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infant_savant in wetheinvincible

NY: 52nd and Park: Marylou and Aoife

Aoife has her share of chores. They have a cleaning service, but Marylou expects her to keep her room tidy, put her own clothes away, help with the washing up. Today, as Marylou is out, and the dry-cleaning has just been delivered - by a startled young man who didn't expect to have the clothes signed for by a six year old - she's putting Marylou's things away as well as her own.

She doesn't have much - kids clothes are usually designed to be machine-washable, after all, but Marylou had seemed insistant that she needed some 'nice' things - Aoife thinks the other things she has were nice enough, but she does have to admit that cashmere just feels nicer.

So, her stuff is away, and she's just hanging Marylou's silk shirts, when she comes across one that's familiar. She flips the cuff back before she goes to put it in the closet - and frowns at a faint brownish stain on the thread. There's nothing on the fabric - it must be a different fibre.

She can't think of many things taht would stain like that - and she remembers the last time that Marylou was wearing that shirt. but, having looked at the faint mark, brows knitted, for a moment, she hangs it in the closet, shuts the door, and takes the plastic bags to put with the recycling.

So, when Marylou comes home, she finds Aoife sitting on the sofa, laptop in - surprisingly - her lap, the tv tuned to Anime Network.


She beams.

"Very good."

An eyeroll.

"And of course no one will find him. I hope you think I'm competant enough to clean up my own mess. After all, how can I be a good parent for you if I can't even keep myself out of jail."
"I would have thought so."

Aoife regards her again, eyes narrowed.

"Don't you mean guardian?"
She rolls her eyes with a grin.

"All in good time. Though you can't really think I'd let a bright girl go to some pathetic soccer mom who couldn't possibly give you the kind of tools you'll need for your developement..."

She runs a hand down Aoife's hair with a warm smile.

"You think I tell anyone about things like this? Of course not, sweetie."
Aoife snorts at that, rolling her eyes in response.

"Soccer mom, indeed. Are you. . ." She bites her lip. "Are you really going to keep me?"
She nods.

"I knew from the very first day what I wanted... but I didn't want to push. I wasn't about to force you to stay here till I thought you were comortable, that it was what you wanted." At least, I didn't tell you till now.

Another hand through her hair.

"But... for me, you're already my little girl."
Aoife smiles, and slips sideways a little onto the sofa, so she can worm her way into Marylou's arms - the first really spontaneous affection she's shown. Hand-holding is different - this is a proper hug.

"Just as long as," comes a voice slightly muffled by Marylou's shoulder, "I don't have to call you Mom."
She holds her little girl tight and shakes her head.

"I always hated the word too. Marylou is fine..."
"Good. Because it would make me think of my birth mother, and I already love you more than her."

Another thing about small girls - they can, on occasion, be disarmingly honest.
She nods.

"I'm glad, sweetie. So very glad."
There are snuggles.

This is perhaps odd, when the afternoon had started off with Aoife accusing Marylou of murder. Or, perhaps, it wasn't. Not really.

"Can we make gnocchi? There was a recipe on the food channel. It looked tasty."

And messy. No matter how old or how smart she got, Aoife would always want to play with her food.
She nods her head and giggles, just a little.

"Of course, Aoife. I was thinking I was in the mood for Italian."

"And we have all the ingredients." She remembers.

"Cooking is even more fun with company."
She nods and tilts her head towards the kitchen.

"Want to get started, honey? I'll be right in."
Aoife nods, finally shutting her laptop, sending it into hibernation mode, and hopping off the sofa. Time to grab ingredients. And, why would she need a cookbook when she has the recipe memorised?
She settles back on the sofa for a moment before closing her eyes, perhaps praying and perhaps just thinking, and then she's up.

"Anything else you were thinking of?"
"To eat?" She asks, looking over her shoulder from her crouch by the vegetable bin. She has Acquired Potatoes.

"Well, if we have the gnocchi with salmon and saffron, maybe? And - what would you like for pudding?"
"I was thinking chocolate," she admits as she walks in. "And salmon and saffron sounds good to me."
"Just chocolate on it's own?" With a small giggle. "Or did you want to do something with it?"

She is scrubbing potatoes at the sink, standing on a chair, and has a large pot of water coming to the boil on the stove.
She seems to consider that for a moment before stepping between the potatoes and the stove.

"Hmmmm... were you thinking of something with fruit? Chocolate and strawberries or so?"
The potatoes don't need much scrubbing - they're pretty clean. But she's cokking them with their skins on, thus the scrubbing. Now that they're scrubbed, she steps past marylou to the stove, to carefully drop them into the boiling, slightly salted water.

"Do we have strawberries?"
She nods.

"I picked up a box of the California long stems yesterday. They're at the bottom of the fridge. There's also some chocolate chips if we want to do a dip, or are we baking something?"
"How about you do pudding?"

Aoife is amused. How come, she's in charge or cooking? Not that she minds. While the potatoes are cooking, she makes a start on the sauce. Salmon fillet, hot pan, butter. Right.
She's in charge because Marylou believes in encouraging leadership when it's not harmful.

"All right."

Aoife gets a swift kiss to the cheek as she ducks out of the way and heads for the fridge.
Once the butter is bubbling away, but not browning - she's very careful not to burn it - in go the salmon fillets. She has saffron soaking in a little warm water, as well.

She turns to Marylou while the first side cooks.

"Why?" maybe a little abruptly.
"Why what, dear?"

She opens the fridge.
Los Angeles: The Beach

December 2006

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