The shrill cry, which woke the deeply slumbering couple, was accompanied by a small body being flung at Jean-Luc. He pulled Morgan to lay between him and Beverly, kissing the girl soundly on both cheeks.
"Allo, cherie. Ca boum?" he asked softly, watching Bev roll over to her other side. Knowing enough to let his wife be, he got out of bed and took Morgan in his arms. "Come on, cherie. We'll go make some breakfast and let Mamman and Rene sleep." With this, they left the room and went into the livingroom.
"Papa? May I order breakfast?"
Jean-Luc hesitated. Morgan was known for her less-than-appetizing meal choices. But the look on her little face -- *oh, she was just like her mother* -- made him cave in. "Go ahead, cherie."
Proudly, the little girl walked over to the replicator and, in a clear, loud voice, stated, "Computer, croissants with butter and mam'lade, one cup of Earl Grey, hot, and one glass of 'mato juice. Oh! And some sausages, please." When the food appeared, she triumphantly said, "Merci," then turned to look at her father. "Papa?"
"I"ll get it, cherie. Go sit down," he said, carrying the tray to the table. He began to set the food out, but was stopped by her small hand on his.
"Permettez-moi?" she asked gravely. Once again, he acquiesced and watched, with great pride, as the girl meticulously set the table and served him before herself. *Just like Beverly,* he thought to himself. "Et maintenant, nous mangeons."
Jean-Luc smiled and began to butter a piece of the warm croissant, watching Morgan attempt to be neat like her father. They ate in silence for a few moments before his eyes happened on the vase of flowers on his desk. "Cherie? Where did those flowers come from?"
"Me," she said happily, a bit of marmalade dribbling onto her robe. She looked down at it, horrified, and began to cry.
Instantly, Jean-Luc was at her side, taking her in his arms. "Cherie? What's wrong?"
"I'm sorry, Papa. It was an accident. I didn't mean to."
"You mean this?" he asked, scooping up the marmalade with a finger. Tearfully, she nodded. He looked at his finger, popped it into his mouth. "C'est ca. No more."
"It was an accident, cherie, nothing to worry about." Her wide blue eyes gazed into his warm hazel ones, saw the forgiveness, and she smiled, hugging him.
"C'est rien, cherie," he replied, kissing her cheek before returning to his seat. Once more, they enjoyed the silence of their breakfast together. Finished, Jean-Luc leaned back and sipped his tea, watching Morgan finish her sausages. "How did your spelling test go, cherie? One hundred percent again?" And he watched her face fall, her lower lip beginning to tremble. "Morgan?"
"I got three wrong, Papa. Je ne suis pas ta fille maintenant, n'est-ce pas?"
"Come here, Morgan." Dutifully, though a bit hesitant, she went to stand before him, head hung low in shame. Jean-Luc picked her up in his arms, cradling her close. "Cherie, you will always be Papa's girl, no matter what. Please always remember that, okay?" She nodded. A tear slipped down her cheek, and he kissed it away. "Do you remember the story I told you about the night your mamman and I created you?" She nodded again. "Do you remember me telling you that you were created in a strong and perfect love?" Another nod. "So you are perfect and precious to us, no matter what, cherie. Do you understand?"
"Oui, Papa," she replied, flinging her arms about his neck.