One Kit and an (Anomalous) Baby Pt. 2
rating: +10+x

Kit had been having the most amazing dream. It involved him, Gabriel, and a quiet night in, before his world was torn apart. It wasn't much but a longing feeling and, as he went to his ex's side to snuggle close, there was a sudden piercing noise that broke into his dreams.

He sat bolt upright, instantly. Was it the fire alarm? Had he left the TV on? Blinking sleep from his eyes, he scanned the room, and was reminded (instantly, and loudly) of the baby he had taken in. It had seemed like such a sensible and manageable idea at the time – after all, they weren't that complicated. Just tiny humans with no control over their bodily functions and very few ways to express themselves. That couldn't possibly be hard! This piercing crying seemed like one of the ways Matilda could communicate.

He stumbled out of the bed, finding that the baby had managed to free herself somewhat from her blanket cocoon and was waving her arms and legs freely, visibly showing her distress as much as anything else. He was at her side as soon as he could get his feet to co-operate, and scooping her up.

"Shh, Munchkin. Shh, shh, shh." Less than 12 hours in his care, and Kit had already developed a nickname for her; everyone deserved one, after all. The comfort and warmth of Kit's arms seemed to calm the baby somewhat, that stupidly large rabbit still tucked next to her – she seemed rather reluctant to part with it, and he noticed that it smelt like peaches. But she was still snuffling and whimpering, keenly unhappy about something.

He carried her over to his bed and gently laid her out. Reluctantly, he slipped a hand into her nappy and found it was still dry, so it wasn't that. He remembered, vaguely, on the back of the formula tin it instructed that babies could get distressed at night, and it was okay to feed them a little warm milk to help ease them back into sleep.

Not really wanting to use the cardboard box as a makeshift safe area for the baby, but also having no choice, he placed her into it with a cushion at her back, and carried her into the kitchen. If he really wanted to keep Munchkin around, he was going to have to scour the charity shops for the things they needed. Whatever was producing things for Matilda seemed to have quite the young mind of its own, and didn't seem to think of the necessity of rocker seats and changing tables; toys and food seemed to be its priority, much like it was a child itself.

Yawning widely, Kit prepared a small amount of milk and fed the still whimpering Matilda, who seemed more contented with the food in her belly, and almost dropping off to sleep the second he placed her back in the box. Feeling tired himself, he stumbled into the bedroom, protective of his bundle, and put her back in the drawer, before climbing into bed.

"That wasn't so bad," was his final thought before sleep overcame him. "Don't know why the parents on TV always complain so much…"

The next crying session came at 2am. Her nappy was wet and a drowsy Kit nearly stuck the nappy to his face before successfully getting it on a wiggling Matilda. Okay, so maybe this was all a little bit harder than he thought, but it was still alright.

4am. Matilda was apparently just lonely, because she was dry and refused the offered bottle. Kit spent the best part of half an hour singing the few songs he knew - 'Close to You', 'I Say a Little Prayer', 'Valentine', and that damn alphabet song, at least five times. He was nearly asleep holding the baby when she finally decided to sleep herself.

6am was the next wailing time, and it was also apparently the start of their day, because Matilda refused to go back to sleep and lay staring at him with big, tearful eyes. When Kit looked away momentarily, a dummy appeared in Matilda's mouth and seemed to soothe her, somewhat, but she was no longer interested in this sleeping business.

Kit put the coffee machine on to make himself a strong cup, before transferring Matilda into the kitchen in that darn box. Really, she needed a highchair, and he could only hope that he could find a cheap one somewhere. For the meantime, a couple of cushions sat her up straight enough, and a plastic plate that had magically appeared provided somewhere to present her food, as well as allow her to bang her fists happily as he prepared the porridge and his coffee.

Banana porridge sounded quite appealing, even though Kit wasn't a breakfast person. Or a lunch person. Or a dinner person. It didn't look particularly appealing, an odd grey-yellow mush that had lumps in it no matter how much he stirred. He downed his coffee hot so he could be awake enough to actually feed the child, who was clutching an oddly orange rabbit toy by the time he looked again. She looked wide awake, and it didn't seem exactly fair that she could do that without stimulants.

He played the aeroplane game with her like he had seen on TV, though Munchkin didn't need much encouragement to eat. The food wasn't always successful at going in her mouth, of course – some of it went on her face, down her neck, and onto her onesie. This seemed like a problem for later, because stains didn't distress Matilda or Kit. Once she had her full, there was about a quarter of the bowl left, and Kit couldn’t help but to be curious.

Kit tasted a spoonful of the lumpy porridge, then instantly regretted it. "This stuff is disgusting, if you don't mind me saying." He told Matilda, pulling a face that made her laugh, little hands waving up and down with a bunny ear clutched in one fist.

"It would probably be alright if it had a bit more sugar…" Kit murmured, wistfully. He remembered when he was younger – though obviously not as titchy-tiny-young as Matilda, very few have the privilege of remembering that age – and his grandmother used to give him rice pudding practically soaked in sugar. His mum used to get so cross with the little treat, but his grandmother (who had somehow gotten the nickname 'ninny') reasoned that they all had so little to look forward to in life, and she was allowed to spoil her grandchildren. He missed her, especially now, when she would know exactly what to do and wouldn't sugar-coat it if he was doing something wrong.

Now for the day's entertainment. Kit knew that this singing business wouldn't amuse Matilda for long, but he had an idea for how he could keep them both happy. He used a washcloth to blot off some of the porridge from her onesie, and then wiped her face. The baby was happily gurgling at him, making noises in a language only she understood. "It would be nice if you could translate," he muttered out loud to whoever was providing toys and essentials to the baby. Again, he thought he heard distant laughter.

He picked Matilda up, who was content in every way. However, when his long hair, swishing as they walked, caught her eye, mischief gleamed in those once innocent orbs, and she took hold of a good handful.

"Ow. OW. What the hell are you playing at?!" Kit practically squawked the words out, feeling the tugging at his scalp. "That hurts, Munchkin!" Babies, however, aren't much for understanding the words of adults, and Matilda thought this was a fun game. Kit had to deal with the sharp tugs on his scalp until he reached the sofa (sans cushions now, all placed in the box) and deposited the child, having to hang his head low to stop the intense pain. Eventually, with some coaxing and cajoling, he managed to get her hands free and rest her back onto the sofa.

"Look at this!" He pointed proudly to his Christmas tree. "And I think you should leave your mark here, it would help a ton. What do you think?" As he spoke, he bent down to open the lid on a pot of silver, glittery paint, and Matilda's eyes grew wide with intrigue. Kit placed his hand into the pot of paint, coming back with a palm covered in the stuff, then placed it on the wall, leaving a print. It was intriguing to see all the lines and marks of scars lingering on the fingers. "Maybe we can make them into stars…" He mused, absently.

Meanwhile, on the sofa, Matilda rolled onto her side. She wasn't quite at the crawling stage yet, but her wish to be off the sofa and near the sparkly paint was clear. "Oops!" Kit mumbled to himself, quickly moving over to the sofa. "We can't have you falling off, Munchkin. I've heard babies are quite breakable. Besides, I'd like you to stick around."

He picked up Matilda and held her up high, smiling as she giggling and wiggled in excitement at 'flying' whilst in the (relative) safety of Kit's hands. "Let's fly you over to the land of paint and glitter!" Kit said, tone nearly as excited as Matilda clearly was.

He placed Matilda carefully on the floor, pleased to see she could sit up on her own. "Okay, so let's…" He gently took her hand, and placed it in the (non-toxic, he was pretty sure) paint. Matilda wiggled her fingers against the odd sensation, but didn’t grow upset – instead, she curiously watched as Kit removed her hand and pressed it against the wall. "Ta-da!" He crowed, happily, as her tiny hand print was revealed.

Matilda giggled and clapped her hands together, transferring paint to her other hand. Kit smiled fondly. A little paint splatter didn't matter.

"You sit there, and you watch da- Unc- …me." Kit still wasn't sure what to call himself in front of her. Daddy didn't sit right, Uncle sounded frankly creepy, and just saying his name lacked the connection he thought he was making with her. "Then maybe you can help me do more." He concluded, smiling at the baby.

Unfortunately, Kit tended to get a little absorbed when painting his rows of fake Christmas lights, incorporating their hand prints as a glittery centrepiece. When he next turned back to the baby, what he saw made him drop his paint brush onto the floor.

She was covered in paint. Literally from head to toe. There was gold paint in her hair, silver paint on her face, and purple paint just everywhere – on her onesie, and even on her feet. The smile on his face seemed to imply she knew what she had done, and had enjoyed every minute of it.

"Holy sh- Christ." Kit quickly corrected his tendency to swear. "Why did you… How did you…?" But Matilda would only chuckle and, as he came close and bent down, reach out to Kit and place a hand print on his face. "Of course." He sighed, but couldn't help but to smile. At least she was happy, and she hadn't managed to injure herself in the course of her activities.

Well, at least she had picked a week when he had hot water. "Bathtime, I guess. Then naptime. Then your naptime. Then lunch. Then… I'll tell you a story! Then bedtime." He planned out as he went along, scooping the baby up, not caring as he got paint all over a baggy t-shirt he had put on.

Matilda was still giggling happily as they entered the bathroom, but Kit was perplexed. How did he do this? She could sit up alone, sure, but what if she somehow fell like she could have done from the couch? Did she need one of those inflatable rings? This baby business was full of challenges. And what about her clothes? They needed to go in the wash, but he had nothing else to dress her in, and the entity around her didn't seem to particular care about clothing – he guessed it wasn't essential in their books.

"Hmm. This is… awkward." Kit murmured to Matilda, turning on the taps whilst still clutching her, before going into the kitchen to get that darn box again, just to have somewhere safe to put her for a moment. He placed her carefully in a corner of the bathroom, far away from the cabinets full of pills and cleaners, before dashing into the bedroom and digging around to find the smallest t-shirt he had. And the smallest thing he found happened to belong to Gabriel.

For a moment, he held it close to his face, just breathing in that scent of him – something like charcoal, something else like gunpowder, and some scent he could never identify but always made him feel slightly lightheaded. Passing this on to Matilda almost felt like something spiritual – using something old to welcome something new into his life. Kit sighed, quelled his emotions, then grabbed a nappy and headed quickly into the bathroom.

The tub was full enough – it would come up to just over her hips. He didn't want to risk any deeper, as he felt this would already be tricky enough. He undressed Matilda on an old t-shirt, the rhythm almost familiar by now, and tested the water in the bath like he had done with the milk – using his elbow rather than his hand. Finding it pleasantly lukewarm, he plonked the paint-coated baby into the bath, and gently began to clean her with a washcloth.

Matilda thought this new area was a lot of fun. Her da- Unc- …whoever was desperately trying to get her clean whilst not making her skin sore, but her hands quickly discovered the power of splashing. With a giggle and as much strength as she could muster, she brought her hands down and splashed Kit.

Kit sputtered as water went in his mouth and his eyes, and shook his head, trying to get rid of the stuff. "Munchkin!" He couldn't bring himself to tell her off, though. She was smiling, and giggling, and that was hard to tell off – it was even harder to reconcile that behaviour with the screaming creature she had been last night. So, he let himself be splashed, and obediently pulled a face every time, because that seemed to make her even happier.

It was quite the sad occasion – from the perspective of a baby – when Kit decided the washcloth and soap had gotten off as much of the paint as could be removed, and bathtime was over. He gently lifted her from the tub, dismissing the whimpering as annoyance at the end of playtime, and lay her back on the t-shirt, gently drying her with a towel. This time, the nappy went on without much difficulty – Kit proudly decided he was quickly becoming a pro at this baby lark.

The top was a bit harder – it dwarfed her, of course, but with a complicated mixture of knots, he managed to make the top fit her as much as it was going to. The t-shirt was more of a dress but he still worried about her legs getting cold, so he used a pair of socks that were more like tights on her, with a tiny knot at the top of each to stop them sliding down. She looked like a shabbily-dressed rag doll, but neither Kit nor Matilda particularly cared about fashion.

Kit glanced at the clock. It was barely noon, but he felt like he had been doing this for days already. Not all of it was horrible, of course, but he couldn't help but to be aware of the night time cries and the early start. However, there was still more of the day to come yet…

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