Sophie stays the night
Barney!at the Disco
Alt title: Two for Tea and Tots for Socks
And so it was arranged that the girls would keep a weather eye out for Sophie while the boys performed that evening and who, in addition to listening to Eric's (who still hadn't left yet them yet) pre-show rundown on the evening's procedures, had to endure Spencer's long list of "Do's and Don'ts" of babysitting. His protectiveness would have been rather cute had it not consisted of an hour and a half of explaining meal-time procedures alone.
Who knew preparing mac and cheese and baking frozen chicken nuggets could be so hard...............
"Is he insane?" Grace whispered to Natalie after Spencer had left the room. Thanks to Spencer, the girls had been drilled over a quarter of a million times about how to make Sophie's dinner. Liz was too distracted by playing Slide, the infamous hand-clap game, with the cute little tyke. Natalie was sitting next to Grace on the couch, still scratching her head and wondering how in the world they were going to get Sophie to bed, what with all the tricks and methods they were supposed to use. A huge notepad, previously completely devoid of any markings, sat by her side, every page filled with tiny hand writing and the whole packet bearing the heading "Sophie's Dinner".
"No, he's not insane. Just...a bit overprotective...in a...cute way?" Liz asked as she wrinkled up her nose at what she just said. When Liz saw Natalie's reaction to what she said (outright laughter, nonetheless) she only smiled and exclaimed, "Well, it was cute! Even you have to admit that!"
"The cute part, I will admit to. The part with the whole hour and a half drilling of meal-time procedures...not so much." Grace pointed out with a sigh to Liz. Liz nodded a bit, and kept hand-clapping with Sophie. Sophie giggled loudly, and screamed, "I'm gwonna beat you Aunty Liz! Aunty Liz! Aunty Liz!" She was downright hyper, that was for sure.
"Dude, the kid's gonna combust. Look how hyper she is." Natalie said monotonously to Grace. Grace only rolled her eyes, and voiced, "She's a kid, Natalie, what do you expect? She's not going to sit down at her desk and do summer homework or something."
"I won, I won, I won!" Sophie laughed, and ran around the small room. Liz simply grinned, and said, "Give Aunty Liz a hug!"
"Because I won?" The little girl asked curiously. "Aunty Liz gets a hug because I won?...But Spencer tells me to NEVER hug him when I win..." Her voice squeaked while she mused aloud.
"I think I'll start preparations on that mega long list of a meal. Otherwise, we might end up screwing it up and god knows what kind of kung fu maneuvers Spencer has that he can use on us if we screw this up." Natalie told Liz over her shoulder as she went to the fridge.
"You know...despite the fact she's sort of overbearing at times, she's really cute," Grace smiled wonderfully, and patted little Sophie on the head.
"Can we watch BARNEY now?" Sophie asked loudly, clapping her hands over and over, "Uncle Spencer said he watched it when he was my age and loved it!" She was now jumping up and down on the couch.
"Honey, stop clapping...it's annoying, and sit down! I won't be responsible for facing your Uncle's wrath if you fall and crack your head open. Yes, we will watch Barney soon. Just wait, ok?" Liz asked of the little girl softly.
"Why?! Why stop clapping?! Clap clap clap clap...Clap!" Sophie yelled uselessly into the room.
"Oh my god, make her shut the fuc-" Natalie groaned from the small kitchenette.
"Natalie! She can hear you, you know!" Grace whispered fiercely at the girl preparing Sophie's dinner quite clumsily.
"So? It's not like she's going to go repeating every swear word I say..." Natalie protested.
"You're kidding me, right?" Liz asked, in a distracted tone of voice. She was throwing a small rubber ball to the other end of the room, and Sophie would pick it back up and waddle back to Liz to make her throw it again.
The third time Sophie traveled to the back of the room to fetch the ball, Grace frowned a bit and looked at Liz weirdly. "Is it just me, or does this 'game' resemble the game dogs play...usually known as 'playing fetch'?"
Liz smiled coyly, "Its best not to question the methods that work the best." At that moment Sophie left the rubber ball in a corner and leaped onto Liz's lap, trying to pull the small heart shaped necklace off so she could get a better look, and pointing to the little locket asking, "What's this? What's this Aunty Liz? What's This?"
Liz looked down at the small girl and sighed in an exasperated fashion. She loved little children. But this one was so high energy....
"It's my necklace, now please, sweetie, don't touch it, it's very delicate."
"I wanna watch Barney! I never saw Barney! Uncle Spencer said I could watch Barney and have a treat!" Sophie now entreated her caretakers, the game of slide, clapping, jumping, the rubber ball, and necklace all forgotten in another bout of ADD like energy.
"After dinner Sophie. I promise! Right now do you want to read something? Look, here's an Amelia Bedilia book!" Grace said kindly, pulling to sit next to here and beginning to read, giving Liz a chance to help Natalie finish the meal (fit for any five star restaurant).
"Alright, Natalie....Grace..." Liz nodded to the two after they had their dinner, "I guess you guys have to go help out at the venue now..." She was reluctant to let her only two helpers leave her with the little bundle of....joy... but Liz had volunteered to baby-sit, and the band needed as many assistant managers as were available.
And then there were two.
Liz turned to Sophie, who was eagerly downing chicken nuggets dipped systematically in mustard, ketchup, pickle relish, and finally parmesan cheese. Sophie was very picky about the order, and which condiments were to be used.
"So, sweet heart, what do you want to do?" Liz smiled, dodging the swipe made for her blouse with mustard laden chicken.
"Watch Barney! Watch Barney!" the little girl begged happily.
Popping in a Barney DVD, there was soon a vision of a huge purple dinosaur singing "I love you, you love, me, we're one happy family". Liz hoped to God that Sophie was not the sort of girl to sing every annoying song that she heard. She stole a glance towards the toddler and did a double take.
Tears were welling in the girl's eyes, huge, wet, rolling tears, that began to slowly roll down her cheeks, soon accompanied by several painful wailing screams.
"Sophie!" Liz rushed to her in a panicked state, "What's the matter baby, are you okay? Did you hurt yourself? Spencer is going to KILL ME! Sophie TALK TO ME!"
"S-s-s-s-scaaaryyyyy" The child cried, throwing herself on Liz and squeezing the living daylights out of her.
"What's scary, sweetie?" Liz asked bewilderedly gasping for breathe.
"Dat monsther!" Sophie snuffled into the older girl's shoulder, a slight lisp from the crying and snuffling.
"Barney?" Liz asked kindly, rocking the child back and forth, speaking in a soothing tone.
Liz rolled her eyes behind Sohpie's back, but soothingly rubbed her back with one hand, while she reached for the remote and switched of the TV with the other.
"There, there. Barney is gone now, and he won't come back. He isn't even real. Don't worry...Spencer shouldn't have had that shown something like that to a sensitive little..." she let this trail off, but the child, one to quickly blame other people, picked up on this.
"Uncle Spencer is a MEENIE!" She yelled through her tears, standing with renewed vigor and placing her hands on her hips, her tiny little eye brows creased in anger, "I never want to see him AGAIN" She finished in a wail.
Liz turned pale. This could be bad.
"Bren...." Jon was alone with Brendon in a rather closet-like changing room, changing between sets as a filler band played.
"Yes." Brendon gasped out as he hopped up and down to get his bottom into his costume pants. Apparently he'd been eating more junk foods than his apple bottom could take.
"You....and....Liz." Jon paused as if wondering how to voice his thoughts, or maybe wondering whether or not he SHOULD voice his thoughts, "do you, are you.....are you trying to get her?"
Both men stopped changing, and turned to look at each other.
"What? I thought I was being obvious!" Brendon said, half worriedly, half indignantly, "Natalie is the one who I keep trying-" he paused and added darkly, "and by the way she keeps fawning over Beckett, apparently failing- to get the attention of."
Jon felt a wave of relief wash over him, washing away more tension then he was aware he was holding in: it was good to know that one of his best friends wasn't trying to get with Liz.
"Well then," He said, not sure what else to say, "Well then..."
"Why?" Brendon asked curiously, "Do you-" he studied Jon's face, "YOU DO LIKE HER!" He cried triumphantly, thwacking him on the back.
"Well...she's nice." Jon smirked at his friend, "but I thought you two were close. Especially seeing you two on the couch all the time, and playing around."
"She is nice," Brendon agreed, "but I always play around with my friends, you know that. It's not...flirting. Hell if that's what you would call flirting I flirt with Ryan all the time."
Jon laughed heartily at this.
"Dude, you DO flirt with Ryan all the time."
"Well bad example. But you know what I mean. I'm not going to steal your love interest." Brendon smiled reassuringly.
"Thanks, I'm kind of glad I told you then. I mean, that would suck you know? If we both liked the same girl."
Brendon nodded, "Yeah, but don't worry, nothing like that would ever ruin us, or the band, or anything!" He gave Jon a hug.
They then realized, at the same time, that they were two men having a very heart to heart talk, in a small space. Clearing their throats they stopped hugging as if they'd been burned and instead gave each other each a hearty slap on the back (at which each felt their knees give way a little), and held their shoulders a little more tighter and squarer, as if to increase their manliness.
They then proceeded to finish fixing their -very manly- make-up for the second set.
It was well past midnight when Natalie and Grace, accompanied by the four boys, returned to the hotel suite in which Liz was sitting Sophie. It was a peaceful night, the crickets where chirping, a light breeze was there, and it was the time of night that most toddlers are sounds asleep. At least that is what the group heading back from the concert assumed. The sight that met their eyes was...slightly different.
The dinner dishes lay abandoned where they had been left during Barney; the lights were turned up as brightly as they could shine, there seemed to be an absurdly unnecessary number of rubber balls strewn all over the room; a dress-up Princess dress was hung half-hazzardly over a tall lamp; and Marry Poppins herself, aka Liz, was sitting on the couch with a sleeping Sophie draped over her lap, rocking the small child gently, and looking quite beside herself with stress.
Indeed, if the room wasn't a scary enough site, then Liz was worst. She seemed paler than usual, on edge, jumpy, her hair was falling a little out of it's usually neat bun, and her eyes where bugging out at the site of her newest companions.
"Don't make a sound! Not one sound!" she hissed dangerously the minute she saw them, "It took her till a half hour ago to fall asleep and she refuses to sleep in her bed without someone and if you wake her up now..." she cut herself short when she noticed Spencer, "AND YOU!" She screeched, standing up and pointing at Spencer, sufficiently waking up Sophie and causing everyone to jump back, "how could you show her BARNEY! It scared her to DEATH! She thinks he's going to eat her, and she won't sleep, and she hates you now, and do you know what absolute Hel-heck it has been to try and calm her?" Sophie had crept up behind Liz and was now clutching her leg, glaring at Spencer as well.
"You made da monthters come back under my bed." She snuffled spitefully at Spencer, who looked utterly, completely, and wholly confused.
Poor Spencer. It would take several months until his niece fully forgave him.
"And she's awake again." Liz sighed, flopping back onto the couch, and pulling a blanket and resettling Sophie on her lap.
Spencer gapped, his mouth opening and closing, no sound coming out, just staring in shock.
"She...I...YOU....her..../ It's a children's show! It's not supposed to scare her! /" he managed to spit out finally.
Liz just shook her head at him sadly, while Sophie mumbled, "Aunty Liz keeps me safe."
"Lets go to bed." Ryan finally suggested into the subdued silence, "and deal with this in the morning."
It was well past 3 in the morning when Jon awoke, traipsing as silently as possible through the living room, where Liz and Sophie remained asleep, to the small kitchenette for a glass of milk, and the only cookie that had somehow escaped Brendon's notice.
The hotel suit itself was rather expansive. It had the main living room, which included deluxe lounging couches and chairs, a big screen TV, and a large coffee table. This living room became a small kitchenette and eating area off to the right, from the 'front door', of the room. To the left of this living room/lounge area was a small, but fully capable bathroom with Jacuzzi bath tub. Directly across from the front door, and at the back of the living room, where three doors. These doors led three bedrooms. The left-most one for Brendon and Jon, the middle for Ryan and Spencer, and the right-most door for Liz, Natalie, Grace, and now with the new arrival, Sophie. The girls room now had two folding beds, instead of only one (without the extra fold out bed -FOB, as it was fondly known as, courtesy of Pete's 'grand tour' of the hotel- there was only room for two girls to sleep as the beds where all twin beds).
The kitchenette was composed of a counter creating a square encirclement of a counter island. Against the wall was installed a small oven and refrigerator/freezer, cattycorner to the oven was a sink, next to which was a dishwasher and some cabinets, and at the island was a stove, and across from the stove a counter at which stood bar stools where one could eat. It was on one of these stools that Jon chose to consume his after-midnight-snack.
Jon had enjoyed his snack quietly, and without waking either Sophie or Liz, and was just congratulating himself on his suave stealthy ness, when he accidentally pushed over his chair while standing. This had no effect on Liz who, after hours of trying to entertain, comfort, and put to sleep a four year old, was dead tired, but Sophie was startled (she wasn't sleeping too well on account of her fear that Barney would leap out of the shadows and eat her). Her piercing screech was enough to wake Liz, but amazingly Ryan, Spencer, and Brendon, undoubtedly worn out from the concert, where not awaken by the noise. Even though they were understandably tired, it was still amazing that the sound didn't wake them.
"What're you doing?" Liz asked sleepily, patting Sophie's back and rubbing her own eyes.
"Snack," He said tonelessly, pointing to the milk glass he had left on the counter top, "You're still out here?"
Liz nodded tiredly and yawned, "Sophie's scared that Barney is waiting to eat her from under her bed..." Grace and Natalie were poking their head of their bedroom, asking what had happened.
"It sounded like a banshee...only....worse." Natalie yawned.
"It sounded like
Grace and Natalie soon went back to their beds, to weary to be bothered by the fears of a four year old, Jon wasn't so lucky.
Sophie was looking up at him with big, scared, eyes.
"Uncle Jon?" She asked, her voice seeming smaller, more innocent, coming from the darkness, "Where you awake because of the monsters?"
"No..." He said slowly, walking over to sit next to the little girl, hoping to comfort her so that he could go to bed soon. As soon as he sat down Sophie glomped onto him, preventing him from standing.
"She's scared to death of that silly show." Liz sighed from the other side of Sophie, "she won't sleep in her own bed, or anything," she mumbled whilst shaking her head to stop herself from nearly nodding off to sleep.
As Sophie refused to let Jon leave, aside from Spencer, her real uncle, Jon had always been a favorite, and soon the little girl drifted off to sleep with her head resting on Liz's shoulder.
"Hey," Liz's voice softly broke the silence, "You can probably sneak back to bed."
"It's okay, I don't want Sophie to be too upset with me if I'm not here when she wanted me to be there" Was his reply.
"Ow." Was the next thing heard from Liz.
"My neck," She muttered, shifting as much as she dared, trying not to wake Sophie, "I've been in this position pretty much since she fell asleep at nine, minus the bit when you all came back."
"Here, just....put your neck on my arm, like a pillow," He clumsily moved his arm so that it rested along the back of the couch, so Liz could use his arm like one of those neck pillows that you bring on airplane flights.
"Oh. Thanks." Liz snuggled into a comfortable position.
This shift for neck support could explain why, when morning came around and the others awoke, Liz was found comfortably leaning against Jon's shoulder with an arm protectively around her.
Sophie, an early riser, was playing happily with a Barbie doll and Spiderman action figure. She seemed to have slept tolerably well, considering her Barney scare of the night before.
Liz, however, had never slept better.
Tell me what you think! i apologize for the AGES AND AGES it's taken me to update! but...well...i have no excuse aside from writters block and finals (which where a month ago?). kill me if you like (but then you'd have no updates!)