187: Ill Disposed

on March 31, 2008 in 07: Pitched Battles

In Which The Leightons Butt In On Mackenzie

After almost psyching myself out of taking a bath three times on the way out of the downstairs lounge, I decided to borrow some bubble bath stuff from Steff. If I couldn’t see what the water looked like, I could pretend it was okay.

Upstairs, I stowed my pitchfork in the closet, grabbed some of my own clothes, and left Two’s on her bed. I figured if I put them in her hamper, she’d probably have to take them out to fold them. I wrapped a towel around myself and headed for the bathroom with my clean clothes and a fresh pad from Amaranth.

Feejee was in her accustomed tub when I got to the bathroom. Strangely, she’d metamorphosed her lower half into fully human… at least, it seemed like that. I wasn’t exactly straining to see.

She definitely didn’t have her tail out, though, and there didn’t seem to be a speck of green. Usually she changed into the tail form when she was bathing, and her scaly legs when she walked around. I’d never caught more than a fleeting glimpse of her legs “nude” before.

Okay, so maybe I was looking a bit, but I was curious.

“Hey, Mack,” she said. “I was so glad when Trina told me you’d turned up safe.”

“Thanks,” I said, wondering what Trina’s exact words were. The three-eyed gossipmonger didn’t seem to have nice things to say about anybody, but she referred to me as a “thing” when she didn’t think I could hear her.

“I’m kind of relieved to see you taking the afternoon off,” Feejee said. “I don’t think anybody’s going to their classes, but I’d feel weird skipping if you weren’t.”

“Um… I’m actually not,” I said. “I don’t have any classes until 3:15.”

“Oh,” she said. “Well… my last class is over by then.”

I set my stuff down by the edge of the tub, hiding the pad under my clothes.

“Um, could you watch my stuff?” I said. “I kind of want to take a shower real quick.”

She gave me a weird look, but said, “Sure.”

So maybe showering before taking a bath was weird. I had dirt and stuff from the labyrinth all over that I didn’t necessarily want floating around in the tub, and it also let me make sure I was as clean as I could be down there before I hurried to the tub, disposing of the old pad on the way.

“So what actually happened?” Feejee asked once I was luxuriating in the hot water and the scent of vanilla.


“The whole thing, today,” Feejee said. “They were saying you were supposed to get out of the healing center, and then nobody knew where you were…”

“You know, I’d rather not get into it,” I said.

“Are you going to sue the school?”

“I don’t know,” I said. “I think I should talk to a lawyer before I, you know, talk about it with anybody else.”

“Oh, okay,” Feejee said.

She lifted her leg up and watched her toes wiggle. She really did have some pretty big feet. They were the only part of her proportions that struck me as odd. Her thighs were a bit on the thick side… actually, she was kind of built broad all over, but it wasn’t a bad look. Not like the modern model of beauty, maybe, but she wouldn’t have been at all out of place in an old painting.

“You’re staring,” she said.

“Sorry,” I said, blushing.

“It’s okay. I’m just trying to get in touch with my human side,” she said. “So to speak.”

“Aren’t mermaids part-human?” I asked. “I mean, you look human.”

“Don’t know,” she said. “I really don’t think so… kind of hope not, actually. But can I ask you something?”


“Do you find me attractive?”

I froze. I wasn’t sure this question had a right answer. If this had been a dream or fantasy, it would be pretty clear where it was heading, but it wasn’t, and I was pretty sure Feejee was straight as they came. Was I supposed to find her attractive? Would that be flattering, or threatening?

“Mack?” she prompted.

“W-why do you ask?” I stammered.

“Just curious, I guess,” she said. “I like to think of myself as pretty attractive… to humans, I mean… but I don’t know what lesbians look for.”

“Same as anybody else, I guess,” I said.

“So do you?”

“Well… I don’t really think about you that much,” I said. That didn’t seem like the best answer. “I did have a… um… a dream about you.”

“What kind of dream?” she asked.

“You probably don’t want to know,” I said.

“No, tell me,” she said.

“Well, we were sort of having… sex,” I said.

She frowned, but it seemed more in confusion or concentration than distaste.

“Having sex… how?” she asked.

“Well, we were in the bathtub, and you were… you had your face… well, you were under the water licking my… my pussy,” I said, making myself blurt out the last two words. I ducked my head down, my chin brushing the piles of foam.

“You know, that’s kind of gross,” Feejee said.

I turned and stared at her to see if she was joking. The look on her face suggested otherwise.

“What the hell did you ask me for, then?” I asked. I brought my hand down hard on the surface of the water, splattering bubbles everywhere. Not the smoothest move ever.

“Sorry! I was curious,” she said.

“Well, maybe you shouldn’t ask questions you don’t want to know the answer to,” I said.

“I’m sorry,” she said. “Really. It’s probably just me… a lot of the ‘facts of life’ on land are kind of creepy to me. I’m still getting used to seeing pregnant women. I guess it must seem normal to you.”

“Well, not really,” I admitted. “Sometimes… most times… I think it’s all kind of gross, too. Actually, licking pussy is really gross.”

“Then what were you yelling at me for?” she asked.

She had me there.

“I don’t know,” I said. “I’m just… defensive I guess. It’s all new to me, too.”

“So… if you don’t lick pussy… then how do you…”

“Do you really want to know?” I asked.

“I’m asking, aren’t I?” she said.

I gave her a look.

“Well… maybe not really.” She shook her head. “Actually, no. I don’t.”

“Thank you,” I said.

“I guess we should find something else to talk about,” she said.

I would really have rather not talked about anything, but I didn’t want to be rude. I guess she got lonely sitting in the bathtub by herself all the time.

That did raise a question, though.

“Do you ever go over to the pool?” I asked.


“Apparently, there’s a swimming pool in the fitness center,” I said. “Sooni goes there all the time.”

“Yeah, I heard you guys were friends now,” Feejee said. “I think that’s great.”

“Um, yeah,” I said. “But, anyway, do you ever go over there?”

“I’ve tried it,” she said. “But it feels weird, swimming with… well, let’s just say it was kind of surreal and leave it at that. But the dwarves have a priv…” She trailed off and her face blanked.

“The dwarves have what?” I asked.

“I just remembered, I’m supposed to be sworn to secrecy,” she said.

“About what?” I asked.

“About nothing,” she said. “Anyway, the bathtub’s fine for me. It’s just nice to have some company every once in a while.”

“Does anybody else use the bathtubs?”

“The, um… short people?” Feejee said.

“You mean the burrow gnomes, or Shiel and Oru?” I asked.

“The gnomes,” Feejee said.

“Hazel and Honey,” I said.

“Yeah,” Feejee said. “They took a couple baths together the first week, but I don’t think it was easy for them to get in and out of the tub. The kobold also came in once and looked at the tub, but as far as I know, she didn’t come back.”

“They should put in a step or something,” I said. “It could just be something that hangs over the side. These tubs are so big it would hardly get in the way…”

“Yeah,” Feejee agreed. “Oh, and I’ve also seen Twyla a few times, but she doesn’t talk much. I don’t think she’s comfortable with the open showers. Oh, and just this last week or so, Sooni’s been coming in with one of the cats. She closes the curtain and… well… I don’t know if it really is baby talk or if her language just sounds that way. I don’t know what’s up with that.”

“Is it the same neko every time?” I asked.

“The little one, with the spots,” Feejee said.

Kai. That fit. As far as I knew, Sooni had stayed away from the swimming pool until the bandages came off Kai’s fingers. That was also probably why she’d waited to start taking baths… or rather, “giving Baby Kai-Kai a bath.”

I wondered if I could use our supposed “friendship” as leverage to get Sooni to treat Kai better… or if Kai would accept that help. She might resent anything that endangered her relationship with her rather volatile meal ticket.

Anyway, it seemed unlikely that Sooni would relinquish her favorite plaything just because I asked her to. Hell, in her twisted little mind, I could see her taking that as a sign that I wanted to take Kai’s place. I could just picture her dressing me up like a doll, fawning over me, giving me baths…

“You know, I’m trying not to think about the lesbian stuff, but it’s going to be hard if you perv out when we’re talking,” Feejee said.

“What?” I asked, blinking in confusion.

“I know that look,” she said. “I’ve seen it on Rick’s face often enough.”

“I wasn’t ‘perving’,” I said. “I was just… thinking about something.”

“It’s okay,” Feejee said. “You’ve already admitted you dream about me.”

“I dreamed about you, once,” I said. “I wasn’t thinking about you, honestly. And I wasn’t thinking about anything remotely sexual.”

“Okay, whatever,” Feejee said.

“I wasn’t.”

“I guess it’s my fault for asking if you found me attractive,” Feejee said.

“I was just thinking about Sooni,” I said.

“Oh,” Feejee said.

“Don’t ‘oh’ like that,” I said. “I told you it’s not sexual.”

“What were you thinking about, then?” she asked.

“It’s not really any of your business.”


The door opened. Sara and Tara stumbled through, laughing about something. They stopped when they saw me lying in the tub… and then started laughing louder.

“Oh fucking Khersis God, why don’t you close the curtain, you little troglodyte?” Tara said.

“Nobody wants to see that!” Sara said, despite the fact that there were about eight inches of bubbles between the surface of the water and the open air.

They headed into a stall.

“Do you think she’s got her girlfriend under there?”

“Probably. Maybe she’ll drown?”

“Maybe they both will.”

“Why don’t you say something to them?” I asked Feejee.

“Why don’t you?” she asked.

“They’re your friends, aren’t they?” I asked.

She shrugged.

I heard coughing and sputtering coming from the stall. I leaned out of the tub and craned my head around to see what was going on. There were gray curls of haze wafting up above the partition.

“Hey, are you guys smoking in there?”

“‘Are you guys smoking in there?'” one of them mocked, while the other one said, “She is! Not me… just her.”

“Oh, shut up, you fucking pansy,” the smoker said.

“You’re not supposed to smoke inside the dorms!” I said, which ended the fight.

“She sounds just like the golem.”

“I know.”

Peals of laughter.

I sighed and sank back into the water.

“Just ignore them,” Feejee said. “That’s what I do.”

“I thought you were friends with them,” I said.

“Ignoring them makes that easier.”

I closed my eyes.

Eventually, I heard a flush and then the stall door open, and then running water, to the sounds of more giggling. I heard them heading towards the door, and felt a profound sense of relief… which ended when I realized they’d stopped moving right between the tubs.

“Oh, look,” one of them said. “A garbage can.”

I opened my eyes to see Tara (at least, the arm on Tara’s head’s side of the body) flicking her cigarette at me, and the other arm throwing a wadded-up something into the bathwater. The cigarette hit me in the face at about the same time I processed what the other item had been.

“Ew!” I yelled, vaulting out of the tub. “Oh fucking gross!”

Sara and Tara laughed and darted for the door.

“I think that was really uncalled for,” Feejee said to nobody in particular.

I grabbed my towel and threw it around me, then followed.

“Hey!” I yelled after them from the door. “Come back here!” They ignored me—except to laugh more—and staggered back towards their room. I kept yelling, my voice cracking and tears of hot anger welling up in my eyes. “Hey! I’m talking to you guys!”

Kiersta appeared in her doorway.

“What’re you shouting about?” she asked.

“Sara and Tara threw their cigarette butt and dirty toilet paper in the bathtub with me!” I said.

“Why were you taking a bath in the middle of the day?” she asked blankly.

I stared at her.

“Are you going to do something about this, or not?” I asked.

“What do you want me to do?” she asked.

“Punish them,” I said. “Stop them.”

“Do you really think they’re likely to do that again?” she asked.

“I didn’t think it was likely somebody would do it in the first place,” I said. “If you can kick me out of the lounge, you can at least do something about this.”

“Okay,” she said. “You can go back in the lounge. Happy?”

“No,” I said.

“Welcome to the real world,” she said.

“I hope you know, I’m not reaching into that tub and pulling the drainplug,” I said.

She rolled her eyes.

“Fine,” she said. “I’ll do it.”

“You’ll find their cigarette in there, too,” I said.

“I didn’t see them smoke it,” she said. “If I catch them smoking, they’ll be in trouble, okay?”

“If I see them smoking again and come get you…”

“Nobody likes a tattletale, Mack,” she said.

“I’m glad to know you’re taking your duties seriously,” I said.

“I’m an R.A., not a special investigator,” she said. “If I don’t see it, I can’t do anything about it.”

Used toilet paper, Kiersta,” I said. “As in, they wiped their ass or worse with it.”

She looked at me in confusion.

“What would be worse than their ass?” she asked.

“You know what, forget I said that,” I said.

“Aren’t you a lesbian?” she asked, when she realized what I’d meant. “How can you be a lesbian if you don’t even like… you know…?”

“Never mind!” I said, retreating back into the bathroom. I tried to slam the door but it was the heavy kind that sort of swings shut on its own slow schedule.

“You know, you should probably keep a better hold on your emotions,” Feejee said. “That kind of outburst isn’t exactly going to help your reputation.”

“They threw toilet paper at me, Feejee!” I said.

“Yeah, I caught that,” she said. “I’m just saying…”

“How can you be friends with people like that?”

“Well, considering some of the friends you’ve had… and still have… I don’t think you’ve got a lot of room to talk,” she said.

I didn’t have anything to say to that, so I gathered up my things. I’d sloshed water all over my clothes and stuff, but the pad was still safe in its wrapper, at least.

I didn’t know what the conversation would do for Feejee’s vote. I had no idea how she’d voted the first time. I also had no doubts at all about how Sara and Tara had voted, or how they would vote this time.

I hated to admit it, but my prospects did not look good.

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4 Responses to “187: Ill Disposed”

  1. tijay says:

    Just realised that it wasn’t Honey in the bonus story.

    Who’s Heather?

    Current score: 0
    • Coparell says:

      I believe that Heather is Honey’s real name, and that Honey is her nickname. I think that a while back (I don’t remember precisely when) Honey and Hazel were talking and “Honey” was referred to as a nickname. Plus in the bonus story it talked about Heather and Hazel being cousins and going off to college together, so it all fits pretty well.

      Current score: 2
      • Jechtael says:

        It’s never explicitly said that Honey and Heather are the same Calloway cousin of Hazel or (if I recall correctly) that “Honey” was a nickname, but odds are for it, and when Hazel referred to “Honey Calloway”, she put “Honey” in quote marks implying a pseudonym. I’m guessing it had something to do with trying to get away from her old reputation; I originally thought it might be because “Honey” was her, ah, street name? Reputation-nickname? Drinking-and-slutting-around nickname (no offense meant to those who take pride in being sexually open)? Because the other feminine gnome names were all plants, but I really don’t know. It’s one of the many things about this story I enjoy watching out for to see it get explained 🙂

        As for Tara and Sara’s action: EWEWEWEWEWEWEWWWWWWEWWWWWWW EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW! UGH! EW! GODS NO! *retching noises*

        Current score: 1
        • zeel says:

          “It’s never explicitly said that Honey and Heather are the same”

          Not in the text yet. However:

          Bonus Story: Apples in Spring – Tagged with Honey as a character.
          Chapter 396 – Hazel will refer to Honey as “Heather Callaway” in passing.
          OT: The Scowling of the Shire – Hazel will start to say “Honey” but correct to “Heather”.

          The name appears in only one other chapter, though that one isn’t technically the same person.

          Current score: 1