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My Completely Normal Parahuman: Tantric is Magic

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The basement under Taylor’s house had been absolutely filthy when she’d decided to move down there. Full of dust bunnies and ancient cobwebs, with only a single, sad light bulb dangling from the ceiling to brighten up the room through its dark brown glass.

Three months after she moved in the basement was clean. Its once bare walls lined with shelves and cabinets, workbenches and chests. Bookshelves stuffed with layers of modern books, mixed with tomes of antiquity—Yard sales were wondrous things—the small garden with plants and tools and other such items in the back with her bed completing the theme she was going for.

She’d kept the cobwebs of course. What kind of witch would she be without cobwebs? A terrible one, that’s what! A witch without cobwebs wasn’t a witch at all.

Her cheeks felt like they were burning as she poked at the cast-iron pot she’d stolen from the kitchen with a ladle, the overly anatomically accurate representation of…a horse’s genitals that she’d taken from the back of her mother’s wardrobe while looking for...ingredients slowly melting into the bubbling purple-black goo that she’d been working with over the last couple of weeks.

Not that she was all that great of a witch as it was. She wasn’t old enough to be a better witch. At least, not by the laws that governed this part of the world. She also couldn’t afford the—totally optional but not really if you want to keep to a theme—black cat and broom set.

She let out a sigh, grumbling about public decency laws and splinters as she popped open a vial and poured it into the mix, the scent of female arousal quickly filling the room as oozed its way out and onto the mixture, now turning a startling shade of pink.

The lack of money was an issue too. It wasn’t like what she needed just…grew on trees after all. At least not yet they didn’t. Soon thoughVery soon, if she had her way. It would deal quite handily with all that conceptual bullshit she had to go through every time she needed to make something new. Her mother’s wardrobe only had so much stuff to go around and after that, she was going to be sunk until she was sixteen…or she had her dad buy what she needed.

A full body shudder ran through her and she almost threw up into the pot, barely swallowing it back before she ruined weeks of work.

If it came down to her dying horribly or asking her dad to buy ten pounds of anal beads…she’d rather die.

A counterclockwise stir of the ladle and a couple of rose petals turned the goo into a shining liquid, sinking through the ladle as if it wasn’t even there when she pulled it out. Satisfied that the potion was as good as it was going to get she held up an old leotard of hers, a holdover from the gymnastics kick she’d gone through when she was ten and set it down into the pot before taking a seat on a chair—also stolen from the kitchen—and leaning back, fiddling with the hem of her skirt and just relaxing as she waited for it to finish soaking.

It had taken her a whole month to get as far as she had. Gathering the items she needed, preparing and harvesting them for their conceptual weight according to the movements of the moon and stars. Timing the addition of each and every ingredient, dividing them into nearly atomically exact samples through the use of arcane sciences and arithmetic, capable of driving any sane and rational scientist stark-raving mad without the proper safeties. She’d done things. Terrible things to get as far as she had.

Her mother’s wardrobe had featured in a great deal of her nightmares these past few weeks. She loved her mother, may she forever rest in peace…but she’d always remember the fact that she’d had to go shoulder deep, just so that she could pull a fifteen-inch horse cock out from under a pile of other, similarly sized marital aids. Things like that…they stayed with you. Forever.

After a minute or two of staring into space as she relived what was possibly the second or third worst experience of her life she startled, almost tilting the chair back far enough to throw it, and herself with it, back onto the floor as a hot pink glitter cloud blew up in her face. Taking a bit more time, she sat there with a hand on her chest, waiting for her heartbeat to go back to a normal rate and the cloud to dissipate before she stood up and looked into the pot.

A check was in order.

“Black...” Taylor mumbled as she slid her hands into the pot and ran her fingers through the dark material at the very bottom, “Smooth, almost liquid texture…strength and durability are good…Bespoke alteration is functional...reflex, minor precog, chameleon and disguise enchantments are holding steady…make a note here,” a pen flipped itself upright and laid itself against paper, already scribbling as Taylor lifted her greatest achievement to date into the open air with a smile on her face. “Huge success.” She frowned a little. “Even if it is a little…skimpy.”

Once again her lack of resources had come around to bite her on her cute little ass. If she’d had her way her first costume would have been something a little more concealing than a leotard…but the spell called for a skintight outfit and she hadn’t had many of those. Not after she’d burned through them in a manic quest for self-improvement anyway.

Taylor cursed, hissing under her breath as her last pair of Armsmaster underwear gave up the ghost, a twist of the waist breaking the elastic with a loud snap.

She might have gone a little overboard.

“Its not that it won’t fit, no.” She continued talking, professional in speech and tone even as she stepped out of her underwear and threw it into the cloth bin, unbuttoning her blouse and unzipping her skirt along the way. “Or that it breaks any decency laws thanks to the ruling of the Narwhal vs. The State of Michigan case in the year of 2007…” She stretched out the crotch of the leotard as far as it would go. “Or most importantly, that it's too small to anchor the spells woven into the fabric,” She winced as she reached the end... Which really wasn’t that far at all. “In fact the small size helps with stability, keeping it from getting overtaxed by the larger surface area that would come with a larger, more concealing costume…no matter how much I wish it weren’t so.”

The notebook flipped a page as Taylor stepped into her leotard, shivering at the feel of the fluid fabric against her skin. Then she giggled, awkward and uncomfortable as she felt it slide in between her cheeks in a Broadway-worthy rendition of the world’s clingiest thong—Bravo—and over her breasts and the lips of her sex before closing up seamlessly with a thought.

“It's just that…well...” She groaned, mortified as she looked into a full-length mirror.

I look like a stripper.

The Bespoke alteration looked like it had cut some corners. Her costume was thin, much thinner than it should be. Nearly transparent in some spaces. Other spots had no fabric at all. Like her legs and hips. The tops of her breasts and her ass. Oh god her ass. Her Battle Leotard didn’t even bother trying to cover it up, leaving it completely bare as the fabric rode up and hid, only reappearing at the very top to rejoin the rest of her outfit.

Taylor wasn’t what anyone would call narcissistic. She didn’t wear makeup, preen or strut or stare at the mirror for hours on end. Not even close. But goddamn.

“You could bounce a brick off of that ass,” Taylor whispered, her hand flashing out and grabbing the pen before it could start writing things that she’d have to redact when she wrote her memoirs. “Um…yes.” Taylor coughed, resetting then letting the pen go on its merry way, ”It’s not what I was expecting to wear on my first night out, is all.”

It had been three months already. Three months of jogging, bi-monthly fitness enhancing drinks and tonics to tone her muscles and increase her stamina—she had abs now—and Taylor coughed again, free self-defense classes at the local women’s shelter.

If she put it all together…it still wasn’t all that impressive. Mostly just embarrassing. But that was okay! That is what the suit was for. To make all of those embarrassing things not as embarrassing…which it was failing at.

Embarrassingly. There was a lot of that going around lately.

“So far, besides the aforementioned lack of cover, everything seems to be in order.” Taylor breathed out and clenched her fists, “Activating suit calibration…now.”

One breath, two breaths, three…and a hint of suction around her breasts and crotch.

Taylor blinked and waited. One breath, two breaths, three…and nothing. That wasn’t as nearly as bad as she’d thought it would be.

“Was—was that it?” Taylor ran a hand over her suit with a sigh of relief and fell back into the kitchen chair with a laugh, “I was honestly expecting the Mana exchange to be much more invasive, considering the magical base.” Another laugh. “I guess I was just worrying over nothing after all.”

Taylor choked right after finishing her little speech, her face gone wide-eyed and pale at the feeling of something shifting, moving and spreading the lips of her pussy, grabbing and squeezing even while something else attached itself to her nipples. The light suction was much stronger now as she felt yet another thing fit itself snugly against her entrance.

“Oh… Never mind then.” Taylor kept on narrating even as a drop of nervous sweat slid down her brow and she spread her legs a little wider, looking down in between them and the still seemingly completely normal, if slightly puckered, fabric there. “It seems that my expectations were spot on. Anything I say past this point will most likely be swears or pleas for mercy and prayers offered up to a higher being...so this will be the end for now. End notation.”

It looked like all those stretching exercises she’d been doing lately—like plenty of things she’d been doing lately—were actually going to pay off, Taylor thought as the pen dropped to the desk and rolled off onto the floor.

Please be gentle.

There was a brief moment’s hesitation before she felt it start to push, dipping it’s metaphorical toe in the water as it poked inside and pulled back out, testing how warm the ‘water’ was and teasing her with every gentle stroke.

Taylor bit her lip and moaned as she felt herself moisten, her nipples hardening and her slit becoming puffy and flushed as the suit kept her spread open, defenseless as it started to vibrate against her inner lips, her breasts and the crotch of her leotard noticeably shivering.

This wasn’t so bad.

Taylor’s eyes got even wider if that was even possible, and she squealed, her bare feet scrabbling at the basement floor, instinctively trying to escape the sudden feeling of her outfit slipping under the hood of her clitoris to attack the slowly swelling bundle of nerves directly.

“Oh my god wait! Too fast, too fast!” A series of gentle taps to her clit threw her to the floor when she kicked harder than she meant to, not even noticing the back of her head cracking against the ground. A small feeling of accomplishment ran through her now that she knew that the protections worked, one that was quickly washed away, becoming only a minor distraction to the feeling of her clit being drawn forcefully from its shelter and toyed with.

She lost it when the tendril at her pussy finally pushed it’s way into her and didn’t pull back. Pushing itself onward, twirling and writhing just to get that little bit further; it’s progress obvious by the bulging, moving parts of her abdomen. Taylor screamed and bucked her hips, the crotch of her costume darkening with her fluids, completely soaked through but already drying, disappearing into the suit’s hungry maw.

Taylor knew that something like this should hurt, and hurt badly for a girl like her. A fifteen-year-old girl with little experience, the little she had all from toys that hadn’t gone nearly as deep, that hadn’t been big enough or moved hard enough to shift the flesh of her stomach.

The only toys capable of doing so had been her mother’s favorites…which explained why that particular hole in her education hadn’t been filled yet.

She couldn’t wash them hard enough.

“Fuck!” Taylor grit her teeth and slapped her hands against the ground, leaving a series of spiderweb cracks; arching her back and holding back another scream as she felt the head of the tendril kiss the opening of her cervix and start to expand, locking itself into place as it was designed to do.

It should hurt. But it didn't. Her magic wouldn’t allow it to hurt, not if she didn’t want it to. And she definitely didn’t want it to hurt. That wasn’t her thing. Not that there was anything wrong with that.

Another orgasm wracked Taylor’s young body, her eyes rolling into the back of her head and a thin whine escaping her mouth. Her clit stood out in stark relief against the otherwise flat fabric of her suit, sucked into a vacuum and massaged; mercilessly milking her of everything she had even as she grabbed at her crotch and pulled, her efforts at pulling it away from her body completely useless as her leotard drank its fill.

A couple of minutes felt like forever. An eternity of vibrations and pumping and pulsing and sucking, forcing her to cum over and over, not even the suit’s hunger able to keep her juices from splashing onto the floor in a delicious puddle. She only had enough air to survive, the excess used up in pleasure filled screams and moans when it finally ended. When the suit let go of her swollen nipples and pumped up clit; the tendril in her pussy lay still, keeping her plugged and her puffy lips stretched tight around it.

She lay there for a minute, basting in her own juices and panting, not entirely sure that trying to stand up right now would be the best idea. Her theory proved to be true when she tried getting up after the minute was over and she landed on her face.

“... Shit.” Taylor mumbled into the flooring before flipping herself over onto her back again. “Note to self.” Taylor could hear her pen rattling under the bottom of the desk it had rolled under, unable to even conceive of the idea that it was possible to get around something rather than through it before Taylor cut the power with a huff. That was the problem with self-animated objects. No imagination. “Losing all feeling in your legs isn’t just a euphemism…and I need to remember to set some time and water aside before I calibrate any new suits. Or wear them, just to be safe.”

She wouldn’t be forgetting that note anytime soon.

Reaching a hand up, Taylor placed it onto the top of a nearby workbench and used it to pull herself up, surprised despite herself at just how easy it was to do as she pulled her feet back under herself so that she could lean while she waited for her legs to wake up.

Taylor could feel everything working at full capacity now through her connection to the suit. Everything was running at max, a slight drain on her magical reserves the only, negligible, side effect.

Taylor leaned forward and her left eye twitched as her interface with the suit became clear. She hadn’t noticed earlier, too busy cumming her brains out to remember her own name, let alone notice if anything had changed… but now that she had a bit of time to think…

“Silly me,” Taylor hooked a finger under the crotch of her leotard and let it go, the sight of one of her distended labia and the pleasurably full feeling in her gut all the evidence she needed. “Of course that’s how it works. A Mana transference device, suit interface, and Lust generator all in one... and all it needs to do is mold itself to the insides of my pussy... It's official then.” Taylor placed her head in her hands. “I am the world’s sluttiest superhero.”

She wanted to die. To just have the earth open and swallow her up…sadly that was probably not going to happen. So she was just going to have to go with the next best thing.

“... I think I’ll just stay home tonight. Eat some ice cream.” Because ice cream made everything suck less. “'Cause the way this is going I’d end up fighting Lung or something…in a stripper outfit…on my first night out... What am I even doing with my life?” she muttered to herself as she turned towards the stairs so she could just grab a bucket of Chunky Monkey and sulk for a while.

Said turn resulted in her slipping on the floor and looking up at the ceiling for the third time that night. “Why?” Taylor started to sniffle as she sat up and—carefully—made her way up the stairs.

Chunky Monkey first. Mopping later. Being a hero could wait another night.

It's not like her not going out tonight was going to change anything.

Chapter Text

Life was cruel. Life was lonely. Life was unforgiving. Life was cold. That was the way of things.

Taylor shivered lightly, hands on her hips, feet perfectly placed, smile just wide enough to seem confident without being arrogant, just like she’d practiced in the mirror. All from her spot at the edge of the brownstone she’d commandeered for the night for the sake of tradition.

Brooding, even though she didn’t really see much of a point in it without the gargoyles, which Brockton had a rather disturbing lack of, was a necessary part of any hero’s first night out. A bit of introspection, some declarations of vengeance and/or justice to firm their resolve as they looked down upon those they had sworn to protect, with an oath or two thrown in for flavor. It was all part of the experience, something that any aspiring hero had to do at least once if they wanted to be taken seriously.

That was the way life was and you just had to deal with it. Even if life was hellishly cold at the moment, with varying levels of the rest of the things life most definitely was…and it was all your fault.

Taylor hadn’t thought about it before…but she was beginning to regret coming outside, now that she was here, standing on a rooftop near the ocean as the wind blew in; wearing nothing more than a leotard, by herself, near the tail end of winter like an idiot. Her enhancements were the only reason she wasn’t a hypothermic wreck…and why her nipples, at this point, were hard enough to cut diamonds. Or at least glass.

The tests she had run, involving a handful of ice cubes and a small hand mirror had given her results that had been rather... conclusive. Science had been done. Things had been discovered. Boredom had been put at bay...and she might have needed a new hand mirror at the end of it all.

But she digressed.

"WOOOO! TAKE IT OFF!" A drunk yelled up at Taylor, shocking her out of her ‘brooding’ before he bent over at the waist; dry heaving, dropping his half-empty bottle of booze as the crowd of assorted men—and women—that had started forming on the street below to look at her picked up the slack with a series of drunken catcalls, wolf whistles, and backhanded compliments—It was nice to know people found her desirable, really it was, but she was certainly not looking to start a career in pole dancing. Or hooking. And she was definitely not interested in starring in a gangbang bukkake video—holy fuck that was a lot of money—her face lit up with a blush as she skittered away from the edge of the building and out of sight, to the loud and obvious disappointment of the people below.

That was what she got for being so open, posing; declaring her presence in the closest thing the Bay had to a red light district in a costume like hers, she supposed. Even if the reasons for why she was here were completely understandable ones, both in terms of heroics and logistics. Crime was plentiful here. Shady deals in alleyways and back rooms, the passing of drugs, of guns, and money; all of it in the place where she was strongest. It just made sense to start her career here. Even if it was the most humiliating thing she’d ever done so far…while still being somewhat arousing. Shame wasn’t half bad as an aphrodisiac.

In case of emergency, flash ass, tits, or other assorted bits. Good to know, even if she didn’t plan on ever making it a habit…outside of her costume anyway. Inside of her costume, it just couldn’t be helped, so no use crying over spilled milk, right? Right. Not that she had the time for it.

“Start notation. April 12th, 2011. The corner of Adams and Wilson, also known as ‘Whore’s Row’. First night out on the town, later than planned due to…technical difficulties, easily patched, even if temporary,” She still hadn’t figured out how to hide the interface, so she’d just started wearing skirts in her day to day life. Not her favorite thing to do, but easier than having someone asking difficult questions about the growing stain on the front of her pants. “And awkward.” Taylor murmured the last to herself, her tone soothing, calming when added to the scratching noise that had started up in her pack while she made her way over to the fire escape, gingerly stepping onto it as she did her best not to look down.

Even if she full well knew that jumping, headfirst, from four stories up and onto the cement with her face would leave her completely unharmed in her mind; her heart, bladder, and that pesky sense of self-preservation were different stories. She’d be taking the stairs until they were no longer an option, thank you very much.

“Power at full, recharge is constant due to emotional atmosphere. Minor memetic/public relations ritual completed successfully, with extra effect due to civilian interest. Still not sure if worth the embarrassment and offers of money in exchange for sexual exploitation, no matter how tempting they might have been at the time...” Taylor sighed and rubbed her forehead, hoping she’d remember to take that last part out when she got home. Why did magic have to be so goddamn expensive? “Or the exposure to below thirty-degree weather plus windchill.” Taylor winced at the sound of tearing steel, coming from her chest grazing metal. “And my breasts turning into lethal weapons. Will need to tweak the combat charms to be more selective as to what constitutes a threat. Otherwise, the night has started on a high note, one which I hope to see continue as I make my way down to ground level and out into ‘Whore’s Row’ proper.” End not—”

On the third floor Taylor paused, her brow furrowed as she looked at the building directly across from her. At the window a mere ten feet away from her; it's blinds fully lifted, the sounds of a surround sound stereo system running what sounded like a war movie easy enough to hear even through the glass…as she caught sight of what might well be her debut.

Lucky.

“Three men. Asian.” Taylor whispered to herself, “Predominant colors of the room and their clothing is green and red. They are most likely part of the group known as the Asian Bad Boys.” One of the men, the youngest one from the look of him, stood up and moved out of Taylor’s sight; returning with a bottle of spirits and a bit of tinsel on his head, a particularly stubborn example of such considering the near frantic motions of his hand picking at his unnaturally tall hair to get it out. It reminded Taylor of an especially fluffy, glittery chicken. With spikes attached. It was probably the stupidest thing she’d ever seen, and she saw Greg Veder almost every day. “Or they might have just left their Christmas decorations out a little late. Not exactly unheard of, even at this time of year, for human laziness knows no bounds…if not for the pile of easily visible drug paraphernalia, sitting on the table.”

Needles, pills, baggies of powder in a little pile on a coffee table, sitting directly in front of the tv with a light shining directly on it, made it so that it wasn’t all that hard to miss. Neither was the fact that, when she shuffled to the left, she could see a box labeled ‘dum-dums’ in a clumsy cursive, being emptied into a row of clips by a man in a hardback chair while the one next to him watched tv. It was almost like they didn’t even care how open they were being about this whole thing… and the reasons why they were like that made Taylor more than a little sad.

They really didn’t care, because why should they? No one cared about a place like the corner of Adam’s and Wilson. Law enforcement certainly didn’t...beyond making sure that places like Adam’s and Wilson stayed where they were. Out of sight, out of mind and all that. But that was fine. It was their loss, that they couldn’t see the potential in this place. A little fixing up, a removal of the more unsavory, violent, drug-crazed types and a couple of days setting down a warding schema would make this whole area a brilliant place of operations as long as you were comfortable with some of the seedier aspects of life and sexuality in general…which she was not.

Her level of embarrassment had been stuck firmly in the red from the moment she’d gotten here…and it definitely wasn’t getting any better, now that the men in the other room had noticed her backing up against the wall, ready with a smile, a wave, and a hint of magic that had everyone in the room dropping what they were doing to scramble for their wallets—an old trick, a spell she’d found for making sure that a man paid what one was owed for their service, even if it was nothing at all. Just forcing them to pull their money out was enough to keep them busy as she took a running leap off the fire escape, screaming the whole way because she was thirty feet off the ground oh my fucking god, to crash through their window; drugs flying everywhere and thugs yelling, still looking for their wallets as she stuck the landing on the coffee table.

She had less than a tenth of a second of feeling proud of herself for once before the legs gave out, dropping her on her ass, swearing like a dockworker as one of the thugs, the one that had been loading the clips, pulled out a twenty and threw it at her; the other two looking at him incredulously as he emptied his cash uncontrollably onto the floor and then began to throw whatever was in his pockets.

For a while, Taylor thought she was going to be violently ill as the implications, and loose change, hit her…but then someone just had to open their mouth.

“That’s not how you do a table dan—”

Before he—whoever he was—had even finished speaking, Taylor’s combat charms had her up on her feet and onto the man with the stupid hair, faster than the non-parahuman eye could see at close range; the gun in his waistband going off uselessly into her knee as it buried itself into his crotch and launched him into the ceiling with a high pitched squeal, magic flashing as the bullet flattened itself against her defenses. Plaster and wide-eyed dumbasses falling in slow motion as a duo of metal trays she’d scooped up and thrown sometime during her moment on the floor met their marks with a clang against the second man’s nose, breaking it with a crunch and knocking him out of his chair while the third took the other across the throat…and time resumed with three bodies hitting the ground.

… She really needed to tweak those charms sometime soon because—holy shit she might have just killed someone were they dead why were people so squishy his nose might have just been pushed into his brain—she might have really hurt these people. Badly enough that she wasn’t sure an ambulance would make it in time to help them.

Taylor groped at her side pack, fingers shaking; reaching for her medical kit while she began to hyperventilate…only to come up with a single vial; a guttural moan of despair coming from her throat as she looked around the room, at her suffering—Except for the guy with his nose in what was probably his brain. She was pretty sure he wasn’t feeling much anymore… Not that that made anything better—victims.

She was too pretty to go to jail. She wouldn’t last a week before some wizened older woman, the head thug of the local cons chose Taylor to be her newest bitch... Or maybe it would be a corrupt guard, picking her out of the lineup whenever it was convenient to have their way with her tight, young body? Hell, maybe a mix of both, just to rub in the fact that her, and her perfect, perfect ass was in jail for murder?!

Taylor Hebert, prison timeshare. That was going to be her life if she didn’t think of something, and quick. Maybe she could just…no. That was a terrible idea. Also really illegal.

Taylor opened another pocket on her side pack with a shake of her head, this time pulling out her emergency paper bag and placing it over her mouth, breathing in and out, ashamed and feeling somewhat guilty that the thought of getting rid of the bodies had even crossed her mind. Sure they were all small enough to fit in a single tub with a bit of packing… but where was she going to find an ax and a couple gallons of acid at this time of night anyway? Also, that thought might have been just the tiniest bit racist, considering the victims were all asian… Until, with a sickening crack, gurgle, and whimper, the damage she’d done was erased with a flash of light, a yelp of panic, and a popped paper bag.

Thank god she had replacements…and that the anti-lethality charms she’d inlaid into her costume—the ones she totally hadn’t forgotten about shut up—had finally kicked in…and she could get back to business, now that she didn’t have to worry about how she’d look in an orange jumpsuit. Not that she had been, or anything. Any damage she might have inflicted was perfectly harmless and not lethal in the slightest. It was just a little bit of pain for a temporary amount of time. Totally not deadly even if it was tiring on her end.

“Power is down to a quarter after a second of use,” Taylor mused to herself, popped paper fluttering to the ground; shoulders going slack in relief at the sound of an unbroken pen at work. She hadn’t been sure if it would survive the fall when she’d done what she had. “Obviously a situational tool, even if it is a really good one. The nonlethal option is also working perfectly if a little brutally—as expected. End notation.”

Taylor twitched as she heard the person she’d used as a onetime hackysack let out a wet sounding, overly dramatic and, most importantly, unnecessary rattle before he fell still. They’d be fine. It’s not like she did any real damage to them. Really. Maybe. Hopefully? Physically at least. She couldn’t make any promises when it came to psychological or emotional damage. But that was on them. For being criminals…and stuff. Go justice.

She felt terrible.

Taylor looked around for a moment, tongue in cheek as she slid her second pack, the main one, off, opening it completely as she bent down to start picking things up. A wallet here, a bill there. A still slightly moist gold tooth, a couple baggies of ecstasy… and the DVD player.

But not so terrible that she wasn’t going to loot this place down to the bedrock while she could still get away with it. Magic was stupidly expensive at the best of times when it came down to it. Both in materials and finances… That made it so on-site requisitions were a sad necessity, a fact of life until she got up to her feet. Denying resources to the enemy wasn’t a bad reason either… As long as she kept telling herself it wasn’t.

“Half of this is anime. Why is half of this anime?” Taylor asked no one in particular while shoveling movie discs into her pack. The amounts of perversion inherent in a single one of these sets would tide her over for a week. Some of them, longer than that. What even was Taimanin Asagi? Felt like a magical bomb was about to go off right next to her skin. “Not like I’m complaining or anything seeing how I’m taking them—” Bullet-guy made a sad sounding noise as Taylor took a katana off the wall, giving it a swing before she grimaced and put it back. The thing was as fake as a three dollar bill. “—but come on, people. Stereotypes. Why?”

Taking a step back and a quick look in her pack, Taylor nodded to herself. She had enough room for a little something extra. Sadly not the fifty-inch, plasma screen tv with surround sound…but a couple of books or some jewelry wouldn’t go amiss. Little things. Things they probably wouldn’t even notice was missing after they came back from the hospital.

Quickly quashing the guilt that came over her right then with thoughts of magic, unpaid bills, and acceptable targets, Taylor opened the door to the bedroom, and just stood there for a while to take in the view… For some reason, when she’d opened the door, she hadn’t expected to see a badly burned, unconscious girl strapped to a bed, in a room that looked like an amateur burn ward. IV’s, heart monitor—was that a catheter?!—and all.

Taylor had heard about things like this. Heard about the things that the ABB did to girls like her when they could get away with it. This sort of thing. This girl should have been in a hospital. Not—not here, hooked up to a back alley setup, ready and waiting for some—some pervert’s idea of a good time.

A touch on an unburned patch of skin had Taylor sighing in relief. She hadn’t been touched in that way yet. Good. Now the only thing she was feeling guilty about, was that she hadn’t hit those goons harder. Not that she’d left the anti-lethality charms on. Still…this was something she just could not let go without feeling like she wasn’t the hero she should have been.

“You know what, boys?” Taylor hissed through an evil grin, hair standing on end, charged with magic as her fingers began to spark with some of the most vicious curses she could think of. “It looks you’re going home with something permanent after all…”

----------


It was over. It was all over. She was dead, gone, stick a fork in her done. She had shuffled off the mortal coil, kicked the bucket, bought the farm. All the possible ways you could say, ‘Sarah Livesey/Lisa Wilbourn is dead’ was what she was, all thanks to a lizard with some overcompensation issues and a much larger than normal fire fetish.

Her last memory was of fire washing over her, her hair igniting and costume melting over her skin. Dying that way was one of the greatest regrets of her life, one she’d never be able to fix now, being dead and all. She was supposed to die rolling around on a giant pile of money damn it! Also, made to order spandex wasn’t cheap. Neither was her new haircut. Having both her costume and her hair burn up made her sad.

She should have blown it all on trying to hire someone to kill Coil instead. Or to ruin her parents. All the regrets.

Fluttering her legs, Lisa felt, as expected, absolutely nothing. There was no sound, no sensation. Her blinking felt—muted. Like what she thought phantom limb would feel like. That, by itself, wouldn’t have instantly brought her straight to the idea that she had died. Just that she was probably as good as dead, considering the barely alive and insensate piece of crispy, delicious smelling meat person she most likely was.

It was the quiet that did it. The quiet inside her head. The voices, the nudges, the inane pieces of trivia and the constant screeching about the normal levels of bacteria found on your average toilet seat, and how those same bacteria corresponded with local weather patterns. It was gone. She was free.

And now she wanted a bacon sandwich. Odd maybe, considering that she’d just thought of herself as delicious smelling…but it didn’t change the fact that she wanted one. One that she was never going to get now, because, you know, she wasn’t alive.

Besides that though, being dead wasn’t all that bad. A bit boring, sure. But not bad. Better than she’d expected for sure. More fire would have sucked, for obvious reasons… She was guessing that this was Limbo though. Not enough clouds and bacon to be the other place.

Lisa gasped noiselessly as yet another shock went through her, squirming, nonexistent muscles spasming as every ephemeral nerve in the body of her soul lit up.

The ceaseless orgasm chain was a rather nice touch though. Almost got her thinking she was wrong about the clouds the first time… Still good to know she wasn’t that bad of a person when she’d been alive. Whoever was in charge of this whole deal deserved a raise or something, for being nice enough to tide her over as she contemplated the meaning of existence. The cycle of life and reincarnation.

You live, you die, you live again. That was all she had so far, and it all made sense. Somehow! Lisa couldn’t explain how, but it did! It was missing some points, but she just knew she’d only need a couple millennia more to find the secret in its entirety.

Then, after that, after she’d rebuilt her strength she’d return as a supreme goddess, destined to rule over man forevermore by the glory of her divine right and magi— Who turned on the lights!?

“My eyes!”

“It seems that the healing pool was a success.” Lisa’s eyes watered painfully, burning in their sockets as she was suddenly lifted up by a pair of the softest hands she’d ever felt. “Skin is a healthy pink, scarring is minimal to nonexistent. Ocular sensitivity is a little higher than expected. Foolish of me, considering that both eyes had to be replaced… Doesn’t quite explain the normal skin sensitivity though. Odd. Hold this please.” Lisa sniffed, confused for a moment at the white, bleary blob that started patting her face. “Its a towel.” Lisa stuck her face into it almost instantly. “There we go...”

“Is that you, God?” Lisa took a deep breath of the fabric against her face. It smelled like lemons, but better somehow. Lemons with spring water? Where was that scratching coming from? Was that a pen? “Is this Heaven?”

“... I—”

“Does Heaven have bacon? Or spandex? Bacon and spandex? Because I really, really want those things and I deserve those things. Oh, and hair. That too. Lung is a dick.”

“... The patient, Jane Doe—Lisa!—seems to be coming down from the pain medication she’d been dosed with in an unexpected manner. Ketamine is the most likely culprit. Or endorphins. A mix of both? They may have also inadvertently revealed they are either a cape in a moment of weakness or a bacon and spandex fetishist.” The scribbling stopped, turning into the sound of whiteout on paper, something Lisa had gotten used to while she made her plans. “Hero or Villain. That is the question.”

“Villain!” Lisa pulled down the towel in front of her face to see the face of God…who was really, really hot. Hot enough to make Lisa debate the merits of continuing her afterlife as a lesbian… Asexuality was overrated anyway. But wow, God was actually starting to look kind of angry. Was that lightn—fuck! “Wait, shit! I mean Hero! Rogue! Innocent bystander! Don’t tase me!”

Chapter Text

“So.” Lisa, if that was even her real name, leaned back as silver flashed in front of her face. Her eyes wide, fingers nervously fiddling at the frayed hems of her poorly fitting, yet comfortable nighty that she’d been given as Taylor leaned in. “Now that we’re here, all of us dressed and comfortable—”

“Actually—”

“—Would you please tell me,” Taylor bulldozed on, clicking the instrument in her hands menacingly until her guest proved sufficiently cowed. This was an interrogation, after all. Or, at least, the beginning of one. Intimidation was a necessary step in the process. “One lump? Or two?”

Lisa sighed, steaming cup of tea in a reaching hand. “... Two. Please.” With another click of the tongs in her right hand, Taylor nodded and plopped both in. “Thank you. And, also, can you tone down the intensity?” Taking a quick sip, Lisa winced and gave the tea a blow before placing it down on the saucer she’d been given. Immovable and unbreakable, just in case of any escape attempts. Can’t have her cutting her way out before they were done. Or turning it into a bomb. Or an angry raccoon. Whatever it was she could do with moveable and breakable fine china. “You’re kind of freaking me out here.”

“I think not,” Taylor replied halfway apologetically, glad that the resulting wince was hidden behind a glamour. Firm. She had to be firm. “Not until you tell me what I want to know.”

This was a sad necessity. A problem of her very own making, bringing a villain into her home. Until she had enough evidence to suggest that said villain wasn’t a threat—

“So this is an interrogation then.” Sticking a pinky out in a way that just screamed class, Lisa rose the cup to her mouth. “Lovely.” And slurped at it, the sound inadvertently causing the tip of Taylor’s fingers to dig into the table leg. Taylor worried for its structural integrity. “Or it would be if I wasn’t being held hostage.”

“Now, Miss Wilbourne...” Taking a sip of her own drink Taylor, despite herself, felt her shoulders fall as she began to relax. It might have only been Twinings, but store-bought chamomile had its uses. “Hostage is such a—strong word. One that implies a certain villainous bent and lack of manners.”

“What would you call,” Lisa paused to gesture at her seat, completely ignoring the not so subtle dig at her poor life choices and comportment. “This then.”

Taylor blinked, taking a moment of time to look over the chair that Lisa had been attached to. Armrests, floral patterns. A sort of well-worn comfortability, one that came with age and an extra fluffy pillow on the seat, all of it enchanted as the china was… And a pair of fuzzy, pink handcuffs at the legs, attached to Lisa’s ankles.

They clashed terribly with the colors of the wood varnish. Or lack of it, as the case may be.

“Medical detainment.” Taylor nodded crisply, “And witness protection. One or the other.”

“Smooth.”

“Thank you.” Gently putting her tea down on her saucer, Taylor interlocked her fingers under her chin. “I’m glad to see you’re feeling better though. Really.”

“Yeah. Better. Right.” Lisa sighed. “Are you sure you can’t give me my hair back though?”

“I’m afraid not.” Taylor gave a lazy shrug. What she assumed to be one anyway. Confidence, or the appearance of such, was important no matter what you were doing. “It was either your hair or your looks.” Another shrug was given. “Unlike hair, which grows back, looking like a wax statue that has been left out in the sun for too long is forever.”

Lisa self consciously pulled the towel she’d placed over her head further forward. She was taking the loss of her hair much better than Taylor would have, that’s for sure. Crying would have been involved. Maybe a sudden fall into alcoholism and binge eating. “Holy fuck, that’s morbid.”

“Also true.” Taylor began tracing the rim of her cup with the tip of a finger. “From what I hear, there are more than a few people on Panacea’s list that have actual, life-threatening diseases, but have been waiting for years.”

“Yeah. I get it.” Lisa frowned, holding her cup out for a refill, one that Taylor gladly gave. “I’d be a cosmetic issue. Near the bottom of the list.”

“Oh dear god no.” Taylor corrected, “You’d horrify everyone that looked at you, easily. For anyone who didn’t know any better, they’d believe you to be an especially unfortunate Case 53. Such a drastic change in your quality of life would at least get you to the middle.”

“Jesus Christ.”

“It was probably all that spandex in your wounds that did it,” Taylor agreed. “If I hadn’t brought you here, and placed you into the pool, you know the one,” Judging from the blush on Lisa’s face as she quite obviously kept herself from looking into the corner, she did. A PRT, 1992 issue, ‘Little Heroes’ brand kiddy pool. Filled halfway with tap water, two cups of Epsom salts, and the contents of two ‘first aid’—Name pending—potion vials had been proven to be more effective than expected. Also mildly addictive, for obvious reasons. “That would have been you.”

“Fuck.” Lisa grimaced and rose her tea up to her mouth again. Taylor pretended she didn’t notice the way her hands shook. “I really needed that image in my head after…what day is it?”

“April. The fourteenth.”

“It’s been three days then. Alright. Fine. Okay. I can work with this. Maybe.” Taking a quick gulp, she held her hand out for another refill. “Hopefully, my—former—employer, thinks I’m dead. Or irretrievable. I don’t care which.”

“Lung?” Taylor asked.

“Yeah. For sure.” Lisa snorted. “I’m totally not a white girl. Full blooded Asian something or other right here, and I should sue you for malpractice. But really though, this is an interrogation, no matter what you call it.”

“Pushed a little hard?”

“Just a little. The sudden shift from ultra-polite to blunt almost got me. I’m going to have nightmares about wax sculptures later.” Lisa admitted. Taylor cringed. “ I really don’t mind being here all that much though. I’m not dead, the chair I’m in is super comfortable, this tea is pretty good,” Taylor perked up. “And I’m not in a sex dungeon right now. That’s a plus.” And felt nervous sweat as it began beading up on the back of her neck. Curse her sudden case of shameful anxiety. “My old boss was kind of a dick like that.”

“How was he a dick?” Taylor leaned in, grasping the opportunity to stop any discussion about their current location with both hands. “Who is he, and what did he do?”

“Well… I think it would be easier to list how he wasn’t a dick, to be honest. Wouldn’t put the sex dungeon past him. A regular dungeon, at the very least.” Lisa lifted her towel slightly, giving her head a scratch with a sigh of relief. “His name is Coil… And he’s the reason I’m a supervillain.”

“Oh?” Taylor blinked, taken aback. This interrogation was...going surprisingly well. Suspiciously so. She hadn’t even reached the one person ‘good cop, bad cop’ routine yet. “How so?”

“Let’s just say…” Lisa pursed her lips and narrowed her eyes. “That I like my brains where they are, not all over the furniture, and leave it at that.”

“... I see.” Taylor hummed quietly in thought. That was rather self-explanatory, no reason to dig into the method. “Reasons for why you didn’t go to law enforcement when you could?”

“I’d get a bullet in me before the day was out.” Taylor nodded. “Or my transportation to that eyesore out in the bay would go ‘missing’ after I got on.” Lisa gave Taylor a painfully smug smile, “Any other reasons for why I might have kept quiet are personal.” Her smile wavered at that. “Sorry.”

“He’s in the PRT then? Or his people are?” At Lisa’s nod, Taylor sat back in her chair wearily, letting those other reasons go. For now. “Of course he is. The whole organization,” Taylor waved a hand at nothing in general. “Just a mess.”

“How long did that take you to find out?” Lisa shot back sarcastically. “And what tipped you off? Besides the fact that we were talking about a government-run institution?”

“A week or so of research.” Taylor rubbed her temples. “The catch and return rates for violent, parahuman criminals, from escapes or otherwise. The general lack of amicable communication with local law enforcement. The ‘benefits’ given to the Wards.” Taylor’s lip curled angrily. “They are essentially child soldiers. Child soldiers with the bare minimum of psychiatric help, or recompense. Shackled with a great amount of nonsense, keeping them from doing the jobs they’d been given, even to the detriment of their health and lives for the sake of image. Just the tip of the iceberg, really.”

“Public relations did you in, huh?”

Taylor scoffed. “You have no idea.” Even without all of the other issues tacked on, she’d have never been able to make it as a Ward anyway. The PRT’s obsession with public perception made any chance of her joining the Wards, as a contributing member, nothing more than a pipe dream. Saying that orgasms and lewdness made her stronger would just get her pushed out the door. Or, even worse, into the back. Window dressing. “PR is not one of my strong suits, due to no fault of my own. Curse those stupid, short-sighted, weak-willed, bureaucratic pieces of...” She shook her head, catching herself before she started on a rant. Again. She had to admit she might have been slightly bitter. “But that’s not important. We were talking about you.”

“My favorite subject. But yeah.” Lisa could only smirk at the flat look Taylor gave over the rim of her glasses… In hindsight, the glamour she’d put up to hide her features was probably taking some of the impact away from it. “It was either doing crime for a living or eating a bullet. Not much of a choice.”

“Don’t have a Brute rating then?”

“Not enough of one to eat a bullet.” Taylor raised an eyebrow, obviously unimpressed. The shrug she received in return brought to mind the idea that Lisa didn’t really care. “That means no. Should have been obvious, considering where you found me.”

“Not as much as you’d think… But the idea that you might have one did cross my mind.” Taylor nodded. “Surviving third-degree burns over fifty percent of your body could give someone ideas.”

“... Are you trying to make my nightmares worse?”

“No. Not really.”

“Well, you’re doing a terrible job of that. You should be ashamed.” Lisa began golf clapping. “3/10, would be held hostage again.”

Taylor leaned forward, eyes narrowed as she looked into Lisa’s eyes. A finger in front of her face, moving from side to side confirmed Taylor’s suspicions. “I thought you were just being difficult—but you’re still a little off, aren’t you?”

“Just a little.” Taylor noticed Lisa’s smile was starting to look rather—brittle. She also noted that the purging medication needed some work. More roses next time? It might cut down on the horrific side-effects that were going to hit in an hour or so… But then again the chances of violent side effects greatly increased. Choices, choices. “Not sure if it’s the drugs, the fact that I’m still alive after a near-death experience or the release from years of stress and sexual frustration. That pool is pretty great. How many times did I cum?”

Taylor choked on her tea.

“No, seriously. I have no idea. I lost count at seven. Anyway, I think the last time I felt anything like that was when I was, what, fourteen maybe?” Lisa stroked her chin in thought. “That might have been the last time, actually. Before I got my powers, I mean.”

“Holy—” Taylor coughed again, fist pounding against her chest as Lisa looked on in amusement. “H-how old are you?”

“Sixteen.” Taylor gaped at her in horror. Horror, and the sort of existential dread often reserved for Simurgh victims and Crawler. She couldn’t even imagine not being able to—“Going on seventeen.”

“I’m—um…” Taylor inhaled with a shudder. “Sorry to hear that. Glad I could help you through your—ordeal.”

“... You sound like you’re about to start crying.”

“No, I’m not.” She was just sweating. From her eyes. Yes. “Still got some tea in my lungs, that’s all.”

“That sucks.”

“It's not the best feeling in the world, I admit.” Taylor coughed, selling the lie. “Anyway, what type of cape are you then?”

“Would you accept ‘I’m psychic’ as an answer?” Taylor shook her head. Lisa crossed her arms and pouted in response. “Fine. Spoilsport.” She sighed. “Think…think Sherlock Holmes.”

“Ah. A thinker rating then.”

“If you combined him with his brother, Mycroft—random points of data included.” Lisa continued. “Then gave the combined superbeing every detective tool and technique developed in the last, and next, two-thousand years.” Lisa rubbed her forehead. “And he was always talking.” Taylor opened her mouth. “About everything.” Taylor shut her mouth, thought about it, then opened it again.

“That sounds—difficult. But was it really so bad, that you couldn’t even—you know? Masturbate?”

“Impossible.” Lisa shook her head emphatically. “For a full point of reference, the first time I went on a date with someone after getting my powers, as a test…” Lisa began to look nauseous. “I threw up in his lap.”

“Oh.” Taylor pressed her fingers against her cheeks. “Oh dear.”

“Like full on, Exorcist-style, projectile vomiting as soon as he whipped it out.” Taylor felt faint. “I learned that he enjoyed long walks on the beach, hand-holding, and volunteering at the local animal shelter…” That didn’t sound so bad. “Along with the fact that he thought I looked kind of like his mom, and that he wouldn’t mind taking a shit on my—”

Okay.” Taylor put a hand up, stomach lurching as she finally realized the full scope of the issue. “You have a serious problem. I get it. Stop.”

“Revenge is a bitch, ain’t it?” Taylor’s hands clenched into fists as Lisa sank into her seat, satisfied smile firmly in place. “Probably not the best idea I’ve ever had on how to go about doing it though. There’s a good chance you’re going to find me quietly freaking out in a corner about it later.”

“When that happens, you know who to blame.” Taylor cleared her throat. Pointedly. “So... What are your powers saying now?”

“Absolutely nothing!” Lisa replied loudly. And just a bit too cheerfully. “You can’t tell right now, but if I was sober, I’d probably be shitting bricks because that’s never happened before.” Taylor took the lid off the pot and looked in, only to find it almost empty. Then she emptied it into Lisa’s cup. “On the bright side, I can now remember how it feels not to have a permanent, low-level migraine using your brain as a punching bag.” The blonde obviously needed it more than Taylor did.

“... I’m starting to question whether this interrogation was a good idea.” For some reason, the possible effects on said interrogation from drugs, a quick recovery from near death, and over fifty orgasms hadn’t figured into her calculations. Because, well… why would it? What were the odds of all those things happening at once?

Why did heroism have to be so hard?

“It was a shit idea,” Lisa readily agreed. “Not gonna lie. You are so obviously new at this it was kind of embarrassing.” Taylor gasped, hand clutching at her chest from the sudden pang she had just felt. “Hell, you’re so new, we finished the tea off before you even asked me about my teammates—so I’m going to be straight with you, just this once.” Lisa frowned, so deeply it was the slightest bit comical. “I don’t even know if any of my teammates are still alive. Any questions you might have about them, or their locations, are going to be out-of-date.”

“I’m...sorry to hear that.”

“We weren’t all that close. Maybe if we’d had some time before sudden rage dragon,” Lisa admitted before she began gently patting Taylor’s hand. “But thank you. Also, where’s my bed?”

“Your…” Taylor slid her hand out from under Lisa’s, feeling more than a little uncomfortable with just how nice being touched had felt. Being reminded of just how lonely she’d been lately definitely wasn’t helping. “Bed?”

“Yeah.” Lisa cocked her head. “We’ve established that I have nowhere else to go and that I have no one to turn to without dying or turning into a thinker slave.” Taylor’s mouth went dry as she realized where this was going. “So until things are safe again, and I’ve figured out what happened to my powers, I’m going to be living here.”

“But—I don’t—I only have one—”

“We can share a bed then.” Taylor started doing a reasonably good impression of a fish out of water. Mouth open, eyes wide, gasping for air. All very good imitations, no doubt worthy of Broadway. “If it means going back outside, helpless and alone… I’ll be fine.”

“I—but we just met and I…” Taylor consciously held herself back from the whole body shiver that resulted from that thought. “I need to buy you a bed, a futon or—” Taylor started biting at a thumbnail as she realized that those weren’t even options. Not if she wanted to keep up her current, highly magical lifestyle. “Damn it.”

“It looks like a double to me,” Lisa said casually. “Plenty of room for the both of us. We might need to cuddle up a little,” Taylor began to hyperventilate as she saw Lisa’s face beginning to bead up with sweat. “But it's doable… And is it hot in here, or is it just me?” Taylor stood up, kicking her seat out from under her with the back of her heel as Lisa hugged her middle. “I’m not feeling so good all of a sudden.”

“That’s the purging medication finishing up.” A snap of the fingers forced Lisa’s cuffs open with the ring of metal. “You might notice your mind getting clearer even as we speak. I pity you.” Grabbing Lisa by the wrist, Taylor started dragging her towards the stairs. “Common symptoms are a sense of hopelessness, suicidal ideation, and a feeling somewhat similar to that of a horde of tiny dwarfs attempting to excavate your lower intestines with an assortment of rusty mining tools.”

“... Excuse me?”

“You have, at most, ten minutes before your entire existence is nothing but pain.” Opening the bathroom door, Taylor shoved an increasingly clear-eyed, and visibly terrified, Lisa into it. “Make peace with whatever god or gods you believe in during that time. After that, if you’re still sane, we’ll talk about your living arrangements.”

“WHAT!?”

For the next hour and a half…it was all over but the crying.

----------

“WHY IS IT ALL RAINBOWS?!”

Chapter Text

“This,” Taylor started as she dropped a stack of papers on the table. Bills, notifications about the imminent end of essential services. Random bits of fluff from the new pizza place a couple of blocks away and real estate advertisements. Mostly bills though. “Is the situation. The gist of things.” Taking a bill out of the pile, Taylor cut it open with the edge of a nail. “Electricity. Two hundred dollars, with change.” Another bill. “Water and gas. Three hundred and twenty-seven. Even.” Another handful of bills, all still in their envelopes, spread themselves out in front of Lisa like a hand of cards. “Do you understand what this means?”

“It means,” Lisa scratched at her ankle, the bracelet that had been tied around it, (as ‘insurance’ she’d been told) jingling merrily as she moved its bells about. It was surprisingly fun. “That your dad sighs a lot when he pays the bills?”

“No!” Taylor stomped her foot, making the cement around said foot crack and shatter while dust fell from the ceiling. “Well, yes, actually. Thanks for reminding me of that, you ass.” Lisa warily shuffled back into her seat at the edge of Taylor’s bed, reminded of the fact that the floor was tougher than she was. “But what I was getting at, is that you,” Taylor pointed. “Have been living here, for free, for the past week.”

“... This is one of those talks, isn’t it.”

“I am not a rich girl, Lisa, if you haven’t noticed.” She had noticed, actually. It wasn’t all that hard to, seeing how Taylor—her name had been an absolute bitch to get, involving a day of pleading, a new fashion accessory and half an hour of chanting—was currently cooking Tinker grade pharmaceuticals and weaponry on a dingy hot plate which, itself, was on a just as dingy workbench. “And what I do is very, very expensive.”

“I think I got that when you threw a couple thousand dollars worth of drugs into a soup pot.” Lisa inclined her head at said soup pot…was that steam supposed to be green? “Along with, what? A full roll of condoms and a chocolate bar?”

It's for protection!

“From what though?” Lisa asked incredulously, honestly taken aback for once. “A boring sex life? Sobriety? Common sense?” Lisa felt her lips twitch up into a smile. “Because I don’t really see how chocolate, ecstasy, and condoms are going to help you fight crime.”

“I don’t have to explain myself to you!” Taylor shot back, “It’s magic!” Lisa’s face was starting to hurt. Totally worth it though, considering this was probably the closest she’d ever get to snarking at Myrddin. And she made it so easy. “Stop being difficult!”

“Hmmm…” Lisa looked up and began tapping her chin. “I’ll think about it… As soon as the nightmares stop.”

“That was a week ago,” Taylor said hurriedly. Lisa laughed. “And I said I was sorry!”

She really had. It had been genuine too, as far as Lisa could tell. The girl that had saved her life—which she was grateful for, don’t get her wrong—was too…socially unaware, to trick Lisa like that, even without her powers. 

Taylor was smart though. Scary smart… And also, possibly, more than likely, insane. Because, really, how could she not be? Lisa had taken a glance at one of Taylor’s equations before. One of those in that journal she carried around, just to be nosy. Never again. Not even if you paid her. She’d needed to lie down for most of the day after that little glimpse, nursing a constant nose bleed and a mind-splitting headache. Without any Advil.

That had been a terrible way to find out her powers had returned. Dicks. Dicks everywhere. In the numbers, the words. The stick figure drawings right past the equal sign. Dicks.

“Wax statues, Taylor.” Taylor twitched. “But I accept your apology.” Lisa waved her hand magnanimously. “For now.”

“Sweet of you. But, really. Stop.” Lisa couldn’t help but watch when Taylor moved away from the table and to her workbench. “This is serious, and I want you to treat it that way.” Skirt swishing, hips swaying, a walk as graceful as a model’s on the catwalk. Some people got all the luck. “You need to start pulling your weight.” It just wasn’t fair.

“And I’d be happy to!” Lisa said brightly. “Just hand me a putty knife, and I’ll have my wallet off the sidewalk in a couple of hours! I really hope you like the smell of ashes, melted plastic, and burnt hair!”

“I—What? I don’t like any of those things. Why would you even—”

“Or maybe you want me to empty my accounts?” Lisa’s grin began showing a few more teeth. “You know, the ones that are most likely being watched? You might as well ask me to bring Coil to your house,” Lisa spread her hands out in a helpless, and more than a little patronizing, gesture. Taylor pursed her lips and crossed her arms over her chest. “We could have a party! A laser dance party, even!”

“What the hell does that even mean?”

“His people have lasers. I am a terrible dancer.”

“... Huh.”

“So. What do you want me to do? Really?” Lisa held up a hand, three of her fingers held upright. “Any of my accounts being touched would be a giant flag saying that I'm still alive.” She lowered one. “My wallet either melted into the ground of The Docks, or is now a part of me.” Lisa shifted uncomfortably in her seat. “For example, my right ass cheek was once a thirty-twenty-fifty mix of spandex, wallet leather, and charcoal. That is a fact.” Taylor rubbed her own behind sympathetically and nodded, face kept carefully blank. 

“Also,” Taylor’s face quickly changed when Lisa lowered another finger, leaving the middle digit the only one still standing. It was hilarious. “It's not like I can just—start working in fast food.” Lisa circled her face with the other hand. “I’m too damn pretty for that sort of thing for one.” Taylor started to turn an interesting shade of red. Anger and embarrassment in a single package, allowing sparks to trail off the ends of Taylor’s hair in tiny arcs. “And for another, do you really think a position in a fast food franchise is going to help?”

“... No. No, I don’t. Entry level anything wouldn’t allow for…” Taylor turned herself stiffly around, ladle in one hand, notebook in the other. Eerily quiet as she began to stir the pot and the sparks began to die down. Scribbling yet more madness into that book of hers while she mumbled under her breath. “I find your concerns to be...reasonable. Understandable. Painfully traumatic.”

“Well…yeah.” Lisa started playing with her ankle bracelet again. “I’m actually sort of surprised I didn’t second trigger.”

“Those options are closed to us, obviously.” Taylor continued talking, seemingly ignorant of the fact that Lisa had been talking. Lisa ground her teeth. “But I like to think of myself as—pragmatic. Willing to compromise for the sake of my goals. To a point. Which is why we—”

“I don’t turn tricks.”

“—or, to be more exact, you,” A pencil stub hit Lisa in between the eyes, laying her out on her back with a startled yelp. Taylor shook a smoking hand once or twice, pulling out a cutting board and a box of strawberries after it had stopped. Prostitution jokes. Not funny. Got it. “Since you just volunteered yourself,” Fucking ow. “Are going to be doing some errands.”

“... Errands?”

----------

Five minutes of arguing. Three minutes of pouting and ritualistic weirdness. Another two spent trying to talk her way out of what had been asked of her, only to receive a swat on the rear that sent her out the door with a bag full of loot to be fenced, some pocket money, and a grocery list. Ten minutes in all spent being as difficult as humanly possible just for the sake of it.

Worth it. Considering where she was now. OutsideIn the sun.

“This is work.” Lisa rubbed her still tender lower back, squinting in the midday light. Why was it all so bright? Was it the new eyes? Had she become some kind of—subterranean creature, over the last week? Because god damn. She felt like a vampire. “Brian work. Or Rachel. If I ever see them again…” Lisa hefted the bag a little higher over her shoulder. “I’m going to say something mean. Something emasculating even.”

Lisa paused in her walk towards the bus station. Hand to her forehead as she felt a headache coming on. “I didn’t need to know that.” Ten inches of what. “How was he not popular?” He had enough blood going to his brain to think how? “But still. Mean. Doesn’t matter if it's true or not.” She started walking again. “As long as it hurts someone’s feelings.” Being dead, or critically injured, was no excuse for making her work. Jerks.

“Alright. So, first thing.” Pulling out the list she’d been given, Lisa shuffled her way towards the nearest bus stop bench. “Fence all this shit before it kills me... And why am I talking to myself? That’s weird. Homeless, not crazy.” Taking a peek inside the bag, Lisa nodded to herself.

This was going to be easy.

First, the gas station. The one downtown. Get a hat and some sunglasses. Chips, sour cream and onion, with a drink that wasn’t tea. Coffee maybe. She missed it. Unload most of the drugs on the two stoners that hung around the place, before heading to Crazy Steve’s place out on Burlington for the rest. After that, the groceries, making sure to buy enough tea to start a revolution out on the harbor with some more chips.

Then, after that, the budget she’d been given for personal use. Two hundred dollars for clothes and basic necessities, grudgingly given. Like pulling teeth. Lisa knew how that was from experience. It was going to be ‘Forever Cheap’ for a while, with its twelve packs of underwear and plain white t-shirts that made her skin itch just by looking at them. Maybe something for herself if she had money left over.

She ran a hand over her head, feeling only the barest hints of stubble as the bus pulled up to her stop.

Lisa could think of a thing or two she could buy after she was done.

----------

Or not.

“Three hundred dollars for a wig that doesn’t make me look like I’m in the circus? Fuck that.” Lisa grumbled as she walked into the nearest clothing shop, sunhat set firmly in place upon her head, groceries—No coffee though. The store she’d gone to had been fresh out—mixed with fresh bills, stuffed into a much lighter bag as she mentally flipped multiple birds behind her. “I’m bald. Not dying.” While she had no idea what her life was going to be like in a week, let alone a month, she knew that a decent pair of pants never hurt. It was the little things that made life worthwhile.

A shame about the wig though. The red one had looked good on her. Really made her eyes pop.

“Too few stitches,” Lisa said to herself. Her power had become a lot more—manageable these days. Subtle. Less likely to tear her head off in a rant over something stupid. More of a nudge over something stupid instead. It took a little longer to get somewhere now… But she found it to be a more than acceptable payoff, as long as she didn’t think about it too hard.

That way lay madness.

Too few stitches again. Too many Stitches. Fake Pockets. Fake Pockets. Fake Pockets. Fake—I hate fake pockets so goddamn much why are those even a thing. Creator was hung over. Creator was drunk. Creator was drunk and hungover and had a lazy eye.

Her choice of store had been chosen…poorly. Luck of the draw, she supposed, considering she’d just—walked into the first store she saw in an angry huff.

“I should have gone somewhere else. The men’s department at Target or something.” It hadn’t taken all that long for her to reach the end of the clothing rack, not one of them worth the time it would take to try them on. “At least they have pockets.” Damn them.

“That’s what I usually do.” A voice spoke up from behind Lisa. She screamed like she was a little girl again. “Skinny jeans just look good. They aren’t practical.” Lisa turned around slowly, barely keeping herself from verbally tearing into the brunette that had been behind her. Bringing attention to herself wasn’t a good idea these days. “What are fake pockets even for anyway?” The girl sniffed. “They don’t even make sense.”

“They are the proof that fashion designers hate women,” Lisa replied sourly, startling a laugh out of the other girl… Who felt oddly familiar. Something about the hair. Or maybe it was the freckles? “And they are also a marketing ploy.”

“What?”

“Where do you put all of your things,” Lisa waved at the far end of the department, over at the bags and accessories. “If you can’t put it in your pockets? Think about it.” The brunette’s face twisted angrily.

“Those bastards.”

“Ruining the cut my lily-white ass.” Lisa agreed, feeling closer to the other girl at that moment than anyone else she could remember in recent memory. However, before any more female bonding over how much women’s fashion sucked could happen—

“I just found the cutest shorts!” A voice called out from the other end of the store. “Get over here so you can try them on!” The girl sighed.

“And that’s my sister.” The girl sighed, face drawn down in one of the most expressive frowns Lisa had ever seen. Exhausted affection, mixed with hopelessness. Lisa gave her a pity pat on the shoulder. “She has no taste…and now, I get to spend the next few hours of my life, staring at her ass so that I can tell her if it looks big in her new jeans, or wearing said jeans. Jeans that’ll be unwearable in a couple of weeks, most likely.” She turned around with another sigh as she began ambling her way down the aisle. “Nice talking to you.”

“Later.” Lisa waved sloppily, already back to being neck deep in clothing, without any expectations that she’d ever see that girl again. Later was just a thing you said. Anyway… There had to be something good in here…somewhere.

-----------------------------------

She’d been wrong.

Three stores, two hours, and a brush with people pretending to be security later, Lisa had finally come to a pair of conclusions. Conclusion one. Women’s fashion was at least eighty percent bullshit, sprinkled with diamonds that might have actually been ground glass. Conclusion two. A bag full of cash was a powerful temptation for those with and without. Tempting enough that the thought of running away, again, had crossed her mind more than once. Sadly though, even ignoring the fact that Coil may or may not be looking for her… Stealing from Taylor would be stupid. Also, quite possibly, impossible.

Taylor had been rather vague on what it was that the ankle bracelet did, leaving it open as to whether it held a Master effect, a Shaker, or even something more exotic... And Lisa didn’t feel like testing what it was. Not even as a joke. She shuddered in remembered pain.

The memories of... THE PURGE… would be with her until the day she died.

Suppressing her sudden bout of what was most likely PTSD, Lisa checked her memory with a mental nod of satisfaction. Just another two blocks and she’d finally have her prizes. A decent pair of jeans. Some fresh underwear. An, even lighter, sack full of cash, and a couple of coffee cans to even out Taylor’s tea monopoly.

It was called variation. Taylor had none.

“Finally.” She sighed as she turned the corner and caught sight of the trademark circles within circles. A concentric circle? Something like that. Anyway, thirty minutes or so, max, and she’d be done with today, as long as Target hadn’t sold out or something…

----------

They hadn’t.

“Talk about spoiled for choice,” Lisa said to herself, staring at the racks upon racks of clothing, feeling something close to what she suspected was a nearly religious rapture. Poetic if she was, considering her long trek through fashion hell. She had already managed to grab a decently fitting bra and twelve pairs of panties. With money still left over even! Things were starting to look up.

“Okay. Jeans first. They’re probably going to be a pair of mom jeans... but they’ll fit.” She nodded to herself, “Fit comfortably and last even.” Then shrugged. “That and Taylor is going to be the only one who’ll see me in them. She won’t care.” She snorted to herself as a thought struck her.

Coil might be looking for her… But she really doubted her description had ‘bald and wears mom jeans’ in it. A real master of disguise she was. He’d never find her now.

“Okay. Let’s see here.” Lisa readjusted her bag, as she started to work her way through the rack. Slightly too many stitches. Will ride a bit high. Will ride too low. Returned item, returned item, stretched out because a size eight was convinced that they could fit their ass into a size two, a sleeping Tinker creation which has been worn by someone today… Wait. Tinker? Lisa’s train of thought came to a screeching, fiery halt as her sudden attempt at mental backtracking ended up in flames.

“Wha—?” She uttered faintly as she slowly took a step back from the thing hanging from the clothes rack. A shapeless mass of black and green, unnatural in its features. Visibly oozing a foul and viscous slime all over the floor… A slime that she had thought was just some really old soda. Also, she was starting to think that Taylor, the living dictionary that she was, was a bad influence on her speech patterns. Anyway—

Lisa stifled a scream as the thing twitched.

—Now was the time to slowly back away and call someone. Security. The PRT. The National Enquirer… Taylor even. Lisa was not dealing with this. Not her problem. Not her store. She’d just get jeans somewhere else, somewhere that didn’t have possibly lethal tinker tech lifeforms hanging around in the women’s clothing department. Hell, maybe she’d go back to the first one. That girl was probably still there watching her sister try on jeans with fake pockets.

And that was when she stepped on a plastic hanger that had been lying on the ground. It shattered because of course it did.

“Shit.” Was all Lisa could say as the creature started to stir. “Shit!” Quickly turning on her heel, she managed to get all of one step away before a warm appendage had wrapped itself around her waist. Her eyes widened. “Oh, hell no!” She now had a pretty good idea of what her power had meant, when it had said someone had worn it today. She’d seen enough porn in her life, by accident, of course, to know where this was going.

Lisa bit back a yell, resisting as it tried to pull her deeper into the clothes rack. Sure, someone might hear her. But if they didn’t… well... she wasn’t exactly planning on getting facefucked today. Anyway really. Nope. Maybe, though, if she waved really, really hard and threw something heavy, someone would notice—

Lisa bit back another scream as yet more tentacles appeared, grabbing onto a few more racks, and forcing them to close ranks around them, cutting Lisa’s line of sight, and making her plan moot. Lisa tried not to shudder as it wrapped an appendage around her neck. After a few seconds of cringing and feeling slime as it began to soak into her clothes, Lisa cracked open an eye and looked around. Not that she was complaining or anything, but she’d been expecting an attempt at strangulation. A tighter, more threatening hold or something. Instead, it seemed to be satisfied with just—calmly tickling the sides of her neck.

Almost as if it were threatening her. Gently.

Is curious. Seeks heat. Seeks close physical contact.

Lisa focused on anything she could to ignore the sense of impending doom. Anything else at all. She started to, for once in her life, purposely open the gates of her power in hopes of giving herself a headache.

No smell. Does not produce any real sort of scent. Any scent it may have comes from the material it has had contact with. Scent is discarded at whim, or when no longer useful for camouflage.

Lisa took an experimental sniff and concluded that her power was right. The tentacle around her neck smelled a lot more like a discount chain clothing department then a tentacle monster should. With a hint of blueberries and freshly baked bread. Weird. She’d expected it to be a lot more….

Lisa jumped, hurriedly shaking a leg as she felt a tentacle start making its way up one of the legs of her pants.

Musky. Sexual. Maybe even straight out lewd, smelling of fresh semen and possessing aphrodisiac qualities capable of turning her into a sex-starved husk of her former self… Not that she’d ever thought of things like that or anything. With the internet and a power like hers, you picked things up sometimes. Anyway though, despite herself and weirdly enough, even as she grappled with yet another set of limbs trying to slide under her shirt while the first was busily trying to reach her groin—Eww eww eww eww—she couldn’t help but feel like she’d just been let down.

The internet had lied to her.

Squeezing in an attempt to tighten her grip on the tendrils caressing her stomach didn’t work as well as she had hoped it would. The sensation of jello and oil in between her fingers, a liquid warmth. The smell that she had just realized was the smell of muffins, fresh out of the oven, right as it oozed through her hands like they weren’t even there to playfully run itself over the point of one of her breasts.

Lisa’s face twitched, her bottom lip placing itself between her teeth at the sudden shock. Unsure whether she should be glad that she wasn’t wearing a bra at the moment. She hadn’t been for the past week. On one hand, if she had been wearing one, she’d have had to throw it away right after, wasting the money she’d been given. On the other, if she had been wearing one, it would have at least slowed the thing down, keeping away from giving it what was essentially permission to attack her nipples directly—

Lisa’s mouth fell open in a breathless gasp, back arching as a tendril wrapped around her left breast, giving it a gentle squeeze while the other began to circle a rapidly hardening nipple, coating it in oil.

—Like they were doing now. Enthusiastically. Lisa quickly closed her mouth, then began silently headbutting a curious tendril a couple of times until it went away. Her pulls at the creature took a turn towards the frantic as she remembered that she wasn’t wearing any underwear either. Yet another of Lung’s many crimes. One that Lisa would personally take out of his hide when she had the chance.

Dragon leather underwear would sell and sell well.

She couldn’t hold back the quiet hiss when the tentacle in her pants finally reached its destination, giving her outer lips a teasing stroke down the middle. Reflexively closing her legs as another tendril coiled itself around her, Lisa bent over at the waist, putting her back and both hands into pulling it out and away from her pants leg, willfully ignoring the fact that the beast that had attached itself to her was getting clingier if that was even possible. Its hold on her tightening just enough to give her the impression that any more would hurt. Its movements at wherever it touched her sped up, acting as if it was excited by her struggles.

Thinks this is a game. What? Is having fun. Well good for him then. At least one of them was having fun. That was what really mattered here. Has no concept of personal space. Really? She hadn’t noticed. Thank you, Sherlock. Likes you. Wants to keep you. Wants to take you to its home so you can play more. Oh hell no.

Yet anotherHow many limbs did this thing have!?—tentacle, sliding down through the back of her pants and down the crack of her ass, had her standing straight up again, actually budging the one at the front from sheer surprise before it came back with a vengeance. Her eyes grew wide and wild, butt clenched hard enough to crush coal into diamonds, as she finally considered if getting a mouthful in return for a scream was an acceptable risk after all. Exit only, do not pass go, do not collect two hundred dollars. No.

She knew it was silly, but she had standards, standards that she didn’t even know she had when it came to tentacle molestation. What had happened so far? Unpleasant, yes. A surprise, yes. But not an out and out dealbreaker when, she assumed, her life was up for grabs. But butt stuff?

Lisa fell to her hands and knees, gasping for air and drooling a little as the tentacles in her clothing went wild, vibrating en masse in a low rumble.

Getting her butt stuffed with tentacle cock was where she drew the line… No matter how good the other stuff had felt. It just wasn’t fair. Also, she was going to have to review this whole ‘masturbation’ thing later. If there was a later.

Falling onto her side she fumbled with the button of her pants, giving up at pulling to cover herself directly, keeping it from trying to get any deeper, even as she felt herself add to the liquids already staining her jeans with a slow, heavy climax.

She suspected that she might actually succeed if she tried this time. It was sort of mind-blowing, once she thought about it.

Closing her eyes as she cupped her crotch during a moment of relief, Lisa breathed in deep, really deep. Deep enough her lungs hurt as she readied herself for a scream Shatterbird would have been proud of. Blueberry muffins, discount clothing. The smell of sex and ozone.

Wait. Ozone?

The building pressure at her backside forgotten for all of a second before she doubled up on her clenching, Lisa opened her eyes… And had to blink at the bare concrete walls. The lack of cheap, commercial grade carpeting and store music, replaced by hard ground and the sound of things on the boil. Any further observations were cut off as clothing started falling all around her, with Taylor out at the edges of the fall in the sluttiest outfit Lisa had heard of, let alone seen. Blue and black, a tiny domino mask and an even tinier costume. Like an almost sheer, ultra-thin, skin-tight leotard that had decided to moonlight as a thong… But Taylor worked it like no one else.

Lisa and the tentacles on her body stopped moving all at once when Taylor shifted her stance. Even when she stood still, the rest of her moved.

Lisa’s own costume may have been skin tight, but wearing something like that… That was a sort of confidence she just didn’t possess. Not even close. Because, god damn. That ass. Those legs. Holy shit were those abs!?

Some people had all the luck…

The last thing Lisa heard before a lacy black camisole fell over her head and the tentacle monster started screeching, leaping forward and dragging Lisa along behind it, was Taylor’s horrified screaming.

Lisa joined in very soon after. A second or two later. Around the time when what felt like half a foot of tentacle forced itself into her backdoor. She hadn’t exactly been paying attention to the time.

There was much screaming.

Chapter Text

“KILL IT, TAYLOR!”

 

Taylor dropped to the floor with barely a second to spare as the other she’d accidentally summoned flew overhead, Lisa following right after, a loose size seven shoe and a nice blouse clipping the back of Taylor’s head as she scrambled to the side and under the tea table. “KILL IT! KILL IT, KILL IT, KILL IT, KILL IT!”

 

“What the fuck, Lisa!?” Falling onto her back as the monster came back on the rebound, Taylor pulled her knees up to her chest and kicked out with both feet, “I let you go outside for a couple of hours,” With enough force to push her into the middle of the room, “And you find a tentacle monster!?” While the tentacle monster got bounced into the ceiling and stayed there, Lisa’s screams getting yet louder as she was dangled upside down. “I didn’t even think they were real!”

 

Magic could only explain so much, after all. You had to draw the line somewhere if only to keep yourself sane.

 

“IT’S IN MY BUTT!” Taylor’s face went pale as she quickly jumped up to her feet, at Lisa’s words, back pressed tightly against the wall when the reason as to why Lisa looked like she was humping air became obvious. The shiny, goo leaking limb shoved down the back of her pants, twisting about in what Taylor now knew was Lisa’s insides, was a damn good reason. “SO SHUT THE HELL UP AND KILL IT!”

 

And sex monsters had seemed like such a safe choice.

 

“Just wait a second!” Going with her gut, Taylor cautiously sidled her way around the room, batting at anything that got close to her hard enough to bend steel. “Keep it busy!”

 

“Busy? BUSY!? GET FUCKED, YOU STUPI—MRPH!”

 

“Just like that, Lisa!” Taylor cringed, stopping in place at the sound of something wet splattering all over her nice clean floor before she started sidling even faster, carefully not looking at Lisa as she went for the closest weapon she could find. Those choking, gagging noises didn’t sound healthy. Not at all. “Good job!” Ratty old broom now firmly in hand, Taylor brandished it menacingly at the beast on her ceiling before she gave it a jab. “I’ve got this!”

 

Was it the best thing she could have done? Probably, most likely, not. But, really, there was just no way in hell that she was touching that thing with her bare hands. Who knew what kind of germs it had? Not her, that was for sure… Also, it was a tentacle monster . Getting into a barehanded fist fight with a tentacle monster sounded like a really bad idea. Merchant bad even.

 

Taylor had seen the movies. She knew how that would go… Science had to be done first.

 

Squeaking like an angry plush toy with every vicious poke and prod of the broom, the monster scuttled around the walls and ceiling like an eldritch cockroach that she’d just shined a light on. And, just like if it was an actual cockroach, Taylor chased it down wherever it went and smacked it. Repeatedly. It was informative.

 

She went with what she knew, in other words. Not that it seemed to be doing anything besides annoying it, it’s flesh bending and moving out of the way of each impact. It’s body was surprisingly pliable. A lack of bones, perhaps? Its range of motion suggested as much… And it was rather docile, just retreating rather than attacking, even considering how aggressive she was being.

 

Did it just not think of her as a threat, seeing how blunt impacts, even from her hands, had done nothing noticeable to it? Or was it some weird instinct? Every time she hit it, no matter at what point it is, Lisa was always as far away from said hit as was physically possible… Almost as if it were protecting her. Or it could have just been playing keep-away. She couldn't tell.

 

“Shit!” Now hissing like a kettle on the boil, the monster finally lashed out, tentacles wrapping around the handle of the broom and forcing Taylor into an impromptu game of tug-of-war. “Why are you strong?” She was actually straining to keep her hold on the broom with both hands. Dangerous. Good to know. Would have been a terrible surprise if she’d just jumped in. “You don’t even have bones!” It screeched back, adding yet more tentacles down the back of Lisa’s pants, coiling them around the first in reply to Taylor’s totally reasonable observation. Lisa let out a gurgling screech and started to twitch. Taylor kept not looking down, even as she felt a surge of power. “Why. Why would you—” And then it ended the game by snapping her broom in two. “ You asshole.

 

Throwing the pieces of broom ineffectually up at the monster as it scuttled away again, tangling it up in the bristly bits for a little while, Taylor felt a plan begin to take shape. One that required a sacrifice on her part. But that was okay. She’d been trained for this. Self-trained, sure. But trained. She was qualified.

 

God damn it.

 

“Alright then.” Clapping her hands together twice, then balling them into fists, Taylor grimaced as she felt herself begin to blush. Felt her suit begin warming up, going through the motions of one of its more—important functions. “Come here—um…” Taylor leaned forward with a shaky smile, pressing her breasts together in a way that could be construed as inviting. The beckoning finger she threw in, with a pinch of magic, cinching the whole thing. “Stud?”

 

Taylor felt her dignity take a hit it would take years to recover from, if ever, as she allowed the tentacles to pick her up, starting something it was, hopefully, completely outmatched in… Something that Taylor had hoped would have never become relevant.

 

Sexual combat. Her secret shame. The best alternative she had to homewrecking actual combat, or a conflagration of wall melting spellfire. Her last resort, now her first, after she’d discovered, with science , that she wasn't  going to be able to take this thing out quietly. Not if she wanted to keep Lisa, and the somewhat—volatile (block-clearing) chemicals and potions on the benches and shelves around the room, reliably out of the crossfire anyway.

 

Lisa had better be grateful for this.

 

Pouring magic into the inside of her mouth, she opened it, allowing her tongue to roll out as a distinctly… Phallic tendril, ridges, slit in the middle of the head and all, came towards her face. When it ran itself over her tongue from the tip up, coating itself in her saliva before pushing into her mouth…she was more than a little surprised to find that it tasted somewhat like muffins. Blueberry. Her now former favorite. Lovely.

 

The earth’s persistent refusal when it came to swallowing her up…was starting to become more than a little depressing.

 

----------

 

Tingly. Fuzzy. Humiliated. Warm and wet. All words that Lisa could call her own as she was pulled about, manipulated like an especially lifelike puppet. Strings on her arms and legs, a hand up her ass. Exactly like a puppet.

 

Arching her hips away from the searching, probing, insistent, but not—unpleasant feel of something plundering her backside. Stretching her out yet further with the equivalent of a finger’s width of mass that forced her forward in shock, only to send her back a nerve ridden mess as it did the same up front.

 

Eight in back. Three in front. Four in front now. All of them constantly moving. Exploring. A game, her power had deduced, before it had crapped out in a tangle of static and the smell of not purple. Move forward, add half a finger. At five, from experience, they’d be removed. Replaced with something much more…interesting.

 

Pushing back again, Lisa trembling madly and hyperventilating around the dick in her mouth as sweat poured down her face, she forced herself still, even as the one in her ass grew yet further. It now had more girth around the middle than she did her wrist, and it had started showing what Lisa would call…sadistic tendencies. Pulling out to the end but no further, not because of choice, but because the end of it had gotten too large to pull out.

 

Even with the slime it was covered in, her body could only stretch so far. She wasn’t made of rubber… Not that something like actual facts kept the monster from testing her anyway.

 

Lisa moaned ashamedly as it started tugging at her, proving that she hadn’t exactly been wrong about the monster’s aphrodisiac qualities as the leavings of another orgasm started to run down her thighs. Another tug extended it, soaking her jeans completely through with her own juices before the tentacle started pushing itself back in.

 

And, thanks to Taylor and her delusional belief that she was a magical girl, Lisa was in this for the long haul. It was almost as if Taylor had never finished watching those movies, or reading those books. That stack of Asian pornography that she thought Lisa didn’t know about, hidden under her bed.

 

Sexually sacrificing yourself for someone else never worked out, no matter what kind of reasoning you had. Japanese smut had just ruined their lives. Left her suspended from the ceiling in a soaked through white-T and the taste of breakfast on her breath.

 

Soft, slow, sweet. Fluid pouring out from the cock in her mouth, running over her tongue, trickling down her throat in a steady stream that left her with no choice but to drink or drown. She closed her eyes as that particular tendril pushed forward, throat spasming reflexively around the obstruction for what had to be the twentieth time so far before it pulled out.

 

She’d gagged the first few times. Choked hard enough to make her mascara run. It was getting easier. Lisa was actually starting to suspect that she was being trained for, to be coy, bigger and better things. To not be coy, she was probably about to get brutally mouthfucked. The excessive lubrication, and the sort of numb, warm feeling in the back of her throat from repeated stretching was kind of pointing towards something like that happening soon.

 

Nothing was going right today.

 

Just when she was starting to relax, as much as it was possible to relax during a time like this, Lisa jerked forward. Sharp, fast. The crack of a whip as a tendril came down across the meat of her ass. Needless to say, she screamed, if only in surprise. Writhing and twisting, her instinctive jump leaving her swinging back and forth in mid-air… As she began to feel a sense of bemused, amused, resignation.

 

That had felt…much better than it should have. Much, much better.

 

Her original impression, the impression that her captor wasn’t exactly the smartest critter out there, making up for any issues in that department with a certain low cunning seemed to have been spot on. Not smart enough to do higher math, certainly...but most definitely smart enough to cheat, even in a game that only it, supposedly, knew the rules to. Even now, when she didn’t hold any of the cards, she couldn’t help but take satisfaction in that. The fact that she was right.


All at once, as a single entity, every tendril in her pussy slid out of her in a rush, catching onto the front of her jeans, ripping them down, letting her cum fly all over the floor in a long, jittery squirt as her eyes rolled in her head.

 

You took the victories you were given. No matter what they were.

 

She actually had to admit to herself, that it was sort of a relief to have her pants loosened, falling, gone. The zipper mangled, torn down the middle. Fabric ruined, ripped, her pussy finally exposed to the open air. Relief. Sweet, shameful relief. They had become—restrictive lately. Almost painful, thanks to the three limbs extra that had been stuffed into them, leaving marks in her skin… Not doing their job. Keeping her decent. Warm. Safe from touch.

 

Failure. Her clothing’s only success…. Funny. Hilarious. Hysterical. Inappropriate and irrelevant. Uncontrollable as her thoughts started to get— heavy.

 

Breathing hot, eyes lidded. Hips thrust forward with the cock in her ass providing support as what looked to be the biggest of the three—bigger than the one in her ass by far—covered in little bumps and ribbed , waved itself teasingly in front of her face… Lisa was sort of glad that she didn’t have hair anymore. Dealing with the aftermath of this whole thing, all that sweat and slime matting it down, turning it into a solid mass... Hell was the only word she could think of to describe something like that, no matter what fun, yes, fun that had come before... right before her body felt like it had suddenly become a lot smaller.

 

It was like what she imagined a baseball bat would feel like, if she ever had to fuck one. Except...careful. Better. Firm, unyielding, persistent pressure against her lower lips until her body gave in, somehow finding room to fit in just one more inch, each ridge popping into her a declaration of its intention of making her completely airtight… And it was just so damn good.

 

Pain? None? Discomfort? Almost zero. Pleasure? Overwhelming . Sure, even though she knew, absolutely knew, without a doubt, that sitting down later was going to be an experience , and that more than a few of her self imposed taboos had been broken beyond any hope of repair… She couldn’t find it in herself to regret what was happening to her right then.

 

Finally relaxing, actually relaxing as she gave into the pleasure she was feeling, seesawing her hips back and forth between the cocks pounding into her… Lisa suddenly realized how that ‘mindbroken’ trope had come to be. There was nothing wrong with—playing along. Playing your part. Losing yourself in the act was the problem, something that would be deceptively easy, for someone that wasn’t her. Someone that didn’t have her advantages.

 

Mentally, unlike many others, she knew she’d remain, relatively, unchanged. Physically though?

 

Lisa felt awkward, mortifying laughter start bubbling up inside her as she came. As she felt a series of pops, a string of beads, a third of the size of her first escaping her all at once before getting pushed back in. A cycle that brought to mind the thought of someone trying to rev up a lawnmower engine by pulling at the drawstring as hard as they could, even when the damn thing was already on and turned up to the highest setting.

 

Physically, she was going to need the pool for a while…

 

“Got him.” Lisa spasmed, flailing about in shock as she heard a human voice, the first she’d heard in what felt like hours. She’d forgotten about Taylor. How long had… oh god. Taylor had been here to see her get into the whole—kill me now, please.   “Sort of. Maybe... I think.” Lisa twisted her head, easily moving in the tentacle monster’s slackening grip to see the other girl... And she looked like a mess. Like the leading star of the world’s biggest bukkake video, with her hair plastered back against her skull, loads of cum dripping down her face, her thighs, and the wall behind her in a perfect outline of her upper body. “... I made him temporarily sterile, at least.”


Sterile? Lisa swallowed, hard, as she saw a trio of bulges escape from the main body, quickly moving down the tentacles that she happened to be attached to. Oh god, had a tentacle baby pregnancy been an actual thing she had to worry about?

 

“He should be, anyway. I’m—kind of an expert, on this sort of thing you see,” Lisa squirmed, jerking in the air as all three tentacles went completely insane, thrusting in and out of her in counterpoint to each other. In response, Taylor looked at the ceiling, pretending that she didn’t notice anything as she shifted from side to side. Sweet of her. “He’ll also be completely out after, you know. The climax.” A deep exhale from Taylor had her clapping a hand over her nose, a popping cum bubble making Lisa groan despite herself, seeing how she’d probably be doing something similar very soon. “You’ll just need a bath after. No other issues. Parental or otherwise.” Taylor turned around stiffly, leaving a trail of spunk behind her as she walked towards the closet. “Congratulations.”

 

Lisa’s eyes widened as she heard another couple of claps, the pool sliding under her just before the first cum bubble reached her, stretching her mouth out so far she heard her jaw creak, the ball between her teeth getting smaller as it dumped its load down her throat. The same problems occurred when the second and third arrived. All a momentary stalemate, the pressure being built up easily fixed with some waiting.

 

It wasn’t like the hole being too small had ever stopped someone before, now had it?

 

Lisa’s eyes unfocused, crossed before she closed her eyes at the sensation of her pussy being stretched to its absolute limit, lubrication betraying her, easing the way so that that specific limb could do what it had come to do. Still thrusting, pounding into her even as she felt the first spurt of heat. Liquid warmth, making her toes curl and her insides turn to goo as cum, his and hers, started to drip into the pool.

 

Her ass came next, what had been done to it, the games that had been played to prepare it for ‘bigger and better things’... There was no issue there, as it went up into her as far as it could go, then staying there. Forcing her to cum so hard she almost blacked out, actually biting her lip so hard that she bled when it started pumping its cum into her guts. So much more of it than the others had, enough that she swore could feel herself expand, feel her stomach bloat up with it.

 

If Lisa didn’t know any better… She’d say that the monster actually knew about her little resolution in the store. That it was actually smart enough to try and break her over it… But she did know better. Luck, just luck. That was what it was.

 

Gasping, opening her eyes as the tentacle in her mouth quickly pulled itself out from her throat, she quickly closed them again, sputtering as it tried its damn best to glue her eyes shut.

 

Just. Luck.

 

Falling to her hands and knees while taking great whooping breaths as she was finally let down on her own two feet, Lisa crawled over to the edge of the pool and laid her head on its soft, plastic surface.

 

The tentacle monster fell beside her, straight from the ceiling with a splat, unconscious.

 

Heaven…

 

“Lisa.” Taylor walked right out of the closet again, somehow completely clean as she toweled her hair with a look of concern. Lisa blinked at her blearily in return. Someone had been holding out. “Do you need any help getting, you know.” Taylor swallowed, looking as if she’d rather be anywhere else at the moment. Something they had in common. “Those tentacles out of your-”

 

“Oh god, yes.” Lisa interrupted, voice husky and muffled as she buried her face into the plastic. The fact that she was now ass up wasn’t lost on her. She just didn’t give a fuck. “I’ve had a dick up my ass for the past hour. My pussy for the last forty minutes.” Lisa rolled her head back up to the side with a squeak of flesh against plastic. “A bag of ice and an empty lower half would be just great . Fantastic . Awesome.

 

“Are you being sarcastic?” Lisa cracked open an eye, only to catch sight of Taylor looking confused. “I honestly can’t tell.”

 

“What?” Lisa whispered.

 

“It’s just, how you act normally,” Taylor breathed into her hand and took a sniff. The pout that grew on her face suggested that she didn’t find what she wanted. Like a lack of sperm. Hah. “It would be easy to just sort of assume that-”

 

“If you don’t pull the dick out of my ass, right now.” Lisa fixed Taylor with a glare. “I will burn your house down. Is that clear enough for you?”

 

“... Well. Yes.” Taylor stepped quickly into the pool. “But you don’t have to be rude about it.”

 

That was all the warning that Lisa got before there was a loud pop, a flash, yet more ozone, and suddenly Lisa’s backside was crying out in agony.

 

“MOTHERFUCKER!”

Chapter Text

Deep beneath the Hebert household in another dimension twice removed, under the gentle glow of magical candlelight and the comforting warmth of a fireplace in the middle of winter, Taylor did science.

“You’re poking it with a stick?” Lisa said dryly, almost as dry as the cold pack she was sitting on from her chair at the table. Magic was just so useful.“Seriously? Didn’t you already do that?”

Lisa obviously didn’t understand the scientific method when it came to zoology. Over fifty percent of it involved poking things with sticks. Decades of penguins being jabbed awake couldn’t possibly be wrong.

“Yes. But no,” Taylor muttered and gave the tentacle monster another poke to the side. In response, it took a peek outside of Lisa’s old jeans—something that it wouldn’t let go of without a fight, like a very odd hermit crab and squeaked. It was actually sort of cute. “That was a much more aggressive test, designed to evaluate its threat rating. Highly dangerous by the way. Could have snapped you in half without even thinking about it.” Taylor dropped a head of lettuce into the chute leading to the beast’s enclosure, hoping for a positive response. Meat was expensive. “This is an in-depth study on its behavior outside of battle and breeding.”

And the lubricant it constantly exuded. The uses in her spellcraft, her potion making, in particular, were many and varied. The money she would save from this capture was almost worth the reaming they’d both gotten...she wondered where it had come from if it had been created or born naturally.

Taylor swore she could still taste its semen on her breath, stuck in between her teeth. She’d never be able to look at blueberries like she’d used to. If it was created, the person in charge was going to have some explaining to do...

“Thanks for the imagery, Taylor.” Lisa’s voice was now so dry, Taylor felt comfortable comparing it to a desert. The Sahara at high noon during the summer. During a drought. “I really enjoy knowing how close I came to dying or semi-permanent crippling.” Lisa paused. Thought. Nodded. “Again. Learning about that is always fun. Just to clarify.”

Almost. Lisa had burnt out the pool with her last soak—leftover semen clogging the filters, something that Taylor hadn’t thought was even possible—and it was going to take hours of work to get it working again... Taylor was beginning to think the other girl was on the verge of gaining an addiction to the pool if she didn’t have one already. The sobbing when the magic had fizzled out suggested as much.

“You’re welcome,” Taylor replied absentmindedly, right before she stuck the end of her stick in a slightly different patch of slime. The readings were promising. At least a fifty percent increase in magical potency. Delightful. “As my assistant—you’re really moving up in the world, good job—I prefer to keep you as well informed as possible.” Another slime pile was tested. A thirty percent this time... She wondered why that was. Viscosity difference, maybe? This called for testing. “Learning the consequences of your actions, or lack of them, helps you learn.”

“... When will the nightmares end?”

“All scars heal in time, Lisa,” Taylor said soothingly, while looking on with approval as, even with the minor setback that came with getting smacked by over a pound of leafy greens moving at over twenty miles an hour, the monster gave the food she’d given it a curious nibble with it’s...mouth analogue. “just be glad I haven’t ordered you to raid my mother’s wardrobe.” Taylor nodded. “Count your blessings... And remember that repression is your friend.”

Taylor was glad she hadn’t chosen to give herself an eidetic memory as had been her first impulse. Some things weren’t worth remembering.

Lisa’s expression tightened with self-righteous anger...then relaxed with reluctant acceptance, right before her forehead hit the table with a dull thump and a dramatic groan. “No more. No more stories about how I almost died. No more anecdotes about how I’d degloved one of my legs. No more tales about how the pool kept my insides from becoming my outsides while the monster had its way with me.” Lisa’s head fell to the side, facing Taylor. “My kingdom. My kingdom for a dreamless sleep.”

“... You don’t own anything though,” Taylor helpfully pointed out after a short pause. “Besides a couple of sets of clothing anyway.” Another prod to what Taylor assumed was the closest thing the tentacle monster had to a face, ended up with it wrapping a couple of tendrils around the solid wood while it continued to eat. A fight was at hand. “Let alone a kingdom.”

Oh my god, why are you like this?” Lisa hissed under her breath, “Why don’t you use your—voodoo—”

Taylor gasped, and let the stick go at that, the whole thing passing through the selective membrane of the monster’s enclosure. The tentacle monster then began waving the stick about in what she assumed to be triumph, while more tendrils started appearing from the legs of its denim home to wrap around the handle in a threatening manner.

“—to help me sleep?” Lisa’s expression became rather pinched. “I am three sure that I have PTSD.”

“Three sure?” Taylor held her hands out to her sides, licked her lips, and leaned forward, setting herself into the closest thing to a wrestling stance that she could think of as it began testing the walls of its prison. The stick poked through without an issue. Taylor began to sweat. “What does that mean? Also, referring to what I do as voodoo is just insulting.”

That was a completely different discipline! With completely different needs!

“Does it look like I care? Lisa held up three fingers. Her expression was the very definition of ‘not caring’. “Let me speak.”

Taylor glared and moved her head just before she caught a length of reinforced wood to the face. She held her face in shock before it turned into a rictus of rage.

Lisa gave her a weak smirk in reply. “I obtained third-degree burns over fifty percent of my body, and was nearly turned into a Thinker sex slave.” A finger dropped. “Then, I was subjected to two hours of torture, screaming, and rainbows thanks to that purging potion you gave me while I was out.” Another finger was gone. “And, just a couple of hours ago, you pulled a series of organic beads out of my ass, all at once, like some sort of fucked up magic trick,” Lisa cheered sarcastically and unleashed the jazz hands before she let them drop. “I’ve now got more issues than some sports magazines.”

And now, Taylor felt bad.

“... I think I could figure something out.” Taylor lashed out at the projectile flying towards her face again, only to find out it was a feint when it smacked against her right boob instead. Sparks began to fly as she turned a deep, cherry red. “For your sleep issues, I mean.”

Lisa had crawled under the table, taking her ice pack with her when the fight began to look as if it might spread. “Thanks. Also,” She grumbled, peeking her head over the top to take the cookie tin before hiding again, “we need to deal with your social problems. Like...right now.”

“My social skills? Why would I—Got you!” Taylor finally snagged the stick in between her arm and her body before yanking back as if it were a fishing rod… And the monster let go, sending her tumbling backward, ass over teakettle to the floor. “Crap!”

The monster made yet more squeaking noises, almost as if it were laughing, and sucked all of its limbs back into Lisa’s pants...along with it’s mostly eaten meal.

“Because you’re terrible at dealing with people!” Lisa yelled and stood up from under the table with a half-empty tin in her hand. That wasn’t healthy… Taylor wondered how hard it would be to get Lisa to jog with her in the mornings. “I’ve been here an entire week—I have the worst luck I swear—and I don’t think I’ve ever seen you go outside for more than an hour!” Probably very hard, Taylor thought. “You don’t even go to school!

“I wouldn't say I’m terrible—”

“You’re a fucking liar.”

“—just not the best. And don’t be crude,” Taylor snapped back, and stood up, “And of course you’ve never seen me go to school.” Taylor turned her nose up at the thought. “I tested out a while ago.”

Lisa’s jaw opened. Shut. Worked from side-to-side with a vaguely nauseous look before she opened it again. “Tested out? A while ago? When?”

“My first week of Winslow.” Taylor crossed her arms under her breasts, still feeling odd, but happy, about the extra amount of weight she could feel weighing down on her forearms when she did that. “I was fourteen at the time.”

Lisa looked like she wanted to scream, but didn’t. It would have taken valuable time and energy away from her state of emotional shock.

Taylor was used to it. 

“The tests were painfully easy.” Might as well have asked her to put the square peg in the correct spot.

“... When did you last talk to someone your own age?”

Taylor cocked her head to the side and moved some of her hair out of her face, not quite understanding the question she’d just been presented with. “Just now?” She pointed at Lisa. “I’m fifteen. You’re sixteen. Close enough.”

“Jesus.” Lisa picked another cookie out of the tin and began rubbing her face with her free hand. “I’m the first person you’ve talked to that was your own age for close to a year, aren’t I?”

“I don’t see your point,” Taylor replied flatly, suddenly feeling very cold and ashamed. She didn’t like it.

“I haven’t seen your parents either,” Lisa continued in a low murmur, “But they obviously exist—a father, no mother—if barely, seeing how you hide me away and keep me from walking around for all of thirty minutes at a time during the day… He’s busy...no friends either.” She winced and started rubbing her temples instead. “You tested out of school in response to losing your last friend. That explains so much. Like why you haven’t killed the monster yet. You honestly don’t get it, and what you do has skewed your—”

Taylor dropped the stick in her hand, stiffly walked over to Lisa, and took back what was left of her cookies. Not much, not that that stopped her from shoveling what was left into her mouth.

She didn’t like thinking about that...and she was really glad she couldn’t get fat anymore. Giving up chocolate wasn’t an option.

“Oh...uh… Shit. Sorry. Sore spot, shit.” Lisa nervously played with her fingers for a moment. “How about we go out somewhere?” Lisa said softly, giving Taylor’s arm a sympathetic, and extremely awkward, pat while the brunette tried to eat her sorrows away. Lisa wasn’t the best at being comforting. “Get dressed up. Eat something. Have some fun, and people watch? So I can make it up to you?”

Taylor took another handful and shoved it into her mouth in response.

“Sounds like fun, right?”

Taylor took another handful and grumbled something rude.

Lisa slapped the tin out of Taylor’s hands, dropping all of two cookies to the ground, to grab Taylor’s face and force eye contact. The shock Taylor felt from what had just happened was the only reason it worked at all. “Girl’s day out. We’re doing it.” Lisa squeezed Taylor’s cheeks together, forcing her lips into a pouty shape. Lisa frowned. “How the hell do you still look good when I do this?” Lisa squished Taylor’s face again. “This is called a fish-face for a reason.”

“... Magic?”

“... You are the most frustrating person I’ve ever talked to. By far.” Lisa’s lips became a thin line at the end of that sentence, but she didn’t dispute Taylor’s claims of magic...even though Taylor knew she really wanted to. Lisa had been doing it all week, after all. “Get dressed.” Lisa let go of Taylor’s face. “It’s one in the afternoon and we’re burning daylight.”

“But—science,” Taylor said and gestured vaguely in the general direction of her current project. It belched and flailed its limbs a bit. Fascinating. “I have so much to do, and I can’t just—”

“I will nag the ever-loving shit out of you,” Lisa said with a glare, the look in her eyes only promising bad things, “And don’t say we don’t have any clothes.” Lisa, without looking, pointed at the pile of clothing they’d laid out in the corner. The contents of what amounted to five separate racks of women’s clothing, ripe for the picking. “Figure it out.”

“... All of that is stolen though, and my morals won’t—”

Lisa took up the stick Taylor had discarded and viciously smacked her on the shin.

“Ow!” Taylor held back the tears that threatened to come out of the corner of her eye, in favor of rubbing her leg. That had been unexpected. Almost as if her defenses didn’t even exist. An interesting problem, and one that required some st—

“Dressed.” Another smack to the other shin ended up in the derailment Taylor’s train of thought beyond any hope of recovery. It had fallen down a gorge in the mountains somewhere, and its passengers were assumed dead. Murdered by an avalanche of pain. “Get.”

“Fine!” Taylor stumbled backward with a cry, Lisa following quickly behind to menace her further. “Just stop hitting me!”

It really hurt!

“Not until I socialize you!” Lisa let out a warcry, with an intensely cheerful smile on her face. “The beatings shall continue until morale improves!”

Taylor began to get the idea that Lisa wasn’t happy with her for some reason.

Another strike, this time on the rather large target that was her butt, made Taylor jump into the air with a yelp. Her skull cracked against the ceiling before she fell back down, cradling her suddenly aching head. “Why!?”

“That’s for the nightmares, you ass!”


==========


“This is almost fifteen percent fat.” Taylor poked her food. Grease dribbled in response, the wax paper said burger had been wrapped in completely overwhelmed. Taylor wiped her fingers as if they’d just been covered in acid.

“Yep,” Lisa answered, just before she took a bite of her food.

“A heart attack in a pound of beef, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, onions, and sesame seed buns.”

“Uh-huh.”

“And the drinks...the selection is just—” Taylor gave Lisa a sorrowful look through her glasses, feeling a little queasy as she watched Lisa make her way through her own burger without a care in the world. “They gave me instant tea.”

Taylor’s faith in humanity had taken a hit that she wasn’t sure it would ever recover from.

“I know. Isn’t it great?” Lisa took a long draw of her soda; a quarter of the liquid sugar available to her disappeared within the space of a couple of heartbeats and a sigh of relief. “I didn’t know how much I missed this until it was gone.”

Instant. Tea,” Taylor said under her breath. “Iced.” Taylor felt sick. “How can you not see anything wrong with this?”

The world was a dark and lonely place.

“Taylor. Chill.” Lisa sighed and took another bite. Grease fell like rain from the other end of her meal to pool in the center of their tray. “This is part of your socialization. Part one—”

Taylor reached for her notebook, glad for the possible out it gave her before Lisa took that away with a kick.

“—is doing things with people.” Lisa picked up a napkin and daintily wiped her mouth. An interlude in her courting of heart disease. It was going well. “Doing things with them, even if you don’t personally feel like it, due to it being a mild inconvenience or slightly distasteful.”

Taylor grimaced and nodded. She then slouched forward and pulled her hat forward over her face when she noticed people noticing her. Taylor got a sudden burst of energy. One of them, a young, red-headed male with his friends, was staring at her.

Taylor noted to herself that she’d have to add an extra layer of clothing next time. Make it an even three for good luck. The first time it had happened, it had been novel. Now it was just weird and embarrassing.

“Saying no every once in awhile when someone invites you out is fine. Sometimes you’re busy, or you just really need that day off.” Lisa finished off the last bite of her food with relish. “But do it enough, and people will stop inviting you to places. That’s a bad thing.”

He pointed Taylor out.

Lisa threw a greasy napkin at him.

“Do you mind? Fuck off!” Lisa glared at him and waited for him to turn around. His friends laughed at him, with another giving her an apologetic smile before she turned back to Taylor. A little girl smacked the rude one in the back of the head. “Some people, I swear… Anyway, eat. You already spent money on it.” She nodded at Taylor’s food. “Your food is getting cold.”

Taylor groaned but wrapped her fingers around the bun anyway. Eyed it. Palpated it until the flood of grease had stopped patterning the wrapper. “Do I have to?”

“Yes. The movie starts in thirty minutes, and theater food is a scam,” Lisa said sternly, her voice turning casual near the end. “I heard that Sherlock Holmes movie from Aleph was pretty good.”

“... Which one is that again?” Taylor asked, incapable of remembering the last time she’d seen a movie, let alone heard of one. Months at the least. She hadn’t even known there was a Sherlock Holmes movie until Lisa had told her.

She was out of touch. Sue her.

“The one starring Robert Downey Jr.. Not a bad actor and I like the premise. Also, you’re wasting a perfectly good burger right now.”

Taylor gave Lisa a blank stare as she continued to wring her burger out. “I have no idea who that is...and I’m making the best of a bad situation.”

Lisa sighed, nodded, and had some more soda. “Should have guessed… Just—finish your burger and maybe, after the movie, we’ll go to the bookstore or something.”

Taylor bit into her food like it was the key to eternal life… And started gagging. She’d allowed her enthusiasm to control her, and now she was paying the price.

It tasted like death.

“It’s not that bad, you big baby. Also, thanks for verifying my suspicions about what you’ll do for a book, nerd.”

“It’s worse! This is the worst thing!” Taylor swallowed, the whole thing sliding down her throat like molasses. “I can already feel my arteries clogging. Cholesterol levels rising… My thighs getting thicker! Oh god, help!”

Lisa laughed.

“I’m not kidding about that last one! Stop laughing!”

Lisa stopped laughing.

“How can something be so bad for you!?” Taylor whispered loudly, “It’s going to take me five minutes to burn this off!”

“You are such bullshit!”

Chapter Text

“Lisa. I have a question to ask.” Taylor nervously licked her lips. “Would you please—”

 

“No.” Lisa pressed her hands against either side of her head, closed her eyes, and took a deep breath. “Not just no. Hell no.”

 

“But you haven’t even heard what I was going to—” Taylor hesitantly tried again, painfully aware of just how much of a child, asking for another helping of ice-cream she sounded like… She then flinched and reared back when Lisa slapped her hands down on the table.

 

Two weeks after Taylor had found her and brought her home, Lisa was still rather...high strung. Quick to reach for the stick when she thought it was the best possible response to the situation at hand. Like whenever Squiggles—the monster—got a little too energetic. Or when Taylor tried to weasel out of ‘socialization’.

 

Torture, Taylor called it. She’d tasted five different types of junk food and drinks this week alone...and she realized that, maybe, bringing up the fact that you can’t get fat in front of someone who can could be considered insensitive. The things you learn...

 

“Fuck you and the horse you rode in on. I’m putting my foot down.” Lisa opened her eyes again to give Taylor a glare. Her hands reached for the stick . “I am not going to buy two-thousand dollars worth of sex toys for you!”

 

Taylor slapped her own hands down on the table in retaliation. She then winced and resolved to never do that again, when the table gave off an alarming creak. She couldn’t afford—like always— another one. Besides, this was an antique. “You’re sixteen! You have a fake ID!” Taylor loudly pointed out. “I don’t have either of those things and I can’t keep looking through my mother’s wardrobe for giant horse dicks!”

 

She couldn't do it anymore. She didn't have the heart for it. Or the soap.

 

“I don’t give a fu—Wait.” Lisa blinked. “Excuse me?” She blinked again. “Run that by me again?”

 

“I need you.” Taylor pointed at Lisa. “To buy me.” Taylor then pointed at herself. “As many sex toys as two-thousand dollars can buy.” Taylor threw her hands up, hoping that she’d distracted Lisa from her little slip up. “This isn’t exactly fifth-dimensional math here. What's so hard to understand?”

 

Please take the bait...

 

“Hey, no,” Lisa interjected, and sat up straight in her hill of blankets—a surprisingly elegant solution to not having an extra bed—to brush off Taylor’s attempt at getting back on track with two words and an empty Pringles can to the head. “you can’t just bring up that your mom’s wardrobe has giant horse dicks in it, then act like nothing happened!”

 

“That isn’t important!” Taylor replied shrilly, the need to wash her hands until she bled now at the forefront of her mind.The things her mom had done to those toys…the things Taylor's mom had Taylor’s dad do to her with those toys... the things her mom had done to Taylor’s dad with those toys … Lisa wasn’t the only one who needed a dreamless sleep every once in awhile, “What is important, is that I can’t stray three blocks away from the Redlight district without worrying about my suit running dry!”

 

That seriously dampened her potential for heroism! She’d been out and about for two weeks and had yet to even meet a cape, villain or otherwise! She'd just been beating up mooks and taking their stuff!

 

How was she supposed to be a hero without the mandatory hero/hero standoff to see where the newcomer stood? Or the fight for her life against overwhelming odds, ending in her almost unrealistic victory against all hope?

 

Where was her debut!?

 

“... I’ll leave the giant horse dicks alone then.”

 

Taylor came back to herself, just to have her heart sink at the unsaid ‘for now’ she could hear in Lisa’s voice. Lisa would probably bring it up at the worst possible time. She was that sort of person.

 

“Did you ever stop to think how weird that would look though?” Lisa said, just before she fell back into her makeshift bedding and began daintily kicking her legs. “a single, sixteen-year-old girl buying enough sex toys to choke the full cast of a toys focused orgy video.”

 

“... No?”

 

“Thought so. Sounds like you.” Lisa tried to sit up. Failed. Gave up out of pure apathy and a meh noise. Taylor forced herself to not comment on how Lisa would get fat if she kept acting like that. Lisa probably wouldn't appreciate it. “Beyond the obvious problem that is me going out by myself—”

 

Seeing how the last time Lisa had gone outside by herself had ended up with her bringing home a tentacle monster… Taylor agreed with Lisa's point. Her going out by herself was not a good thing.

 

Taylor wondered when she'd stopped worrying about Lisa trying to escape… Probably around the time they got tentacled together. They’d sort of bonded over it.

 

“—And the pure logistics involved in a single person moving that much stuff at once…” Lisa reached for the stick. “You’re playing havoc with my socialization schedule, Taylor.”

 

Taylor began to sweat. She'd been doing that a lot lately.

 

Lisa, after some more struggling, stood up. “Girl’s day out. Part twelve. Skipping lessons two to eleven.” Lisa smiled. “Doing something stupid and embarrassingly intimate with a friend.”

 

Lisa's smile wasn't a nice one.

 

Taylor started evasive maneuvers...and failed.

 

==========

 

“Hello, and welcome to ‘ Fucking Tinkers’! How may I help you today?”

 

Taylor flinched at the faux-cheer she heard in that woman’s voice. The false smile on the dark-skinned cashier’s face that failed to hide that the lights were on and there was no one home. This was a job. A curse... The things she must have seen in her line of work, the people she must have talked to… If there was any other reason as to not work retail, Taylor couldn’t think of one at the moment.

 

Socialization was overrated, she’d come to find. Painful too.

 

“Well,” Lisa hummed, something that Taylor took as a sort of permission to sidle away and look around the store, rubbing her still sore eye while Lisa did the talking. “what are your policies when it comes to bulk orders?”

 

“... Bulk orders?” The cashier started carefully, almost hopefully. Taylor listened with only half an ear as she walked down the closest aisle, losing herself in the possibilities . “It depends.”

 

“Oh?” Lisa intoned, just before she put her elbows on the counter. “Go on.”

 

Dildos. Vibrators. Beads. Pumps. Dolls. Random esoterica that had Taylor licking her lips in excitement as almost a year of waiting was bypassed in it’s entirety. The things she could do now. The projects that could be taken off the metaphorical backburner in her mind. Schematics pulled off of paper to be brought into reality… Taylor allowed the edge of a nail to start skimming the shelves as she started to hum a happy little melody under her breath.

 

“Delivery is an option.” The cashier nodded and stood up. “Or, if you have a car, I wouldn’t mind helping you carry your purchases. Basic things like that.”

 

“No discounts?”

 

Taylor’s perked up at that, her head moving as if it were on a swivel. Finances first, ideas later. The Black Mamba could wait.

 

“No. Sorry,” The cashier sighed. Taylor sighed and moved on. “It isn’t Christmas.” The dark skinned girl took a moment to think before making a small sound in realization. “Or Black Friday. I keep forgetting about that one.”

 

“What would we do without capitalism?” Lisa said dryly, earning a shrug from the retail worker in front of her in reply. “But yeah. We’ve got two-thousand dollars here—”

 

The Cashier nodded…then did a doubletake when she realized what Lisa had just said.

 

Taylor picked up the Assault & Battery—HIGH POWERED VIBRATING ACTION. Batteries not included—and gave the wand a wave, getting a feel for the heft before she grunted and put it down again, labeling it as a ‘maybe’. Quantity had a quality all it’s own after all. She had to prioritize.

 

“—And we’re planning on spending it all before it hits…” Lisa looked at her wrist and the cheap pink watch on it that she’d picked out of the loot pile when Taylor hadn’t been watching her. “Four?” Lisa raised her voice, “you’ve got thirty minutes, Taylor!”

 

“Thirty minutes?” Taylor asked, honestly taken aback. What did time have to do with anything? It was an ephemeral construct, created by short-lived—okay. Never mind. Looking at Lisa, it made sense. “Why?”

 

“Because this is a sex shop and I like to pretend I still have dignity and self-respect,” Lisa answered sourly, making the cashier visibly uncomfortable. “so bring what you want upfront, or don’t get it at all.”

 

“... We could have just ordered it from home, you know?” Taylor sighed. “I have internet.”

 

“You don’t have internet!” Lisa spun around to glare at Taylor from over a rack of ball-gags and assorted oral supplements. “You have dial-up !”

 

The lady behind the counter sat back down again, looking completely lost. Almost as if she was unsure whether she should laugh or not, not that Taylor understood why she would laugh in the first place.

 

There was nothing funny about being economical.

 

“... You make it sound as if that is a bad thing.” Taylor sniffed, and brandished The Mauler—WILL MAKE YOU SWEAR OFF MEN FOREVER OR YOUR MONEY BACK—at Lisa. She then jiggled it, allowing the monstrosity in her hands to flop about in a way that sent Lisa scrambling to hide behind something solid. “It’s perfectly serviceable. Cheap… And I finished my classes with it. I don’t need—”

 

“I can’t even watch cat videos, Taylor!”

 

“Hey!” The cashier yelled, making Taylor flinch. “No threatening people with the merchandise!” She then pointed at the sign over her head saying, in bold lettering, ‘Please do not hit each other with the dildos. Thank you.’ “Or screaming! We have rooms for that in the back if that’s what you’re into for thirty dollars an hour!”

 

“... No thank you,” Lisa mumbled, while Taylor made noises of denial in the background. “Things are awkward enough already.”

 

“We don’t have that sort of—relationship,” Taylor squeaked and hid her embarrassment by turning her back and looking at the wall instead. She liked Lisa and all, but honestly. They’d only known each other for the last two weeks, and their relationship wasn’t exactly… She was pretty though...bad thoughts! “I’m actually her landlord if anything.”

 

“... Aren’t you a little young to be a landlord?”

 

“Why, yes. Yes I am. It’s a matter of circumstance.” Taylor squinted at the nametag on the cashier’s chest from across the room, sick of referring to the cashier as the cashier even if it was only in her head. “Sabah.”

 

Taylor wasn’t sure why, but she’d expected something like Charity or Hope or Mercy. That was surprisingly normal, and not sleazy at all.

 

“... You are literally the first person to ever say my name since I started this job.” Sabah crossed her arms over her front. “Or to stare at my chest without getting weird about it. My boss doesn’t even do that.”

 

Admittedly, it was a very nice chest.

 

“Not the best job then?” Lisa smoothly interjected before Taylor could answer. Taylor was completely fine with that. “Gotta be a reason for why you’re still here though.”

 

Taylor looked up...and gasped. She then jumped up and down, hands stretched upwards as she reached for quality . It was surprisingly stressful, finding the right amount of force to use to keep herself from going up through the ceiling.

 

“Yeah,” Sabah sighed, “This is my second job. My first is kind of...” Sabah put a fist under her chin and flicked the fingers of her other hand in a ‘what can you do’ movement. “It’s a specialty store. Needed something else to do when things were slow.” She sighed again, then shrugged. “This pays the bills. College or otherwise.”

 

“What can you do, right?”

 

“It puts food on the table, and it’s better than stripping. I’ll say that.”

 

Taylor, finally realizing that it wasn’t her job to get things off of high shelves, stopped bouncing up and down like an idiot.  “Excuse me!” Taylor called out and pointed as she adjusted her glasses, “But how much is that ?”

 

Both of them turned towards her, looked up, then gave her a look.

 

“The Behemoth, Taylor.” Lisa started rubbing her temples and swearing under her breath as she reached for her wallet. No arguments in front of people this time. She was learning! “Seriously?”

 

Sabah just looked as if Christmas had come early as she got the ladder. Taylor assumed that she worked on commission and that this wasn’t exactly cheap. “Man… You guys are really dedicated when it comes to gag gifts, huh?”

 

Taylor looked up at the sixteen inch, red painted, craggy, veiny rubber with an almost painful energy. She was almost buzzing from the power she could feel coming off of this monster. “Yeah,” Taylor said, feeling giddy for the first time in months as she realized that dreams did come true, “so many people are going to be so surprised !”

 

She wondered how the new suit would look on her….

 

“Nothing better for a sexual gag gift I say.” Sabah nodded as she started making her way up the wall. “This is a bit oversized when compared to the more commercial variations, pretty much unusable for what you’d normally use a monster dildo for. But...” She pushed a button at the base, lighting the whole thing up with a cheery red glow. Wax started bubbling up from the bottom. “The normal variations don’t double as lava lamps.”

 

Taylor squeed.

 

“Holy fuck that’s tasteless,” Lisa breathed, “what idiot thought that one up?”

 

“A dead one. There was supposed to be a Bed-Bringer set,” Sabah grunted as she fit the toy under her arm and began making her way down. “but the company went under after The Fallen came down on them en masse, screaming about heresy.” She let out a relieved sigh as she finally came down to earth. Taylor had to fight to keep herself from yanking the toy out of Sabah’s hands. “There were no survivors, making this one of maybe ten in the entire state.”

 

So many opportunities. Lost. Gone forever… Taylor felt the urge to weep.

 

“No shit,” Lisa grumbled, and took out an extra three hundred dollars, “also, subtle.”

 

“Collector’s items are expensive. Sorry.” Sabah quickly, with a moment in time where she had to shoo Taylor away, moved back around the counter and placed the dildo down by the base. “That’ll be 1700 dollars, plus tax… If you want it.”

 

Taylor took the bait.

 

“I want it!” Taylor said excitedly and began bouncing in place. “Give her the money, Lisa! Do it! I need it!” Taylor stopped bouncing as she then felt the undeniable urge to hide, which she did when a metaphorical freight train of arousal slammed into her all at once.

 

Sabah awkwardly looked away, her cheeks now a couple of shades darker after she’d been caught looking.

 

That was a first… she’d never had a woman do that before. Men, sure. But a woman?

 

Nowhere was safe.

 

“... Fuck it. It’s not my money.” Lisa counted it all out onto the countertop with a scowl. “You planning on getting anything else, Taylor?”

 

“The Assault & Battery—and exactly ten pounds of beads.” Taylor peeked shyly over Lisa’s shoulder to give Sabah a nod. “If that’s okay?”

 

“Sure. Let me just—” Sabah hummed as she ran the numbers, “I can’t quite say how much that is all together, but I’ll say you’ll have forty dollars or so left after if you buy the batteries.” She looked up, making Taylor squeak as they made eye contact. Her face became even darker. “If that’s okay?”

 

Lisa looked between the two of them, thought a moment… and then her shoulders started shaking with suppressed laughter.

 

“That’s fine.” Taylor shuffled back behind Lisa again and gave her a slap on the shoulder.

 

Lisa sank a little under the light blow and started cursing. “Fucking why ?”

 

“I’ll just—keep that for later,” Taylor finished,  “Thanks.”

 

“I think you dislocated something, you jackass!”

 

“Welcome,” Sabah smiled gratefully, giving Lisa a concerned look as she rung up Taylor’s purchase, “and thanks for not burning the store down because I’m not white.”

 

Taylor’s returned smile fell apart as she put her hands on her cheeks and started sputtering.

 

“When I saw the shaved head...” Sabah gestured at Lisa, who was now looking at her in a weird mix of amused, horrified, and pained. “It got me a little suspicious. The runic tramp stamp though just cinched it really. I’m glad that not everyone in the Empire is a fanatic.”

 

Taylor felt all of the blood drain from her face as a cold chill ran down her spine. She’d completely forgotten about the Tracking Seal.

 

“... Runic tramp stamp?” Lisa asked quietly, with a not at all subtle menace. “What tramp stamp?”

 

Taylor started shoveling all of her purchases into her bag and slung it over her shoulder.

 

“You didn’t know?” Sabah said just as quietly back, suitably menaced. “That’s terrible!”

 

“Isn’t it?”

 

Taylor tripped over Lisa’s outstretched foot, the only thing that kept her from falling completely being the fingers she could feel stretching out the collar of her blouse.

 

“Thirty dollars for a room, right?” Lisa plucked the bag out of Taylor’s limp hands. “I want to see how tough the Behemoth is.”

 

Taylor whimpered.

Chapter Text

You tagged me? Lisa hissed as soon as the door had been closed and locked, cutting them off from the outside world. Cutting them off from the last breath of fresh air they’d have, free of the scent of musk and industrial cleaning supplies...until Lisa was done or their hour was up. “You fucking tagged me, and didn’t even bother to tell me!?”

 

This was going to be uncomfortable—but at least it was clean...that was something. The seats were nice too, very soft. Went well with the color of the walls and was that a—

 

Lisa dumped the contents of the bag onto the seat to Taylor, then started untangling the Behemoth from the mess it had fallen into.

 

—she had to focus!

 

“Well…” Taylor opened her mouth to continue her refutation Lisa’s accusation...but found that she had nothing with which to refute it with. Taylor had technically ‘tagged’ her after all, in multiple meanings of the word. So, instead, she opened with the best possible explanation as to why this was even an issue as she rubbed at her somewhat tender ear. Lisa needed to trim her nails. “I kinda...forgot about it?”

 

Lisa turned her head, leaving the Behemoth be in favor of glaring at Taylor. Taylor felt the sudden urge to protect her eyes when Lisa’s hands then curled up into claws. “ What?

 

Taylor started to think there was no way she was going to be able to talk her way out of this one—

 

“After finding you where I did, and learning about what you used to do for a living,” Taylor started apologetically, swallowing as she started to wring her hands at the somewhat maniacal glint that had just appeared in Lisa’s eyes. “I had to take precautions.”

 

—but she had to try anyway. You never knew what could happen unless you tried, right?

 

“... What does it do?” Lisa asked the calm tone of her voice completely at odds with the set of her face and body. Taylor didn’t think that she’d ever seen Lisa this mad before… It was actually sort of scary if Taylor was being honest. “How does it do it? Was it necessary? If not, then why did you feel the need to mark me up like I was an Empire whore?”

 

Taylor couldn’t help but gasp at that. That had just been uncalled for. “Elder Futhark is a very stable, complex, and beautiful language! Those thugs wouldn’t know the difference between a Gebo or Eihwaz rune if it bit them on the—”

 

“I don’t care, Taylor. What. Does. It. Do.” Lisa spat each word punctuated by the smack of the Behemoth against her palm, the last of the beads finally giving up the ghost and letting go to fall on the floor at the final word.

 

Taylor really hoped that the floors had been cleaned recently.

 

“Well…if you must know...” Taylor self-consciously crossed her legs, then licked her lips at Lisa’s pointedly... aggressive movements...only to mentally smack herself up the side of her head. Now wasn’t the right time for that sort of thing. “How good are you at quantum physics?” That was as far as Taylor got into her really simplified explanation of what she had done before she found the very tip of The Behemoth less than an inch from the end of her nose.

 

It had that ‘fresh plastic’ smell… The things you thought about when you were trying not to panic could be more than a little strange.

 

“Ten words or less,” Lisa all but growled.

 

“Nordic runes are good at tracking locations and mental states!” Taylor blurted out in exactly ten words.

 

“... You figured out how to give me a ten word explanation in less than a second. You are just...fuck it.” Lisa sighed. “So. You pretty much gave me a magical tramp stamp so I wouldn’t get kidnapped, shot, beat up, or run away, right?”

 

Taylor nodded.

 

“That’s why you patted me on the butt when I went out to buy clothes. You were worried about your investment.”

 

“And you!” Taylor piped up, not bothering to admit nor deny that the money had been important too. She wasn’t that socially challenged. “You’d just gotten out of the pool, and the people that had you last weren’t exactly good people . I couldn’t let you go back to that! Also, if I hadn’t, then Squiggles would have—”

 

“Thank you , Taylor.” Lisa’s face twisted, a small star of conflicted lust flaring then being snuffed out, convincing Taylor to clam up. “But I want this gone.”

 

“But—”

 

“But nothing!” Lisa snapped, “I don’t know about you, but I really don’t like that people just sort of assume that I find jackboots sexy. Nor do I appreciate the fact that you tagged me like an animal !” Lisa firmly prodded the end of Taylor’s nose with the tip of the rubber phallus in her hands. “Fix this!”

 

If she only could...

 

“Well...it was supposed to wear off in only a few days. That’s kinda why I forgot about it.” Taylor said, her nervousness having a negative, but thankfully minor, effect on her vocabulary as she shakily rubbed the back of her neck. Lisa had been a bad influence on her. “But...”

“But?” There was enough venom in that one word to kill a herd of elephants.

 

“I grabbed the wrong ink.” Taylor continued as Lisa went deathly still. “It’ll last at least six months. Four months before I can even attempt to remove it.” Taylor weakly said. It was dead quiet in the room outside of the light hum of the air conditioning and fluorescent lighting. “Anything shorter than that, and things might get a little—difficult. You understand, right?”

 

Of course she did. She was an intelligent young woman. Not a very understanding one, but intelligent. That was what was important here.

“Taylor.”



“Yes?” Taylor replied, her voice full of hope.



“Spread em’.”

 

And, just like that, the script Taylor had been reading from had become obsolete.

 

“I’m sorry, but,” Taylor asked dully, stunned by the sudden shift the conversation had just taken, “I don’t think I understand.” That wasn’t completely true. She understood well enough. The individual words and such… It was the way those words were put together that threw her off. “Clarification?”

 

Considering the source, Taylor hadn’t expected something like this to happen. At least not this soon, if ever. Lisa had always been so...uptight. It boggled the mind.

 

Maybe she should have spent more time trying to fix the pool instead of studying Squiggles? Lisa might have been less irritated if she had...that was a thought.

 

“Sure!” Lisa said faux brightly. “I am going to use this...” Lisa wriggled the Behemoth, “On you—”  

 

Taylor’s breath caught at that, her heart skips a beat as her suit decided that now would be a good time to wake up. Prepping her body from the inside out. Accentuating her assets as it primed her for action. She didn’t regret wearing it everywhere, knowing just how dangerous Brockton could be...but things like that were a black mark anyway.

 

“—and I’m not all that picky when it comes to how I go about doing it.” Lisa bent forward over Taylor, loomed threateningly over her as she tried not to squirm or bite her lip, making this even more awkward than it already was. “In or out, Taylor?”

 

“I—” Taylor placed both of her hands over her mouth, her eyes wide as she felt another shock hit her.

 

Lisa’s own breathing stuttered as she felt and made Taylor feel in return. Interest. Conflict. Desperation and nervous reluctance. The tangled, tag-along wrappings of a small pool of passion and want that burned like a bonfire at the edge of Taylor’s mind.

 

This may have been a little more forward than Taylor had ever expected her first confession to be...but it was still nice to feel as if she were desirable every once in awhile, she guessed... Also, they’d kind of already seen each other naked—and helped each other shower after the day of the tentacle —so… A relationship wasn’t exactly a big leap forward, even if it was a little fast for her liking...it didn’t hurt that Lisa was attractive of course, and not bad company when she wasn’t snippy.

 

Taylor gave Lisa a quick up and down check to add some legitimacy to her last thought. Lisa’s hair was coming in nicely. Jeans were tight in all the right places. The midriff-baring top with the little kitty marking on the right breast that Lisa had pulled out of the pile really pulled everything together... All in all, besides the bags under Lisa’s eyes, Taylor couldn’t find anything wrong with this.

 

Wait. No. She totally could.

 

“Here? Now?” Taylor whispered back as she plucked at the ends of her skirt. “In the back of a seedy, triple X-rated, adult store with a whole bag’s worth of freshly obtained sex toys where we have, at most, forty minutes before the door gets knocked down?”

 

Describing the place as ‘seedy’ might have been a bit harsh, Taylor acknowledged to herself. It was actually rather high end, considering the name it had and what it was.

 

Lisa stared at Taylor for a moment, the look of unending rage on her face falling for a moment, turning uncertain before the rage came back with a vengeance. “Yes. Yes, I do.”

 

“...Well,” Taylor replied slowly, only slightly disappointed that she wouldn’t be able to set up a battery chain in time for it to matter as she ran her hands over her thighs with a sigh. “I suppose if we must...”

 

“We must.”

 

“We did already pay for the room, so you aren’t wrong,” Taylor said with a sigh as she fell to her side and rolled over onto her front, with a pillow under her hips for maximum comfort. “Waste not, want not.” She then made a surprised huff, her cheeks puffing out with air when the connector between her and the suit then decided that it was done being quiet. Taylor let out said air as soon as the connector began to expand, gently and quietly massaging her inner walls as it added its own brand of lubricant to hers. “Just try not to break anything, please?”

 

Lisa, instead of talking like Taylor had kind of hoped, took the hem of Taylor’s ankle length skirt in between her fingers and pulled it up. From ankles to calves, to knees and then Lisa decided to get it over with in one go and a curse. Throwing her hand to the side was all that was needed to leave Taylor’s bottom half almost completely exposed but for a pair of much too small underwear, making her shudder in the sudden breeze.

 

The AC was a little low in here...


“...You could bounce a brick off of that ass,” Lisa whispered, giving Taylor the shock of her life as the words she’d said weeks ago came back to her. “Like...holy shit. It’s like I’m staring at the Sistine Chapel of asses. The one ass all the other asses wish they could be...the one ass to rule them all—it almost makes me forget about how angry I am.”

 

Taylor had never felt more proud as she did right then when she felt Lisa’s fingers brush against the meat of her rear. Felt Lisa caress it, then give it a squeeze before she let go with a gasp.

 

“It’s real .”

 

“Of course it is,” Taylor mumbled into her crossed arms, “I wouldn’t pay for plastic even if I did have the money.” She’d paid all of five dollars for a bag of Red Galas, and with some of her mother’s old things. Obviously the superior option. “They wouldn’t know how to make something like this if they tried.”

 

And how they tried. Hacks.

 

“... And I’m going to wreck it,” Lisa said, sounding just as stunned as Taylor felt when Lisa peered closer only to find thin, black silk barely hiding Taylor’s modesty. “Because like I said...it almost made me forget just how angry I am.”

 

Taylor whimpered when Lisa took the back of her underwear and pulled it to the side, most likely stretching it to near uselessness as she forced it over the slope of Taylor’s ass. “I said not to break anything…”

 

“I didn’t,” Lisa said dryly, or as dryly as she could when she finally let go, her voice breaking, her fingers stuttering over Taylor’s skin as the silk stuck to where she left it, right over the highest point. “Everything is still in one piece. Just—a little worn.”

 

“I was talking about me!”

 

“I know.” Lisa pulled her hand back and gave Taylor’s behind a smack, making Taylor’s behind shake as she cried out in shock. “The problem with that is that this is about you .” Lisa stared at her hand for a moment. Flexed it as if she couldn’t quite believe what she had just done before she sat down and grabbed a handful of Taylor’s reddened flesh. “And I already know that you are very hard to break.”

 

“... Okay. True enough. But that doesn’t mean you can test it!” Taylor eeped, then tensed as she felt rubber in between her cheeks, poking at places no other— human —had ever gone before. “Cold! So cold!”

 

It was almost as if Lisa didn’t know what prep time was!

 

“But science, Taylor! Everything must be tested! You taught me that.” Lisa flicked the switch at the bottom of the Behemoth, adding red light, moving light to the purples of the room. “And things are going to heat up pretty damn soon. Don’t you worry about silly things like that.”

 

Moving her rear slightly, Taylor reflexively winced as Lisa found her target started adding pressure.

 

“Worry about the fifteen inches that’s about to fill out your colon.”

 

“Sixteen…actually.” Taylor sighed as the tapered tip finally pushed into her, the heat building up in it more than a little pleasant after her prior shock. It was easy to relax after it no longer felt like she was about to take an icicle where the sun didn’t shine. “I know it is a lot easier to just generalize, or round to a nice even number, but that’s just lazy, and I think—EEEEEEEEEH!”

 

Taylor hadn’t even known her voice could get that high. That any humans could, actually. Lisa and a wine bottle’s worth in width of lit up and thankfully warm rubber had just shown her otherwise. Not that she minded, beyond the embarrassment that came with it.

 

Taylor wondered who was going to get the stains out of the couch. She didn't’ envy them.

 

“That was...surprisingly easy,” Lisa mused before she wriggled the toy, making the six inches already in Taylor’s stomach press against her insides in a way that made her want to squirm. “This isn’t exactly new to you, is it?”

 

Taylor stared at the wall in front of her, wide-eyed and whining as Lisa pushed the toy a bit further into her and gave it a twirl. Taylor couldn’t help but cry out when Lisa gave it another, then held it where it was as Taylor’s body tried to push it out, the sensation of being full driving Taylor to distraction.

 

She needed a moment to adjust. Talking was beyond her at the moment.

 

“Your body is just eating it up...” Lisa gave Taylor’s butt another slap, adding to the red that she’d left before. “What the hell is up with your powers? Brute, Tinker, Thinker, Mover, Changer, Trump, and Shaker.” Lisa pulled most of the Behemoth out of Taylor all at once. “All of them high-level.” Then forced it in again, driving a little more than half of the dildo into Taylor’s butt in a single go.

 

Taylor twitched. She gasped. She bit into her sleeves as her vision went blurry with tears. Then she tried not to squirm when Lisa gave her another inch, rounding it out to a solid eight.

 

That would have been rude. She had to pay attention.

 

“You’re like a giant, walking, talking, superpowered porn parody of Eidolon if he was a girl with glasses and the social skills of an intensely anti-social agoraphobic bookworm...and isn’t that a thought.” Lisa laughed, high and haughty. “If that was the case there’d be a lot more villains and nerds in Houston, looking to get a peek before they got their asses handed to them.”

 

Taylor tried to talk again. Failed. Lisa’s words. The scenario Lisa had just described. The humiliation… Taylor felt the bite of her own teeth on her arm. Tasted the sweat on her skin as her suit tried to keep up with her production, reclaiming the mess she was making slightly slower than she made it when Lisa drew out again.

 

A battery chain would have been welcome right then.

 

“You know,” Lisa said, with more than a little amusement in her tone. “I probably should have known that you’d get off on being dominated. Bossed around.” Any objection to that was cut off by Lisa pushing the dildo in even deeper. Ten inches now. “Kind of obvious in hindsight, seeing how you never actually minded when I hit you or when I dragged you outside. That was your kink.”

 

Taylor bit even harder and closed her eyes. She swore she tasted blood. “I’m not...I didn’t...” Taylor whispered. If it weren’t for the fact that she could barely hear herself , she’d have probably found it convincing. “I’m not into that sort of thing.”

 

It was just a source of power. Nothing more...but the things that could be done with someone else … It was a whole new world.

 

“It’s almost as if you’ve forgotten what my powers are,” Lisa continued mockingly. The taunting alone was enough for Taylor to cum for the first time. To make her vision go white as she squirted all over the seat and hoped that no one could hear her screams. Was Lisa trying to kill her? “I can read you like an open book, Taylor.”

 

“But I thought your—” Taylor eeped and gasped for breath as she received another stroke across her ass. One hard enough that she could feel it move through her body in a wave. “—your powers didn’t work like they used to!”

 

The guilt that Taylor had felt at that couldn’t be explained in words. Something like that, changing a fundamental part of someone’s being, the part that made them special ...

 

“It doesn’t,” Lisa hissed. “It doesn’t work how it used to...but it works well enough for this .” Lisa, after putting both hands on the base...put her weight into it.

 

Taylor blanked. She saw nothing. Heard nothing. Said nothing. She just felt as her mouth dropped open and tears streamed down her face. It was all in. All of it. From top to bottom. Stretching her out, making her truly full ...which is when she started wailing as she realized that she was going through the most vicious orgasm of her life so far.

 

Today wasn’t a day for extended bouts of walking. That much was clear.

 

“Anyone else,” Lisa whispered, “and we’d need a team of surgeons to pull this out of you.” Lisa flicked the base, the only part of The Behemoth still showing, which extended Taylor’s orgasm by at least another ten seconds. “Then another to fix you if you could be fixed.”

 

Taylor gave up on trying not to squirm, forgetting about such things as rudeness and impropriety when Lisa stood up and walked away. Taylor’s whole body was a mess, writhing and shaking as she pulled on whatever self-control that she still had to prevent herself from breaking anything. It was either that, or the screaming. One or the other.

 

“I know it might be hard for you to hear me over the fun you’re having,” Lisa held up the Assault & Battery pair and slotted the batteries in. Two for each end as she looked at the packaging, shrugged, and turned them both onto their highest setting. “But we’ve got a while to go before time runs out.” Lisa turned the Assault & Battery off but kept them on hand as she sat back in her seat and waited for Taylor to calm down completely. “We’re not done yet.”

 

Sabah had most likely just gotten an earful that she’d never forget. Taylor hoped she wasn’t too embarrassed about it. Taylor already had enough of that for a room of people, let alone just two.

 

“I can’t—” Taylor gurgled, slurring her words before she gave herself a slow shake of the head, hoping it didn’t jostle anything it shouldn’t. “—believe you didn’t break something.” She was never leaving home without her suit now. Never ever. That was now a note. “I’ll be walking funny for days,I think.”

 

“...Days,” Lisa murmured, her face flat and hard as stone. “Sixteen inches of hard rubber, glass, and electronics is just an inconvenience to you.” Lisa grinned, the look on her face turning absolutely predatory in a blink of Taylor’s eye. “Let’s go for a week, hmm?”

 

Before Taylor knew what was happening, Lisa had turned the smaller of the two onto it’s lowest setting and ran it over her body. Grazed her in a way that made her yelp, almost jump if it wasn’t for her hyper awareness when it came to the dildo lodged inside of her.

 

“Spread em’.”

 

At the end it got her panting, her anticipation rising as she realized what was about to happen.

 

“Lisa.” Taylor panted out. “Please.”  She had to repress the urge to shudder at the crawling sensation that ran down her back the second those words left her lips. She could feel Lisa’s smirk. Her joy, and hope, and pain, and guilt, and need, and uncertainty...and...and...

 

“You said please~”

 

It was proof of how just how durable Taylor’s suit had made her when she didn’t bite right through her arm when Lisa decided that her front entrance had been neglected for far too long. A buzz there was a shock like nothing else, even beyond what she imagined when she debated using some of her mother’s things. It had never happened, so she had nothing to compare it to when Lisa, with a husky laugh, fully inserted the thin, long toy inside of her pussy.

 

The Behemoth. The Battery. Doing such a thing in a public venue. The humiliation. The pleasure. The power. It was just too much.

 

Taylor’s arms gave out from under her, falling to the sides as the last of the strength she still had in them evaporated like money at the end of every month. The only things that Taylor could still move were the ends of her limbs, fingers, and toes, grasping and flexing and clawing and stretching for comfort as her mind, her soul began to melt.

 

And then Lisa flicked the switch to high. There was little else to do but scream after that.

 

Taylor was only vaguely aware of the fact that Lisa had sat down beside her when it happened, the blonde girl’s emotions rising to a crescendo as the Assault hummed to life and her pants fell to the floor. When Lisa began to cry out as well, the power Taylor could feel tripled, leaving the room they were in the magical equivalent of a hot zone for at least the next ten years just from suit overflow...and then it stopped right after Lisa finished herself with a long, drawn-out groan.

 

Shame. Regret. Confusion. Consideration. Reflection.

 

Just the once...and everything stopped to the background of Lisa’s feelings. Assault & Battery was turned off. Extracted as Lisa slid her pants back on, then the flipped Taylor’s skirt back into place. She then sat beside Taylor as she came back to herself, putting everything back into their packaging with her face set into a badly constructed, embarrassed mask.

 

Taylor found herself grateful that Lisa hadn’t tried removing the Behemoth. Waiting for her to recover from something like that would have set them far beyond the time they’d been allotted...and it was unlikely Lisa would have been able to do it anyway. She hadn’t been exaggerating much about how far it had gotten.

 

A team of surgeons indeed...

 

“I’m sorry.” Lisa fumbled the Assault & Battery. Cringed as it made a wet sound against the palm of her hand. “About...the whole thing with the...” Lisa’s eyes flicked towards Taylor’s rear. “Thing.”

 

“... My underwear?”

 

Lisa gave Taylor a blank stare. Sounded what Taylor had just said before she put her clean hand on her face.

 

“We have almost two hundred pairs at home.” It had taken a while for her to get used to the fact that those clothes weren’t going anywhere, but it had happened. “I’ll just get a new one that fits, more or less.”

 

And now I feel worse .”

 

“Don’t,” Taylor said as she got around Lisa’s hand to lightly grasp her face to start gently pulling her down.

 

Lisa continued to stare, her eyes wider than before.

 

“I thought it was wonderful.” Taylor puckered her lips and—

 

They both shrieked and jumped away from each other as the room was suddenly filled with the sound of a harsh electronic elevator jingle that was at least twenty decibels too loud, and ten steps off from tasteful…and then...

 

Thank you for shopping at your local branch of ‘ Fucking Tinkers’, but your time is up~!

 

The mood was ruined… Maybe.

 

“... Do you want to—” Taylor started.

 

“No.”

 

“Oh…”

 

The mood was ruined.

 

==========

 

“Thank you for visiting the local branch of ‘ Fucking Tinkers ’,” Sabah said woodenly as the two girls shuffled awkwardly past her, not quite able to meet her eyes. That was okay though. She couldn’t quite meet their eyes either. They’d been very... vocal. “I hope you enjoyed the room.”

 

They both said something noncommittally nice, but continued to shuffle away. Sort of. The leggy one, Taylor, was walking with the worst limp Sabah had ever seen outside of a beating. Lisa just looked like someone had just told her that her dog had just died, but worse .

 

That jingle could be a killer.

 

“If it’s not to much to ask…” Sabah held up a stack of survey papers, hoping that she wasn’t about to get chewed out by yet another disgruntled customer. “Could you...comment on our service and...your levels of satisfaction with—”

 

Lisa shuffled back, quickly took the papers, and shuffled even faster towards the door, this time with Taylor’s arm over her shoulder to help her along.

 

“Alright then...you can give it to me when you come back, I guess?” Sabah said as she finally looked away from the ceiling to watch them walk out the door. “Have a good day!”

 

It took Sabah ten minutes after they had left for her to realize that they’d had the Behemoth when they went in, but they hadn’t been carrying it when they came out...and had Taylor’s skirt been a little more illuminated than it used to be?

 

Sabah buried her face in her arms and groaned.


E-88 lesbians were freaks.

Chapter Text

It was a quiet day, at least by Taylor’s standards. Nothing big was happening, only a single pot was on the boil, Squiggles hadn’t escaped confinement and the Behemoth quietly hummed as it was pumped full of enough magic to blow a hole in a small mountain through a jury-rigged leyline shunt.

This was quite possibly her greatest achievement to date. Greater than her body. Greater than her suit. Maybe even greater than the pool at its very best.

Taylor hummed, the sound deeply muffled by the welding mask she’d salvaged from the garage as she prodded at the Behemoth’s power button with a stick. After three to five near misses and fumbles from twenty feet away, Taylor finally pressed it, threw her shields up, and watched it light up with a glow comparable to a small red stars. Taylor then ooh’d and aah’d a bit as the wax started to bubble and roil, a liquid, blinding, beautiful white and purple.

Using the conceptual link between the toy and the real Behemoth, Taylor had done what scientists of old had once considered impossible… She’d created a perpetual engine, a source of effectively unlimited power…which she was going to use to power her house.

Lisa, before she’d gone quiet and jammed her face into Taylor’s pillow, had compared it to ‘jacking a microwave into a nuclear reactor’... Which was something that Taylor just found silly to think about. It was more like stealing cable. Nuclear reactors gave you cancer, unlike magic. Stealing cable did not give you cancer, like magic... The possibility of sub-atomic disintegration in both of those things, while noticeable, was another thing altogether and not something worth thinking about.

Either way, there were no laws against this. That was the only thing that mattered.

A shimmy backwards and a mad, mood-appropriate cackle threw up the bunker shields, dimming the red light in the room significantly as they took up some of the strain and allowed her to take off her mask with yet more cackling. She then started coughing.

Prolonged cackling placed a surprising amount of stress on one’s throat. How did people do it?

“Holy shit,” Lisa breathed out from behind her own mask before she lifted it up, “I’m not dead. Or blind.” She paused. “Dead or blind, again.

“Of course not,” Taylor sniffed as she looked down on herself. Another set of clothing, ruined by light bleaching. Terrible. “I knew exactly what I was doing...and you weren’t dead. Just in need of a good hospital visit and a parahuman doctor.” Taylor dusted off her blouse, then frowned when she realized that wasn’t going to help anything. “The blindness was debatable. Anyway, I knew what I was doing...even if the last five minutes were a bit touch and go.”

Being able to take the power company out of the equation was totally worth it.

Lisa closed her eyes and silently pinched the bridge of her nose.

“Oh...wait,” Taylor giggled nervously, “this is one of those things you didn’t want to know about, isn’t it?”

“You were doing so well,” Lisa whispered before her voice rose again, “and did you seriously just risk the both of us getting atomized for free electricity?”

When Lisa said it like that...

“Electricity is expensive,” Taylor quickly replied to Lisa’s visible(Holy fuck, why)horror. “But that’s not all I did!”

“So help me god, if you don’t tell me that you found the secret to turning lead into gold—”

Taylor’s brow scrunched up at that. “That isn’t nearly as easy as it sounds. Or clean.”

“—what?”

Taylor crossed her arms under her chest and felt a thrill of pride at the flash of interest that she got from Lisa before the other girl looked away. “Human sacrifice is icky.” Lisa quickly backed away, only to start cursing and flailing when she tripped over her blanket pile. “Anyway, I finally solved my range problem!”

Hopping over the still struggling Lisa, Taylor made her way to the other end of the room to her rolling blackboard. “Over the course of this month, I’ve been forced to stay within certain areas of the city in order to function at my fullest capacity.” Spinning the board around to bring her premade explanation into view, Taylor did a pirouette and pulled a pointer out of her sleeve to slap it against the board. Chalk floated up and started filling in the prearranged map, just like she’d rehearsed.

Being impressive was hard.

“Areas such as the corner of Woodrow and Wilson, certain other neighborhoods of ill repute, and a radius of three blocks or so around sex shops of certain sizes were my territory, not by choice but by necessity.” Taylor sighed. “Those were the sorts of places I’d been consigned to.”

Lisa, finally sitting upright after her fight with cotton and fluff, said nothing and hid her face in her hands. It was good to see that she understood the problem...but would it kill her to clap or something?

“It was—frustrating,” Taylor admitted sullenly, “being so limited… So,” Taylor moved the pointer up into a stick figure representation of her getting struck by lightning. Lightning that was emitted from the tip of yet another representation, this time of the Behemoth. It wasn’t very good, considering that art wasn’t exactly one of her strong points...but it got the point across. That was what mattered. “while I wait for the suit mixture to mature, the Behemoth will also be taking up the role of a wireless charger for my suit, expanding the range upon which I may dispense justice upon the wicked.”

“Good idea, Taylor,” Lisa sighed, “I’d been thinking of just how much of a shame it was that you couldn’t prance around the rest of the city and stand on new rooftops while half-naked in below forty degree weather. Good job figuring that one out.”

“Thank you.” Taylor gave Lisa a crisp nod before turning back to the board. “Now… Wait.”

That had sounded off.

“Yes, Taylor. That was sarcasm. Good job.”

“... Oh. I see.” Taylor frowned but otherwise shook it off to look at the board again. Socialization. A work in progress. “I’m not that bad though.” Was she?

“Yes you are. And you could, at the very least, wear a coat or something. It’s fucking cold out there.”

Taylor then gave her a look, making Lisa roll her eyes and sigh before she zipped her mouth and threw away the key. Good. Taylor really didn’t need logic at the moment...and it was nice to see that Lisa had been taking well to the health additives Taylor had been slipping into her food. The muscle tone she was starting to show was rather pleasing, a great deal nicer than what had been in her future. Lisa had been rather listless lately, and her getting fat just wouldn’t do. “Now...where was I?”

“Range.”

“Ah. That’s right.” Taylor tapped the board again, changing the white chalk out for blue to draw out a mathematically perfect circle in the middle of the city, covering everything but the outer edges into the rest of the state. “With the Behemoth working as an antenna and converter all in one, I’m able to travel within this blue circle without concern of running out of power at an inopportune moment.” Taylor tapped the board again, filling the outside of the circle with varying levels of gray to black. “Further than that, and issues start appearing.”

“... So,” Lisa started slowly, “does that mean you can’t leave the state without becoming relatively helpless?”

“I…” Taylor’s brow furrowed as she started nibbling lightly on a perfectly manicured nail. Lisa really knew her way around a file. “I suppose?” Wiping away a whole corner of the board, Taylor started scribbling something new. Power equations. Logistics. Resources and time. The conclusion was not one that she found to her liking. “Yes. That is exactly what it means.”

She wouldn’t have true freedom until the end of the month. Possibly less or more, depending on several factors...oh well. It wasn’t like she was planning on going anywhere anyway.

“That’s nice and all—”

“It really isn’t.”

“—But you know what would also be really nice?” Lisa bulldozed her way through Taylor’s objection as she fell into her pile with a huff. She then started squirming and stuck a hand under herself, presumably after landing on a lump. “A bed.”

Taylor started chewing on her lower lip.

“It’s been fun roughing it on the floor for the last month or so...but a girl has needs.” Lisa fixed Taylor with a gimlet eye. “Like a mattress that isn’t in contact with the floor. Or, you know. An actual mattress.”

“... I—well...” Taylor paused and began nervously rubbing her thumb and forefinger together as she turned fully around, “I wouldn’t mind...sharing? You know—like you suggested earlier?”

They’d already had sex. Sharing a bed was just a natural progression.

“What? I didn’t mean—” Lisa groaned as she ran her hands through what there was of her hair. Also coming in nicely. “I was high.”

“I still wouldn’t mind...” Taylor replied softly.

Lisa blankly stared at her for a little while...then turned onto her front before pulling a blanket over her head.

“Okay…fine,” Taylor sighed. Why did Lisa have to be so complicated? “I guess, now that we don’t have to worry about the electrical bill...we can— do something about…” Taylor trailed off for a moment at the realization that she was about to initiate an outing. It was a heady sensation. “We’ll go out and buy you a bed.”

Lisa deserved something nice, every once and awhile. Couldn’t have her feeling unappreciated. Maybe something every two weeks? Chocolates or something.

Lisa’s blanket shifted, allowing Taylor to see a single suspicious eye.

“Doesn’t that sound nice?”

Lisa continued to glare, making Taylor shift uncomfortably before she sat up. “... Let me get my shoes.”

“Alright.”

“... And can we get ice-cream?”

==========

“Boing, boing, boing, boing...”

“Stop that,” Taylor hissed as her cheeks began trying to melt the rest of her face in a cataclysmic inferno of embarrassment as she reached out for Lisa, only to miss. “Stop that right now!”

If Taylor had known how Lisa was going to act, she would have never brought her here!

“But, Taylor!” Lisa gave her a cheery smile as she booty bounced her way out of Taylor’s reach and towards the other end of the mattress. “I can’t help it!”

It was like dealing with a child!

“Yes, you can!” Taylor quickly stuck a smile on her face and waved at an amused looking sales associate. He then waved back with an open grin and left, leaving Taylor free to pursue Lisa again. “You’re embarrassing me!”

“Now you know how I feel most of the time! Let me have this!” Lisa exclaimed before she did a mid-air roll to evade Taylor’s grasp yet again. “And holy shit is this a good bed.”

It’s four thousand dollars!”

“I haven’t been on a bed for a month! Let me have this! You owe me!”

“No!” With a straightforward lunge, one that also missed, Taylor fell into the bed on her face. “Now stop—oh wow.” It was like laying on clouds. Like everything that was good in the world, stuffed with joy and childish excitement. “Oh wow.”

“Right?” Lisa flounced down next to the other girl. “It’s like love and happiness if it was solid, I swear to god.”

Damn you, Tinkerpedic…” Taylor rubbed her face into the material. Felt the caress of a lover against her skin. “Damn you…

Her bed was as old as she was. She was allowed to be a little dramatic.

“Are you going to get it then?”

“... Yes. You’ve won.”

Lisa pumped her fist triumphantly.

“You’re getting my old bed.” Taylor stretched her arms out and enjoyed the fact that she could do that without having an arm or a leg fall off the bed. Lisa’s angered batting at her head and shoulders was a minor thing in comparison. “This is mine now.”

So she had declared, and so it shall be.

“That thing is barely a year younger than I am!” The batting of Lisa’s hands against Taylor’s head and shoulders became an outright attack, startling the younger girl enough that it got her to move again. “Screw that!”

“Hey! No!” Rolling quickly over onto her front, Taylor was almost instantly straddled and slapped at. “Bad, Lisa, bad!” Out of the corner of her eye, Taylor saw the salesman again. Her silent plea for help went unanswered, with him turning around just as quickly as he came, walkie-talkie in hand, when Lisa got her hands in Taylor’s hair. “Ow!”

Was it just her, or had their little corner of the store just become a lot more empty? 

“You owe me!” Lisa shrieked when she was tossed to the side, completely unharmed as she bounced off the mattress. Her shrieks intensified when, in a moment of childish whimsy, Taylor straddled her instead. “Nooooooo!”

Lisa’s screams turned into horrified giggling as Taylor’s hand slipped under her shirt and started running along her ribs and the sides of her stomach.

It seemed the right thing to do.

“Taylor! Taylor!” Lisa gasped and laughed as she squirmed and bucked under Taylor's touch. “Can't breathe!”

“Who owns this bed! Who owns it!” Taylor’s face started to hurt as her smile spread across her face in a way it hadn't done in years. “Give it up!”

“Never!”

Taylor started tickling her harder.

“Please!” With another shriek of helpless laughter, Lisa started to desperately slap at Taylor again. Face, shoulders, back, and front. Anywhere she could reach really. It just made Taylor laugh harder.“Please!”

She was having fun for once. In public. Would wonders never cease?

“Okay! It's yours!” Lisa stopped to gasp for air as Taylor's fingers slowed to a near standstill, a silent promise that she was willing to continue if Lisa was. “Fucking—I almost pissed myself—” Lisa coughed and took in another couple of breaths. “—you idiot!”

“Well this idiot,” Taylor started smugly, “Is now the proud new owner of a queen sized bed.”

This being 'smug’ thing was actually kind of fun. 

Lisa's mouth puckered up like she'd just tasted something sour. “A battle isn't a war, Taylor.”

Fun indeed…

“... You seem to think there will be another battle.” Taylor ran her fingers along Lisa's sides again, made the blonde’s eyes widen and body shudder in anticipation. “I hold all the cards.”

Panic. Arousal. Interest. Reluctance. Contemplation. Fear. Need. Guilt. All of that and more hit Taylor in a single shot, the force of it almost enough to make her recoil before she rallied once more, finally realizing their position and how it looked.

Taylor had her hands up and underneath Lisa’s shirt, nearly at the blonde's breasts. Lisa had her arms wrapped around Taylor’s shoulders, a remnant of her fight for freedom...and their faces. Their faces were less than a foot from each other.

You could have cut the tension with a knife. If Taylor had possessed the right equipment, she literally could have done so exactly when they locked eyes. Lisa blushed and she did too.

It was all very awkward.

“I…” Taylor withdrew her hands slowly out from under Lisa's shirt to put them at the sides of her, on the mattress instead. “I didn’t—”

Lisa licked her lips prettily, all pink gloss and smooth skin, most likely to say something touching—

The earth shook, forcing the lighting to swing in its fixtures and them to move away from each other as Fight-or-flight took control.

—before the mood was ruined. Again.

“Is that Fenja?” Lisa started dully as she looked out the window over Taylor’s shoulder. “Or Menja?”

Taylor was not amused when she turned around, only to see one of the valkyries visibly passing them by at head height from their third story floor.

“A show of force,” Lisa said, her voice strained as she got out from under Taylor and to the edge of the bed. “Something’s got them riled up.” She then shook her head. “The E-88 in general. Them in particular...” Her brow scrunched up. “Lesbians?”

“... I see.” Taylor, in a move that she had practiced hundreds of times until she had finally found herself satisfied with the results, popped the buttons of her blouse and her skirt before stepping out of the whole thing, allowing her tights to stretch out into her suit, letting it see the light of day for the first time as it connected.

“... You go out to fight in that!?” Lisa screeched quietly from behind her fingers, “Every night!? It’s like I’m looking at candy floss!”

“You should probably hide somewhere,” Taylor forced her legs still and ignored Lisa’s questions and observations with an effort of will, the shock she normally felt from her suit appearing something that she’d long gotten used to... The other thing would have just taken too long to explain...and had Lisa really never seen her suit before? She could have sworn... “I’ll be back to buy the mattress after my debut.”

“I thought that was a prototype!”

Popping the latch of a nearby window in less than a second to put her heel on the sill, Taylor took a moment to observe the situation. Thirty feet tall. Carried a sword and shield. Menja. At a stately walk, not in a hurry. Facing away. In easy jumping distance with some adjustment.

Spinning around as she made an upwards jump Taylor gouged herself a handhold into the building, the brick crumbling under her fingertips an afterthought as she pushed down, catapulting herself the rest of the way up and onto the roof. Stomping her foot to check the stability of the roof, her eyes flickered for a moment as she took everything in before she nodded and took exactly ten steps back from the edge.

This was the best possible point.

The Baker building had possessed a somewhat long history in Brockton Bay. Built in 1910, it had stood for almost a hundred years. It had had all the latest amenities of the time. Electricity and flushable toilets. Dozens of offices and tenants had rented out space in its eight floors over the years...without a change.

A rat chewing on a cloth covered wire had ended all of that. The fire had gone on for over a day before it had been put out.

Thirty people, dead. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage done. It had been the closest thing to gutted, causing it to be labeled as condemned by the city five years ago. It still stood, along with the buildings around it that happened to be just as bad or worse.

Running as fast as she could Taylor’s feet pounded against the gravel, turning stone to dust under her heels before she jumped. Twenty feet went by in a blur, just before she slammed into Menja’s helmet feet first. She then crouched and flipped off of it to the street below, making the dent she’d left even bigger as the Valkyrie fell to the side and into the building, bringing the whole thing down on top of her.

Damn you!” Menja roared before she placed her hands on top of the buildings to her sides and pushed, only to have them fall apart under her. “Who dares to attack the Empire!

Taylor could only imagine the look on the nazi’s face when the basement followed the building’s example and crumbled under her as well; Leaving only her head and the ends of her legs sticking out of the rubble while her hips fell through into the room below.

Fuck!

That hadn’t been in the plans, but having Menja’s size work against her like that, leaving her stuck until she remembered to shrink, was rather nice.

Another running jump upwards ended with the ringing of metal and the valkyries head being knocked back as Taylor left another dent and started punching, tearing at the metal to get at the flesh beneath. Taylor had learned, over the last few weeks, that fighting wasn’t pretty. Nor was it clean. If you wanted to win, and do it quickly, you had to give it your all from the start.

Only barely avoiding the giant hand that came down to wipe her off, Taylor clawed her way around to the left side, mangling the steel under her fingers and toes the whole way there.

When you didn’t have to worry about killing anyone, you didn’t have to worry so much about excessive amounts of force… There were probably more than a few gang members out there with trauma they’d never recover from, or so Lisa had said.

“Surrender, Villain!” Taylor gave Menja a knee to the temple, hopefully giving her a concussion. “Give yourself up to justice!” When Taylor swung another first down to add to that concussion—seeing as the best kind of criminal was an unconscious one—she found herself surprised to find herself hitting nothing but air as she started to fall from three stories up.

It seemed that Menja had remembered to shrink after all.

“No, no, no, no!” Taylor screamed as she found herself in an unexpected freefall down several stories. Her limbs instinctually flailed about in an attempt to find purchase, or a handhold, or anything to slow down her fall even though she realized that there was nothing to grab.

Her landing was abrupt, and more than a little painful.

“MY FACE! MY BEAUTIFUL FACE!”

“Ow,” Taylor squeaked, the pain radiating from her behind and the frantic screaming from under her telling her exactly what had just happened... Even with her literally magical defenses, landing on solid steel, ass first, wasn’t exactly a fun time...unless you were into that sort of thing.

Taylor felt the slight magical hum of her combat charms activating as she was thrown into the air. Punted actually, with a foot to the ribs she could actually feel before she rolled with it. Twisted in mid-air to bleed off as much force as possible before she fell into a perfect three-point landing even as her side screamed at her.

It must have looked very impressive.

Almost vibrating in place from the pain, and more than a little surprised that she hadn’t broken a tooth yet from how tightly her jaw was clenched, Taylor stood up again just as Menja did. Focused herself and her magic to dull the ache as she watched the Nazi across from her rip off their mangled mess of a helmet.

Taylor actually had to stop herself from laughing, knowing that with her ribs the way they were it just wasn’t worth it as she saw two deep imprints on the front of Menja’s helmet.

“YOU FUCKING BITCH!” Menja screamed, her voice nasal as blood dripped from her obviously broken nose and down her domino-masked clad face. Something that looked to be there just for appearances, considering how small it was.. “YOU WHORE!” Not that Taylor could pick her out of a lineup, with her face as twisted as it looked.

Taylor suspected that this was probably going to be harder than she thought.

“I WILL FEED YOU TO THE DOGS!” Menja raved, starting to grow again as she picked up a burned desk. Taylor almost heard her charms screaming as she dodged to the side and curled up into a rolling ball.

It was the only thing that saved her, besides the cover of a low wall, when that desk flew over her head. Even then, she felt a splinter bounce off her back.

“YOU DON’T GET TO HIDE!” 

“Of course I don’t...” Taylor muttered as she scrambled towards another piece of cover, looking for something to use. She’d been relying on the element of surprise to end this. A straight-up fight, even if it was likely to end in her favor, just sounded painful. The sound of something crashing into the wall, the sound of industrial steel against wood, only reinforced that idea.

It seemed that Menja had found the cabinets. Better than her sword admittedly...but still not a good thing. She didn’t have all that much time before Fenja arrived.

Taylor scrambled away from that hiding place as yet another warped filing cabinet crashed through it. The wall wasn’t nearly as solid as she had hoped. A silly thing, considering she was in a condemned building with an almost obscene level of fire damage… But it had been a hope.

It was during this scramble for safety that Taylor found something that might, just possibly, work. A fire extinguisher. A fire extinguisher, bright red and shiny in its still intact glass and metal housing, with the expanse of wall around it seemingly untouched by fire.

Menja, already eleven feet tall, bulldozed her way through an adjoining wall and into Taylor’s personal space with an angry scream.

The irony there was as thick as two short planks… Not that Taylor had the time to appreciate it as she put her fist through the glass. She didn’t have time to find the hammer if it had even survived, and the cuts were gone before she had the extinguisher in her hand. Her charms then activated again, leading to her spinning around, the arm with the fire extinguisher outstretched, leading to her cracking Menja across the jaw.

Teeth flew. Blood sprayed. Screaming turned into moist sounding shrieks. It was all very horrifying… Which is why Taylor hit her again. A backhand to the other side of her face that led to her receiving an ear-ringing punch to the nose in return...but she persisted, even if it was a lot messier than it usually was.

Letting up at this point was the worst possible thing she could do right now. For multiple reasons.

Another swing straight down the middle of Menja’s head in retaliation for a shot to the ribs exactly where Taylor had been hit before—she was probably going to be coughing up blood for the next hour—led to the fire extinguisher cracking under the pressure. Metal creaked, then split open over the nazi’s skull with the sound of escaping, expired, foam.

Menja gurgled something again, most likely something terrible but slurred from the horrific concussion she had and the lack of teeth then fell over. She then made a rattling noise and went still while blood began to pool around her head.

She was still alive. Of course she was. Head wounds just bled a lot. Very dramatic. Yes.

Feeling that it was pretty much over, Taylor dropped the remains of the extinguisher and put both of her hands on her knees to gasp for air as she was forced to pay the cost of the nazi’s medical bills in a flash of light. It took a while for Taylor to stop seeing spots and hearing cracks after that.

She wasn’t surprised it had taken that much out of her, honestly. That had been a lot harder than it should have been. It was almost like Menja had been made of blonde, playboy molded stone. Taylor had been forced to escalate in order to deal with it… She’d be remembering this one for a while. Blood clotting and flaking off. Scars disappearing. Bones shifting under the skin to return to their proper places as Menja’s breathing evened out.

Healing stuff like that took a lot out of her. She might have possessed what might as well have been unlimited energy but the efficiency had a lot to be desired… Standing straight again, Taylor tenderly made her way through the rubble towards Menja’s helmet, almost wincing as each step pulled at slowly healing muscles. She then leaned down again and put it under her arm.

Her first trophy. Her first win against an established enemy. Her debut. If it wasn’t for the fact that she was sure that jumping up and down would hurt, she’d have done it. No matter how she’d done it, she’d done it. She was a hero now.

Taylor let out a little chuckle, sucking up the ache she felt in her left boob as she ran her thumb over one of the dents in the helmet. She needed a lot more experience, yes. A lot more time. A hell of a lot more charms and some better equipment, definitely...but she’d done something impressive today.

Moving back to the blonde’s now smoothly breathing body, Taylor placed the helmet down, cracked her neck...and started patting Menja down for her wallet.

The helmet was that, and the spoils of war were this...she really hoped it was somewhere accessible because she swore she could hear sirens. She really didn’t want to have to explain what had happened here. At all. Especially her suit. Trying to deflect any questions pertaining to her age and whether she should be wearing it at all would be...difficult.

“In her cleavage, maybe?”

It was.

==========

“YOU LEFT ME THERE!”

“... I—”

“YOU LEFT ME AT THE FURNITURE STORE! I HAD TO STUFF YOUR CLOTHES DOWN MY PANTS! I HAD TO DEAL WITH SECURITY BECAUSE THEY THOUGHT WE WERE FUCKING EACH OTHER ON THE MERCHANDISE! I HAD TO BUY THE BED AND GET A RIDE FROM THE DELIVERY MEN! I HAD TO MOVE THIS DOWNSTAIRS BY MYSELF!” Lisa shouted at Taylor from her position on the new and unbelievably comfortable new bed. “AND WE DIDN’T GET ICE CREAM!”

Taylor, after that one try at talking, grunted and fell face first on the bed instead. It soothed her wounds, body, and soul. She had forgotten about the ice cream, and that bothered her. 

She really could have gone for some rocky road right about now. Everything hurt.

“AND-” Lisa cut herself off as she saw the state that Taylor was in. “Jesus. You look like hell.”

“I feel like hell,” Taylor said just before she tossed Menja’s battered helmet onto a nearby armchair. “I’ve got a bruise the size of a dinner plate on my left boob.”

Lisa flinched and grabbed her own breast as if she’d just been shot.

“And I think I might have had a cracked rib or three for a while.” Taylor cracked an eye open to look at Lisa. “Tired.” She then pulled out a wallet, filled to bursting with money. “Brought loot.”

“... Okay. I had this whole rant built up in my head and everything, but it’s obvious that you had a much worse time than I did…and you brought home money. You’re forgiven.” Lisa sniffed once or twice, only to have her nose wrinkle up in distaste. “Why do you smell like arson?”

The fact that Lisa could identify arson by smell was more than a little worrying, Taylor had to admit.

“I kicked Menja into the Baker building. Fire. Gutted. Fought her in the basement. It was bloody.” Taylor grunted out as she rubbed her cheek against the mattress. “I like the sheets.”

“Uh... well... Maybe you should take a shower?” Lisa started pushing insistently against Taylor’s side. The side that didn't hurt, thankfully. “Before the smell sinks in? Tinkerpedic can only do so much, even with an auto cleaning feature.”

“Too tired. I’d probably drown.” Taylor said with a yawn. She rolled over, taking Lisa with her. “Sleep.”

“Hey!” Lisa yelled as she began indignantly, but ineffectively, slapping at Taylor. “Stop that!”

“Big spoon or little spoon?”

“... What?”

“I can’t even muster up the energy to take off my suit right now—”

“We really do have to talk about that sometime.”

“—let alone argue with you...so if you want to stay, pick one.” Taylor yawned, letting Lisa’s statement pass by without comment. Sometime was not now. “This bed is going to be the death of me...” 

Totally worth it though. Just like free electricity.

Lisa frowned. Sighed. Grumped more than a little, then got herself around to Taylor's back to press herself against it in a loose hug. “Damn this bed is good...”

“Right?”

… 

Affection.

Chapter Text

“You’re shitting me.” 

Those three words were a sign. A sign that things had changed. Irreversibly. Irrevocably. That nothing would ever be the same again. 

You’re shitting me.

A sign that, bad kidneys or not, there was a drink with her name on it in Emily’s future. Something expensive that went down smooth. With ice, and a little umbrella in it. A good, last drink before she got put in the ground. 

She deserved it for all the shit she had to put up with. She really did.

“I’m sorry to say that I am not, Director. After almost twenty years without a public appearance,” Armsmaster replied stiffly, his voice clipped and body tenser then whenever he was forced to attend a PRT mandated social gathering. Knowing him, he’d even locked his suit to prevent himself from pacing. Their current subject of discussion was someone that he had never approved of, for multiple reasons. “Annerose has come out of hiding.”

Assault coughed, but otherwise said nothing as he rubbed his swollen jaw and his wife gave him a sullen glare. Battery had earned herself a raise for that. This wasn’t the time for jokes. Also, he’d sort of deserved that. No woman liked being compared to Annerose in that way. The woman’s bodily proportions were just… No. None of that.

“Are you sure?” Piggot leaned forward in her chair, then placed her elbows on the desk and steepled her fingers. Tossed that last train of thought off a cliff and watched it burn. “Are you sure it isn’t a copycat? Or someone that got into one of her battle stashes, got lucky, and decided to moonlight as a...” Piggot grimaced, as did everyone else in the room—Even Assault, if only because he tried to grin with a bump the size of Emily’s fist on his face. “Hero?”

Before her disappearance in the late eighties, back before the PRT had become what it was today... Annerose had been one of the first, and most active ‘heroes’ of the time, a veritable parahuman wild west sheriff. An icon of the free love era that had kept it going far past its expiration date in a manner that had PRT Think Tank Thinkers convinced that she had some minor master abilities. Wherever she went became an orgy of sex—among the citizenry—and horrendously brutal violence—against the local criminal element—that still haunted the PRT to this day.

The more...family friendly face the PRT had tried to show hadn’t gone through as smoothly as they’d hoped at the time… These days, they only got a call every once in awhile from a Generation X’er about why their costumes didn’t show off more skin.

The complaints had slowed down since then, ending up at three or so a week per branch. It had once been over a hundred every day. Piggot didn’t like the thought that those days might be returning. Not at all.

“We’re sure. I saw her myself,” Miss Militia croaked, head in her hands as she dealt with her sudden and inappropriate feelings of inadequacy and homo-eroticism. Hannah had been straight as an arrow before this mess. A sign of a master at work if there ever was one. “I saw her...from behind.” Piggot felt an upwelling of pity rise up within her. “Pictures are the same.”

“Damn it,” Piggot cursed under her breath as she spun in her chair to face an even more humorless Tinker. At this point, Hannah’s memory was more of a curse than a help. She wouldn’t be able to focus for days. “What do you have?” 

Trust, but verify.

“We’ve seen what happens whenever a civilian gets into one of her...stashes,” Colin said tersely as before he nodded at Velocity, prompting the eerily quiet speedster to dim the lights and start the projector. Piggot couldn’t help but wince at the first picture. A set of tits larger than Emily’s torso, attached to a screaming woman with a freshly broken spine. Another picture. A panicked-looking man with a tongue so long that he had to wrap it around his arm to keep it from touching the floor, also screaming. “It has never gone well for them.”

Emily didn’t like that. She didn’t like that at all. Admittedly, that had been their own fault. Emily knew this. Once you put a suspicious vial of glowing green mystery fluid to your lips, your fate was in your own hands...but still. She didn’t approve of anyone who left things like that lying around.

“Anyone capable of getting around that,” The distaste in Armsmaster’s voice was palpable, “and her special brand of—DRM like they did is either the luckiest woman in America or Annerose herself.”

“That is your professional opinion?”

Armsmaster’s frown deepened yet further. Somewhere around ‘apocalyptic’ and ‘Von Neumann swarm’. “Yes.” He’d never gotten over that one time he’d looked at one of Annerose’s blackboard scribbles. The fact that his power had declared the mess to be impossible before mentally inundating him with phalluses had irked him beyond words. “Yes, it is.”

“I see.”

“Not yet. With the help of a supercomputer and Dragon...” With a wave at Velocity that had the other man sighing, the projector jumped past another ten transgressions against God and nature... And onto one of the only—clear—pictures of Annerose that was publically available and not worth a couple million dollars on the market. A full back shot, leg/arm warmers with accompanying leotard and all. The next—clear—picture that came up beside the first was more recent, no leg/arm warmers and a leotard somehow even more scandalous than the original. A sign of the times. “We were able to determine that this is actually the same person.”

And then came the math, centered around the woman’s buttocks. Curvatures and radii. Emily groaned, Ethan snickered and his wife, Janine, ground her teeth hard enough to hear. Of course that’s what they went for as proof of identity.

“She, from what I can tell, is mathematically perfect. The best example of biological symmetry Dragon and I have ever seen,” Colin said. Emily felt slightly better when the math spread out to encompass the rest of the woman’s body. Slightly. “The proportions between the two are one-for-one. A perfect, impossible match. Something as perfect as this just can not naturally occur in nature...and then we have the MO.”

Another click, and everyone but Hannah—too busy keeping her face in her hands to look—frowned.

“That is blood,” Colin spat, “and bits of teeth and bone. Enough for five different people.”

And that was why there was a PRT. Why their oversight was necessary.

“It’s on the ceiling,” Robin said, stunned. “The walls are covered in it. The blood on the floor looks like it would come up to my ankles… Where did it all come from? Is that a burned out basement?”

A good question. One that people had been wondering since Annerose’s debut.

“That’s what I wonder as well, and yes. That is a burned out basement,” Colin admitted. “Even with five people, there isn’t nearly enough blood in a human body to do...this. I have no idea how Annerose is capable of doing this as casually as she does.”

“Victims?”

“Just one.” A photo of a seemingly normal and mercifully unconscious, blood covered valkyrie came up on the screen. “During an E-88 show of might while Menja was separated from her sister, she was drop-kicked into a condemned building, given a compounded concussion, and then brutalized to within an inch of her life with a fire extinguisher...then had her wallet stolen. Classic Annerose.”

No doubt Menja was heavily traumatized at this point. The testimony they’d gotten from her before they’d put her in a cell had pointed at such. Another classic Annerose gambit.

“It’s just like ‘85,” Emily said grimly, “but unlike ‘85, the PRT is now a full-fledged organization. An organization devoted to curbing the excesses of parahumans like Annerose. We can’t allow this to continue.”

And suddenly, Ethan stopped smiling. “Does that mean we’re classifying her as a villain? Because, if we are, I reserve the right to tell you that this is a bad idea.”

“No.” Emily shook her head, getting a roomful of relieved sighs from everyone but Colin in return. Any hero as old and—Emily hated to say it—powerful as Annerose wasn’t someone anyone wanted to tangle with. “She is a vigilante. One with problems with excessive force, but still technically a hero since she hasn’t killed anyone in over thirty years.”

“Oh, thank god. I get to keep my teeth for another day.”

“Just meet up with her, and be polite.” Emily started rubbing her temples. “Get her into the Protectorate by any means necessary, so that we can clean this mess up. Keep the pressure on while the PR department gets to work. Give her a rebranding.”

“At least she’d be more polite than Shadow Stalker…” Hannah mumbled.

“That’s right. Keep looking on the bright side, Hannah.” Emily, with a bit of a struggle, sat up from her seat. “Now I don’t know about you, but I have a dialysis machine waiting for me. Dismissed.” Everyone but Colin started to file out of the room. “And good luck explaining this to the Wards.” In response, Hannah pushed herself to the front of the line and started power walking down the hall.

Emily didn’t envy her.

It didn’t take much longer for the door to close, leaving Colin and her alone while she looked through her paperwork to decide which to take home. Nice and quiet, until Colin decided to add his two cents. “I noticed that you didn’t tell them that Menja was perfectly healthy when we found her.”

Emily kept pointedly silent.

Chapter Text

“Why are we drinking barely alcoholic drinks again?” Taylor asked bemusedly, freshly opened bottle of Boone’s finest apple wine in hand as she fiddled with her zapping stick. A foot of wood, coated in wood varnish and covered in nonsensical but impressive looking carvings. God forbid anyone called them wands. “And why are we doing it on Halloween?”

“Well...to answer your first question,” Lisa replied in an offhanded manner while wrist deep in one of Taylor’s battery chains—with actual batteries included—as she connected it to her own zapping stick. Even if she did have the magical talent of your average doorknob, she did have a deft hand where it counted. “We’re drinking Boone’s because I’m a lightweight and I want to enjoy my buzz. Not get blasted on Jagermeister—”

Taylor furrowed her brows at that but otherwise continued to fiddle with her stick.

“—and bathtub gin,” With a soft, triumphant noise that made Taylor shift uncomfortably in her seat as she remembered the other times said noise had made an appearance—often when they hadn’t left the bed for the day—Lisa’s zapping stick lit up a brilliant, acidic green at the tip. “That kind of hangover isn’t my idea of a good time.”

Neither was it Taylor’s. Or anyone’s, from what she understood...

“No. I mean…” Taylor paused to take a sip of her drink. Grimaced, then put it down. “Like sucking on a liquid jolly rancher…” Taylor coughed, then got back to the matter at hand. “I mean, why are we drinking at all?”

“Why wouldn’t we be?” Lisa flopped down beside Taylor in her own lawn chair. “It’s a holiday. We’re teenagers.” Lisa put a lock of her hair behind her ear with a sassy smirk that made Taylor’s heart skip a beat. “And we’re already trespassing on private property while planning to assault passersby with a parahuman power. Underage drinking doesn’t really compare.”

“... I guess.” Taylor frowned and started awkwardly playing with the color options. “You take me out on the weirdest dates...also, Magic.”

Taylor swore that, at this point, Lisa did it just to annoy her.

Lisa shrugged and continued to smile. Yes. Just to annoy her. “You’re the one that brought up the plan to make this the best Halloween ever.”

“... I just said I wanted to capture the sluttiness inherent in Halloween costumes as a power source.”

Making this ‘The Best Halloween Ever’ hadn’t even come into the equation...and she hadn’t been serious about it.

“And now we’re doing that.” Lisa nodded as her grin became positively feline in nature. Taylor’s very own black cat. “The fact that we’re cleaning up eyesores and crimes against good taste at the same time is just a bonus. Like—okay. Look.” Lisa scooted her chair closer to the edge of the building on which they’d taken residence, and held the stick up to her shoulder as if it were a gun. “Look at that.”

Taylor sighed, noticed that Lisa had actually added sights to her stick, then scooted in next to her. From then on, all she could feel was horror and disgust. All she could ask herself was why and how as she fought to keep from clawing her own eyes out in a wailing seizure.

“She’s wearing a sexy corn costume.” Lisa breathed out, steadied herself as Taylor buried her face into the side of the other girl’s neck. “Nietzsche was right. God is dead...and we have killed him.”

“... That’s not what Nietzsche meant though.” Taylor chimed in, her voice muffled as her lips brushed against Lisa’s skin. “It was more of an allegory about how science and reason, our understanding of the natural universe had made God obsolete as a—”

“That’s not the point, Taylor.”

“... Oh. Never mind then.”

“Man—not having to adjust for wind is throwing me off something crazy... Alright.” Lisa’s grin turned almost wild. Not that Taylor could see it. She just knew her that well. “AVADA KEDAVRA!”

Taylor hadn’t been expecting that though… Which is why she shied away from Lisa to look over the edge, dearly hoping that the screaming she was hearing wasn’t because Lisa had just killed someone by accident. Words had power, and there was quite a bit of power in that particular series.

It was also kind of on the nose, considering what they were wearing.

“There is no good and bad. There is only taste, and those too weak to seek it,” Lisa cackled as the girl that had been wearing a sexy corn costume waddled away at a fast walk in her new, actual corn costume. “Also, damn. It seems that a corn mascot costume was what it came out to without the sluttiness. That’s kind of sad.”

“It kind of is,” Taylor agreed, “also, nice Voldemort reference, Luna.”

“Awww… Why thank you, Kittymione.” Lisa said before her fingers were in Taylor’s curls, digging into her scalp right behind her ears in a way that made her purr. Stupid Lisa. Stupid real cat ears. Stupid—don’t stop. “I love you too~”

Taylor never got tired of hearing that.

“Wait. Shit. Sexy shark attack victim, straight ahead.” Lisa quickly pulled her hand away from Taylor’s head.

Taylor almost felt like crying. About the lack of touch, or the idea of a shark attack victim being sexy she couldn’t say.

“RIDDIKULUS!” Lisa shouted. More screams of confused terror. “... That’s actually kind of cute.” Lisa commented as she lowered her stick. “Comfy looking too. Lucky.” 

Taylor sniffed a bit, then took a look... and she found she had to agree. It really did look comfortable. It was an oversized Shark Onesie. With little teeth poking out of the hood and flappy feet. 

The girl who was wearing it seemed to like it too. That, or she was too drunk to understand what had just happened to her costume. Most likely the latter as she was on the sidewalk trying to swim away from the loud noises.

She wasn’t getting anywhere anytime fast, Taylor would say that...but at least she looked like she was having fun.

“I kind of want one now,” Lisa said mournfully, “for those cold, lonely nights.”

Taylor gave Lisa a questioning look. A look that she thought was needed, if only because, ever since they’d started sleeping together, they hadn’t missed a night so far. The spoon dynamic switched every once in a while. Blankets optional...but she liked to think she was pretty warm, and good company.

She could feel the insecurity creeping in.

“I like to be really warm, okay?” Lisa replied defensively before she gave Taylor a one-armed hug. Cozy. “Anyway, your turn!” The blonde held up Taylor’s choice of weapon and shoved it into her hands. “Go nuts!”

“I—Wha—” Taylor panicked slightly. Fumbled it. Smacked herself in the shin to the sound of Lisa’s laughter before she had it up in an imitation of Lisa’s sniping pose. “Now? Right now?”

“Yep,” Lisa popped the p and pointed out into the crowd of people below, all of them with the theoretical survival instincts of your average lemming as they continued on their way to wherever they were going. “It won’t be hard.” Taylor would have thought that, after two separate ‘attacks’ in five minutes, people would have been more cautious. “We’ve got a target rich environment. Plenty of people looking for a quick visit to the hospital for cold-related issues.”

Taylor flushed as Lisa pressed her cheek against hers and adjusted her aim a bit...this had been a good night so far.

“There, there, and...there.” Lisa pointed them out. “Hooker turtle, Rub Me Genie and…” Lisa’s lips curled into a sneer. Taylor didn’t take long to follow after. “Sexy Cindy Brady.” A smack on the ass made Taylor jump with a squeak and a suppressed groan. “Go get em’, tiger.”

Damn it, Lisa… How was she supposed to think after something like that? Taylor sighed and looked down the imaginary sights at Cindy Brady. Her first victim of the night. Her dad’s childhood gone terribly, terribly wrong.

If you had to dress up like a little girl to attract attention, then you had some serious problems.

“LUMOS!” Taylor cried out before shutting her eyes and pulling the metaphorical trigger. Even then, with her eyes shut as tight as she could make them, the flash of pink light that occurred nearly blinded her...which couldn’t be said about Lisa.

“Fucking—” Lisa started before she pressed her palms over her eyes with a curse. “My eyes! I can’t see shit!”

“Sorry!”

“It’s fine. I’m fine.” Lisa sighed, face still in her hands as she ‘looked’ at Taylor. “Just a minute and some pool time, and I’ll be great.”

Taylor let out a sigh of relief she hadn’t even known she was holding. “That’s good. Yes.” She then ran an affectionate hand through Lisa’s shoulder-length hair before she took a peek over the side of the building again. More screaming. Some stumbling about and bumping into things as yet more people came through, ignoring all the suspicious activity that was at hand.

Lemmings. That was what they were. Lemmings wearing clothes and dollar store lingerie.

“Well?” Lisa piped up from behind Taylor in a cutesy voice that grated on Taylor’s ears. A minor payback really, for the blinding she’d been given. “What happened to her? Besides the running and the screaming, obviously.”

“... Dress got a little longer. More ankles than thigh-high,” Taylor hummed as that same girl tripped over herself, falling onto the shark girl. They both continued to scream and flail. “It looks like something someone normal would wear if it was the seventies.”

Not perfect, but what was? It wasn’t nearly so creepy anymore, and that was all Taylor could ask for.

“That’s boring...” Lisa said sullenly, mostly to herself as she rubbed at her weeping eyes. “Also, never do that again.”

“Sorry!” Taylor said again. Maybe if she kept doing it, it would stick better?

“... Such a nerd.” Lisa snorted, then grabbed a squealing, sputtering Taylor around the middle to drag her into her lap. “Stop worrying about the little things…” Lisa nuzzled her face against Taylor’s back and into her hair. “And save the city from these travesties against nature, Dork.”

Taylor nodded, her face feeling a weird mixture of stiff and hot and fuzzy and happy as she looked down the sights again and started blasting away at anything that offended her. Man wearing a giant boob? Gone. Woman with pizza slices pointing at her crotch and beer in between her breasts? Gone. Woman wearing a tiny leotard and...and...wait.

“Oh my god,” Taylor said breathlessly, “I’ve got my own costume line.”

Why did she have her own costume line!?

Nooooo.”

Taylor found that denial unconvincing. They’d have to talk about that sometime...later.

“I do.” Taylor wheezed, finally realizing that she’d stopped breathing just out of pure surprise as she tracked the girl below with the end of her crackling zapper. She then took a moment to gasp for air like a fish before she started talking again. Air was good. Air was great. “It’s a surprisingly close match to my first suit besides the—”

“Fact that she’s showing less skin than you did when you went out for a midnight stroll back then?” Lisa finished and gave Taylor another squeeze, getting yet another squeak in return. “Bet it doesn’t fit on her as well as it did on you though...”

“Of course not.” Taylor waved it off, very matter of fact about the whole thing as she came back to familiar territory. “Not nearly tight enough...it is kind of flattering though.”

“Hit her.” 

“Why?” Taylor reflexively slapped at the hand that had just poked at her right breast. Lisa was feeling...frisky today. “It’s not that bad.”

“Do it anyway.” Lisa looked over Taylor’s shoulder, obviously invested in this whole thing. “I want to see what happens when you hit someone that isn’t completely tasteless.”

Taylor turned her head to look at Lisa with an upraised brow. “Not ‘completely’ tasteless? I thought you loved that outfit.”

The times they’d had together while she wore that outfit… That was a scrapbook that would never see the light of day. She’d die otherwise.

“I love seeing you in it.” Lisa snorted as Taylor shifted in her lap uncomfortably. It was starting to feel unseasonably warm out here. More eighty degrees than the fifty their phones had said it was. “That doesn’t mean it isn’t tasteless...or at least an acquired taste.”

Taylor licked her lips at the not so subtle innuendo Lisa had just given her...and ignored it in favor of looking down the sights, charging up, and playing at Anne Oakley. Head. Chest. Body. Head. Head. Back. Flares of light and shifting fabric.

Like a game of dominos, she watched them fall one by one. Become tasteful, even classy in bursts of light and magic. They always screamed though. Always. It was kind of disturbing how badly they took not freezing to death.

Under her, Lisa was shaking like mad. Laughing like she was about to die behind her scarf in a terrible attempt at subtlety. She was laughing at Taylor...so Taylor slapped her again. Playfully. She’d come a long way from that socially deficient girl that she’d used to be...and Lisa was a lot tougher too—

Babeeee, nooooo~”

—so it was completely fine to get a little rougher than normal with her. No matter how much she complained.

“You are such a jerk.”

Lisa shrugged but continued to laugh.

Taylor sniffed and put her stick away a little more forcefully than she probably should have. Lisa might have got a crack against her ankle. There was no one that could get under her skin quite like Lisa could and vice-versa… Also, payback was a bitch. “You know how we got that new couch yesterday?”

Lisa stopped laughing as if she’d just been dumped in cold water. “H-hey, now. There’s no need for that.” Cold water in already arctic weather.

“It looks large enough for a person to sleep on semi-comfortably...if they don’t mind back pain, or being alone for a week.”

“I’m sorry baby...” Lisa sniffed plaintively before she stuck her face into the side of Taylor’s neck and started kissing like her life depended on it. Which it did...or at least her sex life did. “Let me in. It’s cold outside.”

“It’s two months too early for Christmas, Lisa. Nice try though.” Taylor hummed, pretending to think about it for a moment before she giggled and gave Lisa yet another swat before she stood up to look over the edge. She’d let Lisa sweat for a bit...and wow. That was different. “The girl in the Annerose costume actually got curvier...that’s weird.”

As Lisa stood up, a bottle of Boone’s still in hand, Taylor took the time to study the seemingly ecstatic girl along the way. She, mean as it was to say, hadn’t been anything all that special before she’d been hit. Now she was skipping down the sidewalk with a face and body worthy of a Playboy audition.

“Three, two, one.” Lisa intoned as she dropped her fingers one by one.

That happiness only lasted as long as she realized that her costume had suddenly got a lot smaller and people were looking at her. The screaming started again. Taylor knew how that was. 

But, unlike her, the poor girl wasn’t powered by sex. She wasn’t getting anything out of that. 

“Playboy bunny at 3 o'clock,” Lisa helpfully supplied, breaking Taylor out of her oddly wistful thoughts. 

Taylor then blinked and looked where Lisa was pointing. She didn’t quite get the issue.

“Aren’t Playboy bunnies supposed to be sexy?” Taylor asked as she looked at the girl. She could easily see why she had chosen such a costume. Tall, Leggy, busty, and with golden blonde hair. It was almost as if she had been born to be one. “They are, right? Did I miss something?”

She’d been doing so well.

“Well...no. You didn’t miss anything.”

Taylor sighed in relief.

“But yes. Bunnies are supposed to be sexy… And I’ll admit that she is damn sexy in that—”

“Should I be worried?”

“—No,” Lisa snapped out quickly, coercing a giggle from Taylor as she did. It was nice to know she cared. “I just want you to zap her.”

“...Why?” Taylor had to ask. The first time had been an experiment on someone who had been wearing something similar to what she used to wear. Not just for kicks. “What’s the point?”

“We saw what happened with the girl wearing your costume. I want to see what happens to this one.”

Taylor crossed her arms and gave Lisa an unimpressed look.

“For science.” Lisa finished simply.

“Well....” Taylor said as she planted her foot on the raised ledge of the roof as she steadied herself. Her arm slowly moving in time with the girl’s movement. Take a deep breath and hold it... “As long as it’s for science…”

Lisa always knew exactly what to say.

“STUPIFY!” Taylor cried out, the pink light from her wand intense, but more like a flare than the sun as it struck its target head-on.

“DAMN IT, ANNEROSE!” An all too familiar voice cried out. “I JUST BOUGHT THIS COSTUME!”

Oh shit.” Was all Taylor could say before she was brought to the ground by 120 pounds of teenage girl.

“DID YOU JUST MAKE MY BUTT BIGGER!?”

As had become rather common since the night had started, there was much screaming from the crowd.

They knew better.

A few panicked rolls later and they were both pressed under the ledge in an attempt to make themselves as small as possible. That was how you hid from predators.

“Did we just blast Glory Girl?” Taylor whispered as she tried her damnedest not to move. The New Wave poster girl for all things burning and broken would hear her. “I think we just blasted Glory Girl.”

“In retrospect, it should have been obvious,” Lisa hissed out as she tried to take up even less space by, seemingly, trying to meld with Taylor. “but how were we supposed to know it was her if she was walking!? She never walks!”

“I didn’t know if she still knew how to until I saw her!”

“Right!?”

“WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU!” The angry cry from Glory Girl and the telltale sound of a dumpster flying down an alleyway silenced any further discussion between the two of them.

“It’s time to go home.”

“Yeah… When she goes away.”

“Yeah.” They were durable. From Lisa’s max at getting hit by a Squealer special and walking it off, and Taylor’s max at getting punched in the face by the actual Behemoth and barely noticing, they could deal with anything that came at them.

The problem with that though...was that Glory Girl knew this. She knew their limits. She knew her ways around them, the chinks in their armor and how far she could go before it went too far…

Taylor thought that sort of understanding might be a sibling thing, like a survival trait. She thought it had worked out for Vicky wonderfully.

“We’ll just zap people along the way, okay?”

“Sure.”

It was the relatively safe thing to do.

==========

“WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE!” Taylor drunkenly blurted out, her arms waving about as she lay face down on her bed. “FUCK!”

It had been a long night of drinking. Stumbling. Zapping as they’d wandering their way back to the multidimensional basement monstrosity that they called home while leaving a trail of empty bottles and airbrushed models in their wakes.

The model industry in the bay was about to boom.

“I know, Taylor. I was there too.” Lisa slurred slightly as she dipped her brush back into the can at her side. Shook out the drips and applied it to her work. “I was just as disgusted as you were.”

An impossibility. Mathematical. Conceptual. Impossibility. There was no person on Earth, living or dead, that could have possibly understood what she had felt at the sight of that filth.

She knew because she’d fucking checked. Ghosts were assholes!

“INFANTILISM IS A FETISH, I KNOW THIS, BUT THAT WAS NOT IT!” Taylor continued to rant, the closest she’d ever come to feeling like a drug-addled politician in the middle a bender...or she would have if she wasn’t so drunk that she’d almost forgotten the difference between a toaster and her door lock. “IT WAS JUST A CHEAP COSTUME WITH A BIB AND A FAKE BINKY THAT SHOWED OFF HER LEGS AND BREASTS! WHAT THE FUCK!”

“And we zapped the shit out of her,” Lisa continued patiently creating her masterpiece, expert strokes added onto expert strokes that would have left Rembrandt crying with envy. She’d struck gold there a couple of months ago after picking it up as a hobby and never looked back. “I don’t think she’s going to be able to show her face again after what you did to her.”

It had been deserved! Indescribable, yes! But deserved!

“SHE HAD IT COMING!” Taylor bit into her pillow and let out another scream of drunken, professional frustration.

Lisa just nodded the nod of the truly sage or drunk/high off their ass. Like a bobble doll in other words. She then framed her masterpiece and appraised her art with her fingers and eyes, then nodded again. “Magnifique!” She then flopped onto the bed at Taylor’s side. “Vraiment mon plus grand travail!”

“...What?” Taylor asked, far too drunk to even bother trying to translate Lisa’s french. Yet another hobby that she’d picked up, most likely just to irk Taylor beyond all sensibility. 

The language of love her ass.

“Je te montrerai le matin ma belle citrouille.” And then, with those parting words, Lisa started to snore.

“... Fuck it.”

==========

“I hate everything,” Taylor groaned into her pillow. “Why do I still live?”

She was being overly dramatic...but damn if this wasn’t one of the worst days of her life so far.

“Death take me now!”

“Yeah. the first hangover is always the fucking worst. Especially as you didn’t have any water whatsoever.” Lisa chirped merrily from right in front of her. Taylor slowly raised her head to glare at the perky blonde, thoughts of swatting at her with a bit more of her strength than usual seriously considered before being discarded—

“I made you breakfast.”

—and then all hostility was instantly forgotten as she latched onto the glass of water that had just been shoved into her face. She didn’t even bother taking it from Lisa. Her lips were instantly on the rim of the glass and draining it dry through sheer suction.

“... That’s disturbing.” Was all Lisa could say as she watched it happen. She placed the glass back down, along with its tray of food, after Taylor had finished and buried her head back down in her pillow. “Fun at parties, but disturbing.”

“Bleh.” Taylor wasn’t feeling all that eloquent at the moment. Sue her...wait. Questions. She had some.

“What were you doing with the paint last night?” Taylor grumbled out, her weakening hangover only making her feel half dead instead of really dead. It was a very important distinction, if barely noticeable when you were going through one or the other. “What masterpiece did you create this time—”

It was an honest question. Lisa turned the damn things out like clockwork. Hell, Lisa used Louvre worthy paintings to elevate her feet after a long day. If she called anything a masterpiece, drunk or not, it had to be good.

“—and how much would it go for if we put it on the market?”

“Priceless...and a private piece.”

Taylor made a questioning, growling noise around a piece of toast. Screw modern social niceties, she wasn’t in the mood.

“I,” Lisa said as she posed. Arm out, hand on her breast and over her heart before she took a bow. “Have turned your butt into the world’s hottest jack o'lantern.” 

A beat passed. Lisa coughed in a barely disguised, and juvenile, snicker. Taylor thought that over, and mechanically chewed her food.

It looked like it was going to be one of those days.

“... Why?” Taylor drawled.

“Because I was drunk, horny, and I was feeling very festive,” Lisa said as she walked behind her. “Also, it looks really nice with the Kittymione outfit you’ve got on. Has a very magical feel to it.”

“Thank you...but... Where’d my tights go?” Taylor asked what she thought was a perfectly reasonable question in a completely reasonable manner.

Lisa just shrugged and made a small meh noise. She’d probably hidden it somewhere, knowing her...having a girlfriend was suffering.

Taylor groaned. “How long is this going to take to get off of me, Lisa?” Taylor wearily rubbed her face into the soft wool of her scarf. “Because, even if you think it’s funny, I can’t exactly patrol with my butt looking like a giant pumpkin.”

There was festive spirit, and then there was that. She’d just barely gotten the respect of the city after months of ridicule and public decency warnings and she was not going to give it up now!

“Oh don’t you worry about that.” Taylor could hear the smug in Lisa’s voice. “Even when drunk off my ass I had everything under control. I already have the solvent right here.” Lisa took a drink of water from her own cup.

Thank god.

“Now stay real still, Kitty,” Lisa said before she wrapped her hand around Taylor’s ‘tail’ and gave it a little pull. The only thing she hadn’t added to her body in truth. Eyes, ears, and fingernails. All positively feline to fit with the character. “Or I might just tug on your tail.”

The tail though? It had been a rush job, an alternative that Lisa had presented her with as she came up uncomfortably short on the essential supplies required to make her costume truly ‘authentic’. Black, slinky and silky smooth, with just a hint of movement to make it feel alive...she really should have pulled it out before she’d gone to sleep.

“Have to save this before it’s gone first...”

A flash of a camera behind her had her burying her head in her overclothes in a sad replacement for sand. Damn ostriches, stealing all the good hiding places for their own...another couple of flashes and synthetic whirring just made her curses darker.

“... Isn’t that a pretty sight.” Taking her time as she walked around to Taylor’s front, Lisa kept her firm grip on Taylor’s tail, forcing the brunette to get up on her knees with a couple of suggestive tugs. Face down, ass up as high as it could get before Lisa’s phone was in her face. “One of my best, right?”

Taylor had to admit, as she felt herself get hotter than was probably healthy, that it actually was a pretty sight.

Lisa had accounted for everything. Taylor’s pose at the time. The shifting of muscle and fat under skin. The lighting the room offered and even the tail inserted in her butt as it protruded from between her cheeks.

“That…” Taylor coughed, the claws on her fingers digging slightly into reinforced hardwood as Lisa showed her picture after picture, each of them as good as the other. She’d been utterly wasted as a villain. “That is a very good looking jack o'lantern, I must admit.”

Lisa had given it burning eyes and a wicked grin! What else could she say, honestly? Very festive.

“I’m actually thinking about printing some of these out and putting them on the fridge.”

“Don’t you fucking dare,” Taylor said with more than just a little venom in her voice. Her dad might have been busy beyond all belief, but even he would notice images of a painted ass on the fridge as he made his breakfast.

“Okay okay,” Lisa said before putting away her phone. “I am printing some out for the scrapbook though.” 

Taylor couldn’t argue with that. Especially since some of the pictures in there had been ones that she’d added herself. Hypocrisy wasn’t nice.

“Can you clean this off already?” Taylor whined. “I just want to roll over so I can suffer on my back without staining the sheets.” Taylor took another bite of her toast. Ambrosia.

“Can do!” Lisa cheered with an annoying amount of... Cheer. All the warning that Taylor got before she felt something warm and wet brush against her right asscheek. It took her a few seconds in her hungover state for her to recognize what exactly it was.

“Lisa what are you doing?!”

Would it kill her to use a towel for once!?

“I’m removing the paint with the solvent.” Lisa’s head popped up over the upper half of her rump, just so she could roll her eyes and duck back down. “Obviously.”

“And you're applying it with your tongue!?” Taylor squeaked again as Lisa's tongue darted across her flesh. 

Why was it always the tongue!?

“Well, how else do you remove edible body paint?” Lisa replied with faux-innocence and a sassy wink.

“With warm water!” Taylor cried out as Lisa decided to switch to the other cheek, the sassy wink having no effect on her at this point in time. “And a towel or something!”

“Moist towels, moist tongues. Same thing really... And this version of pumpkin spice is pretty good.” Lisa commented as she twirled her tongue around. “Would be a waste not to lick it off of you.”

Of course, it would... 

“What is it with you and my ass?” Taylor asked as she dropped her head back into her pillow. Her teeth biting into it. “One day in a sex shop backroom, and you can’t leave it alone!”

“It’s perfect,” Was all Lisa said in breathy response before she ran her teeth along Taylor’s supple skin. “You’re perfect.” Nibbled at it, and left her mark before she gave it a kiss. “That’s why.” 

Taylor’s legs spasmed. Her heartbeat quickened. Her breathing deepened. Her thighs started to become slick with arousal. 

Lisa always knew exactly what to say.

“Lisa. Please...” Taylor started to sob into her pillow. She was hung over. She was tired. She was strung up by an anal plug tail and... She was…very horny right now. It was all very confusing, and not at all fair.

“Almost done, Taylor,” Lisa said as her tongue started digging deeper, getting sloppier in order to get every single spec of the paint off of her. Taylor never knew that she had a ticklish spot underneath her cheeks until just then, when Lisa lifted them up to further clean.

“Why do you do this to me…” Torture. That had to be it. Sweet, sweet torture.

“Don’t want to get this dirty now do we?” Lisa said as she gently and teasingly coaxed the tail up and out of it position to pull at her insides. It was all Taylor could do, to press the pillow even tighter to her face and to start to bite into it yet harder. 

“Almost...” Lisa said, the word only slightly drawn out as she reached the end of her work. Taylor could barely hear her. It was too much. 

“Lisa,” Taylor groaned, “If you keep going, I’m going to—”

“Go on, hon.” Lisa, in the only non-tongue related, sexually charged act she’d committed on Taylor’s body so far, took her hand and gave Taylor’s clit a quick touch. A strum, like how someone would play an instrument if only softer. “Say hello to the first of November for me~”

Taylor couldn’t help but shriek into her pillow at, even if it was relatively mild. Relatively. For those who didn’t have the experience she possessed. For most women, it would have been considered powerful, but of course, most women didn’t have an Interface to sync. That changed things.

“Well. I think that actually managed to take the edge off a headache for the both of us,” Lisa commented, between several deep breaths. Taylor almost laughed at the state of her lips, a glowing orange with streaks of black in the mix. “Good job, me.”

“Lisa?”

Lisa, still standing upright, snorted. She then fell on her face, apparently not nearly as recovered as she’d thought she’d been as she started drooling all over Taylor’s freshly ‘clean’ asscheeks.

Taylor really had nothing to say about that as she nibbled on her toast, and rode the afterglow all through her breakfast and into sleep. She was a rather understanding sort.

It was too bad that Lisa hadn’t stayed awake just a little bit longer though...Taylor would have reciprocated.

Chapter Text

“So. Taylor. Tell me,” Lisa started casually as she dipped the tip of her pinky into her drink. Tested its heat before she found it good—as much as coffee could be considered good—and took a sip. “How does your power work, really?” 

Taylor gave Lisa a blank look, then sipped her own drink. Darjeeling. A much superior beverage when one compared it to the hot, flavored bean juice that her counterpart was ingesting...also, hadn’t she done this already? She’d thought she’d been very clear about things the first time around. She’d even brought out the charts!

“I’ve seen you do some crazy shit in the last month.” Lisa shook her head, bemused. She then started tapping the tip of a finger against the table they’d been sat. “I’ve seen you punch through concrete. I’ve seen you heal up from sprained limbs and broken bones in hours at the most. I’ve seen you dropkick a thirty foot Valkyrie into a building against all rules of physics...and you have a fucking dildo powering your house through, what I’m pretty sure, is actual voodoo.”

Taylor couldn’t help but beam at that. Lisa had actually been close this time! She was learning!

Lisa blinked. “... Did I get that right? I was just kidding.”

“Somewhat right, Taylor admitted. “It was a modification of a voodoo ritual. Something I created in order to deal with extra-dimensional beings from beyond the stars. It worked splendidly.”

Lisa stared at her for a bit. Her head turned. Tilted to the side as her eyes went vacant...and then she blanched, and sucked her lips in behind her teeth to stifle a scream of existential horror. A completely reasonable reaction to the things behind the veil of reality.

“There wasn’t enough rum for it to be a full voodoo ritual. But good try.” Taylor wagged her finger at Lisa, smile still on her lips anyway as she patted Lisa’s hand, only to have it grabbed tight. She’d done the same with her father, years ago. Completely natural. “And don’t worry. It’ll pass soon. Like a dream.”

Lisa continued to shake for a moment...until she didn’t. Her eyes cleared and she stopped trying to make a hole in Taylor’s skin with her nails. Her sanity still held. She’d only grow stronger through the experience… Taylor was going to have to adjust Lisa’s diet a little though. A small sacrifice to pay.

“And I told you how I do what I do. Repeatedly.” Taylor let out a little giggle, not just because she was happy but to get Lisa’s mind off of things while the repression began. With her other hand, she waved a waiter over. Chocolate would help. “What I do, at the very lowest level of things, is—”

Taylor cut herself off as the waiter came by. An inconsequential order later, and there were two hot chocolates on the way...now back to talking.

“—I take an entire emotional spectrum and some of the others that it is related to…” Taylor poked her tongue out a little bit in thought. Distilling other dimensional math down into a semi-rational—this was English they were talking about—human language was hard. “And I pretend to be a plant.” Taylor nodded. “That’s right. Yes.”

That worked well enough.

“... What?”

“I pretend to be a plant...” Taylor raised her hands a bit and started to sway in an imaginary breeze while Lisa looked on in amazement...or frustration. One was as good as the other at this point. Anything to help her forget. “And I engage in photosynthesis. Absorbing lust and its attendants in order to turn it into food and energy.”

“And lasers?” Lisa whispered before she took a sip of her drink.

“And lasers.” Taylor agreed before she also took a sip of her drink. “Like a really angry venus flytrap.”

Lisa snorted into her drink.

“And, like a plant, I grow...” Taylor opened her arms and pointed them upward in a parody of leaves sprouting. “And dig into the fabric of reality, its walls and cobblestones—”

Lisa started to look more than a little worried...which actually meant a very worried. Taylor had gotten pretty good at this whole reading faces thing. Better, anyway.

“So that I may rip it apart and replace it with my own rules! Widen the cracks and create my own laws! Gravity isn’t real, Lisa. Think about it!” Taylor grabbed one of Lisa’s hands in between both of her own. “You just think it’s real and that’s why it works!”

“... You’re really freaking me out, Taylor.”

“Believe you can fly, and you will, Lisa! Believe in yourself!”

“Don’t...don’t I need magical pixie dust or something? Because I’m pretty sure gravity works for everybody...and I’m not breaking through the limit anytime soon.”

“No! No, you don’t! And no it doesn’t!” Taylor shook her head enthusiastically. “All you need is someone to overwrite the laws of reality around you for a bit! Which is a good thing, because pixies went extinct sometime around the nineteenth century because of settlers bringing in outside predators and it was really, really sad.”

“Fucking what.”

Taylor then pointed up at the sky. Pointed up at New Wave flying by in their glaring white costumes. “They fly, Lisa! They fly, not just because of some cancerous organ in their heads or some god given right! They fly because they aren’t following this reality’s rules!”

It was so simple! How did no one else see it!?

“That...that actually…” Lisa’s face twisted up as she put both of her hands to her head. “Oh fuck me, my head.”

“Oh...oh dear.” Taylor instantly stood up, forgetting what she had been talking about as she went around the table and lifted Lisa’s face. She then forced their eyes to meet, looked for something, anything that might have implied a marking other than the one she’d possessed before. “Hold still.”

“Taylor, this isn’t the time or the place for us to do whatever—”

“Shush.” After a bit of looking and some quick diagnostics, medical and otherwise Taylor nodded. She then pulled a vial and a kerchief out of her pocket to start cleaning up. First dabbing at the blood trail under Lisa’s right nostril with one hand before she brought the medicine to Lisa’s lips with the other. “Drink. For the pain.”

Instead of arguing, a sign that the pain she’d been going through must have been beyond extreme, Lisa took the vial and drained it all at once. Her body, tense with as piano wire suddenly loosened all at once. “Fuck me…”

“Maybe if you’re a good girl,” Taylor said absent-mindedly, prompting a juvenile snigger from Lisa before she clammed up with a hiss. “And you’re fine, surprisingly. Just some inflammation, easily fixed...but you might need a soak in the pool later on today.” Pocketing her vial as she continued to dab, Taylor kept her eyes on a visibly healthier and happier Lisa even as she waved the waiter over for the check.

“Can we…” Lisa sniffed, “Can we get ice cream this time?”

“Of course we can… Do still want to shop on the boardwalk?” Taylor had to ask. Even if Lisa was technically 'fine’, that didn't mean that she was still in the mood. “Since we’re already here and all?”

“Of course I—Shit!” Lisa stood up a bit too quickly, forcing Taylor to take her arm to keep her from falling. “Thanks, Taylor...now, where was I? Oh, right, the boardwalk! The clothes we have are nice enough, but really, we could both do with a couple extra pairs of underwear...and some exercise equipment... I think I’m getting fat.”

“Oh?”

“Yeah.” Lisa nodded as she started dragging the other girl along. “My bras and jeans are getting a little snug if you know what I mean.”

“I have a good idea of what you mean, yes.” 

She still missed those Armsmaster panties...

==========

“Do these jeans make my butt look fat?” Lisa pouted, her head turned to look at her behind as she did a slow spin. A midriff-baring t-shirt and a pair of hip-hugging jeans tight enough to show panty lines...if Lisa had been wearing any panties. Or a bra, for that matter… All very temporary until Lisa found what she was looking for but so far things were going beautifully today. “And, if it does, is it a good thing or a bad thing?”

Taylor’s ice cream dripped in her hand. Chocolate and vanilla, slowly becoming a goopy mess as her eyes started to burn and her face became numb. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d blinked, or the last time she’d stopped smiling. It was all very abstract.

“You’re right.” Lisa nodded. “It’s missing something isn’t it?” Lisa stepped back into the changing room and closed the door, letting Taylor blink for the first time in a minute as she started licking at the ice cream that coated her hand. “Give me a moment!”

“Take your time!” Taylor called out before she stuck her mouth onto the side of her hand, removing more than half of the mess with a force just under hard vacuum in terms of suction. “We’ve got all day!”

Not really...but that was a thing people said when they had time, right?

“That’s right. You can’t rush fashion.” The blonde that had suddenly appeared at her side said, sounding more than a little amused as Taylor eeped and started juggling her ice cream. Where had she come from? It was if she’d just fallen out of the sky! “It’s nice to see someone with their priorities in order for once.”

“Uh-huh. Umm...” Taylor shook her head up and down, feeling more than a little like a bobble-doll as she offered her hand for a shake. “Taylor. My name.” Taylor then switched hands when she realized that she’d just offered her ice cream hand instead of the clean one. The ice cream wobbled dangerously as she pulled it in close, but stayed relatively intact. “Taylor is my name. Hi. Fashion is good.”

Curse her social anxiety! Curse it to Gehenna!

“Nice to meet you, Taylor.” The other girl’s lips twitched upwards, turning into a full-blown smile as she grabbed Taylor’s hand with her own. Smooth, soft. Nails you’d only see on someone straight out of a spa, along with a strength to destroy cities. It was a nice handshake. “I’m Victoria, and would you like a baby wipe?”

Taylor knew she should have been a little more thorough when she washed her face this morning. Just because she couldn’t get pimples anymore, didn’t mean she could afford to be lax when it came to facial hygiene!

“I’ve got about…” Victoria unzipped her purse and started digging, giving Taylor enough time to allow Taylor’s mortification to sink in, but not giving her just enough to compartmentalize it before she had a bag in hand. That was cruel.“A whole package for you if you want it…actually.” She put the whole bag in Taylor’s free hand. “Take it all. Ice cream hands are just the worst.

Oh, thank god.

“So—I’ve got five hundred dollars, a grumpy-frump sister, and an afternoon to spend,” Victoria began, seemingly only so that she could start the dreaded social ritual that was small talk. “What’s your story?”

“Well…” Taylor coughed, then started trying to open the package one-handed as the ice cream continued to drip. “My friend, Lisa, was...she…”

Victoria popped open the top for her with an understanding look.

“Thank you,” Taylor said sheepishly before continuing. “She—She needed new clothes because…there was a fire...”

“That’s terrible!”

“Hey, Vicky. I’ve got this shirt, and I was just—”

Taylor screamed. She then jumped what had to be, at least, a good two feet into the air that sent her ice cream flying straight up. The screaming got even louder when the ice cream landed back down, only to fall into Victoria’s rather impressive cleavage.

“Fuck that’s cold!” Vicky shrieked.

It was all very loud, and not unexpected. Something of the sort always happened whenever Taylor tried to talk to someone. Or interact with anyone for that matter. Her curse to bear.

“I can help!” The new arrival and Taylor declared at the same time, wet wipes in hand before they converged on Victoria. It was all very awkward, even by Taylor’s standards.

“I hear screaming out there, Taylor! I know you did something!” Lisa yelled, just before her door swung open and she walked out with a pink beret at a rakish angle, a pair of pants, and a just a bra much to Taylor’s consternation...and then she remembered they were in public, even if it was a women’s changing room, and was doubly mortified. “What was it this time?”

Taylor, instead of responding, made several distressed noises, pointed at her new acquaintance’s breasts, and continued to clean. The idea that she was probably hurting more than she was helping crossed her mind after the third time the brunette across from her sent her a glare...but she couldn’t just stop now. She’d made this mess, and now she was going to clean it!

“I leave you alone for two minutes, Taylor. Two minutes, and I walk into a screaming match and you, arms deep in Glory Girl’s cleavage. Classic.”

Taylor continued to point...and then the fact that she’d dropped ice cream into Glory Girl’s cleavage registered. She tried cleaning even harder. More screaming happened. As did some giggling.

“Yeah, no. That’s not an excuse,” Lisa sighed and rolled her eyes before she dragged a whimpering Taylor away by the shoulder. “Let the nice people clean up, Taylor.” She nodded at the other two, the blonde a pure stop sign red while the brunette was stuck somewhere between angry and… wow. She was a mess. “I am so sorry about this.”

“It’s fine. It really is.” Victoria laughed, still red even as she waved her hand in a dismissive motion. “It was an accident, and it’s not like I wasn’t going to donate this one to charity soon anyway. Forget about it. Always nice to meet a fan!”

“I’m really sorry!” Taylor sniffed as she was dragged away and towards the changing room, happy to see Victoria laughing even as she tried fending off the brunette happily cleaning the valley between her breasts. It was delightfully domestic, in its own way.

“I said it's fine!”

“Still sorry!” She was so forgiving! A real hero, no matter what anyone said!

Lisa then opened the door to her personal changing room, dragged Taylor into it before she gave the other girls an embarrassed wave and a tight smile, and then slammed the door shut. She then did it again after a hanger got stuck in the door jam, snapping it.

She wasn’t happy.

“You. Ass. Bench. Now,” Lisa ordered, angrily pointing at each thing in turn to emphasize her point. 

Taylor said nothing but did exactly that so that she could stew in her own shame as she kicked her legs. The only thing she could say here is that this hadn’t been nearly as bad as the last time she’d met someone new without a buffer...not that Lisa would be happy to hear that, knowing that the last time Taylor had talked to someone without a buffer had been her.

Taylor had just barely begun to understand the issues involved in that last encounter. She had been in no way prepared for another being sprung on her like it had. Making it a hero encounter had only made it worse.

“You are going to sit exactly there, where I can keep an eye on you,” Lisa said sternly, “To make sure you don’t do anything like that again.” 

“... But I—” Was as far as Taylor got in defending herself—

“Amy! I’m clean enough already, god!”

“We have to make sure, Vicky! It’s everywhere!”

“Watch the hands!”

—before her head threatened to disappear into the neck of her turtleneck sweater. “Okay. I might have overreacted a little.”

Lisa glared at her for a few more seconds.

“A lot,” Taylor amended. “I don’t deal well when it comes to talking to—” Taylor’s voice hitched and fell to a low whisper. “—people.”

Lisa continued to glare for a moment, more confused than anything. “... Have you looked in a mirror lately?”

Taylor was forced to pause at that. To think…and find herself completely lost. “This morning? Why? Is it important?”

Thankfully, instead of glaring anymore, Lisa contented herself with turning around and rubbing her temples...she then sighed, her shoulders relaxing before she bent over at the waist to look through the merchandise. “Don’t think about it, Taylor. Focus on the important things.”

Taylor, just about to ask about what Lisa had meant about her looking in a mirror, closed her mouth when Lisa backed up a little. Began to sweat, and feel more than just a little hot under the collar as Lisa’s gave her hips a wriggle and her pants fell to the floor.

Taylor had been wrong. Lisa had been wearing underwear. A lacey, thin and black little number. A thong. A piece of apparel that left Taylor feeling more than a little lightheaded, the feeling only made worse when Lisa’s hips began to sway in hypnotic rhythm.

Taylor couldn’t remember what she was about to ask for the life of her...must not have been that important then.

“Got it. Hold this.” Lisa said before she took the beret off of her head and held it back. 

Taylor took said beret with numb fingers, then let it fall into her lap as Lisa began to remove her bra. A simple enough action. A normal part of life and something that she’d done hundreds of times herself… But, watching as Lisa did it made Taylor forget that she had other senses than sight and touch.

After a short eternity, the bra was discarded. Placed into a pile and forgotten. Taylor didn’t miss it...and it honestly didn’t make sense.

Lisa and her had been through a lot together. Seen each other naked, and in the lowest points of their respective lives. Nowadays they even slept together. Uncomfortably, but they did. Watching Lisa strip like this shouldn’t have been nearly so...exhilarating.

But it was. It was driving her up the wall...and she really should have thought about bringing a battery chain. This was the second time she’d gone without and it was starting to chafe.

“Stocking or hose, Taylor?” Lisa spun around, holding up two such examples up for inspection.

If Taylor said anything, she didn’t remember...but Lisa nodded anyway, tossing the hose into the pile as well.

“Stockings it is then!” The blond declared right before she took a seat next to Taylor and lifted a leg.

It was very warm in here now. Scalding. Immolating almost.

Lisa hummed a jaunty little tune as she placed the first stocking on her foot. Made sure of the fit with a couple of tugs before, with a nod, shesensually rolled it up her leg.

Taylor swore that she had just pulled a muscle in her neck. Swore that it happened twice as Lisa brought the stocking to her upper thigh and let it go. A perfect, seamless black. Like ink on her skin as she smoothed it out and admired it...and then came the next stocking, twice as bad as the first...because of Lisa’s smile.

Lisa was teasing her. Punishing her for her overreaction. A resurgence of the stick instead of the carrot to force the lesson to stay… It was a very persuasive, if heavy-handed argument as to socialization, Taylor would admit to that much.

It was only when the garter belt came out that Taylor realized that the burning sensation in her chest was her need for breath.

“One button,” Lisa sing-songed as she stood up and put the first clip into place. “Two buttons.” The second clip was somehow louder than the first. Life firecrackers going off next to Taylor’s head. “And a bit of adjustment…” Lisa tightened it, forcing the stockings higher yet up her long, long legs. “And there we go~”

Taylor thought she might faint.

“So?” Lisa asked as she did a slow twirl for Taylor’s inspection, the only sign that there might have been ulterior motives being the smile on her face and the emotions in her heart. Satisfaction, vindication and a heavy case of schadenfreude. “What do you think? Good?”

“Very...” Taylor gasped. Pushed the darkness at the edges of her vision away as she finally took a breath. Her eyes burned again. “It’s—very nice.”

Taylor was positively soaked.

“Isn’t it?” Lisa agreed as she bent over in front of Taylor again, nearly driving Taylor mad with need just so she could pull out a little black dress. A turtleneck dress, built to fit itself to Lisa’s every curve. “Do you think this would work with it?”

Taylor hadn’t been ready for this at all.

==========

Almost in synch, the doors to the dressing room flew open. Both of the blondes walked out with a pile of clothing in their hands and a smile on their face.

“Good haul!” They both said. They both turned to each other and laughed.

Meanwhile, their counterparts stumbled out behind them...and they couldn’t have been more different.

Taylor felt like death warmed over. Her posture was slumped, her feet felt like she was moving lead weights, and she wouldn’t be surprised to find that she had somehow obtained bags under her eyes. A literal physical impossibility, but still one she wouldn’t have been surprised to find out had come true.

In comparison, Amy looked like someone had told her that her birthday had come early and she was getting a puppy.

Taylor had never hated someone more...or before, actually, until they looked at each other. Or, at least, the person who Taylor had just realized was Amy Dallon looked. Taylor just stared, almost dead to the world while excess power vented until something clicked and any hostility she might have felt melted away.

“OhmygodyourePanacea!” Taylor shrieked before eagerly grabbing Amy’s hand and giving it a good few shakes. “I need to know! How do you change fat into other tissues? Can you make donor organs by doing that? Can you cure auto-immune disorders? How are you able to prevent allergic reactions?!”

After overcoming her openmouthed shock, Amy started to try to answer each question to the best of her ability. The various medical questions continued to fly a mile a minute, and eventually, after grabbing Taylor’s other hand in a tight grip she started answering Taylor’s questions to the best of her abilities.

The slightly vacant but genuine smile on Amy’s face along with the feelings of awe and overwhelming joy Taylor could feel sold it. 

“I know this might sound weird after that whole thing where you kinda sorta groped my sister… But do you have a cell phone?”

Taylor had just made another friend. She was getting good at this!

==========

“We should probably trade numbers,” Lisa said as she looked on with a wistful smile. It was about time Taylor got a new friend...not that she minded being her only friend all that much anymore, beyond the whole awkward creepy sexual awakening thing she was going through...or the tentacle monster...or the fission reactor under the house... She was doing better. Shut up, brain. “Arrange a couple of playdates for them.”

“Yeah.” Victoria nodded, her lips twitching upwards for a moment before her face became completely straight. “It would be good for them to interact with kids their own age.”

“... I can’t believe you said that with a straight face.”

“Me neither.” Victoria shrugged, her face twisting up into a smirk for a moment before she let go entirely and started laughing.

“Fugly Bob’s—” Lisa snorted, unable to hold it back as both of the blonde’s counterparts looked over at them, confused and worried. They could feel that the wind had shifted. “—after this?”

Victoria could only nod, and try not to choke on her tongue.

Chapter Text

“Never again…” Victoria whispered, her voice strained as she bobbed and weaved drunkenly through the air with her arms around her stomach. “Never—” She burped the burp of the damned and about to be violently ill. The rest of the group gave her another five steps or so of space. “—kill me. Please.”

Taylor and Lisa giggled. Taylor nervously, like a normal person who had inadvertently coaxed someone into a game of one-upmanship she hadn’t even realized existed. Lisa...she just giggled, most likely because she thought it was funny. No other reason needed.

If it hadn’t been for Amy’s hand in hers, Taylor would have bolted already. She was a good friend...so far.

“Nope. No dying for you.” Amy said, denying her sister the sweet release of death...or her healing touch. Either or would work at this juncture or so Taylor assumed. “I hope you take something away from all of this, Vicky.”

“Yeah...I learned something alright,” Vicky groaned, then burped again. “Taylor is a bottomless pit and my sister traded me in a for a newer model—traitor.”

Taylor felt more than a little worry as she saw Amy’s smile freeze and felt the grip on her hand tighten. The emotions she got from that...it almost hurt.

“I think the point here, Vicky,” Lisa interjected, sounding amused as she darted in to give Victoria a poke to the gut before darting back. Vicky burped again, louder than the last two put together as she gave Lisa a weak glare. “Is that you shouldn’t do things just because you saw other people do them... Unless it’s jumping off a bridge or something.”

Vicky flipped her off.

“You’d be fine, you big baby. You can fly.”

Shut up, Lisa. It’s the principle of the thing—blargh.

“You…ummm,” Taylor coughed and gave Amy’s hand a reassuring squeeze. She got a tight smile in return, then a look of surprise before she looked down at their hands. “Shouldn’t have—ordered the Challenger, maybe?”

Taylor was nervous, and sometimes, when she got nervous, she got the urge to eat until she didn’t! It wasn’t healthy, she knew that, but with heradvantages... They’d been at a restaurant! How was she supposed to know that Victoria would take it as a challenge? Also, Lisa proved herself yet again to be a bad influence.

Fast food had grown on her over the last month of having her horizons expanded… When she said grown on her, she meant like a fungus. Unhealthy, quick growing, and hard to get rid of. If it weren’t for her ability to control her weight and proportions, she’d have been a blimp by now.

“I’m not going to throw up, I’m not going to throw up, I’m not going to throw up…oh goddddd...”

“Oh, yeah. Here come the memories.” Amy sighed as she let go of Taylor’s hand and walked around to her sister’s back. “She’s going to throw up. Like my thirteenth birthday all over again, where she ate half the cake on a dare.”

“AmmmmessssDon’t tell them that!

“Get down here, you doofus.” Amy rolled her eyes, grabbed Victoria by the hand, and dragged her by it over to a nearby alley and it’s attendant trashcan. “And I’ll tell them whatever I want. Not like it was my birthday that was ruined or anything.”

“I said I was sorry!”

“Sorry doesn’t get me new shoes!”

“I said—I said I was—Mom made me buy you three pairs out of my own allow—!” Vicky made choking, disgusting, wet noises as the barely digested remains of her attempt at the Challenger was reintroduced to the light of day with a vengeance. Thankfully enough, Vicky—but most likely actually Amy, who was now dutifully holding her sister’s hair back—had possessed the decency necessary to keep them out of the splash zone.

Taylor carefully kept her eyes away from the whole thing. There was no need for that particular epidemic to spread.

Vicky groaned and spat. “Couldn’t you have stopped that?” Vicky said between coughs and a little bit of crying. “Just a little?”

“It is not healthy to have that much food in your stomach. Even with training,” Amy explained as she rubbed Victoria’s back soothingly and gave Taylor a suspicious look. Taylor shifted about uncomfortably. “Also, hopefully, you’ve learned something today.”

“But—” Victoria’s interruption started up another round of coughing.

“I don’t know how she did it either,” Amy answered apologetically. “But still. You shouldn’t have tried. Now come on. Let’s get you inside. Bob’s isn’t—”

No.”

“Okay, okay.” Amy sighed, then started tugging Victoria like a balloon to the nearest store. “I’ll be back guys. Got a big baby to take care of.”

Taylor giggled again. Still nervous, but not nearly as much. It looked like there’d be no hard feelings after all. Great!

“Why do you hate meeee?” Was the last thing Victoria said before she was dragged out of sight and into a nearby store...and then everything went wrong.

Taylor stretched out her arm as her combat charms kicked in without her input, leading to her disarming, then inadvertently clotheslining the disheveled man that had just come out of the alley they were in front of. Said man hadn’t even had the chance to yell before Taylor had cracked his head against the pavement with an open palm, putting him out like a light.

Things had been going so well.

“Holy shit, Taylor. Are you trying to put him in a coma?” Lisa whispered.

Taylor started to hyperventilate, her eyes scanning from side to side as she looked for yet more of his ilk, and for good reason. There was alwayssomeone else when it came to Brockton, home of the human wave tactic. You’d think that crippling, then seemingly killing upwards of ten people within half that in seconds would scare people off. She’d thought wrong.

Lisa just rolled her eyes and took the pistol out of Taylor’s hand. “We’re on the freaking boardwalk on a Saturday afternoon,” Lisa complained as she crouched down and started going through his pockets. “What did he expect to happen? He was just going to get bounced, looking like he does. This is the nice part of town.”

Taylor nodded absent-mindedly as she crouched as well and started looking through the gravel. More than a few of them ended up in the palm of her hand as she picked out yet more men in the crowd. Ones that stood out from just how well they didn’t stand out...the earbuds and guns didn’t hurt her assessment in the slightest.

Enemies were about.

“Crappy semi-automatic with the safety permanently disengaged. More rust than metal hasn’t been maintained in years... Not that it matters because the wrong caliber is loaded in it, dumbass. Bus pass. A condom that’s three years out of date and his wallet.” Lisa pulled said wallet out. She then quickly pocketed the most likely stolen cash within and looked at his Driver’s License. She had her priorities in order.

Five men. Three in plainclothes on the ground among the crowd. Two on a nearby roof, a sniper, and his spotter. An easy decision to make.

“Who names their kid Montgomery?” Lisa asked as she wiped her prints from everything she might have touched, then placed the wallet back in the man’s pocket. “Parents must have hated him.”

Putting her hair behind her ears as she held her palm straight out, Taylor closed her left eye, sighted down her arm, and flicked a piece of gravel as hard as she could. The sudden cessation of light bouncing off of a scope as the first man fell and the other dove for cover told her all she needed to know. Another flick ended with him down as well, clutching at his chest...and the last three weren’t looking too happy about it, seeing how they were now clutching at their earbuds and one of them was quietly yelling about ‘enemy snipers’. Oops.

“Just a random Merchant it looks like. One of the cleaner ones, but still.” Lisa shrugged as she started pushing the man with her feet into a nearby empty corner before she layered a couple of trash bags over him. “Nothing special...but I should probably call the police… Fuck that sounds weird.” Lisa ended with a mumble.

The yelling man was the first of them to go. Clutching at his neck, eyes wide as he fell to the ground, choking. Yet another received a shot to the knee, blowing it out and dropping him just before he got a second shot to the temple. The third though...he tried to run.

“... I’ll just wait for the girls to get back. He can wait.” Lisa grumbled as she stood up and started digging around in her pocket. “Need to get a burner phone or something, I swear.”

He didn’t get very far before a piece of gravel found the back of his neck, dropping him like a bag of rocks...allowing Taylor to finally let her arm fall to her side, with bits of stone falling from her hands as she dusted herself off on the hem of her skirt, filled with the satisfaction of a job well done.

They had pointed guns at her first. At Lisa. They didn’t deserve her sympathy, which is why permanent erectile dysfunction was the least of the curses she’d given them...and they deserved every one.

“What the fuck, Taylor?” Lisa looked around with a sort of horrified awe, a hand at her temple as she examined their surroundings. The milling crowds circling around the bodies of Taylor’s victims. Phones out. Pictures were taken and police were called as the men began to sob one-and-all. “What the fuck? Did you just—”

“They were the enemy. One of them had a gun pointed directly at your head.” Taylor’s lips curled up into a sneer. A facial expression that had Lisa rearing back in surprise as a flash of fear crossed her face. Taylor forcefully schooled her own expression back to something resembling normal after that. Having Lisa become scared of her was something that she never wanted to happen. “They deserved worse.”

Lisa stared at her. Bit her lip. Looked at Taylor as if she’d never seen her before... And when Taylor wrapped her arms around the older girl in a hug, Lisa didn’t struggle or pull away like she normally did. She just...buried her face into Taylor’s shoulder and hugged her back.

It was nice.

“What did I just walk in on? What’s with the tender moment?” Victoria asked from up above, her voice still hoarse but a great deal more lively now that she no longer had the need to give her surroundings a technicolor finish. “What’s up with the crying and the crowds?” Vicky’s voice took on a tone of barely suppressed aggression. “What did I miss and how hard do I need to hit it?”

Taylor sighed as Lisa slipped away from her with a cough and a quick and embarrassed fixing of her hair. It had been nice while it lasted.

“Mugger came out of the alley as soon as you guys left.” Lisa pointed to the Merchant, causing Victoria’s face to twist up in rage. “But we’re fine. He was too high to realize how fucked he was before Taylor ended up bouncing his skull off the pavement.”

Taylor hid behind Lisa as Victoria turned her attention towards her. She then waved as, finally, Amy caught up with her sister at a light jog, heaving like a bellows. Amy wasn’t a runner, that was for sure.

“What’s happening over there…I have no idea.” Lisa shrugged. “Probably nothing all that important, or dangerous, since everyone and their mother has decided to run over there and take pictures.”

“You’d be surprised,” Amy replied sourly in between her gasps for air. Victoria looked more than a little smug about that. Payback? “People can be fucking stupid when it comes to their social media.” As if to prove Amy’s point, yet more people came to gawk as PRT troopers, outfitted in Hazmat came in loaded for bear.

“That sounds like a story.”

“You have no idea.” Grabbing Victoria’s hand, Amy put her head down and started dragging her sister down the street. Pointedly away from whatever was happening. “Remind me to tell you about this one patient who turned his pelvis into powder while trying to do a flip off his roof and over an active wood chipper.”

Taylor and Lisa looked at her. Taylor with horror, Lisa with morbid interest.

“It was for his Para-Tube channel.”

The emotions inherent in the girl’s looks deepened yet further.

People are really fucking stupid, okay?”

Taylor tried not to look at the unconscious man under the piles of trash Lisa had left him in. She, mostly, succeeded.

“Amen,” Lisa agreed. She then grabbed Taylor’s hand and started pulling, forcing the other two girls to follow or be left behind. She then started to move faster, her body growing tense when they passed a bakery and almost collided with an employee, a frazzled looking girl—with a nice little bow in her hair—writing the menu on a blackboard, as they went by.

Understandable. Not exactly polite but understandable, seeing how, under the smell of baking bread, was the not so subtle scent of blueberries.

“Sorry!” Taylor yelled back over her shoulder only to receive a shocked look in return...and a feeling of consideration? Understanding?

Lisa’s feelings when it came to that particular fruit were complicated. Neither of them, mostly at the blond’s insistence, had even had so much as a muffin with the stuff in it since Mr. Squiggles had come into their lives...or a muffin at all actually. Banana nut sounded nice…

No muffins.” Lisa hissed.

“Aww…”

Chapter Text

Today had been a weird day. That was the general gist of Lisa’s thoughts as she fell into bed. She then groaned and rolled about a little, the feeling of Tinkerpedic on her weary bones something that she had yet to get tired of. Something that she’d probably never get tired of, to be honest.

She enjoyed the finer things in life. This bed was one of the finest...she then rolled over again, this time on her front, to stare at the ceiling and listen to Taylor putter about.

All she’d wanted to do today was buy some clothes. Get some ice cream. Tease Taylor a little while she got some sunlight for once...but it hadn’t gone quite how she’d imagined. Better in some ways, worse than others. 

Before Vicky and Amy had been forced to leave—something about an oddly virulent and newly discovered disease...two guesses as to how that had happened—Lisa had been having fun. Like a normal, possibly bisexual young woman, and wasn’t that a mess, out on the town. Burgers were had. Ice cream was eaten. No one got tentacled to within an inch of their life in a public venue.

That last one was important.

Lisa shuddered and felt more than a little heat rise to her cheeks as memories she’d prefer to forget rose to the front of her mind. She then spent a good five seconds or so wondering if she should turn her back to the tank or not before the phantom pains in her butt decided for her. It was a resounding ‘no’, and she stayed where she was. Damn Mr. Squiggles for making something as simple as denouncement something complicated...and who’d named him anyway? It hadn’t been her, that was for sure.

Anyway, she’d been having fun. Victoria, once you got past the bullheaded aggression that made up a good thirty percent of her being, was actually a pretty good conversationalist. Smart enough not to be boring, but not so smart that—Unlike Taylor, who Lisa was getting much better at dealing with—Lisa didn’t feel the urge to get mean. They’d bonded. Mostly over their respective shut-ins, but they’d bonded.

Taylor started smacking out a fire that had suddenly started on her counter. An ominous green flicker that, in Lisa’s experience, acted more like an acid than it did an actual heat source. Taylor just shook her hands out and went on with her day.

Lisa chuckled to herself.

Amy had been a mess and a half, but her dry wit had been hilarious...and the fact that she was Taylor’s friend didn’t hurt at all of course. They both needed it, at the end of the day… Even if Amy’s friendship had been built on the heaviest case of sexual attraction Lisa had ever seen—outside of a mirror—it had been quick to build up into something like actual respect.

Having someone as pretty as Taylor express interest in a big part of your life did that sort of thing. Having someone as pretty as Taylor actually knowwhat they were talking about just helped. 

Lucky her.

Rolling over on her side, pillow in her arms to face Taylor, Lisa just...watched. Pushed her recognition of the fact that she was now facing away from Mr. Squiggles into the back of her head...and enjoyed. How she moved. Like a dancer on the stage, always on the stage. Light and quick, slow and methodical. Everything in its proper place, inhuman. Not like a machine. Like the fae...which, if Taylor wasn’t yanking her chain, used to be a thing.

Bracelet in hand as she whispered things under her breath that Lisa could feel in her bones, her finger lit up. Moved close to what Lisa could tell was the closest thing to fine silver that you could find outside of a mine and started etching things into it with the tip of said finger. It smelt like ozone. Looked like the Lord of the Rings writ large...as long as you ignored the fact that it was being forged on a—new—camp stove.

Even if it was one of those new and fancy tinkertech ones...it just couldn’t measure up to a volcano in the middle of a blasted hellscape. Taylor did try though, and that was what counted… Most of the time.

“Taylor.” Lisa cringed as she heard her own voice. Reedy and weak. Embarrassing, as Taylor instantly turned around, still whispering even as a worry started to overtake her features. She’d gotten better. Much better since the day they’d met. It made Lisa happy, oddly enough. "When you’re done with whatever you’re doing—” She choked up, then turned her back again. “Come to bed, alright?”

She’d almost died today. Again. She was allowed to feel a little vulnerable. Hell, it was her god given right as a heavily traumatized teenage girl to feel vulnerable, even if she didn’t like it. Especially if she didn’t like it. It forced her to confront things about herself, things that she’d shelved into a special little box in her head that might as well have said ‘do not open’ on it. Things like...

Lisa could feel Taylor’s nod at that. Hear the smooth, warm cadence of her voice become the slightest bit faster and rough… Lisa hugged the pillow a little tighter and tried not to cry.

Taylor made her feel safe. Just by walking or talking or just being around or just doing something completely insane that shouldn’t exist in a purely rational universe, Taylor made Lisa feel safe… And warm… And happy… And all of these other things that Lisa didn’t have a name for and wasn’t willing to ask her power about… She was pretty sure she knew what it was already.

With a clink of glass and the hiss of steam, Taylor presumably finished up the hard parts. The things that needed to be finished right that moment unless Lisa liked living in a hole in the ground. A deeper one. She then started putting everything away, the beat of metal and glass coming together like a metronome. Like a faux countdown, ten seconds long.

Taylor had saved her life again today...and hopefully, it would never have to happen again. Fucking Coil. Hadn’t seen the paranoid fucker in over a month and a half and his first action, as soon as he found out she was still alive, was to put a bullet in her head for no real reason. None that she could think of that didn’t sound totally insane anyway. It’s not like she knew anything important… What was she thinking? This was Coil. He was just being a dick. If it hadn't been for that actual Merchant coming around to put Taylor on her toes...

Today had been weird. She felt weird. Taylor was weird. Everything was weird...except the bed. It was great.

“Hey…” Taylor slowly got onto the bed, her voice soft as she shuffled her way in towards, and against, Lisa’s back. Besides making a little sniffling sound when Taylor wrapped her arms around her, making her the little spoon, Lisa didn’t protest. Even if this wasn’t going to be an everyday thing, it felt nice. It was a moderation thing. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing…” Lots of things. Things she couldn’t say and things she could but didn’t feel like saying. She was complicated.

The little whisper of a thought that brought up, the one that said she was just being contrary, was brutally murdered. There were no witnesses and the case was thrown out of court. She was not a crook.

“Nothing, huh?” Taylor hummed a little, her chest vibrating against Lisa’s back making the blond fight back a giggle even as she was drawn closer to Taylor’s chest. “Just wanted my company then?”

An out. One that Lisa grabbed with both hands and held on tight.

“Sure,” Lisa rasped into her pillow as her throat started to get tight, “if that’s what you want to think.”

“It’s a nice thought,” Taylor agreed, still soft even as she started to run her fingers through Lisa’s hair. Lisa couldn’t help but sigh as those fingers, the same ones that she’d just seen burn letters into solid metal started to scratch at her scalp. “Do you want to talk about our day?” Lisa then relaxed, this time with a little groan as Taylor’s—magic—fingers really dug in...because, why not?

“Well,” Lisa started, “I’ve been meaning to ask you...just how did your arm end up in Vicky’s cleavage?”

She’d stopped worrying about Taylor turning on her a long while ago. Of Taylor just deciding to get rid of her, something that Taylor could do just by...doing anything, actually, as she held Lisa in her arms. She could do anything at all, and Lisa wouldn’t be able to do anything about it...but so what? It wasn’t like she would.

They were all they had, after all...and wasn’t that sad?

Taylor sputtered something incoherent and seized up, making Lisa laugh in earnest. Something real that loosened the knot in her chest. Normality was nice.

“You could make a girl jealous, you know?” Lisa teased, putting her best sultry tone on as she did. Another piece of normality setting her back into her rhythm, her relatively new daily routine. “You see a new blonde with a bigger rack, and the first thing you do is stick your hand in.” Lisa smirked. “Break my heart, why don’t you?”

Just a joke. A bit of innocent needling to get things to how they were supposed to be. Same old same old… But when Taylor tensed and pulled her as close as humanly possible, Lisa felt as if she’d just tripped over a landmine. One where a single wrong move would leave her—metaphorically—plastered all over the scenery.

She’d forgotten she wasn’t the only one with trauma.

Lisa barely even breathed when Taylor stuck her face into the side of her neck. She didn’t move as Taylor grabbed her wrist, leading to somethingcold latching onto it as the brunette started to nuzzle her. A search for comfort.

And Lisa had thought she had felt terrible before.

“I’d never replace you,” Taylor murmured and shook her head, forcing Lisa to blush as she felt Taylor’s lips brush against her throat. “Never.” After the longest five seconds of Lisa’s life, Taylor finally let go of her wrist. Leaving a bracelet behind. Silver and green, and perfectly etched with patterns and words and pictures that made Lisa’s head swim.

It was the most beautiful thing Lisa had ever seen.

“Do you like it?”

Lisa flexed her fingers. Tried to speak. Felt something, many somethings, that she couldn’t quite name as she fought for breath. The lump in her throat, the tightness of her chest, the manic beat of her heart… Was this how it felt like to die? She was halfway sure she was in the middle of a heart attack.

When was the last time she’d ever received something like this? From someone who cared?

“Something to keep you safe...” Taylor, no longer content with ghosting her lips across Lisa’s skin, became the slightest bit more aggressive. Full on kisses now. Nibbles and sucks that made Lisa gasp and rub her legs together as Taylor showed a hint of the wolf that lay under all that wool. “Something so that nothing will be able to take you away...”

When Taylor started nibbling at her ears, the first thing Lisa did wasn’t what she’d come to expect of herself. The need to run, to hide, to deny...those feelings were absent, or at least so far down inside of her that she could no longer recognize them for what they were. What she did was simple. An undeniable sign of approval and a tacit message of consent.

Reaching a hand behind herself, Lisa sighed and put a hand on the back of Taylor’s head. Pushed down and bared her neck with an almost silent whimper while Taylor left mark after scarlet mark, each of them as hot as any brand…and just as useful.

Every bite as good as said that Lisa was Taylor’s. The hand running along the outside of her thighs and along her stomach. The other hand at her breasts, teasing her through the combined fabrics of her blouse and her new bra. Both done without Lisa’s permission. Done because permission wasn’t needed.

She’d always know that in the back of her head. Know that, no matter how good Lisa thought she might have been when it came to sex—

“You know,” Taylor giggled softly just as her hand grazed the front of Lisa’s pants, popping the button and unzipping the fly faster than Lisa could blink. “I still haven’t paid you back for what happened at 'Fucking Tinkers’...”

—Taylor was the one with the sex-based abilities. She was the one with the understanding. It was a reversal of sorts. As if Taylor’s social skills had been translated into the marital… It changed things between them, when the situation was right. 

“So let's get to it,” Taylor finished, just as she slipped a hand into Lisa's panties.

She was the one with the power at the end of the day. She was just a really good sport about letting Lisa pretend otherwise. Taylor was sweet like that...which is why, when the tip of Taylor’s first finger touched her slit, Lisa melted inside.

Whenever something had happened between the two of them, she’d been the one who initiated it. The first time had been...unfortunate. Fun, yes. But unfortunate. Also, guilt inducing in a way that Lisa couldn’t quite get her head around, even two weeks later. The second time had happened earlier that day, just a short period of light-hearted teasing that happened to boost her ego.

It seemed that her transgressions had finally come home to roost.

Lisa cried out as every bit of tension in her body left her all at once, leaving her the closest thing to boneless while Taylor continued with her massage. The snap of her bra as it was unhooked didn’t even end up as a footnote to the backdrop that was Taylor dipping her fingers in. Her forcing the little pocket of fabric she’d forced herself into to expand, then almost rip as she played Lisa like an instrument. Strumming, plucking and pulling. Blowing as well, as soon as Taylor caught Lisa’s mouth with her own.

Initiating anything had been a mistake. An obvious, painful mistake. That's what hindsight told her while she pawed at the front of her pants, directly over the spot where Taylor was working. Doing something—unnatural. Sparks and pulses, a heavy thrum that wasn’t just in Lisa’s bones anymore as the smell of ozone filled the air again and Taylor let go of her lips to speak.

“How do you feel about a 1-for-2, honey? Just as much as you gave to me, with interest?” Taylor whispered; each and every word that fell from her lips was hypnotic, a syllable on its own nearly as good as sex. “Don’t worry though. It won’t happen all at once.” A high, keening noise started to sound. One that brought to mind the charging of a defibrillator. “I’m not nearly so cruel.”

“... What?” Lisa's eyes widened and she began pulling at Taylor's arm as she realized what that meant. “Wait a second!”

“Three, two, one—” Taylor continued, just before she pushed her tongue past Lisa's lips, her fingers doing the same with the other set between the blond’s legs. Either one of those was enough to quiet her. 

Both were just overkill.

And then the first wave hit. A series of sparks that had her screaming hard enough that if she'd been able to think at all, even as she came all over the inside of her new clothes… She'd have worried that she might have damaged something.

Every stroke of Taylor's fingers, three in and knuckle deep was like lightning. Actual, physical lightning. All heat and fire and overwhelming powerbeing forced into something much too small to contain it...and then, suddenly, things became clear. The clarity of delirium, if Lisa was honest, but clarity nonetheless.

This was Lust. Not lust, with a little l, but Lust. The stuff that her friend had talked about and Lisa had scoffed at. That thing that powered everything she did. The energy that, supposedly, made up a good chunk of Taylor's existence.

This was Taylor's essence. Her power being expressed in it's purest form at the very lowest end...but even that was enough to make Lisa’s thighs clench down. Enough to force her hips to rock forward into Taylor's hand. Enough to make the puddle that had forced itself through her clothing to seem like a minor thing… All while she screamed herself to death.

It was small consolation...But there were worse ways to go. There was that.

And then, just before Lisa resigned herself to the local asylum or the morgue, it ended. With Lisa gasping for air, feeling more than halfway dead—in a good way if that was possible—as Taylor whispered sweet nothings into her ear and she recovered from a sudden case of orgasm-induced blindness/paralysis. 

She didn't mind it nearly as much as she should...and she couldn't bring up the energy to care about that either. It was a thing. Whether it was good or bad was beyond her at this point.

“Set one of three, complete.” Taylor intoned, the amount of satisfaction in her voice, and its contents, one of the most terrifying things Lisa had ever heard. “Isn’t this nice?”

No wonder Taylor acted like she did. Lisa had barely touched upon what allowed the brunette to break the laws of physics, and it had almost driven her mad. Taylor had almost pushed Lisa off a cliff, metaphorical as it was, with just her fingers. Just by sticking them in, and giving her clit a rub with her thumb.

Mr. Squiggles, anal obsessed sex monster or not, just didn't stack up.

“Ready for round two?” Taylor asked just before the scent of ozone returned, twice as strong.

Lisa whimpered and readied herself for death.

Another shock, somehow even stronger than the first, had her flopping about like a fish out of water. The only thing that kept her from falling off the bed being Taylor’s hold on her body and the hand down her pants.

After that, the possession of something as fragile as ‘pants’ proved to be a very temporary thing...

================

Lisa twitched cutely in her sleep. Made little whining noises and kicked her feet as Taylor, almost guiltily, stroked her hair.

She might have gone just a little overboard, repaying the debt she owed. Just a bit. Just the tiniest, smallest amount... But then again so had Lisa back then. Karma, or what goes around, comes around, was a universal force for a reason… Although, the fourth, secret, overtime round might have been a little much...

Taylor tucked Lisa’s hair back behind her ear, earning herself a snort and a small dribble of drool that made her laugh before she bent over to pick up Lisa’s ruined jeans and underwear, the both of them now little more than stretched out, liquid heavy strips of denim. 

It would take a lot of washing and sewing to make these acceptable to wear in public again. Time and money that could be better spent on something else, considering they had somewhere around a hundred of the things in varying sizes… Taylor couldn’t help but cringe at that. No matter how long ago it had been, or how accidental, grand larceny was no way to start a career in heroics...anyway, there was only one thing she could do with this now.

“Alright, Mister Squiggles.” Taylor cooed as she opened the first airlock. “Got a new pair of jeans for you~” She placed the jeans into the chute, and closed the lid. “Your last pair is getting a little old.” It was funny, just how much he loved Lisa. Kind of sad as well, seeing how it wasn’t reciprocated...but oh well. That was the way life went sometimes… She was really lucky she didn’t have to deal with that herself.

A few seconds later the bottom hatch opened up and the jeans fell into the tank and Taylor waited for Mister Squiggles to notice it. He was always sohappy for something new to play with. And then she waited. And then she waited some more.

That...was different.

“Mister Squiggles?” Taylor asked worriedly as she began tapping on the membrane of his enclosure. She knew she wasn’t supposed to do that but this new change was more than just a little worrying. Normally, he’d have run up against the membrane by now, chirping like mad. Like a rather odd dog mixed with a bird. She found it adorable...but that didn’t matter at the moment.

Was he sick? Did he have needs that she hadn’t been fulfilling? Maybe he was bored? All of the above? She honestly had no idea. Even with the study she’d been doing of him during her free time, he was still a completely unique creature... Oh no. 

Taylor started to bite down on her knuckle as she was struck with a case of very real, and very painful anxiety. Some terror as well.

Had he died? Had he grown old and just keeled over within the shell of his home? Had the lettuce she’d been feeding him caused a blockage of...whatever biological systems he had, like chocolate to a dog? Had she been feeding him delicious, delicious poison this entire time!?

As Taylor was seconds away from jumping into his enclosure she felt an all too familiar and, above all, slimy limb wrap itself around her ankle. She looked down, and felt relief. Then terror all over again.

“Clever girl.” Taylor said, quoting something she’d heard the other day from a movie that Lisa had dragged her out to watch. Something about dinosaurs and science gone wrong... It felt rather fitting, considering what had happened to him was rather similar to what was about to happen to her.

Thankfully, just before she was whipped into the air by that ankle, she’d grabbed a nearby broom and started hitting him with it. She’d learned from her mistakes! Solid steel and reinforced was the only way to go! A couple of solid, wet sounding smacks to the core of his body had proven rather effective at getting him to loosen his grip, allowing her to fall slightly back down to earth… Only for him to prove that it was just a rather clever feint as he caught her again.

“Hey!” Taylor yelled as the broom was torn from her loosened grasp and Squiggles started waving it about. “No! Bad tentacle monster! Bad!”

And then, Mr. Squiggles hit her with the broom. Then again. Then again. In a way that had her thinking of herself as a badly used pinata before she caught the broom herself in an odd reversal of roles that would have had Lisa rolling on the floor in hysterics if she’d been awake.

“Stop that right now, Mister!” Taylor got a smack on the bottom and was then tossed into the ceiling for her troubles. “Ow!”

==========

The battle was hard fought, and that was all Taylor could bring herself to say when Lisa finally woke up two hours later. Can’t look bad in front of the new girlfriend, after all.

Chapter Text

With the sort of touch often reserved for the care of newborn children and the disarmament of nuclear weaponry—or so Lisa had described it—Taylor made her morning tea.

 

Not that it was anything special of course. She’d done this every day, multiple times a day, exactly in this way, since she’d learned how to do it with little change or deviation in between. It was soothing and comforting, and as grand as any ritual that she’d ever participated in. What made it so great, besides it being delicious, was that it was normal. No matter what changes might come her way, no matter the turmoil that came to her life...she’d always have this. A warm cup. A cookie tin. Some odds and ends.

 

It made her happy.

 

Lisa passed by. Paused. Traced a little circle in the small of Taylor’s back that made the taller girl smile before she continued towards the bathroom with a towel draped over her arm. Not quite an invitation to join, but not a denial either. Ambivalent, like the blonde had been from the very start.

 

Oddly enough, Taylor had never been in a relationship before. Even she could recognize, past her shortcomings, the incongruity inherent in an individual of her particular skillset being so...clueless...about something so important… But that was the way it was. Most definitely was.

 

She was still learning. Learning was good. Learning made her happy.

 

Taking a step back from her pot of loose leaf, Taylor did the other things she did every morning. Things like checking the integrity of the tentacle enclosure and the power shunt’s output for any possible defects or distortions. All very important work, even if they weren’t quite at the same level.

 

The first was done for the same reasons most people had when they had an especially unruly and unpredictable pet that they didn’t want getting out into the neighborhood. In other words, it was the closest thing to boring as one could get when that pet was a tentacle monster. Almost domestic. The second though—

 

Taylor started quickly stamping out the bugs and untangling the messes that had occurred in the Behemoth’s containment overnight, not stopping until the temperatures within fell below the heat of the sun’s core, ensuring the Eastern Seaboard’s next week of uninterrupted existence.

 

—was done for the same reasons most people had when there was an especially volatile reactor that, for some reason, the local constabulary were unable, or unwilling, to shut down.

 

Those two things didn’t quite compare...but they had to be done. Thankfully, they were easy things to do as she did the real work. Checking on potions. Looking over her next suit design. Deciding her patrol routes. Thinking about places Lisa would like for her birthday. Things like that. All very normal...and that made her happy.

 

“Taylor!” Lisa’s head popped out from behind the bathroom door. “Where’s the shampoo? You have like a hundred unlabeled bottles, I’m still not sure which is which, and I’m not feeling up to testing this after I just got my hair back!”

 

She’d expected things to be different somehow, after her declaration of intent and Lisa’s acceptance. For things to change. Things Like the lighting of the room or the taste of food. A shift in their day-to-day that would have been noticeable.

 

“In the third cabinet to your left!” Taylor quickly replied as she picked a bottle of something suspiciously smoky—hostility in a bottle—and poured it into one her many, many rune schemas. Something that would allow for the user to sense enemies and such without the need for a focused scan. That day at the boardwalk had given her some real impetus to finish it, needless to say. “The green bottle!”

 

“Thanks!” The door closed again, leaving little else but a puddle behind.

 

But, yes. Taylor had expected things to change...but they hadn’t. Not really. Lisa was a little more open, yes. Taylor was more willing to initiate contact, sure. But, otherwise, everything was the same as it ever was...and that made her happy.

 

She had a lot to be happy about these days. She had friends. She was fulfilling her dream of being a hero. She was growing stronger in the Art... She had very little to not be happy about, but having things stay the same like they did, even as she got a new girlfriend?

 

The kettle let out a shrill scream, leading Taylor to hustle over to it with a smile as the shower cut out. Pull it off. Pour. As soon as Taylor finished making herself a cup, Lisa appeared once more. Towel around her head, another wrapped loosely around her chest and middle. Smelling of lavender and other things. Affection.

 

The implications involved in that didn’t just make her happy. It made her ecstatic. The thought that she, without her knowledge, had been in a relationship beyond the explicitly sexual...it was a great feeling.

 

“You ready to go out today, Taylor?”

 

The best.

 

“... Yeah,” Taylor breathed into her cup, “In a minute.”

 

“Awesome. Also, I’ve been thinking...” Lisa’s towel dropped as she searched through her closet, allowing Taylor to take in the view with a healthy interest. “While we’re out getting food...we should get you a phone.”

 

Taylor’s smile dropped like a rock.

 

----------

 

“Truly,” Taylor said dully. “The world outside our home is a place of many evils.” She shook her new phone awkwardly about. “Who gives out a phone without buttons, I ask you?” Taylor paused and gave it a mulish glare. “It's asking me for a password. When did phones need passwords?”

 

“Christ, Taylor. It's not that hard.” Lisa, gently, took the phone out of her friend’s hand, pressed a quick 1-2-3-4, then handed it back. “You can mathematically quantify stellar drift by hand, but God forbid you learn how to use a tv remote.”

 

“First, Lisa. Stellar drift makes sense. The natural sciences are something I breathe. Second.” Taylor inhaled.“What is wrong with standing up to change the channel!?”

 

There were only five, at most. All easy picks. Was that really so hard?

 

“Your tv still uses vacuum tubes,” Lisa hissed. It's got five public channels, they all suck, and it didn't even come with a remote, you monster!” Lisa kicked out at Taylor halfheartedly as they left the store, brand new phones, and phone accessories in tow. Taylor easily dodged it. That’s how she knew it was halfhearted. “It’s probably the most radioactive thing in the city, and I can only watch Sesame Street so many times!”

 

Taylor puffed up in indignation—

 

“Like, seriously, Taylor. I just got my sexy back. I’m really confused right now...” Lisa rubbed her forehead. “And I don’t want to end up needing a fuzzy blue suit and a fake as hell cookie to get my engine running, all right?”

 

—then deflated like an old balloon. She wasn’t the sort to judge when it came to what someone liked or disliked...but wow. That was not something that she’d feel at all comfortable playing along with...and now she saw Lisa’s point. “Alright. Fine. We’ll get some cable—”

 

“And a new tv.”

 

“—and a new tv,” Taylor conceded grudgingly, “when our finances are better.”

 

She had to put her foot down on that one. It was only Lisa's sudden ability to access her accounts again that had allowed them to get the phones at all. That wouldn’t last...and Taylor needed to find this ‘Coil’ character soon.

 

They needed to talk.

 

“Thank you,” Lisa said before grabbing Taylor's arm, “and look. It's easy. This stuff is actually pretty damn intuitive. Internet button is for internet, maps are for maps, and the Dragon store is for apps.” More tapping occurred, leaving Taylor almost completely lost at just how quick it had gone. Almost. She was already picking things up. “First thing though is that we get a better browser.”

 

“... Why?”

 

“Because the basic internet browser's only reason for existence is to download something better, duh.” Lisa rolled her eyes. “Personally, I prefer IceVixen.” Another tap led to a transparent bar popping up in the corner of the screen. “Which means you do too until you think you know better.”

 

Sticking out her tongue to take away some of the bite from her words, Lisa started doing the same with her phone, but quicker, even as she pulled Taylor away from the phone store.

 

Taylor guessed she was looking forward to lunch. Italian, yum.

 

“Is this the same as normal internet?” Taylor asked, curious as she poked the button that had just appeared in the corner. She felt inordinately proud of herself when it didn't explode. Lisa snorted, no doubt catching onto what Taylor had been thinking. “You type something in, get something out?”

 

“Essentially. Except, you know.” Lisa shrugged. “Not even half as slow and you can call people while it's on.”

 

“... Wow.” That was...something...but what was wrong with letters? Or a good bit of face time?

 

“I know,” Lisa replied with what was, even to Taylor, obviously false awe. “I can't believe how far we've come. It's almost like magic.”

 

And that was when Taylor felt inspired.

 

“Anyway, you can do a lot more with this than you can with that dinosaur you call a computer.” Lisa continued, seemingly ignorant of Taylor's plans to make a better, magical, cellphone. Something that ran with a thought…something with buttons. “Like watch the news and funny videos of people hurting themselves for short-lived internet fame.”

 

“... People do that?”

 

“You have no idea,” Lisa murmured in reply. “Also, you need something, anything, bigger than the tooth floss you’re wearing now.”

 

“... I think I can see where this is going,” Taylor said as horrified realization began to dawn. “Please tell me this isn’t going where I think it’s going.”

 

Taylor knew, even before Lisa answered, that her pleas were for naught. But it was worth a try.

 

“And lie to you?” Lisa scoffed. “Never.” Lisa, with a wide smile on her lips, shoved her phone into Taylor’s face. “You’re famous and...” Lisa squinted. “I’m not sure how to feel that they don’t have a single front picture yet.”

 

Taylor, showing that her intelligence wasn’t just for show, quickly figured out how to swipe. She then whimpered as, in over a hundred different pictures and counting, her heroic career was distilled into little more than butt pics and the painfully depressing testimonials of her vict—enemies—as they struggled with sexual deficiencies and random bouts of near volcanic incontinence. Things that they had deserved!

 

Where was the defeat of Menja? Where was the story on the two-month-long crackdown on crime in some of the worst places in the city? Those were important too!

 

Why did heroism have to be so hard?

 

“On one hand, I’m glad that I’m not the only that thinks you have a great butt. On the other hand…” Lisa mumbled to herself. “I’m not the only one who thinks you have a great butt. This is confusing. I don’t like being confused...but yeah.” Lisa took her phone back from her girlfriend’s cold, limp fingers. “Congrats.”

 

Taylor sighed, nodded, and started playing with her own phone. Gave it a couple of flips to test out the spin while Lisa tried not to laugh. “I guess...” At least she wasn’t invisible. There was that.

 

“You know what would make you feel better?” Lisa asked as she got Taylor into a one-armed hug.

 

“... No?” But she was kind of hoping it was a book. A book would be nice.

 

“Olive Garden.” Lisa finished before she gave Taylor a shake. “You. Me. Low light in a private booth. Enough breadsticks and garlic flavored olive oil to feed a small Italian village. Think about it.”

 

Taylor did...and she found she didn’t mind the thought at all, even if there were better restaurants out there, there weren’t all that many that were on the bus line.

 

They needed a car.

 

“It sounds good, yeah? Now come on.” Lisa nudged one of Taylor’s arms until the brunette hugged her back. “We can talk about your PR when we get there.”

 

“Yay…”

 

That’s the spirit.”

 

==========

 

“Now look here, Taylor,” Lisa started, her voice thick with smug and breadstick as she tapped on Taylor’s phone. On one of the many, many pictures of Taylor doing something that, in hindsight, had been more than a little ‘showy’ than was necessary. “If she’d only just worn a skirt or something, the likelihood of someone catching on to the fact that she had the world’s deepest cameltoe would have been almost nothing.”

 

Taylor sank down in her seat, grateful for the low light as her face began to hurt from just how hard she was blushing. The only reason she hadn’t blanked out so far was that Lisa had been pretending that this wasn’t Taylor they were talking about, but another heroine. One with a very memorable behind but, otherwise, still another heroine.

 

“Or here.” Another tap and there was another picture. This time from the side, where Taylor was in the middle of doing something that would have intimidated anything short of a Gold Medal Olympic gymnast. “It’s amazing how she never noticed that you could see her areola…” Lisa swallowed her food, then smirked. “It’s no wonder no one has been able to focus on her face when she’s got this on display.” Lisa dropped her phone. “Did you know that there is no one, no one at all, that can remember if she’s even wearing a mask? Terrible.”

 

“A real shame,” Taylor burbled as she drank her, now iced, tea like a madwoman. It was feeling kind of hot in here... “And can you hand me more ice? Drink is getting warm.”

 

“Sure, Babe,” Lisa chirped before she did so. Taylor then preceded to drop half of it in her cup, chilling the drink yet further. Not nearly enough, but it was a start. “But yeah. It’s kind of hard to respect someone when all the common man sees, is a set of ass and tits while the local branch of the PRT is doing it’s best to suppress anything that points to otherwise.”

 

Taylor stilled. Stopped breathing. Saw that the smile on Lisa’s face wasn’t much of a smile at all. She’d have found it heartwarming, if it wasn’t for the unspeakable rage she was suddenly feeling.

 

“They’ve got the idea in their heads that someone as useful, and violent, as she is can’t be allowed to stay independent.” When Lisa bit down on another chunk of bread it was quick, almost animalistic. Aggressive. “They don’t say it out loud, but it’s there if you can read in between the lines like I can.” Lisa’s voice became muffled again. “They can’t go straight for the hard sell, so they’re hoping to turn public opinion against her before they swoop in to give her an out.”

 

Rebranding,” Taylor hissed.

 

“Exactly.” Lisa waved a stick around in a general outline of Taylor’s body. “And all that stuff she does? All that gear she’s wearing?” Lisa grimaced when Taylor grabbed onto her hand just a little bit harder than she should have. “It’s not exactly family friendly now, is it?”

 

Taylor swore something vicious and inhuman. The ice in her cup instantly doubled as a side effect.

 

“Of course it’s not like she’s told anyone her name. Or even talked to any reporters or law enforcement to claim credit for anything. That helps. Half the PRT’s job is being done for them.”

 

Taylor’s head fell to the table, hitting it with a loud clunk and a sad groan.

 

“That’s why she needs internet, Taylor.” Lisa pointed authoritatively. “You need social media if you want to combat this sort of thing.”

 

And things had been going so well today. So, so well.

 

“Are you sure? Because, if that’s true...I’m going to—”

 

“HELP ME!”

 

Before Taylor could say just what she was going to do—nothing good, that was for sure—she was interrupted by the call to action that was a girl in a mask and ripped green clothing running into the Olive Garden. Screaming for help before her legs were whipped out from under her and, in a scene that both girls had become familiar with over the last few weeks, she was carried back out by a tide of glistening, greenish black flesh.

 

“OH GOD, NO!” The individual that Taylor now finally realized was Rune shrieked before she disappeared into the pile. “I REGRET IT ALL!”

 

A pile that was a completely different shade of greenish black from the one they were used to.

 

“Oh. Oh, fuck.” Taylor whispered loudly. “That wasn’t Squiggles!

 

Lisa just started screaming...and the sudden appearance of a tentacle monster, falling from the ceiling to flail about in their soup and pelt them with breadsticks didn’t help in the slightest.

 

Chapter Text

Saying that Taylor was surprised when Lisa’s hand flashed out to grab a tentacle out of the air, a soggy breadstick still attached to said noodly limb, was an understatement.

“DIE, DIE, DIE, DIE, DIE!” Lisa shrieked, nearly foaming at the mouth as she started punching at the very startled and unprepared monster that had landed in her soup. Inhumanly hard and vicious punches that led to that monster being driven through the bowl, then through the table entirely. “Why! Won’t! You! Die!”

A very, very deep understatement. The contender for the world’s largest. Somewhere around calling String Theory’s plan to bring the Moon down to Earth a ‘small problem’.

The monster squeaked shrilly in reply as, in a moment of athleticism that Taylor had thought was beyond the other girl, Lisa reeled him back in and punched him on the rebound, leading to Taylor diving for the floor and under the table to change as he flew over her head.

Shocked couldn’t even begin to describe what she was feeling right now, watching Lisa use the gift she had been given in such a brutal manner… Actually, she was pretty sure that there wasn’t anything that could describe what she was feeling at the moment, besides warm, fuzzy, and more than a little concerned as Lisa pounced upon her foe with a roar.

She’d just gotten the bracelet yesterday. It was normal to have fuzzy feelings when someone you liked used your gifts. It was also normal to be concerned when your loved ones hadn’t read the manual yet. It wasn’t safe and until she went through the training necessary to use it to its fullest potential, and it would continue to be so. It had a battery life. It had a learning curve!

The monster’s shrill squeaks turned into even more shrill screams as Lisa started to maul him, tearing into him with her nails before she kicked him into a wall. He didn’t even get the time to peel off of it before Lisa was on him once more, punching him deeper into the plaster than he already was.

A learning curve that Lisa seemed to be taking in stride, but it was still a learning curve! It had its ups and downs even if it looked like Lisa had this all under control for now...and it was starting to look like Taylor was going to have to double check Squiggle’s tank when she got back home. For his sake. Not that she doubted Lisa or anything...but, to be frank, she was looking a little unhinged. 

Best to put something together now, just so that no one did anything they’d regret later. It was just common sense...and, as she flipped the table up and over her head, only learning that it had been bolted to the floor afterward, she reaffirmed that to herself. Made sure to let it sink in. Took a moment to look at the mangled mess she’d left of the flooring before she shook it off, sucked it up, and bounded out the door with barely even a blush on her face. 

She’d done worse lately. In the grand scheme of things, destruction of public property barely even ranked up there in terms of embarrassing situations… Which reminded her of something kind of important...PR stuff. Taylor self consciously adjusted her costume top, hiding her nipples just the tiniest bit more as she looked around. Listened. Tasted the air. Rune. Where was she?

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”

Okay. That hadn’t been hard. There she was, getting dragged towards a conspicuously open manhole in the middle of a conspicuously empty street while kicking and screaming like a banshee. It actually kind of explained why Taylor hadn’t seen any more monsters since Lisa had brought home Squiggles, even with the near-nightly patrols. They’d been hiding in the sewers, being quiet and, supposedly, only coming out for food and human women to perpetuate their way of life. Fascinating. One could write a book about it if they were so inclined.

“NOT LIKE THIS!” Rune shrieked as what seemed to be at least a dozen small rocks repeatedly pelted her suitor. They weren’t doing anything, but it was a good try. Distracting enough for Taylor to start making up the distance they’d put between the two of them while the monster batted at the rocks hitting him. Like a child slapping at flies. “NOT LIKE CRICKET!”

Not like Crick—Okay. Maybe Lisa had a point this time. Taylor might have known about this if she had something better than dial-up and public television to keep her connected to the news… That was later though, as always. The book as well. Right now, she was busily descending from her jump directly above them with an already cocked back fist. Just like Squiggles, this particular tentacular specimen kept it’s prey away from its core and away from the nearest possible source of help. All things that, put together, left it wide open for a squishing with a general lack of collateral damage.

Lisa would be happy to know that her experiences, traumatic as they were, had contributed to this moment. Ecstatic, most likely. She could be vindictive when she wanted to be...which was often, but that wasn’t the point. What was the point was that something was about to be non fatally squished under her iron fist. And, even if that squishing was done in the interest of saving a Nazi, a literal Nazi, from a possible life of mindblowing tentacle sex and breeding… Taylor was doing a good thing.

Good enough for PR, maybe… But did she really want to talk to anyone about this though, let alone a reporter? Before her costume change? While saving a Nazi? It might give someone the wrong idea...Again. She’d have to think about it for a while.

When Taylor finally hit the ground again, inches away from the monster escaping with its prize, it was through the elastic membrane of the tentacle monster’s body. A full force blow that, instead of squishing the monster like a grape like what would have happened to just about any other living thing smaller than Elephant, molded it around Taylor’s fist closely enough for her to feel broken concrete under her knuckles. Shards as long as a finger, noticeably digging into its body and into her hands… Something that got a response. Like expected.

It squeaked. Long. Loud. High. Like a giant deflating balloon as all of its limbs, all at once, stretched out to their fullest extent and began to flail. A storm of flesh and blueberry scented slime that, thankfully, lead to Rune being thrown out of reach. Still screaming as she took that fall like a champ, rolling until the momentum bled off enough for her to stand before she stumbled to her feet and—

A new monster popped out of a nearby drain in ambush and caught the Nazi teen before she even made it a yard away. With at least two of those feet resulting from her falling forward before she was dragged away again. Into an alley and further yet if the yells and the sound of people running was any clue.

“SAVE ME!”

—completely failed to do anything worthwhile. Not much of a master race, to be honest.

After uttering enough curses to leave the monster under her feet little more than a shapeless blob on the sidewalk, Taylor bounced away once more… This time into the milling, terrified crowds and traffic of your average Brocktonite afternoon rush hour. Hundreds of people, all at once, running in the opposite direction of what looked like a cape fight in the making...with a very few with their phones out, ready to take a picture of a cape so that—okay. Now Taylor saw what Lisa had meant when she said people really were that dumb.

Taylor didn’t want to be mean or anything…but watching a cape fight for no other reason than to take pictures of it was fucking stupid. Lisa was really on point these days. Good for her.

Falling on top of a nearby parked car, Taylor avoided the crowds entirely by using the higher ground. Cars, light poles, kiosks, and stands. Anything that could be used to keep track of and follow Rune was used… If a few things fell over or property was scratched, it was only what had to be done...or so she told herself, as always. 

What was a Benz to a life, really? Nothing at all, once you thought about it. They’d understand.

Doing a quick spin on yet another pole to build up momentum after a running hop off of said Benz that left its hood caved in, Taylor let go and she was off again. Zooming straight towards Rune and her secondary kidnapper to the tune of multiple cameras going off and the wailing of far away sirens… Only to overshoot, hitting the ground in a way that led to her doing multiple cartwheels before she flipped up and found solid ground again.

The fact that said solid ground was a storefront for the local Chinese takeout joint didn’t matter in the slightest. For all she cared, this was solid ground...and so it was. Gravity shut up. Listened to what she had to say. Politely disagreed before she made the issue moot by leaping off the wall and towards the now distracted monster, busily fending off a series of what looked to be knitting needles.

… Knitting needles?

Avoiding the steel rain by flying through the whole thing through the use of a barrel roll, Taylor did a handspring up, a 180-degree spin, and a picture-perfect three-point landing. All to reassess the fact that Parian, in nothing more than casual clothing, long gloves, and her mask had joined in on the rescue… If it weren’t for the situation Taylor was in, she would have gasped. Squeed. Maybe even shed a tear or something.

Her first team up with another hero was an important event. One that deserved a celebration of some sort. Maybe, after this, Lisa and her could go to Olive Gar—oh damn it. They’d just left the Olive Garden. Never mind. Ice cream then. While talking about what internet service they should get… Taylor couldn’t help but wonder what Lisa had meant by Social Media though...

Rune’s squealing as she was snapped up into the air and let loose, a reflexive movement from the tentacle monster as he was turned into a living and extremely angry pincushion brought Taylor back to the now. Thoughts of romance and revenge on the government were pushed to the back of her head to percolate while she moved. Held her arms out. Waited...and had Rune, a girl that had to be, at the most, ninety pounds soaking wet land in her arms.

“I’ve got you,” Taylor said as she gave her most winning smile to the no longer screaming villainess. A smile that seemed to work, seeing how Rune was now just quietly hyperventilating as she stared, wide-eyed up at her face. “I won’t let the monsters get you. I’m a hero.”

Some more staring occurred. Awkwardness began to build up. Taylor’s smile started to become more than a little shaky...and then, finally, Rune spoke.

“Oh…” Rune uttered softly. Relief, nearly painful in its intensity. “That’s nice.” She then went limp in Taylor’s arms as her eyes rolled up into her head. 

Utterly spent and out like a light… Taylor had to wonder just how long she’d been running.

“Is she okay?”

Taylor’s head shot up from Rune’s face. Her hand from the other girl’s hair as she found that everything had finished up without her, with a single, needle ridden tentacle sliding down a drain the only sign that anything had happened at all… Parian had been talking to her. Yes.

“I think so.” Taylor grimaced. “She’s just exhausted. Emotionally and physically.” Taylor lowered her voice. “They got Cricket, from what I understand. She probably saw it happen.”

Parian didn’t say anything. Her gloves creaked. Head cocked slightly to the side… Taylor started to wonder whether this was a thing capes did. Act stoic and such when they didn’t need to. Also, once you looked at it, Parian’s mask was sort of creepy. Unsettling.

Taylor hadn’t been a fan of dolls for a long time. Having one of them try to kill and skin you after a ritual gone wrong didn’t exactly help.

“That’s...That’s good.” Conflict. Guilt. “The fact that she’s okay, I mean. Not the Cricket thing… Maybe.” Parian gave a light cough. “As long as those aren’t the sorts of Tentacle monsters that you hear about, at least.” She coughed again. “The ones that, you know, have sex with you? On the internet? Yeah, she should be completely—”

“They are, actually. The ones that have sex with you, I mean.”

Parian jolted in place. Shock. Confirmation.

“I know this from...personal...experience,” Taylor admitted tiredly, already thinking about how she’d be tracking this new menace down. This was, sadly, a great deal more important than what she’d been doing the last few weeks. A bust here, a bust there. The only thing that might have even compared was that Menja deal a while back. She could afford to spend the time on this. She couldn’t afford not to, not after this problem had come into her life twice. “They are fertile and completely capable of interspecies reproduction. Cricket probably isn’t doing too well. Or she is. I can’t claim to know her tastes, and only having a single point of data to work on is bad science.”

Oh my god. Are you serious right now?”

“Yes. Yes, I am. Here.” Taylor pushed Rune off into the shellshocked Rogue’s hands. Rune was quick to snuggle up into the new warmth for comfort, leaving the woman standing straight and stiff as her breasts found a new friend in the younger girl’s head. “I’ve got some things to do. Searching. Researching. Things.”

Good job, Taylor. That wasn’t awkward at all.

“... What am I supposed to do with this?” Parian asked, voice hollow behind her mask as she hefted Rune up in a helpless motion. “I...I’m not quitesure what… I’ve never had to bring someone into the PRT before and—”

“Just stay with her,” Taylor replied as she eyed a nearby building, wondering whether or not she should choose that one, or the one next to it, to jump on. Pure habit from her posing days, honestly. A habit that she was finding it hard to break, even knowing what she now knew about PR and how it was being used against her. “Hold her close. Be nice and talk to her while the PRT gets here. I’m sure she’d appreciate it.” Finally picking the one with the gargoyles on it, for old times sake, Taylor nodded. “And when they get here…”

“Yes?”

“Tell them that I know what they’re doing...and that I’m not amused.” And then Taylor was away again, following the track stamp back to her obviously happy, if still a little frustrated, girlfriend. She must have had fun… Poor tentacle monster though. He would be missed.

==========

“I can’t believe he got away from me,” Lisa whined as she scrubbed at her face, the sink filling up with red. “A bowl of spaghetti to the face, and wham! Gone while I was getting sauce out of my eyes.”

“... Did you have fun though?”

“Yes,” Lisa said without the slightest bit of regret. “I did. So much. Like I was at Disney World for Brutes. Catharsis is awesome.”

Taylor continued to quietly update Squiggles enclosure wards with a pasted-on smile. Squiggles had no idea how close he’d come to becoming a stress ball.

“I like my powers. At least sometimes...but I really don’t think I would have minded being super strong instead. Feeling invincible. Being able to bludgeon something with another thing instead of shooting it. It was a great time, all in all, besides the fact that we destroyed the local Olive Garden.”

That was a regret that was going to follow Taylor around for a while… Even if it wasn’t exactly the best place around, it was nice enough for someone at their economic level. There weren’t exactly a lot of places like that around, sadly. Outside of fast food anyway.

“Glad to hear it, Lisa.” Taylor closed her eyes, ‘looked’ over everything that was likely to explode, then sighed. “I was hoping to run you through it first, but I’m glad to know you liked your gift.” Spinning around in her seat, Taylor adopted a hopeful expression. “Maybe we could put the bracelet through its paces? Together? To celebrate?”

Lisa’s head rose up from the sink, her eyes now eerily wide as she stared into the mirror. At the reflection of Taylor behind her as the brunette played with the collar of her blouse. “... Are you asking for sex?”

“... Maybe?”

“Rough sex?”

“It sounds like fun…” Taylor replied defensively, not confirming or denying Lisa’s assertion. Not much point to it. “I think… It might be nice, now that we’re a bit more equal…like something I’d like to try...”

Lisa licked her lips when Taylor popped a button. “Didn’t I…shove eighteen inches of rubber up your butt once? And stick a high powered vibe in you? Wasn’t that rough?”

“... Yes?” Taylor stopped playing with her blouse as her brow furrowed, feeling just a little confused. “I don’t understand what that has to do with our current conversation, but yes. That was rough. Ish.” It was positively tame, once you looked at it. Short as well. Taylor hadn’t even had a chance to participate before it was over. She’d let Lisa think otherwise though. Taylor didn’t want to hurt her feelings. “I was talking about reciprocating, Lisa.”

Lisa’s eyes got even wider as her mouth fell open. Lust, curiosity, nearly overwhelming fear...and then the doorbell rang, and there was relief. Lisa almost fell into the sink when Taylor, with a frown on her face, went to answer the door. “My heart… Oh god… You’re going to kill me”

“We aren’t done talking about this, Lisa,” Taylor said in an offhand manner, causing the blonde to make an undignified squawking noise. “And you won’t die…”

Lisa sighed.

“I wouldn’t let you.”

Another squawk followed Taylor up the stairs and into the hallway. The sound of the blonde getting into bed, most likely to hide under the covers, brought a smile to Taylor’s face. A smile that was wiped away as soon as she opened the door.

She had a very important question to ask.

“Have you seen a doctor lately?” Taylor blurted out as, among the two people and a dog standing on her front porch, only one of them actually caught her attention. Mostly healed second and third-degree facial burns were very distinctive. “Because, you know, there are creams for that and—why are you growling at me?”

Instead of answering, she continued to growl. Taylor continued to feel awkward, as usual… Should she growl back? No? Yes? This hadn’t been covered yet and Taylor was feeling a little lost. Back to status quo as it were.

“She’s like that. Touchy. Don’t worry about it.” The second girl spoke up, a brittle smile on her face as she, quickly, took a step in front of her compatriot…and looked sort of familiar. Smelled it as well. Suspicious. “We’re kind of looking for something and we’re sort of hoping that you—”

Rachel!?” Lisa, who had climbed up the stairs sometime when Taylor wasn’t paying attention—which was a lot lately. That was something she was going to have to work on—had fallen against a wall, white-faced and in what looked like the beginning stages of shock. Taylor was quick to help her up, uncaring of the fact that she was followed in. They wouldn’t last long if they started anything in her house. That was a fact. “I thought you were dead!”

“Well, fuck you too.”

Chapter Text

“So uh… How have you been?” Lisa lamely said from behind her can of Pringles. “You’re looking…”

Rachel glared. Her face was a painfully awkward mix of her and tight, white and red flesh as she gave Lisa the evil eye.

“Alive.” Lisa then finished just as lamely as she had begun. Bad as it was to say it, she had no idea what to say. “That’s good… What have you been up to?” Looked like small talk was on the table.

Normally she would have had the whole conversation mapped out by now. Or, at least, she’d have had a vague plan in her head before she’d even taken a seat. A gift and a survival trait out on the streets. One that she’d quickly gotten better at while living with Taylor over the last couple of months.

What did you say to someone that you’d thought had died a horrible fire death, only to find out that they’d survived? What did you say to someone that you’d thought had died a horrible fire death without being an abrasive bitch, she meant. Rachel might not have been her favorite person, but that didn’t mean she wanted to be responsible for her ashes getting stuck in the carpet.

Taylor didn’t own a vacuum, and Lisa didn’t really feel up to cleaning the mess by hand. It sounded gross. And more traumatizing than she needed at this point in time. She’d already hit her ‘horrific moment’ quota for the week.

“Busy.” Bitch bluntly replied as she scratched Angelica’s head. Poor thing was looking a little twitchy. It was probably all of that ‘magic’ in the air that was getting her nervous. Taylor had said something about animals being more sensitive to it than most... “And none of your fucking business.”

The new girl shifted uncomfortably as she looked at the both of them with a furrowed brow. She also started rubbing her fingers together, thumb and forefinger. A nervous tic that she didn’t even realize she was doing, that she didn’t realize she did whenever she was confronted with conflict.

Instead of taking advantage of that weakness… Lisa sighed and gave the both of them a tight smile. With no teeth. It was nice to see that the last month or so hasn’t caused Bitch to change. Everything was just how it used to be... Which meant that it would be like pulling teeth to get any information out of her.

Lisa sniffed a bit. Her nose wrinkled at the musty smell of old leather and ancient throw pillows. The basement was more than livable, but maybe they should use the upstairs more often? The living room was getting rather dusty...and it wasn’t like Taylor’s Dad was around often enough to make Lisa’s discovery an actual issue.

That was one similarity between the two of them that Lisa wished they didn’t have.

Almost as if she’d been summoned by the very thought of her, which was a possibility, Taylor came in from the kitchen. All bustling skirts and tea trays and adorably awkward yet graceful movements before she placed the lot down on the coffee table and took a seat next to Lisa. A close seat, one that Lisa would have found herself lightly protesting barely a month before.

Now, she just found it comfortable.

“I brought some chamomile and cookies and milk and… umm…” Taylor gave a lightly steaming bowl of chicken soup, with some actual floating chicken bits in it, an airy wave of the hand. “I boiled a chicken? For the dog?”

After a while of getting no response from Rachel other than a glare, Taylor flexed her fingers and pulled them back to herself with a cough. She then moved to the other one, knowing a lost cause when she saw one.

She was a lot better these days. Lisa couldn’t help but be proud of her. They grew up so fast.

“Would you like some tea?” Taylor asked politely, with a hopeful smile as she poured herself and Lisa a cup. Lisa was quick to grab the tongs and start dropping sugar lumps into her drink. It felt like a five lump day. Maybe a six... The day was still young. They’d see. “It goes well with the cookies, in my opinion…” She then gave the individual across from her a pointed look.

Bakery girl stopped nibbling at the cookie in her mouth with a somewhat ashamed look. The edges were gone, almost as if she’d taken the time to rotate the whole thing and eat her way inward...no. Not almost. Did. “That…” She smiled. Weakly. “I’d love some, thank you. A dash of milk, please. No sugar.”

Taylor happily poured her a cup while Lisa looked on over her own. She wasn’t sure if Taylor had realized what this was about yet...but she had an idea. Muffins. Blueberries. Even with the scent of age and neglect hanging heavy in the air, those smells hung around the new girl like a cloud. Trauma induced hypersensitivity or not, this was hitting all of Lisa’s buttons...and it had her clenching up in her seat. Terribly.

At this level of clench, if you put a lump of coal in between her cheeks you’d probably get diamonds. A hydraulic press had nothing on her right now...and she loved her new jewelry. So, so much.

“So, before you walked into my house, uninvited I might add…” Taylor interrupted Lisa’s train of thought with real business. She then paused and breathed in the steam rising from her cup with a sigh. “You said that you were looking for something?”

Bakery girl dipped her cookie into her own cup, looking uncomfortable due to the reminder of her impropriety.

If she knew just how close she’d been to getting vaporized by a conceptual representation of the Behemoth’s kill aura it would have, no doubt, been a lot worse. But she didn’t. Lisa did because Taylor had told her about it. Ignorance was bliss.

“Now, I’m assuming that this isn’t just any old thing you’re looking for, seeing how you came all the way out here just to see us and Lisa knows one of you… I assume you know what your associate used to do for a living, Miss...?”

Lisa pretended not to notice the glare Rachel was sending her way. She’d thought her old teammate had been dead. Sue her. Also, her name and what she had done was public knowledge. Deny, deny, deny.

“Madison,” bakery girl was quick to correct, “my name is Madison. Also, yes. I do know what Bitch used to do for a living. Even if she hadn’t told me, she was kind of in the news for a while...” She trailed off for a little while and continued to mechanically dip her cookie. A piece of it broke off and floated for all of a second before it got a little too waterlogged and sank beneath the waves. “But she’s not that bad, really.”

While everyone that could feel the atmosphere tried to pretend that this wasn’t awkward as fuck, Angelica gave the bowl of soup an inquisitive sniff.

“... If you say so,” Taylor replied doubtfully as the person they were in the middle of talking about ignored them in favor of watching her dog start lapping up chicken pieces and low sodium broth. “But you were looking for something, yes? Something...mobile, maybe?”

Madison, caught in the middle of trying to fish that cookie piece out of her cup with her fingers, nodded sheepishly. “A pet. Kinda...”

Lisa put her cup down in a huff and added another lump. By Jove, she’d done it again. As she started to open her mouth, ready to lay down the Sherlocking of a lifetime—

“LIke say...a tentacle monster?”

Lisa sat back with a sigh as Taylor stole her thunder in the least dramatic way possible. Dramatic tension? Fun? What were those?

Any chances of regaining the momentum, giving Lisa a bright side to the day that wasn’t just her beating up a ball of noodles and sexual fluids was interrupted by Madison bolting up from her seat and towards the stairs.

A literal trail of dust followed her. They really needed to dust in here. Not Lisa. Somebody. Somebody that wasn’t her.

While Lisa was busy dusting off her pants, everyone else was already following with varying levels of urgency. All urgent, duh...but Taylor was, by far, the most urgent. It was only Madison’s head start, leaving Taylor shocked for a short while before she realized where Madison was going, that kept the tiny girl from getting run down… Also, from the sound of it, said girl might have just tripped down the stairs. The screaming and bumps pointed to such.

It was a bold move. Lisa could admit to that. A bold move that wasn’t going to get her any further...but bold. Lisa felt the urge to clap.

“Never a day of rest… Right, Angelica?”

Angelica looked up from her half-empty bowl opened her mouth up in a doggy grin as Lisa made to leave...and belched.

“... I knew you’d understand.”

Wisdom smelled like dog breath and chicken.

==========

When Lisa finally got up the energy required to get downstairs, with Angelica close behind, Taylor proved to already have everything handled. Bitch had been knocked unconscious and cuffed to the interrogation chair—she couldn’t even think that with a straight face—within the two or so minutes she’d been out of the blonde’s sight. She also had a pretty bit of purple along her jaw, explaining just why she was unconscious.

Madison, in turn, was cooing at the tentacle tank like a weirdo while Squiggles gamboled about with a pair of jeans on one of his limbs, looking as happy as Lisa had ever seen him. Taylor was taking notes. Because of course she was.

“So…” Lisa gave her cup of tea an obnoxious slurp, just for the sake of it as Angelica slipped through her legs, giving Taylor a wide berth to take a flop down on Bitch’s feet. Smart dog. “What happened?”

“Hmm?” Taylor looked up from her notes absentmindedly, just in time to see Lisa make some more rude noises with her drink. The unimpressed look Lisa had plastered onto her face as well was also pretty nice. It got Taylor’s attention real quick. “With what?”

Lisa lightly shook her cup over at her unconscious ex-teammate. Some tea might have spilled on the floor...but that was okay. It was a concrete foundation. Nothing to worry about.

“Ah…” Taylor winced as more tea spilled. She then rubbed her chest, just above her collarbone...and now everything made sense. “Your friend punched me...so…I might have—”

“Say no more.” Lisa nodded. “And she’s not my friend.” Even if she was there were limits to that sort of thing. Punching your girlfriend in the chest after, technically, breaking into their home was one of those limits. Also, fuck her anyway. She still owed Lisa fifty bucks after one of the dogs had taken a dump in her shoes. “Thank you for not turning the wards on her though. That would have sucked.”

“You’re welcome.” Taylor shrugged as she put her notebook down on the table with the pen still going. “Of course, I had my reasons, besides the misunderstanding…”

Lisa watched the notebook with mild interest. She wasn’t sure what Taylor was getting from the constant ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’, or the different variations of ‘who’s a good boy’ Madison was almost shouting...but what did she know? Taylor was the scientist here.

“I didn’t really like the idea of murdering her just because she punched me. That’s not exactly heroic...” Taylor’s face scrunched up. “Also, knowing that she’d probably be in my lungs after the wards ripped her apart at a molecular level doesn’t sound all that appetizing.”

“Sounds good, Taylor,” Lisa said cheerfully as she forced a subject change. She was used to that sort of shit by now. At that Lisa turned over to the cooing Madison. “So what’s your story? What do you know about Squiggles?” Lisa pointedly asked.

Madison paused in her cooing to look up at Lisa, confused and somewhat outraged. “... How do you know his name?”

Lisa opened her mouth to say something. Closed it. Opened it again. Drank some tea and wished she’d put in another lump as she turned to Taylor to answer the question. She hadn’t been the one to name the thing after all.

Taylor gave her a helpless shrug and looked at her notebook some more.

Lisa turned back to Madison because, obviously, if anyone was going to do something worthwhile around here it was going to have to be her. It just wasn’t fair.

“We have no idea.” Lisa passed Taylor’s shrug onto Madison. “I guess he’s just got that kind of look. Back on topic. What is your connection to all this?” Lisa already suspected, but she wanted to hear it first. Get that moral outrage going, nice and strong.

“I may have kinda sorta… Made them?” Madison chuckled nervously. “By accident?”

Lisa started pulling up her pajama sleeves.

Madison immediately waved her arms and hid behind Taylor to ward off any accusations and/or physical beatings. It wasn't going to help her. She wasn’t going to get a beating.

Lisa just reached over her mortified girlfriend in an attempt to choke a bitch.

Taylor yelped.

“I was lonely! I got bullied all the time! I had no friends! All I had was my old fat stupid pug to keep me company at home! I decided to make another pet! Based on my dog! It worked! Better than I expected! I was planning to make a whole line of the things and sell them to the disabled as bodyguards and therapy pets because they were so tough and lovable!”

Madison’s voice started to get breathy as, unlike Lisa, she hadn’t been fed Tinker drugs—of course she’d known, Taylor wasn’t that subtle—and given a magic bracelet. Madison was also kind of chubby, in a cute way. Probably all that work at a bakery catching up to her. It wasn’t helping her for shit right now though.

“It worked up to the fifth, but the sixth had foreign DNA in it!” Madison wheezed like a bellows. “Things escalated! Don’t kill me!”

“Lisa?” Taylor asked, concerned.

“Just a little, Taylor,” Lisa hissed out through gritted teeth, true catharsis just barely out of reach of the ends of her fingers. “I’m just going to kill her a little. She won’t notice a thing. We can drop her in the pool after I shave off all her hair.”

Madison clutched at her hair and wailed as Lisa’s hand brushed the back of her blouse.

It was only what she deserved for what she’d done! The sleepless nights! The angst-filled days! God damn it, she’d loved those pants! She’d only had them for an hour but she’d loved them!

“No! No killing! There will be no killing!” Taylor literally put her foot down, cracking the concrete floor yet again. “This is my house, and I say—”

After Lisa threw her teacup things got...blurry.

==========

“Why does she want to kill me!?” Madison sobbed hysterically into Taylor’s shoulder. “I just wanted to help!

“Why won’t you let me kill her!?” Lisa sobbed just as hysterically into Taylor’s other shoulder. “My butt, Taylor! My butt!”

Taylor grew more and more horrified as the two girls who had, barely a minute before, been trying to claw Taylor’s face off for...differing reasons...began to bawl uncontrollably into the side of her neck. This was most decidedly not Taylor’s area of expertise...and she had no idea what to do.

“My fucking face.” And of course that was when Rachel decided it was time to wake up, giving the girls a new target to focus on. Or, at least, something that would give Taylor a little time to think. “What the fuck?”

That was a relief. Taylor had been about to suggest more tea. She knew it probably wouldn’t have helped but it was the principle of the thing...and she was thirsty. That too.

Chapter Text

Despite having to suffer through the pain that was dealing with something completely outside of her experience, Taylor felt that she hadn’t done too bad at being comforting. Well enough for what was essentially a trial run.

Madison, after having cried herself out, had gone back to the tank with Squiggles. Petting a single, solitary tentacle that Taylor had allowed to escape confinement, just for this, as the much smaller girl continued to sniffle. A case of delegation, one that Squiggles was taking care of with an odd and trembling croon that made a watery smile appear on his creator’s face.

That had been an easy decision to make. Foisting off that particular bit of uncomfortableness on some...thing...much more qualified hadn’t been hard for her to do. In terms of choice and deed, it had been the best thing she could have done by far… She was repeating herself… But with Lisa though?

The blonde pushed the back of her head a little harder against Taylor’s stomach with a sigh. Just enough to remind Taylor that she’d been neglecting her duties, leading to the brunette’s fingers running through her girlfriend’s hair once more.

Lisa had been more than just a little difficult in comparison. Difficult for Taylor to wrap her head around anyway.

Intellectually, she knew that what had happened between Lisa and Squiggles when they’d first met had been the very opposite of a good thing... But, emotionally was where Taylor faltered. After some study that proved that he hadn’t been so much hostile as...overly affectionate, Taylor had been able to deal with the issue without all that much trouble. Squiggles had been re-compartmentalized from his original position as ‘enemy’, to that of a fascinating experiment/pet. It had been a simple transition.

In other words though, mostly Lisa’s… Taylor had moved on before the semen that had been plastered all over her face and thighs had even had the chance to dry. Lisa, in contrast, had not...still hadn’t, actually...and Taylor had no real idea on how to deal with that besides the liberal use of comfort food and close, physical intimacy.

Bitch glowered at her as she scratched her dog. Challenged Taylor to do something about it in a direct attack on her authority.

Taylor, not nearly in the mood to indulge the other girl’s issues, bared her teeth and glared back, causing Bitch to quickly back down when her dog started to shake and whine, smarter than her owner by far.

Taylor wasn’t normal. She knew that. And It bothered...no. Too small of a word... And it hurt that she wasn’t able to connect with Lisa when it really mattered...and this mattered. She was sure it did...but she just couldn’t relate. Not anymore.

Everything had a price...and her path had a bigger price than most. That was just how it was.

“We need to talk, Madison,” Taylor started quietly as Lisa wriggled around in her lap. Got comfortable for the talk that was about to begin. “About your experiments and how we are going to deal with them. Their origin.Their strengths... Their weaknesses.”

Madison stared at her. Almost motionless besides the up and down of her hand against Squiggles flesh before her lips twitched and she nodded. “Alright.”

Taylor held back the sigh of relief that almost passed her lips at that. Even if she had been studying Squiggles for the last few months...she wasn’t the creator. That was a certain point of view that she just couldn’t compete against in terms of understanding the ins and outs of what she had to know, even with Lisa’s help.

Lisa, as if she’d heard Taylor thinking about her, shifted some more, this time to face Madison directly. Because of course she did. If anyone in this room was anything near to as motivated as her when it came to dealing with this, Taylor would be surprised.

“... I created the first one somewhere past Christmas,” Madison said hesitantly. “In my room, over a home chemistry set. One of those you can get in the mail…” The tiny girl began to bite her lip as her eyes began to lose focus. Like Lisa did whenever she saw an open flame. “I hadn't had a good time at school that day. It just kind of…”

Lisa’s emotions started to take on an uncomfortable feeling when Madison drifted off. Stayed silent and continued to chew on her lip, hard enough that Taylor worried that she might start bleeding if she didn’t stop...and then Squiggles whined, with Angelica as the backup, and her eyes refocused.

“It was like one of those do-it-yourself slime recipes except…” Madison started petting Squiggles again, much to his enjoyment. “It made sense, you know? There was a point to it. A point beyond making a ball of glitter and goo. I had a goal.”

When Madison gave her chest a pat, Taylor realized that a good part of the padding she had, thick enough as it was, wasn't all her when a tentacle came out of the collar of her shirt. Brown and yellow, with a thin layer of fuzz over the length of it as it gave Madison a stroke on the cheek. The difference between it and the greenish-black slickness of Squiggles was striking.

Despite the contrast though, the uncomfortable feeling coming from Lisa ramped up a step or three. Give it another two, and Taylor would be fully confident that she’d be able to classify it as full-blown paranoia.

“I was making friends. Protectors that I could carry with me wherever I went. I was doing something useful for once.” She giggled when Squiggles and his much smaller relative started prodding each other curiously after they found each other in her hair. “And, well...once I thought about it… I couldn't just stop at one, right? I needed more...and I couldn't be the only person that needed a friend, right?”

“I can see where you're coming from, yes.” Taylor nodded stiffly as she found that particular issue hitting a little too close to home for her liking. “But there is a point where—”

“You have to stop. Yeah.” Madison finished Taylor's sentence with a sheepish grin. “I realized that after I got about four deep...if they hadn't been so easy to feed, and so useful, I might have been in trouble.”

“They fixed my face.”

Taylor twitched as, in a surprising twist, Bitch decided to speak up for once. Without a growl even. Something that Taylor had just sort of assumed had been her natural tone at this point...and that was...interesting.

The fixing. Not Bitch having a tone besides angry... Taylor, surprisingly enough, didn’t really like her all that much.

“Brutus and Judas didn't make it out of that fight with Lung.” Bitch continued to pet Angelica as the dog let out a sigh, and looked around the room with round, watery eyes. “Almost didn't either, I think. They’re good dogs.”

After a long pause, one where Bitch didn't say anything more, Madison made to continue. “It's the slime. In its natural form, it's got at least five uses I can think of off the top of my head. Several of them even in the medical field.” She looked rather proud of that. “When applied to burns, it soothes, cleans, disinfects, prevents irritation, maintains body temperature, and aids in the natural healing process.”

Taylor blinked, actually taken aback for a moment. That… That was honestly impressive if it was true. Definitely, something to be proud of, even if that was all there was to it.

Her smile fell slightly as she gestured at Bitch’s face. “It's not perfect though. Good enough for a quick fix, but not exactly a miracle cure… Even if it works on just about everything from pimples to bullet wounds.”

“... Such bullshit,” Lisa whispered as she sat up, taking the hand that had been in her hair with her own. “That isn’t even half of what it can be used for, is it?”

“Shampoo, hand soap, face cleanser, body wash, nutritional supplement, insect repellent, glue, fire retardant, water filter, emergency food supply, fertilizer—”

That...was a lot more than just five things.

“—heat sink, preservative, lubricant, rust remover, air freshener, immune system booster, contraceptive, anti-aging cream and… Don’t quote me on this, but I’m pretty sure that it can fight cancer.”

lot more than just five things. Seriously. If Taylor hadn’t been the person she was, she might have felt jealous… But she was the person she was. So she didn’t. She just felt vaguely insecure.

“... And you wanted to sell them as bodyguards!?” Lisa asked incredulously as she leaned forward, looking almost offended as she did. “You could have just told absolutely no one where they came from and marketed the stuff, disgusting as it is, as a miracle product! Fuck, if it wasn’t for my...experience...with Squiggles, I’d be rolling in the stuff right now!”

“It’s called variability and multitasking! Having more than one purpose!” Madison snapped back defensively, the conversation quickly turning somewhere that left Taylor with an encroaching sense of dread. She had little idea why, but it did. “And what’s wrong with Squiggles!?”

Oh. Her burgeoning skills when it came to understanding the flow of a conversation. That was why.

“What’s wrong with him? What’s wrong with him?” Lisa’s calm cadence turned into an outright howl. “He fucking raped me, you little shit!”

Madison flinched. A full body motion that led to her chair sliding to the side and away from Squiggles as she started shaking her head at the blonde. Quickly. Jerkily. Horrified, regretful, and filled with a sinking sense of denial that was almost beyond all reason, in a way that had Taylor feeling sick to her stomach.

“They were never supposed to be like that!” Madison replied with a breathy shriek. “Something—Something went wrong with them when I—it was a mistake, alright!?”

Madison had known that might have been a possibility...but she’d hoped it would have never happened at all. Or come up in conversation at all, most likely… All from the misguided hope that her mistake would come out to nothing. That was the feeling that Taylor got from her.

“I don’t give a fuck if it was a mistake! I was hanging from the goddamn ceiling for an hour! I’d been a virgin in every way it counted before that moment!” Lisa continued to howl. “I was violated in every hole over and over! He stretched all of my orifices to their limit, then stretched them out some more when he found out that I could take it!”

“I don’t want to hear that! I don’t need to hear that!” Madison started quickly rubbing her fingers together, causing them to almost blur under Taylor’s sight. “I know I fucked up, but I that isn’t—I don’t know why they do that, but—”

“You don’t know? You don’t know why they do that?! What do you know then!?”

Taylor tightened her grip around Lisa. She swore that, if Lisa got any angrier, she’d need a visit to the pool.

“And I don’t care if you don’t need to hear it! That doesn’t make it better! That doesn’t change anything! And it sure as hell doesn’t explain how he instinctively knew how to please me!”

Taylor stopped breathing. Turned her head to stare at her girlfriend, with a slack jaw and wide eyes… Madison did the same as well, but she was much more expressive about it.

“... What.” Madison said.

“You heard me! Don’t give me that bullshit that it was all an accident! What Squiggles did was by design! Orgasms! Orgasms for days! There were tentacles in my ass the size of my fucking fist! I had to sit on several ice packs for the next day!” Lisa, now with a random paperweight that Taylor swore had been on the table before, waved it about, and then threw it. Not at Madison, thankfully, but at the enclosure. “And I enjoyed every moment of it!”

Something inside the enclosure broke. It sounded expensive, and that was all Taylor could say as she continued to stare at Lisa. Felt things that Taylor had known Lisa had been suppressing for a while...but not anything like this...and things were starting to feel kind of warm.

“I discovered all sorts of strange and unusual things about myself and my sexuality! Things about Squiggles! Why do they even want to fuck human females?! How do you ‘accidently’ add that as a feature!? YOU GAVE THEM AN INTERSPECIES SEX DRIVE! FUCK YOU IT WASN’T ON PURPOSE!”

There was real anger in there, yes… You couldn’t fake that sort of tone if you tried... But the conflict in there was driving Taylor insane. It was like Lisa’s feelings were on a pendulum with how fast they switched.

Taylor was actually starting to feel kind of dizzy...

“I don’t know okay! It doesn’t make sense! Even to me, and I made the damn things, alright?!” Madison defended herself angrily, obviously fed up with Lisa’s own screams. She hastily dug through her purse, a cute little number with a bear head chain...and pulled out an old, red hairbrush in a ziplock bag.

Taylor, just looking at it, started to feel nostalgic...and not the good kind of nostalgic either.

“I got the template from this!” Madison’s voice cracked with stress. “After I was ‘found’ to have stolen items in my bag that just so happened to belong to one of those bitches at school! It got me suspended for a week, during test week! In violation of the fucking school code, sure, but when has that ever fucking done anything for me!”

Angelica, deciding that enough was enough, hopped up off of Bitch’s lap and over onto Madison’s. At this point, she was just about covered in pets...and she felt like she needed it right then.

Bitch looked more tense than normal, especially when she noticed that, unlike her, Taylor had something to pet...but she didn't say anything.

“So, I decided that, if they’re going to accuse me of something I hadn’t done… I might as well actually do it! I don’t even fucking remember what happened after I got this…” She shook the bag. Hard. “In my lab! All I remember is that, two days later, I’m exhausted, ravenous, thirsty as fuck, and Squiggles is cooing in my slime soaked hands!”

Madison’s head fell back against the back of the chair. Almost bonelessly as the fabric around her shoulders started moving.

“He seemed normal... No fur but he was as friendly as all the others. Smarter, faster, and stronger too... And then, after a couple of weeks, I figured it was okay to make more of them. After the fugue I’d gone through, I found I could put them on a metaphorical assembly line...but I had no idea how any of it worked. Why I was doing it, or what the point to any of it even was.” She sighed. “It was like Tinkertech to me, and I’m a Tinker.”

“... And that was when the problems started?” Taylor asked. It seemed thematically appropriate...and she really didn’t know what to say otherwise. Once again, she couldn’t relate.

“Not quite yet,” Madison answered with a shake of the head. “The issues began a couple weeks later when Squiggles disappeared. Best I can tell, he escaped through the vent in the basement, and out through the Air Conditioner… I found Rachel while I was looking for him.”

Bitch grunted and whistled, leading to Angelica hopping off of Madison’s lap and back to her master in but a moment. Licking her hands and face, and otherwise acting cute...Bitch might have cracked a smile. Taylor couldn’t be sure.

Madison smiled weakly at that, then sighed again.

“You already know what happened there...and, even with Bitch’s help when it came to corralling them, it wasn’t working. More and more were escaping.” Madison started rubbing her face. The fact that she was just spreading the slime that was already there, even getting some of it in her hair, didn’t seem to matter to her. “For every one we caught, we lost two... And they started to take the regular ones with them as well...and then our hand was forced.” 

“The Olive Garden,” Lisa spoke up. Calmly. Her anger still there, but diminished. Waiting. At a low boil as it waited for something, anything, to remove the lid. “The kidnappings.”

“It was on tv.” Madison agreed as she cupped her hands in front of her face, her fringe now stuck to her face with sweat and other, stickier fluids. “You were on tv, you and...I needed help… So I had Rachel track the tentacle smell on you and...” She slowly lowered, then spread her hands out in a begging pose. “So here we are.”

“So here you are.” Lisa’s reply was flat. “And I think, if you want our help, our special form of capture and containment... we’re going to need to talk about compensation and restitution.”

As Madison’s face and emotions fell, Taylor could only feel one, particular, emotion from a much more stable Lisa.

Satisfaction...the feeling of a job well done.

Chapter Text

“I just realized something.” Lisa rolled over on the bed and put an arm under her head as she watched Taylor strip down to what was, effectively, nothing at all. A perfectly fitting bra. A barely-hanging-in-there pair of ‘Plot Device’—that had set Lisa to rolling on the floor, dying from laughter when Taylor had shown them off—labeled panties...and still, not a blemish to be seen anywhere on that softly tanned skin. Unnatural was what it was. In a good way, of course. “It’s weird though, once you think about it. And obvious.”

“What is?” Taylor asked absentmindedly as her bra straps loosened, leading to the cups coming away from her and the whole thing sliding away onto a nearby table on their own initiative. She then turned to face Lisa in her entirety with her hands on her hips, chest thrust out, inadvertently showing off a high-sitting pair of pink-capped breasts that had Lisa feeling more than just a little pink herself… Christ. If she got any gayer her nightshirt would turn into flannel through sheer proximity. “The existence of magic? Because if it is… I am ready to accept your groveling.”

Hah. Funny.

“I will allow you your delusions, Taylor. But no. That isn’t it.” Lisa sniffed in the face of Taylor’s eye-rolling...then did it again as familiar scent reached her nose. A familiar scent that came with a familiar sight, if only from her end in the mirror after her first time in the pool, as she noticed that Taylor’s underwear was as good as soaked through with good, clean, feminine arousal. “Have you noticed that we’ve never had sex naked? Like… You’ve seen me naked—”

Taylor, in an uncharacteristically shy moment for the self-acclaimed Sex Witch, raised her arms up to her breasts with a wooden expression. Her brow furrowed as she started mumbling to herself.

“—but this is, literally, the only time I can remember seeing you in just your underwear. You’re always wearing a dress or something when we make,” Lisa’s voice dropped an octave lower, “love.”

Taylor twitched and turned her eyes to the side as a blush began to make its way up her neck and into her face.

Lisa rolled over again with a laugh, now looking at Taylor upside down as her head hung over the edge of their shared bed. “You run around town in little more than some dental floss and a lot of wishful thinking, but you can’t get naked for me? What’s up with that?”

Taylor’s blush started making headway in turning itself into a full-body thing.

“Oh. My. God. You’re blushing. Why are you blushing?”

“You’re making me self-conscious!” Taylor fled behind a nearby shelf and took a knee. “Stop that!”

“You stop it first!” Lisa shot back with a raspberry.

A raspberry that started a raspberry war between the two of them, up until the point where Lisa’s shirt flopped over onto her face and she started clawing at it while Taylor trailed off with a groan, no doubt a result of her staring at Lisa’s breasts in turn.

Taylor had come a long way in the last few months, but she still needed some work. A damn good pair of breasts were no excuse for losing your composure so badly that you couldn’t continue a good, old-fashioned, raspberry war.

“I-I didn’t notice that either. The whole...not naked thing. Thank you for bringing this to my attention.” Taylor, after a little look at Lisa and then herself, when she finally figured out she was being silly, stood up again and moved out from behind the shelf...and Lisa was glad to see that she wasn’t trying to hide her breasts anymore, even if it was only to adjust her glasses. “I guess it just kind of happened?” She shrugged and gave Lisa a sheepish smile. “I’ll make sure to be naked next time.”

“You dork...” Lisa grumbled as she threw her shirt at Taylor. Taylor expertly dodged it and skipped into her workshop, closing the door behind her...and leaving Lisa behind, feeling as confused as she’d ever been in her life when she found she wasn’t getting ravished right then and there.

Why had she gotten naked, while Lisa was in the room no less, if she wasn’t planning on having sex? Honestly? What was the point there?

It said a lot about how living with Taylor had changed her that, when she stood up to get her shirt, she could only stare at the door Taylor had walked through, almost completely naked and alone. The one that they had salvaged from an old prop shop, made out of solid wood that Taylor had spent a whole day sanding away fake runes so that she could put her own, real ones on the next.

Lisa had tried to help with it...and it had been what had convinced Taylor that, without a doubt, Lisa had the magical potential of your average brass knob. Possibly, even less...but that wasn’t the point. What was the point was that Taylor had left her behind in their bedroom while she did something in the same room as Squiggles. A course of action that she’d decided to take after a couple of hours of talking with an increasingly twitchy Madison that had led to Taylor taking on the role of ‘tracker’ for their little group.

Lisa had a good idea of what being a ‘tracker’ meant...but she didn’t actually want to know.

The blonde, eventually, walked away as she put her shirt back on and flipped open her phone to play some games. Turned it on with a catchy jingle that she played along with with a hum, then made some calculations on just how much she could squeeze out of her slowly budding ‘partnership’ with Madison in the slime business, leaving most of the work to her power while she focused on beating her old high score.

Seconds passed. Minutes. Her Aleph robot unicorn exploded, just shy of the mark...and she looked back at the door, sweating as her curiosity started eating at her restraint.

She didn’t need to know, sure, but not knowing was starting to bug her like the dickens.

==========

“Here you go, little guy. Eat up,” Taylor murmured as she fed a couple of cabbages through the chute. Soaked in vinaigrette and seasoned with black pepper and thyme, with just a hint of cottage cheese and Worcester sauce. Not exactly the sort of thing that Taylor thought of as appetizing, but Madison had told her that he’d like it, and that was what mattered. “You’ve got a long day ahead of you.”

Squiggles chirped gleefully as he was repeatedly bludgeoned with some of his favorite foods, then began to feast while Taylor took a seat.

She cradled her chin in her hands. Listened to his squeaks. Thought about things, then stopped thinking about things as her mind started going to some truly strange places.

Yes. She knew where that hairbrush had come from and who it belonged to. No. She was not going to think about it right now, for many reasons beyond the obvious trauma that came with it. If she decided to actually think about it, to consider the ethical problems that came with having sex with Squiggles… Well. She’d never get anything done.

And, yes. She was going to have sex with Squiggles. Again. Right now. There were no ifs, ands, or buts about it. If she ever hoped to find the rest of his kind anytime soon without having to worry about missing one, it was something that she had to do...which is why she’d left Lisa out of it.

Even if the blonde had admitted that she’d enjoyed her violation, it didn’t mean that she wanted to go through it again even if only vicariously through Taylor. It probably wouldn’t take long for her to figure out what had happened in here but, hopefully, she’d take the fact that Taylor had left her in the dark, in this case, the way it was meant to be taken. As a necessity, of course, and as a sign of worry for her well-being. Not a comment on her lack of sexual experience and skills.

In Taylor’s totally expert opinion, while what was probably a really goofy smile spread across her face, she thought that Lisa was perfectly adequate as she was.

A boop on the nose from a tentacle, along with an inquisitive chirp, led to Taylor smiling for a totally different reason. A return boop, and a bit of slime along her cheek as a cabbage and cottage cheese swollen tentacle monster forced himself up the chute to meet her turned that smile into a laugh...and then he got pushed back down the chute, whining the whole way.

“Not quite yet, Squiggles. Not quite yet.” Taylor stood up, hands on her hips once more and thumbs in the band of her underwear, as ready as she’d ever be as her breath began to quicken. “Maybe later today, after the seals have been laid.”

Her panties dropped. Heavy, wet. Almost completely see through from the juices she’d spilled into them as her interface forced her open, forced her to be ready for anything the monster was capable of throwing at her… Hopefully.

‘Hopefully’ was her last thought as she stepped into the enclosure, the glassy membrane letting her through effortlessly into her pet’s home...and then Squiggles was upon her, happy that, after all these months, she was finally here to ‘play’...and he didn’t do it quite like Taylor had expected him to.

Not at all.

Curious about this sudden, and happy, change in his life, Squiggles, amazingly enough, didn’t go straight for the sex. Instead he gracefully, almost quietly beyond a single chirp, started climbing up her body. From her legs to her thighs, to her stomach to her breasts, he made his warm and slimy way up, rumbling the whole way with joy as he gave her a cuddle in the only way he knew how.

Blueberries. Freshly baked bread and a dab of wild honey. The scent of friendship, or so Madison had labeled it...and now, it was so strong that it was almost overtaking the smell of sex that hung around her like a cloud...and then he started to rub her shoulders, and everything became much better. Taylor couldn’t help the groan that slipped past her lips as she felt him begin to work out the knots in her back with the talent of a master. Crazy as it sounded, despite the literal magic flowing through her veins, she wasn’t perfect. Just seemingly so.

The stereotype of witches with a hunchback was a stereotype for a reason. Slaving away for hours bent over a cauldron or a workbench didn’t exactly do good things for your back and, before the relative ease that came with living in the modern age where every ingredient and tool you might have wanted was just a heartbeat away… Well.

Not every Witch had been as pretty as they could have been… And she thought that things were expensive now...

Taylor’s eye started to roll back into her head a bit. Just a little when Squiggles started to scratch around her back, directly under where her bra strap would normally be. She didn’t know how he’d known that it had been feeling a little uncomfortable...but his slime was somehow better than having Lisa scratch it for her. Almost better than sex.

Almost.

“Lisa was right. How do you know how to please a woman so well?” She asked him while gently stroking the closest approximation to where his head would be if he had one. All she got from him was a friendly, moist coo of affection and a nuzzled against her hand. Just as expected...sadly. Maybe she should make a collar for him? Something that could help him talk?

This continued on for awhile. Squiggles finding each and every point of her body that was even vaguely uncomfortable, and working his, maybe, metaphorical magic on it. Taylor, meanwhile, leaned against the now solid walls and did her best not to collapse bonelessly to the ground into a pile of blissed out goo. Madison had a better thing going here than even she had thought.

Then suddenly Squiggles stopped. He froze in the middle of his actions. Complete lack of movement. He didn’t even seem to be breathing anymore, leading Taylor to cautiously poke him in the face. No response. And then, in a flurry of activity, Squiggles sprung back to life. It seemed that cuddling time was over. With a vengeance.

Taylor giggled and felt silly for a second. Just a second before Squiggles stretched out around her. Around her arms and legs in a way that forced her to hop a little, then fall forward onto her face with a little scream as he constricted around her legs and forced them shut. After that, he just dragged her along, rolling her in what felt like every slime puddle his home might have had in what had to have been a good ten seconds before he pulled her up onto her feet once more, and tried, and succeeded, in reeling her unresisting body up into the air.

Taylor relaxed. Blinked some of the goo out of her eyes and blew a lock of fluid heavy hair out of her face as she found herself over six feet off the ground and counting… Higher than Lisa had gone off the ground the first time around, and still going. She found it fascinating, really. Was it a personalized sort of thing, specially crafted for any prey that might have found itself in his clutches? Or was it just a response to what had happened the first time, where Taylor had smacked him about with a broom?

Questions, questions… Questions that would just have to wait, now that there were several tendrils in her face. Large. Fat… Throbbing. Different in a way that Taylor chalked up to Squiggles' advancement along the path of what his species could consider ‘puberty’ as they swung from side to side before her eyes.

He was welcoming her back. Admonishing her for taking so long to return with a tease. An exhibition of how much he’d grown over the last three months and what she’d been missing.

Taylor’s lips made a minute, upwards twitch as she clenched and a gush of fluid escaped from between her legs.

He was being cute. Showing off his ‘plumage’ and proving that he wasn’t just a damn good cuddler, but a damn good ‘mate’... She found it funny that it was actually working. At least, well enough that her interface was looking to make her the tightest, smoothest fit she could possibly be.

“Easy there.” Taylor quietly reprimanded him as she tried to move her arms and found it harder than it should have been. This proved to be a mistake as another couple of tentacles wrapped around her wrists tightly. Thankfully though, he hadn’t been the only one getting stronger these last few months. Just a little bit more exertion would be all it took to get out. “It’s not a race.”

Squiggles seemed to disagree. Almost faster than even she could track, something that made her gasp with surprise, considering he hadn’t been anywhere near as fast as that before, she found herself being spread. Legs out, arms up and locked into a textbook spread eagle position.

This was going to get rough. She could already tell... Oh well. If that was the only price she had to pay to get this particular menace off of the streets of Brockton, she’d be able to say that she’d gotten off rather light… Not that she actually minded how this went, up to a point.

A particularly large limb at her rear flattened out, then pulled back. Back. Back… Then came forward once more, making her scream when it spent all of its built-up tension against her rear, no doubt setting it to bouncing like little else in this world, or the next, could. A turn of the head, far enough to make a normal person worry about breaking something important as she bit her lip, let her see the next blow before it landed.

And this wasn’t even close to reaching that point.

Adrenaline hit. A moment in time where she could feel her eyes shift, dilate in real time as the whip, the world, slowed down to a crawl. She could see everything about it. The ridges. The quickly expanding veins… The almost microscopic nubs covering its length like miniature goosebumps, ready to grow into something more...and a heartbeat passed. The tip met her flesh...and she came, coating the walls of Squiggles’ prison while watching the ripple spread in real time.

She wasn’t allowed to recover. To breathe. No quarter was given or asked for while Taylor’s pet continued to ‘punish’ her. To act out like the teen he was. Aggressive. Impulsive. Defiant to the very end as every gasp and groan was met with yet another taste of the lash. Yet another taste of what he could do to her, for her, if she only stayed.

Taylor had to wonder just how many people had been caught with that promise alone. Far too many, in her estimation. Not everyone had her particular advantages... Her ability to push away temptation and, what she would consider, negative influences. Influences such as Squiggles, and his apparent ability to wipe her mind of thought.

Lisa wouldn’t have stood a chance if Taylor hadn’t brought her back that day.

If she hadn’t given the blonde the tattoo or that anklet before she’d left the house that first time… It didn’t bear thinking about… Anyway, after what had been the tenth strike, the tenth and strongest orgasm yet when he used an extra tentacle to give both cheeks an inwards slap that led to them quaking against each other, loud as thunder...he flipped her around.

Taylor gasped, still reeling from aftershock as she was pulled back, then run forward into the wall of the enclosure. Front first. Breasts pressed flat against the cool, glass-like material as she was brought down once more, this time with her knees forcefully bent into what she could only call an aborted squat while her arms were wrenched back and into the air, leaving her relatively ‘helpless’ to do anything but wait for the pounding she was about to take...and leaving her with the knowledge that Lisa was watching her from the other side of the glass.

Lisa was here. In the room. Barely five feet away, her face perfectly flat. Placid almost as she held a heavy, leather bag in one hand and a phone in the other. A phone, with its light on at its highest level, pointed directly at Taylor’s face, illuminating her perfectly just before another light came on. A red one that turned the already almost unbearable heat in Taylor’s stomach into a bonfire.

“H-hi, Lisa.” Taylor smiled. Tight. Shaky... Ecstatic. Almost overly so when Lisa roughly dropped the bag, spilling a small wave of sex toys, big and small, across the floor as her arousal rose to whole new heights...she’d just become the, conflicted, surface of the sun to Taylor’s, assured, center. “I hope you’re making sure to get my good side?”

Lisa didn’t respond. Instead, she began to sweat heavily, her face still set in the same flat mask as her phone began to rise up and away from Taylor’s face.

Taylor, even though she knew she shouldn’t have been, was deeply surprised when her interface suddenly decided that her current level of ‘readiness’ wasn’t nearly enough, ramping her up, forcing her inner walls out to what might as well have been max capacity just as she turned her head to take in the view...and...and... She understood Lisa’s reticence. It was hard enough for her to do nothing more than stare as it was.

That...That was a dick. Obviously inhuman. Obviously unnatural... Huge, gnarled, lumpy, veiny, meaty and covered in enough ridges and nubs to count as its own mountain range...but, unlike the first time around, it was quite recognizably a dick and not just another tentacle.

Lisa gulped, then whispered lightly as she fiddled with the button of her pants.“S-someone's really going for the gold today, huh, Taylor…?” After a while without success, Lisa just ripped her sleeping shorts off, showing how she preferred to go...natural, while she was at home...and a stream of lubricant started making its way down her thigh. “But you’ll be fine, right?”

Any attempts for Taylor to say anything were taken from her. All she could do was let out a soundless mewl when Squiggles decided that enough was enough and, well… Took the plunge. That was the best, and least obscene, description that Taylor could think of when she found her face squished up against the glass, her breath exploding from her mouth to cover the barrier in a light coat of spit and fog after what felt like the Behemoth’s larger, angrier cousin found itself closely acquainted with her cervix.

That one violent thrust of Squiggles’ newly developed genitalia had stretched her in ways that she’d never even considered before. The Behemoth was the Behemoth, but the Behemoth hadn’t expanded as it made its way through and into her. Growing, shrinking, retracting, pounding, and spinning inside of her. Stretching her out in a way that made her interface at its most frisky seem like a walk in the park as it pinpointed, then stimulated every nerve she knew about and even some she hadn’t...all while the rest of the tendril stayed completely still.

Madison had a really good thing going here. Even if she didn’t know it. The most expensive bead vibrator available on the market, Tinker-tech or not, had nothing on this...and it gave Taylor ideas.

Taylor couldn’t say how many orgasms she’d had since this had begun. She couldn’t say whether she had had just one or hundreds. It was all the same in the end. She was still here. Still standing even after a testing, almost frenzied back and forth rock of the hips to see if she could dislodge the dick inside of her ended up with the lower third of the whole thing swelling up to the size of a small melon… Just before another dick, exactly the same size as the first ended up lodged in her rear while she wailed.

She could no longer see Lisa’s face. Neither could she see the rest of her besides her feet through the glaze over the glass. The last she had seen of the blonde had been of her sitting down, then emptying the leather bag out onto the floor... However, that didn’t mean that she couldn’t hear Lisa. She heard Lisa’s ripped pair of shorts hit the side of the glass. The tap of feet pressing against the glass for support.

The slight buzzing and the gentle hisses and rattles of plastic and metal from the other end painted a good enough picture for Taylor to admire...and feed upon. Gasp. Moan. Inhale. Exhale. Power in...magic out. Lisa, even if she didn’t mean to be, was little more than an addition to the already cloying amounts of power Taylor could feel burning her from the inside out. One that was welcomed with open arms and then thrown into her current works as quickly as she could make it. Seals. Binds and connections were laid down one by one. Things that Taylor could have done, should have done months ago if not for her resources, finally finished with a teary smile.

“Let go of my arms, please,” Taylor ordered with just a hint of power...and so it was. The hold on her arms loosened and she stood up again. Began rolling her shoulders and, forcefully, suppressed the pleasure from what she was still being put through and had yet to order stopped, just for a little extra power. “Thank you.”

She finally, after far, far, far too long for a Witch of her age...had a familiar. Not exactly a black cat, but if this was how it was going to be from now on—

Taylor gave her stomach an inquisitive look, examining the highly visible outlines pushing out her skin with more than just a little interest before she started poking them and gauging Squiggles’ reaction.

—it wasn’t too bad. Not ideal, but well... She could deal with it.

Some more poking and an attempt at extraction without an order later that led absolutely nowhere but an even larger pair of erections refusing to remove themselves, Taylor sidestepped the slimy smears she’d left behind in the enclosure and cupped her chin. Considered things as she caught Lisa on the tail end of her looking up at the ceiling, panting like mad with her eyes glazed over as she squeezed out a still active rabbit vibrator...and, damn. She’d really changed her mind about that ‘no butt-stuff’ rule.

Taylor could see at least three different strings worth of beads up there. The small sort, sure, and one of them might have actually been a bullet vibe, but that was still impressive!

Taylor beamed as she walked out of the enclosure with Squiggles draped over her shoulder, only to come to a stop next to a near catatonic Lisa. The next time they made love was going to be great. But that was later. Busy now.

“Hey, Lisa. I know you’re a little tired out and stuff.” Taylor cleared her throat. It was still feeling a little heavy. “But, if it’s not too much to ask...can you follow me to the bathroom?” She cleared her throat again. “Release.”

Squiggles started getting to work on giving Taylor everything he had. Which was quite a bit, obviously... No. More than just ‘quite a bit’. He was a growing boy and all that, and it wasn’t exactly like he’d had all that many opportunities to relax the last few months…

She should have thought that through.

Lisa gave Taylor a slow blink, seemingly uncaring about her girlfriend’s writhing stomach or its steady, cum-bloated growth.

“I need to harvest some of this for the tracker and…” Taylor twitched as she felt the seal of her womb give way under the pressure of the sperm assaulting it, causing her to compare it, weirdly enough, to a gang member’s face that had found itself under her boot. In other words, it gave in without much of a fight, and was very, very wet at the end...boy was that a lot of cum. She needed a bigger bucket. “For other reasons...and he’s stuck. Really, really stuck. Involuntary response to sexual stimulation. Help.”

Lisa sighed. Wiped her face...and cringed when she remembered what she’d recently been doing with that hand. “Sure. Whatever. Just...get on over there, and I’ll see you in a moment.”

Taylor nodded and began her long, long waddle to the bathroom...and then she burped, and that waddle became more of an outright run. She had to find a container and fast. Plus there were some fuzzy bathrobes and a brand new flat screen tv with their names on it. Lisa could be vicious when it came to negotiations...which reminded her of something important.

Madison needed her share as well. Couldn’t forget that.

==========

Madison blinked. “... Why is there a five-gallon bucket of cum on my porch?”

Chapter Text

“Sewers are disgusting,” Taylor stated flatly through her face mask, using the same sort of tone one would use when commenting on the weather...if said weather happened to be part-and-parcel of a nuclear winter. Or a sudden spate of rain in a coastal city when the middle-child of the Endbringers was due to make a call. Or…or... A very unpleasant thing that no one liked. In other words, the right sort of tone to use when you were trekking through the sewers in the middle of the night as a ball, an actual ball, of used condoms floated merrily past you on your way to do battle with the forces of darkness. “They never put this in the stories…”

Sometimes, perfect night-vision just wasn’t worth the troubleReally. All the things she could see...urgh. This wasn’t her fetish. Not at all...and, once again, she’d been lied to. Stupid stories, taking out all the important bits...

“Of course not, Taylor. Of course, they didn’t put that in the stories. That isn’t interesting enough” Lisa’s voice came through loud and clear in a low mutter, directly into Taylor’s ear. If Taylor hadn’t known better, she would have said that Lisa had been right next to her when she’d said it. But she did know better. That was the thing. The other thing was that the Bluetooth earbuds Madison had given her were amazing...even if they were a little...squishy... Bio-tinkers were surprisingly well-rounded for their label. “They want to hear about how the intrepid hero tracked the criminal down, beat the tar out of him, and dragged him to justice. Not about the rats, the things they step in on the way to fight the criminal, or how crap gets everywhere...especially in places it shouldn’t. Like the insides of your clothes...and hair.”

“... Did you have to say it like that, Lisa?” Taylor asked, her mouth set firmly into a grimace as she resisted the urge to touch her hair and walked past something unidentifiable and, no doubt, extremely foul. That she couldn’t smell it, or have anything in here touch her directly (without dusting anything dead and organic that came within three feet of her) was a marvel of magic and quantum engineering… She was a worker of miracles, truly. If only her (extremely small) circle of acquaintances would recognize that… One day, she hoped. “Really?”

“Well, no. No, I didn’t. But I did.” Lisa admitted, sounding darkly amused as she did from where she was. From where she was warm and safe, and not surrounded by fecal matter in the assumed safety of Madison’s van while Taylor was...none of those things… The things she did for heroism and external validation were just too much sometimes… “Now that you’ve been in a sewer once you’re never going to, willingly, be in one again.” Lisa’s voice lowered into a conspirative whisper. “If I don’t needle you about this now, when will I ever?”

“I’d really prefer if you didn’t. Ever.” Taylor was feeling queasy enough as is...all she needed to do was vomit in her mask to make it all complete. “I don’t think I made it clear enough when I said that this place was disgusting…”

“How did that saying go again, honey-bunny?” Lisa laughed. “Wishes in one hand…?”

“Ignore her, Taylor. She’s just mad that she’s effectively useless.” Madison cut in easily, using her familiarity and instinctual use with the equipment to push a, no doubt, now fuming Lisa to the metaphorical side in a short-lived, but audible, scuffle before the blonde could really get going. “And just keep going straight until you hit a four-way intersection. You’re getting close to the nest.”

“Okay,” Taylor said as she steeled herself, walking briskly forward, avoiding stepping on any confused insects that suddenly found themselves without shelter/food… “Wait.” And then she stopped as a thought occurred to her. “How do you know I’m getting near?”

Now Taylor knew she was getting near...but she had a reason for it. She had magic. A familiar. An almost overlay behind her eyes that let her see her prey in bluish-green sparks of differing sizes and intensity. What did Madison have?

“Well, I took the reports of missing women!” Lisa screamed, her voice blurred with distance. “The sightings! The rumors! Then I compiled them and plotted out a map!”

… Ah. That explained it.

“After some checking and fact-finding, I came to a conclusion! This has the highest possible concentration of-FUCK OFF!”

Taylor blinked and continued to wait while Lisa struggled in the background.

“I found the most likely spot they were hiding as I know they’re behavior better than anyone else!” Madison butted back into the conversation while Lisa was preoccupied. “They enjoy wide open space and moisture with easy access to food! Since this is downtown-”

“I GOT THE DIAGRAMS TO THE SEWER SYSTEM THAT SHE’S USING!”

“Uhhhh…” Taylor licked the tip of one of her canines and continued to stand in place. Was she supposed to do something about this? She felt like she was supposed to, but… “Okay?”

“And I managed to make a biological Bluetooth headset that could work under the streets or in space!” Madison yelled back.

Taylor started walking once more, cringing as what sounded like a slap fight started up. It was a very distinctive noise...and weren’t the two of them almost adults? How embarrassing... Especially when she was the one doing most of the work in the first place.

She wasn’t bitter or anything. Not at all.

Then suddenly, with two feminine yelps, the comms went silent, filling Taylor with unease...and then, clicked. “Took care of the two idiots,” Rachel spoke dully into her new headset. “They’re fighting like a couple of pups that want attention. So I had the dogs sit on them.” She paused. “Fucking stupid.”

“SHE’S EATING MY HAIR! STOP! I JUST GOT IT BACK!”

“NOOOOO! NOT THE DROOL!”

“... Oh. That makes sense,” Taylor said, her worries that they’d been ambushed or something of the sort temporarily put away as a large blob, almost as large as Squiggles, scuttled by right over her head...before it was quickly followed by another three, much smaller, blobs. They were reproducing. Not good. “Anyway, where are they?”

“Lisa’s fucking map says you’re going the right way,” Bitch grumbled. “To one of those big places with the water in the middle.”

“... A reservoir?”

“I don’t fucking know. Does it fucking matter?”

“It does to me.”

“Whatever. I don’t care. Just keep walking until you hit the four-way,” Bitch grunted, ending the conversation and any hopes that Taylor might have had in getting a name for the location (names were important) with a single emote. “Talk too damn much about stupid shit, all of you.”

… Now, at this point, Taylor was sure that she didn’t like the other girl. At all. Having Rachael attack her in her own home, even if ineffectually, hadn’t exactly made a good first impression. The second, third, and so on hadn’t helped either...and if Taylor had been topside right then, she’d have been tempted to give the girl another lump on her face to match the first.

But, thankfully for Rachel’s face, Taylor wasn’t topside. Also, Taylor had just reached the intersection after fifteen minutes of walking. Fifteen minutes.She was not going to backtrack, after all that, just so that she could show someone the back of her hand.

Rachel would get to live without symmetrical features for another day it seemed. Lucky girl.

“Left, right?” Taylor asked, her tone clipped and filled with tension when finally, after all this time, she could see what she’d been looking for.

Stunned silence. Something Taylor was used to. “... What?”

“Don’t worry about it.” Out on the very farthest edges of her vision. A towering sphere of roiling blue flames frolicking about. Across the ceiling, under the water. Everywhere they could fit whenever they weren’t going out and up into the forest at the edges of city proper. “I found the nest.”

“Got your thumb out your ass. Good. Could have just said that, but fuck it.”

Taylor closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and counted to ten. “Please put Lisa back on. Or Madison. Don’t much care which.”

“They’re still screaming.”

“Give them the fucking coms...” Taylor grit her teeth, blew air out through said teeth in a hiss, and forced herself to calm down again. She’d swore. She didn't often swear but...but she had. In this case, it could be forgiven. She wasn’t sure what it was about Rachel, besides the obvious that got to her...but Taylor would be glad to see the back of her when this was over. “Before I curse you with a lifetime of agonizing menstrual cramps.”

It was then that, like a switch had just been flipped, the screaming in the background cut off at once. Instantly. No warning or lead up...until a high-pitched squeal started sounding through the coms, along with the whining of dogs while the headset audibly changed hands once again. “Hey now! There’s no need for that!”

“Hello, Lisa,” Taylor, already feeling a great deal better about this whole thing, her trek through the sewers notwithstanding, welcomed the blonde back to their current problem with more than a little cheer. For multiple reasons. Going into a fight angry or, at least, as angry as Rachel made her just wasn’t a good idea...and Lisa was her girlfriend. Why shouldn’t she be happy to talk to her? “How are you today? Also, what is making that noise?”

Had they crossed a wire? Put a speaker too close to another speaker? Could a Tinkertech headset even get feedback? If they could, then it wasn’t nearly as impressive as Taylor had thought it was… Terrible.

“Got some dog spit in my hair and I might have slipped a disc trying to shift two-thirds of my own weight off my back. You know, nothing big… But level with me. You can’t really ‘curse’...” The finger quotes in ‘curse’ came through as clear as Lisa’s actual words. “Someone with agonizing menstrual cramps, right?”

Taylor, her brow furrowed as she stared curiously at a lightly sizzling puddle of slime that just happened to be within her aura, refused to answer. This sounded like one of those things Lisa didn’t need an answer to for once.

“Taylor? You can’t do that, right, Taylor? That’s crazy talk, right, Taylor?”

Yes. She didn’t need confirmation. That was clear. Better to stay silent on this one… Deflect! “I can see them now, Lisa. The overlap makes it hard for me to tell how many there are...but I expect there to be over a hundred and counting. With some of them even bigger than Squiggles.”

Oh, Gooooood…” Lisa moaned faintly, horrified...and completely distracted from the question she hadn’t really wanted to know the answer for. Success. “I swear to god that if Rachel wasn’t here right now I’d do…” Lisa sighed. “Something. I dunno. Violent maybe? I’m tired.”

“We’ve got hot chocolate and a record player waiting for us at home, Lisa,” Taylor offered. “We can cuddle up next to the electric fire and you can use my breasts as a pillow after.” Taylor welcomed yet another bout of silence as the flame before her grew brighter and brighter, forcing her to slowly turn the sensitivity down until it was almost nil so that she wouldn’t blind herself. A battle was upon her. “Would that make you feel better?”

“... Maybe.”

That’s so sweet,” Madison whispered in the background, earning a thrown something from Lisa that got her squealing (now Taylor knew what that noise had been) again.

Ah, well… Not Taylor’s problem.

“Alright,” Taylor replied as she cracked her fists, rolled her shoulders, and tested out one of Miss Militia’s famous eye crinkles. Superpowered or not, it was best to be limber when you got to work. A cramp somewhere tender, even if it was your face, while you were fighting against villainy was just embarrassing. “I’ll wrap this up and we’ll have some cookies and tea after.”

“Shower first. Please,” Lisa grumbled. “As you said. Sewers are disgusting.”

Taylor couldn’t help but chuckle at that. Lisa could be cute. Especially when she didn’t want to be. It was part of her charm...and a smidge of levity in dark times always made things easier… Almost.

After finally reaching her destination, the location of Taylor’s heart took a sudden nosedive.

“... Madison,” Taylor started, staring at what was before her as she hesitantly licked her lips. “Did any of your pets show a tendency to make nests? Or use their slime in a constructive or, possibly, artistic manner?”

“They tended to keep stealing my sheets and clothing to curl up in...and the piles could kind of stack up if you didn’t clear them out quick enough… Why are you asking?”

“Well… I saw this movie the other day. With Lisa.” Taylor continued while dodging a gob of fluid dripping from the ceiling...and didn’t melt away as soon as it came within a foot of her body. Whatever it was, it was close enough to ‘alive’ that her protections erred on the side of caution. Odd. “Does Ripley mean anything to you?”

“Shiiiiit...” Lisa hissed...and, if Taylor knew her, which she sort of did, she was going to need a couple shots of something strong in her drinks tonight. They might not have had access to anything alcoholic, but no one had ever accused Taylor of being unimaginative.

“No… A different sort of semifluid, thankfully. Various organic constructs on the walls and ceilings for housing. Bundles of heat and the impression of pulsing, unknown bits of flesh.” Taylor squinted into the gloom at a much more colorful pile. “...and what I think may be a mound made up of nothing more than discarded, female clothing,” Taylor observed while Lisa groaned. “And, I think I-one moment.” Taylor bent backward, arms crossed over her chest as she barely avoided a slimy limb aimed at her head. “It’s noticed me.”

“WHAT NOTICED YOU!?” Both Lisa and Madison yelled over the coms.

“It looks like a gestalt,” Taylor said calmly, much more calmly than she actually felt as she cartwheeled out of the way of yet another tentacle attempting to wrap itself around her waist before dipping back into the slime where it’s flame was swallowed up by the rest of its kind, far down below...and, whatever that slime was, it was alive enough to give anything that might have been in it a sort of cover to her senses, physical or otherwise. Clever of them. “I think that Madison might have understated their intelligence. Collective or otherwise.”

“WHAT!?” Lisa shrieked hysterically over the coms, the noise sufficient to deter an incoming attack just from the shock it caused before Taylor batted it away. The subsequent flash of light and bug zapper-esque sound that accompanied said batting, just before that limb went, well, limp, was a testament to Taylor’s genius if there ever was one. “GESTALT!?”

“Yes. It is a German word. One usually used to describe something that should be looked at as a whole instead of its parts...” Taylor frowned and hummed to herself as her fists and feet flashed out in all directions, the only sign that she was actually putting any sort of effort into what she was doing being a drop of sweat that was now running it’s way down her back...and she had to admit that she found it worrisome, seeing as she’d just started. “Probably not the proper word.”

Honestly, if she hadn’t been so used to handling Squiggles, she’d have probably been overtaken by now. She was though, so the point was moot...not that Lisa seemed to think so as she continued to scream in Taylor’s ear about linguistics and danger in a babble… Probably shouldn’t have mentioned that horror movie in the first place. Lisa was high strung at the best of times and giving her a face to her nightmares was, most likely, not the best thing that Taylor could have done.

“Yes… Not the right word at all. It’s more like a Colonial organism. Though, generally, they’re not nearly this lively.” An uppercut to one of the largest tentacles she’d ever seen led to that limb flying up, up, up...and then falling apart. Disintegrating into dozens of the smaller, younger variations of their breed that, after having been knocked loose, groggily fled into the furthest parts of the room… Hopefully to hide, and not to recuperate for another go. “... This might be harder than I thoug-”

Taylor found herself interrupted by a second tentacle hiding in the shadow of the first. One that sent her flying backward with a huff of air escaping from her lungs. She then, after a short time in the air, smashed into a brick wall, cracked it on impact, bounced off of it like a tennis ball, then fell into the murky and very hygienically questionable water below...where she took it as an opportunity to regain her bearings instead of vomiting like she so very dearly wanted at that moment.

Water wasn’t organic...but there were plenty of organics in sewer water and…and it was in her hair...the only thing that was keeping her here in the, increasingly clearer, water was that she could see the tentacles above her. Pacing. Waving their bits about as they peered down on her and, if research had been anywhere near as comprehensive as she’d thought, madly chirping.

Her research on Squiggles and his species had never been more valuable. He would splash around in the water. He would play with it. But, when she deepened the pool in his habitat, he seemed that much more cautious around it. Wary even. The one time he’d fallen in had told her everything she’d needed to know.

He couldn’t swim. Either it wasn’t an ingrained instinct or it was just an impossibility for him. Lots of panicked splashing and flailing and squeaking before he’d got himself a solid grip on a nearby rock and crawled onto dry land. The rest of that day, on his end, had been spent curled up in Lisa’s pants and not even poking his head out for food.

She’d felt bad about it after, and filled it in with wood chips and shavings. He’d been a lot happier then… Anyway, seeing as they hadn’t come in after her yet and were content to waffle about as her chest began to ache, that seemed to apply to the rest of Madison’s creations as well.

She was enhanced in many ways, yes. Some merely cosmetic. Most for utility...but, for some odd reason, lung capacity had not been one of them. Her bodies general resource efficiency could only carry her for so long, an oversight she would have to correct as soon as she got some time with a shower...And some time with a rather coarse scrub brush and some crying.

She was swimming in fecal matter and other, questionable substances. A good cry in the shower was the least she deserved.

She stayed in the water despite the increasing pressure in her chest. Time was against her, but she could still cheat it for a little bit longer. Had to as she watched the horde move over her in moments that she would have sworn were, in their own way, signs of panic... And then, right as one of them reared back to look around for help from his fellows, she moved.

She kicked off from the bottom below her, causing her to rocket out of the now pure water with a scream as she tackled the closest tentacle, sending the both of them flying. They smashed into the ceiling, sending smaller, frantically squeaking tentacles flying and scrambling for cover. All she needed to know that none of them had fallen in the water was a quick glance behind her, and then she was off.

“NOT AGAIN!”

Mostly because she’d just been grabbed around the ankle while in mid-jump, but she was off. Semantics. It wasn’t that important when your heel was doing it’s damndest to equal Achilles in terms of what could be considered a weak point… This happened far too often for her liking. Yet another thing that she had to work on.

She wasn’t able to find purchase on anything, even when she tried. The floors and pipes and surrounding constructs were too slick with slime and other, nastier things. Kicking the limbs surrounding her did nothing, the physiology of her foe more than capable of absorbing any blunt trauma she could give. The frenzied motions they were making didn’t help either, leaving her unable to contort her body in a way that would allow her fists to go to work before up was down and down was up.

Busy busy, always so busy… Nothing she wanted to do was ever easy, was it?

Before she could come up with yet another plan, already on plan thirteen as it was, she saw where she was being dragged to. It looked like the main body. It had to be, if only due to its sheer size and the metaphysical glow around it… But if it wasn’t…

Nope. Positive thoughts, Taylor. It was the main body. This was working.

Yet another plan was starting to develop in her head as she was dragged into it. Something that actually felt like it could possibly work... Yes. Yes. It was perfect. She had to wait until she was in the perfect position but if she could pull it off.

She tried not to cringe when she entered the main body, the tentacles moving the entrance out of the way to pull her into a gaping, slimy maw...and, with a quick toss, she was enveloped.

Taylor shivered as she was surrounded by a pool. A sea of warm and squirming tentacles that were now carrying her elsewhere. Moving her. To where she had no idea. All she knew was that it was deeper in...and, eventually, she came to a stop. The tentacles shifted actions. The ones underneath her shifted, inflated, changed texture. Left her confused and feeling as if she was lying on an overly moist and living cloud.

“What?” Taylor intoned questioningly. Unwisely, as she came to learn when that weakness was exploited without hesitation. When they forced themselves into her mouth, she resisted the urge to bite down.

She could bite through steel at this point. Overkill and unneeded. She just had to build up. No need to do more than she had to.

After some more squirming and a little bit of noise on Taylor’s part, a rather thick tentacle ended up firmly planted in her mouth. Pulsating. Throbbing. Showing her the bubbles sliding down that length as they moved their way up to her mouth...and she found herself pleasantly surprised.

‘Is that? Ceylon tea? With lemon and a drop of honey?’ Taylor thought to herself. There were a great many things it might have fed her. She hadn’t expected this. ‘Nutrient paste.’ She couldn’t tell exactly what was in it, even as she moved it around in her mouth, but she had brewed enough nutrition potions for Lisa to know the taste of B-vitamins. As Taylor thought on just how the tentacles might have been able to generate the needed nutrition for a human body (flavored like one of her favorite teas and honey) the tentacles introduced yet another tactic.

‘Not fair,’ Taylor sighed and started to relax when they slipped off her heels. Heels that, no doubt, would be joining the pile of clothes outside... Not that it mattered, not with how they were starting to rub her feet. Pampering them, more like.

Vibrating, foot massaging tendrils? That was just dirty.

Relaxation started to slip into a state of bliss as the tentacles holding her arms and legs started to slacken...and it was hard for her to fight back, even though she knew she had a job to do. She’d had a long week. A long few years. Dealing with so many things, having to meet so many new people all at once. More than she’d meet since she’d left…

Lisa was supposed to be the social butterfly. Taylor was not.

Taylor closed her eyes, a grin starting to grow over her features...and it was only when a couple of opportunistic tentacles tried to slip under her outfit that she realized what was going on. She panicked, remembering a piece of classic literature.

The tale of the Lotus Eater. Relevant. Very much so.

This was how the tentacles controlled the captured women and kept from escaping. By making them so relaxed that they didn’t want to escape! Much better than she’d suspected, all-in-all...but things were starting to come to a head on the surface. This couldn’t go on.

She had a plan. Now, she just had to act like it...maybe after they got in between her toes a little and-NO!

“Fuf et!” Taylor muttered around the obstruction in her mouth. This wasn’t going to be pretty...but by magic was it going to be effective. Taking a deep breath, she pulled at the well of magic that was in her core. With a though, she channeled it. Through her will, she made an untapped possibility into reality.

Let there be lightning.

Reality stilled. The world fell silent...and then there was light. The sound of thunder...and Taylor found herself on the floor. Blinking away the spots in her vision and rubbing her sore bottom as.dozens, if not hundreds, of small tentacle monsters fell to the ground around her. As she picked herself off the ground, she saw that more than a few of them were twitching, while a good half were smoking.

She was pretty sure she hadn’t killed any...but, as she poked one of them over with the tip of her foot and retrieved her heels, she really doubted that any of them would be happy when they woke up.

“THE FUCK IS THAT!? WHO’S THERE!?”

“I THINK I’M DEAF!”

“WHAT DID YOU SAY!?”

Taylor’s head snapped up as she heard a female voice. Multiple female voices, shout in the way that someone recently deafened would say...and here came a real smile.

It looked like she’d done it. She’d found the missing girls, just like she’d known she would...now, to package Madison’s monsters up before they got their wits, and basic motor functions, back…

==========

“She’s dead.”

“She took on Menja in a fist fight and won,” Lisa replied to Rachel’s assertion matter of factly. “She isn’t dead.”

That she’d said it as a form of reassurance didn’t matter. She was pretty sure that Taylor wasn’t dead. Ninety percent sure. Maybe. Possibly eighty-five… Yeah.

“Okay. She’s being fucked into a coma. Shame shit,” Rachel corrected herself...and Lisa found that she couldn’t exactly argue against that, and went back to poking at the equipment in a way that she knew bugged Madison beyond almost all reason.

It made her feel better. That was the only reason she needed to do it. That Taylor was possibly being violated at the moment because of Madison’s mistakes was just a case of Casus Belli that she could fall back on as needed.

“The com shorted out shortly before the blast. And the PRT is going to be here any moment. We have to go.”

Lisa slapped Madison’s prodding hand away without even looking. “We are not leaving Taylor.” She said with finality as she unbuckled herself from her seat, forcing Madison to scoot away from her and into the driver’s seat before she was trampled like Lisa so dearly wanted. “I’m going to go check on her.”

“Why? You’re just going to get fucked right next to-”

The solid crack of flesh against flesh caused Lisa to stop mid-unbuckling...and, funnily enough, seeing Rachel laid out on her back, completely unconscious, was one of the most comforting things she’d seen in the last few days.

Seeing Taylor though, looking like a very attractive rat that the cat had dragged in, was just sort of unsettling… She’d been running around in raw sewage recently. She had no right to look like she did. “You look like Hell.” Was all Lisa could say, her brain not quite catching up beyond ‘I’m not kissing that’.

Raw. Sewage. NO.

“It’s been a long day,” Was all Taylor could say before trying to blow a strand of hair out of her face. More than once before she realized that it was plastered to her forehead and wasn’t going anywhere without something a little more physical. “Move over, please.”

Lisa quickly complied, ducking to the front of the van next to Madison and as far away from Taylor as she could get without getting offensive… Which is when, with a wet plop, a giant leather bag was dropped in Madison’s lap.

The pleasure Lisa got from Madison’s disgusted horror was completely deserved...and thank god Taylor had thought about killing the smell beforehand. Madison and her were already trying not to throw up as is.

“I got them all,” Taylor informed the both of them flatly. “All 532 of them. They’re all in the sack.” Taylor got a rope of her hair in between her hands and gave it a twist, creating a puddle on the floor of the, thankfully, completely metal van without a care. “You’re welcome.”

“I only made fourteen!”

“Yeah, well...they were busy.”

They don’t have reproductive systems!”

“Life finds a way,” Taylor quoted as she continued to wring out her hair and shake out her costume.

“And the kidnapped women?” Lisa asked.

“They’re fine. Better than fine actually...and rather ungrateful for the rescue.” Taylor groused. “Their hearing will be fine after a couple of days. Probably be better than before after the first-aid I gave.”

“... That wasn’t an answer, Taylor.”

“They’re fine, Lisa. It’s not a problem.”

“How do you-” Lisa paused as the sirens suddenly sounded a lot closer. “Okay. Never mind. I believe you. Let’s go.”

Madison turned the ignition and, after a couple of false starts put it into gear while Taylor shut the van’s back door. And, as they pulled out of the alleyway, Lisa got her answer to where the missing women were and what they were doing.

Lisa wouldn’t consider a bunch of naked, squabbling women fighting over a pile of slimy and damp clothing to be ‘fine’...but they were alive and free and that was pretty much all that mattered, right? … Of course. Just another day in Brockton. Just another day with Taylor.

What was the fun in making sense…? And boy did Madison owe them for this one.

==========

Amy rolled over in bed, groping for her phone as it rang in what might as well have been her ear. Unbelievably tired, and really not feeling it after the shift she’d just got off of at the hospital...but no one ever cared about what she wanted, right?

It was like she wasn’t a human being or something. Funny that.

Some more groping. Finding. Poking. “Hello?” She said after blindly accepting the call. “Yeah? Uh-huh...” And then bolted upright in bed, her eyes completely open...and, no doubt, completely bloodshot.

“You what and want me to what with how many!?”