That Word

Maya Schunard walked out of her middle school with her English paper clutched to her chest. She was an awkward child that was very small for her age with mouse brown hair, delicate features, jeans that were half a size too small, and a second hand gray sweatshirt that was two sizes too big. Maya was a loner, but that was perfectly fine with her. Suddenly, someone shoved her from behind.

"Move shorty!" the school's most popular boy, Bobby announced as he shoved Maya out of the way. Maya didn't fight back this time. The last thing she needed was getting sent to the principal's office for fighting…again. She knew that her parents were getting tired of the visits to the school about the matter. "I said move!" Bobby sent Maya flying to the ground. Her English paper fluttered to the ground, and Bobby picked it up. "'My Family'?" he read. "Who cares about your family? Your parents are fags." Several students laughed. Infuriated, Maya kneed Bobby in the stomach, grabbed her paper, and stormed on the bus. Hot tears threatened to spill down her cheeks as she took her seat on the bus.

When Maya got home from school, Angel was busy making cookies in the kitchen.

"Hey sweetie how was school today?" the drag queen asked rather cheerfully. Maya dumped her backpack on the floor, and stomped off to her room. Concerned, Angel went to talk to her daughter. "Maya, what's wrong?" she asked as she leaned up against the door to Maya's room.

"I don't want to talk about it," Maya replied firmly. Angel sighed.

"Come on mija, abres el Puerto." Open the door.

"I don't want to talk about it!"

"Okay mija. Dinner's going to be whatever; your Father has a late class tonight." Angel heard Maya grunt in response, and went back to the kitchen to finish the cookies. She was worried about why Maya was so moody.

Collins got home around nine that night. He wrapped his arms around Angel's waist from behind, and kissed her neck tenderly.

"Here's one of my favorite girls, now where's the other one?" Angel leaned against Collins and closed her eyes.

"In her room. She came home from school all upset about something, but she wouldn't tell me what. I was about to go try and talk to her again."
"You sure you don't want me to talk to her?" Angel nodded.

"Let me try one more time. It might be problems with a guy or something."
"On second though, you go talk to her." Angel chuckled, and kissed Collins' cheek affectionately.

"That's what I though." After one final kiss, Angel went to go talk to Maya.

Maya nearly jumped out of her skin when Angel entered her room. The preteen was sitting in the middle of her bed flipping through magazine.

"How you doing?" asked Angel. Maya shrugged. Angel sat down next to her on the bed.

"Okay I guess," Maya replied as she closed her magazine.

"You ready to talk about why you came home all upset today?"
"No really, but I know that you want to know so I'll tell you."

"You don't have to tell me anything, chica. I'm not going to force you, but your Father and I are worried about you."

"No, I'll tell you. You remember that kid from school that's always giving me crap? His name's Bobby."

"Oh honey, not another fight."

"No, not yet at least."

"Maya," Angel warned.

"What? That jerk was talking crap about you and Daddy!" Tears silently slid down Maya's cheeks. "He called you guys fags." Angel was startled by this. She leaned over and kissed the top of Maya's head.

"What did you say to Bobby after he said this?"
"Nothing, I was so pissed at him for what he said that I got on the bus." Angel was glad that Maya wasn't using the colorful vocabulary that she had learned from Collins, Maureen, and Roger. "I guess you're going to want to go tell Daddy now."
"He's really worried about you." Maya nodded. Angel gave her a hug, and got up to go tell Collins what Maya had told her.

Collins was trying to concentrate on grading papers when Angel returned from Maya's room. The drag queen explained to her lover what happened to their daughter.

"That little bastard said what?" Collins roared as he jumped up. Quickly, Angel pushed him back down onto the couch.

"Calm down. We need to think about this rationally. Maya's all upset about this whole thing." Collins put his head in his hands.

"I don't know why we didn't anticipate this before. This isn't something she should have to deal with. She shouldn't have to deal with our shit." Angel squeezed Collins' knee.

"Don't tell me that. Right now, we should be talking to our daughter." Nodding, Collins leaned back, and called Maya into the room.

A few seconds later, Maya entered the room. Since her conversation with Angel, she had changed into her pajamas.

"Come here, Princess," Collins said as he opened up his arms. Maya felt slightly foolish for sitting on her Dad's lap, but quickly dismissed it. "You doing okay?" Maya shrugged.

"I'm mad beyond belief at Bobby for what he said. How can someone be so cruel to people they don't even know? Especially people like you two?"

"Not everyone can be as understanding as our friends are; you have to understand that. We have a support group around us who are amazing," Collins explained to his daughter.

"We're a family, Maya, no matter what people say. We also love you more than anything, and you need to remember that," Angel added. Maya blushed.

"I love you too."

"Now Princess, to bed." Maya kissed both her parents on the cheek, and retreated to her room for the night.

An hour later, Angel was in jeans, a white t-shirt, and red jacket. In one hadn was his pickle tub, and in the other were his drumsticks. Collins gave him a quick kiss on the lips.

"Be safe, alright Ang?" he asked. Angel gave his lover's chest a reassuring pat.

"Don't worry, I always am. I love you."

"I love you too." Angel sauntered out of the apartment to go do some work.

Maya watched as Angel walked down the dark street. Suddenly, Angel turned around, and waved at her. How did he know? She was perched on her window sill with her forehead pressed against the cool pane; she was thinking. Sure her family wasn't traditional, but she loved her parents, and was damn proud of them. Yawning loudly, Maya got up, and tumbled into bed.

The End

A/N: Check out Off-Set, I've updated it a few times. Link on my profile!

Tina101