-Cough- *sniffle* -Cough-
You continued making these little sickly sounds as you groggily looked up, the living room appearing to be dimmer by the second. Feeling very drowsy and tired, your eyelids began to close more and more on their own and you let your legs dangle limply as your carrier opened the door and brought you inside, signaling that you were almost to your destination.
Delicately lying you down onto your bed and tucking you under the soft, cotton sheets, the gentle blond settled down beside you as he took in the sight in front of him.
Red nose, coughing fits, constant drowsiness--
He lightly brought his hand over to your currently warm forehead but pulled back rather quickly.
-And make that a high temperature that could cook pancakes in no time.
"Oh maple…" He finally murmured under his breath and continued to look down at you worriedly.
You sniffled as you peered back up and let out additional coughs that made your throat ache more.
He sighed lightly and soon walked over to your door. Looking back at your worried face and ill form in bed, he paused before continuing, "Don't worry, _____. Daddy will be right back." He assured you and soon closed the door after him.
In a few minutes, a handful of supplies were bundled in Matthew's arms and now laid out on top of your nightstand. You saw a sippy cup with an orangey color inside, your stuffed polar bear, Kuma, a tissue box, and- wait. What was THAT?
Suddenly your half-closed eyes widened as they realized it was what you absolutely dreaded most:
You shuddered just looking at it and hissed at the bottle. Matthew noticed this and softly pleaded, "Please take it, _____, you need this to get better." You pulled back stubbornly as he approached you with a spoon filled with the pink medicine. He sighed and knelt down beside your bed to reach your eye level better and started urging you more. "Please, at least one sip. For me..." his calm violet eyes looked at you wearily. You finally gave in and shut your eyes tight, allowing the bitter, cherry-flavored syrup to stream down your throat. Pulling back up immediately, you saw your father smile gratefully, making you reluctantly smile as well.
"See? That wasn't so bad, was it?" He took the spoon filled with the deadly pink liquid away from you and watched you slowly nod.
"It should make you feel better shortly. But until then, I really need you to rest." He gazed back at you and noticed you meekly pulling the bed sheets up to your nose.
"You know, if you ever need to, _____, you could always use your nightlight." Matthew motioned to the little, adorable maple-leaf nightlight plugged near the side of your bed.
"But… Uncle Aly makes fun of me for using a nightlight and said that I won't grow up to be a hero like him if I'm afraid of things, like the dark or the booger man…" you trailed off.
Matthew carefully stifled a chuckle, soon lowering the sheets from your face and gently brought it down midway across your arms. "Would you like to know a secret, _____?" He smiled, getting a very interested nod in response. Signaling for you to come closer, you leaned in forward as he whispered, "Your uncle Al was also afraid of the dark when we were younger. Maybe even more scared than you're feeling now." Pausing, he continued, "Hmm.. if I recall correctly, he actually had a superman nightlight right next to his bed."
"Yes," Matthew started chuckling lightly, "Don't tell him I said this, but…. he even used to wet the bed when we were children."
Now giggling uncontrollably, you were soon accompanied by Matthew laughing along with you, happy to make you feel better whilst guiltily laughing at his brother's expense during his early childhood, bed-wetting days.
After both of your laughter died down, Matthew started stroking your hair lightly. "You don't ever have to be afraid of the dark, ____. Al is too silly to know what a strong, little girl I have here and how brave you really are." Reaching for the fluffy polar bear, he tucked it in beside you and added softly, "Besides, the Bogeyman would never go after someone so adorable and sweet."
Pretty soon Matthew knelt down in front of the wall outlet, plugging in the cutely-designed nightlight. He watched you relax a bit, soon feeling very safe and rid of any trace of fear.
Suddenly, the friendly Canadian gazed down at his watch and saw it was now currently your bedtime. "Well I guess it's time to go to bed now.." Matthew stated, yawning a bit himself. Heading towards the light switch, he smiled warmly and quietly said, "Good night, sweetheart. Sweet dreams."
"Wait..! Daddy, could you please stay here with me?"
"Of course, sweetie." he smiled and turned the switch off, leaving the small nightlight to glow light red. Taking a seat on the other side of the bed, Matthew watched you snuggle softly against your warm bed and snow-light polar bear, slowly drifting into sleep.
'Get well soon, my mini maple leaf.'
- - - - - - - - - -
You awoke the next morning, pleasantly greeted by rays of sunlight peeking through your window and plenty of sleep that made you feel a bit better from yesterday. Not to mention the delightful smell of freshly made pancakes coming from downstairs filled your little nostrils. Suddenly feeling hungry, you slowly wandered down the carpet stairs with your polar bear clutched in your arm, making your way to the living room.
"Daddy?" you poked your head into the small kitchen nearby and spotted your father finishing his breakfast.
He looked up abruptly and smiled, but still had a concerned look in his eyes. "Yes, _____? Are you feeling better?"
"I think so. But now I'm hungry…" you announced while clutching onto your stomach for emphasize. "My tummy needs food..!"
Chuckling, Matthew got up from where he was seated and walked over to refrigerator, guiding you to follow along.
"Would you like some pancakes? I can start a new batch for you." He smiled thoughtfully.
"Yes!!" you exclaimed. You could never get tired of his warm fluffs of heaven.
"Would you like to help?" He asked when he noticed you soon standing a bit awkwardly, playing with the hems of your sleeves. You now started nodded up and down excitedly instead. Smiling at his little helper, Matthew headed towards the refrigerator; you following in suite after you left Kuma on a chair, seated at the living room table.
You suddenly paused as you realized something. "But.. how can I help?"
"Hm.. do you want to help out with the ingredients?"
"Okay!" you chimed as you went over to the fridge and rummaged through it while Matthew fetched a pan and other important necessities for making pancakes.
He turned around, pleasantly surprised as he saw you with pancake mix in one hand and a bag of M&M's in the other.
"I see we're having a colorful breakfast this morning." He chuckled. "Okay, now that we have what we need, it's time to start making pancakes."
"Daddy, I can't see anything from down here."
"Okay, on the count of three… one, two, and three..!" Matthew playfully lifted you up, allowing you to help stir and sprinkle the M&M's onto the pancake batter placed on the counter.
Matthew then flipped the pancakes and placed them on a plate. You both took a bite, enjoying the little bursts of chocolate coming from the pancakes. You even offered them to your loyal polar bear, who seemed to be enjoying it as well.
Suddenly there was a loud knock on the door, breaking the pleasant silence going on in the kitchen. Without another second to spare, the door abruptly burst open.
"Hey Mattie! What's up, little dudette?" You and Matthew were both greeted by your uncle, who seemed to sense the pancakes from a huge distance away.
"What'cha guys got there?" A goofy smile spread onto his face.
"Ooh, can I have some??" Al asked, practically drooling at the sight and scent of the colorfully spotted pancakes.
"No way, Bed Wetter!" you cried out.
Matthew couldn't control his laughter this time as he saw the look on Al's face. It was absolutely priceless.
A creative cook and a threat to his brother. Matthew let out a happy smile, feeling very proud of his mini maple leaf.