116: Nocturnal Immersions

on December 12, 2007 in 05: The Weekend Shift

In Which Two Gets Mackenzie Out Of Her Clothes And Into Bed With Her. For Real.

I opened my mouth, breathing in the fragrant, enveloping warmth of the steam. I was taking another bath, but for once Feejee the mermaid wasn’t in the other tub.

I’d no sooner wondered where she was then her head broke the surface of my bath. The stone tubs were large, but they must have been larger than I thought, for her to have been submerged in the same one as me without me knowing it.

“Hello, Mackenzie,” she said. It was the first time she’d used my full name. “I hope you don’t mind. It’s just… deeper… over here with you.”

“Um, it’s fine,” I said., a little uncertainly. “Really.”

She leaned forward, her hands on my ankles, to prop herself up. Her copious breasts were buoyed up slightly by the water beneath them. She’d replaced the barbells in her exotically green-tinged nipples with a pair of large gold rings.

“I voted for you, you know,” she said, as she began to swim forward with a slow, undulating motion of her beautiful tail. “Because I’m just a friendly person.”

I said something, which I couldn’t quite make out. She was running her hands along the insides of my calves, sliding my legs apart as she came forward. How wide was the tub? Wide enough, I guessed… and long enough for her to have her tail stretched out behind her like that. It was so weird that I’d never noticed.

“I was sorry you didn’t win,” she said, her finger tips brushing around my knees. “That awful, awful Sooni will get hers one day…”

“Thanks,” I said, scooting backwards… but my back was up against the back of the tub. There was nowhere to go.

“But right now,” Feejee said, “it’s time for you… to get yours.”

“Feejee… I…”

“Shh,” she said. “It’s okay. I know you’re not really a lesbian. You have a boyfriend. I do, too. So… it’s fine. Whatever we do is fine. Anyway, nothing counts if it happens underwater.”

That made sense.

Then she went down under the water… went down… a cloud of green hair spreading out like seaweed, and oh fuck, she was… and it felt so good, but her mouth was… it was… but then, it was underwater, so it didn’t count… it didn’t count.

It was so dirty.

It had to be awful for her.

So good…

So dirty

But… underwater.

Didn’t count.

Didn’t count.

Her head rose from the steaming water like the prow of a ship cutting through the fog.

“Your turn,” she said, and slowly rolled around, her iridescent green tail splitting into a pair of shapely, scale-covered legs which in turn melted into perfect pink flesh.

“Feejee… I can’t…” I said, and I don’t know if I meant I couldn’t breathe underwater, or… that I couldn’t…

“Shh,” she said, reaching out to me. “It’s what you want. You know it.”

“I’ll die,” I said, still not sure which I meant.

“You will,” she agreed. “But it doesn’t count… underwater.”

Her hands were on the back of my head, guiding me downwards. I had the presence of mind to close my gaping mouth, but not quite fast enough to avoid a bit of surprisingly salty, choppy bathwater. She pulled my head under the waves and forced me lower and lower, down towards that… that place, that dirty, awful thing.

As my face got closer I began to scream… or tried to, but of course my mouth simply filled with water and I began to choke and drown.

I woke to the sound of a huge splash and the sensation of my face breaking through the surface of the water, in a way that was utterly incongruous with my last position in the dream. I sputtered, spitting out water. I was soaked… my entire bed was now dripping wet.

“Mack… are you okay?” Two asked, getting out of her bed in alarm. She’d filled out her housing change and moved her stuff into my room as soon as the floor meeting broke up, before Kiersta had a chance to disappear.

“Careful,” I said as her feet slipped a bit on the tile floor.

“You must have been having a very wet dream,” Two said.

I stared at her a moment before sputtering out a laugh. I didn’t want to. I hated laughing at Two. She didn’t seem to mind, but that hardly made it better.

It wasn’t that Two was slow or simple-minded… not in the way those words are normally meant. As a recently freed golem, her personality and her thought processes had both been very one-dimensional at the start of the school year, but she’d been growing by leaps and bounds, especially after she’d heard me referring to her as being like my sister. Somehow, that seemed to have shifted something around in her head that made it easier for her to think of herself as a person.

“What happened?” Two asked, looking around at the water splashed on the wall and dripping from the edges of my bed. I noticed that her eyes glowed very faintly in the dark room… a fairly common side effect of nightvision spells. That explained how she’d managed with Dee, her original roommate, and her dark elven preference for a pitch black room.

I didn’t have magical nightvision myself, of course, but with the glow from Two’s eyes, the crack of light under the door, and the little bit of star light that came in through the blinds, it was hardly completely dark.

“I somehow conjured water out of the air in my sleep,” I said. I felt lightheaded. Was it just from the dream, or had I overdrawn myself? “Shit, I think I just ruined my mattress…”

“No,” Two said, shaking her head. “You are mistaken. Help me get the bedding off.”

“Okay,” I said, and together we pulled the sodden blanket, sheets, and mattress pad off of the bed and piled them by my dresser.

“You should put these in the dryer in the morning,” Two said authoritatively. Her eyes flicked over me. “Also, you need to take off those clothes.”

I hesitated, but only for a moment. I’d already changed in front of her, and I wasn’t keen on wearing wet, drippy things.

“Good thing I’m doing laundry tomorrow, anyway,” I said, kicking my sodden shorts off onto the pile, then throwing my t-shirt on top.

“But… the mattress would not fit in the dryer,” Two reasoned carefully. “Even if it was supposed to go there… but if it stays wet, it will not be very good for sleeping on. Also, it will get moldy.”

She was thinking out loud. It was cute, but not funny. I made myself not giggle.

“I… uh… could try to draw the water out of it?” I said, though I wasn’t sure how effective this would be. I felt drained in a way I never had before… my unconscious use of magic seemed to have depleted me.

“I have a spell for cleaning up spills,” Two said. “I think it will work.”

She screwed up her face in concentration and spread her arms out as wide as she could with her hands over the mattress. Her lips moved, forming silent words, and her hands pulsed softly with a glowing aura that extended downwards, forming into a pair of swirling funnels like miniature light tornados that ended about halfway down to the bed. The water still visible on the mattress was drawn together beneath her hands and began to disappear. The darker parts of the fabric grew lighter.

She swayed a bit and I reached out to steady her.

“Thank you,” she said. “I think that’s all I can do tonight.”

“You did great,” I said. The mattress was now only slightly damp instead of soaked through. It wouldn’t be very comfortable to sleep on. “Let’s try to mop up the floor and stuff a bit.”

Two got out some towels and we got as much of the water off the wall and floor as we could. I was glad the suitcase with all my personal stuff in it was still with Amaranth instead of under my bed.

“You’ll have to sleep in my bed tonight,” Two said. “We are both very narrow so we should both fit, and we are like sisters so it’s okay for us to be in the same bed together. But you need pajamas. I’ll get you some!”

“I’ll just dig out on another pair of shorts and…”

“You can’t,” Two said. “You said those were your last clean pair, and you aren’t supposed to wear dirty clothes. You can’t sleep naked!”

On the last point, I agreed with her. Even in separate beds, I wouldn’t have been comfortable spending the whole night naked in the same room with Two.

“Okay,” I said, sighing. Maybe I hadn’t thought this roommate thing through. What was I going to do when Ian wanted to come over? Or Amaranth wanted to spend the night?

Then there was the whole pajama issue. Two wasn’t even officially my roommate yet, but it had already been a point of contention between us, almost to the point of being a fight. She had been distressed to learn that I didn’t wear pajamas to bed. I’d finally told her to accept whatever I wore at night as pajamas, though I was getting to be less comfortable defining things so arbitrarily for her than I had initially been. She definitely seemed less inclined to take me at my word on this one, though she’d accepted the instruction with her customary “okay.”

She got out an ivory colored silk camisole. It was way too low-cut, the absurdly fur-fringed hem would fall well above my navel, and it was matched with a teeny bikini bottom.

“Um… do you have anything that’s less…” I started to ask, but a glance at the closet where her nightclothes were all neatly hung told me that there was nowhere to go but down. Everything was either tiny, see-through, or both. The peach negligee she was wearing was probably the least revealing thing she could have offered.

Meanwhile, she was still holding the cami set out to me in her patient, expectant way. It was only the realization that I was standing there naked in front of her and it represented the only escape from that state which allowed me to accept it.

“Pretty!” she declared once I’d put it on, in a tone and inflection she’d obviously learned from Amaranth dressing her.

I blushed. Two was pretty to begin with; some of her clothes might have been inappropriately sexy, but at least they suited her. I just looked ridiculous.

“Say thank you when somebody compliments you,” Two prompted.

“Thanks,” I mumbled. “Thank you.”

“We should go to bed,” Two said.

“Yeah,” I agreed.

She got her standard-issue pillow out of the closet for me… she’d brought her own fluffy, ruffle-edged one, for some reason… and we got into bed. She scooted over until she was almost right up against the wall, lying straight and stiff on her back with her hands folded on her stomach, just like a sleeping princess in the history books.

“Goodnight, Mack,” she said, closing her eyes.

“Goodnight, Two,” I said, curling up as best as I could without touching her. I was not normally a very passive sleeper, even barring weird dreams. I tended to kick and move around a lot. I’d have to try to keep that under control for the night.

“When I first went to the group home, I used to wet my bed every night,” Two said, out of nowhere. “Because we were only told that we may go to the bathroom at night. We were supposed to do things because we wanted to, not because we were told to… but all I wanted was to do what I was told.”

“Didn’t they realize you were sort of a special case?” I asked, turning over to face her. She was still lying in the exact same posture, but her big, ice-blue eyes were open and staring at the ceiling. The eye I could see was shiny wet, with a tear trickling down from the corner.

“No,” she said. “The house was administrated by golems.”

She said that in a tone that suggested it was all the explanation that was needed, and it really kind of was. A golem’s mind could be very intelligent, but would always tend to lack flexibility. I felt that Two was beginning to defy that stereotype, if only because a certain amount of flexibility was necessary for her to function with the constraints she was under.

When she’d first come to MU, she’d been unwilling to voice her opinions without prompting, and any discussion of what she wanted would result in her insisting that she only wanted to do what she was told. Now that she was surrounded by friends who knew how to encourage her, she’d developed both her preferences and her sense of self to the point that she could admit to other desires and even do things on her own initiative.

She still mostly avoided the “w” word, though she’d managed to slip it into a sentence a few times.

“One of the human housekeepers told me to go to the bathroom if I needed to after he got tired of cleaning up my accidents,” Two continued. “But before that I was always sent to the kitchen. It was supposed to be for punishment so I would want to go the bathroom on my own, but I liked the kitchen. The cook told me what to do and there were always instructions to follow. It was nice. It was like being owned again.”

“That’s… good,” I said. I wasn’t sure that it was, but who was I to throw stones? My relationship with Amaranth was like that, though not anything on the level of a golem. She’d asked me what I wanted, and I had said to be hers, and meant it.

“But Miss Ruth told them not to give me kitchen duty as a punishment any more when she saw that I liked it. She thought I was wetting my bed on purpose,” Two said. “She was the house matron. She had been the nanny to six generations of the same family but then the only child became a gay and there were no more children so they told her she was free.”

“Why are you telling me all this, Two?” I asked.

She’d never talked about her past without being asked, and had never been very expansive when she did, which had made me somewhat reluctant to pry. Though, if I were to be honest, I think I’d been afraid of knowing. I still hadn’t cornered her about her demon summoning attempt or had “the talk” with her on the subject of sex, either. I was a coward, and maybe that made me a bad friend, but I was just more comfortable seeing Two as a blank slate, innocent and essentially unsoiled.

“I mean, it’s okay,” I said reassuringly, not wanting to discourage her from volunteering information. “It’s good that you are. But what prompted it?”

“When people sleep together they tell each other things before they fall asleep,” she said, with a strange certainty.

That was an odd idea. Where had it come from? I smiled, thinking I had worked it out.

“Did you learn that from TV?” I asked, thinking about how much my own knowledge of human interaction had been shaped by televised examples.

“Yes,” she said sleepily. “From watching TV.”

“How’d you get set free, Two?” I asked her.

“My master got married,” she said. “My new mistress brought her own servants, so I was just a creepy thing in the basement that they didn’t need any more.”

“Two, you weren’t!” I said, horrified.

“I was,” she said, matter-of-factly. “My master said he needed me for his work but she didn’t believe him. She tried leaving me out on the curb but the garbagemen wouldn’t take me.”

I couldn’t say anything. It was like a sick joke… all the more sick because I knew it wasn’t one. She’d said she was afraid of being thrown away again.

“So she made my master tell me I was free,” Two said. “She wanted him to unmake me but he wouldn’t. If… if I could have told him what I would have liked, I would have asked him to do it… but I couldn’t. He dropped me off outside the Hearts of Clay agency with a paper and told me to read it when he was gone.”

“He didn’t even set you free to your face?” I asked.

“He didn’t have to,” Two said. “I was his. He made me. He owned me. I wasn’t a person yet. He could do anything he wanted and it would have been okay.”

“Two, that’s not true,” I insisted.

‘It is,” she said. “I became a person when I read the paper and then it was awful, but it was okay when he did it.”

“You wouldn’t go back?” I asked. “If you could?”

“I don’t know,” she said. “I would miss you, and my friends. I don’t think I would go back. But… if I could… make it not have happened… I don’t know.” She yawned, covering her mouth with one hand. In spite of the depressing subject matter, it was cute. “I hope… I hope Amaranth keeps you forever,” she said, and then she was gone, sleeping the sleep of the just plain tired.

I, on the other hand, was wide awake, and I remained that way for quite a while.

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5 Responses to “116: Nocturnal Immersions”

  1. pedestrian says:

    Just when we think that our own lives are the absolute worst possible, we meet someone so much worst off, a horror story beyond endurance, our self-pity becomes feeling pity for them.

    I almost drowned when I was a kid, and a half-century later I can still have nightmares about it.

    Current score: 0
  2. Hoopla says:

    ‘“You must have been having a very wet dream,” Two said.’
    My favorite line of the entire story so far. So simple, but perfect none the less.

    Current score: 8
  3. Moridain says:

    Even when Two makes lemonade with too much sugar she is STILL the sweetest thing in the room.

    I just want to hug her and not let go until she informs me that it isn’t Proper.

    Current score: 9
  4. Curio says:

    I know this is gonnah sound weird but what if she’s a succubus I meen half succubus and her father was an incubus and her mother was a demon hunter and that’s why for some reason she seems to attract anyone and everyone who gets to know her even in an enemy like way like sooni (we all know she’s only bullying her so hard because she angry she makes her horny) btw I haven’t read ahead though

    Current score: 3
  5. nobody says:

    Two is my favorite character in the story.
    Me choosing a favorite in any comparison is nearly impossible so this is impressive.
    Good work Two.

    Current score: 4