“Baba! It hurts.” Nanali winced in pain as T’Challa tried his best to braid his daughter’s hair.
“I am so sorry my darling. Baba is trying.” With the utmost care T’Challa tried combing through Nanali’s hair again.
T’Challa was a great king to his people. He was a very good father to his daughter Nanali but he was honestly the worst person to braid her hair. Nanali liked her aunty Shuri’s hair and she always wants her to look like her aunty. While Shuri was in Oakland working on the science and technology exchange program for Wakanda T’Challa was the one doing his daughter’s hair. And Nanali was very sensitive about whom she let touch her hair. Hence T’Challa was the one trying to braid it as nicely as he could. Which were most times just two puffs.
“Baba! You are the worst!” with Nanali storming off.
He often wondered how was braiding a six year old hair harder than ruling a country. T’Challa was watching all the hair tutorials to learn how to give Nanali cute hairdos like she wanted. This is how he found Erik and Elveen youtube channel. Erik Steven did all kinds of hair dos on his daughter Elveen’s hair. Erik was very informative about hair. He addressed all moms and dads whom struggled with their kid’s hair. He showed how to take care of it, how to create quick cute hairdos to elaborate ones. T’Challa devoured them and leaving comments on how helpful they were. Erik always made sure to reply back with only sweet and witty response. It may have made T’Challa’s heart skip a beat or two when Erik left wink or kissing emoji on the reply.
T’Challa kind of looked forward to their new videos to see what they came up with and maybe a little too eager to see Erik’s face too. Erik Stevens was a beautiful man and T’Challa always did admire beauty.
Which brings him to Erik’s new video titled ‘Elvee and Erik visits Wakanda Science and Technology Center!’ to say the title had T’Challa excited was an understatement. At first Erik tells how they went to visit the science and technology center of Wakanda in Oakland and how much fun they had. Erik barely says a word after that as Elvee starts to give step by step explanation on their trip. Erik looks at his daughter with the most adoration which is not unknown to the king, it is how T’Challa looks at Nanali after all. And it was understandable. Elvee was excited. She explained how she had seen the princess scientist whom made all this cool gadgets that did this and that. Her hand went flying explaining Shuri’s ‘Sneakers’ and ‘Kimoyo Beads’ and how awesome they were. To T’Challa Nanali was the cutest but he had to admit Elvee was very cute. And when she announced to her father that she will be a princess scientist when she grows up, Erik beamed with pride. T’Challa could feel his heart swell up when at the end Erik and Elvee went and did the Wakandan salute shouting ‘WAKANDA FOREVER.’
T’Challa left a comment for Elvee saying he was sure she would be a great princess scientist. Little did T’Challa know Elvee would one day indeed become a princess scientist.
T’Challa was by now somewhat good at giving Nanali more than one hairdo. Nanali was not pleased but she approved of the new hairdos. She longed for Shuri to come home. And which is how both T’Challa and Nanali were both in Oakland to meet Shuri.
“My princess.” Nanali does a cute little curtsy making Shuri giggle.
“Oh! My princess.” Shuri mimicked the little princess. Nanali peaks up and jumps on Shuri.
“I missed you Aunty.” Nanali threw both her arms around her aunty.
“As did I my love. As did i.” T’Challa could tell Shuri was beyond happy to have Nanali here.
“Did you miss me?” as if only noticing T’Challa now she smirks.
“Ah brother. I see you are here too.” Shuri keeps Nanali in her arms as T’Challa embraces his sister.
Nanali giggles more from royal family hug and refuses to get down from Shuri’s arms.
Shuri shows them her progress and the outreach program they had with the children. Showing hover bikes to a group of children Nanali’s age. Seeing the hover bike the children Nanali soon forgets her Auntie’s arms and runs towards them.
“I feel a little betrayed. My own creation is more attractive to her. I don’t know what to do brother.” Shuri pouts and looks at her bother. T’Challa laughs. T’Challa and Shuri stand at a close distance monitoring Nanali as this was her first interaction with children from another country. Nanali was fluent in English and she talked to the children about the hover bike. The children and Nanali were in deep conversation with very serious faces. It was quite beyond T’Challa what they could possibly be discussing about hover bikes with such serious looks.
Seeing Ayo was looking after the little princess T’Challa moved around to other projects. Shuri tells him about how children are so eager to learn, how they catch up on all the technology. Shuri was telling him about introducing a few more non lethal techs when Nanali runs up to him with a little girl by her side.
“Baba! Baba! I made a friend!” Nanali points to the little girl whose hand she was holding.
“That is excellent. I am very happy you made a friend. And what is Nanali’s friend’s name.” T’Challa gives the most genuine smile he reserves for family.
“I am Elveen Stevens. It’s nice to meet you.” She extends her hand and T’Challa takes it in a soft handshake.
“Elvee baby. Don’t run off like that.” T’Challa knows that voice and when he looks up to see the source of the voice. He was not wrong. And it clicks. Elveen Stevens was Elvee and her father Erik. They were standing right there and T’Challa had seen all their hairdo videos.
“Dad! I made a new friend. And this is her Baba.” Elvee points towards Nanali and T’Challa. Erik gives him embarrassed smile and Nanali a bright beautiful smile.
“It’s nice to meet you Elvee’s new friend.”
“It’s nice to meet you Elvee’s dad.” T’Challa may have had a passing crush on Erik but seeing him interact with Nanali was melting his heart into goo.
Nanali and Elvee run off to see more projects with Shuri leaving Erik and T’Challa alone.
“Kids man.” Erik gives T’Challa a broad smile and his heart may or may not have skipped a beat.
“I am Erik Stevens.” Erik extends him hand towards T’Challa.
“T’Challa. It’s nice to meet you.” T’Challa introduces himself to the dad. Erik looks a little surprise.
“You are from Wakanda!” T’Challa nods in confirmation.
“We love it here. This is our second time here.” Erik explains about Elvee’s fascination with all things Wakanda. T’Challa finds it easier to talk to the man whom he has only seen through the screen for the last few months.
“I actually know you.” T’Challa confesses. When Erik raises his eyebrow in confusion T’Challa clarifies.
“I mean I see your videos on how to do your kids hairs.” T’Challa feels flustered explaining this. He is the king of the most advanced country in the world how is he this flustered!
Erik breaks into laughter, and T’Challa was having hard time to not be more attracted to this man.
“I get it man. Kids hair can be tricky.” Erik looks at Elvee and Nanali riding hover bikes. “Especially when it’s us. Single dads.” T’Challa doesn’t flirt, he doesn’t have the time more likely and that sounded like Erik may be fishing for T’Challa’s availability.
“Yes it is.” Not to disappoint T’Challa confirms his availableness quite eagerly.
Erik and Elvee leaves the center but not before setting up a play date for Nanali and Elvee at the center. Erik winks at T’Challa before leaving. T’Challa feels rather hot under his skin. He had a date with Erik after all.