Apologies to all of you who asked when I would update- I'm that person with ideas but no time to put them on paper. Unspellchecked, no grammar check- literally pure drabble!! Z xx
A month had passed since Sass had joined the Lestrade household. To Greg, this didn't seem possible, but why he couldn't pinpoint. It felt like yesterday that he had first met the terrified bundle of four year old in the depths of a crime scene, but the Sass that child had become seemed to have been in his life forever. He'd dropped down to shorter working hours after Sherlock's fall and the subsequent investigation began to take its toll on his mind. Sally had been given heavy warnings, losing her a promotion which would have moved her to another division. Deep down, she was quite glad that she wouldn't have to leave Scotland Yard, and the place she now called her home, but it was still quite a blow to her. In the end, her willingness to help her boss saw her taking on so much of his paperwork that when Greg became a DCI, his place as DI was quickly filled by a very capable Sally, who was now well versed in the ways of paperwork and shouting at forensics. Greg had taught her well.
At home as well, there had been changes to how life ran for Greg Lestrade. New routines of bedtimes, of bringing work home, of cooking instead of always ordering in (Greg's doctor was particularly pleased about the last one.) Greg's life was not what it was, but one particular change made all the difference. Saturday nights became Film night (and Pizza Night, but don't tell his doctor.) and Greg discovered the art of relaxing.
But now it was the 1st September, and Greg realised with a jolt that this would be the last Saturday he had with Sass before she started school. And that thought terrified him, yet also spurred him on to make it count.
When Saturday afternoon rolled around, Greg had worked out what he would do.
"Sass?" He started, peering over his glasses at the little blonde blob, who was busily sketching a picture of her Fred bear.
"Instead of ordering pizza tonight.... Shall we make it together?"
"Do you know how?" She asked sceptically "Or will it start the fire alarms off again?" Her grin spread as Greg blushed at the memory of just how badly his first batch of pancakes had gone.
"Hush you!!" He said fondly to the now giggling 4 year old. "I'll have you know that I make a very good pizza."
"Says me. And Sally." He added hastily, to give his claims some grounding.
"Only if we can put pepper on it." Was Sass' final answer.
"We could make a smiley face on it, if we're smart."
Sass bounded up from her drawing, and towards the kitchen. "Let's do it!!"
Greg followed, a fond smile on his face. "Well, you'll need to wash your hands first."
Sass stopped, spun around to face the sink, and jumped up onto her stool. "And I need my apron."
"And your apron, of course."
Greg always loved the time he spent cooking with Sass. That girl could cook for England, whereas his own skills weren't too shabby, but lacked horrendously in some places. The two made an excellent team, and the dough was made, laid and layered within the hour, despite numerous distractions, such as the ultimate question of how tomato sauce factories manage to avoid getting all the seeds in the sauce, and other life changing questions.
Once the pizza was in the oven, Greg made a great show of dusting down his hands, as he always did (he claimed it made him feel "Professional".), letting loose a great cloud of flour as he did show. When the flour cloud cleared, he was met with a scowl from a disgruntled Saskia, who had been covered by said flour cloud, and now resembled a ghost. A displeased four year old is never a good thing.
A displeased four year old with a spoonful of tomato sauce is just goddamn dangerous
The sauce flew through the air, before hitting its target with a well rounded splat.
"Da, you've turned into Rudolph!!" cried young Sass, dissolving into giggles as Greg came to terms with the fact that he now had a dollop of tomato sauce on his nose. "It's so on!!" he said, emptying the remainders of the grated cheese onto Sass' head. "What? At least it matches the colour!!" were his final words before the First Food War of Greg's kitchen began. By the end, you couldn't see the kitchen. In fact, you couldn't see much, apart from the two grinning faces of a young girl, and her da who hasn't grown up yet.
It was chaos, indeed, but the best kind of chaos, the kind that it completely worth it in the end.
Eventually the battle ceased, and Sass was sent to clean herself up and pick a film for the evening, whilst Greg tidied the kitchen, before making himself look human again.
Greg's Disney film collection was his pride and joy. He was an avid collector, and had every film made until very recently. There were a few he refused to get- the ones that weren't "proper Disney", and had let the side down a bit, in his opinion. But Sass loved his collection- in fact, she revelled in it. As she ran a finger along the spines of the DVD cases, she was spoilt for choice. But eventually she found one she had never seen before, yet had always wanted to see.
"Beauty and the Beast? Now there's a classic one!!" Greg greeted her when she re-entered the kitchen.
I've never seen it."
"Oh, it's a good one. I 've not seen it for a while, and we both know what my memory's like, but I distinctly remember that one being wonderful. But now-" Greg said, turning back to the oven, "We have homemade pizza. The best kind, don't you think?"
"I don't know- I've never tried it!"
But within a few seconds, that had been changed, forever.
A wide grin split Sass' face, and within minutes, homemade pizza had been named Sass' new favourite food.
"Even better than Mrs Hudson's fairy cakes?"
"Even better!! But don't tell her that, cuz she'll be sad." Sass added, a quiet afterthought in tribute to the older lady. Mrs Hudson had taken quite a shine to young Saskia, and had promised to take her whenever he was caught up in one of his cases. Greg had replied that he may have to fight off Molly for that offer, and Sally too- his daughter was a hit with all of them, soothing his fear that Sass would lack a mother figure growing up.
Dinner passed swiftly enough, without much more to note. Whilst Greg quickly washed up, Sass had an argument with the DVD player, eventually forcing it to take the disk and load up their film. As a child, Greg had loved Beauty and the Beast, and he was glad to find it just as magical as he’d remembered. But it was not the film that warmed his heart that evening; it was the look upon his daughter’s face, how she laughed in some places, cried in others, and hid her face in his side when afraid, looking for her new father’s touch to reassure her, the embrace which told her that everything would turn out alright in the end. It moved him beyond words to see the depth of his little girl’s emotions, and when the familiar opening lines of the title track sounded, her eyes lit up, lips parting ever so slightly, and she snuggled even further into his side, he couldn’t help but well up himself. This little girl, who had been through so much, at such a young age would surely turn out to be the strongest he had ever known. But for now, she was his little Sass, her breath taken away by the lilting melody and beautiful motion between the Beast and his Belle.
“Tale as old as time,
Song as old as rhyme,
Beauty and the Beast.”
And when Greg tucked her into bed that night, she asked him to sing her to sleep. That in itself was nothing new- in fact it was the only way to get her back to sleep if she’d been woken in the night by the demons that haunted her mind. As he’d expected, she asked him to sing “the pretty one from the film”, in her own descriptive way, and of course he’d agreed- how could he not? Soon enough, little Sass was asleep, leaving Greg to slip away as quietly as he could, so as not to wake his daughter.
And when Sass spotted his copy of the soundtrack of Beauty and the Beast the next evening, a mere 14 hours before her first school day would begin, she insisted that they dance to it. Spinning round with Sass stood on his feet, the evening sun filtering through the living room window, Greg realised that this was one of the first times he had felt truly happy since Sherlock had fallen, almost two years ago. When he heard, he was convinced it was the end for him.
Sass proved to him that sometimes, tragedy is just the beginning.