by Kass

Written for Purimgifts 2011. Thanks to kouredios for beta!

It's been a good day. Huck smiled at him and blew raspberries. Molly looked at him seriously, with what felt to Toby like devotion, and kicked her feet as though she were training for a marathon. He's just put the two of them in their respective cribs and turned on the mobiles and ducked quietly out of the room when an appalling thought occurs to him.

He finds Andi in the kitchen, microwaving a cup of the morning's leftover coffee. She looks good. Tired, but good.

"Have you been dating anyone?"

Might as well get the question out into the open, because now that it's occurred to him, Toby needs to know.

Andi sets the mug down with her spoon of sugar in it and stares at him. "I beg your pardon?"

"Dating. Other guys. Are you doing it."

Andi crosses her arms over her chest. "First of all, 'other guys' implies that I'm dating you in the first place, which -- let's be clear -- I'm not."

Toby scowls, but he can't actually argue with her logic. She's been clear about what she wants from him, or doesnt want from him, since the day the twins were born. Or before, really; he just hadn't wanted to hear it. "Fine. My question stands."

"I'm in the United States Congress and I'm the single mother of two four-month-old babies," Andi says dryly. "When exactly do you imagine I would have time to date?"

The relief which washes over him makes him lightheaded for an instant. Toby sits down in a kitchen chair, harder than he meant to. "Good. I mean, obviously, whatever works for you is fine with me, it's none of my business anyway."

Andi stirs her coffee, drops the spoon in the sink, and crosses to sit in the other kitchen chair. "Toby," she says, cupping her mug in her hands, her voice more gentle now than it has been all day. "You know this isn't dating. This is you getting time with the babies, and me getting a goddamned break."

"I know," Toby says, and he does. "I don't know how you do it, but I want to help as much as you'll let me."

Andi's lips crook into a wry smile. "How I do it is, I employ Dora."

Dora is the nanny. She's from Venezuela. From what Toby's seen, she's wild about the kids. He likes that.

"I just -- if you were," Toby says, and looks down at his hands, "I mean, the kids don't see me that often anyway; I think they know who I am, but--"

The press of Andi's hand on his is brief and surprising. Her palm is warm from cupping her coffee, and she squeezes his hand and then lets go.

"You're their dad," she says, and stands up. "You don't think they're always gonna know that? You're going to drive them crazy, just like your old man does for you."

Toby's father has been a sore subject between them for as long as Toby can remember (Andi always wanted to spend time with him; Toby knows better than to buy into his bullshit and always has) but hearing Andi say that is actually kind of comforting.

"I guess so," Toby says, and thinks about their two sleeping children, and smiles.

The End