Character/Pairing: Theodore Nott, Verity O'Shea, and Peter Nott
Word Count: 689
Summary: Theo invites Verity over to dinner, and she walks in on a monster attack.
A/N: This is a birthday present for lostbutlooking on IJ, who wanted Verity!fic. These characters are based on the ones from the Causatum RPG.
Theo wasn’t in the main room when Verity Flooed in. He rarely was, but he’d invited her over for dinner, and she’d expected him to be there to greet her. Of course, tonight was more of a family meal, or so he’d also said.
Litzy, Theo’s main elf (also the one who had been his nanny growing up), popped into the room. “Master is being in the sitting room, Mistress Verity,” she squeaked with a smile at the Master’s closest friend.
“Thank you, Litzy,” Verity said with an absent smile and went down the hall to where Theo was supposed to be.
It wasn’t hard to find him. All you had to do was follow the sound of young laughter. She paused at the door to take in the scene.
Young Peter, still occasionally wobbly on his legs but toddling along quite well by now, was squealing and laughing as Theo chased him (slowly), acting the part of monster in their little game.
Her lips turned up – it wasn’t often one saw Theo acting silly or smiling quite so broadly, but somehow his ‘son’ managed to make him forget himself and have a bit of fun.
Theo caught sight of Verity in the door and stopped, smiling ruefully and chuckling quietly. “You’re early?” he offered up as a lame excuse, running his hand through his slightly-too-long brown hair.
He was too cute as he looked at her, slightly embarrassed at being caught out, though not too much because she was Verity, and they’d been silly together in the past.
Peter took this as a sign that it was his turn to be Monster, and he came at Theo with childish ‘monster hands,’ growling in an amusing way. Theo pretended to flee, and Peter grabbed onto one of his legs.
“Oh no, Verity, save me! The monster has me!” Theo said, dragging his leg behind him and coming toward Verity, who gasped with appropriate horror-stricken drama.
“Oh no, Teddy! You’re doomed!” But she moved to help him as he pretended to struggle with the young monster. He ended up with an armful of laughing boy.
“I have an idea, Peter. I think Miss Verity need to be attacked by the Tickle Monster.” The child’s head bobbed up and down with enthusiastic agreement, and Theo turned back to her with a mischief-filled grin.
Her eyes widened with realization, and she backpedaled on the floor, squealing as Theo’s hand encircled her ankle and tugged her back. “Nooo, nono Theo, you cheated. No fair!” she protested as she was pulled toward him.
They ended up wrestling like they had several times in their youth, Peter laughing and cheering in the background. Theo gently wrestled her down onto her back and tickled her unrelentingly until she was breathless and beautiful and pink-cheeked with laughter. His own cheeks were flushed, and his entire countenance was relaxed in a way it rarely was these days.
“Gotcha,” he said smugly, fingers finally relenting. He reached up and smoothed her hair back with infinite fondness, looking truly happy for the first time in a long time. He leaned down and dropped a kiss on the faint dimple her grin created. “Sorry, Ver, I just couldn’t help it,” he said with a chuckle, helping her to sit up, arm around her companionably.
Peter barreled over from where he’d been watching, Theo saving him from disaster by sweeping him up into a hug between himself and Verity. “Again, Taddy, again,” the boy demanded happily.
“Maybe later,” Theo said, the corners of his lips turning up a little more. “I think it’s about time to get cleaned up for dinner. Miss Verity came especially for us.”
He levered himself to his feet, the boy on his hip, and reached out a gentlemanly hand to her. “Coming, luv?” he asked, that happy spark still in his eyes.
Verity looked up at him from the floor and slipped her hand easily into his. “So long as I get to be the Tickle Monster next time, Teddy,” she said with fond exasperation, and he pulled her to her feet with a laugh.