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Dick Grayson took off his shoes and lifted his feet up. He placed them on the coffee table before him and turned his attention to the t.v. GNN is viewing a special about Lex Luthor. 'Lex Luthor never knows how to quit', he thought. Annoyed with what was on the news he turned the t.v. on mute. He closed his eyes, savoring the quietness. Everything in his life has been so hectic lately. He had just moved into his new house last weekend, he's been working on a new project at Wayne Enterprises, Nightwing has been tracking down a new criminal for two and a half months, and there's a baby on the way. He and Kori were both surprised for this unplanned pregnancy for a third child. It wasn't a burden but they defiantly didn't have time. They already had a thirteen year old daughter and a seven year old son to handle. After much discussing, they both decided to keep their new daughter or son. They decided to keep the sex a surprise this time.
Dick opened his eyes looking over at the ticking cuckoo clock. It is an old vintage thing that Kori just adored. The clock read 1:50. His kids would be home from school very soon, which only gave him a short time to relax. Something nudged Dick's and Dick looked down and smiled. His daughter's kitten leaped on his lap and he gave her a pat. Bruce had gotten her the new kitten for her birthday last month after she clearly impressed him during training. Mar'i had started training with 'Grampa Bruce' at the bat cave when she turned twelve. She still hadn't gotten out on the rooftops, mostly due to the fact that he's still scared for her. Dick sighed. He closed his eyes and a memory started to form in his head. But as soon as that memory came into his mind, it was interrupted by the sound of the front door slamming. He opened his eyes and groaned.
"This is so unfair!", screamed Mar'i.
Dick looked behind him as Mar'i ran past him and went up the stairs. His son Bruce laughed at his father's quizzical face. "Hey dad", he greeted.
"Hey, kiddo", said Dick. He stood up and picked his son up. "How was school?"
Bruce's face lit up. "Today we played baseball in gym class, and guess what?"
Dick's eyebrow's shot. "What?"
Bruce crossed his arms and lifted his chin. "I got a home run."
"Really?", asked Dick. "That's great, kiddo." He held his son tighter. "Since its Friday we can go out and celebrate." Bruce's mouth hung open in excitement. "And you can pick the place", Dick told him.
Bruce lifted his hands up with excitement. "Can we go to Grampa's?",he asked his father.
Dick shook his head. "Why do you kids love to go there?"
"Cuz it's Grampa!", exclaimed Bruce. "He's so cool. He told me he was going to show me his new gadget he invented. And Grampa Alfred is going to help me with my Halloween costume."
Dick heard something slam upstairs. He then turned his head to his wife who walked through the door sighing."Tell you what kiddo. Why don't you go play and I'll give Bruce a call."
Buce nodded. "I'm gonna go work on my karate moves." He slid out of his father's arms and skidded away.
Dick smiled at his son until he was out of view. He left the living room and walked into the kitchen, knowing his wife was already in there. She was bent over, her hand in the cupboard. She took out a pot and slammed it down on the counter. She stood up and filled the pot with water.
"What are you doing?",asked Dick.
She didn't look at him."Making dinner", she said sharply.
Dick winced. "We're having dinner at my dads."
Kori sighed. She dumped the water out of the pot and placed the pot in the sink."Fine! Then I shall bake a cake!"
He watched as she took out all the ingredients she needed and slammed them down on the counter. He's seen her do this before and being married for fifteen years he'd notice things. She only did this when she was really sad or really anger. And in this case she looked angry. He was careful with his next words. "Want to tell me what happened?"
Kori stopped what she was doing and looked at her husband. "I am so angry!"
"Okay", said Dick. "I can see that but do you want to tell me why?"
Kori sighed and looked down. "When I went to go pick up Mar'i today she came out of school with a hat on and tears rolling down her cheeks. When she had gotten in the car she took her hat off to show me. Her hair had white streaks through it and she had scales on the side of her neck. I immediately knew she was going through her transformation. And when I did explain what it is to her, she completely exploded on me. It took me all my might not to kill her in the car." Kori covered her face with her hands.
Dick walked over to her and wrapped his arms around her. He gave her a kiss on the forehead. "Don't stress it, honey. She's a teenager. She's going to act like this for a long time."
"She told me she hated being Tamaranean", mumbled Kori under her hands.
Dick rubbed her stomach. "I love that your Tamaranean", he said. He drew circles on her stomach. "And I love that my kids are Tamaranean too."
Kori removed her hands from her face and turned to him. "It hurts when our children want to neglect my culture. I love Earth and it is my home but sometimes I wish we could practice some Tamaranean traditions."
Dick laughed. "We've been practicing Tamaranean traditions. I mean we defiantly are." He wiggled his eyebrows.
Kori smacked him. "You very much know what I mean."
"My hair is white! I can never show my face at school again!"
Kori rolled her eyes. "I cannot deal with her right now."
"I'll go talk to her", he said. He kissed her stomach. "You just take care of yourself and our daughter/son."
Kori smiled. "I will continue to bake."
Dick knocked on the door that said 'Mar'i' in pink. He waited for an answer but nothing. He placed his ear against the door. "Mar'i? Sweetheart, its dad."
He heard the door unlock and he backed off. He waited for someone to open but no one ever did. Dick opened the door and peered in. "Mar'i?"
Mar'i walked out of her bathroom with a towel over her head and face. Dick closed the door behind him and starred at his daughter. "Sweetheart, take that off."
"No", she mumbled. She tried to walk over to her bed but she stumbled over her shoes.
Dick sighed and walked over to his daughter. He helped her up and had her sit on her bed. He took off the towels on her and looked at his daughter. "There. Better."
Mar'i laughed. "Beter?", she exclaimed. "Better?" She stood up and let out a groan. Walking over to the mirror she examined herself. "Look at me, dad!" She touched the scales on her neck and tears started to form in her eyes. "I was in the middle of taking a math quiz when all of a sudden, Lian points to my hair. I got my mirror out of my bag and words couldn't explain what went through me. I immediately ran to the bathroom, making a fool out of myself. Making a fool out of myself in front of Mike."
Dick smiled at his daughter. "Mar'i its perfectly-whos Mike?", he asked crossing his arms.
Mar'i looked down and blushed. "No one", she mumbled.
Dick lifted an eyebrow. "Uh huh." He shook his head. "As I was saying. Its perfectly normal for a Tamaranean female to go through this."
Mar'i grabbed her stuffed animal and threw it at the wall. "Yea well I hate being Tamaranean."
"Watch your tone", warned Dick.
Mar'i huffed. "Its not fair dad. I didn't ask to be half alien. I seriously don't understand how you've dealt with it."
"I love your mother, Mar'i", said Dick. "I don't care if she's not human. That's the reason why I did fall in love with her. She's different than anyone I've ever met."
Mar'i sat on her bed. "Well I don't want to be different. It sucks!"
Dick was growing impatient. "First of all, don't use that language. Second, respect your mother and your culture."
"How can I respect this culture if this is going to happen to me", she said. She stood up and showed herself to her father. "Mom isn't even helping me out."
Dick tilted his head. "How do you think your mother felt when she went through her transformation?"
Mar'i shrugged. "Mom loves this sort of stuff."
Dick smiled and patted the bed. "Sit down." He waited for her to sit down before continuing.
Kori sat down at the kitchen table moving her fingers in a rhythm. She had placed the cake in the oven and is now waiting for the timer to go off. She sighed and rested her chin on her free hand. Sometimes it is hard for her to be Tamaranean. And sometimes she wishes she was a full human.
Kori lifted her head and turned her eyes to the young boy standing near the back door leading to the yard. Her eyebrows shot up at the sight in front of her. "Bruce?", she asked.
Her son was covered in mud from head to toe. He nervously laughed. "It started to rain while I was practicing kung-foo it started to pour out and the rain came down really heavy and I was running back into the kitchen but I slipped on the wet grass and ended up in a ditch of mud." He took in a breath.
Kori giggled and walked over to her son. She knelt down in front of him and used her thumbs to wipe the mud off his eyes. "Come, let us get you cleaned up."
Bruce took his mother's hand and he walked up stairs with her. She led him down the hall and into the bathroom.
Once Kori had filled the bath tub with Bruce's favorite bubbles, he got into the hot water. Kori grabbed a small stool and placed it in front of the tub. She started to wash her son, watching as the mud slowly vanished. "The things you get yourself into."
Bruce let out a high pitched laugh. "Sorry mom." He flipped his red hair back and forth, splashing his mother.
Kori giggled. "You are making me wet." She ran her fingers through his hair. "I think someone needs a haircut."
"No way", said Bruce."All the cool kids are growing their hair long."
Kori placed a hand on her hip. "You are seven, Bruce. Light up sneakers are considered 'cool' for you."
Bruce was about to reply to his mother until he heard yelling from down the hall. He looked up at his mother who had her head down. Bruce didn't mind being an alien. He didn't know why Mar'i was making such a big deal about it. It was pretty cool being from another planet. Of course Bruce is thinking about U.F.O's and alien native animals.
"Hey mom?",asked Bruce.
Kori snapped back to reality. She grabbed the toys from under the sink and placed them in the water.
"Mom?", asked Bruce.
Kori looked at her son and smiled. "Yes, my little bumgorf?"
Bruce took the space rocket and moved it through the air and into the water. "I think its cool that we're Tamaranean."
Kori lifted an eyebrow. "Really?"
Bruce nodded. "I don't know why Mar'i's making a big deal out of it."
"Your sister is going through some changes, Bruce. Every Tamaranean female goes through this change", said Kori.
"Am I gonna go through whatever she is going through?",asked Bruce.
Kori laughed. "Oh, no. You are not a girl. Besides I was not sure that Mar'i was even going to go through this considering she is only half Tamaranean."
Bruce looked down. "Like how I can't fly yet?"
Kori tilted her head and her face softened. "You know that you may still have time."
"Mar'i showed signs of flight when she was three. I can't even float and I'm seven", pouted Bruce.
Kori kissed the top of his head. "Then perhaps you shall be like your father and your grandfather." She stood up rubbing her stomach. She grabbed a towel for her son and she wrapped him in it. "Now, let us go get changed. We are expected at your grandfather's for dinner."
Bruce smiled. "I love you mommy." He gave her a hug.
"So mom really went through all that?",asked Mar'i.
Dick nodded. "I almost lost her that day too."
"Wow", replied Mar'i. "I feel like a real bi-I mean a real jerk."
Dick nodded. "I think you owe someone an apology."
Mar'i nodded. "I was so mad and freaked out that I didn't think of mom's feelings. Do you think she'll forgive me?"
Dick gave her an 'are you serious?' look. "This is your mother we're talking about. The same lady who forgave her sister three times."
"Thanks daddy", said Mar'i. She wrapped her arms around her father.
Dick wrapped his arms back. "No problem, kiddo." He moved his head back. "Oh and please do me a favor and not stress your pregnant mother. I don't want to risk anything."
"I promise",said Mar'i.
There was a knock on the door. They both looked over to Kori. "I do not mean to interrupt but if we do not leave now I believe we will be late for dinner."
Mar'i jumped out of bed and ran to her mother. Kori moved back as Mar'i's arms wrapped around her. "Easy sweetheart", said Kori placing her hand on the side of her stomach.
"Mom, I'm really sorry. I shouldn't have said those things to you about hating being alien. I actually like it. I don't know what I'd do without my flight." Mar'i looked up at her mother.
Kori smiled at her daughter. "Of course I can forgive you. But I shall apologize as well. I should have mentioned the transformation earlier." Kori kissed the top of Mar'i's head. "But do not fret. This will not last very long."
"How are you sure?",asked Mar'i. "Aunt Kom turned purple for a week. I don't think I can handle a week."
Kori squeezed her daughter. "I am your mother and I predict it will not last longer than Sunday."
Dick walked over to his wife and took her hand. "C'mon honey. Mar'i needs to change and so do I."
Kori nodded and left her daughter's room with her husband hand in hand. She placed her head on her husband's shoulder as they walked towards their room. Dick looked down at his wife who seemed to be in deep thought. "Watcha thinking?"
Kori looked up at her husband. "I am just praying to X'hal that we do not end up with another girl. I do not think I can go through this again."
Dick laughed and then picked his wife up bridal style. Kori let out a surprised yelp. "Come wife. Let me treat you like a princess."
"We only have three minutes", said Kori.
Dick smirked. "That's all I need."
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