"Come on we have to get ready." Krista sighed and nudged Delta Rue towards the stairs. They had a little less than two hours to get packed up for a week's vacation, and Krista had no idea where they were going. Roo had told her nothing, and it frustrated her beyond belief.
Delta Rue didn't appreciate being pushed along; she tried to squirm away from her mother, but it was futile. Eventually the child sighed exasperatedly (where on earth had she picked that up? Well, two guesses really. Krista or Payton- both parents were bad for that little habit) "Get ready for what?"
"We're going on a little trip. Apparently." Krista huffed a little, still not sure what on earth Roo was thinking; there was no way they would be ready to go, to a place that Krista had no idea of, by seven pm. She shook her head slightly. "Let's just get packed up, okay?"
"Well… where are we going?" right, she had to expect her daughter to ask her that question.
Krista paused for a moment; physically stopped on the stairs, while her mind spun quickly trying to find something useful. "It's a surprise." She smiled brightly.
Delta Rue's brows furrowed together slightly as she looked at her mother. She was happy and excited, but she was confused. She was used to rational thinking due to her mother. Seeing Krista clearly just as confused as her did little to settle her; for a child her age, she certainly had a lot of questions to ask. "But why all of a sudden?"
Krista smiled softly at her daughter, finding there was only one way to stop the questions. "Remember about a week ago when Rupert was here, and he had to leave early?"
Delta Rue seemed to freeze in place for a moment; her heart rate went up as the excitement crept over her small body. "And he promised the next time would be something fun?" her voice was hopeful as her eyes sparkled.
Smiling, Krista nodded her head gently, "Yep. So hurry and get ready!" she laughed as she shooed her daughter up the stairs, "We don't want to be late for him!"
Satiated, and with the brightest smile that a child of her size could manage, Delta Rue flew up the stairs and towards her room. Her mother followed her closely behind; Krista knew she was going to have to help her daughter pack before she was able to put together her own bags.
The young mother rubbed her eyes tiredly; Delta Rue was taking longer than she'd given her credit for; it never took the child this long to pack to go to her father's home for a week. Still, she supposed that had to do with the fact that Payton had many of the things that the child needed already in his flat. But really, did she need every outfit that she owned, just for a week? Well, maybe to the little girl she did, but Krista had no idea what to think. She adored Roo, and admired his sense of adventure (actually she was quite happy that his more intrepid side was coming forth again), but in all honesty she was a thirty year old woman, and he was shortly to be turning thirty one. There was really no reason to be acting like a school boy and sweeping her away for a week. Well actually she supposed that it was less like a schoolboy, due to taking her daughter with them which meant very little time actually alone together, and more like he was trying to fill the role of responsible young man who just happened to think it was proper to drop work when he felt the urge. She tried to shake it off. Roo obviously knew what he was doing. Still, she would have been more at ease if he had at least told her where they were going. Did they need passports? She rather doubted it, but then again she didn't know.
"Mummy?" Delta Rue spoke up, and Krista froze; realizing that she'd been lost in her thoughts for some time, and had barely heard a word that had come from her daughter's mouth.
She swallowed slightly. "Yes Sweetheart?"
"Can I take Mr. RooRoo?" the little girl pointed towards the aged plush kangaroo that sat loyally on her bed; a silent sentinel to watch the child through the nighttime hours. He wasn't a teddy bear, but he more than filled the criteria; fending off nightmares and midnight monsters.
The smile pulled at Krista's painted lips, and she couldn't help it as the warmth of her expression spread clear across her face and into her eyes. "As long as you promise not to lose him."
The child's eyes grew wide in horror, "Oh no! I wouldn't lose Mr. RooRoo!" she looked genuinely worried at the thought.
Nodding her head gently, Krista already knew that the kangaroo toy meant the world to her five year old daughter. "I know. I'll tell you something special about Mr. RooRoo, shall I?" beaming she walked over to the bed and motioned for the little girl to sit down beside her. Delta Rue naturally grabbed the soft toy, and held it tightly to her breast as she snuggled into her mother's side. Krista watched her for a moment; recalling every single memory that she could that involved that toy kangaroo. She took a deep breath so she could start off the story with a bit of a bang; she wanted Delta Rue to remember this one if she remembered no other story of hers. "Once upon a time there was a little girl, much like you. She was a little younger than you when her journey started."
Delta Rue watched her mother with awe filled, wide eyes. Already enraptured with the tale, she wanted to hear more. Waiting on bated breath, she wiggled in her place slightly; the kangaroo still held tightly to her breast.
"The poor child was very small, not much older than a baby, when she lost her parents – now, don't be frightened. The princess was too young to remember what happened when the dragon attacked their carriage; and it was a blessing. Sadly, the King and his Queen did not survive the attack, but the little Princess lived on. You see King's horsemen found the princess, wrapped in her swaddling clothes, safely nestled in the remnants of the charred carriage."
"What happened to her?" Delta Rue was more than a little worried; Krista could see it in her eyes. She was just happy that the little girl wasn't asking who the child princess was; she couldn't bear to tell her the truth.
"Well that's the very thing! The horsemen protected her until they could find the Princess' fairy godmother. But, the fairy godmother, being already very old and busy with her fairy duties, blessed the Princess, and found a new family for the Princess to join. Another King and Queen, of a different land, took the sweet little child into their home."
"Was she happy?"
"Well, not a first. You see, the King and Queen who took her in already had three children of their own: one Princess and two Princes. At first the little Princess thought that she was unwanted, and she was sad; she missed her own Mummy and Daddy, even though the King and his Queen took good care of her.
"Sometimes, when the little Princess was a little older, just about your age, she would have nightmares about the dragon attack on the carriage, and she would wake up crying. The King and Queen could do nothing to console her, though they tried valiantly. Not even her fairy godmother could help her; none in the land could calm her fears though many tried. And so, she grew up hounded by dreams of dragons, and fire."
Delta Rue's brows furrowed together in a look of pure concern. "What happened to the Princess, Mummy?"
"Well, as the Princess was troubled by the nightmares every night, the King and Queen's eldest son, the Prince, vowed to cure her himself. He was very brave, and very sweet; the Princess liked him very much. You see, the Prince was the Princess' closest friend growing up; the King and Queen's younger son and daughter never cared much for the Princess' place in their house- oh they never harmed her, or treated her poorly, it's just that the Prince was her hearty companion through thick and thin. So, when no one else in the land could cure her, the Prince set out on a quest.
"Scouring the lands, travelling Kingdom to Kingdom on his trusty steed, the Prince sought out Witches, Wizards, Sorcerers, Fairies, and Elves to find a cure for his beloved Princess." Krista was hardly able to contain her affectionate smile; told the right way this story could be one of the best fairy tales she'd ever recited to Delta Rue. "Eventually, after much searching and a long, long, way from home, the Prince found himself in the presence of a powerful Sorceress. The Prince, though he had never given up hope in his quest, was tired and unsure if a cure could at all be found for his Princess. But the Sorceress' magic was more powerful than that of the fairy godmother, or the others that the Prince had met on his journey, and she promised the Prince that she could cure the Princess' night terrors.
"But, the remedy would come at a price; the Prince had to give her something in return for her favour."
Delta Rue's eyes searched her mother's; her irises flickered back and forth between Krista's as she sat now upon her knees on the bed and hugging the slightly ragged plush toy as tightly as she could manage to. "What did the Prince have to give her? Was he okay?!"
Krista smiled a little sadly as she looked at her daughter; she was so enrapt in the story that her mother had woven for her. "The Prince was alright, but the price was a heavy one. In return for the cure for his beloved Princess' nightmares, the Sorceress took from him a certain magic; the deal that they struck stated that in return for the cure, the Prince would never be a father; he would never have a son or daughter of his own."
Delta Rue gasped as her eyes widened a little further.
"But the Prince cared not; he willingly made the deal with the Sorceress for his Princess. When the Sorceress was paid, she set about making the best cure for nightmares that existed. Taking the softest of fabrics and furs the Sorceress stitched together a toy with magical thread. She made the animal with the face of a deer, the ears of a rabbit, the arms of a dog, the strong back legs of a hare, and a powerful tail the likes of which had never been seen before. The Prince watched her in awe as she built the strange, but handsome, creature. The Sorceress whispered enchantments, casting a spell over the toy as she wove her magic throughout it.
"By the time the Sorceress had completed her spell, the sun was setting. As darkness fell over the woman and the Prince, the most wonderful thing happened! The animal shimmered with an inner light of gold, and twitched his nose. His ears followed next; flicking slightly as he blinked his eyes. The Prince was in awe; admiring the creature openly. "This will cure the Princess?" he asked the Sorceress excitedly. 'No', the Sorceress told him. 'The Princess can never be cured of her nightmares, but she will never be bothered by them again, so long as this creature is by her bedside.' Confused, the Prince looked back to the odd animal that was shaking itself off slightly. He cautiously approached the animal, 'What is your name?' The creature looked up to him and straightened his back. He raised one paw and pressed it over his heart as he stood tall. 'I am Sir RooRoo; a Knight of the Dream Kingdom.' He bowed down before the Prince, who returned the gesture."
"But how was Sir RooRoo supposed to help the Princess?"
"Well, now, you see that's exactly what the Prince wanted to know. 'I am Knight of the Dream Kingdom, good Prince.' Sir RooRoo replied gently. 'By day I shall be a child's toy, and by night I shall wake. I shall battle dragons, trolls, and monsters for the Princess; for it is my duty to assure that no person is troubled in their sleep.'
"Satisfied, the Prince thanked the Sorceress for her help. The next morning the Prince carefully wrapped the toy animal in his softest cloak, and held the bundle close his heart he returned home. It took the Prince many days and nights, but he finally returned his Kingdom in the spring. He arrived just in time for his Princess' birthday. The Princess was very happy to see her Prince, and delighted in his tales of travel. But when sunset came, the Prince once again brought Sir RooRoo from his place wrapped in his cloak. Curious, the Princess watched as the Prince set the toy on the floor of the castle; in clear view of the sun. 'Sweet Prince, what is this wonderful beast that you have laid at my feet?' the Princess asked him gently. But the Prince merely smiled softly as the last rays of the dying sunlight filtered in through the castle window and grew over the cold stone floor before finally reaching the plush toy.
"Around them, the entire court; the King and Queen, the other Prince and Princess, all the nobles and servants, gasped in wonder as the animal glimmered with golden light and transformed. Sir RooRoo stood tall before he bowed low for the Princess. 'My Lady, your Prince has travelled far and wide to seek remedy to your night terrors. He has faced many challenges and hardships, but he has done it all out of love for his Princess.' Sir RooRoo slowly raised himself once again. 'I am honoured to serve you and your Prince, for I am Sir RooRoo of the Dream Kingdom; a Knight. I swear on my very tail that I will protect you from all Monstrous Beings in your dreams as your Prince protects you in your waking life. You have my word, fair Princess.'
"And ever after that day Sir RooRoo stood guard over the Princess while she slept. Every night Sir RooRoo would come to life and battle back the dragon of her nightmares, and every night he would be victorious. Since that day Sir RooRoo has been handed down, mother to daughter, to protect every child in her sleep. There's no other like him, for no one else in the entire world, save for the Prince, would have quested until they had found the impossible cure."
Delta Rue was still enraptured with the story, but something bothered her about it. "What happened to the Prince?"
Krista's shoulders slumped slightly as she thought about; she'd not been expecting Delta Rue to pick up on the plot hole that mentioned the price that the Prince had to pay for the cure, or that Sir. RooRoo had been handed down from mother to daughter. She wasn't entirely sure what to say.
Delta Rue, seeing her mother practically floundering trying to think of what to say, spoke up again. "Didn't the Princess marry him?"
Krista's brows furrowed together gently. "No sweetheart."
"But why not?! The Prince loved her!"
The young woman nodded her head gently, "He did, and the Princess loved him in return; with all her heart. But, the Princess married the King of another land, and had a daughter of her own. Sir. RooRoo went to the Princess' daughter shortly after she was born."
"And the Prince?" Delta Rue's eyes were large and full of sadness.
"The Prince…" she paused for a long moment, looking for what she wanted to say exactly. "The Prince… well he… he ended up touring the Kingdoms; a travelling hero for all those who needed help." There, maybe that would appease her child.
"So he never married?"
Damn it. She really should have seen that one coming. "No Sweetheart."
Delta Rue, still clinging to the stuffed kangaroo for all it was worth, seemed to wilt ever so slightly. "Oh…"
Krista smiled sadly; the fairy tale was set, but realty was another beast; there was a chance for the Prince to be with his Princess. They just had to try.
Krista glanced towards her daughter's alarm clock and gasped in shock. It was just passed six pm; the story had taken longer than she'd expected. She had just under an hour to try and get her daughter and herself sorted for a weekend god-knows-where. "Sweetie you have to hurry and pack! Roo will be here soon enough!"
Delta Rue brightened up again, and beamed brilliantly. "I think I've got everything. As long as I can take Mr. – Sir. RooRoo" she quickly corrected herself.
Krista smiled gently and nodded her head as she pushed her daughter's dark hair back and kissed her brow. "Of course you can take Mr. RooRoo. Just be careful with him."
"I will Mummy!"
Seven pm came like a bolt of lightning; fast and without warning. No sooner than the clock had turned over, than the front bell was ringing; Roo was already there to pick them up, and Krista was still packing the last of her belongings. Surprised, she stumbled and nearly tripped over a pair of shoes that she'd previously tossed out her way. Cursing, she straightened herself as the bell rang again. "Coming!" she called out, but she knew Roo couldn't hear her from his place on the front step. Rushing out of her bedroom, Krista stumbled again, nearly falling down the flight of stairs; she caught herself, thankfully, but didn't have time to reach the door.
Delta Rue was always told not to open the front door for anyone, for her own safety, but this time was different. She knew who was on the other side, and her mum wasn't able to get to the door right away. She was a little nervous (she still felt as though she was doing something that she shouldn't be doing) but very excited for what was coming. She was excited because they were going to be going on an adventure. The little girl had to stretch herself out while standing on her tiptoes in order to unlock the front door and turn the knob. She slowly pulled the red front door open and looked up at the man standing on the stoop. She knew him, but couldn't help but be just a little shy.
Roo stood with his back turned to the door; he'd rung the bell moments before and while he was waiting he'd turned to look at the neighborhood. Hearing the door ease open, he turned around expecting to see Krista. It took him a moment, but his eyes lowered until he saw his friend's little girl looking up at him. His expression changed from mild confusion to a bright grin that fully reached his eyes. "Hello Cookie!" he crouched down to be eye level with her.
"Hello…" she was just a little shy this time. But, she smiled in response to his.
Roo carefully grabbed the child and pulled her into a warm bear hug before lifting her up and shifting her into place on his hip. He stepped into the house and closed the door gently behind him with one free hand. Delta Rue wrapped her arms around his neck and snuggled close.
Krista, finally coming down off of the stair case, quickly walked over to them. "I'm sorry I was trying to finish packing and then I nearly fell down the – what are you wearing?" she looked the man up and down slowly. The last time she'd seen him Roo was wearing slim fitting grey trousers and a neutrally toned Henley, and she'd been expecting much the same of him this time. But, the sight that stood before her brought back the memories of years long passed. Her smile started to broaden as she took in every inch of his appearance.
Roo was wearing a pair of acid washed, grey-toned, denim trousers that fit nearly like a second skin. They were slightly ratty; the knees were torn open and threadbare while there were fraying holes littering the main body of each trouser leg; the thigh of each leg was bleached a little further than the rest of the trousers resting at nearly a white colour of denim. With the distressed jeans he was wearing a slim fitting tee shirt with a deep scooped collar; the shirt was the most ungodly colour; a brilliant, almost blinding, shade of red-orange (or fluorescent salmon might have been a better title). Over the blindingly bright shirt, he wore a tight fitted, blue acid washed, denim vest with fraying hems around the sleeveless seams. The vest was buttoned only to his upper abdomen, causing the top to open and gape over his chest. The two different washes of denim clashed, but judging by the shirt he was wearing, Roo honestly didn't care one lick about it. He wore a pair of totally black Converse (everywhere that a normal pair would be white on the sole, they were black) that were decorated with the Union Jack. But, most importantly, the young man had abandoned his thick framed glasses and was presumably wearing contact lenses. His hair had been trimmed and reshaped; Krista couldn't help but notice that it was the same shaped style, all but covering his right eye, that he'd worn in their last year of high school. And there, glittering slightly in the dying sunlight was the little gold song bird pendant on a chain by his heart.
He smirked ever so slightly as she looked him over; at first he was going to ask what was wrong with what he was wearing, but judging by the look she was giving him as her eyes raking him over, it was a good thing. Still, he wanted to hear her answer, and fought back a laugh as he asked "What's wrong with it?"
Krista looked up, snapped out of her reverie. But, she was quick to fire back a playful response. "It looks a bit like you raided the 80s for your fashion." She sneered, but her eyes were full of affection. "Find a temporal wormhole did you?"
Roo snorted as he smiled, "Yeah, well, you're the one that said you wanted your Peacock Dandy back."
Krista flushed a little; she hadn't really expected him to notice that part of her email. In fact, to be properly honest, she wasn't planning on telling him any of that originally. It just sort of slipped out while she was typing. Yes, she missed the brilliant exterior, but she loved him, not the clothes he wore; it was his choice how he wanted to dress even if it was in the dull and dark colours that seemed reminiscent of the gloomy London weather 90% of the time. "Roo I –"She tried to start; she wanted him to know that it didn't matter to her like that.
The man smiled fondly back at her while he held her daughter on his hip. He crossed the short distance between them in a few long strides, and put his hand to her cheek gently. Standing over her he pressed his lips tenderly to her forehead just under her hairline. But, he didn't speak.
Krista, at ease with him so close to her, slowly looped her arms around his tapered waist and kept him and her daughter close to her. She had to admit she'd missed the closeness that two people had when they knew every last detail about each other. She wasn't sure she'd ever had the same sense of lovingness and familiarity with Payton, or anyone else in the past. She wasn't sure she'd had it with Toby, who she'd nearly married before he cheated on her; she knew she'd never had it with Rupert (the other Rupert that she'd dated after Toby left), or Joseph. But at least Toby, Rupert, and Joseph she had a sense of casualness in their time; Jason was never warm with her. In all honesty Jason was cold with a flippant attitude; she was a trophy for him, and nothing more; one more girl to add to his manifest. With Roo there had never been a feeling of foreignness between them in their years of knowing each other, at least not while they were happy with one another. The last two years of High School barely counted; she had been a shadow of herself due to Jason, and Rupert had learned to put up walls to protect him from her which lead to her own walls and a greater sense of distance between them. But, for the many years that they had known each other before that it was never cold or isolated; there was always someone there. The only person with whom she'd come close to having the same feeling of affection was Noah, still it wasn't the same as the warm wash of lovingness that was flooding over her at the moment.
This. This was how it should have always been. Her daughter and her man both in her arms. Krista knew it had happened for a reason; without the separation between the two of them Delta Rue would never have been born. At least the child would not have been born in the way that she was. If it wasn't for the separation of the two formerly inseparable mates Payton and she would never have met or nearly married. They would never have had a child together. Krista had no doubt that she would have had Delta Rue in one way or another; there were after all things that could be done to overcome most cases of infertility in both men and women as long as one was willing to try, but the daughter that was born wouldn't be the same one that she'd had. But, she would have been Roo's daughter, and the two of them would have been together for the last twelve years. Would they be married? She didn't know the answer to that, but it didn't matter in the end. It didn't matter if that sort of end ever came; she'd be happy as long as they were together in some way. Most definitely though, Delta Rue wouldn't be only five years old. Krista knew in her heart that she'd been attracted, physically, to Roo longer than she cared to admit to him or to herself. He'd been her first proper crush (his mother, Marion, had laughed it off, calling it a silly phase) which she'd pushed back and ignored; after all he was her best friend and as much of family as he could be without being her blood relative. She'd liked him when he was still a ridiculously awkward preteen. She'd liked him when he hit puberty and grew nearly a foot in half a year; she'd liked him when he wore his hair long and untameable and in his face. She'd liked him when his face was hidden behind a pair of ludicrously thick rimmed glasses. When she came home from Europe and he'd completely changed his appearance for the better, it had been the icing on the cake. Krista knew deep down that if she'd just taken the chance and left Jason back then, that she and Roo would have been together emotionally and physically. There was little doubt, now that she thought about it twelve years later, that she would have had a child in one way or another by now. If she'd been with Roo, there was a chance that Delta Rue could have already been nine to ten years old. She would have been born around the time that Roo had been planning a wedding to Matilda Kinsley.
Unable to shake the feeling of what could have been, Krista slowly curled her fingers into the softened denim of Roo's faded and distressed vest until they gripped tightly the fabric in the curve of his lower back. Only moments had passed, but to Krista it had seemed like a lifetime (in the best meaning of the term possible). Closing her eyes, she breathed deep his scent. Above her Roo rested the lower half of his face gently against her forehead; staying close against her after he'd kissed her forehead.
Delta Rue was confused and bored. "Where are we going?" her voice broke the comfortable silence that had settled over the two adults, But neither seemed to mind too terribly; just glad to be at some form of peace.
Krista looked up at her daughter, "That's a good question sweetie." She turned back to Roo with a teasing smirk, "Where are we going, Roo?"
Smirking in response, Roo shifted the little girl slightly in his arms; he lifted a hand and wagged his finger at Krista briefly before tapping her on the tip of her nose. "I didn't tell you before, and I'm not telling you now."
Krista moved to retaliate; she really did need to know because she had to let Payton know where they were going to be for a week and she hadn't yet called. "Roo-"
But Delta Rue interrupted her (accidentally) "Is this an adventure?" she looked into the man's face seriously.
Roo turned his head and gazed back at the little girl who was holding onto him tightly. His eyes sparkled with the same childish mirth that had always been such a large part of his character. "Oh yes Cookie. You, me, and your Mummy are heading off onto an adventure"
The child giggled excitedly while she clapped her tiny hands (trusting her mother's friend enough to keep her safe in his arms while she wasn't holding onto him). She threw her arms back around his neck and hugged him tightly while she pressed a kiss to his cheek.
Needless to say Rupert was more than a little caught off guard by the kiss; his fine eyebrows rose high as his eyes widened and shifted to Krista. The woman looked positively delighted to see the interaction. Roo smiled gently as the shock wore off. Shifting Delta Rue once again ever so slightly he rubbed her back tenderly. "All right, let's go!" He turned around and started back towards the front door.
Krista gasped, "Wait!" she had to laugh at the eagerness. "I have to call Payton and tell him where we're going and for how long."
"No you don't. Let's just go." Roo half turned back; his left side facing her as he held onto the child.
Krista shook her head as she put her hands on her hips again. "This is the way it is when you break off a long term relationship with someone Roo. You have to let them know where you're going in case something happens."
Roo rolled his eyes. "Hello, I was the one married for eight years."
"Yeah, but you've never had a child to deal with." Krista said it before she thought it through fully; she hadn't meant it to come out that way.
Roo flinched a little and sniffed in order to keep himself calm; his nostrils briefly curled up in a snarl while his face remained emotionless.
Krista, wide-eyed, tried to reach out to him. "Shit. Roo I didn't –"
"I know…" his voice trailed off slightly. "But I stand by what I said. Just call him when we get there, otherwise he'll surely try and talk you out of going."
"All right." Krista sighed softly, "you win" she conceded teasingly. "Just let me get my bag; Delta Rue's is by the door." She felt bad, it was all she could do to just give in and agree. Besides the likelihood that something would happen that meant Payton needed to know was fairly slim. And it wasn't like he was scheduled to see his daughter in the next week.
Roo nodded his head gently as he leaned down to the side and grabbed the handle of the little girl's bag with is free hand. He stood up again, bringing the bag up with him. "Got it."
Krista nodded and fled back up the stairs to the main landing. Rushing into her bedroom and the en suite bathroom she grabbed her toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, and makeup bag she scurried back to her bed where the suitcase was still open. Shrugging it off and ignoring the "rational" half of her brain that was saying that she was running off with a man she didn't know (anymore) for a week to god-knows-where, she haphazardly stuffed the objects collected from the bathroom into the bundles of clothing before she forced the suitcase to close so she could zip it up. Honestly she hadn't packed that much, but it was a small suitcase, and some of the stuff in her bag were the things that Delta Rue couldn't fit in her own bag. She knew she still wasn't totally packed, but Roo and Delta Rue were waiting for her. So, opting that she could in theory buy anything else that she needed, she grabbed her suitcase and pulled it off the bed in an awkward manner and grabbed her purse and keys; her phone was already in her pocket and the charger in her suitcase.
She came down the stairs a few moments later, dragging the luggage with her, "Okay I'm ready!" she smiled brightly at her daughter, and Roo winked at her with a slight smirk on his face. Krista's heart jumped a little, but she had to wonder just what he'd planned for them for the next week. Better yet, how on earth had he managed to get that week off from work – oh… he probably hadn't. She shook it off and came down the stairs before meeting the two other people in the front entry way. "All set! Lead on Birdwhistle." She winked back at him in her teasing manner.
Roo, ever the most adult of them, thrust his tongue out of his mouth at her before heading out of the front door with the child in is arms and the Barbie duffle bag in hand. Krista snorted slightly to herself as she watched him walk out the door of her home; her eyes dropped a little and focused briefly on his denim clad posterior. Realising she was gawking Krista cleared her throat with a slight blush and followed him out. Locking up the door behind her, she followed him down the few short steps to the main driveway.
There was a shiny black BMW 3 Series sitting parked in front of her house. Krista blinked in surprise when she saw the vehicle. She was slightly dumbfounded. "That's not yours, is it?" she asked lamely. She knew it sounded stupid but she honestly wasn't expecting it.
Roo snorted softly and looked back over his shoulder at her as he fished his car keys out of his tight trouser pocket while awkwardly trying to hold Delta Rue in the arm he held her bag with. "Why, what's wrong with it?"
Blushing, Krista shook her head gently. "Nothing wrong with it… you just seem more like … a Fiat kind of guy…"
Smirking, Roo shrugged his shoulders easily and pressed the unlock button. Setting Delta Rue's bag down onto the driveway, he shifted her into his left arm so he could open the back seat of the BMW with his right hand. He clutched the keys in the same hand. He pulled the door open and slid the little girl down and around from her place on his side, and partially down over his front so that he could lift her with both hands as he bent over and placed her into backseat of his car. Delta Roo crawled in over the plush black upholstery and sat in the back seat excitedly. Roo smiled at her brightly as he leaned into the back of the car and fished the seatbelt out of its hiding place and brought it over the little girl. He clicked it into place as Delta Rue bounced exuberantly. "There you go sweetheart."
The young mother was smiling to herself as she watched the two of them; he was so good with her daughter. Roo was a natural.
Standing up straight again, Roo turned back to face Krista with his hand on the top of the backdoor. "I am a Fiat guy. I have one as well. This is normally the car I reserve for special occasions. And this, being a special occasion, was fitting of it. Besides, I wouldn't want to cram Delta Rue into the Fiat for an hour's drive, or longer due to it being Friday night and traffic." He smiled at her.
"Ahhh…" Krista wasn't sure what to say.
Roo moved to close the back door, but Delta Rue, who had been previously bouncing, suddenly stopped with a horrified look on her face. "Wait!"
Roo and Krista's attention snapped back to the little girl as Roo held the door still. "What's wrong?" blinking he questioned the little girl.
"I left Mr. RooRoo inside!" She strained against the seatbelt a little; wanting to get out and get the stuffed kangaroo.
Roo's brows raised a little as he looked at her. Krista, almost embarrassed, set her bag down and pulled her keys out again. "I'll go get him. Be right back Hunny!" she hopped back up the steps and unlocked the front door before disappearing into the house once more.
Delta Rue was shifting around uncertainly, and Roo made it his purpose to quickly put the two girls' bags into the boot with his. Finished, he walked back around to the open door of the backseat and slid into the back of his own car with the little girl once again. Delta Rue was looking positively worried, and barely noticed him at first. She glanced up at the man worriedly, "I can't leave him alone."
"No you can't." Roo nodded in agreement.
"He might get scared!" Delta Rue looked up at him earnestly as she wrung her tiny hands together.
Roo gave her a placating smile and put his arm around her shoulders, "Now sweetheart, Brave Sir. RooRoo never gets scared. He just wouldn't know how to protect you when he wasn't with you."
Delta Rue chewed her lip, completely missing his use of the name "Sir. RooRoo" over the typical "Mr. RooRoo". But, she didn't have the time to think about it, because Krista emerged from the house with the stuffed animal triumphantly in hand. She held it up with a grin on her face before locking up the house for a second time and jogging back to the car.
"See? There he is, safe and sound." Roo smiled down at the little girl and kissed the top of her crown before slipping out of the car again. He stepped passed Krista with a smile.
Krista couldn't help herself; as he moved passed her, she leaned up slightly and kissed his cheek softly. Her free hand gripped his bare forearm gently; squeezing to say thank you to him for calming her daughter down. Pulling away, she leaned into the car and tucked the slightly ragged toy animal into the arms of her daughter, and kissed her forehead gently. "All set now?"
Delta Rue, hugging the toy for all it was worth, nodded her head gently. "Yes Mummy."
"Excellent! Watch your fingers and toes." Roo smiled and closed the door to the back of the car before turning to Krista. "I put your bags in the boot with mine."
She nodded and hugged him gently, "Thank you."
"It's just two bags." He laughed softly, playing dense.
Krista slapped his shoulder playfully, but kept hugging him. "You know what I mean. And I'm sorry I said what I did back there. I didn't mean to -"
"Don't be ridiculous, I knew what you meant. Now, get into the car!" he laughed, "I want to get on the road before it gets too dark."
Krista, feeling playful and trying to lighten the mood (more for herself as he didn't seem fazed in the least bit), straightened her back and saluted to him. "Yes Sir!"
"Oi shut up." He shooed her off towards the passenger's side of the car before sliding into the driver's seat and buckling himself as Krista did the same to his left. She looked up and gave him a quick smile which he reciprocated before starting up the BMW and pulling out of their driveway.
Within ten minutes they were onto the A102 and starting their adventure.