How Do We Manage?

This is to [personal profile] wyld_dandelyon‘s prompt to this January card for [community profile] origfic_bingo.

It fills the “management” slot, and is in Addergoole, which has a landing page here

Warning: discussion of incest.

“You have it easy.” Aelgifu sighed and flopped against the back of her chair.

“Easy?” Shahin raised one perfectly-shaped eyebrow in question. “I’m not arguing that I don’t have a hard life, although I miss Emrys – although I had him here a year longer than you had Io.”

They were sitting in one of the cozy visiting rooms in Lady Maureen’s voluminous creche and child-care center, Ayla’s daughter and Shahin’s three-and-a-stepchild playing around and with them. Shahin managed to look simultaneously matronly and adorable while nursing young Belladona; Ayla had never managed to feel anything but half-naked and frumpy.

“Well, you don’t mind the preliminaries.” How much could you say around two-year-olds? What would babies Niobe and Arturo remember?

“I don’t recall you minding the preliminaries with Ioanna.”

“That’s was different. And the baby-making parts were, ah, separate. Dr. Caitrin helped with those.” Dr. Caitrin had been necessary for the complex Workings that had turned part of Ioanna’s female DNA into sperm and then impregnated Aelgifu with that sperm – Ayla was a bit fuzzy on the details, but the end result had been Niobe.

“Well, it’s not as if Dr. Caitrin couldn’t help you with a nice boy’s consent.”

“Finding someone I can stand enough to bother with is half the problem.”

“I really doubt you want to go the route of magically-and-inexplicably-attracted-to-your-brother.” Shahin seemed to have no problems at all talking about such things in front of her children. Well, with her relationship with Emrys…

“That’s it.” Ayla sat up straight. “Shahin, you’re brilliant.”

“I know, but… how, in this case, exactly?” Her friend was watching Ayla with both eyebrows raised.

“Brothers. I have an inordinate share of brothers, and I know at least two of them have no interest in women.” Their father had said all my kids turn out gay, but nobody was going to take Aelfgar as an expert in anything except fighting. “That’s brilliant.”

Shahin shook her head, but she was smiling, not scoffing. “It is. I’m glad I thought of it.”

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