~One week later~
You'd nearly given up thinking of ways to show your daddy that you were old enough to go with him wherever he went but the thought of it was still in the back of your mind. It just wasn't main priority though. You had more things to worry about. Like getting better with the knife that you treasured so much from your uncle. A few days ago, your big brother Al even showed you a game. He said it would help so you won't mess around and cut your fingers off playing with the knife. You were pretty good at the game by now so you were going to show your uncle it.
"Uncle Francis. Look what I can do", you skipped into the living room, pocket knife in hand, then sat in front of the coffee table. You lied your hand flat on the table and spread all your fingers apart.
"What are you doing, mutt?"
"Big brother showed me a game with the knife you gave me! I got real good at it, see?" You lifted up your band-aid covered hand. "I've been practicing and daddy's been fixing my owies"
"Practicing what?", Al plopped down on the couch then questioned you.
"The game you showed me"
"...You actually did that?"
You nod. "Watch!" You put your hand back down and spread your fingers back out. You readied the knife. "Oh! I have all my fingers! The knife goes chop! Chop! Chop! If I miss the spaces in between my fingers will come off!"
"She actually fucking did it", Al mumbled. "I didn't think she'd actually try it"
"And if I hit my fingers, the blood will soon come out"
"Is she playing with a knife?", Matt asked as he saw you happily singing with knife in hand.
"I didn't think she'd do it, alright"
"But all the same, I play this game, cause that's what it's all about!"
"Oh! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! I'm picking up the speed! And if I hit my fingers then my hand will start to bleed!" You move your hand out of the way quickly and jab the knife down onto the table. You grinned proudly. "See? Am I getting better uncle Francis?"
"For a four year old...I guess"
"You showed a four year old, a game with a knife and singing?!", Matt hit his face. "Really?! Just why?!"
"I didn't think she'd do it! I especially didn't think she'd practice it! Plus, Francis is the one who gave her a knife!"
"Look Matt!", you twirled the knife in your hand then stabbed it back down. "Uncle Francis is showing me a new one. It's really hard but I'm close to getting it!" You threw the knife up and attempted to catch it. That didn't work out and it ended up just cutting your hand. "Ow!...I almost had it"
"This kid is psychotic"
"What does psychotic mean, Matt?"
"Nothing...Forget I said it"
"Ok" You picked the knife back up and tried again. This time your aim was way off and it cut your arm. "Ah! O-opsie"
"There you are (name)! I was looking for you! Would you like a special cupcake?"
"Oh yes! I haven't had one all day!"
Later that day, while your dad was out, you thought of what to do. Your uncle Francis was gone as well, Matt was in his room and you didn't know where Al was. You thought this would be a great time to see if you could figure out some stuff. "What's something else that I can't do?", you contemplated. "I..can't go outside by myself...That should be an easy one!"
You trotted off to your half of the closet that you shared with your dad, got on a pair of clean, all white dress shoes, then left your room and bravely went to the front door by yourself. You looked both ways to make sure neither Matt nor Al saw you leaving then opened the door. You stepped out of the house and looked around. It was just outside. Nothing special about it to you.
You started walking off down the sidewalk and got about a good three houses away before you were snatched up and dragged all the way home. "What the hell is wrong with you?! You know not to go outside by yourself!", Al yelled at you.
"Just stop doing stupid stuff before you really get hurt!"
Your eyes began to water. You didn't think it was that bad. It wasn't like you never been outside before and it looked pretty normal with or without someone around. You weren't expecting to get yelled at like this because of it. "I-I'm sorry! I-I won't do it again"
Al sighed, "Why were you going out by yourself anyway?"
"I-I just d-didn't wanna be t-too young a-anymore!", you sniffled. "I-I'm sorry! I-I promise"
Al sat you down then rubbed the top of your head. "...Alright...Listen...Since it looks like Oliver isn't planning on talking to you about it anytime soon...I'll take you with me"
"Just to shut you up and you gotta stop doing stuff you're not suppose to be"
"A-alright", you wiped your eyes and nose.
"You can't just come though. It's gonna be real dangerous"
"W-what do I have to do?"
"I'm gonna make sure you can do a couple of things. You're not scared of getting beat up a little, right?"
You shake your head frantically as your eyes stay wide. "Just tell me what I have to do, big brother. I'll do it!"
He smirked. "That determination is good"
"What does de-ter...min-a-tion mean?"
"That you're ready to do whatever I tell you! First off, if you wanna come with me, you can't be hitting me every time I cuss. Got it?"
You cross your arms. "...Fine"
"Good. Now come on...I don't really know how well this'll work out...you know since you're like four but hey. Why not?"
~One month later~
You've been training with Al everyday. You were always tired, hungry, and thirsty by the end of every session and you would work twice a day. Al said he was just teaching you all of this for precautions. He said you most likely wouldn't need to do any of the things he was showing you when you went with him but you might need it later. On top of that, you've learned a lot from your uncle. He taught you aim which was very difficult to learn. Matt was also helping you. He was teaching you the art of something he called trash talk. Without cussing of course. You thought you were getting pretty good at it too.
It was getting kind of late and you were close to drifting to sleep on the couch so you were getting ready to go to your room to sleep.
"(name). You ready?", Al ruffled your hair.
You yawned and stretched. "We already trained for today though Al. It's dark"
"I meant to go"
"...Like...go go?" He nodded. "Right now?"
"Yeah. Lets go"
You smiled widely and hopped down from the couch. You grabbed his hand as you both left the house. "Shouldn't we tell daddy?"
"Nah. He good" He led you to his car. You always thought Al's car was really cool looking but you never rode in it before.
"I get to ride in your car?!"
"That's right. Hop in the back"
"Alright!", you ran to the door. You yanked on the handle of the car door and pulled it open before hopping in and shutting it back.
It was a long drive to wherever it was that you two were going. You stayed up due to anticipation and excitement."When we get there, I want you to just sit on top of the car, ok?"
"And I want you to hold my bat for me. Stay quiet too. No matter what"
"Good...We here" You looked out the window and wherever you were, it didn't look friendly. The streets were dirty and there were a lot of drawings and words on buildings. It was already dark outside but the streetlights weren't helping very much since they were foggy and dingy.
Al parked in front of an alleyway before getting out the car. He opened your door and while he was unbuckling your seatbelt, your heard footsteps getting closer. "Yo Jones!", a voice shouted.
"Hold up", Al responded. He sat you up on top of the car like he said and gave you his bat. You held it with both hands then looked up to see the group. It was at least five boys. You were pretty sure it was five. You couldn't count past five anyway so you were pretty sure it was five.
"You got a kid?", one of them glanced over at you.
"Not the point here. Where's my fucking money?"
"Calm your tits Jones. We said we'd get it"
"We just...need a little more time"
"Bullshit. You had enough time. I want it...now" You kept your mouth closed as you watched. You wondered what they owed your brother money for. You thought it would probably all make sense when it was over. "You got it or what?"
"We're getting it alright?!"
Al let out a breath and turned to you. You assumed he wanted his bat so you used all your strength to hold it out in front of you. "Thanks squirt" You moved your head up and down then crossed your hands in your lap. "Now. Let me repeat that. You got it or what?"
"I-if we don't?"
"I'll check you myself"
"Look! You can check us all damn night! We d-", the man rambling on was soon met with the nail infested end of your big brother's bat. You jumped a bit when he suddenly hit him. The sound of the bat making contact alone made you twitch. Al pulled the bat off his face then swung it at another one of the men. This time you were sure you heard breaking bone. A third man was hit and along with the side of his face getting the bat, the other half of his face harshly hit the brick wall as well. Even in this low lighting, you saw their blood splatter. One tried to run but didn't get too many steps in since Al tripped him up. After that, the fifth male was violently kicked in his knees. His screams rang in your ears as he hit the ground, face first. Al slammed his bat down on the ankles of the fourth man, the one who tried to run. His pained yelling, upon deaf ears. No one could help him. Certainly not you. You were too amazed at your brother's actions. Was this what your dad was doing as well? You never would have guessed this.
When all five were down, Al got down and started searching their pockets and shoes and such. There was money on all five of them. "A little more than what you owe me but that's fine. Extra for the trouble you caused me. Here ya go squirt", Al gave you four of the green bills. You didn't know how much it was though. "Lets go. Get in the car" You reach out to him and he helps you down before putting you back in the back seat.
On the car ride back, you just stared at the money he gave you. You didn't know what to do with it. "You can talk now"
"Oh...What do I do with this?"
"That's your only question? Really?"
"Oh uhm. Why did you kill those people?"
"They still alive...Maybe. I don't know"
"Hmm..." You looked back at the money. You didn't know where to put it. Your dress didn't have pockets so you decided to put it in your socks. It still looked noticeable but luckily you weren't trying to hide it. "Does daddy do the same thing when he leaves without me?"
"Similar, but not the same. I'd say he does it more for fun, than anything else but I don't know how much he'd want me to tell you about that"
"Oh ok...What about Matt and uncle Francis?"
"Matt mostly chases down poachers"
"What's a poacher?", you wondered out loud.
"Someone who kills animals, illegally and usually for money"
"Oh! That's bad!", you declared.
"What about uncle Francis?"
Al snickered, "He's like a fucking boss. All he has to do is say some stuff and people do it"
"Wow. Uncle Francis is so cool...When I get older, will I get to do something cool like you guys?", you questioned hopefully.
"Maybe. If you're lucky squirt, you can be as cool as me"
"Wow. I hope I do"
"Of course you do"
You smiled as your thoughts started to drift back to the recent scene you saw. How in such short time, your cool big brother had all five of the other people on the ground. It didn't even look as if it was that hard for him. "Al? Can I come with you again next time?"
"I'll think about it", he claimed before the car stopped. You unbuckled your seat belt then Al helped you out. "You gotta be sleepy. You can ride on my back inside"
"But you're not sleepy! I-if you're not sleepy, then I'm not either", you debated but still got on his back. Just because you said you weren't sleepy doesn't mean you were gonna pass up the opportunity to ride on his back. You still wanted to ride on his back.
"Whatever. You're probably gonna be sleep by the time I put you in your bed"
"Nu-uh", you lightly disagreed as you lied your head on his shoulder. Al walked with you all the way to the front door of the house. You were fighting to keep your eyes open but they were so heavy.
When you got inside, you felt that you were taken off of Al's back. "Oh poppet! I was so worried about you! I looked everywhere for you! Don't ever scare me like that again!"
"I'm sorry daddy"
He swung you side to side as he continued to cuddle you. "Where were you?! It's far past your bedtime!"
"I was out with Al. He went to go get money from these five people" After your statement, your dad froze up. His sudden stiffness had you curious. "What's wrong dad?"
"N-nothing...S-so what happened?"
"Oh! Big brother told me to sit on top of his car and he even let me hold his bat!"
Al was slowly trying to slip out of the room while you were explaining things. "Move another foot and I'll hurt you", Oliver warned.
"Damn it, but I'm tired!"
"Ok. The people said that they didn't have the money even when they did! So I gave Al his bat", you cover your left fist with your right hand then swing and lean backwards in your dads arms. "And it said boom! Right across his face! Then crack! I heard it! Then! A-and then! He tripped him and kicked the other one and! And! And!...They were loud. They were real loud. And oh! Al gave me this!" You tried to reach your sock but your fingertips could only graze the money that was there. Your dad looked to see what you were doing and noticed the money in your sock.
"Y-you gave her part of the money you made?!"
"Well...She liked it"
You nod wildly. "I did!" You looked up at your dad. His eyes didn't look as they normally did. By that, you mean you saw pink. No lie. You swore you saw bits of pink in his eyes. You knew pink and blue were his favorite colors but you didn't know he could change his eyes to match the colors! "Daddy?"
"Dear. You should be going to bed now"
"Ok" He puts you back on the ground and you skip back off to your room.
When Oliver hears the door shut, he glares over at Al. "What...did you do?"
"She was sneaking all around the house anyway"
"She was doing dangerous shit! She left out the house by herself and just went walking down the street! She said she just wanted to be older so she could go with you when you left"
Oliver looked down and fiddled with his fingers. "...S-she did?"
"That's the whole reason she went with me"
"...Still! You had no right to take her there! She's still very young! She's only four! She could have been hurt!"
Al groaned, "She's fine ain't she? I was watching her the whole time"
Oliver crossed his arms. "I don't care. I don't want you taking her out like that again!"
"She had fun"
"No! Don't do it again!"
Al smacked his teeth. "Fine. Whatever. It's your fucking kid anyway"
~two days later~
You wondered your way to the kitchen where you were about to try to make your own snack. You got out some of the things you liked and added it into a bowl. You sat the bowl of many foods and ingredients on the dining room table then went back to the kitchen to get a big spoon to stir with. "The fuck is this?", you hear while you were looking at the different sizes of the spoons in the drawer.
You peaked your head back into the dining room and saw Matt observing the bowl you sat in there. Maybe you weren't suppose to cook by yourself. You hid farther into the kitchen, hoping he didn't know you were there. "You did this (name)?"
"N-no", you stuttered out as you stayed in the kitchen.
"If you tell me, I won't tell Oliver"
"O-ok. Ok. I did it, b-but I just wanted to make something to eat like Al and daddy do for me", you confessed. "I-I'm sorry" He started walking towards the kitchen and you got kind of scared. "I-I'm really sorry! I-I am!"
"(name), calm down. It's not that serious"
"O-oh...I'm sorry", you still apologized as you slowly left out the kitchen. Matt picked you up and you immediately threw your arms around his neck and hugged him. You knew when you did this, it made him pretty uncomfortable but you wanted to hug him. "Sorry"
"...Hey (name). You wanna go somewhere?"
"To beat up poachers?!", you guess excitedly.
"Al told me that you beat up poachers. Those mean people who kill animals for money!"
"What else did he tell you?"
"He said that uncle Francis was a boss!! He just says stuff and it happens!!"
Matt snickered at your enthusiasm. "Oh yeah. Oliver told me that Al took you out with him"
"You weren't scared?"
"Nu-uh! Because Al was there! If my big brothers are there, I know nothing bad will happen!", you explained as you rubbed your cheek against his neck.
"Well, do you wanna come with me to meet somebody?"
You gasp and loosen your grip from around his neck, "Yes! Yes! Yes!! I wanna go!" He puts you down and you jump around. "When can we go?! What do I have to do?! What's their name?!"
"Just get a jacket and we can go now. His name's Kumajiro. You might like him"
"Yaaaaa!!!!", you cheered as you ran all the way to your room.
When you got there, your dad was peacefully resting in your shared bed. You put your finger to your lips and tip toed to the closet. When you got close to opening it you heard, "Poppet? What are you doing?"
You quickly turn around and your father was sitting up on the bed, watching you curiously looking as if he was up this whole time. "Getting a jacket"
"Because Matt told me to"
"Why is that?"
"Because he said so"
Your dad whined before flopping down onto his stomach and looking back up at you. "Dear, you've been spending more time with everyone else than with me? Where is he taking you anyway?"
"I'm sorry daddy! I can stay here with you!", you quickly made your way towards the bed then rested your forehead against his.
He smiled at you before brushing his fingers against one of your pigtails. "I was just trying to ask where you were going darling"
"Matt said he was going to take me to see someone named ku...ma...cheerio's!"
Your dad looked into your eyes, slightly confused by your statement. "Could you mean, Kumajiro?"
"Yeah!", you took a step back. "That's it!"
"Oh wow! You must really be getting along then for him to take you there!", he hopped down from the bed before going to the closet and picking out a light blue jacket for you to wear. He fixed it on you before hugging you tightly. "Have fun dear!"
"...But I thought"
"Oh, we can spend time together when you get back, alright?"
He turned you towards the door. "Now run along (name)"