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Lunacy: Changes

06/05/15

  06:45:00 pm, by Nic Wilson   , 893 words  
Categories: Lunacy

Lunacy: Changes

?Your son is adorable,? Laura said, ?and I love him, but he is an inhuman monster.? ?I take it you had to change him,? Maria asked, bemused. ?I?m not so sure,? Laura said. ?I kind of think I was covering up a war crime, that the ICC is going to subpoena me someday about the contents of that diaper.? ?It?s healthy, actually,? Mai said. ?His body?s metabolizing more nutrients from his food than ?normal? humans,? she said. ?Here,? Maria said, and took the child from her. ?I?m pretty sure you?ve got someplace to be.? Laura pursed her lips, but walked out of the room. The door shut behind her. Maria set the baby down on the table, and shook a rattle, one of many little presents brought up on Ken?s supply run, over his head. ?He?s a good man,? Mai said quietly. ?He is,? Maria said gently. ?And he smells nice, too.? Mai sniffled. ?Babe?? Maria asked, and turned to look at her. A tear was sliding down her cheek. ?Oh, Mai,? she said, and took hold of the slighter woman?s hand. ?My ex-husband?s a good man. Maybe even a great man. But that doesn?t mean anything- and it certainly doesn?t mean anything for us. Our relationship is entirely separate from whatever respect and even affection I have for Paul.? She wiped Mai?s tears away. ?He isn?t a threat. Here, with you, is where I want to be.? ?Why?? Mai asked. ?Hmm?? Maria said, watching her son wriggle on top of a table in their room, kicking his little legs in the air. ?Why do you love me?? Maria?s brow furrowed. ?I'm feeling vulnerable,? Mai said, ?and I want to know why you love me.? ?Because that is ours,? she said, nodding to baby Paul, ?our furry little family.? ?I didn't give him to you,? Mai said sullenly. ?So?? Maria asked. ?I didn't marry Paul for his capacity to fill me full of babies. And I didn't fall in love with you despite a lack of said ability- I fell for you because you're smart, and sweet to me. And sexy. And a voracious little sexual wolverine. And because you make me happy.? ?But how much of that is hormonal? Or worse, based on what this disease did to your body?? ?And what if it isn't permanent?? Maria asked, completing the thought for Mai. ?Proximity and circumstance always play into relationships. Would Paul and I have gotten together if I hadn?t helped out on that paper? Would we have been married if I?d stayed in Ohio to study biology there? Likewise, would we have stayed together even if I hadn't come to the Moon and he didn't go to Mars? Whatever random events happened to bring us together- and eventually tear us apart- they happened. Just like the things that brought us together. And I?m not going anywhere. And how I feel about you- that?s not changing.? ?Yeah, unless there?s a second phase to all of this. What if after that, your hormones go back to what they were, or go in an entirely new direction?? ?And what if you fall out of love with me?? Maria asked. ?What if my ass starts to sag even more?? ?I will drop you like an oven-fresh potato,? Mai said with a grin. ?Presuming we get some fresh meat on board, of course. Any port in a storm.? ?See,? Maria said with a grin, ?you're more than enough of a man for me.? ?But you make me happier than I ever thought I'd be after I left Paul. It was a tradeoff; I knew I couldn't be any happier staying with Paul and forsaking my career, either, so I did what I thought would make me happiest. But along with that I kind of figured I was trading away romance. Once you've cynically traded away a spouse for a shot at some moderate career advancement, it's kind of tough to believe you'll find someone else you feel so thoroughly for, someone who couldn't be expendable. And even if Paul and I had tried to patch things up, I think that would have always been a point of contention: I didn't love him enough to stay, and I don't think he loved me enough he would have given up Mars.? ?Would you leave the Moon for me?? Mai asked. ?I'd leave the Moon, go to the Antarctic, or to an underwater research station. Or Canada.? ?That's probably too easy,? Mai said. ?You've already been to the Moon, now.? ?I just answered your question,? she said, and wrapped her arms around Mai. ?Paul's coming back,? Mai said. ?And maybe intellectually you love me. But I'm not sure he isn't still the love of your life. And it's not possible for me not to feel a little intimidated by that.? Maria touched her cheek, to guide Mai's gaze to hers. ?I love Paul because there was a time when he was my family. And I care about him, and I always will. But there's no romance between us anymore. He's like a brother.? ?Or a cute cousin who makes you feel weird when you sit on her lap.? ?Or that. But you're the person that I love. You're who I want to be with. He isn't. I've made my choice. And that's all you need to know.? They kissed.

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