Timeframe: Pre-Cat's in the Cradle
- Set during one of Willow's summer visits to the ranch, before Sarah and Adam's deaths.
AN: This was written for the International “How the heck did I get that bruise?” Day
on LJ. I've changed it a bit, to make it better compatible with this universe.
Disclaimer: I don't own either show, I just like to play with the characters.
Chris Larabee turned away from the fence he was fixing at the excited cries from his son. He moved away from the tools he had scattered around him, as Adam came running up, something clenched in his small, five year old hands.
His filthy hands, that matched the rest of him.Sarah was going to kill him.
Chris thought, taking in the mud and grass covered child before him. The child that was also soaking wet down his entire front.
“And where were you, young man?” Chris asked, a small smile twitching his lips as he crouched down in front of the boy. A quick sniff assured him the current 'playground' hadn't been the barn, but probably the swamp-like corral next to the horse barn, created by last night's thunderstorm.
“Getting a pwesent. See?” the boy said, thrusting his hands into Chris' face. It was only then that Chris realized that whatever it was, was alive.
“A present? For who?” he had to ask.
“Fo' Wi'low.” Adam announced proudly, shoving the bundle further into Chris' face.A frog.
Chris realized with horror. He'd found a – very large – bullfrog to give to Willow.
This could only end badly.
Taking a closer look at the boy, Chris realized there was some blood mixed in with the mud and water on his face and arms.
“How did this happen?” Chris asked, gently pushing the hands away from his face so he could inspect the scrape on Adam's chin.
A shrug of small shoulders was his only response.
“Let's get you cleaned up before you Mother gets home.” Chris said.
“Wha' 'bout Mr. Froggy?” Adam asked, his eyes wide with uncertainty, somehow knowing Chris' first impulse was to toss it back in the same swamp it had obviously come from.
While Chris struggled for a solution that wouldn't involved actually keeping the amphibian, Adam looked up at him with those big, brown pleading eyes, so like Sarah's.Where the hell had the kid learned that?
Later, after he'd found a covered bucket for the frog and a hose for his son, he was drying off Adam from a more thorough cleaning, taking stock of the injuries he'd managed to acquire.
“Did you fall, Adam?” Chris asked, running his fingers over the bruised elbows, scratched chin, and red knees, eliciting a few “Ow!”s from the boy. A shrug was Adam's only response.
“C'mere.” said Chris, setting a towel wrapped Adam on the bathroom counter. “Let's get these cleaned up.”
Pulling the antiseptic, band-aids and other assorted first aid paraphernalia out from under the sink, he heard Adam start to squirm on the counter top. This was never a pleasant experience for either of them, but a common one.
“Hold still, Adam.” Chris said, keeping a light hold on his face as he applied the antiseptic to the scratches on Adam's chin.
“Hurts, Daddy.” Adam cried out, squirming considerably as Chris tried to gently remove any and all traces of dirt from the scratches.
“I need to get all the dirt out.” Chris told him as he hurried to finish. Adam rarely felt the pain of his cuts and bruises until it was time to tend to them. He didn't know if it was because he was a child, or just because he was Adam. Either way, it forced him and Sarah to be extra vigilant when it came to their son hurting himself around the farm.
“There. All done.” Chris told him, wiping a stray tear from his cheek.
“Kiss it better, Daddy?” Adam asked, big eyes turned up at him, chin sticking out.
Chris smiled down at him, before leaning down to press his lips lightly to the scraped skin. As his lips made contact with the red wounds, Chris let some of his healing energy pass to Adam. There were some advantages to being a magic-user, after all.
“There you go.” Chris said when he pulled back, listening to Adam giggle as he watched the scratches disappear before his eyes, knowing that the bruises and other assorted injuries were fading as well. “All better.”
“Daddy kisses all'ays make it better.” Adam announced solemnly as Chris rubbed his thumb over the newly healed chin.
“Alright, brat. Let's get you dressed before Mommy and Willow get back.” Chris announced as he picked up his son and carried him to his room.
Chris listened intently as Adam regaled him with the tale of hunting the frog as only a five year old could, his earlier agitation forgotten in the face of his father's full, undivided attention.
Adam was so proud and excited to give his big sister his present, that Chris didn't think there was any way to distract him enough so he could 'accidentally' knock over the bucket before Willow returned from her trip into town with Sarah. He still remembered Willow's screams from last summer, when she'd almost stumbled over one in the north pasture. One heart-attack per lifetime was enough, thank you.
Chris decided he'd just have to warn either Sarah or Willow. Preferrably Sarah, as she could get rid of it easier and quicker, and Willow wouldn't have to pretend to smile as she tried not to run from Adam and his gift screaming in terror.
He really needed to figure out where she'd developed this phobia of frogs. It was just damn odd.