In the Sheppard-Crane household, things tended towards the chaotic. As was the norm when you had two small children and two husbands running around underfoot. Donna sort of liked that about her family. She pondered the topic as she meandered around their rooms, picking up dropped toys and a coffee mug.
Living in Atlantis was interesting. At first it had been kind of strange to think that her kids weren't even going to grow up on Earth, but she adjusted, got used to it. Teaching the Athosian kids was different, but it kept her occupied. Which reminded her, she had tests to mark.
She sat down on the bed and got out the pile of papers, wielding her red pen and correcting spelling mistakes and generally marking.
She heard Gillian come in before she saw the little girl. She grinned. “Hi, Gilly-bean. Where are you supposed to be right now?”
“With you!” Gillian clambered up onto the bed and curled into Donna’s side. “I was sitting with Papa, but Robert wanted to have a manly – he’s not EVEN a man, Mommy – talk with Papa about boy things, so Papa said I should have a womanly talk with you so I didn’t feel lefted out.” She beamed with pride.
“Well, that’s just fair enough.” She put aside her papers and turned so they were facing each other, and gave her daughter a very serious look. “What shall we have a womanly talk about, baby girl?”
“How come I have three whole parents?” Gillian asked, looking as serious as she possibly could. (This was, for the record, really quite serious.) “Other kids only have two, mostly.”
“We-ell,” Donna had figured, when the kids were born, that they were going to face this question sooner or later. She’d been kind of hoping for later rather than sooner, but she could take it either way. She took Gillian’s hands in her own and tilted her head thoughtfully. “It’s like this, Gilly-bean. Back when I was a little girl – older than you are, but a still a little girl – I met your daddy. And we fell in love, like you do.”
“Did you kiss lots?” Gillian asked eagerly. “You kiss lots now!”
Donna laughed. “Yeah, baby girl. We kissed lots. And we held hands, and were generally the cutest little couple ever. He even asked me to marry him; we loved each other that much. Now, some things happened. Not very nice things, that Mommy will tell you about maybe when you’re older, okay? We’re thinkin’ happy thoughts today, if that’s all right with Miss Gilly.” She tickled Gillian’s nose and grinned. “So, Mommy said she didn’t want to marry Daddy any more, and we didn’t talk to each other for a while. Seven whole years, Gilly-bean, it was seven whole years before I saw your daddy again. And when I did see him, you know who was with him?”
Eyes wide with rapt attention, Gillian shook her head.
“Your papa was with him, honey.” She smiled, thinking back to John and Jonathan’s Chicago vacation that had resulted in their hurried wedding. “So we sort of skirted around each other for a while, as you do, and then—“
“What then, Mommy?”
“Well, and then we decided that since I loved your daddy, and your papa loved your daddy, we would just all be together. And then eventually, your papa and I loved each other, too. And that’s how it happened. It was just the way things are meant to be for us. Does it bother you, that you have two fathers instead of just one?”
Gillian shook her head quickly. “No! I love Daddy and Papa. I just wondered…”
Donna kissed her forehead and smiled. “Well, then.”