140: Quality Time

on January 22, 2008 in 05: The Weekend Shift

In Which Pussy Licking Becomes An Issue

Sooni dragged me by the hand all the way to the lounge and over to the couch. Maliko and Suzi were sitting in the chairs. Kai was sitting on the floor in front of the middle section of the couch.

Maliko glared at me like I’d stolen her prom date or something. Suzi just looked utterly bemused. Sooni paid attention to neither of them.

“You sit there,” Sooni told me, pointing to the seat by the wall. She sat down behind Kai, then yanked her off the floor and onto the other end seat. “Baby Kai-Kai will sit here, so you do not stare at her in an improper fashion.”

I turned to hide my smile. “An improper fashion?” I’d been pointedly avoiding looking at the smallest neko, who was dressed up in a ridiculously infantile costume to match the ridiculous infant sidekick of the titular Pretty Neko Science Princess. The outfit for this week included a sun hat and a giant pacifier which mostly shielded her face from view, a shirt with far too many ruffles and ribbons, and a big poofy diaper.

I felt almost grateful by comparison as I pulled on my shorts and put on my bra.

“It’s starting it’s starting it’s starting!” Sooni chirped. “Sit down before we miss it!”

Apparently, the TV didn’t work if anybody was standing.

“Nekos are so pretty,” Sooni sighed as the opening sequence started. It had an incomprehensible fast paced, high pitched babble of a theme song that alternated between lines in Yokano and a refrain in Pax that consisted of things like “Science is pretty! Go and dream it true!”

Sooni actually sang along, her hand reaching out towards the TV as if to stroke the images within it, despite the distance between us and the box. Her eyes seemed to have glazed over. Was there a culturally specific charm spell hidden in the broadcast or something?

Or maybe it was tailored to race… none of the living and breathing nekos in the room appeared to like it any better than I did. Maliko was putting in a huge effort to copy Sooni’s placid smile, though her eyes looked weary. Suzi wasn’t even looking at the TV. She was staring at her arm.

When the song ended and a commercial came on, I stood up, wanting to at least dash back to my room and grab some proper clothes.

“Sit down,” Sooni said, grabbing my wrist and trying to jerk me back into my seat. She wasn’t strong enough to do so, but she was strong enough to pull me off balance and make me bang my shin on the coffee table.

“I just want to get dressed,” I said.

“Why?” Sooni asked. “You don’t even wear clothes most of the time!”

“Well, I’m not going to sit here in my underwear,” I said, deciding not to argue that point. What Sooni had said wasn’t exactly true, but I was probably the only person who’d walked up and down the hall naked for non-cultural reasons.

“You just want to get away from me,” Sooni said in an accusatory tone. She sniffed. “You don’t want to watch TV with me.”

“Well… um… I really don’t,” I said.

What was the point in denying it? I hated Sooni. She hated me. There was no logical reason for us to remain in the same room.

“But you promised,” she said.

“Sooni, I didn’t,” I said.

“You said you never miss your show,” Sooni said. “You said you always watch it.”

“That’s not a promise,” I said.

“What is it, then?” she said. “A lie? Is that what it is? A funny, funny joke to play on me?”

I sat back down. It wasn’t worth the headache to argue with her. Anyway, it was an all-girls’ dorm. It probably wasn’t a gross transgression to sit in the lounge in shorts and a bra at five in the morning on Sunday.

“Okay, I’ll sit here and I’ll watch TV with you this time,” I said. “But no more, okay? I’m not doing this every week.”

“There is popcorn if you would like some,” Sooni said, lifting a metal bowl off the coffee table. “I made it myself.”

“Sooni, did you hear me?” I asked.

“Take some popcorn,” she said, pushing the bowl towards me.

“I don’t really like popcorn,” I said.

“If I did not want any, I would say ‘I do not care for any, thank you very much all the same.’,” Sooni said, putting the bowl back on the table with a flourish. “But I would probably eat some anyway, just to be polite. Do you know why? Because I have manners.”

She crossed her arms and turned her face away. Her bad mood lasted until the brightly colored animation came back.

The show was downright insipid. It apparently took place on an island full of adorable little cat people who went around talking about how pretty and wonderful everything is.

The princess of the adorable cat people was apparently in charge of taking pictures for the high school yearbook… you know, as princesses are so often wont to be.

Only, her camera worked with chemicals instead of magic. What did she call it?

A chem-cam, of course! Blargh.

Also, nobody seemed to know that their princess–the one they all called “S.P.”–was also the secret superhero, Science Princess. This was despite the fact that they looked the same, both had a baby sister that followed them around everywhere, and were both, you know, princesses.

I didn’t really want to follow the plot, but there wasn’t anything else to do. The story for the episode got set up pretty quickly, when a mysterious figure started showing up in S.P.’s pictures, but not the ones taken with regular magic cameras.

Everybody else thought it was a ghost and wanted to bring in priests, but S.P. wasn’t sure they would help. Even the members of her own science club doubted her. Such drama!

“Aren’t you doing anything with your hair?” I asked when the show mercifully cut to commercial. Of course, I actually meant, “Aren’t you making your indentured servants do something with your hair?”

“Later,” she said. “I want to go swimming after the shows. Did you know the fitness center is open all day?”

“I honestly didn’t care to find out,” I said.

“I just love to swim,” Sooni said.

“I love it, too, Sooni,” Maliko said. I remembered her reaction to the idea the previous night; apparently, gagging sounds were a symbol of deep affection in their culture. “It is so fun.”

“Would you like to join us?” Sooni asked.

“What, so you can drown me?” I asked.

“I am just being polite,” Sooni said. “Not that you would know anything about that.”

I stared at her. She’d barged into my room, pulled me out of bed, and dragged me naked down the hall on the basis of a casual remark I’d made two weeks ago. Why was she talking to me about polite behavior?

“Is all of this because I called you rude last night?” I asked.

She blinked in confusion.

“All of what?”

“The popcorn,” I said. “The invitation to go swimming. Dragging me out here in the first place. Is this some misguided attempt to prove your manners to me?”

“I only dragged you out here because you promised,” Sooni said. “I do not care what an ugly lesbian… bottom-staring-person… thinks of my manners!”

“But you care if I watch TV with you,” I said. “You care if I want to come swimming with you.”

“I don’t,” she said. “I was just being polite. I don’t care.”

“Do you also not care if I don’t watch TV with you any more?” I asked.

“You promised!” she said.

I had a feeling she’d got a lot out of those two little words, in her lifetime. Still, there was such a desperate tone in her voice, and her eyes… they were starting to remind me of Steff’s, and the neediness I saw in them.

I thought about what I knew of Sooni’s life. The other girls fawned over her fox tail and ears in class, but I’d never seen her hanging out with anybody but her nekos… who didn’t have much choice, and it was an open question whether or not they even liked her.

“Sooni, um, don’t take this the wrong way, but… are you lonely?” I asked.

“She is not!” Maliko shrieked indignantly. She sounded fighting mad, though she didn’t get up from her chair. In fact, she pushed it back a few inches as she continued. “She is not lonely! She has me!”

“Oh, be quiet, Maliko,” Sooni said. “Nobody is talking to you. Anyway, the show is coming…”

She trailed off as Science Princess came back on.

“Sooni, I didn’t mean any…” I started to whisper apologetically.

“Shh,” she hissed without looking. “It’s on.”

Instead of exclusively watching the show, I watched Sooni instead. The commercial bumps kept calling the episode “all new”, but she mouthed some of the lines along with the characters. Catch phrases, I guessed. She laughed at the stupid punch lines, she gasped at the hackneyed twists, and she grinned like an idiot at all of it.

What the hell was so affecting about such a babyish show? Well, she was childish enough, but I still didn’t see the attraction.

“Not lonely,” she murmured happily when the second act ended. I looked at the box and caught a glimpse of the scene before it cut abruptly away. It was S.P.–or, apparently Science Princess now that she’d transformed–surrounded by the science club.

“Sooni, I didn’t mean anything by it,” I said.

“Did not mean anything by what?” she asked with a snort. With the interruption of her show, she’d changed moods as abruptly as a spell expiring. “Do you think I even notice what you are saying? You flap your tongue like you think a pussy’s in front of it. I don’t even pay attention.”

“Look, I’m almost sure I’m going to regret this… though I don’t see anyway I’m not going to regret this morning,” I said. “But, when your show’s over, if you want to just talk or something… well, I mean, I’d be okay with that.”

“Are you trying to make time with me?” Sooni asked, fear flashing behind her eyes. “Because that is gross and wrong.”

“Oh, fucking hell… no, I’m not trying to ‘make time’ with you,” I said. “But you reached out to me… in a slightly delusional fashion… and I’m reaching back.”

“Do you know what you are?” Sooni asked.

“Um… a lesbian?” I guessed.

“Worse,” she said. “You are a disloyal fan. Your favorite show can be on and you don’t even care. You’d rather talk.”

“Mecknights has been my favorite show for years,” I said. “But… I’m in college now. That doesn’t mean I don’t like it any more. It’s just that there are more important things in life than TV shows.”

Sooni gave me a look that would have been more appropriate if I’d finished the thought with, “…like masturbating at your mom’s funeral.” She slapped me.

“Okay, most people need to stop doing that,” I said, rubbing my cheek. She wasn’t that strong, but she had some kind of wrist motion going on that added an extra snap.

“It’s back, it’s back!”

As the third act progressed, I gradually became aware of a sound… a repetitive, somewhat wet sound. I looked over and saw that Suzi was energetically licking her arm in the spot she’d been staring at earlier. Maliko was staring at her in horror. Even Kai’s head was turned in her direction. Everybody was watching her but Sooni, who was still transfixed by her all-important show.

“Suzi,” Maliko whispered. “Stop it.”

Suzi, engrossed in her task, didn’t seem to hear.

“Suzi,” Maliko said again. “Please. We will get in trouble.”

Fat chance, I thought. Suzi probably could have put her head between her legs and licked her crotch without Sooni noticing.

Suzi apparently took the impulse to the next level. Instead of concentrating on one spot, she began to lick the length of her forearm.

“Suzi!” Maliko whined. That got Sooni’s attention.

“Out!” she shrieked at Maliko, jabbing a finger at the door.

“But, Sooni…”

“Out!” Sooni repeated. “Go! Leave!”

“But, Suzi was…”

“You are ruining my show!” Sooni wailed, bursting into tears. “Don’t you even care that it’s Science Princess time?”

“Oh, Sooni!” Maliko said, running over. “You do not have to cry!”

“Get out!” Sooni thundered, standing up and giving the sycophantic neko a rather vicious-looking backhand that left her sprawled on the floor. “Go to your room!”

I silently willed Maliko to do just that. Sooni seemed selfish and clueless, but I knew she was volatile and sadistic when angry. Surely Maliko wouldn’t be stupid enough to keep pushing her, would she?

“We… we are still swimming, right?” Maliko asked, cringing on the floor. Her voice held a pathetic hopeful note that seemed very out of place given her previous response to the idea of the pool. “After the shows?”

We are going swimming,” Sooni said. “You are not. Miss Mackenzie the demon lesbian can come in your place.”

Maliko looked at me with a frightening amount of hate in her eyes, her mouth open just enough to show her fang-like teeth.

“I don’t even have a suit,” I said. “And, also, more importantly… no.”

“We’re missing the show,” Sooni said in a tone that was suddenly weary. Her eyes went back to the TV. “Please just leave… um… Suzi.”

“Me?” Suzi asked in confusion.

“Sooni, I’m Maliko,” Maliko said.

The show was building to a climax. Science Princess was using her “scientifically formulated” sword to fight a guy wearing a clear armor full of green liquid. Sooni threw an arm around her own “Baby Kai-Kai” when the animated version was momentarily imperiled.

She continued to hug Kai tighter and tighter as the fight wore on. She seemed to be just as engrossed in the show as before, but there was something different about it now. She was trying now, where before it had been effortless.

If there was a spell on the show, it had been broken.

When it was over, and Science Princess and Sooni had both exclaimed “Oh, Baby Kai-Kai!”, Sooni sighed and sunk back into the couch.

“Sooni, I go now?” Suzi asked.

“What?” Sooni asked absently. She glanced over at the nekos. Maliko had backed up to her chair without getting up. “Get off the floor! You will get dirty!”

“So sorry, Sooni,” Maliko said, jumping back into her seat.

“Sooni, what the hell is wrong with you?” I asked. It seemed like a fair question. I’d never seen a nervous breakdown… though come to think of it, maybe I’d recently seen several… but she was behaving very erratically.

“What? Nothing is wrong with me,” Sooni said. “People keep talking during my show, that’s what’s wrong. What’s wrong with you? You run around naked and have dirty sex with girls and anybody who looks at you!”

“A few minutes ago, you were screaming at Maliko to get out and now you’re acting like it didn’t happen,” I said.

“Shut up!” Maliko hissed. “Nobody asked you.”

“It is not any business of yours how I manage my… my friends,” Sooni said. “And there is nothing wrong with me. I am beautiful and I am rich and I am popular, unlike you.”

“Sooni, not counting your nekos, how many friends do you have?” I asked.

“She has lots of friends!” Maliko said.

“You think just because I don’t have dinner parties and evil blood drinking rituals and cookie making times that I don’t have as many friends as you do?” Sooni asked. “You think because I don’t have a boyfriend that you are better than I am?”

“No,” I said. “I just… take an honest look at yourself, Sooni.”

“Did you ever think that maybe I invited you to watch TV with me because I feel sorry for you,” Sooni said airily. “Ugly little lesbian that nobody loves. Maybe if your lovers beat you enough you will not be a lesbian any more and somebody will love you.”

She pulled Kai up onto her lap and began not-so-absently patting her head with what had to be painful force. Kai didn’t make a sound of protest. Was the pacifier also a gag?

“Just forget I said anything,” I said.

“I already have,” Sooni said in the same affected tone. She scooted away into the space Kai had occupied. “I wasn’t listening in the first place.”

“You know, you don’t have to stay and watch Mecknights,” I said.

“I will, so that you do not have to be alone,” Sooni said. “Because I feel sorry for you.”

I sighed.

It was going to be a long thirty minutes.

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6 Responses to “140: Quality Time”

  1. pedestrian says:

    “Warning, Will Robinson! Warning!”

    The Fox spirit is very mercurial and always spiteful.

    Current score: 1
    • JPR says:

      Nah, shes just slightly nuts and think the real world is just like her cartoons. But then, it seems like 90% of their dorm is slightly nuts.

      Current score: 1
  2. Khaos says:

    Slightly nuts is an understatement.

    Current score: 5
  3. Firebat says:

    I’ve been able to understand every character that’s shown up so far except Sooni. Every time she shows up she keeps blowing my mind.

    Current score: 3
  4. Rey d'Tutto says:

    20 pounds of crazy in a 5 pound sack…

    Current score: 16
    • Sahsa says:

      This comment has the most “hearts” out of any comment I’ve seen on here so far… I like that.

      Current score: 0