Disclaimer: I own nothing but any added characters that may pop up. Lackadaisy belongs to the amazing and talented Tracy J. Butler and I would never dream of trying to own it. I just like to play with her characters.

Authoress Note: This one has nothing to do with the iPod challenge. It was just this very fun/cute/amusing idea that kept messing with me. And when I get set on something enough – like a random idea – I find I have to write it out or I'll go nuts!

- Once Before -

She doesn't know this because she was too young. And he doesn't remember it because a lot has happen to him since then, and it takes a few nudges at his memory to recall. But what both don't remember is that they had met before. Years before she was placed in-front of him by Atlas and he entrusted the one-eyed tom to watch the small slip of a girl. No no that wasn't the first time they met.

No they met years ago in 1910 at her home in her backyard in summer. Atlas had been wanting to go down and see his old friends and his godchild for some time before him and Mitzi finally decided to make the long journey from St. Louis to Kansas City while dragging along the newly employed Mordecai Heller and their old friend and guard Viktor Vasko. A trip that neither of the later mentioned were looking forward to, really.

But they had made the trip either way and now the two stood beside the car as Atlas and Mitzi chit-chat with their old friends. They hugged, caught up, and decided on a small lunch outside under their large gazebo. They even offered Mordecai and Viktor to join them – the Peppers fully familiar with who they were by now – but they had declined. They never ate with Atlas on his trips. Drink, yes. But not dine. Not unless it was with everyone from the Lackadaisy.

So thus the two stood by the car. Mordecai messed with his cufflinks as him and Viktor argued – as usual – over this and that. Viktor most of the time would tune out the shorter male and said male would become even more aggravated. This went on for quit some time before out of the back door and down the stairs of the porch and down the walkway to the gazebo a plainly dressed woman made her way towards the table with a wiggling object.

Their arguing stopped as Mitzi let out a loud "aw" of sort and Atlas gave a cheerful laugh. From where they were, the two bodyguards and bootleggers could not fully make out what was going on but oth had a pretty good guess. Atlas's goddaughter was paying them a visit. Mordecai gave a scoff. "All this fuss over something so small. I never understood it," he scowled as Viktor, as always, remained quiet and watched the fuss go on.

Not long after, the woman from before – Viktor would guess she was a nursemaid – layed out a nice soft blanket on the grass as Mrs. Pepper scooped the child up from Mr. Pepper and Atlas – who were cooing more of the child than the women were; it was almost embarassing – and walked down the few stairs of the gazebo before crouching down and setting the small child down on the blanket. "Now you stay out of trouble sweetie," Ruby cooed to her daughter before standing tall and walkjing back to the adults.

Viktor and Mordecai were finally given a full view of the new visitor. She was a small thing – small for even a child – and was dressed in a diaper and a small light green sundress. She had a lot of dark hair for someone so little and her fur was an exotic sort of brown. But what stuck out the most on the small child, was her eyes. Her eyes were large – doll like infact – and a bright golden color; like sunshine captured in glass. Viktor was actually startled by her eyes. Especially when they looked from her mother as she sat down, to gaze around the yard until they landed on him and Mordecai.

Mordecai raised a slender brow as the child continued to stare at them, her mouth in an "o" shape and her head slightly tilted. "Hmph. Someone should teach her it's rude to stare," he sniffed impatiently. Viktor cast his good eye on him and grunted. "She is small child. Can not help it," he gruffly explained in his deep growl of a voice. Mordecai hummed slightly before replaying," that doesn't mean she can't be taught."

Viktor scowled at the dark furred cat before his good eye caught movement. He turned his head and his body straightened just slightly, his head tilting. Mordecai, who had taken his glasses off to clean them, propped his glasses back on and almost repeated the gesture and look that Viktor had.

Crawling towards a large flower not far from where the men stood was the child. She had a large smile on her face as she moved as quickly as her little limbs would allow her, reaching out for the flower – a daisy – determined to get her little paws on it. Mordecai opened his mouth to scare the child off as he spotted a bee flying around the flower. But he was too late as the girls land grasped at the flower, startling the bee to stab into her hand. It's stinger broke off and was left in her little paw.

Just as soon as the stinger made contact, the little girls eyes watered and her mouth opened and out came a large and pained and scared wail! Mordecai's ears flattened back and he winced as Viktor's brow over his good eye raised. The girl had a strong set of lungs for someone so little. And she used them well as she wailed and wailed, large tears streaming down her cheeks.

"Ugh! Would someone make her stop! She's disturbing the peace and giving me a headache!" Mordecai exclaimed over the child's wailing. The girls nursemaide ran towards her and scooped her up, dotting and cooing at her, asking her what was wrong. But the little girl continued to wail and scream her little lungs out, shaking and crying.

Mordecai's hand was twitching to use the gun! Of course he wouldn't kill the girl – that would look bad for him and Atlas – but he wouldn't mind using it to scare the nursemaid away with the child. However his thoughts were stopped as Viktor charged suddenly towards the two. The nursemaids eyes widened as Viktor stepped infront of her. She babbled apologies for the girl and tried to step back and leave, only to squeak as the small girl was plucked by the scruff of her neck from the woman's arms.

Modecai watched as Viktor sat the little girl on his arm and held out her paw and easily plucked the thorn like stinger from her hand. "There, see, diet'a," he growled out, his deeper and almost loud voice causing the childs tears and wail to stop as instantly as they came. "no more crying. Small pain is nothing to cry over. Be strong, ya?" The small child looked up at him with wide eyes as the nursemaids jaw dropped. Viktor held the girl up by the scruff of her neck once more so that she was eye level with him, his single green eye peering into hers.

Mordecai waited for the child to start wailing in fear at such a scruffy and unappealing character as Viktor peering back at her with his scary mug. He was almost floored when instead the girl suddenly let out a squealing giggle and reached her paws out to pat at his nose. Viktor's mouth twitched in almost a smile, before he lowered the girl back into the nursemaids arms. The woman's mouth snapped shut and she thanked him quickly before turning to leave with the child.

"Who'd have thought you were good with kids, Viktor," Mitzi called out. The two men looked over as Mitzi waved at them. They were all standing and chatting under a tree now, having seen the whole thing. Viktor scowled and sent a sharp and immobilizing glare to them before turning around to once again stand by Mordecai.

Mordecai had composed himself from shock by the time Viktor had returned to his spot. He looked over and up at the large tom before commenting "you wont get your reputation back just by glaring and growling this time, Viktor." The orange and scruffy male growled something in Slovak at him, but otherwise said nothing, allowing silence to add to what Mordecai had assumed been a threat. He scoffed and turned back to adjusting his cufflinks.

D'aww, look. I made Viktor almost cute hehe ;P