Author Topic: Good News  (Read 299 times)


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Good News
« on: December 01, 2019, 05:37:36 PM »
What a difference a year could make. Seren and Dorian had not exactly been without friends before Kit and Delilah decided to make their home here in Rhy'Din, but it had been a true delight to help them find a home right next door to their own, as well as watch them become teachers in the new Rosita De Luca School of Performing Arts. Not to mention having a front row seat for the birth of their first child. Though it came with a little heartache for the lupine couple, they were proud to be the trusted aunt and uncle of little Leo. And, of course, having a photographer for an aunt meant that the one year pictures were not only free, but done at home.

Seren laughed as Leo blew bubbles at her, rolling over onto his back just at the moment she pressed the button. "You, little lion, are just being deliberately obtuse now."

"He takes after his father," Delilah was quick to point out, perched nearby just in case she was needed, but out of view of the camera. Motherhood looked good on her, and though her figure was a little rounder than it had been before she'd had her son, she was aglow with happiness.

Seren grinned, lowering the camera to tweak Leo's nose as he rolled onto his front again. "I don't know, he's a lot like you, too," she pointed out, lifting the little boy back onto the warm fleece in the hope that he would stay there for a moment. "Full of mischief."

"He has my hair," Lilah admitted, reaching over to comb her fingers through her son's soft, dark hair. Kit's hair was lighter in color than Lilah's whose hair was nearly black. She laughed a little at her friend's remark. "And Kit isn't?" Full of mischief, she meant.

"Kit's less blatant about it," Seren said impishly, twisting just enough to catch the tender look on Delilah's face as she looked down at her son before snapping some more pictures of Leo. "You glory in your mischief. No wonder your students love you so much."

Lilah shrugged, as if there was nothing to apologize for. "If my students aren't having fun, they won't want to be there," she reasoned. She didn't understand why more teachers didn't try to engage their students and make learning enjoyable, instead of a chore.

"And are you having fun, being a teacher?" Seren asked, pulling a silly face as she spoke to get Leo to giggle. Seeing her friend so settled down was a joy, but she knew it was a big change from the life Lilah had lead before.

"You know, I wasn't sure I would, but I am," Delilah admitted after a moment's consideration. "I've been ready to settle down for a while. It was just convincing Kit really. Once Dorian settled here, it was only a matter of time before we did the same." She laughed. "We've been inseparable for so many years. It just wasn't the same without him."

"Well, at least I know that wasn't entirely my fault," Seren replied in amusement. "I share the blame for that with Neville." She opened her mouth in a wide smile for Leo ... and the baby boy toppled backwards from his sitting position to land on his back, kicking his feet and laughing uproariously. "Oh gods ... he is definitely your son."

Lilah laughed at both her son's antics and at her friend's reaction. "Well, I do distinctly remember carrying him around with me for nine months," she admitted with a grin. "And I don't blame Dorian. He needed to find his brother, and I needed a good excuse to get Kit to settle down."

"Worked out well for everyone then, didn't it?" Seren grinned, setting her camera aside as she reached over to tickle Leo. "You bored, bubba? It's okay, we're all done. More on another day."

"Very well," Delilah agreed. "But what about you, Seren?" she asked, her gaze drifting momentarily downward to the area of Seren's belly. She had been trying to help her friend get pregnant for some time with the aid of herbs and remedies common among her people.

Seren bit her lip, but she couldn't hide the hope in her eyes. "I, um ... well, my last heat was about a month ago, and ..." She met Lilah's eyes with a shy smile. "I think I might be pregnant."

The fact that Seren wasn't entirely human had complicated matters, but Delilah had been confident it was only a matter of time. "Might be?" Lilah echoed, brows arching upwards. "Have you taken a pregnancy test yet?"

"Not yet," Seren admitted. "I'm almost afraid to, in case I'm wrong. But, um ... I have been getting sick at random times, and my tits are so sore."

Delilah smiled. As sympathetic as she was, those were good signs. "That's good news!" she said, reaching over to scoop little Leo up into her arms. "Come along then. It's time to pee on a stick!" she insisted, though this wouldn't be the woman's first pee of the morning.

Seren snorted, pulling herself up onto her feet to set her camera and equipment safely to one side. "I don't think your boy there can aim too well right now," she teased, a little guilty she hadn't mentioned this to Dorian yet but glad Delilah was in this with her all the way.

Lilah giggled. "He's not the one that might be pregnant," she remarked regarding Leo's pee. With Leo balanced in one arm, she snagged Seren's hand to tug her toward the bathroom, knowing her way around her friend's house like it was her own. "You bought a test, yes?"

"Yes, I did buy a test." Seren let herself be tugged around her own house, smiling at Delilah's insistence on finding out right now whether it was a done deal or not. "You realize that if I am pregnant, it's your remedies that did it, right?"

"Nonsense. You and Dorian did it. I just helped," Lilah insisted. She knew she should make her friend wait until morning, but she had to know now, and she had a few tricks up her sleeve.

"It's nerve-wracking," Seren admitted, removing the plastic from the test box. "What if I'm wrong again? I've been wrong so many times before, Lilah."

"Then you try again," Delilah replied, not allowing her friend to give up hope just yet. "And you keep trying," she said, though she realized her friend couldn't keep trying forever without any results. "And if that doesn't work, there are other solutions."

"I know," Seren said softly. "I would very much like a pup, though. I don't even want to push my luck and hope for a litter. Just one would be enough."

"Feeling sick is a good sign," Delilah assured her hopefully. Or it could be the flu, but did lycanthropes even get sick like humans did? "Pee," she instructed her friend, sounding just a little bit bossy. "I'll be right outside," she added, stepping just outside the bathroom and pulling the door closed. She wasn't going to stand over the woman while she did her business, after all.

"Yes, mama bear." Flipping her friend a nervous smile, Seren slipped into the bathroom to do her business. In Delilah's arms, Leo garbled something incomprehensible, grabbed her face, and planted a very wet kiss on her chin.


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Re: Good News
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2019, 05:38:00 PM »
Lilah giggled at her son's silliness. "Just like your father, my little lion," she told him, tickling his chin before smooching his cheek. "Let's hope your Aunt Seren is with child this time," she whispered nuzzling him close and risking him grabbing her hair. She so wanted her friend to know what it was like to be a mother, to love unconditionally the way she did her own son. And she was secretly hoping their children would be the closest of friends.

A few minutes later, Seren emerged, gripping two of the little plastic sticks worriedly. "Is two overkill?" she asked, her smile just this side of hysterical.

"Better safe than sorry," Lilah replied, smiling and looking expectantly toward the plastic sticks in her friend's hand. "And?" she asked, almost afraid to ask.

"And ...." Seren held out her shaking hand, showing off two tests, each with two clear pink lines. She drew in a quivering breath, very close to bursting into tears. "I'm pregnant."

If Delilah had not been holding her son, she might have shrieked and jumped up and down in delighted excitement, but instead she only squealed and threw an arm around Seren to hug her close, kissing each of her cheeks in turn.

"I knew it!" she said, though she had only really hoped. "I am so happy for you, my sister!"

Half laughing and half crying, Seren clung to her friend tightly, sniffling for a long moment as she suddenly realized that this time everything had happened the way it should. "What am I supposed to do now?" she asked. "Do I talk to a doctor, or am I supposed to wait to do that until I have a bump? How do I tell Dorian?"

"Now?" Lilah grinned. "Now, we celebrate!" she told her friend, letting her go, only to brush the tears from Seren's face. "But I think we should keep this to ourselves for now, until you are safely past the first trimester. Tell Dorian, of course, but I don't think we should share the news without anyone outside of family just yet." There were too many things that could go wrong, and Lilah knew very little about lycan births. "Perhaps you should talk to Marissa. She will know what you should do next."

Calming down as Lilah told her what to do, Seren nodded, swallowing down any more tears. "Oh gods ... I can't really believe it," she admitted. "We're gonna have a baby."

"I'm so happy for you, sweetheart," Lilah told her again, brushing the remaining tears from her friend's face. "If I were you, the first thing I'd do is tell Dorian."

"I will." Seren laughed as Leo made a grab for the tests, drawing them out of reach to tweak his nose fondly. "You don't think he'll be upset that you knew first, do you?"

Lilah laughed a little at her friend's worries. "Dorian? No. I think he'll be a little too excited to worry about that. Besides, we are women. We share a bond that men know nothing about. He will understand."

"Thank you, Lilah." Seren wrapped her arms around both Lilah and Leo, hugging them close. "I think I need a cup of tea. Am I allowed to drink tea now? Should I be drinking something else?"

"Tea is fine, so long as you don't drink too much of it. One cup a day should be fine," Lilah replied. "Why don't you take Junior, and I'll put the teapot on," she told her friend, ready to hand him over, whether Seren was pregnant or not.

"It's a deal," the redhead agreed, taking Leo easily enough onto her hip as he was handed over. "You want a drink too, little lion? Gonna roar for us?"

Lilah chuckled. "He is almost ready for his nap," she confessed, but she wasn't too concerned. They only lived next door, after all, and the little boy was accustomed to being dragged back and forth.

"Oh, honey." Seren rested her head on Leo's head as they followed Lilah to the kitchen. "All that modeling really took it out of him, huh? I should have the photos ready for you to take your pick from in a couple of days."

"It's all right. He'll only sleep for an hour or so. The best advice I can give you once your baby is born is to sleep when they do. You're going to need all the rest you can get," she informed her friend, though now that Leo was a year old, he was much easier to handle.

"You know, I still can't believe you and Kit handle seven small children every full moon while we're out being animals," Seren commented, sitting down with the sleepy boy in her lap.

"We handle more than that at school, and there are two of us," Delilah reminded her friend as she put the kettle on. "Besides, it's not as hard as it sounds. It's all about keeping them busy."

"Think you'll be happy to handle one more?" Not that Seren intended on leaving her new pup on the full moon for a while after they were born, but she didn't want to take advantage of her friends' generosity in babysitting one night a month.

"What's one more?" Delilah said, tossing her friend a wink. She turned to fetch the cups and the tea fixings, knowing her way around Seren's kitchen, almost as well as she did around her own.

"That is, if it is one," Seren admitted. "Multiples are a regular thing with wolves. But ... well, I would actually quite like just one. I'm scatter-brained enough without having two pups to deal with!"

"Try not to worry about things that haven't happened yet, sweetling," Delilah told her friend as she took the kettle off the stove to fill two tea cups with hot water. "Take it one day at a time." She glimpsed out the window, a small smirk on her face at what she saw there. It was only a matter of seconds before Seren heard the sound of the men returning from their quest. "Here comes Trouble," Lilah murmured. Trouble times two.

"Double trouble?" Seren asked, though she knew the answer. Lupine senses were pretty acute at the best of time. It all depended now on which house the boys decided to check first as to whether they were going to get teased when they popped in.

While Kit did not possess any lupine senses, Dorian didn't need to be told where his wife was at such close proximity. "They're heading this way," Lilah warned, setting a tray on the table with all the tea fixings and quickly taking a seat. "Just try to look casual," she said, trying to suppress her Cheshire cat grin.


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Re: Good News
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2019, 05:38:19 PM »
Seren laughed at Lilah's mischievous expression, hugging Leo fondly. "You're wildly transparent, you know that?" she told her best friend affectionately.

"Shush," Lilah scolded, taking up her tea cup, picky extended, and trying to look nonchalant. "What were you saying, Seren?" she said, just as the back door opened and the two men stumbled inside, carrying a large evergreen tree between them.

Noticing the pinky, Seren opened her mouth to tease her friend, and caught a whiff of fresh pine. "What on earth ...?" She leaned back in her seat to get a look at the back door. Kit, bundled up in hat, coat, scarf, and gloves, gave her a wave, and turned his attention back to heaving on the tree to get it inside.

"Kit!" A familiar male voice was heard calling from the other side of the door. "Hurry up, will you? This thing is getting heavy!" the voice complained.

Delilah arched a brow as her husband led the way inside. "And just where do you think you're going to put that?" she asked him.

"In the living room," Kit informed her with a grin. "Don't worry, we've got one too!" He gave another almighty pull, and the tree made it through the door with Dorian on the other end.

"I thought you were just supposed to be looking for where the best place was to get them?" Seren asked in amusement.

Delilah rolled her eyes at her husband's reply. It was just like him to go a little overboard and just like Dorian to let him. "That is never going to fit in our living room," she told him, almost daring him to prove her wrong.

"Yes, it will!" Dorian argued. "And if it doesn't, we'll just cut it down a little."

Seren was grinning at this - she and Dorian were using to having a tree that was a little ... bent over these days. It was that, or stop him from getting the tree he wanted, and she could not bring herself to do that. "Do you need me to get the pot, baby?" she called to Dorian curiously.

"No, no, no," Lilah was complaining. "Put that thing down and take a break. Kit, help me put Leo down for a nap. Dorian, talk to your wife," she said, growing impatient with the men and their insistence on too-large Christmas trees.

Dorian merely looked from one face to another, looking confused. "Uh ..."

"Act natural, my arse," Seren muttered, handing Leo up into his mother's arms with a grin. "Wildly transparent."

Kit looked equally confused, obediently laying the tree down on its side as his wife advanced toward him.

"Shush," Delilah murmured as she took her son from her friend, her eyes sparkling with mischief. The sooner Seren told Dorian the news the better; then she wouldn't have to worry about accidentally spilling the beans. The kitchen floor was admittedly not a good place for a Christmas tree, but that would be rectified soon enough. "Come along, dear," she told Kit, curling a finger to beckon him.

"Yes, dear?" Kit looked over at Dorian and shrugged, following obediently behind Delilah. He was pretty confident she was going to tell him whatever Seren had to tell Dorian. Unless it was bad.

He was most likely right, as it was hard for Delilah to keep the news secret when she was so excited about it herself. As Delilah and Kit disappeared from the kitchen, Dorian turned a confused look at Seren. "What are we supposed to talk about?" he asked her curiously. Certainly it wasn't about the Christmas trees, was it?

"The fact that Lilah can't keep a secret to save her life?" Seren suggested. She couldn't quite think of how to tell him, instead reaching into her pocket to lay the two tests on the table in front of him.

"What's this?" he asked, as he stepped closer, fingers reaching to take up the plastic strips. He'd seen them before, but he wasn't sure why she was showing them to him now, nor did he know how to read them. He furrowed his brows as he glanced from the test strips to Seren. "Are you?" he asked, though he was almost afraid to do so.

She nodded, her eyes wide as she watched him. "I'm pretty sure," she said quietly. "I've been sick, and sore in the right places, and I did both just to be sure. We're going to have a pup."

Dorian blinked, the news not quite sinking into his brain at first. "What?" he asked, as he tried to wrap his head around it. He knew she wasn't talking about adopting a dog, but having a child of their own - one like them, a wolf pup.

She drew in a shaky breath. "I'm pregnant."

Dorian blinked again, the news slowly seeping into his brain. "You're pregnant?" he echoed in shock. "Are you sure?" he asked, though he was holding the proof in his own hands.

"A-as sure as I can be without seeing a doctor," she said, her hands twisting together on her lap. "Is it ... is that okay? You're not mad, or disappointed, are you?"

"Mad?" he echoed, blinking in confusion again. "Why would I be mad?" he asked, moving to his knees and turning her to face him. "You're really sure it's for real this time?" he asked her, more concerned for her than he was about anything else. He didn't want to see her heartbroken yet.

She nodded, her eyes wet with unshed tears once again as she looked down at him. "I feel different this time," she told him. "And my tits really hurt some days."

He blinked again, furrowing his brows at her statement, which was a little more than he needed to know. He wasn't sure how that was relevant, but then he wasn't female. He did trust her, however, to know her own body and to understand the signs. "Is that a good thing?" he asked, uncertainly.

"Yeah." She nodded, laughing at the look on his face. "It's a symptom. We made a baby, Dorian." The tears started falling again, a contrast to her bright smile as she squeezed his hands.

"Oh my gods," Dorian breathed in a hushed whisper, obviously shocked by the news, but it was a happy kind of shock. "We made a baby?" he asked, repeating her words back at her.

"At least one," she confirmed, still nodding as tears dripped off her nose and chin. "This time next year, we'll be looking forward to our first Christmas with our child."


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Re: Good News
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2019, 05:38:37 PM »

"Oh, Seren," Dorian said, brushing the tears from her face, his heart aching for her. "Don't cry, baby. You're gonna be a mom," he told her, drawing her into his embrace, not quite grasping the fact that that meant he was going to be a dad.

"I'm happy, I promise I'm happy," she insisted, slithering off the chair to land in his lap, wrapped up in his arms. "I was so sure I was imagining it, and then Delilah marched me to the bathroom to take the tests, and ... I wasn't imagining it. We're going to have a baby. I'm not broken."

Dorian laughed at last as he found Seren in his arms, tears of joy streaming down his cheeks, too. "We're gonna have a baby ... or babies," he said in a hushed voice.

She hugged him tight, giggling through her tears. "I was so sure there was something wrong with me," she admitted. "I'm so glad it worked, finally."

"I was afraid something was wrong with me," he echoed, laughing at his own fears, now that they seemed unfounded. He hugged her close, pulling away to kiss her once, twice. "We're gonna have a baby!" he echoed again, sounding a little more excited this time.

"We are!" As he was kissing her, she kissed him, missing his mouth entirely to pepper his face with excited kisses as she swarmed closer in his arms. "You're a daddy!"

"You're a mommy!" he said, laughing happily as she peppered his face with kisses. "I love you, Seren!" he said, not bothering to keep his voice down. If they were standing, he'd likely have swept her off the floor and spun her in place, but there was an oversized evergreen tree in the way.

She laughed, nuzzling close as her tears finally subsided. "I love you so much, Dorian," she answered tenderly. "We finally did it. We made a family."

"See? There's nothing wrong with us, after all!" Dorian said, laughing with relief. It had taken them a little bit longer, but then he'd been sick for some time before he'd been turned.

They'd both brought their own complications with them, and perhaps Delilah's concoctions hadn't done much to help, but Seren would always be thankful to the friend who was as close as a sister now. "You know, Lilah's probably told Kit by now," she confessed. "Should we celebrate with them?"

"Maybe," Dorian said, touching several kisses to her lips, a smile on his face. "Do you think our siblings will mind?" he asked, wondering if they should invite them, too, which would make for a full house.

"We can tell them another day," Seren said, fairly sure that Emrys and Marissa, at the very least, would want to hold them hostage for an evening to celebrate on their own. Demi and Neville might do the same, as well.

"Then, yes. I think we should celebrate with our friends," he told her. "But first, we need to get that tree in the house," he said, with a smirk and a gleam in his eyes. Even if the damned thing was a little too big.

She looked over at the tree that was still sticking out through their backdoor and laughed. "We can do that," she agreed. "Is it going in the living room already, or on the veranda?"

"I don't know," he admitted, uncertainly. "Do you think it will die if we bring it inside too early?" It was the first year he'd brought home a tree of this size, and he was only realizing now that he might have gone a little overboard. "I may have gotten a little carried away," he admitted.

She reached out, running her fingers over the chilled needles. "We can keep it alive," she promised him fondly. "But I think it should go out on the veranda until we start decorating properly for Winterfest, don't you?"

"Probably," Dorian admitted, too excited about the baby and the holiday to let worries over the tree dampen his spirits. "I can't believe we're gonna have a baby," he said again, as if saying it might help the fact sink into his brain. "Any idea when you're due?" he asked, as he reluctantly pulled away so that he could tend to the tree. "You can come in now!" he called to their friends, who were likely listening anyway.

"Uh ..." Letting him pull away, Seren stayed where she was for a long moment, laying her hands on her flat stomach as she did some quick calculations. "I guess ... June? Maybe July?"

From outside the back door came Kit's voice. "What gave us away? Have you been smelling me again, Dorky-brain?"

"Wow, that's mature," Dorian muttered loud enough for Kit to overhear him. "You wanna help me move this beast out of the kitchen?" he called back. Never mind the fact that Dorian had picked the thing out.

"That's a terrible way to talk about your wife," Kit replied, peering in through the door. "Where are we taking her?"

He snorted with laughter as Seren stuck her tongue out at him, pulling herself up onto her feet.

Behind Kit, Delilah audibly gasped, the sound of a hand smacking her husband's shoulder at the teasing remark aimed at her bestie. "Kit Wylie, you apologize right now! That was rude!" she demanded, scowling at his back.

"What?" he declared defensively. "You have no problem with me calling Leo a creature!"

Inside, Seren caught Dorian's eye, giggling at the silly filial banter going on so close and yet unseen.

"You didn't call her a creature," Lilah pointed out. "You implied she's a beast," he said, jabbing a finger in his bicep for good measure. Never mind the fact that Seren did become a beast of sorts every full moon. It was her best friend he was talking about.

"So I'm allowed to insult our son, but not our friend, is that right?" Kit grinned, turning around to wrap his arms about Lilah's waist and smooch a kiss to her cheek.

"But when you insult Leo, you are only ..." Lilah broke off, frowning at him. "Oh, I see. You were teasing," she said. Though she knew that there was often a fine line between teasing and bullying, she also knew he would never do or say anything to hurt Seren.


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Re: Good News
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2019, 05:38:57 PM »
"It's okay, Lilah, I got it," Seren called from inside. "Fancy having dinner with us tonight?"

Kit smiled, gently kissing the frown lines between his wife's brows. "I would never insult anyone in our family and mean it, pet."

The crease between Lilah's brows smoothed out as her husband appeased her, but the frown was still on her face. "You are still apologizing," she whispered, leaning in so that her lips were mere inches from his, a teasing smile of her own ghosting her lips.

"Fine," he conceded, grinning as he caught her lips with his own. "But only because you seem to need me to do it." He winked wickedly at her, turning to take hold of the tree. "So, Dorian ... where is this going?"

"On the veranda," Dorian replied, not wanting to get in the middle of his friends' debate. He'd known them long enough to have witnessed their squabbles before and there had never been a time when they hadn't reconciled.

"All right, this time you're in front." Kit lifted the trunk end of the tree, letting Dorian take the lead. He paused just long enough to murmur his apology to Seren, who just smiled back at him. She knew he hadn't meant anything by it.

Lilah waited until the men were out of earshot and maneuvering the tree onto the veranda. "That man is infuriating," she murmured, though there wasn't much ire in her voice. No matter what Kit did, no matter how he might irritate her, she couldn't help but adore him.

"You can't complain too much, you're the one who fell in love with him," Seren pointed out, wiping her face dry. "Did you remember to bring over the monitor?"

"Guilty as charged," Lilah replied with a shrug, holding up the monitor to show her friend that she hadn't forgotten. "He doesn't usually sleep too long," she said of her son, who she'd put down for a short nap. "So ..." she started, as she stepped into the house, letting the door fall close behind her. "Dinner?"

"Yeah." Seren beamed at her, all sense of worry banished by her talk with Dorian. "We could order in, or we could have a rummage through the cupboards and make something. What do you think?"

"How are you feeling? Is there anything that doesn't appeal to you?" Delilah asked, more concerned with her friend's wellness than her own appetite. She remembered how some things nauseated her when she was expecting Leo.

"I think chicken and cheese are a no-go tonight," Seren admitted ruefully. "Which sucks, because I really like cheesy mashed potatoes normally. This pup better appreciate me."

"How about I whip up some pasta?" Delilah suggested. "Quick, easy, and no chicken or cheese." And better than ordering in, in her opinion.

"Are you offering to cook in my kitchen again?" Seren asked in amusement. She didn't really give Delilah a chance to answer, spinning to hug her friend tightly with a huge grin. "He's so excited and happy, Lilah, thank you so much!"

"Or mine," Lilah replied, shrugging again before getting crushed by her friend's hug. She smiled, her irritation with Kit forgotten, at least for the moment. "I didn't do anything but give you a few herbs to help things along, Seren," she reminded her friend, with a warm smile. "But I'm very happy for you."

"I suppose we should rethink the getting a pet thing," Seren mused as she drew back, though her expression suggested she was still quite prepared to go through with that one. "What do you think?"

"I think it depends on the pet," Lilah replied, stepping past her friend to find her way around the kitchen, opening cupboards and gathering the items she'd need to make dinner. "You two do spend a little time each month on the furry side, too."

"I know." Seren knew enough to keep out of the way until Lilah told her to do something, leaning against the far counter as she considered their options. "Would it be weird for werewolves to have a couple of cats?"

Delilah laughed. "Darling, you're asking the wrong person!" she told her. What did she know about it anyway? All she knew about werewolves was what her friends told her. "Maybe you should ask your brother," she suggested, finding a large pot in the cupboard and taking it over to the sink to fill it with water.

"Well, it would be weirder to ask my husband or my brother to go furry so I can stroke them from time to time!" Seren laughed with her, knowing she had answered her own question there. Only certain breeds of dog would be comfortable in a house with wolves, but cats should be okay.

"Cats are more independent than dogs," Lilah remarked, as she moved about the kitchen. "No offense," she added, though she did not consider her friend to be a dog. In fact, as she understood it, calling a werewolf a dog was something of an insult.

"Lupine, not canine," Seren reminded her with a smile. "Can I do anything to help?" She pushed out of her lean, tucking her arms about Lilah from behind to rest her chin on the other woman's shoulder. Say what you like about wolves, but Seren was very tactile with those she considered family.

"Yes," Lilah replied, smiling back at the woman she considered to be her sister, even though they didn't share a bloodline. "You can keep those two rascals out of my way," she told her with a playful grin.

From the other side of the living room came a crash, and Kit's voice calling out, "It's fine, it's all fine, nothing's broken!"

Seren laughed, rolling her eyes. "I think they're busy for the time being."

Lilah winced at the racket coming from the other room, glad Leo wasn't there to hear it. He was a good baby and a sound sleeper, but the racket coming from the other room was enough to wake the dead.

"Try not to break anything, darling!" she called back to her husband.

There was a muffled curse, and a slightly shame-faced reply. "Too late! But I have glue, I can fix it!" Seren rolled her eyes above her wide grin, enjoying how relaxed everything felt after what had been quite an intense half hour.


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Re: Good News
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2019, 05:39:15 PM »
"Not everything can be fixed with glue," Delilah muttered to herself, just loud enough for Seren to hear, but not her husband. "Men," she huffed aloud as she plucked a box of pasta from Seren's cupboard. "They are impossible."

"Improbable," Seren corrected her affectionately. "If they were impossible, we wouldn't love them so much." She tilted her head thoughtfully. "Do you think a ferret would be a better pet than a cat?"

Delilah arched a brow at her friend's question, unexpected as it was. "A ferret?" she echoed, wrinkling her nose. " Aren't they ... smelly?" she asked, uncertainly. Then again, she'd never known anyone who'd ever had one.

"All animals are smelly," Seren pointed out in amusement. "I guess ferrets are a bit more musky than most people are used to, though." She chuckled at the look on Delilah's face. "What if I persuaded Dorian to get a big cat? Or two? Do you think he'd go for it?"

Delilah quirked both brows. "How big?" she asked, wondering if her friend was considering adopting a wild cat. "I'm not sure that would be a good idea when you are expecting a baby," she pointed out, for several reasons.

"I don't mean a wild or exotic cat," Seren assured her. "Just a furry big enough to cuddle." She seemed rather fixated on getting a pet now that she knew she was expecting, which was perhaps a bit odd.

"Why the sudden interest in adopting a pet?" Delilah asked as she started on the sauce. She was still of the opinion that having a baby -  not to mention a husband - was enough to keep one busy without adding a pet to the equation.

"I don't know," her friend admitted. "Practice ahead of time, maybe? Which doesn't make any sense, because if I asked, I know at least three people who would gladly throw their babies at me for an afternoon or three."

"Yes, but babies are not pets, Seren," Delilah reminded her friend. "And if I understand it right, one does not shift until they reach puberty, yes?" she asked. She was only human, after all, and wasn't entirely sure about the biology of shape-shifting.

"Usually not until around twelve or thirteen, no," Seren confirmed easily enough. "I don't know what's going on with me, I just ... I want something small and soft to cuddle. That's weird, isn't it?"

"Maybe it's hormones," Delilah suggested. "Well, I don't see anything wrong with getting a pet," she told her friend. "So long as Dorian agrees and you think you can manage it."

"I guess I should talk to Dorian and maybe a doctor about it," Seren conceded, rubbing a hand through her red hair. "Something about cats litter boxes being toxic for pregnant women?"

Delilah frowned thoughtfully. "I've heard of that. Maybe you could just have Dorian change the kitty litter," she suggested. "I never had the urge to get a pet when I was pregnant," she confessed. "Do you think it's normal or does it have something to do with you being a wolf?"

"Maybe. Or maybe it's just because I've wanted this for so long, I can't really believe it's happening." Seren's smile was a little bittersweet. "Maybe I think, if I had a pet and lost the baby, it wouldn't hurt so much."

"Oh, Seren," Delilah said, her frown deepening. She abandoned her chopping for a moment to face her friend. "We are going to do everything we can to make sure that doesn't happen, all right?" she assured her, reaching to give Seren's hand a squeeze.

"I'm sorry," Seren apologised, her smile only just not forced. "I suppose I'm a bit of a doomsayer right now. It isn't that I'm not happy, I am - I just ... I'm very scared, too."

"Of course, you are scared," she told her friend, a sympathetic smile on her face as she gently stroked Seren's cheek. "I am sorry to tell you this, but as a mother, there will never be a day when you are not at least a little bit scared. But after a while, you learn to live with that fear. You learn how to push it aside and not dwell on it too much."

"You're so encouraging," Seren drawled back, her expression deadpan for a split second before she smiled more genuinely. "I know. I just ... this is our new reality. I'm going to have to get used to it."

"It is not a bad thing, Seren," Delilah assured her friend. "It means that you care about that little life that's growing inside you, and I promise you I will do everything in my power to make sure you don't lose him or her ... or them," she added with a smirk.

"How did I get so lucky to have such a wise best friend?" Seren said, her smile relaxing further as Delilah reassured her. "I'll try not to worry so much, I promise."

Lilah laughed. "I'm not that wise, Seren. Just experienced," she told her friend. "Now, if you could just whip up a side salad, I think we'll be all set," she told her friend, as she put the finishing touches on the sauce.

"Aye, aye, captain!"

As worries faded into laughter in the kitchen, out on the veranda, repairs were taking place. To be fair, Kit hadn't smashed the terracotta plant pot, only chipped a large piece off. It was nothing glue couldn't fix. He blew on his hands to warm his fingers, studying what he was doing carefully.

"So ... a poppa wolf, huh?"

"You could just buy her a new one, you know," Dorian pointed out, a little amused at Kit's attempt to glue the thing back together in hopes Seren didn't notice. He chuckled a little at his friend's remark. "So it would seem. What's it like ... being a father?" he asked his friend.

"You're kidding, right? I have to make the effort, at least." Chuckling to himself, Kit very carefully maneuvered the broken piece into place. He let it set before looking up at Dorian once again. "What's it like? Honestly, it's a little terrifying," he admitted ruefully. "There's this person in your life who needs you to do so much, to be there, and sometimes it feels like too much, you know? But then I hold him, and he gives me that gummy grin, or he falls asleep in my arms, and I know it's all worth it."

"Gummy grin?" Dorian echoed, chuckling. "I know it's not easy, but you and Lilah make it look that way. I just hope I'm gonna be a good father," he said, a slightly worried look on his face, though he was excited, too. "I worry a little about Seren though."


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Re: Good News
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2019, 05:39:32 PM »
"Dorian, you're gonna be fine," Kit promised him, straightening up to tuck his cold hands in his pockets once again. "You're amazing with Leo; just dial that up a notch with your own kid. What's got you twisted about Seren?"

Dorian shrugged at his friend's question. "Nothing specific. I just know having a baby isn't easy, and I want everything to go well for her." He knew how many things could go wrong, but he had no way of insuring everything went right.

"My advice, then? Baby books." Kit shrugged. "Read everything you can find, ask questions when you go see the doctor, get involved. The more you know, the more you can help her out when she's struggling - and she will struggle. And come talk to me, or Lilah, whenever you need to, okay?"

Dorian nodded, taking his friend's advice to heart. "Yeah, okay," he agreed. He wanted everything to go well for both Seren and the baby. "We've wanted this for so long, and now that it's happened, I'm terrified!"

"Yeah, well, you're not on your own, are you?" Kit pointed out, squeezing his friend's shoulder firmly. "You've got us, your brother, her brother, a whole theater of people who give a s*** - you're in a good place to handle this."

"That's one way to put it," Dorian said with a chuckle at Kit's choice of words. "Thanks, Kit. We both appreciate your help ... and your friendship." He was especially grateful that Kit and Delilah had welcomed Seren into their hearts and lives as readily as they had.

"We missed you on the road, man," Kit admitted, drawing his hand back again. "Wasn't the same without you. And, you know, I'm getting too old for tents. It was just a case of convincing Lilah to settle down before she popped."

"Convincing Lilah?" Dorian echoed, chuckling again. "Are you sure it wasn't the other way around?" he asked, knowing it probably was, though Kit was unlikely to admit it.

"I may have waited for her to bring it up." That was all Kit was going to admit to, though his grin proved he knew exactly who had done the convincing. "Smells like they're putting together a good dinner in there. I should go and grab Leo before he wakes up and screams the place down."

"That would probably be a good idea," Dorian agreed. He'd heard the littlest Wiley scream his displeasure, and it wasn't something he was in a hurry to experience again.

"Want to come with?" Kit offered. "Get that practice in while you can?" He winked at his friend - Leo's diapers were almost as loud as his screams right now.

"Uh, do I have to?" Dorian asked, not sound too eager for the possibility of having to change a diaper. He didn't mind going along, but he wasn't sure he wanted a crash course in diapers, just yet.

Kit snorted with laughter. "You can watch, sissy," he teased his friend cheerfully. "C'mon, we can let the girls know we're getting the monster on the way back through your kitchen."

Dorian smirked at his friend's teasing, but didn't deny it. He was a sissy when it came to diapers, and he knew it. It was something he was going to have to get used to, he supposed, but it didn't have to be today. "If anyone had told me a few years ago that Kit Wylie would be married and settled down with a wife and baby, I wouldn't have believed them," he said. Or maybe he would. He'd known for years how Kit and Delilah felt about each other - maybe before they even knew it themselves.

"Well, that's because you're privileged to know just how stubborn we both are," Kit said, leading the way back through the living room and to the kitchen. "Hey, ladies, we're just going to wake the sleeping lion and get him settled so he can join us for dinner. That sound good?"

"Thank you, darling! Dinner will be ready soon!" Delilah called back, waving a wooden spoon his way to wave him onward. Dorian tossed Seren a wink before following Kit out of the kitchen.

"That is one of my favorite sentences ever," Kit commented to Dorian as they trekked out through the back door and across the four foot gap between their houses. "There's something fantastic about having someone making dinner for you of their own accord and not just because it's their turn."

"Doesn't Lilah do most of the cooking?" Dorian asked, not really sure how his friends split up the chores. It seemed to be Delilah who was in charge of dinner tonight, but Dorian assumed it was because she refused to let Seren lift a finger.

"Nah, it's whoever's in the kitchen at the right time, usually. Hey, are you saying I can't cook?" Kit threw him a grin over his shoulder, unlocking his own back door to welcome Dorian inside.

"Well, I have had your cooking," Dorian teased, mirroring his friend's grin. There had been a time when Dorian, Kit, and Delilah had been almost inseparable, until Dorian had made the decision to go in search of his brother. There wasn't much they didn't know about the other, including the fact that Kit's cooking left a little to be desired.

"I'm better at it now," Kit said defensively through his grin, closing the door behind them to keep in the warm before heading for the stairs to find the nursery.

"Uh huh," Dorian murmured. He'd believe it when he saw it - or rather, tasted it. Or maybe he'd just take Delilah's word for it. Of course, it probably didn't hurt that Kit had a real kitchen with modern appliances to cook in now. He kept his footsteps quiet as they started up the stairs, even though the goal was in waking the sleeping lion.

Shucking off his coat as they mounted the stairs, Kit hung it over the banister before peering into the nursery. "Huh," he said, pushing the door open to reveal Leo standing up in his crib, offering a bright grin toward his father and uncle as they appeared. "Have you been fooling your momma all this time, kiddo?"

"Don't you worry about him crawling out of his crib or something?" Dorian asked, unsure how comfortable he was with leaving a small child all alone with just a one-way walkie talkie to monitor what he was up to.

"He's not quite mobile enough for that yet," Kit assured him, bending to lift the cheerful infant up into his arms. "Hey, little lion, how's that toxic back end of yours doing?" Leo giggled as he was lifted up above Kit's head to allow his father to sniff his rear.


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Re: Good News
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2019, 05:39:50 PM »
Dorian groaned in disgust and made a face. "There is no way I'm ever doing that," he said. "I can smell him from here," he added, though that wasn't the only reason he wasn't going to put his nose anywhere near a poopy diaper.

"Well, some of us, Mr. Wolf, aren't possessed of supernatural senses," Kit laughed, dropping Leo down to his hip to make the boy laugh once again. "Why don't you make yourself useful and hunt out some warm jammies and socks for him? I think tonight's going to be one of those companionable ones that goes on past his bedtime."

"I can do that," Dorian replied agreeably. It beat the heck out of changing diapers, anyway. He moved over to the dresser, checking the drawers for socks and jammies. "Did you ever think you'd be a father, Kit?" he asked curiously.

"Honestly? It never occurred to me." One thing Dorian could count on his friends for was the truth, and talking about this distracted Kit from the horrendous smell he was uncovering on the changing mat. "For a long time I never thought I'd ever meet someone I might want to spend my life with, and then I couldn't pluck up the courage to ask her. We never really talked about children. I guess I never thought I was made to be a father."

"She did," Dorian said, plucking a fresh pair of pjs, onesie, and socks from the dresser. "She's been trying to get you to marry her for years," he said, though he assumed Kit knew that already.

"She wasn't very obvious about it," Kit chuckled, his hands automatically wiping, cleaning, and smoothing cream on the appropriate bits while Leo blew raspberries up at him. "Yeah, your momma didn't even ask me on a date! I had to work it out and do it myself, and even then she turned me down the first time."

Dorian rolled his eyes. "Maybe you just weren't listening," he remarked. "Or were too blind to see," he murmured. Everyone else in the troupe had known Delilah was soft on Kit, but Kit himself, it had seemed. "But all's well that ends well, eh, Kit?" he added with a smirk, quoting the Bard.

"You know, I get picked on a lot about that," Kit pointed out, rolling his eyes. "I still maintain she should've made the first move if she was that eager all that time ago." He twisted ever so slightly and scored a direct bulls eye on the trashcan with the balled up dirty diaper.

"I'm not gonna argue with you about it. What's done is done. You're together now, and that's all that matters. Happily ever after, right?" Dorian asked. On the other hand, he and Seren probably held one of Rhy'Din's records for shortest courtships.

"I figure happy ever after is something you keep working at," Kit said with a gentle smile, bending down to kiss his son's nose gently. "Isn't always easy, but it's always worth it. So what's Uncle Dorian gonna dress you in while I'm washing my hands, I wonder?"

"These?" Dorian asked, holding up a pair of soft brown jammies with rabbit ears attached to the hood. He didn't look too sure of his decision, but the jammies sure did look cute.

"You ol' softy." Kit grinned, jerking his head to invite Dorian over. "Hop to it, uncle, I've gotta wash my hands." On the changing mat, Leo flailed his arms and legs, already halfway to rolling onto his side and thus completely off the table.

"Hold still there, little man," Dorian said, stepping over just in time to stop the little boy from rolling off the table. "I don't know how your parents keep up with you," he murmured, as he struggled his way through changing the little guy's clothes.

"Pure bloody-mindedness," Kit called from the bathroom as he washed his hands, leaning back to watch Dorian wrestling with Leo's energetic limbs.

"That is not an answer, my friend," Dorian called back, as he somehow managed to snag Leo's flailing limbs and fit them into a fresh pair of jammies. It wasn't impossible, but it wasn't easy either.

"When you're dealing with yours, you'll understand that yes, it is," Kit chuckled, wiping his hands dry as he came back into the nursery. "Hey, mischief, play nice for your uncle. He's had a lovely shock this afternoon."

"But it gets easier, right?" Dorian asked, as he finished up dressing the wriggling boy. He hoped so, anyway, but he suspected it only changed, but didn't really get easier.

"Yeah, it does," Kit assured him, shrugging back into his jacket before snagging one of Leo's blankets and a cuddly. "Or maybe it doesn't get easier, but you get better at it. Like any skill, really."

"I guess," Dorian admitted. Though he wasn't too sure, he assumed he was going to find out. He was going to be a father, after all. "It won't be long before you have a playmate, Leo," he told the little boy, tickling his tummy and making him giggle.

"Lilah's probably going to have them engaged by the time they're ten," Kit warned in amusement. Boy or girl - Rhy'Din's tolerant policies were catching. "C'mon then, little lion, let's go find Mama." He lifted Leo up into the blanket and onto his hip, other hand grabbing a bag that contained various necessaries for the little one.

Dorian chuckled, not taking Kit's remark seriously. "Don't you think we should let them decide that when the time comes?" he asked, though he didn't think Delilah would actually do such a thing.

"Can't blame a girl for hoping," Kit chuckled, tweaking Leo's cheek as the three of them headed back down the stairs to the back door. "Seriously, though ... you're happy?"

"To be honest, I think I'm still in a state of shock," Dorian admitted, with a chuckle at his own expense. "I mean, we've been trying for a long time. I just wasn't expecting it, I guess."

"Tell me about it." Kit grinned at him, taking a last look around to make sure nothing had been forgotten before opening the back door. On his hip, Leo grumbled at the rush of cold air. "I have no memory of when Lilah told me she was pregnant. I think I blacked out."

"I'm happy ... Of course, I'm happy!" Dorian said, grabbing the door from Kit and holding it open for his friend before stepping outside behind him. "It just hasn't sunk in yet, I guess."

"It gets more real as the bump appears," Kit assured him. "But you can talk my ear off any time you need to, okay? That's what friends are for." He tucked the blanket a little tighter about Leo, locking the back door of their house before crossing the short space to Dorian's back door.


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Re: Good News
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2019, 05:40:08 PM »

Dorian led the way next door, pausing at the back door. "Thanks, Kit. That goes double for me," he assured his friend with a smile, before pulling the door open to let Kit and Leo into the warmth of the kitchen.

"And look who we found!" Kit crowed as they walked into the kitchen, zooming Leo over to Delilah as the little boy cackled and waved his hands happily at the sight of her.

Seren stepped smartly out of the way, hands full of a salad bowl, and laughed at the playful little family.

Delilah grinned as her little boy came zooming toward her in his father's arms. "What a handsome little man! Where did you find him?" she asked, reaching out to tickle the little boy's tummy, once he got close enough.

"I think he broke into our house and made himself at home," Kit replied with a chuckle, dipping his head to kiss his wife affectionately as Leo threw his pudgy arms around her neck.

Lilah laughed at her husband's explanation, but before she could reply was cut off by his kiss.

Meanwhile, Dorian tossed Seren a cheeky wink while he doffed his coat and boots. Once that was done, he moved over to brush a kiss against her lips, that grin still on his face. "Anything I can do to help?" he asked her.

"Are you kidding? She only let me make a salad." Seren giggled, putting the bowl down on the table before wrapping her arms about Dorian's waist, hugging close as she watched their friends across the kitchen. "Next year, that'll be us."

"Well, almost," Dorian murmured back, as he wrapped Seren in his arms. It would take another year before their son or daughter was Leo's age, but he knew what she meant. "Love you, baby," he whispered, brushing his nose against hers and breathing her in.

She smiled up at him, nose to nose and deeply content. "Love you back," she whispered in answer, closing her eyes as she released a soft, happy sigh. After too long, finally their wish had been granted. They would finally have a child of their own. What better reason to give thanks?