Stamps Bonus StoryDiscuss
This story takes place a couple years after "Housewarming"
“Your child…” Dave was careful to keep his voice playful and not sound the least bit accusatory. D.J. was in his - her - last month of pregnancy and prone to violent explosions of temper at the slightest provocation. After the awful late-term miscarriage that had ended her last pregnancy, he wanted to keep her as calm as possible, a dance made all the more complicated by Ty yanking on his beard.
“Your child,” he continued lightheartedly, shifting the kid to what he hoped was a safer position, “may be the sole person on earth that could convince me to shave my beard. Ow.” There was, he was quickly learning, no safe position where Ty’s little fingers would not reach his beard.
D.J. chuckled throatily. Even at nine months pregnant, if Dave didn’t look directly at his lover, he forgot that he was as female as he was male… the voice, that throaty low voice, didn’t help any. “It’s in that grabbing stage, isn’t it? Here, let me.” She lowered herself onto the couch carefully, intercepting Dave’s slight frown before he could erase it. “Oh, sorry, love,” she said, amused, as always, by his qualms. “Are we on ‘he’ or ‘she’ today?”
“‘He,’” he sighed, as Ty crawled off his lap and snuggled up to his mother. “Dee, what are you going to do when you have to send him to school?”
“I’m not going to.” Dee snuggled his child protectively. “I see no reason to subject my child to the same barbaric, insane school system I was forced to take part in.”
Dave’s heart sunk. He’d avoided asking his lover that question now for a year and a half, fearing that would be the answer. Now it was out in the open, and he was going to have to deal with it.
“Da da da da da,” Ty babbled, tugging on his beard again. “Da. T’uck.”
Grateful for the distraction, Dave found the truck in question – it had gotten lodged under the coffee table – and presented it. A pick of Dee’s, it was apparently gender-neutral enough, although Dave had never thought of trucks as a girly sort of toy. “Here you go, kiddo. Now… let go of the beard… there you go.” Ty latched onto the truck with both small hands, freeing Dave’s beard – which was beginning to go prematurely grey in the last couple years.
Ty scrambled onto the floor, which had been recently been re-cleared of all toddler-pitfalls (somehow they managed to respawn every time Dave turned his back), and began driving the truck around, making little vroom noises, along with the occasional “toot-toot.” Dave and Dee watched him indulgently for a few minutes, until they found themselves snuggled companionably against each other, Dave’s hands pressed protectively over Dee’s stomach. “And Bean?” he finally asked. He didn’t really want to know the answer, but he needed to ask.
Dee looked down at their twined hands, and at his wide, pregnant belly, their child growing inside. He didn’t speak for a few minutes, his silence punctuated by Ty’s small truck noises, now morphing into race-car noises.
“You don’t like it here,” he finally said. It wasn’t a question, but Dave answered anyway.
“I don’t know what to do with this place, love. There’s work, sure, but how long will that last? Dr. Avonmorea can only need so many houses built – after that, I’m just a stud horse,” he smirked, “and, well, one, she probably doesn’t want that many Dave foals, and, two, a gay stud horse is kind of limited in use for what she wants.”
“We’ll always need your skills,” Dee protested.
“There are other men here – and Liv – who have the same skills I do or better. And Port, at least, well, he and Ginger seem to be getting along like a house on fire.”
“We get along just fine.”
“Vroooooooooommmmm…. Rrrrrrrrr! Bang! Boom! Splash!” Ty ran the truck off the edge of the coffee table with a movie’s worth of sound effects. “BOOOM!”
“We do, handsome.” He kissed Dee carefully, wanting to pull him close and strip his clothes off, settling for a nearly-chaste kiss. “And we’d get along just fine out in the real world, too.”
“Darling, you’ve never seen me in the real world. People out there have a hard enough time with ‘gay.’ They can’t cope with someone who wants to change gender the way some people change their shoes.”
And Dee would never be happy tied down to one role, he knew. He looked down at his hands over Dee’s belly, where their child was growing. “And Bean?” he asked again.
Ty was making siren noises now, the truck rushing to its own rescue. Dee looked down at him for a while before he answered. “Eventually, you’re going to leave us, aren’t you?”
Looking at Ty – Ty, who called him “Da-da,” who was his son, whatever his natural father might want to say about it – it was hard to answer that question. “I’m fine when I’m in here, lover,” he said instead. “Or when I’m working. Being with you, being with Ty, that’s all I ever wanted from life. But… you know it’s not just needing something to do. I’m human.”
“Nearly human,” Dee corrected softly. Her (his) hermaphroditic child had moved on to flapping his arms like wings and making airplane noises around the room. Dave wondered, apropos of nothing, if the kid would have wings when he grew up, the way a couple of people around here did.
“Dee, compared to…” he cut off the words “the freaks” before they were even fully thought of. “…some of the people here, I’m pretty damn human. And, the way they act,” and now it finally was coming out, damn it, “that’s a pretty inferior thing to be.”
Dee nodded, his expression tight. Damn it, he hadn’t wanted to upset her! “I’m sorry, love,” she murmured quietly. “I… I was hoping it wouldn’t bother you, I guess.”
“Me, too,” he said with feeling. “I mean... I was hoping I could get over it. Ignore it. Something.” He looked over at Ty, who’d gone back to the truck and his little rag doll. “You could come with me,” he said. “I know, I know. But we could find a way to make it work. Home school the kids. Big city, big house, no-one has to know Dee-Dee and D.J. are the same person.” His words were coming out too fast now; he sounded desperate. Hell, he was desperate. “Come live with me, and be my spouse, and raise beautiful children with me.”
Her expression was sad now, and she was shaking her head no. “I’m not human enough for your world, David.”
“And I’m too human for yours,” he sighed. On the floor, Ty’s truck went over the cliff again.
Copyright © 2009-2010 Lyn Thorne-Alder & Elasmo. All rights reserved.
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