In The Army
'BANG! BANG! BANG!'
Bae had a new fascination since he got a set of toy soldiers for his seventh birthday yesterday. Presently, he was running around the living room, one soldier in each hand and the rest of his army positioned strategically all over the furniture.
Gold simply didn't have the heart to interrupt his play even if the noise was making reading simplest newspaper articles impossible. Well, Bae was happy and that really was the only thing that mattered. Gold smiled to himself remembering the birthday party with all Bae's friends. Though he felt a selfish pleasure that today he can just lounge on his sofa with his legs propped up and not worry about a pack of little savages ruining his house.
'Off!' Suddenly he couldn't catch his breath, when over fifty pounds of a child launched unnoticed from sofa backrest and landed on his stomach,
'Surrender, you evil man!' his son yelled, sitting on crushed newspaper and pointing at him with one of the plastic soldiers.
'Oh, really?' Gold put his hands on his son's sides. 'But I have a secret weapon. I can't surrender without using it.'
Bae pondered it for a moment.
'Alright' he said with the confidence of a sure winner. 'You may try it. But then you surrender!'
'Not if I win.'
'You will never win against my trusted soldiers! Now, what's that weapon?'
Bae was clearly curious and Gold smiled slyly. He sat up straighter and whispered:
One second later the mighty soldier Bae was wriggling and laughing helplessly, flailing arms and legs around.
'Do you surrender, commander Bae?' Gold asked after a suitably long tickling.
'Never!' Bae rasped and managed to change position enough to reach out and tickle Gold.
The little, smartass strategist knew all too well that he inherited being ticklish straight from his father.
Finally they both landed on the floor, panting, Gold managing to slide from the sofa first and cushion Bae's fall.
They lied for a few moments, cuddled together and too tired to move. Bae was the first to recover.
'You were in the army, right?'
Gold cringed, but Bae was looking at him with such a curious, wide eyes.
'Wow! I want to be in army too when I'm big!'
'You do?' Well, it wasn't surprising at all given the circumstances, but still... 'Why do you want to be in the army?' he asked carefully.
'Because I wanna be brave and strong and smart!' came an immediate and enthusiastic reply.
'And what will you do being brave, strong and smart?'
Bae thought about that for a moment and Gold simply loved watching his son putting on that serious face, thinking long and hard before speaking because the matter was so important to him.
'I would help people' he decided. 'I will defend them from bad people and from things like flood or fire.'
'Then perhaps you would consider also being policeman or firefighter?' He felt his heart stopping with dread at the mere thought of Bae having such a risky job, but it was still better than a soldier and he had to go at something similarly attractive for a seven year old.
'I can consider it' Bae agreed reasonably. 'But to consider I need to know more. How it was when you were in the army?'
Trust said seven year old to turn the tables on his old man with no sweat.
'It was... It was... demanding. Yes, it was demanding. We had a lot of physical exercises.'
'Were you shooting things?'
'A bit, yes. But army isn't about shooting things. Nor shooting people.' Gold cringed. 'You need to be really sure that you want and need to shoot. It's a really serious matter.'
'I know' Bae protested. 'You told me all that when you told me to not touch your gun.'
'And I absolutely meant that.'
'And you keep it locked up anyway, even when I promised to not touch it!'
'It's a matter of good habit. Guns had to be treated carefully. It doesn't mean that I don't believe you when you promise.'
Bae frowned, but nodded.
'Did you have a commander, an officer, papa?'
'Yes, all military is about structure, everyone has a commander.'
'What was he like? Did you like him?'
Oh stars, Bae was talking about his commander the same way he usually talked about teachers.
'It was her, Bae. Sergeant Miranda MacAllister. And it's hard to say that I liked her. Her job was to train me and...' Well, perhaps the teacher parallel wasn't so bad. 'It's the same way that you may like less the teacher that teaches you a subject you don't like.'
'I don't like music. And yeah, I don't like Miss Mills.'
Gold shut his eyes for a moment. He didn't like the Mayor's half-sister too, and combined with sergeant Miranda MacAllister, the unpleasant effect was more than doubled.
'Perhaps my sergeant was a bit better than your music teacher...' he admitted. Bae giggled.
'Play with me, papa, please!' Bae run off to gather his plastic army. He returned frowning.
'What's the matter son?'
'They're all men' he said, dumping the army in Gold's lap.
'That's a pity.'
'Emma said that too. Let's make one of them your sergeant and the other like Emma!'
Bae run off to fetch a very messy box of sewing utensils (without needles) that Milly gave him a long time ago when he wanted to make spider webs from threads and wool.
'That's for Emma' he tied a bunch of yellow wool to one soldier's head. Gold followed by choosing bright red 'hair' for his sergeant.
'What now, Bae?'
'Now' Bae picked up big, messy skein of orange wool and put it on the piano with a smirk. 'This is Miss Mills and we have standing orders to take her down!'