Adventures in Babysitting
Actor Chris Evans and his girlfriend, Emery Thomas, spend the day babysitting her niece and nephew
Word Count: 3910
“Sis, I know Chris is only in town a few days, but I wouldn’t ask unless it’s an emergency,” Emery’s younger sister, Mackenzie begs over the phone.
“Yea, okay, what is it?” Emery asks as the doorbell rings.
“Open your door.” Mackenzie looks frazzled when Emery opens it to find her sister and her niece and nephew standing on her front porch.
“Well, hi guys! What’s going on?” Emery asks, confusion on her face.
“Kids, you know where Auntie Em keeps the cookies. Go get one!” Mackenzie says to the kids, desperation in her voice.
“Mackenzie, you’re worrying me, what’s going on?” Emery asks.
“Dan’s dad fell in the shower and was taken to the hospital. We need to get to the city, and see what’s going on. I’m really sorry to intrude on your weekend,” Mackenzie address to Chris when he enters the room.
“Damn, why are you always dressed? Just once can’t I drop by unannounced and you be in some state of undress?” she ribs her sister’s boyfriend, actor Chris Evans. “And you,” she turns to her sister, “if you’d turn the thermostat down some, he’d be naked more often.”
Emery laughs, “Sis. Focus. Dan’s dad?”
“Yea, right. I don’t know the details. Dan is in the car, waiting. Trying to get his brother on the phone for more information. I’m sorry. I called Mom and Dad to take the kids but they didn’t answer; you don’t mind do you?”
“No! Of course not, I’m glad we can help! Go! Get on the road and call me later, okay?” Emery gives her sister a hug, and waves at Dan from the doorway. Mackenzie yells goodbye to the kids, and quickly exits.
Chris sits on the couch, with West, Emery’s Dalmatian, curled up at his side, remote in his hand. “Why do I get the feeling my plans for the day just changed too?”
Emery throws him an irritated look. “Well, I know it’s not what we planned, but it will be fun, and Sis needed my help. What was I supposed to do? Besides, the kids adore you!”
“Your nephew threw up on me at Christmas…”
“Chris! He had the flu! And Dawson was so disappointed he didn’t get to hang out with you like Dakota did… He was kinda upset you mentioned her at the Con a few weeks ago,” Emery explains.
“Fine. I’m not watching Frozen again, I think I’d go stark raving mad if… Hi, Dakota, sweetpea! Whatchya got there?” Chris smiles as the little girl climbs over West to get to him, handing him a cookie. He brushes her light hair back and laughs when she kisses him on the nose.
“Mister Chris! We get to hang out with you all day! Oh, I’m so excited my little heart just might burst!” Dakota sits on his lap, holding his cheeks in her tiny little hands. “Where’s your beard?”
Chris laughs at the little one, only three, who reminds him so much of his own niece. “I had to shave for work. Is that okay if my face isn’t “skitchy” anymore?”
Little Dakota rises up to rub her cheek along his and exclaims, “It’s so soft! And you smell good!”
She giggles when he tickles her belly and raises her up over his head.
Emery smiles at Chris’s use of her family’s made up word “skitchy” used to describe itchy things. It’s cute that with all he has to do, he remembers that. “She just ate cookies. Unless you want her to puke too, you better put her down gently.” Emery shakes her head.
He looks up at Dakota, still holding her high over his head, and asks, “You wouldn’t do that to me, would you?”
“Bleech, Bleech,” the little girl giggles out a fake sick sound. Chris, still holding her tight, quickly stands up, spins around and tosses her back down on the couch. “Well, sweet pea, we’re not gonna sit around here all day… Dawson, get in here!”
“Coming Mister Chris!” the little boy shouts back. “Let me save the level on my game.”
Emery just sits in the chair, watching her man take action, wondering what he might be planning. She winks at her niece when she catches her watching Chris with same adoration. Good grief, young or old, he has the same effect on women. He’s just too fucking adorable.
Dawson comes up to Chris’s side, and they fist bump. “Hey, man, how’s it going?”
“Good. I got to be the leader at school yesterday,” Dawson beams with pride when his favorite super hero bends down to be at his level, to talk to him face to face. “That was fun. And I got to sit with Mallory at lunch. She thinks it’s cool I know you.”
Chris ruffles the top of the little boy’s head. “Just five years old, man, and already using me as your wing man? That’s awesome, buddy! Is Mallory cute?”
“Oh, she’s the best. I’ve known her since preschool and she’s the only girl that doesn’t freak out about worms,” Dawson shares.
Chris winks at Emery, “Hey, babe. How do you feel about worms? Apparently, this is very important in relationships, and I did not know…” He stage whispers to Dawson, “Man, if she doesn’t like worms do I have to break up with her?”
Emery swings her legs over the chair and stretches her arms, “Well, Mister Chris, you are in luck. I just happen to be okay with worms! Too bad the weather isn’t warmer or we could go fishing. I’d show you I can hook a worm and a fish faster than any one of those Yankee girls you’re used to!”
Chris smiles at her Southern drawl shining through, and wonders if she is aware that the way she sits in the chair is very seductive. He traces his eyes along her legs up to her outstretched arms, and laughs when he sees her watching him, biting her lip.
“Ok, so it’s too cold for fishing, but we could go walk along the beach for a while… And I bet since your mom was a little crazy this morning, you guys haven’t had lunch yet?”
Dakota giggles, “Nope. Just these cookies,” as she pulls another one from her pocket.
“Dakota! Gimme that!” Emery prompts, climbing out of her seat to grab the cookie from the little girl. “You can’t eat that! It was in your pants pocket! If you’re hungry, go get fruit. We’ll have more cookies later.”
Chris tugs the little girl’s blonde curls as she runs past, and yells, “Bring me an apple too!”
“So what are you suggesting for lunch?” Emery asks. “It looks like you’ve appointed yourself the activities director for the afternoon,” she comments, trying to wipe the cookie crumbs from the couch into her hands.
Chris looks down to see Dawson is focused on his tablet again, and pulls her to him. “We’ll get the kids so tired out, they’ll both want a nap when we get home, and then we can have our regularly scheduled afternoon.” His lips find hers, and she falters again at the absence of his beard. He chuckles, sensing her hesitation. “It’s still me, babe, and I’ll get to grow it back soon enough.”
“Eeewww, gross with the kissing! Knock it off!” Dawson bellows.
Chris chuckles and says, “Hey, man, sorry. Right now, it’s all about handling worms… but someday you’ll want a girl that can kiss too.”
“Gosh, I hope not. Gross!” Dawson explains as he leaves to check on his sister.
“He’ll change his mind one day,” Chris chuckles as he hugs Emery tight. “I’m glad you’re okay with worms. That would have been a horrible reason to leave you.” Emery shakes her head, releasing the laughter she has been holding inside, not wanting to hurt her nephew’s feelings.
“Okay gang, let’s get shoes and coats back on. Bathroom break. Everyone in my truck in fifteen minutes,” Chris says to no one in particular. He gives Emery another deep kiss, before he lets her go, and squeezes her ass as she walks away. “Where are you going?”
“If we’re going to the beach with kids, I need to pack a bag; can you go upstairs and get some extra sweats and t-shirts from their guest room?” Emery asks, already thinking ahead to things the kids might need.
“Oh, shit, Em? Do they still need car seats at their age?” Chris asks, thinking his plan might fall apart now.
“Oh, yeah, I have two in the garage!” Dawson runs back through the living room, and Emery catches his arm. “Hey, little man! Can you take West out to her room, make sure the radio is on, and check her food? Also put the car seats on the driveway? Then come back in, okay? When Chris is ready, I want you to help him get them buckled in right, got it?”
“Yes, ma’am,” Dawson answers politely, before calling to the dog to follow him out.
Chris looks around, and with no children present, he grabs at Emery’s arm and yanks her back closer to him. He winds one hand in her fiery red hair, and slightly pulls down the collar of his t-shirt, exposing his tattoo with the other. He cocks his eyebrow at her and chuckles when he pulls her in to his chest, using her hair like a rein, and she obliges him by flicking her tongue across the scrolled words, playfully biting him. She breathes in his scent deeply, as she kisses his collarbone. She steps back and whispers, “She’s right. You do smell good…”
The haze over her eyes is almost like intoxication, and he playfully turns her in the direction she was originally headed. He pushes her forward, patting her again on the ass, as she wanders away. He climbs up the stairs to gather items for the kids, and smiles to himself, thinking one day, she’ll be doing the same for their own family. How does she just automatically know how to do that? Are all women born with it?
As he reaches the guest room and crosses to the closet, he thinks back to other women in his life. Bad idea… But he realizes now only a few of them had the genetic code that just seems to know how to create a family, and Emery proves she has it in spades. He startles when his phone rings as he riffles through things, looking for anything resembling what Emery asked for. “Oh, Mom. Thank God! I’m such a man! Emery sent me to find clothes for her niece and nephew, and I can’t find anything. If I yell down the steps, I look like a moron. Help!” he laughs.
Through the phone, Chris can feel his mother’s warmth as she joins in the laughter. He explains the situation, and describes the contents of the room. Over the phone, she guides him to the baskets under the beds, and he sees they are labeled with each of the children’s names and he pulls out sweatpants and shirts for both. As he continues to talk to his mother, he decides to grab underwear and extra socks too, just in case. He laughs at the Avengers bedspread on one bunk and the Elsa and Anna one on the other. “Hey, Mom. Do some women just seem to know better what to do with kids and keeping a house and stuff?”
Even though he can’t see her, he knows she is smiling. “Oh, honey, I think most women get to the point where they just realize they’re ready. I think Emery’s upbringing was a lot like yours, but she just has so much common sense, she always seems to know just what to do. She’s a good balance for you. She’s not ready to give up her freedom yet, but you know she totally belongs to you. You know that girl thinks you hung the moon and stars.”
Chris grins at the phrase his mother has used since childhood. “Well, I guess since I feel the same way about her, it’s a good thing we found each other.”
He chats with his mother for a few more minutes as he carries things back downstairs, handing them to Dakota so she can give them to Emery. He motions for Dawson to follow him out to the truck, and they put the car seats in as he finishes the phone call. “Chris, you remind Emery she can come up to visit us here in Boston any time she gets lonely while you are away; give her a hug and a kiss from us!”
“Thanks for everything, Mom. I will. I love you,” Chris replies, hanging up the phone.
Dawson laughs at him, “Aren’t you a little old for that?”
Chris smiles at the little boy as they walk back inside. “Here’s a life secret every little boy needs to know. Your mom is the best friend you will ever have. You always be honest with her, and tell her everything. She’s the only woman that will love you your whole life and put up with all your nonsense. Even when I am an old man, I will still tell my mom every day I love her.”
Dawson stops just inside the door, and pulls off his clothes. “Dude, what are you doin’?” Chris asks, laughing at the little boy.
Dawson stops and looks down. “My sweatpants were on backwards. I gotta fix it.” He kicks his feet against the door frame, thinking about what Chris said a moment ago. “Is that kinda how you feel about Auntie Em too?”
Chris bends down to help the boy turn the pants right-side out. “Yea, man. It is. It’s like a new life started the day I met her.”
“And she’s the only one that can put up with you?” Dawson asks. He has a grand smile when Chris nods his head yes, seeing his aunt watching them, but Chris not knowing she’s returned to the living room. “Are you gonna marry her?”
Dawson proudly gives his aunt a “thumbs up” and Emery bites back her laughter at the exchange between two of her favorite men.
“Someday, I’ll be lucky if she says yes, little man, but you can’t tell her I said that.” The two “boys” fist bump on their shared secret.
“That’s kinda how I feel about Mallory,” Dawson sighs as he puts his clothes back on.
“Well, if worms don’t gross her out, you need to keep her for a long while,” Chris laughs. He sees Emery out of the corner of his eye, and again stage whispers to Dawson, “How long was she standing there?”
“Long enough…” she responds, smiling warmly at the man who owns her heart.
“Language! Language! Language! Captain said a bad word!” Dakota sing songs as she skips through the living room.
Everyone guffaws loudly at the look on Chris’s face as he hustles them to the car.
The sun was shining at the beach out on the island, and there were seashells to be found. Emery had to promise the kids they’d come back to the lighthouse another day when the weather was a little warmer. Dakota didn’t like the feel of sand in her shoes, so Chris carried her on his shoulders most of the day. When his stomach growls from hunger began to take over every thought, he decided it was time to pack up to go back into town for lunch. He was thankful Emery had decided to bring extra clothes for the kids, as it was easier to change into new clothes than to shake off all the sand before climbing back into the rented truck. He tossed the sandy clothes in the back, enjoying listening to the easy banter between Emery and the children as she buckled them safely into their car seats.
As they drive back into town the kids laugh when he fusses on Emery to take her feet off the dash, and the laughter swells when Dawson exclaims from the back seat, “I understood that reference!”
The kids squealed in delight when he pulls the truck up to the pizza place in town with the indoor play place. Emery rolls her eyes. “Chris, have you ever taken your niece and nephews to a place like this?”
“No, why?” he asks, as he lifts Dakota out of her seat.
“Oh, Mister Chris, this is my favorite place, but mama never brings us here!” The little blonde exclaims.
“Dude! This is wicked!” Dawson exclaims as he jumps down from the truck, copying the expression he hears his hero use all the time.
Emery just laughs. “You’ll see… When we get our tickets, and place our order, make sure you say yes when they ask if you want kneepads.”
She grins when he looks at her with a quizzical expression on his face.
Almost two hours later, Chris climbs into the booth across from her, collapsing, and whines, “Why didn’t you tell me?!”
“You were so proud of yourself, and you had already turned in to the parking lot. It was too late to stop it.” She grunts when Dakota kicks her in the belly, crawling over her to get another piece of pizza. “Where’s Dawson?” she asks.
Chris says, “His girl is here with that birthday party group. I gave him the last of the tokens so he could try to win her a prize.”
He chuckles at the crestfallen look on Emery’s face. “Hey, I won a prize for you…” He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a plastic worm and tosses it at her. She leans over the table and gives him a kiss.
“Aw, you’re so cute!” Dakota exclaims, grabbing another piece of pizza.
“Dakota, where do you put all that food!? You’re like a bottomless pit,” Chris teases her. Emery fusses on her for climbing across the table, but smiles when the beautiful little girl cuddles up next to Chris on the bench.
“It’s time to go, or nap time will happen in the car, and they need to wait till we are back at the house to fall asleep,” Emery says.
“Babe, I can’t move. My knees and back are killing me. I’m too old to crawl through all those tunnels, seriously? What was I thinking? Can you go find Dawson?”
Emery shakes her head, “Take her to the truck. Keep her awake. We’ll be out in five minutes.”
The sing along to the crazy math songs Emery had the kids listening to in the truck continue as the group walk into the house, a sleepy Dakota in Chris’s arms, but still singing. Emery asks Chris to put Dakota down for her nap, and tells Dawson he can read, but no games. She moves towards the laundry room with the bag of sand filled clothes, and Chris stops her, giving her a tired, sweet kiss. “Hey, I had a great day. It wasn’t what we planned, but it was a lot of fun.”
Dakota giggles, stuck in between the two love birds, and thanks them both. “It was the best day of my short little life,” she yawns, kissing Chris on the cheek.
Emery kisses the sweet little girl, and goes about her task.
In the entry to the house, Chris turns to the kids and says, “Everyone on Emery’s bed. I can’t climb the stairs. Shoes off and don’t get the bed dirty, she’ll kill us all!”
By the time Emery has the laundry started and the left over pizza put away, and she starts up the stairs to check on the kids, she hears gentle snoring coming from her bedroom. She pauses in the doorway, and is surprised to find all three of her afternoon charges sound asleep on her bed. She quietly slips off her shoes and crawls up on the bed beside Dawson’s little body, falling asleep quickly herself, with a smile on her face.
Over an hour later, her phone wakes her from her slumber. Her sister reports that her husband’s father is fine, and is doing well. She says Dan will stay in the city a day or two to help him, but she will be back to get the kids in a few hours.
Emery doesn’t even bother to try to wake Chris, and decides to let Dakota sleep awhile longer as well. Dawson hears her, and begins to stir. She signals to him to be quiet, and he follows her to the kitchen and helps get dinner started.
After dinner Emery and Chris get the kids bathed and dressed for bed. Chris rolls his eyes at watching Frozen for the bazillionth time, but smiles as the girls sing along to all the songs, one curled up on either side of him. Even Dawson concedes to watching it when Chris said he likes it. “But don’t you like anything Disney?” the young boy asks.
“You say that like it’s a bad thing! Here’s another thing you need to know- Disney always rules! I mean come on! The same company for Toy Story also does Star Wars? How cool is that, man?” Chris begins to huff, thinking he is going to have to defend all that is good about Disney to a five-year-old.
“Relax, man, I’m just playing with you,” Dawson laughs.
“Dude, just remember who gave you extra tokens to impress your lady!”
As the movie goes on Chris’s mind starts to wander as he absently plays with Emery’s hair, stretching out the curls, and twisting it in his fingers. He starts to daydream about how easy it would be to start a family with Emery, and begins to question why he’s been putting off some big discussions.
He is broken from his thoughts when the doorbell rings, and Mackenzie returns to pick up the children. He smiles warmly when both kids hug him good bye and Dawson suggests on his next stay that they visit the lighthouse. He hugs Mackenzie and she thanks him for being so understanding and willing to help out. The two sisters chat on the porch for a few minutes while he gets the kids settled in their mother’s car. Chris and Emery stand arm in arm in the driveway, and wave good bye.
Her weight sags against him as the taillights flash down the street. “Oh my God, I’m so exhausted! I don’t know how she does it every day!”
They both laugh as they walk inside, slowly. Chris suggests, “Why don’t you start a bath, and I’ll straighten up the kitchen and living room?”
“Oh, that sounds like heaven!” The pair kiss tenderly, and he can see the tired in her eyes.
“Hey, Em, you were incredible today! You did a really nice thing for your sister and Dan. It was amazing to see you take charge and know just what to do. You’re going to be a wonderful mom one day.”
She looks into his eyes, and replies sleepily, “You’re gonna be a great dad someday too. Thanks for your help today, Mister Chris,” she adds with a giggle, before leaving him alone in the living room.
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