Prompt #20

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                Prompt: Brennan calling his dad an asshole at 3!

                A.N.- An incident mentioned in Prompt #19

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                Elena Kipling felt her foot catch on something on the ground. She threw a hand out and managed to steady herself against the couch.

                "Matthew!" she snapped, eyes falling to her husband. "Was it you or Brennan that left that stupid toy car out in the middle of the living room?"

                Matthew Kipling frowned. "It was me. I thought you would've seen it. Brennan likes when I play with his toy cars."

                "Play!" Brennan repeated, picking up another toy car and pushing it into Matt's hands. "Play!"

                "That's what we've been doing," Matt said, patting Brennan's head.

                "You're both a pain in the ass," Elena said, shaking her head and kicking the car back at the boys.

                "Me?" Matt looked baffled. "I didn't do anything. You told me to play with Brennan, and I am."

                "Well try not to kill me in the process, asshole!" Elena said, shaking her head and leaving the living room.

                "I don't know why she's so mad," Matt said to Brennan. "Tripping over your toys wouldn't kill her."

                "That one," Brennan said, pointing at a bright red car. "That one, daddy."

                Brennan had a habit of repeating himself. He also had a habit of repeating other people, which adults either found cute or annoying.

                "Here," Matt said, starting to hand Brennan the car. But it slipped out of his hands and his eyes widened as it fell, hitting Brennan in the knee.

                "Ow!" Brennan cried, stumbling away and rubbing his knee.

                "It was an accident!" Matt said hastily, looking distraught.

                "You asshole!" Brennan said, eyes watering.

                Matt's eyes widened and he slapped a hand over his mouth. He heard a sharp gasp from the doorway and knew Elena had heard that.

                "You don't mean that, do you?" Matt whispered.

                "Asshole!" Brennan repeated, hugging his injured knee to his chest.

                "Brennan!" Elena snapped, going over and yanking him to his feet. She spanked him and pointed a finger at him. "You don't call your father that! That's a naughty word! Bad!"

                "He thinks I'm an asshole," Matt said, quickly growing more distressed. "My own son thinks I'm an asshole!"

                Elena spun Brennan so that he was facing Matt. "Apologize, Brennan. Right now."

                "No!" Brennan said, tears on his cheeks now. "No!"

                "Brennan." Matt reached out and hesitated, hand hovering over Brennan's shoulder. "Brennan, do you really think I'm an asshole? It was just an accident. I didn't mean to make you mad. I love you."

                "Oh, for the love of god." Elena hoisted Brennan up and dumped him in Matt's lap. "Matthew, he's three years old. He just repeats what he hears. He doesn't actually think you're an asshole. He heard me say it so he repeated it when you hurt his knee." She picked up the red car and put it in Matt's hand. "Give him that."

                Matt held the car out to Brennan sheepishly. Brennan seemed instantly distracted from his apparent injury and temper tantrum, taking the car and driving it along Matt's leg.

                "Red car, red car!" he said.

                "He's..." Matt looked horribly confused. "But he was just mad!"

                "He's three," Elena said. "Give him a bright toy and he'll forgive you for anything." She sighed and knelt next to her husband, kissing him. "It's my fault for saying that word in front of him. I know Brennan repeats things he hears. He didn't mean it when he called you that. Watch this." She stood back up and pointed at Matt. "Matt, you're such a toothbrush!" She turned to Brennan. "Bren, what is daddy?"

                "A toothbrush," Brennan said, sticking his tongue out at Matt. "You're a toothbrush!"

                "What does that mean?" Matt asked, looking hopelessly lost.

                "I'm raising two children, I swear," Elena grumbled, leaving the room.

                Matt nervously shook Brennan's shoulder. "Are you mad at me?"

                Brennan thought it over and shook his head, holding up his red car. Matt looked incredibly relieved.

                "I love you," Matt said, patting Brennan's knee.

                "Love you, daddy," Brennan said, rolling his little car along Matt's arm. "Love you!"

                Matt seemed content now that the situation had been cleared up. As Elena watched them from the doorway, she didn't even complain when they started driving their little toy cars all over the floor. She just smiled, hoping Matt would learn not to get so offended over every temper tantrum Brennan threw.

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