Random One Shots

Random one shots with actors, musicians/bands and characters.


62. Richard Armitage 1

~The pitter-patter of tiny feet on the hardwood floor alerts you to the impending invasion. Shutting your book, you check your mobile. Two o'clock in the morning.
"Right on time," you say.
Richard sets aside the script he is reading to fetch boxes of various sizes from his closet and bring them to the bed.
"They definitely inherited your punctuality," he remarks, with a laugh in his voice.
An instant later, two children dart inside. Glimpsing the gifts, their faces break into matching grins.
"Is it present time now?" Zefira inquires hopefully.
You smile. "Yup. In fact, Santa just finished delivering them."
Three-year-old Aidan rushes to the window and stares out at the dark London sky.
Pouting, he says, "I don't see him, Mummy."
You, Richard, and Zefira share an amused glance.
"You don't see him because Santa's reindeer are so fast that he's gone in the blink of an eye," you explain, as you pick up Aidan and carry him to bed. With all four of you snuggled under the covers, the queen-sized bed feels quite a bit smaller. But neither you nor Richard mind. It's an Armitage family tradition, this. When Chris and Richard were kids, they opened their Christmas presents in their parents' bed, and both brothers continue the custom with their own children.
"Is that why he can bring presents to all the boys and girls in the world in one night?" Aidan asks.
"That's right," affirms Richard. "But only to all the good boys and girls. And you two must have be extra good this year, because Santa had to use two bags for your presents."
Aidan nods vigorously, while Zefira giggles. At six, she has already discovered the truth about Santa, but she keeps the secret for her brother's benefit.
"I was, Daddy. I was very, very good," he asserts. Seeking confirmation, Aidan looks up at you from your lap. "Right, Mummy?"
"Right, darling," you say and bend down to kiss the tip of his nose.
"I was good, too!" Zefira protests from Richard's lap.
"Yes, you were," you agree. "Especially when Daddy was in Los Angeles."
It's true; your daughter had been a big help with Aidan while Richard was away shooting Sleepwalker. Normally Richard reads Aidan bedtime stories, but when he cannot, Zefira steps in. She seems to have inherited her father's talent for acting, because she gives each of the characters distinct accents and voices. You marvel at them every time.
This mollifies her, as do the kisses Richard peppers onto her cheeks. She giggles and reaches for the pile of gifts at the foot of the bed. Aidan follows her lead, scooping up a heaping armful and nearly dropping half of it onto the floor. You and Richard watch your children unwrap their presents, your smiles growing with each shout and shriek of excitement.
Aidan, who is obsessed with Legos, is happiest about the various Lego sets he gets, including The Hobbit. Wasting no time, he's already opening one of the boxes, his little fingers struggling with the flaps until you help him.
"Look, Zefi, it's Daddy!" he exclaims, showing his sister the Thorin Lego.
Zefira had been flipping through her new books, but she sets them aside when Aidan crawls over to her. Searching through the pieces, she selects one of them.
"And he even has a crown," she tells him. The girl snaps it into place on Lego Thorin's head. "Find his sword, Aid. He's gonna need it to fight the orcs and goblins." As proof, she holds up Lego Azog.
"He's going to need more than Orcrist to fight the orcs," you murmur, earning a mildly reproachful look from Richard.
"What about something to ride into battle?" Richard suggests. "Thranduil has his oversized elk." He eyes the plastic stag with an arched brow. "Thorin needs a steed, too."
Zefira finds a Lego goat. "You said dwarves ride goats."
"They do," Richard says, "because they're better suited to mountains than ponies are."
"I found his sword!" announces Aidan. Zefira gives him Lego Thorin so he can fit the sword into its hand. "Is he gonna go fight now?"
"Just put him on his goat, and he'll be ready to go," Zefira says. "I'll be Azog, you be Thorin."
You exchange an uncertain glance with your husband. Zefi's well aware that Thorin dies in the book and movie, but Aidan is not. However, she's a perceptive and thoughtful girl, so you don't think she will allow Lego Thorin to be "slain," especially since her little brother is playing him.
The "battle" begins, with Lego Thorin on his Lego goat and Lego Azog performing some rather acrobatic maneuvers that make Aidan laugh. Soon, Lego Thorin and his goat are joining in on the gymnastics, as well.
"Who are you going to be?" you ask Richard. "I get dibs on Thranduil!"
"You can take him," he snorts, allowing a hint of Thorin to emerge. "I'll be Dáin with his war-pig."
"Why am I not surprised?" you remark. "But this won't work. Someone needs to be the orcs, or else who will Dáin and Thranduil fight?"
"Each other?" Zefi suggests.
You raise your eyebrows at Richard. "Well, the elves did come to fight the dwarves," you muse aloud.
"And Dáin came to help Thorin," Richard adds.
Zefira nods sagely. "See? It works." She returns her attention to her own game, while Richard shoots you an amused smirk.
And so begins the skirmish between Dáin and Thranduil, thus setting dwarf-elf reconciliation back for centuries. At the end of your version of the Battle of the Five Armies--which really only consists of three armies--, Azog is killed; Thorin survives; the goat and the war-pig become best friends; and the elk, growing tired of the fighting, brokers a grudging truce between Dáin and Thranduil.
"Is that how the movie ends?" Aidan asks, once the four of you have settled down to sleep.
"Not exactly," Richard hedges. "But the dwarves and elves do unite to fight the baddies."
"Good," he says, with a yawn. "Because I like them both."
"Me, too," you agree and kiss his forehead as he closes his eyes.
Zefira, who is half-lying on her father, says, "And they'll be friends later, so that's even better."
"Says you," mutters Richard, eliciting a sleepy laugh from his daughter. He kisses the top of her head, then Aidan's cheek. "Happy Christmas, my loves."
Aidan is already asleep, and Zefira mumbles something unintelligible, but you are still very much awake.
Leaning carefully over your children, you give him a kiss.
"Happy Christmas, Richard."

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