Sneaking out to spend time with DJ had been easier than Tya had expected: she'd told Shiva she was going to DJ's, and Shiva agreed to cover for her.
Sitting with Eryk balanced on her lap and Siriana in a basket nearby, Tya knew, with a little stab of guilt, why her former Kept had been so willing to help her out. She wasn't exactly parenting material.
"So," she asked, because, as happy as she was that Mies was doing well in pre-school, she had other things she wanted to talk about DJ with, "help."
"Help?" DJ smiled. "You're doing fine, dear."
"Christmas is coming," she tried again.
"Mm, it is. Eryk and Mies have wish lists all ready."
Damn. She nodded, knowing that she needed to take care of that, too. Or ask Jamian to. "Great, can I get copies? Speaking of gifts," she added hurriedly, "I was hoping you could help me out."
"With gifts? Do you need ideas, then, or did you have an idea beyond your reach?"
"Ideas," she admitted abashedly. "Sometimes I feel like they all spend more time here with you than they do with me."
"You could do something about that, you know," DJ chided her gently.
"Well, Jamian gets cranky if I try to control his movements too much."
"And well he should! But we both know that's not what we're talking about."
"No?" she offered uncertainly.
"Tya, if you want to be more involved with these peoples' lives, you have to make the time and go out of your way to get involved."
"I never really wanted to before," she murmured weakly. "So… could you help me come up with Christmas ideas?"
"Of course I can, sweetie." DJ patted her head affectionately. "Let's make a list."
"So… Jaya, of course." Tya smiled wistfully. "She's carrying my baby. I'm carrying her baby. I think I love her."
"Does she know that?" DJ asked seriously.
Did she… Tya blushed. Her maternal parent had this way of making her feel three again. "I'm carrying her baby," she muttered, instead of answering. Her fifth child, and she'd been so certain she'd never go through mothering again.
"But have you told her, in so few words?" DJ was leaning forward, intensity in her body language. Ty remembered Dave, and how he and a tiny, tiny Wren had left so soon after the baby had been born. There hadn't been anyone like Dave since, no matter how many people had come and gone.
"She'll laugh at me," she muttered.
"Maybe. But if you care for each other as much as you say, she won't. And if you don't - you need to know that, as soon as you can. And so does she."
"I do care for her! I mean, I liked Shiva and Niki, but Jaya is different!" She was, right? It wasn't just the sex? Tya chewed on her lip, blushing as she considered the positions she and Jamian could get into.
"Then tell her so," DJ pressed. "For her sake, and yours."
Tya sighed, and nodded. "Okay," she agreed reluctantly. This could blow up in her face so badly. "But," she hedged, trying to get back on the topic, "gifts?"
"Gifts. For Jaya, of course. Who else is on your list?"
For this, she was prepared. She pulled out a piece of paper - the back of her Literature notes. "Shiva, Niki, Anise, Eryk, yes, you, honey." She shifted the boy in her lap, smiling warmly at him, "Siri, Mies. Mags and Phelen. Professor VanderLinden."
DJ smiled warmly. "Mike's not an easy one to gift."
Tya couldn't help a blush; the only people she knew of who called the Professor by his first name were… "Deeee….Jay," she whined.
DJ laughed, sitting back. "Oh, come on, sweetie, you know how he is."
"But you're my mom," she complained.
"And he's your dad. And there's nothing wrong with that, I realize the humans have their stigmas, but we need no compunctions about such things."
"I…. he…" Tya flailed, staring at her maternal parent. "Mike… DJ!
"It's alright, sweetie. It was time for you to know. He always has; it doesn't have to change anything between you, but if you want it to, it can."
"I…" she tried again, and flopped back onto the couch. Her father was a pure-bred Daeva? Her father was Mike? Her father was a pure-bred Daeva who was also Mike? "So…" she tried weakly, "about a present for M… Professor VanderLinden, then?"
Copyright © 2009-2011 Lyn Thorne-Alder with Elasmo. All rights reserved.
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