Dan looks up from the giant display of traditional teddy bears he's gawking at to see Phil holding up a tiny kid's piano. Dan does his best not to melt in the middle of this very busy toy shop. He can't even begin to imagine their daughter learning to play the piano, tiny hands pressing keys in wonder, falling in love with music the way he did; only, maybe this time she'll have the support she deserves.
He takes the piano from Phil's fingers and runs his hands over it. He can feel himself welling up as he thinks about how Amelia could grow up with music, nurtured through it in a way Dan never was. He hands it back to Phil, wipes his eyes a little, and nods, smiling softly.
He still picks up a teddy bear for good measure, though. She deserves a teddy bear for her first birthday.
"Amelia?" Phil calls through the house, checking in various rooms. "Ames, are you around here somewhere, sweetie?"
He hears a noise coming from their study, and he pokes his head round the door to see his little daughter on tippy-toes, reaching and carefully pressing keys on Dan's white piano. She seems amazed at the noises it makes. Of course, the noises her little toy piano makes are a bit different.
"Hey," Phil approaches quietly, his voice soft.
She looks up at him with wide eyes, drops back down onto her heels and puts her hands behind her back.
"Hi papa," she says innocently.
"Whatcha got there, kiddo?" He crouches down to her level.
"Piano," she says, pointing up at it.
"Yeah, you're right!" he grins. "You like it?"
Amelia nods enthusiastically.
"I'll tell you what then," he says, "how about you come and eat some dinner, and after maybe daddy will let you have a proper go, yeah?"
He follows her back to the kitchen where Dan is dishing up their meals, a roast dinner for him and Phil, and something a little more manageable for little, four year old Amelia.
"About time," Dan grins. "Thought you'd forgotten about me."
"I think Amelia has something she'd like to ask you, Dan."
Phil spends the night alternating between filming for sweet little instagram stories and sitting in awe of the sight in front of him. He's pretty sure his heart has melted and dribbled out of his feet at this point.
Dan has Amelia sat on his lap at the piano, her hands over his. And he's very slowly and carefully playing Fur Elise. Fluidly enough for the tune to be recognisable, slowly enough for Amelia's tiny hands to be able to keep up with Dan's giant ones.
Phil tops off his instagram for the night with a photo of Amelia's hands over Dan's on the piano. He wonders if Arthur the Aardvark would be proud that his legacy is being passed down through the generations. He writes that on his story.
It's one of those nights where Dan just can't sleep. And, really, there's only so much pacing around the bedroom he can do before he wakes Phil and gets a grumble, so he ventures out in search of a snack and maybe a hot chocolate.
There's a light on, to his surprise. It's the study. He frowns, sure he turned everything off before he came to bed. But as he gets closer, he can hear the sound of light music. He smiles softly.
He knows he should probably reprimand his daughter for being awake playing with his piano at 3am, but he really can't find it within himself to get mad. There's something soft that settles in his chest to think that he and Amelia share this passion, and he's desperate to give her the guidance that he never got as a child.
He goes to open the door, but he stops when he hears the music playing. The first few lines of Fur Elise, then a wrong note, then a quiet, whispered "no!". The song starts again, and this time she presses the right key, but one a few notes later is wrong. He hears a quiet huff.
He knocks softly on the door and hears a gasp. He smiles softly. Normally he's the stricter than Phil, but this time he really can't find it in him. He pushes the door open softly to find Amelia in her pyjamas, sat at the piano, looking a little scared.
Dan leans on the door frame and raises an eyebrow.
"And what exactly do you think you're doing?"
"I..." she looks at her hands. "I couldn't sleep."
"And playing piano is supposed to help you sleep, is it?"
"I'm sorry daddy," she says quietly. "I just like the music."
Dan drops to her level, taking her hands in his and smiling up at her. "Hey, I'm not mad at you, kiddo."
She frowns then. "You're not?"
Dan shakes his head. "Nah." He reaches up and pushes some of her blonde hair out of her face. "I like the music too."
He stands back up, and pokes her in the rib a little playfully, smiling when she giggles softly.
"Scootch over, Ames," he says as he settles next to her. "Now, how about we master this song, huh?"
She grins up at him, eyes shining.
"I'm going to give you a very important job, okay?" she nods enthusiastically. "I'm going to play one half of the song, yeah? And you're going to play the other half."
He teaches her the left-hand part of the song, tells her when to play. He begins to play the right-hand side, slowing down when he gets close to her part.
"You ready, maestro?" he grins, and counts her in.
They play softly for a little while, each time Dan allows himself to get a tiny bit faster until Amelia is playing pretty fluently. His heart swells to watch her enjoy playing piano, but his heart melts into a puddle to be the person she's enjoying playing piano with.
He sees so much of himself in her, and he hopes that, with his own experiences in mind, he can give her the childhood he could've had.