This one is for all my awesome readers. :) You know that your reviews are the only things that motivate me to write, don't you?
When everything in the bedroom was finally put back in order, Remy walked into the living room to find Allison distracting the little girl with magazines and newspapers they found on the coffee table. The blonde was concentrating on folding the paper into planes and boats, but all Rachel seemed to be doing was ripping it all up. Thirteen fell back into the sofa tiredly and watched as Cameron tried to stop the child from tearing up all the paper. Of course it was to no avail.
"Here Rachel, let me show you how to fold a crane," the older doctor suggested. She remained patient with the young child.
"What's that?" Rachel asked as she watched curiously.
"It's a type of bird."
"You're making a birdy?"
"Yes, sweetie. Look." She carefully made folds on the paper she had. However, on the fifth or sixth step, she was interrupted by Thirteen.
"You did it wrong."
Cameron looked up, then examined the shape of her paper in her hands. "No I didn't."
"You're supposed to fold it inwards, not outwards."
"No, I'm pretty sure this is how you do it."
"And I'm pretty sure that's not how you do it."
"Well, fine. If you're the origami expert here, then why don't you fold it?" Allison retorted irritatedly.
"Fine, I will. Hand it over."
"Get your own newspaper."
"Jesus, just give it to me."
"No. Fold your own."
"Cameron, will you just give me a damn piece of paper?"
"Do you always curse in front of children? Because I think that–" Allison took a glance up to see what Rachel was doing but found her gone. When she turned and looked around the room to locate the child, her heart almost leaped out of her chest. The girl was halfway up a bookshelf at the other side of the living room. Cameron jumped up and sprinted over, managing to make it in time just as Rachel lost her grip. Remy watched from the couch with her jaw slack and eyes as wide as saucers. "My God..."
"Rachel," Cameron called to grab her attention. She crouched down and searched until she had eye contact with the troublesome child. "Baby, listen to Auntie Allie. That was very, very dangerous, okay? If you fall, you'll get really hurt and we'll have to bring you to the hospital. And you don't want that to happen. So tell me you'll never climb that shelf again."
It took a while, but she eventually responded. "Mmmkay..."
"Tell me. Say, Auntie Allie, I will never do that again."
"...Auntie Allie... I will never...do that...again..."
"Good girl. Now let's clean up our mess over here..."
As soon as Cameron released her grip on her, Rachel ran over to this large pile of paper she ripped and kicked it, sending the torn pieces flying all over the floor. The blonde covered her face with her hand in exasperation.
"Rachel!" Thirteen ran out of the living room after the child.
All Cameron could do was shake her head and grab the broom to clean up.
She found them back in the bedroom, playing with legos. After a few minutes of attempted gentle scolding, Remy sat Rachel down on her little play table and took a couple of pieces out of the box for her to build things with. The brunette was sitting on one of the adjacent kiddy stools, her cynical blue eyes glued to the child in order monitor her every move.
"Tell Auntie Allie that you're sorry and that you'll never make a mess again," Thirteen urged.
The kid continued concentrating on her legos. "Sorry Auntie Allie... I'll never make mess again." She didn't even look up. The two adults sighed, deciding that it was good enough of an apology for now.
"So what are you making?" Cameron asked as she sat down on another stool next to Remy.
"A city," Rachel replied.
All three of them then diverted their attention to creating colorful buildings and structures with the legos. For once, the trouble child was sitting still. It was a major relief.
However, just because they didn't have anymore problems with the girl, didn't guarantee the lack of problem between the two doctors in the room. At one point, both Remy and Allison reached for the same piece, and their hands crashed into each other's.
Being as quick as she was, Remy took the opportunity of Cameron getting distracted for a second to immediately snatch the lego. She didn't even have to look up to see the displeased expression on the blonde's face. "I needed that."
"Get another one."
"I needed a piece with an eye. That was the only one left."
"Well, too bad."
Cameron looked over at what Thirteen was doing. "You're making a car! You don't even need that piece!"
"Yes, I do."
"No. You don't."
"Yes, I do, Allison."
"Cars don't have eyes, Remy."
She scoffed. "Are you discriminating against cars? Just because they're non-living objects doesn't mean we can't choose to personify them."
Cameron rolled her eyes. "I'm making a robot. Robots need eyes."
"Actually..." Thirteen stopped what she was doing and looked up. "...By definition, a 'robot' is a programmable machine capable of carrying out a complex series of actions automatically. Now this could be something like a household appliance, such as a blender, which – the last time I checked – doesn't have any eyes."
"Smart ass," Allison mumbled under her breath as she begrudgingly picked up a blank piece of lego instead.
"Language," Remy mirrored her earlier remark.
Cameron subtly kicked her in the shin.
Rachel looked up at them with furrowed brows. "Auntie Remy, what's that s'posed ta mean?"
"Nothing dear. Play with your legos," Cameron quickly responded. The two women glared at each other one more time before resuming with their activity.
Eventually, Rachel was done and very much satisfied with the city she built. "Finished!" she announced to the room.
"Good job Rach!"
The adults admired the handiwork and praised the child. However...what they didn't expect was for Rachel to put on a dinosaur mask and start destroying the lego city she made.
"Rawr rawr rawr! T-Rex attack!" She knocked over the buildings and kicked some of the blocks of legos, scattering the pieces all over the bedroom.
Thirteen got ahold of her shoulders to keep her from moving, and when the girl's flailing legs almost kicked her in the stomach, Cameron held those down as well. They exchanged a look of distress.
"Rachel, baby. That was not very nice," Cameron began slowly.
"I don' wanna play legos anymore. So I destroy it," she replied as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.
"Well, sweetie, maybe next time you could take it apart, instead of kicking it. Okay?" Remy suggested. It took a while before she replied with a half-hearted 'okay'.
"Alright, now let's clean up your legos."
The moment they released her, she ran over to the huge box of legos, still half full, and began to pull it to the edge of the table. "Oh no..."
"Rachel... Now don't be silly. I thought you were done with the legos? It's time to put them away."
"Rachel, don't do that... I'm warning you. Don't–"
She tipped the box over and the rest of the legos crashed onto the floor noisily. Now, there was a sea of colorful pieces of lego in the middle of the room. "Alright, see now we've got to put everything back inside, okay sweetie?"
The little girl grinned and then bolted out of the bedroom.
"I swear to every god on this damn planet, I am going to..." Thirteen's words became a jumble of consonants and vowels as she stormed out of the room after Cuddy's daughter. Cameron sighed and began scooping up legos with her hands, dropping them back into the box.
Within the next hour, the three girls found themselves sprawled on the floor of Rachel's bedroom, laboring over a 500-piece "Finding Nemo" puzzle. They taught the child how to start it off easily by first doing the border. Both Cameron and Remy initially approached the activity with confidence, planning to give hints to Rachel in order to help her put together most of it. However...neither expected it to turn out to be so difficult.
"Stupid fish," cursed Thirteen quietly to herself as she stared hopelessly at a pile of orange puzzle pieces. They got most of Dory, but Marlin and Nemo were getting kind of mixed up – they barely knew which was which. The brunette gave it a couple more minutes, before her patience finally ran out. "Alright, I'm done with this." She pushed her pieces towards Cameron as an indicator for her to continue.
Allison looked over and examined what she's gotten done. "Remy, these two don't even fit together."
"Yes they do."
"No, they don't. You just forced them together."
"They're the same color, aren't they," came a sharp retort.
A sigh. "Sometimes, I feel like I'm babysitting two kids."
The both of them rolled their eyes at each other, then glanced over at Rachel to see how she was doing. It turned out that she was getting just as frustrated as the two adults. The only difference was that she acted on releasing this frustration. The little girl threw down the pieces violently and made to grab the box. Luckily, Thirteen and Cameron had anticipated this.
"Rachel, honey. It's okay. This one's a little too hard. Maybe we'll try something easier next time."
"Rach, set it down so we can put the pieces back in the box okay?"
"Rachel!" They called when they saw her tilting the box. "Rachel, if you make a mess again, you won't get pb and j for lunch," Cameron warned.
Fortunately, that seemed to work. The girl ceased in her actions and behaved. "Alright, now let's clean up and then we'll grab something to eat. Okay?"
After returning all the pieces back in the box, they went into the kitchen to make lunch. Thirteen sat Rachel down on her highchair and handed her a stuffed toy she found nearby to distract her while she went to help Cameron. They made sandwiches and poured drinks for all three of them. It was a quick but messy lunch. Rachel, with her amazing skills as a three-and-a-half-year-old, got peanut butter and jam all over her face and her shirt.
"You go clean her up, I'll do the dishes," Remy said, picking up the plates eagerly.
"No, it's okay. I'll do the dishes," Cameron picked up all the cups.
"I think you should get Rachel cleaned up."
"I think you should do it, Thirteen. Right, sweetie?" The blonde looked over at the kid, who was busy licking jam off her fingers.
"Rock, paper, scissors."
"Fine." They held their fists up and mentally prepared themselves, looking into each other's eyes as if trying to decipher what the other would choose to throw.
"On three – one...two...three!"
Cameron: paper, Thirteen: rock.
After changing Rachel into a fresh set of clothes, and having wiped off all the sticky mess on her face and hands, Remy went to the bathroom to freshen up and catch a break. Only half of the day had gone by and she already felt worn out. As she was splashing cold water onto her face, she heard the bathroom door creak open. Rachel.
"Hi Rach. What's up?"
She grew a little concerned when she saw the the kid was looking for something intently. It could only mean that she was up to no good. And how right she was.
In one swift movement, Rachel grabbed the end of the toilet paper roll and sprinted out the door with it.
"Rachel!" Thirteen quickly held onto the roll on the holder, tearing off the piece that the naughty child ran away with.
Very soon, she heard Cameron's stern voice calling the girl, no doubt trying to get her to stop running around the house. Remy inhaled and exhaled deeply a few times before allowing herself to leave the bathroom to catch the little tyke. When she walked out to the living room, she found no one there. "Cam? Allison?" She walked into the kitchen, and when she looked out the window, she saw them.
"Rem! A little help here!"
Thirteen stepped into the back yard to see Rachel running around and around, with her new change of clothes all covered in mud. Cameron, very unsure of how she could get the kid to calm down, was vacillating between wanting to catch her and wanting to keep herself mud-free. She was leaning more towards the latter as she watched Rachel plop her bum on the ground and scoop up some soil in her hands.
"Ew," the brunette deadpanned.
"Rachel, you're getting all dirty! Get up from the ground!" Cameron demanded, hands akimbo on her waist. The child deliberately avoided eye contact and pretended to be oblivious.
"Rachel," Cameron tried again. "Auntie Remy's gonna get mad." The blonde turned to Thirteen and tilted her head subtly. Taking the hint, Remy crossed her arms and put on a serious expression. "Rach, get off the ground." It wasn't a scary voice – she didn't yell or anything. But because it was so controlled, because the look on her face was so unamused, Rachel felt a little scared, and so, obliged.
"Good girl. Now get back inside so Auntie Allie can give you a bath." She turned around and shot Allison a fleeting smirk.
Cameron sighed – it seemed like she had been doing a lot of that today. "Come on sweetie..." She held out her hand and took Rachel's dirty one, leading her inside and into the bathroom.
- end of chapter -
Note: definition of "robot" was taken from the "New Oxford American Dictionary" on my mac...
But yeah, Thirteen totally deserved that kick in the shin.
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