top of the refrigerator, out of sight, and the cookies only come to visit if she promises not to look in the kitchen while he gets some for her. The last thing anybody needs is a baby all hopped up on Oreos. Yet again.

After sticking his head outside to determine the weather, he tugs Salome's little blue jacket from it's place hanging upon the closet door. "Arms out," he says, stooping to tug it on. "Maybe some of your friends will be there."

Hopefully not that little bastard, Tommy, though. God, he hates that child. Now there's a kid who had Pepsi in his bottle when he was a baby.

As he straightens up, all the blood and the drugs rush to Richard's head, and he giggles to himself as he fetches his keys, straightens the collar of his turtleneck and tugs on his own jacket. Feelings like this make a walk in the park feel like...well, a walk in the park.

Smiling, he holds the door open and waves the wee one through. "After you, my little lady."
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Date: 2012-09-29 06:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] soursanguine.livejournal.com
[That whole reply cracked me up.]

'Can't sleep, clown will eat me' is on its own new level in the Vasko house. Maybe this year for Halloween he'll have his friend dress up as a clown and hide somewhere in the garage so he can slay the demon clown and show her it's safe.

Oh, now, Susan loves those horrible clown paintings. They're so amusingly kitschy! Deliberate tackiness is hilarious, not tacky. Why that child was so freaked out, she'll never know. The girl doesn't have a problem with her father's fox-and-wolf painting, so why the clowns? Unbelievable.

Her little gasp gets him giggling, and he bends down to kiss the top of her head. "Don't worry, baby. The secret with the monsters is that as long as daddy--or mommy--is around, nothing can ever get you. And they're not aloud to leave their rooms, not even when I'm sleeping. So as long as you're in the house, you're perfectly safe. I wouldn't let anything get you."

Oh, total asshole. But he is a member of the old school of parenting, where hardcore trolling and scaring the shit out of your children is not only acceptable, but hilarious and character-building. Besides, it'll make sure she grows to have an exceptionally healthy hatred of Juggalos.

Richard has a very, very hard time feeling fear, but he certainly enjoys inflicting it in harmless doses on his adorable little child. There is nothing cuter than seeing her terrified and being the one to protect her. It's only an extension of the drive to nurture and protect. Really.

Smiling as she makes her careful way down the stairs, Richard locks the door behind them, lights a cigarette and follows her, taking her tiny palm with his free hand. "So, baby, what kind of ice cream do you want? They have a cookie dough flavor that's blue. And pumpkin." This latter addition is no doubt due to the season, the leaves already beginning to take on a hint of new color, the weather already taking a turn for the brisk. "Are you sure you don't want to leave your bear at home, kiddo? He might get dirty."
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Date: 2012-09-29 06:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] soursanguine.livejournal.com
Something wrong, or something right? Shit, most parents these days just plop their kids in front of the television and forget about them for eighteen years. At least he's thinking of her. This will all reassure her that she's perfectly safe in his presence.

She'll thank him in twenty years.

Her supposition that Susan is a clown nearly results in him choking on his tongue. Oh, how he thinks about agreeing with her. It's so hard not to. He barks out a laugh, hand covering his mouth as he watches her pretend to put on lipstick, and then gently pats her head. "No, baby, mommy's not a clown. She just wears make-up. Lots of women wear make-up. Someday, you might, too. But not until you're twenty-one." Keep dreaming, Richard. Keep dreaming.

Then, pausing, hiding his smile, he says, "Anyway, your mother can't be a clown. Witches can't be clowns. But-- perhaps I've said too much."

Oh, yeah. Susan'll love it.

The block they live on is a fine little chunk of suburbia; under normal circumstances, he wouldn't be able to afford such a house, but four years previous it came into his possession by way of inheritance from someone he cared about, and Richard knows a lucky break when he sees one. He hates the suburbs, but it's good for the kid, and as suburbs go, this one isn't terrible. Maybe old fashioned, but full of upper-middle-class cougars and literally a two to five minute drive from the city, proper. Hell, he could walk to the nearest gallery if his leg wouldn't give out on him after forty minutes.

At the end of their block, they take a left, walking past the brick sculpture that decorates the entrance of the neighborhood. He chuckles and squeezes her hand at the look on her face, and her answer. Yeah, he kind of figured. "You always get chocolate and vanilla and sprinkles. Someday you're going to turn into chocolate and vanilla and sprinkles." He chuckles and shakes his head, and then struggles against a smirk as she gives him permission to hold bear.

"Can I! Well, I shall certainly look forward to it." Yes, her bitch, forever and ever. But that's fine, she gets so distraught whenever the animal has to go in the washing machine, so it's easier to simply hold it than let it get dirty. "Bear and I can hang out and keep an eye on you." And maybe he can teach Bear to flirt with MILFs. It's an important moment in any stuffed animal's life.
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Date: 2012-09-29 07:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] soursanguine.livejournal.com
"No, princess, but you're too young, little girls shouldn't wear make-up." Also, that shit is expensive, but Richard is only half-aware of that little fact. "But actually, if you put on too much, then yes. Yes, you'll look like a clown. And nobody wants to be a clown."

Is there a reason why people go into that career, other than latent pedophilia? It's like voluntarily becoming the most universally-hated type of person in existence.

Oh, Richard is going to get one furious phone call that day. Accusations of his daughter dumping water on her because someone apparently told the girl she was a witch. Yeah, that's really not going to go well at all.

Hey, it's not his fault the girl is proactive when it comes to taking care of monsters. And it will be satisfying to know that she tried to melt her mother. Point: Richard.

"Naah, if I wanted to eat you I'd have done it already, sweet as you are." He laughs and reaches down with his free hand to tickle her ribs, and then he moves the cigarette from his lips to make as though to scarf down her head. "But you're right, I suppose if you turned into chocolate you'd be even tastier."

As she skips to hurry up, he slows down just a little bit more. Yes, his adorable little caretaker who does such a good job nursing him back to health when he's down and out with pain and Percocet.

Poor Bear's got to get clean somehow. He always bounces right back. The trick is to put him in a pillowcase so he doesn't get hurt, and instead enjoys swirling around in the machine. It's like a water park ride made just for stuffed animals.

The street fades from suburbia to rustic little shops in old buildings on a brick street quite quickly; Richard flicks a glance at the cramped candy store with the glass window front but makes his way instead to the ice cream parlor, lurching in and hanging on the glass door to keep it open for Salome.

"Don't worry, baby, I'll keep an eye on him. I wouldn't let Bear get lost, or wander off with a pretty lady." From the corner of his mouth, in a higher-pitched, cartoony voice tinged with a vague hint of Boston accent, he makes Bear say, "'I ain't goin' nowheres without you, kiddo. You know that.'"
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Date: 2012-09-29 08:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] soursanguine.livejournal.com
"Because clowns are like werewolves." Oh, boy, here we go. "If you ever go walking in the dead of night, say, around a fairground, or a circus, you'd ought to be careful. Really, you shouldn't go at all if you can help it. Because when you're walking in the dark, you might hear a scary...honk, honk. Don't ever take a balloon animal from a clown. That's how they get you."

Yeah, that party is going to be hilarious. He will happily comfort her and pet her, and send her off to play with the other sane children who have healthy fears of strangers wearing terrifying face paint and rainbow wigs. Not that he doesn't love it when she uses him as a hiding spot, but dammit, there's divorcees to hit on at those parties. And grown-up punch to drink.

But goddamn does that child have a steel grip.

With a warm little chuckle, he enunciates for her. "Del-ish-us, baby. Del-ish-us." As adorable as her mumbling is, it's always important to help children speak properly.

Nope. Nope, that's dirt. All his love is inside, tucked along the fibers of the cotton that fill him. And that's obviously what makes him talk, too. Richard isn't going to need ice cream if this keeps up, the girl is going to give him a goddamned cavity all by herself.

Bending down, Richard scoops her up to let her see the case better, and to let the college students working behind the counter a chance to coo at her. "'I love you, too, kiddo,'" 'Bear' says, slightly muffled, the effect achieved by Richard moving his lips even less. "'Ack, you're squishin' me.'"

"Of course Bear talks," her father tells her, "all favorite stuffed animals talk. Mine talked when I was little. One chocolate and vanilla kids' cone with extra sprinkles and one large dark chocolate malt."

Anorexic young women, take note: the secret to a slim figure is to take junk in all its forms, and eat nothing but the occasional rich sweet food. Occasionally chasing around a teeny menace is helpful, too.

The girls both look like they're about to expire, and while one (6, butterface) sets about making Richard's malt, the other (7.5, bad teeth, cute nose) smiles at Salome. "Do you want to taste test any of the other flavors before I make your cone, sweetheart?"
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Date: 2012-10-03 08:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] soursanguine.livejournal.com
Ugh. Teeth brushing. She doesn't need too brush her teeth, in fact she almost tells him that except he just told her that she can sleep with him so she isn't going to push her luck, nope. Still she has to take her thumb out of her mouth for that and that sucks so she makes a bit of a face.

All things are better when he picks her up and they head into the bed room. She sleeps so much better in his bed, when she can smell the scent of him on the sheets and spread her little legs out.

Curling up to him she puts her head on his chest and yawns slowly. "I don't care, as long as you play with my hair, daddy."


===

Chuckling, Richard does, his fingers running through that blonde mass that's smooth and soft as any silk. His fingertips trace her delicate little ear, detailed in miniature size as the rest of her, while he says, "Once upon a time, there was a brave little girl."

He bends to kiss her head, murmuring against her hair. "She was a clever little adventurer with blonde hair and pretty eyes like a pair of mismatched buttons. Her mother was a witch who lived in a high tower in the middle of the woods, and she would send the girl to town for food. Well, one day, this little girl was strolling along the path to town when she met a wolf, big and black, who had a taste for little girls."

His fingers curl through her hair, his free hand gently petting her back through the fabric of her shirt. "But he'd heard this girl's reputation as an adventurer, and a defeater of wolves, and naturally the poor animal was terrified. But this girl looked so cute, and so sweet! Why, he could hardly believe that this was the infamous little girl who had gone on so many adventures..."

I can't believe I fucking did that. ARG

Date: 2012-10-03 10:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sweetsalome.livejournal.com
He tells the best stories ever, really, they are the best and she loves pressing her ear to his chest and listening to the vibration of his voice in his chest. It makes her feel all safe and sound in a cave. Her eyes close of course and he shouldn't worry too much about telling an in depth story because soon she will be dead to the world, breathing softly on his broad chest.

However she gives a sleepy giggle when he mentions her mother being a witch, "yeah, mommy's a big, bad witch," and he is of course the big bad wolf but she would much rather have the kind, loving wolf then the wicked witch cackling over her.

"The adventure girl can't kill the wolf, okay?" All sleepy and slow, she needs to make sure that she knows that she won't kill him.
From: [identity profile] soursanguine.livejournal.com
Richard laughs gently, lips pursing against the top of her head. "Well, she's not a big bad witch. And no doubt she loved her little adventurer girl, even if witches aren't very good at showing things like that."

The girl is like a little radiator against him, so warm, so peaceful. His own eyes close and he pets her hair, saying, "Of course the adventure girl won't kill the wolf. And she knew that right off, because even if this was a bad wolf, he didn't hurt her. In fact, he was very nice to her, because he knew how clever and talented she was. He wagged his tail and gave her a kiss, saying, 'What are you doing out in these woods! I know you're a very brave girl, but don't you know that a witch lives out here?'

"'I know,' said the little girl, 'that witch is my mother! And someday perhaps I'll be a witch, too, but for now I'm just an adventurer.'" He lifts his voice to an appropriate falsetto for the lines of the little girl, and a rumbly growl for that of the wolf.

"'Well,' the wolf laughed and laid down, 'then why don't you ride on my back? It'll make the trip to town so much shorter!'

"What the girl didn't know," Richard tells her, fingers combing through her hair, "is that wolves love the taste of witches almost as much as they love the taste of little girls. Maybe more, since witches are a much rarer, sweeter treat. But what neither of them knew, was that the witch was watching it all through her magic cauldron, and as the pair set off, she was already scheming...'"

That's very true, thanks

Date: 2012-10-03 11:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sweetsalome.livejournal.com
This is one hell of a story. She is actually into it, well, kinda, in the whole fog of thinking and sleeping, that sort of twilight of sleep and wake. He is all warm too, and his voice is soothing to her and he keeps talking and she keeps trying to listen but it all sort of slips into one long sentence and she is slipping as well.

Sleep.

But story.

She wants to hear the rest of the story! Will he be able to tell her the rest of the story later because the witch, she is a scheming and . . .

Zzzzzzz

Poor little Salome, such a long, busy day and she is completely dead to the world, laying on her father like a sack of little potatoes.
From: [identity profile] soursanguine.livejournal.com
It's so hard to decide, to cling to wakefulness, but there are times when it's better to let go. Knowing Richard, he'll always be glad to continue her story another day. When he feels the shift in her breathing, he glances down to smile and lightly, lightly kiss her head. Slow as can be, he creeps from the covers. He turns off one lamp, then another, tucks her in all snug and sound and creeps from the room, leaving it open just a crack to let the hall light pour in lest she awaken and find herself terrified in the dark.

Finally, sweetly alone, he takes a deep breath of tranquility and retires to his studio, to try to read or get some painting done before the day and the post-drug hollow feeling that always inserts itself after a high manage to get him and drag him off to sleepyland, as well.

This parenting gig isn't such a bad thing, really.

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