Domestic life after the baby dilemma -- Gallifreya
Gloria was crying. She'd been crying for hours.
Disastra moaned. She hadn't slept enough to focus her magic. Therefore she used her wand to prod Calamity. "It's your turn."
"N'h did it las' time..."
"No you didn't, I did it last time. GO!"
"...five mo' minutes..."
"NO! YOU HAD THE STUPID IDEA TO STEAL A STUPID BRAT!"
"You had th' same one," Calamity grumbled. She, too, had had a rough night. Neither of them had expected to gain custody of the child. There had always been a way for the heroes to keep the infant, somehow. Before today, anyway.
Disastra sank back into sleep for all of a second, it felt like, before Calamity was digging at her with an elbow. "Your. Turn."
"I jus' got t' sleep..."
"And now you can wake up. The child you stole needs you."
Disastra moaned all the way to the crying child. Gloria. Cleaned her mess and made certain she was fed and burped. What was she thinking? Demanding a child? It was tradition, she knew it, but...
She never expected to get it.
She never expected the exhausting, infuriating, thankless work of actually looking after the child. Much less sharing a home with it and the other witch who had a legal claim to her.
Gloria knew nothing of it. With luck, she was immune to the arguing that went on outside her hearing. Immune to the hostility between herself and Calamity.
Inside this room. In front of Gloria, they both played at being civil. At being friendly. Any barbs they flung at each other were in a singsong voice so as not to frighten the babe. Neither of them wanted to scar her mind with their bickering.
Gloria clung to Disastra. Actively attempting to hug her back. Her babbling turned into the word, "Mama". And Disastra's heart nearly broke. "That's right," Disastra cooed. "I'm your Mommy... For now until you're grown."
Calamity was looking in. "You're going soft," she singsonged. "Next thing you know, you'll start being kind to strangers."
"We're under a legal obligation to be kind to her," Disastra singsonged in return. "But you'd know that if you actually paid attention to things. Like the mountain of washing up in the sink."
"I'll take care of it when you take care of those soiled diapers in the laundry room."
It was easy to love Gloria. She was a loveable child. It was harder to get along with Disastra, but for Gloria, she had to try.
Now that the girl was walking and talking, things were a little easier. She still took up a majority of their time, but now they had sleep enough to concentrate, they had their magic.
Maybe a little necromancy on the goldfish was cheating, but admitting it was dead would make Gloria cry. And maybe a vile curse on vermin was cheating, too, but it kept the food fresher for longer, which was a boon while they were in a cottage in the middle of nowhere.
Calamity paused in setting up the table to watch Disastra teaching Gloria. Simple spells.
"Now. Look at Dolly... point the wand... and think... 'up'."
That one was going to bite them, later on. But Gloria managed to make the doll stand and walk in a clumsy way, all the way up to her eager arms.
"Now you remember. It's you making it happen. It's not Dolly. It's all you."
Gloria fell to giggles. "Mama's watching you."
Calamity quickly turned away, allegedly looking for the cutlery.
"Now who's going soft?" teased Disastra.
"Oh hush, you emotional cow."
"Soft-hearted old fool."
Gloria laughed to hear them hurling insults at each other. But they were hardly insults, any more. They no longer stung, but fell on each other's ears like gentle caresses.
No. They couldn't love each other. It wasn't right for a wicked witch to be in love. They were heard-hearted, wicked things made out of malice and spite. They loved Gloria because of a fairy's blessing. Nothing more.
Loving each other...
...might be nice.
Disastra came up for air after the kiss. Well. There was no turning back, now. She let the love flow out of her and reshape everything in the cottage. It was like breathing again for the first time after a subjective aeon underwater.
Calamity looked similarly oxygenated. "You're crying, you sentimental old fool."
"You too, you daft old bat."
Gloria was clapping. "Again, again, again, again!"
And somehow, Gloria always got what she wanted.