MAIN CHARACTERS: Ezra, Vin, OFCs, OMC
DISCLAIMER: Ezra & Vin ain't mine. The others are - sorta. No money is being made. I'm in this for the laughs, if nothing else.
RATINGS/WARNINGS: Just some references to bodily functions (I suppose that makes it toilet humour?)
NOTES: This fic is set at a time prior to the story "Innocent Blood (One Day in Denver)".
She still couldn't believe that she'd left her only child with a man she knew so little about.
But he was a friend of Senor Tanner's. They worked together. He'd always seemed nice during the brief conversations they'd had. And he had a little girl of his own. He had to be respectable!
Still to leave her little baby... Would he even know how to care for a baby? He must do...looking after his daughter and all. But not all men were good with children. After all, Pedro still didn't have the faintest idea how to change a diaper.
Senor Tanner's friend had looked understandably shocked when she'd thrust the baby into his arms. He'd knocked on her door looking for Senor Tanner, who lived further down the hall. The last thing he could have expected was to have a baby virtually thrown at him by a woman barely holding back hysteria.
She remembered babbling at him. "I'm so sorry, Senor. I don't know where he is. I have to go out somewhere and I can't take little Diego with me. Please, Senor, it will only be a little while but I have to go now and I can't leave him here. Could you and your little girl keep an eye on him?"
The man was speechless but the little girl at his side had said, 'Sure. No problem."
And Maria Delgado had been so desperate that she'd accepted this, running down the stairs and leaving her only child in the arms of a virtual stranger without any decent explanation.
But she couldn't tell him that she was going to the police station to bail out Pedro. She couldn't. He was a government agent like Senor Tanner. She couldn't tell him that.
But now she was nearly home again. The police had told her Pedro wasn't going anywhere. His lawyer had arrived and Pedro himself had told her to go home.
She was almost there. Diego would be fine...
Santa Maria! What had she done?
* * * * * * *
"It's supposed to be sorta like a triangle but not quite."
"Thank you. That much, at least, I already knew. What is it with children this age? If a substance isn't comin' out of one end, somethin' else is comin' out of the other."
"You're just mad 'cause he puked on your jacket."
"No, I'm not. And couldn't you find a better word to describe regurgitation, rather than 'puke'?"
"'Puke' sounds just like what it is."
"Unfortunately so, but the last thing I need right now is to be reminded of the foul natures of these substances which I am bein' forced to contend with."
"Can't be much fun for him either. He hasn't stopped crying."
"I know. I can hear him."
"I don't think you're folding it right. You've never done this before, have you?"
"No. I told you that I hadn't."
"I could tell anyway!"
"And where, pray tell, did you acquire your immense expertise on the subject?"
"My friend, Theo. His mama has had another baby and when I was round there the other day, she showed me how it's done."
"I see," said Ezra Standish, the imminent demise of his patience plainly visible. However, he was not quite ready to admit defeat and relinquish the task to a five-year-old.
"Y'know," Angie observed, "if you don't get the new one ready soon, he's gonna roll off this diaper and spread yucky stuff all over the place."
"Which is precisely why I asked you to ensure that he maintained that position."
"I'm trying, but he's squirming a lot. Must feel awful with that stuff all over his bu-, I mean, bottom."
"Look! Can I rely on your continued assistance, or not?"
Ezra turned back to the task at hand, muttering darkly. "Why couldn't the woman use disposables?"
"Not good for the environment. That's what Theo's mama says."
Ezra snorted but didn't offer further comment and Angie rapidly grew bored with the lull in conversation.
"Maybe it would be better if we swap around. You hold him and I could try that part."
Ezra held up one hand. "No, I think I almost have it."
Angie peered over at his handiwork. "Yeah! Just fold that bit there."
Ezra sat back on his haunches, to look at the recalcitrant piece of cloth, now finally in an appropriate configuration, and grinned a triumphant grin.
"Nothin' to it!"
"It took you about half an hour!"
"A gross exaggeration."
"Yes, it is."
"Look, I'm not goin' to play that silly game with you. Now that we have his new garment prepared, don't you think we should change him into it?"
"You're gonna need to clean his bottom first. Just a sec!"
Angie jumped up from where she was kneeling on the floor and disappeared into the bathroom.
Ezra reached over to prevent Diego from rolling over and spreading his excrement on the carpet, and began muttering reassurances.
"Not long now, Little One. Just a few more minutes and we'll have you much more comfortable."
Angie reappeared, a water-soaked cloth cupped between her hands and dripping its moisture onto the carpet.
"What are you doin'?" Ezra asked incredulously.
"You need a damp cloth to clean him up."
"That cloth is not 'damp'. It's drenched. Go and wring it out before you bring it back here."
Angie disappeared and returned again with the cloth endowed with a more appropriate degree of moisture.
"Better?" she asked as she handed it to Ezra.
He cleaned the posterior of the baby boy and transferred him onto the new diaper without any spillage. Now, all that was required was to fold the diaper over the front of the child and fasten it with a safety pin. Not a problem! They were now in the home strait!
Ezra instinctively put his bleeding thumb into his mouth.
"Yuck!" Angie exclaimed.
He could see her point. He knew his thumb had looked clean as he had begun fastening the diaper, but the mere thought of the substances which he had been dealing with just prior to that made him feel slightly nauseous.
He removed the thumb from his mouth. It was still bleeding.
"Thank you, Angie," he said, tartly. "I don't suppose you would be able to find me some sort of dressing to put on it? It would probably cause Diego's mother considerable consternation, if she were to return home to find blood all over his diaper."
"Yeah, she'd probably think you stuck him with the safety pin!"
"Yes, though why in God's name they called it a safety pin is beyond me."
Angie giggled and he waved his bleeding hand in front of her. "Somethin' for my thumb?"
Minutes later both Ezra's thumb and Diego's derriere were safely bound up.
And not a moment too soon.
Maria Delgado burst through her front door to see Ezra Standish standing in the middle of her living room floor, holding her son who was giggling contentedly. Angie Velasquez was emerging from the bathroom door, having disposed of the diaper's contents as best she could (there was a rather disgusting mess at the bottom of the Delgado's laundry hamper).
"Oh, Senor!" the distraught mother began. "I am so sorry to have left you like this! What you must think of me!"
Ezra smiled. "Not at all, dear lady! I trust that your other urgent business has been concluded satisfactorily."
She still didn't want him to know about that, so she nodded mutely.
He could see her apprehension but attributed it to concern for her child and perhaps being considered an unfit mother.
"Really, it has been a pleasure. He is a most delightful child and his behaviour has been beyond reproach."
"Except when he puked... sorry regurgitated on you." Angie piped up.
Maria looked over at Ezra's jacket, drapped over a chair with the tell-tale stain on its lapel, and her hand flew to her mouth in a classic gesture of mortification.
"Oh, Senor! I am so sorry! I will pay to have it cleaned."
"Nonsense!" Ezra smiled magnanimously, as he handed her son over to her. "Just part of the service. One must expect these little mishaps when dealin' with children of his age."
"No, Senor! I insist. I owe you that much." She turned to Angie. "Your father is a wonderful man. He is a saint!"
Angie grinned, as she always did when someone mistook Ezra for her father. "Yeah, he's the best dad in the whole wide world!"
Ezra was far too embarrassed to say anything, let alone correct the misconception, as Maria leaned forward and kissed him on the cheek.
"And a true caballero! I'll never be able to thank you enough, Senor!"
"I'd watch myself, Ez!" They all turned to see Vin Tanner in the doorway. "Her Pedro's got one hell of a temper."
Ezra cleared his throat. "Don't be ridiculous! I merely stepped into the breach when you were unavailable to assist your neighbour in her hour of need."
Vin snorted. "What did ya do? Change Diego's diaper?"
"Amongst other things."
"Really?" The sharpshooter lifted an eyebrow. "That I would have paid good money to see!"
Ezra waved a hand dismissively. "A simple task."
Angie laughed briefly but immediately quietened when Ezra shot her warning glance.
Vin's eyes narrowed. "Thought it mighta bin a bit beyond you."
"Nah," said Angie. "He was magnificent."
"He certainly was!" agreed Maria. "It is so nice to see such a good family man."
Vin shot his colleague a look of sheer disbelief.
Ezra just smiled smugly and shrugged.