How Green Becomes Wood

Inside the room, Daizi was curled up in the arm chair, quietly nursing. All day she had been wearing her fluffiest robe, to make it easy to do skin-to-skin contact, and as a result, most of the activity was covered up.

Dark had been watching her, but when Xander came in, he raised his head, giving a small smile, and said, "There you are. We were wondering where you had run off to."


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"I was just hanging out with this kid out in the hall who was also taking a hospital room break," Xander said casually. "Twins next door. Girl and boy."

"Ooo, twins! Twins are the best," Alec said cheerfully. "Good for them."

"Yeah, and they had the bad luck of getting the worst namers for parents," Xander grumbled. "They're naming the girl Dylan."

Alec made a face. "That poor kid."
"I'm glad the only twins I have, I didn't have to carry," Daizi remarked peacefully, her hair falling over one shoulder.

Dark chuckled at the name, "I do not even like Dylan as a masculine name. It is one of those names you cannot imagine on an adult, you cannot get beyond teenager. Still, there are worse names out there, when it comes down to it."

"I wonder what the little boy's name is..." She hummed, and then grinned, "No baby's name could be lovelier than your name, Ivy. You have the prettiest name of any baby anywhere in the world." She chuckled, and in her usual voice said, "And I'm allowed to say that, since none of you are babies anymore."
"And she's still learning her name, so we have to remind her of how perfect and lovely it is. Right, baby? Little Ivy-Qadira," Daizi said her daughter's name in a little sing-song voice, stretching the syllables in 'Qadira,' and then she sighed, "except I'm not really supposed to be talking to her now, when she's nursing, because it's so much work for her, she takes distractions really hard."


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"Can you just hum to her instead?" Alec asked cautiously. "Maye some of her favorite songs. Well, your favorite songs. Maybe she'll like the sound of it? And it'll soothe."

Xander hadn't really looked at Daizi when they came in, and he continued to do so now. He couldn't see anything, and he wanted to keep it that way. Other people might be far more relaxed with things of that nature, but it still made him uncomfortable, like he was seeing something he shouldn't, something only Dark should see. Not that he ever got quite that far in his conscious musings. Instead, he said, "Humming might be less distracting, and it's gotta be better than sitting in total silence, yeah?"
"Maybe. I should ask. I'm just glad she can nurse at all, we were told that if she were born last week, she probably would have needed a feeding tube." She closed her eyes, wishing she were home in that rocking chair they had so carefully chosen, but finding the act of feeding her child peaceful. It felt certain the twins didn't love what was happening, but they weren't making a fuss, so she wasn't bothered. Dark was also pleased with their relative calmness about the situation, because he knew if either of them said a word, Daizi certainly would have been short with them, and probably would have told them to wear a blanket over their own heads if it bothered them so much. And that, he was certain, would have begun a whole string of problems.

"She does enjoy music," Dark said, "she stops crying really quickly if you sing to her."


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Alec glanced around the small but decently comfortable room. "Is there anything you need or want to be more comfortable here?" he asked. "The doctors likely wouldn't like it if you burned incense, but maybe something that smells nice?"

"Can't be too strong or else it'll set off other people with sensitivities," Xander warned.

Alec indicated all the flowers. "How about an unlit candle? Some of those smell nice, and they don't smell any stronger than a flower. Flowers are welcome. Just don't light it."
"An unlit candle could be nice... I don't know if there will be anything strong enough to drown out the smell of this place. Nothing that isn't too strong to be allowed here, anyway. And there aren't enough pictures in the world to make it feel like home for me. And I just..." She trailed off, once again shoving down her feelings, "But I like that Dark brought the rainbow you made. Because that I can enjoy."


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Alec edged closer and put a hand on her shoulder, squeezing it gently. "I'm sorry," he said softly. After a moment, he suggested, "How about a couple of blankets from home? Would that help?"

Xander finally glanced at Daizi, eyes flitting between her and Alec before returning to their vague wall stare. "We can't bring the entire house to her. Maybe a few more things, but this room isn't that big."

"Then what can we bring?" Alec asked, unwavering. "Name it, and I'll carry it in myself."
Her face crumpled and she leaned against Alec's hand. At first she didn't say anything, but then she said, as she regained control of herself, "I'd like flowers from my own garden. I want my roses. And some of my mugs, so we don't have to drink from Styrofoam. Dark already brought my crystals and my cards. I wish I could have my harp, but it's so big, and I couldn't sit on the stool right now."

Dark was quiet, taking a brief glance at what was on his, 'to bring' list, but mostly watching Alec, who had thoroughly improved him.


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"We can get you those things," Alec promised her. "We can definitely do that, for certain. I'm sorry we can't bring your harp, but what if you had more music? Would that help? Probably not, you need the motion and feel of it, don't you? Hmm..." He thought for a moment. "How about one of those lap harps? The little ones they use to teach kids music. They don't take up any room and are quiet."

"I know where to get one of those," Xander said. "It's cheap, too."
Daizi cinched her eyebrows together and took a breath before raising her head. She was smiling, but it was small, and spoke volumes about how she was feeling, "Thank you. You don't... you don't have to get me anything. It just means a lot that you would want to. I just can't wait until you don't feel a pressure to fuss over me anymore, when I'm all healed up."

"They are still going to fuss over you," Dark said quietly.

"They don't fuss over you."

"Well, yes. You are special."


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"We do fuss over him, too, just much less, and much more secretly," Alec told her.

"Mostly less because he's not, you know, baby-oriented," Xander pointed out. "If he was in the hospital, we'd be finding some angsty music from the nineties to make him feel better."

"So, essentially, you are both very special," Alec told her cheerfully.
"I don't know what I'd do if he were hospitalized for something. Thankfully it's been a long time since we've been in that situation." Daizi sighed. Ivy had finished nursing, so she tucked herself away, careful to make sure neither twin saw something they couldn't unsee, and then passed the baby to Dark so he could burp her.

"I think the last time was when I completely dislocated my shoulder, but I was home soon enough." He looked down at Ivy's face, and in his sweet, higher voice, said, "Aw, are you sleepy now, hummingbird? You look sleepy." Then, as he flipped the cloth over his shoulder, he said, "It is good to know you would torture yourselves for me, if I were here because of something wrong with me."

"Technically nothing's wrong with me," she pointed out, "all things considered, her arrival went mostly well. But honestly, I just desperately want for you both to not feel like you need to worry about me. I'd hate if, in the future, you looked back and felt like you had to take care of me more than I took care of you."


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"You'd worry about us no matter how 'fine' we were if we were in the hospital, and you do worry about us no matter how 'fine' we are when we're not in the hospital," Alec pointed out. "I think it's just called being concerned for your family members."

"Sounds about right to me," Xander agreed. "We just want to look after each other, that's all."

"And the way it should be," Alec nodded.
"I know, I know," Daizi said gently, "and I don't want to get stuck on the same thing I've been stuck on all year, it's just... I don't want you to..."

Dark inhaled, and in a voice both loving and firm said, "Spider. They do not."

She shifted, and winced, "Okay... okay. I guess I just... hate feeling weak, and I don't want to let anyone down."

"You will not, and you are not."


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"No one likes feeling weak," Alec told her, "but everyone does find times when they are weak, and the entire point of having friends and family is so that you have someone who is strong when you are weak, right? No one can be strong all the time, nor should they. Besides, the only way you could ever let any of us down is if you walked away from this family, and I sincerely doubt you'd ever even consider that." He smiled and squeezed her shoulder. "You should get some rest so you can get home sooner."
"No," Daizi agreed quietly, "I would never walk away from this, you're all too important to me. I'll try to rest, but... Well it's not really my healing that determines when I go home, it's hers. If she didn't need to be here, even after everything I've gone through, we'd all be home." Still, she curled up in the chair, doing her best to be comfortable despite the afterpains, while Dark got up to lay Ivy down in her cot.

"I am sorry the hospital is so boring," he commented as they all settled back in, "it is all basically just sitting in a room staring at each other."