[All characters, places, ideas, organizations, lines, and kumquats that I have borrowed from Gundam Wing or any number of 80’s bands, belong to someone else or possibly to some big, heartless corporation, with the notable exception of Dacey and Hiniku who are the sole intellectual property of Figbash (GoinK117@newschool.edu), being on a very gracious lone from her as are any scenes in which Wufei should happen to appear with cat ears. Though under verbal contract, it should be noted that this story and any others that I should happen to write entail and alternate universe within an alternate universe as Figbash has given me explicit instructions to do whatever I want. Arigatou Figgy! All other children, childish adults or animals appearing are the creation of my own deranged mind and possibly all those really nice people who helped find them names.]
Now there’s a disclaimer you can’t shake a stick at…
Please direct all comments, criticism, sugary foodstuffs or outright flames to The Queen of Blueberry Toast, (TheKWOBT@hotmail.com) not any affiliated evil rabbits. The restrooms are on your left unless you’re already there for some reason, the snacks are in your own refrigerator, but please stay with the tour group.
One: In Which Dacey Liberates the Crickets
Most kids his age were privileged to be awakened with the cheery, if not somewhat inane, tunes of perky adults singing classic children’s songs like “How Much is That Doggy in the Window?” or “The Five Happy MS Leos”, but Dacey Maxwell, who had a peculiar dislike of the latter to begin with, had his dream of dancing, blue cartoon penguins shooting popguns at celery women gradually interrupted by the inclusion of some peppy technopop and knew slowly, as he became aware of his favorite song, that it was time to get up for school. He sat up with a huge yawn and promptly spit out his braid which had found it’s way into his mouth during the night. He then carefully stretched every one of his muscles, down to the tips of his fingers and toes, and yawned again, sleepily batting his eyes.
The soft glow of the light from his one window with it’s eyelet curtains said it was raining outside or close to it, but his walls wildly proclaimed otherwise. Beneath the warm glow of the airbrushed sun in the clear blue sky roamed hoards of smiling, friendly dinosaurs that almost looked like gummy animals as they went about eating only the playful, and most likely inaccurate, Mesozoic plants. The scattered furniture was arranged to hide as little of it as possible, except where on of the triceratops appeared to be consuming his lamp.
In the chilly illumination, Dacey yawned for a third time and turned off his radio, swinging his bare feet out from under his ragged white comforter. Oh! It felt so cold out of bed and there was only one way to fix that. With a laugh, he lunged for his drawers, tore out of them what he hoped was a complete outfit and scurried to the bathroom, locking the door behind him.
Once inside “Good morning toothbrush! Good morning toothpaste! Good morning washcloth! Good morning hairbrush!” Peering around for anything else that needed to be greeted, he found nothing and so climbed up into the toilet seat so he could reach the frosted glass window which he yanked open. “Good morning Mrs. Lorenza!” He called to a dear old lady who was meandering about raking up some fallen dogwood leaves while wearing a turquoise rain slicker and he good peach Easter bonnet.
She put down her shovel and waved. “Why hello Dacey! How are you?”
“Well, I’m real good Mrs. Lorenza! What about you?”
“Oh, I’m fine, honeypie. You finish getting ready now so you won’t be late for school.”
“Okay! Bye-bye!” He closed the window and forgot to lock it. Then he brushed his teeth, splashed off his face, combed his bangs until they were only sticking out in five directions instead of a hundred, and at last pulled on his clothes: Blue-black corduroys with slightly worn knees, and aqua T-shirt and a little jean jacket with a pterodactyl sewn on the front pocket.
With that, he grinned at his reflection and scurried into the living room, right over to the switch to the heat lamp above it’s glass case that appeared at first to contain only oddly painted rocks. “Good morning, Dog!” He smiled at the cranky, bleary, little iguana. Dog only flicked his tongue out and refused to look anything but annoyed.
With a pout for his pet’s irritability, he continued to the kitchen, which, this month was a rich, potent lavender with bright mint green trim. In fact, it had been repainted so many times there were rings of random color about some of the cabinets where the drop clothes had failed On the far wall there was a sliding glass door leading out to a screened in porch beside a huge, old oak and at least part of the garden that was sleeping now. The irises about inside were purchased but doing remarkably well just the same as they stood in fantastically odd vases among the hodge-podge of kitchen utensils that always seemed to be sitting out despite the availability of drawer space. He bounded around the white table and chairs in the center of the room and over to the figure riffling about the spatula collection nearest the stove.
“Ohayo, Papa!” he called joyously, wrapping his arms about Heero’s skinny waist.
“Ohayo, Dacey,” the cook responded in a rather removed tone of voice as he flipped something on the griddle with the most precise movements. His little boy never took his patient, clear eyes from his face though and as soon as he was done, he set aside his spatula and smiled softly, reaching down and petting the silky, brown hair with a gentle fondness. “Genki desu ka?”
“Hai! Genki yo! Today’s my day to watercolor. I’ll paint you somthin’ really nice. Oh! And Miss Susie might let me an’ Duenna play ninja with the nice instead of playing counting with the mice. What are you gonna do today, Papa?”
“I have to work on ‘Eru’ section today.” [That’s “l” with a Japanese accent.]
His little boy pouted sadly in true sympathy, because he really understood how much Papa always seemed to hate working on ‘Eru’ section.
“It’s not a lot of work.” he reassured though, reaching onto the platter beside the stove from which he removed a single silver-dollar pancake that he held over the child’s head.
“Ahhhhh!” Dacey craned his head back, opening his mouth as far as he could, catching the pancake and chewing it up noisily amid his chuckles.
“Breakfast is almost ready.” And with that, the little boy scurried over to the table and took a moment to marvel at the vast collection of gooky syrup bottles clustered about the lazy susan: there were at least thirty of them all at least partially used, except for the mango raspberry which had been a new arrival at the store on their last excursion and one of the few missing from their hoard.
Shortly, Heero flipped the last of the pancakes onto the tray, taking a moment to examine one with a few drafting tools because it didn’t appear to be exactly round and wasn’t so he trimmed it, only to discover he’d accidentally picked up the pinking shears and so absolutely ruined the thing. “Ninmu Ryokai.” And he disposed of the evidence by popping it in his mouth. After that, he went over to the intercom panel and held down the “Talk” and “Studio” buttons.
Dacey covered his ears.
“OTOCHAN! GOHAN DESU!”
“No need to yell, Papa!” came a playful voice from the doorway. Duo stood there, actually dressed presentably for the early hour: black slacks and a white dress shirt with an improperly tied lime green tie. Despite the ever-present liveliness of his eyes, his expression was rather saddened, though he tried even to hide it from the little bundle in his arms he was now and again cooing to.
Heero’s response to this was a long, questioning look.
“Hiniku’s sick again,” The braided one sighed despondently.
The bundle sneezed rather loudly.
“My goodness! God bless you, Hee-chan!|”
“What’s the matter?” the cook asked, his matter of fact tone slightly wavering as he bent over his younger son’s vaguely pallid visage.
“I think it’s just a cold but he isn’t very stuffy and he seems especially grouchy.”
Heero kissed the little forehead, feeling no unusual warmth too it, so he shook his head. “Yes, probably a cold.” Then he pecked Duo on the cheek and Dacey chuckled at it, despite being momentarily neglected. Daddy then plunked Hiniku down in his highchair, wrapping the blanket loosely about him like a cape, before taking his own seat and ruffling his older boy’s hair.
“Mornin’ Chibi D.”
“Good morning! Daddy, guess what?”
“Oh, I dunno, what? Did you get elected governor of the colony? *GASP* you did, didn’t you? Congratulations, governor Dacey! What’s going to be your first order of business? I leash law for iguanas? Maybe a national ice cream day? Oh! Tell me! Tell me!”
“No, Daddy!” he chuckled merrily. “I get to paint today and get all messy just like you do!”
Heero rolled his eyes.
“Yay! Oh that’s even cooler than being a governor! But we’re out of room on the fridge. Oh no! What are we gonna do?”
Dacey put his little hands on his cheeks and shook his head.
“I’ll have to put it in my studio.”
Applause from both of them. Papa shook his head with a faint smile and set a tray of pancakes on the table. After a moment or so of grappling for the “best” ones, everyone’s plate was sufficiently heaped.
“Itadakimasu!” Everyone chorused, except for Hiniku, who sneezed.
“God bless you, Hee-chan!” Duo replied as he fumbled about the lazy susan in search of the chocolate syrup.
“Daddy, may I have the strawberry?”
“Sure thing, Chibi D. Say when, dear.”
“There now, eat up!” And with that he dove for his own swampy mess of a plate. “Aw man Heero! You made the best gosh darn pancakes.”
“Arigatou,” the cook though turned his attention to the baby, who was gazing displeasedly at the Cheerios set before him. With a heavy sigh, he picked up a single one and held it to the finicky lips, clucking softly in Japanese only to be met with a few pathetic, but nonetheless contrary, fusses.
“Hey Chibi D?” Duo slurped, “Didja have any nice dreams last night?”
“Yes I did Daddy, but you’ve got syrup on your chin.”
“Oooooops!” his tongue promptly darted out and licked up the better part of the mess.
“I dreamed about penguins.”
“Penguins?” At this he flicked his fork about in a curious way.” “I thought you liked dinosaurs? Is this somethin’ new I haven’t heard before? Is my stegosaurus boy changin’ on me?”
“No, I just dreamed about penguins.”
“Oh! Okay then! I dream of funny stuff a lot too but,” pause to gurgle some milk, “if you ever want your room repainted just gimme a yell and I’ll do it for ya.”
“But I want to keep it like it is forever!”
The braided one smiled and determined he’d have to remember that line when teenage Dacey wouldn’t take friends anywhere near his reptilian walls.
“What about you, Daddy?”
“Well I dreamed…” the littlest blush took him so it was really rather fortunate his son had turned his attention to his pancakes. “… I dreamed of kissing Papa.”
Heero glanced over dumbfounded as he had been so immersed in offering cereal to his less tractable offspring in every way he knew how.
“He was in a bear suit.”
“No,” decided Papa.
“You didn’t have any happy dreams?” Dacey asked then.
“I dreamed about playing with you. It was a lot of fun so I hope I have it again tonight.”
Breakfast otherwise proved pleasingly uneventful. The older Maxwell son polished off his milk and ran for his sneakers which he plunked at Daddy’s feet, before glancing at him expectantly. Duo was more than happy to oblige and so proceeded to work the laces into one of his more terrific knots. As much as he hated to admit it, he couldn’t tie a bow to save his life. Before Dacey, he’d never needed to and in some ways he still didn’t because no ordinary bow could possibly keep shoes on the rambunctious boy for very long.
“Ready to go now?”
“Of course I am!”
They both glanced expectantly at Heero, who had still refused to give up his quest, and Hiniku who was still refusing to eat. “What’s the matter?” he was muttering to himself,. “Come one, please, for Papa? I don’t want it to be like it was before, I don’t want you to go to the hospital. Please, sweetie? Oh, what’s the matter?” In the silence he suddenly realized what they were expecting from him. “Dacey, I think maybe Daddy should take you to school today.”
"Whoohoo!" Duo tore from the room and shouted back shortly. "Found my keys! Heero, old buddy, you really shoulda hid 'em better!" And popping back in at last, pretty much a total shamble. "Well, I'm ready."
"You're not wearing any shoes and your fly is halfway down." Papa sighed.
"I am too I... oh... so I'm not." ZZZZZZIP.
"Go put on your galoshes, they're right under the couch where you left them."
"Daddy!" Dacey cried suddenly tugging on one arm as it swung past him. "You’re not wearing any earrings either!"
"Well, then! Which pair should I put on?"
"The pink ones!"
"The pink ones it is!"
As one of his fathers dashed about collecting himself, the elder Maxwell boy rooted his clear green rainslicker out of the coat closet and retrieved his mint and purple backpack from behind the couch where it had ended up last night in the middle of a game of indoor tag. There was a pokey wrapper stuck to it yet and as he yanked it off he found it still contained some rather large cookie fragments. With a shrug, he went to dump them into Dog's cage, at which the cranky iguana perked up considerably and flicked it's tongue about.
"No Chibi D," chucked the braided one, hopping over on one foot as he pulled on one of his boots. "I'm sure Dog would love some Pokey but it's not good for lizards."
Dog looked just about as disappointed as an iguana could.
"I bet I know what he'd like though!" With a sweet little grin, Duo pulled a wire cage out from under the table the glass tank was on. It looked almost to have been filled with little, lively clouds, but those were in fact a few dozen frenetic crickets, one of which he caught between his battered fingers as it tried to leap out as soon as the door was open. "Feisty, are ya?" And with that quite he flipped open the top to the iguana’s cage and dangled it in by one feathery antenna until the thin, green lips snapped around it, front legs hanging out and twitching randomly before being inelegantly chopped down by one happy pet. "There we are. Good Dog. Ready now, Chibi D?"
His little boy shook his head and took a moment then to examine the puffed-up teardrop hoops of dark pink enamel and matte bronze dotted with forget-me-nots, flicking about his neck as they dangled from their flowered buttons.
Everyone gathered at the door then for some fresh, wet good-bye kisses. "Bai bai Papa! Have fun at work today. Bai bai Hiniku, I hope you feel better."
Hiniku sneezed.... twice.
"God bless you Hee-chan! Well, we're off."
Heero slung his ailing toddler over one shoulder and rubbed his little back as he watched the rest of his family go gavanting past the juniper hedge against the front porch and down the winding sidewalk to the little white van parked in front of the garage. It was an acceptable security risk- there was absolutely no space in the garage for two cars. Besides, it had been used when they first bought it- an old industrial vehicle for shuttling workers about. Today it only took three tries to start it and then hummed backwards onto the road in a line that wasn't exactly straight, then pulled off. There came some wild honking and two pairs of hands flailing wildly about the windows before they vanished in a squealing blur that he watched until he couldn't even see it on the main road outside the development anymore.
Right before they had disappeared over the hill he sighed wistfully, something he never would have done in the presence of anyone who was sure about what a wistful sigh was. "Drive safe you two. I don't know what I'd ever do..." But suddenly, he felt something warm and of a not too pleasant texture running down his back. "Shimatta."
"Shimatta! Shimatta!" Hiniku giggled.
Side note: Dacey attends a Montessori-type school: The children are grouped by ability, not age. There are no desks and so designated seats. Each child is assigned a certain amount of work according to what they like and what they need help with, and when that is finished, it’s pretty much free play not counting enrichment activities, story time or any other special events. Oh! That and children refer to their teachers with their first names.
It was one of those huge old churches that had more the guise of a cathedral to it- it’s stones near the color of the teary-eyes clouds, its turret’s trims already rusting against the walls the roof that supported the black filigree. It glowed though: here one of the only places left in space with surviving stained-glass windows, softly shining in the curtains of raindrops that raced over them, some faster and some slower. A few people still stopped to look at it simply because they were passing, by, but just a few. Only the topmost towers could be seen from the highway, rising from a puddle of green in the summer and a haze of lacey branches in the winter. For now though, it sat on a fading platter of gold and looked out over the city without a single comment.
It also happened to be easy to get lost in, but if anyone managed to find the stairs there were several cheery white classrooms on the top floor- a dim grey today except for Miss Susie Brown’s, the walls of which were dappled with so many of her students’ brilliant creations and color explosions, that several Mardi Gras posters she’d had imported straight from earth just to perk up the place were now sitting disused in one of the closets, probably ashamed they were not creative or enjoyable to look upon. Even the curtains for her two huge windows were designed for by her children, the shelves stacked with books and games they were most partial to (and so always changing) and the cushy, shaggy story time carpet was royal purple just as they’d suggested.
Dacey sat at one of the large, round tables nearer the center of the space, absently kicking his feet back and forth, his sneakers hardly seeming to make any sound at all in the chirpy classroom. His pencil wandered about his paper, swirling and pirouetting with a certain bored grace that children now and again exhibit. The harder he stared at the numbers, the more they kept looking like the flowers on Daddy’s earrings which were so much prettier than numbers.
“Hey Duenna-chan?” he finally conceded turning to the little girl beside him who had more problems on her paper but just as many scribbles because hers were all finished and seemed to have been so for some time.
She was wearing today little hot-pink leggings, a shiny purple shirt that fell to her knees and a droopy webbing bow that was strung with beads and sagging over her white blond curls. She blinked at him with two huge brown eyes and smiled. “Hey whatty?”
“What’s the answer to this one?”
“Wow! You did that in your head and it’s even one of those really REALLY *REALLLLLLLY* hard ones where you have to carry a one! Arigatou!”
“You’re welcome! Tehe! I love it when you speak Chinese to me.”
“I think that was Japanese.”
“Oh. OK! I still like it.”
They turned back to their work then for a few moments only one of which had passed before he was scribbling again. “Hey Duenna-chan?”
“Nothin’ much,” then glancing over at his paper, “Nineteen.”
“That one’s nineteen.”
“Aw! No fair! I hadn’t even started that one.”
The little girl smirked and reached over poking his arm.
“I’ll get one right! I know I will.”
But no sooner had he convinced his eyes to actually focus on the paper than the numbers suddenly stopped making sense and he felt his eyes instead beggining to sting in desperation. There seemed nothing better to do than fall forward, bumping his nose against the offending piece of paper, landing in an area his pencil had been particularly wont to stray. His little friend eeped in distress catching the attention of the teacher who was just coming back into the room with some newly laminated flash cards which she passed to her aide at once then, hurrying over to her student instead.
“Dacey, what’s the matter?” she asked gently, dropping lightly to her knees to be eye level with her children despite her new dress.
“Miss Susie,” he moaned, ashamedly, “I don’t get it. I’ve been trying to figure it out all morning, but the numbers just keep turnin’ into spaghetti and they don’t make any sense.” At that he sniffed loudly.
Glancing at the clock on the wall she saw it was 10:43 already. “It’s alright now. There’s no need to feel bad about it. I understand you need some help with your math.”
“Well, Duenna helped a little.”
“Did you? Oh! That’s very nice of you Duenna. I’ll tell you what though, Dacey.” While thinking a second about exactly how to word what she was going to say, she retrieved a tissue from her pocket and wiped the graphite from her pupil’s nose. “Do you have the rest of your work done?”
“Well, then, why don’t you take a break and play for awhile. We can try it again after lunch with a nice, new paper.”
“Really, Miss Susie?”
“Of course! Run along now, you two.”
Both children cheered and bounced off towards the shelves of games. Seeing them chattering to one another, so happy again and so soon, she smiled as she reached down for their papers. Her little boy’s was covered all over in pretty gibberish, some of which rose out of the tangle of lines and turned into some of the most darling forget-me-nots she’d ever seen. It only made sense then: with a shrug, she stapled it to the wall, covering a hole in the artistic blanket that has been bothering her for a while now.
In the mean time, Duenna and her playmate were just sacking the shelves in search of the black and white rubber mice, visions of epic ninja battles involving rice balls dancing in their minds. They peeked about for awhile until they got to the space where the racks swerved in a little “u” to avoid blocking a window and so had created a little room that served as a favorite spot for fortresses and houses and offices of every sort. Today it contented two other little girls curled up side by side on the floor, happily coloring with a big box of Crayola markers.
“Hello!” Chloe called. She was the one in the turquoise and white gingham jumper with the happy yellow bunnies embroidered on the front- her hair in a mushroom cut that needed a trim. Beside her a much taller girl in jeans and a Super Samurai Lizard T-shirt despite her lacy pigtails. “We’re gonna play doctor. You wanna play with us?”
The two new-comers shot each other happy grins and nodded. Doctor was much more fun than mice, even Secret Rice Ball Ninja Mice.
“We have to finish making the medicine first.”
“Can’t have a hospital with no medicine.”
“Can we help?” Dacey asked hopefully.
“Sure you can, but don’t make any shots. That’s my job.” Asserted Burnette.
“I can draw a stethoscope.”
“Oh! You can draw ANYTHING!” his companion cut in. “I’ll cut everything out.”
Chole smiled. “Yay! Duenna cuts real well.”
So they all flopped down on the floor and set to scribbling out as many intricate and generally impossible medical items as they could, including a few monitors for things that previously it had not been known needed to be monitored at all.
“Why is the bad side orange on this one?”
“I hate orange!”
All of this of course accompanied by an pantheon of multicolored bottles filled with liquids and glues and drawn sparkles, some bandages and mimics of things glanced for moments in doctors’ drawers. The curly-headed blond trimmed them all out with astonishing adherence to the lines, not counting the few times she accidentally chopped through the necks of a few bottles and merely shortened them to compensate.
“Now,” Burnette began at last in her pretty little girl authority, “Who’ll be our patient?”
“My Dolly can be the patient!” Chloe suggested holding up a dark haired baby-doll with sparkly green eyes and a very doll-like smile made with inhumanly small lips that was precious nonetheless.
“What’s her name today?” Duenna asked, leaning over and petting the tangled, nylon hair.
“I don’t want to use a dolly,” the tomboy ruled, her dislike of such playthings being more than evident in her words.
At this Duo’s little boy smirked with the same cool confidence of his Daddy. “I’ll be the patient.”
“But you *love* to give people shots!” His friend pointed out on she sucked on a few stray bits of her tresses.
“Well, yeah, but I’ve never been a patient before. What do I do?”
“Well,” Chloe began as she taped her hand made nurses cap to her forehead before quickly affixing one to her plaything as well., “You have to lay real still on the ground and do what we tell you.”
“Still!? Really still like not breathing at all?”
“No! Not THAT still. Like when you’re in bed.”
“Do you want a pillow?”
“Hehe! You always remember to say please and thank you.” The little redhead pattered over to the dress up trunk and pulled out a skirt which she rolled up and fluffed accordingly before popping it under his head.
“I think we should undo his hair,” Burnette mentioned thoughtfully.
“No! You can’t! Papa and Daddy’ll get real mad if you do that!”
“Oh… hmph! I guess we just gotta figure out what’s the matter with you then,” At this, she rolled up her sleeved before rooting around their paper cutouts for one of the thermometers they’d created. Once she found the nicest one, she promptly stuck it on his ear, announcing with a grumble and clacking of her tongue, “162. I do’ think that’s real good.”
Duenna shook her head solemnly, feeling their little game had gotten too serious. 162 sounded very serious to her: it was more than she could count.
Chloe, however, shrugged and began poking him with one of the more ambiguous items. “My mommy doesn’t let me play doctor. She says it’s naughty.”
“Really?” the Duenna replied. “My mommy plays *with* me when I play doctor.”
Burnette at once took it upon herself to complain. “MY mommy sends me to day care.” Then she shot a little look at her subject that didn’t particularly convey anything but her attention. “Dacey’s special. He’s got two daddies.”
As the examination continued, he smirked up at her as infectiously as
he could and sure enough, they were all smiling in a minute.
“That’s real strange, “ Chloe decided absently as she was still trying to decide what sort of bad readings would be coming from his tummy and his knee and his left pinky all at the same time. “Mommy always tells me that babies only get brang by the stork if there’s a daddy AND a mommy. I bet my mommy’s wrong though. She’s wrong about a lotta stuff.”
“Well,” he just had to worm his way back into the conversation, “The stork didn’t brang me. I came out of a jar.”
(Duenna stopped short for a second and tried to put away the mental image of isles and isles of Daceys in jam jars.)
“It must be fun havin’ two daddies.”
“Well, my one Daddy kinda looks like a mommy, but he acts more like a big brother mosta the time.”
“Do they kiss?”
“They sure do! …but they don’t think I see.”
“I’ve never seen a boy kiss another boy. I didn’t think they’d like to do that since boys don’t usually like to kiss unless they’re tryin’ to give us cooties. Hmm… Well, I guess the nice thing about bein’ a boy married to another boy would be that you’d never haffta worry about cooties!”
“It’s still weird,” Protested Burnette. “Do you think it’s weird, Dacey?”
“No,” he answered with a loud yawn. “Well, I kinda did for awhile when I first started goin’ to school ‘cause everybody else had mommies and I didn’t. Before that, everyone else had two daddies to me and it was OK. I told my Papa how funny I felt one day and he didn’t get mad at me at all, I thought he would ‘cause sometimes he gets mad if I say nasty stuff and it was a pretty nasty thing to ask him. But he told me I was special just like you did. And then I was all better. I like havin’ two daddies now.”
“And they love each other, right?”
Dacey gagged, not because of the question but because the his curly-top playmate who asked it has decided she needed to sit on him if she was going to finish running her tests. “Umhm!”
She glared vengefully at his reply and seized the orange syringe.
“Hmm…” Burnette wondered aloud. “I wonder if a boy can love another boy like that, if a girl can love another girl?”
“They can!” the patient called out even as he was bounced on my one of his supposed caretakers. “My auntie Hilde… *GHACK*!”
“Oh! That’s nice then! I think I’ll marry a girl and be cootie free!”
Eyeing Chloe however, did not encourage the desired response. “I’m going to marry Orange Juice.”
“I got his tests all done!” the last working doctor announced.
“Thanks! Hmm…. Hmm…” she mulled over the bits of paper for some time before finally choosing what to announce. “Dacey, you are going to have a baby.”
“Oh…” he sighed at least partially because Duenna had finally decided to sit beside him instead as she offered her congratulations. “WHAT!?”
“You heard me! You’re gonna have a baby.”
“I am!? But… but… I’m a boy!”
“So? Your daddies had a baby.”
“Oh yeah… but won’t it *hurt* a *lot*?”
“It sure will!”
Blink. Blink. Blink.
“Well, that’s what Daddy always says when he hurts himself!”
“Uhoh… I think We’re gonna need a blankie.”