I wanted to do something for Father's Day (I'm publishing this at midnight, but I haven't fallen asleep yet, so I count it) and this kind of just came to me. This is apart of my Single Parent's AU, but takes place before any of the other stories. I just realized that all of the titles from this series are from Finding Neverland. You know, I really like that lol.
I don't own Newsies.
When Your Feet Don't Touch the Ground
The baby was crying. Again. It wasn't like Jack wasn't already up at three am. There were deadlines to stay ahead of and phone calls to make. No one actually answered his calls, but it was the best time for him to make them.
He stumbled into Eloise's room. She calmed down a bit at his face. Jack scoped her out of her crib and found his way into the rocking chair. There he swayed back and forth. Until Eloise's cries smoothed into faint whimpers. He knew exactly what she wanted. Needed. Her mom.
Jack did too.
It had been three weeks since the car crash. Two since the funeral. She wouldn't remember any of it, but she had changed somehow ever since. Eloise cried more. Missing the warmth that Kath brought both of them.
He tucked her back into her crib, but didn't leave the room. Sure there was paperwork to do. A social worker was coming on Thursday. It was peaceful here. Jack sat back down in the rocking chair, pushing himself gently. Until he finally fell asleep.
"Shh, don't wake him up!"
"It's not my fault I tripped over your crutch."
"If you had been paying attention-"
"Good morning, Munchkin!"
Eloise cooed as Jack began to open his eyes. What were Race and Crutchie doing here? He loved his brothers, but really? Now? He opened his eyes.
"Happy Father's Day!"
Crutchie held up a sign with the same words. Race had a present bag in one hand and Eloise on his hip. His brothers were grinning. Jack blinked again. It wasn't Father's Day already was it? No, couldn't be. It was just Mother's Day.
"What's going on?" he wondered.
Race set Eloise on Jack's torso. He put a hand on her back. Crutchie set the sign down and limped over to them.
"We wanted to honor our favorite father figure in our life," Race explained, "Who better than you to celebrate?"
Jack kissed the top of Eloise's head. "Me?"
Race rolled his eyes. "Duh."
"We got you a little something." Crutchie handed him the bag. "It ain't much, but here."
Placing Eloise on his lap, Jack scooted forward. He took the gift. Inside was about a pound of tissue paper. Or however you measured tissue paper. It was a lot either way. He dug past to find a frame. With a picture of him, Race, Crutchie and Eloise. It had been taken at the hospital. Jack had lines under his eyes and Crutchie was looking at the baby instead of the camera. Even so, it was perfect.
"Do you like it?" Crutchie asked.
"Do I like it? Do I like it? How could I not, kiddo?" Jack ruffled his hair up, like he would do when they were kids.
"It's all of the us-the ones that get to celebrate you being the closest thing to a dad we could get." Race glanced at Eloise. "Or actually our dad."
"It's going next to my bed," he decided.
Crutchie got back up. "But first, we brought you donuts."
They really did go all in on the Father's Day stuff. Now all he needed was a long nap and a phone call. This was much better. Jack grinned at them.
"You guys go on ahead. I gotta get Lolly here ready."
"More for us!" Race exclaimed, running to the kitchen.
Jack called after them, "Hey, no running in the house!"
He got up. He let Eloise choose her outfit, like he always did. Jack followed to where she pointed and gathered up the clothes. Today it was a pair of denim puffy shorts with a flower headband. He picked out a "Daddy's Little Girl" onesie for her. It was fitting for Father's Day.
"Dadda," she cooed.
Wait, did she just talk? Was that a word she said? He nearly dropped the headband he was holding.
Jack paused. "What was that, baby?"
Eloise looked at him. As if she hadn't just said her very first word. Jack laughed. He picked her up and pressed what felt like a thousand kisses to her head. Where was his camera when he needed it? This was what he needed now. Two brothers who were always there for him. And his daughter finally said his name.
"Come on, El', let's get some doughnuts."
Thanks for reading! Reviews are always appreciated.