Hello readers! As I mentioned in the summary; this is a collection of one-shots I am doing for A Place To Call Home. Full details after the story.
Anyway, this first Short Story is over the first time Tildie and Emily meet; spawning into their comfortable friendship that I showed in Chapter Fourteen. This is entirely friendship little girl fluff, so you have been warned! Lol!
Finally, enjoy the show! Haha.
Tildie's expression was curious as it looked around the Institute from the passenger seat but hurt was evident in her eyes. She did not want to be separated from her mother; despite being equally exhilarated with the fact of living in a new place. She bit her lip, twirling the end of her ponytail, twisting the strawberry blonde strands between her fingers while watching her mother talking to Rogue from the front of the car. Her dark green eyes glanced up when noticing her mother motioning for her to get out; the woman named Rogue smiling by her mother's side. Tildie obeyed, walking over to stand next to her mother, saying politely "Hi, Rogue."
"Hey, sugar. It's nice to see yer." Rogue answered gentle back; nodding at Tildie's mother. The older woman grinned back in reply, kneeling down so she could be face to face with her twelve year old daughter. Tildie's eyes gazed up at her mother, both grinning at each other, as her mother asked gently "Do you remember what we talked about in the car?"
"Yes, mama." Tildie answered; a smile creeping up her face. Her mother returned the gesture with a warm one of her own, opening her arms up to give Tildie a hug; hiding the unshed tears behind her daughters back. When they parted slightly from the embrace, the thirty something woman patted her daughter's leg and gave her a kiss on the cheek, teasing "No more growing this year until I see you at Thanksgiving!"
Tildie grinned at her mother and nodded; the woman pulling her in for another embrace. The twelve year old breathed in one last whiff of her mother's perfume, taking her time to let go, as her mother placed both hands on her forehead and pulled her into a kiss on the nose. Tildie giggled at her mother's gesture she had done since her very birth, smiling as the woman did the same. Both looked over at Rogue, Tildie giving one last look to her mother, before walking over to the gently grinning southern bell.
Tildie watched as her mother slowly made it to the car and waved to the woman as she seemed to take her time pulling out of the drive. Each shared a look to the other, while the little girl watched her mother drive away. She had no idea, that this bittersweet goodbye would also be the beginning of a beautiful hello.
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Emily's bright blue eyes watched with excitement as the small minivan drove away from the mansion's graveled lane; trying to catch a glimpse of the newest person moving into the once renowned Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters. She pushed up her hands on her windowsill, perching her small little frame to lean against the glass, as she saw a tall little strawberry blonde walk towards the front entrance with Rogue putting a comforting arm over her shoulder. Emily pressed her nose on the glass, trying to watch the duo go in, when she heard the front door open and Rogue call out "Emily?!"
"Yeah?" Emily responded; trying to play off her excitement. Rogue called back "Come er' fer a minute, sugar!"
"Coming!" Emily replied quickly; bounding off her sill and nearly tripping over her sneakers to get out her doorway. She was nothing short of excited when Rogue had told her that a girl around her age was coming to live at the mansion. It had been four months since she had anyone near her age to play with! Bobby didn't count; he was older and only ever played videogames.
Emily raced down the hall, not seeing her father standing in the hall talking to Frost, until it was too late; her body torpedoing straight into him. Logan gave out a short grunt from the impact, more startled than feeling any pain, glaring as Emma gave a dry smirk. He looked down at his ten year old untangling herself from him, Emily glancing up to saw quickly "Sorry, daddy!"
Emily went to race back down the hall but was stopped when Logan gently grabbing the back of her shirt. She stopped, looking at him with a puzzled look that made Emma smile. Logan raised an eyebrow up, reprimanding gently "Slow down, Half-pint."
"Yes, sir." Emily replied; the feral giving her hair an affectionate tussle as he let go of her shirt. The small child went walking down the hall as soon as her father let her free, that is, until she glanced over her shoulder to make sure they weren't look. When she thought they weren't, Emily picked up speed and started rocketing down the stairs. Her feral father frowned as he caught her disappearing frame, taking a step towards the stairs, saying loudly "And no runnin down the…!"
"Leave her be, Logan." Emma interrupted, placing a hand on his arm. Logan looked to her annoyed but the White Queen merely smiled, laughingly slightly as the little girl flew down the stairs, adding "She's just excited."
Logan grunted but gave no fight; only grinning at his daughter raced towards the bottom. Rogue also grinned as the little girl made it to the end of the stairs, glancing down to see Tildie perk up at the raven haired girl's arrival. Both little girls stared at each other, simultaneously feeling a case of shyness take over, as they remained quiet; smiling goofily while glancing to the floor. Rogue smiled, placing a gloved hand on Tildie's shoulder, saying "Emily, I'd like yer to meet someone…."
Rogue glanced at Tildie, who smiled shyly, then back to Emily, adding "Thas is Tildie."
Emily grinned shyly at the taller child, waving her hand once, saying quietly "Hi."
"Hi." Tildie responded back; also waving to the other little girl. Rogue looked to each girl, explaining "She's gonna be stayin here wit us from now on…"
The southern red head took the smaller of the boxes that were placed in the foyer by Bobby, walking over to Emily, adding "I'd thought yer might like to help 'er unpack while me an' Bobby git tha rest of tha boxes."
"Okay!" Emily replied cheerfully; reaching out for the box. She shuffled the cardboard square till it rested in her arms, and looked at Rogue, asking "Where's her room?"
"It's tha one next to miane." Rogue replied; Tildie nodding shyly in confirmation. Emily smiled, saying "That's just a door down from my room…"
The small ten year old gestured to the stairs, adding friendly "Come on, I'll show ya where that is."
Tildie's smile widened at the other girls invitation and nodded, answering "Okay!"
Up above the stairwell, Logan fought the urge to roll his eyes as Emma made a soft noise, whispering "How adorable!"
"Don't act like such a sap, Frost." Logan smarted; smirking as Emma glared his way. He walked towards the elevator, with the White Queen following after with a heated glare, Emma snapping back "Don't you act like such a brute, Logan!"
The two bickered back and forth as the elevator closed; the two girls giggling as they overheard at the top of the stairs. Emily jerked her head towards the right, leading the way towards her newest friends' room, while Tildie asked conversationally "So, how old are you?"
"Ten." Emily replied; looking back to see Tildie surprised but shake it off. The strawberry blonde smiled, hefting her box up more, as she answered back "I'm twelve."
Emily's head snapped back to her new acquaintance in shock. She looked her up and down, more on the up side since the girl was head taller, as she placed her cardboard box on the bedroom's floor. Emily stated in awe "Ya tall for twelve."
"And you're short for ten." Tildie replied; the twinkle in her dark green eyes clueing in the surprised Emily that the older girl was teasing. The ten year old smirked, smarting as she opened up the cardboard box, "We'll when ya daddy's the Wolverine, ya see how tall ya get…."
"Wolverine is your dad?!" Tildie exclaimed; half dropping her box into the carpeted floor. Emily wrinkled up her nose, shooting up one hand to the sky while placing another on her hip, responding "Why does everyone always act so surprised?!"
Tildie smirked guiltily, shrugging her shoulders, answering "Sorry, but he's kind of…."
Emily smirk was ornery as she glanced at Tildie, finishing "Gruff?"
Tildie giggled, replying "That's one way to put it."
Emily ornery smirk grew, she picking up a couple of clothes to put in the nearest dresser, as she added with her back turned, "Ya also forgot hairy."
Tildie's giggle intensified and she shook her head; smiling as Emily beamed. After that it seem the ice had been officially broken, both little girls began mindless chit chattering back and forth getting to know one another. Often Rogue and Bobby would see the little girls talking endlessly to another, paying the older kids no mind, as they started lugging up the rest of the boxes to Tildie's room. This went on for about an hour, until just when the last box was about to be opened, Tildie asked "So, are you staying with your dad for the weekend or something?"
"What do ya mean?" Emily asked confused; turning from her spot at the dresser. Tildie shrugged her shoulders, walking into her closet with a couple of hanging clothes, her voicing echoing "I just didn't see you the last time I was here…."
"Oh." Emily answered, suddenly very interested in the knick knacks she was placing on her newest friend's dresser. Tildie came walking back out, asking innocently "So I was just asking if you just stay here like on holidays or weekends and all that."
"No." Emily replied quietly, not facing Tildie. She positioned a picture frame on the dresser, answering softly "I live here now, too."
"Are you a mutant?" Tildie asked innocently; not oblivious to her friends wince at her question. Emily shook her head, answering "No."
Tildie's head tilted to the side, a perplexed look on her face, but Emily gave no answer. The twelve year old became silent in understanding; she was the last person who would force someone to talk about anything. Tildie was not ready to talk about her skeletons in her closet so she did not judge Emily for not revealing hers.
However, a few moments of awkwardness passed between them both; each little girl turning away from another to quietly unpacked the rest of the items from the cardboard box. That was, until Emily's hand pushed off the newspaper used for packaging and saw a peculiar gun like toys at the bottom of the cardboard box. She looked at it quizzically, pulling it out of the box, asking "What's this?"
Tildie turned from the closet, smiling, replying "Oh, mama let me bring a bunch of my toys from home this time…."
Tildie pointed at the plastic gun in Emily's hand, explaining "That's a laser gun for a laser tag game I used to play with my friends down the street.…"
Emily wrinkled her nose up, moving the toy gun from side to side, and looked down at the other pieces of the game in the box while Tildie turned to unpacking more toys from the remaining boxes on the floor. Emily's soft ice blues gazed back at Tildie's backside, her eyebrow cocking up, she asking hopefully "Do…ya still play?"
"Oh yeah! I love the game!" Tildie responded passionately, her smile growing as she turned to Emily. The ten year old smirked, eyeing the taller girl, challenging "Ya wanna go, bub?"
Tildie blinked a few times in surprise at Emily's change in demeanor but quickly smirked, her eyes narrowing, she teasing "Touch talk for a shortie."
Emily gave an imitation of her father's feral snort, dropping her voice low like his, replying "Ya don't scare me, bub."
Tildie and Emily both giggled at her impression of the feral mutant; the last icicles of awkwardness melting from the room. The twelve year old walked over, peering into the box, reaching in while asking "Which color?"
"Purple." Emily answered; smiling gratefully as Tildie handed her the purple set. The twelve year old smirked, picking up her gun, saying "Pink."
Emily pretended to gasp, aiming her gun at Tildie while the blonde did the same, both sizing the other up. The ten year old narrowed her eyes, proclaiming "The mortal enemies duel off!"
Both girls tried glaring at each other as long as they could; until the laughter spilled out of their mouths and the guns lowered as the giggles lifted. Tildie reached into the box again, pulling out the electronic body armor that went around the shoulders and chest, handing it to Emily while showing nonverbally how to turn it on. The ten year old understood, strapping the device around her petite frame, while explaining "Okay so I'm not supposed to go past the basketball courts on the left of the mansion or the pool on the right. So we'll play around the woods around that area, Got it?"
"Got it." Tildie replied with a quick bouncing nod of her strawberry blonde ponytail. Emily smiled at her newest friends ease in complying with her limited restrictions, then frowned in thought, asking "What score we gonna go to?"
Tildie smirked, her dark green eyes dancing with mischief, and she raised her gun; shooting her laser at Emily's chest. The device lit up, followed by a victory noise and a man's voice booming "Eliminated!"
Emily gave Tildie a half-hearted 'Look', raising an eyebrow as Tildie giggled. The twelve year old shrugged, teasing "Sudden death?"
"Oh ya know, that's so funny, I forgot to laugh." Emily smarted dryly; rolling her eyes. Tildie smiled at her friend's slight annoyance, as the ten year old added dryly "Sudden death doesn't seem all that fair since I've never played this game."
Tildie's smile grew and she gave her friend a challenging look. She reloaded her gun's invisible ammo, asking "Till five hundred?"
Emily's frown turned into a smirk, as she adding "And best three out of five…."
"And we play predator vs. prey, where one person hides and the other has to find them." Tildie finished. Emily's blue eyes also began to dance with mischief, her expression turning one of challenge. She answered "Deal."
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Tildie wiped the dirt off her brow; taking a second to adjust the zipper on her jacket. She held up three fingers, a code she and Emily had made up for brief pauses in the game, while giving her target device a little straightening. Ms. Frost had stopped both girls at the door when seeing them all decked up…with no jackets in sight. She had promptly told them no jackets, no playing outside, period. Tildie could admit she was gratefully now for the warm over-garment; for a chill had started to blow through the air.
After the twelve year old was adjusted, she pulled her ponytail tighter, and cocked her gun back up. Tildie waved her hand around to show she was ready, smirking as the signs of a bush nearby rattled in compliance. She walked slowly over to the bush, gun raised, while taunting with a giggle "Come out, come out wherever you are…."
Tildie's dark green eyes surveyed the greenery and could tell that her quarry had disappeared from the hiding spot to look for a new location. She listened closely as a woodpecker drilled in the distance and squirrels chatted up their evening air; tuning out all those noises to listen for the sound of sneakers pounding against the dirt.
A twig snapped to her right and Tildie swerved in that direction; gun raised and feet apart. Yet she could see it was only a rabbit, who looked at the child confused, before scurrying off into the forest green. Tildie pursed her lips, frowning and looked all around. She thought of an idea, raising her gun back up, calling out "Marco…."
A giggle sounded off to Tildie's left, calling back "Polo!"
Tildie reared around doing a completely one-eighty; firing her gun at the sound of the voice. Her smirk fell of her face when seeing no one was there. Tildie's eyelids narrowed, the twelve year old aiming her gun around, searching for the elusive quarry. She crept past the large rock formation, hiding under its ledge and using its shadows to hide her lanky body. Tildie searched the woods, calling out "Marco…"
Silence was her answer that time, causing Tildie to raise her eyebrows. She crept out from under the rock's ledge, raising up to full height again, looking around confused. Tildie's head swiveled back and forth, she asking "Marco?"
"Polo!" Emily's voice triumphantly shouted above; causing Tildie to turn on her heels in that direction. She looked up to see the ten year old standing at the top of the mossy rock ledge, aiming down with a determined look on her face, finger wrapping around the trigger. Tildie thought quickly, leaping out of the way as Emily fired off her gun, rolling around in the grass to safety.
Emily leapt off the rock ledge, landing safetly to the soft grass below and fired at Tildie again. This time the twelve year old did not have time to dodge away and ended up kneeling up like a sitting duck. Tildie frowned as the device proclaimed 'Target Shot!' and Emily smiled. However, the expression was lifted clear off her face as Tildie whipped up her gun and fired.
Emily squeaked out a shout as her device lit up, the victorious music singing out her defeat, as the man's voice proclaimed "Eliminated!"
"Got you!" Tildie laughed. The ten year old looked to her device, then to Tildie, frowning for only a second, before dropping her gun dramatically, and falling to her knees on the ground. Emily grabbed at her throat like she was being choked, coughing out "Ya killed me!"
The ten year old dropped to the grass face first, letting her hands sprawl out, and Tildie's laughter intensified. Emily poked her head up from her lying postion, smiling from ear to ear and sat back up on the grass. She saw Tildie walk over, giving her a hand, saying "Good game, Emily…"
The ten year old took her arm, easily heaved up the older child, and giggled as Tildie did. The twelve year old shook her head at the small girl, asking "But why would you attack like that when you were on your last life?"
"We'll Blondie always says on our shooting game…." Emily explained in an inhale, picking up her dropped gun. She shrugged her shoulders, looking up at Tildie, answering "When in doubt, Kamikaze out."
Tildie laughed, shaking her head in disagreement, saying "I don't think that's good advice for laser tag."
Emily giggled in response, shrugging her shoulders again, answering "Thought I'd give it a whirl."
The ten year old looked around, noticing the sun had not yet started to set in the distance and knew dinnertime was far ways away. Emily looked back to Tildie, asking "Wanna go again?"
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"Where tha girls?" Rogue asked; looking up from setting a glass on the table. Ororo grinned gently from the kitchen stove, pointing her ladle towards the outside, answering "De still be outside playin togetar."
Rogue beamed at that answer, peering out the window panes, asking "Hav' thay been playin all day?"
"Oh yes, I been hearin dem squeals of joy all evening." Ororo answered; stirring slowly something in a silver pot. Rogue gave a gentle noise, cooing "How cute!"
"What's cute?" Bobby asked, sliding into a chair. He reached for a roll but Rogue slapped it away with her gloved hand, answering "Tha girls are playin wit each other outside."
Kitty came in at that time; immediately squealing Rogues same sentiments. Bobby snorted with a shrug, answering "So? How's that cute?"
Kitty glared at him along with Rogue and sighed, replying "Your like, such a guy!"
Bobby put his hands up in mock surrender, watching as Rogue and Kitty turned from him. He smirked at their lapse in security and used the opportunity to get another grab at the rolls. Sadly though, Logan came in through the side at that moment; noticing the teenagers chance of theft. The feral mutant walked leisurely past the eager eighteen year old, giving a slap upside Bobby's blonde hair. The reprimand startled Bobby so much, he dropped the roll back into the basket; turning his head as Logan sat down at his place at the table. The feral gave him a warning look and Bobby frowned; leaning back in his chair while crossing his arms. Logan smirked, but quickly noticed a certain girl's absence, asking "Where's my Half-pint?"
Rogue and Kitty looked at him, then back at the window, answering "Outside."
Logan quirked an eyebrow, his graveled voice stating dryly "But dinners almost ready…"
"Not almost, Logan…." Ororo corrected; pulling out the casserole from the oven. The feral mutant grunted in reply, looking at each teenager, asking "Alright, then whose gonna round up the…"
Bobby jumped out from his chair, driven by the hunger in his stomach, to eagerly volunteer. The eighteen year old bolted out the side door, just as Logan finished "Girls."
Rogue and Kitty giggled in unison while Ororo grinned. The weather goddess placed a couple of hot mats on the table to support the food, looking to Logan, stating dryly "I guess de boy is hungry…"
"No kiddin." Logan replied; grinning amusingly as he saw the teenager run in a blur across the kitchen window.
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Bobby raced into the wooded area while his hunger encouraged him to find the two missing little girls from the group. The eighteen year old could have cheered when he saw Tildie standing not so far away; though he paused when seeing the twelve year old holding a plastic laser gun with a look that resembled Rambo himself. Yet, the blonde wasn't fazed for long, pointing behind him while calling out "Hey Til, I came out here to tell you that…."
"Shsh!" Tilde whispered hotly back; waving at the eighteen year old to be quiet. Bobby's expression was one of surprise, and he frowned at the dark green eyes directed at him with seriousness. Tildie pointed her gun to the woods, explaining "She's very quiet. If I'm not carefully she'll sneak up on me!"
"Who?" Bobby asked perplexed. Tildie turned from him, hunting out the dark forest in front of her, answering "Emily."
"Barbie doll?" Bobby asked with a raised eyebrow. Tildie gave a harsh shushing noise again with mouth, nodding at the startled blonde. She jerked away from him, raising her gun to the nearest dark corner, saying low "Marco…."
"Polo!" Emily's voice called out. Tildie swung around, firing and missing the mark as a shadow disappeared into the thick brush. Bobby by this time had gotten an amused grin on his face, sitting on the nearest bench. He could handle an extra five minutes of hunger pangs; this looked interesting.
Tildie, in the meantime, walked slowly around a tree; leaning against it while thrusting out her gun to the open. After seeing the coast was clear, she peered out from the tree, calling "Marco…."
There was no answer. Tildie knew that was not a good sign. The twelve year old's dark green eyes searched wildly around her; daring to walk away from her tree shielding her from being marked. Tildie heard the brush of leaves and giggled breath to late, as her body jumped in surprise when her toy armor when aglow with the dooming victorious melody, calling out "Eliminated!"
Bobby laughed, clapping his hands in salute to Emily's victory, as Tildie gave him a heated glare. The twelve year old's hands went slack and she turned around to see Emily standing behind her, gun still raised. The small little girl smirked up at Tildie, stating dryly "Polo."
This sent Bobby to half lie on the bench, covering a hand on his head, while his laughter echoed out to the setting sun. Emily also giggled while Tildie fought from grinning; the twelve year old wagging her gun at the little girl, saying "Why do you do that every time!?"
"For the look on ya face!" Emily squeaked out; following Tildie over to Bobby. The twelve year old smirked, smarting "Oh, haha, Emily!"
Emily giggled more at that comment and Tildie gave an amused grunt, but pointed to herself, adding "But I'm still wining two to one!"
"Then you won, Tildie." Bobby replied; getting up from the bench while coughing back the rest of his laughter. The girls gave him both disappointed faces, but the eighteen year old would have none of it, herding them towards the direction of the kitchen. He directed them to take off their toy armor, adding "Because its dinnertime and I'm starving!"
With this reminder, the little girls suddenly also got a case of hunger in their guts and quickly started to take the rest of their toy armor off. However, Tildie smirked towards Emily, then looked at Bobby, teasing "When are you not starving, Bobby?"
Bobby's mouth dropped open and his eyebrows lifted up; sending both girls into convulsing giggles. Emily nudged Tildie teasing "I don't know where he puts it all…"
Bobby sent an annoyed glare towards Emily but Tildie giggled, cupping her hand to her mouth, adding "Yeah, he's skinner than a bean pole!"
"Hey!" Bobby shouted indignant; causing both girls to trip over themselves with giggles as they put picked up their toys from the ground. The eighteen year old half laughed, pushing both of their backs playfully, scolding "Just get in the house!"
The girls obeyed, silencing their giggles to put their toys on the counter and made their way towards the kitchen to wash their hands. Bobby clapped his hands together, sliding back into his chair while they did so, saying with a content sigh "Finally, we can eat…"
Emily and Tildie locked gazes at the sink, then glanced over their shoulders at Bobby, before huddling together to hide their giggles. Everyone looked up amused at the girl's whisperings, but Bobby frowned, pointing a fork at the duo, saying "Oh, shut up you two!"
Emily and Tildie laughed so hard in response, that the small child leaned on the taller one while Tildie's head arched back. They stood at the sink laughing, not evening able to look at the glaring Bobby, while passing each other a smile. The other adults grinned or smirked gently at the duo cleaning up; confused at the joke but still humored by the girl's laughter no less. Tildie and Emily passed one more smile to each other, giving a few more bursts of giggles, while their friendship slowly started to take root in the cool of that autumn day. For after the laser war was ended and the night had set…two little girls found themselves growing a friendship that would be dear to them for many years down the road.
As I said…funny but fluffy. Hoped you liked it. : )
Okay, explanation time. In each of my books I have pre-planned an overall story arc with each book having chapters laid out so I can keep a rhythm going. Sadly, this can lead to leaving out some everyday things in the life of my characters; such as the story above. So I created this 'folder' to fit in stories that I thought would be fun to read….but I couldn't seem to fit into my overall story arc without either junking up the story or making the story jump off into little bunny trails. So just call this your 'behind the scenes' look at my series.
Finally, I am working on Chapter Fifteen as we speak and hope to have it out by the end of the week. Thanks again for reading. : )