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Mommy Said So

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“Again!” shrieks Daisy, throwing her arms up in the air quickly enough to bop her dad on the nose (she doesn’t notice, but he’s okay keeping it that way).

“Nope,” he says firmly, groaning as he scoots her off of his lap and sets her on the floor in front of the couch, finally able to regain feeling in his lower extremities.

“You, my darling, are going to bed! It is late,” Phil declares, knowing well that enforcing the one-Mulan-a-night policy is difficult, and it’ll be more so in the next couple hours, what with Melinda returning later that night. Daisy always had a way with him - he’d honestly been surprised when Melinda had agreed to leave them alone in the house for a weekend. Her workdays often ended with finding melted ice cream on counters and gaggles of rubber ducks in the bath.

But come on, the kid was three and he was missing an arm. They were allowed some playtime, right?

“Please, Daddy, please?” Daisy hooks her fingers into one of the pockets of his shorts. “Mulan is a good road model! Even Mommy said so!!”

Oh, here it goes.

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“That’s a lot of light for a sleeping household,” Bobbi notices, cognizant that she doesn’t have to say anything more for Melinda to join her in drawing sidearms. She’s the first to try the door, confirming to her partner that it is indeed locked, and she pulls her own spare key out of the pocket in her boot to unlock it.

Melinda gives her a grateful look, and surveys the perimeter before entering the house through the back door with her own key.

But just as Phil likes to remind her, she’s all too cautious, because when she meets up with Bobbi in the living room, he and Daisy are asleep on the couch, the navy end screen of a VHS tape remaining on the television in front of them.

"Mulan?" Melinda mouths knowingly, looking at her family from behind and unable to see the video case she's sure is splayed somewhere on the floor between the couch and the television, and Bobbi nods in amused affirmation. "Mulan."