Carth comes back home for a special visit... and to deal with an unhappy wife.
“Yeah, now he is,” Morgana said. She leaned back on the couch and pulled her feet in beneath her. “But when he was born, his nose was huge. I was afraid we were going to have to love him more.” She paused. “Or invest in rhinoplasty.”
“But it went down?” Carth asked.
She snorted. “Yes, it went down. I’m still waiting for my swelling to go down, though. I swear, sometimes I stop moving, but it feels like the rest of me keeps rippling.”
“You got to stop there, Mo. That’s information I don’t need to hear.” He settled his son against his chest. “You sound upset.”
“The flowers you sent were nice,” Morgana said. “What kind of roses were they, again?”
“The kind you chucked out immediately, I think,” he replied. “I tried to get back in time, I really did, you know that. But I was three planets away and you were early–“
“Dustil and I had a long discussion about that.” She smoothed the hem of her oversized tunic. “About how inconsiderate he was for arriving before the due date. He’s grounded.”
Carth exhaled. “Oh wow. You’re really mad.”
“And there’s no way I’ll ever be able to make this up.”
“I am so screwed.”
“Mmm hmm.” Morgana glanced over at him. “I don’t know what to do, Carth.”
“I’m mad, too.” Carth ran a thumb across the infant’s cheek. “I thought I had everything worked out. I arranged for the paternity leave and maybe the transit shuttle was late or I should have begged to be let go earlier or maybe–“
His wife raised an eyebrow.
“Or maybe I shouldn’t have been such a damned idiot,” he said.
She shifted in her seat and pressed her chin against his shoulder. “Next time, I think you should give birth. Let me be the one that gets to send flowers.”
“I’m so disappointed.” Carth sighed. “I let you down. I let me down.”
“Well...” Morgana adjusted the baby blanket wrapped around their son. It was dotted with little pink conch shells. For some reason, the blanket pattern made Carth swell with an irrational irritation. “It’s done and you can’t change it. No use wallowing in what could have been.”
Carth pressed his lips against her temple. “That look in your eye makes me very, very nervous, Mo.”
“I’m still going to be pissed off at you.” She yawned as she leaned into him. “Can’t help that.”
“So if I try to make it up to you...”
Carth nodded. “So if I try, you’ll just get more pissed off.”
“Hurt, you asshole.” Morgana pushed herself away from him. The baby started to fidget in Carth’s hands. “You get to skip away hand in hand with Saul Karath and stick me with this? What happens when Dustil starts asking me questions that I don’t have the answers for? Why isn’t Daddy here? Gee, I don’t know, but at least he cared enough to be there when you were born... oh wait, scratch that. It’s not even my birth and I’m phoqing furious.”
“Now’s probably a bad time to say that if he starts asking questions the day that I leave he’ll be pretty damn precocious, huh?” Carth said weakly.
She made a small, frustrated noise in the back of her throat.
“Bad joke,” he said.
"I should blow out your knee with a blaster," Morgana said. "That way you won't be able to go back."
"Or run away from you," Carth added.
She frowned. "You're trying to run away?"
"Of course not!" He groaned. "Look, you're just trying for a fight now, aren't you?"
Morgana rubbed her temples. "No, I'm trying to resolve this. I just want to sulk and be miserable for a while, but that's not a way for people to deal with things so work with me, alright?"
The strained, mewling cries from the baby felt like a reprieve. Carth tried to sooth his son, but looked to his wife when the crying wouldn’t stop.
Morgana had snuggled back into the couch cushions. “He’s probably hungry. You should learn how to breastfeed so I can take a nap.”
“Somehow, I don’t think that’s possible.” Carth began to rock the infant. It didn’t seem to be working.
“Here.” She held her arms out. “Let me have him.”
Carth handed Dustil over to Morgana and she slipped the boy beneath her top and towards her breast. After a pregnant pause, her head lolled back on the couch cushion and she spared Carth a glance.
“Do you know that they have classes to teach you how to do this stuff?” Morgana nodded towards her chest.
“A class that teaches you an instinct?” Carth draped his arm across the back of the couch. “Don’t tell me you went.”
She smirked. “I decided that if Dustil was hungry enough, he’d figure it out on his own.”
“You don’t mean that.”
“It’s harder than it looks,” she said. “I don’t know what I’m going to do if he thinks it’s funny to start biting.”
“Okay, if you get any more graphic, I’ll know you’re doing it just to torture me,” Carth said.
“Maybe.” Morgana pulled Dustil out from under her top and let him rest in the crook of her arm. “Does this mean you don’t want me to explain the practical applications of a breast pump?”
“Who do you think he looks like?” Carth asked. He nudged the blanket away from his son’s face.
She frowned. “You mean with the swollen nose or after it went down?”
He raised an eyebrow. “It made that much of a difference?”
“Yes.” Morgana lifted Dustil up so they could better inspect him. “With the nose, he looked like Ms. Jessu, my old primary school teacher. Dewback of a woman with BO.”
“Nice way to talk about your son,” Carth said. “What about now? His eyes kind of look like yours.”
“I think he looks like Dustil.” She shifted the baby back to her arm. “I’m still skeptical about the nose, but I think he has your mouth. The spit up is definitely his own thing, though. I know I had nothing to do with that.”
He let his hand rest on her knee. “So what now?”
She wrapped Dustil’s hand around her forefinger. The baby immediately brought it to his mouth. “You get to make me caffa,” Morgana said. “The real, caffeinated kind. And if my father comes over and tries to take some holo-recordings while I’m wearing what I slept in with unbrushed teeth, kindly show him some pain.”
Carth groaned. “Is he really coming over?”
“Do you honestly think he’d tell me if he was?” Morgana asked. “But damn the Force if we aren’t here should he decide to stop by.” Her mouth twisted. “How do you think he would react if you asked him if he knew if taking up a spice habit would affect my milk?”
“Oh sure, I’ll just ask him that.” Carth rolled his eyes as he stood up. “That’s not funny and you know it.”
“I guess you’re right.”
His wife was watching him closely. They exchanged glances and he glowered at her.
They both started to laugh.
“I’ll go get that caffa,” Carth said.
“You do that.” Morgana nodded. “I’ll still be mad at you when you get back.”
“Sure, gorgeous,” he snorted. “I’m not trying to make up for anything, either. This caffa is just out of the goodness of my heart.”
“If your heart was really good, it would go out and get some doughnuts.” She smiled.
“Easy, easy,” he laughed. “Let me get out of my uniform first, alright?”
Morgana stretched her legs out and yawned. “I’m not going anywhere.”