Title: You Say That Like It's A Bad Thing (1/3)
Author: Em (randominity)
Rating: R this installment
Feedback: I would crawl over broken glass to grovel at your feet if you gave me some.
Author's Notes: I'm terribly sorry. I have an mpreg kink and I'm very, very bad. But hopefully this fic isn't.
I'd also like to thank my big fat Jamaican family for supplying cultural inspiration and accent accuracy.
Disclaimer: A man gets pregnant in my story. Pregnant! How real do you think it could be?
Summary: "This was definitely an entrapment pregnancy," Dom declares. "I had to make sure you wouldn't go anywhere."
You Say That Like It's A Bad Thing (1/3)
"Just when a fella's got used to Hollywood life, you decide to set up shop on the East coast," Dom had joked the first time they'd seriously discussed moving.
"You know you love it," Elijah'd said, draping an arm over Dom's shoulder and pressing a kiss to a spot behind his ear. "Come on," he'd added. "You can be a socialite and chat up people about Tennessee Williams plays."
Dom would go anywhere Elijah went, socialite or not. They both knew this. He'd pretended to consider, musing, "like a Southern butterfly?"
"Come with me," Elijah'd said, and Dom had come.
"Wanna see something cool?" Dom grins at him and waggles his eyebrows, and if there were a simple movie plot for destruction and mayhem, it would start like this, on the street outside a deli in Manhattan.
Elijah meets Dom's grin and smiles sweetly. "Nope," he says.
Dom does his best to look disdainful. "It'll be the most exciting thing you'll ever see in your life."
"Me and my deli sandwich are just going to have to live with that, I'm afraid."
"Mmm, wrong answer," Dom says, and makes a grab for Elijah's wrist, tugging him down the sidewalk. Elijah lets him, with a few token protests. He could stop Dom with a word, but secretly he sort of likes using his weight against Dom, so that Dom has to hold on to him tightly. There's another deli a block down, around the corner, where a few homeless have congregated on the stoop. At the end of the street there's a hulking mass of a machine with a few more sleeping bodies at its base. Dom slows down and Elijah's not sure which of these he's supposed to pay more attention to.
"Brilliant, isn't it?" Dom asks him, and points at the hulking mass. "It's just one of these old abandoned carnival machines, in the middle of the sidewalk."
"Hey, that's great, very Big," Elijah agrees. At Dom's prodding look he continues with, "what does it do, tell your fortune?"
"Well, that's-" Dom frowns a little, retrieving his wallet. "That's what I haven't really figured out, yet." He extracts a quarter. "It's kind of hard to read since it's not all lit up."
"And the glass is all dirty," Elijah adds. He's pretty sure he doesn't want to know what made the glass dirty. He suspects passerbys are using it as a urinal, or peep-show glass, or something worse. "Wait!" he says, when Dom glibly drops the quarter in. "The thing isn't even working, what're you doing?"
"Making a wish, man," Dom says. "Come on, you don't need a wishing well when you've got, um." He eyes it. "A quirky non-functioning apparatus lying in the middle of the sidewalk. Have some fun! Get out a quarter." Elijah makes a face at him, and Dom makes one back. Dom wins, naturally. "I've done this lots of times already," he goes on, pleading with his eyes now. "Wish for something crazy, go on." He leans in. "Wish you could grow breasts overnight so you'd always have something to play with."
Elijah laughs at that one, and reaches for his own wallet. "Okay, that sounds like it's more for you than me," he says.
Dom shrugs. "You, me, what's good for the goose."
Elijah pauses with his hand above the coin slot, and promptly suffers from a case of shy brain. "Okay, I can't think of one," he says sheepishly.
"Oh, for god's sake--"
"I'm sorry!" he says. "There's nothing I want right now."
Dom looks at him like he knows better. "No wildest dream."
Elijah shrugs. "I'd kinda like to finish my sandwich, but otherwise?"
"You come fe make a wish, but you bite off more dan you cyan chew," an old woman sleeping next to the machine says loudly, and Elijah makes a sound he'd rather not admit to making. Dom looks over at Elijah and mouths 'me?' Elijah shakes his head.
The woman is probably about ninety, her brown skin more like tissue paper stretched over her thin bones. Her hair is white and wild and frayed around her face. She struggles to sit up, and when she opens her eyes she fixes first Dom, then Elijah, with a glare.
"Pardon me, ma'am," Dom says politely, and gets out his wallet again. "We didn't mean to wake you," he adds. "Can I get you a coffee or a sandwich?"
If she hears him, the woman doesn't take Dom up on his offer. "You tink is de machine do all de work, but is me!" she proclaims grandly, still glowering at them both. "You take wishing fe joke, and me gon' show you how all ting is possible!" She sweeps her arms out dramatically, pushing Dom's hand out of the way.
Oh, brother, Elijah thinks, as he and Dom exchange glances. "Sorry for bothering you," Elijah says, adopting Dom's tone, "and we're sorry for, um, making jokes out of wishes, so we'll just leave you in peace. Dom?"
"Sorry," Dom says again, waving as they set off.
"Everyting is possible!" the woman shouts after them, and they turn quickly to hide their laughter.
"Holy shit," Elijah giggles, stumbling into Dom as he does. "Now that was interesting."
"Never a dull moment," Dom agrees, taking Elijah's arm, and Elijah slaps at him playfully before they start off in the opposite direction.
"So what'd you wish for before the crazy Jamaican lady intervened?" Elijah asks in the cab on the way back. "No, wait," he says, when Dom starts shaking his head. "You can't tell me, I know."
"Any of your wishes come true, at least?" he says.
Dom tilts his head and takes Elijah in. "You're here with me, aren't you?"
"I'll take that as a yes," Elijah says, even as his face grows hot. "So she was right, then," he says.
"Well, I'm more thinking it's because you couldn't resist my charms," Dom admits, "but whatever floats your boat."
Sometimes Dom will wake Elijah up in the middle of the night for sex. "C'mon," he'll say, "haven't you ever done it in the pitch black?" or "you look so gorgeous in the moonlight," or "mmm, wanna fuck you right now." In that precarious window of time where sleep hasn't completely fogged his brain and morning breath hasn't had a chance to set in, Elijah will cling to the image of Dom hovering over him, hair disheveled and the faintest glint of his teeth visible in the dim.
"Yeah, right there," Elijah will say, arching his back prettily for him.
Dom wakes Elijah up at four in the morning, hair dishevelled, and he looks like shit. He's fully dressed. "C'mon, Lij, get up," he says breathlessly. "We have to go back."
Elijah blinks blearily. "What?"
Dom sighs impatiently. "To the deli. The carnival machine? We have to go back there, to the woman. Now."
"Wait," Elijah says. "Wait, you." He rubs at his eyes. His contacts must be sticking; he can't see anything right. He's got to stop sleeping in them. "Did you forget your wallet there or something? 'Cause dude, if you did, forget it, that's gone," he says.
Dom is pulling Elijah from bed and grabbing his jeans off of the floor and not listening to a word Elijah's saying. He stops and looks at Elijah. "Please, Elijah," he says, his eyes scarily intense. "We need to go. I have to go back."
Elijah finally sits up. "Dom, what's wrong? What's going on?"
"I'll explain later," Dom tells him, and tosses Elijah his jeans. He looks frantic, high-strung, barely held together behind the seams. He tugs his hands roughly through his hair as he paces the length of the bed waiting for Elijah to get dressed. Elijah doesn't say anything, just puts his jeans back on and finishes shrugging on his t-shirt.
"If it's that woman," he tries again, "I mean- Dom, it's four in the morning. She's probably not even there anymore, and if you think that machine'll-"
"Elijah." Dom says his name with alarming ferocity. "I can't. tell you now. I will. But not now."
"Well, gee, d'ya think you're being cryptic enough at four in the fucking morning, Dom?" Elijah tosses off, and fights the urge to add "and fuck you, anyway," because something desperate in Dom's expression softens the annoyance he feels at the secrecy. He takes his jacket when Dom hands it to him wordlessly, and nods when Dom kisses his temple in their apartment lobby, murmuring "sorry, Lij," and fights to keep his eyes open on the taxi ride back.
She's still there, pretty much where they'd left her earlier, propped up against the side of the machine. "You," Dom says immediately upon entering hearing range, and she stirs a little, turning to watch them. Elijah catches his arm, but Dom squirms out of his grasp.
"Dom," he says, faltering.
"What. did. you. do?" Dom asks the woman, his voice low and accusing. "What were you talking about earlier?"
"What," Elijah tries again, softly. "What are you..." he trails off, looking around. The street is empty except for them; no cops, no stragglers. He wonders if she had robbed Dom, picked his pocket or something as they'd spoken to her earlier in the day.
The woman hoists herself up until she's sitting fully upright. "You take wishes fe joke," she says again simply, meeting Dom's gaze directly. "Me take dem serious, fe true. Very serious." She cocks an eyebrow. "You don' like what you wish?"
"But I-" Dom's voice breaks. "I didn't mean it that way!" he shouts. "I didn't mean for it-" he stops abruptly, putting a hand to his mouth.
The old lady nods. "You wish fe what you cyan't have, and me give it to you. You want me fe take it back? Me cyan't take it back now, you know." She shrugs, waving a hand dismissively.
"Dom? Dom, what are we talking about, here?" Elijah reaches out and puts a hand on Dom's shoulder. He is a rigid bow of tension beneath Elijah's fingers.
Dom doesn't say anything for a long time, to either of them. Then "how long?" he asks quietly, voice muffled through his fingers.
"Until it finish," the woman says cryptically. "Den everyting go back okay."
Elijah looks between the two of them, and back again. "Dom," he whispers. "Dom! For fuck's sake, man...."
Dom looks like he's thinking over what the woman said. He nods slowly, almost imperceptibly, then again, decisively. "All right," he says. " Okay. I- okay." He pauses. "What do I. What do I do?" he asks weakly, but the woman is already curling back up to sleep, and if she hears Dom, she chooses to ignore him. Elijah tries to watch his face for a clue, for some answer, but Dom avoids his gaze, ducking his head, even as he reaches out to the side for Elijah's hand. Elijah takes it and is surprised by how tightly Dom squeezes.
He turns on his heel to face Elijah. "I wanna get out of here," he says, defeated. He lets go of Elijah's hand and starts off like he just expects Elijah to follow. Elijah catches himself standing dumbly for a moment, watching Dom go, then steals a glance back at the homeless woman's prone body again.
"What did you-" he says, but she waves at him.
"Go," she says, still facing away. "He gon' push you away, but him need you like 'im need breat right now. G'won!" And Dom's already a half a block away, waiting to hail a cab, so Elijah stares after her for a moment, then goes, jogging to catch up to him.
Dom slumps into the back wearily when a taxi finally stops for them, and about a dozen times Elijah tries to start a conversation, but decides to say nothing at the last moment. Finally he opens his mouth. "Listen," he starts, "I--"
"When we get back, Lij, I promise," Dom says. He looks out of the window and sighs, fingers fiddling on his knees. He hasn't looked at Elijah once, and to Elijah he seems strangely small and slight silhouetted against the world outside.
They pass a Walgreen's along the way, and Dom stops the cab and gets out. "Wait here," he says, and goes inside, glaring pointedly at Elijah when he tries to follow. All right, then. Dom is keeping secrets from him, is conspiring with a crazy Jamaican homeless lady on the street, and quite possibly believes in supernatural wishes coming true. Pretty soon Elijah figures a tin hat's going to arrive in the mail addressed to Dom, and he doesn't know if he's prepared to handle that. He smokes while he waits, free hand shoved in his pocket, and watches the sky turn from deep blue to indigo as the sun begins to rise. He isn't surprised anymore when he finds himself longing for sunrise over the skyrise-free horizons of New Zealand, fiercely and desperately.
"All right," Dom says, coming up behind him, something in a bag clutched in his left hand. He half-hides it behind himself, like a child, when Elijah tries to peek, also like a child. "Let's go home."
"Where you'll tell me everything," Elijah says firmly.
"Unfortunately, yes," Dom says.
"Okay, this is fucking ridiculous!" Elijah yells, pounding on the bathroom door. "Enough of this bullshit, Dom, you promised you'd tell me everything!"
"Look, do you want me to tell you everything, or just bits and pieces?" Dom's voice sounds muffled through the door.
"No, you look," Elijah says hotly. "You start at the beginning and you explain this to me. Start with why you woke me up at four in the fucking morning for a wild fucking goose chase across fucking Manhattan when your life wasn't in danger."
"I wasn't feeling well," Dom says simply. "I thought maybe she could help."
"You're stalling, and you're full of shit."
"I swear to God I'm going to break that door down," Elijah says. "I swear to God, Dom, don't make me come in there." He rolls up his sleeves slowly, and did he just say Dom was stalling? He's definitely stalling, now. "I'm gonna do it if you don't come out in ten seconds," he warns.
"Oh ferChrissake, Elijah," Dom says, and swings the door open. "Have at it, then." He steps aside.
Elijah doesn't move. "The truth," he tells Dom.
Dom nods. "The truth." He carries his package with him to the bed and sits down heavily, looking down at it. Elijah sits down next to him, one hand on Dom' s back, and tries to look too, but the only thing in Dom's hands is a stick, sort of bulbous on one end and narrow on the other. It looks like a pregnancy test, and immediately Elijah thinks of blood-sugar testers that diabetics use. Or is that the insulin needles? Only those have numbers and digital counters and things on them, he's pretty sure. Elijah can't see what's on this one. Dom has diabetes? That's what this is all about? Clearly he is still not fully awake yet.
"Okay, the truth," Dom says again, and sighs heavily, slumping and then rolling his shoulders. He turns the stick over and over in his hands as he speaks. "I wanted us to have kids together, you know?" he says softly. "So. I was making wishes, on the machine, and I wished for that. And maybe I was just kind of... talking, to no one in particular. And," he chuckles, a little hysterically, "maybe I. I might've said. I would have your kids if I could. 'Cause you'd be such a good dad, you know?"
"Dom, we." Elijah rubs Dom's back in circles, fingers pressing into his spine. With his other hand he reaches for Dom's hands, clutched together in his lap. "You know anytime we ask, Hannah said she would-- I mean, are you sick?" he blurts suddenly, confused. "Is that what this is? Are you. are you gonna be okay?"
"She changed my body, Lij," Dom's voice is almost a whisper, his head bowed low. It's scary, almost, seeing him like this, because anything that can bring Dom low like this is not something Elijah ever wants to encounter.
"What are you talking about? Who?" Elijah demands gently, pulling away and standing up in front of Dom. "Who changed your body? That lady on the street? Dom," he pleads, sinking to his knees. "You're telling me things and I have no idea what's going on! Just. Tell me! I'm sure whatever it is, I can handle it!"
Dom barks a laugh. "Right, how do I go about explaining this?" He takes one of Elijah's hands in his and places it between his legs. "Feel me," he says, and presses their hands up towards him, spreading his legs to accommodate them both. He obviously doesn't intend it as a come-on, so, frowning, Elijah humors him. He curls his fingers upwards, and they falter when they encounter empty space and baggy denim where he expects the cushion of Dom's balls to be, because what the fuck? It's possible that he says that out loud, but he can't hear anything above the rushing of blood in his ears. Reaching further, his fingers come up against smooth firmness, high up where Dom's legs met. He looks up and sees Dom watching him, a line creased between his brows. Dom licks his lips, uncomfortable.
"It's all gone," Dom says slowly, and at any other moment in history this statement would bring tears to Elijah's eyes in its sheer hilarity. Even now it it's absurdly funny, but Elijah doesn't dare laugh. He's afraid he won't ever be able to stop, not even to consider the horrible truth of the situation. "Do you understand what I'm telling you?" Dom adds carefully, raising his eyebrows.
Without answering him, Elijah pulls his fingers out of Dom's grasp, scrabbling for the belt on Dom's jeans and tugging and pulling it aside, working the button-fly as he does. He shoves a hand down into Dom's pants and probes, freezing when a finger slips inside of Dom. It's not supposed to be this way, it's all wrong, it's in the wrong place and it's warm and moist, and "jesus," they both whisper, Dom gasping a little and grabbing at Elijah's wrist when he does it.
Elijah pulls his hand away like Dom's on fire. He swallows hard and meets Dom's eyes. Suddenly it's like everything's going in slow motion. "She did this to you?" he asks, his voice pitched high with hysteria, and yet even that seems slowed down, running in quarter-time. This is a dream, Elijah decides. That's the only possible explanation. No need to overreact. Just ride out the lovely dream where Dom has a pussy, yeah. It'll all be over in the morning.
Dom nods, rueful. "Be careful what you wish for, yeah?" His chuckle is humorless, and he tosses the stick backwards onto the bed, falling on his back to join it, jeans still undone. His stomach hollows when he exhales, and when Elijah looks, he can't resist running his fingers over the place where Dom's pelvic bones jut out slightly. They're a couple of inches further out to the sides, now.
"Your hips," Elijah whispers, tracing them softly as if it's the first time all over again.
"Wider," Dom answers, as if he knows what Elijah means. His breath still hitches at the right moments, at sensitive patches of skin where Elijah's fingers snag. His voice still sounds the same, the trail of hair beneath his navel still present and accounted for.
Elijah pushes Dom's shirt backwards up his chest, and Dom doesn't look much different there, either. Bigger nipples, he does notice that, but no increase in cup size, and what kind of girl would that make Dom? With a hairy, flat chest, and that deep voice, and hello, Dom still has a beard, and this is the most ridiculous dream Elijah has ever had. Dom'll have a good laugh about it when Elijah tells him about it in the morning.
Elijah doesn't say any of this. "I don't understand," is what he does say. "Why would she just change- you're still the same everywhere, except-"
"Because of my wish," Dom tells him, like he's explaining it to a child, propping himself up on his elbows. "I didn't wish to be a woman, you know. I wished to have your kids, and now the world's gone mad. Er, speaking of which-" he fishes around behind him for the stick where he'd dropped it, then hands it to Elijah. Now that Elijah can see it clearly, there's a blue line down the middle. "ept" is written in the upper corner, as if Elijah needs to be told what it is, now. "Apparently, I'm pregnant," Dom tells him, and if his forced smile doesn't quite reach his eyes, Elijah supposes he can understand why. "Congratulations."
Elijah stares down at the pregnancy test in his hand, and thinks about it. In fact, thoughts are bubbling up in his head almost faster than he can process them, threatening to run out his ears if he doesn't do something about this insanity, and quickly. None of these thoughts are helping Elijah to make sense of what he's holding in his hands right now. "Sleep," he says, putting the stick aside carefully.
Dom frowns at him, confused. "What?" he says.
"Sleep will fix this," Elijah tells him matter-of-factly. "The sun's almost up, but we've got a few hours. We can talk about this over breakfast later. Or not," he shrugs easily, "whatever, really, I don't care, we just need to sleep on this. Clearly. And everything will be okay."
Dom puts a hand on Elijah's forehead. "Elijah," he says softly, "I'm. I don't think you. We have to-"
"Sleeping now," Elijah says sweetly, and kisses Dom on the cheek, brushing Dom's hand away and making room on his side of the bed. He crawls up and over Dom's body and fluffs his pillow once before closing his eyes and slamming his head down on it. Sleep will make everything better. Then he will wake up and the dream would be over, and until then, he will make up his own logic. "No more crazy talk 'til morning," he says without opening his eyes, feeling Dom's gaze still on him.
He holds his breath until he hears Dom sigh and lay down next to him, on top of the sheets. He waits longer still for Dom's body to go lax with sleep, but Dom remains a tense presence next to him, awake and strumming with energy, until Elijah finally slips under.
"... and then Elijah crashed out, I had a sandwich, and that was that," Dom is saying, when Elijah blinks against the sunlight in their room. Elijah scowls when he sees that Dom's drawn the curtains already, because of all people, Dom should know better, the both of them being like vampires in the morning. It's only - Elijah checks the clock - 2 p.m. Wait, that's not right.
"Fuck," he yells. "Why didn't you wake me?"
"I know, it's crazy!" Dom's saying. Billy, no doubt. "I dunno, I'm kind of excited actu--"
Suddenly memory clicks into place. Excited, Dom said. About. "Dom?"
"-hang on, Bill." Dom puts his cell phone between his chin and shoulder and looks back at Elijah. "Wait your turn, you," he says. "You said you didn't want to talk about it," he adds, the picture of innocence.
"Didn't wanna talk about what?" Elijah narrows his eyes warily. "About the. what. last night?" Tell me we drank too much, tell me I snorted a line of something and had a bad trip, tell me anything, just don't tell me yes, he pleads with his eyes, sending telepathic messages straight from his brain to Dom's. Which, considering, isn't that strange a notion anymore.
Dom sighs dramatically and comes over to him, his head tilted sadly. "About my wish. About what happened?" he says. He's still wearing the clothes he'd gone to bed in, jeans still undone and hanging loosely on his hips. Elijah just stares at him, and Dom sighs again, bringing the cell back to his ear. "Listen, Billy, I'm gonna have to call you back. Yeah, I think he's gonna need it. Thanks, I will, bye."
"Yeah, about that whole pregnant thing," Elijah says, "and also, what does Billy say I'm gonna need?" he starts, but Dom cuts him off, sitting by his legs on the bed.
"This is real, Elijah," Dom tells him, and there's something so painfully honest about the look in his eyes that Elijah forgets to breathe for a moment. "I know it sounds completely impossible, and like something somebody'd make up and put in a movie somewhere, or a horrible practical joke. I don't know if I'd believe it myself if it wasn't my body. But it's really happening.
"And, ah," Dom looks away now, studies the comforter beneath his hands. "I did a lot of thinking, after it. After it happened, you know, this morning," he continues, hands straying over Elijah's knees under the sheets, stroking lightly and tracing patterns absently. "At first I didn't like it any more than you do. Hell, I'm not sure I like it now. But the more I think about it, the more I think... well, this is, sort of, what we wanted, in a kind of round about way, anyway." His brow is creased in a sort of bewildered look Elijah can't quite place, but knows he's mirroring it all the same.
"Wanted?" Elijah asks him, incredulous. "This is what we wanted? For you to. be pregna- I can't even say it, Dom, this is not happening," he says, bringing his hands to his face.
"Unexpected pregnancies happen all the time," Dom says, unhelpfully.
"To women!" Elijah hears the shriek in his own voice, and claws at his face for a moment.
"Well, it's kind of beside the point, isn't it?" Dom answers.
Elijah drops his hands in disbelief. "How can you-" he shakes his head. "How can you be so okay with this? You know how ridiculous it sounds, you say you do, and then you. How can you act like this is normal? This is Twilight Zone, Dom. This is aliens coming to eat your brain crazy, and you're acting like you're trying to pick which CD to buy this week. I mean, do you seriously want this to happen?"
Dom gets up off the bed and paces for a second, like he's got nowhere to go. His mouth is pinched tight, Elijah can see dark circles under Dom's eyes from this angle, and he realizes suddenly that he's wrong, that Dom isn't taking this flippantly at all. He remembers, now, that he fell asleep before Dom did, and wonders if Dom ever did sleep after that.
"I can't bloody well fix this, can I?" Dom says then, his voice low and slightly choked. "I mean, I-" he presses his lips together again and closes his eyes, then opens them, steely now, and focused on Elijah. "What am I supposed to do, Elijah?" he almost whispers, but no less intensely. "You tell me. I can't say the crazy old lady made it all up, when she took my- I'm a woman from the waist down, Lij. She fucking emasculated me. What choice do I have?" He sits back down, burying his own face in his hands. "Can't I try to make the best of a bad situation?" he asks, through his fingers.
"Oh, Dom, she," Elijah says, suddenly apologetic. He leans forward and puts his chin on Dom's shoulder, looping his arms around his waist. "Dom, she didn't- she didn't emasculate you. She didn't even castrate you for fuck's sake, she just." What did she do? "...made a little swap," he finishes lamely. And then, to his horror, he giggles, completely against his will. He smacks a hand to his mouth to stifle it a moment too late. Dom, peering back at him over his fingers, seems to debate between glowering and joining in, and finally allows himself a grin.
"Well," he says sullenly. "Not a little swap," and Elijah finally lets his laughter out, silliness and absurdity washing over him in waves, until his lungs ache and Dom collapses next to him, panting in great heaving breaths. "So," Dom sighs, and reaches out for Elijah's closest hand. "Are we gonna talk about this now?"
Elijah takes Dom's hand and for a moment he isn't sure what to do with it. He wants to squeeze it and pet it gently and kiss it and place it over Dom's stomach to see if it feels any different, all at the same time. He settles for tracing the soft skin on the back of it with his fingertips. "Yeah," he says. "I guess we are."
"Great," Dom says, pulling his hand back and scratching at it. "Um. So, I want you to know, Lij. I'm glad you didn't--" he shrugs, first one shoulder, then the other-- "run off, screaming, into the night or anything when this all came out."
Elijah smiles. "You wouldn't've let me. But I would never leave anyway."
"Not even if you thought I was mad as a hatter," Dom agrees.
"Well, you are mad as a hatter," Elijah says, "but no, even though it seems that, um." He still can't quite wrap his mind around it. "That. this... incredibly strange thing has happened to you, to us, um. No, I still wouldn't leave." Because where would he go, anyway? Anywhere he can think of to run away to, he'd want Dom to be there.
"I am sorry, though," Dom says, after a while. "I mean, it was my wish. Here I think I'm just throwing a thought out to the universe, and it turns out somebody's bloody listening."
"Yeah, well, in the future you just be careful with your crazy impossible wishes that crazy old Jamaican genies decide to grant for you, okay?" Elijah pokes him in the side and presses his forehead to Dom's shoulder. He smells stale, of heat and old cologne and a day's worth of sweat, but Elijah doesn't suppose he smells any better himself. It's comforting and distinctive and he could really use the familiarity right now anyway.
"Point taken," Dom says. "But either way, I ended up making the decision for the both of us, and." He sighs, for what must be the hundredth time. "And I don't think I want to unwish it." He glances at Elijah furtively. "I hope you're not feeling like you just have to go along with it."
Elijah props himself up on one arm and stares down at him. "Dom, it's not like you, like, stopped taking your birth control behind my back or anything, all right?" He lets himself smile again, and Dom laughs a little, and that's more of the reaction he wanted.
"This was definitely an entrapment pregnancy," Dom declares. "I had to make sure you wouldn't go anywhere."
"You scheming little cunt," Elijah says, relieved that nothing can happen to them that is so absurd they can't still laugh about it. It's this knowledge that Elijah holds on to while the rest of him is still reeling. Pregnant, he thinks. He's going to be a dad. Unbelievable. He's not entirely sure he'd want to unwish it, either. "So I guess you already told Billy," he says.
Dom nods. "Yeah. First person I called, I don't know why. Not even me own mother."
"Yeah," Elijah understands. He wants to talk to Sean about this before his mother, too. He suspects it's about needing commiseration more than comfort right now. "How'd he take it?"
"Well, of course he didn't believe me at first," Dom says. "But eventually he came 'round. Was quite good about it actually. Said, 'well, who'm I going to go for a drink with when I come out fer a visit?' He sounded pretty disappointed when I told him he'd have to settle for you."
Elijah smiles. "At least he believed you, right?"
"Well, even I know when to let a joke die, Lij. He knows I wouldn't put him on about something like this."
Good old Billy, now there's a mate. Elijah feels a surge of giddy love for him, and hopes Sean will be that good about it. "Subject matter considered, I'd say that's pretty big of him," he says. "Hey, Dom?"
"What did Billy say I needed?"
"Time," Dom replies.
Sean is more understanding than Elijah would have expected about the news, and Elijah knows this because he listens very carefully for any trace of "humor the crazy person" in Sean's reaction, but Sean can be so pleasantly encouraging on a good day that he just can't hear it.
"What I'm really more interested in," he tells Sean, "is what you think of this whole..." he struggles for a moment. "... Magical, crazy voodoo pregnancy thing."
"Well, the thing is that it's verifiable, right?" Sean says. "I mean, the pregnancy test came out positive? Have you guys been to an actual doctor yet?"
"Today," Elijah mumbles, "and yeah, the test was positive. Also, um," he adds, "physically, he's. not the same."
To his credit, Sean doesn't ask for elaboration. "How's he handling it?" he asks quietly.
Elijah shrugs. Loudly. "Right now he's sleeping. He didn't really get any all night, so."
"Yeah, I'd imagine."
"I think he's taking it better than I am," Elijah admits. "Less freaking out in general from him, in fact."
"Well, he's had longer to get used to the idea, Lij," Sean says, like nothing could be more obvious. "And you know, he's probably just better at sort of accepting his destiny, letting this sort of thing wash over him. And you know this already, why am I telling you this?"
"Because I seem to have forgotten in this case?" Because somehow if Sean can keep talking, things will be a little more bearable.
"Well, you know you're in for a helluva ride," Sean tells him.
"And I have no idea what I'm doing," he says. So now they've both stated the obvious and can move on from there.
"No, look, but who does?" Sean says. "No, listen to me, though- you'll be fine if you just remember the most fundamental, important rules about being a good partner during pregnancy."
"And what're those?" Elijah mumbles, suddenly sullen. Two days ago he'd been pretty sure he could be a good partner without any rules. Now he doesn't know anything anymore.
"One- you got a pen? Write this down, it's very important."
"Sure, yeah, hang on," Elijah says. He's not writing anything down. He doesn't move, just pauses. "Okay, go 'head."
"One- Dom is always right," Sean says, "two, give him whatever he wants, whenever he wants it, and three, Dom is always right."
"Wow, I dunno, Sean, that's complicated. Sounds like being married." Elijah catches himself smiling into the phone despite himself.
"Shut up," Sean says, mock indignant. "I'm serious, here! I guarantee you you can't go wrong. Well, actually, that's a lie, because you can go wrong anytime Dom decides you're wrong. Which would then become the oft-forgotten rule number four. You're sure you're writing this stuff down?"
"Yup," Elijah nods out of reflex, looking out the window.
"No, you're not, 'cause I know you. Pop quiz: what's rule number two?"
Elijah brings a finger to his mouth and then stops, looking at his nail, before biting the fleshy part of his finger once, hard. It's only been two seconds since Sean said it, and Elijah's memory's never been that atrocious. "Give Dom whatever he wants?" he says, like he's not sure.
"Whenever he wants it," Sean stresses. "Very essential to remember that part. If you wait a half hour, not only will he not want it anymore, but he'll be pissed off at you for not giving it to him when he asked."
"Even though he doesn't want it anymore." Because this is different how, exactly, Elijah wants to say, but he knows that isn't quite true.
"Especially because he doesn't want it anymore," Sean says. "It's all those hormones, Lij," he explains. "It wreaks havoc on their bodies, constantly fluctuating, 'til they don't even know which way is up anymore - and if they don't know, we sure as hell don't. It might even be worse for Dom, I couldn't tell you. I mean, what happens if you pump a guy full of estrogen all of a sudden?"
He doesn't know. "What?" Elijah asks.
"Hmmm?" Sean asks. "Oh, I don't know either, it was rhetorical."
"Oh, I want a dozen of 'em," Dom said. "Running around, pushing and pulling each other's hair, and you standing on the porch trying to get them to come in for supper."
"I see," Elijah flicked ash out the window as he drove. "And where are you in this Little House On the Prairie scenario, pray tell?"
"Off hard at work in the fields, of course." Dom paused, rubbed his temple. "Okay, maybe cooking supper inside."
Elijah smiled. "Thanks, that leaves me working the fields."
"Well," Dom said. "We're an equal partnership. You can cook the next day, all right?"
"First things first," Dom says, plucking the white-board they use for groceries and appointments off the fridge and turning his chair around to straddle it backwards. He uncaps the marker on its ledge and puts the cap in his mouth, starting to write. "Midwife or ob-gyn?" he says around the cap between his teeth, and if it didn't seem so inappropriate, Elijah would say that Dom's mouth forming those five letters is the sexiest thing he's seen all week. And that includes the face Dom made when Elijah slipped a finger inside him last night. Which he also isn't going to admit had been sexy. In retrospect.
He blinks. "Sorry, what?"
Dom stares at him over the white-board. "Only the most important pre-natal decision we can make here, how we're gonna bring this child into this world." He sits up a little straighter, smug. "I'd like to give him or her the best fighting start."
"Right," Elijah says slowly, pulling his finger out of his mouth to speak. He hadn't realized he'd been biting his nail until he does. "Well, I. I guess a. midwife? would be better?"
There was a time when Dom wouldn't have let the blatant Californian rhythm of his speech go uncommented on, but this time he just says, "brilliant. My thoughts exactly." He writes it down, then says, "but by the way, we're not letting our child spend too much time in California, you complete Valley doll." He keeps writing. "So I think it'll be better for me to not have to leave the apartment, you know, when I'm all--" Dom makes a broad gesture around him and puffs out his cheeks. "You know. Fat and everything." He checks the board again, frowning. "Well, I suppose I can leave home for Lamaze."
"You already have us doing Lamaze?"
"Well," Dom considers, "or yoga, but I thought you might like to be involved. I'm not taking any painkillers, that's for sure," he adds defensively. " And don't let me talk or beg you into it either, Lij. I'm serious, you gotta promise me."
Wide-eyed, Elijah nods. "I promise, yes. No painkillers."
"No matter what," Dom warns him. "Even if I threaten you and call you names. Even if I grab your balls and squeeze them and tell you I fucked your mother."
"Dom!" Elijah laughs, but Dom keeps a straight face, so he fights to compose himself. "All right. Scout's honor." He holds up his hand and covers his heart with the other one, still battling a smile he can hear in his voice. "No painkillers, upon pain of death. I swear."
Dom narrows his eyes at him, weighing his testimony, before accepting it with a nod. "All right, then." He goes back to his list. "Ooh!" he says. "Sex."
Elijah's stomach drops. "What about sex?"
"Well, that I intend to keep on having it. And if you think I'm doing it by myself, well, you're crazy." Dom sighs dramatically, rolls his eyes. "But there is a problem."
"There is," Elijah nods. His stomach is still in his shoes somewhere. Still, they haven't had sex in two days, and the thought of nine months more is enough to make Elijah reconsider.
"I'm a virgin, for one," Dom announces.
Yeah, that does it. Shrieking with sudden laughter, Elijah stumbles back against the wall. Tears leak from the corners of his eyes. He flutters his hands around his face as if the action can bring more air into his lungs. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry," he gasps, clutching his sides. "No, you're a virgin. Yes. I'm sorry."
"And I mean, this huge thing's gonna be coming out of me," Dom continues, like Elijah hasn't said anything, "so I might as well get used to things being in there all the time, you know?"
"I really don't think so," Elijah says, still giggling. He wipes his eyes with the back of his hand.
"Oh, come on," Dom says, grinning wickedly. "We can get me a strap-on and switch, yeah?" and that sets them both off again. "No, but seriously, Lij," he says, soberly. "As half-baked as it sounds, I miss you already-"
"I know, I-"
"-and if I'm going to have to go on like this-" he gestures to his stomach, then below his waist- "well, I don't want to have to lose everything."
"I'm not opposed to the idea, all right?" Elijah admits. "Just. questioning the wisdom of it and all."
"Oh, come on," Dom scoffs. "Get with the 21st century, man. You can do it all the way into the third trimester, I heard. In fact," he leans forward conspiratorially, raising his eyebrows. "Orgasm can actually help start the labor process. I dated a pregnant girl once, you know."
"Well, that isn't exactly what I meant," is all Elijah can muster in response. Then, "wait, what? You dated a pregnant chick?"
Dom nods. "Oh yeah. I mean, not nine months along or anything. More like four or five. They get awfully randy around that time, apparently...." his voice trails off as he reminisces. "And then, of course, they can't get pregnant, so it's win-win all 'round, really."
Elijah thinks about that. "What happens after the fifth month, then?"
Dom shrugs. "Baby grows horns or something, I don't know," he says, dismissive. "Can we focus on my needs now?"
End Part 1