89: The Mouths of Babes

on October 29, 2007 in 04: The Body Politick

In Which Two Is Apparently Mistaken

It took a bit longer than it normally would have for us to get back from the outskirts of the forest to the central area of campus where the dorms and the union were located. It had been a quarter till five when the class had ended, and now it wasn’t too early to start thinking about dinner.

At least, that’s what I assume Steff was thinking, since we were kind of drifting in that general direction. I was more than happy to surrender myself to her guidance, as I gave up my body to her quick, nimble hands and my mind to her voice.

“I’ve been thinking,” I said, after a lull. “I spent the whole class working on my defense, and I know I’ve got a long way to go, but I was doing a lot better by the end than I was at the start.”

“That’s great!” Steff said.

“Yeah,” I said. “So, I figure if I work at it a lot… and get really good at avoiding and blocking hits… then I don’t really need to worry about attacking, right?”

“Don’t you think that sooner or later, your opponent will get in a good shot?” Steff asked.

“Well, maybe… but the fight’s got to end sometime, right?” I said.

“And how exactly is it going to end if you won’t fight back?” Steff asked. “And don’t forget that anybody who knows what you are can gain a huge advantage, if you don’t put them down first.”

“Yeah, but… I don’t think I could,” I said, shaking my head.

“That’s why you’re in class,” Steff said.

“No, I mean… that girl I was fighting, Gloria,” I said… remembering the pure, dazzling smile, and the graceful stride. “How do you even begin to hit somebody like that?”

“Oh, I would love to show you,” Steff said.

“I’m serious!” I said.

“So am I,” Steff said. She took a step away from me, drawing her daggers and giving them a twirl before returning them to their sheaths. “I can’t wait until she moves up to Callahan’s section. I swear, I’ll gut her like a fish first chance I get.”

“Steff!” I said, appalled. I shrank away from her reflexively, and immediately felt bad for it.

“With mock weapons, in practice fighting, I mean!” she said, her face and voice making it clear she was genuinely hurt by my reaction. Shit. I was such an idiotic jerk sometimes. “Kheez, you’re taking this way too seriously.”

“I’m sorry… but you’re talking about gutting another living being,” I said, a little defensively.

Steff stared at me, shaking her head and clucking softly.

“What?” I asked.

“I wish I had a recording crystal,” she said. “I’d record some of the shit that falls out of your mouth… and play it back for you every time you feel the need to start going on about ‘Oh, I’m soooo evil, I’m all demonic, I’m really, really bad, I could hurt someone!'” She put her fingers up by the sides of her head like horns while she did this, and spoke in a high, mocking singsong.

“Don’t do that!” I said, slapping at her hands, though she danced away. “Demons don’t even have horns. You’re just perpetuating stereotypes that get people with horns in… will you quit laughing!”

She’d stopped with the horns, but only because she was clutching her stomach, she was laughing so hard.

“It isn’t funny,” I said.

“Two is more evil than you are,” Steff said. “Name one bad thing you’ve done today.”

“I… I yelled at Ian,” I said.

“You also went down on him,” Steff said. “And talking with your mouth full isn’t exactly a sin.”

“Having sex outside of marriage is,” I pointed out.

“Do you really believe that?” Steff asked, giving me a scathing look.

“Well… no,” I admitted. “But I know it still is.”

“How does that work?” she asked. “You don’t believe it’s a sin, but you know it is?”

“Well, what I believe about that kind of stuff’s hardly going to matter, is it?” I pointed out.

“So, then, obviously, you think… no, you know… that I live a sinful life,” Steff said.

“No!” I said quickly.

“I go down on guys at the drop of a curiously located hat,” Steff said. “And I’m sure as hell not married to any of them. If you’re telling me that’s a sin…”

“It isn’t!” I said.

“Okay, it isn’t,” Steff said.

“But…”

Steff shushed me.

“But, nothing,” she said. “From now on, anybody who wants to say you’re evil will have to answer to me… and that includes you. Got it?”

I nodded, and she took her finger off my lips.

“Let’s see if we can’t hook up with the others… it’s not too early to be thinking about dinner, and I need to tell your lovely owner that you showed up for class after all,” Steff said. “And I’m sure you’ll want to tell her about your little adventure.”

“She already knows,” I said. “It was actually her idea… well, her order.”

“Huh… I guess her nymphstincts must be really keen,” Steff said. “I never would have guessed you were ready for that.”

“Yeah, well, I wouldn’t really have guessed that, either,” I admitted. “But… um… it was kind of okay. I just hope Ian doesn’t want it all the time now.”

“Well, he might just have to be disappointed,” Steff said.

“Not really,” I said. “I’m kind of supposed to do it, whenever he wants.”

Steff stared at me.

“For real?” she asked.

I nodded.

“That’s so fucking hot,” she said, finally. “You and Amy are really diving into this ‘toy’ thing. That’s awesome… I just wish I would have known that before, when I was stoking your furnace. That opens up whole new planes of possibilities.”

I blushed, imagining what she might have said… well, I actually couldn’t, but I blushed from thinking about it, all the same.

“I just wish…” Steff began.

“What?” I asked.

“I just wish it was me,” she said.

“Well,” I said. “I am supposed to obey your orders… so… I mean…”

I sensibly trailed off, realizing for once that I was about to devolve into incomprehensibility. My head started to drop, but Steff cupped my chin with her hand and raised it back up. It struck me that I spent more time looking at Steff’s face, looking into her eyes, then I did most girls. A voice in my head suggested that this was because she had a less-than-impressive bosom, but I think it was her eyes.

It wasn’t just that they were pretty… though they were pretty… but more that they were hungry eyes. They didn’t just grab my attention, they held onto me and ate me up. No matter what emotion was on her face, there was a sense of need, stronger than desire, that never left her eyes.

Her finger brushed my mouth. Impulsively, I opened my lips and sucked in the tip, bobbing my head ever so-slightly, playing my tongue around her nail. Steff shuddered and gasped.

“Hi, Mack!”

The sound of Two’s voice, full of the detached yet sincere cheeriness with which she usually greeted me, made me jump, biting Steff’s finger in the process. I caught myself before doing serious harm, but the taste of her blood… exotic and sweet, with a sort of heaviness that would have been proof of her lack of virginity had such been necessary… touched my tongue regardless.

“I’m sorry!” I said as she stuck her bleeding finger in her mouth and sucked on it. The sight… and the thought that the same blood was now in both of our mouths… gave me a weird chill.

“Don’t sweat it… I’ve begged for harder bites than that,” she said. “Anyway, I know the drill… no fun an’ games in front of the kid sister.”

“Sometimes, I’m honestly not sure if she’s my kid sister or if I’m hers,” I said.

“I said ‘hi, Mack!'” Two repeated with just a trace of stubborn irritation as she came up the path towards us. “You should greet somebody back when they greet you.”

“Hi, Two,” I said, a little sheepishly.

“Hi, Steff!” she said.

“Heya, pseudowench,” Steff said, pulling her in close for a hug and giving her a quick peck on the cheek. Why didn’t I do stuff like that? The hug, at least. Hugging still didn’t come naturally to me, but Steff seemed to do it without thinking.

“Your hand… it’s bleeding!” Two said, spying the ragged tear in the flesh part of Steff’s finger.

“Oh, this?” Steff said, holding up the injured digit. “It’s nothing, really… Mack just got a little carried away. Honestly, after what she said about me earlier, she could chew off an arm or two and I’d still be in heaven.”

“Wait, what did I say?” I asked. It seemed like we’d had a pretty intense conversation… even not counting the sex talk… but I didn’t think I’d said anything that incredibly special.

“You know what you said, silly,” Steff said, putting an arm around me again and pulling me in close. “About how I’m just like any other girl, to you.”

“Yeah,” I said, confused. “That wasn’t exactly a compliment.”

“Okay, I know you’ve got the crazy self-loathing thing going on with regards to your sex,” Steff said. “So maybe I shouldn’t take it as a compliment… but I can’t help it. There might be times in the future where I momentarily forget this, but… in general… I’m going to consider it a wonderful, precious gift that you count me as just one of the icky girls and not as a boy.”

I snorted and pushed her away.

“Don’t be ridiculous,” I said. “Why would I count you as a boy?”

“See, and you don’t even think it’s a big thing,” Steff said, laughing and waving her hand at me dismissively. “Just like it never occurs to you that you might not be evil… that’s what I love about you. It’s frustrating as hell sometimes, but I love it.”

“Um, thanks,” I said.

First, Amaranth had decided that all the badness in the world could be cured by me blowing Ian… and now Steff was making a big deal over this. Why did it seem like everybody else had got an extra ration of crazy potion today?

“Steff?” Two said, questioningly. She took a deep breath. “I… would like… to speak to you alone, please.”

We both stared at her. It was the first time she’d requested something like this from anybody. I certainly had nothing against Steff… and didn’t want to think of myself as jealous of Two’s attention and affection… but it shocked the hell out of me that it wasn’t me she wanted to talk to.

Maybe I was jealous.

“Uh, okay,” Steff said. “Anywhere in particular, puddin’?”

“Over there would be fine,” Two said, pointing to a bench near some bushes, a little way off the path.

“Okay,” Steff said. She gave me an apologetic look. “I guess we’ll be right back.”

I watched them head off, Steff asking Two what was wrong and Two shaking her head resolutely until they reached the bushes and were most definitely out of my earshot. I watched Two put something to Steff, her face earnest as ever. Steff reacted with wide-eyed surprise, which turned to amusement, and shook her head emphatically as she answered. Two shook her head and said something again. I’m not a lip-reader, but I think she was repeating whatever she’d said the first time. Steff smiled, kissed her forehead, and shook her head again.

I didn’t have to be a lip-reader to recognize Two’s next words: “You are mistaken.” Steff shook her head insistently, pointed to me, said something that went on for a little bit, and then started to walk back towards me, still laughing.

My heart sank. I could only think of one thing that Two might have wanted to talk to Steff about alone… or rather, outside of my presence. She’d been reading the demonology book. I’d hoped it would teach her some sense about my inhuman heritage, but had she learned something which had frightened her? Had she been trying to warn Steff?

That would explain Steff’s reactions, too. She wasn’t ready to believe anything bad about me…

“What… what did she want?” I asked Steff as she headed back over, shaking with convulsive laughter. Two was walking a bit behind her, still shaking her head as if by reflex.

“Oh, you won’t believe it!” Steff said, laughing uncontrollably. “She… she… oh, fuck! Give me a minute. This is too… too precious…”

“It was nothing,” Two said. “I had thought that you did not know about Steff’s penis, but apparently I was mistaken.”

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6 Responses to “89: The Mouths of Babes”

  1. pedestrian says:

    “How do you even begin to hit somebody like that?”

    Very, very hard Mack. Then whack her zealot ass a couple of more times for good measure. “If it is worth doing, it is worth overdoing!”

    Or as the battle cry goes for the valiant Worshipful Soldiers of Holy Consumerism as they bravely credit charge their way throughout the demon teenager infested malls of America.
    And I quote: “Excess is Never Enough!

    Knight Templar Gloria will appreciate you offering her the opportunity to attain martyrdom. No, seriously, stop laughing!

    Current score: 0
  2. Psi-Ko says:

    I love calling something, and then having it revealed a couple chapters later, but fifty or so makes me feel so warm and fuzzy!

    Current score: 0
    • Maesenko says:

      I totally agree. I figured as much when I first read Steff’s full name. It was cemented for me when Prof. Ariadne first addressed Steff.

      I guess I’m just too used to stuff like this from reading TVtropes.

      Current score: 0
      • Rendia says:

        Yeah, after reading a webcomic where two of the main characters are trans, this wasn’t a surprise at all.

        Current score: 0
  3. tegid says:

    AAAAAAAAUGH

    I was still hoping that Amaranth or even Two would tell her before this happened.

    Current score: 0
  4. Mugasofer says:

    FINALLY. I was starting to get funny looks when I yelled at the screen.

    Current score: 6