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The Talk (and not the "murder isn't cool" talk)

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Hey I need to talk to you. Dinner?

Sure. Tonight?

Yes. Come alone.


The last part was a little weird--it wasn't like Overkill would have jumped at the chance for dinner with Arthur, but sure.

He was already there when she arrived at the restaurant, one of the many brewpubs that had opened around The City in the last few years. It was pretty busy even on a midweek evening. Was he looking for a place where they wouldn't be overheard? Why not just one of their apartments, and where was Tick?

She sat down in the booth across from him. "Okay, what's going on, Arthur? Is everything okay?"

"Yeah, everything's fine," he said with a fake-casual gesture that belied his words. A server set sodas down in front of them and left again. "I just--need your help with something."

"Okay," she said slowly. "But everything's fine. Where's Tick?"

"Well, he, that's--he's visiting Kevin and Lobstercules right now. See, he--" He trailed off again and she started to get suspicious. It obviously showed on her face because he waved frantically. "No, no, it's nothing bad, it's just--he's starting to ask questions I can't answer."

She stared at him for several seconds, trying to fill in the blanks. "About what?"

"You know." She didn't. "About sex."

She stared at him for a few more seconds. "...yeah, I'm gonna need something harder than root beer, hold that thought."

"Is alcohol your answer to every stressor?" Arthur asked when she returned, hipster craft beer in hand.

"No, sometimes my answer is violence," she retorted. "So--you called me about this why? He's your big blue--person."

Arthur squirmed. "Yeeeeeeah, but--you were a medical student. And you're--more qualified."

"I've had sex, you mean." She enjoyed his look of discomfort. "Unless he's asking questions about the fine details of reproduction, I'm pretty sure you know the basics well enough to answer." She took a contemplative swig of her beer. "Why is he asking questions about sex anyway?"


She snorted. "Some dad you are." She ignored his glare and thought. "Are you sure he'd even understand it?" They'd found a few topics that Tick just seemed fundamentally incapable of grasping; any attempts to explain just kind of slid off him mentally like water off a really tall duck. It was frustrating, yet in its own way, fascinating.

"Not entirely."

"But would he ask questions if he couldn't understand the explanation?

"I don't think so?" The conversation was put on hold as the server came back for their orders. "But… can you try?"

She snorted. "That's a hard pass, sorry. Like I said, he's your responsibility. He understands love. Go with the old 'when two or more people love each other in a particular way…' spiel."

Arthur snorted his soda and spluttered for a moment. "Jesus, Dot."

"Okay fine, 'when TWO people love each other in a particular way.' See, this is why you don't want me doing it."

"'In a particular way?' Is that what Mom said when she gave you the talk?"

"Oh hell no." She wrinkled her nose. "By the time she thought about it I knew enough. Did she try it with you?"

"I had too much else going on. Thank God." He suddenly started to smile. "That's my answer." She raised an eyebrow at him. "Mom."

"Oh God."

"It's practically a parental rite of passage, right? That she was denied." His smile became a grin.

"Mom is crazy about Tick. Maybe she'd do it."

Arthur pulled out his phone and Dot moved to sit next to him. "Do a video call." She put on her best innocent face as Arthur called.

"Hey, Mom? I have a huge favor to ask."