Title: Naming Graysha
Fandom: Shivering World by Kathy Tyers
Summary: Graysha Brady-Phillips needs a new name now. Picking the right one is going to be difficult, though.
Rating: G
Pairings/Characters: Graysha Brady-Phillips/Lindon DalLierx
Length: 600 words
Genres: humor, romance
A/N: I recently re-read Shivering World for a second time, and it once again failed to woo me as much as Kathy Tyers' other novels. I've just drawn way too many lines of similarity between it (esp. the character types) and my beloved Firebird series, and that makes me compare it, and it doesn't even close to measure up. Sorry, Kathy. :P But still, it did inspire brief fic!

Naming Graysha

"I'm sure most people are just expecting you to attach my surname onto yours," Lindon whispered. His breath tickled Graysha's ear. "That's what most women do, right?"

"Mmm," Graysha agreed, snaking her arms over his as they wrapped around her waist. I'm sure Novia would love having your name tacked onto hers, she thought silently at Lindon. Actually, thinking about that displeasure that would greatly amuse Graysha, even if Novia never really would know… Which made it very tempting. "I don't think so," she finally said. "Doctor Graysha Brady-Phillips-DalLierx is quite the mouthful, don't you think?" No matter how much amusement it might offer her, she added a bit sadly.

Now it was Lindon's turn to make a consenting, "Mmm," sound. He thought for a moment, then offered, "It's fine with me if you don't take my name at all."

"Ack," Graysha muttered, nose wrinkling. She didn't like that option at all. "Not a chance. Besides, I'd toss off Novia's surname long before I would yours."

Again, Lindon paused in thought. When he spoke again, his voice was very hesitant. "You could take just the DalLierx name," he said slowly. "It's very old-fashioned, but it's an option, if you want it."

That was more appealing than staying with Brady-Phillips, but something about that still bothered Graysha. It almost made her feel blood-related to Lindon instead of married to him, in some odd, inexplicable way. "Um… I don't think so, Lindon," she mumbled, hoping her refusal didn't hurt his feelings. She added, "Sorry," for good measure.

He didn't seem hurt. He almost seemed relieved. "Okay," he said. "What options does that leave?"

Graysha pondered that. "Well, seeing as how I'm Lwuite now," joy leapt within her at the thought, "I could do what you guys do."

She heard half a stifled laugh escaped through Lindon's lips. Even when he went on speaking, attempting to keep his voice even, she could hear the laughter dancing in his tone. It made her cheeks warm with embarrassment. "Blending your mother's name and mine?" he whispered into her ear. "Love the sentiment, Gray." He rested his chin on her shoulder and she could feel that he was still smiling. Her cheeks warmed even more. Blending the names was more uniting than tacking Lindon's to Novia's, but somehow it was less amusing.

"Besides, how would you go about doing that, dear?"

She thought briefly, and her mouth tugged into a frown. "BraLierx? Yes, that doesn't seem like a nice option either." She sighed, irritated. "Novia just makes everything difficult."

"Hear, hear," Lindon heartily agreed.

"You know, I should just get rid of her name altogether," Graysha said again. "That wouldn't bother me in the least."

"So we're back to plain DalLierx again?"

Graysha's mouth twisted. Again, she didn't like that option. They really were just running in circles with this. "I guess so," she said. "Or," she said, inspiration striking, "not necessarily."

Lindon's chin moved off of her shoulder, though his arms still remained tight around her waist. She turned to look at him and found him frowning. "What do you mean?" he asked.

"I have a problem with my mother," she said. "With Novia Brady-Phillips." She half-shrugged. "I don't really have a problem with my father. With Lenard Phillips."

Lindon was still frowning. "PhilLierx?" he asked.

Graysha's cheek twitched slightly. "Or Phillips-DalLierx." Truthfully, neither seemed particularly appealing either, but she liked those two selections most of any that had yet been... proposed.

Finally, Lindon's frown disappeared and he shrugged. "Whatever you want is fine with me," he said. He returned his chin to her shoulder. "Just make up your mind."

She groaned softly. "That's precisely the problem!"

The End

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