A/N: Because of reasons. Hopefully this grows to become an actual story.


Curiosity

"How duh babees happ'n?"

It is only when Rose no longer seems to find trying to chew her own foot fascinating that she is willing to utter a few precious syllables. Still, to Frank — proud father as of 2009 — the waiting is worth it.

Rose spoke her first word in early 2010. It was "cock". Months later, Frank discovered that it was had been his younger sister, while supposedly looking after a one year-old Rose, discussing the merits of—

"How does what?"

Rose — all coiled curls and shining green eyes and mouth hanging open — smashes her Hulk action figure against the fleecy carpet one, two, three times, looking perturbed by unanswered questions that she is precarious to ask. "How duh babies," she corrects, drawling the word as though to prove a point, "happ'n?"

Franks eyes dart frantically around. "Well. . . ."

There is the idealized approach, and there is the realistic approach. Frank decides to go for the former.

"People like to say that babies are born of love," he begins, enunciating each word with as much clarity as he can muster. He can feel his throat grow dry and thin beads of sweat sliding across his forehead. (Or perhaps he is simply overreacting.)

"Wuv," mumbles Rose, smashing Hulk on the carpet once more.

"Yeah." A small smile plays on the corners of Frank's lips. "Wuv."

Rose allows Hulk one moment of serenity. "Was I born of love?"

"Yes, Rosie. Yes, you were. Not all people are so lucky."

"Yeah, but how do babies happ'n?"

Okay. Idealized approach failed spectacularly.

"Well. You see, babies come from here." He taps his finger softly against Rose's belly. A terrified look crosses her face. Abort, abort. "Uh, never mind that. Let's see. All right." Here goes nothing. "How does a baby come to be? We have two people, right?" Rose nods. "They might love each other, they might not. These people, well, they have . . . a difference."

"You mean, one has a thingy, and the other has a down-there."

Lifesaver. No exaggeration.

"Yes, you're right."

A bright smile spreads across Rose's face. "Yay!"

Okay. What now?

"Well, those . . . parts," Frank begins reluctantly, "where made to fit each other."

"Made? By who?"

"No one in particular. Just . . . made." One complicated matter at a time, Rosie.

"Okay."

"So, when these parts are connected. . . ." This could not go worse, even if I tried.

"Connected?" Genuine curiosity flashes in Rose's eyes, and Frank vows to stop provoking clichés. They listen, most of the time.

"Yes, Rosie. Sometimes, if two people aren't careful—" Whoa, whoa! "—or if they really want to have a baby—"

"The down-there throws up A BABY?"

"What." It is hardly a question. Rather, it is more of the expression of muted shock.

Rose scrunches up her nose, deciding baby-happ'ning is not for her. "Daddy, I love you," she says, picking up the Hulk action figure as she rises, "but you are so icky."

And with that, she skips to her bedroom (or perhaps to another room, in order to flummox someone else with her childish curiosity), her chestnut curls flowing behind her, and Hulk dangling hopelessly from her grasp.

the end