221: Fish Food

on May 21, 2008 in Book 8

In Which Mackenzie Is Disturbing

Having been excused from most of the work of picking out the decor, I was hoping to likewise be left out of the decorating, but Amaranth had other ideas. She and Two had apparently settled on the scheme of stacking the beds together, something they had little hope of accomplishing without my help.

Having been an only child and a lonely child, I could remember having an attraction to the idea of bunk beds when I was younger. The thought had even crossed my mind when Two, my surrogate sister, had moved into the room with me. Being a college-aged woman with college-aged womanly interests, I had a lot less of a “Kee Whiz” feeling about the subject, but it wasn’t a bad idea. Having seen how much more usable floor the small folks’ rooms had with their downsized furniture, I was in favor of reclaiming some space.

I did have a question, though.

“Who’s going to be on top?”

“I think, for reasons of general safety, that should probably be Two,” Amaranth said.

“I guess you’re right,” I said. “With two or three people in mine, that could get dangerous.”

“Hmm? Oh, yes… that, too,” Amaranth said.

Two stripped down her bed, and then Amaranth had me lift the mattress up so they could get the new pad and fitted sheet onto it. Once both beds were made with the new sheets, we wrestled Two’s into place on top of mine. I could lift the beds pretty easily, but the other two had to take the far end to steady it and guide the legs into place. We got the modular beds locked together without any serious mishaps, and then I was free to go.

But where to go and what to do?

On the one hand, I had a private mirror for my own use. I’d had to sign an agreement on the loaner saying I was responsible for paying a replacement fee if I lost or damaged it, but there were no explicit restrictions on reflections made or received. I could chat with Ian for a bit…

But on the other hand, I had a big fluffy bathrobe and baskets of scented bubbles and oils to play with.

Bath or mirror?

I giggled at the thought of combining the two. It was a hand mirror, after all. What exactly prevented me from taking it in the bath?

Several things, on reflection… no pun intended. One, as previously noted, it was mine to use and not mine to break… and a bathroom with stone fixtures seemed like a bad place to take a highly fragile magical item that wasn’t mine. Two, even with the curtain closed it wasn’t exactly a private area. Three, Ian had a roommate. As titillating as it might sound to give him an eyeful, I couldn’t be sure there wouldn’t be other eyes present.

Well, I could at least say hello before my bath, anyway. I pulled the little black compact out of my pocket and flipped it open. Unfortunately, “Ian Mason, Weyland Hall, Magisterius University” wasn’t answering his mirror.

Oh, well. I’d tried.

Two and Amaranth had taken the blinds off the window and were hanging curtains when I got back to the room. The operation seemed far more complicated than the relatively simple needs of covering a window could possibly call for, involving at least three separate layers that I could make out.

I knocked gently on the doorframe so as not to startle them, as they were standing on the desk chairs.

“Hey,” Amaranth said. “I’ll be with you in a minute.”

“Um, can I have my bathrobe and some of my bath stuff?” I asked.

“Sure, baby,” Amaranth said. “What do you want?”

“The peppermint,” I said.

“Okay,” she said. “One… second.”

The curtains, along with the rest of the new furnishings, were in shades of light blue. There were flowers, but so tiny that you could overlook them, which I chose to do. The blankets, the rug, and even the window coverings would all serve the purpose of protecting from the coming cold of winter. If they worked, I could handle some tiny little flowers.

Once Amaranth had secured the cloth which hung across the top of the window frame, she stepped carefully down, turning around with my bathrobe and a basket of bath stuff in her arms. I stepped into the room, closing the door behind me, and changed into the robe. It held a bit of warmth, as if it had been dried in the not-too-distant past.

“Thanks,” I said.

“Have a good bath,” Amaranth said. “I’ll arrange the rest of your stuff on top of your dresser, or something. We should be done before too long.”

“Are you… um… were you going to…”

“Oh, I’m totally sleeping here tonight,” Amaranth said. “After doing so much work getting the room into shape? You just try to keep me away, baby.”

She kissed me, and I headed out of the room and down the hall, feeling almost giddy. Two nights in a row with my owner, my Amaranth… and our first night together snuggled under the new blankets. It was almost too much to be believed. I’d felt selfish and stupid asking, but she had already made up her mind, so that was okay.

I shouldn’t have been surprised to see Feejee in her usual haunt, but I froze at the sight of her sitting in the tub with the end of her tail flipping idly up and down. She was humming to herself. She hadn’t heard me come in, but when the bathroom door finally swung shut behind me, she jumped, too.

“Oh… hi,” she said, after twisting around and seeing me.

“Hi,” I said, wondering if I could just pop into one of the stalls for a minute and leave… or head into the showers. A hot shower wasn’t what I wanted, but it was never a bad thing.

“Taking a bath?” she asked, her eyes going to the shrink-wrapped basket in my hands. Her tone was guardedly hopeful… so guarded, I couldn’t tell what answer she was hoping for.

As usual, the truth spilled out of my mouth without any conscious thought.

“Uh, yeah,” I said. “I mean, I was going to.”

“Oh,” she said. She turned to face the wall. Maybe she didn’t feel like talking today? “Good.”

I started the bath. I waited until I had the water turned on to let out a great big sigh of resignation. If she wasn’t in the mood to be sociable, maybe she wouldn’t object if I closed the curtain this time. On some level, I probably needed to have a serious conversation with Feejee about what had happened on Saturday, but on several levels it didn’t need to be right this minute, and not in such a public place.

In a few minutes, the tub was filling nicely and the foamy bubbles were piled high on top of the water. I’d probably used too much, but it was still kind of exciting and new to me. I shrugged off my nice, towel-like robe and quickly slipped into the bath, then went to pull the curtain closed.

“Hiding from me now?” Feejee asked.

“I… I didn’t know if you felt like talking,” I said.

“Oh,” she said. “Well… there’s some things we probably shouldn’t talk about, here, but that doesn’t mean… I mean, we can talk about other things.”

“Yeah,” I agreed. I shut off the water and settled myself down in the minty scented mist. “I guess so.”

Feejee sniffed the air.

“What’s that flavor?” she asked. She blushed. “Fragrance, I mean.”

“Peppermint,” I said.

“Well, you smell good,” she said. “It! I meant ‘it’… it smells good.”

“Thanks,” I said.

“Not that you don’t smell good… I mean, you kind of have a flavor all your own,” she babbled. “Kind of like fish that’s been cooked over a vent, you know? Not that you taste like fish! Better, much… um… maybe we should just talk later.”

“Okay,” I said. I closed the curtain and tried to relax.

“The thing is,” she said, out of the blue several minutes later. “The thing is… I wasn’t expecting that to happen, last night.”

I was pretty sure if Amaranth had been in the tub with me, she would have told me to stop making faces. I sighed and pulled the curtain open a bit.

“Really? Because I was totally expecting it,” I said. “I think my horoscope mentioned something about it, actually: ‘Today is a good day to start a new business venture or be nibbled by fish people.'”

“We shouldn’t be talking about this,” Feejee said.

“Agreed.” I started to put the curtain back.

“The thing is,” she said, not two seconds later, “I was really just looking to talk in private. I just… well, I expected you to be a little bit more, well, ‘Grrrr!'” She held up her hands in front of her mouth, with her fingers either representing claws or teeth. “But… you were so different from what I expected, and then Io pointed out…”

She shrugged.

“Sorry to disappoint you,” I said.

“Oh, I wasn’t disappointed!” she said. “It was actually a pleasant surprise… right up until the point that your boyfriend broke in and you threw up all over the place. Before that, it was kind of nice. Um, well… except…”

“Except?” I asked.

“Except it was a little… disturbing,” she said. “No offense.”

“None taken,” I said. “That’s actually kind of a relief, to know you thought so, too.”

“You get why it would be disturbing, right?” she said.

“Because you know me?” I asked.

“Um, no, not really,” she said. “I mean, I do, but that’s… the thing is, it kind of, sort of seemed like you were having something a bit like an orgasm in the middle of it.”

“Uh… I kind of was, actually,” I mumbled.

“What?”

“I did,” I said. “I did have an orgasm.”

“See, I just didn’t expect you to take something natural and beautiful and turn it into some big gay thing,” she said. “Oh! That came out all wrong. Not that it’s not natural… I mean, I don’t know much about how that works. It just threw me, a little, once it was all over and I was looking back on it. I mean, it started off nicely enough. You seemed to be scared shitless, which was nice… though I was afraid that was going to be literal, which would have been a bitch to explain or clean up.”

“Yeah, um, I don’t actually have to worry about that particular problem,” I said. “Scared or no.”

“Well that’s handy,” Feejee said. “But, I mean… pain, terror, and then out of nowhere… orgasm.” She gave a big, dramatic shrug. “Maybe it’s me? Maybe I have the problem. I don’t know. It was just a little jarring.”

“I’m sorry,” I said. “If we ever do it again, I’ll try not to ruin your experience by enjoying myself.”

“Oh, I don’t mind if you enjoy yourself a little,” she said. “Just as long as you don’t, you know, enjoy yourself. That’s just creepy.”

“Right,” I said.

“So… do you want to come back to my room for a bit?”

“No,” I said. “I don’t think so.”

“Are you sure? Because Celia’s never in before eleven or twelve.”

“Seriously, no,” I said. “I’ve had a long day, I think Amaranth might be sleeping over, we’ve got new blankets and everything… I really just want to relax.”

“Oh, okay,” Feejee said.

I started to close the curtain again, but once more, she piped up again before I had it in place.

“Do you know what would probably help you relax?”

“Mortal terror?” I asked, exasperated. “Is that it? If you’re going to say mortal terror…”

“I was going to say one of those music boxes,” she said. “I’ve been thinking about getting one for in here and I’ve been meaning to ask your opinion.”

“Oh,” I said, cheeks flushed with unaccountable embarrassment over my outburst. “Um, I don’t listen to a lot of music.”

“I don’t really know a lot of human music, but Rick’s been getting me to listen to some of the… bands? Is that the word?” I nodded. “The bands he likes. Some of it’s okay. I prefer the bits of classical music I’ve heard.”

“Me, too,” I said.

“Maybe we could go in together on something?” she said. “I mean, since we’re in here so often… and if we have similar ta… um, preferences.”

“Yeah, maybe,” I said, warming to the idea. After having blown so many coins already, you might expect I’d be leery about the prospect of making another major purchase, but it seemed like the more I spent, the easier it was to spend more. It might as well have been a new thaumatological principle: shopping begets shopping.

“Oh!” Feejee said, her tail slapping the edge of the tub as if for emphasis as she remembered something. “Iona had a question she wanted me to ask you.”

“What?”

“If you, you know, weren’t alive any more… would your body still be invulnerable?” she asked.

“You know, this isn’t really very relaxing,” I said, reaching for the drain plug.

“I promised I’d ask, is all.”

“Good night, Feejee,” I said, standing up and brushing the bubbles off my skin.

“Are you sure you won’t come back to my room for a bit?” she asked, turning big, sea green eyes on me imploringly.

“Dead sure,” I said. “Goodnight, Feejee.”

“Goodnight, then.”


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7 Responses to “221: Fish Food”

  1. pedestrian says:

    NOOO!! Don’t go down into that dark, scary basement.

    Again…..

    Our Mack smartening up. Took a brick to her head to do it….
    but hey, whatever rocks your boat…right?

    Current score: 0
  2. Predator says:

    I think that both of them have forgotten that FeeJee came when Mack did. Because she totally did.

    Current score: 13
  3. Chester Burster says:

    i think thats what feejee finds disturbing, the fact that her feelings during a ‘natural feeding’ thing turned into weird fish-mammal-lesbian thing
    just saying if i was a shapeshifting shark monster, it would freak me out if i orgasmed to my chew toy

    she might have crush denial too, like mack does on sooni

    Current score: 14
  4. Sher says:

    ArghhH! I wanted her to go back with Feejee!

    Current score: 4
    • Anon says:

      Last time they were pretty loud. They’d need like, Victor-level soundproofing to get past the first couple nibbles without getting the door bashed in.

      Not to mention poor Dee down the hall…

      Current score: 5
  5. Sahsa says:

    For a man-eating (or is it Mack-eating?) predator, I find Feejee pretty damn adorable. She’s cute when she’s trying to invite Mack for another round of feeding. That said, even though it’s kind of an instinctual thing for her, she should probably work a little bit harder on restraint, for the sake of both herself and others.

    Current score: 6