Dimensional Clash IX [IC]

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Re: Dimensional Clash IX [IC]

Post by Teedler on Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:40 pm

The morrow was in t

As night came across the outpost, scattered campfires lit up the camp, allowing the insects to finish their work, with some gathering around the fire to tell tall tales and such.

"Fuck my ass I'm tired," Zoey groaned, flopping onto her shared sleeping bag with Ruby before sliding in beside her. Clara already seemed close to falling asleep in her bag with Ernette.

Fennel meanwhile was relaxing in her sleeping bag with her ears appearing even bigger than usual.

Ernette was looking out the mesh window, an anxious look on her face hidden in the dark as she asked, "Hey, Clara? Would it be okay if I take a walk?"

"Mmm? Mmm.. Yeah," Clara mumbled.

"Thank you," Ernette quietly hummed, pecking Clara on the cheek as she squirmed out of the sleeping bag, zipping the tent's flap back up as she exited. She looked about, looking over the campfires for someone, before beginning to walk down one of the paths.

Fennel unlike the other girls was restless and stepped out of the tent and looked for Ernette, hoping to chat, she could not locate the woman.

Meanwhile, Bob sat at one of the campfires, sitting alongside a few ant-looking creatures who chattered amongst another. "So... you guys want a story?" Bob asked, noting how they had been telling their own, "I'll tell you my own."

The insects turned their attention to the Doom Slayer, as he began to slowly describe his many adventures through Hell, killing demons like they were nothing. The story caught much more interest than the tales of the insects, with a few more bugs even joining in to listen in, one handing him a flask of what he could only assume to be alcohol, to which he took deep swigs.

"Hey!"

Bob stopped his story as he turned around to see Ernette, holding her hands behind her back with a little happy smile. "Good evening, Bob!" She greeted, taking a seat next to the inebriated Doomguy.

"Hey..." Bob slurred, "What's up?"

Fennel noticed that Ernette has approached Bob and waited to see what would unfold.

"Oh, nothing much," Ernette replied to Bob, sitting close to Bob and faking a shiver, "Brr! It's cold out!" as she pressed her side up against Bob's, her hands in her lap as a blush formed on her face.

Does she have a crush on Bob? Fennel thought as she watched the woman’s actions.

"Oh, it's not too bad!" Bob chuckled, "It's a bit toasty here by the fire!"

"Yeah... Hey, can I... talk to you?" Ernette peeked her head up at Bob's, "Alone?"

Fennel shivered, realizing just how cold it was but refused to approach the fire.

"Uh, yeah, sure... hold on a second guys, I'll keep going in a second," Bob held up a finger as Ernette rose up, pulling the Doomguy to his feet and leading him off a distance into the dark woods.

"So, what'd you need, Erne-"

"Shh," Ernette put a finger on his lips, a smile rising on hers.

Fennel followed the two, “What are they doing?” Fennel muttered.

"I've been waiting for this moment ever since you brought me down those stairs," Ernette mused, gently pushing Bob to the ground as she fumbled around with something, throwing it down somewhere she could keep track of it, then back to Bob with a smirk.

“No, she isn’t.” The vixen muttered.

Ernette was. And she did. Her personal task for herself was in effect.

As soon as she was done, she put her clothes back on, with every detail back in order, before putting Bob's clothes back on and leaving him in the pile of dry leaves behind a tent.

Fennel had only stuck around for two minutes at most before she had huddled back into the tent appearently having heard the whole thing.

In the tent, Clara was fast asleep and blissfully ignorant of any happenings, her arms and a leg draped over the empty spot in her sleeping bag.

Ernette slipped back into Clara's shared sleeping bag, moving herself so that Clara could be snuggling with her, before she closed her eyes, a smug smile on her lips as she passed into sleep.

Fennel however was unable to sleep as she tried to clear images from her mind.

===============

"Good Morning!" Ernette exclaimed with a bit of cheer as she opened the flap to the tent, having gotten up before everyone else in the tent to get ready for the day.

As expected, a series of whines and complaints filled the tent in response. Said whines ricocheted off of one another, preventing anyone from getting another five minutes of sleep.

Fennel however was still shivering it seemed that the sleeping bag had not provided enough warmth for her.

"Mmf... Are you okay?" Elizabeth murmured, looking over to Fennel who had refused to be her blanket the night before.

“It’s just really cold.” Fennel commented.

"What? No it isn't," Zoey scoffed.

Contarry to Zoey’s Statement fennel was clearly shivering as her teeth chattered. “I-i-it i-i-is.” She stammered.

"I mean... It's a bit cool, I guess," Zoey shrugged before crawling over and flopping beside Fennel and giving her a snuggle from behind, "Is that better, you big baby?"

”Yes. It's my ears.” She replied.

“You’d think that your fur would make you nice and toasty!” Ernette giggled, twirling about outside, “I feel fine!”

"She does come from a tropical island," Clara shrugged, walking up to Ernette, hopping up, and giving her a quick peck along with a, "Good morning."

“And I’m a desert fox.” Fennel added. Zoey gently grabbed Fennel's ears, trying to warm them up with her hands.

Ernette let out another quieter giggle at Zoey’s warming attempt, before turning to Clara, kneeling over and returning the quick kiss and a cheerful, “Morning!”

“Do you have a hat I can borrow?“ Fennel asked.

"Uhhh... Huh, I should buy a cute hat later," Zoey mused, "But nah, I don't have one. You could like, wrap my shirt around your ears or something until we can get a hat."

“That would be great.” Fennel replied as she looked at Zoey, who was naked. Visions of the previous night entered her mind as her tail shot up as Fennel tried to cover her face.

"Latte? You alright?" Zoey inquired, lifting her head up to try and look at the fox's face.

“I’ll tell you later.” Fennel answered.

"Hey, Rub, toss my shirt over!" Zoey waved her hand. Ruby obediently threw the shirt her way, which was then popped onto Fennel's head. Zoey tied a knot behind Fennel's ears so the loose shirt would not drape over the vixen's eyes, but not tight to where it would be comfortable to have over her large ears.

“Thanks.” Fennel said before she finally stopped shivering.

Zoey slid over to her bag with Ruby and got dressed along without h all of her other sisters. Of course, Zoey would only have on a bra and her small, open denim jacket.

Eventually, after the girls were dressed Fennel got on the bus. "Hey, where's Bob?" Zoey asked as she came out of the tent, "I was gonna ask him to get our stuff back from the bugs."

“Ugh...” Bob grumbled, stumbling out of the woods, “What the hell happened last night? Goddamn bug beer...”

"Bob?" Clara approached the man, "Did you sleep in the middle of the woods?"

"He probably got probed," Harper asserted.

“I did not get probed!” Bob asserted, “I just told some bugs about my work in Hell, had some of their.. whisky? I dunno, to drink, and I think Ernette came over and said hi, but after that it’s pretty much blank.”

With everyone’s attention on Bob, Ernette let out a silent gulp as she realized that he could remember their moments together out in the woods. “Uh... Oh, I’ll go get our stuff!” Ernette volunteered, happily walking off towards the designated armory to get their stuff.

"You wouldn't remember if you got probed. Aliens tend to wipe the memories of their victims during the probing session," Harper reasoned.

“Well, my ass feels fine,” Bob chuckled, “So I’m pretty sure no bugs put things in there.”

"Then why can't you remember anything after Ernette said hi? They clearly wiped your memory and applied some kind of gel to make your ass feel okay," Harper argued.

“Or I could’ve just got buzzed,” Bob retorted, “Like I said, Bug liquor.”

"I hope you didn't bang anyone while you were drunk," Zoey remarked with a playful laugh.

Oh boy, Fennel thought.

“Yeah, me neither,” Bob laughed, “I don’t want to be roped into relations with an ant or a bee or something stupid.”

"There was this wasp chick with tits I met yesterday," Zoey snickered, "She's taken though."

“Damn,” Bob shook his head sarcastically, “That stings.”

"Maybe you did fuck a bee then," Zoey giggled before walking over to Fennel and lowering her voice, "So uh, what's that thing you said you'd tell me later?"

“Oh god, not a bee!” Bob grumbled.

“You were right about Bob earlier.” The fox whispered.

Zoey's eyebrows raised as she whispered back, "What do you mean? What was I right about him.. About?"

”I might have seen, him and Ernette... go at it.” Fennel explained.

Zoey took a second to register what Fennel had said as she let out one of the loudest gasps of her life. She quickly put a hand over her mouth to silence it halfway before quickly lowering back down to a whisper, "Really!?"

“I Heard them for a while.” she replied.

"... I knew I should've kept that fucking crown," Zoey huffed.

“They didn’t use protection either.” The fox added.

"Ooohhh shit," Zoey quickly looked over at Clara, "Does Clara know?"

“Don’t tell her.” Fennel begged.

"Wait, what? Why shouldn't I tell her?"

“Because she... beats Ernette.” Fennel replied, “I’m trying to get it under control, I just don’t know what to do.”

"... What," Zoey blinked, staring at Fennel in shock, "You mean... That time Tychen attacked..."

“Yes. That’s why my nose was bleeding. I can redirect the energy of the blows be she got a few surprise hits on me.”

"But... That's... That's insane, Clara wouldn-“

”I got... our stuff!” Ernette huffed, dragging most of the group’s confiscated items behind her in a convinent set of suitcases, “...Bob, can you help me?” She asked with another huff.

”Oh, sure, Ernette,” Bob agreed as he walked over, heaving the suitcase full of his guns, the heaviest of the bunch, into the back of the bus along with the rest of it.

From a distance, Shlyke looked over to the group, beckoning Tina over. The six-year-old happily complied, skipping over to the alien and greeting him with a cheerful, "Hi, Shlyke!"

“Hello, Tina...” The Abrol greeted back, patting Tina on the head as he did, “So.. you are leaving today?”

Tina's smile left her as she nodded her head. "Yeah, we gotta go to Canada," She answered.

“Well, why is that, Tina?” Shlyke asked, cocking his locust head to the side.

"We gotta find a book our daddy wrote and there's a portal or something in Canada to it."

“Ah!... Still, we had so much to do together,” Shlyke sighed, “You and me.”

"Uh-huh," Tina nodded, giving the locust a hug, "I'm gonna miss you, Shlyke."

”Well, maybe we don’t need to do the parting,” Shlyke suggested, “Maybe I could.. tag along the group.”

"Sure!" Tina gasped happily, "I'm sure Zoey won't mind!"

“No, no, no,” Shlyke shook his head, “No one else need know I come at first. I need place to make sure they no know I am there. Can you help me?”

"Uhmmm... Maybe if you stick to the bottom of the bus?" Tina mused.

“Genius!” Shlyke fluttered in the air a few inches, his wings flapping rapidly in excitement before he landed, “You are a smart genius, Tina! That is where I will be! The bottom!”

"I'm a smart genius!" Tina happily repeated, "When can I tell evryone you're with us?"

“The next time you stop somewhere, anywhere,” Shlyke informed, “Then, you can tell them all you like. Alright, Tina?”

"Okay! I'll go over there and yell a bunch, then you can go under the bus and nobody will see you!"

The Abrol gave Tina a thumbs up, before skittering along the hidden sides of tents to get closer to the bus.

Tina ran over into the middle of the group and began screaming, "HEY EVERYONE! LOOK HOW LOUD I CAN SCREAM! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!"

Shlyke took the loud opportunity to rush through the clearing, skittering under the tour bus and snatching on to its underside, hunkering up to it to seemingly disappear.

"Oh my fucking- Tina was replaced by an alien banshee," Harper seethed, grimacing at the little girl's very loud scream.

“Us aliens aren’t that bad,” Tychen retorted as he held Socks close to him, stroking her head lightly, comforting her in the face of Tina’s scream.

Fennel covered her ears clearly in pain thanks to the girls scream "TINA! That hurts."

"Jesus, what the hell, Tina?" Zoey groaned.

"WHAT. DID YOU SAY SOMETHING ZOEY!" Fennel shouted back.

"STOP YELLING!" Zoey yelled.

'I CAN'T HEAR YOU!" The vixen replied.

Zoey ripped her shirt off of Fennel's ears and wrapped it around the vixen's mouth, tying a knot behind her head.

“You’re over exaggerating,“ Ernette huffed with some annoyment at Fennel’s continued yelling, “But that’s no good either.”

"HMMFPH" Fennel tried saying, before she began shiverng once again.

"Much better," Zoey sighed, reaching up and grabbing Fennel's ears to keep them warm while gently tugging her towards the bus, "C'mon, I'm sure the bus has a heater."

"Hey, Bob?" Clara spoke up, "Could we stop somewhere to buy some new clothes later?"

“Sure!” Bob nodded, “But I thought we stopped a few days ago and got you all clothes.”

"I want to change my wardrobe to something more... Modest," Clara explained. A few girls gave her odd looks for saying the dreaded 'M'-word.

“Huh,” Bob nodded, “Alright, sure. We’ll stop and you can get some new clothes.”

Fennel sat down and put on her cloak before trying to find the bag of brownies... it was gone. "They took them." The vixen lamented.

"They took what?" Zoey asked, sitting just across from Fennel beside Ruby who was drawing smiley faces on the window.

"The brownies." Fennel said before she quickly became a weeping mess.

"Not the brownie- Oh my god, Latte," Zoey gasped, "I know the brownies were good but..." She awkwardly hopped seats and gave the vixen a hug, unsure of why Fennel was so mortified.

"Now I gotta buy a bunch of chocolate." Fennel cried.

"I-I can make more brownies!" Elizabeth piped up, "Since they took them..." While she was visibly unhappy from having to violate her brownie quota, this was a special circumstance.

Fennel then sobbed out a blubbery, "Thank you." before she dried her eyes.

"You are way too emotional on your period, Latte," Zoey remarked as she gently patted Fennel's back.

"It's only once a year it's this bad." Fennel sobbed.

"Do you wanna borrow Ernette's vibrator?"

"NO!" Fennel sobbed.

"I'm kidding! I'm kidding!" Zoey quickly defended herself.

Fennel then wipped her eyes with her tail, before sniffling and saying "I need to buy sweaters."

"And we'll get you a cute hat too," Zoey nodded, resting her head on Fennel's shoulder as to comfort her while an arm was wrapped around behind her back.

"But then i have to cut holes in the butt of any pants I get." Fennel complained.

"It's not that big of a deal to cut a hole in them."

"But it takes forever." Fennel explained.

Ernette quickly took her seat, saving a seat next to her and patting it in anticipation of Clara, who was quick to take the empty spot beside her lover.

"I was thinking of getting some new clothes similar to what you have... But probably grey," Clara brought up.

“Ooh!” Ernette smiled and nodded in agreement, “I’ll help you with that! I think grey clothes like mine would be cute on you.”

"Thanks. I figured I would see how I look since you pull it off pretty well."

“I think you’ll pull it off just as fine!” Ernette chimed.

"You're really sweet," Clara complimented, giving a dial in her pocket a quick flick back and forth a few times.

Ernette shifted her legs as the dial was switched, letting out a bemused hum, “I am a good girl...”

"That's right, a very good girl," Clara nodded, giving the dial one last flick before resting her hands in her lap.

"Alright, Bob! Let's get this show on the road!" Zoey yelled.

“Agreed. I don’t wanna stick around to see if I did bang an ant or something,” Bob agreed, the bus slowly starting to drive away, “Goodbye, Bugville. Population: Not Us.”

"Yeah.. an ant," Zoey mumbled quietly.

“Or a bee, or a fuckin praying mantis or whatever,” Bob waved away the notion.

"Yeah, let's just get out of town." Fennel added.

"We're going in town," Zoey corrected, "We're not even in a town right now- Just a... Shitty bug camp."

"True." Fennel added.

=====

Hours later, the group had pulled into a shopping center than in addition the standard super market also had a pet and sporting goods store nearby. Zoey and Ruby accompanied her, both having a look of dread on their faces as they knew what was to come.

Fennel headed to the pet store and began looking around at the feeder insects, she noticed a container of crickets and a second that seemed to have a variety of meal worms and grubs. Fennel's tail began wagging as she looked at the insects "Wow, these are so cheap for their quality." The fox commented.

"'Quality,'" Zoey gagged, glancing at Fennel's tail and grimacing at how excited the vixen was.

"Look how livley and shiny these are!" She squealed.

"I feel nothing but disgust right now," Zoey stated, lightly smacking Fennel's tail to try and get it to stop wagging.

"Oooooh, they have beetles too!" Fennel said as she noticed a case containing a collection of shiny almost metalic beetles.

"I refuse to believe you can be this excited about nasty fucking bugs."

"Do you know how much those go for in Laviturn, these are like dirt cheap." Fennel said as she pulled out her wallet. "Help me find an employee." Fennel ordered as she began her search.

"This is some elaborate prank. You do not like eating these... Especially live," Zoey muttered, staring at the beetles in disgust. Meanwhile, Ruby rushed away to find an employee as asked, mostly so she could get away from the bugs.

Fennel also found the employee and said, "Hi, can I buy some feeder bugs?"

“Sure,” the employee answered with a nod as he followed them back to the bugs, “What kind would you like?”

Fennel pointed to the crickets and said, "I need ten of those. four meal worms..."

“I’m... not sure I can make some orders that small,” the Employee shrugged.

"Hey, if a customer came in and wanted to eat the bugs, wouldn't you say that's really gross?" Zoey

"Oh that's fine how many do I need to get?" Fennel asked.

“Lemme just fill a bag and we’ll see,” the worker ignored Zoey for the moment, putting around sixty of the insects into an air-tight bag, and pulled a container of meal worms from their fridge. “Anything else?”

"Okay, oh and can you get two of those metalic looking beetles in the case over there.”

”Sure!” The man agreed, grabbing the two bugs and putting them into a small container, “That’ll be 10.57”

"Only that much!?" Fennel gasped as she placed handed the employee tweleve dollars.

"It should cost negative money," Zoey muttered.

"I'm sorry my friend just doesn't like that I feed my pet live food." Fennel replied.

"She eats the bugs," Zoey corrected.

“Hey man, you guys do whatever you want. You paid for ‘em, they’re your bugs.”

Fennel snickered as she took the container of insects outside. Fennel then opened the container and handed a cricket to Zoey with the smuggest look on her face before she ate the insect herself, with an audible crunch.

"Oh my god, I cannot even grab-... Eugh..." Zoey whimpered before putting a hand over her mouth, "Oh my god, you are literally disgusting."

Fennel stared Zoey down as she ate another cricket, "These are super fresh." She then held out one of each othe insects and offered them to Zoey

Zoey slowly reached for a cricket, her fingers curling oddly as she started to cry. Shakily, she grabbed the live cricket between two fingers with a dreadful squeal. She slowly brought the bug closer towards her mouth as she sobbed in the public area.

”Um how about we go somewhere more private.” Fennel suggested as she headed behind the store.

Even after the brief time moving to the more secluded area, seeing the squirming cricket in her fingers made Zoey begin to cry once again.

Fennel took a bite of the one of the metallic beetles. “I should have gotten more of these... Zoey, you Alright? You don’t have to eat it.”

Zoey's crying only became louder as she suddenly forced the cricket into her mouth and shut her lips while chomping her teeth down. Her scream was muffled inside her closed mouth as her legs shook. She quickly slammed a hand over her mouth as her cheeks puffed up a little, followed by a pained swallow.

"N-Ne-Next..." Zoey sputtered out.

Fennel handed Zoey a meal worm, “Ruby do you want to join it? It might make it easier for Zoey.” Fennel suggested sincerely.

"Ohhh..." Ruby whined with a mortified expression. When Fennel worded it like that she had to do it.

“You don’t have to.” Fennel added before munching down on a mealworm herself.

Zoet and Ruby both took a mealworm each, with Ruby beginning to tear up as well.

The mealworms squirmed around in the girls' hands as Fennel ate a few more crickets, as a few let out their last pitiful chirps. “It‘s not that bad I promise.” Fennel added.

"Y-Yes it is," Zoey sobbed, shuddering as she nodded to Ruby. They both blinked a few times down at their mealworms.

"Do we... Do we have to... Slurp them?" Ruby asked.

“If you want, I don't care as long as they go down.” Fennel stares.

"O-One..." Zoey gulped.

"Two..." Ruby continued.

And then, they both simply forced the mealworms into their mouths. They both let out a scream similar to when Zoey first ate her cricket as they miserably chewed before swallowing their mealworms as quickly as possible.

Fennel then held out the remaining metallic beetle. Ruby would have stayed with her sister, but ran a few feet away and threw up behind a dumpster.

Zoey, however, would see this through to the end. She took the disgusting beetle in her hand as she tried to stifle her sobbing.

The beetle walked around Zoey's hand for a moment before it appeared to look up at Zoey. Fennel watched Zoey intently she had to like this one, these were the best ones of the lot.

Zoey closed her eyes, opened her mouth, and slammed her hand towards herself. The beetle was tossed inside and promptly crushed between her teeth. This...

Was the absolute worst of the lot.

The taste of them all was awful, but the feeling of the beetle inside her mouth. The crunching and the slight wiggling. Just as she swallowed most of the beetle, she immediately threw up onto the ground beside them.

"Are you okay?" Fennel asked.

"I-I.. I told you.. It- It's- It's gro-" Zoey was cut off as she fell to her knees, another surge of vomit forcing its way out of her.

Fennel grimmaced as the sight of Zoey vommiting, she didn't expect such a reaction from the girl.

"P-Prude... Haven't- H-H.. Tried... G-Gross..." Zoey spat out random words, trying to stop another flow of puke with her hand, but ended up letting it fall out onto the ground.

Fennel stepped back as her ears dropped, she felt awful watching, the smell didn't really help either. "I didn't realize it would be that bad." Fennel then placed a hand on the girl's back and tried to comfort her.

"H-Hu.. Hugh..." Zoey tried to at least swallow her spit, her hands clenching into fists as she did so. Unfortunately, she could only spit onto the ground. "I-I.. I think... That's it..."

She slowly turned her head back to look at Fennel. However, she quickly spotted the bag of bugs and snapped her head back towards the ground in time for yet another puke.

Fennel hid the container of insects behind her as she waited for Zoey to speak.

Zoey did not speak. She made a brief attempt to stand up before passing out and falling down onto the ground, thankfully landing not in the puddle of vomit.

Fennel then picked up Zoey and shook her saying, "Zoey wake up."

"I-Is Zoey okay?" Ruby asked shakily, returning from the dumpster.

"She just passed out." Fennel said.

"That's... A lot of..." Ruby murmured, staring at the mess Zoey made with a grimace.

"Yeah." Fennel replied as she continued feeling terrible.

"... Fennel, I don't feel good," Ruby whimpered.

"Oh please don't throw up on me!" Fennel squeaked, afraid that she would smell like vomit for a week.

"I.. I think I'm okay..." Ruby unassuredly assured.

"It just is nearly impossible to get rid of." Fennel replied as she tried to wake Zoey once again.

"There's not a shower in the bus..." Ruby lamented, noting the vomit splattered on Zoey.

"We should be at a hotel soon, do you think we can hide it with perfume." Fennel mused.

"She has puke all over her, Fennel," Ruby huffed and whined.

"Oh turn on the faucet." Fennel said noticing a tap for a hose.

"Oh! Okay!" Ruby nodded, dashing to the valve and turning it as quickly as she could.

Fennel then used magic to clean Zoey off, minimizing the smell enough that it could only be faintly smelt.

During the cleaning process, Zoey gasped herself awake, weakly flailing her arms and coughing. "F-Fuck! Fuck bugs- I fucking hate bugs!" She yelled.

"I'm sorry, I didn't realize you would react that way." Fennel appologized.

"L-Latte... W-We... We were eating bugs..."

"I didn't think you'd throw up!"

"They're bugs..." Zoey spat, not having the energy to raise her voice.

"I'm sorry." the fox apologized once again.

"N-Now... Now I can say... You being a prude... Thinking stuff is gross... Is just becuase you haven't tried any of it yet... Sex.. Masturbating..."

Fennel stood up and began pacing as she bit on her nails clearly she was debating about saying something. "I... ah...ummmm..." She stuttered for several seconds.

"What?" Zoey asked, trying to clear her throat.

"My issue is mainly with the incest thing." Fennel said clearly trying to avoid the subject.

"Y-You.. You just haven't tried it yet... You haven't tried anything," Zoey muttered.

"I... w-wouldn't say.... anything." Fennel shamefully added as her ears drooped and her tail went between her legs.

"... What."

"I=I don't want to talk about it." She replied.

"Fennel, I just ate bugs. Tell me," Zoey demanded before coughing.

"Okay, I've...got a confession." Fennel said as her face took on a deep red. "I've... tried...somethings." She finally said.

"Just say it!"

"I know that kind of stuff feels good." Fennel answered, not wantong to be direct.

"... You've screwed someone?"

"No no no, It was a... solo venture." Fennel said with shame.

"Wh-.. But.. But you said you didn't masturbate!" Zoey protested.

"That wasn't entirely accurate to the past." She replied.

"No wonder you made it through heat," Zoey huffed, "Why'd you lie about it?"

"I just think that sort of thing is disrespecting the fact we can make people." Fennel replied as she tried to shrink down as small as possible.

"... What? How... How is that... What?"

"I believe sex is reserved for marriage. I mean, I just think I should only experience those feelings with my husband regardless if we are trying to make a baby or not." Fennel explained.

"You're... You're not screwing, you're just rubbing yourself for some relief, what are you talking about?"

"I don't think I should... do the job myself. It's a churchy thing..." Fennel stated.

"Blagh," Zoey hacked, sticking out her tongue.

"That's really hurtful you know." Fennel added.

"It's just... There's like, no reason," Zoey mumbled, "You might as well never massage yourself or do anything that feels good."

"Zoey, it's just that I believe being able to make babies is a large responsibility and I think that I shouild respect, and so many other people are just like well it doesn't matter. Well it does, and I don't care what anyone else thinks." Fennel added. "And it's not just because it feels good, it's specifically this."

"But you've done it already, so who cares? It's not like you're having sex."

"Well I- it's a slipperly slope. Have you ever tried to just not have sex whenever you wanted?" Fennel asked.

"I never tried because I've been doing it my whole life," Zoey stated, "And there's no slopes that are slippery. That heat thing would've been way easier to deal with if you just rubbed one out more."

"Okay maybe and maybe you are right, but what if it only made things worse?" Fennel asked.

"Letting it build up sounds a lot worse."

“I try really hard to be tolerant of what you do, would It be so hard for you to do the same for me?” Fennel requested.

"I..." Zoey paused, "I... Just know that... You could be happier."

“And Ansie thought that’s what made her happy too, but everytime I see her, i see a pathetic woman who lost the only thing she cared about, and it wasn’t me.” Fennel said as tears rolled down her face.

"Fennel..." Zoey mulled over her words before speaking, "... It's like chocolate syrup and sprinkles- Sex or just... Rubbing it is like chocolate syrup and sprinkles. And... A good life is like ice cream. You can't... Just have the chocolate syrup and sprinkles... You need the ice cream too." It was definitely not her best figure of speech, but she hoped Fennel got what she was trying to say.

“I want to enjoy the icecream before adding toppings, I am not ready for toppings.” Fennel replied.

After a few moments to think over the response in the context of her own metaphor, Zoey slowly nodded. "... Okay," She murmured, "Just... I wish you'd be ready for the toppings soon."

“I jusr need time to find the right topping...” Fennrl paused as she thought “... please don’t take this the wrong way, the I reason I acted the way I did that one night.., is because I don’t think your father should have been the one to add those toppings on when he did... I’m not asking you to hate him. To be honest I still wish I could love Anise.”

"... He knew I'd like the toppings, and I did," Zoey sighed, "I don't know what just the ice cream is like, and I guess I won't ever know, but... It's good with the toppings."

Fennel broke into tears, Why can’t she understand.[|i]

Zoey was taken aback by this, and stood up to approach Fennel. "W-What... What's wrong?"

“You wouldn’t understand.” Fennel replied as her tail covered her face.

"I... I wanna try," Zoey insisted with concern for her friend, placing a hand on Fennel's shoulder.

“Do you promise to not get mad?”

"I'll.... I promise," Zoey nodded.

“I believe what your father did was wrong, I believe he took advantage of you and your sisters. He took something only you had the right to give.” Fennel sobbed.

Zoey quickly opened her mouth to speak, already on the defensive before quickly shutting herself up and letting out a deep breath. She promised not to get mad. "How... Did he take advantage of us? I don't get it," Zoey asked as calmly as she could.

“Because you trusted him, you didn’t have any other choice...it wasn’t his right to add those toppings.”

Zoey had to take time before each response to think, and make sure she did not get angry by such blasphemy. "But... Why not? I'm happy, me and my sisters... Make each other feel good thanks to him... And he made us feel good."

”It‘s just every relationship doesn’t have to involve sex.” Fennel responded as she curled up away from the remaining vomit.

"I know that, but... What's wrong with what my dad did? If we're all happy because of it?" Zoey asked.

“He abused you... I don’t know how to explain it otherwise I just know he did.” She answered as old memories arose of the night we was abandoned and when Zoey has screamed at her last time regarding the topic at hand.

"If... If you can't explain it then... Doesn't that mean that... Maybe you're wrong?"

”But I’m not...” Fennel added meekly.

Zoey's hand slid from Fennel's shoulder to her back as she gently pulled her in for an embrace in hopes of comforting Fennel and preventing herself from getting fired up.

Fennel however misunderstood the gesture, before she curled up further and and cried “I’m sorry! Please!”

"W-What?" Zoey gasped, "Fennel I.. I was just gonna hug you."

Fennel however seemed to be lost as she could only recall the first time she brought up the topic. “Mommy, please no!” she cried As she took a more defensive posture.

Zoey took a step back in shock. "... What? Fe- Latte, what're you...?" Why was she so frightened all of the sudden? And why did she call Zoey [i]Mommy
?

“Please, I promise I’m not a bad girl, I’m not naughty!” Fennel screamed, in a voice that seemed far younger than she nornaly spoke with.

Zoey slowly turned her head to look back at Ruby, who was a decent distance from the scene, before looking back to Fennel. "I- Uh.. Y-You're.. A good girl?" She had absolutely no idea what to do.

”Don’t leave me! Please Mommy!” Fennel shrieked.

"I... I won't leave you... I promise," Zoey assured, trying for a smile. She bent her knees slightly to meet Fennel at eye-level.

“Ms. Cherry, where‘s Mommy going!?” Fennel continued.

What the fuck is going on? Zoey thought before slowly spread her arms out and gesturing towards herself with her hands. "J-Just come here.. It's gonna be okay... Everything's okay."

“Mommy? Where’s daddy going?” Fennel asked as her screams became barely coherent cries.

"Uh.. Ah... He's... Getting food," Zoey answered, taking a tentative step towards Fennel as she kept herself open.

”What does he mean I’m not His!? Does he not want me any more?” Fennel continued.

"I... Offff course he does. Please, just come here, please..." Zoey gulped, coming closer to Fennel with her arms still ready for a hug.
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Teedler
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Re: Dimensional Clash IX [IC]

Post by Teedler on Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:42 pm


“When’s daddy coming back? When are you coming back mommy?” Fennel cried.

"I-I'm right here, see? It's okay... You're... You're a good girl... M-Mommy.. Loves you," Zoey tried to say whatever she could to comfort Fennel in her apparent mental breakdown.

“Then why don’t you say it!” Fennel screamed.

"I... I should say it more often... I-I love you, and.. I want to give you a hug," Zoey replied.

“You haven’t said it since daddy left!” Fennel shrieked.

"I-I'm saying it now! I love you," Zoey promised as she slowly began wrapping her arms around Fennel.

“No Anise, you aren’t welcome here! GO AWAY!” Fennel sobbed.

Zoey froze for a second before quickly finishing her approach and finally bringing Fennel into a hug.

“You don’t love me, you never did! The Geoffry’s do!” Fennel screamed once more as she tried to shake out of Zoey’s grasp.

"Latte, please!" Zoey cried out, afraid to let Fennel go as she kept a secure, but not too tight, hug on her, "I.. I'm not 'mommy'. I'm Zoey, it's Zoey, Latte! W-We.. We need to buy a cute hat!"

“Zoey?” Fennel asked as if she had never heard the name before.

"Y-Yes! It's me, Zoey. I.. Latte, it's me. We're friends. I just threw up, but it's okay. We're gonna buy some cute hats so your ears don't get cold," Zoey tried to explain, pulling back to look Fennel in the eyes with extreme worry for her friend.

Fennel looked at Zoey her eyes were dilated, she stared clearly not recognizing the girl.

"L-Latte, please..." Zoey whimpered as she began to tear up, "Let's just buy a hat..."

“Ryle? Who is she?" Fennel asked.

"R-Ryle? The TV guy?" Zoey murmured..

”Ry-Ry I’m scarred.” Fennel muttered.

"It's... It's okay? Ry-Ry's here?" Zoey assured questioningly. She wasn't sure who she needed to be.

Fennel‘s panic noticeably lessed upon hearing those words, she didn’t speak as her heavy breathes Started to slow.

".. Yeah, Ry-Ry will... Keep you safe," Zoey nodded, gently stroking Fennel's hair.

Fennel hugged Zoey has her body shook as she gasped for air “Ryle? Am, I still your sister?” Fennel asked.

"Y-Yeah, you're still my sister," Zoey answered, "You'll... always be my sister."

”Am I a freak, Ryle?” Fennel cried.

"No! No, of course not," Zoey shook her head, bending her knees and trying to lower both of them to the ground while keeping their hug, "Anyone who says you are is... Dumb... And jealous."

Fennel rubbed her head before asking ”What happened?”

"Don't worry about it. Ry-Ry's here. I'm here," Zoey continued to try and comfort Fennel, not realizing her episode had just ended.

“What do you mean, Ryle’s Not here?” Fennel asked.

".... Latte?" Zoey pulled back and looked her friend in the eyes worriedly.

“Is everything alright?” The fox asked.

"You..." Zoey's lip quivered, "You were calling me... 'Mommy' and then... 'Ry-Ry' and.. I.. I didn't know what to do..." Tears were streaming down Zoey's cheeks as she still wasn't entirely sure she had her friend back.

Fennel hugged Zoey and muttered, ”It was scary.”

"M-Mhm..." Zoey nodded, burying her face into Fennel's shoulder.

"Is... Everything okay now?" Ruby asked.

“I think so.” Fennel muttered.

"D-Do you... Remember what... What just happened?" Zoey asked.

"It was a lot of memories... some real and others... were a mix." Fennel replied.

"So... You're good? We can... Buy a cute hat?"

"For now yeah." Fennel added as she wiped her eyes.

"Maybe we should... Do a relax day. Everyone else can find a hotel and we can, uh... Go to a salon, I heard those are nice... A spa?" Zoey suggested.

"That would be nice." Fennel said. As she wiped her eyes. If the girls had paid close attention, they would notice several clumps of fur littering the area, though most of it had mixed in with the water and remaining vomit.

Zoey tentatively seperated herself from Fennel, offering her a hand as she slowly stood up.

Fennel took the girl's hand and stood up. Seemingly having some difficulty standing, she used Zoey for support before she eventually made her way into the supermarket with the two girls in tow.

---

Shlyke staggered out from beneath the bus, shaking his everything as he became attuned to his surroundings once again.

Tina was sitting on the short stairs that led up into the bus, having waited for Shlyke to come out, but was distracted with twiddling her fingers.

The Abrol stuck his head around the corner and peered up at Tina, clicking his mandibles together. "Hu- Wha- Shlyke!" Tina exclaimed, hopping off the stairs and giving him a hug.

“Ah-Ahh! Tina!” Shlyke greeted, flickering his tongue onto Tina’s head as he accepted the gift, “That trip was a longer than expected!”

Tina giggled at the unexpected lick before nodding, "Yeah, but now you can sit inside the bus! It's really nice!" She jumped up each step before looking back to make sure the Abrol would follow her into the vehicle.

“Ahh!” The locust skittered inside behind Tina, glaring into the interior of the bus with amusement, “It is very spacious! Lots of room to move, yes...”

"And there's a bathroom in the back!" Tina added before hopping onto a seat and laying on her back. She smiled at the comfiness of the seat as she lightly kicked her legs in the aisle.

Shlyke stopped Tina’s legs as he peered over her. “Yes, those are very nice,” the Abrol agreed, “But so is... your tastes.”

Tina laughed, beaming up at Shlyke. "You can taste me all you want!" She exclaimed. She wasn't sure why Shlyke was so obsessed about how she tasted, but whatever!

Shlyke looked Tina over, letting out a delighted hiss as he did so. There were many things he could do with her. Many ways to divy her up, whether it be for food, fun, or fortune. But, something stopped Shlyke from grabbing the shiv in his pocket. Something deep in him urged him not to. Was it the time the two had spent together? The game they had played and he had mock-enjoyed? Or was it the innocent, guiltless smile she gave him, even up to that moment? He spent a moment leering above the girl, unsure what to even do.

Tina looked up at the alien curiously, swinging her legs open and closed a few times as she asked, "Is something wrong?"

“..I-Uh, No,” Shlyke pulled back, his mouthpieces closing, “I’m just... not sure what tastes I should indulge, hmm. I never worked with humans.”

"You can taste where daddy always did. He never licked my arm or head and stuff, just right here," Tina offered.

“I.. I would most enjoy the tastes much, yes,” Shlyke agreed, tongue lolling out of his mouth.

=====

“Hmmm... What do you think?” Clara asked, looking at herself in a mirror. It took time to find something so professional in her size, but eventually, Clara managed to grab an outfit similar to Ernette’s in how it would be fitting for a secretary, but was a grey. Combined with her black hair and pale skin, she was nearly monochromatic if not for the few reddish tints of the skin and her lips.

“Hmm..” Ernette looked Clara over slowy, taking in how well it actually looked on her, “...I love it! I’m surprised to say that it really suits you!” She exclaimed with a cheery smile, “Let’s see how the other ones look!”

“... I could only find this one set. I wasn’t sure what other clothes to buy. I’m not the best at telling what looks good or not,” Clara admitted.

"Well, I think you look great,” Ernette quipped, “And modest, which makes you even cuter!”

“Thanks, Ernette. Maybe you could find something else for me to wear? I like this outfit, but I don’t want it to be all I have.”

“You got it!” Ernette declared, going off to look for more modest sets of clothes in Clara’s size. As she was, she happened to run into Bob, who was simply idly looking into stores to pass the time.

”Oh, hey Bob!” Ernette greeted as she passed by with a smile.

”Hey... Hey, Ernette!” Bob called back after the Benefactor as she walked away. She stopped as she listened, “Could we, uh.. talk?”

Sure!” Ernette agreed, peering back and waiting for him to come over. While she wasn’t sure, she had a pretty good idea what he wanted to talk abou-

“Last night, I got a bit.. drunk,” Bob admitted, “And.. it’s a bit hazy, but I remember.. you, on top of me? Did we..?”

Yep. It was exactly what Ernette was fearing. She shook her head, able to lie to a non-Overseer without a second thought as she’s giggled, “That’s silly! You know I’m with Clara!”

”Yeah, I guess that makes sense... I just remember bits and pieces of it so vividly, but the rest’s a mess..”

”Exactly, Bob! You were just hallucinating!” Ernette informed with a smile, “I’m sure you’ll figure out what happened, but... if it weren’t a dream,” she whispered quietly, taking a few steps towards Bob and stroking a hand over his you-know-what, “I’m sure you’d remember it well. And so would I.”

And with that, Ernette jolted around and skipped off, getting back to her assigned task. Bob was left speechless for a second, taking into question Ernette’s own words and his ‘hallucination’, before deciding to want to consult with the person who would know Ernette the best besides the Benefactor herself.

”Hey, Clara,” Bob greeted as he walked up to the girl, having took a moment to find her, adding, “I like the clothes. Definitely modest.”

“Thank you,” Clara nodded, “Need something?”

“Yeah, actually...” Bob nodded, “I need to talk to you about Ernette.”

“What about her?”

“Well, you know last night I got tipsy and slept in the woods, right? Well, I think I remember parts of that mess, and.. I think I remember Ernette and Me... doing it,” Bob winced at his own conclusion.

Clara stared at Bob for a moment before pointing to a small, circular clothes rack. “Before we continue this conversation, can you get the clothes off of that rack for me, please?”

“I... sure?” Bob questioned himself as he did as Clara asked, taking the clothes off of the circular rack stand.

Clara then grabbed the center pole of the rack and swung it around at Bob, who fell to the floor with a pained grunt, unprepared for that sort of reaction.

“Sorry, I’m not mad at you specifically, I just needed to hit someone and you were nearby,” Clara apologized as she dropped the rack and offered a hand to help Bob up.

“I asked her about it,” Bob took Clara’s hand and stood back up, “But she just told me I was tipsy and probably hallucinating.”

“... Did she say anything else?”

“Yeah... she said if it did happen, she’d remember... after she grabbed at my junk,” Bob admitted with a sigh, “I just.. I didn’t know what to do, so I came to you. You know her best, so I thought you could share your thoughts on this.”

"... I can't believe she would do this," Clara stated. Despite her monotone, the preteen was horribly distressed by this news, "Go behind my back like that..."

“Are you going to be alright?” Bob asked, unsure of what Clara’s total reaction to the entire situation was.

"Do you know where she is?"

“She was off in another clothes store when I bumped into her,” the Doomguy informed, “Should I come with you, or..?”

"... Sure. Take me to her."

Bob obliged, leading Clara to find the Benefactor.

When they had found Ernette, she was walking by with a pair of outfits in her hand. “Oh, Clara!” Ernette chimed, quickly noting the presence of Bob and knowing exactly what she came for, but attempted to defuse the situation, “Look what I found! I’m not sure if you like turtlenecks, but if you do, I found one perfect for you-“

"Shut up," Clara interrupted, "After you had gotten so pissy about me and Fennel, you take it a step further and go behind my back and fuck Bob? Then you flirt with him and grope him while lying about what happened?"

Ernette’s smile faded instantly, a somewhat afraid expression replacing it within the instant. She looked down to her feet, slowly nodding in confirmation and shame.

“I think I should go...” Bob scratched the back of his head as he backed away, not wanting to further escalate the situation.

"Yes, you should," Clara said, briefly turning her head to Bob to ensure he was leaving before looking back at Ernette, "Don't just stand there with a pathetic look on your face trying to win sympathy points. Speak."

“...I wanted a baby,” she weakly murmured, “And I didn’t want to wait, so I thought, “Who would be the best man to ask for it” and...”

"You didn't ask, you took advantage of him while he was drunk," Clara corrected, "And if it was as innocent as you're making it out to be, you wouldn't have lied to Bob, you wouldn't have gone behind my back with a bullshit lie about just taking a walk when you left the tent."

Ernette trembled as she whimpered, not sobbing, but on the verge of such. She said nothing, with nothing to say to defend herself against these true accusations. “...I’m sorry.”

"Bullshit," Clara stated, "After learning about my dad, I thought I could trust you more than anyone else. It isn't so much that you fucked Bob, but how decietful you were. You lied to me and kept it a secret up until Bob revealed it to me. Then when we come walking over here, I know you knew I found out, and you try talking about turtlenecks. Not only that, but you completely disregarded what I wanted if we were to have a baby. You didn't even think about me at all beyond keeping it a secret from me."

The Benefactor shuddered quietly, falling to her knees and dropping the clothes as she finally let herself cry. She only meant to hurry the process of having a child... and yet she screwed up every possible thing in the process.

"... I want to punch you so badly..." Clara said, her clenched fists shaking, "But at this point, I know you like punishment, otherwise I would beat the absolute shit out of you... So if you want to fuck Bob and have his kid so much, if you're just gonna go behind my back, then fine. I don't even want to be your Overseer anymore."

I don’t even want to be your Overseer anymore. Those words made Ernette hurt more than anything else. She slowly fell even from her knees, lying on the ground in a scrunched up position, dry heaving into her held knees. If she had anything to say back, it wouldn’t come out now in her state, every now and then letting out a loud whimper into her lap. She couldn’t believe this was happening. This was true punishment. Actual consequences for her fuckup. And there would be no pleasure from this punishment.

Clara glared down at Ernette for a few moments before simply walking away, leaving her there to wallow. Perhaps she was better as she was, unexpressive as opposed to breaking down and crying like others. Expression was overrated anyway. She sat down on a bench in the mall a few stores away, staring at nothing.

Eventually, Ernette left the store, a drowse expression stuck in her face as she stormed out, a bag in her hand, the clothes Ernette had chosen sticking out ever so slightly. She seemed too busy in thought about something to even notice Clara, walking quickly the other way into another store, a pharmacy. She walked out with another bag, its contents much smaller than the first one, looking as if they only had one or two items as Ernette walked out and started off for the bus.

=====

After a relatively brief shopping trip, Fennel and the girls had managed to sneak off to a spa, surprisingly they were able get schedualEd it seemed that the influx of aliens had slowed buisness down enough that they could just barely get squeezed in.

“What kind of massages do they have here?” Zoey asked excitedly.

Fennel looked over the options. It was obvious that she found the sheer number of options daunting, “Zoey, I don’t know what to get.”

“Just choose the most expensive one with ‘full body’ in there somewhere.”

Fennel looked at her wallet, she clearly didn’t have enough fir the nicer options, it seemed the cook off had greatly reduced her funds, the fox pulled out a twenty having judged she could only afford one of the cheaper options.

“Don’t you worry, Latte,” Zoey proclaimed, taking all of the money out of her bra and slamming it on the counter, “I got us covered.”

“Zoey y-you don’t have to...” The fox tried to refuse Zoey‘s hospitality.

“BAP! Too late! Already paid!” Zoey declared.

Fennel put the money back in her wallet as she let out a humbled, “Thank you.” As she entered the changing room. After a few few moments, Fennel put her things in a locker and walked out wearing a robe.

"Why do we have to wear these?" Zoey asked, tugging at the robe she herself was wearing, "I've never actually been to a real spa."

“You’ll get to take it off once the massage starts.” Fennel assured Zoey with the knowledge she aquired from her one other spa trip. She then tightened her robe as she went into a waiting area.

"Yeah, but what's the point of it now?" Zoey inquired as she and Ruby followed Fennel.

“So you can cover yourself between massages.” Fennel answered.

Zoey blinked. "People outside the Hold are so weird," She remarked.

“You could say that.” Fennel remarked, before a rather relaxed woman in a robe came from the other side of the door in front of them. Fennel then entered the room before noticing a timer indicating when the next session would start.

"I'm surprised you went with a full-body massage too, Latte."

”I’ve been really stressed lately.” Fennel answered before taking her robe off and placing it on a near by table.

"Huh, I just didn't expect you to let anyone touch your ass or your vag or anything."

”They don‘t touch your junk during a massage... okay some times but those are shady places and that’s different.”’

"Wh-Bu- This.. It's a full-body massage!" Zoey blurted out incredulously.

”A full body massage is not code word for sex and a massage okay?” Fennel replied.

"But that's part of the body," Zoey lamented.

”Then you would be looking for a massage with a happy ending.” Fennel noted.

"... We're not getting happy endings here, are we?"

"We are not getting happy endings, this place looks pretty reputable." Fennel commented.

"Hmph, that's dumb- Wait-" Zoey blinked a few times, "You're naked."

"Yes, you are supposed to take your clothes off for a massage, maybe except for a towel." Fennel added.

"... But why are you always all weird about being naked every other time?" Zoey asked, ripping her robe off.

"Because you always make it sexual, and it's not like you haven't seen the goods anyway." Fenne replied.

"I don't always make it sexual... Like... When I'm sleeping! I just like being naked when I sleep."

"Okay, you make me being naked sexual." Fennel corrected herself.

"Well... If you were naked more often, maybe I wouldn't," Zoey shrugged.

"Look Elzabeth already go me to sleep naked with her. I don't really want to do much more than that." Fennel repllied before lying down on a massage table.

Zoey looked at Fennel for a moment before sliding onto a nearby massage table, with Ruby hopping onto a table near her. Zoey's face poked out of the table's face-hole as she giggled, "Hey, Latte, I can see you from this hole." She wasn't sure why it was so funny, it just was.

Fennel turned her head slightly to see Zoey through the hole, "I see you too." The fox snickered.

"I see you guys too!" Ruby laughed.

Another ding was heard as three massueses entered the room, and soon enough the girls' massages began.

"Ooh! Oh, is a hot dude massaging me?" Zoey asked, unwilling to lift her head to see for herself.

"Looks like it." Fennel said before lowering her head.

----

"Fuuuuck, I love saunas," Zoey sighed happily, laying down on the bench in the wet sauna.

Fennel had taken a rather widesitting posture as she let out a pleased fox noise enjoying the sauna. "I really needed this." The fox practically moaned. Eventually she got up and poured some water on the radiator of the sauna letting a fresh burst of steam into the room.

Ruby took a long, deep breath. "It smells almost as good as the one back home!" She exclaimed, sitting down after a short stretch.

"You have a sauna back home?" Fennel asked as she turned up the the heat in the sauna.

"Yeah, it was a lot smaller than this one though," Zoey answered, "We had a wet one and a dry one."

"The spa in Varie had two also, I'm not really sure how I feel about the fact that it was powered by the employees though."

"What do you mean?" Ruby asked.

"They had a bunch of fires users keep it hot. They kinda had to watch you though," Fennel explained.

"If they got paid, it's fine," Zoey shrugged, "But don't worry about anything. It's spa day."

Fennel looked at the dial again, "Do you think it can get any hotter in here?"

"It's pretty hot already, Latte," Zoey huffed out a laugh, "Really hot."

“But it could be hotter.” Fennel stated as she tried to turn the dial just a little further. “Or are you two just babies that can’t take it.” The vixen teased.

"We're not babies," Zoey refuted, shutting her mouth in a tight pout as she was determined to take the heat. Ruby, inspired by her sister's determination, nodded in assent.

Fennel was able to turn up the heat further, though there was a warning regarding the use of such a setting that she did not heed.

Ruby finally broke. "Fennel! It's too hot!" She whined.

"Ruub... No.... It's.. fine..." Zoey murmured weakly.

Fennel looked at the girls’ faces “Are you two alright? You look really sweaty,” She asked.

"It's.. We're fine..." Zoey mumbled while Ruby fell asleep.

Fennel turned down the heat before opening a door releasing most of the steam and warmth as she dragged Ruby outside the sauna.

"Ughh... I win..." Zoey decreed lethargically, still platered to the bench within the sauna.

“No, I could have kept going, you and Ruby are cleary on the struggle bus.” Fennel replied, before re entering the sauna.

"Put your mouth where your money is," Zoey muttered.

“I will.” Fennel huffed as she waited for the heat to build back up.

Only half a minute later, Zoey was asleep on the bench, her arm hanging limply off the side.

Fennel did as she had before and took Zoey out as she smugly looked at them through a window in the door of the sauna. “I Win!” Fennel cheered. Unfortunately, the girls were unable to wallow in their defeat, as they were asleep.

Fennel was rather upset she couldn’t rub her victory in, exited the sauna and grabbed two cups of cold water to splash on the girls’ faces. She then splaahed two cups of cold water on the girls.

Zoey and Ruby woke up, screaming in unison as they flailed on the ground. "What the fuck!? Who- Wa-!?" Zoey gasped before looking around in shock, "... We lost, didn't we?"

“Yeah, you kinda passed out.” Fennel added.

"It was so hot," Ruby whined.

“Oh yeah I forget you guys aren’t all that great as dealing with heat.” Fennel mused.

"Whatever, at least I didn't need to wrap a shirt around my ears," Zoey sneered as she pulled herself up to her feet.

“Fine you win that one.” Fennel remarked as she noticed the mud bath Before approaching it.

"Is that mud?" Zoey asked, baffled as she and Ruby walked up to the bath as well with confused looks on their faces.

"Why do they have a bunch of mud here?" Ruby inquired.

“Yeah, it’s supposed to be a detox or something, but it feels nice.” Fennel commented.

"That's... Kinda weird... And gross," Zoey mumbled, frowning at the mud.

“Okay even people out of Laviturn agree that this feels good. “ Fennel commented before climbing into the tub.

"But... I've literally never heard of people like... Getting in mud. Mud's nasty. It's on the ground and stuff and bugs are in it," Zoey said, grimacing upon mentioning bugs.

“I dunno this is made with mineral water or something it’s supposed to be good for your skin.” Fennel continued.

Zoey reluctantly dipped her foot into the mud. It wasn't a horrible feeling. She slowly climbed into the bath with Ruby in tow, both of them sitting down inside. "It's... Alright..." Zoey said, hesitant to admit that the mud bath actually felt pretty nice, "There's no bugs in this kind of mud, right?"

“Just volcanic ash.” Fennel assured Zoey.

"Oh... Oh, okay.. That's pretty neat," Zoey wearily smiled. After the incident, she was especially averse to bugs.

Ruby, thinking the mud bath was similar to a swimming pool or a regular bath, dunked her head under the surface and resurfaced, now completely covered in mud with her eyes tightly shut. "It feels real-" She interrupted herself by spitting a bit of mud off of her lips, "Really nice!"

Fennel took a minute to close her eyes and rest, simply enjoying the warmth of the bath. She then slid down further, leaving only her face and tabs ears exposed.

Zoey laid back and relaxed as well for at least a full twenty seconds before grinning to herself as an idea came to mind. She quickly put on a pokerface and relaxed. Meanwhile, under the mud, her foot slowly moved forwards and poked Fennel's stomach before retreating away.

Fennel’s ears twitched to face Zoey before Fennel repeated the action, tapping Ruby’s stomach with her foot.

"Ah!" Ruby yelped, frantically looking around despite her eyes being shut and her head covered in mud, "Something touched me! There's a bug in the mud!"

”No.“ Fennel assured Ruby before tapping Zoey with her foot.

"Yes there is! I felt it!" Ruby cried out while Zoey opened one eye and poked Fennel with her foot again, closing her eye immediately after.

Fennel then made a stroke down Ruby’s leg, as she let out a quiet snicker.

Ruby screamed and scrambled out of the mud bath, squirming on the floor as she was too slippery to stand up. Zoey burst into laughter, nearly submerging into the mud by accident as she tried to speak, but could not.

Fennel then flicked her finger under the mud, causing several strokes to go across Zoey’s arms and sides. Zoey let out a scream similar to Ruby's, though she lunged through the mud and clung to Fennel for safety, inadvertently covering them both completely in mud.

Fennel let an a fox like cackle in response to the girls' reactions. “I got you two good.”

Zoey jumped back in surprise. "Oh you asshole!" She yelled, though she couldn't help but laugh as she picked up a handful of mud and threw it at Fennel.

The mud landed in Fennel‘s ears, causing her to try and swipe the mud out, only causing her to cover herself in the mixture, before being fully submerged.

Figuring out what had happened, Ruby clambered back into the mud bath with a small splash. She swam/dug through the mud and patted the bottom a few times before grabbing one of Fennel's feet in an attempt to spook her.

Fennel was spooked as she was unable to right herself in the pool of mud for several moments as the child was held her foot. Ruby lifted the foot up, trying to tickle it for a few seconds before bursting from the surface of the mud and taking a deep breath. She wasn't very good at holding it.

Fennel burst into laughter as she struggled to get ahold of herself. Eventually she was able to pull herself onto the edge of the tub to catch her breath.

——

Eventually the girls decided they thier fun and headed to the showers in preparation to leave. Fennel had taken a whole bottle shampoo and conditioner lamenting “Don’t they have the concentrated stuff here?”

"Concentrated stuff?" Zoey repeated.

“I need a lot of hair care products, normally I can buy shampoo that’s more like a thick slime.” Fennel explained, as she turned on the warm water.

"What's special about it being a 'thick slime'?"

“It just means I don't have to use as much to clean my fur.” Fennel exsplained she washed the mud out of her hair.

"Man, Latte, you sure are shedding a lot of it though," Zoey remarked, peering at some of the fur washing away with the mud before turning on a showerhead beside Fennel's.

”I mean I shed all the time. Can you wash my back?” Fennel asked, not realizing just how much fur was detaching from her skin.

"Uh, sure," Zoey shrugged, grabbing the shampoo bottle and squeezing a glob into her hand. "Tell me if I’m too close to your butt."

Fennel then turned around to give Zoey a easier access to her back as she said “Sure.” Before lathering her torso.

Zoey smushed the shampoo between her hands before rubbing it into the fur on Fennel's back.

“That’s good, just be sure to work it in there with your fingers,“ Fennel instructed as she noticed several quartter sized patches of fur fall down the drain. “Oh, that kind of shedding.” Fennel gasped seemingly rather embarrassed.

“Is it like, a fox thing during periods?” Zoey asked, unconsciously enjoying scrubbing Fennel’s back. It just felt nice, especially with all the fur.

“No, no no, it means I‘m stressed, it can cause my fur to fall out. Don’t tell anyone okay?” Fennel requested.

“My lips are sealed,” Zoey swore, “The top ones at least.”

“If you can actually talk out of there, I don’t think my fur wouldnt be a concern to me any more.” Fennel replied With a poorly worded joke.

Hey Latte, how’s it going?” Zoey said out of the corner of her mouth as she used her fingers to ventriloquistize her crotch.

Fennel chuckled in response, as she lathered her tail. The vixen then handed Zoey the conditioner before placing several globs in her own hands. “It should grow back in a few days as long as I don’t get too stressed out.” Fennel added.

“Lizagna better have made more of those brownies then,” Zoey remarked as she started conditioning Fennel’s back, taking it slow to enjoy the act.

“You‘re good at this.” Fennel said praising Zoey.

“Oh... Thanks,” Zoey blinked, smiling as she continued.

”I forgive, you... about earlier.” Fennel said, “You were just trying to help. You had what you thought were the best intentions.”

“... And I’ll let you eat your ice cream how you want it,” Zoey promised.

“Thank you... you guys are like family.“ Fennel confessed.

Zoey hugged Fennel from behind. “I’m glad you feel that way, Latte,” She sighed.

=====

Ernette was already waiting in the bus long before anyone got back. She sat in a seat close to the front, right behind the driver’s seat as she looked out the window with a sad expression.

Shlyke and Tina were also there, but they seemed preoccupied in the bathroom.

Elizabeth hopped inside shortly after, carrying two bags of brownies. "Oh, hey Ernette!" She greeted, her smile quickly vanishing, "What's wrong?"

“Nothing,” Ernette sighed, “I’m just... oh, what’s the point,” she murmured, stopping her lie, “I think me and Clara are... done.”

Elizabeth let out a gasp as she sat down beside Ernette. "What do you mean? You guys looked so happy together... Except Clara... She never looks happy."

“She was... But I fucked it,” Ernette whimpered, her eyes not turning to meet Elizabeth’s, “I just had to go and screw it all up with Bob. And she told me she doesn’t even want to be my Overseer anymore.”

"W-What did you do with Bob?" Elizabeth asked as she embraced Ernette from the side.

“...I had... sex with him last night,” Ernette admitted with regret.

"That... Doesn't sound bad... I think?"

“I did it without her permission,” Ernette mumbled, “I lied to her and went behind her back to get what I wanted. I took advantage of Bob, and I tried to lie to them afterwards. She doesn’t deserve to have to deal with me.”

"Oh... Do you want a brownie?" Elizabeth slowly took one of the brownies out of one of the bags.

“A brownie?” Ernette sniffled, wiping away a few tears as she looked over to Elizabeth.

"Yeah, they're really good," Elizabeth nodded.

The Benefactor hesitated, but took the baked good after a moment, sniffling once again as she tried to muster up a smile, even if it were barely nothing, “Thanks.”

“Try it, you’ll feel better,” Elizabeth insisted.

Ernette took a small bite of the brownie, her smile subsisting through the eating, but it didn’t look like it had made her feel anywhere near happy. “I just...” she paused to swallow, “wanted a kid. Me and Clara both did, but because we’re both girls, I suggested we either get someone else’s stuff for a baby, or wait until I can figure out how to make it work, but I... just wasn’t patient enough. And that messed up everything I had with her. She wouldn’t even punish me for it. She just... left me there.”

“Oh... Maybe you can make it up to her? Do something she’ll really like that’ll make her happy?”

"Like what?" Ernette mumbled, "She hates my guts now."

“Uhmm...” Elizabeth paused to think, “Uh... Well.. Think of... What she likes!”

"...Maybe I should just give her some time," Ernette sighed, looking back to the window, "Let her calm down, I guess."

“Clara calms down pretty quick, I think,” Elizabeth mused, “If you wait too long, you might end up like Harper.”

"She couldn't hate me that bad," Ernette mumbled, "She told me if she had the chance, she'd kill Harper. She wouldn't hate me like that... right?"

“... Wait, what!?” Elizabeth cried out in shock.

"What?" Ernette looked to Elizabeth, confused.

Clara would kill her!?

"Yeah. She even had me use Harper's voice when she first punished me-" Ernette cupped her hands over her mouth, realizing what she had said as her eyes widened.

Elizabeth stared at Ernette in horror, slowly getting out of the seat with her brownie bags.

"Wait, Elizabeth, I can explain!" Ernette tried to reason as she piped up. The last thing she needed was for everyone to know that Clara had beat her. "Please, just sit back down and I can explain," she beckoned Elizabeth to sit back down.

Elizabeth slowly sat back down, but sat in the seat across the aisle from Ernette. “O-Okay.”

"Alright, so... Back at one of our earlier stops, before I fell fully for her, I asked Clara to help initiate my punishment protocols," Ernette explained, "A series of programs designed to make me feel pain for screwing up. But she wanted to do it differently than how it was usually done, and so I let her. We did it like that one more time before I got my new body, then... then there was me falling down the stairs 'because of Tychen'. We.. decided to take it easy after that, but before she did stop, we... we kept going a bit," she pulled down the long neck of her shirt to show the faded bruises of Clara's hands around her throat, before pulling it back up, "I stopped her before it got too far. She ordered me to always do that after that day. Now that I've told you all this... I need you to promise- promise me, you won't tell anyone else."

Elizabeth was quiet for a minute, still mortified as she processed what she had been told. “I-I... I promise,” She nodded.

"Thank you," Ernette mumbled and broke into abject tears as she reached over and wrapped her arms around Elizabeth in a hug, "If that got out now... then I'd be like Harper to her. I already broke her trust once, and I don't want to do it again here."

“Heh... Yeah...” Elizabeth smiled nervously, fearing for her own safety as she hesitantly returned the hug.

Ernette held Elizabeth tight in her hug, breaking down into actual crying. “I just... I just want her to love me again...’” she moaned into Elizabeth’s shoulder, “B-but she doesn’t love m-my... my... bullshit!

“U-Uh.. Um, just... Don’t bullshit?” Elizabeth tried to offer a solution as she awkwardly patted Ernette’s back.

“I don’t know how! All I’ve done today is bullshit, bullshit, BULLSHIT![i]” Ernette wailed into Elizabeth’s shoulder.

Elizabeth tried to shrink back in Ernette’s grasp, sputtering out, “J-Just be honest!” As a nine-year-old chef, she was not the best at giving advice on matters unrelated to food.

“I do!” Ernette claimed, “It’s just bullshit to [i]her
, I-... I’m sorry about this,” she murmured, her sobbing decreasing back to a pathetic sniffle, “I-I should have kept my mouth shut...”

“No, it’s okay,” Elizabeth assured, “I.. I’m.. I don’t know how to help though. Maybe Zoey or Bob or someone older can.”

“I don’t think Bob likes me right now... maybe Zoey could,” Ernette thought quietly aloud, “Maybe.”

“Y-Yeah! Zoey is good with this kind of stuff,” Elizabeth quickly added.

"Yeah..." Ernette pulled back, wiping at her nose with a very weak smile, "Thanks... I'm still sorry." She grabbed something from the bag at her feet, a box of pills, before getting up and walking to the bathroom, knocking on the door, "Hurry up, Tina! I need to use the bathroom bad!"

”I-I’m almost done!” Tina yelled.

"Come in! We are busy, but you can come!"

Ernette did not question the second voice, opening the door quickly and entering, before coming out a minute later, a flustered look plastered on her face.

“Ernette? What’s wrong?” Elizabeth asked from the front, having not heard Tina nor the second voice.

"Nothing," Ernette shook her head, "I just had to get a drink from the sink," she held up a small paper cup, sipping it up and swallowing.



Eventually the three girls arrived on the bus and took seats near each other. Fennel had since changed into a sweater and jeans.

“Oh, hey Ernette, hey Lizagna,” Zoey greeted before turning her attention back to Fennel and Ruby.

“Hi.” Fennel waved.

"Hey..." Ernette returned the greetng in a less-than-ecstatic tone, laying back in her seat.

“You alright?” Zoey asked, looking back at Ernette. She recalled what Fennel told her about Ernette’s violent relationship with Clara.

"Yeah I-... You know what, no," Ernette shook her head as she stood up, "Can I talk to you outside, Zoey? I really need to talk to you about something."

“Oh, yeah. Yeah, sure,” Zoey nodded, getting up from her seat and leaving the bus with Ernette, “What’s up?”

Ernette took a deep breath, before quickly explaining after the two had gotten a distance from the bus, "I fucked Bob and Clara left me for it."

“Oh, right... Fennel told me- Wait, why’d Clara leave you?”

"Because I fucked Bob and... lied to her about it," Ernette sighed in guilt, "I told her I was taking a walk, and then, in the mall, Bob asked me about it, and I lied again there..."

“Oh... Yeah, that’ll.. That’ll do it,” Zoey nodded, “Especially with someone like her.”

"She told me "I don't even want to be your Overseer anymore", and just... walked off," Ernette muttered, "I... I feel terrible, and I don't know what to do, Zoey. I want to make it all up to her, but I know she'll just call it all bullshit, and I'll be like Harper to her."

“Hey, Hey...” Zoey put a hand on Ernette’s shoulders, “It’ll all be okay, you know why? Because you have the love professional on your side. I hooked two bugs up back when they kidnapped us in, like, half an hour or something.”

“That’s different,” Ernette huffed, “This is Clara, not two dumb bugs.”

“I mean the bug people- But you’re right, this is Clara. She’s my sister. I know her. This’ll be more complicated, but you can trust in Zoey.” She jabbed a thumb into her own chest.

“You really think we have a chance to get back together?” Ernette asked, a little glimmer of hope coming in her tone and expression.

“If I can get a bee and a wasp to screw, I can do anything,” Zoey declared confidently.

Ernette smiled softly, before hugging Zoey quickly, “Thank you!” She chirped as she pulled back.

“No problem,” Zoey waved a hand, though her smile wavered, “But, uh... Is it true that.. Clara... Beats you?”

Ernette’s smile faded at the question as she stood silent for a moment, ending it with a nod and a quiet, “Yes. But it’s not too bad...”

“She beats you. That’s bad. Why do you want to get back with her if she hits you?”

“Because... we both agreed to it,” Ernette explained, “Back when I was Ernie, when you didn’t let me run my first punishment protocols... that’s where I started going to Clara for it.”

“Oh, god dammit,” Zoey pinched her brow.

“And it started out as just punishment, but now it’s.. more than that,” Ernette tried to reason, “It’s... It feels good.”

Zoey’s look of disgust quickly gave way to surprise. “Oh, so it’s just a kink thi- Wait, she pushed you down some stairs and broke your bones!”

“And slammed my arm in the door,” Ernette continued, “But we both agreed that I wouldn’t let her hurt me that bad again. Now it’s just light stuff. We both like it, and neither of us get too hurt.”

“Well.. It’s... A bit messed up, but... I guess it’s okay then?” Zoey shrugged.

Ernette nodded quietly, “Yeah... but anyways, I don’t want to end up looking like Harper to her. She’d kill her if she could get away with it. She told me herself.”

“What!?” Zoey screamed, “What the fuck?!”

“She really doesn’t like Harper.”

“Fucking- I knew that already, but I didn’t think she’d fucking want to kill her! Jesus Christ!”

Fennel, at some point, had snuck out of the bus, and was hiding around the corner with only the tips of her ears poking out from behind the bus.

“She told me that after I asked her why she had me use Harper’s voice during our first punishment, and that was where I really broke my eye. She hit it with a bat,” Ernette exclaimed, shrinking back a bit in guilt at laying the truth out to her previous lie.

“Oh my gooood,” Zoey rubbed her temples, “My sister’s fucking insane...”

Ernette seemed somewhat annoyed by Zoey’s analysis of the situation, and huffed, “But other than that... she’s great. We talked for hours about topics, and we spent an entire night up on the roof together. It was wonderful, and-“

"I can second what Zoey said." Fennel quipped as she poke her head out from behind the bus. "She has no outlet for her emotions."

Ernette jumped up with a yelp, before frowning and harrumphing, “Of course you do.”

"What is that supossed to mean?"

“You haven’t liked my relationship with Clara since it started and we all know!” the Benefactor accused, pointing a finger at Fennel.

"That's because I know what it's like Ernette." Fennel replied.

“No you don’t!” Ernette spat angrily, “You haven’t had a single relationship that’s ended well! Bob? That’s done! Your own mother?! Do I need to keep going, Fennel? Do I need to keep explaining why I don’t need your help? Do I?!”

"You know what, you're right I've had my own string of absolutely shitty relationships, but guess what? I know the other side of the coin too." Fennel answered.

“Just...” Ernette seethed, “Leave me alone. Leave us alone. All you’ve done is poke and prod at me and her about it, and when she finally tells you, you call her crazy behind her back,” she backed away from both Zoey and Fennel, “I expected it from you, Fennel... but you, Zoey?” She murmured.

"You just said she wants to kill her sister and had you fucking... Do her voice when beating you with a baseball bat," Zoey explained.

"I'm just trying to save you from the pain." Fennel replied.

“She.. she didn’t think Harper was her sister,” Ernette admitted, backing up again, “She thought she was adopted... that’s why she was crying yesterday.”

"... The fuck? Why did she think she was adopted?" Zoey questioned.

“She told me she was born outside the Hold... or just left there, on some frontline,” Ernette continued, feeling guilt for telling Zoey this, “And that your dad brought her back when she was older.”

"That's... Not true. She was born to one of our moms who was on some mission and didn't get back until Clara was, like, nine or ten," Zoey shook her head.

"Clara doesn't know if she was born or left there. She only just found out she is your sister." Fennel said, confirming Ernette's story.

"... What?"

"Clara says she was told she was adopted, she doesn't know why, but she's very upset about it." Fennel answered.

"So... So she isn't adopted... But she was told she was adopted... And was raised on a frontline before coming to the Hold? Is that all right?" Zoey asked for clarification.

"As far as I know, yes." Fennel replied.

“She trusted me enough to tell me... and now I’m listening to you tell Zoey,” Ernette muttered, “I... I feel sick.”

"I had over heard, and asked her about it. So Clara told me." Fennel added.

“Does that make it any better, or worse because you listened in to our private talk?” Ernette huffed, starting to walk away, “I’m done. I don’t need you guys to help me. I’m already just digging myself into a bigger hole talking to you.”

"I don't know... I was concerned." Fennel replied.

"Wait, Ernette, come on," Zoey huffed, "We just... I just didn't think Clara was like that. You gotta admit that it isn't right for her to want to kill someone and have you do their voice while beating you up."

"Well, if you hate someone really bad, wouldn't you want them dead and gone?!" Ernette asked as she turned around and stopped with a frown.

"I mean, I'd want them gone, but I wouldn't want to kill them! And I would make someone else copy their voice and beat them up," Zoey answered.

"But she just... I... Agh!" Ernette scowled, continuing to storm off as she grumbled to herself.

"... This is fucked," Zoey muttered to Fennel.

"Yeah..." Fennel agreed. "... I just don't know what to do." The vixen lamented.

"Well... We definitely gotta fucking... Make sure Harper and Clara are never alone together," Zoey gulped.

"Yeah. We don't need anything else happening." Fennel replied "... Do you know why he would do that though?" Fennel added quitely.

"He? He who what?"

"Your dad? Why tell her that? I just can't figure it out."

"Hmm... Well, if it's true, then I don't either, but I'm sure he has a good reason for it," Zoey affirmed.

Fennel however could not think of any reason where that would be good, especially when the other's knew she was their sister the whole time. "Maybe that book will tell us." Fennel replied before heading back to the bus.

"I bet- Oh, Latte," Zoey quickly said as she followed the vixen, "Let's not... Tell anyone about any of this, alright? If that story is how it is, then she's still our sister, so it's not like that changed."

"Yeah, let's not pick at any old wounds right now." Fennel agreed.

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Re: Dimensional Clash IX [IC]

Post by Infested on Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:44 pm

"Today's sucked, but at least it's almost over," Zoey huffed as she flopped onto a bed in their hotel room, "Well, the spa part was good, but everything else sucked."

“I agree. I don’t think I would be offended if today just didn’t happen.” Fennel said as she noticed a tie on her bed. Fennel looked at the tie for a moment before attempting to tie it around her neck. “You know I never really understood these things, it seems like they would choke you all day.” The knot she attempted appeared to be little more than a ball.

"Pfft, do you not know how to tie a tie?" Zoey snickered, holding her hand out for the tie, "Daddy made us all learn how when we were young. He liked it when we tied his ties for him."

“There are plenty of boys that can’t tie ties.” Fennel remarked defensively tossing the tie back on the bed. “Well why don’t you show me how if you know so much.”

"Watch the master at work," Zoey proclaimed, snatching the tie. With practiced ease, she flipped around the two sides of the tie,slid the skinny end through the loop, and pulled it through to make a neat, tight knot. "Boom."

Fennel then looked up at the much taller Zoey, “Umm Zoey.”

"Yeah?" Zoey replied in a much deeper voice, "Wh-Wait- What the- What's up with my voice?" Ruby was dead silent, staring at Zoey in awe with her mouth agape.

“Oh of all the things.” Fennel muttered, Please Don’t get any ideas, Zoey.

"What things? What's going..." Zoey looked down, gasping in horror, "My tits!" Zoey practically flew off of the bed, rushing to the bathroom to look in the mirror.

She was face to face with a tall, handsome man that uncannily resembled her. He had a decent amount of muscle, far from the likes of Bob, but was certainly toned. He had medium-length, blonde hair that was a bit shorter than Zoey's. He had blue eyes, just like her.

It took Zoey a minute to realize that the man before her, was her. Zoey let out a scream and burst out of the bathroom, "I'M A GUY!"

Fennel looked at Zoey for a moment before squeaking “Take it off.” in reference to the tie.

Zoey, however, did not realize what Fennel was referring to. "Latte, are you already jumping on my dick- Wait- I HAVE A DICK!" Zoey shrieked with a flurry of conflicting feelings about what was going on.

Fennel, however, was petrified by the sudden advance as she thought it was obvious she was referring to the tie.

"Z-Zoey! You're.. You're hot!" Ruby cried out.

"This is not the time, Ruby!" Zoey yelled.

“What!?” Fennel exclaimed not sure of what Zoey was asking.

"Latte, I am not taking off my clothes right now," Zoey huffed, trying to make her- his point clear.

“I meant the tie!” Fennel squeaked as she covered her face.

"Zoey's mine!" Ruby whined.

"The tie..." Zoey looked down. Of course, this happened just after he tied the tie around his neck... He reached for the tie, but hesitated... If it was just the tie that was doing this, and it wasn't permanent... "I mean... I could try being a guy for a little bit."

“A-are you sure about that?” Fennel asked with an audible gulp.

"I've always wondered what it was like," Zoey remarked before looking at Fennel with a grin, "Why?"

“I-I just think it’s a bad idea.” Fennel replied, as her tail ducked between her legs at Zoey’s grin.

"Why's that? I just wanna try it out."

“What do you mean by that.” Fennel asked.

"I just mean trying it out, being a guy," Zoey answered, "Unless you're thinking of something else."

Fennel didn‘t answer, mortified at the implication.

"I'm thinking of something else!" Ruby exclaimed.

Fennel was not going to let that happen, “On a second thought... why don’t we go somewhere else.” Fennel said trying to figure out how to get the tie away from Zoey.

"Didn't you say before you wanted to wait or something?" Zoey asked, putting a hand to his chin, "I literally just became a guy, calm down."

“We can get married today.” Fennel replied, trying to build her lie.

"Married!?" Zoey and Ruby repeated in unison.

“Yeah.” Fennel gulped.

"Uhhhh... I gotta- I just remembered that I said I'd help Elizabeth make a.. Pie," Zoey fibbed, taking a step backwards towards the door, "I'll be right back."

Fennel gulped before loosening her dress. “You...can... stay a while.... longer.” She stammered, she just need to get close enough to get the tie.

Zoey stared at Fennel in shock before taking a quick glance down to his pants before looking back at the vixen. Before he could respond, Ruby tackled Fennel and screamed, "He's mine!"

“Just take the tie off!” Fennel shrieked.

Zoey had left the room.

"You scared him off!" Ruby whined.

“I don’t want her doing it with anyone or we are going to worry about more than Ernette being pregnant.” Fennel explained.

"Whatever! You were trying to screw him right when you saw him!" Ruby huffed before quickly smiling, "It's a good thing he turned you down though."

“As if I wanted- what is that supposed to mean!?”

"Every time you flirted with Zoey, he turned you down!" Ruby sneered, "He even ran out of the room!"

“Are you saying I’m ugly!?“ Fennel asked.

"No, just that Zoey wants something better!" Ruby proclaimed.

“That’s mean.” Fennel replied rather hurt.

Ruby's smug smile wavered as guilt set in. "... Sorry... I just... Don't want you stealing Zoey," She admitted.

“I dont want Zoey, I panicked and didnt know whst to do to get the tie off her.” Fennel replied. “Wait what do you mean steal Zoey?”

"N-Nothing!" Ruby stammered, "Do you wanna watch cartoons until he gets back?"

“Sure.” Fennel said tightening her dress, before turning on the television.

“So you look up to Zoey or something?” Fennel asked.

"Well, duh," Ruby answered, "Zoey's, like, the best person ever."

“Are... you... in love with her?” Fennel asked.

Ruby quickly looked over at Fennel, blushing, before looking back at the TV. "I-I really... Like her, but... I... Maybe?"

“Oh...“ Fennel replied deciding to deal with this subject another day. Fennel then went to the bathroom to change into an oversized tee shirt for the night.

"... He is really hot though," Ruby murmured.

Fennel returned from the bathroom and said “Yeah, solid 9/10.”

"I knew you liked him!" Ruby accused.

“He is still a girl, and I don’t swing that way.” Fennel replied.

"How is he a girl if he's a he?"

“He’s only a bit with the tie. It’s just weird.”

Rubby hummed, before smiling. It seemed that Fennel might not be a threat after all.

Fennel yawned, “Shouldn’t Elizabeth be here soon?” The fox then went to lie down as her tail swished in the air behind her.

As if on cue, Elizabeth entered the room. "Hey Fennel!" She exclaimed, tossing a bag of brownies her way, "I forgot to give these to you on the bus!"

“Yes!” Fennel exclaimed before eating a brownie.

Elizabeth beamed at the sight of Fennel enjoying her brownie so much before ripping her clothes off and hopping into bed. "I'm super tired," She yawned.

Fennel peeled off the remainder of her clothes before snuggling up with the girl, The fox was a bit more enthusiastic as it seemed the room was a bit colder than usual.

Ruby glanced over at the two before looking back at the television with a wide smile upon realizing she would get to snuggle with Zoey like that soon. "Good night, you guys," Ruby cooed happilyl

Fennel wrapped her tail around Elizabeth as tight as she could as her ears pressed against her head. Fennel could be heard making high pitched chirping noises in her sleep.

—-

In the morning, however, Fennel was sandwiched between Elizabeth and Zoey, facing the larger latter that had his arms wrapped around the vixen. Meanwhile, Ruby clung to Zoey from behind.

Fennel, unaware of the current sleeping situation, simply snuggled into the arms that were holding her. She then began gently nibbling at the arms around her. Zoey shifted himself a bit, mumbling quietly in his sleep as he kept Fennel close.

Fennel then opened her eyes and saw a strange man in her bed before biting down on the arm and letting out a muffled scream.

Zoey woke up, letting out a pained and frightened yell. He would've rolled back, but Ruby's existence kept him in place as she let out a scream and fell off the bed. "Wh- Hu- Latte!?" Zoey yelped, rubbing where his arm had been bit, "Did you bite me?!"

“What are you doing in my bed!?” The vixen shrieked as she gathered blankets to cover herself.

"I- I just- Liagna was sleeping with you so I thought why not?!" Zoey answered.

"And then I came in because Zoey did," Ruby mumbled, picking herself up off the floor.

“Okay well Elizabeth doesn’t have a PINGAS!” Fennel retorted.

"She- So!?" Zoey blinked.

“Please tell me you are wearing pants.” Fennel huffed.

"I never wear clothes when I go to bed," Zoey answered plainly, "Why?"

“Because I don’t want to have touched your wiener.”

"Oh shit, thanks for reminding me, I never checked how big it was!" Zoey remarked, peeking under the sheets. There was a very big smile on his face.

Fennel scooted as far away from Zoey as possible with a mortified look on her face.

"Welp! I'm hungry!" Zoey proclaimed, throwing the sheets off of the bed and standing up tall as he stretched in preparation for the day.

Fennel scrambled for the sheets before wrapping herself up and asking. “Can you get my clothes from the bathroom?”

"Oh, yeah, sure," Zoey strided on over to the bathroom, grabbing Fennel's clothes. He walked back to the bed and held out the wad to the vixen.

Fennel refused to remove Her grasp on the sheets and said “Just put them on the bed. I’ll change after you leave.”

"Latte, you're acting weird," Zoey remarked as he bent down to find the clothes that had grown with him into his new body.

"It's because you're a boy." Fennel replied as she tried to grab her underwear.

"You don't act like this around Bob or Bread though," Zoey pointed out.

"That's because they aren't naked." Fennel replied.

"I have my pants on, Latte," Zoey said as he finished putting on his pants

"Okay, but I'm naked." Fennel said as she sunk under the comforter.

"Latte, I've seen you naked a billion times. I just saw you naked yesterday at the spa."

"Okay but that can turn you on now." Fennel explained.

"It turned me on before too," Zoey informed, "Now I just get boners that make it more obvious."

Fennel groaned before convering her head.

"Latte, you're the only one making things weird here," Zoey huffed.

"Just get out so I can change." Fennel pleaded.

"Fiiiiine," Zoey groaned, slipping his denim jacket on as he left the room. With that, Ruby and Elizabeth finally broke out of their trance and began getting dressed as well.

Fennel then got dressed in her maid outfit once again.

Down in the breakfast room, many of the girls were already awake and eating, but all consumption of food stopped upon Zoey's entry. Zoey looked so familiar, and yet... She wasn't (For obvious reasons considering 'she' was actually a 'he').

Fennel then entered the breakfast area, followed by Elizabeth and Ruby. The maid pulled out a chair for Elizabeth and began gathering two plates of food. "Thank you, Fennel," Elizabeth beamed as she sat down.

Meanwhile, Ruby cleared her throat and gestured to Zoey, "Everyone, meet the new and improved Zoey!"

"Hey guys I..." Bob stopped and turned around, "Yeah, no, not dealing with this shit again."

Fennel then approached Zoey and leaned in close and said "I need to tell you something" as she grabbed his collar.

"But I'm hungry!" Zoey whined.

Fennel then slipped the tie off of Zoey's neck before shoving it down her blouse. "There, I am in no mood to deal with this crap right now either."

"Hey! Give it back!" The re-girlified Zoey demanded, attempting to take the tie back by force and reaching into Fennel's blouse.

Fennel shrieked before shoving Zoey back before shoving the tie further down her shirt. "Eat your breakfast."

"Never! I'm going on a.. A hunger strike!" Zoey declared.

"I'll join your hunger strike!" Ruby piped up, standing by Zoey's side.

"A hunger strike? Good luck with that, I think the last thing we need amongst you girls is a boy." Fennel commented.

"What's a hunger strike?" Ruby inquired.

"We starve ourselves until Latte gives me back the tie. Either she'll feel guilty because we're gonna end up super skinny, or everyone else will make her give it back because they'll feel bad," Zoey smugly informed.

"Or Elizabeth can just make your favorite foods until you cave." The fox teased.

"Oh! I'll start right now!" Elizabeth exclaimed, running off to the hotel's kitchen.

"Zoey, I don't wanna get super skinny," Ruby gulped.

"Don't worry, Rub. Latte will cave before then." Zoey assured.

Fennel then pulled up a sleeve and flexed an arm. "If you don't eat you can't get mad gains like these."

Zoey and Ruby blinked.

"Latte, we all know you're not gonna let us starve," Zoey huffed.

"I mean I could just wear it. I think I would be the most responsible with it." Fennel mused.

"It's my tie! You couldn't even tie it!" Zoey stomped her foot down.

Fennel then blew a raspbery and Zoey before puting the tie on herself replacing the maid vixen with a rather hansome bulter of a Renard.

Ernette slumped into the breakfast room, her look rather unkempt compared to her usual professionality. "Morning..." she grumbled tiredly, grabbing a cup and shoving it into the coffee machine, turning it on for herself. While she never had coffee before, she was sure it would put her in a better mood.

Fennel looked at Ernette for a moment, seemingly a bit distracted. "Hey Ernette."

"He- huh?" Ernette took a double take, scratching her eyes and realized what had happened

"Call me Basil." Fennel stated,

"Basil?" Ernette cocked her head, "What's even going on, Fenne-"

"ERNETTE! Get that tie off of him! Now! It's mine! He stole it!" Zoey demanded.

"Wait! befoe you take it I need to do something first." Basil said before running to a bathroom.

"...The tie did that?" Ernette pondered aloud, taking a sip of her too-fresh coffee and spitting out a little of the scalding drink, setting it back down as she waved her mouth for a moment.

"Ernette! We don't have time! We gotta get the tie!" Zoey cried out, booking it towards the bathroom with Ruby following.

"We... I gotta get that tie," The Benefactor realized with a gasp, running behind Zoey and Ruby to the bathroom.

The sound of water pouring could be heard behind the locked door, followed by a flush and list of sounds associated with the washing of hands.

"It's locked! Ernette! Rip the door off!" Zoey ordered.

Basil then unlocked the door before and placed his hand on the tie. "I'lll give it back under one condition."

"Stand back! I need some space so I can bring the door down!" Ernette assured.

Basil then opened the door. "We can do this the easy way, I'm not asking for much."

Ernette quickly shoved herself into the room with Basil, then slammed the door behind them, locking it. She then looked back to Basil.

"Hey! You left us out here!" Zoey yelled.

"I can't let him get out!" Ernette assured with a wink to Basil, "Just go back to the breakfast room! I'll get it for you- Oh no! He jumped out the window and he's on the run outside!" She flicked her hand, a handpump of soap flying through the bathroom window as she said it.

"Shit! We're gonna run out there!" Zoey shouted, "Ruby, come on!" The two could be heard booking it.

"What are you planning?" Fennel asked quietly.

The Benefactor waited a moment, before pushing Basil against the wall, hurriedly walking up and working at the tie. "Sorry," she apologized in advance, "But I really need this."

"Why?" Basil asked.

"Because... reasons," She answered, beginning to undo the tie.

"Are you... trying to get pregnant?" Basil asked placing a hand on the tie.

"Wha-Why would you-ugh-I..." Ernette stuttered with a blush, using her gravity to flick Basil's hand back as she stopped for a second.

"Tell me." Basil ordered.

"...You don't tell me what to do," Ernette came to her senses, finishing her untying of the tie and yanking it off, "And I don't need to tell you."

Fennel reappeared as she said, "A baby isn't going to fix anything."

"Neither is just letting everything go to shit!" Ernette huffed, holding Fennel down on the toilet as she slowly opened the door behind her with her hand, before slamming it behind her and running.

Fennel unleashed the force of the blows Clara had dealt earlier to undermine Ernette's gravity manipulation and chased the woman down. "Hear me out just his one time!"

"NO!" Ernette yelled back, "I WON'T LISTEN TO YOU!"

"Don't you want to be a good mother?" Fennel asked.

"Yes, and I will be!"

"Babies are something people commit to, not something people use to get commitment." Fennel said. "If you do that, you become responsible for someone other than yourself."

"I already am! I already work for Zoey, and Ruby, and..." Ernette's paced slowed gradually, before coming to a halt, "And..."

"Raising children is about working together, for the child." Fennel said, "Mommy and Daddy taught me that."

"And we would, we'd work together if we had..." Ernette sputtered out as she began to well up in emotion.

"Had to... or want to?" Fennel asked.

"We want to, but... but I can't wait how she wants to," Ernette muttered, her legs starting to quiver.

Fennel then placed her arms around Ernette "I understand wanting to be a mom, but you need to make sure you have other things in order first." Fennel said.

"And we would if... If we had... Oh my god I'm such an idiot..." Ernette wrapped her arms around Fennel and hugged her tightly as she began to tear up.

"Being human.. is hard, I just want to help you enjoy it." Fennel replied.

"It really is..." Ernette sniffled, pulling back and wiping her tears away, before handing her the tie, "Here. I'm sure I don't need it now."

"I wanted to talk to you earlier about this, but letting Clara beat you... it's only going to make things worse." Fennel stated as she rubbed the woman's back.

Any sort of compassion found in Ernette's expression faded near-instantly. "No, it's not," she mumbled angrily, clenching her hands into fists, "I'm tired of hearing you say the same thing, over and over. Go away."

"Ernette.I-I just don't want to see you hurt." Fennel answered with tears in her eyes.

"Stop crying," the Benefactor huffed, "You're not getting sympathy points, and I'm not getting hurt. Now leave me alone."

"But what about Clara then?" Fennel said wiping the tears from her eyes.

"What about her?"

"What's she going to turn into when you are her only outlet for her tramua? What if you aren't there? What if it's someone who can't take it like you?"

"You're just a paranoid mess," Ernette mumbled, turning away and beginning to walk off, "Just stop. I don't want your help. You're just wasting air."

"You know what, fine." Fennel said throwing down the tie. "Just ruin your kid's life then." Fennel said as she stormed outside the hotel.

Ernette looked back, a twinge of regret for her actions, but not much. She looked down to the tie for a moment, before picking it up, analyzing it in her hand as she thought further. She tucked the object into her pocket, before turning back onto her first path, heading down the hallway the way she had begun to run in the first place.

Fennel then pulled out her focus and extended it to the broomsize before riding off towards the snow covered distance.

=========

Ernette approached the right door, and stopped in front of it. She took a deep breath, trying to find her confidence, before lightly knocking the door.

"Coming," Came a monotone voice from inside.

Ernette tried to think if she should put on a smile or not, whether her posture should be raised and straight, whether she should try to act happily or not. It was a series of complicated choices she needed to take to make sure everything could go as fine at it could and-

The door opened. Clara slowly raised her head to look up at Ernette. "What do you want?"

Ernette kept her posture up, but had no smile as she responded meekly, "I.. I wanted to talk."

Clara glared into Ernette's eyes for a few moments before stepping aside. "Fine."

The Benefactor walked in, and took no seat as she sighed, "I know my word means nothing to you," she searched through her pockets, before pulling out the Tie and an empty box of pills, contraceptives, "So I'll show you instead. I took that entire box of pills to keep myself from having a chance at pregnancy from Bob, and the tie... you need to wear it to understand."

"I'd prefer you tell me what's so significant about the tie beforehand."

"It's like my crown... but the opposite," Ernette explained to the best of her capabilities.

"... So you want me to wear the tie and get you pregnant," Clara guessed.

"No, I'm just... handing it off to you, as an option," Ernette sighed, "It was either that, or hand it back to Zoey. Oh, and..." she flicked a few fingers around, opening the window before a shopping bag full of a few outfits hovered in, "I got those clothes I thought you'd like yesterday."

"... The tie is nice, as are the clothes," Clara started, "But that doesn't change how you lied to me, tried to keep secrets from me."

"I know," Ernette spoke up, "And I know I can't go back and fix those mistakes... but I want to work to get past them. I don't want for us to go our seperate ways, or... or you to think of me like Harper."

"... Harper was always annoying. When she ruined my birthday, it hurt, but... I didn't get some gifts, just stuff. On the other hand, you betrayed my trust. Just because I don't fall on the ground crying doesn't mean it doesn't hurt," Clara stated.

"I know it hurt for you, I know," Ernette nodded, "And I know I can't take it back. But I can't bear to see you like this, sad and angry. I just want us to be happy again. I'll do anything for it."

Clara paused for a moment, her eyes looking down and to her sides in thought. After what was likely an excruciatingly long time for Ernette, Clara looked back up and spoke, "I'd be lying if I said I didn't want that too. But... While I wasn't very happy before we got together, I knew what to expect.... But after what you did, I can't say I would know what to expect at all if we got back together."

"I.. I don't know either," Ernette admitted, "But I'm willing to try and see..."

Clara looked to the tie, then back to Ernette. "How can I trust you? What has changed to make sure you won't go behind my back and lie to me again about something else?"

"I almost lost you," Ernette said, "I almost lost everything I cared about. I'd never want to lose you again."

Clara closed her eyes and took a deep breath, slowly raising her hand towards Ernette. "Fine. But if you bullshit me one more time, it is over for good. This is your chance to not become Harper. Give me the tie."

Ernette handed the magical tie to Clara without hesitation, holding it out in an open palm.

Clara slipped the tie on, grabbing Ernette's neck and slamming her onto the bed immediately after acquiring her new body.

"Oh!-" Ernette exclaimed before she stopped to examine the situation, confused before concluding only two explanations happening at the same time. For the first time that day, she genuinely smiled into her choking.

======


In a forest several miles away Fennel sat on a log in front of a campfire. You ruined my life. Anise's words rang through Fenne's mind as she looked the fire, Of course you wouldn't understand, these are grown up things. "Why doesn't she want to be happy? Doesn't she know what Clara is doing is wrong. Why can't I not freak out every single day around those girls. Why!?" Fennel weeped she lay down next to the fire. "Why doesn't she want to be happy? Now I sound like Zoey."

Maybe Zoey's right. Fennels doubts had since manifested as the voice of Anise.You know it'll be fun, Fennel, it would be so easy. You know Bob would like it. The doubts rang. "No!" Why wait, it's not like you're going back home. Odds are Bob's your only option, or you can hang on to this fantasy that it matters at all. "No, I don't want to be like that." Oh you just want to stay a stupid little girl don't you. You know if you did you would appear all the wiser to the girls, you could just go 'yeah i know what your father did was wrong, and let's be honest you are your mother's daughter, you know you want to. "That's not true."

The fox thought back to the happy years she had with the Geoffry's as Mrs. Geoffry's voice manifested as another thoughts, Honey, it's okay, you've done so much for them, The doubts soon returned Do you really want to be alone? Do you really want to end up as an old hag with no-one that cares about her? The Fennel scratched her arms, causing several more patchs of fur to fall out. Look at you, you're just a mangey bastard. You don't even know who your father is, you're probably never going to see Laviturn again anyway, what does it matter. You can't help them.

=====

Later that evening Fennel returned to the hotel. shivering as she looked for the Doom Marrine.

However, she would only find Zoey and Ruby scouting the hotel's perimeter, both of them running up to Fennel upon seeing her. "Latte!" Zoey exclaimed, "We've been looking for you for a bazillion hours!"

"I need to find Bob." Fennel said somewhat coldly.

Taken aback, Zoey paused before pointing into the hotel. "Uh... He should be in there?"

"It's time I added some toppings." Fennel muttered as she walked into the hotel.

"W-Wait, really?" Zoey gasped, quickly following after the vixen.

Soon enough, Fennel located the Doom Marine and tapped him on the shoulder. Zoey and Ruby watched from behind a potted plant.

"Oh hey, Fen," Bob turned and greeted her, "You need something?"

"Bob, I want you to sleep with me." The fox stated bluntly.

"What? Fennel, you said a few days that you didn't even want to-"

"I changed my mind." Fennel answered as she tried leading him to a hotel room.

"Well I haven't," Bob resisted Fennel's attempt at dragging him into a room, "I'm not doing it, Fennel."

"Why? Am I not good enough for you?" The vixen asked.

"No, that's not it, Fennel," Bob reasoned, "I just think you're taking this too quickly. We broke up, for god's sake!"

"Well then it doesn't have to be you." Fennel said letting go of Bob and heading back to her room.

Zoey and Ruby came out from their potted plant. "Latte?" Zoey piped up as they followed Fennel, "What're you doing?"

"I'm proving to myself that I know what I'm talking about." Fennel replied as she got on the bed and threw off her dress, revealing the new patches in her fur.

"Oh shit... Latte... Are you alright?" Zoey asked, approaching the fox and looking her over.

"I'm fine. I need to relieve some stress is all." Fennel answered.

"You mean like..." Zoey made a gesture with her hand,

"Yes."

Zoey was unsure of what to say for a moment before offering, "Do you... Need some help?"

"Just find me someone,"

"... Do you know where the tie is?" Zoey asked.

"Ask Ernette." Fennel replied, not realizing what Zoey had in mind.

Zoey blinked. If Ernette took the tie, then that could only mean... "I'll be right back. Ruby, you go hang out somewhere else," Zoey ordered before bolting out of the room, Ruby following briefly.

Zoey slammed her fist against the door to the room Clara and Ernette were in. "Guys! It's me! Open up!"

"C-come back in a bit!"

"I can't! I really need the tie, like, right now!" Zoey yelled.

"...Clara, I think we've done enough for now."

"Yeah," A monotone, masculine voice quickly shifted to an equally monotone, but feminine one, "She can have the tie. Can you hand it to her?"

"Yeah," the voice of Ernette agreed, taking a moment before the door opened, Ernette holding a cover over herself as she held out the tie with her other hand, "Here. Bring it back when you're done."

"Yeah, fine," Zoey quickly said, snatching the tie and running back to her room, putting the tie on as she ran. He wasn't sure what suddenly changed Fennel's mind on this, but Zoey was not going to make the woman wait.

He paused in front of the door for a short moment, thinking of what to say. He then quickly opened the door and stepped inside. "Did somebody order some toppings?" He asked.

Fennel looked up a Zoey and didn't speak. This was it, her breathing increased as Zoey approached.

As Zoey made his way to the bed, he quickly ripped off his denim jacket and shirt.

Fennel then began hyper ventaliating as she clutched as her chest she was struggling to breathe.

Zoey's eagerness waned as she hurried her approach and put a hand on Fennel's shoulder. "Latte, you alright? Are you okay?"

"Oh Draitigo what am I doing!?" She cried out before breaking down into sobs.

Zoey froze for a second before sliding his hand from her shoulder and slowly bringing Fennel into a hug. "It's okay, Latte... No toppings," Zoey assured.

"I can't I'm not ready for this." The vizen cried as she looked down at her patchy fur.

"It's okay, you.. You don't have to," Zoey said as he backed up a little from a hug into an embrace.

"I don't know how to help, I don't know how to help." Fennel muttered. "All I'm doing is making things worse."

"Wh-What do you mean making things worse? What're you talking about?" Zoey asked, letting go of Fennel with one hand so he could take off the tie and speak to the vixen proper.

"Ernette hates me, Clara's a psychopath, Elizabeth and Tina look at me like their mom but I can't keep it together for a day, I feel like all I've done is hurt everyone around me."

"... Latte... I don't wanna sound mean, but... I think you're losing your mind, and I should've figured that out when you suddenly said you wanted toppings," Zoey stated, feeling a little guilty for being so eager to take advantage of the situation.

"Nothing makes any sense." Fennel cried.as she curled up on the bed.

"Latte... Sure Ernette's mad at you... But you had nothing to do with Clara going nuts, and you've done a lot to help people out," Zoey tried to assure her.

"I keep trying to fix the problems your father caused and I-I-I-I don't know how. Would it have killed him to tell Elizabeth not to worry about being such a perfectionist, she's upset because she's not Gordan Ramsay at age nine." Fennel's cries soon devolved into what was a combination of incoherent blubbering and slurred Laviturnian words.

Zoey would have argued that there were no problems, but there obviously were. Clara was crazy, Elizabeth was trying too hard to be Gordon Ramsey, Maria and Madison have gambling addictions, Ruby's self-worth was based entirely on Zoey, Anna's a doormat that will do whatever she is told whether she wants to or not, and more...

And sure, Zoey's father was a busy man, and that could have been an excuse, but...

He always made time for her.

He always had time to lecture her.

Why didn't he talk to any of her other sisters as much? Especially Jannet?

"... Maybe you have a point," Zoey reluctantly muttered, "Our dad... Could've... Done better."

"What does it matter, what does anything matter." Fennel muttered as she curled up further, further revealing the large patches of missing fur on her back.

"Latte," Zoey said, grabbing Fennel by the shoulders and shaking her a bit to uncurl her, "Remember when I asked you if you would've been happier if we never met? And you said no?"

"Yes." She answered.

"Well I'm saying no too, and I'm sure everyone here, even Ernette once she cools off, would say no. You're not part of the family 'just because'. You're a part of the family because you act like it. Tina and Liz think you're a 'mom' because you've done a better job at being a mom than half- more than half- of our moms have, and they had it easy. You're dealing with twelve of us as the only '''mom''' here."

"Really?" Fennel sniffled.

"Yes, really," Zoey nodded.

"But, what about Jannet?" Fennel asked.

"You had just showed up at that point, and some asshole was manipulating her," Zoey huffed.

"Does your wizard freind think I'm doing a good job?" Fennel asked as she rubbed one of her arms

I... think she does the most satisfactory job she can handle.

"He said you're doing a great job, but he said it in dumb long wizard speak," Zoey answered.

Apparently "satisfactory" is too long. That's dutifully noted.

"Tell him I said thank you." Fennel requested.

"Latte says thanks," Zoey relayed.

I thought you all knew I hear and see everything you see, this is just- fine, thanks accepted.

"Can y-you get Bob I need to appologize to him."

"Alright, but first, the only thing you've done wrong is this, right now, saying this crap that you've ruined everything," Zoey stated, giving Fennel a quick ear scratch, "Don't say retarded stuff like that."

Fennel let out a small chuckle at Zoey's demand. "I'll try."

With that, Zoey pulled Fennel back into a hug once again.

Fennel closed her eyes as a few more tears fell before she mumbled "Thank you... sissy."

Zoey let a small huff of a laugh as she gently patted Fennel's back. "I love you, Latte," She murmured.

Fennel looked at herself, she really did look like a mangey animal, with the exception of her head, tail and hands she was missing large patches at this point all over her body. "Can you get Bob? You can tell him I've gone crazy."

"Yeah, but I think you're coming down from it," Zoey nodded, letting go of Fennel. She climbed off the bed and grabbed her shirt before heading out of the room, "I'll be back with Bob soon."

Fennel looked at the pink patches that bled through her brown fur. "I am a mess." Luckily, her clothes and a disguise could cover this. She sighed and waited for Bob to enter the room.

Bob walked in, and was caught offguard by her mangy appearance, "Hey... I... You okay?" he asked as he walked closer.

"No... I'm losing my mind." Fennel said in a defeated tone. "I'm sorry about earlier. I don't know what I was thinking."

"It's alright, I was a bit crass there," Bob admitted.

"I just thought if I slept with you, it would help me look like I knew what I was talking about with the girls. I thought Anise was on to something." Fennel admitted."It was stupid of me to think that would have fixed anything."

"It's not too stupid... you've been under a lot of stress," Bob nodded, "And I'm sorry I haven't been there to try and pick up some of that work."

"It's hard, Zoey says the girls all look up to me, but I don't know what to do. I wish things were simple like they were in Varie where i just had to punch things in the face and everyone was happy." Fennel answered. "I don't know what to do about Clara and Ernette. I don't want Ernette end up as a victim her whole life."

"I get that," Bob tried to assure, "And I should have been there so you dind't have to take it all, and... I want to help you. I know how hard it is, not doing things with just punching and taking what you want, but they're kids, no matter how... bad their upbringing was. We have to be better role models than their dad. You know it, and so do I."

“Is there any food? I havent eaten today.” Fennel asked Before her stomach audibly growled.

"..I'm not sure," Bob shook his head, "You wanna... go get something to eat? I haven't eaten either."

“Yeah,” Fennel answered before putting in jeans and a sweater. She was still shivering despite having been inside for a while now.

"You gonna be alright? I can go grab it alone, if you don't think you can go," Bob suggested.

“No, no. The others girls are probably worried about me.” Fennel said as she waited by the door.

"Alright," Bob nodded, opening the door and let Fennel take the lead.

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Re: Dimensional Clash IX [IC]

Post by Infested on Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:44 pm

Fennel walked out of the room before finding the girks eating in the lobby. She waved with a meek “Hey everyone.”

"Latte!" Zoey exclaimed, "Are you alright?"

“Yeah, I’m just hungry.”

With that, Elizabeth burst out of the kitchen, wheeling out a long shelf of dishes. "I had to go buy a bunch of stuff, but I made all of Zoey and Ruby's favorite foods!" She proclaimed, "Let's see them hunger strike wi-"

"Nah, we're not doing that anymore," Zoey interrupted.

Elizabeth's ecstatic wheeling came to a halt. "... Oh," She blinked. She looked at the shelf which had a large pumpkin pie as the centerpiece of the collection of foods. Surrounding it were plates of turkey-avacdo club sandwiches, a large bowl of guacamole with an even larger bowl of chips, a few plates of cheese enchiladas, a few small bowls of tomato soup, a few strawberry milkshakes, a coffee cake, and a strawberry shortcake. She had spent the entire day since Zoey and Ruby announced their short-lived hunger strike making food, and her slumped demeanor showed both how much she exhausted herself and how disappointed she was that it wasn't her that ended the hunger strike.

“I’m sure it would have worked, Elizabeth.” Fennel assured before grabbing half a sandwich.

:Whatever, I'm tired. I'm gonna go sleep in the bus," Elizabeth sighed, walking towards the front door.

“Are you sure? Elizabeth?” Fennel asked.

"Yeah, I just did a lot of work," Elizabeth mumbled, walking outside with a yawn.

“But why the bus?“ the fox inquired.

"Aren't we leaving later?" Elizabeth asked.

“I don’t know.” Fennel replied, reaching for another piece of food. As she did this the a large patch of skin would be visible on her arm.

As Madison munched away at the chips and guacamole, she took notice of Fennel's arm. With her mouth full of food, she pointed at the patch of skin and asked, "Are you okay? What happened to your arm?"

”Shedding.“ Fennel answered her tone indicated she didn’t want to talk about her current emotional state or the condition of her fur, she then pulled the sleeve back over the patch.

"Oh... Okay," Madison said, slowly returning to her chips and guacamole. She gave a few glances Fennel's way before focusing on chowing down.

Fennel took her own plate of chips and guac along with a milkshake and stood near Madison, “How are you holding up?”

"... Uhhh... Fine?" Madison answered, unsure of why Fennel was asking her the question, "How are you holding up?"

“Honestly, not great.” Fennel answered.

Madison's eyes darted down to Fennel's arm, then back to the vixen's face. "Do you... Wanna talk about it?"

“N-Yes.” Fennel answered after a moment's hesitation. “I think I’m losing my mind.”

"Losing your... What do you mean? What's going on?" Madison asked with a worried look on her face.

"I've practicaly run myself into the ground." The fox lamented.

"... Have you been... Ripping your fur out?" Madison asked, lowering her voice.

Fennel shook her head. "No, no, no."

"Fennel, it's okay," Madison tried to assure, placing a hand on the vixen's arm, "I... Don't tell anyone else but..." Madison seemed reluctant, but eventually admitted, "Maria... Hurts herself too. Maybe you guys can talk about it or something?"

"Sh-she what?" Fennel asked.

"Please don't tell anyone else. I'm the only person she's told," Madison begged.

"Okay." Fennel replied."I'll talk to her."

"Thank you. I think it'll be better for her if someone else that.. Like.. Actually does that too talks with her- Oh, and I won't tell anyone else it's not just 'shedding'," Madison promised, plopping some guacamole and chips onto a plate and heading over to a table where Maria was eagerly awaiting her food.

Fennel followed Madison with her food sat down next to Maria and said, "Hello."

"Oh, hey Fennel," Maria smiled as she stole one of Madison's chips, "I'm surprised you sat with us."

"Just thought I'd." Fennel was clearly stuggling to speak "... ch-change things up."

"Well, thanks for giving the background characters some spotlight," Maria joked, before noting Fennel's unease, "Are you okay?"

"Not really." Fennel answered.

"What's up?" Maria asked as she scooped some guacamole with her chip and tossed it into her mouth.

"Well I've had two mental breakdowns for starters." Fennel answered as she ran her fingers through her hair.

"She's ripping her fur out," Madison added, "I told her about the..." She awkwardly made a cutting motion with her hand on her own arm.

"I'm not ripping, it out, It's falling out becuase I've worried myself sick about you girls." Fennel said as her placed her head on the table.

"Wh- Why did you tell her? You said you wouldn't tell anyone," Maria hissed.

"Wh- I- Ju- I thought that- I thought she was ripping her fur out and stuff- I'm not good at talking or- Helping you out with this," Madison defended herself.

"You're right to be concerned.... Can you two follow me?" Fennel asked the girls

"God dangit, Maddy," Maria sighed as she and her sister stood up.

Fennel then led the girls to an empty room. "I'm not ripping out my fur but... its getting pretty bad." The fox then removed her shirt revealing her rather mangey apperance.

Maria and Madison both grimaced at the sorry state of Fennel. "Show her yours," Madison whispered loudly.

"Wh- It's not a-" Maria let out a sigh, "Fine." She reluctantly rolled up the sleeves of her jacket, turning her arms to reveal sets of scars on both. She didn't seem too emotional about it, moreso just grumpy that this event was taking place.

Fennel looked at Maria's arms in shock. "I-I-I, don't know what to say." She stammered.

"See, Maddy? This was dumb. You can't just drag people into this," Maria huffed as she rolled her sleeves back down.

"It's not dumb! She just needs to think for a bit," Madison insisted.

Fennel took a moment to think, she wasn't sure if what she was about to say would help Maria but she could hope. "I-I'm shedding because I'm worried, about all of you girls." She said.

"See? Now she's just gonna worry and shed more!" Maria whined.

"It's worth it." Fennel stated.

"It's not even a big deal, and now it's gonna be made a big deal," Maria complained.

"No, it is a big deal, Maria." Fennel countered.

"See!? Now it's already a big deal, Maddy!" Maria gestured a hand at Fennel.

"It's always been a big deal!" Madison shot back.

"I didn't know that- Wa- No, it's not a big deal! Now everything is just awkward! Now she's gonna be looking at me and thinking.. Uh- That's the 'cutting-herself-girl'."

"No, I see Maria, the happy girl from the changing room. I don't want to see you hurt." Fennel said.

"Well, then Maddy shouldn't have told you I cut myself."

"Well, then Fennel shouldn't have implied she rips her fur out," Madison tried to deflect the blame away from herself.

"But maybe I should try to help." Fennel said somewhat meekly.

Maria let out a long whine as Madison tried to convince her that this was a good idea by shaking her older sister.

"I don't want you to hurt yourself, Maria." Fennel continued.

"Maddy, this is why I told you not to tell anyone. Now she's gonna keep at it until I stop."

"Why don't you want to stop?" Fennel asked.

"I dunno... I just.. It's... I.. Just don't wanna, I... It's just... Something I do and... It... Was my own business," Maria pouted sadly.

"What... can I do for you?" The fox inquired.

"Do for- What?" Maria blinked.

"I don't want you to hurt yourself, but I don't know what to do." Fennel answered. "I need you to let me help you.."

Maria let out a sigh, "I just wanna do it, okay? It's something I get to do and... It's my business, nobody else's."

Fennel let out defeated sigh, unsure of what to do. "Will you think about it? Please?" She asked before putting her shirt back on.

"... Fine, okay, I'll think about it," Maria agreed.

Fennel then hugged Maria, unsure of what else to do. With a sigh of her own, Maria returned the hug. "... Maddy does magic tricks," She suddenly said.

"Maria!" Madison whined.

"Can you show me one?" Fennel asked.

"I'm not good at any yet!" Madison insisted, pouting and glaring at Maria, who simply stuck her tongue out at the younger sister with a smug look.

"I don't know any magic tricks." Fennel stated.

"What?! But you can do real magic!" Madison gasped.

"Stage magic isn't really a thing in Varie." Fennel replied.

"... Fine, but don't tell anyone I do magic tricks," Madison demanded, "I'm not good yet, and they'll make fun of me."

"Okay I won't tell anyone." Fennel said as her tail began wagging.

Madison turned around, pulling a deck of cards out of her pocket. She took in and let out a deep breath.

"... Pick a card! Any card!" Madison proclaimed, her demeanor changing as she swiveled around to face Fennel. She held out the deck, splayed out with every card face-down and available to the vixen in the little girl's hands.

Fennel then grabbed a card from her hands and looked at it, a queen a of hearts. "Okay, now what?"

"Don't show me your card, first, show it to Maria, then you two inspect the card and make sure it is just a regular card!" Madison instructed, "Once you're satisfied that it is just a regular card, I want you to fold it with the face being inside, then fold it again!"

Fennel then did as instructed and returned the card.

Madison held the folded card up, unable to see what kind of card it was. "Now, I will merge our digestive systems!" She declared, "I will eat this card, and you will poop it out!"

"What?" Fennel asked.

Madison tossed the folded up card into her mouth and began chewing. She grimaced at the card-flavored card before swallowing it with a brief struggle. "Phew... And NOW!" She dramatically gestured between her stomach and Fennel's as she yelled, "ALAKAZAM!"

Fennel would suddenly feel some sort of thin object inside of her pants, pressed against her rear.

Fennel then reached back and pulled a card out of the back of her pants. "How did you even!?"

"Ah ah ah! First... What card are you holding right now, and is it the card I just ate?"

Fennel looked at the card. "It was the queen of hearts, Yes." She answered.

Madison happily clapped her hands and jumped in place. "I did it! Yes!" She exclaimed.

"Wow, that was so cool." Fennel said as she placed the card down.

"Ask her how she did it," Maria whispered.

"How did you do it?" Fennel asked.

Madison gasped before clearing her throat and proclaiming with glee, "A magician never reveals her secrets!"

"Fine." Fennel lamented.

"Don't be sad!" Madison exclaimed, mystically waving her hands, "I ate some quarters earlier too you can have!" On cue, Fennel would feel a few coins in her pants.

Needless to say the fact that she felt several coins suddenly in her pants caused Fennel to yelp before going to the bathroom the remove the coins. "That's scary." She said from behind the door.

"If you think that's scary, look for the twenty dollar bill in your hair!" Madison yelled from outside the bathroom.

Fennel reached up, there was infact twenty dollars. She quickly placed it in her bra. "W-what else did you do?" She asked, a bit spooked.

"Do you like your new underwear?" Madison asked. In reality, Fennel's underwear was unchanged, she just wanted to mess with the vixen a little bit as she started laughing.

Fennel looked down... they were still the pink stripey ones. She shrieked before realizing that they were infact unchanged. Madison nearly fell to the ground as she laughed.

"That's not funny," Fennel quipped.

"Then why am I laughing?" Madison chortled.

"I dunno." Fennel replied.

"I promise, no more weird stuff," Madison swore, "Our digestive systems are hereby disconnected!"

“Oh good.” Fennel replied as she exited the bathroom fastening her pants.

"And you say you aren't good at magic tricks yet," Maria scoffed at Madison.

“So what‘s your hobby Maria?” Fennel asked.

"Maddy," MAria gestured her hand, and was given the deck of cards by her sister before splitting it in half and deftly shuffling it, "My own brand of magic: Luck!"

"Card games and stuff are the only times she ever wins bets against me," Madison remarked.

“Like what kinds?” Fennel asked.

"Any kind you can think of. Poker, Go Fish, Bullshit, Shithead, Caravan, Bridge, Spades, I could go on," Maria beamed before saying in aside, "My personal favorites are Poker and Shithead."

“I know go fish.” Fennel remarked.

"Wh- You don't even know Poker? Or Spades? Or Shithead?" Maria asked with surprise.

“I’ve heard of poker but never played it.” She explained. “You heard of Smash Bros?”

"... Is it a card game?" Maria asked.

“It’s a video game.“ Fennel answered.

"Oh!" Maria nodded.

"Mila probably knows what it is," Madison remarked, "She used her money she got from the play to get a... Game thingy for herself."

“We could play that with her.” Fennel suggested.

"She's probably in her room. Let's go," Maria waved for Madison and Fennel to follow her as she opened the door. The trio made their way down the hall and Madison happily knocked on a door.

"Hey! Mila! You in there?" Madison yelled.

Slowly, the door opened to reveal the seven-year-old Mila in her oversized purple shirt with unicorn cats on it and a beanie on her head. "Oh... Hey, uh.. What's up?" She asked, looking between Maria, Madison, and Fennel.

“Do you got smash bros?” Fennel asked.

"Huh? Um, yeah, I got it on my Switch Classic," Mila answered, "You guys want to play with me?" The question seemed to come from a place of surprise. A look over Mila would show she was alone in the room.

“Yeah, i‘d Like to join you.” Fennel answered.

"Now you're really getting in with the background characters," Maria remarked.

Mila pushed the door open before running to the center of the room, bubbling with excitement. "Lemme just connect it to the TV!" She exclaimed, fiddling with something on her Switch Classic.

It looked very similar to just a regular Nintendo Switch from 2017.

“Oh I have one of these back home.” Fennel commented, “So what kind of controllers do you have?” The vixen said as she looked around the room.

"I just have the ones that came with the console, but I got a pair of spares so.. We should all be able to play!" Mila beamed. The Switch Classic's screen flickered off just as the TV's flickered on, showing the main menu of a game called Super Smash Bros Showdown and blaring epic orchestral music

Mila was bouncing in place as she turned on each controller and handed them out to everyone. "Nobody ever plays games with me," She exclaimed. She showed extra excitement when handing a controller to Fennel, whom she had only just now spoken to personally since the fox's debut in the group.

Fennel gazed at the screen, “Oh they got Pokémon stadium!” Fennel stated rather excitedly.

"Look at all these places," Madison said in awe, "Final Destination... Mario Circut... Shrek's Swamp...Yoshi's Island- I don't even know what any of these are."

"My favorite is Temple," Mila said, "Are you okay with that one, Fennel?"

“Yeah that’s fine.” Fennel answered.

With the stage selected, an enormous cast of characters was presented to the four to choose as their fighter. It was far larger than any roster Fennel would have ever seen, and (obviously) the only roster Madison and Maria had seen.

"Oh my god..." Madison gasped.

"... Wait so... We choose... How are we supposed to know what any of them do?" Maria asked.

"You can move your thingy over to the bottom there and press random if you want," Mila said as she chose Sans, a stocky skeleton in a blue jacket, with his name being loudly declared by an announcer.

Fennel then put her cursor over over a fox wearing a jacket, her tail wagged rather enthusiasticly upon hearing the characters name.

"Of course, you chose the guy literally called 'Fox'," Maria remarked.

Fennel then put her hands on her cheeks and and said, “He‘s kinda hot.”

Madison, Maria, and Mila all burst into laughter at Fennel's comment. Madison eventually settled on Meta Knight while Maria chose 'Random'.

“Let’s do this.” Fennel said as the match began.

"Oh hey, I can fly- AAAAAAAAAAA!" Madison screamed as Meta Knight flew off the edge of the stage and was promptly shot downwards by a flurry of bones and lasers summoned by Sans, who landed safely back on the stage and did a taunt, winking at the players and shrugging.

Maria, meanwhile, spawned into the game as Bayonetta. "Ha! You already died!" She boasted, "I mean- I probably won't win, but I'll beat you!"

"Oh yeah!? You wanna bet?" Madison huffed.

"Hell yeah, your magic tricks won't help you cheat this time!" Maria sneered as Bayonetta hopped around the stage, attacking the air.

Fennel seemed to be focusing heavily on spamming that crappy b projectile and shining around the stage. Fox was able to land a fair on bayonetta as Fennel called “Gotcha!”

"Wh- Wait- What?" Maria blinked as Bayonetta was murderized before her very eyes.

Madison let out a laugh as Meta Knight flied blissfully over everyone else, but was once again grounded by Sans who summed some sort of unholy skull into existence which let out a retro charging up noise before firing a bright, white laser at Fox.

"Gotcha!" Mila giggled.

“Hiya!” Fennel screamed as Fox did a summersault leading into a kick.

Sans casually slid out of the way of the attack before he could be kicked as a pitfall of bones sprouted up from the ground to meet Fox.

Fennel was a clever girl and quickly ordered fox to dissapear and reappear behind the skeleton. “Get side b’d!”

Mila let out a gasp as she swung her controller upwards while pushing the actual button that would make Sans move. The short skeleton jumped upwards, summoning another laser to fire down at Fox.

Fox was then surrounded by a hexagonal shield reflecting a laser. “Shine!” Fox then moved in for a grab, nothing happened. “Wait how do I grab?” Fennel asked looking at her controller.

"Oh, you just push-" Mila quickly mashed a few buttons on her controller, having Sans grab Fox as he was impaled from all directions by bones before following up with another laser.

Fennel spammed the buttons releasing fox before sans was trapped in a grab before being thrown to ground and shot several times.

As the matches went on, Madison and Maria eventually left the room because of being curbstomped over and over, leaving only Mila and Fennel as they finished one last match.

“You got me.” Fennel said as she looked at the defeat screen one last time.

"Yay!" Mila squealed, "You were really good though!"

“Yeah! Wait where did Maria and Madison go?” Fenn asked.

"Huh?" Mila looked around and frowned, "Yeah, that usually happens when I get people to play with me."

“That’s sad.” Fennel replied.

"... Yeah..." Mila murmured before looking at the TV screen, "But I can still have fun playing them by myself.... And you stayed!" She turned her head back to Fennel with a big smile.

“Do you have something with a team mode, then maybe they would like it more?" Fennel asked.

"They just don't really like video games all that much," Mila sighed, "Everyone has stuff that they like to do, like Lizzy and cooking or Anna and art stuff."

“Yeah I guess everyone has thier hobbies. Did you want me to keep playing with you?” Fennel asked.

"Um... If you want to," Mila replied.

“Why not.” Fennel replied.

====

After Fennel and the girls had left, one of the trash cans in the lobby shook and shook, before it fell over, Shlyke skittering from it and spitting out an empty coffee cup. "Bah!" he hissed, scratching at his tongue in irritation, "Little good in those... I smell a better taste..." The bug flickered his tongue out a few times, his eyes looking around before focusing on the guacamole and chips, though there was the notation of the rest of the food, gasping, "Ah! Got it!"

Shlyke steadied himself in a crouch, his abdomen shaking as he flicked out his wings, before jumping up, fluttering at the table, hoping to land on the table, right in front of the bowl of dip. However, he had miscalculated, and instead smashed into the side of the table, knocking the guacamole onto the floor.

"God dammit, stupid bug!" Zoey yelled.

"My guacamole!" Elizabeth cried out.

"Is fine!" Shlyke assured, holding up a pair of hands, "Is fine... food is still eatable!"

"Wh- It's on the floor! You're not supposed to eat food off the floor- And especially not from the trash!" Zoey snapped.

"He was just in the fucking trash," Bob remarked, "I don't think he cares about the floor."

And indeed, Shlyke did not care about the floor, getting down on all six and starting to lick the guacamole off the floor fervently. "Mmmm!" he mused, "It is still holding all good taste!"

"Fucking- You let this guy screw you, Tina? You probably got fucking... Bug AIDS now," Zoey groaned, "Or bug herpes."

"Wait- what?" Bob shook his head in confusion, "He did what?"

"Yeah, shithead here fucked Tina! Not just ate her out or something, literally fucked her!" Zoey confirmed.

Bob took that in for a moment, fuming as he turned to Shlyke, who was absorbed in his guac-licking. With an angry expression, Bob stormed up to the bug and snatched him by the back of the neck, causing Shlyke to let out a shrill chirp and flailed about as he was dragged off by Bob, "That's it, goddamnit. I'm not having you come in here and fuck Tina!" he exclaimed.

"Bob, stop!" Tina yelped, running up to the Doom Marine and pulling at his leg, "Shlyke is really nice! Let him go, please! He said he wouldn't do it again!"

"And I'm supposed to thing a trash-eating bug is gonna keep his word? They told us back at his camp not to fucking deal with him!" Bob retorted angrily, "They said his people eat people! Why should I trust this cannibal son-of-a-bitch to not go back on his word?!"

"P-please, strong man!" Shlyke begged, "Please!"

"Elizabeth eats people!" Tina retorted.

"Wh- No-!" Elizabeth snapped at Tina before quickly defending herself to Bob, "I do not eat people! I-I just said one time I wonder what human meat tastes like, but I never actually ate a person!"

"Lizagna, that's really weird," Zoey commented.

"Let him go!" Tina begged, tugging at Bob's leg with all her six-year-old might, "I'll get him to not eat trash!"

Bob was going to keep going, to throw Shlyke out in the cold and hope he froze... But he stopped, his grip loosening slightly. He thought on it for a moment, noting the genuine distress Tina showed for her new-found friend.

"...Fine," Bob gave in with a heavy sigh, letting Shlyke fall to his feet and rush to Tina's side, "But if I hear anything else about him doing anything bad, he's gone. You want him to stay? He's gotta work by the rules everyone else plays by. Got it?"

"Thank you, Bob!" Tina exclaimed graciously, hugging his leg.

"You're welcome," Bob replied, picking Tina up and returning the hug, before setting Tina back down, "Oh, and yeah, no more trash-eating."

"I'll teach him how to have manners!" Tina promised, turning to look down at the dropped bug, "Are you ready, Shlyke?"

"I-uh-Now?" Shlyke asked in confusion, looking nervously to the Doomguy before nodding suddenly back to Tina, "Yes-yes-yes, of course!"

"Great!" Tina beamed, skipping over to a table and sitting down, "First, we sit down when we eat! We don't eat on the floor or in trashcans! We also don't eat out of trashcans."

"But what if someone throws away some whole, good food? That is just a waste!" Shlyke huffed, sitting down next to Tina.

"That is a waste, but once it's in the trashcan, it's nasty. It gets germs on it," Tina explained.

"...And?"

"Germs are gross! And they can make you sick, or get other people sick!"

"I never get sick from trash, but I see point," Shlyke sighed, "Eh... maybe less so the floor, though."

"People walk on the floor! That's gross too!"

"Wouldn't people walking squish germs on the floor? I am confused," Shlyke sighed, obviously not knowing exactly how germs and bacteria work.

"They're too small to be squished! Also there's dirt and stuff on the floor," Tina pointed out.

"Ah, fine, I won't eat off the floor," Shlyke agreed begrudgingly, "...But what about if it splatters on walls? People don't step on it with germs and dirt!"

"Yeah, but nobody ever cleans walls, so they get dirty too. You're only supposed to eat food if it's on a plate or a bowl or something like that- Oh, or from a bag, like chips!" Tina explained, pointing to her sisters who were still eating, "See?"

Shlyke looked to the girls and stared tenatively at their actions, though the insect nature of his eyes made it look like he was just staring in general. "Hmm.. interesting bags...," he murmured.

"Now, try getting us some enchilalas! We'll need forks and knives too to eat them!" Tina instructed.

"Why would you need those to eat?" Shlyke scoffed, "You have hands and mouth. Is all you need, right?"

"Some foods, you're not allowed to touch with your hands," Tina clarified, "Chips are you can, those are called 'finger foods'! But enchilalas, you're supposed to cut them into smaller pieces with a knife, then stab them with a fork, and you hold the fork and bring that piece of the enchilada to your mouth."

"But why?" Shlyke asked as he brought all the needed supplies, enchiladas included, to the table.

"Because they have stuff on them that'll get on your hands, and then if you touch stuff, you'll get sauce on everything. It's also just good manners."

"Manners... what good are they, other than eating?" Shlyke asked, trying to pick up his fork to no avail.

"They're just good, and they make people like you more," Tina said as she picked up her fork with ease.

Shlyke was too busy attempting to pick up his fork to examine Tina's technique, trying to pick it up by its end and lift it up like a claw machine, but it clattered out of his hand, and onto the floor. He let out a slur of bug-filled annoyance, before bending over to attempt to pick it up again, "I don't forks work at all. I cannot even pick mine up!" he huffed, slamming a hand down on the pointed end of the fork, only to have it flip up and smack him in the face.

"Are you okay?" Tina gasped, "Also, you can't use that fork now. It landed on the ground. You need to get a new one."

Shlyke let out an angered huff as he shimmied out from under the table, grumbling to himself as he slid a fork off of the table, and into his hand, before placing it down on the table to try and pick it up.

"... You need to grab it like this," Tina instructed, holding her own hand and fork out to Shlyke.

The Abrol looked dumbfounded at the sudden realization that he had been picking up his fork wrong the entire time, slowly imitating her with a shaky, somewhat annoyed hand.

"Good job!" Tina praised, "Now, stab your enchilala, pick up your knife, and cut off that piece!"

"Why can't I just stab it, and put it in my mouth to eat?" Shlyke asked, poking and prodding his food to get a handle for the uppolstry.

"You're only supposed to get a bite-sized amount on your fork, or else you'll make a mess and get sauce all over your face." Tina demonstrated by holding up a bite-sized enchilada piece.

"I'd just lick it off..." Shlyke mumbled, picking up his knife and beginning to cut into his enchilada, cutting it into fair thirds, then thirds again and holding up a bite-sized piece, "You humans eat weird. All these manners."

"Well, I'm really happy that you're doing good manners so far!" Tina exclaimed before quickly adding, "Oh, and don't talk when there's food in your mouth. Swallow, then talk." She then stuck her enchilada piece into her mouth and happily chewed.

The locust looked boredly at the tiny piece and sighed, before taking the piece into his mouth with a flick of his tongue, crushing it in his mandibles, before swallowing quickly.

"See? It's easy! And now nobody will get mad at you or think you're weird!"

"It's slow," Shlyke harrumphed, "I could eat quicker with my hands."

"... But that makes it better!" Tina smiled, "Then you get to enjoy your food longer!"

"Fine, fine, eating is of the better with a fork, I will keep eating with it," the bug groveled, shoving another piece of enchilada in its mouth.

"Yay!" Tina squealed before eating another enchilada piece herself.

Shlyke quickly finished his meal, and sighed, "Hmm... That was very little food for Shlyke's liking, hm. Do you think they would be mad if I... had more?"

"Lizzy made a bunch of food, so I think it's okay," Tina shrugged.

Shlyke let out a chitter of excitement as he pulled himself out of his seat and skittered to the shelf, taking the remainder of the sandwiches and chips and putting them onto his plate with anticipation. He brought the heavy plate back to the table, and began to cut his way into the sandwich pile with his fork and knife.

"Oh, wait! You don't need a fork for sandwiches!" Tina giggled, "You can just grab them!"

No fork?” Shlyke gasped, slamming the fork down as he began to tear into the sandwiches intensely, eating voraciously and with very little grace.

"You still can't make a mess!" Tina chastised.

The Abrol groaned, a mouth full of sandwich before swallowing, “So many rules to do eating right! It’s too many!”

"You'll get used to them," Tina assured with a big smile.

“...Fine,” Shlyke grunted, slowing his pace and taking smaller bites in order to leave less of a mess, “And why do you not want to make messes again?”

"Because then you have to clean them up," Tina explained.

“So?”

"And people don't like messes or cleaning."

“Then just eat it all at once so no mess is made. Or make smaller foods to make no mess.”

“But if you eat it all at once, you might choke!"

“Then chew gooder, so you won’t! Simple as that!”

"You still might choke!"

Shlyke shrugged, “There’s always chance of choke. You can drink water and choke. You can breath and choke. You just make sure there is less chance of choking.”

"Then... Don't eat it all at once! I was right!" Tina sneered.

“No, you just chew it all at once!” Shlyke argued, “Bah! It is impossible to explain to little girl! You don’t use mouth like Abrol, you don’t get how much can fit!”

"Hmph! Fine! If you can eat a whole sandwich all at once without making a mess, then... You can do that!" Tina harrumphed, watching to see if the alien could pull it off.

Shlyke snickered as he grabbed a sandwich in a hand, his mandibles parting as wide as they could, before he shoved the food in, starting to chew quickly, before attempting to swallow the remains of the turkey-avacdo club sandwich. But mid swallow, he tensed up and began to cough. Tina was right; he was choking.

"Ha! Wait- AAAH!" Tina screamed, scurrying from her seat and behind the Abrol. Bug anatomy was certainly different from human anatomy, but she hoped the heimlich maneuver would work just the same.

Tina’s assumption would turn out to be correct, as Shlyke spat out a slurry of half-chewed sandwich pieces and gasped for a breath, bracing himself on the table. “Y-you right! No whole!” Shlyke huffed, “Whole food gets a choking!”

"Are you okay?!" Tina cried out, standing by Shlyke's side with her little hands on one of his arms.

“I.. I think..?” Shlyke murmured, looking over the situation and sighing, “And I made a mess... Good for Shlyke, no?”

"Not good at all," Tina shook her head, "Now it has to be cleaned up."

Shlyke looked about, knowing he wasn’t supposed to clean it with either his mouth or bare hands, “So so I use fork and knife? Or other annoying thing?”

"It's all slimy," Tina frowned, "I think you need to clean it with a paper towel. Forks are just for eating."

“Alright,” Shlyke stumbled out of his seat and moved to grab a roll of paper towels, “I still don’t like these seats. No consideration for abdomens. Such a shame for Shlyke.”

"Maybe you can sit in it a special way," Tina mused.

“How?” The bug asked, still looking for paper towels.

"... I dunno."

“How much help,” Shlyke sighed as he brought back a roll of paper towels, and began to lay individual pieces of paper towel on the pieces of sandwich.

"... W-What are you doing?" Tina began giggling.

“Is this not cleaning?” Shlyke asked as he dropped another paper towel on a particularly salivated piece of the mess.

"You gotta pick up the sandwich stuff with the paper towels and then put it in the trash- Good job not using the entire roll though!" Tina gave Shlyke two thumbs up.

“... I knew that!” Shlyke lied as he corrected his work, picking up the mess with paper towels “Yes-Yes! I was just... getting it ready to pick up! Yes! That’s it! I was doing the preparing!”

"Oh, okay," Tiny nodded, not believing for a second that Shlyke would so blatantly decieve her.

“...No, I kid,” Shlyke admitted as he tossed the collected paper towels away, “I kid. I know not what I was doing with the paper towels. I just try to clean.”

"Oh... Well, you're doing a good job!" Tina nodded happily.

"Thank you very much!" Shlyke nodded affirmatively.

"Hey! Bob!" Tina called, waving her arm, "Shlyke is already doing good at manners! Shlyke! Eat an enchilala!"

Shlyke happily agreed to Tina's demand, grabbing a plate with an enchilada, setting it down, and beginning to cut it up with a fork and knife, eating the tiny pieces as he went.

Bob, sitting at a table across the room, said nothing to TIna, only watching the bug intently.

"... Hmph," Tina pouted at the lack of a response from Bob before turning back to Shlyke and praising him once more, "I think you're doing really good."

"Ohhh! Thank you! I think I am doing good too!" Shlyke agreed, finishing his enchilada. All this eating got the Abrol thinking of his original goals with Tina... and how they had gone so far from them. How Tina had treated him so kindly, and all he had wanted was to eat her. "...I feel sick of myself," Shlyke murmured.

"Wait, what?" Tina blinked with a look of worry.

"I-Nothing, nothing," Shlyke responded quickly, stacking his empty plates up. before picking up his napkin and dabbing it on his mandibles and general mouth area, having ascertained this cleaning technique from watching the girls eating, "Nothing, I'm... fine."

"If you're sick, we can go to our room and you can sleep," Tina suggested.

"...Alright," Shlyke agreed and nodded, letting Tina lead the way to their room.

The six-year-old opened up the door and hurried over to one of the beds, pulling aside the bedhseets so Shlyke would have an easier time getting into bed.

The Abrol looked to the bed for a moment, looking it up and down before hopping up where Tina had pulled the bedsheets away, sitting on his feet as he normally would on the bed. "You're too kind," he muttered, looking at the comforter and pillow with curiosity.

Tina slid into the bed after the locust, laying her head on the pillow and resting sideways to look at Shlyke with an innocent smile. "Come on, sleep," Tina insisted, "It'll make you not as sick."

Shlyke kneaded his sharp toes into the bed, finding some comfort in the motions, before laying down somewhat like a cat would, his feet tucked in under his body as he did not cover up. "It's not a sick like.. sick sick, it's... hard to explain to you," he tried to explain and failed.

"What do you mean?" Tina asked as she sat up so she could pull the sheets and comforter over Shlyke before laying back down, scooching close to the alien.

"It's... as Abrol, I am... I.. have done bad things," Shlyke admitted, "Terrible things. Things no one should forgive Shlyke for."

"Like what?"

"I... My tastes," Shlyke sighed, "They're for... others."

Tina did not seem to understand, simply staring at Shlyke as she tried to decipher what he meant.

"Others as in... other people," the bug tried to explain, seeing the confusion in Tina's eyes, before looking away in a somewhat ashamed look.

"... Well, duh! I know you like tasting people!" Tina giggled, "You said my arm tastes good."

"Not like that... the tastes would turn into... meals..." Shlyke murmured, his antennae shrinking back in shame, "And I... thought of you as a future one."

"Oh..." Tina seemed uneasy for only a brief moment before smiling once again, "But not anymore, right?"

"...Yeah," Shlyke mumbled, "That's why I feel sick. I... I am not a good person to have even thought those things."

"Well... Um... Daddy says not to hold grudges, so I forgive you!" Tina exclaimed, snuggling up against the Abrol.

Shlyke looked back and snickered, "Well... If you're willing to forgive, then it is good," he returned the snuggle, resting his head against Tina's shoulder, "You are... the only real kind of friend I have had."

"... Then I'm also your best friend," Tina said happily, trying to ignore how sad the statement Shlyke had made was.

"... The bestest," Shlyke agreed, burying his head into Tina's shoulder more, "... Do you really think Bob will throw me out? If I do something wrong?"

"Hmph... I won't let him," Tina promised with a brief pout.

"He'll stop for you, I bet," Shlyke snickered, a hand peeking out of his pose to pat Tina's head, "Thanks."

Tina let out a light giggle and a sigh as she closed her eyes. "Goodnight... noon," Tina murmured.

"Good noon to you too," Shlyke responded quietly, his actions slowing as he pulled his arm back under his body, before he stopped altogether, having fallen asleep, though no one could really tell with his eyes still open.


Infested
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Re: Dimensional Clash IX [IC]

Post by Infested on Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:45 pm

Eventually Fennel was wearing her disguise back in her room sitting on the edge of the bed and brushing her hair. ”So, where are we headed to tomorrow?”

"Uhhh... I dunno, whatever's between here and Canada," Zoey shrugged, "Why're you wearing the human suit?"

“I’d rather keep the shedding thing on the down low. It just I looks like I have mange.” Fennel replied.

"What's mange?"

“It’s a skin condition caused by mites. Like lice but worse.” Fennel said.

"Ew," Zoey frowned, "I'm glad I don't have fur."

”It’s kind of annoying sometimes.” Fennel replied as she began loosening her outfit on the assumption they were staying in the hotel one more night.

Zoey, used to nudity, didn't question the action. "Why not find, like, a wizard to make you permanently look like that then? Then you wouldn't have to worry about me sneak attacking your ears."

“Well, I mean it’s not me.” Fennel answered, “I am a fox.”

"Human with fur, big ears, and a tail," Zoey casually argued.

“Yes, but why don’t you shave your head.” Fennel replied as she removes her dress.

"Because my hair makes me look sexy," Zoey answered, "... Okay, I get your point."

“It’s like that, and I feel extra naked without it.” Fennel continued removing the remainder of her clothes With a yawn. Fennel then stood up and looked around the room for a minute, "Do you think we’ll see anything neat along the way?”

"We might pass through New York," Zoey mused, "We could see where the Hold would be! I doubt there's anything there here, but still!"

”Maybe there would be museum or something on the way.” Fennel mused.

"Oooh! I love museums!" Zoey exclaimed, "We had one back in the Hold! I used to go there a lot!"

“We had a really neat one in Laviturn.” Fennel noted.

"Ours was way better though," Zoey boasted, "It was all about the Hold, when it was built, how it was built, historical stuff about it, and it was all about our dad."

”Ours was mostly about Laviturnian history.” Fennel mused.

"Huh... Yeah, our's is better," Zoey giggled, "We had a model replica of the Hold, and it even had a bunch of little tiny us'es."

“Worked near there so I ended up In a lot of photographs with tourists so that’s got to count for something.” Fennel mused.

"Were-... I'm guessing they're not the kind of photographs I'm thinking of," Zoey remarked.

Fennel then struck a rather provocative pose on the bed “Yeah because I was totally a pin up at work.” She joked.

"I think you'd be a good pin up."

Fennel then struck another pose, “Please, I could be a whole calender.” She replied.

"Man, Latte, I wasn't expecting you to give us a show tonight," Zoey half-joked.

Fennel then took a much more modest pose. “I mean... it just kind of feels like I’m wearing clothes.” Fennel answered rather embarrassed.

"Then keep showing off what you're wearing!" Zoey encouraged.

“I think I’m good for now.“ Fennel replied.

Zoey folded her arms and pouted, "Man, I was enjoying that."

Fennel then patted her hip, ”That’s the end of the show, Zoey.” She joked.

"... So you did take sexy pics at work?"

“I mean... I posed a little bit but not nudes or anything.” Fennel explained.

"You should've," Zoey slowly shook her head, "You wouldn't believe how much I've gotten paid for my nudes since we started this trip... Don't tell Bob."

“If you stop selling them yeah.” Fennel replied.

"So you'll sell your nudes if I stop selling mine?" Zoey asked, obviously focusing on the context she wanted to focus on.

“No I won’t tell Bob.” Fennel replied.

"But I get so much money! Like- Especially when it's stuff with me and Ruby together, I get buttloads of money! But even just by myself, I get tons!"

“That’s... disturbing you can find customers.” Fennel commented.

"Ernette does the selling," Zoey corrected, "And what're you implying by saying that's disturbing? I'm hot!"

“Look, just people into teenage girls is kinda creepy is all.” Fennel replied.

"Then maybe..." Zoey reached under the covers and popped the accursed tie on, "I can give 'em something other than a teenage girl.“

“I mean it’s better. At least the pictures aren’t illegal, still kind of weird.” Fennel remarked, and covered her eyes. “Can you put some pants on?”

"... You know what? I kinda wanna try this thing out in the bathroom," Zoey remarked, hopping off of the bed and making his way towards the bathroom.

“Yeah peeing standing up is pretty nice.” fennel replied.

"... Yes, that's what I was talking about," Zoey nodded as he shut the door.

“Wait a second, Zoey you better not!”

"It's too late, Latte," Zoey called from within the bathroom, "... You should try this when you get the chance!"

“Zoey, stop it, you're weirding me out.” Fennel begged.

"You're the one making this weird by talking to me while I'm doing it," Zoey countered, "Just talk to Ruby or watch TV." Ruby waved to Fennel upon hearing her name.

Fennel then went over to Ruby and watched television with her until Zoey was done. After about ten minutes, he finally left the restroom with a satisfied sigh, plopping down beside Ruby and Fennel.

“You done?“ Fennel asked rather miffed.

"Come on, you can't tell me you haven't wondered what it's like for guys when they do it," Zoey huffed.

“Okay a little bit," Fennel admitted, looking away.

"I won't tell anyone if you try it," Zoey offered.

“I’m good.” Fennel said, covering her eyes once again.

"Oh my god," Zoey rolled his eyes. He grabbed a nearby pillow and placed it in his lap, "There, I'm covered up."

“Thank you.” Fennel said, ”As a boy... what do you think of my disguise?”

"I think you saw what I think of it," Zoey smugly answered.

“You weren’t... thinking of me were you!?” Fennel gulped.

"Wh- Bu- I mean.. You did some pretty nice poses, so it was fresh on my mind," Zoey explained.

“I think I’m flattered.” Fennel replied, blushing a bright red.

Zoey's eyebrows raised in surprise before his smile returned. "You should be," He remarked before assuring, "But yeah, your disguise looks good, Latte." He reached around behind Fennel and patted her shoulder.

Fennel looked at Zoey for a moment before grabbing his arm and nuzzling it with the side of her face, she just needed some form of comfort.

Zoey stared at Fennel for a moment. His hand slid down from Fennel's shoulder to her arm, gently pulling her close as they watched TV.

Fennel gasped but didn’t make an attempt to remove Zoey’s arm.

"... I think regular you looks even better though," Zoey said after a few moments of television watching.

“Even with all the missing fur?” Fennel asked before wrapping her arms around Zoey’s torso.

"Even with all the missing fur," Zoey assured with a slow nod.

Fennel looked up at Zoey before returning her attention to the television. "Do, you think you could put some clothes on?" Fennel asked.

Zoey snickered before groaning out a, "Fiiiiiine." He stood up and took a few steps to grab his jeans and denim jacket just so he could throw something on real quick to satisfy the vixen. Once mostly-clothed, he returned to his place beside Fennel and wrapped his arm around her once more.

Fennel took a moment to question just exactly what she was doing, but her current mental state wasn't really helping her judgement before she asked "Where's Elizabeth again?"

"I think she's sleeping in the bus since we're gonna leave soonish," Zoey answered.

"Wait, how soon?" Fennel asked.

"Not like, right this second, but later," Zoey shrugged.

"Oh, I guess I'll just get dressed." Fennel said as she went to put her clothes back on.

"It's pretty convenient the clothes I had on man-ified with me," Zoey remarked, glancing down at his open denim jacket.

Fennel took a moment to look at Zoey, "That's pretty man-ified." She agreed noticing that Zoey's male form was good looking.

"Yeah, it'd be kinda weird if I was a guy wearing a tiny jacket," Zoey laughed, thinking Fennel was referring more to his clothes than his body.

Fennel finished putting her maid outfit on before she began brushing her hair to kill time. "So, being a guy is kind of wierd, just having the dangly bits is uncomfortable." She commented.

"Oh, yeah," Zoey nodded, "Like, I don't know how guys wear pants. I'm just- I happen to be in the perfect position where my balls aren't squeezed."

"I mean it's no wonder they always sit with their legs spread apart all the time." Fennel added as she continued brushing her hair. "I hear it hurts really bad if they just barely get nicked."

"Owch," Zoey grimaced, placing the pillow back over his lap just to be safe.

"I mean it can't be that bad can it?" Fennel mused.

"I don't wanna find out," Zoey shook his head.

"Eh it's not that important I guess." Fennel replied as she got up and adjusted her outfit to fit better, she leaned into the mirror to get a better look at her face., "I don't look stressed for a human do I?" Fennel asked.

"I dunno, I don't think so," Zoey shrugged, "You look good."

"Are you hitting on me?" Fennel asked realizing that Zoey had been complementing her appearance quite a bit.

Zoey's smile gave way to a look of surprise. "Wh- No, I'm just saying, you know, you look good," He quickly answered.

"Sssuuurre. What's next, you're gonna be acting like how I was around Bob a few days ago just because you gotta sudden burst of testosterone?" Fennel joked.

"... What?" Zoey blinked.

"Like... man heat. You got all that testosterone pumping through you. I mean, of course you would be attracted to a beauty such as me." Fennel said before striking a slightly flirtatious pose with a joking tone.

"I mean, before it was estrogen, and I think it's pretty much the same," Zoey mused, "Just... Now I get boners."

"Yeah, I saw that." Fennel replied.

"Did you like what you saw?" Zoey asked as he stifled a snicker.

"I am not answering that." Fennel replied.

"That means yes," Zoey sneered.

"That doesn't mean I wanted to see yours." Fennel retorted as she held up the brush joke threateningly.

"Not at first," Zoey said with a grin, "You're not saying you regret seeing it."

Fennel then chucked the brush has hard as she could at the pillow over Zoey's crotch in response.

"Oh thank god I put that pillow there," Zoey let out a sigh of relief before smirking, "I'll take that as a 'You're right, but I don't wanna admit it'."

"Shut up." Fennel replied as she tried took a pillow off the bed and covered her face with it.

"C'mon, Latte, don't be so embarrassed," Zoey snickered, gesturing the vixen back over to him and Ruby, "I even promise not to tell anyone."

Fennel removed the pillow frm her face and looked at Zoey. "I just feel wierd when you do that." She answered.

"What, you don't like dicks?" Zoey asked, knowing full-well the opposite was true.

"I mean I do it's just. I'm not married and I feel uncomfortable looking at them because of that." Fennel stammered.

"... Huh?" Zoey and Ruby both cocked their heads to the side in confusion.

"It just feels weird." Fennel replied, noticing the girls confusion. "You wouldn't understand."

"But it's not like you're touching it," Zoey said, scratching his head as he tried to wrap his head around this.

"I know, it's just I don't really want the idea of what could happen to linger around in my head." The fox explained as she wrapped her arms tighter around the pillow.

"... Eh, whatever, come watch TV," Zoey shrugged after a few moments and realizing the topic was probably not worth getting Fennel uncomfortable over since his pants were already on. He patted the spot beside himself, glancing at the TV screen.

Fennel sat down by next to Zoey as she continued to hug the pillow and turned her attention to the screen. "So is Bob supposed to get us when it's time to leave or what?" The vixen asked.

As Fennel asked, Bob knocked at the door, "Zoey? Fennel? We're getting ready to go, you guys."

Fennel then got up and opened the door, greeting Bob in her maid outfit. "Is there anything you need me to get before we go?" Fennel asked as she looked up at Bob.

"Uh, no, I think we're good," Bob shook his head, "I'm just making sure everyone's getting ready to get back on the road."

Fennel nodded before answering, "Very well master Bob." with a curstey her tone indicated these particular words and action were done as a joke.

"Come on, Rub, let's quickly pack up our stuff," Zoey said, standing up as Ruby quickly began packing their things up for the both of them, "Hey, Bob!"

Fennel grabbed her bags and took the girl's things as she said "I can get those mistresses Zoey and Ruby." before she headed out to the bus.

"Yeah?" Bob answered back, realizing Zoey was a boy again, "Why are you wearing that tie again?"

"Are you saying you haven't been curious to try the crown and see what being a girl is like?" Zoey asked.

"Yes, I am sure I do not want to wear that crown," Bob nodded, "And I definitely do not want to wear it while you're wearing that tie."

Zoey immediately burst into laughter at Bob's insinuation, nearly falling over as he held onto the bed for support.

"...Okay, maybe that is a bit too far of an assumption," Bob chuckled, "But still! I don't like the idea of turning into a girl and back."

"Come on! You wouldn't wanna try it? Even for a little bit just to see? You've never been the littlest bit curious?"

"...Okay, A little," Bob admitted, "But not enough to put the thing on!"

"Hmph, I doubt Ernette would give it to you anyway," Zoey harrumphed.

"Yeah, I bet it's like, glued to her head at this point," Bob mused.

As they spoke, Ernette passed by, pulling both Clara's and her's briefcases along behind her. While it seemed she noticed everyone else, it looked as if she was trying to stay out of any sort of discourse with them, hastening her pace slightly.

Fennel meanwhile was at the door it seemed she had gotten distracted by something and was standing in the lobby and noticed Ernette. "Ernette." Fennel huffed as she continued carrying the bags outside.

"Fennel," Ernette regarded back with a similar tone, focusing on taking their luggage to the bus as well. While she was definitely in a better mood, the Benefactor wanted nothing to do with Fennel, even after her success with Clara.

Fennel at this point had given up on trying to help Ernette, but not Clara specifically, so if Ernette wanted to be a miserable person that was all her problem.

"...Me and Clara are back together," Ernette muttered as she heaved the luggage in, "No thanks to you."

"Good for you." Fennel replied, her tone didn't seem to carry any of the worry from earlier but rather indifference.

Ernette was taken aback for a moment at the sheer indifference, before realizing that Fennel really did want nothing to do with her or her relationship. Her expression dipped into a frown, before she began to walk back inside.

"If you would excuse me, I need to attend to the baggage of Mistresses Zoey and Ruby." Fennel said answered before the woman left.

She hadn't even told them she couldn't work for them anymore, and they had already replaced her with Fennel[/i], of all people.[/i] The spited thought simmered in her head as she walked back, her frown disappearing as she took a deep breath, before putting on a smile and walking up into the bus, taking a seat and holding it in anticipation of Clara, who subsequently sat down beside Ernette, wrapping an arm behind the woman grabbing her hip possessively.

Fennel then placed the bags in the bus and sat down next to Elizabeth. "Mistress Elizabeth, is there anything you require?" Fennel had since decided to escape into a fantasy to help manage her stress and being a maid just so happened to be that fantasy.

"Oh, hey Fennel. You don't have to be my maid if you don't want to," Elizabeth assured once more.

“I think it’ll keep my mind off things.” Fennel replied in an almost customer-service-esque tone.

"Okay, um... Uhh.... Can I have a massage?" Elizabeth asked, turning her back towards the vixen maid.

“Of course, Mistress.” Fennel replied as she began rubbing the girl's shoulders.

"Mmm, you're the best, Fennel," Elizabeth chimed happily.

“I appoiogize for my absense earlier.” Fennel added.

Ernette hummed annoyedly at the praise of Fennel, "...I can't believe they already replaced me with her," she huffed quietly, "I didn't even get to tell them, and they already replace me with Fennel!"

"Hm?" Clara turned her head back to Fennel, then looked to Ernette, "Are you jealous?"

"No!" Ernette shook her head, "Just annoyed. She told me she's working for Zoey and Ruby too, already," she harrumphed.

"And why does that annoy you so much?"

"Because I didn't even get to tell them that they can't be Overseers, and they've already replaced me with Fennel," Ernette ephasized the fox's name, "It's inconsiderate."

Fennel meanwhile had taken to humming some sort of song as she continued massaging Elizabeth.u

"Well, it looks like you'll have a chance to tell them now," Clara said, pointing out the window as Zoey and Ruby approached the bus.

Ernette looked out for a moment, taking another deep breath as she calmed down, "You're right," she agreed, stepping out of the bus to meet Zoey and Ruby, "Hey! Good afternoon!"

"Oh, hey Ernette," Zoey greeted, "What's up?"

"Um... How do I say this..." Ernette thought for a moment, "I regret to tell you that... I have to... revoke both of your Overseer privileges... permanently."

"Wh- Wait, what!? Why?" Zoey gasped.

"Umm... I... can't refuse a direct order from a Permanent Overseer," Ernette explained, "Even if it means revoking your temporary rights."

"Who's the permanent!?"

"... ... Clara..." Ernette guiltily admitted.

"Clara?!" Zoey repeated, shooting the twelve-year-old a glare as she watched the situation unfold from behind the bus window, "Why was she made a permanent overseer, but when I asked to be one, you said I couldn't!"

Fennel then looked over to Zoey and Ruby, “I am happy to extend my services to Mistresses Ruby and Zoey, so long as Mistress Elizabeth agrees that is."

"I... I..." Ernette glanced about, thinking for a proper explanation other than "because I'm in love" because she knew at that point that sort of answer would get her nowhere, before her frustration was easily focused on the interrupting fox, "Do you mind, Fennel? We're having a conversation!"

Fennel nodded, “I am sorry to impeed Mistress Ernette.”

"Hey, don't be mean to Latte, and you still haven't answered my question," Zoey huffed as he folded his arms, "You told me I couldn't be a Permanent Overseer because I'd eventually die, then I ordered you to search as hard as you could for a way to make me live forever, and you came back with nothing, so I know you didn't make Clara immortal."

"...No, I didn't," Ernette murmured, "Last night, she... she got me to agree to it. And I still do agree to her, I just... I'm sorry," she apologized quietly, before turning back up the stairs into the bus, sitting down next to Clara with a sigh.

"Hmph, whatever, I guess we got you now, Latte," Zoey remarked, going to scratch behind Fennel's ear before asking, "Wait... Does the ear scratching thing work while you have the disguise on?"

...They hadn't even replaced her, but she lead them right into Fennel's grasp. Ernette frowned, resting her head back on her seat.

“I can’t say that I know.” Fennel answered placing a finger in her chin.

Zoey used both of her hands, one scratching behind the disguise's ear while the other scratched where Fennel's fox ear would have been,

The disguise flickered, causing Fennel’s ears and tail to appear. “Your efforts indicate that it still works... Would you prefer the title Master Zzzach?”

"Zach... Huh," Zoey tossed the name around in his head for a moment before shrugging as he focused both hands on scratching behind the revealed ears, "Yeah, sure. Makes sense while I have this body."

“Thank you.” Fennel said in response to the scratches as her tail began wagging.

Zach snickered as he kept on with the scratching. "You know what? I think you'll be better at this job than Ernette anyway."

“I am flattered master.” Fennel replied.

"Hm, definitely a lot cuter than her too," Zach added, raising her voice a little so Ernette could hear. The Benefactor heard, but tried not to care, failing horribly at that but hiding her expression in an attempt to sleep.

“I can not accept such praises. Please forgive me.” Latte answered.

"Heh, you're really, uh... Getting into the whole maid thing, huh?" Zach remarked, finally pulling his hands away from her ears.

“I aim to please.” Latte replied.

Zach paused for a moment, before deciding it was best to let her do her thing if she wanted to. "Well, alright," He grinned, "That's what I like to hear. Let's get this show on the road, Latte." With that, he gave his new maid a quick scratch behind the ear before hopping into the bus, sitting down with Ruby near the window and him sitting close enough to his sister to leave room for Latte.

“Master Bob? Are we ready to go?” Latte inquired.

"Mast- I- uhhh, yeah," Bob nodded as he started up the bus.

“Excellent!” Latte cheerily replied.

"Ay, Latte!" Zach called, gesturing to the spot beside him on the seat he and Ruby were sitting on.

Needless to say Latte complied and sat down next to Zach, who promptly wrapped his arm around her, resting his hand on her waist.

Latte let out a surprised gasp, she enjoyed this sudden sign of affection but seemed troubled with accepting the gesture.

"So, Latte, what made you suddenly wanna be our maid and call us 'master' and stuff?" Zach inquired, "I mean, I'm not complaining. I'm totally into it. I'm just curious."

”Perhaps it is a way to handle the stress.” Latte mused, not breaking character.

"Oh... I... Guess that's one way to handle it," Zach blinked, "Uhm... Okay, I'll be honest... I'm not a psychology person, but this doesn't seem right. I dunno, there's just something off about it." He wanted to suggest other methods of relieving stress, and Latte probably knew he wanted to, but he had a feeling she would shoot the notion down.

“Are there any services you require?” Latte inquired.

"Latte, you ignored what I just said," Zach stated.

“Please forgive me but perhaps you are correct. Maybe there is only Latte.” The vixen replied.

"... What? What are you saying?" Zach asked, turning his body to better look at Latte.

"Pfft. I dunno I just wanted to say something creepy.” Fennel replied.

Zach stared at Fennel with a worried look for a moment. "... I... Please don't joke like that again, Latte," He requested, "I'm... Getting really worried about you."

“Of course... master.” Fennel replied with a nod.

"... Look, I know you don't wanna hear this, but..." Zach seemed hesitant to propose the idea, "Maybe you should go to the bathroom and... Rub one out, just so there's something else taking the edge off." There was none of his usual coy suggestiveness in his tone or smugness when suggesting such things, only genuine concern for his friend's well-being.

“Perhaps.” Fennel replied.

"So... Are you gonna do it?" Zach asked, glancing to the back of the bus then back to Fennel.

“Well I can’t tell you.” Fennel replied, as she stood up.

"... Huh? What?"

The fox then headed to the back of the bus. Once she was in the bathroom, Zach removed the tie.

"... I wish dad was here," Zoey sighed sorrowfully, "He'd know what to do."

"Yeah..." Ruby agreed with a frown.

After a few moments, Zoey stood up. "I'm gonna listen. If she's... Crying instead of moaning, I guess I'll give her ahug or something, I dunno," Zoey said as she walked to the back of the bus and pressed her ear against rhe door. Ruby, as expected, followed her sister and stood behind Zoey.

Muffled noises could then be heard coming from the bathroom, the only thing the girls would be able to determine was that they were not human in nature.

Zoey gestured for Ruby to stay quiet as she listened for a moment longer. Once satisfied, the two returned to their seat to out of Fennel's impressive earshot. "So? Was she doing it?" Ruby asked.

"I... I think. She was making those weird fox noises, but it wasn't crying, so..." Zoey half-heartedly shrugged. She wasn't sure what to do.

Ruby was equally as sad. While she did, of course, feel awful for Fennel's obviously damaged mental state, she also felt bad that Zoey felt bad. "... You could try doing what daddy does," She suggested after a minute of silence.

"Wait, what?" Zoey quickly turned her head back to Ruby, "You mean... Fix her?"

"Yeah, you have the tie," Ruby pointed at the object for emphasis.

"No... I mean, I could try to, but... I have a feeling there's more to it than just fucking someone really good," Zoey sighed, "I could screw it up and just make things worse... I hope rubbing one out does enough for her."

Fennel’s primal noises could just everso slightly be heard above noise of the bus, to those listening for it at least.

"... Yeah, she's definitely rubbing one out," Zoey nodded as she looked to the back of the bus. She was happy to hear that Fennel was obviously enjoying herself. She slipped the tie back on, noting how quickly 'Zach' became a comforting figure to the vixen, and would be ready to greet her once she came back to their seat.

Around half an hour later, Fennel exited the bathroom, she had just woken up. “Hello, Master Zach.” The vixen said with a curtsy.

"Hey, Latte. Are you feeling better?" Zach asked, scooting to make room for Fennel.

“I just took a nap and I feel fine.” The vixen replied.

"It didn't sound like a nap earlier," Zach remarked.

“Maybe it was a dream.” The fox stated.

"Rub, you heard it too, right?" Zach asked, to which Ruby nodded.

“Heard what?”

"You making some really loud, like, happy noises."

“Must have been a wet dream.” The Laviturnian stated.

"Latte, c'mon, just admit the truth. There's really no shame in it," Zach insisted, resting a hand on her shoulder.

“I don’t want to talk about it.” The fox answered.

"Alright, alright," Zach let up, "At least you're feeling better, that's what matters in the end."

“Fine... I did.”

"I mean, I kinda already knew, but I'm glad you could admit it," Zach smiled with a shrug.

Fennel huffed, miffed that she had only proven Zoey right.

"... Next time, you can borrow the tie, if you want," Zach offered after giggling at Fennel's huff.

"Why so I have to stay even longer." Fennel huffed.

"What do you mean?"

"And I thought you were the expert on dicks around here." Fennel groaned.

"No, Latte, I don't know what you're saying. What do you mean you'd 'have to stay even longer'?"

"Because the knot lasts a while."

"Latte, why would I know how fox dicks work?"

"I dunno maybe you're into fox boys." Fennel suggested.

"We don't have 'fox boys' back home."

"Whatever, it's not important." Fennel said as she sat back down.

After a few minutes, Zach let out a discomforted grunt. Since he, Ruby, and Fennel were all sharing one seat, he had to keep his legs very close together. "Hey, Latte?" Zach finally spoke up, "Do you mind, like, sitting in my lap or something? Sitting like this is crushing my balls."

"I dunno, what's in it for me, master?" Fennel asked, with a rather smug expression.

"Hm... I'll scratch your ears," Zach offered.

Fennel then shifted herself into Zach's lap as she perked her ears up. Promptly, Zach smiled as he scratched behind both of the vixen's ears as he looked down at her. "Much better," He remarked.

Fennel let out a soft purr before leaning back on Zach as she closed her eyes. "Tell me, what plans do we have after we stop?"

"We're probably gonna find another hotel," Zach mused as he continued his scratching, "Why?"

"I am curious, is all." Fennel said as she shifted so that her legs faced the asile. "Should I go to another seat?"

"Huh? No, you're good. Besides, all the nearby seats are full," Zach answered. While the seat across from them had only one person, Elizabeth, she was taking up the entire seat as she slept soundly.

"I can move if you are uncomfortable, Master Zach." Fennel continued

"No, I'm... Very comfortable," Zach insisted, keeping up with the promised ear scratching.

"Perhaps too comfo-" Fennel's was cut off by her own purring, as she tried to continue speaking "r-table."

"You sound pretty comfortable too," Zach grinned, noting her purring in response to his continued scratching behind her ears.

It was obvious Fennel was struggling to not lie down in request for a belly rub at this point, she gripped the side of the seat as she began leaning back.

Having seen this before, Zach knew exactly what Fennel wanted. "I can rub your belly if you really want it that bad," He said, still scratching.

"No, no that's fine." The fox tried to refuse the offer.

"Are you suuure? I bet these hands could cover a lot more belly than my old hands could," Zach cooed.

"I'm quite sure Master Zach." Fennel replied obviously trying to control herself.

Zach kept one of his hands behind Fennel's ear while the other went on ahead to the vixen's stomach, giving it a rub. "I dunno..."

Fennel instantly fell back as her hands grabbed her collar leaving her stomach completely exposed. Zach quickly brought the scratching hand down to catch Fennel before she could fall too far, looking down at her face with a grin as he enjoyed rubbing the fox's belly.

Fennel seemed th throughly enjoy the belly rub as she let out a muffled primal cackle in response."Pfft," Zach stifled a laugh as he kept up with the rubbing, "O-Oh my god, Latte, you're way too cute."

"Master please," Fennel answered, trying to get Zach to stop.

"Master please what?" Zach asked, not letting up.

"S-stop."

"Stop? Stop what?"

"The- the belly rubs." Fennel requested.

"You really want me to stop?" Zach inquired, speeding up the rubs as he grinned down at the vixen.

"Y-y-y no."

"Then I guess I'll keep going, for your sake," Zach snickered.

Fennel, at this point, wasn't really sure if it was worth resisting, it certainly helped her feel better and Zach had such strong hands.

"You know," Tychen interrupted, craining his head back behind his seat to look down at the two behind him, "If you're gonna slowly bang, could you do it a tiny bit quieter?"

"We are not going to bang!" Fennel retorted.

"You say, in his lap, letting him rub your stomach while he's probably got a hard on," the pirate snickered.

"I mean, I do, but I'm just giving her a belly rub," Zach insisted, sticking out his tongue at Tychen, "You're ruining the moment."

"Well, you're ruining my well-needed beauty sleep," Tychen responded, looking back forwards, "So I think that makes us even in my book. So if you're gonna keep up this, I suggest the bathroom."

Fennel, rather embarrassed about her situation, just kind of laid there and blushed.

"... I'm guessing you don't wanna get belly rubs in the bathroom?" Zach sighed.

"I mean they feel nice, but I kind of don't want to have sex with you." Fennel replied.

"What, no, I was just talking about belly rubs, not screwing."

"Oh, umm sure then." Fennel replied.

Since she was already in his lap, Zach shrugged to himself as he stood up with the vixen in his arms as he started walking to the bathroom.

Fennel certainly enjoyed being carried by such a strong man, as evidenced by the wag of her tail. Zach shut the door behind himself with his foot while Ruby pouted.

"Hmph, he hasn't carried me like that," She muttered.

"Jealous?" Again, the pirate peeked his head back and asked.

"No!... Yes!" Ruby admitted with a frustrated huff, "Zoey's been... Giving Latte all of her-his attention."

"I got a suggestion," Tychen noted, "Take the stupid tie. Latte's been real clingy to his boyness, so why not get rid of that and have Zoey fall right back into your arms?"

"Because... I like him with the tie too," Ruby lamented, "He's like... Daddy and Zoey mixed together. He's perfect."

"Perfect save for his focus on Latte," Tychen corrected.

"Then I just have to change that! I don't wanna get rid of the tie," Ruby huffed, though she quickly fell back into a sad slump.

"And how are you gonna do that?" the pirate asked, "Get Fennel to not be a weird submissive maid- which, by the way, is weird right? It's not just me that thinks that it's weird?"

"It is weird. She calls Zoey 'Master' now out of nowhere," Ruby agreed.

"That weird robot girl didn't even call her that," Tychen remarked, "Something's up with her, I bet."

"She's going crazy," Ruby asserted, "Even Zoey thinks so."

"And to think I wanted to date her... is this new? She just... goes crazy out of nowhere?"

"I dunno, I just want Zoey back," Ruby pouted.

Meanwhile, cackling sounds could be faintly heard throughout the bus.

"...Even in the bathroom, they can't keep it down," Tychen sighed, "Look, if you want her back, you have to be assertive about it. She's not just going to drop Fennel to come running back to you."

Ruby seemed hurt by the statement before meekly asking, "What do you mean by assertive?"

"You have to really want it. You have to work for what you want," Tychen explained, "It's how I've gotten along all the time. And I think I'm doing pretty fine thanks to it."

"But what do I do? I do want it, but I also want Zoey to keep the tie!" Ruby cried out.

"Well, you can always figure out how to get Zoey to stop with the lovey-dovey stuff with Fennel," Tychen suggested.

"But how?! Come on, Tychen! Just tell me what to do!" Ruby whined.

"I don't know how to do it," Tychen shook his head, "I just know what needs to be done. Go ask your robot girl, she's more intelligent than me, so she's probably got a better answer. Or you can figure it out on your own, given what you got to work with. Just know that whatever it is," Tychen nodded, "That pirate you shot in the face is 100% supportive of it."

"... Thanks, Tychen.... I'm sorry about that, by the way," Ruby reached up and gave the pirate's neck a hug.

"Eh, don't be," Tychen assured, "There's loads of better ways to get into a room than climbing in the window... like a door? I'm sorry for that first time, where I almost turned Latte into a zombie. Damn voice in me head told me, "Oh Tychen, she's such an exotic rarity! Oh Tychen, you should totally add her to your collection!" and it kind of worked."

"... I think you're crazy too," Ruby remarked as she pulled back from the hug.

"Eh, not that crazy," Tychen snickered, "Crazy, but not insane."

Ruby gave him a smile before getting up and walking closer to the front of the bus where Ernette and Clara sat. "Hey, Ernette?"

Ernette peeked over to Ruby, a small frown on her face before it was replaced with a smile, "Oh, hey, Ruby! What's up?"

"... Do you know, like... What I should do to seperate Zoey and Latte?" Ruby asked uncomfortably, "Zoey's been giving her all his attention and stuff lately..."

Ernette's eyes widened as she took a moment to think, before sitting up and sliding next to Ruby, and asked her quietly, "How bad is it?"

"They're in the bathroom together right now," Ruby answered with a frown.

Ernette held a hand over her mouth as she gasped, "Oh my, are they...?"

"Well... They went in there for belly rubs," Ruby mumbled, "But Zoey's been hanging out with Latte more and more and talking to her all the time and talking about her when she isn't around..."

"This is bad..." Ernette mumbled, a finger on her lip as she thought deeply on the situation, "...And she thinks you're okay with it?"

"I think," Ruby answered simply, shrugging and sighing unhappily.

"Then make it clear you're not," Ernette suggested, "Tell her all you think about this entire issue."

"I can't do that! I- What if it was you and Clara? And Clara was giving someone else all of her attention?" Ruby pointed at her sister, who briefly glanced over at Ruby before looking back out the window.

"That's.... that's different," Ernette contested.

"How?" Ruby asked with a huff.

"It's not a thing between sisters, for starters and... I... i-it's different, alright?" Ernette assured, "You just have to tell her how you feel about it. I'm sure she'll come around!"

"It actually seems not that different to me," Clara remarked, half-paying attention to the conversation as she watched the dark landscape zoom by.

"I-Well, a it's similar, yeah," Ernette agreed, "But its kind of different."

"How?" Ruby asked once again.

“Well, I... I don’t know,” Ernette sighed.

"So what do I do?" Ruby huffed, "I can't just... Say I don't want her to spend so much time with Latte. I'll look like... A baby."

“Tell her how it upsets you and why it does,” Ernette tried to reason.

"I.. I guess, but... What if that doesn't work?"

"Well, then... Clara?" Ernette turned the question to her lover, "Do you have any suggestions?"

"Hm? Oh, uhm... I don't really care," Clara answered bluntly.

Ernette scowled lightly with a harrumph, turning back to Ruby, "I'm sure there's more ways, we just have to think about it."

"Hmmm..." Ruby hummed in thought with a hand on her chin.

"Hmmm..." Ernette tapped her chin, before realizing, "You can get Fennel to bullshit to Zoey about something and out her on it!"

"Oh, ye-... Zoey would probably forgive her. Zoey doesn't hate bullshit as much as Clara does," Ruby sighed, "Well... Unless... What could we get Fennel to bullshit about?"

"I-hmm... Is there anything she doesn't do that we could get her to do?" Ernette asked.

"Uhh..." Ruby took a moment to think, "Hmm.... Latte... Uhh.. Wait- I don't want Zoey to hate Latte, just not spend so much time with her!"

"Hmph," Ernette huffed, "Then... I don't have any other ideas."

-

Fennel continued enjoying her belly rubs before she finally grabbed Zach's hands. "I think that's enough."

"Aw, I was having fun," Zach giggled, his knees on either side of Fennel's body as she laid on the ground.

“Obviously.” The vixen replied as she tried to get up. “If you could get off me, that would be great.”

"Oh, woops," Zach hopped to his feet, standing over Fennel while offering a hand down to help the vixen up.

Fennel got to her feet before patting Zach’s face and saying, “Try not to get a hard on next time.”

"Too late," Zach sneered.

“Uhhg.” Fennel groaned, not happy to learn Zach would likely fantasize about this moment in the future.

"What? I can't control this thing, it does whatever it wants," Zach defended himself, gesturing downwards.

"Well just remind it, it's not getting any of this." Fennel quipped.

"Never say never, Latte," Zach grinned as he opened the bathroom door, gesturing for Fennel to leave first.

"It's no big deal." Fennel snickered as she exited the bathroom.

"Oh, it's a big deal alright," Zach huffed as he followed her out.

"Whatever helps you sleep at night." Fennel quipped before sitting down.

"Hmph... You have small boobs," Zach mumbled.

Fennel then patted her hips, "Yeah but I got these bad girls, and yours are the same size anyway."

"I'm also fourteen," Zach pointed out, "I have plenty of room to grow."

"Yeah, but you still can't control yourself around mine." Fennel snarked regarding Zach's eagarness.

"I can too control myself! I just choose to have fun," Zach harrumphed.

"I'd like to see you try to not get off for two days and maybe I'd believe you.' Fennel snarked.

"Oh yeah? And what do I get if I can?" Zach huffed.

"I'll teach you how to magic." Fennel offered.

"You were already gonna do that though," Zach pointed out.

"Prove it."

"I get to spank your ass," Zach declared.

"Pfft. Good luck with that Zach." Fennel challenged.

"Is that a yes? If I can go two days, I get to spank your ass?"

"If you can go with out sex or doing the job yourself, why not." Fennel agreed.

"This'll be easy peasy," Zach scoffed, "So if you win, what do you want?"

"How's about you become my butler." Fennel suggested.

"For how long?"

"Hmmmmm, how about a week."

"Deal," Zach held out his hand with a wide grin on his face.

Fennel then grasped Zach's hand and shook it, with a smug grin.

With that, Zach took the tie off, tossing it to the front of the bus where it lightly hit the back of Clara's head.

Fennel then spoke in a particularly subserviant voice as she looked up at Zoey, "Oh, Master, how can I assist you today?"

I should've jacked off before this shit, Zoey thought to herself before folding her arms. "Nice try, Latte," She said smugly.

"Oh, Master, how can I be of service today." The vixen snickered.

"Man, if I had a PINGAS right now, it would have shriveled up so much that.. I'd have a vag again," Zoey sneered.

"It won't be long before you crack." Fennel stated.

"Please, Latte. I'm horny all the time. I know how to handle it," Zoey retorted.

"Remember, doing the job yourself counts too." Fennel teased.

"I know, Latte. I was there when the bet was made," Zoey huffed.

"Bet?" Madison and Maria repeated in unison as they involved themselves in the situation.

"I just bet that Zoey here couldn't go with out any sexual activity for two days is all." Fennel sneered.

"... Yeah, you're gonne lose, Zoey," Maria nodded.

"Y- Wait, I was gonna say that," Madison remarked, disappointed she and her sister would not be able to bet on this bet.

"If she loses, she has to be my bulter for a week." Fennel added.

"And if I win, I get to spank her ass whenever I want," Zoey declared.

"That is a one time thing."

"Ah, nuh-uh, you never specified any limitations on the ass spanking, Latte," Zoey huffed.

"I never said it was anytime either." Fennel retorted.

"I will literally masturbate on your leg right now if you pull that," Zoey threatened.

"Fine you get a week."

"I get to spank her ass whenever I want for a week," Zoey said to her sisters.

"So... Yeah, I guess me and Maddy are both betting against you, Zoey," Maria shrugged.

"Hmph, I swear... Usual wager?" Zoey proposed.

"Usual wager," Maria agreed as she and Madison both nodded.

"So if she loses, she proves she can only go two days." Fennel snickered.

"Make sure you pick out a cute butler outfit for her!" Madison exclaimed before she and Maria returned to their seats.

"My sisters have no faith in me," Zoey harrumphed.

Fennel then streched her leg over Zoey, "You can always quit now."

"I'm not a dog, Latte. I don't hump legs," Zoey said bluntly. She had to admit though, it was a good leg.

Fennel then tussled Zoey's hair, "I just had to double check." Fennel said before she ran a hand down her silky smooth leg.

"The one time you aren't a prude with me," Zoey muttered.

"It's called being a tease, honey." Fennel quipped.

"Welp, it's night, I'm gonna sleep," Zoey suddenly said.

"Oh taking the easy way out I see." Fennel replied.

"No! I'm just tired is all," Zoey insisted despite the amount of energy she had in her moments ago.

"Sure you are. Then you won't mind me cuddling you then." Fennel said as she snuggled up to Zoey and closed her eyes.

"Hmph, it's just cuddling, so," Zoey mumbled, letting out a deep breath as she closed her eyes as well.

Fennel promptly fell asleep as she squeezed Zoey's arms. It's just two days, Zoey. You got this, Zoey thought to herself.

Fennel then tapped Zoey's face with her ears. "Blagh," Zoey mumbled, opening her eyes and looking at Fennel. She was tempted to cop a feel just then, but didn't want to risk getting herself worked up. She let out a sigh and rested her head back down and tried to fall asleep.

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Re: Dimensional Clash IX [IC]

Post by Teedler on Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:29 pm


"The hell do you mean we missed them by only an hour?!"

The hotel clerk shuddered behind the counter as the imposing Selk stared down at him, his claws slamming down on the granite-top as it, "This week's just getting better and better... ‘Pin! You got em on the hotel's camera feeds?"

A firefly-like alien hovered next to the mantid, pressing buttons on a floating panel with spindly arms as it responded, "Yep. I got them heading northeast at a leisurely speed."

"Alright, get the The rover readied up for us to go," the leading bug ordered, as the Oitic followed direction and floated off towards the exit of the hotel, followed by the other three insects on the team, "It's imperitive that we don't let that damn Abrol get loose. We all know the danger of an infestation of their kind too well." He turned back to the human clerk, who was frozen in fear at the sight of such a massive bug.

"...You have a good evening, citizen," the Selk took towards the exit, where outside, a large, bulky six-wheeled vehicle awaited. He entered, and began to list off their duty as he had when they had got on in the Outpost.

"You already know the drill, but let me tell you all again why we're doing this repo op. An Abrol under the designation A-94382, better known as that miserable scumbag we all love to hate, "Shlyke", has gone awol, and is currently thought to be travelling with a group of humans who were passed through our outpost. As you all should know, an Abrol is a dangerous risk for Kanak species, let alone humans. We're doing this to ensure that little to no human casualties occur due to him. We are capture Shlyke, alive or dead, but alive, as preferred by the councils. But... I won't stress if one of you goes too hard on the damn thing. We also know that these humans are carrying heavy firepower, which is why we are in the heavy transport, along with a Klen shock unit.” As if on cue, a loud roar erupted from the back of the transport, shaking the vehicle. “You already know the deal with the Klen, just don't mess with it until we're sure that all Hell's broken loose. Understood? Good. Now let's catch us a damn Abrol, Gamma Squad.”

The Kanak Heavy Transport gradually picked up speed as it lumbered out of the parking lot and onto the road, its crew anxious to recollect their fleeing soldier.

====

Eventually the group arrived at yet another town and had parked in the parking lot of another hotel.

Fennel let go of Zoey's arm before she got off the bus.She noted that her cheeks had the texture of Zoey's jacket imprinted on them, as evidenced by the fact she was constantly rubbing the cheek. "Tina is this normal?"

"Huh? Mommy!" Tina yelped happily, running from Shlyke's side to hug Fennel, "Is what normal?"

"My cheek feels all weird." Fennel said as she picked up Tina to give her a better look at her cheek.

"You had it on something!" Tina pointed out as she poked Fennel's cheek.

"Is it permanent?" Fennel asked.

"No!" Tina giggled, "It'll go away in a few minutes."

"Oh I was afraid it wouldn't. Regualr skin is so wierd." Fennel commented.

"Silly softskin!" Shlyke snickered, "You don't even know how your skin works! Harder shell is the better cover!"

"You know, until you break a bone and, woops, time for an amputation." Fennel replied.

"Wait, what?" Tina asked, not getting what was going on but was worried anyway.

"I think that was subtle threat," Shlyke noted, "But whatever."

"That wasn't a threat." Fennel replied.

"You were licking your lips at my arm earlier," Shlyke shrugged, "But sure, bugeater, whatever."

"Yeah, but I'm not hungry right now." Fennel quipped.

"Mommy isn't a bugeater, that's gross!" Tina defended, "She was just saying stuff."

"Ehhh." Fennel added.

"I bet she'd eat bugs," Shlyke nodded, "She's a furred one, so obviously she's going to be more wanting to eat things."

"Nuh-uh! She would never eat bugs," Tina huffed before shaking her head.

"Yeah..." Fennel ad
"Do you have any loose teeth? If so the tooth fairy will visit you." Fennel asked.

Tina's giggling stopped instantly as she let out a gasp. "Tooth fairy? What's that?" She quickly asked.

"Oh you don't know? Well when you lose your baby teeth, if you put it under your pillow the tooth fairy comes and leaves you money." Fennel explained.

"Woah! Really!?" Tina squealed.

"Yeah. She realy liked these." Fennel said before pointing to her canines.

"Wow! I have a loose tooth right here!" Tina exclaimed, opening her mouth and poking one of her teeth. It shifted a little at her touch.

"Wow!" Fennel gasped as she looked at the tooth "You're such a big girl!" Fennel cheered as she hugged Tina.

"I am!" Tina said happily, "Do you think if it comes out today that the tooth fairy will come!?"

"I know she will." Fennel said

"Is she pretty?" Tina asked.

"I think she is, but she only shows up if you are alseep." Fennel said, "Do you think that tooth is ready to come out?"

"I think so!"

"If you want, we can take it out." Fennel requested.

"Yes yes yes!" Tina jumped up, bouncing in place.

"Alright go get your sisters and some floss and we can get it out." Fennel said as she hugged Tina again.

"All of them?" Tina asked.

"Or as many as you would want to come." Fennel replied.

"Okay!" Tina nodded, running up to the door, swinging it open, stepping outside, respectfully closing the door slowly, and then booking it down the hall.

Fennel then called out from down the hallway "Tina's about to lose a baby tooth."

Some minutes later, Tina returned to the room with Zoey, Ruby, and a good amount of her other sisters.

Fennel then took the floss and said "Okay Tina, open wide!"

Tina happily obeyed, opening her mouth as wide as she could. "Why are we here?" Mary asked, before quickly being shushed by her twin.

Fennel then tied one end of the floss around Tina's loose tooth before tying the other end to the handle of the door. "Okay Tina. This might hurt, are you ready?" Fennel asked.

"Ah-hah!" Tina nodded.

"Oh my god, Latte," Zoey covered her eyes, but parted her fingers to watch anyway.

Fennel then forced the door closed with a loud slam. "OW!" Tina cried out, covering her mouth with both of her hands before looking down at her tooth on the floor.

Fennel then rushed over to Tina and picked up the tooth before saying "You were so brave, Tina!" and handed it to the girl.

"I was?" Tina asked, rubbing where her tooth was with her tongue as she looked down at the tooth in her hand.

"I was so scared to lose my teeth." Fennel admited as she picked the girl up.

"Uh, Latte? Why'd you rip her tooth out?" Zoey asked.

"And why did we all have to watch?" Mary added.

"So the tooth fairy can visit her." Fennel replied before realizng that she herself hadn't cared too much for the teeth Ryle had lost. "...Um, that's what mommies do."

"Mommies?" Maria repeated.

"Hold up, tooth fairy? What's a tooth fairy?" Zoey asked.

"Tina, calls me mommy." Fennel explained before turning her attention to Zoey "She brings you money when you lose your baby teeth."

"Shit! I only have one left!" Zoey gasped, pulling down her lower lip and nudging one of her teeth.

"I still have some, none of them are loose though," Ruby mumbled.

"I'm sure she can visit you soon." Fennel assured Ruby.

"How do I give her my tooth?" Zoey asked excitedly.

"You have to put it under your pillow when you sleep at night." Fennel answered.

"Fuck, Latte, rip this shit out!" Zoey requested.

"Open up." Fennel said as she readied a piece of floss.

Zoey opened her mouth and stuck her tongue out with a quiet moan, quickly shutting her mouth with an, "Oops, force of habit," before reopening her mouth and giving Fennel access to the bottom tooth that was loose.

Fennel then tied the floss around the tooth before attaching the other end to the door once more. The vixen then opened the door and asked, "Ready?"

"Hey, Tina, how much did it hurt?" Zoey asked.

"It hurt a lot at first, but it's okay!" Tina assured.

".. Alright, I'm-" Zoey started.

Fennel then slammed the door before Zoey could finish her sentence.

"Aw, shitass!" Zoey yelled, covering her mouth with one hand, "I wasn't ready ready yet!"

Fennel then picked up the tooth and handed it to Zoey, "Don't lose it or the tooth fairy won't come." Fennel warned.

"Under my pillow when I sleep, right?" Zoey asked as she took the tooth.

"Yep." Fennel said with the nod of her head.

"Fuck, I wish we had a tooth fairy back home," Zoey remarked.

"She used to visit me all the time when I was little." Fennel commented.

"Well, magic wasn't a thing," Zoey shrugged before smiling at her tooth.

"It was-" Fennel then cut herself off, not wanting to let Tina know there wasn't really a tooth fairy.

"Whatever, this is gonna be awesome," Zoey grinned, "Rub, let's go find like, a little bag or some shit to make sure my tooth is safe." Without waiting for a reply, Zoey sped out of the room, her sister hurriedly following behind her.

Fennel seemed to be particularly pleased with the current turn of events. "Okay, that's all."

The rest of the girls awkwardly filed out of the room, leaving Fennel and Tina alone. Tina hopped onto a bed, stuck the tooth under her pillow, and immediately slid under the covers to try and fall asleep as fast as she could, excited to exchange her tooth with the tooth fairy.

Fennel then slipped out of the room before she pulled the money from her bra, a twenty. She then looked at her wallet to see yet another twenty. If this kept up, she was going to need to find a way to make cash quickly.

"Mmmf... I can't sleep," Tina mumbled, not daring to open her eyes incase she would lose whatever amount of sleepiness she may have collected.

Fennel meanwhile wandered around as she waited for Tina and hopefully Zoey to go to sleep. Fennel then noticed a few ziplock bags that the hotel staff had left lying about and picked them up.

"Hey, Fennel," Mary approached the vixen.

“Yeah, Mary?” Fennel asked, looking up to the taller girl.

"What's up with the whole... Tina calling you mom?" Mary asked.

“She asked if she could call me mommy a few days back and I couldn’t say no.” Fennel explained.

Mary nodded in response. "Alright," She replied, "Was just kinda weird hearing it out of nowhere."

“Yeah, I guess,” Fennel agreed, ”I might have accepted because I really want to be a mom someday too.”

"Most of us wanna be moms," Mary remarked with a light chuckle before frowning, "... You'll probably do a better job though."

“What makes you say that?” Fennel asked.

"If end up anything like our moms then... They were nice, they were, but... You know, they never did stuff like trying to gather us all to see Tina's tooth come out or anything. It was kinda dumb, but you were excited about it."

“Oh, I never really heard much about your moms what were they like?” Fennel asked.

"Shit, they were... Even more of a varied bunch than we are," Mary scoffed, "In general though, they all had specific jobs to do around the Hold, and you didn't get to spend too much time with one in particular unless you did their job with them. Most of them, all of them really, were really nice and all, but... I just feel like you're more of a mom than some of them were."

“...Thank you. It sounds rough not getting to spend time with your mom. I’m just trying to do what Mommy did.” Fennel replied.

"Well, I got to spend time with a few moms incharge of the artillery and stuff," Mary reasoned, "... I dunno... Being with you and Bob and Brendan just... Kinda changes my perspective or something.”

“I’m sorry, to have changed how you see your family.” Fennel apologized.

"What? no, it's not your fault, it's... My dad's," Mary sighed, "Looking back on it, he kinda made everything revolve around himself."

“Oh... I guess that-“ Fennel stopped herself, not wanting to offend Mary.

"... Whatever you were gonna say, it's fine," Mary assured, "I know you don't like my dad, and I'm starting to see why."

Fennel was unsure what to say, “... I just want you girls to be happy.”

"I know, you make that pretty obvious," Mary smiled, "I think you're doing a good job at it."

“Thank you. I just hope I can do the same with my own kids one day.” Fennel replied.

"I'm sure you'll be fine," Mary laughed, "I'm gonne go find Bob, see you later.”

“Okay, see you around Mary.” Fennel waved. The fox then peeked inside her room to see if Tina was asleep yet. Sure enough, the six-year-old was fast asleep, having tired herself out from her own excitement.

Eventually Fennel snuck her way back into the room after she was certain that Tina was asleep. After Fennel had approached the bed side she exchanged the tooth for one of her twenty dollar bills. Fennel looked at the tooth for a moment, Mrs. Geoffry and kept Fennel’s baby teeth so the vixen decided to do the same. Fennel then placed the tooth in her bra, before stroking Tina’s hair and exiting the room as quietly as possible.

"Hey, Bob!" Mary greeted upon finding the Doom Marine.

“Oh, hey Mary!” Bob replied, sitting at a table with a sharpie and a roadmap of the US, a sort of track record as to where they hd been going, “What’s up?”

"I was wondering if we could hang out again," Mary answered as she sat across from Bob, "Go shooting or fight or go to, like, a gym or something. I've never actually been to one."

“Sure!” Bob agreed, standing up and packing away the map, “I think the hotel’s got one somewhere. We can go there and test it all out.”

"Great!" Mary smiled, standing up and gesturing for Bob to lead the way.

As Bob was about to lead the way to where he thought the hotel’s gym was, the front entrance to the hotel burst open, and several bugs, like the ones the group had to deal with before, walked in, peering around before looking at Bob and ordering, “Hey, you! Stop right there!”

Oh, goddamnit,” Bob grumbled, before turning to meet the gaze of the Selk, “I thought our business with you guys was done.”

”Yes, sir, it is,” the mantid assured, “But there’s other problems that seemed to have arisen when your group left.”

”That being?”

”After your group left the outpost, we reported that one of our soldiers, an Abrol by the name of Shlyke, went missing. We believe he’s gone AWOL.”

"Oh, you mean that bug Tina had sex with in the bus?" Mary asked, looking between the mantid and Bob.

The Selk turned his attention towards the girl, “Sounds off, but fits the dirty son of a bitch good enough. You know where he is? We’re taking him in for abandoning his post and, well, treason.”

Mary opened her mouth to speak, then quickly hummed as she put a hand to her chin, as if trying to remember the exact location of Shlyke. In reality, she realized she had screwed up by chiming in and risking getting Tina's friend arrested by the bug police. "Yeah... After we found out he screwed Tina, we kicked him out a few miles back," Mary lied, "We couldn't have a freak like that traveling with us."

“Oh really?” The Selk peered down at Mary suspiciously, “You managed to go all this way and only now dumped the scumbag?”

"Yes, really," Mary huffed, leaning in as she glared up at the bug, "We tolerated him until he screwed a six-year-old."

“...’Pin!” The Selk Officer hissed, with the floating Oitic coming up to the sound of his name, “Check the camera feeds of the hotel like you did the last. I wanna make sure her story checks out one hundred percent before we get the Klen searching for him.”

”You got it, sir!” The firefly-like bug chimed, gloating daintily off in its bulbous suit, drifting off towards the customer service counter.

”While I don’t disbelieve your story,” the bug in charge hissed, “I need to be sure. A kid’s account of what happens ain’t the most trustworthy.”

"Hey! I'm one year away from being an adult," Mary pouted.

The Selk looked Mary over and scoffed, “Right, and I’m too old to work in the armed forces. I want to believe you, kid, just so I can have a good excuse to break that damn Abrol’s face in for his scumminess. You got anyone else to back up your claim?”

"Bob, tell 'im," Mary turned to the marine and gestured at the Selk.

“Yeah!” Bob nodded, “I punted the damn bug a few miles out from here. I couldn’t stand him, and nobody else could, do we were all in agreement on it. If I could, I’d do it again.”

The Mantid peered down at Mary, then to Bob, before snapping to Pin, “Hey ‘Pin! You got those feeds yet?!”

”Just about..!” The insect replied, holding a panel which had a wire connecting it to a security camera.

”You two stay here,” The Selk gestured for them to sit at the table, before starting to walk off, “And we’ll be out of your hair in no time.”

Mary folded her arms and plopped down in the seat, and Bob followed.

“...Shit,” Bob mumbled, “If they look on those cameras, they’re gonna see we’re lying.”

"I should've just kept my mouth shut. Harper's way better at this ly- No she's worse, she does it all the time- What do we do?"

“I don’t know,” Bob groaned, “Whatever we do, someone’s gonna get hurt. Maybe we... you think we could take them? They don’t look that buff, ‘cept for the mantis guy.”

"If we do that though... The rest of the bugs are gonne come looking for them," Mary warned.

“That’s true,” Bob mumbled, “I can’t really think of any other solutions other than... No,” Bob disagreed with himself, “I’m not turning him in, no matter how disgusting he is.”

"I don't want to either. I don't like him, but Tina does," Mary sighed.

“We gotta think of something...” Bob murmured, “You think they’d be willing to just... let him go?”

"... Maybe? Maybe if we explain how he is with Tina... Maybe?"

“It’s the best shot we got,” Bob shrugged, as the mantis and firefly looked over the video feed, with the mantis glaring over at the two, “And looks like it’s just in time.”

The Selk Officer stomped over, clicking his mandibles impatiently as he asked, “So... he is here, and you’re just feeding me lies?”

"We can explain... Bob?" Mary began before quickly turning the situation over to the marine.

“If Shlyke got taken away by you, that little six-year old, Tina, is gonna be heartbroken,” Bob explained, “And we’ve all had enough emotional damage on this trip. The last thing she needs now is lose her friend.“

”... Do either of you even realize the dangers of an Abrol?” The Selk asked, “They got such a high metabolic rate, they need to eat constantly. When they eat all your trash, lick all the left over specks off the ground, you know where Shlyke’s gonna look next for something to eat? That little six-year old who’s grown so attached to that scumbag, she wouldn’t even see it coming if she calls such a pathetic waste of air a friend. We’re doing you a service. The quicker you get that through your skulls and show us where he is, the better it is for everyone.”

"She got him to stop eating trash actually, right?" Mary turned her head once again to Bob.

“Yeah, she got him to stop that,” Bob nodded, “But then he ate like three platters of food...”

”That’s an isolated incident,” the Mantis regarded, “He had food literally handed to him, by the sound of it. If he’s stuck in a prolonged period without that opportunity, I bet he’d fall back into eating trash. But you know what?” The Selk asked, “If you think you can handle a bug that’s looked down upon by almost every known race for their disgusting habits, then fine. Call us if you change your mind, just so I can tell you ‘I told you so’.” The Selk remarked, before hissing out several commands, causing the group of bugs to begin to leave the premises.

"Huh... That was easy," Mary remarked.

“Yeah... That was really easy,” Bob agreed, “A bit weird...”

"... So, wanna hit the gym?"

“I don’t see why not,” Bob shrugged, standing up and leading the way, “Let’s go!”

-

Eventually Fennel peeked into a room she saw Zoey enter, checking to see if the girl had fallen asleep. Sure enough, the fourteen-year-old was splayed out butt-naked on her bed and fast asleep.

Fennel noticed that Zoey was, in fact, asleep, the naked thing wa still a little wierd, but whatever. The Laviturninan snuck over and exchanged the girl's final baby tooth for her other twenty dollar bill.

Except, when Fennel reached under the pillow, she would pull out a hundred dollar bill rather than a tooth. At that moment, there was a flush from within the bathroom, and out stepped the almighty Trashcanhead with fake fairy wings duct taped to his back and a tiara on his helmet. "Huh? Oh, hey, I'm the tooth fairy," He greeted, waving his hand with Zoey's tooth between two of his fingers.

"What do you mean you're the tooth fairy?" Fennel asked.

"Okay, like... I'm not really the tooth fairy, but I found out a few days ago the tooth fairy isn't even fuckin' real, and I had nothing better to do, so I'm the tooth fairy now," Trashy explained, tossing the tooth into the air, waving his hand past it, and causing it to disappear into his inventory.

"Welll I'm being the tooth fairy, for these girls." Fennel replied before "And give me that tooth."

"What? Why do you want it? You don't even have a fuckin', uh.. Tooth fairy license," Trashy accused, producing his own license, which seemed to be a stolen FBI identification with a picture of himself taped over the original owner's photo and "FBI" erroded down and a sticky note saying, "Tooth fairy" taped over it.

"Her sister calls me Mommy... I just feel I should keep it." Fennel replied.

"So you're not actually their mom, that's kinda weird, why do you want the tooth?" He asked before digging around in his pocket, pulling out a half-eaten hotdog, and eating it from under his trashcan helmet.

"I... I... feel like I'm supposed to act like their mom, they need me." Fennel answered.

"Hmm.. Alright, but if you want the tooth, you're gonna have to get it back the official way," Trashcanhead informed as he pulled out a spiral notebook with the word, "GUIDEbOOK" written on the front in sharpie. He opened it up and flipped to a page composed mostly of scribbled out regulations, tracing his finger down to one of the few paragraphs left intact, "Fight to the death."

Fennel then snapped her fingers expending enought magic to force Trashy against the wall. "Now now now, I don't want to do this, but we can do this easy way or the hard way." Fennel said as she approached the insane man.

"Oh my fuckin-, I talk when I read, god damn, I was just skimming the page," Trashcanhead huffed, willing the spiral notebook from the ground and into his hands, "Gimme a second, not everyone can read super fast."

Fennel then relased Trashy "Oh in that case." she commented as she waited for Trashcanhead to finish.

"Sheeeeit..." He muttered before returning to reading the page, "Fight to the death... Ligma.... Oh, okay, so you just gotta beat me at something. It can be just about anything as long as it isn't dumb BS like 'having boobs competition' that you'd win by default."

"How about a hand stand competition?" Fennel suggested.

"Dope, let's do it," Trashcanhead agreed, slapping the book shut and causing it to vanish.

Fennel then sprung into a hand stand position.

"Aw, shit! Hold up, nevermind, different contest!" Trashcanhead gasped, covering his eyes and using his hands to block the view of Fennel's fallen skirt.

Fennel then returned to an upright position "What afraid you'll lose?"

"No, I just don't wanna look at your fuckin' panties," He explained, "My wife would smack me upside the head."

"Oh frick I forgot I wasn't wearing my combat shorts under this." Fennel replied.

"What about rock paper scissors." Fennel reploed.

"Nah, that's banned in article seven," Trashy shook his head.

"Can I just ask nicely?" Fennel asked.

"I'd give you the tooth for your fetish stuff or whatever, but I gotta follow regulation. I gotta keep that integrity and shit, you know what I'm sayin'?"

"Okay, what about a who can stand on one leg longest?" Fennel asked.

"Alright, I can dig it," Trashcanhead nodded,lifting one leg up and maintaining his balance via the force.

Fennel then stood on one leg and made use of her tail to retain balance.

Trashy smacked his lips a few times and hummed a tune. "... So... Are you a pedo or something?" He asked, pointing over to Zoey as the bedhseets moved on their own to cover her up.

"Their dad is. I've been trying to tell them that's wrong." Fennel replied rather upset to have her of all people called a pedophile.

"Eugh, who's the dad?" He asked in a disgusted tone.

"I think some guy named Wolfe, he has a hold or something on Staten Island. It seems like he's basically the leader of a sex cult or something." Fennel replied in a hushed tone.

"Aw, sheeeeit! That guy's a piece of shit!" Trashcanhead groaned, "I'm glad you got his kids away from him, fuck that asshole."

"Finally, someone else agrees with me." Fennel replied.

"Fuckin' like... You wouldn't believe how fucked up that dickhead is," Trashcanhead went on.

"Wait you know him?" Fennel asked.

"I know of him, he's from my world," Trashy answered, jabbing a thumb at himself, "He was never a big enough threat that we could deal with him, but he was still a piece of shit. You could fuckin' contact him and shit and hand over like, your wife or whatever, right? And he rapes them and shit and jacks them up and gives them back to you- It's fucked up."

"Yeah Zoey told me about that."

"Sheeeeit.... Well, good luck with fixing his kids," Trashy wished, pulling out a can of beer and tossing it to the vixen.

"I think three don't really like him anymore." Fennel said before catching the beer and placing it on the ground. "Thank you but, I think the last thing I need is to get drunk."

"Oh, nah, that's weak shit. It'd get you buzzed at most," Trashy scoffed.

"I got hammered on a pina colada." Fennel noted.

"Pfffft, sheeeeeit! Really?!" Trashcanhead laughed.

"So you getting tired yet?" Fennel asked.

"Nah," Trashy shook his head as he streatched his arms.

"Is there a way to speed this up, I don't really want them finding out about the tooth fairy thing."

"Oh, don't worry, I slipped her a sleeping pill just to be safe," Trashy assured, not realizing how a complete stranger giving a sleeping teenager a pill would come off.

“That’s... reassuring.” Fennel answered as her balance momentarily faultered.

Throughout the entire competition, Trashcanhead's balance did not even threaten to fail him. "Man... This is a pretty boring thing you chose," He remarked.

”Y-Yeah.” Fennel replied as she struggled to stand, she wanted the tooth but the task was becoming difficult as she was losing feeling in her leg.

He noted her struggle and decided to mention, "You know, there's no rule against challenging me again if you lose."

Fennel then fell down. “So do you pick the next challenge Or do I?”

"Nah, you can pick it. I'd end up choosing something I'm really good at like beer pong."

“What about best dancer, Oh if I win do you got like an extra sixty dollars, I don’t want the girls thinking the tooth fairy plays favorites.“ Fennel asked.

"Oh, sure, I'm fuckin' loaded," He shrugged, pulling a few wads of hundred dollar bills out of his pockets and throwing them up in the air with a, "Woosh," provided by himself.

Fennel then did a dance similar to the one she did for the cook off though it was much more energetic as if it were for a festival as opposed to a feast.

"... Yeah, you win, I can't dance," Trashcanhead said, pulling the tooth out of nowhere and tossing it to Fennel.

Fennel caught the tooth along with picking up a few of the bills before placing them in her bra. “Thanks.” Fennel replied as she went to exchange Tina’s twenty for a hundred.

"Teeth fetishists," Trashy shook his head.

“It’s not a fetish thing.”

"Yeah, welp, I'm out. There's probably fuckin'... Shit that needs blown up or I don't know, see ya fox lady," Trashy waved goodbye to Fennel as he approached the room's window and opened it up before flopping out.

“Okay bye.” Fennel said as she went to complete the cash exchange.

-

Fennel then exited the room Tina was in, having replaced the twenty with a hundred.

A few rooms down, a door opened and Ernette stoumbled out in some more casual, comfortable clothing consisting of only some grey sweatpants and a loose, white t-shirt. She’d learned from Clara that if they wanted to be comfortable and not have to worry about being naked, this was the best way to go.

“Hey Ernette.” Fennel waved.

“Oh, hey!” Ernette replied giddily, before realizing who she was talking to, her glee immediately failing her, “I mean, hey, what’s up.”

“I’m sorry about earlier.” Fennel apologized, “I don’t really think the maid thing is for me.” She then covered her nose, “So you and Clara have-"

“Yeah,” Ernette answered before Fennel could finish, “And it’s alright; I was just a bit tense earlier. Now I’m better.”

“So... ummm... I guess you’re trying to have kids then?” Fennel asked.

“Well, I think one’s enough to start,” Ernette thought aloud, “But yeah, that’s pretty much why we’ve been at it,” she bit down on her bottom lip, making a gesture with her hands to show Fennel a very crude diagram of how Clara and her had been spending their free time, “But I think she’s done for now.”

“Yeah... I’d like to have like four or five kids myself.” Fennel stated.

“...At once, or... one at a time?” Ernette asked.

“One at a time. Having them alll at once would take away some of the fun of it all."

“Yeah... your belly’d probably pop from how much space they’d all take up,” Ernette mused, “I couldn’t even imagine you with a baby in you...”

“Yeah, If I had ’em all at once, I‘d only get to have one first ki- wait what is that supposed to mean?” Fennel replied.

“Which part? The baby in you bit?” Ernette clarified.

”Yeah, That one.” Fennel replied, somewhat hurt.

“I didn’t mean it like that,” Ernette assured, “I just meant I couldn’t really see you... having a kid. Like the actual appearance, not the idea of you getting pregnant.”

“Oh well I think I would be cute preggers.” Fennel replied.

“Maybe... to be honest,” Ernette thought aloud, “I’m still not completely past the fact that I’m gonna be a mom soon... and I don’t know a single thing about it.”

“What do you need a test?” Fennel asked.

“Har har,” Ernette grumbled, “No. I need someone to help me figure out How to be a mom... wait, what about you?! You’re great with Tina, from what I’ve seen, so you’re the closest there is to a mom here!”

“Okay obviously I’m not a mom yet, but Zoey and Mary say I do a good job and Tina calls me mommy.” Fennel said.

“Exactly!” Ernette exclaimed, “That’s why I need you to teach me how to be a good mom!”

Fennel wagged her tail excitedly, ”Okay, I‘ve read a few books on pregnancy and child development so that should help!” Fennel said before letting out a happy fox noises. “Okay, you just need the understand this is the most important thing you will ever do.” Fennel said, trying to help Ernette understand.

“Wow... the most important...” Ernette took this in for a moment, before shaking her head and smiling, “O-of course I knew that! It’s my body having the kid, right? So of course it’s the most important!”

“I mean, like the baby comes first, always.” Fennel said as her tone became more serious.

Always?” Ernette stopped with her cockiness, actual contemplation filling her mind.

“I mean, of course you still need to take time for yourself, but the baby needs you to take care of it. It’s your child. But don’t worry, being a mom is the most fufilling thing you will ever do too.” Fennel said as her tone became peppier.

“Well, in that case, I get it! I love fulfillment!” Ernette agreed, nodding her head.

“Okay just remember this is a big responsibility.”

“I know! I know! You told me this already!” Ernette huffed.

“Okay, umm, do you know if you are expecting yet?” Fennel inquired.

“...We’ve only been banging for two days, and yesterday I took a bunch of pills to make sure Bob didn’t get me pregnant, so... I dunno,” Ernette shrugged.

”Oh yeah that might stop you from ovulating for a few days.” Fennel mused.

“A few days!?” Ernette gasped, “By the time that’s over, we’ll be back at their dad’s place!”

“Okay umm maybe you could take the crown off and it would reset your hormones.” Fennel mused.

“...I’ll test that out in a bit,” Ernette nodded, “I was gonna go do some stuff without the crown real quick anyways. Gotta develop some tape for Zoey and Ruby and Me.”

“Oh yeah Zoey told me about those pictures.”

“Yeah, I’m doing a few of those too, but the rest is some stuff they don’t even know about,” Ernette snickered, “They’re gonna love it.”

“Were you recording people?” Fennel asked.

“If you count Clara and Me as ‘people’,” Ernette quipped, “Then yep!”

“I guess some people are into that thing.” Fennel mused.

“You have no idea,” Ernette chuckled, “...You know, there’s always a market for average-sized fox-girls there, if you get what I’m saying.”

“What do you mean average? I am not some basic bitch.” Fennel answered not catching Ernette‘s drift.

Height. Otherwise, from Zoey, I’ve heard you got a good set of hips,” Ernette mused, “And people’d pay to see them n-a-k-e-d.”

“Did you record me?” Fennel asked.

“No!” Ernette shook her head, before flicking her fingers, a small camera flowing up, “I’m just asking if I can... So can I?”

”Would they pay for clothed?” Fennel asked.

“I really doubt it,” Ernette shook her head, “Least they’d do is panties and bra... I can make sure you get a cut of the money from your pics,” Ernette assured, “So what do you say?”

”... I’ve got to wear this disguise until my fur grows back in anyway...”

“That’d work! Though I bet people’d pay for your non-disguise pics too,” Ernette chimed, “But this is great!”

“Can you at least try to sell them to artists as like references? I'd like these to be tasteful.”

“I bet at least one of the guys I’ve sold to were an artist, so it shouldn’t be that har- tasteful?” Ernette asked.

“Like for art reasons.”’

“You’re thinking of the wrong audience, Latte!” Ernette quipped, coming up beside her and scrolling through the camera’s smut-filled content, “People don’t want artsy-fartsy nudes! They want it all up and presented to them! Not covering your crotch with like a fig branch or something!”

“Artists use nude models. You can photoshop my face right? I really need the cash.” Fennel remarked as she was unsure how long she could get away trading with Trading Varian currency as gold.

"And why would I mess with your pretty face in post-production?" Ernette smirked.

“I don’t want this coming around to bite me in the butt later.” Fennel said.

"How in the world would this bite you anywhere? You give me a few untasteful nudes, and you get money! Simple as that!"

“I just don’t want It damaging my reputation is all.”

"You don't want to damage your reputation with the random strangers who have no idea who this beautiful woman they just bought the pictures of?" Ernette asked to clarify.

“I would rather remain anonymous is all.” Fennel said.

"And you would," Ernette assured, "Because nobody knows your name! Simple as that!"

“If you won’t photoshop my face I want you to photoshop something else then.” Fennel requested.

"What else could I possibly photoshop?"

“I want a picture to see what I’d look like pregnant, a tasteful one.” Fennel requested.

"...So one tasteful nude of you... pregnant, and a bunch of untasteful ones?"

”I’d prefer to be clothed in that one.”

"Fair enough. One tasteful clothed picture of you pregnant, and then the untasteful nudes?" Ernette confirmed.

“Okay. But try to find people that aren’t going to put it on the internet.“

"...Deal," Ernette held out a hand to shake.

Fennel then shook Ernette‘s hand, “Can this stay a secret between us?“

"...Of course," Ernette smiled. But she was already thinking of different intentions, "Let's head to the bathroom or something, just in case someone comes in the hall."

Fennel then headed into an empty bed room to begin the photo shoot.

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Teedler
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Re: Dimensional Clash IX [IC]

Post by Teedler on Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:31 pm

"The hell do you mean we missed them by only an hour?!"

The hotel clerk shuddered behind the counter as the imposing Selk stared down at him, his claws slamming down on the granite-top as it, "This week's just getting better and better... ‘Pin! You got em on the hotel's camera feeds?"

A firefly-like alien hovered next to the mantid, pressing buttons on a floating panel with spindly arms as it responded, "Yep. I got them heading northeast at a leisurely speed."

"Alright, get the The rover readied up for us to go," the leading bug ordered, as the Oitic followed direction and floated off towards the exit of the hotel, followed by the other three insects on the team, "It's imperitive that we don't let that damn Abrol get loose. We all know the danger of an infestation of their kind too well." He turned back to the human clerk, who was frozen in fear at the sight of such a massive bug.

"...You have a good evening, citizen," the Selk took towards the exit, where outside, a large, bulky six-wheeled vehicle awaited. He entered, and began to list off their duty as he had when they had got on in the Outpost.

"You already know the drill, but let me tell you all again why we're doing this repo op. An Abrol under the designation A-94382, better known as that miserable scumbag we all love to hate, "Shlyke", has gone awol, and is currently thought to be travelling with a group of humans who were passed through our outpost. As you all should know, an Abrol is a dangerous risk for Kanak species, let alone humans. We're doing this to ensure that little to no human casualties occur due to him. We are capture Shlyke, alive or dead, but alive, as preferred by the councils. But... I won't stress if one of you goes too hard on the damn thing. We also know that these humans are carrying heavy firepower, which is why we are in the heavy transport, along with a Klen shock unit.” As if on cue, a loud roar erupted from the back of the transport, shaking the vehicle. “You already know the deal with the Klen, just don't mess with it until we're sure that all Hell's broken loose. Understood? Good. Now let's catch us a damn Abrol, Gamma Squad.”

The Kanak Heavy Transport gradually picked up speed as it lumbered out of the parking lot and onto the road, its crew anxious to recollect their fleeing soldier.

====

Eventually the group arrived at yet another town and had parked in the parking lot of another hotel.

Fennel let go of Zoey's arm before she got off the bus.She noted that her cheeks had the texture of Zoey's jacket imprinted on them, as evidenced by the fact she was constantly rubbing the cheek. "Tina is this normal?"

"Huh? Mommy!" Tina yelped happily, running from Shlyke's side to hug Fennel, "Is what normal?"

"My cheek feels all weird." Fennel said as she picked up Tina to give her a better look at her cheek.

"You had it on something!" Tina pointed out as she poked Fennel's cheek.

"Is it permanent?" Fennel asked.

"No!" Tina giggled, "It'll go away in a few minutes."

"Oh I was afraid it wouldn't. Regualr skin is so wierd." Fennel commented.

"Silly softskin!" Shlyke snickered, "You don't even know how your skin works! Harder shell is the better cover!"

"You know, until you break a bone and, woops, time for an amputation." Fennel replied.

"Wait, what?" Tina asked, not getting what was going on but was worried anyway.

"I think that was subtle threat," Shlyke noted, "But whatever."

"That wasn't a threat." Fennel replied.

"You were licking your lips at my arm earlier," Shlyke shrugged, "But sure, bugeater, whatever."

"Yeah, but I'm not hungry right now." Fennel quipped.

"Mommy isn't a bugeater, that's gross!" Tina defended, "She was just saying stuff."

"Ehhh." Fennel added.

"I bet she'd eat bugs," Shlyke nodded, "She's a furred one, so obviously she's going to be more wanting to eat things."

"Nuh-uh! She would never eat bugs," Tina huffed before shaking her head.

"Yeah..." Fennel ad
"Do you have any loose teeth? If so the tooth fairy will visit you." Fennel asked.

Tina's giggling stopped instantly as she let out a gasp. "Tooth fairy? What's that?" She quickly asked.

"Oh you don't know? Well when you lose your baby teeth, if you put it under your pillow the tooth fairy comes and leaves you money." Fennel explained.

"Woah! Really!?" Tina squealed.

"Yeah. She realy liked these." Fennel said before pointing to her canines.

"Wow! I have a loose tooth right here!" Tina exclaimed, opening her mouth and poking one of her teeth. It shifted a little at her touch.

"Wow!" Fennel gasped as she looked at the tooth "You're such a big girl!" Fennel cheered as she hugged Tina.

"I am!" Tina said happily, "Do you think if it comes out today that the tooth fairy will come!?"

"I know she will." Fennel said

"Is she pretty?" Tina asked.

"I think she is, but she only shows up if you are alseep." Fennel said, "Do you think that tooth is ready to come out?"

"I think so!"

"If you want, we can take it out." Fennel requested.

"Yes yes yes!" Tina jumped up, bouncing in place.

"Alright go get your sisters and some floss and we can get it out." Fennel said as she hugged Tina again.

"All of them?" Tina asked.

"Or as many as you would want to come." Fennel replied.

"Okay!" Tina nodded, running up to the door, swinging it open, stepping outside, respectfully closing the door slowly, and then booking it down the hall.

Fennel then called out from down the hallway "Tina's about to lose a baby tooth."

Some minutes later, Tina returned to the room with Zoey, Ruby, and a good amount of her other sisters.

Fennel then took the floss and said "Okay Tina, open wide!"

Tina happily obeyed, opening her mouth as wide as she could. "Why are we here?" Mary asked, before quickly being shushed by her twin.

Fennel then tied one end of the floss around Tina's loose tooth before tying the other end to the handle of the door. "Okay Tina. This might hurt, are you ready?" Fennel asked.

"Ah-hah!" Tina nodded.

"Oh my god, Latte," Zoey covered her eyes, but parted her fingers to watch anyway.

Fennel then forced the door closed with a loud slam. "OW!" Tina cried out, covering her mouth with both of her hands before looking down at her tooth on the floor.

Fennel then rushed over to Tina and picked up the tooth before saying "You were so brave, Tina!" and handed it to the girl.

"I was?" Tina asked, rubbing where her tooth was with her tongue as she looked down at the tooth in her hand.

"I was so scared to lose my teeth." Fennel admited as she picked the girl up.

"Uh, Latte? Why'd you rip her tooth out?" Zoey asked.

"And why did we all have to watch?" Mary added.

"So the tooth fairy can visit her." Fennel replied before realizng that she herself hadn't cared too much for the teeth Ryle had lost. "...Um, that's what mommies do."

"Mommies?" Maria repeated.

"Hold up, tooth fairy? What's a tooth fairy?" Zoey asked.

"Tina, calls me mommy." Fennel explained before turning her attention to Zoey "She brings you money when you lose your baby teeth."

"Shit! I only have one left!" Zoey gasped, pulling down her lower lip and nudging one of her teeth.

"I still have some, none of them are loose though," Ruby mumbled.

"I'm sure she can visit you soon." Fennel assured Ruby.

"How do I give her my tooth?" Zoey asked excitedly.

"You have to put it under your pillow when you sleep at night." Fennel answered.

"Fuck, Latte, rip this shit out!" Zoey requested.

"Open up." Fennel said as she readied a piece of floss.

Zoey opened her mouth and stuck her tongue out with a quiet moan, quickly shutting her mouth with an, "Oops, force of habit," before reopening her mouth and giving Fennel access to the bottom tooth that was loose.

Fennel then tied the floss around the tooth before attaching the other end to the door once more. The vixen then opened the door and asked, "Ready?"

"Hey, Tina, how much did it hurt?" Zoey asked.

"It hurt a lot at first, but it's okay!" Tina assured.

".. Alright, I'm-" Zoey started.

Fennel then slammed the door before Zoey could finish her sentence.

"Aw, shitass!" Zoey yelled, covering her mouth with one hand, "I wasn't ready ready yet!"

Fennel then picked up the tooth and handed it to Zoey, "Don't lose it or the tooth fairy won't come." Fennel warned.

"Under my pillow when I sleep, right?" Zoey asked as she took the tooth.

"Yep." Fennel said with the nod of her head.

"Fuck, I wish we had a tooth fairy back home," Zoey remarked.

"She used to visit me all the time when I was little." Fennel commented.

"Well, magic wasn't a thing," Zoey shrugged before smiling at her tooth.

"It was-" Fennel then cut herself off, not wanting to let Tina know there wasn't really a tooth fairy.

"Whatever, this is gonna be awesome," Zoey grinned, "Rub, let's go find like, a little bag or some shit to make sure my tooth is safe." Without waiting for a reply, Zoey sped out of the room, her sister hurriedly following behind her.

Fennel seemed to be particularly pleased with the current turn of events. "Okay, that's all."

The rest of the girls awkwardly filed out of the room, leaving Fennel and Tina alone. Tina hopped onto a bed, stuck the tooth under her pillow, and immediately slid under the covers to try and fall asleep as fast as she could, excited to exchange her tooth with the tooth fairy.

Fennel then slipped out of the room before she pulled the money from her bra, a twenty. She then looked at her wallet to see yet another twenty. If this kept up, she was going to need to find a way to make cash quickly.

"Mmmf... I can't sleep," Tina mumbled, not daring to open her eyes incase she would lose whatever amount of sleepiness she may have collected.

Fennel meanwhile wandered around as she waited for Tina and hopefully Zoey to go to sleep. Fennel then noticed a few ziplock bags that the hotel staff had left lying about and picked them up.

"Hey, Fennel," Mary approached the vixen.

“Yeah, Mary?” Fennel asked, looking up to the taller girl.

"What's up with the whole... Tina calling you mom?" Mary asked.

“She asked if she could call me mommy a few days back and I couldn’t say no.” Fennel explained.

Mary nodded in response. "Alright," She replied, "Was just kinda weird hearing it out of nowhere."

“Yeah, I guess,” Fennel agreed, ”I might have accepted because I really want to be a mom someday too.”

"Most of us wanna be moms," Mary remarked with a light chuckle before frowning, "... You'll probably do a better job though."

“What makes you say that?” Fennel asked.

"If end up anything like our moms then... They were nice, they were, but... You know, they never did stuff like trying to gather us all to see Tina's tooth come out or anything. It was kinda dumb, but you were excited about it."

“Oh, I never really heard much about your moms what were they like?” Fennel asked.

"Shit, they were... Even more of a varied bunch than we are," Mary scoffed, "In general though, they all had specific jobs to do around the Hold, and you didn't get to spend too much time with one in particular unless you did their job with them. Most of them, all of them really, were really nice and all, but... I just feel like you're more of a mom than some of them were."

“...Thank you. It sounds rough not getting to spend time with your mom. I’m just trying to do what Mommy did.” Fennel replied.

"Well, I got to spend time with a few moms incharge of the artillery and stuff," Mary reasoned, "... I dunno... Being with you and Bob and Brendan just... Kinda changes my perspective or something.”

“I’m sorry, to have changed how you see your family.” Fennel apologized.

"What? no, it's not your fault, it's... My dad's," Mary sighed, "Looking back on it, he kinda made everything revolve around himself."

“Oh... I guess that-“ Fennel stopped herself, not wanting to offend Mary.

"... Whatever you were gonna say, it's fine," Mary assured, "I know you don't like my dad, and I'm starting to see why."

Fennel was unsure what to say, “... I just want you girls to be happy.”

"I know, you make that pretty obvious," Mary smiled, "I think you're doing a good job at it."

“Thank you. I just hope I can do the same with my own kids one day.” Fennel replied.

"I'm sure you'll be fine," Mary laughed, "I'm gonne go find Bob, see you later.”

“Okay, see you around Mary.” Fennel waved. The fox then peeked inside her room to see if Tina was asleep yet. Sure enough, the six-year-old was fast asleep, having tired herself out from her own excitement.

Eventually Fennel snuck her way back into the room after she was certain that Tina was asleep. After Fennel had approached the bed side she exchanged the tooth for one of her twenty dollar bills. Fennel looked at the tooth for a moment, Mrs. Geoffry and kept Fennel’s baby teeth so the vixen decided to do the same. Fennel then placed the tooth in her bra, before stroking Tina’s hair and exiting the room as quietly as possible.

"Hey, Bob!" Mary greeted upon finding the Doom Marine.

“Oh, hey Mary!” Bob replied, sitting at a table with a sharpie and a roadmap of the US, a sort of track record as to where they hd been going, “What’s up?”

"I was wondering if we could hang out again," Mary answered as she sat across from Bob, "Go shooting or fight or go to, like, a gym or something. I've never actually been to one."

“Sure!” Bob agreed, standing up and packing away the map, “I think the hotel’s got one somewhere. We can go there and test it all out.”

"Great!" Mary smiled, standing up and gesturing for Bob to lead the way.

As Bob was about to lead the way to where he thought the hotel’s gym was, the front entrance to the hotel burst open, and several bugs, like the ones the group had to deal with before, walked in, peering around before looking at Bob and ordering, “Hey, you! Stop right there!”

Oh, goddamnit,” Bob grumbled, before turning to meet the gaze of the Selk, “I thought our business with you guys was done.”

”Yes, sir, it is,” the mantid assured, “But there’s other problems that seemed to have arisen when your group left.”

”That being?”

”After your group left the outpost, we reported that one of our soldiers, an Abrol by the name of Shlyke, went missing. We believe he’s gone AWOL.”

"Oh, you mean that bug Tina had sex with in the bus?" Mary asked, looking between the mantid and Bob.

The Selk turned his attention towards the girl, “Sounds off, but fits the dirty son of a bitch good enough. You know where he is? We’re taking him in for abandoning his post and, well, treason.”

Mary opened her mouth to speak, then quickly hummed as she put a hand to her chin, as if trying to remember the exact location of Shlyke. In reality, she realized she had screwed up by chiming in and risking getting Tina's friend arrested by the bug police. "Yeah... After we found out he screwed Tina, we kicked him out a few miles back," Mary lied, "We couldn't have a freak like that traveling with us."

“Oh really?” The Selk peered down at Mary suspiciously, “You managed to go all this way and only now dumped the scumbag?”

"Yes, really," Mary huffed, leaning in as she glared up at the bug, "We tolerated him until he screwed a six-year-old."

“...’Pin!” The Selk Officer hissed, with the floating Oitic coming up to the sound of his name, “Check the camera feeds of the hotel like you did the last. I wanna make sure her story checks out one hundred percent before we get the Klen searching for him.”

”You got it, sir!” The firefly-like bug chimed, gloating daintily off in its bulbous suit, drifting off towards the customer service counter.

”While I don’t disbelieve your story,” the bug in charge hissed, “I need to be sure. A kid’s account of what happens ain’t the most trustworthy.”

"Hey! I'm one year away from being an adult," Mary pouted.

The Selk looked Mary over and scoffed, “Right, and I’m too old to work in the armed forces. I want to believe you, kid, just so I can have a good excuse to break that damn Abrol’s face in for his scumminess. You got anyone else to back up your claim?”

"Bob, tell 'im," Mary turned to the marine and gestured at the Selk.

“Yeah!” Bob nodded, “I punted the damn bug a few miles out from here. I couldn’t stand him, and nobody else could, do we were all in agreement on it. If I could, I’d do it again.”

The Mantid peered down at Mary, then to Bob, before snapping to Pin, “Hey ‘Pin! You got those feeds yet?!”

”Just about..!” The insect replied, holding a panel which had a wire connecting it to a security camera.

”You two stay here,” The Selk gestured for them to sit at the table, before starting to walk off, “And we’ll be out of your hair in no time.”

Mary folded her arms and plopped down in the seat, and Bob followed.

“...Shit,” Bob mumbled, “If they look on those cameras, they’re gonna see we’re lying.”

"I should've just kept my mouth shut. Harper's way better at this ly- No she's worse, she does it all the time- What do we do?"

“I don’t know,” Bob groaned, “Whatever we do, someone’s gonna get hurt. Maybe we... you think we could take them? They don’t look that buff, ‘cept for the mantis guy.”

"If we do that though... The rest of the bugs are gonne come looking for them," Mary warned.

“That’s true,” Bob mumbled, “I can’t really think of any other solutions other than... No,” Bob disagreed with himself, “I’m not turning him in, no matter how disgusting he is.”

"I don't want to either. I don't like him, but Tina does," Mary sighed.

“We gotta think of something...” Bob murmured, “You think they’d be willing to just... let him go?”

"... Maybe? Maybe if we explain how he is with Tina... Maybe?"

“It’s the best shot we got,” Bob shrugged, as the mantis and firefly looked over the video feed, with the mantis glaring over at the two, “And looks like it’s just in time.”

The Selk Officer stomped over, clicking his mandibles impatiently as he asked, “So... he is here, and you’re just feeding me lies?”

"We can explain... Bob?" Mary began before quickly turning the situation over to the marine.

“If Shlyke got taken away by you, that little six-year old, Tina, is gonna be heartbroken,” Bob explained, “And we’ve all had enough emotional damage on this trip. The last thing she needs now is lose her friend.“

”... Do either of you even realize the dangers of an Abrol?” The Selk asked, “They got such a high metabolic rate, they need to eat constantly. When they eat all your trash, lick all the left over specks off the ground, you know where Shlyke’s gonna look next for something to eat? That little six-year old who’s grown so attached to that scumbag, she wouldn’t even see it coming if she calls such a pathetic waste of air a friend. We’re doing you a service. The quicker you get that through your skulls and show us where he is, the better it is for everyone.”

"She got him to stop eating trash actually, right?" Mary turned her head once again to Bob.

“Yeah, she got him to stop that,” Bob nodded, “But then he ate like three platters of food...”

”That’s an isolated incident,” the Mantis regarded, “He had food literally handed to him, by the sound of it. If he’s stuck in a prolonged period without that opportunity, I bet he’d fall back into eating trash. But you know what?” The Selk asked, “If you think you can handle a bug that’s looked down upon by almost every known race for their disgusting habits, then fine. Call us if you change your mind, just so I can tell you ‘I told you so’.” The Selk remarked, before hissing out several commands, causing the group of bugs to begin to leave the premises.

"Huh... That was easy," Mary remarked.

“Yeah... That was really easy,” Bob agreed, “A bit weird...”

"... So, wanna hit the gym?"

“I don’t see why not,” Bob shrugged, standing up and leading the way, “Let’s go!”

-

Eventually Fennel peeked into a room she saw Zoey enter, checking to see if the girl had fallen asleep. Sure enough, the fourteen-year-old was splayed out butt-naked on her bed and fast asleep.

Fennel noticed that Zoey was, in fact, asleep, the naked thing wa still a little wierd, but whatever. The Laviturninan snuck over and exchanged the girl's final baby tooth for her other twenty dollar bill.

Except, when Fennel reached under the pillow, she would pull out a hundred dollar bill rather than a tooth. At that moment, there was a flush from within the bathroom, and out stepped the almighty Trashcanhead with fake fairy wings duct taped to his back and a tiara on his helmet. "Huh? Oh, hey, I'm the tooth fairy," He greeted, waving his hand with Zoey's tooth between two of his fingers.

"What do you mean you're the tooth fairy?" Fennel asked.

"Okay, like... I'm not really the tooth fairy, but I found out a few days ago the tooth fairy isn't even fuckin' real, and I had nothing better to do, so I'm the tooth fairy now," Trashy explained, tossing the tooth into the air, waving his hand past it, and causing it to disappear into his inventory.

"Welll I'm being the tooth fairy, for these girls." Fennel replied before "And give me that tooth."

"What? Why do you want it? You don't even have a fuckin', uh.. Tooth fairy license," Trashy accused, producing his own license, which seemed to be a stolen FBI identification with a picture of himself taped over the original owner's photo and "FBI" erroded down and a sticky note saying, "Tooth fairy" taped over it.

"Her sister calls me Mommy... I just feel I should keep it." Fennel replied.

"So you're not actually their mom, that's kinda weird, why do you want the tooth?" He asked before digging around in his pocket, pulling out a half-eaten hotdog, and eating it from under his trashcan helmet.

"I... I... feel like I'm supposed to act like their mom, they need me." Fennel answered.

"Hmm.. Alright, but if you want the tooth, you're gonna have to get it back the official way," Trashcanhead informed as he pulled out a spiral notebook with the word, "GUIDEbOOK" written on the front in sharpie. He opened it up and flipped to a page composed mostly of scribbled out regulations, tracing his finger down to one of the few paragraphs left intact, "Fight to the death."

Fennel then snapped her fingers expending enought magic to force Trashy against the wall. "Now now now, I don't want to do this, but we can do this easy way or the hard way." Fennel said as she approached the insane man.

"Oh my fuckin-, I talk when I read, god damn, I was just skimming the page," Trashcanhead huffed, willing the spiral notebook from the ground and into his hands, "Gimme a second, not everyone can read super fast."

Fennel then relased Trashy "Oh in that case." she commented as she waited for Trashcanhead to finish.

"Sheeeeit..." He muttered before returning to reading the page, "Fight to the death... Ligma.... Oh, okay, so you just gotta beat me at something. It can be just about anything as long as it isn't dumb BS like 'having boobs competition' that you'd win by default."

"How about a hand stand competition?" Fennel suggested.

"Dope, let's do it," Trashcanhead agreed, slapping the book shut and causing it to vanish.

Fennel then sprung into a hand stand position.

"Aw, shit! Hold up, nevermind, different contest!" Trashcanhead gasped, covering his eyes and using his hands to block the view of Fennel's fallen skirt.

Fennel then returned to an upright position "What afraid you'll lose?"

"No, I just don't wanna look at your fuckin' panties," He explained, "My wife would smack me upside the head."

"Oh frick I forgot I wasn't wearing my combat shorts under this." Fennel replied.

"What about rock paper scissors." Fennel reploed.

"Nah, that's banned in article seven," Trashy shook his head.

"Can I just ask nicely?" Fennel asked.

"I'd give you the tooth for your fetish stuff or whatever, but I gotta follow regulation. I gotta keep that integrity and shit, you know what I'm sayin'?"

"Okay, what about a who can stand on one leg longest?" Fennel asked.

"Alright, I can dig it," Trashcanhead nodded,lifting one leg up and maintaining his balance via the force.

Fennel then stood on one leg and made use of her tail to retain balance.

Trashy smacked his lips a few times and hummed a tune. "... So... Are you a pedo or something?" He asked, pointing over to Zoey as the bedhseets moved on their own to cover her up.

"Their dad is. I've been trying to tell them that's wrong." Fennel replied rather upset to have her of all people called a pedophile.

"Eugh, who's the dad?" He asked in a disgusted tone.

"I think some guy named Wolfe, he has a hold or something on Staten Island. It seems like he's basically the leader of a sex cult or something." Fennel replied in a hushed tone.

"Aw, sheeeeit! That guy's a piece of shit!" Trashcanhead groaned, "I'm glad you got his kids away from him, fuck that asshole."

"Finally, someone else agrees with me." Fennel replied.

"Fuckin' like... You wouldn't believe how fucked up that dickhead is," Trashcanhead went on.

"Wait you know him?" Fennel asked.

"I know of him, he's from my world," Trashy answered, jabbing a thumb at himself, "He was never a big enough threat that we could deal with him, but he was still a piece of shit. You could fuckin' contact him and shit and hand over like, your wife or whatever, right? And he rapes them and shit and jacks them up and gives them back to you- It's fucked up."

"Yeah Zoey told me about that."

"Sheeeeit.... Well, good luck with fixing his kids," Trashy wished, pulling out a can of beer and tossing it to the vixen.

"I think three don't really like him anymore." Fennel said before catching the beer and placing it on the ground. "Thank you but, I think the last thing I need is to get drunk."

"Oh, nah, that's weak shit. It'd get you buzzed at most," Trashy scoffed.

"I got hammered on a pina colada." Fennel noted.

"Pfffft, sheeeeeit! Really?!" Trashcanhead laughed.

"So you getting tired yet?" Fennel asked.

"Nah," Trashy shook his head as he streatched his arms.

"Is there a way to speed this up, I don't really want them finding out about the tooth fairy thing."

"Oh, don't worry, I slipped her a sleeping pill just to be safe," Trashy assured, not realizing how a complete stranger giving a sleeping teenager a pill would come off.

“That’s... reassuring.” Fennel answered as her balance momentarily faultered.

Throughout the entire competition, Trashcanhead's balance did not even threaten to fail him. "Man... This is a pretty boring thing you chose," He remarked.

”Y-Yeah.” Fennel replied as she struggled to stand, she wanted the tooth but the task was becoming difficult as she was losing feeling in her leg.

He noted her struggle and decided to mention, "You know, there's no rule against challenging me again if you lose."

Fennel then fell down. “So do you pick the next challenge Or do I?”

"Nah, you can pick it. I'd end up choosing something I'm really good at like beer pong."

“What about best dancer, Oh if I win do you got like an extra sixty dollars, I don’t want the girls thinking the tooth fairy plays favorites.“ Fennel asked.

"Oh, sure, I'm fuckin' loaded," He shrugged, pulling a few wads of hundred dollar bills out of his pockets and throwing them up in the air with a, "Woosh," provided by himself.

Fennel then did a dance similar to the one she did for the cook off though it was much more energetic as if it were for a festival as opposed to a feast.

"... Yeah, you win, I can't dance," Trashcanhead said, pulling the tooth out of nowhere and tossing it to Fennel.

Fennel caught the tooth along with picking up a few of the bills before placing them in her bra. “Thanks.” Fennel replied as she went to exchange Tina’s twenty for a hundred.

"Teeth fetishists," Trashy shook his head.

“It’s not a fetish thing.”

"Yeah, welp, I'm out. There's probably fuckin'... Shit that needs blown up or I don't know, see ya fox lady," Trashy waved goodbye to Fennel as he approached the room's window and opened it up before flopping out.

“Okay bye.” Fennel said as she went to complete the cash exchange.

-

Fennel then exited the room Tina was in, having replaced the twenty with a hundred.

A few rooms down, a door opened and Ernette stoumbled out in some more casual, comfortable clothing consisting of only some grey sweatpants and a loose, white t-shirt. She’d learned from Clara that if they wanted to be comfortable and not have to worry about being naked, this was the best way to go.

“Hey Ernette.” Fennel waved.

“Oh, hey!” Ernette replied giddily, before realizing who she was talking to, her glee immediately failing her, “I mean, hey, what’s up.”

“I’m sorry about earlier.” Fennel apologized, “I don’t really think the maid thing is for me.” She then covered her nose, “So you and Clara have-"

“Yeah,” Ernette answered before Fennel could finish, “And it’s alright; I was just a bit tense earlier. Now I’m better.”

“So... ummm... I guess you’re trying to have kids then?” Fennel asked.

“Well, I think one’s enough to start,” Ernette thought aloud, “But yeah, that’s pretty much why we’ve been at it,” she bit down on her bottom lip, making a gesture with her hands to show Fennel a very crude diagram of how Clara and her had been spending their free time, “But I think she’s done for now.”

“Yeah... I’d like to have like four or five kids myself.” Fennel stated.

“...At once, or... one at a time?” Ernette asked.

“One at a time. Having them alll at once would take away some of the fun of it all."

“Yeah... your belly’d probably pop from how much space they’d all take up,” Ernette mused, “I couldn’t even imagine you with a baby in you...”

“Yeah, If I had ’em all at once, I‘d only get to have one first ki- wait what is that supposed to mean?” Fennel replied.

“Which part? The baby in you bit?” Ernette clarified.

”Yeah, That one.” Fennel replied, somewhat hurt.

“I didn’t mean it like that,” Ernette assured, “I just meant I couldn’t really see you... having a kid. Like the actual appearance, not the idea of you getting pregnant.”

“Oh well I think I would be cute preggers.” Fennel replied.

“Maybe... to be honest,” Ernette thought aloud, “I’m still not completely past the fact that I’m gonna be a mom soon... and I don’t know a single thing about it.”

“What do you need a test?” Fennel asked.

“Har har,” Ernette grumbled, “No. I need someone to help me figure out How to be a mom... wait, what about you?! You’re great with Tina, from what I’ve seen, so you’re the closest there is to a mom here!”

“Okay obviously I’m not a mom yet, but Zoey and Mary say I do a good job and Tina calls me mommy.” Fennel said.

“Exactly!” Ernette exclaimed, “That’s why I need you to teach me how to be a good mom!”

Fennel wagged her tail excitedly, ”Okay, I‘ve read a few books on pregnancy and child development so that should help!” Fennel said before letting out a happy fox noises. “Okay, you just need the understand this is the most important thing you will ever do.” Fennel said, trying to help Ernette understand.

“Wow... the most important...” Ernette took this in for a moment, before shaking her head and smiling, “O-of course I knew that! It’s my body having the kid, right? So of course it’s the most important!”

“I mean, like the baby comes first, always.” Fennel said as her tone became more serious.

Always?” Ernette stopped with her cockiness, actual contemplation filling her mind.

“I mean, of course you still need to take time for yourself, but the baby needs you to take care of it. It’s your child. But don’t worry, being a mom is the most fufilling thing you will ever do too.” Fennel said as her tone became peppier.

“Well, in that case, I get it! I love fulfillment!” Ernette agreed, nodding her head.

“Okay just remember this is a big responsibility.”

“I know! I know! You told me this already!” Ernette huffed.

“Okay, umm, do you know if you are expecting yet?” Fennel inquired.

“...We’ve only been banging for two days, and yesterday I took a bunch of pills to make sure Bob didn’t get me pregnant, so... I dunno,” Ernette shrugged.

”Oh yeah that might stop you from ovulating for a few days.” Fennel mused.

“A few days!?” Ernette gasped, “By the time that’s over, we’ll be back at their dad’s place!”

“Okay umm maybe you could take the crown off and it would reset your hormones.” Fennel mused.

“...I’ll test that out in a bit,” Ernette nodded, “I was gonna go do some stuff without the crown real quick anyways. Gotta develop some tape for Zoey and Ruby and Me.”

“Oh yeah Zoey told me about those pictures.”

“Yeah, I’m doing a few of those too, but the rest is some stuff they don’t even know about,” Ernette snickered, “They’re gonna love it.”

“Were you recording people?” Fennel asked.

“If you count Clara and Me as ‘people’,” Ernette quipped, “Then yep!”

“I guess some people are into that thing.” Fennel mused.

“You have no idea,” Ernette chuckled, “...You know, there’s always a market for average-sized fox-girls there, if you get what I’m saying.”

“What do you mean average? I am not some basic bitch.” Fennel answered not catching Ernette‘s drift.

Height. Otherwise, from Zoey, I’ve heard you got a good set of hips,” Ernette mused, “And people’d pay to see them n-a-k-e-d.”

“Did you record me?” Fennel asked.

“No!” Ernette shook her head, before flicking her fingers, a small camera flowing up, “I’m just asking if I can... So can I?”

”Would they pay for clothed?” Fennel asked.

“I really doubt it,” Ernette shook her head, “Least they’d do is panties and bra... I can make sure you get a cut of the money from your pics,” Ernette assured, “So what do you say?”

”... I’ve got to wear this disguise until my fur grows back in anyway...”

“That’d work! Though I bet people’d pay for your non-disguise pics too,” Ernette chimed, “But this is great!”

“Can you at least try to sell them to artists as like references? I'd like these to be tasteful.”

“I bet at least one of the guys I’ve sold to were an artist, so it shouldn’t be that har- tasteful?” Ernette asked.

“Like for art reasons.”’

“You’re thinking of the wrong audience, Latte!” Ernette quipped, coming up beside her and scrolling through the camera’s smut-filled content, “People don’t want artsy-fartsy nudes! They want it all up and presented to them! Not covering your crotch with like a fig branch or something!”

“Artists use nude models. You can photoshop my face right? I really need the cash.” Fennel remarked as she was unsure how long she could get away trading with Trading Varian currency as gold.

"And why would I mess with your pretty face in post-production?" Ernette smirked.

“I don’t want this coming around to bite me in the butt later.” Fennel said.

"How in the world would this bite you anywhere? You give me a few untasteful nudes, and you get money! Simple as that!"

“I just don’t want It damaging my reputation is all.”

"You don't want to damage your reputation with the random strangers who have no idea who this beautiful woman they just bought the pictures of?" Ernette asked to clarify.

“I would rather remain anonymous is all.” Fennel said.

"And you would," Ernette assured, "Because nobody knows your name! Simple as that!"

“If you won’t photoshop my face I want you to photoshop something else then.” Fennel requested.

"What else could I possibly photoshop?"

“I want a picture to see what I’d look like pregnant, a tasteful one.” Fennel requested.

"...So one tasteful nude of you... pregnant, and a bunch of untasteful ones?"

”I’d prefer to be clothed in that one.”

"Fair enough. One tasteful clothed picture of you pregnant, and then the untasteful nudes?" Ernette confirmed.

“Okay. But try to find people that aren’t going to put it on the internet.“

"...Deal," Ernette held out a hand to shake.

Fennel then shook Ernette‘s hand, “Can this stay a secret between us?“

"...Of course," Ernette smiled. But she was already thinking of different intentions, "Let's head to the bathroom or something, just in case someone comes in the hall."

Fennel then headed into an empty bed room to begin the photo shoot.

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Teedler
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Re: Dimensional Clash IX [IC]

Post by Teedler on Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:32 pm



========

Ernette walked outside the hotel with a skip to her beat, with Fennel following. She turned around, a smile on her face as she held the camera in her hand as she asked, "Hey, could you hold the crown while I'm out?"

”Just don’t tell anyone about these.” Fennel asked as she took the crown.

"Affirmative," Ernie declared in his old Benefactor voice, before floating off, detaching his lower eye as well as holding the camera, before floating off to process everything.

Fennel then walked back into the hotel where Parfait noticed she was holding the crown. The Pokémon let out a sly grin before snatching the crown from Fennel. “Hey!“ The fox called as the Pokémon began dragging Ruby to where Zoey was sleeping.

"Wh- Huh? What? What's going on?" Ruby gasped as she was dragged away by the Sylveon, "Wait! We can't go in there! Zoey's waiting for the tooth fairy!"

Not heeding what Ruby said, the polemon opened the door using a key she had yet to distribute before waking zoey up.

"Mmmff... Who time is it?" Zoey slurred, slowly opening her eyes.

Parfait then put the crown on and cheerily cried "Parfait alpha!" with a wag of her tail.

"Pah... What?"

"Alpha alpha alpha, Parfait is!"

Zoey stared at Parfait for a few seconds before dropping her head back onto the pillow and closing her eyes once again.

"Parfait makey Eevee!" The pokemon happily continued.

"Wait, would the crown mess with the puppies in you?" Ruby asked curiously.

Parfait took a moment to think before feeling the stomach "No no." She happily responded.

"Are they like... Human babies now?" Ruby mused.

"No know." Parfait answered. with a shrug.

"Oh, okay," Ruby nodded, hearing 'no no' as opposed to 'no know', "That's kinda weird."

Parfait then let out a dissapointed "No care?" Before Fennel snatched the crown off the pokemon's head.

"Oh, hey Fennel!" Ruby greeted, "Could I see the crown? I never got to try it on." Unfortunately for her, Zoey had hogged the crown when it was in their possession.

"Umm sure, I just need to give it back to Ernette." Fennel said, handing the crown to Ruby, who promptly popped it onto her head and ran to the bathroom to look in a mirror.

"Oh my gosh!" Ruby cried out in a much older voice, "Look how big my boobs are!" She stepped out, squeezing her chest in awe. Her hair had changed to blonde, but of course, nobody cared about that.

"Everyone's bigger than me." Fennel muttered.

"Maybe you'll get bigger when you're older... Like.. In two years or something," Ruby tried for optimism.

"No I'm done growning." Fennel replied.

"Oh... You could get stuff put in your boobs to make them bigger. I heard people used to do that," Ruby suggested.

"Eww gross. I don't want bigger boobs that bad." Fennel replied, deciding she was happy with her body.

"Hmm... Oh! Getting pregnant makes your boobs bigger!" Ruby exclaimed.

"Well, duh." Fennel replied. "I mean how else are you supposed to feed your baby."

"You should just get pregnant!"

Fennel let out a giggle implying she liked the idea before saying "I can't just get pregnant to get bigger boobs, that's irresponsible."

"You can raise the baby too," Ruby laughed.

"But I'm not married, so it's not really a good idea anyway." Fennel noted.

"Then get married!" Ruby beamed before quickly adding, "Just don't marry Zoey."

"Trust me I won't." Fennel chuckled.

"Well, it's just that you've been kinda close with Zoey lately," Ruby huffed.

"Oh, I didn't realize." Fennel replied.

"Wh- You guys went into the bathroom together! You slept together on the bus! You let her carry you! You're all over her and stealing her away from me!" Ruby quickly became upset in the middle of talking.

"We didnt have sex." Fennel stated, "But I will give you your Zoey time."

"Hmph... It doesn't matter anyway... She still talks about you even when you're not around," Ruby pouted.

Fennel took a moment to think if what she was going to say before a question popped into her mind. "Why do you care what Zoey thinks so much?"

"Because! I... I..." Ruby trailed off, shrinking down a little, "I dunno..."

Fennel then hugged Ruby. "It's okay. I won't laugh at you." Fennel said trying to comfort the girl.

Ruby teared up, shriking in Fennel's grasp before hugging her back. "I-i... I love her," She admitted.

Fennel wasn't sure how to respond and asked, "What does Ruby want to do?"

"W-What?" Ruby blinked away her tears and pulled back with a look of confusion.

"I mean, maybe you just need to figure out what you want. Maybe you've been trying to become Zoey." Fennel replied equaly unsure of what to say.

"Wh- Are you saying I don't actually love Zoey?!" Ruby accused, as this question was coming just after her confession.

"I don't know." Fennel answered.

"What do you mean you don't know!? How do you not know what you're saying?!"

"I don't know. Maybe if you try to be Ruby, Zoey will notice."

"What are you even saying?"

"Maybe you can not think about Zoey." Fennel suggested.

"What? Why- What- Why shouldn't I think about Zoey? So you can have her all to yourself?"

"I don't want Zoey. But maybe you can find someone else?" Fennel said, feeling as if she was only making the situation worse.

"You do want Zoey!" Ruby cried out, pointing accusingly at Fennel.

"No, no ,no, I think I still have feelings for Bob..." Fennel admitted.

"Then why are you all over Zoey, huh!? Why do you want me to stop thinking about Zoey!? Why do you want me to find someone else!?"

"I want to give you options. And Zach... reminded me of Bob."

"I don't need options!" Ruby yelled, "I want Zoey!"

"I'll just shut up, this isn't helping." Fennel said before sulking away.

"Good," Ruby huffed angrily as she took off the crown, "You can give this to Ernette. Now go away."

Ernie was patiently waiting outside the entrance, holding the camera close to the Benefactor as it peered inside.

Fennel then handed the crown to the robot, "Here you go."

"You are approximately ten minutes late," Ernie stated in his monotone Benefactor voice, before the machine quickly put the crown back on, reverting to a naked Ernette. "Brr!" she shivered as she went to put on her previous clothes quickly, "Thanks for holding onto it, Fen. I'd of hated to see that dumb dog get her little ribbon mitts on it again."

"I don't think you'll have that problem any more, she doesn't seem too keen on having it anymore." Fennel commented.

"...What do you mea- Did you let her wear it?!" Ernette asked, checking the crown for anything to tell her herself, before she pulled off a blonde hair, "Really? C'mon!"

"She took it for a few minutes, but I got it back."

"Hmph," Ernette mumbled, "Well, at least its back to me. Oh, and here's your preggers pic," she chimed, handing Fennel a single picture in an envelope, "I put it in this so you don't look like a total weirdo for carrying a picture of yourself pregnant."

"I look cute in it right?" Fennel asked.

"Well, I sure hope so! I did my best work yet!" Ernette grinned widely, before hugging Fennel, "...I'm sorry for being an ass to you for the last few days."

"Wait. You weren't on your period? Because that means you still need to wait abit."

"What? Why's that?" Ernette pulled back, confused by the suggestion in light of her apology.

"You know about your cycle right?"

"I just know there's a period, and you can't get pregnant then, but you're super moody," Ernette explained her rudimentary knowledge of the female reproductive cycle.

"I need to tell you a few things about your body." Fennel replied as she tried to lead Ernette into her room.

"Why are we going to your room? What's so important about this stuff that you gotta tell me in private?" Ernette scoffed.

"Because it's not a dinner table conversation, and so you feel comfortable asking questions.

"Dinner table conversation? You really have the weirdest analogies, but I love them because they're so ridiculous," Ernette chuckled, sitting down at the base of Fennel's bed.

"Okay so I just need a quick run down of what you know so that I can give you the crash course."

And so, Ernette explained her general understanding of sex, which lacked mainly in just the female reproductive cycle save for periods.

"Okay so basically I'm not going over the organs because you can read about those, so I'm going to go over your period real quick." Fennel said. "So basically every month your body gets ready to have a baby, and if you don't have a baby you get your period and you bleed out of your vagaina for a few days, it kinda hurts but sometimes you pms and it really freaking sucks. Also you ovulate which is when you are fertile about half way between each period, and if you have unprotected sex you can get pregnant..." Fennel paused to let Ernette ask any question.

"Well... if what you said about the hormones getting reset is true," Ernette pondered, "Wouldn't that mean other things in my body've been reset? For example, that entire cycle? So I could've been ovulating this entire time, never knew, and it just reset so I'm ovulating again?"

"It's possible. Personally I keep a little calendar of when I am expecting to get my period so I can track when I am ovulating, mainly so if I decided to have sex I can take all the precautions nesscesary." Fennel added.

"Hm... I'll think about that," Ernette murmured, "Oh! Didn't you say you had a pregnancy test thingy?"

"Yeah, I kind of thought I slept with Bob when I was in heat." Fennel

"Makes sense," Ernette nodded, biting down on her lower lip as she sighed, "I still kinda liked it..-I-I mean," she chuckled with a nervous smile, "Yeah, yeah, if you got it, I'll probably need it."

"Well It's supposed to feel good." Fennel said as she searched her purse for the test.

"But I mean... Yeah, Clara does it a lot better, but Bob... I dunno," Ernette muttered, "He's... bigger-Nah, they're about the same... Yeah, I dunno."

"Okay, so you have to pee on this end." Fennel said pointing to the test and if there's a plus it means you're preggers." Fennel continued obviously trying to keep the image of Ernette and Bob together out of her mind.

"Ah, that makes... sense?" Ernette thought about it for a moment, taking the test and stuffing it in her pocket.

"And nine months later you are holding a little bundle of joy in your arms." Fennel said.

"Nine months?!" Ernette gasped, "What?!"

"You don't know about pregnancy!?" Fennel asked.

"I know its a thing, bu- wait... oh right, it is nine months," Ernette blushed at her foolishness, "I was getting that number mixed up with other body systems. Ehh, bones or something."

"I hear the first three months kind of suck though." Fennel noted.

"...They do?" Ernette slumped down.

"Yeah, like you throw up a lot, and feel extra tired and moody but then, you feel your baby kick and it's supposed to be almost magical." Fennel replied.

"Then... I guess it's worth it," the Benefactor's face lit up again.

"You do know about childbirth right?" Fennel asked.

"I know... it hurts," Ernette winced.

"You have good hips it should be easy for you, relatively." Fennel replied.

"You think?" Ernette looked down at her hips with concern, before looking to Fennel's and nodding assuredly, "...Yeah, you're right."

"You have very good hips so that should help. I'm happy to have gotten bigger hips because cup size doesn't really matter that much."

"I beg to disagree, and so would Zoey," Ernette puffed her chest up, making them jiggle, "But sure."

"When it comes to breastfeeding I mean." Fennel clarified.

"Ah. That... no, wouldn't that make mine better?"

"What do you mean by that?" Fennel asked.

"Mine are bigger, so they'd have more mil-... that's how that works, right?"

"No, its mainly determined by how much you nurse. I've read your body can figure out how much your baby needs to eat." Fennel explained.

"That's weird," Ernette murmured, "But whatever..."

"Cup size is determined by body fat." Fennel added.

Ernette's eyes widened in shock as she gasped, "Are you calling me fat?!"

"No, you're thicc, with two C's it means you got just a little bit extra meat on your bones."

"Oh, I think I've heard Zoey say that," Ernette mused and nodded, "It's a compliment, I think..." She mulled over that, before gasping happily, giving the Laviturnian a smirk, "Aww! That's so sweet of you!"

"Yeah, I know a lot of boys that like thicc girls. I'm more on the toned end myself." Fennel replied.

Ernette blushed, "Oh, I know the girls like it too... and it's nice to hear you say it," she mused, giving Fennel a quick peck on the fox's lips, a snide smile on her face as she pulled back and giggled, "Thanks!"

Fennel was a bit flustered by the kiss, as she was wasn't used to such a strong sign of affection used so casually.

Ernette kept her smile, twiddling with her undone hair as she thought of what she could do with Fennel before realizing, "Oh! I gotta go get these to Zoey and Ruby so I can make sure they all went through good!" she exclaimed, grabbing her camera and full envelope of photos and digital storage devices before skipping out the door, stopping in the doorway to turn around and smirk, "Hey Fen... I really liked kissing you there. Maybe sometime, You, Clara, and I could... y'know..." her smile grew with the implication.

"Oh, no, no, no, no, I don't swing like that." Fennel hastily resonded.

"...Prude!" Ernette playfully stuck out her tongue, before leaving the room, replying back to Fennel as she made her way down the hall, "If you change your mind, and I think you will, you know where to talk to me!"

"Don't get your hopes up." Fennel replied back.

====================

"Zoey!" Ernette chimed, knocking at the pair's door, "Ruby! It's Ernette! I got the pics done!"

Ruby opened the door while Zoey sat on the bed, still a little groggy from the sleeping pill she was given earlier, but she had an enormous smile on her face as she admired the hundred dollar bill in her hands.

"What pics?" Ruby inquired.

"You know, the ones we sell," Ernette brought her tone down, realizing she was being a bit loud.

"I thought you just sold those online," Zoey remarked.

"Yeah, I did, but I got some new stuff to add, and wanted to make sure you guys were cool with it," Ernette replied with a smile.

"I don't see why I wouldn't be cool with it. What is it?" Zoey gestured Ernette closer while Ruby sat down on the bed.

"Some videos," Ernette pulled out a set of digital devices, "I think you'd want to take a look at 'em. Home made Ernette material."

"Let's see what's up then," Zoey mumbled, blinking the sleepiness from her eyes a few times before looking at the device.

Ernette walked over to the television in the room and plugged one in. She sat at the edge of the bed adjacent to Zoey's, watching every second of her point of view from her first thirty minutes after Clara had gotten the tie, her feet slightly swinging as she smiled at the rough video.

As it ended, Ernette took the usb-like thing out of the TV. "So?" Ernette asked, "Whattya think?"

Zoey gulped, her legs shaking. "Y-Yeah... That was- was great," Zoey stammered.

"Oh! I knew you'd think so!" Ernette chimed, standing up and hugging Zoey, before moving to leave the room, "I'll go upload them as soon as I- Oh! I also got something really really special for you," Ernette fumbled through the pictures, pulling out a few of Ernette's perspective, and another from their television, and a few older ones of Zoey and Ruby, and finally-

"Ah-ha!" the Benefactor exclaimed, pulling out a bundle of pictures specifically held together by a rubber band, before handing them to Zoey, "I made duplicates of that, so I can go put a set up and you can keep a set. I got her to do it for me for some weird artsy-fartsy thing."

"Got who to do-" Zoey was interrupted as soon as she saw who was in the pictures she had been given, and more importantly, the nude posing Fennel was doing in those photos.

"She really wanted to do tasteful nudes," Ernette mused with a huff, "But I got her around to the usual stuff with doing that artsy thing for her. Oh and, uh... don't-don't tell her about these," she stammered.

Zoey's hands trembled as she stared down at the pictures. She slowly gulped and took deep, shaky breaths as it felt like her body was on fire. "... Zoey? Are you okay?" Ruby asked.

Zoey dropped the photos onto the ground before clenching the sides of the bed she was sitting on and gritting her teeth. It hadn't even been a full 24 hours and she was already starting to break down.

Ernette's smile faded as it turned to a slightly agape frown, "Did I... Did I fuck up?" she asked with concern.

"N-No-No, I.. I made a b-bet with her that... I could go two days without... Rubbing one out or screwing," Zoey explained, her legs briefly squirming together before she forced them apart, "Th-They're good pics... R-Really good..."

"...Oh my god," Ernette collected the photos quickly, stuffing them in a drawer before looking to Zoey, "As a friend, lemme help you. What can I do?"

"I-I don't know! I didn't think this would be so hard!" Zoey cried out, pulling at the sheets to her sides.

"Uhhh-uh-uh..." Ernette paced back and forth, thinking of a way to sate this urge to pleasure, before thinking of the only solution she could hurriedly, "Fennel's artsy request was for me to photoshop a clothed picture of her to look like she was pregnant!"

Zoey picked up a pillow, slammed her face into it, and screamed. It seemed this image in her head only worsened her predicament.

"Oh, I thought that'd make it better!" Ernette yelped, looking around for a solution, "Think, think, think... Ruby! Help me out here!"

"I-I Don't know! I try to turn Zoey on, not off!" Ruby gasped.

"Think of gross stuff!" Ernette exclaimed.

"Gross- bugs! Bugs!" Ruby yelled, "She really hates bugs!"

"Zoey, think of lots of bugs!" Ernette shouted, "Lots of slimy, wriggly, crawling bugs!"

"Remember that time you ate that beetle!?" Ruby added, "And all those nasty bugs!? And then Latte ate some?!"

"I-I... Eugh... Oh god..." Zoey's trembling slowly came to a halt as a disgusted, uncomfortable expression overtook her visage, "Yeah... Yeah that did it..."

"Why'd you make a dumb bet like that?" Ruby huffed.

"Because... She said I couldn't do it... Plus, if I win, I get to spank her ass whenever I want for a week," Zoey muttered.

"...You guys ate bugs?" Ernette asked, gagging.

"It was to prove a point... I don't wanna talk about it," Zoey explained, looking queasy just thinking about the experience.

"Alright... Hey Ruby, can I talk to you?" Ernette asked, calming down now that the predicament was over.

"Uhmm... Sure!" Ruby answered with a nod.

"...I mean, somewhere else?" Ernette gestured with a jerk of her head towards the door.

"Oh, okay," Ruby nodded once again before skipping over and leaving the room, holding the door open for Ernette.

The Benefactor gratefully accepted, closing the door as she exited. "So," she began as soon as the door clicked, "Did you get to talk to Latte about... you know? The stuff?"

"... Yeah, and... I... I think she wants to steal Zoey from me," Ruby reluctantly mumbled.

"...What?" Ernette's look turned from optimism to despair in a heartbeat, "What do you mean?"

"Well- I told her I love Zoey, and right after that, she tells me I need to 'figure out what I want' and that I want to 'become Zoey', as if I don't actually love Zoey! And then she said I shouldn't think about Zoey, and that I should try to find someone else!"

"I... I didn't know you loved her like that," Ernette quietly responded, a bit taken aback, but also happy for Ruby, "But... just because I didn't know, doesn't mean I'm not one hundred percent supportive of you, Ruby. I didn't think Fennel would be like that, either..."

"I've... Always loved her like that," Ruby murmured, rubbing one of her arms, "I just- I didn't really think about it before... And.. I.." She started to tear up, "I-I didn't think she'd say all that... After I told her..."

"Oh Ruby..." Ernette mewed, embracing the girl a soft hug, rubbing her back calmly as she shushed, "It's gonna be okay..."

"No it's not," Ruby mumbled as she started to cry.

Ernette quietly hushed Ruby, gently guiding her head into her bosom to cry into, as she whispered softly, "Just let it out, Ruby... It's okay to cry..."

Ruby's sobs were muffled as she clutched Ernette and shuddered. "W-W-Whyyy?" She managed to sputter out into the woman's chest.

"Sometimes, there's no real good reasons for why things happen..." Ernette mused quietly, shuddering as she maintained her tone, "But whatever it is... whatever reasons... we can make it through them if we just keep trying."

"Buh-But... But Zoey likes Fennel!" Ruby sobbed.

"But you can change that," Ernette insisted, "You have to keep trying, keep working to get her to stop worrying about Fennel... You love your sister from the bottom of your heart... So you have to tell her that."

"... What if she doesn't love me like that though!?" Ruby cried out, turning her head up to look at Ernette.

"Ruby, you two are the closest people I've ever seen together. On some level, no matter what, she loves you the same way back," Ernette assured.

"B-But what about Fennel?"

"If she really cares about you, her sister, she'll drop Fennel as quickly as she can when she realizes she's made that mistake."

Ruby sniffled as her sobs and cries came to a close, only a few tears streaming down her cheeks as she glanced between Ernette's eyes. "Really?" She asked with uncertain hope.

"Really," Ernette kept a hopeful smile as she kept Ruby close in their hug and reassured, "I'm sure of it."

"... Okay... Can you be with me, please?" Ruby requested, "When I tell her?"

"Of course," Ernette nodded slowly, "...Do you need a second?"

"... No... No, I wanna do it now," Ruby shook her head, not wanting to lose what little nerve Ernette had bestowed upon her.

Ernette looked to Ruby, letting her go as she smiled kindly, "I'll be right beside you the whole way."

Ruby nodded before hesitantly opening the door back to her room, taking only two steps in before quickly looking behind her to make sure Ernette was following. She was, standing in the doorway, assuredly keeping close behind the 11-year old for emotional support.

"Z-Zoey?" Ruby gulped as she stood in the center of the room, glancing back at Ernette before looking at her older sister.

"Yeah? Are you okay, Rub?" Zoey replied.

Ruby seemed incredibly nervous, lowering her head and clasping her hands together infront of herself. "I..." She murmured, trying to keep her voice at an audible level, "I lll... I love.. you."

"Uh, I love you too, Rub," Zoey responded with a curious smile and a shrug.

"N-No! I mean, I.. I love you love you..." Ruby confessed, "And I... I've been scared that... Fennel's gonna take you away from me..."

"Wait, what? You mean, like... In love with me?" Zoey asked for clarification, to which Ruby meekly nodded.

"Rub... I'm... I'm not gonna date or marry Latte or anything... I've thought about screwing her, but... Not dating her," Zoey assured before uncomfortably biting her lip, "But... Rub... You know I want to marry dad."

Ruby shrank a bit and, after a moment of silence, unhappily mumbled out a, "Yeah..."

"Ruby, I..." Zoey let out a sigh, "Maybe I should spend more time with you like usual... Is that okay?"

"... Yeah," Ruby slowly nodded. Zoey felt awful to turn down her little sister's romantic advance, but she had to maintain loyalty to Wolfe, especially with all of their mothers having abandoned him. He would need someone when he was inevitably freed.

Zoey got up and gave Ruby a hug that was only half-heartedly returned. When Zoey pulled back, she rested her hands on her little sister's shoulders and tried for a smile as she asked, "You wanna do anything? We could watch TV on the bed together or... Go do something dumb or, oh, we co-"

"No thank you..." Ruby mumbled quietly, "... Ernette... Needs my help with something." She slowly looked behind herself and up at Ernette with a sorrowful expression, nonverbally pleading with her to go along with the lie.

Ernette silently nodded along, opening the door and letting Ruby go out before her, and following close behind. As the door shut, she looked to Ruby, a weak, forced smile as she tried to think of what to say, but quickly dropped it as she sighed forlornly, "I.. I forgot about your dad in all of this. She wants to marry your dad... but I know she's thinking about the same with you now. Now, she knows how you feel, and she’ll take that into mind when she’s with Fennel. If we keep it up, she’ll realize how... she wants you more. We just have to keep trying.”

"... I don't.... Why can't she just... Have both?" Ruby mumbled miserably, "Daddy had a bunch of wives... Why can't she... Have me and him?"

“I never thought of it like that... do you think she has?” Ernette pondered, rubbing Ruby’s back to try and comfort her. She simply shrugged in response, slumped down and looking to the ground.

”Well, maybe you could see if she could do it like that,” Ernette suggested, “Marry both you and your dad?”

Ruby slowly shook her head. "I don't think she'd want to..." She murmured.

“Hey.” Ernette lowered herself to bring herself to eye level with Ruby, maintaining an assertive, yet comforting tone, “Don’t give up so soon, Ruby. Do you think Clara took me back because I just gave up? No. She took me back because I went to her, convinced her to keep going with me. You need to do the same with Zoey."

"But this isn't 'taking me back'," Ruby whimpered.

"It's not," Ernette agreed, "But you still can't back down on this. If you want this.. If you want Zoey to love you from the bottom of her heart and really know it... you have to work for it, even if I help you as much as I can."

"... I don't wanna right now," Ruby said, "Can... We get something to eat?... I'm hungry."

"...Sure," Ernette smiled weakly as she stood back up, "We can even go out, if you want. I'll pay. I just gotta go change into better clothes."

"Okay," Ruby nodded, reserved.

---

Meanwhile Fennel had snuck into the room with Tina and took out the envelope to see what she would look like when she was going to have a baby.

"Mommy! Mommy, look!" Tina exclaimed upon Fennel's entry, holding up her bill, "The tooth fairy came!"

Fennel quickly shoved the picture in he pocket. "She did already!" Fennel gasped.

"Yes!" Tina squealed, "She left a hundred dollars! That's one hundred one-dollars!"

"Wow that's a lot of money Tina!" Fennel said as he hugged the girl.

Tina was more than happy to return the hug. "I can buy.... Um... Uh... Mommy, what can I buy with one hundred dollars?"

"You could probably buy a lot of toys." Fennel suggested.

"Daddy gave me lots of toys back home," Tina remarked, smiling innocently despite the disturbing implications of her father, of all people, giving her toys.

"So you had a lot of dollies then?" Fennel asked.

"Huh?" Tina blinked, cocking her head to the side, "Dollies?"

"Little toys that looks like people." Fennel explained.

"Oh, no," Tina shook her head, "But I did get lots of dildos and vibrators."

"I think mommy can find you toys for big girls now that you have lost two baby teeth." Fennel said hoping it would make the girl want regular toys more.

"Toys for big girls?" Tina repeated with a gasp.

"I'll even let you pick them out." Fennel said her tone indicating this was a big task.

"Can we go right now?!" Tina asked, hopping in place.

"Yes I think I saw a toy store just outside the hotel." Fennel said before pretending to eat Tina once again. "Hurry before I eat you!"

"Aaaah!" Tina screamed and laughed, rushing out the door.

Fennel chased Tina with her hands over her head. "I'm gonna get you, Tina!" She exclaimed as she chased the girl.

"No! I'm too fast!" Tina yelled, running as quickly as her little legs could go.

Needless to say Fennel caught the girl before she began nuzzling her and making nomming noises again.

"Mommy's got you, Tina!"

"No! I got you!" Tina retorted, wrapping her arms around Fennel and chomping down on Fennel's arm, making sure her teeth were behind her lips as to not actually bite Fennel.

Fennel let out an obviously fake cry of pain as she laid down on the floor “No don’t eat me, Tina!”

"Nom nom nom nom!" Tina nommed, mimicking the noise Fennel made as she continued 'biting' her arm.

“Ahhh, lights fading!” Fennel cried.

"Nom- Huh?" Tina blinked, looking up at the ceiling lights.

Fennel then stood up and put Tina on her hip and began walking to the store. "Hey, mommy?" Tina piped up on the way, "Why don't you have your hair all over your body?"

“I’m shedding right now, it doesn’t look pretty.” Fennel said.

"Nuh-uh! You're always pretty, mommy!" Tina insisted, hugging the vixen carrying her.

And with that Fennel removed the disguise. The once exposed patches of skin were now covered with a layer of noticeably shorter fur. “Thank you, Tina.”

Tina didn't seem to mind the patches of shorter fur one bit as she snuggled her face against Fennel. "I like you better like this, mommy," She cooed.

Fennel was touched by this statement, realizing that Tina wasn’t looking past her more vulpine nature but saw it as part of who she was. ”Thank you, baby.” Fennel said with a tear and a smile.

"I love you, mommy," Tina beamed up at Fennel before returning to the hug.

Fennel then kissed Tina‘s forehead as she carried the girl to the store.

The store the girls entered was a large, white building that resembled a castle. The girls looked around and noticed a a large collection of toys and models around the store. Off to the side was an electronics department that Fennel ignored in favor of taking Tina to the girls department.

"Wow, look at all the stuff!" Tina exclaimed, admiring the variety of items under one roof. While she had been to a mall, that was 75% clothes.

Fennel the pointed to the pink aisle, "So there are toys for girls over there and,” she then pointed to another aisle, “there are the stuffed animals.”

"Like the ones from the play?"

“Yeah just like those!” Fennel confirmed as she picked up a stuffed animal.

"I wanna get a stuffed fox just like Ruby has!" Tina said with a big smile.

”There’s a lot of different types of foxes.” Fennel noted as she saw a Fennec plush, which Tinna quickly reached for, but alas, her arms were too short.

Fennel then handed Tina the plush fennec fox. “Here you go,Tina.”

"Yay!" Tina beamed, hugging the stuffed animal tight before giggling as she scratched behind one of its ears.

“I bet she likes that.“ Fennel commented.

"Just like mommy!" Tina agreed.

“Exactly correct!” Fennel praised as she took one of Tina’s hands.

Tina curiously looked up at Fennel before smiling down at her fennec plush and hugging it against her face.

Fennel giggled before walking Tina down one of the other aisles. “See anything you like?”

"Uhhhmmmm.... OH!" Tina yelled, slipping out of Fennel's grasp and running out of the aisle and up to a large box of LEGOs for a castle-like structure. "It looks kinda like our house- The Hold!" She exclaimed, eagerly bouncing in place as she tapped the box repeatedly.

Fennel was just barely able to just barely reach the LEGO set before checking the price tag, “I think that’ll be all your money.” Fennel commented.

"Okay!" Tina nodded, satisfied with her selection.

Fennel then carried to box to a check out line before putting three candy bars in the belt along with Tina’s toys.

“Hello!” Fennel waved to the checker.

"Good morning!" the cashier smiled, registering the three candy bars and LEGO set, setting them all in the same bag, "...That'll be $98.95."

“Oh I’m sorry, but can we do the candy bars separate transaction? She wanted to buy the legos and the stuffed animal With her own money.” Fennel asked before placing the toy fox on the belt.

“Sure!” The receptionist grinned, stroking a few keys on his register, “It’ll be $95.30 now.”

Fennel then picked up Tina and said “Okay Tina, give the nice man your money.”

"Here you go!" Tina exclaimed, proudly holding the hundred dollar bill out to the clerk.

The clerk smiled at Tina as he took the bill out of her hand and typed its amount into the register, the bottom slinging open with a ding as he quickly snatched out her change and handed it to her, along with the plastic bag that held both the LEGO set and her stuffed animal.

”Now what do you say to the man Tina?” Fennel asked.

"Thank you!" Tina beamed before looking up at Fennel and presenting her change, "Look! He gave me more money!"

“That’s just your change, it’s the left over money, Tina.” Fennel giggled before handing the cashier a twenty dollar bill for the candy bars.

"Left over?" Tina blinked, curiously looking at the change in her hands, "But... There's more money now."

“He gave you a little over four dollars, but you gave him one hundred, honey.” Fennel cooed.

"... But... I have more money now..." Tina mumbled, confused as she stared at her change and tried to figure out this enigma.

“It's okay, I‘ll explain later.” Fennel replied.

"Okay!" Tina nodded happily.

After Fennel recovered her change and candy bars she said "Thank you." To the clerk before waving good bye hoping that Tina would join in.

"Bye store person!" Tina waved goodbye.

As the two left the store Fennel handed one of the candy bars to Tina and said "This is for Mommy's big girl."

Tina gasped, "Thank you, mommy!" before ripping the wrapper open with her teeth (Since one hand was holding her change) and chomped down on the candy bar.

Soon enough, Fennel had carried Tina back to the hotel and put her down on Fennel's bed and said "We can play with your toys in a few minutes, Mommy needs to talk to Ruby first."

Soon enough Fennel approached Ruby's door and knocked on it before saying "Ruby? Can we talk?"

The door opened to reveal Zoey. "Oh, hey, Latte," She greeted. While she was smiling as usual, she seemed a tad bit awkward for someone like herself.

"Can I talk to Ruby?" Fennel asked.

"Oh, she left to do something with Ernette," Zoey replied, deciding against bringing up her conversation with her younger sister.

"Oh, Umm, in that case... Can you give her these and say I'm sorry about what I said earlier, in case you see her first." Fennel replied as she handed the candy bars to Zoey.

"Oh, uh, yeah," Zoey blinked, looking down at the candy bars for a moment, "What'd you... Say to her?"

"She told me she had feelings for you and I didn't really respond the best way. I didn't yell at her or anything but it just didn't go well."

"Oh... Yeah, uh... She... Just told me the same thing before she left," Zoey grimaced, "She also said she was, uh... Worried that... You were gonna steal me away from her and stuff."

"Yeah... I think I got a little... carried away around Zach." Fennel admited.

"And I've spent... A lot of time with you instead of her," Zoey agreed. While Ruby was usually there, she was typically an ornament to Zoey's conversations and interactions with Fennel.

"Yeah, It's been kind of strange because she's normally always beside you." Fennel agreed.

"She's always beside me... I thought it was just... She really looks up to me and... We were always close, and helped each other out," Zoey sighed as she leaned against the wall.

"Yeah, anyway I'm going to build a LEGO castle with Tina, you can join us if you want... or I guess if it upset Ruby, maybe not." Fennel stated.

"Yeah, now isn't the best time for that. You have fun with Tina."

"Okay." Fennel said before going off to play with Tina.

========

"So," Ernette spoke up for the first time after asking for a table, unfolding her Olive Garden menu as she looked to Ruby, "What do you want to talk about?"

"I'll get two chicken alfredos, a seafood alfredo, a tour of Italy, a fet... fettoo..ckine alfredo, and a shrimp alfredo," Ruby mumbled as she morosely perused her own menu.

"...You're really hungry," Ernette responded awkwardly, unsure what to respond with to that.

"And two strawberry milkshakes," Ruby sighed as she closed her menu and rested her cheek on her arms.

Ernette quietly took note of what Ruby had asked for, tapping her finger as she tried to think of something to change the somber mood.

"... I shouldn't have said anything," Ruby murmured.

"No, Ruby. You did the right thing," Ernette disagreed, "It's okay to speak your mind, and especially when it's something like this."

"Nobody's happy now. Zoey feels awkward, you're worrying about how to help me, and I probably hurt Fennel's feelings..."

"There's always rough patches, Ruby. It may look bad now, but if we keep up, it's gonna go back to being great. Zoey'll be in love with you, I won't have to worry, and Fennel will have moved on from whatever you said!" Ernette assured.

"I just screw things up... I know Mary still thinks so, she just doesn't say it anymore to be nice," Ruby whimpered.

"No, you don't, Ruby," Ernette put a hand on Ruby's arm, "You do great at everything I've seen you do."

"Like what? I haven't done anything since you got here. You could do everything better than I could," Ruby sniffled.

"Ruby, I barely know how to cook, and you and Zoey were years ahead! I just followed what Fennel said, and I almost screwed that up too! And the dance? I think you were the best there!" the Benefactor encouraged.

"I was just copying Zoey... She's the only reason I've ever done anything good."

"...She may have helped you, but the only real reason you've done so good is you, Ruby."

There were a few moments of silence before Ruby recounted, "... I screwed up really bad one time back home... I screwed up a lot, but... I... I accidentally killed one of our moms and blew up the armory... Before you showed up, I accidentally set a place on fire... I don't do good, Ernette... The only reason Zoey keeps me around is because she's so nice." That was enough to make her cry, though she kept it quiet out of consideration of others trying to eat.

Ernette frowned at the crying girl, unsure how to recuperate the situation, before hushing to Ruby, “Zoey doesn’t just keep you around because she’s nice. To stick with you... even after you’ve done all that? That’s love, Ruby. True love. She loves you, and she wants you to do good, to keep you from screwing up. I want you to do good. And I think you have.”

Ruby took in a deep breath and let it out, blowing her lips. It did not seem she was entirely convinced.

As soon as Ernette was going to reply, their waitress arrived, and the Benefactor took both Ruby’s and her orders, before looking back to Ruby as the waitress left, “Look, I know it sounds hard to believe, but I’m telling you, Ruby. You’re not a screw-up. You’re a brave, brave woman,” she encouraged, “And I know Zoey is gonna come around to see that and change her mind.”

"How do you know?" Ruby huffed, lethargically turning her head and resting her chin on her arms as she looked up at Ernette.

“Because it’s just meant to be, you two,” Ernette regarded, “I couldn’t see it any other way, and I won’t let it be any other way. But I can’t do that without you.”

With a sigh, Ruby slowly lifted her head up and managed to say, "Okay." While she was obviously still miserable, at least she was sitting up.

Ernette was relieved Ruby was listening to her reason, but still saddened by her miserable state as she asked, “Is there anything I can do to make you feel better? Today’s been eventful, but you should keep your happiness with you,” she stated, “It’s not healthy to be sad all day.”

"There's nothing to be happy about," Ruby stated.

“There’s always something to be happy about! Like uh.. what’s that holiday name they keep tossing around everywhere they keep going- Oh right! Christmas! It’s going to be Christmas in a few days!” Ernette tried to be cheery in her exclamation of this fact.

"I guess I can give Zoey my presents," Ruby shrugged. While she liked making Zoey happy, it wasn't much to get excited over.

“... I could ask Clara if you could join us next time?” Ernette suggested, unsure what else to try and get Ruby happy with, “I think you’d really like it...”

"Meh..."

“We could go shopping?”

"I don't want anything... That's why I give Zoey my Christmas presents," Ruby mumbled.

“There has to be something you want, Ruby,” Ernette insisted.

"Zoey... And food," Ruby sighed.

“Hmm... maybe we can find you a hobby,” Ernette suggested, “Something to do other than eat to get you out of a slump like this.”

"Like what?" Ruby muttered, willing to give the suggestion a chance since Zoey was in a similar situation before, having no hobbies.

“Well, I’ve been trying to take up reading,” Ernette suggested, “It’s nice and a fair use of time. It can really make those bus rides go by fast, too.”

"Okay," Ruby unenthusiastically agreed.

“I’ll take you to the book store when we’re done with lunch. Trust me; you can fall in love with a book... not like that though,” Ernette shook her head, realizing the badly timed metaphor, “you can just really like a book...”

"Jannet used to read a lot... Mostly picture books though," Ruby remarked.

“Pictures are nice, but they don’t emote the same as words do,” Ernette noted, “Words can make something seem so completely different than what a single picture can.”

"... Our food's taking a long time," Ruby said despite it having only been a few minutes since their order had been placed.

“You did order a lot...” Ernette mused, “...So what’s the entire deal with the bug? Not you guys eating them, t-the big one that’s following us around.”

"Oh, you mean Shlyke? I think he's Tina's friend," Ruby answered.

“Huh...” Ernette replied, thinking there’d be more to start a conversation with that topic, as she quietly twiddled with her fingers, thinking of another topic to talk about, but was coming up blank. Ruby slowly hummed a tune as she waited for their large order to arrive.

“...Are you sure you don’t wanna go with me and Clara later?” Ernette snidely remarked, “You saw yourself she’s really good.”

"... Zoey's better," Ruby mumbled.

“Fair enough,” Ernette nodded, “Just wondering. I asked Fennel that too, but we both know what the prude said.”

"Yeah... I guess I'll do it," Ruby shrugged.

“...I still have to ask Clara, but I don’t see why she wouldn’t say yeah,” Ernette quipped with a little smile, “But I think you’re gonna like it. She’s got a lot of energy when it comes to that.”

"I saw," Ruby said simply.

“Yeah, but you only saw the first thirty minutes,” Ernette snickered, murmuring the rest in a sing-song manner, “Not the two hours after it!

"Daddy used to go really long like that when he would fix one of our moms," Ruby commented, slowly getting her mind off of her conundrum.

“Oh?” Ernette cocked her head, intrigued by the entire idea of “fixing” from what she had heard before that.

"Yeah, whenever he would bring a new mom, he spent almost all of his time fixing her," Ruby elaborated, "The quickest he could do was a week."

“O-Oh...” Ernette quivered, biting her lip, “Almost a full week of... just that?”

"I think so, yeah," Ruby nodded.

“Mmmm... I can only imagine what it’s like,” Ernette hummed.

"Our moms always start off not liking it, but when he's done, they're really happy."

“Well, anyone should be happy after a whole week of that... mmmph..” Ernette resisted the urge to bring her hand down to her crotch, clenching a hand up into a fist to keep it at bay.

"Mhm, we even had videos of all of them in a museum.. Well.. Only parts of him fixing our moms, but still," Ruby mused.

“Oh man, I’m feeling dizzy just thinking about it,” Ernette fanned her head with a huff.

"Daddy was always the best at sex... Even better than Zoey when she had the tie on," Ruby reminisced, "He could go for a really long time, he'd always cum a bunch, like- A few of our moms would pass out before he was done."

"Oh man.." Ernette huffed, shuddering as she took a breath and asked with a strain, "Could you excuse me? I-I gotta go to the bathroom," she explained, standing up and rushing off towards the restroom.

"O-Oh... Okay," Ruby blinked before letting out a sigh.

After a bit, Ernette came back, visibly less tense and shaky as she sat down with a sigh, the food having came a few minutes before she came back. "Oh, the food came!" she quipped, pulling the single pasta salad plate she had gotten, taking her fork and starting to take delicate little bites.

Ruby had already finished two plates of her alfredo and was in the middle of scarfing down the third in an almost desperate manner. Despite how eagerly she consumed the food, she simultaneously looked absolutely miserable.

"Wh- Slow down, Ruby!" Ernette cautioned, "You could choke if you keep wolfing it down like that."

Ruby gagged a bit as she swallowed down a half-chewed chunk of noddles. She let out a heavy breath and muttered, "Shut up," before continuing to inhale her alfredo.

"Ruby, slow down!" Ernette insisted, rasing her voice ever so slightly.

Ruby finished her third plate, clenching her fist as she struggled to keep her food down and took a moment to breathe. However, as soon as she tried to shove a forkfull of alfredo from her fourth plate, a horrified look crossed her face.

The little girl scrambled out of her seat and ran two feet before stumbling to her knees and throwing up on the floor. In a short amount of time, there was a large puddle of bile and noodles before her.

Ernette gasped as she jumped out of her chair, as she came to the side of Ruby, patting her on the back, frantically asking several times, "Are you alright?!"

After coughing out a few noodles, Ruby began to cry from the compounded pain of throwing up, the humiliation of vomitting infront of everyone in the Olive Garden, and obvious events prior.

"Come on," Ernette offered to help Ruby to her feet, "Let's get you back to the hotel."

========

After learning that Ruby was not present, Fennel returned to Tina before changing from her maid outfit to a simple green dress. "Okay Tina let's open up your LEGOs."

"Horray!" Tina whooped, having already opened up the box and neatly arranged the numbered bags containing the LEGO bricks beside the instruction booklet while Fennel was gone.

Fennel looked at the instruction booklet before she opened the first bag and began putting parts of castle together.

A few hours later, the girls had finished building the castle and Fennel had taken to placing the remaining mini figures in place. "Okay so the princess goes right here." Fennel said as she completed the castle.

Tina had taped two paper triangles to the head of one of the female minifigures and crudely colored its yellow plastic skin a light brown as she put it up beside the princess. "Look! It's you!" She exclaimed.

Fennel smiled as she looked at the minifigure. "It looks just like me." Fennel cooed before holding up the figure that was supposed to be a princess. "And this one looks just like you."

Tina let out a happy giggle as she reached over and turned the princess' arms up before turning her around and giving the makeshift Fennel minifigure a hug.

"Aww she's her mommy too." Fennel gasped.

"She's the queen," Tina pointed at the Fennel minifigure, "And they rule the whole castle! They keep it safe from... Uhh..." Tina looked around before noticing under one of the beds was a tad dusty and proclaimed, "The evil dust bunnies from the cave over there!"

Fennel then looked at Tina and said "And that makes you my princess." Fennel then looked at the one of the other figures, "We need someone to be the knight."

Tina held up the knight minifigure and declared, "Sir Bob!"

"Ahh Sir Bob save us!" Fennel shrieked, maybe just a bit too loud.

The Door creaked open, and Bob walked in and asked, “What’s wrong, Fen... Oh.”

"Sir Bob, help! The dust bunnies are gonna attack the castle!" Tina yelped, running up to him and handing him the knight minifigure.

Bob looked to the Minifigure for a moment, then the LEGO Castle, before declaring with a hearty chuckle, “Not if Sir Bob has anything to say about it!”

“Will you play with us daddy?” Fennel asked under the assumption Tina also used a parental moniker with Bob.

Bob stammered at the sudden use of the word ‘daddy’, “U-uh, Yeah, sure!” He agreed, getting down on his knees next to the castle, “It’s the knight’s duty to keep the dust bunnies at bay, of course!”

Tina pointed one of the princess' claws towards the under of the bed. "They're in the cave! They're plotting an attack right now!"

Bob pointed the knight’s sword towards the underside of the bed. “They’re gonna get beat by this knight!” Bob exclaimed, moving the knight towards the bed with a mock shout.

”Go Sir Bob, we believe in you!” Fennel said as the queen moved up and down.

Bob picked up the bed, knight figure still in his hand, before setting it down next to the other one. “Sir Bob has got the dust bunnies on the run!” Bob laughed, “And they’ll never come near the Queen and Princess’ castle ever again!”

"Yay!" Tina squealed, throwing her hands up into the air.

”Yay, Sir Bob saved us!” Fennel exclaimed as she moved her figure to tap the knight figure in Bob’s hand.

"The queen and the knight kissed!" Tina narrated with glee, as that was how she interpreted the tap.

“We are forever in your debt, Sir Bob.” Fennel said, moving the figure again.

“And so, the Knight stayed in the castle, with the queen and princess, keeping them safe for as long as he stayed!” Bob narrated, clicking the knight minifigure down in the castle.

“Yay!“ Fennel cheered.

Tina was absolutely delighted as she happily hugged Bob, grateful for him having saved their beautiful kingdom from the dust bunny menace.

“Hey, the knight couldn’t of done it without the support of his Queen!” Bob chuckled, gesturing for Fennel to join in the hug.

Fennel then blushed as she joined the hug with Tina and Bob. “Thanks, Bob.” She added realizing calling him daddy was kind of strange.

“It’s not a problem,” Bob grinned, “Sometimes it’s better to just have fun.”

It then dawned upon Fennel that it was almost Christmas. “Oh it’s almost Christmas.” She gasped.

Tina let out an even louder gasp. "SANTA!" She screamed.

”Yes Santa will be here soon!” Fennel cheered.

"I gotta tell everyone!" Tina yelled, jumping up and running out of the room without another word.

Fennel then looked at Bob for a moment, “Tina does call you daddy, right?”

”Not usually, but... I guess she could,” Bob shrugged.

“Do you think you can help me get the girls presents?” Fennel asked.

“Oh, sure,” Bob agreed, “I can help with that, yeah.”

”Okay, thank you.” Fennel replied. The fox then darted her eyes from side to side, “So it looks like you‘re good with kids.”

“Yeah, I guess you could say so,” Bob shrugged, “I’m trying to make time for as many of them as I can, but there’s so many of the little rascals.”

”Yeah I’ve been trying to spend time with Mila, Madison and Maria recently.” Fennel commented.

“Mary’s really wanting to spend time with me,” Bob remarked, “And I can see why. We really like a lot of the same things. Guns... Fighting... We just got done exercising, too.”

”Oh... I hear they didn‘t get to spend all that much time with their parents. Kind of ironic.” Fennel added.

“Oh man... well, it’s good to know they got someone to spend time like that with,” Bob chuckled.

“Anyway I’m sure that good with kids thing will help you find a good wife.” Fennel commented.

“Yeah...” Bob agreed awkwardly, unsure what to say in that regard after all Fennel and him had been through, “...Same to you, ‘cept a husband.”

“Yeah. Can I buy you dinner for helping me get gifts for the girls? I think I need to repay you for the stress I’ve caused you.”

“I... Sure,” Bob agreed, “I can pay for dinner though, you don’t need to worry.”

”Are you sure?” Fennel asked.

“Absolutely positive,” Bob replied, “You’re the one who really needs to take a load off.”

“Honestly taking care of Tina has been really helpful. I dunno it’s a little bit of wish fulfillment or something.”

“No, I get it,” Bob nodded, “That little thing with the knight was... refreshing. It was really nice.”

“Oh Tina drew me a picture.” Fennel said pointing to the fridge. “It’s just over there.”

“Aw!” Bob gasped at the picture, “That’s adorable.”

“I’ve read that children draw what they find to be the most important about a person, and she says she likes me more without the disguise.” Fennel said she looked at the drawing.

“...I can agree with her there,” Bob mused, “I definitely think you look better now than without the disguise.”

“So are you trying to butter me up?” Fennel joked.

”What? Nah,” Bob laughed, “Just saying you look good...”

“I mean if you wanna kiss me I’m not going to stop you, considering I’m so good looking.” Fennel replied rather smugly.

“You wish,” Bob scoffed, “Now come on, let’s go get something to chow down on. I’m starving!”

”Okay, I think bread can handle the girls until we get back.” Fennel said.

”I bet so,” Bob chuckled, “Bread’s alright with them, I think.”

“I think Tina screaming Santa will distract them anyway.” Fennel said, “Oh she also lost a tooth.”

“Oh man,” Bob murmured, “Did she do the whole tooth fairy put it under her pillow thing?”

“let’s say the tooth fairy funded the Legos, but I don’t think the girls knew about it before hand.” Fennel remarked.

“Fair enough,” Bob shrugged, opening the door, “Let’s go then while Tina’s got them all riled up about Christmas.”

Fennel then grabbed Bob’s hand and ran to the bus with him.

============

"GUYS! IT'S ALMOST CHRISTMAS! SANTA!" Tina screamed into Brendan's room.

"Oh you're right Christmas is soon." Brendan noted upon hearing several of the younger girls scream.

"Oh Hey Tina I know one the presents you are getting do you want to know?" The trainer asked.

"Wait, what?!" Tina gasped, "Do you know Santa!?"

"I haven't met Santa, but Parfait has a gift for you." Brendan stated.

"She does?" Tina gasped, looking over at the Sylveon with excitement, "What is it?"

"Puppies." Brendan replied.

"YOU GOT ME A PUPPY!?" Tina squealed, giving Parfait a big hug, believing Parfait had 'got' her a puppy and wasn't actually pregnant with one.

"Not yet, She's pregnant, so it'll be few weeks." Brendan added.

"Oh my gosh!" Tina gasped, "There's puppies in there!?" She lowered her head, staring at the side of Parfait's belly.

"Yeah, It'll be another week before you can tell though." Brendan said as Parfait wrapped a feeler around Tina.

“Cree-...mass?” Shlyke grumbled, crawling out of the bathroom, having been there throughout the duration of the day, “What Khreesmass?”

"It's a holiday, lots of gift giving and family gatherings." Brendan explained.

Gifts?” The Abrol chittered, ignoring the family portion of Brendan’s comment.

"Yeah. I tend to get a lot of sweaters." Brendan mused.

"A really big guy with a white beard and red clothes comes on Christmas Eve and delivers presents!" Tina exclaimed, "Around the whole world!"

"Yeah, and he has a bunch of stantler pull is sleigh." Brendan added.

"A bunch of what? No! He has reindeer! Flying reindeer, and one of them has a big red nose and his name is Rudolph!"

"Yeah that's what you guys have." Brendan replied.

"Wow... around all the world?" Shlyke repeated.

"Uh-huh! All in one night!" Tina added with a nod of her head.

" Yeah it's pretty impressive." Brendan said.

"And gives everyone gifts?" Shlyke asked further

“Yeah.” Brendan confIrmed.

"I think he only gives kids gifts," Tina corrected, "... But I'll ask Santa to bring something to me for you, Shlyke! What do you want?"

"...I don't know!" Shlyke shrugged, "Hm... paper towels, so I can eat how I like without worry!... Or maybe something else."

Tina giggled, "Get something better than paper towels, silly! Santa can bring you almost anything!"

"I don't know though!" Shlyke whined, "What do you think?"

"You could get some shell polish." Brendan suggested.

"...My shell is fine as is!" Shlyke huffed, "If it need to be cleaned, I always have paper towels, or my tongue."

"Woah, calm down dude." Brendan replied.

"Ew! You're supposed to take showers to clean yourself, not lick yourself," Tina chastised, "That's what cats do. You're not a cat."

"That's just fake rain!" Shlyke argued, "Fake hot rain!"

"Yeah but it makes you smell good." Brendan added.

"And it feels good," Tina added with a smile as she grabbed one of the Abrol's hands, "Come on, we can take a shower together!"

"...Okay," Shlyke agreed, following Tina off to her room.

As Shlyke and Tina left, Ernette and Ruby came in, the former helping the latter back in.

"Oh no no no you two don't" Brendan said as he followed Tina. Parfait however turned her attention to Ernette and Ruby. "Vee!"

"Huh wha- Oh, no! I just take shower with friend!" Shlyke shook his head as Brendan followed, slamming the door and locking it before Brendan could follow.

"Hey, Parfait," Ruby greeted wearily.

Parfait, sensing Ruby's saddness, wrapped a feeler around the girl and released a calming aura.

"... Thanks," Ruby muttered, only feeling a little better as the calming aura did not do much to push back the overwhelming emotion she felt. She slowly sat down on a bed before easing herself into laying down on her back. She felt awful, both because of her feelings, and because she ate so much alfredo.

Parfait began nuzzling Ruby's face in an attempt to cheer the girl up.

"Lemme get you a bath ready," Ernette stated, getting some clothes readied for Ruby, before walking into the bathroom to ready her friend a bath.

Ruby lazily looked over at Parfait, envying the Pokemon. Animals had so little to worry about. They got cuddled and pet and loved unconditionally.

"Vee, vee!" The pokemon replied.
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Teedler
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Re: Dimensional Clash IX [IC]

Post by Teedler on Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:34 pm


========

Ernette walked outside the hotel with a skip to her beat, with Fennel following. She turned around, a smile on her face as she held the camera in her hand as she asked, "Hey, could you hold the crown while I'm out?"

”Just don’t tell anyone about these.” Fennel asked as she took the crown.

"Affirmative," Ernie declared in his old Benefactor voice, before floating off, detaching his lower eye as well as holding the camera, before floating off to process everything.

Fennel then walked back into the hotel where Parfait noticed she was holding the crown. The Pokémon let out a sly grin before snatching the crown from Fennel. “Hey!“ The fox called as the Pokémon began dragging Ruby to where Zoey was sleeping.

"Wh- Huh? What? What's going on?" Ruby gasped as she was dragged away by the Sylveon, "Wait! We can't go in there! Zoey's waiting for the tooth fairy!"

Not heeding what Ruby said, the polemon opened the door using a key she had yet to distribute before waking zoey up.

"Mmmff... Who time is it?" Zoey slurred, slowly opening her eyes.

Parfait then put the crown on and cheerily cried "Parfait alpha!" with a wag of her tail.

"Pah... What?"

"Alpha alpha alpha, Parfait is!"

Zoey stared at Parfait for a few seconds before dropping her head back onto the pillow and closing her eyes once again.

"Parfait makey Eevee!" The pokemon happily continued.

"Wait, would the crown mess with the puppies in you?" Ruby asked curiously.

Parfait took a moment to think before feeling the stomach "No no." She happily responded.

"Are they like... Human babies now?" Ruby mused.

"No know." Parfait answered. with a shrug.

"Oh, okay," Ruby nodded, hearing 'no no' as opposed to 'no know', "That's kinda weird."

Parfait then let out a dissapointed "No care?" Before Fennel snatched the crown off the pokemon's head.

"Oh, hey Fennel!" Ruby greeted, "Could I see the crown? I never got to try it on." Unfortunately for her, Zoey had hogged the crown when it was in their possession.

"Umm sure, I just need to give it back to Ernette." Fennel said, handing the crown to Ruby, who promptly popped it onto her head and ran to the bathroom to look in a mirror.

"Oh my gosh!" Ruby cried out in a much older voice, "Look how big my boobs are!" She stepped out, squeezing her chest in awe. Her hair had changed to blonde, but of course, nobody cared about that.

"Everyone's bigger than me." Fennel muttered.

"Maybe you'll get bigger when you're older... Like.. In two years or something," Ruby tried for optimism.

"No I'm done growning." Fennel replied.

"Oh... You could get stuff put in your boobs to make them bigger. I heard people used to do that," Ruby suggested.

"Eww gross. I don't want bigger boobs that bad." Fennel replied, deciding she was happy with her body.

"Hmm... Oh! Getting pregnant makes your boobs bigger!" Ruby exclaimed.

"Well, duh." Fennel replied. "I mean how else are you supposed to feed your baby."

"You should just get pregnant!"

Fennel let out a giggle implying she liked the idea before saying "I can't just get pregnant to get bigger boobs, that's irresponsible."

"You can raise the baby too," Ruby laughed.

"But I'm not married, so it's not really a good idea anyway." Fennel noted.

"Then get married!" Ruby beamed before quickly adding, "Just don't marry Zoey."

"Trust me I won't." Fennel chuckled.

"Well, it's just that you've been kinda close with Zoey lately," Ruby huffed.

"Oh, I didn't realize." Fennel replied.

"Wh- You guys went into the bathroom together! You slept together on the bus! You let her carry you! You're all over her and stealing her away from me!" Ruby quickly became upset in the middle of talking.

"We didnt have sex." Fennel stated, "But I will give you your Zoey time."

"Hmph... It doesn't matter anyway... She still talks about you even when you're not around," Ruby pouted.

Fennel took a moment to think if what she was going to say before a question popped into her mind. "Why do you care what Zoey thinks so much?"

"Because! I... I..." Ruby trailed off, shrinking down a little, "I dunno..."

Fennel then hugged Ruby. "It's okay. I won't laugh at you." Fennel said trying to comfort the girl.

Ruby teared up, shriking in Fennel's grasp before hugging her back. "I-i... I love her," She admitted.

Fennel wasn't sure how to respond and asked, "What does Ruby want to do?"

"W-What?" Ruby blinked away her tears and pulled back with a look of confusion.

"I mean, maybe you just need to figure out what you want. Maybe you've been trying to become Zoey." Fennel replied equaly unsure of what to say.

"Wh- Are you saying I don't actually love Zoey?!" Ruby accused, as this question was coming just after her confession.

"I don't know." Fennel answered.

"What do you mean you don't know!? How do you not know what you're saying?!"

"I don't know. Maybe if you try to be Ruby, Zoey will notice."

"What are you even saying?"

"Maybe you can not think about Zoey." Fennel suggested.

"What? Why- What- Why shouldn't I think about Zoey? So you can have her all to yourself?"

"I don't want Zoey. But maybe you can find someone else?" Fennel said, feeling as if she was only making the situation worse.

"You do want Zoey!" Ruby cried out, pointing accusingly at Fennel.

"No, no ,no, I think I still have feelings for Bob..." Fennel admitted.

"Then why are you all over Zoey, huh!? Why do you want me to stop thinking about Zoey!? Why do you want me to find someone else!?"

"I want to give you options. And Zach... reminded me of Bob."

"I don't need options!" Ruby yelled, "I want Zoey!"

"I'll just shut up, this isn't helping." Fennel said before sulking away.

"Good," Ruby huffed angrily as she took off the crown, "You can give this to Ernette. Now go away."

Ernie was patiently waiting outside the entrance, holding the camera close to the Benefactor as it peered inside.

Fennel then handed the crown to the robot, "Here you go."

"You are approximately ten minutes late," Ernie stated in his monotone Benefactor voice, before the machine quickly put the crown back on, reverting to a naked Ernette. "Brr!" she shivered as she went to put on her previous clothes quickly, "Thanks for holding onto it, Fen. I'd of hated to see that dumb dog get her little ribbon mitts on it again."

"I don't think you'll have that problem any more, she doesn't seem too keen on having it anymore." Fennel commented.

"...What do you mea- Did you let her wear it?!" Ernette asked, checking the crown for anything to tell her herself, before she pulled off a blonde hair, "Really? C'mon!"

"She took it for a few minutes, but I got it back."

"Hmph," Ernette mumbled, "Well, at least its back to me. Oh, and here's your preggers pic," she chimed, handing Fennel a single picture in an envelope, "I put it in this so you don't look like a total weirdo for carrying a picture of yourself pregnant."

"I look cute in it right?" Fennel asked.

"Well, I sure hope so! I did my best work yet!" Ernette grinned widely, before hugging Fennel, "...I'm sorry for being an ass to you for the last few days."

"Wait. You weren't on your period? Because that means you still need to wait abit."

"What? Why's that?" Ernette pulled back, confused by the suggestion in light of her apology.

"You know about your cycle right?"

"I just know there's a period, and you can't get pregnant then, but you're super moody," Ernette explained her rudimentary knowledge of the female reproductive cycle.

"I need to tell you a few things about your body." Fennel replied as she tried to lead Ernette into her room.

"Why are we going to your room? What's so important about this stuff that you gotta tell me in private?" Ernette scoffed.

"Because it's not a dinner table conversation, and so you feel comfortable asking questions.

"Dinner table conversation? You really have the weirdest analogies, but I love them because they're so ridiculous," Ernette chuckled, sitting down at the base of Fennel's bed.

"Okay so I just need a quick run down of what you know so that I can give you the crash course."

And so, Ernette explained her general understanding of sex, which lacked mainly in just the female reproductive cycle save for periods.

"Okay so basically I'm not going over the organs because you can read about those, so I'm going to go over your period real quick." Fennel said. "So basically every month your body gets ready to have a baby, and if you don't have a baby you get your period and you bleed out of your vagaina for a few days, it kinda hurts but sometimes you pms and it really freaking sucks. Also you ovulate which is when you are fertile about half way between each period, and if you have unprotected sex you can get pregnant..." Fennel paused to let Ernette ask any question.

"Well... if what you said about the hormones getting reset is true," Ernette pondered, "Wouldn't that mean other things in my body've been reset? For example, that entire cycle? So I could've been ovulating this entire time, never knew, and it just reset so I'm ovulating again?"

"It's possible. Personally I keep a little calendar of when I am expecting to get my period so I can track when I am ovulating, mainly so if I decided to have sex I can take all the precautions nesscesary." Fennel added.

"Hm... I'll think about that," Ernette murmured, "Oh! Didn't you say you had a pregnancy test thingy?"

"Yeah, I kind of thought I slept with Bob when I was in heat." Fennel

"Makes sense," Ernette nodded, biting down on her lower lip as she sighed, "I still kinda liked it..-I-I mean," she chuckled with a nervous smile, "Yeah, yeah, if you got it, I'll probably need it."

"Well It's supposed to feel good." Fennel said as she searched her purse for the test.

"But I mean... Yeah, Clara does it a lot better, but Bob... I dunno," Ernette muttered, "He's... bigger-Nah, they're about the same... Yeah, I dunno."

"Okay, so you have to pee on this end." Fennel said pointing to the test and if there's a plus it means you're preggers." Fennel continued obviously trying to keep the image of Ernette and Bob together out of her mind.

"Ah, that makes... sense?" Ernette thought about it for a moment, taking the test and stuffing it in her pocket.

"And nine months later you are holding a little bundle of joy in your arms." Fennel said.

"Nine months?!" Ernette gasped, "What?!"

"You don't know about pregnancy!?" Fennel asked.

"I know its a thing, bu- wait... oh right, it is nine months," Ernette blushed at her foolishness, "I was getting that number mixed up with other body systems. Ehh, bones or something."

"I hear the first three months kind of suck though." Fennel noted.

"...They do?" Ernette slumped down.

"Yeah, like you throw up a lot, and feel extra tired and moody but then, you feel your baby kick and it's supposed to be almost magical." Fennel replied.

"Then... I guess it's worth it," the Benefactor's face lit up again.

"You do know about childbirth right?" Fennel asked.

"I know... it hurts," Ernette winced.

"You have good hips it should be easy for you, relatively." Fennel replied.

"You think?" Ernette looked down at her hips with concern, before looking to Fennel's and nodding assuredly, "...Yeah, you're right."

"You have very good hips so that should help. I'm happy to have gotten bigger hips because cup size doesn't really matter that much."

"I beg to disagree, and so would Zoey," Ernette puffed her chest up, making them jiggle, "But sure."

"When it comes to breastfeeding I mean." Fennel clarified.

"Ah. That... no, wouldn't that make mine better?"

"What do you mean by that?" Fennel asked.

"Mine are bigger, so they'd have more mil-... that's how that works, right?"

"No, its mainly determined by how much you nurse. I've read your body can figure out how much your baby needs to eat." Fennel explained.

"That's weird," Ernette murmured, "But whatever..."

"Cup size is determined by body fat." Fennel added.

Ernette's eyes widened in shock as she gasped, "Are you calling me fat?!"

"No, you're thicc, with two C's it means you got just a little bit extra meat on your bones."

"Oh, I think I've heard Zoey say that," Ernette mused and nodded, "It's a compliment, I think..." She mulled over that, before gasping happily, giving the Laviturnian a smirk, "Aww! That's so sweet of you!"

"Yeah, I know a lot of boys that like thicc girls. I'm more on the toned end myself." Fennel replied.

Ernette blushed, "Oh, I know the girls like it too... and it's nice to hear you say it," she mused, giving Fennel a quick peck on the fox's lips, a snide smile on her face as she pulled back and giggled, "Thanks!"

Fennel was a bit flustered by the kiss, as she was wasn't used to such a strong sign of affection used so casually.

Ernette kept her smile, twiddling with her undone hair as she thought of what she could do with Fennel before realizing, "Oh! I gotta go get these to Zoey and Ruby so I can make sure they all went through good!" she exclaimed, grabbing her camera and full envelope of photos and digital storage devices before skipping out the door, stopping in the doorway to turn around and smirk, "Hey Fen... I really liked kissing you there. Maybe sometime, You, Clara, and I could... y'know..." her smile grew with the implication.

"Oh, no, no, no, no, I don't swing like that." Fennel hastily resonded.

"...Prude!" Ernette playfully stuck out her tongue, before leaving the room, replying back to Fennel as she made her way down the hall, "If you change your mind, and I think you will, you know where to talk to me!"

"Don't get your hopes up." Fennel replied back.

====================

"Zoey!" Ernette chimed, knocking at the pair's door, "Ruby! It's Ernette! I got the pics done!"

Ruby opened the door while Zoey sat on the bed, still a little groggy from the sleeping pill she was given earlier, but she had an enormous smile on her face as she admired the hundred dollar bill in her hands.

"What pics?" Ruby inquired.

"You know, the ones we sell," Ernette brought her tone down, realizing she was being a bit loud.

"I thought you just sold those online," Zoey remarked.

"Yeah, I did, but I got some new stuff to add, and wanted to make sure you guys were cool with it," Ernette replied with a smile.

"I don't see why I wouldn't be cool with it. What is it?" Zoey gestured Ernette closer while Ruby sat down on the bed.

"Some videos," Ernette pulled out a set of digital devices, "I think you'd want to take a look at 'em. Home made Ernette material."

"Let's see what's up then," Zoey mumbled, blinking the sleepiness from her eyes a few times before looking at the device.

Ernette walked over to the television in the room and plugged one in. She sat at the edge of the bed adjacent to Zoey's, watching every second of her point of view from her first thirty minutes after Clara had gotten the tie, her feet slightly swinging as she smiled at the rough video.

As it ended, Ernette took the usb-like thing out of the TV. "So?" Ernette asked, "Whattya think?"

Zoey gulped, her legs shaking. "Y-Yeah... That was- was great," Zoey stammered.

"Oh! I knew you'd think so!" Ernette chimed, standing up and hugging Zoey, before moving to leave the room, "I'll go upload them as soon as I- Oh! I also got something really really special for you," Ernette fumbled through the pictures, pulling out a few of Ernette's perspective, and another from their television, and a few older ones of Zoey and Ruby, and finally-

"Ah-ha!" the Benefactor exclaimed, pulling out a bundle of pictures specifically held together by a rubber band, before handing them to Zoey, "I made duplicates of that, so I can go put a set up and you can keep a set. I got her to do it for me for some weird artsy-fartsy thing."

"Got who to do-" Zoey was interrupted as soon as she saw who was in the pictures she had been given, and more importantly, the nude posing Fennel was doing in those photos.

"She really wanted to do tasteful nudes," Ernette mused with a huff, "But I got her around to the usual stuff with doing that artsy thing for her. Oh and, uh... don't-don't tell her about these," she stammered.

Zoey's hands trembled as she stared down at the pictures. She slowly gulped and took deep, shaky breaths as it felt like her body was on fire. "... Zoey? Are you okay?" Ruby asked.

Zoey dropped the photos onto the ground before clenching the sides of the bed she was sitting on and gritting her teeth. It hadn't even been a full 24 hours and she was already starting to break down.

Ernette's smile faded as it turned to a slightly agape frown, "Did I... Did I fuck up?" she asked with concern.

"N-No-No, I.. I made a b-bet with her that... I could go two days without... Rubbing one out or screwing," Zoey explained, her legs briefly squirming together before she forced them apart, "Th-They're good pics... R-Really good..."

"...Oh my god," Ernette collected the photos quickly, stuffing them in a drawer before looking to Zoey, "As a friend, lemme help you. What can I do?"

"I-I don't know! I didn't think this would be so hard!" Zoey cried out, pulling at the sheets to her sides.

"Uhhh-uh-uh..." Ernette paced back and forth, thinking of a way to sate this urge to pleasure, before thinking of the only solution she could hurriedly, "Fennel's artsy request was for me to photoshop a clothed picture of her to look like she was pregnant!"

Zoey picked up a pillow, slammed her face into it, and screamed. It seemed this image in her head only worsened her predicament.

"Oh, I thought that'd make it better!" Ernette yelped, looking around for a solution, "Think, think, think... Ruby! Help me out here!"

"I-I Don't know! I try to turn Zoey on, not off!" Ruby gasped.

"Think of gross stuff!" Ernette exclaimed.

"Gross- bugs! Bugs!" Ruby yelled, "She really hates bugs!"

"Zoey, think of lots of bugs!" Ernette shouted, "Lots of slimy, wriggly, crawling bugs!"

"Remember that time you ate that beetle!?" Ruby added, "And all those nasty bugs!? And then Latte ate some?!"

"I-I... Eugh... Oh god..." Zoey's trembling slowly came to a halt as a disgusted, uncomfortable expression overtook her visage, "Yeah... Yeah that did it..."

"Why'd you make a dumb bet like that?" Ruby huffed.

"Because... She said I couldn't do it... Plus, if I win, I get to spank her ass whenever I want for a week," Zoey muttered.

"...You guys ate bugs?" Ernette asked, gagging.

"It was to prove a point... I don't wanna talk about it," Zoey explained, looking queasy just thinking about the experience.

"Alright... Hey Ruby, can I talk to you?" Ernette asked, calming down now that the predicament was over.

"Uhmm... Sure!" Ruby answered with a nod.

"...I mean, somewhere else?" Ernette gestured with a jerk of her head towards the door.

"Oh, okay," Ruby nodded once again before skipping over and leaving the room, holding the door open for Ernette.

The Benefactor gratefully accepted, closing the door as she exited. "So," she began as soon as the door clicked, "Did you get to talk to Latte about... you know? The stuff?"

"... Yeah, and... I... I think she wants to steal Zoey from me," Ruby reluctantly mumbled.

"...What?" Ernette's look turned from optimism to despair in a heartbeat, "What do you mean?"

"Well- I told her I love Zoey, and right after that, she tells me I need to 'figure out what I want' and that I want to 'become Zoey', as if I don't actually love Zoey! And then she said I shouldn't think about Zoey, and that I should try to find someone else!"

"I... I didn't know you loved her like that," Ernette quietly responded, a bit taken aback, but also happy for Ruby, "But... just because I didn't know, doesn't mean I'm not one hundred percent supportive of you, Ruby. I didn't think Fennel would be like that, either..."

"I've... Always loved her like that," Ruby murmured, rubbing one of her arms, "I just- I didn't really think about it before... And.. I.." She started to tear up, "I-I didn't think she'd say all that... After I told her..."

"Oh Ruby..." Ernette mewed, embracing the girl a soft hug, rubbing her back calmly as she shushed, "It's gonna be okay..."

"No it's not," Ruby mumbled as she started to cry.

Ernette quietly hushed Ruby, gently guiding her head into her bosom to cry into, as she whispered softly, "Just let it out, Ruby... It's okay to cry..."

Ruby's sobs were muffled as she clutched Ernette and shuddered. "W-W-Whyyy?" She managed to sputter out into the woman's chest.

"Sometimes, there's no real good reasons for why things happen..." Ernette mused quietly, shuddering as she maintained her tone, "But whatever it is... whatever reasons... we can make it through them if we just keep trying."

"Buh-But... But Zoey likes Fennel!" Ruby sobbed.

"But you can change that," Ernette insisted, "You have to keep trying, keep working to get her to stop worrying about Fennel... You love your sister from the bottom of your heart... So you have to tell her that."

"... What if she doesn't love me like that though!?" Ruby cried out, turning her head up to look at Ernette.

"Ruby, you two are the closest people I've ever seen together. On some level, no matter what, she loves you the same way back," Ernette assured.

"B-But what about Fennel?"

"If she really cares about you, her sister, she'll drop Fennel as quickly as she can when she realizes she's made that mistake."

Ruby sniffled as her sobs and cries came to a close, only a few tears streaming down her cheeks as she glanced between Ernette's eyes. "Really?" She asked with uncertain hope.

"Really," Ernette kept a hopeful smile as she kept Ruby close in their hug and reassured, "I'm sure of it."

"... Okay... Can you be with me, please?" Ruby requested, "When I tell her?"

"Of course," Ernette nodded slowly, "...Do you need a second?"

"... No... No, I wanna do it now," Ruby shook her head, not wanting to lose what little nerve Ernette had bestowed upon her.

Ernette looked to Ruby, letting her go as she smiled kindly, "I'll be right beside you the whole way."

Ruby nodded before hesitantly opening the door back to her room, taking only two steps in before quickly looking behind her to make sure Ernette was following. She was, standing in the doorway, assuredly keeping close behind the 11-year old for emotional support.

"Z-Zoey?" Ruby gulped as she stood in the center of the room, glancing back at Ernette before looking at her older sister.

"Yeah? Are you okay, Rub?" Zoey replied.

Ruby seemed incredibly nervous, lowering her head and clasping her hands together infront of herself. "I..." She murmured, trying to keep her voice at an audible level, "I lll... I love.. you."

"Uh, I love you too, Rub," Zoey responded with a curious smile and a shrug.

"N-No! I mean, I.. I love you love you..." Ruby confessed, "And I... I've been scared that... Fennel's gonna take you away from me..."

"Wait, what? You mean, like... In love with me?" Zoey asked for clarification, to which Ruby meekly nodded.

"Rub... I'm... I'm not gonna date or marry Latte or anything... I've thought about screwing her, but... Not dating her," Zoey assured before uncomfortably biting her lip, "But... Rub... You know I want to marry dad."

Ruby shrank a bit and, after a moment of silence, unhappily mumbled out a, "Yeah..."

"Ruby, I..." Zoey let out a sigh, "Maybe I should spend more time with you like usual... Is that okay?"

"... Yeah," Ruby slowly nodded. Zoey felt awful to turn down her little sister's romantic advance, but she had to maintain loyalty to Wolfe, especially with all of their mothers having abandoned him. He would need someone when he was inevitably freed.

Zoey got up and gave Ruby a hug that was only half-heartedly returned. When Zoey pulled back, she rested her hands on her little sister's shoulders and tried for a smile as she asked, "You wanna do anything? We could watch TV on the bed together or... Go do something dumb or, oh, we co-"

"No thank you..." Ruby mumbled quietly, "... Ernette... Needs my help with something." She slowly looked behind herself and up at Ernette with a sorrowful expression, nonverbally pleading with her to go along with the lie.

Ernette silently nodded along, opening the door and letting Ruby go out before her, and following close behind. As the door shut, she looked to Ruby, a weak, forced smile as she tried to think of what to say, but quickly dropped it as she sighed forlornly, "I.. I forgot about your dad in all of this. She wants to marry your dad... but I know she's thinking about the same with you now. Now, she knows how you feel, and she’ll take that into mind when she’s with Fennel. If we keep it up, she’ll realize how... she wants you more. We just have to keep trying.”

"... I don't.... Why can't she just... Have both?" Ruby mumbled miserably, "Daddy had a bunch of wives... Why can't she... Have me and him?"

“I never thought of it like that... do you think she has?” Ernette pondered, rubbing Ruby’s back to try and comfort her. She simply shrugged in response, slumped down and looking to the ground.

”Well, maybe you could see if she could do it like that,” Ernette suggested, “Marry both you and your dad?”

Ruby slowly shook her head. "I don't think she'd want to..." She murmured.

“Hey.” Ernette lowered herself to bring herself to eye level with Ruby, maintaining an assertive, yet comforting tone, “Don’t give up so soon, Ruby. Do you think Clara took me back because I just gave up? No. She took me back because I went to her, convinced her to keep going with me. You need to do the same with Zoey."

"But this isn't 'taking me back'," Ruby whimpered.

"It's not," Ernette agreed, "But you still can't back down on this. If you want this.. If you want Zoey to love you from the bottom of her heart and really know it... you have to work for it, even if I help you as much as I can."

"... I don't wanna right now," Ruby said, "Can... We get something to eat?... I'm hungry."

"...Sure," Ernette smiled weakly as she stood back up, "We can even go out, if you want. I'll pay. I just gotta go change into better clothes."

"Okay," Ruby nodded, reserved.

---

Meanwhile Fennel had snuck into the room with Tina and took out the envelope to see what she would look like when she was going to have a baby.

"Mommy! Mommy, look!" Tina exclaimed upon Fennel's entry, holding up her bill, "The tooth fairy came!"

Fennel quickly shoved the picture in he pocket. "She did already!" Fennel gasped.

"Yes!" Tina squealed, "She left a hundred dollars! That's one hundred one-dollars!"

"Wow that's a lot of money Tina!" Fennel said as he hugged the girl.

Tina was more than happy to return the hug. "I can buy.... Um... Uh... Mommy, what can I buy with one hundred dollars?"

"You could probably buy a lot of toys." Fennel suggested.

"Daddy gave me lots of toys back home," Tina remarked, smiling innocently despite the disturbing implications of her father, of all people, giving her toys.

"So you had a lot of dollies then?" Fennel asked.

"Huh?" Tina blinked, cocking her head to the side, "Dollies?"

"Little toys that looks like people." Fennel explained.

"Oh, no," Tina shook her head, "But I did get lots of dildos and vibrators."

"I think mommy can find you toys for big girls now that you have lost two baby teeth." Fennel said hoping it would make the girl want regular toys more.

"Toys for big girls?" Tina repeated with a gasp.

"I'll even let you pick them out." Fennel said her tone indicating this was a big task.

"Can we go right now?!" Tina asked, hopping in place.

"Yes I think I saw a toy store just outside the hotel." Fennel said before pretending to eat Tina once again. "Hurry before I eat you!"

"Aaaah!" Tina screamed and laughed, rushing out the door.

Fennel chased Tina with her hands over her head. "I'm gonna get you, Tina!" She exclaimed as she chased the girl.

"No! I'm too fast!" Tina yelled, running as quickly as her little legs could go.

Needless to say Fennel caught the girl before she began nuzzling her and making nomming noises again.

"Mommy's got you, Tina!"

"No! I got you!" Tina retorted, wrapping her arms around Fennel and chomping down on Fennel's arm, making sure her teeth were behind her lips as to not actually bite Fennel.

Fennel let out an obviously fake cry of pain as she laid down on the floor “No don’t eat me, Tina!”

"Nom nom nom nom!" Tina nommed, mimicking the noise Fennel made as she continued 'biting' her arm.

“Ahhh, lights fading!” Fennel cried.

"Nom- Huh?" Tina blinked, looking up at the ceiling lights.

Fennel then stood up and put Tina on her hip and began walking to the store. "Hey, mommy?" Tina piped up on the way, "Why don't you have your hair all over your body?"

“I’m shedding right now, it doesn’t look pretty.” Fennel said.

"Nuh-uh! You're always pretty, mommy!" Tina insisted, hugging the vixen carrying her.

And with that Fennel removed the disguise. The once exposed patches of skin were now covered with a layer of noticeably shorter fur. “Thank you, Tina.”

Tina didn't seem to mind the patches of shorter fur one bit as she snuggled her face against Fennel. "I like you better like this, mommy," She cooed.

Fennel was touched by this statement, realizing that Tina wasn’t looking past her more vulpine nature but saw it as part of who she was. ”Thank you, baby.” Fennel said with a tear and a smile.

"I love you, mommy," Tina beamed up at Fennel before returning to the hug.

Fennel then kissed Tina‘s forehead as she carried the girl to the store.

The store the girls entered was a large, white building that resembled a castle. The girls looked around and noticed a a large collection of toys and models around the store. Off to the side was an electronics department that Fennel ignored in favor of taking Tina to the girls department.

"Wow, look at all the stuff!" Tina exclaimed, admiring the variety of items under one roof. While she had been to a mall, that was 75% clothes.

Fennel the pointed to the pink aisle, "So there are toys for girls over there and,” she then pointed to another aisle, “there are the stuffed animals.”

"Like the ones from the play?"

“Yeah just like those!” Fennel confirmed as she picked up a stuffed animal.

"I wanna get a stuffed fox just like Ruby has!" Tina said with a big smile.

”There’s a lot of different types of foxes.” Fennel noted as she saw a Fennec plush, which Tinna quickly reached for, but alas, her arms were too short.

Fennel then handed Tina the plush fennec fox. “Here you go,Tina.”

"Yay!" Tina beamed, hugging the stuffed animal tight before giggling as she scratched behind one of its ears.

“I bet she likes that.“ Fennel commented.

"Just like mommy!" Tina agreed.

“Exactly correct!” Fennel praised as she took one of Tina’s hands.

Tina curiously looked up at Fennel before smiling down at her fennec plush and hugging it against her face.

Fennel giggled before walking Tina down one of the other aisles. “See anything you like?”

"Uhhhmmmm.... OH!" Tina yelled, slipping out of Fennel's grasp and running out of the aisle and up to a large box of LEGOs for a castle-like structure. "It looks kinda like our house- The Hold!" She exclaimed, eagerly bouncing in place as she tapped the box repeatedly.

Fennel was just barely able to just barely reach the LEGO set before checking the price tag, “I think that’ll be all your money.” Fennel commented.

"Okay!" Tina nodded, satisfied with her selection.

Fennel then carried to box to a check out line before putting three candy bars in the belt along with Tina’s toys.

“Hello!” Fennel waved to the checker.

"Good morning!" the cashier smiled, registering the three candy bars and LEGO set, setting them all in the same bag, "...That'll be $98.95."

“Oh I’m sorry, but can we do the candy bars separate transaction? She wanted to buy the legos and the stuffed animal With her own money.” Fennel asked before placing the toy fox on the belt.

“Sure!” The receptionist grinned, stroking a few keys on his register, “It’ll be $95.30 now.”

Fennel then picked up Tina and said “Okay Tina, give the nice man your money.”

"Here you go!" Tina exclaimed, proudly holding the hundred dollar bill out to the clerk.

The clerk smiled at Tina as he took the bill out of her hand and typed its amount into the register, the bottom slinging open with a ding as he quickly snatched out her change and handed it to her, along with the plastic bag that held both the LEGO set and her stuffed animal.

”Now what do you say to the man Tina?” Fennel asked.

"Thank you!" Tina beamed before looking up at Fennel and presenting her change, "Look! He gave me more money!"

“That’s just your change, it’s the left over money, Tina.” Fennel giggled before handing the cashier a twenty dollar bill for the candy bars.

"Left over?" Tina blinked, curiously looking at the change in her hands, "But... There's more money now."

“He gave you a little over four dollars, but you gave him one hundred, honey.” Fennel cooed.

"... But... I have more money now..." Tina mumbled, confused as she stared at her change and tried to figure out this enigma.

“It's okay, I‘ll explain later.” Fennel replied.

"Okay!" Tina nodded happily.

After Fennel recovered her change and candy bars she said "Thank you." To the clerk before waving good bye hoping that Tina would join in.

"Bye store person!" Tina waved goodbye.

As the two left the store Fennel handed one of the candy bars to Tina and said "This is for Mommy's big girl."

Tina gasped, "Thank you, mommy!" before ripping the wrapper open with her teeth (Since one hand was holding her change) and chomped down on the candy bar.

Soon enough, Fennel had carried Tina back to the hotel and put her down on Fennel's bed and said "We can play with your toys in a few minutes, Mommy needs to talk to Ruby first."

Soon enough Fennel approached Ruby's door and knocked on it before saying "Ruby? Can we talk?"

The door opened to reveal Zoey. "Oh, hey, Latte," She greeted. While she was smiling as usual, she seemed a tad bit awkward for someone like herself.

"Can I talk to Ruby?" Fennel asked.

"Oh, she left to do something with Ernette," Zoey replied, deciding against bringing up her conversation with her younger sister.

"Oh, Umm, in that case... Can you give her these and say I'm sorry about what I said earlier, in case you see her first." Fennel replied as she handed the candy bars to Zoey.

"Oh, uh, yeah," Zoey blinked, looking down at the candy bars for a moment, "What'd you... Say to her?"

"She told me she had feelings for you and I didn't really respond the best way. I didn't yell at her or anything but it just didn't go well."

"Oh... Yeah, uh... She... Just told me the same thing before she left," Zoey grimaced, "She also said she was, uh... Worried that... You were gonna steal me away from her and stuff."

"Yeah... I think I got a little... carried away around Zach." Fennel admited.

"And I've spent... A lot of time with you instead of her," Zoey agreed. While Ruby was usually there, she was typically an ornament to Zoey's conversations and interactions with Fennel.

"Yeah, It's been kind of strange because she's normally always beside you." Fennel agreed.

"She's always beside me... I thought it was just... She really looks up to me and... We were always close, and helped each other out," Zoey sighed as she leaned against the wall.

"Yeah, anyway I'm going to build a LEGO castle with Tina, you can join us if you want... or I guess if it upset Ruby, maybe not." Fennel stated.

"Yeah, now isn't the best time for that. You have fun with Tina."

"Okay." Fennel said before going off to play with Tina.

========

"So," Ernette spoke up for the first time after asking for a table, unfolding her Olive Garden menu as she looked to Ruby, "What do you want to talk about?"

"I'll get two chicken alfredos, a seafood alfredo, a tour of Italy, a fet... fettoo..ckine alfredo, and a shrimp alfredo," Ruby mumbled as she morosely perused her own menu.

"...You're really hungry," Ernette responded awkwardly, unsure what to respond with to that.

"And two strawberry milkshakes," Ruby sighed as she closed her menu and rested her cheek on her arms.

Ernette quietly took note of what Ruby had asked for, tapping her finger as she tried to think of something to change the somber mood.

"... I shouldn't have said anything," Ruby murmured.

"No, Ruby. You did the right thing," Ernette disagreed, "It's okay to speak your mind, and especially when it's something like this."

"Nobody's happy now. Zoey feels awkward, you're worrying about how to help me, and I probably hurt Fennel's feelings..."

"There's always rough patches, Ruby. It may look bad now, but if we keep up, it's gonna go back to being great. Zoey'll be in love with you, I won't have to worry, and Fennel will have moved on from whatever you said!" Ernette assured.

"I just screw things up... I know Mary still thinks so, she just doesn't say it anymore to be nice," Ruby whimpered.

"No, you don't, Ruby," Ernette put a hand on Ruby's arm, "You do great at everything I've seen you do."

"Like what? I haven't done anything since you got here. You could do everything better than I could," Ruby sniffled.

"Ruby, I barely know how to cook, and you and Zoey were years ahead! I just followed what Fennel said, and I almost screwed that up too! And the dance? I think you were the best there!" the Benefactor encouraged.

"I was just copying Zoey... She's the only reason I've ever done anything good."

"...She may have helped you, but the only real reason you've done so good is you, Ruby."

There were a few moments of silence before Ruby recounted, "... I screwed up really bad one time back home... I screwed up a lot, but... I... I accidentally killed one of our moms and blew up the armory... Before you showed up, I accidentally set a place on fire... I don't do good, Ernette... The only reason Zoey keeps me around is because she's so nice." That was enough to make her cry, though she kept it quiet out of consideration of others trying to eat.

Ernette frowned at the crying girl, unsure how to recuperate the situation, before hushing to Ruby, “Zoey doesn’t just keep you around because she’s nice. To stick with you... even after you’ve done all that? That’s love, Ruby. True love. She loves you, and she wants you to do good, to keep you from screwing up. I want you to do good. And I think you have.”

Ruby took in a deep breath and let it out, blowing her lips. It did not seem she was entirely convinced.

As soon as Ernette was going to reply, their waitress arrived, and the Benefactor took both Ruby’s and her orders, before looking back to Ruby as the waitress left, “Look, I know it sounds hard to believe, but I’m telling you, Ruby. You’re not a screw-up. You’re a brave, brave woman,” she encouraged, “And I know Zoey is gonna come around to see that and change her mind.”

"How do you know?" Ruby huffed, lethargically turning her head and resting her chin on her arms as she looked up at Ernette.

“Because it’s just meant to be, you two,” Ernette regarded, “I couldn’t see it any other way, and I won’t let it be any other way. But I can’t do that without you.”

With a sigh, Ruby slowly lifted her head up and managed to say, "Okay." While she was obviously still miserable, at least she was sitting up.

Ernette was relieved Ruby was listening to her reason, but still saddened by her miserable state as she asked, “Is there anything I can do to make you feel better? Today’s been eventful, but you should keep your happiness with you,” she stated, “It’s not healthy to be sad all day.”

"There's nothing to be happy about," Ruby stated.

“There’s always something to be happy about! Like uh.. what’s that holiday name they keep tossing around everywhere they keep going- Oh right! Christmas! It’s going to be Christmas in a few days!” Ernette tried to be cheery in her exclamation of this fact.

"I guess I can give Zoey my presents," Ruby shrugged. While she liked making Zoey happy, it wasn't much to get excited over.

“... I could ask Clara if you could join us next time?” Ernette suggested, unsure what else to try and get Ruby happy with, “I think you’d really like it...”

"Meh..."

“We could go shopping?”

"I don't want anything... That's why I give Zoey my Christmas presents," Ruby mumbled.

“There has to be something you want, Ruby,” Ernette insisted.

"Zoey... And food," Ruby sighed.

“Hmm... maybe we can find you a hobby,” Ernette suggested, “Something to do other than eat to get you out of a slump like this.”

"Like what?" Ruby muttered, willing to give the suggestion a chance since Zoey was in a similar situation before, having no hobbies.

“Well, I’ve been trying to take up reading,” Ernette suggested, “It’s nice and a fair use of time. It can really make those bus rides go by fast, too.”

"Okay," Ruby unenthusiastically agreed.

“I’ll take you to the book store when we’re done with lunch. Trust me; you can fall in love with a book... not like that though,” Ernette shook her head, realizing the badly timed metaphor, “you can just really like a book...”

"Jannet used to read a lot... Mostly picture books though," Ruby remarked.

“Pictures are nice, but they don’t emote the same as words do,” Ernette noted, “Words can make something seem so completely different than what a single picture can.”

"... Our food's taking a long time," Ruby said despite it having only been a few minutes since their order had been placed.

“You did order a lot...” Ernette mused, “...So what’s the entire deal with the bug? Not you guys eating them, t-the big one that’s following us around.”

"Oh, you mean Shlyke? I think he's Tina's friend," Ruby answered.

“Huh...” Ernette replied, thinking there’d be more to start a conversation with that topic, as she quietly twiddled with her fingers, thinking of another topic to talk about, but was coming up blank. Ruby slowly hummed a tune as she waited for their large order to arrive.

“...Are you sure you don’t wanna go with me and Clara later?” Ernette snidely remarked, “You saw yourself she’s really good.”

"... Zoey's better," Ruby mumbled.

“Fair enough,” Ernette nodded, “Just wondering. I asked Fennel that too, but we both know what the prude said.”

"Yeah... I guess I'll do it," Ruby shrugged.

“...I still have to ask Clara, but I don’t see why she wouldn’t say yeah,” Ernette quipped with a little smile, “But I think you’re gonna like it. She’s got a lot of energy when it comes to that.”

"I saw," Ruby said simply.

“Yeah, but you only saw the first thirty minutes,” Ernette snickered, murmuring the rest in a sing-song manner, “Not the two hours after it!

"Daddy used to go really long like that when he would fix one of our moms," Ruby commented, slowly getting her mind off of her conundrum.

“Oh?” Ernette cocked her head, intrigued by the entire idea of “fixing” from what she had heard before that.

"Yeah, whenever he would bring a new mom, he spent almost all of his time fixing her," Ruby elaborated, "The quickest he could do was a week."

“O-Oh...” Ernette quivered, biting her lip, “Almost a full week of... just that?”

"I think so, yeah," Ruby nodded.

“Mmmm... I can only imagine what it’s like,” Ernette hummed.

"Our moms always start off not liking it, but when he's done, they're really happy."

“Well, anyone should be happy after a whole week of that... mmmph..” Ernette resisted the urge to bring her hand down to her crotch, clenching a hand up into a fist to keep it at bay.

"Mhm, we even had videos of all of them in a museum.. Well.. Only parts of him fixing our moms, but still," Ruby mused.

“Oh man, I’m feeling dizzy just thinking about it,” Ernette fanned her head with a huff.

"Daddy was always the best at sex... Even better than Zoey when she had the tie on," Ruby reminisced, "He could go for a really long time, he'd always cum a bunch, like- A few of our moms would pass out before he was done."

"Oh man.." Ernette huffed, shuddering as she took a breath and asked with a strain, "Could you excuse me? I-I gotta go to the bathroom," she explained, standing up and rushing off towards the restroom.

"O-Oh... Okay," Ruby blinked before letting out a sigh.

After a bit, Ernette came back, visibly less tense and shaky as she sat down with a sigh, the food having came a few minutes before she came back. "Oh, the food came!" she quipped, pulling the single pasta salad plate she had gotten, taking her fork and starting to take delicate little bites.

Ruby had already finished two plates of her alfredo and was in the middle of scarfing down the third in an almost desperate manner. Despite how eagerly she consumed the food, she simultaneously looked absolutely miserable.

"Wh- Slow down, Ruby!" Ernette cautioned, "You could choke if you keep wolfing it down like that."

Ruby gagged a bit as she swallowed down a half-chewed chunk of noddles. She let out a heavy breath and muttered, "Shut up," before continuing to inhale her alfredo.

"Ruby, slow down!" Ernette insisted, rasing her voice ever so slightly.

Ruby finished her third plate, clenching her fist as she struggled to keep her food down and took a moment to breathe. However, as soon as she tried to shove a forkfull of alfredo from her fourth plate, a horrified look crossed her face.

The little girl scrambled out of her seat and ran two feet before stumbling to her knees and throwing up on the floor. In a short amount of time, there was a large puddle of bile and noodles before her.

Ernette gasped as she jumped out of her chair, as she came to the side of Ruby, patting her on the back, frantically asking several times, "Are you alright?!"

After coughing out a few noodles, Ruby began to cry from the compounded pain of throwing up, the humiliation of vomitting infront of everyone in the Olive Garden, and obvious events prior.

"Come on," Ernette offered to help Ruby to her feet, "Let's get you back to the hotel."

========

After learning that Ruby was not present, Fennel returned to Tina before changing from her maid outfit to a simple green dress. "Okay Tina let's open up your LEGOs."

"Horray!" Tina whooped, having already opened up the box and neatly arranged the numbered bags containing the LEGO bricks beside the instruction booklet while Fennel was gone.

Fennel looked at the instruction booklet before she opened the first bag and began putting parts of castle together.

A few hours later, the girls had finished building the castle and Fennel had taken to placing the remaining mini figures in place. "Okay so the princess goes right here." Fennel said as she completed the castle.

Tina had taped two paper triangles to the head of one of the female minifigures and crudely colored its yellow plastic skin a light brown as she put it up beside the princess. "Look! It's you!" She exclaimed.

Fennel smiled as she looked at the minifigure. "It looks just like me." Fennel cooed before holding up the figure that was supposed to be a princess. "And this one looks just like you."

Tina let out a happy giggle as she reached over and turned the princess' arms up before turning her around and giving the makeshift Fennel minifigure a hug.

"Aww she's her mommy too." Fennel gasped.

"She's the queen," Tina pointed at the Fennel minifigure, "And they rule the whole castle! They keep it safe from... Uhh..." Tina looked around before noticing under one of the beds was a tad dusty and proclaimed, "The evil dust bunnies from the cave over there!"

Fennel then looked at Tina and said "And that makes you my princess." Fennel then looked at the one of the other figures, "We need someone to be the knight."

Tina held up the knight minifigure and declared, "Sir Bob!"

"Ahh Sir Bob save us!" Fennel shrieked, maybe just a bit too loud.

The Door creaked open, and Bob walked in and asked, “What’s wrong, Fen... Oh.”

"Sir Bob, help! The dust bunnies are gonna attack the castle!" Tina yelped, running up to him and handing him the knight minifigure.

Bob looked to the Minifigure for a moment, then the LEGO Castle, before declaring with a hearty chuckle, “Not if Sir Bob has anything to say about it!”

“Will you play with us daddy?” Fennel asked under the assumption Tina also used a parental moniker with Bob.

Bob stammered at the sudden use of the word ‘daddy’, “U-uh, Yeah, sure!” He agreed, getting down on his knees next to the castle, “It’s the knight’s duty to keep the dust bunnies at bay, of course!”

Tina pointed one of the princess' claws towards the under of the bed. "They're in the cave! They're plotting an attack right now!"

Bob pointed the knight’s sword towards the underside of the bed. “They’re gonna get beat by this knight!” Bob exclaimed, moving the knight towards the bed with a mock shout.

”Go Sir Bob, we believe in you!” Fennel said as the queen moved up and down.

Bob picked up the bed, knight figure still in his hand, before setting it down next to the other one. “Sir Bob has got the dust bunnies on the run!” Bob laughed, “And they’ll never come near the Queen and Princess’ castle ever again!”

"Yay!" Tina squealed, throwing her hands up into the air.

”Yay, Sir Bob saved us!” Fennel exclaimed as she moved her figure to tap the knight figure in Bob’s hand.

"The queen and the knight kissed!" Tina narrated with glee, as that was how she interpreted the tap.

“We are forever in your debt, Sir Bob.” Fennel said, moving the figure again.

“And so, the Knight stayed in the castle, with the queen and princess, keeping them safe for as long as he stayed!” Bob narrated, clicking the knight minifigure down in the castle.

“Yay!“ Fennel cheered.

Tina was absolutely delighted as she happily hugged Bob, grateful for him having saved their beautiful kingdom from the dust bunny menace.

“Hey, the knight couldn’t of done it without the support of his Queen!” Bob chuckled, gesturing for Fennel to join in the hug.

Fennel then blushed as she joined the hug with Tina and Bob. “Thanks, Bob.” She added realizing calling him daddy was kind of strange.

“It’s not a problem,” Bob grinned, “Sometimes it’s better to just have fun.”

It then dawned upon Fennel that it was almost Christmas. “Oh it’s almost Christmas.” She gasped.

Tina let out an even louder gasp. "SANTA!" She screamed.

”Yes Santa will be here soon!” Fennel cheered.

"I gotta tell everyone!" Tina yelled, jumping up and running out of the room without another word.

Fennel then looked at Bob for a moment, “Tina does call you daddy, right?”

”Not usually, but... I guess she could,” Bob shrugged.

“Do you think you can help me get the girls presents?” Fennel asked.

“Oh, sure,” Bob agreed, “I can help with that, yeah.”

”Okay, thank you.” Fennel replied. The fox then darted her eyes from side to side, “So it looks like you‘re good with kids.”

“Yeah, I guess you could say so,” Bob shrugged, “I’m trying to make time for as many of them as I can, but there’s so many of the little rascals.”

”Yeah I’ve been trying to spend time with Mila, Madison and Maria recently.” Fennel commented.

“Mary’s really wanting to spend time with me,” Bob remarked, “And I can see why. We really like a lot of the same things. Guns... Fighting... We just got done exercising, too.”

”Oh... I hear they didn‘t get to spend all that much time with their parents. Kind of ironic.” Fennel added.

“Oh man... well, it’s good to know they got someone to spend time like that with,” Bob chuckled.

“Anyway I’m sure that good with kids thing will help you find a good wife.” Fennel commented.

“Yeah...” Bob agreed awkwardly, unsure what to say in that regard after all Fennel and him had been through, “...Same to you, ‘cept a husband.”

“Yeah. Can I buy you dinner for helping me get gifts for the girls? I think I need to repay you for the stress I’ve caused you.”

“I... Sure,” Bob agreed, “I can pay for dinner though, you don’t need to worry.”

”Are you sure?” Fennel asked.

“Absolutely positive,” Bob replied, “You’re the one who really needs to take a load off.”

“Honestly taking care of Tina has been really helpful. I dunno it’s a little bit of wish fulfillment or something.”

“No, I get it,” Bob nodded, “That little thing with the knight was... refreshing. It was really nice.”

“Oh Tina drew me a picture.” Fennel said pointing to the fridge. “It’s just over there.”

“Aw!” Bob gasped at the picture, “That’s adorable.”

“I’ve read that children draw what they find to be the most important about a person, and she says she likes me more without the disguise.” Fennel said she looked at the drawing.

“...I can agree with her there,” Bob mused, “I definitely think you look better now than without the disguise.”

“So are you trying to butter me up?” Fennel joked.

”What? Nah,” Bob laughed, “Just saying you look good...”

“I mean if you wanna kiss me I’m not going to stop you, considering I’m so good looking.” Fennel replied rather smugly.

“You wish,” Bob scoffed, “Now come on, let’s go get something to chow down on. I’m starving!”

”Okay, I think bread can handle the girls until we get back.” Fennel said.

”I bet so,” Bob chuckled, “Bread’s alright with them, I think.”

“I think Tina screaming Santa will distract them anyway.” Fennel said, “Oh she also lost a tooth.”

“Oh man,” Bob murmured, “Did she do the whole tooth fairy put it under her pillow thing?”

“let’s say the tooth fairy funded the Legos, but I don’t think the girls knew about it before hand.” Fennel remarked.

“Fair enough,” Bob shrugged, opening the door, “Let’s go then while Tina’s got them all riled up about Christmas.”

Fennel then grabbed Bob’s hand and ran to the bus with him.

============

"GUYS! IT'S ALMOST CHRISTMAS! SANTA!" Tina screamed into Brendan's room.

"Oh you're right Christmas is soon." Brendan noted upon hearing several of the younger girls scream.

"Oh Hey Tina I know one the presents you are getting do you want to know?" The trainer asked.

"Wait, what?!" Tina gasped, "Do you know Santa!?"

"I haven't met Santa, but Parfait has a gift for you." Brendan stated.

"She does?" Tina gasped, looking over at the Sylveon with excitement, "What is it?"

"Puppies." Brendan replied.

"YOU GOT ME A PUPPY!?" Tina squealed, giving Parfait a big hug, believing Parfait had 'got' her a puppy and wasn't actually pregnant with one.

"Not yet, She's pregnant, so it'll be few weeks." Brendan added.

"Oh my gosh!" Tina gasped, "There's puppies in there!?" She lowered her head, staring at the side of Parfait's belly.

"Yeah, It'll be another week before you can tell though." Brendan said as Parfait wrapped a feeler around Tina.

“Cree-...mass?” Shlyke grumbled, crawling out of the bathroom, having been there throughout the duration of the day, “What Khreesmass?”

"It's a holiday, lots of gift giving and family gatherings." Brendan explained.

Gifts?” The Abrol chittered, ignoring the family portion of Brendan’s comment.

"Yeah. I tend to get a lot of sweaters." Brendan mused.

"A really big guy with a white beard and red clothes comes on Christmas Eve and delivers presents!" Tina exclaimed, "Around the whole world!"

"Yeah, and he has a bunch of stantler pull is sleigh." Brendan added.

"A bunch of what? No! He has reindeer! Flying reindeer, and one of them has a big red nose and his name is Rudolph!"

"Yeah that's what you guys have." Brendan replied.

"Wow... around all the world?" Shlyke repeated.

"Uh-huh! All in one night!" Tina added with a nod of her head.

" Yeah it's pretty impressive." Brendan said.

"And gives everyone gifts?" Shlyke asked further

“Yeah.” Brendan confIrmed.

"I think he only gives kids gifts," Tina corrected, "... But I'll ask Santa to bring something to me for you, Shlyke! What do you want?"

"...I don't know!" Shlyke shrugged, "Hm... paper towels, so I can eat how I like without worry!... Or maybe something else."

Tina giggled, "Get something better than paper towels, silly! Santa can bring you almost anything!"

"I don't know though!" Shlyke whined, "What do you think?"

"You could get some shell polish." Brendan suggested.

"...My shell is fine as is!" Shlyke huffed, "If it need to be cleaned, I always have paper towels, or my tongue."

"Woah, calm down dude." Brendan replied.

"Ew! You're supposed to take showers to clean yourself, not lick yourself," Tina chastised, "That's what cats do. You're not a cat."

"That's just fake rain!" Shlyke argued, "Fake hot rain!"

"Yeah but it makes you smell good." Brendan added.

"And it feels good," Tina added with a smile as she grabbed one of the Abrol's hands, "Come on, we can take a shower together!"

"...Okay," Shlyke agreed, following Tina off to her room.

As Shlyke and Tina left, Ernette and Ruby came in, the former helping the latter back in.

"Oh no no no you two don't" Brendan said as he followed Tina. Parfait however turned her attention to Ernette and Ruby. "Vee!"

"Huh wha- Oh, no! I just take shower with friend!" Shlyke shook his head as Brendan followed, slamming the door and locking it before Brendan could follow.

"Hey, Parfait," Ruby greeted wearily.

Parfait, sensing Ruby's saddness, wrapped a feeler around the girl and released a calming aura.

"... Thanks," Ruby muttered, only feeling a little better as the calming aura did not do much to push back the overwhelming emotion she felt. She slowly sat down on a bed before easing herself into laying down on her back. She felt awful, both because of her feelings, and because she ate so much alfredo.

Parfait began nuzzling Ruby's face in an attempt to cheer the girl up.

"Lemme get you a bath ready," Ernette stated, getting some clothes readied for Ruby, before walking into the bathroom to ready her friend a bath.

Ruby lazily looked over at Parfait, envying the Pokemon. Animals had so little to worry about. They got cuddled and pet and loved unconditionally.

"Vee, vee!" The pokemon replied.
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Teedler
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Re: Dimensional Clash IX [IC]

Post by Teedler on Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:36 pm

========

Ernette walked outside the hotel with a skip to her beat, with Fennel following. She turned around, a smile on her face as she held the camera in her hand as she asked, "Hey, could you hold the crown while I'm out?"

”Just don’t tell anyone about these.” Fennel asked as she took the crown.

"Affirmative," Ernie declared in his old Benefactor voice, before floating off, detaching his lower eye as well as holding the camera, before floating off to process everything.

Fennel then walked back into the hotel where Parfait noticed she was holding the crown. The Pokémon let out a sly grin before snatching the crown from Fennel. “Hey!“ The fox called as the Pokémon began dragging Ruby to where Zoey was sleeping.

"Wh- Huh? What? What's going on?" Ruby gasped as she was dragged away by the Sylveon, "Wait! We can't go in there! Zoey's waiting for the tooth fairy!"

Not heeding what Ruby said, the polemon opened the door using a key she had yet to distribute before waking zoey up.

"Mmmff... Who time is it?" Zoey slurred, slowly opening her eyes.

Parfait then put the crown on and cheerily cried "Parfait alpha!" with a wag of her tail.

"Pah... What?"

"Alpha alpha alpha, Parfait is!"

Zoey stared at Parfait for a few seconds before dropping her head back onto the pillow and closing her eyes once again.

"Parfait makey Eevee!" The pokemon happily continued.

"Wait, would the crown mess with the puppies in you?" Ruby asked curiously.

Parfait took a moment to think before feeling the stomach "No no." She happily responded.

"Are they like... Human babies now?" Ruby mused.

"No know." Parfait answered. with a shrug.

"Oh, okay," Ruby nodded, hearing 'no no' as opposed to 'no know', "That's kinda weird."

Parfait then let out a dissapointed "No care?" Before Fennel snatched the crown off the pokemon's head.

"Oh, hey Fennel!" Ruby greeted, "Could I see the crown? I never got to try it on." Unfortunately for her, Zoey had hogged the crown when it was in their possession.

"Umm sure, I just need to give it back to Ernette." Fennel said, handing the crown to Ruby, who promptly popped it onto her head and ran to the bathroom to look in a mirror.

"Oh my gosh!" Ruby cried out in a much older voice, "Look how big my boobs are!" She stepped out, squeezing her chest in awe. Her hair had changed to blonde, but of course, nobody cared about that.

"Everyone's bigger than me." Fennel muttered.

"Maybe you'll get bigger when you're older... Like.. In two years or something," Ruby tried for optimism.

"No I'm done growning." Fennel replied.

"Oh... You could get stuff put in your boobs to make them bigger. I heard people used to do that," Ruby suggested.

"Eww gross. I don't want bigger boobs that bad." Fennel replied, deciding she was happy with her body.

"Hmm... Oh! Getting pregnant makes your boobs bigger!" Ruby exclaimed.

"Well, duh." Fennel replied. "I mean how else are you supposed to feed your baby."

"You should just get pregnant!"

Fennel let out a giggle implying she liked the idea before saying "I can't just get pregnant to get bigger boobs, that's irresponsible."

"You can raise the baby too," Ruby laughed.

"But I'm not married, so it's not really a good idea anyway." Fennel noted.

"Then get married!" Ruby beamed before quickly adding, "Just don't marry Zoey."

"Trust me I won't." Fennel chuckled.

"Well, it's just that you've been kinda close with Zoey lately," Ruby huffed.

"Oh, I didn't realize." Fennel replied.

"Wh- You guys went into the bathroom together! You slept together on the bus! You let her carry you! You're all over her and stealing her away from me!" Ruby quickly became upset in the middle of talking.

"We didnt have sex." Fennel stated, "But I will give you your Zoey time."

"Hmph... It doesn't matter anyway... She still talks about you even when you're not around," Ruby pouted.

Fennel took a moment to think if what she was going to say before a question popped into her mind. "Why do you care what Zoey thinks so much?"

"Because! I... I..." Ruby trailed off, shrinking down a little, "I dunno..."

Fennel then hugged Ruby. "It's okay. I won't laugh at you." Fennel said trying to comfort the girl.

Ruby teared up, shriking in Fennel's grasp before hugging her back. "I-i... I love her," She admitted.

Fennel wasn't sure how to respond and asked, "What does Ruby want to do?"

"W-What?" Ruby blinked away her tears and pulled back with a look of confusion.

"I mean, maybe you just need to figure out what you want. Maybe you've been trying to become Zoey." Fennel replied equaly unsure of what to say.

"Wh- Are you saying I don't actually love Zoey?!" Ruby accused, as this question was coming just after her confession.

"I don't know." Fennel answered.

"What do you mean you don't know!? How do you not know what you're saying?!"

"I don't  know. Maybe if you try to be Ruby, Zoey will notice."

"What are you even saying?"

"Maybe you can not think about Zoey." Fennel suggested.

"What? Why- What- Why shouldn't I think about Zoey? So you can have her all to yourself?"

"I don't want Zoey. But maybe you can find someone else?" Fennel said, feeling as if she was only making the situation worse.

"You do want Zoey!" Ruby cried out, pointing accusingly at Fennel.

"No, no ,no, I think I still have feelings for Bob..." Fennel admitted.

"Then why are you all over Zoey, huh!? Why do you want me to stop thinking about Zoey!? Why do you want me to find someone else!?"

"I want to give you options. And Zach... reminded me of Bob."

"I don't need options!" Ruby yelled, "I want Zoey!"

"I'll just shut up, this isn't helping." Fennel said before sulking away.

"Good," Ruby huffed angrily as she took off the crown, "You can give this to Ernette. Now go away."

Ernie was patiently waiting outside the entrance, holding the camera close to the Benefactor as it peered inside.

Fennel then handed the crown to the robot, "Here you go."

"You are approximately ten minutes late," Ernie stated in his monotone Benefactor voice, before the machine quickly put the crown back on, reverting to a naked Ernette. "Brr!" she shivered as she went to put on her previous clothes quickly, "Thanks for holding onto it, Fen. I'd of hated to see that dumb dog get her little ribbon mitts on it again."

"I don't think you'll have that problem any more, she doesn't seem too keen on having it anymore." Fennel commented.

"...What do you mea- Did you let her wear it?!" Ernette asked, checking the crown for anything to tell her herself, before she pulled off a blonde hair, "Really? C'mon!"

"She took it for a few minutes, but I got it back."

"Hmph," Ernette mumbled, "Well, at least its back to me. Oh, and here's your preggers pic," she chimed, handing Fennel a single picture in an envelope, "I put it in this so you don't look like a total weirdo for carrying a picture of yourself pregnant."

"I look cute in it right?" Fennel asked.

"Well, I sure hope so! I did my best work yet!" Ernette grinned widely, before hugging Fennel, "...I'm sorry for being an ass to you for the last few days."

"Wait. You weren't on your period? Because that means you still need to wait abit."

"What? Why's that?" Ernette pulled back, confused by the suggestion in light of her apology.

"You know about your cycle right?"

"I just know there's a period, and you can't get pregnant then, but you're super moody," Ernette explained her rudimentary knowledge of the female reproductive cycle.

"I need to tell you a few things about your body." Fennel replied as she tried to lead Ernette into her room.

"Why are we going to your room? What's so important about this stuff that you gotta tell me in private?" Ernette scoffed.

"Because it's not a dinner table conversation, and so you feel comfortable asking questions.

"Dinner table conversation? You really have the weirdest analogies, but I love them because they're so ridiculous," Ernette chuckled, sitting down at the base of Fennel's bed.

"Okay so I just need a quick run down of what you know so that I can give you the crash course."

And so, Ernette explained her general understanding of sex, which lacked mainly in just the female reproductive cycle save for periods.

"Okay so basically I'm not going over the organs because you can read about those, so I'm going to go over your period real quick." Fennel said. "So basically every month your body gets ready to have a baby, and if you don't have a baby you get your period and you bleed out of your vagaina for a few days, it kinda hurts but sometimes you pms and it really freaking sucks. Also you ovulate which is when you are fertile about half way between each period, and if you have unprotected sex you can get pregnant..." Fennel paused to let Ernette ask any question.

"Well... if what you said about the hormones getting reset is true," Ernette pondered, "Wouldn't that mean other things in my body've been reset? For example, that entire cycle? So I could've been ovulating this entire time, never knew, and it just reset so I'm ovulating again?"

"It's possible. Personally I keep a little calendar of when I am expecting to get my period so I can track when I am ovulating, mainly so if I decided to have sex I can take all the precautions nesscesary." Fennel added.

"Hm... I'll think about that," Ernette murmured, "Oh! Didn't you say you had a pregnancy test thingy?"

"Yeah, I kind of thought I slept with Bob when I was in heat." Fennel

"Makes sense," Ernette nodded, biting down on her lower lip as she sighed, "I still kinda liked it..-I-I mean," she chuckled with a nervous smile, "Yeah, yeah, if you got it, I'll probably need it."

"Well It's supposed to feel good." Fennel said as she searched her purse for the test.

"But I mean... Yeah, Clara does it a lot better, but Bob... I dunno," Ernette muttered, "He's... bigger-Nah, they're about the same... Yeah, I dunno."

"Okay, so you have to pee on this end." Fennel said pointing to the test and if there's a plus it means you're preggers." Fennel continued obviously trying to keep the image of Ernette and Bob together out of her mind.

"Ah, that makes... sense?" Ernette thought about it for a moment, taking the test and stuffing it in her pocket.

"And nine months later you are holding a little bundle of joy in your arms." Fennel said.

"Nine months?!" Ernette gasped, "What?!"

"You don't know about pregnancy!?" Fennel asked.

"I know its a thing, bu- wait... oh right, it is nine months," Ernette blushed at her foolishness, "I was getting that number mixed up with other body systems. Ehh, bones or something."

"I hear the first three months kind of suck though." Fennel noted.

"...They do?" Ernette slumped down.

"Yeah, like you throw up a lot, and feel extra tired and moody but then, you feel your baby kick and it's supposed to be almost magical." Fennel replied.

"Then... I guess it's worth it," the Benefactor's face lit up again.

"You do know about childbirth right?" Fennel asked.

"I know... it hurts," Ernette winced.

"You have good hips it should be easy for you, relatively." Fennel replied.

"You think?" Ernette looked down at her hips with concern, before looking to Fennel's and nodding assuredly, "...Yeah, you're right."

"You have very good hips so that should help. I'm happy to have gotten bigger hips because cup size doesn't really matter that much."

"I beg to disagree, and so would Zoey," Ernette puffed her chest up, making them jiggle, "But sure."

"When it comes to breastfeeding I mean." Fennel clarified.

"Ah. That... no, wouldn't that make mine better?"

"What do you mean by that?" Fennel asked.

"Mine are bigger, so they'd have more mil-... that's how that works, right?"

"No, its mainly determined by how much you nurse. I've read your body can figure out how much your baby needs to eat." Fennel explained.

"That's weird," Ernette murmured, "But whatever..."

"Cup size is determined by body fat." Fennel added.

Ernette's eyes widened in shock as she gasped, "Are you calling me fat?!"

"No, you're thicc, with two C's it means you got just a little bit extra meat on your bones."

"Oh, I think I've heard Zoey say that," Ernette mused and nodded, "It's a compliment, I think..." She mulled over that, before gasping happily, giving the Laviturnian a smirk, "Aww! That's so sweet of you!"

"Yeah, I know a lot of boys that like thicc girls. I'm more on the toned end myself." Fennel replied.

Ernette blushed, "Oh, I know the girls like it too... and it's nice to hear you say it," she mused, giving Fennel a quick peck on the fox's lips, a snide smile on her face as she pulled back and giggled, "Thanks!"

Fennel was a bit flustered by the kiss, as she was wasn't used to such a strong sign of affection used so casually.

Ernette kept her smile, twiddling with her undone hair as she thought of what she could do with Fennel before realizing, "Oh! I gotta go get these to Zoey and Ruby so I can make sure they all went through good!" she exclaimed, grabbing her camera and full envelope of photos and digital storage devices before skipping out the door, stopping in the doorway to turn around and smirk, "Hey Fen... I really liked kissing you there. Maybe sometime, You, Clara, and I could... y'know..." her smile grew with the implication.

"Oh, no, no, no, no, I don't swing like that." Fennel hastily resonded.

"...Prude!" Ernette playfully stuck out her tongue, before leaving the room, replying back to Fennel as she made her way down the hall, "If you change your mind, and I think you will, you know where to talk to me!"

"Don't get your hopes up." Fennel replied back.

====================

"Zoey!" Ernette chimed, knocking at the pair's door, "Ruby! It's Ernette! I got the pics done!"

Ruby opened the door while Zoey sat on the bed, still a little groggy from the sleeping pill she was given earlier, but she had an enormous smile on her face as she admired the hundred dollar bill in her hands.

"What pics?" Ruby inquired.

"You know, the ones we sell," Ernette brought her tone down, realizing she was being a bit loud.

"I thought you just sold those online," Zoey remarked.

"Yeah, I did, but I got some new stuff to add, and wanted to make sure you guys were cool with it," Ernette replied with a smile.

"I don't see why I wouldn't be cool with it. What is it?" Zoey gestured Ernette closer while Ruby sat down on the bed.

"Some videos," Ernette pulled out a set of digital devices, "I think you'd want to take a look at 'em. Home made Ernette material."

"Let's see what's up then," Zoey mumbled, blinking the sleepiness from her eyes a few times before looking at the device.

Ernette walked over to the television in the room and plugged one in. She sat at the edge of the bed adjacent to Zoey's, watching every second of her point of view from her first thirty minutes after Clara had gotten the tie, her feet slightly swinging as she smiled at the rough video.

As it ended, Ernette took the usb-like thing out of the TV. "So?" Ernette asked, "Whattya think?"

Zoey gulped, her legs shaking. "Y-Yeah... That was- was great," Zoey stammered.

"Oh! I knew you'd think so!" Ernette chimed, standing up and hugging Zoey, before moving to leave the room, "I'll go upload them as soon as I- Oh! I also got something really really special for you," Ernette fumbled through the pictures, pulling out a few of Ernette's perspective, and another from their television, and a few older ones of Zoey and Ruby, and finally-

"Ah-ha!" the Benefactor exclaimed, pulling out a bundle of pictures specifically held together by a rubber band, before handing them to Zoey, "I made duplicates of that, so I can go put a set up and you can keep a set. I got her to do it for me for some weird artsy-fartsy thing."

"Got who to do-" Zoey was interrupted as soon as she saw who was in the pictures she had been given, and more importantly, the nude posing Fennel was doing in those photos.

"She really wanted to do tasteful nudes," Ernette mused with a huff, "But I got her around to the usual stuff with doing that artsy thing for her. Oh and, uh... don't-don't tell her about these," she stammered.

Zoey's hands trembled as she stared down at the pictures. She slowly gulped and took deep, shaky breaths as it felt like her body was on fire. "... Zoey? Are you okay?" Ruby asked.

Zoey dropped the photos onto the ground before clenching the sides of the bed she was sitting on and gritting her teeth. It hadn't even been a full 24 hours and she was already starting to break down.

Ernette's smile faded as it turned to a slightly agape frown, "Did I... Did I fuck up?" she asked with concern.

"N-No-No, I.. I made a b-bet with her that... I could go two days without... Rubbing one out or screwing," Zoey explained, her legs briefly squirming together before she forced them apart, "Th-They're good pics... R-Really good..."

"...Oh my god," Ernette collected the photos quickly, stuffing them in a drawer before looking to Zoey, "As a friend, lemme help you. What can I do?"

"I-I don't know! I didn't think this would be so hard!" Zoey cried out, pulling at the sheets to her sides.

"Uhhh-uh-uh..." Ernette paced back and forth, thinking of a way to sate this urge to pleasure, before thinking of the only solution she could hurriedly, "Fennel's artsy request was for me to photoshop a clothed picture of her to look like she was pregnant!"

Zoey picked up a pillow, slammed her face into it, and screamed. It seemed this image in her head only worsened her predicament.

"Oh, I thought that'd make it better!" Ernette yelped, looking around for a solution, "Think, think, think... Ruby! Help me out here!"

"I-I Don't know! I try to turn Zoey on, not off!" Ruby gasped.

"Think of gross stuff!" Ernette exclaimed.

"Gross- bugs! Bugs!" Ruby yelled, "She really hates bugs!"

"Zoey, think of lots of bugs!" Ernette shouted, "Lots of slimy, wriggly, crawling bugs!"

"Remember that time you ate that beetle!?" Ruby added, "And all those nasty bugs!? And then Latte ate some?!"

"I-I... Eugh... Oh god..." Zoey's trembling slowly came to a halt as a disgusted, uncomfortable expression overtook her visage, "Yeah... Yeah that did it..."

"Why'd you make a dumb bet like that?" Ruby huffed.

"Because... She said I couldn't do it... Plus, if I win, I get to spank her ass whenever I want for a week," Zoey muttered.

"...You guys ate bugs?" Ernette asked, gagging.

"It was to prove a point... I don't wanna talk about it," Zoey explained, looking queasy just thinking about the experience.

"Alright... Hey Ruby, can I talk to you?" Ernette asked, calming down now that the predicament was over.

"Uhmm... Sure!" Ruby answered with a nod.

"...I mean, somewhere else?" Ernette gestured with a jerk of her head towards the door.

"Oh, okay," Ruby nodded once again before skipping over and leaving the room, holding the door open for Ernette.

The Benefactor gratefully accepted, closing the door as she exited. "So," she began as soon as the door clicked, "Did you get to talk to Latte about... you know? The stuff?"

"... Yeah, and... I... I think she wants to steal Zoey from me," Ruby reluctantly mumbled.

"...What?" Ernette's look turned from optimism to despair in a heartbeat, "What do you mean?"

"Well- I told her I love Zoey, and right after that, she tells me I need to 'figure out what I want' and that I want to 'become Zoey', as if I don't actually love Zoey! And then she said I shouldn't think about Zoey, and that I should try to find someone else!"

"I... I didn't know you loved her like that," Ernette quietly responded, a bit taken aback, but also happy for Ruby, "But... just because I didn't know, doesn't mean I'm not one hundred percent supportive of you, Ruby. I didn't think Fennel would be like that, either..."

"I've... Always loved her like that," Ruby murmured, rubbing one of her arms, "I just- I didn't really think about it before... And.. I.." She started to tear up, "I-I didn't think she'd say all that... After I told her..."

"Oh Ruby..." Ernette mewed, embracing the girl a soft hug, rubbing her back calmly as she shushed, "It's gonna be okay..."

"No it's not," Ruby mumbled as she started to cry.

Ernette quietly hushed Ruby, gently guiding her head into her bosom to cry into, as she whispered softly, "Just let it out, Ruby... It's okay to cry..."

Ruby's sobs were muffled as she clutched Ernette and shuddered. "W-W-Whyyy?" She managed to sputter out into the woman's chest.

"Sometimes, there's no real good reasons for why things happen..." Ernette mused quietly, shuddering as she maintained her tone, "But whatever it is... whatever reasons... we can make it through them if we just keep trying."

"Buh-But... But Zoey likes Fennel!" Ruby sobbed.

"But you can change that," Ernette insisted, "You have to keep trying, keep working to get her to stop worrying about Fennel... You love your sister from the bottom of your heart... So you have to tell her that."

"... What if she doesn't love me like that though!?" Ruby cried out, turning her head up to look at Ernette.

"Ruby, you two are the closest people I've ever seen together. On some level, no matter what, she loves you the same way back," Ernette assured.

"B-But what about Fennel?"

"If she really cares about you, her sister, she'll drop Fennel as quickly as she can when she realizes she's made that mistake."

Ruby sniffled as her sobs and cries came to a close, only a few tears streaming down her cheeks as she glanced between Ernette's eyes. "Really?" She asked with uncertain hope.

"Really," Ernette kept a hopeful smile as she kept Ruby close in their hug and reassured, "I'm sure of it."

"... Okay... Can you be with me, please?" Ruby requested, "When I tell her?"

"Of course," Ernette nodded slowly, "...Do you need a second?"

"... No... No, I wanna do it now," Ruby shook her head, not wanting to lose what little nerve Ernette had bestowed upon her.

Ernette looked to Ruby, letting her go as she smiled kindly, "I'll be right beside you the whole way."

Ruby nodded before hesitantly opening the door back to her room, taking only two steps in before quickly looking behind her to make sure Ernette was following. She was, standing in the doorway, assuredly keeping close behind the 11-year old for emotional support.

"Z-Zoey?" Ruby gulped as she stood in the center of the room, glancing back at Ernette before looking at her older sister.

"Yeah? Are you okay, Rub?" Zoey replied.

Ruby seemed incredibly nervous, lowering her head and clasping her hands together infront of herself. "I..." She murmured, trying to keep her voice at an audible level, "I lll... I love.. you."

"Uh, I love you too, Rub," Zoey responded with a curious smile and a shrug.

"N-No! I mean, I.. I love you love you..." Ruby confessed, "And I... I've been scared that... Fennel's gonna take you away from me..."

"Wait, what? You mean, like... In love with me?" Zoey asked for clarification, to which Ruby meekly nodded.

"Rub... I'm... I'm not gonna date or marry Latte or anything... I've thought about screwing her, but... Not dating her," Zoey assured before uncomfortably biting her lip, "But... Rub... You know I want to marry dad."

Ruby shrank a bit and, after a moment of silence, unhappily mumbled out a, "Yeah..."

"Ruby, I..." Zoey let out a sigh, "Maybe I should spend more time with you like usual... Is that okay?"

"... Yeah," Ruby slowly nodded. Zoey felt awful to turn down her little sister's romantic advance, but she had to maintain loyalty to Wolfe, especially with all of their mothers having abandoned him. He would need someone when he was inevitably freed.

Zoey got up and gave Ruby a hug that was only half-heartedly returned. When Zoey pulled back, she rested her hands on her little sister's shoulders and tried for a smile as she asked, "You wanna do anything? We could watch TV on the bed together or... Go do something dumb or, oh, we co-"

"No thank you..." Ruby mumbled quietly, "... Ernette... Needs my help with something." She slowly looked behind herself and up at Ernette with a sorrowful expression, nonverbally pleading with her to go along with the lie.

Ernette silently nodded along, opening the door and letting Ruby go out before her, and following close behind. As the door shut, she looked to Ruby, a weak, forced smile as she tried to think of what to say, but quickly dropped it as she sighed forlornly, "I.. I forgot about your dad in all of this. She wants to marry your dad... but I know she's thinking about the same with you now. Now, she knows how you feel, and she’ll take that into mind when she’s with Fennel. If we keep it up, she’ll realize how... she wants you more. We just have to keep trying.”

"... I don't.... Why can't she just... Have both?" Ruby mumbled miserably, "Daddy had a bunch of wives... Why can't she... Have me and him?"

“I never thought of it like that... do you think she has?” Ernette pondered, rubbing Ruby’s back to try and comfort her. She simply shrugged in response, slumped down and looking to the ground.

”Well, maybe you could see if she could do it like that,” Ernette suggested, “Marry both you and your dad?”

Ruby slowly shook her head. "I don't think she'd want to..." She murmured.

“Hey.” Ernette lowered herself to bring herself to eye level with Ruby, maintaining an assertive, yet comforting tone, “Don’t give up so soon, Ruby. Do you think Clara took me back because I just gave up? No. She took me back because I went to her, convinced her to keep going with me. You need to do the same with Zoey."

"But this isn't 'taking me back'," Ruby whimpered.

"It's not," Ernette agreed, "But  you still can't back down on this. If you want this.. If you want Zoey to love you from the bottom of her heart and really know it... you have to work for it, even if I help you as much as I can."

"... I don't wanna right now," Ruby said, "Can... We get something to eat?... I'm hungry."

"...Sure," Ernette smiled weakly as she stood back up, "We can even go out, if you want. I'll pay. I just gotta go change into better clothes."

"Okay," Ruby nodded, reserved.

---

Meanwhile Fennel had snuck into the room with Tina and took out the envelope to see what she would look like when she was going to have a baby.

"Mommy! Mommy, look!" Tina exclaimed upon Fennel's entry, holding up her bill, "The tooth fairy came!"

Fennel quickly shoved the picture in he pocket. "She did already!" Fennel gasped.

"Yes!" Tina squealed, "She left a hundred dollars! That's one hundred one-dollars!"

"Wow that's a lot of money Tina!" Fennel said as he hugged the girl.

Tina was more than happy to return the hug. "I can buy.... Um... Uh... Mommy, what can I buy with one hundred dollars?"

"You could probably buy a lot of toys." Fennel suggested.

"Daddy gave me lots of toys back home," Tina remarked, smiling innocently despite the disturbing implications of her father, of all people, giving her toys.

"So you had a lot of dollies then?" Fennel asked.

"Huh?" Tina blinked, cocking her head to the side, "Dollies?"

"Little toys that looks like people." Fennel explained.

"Oh, no," Tina shook her head, "But I did get lots of dildos and vibrators."

"I think mommy can find you toys for big girls now that you have lost two baby teeth." Fennel said hoping it would make the girl want regular toys more.

"Toys for big girls?" Tina repeated with a gasp.

"I'll even let you pick them out." Fennel said her tone indicating this was a big task.

"Can we go right now?!" Tina asked, hopping in place.

"Yes I think I saw a toy store just outside the hotel." Fennel said before pretending to eat Tina once again. "Hurry before I eat you!"

"Aaaah!" Tina screamed and laughed, rushing out the door.

Fennel chased Tina with her hands over her head. "I'm gonna get you, Tina!" She exclaimed as she chased the girl.

"No! I'm too fast!" Tina yelled, running as quickly as her little legs could go.

Needless to say Fennel caught the girl before she began nuzzling her and making nomming noises again.

"Mommy's got you, Tina!"

"No! I got you!" Tina retorted, wrapping her arms around Fennel and chomping down on Fennel's arm, making sure her teeth were behind her lips as to not actually bite Fennel.

Fennel let out an obviously fake cry of pain as she laid down on the floor “No don’t eat me, Tina!”

"Nom nom nom nom!" Tina nommed, mimicking the noise Fennel made as she continued 'biting' her arm.

“Ahhh, lights fading!” Fennel cried.

"Nom- Huh?" Tina blinked, looking up at the ceiling lights.

Fennel then stood up and put Tina on her hip and began walking to the store. "Hey, mommy?" Tina piped up on the way, "Why don't you have your hair all over your body?"

“I’m shedding right now, it doesn’t look pretty.” Fennel said.

"Nuh-uh! You're always pretty, mommy!" Tina insisted, hugging the vixen carrying her.

And with that Fennel removed the disguise. The once exposed patches of skin were now covered with a layer of noticeably shorter fur. “Thank you, Tina.”

Tina didn't seem to mind the patches of shorter fur one bit as she snuggled her face against Fennel. "I like you better like this, mommy," She cooed.

Fennel was touched by this statement, realizing that Tina wasn’t looking past her more vulpine nature but saw it as part of who she was. ”Thank you, baby.” Fennel said with a tear and a smile.

"I love you, mommy," Tina beamed up at Fennel before returning to the hug.

Fennel then kissed Tina‘s forehead as she carried the girl to the store.

The store the girls entered was a large, white building that resembled a castle. The girls looked around and noticed a a large collection of toys and models around the store. Off to the side was an electronics department that Fennel ignored in favor of taking Tina to the girls department.

"Wow, look at all the stuff!" Tina exclaimed, admiring the variety of items under one roof. While she had been to a mall, that was 75% clothes.

Fennel the pointed to the pink aisle, "So there are toys for girls over there and,” she then pointed to another aisle, “there are the stuffed animals.”

"Like the ones from the play?"

“Yeah just like those!” Fennel confirmed as she picked up a stuffed animal.

"I wanna get a stuffed fox just like Ruby has!" Tina said with a big smile.

”There’s a lot of different types of foxes.” Fennel noted as she saw a Fennec plush, which Tinna quickly reached for, but alas, her arms were too short.

Fennel then handed Tina the plush fennec fox. “Here you go,Tina.”

"Yay!" Tina beamed, hugging the stuffed animal tight before giggling as she scratched behind one of its ears.

“I bet she likes that.“ Fennel commented.

"Just like mommy!" Tina agreed.

“Exactly correct!” Fennel praised as she took one of Tina’s hands.

Tina curiously looked up at Fennel before smiling down at her fennec plush and hugging it against her face.

Fennel giggled before walking Tina down one of the other aisles. “See anything you like?”

"Uhhhmmmm.... OH!" Tina yelled, slipping out of Fennel's grasp and running out of the aisle and up to a large box of LEGOs for a castle-like structure. "It looks kinda like our house- The Hold!" She exclaimed, eagerly bouncing in place as she tapped the box repeatedly.

Fennel was just barely able to just barely reach the LEGO set before checking the price tag, “I think that’ll be all your money.” Fennel commented.

"Okay!" Tina nodded, satisfied with her selection.

Fennel then carried to box to a check out line before putting three candy bars in the belt along with Tina’s toys.

“Hello!” Fennel waved to the checker.

"Good morning!" the cashier smiled, registering the three candy bars and LEGO set, setting them all in the same bag, "...That'll be $98.95."

“Oh I’m sorry, but can we do the candy bars separate transaction? She wanted to buy the legos and the stuffed animal With her own money.” Fennel asked before placing the toy fox on the belt.

“Sure!” The receptionist grinned, stroking a few keys on his register, “It’ll be $95.30 now.”

Fennel then picked up Tina and said “Okay Tina, give the nice man your money.”

"Here you go!" Tina exclaimed, proudly holding the hundred dollar bill out to the clerk.

The clerk smiled at Tina as he took the bill out of her hand and typed its amount into the register, the bottom slinging open with a ding as he quickly snatched out her change and handed it to her, along with the plastic bag that held both the LEGO set and her stuffed animal.

”Now what do you say to the man Tina?” Fennel asked.

"Thank you!" Tina beamed before looking up at Fennel and presenting her change, "Look! He gave me more money!"

“That’s just your change, it’s the left over money, Tina.” Fennel giggled before handing the cashier a twenty dollar bill for the candy bars.

"Left over?" Tina blinked, curiously looking at the change in her hands, "But... There's more money now."

“He gave you a little over four dollars, but you gave him one hundred, honey.” Fennel cooed.

"... But... I have more money now..." Tina mumbled, confused as she stared at her change and tried to figure out this enigma.

“It's okay, I‘ll explain later.” Fennel replied.

"Okay!" Tina nodded happily.

After Fennel recovered her change and candy bars she said "Thank you." To the clerk before waving good bye hoping that Tina would join in.

"Bye store person!" Tina waved goodbye.

As the two left the store Fennel handed one of the candy bars to Tina and said "This is for Mommy's big girl."

Tina gasped, "Thank you, mommy!" before ripping the wrapper open with her teeth (Since one hand was holding her change) and chomped down on the candy bar.

Soon enough, Fennel had carried Tina back to the hotel and put her down on Fennel's bed and said "We can play with your toys in a few minutes, Mommy needs to talk to Ruby first."

Soon enough Fennel approached Ruby's door and knocked on it before saying "Ruby? Can we talk?"

The door opened to reveal Zoey. "Oh, hey, Latte," She greeted. While she was smiling as usual, she seemed a tad bit awkward for someone like herself.

"Can I talk to Ruby?" Fennel asked.

"Oh, she left to do something with Ernette," Zoey replied, deciding against bringing up her conversation with her younger sister.

"Oh, Umm, in that case... Can you give her these and say I'm sorry about what I said earlier, in case you see her first." Fennel replied as she handed the candy bars to Zoey.

"Oh, uh, yeah," Zoey blinked, looking down at the candy bars for a moment, "What'd you... Say to her?"

"She told me she had feelings for you and I didn't really respond the best way. I didn't yell at her or anything but it just didn't go well."

"Oh... Yeah, uh... She... Just told me the same thing before she left," Zoey grimaced, "She also said she was, uh... Worried that... You were gonna steal me away from her and stuff."

"Yeah... I think I got a little... carried away around Zach." Fennel admited.

"And I've spent... A lot of time with you instead of her," Zoey agreed. While Ruby was usually there, she was typically an ornament to Zoey's conversations and interactions with Fennel.

"Yeah, It's been kind of strange because she's normally always beside you." Fennel agreed.

"She's always beside me... I thought it was just... She really looks up to me and... We were always close, and helped each other out," Zoey sighed as she leaned against the wall.

"Yeah, anyway I'm going to build a LEGO castle with Tina, you can join us if you want... or I guess if it upset Ruby, maybe not." Fennel stated.

"Yeah, now isn't the best time for that. You have fun with Tina."

"Okay." Fennel said before going off to play with Tina.

========

"So," Ernette spoke up for the first time after asking for a table, unfolding her Olive Garden menu as she looked to Ruby, "What do you want to talk about?"

"I'll get two chicken alfredos, a seafood alfredo, a tour of Italy, a fet... fettoo..ckine alfredo, and a shrimp alfredo," Ruby mumbled as she morosely perused her own menu.

"...You're really hungry," Ernette responded awkwardly, unsure what to respond with to that.

"And two strawberry milkshakes," Ruby sighed as she closed her menu and rested her cheek on her arms.

Ernette quietly took note of what Ruby had asked for, tapping her finger as she tried to think of something to change the somber mood.

"... I shouldn't have said anything," Ruby murmured.

"No, Ruby. You did the right thing," Ernette disagreed, "It's okay to speak your mind, and especially when it's something like this."

"Nobody's happy now. Zoey feels awkward, you're worrying about how to help me, and I probably hurt Fennel's feelings..."

"There's always rough patches, Ruby. It may look bad now, but if we keep up, it's gonna go back to being great. Zoey'll be in love with you, I won't have to worry, and Fennel will have moved on from whatever you said!" Ernette assured.

"I just screw things up... I know Mary still thinks so, she just doesn't say it anymore to be nice," Ruby whimpered.

"No, you don't, Ruby," Ernette put a hand on Ruby's arm, "You do great at everything I've seen you do."

"Like what? I haven't done anything since you got here. You could do everything better than I could," Ruby sniffled.

"Ruby, I barely know how to cook, and you and Zoey were years ahead! I just followed what Fennel said, and I almost screwed that up too! And the dance? I think you were the best there!" the Benefactor encouraged.

"I was just copying Zoey... She's the only reason I've ever done anything good."

"...She may have helped you, but the only real reason you've done so good is you, Ruby."

There were a few moments of silence before Ruby recounted, "... I screwed up really bad one time back home... I screwed up a lot, but... I... I accidentally killed one of our moms and blew up the armory... Before you showed up, I accidentally set a place on fire... I don't do good, Ernette... The only reason Zoey keeps me around is because she's so nice." That was enough to make her cry, though she kept it quiet out of consideration of others trying to eat.

Ernette frowned at the crying girl, unsure how to recuperate the situation, before hushing to Ruby, “Zoey doesn’t just keep you around because she’s nice. To stick with you... even after you’ve done all that? That’s love, Ruby. True love. She loves you, and she wants you to do good, to keep you from screwing up. I want you to do good. And I think you have.”

Ruby took in a deep breath and let it out, blowing her lips. It did not seem she was entirely convinced.

As soon as Ernette was going to reply, their waitress arrived, and the Benefactor took both Ruby’s and her orders, before looking back to Ruby as the waitress left, “Look, I know it sounds hard to believe, but I’m telling you, Ruby. You’re not a screw-up. You’re a brave, brave woman,” she encouraged, “And I know Zoey is gonna come around to see that and change her mind.”

"How do you know?" Ruby huffed, lethargically turning her head and resting her chin on her arms as she looked up at Ernette.

“Because it’s just meant to be, you two,” Ernette regarded, “I couldn’t see it any other way, and I won’t let it be any other way. But I can’t do that without you.”

With a sigh, Ruby slowly lifted her head up and managed to say, "Okay." While she was obviously still miserable, at least she was sitting up.

Ernette was relieved Ruby was listening to her reason, but still saddened by her miserable state as she asked, “Is there anything I can do to make you feel better? Today’s been eventful, but you should keep your happiness with you,” she stated, “It’s not healthy to be sad all day.”

"There's nothing to be happy about," Ruby stated.

“There’s always something to be happy about! Like uh.. what’s that holiday name they keep tossing around everywhere they keep going- Oh right! Christmas! It’s going to be Christmas in a few days!” Ernette tried to be cheery in her exclamation of this fact.

"I guess I can give Zoey my presents," Ruby shrugged. While she liked making Zoey happy, it wasn't much to get excited over.

“... I could ask Clara if you could join us next time?” Ernette suggested, unsure what else to try and get Ruby happy with, “I think you’d really like it...”

"Meh..."

“We could go shopping?”

"I don't want anything... That's why I give Zoey my Christmas presents," Ruby mumbled.

“There has to be something you want, Ruby,” Ernette insisted.

"Zoey... And food," Ruby sighed.

“Hmm... maybe we can find you a hobby,” Ernette suggested, “Something to do other than eat to get you out of a slump like this.”

"Like what?" Ruby muttered, willing to give the suggestion a chance since Zoey was in a similar situation before, having no hobbies.

“Well, I’ve been trying to take up reading,” Ernette suggested, “It’s nice and a fair use of time. It can really make those bus rides go by fast, too.”

"Okay," Ruby unenthusiastically agreed.

“I’ll take you to the book store when we’re done with lunch. Trust me; you can fall in love with a book... not like that though,” Ernette shook her head, realizing the badly timed metaphor, “you can just really like a book...”

"Jannet used to read a lot... Mostly picture books though," Ruby remarked.

“Pictures are nice, but they don’t emote the same as words do,” Ernette noted, “Words can make something seem so completely different than what a single picture can.”

"... Our food's taking a long time," Ruby said despite it having only been a few minutes since their order had been placed.

“You did order a lot...” Ernette mused, “...So what’s the entire deal with the bug? Not you guys eating them, t-the big one that’s following us around.”

"Oh, you mean Shlyke? I think he's Tina's friend," Ruby answered.

“Huh...” Ernette replied, thinking there’d be more to start a conversation with that topic, as she quietly twiddled with her fingers, thinking of another topic to talk about, but was coming up blank. Ruby slowly hummed a tune as she waited for their large order to arrive.

“...Are you sure you don’t wanna go with me and Clara later?” Ernette snidely remarked, “You saw yourself she’s really good.”

"... Zoey's better," Ruby mumbled.

“Fair enough,” Ernette nodded, “Just wondering. I asked Fennel that too, but we both know what the prude said.”

"Yeah... I guess I'll do it," Ruby shrugged.

“...I still have to ask Clara, but I don’t see why she wouldn’t say yeah,” Ernette quipped with a little smile, “But I think you’re gonna like it. She’s got a lot of energy when it comes to that.”

"I saw," Ruby said simply.

“Yeah, but you only saw the first thirty minutes,” Ernette snickered, murmuring the rest in a sing-song manner, “Not the two hours after it!

"Daddy used to go really long like that when he would fix one of our moms," Ruby commented, slowly getting her mind off of her conundrum.

“Oh?” Ernette cocked her head, intrigued by the entire idea of “fixing” from what she had heard before that.

"Yeah, whenever he would bring a new mom, he spent almost all of his time fixing her," Ruby elaborated, "The quickest he could do was a week."

“O-Oh...” Ernette quivered, biting her lip, “Almost a full week of... just that?”

"I think so, yeah," Ruby nodded.

“Mmmm... I can only imagine what it’s like,” Ernette hummed.

"Our moms always start off not liking it, but when he's done, they're really happy."

“Well, anyone should be happy after a whole week of that... mmmph..” Ernette resisted the urge to bring her hand down to her crotch, clenching a hand up into a fist to keep it at bay.

"Mhm, we even had videos of all of them in a museum.. Well.. Only parts of him fixing our moms, but still," Ruby mused.

“Oh man, I’m feeling dizzy just thinking about it,” Ernette fanned her head with a huff.

"Daddy was always the best at sex... Even better than Zoey when she had the tie on," Ruby reminisced, "He could go for a really long time, he'd always cum a bunch, like- A few of our moms would pass out before he was done."

"Oh man.." Ernette huffed, shuddering as she took a breath and asked with a strain, "Could you excuse me? I-I gotta go to the bathroom," she explained, standing up and rushing off towards the restroom.

"O-Oh... Okay," Ruby blinked before letting out a sigh.

After a bit, Ernette came back, visibly less tense and shaky as she sat down with a sigh, the food having came a few minutes before she came back. "Oh, the food came!" she quipped, pulling the single pasta salad plate she had gotten, taking her fork and starting to take delicate little bites.

Ruby had already finished two plates of her alfredo and was in the middle of scarfing down the third in an almost desperate manner. Despite how eagerly she consumed the food, she simultaneously looked absolutely miserable.

"Wh- Slow down, Ruby!" Ernette cautioned, "You could choke if you keep wolfing it down like that."

Ruby gagged a bit as she swallowed down a half-chewed chunk of noddles. She let out a heavy breath and muttered, "Shut up," before continuing to inhale her alfredo.

"Ruby, slow down!" Ernette insisted, rasing her voice ever so slightly.

Ruby finished her third plate, clenching her fist as she struggled to keep her food down and took a moment to breathe. However, as soon as she tried to shove a forkfull of alfredo from her fourth plate, a horrified look crossed her face.

The little girl scrambled out of her seat and ran two feet before stumbling to her knees and throwing up on the floor. In a short amount of time, there was a large puddle of bile and noodles before her.

Ernette gasped as she jumped out of her chair, as she came to the side of Ruby, patting her on the back, frantically asking several times, "Are you alright?!"

After coughing out a few noodles, Ruby began to cry from the compounded pain of throwing up, the humiliation of vomitting infront of everyone in the Olive Garden, and obvious events prior.

"Come on," Ernette offered to help Ruby to her feet, "Let's get you back to the hotel."

========

After learning that Ruby was not present, Fennel returned to Tina before changing from her maid outfit to a simple green dress. "Okay Tina let's open up your LEGOs."

"Horray!" Tina whooped, having already opened up the box and neatly arranged the numbered bags containing the LEGO bricks beside the instruction booklet while Fennel was gone.

Fennel looked at the instruction booklet before she opened the first bag and began putting parts of castle together.

A few hours later, the girls had finished building the castle and Fennel had taken to placing the remaining mini figures in place. "Okay so the princess goes right here." Fennel said as she completed the castle.

Tina had taped two paper triangles to the head of one of the female minifigures and crudely colored its yellow plastic skin a light brown as she put it up beside the princess. "Look! It's you!" She exclaimed.

Fennel smiled as she looked at the minifigure. "It looks just like me." Fennel cooed before holding up the figure that was supposed to be a princess. "And this one looks just like you."

Tina let out a happy giggle as she reached over and turned the princess' arms up before turning her around and giving the makeshift Fennel minifigure a hug.

"Aww she's her mommy too." Fennel gasped.

"She's the queen," Tina pointed at the Fennel minifigure, "And they rule the whole castle! They keep it safe from... Uhh..." Tina looked around before noticing under one of the beds was a tad dusty and proclaimed, "The evil dust bunnies from the cave over there!"

Fennel then looked at Tina and said "And that makes you my princess." Fennel then looked at the one of the other figures, "We need someone to be the knight."

Tina held up the knight minifigure and declared, "Sir Bob!"

"Ahh Sir Bob save us!" Fennel shrieked, maybe just a bit too loud.

The Door creaked open, and Bob walked in and asked, “What’s wrong, Fen... Oh.”

"Sir Bob, help! The dust bunnies are gonna attack the castle!" Tina yelped, running up to him and handing him the knight minifigure.

Bob looked to the Minifigure for a moment, then the LEGO Castle, before declaring with a hearty chuckle, “Not if Sir Bob has anything to say about it!”

“Will you play with us daddy?” Fennel asked under the assumption Tina also used a parental moniker with Bob.

Bob stammered at the sudden use of the word ‘daddy’, “U-uh, Yeah, sure!” He agreed, getting down on his knees next to the castle, “It’s the knight’s duty to keep the dust bunnies at bay, of course!”

Tina pointed one of the princess' claws towards the under of the bed. "They're in the cave! They're plotting an attack right now!"

Bob pointed the knight’s sword towards the underside of the bed. “They’re gonna get beat by this knight!” Bob exclaimed, moving the knight towards the bed with a mock shout.

”Go Sir Bob, we believe in you!” Fennel said as the queen moved up and down.

Bob picked up the bed, knight figure still in his hand, before setting it down next to the other one. “Sir Bob has got the dust bunnies on the run!” Bob laughed, “And they’ll never come near the Queen and Princess’ castle ever again!”

"Yay!" Tina squealed, throwing her hands up into the air.

”Yay, Sir Bob saved us!” Fennel exclaimed as she moved her figure to tap the knight figure in Bob’s hand.

"The queen and the knight kissed!" Tina narrated with glee, as that was how she interpreted the tap.

“We are forever in your debt, Sir Bob.” Fennel said, moving the figure again.

“And so, the Knight stayed in the castle, with the queen and princess, keeping them safe for as long as he stayed!” Bob narrated, clicking the knight minifigure down in the castle.

“Yay!“ Fennel cheered.

Tina was absolutely delighted as she happily hugged Bob, grateful for him having saved their beautiful kingdom from the dust bunny menace.

“Hey, the knight couldn’t of done it without the support of his Queen!” Bob chuckled, gesturing for Fennel to join in the hug.

Fennel then blushed as she joined the hug with Tina and Bob. “Thanks, Bob.” She added realizing calling him daddy was kind of strange.

“It’s not a problem,” Bob grinned, “Sometimes it’s better to just have fun.”

It then dawned upon Fennel that it was almost Christmas. “Oh it’s almost Christmas.” She gasped.

Tina let out an even louder gasp. "SANTA!" She screamed.

”Yes Santa will be here soon!” Fennel cheered.

"I gotta tell everyone!" Tina yelled, jumping up and running out of the room without another word.

Fennel then looked at Bob for a moment, “Tina does call you daddy, right?”

”Not usually, but... I guess she could,” Bob shrugged.

“Do you think you can help me get the girls presents?” Fennel asked.

“Oh, sure,” Bob agreed, “I can help with that, yeah.”

”Okay, thank you.” Fennel replied. The fox then darted her eyes from side to side, “So it looks like you‘re good with kids.”

“Yeah, I guess you could say so,” Bob shrugged, “I’m trying to make time for as many of them as I can, but there’s so many of the little rascals.”

”Yeah I’ve been trying to spend time with Mila, Madison and Maria recently.” Fennel commented.

“Mary’s really wanting to spend time with me,” Bob remarked, “And I can see why. We really like a lot of the same things. Guns... Fighting... We just got done exercising, too.”

”Oh...  I hear they didn‘t get to spend all that much time with their parents. Kind of ironic.” Fennel added.

“Oh man... well, it’s good to know they got someone to spend time like that with,” Bob chuckled.

“Anyway I’m sure that good with kids thing will help you find a good wife.” Fennel commented.

“Yeah...” Bob agreed awkwardly, unsure what to say in that regard after all Fennel and him had been through, “...Same to you, ‘cept a husband.”

“Yeah. Can I buy you dinner for helping me get gifts for the girls? I think I need to repay you for the stress I’ve caused you.”

“I... Sure,” Bob agreed, “I can pay for dinner though, you don’t need to worry.”

”Are you sure?” Fennel asked.

“Absolutely positive,” Bob replied, “You’re the one who really needs to take a load off.”

“Honestly taking care of Tina has been really helpful. I dunno it’s a little bit of wish fulfillment or something.”

“No, I get it,” Bob nodded, “That little thing with the knight was... refreshing. It was really nice.”

“Oh Tina drew me a picture.” Fennel said pointing to the fridge. “It’s just over there.”

“Aw!” Bob gasped at the picture, “That’s adorable.”

“I’ve read that children draw what they find to be the most important about a person, and she says she likes me more without the disguise.” Fennel said she looked at the drawing.

“...I can agree with her there,” Bob mused, “I definitely think you look better now than without the disguise.”

“So are you trying to butter me up?” Fennel joked.

”What? Nah,” Bob laughed, “Just saying you look good...”

“I mean if you wanna kiss me I’m not going to stop you, considering I’m so good looking.” Fennel replied rather smugly.

“You wish,” Bob scoffed, “Now come on, let’s go get something to chow down on. I’m starving!”

”Okay, I think bread can handle the girls until we get back.” Fennel said.

”I bet so,” Bob chuckled, “Bread’s alright with them, I think.”

“I think Tina screaming Santa will distract them anyway.” Fennel said, “Oh she also lost a tooth.”

“Oh man,” Bob murmured, “Did she do the whole tooth fairy put it under her pillow thing?”

“let’s say the tooth fairy funded the Legos, but I don’t think the girls knew about it before hand.” Fennel remarked.

“Fair enough,” Bob shrugged, opening the door, “Let’s go then while Tina’s got them all riled up about Christmas.”

Fennel then grabbed Bob’s hand and ran to the bus with him.

============

"GUYS! IT'S ALMOST CHRISTMAS! SANTA!" Tina screamed into Brendan's room.

"Oh you're right Christmas is soon." Brendan noted upon hearing several of the younger girls scream.

"Oh Hey Tina I know one the presents you are getting do you want to know?" The trainer asked.

"Wait, what?!" Tina gasped, "Do you know Santa!?"

"I haven't met Santa, but Parfait has a gift for you." Brendan stated.

"She does?" Tina gasped, looking over at the Sylveon with excitement, "What is it?"

"Puppies." Brendan replied.

"YOU GOT ME A PUPPY!?" Tina squealed, giving Parfait a big hug, believing Parfait had 'got' her a puppy and wasn't actually pregnant with one.

"Not yet, She's pregnant, so it'll be few weeks." Brendan added.

"Oh my gosh!" Tina gasped, "There's puppies in there!?" She lowered her head, staring at the side of Parfait's belly.

"Yeah, It'll be another week before you can tell though." Brendan said as Parfait wrapped a feeler around Tina.

“Cree-...mass?” Shlyke grumbled, crawling out of the bathroom, having been there throughout the duration of the day, “What Khreesmass?”

"It's a holiday, lots of gift giving and family gatherings." Brendan explained.

Gifts?” The Abrol chittered, ignoring the family portion of Brendan’s comment.

"Yeah. I tend to get a lot of sweaters." Brendan mused.

"A really big guy with a white beard and red clothes comes on Christmas Eve and delivers presents!" Tina exclaimed, "Around the whole world!"

"Yeah, and he has a bunch of stantler pull is sleigh." Brendan added.

"A bunch of what? No! He has reindeer! Flying reindeer, and one of them has a big red nose and his name is Rudolph!"

"Yeah that's what you guys have." Brendan replied.

"Wow... around all the world?" Shlyke repeated.

"Uh-huh! All in one night!" Tina added with a nod of her head.

" Yeah it's pretty impressive." Brendan said.

"And gives everyone gifts?" Shlyke asked further

“Yeah.” Brendan confIrmed.

"I think he only gives kids gifts," Tina corrected, "... But I'll ask Santa to bring something to me for you, Shlyke! What do you want?"

"...I don't know!" Shlyke shrugged, "Hm... paper towels, so I can eat how I like without worry!... Or maybe something else."

Tina giggled, "Get something better than paper towels, silly! Santa can bring you almost anything!"

"I don't know though!" Shlyke whined, "What do you think?"

"You could get some shell polish." Brendan suggested.

"...My shell is fine as is!" Shlyke huffed, "If it need to be cleaned, I always have paper towels, or my tongue."

"Woah, calm down dude."  Brendan replied.

"Ew! You're supposed to take showers to clean yourself, not lick yourself," Tina chastised, "That's what cats do. You're not a cat."

"That's just fake rain!" Shlyke argued, "Fake hot rain!"

"Yeah but it makes you smell good." Brendan added.

"And it feels good," Tina added with a smile as she grabbed one of the Abrol's hands, "Come on, we can take a shower together!"

"...Okay," Shlyke agreed, following Tina off to her room.

As Shlyke and Tina left, Ernette and Ruby came in, the former helping the latter back in.

"Oh no no no you two don't" Brendan said as he followed Tina. Parfait however turned her attention to Ernette and Ruby. "Vee!"

"Huh wha- Oh, no! I just take shower with friend!" Shlyke shook his head as Brendan followed, slamming the door and locking it before Brendan could follow.

"Hey, Parfait," Ruby greeted wearily.

Parfait, sensing Ruby's saddness, wrapped a feeler around the girl and released a calming aura.

"... Thanks," Ruby muttered, only feeling a little better as the calming aura did not do much to push back the overwhelming emotion she felt. She slowly sat down on a bed before easing herself into laying down on her back. She felt awful, both because of her feelings, and because she ate so much alfredo.

Parfait began nuzzling Ruby's face in an attempt to cheer the girl up.

"Lemme get you a bath ready," Ernette stated, getting some clothes readied for Ruby, before walking into the bathroom to ready her friend a bath.

Ruby lazily looked over at Parfait, envying the Pokemon. Animals had so little to worry about. They got cuddled and pet and loved unconditionally.

"Vee, vee!" The pokemon replied.
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Teedler
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Re: Dimensional Clash IX [IC]

Post by Teedler on Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:39 pm



===

Fennel got out of the bus holding a paper bag of fast food as she took a few sips from an almost empty milkshake cup. "Hey, thanks for agreeing to fast food." Fennel then put the bag and cup in a nearby garbage can.

"Oh, no problem!" Bob nodded, taking a sip of his own shake, before throwing it away.

"So I'm not really sure what to get Zoey and Ruby, but I think Maria and Madison would like DnD.” Fennel mused.

"For them, I think, uh... clothes?" Bob suggested, "I know they like clothes shopping."

"Yeah I think they would like clothes." Fennel agreed, as she walked into the store.

"Hmm.. If you can go get Maria, Maddison, Zoey, and Ruby's gifts, I'll go get the rest," Bob suggested.

"Okay." Fennel said before going of off to a game store.Tell him how you feel. The fox thought to herself as she entered the store. She looked around the store and grabbed a few sets of dice along with a Dungeons and Dragons starter kit that the store had put together that included a few character sheets and a quick start guide.

Bob, meanwhile, got Clara her own personal laptop and another notebook, a set of shooting range targets for Mary, an expensive cutlery collection for Elizabeth, some art supplies for Anna, some little toys he knew Tina would enjoy, and...

"...Ah shit," Bob muttered. He knew very little of what Harper, Mila, and Casey would really want as gifts.

Fennel then noticed a cartrige that contained an additional set of games for Mila's switch classic edition. Fennel then put the games and the starter kit on the counter and retrieved a hundred dollar bill from her bra before the clerk had a chance to notice.

"Hey Fennel!" Bob shouted as he came up to Fennel, "I need some help."

Fennel jumped not expected Bob to suddenly shout her name, "Yeah what do you need help with?"

"I can't figure out what... Mila, Casey, and Harper'd really want,"

"Well i just got Mila a set of games for her switch classic, and I think Harper would like some cross stitching things, And Casey likes bugs, so we could probably get her an ant farm." Fennel suggested.

"Oh... I got the stuff for the rest of them," Bob held up the bags from various stores in the mall.

"Oh we need to get Elizabeth a collection of kitchen nightmares dvd's" Fennel added.

"Oh yeah! Yeah, that's probably pretty good. I'm gonna go get Clara some clothes," Bob remarked, "I doubt she's found a lot of modest stuff in her size."

"Yeah. Oh, I need to grab a few books for Ernette really quick." Fennel said before heading to a book store.

"Alright..." Bob agreed, going his own way, as he thought for a moment as to what he should get her.

-

Fennel was soon enough in a book store and was in the parenting section, she was looking for two specific books to give to Ernette. "Ah here they are." Fennel said as she put grabbed a book on pregnancy and childcare into her arms before heading to the check out line.

Bob was waiting outside the bookstore, struggling to hold all the shopping bags from all the stores he had been in to get all the gifts for everyone.

"I can carry some of those." Fennel offered.

"Alright, sure," Bob agreed, letting Fennel carry a few, but carrying a majority, "I'll wrap them all."

Soon enough, Fennel had gotten clothes for Zoey and Ruby before heading back to the bus. "Are you ready to go?"

"Yeah, I'm good to go," Bob mumbled, walking with Fennel back to the bus and putting the gifts in the back of the bus.

Fennel watched Bob put away the gifts for a moment before she worked up the courage to approach him.

Bob turned around as he finished tucking away the more delicate gifts, "What's up, Fen?"

"Thanks for helping me with this, it means a lot." Fennel said before darting looking at Bob for a moment. She then planted a light peck on his cheek, before looking away,

Bob froze up, blinking as he registered the kiss, starting to get flustered, "It's, uh.. No problem!" he stammered.

Fennel looked but a Bob for another moment with a toothy smile before getting back in the bus. She near enough to the front, despite everything that had happened she still had feelings for the Marine.

Bob started up the bus, but didn't go immediately. "...Y-Y'know," he said, "If you want I'm... I'm always willing to try that again."

Fennel looked up, "That would be nice. I got you something but you'll have to wait." she nodded.

"Same here," Bob chuckled, starting to drive, "Can't wait."

"So... like wanna make out when we get back." Fennel joked.

"...You know what, why not?" Bob said in an accepting tone.

"Wow, who would have known this was a lot easier when my ovaries aren't in overdrive?" Fennel added.

"Heh. Yeah, you're a lot less, uh, headstrong now compared to then," Bob laughed.

"Yeah, that's only a once a year thing by the way, so you don't have to worry about anything like that for a long time."

"Okay then, that makes me feel better about this," Bob sighed.

"Yeah I guess the fox thing is kind weird." Fennel noted.

-

Soon enough the two had returned to the hotel. "So that was fun." Fennel commented regarding the shopping trip. She then climbed out of the bus and headed back inside.

"Yeah," Bob agreed, hoisting the bags out of the bus, before one slipped open, letting a copy of Kitchen Nightmares to fall out into the snow. But instead of the regular soft thud of the snow, instead, there was a heavy clunk, before a section of the snow floated up, a flattened circular metal object holding it all up.

"AH WHAT THE SHIT-" Bob fell back, startled by the sudden device floating in front of him as it began to fold inwards on itself, spitting out the floating bug from earlier.

Fennel looked at the floating object "What is that?"

"My sleeping quarters," the firefly-like insect responded, snatching the now folded up device and sticking it away.

"Well, why the hell are you still here?!" Bob asked, "Your asshole of a boss already said Shlyke was okay to stay!"

"Oh, how rude of myself," the Oitic noted, "My commanding officer demanded I stay within proximity of the Abrol to make absolutely sure any and all deviant activity is reported to him so that he can reposess it before any more damage can be done. I was supposed to be hidden, but now that you've ruined my sleep, I assume you're going to ruin my cover, so I am to acquire a room inside."

"Oh you're tracking the creep. right?" Fennel asked.

"The so-called "Friend of Tina", yes," the insect nodded.

"I kind of bit him earlier. So if you need to scare him, let me know." Fennel added.

"..I will keep that in mind and choose a room away from yours," the Oitic noted, before floating into a window of an unoccupied room.

"...So, uh, should we tell Shylke he's got that guy watching him?" Bob asked, "I mean, it wouldn't hurt to keep him from fucking Tina again."

“Yeah, we’ll tell him later.” Fennel said as she headed inside.

A few moments later Fennel was sitting on the couch in Bob's room.

Bob sighed as he looked at all the gifts, splayed out over the bed, "I got a long night of wrapping these suckers ahead of me... eh, I can wrap them tomorrow," Bob assured, stuffing them in the closet that nobody used, "Fen, what was with your book choices? Something about babies and pregnancy?"

"Oh t-those are for Ernette. She wanted me teach her about to do mom things, I thought those would be good to add." Fennel explained. "Besides I've read those before, so I knew they were good."

"Fair enough," Bob shrugged, sitting down on the couch next to Fennel, wrapping an arm around her from the back.

Fennel then planted a kiss on his lips. "Yeah."

Bob let out a bemused huff, before planting a prolonged kiss on Fennel's, his other hand resting on her cheek for those long seconds, before he slowly pulled back, wondering what her reaction would be.

Fennel's face had managed to take on a bright red as she looked back up to Bob, placing the end of her snout on his nose. "Boop!"

"YOU GUYS ARE KISSING!" Tina proclaimed, standing butt-naked at the door of the bathroom and pointing at the couple.

"I- wha- Tina!" Bob yelped back, "What're you doing?"

"Tina!" Fennel yelped before rushing to put a blanket over the girl. "Tina, you need to put some clothes on."

"I was taking a shower with Shlyke," Tina stated from under the blanket.

"With Shlyke?! I swear to god- If you two were fucking in there-!" Bob grumbled, "Shlyke! Get your bug ass out here!"

Quickly, the Abrol clambered out, his hard exterior much more glossy than it was before, "N-n-no, Bob!" he shook his head, "There w-was no sex! I-I swear!"

"Good." Fennel growled.

"..Tina? Is Shlyke telling the truth?" Bob peered to Tina.

"Uh-huh, he told me he licked himself, and I told him cats do that and it's gross when he does it, so I took a shower with him," Tina explained, still entirely covered underneath the blanket Fennel threw on her as she looked around pointlessly.

"I still think it's like fake rain," Shlyke murmured.

Bob sighed, "Alright... Shlyke, could you go?"

"Y-yes, Bob sir!" the locust nodded, before hastily leaving the room, clothes in hand.

"Bye, Shlyke!" Tina quickly said.

"Alright Tina, where are your clothes so Mommy can help you get dressed?" Fennel asked.

"In the ceiling!" Tina answered happily.

"What do you mean in the ceiling?" Fennel asked.

"I put my clothes in the ceiling!"

"Why?" Fennel asked.

"Maria and Maddy told me they put their panties in the ceiling one time, and then I thought it would be a good idea to put my clothes up there so they don't take up space in the room!"

"It makes Mommy sad when you put your pretty clothes in the ceiling." Fennel said.

"... Wh... What?" Tina asked, pulling the blanket to uncover her head with an expression of confusion and worry.

"If you help mommy find them I'll be happy again." Fennel said to calm the girl down.

"They're up there! Next to the light!" Tina informed as quick as she could, pointing to one of the ceiling tiles, "I-I thought it was a good idea..."

Fennel then picked up Tina, still wrapped in the blanket, and waved her hand causing the girls clothes to fall on top of Tina. "Okay Tina, time to get dressed."

"I can't get dressed if you're holding me," Tina said, her smile slowly returning from her momentary panic.

Fennel then put Tina down and held up the blanket to preserve the girl's modesty.

As Tina got dressed, she asked, "Why're you covering me with a blanket?"

"So Bob doesn't see you naked."

"Oh... Why?"

"Because li- big girls don't walk around naked." Fennel replied.

"But we walked around naked a bunch back home," Tina said as she slipped into her skirt.

"Well Mommy's a big girl and she wears clothes all the time." Fennel answered attempted to change the topic.

"... Even when you take showers?!" Tina gasped, peeking out from the side of the blanket in surprise.

"No, not when I take showers. I wear clothes most of the time." Fennel responded.

"Oh, okay... Do I have to put on my socks and shoes too?"

"Not until we go outside." Fennel replied.

"Oh, then I'm done!" Tina exclaimed, pulling down the blanket to reveal her wearing a sleeveless white shirt just showed just a little sliver of her belly and a light-blue skirt.

"Yay!" Fennel clapped before kissing Tina on the forehead. "Okay, why don't you go play with Mila."

"Why Mila?" Tina blinked, cocking her head to the side.

"I think she wants someone to play her switch with her." Fennel answered.

"Oh, okay! I'll let you guys kiss again!" Tina beamed, giving Fennel a quick hug before running out of the room.

"Bye Bye Tina!" Fennel waved as Tina left the room.

Finally, Bob sighed, "I'm.. sorry about yelling there at Tina and Shlyke. I really didn't know what else to do there."

"I would have yelled too." Fennel replied.

"Well, that's a relief then," Bob mumbled.

"I mean you gotta be stern with kids sometimes." Fennel commented before walking up to Bob. "So we were making out right?"

Bob chuckled, "Almost forgot..." he leaned in as she sat back down continuing exactly where they had left off before.

But before it could get any more sensual, the door opened, Ernette walking in, "Hey guys, I heard you got back and-" she froze as she saw what they were doing, her face blush pink.

Fennel pulled away from Bob with a rather giddy expression on her face "What was that, Ernette?"

"I-um... I, uh..." Ernette was lost looking at the two for a moment before shaking her head, "Oh-I -Yeah! I-I-I uh, need to talk to you, Fen."

Fennel gave Bob one last kiss before approaching Ernette "Yeah, what did you need?"

"Why the hell did you say what you did to Ruby?" Ernette quietly spat, closing the door ever so enough as she walked a bit away to speak in private.

"I reacted poorly. I wanted to talk to her about that actually." Fennel said in a saddened tone.

"Well, talk all you want!" Ernette huffed, "I tried to comfort her, went out with her to a nice restaurant, and she got all awful about what you said and threw up! She's been moping since!"

"I-I know I messed up. I want to try and make it right with her." Fennel replied as her ears dropped.

"...Fine," Ernette snapped, "I gotta get back to Clara. If you so much as make her cry, and I hear about it..." She grumbled, beginning to stamp away back to their room.

Fennel nodded, and said, "Looking out for her was a very good mom thing to do." before going to find Ruby.

Ruby was curled up on a bed with Parfait beside her, though the eleven-year-old was facing away from the Sylveon.

Fennel knocked on Ruby's door "Ruby? Can I come in?" She asked.

"... I guess," Ruby muttered quietly.

Fennel opened the door and sat on the foot of the bed Ruby was lying in. "I'm sorry about earlier."

"... Why'd you have to want to steal Zoey?... Out of everyone here..."

"I didn't realize I was doing that, Ruby, I should have taken how you felt into account."

"Whatever... Zoey'll probably be happier with you anyway," Ruby whimpered, refusing to look back at Fennel.

"I don't think she would... I promise not to take her from you." Fennel replied.

"Yes she would... That's why she's been spending all of her time with you instead," Ruby insisted.

"What if I help you spend more time with her?" Fennel asked.

"If that isn't what she wants, I shouldn't make her... I should've just... Kept my mouth shut about everything."

Fennel turned to look at Ruby, "Sometimes... sometimes... I-I don't know what to say, Ruby."

After a few moments of complete silence, Ruby finally looked at Fennel. Her eyes were puffy and her cheeks were stained with tears. Fennel would be able to see that, in one of Ruby's hands, she held the little fox stuffed animal back from the play. She dropped it and quickly hugged her friend.

Fennel saw the fox and hugged Ruby. "I've hurt you a lot Ruby... I'm sorry. I just want to make it better."

Ruby shuddered as she cried a little into Fennel.

Fennel then began rubbing Ruby's back, "How can I help?" She asked.

"I.. I don't know," Ruby whimpered, clutching the fox.

"Please, I need to know, how can I help you?" Fennel requested one more time.

"I said I don't know!" Ruby yelled before breaking into a sob.

Fennel then hugged Ruby tighter as she placed a hand on the back of the girl's head. "Okay..." Fennel was unsure of what to do before she began humming a song hoping to calm Ruby.

For some time, that's how it was. Ruby's sobs became quieter and quieter as they hugged and Fennel hummed. A few moments after the little girl's crying ended, she murmured, "... She wants to marry dad anyway." While it was obvious Ruby didn't hate her father, it was clear that this fact embittered her.

"You don't want her to marry dad either huh?" Fennel asked.

"... I just wish she'd choose both of us," Ruby muttered.

"I think things will work out in the end, okay?" Fennel said.

"But how?" Ruby whimpered, pulling back and looking up at Fennel, completely drained of any hope.

"I think you'll figure something out, but I think you just need to not worry about it for now." Fennel answered.

"B-But..." Ruby started before slumping her shoulders down in defeat, "... Okay..."

"It'll be okay." Fennel said, she then hugged Ruby "It's okay, Mommy's here."

While Ruby found it a bit odd that Fennel would call herself 'Mommy', it was oddly comforting at the same time. She said nothing as she returned the hug, leaning into the fox and closing her eyes.

Fennel continued rubbing Ruby's back and waited for Ruby to cheer up.

"... My stomach hurts," She mumbled.

"I think we have some ginger for that." Fennel replied.

"I ate too much food... I ordered five plates of stuff and two milkshakes..."

"Oh, that's a lot." Fennel then began rubbing Ruby's back once again.

"I was just... Really sad. I dunno..."

"I think you should feel better after a nap." Fennel said. "I see you still have that fox, too."

"... Yeah..." Ruby mumbled, "Earlier, when I was mad at you, I... Wanted to get rid of it, but... I couldn't."

"Oh, so is the fox supposed to be me?" Fennel asked.

"Mhm..."

"Oh." Fennel replied. "I'm going to let you sleep." Fennel said before standing up.

"Wait!" Ruby quickly halted the fox, "... Could you stay with me? At least, until I fall asleep?"

"Yeah." Fennel said before climbing ontop of the bed with Ruby, who promptly cuddled with the fox as she closed her eyes and let out a deep sigh.

Fennel began stroking Ruby's hair as she waited for her to fall asleep.

======

The Oitic opened the window with some effort, just enough so that his more bulbous, rounded suit could get in, before shutting it behind himself with some relief to have that reprieve from the cold outside His cover had nearly been blown... by a DVD case and an idiot. He checked the many panels on his suit, ensuring that he had all of his equipment as he looked out at the snowy street, before floating about to see the empty roo-

There was a little girl laying on the floor with her head under one of the room's beds. She shimmied herself back a bit, holding her palm up carefully with a cockroach in it. She slowly turned around to face the window an- "AAAAH!" She screamed upon spotting the Oitic, flailing her arms and throwing the poor roach.

"N-no shhh-shhh shhhh!" the larger insect hastily shushed, holding a hand up to his head as if gesturing to quiet down, letting the roach smack onto his suit and skitter around in panic, "Please calm down, please!"

In order to shut herself up, Casey planted a hand over her own mouth, muffling her scream. After a moment, she quieted down enough to remove her hand before glancing around. "W-Where did Roachy go?" She stammered, looking under one of the beds before realizing, "W-Wait, who are you? What are you? Why're you in my room?"

"I thought this room was unoccupied," the floating insect replied, gently grabbing the roach off his back and examining it closely in his two-fingered hand, "Interesting. It's a lot like a Rosham," he noted, before holding the roach out to Casey precariously, extending his arm as far as he could without actually moving.

Hesitantly, Casey reached out and grabbed the roach, very gently pinching it between her fingers as to not hurt it before dropping the bug into a plastic container and covering said container with a lid. The lid had a few, small airholes poked out, and the container had some honey, dirt, and leaves she gathered from outside.

"That's a very nice habitat for it, by the look of it," the Oitic commented, unsure what to do now that his cover had been broken a second time within the hour.

"... Thanks," Casey replied, watching her roach scitter around for a bit before looking up at the intruder, "Who are you? Why're you here?"

"I work under the Sovereign States," the Oitic explained, "and I was... you're with the group that's letting Shlyke stay with them, right? I'm currently working to keep him under surveilance, which is why I needed a quiet place with no possible way to let him know I'm here."

"Oh... I won't tell anyone then," Casey promised,glancing back at Roachy.

"...Alright," the insect sighed, ensuring the window was closed and the blinds were down, before lowering himself to where his limbs were couched underneath his body, pulling out a small screen and checking the connection to the security cameras in the hotel, but an urge to understand why this girl, after looking through all his compiled video, is more or less a loner in such a social group, made him put it up and watch her actions in intrigue for a bit, floating back up to where his head was a foot beneath the ceiling.

Casey simply stared at the roach, even when it had stopped moving around. The tiniest movements did not go unnoticed by the ten-year-old. Curiously, she looked back, only to see the Oitic staring at her. "Do you need something?"

"Uh- No," the insect said, floating down closer to the other side of the bed, looking down to the roach, "I was just... wondering what you doing here. With this little Rosham."

"... I let Roachy out for a walk... Then you came in," Casey answered a bit awkwardly.

"Roachy... is your pet?" the floating Oitic asked, taking mental notes, "I thought humans are more inclined towards hairier, more similar-looking pets..."

"I like bugs. You can make nice little habitats for them to live in, you don't have to worry about them getting hurt if you drop them, and they're just... Really neat, I guess... I found Roachy when we first got our bus."

"Interesting... I assume your society sees 'bugs' as more... pests than something to consider a pet?"

"Yeah... People think they're really gross," Casey nodded, "... I think they're cute... And I like seeing how they... Do stuff."

"People look at the races of Kanak in a similar regard," the Oitic remarked, watching the cockroach skitter around in its container, "There was even an entire war because one group thought us pests and inferior."

"Hm... That's why I don't really like hanging around everyone else... Bugs don't wage wars for dumb stuff like that," Casey explained, looking back at Roachy as well, "They fight sometimes, but it isn't because they hate each other."

"That is true, for the most part," the Oitic agreed, "We all want to work together. Only a few of us are... 'bad'."

"I guess that makes sense. You guys came from bugs, right?"

"That's right," the insect agreed with Casey's statement, "Almost all the races in Kanak have."

"Huh... Do you... Need that suit to survive?" Casey inquired, pointing up at the Oitic before quickly retracting her hand, unsure if the alien would be offended by her pointing at him.

"No, more for comfort and locomotion," the Oitic explained, "It's got a gravity field that lets me hover like I would on my homeworld. My limbs are less than able to actually move me around... You're asking if you can see me with it off, right?"

"Uhm... Yes- That's not weird, is it?"

"...No, not really," the Oitic said, lowering himself down on the back of the bed, "So I'll show you, if you're interested." He tapped a panel on the back of the suit, a decompressing hiss rising from the back of his neck as the insect pulled his arms out of the sleeves of his suit, before the suit itself floated up and to the side, leaving the insect laying on the bed in his jumpsuit, which strangely enough allowed his wings and their chitinous covers to be open on his back. His long limbs held close to his body as he stared at Casey with four beady eyes. "...I just realized we haven't even told eachother our names!" the Oitic chittered, holding out a two-fingered hand for Casey to shake, "I'm Ippin, friends call me 'Pin."

The little girl curiously took the alien's hand in her own, briefly feeling the texture of it with her thumb before shaking the hand and introducing herself, "I'm Casey... Um... People just... Call me Casey."

"It's... nice to meet you, Casey," Ippin quipped with a chitter of his mouthpieces.

Casey blinked a few times, staring at the insect's face with nothing but fascination. "Say something again," She requested.

"Like what?" Ippin asked, his mandibles clicking and whirring again.

"Anything, just anything..." Casey answered in wonder.

"...Oh, I see!" Ippin nodded, "You're interested by the- ah, it makes sense I guess. Anyways, I'm surprised you haven't seen Shlyke's mouth parts moving when he- well, they have a different setup for their vocal chords than an Oitic, I guess. Whatever, Abrol aren't good examples of a Kanak race anyhow."

"He's similar to a locust," Casey commented, getting right into Ippin's personal space to get a very close look at his mouth.

"Humans have something that look like Abrol, too? Man, your world's sure diverse," Ippin remarked, unphased by how close she got.

"Well, we actually have a bunch of different types of locust too," Casey added, her face a mere inch away from Ippin's mandibles.

"Well, that's interesting, but it makes sense for such a successful design," Ippin did not budge. Having been a soldier in an army where the majority of soldiers knew little to nothing of indidual personal space really helped.

Casey, entranced by her own curiosity, cupped a hand around the outside of the mandible, stroking it to see what it felt like.

"Hmmm... do you think Locust are just as bad as Abrol?" Ippin went on, the fact there were no receptors in his mandables making Casey's fascination harmless and unnoted.

"Locusts aren't intelligent like Shlyke is, so I can't say they're 'bad', though they eat a lot like he does," Casey replied as her hand slid from the mandible to the Oitic's body.

The Insect stayed still, having felt the touch but remaining patient and calm with the girl, "Alright, that's fair. Abrol are known for being voracious, unpicky eaters... though they can still have delicacies in their 'societies', which are... disgusting? Yeah, that's the word for it, disgusting."

"He was eating out of the trash earlier until Tina made him stop," commented the curious girl, taking the lack of objection as consent as she began caressing Ippin's body with both hands. It was amazing to be able to feel the surface of an insect in such detail! Petting roaches with her finger didn't really give away the same information as this!

"That sounds about right," Ippin agreed, unsure if he should keep letting Casey touch him like this, but was allowing her to do so, as it seemed to be only something like a fine examination, fluttering his wings for a moment to stretch the muscles used to flap them, "Shylke's a bit of a miracle among Abrol; He's allowed out of their little province Kanak's cordoned them off to on some military program."

"Oh! Could you hold your wings out?" Casey gasped, "I'll be gentle with them."

Ippin obliged, flexing out his wings and holding them in a half-flapped position so Casey could look at them, "Yeah, Sure. But anyways, Abrol are always considered the worst of the Kanak races 'cause they can't really get along with how Kanak functions... hence why a good chunk of the Sovereign States land is kept under lock and key and is where we let the Abrol race run wild."

"Hm, Shlyke's been pretty well-behaved, at least, now that he's with Tina," Casey remarked as she slowly, gently ran her hands along Ippin's wings with a delicate touch befitting of someone able to safely hold a roach between their fingers.

"Well, I guess that's why he got on the program," Ippin noted, "Abrol don't work outside their race much. They usually like to work alone, but once they get involved in a group with the same goals, it's like a swarm of cooperating Abrol. It's... not fun."

"Why's that?" Casey inquired, feeling the area where the wings typically rested upon before sliding her hand around to feel under the insect, rubbing around.

"Imagine a bunch of big, angry locust coming at you in a group of hundreds," Ippin explained, "And imagine that these locust can easily be manipulated by whatever schmuck has a good supply of food and wealth they're willing to give up to the Abrol. It's why the biggest fear in Kanak, beside the old Epsie stories, is a unified Abrol uprising."

"Have you tried teaching the Abrol like Tina's done with Shlyke?" Casey asked,continuing to carress underneath the insect.

"Too many of them to do a program like that," the Oitic reasoned, "They breed too quick to keep track of."

"Huh, everyone was freaking out about Shlyke having sex with Tina on the bus."

"Did they really do that?" Ippin asked incredulously.

"Yeah," Casey answered simply, the topic of discussion arousing her curiosity as the hand underneath Ippin slid back in search of something.

"Wow... I knew Abrol weren't picky sometimes, but a human kid? Never would've thought," Ippin responded, not even realizing (or letting Casey know) that she was looking for it.

"Is there something wrong with 'Abrol' and humans doing it?" Casey asked, not giving up her search.

"It's just weird," Ippin replied, before noting, "Also, if you're looking for it, it's internal."

"... Could I see it?"

"...No," Ippin replied, "If it's weird for an Abrol and a human to do it, it's gonna be weird for an Oitic to let a human look at it."

"I'm... I'm just really curious about your anatomy," Casey insisted, "Regular insects are so small, you can't see much detail, and they move around too much."

"I really shouldn't..." the Oitic remarked hesitantly, "Because I could get in trouble, but... hmm... maybe."

"I won't tell anyone if you won't," Casey swore.

Ippin hesitated, before sighing, "Fine, just for a minute, then we're done."

====

Soon enough Ruby had fallen asleep and Fennel snuck out to go find Elizabeth, who was taking a nap, She wasn't even tucked under the covers of her bed, but rather her body was flopped onto the end of the bed. The room had a plethora of various brunch dishes adorning it, hinting at what had tired her out to require a nap for.

Fennel then gave Elizabeth a gentle nudge. "Wake up sleepy head."

"Hmmm.. Hm?" Elizabeth yawned and sat up. "Oh, hey, Fennel," She murmured, rubbing at her eyes.

"Hi. So I guess you made a bunch of stuff for christmas." Fennel stated.

"Hu- WAIT, WHAT!?" Elizabeth screamed, fully awake, "It's almost Charistmas!? How soon!?"

"I think in like two days now." Fennel said with a nod.

"Oh my god! Why didn't you tell me?! We- We need to start making food!" Elizabeth cried out, fumbling off of the bed and looking for her shoes.

"Elizabeth it's okay. We can start tomorrow, you don't need to freak out about it." Fennel said thinking it would calm Elizabeth.

"We can't start tomorrow! The feast needs to be perfect! W-We need time- I- We- T- What if the store runs out of- We need to get going now!" Elizabeth stammered frantically.

"Elizabeth we have bunch of food in the bus." Fennel said putting at hand on Elizabeth's shoulder.

"That's not the right food!" Elizabeth cried out, "We need feast food!"

"Elizabeth I'm sure whatever you make is going to be fine. Buuut if you really need to get more I'll go with you on one condition." Fennel offered.

"Wh- Fine! Sure! What is it?!" Elizabeth quickly asked, slipping her shoes on.

"You have to promise not to freak out if everything isn't perfect." Fennel replied.

"W- Y- Fine! I'll just make sure everything is perfect so I don't have to freak out then!"

"No, I want you to not worry about it being perfect." Fennel clarified.

"Then I might as well not cook anything at all!" Elizabeth huffed, "What's the point of doing something if you don't do it your best?"

"I'm saying to worry if you mess up. The path to success is paved with failure. It's nothing to be scared of." Fennel said.

"If I mess it up, then I just have to redo it until it's just right," Elizabeth insisted.

"But you don't have to, you can still make it work even if you mess up." Fennel said.

"Other people have to eat this! I'm not gonna feed them garbage!"

"Elizabeth one mistake won't make your food garbage, I promise." Fennel said in a slightly more stern tone.

"It will to me!" Elizabeth yelled, a few tears welling up in her eyes as she tried to assert how important it was that her food be perfect.

Fennel then hugged Elizabeth, "Can I tell you a secret?" Fennel asked.

"Wh... What secret?"

"I make mistakes, all the time." Fennel said.

"... I know that," Elizabeth blinked, "That's... Not a secret."

"And so did Gordon Ramsay," The fox added.

"Wh- No!" Elizabeth gasped at such blasphemy, "He's the greatest chef on Earth!"

"He didn't get there by getting everything perfect the first time. I promise." The vixen continued.

"But he's perfect now! And I bet you he did what I'm doing! Doing everything he could to be the perfect chef!"

"I don't think he let it turn him into a nervous wreck."

"You don't know that- A- I'm not a nervous wreck!"

"Just you don't need to worry about perfection this much." Fennel added.

"Why shouldn't I?!"

"Didn't your dad say something about not freaking about about it." Fennel said, unsure of else to say in a defeated tone.

"... No? He didn't really... Talk to me... That much..." Elizabeth admitted, the fire that fueled her argument quickly blown away as she spoke, "He'd just say that my cooking was really good... And that... I'll be the best chef ever someday if I work hard."

"Well you're the best chef I know and I think you are going to get even better. I just don't want you to get upset because you think you aren't good enough." Fennel said.

"... I don't even know how to tell... If my food is perfect or not..." Elizabeth murmured, "I thought everything was perfect during that contest, that I'd get a perfect score."

"I think perfection is subjective typically speaking, but if you ask me all the food you've made for me has been perfect." Fennel assured.

"Well- It's only perfect because I tried so hard then," Elizabeth asserted.

"Do you promise not to freak out if you make a mistake?" The laviturian requested.

"... I'll try, I promise," Elizabeth relented.

"Okay let's go to the store." Fennel said before picking up Elizabeth.

"Wh-..." Elizabeth blinked, taken aback by the sudden carry, but went along with it.

Fennel then headed out of the hotel and headed to a near by groccery store before putting Elizabeth down. "So what do we need?"

"We're gonna be working a long time on this..." Elizabeth started.

===

After a post-coital shower, Ernette walked out of the bathroom, clutching her towel around herself as she grabbed some more casual clothing than the set Clara had ripped off when she entered the room. “I know you really like getting to it quick, but I think we need to slow down when we start,” she quipped as she slid on a T-shirt.

"Hm? Why's that?" Clara asked from on his bed, watching Ernette.

“You told me yourself,” Ernette mused, “Foreplay!... that and I want some time to get my clothes off before we get too far into it. I like how you do it.. I just don’t want to replace all of my good clothes by the time we’re done!”

"I guess that's a good point," Clara agreed, a bit worn out as he let out a deep breath.

“Yeah,” Ernette nodded as she slipped on some gym shorts, “I was also wondering if we could.. invite someone to join us one time?”

"Hm? Who?" Clara asked, sitting up with intrigue.

“Well, I was doing some stuff with Fennel, and the topic came up,” Ernette explained, drying outlet hair again, “But I also talked about it with Ruby because she’s been down in the dumps because she got rejected by Zoey.”

"Rejected by Zoey?" Clara repeated, "She asked Zoey out?" While Clara always figured Ruby was in love with her sister, he never would've guessed she would pursue it. Then again, their father has been absent from them for some time now.

“Yeah,” Ernette said, “But Zoey’s still saying she wants to marry her dad. So, I took her to lunch to try and cheer her up, but she tried to eat like five plates of food and threw up, so I had to bring her back.”

"... Well, of course she can join us," Clara stated with a nod, "I guess Fennel can too if you can actually convince her to go along with it."

“She’s too much of a prude to admit it,” Ernette snickered, hopping down on the bed next to Clara, “But I think she really wants it.”

"Probably," Clara mused, "It's hard to tell. It seems obvious either way she does or doesn't want it, but... I'm sure she'd love it if she actually did it."

“Yeah, I bet so. I asked her do do some photos for me, and.. and she actually did it!” Ernette quipped, the photo envelope floating over as she pulled her copies of Fennel’s sensitive photos out, “All I had to do was some artsy thing where I ‘shopped a picture of her to be pregnant or something.”

"Makes sense," Clara remarked before looking over the photos, "Though, I'm surprised she would actually go along with all of this."

“Yeah, I.. wait, it does make sense?” Ernette asked, “I’ve been confused about it all day.”

"It's pretty obvious she really wants to be a mother," Clara explained, admiring one of the pictures with a deadpan expression before sliding them all into a neat stack.

“Well, I saw that with Tina and her, yeah, but... I didn’t think she’d want a picture of herself like that for those,” Ernette wondered, taking the photos and sliding them back in, before pulling out the video devices, “Anyways, I also figured out my eyes still record while I’m a human,” she smiled, “So I decided to get a few little vids of us processed...”

"Oh?" Clara blinked, "Let's see them then."

“Well, I got three right here!” Ernette exclaimed, pointing them out individually, “I still need to mark them, but that one’s from last night, That one’s from when I first got this body, and this one’s.., well, it’s the day we fell for each other,” she blushed as she realized aloud, “I know, it’s.. corny.”

"I'd like to watch that one," Clara affirmed.

“W-wait really?” Ernette looked confused, but did not hesitate to pull Clara and snuggle with him as the video device connected to the TV, and began to play from the view of Ernie, floating through the supermarket, before affixing his view on Clara.

"You really were staring at me for awhile," Clara commented.

“I was, wasn’t I?” Ernette giggled.

"... A really long while," Clara added.

“Heh, yeah...” Ernette scratched her arm as she agreed awkwardly.

"... ... ... ... There we go," Clara said as Ernie on the screen knocked over some of the office supplies.

Ernette was quiet as she listened to Clara call out Ernie’s bullshit, and how Ernie slowly explained his predicament. “...I’ve really changed since we met,” Ernette mumbled as in the video Ernie began to spin around and disagree with Clara’s assertion that he had a crush on her and was in love.

"Yeah, you have," Clara nodded, wrapping an arm around Ernette as he watched.

“...Oh yeah, then we-“ Ernette stopped as Clara began her suggestion of a sexual manner, “And that goes on for twenty minutes, and you come seven times! I remember you being so shocked about that!”

"Yeah, my da- Wolfe could never manage that," Clara remarked, "At least, not in such a short time."

Ernette mulled on that thought as the aforementioned sex went on for the also aforementioned twenty minutes, before the two exited the bathroom, and Clara fell to her hands and knees, before Ernie helped her up and after being asked, placed her in the good seat of his arms.

”Where would you like to go?"

"... The roof of the hotel," Clara responded in the video, as the two both ascended out of the supermarket to the demanded rooftop.

”...That day was wonderful,” Ernette sighed contently, snuggling her head against Clara’s shoulder, “The way we talked all day... watched the stars... and slept so close together? I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.”

"It really was nice," Clara agreed, "... I'm really happy that we got back together. After seeing this, I would've hated for things to end like that."

“Me too,” Ernette nodded lightly, “I’m not sure what I would’ve done if we didn’t... But I’m happy we’re together again too.”

Clara turned and gave Ernette's cheek a kiss before looking back to the television screen. "I love you, Ernette."

The Benefactor smiled as she returned the kiss to Clara and continued snuggling, “I love you too, Clara.”


===

"Okay, so now I mix in the spices for the eggnog right?" Fennel asked, holding a handful of spices above pot of simmering milk, cream, eggs and sugar.

"Yeah," Elizabeth quickly replied as she thuroughly examined the pudding she was making before continuing her frantic stirring.

Fennel watched the eggnog before cutting off the heat and giving it a good whiff "Smells about done. Elizabeth where are the egg whites?"

"Wh- You should know! I put you incharge of that stuff!" Elizabeth answered with a great sense of urgency.

"Oh found them." Fennel said before tossing some cinnamon in the whites before whisking them into a foamy meringue.The fox then placed placed the white in the fridge while she waited for the eggnog to cool off.

"Oh good," Elizabeth murmured, sighing with relief before sliding her banana pudding into the fridge as well and looked over the turkey she had marinating on another shelf.

A dinging noise was heard “That’s the bread pudding.” Fennel quipped before removing the baked dish from the oven.

"Huh... We have a lot of pudding," Elizabeth remarked, "Banana pudding, figgy pudding, and now bread pudding."

“We have a lot of mouths the feed.” Fennel shrugged.

"Well... We can't make the entire feast today. The turkey will have to marinate until tomorrow, the pudding should be fine... We can have some of the smaller stuff tomorrow." Elizabeth mumbled, trying to plan out Christmas Eve's dinner and Christmas' feast.

“See look you did fine.” Fennel praised the chef for her relative lack of perfectionism.

"... Just... Fine?" Elizabeth asked, looking up at Fennel worriedly.

"You didn't freak out that bad over anything today." Fennel clarified.

"... You got the right amount of everything in the eggnog, right?" Elizabeth quickly asked.

"It all seemed right to me." Fennel replied.

"Seemed right?!" Elizabeth repeated, "Wh- You- Didn't you follow my instructions?"

"I did, but typically speaking you humans use a lot of spices." Fennel replied.

"But you used the amount I told you to, right?!"

"Yeah, maybe a tiny bit didn't make it in though."

"A tiny bit!? I gave you an exact amount for the perfect eggnog!" Elizabeth cried out. Despite her talk with Fennel, she just couldn't help but fret over such things.

“Elizabeth, how about we make a deal?”

"A- What?" Elizabeth blinked.

“If anyone notices that the eggnog not being exactaly perfect I will remake it then and there.”

"It should be perfect in the first place! Even if they don't notice, I'll know!"

“And if no one notices you need to promise to chill out a little bit about it okay?”

"... F-Fine," Elizabeth agreed through her teeth.

Fennel then tussled Elizabeth’s hair with a toothy grin. “Merry Christmas!”

"Bah humbug," Elizabeth mumbled, unable to keep a small smile from forming on her face as well.

“So what do you want to do now?”

"Uhm... I'm... Not sure," Elizabeth thought for a moment before asking, "What do you wanna do?"

“Hmm, why don’t we go play with Mila?” Fennel suggested.

"Mila?" Elizabeth gagged, "Since when did you start hanging out with her?"

"The other day, we played Smash Bros. together. What's so bad about her?" Fennel asked regarding Elizabeth's distaste towards her sister.

"She's just... She just plays video games all the time. She doesn't want to do anything else," Elizabeth huffed.

"She seemed pretty excited to have someone play with her the other day. Maybe she just needs someone to be interested in her games." Fennel mused.

"Ugh, but I don't wanna play any of her games!" Elizabeth whined, "I wanna cook or... Do stuff. Not sit around and push a button over and over."

"Well what's so wrong about playing videogames?" Fennel retorted.

"I just don't wanna," Elizabeth huffed.

"Why don't you join us for half an hour and if you don't want to play anymore you don't have to?" Fennel bargined.

"Do I have to?"

"Yes." Fennel answered sternly.

Elizabeth let out a childish whine as she leaned her entire body against Fennel.

Soon enough Fennel had dragged Elizabeth to Mila's room and said "Mila we're here to play videogames."

"Hey Fennel!" Mila greeted happily, "And.. Hey, Lizzy." She seemed much more awkward greeting her sister.

"Hey, Mila," Elizabeth sighed.

"Hey Mila do you have one of those Cooking Mama games? Elizabeth said she wanted to play it with you." Fennel stated.

"I never said that," Elizabeth looked up at Fennel with a pout.

"Well I said you did so you did."

"... You don't have to play with me if you don't want to, Lizzy," Mila mumbled.

Elizabeth would've walked out then and there, but a feeling of guilt washed over her upon seeing her sister's disheartened expression. "... Cooking Mama does sound like a game I'd like," She smiled, skipping over and sitting down by Mila.

"Gotter." Fennel snickered as she joined the girls.

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Teedler
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Re: Dimensional Clash IX [IC]

Post by Teedler on Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:41 pm


===

Fennel got out of the bus holding a paper bag of fast food as she took a few sips from an almost empty milkshake cup. "Hey, thanks for agreeing to fast food." Fennel then put the bag and cup in a nearby garbage can.

"Oh, no problem!" Bob nodded, taking a sip of his own shake, before throwing it away.

"So I'm not really sure what to get Zoey and Ruby, but I think Maria and Madison would like DnD.” Fennel mused.

"For them, I think, uh... clothes?" Bob suggested, "I know they like clothes shopping."

"Yeah I think they would like clothes." Fennel agreed, as she walked into the store.

"Hmm.. If you can go get Maria, Maddison, Zoey, and Ruby's gifts, I'll go get the rest," Bob suggested.

"Okay." Fennel said before going of off to a game store.Tell him how you feel. The fox thought to herself as she entered the store. She looked around the store and grabbed a few sets of dice along with a Dungeons and Dragons starter kit that the store had put together that included a few character sheets and a quick start guide.

Bob, meanwhile, got Clara her own personal laptop and another notebook, a set of shooting range targets for Mary, an expensive cutlery collection for Elizabeth, some art supplies for Anna, some little toys he knew Tina would enjoy, and...

"...Ah shit," Bob muttered. He knew very little of what Harper, Mila, and Casey would really want as gifts.

Fennel then noticed a cartrige that contained an additional set of games for Mila's switch classic edition. Fennel then put the games and the starter kit on the counter and retrieved a hundred dollar bill from her bra before the clerk had a chance to notice.

"Hey Fennel!" Bob shouted as he came up to Fennel, "I need some help."

Fennel jumped not expected Bob to suddenly shout her name, "Yeah what do you need help with?"

"I can't figure out what... Mila, Casey, and Harper'd really want,"

"Well i just got Mila a set of games for her switch classic, and I think Harper would like some cross stitching things, And Casey likes bugs, so we could probably get her an ant farm." Fennel suggested.

"Oh... I got the stuff for the rest of them," Bob held up the bags from various stores in the mall.

"Oh we need to get Elizabeth a collection of kitchen nightmares dvd's" Fennel added.

"Oh yeah! Yeah, that's probably pretty good. I'm gonna go get Clara some clothes," Bob remarked, "I doubt she's found a lot of modest stuff in her size."

"Yeah. Oh, I need to grab a few books for Ernette really quick." Fennel said before heading to a book store.

"Alright..." Bob agreed, going his own way, as he thought for a moment as to what he should get her.

-

Fennel was soon enough in a book store and was in the parenting section, she was looking for two specific books to give to Ernette. "Ah here they are." Fennel said as she put grabbed a book on pregnancy and childcare into her arms before heading to the check out line.

Bob was waiting outside the bookstore, struggling to hold all the shopping bags from all the stores he had been in to get all the gifts for everyone.

"I can carry some of those." Fennel offered.

"Alright, sure," Bob agreed, letting Fennel carry a few, but carrying a majority, "I'll wrap them all."

Soon enough, Fennel had gotten clothes for Zoey and Ruby before heading back to the bus. "Are you ready to go?"

"Yeah, I'm good to go," Bob mumbled, walking with Fennel back to the bus and putting the gifts in the back of the bus.

Fennel watched Bob put away the gifts for a moment before she worked up the courage to approach him.

Bob turned around as he finished tucking away the more delicate gifts, "What's up, Fen?"

"Thanks for helping me with this, it means a lot." Fennel said before darting looking at Bob for a moment. She then planted a light peck on his cheek, before looking away,

Bob froze up, blinking as he registered the kiss, starting to get flustered, "It's, uh.. No problem!" he stammered.

Fennel looked but a Bob for another moment with a toothy smile before getting back in the bus. She near enough to the front, despite everything that had happened she still had feelings for the Marine.

Bob started up the bus, but didn't go immediately. "...Y-Y'know," he said, "If you want I'm... I'm always willing to try that again."

Fennel looked up, "That would be nice. I got you something but you'll have to wait." she nodded.

"Same here," Bob chuckled, starting to drive, "Can't wait."

"So... like wanna make out when we get back." Fennel joked.

"...You know what, why not?" Bob said in an accepting tone.

"Wow, who would have known this was a lot easier when my ovaries aren't in overdrive?" Fennel added.

"Heh. Yeah, you're a lot less, uh, headstrong now compared to then," Bob laughed.

"Yeah, that's only a once a year thing by the way, so you don't have to worry about anything like that for a long time."

"Okay then, that makes me feel better about this," Bob sighed.

"Yeah I guess the fox thing is kind weird." Fennel noted.

-

Soon enough the two had returned to the hotel. "So that was fun." Fennel commented regarding the shopping trip. She then climbed out of the bus and headed back inside.

"Yeah," Bob agreed, hoisting the bags out of the bus, before one slipped open, letting a copy of Kitchen Nightmares to fall out into the snow. But instead of the regular soft thud of the snow, instead, there was a heavy clunk, before a section of the snow floated up, a flattened circular metal object holding it all up.

"AH WHAT THE SHIT-" Bob fell back, startled by the sudden device floating in front of him as it began to fold inwards on itself, spitting out the floating bug from earlier.

Fennel looked at the floating object "What is that?"

"My sleeping quarters," the firefly-like insect responded, snatching the now folded up device and sticking it away.

"Well, why the hell are you still here?!" Bob asked, "Your asshole of a boss already said Shlyke was okay to stay!"

"Oh, how rude of myself," the Oitic noted, "My commanding officer demanded I stay within proximity of the Abrol to make absolutely sure any and all deviant activity is reported to him so that he can reposess it before any more damage can be done. I was supposed to be hidden, but now that you've ruined my sleep, I assume you're going to ruin my cover, so I am to acquire a room inside."

"Oh you're tracking the creep. right?" Fennel asked.

"The so-called "Friend of Tina", yes," the insect nodded.

"I kind of bit him earlier. So if you need to scare him, let me know." Fennel added.

"..I will keep that in mind and choose a room away from yours," the Oitic noted, before floating into a window of an unoccupied room.

"...So, uh, should we tell Shylke he's got that guy watching him?" Bob asked, "I mean, it wouldn't hurt to keep him from fucking Tina again."

“Yeah, we’ll tell him later.” Fennel said as she headed inside.

A few moments later Fennel was sitting on the couch in Bob's room.

Bob sighed as he looked at all the gifts, splayed out over the bed, "I got a long night of wrapping these suckers ahead of me... eh, I can wrap them tomorrow," Bob assured, stuffing them in the closet that nobody used, "Fen, what was with your book choices? Something about babies and pregnancy?"

"Oh t-those are for Ernette. She wanted me teach her about to do mom things, I thought those would be good to add." Fennel explained. "Besides I've read those before, so I knew they were good."

"Fair enough," Bob shrugged, sitting down on the couch next to Fennel, wrapping an arm around her from the back.

Fennel then planted a kiss on his lips. "Yeah."

Bob let out a bemused huff, before planting a prolonged kiss on Fennel's, his other hand resting on her cheek for those long seconds, before he slowly pulled back, wondering what her reaction would be.

Fennel's face had managed to take on a bright red as she looked back up to Bob, placing the end of her snout on his nose. "Boop!"

"YOU GUYS ARE KISSING!" Tina proclaimed, standing butt-naked at the door of the bathroom and pointing at the couple.

"I- wha- Tina!" Bob yelped back, "What're you doing?"

"Tina!" Fennel yelped before rushing to put a blanket over the girl. "Tina, you need to put some clothes on."

"I was taking a shower with Shlyke," Tina stated from under the blanket.

"With Shlyke?! I swear to god- If you two were fucking in there-!" Bob grumbled, "Shlyke! Get your bug ass out here!"

Quickly, the Abrol clambered out, his hard exterior much more glossy than it was before, "N-n-no, Bob!" he shook his head, "There w-was no sex! I-I swear!"

"Good." Fennel growled.

"..Tina? Is Shlyke telling the truth?" Bob peered to Tina.

"Uh-huh, he told me he licked himself, and I told him cats do that and it's gross when he does it, so I took a shower with him," Tina explained, still entirely covered underneath the blanket Fennel threw on her as she looked around pointlessly.

"I still think it's like fake rain," Shlyke murmured.

Bob sighed, "Alright... Shlyke, could you go?"

"Y-yes, Bob sir!" the locust nodded, before hastily leaving the room, clothes in hand.

"Bye, Shlyke!" Tina quickly said.

"Alright Tina, where are your clothes so Mommy can help you get dressed?" Fennel asked.

"In the ceiling!" Tina answered happily.

"What do you mean in the ceiling?" Fennel asked.

"I put my clothes in the ceiling!"

"Why?" Fennel asked.

"Maria and Maddy told me they put their panties in the ceiling one time, and then I thought it would be a good idea to put my clothes up there so they don't take up space in the room!"

"It makes Mommy sad when you put your pretty clothes in the ceiling." Fennel said.

"... Wh... What?" Tina asked, pulling the blanket to uncover her head with an expression of confusion and worry.

"If you help mommy find them I'll be happy again." Fennel said to calm the girl down.

"They're up there! Next to the light!" Tina informed as quick as she could, pointing to one of the ceiling tiles, "I-I thought it was a good idea..."

Fennel then picked up Tina, still wrapped in the blanket, and waved her hand causing the girls clothes to fall on top of Tina. "Okay Tina, time to get dressed."

"I can't get dressed if you're holding me," Tina said, her smile slowly returning from her momentary panic.

Fennel then put Tina down and held up the blanket to preserve the girl's modesty.

As Tina got dressed, she asked, "Why're you covering me with a blanket?"

"So Bob doesn't see you naked."

"Oh... Why?"

"Because li- big girls don't walk around naked." Fennel replied.

"But we walked around naked a bunch back home," Tina said as she slipped into her skirt.

"Well Mommy's a big girl and she wears clothes all the time." Fennel answered attempted to change the topic.

"... Even when you take showers?!" Tina gasped, peeking out from the side of the blanket in surprise.

"No, not when I take showers. I wear clothes most of the time." Fennel responded.

"Oh, okay... Do I have to put on my socks and shoes too?"

"Not until we go outside." Fennel replied.

"Oh, then I'm done!" Tina exclaimed, pulling down the blanket to reveal her wearing a sleeveless white shirt just showed just a little sliver of her belly and a light-blue skirt.

"Yay!" Fennel clapped before kissing Tina on the forehead. "Okay, why don't you go play with Mila."

"Why Mila?" Tina blinked, cocking her head to the side.

"I think she wants someone to play her switch with her." Fennel answered.

"Oh, okay! I'll let you guys kiss again!" Tina beamed, giving Fennel a quick hug before running out of the room.

"Bye Bye Tina!" Fennel waved as Tina left the room.

Finally, Bob sighed, "I'm.. sorry about yelling there at Tina and Shlyke. I really didn't know what else to do there."

"I would have yelled too." Fennel replied.

"Well, that's a relief then," Bob mumbled.

"I mean you gotta be stern with kids sometimes." Fennel commented before walking up to Bob. "So we were making out right?"

Bob chuckled, "Almost forgot..." he leaned in as she sat back down continuing exactly where they had left off before.

But before it could get any more sensual, the door opened, Ernette walking in, "Hey guys, I heard you got back and-" she froze as she saw what they were doing, her face blush pink.

Fennel pulled away from Bob with a rather giddy expression on her face "What was that, Ernette?"

"I-um... I, uh..." Ernette was lost looking at the two for a moment before shaking her head, "Oh-I -Yeah! I-I-I uh, need to talk to you, Fen."

Fennel gave Bob one last kiss before approaching Ernette "Yeah, what did you need?"

"Why the hell did you say what you did to Ruby?" Ernette quietly spat, closing the door ever so enough as she walked a bit away to speak in private.

"I reacted poorly. I wanted to talk to her about that actually." Fennel said in a saddened tone.

"Well, talk all you want!" Ernette huffed, "I tried to comfort her, went out with her to a nice restaurant, and she got all awful about what you said and threw up! She's been moping since!"

"I-I know I messed up. I want to try and make it right with her." Fennel replied as her ears dropped.

"...Fine," Ernette snapped, "I gotta get back to Clara. If you so much as make her cry, and I hear about it..." She grumbled, beginning to stamp away back to their room.

Fennel nodded, and said, "Looking out for her was a very good mom thing to do." before going to find Ruby.

Ruby was curled up on a bed with Parfait beside her, though the eleven-year-old was facing away from the Sylveon.

Fennel knocked on Ruby's door "Ruby? Can I come in?" She asked.

"... I guess," Ruby muttered quietly.

Fennel opened the door and sat on the foot of the bed Ruby was lying in. "I'm sorry about earlier."

"... Why'd you have to want to steal Zoey?... Out of everyone here..."

"I didn't realize I was doing that, Ruby, I should have taken how you felt into account."

"Whatever... Zoey'll probably be happier with you anyway," Ruby whimpered, refusing to look back at Fennel.

"I don't think she would... I promise not to take her from you." Fennel replied.

"Yes she would... That's why she's been spending all of her time with you instead," Ruby insisted.

"What if I help you spend more time with her?" Fennel asked.

"If that isn't what she wants, I shouldn't make her... I should've just... Kept my mouth shut about everything."

Fennel turned to look at Ruby, "Sometimes... sometimes... I-I don't know what to say, Ruby."

After a few moments of complete silence, Ruby finally looked at Fennel. Her eyes were puffy and her cheeks were stained with tears. Fennel would be able to see that, in one of Ruby's hands, she held the little fox stuffed animal back from the play. She dropped it and quickly hugged her friend.

Fennel saw the fox and hugged Ruby. "I've hurt you a lot Ruby... I'm sorry. I just want to make it better."

Ruby shuddered as she cried a little into Fennel.

Fennel then began rubbing Ruby's back, "How can I help?" She asked.

"I.. I don't know," Ruby whimpered, clutching the fox.

"Please, I need to know, how can I help you?" Fennel requested one more time.

"I said I don't know!" Ruby yelled before breaking into a sob.

Fennel then hugged Ruby tighter as she placed a hand on the back of the girl's head. "Okay..." Fennel was unsure of what to do before she began humming a song hoping to calm Ruby.

For some time, that's how it was. Ruby's sobs became quieter and quieter as they hugged and Fennel hummed. A few moments after the little girl's crying ended, she murmured, "... She wants to marry dad anyway." While it was obvious Ruby didn't hate her father, it was clear that this fact embittered her.

"You don't want her to marry dad either huh?" Fennel asked.

"... I just wish she'd choose both of us," Ruby muttered.

"I think things will work out in the end, okay?" Fennel said.

"But how?" Ruby whimpered, pulling back and looking up at Fennel, completely drained of any hope.

"I think you'll figure something out, but I think you just need to not worry about it for now." Fennel answered.

"B-But..." Ruby started before slumping her shoulders down in defeat, "... Okay..."

"It'll be okay." Fennel said, she then hugged Ruby "It's okay, Mommy's here."

While Ruby found it a bit odd that Fennel would call herself 'Mommy', it was oddly comforting at the same time. She said nothing as she returned the hug, leaning into the fox and closing her eyes.

Fennel continued rubbing Ruby's back and waited for Ruby to cheer up.

"... My stomach hurts," She mumbled.

"I think we have some ginger for that." Fennel replied.

"I ate too much food... I ordered five plates of stuff and two milkshakes..."

"Oh, that's a lot." Fennel then began rubbing Ruby's back once again.

"I was just... Really sad. I dunno..."

"I think you should feel better after a nap." Fennel said. "I see you still have that fox, too."

"... Yeah..." Ruby mumbled, "Earlier, when I was mad at you, I... Wanted to get rid of it, but... I couldn't."

"Oh, so is the fox supposed to be me?" Fennel asked.

"Mhm..."

"Oh." Fennel replied. "I'm going to let you sleep." Fennel said before standing up.

"Wait!" Ruby quickly halted the fox, "... Could you stay with me? At least, until I fall asleep?"

"Yeah." Fennel said before climbing ontop of the bed with Ruby, who promptly cuddled with the fox as she closed her eyes and let out a deep sigh.

Fennel began stroking Ruby's hair as she waited for her to fall asleep.

======

The Oitic opened the window with some effort, just enough so that his more bulbous, rounded suit could get in, before shutting it behind himself with some relief to have that reprieve from the cold outside His cover had nearly been blown... by a DVD case and an idiot. He checked the many panels on his suit, ensuring that he had all of his equipment as he looked out at the snowy street, before floating about to see the empty roo-

There was a little girl laying on the floor with her head under one of the room's beds. She shimmied herself back a bit, holding her palm up carefully with a cockroach in it. She slowly turned around to face the window an- "AAAAH!" She screamed upon spotting the Oitic, flailing her arms and throwing the poor roach.

"N-no shhh-shhh shhhh!" the larger insect hastily shushed, holding a hand up to his head as if gesturing to quiet down, letting the roach smack onto his suit and skitter around in panic, "Please calm down, please!"

In order to shut herself up, Casey planted a hand over her own mouth, muffling her scream. After a moment, she quieted down enough to remove her hand before glancing around. "W-Where did Roachy go?" She stammered, looking under one of the beds before realizing, "W-Wait, who are you? What are you? Why're you in my room?"

"I thought this room was unoccupied," the floating insect replied, gently grabbing the roach off his back and examining it closely in his two-fingered hand, "Interesting. It's a lot like a Rosham," he noted, before holding the roach out to Casey precariously, extending his arm as far as he could without actually moving.

Hesitantly, Casey reached out and grabbed the roach, very gently pinching it between her fingers as to not hurt it before dropping the bug into a plastic container and covering said container with a lid. The lid had a few, small airholes poked out, and the container had some honey, dirt, and leaves she gathered from outside.

"That's a very nice habitat for it, by the look of it," the Oitic commented, unsure what to do now that his cover had been broken a second time within the hour.

"... Thanks," Casey replied, watching her roach scitter around for a bit before looking up at the intruder, "Who are you? Why're you here?"

"I work under the Sovereign States," the Oitic explained, "and I was... you're with the group that's letting Shlyke stay with them, right? I'm currently working to keep him under surveilance, which is why I needed a quiet place with no possible way to let him know I'm here."

"Oh... I won't tell anyone then," Casey promised,glancing back at Roachy.

"...Alright," the insect sighed, ensuring the window was closed and the blinds were down, before lowering himself to where his limbs were couched underneath his body, pulling out a small screen and checking the connection to the security cameras in the hotel, but an urge to understand why this girl, after looking through all his compiled video, is more or less a loner in such a social group, made him put it up and watch her actions in intrigue for a bit, floating back up to where his head was a foot beneath the ceiling.

Casey simply stared at the roach, even when it had stopped moving around. The tiniest movements did not go unnoticed by the ten-year-old. Curiously, she looked back, only to see the Oitic staring at her. "Do you need something?"

"Uh- No," the insect said, floating down closer to the other side of the bed, looking down to the roach, "I was just... wondering what you doing here. With this little Rosham."

"... I let Roachy out for a walk... Then you came in," Casey answered a bit awkwardly.

"Roachy... is your pet?" the floating Oitic asked, taking mental notes, "I thought humans are more inclined towards hairier, more similar-looking pets..."

"I like bugs. You can make nice little habitats for them to live in, you don't have to worry about them getting hurt if you drop them, and they're just... Really neat, I guess... I found Roachy when we first got our bus."

"Interesting... I assume your society sees 'bugs' as more... pests than something to consider a pet?"

"Yeah... People think they're really gross," Casey nodded, "... I think they're cute... And I like seeing how they... Do stuff."

"People look at the races of Kanak in a similar regard," the Oitic remarked, watching the cockroach skitter around in its container, "There was even an entire war because one group thought us pests and inferior."

"Hm... That's why I don't really like hanging around everyone else... Bugs don't wage wars for dumb stuff like that," Casey explained, looking back at Roachy as well, "They fight sometimes, but it isn't because they hate each other."

"That is true, for the most part," the Oitic agreed, "We all want to work together. Only a few of us are... 'bad'."

"I guess that makes sense. You guys came from bugs, right?"

"That's right," the insect agreed with Casey's statement, "Almost all the races in Kanak have."

"Huh... Do you... Need that suit to survive?" Casey inquired, pointing up at the Oitic before quickly retracting her hand, unsure if the alien would be offended by her pointing at him.

"No, more for comfort and locomotion," the Oitic explained, "It's got a gravity field that lets me hover like I would on my homeworld. My limbs are less than able to actually move me around... You're asking if you can see me with it off, right?"

"Uhm... Yes- That's not weird, is it?"

"...No, not really," the Oitic said, lowering himself down on the back of the bed, "So I'll show you, if you're interested." He tapped a panel on the back of the suit, a decompressing hiss rising from the back of his neck as the insect pulled his arms out of the sleeves of his suit, before the suit itself floated up and to the side, leaving the insect laying on the bed in his jumpsuit, which strangely enough allowed his wings and their chitinous covers to be open on his back. His long limbs held close to his body as he stared at Casey with four beady eyes. "...I just realized we haven't even told eachother our names!" the Oitic chittered, holding out a two-fingered hand for Casey to shake, "I'm Ippin, friends call me 'Pin."

The little girl curiously took the alien's hand in her own, briefly feeling the texture of it with her thumb before shaking the hand and introducing herself, "I'm Casey... Um... People just... Call me Casey."

"It's... nice to meet you, Casey," Ippin quipped with a chitter of his mouthpieces.

Casey blinked a few times, staring at the insect's face with nothing but fascination. "Say something again," She requested.

"Like what?" Ippin asked, his mandibles clicking and whirring again.

"Anything, just anything..." Casey answered in wonder.

"...Oh, I see!" Ippin nodded, "You're interested by the- ah, it makes sense I guess. Anyways, I'm surprised you haven't seen Shlyke's mouth parts moving when he- well, they have a different setup for their vocal chords than an Oitic, I guess. Whatever, Abrol aren't good examples of a Kanak race anyhow."

"He's similar to a locust," Casey commented, getting right into Ippin's personal space to get a very close look at his mouth.

"Humans have something that look like Abrol, too? Man, your world's sure diverse," Ippin remarked, unphased by how close she got.

"Well, we actually have a bunch of different types of locust too," Casey added, her face a mere inch away from Ippin's mandibles.

"Well, that's interesting, but it makes sense for such a successful design," Ippin did not budge. Having been a soldier in an army where the majority of soldiers knew little to nothing of indidual personal space really helped.

Casey, entranced by her own curiosity, cupped a hand around the outside of the mandible, stroking it to see what it felt like.

"Hmmm... do you think Locust are just as bad as Abrol?" Ippin went on, the fact there were no receptors in his mandables making Casey's fascination harmless and unnoted.

"Locusts aren't intelligent like Shlyke is, so I can't say they're 'bad', though they eat a lot like he does," Casey replied as her hand slid from the mandible to the Oitic's body.

The Insect stayed still, having felt the touch but remaining patient and calm with the girl, "Alright, that's fair. Abrol are known for being voracious, unpicky eaters... though they can still have delicacies in their 'societies', which are... disgusting? Yeah, that's the word for it, disgusting."

"He was eating out of the trash earlier until Tina made him stop," commented the curious girl, taking the lack of objection as consent as she began caressing Ippin's body with both hands. It was amazing to be able to feel the surface of an insect in such detail! Petting roaches with her finger didn't really give away the same information as this!

"That sounds about right," Ippin agreed, unsure if he should keep letting Casey touch him like this, but was allowing her to do so, as it seemed to be only something like a fine examination, fluttering his wings for a moment to stretch the muscles used to flap them, "Shylke's a bit of a miracle among Abrol; He's allowed out of their little province Kanak's cordoned them off to on some military program."

"Oh! Could you hold your wings out?" Casey gasped, "I'll be gentle with them."

Ippin obliged, flexing out his wings and holding them in a half-flapped position so Casey could look at them, "Yeah, Sure. But anyways, Abrol are always considered the worst of the Kanak races 'cause they can't really get along with how Kanak functions... hence why a good chunk of the Sovereign States land is kept under lock and key and is where we let the Abrol race run wild."

"Hm, Shlyke's been pretty well-behaved, at least, now that he's with Tina," Casey remarked as she slowly, gently ran her hands along Ippin's wings with a delicate touch befitting of someone able to safely hold a roach between their fingers.

"Well, I guess that's why he got on the program," Ippin noted, "Abrol don't work outside their race much. They usually like to work alone, but once they get involved in a group with the same goals, it's like a swarm of cooperating Abrol. It's... not fun."

"Why's that?" Casey inquired, feeling the area where the wings typically rested upon before sliding her hand around to feel under the insect, rubbing around.

"Imagine a bunch of big, angry locust coming at you in a group of hundreds," Ippin explained, "And imagine that these locust can easily be manipulated by whatever schmuck has a good supply of food and wealth they're willing to give up to the Abrol. It's why the biggest fear in Kanak, beside the old Epsie stories, is a unified Abrol uprising."

"Have you tried teaching the Abrol like Tina's done with Shlyke?" Casey asked,continuing to carress underneath the insect.

"Too many of them to do a program like that," the Oitic reasoned, "They breed too quick to keep track of."

"Huh, everyone was freaking out about Shlyke having sex with Tina on the bus."

"Did they really do that?" Ippin asked incredulously.

"Yeah," Casey answered simply, the topic of discussion arousing her curiosity as the hand underneath Ippin slid back in search of something.

"Wow... I knew Abrol weren't picky sometimes, but a human kid? Never would've thought," Ippin responded, not even realizing (or letting Casey know) that she was looking for it.

"Is there something wrong with 'Abrol' and humans doing it?" Casey asked, not giving up her search.

"It's just weird," Ippin replied, before noting, "Also, if you're looking for it, it's internal."

"... Could I see it?"

"...No," Ippin replied, "If it's weird for an Abrol and a human to do it, it's gonna be weird for an Oitic to let a human look at it."

"I'm... I'm just really curious about your anatomy," Casey insisted, "Regular insects are so small, you can't see much detail, and they move around too much."

"I really shouldn't..." the Oitic remarked hesitantly, "Because I could get in trouble, but... hmm... maybe."

"I won't tell anyone if you won't," Casey swore.

Ippin hesitated, before sighing, "Fine, just for a minute, then we're done."

====

Soon enough Ruby had fallen asleep and Fennel snuck out to go find Elizabeth, who was taking a nap, She wasn't even tucked under the covers of her bed, but rather her body was flopped onto the end of the bed. The room had a plethora of various brunch dishes adorning it, hinting at what had tired her out to require a nap for.

Fennel then gave Elizabeth a gentle nudge. "Wake up sleepy head."

"Hmmm.. Hm?" Elizabeth yawned and sat up. "Oh, hey, Fennel," She murmured, rubbing at her eyes.

"Hi. So I guess you made a bunch of stuff for christmas." Fennel stated.

"Hu- WAIT, WHAT!?" Elizabeth screamed, fully awake, "It's almost Charistmas!? How soon!?"

"I think in like two days now." Fennel said with a nod.

"Oh my god! Why didn't you tell me?! We- We need to start making food!" Elizabeth cried out, fumbling off of the bed and looking for her shoes.

"Elizabeth it's okay. We can start tomorrow, you don't need to freak out about it." Fennel said thinking it would calm Elizabeth.

"We can't start tomorrow! The feast needs to be perfect! W-We need time- I- We- T- What if the store runs out of- We need to get going now!" Elizabeth stammered frantically.

"Elizabeth we have bunch of food in the bus." Fennel said putting at hand on Elizabeth's shoulder.

"That's not the right food!" Elizabeth cried out, "We need feast food!"

"Elizabeth I'm sure whatever you make is going to be fine. Buuut if you really need to get more I'll go with you on one condition." Fennel offered.

"Wh- Fine! Sure! What is it?!" Elizabeth quickly asked, slipping her shoes on.

"You have to promise not to freak out if everything isn't perfect." Fennel replied.

"W- Y- Fine! I'll just make sure everything is perfect so I don't have to freak out then!"

"No, I want you to not worry about it being perfect." Fennel clarified.

"Then I might as well not cook anything at all!" Elizabeth huffed, "What's the point of doing something if you don't do it your best?"

"I'm saying to worry if you mess up. The path to success is paved with failure. It's nothing to be scared of." Fennel said.

"If I mess it up, then I just have to redo it until it's just right," Elizabeth insisted.

"But you don't have to, you can still make it work even if you mess up." Fennel said.

"Other people have to eat this! I'm not gonna feed them garbage!"

"Elizabeth one mistake won't make your food garbage, I promise." Fennel said in a slightly more stern tone.

"It will to me!" Elizabeth yelled, a few tears welling up in her eyes as she tried to assert how important it was that her food be perfect.

Fennel then hugged Elizabeth, "Can I tell you a secret?" Fennel asked.

"Wh... What secret?"

"I make mistakes, all the time." Fennel said.

"... I know that," Elizabeth blinked, "That's... Not a secret."

"And so did Gordon Ramsay," The fox added.

"Wh- No!" Elizabeth gasped at such blasphemy, "He's the greatest chef on Earth!"

"He didn't get there by getting everything perfect the first time. I promise." The vixen continued.

"But he's perfect now! And I bet you he did what I'm doing! Doing everything he could to be the perfect chef!"

"I don't think he let it turn him into a nervous wreck."

"You don't know that- A- I'm not a nervous wreck!"

"Just you don't need to worry about perfection this much." Fennel added.

"Why shouldn't I?!"

"Didn't your dad say something about not freaking about about it." Fennel said, unsure of else to say in a defeated tone.

"... No? He didn't really... Talk to me... That much..." Elizabeth admitted, the fire that fueled her argument quickly blown away as she spoke, "He'd just say that my cooking was really good... And that... I'll be the best chef ever someday if I work hard."

"Well you're the best chef I know and I think you are going to get even better. I just don't want you to get upset because you think you aren't good enough." Fennel said.

"... I don't even know how to tell... If my food is perfect or not..." Elizabeth murmured, "I thought everything was perfect during that contest, that I'd get a perfect score."

"I think perfection is subjective typically speaking, but if you ask me all the food you've made for me has been perfect." Fennel assured.

"Well- It's only perfect because I tried so hard then," Elizabeth asserted.

"Do you promise not to freak out if you make a mistake?" The laviturian requested.

"... I'll try, I promise," Elizabeth relented.

"Okay let's go to the store." Fennel said before picking up Elizabeth.

"Wh-..." Elizabeth blinked, taken aback by the sudden carry, but went along with it.

Fennel then headed out of the hotel and headed to a near by groccery store before putting Elizabeth down. "So what do we need?"

"We're gonna be working a long time on this..." Elizabeth started.

===

After a post-coital shower, Ernette walked out of the bathroom, clutching her towel around herself as she grabbed some more casual clothing than the set Clara had ripped off when she entered the room. “I know you really like getting to it quick, but I think we need to slow down when we start,” she quipped as she slid on a T-shirt.

"Hm? Why's that?" Clara asked from on his bed, watching Ernette.

“You told me yourself,” Ernette mused, “Foreplay!... that and I want some time to get my clothes off before we get too far into it. I like how you do it.. I just don’t want to replace all of my good clothes by the time we’re done!”

"I guess that's a good point," Clara agreed, a bit worn out as he let out a deep breath.

“Yeah,” Ernette nodded as she slipped on some gym shorts, “I was also wondering if we could.. invite someone to join us one time?”

"Hm? Who?" Clara asked, sitting up with intrigue.

“Well, I was doing some stuff with Fennel, and the topic came up,” Ernette explained, drying outlet hair again, “But I also talked about it with Ruby because she’s been down in the dumps because she got rejected by Zoey.”

"Rejected by Zoey?" Clara repeated, "She asked Zoey out?" While Clara always figured Ruby was in love with her sister, he never would've guessed she would pursue it. Then again, their father has been absent from them for some time now.

“Yeah,” Ernette said, “But Zoey’s still saying she wants to marry her dad. So, I took her to lunch to try and cheer her up, but she tried to eat like five plates of food and threw up, so I had to bring her back.”

"... Well, of course she can join us," Clara stated with a nod, "I guess Fennel can too if you can actually convince her to go along with it."

“She’s too much of a prude to admit it,” Ernette snickered, hopping down on the bed next to Clara, “But I think she really wants it.”

"Probably," Clara mused, "It's hard to tell. It seems obvious either way she does or doesn't want it, but... I'm sure she'd love it if she actually did it."

“Yeah, I bet so. I asked her do do some photos for me, and.. and she actually did it!” Ernette quipped, the photo envelope floating over as she pulled her copies of Fennel’s sensitive photos out, “All I had to do was some artsy thing where I ‘shopped a picture of her to be pregnant or something.”

"Makes sense," Clara remarked before looking over the photos, "Though, I'm surprised she would actually go along with all of this."

“Yeah, I.. wait, it does make sense?” Ernette asked, “I’ve been confused about it all day.”

"It's pretty obvious she really wants to be a mother," Clara explained, admiring one of the pictures with a deadpan expression before sliding them all into a neat stack.

“Well, I saw that with Tina and her, yeah, but... I didn’t think she’d want a picture of herself like that for those,” Ernette wondered, taking the photos and sliding them back in, before pulling out the video devices, “Anyways, I also figured out my eyes still record while I’m a human,” she smiled, “So I decided to get a few little vids of us processed...”

"Oh?" Clara blinked, "Let's see them then."

“Well, I got three right here!” Ernette exclaimed, pointing them out individually, “I still need to mark them, but that one’s from last night, That one’s from when I first got this body, and this one’s.., well, it’s the day we fell for each other,” she blushed as she realized aloud, “I know, it’s.. corny.”

"I'd like to watch that one," Clara affirmed.

“W-wait really?” Ernette looked confused, but did not hesitate to pull Clara and snuggle with him as the video device connected to the TV, and began to play from the view of Ernie, floating through the supermarket, before affixing his view on Clara.

"You really were staring at me for awhile," Clara commented.

“I was, wasn’t I?” Ernette giggled.

"... A really long while," Clara added.

“Heh, yeah...” Ernette scratched her arm as she agreed awkwardly.

"... ... ... ... There we go," Clara said as Ernie on the screen knocked over some of the office supplies.

Ernette was quiet as she listened to Clara call out Ernie’s bullshit, and how Ernie slowly explained his predicament. “...I’ve really changed since we met,” Ernette mumbled as in the video Ernie began to spin around and disagree with Clara’s assertion that he had a crush on her and was in love.

"Yeah, you have," Clara nodded, wrapping an arm around Ernette as he watched.

“...Oh yeah, then we-“ Ernette stopped as Clara began her suggestion of a sexual manner, “And that goes on for twenty minutes, and you come seven times! I remember you being so shocked about that!”

"Yeah, my da- Wolfe could never manage that," Clara remarked, "At least, not in such a short time."

Ernette mulled on that thought as the aforementioned sex went on for the also aforementioned twenty minutes, before the two exited the bathroom, and Clara fell to her hands and knees, before Ernie helped her up and after being asked, placed her in the good seat of his arms.

”Where would you like to go?"

"... The roof of the hotel," Clara responded in the video, as the two both ascended out of the supermarket to the demanded rooftop.

”...That day was wonderful,” Ernette sighed contently, snuggling her head against Clara’s shoulder, “The way we talked all day... watched the stars... and slept so close together? I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.”

"It really was nice," Clara agreed, "... I'm really happy that we got back together. After seeing this, I would've hated for things to end like that."

“Me too,” Ernette nodded lightly, “I’m not sure what I would’ve done if we didn’t... But I’m happy we’re together again too.”

Clara turned and gave Ernette's cheek a kiss before looking back to the television screen. "I love you, Ernette."

The Benefactor smiled as she returned the kiss to Clara and continued snuggling, “I love you too, Clara.”


===

"Okay, so now I mix in the spices for the eggnog right?" Fennel asked, holding a handful of spices above pot of simmering milk, cream, eggs and sugar.

"Yeah," Elizabeth quickly replied as she thuroughly examined the pudding she was making before continuing her frantic stirring.

Fennel watched the eggnog before cutting off the heat and giving it a good whiff "Smells about done. Elizabeth where are the egg whites?"

"Wh- You should know! I put you incharge of that stuff!" Elizabeth answered with a great sense of urgency.

"Oh found them." Fennel said before tossing some cinnamon in the whites before whisking them into a foamy meringue.The fox then placed placed the white in the fridge while she waited for the eggnog to cool off.

"Oh good," Elizabeth murmured, sighing with relief before sliding her banana pudding into the fridge as well and looked over the turkey she had marinating on another shelf.

A dinging noise was heard “That’s the bread pudding.” Fennel quipped before removing the baked dish from the oven.

"Huh... We have a lot of pudding," Elizabeth remarked, "Banana pudding, figgy pudding, and now bread pudding."

“We have a lot of mouths the feed.” Fennel shrugged.

"Well... We can't make the entire feast today. The turkey will have to marinate until tomorrow, the pudding should be fine... We can have some of the smaller stuff tomorrow." Elizabeth mumbled, trying to plan out Christmas Eve's dinner and Christmas' feast.

“See look you did fine.” Fennel praised the chef for her relative lack of perfectionism.

"... Just... Fine?" Elizabeth asked, looking up at Fennel worriedly.

"You didn't freak out that bad over anything today." Fennel clarified.

"... You got the right amount of everything in the eggnog, right?" Elizabeth quickly asked.

"It all seemed right to me." Fennel replied.

"Seemed right?!" Elizabeth repeated, "Wh- You- Didn't you follow my instructions?"

"I did, but typically speaking you humans use a lot of spices." Fennel replied.

"But you used the amount I told you to, right?!"

"Yeah, maybe a tiny bit didn't make it in though."

"A tiny bit!? I gave you an exact amount for the perfect eggnog!" Elizabeth cried out. Despite her talk with Fennel, she just couldn't help but fret over such things.

“Elizabeth, how about we make a deal?”

"A- What?" Elizabeth blinked.

“If anyone notices that the eggnog not being exactaly perfect I will remake it then and there.”

"It should be perfect in the first place! Even if they don't notice, I'll know!"

“And if no one notices you need to promise to chill out a little bit about it okay?”

"... F-Fine," Elizabeth agreed through her teeth.

Fennel then tussled Elizabeth’s hair with a toothy grin. “Merry Christmas!”

"Bah humbug," Elizabeth mumbled, unable to keep a small smile from forming on her face as well.

“So what do you want to do now?”

"Uhm... I'm... Not sure," Elizabeth thought for a moment before asking, "What do you wanna do?"

“Hmm, why don’t we go play with Mila?” Fennel suggested.

"Mila?" Elizabeth gagged, "Since when did you start hanging out with her?"

"The other day, we played Smash Bros. together. What's so bad about her?" Fennel asked regarding Elizabeth's distaste towards her sister.

"She's just... She just plays video games all the time. She doesn't want to do anything else," Elizabeth huffed.

"She seemed pretty excited to have someone play with her the other day. Maybe she just needs someone to be interested in her games." Fennel mused.

"Ugh, but I don't wanna play any of her games!" Elizabeth whined, "I wanna cook or... Do stuff. Not sit around and push a button over and over."

"Well what's so wrong about playing videogames?" Fennel retorted.

"I just don't wanna," Elizabeth huffed.

"Why don't you join us for half an hour and if you don't want to play anymore you don't have to?" Fennel bargined.

"Do I have to?"

"Yes." Fennel answered sternly.

Elizabeth let out a childish whine as she leaned her entire body against Fennel.

Soon enough Fennel had dragged Elizabeth to Mila's room and said "Mila we're here to play videogames."

"Hey Fennel!" Mila greeted happily, "And.. Hey, Lizzy." She seemed much more awkward greeting her sister.

"Hey, Mila," Elizabeth sighed.

"Hey Mila do you have one of those Cooking Mama games? Elizabeth said she wanted to play it with you." Fennel stated.

"I never said that," Elizabeth looked up at Fennel with a pout.

"Well I said you did so you did."

"... You don't have to play with me if you don't want to, Lizzy," Mila mumbled.

Elizabeth would've walked out then and there, but a feeling of guilt washed over her upon seeing her sister's disheartened expression. "... Cooking Mama does sound like a game I'd like," She smiled, skipping over and sitting down by Mila.

"Gotter." Fennel snickered as she joined the girls.

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Re: Dimensional Clash IX [IC]

Post by Lowfn on Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:50 pm

Zandoo, H, Teedler

Eventually, the girls finished their game of Cooking Mama as Fennel said, “I told you it would be fun, Lizzy.”

"Well- That was only 'cause it was about food," Elizabeth insisted as Mila giggled.

“Sounds like a challenge.” Fennel quipped.

"What do you mean?"

“I think Mila has something else you would like.” Fennel replied in a sly tone.

"Is it another cooking game?" Elizabeth inquired.

“I bet it doesn’t even have to be about cooking. Mila, do you have mario kart?”

"Of course!" Mila beamed, pointing her joycon at the screen and scrolling through before pressing a button once the cursor hovered over the aforementioned game.

“Yeet!” Fennel yeeted.

"Aw, is this a racing game?" Elizabeth whined.

“Stop whining or ill make you cook bugs.” Fennel joked.

"I'd be fine with that," Elizabeth remarked.

“Eat them raw then.”

"Ew, no! You don't eat cow raw or pig raw!" Elizabeth gagged.

“Some people do.”

"And those people can have fun getting parasites," ElizabethI huffed, "... Next time you want bugs, come to me. You shouldn' eat that stuff raw."

“You just gotta sear the flesh if it is it’s ground.” Fennel retorted.

"Who is the expert here?" Elizabeth asked, jabbing a thumb at herself to answer her own question.

“Who’s the fox though?” Fennel cackled.

"Quiet, or I'll feed you kibble," Elizabeth threatened, "I give you your bugs from now on, and that's final."

“Maybe I like kibble.” Fennel joked.

"... Then I'll make sure it's really good kibble."

“Fine.” Fennel said, somewhat shamefully.

Elizabeth squinted her eyes before clearing her throat. "Actually... Let's just stick to the cooked bugs, that's... A lot less weird."

“Yeah, the kibble was a joke.” Fennel said with as nervous laugh.

Mila and Elizabeth both stared at Fennel with an expression indicating they did not believe her in the slightest. "If you eakt kibble, I will be so offended that you chose to eat it over my food that I will cry," Elizabeth huffed.

“Normal food is way better.” Fennel stated.

"... And I promise not to tell Zoey about this," Elizabeth swore and Mila nodded in assent, "I know she'd make fun of you even more than me about it."

“Wait you eat kibble too?” Fennel asked having misunderstood the statement.

"WAIT, YOU ACTUALLY EAT KIBBLE I THOUGHT IT WAS JUST-" Elizabeth choked in the middle of her sentence, glaring at Fennel in horror. She believed it had just been some shameful desire, not that Fennel actively ate kibble.

“Not regularly only very, very rarely.“ Fennel said, trying to perform some damage control.

"... Let's... Just play Mario Kart," Mila mumbled, discomforted by the topic.

"I think I'm gonna go," Elizabeth stood up, not wanting to be a part of the karting of Marios, "I remembered I... Promised Anna that we'd make food art."

“Yeah let’s just do that.” Fennel added, picking her racer. “So I don’t suppose you got any amiibo?”

"Nuh-uh, they didn't really have any at the store," Mila shook her head as the game loaded the map Rainbow Road.

“Oh the n64 rainbow road that’s a good one. Mom and Dad used to play that one with us all the time.” Fennel noted.

"Your parents played games with you?" Mila asked with a look of surprise before turning her attention back to the screen.

“Yeah, not like all the time but maybe once overly week or so.”

Mila would've said that her dad nor any of her moms ever played with her, but decided to keep her mouth shut as to not bum Fennel out.

“You look sad, is everything alright?” Fennel asked.

Dangit. "It's.. Just that... Nobody ever played any games with me," Mila mumbled.

“Well you can always ask me.” Fennel offered.

Mila looked over at Fennel for a moment before quickly hugging her and mur- "AAAH!" She yelped, realizing the game had just started and pulling away from Fennel to get ahead of the AI racers.

Fennel made a point to make it appear if Mila had just barely wom by the time the race had finished, “Wow you're really good.”

"Thanks!" Mila beamed, "Playing games is pretty much all I've ever done."

“Have you ever played Zelda: Wind Waker?” Fennel asked.

"That's the one where he's small and like... Cartoony, right?"

“Yeah, That one.” The fox nodded.

"Yeah, I really liked driving the boat around... Is driving the right word?" Mila asked, feeling weird saying that she drove a boat.

“Sailing. You know we used to sail a bit in Laviturn... So how did you get into games, it seems your sisters don’t care much for them.”

"Well... One of our moms had a 3DS and gave it to me," Mila answered a bit sadly, "She left the Hold a few days later..."

“Why?” Fennel asked as her ears pressed against her skull.

"I dunno... Sometimes, our moms would say goodbye to everyone and leave. Daddy was always really happy whenever it happened though," Mila explained, not knowing much more than that, "... I really missed her."

“It’s okay to miss her.” Fennel said before embracing the girl.

Thankfully, Mila had already cried over this years ago. "I asked daddy why she had to leave... He just said she was ready and... It was good that she left," Mila shook her head as she returned the embrace, "I don't get it..."

Fennel paused Was it ever about the girls with him? “Well I think it was sad too.” Fennel added.

"... I wish I knew why it wasn't though," Mila murmured, hugging Fennel tightly.

“I don’t get why he didn’t tell you.” Fennel mutered.

"It was a long time ago; I think I was like... Four," The seven-year-old sighed.

Fennel then picked the girl up and began rubbing her back. Mila was unsure of what to do, glancing at Fennel for a moment before wrapping her arms and legs around the fox with a small smile.

“Well i will be very sad if I have to leave you girls.” Fennel said.

Mila gulped and hesitantly asked, "... Are.. Are you gonna leave?"

“No.” Fennel assured as she moved from side to side to rock Mila.

The seven-year-old wasn't sure what in the world Fennel was doing or why, but didn't question it much as it was nice. She let out a sigh of contentment.

“Just let me know when to stop.” Fennel whispered into Mila’s ear.

"Oh- Uh.. Uhmm.. Whenever you want," Mila murmured awkwardly.

“Just give me a few minutes then .” Fennel said as she continued to rock the girl for another three minutes.

For Mila, while it was still comforting, it became pretty awkward for her after the first minute. For Fennel's sake, she kept her cheek rested against the vixen like a good girl until it was over.

Fennel then put the girl down, realizing how always the situation was, “I-I got a little carried away there.” She apologized.

"Um, it's okay," Mila assured, "It was... Nice?" The awkwardness was practically palpable.

“I’m just gonna go...” Fennel added before turning to her room.

Mila was conflicted on how to feel. One one hand, she was alone again. On the other, there was a strange gratefulness to the universe for her not being the one to make things awkward for once.

Fennel, meanwhile, had gone to put her maid clothes away, the crinkle of an envelope reminded her she had blackmail material lying around. She peeked to ensure she was alone before slowly opening the envelope and peering at its contents. Her tail began to wag, before she slid the photo back into the envelope. She was unsure if she should hold onto it for just a little bit longer or destroy it now.

In the middle of her fantasizing, Fennel was puzzled by what Mila and the other girls had said. It seemed Wolfe and the moms' didn't pay that much attention the girls, except for Zoey. Apparently, he practically ignored Jannet, almost all them to a lesser extent.

There was a mueseum dedicated to him. For the most part, the girls all thought he was perfect. Then it dawned on her, she had the parts but hadn’t put that much effort into the thought, their dad was obviously the leader of a degenerate sex cult, but the girls... It seemed they were all raised differently... He needed an heir of course. but who?

...

Zoey.

That’s why she was so defensive of him, that’s why so many of the girls looked up to her. She was to be his successor. That’s why he favored her. She needed a bit more time to figure things out exactly, but the fact that the girls' lives so heavily centered on Mr. Wolfe was wrong; his life should have revolved around them. She needed to figure out how to get them to understand.

Eventually Fennel left the room to go talk to Maria and Madison. "Hey." Fennel said as she noticed the girls playing a card game in the hallway, sitting on the floor.

"Oh, hey Fen!" Maria greeted as she flipped over one of three face down cards and let out a deep sigh of relief.

"Hey how's it going girls?" Fennel asked.

"We're just playing shithead," Madison answered, hovering her hand over her own face down cards.

"Ow." Fennel replied.

"What's wrong?" Madison asked, both she and Maria quickly looking over to see if Fennel was okay.

"You called me a shithead." Fennel answered.

"Wh- No!" Madison laughed, "The game is called shithead!"

"Oh we call that bullshit." Fennel answered.

"No... No, that's a different game," Maria snickered.

"Okay so how do you play this one."

"Here, sit down," Maria tapped the floor beside her, "We're almost done with this game."

"Okay." Fennel said as she sat down next to the girls.

After a few stressful moments of flipping cards, Maria happily proclaimed, "Yay! I win!" before gathering up the cards and expertly shuffling them. She placed three cards face-down in front of each of them, followed by three cards face-up and placed the remainder of the deck to the side.

"So how yo-" Maria and Madison both started at the same time before giggling.

"So how you play," Maria began, "Is you hold those three face-up cards in your hand. Don't worry about the face-down ones until later. You place a card down and then take another from the deck to make sure you always have at least three in your hand. Once the deck is empty and so is your hand, you pull one of the face-down cards at random and hope it's a card you're allowed to place.

"The cards that you can play have to be equal or higher value than the card below the one you're playing. Aces are the highest value card. But there are 'magic cards' which are twos, threes, sevens, and tens that you can play at any time. Twos reset the stack and anything can be placed on top of them, threes are invisible, so the next person has to place a card according to the card below the three, a seven means you have to play a magic card or a card lower than a seven, and a ten will burn the stack, meaning we push it to the side and start with a blank slate in the middle again...

"But!" Maria went on, holding up a joker as threateningly as she could, "Jokers are also a magic card. Whenever you play one, they can be any card you want them to be, but once you play a joker, you have to take the entire burn pile if there is one."

"You really don't want a joker as one of your face-down cards," Madison remarked.

"Yeah, and if you don't have a card you can play, or if one of the face-down cards you pulled isn't valid, then you have to take the unburned stack," Maria concluded.

Out of a nearby door, out hopped Tychen. “I overheard you talking about card games,” the pirate noted, “And I just have to say those are lame. There’s not a stake to be found in a bunch of paper cards!”

"Is too!" Maria huffed, "We have a usual bet where the loser eats the winner out."

"You know... couldn't you like change the bet?" Fennel asked.

Maria and Madison stared at Fennel for a moment with blank expressions. "... Like... Like what?"

“Maybe money?” Tychen suggested.

"I was thinking like... you could just play for fun." Fennel suggested.

There was no response as Maria and Madison blinked, exchanging confused glances before looking back at Fennel.

Or you could settle for some cash,” Tychen suggested again.

"We don't really need money," Madison shrugged.

"You know what I got a hundred dollars right here." Fennel said as she removed the money from her bra realizing the girls needed to wager something.

“Oh-ho-ho! I got plenty of the green stuff! And I’ll bet it... if you’re all willin’ to up the ante by just a wee bit,” Tychen bargained, taking up a seat on the floor next to the group as he did.

Madison and Maria, once again, exchanged glances as they grinned. "What do you mean by 'up the ante'?" Maria asked as they looked back at Tychen.

“I got a little game I used to play with my living crew. Called it “Oneshot”. Really popular with those who were down on their money,” Tychen explained as he produced a large revolver, pointing it up as he popped out the cylinder, taking out all but one of the six bullets and flicking it back in, “We all take turns, pull the thing back, and hit the trigger with the gun up to your temple.”

"Tychen we do not need to kill any o-" Fennel tried to warn the pirate.

"Russian roulette!" Madison interrupted excitedly.

“No, Oneshot,” Tychen shook his head, “This is nothing like roulette.”

"It's literally Russian roulette. Revolver, one bullet, take turns until someone gets shot in the head," Maria argued.

“Bah, whatever. I’ll go first,” Tychen shrugged, holding the revolver up to the side of his head and pulling the trigger.

Click.

”Alright, here you go,” Tychen nodded, handing off the gun clockwise to Maria.

Maria eagerly took the revolver, looking it over for a moment in admiration, "This is a pretty cool gun, Tychen." In reality, this was an excuse to scan the firearm with her eyes. She made sure her observing was very obvious, and letting Madison also see the gun from every angle, "See, Maddy? This is way better than the ones back home."

“Aww, that’s nice to hear,” Tychen replied, “Now go along so someone can get shot in the head and we can get money.”

Maria coughed, covering her mouth with her elbowpit before holding the revolver up to her head, pointing the barrel right between her eyebrows as she bit down on her bottom lip.

Fennel then snatched the gun from Maria's hands and tried to wrestle it away from her.

"Hey! Give it back!" Maria whined, trying to maintain her grip on the gun. With a violent tug, she managed to pull the trigger of the revolver as it faced herself.

Click.

Fennel expected the a bang and froze in fear. Did she almost kill Maria? Her breathing heavied as she stared at the gun.

"Fennel?... Fennel are you okay?" Madison asked as she got close to the fox as if to comfort her before slyly whispering, "It's okay Fennel... We're cheating."

Fennel seemed to calm down, but was still rather upset.

"Whew- Oh my god..." Maria laughed as she took the gun back and put a hand to her chest, "You really made that more stressful than it had to be, Fennel... I mean, it's stressful enough as it is." She handed the gun over to Madison, whose calming attitude uickly shifted once she had the actual revolver in her hands.

In that moment, she truly seemed like a frightened thirteen-year-old girl, as if her childish bravado was sapped out of her once the threat was actually right there, pointing up under her chin and-

Click.

Fennel then took the gun, and stared at it for a moment.

"Whoooo shit!" Madison wheezed.

"You can do it, Fennel," Maria cheered the vixen on, winking with the eye Tychen couldn't see.

Fennel wasn't sure how the girls had cheated but pointed the gun at herself and pulled the trigger.

Click.

"Well... I guess it's you or me," Maria gulped, looking over at Tychen.

Tychen shrugged, “Bah, You’ll know I’ll be fine if it comes to me,” before taking the revolver and flicking it to the side of his head, before pulling the trigger.

...Click.

Tychen snickered, “Well, I think it’s decided, but let’s see, shall we?” He tossed the revolver over to Maria.

Maria caught the revolver, looking absolutely mortified as she exchanged glances with her sister. What just happened? They cheated! Tychen was supposed to get shot in the head! Unless...

Maria slowly looked over at Tychen with miniscule pupils.

Unless he cheated too... She needed some sort of opening, but what?

“Well?” Tychen asked, “Let’s get on with it.”

"I'll go next." Fennel piped up.

“No, no,” Tychen shook his head, “We go clockwise and only clockwise, and she’s next.”

"I-It's okay... F-Fennel..." Maria stuttered as she shakily held the gun up to her own head, "Um.. I.. Just wanna say.. Thanks... For everything." She pulled the trigger and...

Click.

“What?!” Tychen staggered, “T-that’s not supposed to happen! It’s supposed to go off! There’s only six cylinders!”

"OH MY GOD!" Maria gasped for air, putting a hand to her visibly beating chest as she took rapid breaths, "Oh god.. Oh, I'm alive!"

The pirate snatched back his gun before standing up, “You cheated! I put it in so it’d hit last, and there’s no shot!”

"Wh- I knew you cheated!" Maria snapped, her relieved state giving way to an angry huff as Madison folded her arms.

“Well, I cheated only ‘cause you cheated in the first place! It was supposed to go off on the fourth round!” Tychen explained.

"You were gonna kill Fennel!?" Madison cried out.

“No, you moron!” Tychen exclaimed, aiming the gun at Maria and pulling the trigger several times, eliciting several clicks and-

POP!

The gun flashed, but it seemed nothing happened. “A blank, you idiot! I’m not dumb enough to possibly let kids get shot!”


"WELL WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL US THAT!" Fennel shouted.

"Oh my god... Oh, I'm gonna faint," Maria murmured, believing for a brief moment that Tychen was about to shoot her.

“It would’ve been hilarious to see the looks on your faces when it went off and nothing happened!” Tychen argued, “...And to be honest it still kinda is.”

"Well people play that game with real bullets you jerk!" Fennel chastised.

"Hmph..." Madison pouted, "It's a good thing me and Maria are really good at Russian roulette, right?"

"Y-Yeah..." Maria answered, still shaking from Tychen's demonstration.

“You mean good at cheating at it,” Tychen murmured, before raising his voice to correct them, “And it’s Oneshot, not some dumb version of roulette!”

Madison squinted her eyes up Tychen, briefly glancing at her still-mortified sister. "You cheated too.... But I bet I'm better than you," She claimed.

“Eh, whatever,” Tychen holstered his empty gun, “...Wanna do that again, though?”

"Yeah, but with a real bullet next time," Madison answered with a sneer, "Unless you're too chicken."

Tychen stares at Madison without any expres​sion(due to his lack of any face to give one), but it was obvious that such accusations annoyed him as he pulled his gun out, slamming a single round into the cylinder, “Yeah, why not. No cheating this time, or else I’ll just do what I did there with Maria.”

"Madison no." Fennel ordered.

"No cheating. You have my word," Madison swore while Maria had kept a close eye on Tychen loading the revolver.

"W-Wait!" Maria gasped, "Come on, are you guys really gonna do this?!" She quickly looked between Tychen and her sister, winking to Madison where the bullet was.

"No you two are not doing that." Fennel said taking the girls' hands and dragging them away.

"Fennel, no! Come on!" Madison whined.

"No, I'm not letting you kill yourselves." Fennel said as she continued to carry the girls away.

“Don’t be a joykill, Fenny,” Tychen interjected, stepping to block Fennel’s path, “Let them have a little fun. I bet they’d really be happy to stay.”

"Yeah! We gotta teach Tychen a lesson for scaring Maria like that!" Madison insisted.

"Fine then hand me the gun." Fennel ordered.

“Perfect! She’ll go first,” Tychen agreed as he sat back down with legs crossed, handing up Fennel his gun.

Fennel then stared Tychen down as she pulled the trigger.

Click.

Fennel then pulled the trigger several more times.

Click.

"W-Wait! Fennel, what are you doing!?" Madison cried out. She wouldn't be able to cheat like this!

Click.

"F-Fennel! Stop! Please!" Madison begged.

"Come on! We don't have to play anymore!" Maria gasped, tugging at Fennel.

Click.

“...Alright!” Tychen snatched the revolver from Fennel, holstering it, “You win.”

"Do that again and I will throw the bullet right between your eyes, got that jolly rogers?" Fennel snapped.

“Yeah yeah, kitten,” Tychen grumbled, “I’ll stop having fun if it pleases you.”

"Fennel!" Madison began to tear up, "I-I wouldn't have been able to cheat for you!"

"I would have been fine." Fennel replied,

“That was the loaded chamber you were on...” Tychen added, “So I doubt that.”

"Fire it see what happens."

“Nah,” Tychen shook his head as he walked away, “I’ve got stuff to do. I gotta go pick up Socks from Harp.”

"Y-You would've been able to cheat if you played him, right, Maddy?" Maria asked.

"Wh- Duh, of course!" Madison answered, wiping at her eyes with her sleeve.

Fennel snapped causing small flame to appear on ther finger tips. "Of course I could have."

Maria and Madison immediately hugged Fennel, grateful that they had not just lost their friend.

"... I guess this is how you felt when we started the game, huh?" Maria mumbled.

"Yes," Fennel muttered, as she returned the hugs.

---

Meanwhile Brendan had taken some time to talk to Anna, "So you seem to like drawing Hopkins." He noted.

"Wh- Huh?!" Anna gasped, quickly looking back as she was startled in the midst of drawing. Upon seeing who it was, she smiled up at, "Bread! Yeah, your pets are fun to draw."

Brendan then looked at the drawing of the Sableye "Yeah that looks really good, the eyes are always hard to doodle."

"They're just like.. Gems," Anna shrugged, "I've drawn them before, so it was pretty easy."

"Yeah, but getting expresion across with them is kind of hard at times." Brendan noted.

"That's why I made him kinda like a cartoon," Anna explained, "They're easier to do stuff with."

"Yeah, it does... One of your sisters seemed to recognize my pokemon. Am I like a tv show for you or something?"

"I think, yeah... It's a cartoon called Pokemon," Anna answered.

"Sounds cool, am I in it?" Brendan asked.

"Oh, I dunno. I didn't really watch it... Sorry," Anna apologized.

"Oh well, what's your favorite thing to draw?" Brendan asked.

"Uhmmm..... Anything really," Anna shrugged, "I usually just draw what people ask me to."

"Well what do you like to draw? Surely there's something you prefer." Bread asked.

"... I dunno. People, I guess."

"Sound like fun. Can I look at some of your drawings?" Brendan asked.

"Oh... Sure!" Anna quickly smiled as she skipped over to a drawer and pulled out a stack of papers which she dropped onto the bed. They seemed to be multiple drawings of everyone in the group, including Brendan's Pokemon, as well as some of the locations they had visited.

"These are really good."

"Thank you! I've been drawing for a really long time! It's gonna be my job in the Hold!" Anna exclaimed.

"Well I think you'll be a great artist."

Anna gasped and smiled shyly. "Thanks, Bread... Do you want me to draw you?" She offered, "I'll do it really good!"

"If you want to, why not." Brendan nodded.

–––

Eventually Fennel would notice a lone Bob in his natural habitat.

Bob was simply sitting at a table in the lobby, reading a local newspaper for things to do around the town they were in.

Fennel quickly crouched down as she approached the the doom slayer as she attempted to stay hidden.

Bob did not seem to notice the coming Laviturnian, focusing on his work examining the ads on the newspaper. “Waterpark sounds fun..” he mumbled to himself, “Maybe they’d all like that.”

As the vixen approached her prey, she could not help but wag her tail in anticipmation of her kill. For the Bob, it was already too late. Fennel then let out a hushed purr as soon as she was behind Bob.

“Wh-Oh, hey Fen,” Bob jumped a little as he turned around, “What’s up?”

“I, uh, just wanted to sneak up on you is all...” She replied nervously.

“Oh,” Bob blinked, “Well... you did it... kind of.”

“Yeah, but now it’s not as scary.” Fennel huffed.

Bob shrugged, “I doubt I was gonna get scared anyways.”

“I can be scary.” Fennel pouted. The wagging of her tail was not helping her case.

“Sure you can,” Bob chuckled, “And I can be soft and cuddly, too.”

Fennel then climbed into the chair with Bob. “Is that an invitation?”

“It wasn’t... unless you wanted it to be,” Bob smirked up at Fennel.

”What are you up to?” Fennel asked placing her head on Bob’s shoulder.

“I was just looking for things for everyone to do,” Bob mused, “I thought it’d be nice if we all went down to some indoor swimming place.”

“Sound like someone wants to see me in a bikini again.” Fennel teased.

“I mean, that’d be a plus,” Bob noted, “I just want to get us all out of this hotel for a bit, y’know?”

“Yeah that would be nice.” Fennel agreed.

“Right? Last time I went swimming was when you and me surfed,” the Doomguy recalled, “And we kept falling in the water.”

“Yeah. We can just splash around this time.” Fennel nodded.

“So, sometime later?” Bob asked, “I can start getting everyone ready.”

“I mean could get a different swimsuit too.” She mused.

“Whatever you want, Fen,” Bob smiled, “I’ll go tell ‘em. I bet they’ll be happy to get out of this dump for a bit too.”

Fennel then kissed Bob on the cheek before going to inform a few of the girls of their plans.

Bob stood up after Fennel got off of him, also going to inform the rest of the group of their plans to go swimming.

_________________
Then the world blew up. The end.
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Re: Dimensional Clash IX [IC]

Post by Infested on Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:54 pm

Made by the usual three schmucks.

The Swimming Place

Fennel was holding Tina’s hand as the two of the walked out of the changing room and stood next to the pool, “Can you swim yet Tina?” Fennel asked.

"Uhhhh.... I dunno," Tina shrugged.

“Do you want mommy to teach you?” Fennel asked.

Tina gasped, "Yeah, I wa-"

"Alright Ruby!" Zoey declared as she and her younger sister burst forth from the changing room, "It's just you and me! We're gonna get pictures of ourselves ALL OVER the intranet!"

"Yay!" Ruby squealed happily.

“Not the place girls.” Fennel chastised.

“It’s, uh, Internet,” Ernette clarified as she walked out of the changing room in her bikini, “But I think you’ll do good either way!”

"Maybe in space with all the aliens it's called that," Zoey sneered, "But here on Earth, we call it the intranet."

“N-No, that’s what they call it here...” Ernette mumbled.

"Zoey, do you even know what the word 'intranet' means? Or 'internet'?" Clara asked.

“We also call it the internet here, Zoey.” Fennel corrected.

“That’s... what I said,” Ernette murmured.

“I was agreeing with you Ernette.” Fennel clarified.

Zoey blushed as her eyes darted between everyone before proclaiming with a frustrated huff, "Fine! Ruby! We will get pictures of ourselves all over the internet!"

"... Yay?" Ruby blinked.

“...So why did I have to go into changing room with you?” Shlyke asked as he followed Bob out.

”Because,” Bob explained, “That’s the one for men. Also, I really don’t trust you in the woman’s changing room.”

“Makes sense,” Shlyke agreed with a nod, before skittering up to the edge of the pool, “Is a lot of water... are you sure is not just a manmade lake?” He asked, poking the water with a finger and licking it, shuddering at the slight chlorine taste.

"They put cleaning stuff in the water so it's not nasty from a bunch of people swimming in it," Tina informed, "... Don't drink it, it tastes really bad." It would seem she learned this the hard way.

“Ernette do you want to help me teach Tina how to swim?” Fennel asked.

“I’d love to!” Ernette squealed, before looking to Clara for permission to do so, “...Can I, Clara?”

"Hm? Sure, go ahead. I'll be at the water slides," Clara nodded before walking off towards a very tall, very steep water slide.

”Okay Tina I’m going to teach you how to float first.” Fennel said.

"Oh, I know how to float! I just hold my breath!" Tina exclaimed.

“Oh do you know how to doggy paddle?” Fennel asked.

"Mhm!" Tina nodded, "I wanna know how to swim for real though!"

“Alright, let’s teach you then!” Ernette exclaimed, sitting down at the edge of the pool before sliding in, opening up her arms gesturing for Tina to jump in with her, “Come on in, I’ll get you started!”

“Okay can you hold Tina up while she can see what I do?” Fennel requested.

"Cannonball!" Tina yelled as she leaped into the pool, flailing her limbs and not actually doing a cannonball. She just liked yelling cannonball.

She surfaced and splashed her way back to the edge of the pool where Ernette sat, smiling up at her.

“That was a really big splash!” Ernette praised, before standing up and picking Tina up, “Let’s try and see if we can get you swimming for real!” She cheered as she brought her into deeper water, about up to Ernette’s waist, before lowering Tina down and asking, “Alright, can you show me your floating?”

Tina took in the loudest, deepest breath she could. Her cheeks were puffed out as she floated in place. After a few seconds, she began tilting in one direction before turning over without any input on her part, floating face-down in the water. The lack of bubbles indicated she was still holding her breath.

Fennel, in slight panic, then turned Tina over.

“Tina, you gotta keep your head above the water!” Ernette exclaimed.

"Like this Tina." Fennel said before lying flat on her back and floating along with out any movement on her part.

“Yeah, exactly like Fennel!” Ernette gestured to the fox, “Here, let me help.” The Benefactor picked Tina up again, holding her against her as she slowly laid back with Tina on her own chest, facing up. She let out a sigh as she felt the water on the back of her head. Tina giggled as she laid on top of Ernette.

Fennel then stood up as she waited for the two to stand up once again.

Slowly, Ernette stood up in accordance with Fennel’s standing up, making sure that Tina wasn’t uncomfortable or anything as she was brought back up.

Fennel then swam around a bit using a breaststroke "Can you copy this Tina?"

“That’s.. moving a bit too fast, Fennel,” Ernette laughs, “Let’s start with paddling."

Fennel then slowed down her movements as she did a freestyle stroke.

"Uhh... Do I paddle or do I do what mommy's doing?" Tina asked, pointing at Fennel.

“..I guess we can try what Fen’s doing,” Ernette blinked, holding Tina up to float on her stomach with both hands, “Let’s see if you can do it!”

"Okay!" Tina nodded, staring at Fennel for a moment before swinging her own little arms around in wide arcs and smacking her legs against the water. "Am I- pfttsh," Tina spat out a bit of water that splashed into her mouth, "-Doing it?"

Fennel looked at Tina and nodded noting the girls form was good enough. "Yes, Tina."

“You’re doing great, Tina!” Ernette praised, “Just keep your head up so you don’t get water in your nose!”

"Swim to Mommy!" Fennel called as she opened her arms.

Tina grunted repeatedly as she comically held her head up, flapping her legs and spinning her arms as she haphazardly swam to Fennel before clinging happily to the vixen. "I did it!"

"You did so good and on the first try too!" Fennel praised as she hugged Tina.

“Yeah, that was amazing!” Ernette added, “You’re already great at this, Tina! Let’s see it again! Can you swim back to me?”

"Oh my gosh, you two are such a cute couple!" A woman with a shrill voice complimented Ernette and Fennel before turning to a man standing by her, "Aren't they such a cute couple with their little kid?"

"... Yeah," He sighed.

Ernette looked to the woman with a blushing face, then to Fennel in confusion, “Heh, C-Couple?”

Fennel looked at Ernette then to the woman before she stammered "W-we aren't a couple."

"Oh, come on! You guys don't have to be so shy!" The woman laughed, "It's 2076, people!"

“No, I-I’m just her friend!” Ernette insisted, “My girlfriend’s off on the slides!”

"And I'm dating that guy." Fennel said, pointing to Bob, who was off with a few of the other girls.

"Oooh, he's cute," The annoying lady remarked before looking to the slides and squinting her eyes as Clara boredly slid down, "So where's your girlfriend?"

“She’s... uh... Right there!” Ernette pointed to Clara and waved excitedly.

"Oh that person going do-... You mean the little girl?" The woman blinked, "With the black hair going down there?"

“I-Uh, Yeah?” Ernette confirmed with a stutter.

If it weren't for Ernette's nervous stuttering, the woman might've thought she was joking. "... C'mon, babe... Let's, uh... Go... Not-here," She murmured.

"Okay," He muttered, walking off with his nasally girlfriend.

Ernette loooked to the couple leaving for a moment, before letting her form slump, sighing, “What did I say to make them leave? They were so nice!”

"No offense but people think... the age gap is weird." Fennel explained.

“Age gap? Oh, you mean between me and- Okay,” Ernette understood, “Well I think they’re weird... Anyways,” she got herself back into a more happy expression, “Let’s get back to this swimming stuff! Tina, swim back here and show us again how good you can swim!”

"Okay!" Tina yelped, gently pushing off from Fennel before wildly freestyling back to Ernette and clinging to her like she did the fox and taking a quick bit to breathe before proclaiming, "Look, mommy! I did it!"

“Yay! You did so good, honey!” Ernette praised, hugging Tina with pride.

"She was talking to me, Ernette." Fennel replied, looking at the two.

“...Y-yeah, I knew that,” Ernette blinked, setting Tina back down, “I just.. wanted to give her praise.”

Tina blinked, surprised by Ernette for a moment before asking, "... Do... You wanna be my mommy too?"

Fennel was hurt be the fact she seemed so replaceable in Tina's eyes, or at least that's how she took it.

“I... Yes,” Ernette smiled, hugging Tina again, “I would love that so much!”

"Yay! I have two mommys!" Tina proclaimed.

"But I thought I was your mommy." Fennel stammered.

Tina gave Fennel a confused look. "But.. You are," She blinked. To her, it was completely normal to have multiple mothers.

"I-I-I, hmmm." Fennel muttered unsure of how to respond.

"... Mommy? Are you okay?" Tina asked Fennel.

"I just thought I was your only mommy, Tina."

The six-year-old had a hard time understanding why the vixen looked so sad about this. "But I've always had a bunch of mommys," Tina said with a confused tone with growing worry of upsetting Fennel.

"We can talk about it later, Tina," Fennel said, opening her arms as requesting that Ernette hand over Tina.

Ernette hesitated, realizing how upset Fennel was about this, before reluctantly loosening her grip around Tina, “Yeah.. I... gotta get back to Clara,” Ernette murmured, waving to Tina, “I’ll play with you in a bit though, alright?”

"Oh... Okay... Bye mommy!" Tina waved to Ernette. She couldn't help but feel like she did something wrong.

The Benefactor walked slowly through the water, the fact she had earned a place as one of Tina’s “mommies” giving her a good feeling, especially being called so.

Fennel signed and asked "Do you want to play with Ernette?"

"Uhmm... I think she's gonna go play with Clara," Tina said, glancing over at Ernette then up at Fennel, "... Did I do something wrong?"

"No, It's just I'm not used to there being two mommies."

"Huh?" Tina cocked her head to the side.

"Well back home, daddies only have one wife." Fennel explained.

"Oh, okay," Tina nodded, "Our daddy had lots."

"I don't know if I like that though." Fennel muttered.

"Huh? But why?"

"It just... seems he focused more them did he did on you." Fennel answered.

"What do you mean?"

"It feels like everything focused on him more than it did around you and your sisters." Fennel muttered.

"... Maybe," Tina mused, "But that's okay! Daddy's the best! That's why he has a museum!"

"But, mommies and daddies are supposed to revolve thier lives around thier babies." Fennel mumbled.

"Daddy works really hard for everyone though, so it's okay," Tina smiled.

"It's, it's just Daddy always let us know everything he did was for us." Fennel added.

"Yeah! And daddy did everything for us too, so we did everything for him! He made the Hold, fixed all of our mommys, made sure we had food and stuff, kept us safe, and a bunch of stuff!"

"Daddy, never had to fix mommy." Fennel signed before deciding to drop the subject if she could.

"Well, daddy said that... Our mommys weren't nice and weren't happy before, so he fixed them so they'd be happy," Tina explained.

"My mommy was happy before."

"Oh... Okay," Tina blinked, unsure of what else she could add to the conversation. She was only six-years-old after all.

"Do you want to go on the lazy river?" Fennel asked.

"Oooh, what's a lazy river?" Tina asked curiously, already nodding.

"You sit in an innertube and you just float along." Fennel explained as she got out of the pool they were in.

"Okay!" Tina went along with the plan despite having already agreed to it.

Soon enough the duo were waiting in line as Fennel held the inner tube at the edge of the river. Fennel then placed the inner tube in the water before laying in top of it. “Okay now get in mommy’s lap.”

Without question, Tina crawled down into Fennel's lap as told before letting out a little grunt as she pushed her feet off the edge to send the two moving.

Fennel then began stroking Tina's hair as they floated down the river. Tina giggled before letting out a quiet gasp, "Mommy! Look how big that lady is!"

Sure enough, there was a very obese woman squeezed into an innertube. She shamefully glanced back at the two before looking ahead.

"It's rude to say those things Tina." Fennel chastized.

"Why? Look how big she is!"

"It hurts people's feelings." Fennel explained.

"Oh... I'm sorry, lady!" Tina quickly apologized. The womjan did not look back, only sinking into her innertube.

Fennel took a moment to close her eyes and relax in the innertube as it enjoyed the ride.

“Hello, Tina and Furred one!” Shlyke greeted, paddling up to the two’s innertube in his own as he sat on it in a way that none of his body touched the water permenantly.

Fennel opened an eye and looked at Shlyke. "Hello."

"Hey, Shlyke!" Tina greeted far more enthusiastically than the vixen, waving and nearly flipping the innertube as she leaned towards him.

Fennel took a moment to correct the innertube.

“The water is too chemical’ed to drink, and probably too chemical’ed for me to do much in. You softskins win this one, I see,” the Abrol chittered.

"Looks like skin wins." Fennel teased.

"What's wrong with your bug skin?" Tina asked, poking Shlyke's arm.

“I don’t want it to flake up early,” Shlyke complained, “It’ll leave me too soft!”

"Oh... Oh! What if you wear Ernette's crown? It turns you into a pretty lady! Or, um... There's a tie that turns you into a man!" Tina exclaimed before adding, "With skin!"

"Are we sure that is a good idea Tina?" Fennel asked.

“...I don’t like stuff on my neck,” Shlyke murmured, before heaving himself into the water with a small splash. It took him a moment to come up for air, a little stream of water pushed out of his mouth as he snickered, “It’s fine, I guess. I guess I’ll be soft either way!”

"So what do you want to do after this Tina?" Fennel asked.

"Ummm... I dunno! I've never been to a waterpark before," Tina shrugged.

“There’s some special pool with waves I saw!” Shlyke offered, “I didn’t go in, but it looked like some water fun!”

"Oooh a wave pool. Fennel thought realizing she could surf or at least body board.

"Ooh ooh! Can we go in it when we're done lazy rivering?" Tina gasped, bouncing lightly in Fennel's lap.

"Yes, Tina." Fennel replied. Soon enough the girls reached where they started and headed to the wave pool. Shlyke hopped onto the edge of the lazy river from atop his inner-tube and followed close behind.

Fennel then carried Tina to the wave pool, only to be dissapointed by the fact that the waves were a foot tall at most.

"Woah!" Tina gasped. She, on the other hand, was much more impressed as she squirmed excitedly in Fennel's arms, "Come on! I wanna go in!"

Fennel then entered the pool with Tina and began splashing the girl. Tina giggled, splashing back. Every time one of the small waves came by, she let out a grunt as she jumped from the bottom of the pool and waddled her arms to stay afloat before giggling as she came back down behind the wave.

"How do they make the pool have waves?" Tina asked before jumping and flailing to stay afloat as another wave came.

"Hmmm, I don;t know." Fennel replied before splashing Tina once more.

“Here I co-“ Shlyke exclaimed, cut off as he was splashing down head first into the water next to the two after jumping from the shallow end of the pool.

Fennel gave Shlyke a dead pan look in response.

"Shlyke!" Tina cried out, quickly splashing over to help the bug up.

The locust popped his head back up, bobbing in the wavy waters as he paddled with his back legs, “I’m fine, Tina! I’m fine! Just wet!”

Fennel then made a point to hit the bug with the biggest splash possible.

Shlyke fell back in the water, coughing for a moment, “Baagh! What you be doing that for?!”

“For fun.” Fennel answered.

"Splash her back!" Tina exclaimed.

Fennel then splashed Tina in response.

"Hey!" Tina laughed before splashing Fennel, "Come on! Let's get her!"

Shlyke slapped his hands down in the water, splashing in the general direction of Fennel.

Needless to say Fennel responded like wise.

"Splash it more at her!" Tina yelped, smacking the water towards Fennel as fast as she could with her little hands.

“Not it I splash you more!” Fennel called as she splashed the two.

Shlyke followed Tina in rapid smacks against the water, laughing, “You cannot beat the team of Tina and Shlyke! We splash so hard for furred ones to let beating us!”

"Shlyke has a billion arms he can splash with!" Tina proclaimed.

Fennel then began rytjmically splashing the water before a ring of splashing water surrounded the two.

"Ah! She's using magic!" Tina yelped.

“That’s only because I don’t have any help.”

"No splashing in the wave pool," An unenthusiastic lifeguard droned over a megaphone after whistling at the trio.

“What fun,” Shlyke muttered, flopping his arms down into the water without much of a splash.

“Fine we’ll take this somewhere else.” Fennel said, picking up Tina and heading to a pool that allowed splashing.

"Hmph... That's a dumb rule," Tina pouted.

“Yes, yes it is,” Shlyke agreed as the group passed by Tychen, still dressed, but dipping his feet in the pool as he let out a long sigh, “Ah, it’s nice to have a good soak of the feet- Oh, hey guys-“ But as Tychen turned to greet the trio, the pirate slipped and tumbled into the pool with a large splash.

“So do we want to splash here?” Fennel asked.

“Sure seems like it,” Tychen muttered, pulling himself out of the water, his clothes drenched, “...I really hope the hotel’s got a good laundromat.”

“I think bread has a washer.” Fennel mused.

"Hi, Tychen!" Tina waved, "We left the wave pool because a guy said we weren't allowed to splash there."

“...Oh yeah?” Tychen looked to Tina, then to the wave pool with a chuckle, “Give me a sec and I’ll join you guys.” He then walked over to the side of the wave pool, before jumping in, flailing his arms around and exclaiming loudly, “HEY, LOOK AT ME EVERYBODY! I’M SPLASHING!”

"Hey, no splashing in the wave pool," The disgruntled lifeguard ordered.

“Aw, shove it up your ass!” Tychen retorted, straightening his hat in the pool, splashing some more as much as he could, “As long as I got arms, I’m gonna splash!”

"Sir, if you keep splashing, we are going to have to remove you from the park," The lifeguard warned.

“Tychen please don’t get us kicked out.” The fox requested.

Tychen stopped and thought about it, before sighing, “You win, big guy! I’m gonna stop splashing in your precious little wavy pool, where there’s already big old waves splashing people in the face,” before walking out of the pool, flipping his arms out, the wet sleeves of his shirts spraying water all around. He looked to Tina and snickering, “You wanna splash? Splash to your heart’s content,” he handed Tina his hat, “Oh, and hold this while I go change.”

"Why did you splash in the wave pool when the guy said not to?" Tina asked, looking at the hat for a moment before placing it on her head and obscuring most of her vision.

“Because I’m a pirate,” Tychen shrugged, “And pirates don’t listen to a bunch of pansies yelling a bunch of unnecessary rules at me.”

“That’s not a good reason.” Fennel replied

“Bah, someone who’s not a pirate wouldn’t understand,” Tychen shrugged, as he began to walk away.

”Well my ancestors were pirates.” Fennel retorted.

“Doesn’t count!” Tychen yelled back before he walked into the changing room.

Fennel then began splashing Tina and the bug in a nearby pool.

"... YARRR! I'M A PIRATE!" Tina proclaimed, climbing out of the pool only to jump near Fennel as to splash her whilst screaming, "CANNONBALL!"

“Yes! Get her, Pirate Tina!” Shlyke goaded on, splashing alongside Tina’s jump.

“Ahh you got me!” Fennel shrieked playfully.

"Arrr! Now gimme your- Eh-" Tina grunted and squeaked as she took a moment to doggypaddle back to the edge of the pool before continuing, "Now gimme your booty!"

Fennel then turned around and shook her rear at Tina. “Like this right?” She joked, swishing her tail.

"Arr!... Arrr... I dunno what to do now; I don't have a PINGAS," Tina blinked.

Fennel then turned around, “I wonder where Bob went?“ she muttered before splashing the two in front of her. “Come on Tina tell your buckaneer to do something.”

“Uh.. yea- I mean, YAR!” Shlyke went along with the pirate motif.

"Oh, yeah! Get her booty! It's ours now!" Tina declared, pointing an imaginary cutlass at Fennel's rear-end.

“...How do I do that?” Shlyke asked, cocking his head as he looked back and forth between Tina and Fennel nervously.

"... Mommy? What do pirates do with peoples' booties? Do they just really like butt sex?" Tina asked.

“Booty means treasure, Tina.” Fennel explained, grimacing at the thought of butt sex.

"But why did you shake your butt?" Tina blinked, "Shlyke is really good at butt sex!"

“It was a joke!” Fennel almost heaved.

"Oh. Where's your treasure then?"

“I have this!” Fennel said as a gem about half the size of the others appeared in her hand.

"... YAAARRR! Shlyke me.. uh.. MATEY! Get her booty! The.. Thingy, not her butt!" Tina ordered, splashing some water at Fennel from the side of the pool.

”Never!” Fennel shouted as she tried to run away in the water.

The Abrol tired to leap at Fennel, but found that being up to his hips in water really impeded his ability to move. “Drat!” Shlyke hissed, moving normally through the water instead.

"BOB! Help me protect the booty!" Fennel shouted.

"No, Bob!" Tina shouted, "Give the booty to me! Pirate Tina!"

“...I’m gonna neutral in this one!” Bob shouted back, turning his attention back to Mary.

Shlyke took this opportunity to heave himself up to Fennel, wrapping an arm around her waist as he declared, “I’ll get a gem for Pirate Tina!”

"Mary can help!" Fennel whined as he tried to kick the insect off.

"So do you th-" Mary started, looking back at Fennel for a moment before turning back to Bob and striking a pose with her toned, fit body, "So do you think this bikini looks good on me? Usually I do one pieces bu-"

"HEY HE'S MINE!" Fennel shouted as she dropped the gem.

Shlyke fell off of Fennel, dropping down into the water to grab the quickly sinking gem.

”I think it looks nice,” Bob nodded, “Suits you.”

Fennel then got out of the pool and struck a pose "Well how do I look, Bobby?" the vixen asked.

“I think you look good in that,” Bob nodded, “...You alright, Fen?”

"Yeah... Okay I'm kind of jealous." Fennel admited.

"Jealous?" Mary repeated incredulously.

"It's just Mary is all toned, and Ernette is more filled out... and Tina is calling her mommy now." Fennel muttered.

"... Well, uh..." Mary took a quick moment to think, "You're the one dating Bob." She put a hand on the big man's shoulder, presenting him to Fennel, "If anything, I'm jealous of you!"

"Really?" Fennel asked.

"Yeah!" Mary assured as she gestured a hand up and down at Bob, "I mean look at what you got here. Plus, I'm like, 15. I don't think he'd go for me even if I tried to take him."

“I would not,” Bob assured.

"I mean, I'm only seventeen, I don't know if that's even an adult here." Fennel mumbled.

"Sixteen's an adult where I'm from," Mary shrugged, "Besides, uh.... He's... More of a dad to me than, like... A dating guy... Person." She felt incredibly awkward to bluntly put out there how she viewed Bob, especially right in front of him.

"I'm sorry to make this awkward... do you two still want to hang out then?" Fennel asked.

“I don’t see why not?” Bob shrugged as he walked over.

"Hmm... Now that you bring up me taking him from you though," Mary mused, teasing the vixen.

"I'm not into that sort of thing Mary." Fennel added.

“Alright, I’m back!” Tychen declared, hopping into the pool beside Tina in a red speedo, “Just had to scour the locker room for something.” He snickered, standing up. While it wasn’t as obvious under his clothes, the more inhumanly distended proportions of the pirate became more obvious in the pool, his body, with dark grey skin, seemed emaciated and anorexic, even for his thin frame. It could be noted, however, that he kept his leather gloves on.

"... I want to kill myself now," Mary stated after having just witnessed Tychen in a red speedo.

"Eww he does have a ding a ling." Fennel whispered.

"Bob, just put me in a coma, please," Mary begged, leaning forwards and resting the top of her head against the marine.

“Not before you put me in one. Jesus...” Bob grumbled.

"Tychen will keep Tina out of trouble right?" Fennel responded nervously.

“If she can keep Shlyke from eating out of the trash,” Bob shrugged, “I sure hope she can handle... that.”

"Let's just walk away, walk away, walk away," Mary insisted, tugging on Bob's arm towards a different pool.

“Yeah, I’m gonna second that motion,” Bob agreed, going with Mary’s tugs.

Fennel decided to join the two figuring the three could take care of themselves.

====

Silently, Clara splashed into the bottom of the water slide for the tenth time. Her omnipresent deadpan had started to unnerve the overly-cheery lifeguard greeting people as they got off the slide.

“Hey!” Ernette piped up from her place at the bottom of the slide, hoping to get Clara’s attention over the noise of the slide, “I’m all done with Tina and Fen!”

"Okay. Wanna ride one of the slides together? They let you go down with a dual innertube," Clara offered.

“Sure!” Ernette happily chimed as she sloshed through the water, “I’d love to join you!”

"Ha-Hey! Are you her mom?" The overly-cheery lifeguard asked.

“I...” Ernette thought for a moment how to answer, considering what she had learned of the uncomfort around their kind of relationship, so she lied, “Yes! Yes I am!” She winked to Clara subtly.

"Yeah, come on, mom, I wanna down the slides with you," Clara said in monotone.

"Alright! Just makin' sure!" The lifeguard gave the two a thumbs-up, "I hope you're having fun, kid!"

"... The water slides are very fun, yes," Clara stated before grabbing Ernette's hand and pulling her away to the long line.

“...I’m sorry about lying back there,” Ernette apologized quietly, “I just didn’t want her to give us weird looks about it... apparently our relationship’s... weird here? Something about age gaps...”

"Yeah, it seems to be a common thing outside the Hold from what I can tell," Clara nodded as they stood in line, "I'm not entirely sure why people look down upon it, but I think Fennel's mentioned it's illegal as well."

“I-Illegal?!” Ernette whispered worriedly.

"Yeah, I think we should be fine though. I've done a lot of peoplewatching, and moms and daughters are pretty close. We would probably get weird looks if you were a guy though, but as long as we don't go around telling everyone we're a couple, we'll be fine," Clara assured.

Ernette stewed in her own regret as she quietly piped up, “I may have told someone we were- b-but it’s fine, I don’t think they believed me anyways. They started asking if me and Fennel were a couple, and I had to correct them and I didn’t know it was ‘illegal’ so I went along with it.”

"It's okay. The likelyhood of them calling the cops is pretty low. They'll want to forget about it and have fun here," Clara shrugged, "... I really hate this line." The two weren't even on the stairs that led all the way up to the top of the slide.

“Yeah.. They left after I told them, and I got a bit confused and that’s when Fen told me about it being weird,” Ernette continued, “But after that, Tina made me her mom and I’m still so happy about that!”

"Hm, that's funny to think about," Clara mused, "Like, say you and I were married. What would I then be to Tina?"

“...Would you be a mom or a sister?” Ernette mumbled before chuckling at it, “That is kinda funny... wait, married?”

"Yeah, me being your girlfriend wouldn't change my... Title for Tina," Clara explained, "But if we were married, then I would be her stepmother... Though I am still her sister... Hmm..."

“Married...” Ernette mumbled to herself, the idea running through her head, “Doesn’t Fennel want to get married before she has a baby? Is that... Is that what we should do, too?”

"If you want to, sure," Clara replied.

The Benefactor mulled on the idea for s bit longer, before nodding, “Yeah... before I actually give birth, we’ll get married. I like that... do you?”

"Getting married would be nice, yeah," Clara nodded, "I think you need a ring or something and then propose... I'm not very familiar with how it all works. You could probably ask Fennel about it, it seems like something she would have fantasized about."

“Yeah... But I still think she doesn’t like our relationship,” Ernette mumbled, “Even if she says she’s happy for us... I still kinda doubt it.”

Clara looked up at Ernette, then back to the line. She supposed she could say something that wasn't entirely true, but still probable to make her happy. "Could be jealousy," She mused.

“...Could be,” Ernette sighed, “Maybe if I indulge her more, she’ll get off of that disliking of us together and... find something else to dislike? I’m not sure.”

"If you two were having fun with Tina, I doubt she dislikes it that much. I think she views you almost like a young teen," Clara explained, "Or like my age."

“Huh... that’d make sense,” Ernette agreed, “...if she didn’t, I doubt she’d of let me take those photos, either.”

"I'm not sure if she'd admit it, but I'm willing to bet she enjoyed taking those pictures," Clara stated as the duo were finally on the stairs... The long... Long stairs.

“Probably,” Ernette nodded, before smiling, “...I’m still so happy Tina called me mommy. But I think Fennel was... definitely jealous of it.”

"I have no doubt she was jealous of it," Clara agreed.

“I mean, I kind of get it, but she got really upset about it,” Ernette explained, “Like, she knows that Tina grew up with a lot of moms, but she’s getting upset that Tina wants another mom along with her?”

"I'm guessing she's pretty possessive. She wants to be Tina's only mom."

“It’s a little selfish, don’t you think?” Ernette asked, “To make her choose like that.”

"Did she actually make Tina choose between you two?" Clara asked.

“No, but it was obvious she was on the verge of doing so,” Ernette mused.

"She wouldn't want to put Tina in that kind of position, I guess... I just had a funny thought of how she would be at like, our wedding. Us getting married before her," Clara remarked. If she could chuckle, she definitely would have then.

Ernette chuckled in lieu of Clara, “That would be pretty funny.”

"And she'd make that pouting face she does, but she can't say anything without looking like a jerk. Then someone will ask her if something's wrong and she'll deny it... It's hilarious just thinking about it," Clara mused.

“Heh... Do you think her and Bob would get married?” Ernette asked, “I mean, I think they’re back together again, so I think there’s a chance it’s for real this time...”

"I honestly can't say. I'm keeping an eye on them though to see how it goes," Clara replied.

“...I hope they do,” Ernette murmured, “They seem like a good couple.”

"She'd definitely be less of a prude, I'd imagine."

“...She would, wouldn’t she?” Ernette pondered this newfound idea.

"... Oh my god, I hate this line so much. I hate looking at some of these same people over and over in front of me. They're disgusting," Clara said quietly, gesturing her head at a group of folks of varying grossness.

“Eugh,” Ernette agreed with a groan, “Do they keep going up the slide too?”

"Yeah, and their voices are annoying. That chubby kid was crying earlier halfway up to the slide," Clara pointed out.

“Why’s that?” Ernette asked, looking subtly over to the aforementioned chubby kid.

"He wanted ice cream, but his whale of a mother said no," Clara answered.

“What a brat,” Ernette murmured.

"She bought him ice cream anyway because he kept whining about it when he was done crying."

“That’s just... eyugh,” Ernette grumbled, shaking her head in disgust.

"Oh, watch your step," Clara warned, pointing to one of the steps, "He didn't like the cone, so he threw it down and splattered ice cream all over that step."

Ernette harrumphed, looking at the ice cream all over the step, “Is this the only slide that had inner tubes for two?”

"There's two slides, but they both start at the top of this flight of stairs," Clara answered as she skipped the ice cream step, "... The mother didn't even get onto him for it either.."

“That’s just-“ Ernette seethed, stopping herself with a long, angered breath.

"I know. It really pisses me off too," Clara agreed in monotone.

“At least it can’t get any worse...” Ernette huffed, glaring at the fat kid, “...Right?”

"The slide itself is very fun... Though it only lasts about half a minute... Maybe twenty seconds."

“...With you, it’s definitely a worthwhile twenty seconds,” Ernette quipped with a smile.

"Your corniness is the only thing keeping me from jumping over this rail," Clara joked.

Ernette giggled with a blush, “Oh, it’s not that bad... just a bunch of ugly brats,” she shrugged, “I can barely stand ‘em, but that’s how it is, I guess.”

Eventually, they finally reached the top and Clara tapped Ernette. "Other than the ride down, this part makes it all worth it," She said, pointing to the chubby child and his mother as they squeezed into a dual innertube. Their bodies brushed against the sides of the closed slide as they went down. The mother could be heard yelling at her son about something before a SMACK and a thud was heard.

"She always falls out of the innertube because the weight disbalance."

Ernette stifled a laugh, “Yeah, that was pretty good... wait, are we gonna do that? Am I gonna fall out?”

"No, because you're not a giant ball of flesh and fat," Clara assured.

“Oh, okay,” Ernette let out a sigh of relief before the two had finally made it to the slide.

"I'll sit on the side facing away from where we're going since you haven't been on this yet," Clara said as she got into the chosen spot on the dual innertube, "It looks really cool in the slide. It has some lights and there's music playing louder in there."

“Wow... I wouldn’t think lights, electricity, and water would’ve done well together,” Ernette mused as she took her side of the innertube, ready to see what Clara was talking about for herself.

As the two went down, many, many little lights zoomed by and flashed only somewhat in-sync with a pop song playing over an (obviously) waterproof speaker in the ceiling of the slide. Just as Clara said, however, the ride was a mere twenty seconds.

Ernette let out a small yelp of excitement as she was mesmerized by the lights and the music, before she nearly fell out just based upon the sudden lurch of the innertube into the water. “That.. was amazing!” Ernette giddily laughed.

"Hm, it's definitely more fun the first time down," Clara agreed, smiling on the inside from how happy Ernette was.

“...Do you want to go again, or..?” Ernette asked, seeing what Clara wanted before she did anything.

"If you want to, though my feet hurt from standing in line ten tim- eleven times," Clara replied.

“...We can go sit in a hot tub together,” Ernette suggested, “I’ve heard they’re refreshing.”

"Oh, yes, that'd be great," Clara nodded, taking a step towards the hot tub area only to see the family of whales heading in the same direction. Every hot tub was rather packed really. The ones that weren't full had either annoying little kids, gross people, or old people. It wasn't that Clara hated old people, it just seemed weird to go in a hot tub with them.

“...Or we could just find a place to sit in the pool,” Ernette mumbled annoyedly at the masses of fat moving to the hot tubs.

"... I'm gonna hate myself for this... Ernette, I need you to go into a hot tub, get close to the people sitting in it, and tell them you have AIDS," Clara requested.

“AIDS?” Ernette cocked her head, “What’s that?”

"It's a sexually transmitted disease, but it can also be spread through blood. They'll look at some of your bruises and stuff and think you're going to get AIDS in the water, and then leave the hot tub. Also, you'll just make them uncomfortable by getting close and saying you have AIDS out of nowhere," Clara explained.

Ernette felt her neck, realizing she still had light bruises all over herself, letting out a gulp and nodding, “Alright...” before making her way to the hot tubs. While she felt horrible for going to lie to people, she also felt it was a necessary evil for the comfort of Clara. Slowly, she dipped herself into one of the hot tubs, scootching right up to a man next to her as she relished in the heat for a moment, before tapping the guy on his shoulder.

"And so I said- Huh- Oh shiiiihey there," The man grinned at Ernette upon laying eyes on her, "What can I do for ya?"

“Hi!” Ernette cheerily greeted, “I don’t want to alarm you... but I have AIDS!” She said in an almost excited manner.

"Heheh.. Heh.... What?" The man blinked uncomfortably. The others in the hot tub exchanged confused glances.

“You heard me!” Ernette smiled as she repeated, closing her eyes bemusingly, “AIDS!

The guy glanced down at Ernette's injuires before shakily climbing out of the hot tub, as did the other occupants. Clara came shortly after and sat down by the Benefactor, wrapping an arm around behind her and grabbing her hip. "Good girl," Clara praised.

Ernette beamed at the utterance of the praising words, any doubt about whether she had been wrong in her actions replaced by assurance that she had done the best possible thing a good girl could’ve done. “I’m a good girl!” She agreed, “But you’re even better for coming up with that plan!” Of course, Ernette had to have humility and humble herself for the sake of Clara.

"Hm, well, good girls get rewarded," Clara said quietly, "And we have this hot tub to ourselves."

“Oh-heh....” Ernette blushed as she quickly realized what Clara meant, dipping a hand down into the water.

======

Fennel then splashed Bob almost as if out of nowhere. "Got you."

“Oh, what the-“ Bob was unprepared for the random splashing, but found himself quickly swooshing his arm through the water, pushing a little wave of water over Fennel. Meanwhile, Mary was doing backstroke laps back and forth in the pool.

Fennel then caused a tendril of water to whip towards Bob before it slightly tapped him on the face.

“Hey, that’s cheating!” Bob laughed, smashing a hand down in the water.

"Really? How are you gonna stop me." Fennel said before splashing Mary when she passed by.

"FLAGUBACHW!" Mary yelped, flailing to her feet in the pool. She was startled to be so abruptly taken out of the zone.

“Mary, get her ears!” Bob ordered, “Scratch her ears hard and we can stop her!”

"Uh- Got it!" Mary nodded and leapt towards Fennel.

Fennel backed up only trip on her tail again somehow and falling into the water. Mary quickly dashed down, slipping her arms underneath Fennel's armpits and hoisting her up, the vixen resting on the teen's biceps as Mary reached back and began scratching behind Fennel's ears with a proud laugh.

Fennel began purring loudly as she was imobilized by the scratching. "Mary please."

“Admit defeat, Fen!” Bob demanded, “It’s all over for you!”

"Never!" Fennel struggled.

“Admit it!” Bob insisted.

"What are you gonna do if I don't!?" Fennel threatened.

“I’ll just let her keep rubbing your ears,” Bob laughed.

"Fine you beat me!" Fennel admited.

“Alright, that’s what I love to hear,” Bob chuckled, “Mary, you can stop, she gave up.”

Mary stopped scratching, but kept Fennel in her hold and her hands right next to the vixen's ears incase she tried anything.

"Alright what do you want your prize to be, mister winner man?" Fennel asked. “How about breakfast in bed?”

“...Even if that’s really corny,” Bob chuckled, “I think I’ll take it.”

Fennel struggled to escape from Mary’s grasp before she said “Get over here I have another prize for you.”

“Mary, you can let her go,” Bob stated as he walked up with a playful smile.

After releasing herself from Mary’s clutch, Fennel placed her wet nose against his. A moment later she kissed him on the lips. Mary awkwardly looked around, trying not to stare at the two.

Bob returned the kiss, smacking his lips against hers for a second, before pulling back, “Alright, there we go.”

Fennel looked up at Bob before answering “Hi.”

“Hey,” Bob huffed happily back, “Just not no more splashin’ me!”

“Do you want to go on a slide?” Fennel asked.

“The lines look pretty long...” Bob estimated from where he could see the slides and the stairs up to them.

“Yeah... Hmmm... I feel like we should include Mary.” Fennel pondered.

"Oh, no, you guys can, uh... Do your thing," Mary assured.

“You sure?” Bob asked, “We can always make room for whatever.”

"Nah, it's fine. You guys do you," Mary insisted. As much as she liked hanging out with Bob, she didn't want to be a third wheel.

“Alright then,” Bob shrugged, “..Come on Fen, I think the hot tubs are open! We’ll be back in a bit, Mary! Beat up Tychen for me if he does anything stupid! Or Shlyke! Or both!”

"You got it," Mary nodded, flexing one arm to emphasize how hard she'll beat up Tychen if the need arose.

”Oh can I ride on your back there?” Fennel asked.

“Uh, sure!” Bob agreed, heaving the Fox onto his back as he walked through the pool to get out at the entrance near the hot tubs.

“Wheee!” Fennel exclaimed.

"... Dammit," Mary sighed once the two were gone.

=====

"Aaand... Done!" Anna exclaimed, holding up her drawing to Zoey and Ruby. Just as requested, she sketched the two posing in front of the slides and the funnel at the water park.

“Yeah that’s really good.” Brendan commented, looking at the drawing.

"Tha-" Anna started.

"Thanks, Bread. I'm not surprised you like it," Zoey giggled as she struck the same pose depicted in the drawing

“She paid very good attention to the form, you can really see the emotion in it.” Brendan nodded.

"I know, right?" Zoey took the drawing and held it up to her face before grinning, "She got my smug grin just right."

"Well, I have a lot of practice drawing your smug grin," Anna remarked with a bashful smile.

"I'll put this in me and Rub's locker so it doesn't get wet or anything. Thanks, Anna!" Zoey waved as she and her younger sister walked off.

Anna stood up and smiled much more excitedly. "Finally, I can swim and stuff," She murmured happily to herself, indicating she had spent her entire time at the waterpark so far drawing for Zoey and Ruby.

“Sounds like youve been doing that the whole time.” Brendan stated.

"Oh, yeah, Zoey asked me to draw her and Ruby awhile ago and to make sure it was realistic," Anna nodded, "Do you need anything?"

“No, I just think you didn’t need to do that while everyone else is having fun.” Brendan remarked.

"O-Oh, no, it's okay! I like drawing anyways," Anna shrugged.

“Yeah but you’re missing out on the water park.” Brendan countered.

"Well... Um... I can swim now though, right?"

“Yeah but it seems like you couldn't bring your self to say no.” Brendan mused.

"I..." Anna hesitated before letting out a sigh, "You're right." She would rather not argue with Brendan.

“Not even going to be defensive about it?” Brendan asked.

"I-I... Um... No?" Anna answered, unsure if that was the right answer.

”How about you tell Mr. Kippers to do something.” Brendan said, patting the Swampert.

"Okay," Anna obediently nodded, "Mr. Kippers... Do something."

Mr. Kippers blinked.

“Something clear and direct.” Brendan added.

"Uhh.. Like what?"

“That’s up to you.” Brendan stated.

"Uhmm... Mr. Kippers... Wave your hand, please?" Anna requested.

Mr. Kippers did not.

”Do it again, with more surity.” Brendan ordered.

"More what?" Anna asked meekly.

”Be more sure of yourself.“

Anna really just wanted to swim, but if Brendan wanted her to have Mr. Kippers do something then.... "Uh- Mr. Kippers," She said, trying her best to sound sure of herself, "Please wave your hand."

Mr.Kippers then waved his hand.

”Good now tell him to do something else.” Brendan requested.

"Okay," Anna nodded, quickly thinking of something to have the Pokemon do. "... Mr. Kippers, please spin around," She requested.

The Pokémon complied.

”Now, what do you want to do?" Brendan asked, his tone indicating he was referring to ordering Mr.Kippers.

"Uhh... Swim?" Anna replied.

“Alright do you want to swim or tell Mr.Kippers what to do?” Brendan asked.

Anna glanced to the pool, then to Brendan, then to Mr. Kippers, then to Brendan, then to Mr. Kippers, then back to Brendan. She wasn't sure what was going on. Maybe Brendan liked her playing with his pet or something? In any case, she felt like the answer he would want to hear was, "Tell... Mr. Kippers what to do?"

“What do you want to do?”

"S-Swim? N- Tell him what to do? Swim?" Anna shrank back.

“Tell me.” Brendan asked in a calm tone.

"... I... Wanna swim," Anna answered meekly.

“That wasn’t so hard now was it?” Brendan asked.tell

"... No?"

“Anna, you need to be more assertive.”

"Okay.. Uh, how do I do that?" Anna asked.

”Tell people how you feel about things. Tell them if you do or do not want to do something.”

"Okay," Anna, as expected, obediently nodded.

“Be more assertive.”

"Okay," Anna replied more quietly.

”That will do for now.”

"Do you need anything else?" Anna asked, her eyes darting to the pool before focusing on Brendan.

“No. Now go have fun, unless you don’t want to.” Brendan added.

"Um, okay! Do you wanna swim with me?"

“Sure.” Brendan agreed.

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Re: Dimensional Clash IX [IC]

Post by Infested on Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:56 pm

Part Dos

“Oh, They’re a lot more packed than I thought they were...” Bob harrumphed as he walked up to the hot tubs with Fennel, before noticing an almost empty one, “Oh, there’s one!”

“Yay!” Fennel cheered as she climbed off of Bob and slid into the hot tub.

“Oh, hey guys!” Ernette greeted as she opened her eyes at the sudden realization of someone else getting in the tub, jolting surprisedly.

”Hey,” Bob nodded back to the pair already in the tub as he took his time getting in, “This place is packed, huh?”

"Yeah. I had Ernette tell everyone that was in here before that she has AIDS so they'd all leave," Clara nodded.

Fennel giggled, in response.

“You should’ve seen the looks on their faces,” Ernette smirked, “And how quick they jumped out? It was hilarious!

“So it looks like we get the tub all to ourselves.” Fennel nodded.

"Yup," Clara agreed, slinking down until only her head was above water, her eyes darting to Ernette before looking back at Bob and Fennel, "Very relaxing."

Ernette let out a prolonged sigh as she slid a bit under the water as well, “Yeah, it really is...”

Fennel then splashed the water around her requesting Bob to join.

“I don’t think you're supposed to splash in here,” Bob shook his head.

”Yeah, you should really just relax...” Ernette tipped her head back, resting it on the edge of the pool as she closed her eyes and breathed deeply.

“I’m only patting the water.” Fennel huffed Before folding her arms.”

“Well just- uh, relax,” Ernette murmured, not moving her head as she let out another deep sigh.

"Yeah," Clara leaned against Ernette. As she did, Ernette let out another deep breath, sighing into it.

Fennel then leaned against Bob with a sign. “This is so relaxing honey,”

“Yeah, it’s real nice...” Bob sighed as he slid a little bit into the water, groaning quietly as he let the hot water come over his chest.

Fennel then slid her arm that had been resting on the edge of the tub behind Bob and pinched his rear.

“Ah, what the-“ Bob slid himself back up, a bit surprised by the sudden pinch.

“Something wrong?” Ernette asked, pulling her head up.

”No, nothing,” Bob shook his head, “Just sat wrong.” Ernette looked at him for a moment, before laying her head back again.

Meanwhile Fennel had taken to cuddling Bob as she prepared to place her head on his chest.

“So Ernette... How are you enjoying the hot tub?” Clara asked quietly, careful to not let her quickly shaking shoulder surface the bubbles.

”I’m looooving it,” Ernette moaned into her speech, shuddering slightly as she nodded.

Fennel, somehow not aware that the two girls were feeling each other up, said, “I’m sorry about earlier.”

“I-it’s fine,” Ernette quipped, “It wasn’t anything se-erious.”

“Oh are you two expecting yet?” Fennel asked.

“We haven’t tested,” Clara answered, completely unfazed by anything happening underwater (at least outwardly).

Fennel then placed her ear on Bob’s chest. “Your heart is relaxing.” Fennel muttered.

Bob smiled and shrugged, “I dunno why you like listening to that.”

“I dunno, I just do.” Fennel admitted, “It’s a Laviturnian thing.”

“So, how are things on Lavitu-aaah!” Ernette let out a quiet moan, biting her lip.

“I don’t really know how things are back home right now.” Fennel lamented.

“I bet it’s ah-ah-allllright,” Ernette sighed, relaxing in the water.

“Should we go?” Fennel asked noticing that Ernette seemed particularly pleased.

“Hm? Why?” Clara asked.

“Yeah, you’re fine,” Ernette huffed out.

“Okay.” Fennel added, “So did you see that brat throwing trash everywhere?”

“Oh my god, you have no idea!” Ernette exclaimed, “We got stuck behind that little brat on the slides! Clara told me how he cried about ice cream, got it, and dropped it on the stairs! And his mom did nothing about it!”

“I swear, I hate litter bugs so much. You will not believe how often I had to get beercans off the lawn.” Fennel continued.

“We never had to deal with them much... Mostly because people knew not to come too close to the Hold because ar-“ Clara paused very briefly, her eyes widening slightly before she cleared her throat, “Ahem, artillery.”

“The hold had an artilery too?” Fennel asked.

“Five artillery cannons,” Clara nodded, “They were manned 24/7 along with two Anti-Air guns... Wolfe may have been pretty scummy, but I’ll admit he kept us safe.”

“Well it’s good he wanted you all safe.” Fennel replied. “To be honest, the fact that he is not a complete monster almost makes me dislike him more.” Fennel added, her tone indicated she didn’t want to argue.

“I guess because it makes it harder to argue with Zoey about him, and you can’t hate him entirely, which makes you hate him even more,” Clara mused.

“I mean, if he were just something simple like a space nazi it would be easy but no he has to try and be a good person every now and then.” The fox mused.

“...So,” Ernette murmured, trying to change the topic from such a drowse one, “How are you two?”

“Good, we were just with Mary a little while ago.” Fennel nodded.

“Oh yeah?” Ernette nodded, taking a deep breath as she asked, “How’s she doing? Keeping up with the athletics?”

“Oh, she’s doing fine,” Bob answered.

“I wonder what kind of protein powder she uses.” Fennel thought.

“Me too..” Bob huffed.

“Protein powder? She just eats a lot of meat... A lot,” Clara stated, “And nuts.”

“Just a lot of meat? That makes sense,” Bob shrugged.

“I like the powder. I think it tastes good.” Fennel added. “You know... never mind.”

“No, no, say what you wanted to say,” Ernette insisted, “I’m not judging.”

“I was just gonna say something that had a lot of protein but it’s not important .”

“Semen?” Clara asked.

“Bugs.”

“...Eugh,” Ernette grumbled, pulling her hands above the water, having lost any desire to keep going upon remembering how Ruby had talked about eating them.

“I forgot you don’t eat those.” Fennel muttered.

“Mary would probably not go that far for protein,” Clara remarked.

“Yeah that’s what I thought... there’s also peanut butter.” Fennel added.

“Yeah, but peanut butter’s pretty fatty too,” Bob mused

“We have peanut butter don’t we? They didn’t have any in Varie.”Fennel asked.

“Yeah, we have peanut butter,” Ernette nodded, “Why wouldn’t we?”

Fennel shrugged. “I dunno. Maybe one of the girls are allergic.”

“None of us have any nut allergies. I think Wolfe screened for that when choosing mothers for the Hold,” Clara remarked.

“I guess that’s convienent. I can’t really eat grapes, they are mildly toxic.” Fennel commented.

“Make sure to bring that up with Elizabeth to be safe,” Clara nodded.

“I can eat them but I just have to be careful not to eat too many.” Fennel added.

“So, how much of a fox and how much of a person are you?” Ernette asked, “I just.. it seems like you’re all a person, but you eat bugs and... yeah...”

“About 90-95% person.” Fennel answered.

“Then why do you do so many... fox things?” Ernette cocked her head to the side.

“I... kind of.. like it. Makes me feel alive.” Fennel added somewhat shamefully.

“Zoey would be so proud if she heard you say that,” Clara commented.

”And we’ve only had like 700 years for the instincts to die down.”

“...Talking about Lavilah made me think about home, too...” Ernette frowned, sliding a bit into the pool.

“What’s home like for you?” Fennel asked.

“Well, I showed you and Ruby once,” Ernette quipped, “Iyqua’s weird to a human-oriented life.”

“Oh the factory!” Fennel nodded.

“Yeah, the Amnion!” Ernette clapped, “It’s where all the synths in the Convolution come from, no matter what they do! It’s... it’s kind of like our home inside Iyqua, even, ‘cause decommissioned unit’s get drained back into it and get to share their ideas and have talks... sorta. A home in a home... that’s kind of funny.”

“Oh... I guess your home is kinda destroyed isn’t it, Bob.” Fennel mumbled.

“Yeah, it’s fine,” Bob shrugged, “I’ve killed enough demons to make up for it... well, probably not, but enough for now.”

“Iyqua’s a complex place,” Ernette continued, “Everybody’s got their place there, and they’re expected to stay there and do it well. Benefactors are usually the only ones who get to go out and explore, but they’ll move out whatever they need to win in combat situations.”

“So are they gonna look for you?” Fennel inquired.

“...Probably not,” Ernette mused, “We’re in a different universe, after all. And I doubt they’d send out a rescue party for a single Benefactor... well, they might if they were worried I’d spill all their secret info about Iyqua, but, like I said, they can’t do anything here.”

Clara perked up slightly at the mention of ‘secret info’ before noting it for later and saying, “They probably wouldn’t find you anyway considering your body.”

“Yeah, but that’d just make them search harder and bring more stuff out of Iyqua to find me,” Ernette shrugged, “They might even bring a MACT, or even a Conqueror Unit!”

“What’s that.” Fennel wondered.

“A Conqueror Unit? Or a MACT?”

“Both.”

“MACT stands for Mobile Assault Command Terminal,” Ernette explained, “Basically, they throw a chunk of Iyqua out into the real world, a bunch of mechanical stuff that sums up to a mobile base of operations with the capability to slowly strip worlds to make more units in a prolonged campaign. That’s what they’d probably send if they couldn’t find me for a while! Conquerors are like Benefactors... except a lot scarier.”

“Well hopefully they don’t look for you.” Fennel added.

“Me too... Oh! Or Redactors! But they’re sent out for less serious stuff,” Ernette chimed in a tone seemingly unrelated to the topic, “They’ll come out and use special entropic things to literally wipe people who know about the Convolution from current existence! But like I said, different universe!”

It seemed that during the talk of death robots had caused Fennel’s tail to tuck between her legs, betraying the otherwise calm composure she seemed to have.

“...But they’re not all that bad,” Ernette quipped, “There’s the usual ones, like the Enforcers and Runners, but they’re just a bunch of cannon fodder.”

“Well that’s calming.” Fennel blinked.

“There’s a type of synth for almost every role in the Convolution,” Ernette continued on, “Because everyone has a purpose in Iyqua, and everyone’s expected to stick to it... It was nice, but... I think here’s a little nicer.”

“Yeah family life is nice.” Fennel agreed.

“Speaking of which,” Ernette finally changed the topic, “Where’s Tina? What’s she up to?”

“She’s playing with Tychen.” Fennel stated.

Tychen?” Ernette questioned incredulously.

“Yeah, they get along.” Fennel nodded.

“...And is her bug friend with her?” Ernette asked.

“I figure Tychen can keep him out of trouble.” Fennel added.

“... That just sounds like you’re asking for trouble, letting both Tychen and him alone with her,” Ernette worried.

“Oh second thought, I’ll go get her.” Fennel said, climbing out of the hot tub.

“Hey, no Fen, it’s fine,” Bob assured, “Mary’s got it under control. I told her she’s got permission to beat them up if they do something stupid.”

“Oh good.” Fennel said, sliding back into the tub.

“Yeah, she’ll be fine. Tychen looks like a wuss, so I bet Mary could beat him easy,” Bob chuckled.

“Yeah, he’s just a bunch of bones.” Fennel added.

“He is pretty thin...” Ernette mused with a hint of worry, looking over to the pirate and the others.

“Trying to fatten him up? Sounds like a grandma thing.” Fennel purred.

“Hey! I’m a mom, not a grandmom!” Ernette huffed, “I’m just worried he’s not getting enough to eat with... with that lack of a mouth.”

“Well it’s still a mom I meant it in a good way.” Fennel stayed.

“...That’s good to hear,” Ernette murmured, her hands dipping back into the water as she looked to Clara quickly, then back to the couple parallel them.

“Oh Ernette I forgot if you are expecting you aren’t supposed to be in a hot tub!” Fennel exclaimed.

Ernette’s eyes widened as she yelped, “I’M NOT?!” As she scrambled quickly out of the water, slipping on the side of the tub and falling out the rest of the way.

Fennel then hopped out of the tub to help Ernette up, “Are you Okay?”

“Hmph,” Ernette mumbled as she took the help of Fennel, “I don’t know if I’m expecting, but you could have told me that either way!”

"Fennel, she should be fine. If she is pregnant, she's only, like, one day into it," Clara remarked as she gestured Ernette back into the tub with her.

“I forgot.” Fennel apologized.

Ernette rubbed her temple, quietly dipping herself back down next to Clara, mumbling, “I hit my head for nothing.”

Fennel then returned to the tub and sat down next to Bob.

Clara rose from the water to brush Ernette's hand aside and give the poor Benefactor's temple a kiss before sitting back down and wrapping her arm around her once more. "Better?"

“Better,” Ernette repeated, beaming with a smile, “You’re so sweet!”

Bob wrapped an arm around Fennel’s shoulders as he sighed, “Yeah... it’s nice in here.”

Fennel looked at Bob’s arm before tapping her nose to his cheek. “Boop!” Fennel stated before continuing “Oh Bob what do you think the girls want for dinner?” Fennel asked.

“I dunno,” Bob shrugged, “I just know Liz would hate it if we got fast food.”

“We could do something simple like Mac and cheese, Elizabeth worked herself to the bone earlier today.” Fennel suggested.

“Maybe some sides with it, and that’d be good,” Bob agreed.

“Oh then I can give Ernette her first mommy menu lesson!” Fennel clapped.

“Mommy... menu?” Ernette asked, a bit confused.

“Oh kids are typically super picky eaters you have to figure out what they will eat.” Fennel stated.

“Oh, alright, that doesn’t sound that bad,” Ernette thought aloud.

“Sounds like a deal. I bet Tina would like to help too.” Fennel added.

"Elizabeth knows what everyone's favorite food is," Clara mentioned.

“We’ll run it by her but I think she will enjoy the break.” Fennel mused.

“Yeah, and I need to get more cooking experience!” Ernette agreed.

“I’m thinking fries and chicken tenders as the sides.” Fenn suggested.

“Wouldn’t those be the main food, and macaroni would be a side?” Ernette asked.

“That’s probably a better idea.” Fennel agreed.

"Kids would disagree," Clara retorted.

“I assume your sisters prefer Mac and cheese then.”

"Mary, Harper, and Casey would probably prefer chicken tenders as the main food," Clara mused.

“We can do that.” Fennel nodded.

“We can just do both!” Ernette concluded.

“Sounds like a plan.” The vixen answered.

—————

...So, you and your sister are certain with each other's relations again, after the debacle the other night? I saw the entire thing, I just didn't comment as to not impede in a delicate matter.

"Well, duh, we're best friends," Zoey scoffed while Ruby was busy ordering the two of them an ice cream cone to share.

I am sure she sees it still as more... intimate than that.

"Yeah, but... I'm sure she gets that... You know, I wanna marry my dad," Zoey shrugged with a sigh, "I feel bad for having to turn her down though."

Yes, but difficult decisions must always be made. If you think you made the right choice, then stand by it for good.

"I know, but still," Zoey folded her arms, watching the man at the stand slowly get two scoops of strawberry icecream for their cone.

...Are you having second thoughts on it? Is there a bit of doubt that you would only marry him and him alone?

"Wh- N-No! No, of course not!" Zoey stammered, "I just feel bad for her, that's all. She deserves to be happy."

Stammering does not make me assured you're 100% confident in your choice. You can tell me if you are not. I will not judge. It'd be foolish of me to judge.

Zoey was silent for a moment, stewing in her thoughts before sighing. "Alright, fine," She admitted, "I do... Kinda... Like Ruby too, but I can't just abandon my dad. All of our moms already did, so he needs someone to come back to, you know?"

Might I suggest a compromise? You needn't choose over your father or her... simply take both. I know many cultures which do such practices of polygamy, or taking multiple spouses.

"That's not how it works in the Hold. Everyone married dad, but it's not like our moms married each other. The most they'd do is screw every now and then whenever dad was too busy."

Yes, but this is not the Hold, now is it? Your Hold is... in a different plane of reality, for all I know. Your father is... interred, yes? It seems like fate itself is denying you what you want with him, at least, in its current state. It would not kill you to indulge her, at least until your father is recovered so you can commit to matrimony with him instead.

"But then I'd be leading Ruby on," Zoey shook her head as she took a seat, "And the Hold isn't just a place, it's like... Our family, our... Culture... I don't care whatever 'fate' is denying. I owe it to him to wait, and I don't want to lead Rub on."

Fair enough. He's your patriarch, after all, so I would assume you owe him very much. If there's anything else you'd wish to speak about and have a counseling voice on the matter, I would enjoy the conversation.

"Hm, well, what do you think I should do about her though? So she isn't bummed about us not dating or whatever?"

Just assure her that you still love her, but you simply can't because of what you told me. She seems like the understanding type, especially with you, her main role model.

"I know she understands, and I know she knows I love her as like, a sister... But that doesn't mean she isn't bummed that I don't love her like she wants me to... Or at least won't date her and stuff."

Well, assure her that even if she loves you, that there's always other choices. Your father... anyone, I guess. But you still seem like you have those... same sorts of feelings back for Ruby.

"She... She's just really nice... And... She's always there for me," Zoey murmured, "She tries her hardest, even when she thinks she's gonna screw up... We're... Happier around each other..."

...That sounds like the kind of love Ruby has for you. I had love once, too, so I would understand. Tell her your feelings, Zoey. How you really feel for her. You don't need marriage to keep that kind of love aloft.

"But she's gonna want to... And if I tell her that... It's gonna lead to dating, and... She's gonna get her hopes up no matter how much I say that I'm only gonna marry dad."

This is a complicated situation... I'm not sure what to do precisely, but I’m merely giving suggestions. Whatever you do is your choice.

"Sorry it took so long!" Ruby beamed, holding out the double-scoop strawberry ice cream with rainbow sprinkles, "He couldn't find the sprinkles."

"Thanks, Rub," Zoey smiled at her sister for a moment before quickly remembering the secondary reason for getting the ice cream in the first place. They both looked around to make sure there were plenty of people in the vicinity before sensually licking the shared ice cream cone together for all to see.

...It's times like this I wish I wasn't stuck in your head.

"Oh right," Zoey giggled as she licked, "I'm surprised you haven't learned to love it by now."

-----

Several hours later, Fennel was in the kitchen talking to Elizabeth "Oh Elizabeth we were going to make macaroni and cheese, fries and chicken fingers for dinner so you can take a break. Is there anything we should do be aware of?"

"Oh, I can help!" Elizabeth heaved herself up, ready to get cooking.

"No, no. We want you to take a break." Fennel shook her head.

Elizabeth folded her arms and let out an offended huff, "Why don't you want me to help cook?"

"I just don't want you to worry, and because I want to help Ernette how to make mom food." Fennel stated.

"Then I should definitely be helping if we're teaching someone how to cook!"

"Fine, but we aren't going very complex." Fennel reminded Elizabeth.

"Macaroni and cheese, chicken fingers, and fries, got it," Elizabeth nodded.

"Oh yeah I forgot to mention this but I can't really eat large amounts of grapes."

"I'll make sure to remember that. Anything else like that I need to know?"

"I don't think so." Fennel shook her head.

"Alright! Let's make the best mac n cheese, chicken fingers, and fries this planet's ever seen!" Elizabeth proclaimed.

"Alright, Ernette can you boil some water?" Fennel asked as she began cutting several strips of chicken.

"Sure!" Ernette yipped, grabbing a pot and turning the water on, starting to fill it with water as she hummed a tune.

"So Ernette after you slice the chicken into pieces you cover it in egg." Fennel noted as she continued cutting up the bird.

"Mmmhmm! Cover it in egg!" Ernette affirmed as she turned the faucet and pulled the full pot of water out, "Alright, what about the pot, though?"

"You just boil it." Fennel stated

"Once the water's boiling, then we throw the noodles for the macaroni in there," Elizabeth explained.

"Alright!" Ernette put the pot onto the oventop, turning on the heater beneath it and watching the water furtively to ensure she could put the noodles in as soon as it was boiling.

"... It's gonna take awhile for it to boil, do other stuff until then," Elizabeth ordered, "A watched pot never boils."

"If you could help me with the chicken that would be great." Fennel requested pointing to another knife.

"Okay, sure!" Ernette moved her attention to helping Fennel cut the chicken breasts into correctly-sized strips, "This is fun, cutting these up!"

A few minutes later the women had cut the chicken into strips and Fennel began coating the chicken into a bowl of mixed eggs.

Ernette looked over to the pot, noticing it begin to bubble up, before grabbing the box of noodles and beginning to dump them into the pot, "So, I stir them too?" she asked.

"Yeah, but only everyonce in a while, while they cook." Fennel confirmed.

Ernette nodded, stirring the noodles into the boiling water to ensure they were all submerged, before focusing back on the chicken-related task at hand.

Fennel then began coating the chicken in a layer of flour and spices before dropping a few pieces in a pot of oil.

"Lemme go check on the noodles," Ernette hurried over the the pot, stirring the pot of pasta hurriedly.

Fennel noticed that Elizabeth wasn't really doing much. "Hey have you seen Elizabeth?"

"Huh? She's right there..." Ernette pointed over to where she was last.

As it turned out, in the corner of the kitchen, Elizabeth had passed out in a chair in the middle of peeling a potato. Both the potato and the peeler were in her lap while her arms hung limply by her sides.

"Okay, I'll finish the chicken in the pan then put her to bed." Fennel said placing the cooking chicken on a plate of paper towels.

"I'll.. I'll do the fries too, then!" Ernette assured, taking the potato and the peeler, starting to try and figure out how exactly Elizabeth had been doing it.

Fennel then washed her hands before pickng up Elizabeth and taking her to their room.

"I got this," Ernette assured herself, peeling the potato a few times with nicely sized slices, "I got this, I got thi-AH!" Ernette dropped both the potato and the peeler, reeling back with a deep breath as she looked at the cut she had made on the palm of her hand and sighed, "...I don't got it."

Soon enough Fennel had laid Elizabeth down in their bed and tucked the girl in. Fennel took a moment to stroke the girls hair before sneaking off to return to the kitchen.

"Hey Ernette, how's everything going?" Fennel asked as she entered to the room.

"I-It's fine," Ernette murmured, having picked up the mess she had made with the potato and the peeler, a few pieces of paper towel wrapped around her hand as she stirred the macaroni.

"Oh, did you cut yourself?" Fennel asked as she headed to the first aid box in the kitchen.

"It's fine, really," Ernette assured, "I just screwed up."

"Ernette you need to stop being so hard on yourself." Fennel said as she grabbed a bandage and glove.

"I'm not being hard on myself," Ernette huffed, "I'm just stating the truth. I was cutting the potatoes into strips, and I screwed up. It's as simple as tha- why do you have a glove?"

"Screw up, just sounds so harsh." Fennel added. "I mean there's no sense crying over spilt milk."

"I'm not crying over anything," Ernette muttered, "I'm just saying the reality of the matter is I messed up. There, I didn't say screw up. Happy?"

“I mean it’s just not worth worrying over little mistakes is all.” Fennel answered as she returned to frying chicken.

"Little things add up into real big screw ups," Ernette mumbled, pulling out a strainer before asking, "This is what I put the noodles in afterwards, right?"

“Yes.” Fennel answered. “I think there’s a difference between acknowledging your mistakes and beating yourself up over them.”

"I'm not beating myself over them," Ernette huffed, "Clara wouldn't want me stressing over every little thing like that anymore, either."

“Hmm I guess I understand why you worry so much. I mean you were a robot, and now you're a person.” Fennel mused.

"What's that supposed to mean?" Ernette glared.

“I guess I haven’t taken your background into account is all.” Fennel said in an apologetic tone.

"I don't understand what you're trying to say... is my upbringing... bad to you?" Ernette asked.

“It’s different. I just don’t really understand how the situation is for you.” Fennel replied.

"Well, it's simple," Ernette explained as she strained the pasta through the collander, "Everybody has their jobs and tasks, and they're to do them to as well as they can be done. To do less so is looked down upon. And I don't want to get looked down on by anyone, including you and Clara."

“Have I been coming off as looking down on you!?” Fennel asked.

"...A little," Ernette murmured, focusing on getting thr water out of the collander's contents.

“Didn’t meant to do that.” Fennel apologized.

"...It's alright," Ernette sighed, "I've been a bit rude myself."

“It’s just I don’t want anyone to be unhappy is all.” Fennel stated.

"And I do too, but I've been... well, too sensitive about things, I guess, when I talk to you," Ernette sighed, sliding the pasta back into the pot, scooping some of the noodles that stuck onto the collander back into the pot.

“I mean it’s just really stressful especially since Wolfe and I have widely differing beliefs.” Fennel confesses.ln

"...What does Wolfe have to do with this?" Ernette asked as she turned around with a scowl, "I wasn't even talking about him or the girls, and you just bring him up out of nowhere!"

“You know, you're right, this isn’t the time for this.” Fennel said.

"It's not..." Ernette focused herself back on the pot, grabbing the cheese packets and starting to squeeze them into the pot quietly.

“So have you thought of any names yet?” Fennel asked.t

"Names? Oh, for the-" she stopped herself with a light laugh, before continuing to stir in the sauce, "Not yet, I haven't discussed it with Clara yet."

“I want to name my first girl Cinnamon.” Fennel commented.

"It's a nice name, but why's it that?"

“Well I’m named after an herb, and as much as I dislike her, my mother is named after a spice. I just thought it was a cute tradition to keep.” Fennel notes as she put set more chicken to fry.

"That's a nice reason," Ernette beamed, "I... I really don't know what I would name my baby."

“Well, you still have a lot of time.” Fennel nodded.it

"Yeah, nine months, I know," Ernette nodded along, before turning off the oventop, moving to focus on the fries again, grabbing the peeler, "I'm just not sure I'd be... happy with whatever name I gave them."

“Don’t worry about it, I’m sure you’ll know when the time comes.” Fennel assures.

"I hope so..." Ernette murmured, peeling the potato again more slowly.

“Ernette, I’m sure you’ll be a great mom.” Fennel added.t

"You think?" Ernette looked back, stopping her peeling just incase she screwed up again.

“I think as long as you try, you’ll be wonderful.” Fennel assured.

Ernette smiled at Fennel, before hugging her. "You're a good friend," she commented, kissing Fennel on the cheek before pulling back from the hug and getting back to peeling the fries out.

"Thank you Ernette." Fennel said as she finished the last of the chicken before going to help Ernette with the fries.

"Y'know, I got back to Clara about that offer," Ernette giggled, "And she said she'd be perfectly fine with you, her, and me all together."

"I'll pass." Fennel declined.

"Come on!" Ernette insisted, "You gotta stop being a prude about it! It'll be great!"

"I'm perfectly happy being a prude for now." Fennel replied.

"Hmph. I know Clara would really like it," Ernette mused, "And you'd really like it... I don't like saying something so crass, but she's better than Bob."

"Okay, but I'm still gonna decline." Fennel shook her head.

"But why?" Ernette whined, "You're just gonna let yourself get stressed like that and not have a good release valve for it?"

"Well first off Clara is like twelve."

"Yeah, but she wears the tie, so it's fine," Ernette retorted.

"But she's still a twelve year old girl, it can't really get past that. And then I'm not really into the idea of threesomes either."

"...Eh, fine," Ernette mumbled, "I'll tell Ruby about it then. I offered her it earlier when she was down in the dumps, and she was fine with it."

"Well to be honest... that level of activity in the girls is concerning." Fennel muttered.

"Why's that?" Ernette asked, cocking her head.

"Well, it's just kids aren't supposed to do that. I mean from the older girls I get wanting to have sex, it's not exactaly rocket science that puberty does alot..." Fennel began. "You know their dad had sex with them, it's just that it's wrong for him to have done that."

"Yeah, I guess that makes sense..." Ernette mused, "...But it's not good to just cut them off from it. They'd get all... angry about it."

“Yeah, it’s just I don’t know how to go about it other than try to get them to understand what he did is wrong and try to be a mom to the girls.” Fennel explained.

"Yeah... hey, you know what may make you feel better about it?" Ernette asked, peering into a pantry and grabbing a plastic jar, "You want some peanut butter? You were asking about it earlier, so I assume you wanted some."

“Yes.” Fennel nodded.

"Well," Ernette popped a spoon into the peanut butter, before holding out the spoon, "You want a spoon of it, or-"

Before Ernette could finish, Fennel was licking the spoon, in all honesty it looked like a dog was eating peanut butter. She hadn’t even bothered to take it from the woman’s hand.

Ernette's eyes widened as she realized how obsessed over peanut butter, watching for a moment at how entranced in it Fennel was, before yanking the half-licked spoon back, placing it in the jar as she thought for a moment, a smarmy grin growing on her face as she asked, "How bad do you want this peanut butter, Fenny?" shaking the jar in her hand close to her body.

Fennel’s eyes followed the peanut butter with great intent and wagged her tail.

Ernette took the spoon, now covered in peanut butter, and, after setting the jar behind her, flipped open her skirt and slid the spoon down into her panties.

“Oh fuck you!” Fennel hissed, “I’m not that much of an animal.”

Ernette's grin turned into a deadpan frown, "Well, you were leading me on that you were!" she shouted annoyedly, pulling the spoon back up as she peered down, "...Great. Now I gotta clean out my panties out or else Clara's gonna be confused as hell. Thanks a lot, Fennel," she huffed, tossing the jar of peanut butter to her as she walked to another part of the kitchen, taking the hose from one of the sinks and turning it on.

“I would have rolled over.” Fennel quipped. As she began licking the contents of the jar sense she had already double dipped.”I suggest a little more subtlety next time.”

"The same to you!" Ernette shouted back as she put the sprinkler in her skirt, sighing as it went off, "If it weren't for this hose, I'd be more angry."

“Had you not tried for third base, you might have gotten some luck.” Fennel snickered.

"Second base next time?" Ernette asked.

“You’re gonna have to settle for less than first.”

"You can't be a prude and tease me like that!" Ernette whined, "That's not how it works!"

“Oh but you see that’s exactly how it works," Fennel teased. “Maybe a hand or cheek would have worked.”

"Maybe next time then, Fenny," Ernette winked, "You know... maybe you're not a prude... well, not as much a prude as I thought. I'm gonna go tell everyone the food's done."

“You might wanna change, it looks like you pissed yourself.” Fennel giggles.

"...Thanks for that," Ernette huffed with a smile, before walking back to change her skirt and underwear quickly, and then returning to the lobby. "Dinner is ready!" Ernette declared to whoever was in the lobby, "...Let me and Fennel come get it out!" she hastily rushed back to the kitchen to help the fox bring the food out into the lobby, setting the trays of chicken tenders, french fries, and macaroni out for everyone to see.

Fennel then took out several plates of food making sure that Harper, Mary, and, Casey got plates with more chicken than macaroni.

"Man, I hate chicken," Harper huffed as she tore into one of her chicken tenders immediately.

“Are you really gonna say that about Ernette’s first meal?” Fennel asked.

”Don’t take the gal’a comment personally,” Tychen laughed from the seat next to Harper, “She’s a compulsive liar! Ain’t that right?”

"I am not!" Harper contested with a mouthful of chicken that she was clearly enjoying.

Ernette giggled at the sight of the two fighting over it, “It’s okay to say you like it!” She beamed.

"I'm-" Harper swallowed her bite, "Only eating it so it doesn't go to waste." She did not pause before resuming her eating of the tenders.

“...Oh,” Ernette murmured, somewhat hurt.

“We made this plate just for you, Harper.” Fennel pouted.

Fennel's comments and Ernette's hurt expression managed to tear the truth from Harper via guilt as she swallowed her bite and quietly mumbled with shame, "... I really do like it... I was just lying. I'm sorry." She slowly bit into her chicken tender.

“It’s alright,” Ernette’s face returned to a light smile, “It makes me happy you really like it!”

“Thank you for liking it.” Fennel said.

"It's great, Ernette," Clara spoke up, "You did a good job."

Fennel then handed a plate to Bob, “Here you go, Bob!” She said rather cheerily.

"Oh, thanks!" Bob grinned as he took his plate, "This looks wonderful!"

"Thanks to both of you!" Ernette smiled. Getting so much praise was so gratifying for the Benefactor.

"Thank you mommy! And mommy!" Tina exclaimed to both Ernette and Fennel before munching on her macaroni and cheese.

"Aww, you're welcome, honey!" Ernette chimed back, even happier that her own honorary kid was complimenting her.

“Thank you Tina!” Fennel cheered.

"Wait, Tina, you're calling Ernette 'mommy' too now?" Zoey asked before tossing a fry into her mouth.

"Uh-huh!" Tina nodded happily.

Fennel the pressed her nose to Tina’s cheek, “Who’s mommy’s princess?”

"Me! I am!" Tina giggled.

“Yes you are!" Fennel said before giving a groggy Elizabeth a plate of food.

"Thanks," Elizabeth yawned as she bit down on a french fry, paused, and then mumbled, "It needs a little more salt, should've been cooked longer... It tastes good though." She would have been more harsh, but knew that Ernette must have had a heavy hand in making the fries. She could scream at alien bug chefs that were blatantly ignorant and had been making sludge, but she couldn't be too hard on a complete beginner.

Ernette would have been taken aback by the criticisms... but a "good enough" from Elizabeth, she knew, was a fine start for a first time.

“I told you, you would do fine.” Fennel replied.

"I know, I'm just surprised I was going to do good at all!" Ernette laughed.

"I'm not surprised," Clara stated as she brought a spoonful of macaroni to her mouth, "You're a good girl, Ernette." The praise was accompanied by a subtle flick of a dial in the girl's pocket.

"Yeah... Yeah, I am," Ernette's smile grew as she felt cheery about the whole predicament, especially with the almost-holy compliment of "good girl" applied to her... that, and other things that made her feel good.

Fennel then handed Mila her plate, ”And for you, blasteroni and cheese.”

Mila smiled down at her plate before looking up at Fennel curiously, "Huh?"

“It’s a pun. Like a blaster from a game.” Fennel explained.

"Oh! Haha!" Mila forced out a laugh at the terrible pun that had to be explained for Fennel's sake.

Meanwhile, Shlyke had already taken to making his own plate, shoving about a dozen chicken tenders onto his plate and nothing else, before lowering himself back down and skittering back to sit with Tina.

"Tendies are finger foods," Tina mentioned as she demonstrated by holding up a chicken tender with her hand before taking a bite out of it. She smiled to the alien as she chewed.

Shlyke snapped down on half a tender, chewing it before gulping, "They are... good!" he nodded, snapping up the rest of the tender quickly, "Very good!"

"Slow down, or you’ll choke.” Fennel requested.

"I know, I know, I know!" the Abrol chided quickly with a snicker, "I choke already, so I know!"

"I've been teaching him manners!" Tina beamed, "He's been doing really good!"

“Very good Tina.” Fennel praised.

"Yes, she does very good!" Shlyke agreed, "I eat on only plate, use fork and knife, and clean mess when making one!"

“Very good!” Fennel said before handing a plate of food to Maria and Madison.

"Oh, we already got plates," Madison giggled, pulling two plates of chicken tenders, macaroni, and fries from under the table, "I was waiting for you to try and bring some food to us this whole time." It was clear she was just showing off her talent for magic tricks without causing a scene the other girls would take notice of.

“We have enough for seconds.” Fennel replied.

"It's a good thing I grabbed seconds then," Madison sneered, pulling out another two plates from under the table.

“Girls,” Fennel said taking the plates to Casey and Anna. ”Did you girls get food yet?”

"Oh no, thanks, Fennel!" Anna exclaimed.

"Thank you," Casey said much more quietly, dropping a tiny shred of chicken into her little plastic container habitat on the table for her pet roach before eating the rest of the chicken tender herself.

"I think that's everybo-Oh, Tychen, would you... er.." Ernette stopped herself, realizing the faults in her reasoning.

"Nah," Tychen snickered, "I'll be fine. I'm not a fan of normal people food anyways... but it looks good," the pirate salvaged his comment quickly.

"Aw! Thanks!" Ernette smiled in return, then looked to Fennel, "I think that's everyone, then!"

Fennel nodded before sitting down next to Bob. “Hey.”

"I think you and Ernette did a great job on this," Bob complimented.

“Thank you.” Fennel replied before biting into a tender. “So what did you do while we cooked?”

"Oh, just wrapped presents, did some other stuff," Bob shrugged, "It's gonna be wild tomorrow. Christmas Eve? I bet Tina's gonna go nuts."

Brendan then quipped. “Also I got the girls something’s myself.”

“Thanks, Bread.” Fennel replied before returning her attention to Bob, “Can we get it on camera?”

"Oh, yeah, sure," Bob nodded, "I bet Ernette'd let us use hers to do it, right?"

“That would be nice.” Fennel said, wiping a bit of peanut butter from her nose. “Well, tomorrow will be a lot of fun.”

"I'm sure it will be," Bob chuckled, wrapping an arm around Fennel and kissing her on the cheek.

“Aw, you're making me blush.” Fennel replied.

Bob let out a little chuckle, smooching her one more time on the cheek for good measure, "Well, that's good to hear."

The fox’s tail then began wagging rapidly. “Now you’re making me wag.” Fennel said as she smooched Bob.

"Well, I guess that's just what I do," Bob smirked.

Fennel then Placed her tail on Bob’s lap as she ate.

"Ugh! Look at the two lovebirds!" Tychen snickered from his seat.

"Don't complain. You had your chance with both Fennel and me," Harper remarked before inhaling a chicken tender.

"Yeah, yeah, I turned you and her down, big whoop, I get it," Tychen grumbled, flopping his head down onto the table in the neat little space around his arms, "I got a cat. I'll be fine... I think. Hey "

"I'm sure you will be," Harper nodded.

"...I can't tell if you're lying or not, for once," Tychen groaned from under his arms. Harper simply smiled as she continued eating her chicken.

"...If I lost my shot at Fennel and you, why am I even still here?" the pirate asked himself as he pulled his head up.

"Because we're besties," Harper answered before quickly adding, "And that's not a lie."

"...Fair enough," Tychen shrugged, "You're pretty fun to hang around, anyways. Better than a walking corpse, I'll tell ya that. You know how much conversation an animated cadaver's gonna give me if I ask it how its day's going? Nothing. Ziltch. It'll just stare at me and wait for me to tell it to go dust the furniture or something stupid," he bickered on.

“Do you have any siblings?” Fennel asked Bob.

"Nah, I don't really have a family," Bob shrugged.

“That’s kinda sad.” Fennel commented.

"Eh, a little bit," Bob agreed, "But I think with you guys... I'm just fine."

“Yeah, I almost treat them like my kids at times.” Fennel added.

"Doesn't Tina call you mom?" Bob asked.

“Yeah, she does. I want to have my own kids some day. It’s kinda like practice.” Fennel replied.

"Well... I.." Bob stuttered, unsure what to say as her boyfriend, "I guess that'd make sense..."

“Oh geez, I swear I’m not gonna do anything.” Fennel said, remembering their last date.

"I know, I know... I'm just not sure how to respond to that..." Bob thought for a moment, "...But I think you'd be a wonderful mom."

“Thank you.” Fennel replied.”I think you’d be a good dad.” She added awkwardly.

"I'm flattered," Bob nodded, unsure what else to say.

“Well how about that snow am a right?” Fennel asked.

"Yeah, that was definitely sno- Oh, you know what, that reminds me," Bob turned away and shouted to Shlyke, "HEY SHLYKE! SOME WEIRD BUG GUY'S WATCHING TO MAKE SURE YOU DON'T SCREW UP!" he turned back to Fennel, "But yeah, it's really cold."

“So...I’ve never been in a snow ball fight.” Fennel admitted somewhat bashfully.

"Really? Not even in Varie?" Bob asked with a shocked tone.

"...What did Bob say was doinf to make sure I not screw up?" Shlyke asked, walking up to the table.

"I said a weird bug guy is sitting out somewhere, watching you, and making sure you don't screw up, or else the bugs are gonna arrest you." Bob clarified.

"...Got it!" Shlyke gave Bob a thumb up, before fluttering back over to Tina's table.

“Well tropical islands aren’t known for getting snow.” Fennel replied. Hey

"Yeah, but you said Varie was like Europe. And Europe has snow all the time."

“We were busy, it just never really happened." Fennel admitted.

“Fair enough. I promise to give you the best snowball fight thatyou’ll ever have,” Bob nodded with a grin.

“Oh when?” Fennel asked looking up to Bob.

"Maybe sometime tomorrow?" Bob asked, "I mean, it's been snowing the last few days..."

“Yeah that sounds good.” Fennel nodded before taking a bite of macaroni. “Any suggestions for next time we cook?”

“Maybe like, uh... spaghetti and meatballs?” Bob suggested.

“Yeah we can do that.” Fennel agreed before sneaking a fry from Bob’s plate.

"That'd be nice," Bob nodded, letting Fennel snatch the fry off his plate.

“Mmhmm.” Fennel muttered as she began chewing the singular fry. A few moments later, she swallowed the fried potato before eating her own fries.

"I think Latte and Bob are back together," Ruby noted from her table with an exceptionally happy tone.

Zoey slowly nodded with a smug grin. "I had a feeling they'd hook up again. I am the matchmaker master five billion after all," She sneered, high-fiving her little sister. While Ruby was always happy to see Zoey so smug, she was mostly glad that Fennel was no longer a threat to her relationship with Zoey.

The Fox then held a fry in front of Bob’s face. “Do you want this one?” Fennel asked with her ears perked up.

Bob hesitated, before grabbing the fry with his mouth, "Don't mind if I do."

“You didn’t even say thank you.” Fennel pouted, fully aware of her own hypocrisy.

"Well, I didn't think I needed to!" Bob laughed, "I thought it was like, I let you have one, and you let me have one?"

“What gave you that crazy idea?” The vixen snickered.

"I dunno, it just seemed like how it was," Bob swallowed the fry after a bit of chewing, before kissing Fennel on the cheek as a sort of thanks for dinner.

“I don’t know what you are talking about.” Fennel answered, making it very obvious she was taking another fry., before patting Bob’s cheek.

"Fucking kill me," Tychen whimpered quietly as he burrowed his head back into his arms.

Hopkins then tried punching the pirate as if trying to carry out his request. "Thanks. Nice try," Tychen praised from inside his arms, "Harper, can you just, like, shoot me or something? You say I'm gonna make it, but I'm feelin' like I'm not."

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Re: Dimensional Clash IX [IC]

Post by Infested on Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:57 pm

After dinner, Fennel was sitting on her bed minding own business, a keep observer would notice a jar of peanut butter on the night stand with a spoon on top.

Outside in the lobby, Tina and Shlyke were still out, sitting at a table playing tic-tac-toe (it had still been a favorite of the Abrol, and he had almost won twice). “I will win against you this time!” He declared, marking an X onto the middle box on paper with a pencil.

Eventually, Fennel walked over to the two, licking a spoonful of peanut butter and watched as silently as possible.

"Hmmm..." Tina hummed before drawing an O into the bottom left box.

“Ha!” Shlyke laughed as he struck the paper with his pencil quickly, drawing an X into the center left box.

As the game went on, Tychen slid up next to Fennel, snickering, “It’s always fun to watch the little ones play, is it not?”

“Mmhm.” Fennel replied occupied by the contents of the spoon.

“You’re really into that spoon, huh?” Tychen asked.

“...And there!” Shlyke exclaimed, striking a final X in the center right box, striking a line into them as he jumped about and cheered, “I did it! It is won! Tic-tac-tooe is finally won by Shlyke!”

“Hmm?” Fennel asked as she watched for Tina’s reaction.

"Tic tac toe, three in a row! You did it!" Tina cheered.

"Yes! I did it! Three X in a row!" Shlyke exclaimed happily, "Tic tac and tooe all for me!"

Tina happily pulled out a folded piece of paper, unfolded it, and revealed a chart of tallies displaying her wins against Shlyke's. Finally, she could add a single tally to Shlyke's half of the paper.

“That’s a lot of wins, Tina.” Fennel stated.

"It's almost like Shlyke sucks at games," Tychen murmured quietly.

"Thank you, mommy!" Tina smiled before looking to Shlyke and showing off his tally with pride.

"Oh yes!" Shlyke took the paper in his hands, holding up to his face for a second with glee, before hugging Tina, "Oh, thank you!"

Fennel then sat down next to Tina and asked “What game are you two going to play now.”

"... Tic tac toe?"

“Okay.” Fennel said before placing Tina in her lap.

"What else would we do?" Shlyke asked, flipping over the used paper to use the other side to play again."

“You could play checkers or something.” Fennel suggested.

"We don't have checkers though," Tina lamented.

“Oh.” Fennel realized.

"Oh, I know a game we could all play!" Tychen interjected, "It's a fun little game called Oneshot. See you-"

“Tychen, do you want a bullet between your eyes?” Fennel asked.

"...No," Tychen sighed, "You're a joykill, Fenny gal."

"Wait! What's Oneshot?" Tina asked, her six-year-old curiosity clawing at her.

“It’s a bad game. Good girls don’t play it.”

"No, no, it's a fun game that has a lot of little quirks!" Tychen disagreed, "You see, you take a gun, and you put a fake bullet in it. You go around in a circle and you-"

“I know let’s play pretend instead.” Fennel suggested to Tina.

"Pretend what?" The little girl inquired.

“I dunno what do you want to pretend to be?” Fennel asked.

"Ummm... Shlyke! You decide since you won tic tac toe!" Tina pointed at her Abrol friend.

“Hmmm... I say we do... hmm... bad guys!” Shlyke exclaimed.

“Bad guys?” Fennel asked cocking her head to the side.

“Yes yes! Bad guys who do not like rules!” Shlyke nodded.

Tychen laughed and laid back in his chair, “Sounds like fun!”

“Does that mean I can eat Tina?” Fennel said before pretend biting into Tina’s shoulder.

“...Please don’t,” Shlyke huffed, seeing it as a sort of joke at his expense.

"How do we pretend to be bad guys?" Tina asked, looking around at everyone.

“Bad Guy here,” Tychen rose his hand and continued, “Just do whatever you want, even if the rules say not to.”

“NO littering though.” Fennel requested.

"Oh, okay..." Tina slowly nodded, thinking for a moment before giving Fennel a hug.

“What- no!” Tychen shook his head, “Like evil stuff!”

"... But I'm doing what I want... And... If being a bad guy means doing what you want, even if the rules say not to, and the rule of being a bad guy is to do evil stuff, then I'm breaking that rule!" Tina reasoned.

“Well, bad guys aren’t nice and hugging each other!” Tychen explained.

"Then I'm breaking the rules!" Tina exclaimed as she continued to hug Fennel.

“J-ugh, ignore what I said about breaking rules,” Tychen grumbled, “Just go do bad stuff!”

"Being a bad guy is confusing," Tina blinked.

“Here, let me show you,” Tychen insisted, standing up and walking a short bit, before knocking over a chair and gesturing to it, “Now, that’s a very minor bad thing, but it’s stuff like that is what a bad guy does.”

Tina looked up at Fennel and asked, "Mommy? Is it okay if I pretend to be a bad guy?"

“Only if I’m your side kick.” Fennel added.

"Can Shlyke be my side kick too?" Tina requested.

“Yes.” Fennel agreed. Hey

Tina hopped off of Fennel's lap and pointed to the ceiling as she proclaimed, "THEN MOMMY! SHLYKE! KNOCK OVER EVERY CHAIR HERE!" She then knocked over a chair herself before laughing mania-

"Nope, nuh-uh, no," A hotel employee came over with a huff, "We've gotten numerous noise complaints from your group, you used our kitchen twice now without permission and made a mess each time, and have been a general nuisance to other guests. You have been here for what, two days?"

“We’ll clean up after.” Fennel replied.

"No, no, I am not dealing with this. You could damage the chairs or the floor," The employee shook his head.

Fennel then pulled out three gold Varian coins. “We can pay for the damages, and you for your cooperation.”

"Oh yeah, like I've never seen fake gold before. I'm not getting fired, so unless you want to get kicked out... Just stop."

"Hey, hey, we can all come to a compromise," Tychen assured, pulling out a fat wad of money, "Maybe I could just pay you in advance for any damage? My little treat."

Seeing actual money made the employee's eyes light up. Slowly, he took the wad of cash before holding one of the bills up to a light. "... Just try to keep it down," He sighed before walking off and letting their villainy continue.

"... So we can be bad guys now?"

Fennel then knocked over a chair.

"You better be evil," Tychen pointed to a chair, "I just spent like half my spare money bribing that guy."

"... Die chair!" Tina screamed, throwing the chair across the lobby while the employee that had chastised them counted his money from behind the front counter.

"Yeah! Chairs must die!" Shlyke hissed, lunging onto a chair and knocking it down.

Fennel was content flipping chairs without much fan fare.

"BWAAAAAGH!" Tina screamed after having flipped and thrown a few more chairs before chucking one at a window and shattering the glass. The chair tumbled outside as Tina laughed maniacally.

With the flick of a wand the chair return to the room as the window was restored. “Maybe this was a bad idea.” Fennel thought aloud.

"Did I hear something break?" The employee quickly asked, looking up from his mad stacks of cash.

“No!” Fennel called.

"DEATH TO ALL CHAIRS!" Tina roared as she threw a chair downwards. One of the legs cracked a bit upon impact before she threw it down again, breaking off the leg entirely. She then took the severed leg and started beating the poor chair with it.

"Yeah! Destroy the chairs!” Shlyke goaded on, chanting “Break it!” as he stood next to Tina cheering her on.

Fennel, realizing the error of her ways, began fixing the chairs as soon as they were broken.

Fennel then went over to Tina and said, “Tina, you're making the chairs sad.”

Tina's evil smile quickly vanished as she looked down at the chair, then up at Fennel, "W-What?"

“The chairs are sad when you break them, Tina.” Fennel said, putting a hand on the girl’s shoulder.

Tina did not question how a chair could feel sad. "But... But you said it's okay," Tina murmured, feeling hurt. Not only had she apparently made these chairs 'sad', but her mother had so quickly changed her mind only after the fact.

“Mommy was wrong. If you help me put them back together, the chairs will be happy again.”

“No, no, I paid good money to break chairs!” Tychen harrumphed.

Tina, however, moped over to a fallen chair and picked it back up with an apology before moving on to another chair.

Shlyke looked about for a second, going through the same series of emotions quickly, before pulling chairs back up like Tina.

Fennel then took to fixing the chairs following Tina.

Tychen simply folded his arms and huffed, watching in somewhat annoyance at them doing good guy things. “...Let’s go find some other bad things to do outside the hotel,” he suggested, “...After we deal with this of course.”

Soon enough the group had cleaned up their mess. “Tina, you made a big girl choice in helping mommy fix the chairs, They are very happy now.”

“Can chairs even get happy?” Shlyke asked.

Tina, unfortunately, did not seem to cheer up as she looked around at the chairs.

“What if we play a prank on Bob, Tina. Then you can still play bad guys.” The fox suggested.

“...I got an idea,” Tychen suggested, pulling out a dollar bill with a barely visible string attached to one side, “It’s a bit kiddy for me, but it’d be perfect for you.”

"... I don't wanna play bad guys anymore," Tina mumbled morosely.

“I’m sorry Tina.” Fennel said as she took Tina’s hand.

“...Want to play Tic-Tac-Tooe again?” Shlyke suggested, trying to raise her mood again.

"Okay," Tina nodded unenthusiastically.

“...Or if you don’t, we could do whatever you want,” Shlyke ensured, keeping an optimistic look about him.

“Or we can go play with Bob, whatever you want to do.” Fennel assures the girl.

"Okay," Tina nodded once again with an equal lack of enthusiasm.

Fennel then picked Tina up to go find Bob.

“That’s fun, I guess I’ll... stay here,” Shlyke laughed somewhat quietly.

"Wait, Shlyke," Tina raised her voice a little, "You can come too."

“Wait, really? What about Bob and his not liking of me?” Shlyke asked, skittering up with the two.

"He doesn't not like you... He just didn't like your bad manners, but now you have good manners," Tina reasoned, trying for a smile as to reassure her friend.

“Well.. it makes sense!” Shlyke nodded, his antennae pricked up happily, “Let us do have fun!”

Soon enough Fennel found her lover and said “Bob, do you think you can help us cheer Tina up?”

“Hmm... well, there’s always the LEGOs, but maybe we could do...hmm... Hide and Seek?” Bob shrugged.

"... I like hide and seek," Tina murmured.

“Do you want to seek?” Fennel asked the girl.

Tina thought for a moment before nodding to Fennel.

“Okay count to twenty and we’ll go hide.” Fennel said.

“I think I understand what to do,” Shlyke nodded, looking around for a place to hide, “It was a game we played in the outpost when we were having free time... we had lots of free time. But everyone cheated at the game.”

"How did they cheat?" Tina inquired as she neared a wall for counting.

“Eh, all the different kinds of Kanak cheated differently,” Shlyke shrugged, before hopping off and looking for a place to hide, before simply deciding to hide behind the curtains, looking incredibly obvious as to his placement, with even a bit of his abdomen poking out.

Fennel quickly hid under the bed and tried to shrink into the corner of the wall.

Bob ran into the bathroom and hid in the tub, hiding behind the shower curtain.

"19... 20! Ready or not, here I come!" Tina exclaimed, her mood having lifted during her counting. Immediately, she spotted Shlyke, but decided to let the bug be as to not spoil his fun so easily. She hummed for a moment before checking the one spot that everyone always hid in.

"Found you, mommy!" Tina squealed as she looked under the bed.

“How did you find me?” Fennel asked.

"It's the first place I look!" Tina exclaimed before standing up and 'finding' Shlyke, "Found you, Shlyke!"

“Oooooh!” Shlyke jumped out of his hiding place as he chittered, “I had the best of places for hiding! How did you find me so easy?!”

Fennel then crawled out from under the bed and followed Tina to look for the others.”

"Part of you was sticking out," Tina giggled.

Shlyke looked back to his abdomen and wiggled it with a sigh, “Bah! I’m too large to hide there! How saddening!”

It took a minute or two of searching until Tina finally stumbled upon Bob when she moved the curtain to the side. She let out a little yelp of surprise before laughing, "Found you, Bob!"

“Ah! You found me!” Bob exclaimed, picking up Tina and tickling her, “You sure did!”

"H-Hey! Stop it!" Tina laughed and squirmed, "Mommy, h-help!"

“Okay I’ll help, Tina!” Fennel said before tickling the girl with Bob.

"N-No!" Tina continued to laugh, weakly flailing in the maniacal tickling of Bob and Fennel.

Shlyke poked his head into the bathroom, before pulling back, knowing that it really wasn’t wise to join Bob and Fennel in tickling Tina at that time.

“Careful Tina or we’ll eat you up!” Fennel said as she once agin pretended to take a bite out of Tina’s hands.

"I-I'll eat you!" Tina stammered, still laughing.

“Nu-uh, Bob’s gonna help me.” Fennel countered.

“Yeah!” Bob agreed, play-nibbling on Tina’s arm as he kept tickling.

“I think she’d be good with some paprika.” Fennel joked.

“Maybe,” Bob laughed, before calming down and setting the girl down, “But we don’t have any right now, and I bet Liz is too pooped to spice her up for us!”

“Yeah we’ll just have to wait before we cook her.” Fennel joked.

“Okay, you two, calm it with the eating bits!” Shlyke shouted with an upset huff from the bedroom, where he sat in the bed closest to the bathroom, watching some static on the TV.

“We’re just playing.” Fennel called back.

“Yeah, but still, knock it off!” Shlyke retorted, trying to keep his mind off of old events.

“Okay fine, don’t get your panties in a twist.” Fennel said dropping the subject.

"What's wrong, Shlyke?" Tina asked as she approached the Abrol.

“...Nothing,” Shlyke shook his head, “I’m fine... just thinking about old things, is all I do.”

"Like what?" Tina inquired, plopping down beside Shlyke.

“Eh, my old life... before Kanak work,” Shlyke sighed, “...I don’t want to be talking about it. You wouldn’t like it.”

While Tina doubted she wouldn't like hearing about it, she respected his desire to keep his mouth shut with a nod. "Okay," She responded simply.

“You are a good friend to me,” Shlyke chittered somewhat emotionally, wrapping his arms around Tina and burying his head in her torso, “Don’t forget that. I won’t forget it ever.”

"Oh... You're a really good friend too," Tina replied after a brief moment before returning the hug.

Fennel was unsure how to react, she felt bad about hurting the bug's feelings.

Shlyke pulled back from the hug with a sigh, “I know I can always count on you, Tina,” he quipped, pausing for a moment, before flicking out his tongue and slurping it over her cheek quickly, before hopping out of bed with a laugh, “Now I go run about!”

Tina giggled at the sudden lick, turning around to smile at Shlyke, Fennel, and Bob. She had completely recovered from her period of misery.

“Yay! Tina’s a happy girl!” Fennel cheered.

“Hooray!” Bob cheered alongside Fennel.

======

“...And that is why an Abrol’s metabolism is so weirdly high, and why we keep them in their little sector,” Ippin finished a long explanation of why the Abrol species was contained and regulated as they were with a focus on their biological and societal standards, including their seeming inclination to violence and general lack of care for existing hierarchies save for those made by the Abrol themselves. Mostly, it had been an attempt to sprout a conversation, as he was seriously lacking in the social interaction he was more used to.

There was then a knocking at the door. “Hello?” a vulpine voice asked.

"Oh no," Casey gasped and lowered her voice, "I think that's Fennel- Quick! Hide!"

“Oh, shoot! She’s the one that’s weird about bugs, right?” Ippin asked as he floated under the bed to hide.

“Hey, are you talking to someone?” Fennel asked

"I-I was just talking to Roachy!" Casey called back before running up to the door and cracking it open to peek out at Fennel, "Need something?"

“How many talking bugs are there around here? That’s like three now.” Fennel asked.

"Oh, no, Roachy can't talk," Casey mumbled, "He's the roach I was with at dinner... In the little plastic container."

“You have air holes right?” The vixen asked.

"Yeah.." Casey nodded, not opening the door any wider, "... What's up?"

“I just wanted to hang out a little bit.” Fennel answered.

"Oh... No thank you," Casey shook her head in response.

“Okay... I'll just go to bed or something then.” Fennel said before walking away.

"Goodnight," Casey said before closing the door. While she felt bad about so bluntly turning Fennel down, she didn't want to risk giving away Ippin's location... That, and she just didn't want to hang out with people.

“...I could’ve kept quiet under there,” Ippin commented as he floated out of the hiding spot, secretly wanting to overhear what sort of conversation they would have had to of had.

"Hm? Oh, I just didn't feel like talking to her," Casey explained as she sat down in her chair beside Roachy.

“Ah...” Ippin nodded, unsure what to say, “...Do you want to talk about the species of Kanak some more, maybe even our history? There’s a lot more than what you saw in the camp, even!” He offered, having seen through a feed in his suit that Shlyke was out of trouble for the time being.

"Yeah, I'd love to hear more," Casey eagerly nodded after giving the top of Roachy's habitat a gentle pat.

“Well, Let’s see. I’ve already told you about Abrol... I’m an Oitic, and... hm... let’s start with one of the more imposing ones, the Selk,” Ippin started, “Or, as your Earth analogue, the praying mantis. Selk are a militaristic race to their core. When it comes to protecting Kanak’s sovereignty or exerting its power over others, more likely than not, it will be a Selk heading these endeavors.”

”The Selk were first uplifted to fight as a cheap front line labor that were somewhat resistant to the enemy’s biological weapons, but found them totally immune to it, which brought with the Selk an assured victory against Kanak’s foe. The state they formed, Malrek, is now one of the largest, most military-dominant province of Kanak, to the spite of some politicians. But, I think they’re overreacting when they denounce Selk like that. Sure, they’re prone to aggression, but they’re pretty honorable and straightforward, so you understand that whatever they say to you is more than likely not a lie.”

—-

The next morning Fennel awoke earlier than usual, she had to wake up earlier than Bob today. After taking a moment to put on her warmer clothes, she headed outside to grab some of the food and cooking wares from the bus. Then after a few minutes Fennel had gotten out a few frying pans and was using her polearm as a heating element to cook some bacon and eggs.

Soon enough, the bacon was ready and crispy before the Vixen moved it to a plate and began frying some hashbrowns. The Laviturnian had taken to humming a song as she cooked. Eventually, the hash browns were finished and Fennel looked at her handiwork before garnishing the dish with spices and ketchup in a heart shape. Fennel then made her way back inside before knocking on Bob’s door. '"Bob!" Fennel called from the other side of the door.

It would be a moment before Bob groggily opened the door, rubbing his eyes. “Oh hey, Fen,” he murmured, looking down at the plate in her hand and realized, “Oh man, I almost forgot about that! Shoot! This looks amazing!”

"Thank you!" Fennel replied before letting herself into the room. "Alright, you have to lay down or it isn't breakfast in bed." She joked.

“Alright, alright,” Bob chuckled along with a yawn before laying down, pulling up the cover to himself, “You’re a good gal, you know that?”

Fennel's ears shot up along with a very vigorous wag of her tail indicated that she very much enjoyed being called a good gal. She then handed the plate to Bob before sitting on the foot of the bed and watching Bob, with her tail still visibly wagging. "Oh, do you need some juice or coffee?" The vixen asked.

“Some coffee would be nice,” Bob nodded, taking his fork and stabbing himself a bite of the hash browns, groaning in delight at their taste.

Fennel then exited the room, making a point to prop the door open so she could enter again. A few minutes later, the vixen returned, holding a cup of coffee and placed it on the night stand with a cheery, "Here you go!" before taking her space on the foot of the bed once again.

“You’re the best!” Bob smiled to his girlfriend, taking a sip of his coffee and sighing, “I feel like I need to do something in return for all of this.”

"Oh no, this was nothing." Fennel answered, trying to downplay the meal she had prepared. It was apparent that she was simply trying to be polite.

“No, this was amazing! Are you sure you don’t want me to do anything?” Bob proposed.

"I won't stop you." Fennel said with a coy smile.

“Then I guess I gotta find something for you, then,” Bob chuckled, picking up his empty plate and standing up to go put it wherever that sort of thing needed to go.

Fennel then slid off fthe bed. "I can take that for you," Fennel requested as she gripped the plate.

“Oh, sure!” Bob nodded, letting Fennel take the plate from him.

The plate floated for a moment before a stream of water appeared from the sink, causing the dish to clean itself before the water went down the sink and the remaining scraps of food into the trashcan. She then placed the clean plate on a desk. "So... did you have anything in mind?" She asked, putting her hands behind her back.

“Well, there’s always that snowball fight I told you we’d do last night,” Bob offered, “But lemme wake up first. I gotta take a shower and stuff.”

"Oh, I guess I'll do the same too then." Fennel added as she left the room.

Bob knocked on the bathroom door, having already jiggled the knob and confirming that it was locked.

I’m being a bit busy!” Shlyke shouted, sounding anxious from back on the other side of the door, “Come back in a later bit!

“You okay in there?” Bob asked, a little concern in his voice.

N-Er- Yes! Yes! Just a... little hygiene thing,” Shlyke responded with a lie, “...I-I’ll be gooder in a little of a while, just let me-” Shlyke cut himself off with a crick as it sounded like he fell off a stepstool, the sound of things cluttering to the floor echoing from inside the bathroom.

Bob looked over to Tina, unsure if he should tell her that Shlyke was having some sort of problem, and probably needed help. “...Hey, Tina,” Bob mumbled as he shook her ever so gently on the shoulder.

Tina's snoring became a bit louder before cutting off as she mumbled a bit of nonsense as she opened her eyes, smiling upon seeing Bob. "Breakfast?" She murmured, still half-asleep.

“...Eh, Yeah,” Bob nodded, “But first, I think Shlyke needs your help with something. He locked himself in the bathroom, and he’s not telling me what’s up.”

"Mmm..." Tina lethargically crawled out of bed, using Bob as a means of staying on her own two feet until she was confident enough to walk on her own before approaching the bathroom door and knocking on it once with her head. "Shlyke? Can I come in?" Tina asked.

There was a moment of silence, before the sound of the door unlocking shuttered, and Shlyke peeked ever so slightly through a crack, a few blotches of lighter-looking ‘skin’ having appeared on his face alone as he looked through. “Tina!” Shlyke chittered, “I am... a bit busy!”

"I need to pee," Tina mumbled as she rubbed her eyes.

“...Sure, sure!” Shlyke opened the door, hiding the rest of himself behind it. Tina would see that the bathroom was in a complete disarray; every drawer and shelf had been vigorously looked through, a lot of their contents strewn across the floor. In the sink and bathtub, there were many yellowish-grey flecks and peels of what appeared to be shell laying about, which coincided with parts of Shlyke’s body as he closed the door behind the girl, his movements somewhat rigid in comparison to his usual and his body covered in the lighter-looking ‘skin’ that blotched his face.

After Tina sat down on the toilet and started doing her business, she finally took notice of the state of the bathroom and of her friend. "... Shlyke? What's going on?" She asked, looking around at the mess in confusion before settling on the Abrol.

“Heh... I-uh... I said yesterday,” Shlyke shrugged, “Pool-water was so chemical’ed, it made me start the molting early.” He gestured about to everything with a short flop of his arms, “Tah-dah...”

"Molding- You're growing mold!?" Tina gasped.

“Wha- no! I’m no Epsie!” Shlyke huffed, “Molting!”

"Oh... What's that?" Tina inquired as she hopped off the toilet and flushed its contents down before picking up one of the molted flakes of shell.

“I grow, but my shell has no growing,” Shlyke explained, “So shell just falls off so I can keep growing. That means I’m left a softskin like you for a bit until a new shell gets made.”

"Does it hurt?" Tina asked, lightly poking Shlyke.

“No, but my softness is sensitive,” Shlyke pulled back a bit from the poke. He shuddered, “It’s gonna be already cold, and now no shell? I’m gonna freeze up like an icicle!”

"We can get you a jacket!" Tina exclaimed, "I bet Harper can put a bunch of sleeves on one for your arms!"

“Really?” Shlyke asked with a seemingly happiness, “It’ll look all how ridiculous, me in a poofy coat, but me in a poofy coat is better than me freezing!” He slowly wrapped his arms around Tina for a hug, before a slight crunch ring out from one of the joints, “Ah! One arm just got freer!”

He pulled back from the hug and looked around, “Hmm.. I don’t want to walk around without something to cover me... I have idea!” Shlyke chittered, skittering to the door, “I’ll be back! Tell Bob he can come in now... but to not use his toothbrush. I, uh... it was good for scraping off some shell.”

-

Meanwhile Fennel has taken to showering back in her room, and as usual was accompanied by Fennel singing something, loud enough that it was bound to wake the girls.

"God fucking-" Zoey hissed as she grumpily awoke along with Ruby, "LATTE! I thought you were with Bob!"

”I was but now I need to shower.” Fennel called out from the bathroom.

"Why didn't you just shower with him!? And not wake us up?!" Zoey yelled as Ruby haphazardly dressed herself before scampering out of the room to prepare a latte for her sister. She would nearly bump into Shlyke, who was walking down the hall, a comforter covering nearly everything but his head. “Sorry! Looking for Harper!” He nodded as he went, a few little pieces of shell flaking off onto the floor as he drug several puffy winter coats along with the comforter.

”Because that’s too risqué.” Fennel called back.

"How the hell is it risky!?" Zoey huffed, "You guys are just showering! It saves water, I thought you liked the environment or whatever?"

“Showering together is typically a sexual thing.” Fennel added.

"And you're a typically waking-me-up-too-early thing," Zoey muttered.

“So, do you want to join our snowball fight?” Fennel asked as she stepped out of the shower.

"Snowball fight?" Zoey repeated, perking up a bit, "Sure, but I'm a bit of a master of snowball fights- As long as you don't cheat using magic."

“I won’t cheat.” Fennel answered.

A still tired, moody Zoey glanced over at the lamp on her nightstand. She stared at it for a moment before boredly knocking it off of the nightstand. The bulb shattered and the lampshade was ruined.

Fennel sighed before snapping, causing the lamp to repair itself. Just as Zoey flopped backwards onto her bed, Ruby burst into the room, opening the door with her foot while holding three pumpkin spice lattes with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles.

"A latte for Latte," Ruby said as she handed one of the drinks to Fennel before presenting another to her sister.

“Thank you.” Fennel answered before taking a sip of her drink.

"AAAAAAAA YOU'LL NEVER TAKE MEEEEE!" Shlyke screamed outside the door as he apparently ran back by, "I'M NOT GOING BAAAACK!"

"Oh, what the hell?" Zoey muttered, grumbling up to the door and swinging it open as she peeked into the hallway to see what was going on.

”I was about to ask the same.” Fennel added, as she followed Zoey.

Shlyke ran through the hall towards the lobby, his body an off pink as he hissed and pointed back at the suited-up Oitic, “HE’S GONNA TAKE ME BACK TO THE CAMP!”

”...I was just introducing myself,” Ippin murmured, floating in the middle of the hallway awkwardly.

Zoey blinked for a moment before sighing, "I haven't had my coffee yet." With that, she sipped her latte.

Fennel looked at the firefly “Oh, that’s where that guy went.”

“I got a name, you know,” the Oitic remarked, holding out a hand to shake, “Ippin. Nice to... formally meet you?”

“Well nice to meet you Ippin,” Fennel added as she extended her hand. “I’m Fennel.”

"And I'm Zoey!" The fourteen-year-old quickly introduced, sliding in front of Fennel to shake the Oitic's hand.

“Oh!” The floating insect was a bit confused for a second, before accepting it and shaking her hand, before cocking his head at Fennel, “So, is it true that you eat... insects...?”

“Yes.” Fennel added shamefully, thinking about the incident.

“...Okay,” Ippin reeled his hand back, “I’ve been here under the official Kanak business of ensuring that Shlyke there doesn’t enact any further deviant activity, like crime or interspecies relations. I was going to keep my presence a secret, but I considered that none of you would really care, save for Shlyke.”

Fennel, hurt by Ippin's motion, added "I don't bite."

"Well, considering the footage I have that says otherwise," Ippin dipped up and down slightly, "I'd... I'm gonna keep myself a bit more cautious."

"Footage? What kind of footage do you have?" Zoey inquired with a grin.

"The camera feeds of the entire hotel," Ippin pulled out his panel and showed the girl, "The rooms don't have any, but the televisions, for some reason, do."

"Ooooh, show me my room- Only the juicy moments though," Zoey requested with a giggle as Ruby came over to see.

"I'd rather not," Ippin put it back, "I already reviewed it and I was thoroughly uncomfortable enough viewing it alone."

"Oh, god dammit," Zoey sighed as she walked back into the room with a sip of her latte, "Why is everyone a prude around here, I swear."

"Zoey, I'm gonna be blunt, I think the issues is that everyone is just a prude relative to you." Fennel added.

"From what I've seen, that's a fair statement," Ippin agreed.

"Just because I'm the minority doesn't make me wrong," Zoey huffed, "Like, uh..." She thought back to her rudimentary history class and recalled a war hero that had nothing to do with her own sexual ideology, "Like George Washington when he invented freedom along with those other dudes."

"...Who?" Ippin asked incredulously.

"You mean the founding fathers?" Fennel asked. "Like Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Jackson, right?"

"No, fucking- The first guys. When everyone was all about kings and shit, they came in and invented liberty," Zoey proclaimed, "I'm in their shoes right now." It wasn't the most rock solid analogy, but she figured that someone like George Washington, the inventor of liberty, was a well-liked guy.

"I'm lacking on human history, but I'm more than sure that's inaccurate," the Oitic muttered, holding his arms close to him as he peered through the doorway around the room.

"I'm not that familiar with American history but I get your point." Fennel replied.

"Hm... Now that I think about it," Zoey thought aloud as she tapped her chin, "I'm just encouraging a... New kind of liberty: Freedom from being prudes."

"Thatt already happened in like the 60's I think." Fennel noted.

"Well, it obviously didn't work," Zoey scoffed as she folded her arms.

"Well just because something is old doesn't mean it's bad." Fennel retorted.

"I dunno, this whole 'no sex' thing sucks- Speaking of which! I guess I'm gonna win tonight, huh?" Zoey giggled.

"Really?" Fennel, unaware that her tone would be interpreted as condescending.

"Yes, Latte. Believe it or not, I actually have some self-control," Zoey huffed, "As much as it sucks, proving you wrong is gonna feel a whole lot better."

"Well good for you." Fennel replied "Maybe you'll see I'm onto something."

"No, this sucks major ass," Zoey denied with a frustrated deadpan, "I do not regret living life with the toppings at all after doing this."

"Well, i guess have fun after, I dunno." Fennel shrugged.

"...I see why your sister avoids social interaction," Ippin shuddered.

"You mean.... Casey?" Zoey inquired.

The insect nodded, "I accidentially met her the other night. Very kind, if not a bit antisocial."

"Oh that's why she told me to go away." Fennel added.

"I bet they were screwing," Zoey joked.

"N-no!" Ippin shook his head, "I'd never stoop to that! That's something Shlyke would do in a heartbeat, I'd never!"

"I bet Casey would. She likes bugs too, Latte, but in a whole different way."

"Well that's comforting to hear." Fennel added.

"What? That Casey loves bugs?" Zoey blinked.

"More so that he wouldn't do her." Fennel clarified.

"...If anything, she forced herself on me," Ippin admitted quietly.

"Oh my god," Zoey quickly covered her face in disgust.

"I... regret it too," the bug agreed with her disgust, "But... I'm gonna go confront Shlyke," he quickly stated, floating off to find the naked locust.

"I'm just gonna go." Fennel added as she went to put on warmer clothes.

"Yeah," Zoey nodded, closing the door, "I'm just gonna stay in here- Hey, Ruby, put on something boring on TV."

Soon enough, the vixen had dressed herself with boots, jeans, a sweater, and her cloak. "Did you want to join us?" Fennel asked was she stood at the door.

"Huh? Oh- Shit, right! Nevermind the TV, Rub!" Zoey yelped as she chugged down her latte and sensually licked the cream off of her lips.

Again, Shlyke stumbled by, carrying several coats as he grumbled, "Kinda cold, freaking shell break, Oitic yelling at me.. bah!"

Fennel pulled a cap over her ears, giving the impression she was wearing a jester's hat in addition to her winter garb before knocking on Bob's door.

"Oh, hey," Bob greeted in a puffy coat, jeans, gloves, and winter boots, "You're looking more insulated than usual."

Fennel then wiggled her ears. "Well these don't really keep you warm." She added. before grasping Bob's hand.

"Wait one sec," Bob motioned, before looking back and yelling, "Hey Tina? You ready?"

"Ready!" Tina exclaimed as she hopped out of the room, wearing a puffy jacket over her her usual attire and some sweatpants. She also undid her typical messy ponytail so it would not get in the way of her pom pom cap.

"Well, let's go then!" Bob insisted, "Do you think any of the others would want to join us?"

“I think Zoey and Ruby are coming, " Fennel thought "we could probably invite Mila."

"I'll get her!" Tina yelped, quickly scampering away, "I'll see if anyone else wants to come too!"

"Okay Tina!" Fennel waved before heading outside with Bob practically skipping along the way.

Out of Harper's room, Tychen burst out, laughing wildly. He was wearing a light winter garb, with an unzipped coat and a sweater, and a scarf around his neck. "Oh my god, you look perfect," he wheezed, adjusting the ushanka hat he had on for the cold.

"...Shut it," Shlyke hissed, fumbling out in a well-designed puffy coat made of several other puffy coats, mittens over his hands and boots on his feet. He had an additional bandana over his mouth, antennae sticking out just above it, but to say whether this was just him trying to salvage the look or practicality was unknown, "...As long as Tina's happy with my warmth, this is fine for me."

"If you need anything else done, you know where to find me," Harper proclaimed as she strutted down the hallway in her own winter garb.

Fennel tugged Bob's arm once more with her tail wagging behind her as she stepped into the snow before letting go of Bob and falling flat on her back. The fox then began making snow angels.

"Alright! Rub! Lizagna!" Zoey shouted to the two girls, who stood perfectly still in salute, "Who is the best, undefeated snowball fight team in the Hold!?"

"We are!" Ruby and Elizabeth answered in unison.

Fennel then shot up before chucking a snow ball at Zoey, unfortuatley that fact that Fennel had never made snowball before, led her to the assumptio she just had to throw a handfull of snow casuing the sphere to be little more than a puff once it reached the girls.

The trio, however, took this as a serious threat as they snapped their heads towards Fennel. All three of the girls gave her a death glare, with nothing but murderous intent to make up their souls. They would not be defeated, especially by a rookie snowball fighter.

Fennel's once happy tail now darted between her legs as she tried to throw a another snow ball ony for it to fall to the ground a foot in front of her.

Bob pulled Fennel back behind a mound of snow, packing his own ball as he gestured, "Pack the snow together, then throw!" he said, before tossing his ball at the opposing team, aiming for their leader.

"Oh!" Fennel gasped as she began packing snow balls together, and handing them to Bob.

"Lizagna! Rub! Snow fort Alpha!" Zoey ordered before being pelted in the face and falling to the ground by the unexpected pre-declaration attack. Even in the ruthless, bloodthirsty game that was snowball fights, factions were gracious enough to draft a casus belli before their attack. Ruby and Elizabeth were already quick at work on a snow fort to shield themselves.

"Oh shit- You okay?" Bob shouted over to Zoey, as Shlyke sat patiently outside the door, abdomen against the ground as he was awaiting Tina and whomever else would exit.

A large snowball would smack into the back of Bob's head, followed by two smaller balls of snow pelting his back. "Sorry, Bob!" Mary shouted from behind a log, "But you broke the rules of engagement!" Maria and Madison peeked from behind the log, squinting at the marine.

"Wait, there's rules of engagement? In snowball fights?" Bob was blustered, confused.as he wiped the snow from the back of his head.

Fennel soon unleashed her vulpine nature as she began digging through the snow and approaching Maria and Madison for a sneak attack.

"Hi, Shlyke!" Tina exclaimed before spotting Bob and waving to the marine, "Hi, Bob! Where's mommy?"

"Oh, uh... I dunno," Bob shrugged, looking at the hole next to him with confusion.

"Who do we hit, Tina?" Shlyke asked, holding up four nicely packed snowballs he had been making as he waited for her.

Fennel then popped out from behind the log before pegging Maria and Madison with a snowball each before returning to her tunnel.

"Hey!" Maria yelped as Madison quickly looked around herself.

"Well, first we need to do a cas.. casus bell eye!" Tina answered.

Fennel's head then popped out of the snow infront of the girls she roomed with before trying to slowly sink back down to avoid being noticed.

"Caucus Belli?" Shlyke corrected, cocking his head, "That's a proper war game, then. I'm impressed. Who do we Caucus Belli then? I say we do it on Zoey!"

"Well, first we gotta- Mommy! What're you doing?!" Tina gasped, spotting Fennel. This alerted Zoey's gang, who leaped into position and began barraging the vixen with pre-prepared snowballs.

Fennel let out a small yelp before burrowing her way back to Tina, and chucking a snowball from a much safer distance at the three girls, only for it to miss.

"Mommy! You need to casus bell eye first!" Tina cried out, "If you don't, then everyone will attack our team!"

"Might've already broke that," Bob shouted, throwing a few snowballs in retaliation at Mary's group, before ducking back down.

"Oh umm Calcious ball aye!" Fennel repled as she tried to build a fort.

"Am I the only one who can say it?" Shlyke blinked, "Cau-cus Bell-!"

"It's casus belli!" Mary corrected, "Shlyke! Tina! Are you on Bob and Fen's team?"

"I dunno! I just wanna join a winning one!" Shlyke shrugged.

"Sorry buggy! But our team's full!" Zoey sneered.

"...Okay!" Shlyke nodded, before throwing all four of his snowballs at Zoey and ducking into Fennel's previous tunnel with a giddy laugh.

"Alright, Ernette," Clara began as she stepped outside with Mila and Casey, "... Our team's always lost the snowball fights almost in last place every time, but with you, I think we have a chance at dethroning Zoey."

"Oh man, I can already see us winning this!" Ernette exclaimed with a smile, "So how do we begin?"

"We need to build a fort, but we have to be careful of the strengths of each team. Zoey wins because of her and her teammates' willpower alone. Unlike a lot of games with specific victory conditions, this game is based entirely on surrender, complete domination over the enemy. Ruby would never give up if it meant handing Zoey failure, and Elizabeth is obsessed with perfection and maintaining their status as an undefeated team."

Fennel then chucked two snow balls at Zoey and Elizabeth, they were likely to hit as Fennel took a moment to aim. "Gottcha this time!" Fennel shouted. Fennel was met by a quick volley of snowballs from the trio, pulling from a small pile of spheres made for a rapid barrage.

"And the others? Aren't they going to be an issue as well? Especially with Bob and Fennel working on the same team, by the looks of it," Ernette evaluated the situation.

"Mary, Maria, and Madison's group actually use tactics, unlike Zoey's willpower and mad barrages. Madison tries to hide it, but she's a very talented magician, and knows how to redirect enemy attention while she gets behind their lines and attacks them. Once disoriented, Mary and Maria charge in and destroy the enemy's fortress with relative ease."

"So we have to either stay mobile, but prepared to bunker down, or bunker down, but stay focused," Ernette thought about the options presented to her.

"Yes, but we can't go too long without having a proper base, or else we can be attacked freely without casus belli," Clara nodded, "... I don't think Fennel will be too much trouble. She's clever, but she hasn't realized what she's gotten herself into by declaring a snowball fight. Our longest snowball fight lasted eight days straight one time."

"Geez, that's long!" Ernette gasped, "How did you all even maintain that?"

"Well, we were given rations by our mothers, but they were only enough to keep us surviving. If we wanted anything more, we had to collect food ourselves, but our mothers were all part of a megafaction meant to deter anyone from just waltzing into the kitchen... Well- The mothers that were involved that is. Whenever we needed to sleep, all teams would come together and schedule sleep times. If you passed out before the scheduled time, it is taken as surrender. If you slept too long after the scheduled time ended, it is taken as surrender. Luckily, we all agree on not attacking each other during sleep time. Anyone who breaks that rule is instantly at war with everyone else and is the first team to be decimated."

"Hmm. And the casus belli?" Ernette asked, "How do we initiate those against the other teams? It looks like Fennel's team already initiated her's... or got declared on by the others."

"My guess? Fennel didn't know the rules. She's broken the casus belli rule and her team is a free target for every other team," Clara explained.

"Ouch," the Benefactor winced, "I kinda feel bad for her."

Ater taking a moment to recover, Fennel tried lobbing a few snow balls at Maria and Madison

Madison dropped a smoke pellet upon the first snowball striking her. With that, she and Maria vanished upon the smoke clearing, with the rest of Fennel's snowballs hitting nothing.

"Hey, cheating!" Shlyke hissed, throwing a snowball at where he thought they had gone in anger.

"That's totally cheating I'm playing fair and square!" Fennel complained as she packed another snowball and listened for one of the girls.

There was the faint sound of crunching snow, but no girls in Fennel's vicinity the could have been making the sound... Unless...

POOF!

Madison, Maria, and Mary burst from under the snow around Fennel and windmilled snow at her. They didn't bother to make snowballs, only slinging clumps of snow at the vixen as quickly as they could from all sides.

Fennel then cocked her head to side before quickly returning causing wave to remove the snow from her body, imitating that of an animal drying off. As soon as Fennel was done, however, the girls had vanished back under the snow.

"We need to set up our position," Ernette insisted, scanning the snow-covered ground for a good place to instate a fortress in the snow.

"We have roughly ten minutes before we become free targets," Clara assured, looking over to Harper and Tychen, "... I want to see where she sets up her base first. Nobody would ever let Harper join their team since she always fed them misinformation about the enemy."

"Alright, Tychen! You're in luck!" Harper proclaimed as she jabbed a thumb into her chest, "You're playing with the lone wolf champion of snowball fights! I've managed to singlehandedly beat everyone here at this game every time we play!"

"...Wait one second," Tychen held up a hand, "You get a little fort ready. I gotta grab something real quick." And with that, Tychen jogged off to a nearby convinence store. Harper let out a huff as she began working on a very shoddy wall of snow by herself... Again.

Fennel then picked up Tina and held her close to her own body, under the assumption that none of the girls would dare throw a snow ball at her, while attempting to rush Zoey's fort/

"Mommy? What're yo- AAAA!" Tina screamed. Fennel's assumption would be proven wrong as Tina was pelted by snowball after snowball, as if Zoey's trio combined was like a minigun. All three of the girls had wild grins on their faces, taking pleasure in attacking their enemy.

Fennel quickly turned around realizing that her plan had failed "Retreat retreat!"

A little shift in the snow murmured from behind Zoey's trio, before Shlyke, having taken advantage of Fennel's tunneling idea, threw his snowballs, slamming each girl in the back of the head with a large ball of snow, laughing wildly as he slipped back under the snow like a weasel.

"Gah! God dammit! We have another Maddy group!" Zoey hissed.

As if on cue, Mary, Maria, and Madison's heads popped out of the snow inside Zoey's snow fort. "Hey, don't compare us to those rulebreakers," Mary huffed.

"We'll form a pact with you. No caus belli until their team has been eliminated," Maria proposed.

Zoey was quick to accept the deal, shaking Maria's hand as it popped out of the ground. Shortly after, the sneaky team vanished once more.

"Bob we need fire power!" Fennel ordered.

"I'm on it!" Bob nodded, heaving several large snowballs at the caniving two teams.

Shlyke popped up next to Fennel and Tina, "They make a deal to beat us together!" he exclaimed, eyes bugging out of his head as he began to burrow into the snow again.

Fennel then put Tina down and threw as many snow balls as possible at the girls

"Mommy? Why'd you break the casus bell eye rule?" Tina whimpered.

"I did," Bob waved his hand, "I didn't know it was a thing!"

"Three... Two... One..." Clara counted down. Mary's team popped out of the snow before the twelve-year-old's, offering them the same pact they gave to Zoey, to which Clara accepted immediately.

"Wait, we're agreeing to it?" Ernette asked, "It's her first time! We can't just beat her into the dirt because she was ignorant!"

Fennel's tail visibly wagged upon hearing Bob take the heat for her. She then began attempting to throw as many snowballs at Zoey as possible.

"She would have apologized by now and tried to make peace if she regretted it," Clara stated, "She's cocky, but unlike Zoey, she has nothing to back that cockiness up. We take snowball fights very seriously, Ernette. The only one that doesn't participate is Anna, but that's because she's the war journalist." She pointed over to Anna who was feverishly sketching the scene of the snowball fight.

"...Alright," Ernette nodded, "Tell me what to do."

"We'll set up a snow fort against the hotel wall," Clara instructed her team, "It'll help guard us against tunneling from below if we entrench ourselves to the sidewalk. They'll only be able to come in through our lower walls, and will be more easily counterattacked."

Almost if out of nowhere a "Graohk!" could be heard from behind Zoey's fort as Hopkins, followed by his trainer and teammates watched the chaos. "So you're looking to make a pact?" Brendan asked.

"I guess you're on a team with your pets, Bread?" Zoey grinned.

"Mmmm back!" Tychen declared, hoisting over a plastic shopping bag and a case of water bottles, plopping both down behind Harper's pathetic fortification. "I know it's a snowball fight, but I got an idea," Tychen nodded, starting to add and fortify Harper's sad wall, "But first, let's finish this fort and ready ourselves normally." Harper seemed a bit surprised to see Tychen before excitedly hurrying her efforts in the construction of their wall.

Fennel looked at Parfait who had a devious grin upon her canid face, "Oh hi Par-" Fennel was cut off by a barrage of snow balls before the pokemon ran off.

"That's whatcha get for violating the rules of engagement!" Zoey hollered, "Just surrender already! I've kept this up for eight days before!"

"There are rules? And NEVER!" Fennel shouted.

"Yes, we went over that earlier!" Bob shouted back to his far off partner, throwing a few more snowballs as he defensively dug their main fort deeper, basing one side against a tree's trunk.

"You could say that." Brendan smirked before Tabasco dropped a pile of snow onto of the girl's fort as the trainer walked away.

"Now that's what I'm talking about!" Bob whooped at the Charizard's attack on Zoey's base, "Good job, Tabasco!"

Immediately after this, Brendan shouted "RAIN DANCE! ICE BEAM!" to Mr. Kippers and Poryswan, causing the attacks to combine and cause a new layer of snow to blanket the area.

Zoey crawled out of the pile of snow that was once her fort, Ruby and Elizabeth wearily following suit. "... Mary!" Zoey yelled, "Dipco?!" In response, Mary's head popped out of the snow on the other side of the battlefield. The oldest sister assessed the situation before nodding and popping back under.

"Alright," Tychen huffed as he piled the last bit of snow onto their barrier, pulling out a water bottle from the case, "So as I see it, the groups each have their quirks. Ours is demoralizing the others," Tychen snickered, "Or making them just want to surrender. Which is why I got the water," he fumbled through the bags quickly, pulling out some bags of water balloons and a pair of water guns, "And the equipment we need to really put them outta business. We use these and snowballs, and they're gonna go down quick."

"Ooohohohooo!" Harper clapped her hands and rubbed them together deviously, "That's amazing! And there's nothing in the rules against it too!"

"So we wait here for your more mobile sisters, splash them, and go for the rest!" Tychen nodded in anticipation, "You hold down the fort, while I ready all this!"

Fennel then dashed back over to Bob to help him build their fort. Ruby began approaching the quartet's base, holding up a flag with a poorly drawn hand on it as she yelled, "Diplomatic convoy! Diplomatic convoy!"

Fennel then looked at the girl "What?"

"A convoy that is made of diplomacy!" Shlyke explained.

"Yeah but what do they want?" Fennel asked.

"...Diplomacy," Shlyke sighed, grabbing at the base of his antennae.

"Zoey doesn't usually do those," Tina noted with surprise as Ruby stood outside their damaged fort.

"...Keep your wits about you, guys," Bob murmured, "I have a feeling this could be a trick."

Fennel then approached the girl and said, "Okay, what do you want."

"Ahem," Ruby cleared her throat, "The Pact has decided to grant you amnesty for past war crimes in exchange for agreeing to enter into The Pact under its new primary enemy: Bread."

"Bread?" Bob repeated. While he would have felt bad about betraying Brendan in a situation like this, he did dump a bunch of snow on Zoey's team without even considering the casus belli rules.

"Yes, not only did he break the casus belli rules of engagement, but is using weapons banned under the Geneva Accords," Ruby nodded.

"What weapons?" Shlyke asked, "And what Accords?"

At that moment an animate freezer then opened up "Allen, blizzard." The trainer called out encasing the group in an almost igloo like mount of snow before walking away.

"M-Magic a-a-animals," Ruby answered, shivering.

"...Fair enough," Bob agreed, holding out a hand to shake, "Let's take him down." Ruby eagerly shook his hand before crawling out of the snow back to Zoey.

Fennel then noticed that her hat had been blown away by the blizzard attack as she looked up to Bob and said, "I'm cold."

"Shlyke, go find her hat," Bob ordered, to which the insect quickly obliged, scouring about for Fennel's cap. "You stay in here," Bob assured, "We'll take Bread down for this."

“I mean I don’t really need it that badly.” Fennel said as she tried to cuddle up against Bob. The marine held her close, as the Abrol hopped up with her hat.

"Aaaand just like that, everyone here has turned against Brendan," Clara declared from within her team's snow fort in progress.

"Does that mean we're safe for now?" Ernette asked, "Other than Brendan?"

"We're not going to make ourselves big targets," Clara nodded, "Under the pact, Bread is our only enemy at the moment. Breaking the Geneva Accords will get you killed quicker than breaking the rules of engagement."

"...Using magic animals is under the Geneva Accords?" Ernette pondered, "That's oddly specific."

"It was Jannet's idea to add that," Clara remarked, "Though magic in general is banned... Which means no telekinesis."

"That sounds about right," Ernette nodded, examining the snowball stockpile she was making, before harrumphing at the mention of a lack of telekinesis.

”So how‘s It going?” Brendan asked.

"AAH!" Ernette yelped, falling back in the snow at the sudden appearance of their main enemy, a snowball-in-progress falling out of her hand.

"Wait, who's attacking who now?" Tychen asked, peering over their white barricade, "Looks like all the fighting's come to a stop."

"Everyone probably fell asleep," Harper lied, "Hibernation, you know?"

"...Or there's some sort of agreement against someone," Tychen reckoned, ignoring Harper's instinctive lie, "I... I think they're against Bread, but I can't really tell. Your thoughts?"

"They're obviously against us, that's why they didn't send any diplomatic convoys to us," Harper stated.

"Or they just don't care about us two," Tychen suggested, "Bread's a bigger threat with his pets."

"Yeah I- OOO! ACTION!" Harper gasped. Tychen slipped down, the top of his head gleaming out as he peeked over the wall, watching for said action.

Just as Ernette screamed, Mary's guerilla group burst out of the snow once again. They surrounded Brendan in a similar way to how they surrounded Fennel before, throwing handfulls of snow at him as quickly as they could. Mila and Casey took this opportunity to tap from Ernette's snowball pile and pelt the trainer as well.

Brendan unsurpisingly enough was hit by the snowballs. "Well I surrender, I got something to do anyway." The trainer stated.

Just like that, the volley of snow stopped, leaping Brendan covered in white. "Really? You surrender?" Mary blinked in surprise.

"Yeah, infact I'll even let all my pokemon join your teams." Brendan added.

"Magic animals are banned under the Geneva Accords," Maria noted.

"Then they will only do what people can do." Brendan compromised.

"Hmmm. Hey! Zoey!" Mary shouted.

"Yeah?" Zoey responded, popping her head out of her fort.

"Bread says he quits! He wants his pokemans to join our teams! He said they won't use magic! That cool?!"

"Only if we get Tabasco!" Zoey yelled.

Tabasco then walked over to Zoey's fort as Brendan snuck off to do Christmas shopping.

"Hmph, fine, we get Parfait then," Mary harrumphed before smiling down to the Sylveon, "You fit our style better anyway."

"Hey! We take Hopkins!" Tychen shouted, "Also, hi, we're a thing, hi!"

Hopkins then dabbed at Mary, before joining his pirate friend.

"WOOOO! I HAVE A TEAM!" Harper squealed with joy, giving Hopkins a big hug before doing the same for Tychen.

"Ooh! Ooh! Pick Allen! Pick Allen!" Tina gasped, tapping Fennel over and over.

"Allen!" Fennel said before the ghost popped out of the freezer and joind the team

"...Well," Ernette picked herself up out of the snow, adjusting her cap, "We're last pick... You want to choose, Clara?"

"Hmm... The blue and pink one," Clara chose, "Sorry, Mr. Kippers. You don't seem very... acclimated to snow."

Mr. Kippers then let out a disgruntled "Pert." as he adjusted his scarf.

"Hey! Heeey! Mr. Kippers! Join us!" Harper waved energetically.

"Yea, we're down a man compared to everyone!" Tychen beckoned.

Mr. Kippers then happily joined the team.

"Yes!" Tychen pumped his fist, "And even better, he's a water guy!"

"Usually, you can't have a heater because your fort has to be made out of snow," Tina said as Allen entered their team's fort, "The most you can have is a fire, but Allen can turn into an oven! So we're not having a heater, just a really warm teammate! That's allowed, because he's not using that as a weapon, and the Geneva Accords only ban weapons or combat support stuff." The six-year-old was proud to put her snowball fight tactical knowledge on display for Fennel and Bob.

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Re: Dimensional Clash IX [IC]

Post by Infested on Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:59 pm

more snowballing

Soon enough Allen disappeared before reappearing as he possessed a oven he had... acquired.

"You're such a smart girl, Tina!" Fennel praised.

"Yes! Very good and warm!" Shlyke praised both Allen and Tina as he held his hands out to the warm oven.

"Don't be too warm though, Allen," Tina warned, "We don't wanna melt our fort."

"BZZT!" The pokemon replied as it let out a small amount of heat, just enough to prevent the snow from meliting.

"...Ah crap," Tychen hissed, "Fennel's group's got that heater guy. We need to think about how we do this... Kip guy! Can you warm up water?"

Mr. Kippers nodded and Hopkins not wanting to be showed up tossed a a flurry of snowballs at Allen.

"Good. Drink all of those water bottles and keep them in your mouth," Tychen ordered, "Warm water freezes easier, so it'll have more effect when we use it."

Mr. Kippers was a bit confused as why the bottles of water were required.

"Wait! Hopkins! No!" Harper cried out.

"Sab?"

"Hey!" Tina whined for all to hear, "They broke the rules of engagement! They didn't do a casus belli!" The majority of the girls on the filed turned their heads to Harper's team with a rabid hunger for conquest.

"Damnit, never mind the bottles, Kippers! Build us a wall from all sides, and keep it up!" Tychen demanded, grabbing water bottles and filling the equipment up himself, "Hopkins! Act as a distraction and get out there and annoy the hell out of them!"

The swampert then slammed his arms into the ground before bringing them together to create a wall of snow.

Hopkins then embraced his inner prankster before running around the battlefield to distract the girls.

Harper, however, had already given up. She sat on the ground feeling absolutely defeated. "... I never get to win," She whimpered, "Nobody even lets me on their team."

"No, no, no!" Tychen took his concentration off of the water balloons to comfort Harper, "You don't need them, Harper. I got your back."

"Water balloons?" Madison scoffed from within their base, "Breaking the Geneva Accords, huh, Harper?"

"Actually-" Tychen reared around and tossed a red water balloon dead center at Madison, "They're not breaking the con...ventions..."

Madison let out a scream, quickly shivering in place as she looked down at her wet self in horror. Harper shrank back a bit and quietly mumbled, "... I lied about water not being against the rules..."

Fennel's head then popped out of her fort before looking around. "What was that?"

"Th-They broke the G-G-Geneva Ac-ccords!" Madison screamed, slowly and pathetically trying to escape Harper's base towards Fennel's, "C-Can I-I-I use A-Allen?"

"Sure." Fennel replied.

"...Hey," Tychen looked back to Harper, "You know what? It's fine. Screw the rules! Accords are for wimps who want to limit themselves!" He took another water balloon, and tossed it at Fennel's encampment, "We don't need a bunch of rules to abide by! We make our own!"

"We won't win... Everyone's teamed up against us now," Harper moped.

"Not with that attitude we won't!" Tychen exclaimed, "We have not one, but two magic monsters that can turn the tide of the battle! I have an entire bag of crap! We have water guns! The other teams are gonna crumble because they like to hang to the rules while we crush 'em!"

"... Yeah... Yeah!" Harper laughed, springing back to her feet, "Screw the rules! Anarchy! Anarchy will bring us victory!"

"That's the spirit!" Tychen guffawed, "Now take a balloon! We don't have a moment to waste!"

Fennel was hit by the water balloon on the head, soaking her ears. "B-b-b-obbb i-i-it's c-c-c-cold."

"Mommy!" Tina cried out, pushing Fennel closer to Allen, "Get closer to him! He'll dry you off!"

Fennel approached the oven and tried to dry off.

"Tabasco!" Zoey shouted, pointing to Harper's encampment, "Bury the war criminals."

Tabasco threw several large snow balls at the group.

"Kippers!" Tychen ordered, "Defend and bury that dragon!"

Taking this as an order to use a ground type attack the swampert attempted to follow through only for the dragon to appear unaffected. Harper's base was absolutely decimated by the Charizard's large globs of snow while Kippers had focused on trying to attack the dragon. Their water balloons popped under the pressure of the snow, leaving Harper wet as she shivered and tried to dig herself free.

"Ah hell!" Tychen screamed as he pulled himself out, helping Harper out of the snow, "...I forgot they had a dragon for a bit there. Hopkins! Fill the rest of the balloons!" he took a watergun, "I'm goin' in."

Kippers then began being a team player as he began building more walls of snow.

Hopkins then began filling the balloons rather sloppily with water.

"B-bob can, you help me." Fennel requested, trying to pull a smooth one.

Bob quickly came to Fennel's side, huddling up next to her, "Sure, honey. You're gonna be fine."

"TH-Thanks for letting me c-come in, guys," Madison stammered. Mary and Madison popped into Bob's base as well to check up on their teammate.

"Take this, you misfits!" Tychen declared, lunging at Clara's fort, spraying his gun upwards and hoping for an arc that would cover his foes and drench them in the freezing water.

"Bombardme-" Clara was cut off as she was splashed by Tychen's sprays, quickly wrapping her arms around herself as she began shivering. Mila and Casey let out a collective gasp before bursting through the wall of their fort and throwing snowballs at the pirate in retaliation. Tychen fled as soon as the counterattack mounted, running back towards their base as he was smacked in the back by several snowballs.

"Are you alright?!" Ernette asked with deep concern to Clara, looking her over quickly.

"N-No... If I d-don't get dry... I'll b-be forced to surrender..." Clara muttered, keeping up her monotone despite how cold she was.

Ernette thought for a moment, before unzipping her coat and pulling Clara into it, closing it slightly as she held the girl close, "Here. It should warm you up and dry you off."

"I don't think it'll dry me off very well, but... It's warm," Clara sighed, "Thank you, Ernette... You're a good girl. Mila, Casey, get a fire going." The two sisters silently sped off to find twigs and branches for a fire.

Fennel then looked up at Bob and said, “I don’t think I can feel my lips.” She added with a picker of her lips.

"...Then let me help," Bob smiled, before pecking her on the lips.

"I think I can feel them now." Fennel added with a coy smile before kissing Bob back.

"Hopkins," Tychen ordered, "Gimme the balloons you made."

Hopkins then handed the water ballons to the pirate with hearty "EYE!"

"T-Tychen... I-I'm s-s-so.. C-Cooold..." Harper gasped.

"...Here," Tychen yanked off his unzipped coat and drooped it over Harper, "I don't need it. Sweater's warm enough," he nodded to his sweater, before looking back to Hopkins, "Alright, now I need you to find where those sneaky kids' base is, got it? When you find it, make a distraction and keep it going for as long as you can."

Harper enclosed herself in the coat, still shivering as she sat on the ground like a cocoon. She would not be able to dry off without a proper fire, but the coat would serve her well enough for the time being to not be at immediate risk of hypothermia.

Hopkins then headed over to Zoey's base, "Eye!" The pokemon cried to Tabasco "Zard." The dragon responded.

"Is that Hopkins!?" Zoey yelped, peeking out, "He's the enemy! Attack!"

"Char." Tabasco responded before throwing the imp back to his team.

"Good Tabasco!" Zoey cheered, holding her hand up for a highfive with the large dragon.

The pokemon then high fived the girl.

"No, wrong team!" Tychen chided from a bush, "Look for the other one! Not the one I went to! And the one you went to!"

Hopkins then approached Tina's base. "Sable."

When Hopkins reached the base he waved to Tina, noticing that Bob and Fennel seemed to be busy.

"Bob! Boooob!" Tina cried out, "Help! Hopkins is attacking!"

Shlyke burst out of the snow next to Tina, flinging a series of snowballs at the Pokemon with rapid succession, a small stockpile sitting next to him. "I got this, Tina!" he assured, "No Hopkins allowed!"

"Kzakt!" Hopkins replied as he half heartily threw a snowback before walking away.

Meanwhile Fennel was making some combination of purring and barks in response to Bob's attention.

"Fennel!" Mary snapped, "This is no time for love! We are in the middle of a war against war criminals."

"What?" Fennel asked having been pulled from her fantasy.

"These are scum willing to soak people and give them hypothermia to win! That was banned under the Geneva Accords!" Mary huffed.

"I mean hypothermia isn't that bad." Fennel replied as she looked at Bob.

"... Do you even know what that means?" Shlyke asked as he peered into the fort, "You die from cold."

"Y-yes." Fennel replied. "It was a joke."

"Mary's got a point, though," Bob agreed, "Tychen's being a bit of a scumbag here, so we gotta keep our wits about us."

"I was talking to Zoey a bit ago and... We discussed the possibility of enacting the MAD doctrine," Mary lamented dramatically.

"We shouldn't stoop to his level," Bob disagreed.

"It's a last resort!" Mary quickly stated, "If all else fails."

"...Fine," Bob nodded, "But only as a last resort."

"Alright. Madison's already preparing a WMD as we speak," Mary explained, "Our current idea is to use Tabasco as a brute force burial. Then when the enemy climbs out of the pile, we all surround them and pelt them without relent until they surrender. They'll likely have water balloons with them during the burial, so they'll be covered in wet snow as they crawl out."

Hopkins looked at Tychen, before throwing a snow ball at him.

"H-hey! What the hell?!" Tychen shouted in annoyance, "You're on my team!"

"Ble" Hopkins responded with a shrug.

"No, you're going to work with us! Harper, tell him!" Tychen huffed.

Hopkins then threw another snowball half heartilied at Tychen.

"...Harper?" Tychen looked back to his base, a bit confused at the lack of reaction.

"Y-Yeah?" Harper shivered from within the coat, "S-Sorry..."

Tychen watched Harper for a moment, then looking around at the battlefield around him and seeing the impossible odds against him, and the stakes at which they were fought. If he fought for days, maybe, just maybe, he could win... but he didn't want Harper to suffer for it. "...We surrender!" the pirate declared solemnly, holding his hands above his head after setting his gun on the ground.

Mr. Kipper then tossed an armful of snow into the air as if trying to indicate their friendly fire. Harper followed Tychen slowly, not revealing herself from his coat. The Pirate heaved her up in his arms.

"C'mon," Tychen muttered as they walked back towards the hotel, "Let's go get you warm."

Mary popped out of Fennel's base, echoing Tychen's defeat, "Hey, everyone! Harper's team surrendered!"

"Oh wait a second.. does that mean we are the next targets?" Fennel asked.

"Nah, you were given amnesty for your war crimes, remember?" Mary smiled.

"Oh... well... It's still really cold." Fennel noted.

"Then the Pact's up or..." Bob wondered.

"Oh, no, the pact is dead now that there are no war criminals left. We just have to draft a casus belli before we can fight you," Mary explained, "... Man, this has been a crazy snowball fight though. It's been a long time since anyone broke the rules- Especially the Geneva Accords."

"Yeah, I'm kind of tired. I didn't think it would be this exhausting." Fennel commented.

"We can hold a referendum to decide on a sleep schedule for tonight," Mary nodded, "Be careful though, if you sleep outside the defined times, it's taken as an involuntary surrender."

"Tomorrow's Christmas," Bob reasoned, "So I think we could just... call for a ceasfire tomorrow? Or at least, a short one for presents and stuff?"

"That sound's like a good idea." Fennel nodded.

"Oh, right! Christmas is automatically a ceasefire day!" Mary gasped, "I nearly forgot!"

"So, do we want to call a break for now?" Fennel asked, "I need to dry off."

"Oh, no, you can't do a break now," Mary scoffed, "It's barely the middle of the day! You have Allen."

"No, not now," Bob shook his head, "I meant tomorrow."

"But Bobby I'll freeze out here." Fennel added.

"We've gone eight days in the snow before, Fennel," Mary said in a tone colder than the air around her, "You can handle it." With that, Madison dropped a smoke pellet as her team disappeared from Fennel's base.

"Eight days." Fennel said dropping her jaw.

"I'll shrivel up and die before one!" Shlyke shuddered.

"It's okay! We have Allen! He's even better than a fire!" Tina beamed.

"Can mommy go inside and make some snacks?" Fennel asked Tina.

"Nuh-uh, we have to wait for the Red Cross to bring rations," Tina answered, shaking her head.

"Who's the red cross?" Fennel asked.

"Anna. Once she's done drawing, she'll bring food. You're not allowed to attack her to get more food and stuff though. That's against the Geneva Accords."

"Mommy can help her." Fennel requested.

"If you help her, you can't be on our team anymore," Tina frowned, wrapping her arms around Fennel and looking up at the vixen.

"Hnnnngh" Fennel groaned, unable to say no to Tina before trying to build up their fort.

"...Ah, now I hate being Abrol," Shlyke sighed, "I'm gonna starve before she even gets here!"

Some time later, Anna began approaching the various forts, dragging a red cart of granola bars and water bottles. She counted the number of people in each team, giving ten granola bars per person and two bottles of water per person. Mary's group had to pop out of the ground to recieve their rations, taking them underground before Anna approached Fennel's fort. On both of her arms, she wore paper armbands with a vibrant red cross on them.

"Red Cross! Rations here!" Anna exclaimed.

Fennel however was still shivering rather pathetically as the food arrived. "Finally."

"Let's see... One, two, three, four in your group?" Anna asked.

"BZZT!" Allen replied.

"Oh! Five!" Anna nodded, "Sorry, Allen!"

"BZZT!" The pokemon added happily.

The little artist dropped five boxes of granola bars onto the ground and set down ten bottles of water. "Five members, fifty granola bars, ten bottles of water!" Anna smiled to the group.

"Thank you." Fennel said before she began wolfing down the granola bars.

"Remember, you don't get any more rations for today, so... Ration them!" Anna informed.

Fennel swallowed her granola bar before placing the rest in the box and closing it.

"Oh, and the others told me you need to send a representative to the open area for a referendum! Good luck with the war!" Anna waved before dragging her cart back to the hotel.

"I'll go." Fennel said as she exited the fort and walked out, shivering into the battle field. Zoey, Mary, and Clara were all waiting for the vixen with stoic (Except for Clara who was always deadpan) looks on their faces. "So, what do we do now, girls?" Fennel asked as her teeth chattered.

"We're holding this referendum to discuss when we're going to sleep tonight," Zoey explained.

"I say we set the bedtime to midnight," Clara proposed.

Zoey gasped, "On Christmas Eve!?"

"Yeah we need to go to bed extra early for Santa." Fennel added.

"Exactly! If we go to bed at midnight, Santa won't come! We've always made a bed time exception for Christmas Eve, Clara," Zoey huffed.

"... Fine, but just because we have new players doesn't mean we'll go easy on sleeping conditions," Clara consented.

"Agreed," Mary nodded, "We sleep outside like usual."

"Outside?" Fennel asked.

"The ceasefire doesn't start until Christmas morning," Mary informed, "Meaning we still behave like this is wartime until then. No sleeping inside."

"I-I-I don't know if." Fennel said.

"Don't know if what?" Clara asked.

“Don’t think I can keep this up.” Fennel confessed as she wiped the ice from her muzzle.

"L-Latte," Zoey gasped, "You shouldn't have come out here then..."

“Didn‘s think this would be a multi day affair.” Fennel replied.

"No, I mean out here, to the referendum..." Zoey sighed, "You can't leave until the next referendum and someone else is your team's representative. If you do, then your entire team surrenders."

“Are all snowball fights this serious?” The vixen asked.

The three girls blinked, glancing at each other before looking at Fennel. "Well, duh," Zoey replied.

“Oh... I’ll take that into account next time.” Fennel added.

"So 9 P.M. bed time? No scheduled wakeup time since tomorrow is a day-long ceasefire?" Mary proposed.

“Yeah... question though. May I use magic to dry off anyone who was soaked earlier?” Fennel asked.

"So long as nobody has an active casus belli against you, yeah," Mary nodded.

"So who aside from me is still wet?" Fennel asked.

"I'm a little wet still," Clara raised her hand.

"Maddy's wet too. I'll send her back to you guys again when the referendum is over," Mary added.

"Okay, so just send them our way then and we can warm them up." Fennel nodded, "So do we just head back now?"

"Yeah, guess we figured everything out. See you later, Latte," Zoey waved as she and Clara made their way back to their bases while Mary crawled into a hole in the snow, covering it up behind her.

As to be expected, Fennel headed back to her base “So we get to dry off Madison.” Fennel noted upon entering her base, where the magician was already waiting for the vixen.

Fennel then clapped her hands together before a gust of warm air dried the girl off. “That’s a lot better.” Fennel said as she finally got around to putting her cap back on. “So how do you win these things again?”

"By forcing the enemy to surrender," Madison answered, "... It's why Zoey's team never loses... Our team is usually second place though!"

“So we are probably going to lose then?” Fennel asked.

"One year was a really desperate game, and it was just Zoey's team and someone else's, they're back with our moms, and they broke the Geneva Accords and used water. Zoey was completely soaked and I think she almost got frostbite, but she didn't give up and ended up winning."

Fennel then rubbed her ears "Yeah, frostbite doesn't sound fun."

"Don't worry, none of us break the rules," Madison smiled briefly, "But... Yeah, Zoey's probably gonna win... We're still gonna try our hardest though! This could be the time we finally beat her!"

"So are we allowed to just destory their base?" Fennel asked.

"No, you gotta draft a casus belli first, like we've said a billion times," Madison scoffed.

"Oh accutally can you just give me a run down of all the rules." Fennel asked.

"Sure, so the main two rules are the rules of engagement and the Geneva Accords. The rules of engagement are pretty much that you have to draft a casus belli before you can attack someone. You have to declare that you're drafting one, and write down on a piece of paper who you're drafting one against. Then, you give the casus belli to the Red Cross. After that, you have to wait five minutes and then you can attack all you want. But if someone breaks the rules of engagement, the Geneva Accords, or they haven't set up a base within ten minutes after the game started or after their last base has been destroyed, you can attack them without a casus belli and it's okay."

"And the accords?" Fennel asked.

"The first, most important rule of the Geneva Accords is that you do not touch members of the Red Cross. You don't attack them, you just let them do their job. In return, they don't show anyone favoritism. They bring out two ration drops a day. One in the morning, one in the evening. Rations usually consist of ten granola bars and two bottles of water per person."

"And the water balloon thing too right?" Fennel asked for confirmation.

"Yeah, that's part of the Geneva Accords that bans certain weapons. You're not allowed to use water or purposely make your snowballs wetter. You can't punch or kick anyone either. The only thing you can use to hit someone else with is snow. Anything else breaks the Geneva Accords."

"What if a snow cloud were to appear?" Fennel asked.

"What about snow clouds?"

"Like if one were to be summoned."

"Magic is banned in direct and support combat," Madison shook her head, "We never had magic back home, but we added it anyway. The only reason you were allowed to use magic at all to help me was because nobody had drafted a casus belli against you, and you weren't drafting one against anyone else."

"Okay, that makes sense." Fennel nodded

"Diplomatic convoys are also off-limits for attack. To signal that someone is a diplomatic convoy, they have to be holding a flag with a hand on it," Madison continued, "People in a diplomatic convoy also can't attack until they've returned to their base and then burned the flag they were carrying. Oh- And Weapons of Mass Destruction are banned too under the Geneva Accords."

"Weapons of mass destruction?" Fennel asked.

"Yeah, WMDs," Madison nodded, "Of course, like I said before, you can only use snow to hit someone with, but some of us have gotten really creative with that rule in the past and used artillery or just explosives to blanket an area with snow, but that usually ends up causing a lot of collateral damage. A WMD is defined as any weapon or single attack that can affect at least a fifth of the battlefield and/ or cause serious harm to someone."

Fennel then placed her polearm on the ground "Can I use this to shovel snow at them?"

"Yeah, that's totally allowed," Madison answered, "One time, Mary made a catapult to throw snow at people... It was a bit too slow and catapults don't have the best aim, so people could just walk right up and destroy the catapult."

"Yeah that makes sense." Fennel added.

"And I think there's just one last rule: The MAD Doctrine," Madison said, trying her best to sound spooky and dramatic, "M.A.D. stands for Mutually Assured Destruction. If at least half of the teams, including the previous snowball fight winner, agree to enact the MAD Doctrine, then the rules of engagement and the Geneva Conventions can be forgone, except for the part where you mess with the Red Cross. You also can't use anything outright lethal like a gun or a knife or just chucking a grenade at someone. But things like WMDs are completely okay."

"I don't think the lethal force needed to be explained."

"... Yes it did," Madison said blankly.

"Well, then. Tina, is our fort ready?” Fennel asked.

"Uh-huh!" Tina nodded happily. Their fort was a sizeball square a bit taller then Fennel with the walls made of snow and reinforced with twigs. There was a single doorway and a few windows supported by many more twigs.

“So do you want to team up against Zoey?” Fennel asked Madison.

"Pfft, and lose and let Clara take second place? Yeah right!" Madison scoffed, "Don't you remember what I said? Zoey nearly got frostbite. She won't surrender."

“Hmm, true. I can’t hibernate my way to victory either way.” Fennel added.

"Yeah, that'd be taken as an involuntary surrender. If someone passes out or is otherwise incapacitated, they're out," Madison explained, "That's why we hold referendums to decide on sleep schedules. If you sleep before or after the schedule, you're out."

“Okay. We are going to figure out who we want to wage war against.” Fennel said. “Tina, who should we fight first?”

"Clara!" Tina exclaimed as Madison vanished in a puff of smoke, "Her team always loses, so if we beat her, we'll be at least third place!"

Fennel then wrote up her piece of paper and said “Do you want to take this to the Red Cross for Mommy?” Fennel asked.

"Okay!" Tina agreed, taking the paper from Fennel. Once the six-year-old was outside, she heartily declared for all to hear, "WE ARE DOING A CASUS BELLI AGAINST CLARA!" After letting everyone know what was going on, she ran towards Anna.

"Oh no!" Ernette huffed, looking about to make sure everything was in order around their fort, before hastily adding some more stock to the snowball pile.

Clara watched as Tina brought her team's casus belli to Anna before bolting back to her fort. The five minute countdown to war between the two teams had begun. "Everyone," Clara began, "We need to target Fennel. Since she made herself the representative of her team, if we can take her out, we'll beat them. Go for her ears, they seem pretty sensitive to the cold.... Ernette, how good is your aim?"

"I'm not sure," Ernette admitted, crafting a few more snowballs, "But I can give it a good shot!"

"Start practicing," Clara ordered and pointed over to a moderately far tree, "We have plenty of snowballs. Start throwing them at that tree. Casey, Mila... You two have terrible aim. A little practice won't fix that. Focus on our stockpile while keeping watch."

Ernette nodded, taking a snowball, aiming at the tree, and tossing it meagerly, plopping onto the ground a few feet from the tree. She cursed quietly at herself, before grabbing another one and throwing it again, hitting it with a slightly harder toss, but just barely.

"I'd say that's pretty good if you didn't know how your aim was beforehand. Keep going," Clara nodded in approval.

Ernette smiled, before looking back at the tree, aiming another snowball and chucking it at the tree, hoping to speed up her shots, as she knew that Fennel’s team wouldn’t give her time to make mistakes or ready herself like this.

”So how long do we wait before attacking?” Fennel asked.

"Five minutes!" Tina answered, holding her hand up to Fennel with all five of her fingers splayed out.

“So... how will we attack them?” Shlyke asked, peering out to look at Clara’s fort.

"I dunno... Bob! You used to fight a bunch!" Tina exclaimed, "What should we do?"

“Hmm...” Bob thought aloud as he said, “Well, they’ve got themselves backed up to the hotel, so they’re on concrete and your guys’ sneak attacks won’t be useful,” he gestured to Shlyke and Fennel, “So we’ll have to try and hit them another way. We can’t come up behind them, so we can only do some frontal assault.”

“...Tina! How do they lose so much?” Shlyke asked, an idea forming in his mind.

“So do we barrage with piles of snow or what?” The Laviturnian asked.

"Well, um..." Tina thought for a moment as she put a finger to her chin, "Casey and Mila are really bad at throwing snowballs. Mila isn't active and stuff so she gets tired easier, and Casey doesn't really like playing."

“No, no, Fennel!” Shlyke shook his head, “If they only have two good throwers, I have good plan! So, an old Abrol way to fight is to make them focus on as many directions as possible, and that is what we need to do here! Split up their good throwers, and break down their crap throwers with another person! Snow piles are slow, and we need to be fast or else we lose!”

Fennel nodded, “Sounds like a plan.”

"That's a good plan, Shlyke!" Tina beamed, giving her insect friend a big hug. (Big for her at least)

Fennel then began packing snowballs. “So how do we want to split this all up?”

“Hmm.. Fennel, Tina, you take the closer side,” Bob instructed, “Shlyke’ll take the other side, and I’ll go in center.”

“Okay.” Fennel agreed before handing a pile of snowballs to Bob.

“Alright.., how long do we have to wait now?” Shlyke asked, anticipating the fight, already wielding four snowballs.

"Uhmm..." Tina poked her head out of the snow fort and screamed, "ANNA! HAS IT BEEN FIVE MINUTES YET?"

Anna looked down at a stopwatch before holding it up and screaming back, "ONE MINUTE AND THIRTY-TWO SECONDS LEFT!"

"Anna said there's one minute and thirty-two seconds left," Tina repeated to her teammates.

Shlyke nodded, having heard Anna but allowing his friend to relay the info to them as well, “...So, what now?”

Fennel then quickly packed an armful of snowballs for herself in preparation for the battle.

Bob crunched his neck, waiting patiently for the call to finally strike. "Once she says we're good, we go. Alright?"

Fennel then gave Bob a thumbs up in agreement.

"Remember. The target is Fennel," Clara reminded her comrades.

"Got it!" Ernette nodded, throwing another snowball at the tree, hitting it on point (or close enough to be considered on point).

A tense minute and a half later, Anna bellowed out as loudly as she could, "CLARA'S TEAM AND FENNEL'S TEAM ARE AT WAR!"

Fennel then did as ordered and began her assault on the closer side with Tina, quickly throwing five snowballs at the enemy.

Shlyke rushed through the snow, leaping up to the farthest side of Clara's base as he began to throw his own stock of snowballs at the group, before retreating hastily behind a slight incline in the snow, resupplying himself.

Meanwhile, as he said he would, Bob charged up towards the middle of the base, chucking his snowballs indiscriminately at the enemy team. While Casey and Mila pathetically lobbed a few snowballs Fennel's way, Clara focused fire on every enemy but Fennel. There were already three people intent on taking down the fox, so Clara needed to play support until the vixen was down.

Ernette ducked down at the danger of a snowball flying right next to her head, huffing wildly for a moment at the sudden assault, before taking a deep breath, assuring herself as she heaved herself back up, closing an eye as she aimed for Fennel's exposed ears, before throwing the snowball in her hands as hard as she possibly could at her target.

Given that Fennel’s ears were bigger than her head, Ernette shot was true causing snow to enter her ear canal. The vixen was downed.

"Yes! I got her right in the ear!" Ernette cheered, ducking down as the Doomguy prepared to throw another volley.

"Good girl, Ernette," Clara praised before quickly ordering, "Now bury her. If we all rush Fennel, we can smother her in snow."

Poryswan then rotated its arms to lob piles of snow at the struggling fox. Fennel was obviously stuggling to reorient herself, it wasn’t really working however.

"Good job, uh... Poor swan," Clara forgot the Pokemon's name for a moment, "Keep on her. I don't want to see a single bit of fur." Mila and Casey burst from their fort, yelping as they were pelted with snowballs before desperately shoveling snow onto the vixen with their hands as quickly as they could.

Ernette took another precise shot, firing at Fennel's other ear before letting loose a series of less accurate, but still good enough throws at the fox.

"Take them down!" Shlyke demanded, tossing another few snowballs at the back of several of the other team's heads.

"Mommy!" Tina cried out before furiously pelting Casey and Mila. The two older sisters tried to crawl away, with Casey quickly declaring mid-retreat, "I SURRENDER!" Mila, meanwhile, managed to slither back into the protection of their fort.

Ernette scowled at the two, turning her attention to sending a snowball directly into the open eyes of Shlyke, causing him to reel back with a chitter and fall onto his back. With one threat temporarily down, she noted to Clara in a serious tone, "Keep Bob off me, and I can keep Fennel down."


"Understood," Clara quickly replied with a nod, focusing her fire entirely on the marine. Most of her shots were aimed either at his head or at his crotch when the opportunity presented itself to her.

While he was able to block a majority of the shots to his head, Bob took the brunt of several crotch-shots, but stood his ground, even advancing slowly as he continued to scoop up chunks of snow, matting them quickly, before tossing them at Clara and Ernette.

"Watch o-" Clara tried to warn before falling to the concrete as she was hit by Bob's attack. She let out a short whimper, realizing that their measure against sneak attacks traded away the comfort of falling down into snow and dirt.

Ernette turned around, hearing Clara's words cut off, before her eyes widened, the expression of seriousness breaking into an small gasp. "No, no no no!" Ernette chucked the snowball from her hand and onto the ground, falling to her knees as she looked over Clara worriedly, "Are- are you okay!? Please be okay, please be okay!"

As to be expected, Fennel was completely covered in snow before mumbling “My murrember!

"I'm fine," Clara painfully huffed out, slowly rubbing the back of her head. She obviously could not hear the vixen's mumbling as she harshly blinked her eyes a few times.

"H-Hey- Guys! I think Fennel is saying something!" Mila exclaimed. She thought she heard a declaration of surrender, but couldn't be sure.

Ernette gently picked up Clara, as it seemed the fighting had come to a sort of stand-still due to Clara's fall.

Fennel’s head then popped out of the snow, shivering “I-i-i s-s-urrrrrender.”

Mila gasped and jumped up and down, "WE WON! WE WON WE WON WE WON WE WON WE WON!" She quickly fell to her knees and screamed to the sky in ecstasy.

"Oh my god- Clara, did you hear her?!" Ernette giddily smiled for a moment, nearly hopping up and down in excitement at the fact that they had gotten past Fennel's team, before keeping herself restrained due to the hurt Clara in her hands, "I can't believe it, we won!"

"You were a big help, Ernette," Clara praised, reaching up and giving her a kiss on the cheek, "You were a very good girl."

Very good girl. That made it even sweeter for the Benefactor as she came to slowly set Clara down, making sure she would be okay on her feet.

Tina scrambled to Fennel's side to frantically brush snow off of the vixen while Anna came to assess the situation. Unfortunately, she had absolutely no medical expertise like the real Red Cross, so she could only say, "Bob, you should get her in a warm bath really fast. Your whole team lost since she was your representative in the referendum, so you can go."

"Alright," Bob nodded, not really seeing much seriousness in losing, "C'mon, Fennel, let's get you in a warm bath, like she said. You two gonna be alright?" he asked to Shlyke and Tina.

"I... should be fine," Shlyke nodded, taking off his bandanna and starting to lick his eyes, matting them down with his hands to clean them off after the provoked snowballs to them.

Fennel managed to pull herself out of the snow and took Tina’s hand, “I’m sorry we didn’t win.”

"Huh- It's okay!" Tina insisted, ushering Fennel towards Bob, who would be able to carry Fennel better, "It was fun! Now come on! You need a bath to get warm!"

“Okay.” Fennel stammered as she approached Bob, “So that was a lot of fun.”

"Yeah, it really was," Bob agreed, taking Fennel's hand, "I mean, I'm kinda glad we got out of that early so we didn't have to be there for eight days, so thanks," he chuckled, taking his hand holding hers and wrapping it around her shoulder as they walked.

"The snowball fight won't be the only thing you're gonna lose, Latte!" Zoey smugly declared as she stepped onto the scene with Ruby and Elizabeth on either side of her. Zoey's pants seemed absolutely covered in snow as she shivered through her confident pose, "Just a few more hours and I'll be able to slap your ass all I want for a week!"

"What are you talking about, Zoey?" Bob asked, "And why are you covered in snow?"

"So I don't feel anything, duh!" Zoey scoffed, "Latte made a bet with me, saying that I wouldn't be able to go two days without getting off! It's been hell, but I'm this close to winning! And when I win, I get to slap her ass as much as I want for a week!"

”Good for you.” Fennel added.

"Wow. That's actually impressive," Bob huffed, "That sounds like quite the challenge for you guys."

"Yeah it- Wait- What are you saying?" Zoey huffed.

"You guys really like banging a lot," Bob put it bluntly for Zoey.

"So? That doesn't mean I can't go two days without it," Zoey pouted as she folded her arms.

"You're shoving snow in your pants so you don't touch yourself. It's only a matter of time," Bob laughed, "C'mon, Fen. Warm baths. C'mon."

As Fennel's team left, the awkward silence in their absence was interrupted by Clara asking, "You shoved snow in your pan-"

"Shut up!" Zoey quickly interrupted, letting out a huff as she and her teammates strutted back to their base.
====

Soon enough, the trio were at Fennel’s bathroom as she gathered together some dry clothes. “Bob, can you draw the bath while I get some things together?” The vixen asked as she searched for a bubble bath solution.

"Oh, sure, yeah," Bob agreed, starting up the hot water and putting the plug in the hole.

Once the bath was ready Fennel stepped into the bathroom and said “Well... I’m going to get naked... so if you could leave please.” Fennel requested rather awkwardly.

"O-oh yeah, sure, I'll, uh... be outside if you need anything," Bob mused awkwardly, closing the door behind him.

"Hey, Bob! Wanna watch cartoons?" Tina asked, already sitting in front of the TV and snuggled up into a blanket which she opened up to allow the marine access.

"Why not?" Bob smiled, sitting down next to Tina, who promptly flopped part of her blanket over Bob before turning her attention back to the television.

"Oh, I wonder how cartoons will be," Shlyke chattered, sitting on the ground, in front of where Tina was sitting, eyeing the TV attentively.

As as soon as Bob left, the sound of wet clothes hitting the floor was heard before Fennel climbed into her bubble bath.

=====

"...I'm still sorry for all that, back out there," Tychen lamented with Harper, having tucked her into a cover as the two sat on the couch in their room, watching some holiday-related movie.

"... Pssh, it's fine," Harper laughed, "I don't really care that much about the snowball fights anyway."

"Are you lying now, or...?" Tychen asked, "I-uh... It's okay if you are, I just want to know."

"..." Harper thought for a moment before speaking truthfully, "I'm... Just glad that someone was on my team."

Tychen chuckled quietly, "Still am. I got no reason to join any of the others. All a bunch of bland dummies- well, Clara's a bland smartie, but still, blander than the rest."

Harper giggled as she shuffled a little and leaned against Tychen. "You're the worst teammate I could've ever asked for," She murmured before tilting her head up and winking.

"Right back at ya'," the Pirate replied back as he looked back down at Harper, wrapping an arm around her, "...I'd be winking back if I could now."

The teen burst into laughter as her arms quickly squirmed out of the covers to give Tychen a hug.

====

An hour and a half later Fennel, exited the bathroom wearing pajamas before lying in the bed adjacent to the three before asking, “Did I miss anything?”

"We've just been watching cartoons here," Bob informed, patting the spot next to him as he scooted over a bit, "Wanna join us?"

“Sure.” Fennel said before taking the spot next to Bob and placing Tina in her lap. Tina jumped a little at the sudden relocation before looking up at Fennel and smiling happily. However, she was quick to return her attention to her cartoons.

“So I’m guessing tomorrow will be just a lazy day then.” Fennel suggested.

"Tomorrow's Christmas!" Tina exclaimed.

"Yes, Christmas!" Shlyke agreed, before gulping, realizing something as he scrambled to go get his coat on.

"Shlyke? Where are you going?" Tina inquired.

"My gift-getting! I forgot!" Shlyke exclaimed hurriedly, shoving his feet into the boots as he clambered towards the door, "I need to do that before everyone is already in Christmas tomorrow!"

"Santa's already getting us gifts though," Tina blinked, "You don't have to."

"But aren't you supposed to gift to eachother too?" Shlyke asked with a chitter.

"... I dunno."

"...I'll gift everyone, just to be sure!" Shlyke guaranteed, before running out the door to get gifts.

"... Shlyke is really nice," Tina remarked with a smile as she turned back to the TV.

"Yeah," Bob agreed with Tina, "I think you've been doing a really good job with him."

Fennel the rested her chin on top of Tina’s head and said, “I think tomorrow will be wonderful.”

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Re: Dimensional Clash IX [IC]

Post by Teedler on Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:42 am

Christmas Day with The Zoey Gang

Zoey's eyes slowly opened from within her snow fortress as she took a deep, satisfied breath. Unlike most mornings, she was incredibly pleased to be waking up, and the fourteen-year-old arose from the ground and stretched before taking a few steps to peek outside.

She had survived the two days abstinence Fennel had issued her, and promptly spent half the night making up for lost time with Ruby after the vixen surrendered. "C'mon, Rub! It's Christmas! Lizagna, let's go!" She called back into the fort chipperly.

Ruby awoke with a yawn while Elizabeth seemed incrediblyl refreshed. It had been awhile since she spent so much time without cooking herself to the point of exhaustion. The trio eagerly made their way into the hotel, followed by Mary's team soon after.

"... and I know you won't want to do it, but it's the only way to win," Clara finished explaining her vile scheme to Ernette. The twelve-year-old gave a quick glance to her sisters passing by as they entered the hotel before looking back at Ernette.

“I... Do I really have to?” Ernette grimaced with a sigh, definitely displeased with whatever Clara wanted her to do to ensure their victory, “It seems... a bit much.”

"It's the only way to get Zoey to surrender," Clara affirmed.

“...Fine,” Ernette nodded unreceptively, “But what if she doesn’t?”

"She will. She won't want it to go on. She'll think it's a bluff at first until it actually starts."

Ernette gulped at the stark realization that Clara was right, that this would be the only way to quickly claim victory. “But I mean... couldn’t we do it to me instead? I-I’d feel better about it that way.”

"It won't have as much emotional impact," Clara shook her head in response, "Trust me, it won't take long before she's begging for it to stop, and then she'll surrender."

”I really hope she surrenders quickly...” Ernette muttered with a sigh, before putting on a smile, “But that’s for tomorrow, anyways. I can worry about that when we get to it.”

"Yeah, let's see what 'Santa' got us all for Christmas," Clara nodded, leading the way into the hotel.

---

Meanwhile, iinside the hotel, Fennel roused from her interrupted sleep to shake Tina enough to wake the girl.

"Mm-Waghblagh!" Tina yelped, "Wh- Huh- Mommy?"

"It's christmas Tina!" Fennel cheered.

Tina let out a loud gasp, "Did Santa come?!"

"He did." Fennel nodded, "Go wake up your sisters while I find a good camera."

"Okay!" Tina quickly nodded, bursting out of the roo-

"Ow!" Tina yelped, running into the door of the room in her excitement. Thankfully, she was too lost in the moment to care about how much she just hurt herself as she threw open the door and sped down the hallway.

Fennel then made her way outside to find Ernette.

Ernette was in the breakfast area of the lobby, busy making herself, Zoey, and Ruby their lattes. She had gotten a taste of one before, and had fallen for them.

After noticing the relatively soon to be mom Fennel approached the woman and asked "Ernette do you have the camera?"

“Wha- Oh, Yeah, hey Fennel,” Ernette nodded with a smile, “It’s back in Me and Clara’s room. Why do you ask?”

"I just wanted to record Christmas is all and I figure it'll look better on an actual camera than a phone." Fennel replied before heading off to Clara's room.

“Replace the memory card in it!” Ernette hollered to here, “There’s not enough room on the one in it because of you-know-what!”

"I wonder why she wants to record Christmas," Clara pondered as she nibbled on a bagel.

“It’s probably something about family memories or something like that,” Ernette wondered, finishing up the last latte and taking a sip of hers with an assured hum, before taking the two other drinks in her hands and bringing them to their rightful owners, “Here you go! Merry Christmas!” She chimed.

"Hey! Thanks, Ernette!" Zoey laughed as she and Ruby took their respective lattes, "Merry Christmas to you too! Do you think Santa got you anything?"

“I dunno,” Ernette shrugged, going along with the preposterous idea of Santa Claus, “I might be too old for him to give me anything!”

"Well, come on, let's check!" Zoey gestured over to the Christmas tree in the lobby, "I bet that's all our stuff under the tree! There might be something for you in there!"

“Really?!” Ernette piped up, the possibility of a gift actually bemusing her as she followed Zoey to the tree.

Eventually, Fennel returned, having replaced the memory card in the camera with the one from her phone. She then pointed the camera at a group of girls gathered around the tree and started recording.

"Hmm.. That's not one, that's not o-" Zoey mumbled as she looked at all the tags on the presents, trying to find one for Ernette before noticing Fennel recording, "Latte? What're you doing?" By instinct, she quickly struck a pose for the camera before relaxing.

“She’s recording Christmas,” Ernette answered, still looking under the tree, “Don’t ask why, I dunno.”

"Then you can watch it later." Fennel replied.

"Can I be recorded?" Tina asked, jumping up infront of the lens.

Fennel then ponted the lens at Tina, "Yes, Tina."

Tina smiled and opened her mouth to say something before pausing. She kinda just stared at the camera for a few moments, as she did not think her plan through very well and did not know what to do.

“Happy Christmas!” Shlyke declared, hopping onto Tina’s back for a moment with a skittering movement, “Happy Christmas, Tina! It feels like a good day today!”

"Merry Chrismas, Shlyke!" Fennel replied before pointing the camera at the locust.

Tina laughed and repeated Fennel's greeting to Shlyke as she quickly hugged her friend.

“Mary?” Shlyke chittered, looking over to the girl named that and shaking his head, “Christmas is not named after Mary! It is just Christmas! But it is a very Happy Christmas!”

"No!" Tina giggled, "Not Mary! It's Merry Christmas! That's what you say!"

“...Ohhhhh!” Shlyke nodded, “Merry Christmas! It makes more sense now! Merry Christmas!”

"Sometimes I really hate my name," Mary remarked to Bob.

“Only on Christmas, I’m guessing?” Bob chuckled.

Fennel then handed a wrapped box to Tina that had a tag labled "From: Mommy" "I found one for you Tina!"

"This one's from you!" Tina exclaimed, pointing at the tag before tearing the wrapping from the box to see what the vixen had gotten for her.

From inside the box, a plush doll wearing some sort of pink dress could be seen. Fennel had accidentally gotten some sort of off-brand doll as she was unfamilar what the name brands were.

Tina gave the doll a quick once-over before moving it to one hand so she could wrap her arms around Fennel. "Thank you, mommy!"

“Oh oh! I got you a gift, too, Tina!” Shlyke declared, rummaging through his coat, before pulling out a black thigh-high stocking, a various assortment of candies at the bottom. “I heard people like to put gifts in stockings, so I did that!”

Tina let out a gasp, giving the locust a quick hug, before turning the stocking over and shaking its contents out while kneeling down. "Thank you, Shlyke!" She beamed as she put the stocking on and promptly tearing open the wrapper to some small chocolate candy and shoving it into her mouth.

“You are welcome, Tina! I did not know what candies you wanted, so I got as many as I could fit into it!” Shlyke happily assured, opening up his coat to pull out several different-colored elastic stockings with similar contents, “I got a stocking for everyone!” The girls excitedly swarmed the alien, snatching their respective stockings with brief expressions of gratitude before digging into the tasty treats gifted to them.

"Oh, Shlyke, we got this." Fennel replied, handing a boxed tie to the locust.

“...What is it?” Shlyke chittered, looking over it with some confusion

"It's a tie, you wear it and you look fancy." Fennel explained.

“...Thanks!” Shlyke nodded, hugging Fennel quickly before putting the tie on out of gratitude, even if he felt it tight and constricting around his neck, and even if he didn’t know how to put it on, “It’s a... very good gift!”

"That's not how you do a tie!" Tina giggled, reaching up and undoing the hapzard work of the locust before deftly tying the tie. It was clear she had plenty of practice as she tightened it just enough to where it would stay on the bug, but not too tight to where it would be uncomfortable. "There you go!"

“Oh! Aw, thank you, Tina! You are a very good friend!” Shlyke thanked as he hugged Tina in response.

"You're a better one!" The six-year-old squealed as she returned the hug.

Fennel then handed a wrapped box containing clothes to Zoey. "Zoey, this is for you." before handing a similar box to Ruby.

"Oh, shit! Thanks, Latte!" Zoey exclaimed. She gave the vixen a quick slap on the rear before ripping the wrapping off alongside Ruby.

Fennel let out a surprised yelp before replying "What was that for!?"

"I won the bet," Zoey answered with a wide grin.

"Oh goodie." Fennel replied rather monotonously.

“Oh, hey, I found one for me!” Ernette squirmed out from under the tree, “From Fennel. Oh, I wonder what it is!” She set it aside, continuing to search before pulling out another, “And Clara’s! From Bob!”

The Benefactor then picked up both of their gifts and brought them back to where Clara was sitting, “Here you go, Clara! Bob got you something.”

"Thanks, Bob," Clara said in her typical monotone and looked over at the marine before making a single tear in the wrapping and ripping the hole wide from that point to reveal the laptop and notebook he had gotten for her.

“You’re welcome!” Bob smiled, “I thought you’d like something like that!”

Clara's eyebrows actually rose just a little in surprise as she examined her gift. After a moment, she felt compelled to give Bob another, "Thank you."

Ernette ogled Clara’s gift as well, surprised that it elicited such a change in Clara’s deadpan, before opening her own gift. “...How to Have and Raise a Child: A Definitive Guide to Raising Children...” Ernette slowly murmured out the name of the book she had been given. While it was a thoughtful gift, it further reminded her how simply unprepared she was to have a baby.

"Also I threw in some earings." Fennel added, hoping the woman would notice.

“Oh,” Ernette quipped, moving the thick book to find the two earrings, “Thanks, Fennel.”

"I knew you'd like them!" Fennel replied.

“I do, I just... never had earrings yet, so...” Ernette shrugged.

"I can help you pierce your ears," Clara offered.

“Oh, I’d love that!” Ernette agreed, “Thank you, Clara!”

"Mhm, now hold still. It's gonna hurt a little bi-"

"Wait wait wait!" Fennel shouted, "We can go somewhere to do that tomorrow. Then it will be clean and sterile."

“I’m fine with doing it here, though...?” The Benefactor cocked her head in confusion.

"Hm, I think we should go along with Fennel's idea. She probably has something planned, knowing her," Clara remarked.

“Yeah, you’re probably right,” Ernette mulled, “Yeah, it’ll be fine to do it tomorrow!”

"Oh, Anna, we got this for you." Fennel said, handing a box to the girl.

"Oh, thank you!" Anna smiled up at the fox before eagerly taking the gift. She was careful to not tear the wrapping paper as she undid the tape and slid the actual present out of its cocoon. It was a cardboard box, filled with various art supplies.

"Oh my gosh! This is great! Thank you!" Anna gasped as she ruffled through the contents of the box.

Fennel's tail was wagging rather rapidly before she handed a small box to Bob, "I-I got this for you, Bob!"

“Oh, heck- Thanks!” Bob mused, unaware she had gotten him something as he took the small present from her, unwrapping it and o the small box. Inside was a fairly well-sized silver wrist-watch, already ticking along. “Oh man.. this is really nice!” Bob thanked as he put it on his wrist and admired it for a moment, before turning his attention back to Fennel,  “I really needed a watch! Thank you, Fen! Oh, I got you something too!” Bob gestured for Fennel to wait a moment, before pulling out a small present, handing it to Fennel, “Here.”

The wagging of Fennel's tail had picked up to the point her lower half was waving back and forth as she opened the box. After removing the lid Fennel looked at a necklace with a simple gold chain with a ring pendant in the center. "It's beautiful." The vixen commented before putting on the jewelry.

“Are you sure? I can always get you something else if you don’t like it,” Bob assured.

"No, no I love it." Fennel assured Bob.

"Is that a ring?" Zoey pointed out, looking between Fennel and Bob with a growing smile.

Bob looked over and sighed tiredly, “No, Zoey, it’s just a necklace.”

"Oh," Zoey slumped a bit in disappointment.

Fennel was a bit flustered by the fact that Zoey thought that Bob had just proposed. "Oh, we have this for Casey." Fennel handed a box with holes poked in it to Casey.

"Huh?" Casey blinked, gently setting down Roachy's habitat and took the present in her hands. She quickly noticed the holes poked through the top, and took care as she opened it to see what was inside.

Inside the box was a small ant farm. The ten-year-old gasped, quickly covering the ant farm back up inside the box. Only a second after, she peeked inside, before covering it once again. "Oh my god, thank you!" She yelped, taking yet another peek inside before forcing herself to keep the flap of the box shut.

At that moment Brendan then handed the girls each a ping pong ball sized object as his presents. "Alright, you can upwrap them." Brendan said with the wave of his hand.

The girls were curious as to what their tiny presents could be, each of them tearing the wrapping paper covering their tiny gifts.

Inside each of the wrappers were pokeballs with each girl recieving a different one to help them distinguish between them. "So I can't get you the present today but Parfait's gonna have Eevees."

"... What's an Eevee?" Mary blinked.

"She's gonna have puppies."

There was a collective gasp amongst most of the girls, despite a few of them already knowing of this fact. The lobby erupted into squeals while an employee at the front desk counted his money, blissfully unaware of the noise thanks to his ear plugs.

"It's just gonna be another few weeks before she has them." Brendan explained before pointing out the pile of presents from "Santa".

Fennel then handed a container that was obviously a tub of protien and weights to Mary.

After a quick unwrapping, however, it was clear Mary was surprised by the tub. "Thanks, Fen! I've never actually tried this stuff before!" She remarked.

”I got you a cookies and cream flavored one because unflavored is gross.” Fennel commented.

"Oooh!" Mary twisted the top of the container off and dipped a finger inside. She popped her finger into her mouth and slid it out, smiling at the taste, "Thanks again."

“You welcome.” Fenn replied before handing two bags of dice and a stack of books to Maria and Madison.

"Ooh, dice," Maria remarked while Madison curiously inspected the books.

"What's 'Dungeons & Dragons'?" The magician inquired.

“It’s like a game where you write a story but you get to kill things. I thought you two would like it.” Fennel stated.

"Huh, you're gonna have to show us how to play," Madison remarked, peering into one of the books with Maria.

“Yeah, I think I understand enough to do that.” Fennel nodded before handing a box the Mila.

"Meeeeerry Christmas," Tychen harrumphed with a slur, dragging a large burlap sack behind him, before dumping the contents out, revealing a bunch more presents of differing levels of wrapping, "Uncle Tychen's always -hic- got good crap for everybody."

"...How the hell did he get drunk," Bob said the first thing that came to mind.

"What's an uncle?" Tina blinked.

"It's like a ... fuckin'... a friendly friend guy who's close," Tychen muttered.

"An uncle is your mom or dad's brother." Fennel explained.

"It's a coloquial term," Tychen corrected in a stupor.

"Also in this situation yes." Fennel explained.

"... Is Tychen your brother?" Tina asked Fennel, looking up at the vixen in confusion.

"No, sometimes though an uncle can just be a really good friend." Fennel answered.

"Oh, so Shlyke is my uncle too?"

"I am an uncle?" Shlyke looked over himself with confusion.

"Why not." Fennel shrugged.

"Well... alright then," Shlyke shrugged, "I am a happy uncl-"

"Ohmygodwhocareslet'sjustgettothepresents!" Zoey quickly piped up as she strutted up to Tychen excitedly.

"I got you something, it's just... somewhere in the pile," Tychen gestured to the culmination of presents with a shrug, "I-I dunno which one, I just know I got two of it for you and your sis."

"Ooooh!" Ruby ooooh'd eagerly, sifting through the pile with Zoey before finding both of their presents, sloppily labeled with a sharpie. Without hesitation, the two ripped the wrapping off to reveal what appeared to be vibrators.

"Ta-daaaaaah..." Tychen snickered, "There ya go! My "sorry I jumped through your window that one time and had you shoot me" Christmas gift!"

"Oh shit! Thanks, Tychen!" Zoey gasped, "Uncles are the best!"

Fennel then attempted to peer in to the box "What did you get, Zoey?"

"They got, uh..." Tychen put himself in the way of Fennel, "Slippers. Very nice slippers."

"What? No, these are vibrators," Zoey blinked, peering from around Tychen and holding the vibrator in her hand.

"NO NO! NICE SLIPPERS! THAT'S WHAT I- Oh wait, that's Ernette's. Hey Ernette, catch yer slippers!" Tychen grabbed a box with the Benefactor's name on it and tossed it at her. She barely caught it, nearly getting hit in the face by the box.

"Why did you give a 14-year-old sex toys?" Fennel asked.

"Why not?" Zoey asked, turning the toy on and letting it vibrate in her hand, "Jelly?"

"Well, I did a lot of eavesdropping about that whole 'challenge', and I thought it was a bit cruel, so there!" Tychen gestured with a swirling hand to Zoey's vibrator, "Vibrators! That's all the sex toys, though. Everyone else got normal crap, I think. I just gave Harper fifty bucks last night and told her to get whatever she wanted."

"I am not jealous Zoey." Fennel replied in a deadpan tone.

"Suuure," Zoey sneered as she gave Fennel's rear a light smack before turning her new toy off and shoving it in her pocket.

Fennel let out a rather annoyed huff in response. Harper strutted up and gave Tychen a curious look, "Uhh, no you didn't," She refuted the pirate's claim, "Where's my present?"

"So, what'd you buy?" Tychen asked, unphased by the girl's lies. It seemed the alcohol was starting to wear off in the motion.

"Nothing, because I didn't have any money to buy stuff with," Harper blinked before pulling out her fifty dollars to show she was partially telling the truth.

"Oh, haven't decided yet?" Tychen remarked, "Eh, we'll find something later."

"Yeah, I don't really know what I want yet," Harper nodded before turning to Fennel, "I hope you didn't get me anything."

"She's doing a lie," Tychen whispered loudly, "Just go with it."

"Well in that case i definitely didn't get you this." Fennel said handing a box to the liar.

Harper curiously opened the present, gasping as she pulled out a kit for cross stitching. She stared at it for a moment before blurting out, "This... This is awful!" The hug she gave to Fennel immediately after speaking clearly indicated the teen felt otherwise.

"There's even some grid paper so you can try out some designs before you stitch them." Fennel replied returning the hug.

Harper opened her mouth to say something in the middle of the hug, but quickly shut her mouth. With an almost pained expression, she managed to mutter out, "Th-Thanks... I really love it."

Fennel's wagging tail gave away the fact she was rather happy to have picked out such a good present for the girl. "You're welcome."

"Hey, don't forget the background characters," Madison giggled, approaching Fennel with Maria by her side.

"You two still owe me a game of Oneshot sometime after furbag here spoiled it," Tychen huffed, "...It'd be fine if you won though. I don't really care."

"Hm, I'm not sure what Oneshot is. Do you know what that is, Maddy?" Maria asked.

"Nope! On an unrelated note, I sure do love playing Russian roulette," Madison snickered.

"Aw, screw you guys, Russia isn't a thing in Tyvus," Tychen grumbled, "Let's go... somewhere else, Harper. I don't like being around other cheaters for long periods of time."

"I'd rather not," Harper remarked before waving Anna over, "Hey, Anna! Come with us when you're done here!" With that, she followed Tychen out.

Fennel attempted to bring the side characters in for a hug by wrapping her tail around Maria.

"Don't worry, we'll replace the bullet with a tic-tac," Madison assured as she and Maria hugged the vixen.

"Only if it's orange flavored." Fennel snickered.

"So what'd you get us?" Madison pulled away with a huge smile, "It was really hard to not magic myself a peek at my gift."

Fennel then pointed to wrapped box that contained a magic kit and another that contained a few high quality decks of cards. "They are just over there. I figured dungeons and dragons is more of a group gift."

Just as Maria excitedly opened one of the decks of cards, her smile dropped. "Hey, where's the-" She stopped herself, already knowing what happened to her cards as she looked back to see Madison humming innocently while shuffling some cards.

"Hmmhmmhmmmm- Oh, need something?" Madison looked over at Maria before bursting out into laughter as she handed her sister the cards. The two devolved into giggles shortly after as they fawned over their gifts.

"Oh Mila! I have something for you." Fennel beckoned.

The seven-year-old quickly scurried up to the fox. "What is it?"

Fennel then handed the girl a small wrapped box that was about the size of a nintendo switch, if slightly smaller. "I think you'll like this one." Fennel added with a very slight smuggness to her tone.

"Ooooh!" Mila bit down on her lip as she unwrapped the box with cautious optimism. While she loved getting Christmas gifts, she was used to not always getting something she would have liked from Santa Claus. However, she was hopeful Fennel might know the girl a bit better. Inside the packaging was a box for a switch classic edition cart containing yet another collection of nintendo switch games that were not already pre installed on the system.

"Woah! Thanks, mom- Ah- Uhm," Mila yelped happily before realizing what she called Fennel. It felt weird to call the vixen her mother, but she couldn't help blurting it out.

Fennel reacted with a surprised smile in response to the girl's statement, "I take it you like it then."

"Yeah, it's great!" Mila quickly assured, beaming up at the fox, "Thanks! Again!"

"I can play one of the games with you later if you want." Fennel offered, as she went to find the last box for Elizabeth. "And that just leaves Elizabeth."

The little chef had certainly gotten her hopes up for this Christmas, knowing full-well that Fennel knew exactly what she would have wanted. She was biting down on both of her lips as she bounced in place with both of her hands clenched into tight fists in excitement.

Fennel then handed the box that contained her and Bob's presents to the chef. "Here you go."

Elizabeth rabidly tore the wrapping paper from her gift and let out a loud scream. Right there, in her hands, was not only a collection of very nice cutlery, but also the full Kitchen Nightmares collection!

"OHMYGODTHANKYOUYOU'RETHEBESTMOMEVEROHMYGOD!" Elizabeth screamed as she quickly put her presents to the side and slammed herself into the vixen with an ecstatic hug.

Fennel was a bit unsure how to reply having just been called mom twice by the girls, "I-I-I thank you." She replied.

"No, thank you!" Elizabeth cried out, actually crying, "Oh my god, th-this is exactly w-what I wanted! Oh my god!"

Fennel then headed over to a couch to sit down and record the girls using their presents.

"AAAAH! And look how good these knives are!" Elizabeth squealed, sliding two of the larger knives together, mimicking a motion done by Gordon Ramsey.

"Wait," Zoey chimed, "Didn't Santa get us stuff too?"

"I think it's all over there." Brendan commented, pointing to the more uniform looking boxes labled "from Santa."

The girls carried the presents given to them by Fennel and Bob over to the pile as they descended upon the jolly old man's gifts for them.

The gifts mostly contained clothes along with something relatively small for each of the girls as Brendan himself wasn't exactally sure what to get all of the girls.

While they admired the clothes, there was clearly much less excitement for Santa's gifts compared to the ones Fennel and Bob got them. "Guess Santa already knew you guys were taking his place this year," Zoey remarked.

"I mean he does know what everyone's been up to." Fennel agreed.

"He does?" Shlyke asked, peering around for hidden cameras.

"Duh, Santa knows literally everything. He's magic," Zoey scoffed, "He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake, and he knows if you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake."

"He... watches you sleep?" Shlyke cocked his head to the side, "Isn't that... weird?"

"It's okay when Santa does it," Zoey replied with a shrug, "He has to make sure you're asleep before Christmas so he can deliver his presents."

Fennel, meanwhile, was pointing the camera as Zoey explained Santa to the insect.

"So Santa... brings everyone everywhere presents? All in a night?" Shlyke pondered/

"Uh-huh! But only if you've been good!" Zoey grinned happily.

"...I hate to do a Clara, but... Bullshit?" Shlyke shrugged, "That sounds so... kiddy."

Fennel then lowered the camera and hissed, "Shlyke," as she shood her head.

"Bah! Don't eat me, what?" Shlyke asked.

"What do you mean?" Tina asked, lightly tugging on one of Shlyke's limbs.

"He means that Santa only visits the kids that have belief in him."

"If that is case, how many kids are there like that on Earth? Lots!" Shlyke explained his theory, "So Santa would have to go to each and every house on his flying reindeer sleigh, and give them all presents in a night AND  know if they are sleeping or not and all of that and-"

Fennel then got up and dragged the insect into the hallway.

"Hey! I said don't eat me! Not on Ha-Merry Christmas!" Shylke huffed.

"You are not going ruin Santa for them," Fennel ordered in a hushed tone.

"What do you mean ruin? I'm simply saying what I think about him!"

"Do not question how Santa does anything."

"Why?"

"Because the last thing they need is to find out he isn't real." Fennel hissed.

"...Fine," Shlyke hissed, "But put me down, and never touch me like that again or I bite you back for that time."

Fennel let go of the insect and shoo'ed him back into the lobby.

The Abrol grumbled as he rejoined Tina, "So, what did Santa get you?"

"Some new clothes!" Tina exclaimed, holding up a cute shirt for Shlyke to see. It was a light pink, short-sleeved shirt with a few butterflies on the front.

"Oh! Pink is always very nice!" Shlyke agreed, "But why does it have... those on it?" he poked at a butterfly on her shirt.

"Because girls like butterflies." Fennel added.

"Mhm!" Tina agreed wholeheartedly.

"Butterfly? That's a Sephykyr," Shlyke corrected with a chuckle, "I worked in a platoon with one, so I should know."

"Maybe that's what you call your alien butterflies," Zoey butted in, "But here, we call them butterflies."

"Butterflies is what you call your alien Sephykyr, but I call them Sephykyr," Shlyke snidely retorted, flicking his tongue at Zoey.

"You're the alien though," Zoey contested.

"To me, you are an alien," Shlyke argued, "It works both ways."

Zoey paused for a moment, scratching her head. "... That's fucking crazy, holy shit," She mumbled, realizing the truth in his words.

"Thinking about it... are we aliens?" Brendan asked gesturing to a few of his pokemon.

"What if like, we're aliens to this planet... Since we're from a different Earth," Zoey mused, her expression conveying how blown her mind was.

"...I didn't mean it to go that far, but... yeah, maybe," Shlyke shrugged, going along with the idea much better than Zoey.

"I don't wanna be an alien," Tina frowned.

"But you're not an alien." Fennel assured.

"But you're not an alien to yourself," Shlyke agreed, "To you, you're you."

"But you said we're aliens," Tina said, pointing at the Abrol.

“To me, you’re an alien,” Shlyke pointed to himself, “It’s all on who is saying what is an alien. Humans are not aliens to humans, so you’re not an alien.”

Tina was silent for a moment, processing what she had been told. "... So... I'm not an alien?"

“Mmhm,” Shlyke nodded affirmatively, “And neither am I.”

"That's right, honey, you're not an alien." Fennel agreed.

"Hey! Fennel!" Elizabeth hopped in front of the vixen, "Wanna watch Kitchen Nightmares with me?!"

"Sure." Fennel replied.

"So when're we gonna play Dungeons & Dragons?" Maria inquired.

"We probably can after we watch an episode or two of kitchen nightmares." Fennel mused."What episode do you want to start with, Elizbeth?"

"So... it is a show about a guy who yells like Elizabeth did at the cooks?" Shlyke pondered with a chittering laugh, "Oh, I cannot wait."

======

“So.. Whattya want to do?” Tychen asked his liar friend, his head hanging off the end of the bed as he laid on it, his legs, even though bent, still pushed against the back, “Because I’m definitely not gonna get drunk again... that’s a lie, holidays are the best days to get wasted.”

"I get drunk like, all the time," Harper agreed as she organized her cross-stitching supplies.

Tychen wheezed into a fit of laughter, kicking his feet up for a moment in cackling at Harper’s lie, “Oh...Oh man, that’s a good one, Harper.”

"Wh- Hey!" Harper whined while Anna worked on a detailed drawing with her colored pencils, "I've gotten wasted a bunch!"

“Oh yeah?” Tychen flipped himself over onto his stomach as he looked to Harper, “...Y’know what? I’m gonna take you on your word for once,” he fumbled around under his coat, before pulling out a canteen, holding it up to Harper and shaking it a bit, “A swig? You get wasted all the time, so it’d be fine.”

The fourteen-year-old hesitated. She knew she wasn't supposed to drink alcohol, but if she backed out, she would be caught in her lie. I'm really sorry, dad, She thought as she snatched the canteen and began chugging. After the second gulp, however, she spat out a bit of its contents as she coughed and rubbed her throat.

"O-Oh god-" Harper wheezed.

“Strong, right?” Tychen asked as he swiped the canteen back, “Made it myself, and I’m pretty damn proud of it... I didn’t think you’d actually drink it though.”

"W-Well, duh," Harper continued to cough, "I drink this kinda stuff all the time."

“...Anna,” Tychen began, “Does she really?”

"U-Um..." Anna looked between Tychen and Harper before meekly answering with a, "Yes?"

“...What,” Tychen blankly mumbled.

"No?" Anna gulped.

"No, it's a yes," Harper huffed.

“...This is confusing,” Tychen huffed, “I’m just gonna go with a no considering how much you coughed up.”

"I just swallowed it wrong!" Harper insisted.

“You’re really not willing to just say you don’t drink often? C’mon, don’t make this into a “All the wheelchairs are stolen” thing, please,” Tychen asked, “I really don’t like it when you do that. I don’t think you like it either.”

"... You're right," Harper admitted. From when she chugged the drink down to when she finally told the truth, her shoulders had slowly slumped down and her eyelids drooping more and more until her eyes were only half-open, "I just- Lie and.. I-It's dumb liesh."

“Yeah, that’s... wait a minute,” Tychen looked at her for a moment and sighed, “Drink’s finally taken effect, huh?” He sat up and got out of the bed, grumbling to himself annoyedly, “Anna, I- uh... I think you can do this with Harper later. She’s... gonna be a bit messed up for a bit, I think.”

"Oh... Okay," Anna nodded, packing up her art supplies.

“Looks fantastic, though,” Tychen nodded, “I’d love to see it when you and Harper get to it.”

"Oh! Thank you!" Anna smiled, taking the drawing and scampering out of the room just as Harper began to cry.

“Hey, hey, hey,” Tychen crouched down to Harper, “There’s no need to cry here. Anna’ll be back later, I think.”

"It's not that!" Harper sobbed, "I-I hate lying all the time! I don't ev-ven know anything- I'm jusht shtupid! I jusht... Lie to shound like I... I know what I'm talking about!"

“Well, it’s... it’s okay to not know things,” Tychen admitted, “You know? It’s okay to not be the expert at everything. To not have a magical boyfriend who got blown up... To not know how much you like someone- it’s okay.”

"But thash all I have!" Harper wailed, "There'sh nothing intereshting about me other than.. Than I lie and- and I sew! Thash it!"

“Well, I think sewing‘s pretty neat,” Tychen assured, “...And you’re my girlfriend, so there’s that.”

Harper sniffled, rubbing at her eyes as she looked up at the pirate with a, "H-Huh?"

“I thought that’s what all the snuggling and stuff yesterday boiled down to,” Tychen shrugged, “You, giving me another chance.”

Harper stared at Tychen for a moment before sloppily tackling him down and kissing where his face should have been. "I-I love you, Tyshen..." She admitted, "You're nisher to me than anyone elsh."

“And you’re the only person to do the same to me,” Tychen chuckled, wrapping his arms around Harper, “It’s... nice. We both just... work for each other.”

"... E-Even daddy wash mean to me," Harper admitted after a few moments of taking in the pirate's embrace, "He made a... Coupon thing for Clara... When she ushed it... I had to shut up for a whole day."

“...Your dad sounds like an ass,” Tychen agreed with her statement.

"Wait! No!" Harper gasped, "H-He'sh a good pershun!"

“But he’s mean to his own kids?” Tychen asked, “He essentially tells you to shut up with a coupon. How is that good?”

"... I desherved it," Harper whimpered, "I ruined Clara'sh birthday... Becaush I lied."

“...Still, I don’t think he needed to be so mean,” Tychen quietly murmured, stroking the back of Harper’s head slowly with a hand.

Harper sniffled and wrapped her arms around the pirate. "I-I don't desherve you... Being sho nishe..."

“Everyone needs someone to go to,” Tychen reasoned, “Ruby has Zoey, Fennel has Bob... So I don’t see why you can’t have me.”

"Becaush y-you're too nishe to me," Harper answered, "D-Daddy jush shays that... I should shtop lying, but.. I keep doing it. I'm bad... I'm a bad pershon... I-I ruined Clara'sh birthday!" She broke into tears once again as she buried her face into Tychen.

"You're not a bad person, Harper," Tychen cooed, "You're not. Would a bad person wheel me to the pet store to help me get a kitten? Would a bad person really put up with me? No, only a really, really good person would. You can't control your lying that well, I get it, and I'm fine with it. Just... stop beating yourself up over it. That's all I want you to do now. Just calm down for me. Please."

"O-Okay... Okay," Harper stammered out as she lethargically nodded her head. She shuddered and shut her eyes in an attempt to stop the flow of tears as she breathed out, "I love you Tyshen... I love you sho mush..."

"I love you too, Harper," Tychen replied, pressing his forehead up against Harper's, "...You're really really drunk, aren't you?"

"I dunno... I think... I've never been drunk before," Harper slurred in response.

"...Yeah, you're a bit wasted," Tychen nodded, sitting up and gently setting Harper down, "So what can a drunk 14-year old and a pirate do with their free time?"

"... Hmmmmfffffuck," Harper answered.

"No," Tychen shook his head, "I'm pretty sure Bob'd kick my head in if we did."

"Jush don't tell anyone... And.. And not anyone," Harper 'reasoned', not realizing the second half of her statement made no sense.

"...I..err... Oh! We could go use your fifty bucks to buy your gift!" Tychen suggested.

"Ish too expenshive... I'm shaving my moneysh for it."

"What are you wanting to buy?"

"A showing masheen," Harper answered as she rolled over onto her stomach, straining to keep looking at Tychen.

"A sowing machine?" Tychen repeated aloud to himself, "...Yeah, we'll have enough. I'll pay for it."

"Aw, Tyshen.. You're sho-BLAAGH!" Harper was interrupted by a brief torrent of vomit forcing its way out of her mouth and onto the carpeted floor.

"...I should have seen that coming, eventually," Tychen admitted, lifting Harper up and bringing her to the bathroom so she could throw up any further into a more sanitary place, "Just heave up whatever you feel coming up. It helps get through it."

=======

Meanwhile back at their room Fennel was busy braiding Elizabeth's hair as the two watched an episode of Kitchen Nightmares.

"Looks like Gordon fixed the Olde Stone Mill," Elizabeth remarked as the customers on the screen clinked their wine glasses together.

"Yeah, looks like they really turned things around there." Fennel added before taking a sip of eggnog.

However, the episode continued as the narrator spoke, "The next day, Gordon wants to make sure that Dean's fear of failure would no longer stand in the way of his potential success."

"What really pisses you off the most? What is it?" Gordon asked, walking over and standing by a dead tree. The Olde Stone Mill's owner, Dean, stopped near him.

"I know this place is- could be a raging success," He answered, "And I'm not being blind and I'm not in a fucking dream world."

The music picked up with a tone of inspiration as Gordon took only a brief moment before replying, "The fascinating thing about you, Dean, is that you're... You're scared of failure."

Elizabeth perked up a little. While she had remained focused on the program before, she leaned forwards a little as she listened carefully to the television. "Walk a mile in my shoes and then we'll talk," Dean argued.

Meanwhile Fennel took another sip of her drink, before returning her attenion to the screen.

"I've failed before... In business," Gordon admitted.

"When?" Elizabeth asked at the same time as Dean in the show.

"When I opened a restaurant in my hometown thinking I was the dog's bollocks," Gordon informed, "And it made me the person I am today, having both success and failure. Don't be scared. You can't keep on sidestepping problems."

As Dean rambled on about how he appreciated Gordon Ramsey's help, Elizabeth looked absolutely shocked to see her hero in such a vulnerable moment, admitting to having failed opening a restaurant.

Fennel looked at Elizabeth. "Is everything alright?" The vixen asked as she moved her head forward to try and look at the girl.

Elizabeth was silent, taking in the wise words of Gordon Ramsey.

Fennel took a moment to think of her response before saying "... I guess even Gordon Ramsey makes mistakes."

"... It wasn't about making mistakes..." Elizabeth slowly shook her head, "... It... It was about being scared of making mistakes... Dean was so scared... That when he did mess up... That's what he always did... Because he didn't want to admit he messed up in the first place, so he messed up everything..."

She realized that her own rabid desire for perfection could easily blind her just as Dean's fear of failure blinded him as well. She could go down the very same path as him and let her cooking devolve into mediocrity, supported only by her own arrogance.

"Yeah... I guess in that case failure isn't that bad, it's a learning opportunity." Fennel added.

Elizabeth sniffled and rubbed away a few tears from her eyes, getting a little emotional, but managing to not outright cry. "Thanks for getting me this," She murmured, "The Kitchen Nightmares."

Fennel then hugged the girl, unsure of what else to do in the moment. "Yeah, no problem. Do you wanna watch another episode or maybe later?"

"... You can go play that game with Maddy and Maria."

"Okay then." Fennel said before she went to go find the two girls.

=====

As the present-oggling kept along, Ippin floated into the lobby, his own little unwrapped box clutched in his small hands as he hovered over to Casey daintily. "Hey, Casey," the Oitic began, jutting to a stop in front of her, "I just heard about this Christmas holiday, and... I decided to join in its tradition. Here, a gift." He set the box down on the table next to the ant farm and waited patiently.

During this event, the door to the hotel opened to allow the entrance of what appeared to be an albino girl wearing plant themed garb and a rather decoratve flower bud shaped hat. The girl then approached the tree in the lobby, completely ignored by the desk clerk as she began admiring the heavily decorated tree.

Shlyke scuttled out from under the tree, looking around for any more presents with a harrumph, "Ech... one little tie is all?" He noticed the smaller plant pokemon and snickers, "Oh, one of Bread's little.... things?"

The child turned around and looked at Shlyke for a moment before trying to head to the otherside of the tree to avoid the rather large insect. While the girl wsn't exactally sure what was looking at her, she decided it was best to avoid the conflict as it seemed creature had claimed the tree for itself.

Casey gave the new arrival only a brief glance before delicately opening her gift with a smile. There was a small tablet inside, like the ones Ippin kept in his suit.

"It's a sort of history book and encyclopedia in one," Ippin explained, "It's got descriptive anatomy on all the Kanak races. I thought you'd like it."

"Wow," Casey gasped, turning the tablet around in her hands, "Thanks, Ippin! I think this is one of my favorite Christmases."

"I'm happy for that, then," Ippin chirped.

"What? Kanak history book? Buncha lies, I bet," Shlyke hissed as he overheard the conversation, "Especially about the Abrol."

"Ignore him," the Oitic insisted, "Abrol are are sensitive about their place in the States-"

"The States? Don't you mean the Province you blocked us off to?" Shlyke scoffed, "The Province we tried to protest, but you blasted us back down and forced us down further? That kind of sensitive?"

"Shlyke, we all know the Abrol were the first to draw blood in the Civil War. Your kind razed an entire system to get that point across!" Ippin coldly argued.

"And they were justified from what you all have done to us!" Shlyke pointed in accusation at the floating bug, "Next, you're going to start whining about the totally real Epsies."

Casey looked between the two arguing bugs before slowly grabbing her presents and trying to back away and out of the lobby without being noticed. One of the many reasons she liked bugs was because, unlike humans, they never had petty arguments like this.

"The Epsymyrnia were the greatest threat Kanak ever saw, and it is a miracle we have nearly wiped them out!" the Oitic shouted, offended by the Abrol's response, "You're calling the single-most devastating war the peoples of Kanak ever had to endure a hoax?!"

During the bickering the plant girl took a moment to back away as she didn't want to get caught in any cross fire between these two bug-types, though it seemed the pokemon also had a rather smug or atleast as smug as it's facial features would allow expression as it seemed to be eager to watch what it assumed would be a battle.

"It was not Epsie ghosts, you moron! It was probably some race your Central Council uplfited, got mad, and you all had to deal with it just like you smashed the Zavoryn and the Nanaek and the Abrol!" Shlyke hissed, flaring out his wings and huffing, "I'm not arguing stupid history with a dumb Kank!"

"And I'm through with talking to an Abrol!" Ippin agreed, before swiveling around, "Now, Casey, I'm sorry about tha..." it took a moment for the floating insect to realize Casey had left, as his form slooped a bit, arms falling down as he floated out a bit lower to the ground, off looking to apologize to Casey.

Immediately after this, the pokemon seemed to be rather disappointed as a tanned man, with white hair and blue coat glanced into the lobby and failing to notice the pokemon that had since hidden behind the tree. The man then addressed the clerk "Hey, did a Lilligant run through here?"

"Ehhh, I don't think any of them are named 'Lily'," The clerk shrugged, not looking up from a magazine about cars with a smile on his face.

"I'm not asking about a kid." Wes replied in a slightly aggitated tone.

"Was it a small thing? Look like it had a plant head?" Shlyke asked, still rustled after his previous argument as he strolled up to the counter, peeking over at the clerk, "Good magazine, I think."

"I'm getting myself a new car thanks to my 'Christmas bonus'," He snickered, turning the magazine around and tapping one of the hovering vehicles on the page.

Wes looked at the cars in the magazine for a moment, "Eh, I've seen better."

"Better?" Shlyke cocked his head, "That's a very, very good looking car!"

"Lacks character. Anyway you said you saw my Liligant?" Wes asked the Abrol.

"Pfft, whatever," The clerk huffed with a frown as he turned the magazine back to himself.

"Yes! It went down the-" The Abrol looked over to look for the pokemon, but could not see it near the tree anymore, "Eh... It's somewhere."

Wes took another look at the tree before noticing a red flower bud sticking out and called "Orchid, get over here." in gruff, stern tone. The pokemon hesitated before slowly going to Wes's side, to an onlooker it would appear the the creature was afraid of him, though the reason of it's hesitation stemmed from the rather large insect by her trainer's side. "Li-lil?" the pokemon stammered keeping its eyes locked on the Abrol.

The locust looked between Wes and Orchid, before trodding off, "Okay, cya, bye, don't want to have to deal with you again!"

"Well thanks... Kricketune." Wes quipped as he watched the insect walk away. "Hey clerk, where are we anyway?" The trainer asked.

"I have a name, you know," The clerk sighed, pointing to the nametag on his shirt that read, "Hello! My name is: TIM"

"Okay, Tim, where are we?" Wes asked.

"A hotel," Tim answered simply.

"Well naw shit." Wes replied. "I meant generally, because up until like five minutes ago I was in a barren dessert."

"Oh, you're one of those guys," Tim rolled his eyes, "Planet's Earth. Continent's North America. Country's United States. The state is Illinois."

"Thanks for the information, Timantha." Wes snarked, "How much are the rooms here."

"Depends if you have actual money or not," Tim answered tersely.

"I'm guessing you don't accept Poke here then?" Wes asked. Orchid seemed to be watching Wes rather intently waiting for his response

"No, we don't accept poking as payment," Tim snarked.

"Orchid, sleep powder." Wes replied before flurry of spores landed on Tim, causing him to fall into a deep sleep before Wes stepped behind the counter and coded a keycard for himself.

"...Don't worry, I'll be right back, Clara, I just have to go grab your gift!" Ernette chimed as she passed by, stopping herself as she noticed the somewhat illegal actions, and contemplating what she should do.

Wes then took the keycard and looked at a small map to determine where his room was before walking out from behind the counter. Orchid noticed Ernette and looked her for a moment before spining around several times as a greeting.

"...h-Hey," Ernette meekly waved back, taking a few steps away, before hurrying her pace to her and Clara's room, passing back quickly with a present.

Orchid waited for a another moment before Wes stepped out from behind the counter and headed to his room, with Orchid close behind.

"I'm back!" Ernette huffed, sitting alongside Clara at their table, "Some weird guy with a plant thing were doing something, and it caught my attention for a second, but I got your present here!" she cheerily gestured to the wrapped box.

"Thanks, Ernette," Clara greeted with a nod as she took the wrapped box and deftly tore it open to see what Ernette had gotten her.

The first layer of gifts were a pair of dresses, both suitingly modest for Clara's desires, and beneath them were two notebooks, one unopened, and the other already filled, while next to them were an assorted bunch of writing utensils. "I didn't want you to have to open a bunch of boxes, so I put them all nicely in one!" Ernette smiled.

"I appreciate that, thank you," Clara praised before curiously opening the filled notebook. Its contents seemed to be the personal thoughts of Ernette, mainly on her relations and closeness to Clara, but also her feelings on the rest of the group as a whole. It seemed more or less like her diary, in some regards.

"I know it's cornier than what I usually do for you," Ernette blushed, twiddling her hair in embarassment as she continued, "But I was finishing up some documenting the other day and saw your journals in there and... well, I just had to write it."

As Clara slowly flicked through the pages and scanned their contents, a very small smile found its way onto her face while reading the sections dedicated to their relationship. "... I love it, Ernette."

"Oh, thank you!" Ernette giddied, taking the girl in a hug, "I wasn't sure how you'd react, but I'm really happy you liked it!"

"I love you," Clara sighed contentedly as she returned the hug with closed eyes.

"I love you too," Ernette hummed, tightening her hug for a second before pulling back and quickly being greeted with a kiss from Clara.

=======
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Teedler
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Re: Dimensional Clash IX [IC]

Post by Teedler on Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:43 am


Soon enough. Wes entered his room and let all but one of his pokemon out of thier pokeballs. As a result his room soon contained, an Espeon, Umbreon, Lucario, and Alolan Raichu in addition to the Lilligant. "Alright everyone, we aren't in Orre anymore so we need to be on our toes and try to keep a low profile." The pokemon all nodded acknowledging the order. Wes looked the black and green pokeball in his hand for a moment before returning it to his coat. "I should figure out what's going on before I let you out again."

A few minutes later, the trainer exited the room with the pokemon following behind him as he signed into the computer in the lobby to figure out somemore information about the world, they were currently in. "Liliko'i, Lucy do me a favor do a quick survey of this place." After that the Raichu and Lucario ran off to look through the building for any thing that seemed abnormal.

Soon enough, the jackal and rodent approached the room containing Harper and Tychen. A growl could be heard from the Lucario before the two attempted to pry the door open.

"Gimme a second, I'll be right there!" Tychen shouted, before looking back down to Harper, "Just stay here, and if you need to puke, puke in the toilet, okay?"

"The toielet," Harper repeated with a groggy nod.

The pirate moved hastily to the door, opening it to see the two pokemon. He stood there, a bit confused by what they were trying to do.

The Lucario looked at Tychen for a moment before nodding and running down the hall followed by the Raichu that effectivley surfed behind the canine.

Tychen stood there for another moment, before closing the door. "...That was really fuckin' dumb," he sighed as he sat back down.

"Did.. We get ding dongeded?" Harper asked.

"I think so..?" Tychen answered with unease, "A blue fox-man and an orange squirrel came up and ran off."

Wes had just finished reading an article before Lucy and Liliko'i returned with rather distraught expressions on their faces. As a result Wes got up and followed the pokemon back to the door that had been opened before. "Lucy, Force Palm." Wes ordered be a took a pokeball out of his coat and placed it in his left hand. The blue canine placed her paws on the door before a burst of blue energy broke the door of it's hinges.

"Oh, for fuck's sake!" Tychen cursed, jumping up, "I'm really not in the mood for this today, you furry brats!"

"Orchid Sleep Powder!" Wes ordered, before the pokemon attempted to spray the pirate, only to miss.

"Whoa, let's slow down a bit," Tychen demanded, "First, WHY ARE YOU BREAKING DOWN THE DOOR? Second, WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO PUT ME TO SLEEP, YOU TINY ASSHOLE?"

Not expecting the shadow pokemon to speak or be a pirate the trainer threw the pokeball at the pirate before acknowledging the fact it had adressed him.

"OW! The hell?!" Tychen rubbed his head as the pokeball bopped him on his forehead.

The pirate would then be envolped in a layer of light before being contained within the ball. Wes looked at the pokeball and waited to see if the creature had been captured.

As soon as it could, the pokeball burst open, and the pirate was spat back out. "Bagh- knock it off!" Tychen growled angrily, flipping his jacket to the side to show the rapier holstered, "Or I swear, I'm gonna make you a real nice footrest!"

Wes was a bit confused as he looked at the pirate, "Lucy, Lilikio'i this isn't a pokemon."

"I'll save you Tyshe-BLAAGH!" Harper stumbled out of the bathroom only to trip and vomit onto Wes at the same time.

Wes shoved the intoxicated Harper away before groaning :"I just got this thing cleaned."

"Hah!" Tychen laughed as he hoisted Harper back up, "Good shot! Now, what the heck are you doing, breaking down our door here?"

"Trying to prevent the spread of bio-weapons." Wes huffed as Liliko'i removed the vomit with physcokenisis and placed the fluids in the toilet. "So what's with the aura of darkness around you?" Wes asked as he reached into his coat.

“Darkness? Oh, you mean me magicks!” Tychen declared, “That or probably something in my bag of goodies.”

"I'm taking it's the magicks." Wes replied.

“I dunno,” Tychen shrugged, “I got a lot of weird crap in my bag of goodies.”

"Look are things like these a regular occurance here?" Wes asked, wanting to not deal with the pirate anymore.

“No, not around here,” Tychen pondered, “And I suggest you lose your tone, ‘less you want me to go through with that footrest threat for real.”

Wes waved his hand before exiting the room before saying "False alarm," causing the remaining pokemon to ease, as he returned to the lobby.

"...What an ass," Tychen huffed, "C'mon, Harper. Let's get you back in the bathroom."

Back at the lobby Wes returned to the computer and continued his research as Orchid wandered off to figure out what was going on.

"Well, hello again, little plant!" Shlyke exclaimed as he hopped around the corner.

The pokemon looked at the insect for a moment before backing up everso slightly.

"Hey, do not be scared!" Shlyke assured, "I am not a threatening thing! I am just, eh... Shlyke!"

The pokemon then approached the insect and extended a leaflike hand to the insect. "Lil?"

While Shlyke was still weighing out the ethics of eating a plant person, he would stick to regarding the pokemon as a regular person at that moment, taking her hand with a skittering chuckle, "See? I am not bad. Do you want to come and play with my friend, Tina? I am sure she would be happy to have you with her and me!"

Orchid wasn't really sure if she could back out of this interaction but decided to go along with it, as the creature didn't seem hostile. "Lil?" The pokemon asked unsure of who Tina was.

"Tina! My friend! You'll meet her," Shlyke assured, tugging for the pokemon to follow, "She's a really good friend! C'mon!"

The pokemon picked up it's pace to hurry up and meet this Tina, that was presumably the bug's trainer.The pokemon was a bit scared as she wasn't the bulkiest of her team mates.

"Hey, Tina!" Shlyke called out as he entered the room, with the pokemon following, "I brought a... planty thing. It wants to join us in play!"

"Woooah!" Tina gasped as she approached the creature with curious excitement, looking the pokemon over, "It's like a... A plant person!"

"Lil?" The pokemon asked, obviously not used to being refered to as a person.

"Hi, Lil! I'm Tina!" The child happily introduced before gesturing to her LEGOs, "Me and Shlyke were playing with my LEGOs!" The doll Tina had gotten earlier was nearby the plastic fortress, sitting down and facing the set as if watching the little girl play with her toys.

Orchid looked at the LEGOs for a moment before picking one up with a surpising amount of dexterity considering she lacked any fingers at the end of her leaf like hands. "Ligo?"

"Uh-huh!" Tina nodded in affirmation as she plopped down, patting the ground beside her.

"You click them together!" Shlyke gestured, as he popped two bricks together, "Like that!"

"Igant?" Orchid responded unsurely, putting two bricks together.

Shlyke nodded, "Yes, yes! Like that! Very good!"

"Gant!" The pokemon happily responded before placing two more bricks together.

"And then you have the little people go around and do stuff!" Tina added, plucking a knight minifigure up and bouncing them around.

The pokemoin then took a figure and placed it on top of the building mimmicing Tina's action "Lil?"

"Hello!" Tina said in a poor imitation of Bob's voice as she made the knight minifigure approach the pokemon's, "I am Sir Bob!"

"Lillo." Orchid responded, moving her figure around a little bit. This was then followed by an almost bird song like noise from the plant as she attempted to mimic human speech.

"Oooh, do that again!" Tina requested.

Orchid did as requested and repeated the noise.

"Is like a bird singing," Shlyke observed, looking over the pokemon again, "One more time!"

Once again, Orchid complied.

"It sounds really pretty," Tina complimented before quickly taking a moment to think, "... Can stuff sound pretty?" She had never used the term to describe a sound beforehand.

"I think it sounds pretty," Shlyke shrugged.

“Lil?” The Pokémon responded. Its cry had never really been commented on before.

"... Why do you only say 'lil' and 'gant' and stuff?" Tina inquired.

"I think it's like Bread's pets," Shlyke commented, "The, eh.. poke-ee-mohn."

“Peti?” Orchid shrugged, before looking at the doll in the room. “Lil?”

As the Pokemon looked at the doll, Ernette walked in and hummed, "Hey Tina! How are you guys doing?"

"Hi, mommy!" Tina waved happily.

“Li-lil!” Orchid replied with a friendly wave to Ernette.

Ernette looked down to the Liligant with a bemused smile, waving back, "Hey! I remember you!"

“Lil!” The Pokémon replied, and lacking any other means to communicate it held up the minifigure it was holding and wiggled it about for a few seconds.

"Oh, you are playing with Tina?" Ernette asked, sitting down next to the LEGO castle, legs crossed, "That's great, Honey! It's always good to make lots of friends!"

"Oh, oh! Look!" Tina gasped as she snatched a minifigure and held it up to Ernette, "I made one of you!" It seemed she had taken one of the assorted minifigures and squished a light blue crayon against the eyes, leaving two haphazard smears.

"Aww!" Ernette mewed at the little version of herself, adoring the girl's effort to emulate her into a plastic toy, "I love it! You're a good girl, Tina!" she praised, the feeling of joy from being the one to give the "good girl" compliment rather than recieve it thrilling to her.

"I'm a good girl!" Tina repeated happily as she hugged Ernette.

"Yes, you are!" Ernette agreed, hugging Tina back with a massive smile, before looking over the castle she had made, "Did you make all of this, Tina? You are such a good little builder! Can I play with you?"

"Yes!" Tina yelped, "You can be Queen Ernette!" As she made her proclamation, she tapped the head of the minifigure of the Benefactor.

"Okay!" Ernette nodded, taking the minifigure and placing it in the tallest tower of the castle, before declaring, "I am Queen Ernette!"

“Lil!” Orchid cheered and moved around the figure, unsure of what to do.

"Shlyke, here's yours," Tina said as she handed Shlyke his minifigure. It looked like it was simply dipped in red paint. There were even a few hardened drips stuck to the minifigure, and it was incapable of moving its limbs. It had a few thin strips of red paper glued to it to accomodate Shlyke's additional limbs.

"Oh! You are a very nice friend!" Shlyke thanked, taking the minifigure and examining it over. It may have been simply covered in paint and incapable of all the dainty movements the other minifigures were capable of, but Shlyke was still happy to get a nice gift from Tina, no matter how large or well done.

"No, you are!" Tina insisted with a giggle before gasping dramatically as she turned her own minifigure to look away from the castle and letting out a fearful, "Oh no!"

"What is it?!" Ernette gasped, both trying to stay in character and also sincerely somewhat concerned.

"We're under attack by our rivals from the dust bunny cavern kingdom!" Tina cried out, pointing her minifigure's arm towards the under of a nearby bed in the hotel room. There were a few balls of dust sitting there harmlessly.

Ernette gasped again with much more flare, putting her minifigure's arms up into the air (with her telekinesis, this was rather quick), "This is outrageous! What are we going to do?"

In response to hearing they were under attack, several petals came out from under Orchid’s hair and began swirling about the room as Orchid tried to figure out what to attack. ”lilligant!”

"We attack the dust bunnies before they do to us!" Shlyke declared, waving around his minifigure as he placed it against the ground, keeping his hold on it, as the paint had made it unable to click into LEGOs.

The petals then cut into the dust bunnies, reducing them to regular dust. It was obvious Orchid didn’t really understand the game.

"Woah..." Tina blinked, slowly turning her minifigure to face Orchid's before raising up both of its arms and having it jump, "Lil saved the kingdom from the dust bunnies!"

"Hooray!" Ernette cheered, "You saved us all! We are forever in your debt, Lil!"

“Lil?” The Pokémon asked, unsure of who Lil was.

"Yes! You saved us from the evil dust bunnies!" Ernette nodded along.

"Hip hip, horray!" Tina cheered, shaking her minifigure.

“Lorlid.” The Pokémon harrumphed.

"Go Lid!" Shlyke hoorahed.

“Lorlid!”

"Oh," Shlyke stopped, "Go Lorlid!"

"So, Princess Tina!" Ernette declared, "...What do we do now?"

"We must hold a feast in Lorlid's honor!" Tina proclaimed, "... Also I'm actually hungry for real."

“Lil!” Orchid cheered.

"We can get some food," Ernette nodded as she stood up, "I'm pretty hungry too."

"Me too," Shlyke agreed with a nod, though being Shlyke, that could already be assumed.

Orchid then eyed the insect that had just stated its hunger, not wanting to become part of its meal.

"Where are we gonna eat?" Tina inquired as she heaved herself up off the ground.

"Hmm... Well, what do you want to eat?" Ernette asked.

“Lid!” Orchid stated.

"I dunno, what do you wanna eat?" Tina asked.

"Hmm... well, I definitely know I don't want anything granola bars. I had enough of those yesterday," Ernette grimaced, "Hmm... Oh! We could have some pizza somewhere!"

"Pizza!" Tina exclaimed in agreement.

"Lilla!" Orchid agreed.

"Pee-zah?" Shlyke sounded out the word in both agreement and confusion.

Around this time, Wes could be heard wandering around the halls calling out "Orchid, where did you go!"

"LIL!" The pokemon called out rather loudly in reponse.

"Huh?" Ernette looked about for whoever called out, "Orchid?"

The pokemon then got up and headed towards the door "Lil!" the pokemon replied before a knock was heard from the door.

Ernette responded to the knock accordingly, opening the door swiftly with a beaming smile, "Hello! How can I help you?"

"I'm looking for a little plant girl she's about yea high." Wes responded as he held his hand at about Orchid's height. The Orchid seemed to be hiding behind Ernette, almost trying to hide from Wes.

"Who're you?" Tina inquired curiously.

"I'm Wes. I'm her... guardian." Wes replied assuming that the term trainer wouldn't really make any sense.

Ernette thought for a moment, her smile fading as she did. On one hand, she could let Wes take Orchid away. On the other, it didn't seem like the plant-girl wanted to go with her 'guardian'. "...Sorry," Ernette shook her head, "We haven't seen anyone like tha-"

"Lil!" Orchid replied popping out from behind Ernette.

Wes looked at the pokemon for a moment, "Do you mind explaining that then, miss."

"I... Oh, you mean her!" Ernette laughed nervously, "I didn't think you were talking about her, is all!"

"Then what did you think I what talking about?"

"Something... more planty?" Ernette shrugged?

"She has a flower attached to her skull. and leaves for arms." Wes replied.

"I... uh.. I've seen more planty people!" Ernette huffed, "Just-It's- I'm sorry. Doesn't matter. Here she is."

"Do you mind cutting the crap and telling me what you were really up to." Wes replied. Ernette shrunk back, shuddering at the man's coldness.

"We were playing with LEGOs," Tina interjected, holding up her Princess Tina minifigure.

Orchid clapped indicating to her trainer that this younger girl was telling the truth

"Y-yeah," Ernette nodded with a gulp, "W-we were just playing with L-LEGOs."

"... Mommy? Are you okay?" Tina asked, quickly turning to look up at Ernette.

"Y-yes, Honey, I'm fine," Ernette looked down to Tina, tears starting to well up. This was the second time she had lied. The first, she thought, was already bad enough.

Wes then gave Orchid a rather stern look as he asked "How many times I have I told you not to just run off with out telling me?" Wes's tone was carried a sense of both chastisement and concern as the pokemon looked down for a moment. L-lil."

Tina stared at Ernette for a moment before turning to Wes with a pout and declaring, "You're mean."

"N-no, Tina, he's fine," Ernette disagreed with a whimper, looking to Wes and asking, "C-could you please go now?"

Wes looked at pokemon for a moment before he started walking away as Orchid said, "Lilla."

"What about pizza, Orchid?" Wes asked, looking at the pokemon with a confused look.

"We were gonna get pizza," Tina huffed as she folded her arms, "Because she saved us from the evil dust bunnies."

"You know what, Orchid can go. On the condition I bring her friends." Wes added realizng that he lacked any funds to feed his pokemon properly for the moment.

"That's fine, but.. can you wait outside?" Ernette asked quietly, sitting down on the bed, "You too, Shlyke?"

"I suppose so," the Abrol agreed, stepping out of the room.

"Orchid wait outside with me." Wes requested as he backed out of the door way, followed by the pokemon.

As the door shut behind Orchid, Ernette flopped backwards, face buried into a pillow as she cried hard into it, grabbing at it with all the strength she could muster as she whined quietly, "I-I'm such a screwup!"

"Wh-What?" Tina gasped, scurrying to Ernette's side and climbing onto the bed beside her, "Mommy? What's wrong?"

"I can't do anything right! All I can do is screw them up and make everything worse!" She cried into the pillow, pulling her head up for a moment to take a shaky breath, before plunging her face back into the pillow.

"M-Mommy?" Tina whimpered, tentatively placing a hand on the woman with a worried look on her face, "What do you mean?"

Ernette pulled herself back up, a crying mess, "I-I screw up so bad sometimes, it makes everything worse for everyone!"

"But... But what did you do?"

"I lied!" Ernette sobbed, "I'm not supposed to lie! I told Clara I wouldn't lie anymore!"

"It's... It's okay... Lil- um- Orchid was scared..." Tina murmured, hugging Ernette in hopes of calming her down as a few empathetic tears trickled down the six-year-old's face.

Ernette took a few shaky breaths, wrapping her arms weakly around Tina in return, "The last time I lied, it nearly ruined my life and Clara's. I... I can't lie," She shuddered, tightening her grip around Tina and holding her close, "I can't..."

"It's okay, mommy," Tina gulped, slowly rubbing Ernette's back.

"...You're a good girl," Ernette murmured, her cries reduced to sniffles, "Thank you... I love you so much. You know that, right, honey?"

"I love you too, mommy," Tina nodded into Ernette in response.

“Good,” Ernette gulped as she looked down to Tina with a weak smile, before giving Tina a kiss on the cheek, wiping away her tears, “Well, let’s go get that pizza, I guess. We don’t want to keep that guy waiting.”
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Re: Dimensional Clash IX [IC]

Post by Lowfn on Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:33 am

Zandoo, H, Teed

Wes

Outside the room Wes lightly tapped the Liligant's head and said "You need to tell me when you wander off."

After a moment, Ernette and Tina would walk out, Ernette's face lit up with a smile. "Alright," she chimed, "Are we ready to go?"

"Yeah I'm good to go." Wes replied reaching into his coat and rolled a ball in his hand before placing it in the pocket of his pants as he headed outside.

"Hey, where are you going?" Ernette asked, "We're taking the bus, right?"

"I was headed outside" Wes explained as he looked at Ernette. "And you have a bus?"

"Well, technically, it's Zoey's, but I got it for her, so... yeah!" Ernette nodded.

"The six-year-old?" Wes asked.

"No! Zoey's my sister. She's fourteen!" Tina corrected.

"So fourteen-year-olds can drive in the United States?" Wes responded.

"Well, no... but I think she can do whatever she sets her mind on, if you ask me," Ernette nodded, "That, and yes, yes she did once. There's a dent in the back of the bus to prove it, but yeah."

"Well I guess you raise your kids however you want." Wes shrugged.

"My kids? Oh-! No, no, no," Ernette shook her head with a little laugh, "I'm only Tina's mom."

"Oh, so Zoey's a half sister." Wes replied, assuming that Ernette was remarried.

"No, Zoey is Tina's full sister," Ernette shook her head as she sighed, "It's... It's complicated."

Wes was confused on how this worked but decided it wasn't worth the effort to figure out out. "Let's just go get pizza." Wes replied.

"Pizza!" Tina agreed.

"I'm still confused," Shlyke mumbled as the group began to walk out, "What is Pizza?"

"It's like... Uhm... It's dough and then there's pizza sauce on it and then cheese on top of that. You're supposed to hold it by the crust. It's like a handle made into the food!" Tina explained.

"A food handle?!" Shlyke gasped in joyous shock.

"And then when you're done eating the rest of the pizza, you can eat the crust!"

"Don't worry, Shlyke," Ernette said, "I've never had pizza either, so this is new for me, too!"

"Oh.. Okay!" Shlyke chirped, flaring his wings happily, "I cannot wait for pizza!"

Wes then headed outside assuming that the bus was in the parking lot as Orchid followed behind.

Ernette opened the door to the bus and gestured, "Let's go! I remember seeing a fun-looking place that served pizza we can go to!"

--

The bus came to a stop outside in the crowded parking lot. Ernette parked the bus, and opened the door, "Alright, we're here. Chuck-E-Cheese's," she read out the name aloud, "...It sounds like we're gonna have lots of fun!"

"Woah," Tina gawked up at the sign for the entertainment eatery before bouncing in place, excited to head inside.

After a moment Wes and his pokemon exited the bus, they all seemed rather relaxed after finding Orchid just a bit prior.

"Oh, yes!" Shlyke agreed, hopping out of the bus next to Tina, "We will have lots of fun in this Chuck-Eee-Cheeses."

"Liliko'i don't break anything." Wes ordered the surfing Raichu that seemed to be enjoying the fact it was about to eat pizza.

"Liliko'i?" Shlyke repeated with confusion.

"Rai!" The pokemon responded cheerily in response to hearing its name get called.

"What a weird name," Shlyke pondered.

"It's some sort of fruit in Alola." Wes commented.

"Oh," Shlyke nodded, "Fruits have weird names."

"It's got a ring to it." The Orrian commented.

"Mommy! Let's go!" Tina whined, practically shaking in front of the door to Chuck-E-Cheese's.

"Alright, I'm coming," Ernette calmly replied, closing the doors behind her as she walked with Tina up to the door.

Wes and his pokemon were far more calm and collected (Though Orchid and Liliko'i seemed the most excited of his group). "So I'm guessing this place is like the game corner in Hoenn then." Wes mused looking into the building.

"I... don't know what you're talking about," Ernette mused, "But yeah, probably!"

"It's a casino." Wes replied.

"Oh," Ernette mumbled, "Probably not like that, then."

"Mommy, look! It's a rat person!" Tina gasped, pointing to an omnic in the other side of the establishment. It would seem that the franchise ditched costumes and animatronics for omnics that were created as the mascot itself.

It is no surprise that the omnics revolted once upon a time.

"Oh, wow!" Ernette gasped in agreement, "That's amazing!"

"They got some pretty impressive animatronics here." Wes commented, noting the robots.

"Animatronics?" Tina blinked.

"Like big clunky dumb robots," Shlyke explained.

"So he's a... Robot rat person?" Tina asked.

"Looks like it," the Abrol affirmed, "Hmph. I hate to admit, but Kanak had better robots than that."

"I don't think it matters if it's a robot," Ernette shrugged, "it's still a big rat person."

Wes opened up his coin case and handed a few tokens to his pokemon to occupy them while they would have to wait on their food.

Ernette pulled out two twenty-dollar bills and handed one each to Tina and Shlyke, "Here. Play as much as you two want," she smiled.

"Thank you, mommy!" Tina beamed before scurrying away with Shlyke.

"Sol, make sure to do something to include Umbra." Wes requested of the Espeon, before the group of animals ran off, Orchid seemed to hesitate for a moment before running off to join Lucy and Liliko'i.

Ernette smiled at Wes, "You really know how to be a good guardian to them."

"Well, I mean that's what you're supposed to do as a trainer." Wes replied his tone having loosened up a bit seemingly forgotten he had used the term guardian earlier. Wes had also taken a moment to take out the black and green ball once more.

"Trainer?" Ernette cocked her head to the side in confusion.

"Those are all pokemon, I kinda like raise them and stuff." Wes replied, trying to explain the situation as simply as possible.

"Oh, you mean like Brendan?" Ernette asked, understanding somewhat what the man had explained.

"Brendan, not that kid from Hoenn, with the stupid hat?" Wes asked.

"I, for one, like his hat," Ernette mused, "But yeah."

"Well let's hope he's blissfully unware of the crap going down in Orre at the moment or I'll have to give him a piece of my mind." Wes growled.

"...So, Orre is where you come from?" Ernette asked, wanting to find another topic, "I'm from Iyqua! What's your home like?"

"A basically a lawless desert devoid of most life, with a particularlly incompetent police force." Wes replied rather bluntly.

"Oh... well, I hope it gets better!" Ernette tried to remain positive.

"That's what I was working on before ending up here," Wes replied, "When that should fall under the champions, like Brendan,"

"Champions?" Ernette asked.

"Trainers that are proven to be the best in the region, it tends to come with some police level responibilties." Wes replied as he walked over to a table.

Ernette followed, sitting down across from Wes, looking him over as she said, "And you're not a champion?"

"Nope, just another citizen, more or less." Wes replied, "The lack of any wild pokemon discourages enough people that we don't have our own pokemon league."

"Oh- wait, then where did you get your pokemon?" Ernette asked.

"I raised Sol and Umbra from eggs, I recently caught Orchid in Unova, got Lucy in Sinnoh, Liliko'i was an import from Alola right before I headed there for a bit of a vacation. The rest are rescues." Wes said holding the darkball in his hand.

"Your ball looks different from Brendan's," Ernette noted the coloration variation in the pokeball.

"It's a dark ball, it works better in caves and at night." Wes noted before pulling out the remainder of this pokemon's pokeballs. Aside from two regular pokeballs, he also had a pink one, a ball with purple highlights, a black one with a gold band, and the final one appeared to have a timer on it. "Basically, these all work a little differently. I don't really know what situation I'll be in when I have to catch another pokemon."

"Huh," Ernette looked over the balls with intrigue, "They're really neat."

Wes looked at the dark ball for another moment before slipping it back into his coat. "If I could let this one out, I would." Wes commented.

"What's wrong with it?" Ernette asked with a concerned tone, "Is it hurt?"

"Well it's a shadow pokemon. Basically, it's been subjected to enough psychological torture that it has become little more than a fighting machine."

"...Why do you have it, then?" Ernette shuddered.

"Because I have wrongs to right. I'm trying to make them normal again." Wes replied.as he place his right hand on the snag machine on his left fore arm.

"Well, violence isn't the way to solve your problems," Ernette huffed, "Using a tortured animal to fix your problems is just... wrong."

"I'm trying to fix the pokemon." Wes replied in rather dead pan tone. "It's a very delicate process, because at first you have to let them battle to flush a good amount of agression out of their system before they begin trusting people again. I put the organization that created them underground for a good five years, but did the police do anything about stopping them again? No, of course they didn't."

"Oh..." Ernette shrunk back, ashamed she had so quickly assumed Wes meant other things, "That's... that's pretty nice of you, to try and help it."

"More of atoning for what I did, I kinda put most of them in that situation to begin with." Wes lamented.

"...I'm gonna go see what my little Tina's doing," Ernette excused herself, unsure what else to say to the man's conflicting nature as she walked off.

Wes then occupied himself as he waited for the pizza to arrive.

"Tina!" Ernette called out, looking around the crowded pizzaria for her.

Orchid seemed to be playing Skeeball with her other bipedal friends. At the end of the round, the plant looked around to find Tina once again.

"We're gonna have so many tickets!" Tina squealed as she and Shlyke partook in the Whack-A-Mole machine. His multiple limbs gave him a clear advantage that kept the machine spitting out tickets while Tina fed it coins.

"Take that, mole!" Shlyke laughed as he deftly smashed a plastic mole back into the hole it had come out of, before another one popped up to meet a similar fate.

"Hey, guys!" Ernette greeted as she walked up, watching Shlyke's dextrous mole-whacking for a moment.

“Rio!” Lucy called to Ernette before throwing a ball into one of the holes of the skee-ball machine.

“You’re doing a good job, Shlyke!” Ernette praised, not taking note of the Lucario’s call to her as she did not understand it.

Lucy was rather disappointed to learn Ernette was not paying attention to her, she waved and everything.

Tina's attention was taken away from Shlyke's mad Whack-A-Mole skills for a brief moment by the pokemon, enough to shift her focus away entirely. "Woah, look!" She exclaimed, pointing at Lucy in wonder, "Look how cool it looks!" Without further delay, she bounced up to the Lucario, looking the pokemon up and down. She never got tired of seeing all of these new creatures.

“Luc?” The Pokémon a bit confused as she was looked over. The Pokémon then tossed another skee-ball into the machine before a few tickets printed out, signaling the end of her game.

"Yeah, they are pretty neat," Ernette agreed. She couldn't help but share some of Tina's bemusement at the pokemon.

"I- hey, Tina!" Shlyke called back, obviously not as impressed, "I need a token!"

Orchid looked at her leaf-full of tokens before heading over to Shlyke and handing one to the abrol.

"Oh!" Shlyke looked down to Orchid and nodded, taking the token and putting it in, as he began to continue his mole-smashing, "Many thanks!"

Curiously, Tina placed a hand on Lucy's abdomen. She moved her hand left and right before calling back, "It's so soft too! The fur!"

"Is it?" Ernette looked to Tina's hand, her own hesitantly levitating to press it against Lucy's shoulder, "Oh... it is!"

Lucy was thrown off guard after being touched on the abdomen and shoulder unexpectedly. The Pokémon seemed rather happy to have been told her coat was so soft, considering her coat was rather rough compared to others of her kind as a result of many battles and a dessert environment.

"Woosh," Tina giggled as she moved one of her hands in a circular motion. She let out another, "Woosh," as she repeated the action with her other hand before descending into a series of rubbing the pokemon's belly with her little hands while making sound effects.

Lucy was confused on how to react off the bat as this was uninvited contact but it seemed harmless enough as she repeated the gesture on Tina.

Tina paused before squirming away and laughing. "That tickles!"

"Bah, smoothness is for kiddies," Shlyke declared, "Shells are definitely better the way to go!"

"You feel!" Tina ordered, pointing at Lucy, "It's so soft!"

"...Bah, fine," Shlyke grumbled, "We smashed enough moles for now." With a little hesitation, the Abrol scurried over, and hastily planted a hand on Lucy's side before taking it off just as fast, sarcastically gasping, "Oooh, so soft!"

"No! You gotta rub it like I did!" Tina huffed.

Lucy then tapped the spikes on her wrist together, letting out a metalic ping, seemingly as a response to feeling the Abrol’s chitonious skin.

"Bah! Fine! I'll rub!" Shlyke pouted, shaking his hand over Lucy's fur rapidly in a circular motion, "Bah it's... It's not bad, but it's still not shell!"

"Slower! Like this!" Tina whined, gently carressing the creature's fur.

“Rio.”

Shlyke sighed loudly as he slowed down, "Bahhhh.... there, I did it. Happy? Is... Like I say, is not bad, but not shell."

Lucy looked at Shlyke, she seemed indifferent to the situation.

Shlyke looked to Lucy, a smiliar expression. "I don't see what the super-big deal is. Is just fur."

"Yeah, but it's pretty too!" Tina exclaimed, giving Lucy a onceover before looking back at Shlyke.

"So is my shell!" Shlyke said, gesturing to his thorax and wings.

Lucy in turn tapped the spike protruding from her sternum, causing another metalic ping.

"Uhmmm.. Shlyke you're... You're not pretty- But you look cool! They're different, but pretty and cool are both good!" Tina gave the insect two thumbs up as to support her statement.

Lucy wasn’t really sure why her having fur was such a big deal, it’s not like her kind didn’t normally have fur.

While Tina's statement was somewhat hurtful, being cool was still nice for the Abrol, "Thanks," he chittered happily.

Shortly after this, Liliko’i joined the group with a nice pile of tokens on her tail, it appeared she had “won” them from a vending machine. “Riia.” The mouse called as it dumped the tokens on the ground.

"Oh my gosh! Look at how many coins!" Tina squealed, reaching down and digging her hands into the pile just for the sake of feeling them. A few other greedy children scampered over, trying to snatch some of the tokens away. Some were skittish and just took a small handful while some were more brave and tried to shovel tokens into their pockets as quickly as they could despite the owner of the tokens being right there.

Liliko’i was not happy to have her winnings stolen before one of the greedier children were lifted into the air via physcokenisis, “Rai-Raichu!” Liliko’i replied as she stared the child down.

"Hey! Put them down right now!" Ernette ordered sternly, a scowl on her face. While it wasn't her kid, she had a feeling that if it were Tina stuck floating up there, she wouldn't be very happy either.

"D-Daddyyyy!" The child screamed in panic. Many heads turned to look in the direction of the commotion. Thankfully, the lack of furious fathers beating pokemon to death indicated that the child's father was likely preoccupied with something elsewhere. It wasn't a surprise the greedy child had such a top-notch parent.

Liliko’i looked at the child for another moment before before placing them on the ground and waited for them to drop her earnings.

Ernette looked between the Raichu and the kid before realizing why they had come to this situation. She slowly walked up to the kid and smiled, "Hey. I need you to give my friend back those tokens you took," she said calmly, "She worked really hard to get them, you see, and she really didn't like it when you took them." She looked back to Liliko'i and asked, "Or, you could let him go and have them? He's just a kid."

"Here! Just-" The kid stammered, turning his pockets out and tossing the coins onto the floor before scurrying away as quickly as he could.

“Chu chu.” Liliko’i cheered before moving the pile towards Orchid.

"How much money did you have to put in to get all of these?" Tina asked.

“Rai-chu?” Liliko’i asked, unaware she was supposed to pay for these tokens.

"... Umm... Hold up how many fingers!" Tina instructed, unable to speak pokemon.

Liliko’i then held up what appeared to be a fist indicating zero.

"... Zer- You got all of those for free?" The little girl gasped in awe, "How?!"

“Chu!” Liliko’i replied before heading over to the coin pusher machine that appeared to be empty along with a malfunctioning change machine.

Ernette gasped, "You stole the tokens?"

Tina gasped in equal shock.

Liliko’i nodded, as she pressed buttons on the machine causing it to spit out more tokens.

Tina stared at the small pile of tokens in awe with wide eyes. The six-year-old was overcome with a great temptation to take some of the stolen coins, but resisted the urge as best she could. One of her hands shook by her side as she argued against her own childish greed.

At this point, the remainer of Wes’s pokemon were cheering on Liliko’i, assuming she was really good at this game as more and more tokens poured out.

"No, you're not supposed to do that!" Ernette exclaimed, picking up the coins and shoving them back into the machine, "No! Stealing is bad!"

“Lilling?” A confused Orchid asked.

"Yes! Bad!" Ernette repeated with a nod, "It's what theives and robbers and pirates and bad guys do!"

Sol and Umbra took a moment to think about what Ernette has said. They used to steal with Wes all the time and Wes was good, therefore Ernette was wrong. Though at this time, it seemed that the Pokémon decided to take thier winnings to the prize counter assuming those worked like the casinos back home.

"Oh!" Ernette gasped, "They're trying to give them back to the ticket people!"

This was not the case as the Pokémon all attempted to buy smaller prizes with thier tokens, though this would likely be misunderstood by the staff.

"Are these someone's pets or something?" One employee asked another.

"I'm.. Not sure," He replied before speaking to the pokemon, "Um... You need tickets to get prizes. The tokens are for playing the games to get tickets.

“Rai!” Liliko’i replied before running off to zap a machine and return with a large pile of tickets.

Ernette gasped as she realized what the pokemon were really doing, before frowning intensely as she lifted up the Raichu through her own psychokinesis, floating it over to her with a serious face. "Knock. It. Off," Ernette huffed, "Stealing is bad."

“Rai!” The pokemon cheered seemingly enjoying the ride, not taking Ernette’s orders to heart.

"I'm NOT joking around," Ernette glared at the Pokemon, bringing her face close to the floating electric rat's, "No more stealing."

Liliko’i, assuming that Ernette was just jealous of her mad skills, handed over the tickets that with a tone indicating she was flexing her mad skilllz on the benefactor.

Ernette smacked the tickets down, her serious expression not faltering as she growled, "I don't want the tickets. You stole them. Stealing is very bad."

“Rai Rai, Chu?” The pokemon asked, unsure why this woman was so upset.

"People who steal are bad guys!" Ernette angrily huffed, "Bad people do bad things! Bad people lie! Bad people steal and hurt others! Nobody likes bad people!"

Liliko’i was hurt, she just called Wes bad, he did bad things occasionally but he also did good things it was so mean if her make that assumption of her trainer and team mates just because they borrowed without asking. “Chu...”

Ernette's features softened slightly, noting she had obviously hurt the pokemon's feelings, "I just... I don't want anyone to be a bad person. Including you."

Liliko’i looked at the woman for a moment before trying to wrestle out of her telekinetic grasp to join her friends. I

Ernette gently set the Raichu back on the ground with a sigh and a sad/angry frown, "Just... stop stealing, okay?"

“Rai.”The pokemon replied.

Unsure of what the pokemon had said, Ernette nodded quietly.

Conveniently though, the group's pizzas had just arrived, causing the Pokémon to abandon their winnings and return to the table with Wes.