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[personal profile] guppy_sandhu
It's the night before Christmas and, finally, all the children are in bed. Even Fry, who rarely settles down before ten; or if he does, will be up again before five.

It took a few moments to remember where they hid all the Christmas presents, but Guppy and Fran have got most of them under the tree when Guppy hears just a little noise on the stairs, and turns to see two peeping brown eyes and a lock of brown curly hair in a gap in the banister.

"Why aren't you in bed, Brooklyn?" he says, in a soft but stern voice.

"I was just checking." Brooke says.

"Just checking what?" Guppy asks.

Brooke pads down the stairs, clutching the big fluffy tarantula she takes to bed with her.

"Daddy, the elfs on the shelfs, in the bar, they were real, weren't they?"

"Well, they went back to Father Christmas, yes." Guppy says.

"Does that mean... does that mean I'm not getting any presents?" Brooke asks. "Because I'm sometimes naughty?"

"Come here." Guppy says, sitting down and plonking his daughter on his knee. "Do you know who gives you Christmas presents, here, in this house?"

Brooke thinks for a moment, then points at him.

"That's right. Me and your mum and your brothers and sister, and your aunties and grandmas and friends." Guppy says. "You might get a present from the Father Christmas in the bar, but at home, you get your presents from us. Do you know why that is?"

"Why?" Brooke asks.

"Because we love you." Guppy says. "And we love you whether you are naughty or nice. And that is what Christmas is all about."

He watches his fiery little girl absorb this. Then she nods, slowly.

"So it doesn't matter if I am naughty?"

"Oh it matters." Guppy says. "Being naughty can put you in danger and spoil things and it can make other people sad. But everyone is a bit naughty sometimes. It's part of learning and growing and becoming who you are. Remember the other day when Coral unravelled half her jumper pulling that loose wool?"

Brooke giggles. "That was funny."

"Yes it was a bit." Guppy admits. "But then she didn't have a jumper any more, and Mummy was cross because she's spent all that time making it, so it was a naughty thing to do. It's better to do nice things, like when you helped your team shoot a goal, and made me and Mummy very proud of you." He kisses her gently on the forehead, and then chuckles slightly.

"'There once was a girl who had a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead. And when she was good, she was very very good, and when she was bad...'"

"'She was horrid.'" Brooke grins and slips off his knee and heads back towards the stairs.

"Want me to tuck you in?"

"I can do that." Brooke says, padding back up the stairs. She pauses just a second and adds. "If you got me a snake, don't forget to feed it."

"I think we made it very clear that we weren't getting you a live snake."
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