Friday, February 20, 2015
A Bonding Moment
Reetha took the steps two at a time and threw open the front door to Nick and Ziva’s house, ready to kill anything threatening her niece and nephew. Mooney’s call for help still fresh enough in her head that she was fighting off the urge to shift.
“Holy Lupa, Reeth,” Mooney yelped, tucking a whimpering Cooper close to his chest. “Are you trying to scare the pups?”
“Where’s the problem? How many are there?”
“What? Reetha, what are you talking about?”
“The reason you called?” She bit out, willing her wildly beating heart to calm enough so her hearing sharpened that much further. “You were whispering that you were with the babies and needed help.”
“Well, I do, just, it’s not…exactly what you must be thinking.” Mooney stammered, blushing along the roots of his hairline.
“So there’s no danger in the vicinity?”
Reetha turned her head, stretching and cracking the tension out before taking and holding her breath.
“Are you going to breathe again anytime soon?” her brother asked. “Because I still do have that problem.”
She let out the calming breath and prayed to the great Lupa that she wouldn’t beat the crap out of her brother in front of the two sets of blue-green eyes watching her every move. “What is the problem, Mooney?”
“River has a poopy diaper.”
A stripe of pick crossed her vision at her brother’s words. “Please tell me you didn’t scare the hel, er, heck out of me because of a poopy diaper.”
“Well, I didn’t know what to do?”
Mooney at least had the decency to look embarrassed, but Reetha was still trying to process the idea that her brother – who had two children already – didn’t know what to do with a poopy diaper. “You change it, Moon. How in Lupa’s name did Thor and Loki survive their babyhood?”
“Well no shit, er, shilo, Reeth. Of course you change them. And I did that for Cooper. I also did a lot of that with my boys, but that’s the thing, they’re boys.”
“And? Do girl babies not poop the same as boy babies? Are you afraid there will be flowers in the diaper or something?”
“No. It just didn’t feel right for me to be, you know, changing her diaper. You know, never mind,” he said, while setting Coop back in the mounded up pillow area they used for play time. “I’ll figure this out on my own.”
Mooney’s face was bright red and the look in his eyes was pure disgust—at himself. Reetha was surprised to see how much he’d grown up over the time she’d been gone and wondered if she should be handling the situation in a different way?
“Wait.” She put her hand on Mooney’s arm and bent to grab little River herself. “Let’s do this together. Is this the first time you’ve been around a girl baby as an adult?”
“Yeah, they are way different little creatures than boys. Boy babies tend to always be in motion, kicking and moving around. But she’s so thoughtful. She looks at me like she’s trying to figure me out and to see if I’m doing things right or wrong.”
Reetha set River on the changing pad and Mooney grabbed the new diaper and cleaning supplies. “I can see what you mean about how thoughtful she is. The way she’s staring can be confusing, but think back to Loki. Didn’t he do the same thing sometimes?”
Mooney quietly watched as she stripped the used diaper from River’s tush and cleaned her up before putting on a clean one.
“Yeah, I guess sometimes he did do the same thing.”
“It’s an alpha thing, Moon. She, like Loki, is figuring out her place here. It starts early in shifters. Beta babies tend to be more like regular babies, though they too are smart as a lick and advance faster, they are a bit more playful then their alpha counterparts. That’s why it’s so important to keep the alpha babies with the beta babies and encourage silly playtime. The alpha’s will be sliding into their roles soon enough.”
Moon leaned over and surprised her with a hug. “Thanks Reeth, for not laughing or beating me up. Thanks for helping me.”
Reetha hugged her brother back, thankful she was getting another chance to be a part of this family. “You’re welcome.”
“Now, give me that dirty diaper and you kiddo,” he said to the very aware River, “Next time, you and Uncle Moon are going to figure this out. Sound good.”
River coo’d, giggled and let loose with a not quite growl at her Uncle Moon and Reetha knew they’d definitely figure out the changing thing.
“Mooney, can I ask you something?”
“How did you come to be here today? I thought Elly was coming over?”
“She was, but something happened with one of her hard-headed kids and she couldn’t come. Pop went with her and I suspect you were busy as well. Sorry if I pulled you away from something important. I know I was their last pick, but I don’t mind. I do like spending time with these two. Plus, Coop needs another beta around here for a bit.”
“Yeah,” she laughed, “I can see where he would need a break.”
“Besides, Ziva’s working in the back room in case of emergencies.”
“And yet you called me?”
“Yeah, Ziva’s last words to me before burying herself in work were, ‘there are only two reasons to bother me today, boobs or blood. They just ate and there had better not be blood. If there’s blood I will emasculate you, and I’m not speaking figuratively here.’”
Reetha laughed, but gave Moon a sympathetic look. “She takes her pups very seriously.”
“As she should. I know poops not blood, but since I’d really like to keep the goods where they belong, the safe bet was to call you.”
Reetha laughed. “Good call, Moon.”