Papa and Maggie’s Weekend - Single Dad!Charlie x Owen
THIS IS PART 11 OF THE SINGLE DAD!CHARLIE SERIES, YOU CAN FIND THE OTHER PARTS HERE
Word Count: 5924 words!!!
Summary: Part 11 of Single Dad!Charlie, Charlie goes camping for the weekend and leaves Margaux in the care of Owen
Warnings: referenced drug use, swearing
A/N: i’ve had this sitting around for so long that i actually have almost two more full parts done so i figured i’d get this one out there before they stack up any more haha, i know most of you don’t care about this series much any more but it’s my comfort series so i’m gonna keep writing it for me (and ella, this is our series @happinessinthedarkesttimes lol)
anyways, enjoy almost 6000! words of owen and margaux being the cutest little buddies and owen just trying his best
Tag List: @happinessinthedarkesttimes @herbrutals @youngbloodblog @courageous-she @littlemissaddict @gloomybrieyxb @itsyagorlemmalyn @jatpxmultifan @moneybagmgk @emeliii1 @mybradforddream @lovesanimals (the strike through means it wont let me tag you)
“Be good, okay?” Charlie crouched in front of Margaux. She nodded sleepily, the early morning wakeup something she wasn’t used to.
“When will you come back?” She mumbled, rubbing her eyes with a fist. Charlie swallowed, willing himself not to cancel the whole trip. They needed to do this, he had to get used to spending time away from her eventually.
“I’ll be back tomorrow night. So you and Papa will spend all day today and then all day tomorrow together and then Daddy will be back in time for bed time tomorrow.” Charlie explained, his voice soft.
“Why can’t I go too?” Margaux pouted.
“Because it’s a big person trip.” Charlie sighed slightly. He knew this wasn’t going to end well.
“I’m a big person. I’m four!” Margaux protested.
“You need to be a little bit bigger to come. But I promise we can go camping next week, okay? Just you and me.” Charlie promised, knowing there was nothing Margaux loved more than going camping with her dad.
“Pinky promise?” She questioned, holding out her hand, and Charlie wrapped his pinky around hers.
“I pinky promise.” He agreed, before catching sight of the time on his watch.
“Fuck.” He mumbled. “I gotta go now baby, I’ll see you tomorrow. I’m gonna miss you.”
He pulled the four year old into a hug, biting his lip as she started crying. Maybe leaving when she was tired wasn’t a good idea after all...
“Don’t go.” She sniffled, and Charlie pulled back, kissing the top of her head gently.
“I gotta.” He whispered. “I love you so much.”
“Daddy, don’t go.” She cried, throwing herself back into his arms and Charlie felt his eyes prick with tears of his own.
“I’ll be back before you know it.” He promised. “I love you.”
“Love you Daddy, don’t go.” Owen stepped forward, reaching out and taking the crying four year old from Charlie’s arms.
“Go.” He instructed, as Margaux screamed out, Charlie’s heart breaking with every cry of his name. He stood up, hesitating, and Owen gave him a small smile.
“I’ve got her. Go have fun. We love you.”
“I love you too.” Charlie replied, and with one last glance towards Margaux he turned and climbed into his car.
And no one had to know if he cried all the way to the organised meeting spot.
Charlie’s car pulled away and Owen waved slightly, knowing that his boyfriend would be taking this separation just as hard as his daughter was. The blond boy sighed, carrying the still screaming four year old inside, humming softly as he walked in an attempt to soothe her, his mind drifting back to the first time Charlie had left him alone with Margaux on the first day he had met her.
“Just watch her for a second, I need to pee.” Charlie said, standing up and placing the two year old down next to Owen, before walking away. Margaux watched him go, her face scrunching up as she began to cry. Owen’s eyes widened. What was he supposed to do now? He reached out, patting the top of Margaux’s head awkwardly.
“Don’t cry.” He mumbled, in what he hoped was a comforting tone. Clearly it wasn’t, however, since Margaux’s cries got louder, causing people to start to stare.
“Hey, Maggie. It’s okay. He’ll be back soon.” He tried, moving to pat her back. Still no use, and Owen began to panic. What were you meant to do with a crying kid? He bit his lip, still awkwardly patting her back.
Out of the corner of his eye he spotted Charlie heading back over to the table, and Owen breathed a sigh of relief as the older boy scooped up his daughter, holding her close to him and mumbling something in French. Margaux relaxed into his arms
“I didn’t know how to make her stop.” Owen admitted, as Charlie sat back down, Margaux still wrapped up in his arms. The Canadian boy laughed.
“Don’t worry, you’ll learn.” He replied. Owen gave him a small smile.
He sure hoped so, for everyone’s sake.
As usual Charlie was right. Owen did learn, and now here he was, officially on his own for the weekend with Margaux having a complete meltdown in his arms.
He bounced her slightly, humming the tune to Stand Tall, hoping the familiar tune would calm the four year old.
“Daddy!” Margaux wailed, her face red with anguish.
“Papa’s here.” Owen reminded her, swaying back and forth with her head tucked into his shoulder.
“I want Daddy.” She protested. Owen bit his lip.
“Daddy will be back tomorrow but for now, think about how much fun we’re gonna have together! We can paint each other’s nails and get pizza for dinner and watch all of your favourite movies. Or we could go out if you wanted to go somewhere? We could go swimming?”
“Don’t wanna.” Margaux cried.
“Okay.” Owen sighed, moving over to the couch and sitting down on it, shifting Margaux so that she was in his lap. Surely she’d tire herself out eventually, especially since it was barely 7am... maybe the best thing would be to just let her cry.
So that’s what Owen did, let the four year old cry as much as she needed, as he held her tight and hummed whatever songs he could think of, his fingers tangled through her curls.
Margaux cried non stop for the first hour until she fell asleep in Owen’s arms, exhausted from her tears. Owen sighed. He knew there were things to do but he couldn’t bring himself to leave Margaux’s side.
So he stayed on the couch for almost four hours, Margaux curled into his chest, while he played video games on mute waiting for her to wake up.
Eventually she did stir, just before lunch time, which Owen decided was the perfect distraction.
“Good morning princess.” He whispered. “Are you hungry?”
Margaux yawned before nodding.
“I found a really cool place for us to go have lunch and some friends we can invite along to come play with us. How does that sound?” Owen suggested and Margaux just nodded again, staring at the TV blankly. Clearly it was going to be a bit harder to get her to talk than he’d thought.
“Should we get dressed? You can even pick your own clothes!” Margaux didn’t reply, so Owen just stood up, the four year old still held safely in his arms, and made his way down the hallway to her bedroom.
He kicked open the door, and placed Margaux onto the ground, before opening her wardrobe.
“What do you wanna wear?”
Margaux stepped forward and Owen internally cheered at the slight progress. The tiny blonde scanned through her clothes, eventually grabbing at a pair of overalls, before turning back and looking at Owen expectantly.
“You wanna wear those ones?” He asked, and she nodded, before grabbing onto a Julie and the Phantoms shirt that Madi’s dad had made her. Owen smiled slightly, taking the two items of clothing out and quickly helping Margaux get dressed.
“Now, what’s next?” Owen mused, hoping to get a reaction from Margaux. She didn’t answer, staring down at the ground as Owen grabbed her hairbrush and settled down with her standing between his legs as he sat on the end of her bed.
“How do you want your hair?” Owen asked, running the brush through her curls. Margaux thought for a moment.
“Bun.” She mumbled, and Owen grinned.
“There’s that beautiful voice of yours. I missed it.” He teased, and Margaux smiled slightly.
“Okay, let’s get this bun going.” He pulled her hair back, tying it somewhat messily in a bun. “How’s that?”
“Good.” Margaux replied.
“Yay!” Owen cheered and Margaux giggled, the sound warming Owen’s heart.
“Do you wanna go watch Paw Patrol while I get dressed? Or you can stay here and play?” Owen suggested, and Margaux shook her head, clinging to his leg.
“With you.” She mumbled and Owen sighed but took her with him nonetheless.
Two steps forward, one step back.
Almost an hour later Owen climbed out of an Uber, before unclipping Margaux from the safety seat, removing the safety seat from the car, and thanking their driver.
“You ready to make some friends?” He questioned, looking towards the large building that housed an indoor play centre where they would be meeting a few members of the cast.
“No.” Margaux replied and Owen laughed.
“Don’t worry, you’ll like them.” He said.
They entered the indoor play centre and Margaux’s eyes widened in excitement, taking in the various areas of the room, before settling on a high ropes course in the middle of the room. Of course Charlie’s kid would choose the most adventurous thing in the room to be excited for.
“Owen!” A voice called, and Owen turned to find Cheyenne heading towards them, with his twins holding onto their father’s hands.
“Hey guys.” Owen greeted. “It’s so good to see you.”
“You too. And little miss Margaux here, look at how much you’ve grown!” Cheyenne gasped playfully and Margaux grinned, Owen smiling at the switch in her behaviour.
“Cause I’m four.” She boasted. Cheyenne smiled.
“So are my little ones. This is Willow and Ethan.” He smiled, gesturing to each twin as he introduced them. “And this is Margaux.”
“Hi!” Willow grinned and Margaux smiled slightly, leaning into Owen.
“She hasn’t had very good experiences with kids her age.” Owen explained. “Plus we’ve had a bit of a rough morning.”
“That’s okay. Why don’t we head back to the table we’re at. Kenny and Sacha are there and Tori and Jadah are coming soon. Kenny booked the whole place out for the day so there’s no rush and no other people.” Cheyenne said, and Owen nodded, following the older man through the entrance and over to a table where Kenny and Sacha were sitting.
“Hey guys.” Owen smiled, once they arrived at the table.
“Hey Owen. How are you?” Kenny questioned.
“Not too bad. Hopefully will be better soon.” Owen replied with a small grin.
“Daddy can we go play?” Ethan questioned, and Cheyenne nodded.
“Why don’t you take Margaux with you.” He suggested and the twins both turned their attention to the blond, who turned to Owen, a worried look on her face.
“You’ll be okay.” Owen promised her, moving to take her shoes off as she clung to him. “I’ll be right here the whole time.”
“Okay.” She decided, and Owen placed her on the ground, watching as she hesitantly took a hand of each of the twins and allowed them to drag her towards the biggest playground.
“How was this morning?” Kenny questioned as Owen flopped down into an empty chair. Owen sighed, watching Margaux climb the stairs of the playground, any hesitation already gone.
“Not good. She was okay until Charlie said he had to go and then she had a complete meltdown. He was about 30 seconds away from cancelling his trip, you could see it in his face. So I grabbed her and made him leave, and then she cried for literally an hour until she fell asleep again.” He said, and Kenny smiled sympathetically.
“How long is Charlie gone for?” Sacha asked.
“He comes back tomorrow evening.” Owen bit his lip. “I’m worried about how she’ll go tonight when she realises he isn’t there to put her to bed.”
“You’ve got this.” Kenny assured him. “We’ve all seen you do it before and you do this all the time with Charlie around.”
“I hope so.” Owen replied. “I’m kinda hoping she’ll exhaust herself here and just pass out tonight.”
The group laughed.
“That’s pretty likely.” Cheyenne agreed. “I’m hoping for the same thing.”
The door chimed again, signifying another arrival, and both Kenny and Sacha stood up to go greet the newest guest. Cheyenne gave Owen a small smile.
“If you don’t mind me asking, you said Margaux hadn’t had very good experiences with kids her age. What happened?” He questioned.
“Charlie had something to do, I think it was some beach cleaning thing, so he enrolled her into a childcare program. She lasted a few hours before she got into disagreements with the other kids about her not having a mum, and the bitch teacher backed them up saying she had to have a mum. So next minute Charlie’s being called in to discuss Margaux’s “issues with authority figures”, and she never went back.” Owen explained, and Cheyenne frowned.
“That’s horrible.” He said. “I’m glad she didn’t go back.”
“Me too.” Owen agreed. Cheyenne gave him a reassuring smile.
“At least we know with my kids they won’t worry about her not having a mum.” He joked and Owen smiled, instinctively glancing towards the playground, where Margaux and the twins had decided to attempt to climb up the large slides the wrong way, the three of them giggling loudly as they slipped back down.
“She reminds me so much of Charlie.” Cheyenne commented, following Owen’s gaze. “They have the same adventurous spirit and cheeky personality.”
“She’s his clone.” Owen laughed. “Everything except the hair.”
“Personally I think her hair makes her look like your daughter.” Cheyenne said, and Owen’s heart skipped a beat.
“Really?” His tone was filled with disbelief. He’d never considered that before.
“Definitely. If people didn’t know they’d assume she was yours biologically.” Cheyenne nodded. Owen smiled slightly.
“That means a lot to me.”
“Anytime.” Cheyenne smiled, as they were rejoined by Kenny and Sacha, who were now accompanied by Tori and Jadah.
“Now,” Kenny started, as everyone sat down around the table. “Should we order some food?”
So maybe not all kids her age were horrible, Margaux decided as she sat at the top of one of the large towers in the playground. The twins seemed nice enough and her Papa promised her that he would be there, and she knew he wouldn’t let anyone be mean to her, ever.
“Do you have a brother or a sister?” Willow questioned, plopping down next to her. Margaux shook her head.
“No.” She said. “Just me and Daddy and sometimes Papa. But he lives in Oklahoma most times.”
“You don’t have a mummy too?” Ethan asked, joining them. Margaux shook her head again.
“Do you have a mummy?” She glanced between the twins, who also shook their heads.
“We have Dad and Daddy.” Willow told her. Margaux grinned. There was no way they’d be mean to her about not having a mum if they didn’t have one either.
“Do you like Paw Patrol?” She asked, and the twins nodded quickly.
“Yeah! I like Skye.” Willow answered.
“I like Marshall.” Ethan added.
“I like Everest cause she likes snow and I like snow too.” Margaux explained.
“Can we go on the slides again?” Ethan questioned, and the girls exchanged a look before nodding.
“You go first.” Margaux instructed, and together the three made their way through the tunnels, back to the slides.
Yeah, Margaux thought as she followed the twins, maybe all kids weren’t mean.
After several hours of running around, the three four year olds were clearly exhausted so the group decided to call it a day.
“Do you need a lift?” Cheyenne asked. Owen nodded, glancing down at Margaux, who was hugged tightly between Willow and Ethan. He couldn’t wait to tell Charlie that she finally had some friends her own age.
“That would be great, thanks.” Owen smiled, which Cheyenne quickly returned.
With a few last goodbyes to the rest of the group and promises to meet up again soon, Owen, Cheyenne and the kids left, Cheyenne leading the way while Owen brought up the rear to make sure the kids didn’t wander.
And before he knew it Cheyenne was pulling up in front of Charlie’s place and Owen was unclipping Margaux’s seat as she clung to the twins, begging to see them again soon. It was only after Cheyenne and Owen promised they’d organise something that she let Owen lift her out of the car and the two of them stood and waved goodbye to the car as they drove away.
“Come on Maggie, lets go inside and decide what we want for dinner.” Owen said and Margaux’s eyes lit up.
“Pizza?” She asked. Owen chuckled.
“Sounds good to me.” He agreed, unlocking the door and letting her in, placing the car seat near the door in case they needed it again.
“Can we watch movies?” Margaux questioned, squirming in Owen’s arms until he placed her down on the ground.
“We sure can.” He smiled. “Whatever movies you want.”
“Nemo?” Margaux suggested as Owen flicked the TV on, going to Disney Plus and finding the movie in response to her request.
And once the movie was playing Owen settled down onto the couch with her, and was determined he wouldn’t move unless he absolutely had to.
Eventually it was time for the moment Owen had been dreading. Bedtime.
“Okay princess, it’s time to go to sleep.” He said, as the credits rolled on Frozen 2.
“Daddy said he would come back for bedtime.” Margaux frowned.
“Bedtime tomorrow, remember?” Owen reminded her softly.
“Oh.” She pouted, tears threatening to fall. Owen’s eyes widened, trying to think fast.
“I know!” He exclaimed, and Margaux looked at him curiously. “We should have a sleepover. We can get your toys and sleep in Daddy’s bed and maybe even watch TV until we fall asleep.”
Margaux grinned widely.
“Yeah!” She squealed. “I wanna do it!”
“Okay, well we’ll have to go get your friends from your room.” He said and Margaux grabbed onto his hand.
“Hurry.” She giggled, tugging him down the hall to her bedroom. He flicked the light on as they entered, and Margaux jumped onto her bed, eyeing the large pile of Squishmallows stacked at the end of the bed. Madi had bought her one and ever since then she had been addicted to the stuffed toys.
“Okay, who are we bringing?” Owen questioned, sitting down on the edge of the bed, already grabbing the toy penguin that Margaux never slept without. The four year old frowned at the pile before reaching towards an orange octopus, depositing it in Owen’s lap. She scanned the pile again, grabbing a small brown and white cow, a grey dragon, a green dinosaur and a large purple and blue cat that was almost as big as she is.
“That’s all.” She decided. Owen nodded, grabbing the toys in his arms.
“Anything else we need?” He asked, and Margaux grabbed her blanket.
“Done.” She decided. Owen grinned, standing up.
“Lead the way Miss Maggie.” He instructed, and Margaux giggled, rushing out of the room and across the hallway into Charlie’s room, leaving Owen to follow her after struggling with the light switch. Eventually he got it off and entered Charlie’s room, dropping the toys onto the bed for Margaux to sort out.
“Do you want to watch one of those house hunting shows?” Owen asked, flicking the TV on. Margaux hummed in response, too busy figuring out the placement of her Squishmallows to pay full attention to him.
“What’s it ‘bout?” Margaux mumbled, settling into the middle of the bed. Owen pulled off his shirt before climbing in next to her, smiling when the four year old latched herself onto him in the same way she did to her father.
“It’s about people who are looking for a new house.” Owen explained.
Margaux thought for a moment before nodding.
“Okay we can watch it Papa.” She agreed, so Owen changed the channel to the lifestyle channel.
Hopefully the show would put the four year old to sleep.
It did not put her to sleep.
It was well past midnight and somehow Margaux was still awake, happily watching a couple decide between an apartment close to their ideal location, or a large house a little further out.
Owen yawned, glancing towards the time.
“Maggie, aren’t you tired darling?” He questioned, and Margaux shook her head.
“I’m awake! My Squishmallows wanna know if they buy the little house.” She informed him. “I want the big, big one.”
If Owen wasn’t half asleep he would have laughed at how invested Margaux was, but he was struggling to keep his eyes open and her not being asleep was not something he found funny in that moment.
“After this we’re gonna turn it off and go to sleep, okay?” He told her, and Margaux frowned, shaking her head.
“I wanna watch more.” She replied, and Owen groaned.
“We gotta go to sleep, otherwise we won’t be able to wake up for Daddy coming home tomorrow.” He said, and Margaux pouted.
“I wanna watch it more. You said I could watch it ‘til I sleeped, and I’m not sleeping yet.” She reminded him, and Owen cursed his past self for using those words, and cursed Charlie for raising such a smart kid.
“But I’m falling asleep.” He whined.
“You sleep then.” She answered, and Owen sighed. Time to put his “parent voice” on.
“Margaux, we’re turning it off after this episode, and we’re going to sleep.” He said firmly and Margaux glared at him.
“No.” She retorted and Owen tensed up. Now what was he meant to do? Margaux was rarely in trouble so he didn’t really have experience in how to discipline her if she acted out.
“Margaux Ivy.” He warned. “Do you want to go back to your own bed?”
Margaux shook her head.
“Then after this episode finishes the TV goes off and we’re going to sleep. And if you go to sleep straight away maybe we can go get breakfast somewhere in the morning. How does that sound?” He tried, hoping the promise of a nice breakfast would make her back down.
“Don’t wanna.” She mumbled. “Want Daddy. You’re a meanie.”
Owen stared at her, his heart shattering at those three little words.
“You don’t mean that, you’re just overtired.” He said, his voice sounding small, not quite sure who he was trying to convince. Margaux crossed her arms.
“Yes I do. You’re a big meanie and a bossy pants and I don’t like you now.” She replied firmly.
“Maggie...” He trailed off, not knowing what to do.
She ignored him, turning her attention back to the TV where the couple were about to sit down to decide between the three houses.
Owen bit his lip, reaching for his phone to text Charlie, even though he knew the chances of Charlie replying were probably slim. He was probably out of cell range, or already asleep, or both.
Messages between OPJ and Char
one day without you and she hates me
Charlie’s reply was almost instant.
she could never hate you O, i promise
Owen sighed, glancing at Margaux who had tucked herself into a ball with her chosen Squishmallows surrounding her, and was mumbling something under her breath in French.
she said, and i quote, that i’m a “big meanie and a bossy pants and she doesn’t like me now” so yeah, pretty sure she hates me
she got sad at bedtime so i promised her we could watch tv until we fell asleep and now its 1 in the fucking morning and she’s still awake watching house hunters and i told her its time for it to be turned off, like the asshole i am, and she said no so i used my parent voice on her and now she hates me and she’s still fucking watching tv and i don’t know what to do
Owen had barely pressed send when his phone began to ring, Charlie’s photo appearing on his screen.
“Hey.” He answered sadly.
“Give the phone to Margaux.” Charlie’s voice came through the phone and Owen didn’t respond, holding the phone out to the four year old.
“It’s for you.” He said, and she glared at him, but took the phone nonetheless, face lighting up when she heard her father’s voice.
Owen flopped backwards onto the bed, relaxing instantly as Charlie’s scent engulfed his senses. He zoned out, just focusing on breathing, until he was jolted back to reality by Margaux poking his cheek.
“Daddy wants to talk to you.” She informed him, and he took the phone, pressing it back to his ear.
“She’s gonna go to sleep now.” Charlie said, and Owen breathed out a sigh of relief.
“Thank you.” He whispered. “I’m sorry I disrupted your night and bothered you when you’re trying to have time off.”
“You didn’t.” Charlie assured him.
“I couldn’t even get her to go to sleep.” Owen mumbled, glancing at Margaux, who was already fast asleep, just proving how tired she had actually been. “I’m a failure.”
“You are most definitely not.” Charlie replied firmly. “You’ve made it all the way til now with no issues, even after the complete meltdown she had this morning. Parenting isn’t always easy Owen, even I struggle with overtired Margaux.”
Owen sighed, reaching for the TV remote and turning the TV off, engulfing the room in darkness.
“Fuck, can you just promise me you believe me? I’m too high right now to figure out a better argument.” Charlie whined and Owen giggled, only just noticing how out of it Charlie actually sounded.
“Kid free time is going well then?” He teased, thankful for the lighter topic.
“I haven’t been this high since she was born, it’s nice to be able to smoke without worrying about her waking up or not being sober by the time she gets up the next morning.” Charlie replied, and for a moment Owen felt an overwhelming sadness for the 18 year old Charlie who had been forced to grow up so quickly, with no chance to be an actual kid himself.
“I miss you.” Owen admitted. “It’s hard being here with her without you.”
“You’re halfway there babe, just keep going.” Charlie reminded him and Owen blushed slightly at the pet name.
“I will. Thank you again, for getting her to sleep.” Owen replied. Charlie hummed in response.
“Any time. How was the rest of your day?” He questioned.
“After you left she cried for a bit, and then slept until lunch time. And then we went to this indoor play centre thing with Cheyenne and his twins, and Kenny, Sacha, Jadah and Tori, and Mags loved the twins.” Owen recounted.
“She did?” Charlie cut in, and Owen could hear the smile on his face.
“She did.” Owen grinned. “She begged me to see them again soon, so you’ll have to organise something with Cheyenne. Then we just had pizza and watched some movies before we went to bed.”
“Sounds like you had a great day.” Charlie replied. Owen opened his mouth to respond, but instead yawned, eyes drifting shut for a second.
“Go to sleep babe.” Charlie’s voice was gentle and Owen nodded, before realising his boyfriend couldn’t see him.
“Okay.” He answered. “Night Char, I love you.”
“I love you too Owen. See you tomorrow afternoon.” Charlie replied, before hanging up. Owen let his phone fall to the pillow, too tired to even plug it in to charge.
And with Margaux’s steady breathing in his ear, he finally drifted off to sleep.
Owen woke the next morning to Margaux attempting to braid his hair, Bluey playing quietly on Charlie’s iPad.
“You awake Papa?” Margaux questioned. Owen hummed in response.
“Yep.” He replied, voice deep with sleep. “You doing my hair?”
“Yeah.” Margaux responded simply. After a moment she spoke up again.
“Are you still mad with me?”
Owen sat up, reaching out to the tiny blonde. She wriggled closer, settling into his arms.
“Oh darling no, I could never be mad at you.” He told her. Margaux thought for a moment before looking back up at him.
“Do you still love me?” She asked, her voice small. Owen’s heart shattered.
“Of course I still love you. You’re my little girl, I will always love you. Just like how your Daddy will always love you no matter what.” He assured her.
“But I was mean to you.” Margaux frowned. “And Daddy said that’s naughty.”
“It is naughty, but I forgive you. Because I know you were just very tired.” He told her. She sighed, resting her head on his shoulder.
“I’m sorry Papa.” She said quietly. Owen pressed a kiss to her head, playing with her curls like he knew Charlie did, hoping the familiar gesture would reassure her.
“I know honey, it’s okay, I promise.” He whispered.
“Love you.” Margaux mumbled, pressing her face into his neck. Owen smiled, wrapping his arms around her tightly and squeezing.
“I love you too.” He replied. “Now how about we get dressed and go out for breakfast?”
“Yeah!” Margaux grinned, perking up instantly at the mention of food. Owen laughed.
“Okay then, let’s do it.”
Just over an hour later the two of them were curled into a tiny booth in the back corner of a café, the table chosen especially to try to remain unnoticed by any fans that may have been around. Owen loved the fans but sometimes they could be a little much, and having Margaux with him made him hyperaware of how necessary it was to remain anonymous. He had no idea how Charlie did this.
Owen glanced around the room, picking at his eggs. There didn’t seem to be anyone around who might recognise them, but there was never a guarantee that they wouldn’t be noticed.
“Can I have some of your one Papa?” Margaux questioned, catching Owen’s attention.
Owen’s head snapped back, his attention now solely on the four year old in front of him.
“Which one darling?” He asked.
“That one.” She pointed to the cooked tomato that he had pushed off to the side of his plate. Owen nodded, placing it on her plate and shaking his head when she dipped it into the leftover maple syrup. Charlie really was raising his clone.
“Are you full?” Margaux questioned after scoffing down the tomato, eyeing his eggs. Owen chuckled, scooping the eggs onto her plate too.
“Hungry this morning huh?” He teased. Margaux grinned at him, her mouth full of his eggs.
“Patrick says it’s cause I’m a growing girl.” She informed him.
“I think Patrick is right. You were only tiny when I first met you and now you’re huge!” He emphasised the last word and Margaux laughed loudly.
“You’re silly Papa.” She said between laughs. Owen grinned.
“Excuse me?” A voice came and Owen’s heart stopped for a moment, looking up to find an elderly woman smiling at him.
“Yes?” He answered politely. She didn’t look like the type to watch the show, but you could never be sure.
“Sorry to interrupt, I just wanted to compliment you on how well behaved your daughter is.” She smiled and Owen couldn’t help the light blush that covered his cheeks.
“Thank you.” He replied and the woman nodded, smiling at Margaux, before wandering away.
Owen took a deep breath, collecting himself, before tuning his attention back to Margaux.
“You ready to go kiddo?” He questioned. Margaux nodded, so Owen stood up, taking her hand and leaving the cafe, thanking the waitresses as they left.
“So what do you wanna do today?” Owen asked as they began the short walk back to Charlie’s place. Margaux pulled a face as she thought.
“Can we watch some more House Hunters?” She questioned, making Owen laugh.
“Of course we can.” He agreed.
It was just after 2pm when Margaux shifted in his arms, where she had settled down to watch House Hunters hours ago.
“Papa? I’m hungry.” She mumbled. Owen played with one of her pigtails.
“What would you like to eat?” He asked.
“I don’t know.” She shrugged, as Owen’s phone vibrated in his pocket.
“Why don’t you have a little think then.” Owen suggested, pulling out his phone and smiling when he saw Charlie’s name on his screen. He answered quickly.
“Hey!” He greeted.
“Hey babe. I’m just leaving now, will be home in maybe an hour?” Charlie’s voice came through the phone.
“That’s great, we can’t wait to see you. We were just talking about getting some lunch, would you wanna pick something up on the way home?” Owen asked. Charlie laughed.
“I can do that. Anything in particular?” He questioned. Owen turned his attention back to the blonde in his arms.
“You decided on what you wanna eat yet Maggie?” He asked. She shook her head.
“No.” She replied simply. Owen chuckled.
“Want Daddy to pick something? He’s coming home now and he’s gonna get lunch for us on the way.” He suggested. Margaux lit up at the suggestion. Or maybe the idea that her Dad was on his way home. Probably both.
“Yes please.” She grinned.
“Hey Char? Your pick. Just not pizza cause we had that last night.” Owen informed the older boy.
“Okay cool, I’ll see you guys in like, 30 minutes then.” Charlie answered, and Owen could hear his car starting in the background.
“See you then.” Owen smiled. He really had missed Charlie, and he knew Margaux had missed her father just as much, if not more.
“Love you.” Charlie’s voice came, breaking Owen out of his thoughts.
“Love you too.” Owen replied, before hanging up and turning to Margaux. “Okay Maggie, what house are they picking?”
The four year old paused, thinking.
“The blue one.” She decided.
“With the pool?” Owen checked, and she nodded.
“Yeah that one.” She said. He looked up at the TV, just in time to see the house again.
“Cause it’s got a pool?” He questioned. Margaux nodded, settling back into his arms again.
“And it’s blue.” She giggled. “Blue house and blue pool. That’s the best one.”
“You know what? I think you might be right.” Owen laughed, and the two of them turned their attention back to the TV to find out which house the couple chose.
Just under half an hour later Charlie arrived home, unlocking the front door and entering the quiet house, his arms full of Chinese takeout.
He could hear muffled giggles coming from his bedroom, so he dropped his bags and headed down the hallway, entering his room to find Owen and Margaux curled up in a pile of Squishmallows, the lifestyle channel playing loudly on the TV.
“Daddy!” Margaux exclaimed, jumping up and throwing herself at him. He stumbled, but caught her, handing the food off to Owen so that he could properly hug his daughter.
“Hey baby.” He greeted, squeezing her tightly as she clung to him like a baby koala.
“I missed you.” She whined. “Don’t go away again.”
“I’ll try not to.” He laughed. “Did you have fun with Papa?”
She launched into a complete recount of her weekend as Charlie placed her back down onto the bed and plopped down next to Owen, snuggling close to the blond in greeting.
“You survived.” Charlie grinned, placing a kiss to Owen’s shoulder. Owen chuckled.
“Barely.” He replied, scooping fried rice onto one of the paper plates that the restaurant had provided. Charlie shook his head.
“But you survived. That’s all that matters.” He said, and Owen glanced at Margaux before nodding.
“Yeah it is.” He agreed.
And as Charlie settled back into Dad life, he couldn’t help but wish that this was how life could be every day.
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