Ok, I know I should be writing the next chapter of Can You Keep a Secret and I AM, but I hit a bit of a mental block in the middle and saw this prompt and wanted to do something with it :)
Prompt from ar-gyle on Tumblr: I just told off the principal and even though you're trying your damn hardest not to I can hear you laughing in the waiting room.
To say that Bass Monroe was surprised when his phone rang at noon on a Wednesday would be an understatement, because, really, who the hell made phone calls anymore? Sighing, he threw down the towel he was using to wipe down the bar and pulled out his phone to see Miles's name across the screen.
"I need some help, Bass," Miles said, his voice equally exasperated and amused. "It's Charlie."
Bass frowned at the mention of Miles's adorable six year old daughter. Until two months ago, Miles had thought he was nothing but an uncle until Rachel showed up at his door, told him the truth, and left Charlie with him, claiming that she and Ben were too busy with Danny's health to take good care of her. It actually worked out well, considering Bass could pick her up from school around 3, then she could hang out with him at the bar until Miles got off of work around 5, which got her out before the bar opened.
"I don't know!" Bass could just picture Miles throwing his hands up in frustration. "Something about her and another kid getting into a fight or something."
Bass snorted at the thought of their little angel Charlie kicking the shit out of some kid. "What, they were making fun of each other? Yelling and shit?"
"Uh, there was something about some little shit making fun of her, and she supposedly chose to respond with fists instead of words."
Bass stood there for a moment, shocked. Sure, Charlie could be really sassy, but he had never thought of her as violent. Then again, he considered, thinking of her father, the apple might not fall far from the tree.
"I guess actions speak louder than words, right?" Bass finally got out.
Miles huffed on the other end. "Anyways, the school called. The lady said that Charlie was going to talk to the principal as soon as her lunch was over, so Charlie is sitting in the waiting room. Can you go and sit with her, talk to her before she goes in, maybe find out what happened? Oh, and bring her home, too. I'm guessing she's suspended."
"Of course, brother," Bass replied, already grabbing his keys.
Bass made it to Charlie's elementary school in minutes, hurrying in to make sure he got the chance to see her. Walking into the office, he smiled at the secretary and opened his mouth to ask where Charlie was, but before he could say anything she quietly gestured to the side of the room where Charlie's slumped little form could be seen on the couch.
Muttering a quick thank you, Bass strode over to her. "Hey, Charlotte," he said quietly as he drew near.
At the sound of his voice, Charlie perked up, a smile lighting up her face. "Bastian!" she squealed, throwing herself into his arms.
Bass held her close for a moment and closed his eyes, pressing his cheek against her hair. Since she showed no signs of letting go, he rearranged them and sat with her on his lap.
"Charlotte?" he murmured into her hair, her little face pressed firmly against his neck. At her muffled what, he said, "What happened?"
When he got no response, he carefully pried the six year old off of him and sat her on the couch next to him. They locked eyes, blue on blue, as she stubbornly remained silent.
Finally, she sighed and broke eye contact. Just as she opened her mouth to speak, the door to the principal's office opened and a young woman walked out.
"Hello, I'm Principal Ivez," she said with a friendly smile and an outstretched hand.
Bass stood quickly and shook her hand. "Sebastian Monroe, Charlie's uncle." He hesitated before asking, "So what kind of punishment are we looking at here?"
The principal shrugged. "Honestly, I'm not quite sure yet. I want to hear what Charlie has to say about the event, first."
Bass nodded, and Ivez turned and swept out her arm in the direction of her office with a smile to Charlie. Charlie dragged her feet, slouching the whole way in. Bass made to follow, but was stopped by the principal's hand on his arm.
"I think it would be best if I spoke to her alone," she said kindly.
"Of course." Bass moved to sit in the chair closest to the door as Charlie and her principal disappeared behind the closed door.
Bass leaned back, his hand rubbing his bearded chin. Grimacing, he found himself unable to control his leg as it jumped around. He worried about Charlie. She had been through a lot these past few months, and even though Miles (and Bass, of course) did everything they could to keep her happy, there was no replacement for her mother. A few days after Rachel had left Charlie on Miles's doorstep, Bass had gotten a call from a panicking Miles, freaking out because Charlie had fallen and scraped her knee and wouldn't stop crying for her mom. Miles tried to calm her down for nearly half an hour until Bass, who knew how to deal with young girls because of his sisters, showed up with stickers, Disney Band-Aids, and the promise of as much ice cream as she could eat.
"So, Charlie, why don't you tell me what happened in class today with Josh?"
Bass froze, realizing that he could hear what was being said inside the office. Listening, he heard Charlie's voice, but it was too muffled for him to understand. Glancing over at the secretary and seeing that she was preoccupied, Bass quickly scooted his chair as close to the door as he could get and leaned close.
"-said that my mom doesn't love me, and that's why I'm with my daddy now."
Bass's mouth dropped open in shock as anger began to boil in his gut. That little fucker-
"And what did you do, sweetie?"
There was a moment of silence before Charlie responded. "I said that was mean, and I tried to leave but then he kept following me saying mean things."
"And then what happened?"
Another moment of silence. "I was really angry, so I turned around and hit him."
"Is that all?"
"I kicked him, too," Charlie admitted.
Bass heard what sounded like a sigh. "Charlie, what he said to you was unacceptable, I agree, but you cannot use violence."
"Well, what else was I supposed to do?" Bass could envision her sitting there, arms crossed with a serious expression, brows furrowed, and blue eyes shooting a true Matheson glare.
"You should have told a teacher."
"But Ms. P was right there!" Charlie exclaimed. "She didn't do anything."
"She was right behind Josh."
"And she didn't do anything?" Bass could easily hear the doubt in her voice, suddenly unsure.
"No, she didn't," Charlie said, angry now. "So I did something instead. And it sure shut him up!"
Bass clapped a hand over his mouth, trying to smother the laugh that tried to erupt out of him at Charlie's sass and earning a raised brow from the secretary.
"And why should I be punished for that? He's done so many bad things this year, and he never gets in trouble for it!"
"What else has he done?"
"Well, one time he tried to make Sam eat a frog, and when Sam ran away crying he put it down Emma's shirt instead. Another time, he put almost an entire roll of toilet paper into the toilets so no one could use them. And-"
"Okay, thank you," Ivez interrupted. There was a pause before she continued. "Charlie, I'll let it slide this time, but next time if Josh or anyone else is being mean I want you to just walk away, okay? Walk away and go find someone to tell, or come and tell me."
"Well maybe if you get your staff to do their job, I might do that," Charlie snapped back. "Can I leave now?"
Bass burst into uncontrollable laughter, relieved that everything was okay and not entirely surprised at Charlie's snappy retorts.
The door swung open, revealing an irritated Charlie and a perplexed looking Principal Ivez, which only fueled Bass's laughter. Charlie ran forward and climbed onto his lap, curling up.
Bass managed to get a handle on his laughter long enough to stand, with Charlie still clinging to him, and ask the principal, "So is everything okay then?"
Ivez ran a hand over her face. "Charlie will be in no trouble," she replied. "But she should take the rest of the week off from school. Excused absences, of course."
Bass grinned and nodded, shaking her hand goodbye before leaving with a little wave to the secretary. He carried Charlie out to his car and slid into the driver's seat after making sure Charlie was strapped in properly.
As funny as he thought it had been, Bass felt it was his responsibility to reprimand her for speaking the way she did. "Charlotte," he called back to her, "you're going to get in big trouble for talking that way."
Charlie huffed, and Bass glanced in the rearview mirror in time to catch her rolling her eyes.
"I'm serious, Charlie," he insisted. He paused before asking, "Did you really hit that kid?"
"Yup!" she said proudly. "He was on the floor crying, and Matt had to help him get to the nurse's office."
Bass snorted, feeling a surge of pride even though he knew he shouldn't. "Well, I'm not gonna lie, Charlotte," he smirked, "the kid sounded like a dick." He reached his hand behind for a high five. "Don't tell your dad I said that," he quickly added.
Charlie giggled and nodded. "Wanna go get some ice cream?"
Bass grinned at her. "I'm surprised it took you this long to ask."
"Daddy!" Charlie squealed, getting up from her bar stool and running to Miles, who scooped her up and swung her around as she shrieked and giggled.
"Go and get your stuff, kiddo. The bar is going to be opening up soon." He planted a kiss on the top of her head before shooing her off to get her stuff.
Miles walked over to where Bass stood behind the bar, checking inventory. When Miles was sure Charlie was out of earshot, he asked, "So how bad was it?"
Bass turned and smirked at his old friend. "I swear, she is just like you. She put the kid on the ground."
Miles groaned and slumped into Charlie's recently vacated stool. He propped his elbows up on the bar and put his face in his hands before daring to ask, "How much trouble is she in?"
Miles's head popped up, surprised. "What? How the hell do you put a kid on the ground and not get in trouble?"
Bass set down his clipboard and braced his hands on the bar. "Because of why she did it." All amusement drained from Bass's face. "Apparently the little shit kept making fun of her, saying that her mom doesn't love her and that's why she left her with you, and when she tried to leave, he kept taunting her and saying she was unwanted." Charlie had shared that with him over ice cream. Bass had enfolded her in his arms and reassured her that she was wanted, and that she meant the world to him and Miles. "And her teacher was right behind him and didn't do a damned thing about it."
Bass saw the anger he had inside of him reflected on Miles's face. "Are you fucking serious?"
Bass nodded. "But wait, there's a bright side to this story."
Miles eyed Bass's grinning face with suspicion. "And that would be…?"
Bass began telling him about the conversation he listened to between Charlie and Principal Ivez. Miles looked shocked before cracking up, Bass following suit.
Charlie walked back in to see her dad and honorary uncle laughing, one arm clutching their stomachs while the other gripped onto the bar in an attempt to stay standing while their eyes glittered with tears.
The boys finally noticed her and straightened up, reigning in their laughter and wiping their eyes dry.
"You ready to go home, kid?"
Charlie nodded enthusiastically and took her dad's hand. They were almost out the door when Bass heard Charlie exclaim, "Wait, I forgot something!"
Charlie ran back inside and crashed into Bass, hugging him tightly. "Thank you, Bastian," she said sweetly, looking up at him with her chin digging into his stomach.
Bass smiled down at her and ran a hand through her blonde curls. "No problem, Charlotte." He glanced up to see Miles standing in the doorway with a smile on his face. "Oh, Miles I almost forgot!" Bass called over to him. "Charlie has the rest of the week off."
Miles rolled his eyes. "I'll be dropping her off with you tomorrow at seven." Miles held out his hands, beckoning to Charlie.
Bass watched his two favorite Mathesons leave, hand in hand, before shaking his head and getting ready to open.
Later that night, Miles and Charlie were on the couch watching a movie.
Miles looked down at the little blonde angel curled into his side. "Hey, Charlie?"
Charlie peered up at him with her big, loving blue eyes. "Yeah?"
"I love you."
"I love you, too, Daddy."
AN: I hope you enjoyed! This was my first attempt at a fic with KidCharlie, and reviews are always appreciated :)