Magit trudges home to the new apartment, bigger but still only sparsely furnished, that she shares with Kayar.
Magit has had an exceptionally long day. Hoeing isn't really that difficult for a Sime, even without using augmentation, but riding in a bumpy cart to and from the job -- two hours each way -- is enough to wear anybody out right there.
Magit hopes Kayar will be home by now and willing to rub the appropriate places on her rear end.
Kayar is relaxing with his feet up on a crate, drinking lukewarm water and reading a tabloid.
Kayar wishes the water were cold, and there was more of a draft from the window. He's down to his underpants and still hot, after working since dawn at the bakery. He just got home an hour ago and is pretty tired.
Kayar's new job pays better than the previous one in the trin shop did, but the work is harder and without the tips the pay isn't all that much better.
Magit reaches the fifth floor and zlins Kayar behind the door. Good. She ~~ signals ~~ her presence and walks in.
Kayar: Hi, sweetheart. I brought home some onion buns and one with apples. Just cut off the burnt part.
Kayar's remuneration includes as much unsalable product as he wants.
Magit: Hi there. Actually it's my [English] buns [Simelan] that need work right now, if you feel up to it. That cart they drag us around in has less than no padding between me and every stone in the road.
Kayar: Awww, that's bad.
Kayar's shoulders and wrists are ~~ aching ~~ from cranking the dough-kneading machine, but not as bad as at first.
Kayar: Here, lie down and I'll do what I can.
Magit flops on the bed face-down and waits.
Kayar gets up, stretches, sits next to Magit and goes to work. It's not that different from kneading dough by hand, which he also does at work.
Magit: Ahhhh. Mpmmph. Gzzzzz.
Magit twists her head back and forth just to hear her neck crack. She pushes her face into the pillow, which muffles her cries a little.
Kayar: Okay? I'm too tired to do much more.
Magit: Shr, thnxxx.
Magit rolls onto her side and pats the bed next to her.
Kayar: Too hot to snuggle.
Kayar picks up the tabloid and fans himself, then on second thought, fans Magit.
Magit: Okay, let's just lie back to back, then.
Magit turns over.
Kayar is being ~~ cooperative ~~ although he would really rather not be that close to another hot Sime.
Magit: Good. Anything new with you?
Kayar: No. They had me cranking the dough kneader all day. It's pretty boring.
Magit zlins the depth of Kayar's feeling in the matter.
Kayar doesn't expect much of his job, so isn't too disappointed with it.
Magit: Well, I have some news that may make life more interesting.
Magit smiles mysteriously, knowing Kayar will zlin it even though he can't see it.
Kayar: Yeah? ~~ puzzled ~~
Magit: It turns out I've got a [English] bun in the oven, [Simelan] Kayar.
Kayar: No, they're on the table.
Kayar waves his hand toward the kitchen area.
Magit: Naah, it's a Genlan phrase for being pregnant. We're going to have a baby, Kayar.
Kayar is ~~ electrified ~~.
Magit focuses her zlinning on her sweetie as closely as she can.
Kayar: Really? Lemme zlin.
Kayar rolls over and puts his hands on Magit's belly. He extends his laterals a bit and squints his eyes almost closed.
Kayar: Wow! I think I can zlin it!
Magit: Really? Cool. I can't zlin it myself, but then you are more sensitive.
Kayar: Well, maybe I can. I really don't know what to zlin for, but I think I can zlin something different.
Magit: One of my coworkers spotted it during lunch. She's one of those supersensitive renSimes, y'know?
Kayar: Yeah. Must be a pain in the laterals for them, like that. Ask her tomorrow what to zlin for. Or maybe you should get a channel to check you out instead of going to work. To make sure you're all right.
Magit: I'm fine. It's way too soon -- less than a month -- to worry about anything. I'm sure I'll hear all about it at our next transfer.
Magit and Kayar have arranged to synchronize their cycles, which were already pretty close to being in phase, so they have transfer on the same day.
Kayar: I guess. Do you feel all right, though?
Magit: Never better, allowing for the cart ride.
Kayar: Should you be riding a bumpy cart like that? I mean, it won't shake loose, will it?
Magit slaps her forehead.
Magit: Of course not, dummy. I could ride a runaway racehorse hanging down from one stirrup and nothing would happen. Trust me, there will be plenty of time for you to exercise your talent for worrying.
Kayar: Yeah, I guess so. But be careful.
Magit: Oh, I will.
Magit does her best to keep her mental reservation -- she'll be as careful as the situation calls for -- out of her field.
Magit: Well, anyway, I'm glad you're feeling positive about the whole thing. Some men wouldn't be.
Kayar: Well, it's your baby, so if you're happy about it, I am too.
Kayar was raised in the matrilineal family style so common before Unity as well as after. Kids belong to their mothers.
Magit: [firmly] Our baby. Start working on that phrase, "giddu".
Kayar: I guess.
Kayar figures this is another Wild Gen custom Magit has imported along with herself.
Magit was raised by Virla, who thinks gender equality is as obvious as larity equality. Admittedly, Magit's father was more traditional, but he's been out of the picture so long she barely remembers him.
Magit realizes who the next person she needs to notify is.
Magit: That reminds me. Time to write to my mother. She'll want to know she's going to have a grandchild.
Kayar: I guess.
Magit: Count on it.
Kayar would rather not get his pushy mother Zlotti involved, so he has no intention of notifying her.
Magit can see Kayar is going to need a lot of firming up to be an Appropriate Father.