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Fondness

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Andronikos supposed that, if he were a different man, the sight before him would be irritating.

Phae practically had her nose pressed to the transparisteel of the store window, eyeing the merchandise within critically. Xalla, barely thirteen and already the same height as her (tiny) mother, had forsaken attempted preteen hauteur to stare with unabashed glee and bounce on the balls of her feet. And little five-year old Sotiria was standing on tip-toe, nose and hands pressed firmly against the transparisteel, staring wide-eyed and mouth parted in a silent 'ooooh.'

Most men, he knew, would probably be annoyed at seeing their wives and daughters shamelessly window shopping, while simultaneously attempting to calculate how hard a hit their bank accounts would suffer from purchasing dresses or jewels or chocolates or whatever it was their wives and daughters wanted.

Most men, however, didn't have an assassin-trained Dark Council member for a wife, or a daughter with a penchant for sniper rifles already receiving agent training from her aunt and uncle, or another daughter precocious and stubborn enough to build her own training 'saber from parts scattered about the ship. And most men’s wives and daughters weren't staring at a weapon’s store display of glittering litch-blades.

Andronikos shook his head in equal parts amusement and exasperation. How had this become his life?

Eh, didn't matter.

Besides, his girls deserved some spoiling every now and then.

"You know, we can go in the store. Easier browsin' that way, from my understanding," he drawled.

His girls all turned to look at him. Phae quirked an eyebrow, a grin tugging at her lips, and said, "And what would a pirate know about shopping?"

Andronikos grinned wolfishly as he sauntered over and held out his arm to his wife. "More than you think," he said. Phae giggled as she took his arm. Xalla didn't bother to hide her eye roll or smother a noise of disgust. Tiri merely blinked up owlishly at her parents.

"Shinies?" his youngest said.

"Shinies," Phae said with a nod.

Tiri cheered and immediately rushed for the shop's door. Xalla hurried after her, muttering about impatient baby sisters and their penchants for getting into trouble. Andronikos and Phae strolled after them.

Most men were idiots, Andronikos thought.