Roman Bonacorrd is 31; Dee Ottomas is 33; Dayle is 12, Lizzie is 1
Previous update here
As strange as it sounded, they were a kind of family now. An unconventional one, but a family none the less.
Dayle and Lizzie were both growing up fast. At a little over a year old, Lizzie was as outgoing and gregarious as her father.
At 12, Dayle was at an age where friends and socializing seemed to matter more than family, but she still wasn't above spending an evening playing video games with her mother.
She'd be interested in boys soon. More to the point, boys would be interested in her. That worried Dee more than she wanted to admit.
Dee and Roman's relationship was as it had always been - friends, who happened to sleep together from time to time. Or lovers who shared a home, but not a commitment to each other.
Roman had plenty of other women in his life, and that was fine, although as time went on Dee found herself less and less interested in seeing other men.
Probably, the thing that surprised Dee the most about Roman, was the way he'd taken to fatherhood.
Lizzie spent two or three nights at their apartment every week now, and Roman would have had her more if he could.
It wasn't just Roman who loved having her around. Dayle would have had her there every day too, if she could have her way.
Even Dee had to admit that there was something special about having a small child in the house. Roman was working as a party DJ now, getting home around 4am most nights. He'd settle Lizzie to bed before he left, but Dee was often woken by the little girl before he was back.
She never minded. There was something really special about a sleepy toddler that made her long for the time when Dayle had been that age.
The apartment felt empty when the little girl wasn't there. She hadn't come all this week, as Roman had a cold and was afraid of giving it to her. As noble as that might seem, he also had no problem using the cold as an excuse to lie on the sofa all day and do nothing...
... or as the reason he was losing to Dee in one of their frequent gaming sessions...
... or as an opportunity to take a night or two off work.
"It's only a cold," Dee said. "It's not like you're dying or something."
"Yeah, it only feels that way," he groaned.
Dee shook her head. "I'm going out to my parents' place," she said. "I might not be back until late, but Dayle's sleeping over with a friend so you'll have the apartment to yourself. Try to stay alive 'til I get back."
"Very funny... " he muttered, pulling the covers over his head.
----She was home earlier than she'd expected to be.
She usually enjoyed visiting her parents, but today her mother seemed intent on talking about all the topics Dee wanted to avoid. Like Sharla, and the problems she was having with her daughters. Dee found it hard to feel any sympathy for her elder sister, not with the way Sharla made herself out to be so much better than the rest of them. And now one of her teenage daughters was pregnant, and the other one had run away from home. If Dee felt anything at all over the whole mess, it was fear for what the future might hold for Dayle.
If they weren't talking about Sharla, they were talking about how much Dee's mother wanted another grandchild. Specifically, another grandchild from Dee. "You're not getting any younger," was the usual argument, followed closely by "Dayle needs a brother or sister. No child should be an only child.".
The topic never used to bother Dee, she knew it was just the way her mother was... but lately, it was getting to her more and more. The worst part about it was, she knew all too well why her feelings had changed.
The apartment was surprisingly tidy when she walked in.
After almost two years of living with Roman, she was used to coming home to dirty dishes and magazines and gaming controllers all over the place. It looked like nothing had been touched since she left. And it was quiet - too quiet.
"Roman?" she called, fighting back a little stab of fear when she got no reply. She knocked on his bedroom door, and was relieved when he grunted in response.
He was in bed still, curled up in a mess of discarded blankets and crumpled tissues.
"You look like crap," she said.
Roman looked up at her with eyes that didn't quite focus. "Told you I was sick."
"Have you even moved since I left this morning?" she asked.
"I don't think so," he groaned. "I'm not really sure."
"You need to get some food into you,"
"Ugggh..." he gagged and turned away again.
"Well, at least, you need to drink something."
"Also bad idea."
" 'cause I really need the bathroom but I don't think I can walk that far without falling over."
Dee sighed. "Come on, I'll help you."
He sat up slowly, then stood with Dee's help, swaying a little at first. "Everything's all moving," he groaned, leaning against the wall for support.
"Well, that's what happens when you bury yourself in bed for a day and don't eat or drink anything."
They slowly made their way to the bathroom, but when Dee would have gone in with him, he pointedly pulled away. "I think I can manage from here."
"Well, you were the one who said you couldn't make it." Dee couldn't help but smirk a little at his indigent expression as he closed the door.
A half an hour later Roman was back in bed, but only after Dee had made him drink a couple of glasses of water, and even convinced him to eat half a sandwich. He stayed in bed for the better part of the next two days. Dee never seemed to be far away, ensuring he continued to drink and eat, helping him when he needed it. Ordinarily, he would have loved to have someone wait on him like this, but right now he felt too ill to really care. By the third day he was feeling better, and thoroughly bored with his bedroom.
That afternoon, he and Dee curled up under a blanket on the sofa.
"You shouldn't sit this close to me," he said. "You'll catch something."
"If I were going to catch something from you, I would have before now," Dee said. "I doubt you're even contagious any more."
"Well, as long as you're sure..." He moved across the sofa.
"Oh, now I know you're really feeling better..."
He gestured to the game controller. "Like my last two wins weren't enough to convince you... "
Dee suddenly became serious. "I... since you're feeling better, there's... um... there's something I need to talk to you about."
"It's not so much something wrong as, well, something I've been thinking about since I got back from my parent' house... or maybe before that, I don't know... but the thing is, my mother was right, I'm not getting any younger, and I guess... I mean, maybe its because Dayle's growing up, I don't know, but I've just been thinking about it a lot lately."
"Thinking about what?" Roman asked. "You're not making sense."
"About... uh... Roman, I want to have another baby."
"Ok... that's...a surprise."
"There's more. I... I want you to be the father."
Roman just stared at her.
"Its... its just that, you're such a good father to Lizzie. I mean, not that Adam hasn't been a great father to Dayle, he has... but if I'm going to have another one, I want to make sure that baby has at least as good a father as Dayle has. With you, I know it will."
He grinned broadly. Well, this was a better reaction than Dee had been expecting. "This... if we were to have this baby, it wouldn't change anything else, would it?" he asked. "I mean, you're not going to expect me to marry you or anything like that, are you?"
"No... no, nothing else has to change. We'd have a baby together, that's all. It's not like I married Adam, or you married Helen when you had Lizzie, is it? I mean, it's great that this baby would have two parents living together for now, but even if that changes in future, I'm good with it. The only thing I expect, is that you'd be there for our baby like you are for Lizzie. If you don't think you can do that, then tell me now and I'll never mention this again."
"Are you kidding? Lizzie's so cool, why would I waste the chance to have that much fun with another one? You have my kid, you'll never get rid of me."
"Is that a yes?"
It was, as far as Dee could tell, a definite yes.
Flu season is upon Richmond. Roman got quite sick (hard to make him rest, Romance/Pleasure aspiration = very short attention span!), but luckily he recovered without incident.
The minute Dayle aged up, Pleasure Sim Dee's Family secondary kicked in and she rolled a baby want. At the same time, she rolled a want to WooHoo with Roman. I think the message was pretty clear :) Roman adores kids, so I can't imagine him having any problem with the idea. For the record, she didn't get pregnant this round.
... Does this qualify as an actual phobia now? :)