nsync in black and white

Fiction by Pen . . . . . not real, made up, purely intended for entertainment

Oh, the Places You'll Go

written for Fleurrochard as an MTYG Hero's reward
with thanks to Dr Seuss for the quotes

Lance's christening gift was a pile of books considerably higher than the baby was long. Oh, he also gifted her with some bonds—for her college fund, as he explained to Joey—not that she'd need a college fund, Joey wasn't planning on running out of money any time, but that was Lance being a proper godfather. Still, his real gift was the pile of books.

"You do know she can't read yet?" Kelly said, teasing.

"So now you have them in the house, ready to read to her as soon as she's old enough to take notice," Lance said, perfectly serious. "I'm going to read her all of them, when she's old enough. I'm her godfather, so it's, like, my job."

"He's so sweet about it," Kelly told Joey that night, in bed after an exhausting, family-filled day. "He's taking being her godfather really seriously."

"He's a good choice, I told you," Joey said. Although secretly, he thought Lance would probably forget his promise to read all the books to Briahna. Lance was a sweetheart, but he was always running after something new.

He was wrong, though.

Briahna was only really big enough to look at the pictures, but Lance would sit her on his lap and bounce her to the rhythm of One fish, Two fish, Red fish, Blue fish, until she giggled.

A year later, it was marching about the living room on his knees, reciting, "I do not like green eggs and ham, I do not like them, Sam I Am," while she giggled and shouted, "Sam I Yam!" and toddled after him and grabbed his hair in her firm little fists.

Once she'd mastered running, Briahna didn't sit still very often, and Lance's visits were mostly spent in motion, chasing after her or pretending to run away. But at the end of the day when she was worn out, she'd snuggle next to him on the couch. "A person's a person, no matter how small," he told her, and traced under the lines with his finger so she could follow as he read.

And Joey treasured that time he'd come into the room to find Lance acting out The Cat in the Hat, bouncing around the room and flailing like a lunatic as he recited the words. "It's fun to have fun, But you have to know how." Joey was surprised Lance could remember them all, but it seemed as though they'd stuck in his head when he was a kid, and never slid out again. He wondered if Briahna would remember them the same way. Maybe she'd remember them in Lance's voice, with his Mississippi accent coming through.

"No!" she said, a month later. "Read it right! Read it like Lance!"

It seemed like only five minutes since she'd been a tiny little thing with a round, red face, smaller than her pile of books. But it couldn't be only five minutes, because now, here was Briahna, sitting on the couch with Lance and showing off her new skill at reading. "I meant no harm. I most truly did not. But I had to grow bigger. So bigger I got."

Joey wasn't sure who was prouder, himself or the beaming godfather.

When they brought Kloey home, Briahna had sorted her Dr Seuss books into two piles. "I asked Uncle Lance," she announced, "and he said these ones were best for babies. I'm going to read these to her, as soon as she's big enough."



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