Today’s prompt was to write a fanfiction story. But, since I’m using these prompts this month to work on my projects currently in progress, I decided to twist that a little bit. I’d written another piece last month with Dani telling Declan all about her favorite superhero(which I may change the name of, since I found out there’s a Marvel character with the same name)–which I took some of the first part of this from–, so I decided to have her make up a story about him.
Declan closed his eyes as the little girl ran away from the couch. He could really do with some sleep. He didn’t trust himself to relax right now, though. The pain might hold him under when he really needed to be alert. He could no longer fool himself into thinking Doug didn’t know they were there. As long as Eva and Dani were in trouble he needed to stay aware. Which meant not succumbing to this weakness.
Eva sat at his side, the toy Dani had thrown–sorry the toy that had flown, he smiled a little at the girl’s rationalization–in her hand. Eva ran her other hand lightly over the bandage around his arm. Yeah, that wasn’t going to help. Not to ignore this attraction he felt toward her or to keep him awake and alert. He wanted to melt into her touch, but he couldn’t do that.
“Just relax,” Eva told him. “I’ll handle this. Get her to play quietly.” Her lips twitched at that. “It is rare, but it can happen.”
Declan’s own lips curled up at that. “It’s fine. I’m fine, Eva.”
“You were shot,” she protested, shifting beside him. “Protecting us. I still don’t see why you won’t take something. Or go to the doctor.”
No, neither were a good option. The doctor would ask questions that if he answered could put Eva in danger. And the pill…absolutely not. He needed to stay alert, and he couldn’t do that if he drugged himself. “It’s not that bad,” he assured her, not for the first time.
Before she could argue once again, Dani came running back into the room, several books clasped in her hands. She jumped onto the couch, and he barely held back another wince as his arm was jostled. “Dani, be careful,” Eva reminded her. “Declan was hurt.”
He didn’t bother reminding her he was fine, the bullet had done little more than graze him. He’d been injured worse than this before. But he didn’t have two people’s, who he was coming to care quite a bit for, safety as his sole responsibility then. He sent a smile to Danica, though, to assure her it was okay. “What do you have there?”
She sent a worried look at her mom then turned back to Declan. “These are all about Nighthawk. This one is about his beginning. And these other tell all about the people he helps. Like you do.”
His throat went thick at that, and he glanced back at Eva. He hadn’t been doing a great job of helping them. Barely staying one step ahead of trouble. He was going to have to change that. But, Eva was smiling at them, like that thought wasn’t even bothering her. She trusted him, and he needed to make sure he didn’t betray that by letting either of them get hurt.
“Can you read them to me? I think I’d like to know more about this Nighthawk. As long as he doesn’t fly around my apartment anymore.”
But, Dani grinned at him and put the books down. “I can do better. I made up a story about him. I can tell you that one.”
Declan settled back on the couch and gestured for her to climb onto his lap. “I’m listening,” he said.
“He was walking down an alley when Nighthawk heard someone screaming. That wasn’t his real name, but no one’s supposed to know what is,” Danica said as she snuggled closer to Declan. He felt different than her mom. She’d never sat on a man’s lap before, except that one time when she saw Santa at the mall. But, they hadn’t gone back yet.
It was different but not bad. Declan made her feel safe. She liked feeling safe. She’d been so scared earlier today, when that man had grabbed her mom. But, Declan had made it better. Nighthawk wouldn’t have been scared, though. Dani wanted to be more like him.
“Nighthawk ran right toward the sound. He never ran away from trouble. He was the bravest man ever.”
She felt a rumble come from Declan’s chest. “Running into trouble doesn’t make you brave, a mhuirnín. Sometimes it makes you a fool.”
“Like you’re one to talk,” her mother said from beside them which brought another of those rumbling laughs from Declan.
Dani scowled. “But, Nighthawk is brave. All the books say he is the bravest. And this is my story.”
“You’re right. I am sorry,” Declan said. “Please continue.”
“Right. So, Nighthawk climbed to the roof of a building. That way he could see a great distance. And he saw a man grabbing a woman and her little girl.” She knew this story she’d made up days ago was really close to what had happened earlier today. She’d had a bad dream a lot like it. Ever since she’d heard her mom talking to Declan the first night they’d been here, when they thought she was still sleeping. Making up Nighthawk stories always helped her get over those dreams.
“He knew he had to help them,” she said, “so he leaped from the roof and flew out to the park.”
“Does he have wings?” Declan asked, but his voice sounded strange. She looked up at him and saw his eyes were almost closed.
“Of course he does. How else could he fly? It’s why he only comes out at night. That way no one can reveal his true identity. Anyway, he landed right behind the man and-” She stopped when her mom put a hand on her shoulder. “It’s okay, Mommy. It’s not about us. Really. I made this up before.”
“It’s okay,” her mom said but held her a little tighter than Dani really thought was needed. “He fell asleep, though. Maybe you can finish your story later.”
“Oh,” she said, her shoulders drooping. Then, she climbed out of Declan’s lap. She looked up as her mom handed her Nighthawk figure back to her. “Declan is like Nighthawk, isn’t he? He’s brave, and he helps people.”
Her mother glanced back to the man on the couch. “Yeah, Dani. He’s a lot like that.”