This is the sequel to 'Learning to Live.' If you haven't read that story, then this will make no sense. This universe does involve transgender issues, for anyone stumbling upon it for the first time.
As I said in LtL, this will be a collection of short stories and one-shots from the LtL universe. They will happen in no particular order, just whatever ideas come to me. I welcome ideas/requests, but make no promises to actually fulfill them. There will be no schedule on what I write, or when, for this story. All segments will let you know where, in the timeline, they fit, to ease confusion.
I own nothing, not even my own soul. I sold that to the devil for a plate of chili cheese fries. I never got the fries.
Oh, and something I don't think I ever mentioned in LtL, but probably should have - In this universe, they don't have pets. No real reason other than I forget to mention them until WAY into the first story, and it would've been too much of an obvious after thought, at that point. So, no Jo or Bass.
This takes place about three years after Jane and Maura get together, at the end of 'Learning to Live.'
Let's Talk About Sex 1/1
Jane was sitting on the cough, one hand rubbing her belly, and flipping through the channels. Stopping on a commercial, she tilted her head slightly while watching, then looked over her shoulder at Maura, who was busy unloading the dishwasher. "All the books say we should be able to find out the sex, in a few weeks. I know you already know that, but we haven't talked about it. Do we want to know?"
Putting away the plate in her hand, Maura shut the dishwasher and walked around the island, to join Jane on the couch. Giving her a quick kiss, she laced her fingers through Jane's, and let their hands rest on the slight baby bump. "What do you want? I'll know, regardless of what we decide, but I can refrain from telling you, if you want it to be a surprise."
Looking at her strangely, Jane suddenly snorted and chuckled quietly. Holding up her free hand at Maura's confused look, she shook her head. "I sometimes forget that you know a bunch of stuff I will never need to learn. Of course you know how to read an ultrasound, you're a doctor. Ok, so, you'll know. I don't know if I want to know. I already love this baby, more than I thought I would. I mean, I haven't even felt it move, yet. I don't care if it has an innie, an outie, or wings and a tail."
Biting her lip, Maura laughed silently and shook her head. "It is medically impossible for our child to have wings, but vestigial tails are not unheard of. Usually, they're surgically removed shortly after birth. It prevents scarring and teasing that would happen if it's not removed, or removed later in life. It's a rare, but merely cosmetic, birth defect."
Jane rolled her eyes and pulled Maura closer, resting against her side. "You know what I meant, but that's good to know. If the kid's born with a tail, I won't start freaking out. So, back to the original topic, should I know the sex? Actually, do we want to tell everyone the sex?"
When Maura was unusually silent for several moments, Jane turned to see her head to find her chewing on her lip and watching her nervously. Sitting up straighter, she turned so she could see Maura's face while they talked, shoving a cushion behind her back and tucking her leg up on the couch. "Spit it out. There's something you're afraid to say. Just say it. You know I want be mad, whatever it is. What about this topic has you so nervous?"
Maura closed her eyes and sighed. When she opened them, she held Jane's confused and concerned gaze. "I don't want our child to be forced into a gender they may not identify with, before they're even born. I know there's little we can do about it happening afterward, but I don't want it to happen before they're even born.
"There's insufficient scientific evidence that transgenderism is caused by genetics, but there's been very little consistent research on the matter. If it IS genetic, then there's a chance, however small, that one of our children will be transgender.
"I know what it feels like to be forced to live in a role that goes against everything you feel. I don't want that for our child. I know it's illogical, because a fetus has no knowledge of the world outside the womb, but I don't want our baby to be subjected to that, until it's absolutely unavoidable."
Nodding, Jane turned to lean back against Maura, pulling her arm around to rest on her stomach. "Then you and the doctor will be the only ones who know, until the baby's born. The rest of us can be surprised. We can tell everyone to pick gender neutral colors and items. Ma will throw a fit, and probably claim we're trying to keep her from spoiling her grandchild, but it's not up to her. I can already tell you though, that there's nothing we can do or say that will keep her from color-coding the baby as soon as they're born. She's probably going to go out and buy all the pink or blue things she can find, before I even leave the hospital. I mean, she's the one that thought I would LOVE a pink canopy bed, when I asked for bunk beds. She's STILL trying to get me to wear pink."
Kissing the side of her head and pulling her closer, Maura buried her face in Jane's hair. "You really don't mind not knowing? I don't mind you knowing. I know you won't try to force our child to be anything, or anyone, other than who they want to be. It's how everyone else will react, that I worry about. We can keep it to ourselves."
Jane just shook her head. "Nope. I'm ok without knowing. I don't want to accidentally let it slip, and Ma can always tell when I'm lying. This way, I can tell her that we decided not to find out, and that I have no idea. And, since we DID decide not to find out, you don't have to worry about telling her that you already know."
They sat in silence for several minutes, before Maura nudged Jane to get her to sit up. Turning in question, she was surprised when Maura pulled her into a kiss. Humming happily, she returned the kiss before pulling away with a smile. "Not that I mind, but what was that for?"
Stealing another quick kiss, Maura smiled and let her forehead rest against Jane's. "Sometimes you just say or do something that reminds me exactly why I love you. You've never questioned who I am, even when I told you who I used to be. You've never expected me to be anyone else, judged me, or treated me differently. I never forget that, but there are times when you say or do something that just makes me love you even more. Our children will be lucky to have you for a mother."
Leaning in for another kiss, Jane sighed contentedly and threw her legs over Maura's lap. "I love you, too, and our kids will be just as lucky to have you as a mother. I miss being able to pull you into my lap, though. I'm not even that big, and it's already getting awkward and uncomfortable. I guess I just thought I would have to be huge before my belly started getting in the way." When Maura opened her mouth, Jane grinned and kissed her before she could speak. "Don't go giving me a big, long, medical explanation. I kinda figured out I was wrong when my pants started feeling tight before I even started showing."
Pulling Jane closer, Maura chuckled. "I was just going to say, that I kind of like having you sit in my lap, for once. I know you feel awkward, because of your height, but I like being able to hold you. If that will only happen when you're pregnant, then I'm glad we're planning on at least two children."
Looking down at her legs across Maura's lap, Jane grinned then stood up, ignoring Maura's questioning look, and sat back down, straddling Maura's lap. "There, NOW I'm sitting in your lap. You're right, it does feel strange sitting on your lap, knowing it puts your head level with my armpit. This is comfortable, though. Well, at least until I'm too big."
Answering Maura's happy grin, Jane leaned in for a kiss, both of them enjoying the chance for Maura to hold Jane close. After a few minutes, she pulled back and waited until Maura met her gaze. "We will have as many kids as we can. As soon as this one's sleeping through the night, we can start trying for another, if you want. I know the older I get, the more chance there is of birth defects, and the harder it will be to get pregnant. Even if it means I spend most of the next few years riding a desk, it's ok. You know, I never asked, but how many do you think we can have?"
Thinking for a moment, Maura gave a small shrug. "It all depends on how many tries it takes to conceive, each time. We were very lucky, this time. If we wait at least six months before trying again, which is still rather early, and are lucky enough to conceive with the first try each time, which is unlikely, then we could have at least four, before we have to worry about your age, with no fear of running out of frozen sperm. Realistically, though, I think we can plan on two or three. After all, I didn't marry you just so you could act as a brood mare. Even if this is our only child, I will be happy."
Laughing, Jane kissed her and climbed off her lap, walking toward the kitchen. "Well, now that the morning sickness is over, I kind of like being pregnant. Just never tell Ma that. Of course, there's the food cravings, constantly growing stomach, and having to pee all the time, but there's something about knowing I'm carrying our child. I'm happy. Happier than I remember being in maybe ever. I have an amazing wife I am absolutely in love with, and we're starting a family. I have everything I ever wanted. You might have to remind me of this feeling when I'm eight months along, have swollen ankles, nothing fits, I can't sleep, and my back is always killing me. But, I want to have as many kids as we can. I like the idea of having a big family."
Watching Jane pull clean dishes out of the dish washer, get several items out, and start fixing bowls, she shook her head in amusement. When Jane sat back down and handed over a bowl, Maura was happy to see that hers was just strawberry ice cream and frozen fruit. Curious, she looked over, trying to figure what Jane was eating, before giving up. "What is that? It looks less than appetizing."
Grinning, Jane held out her spoon, smirking when Maura wrinkled her nose in distaste and shook her head. "It's french silk ice cream, peanut butter, and granola, with chocolate and caramel syrup. It tastes a lot better than it looks, and that's not the pregnancy cravings talking. It's kinda like a peanut butter cup."
One eyebrow raised in skepticism, Maura shook her head. "I think I will forgo this particular creation. I guess I'm lucky you haven't had any cravings worse than what you ate, before being pregnant. While some of them have been unappetizing, none of them have been truly distasteful. And you have been letting me make sure you eat healthier than usual."
Taking another bite, Jane used her spoon to point. "We both know I want the best for this baby, and that means eating healthy. Besides, I get all the unhealthy junk I can handle, with the between meal cravings. This kid has a sweet tooth that's going to end up giving me cavities."
Laughing, Maura leaned against Jane's side while they finished their ice cream.
A/N: Fluffy enough, for you? I planned to start this story with the New York trip, to visit Andre and Paul, that was mentioned in the last story. However, this idea demanded to be written, while I was still working on the New York segment. Since the New York segment will be a few chapters long, I decided to post this first, since it's already done. After all, I did always plan to post whatever tidbits that popped into my head, regardless of where they fall on the timeline.
As always, I welcome feedback. If you notice something that needs changed (fact, spelling, grammar, etc.), then feel free to tell me. Also, I just enjoy hearing what people think. I welcome comments and PM's, alike.