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Title: The Baby Owner's Manual: Operating Instructions, Trouble-Shooting Tips, and Advice on First-Year Maintenance 2/2
Author: Pip
Pairing: Richard/James
Rating: A bare PG-13 for language.
Warning: See warnings on the first part.
Disclaimer: Don't know 'em, never met 'em, this is all lies. (*sigh*) Title and chapter headings stolen directly from the book of the same name, written by Louis Borgenicht and Joe Borgenicht.
Summary: Richard and James adapt, but do they adopt?
Feedback: All feedback and concrit most gratefully received.

Written for my darling [ profile] giddy_london, who asked for James and Richard as newbie!daddies. :D

Thanks again to [ profile] tigertale7 for the beta, and [ profile] sunsetmog for the Britpick.

Chapter 1

First posted Sept, 2008

Chapter Five: Programming Sleep Mode

There was a loud pounding on the door before it swung open. "Hammond? May?" Jeremy shouted.

Richard slid into the hallway on his socks. "Shut up, you fucking berk!" he hissed. "We just got her to sleep again!"

Jeremy cringed--he remembered those days all too well. "Sorry, mate. Sorry, I didn't think."

Richard opened his mouth to comment, but then stopped. "Too easy. Come on in. You want a drink?"

"Does May colour-code his sockets? Where is she?"

"They're in the lounge, go on through. G and T?"

"Brilliant, ta." Jeremy went into the lounge, finding James laying on the sofa with no shirt on, Emily on his chest. He sat down in the chair opposite. "She fussy again?"

"Yes," James said quietly. He shifted his arms a bit, as if wanting to cover his chest, before finally subsiding again, one hand coming to rest on Emily's bottom. "Staying for a while?"

Jeremy shrugged. "If you like. All right?"

"If you want to." James looked away. "I made up the bed in the spare room."



Richard came in carrying three tall glasses in triangle between his hands. "Jez." He held them out and re-adjusted his grip when Jeremy took one. Putting the other on the end table beside James's head, Richard sat at the opposite end of the sofa as James pulled his knees up to make room.

"Someone going to tell me where the hell you two got a baby from? As far as I remember, she wasn't around yesterday, and neither of you have looked particularly pregnant lately." Jeremy took a sip of his drink and looked at them with one eyebrow cocked.

Richard glanced at James, and then picked up the adoption papers he'd left on the coffee table earlier. "James opened the front door this morning, and she was in a basket on the step--"

"A basket?"

"Washing basket," Richard nodded. "Along with these." He leaned forward to pass the papers to Jeremy, who took his reading glasses out of his pocket and set them on his nose, frowning, and began to read.

James rested the toes of both feet on Richard's thigh and pressed lightly.

Jeremy looked up over the tops of his glasses. "These look legal."

"That's what we thought," Richard said.

"And they've been signed."

Richard nodded. "We're not sure how. Someone had to've snuck them past us. But those are definitely our signatures."

Jeremy sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose, his glasses riding up on his hand. "Pay enough people, and I suppose you can get almost anything done for you these days. You'll have to have these gone over by a lawyer, you know."

He nodded again. "We will. We want to make sure..." He hesitated, glanced at James, and when James prodded him with his toes again, finished, "Make sure they are legal."

Jeremy regarded each of them in turn. "You want to keep her."

"Yes." Both men answered together.

"And if you can't?"

Richard looked away, and it was James who had to answer. "Her name is Emily Elizabeth Hammond-May. This morning we would have begged you to take her. Tonight, we will do anything to keep her."

"Emily." Jeremy raised an eyebrow, and then shrugged. "Well, at least I won't forget her name. Look, mates, not to dampen your little rainbow parade, but there are weeks at a time when neither of you are home. Surely you realise this will be the death knell of your careers."

"Only one of them," James said, and he sounded oddly content.

"You have a contract--" Jeremy started sharply, but Richard shook his head. "He won't give up Top Gear. We discussed this before you came, and we'll sort out a way to do this. We can bring her with us most times, and if it's absolutely impossible--well, I reckon there are two grandmas who would like the chance."

Emily chose that moment to utter a squawk and awaken, her tiny fist waving in distress.

"Richard?" James murmured. "Think my arm's a bit asleep."

Richard leaned over and plucked the baby off his chest, clucking, "Why are you waking up, poppet? You were supposed to sleep for a while, yet." He winced as her little cries increased in volume to full-blown wailing.

Jeremy took his glasses off and set them aside. "Give her here. Let Uncle Jeremy show you how it's done, you poor unfruitful sods."

With a grin, knowing Jeremy had just announced his intention to overtly support them, Richard carried the fussing baby over and placed her in his outstretched hands. She looked even tinier in comparison to Jeremy than she had done to Richard or James. In reverse, Jeremy looked huge and clumsy holding her, although the surety of his movements belied that idea.

"Well, then, little Miss Hammond-May," Jeremy rumbled down at her as he tucked her in against his chest, "What seems to be the trouble? Other than having those two pillocks as your parents, of course. That would reduce me to tears as well, and I'm a grown man."

James snorted. "Richard, remind me not to let him babysit once she starts learning to talk."

"I'm on it," Richard said fervently.

Emily, however, was staring up at Jeremy in utter fascination, and her sobs slowly subsided. One chubby pink hand waved at his face.

"Have the insensitive plonks changed your nappy recently, Miss Hammond-May?" Jeremy continued to talk to her, and his hand gently stroked circles on her chest, then pulled down the edge of the nappy to reveal an almost entirely healed belly button. "She's probably between two weeks and a month old," he commented in the same calm voice. "Give or take a week. What do you say, sweetheart, shall we hold a nappy-changing clinic?"

"Everything's out in the kitchen," Richard said, rising to his feet. "We'll set up a nursery as soon as...well, as soon as we know for sure."

Jeremy ignored the hands held out to take the baby and brushed right on past, talking to Emily in a hushed tone all the while.

Half an hour later, Emily was changed and happily curled up in James's arms as Richard and Jeremy went through every item James had bought earlier that day. Jeremy dismissed some of it as rubbish, but for the most part it seemed James had done quite well, all things considered.

Jeremy sat back in the kitchen chair he had claimed, crossing his arms over his chest. "Do you want the list of what you're missing?"

Richard fetched a piece of paper and a biro, and joined him at the table, pushing the baby wipes aside. "Just the essentials to start with. Things we'll need no matter what happens."

James frowned, but said nothing.

Jeremy counted the items off on his fingers as he spoke them aloud. "Baby bath, baby soap--get that muck with lavender in, if you can--bibs, by the truckload unless you're planning on doing washing every other day. Oh, and washing powder and softener meant for babies, my kids did well with Comfort. A car seat. A pile of babygros, hat and mitts, and a sleeping bag. That, plus what you've got here, should see you through the next couple of weeks."

Richard was furiously writing, and when he'd jotted the last item down, asked, "How often do they need to be fed overnight?"

"Every three hours or so to start. She'll let you know, don't worry," he chuckled. "The secret is to keep it as quiet, dark, and calm as possible at night, and have bottles prepared in the fridge so all you have to do is heat it. Get used to being tired, even if you share the feedings. Face it, mates, she's running the show now."

As if to prove it, Emily began to whimper, kicking out with her feet and stretching her body long.

"Next lesson: how to swaddle your baby," Jeremy announced. "Richard, where did those receiving blankets go?"

Richard leaned over and pulled several out of a bag at his feet. "Shouldn't we wash them first?"

"Yes, but I'll show you how to do it now. You can swaddle her if she's fussy at night, for another week or two I'd say. Wouldn't do it much longer than that." Laying the blanket out on the table, and gesturing James to set her down on it, he efficiently bundled Emily up within thirty seconds. Her eyelids immediately began to droop. "They don't all like it," Jeremy said with satisfaction, "but it looks like she's a fan." He unwrapped her again, tossing the blanket aside, and picked her up, laying her tummy-down on his forearm, his hand cradling her head, her arms and legs hanging down on either side of her arm.

"Oi, she's not a rugby ball, Clarkson!" Richard protested, moving to take her, but Jeremy held him off.

"Relax, Hamster, it's a perfectly good way to hold a baby. Especially if she's got gas."

"Oh." He hesitated. "Really?"

"No, I just wanted to see how long it took to drive you completely insane by doing something to endanger your baby. Idiotic twat."

"All right, all right," Richard grumbled. "I'm new at this, remember?"

"Are you ever." Jeremy watched as James started to fiddle with the sterilizer, putting two bottles in. "Do three."

James looked over his shoulder. "Are you positive it can be stored that long?"

He nodded. "One now, one around two a.m., and one around five. Overnight's fine, but I wouldn't do more than that at once. Sterilize the bottles and let them cool completely before filling them, then straight into the fridge."

James bobbed his head once in acknowledgement and turned back to the sterilizer to add another bottle.

"Jez?" Richard asked out of the blue. "Be honest. Do you think we can do this? Will we make good parents?" He had no idea why he was opening himself up to potential abuse like that, other than a sudden need for someone to hold his hand and tell him it was going to be all right.

Jeremy grinned. "You'll be the best homosexualist parents I know." He caught the look in Richard's eyes, though, and sighed. "I'm only ever going to say this once, so listen up. And if you spread this around, I'll deny I ever said any of it and then set fire to your shorts. You and James are going to make incredible parents because you have a tremendous capacity for love. It's been evident from the day you finally put us all out of your misery and got together, and it's evident every time you so much as glance at this child. You will make mistakes, just like every other parent on the bloody planet, but I have no doubt whatsoever that you can do this."

James and Richard both stared at Jeremy, a combination of gratitude and disbelief on their faces. "Who are you, and what have you done with Jez?" James finally managed.

Richard gave James's shoulder a shove. "Your baby's crying."

James lifted his head and squinted at the clock. "It's half past four." With a grunt, he buried his face in his pillow.

"I got up last time," Richard muttered.

James turned his head slightly. "If I give you fifty quid, will you get up this time?"


Emily shrieked, and from the spare room they heard a thump and a shout. "Would one of you lazy bastards please stick a bottle in her mouth?"

James rolled out of bed with a groan. "Coming, Emily," he mumbled, stubbing his toe on the end of the bed as he rounded it to fetch the baby. "Ow, bollocks!" he yelped.

"Shut up!" Richard moaned at the same time as Jeremy yelled it from next door.

James limped over to the basket in the corner of the room and picked Emily up, cradling her in his arms. "Unfeeling sods," he muttered as he carried her out of the bedroom and down the stairs to the kitchen. "God forbid they should spare a little sympathy for anyone else. Shh, Emily, supper's on it's way. Shh, sweetheart." He took the last of the bottles he'd prepared the previous evening and popped it in the microwave. While it heated, he held Emily up in front of him, looking directly into her eyes for a long moment. "You frighten me a bit, little one," he told her softly. The volume of her crying decreased slightly as she grew fascinated with him. "You're so fragile. Generally speaking, I don't cope particularly well with fragile. You'll have to be patient with me as I learn how on earth to take care of you, all right?"

She grabbed a tiny handful of his hair and tugged.

James smiled and kissed the top of her downy head. "That's a deal, then." He tucked her in his arm and retrieved the bottle from the microwave. Grabbing a clean bib from the stack on the table, James took Emily into the lounge and relaxed on the sofa with her. Making sure the milk was an acceptable temperature, he held the bottle for her, watching as she eagerly took to it. As she settled down to a serious feeding, he pensively murmured, "I wish I knew how this was going to turn out. Preferrably before you break my heart."

Richard woke to a large, firm hand shaking his shoulder. "What? What time is it? Jez? What's wrong?" He blinked owlishly.

Jeremy was grinning from ear to ear--never a good sign, as far as Richard was concerned. "Shh. Get up and come with me."

Richard screwed his face up, trying to think of a reason why he should--or better yet, why he shouldn't. He came up with nothing. "It feels really fucking early, Clarkson."

"It is. I have to leave, if I'm to deal with the real world for you today. But come see what I found in the lounge. And bring a camera." With a devilish smile, Jeremy disappeared downstairs, remarkably silently for one of his stature.

With a deep sigh, but curious despite himself, Richard hauled himself out of bed and pulled on a pair of jogging trousers and a t-shirt. Knuckling at his eyes, he trudged downstairs, snagging his Nikon as he went. He found Jeremy standing in the doorway, blocking his view. "What--?"

Jeremy turned, one finger to his lips, and Richard could finally see why.

James lay fast asleep on the sofa, his mouth open and slack, his t-shirt riding up to show his pale, soft belly. Emily was curled protectively in his arms, and she was wide awake, happily gurgling and cooing quietly to herself, all ten fingers utterly tangled in James's messy hair.

Richard's breath caught, and he covered his mouth with his fingers as if to hold back the words that wanted to spill out.

"Take a picture of May drooling," Jeremy said with barely whispered relish.

Unable to help a tiny huff of laughter, Richard took off the lens cap and proceeded to take a series of ever-closer pictures of his partner and their (soon beyond doubt, hopefully) daughter. It tugged at Richard's heart, this tender moment between a man unused to being lavish with his emotions, and the virtually unknown baby that had been inserted so suddenly into their lives. A photo of Emily's smooth, perfect, milk-white skin against James's reddened, sun-lined face made Richard's pulse trip.

"You're pathetic," Jeremy teased under his breath.

"Yeah. I know."

"Right, I'm off. I'll get you a week off from Andy, but no more--otherwise it buggers up absolutely everything. Get those papers to your lawyer today, and if you need anything, call. And for God's sake, Hamster, get that child a cuddle toy."

Richard--briefly stunned into immobility at the word 'cuddle' coming from Jeremy's lips--chased him to the front door. "Jeremy--Jez. Thanks, mate. For everything, yeah? Seriously, we would have been up a creek--"

Jeremy looked down at him, smiled, and then patted him on the head. "Stuff it."

With a kick aimed at Jeremy's arse and a grin from ear to ear, Richard closed the door.

Chapter Six: Troubleshooting

"Oh my God!" James stumbled backwards, nearly tripping over Fusker who was innocently washing his whiskers in the middle of the kitchen floor. "Richard! Richard, something's wrong with the baby!" His eyes practically watering, James covered his nose and mouth with his jumper, edging closer to the table where Emily lay on her back, nappy undone.

Richard came running in a panic. "What? What happened?" He skidded to a stop, sliding on his socks. He took one look at the soiled nappy and began to laugh, pinching his nose. "I thought you said you could handle a bit of a stink?"

"A bit, yes," James choked. "That is not a bit. That is a foetid, malodorous stench of unbelievable proportions."

Richard gave Emily a little tickle under her chin. "That's what she did to me yesterday, and you thought I was exaggerating. Whose a good girl, then, proving Daddy's no liar? Hmm? Yes, poppet, it's you."

"Richard, I--I don't think I can do this--"

"Yes, you can," he said firmly. "Mostly because I'll be damned if I'll change every single nappy for the next however many years. Just get the wipes and clean her up sharpish." Richard stayed nearby to encourage James, but refused to lend a hand. "That's it. No, just ball them up inside the nappy. Yeah. Yeah, roll it up and fasten it with the tapes. Perfect. Bung it straight in the rubbish, and Bob's your uncle."

James hurried out the kitchen door to the large wheelie bin outside, and disposed of the nappy. Once the lid was tightly closed again, he let his jumper fall and took a deep, fortifying breath of fresh air before returning inside. "That's going to take some getting used to," he said darkly, eyeing Emily sideways as he went over her with another wipe, and then sprinkled on a generous dusting of baby powder.

"Yes, it will," Richard agreed, and his smile faltered.

James lifted Emily by her heels to slide the fresh nappy underneath, then quickly fastened it. He kissed the tender pink sole of one miniscule foot. "It will work out, Rich," he said softly, not looking up. "Don't even think otherwise."

Richard turned on his heel. "I'm going to ring the lawyers again."

"You said they're in court this morning."

"I don't fucking care," Richard said tightly.

"James, where's that baby book you bought?" Richard asked, frowning slightly. They were in the lounge, James reading a newspaper and Richard trying to write a column on his laptop. He'd taken a break to watch Emily sleep, and had stroked her downy hair.

"In on the dining room table, why?"

"She's got this...crust. On her head."

"Crust?" James asked, sounding vaguely disturbed.

"Yeah. It's like, I don't know, scales or something. I want to see if there's anything in the book." Richard left her sleeping in her washing basket and fetched the book. After reading for a few minutes, he found what he was looking for. "Cradle cap," he said blankly. "She doesn't even have a cradle."

James snorted. "I doubt that has much to do with it, you pillock. What's it say?"

Richard scanned down the text with his forefinger. "Common. Harmless. Rub a bit of baby oil in, then brush off the loose scales with a soft brush, followed by a shampoo."

"Oh. Well, I reckon we can handle that."

"Yeah," Richard said, then fell silent, staring unseeing at his blank laptop screen.

"Richard." James watched him for a moment. "Richard."


"Stop fretting."

"I can't help it!" He leapt to his feet and began pacing. "How long does it take to contact the office that filed the papers? For fuck's sake, it's been two days, I could have crawled there and back by now."

"I know. But getting yourself worked into a lather isn't going to help matters. It's going to be fine, so just sit down and write your column."

"I can't concentrate."

"How unusual for you," James said dryly. "Fine, then do some online shopping. We'll need nursery furniture, you might as well bookmark some, and we'll choose one in a bit."

Richard sat down again, and after a glance at Emily, began to search for cots. He bit his thumbnail as he scrolled.

Richard walked down the street, sunglasses on and head down. He'd been unable to sit still for more than two minutes, and James had finally grown sick of it and kicked him out for a few hours. They were expecting to hear back from their lawyer that afternoon; the waiting was driving them mad, but James was able to burn off some of his nervous energy through cleaning. Richard had tried working on one of his bikes, but when he broke the fuel line on his Ducati and threw a spanner through the plaster wall of the small garage, James had had enough. "Just go!" he'd snapped. "Get out. Walk it off, and don't come back until you have."

So Richard had walked for the past two hours, and he was finally starting to feel more himself. He'd never been good at waiting for someone else to decide his fate, and this particular decision was the biggest of Richard's life. At the end of the day, he'd either be a daddy...or he wouldn't.

At that thought, Richard raised his head and looked around him. Spotting a Marks & Spencer just down the road, he decided if they were going to lose Emily--and the longer the legal bullshit took, the more convinced he was that was going to happen--then at least he wanted her to have something to keep when she disappeared from their lives. She might never remember them, but at least one day she'd know someone had cared. On that maudlin thought, he pushed open the department store door and found himself surrounded by baby clothes.

"Bloody hell," he muttered, his gut twisting, as he fingered a tiny burgundy and cream corduroy dress. It had a matching cardigan with a soft little teddy bear sewn on it, and Richard was suddenly, horribly afraid it was going to unman him enough to make him weep. He quickly strode away.

An hour later, Richard left the store feeling a little lighter in pocket, but considerably calmer. James would probably ridicule him for spending a hundred pounds on a bracelet for a baby, but the white gold and diamond bangle was just the thing; it was a keepsake that she would treasure always. Along with the bracelet, he had followed Jeremy's advice and bought a plush rabbit soft toy, white with a hint of pink on his cheeks. It was adorable, and had long ears and limbs a baby could easily grasp for comfort. His purchases in hand, Richard headed for home.

Usually when he walked in the door, Richard dropped his bag, kicked off his boots, and shouted his presence to James. This time, however, he carefully removed his shoes, shuffled quietly through to the lounge, and set his carrier bag on the coffee table before removing his jacket and taking it back to the hall to hang it up. He poked his head in every room on the first floor and, finding them all empty, proceeded upstairs.

Richard found James and Emily in the tiny third bedroom--the one they would use for the nursery if they got a favourable answer from the lawyer. James was stood by the window, Emily in his arms determinedly sucking on her bottle. Crossing to stand behind James, Richard wrapped his arms around the slightly thickened waist and leaned his head on James's shoulder. "Sorry I'm such a twat."

A smile was evident in James's voice as he replied, "It's all right. I'm used to it."

He kissed James's shoulder blade. "How is she?"

"Fine. Nearly done with the bottle. Will you burp her? You seem to have a knack I don't."

Richard dug his nose in beside James's spine. "She just likes vomiting on me, that's all."

"Doesn't everyone?" James shifted the bundle in his arms. "All done, then, love? All right, Daddy's going to take care of that nasty burp for you. I'm going to take a shower." He turned and handed Emily to Richard, plucking the bib from his own shoulder and laying it over his partner's.

After Richard had burped Emily and tidied her up, he took her downstairs and laid her in her washing basket. "Go to sleep now, poppet," he murmured, and knelt beside her, letting her clutch his pinkie in her wee baby fist as she grew drowsy and finally dropped off. With a sigh, he shifted back onto his bottom, leaning against the sofa and watching her sleep until James came downstairs, still towelling his hair.

"Did she go to sleep all right?" he asked quietly.

Richard nodded. "Just now."

James lifted one leg over the seat of the sofa, sitting so that Richard was between his knees. He leaned forward, the wet ends of his hair tickling Richard's ears, and placed a kiss on the top of his head. "Did you walk far?"

"A ways, yeah. Ended up at Marks & Sparks." He passed the carrier bag to James, heard the rustle as the stuffed rabbit was removed.

"That's sweet, I'm sure she'll love it. What else did you--what's--oh, Rich."

Richard waited to be scolded for extravagance, but instead James gripped his head and tilted him backwards, kissing him hard and swift, even upside down. James rested his forehead on Richard's.

"It's beautiful, Richard," he murmured. "It's just fucking perfect. No matter what."

"No matter what," Richard agreed in relief. "I didn't know if you'd--"

"I get it. I'm so glad you thought of it."

They sat in silence for a few minutes, Richard's head tipped back and James curved down over him, forehead to forehead, until the position grew too uncomfortable to bear. Richard reluctantly sat up, instead reaching one hand back over his shoulder to clutch James's, and they waited for the phone to ring.

Forty-five minutes later, it did, but it was Richard's mobile and not the house phone. "'Lo?"

"Richard. Any news?" Jeremy's voice seemed subdued, for him.

"Not yet, no."

"How's James?"

Richard huffed a laugh. "Better than I am. He had to kick me out earlier before I went completely mental."

"That wouldn't take much, would it?" Jeremy automatically rejoined.

"Not today, it wouldn't. How did things go at the office, dear?"

"Good, actually. Things run a lot smoother around here without you two cocking about, fornicating in the storage rooms and all."

"We've never!" Richard began hotly, then lowered his voice at a sharp poke from James. "Bastard."

But whatever Jeremy said next was lost as the house phone rang. Richard clambered to his feet before James could even move, and he tossed his mobile in James's direction before flying out to the kitchen to answer before the third ring.

James lifted the mobile to his ear. "Jez?" he said, his voice suddenly tight. "The phone just rang. Do you want to--I mean, can you stay on the line? You might as well know, too."

"Don't you dare ring off," Jeremy growled.

"I won't." They both lapsed into silence, James straining his ears in a futile attempt to hear what Richard was saying at the other end of the house. When he couldn't make out anything but a questioning tone, he got to his feet and walked through to the kitchen doorway.

Richard was facing away from James, leaning with one hand on the counter, the other holding the handset with white knuckles. "Right," he said, taking a deep breath. "No, I understand. Yes. Yes, thanks for letting us know. Bye, then." Gathering himself, he turned, startled to find James in the doorway, looking stricken.

Richard's eyes began to shine, and slowly an enormous smile spread across his face. All he could manage to say was, "Yes."

It took a moment for the realisation to sink in for James. He staggered slightly, blindly groped for the door frame, and missed. His knees gave out, and he sank to the floor, the mobile phone forgotten in his hand.

Richard crossed to James's side, feeling a little unsteady himself. He lowered himself into one of the kitchen chairs and laid a hand on top of James's hair. "She's ours," he murmured. "James, she's ours."

James's shoulders shook with sobs of relief, but when he lifted his head, his eyes were dry. He looked up at Richard mutely.

There was a full minute of complete silence, of Richard and James finally allowing the joy to creep in. Then they heard Clarkson bellowing at the top of his lungs through the mobile.

"Would someone please tell me what is going on?" he yelled. "May? Hammond!"

James looked at the phone and then held it out for Richard to take.

Richard held it up to his ear. "Jez?"

"Richard! Well, what happened? Tell me, man!" Jeremy demanded.

"It's all right, Jez," he said, his voice a bit shaky. "We can keep her. It's legal, we just have to formalize it with the courts. She's--she's our daughter."

For only the second time in his life, Jeremy Clarkson was speechless.

"Are you sure we have everything?" James asked for the fourth time, patting down his pockets.

Richard rolled his eyes. "Yes, James, we have everything. We have everything but the fucking kitchen sink, so can we please get rolling? I'd like to get to Dunsfold sometime today, if you don't mind."

"Right. Well. If you're sure, then." He picked up the car seat and opened the door. "Have we got the--"

"Yes!" Richard cried. "Whatever it is, we have it! Go!"

"All right, no need to get testy," James muttered. "Daddy should have had a little less coffee this morning, shouldn't he, love?" He reached down to adjust Emily's hat.

"Yes, and Dad should have had a bit more." Richard locked the door and followed James out to the Panda. "You know, if I left you here, I could take her in the Porsche."

"No, you couldn't. It's got no back seat."

Richard cocked his head. "Damn. You've got a point, there."

James opened the rear door and began securing the car seat to its base in the back seat. "Ready to see Uncle Jeremy, Emily?"

"Jeth!" she gurgled, and clapped happily.

"Seriously, her first word couldn't have been Dada?" Richard complained for the hundredth time.

"Dada!" she chortled, drooling a little. "Dada dada!"

James tried to tone down his grin as he climbed in the driver's side. "Get in, Rich. If we don't get there soon, the Stig won't have time to take her out in the Veyron before bed."

Richard climbed in, still grumbling. "I'm telling you, James May, if she starts to refuse to sleep without a ride in the Veyron first, I'm holding you entirely responsible."

"You do that, Richard," James said equably. "You do that."

Richard crossed his arms on his chest, but an irrepressible smile curved up one corner of his mouth.

"Dada!" Emily shrieked from the back seat. "Dada!"

As James pulled out into traffic, Richard turned in his seat to look back at their daughter. "Hi, poppet. What have you got there?"

Emily held up a toy white helmet in one chubby fist. "Thig?"

James began to laugh, and after a long groan, Richard couldn't help but join him.


Date: 2009-09-14 06:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I can't even begin to tell you how great this fic's absolutely FANTASTIC!
Domestic!James&Richard makes me melt and I was so close to crying when I found out that Emily was theirs for keeps. You should be so proud of this, I found it yesterday and have read it about 6 times. Just the image of James asleep on the sofa with Emily laying on his chest makes me smile.
In short...I love this SO VERY MUCH! :D Well Done! x

Re: Wow...

Date: 2009-10-27 04:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Sorry for the late reply, but thank you so much! I'm really pleased you liked it. I must admit domestic!James&Richard do funny things to my insides, too. :D

Re: Wow...

Date: 2009-10-27 04:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's no problem, thank you for the fic! And I totally second that request from tardis_mafia, a sequel would just be brilliant, Emily as a toddler would be even cuter than this. And by the way, I never said in my first comment but, the dialog in the first chapter is hysterical! Normally, I have a quiet chuckle to myself if I find something funny but your fic made me actually giggle so much that my dad looked at me funny and asked me what the hell I was laughing at! XD
Can't wait for your next story. =] x

Date: 2009-10-23 11:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This was so cute! Are you going to do another one with Emily a little older?

Date: 2009-10-27 04:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you very much, I'm so glad you liked it! I've pondered the idea of doing another chapter when she's an energetic toddler, but I haven't got around to it yet. :D

Date: 2009-10-27 04:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
:D I hope you do...that'd be so cute. It would definitely give Jeremy something else to laugh about.

Here is my comment.

Date: 2009-12-29 04:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Purr, purr purr.

I want to curl up with this fic and never let it go.


Date: 2010-02-19 08:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I utterly love this, the rambling and fumbling around, the utter panic and the Veyron ride before bed.


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