An 'Iron Chef' challenge fic by Brother Grimace
Cheer up sleepy Jean
Oh what can it mean
To a daydream believer
And a homecoming queen
-from Daydream Believer, by The Monkees
Trent smiled as he stood in the doorway of the nursery, watching as his wife held up a crying infant from the crib, waving the child's tiny hand at him. "Look, it's Daddy," the woman said, smiling as the child saw Trent and stopped crying, holding out her hands for Trent to come and hold her. "Oh... you want Daddy to hold you?"
Stepping into the room, Trent walked over to his wife, kissing her before taking the baby into his arms. "Hey, little one," he said softly, gently rocking the baby as she snuggled close to him, quieting down almost immediately. "Been giving your mom a hard time?"
"She's trying to follow in her daddy's footsteps," his wife told him, reaching up to kiss him again. "I thought you said that you'd be back before noon."
"Jane got back into town," he said, the feel of his wife's fingers stroking the back of his neck as as their lips moved apart making sparks fly up and down his spine. "Hey... stop doing that. That's how the little muffin ended up here... do you want another one right away?"
"Yeah, yeah, making more promises that you can't keep," his wife whispered, before their lips touched once more. "You haven't really done anything that could get me pregnant in the three months since she got here - not that I haven't enjoyed everything else that you've done. Most men aren't about anything but pleasing themselves... and that's another thing that I love about you."
The feel of the baby pulling at his shirt - over the past few months, Trent and the missus had learned to do things while holding their child - brought him back to Earth. "Hey, muffin," he said, smiling down at the baby. "Daddy hasn't forgotten you."
He let the child play with his fingers, her eyes wide as she pulled at his index finger, looked up at him and then pulled on his thumb before she tilted her head just the tiniest amount; her mouth began to close upon the thumb-
"Sorry, muffin. Daddy needs that so he can feed you."
"Glad you said that, Dad." His wife let that smile - that tiny smile that said so much - as she glided from the room with a gracefulness that always made his heart skip beats. "I'll be in our room - with the breast pump."
She stopped, and glanced back at him. "Care to help?"
She strolled off, and Trent looked down at his daughter. "And the sad thing is that someday, I'll have to chase some boy away from our house with a shotgun because of you - just like her dad tried to chase me off. Thank God she made me spend some cash to get the car fixed up."
The baby managed the tiniest bit of a smile as she looked up at Trent, and his heart went out to her. "Yeah, you can come with me," he said, cradling her so that her head was supported properly. "Daddy's got you... Daddy's not going anywhere."
"TRENT! GET UP!"
Trent's eyes opened into bleary slits. "I won't run off, honey..."
"Trent - wake up - and stop being so grabby before you do!"
The sound of his sister's voice drew Trent fully from sleep. "Huh-? Oh... hey, Janey. Sorry about - what did I do?"
"You were five seconds and a grope away from me making a you-shaped hole in that wall, dope!" Jane Lane said, throwing a stinky t-shirt at Trent's head. I don't know what you were dreaming about, but you really need to get a girlfriend!"
The smile that Trent dreaded crossed his sister's face. "If you want - I know someone who would just love to volunteer..."
Trent sighed, swinging his legs over the side of the bed. He had grown just as tired of Jane's yenta routine as Daria Morgendorffer was - and perhaps even moreso, even though he understood how she felt... what with the near-constant stream of one-night stands that went through, not to mention the constant 'on-again, off-again' nature of his - well, whatever it was - with Monique.
Yeah, I understand, Janey, he thought, noticing the expression on his sister's face as he saw the spaghetti-string top of some girl from Lawndale State University that he snagged after a particularly good gig at McGrundy's Pub... Macy - I think her name was Macy. The word for her was 'loud'... yeah. You want something stable for me. For me, and for you, because Mom and Dad sure didn't give us that...
"Trent! Come on! You promised to give us a ride!"
"Yeah... yeah. Just a moment."
Trent reached down for his shoes as Jane, a look of uncertainty and annoyance on her face, slipped out through the doorway.
Yeah, Trent thought, imagining that he could almost feel the warmth of a baby's head against his chest, and the scent of baby shampoo.
A stable home. A real home.
Yeah. That would be nice.