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female Chib: An Omorashi Fiction


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Part 65:

    Pia cleaned herself up in the bathroom. She felt much better, and thanks to Saoirse's quick thinking, very little had gotten on her clothes. On the way out of the bathroom, she approached Helly, who was stocking the front counter with napkins and drink cups, to ask about Cyan and Yarrow's orders.
    "Are the orders for Mayra and Azri?" asked Helly.
    "No. It's for um..." Pia hesitated. She hadn't thought about how she might refer to Cyan in front of others yet. "My um...half brother and his andyne friend."
    Helly nodded and wrestled with the tape on a box. "Does his friend like dagger root drinks?"
    "I'm not sure," said Pia earnestly.
    "Well, if they do, our dagger root festival freezes are on sale for half a credit until it's gone," Helly sighed. "We didn't know the dagger root was already in it until we received the drink mix."
    "What's the flavor?" asked Pia. Thanks to a routine allergy test when Azri had started as Pia's doctor, Pia had found that she could have dagger root drinks. She'd never had any interest in trying the stuff herself, though.
    "I'm not entirely sure," said Helly. "Like cucumber melon, but floral with a salty aftertaste."
    "Have you ever imagined what glowstick liquid tastes like?" asked a short, wide young andyne man pushing a cart of scrubbed pans through the kitchen.  It was Bellis, who owned Hyachna's Shins with Helly. He had dusty black wings the same color as the restaurant aprons, shoulder-length gold hair swept back into a low ponytail, and was more muscular than chubby. He was about half a head shorter than Pia and barely reached Helly's shoulder.
    "You mean those flameless green flares May keeps in the emergency kits?" Pia said. Bellis nodded. "No. Have you?"
    "Not really, but the taste reminds me of what I might imagine if one day I thought, 'I wonder what glowstick juice tastes like,'" said Bellis. "Speaking of Mayra, we didn't see her or Azri at the festival last night."
    "One of our guests had a medical emergency yesterday, so she stayed with them," said Pia.
    "Really?" said Helly. "That's sweet of her. Is the guest okay?"
    Pia wasn't sure what she could and couldn't say about dockyard guests legally, so she went with: "Yeah."

    When they finished lunch, they had another half an hour until May picked them up on her way home. Pia and Saoirse sat with Bun and Montip and talked. Just before they left, Helly brought out Cyan and Yarrow's orders, placing them on the counter. Pia went to retrieve them while the others waited by the door and found that there were two foxfire festival freezes in the drink carrier. Pia had decided to get Yarrow one to celebrate quitting his job, but she hadn't ordered a second. One of them had a smiley face and "MAY" written on it in Helly's broad handwriting.
    "It's on the house," Helly said, noticing Pia looking at the drinks. "Tell Mayra and Azri hi for us."

    Saoirse, Bun, and Montip stood in a group outside the door, and Bun opened the door for Pia as she approached.
    "Yeah, the map said there's one," said Montip as Pia stepped out of the restaurant. "We forgot to check it out after we closed the stand last night."
    "Pia, did you know there was an avaris grove near here?" Saoirse said, taking the drink carrier from Pia. She did a double take at the festival freezes.
    "The city planted that the year before I moved here," said Pia. "They don't bloom for the first five or ten years so they're not showy yet, but they'll be spectacular in a few years. They're some rare iridescent variety."
    "Cool," Saoirse said absently, glancing between the drink carrier and Helly, who was currently ringing up a human woman for a takeout order.
    "Is everything alright, Sersh?' asked Pia.
    Saoirse bit her lip. "Is that...did you get that for Mayra?"
    "Bellis and Helly missed her at the festival yesterday, so they gave me a free one for her," said Pia.
    Saoirse glanced back inside. "And they put a..." She rotated Yarrow's festival freeze in the carrier. Only the order number was written on the side, also in Bellis's wide hand. "They only put that on Mayra's drink?"
    "Yeah?" Pia peered at the smiley face on Mayra's cup. "Why?"
    "It's an uh..." Saoirse cleared her throat awkwardly. "It's an...um...an Andyne thing."
    "Oh! We used to see them all the time at functions, remember, Pia?" volunteered Bun. "About a year before you were hired, an andyne businessman bought me a drink and had the bartender draw a smiley face on it. He watched me drink it really closely, but our coworker who made it said it was just a normal mix drink."
    Saoirse blushed. "He um...are you still serving andynes?"
    "Sometimes when we're working on the surface, but not often anymore. I left the catering company about a month after Pia did," said Bun guilelessly. Saoirse put a hand over her mouth and took a deep breath through her nose. Pia had only seen her this flustered a handful of times.
    "What is it, Sersh?" Pia asked. Their group was nearing the entrance to the pier.
    "It's an invitation to rendezvous with someone," Saoirse said quickly. Pia felt herself blushing and resisted the urge to say, "Really? Them?"
    Bun sighed. "I've heard that term a lot around andynes. It's not just...like...meeting as friends for lunch or something, is it?" he asked hopelessly.
    "It's meeting someone for sex," said Saoirse.
    "Oh," Bun's face fell. "And they're asking her...as a couple?"
    "Probably her and Azri," said Pia. "They mentioned her too."
    "Why didn't they put Azri's name on the cup too, then?" asked Montip, as fascinated as Bun was mortified.
    It was Bun who answered, looking thoughtful with the hip bag blocking his crotch. "Dagger root is toxic. To us, anyway: it's toxic to most species, but Andynes drink it like alcohol. If they were asking both of them, why is there only something for Mayra?" he asked Pia.
    Pia peered into the bag with the food. A small container at the top was marked "A+M" with a smiley face.
    "I think they gave me a dessert for her too," said Pia.

    "How was lunch?" asked May as the runabout ascended gently. The cabin was hot and stuffy despite the open windows in the back. Pia settled into the seat at the radio console and Saoirse sat down with the bag of food on her lap and the drink caddy on the seat next to her.
    "It was very nice," said Pia. "Helly and Bellis asked about you. They gave me a festival freeze for you and a dessert for you and Azri."
    May sighed. "That's generous of them. A drink sounds great right now."
    Pia looked over her shoulder. There was only Saoirse, the drink caddy, and a thick manila envelope in the passenger seats. "How'd it go with the stabilizer?"
    "Well..." May took a deep breath. "It's cheaper than I thought. There are no obsolescence or off-season fees. I just have to fill out a small mountain of paperwork before they can even order it." Pia was qualified for everyday accounting and numbers but didn't have the training for other official documents. The best she could do to help May was organize the mess for her to get to later.

________________________________

If I named the parts I'd call this one: "The One With The Smiley Faces."

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Part 66:

    In her kitchen, May took the festival freeze out of the fridge. It wasn't quite frozen anymore, but she didn't mind. The clock above the kitchen sink showed half past three in the afternoon.
    "Well, I don't have anything else to do today," May said to herself. She took a drink and grimaced. It was a bit stronger than normal, and more floral-tasting than she was ready for. May found a pitcher in one of her cupboards and poured the cup in, diluting it with ice and water. The result was weak, but May didn't drink dagger root infusion often, so it was strong enough for her. She filled the cup and took it with her to her room while she changed out of her coveralls, taking a long drink as she ascended the stairs.
    It took May ten minutes to decide that instead of changing into anything, she'd have a bath. The day was only getting hotter, and the ride to and from Crystal Cove had been stifling.
    Something made May put on her bathrobe before going downstairs for a bath. When she passed the front door, she thought she could hear voices outside but went in to start running her bath anyway, drink in hand. She'd just gotten it started and tossed in some aromatherapy bath tablets when someone knocked at her door.
    "Hi, Miss May." It was Pia, and she had the young gull-winged andyne man from the night before with her, still dressed in his festival sweater. He waved at her nervously, his face bright red. May realized she was holding her drink cup smiley face side out and sipped it to keep herself from smirking about it.
    "It's nice to see you, Pia," said May. "And you too, I guess, Yarrow."
    "Would-...I mean..." Yarrow stopped and blinked. "You got my name right. Thank you."
    "Are you here for anything specific? I'm running a bath." May punctuated her sentence by taking another sip of her drink.
    "She um..." Yarrow floundered. "Pia told me you...um...need help with your paperwork."
    "Did you still want to hire someone?" asked Pia. "You were talking about it a couple of months ago." May glanced in the direction of the bathroom. The tub would take about ten minutes to fill up, so she had a few minutes.
    "Eh..." May sighed. "Follow me upstairs." She motioned for Pia and Yarrow to follow her inside.
    "Are you looking for a permanent job, Yarrow?" May asked, climbing the stairs to the second floor. Yarrow made a vague noise that could've been "yeah," which May normally might've considered rude. He hadn't seen the state of her office yet, though. The airship had two bedrooms on the second floor, and the office was located in one of them. The other was the spare bedroom, where Pia had stayed while she fixed up her airship. There was even a small half-bathroom next to it, and May passed it to the door marked "office." She opened the door and stepped aside for Yarrow to view the horror that was her office. Boxes, neatly labeled though they were, were stacked from floor to ceiling in the corners, meticulously labeled in Pia's tiny handwriting. Near the front corner, Pia had a small cleared area around a desk, where she organized the papers.
    "Do you still want to work here?" May asked, not unkindly. "Pia and I keep on top of finances and accounting, and this is the rest."
    Yarrow looked around. "Is this it?" he asked.
    "There's more in the shop, but this is the worst of it," said May.
    "What's the pay?" asked Yarrow, pulling his wings in as he read labels on the boxes.
    "Standard rate and benefits. We can discuss that tomorrow," May said and ushered Yarrow out into the hall. "If you want the job, come here no earlier than eight-thirty tomorrow morning. Do you mind doing some cleaning?"
    "Not at all," Yarrow seemed excited.
    May took a deep breath and exchanged a look with Pia. "Pia hasn't taken any time off since she started, and you would be taking over her some of her duties if she's out."
    Five minutes later, May watched Pia and Yarrow walking away through the peephole in her door. She would need to talk to Pia about her vacation soon. The thought made her take another drink.
    The bathtub still wasn't quite full yet, so May went upstairs to make a quick call.

    "What does she pay you? Are you allowed to talk about that?" asked Yarrow while Pia shut the door to the shop. Yarrow hadn't found the haphazard stacks of paper there offputting, and he seemed cautiously giddy. Part of it was probably the dagger root drink: he'd only had a few sips, but it didn't take much for the stuff to start having an effect. In training for catering, Pia had learned that a lot of dagger root drinks were frozen to slow down the person drinking them. May and Yarrow's drinks had gotten somewhat melted on the way up and would be that much stronger for it.
    "There's a standard worker pay rate here," said Pia. "She also lets me dock here for free, including power and utilities...are you sure you don't need to use the bathroom?"
    "I'm okay," said Yarrow. "Does um..."
    Pia locked the door. She needed to pee again, but it wasn't urgent. Her stomach fluttered at the thought of saving it for some alone time with Saoirse. "Does what?" asked Pia.
    "Does Cyan work here too?" Yarrow gulped.
    "How much has he told you?" Pia said slowly.
    "They," Yarrow corrected, "It's they, not he."
    Pia blinked. "Really? Huh. How much have they told you?"
    "Not much. They've been out of hydrostasis for a month, and before that, they don't know anything."
    "That's about all we know right now," said Pia, nodding. "But he-...they don't work here, no. Azri might need to clear them for it. Do you mind if I stop by my place on the way back? I want to move some things before the rain."
    Yarrow followed Pia down the stairs behind her airship. The watering can was where she'd expected it to be, and she turned it over and moved her gardening tools under the airship.
    "Pia?" said Yarrow. He sounded nervous.
    "You need to pee?"
    "Yes. How can you tell?" Yarrow tried and failed to suppress a moan.
    Pia snorted, "I've served a lot of Andyne business functions. You can use my bathroom if you think you can make it." She looked over her shoulder at Yarrow, who was already fidgeting and pressing his legs together.
    "I can't," Yarrow said miserably. He shuffled over to Cyan's tomato plant and squatted, pulling his beautiful gull wings around himself. Not wanting to just stand and watch him, Pia strode over to her tomato plant and started looking for stray garden tools, carefully keeping her back to Yarrow. From Yarrow's direction came a splash and a grunt of relief, followed by the rushing stream Pia had learned to expect from those who'd consumed dagger root. The noise intensified her need to pee, and she tried not to listen.
    "Pia?" Yarrow panted.
    "Yes?" Pia asked, checking for buds on her plants.
    "Can I ask you something?"
    Part of Pia wanted to give him a snarky response, but Yarrow was from the Andyne homeworld. Pia had always found it best not to be sarcastic, tell jokes, or otherwise show any sense of humor with homeworld Andynes. "What is it?"
    "Why did Cyan tell me this tomato plant is a secret?" Yarrow sighed. "Miss Nucifera knows about it, it's huge, and it's not exactly hidden."
    Pia shrugged. "It's...I'm not sure." Pia decided to keep talking over the noise behind her. "Cyan doesn't have much that's h-...theirs. I think they like having something that's theirs, so I haven't mentioned it to them." Yarrow was still going and Pia was tempted to lift her skirt and give her tomatoes a pre-rain "watering." Luckily for her, she heard her front door open. Footsteps rounded the boardwalk and descended the stairs, and a moment later Saoirse came around the corner, stretching. Behind Pia, Yarrow tried to hide himself more behind his spread wings.
    "How was the nap, Sersh?" asked Pia. Saoirse stopped next to Pia at the planter, kissed her on the cheek, and stood back, rocking on her heels like she needed to pee too.
    "I couldn't sleep," Saoirse yawned and unbuttoned her pants, but didn't go any further. "Hi, Yarrow. Your feathers are looking much better today."
    "Hi, Saoirse," Yarrow replied. He finished and stood up hurriedly. "I'll um...walk back by myself. Thanks for showing me around, Pia."
    "Yarrow," Pia said over her shoulder. Yarrow froze in the middle of zipping up his pants. "It might help to dilute the festival freeze with ice water," Pia said. He mumbled something and hurried away, blushing. Pia gathered up her skirt.

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I'm about 90% sure that the image is not a spoiler, but I'm 100% sure I'm overusing the word "stylish" in these silly airship/rv ads. The deck cover is not a spoiler; it's retractable and makes the thing look more like a horseshoe crab. It's also based off the ohms from Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, the Calatrava opera house in Spain, and a vintage rv ad so pink that my retinas are still a little seared. I did not have the guts to make my ad that pink. The limulus might get a mention.

Limulus Ad.jpg

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Part 67

    Del woke up in her underwear, sitting up to her chest in a hot spring. The water was soothingly warm, reminding her how full her bladder was. It wasn't particularly urgent, but Del considered just going right there in the water for a split second before concluding that no, that would be rude at a hot spring. She glanced around for a bathroom: steam curled upward into the cold air, blurring the buildings into dark silhouettes with lighted windows. Snow sat heaped on the ground and in the trees of the forested glade where the springs hadn't melted it.
    "Oh, that's right," Del yawned to herself. She'd just resolved a landing reflex. She'd kept it clean and drank nothing but water, and she'd still gotten cramps. "So lame." She looked down and saw that she had boobs, just large enough to float slightly in the mineral-heavy water. "Oh. Not so lame." Del reached up and squished them.
    "Mind if I join you, my lady?" asked Althea, materializing suddenly in the water at Del's side, naked except for a frilly maid headband in her hair. Before Del could respond, Althea was in her lap, straddling her. Del's heart fluttered as Althea leaned in, her lips parting.
    "Don't tell me I forgot my calculator."
    Del jolted awake, almost painfully aroused, to Althea putting back a box on one of her higher shelves. She gasped quietly when she noticed that Del was sitting up. "Did I wake you?"
    "I woke me," Del yawned. "What time is it?" It was only nine-thirty. Althea had spent the last few hours planning and working through complex equations. She'd made it a habit to go through everything with a calculator afterward and found that she'd left it in her office.
    "That's okay though. You'll probably be making your call through Clay's office. I'm going too, so I'll just nip next door to my office and grab it while we're there," said Althea. Del sat up while Althea gathered up her papers, combining them into stacks on her side tables. Del wanted to go to the bathroom, take care of the horniness, and get back out for a little more sleep before the phone call. She wasn't sure what she was waiting for, and just as she was working up the nerve to stand up, there was a knock at the door.
    It was Clay.

    
    "I'm going too," Saoirse said firmly. She underscored it by pulling down her pants, turning around, and sticking her butt out over the planter. Saoirse was fully retracted again, and the hesitant drip that sprinkled the leaves didn't match her resolve. She hunkered down further to keep the stream from running down her legs.
    Pia lifted one foot on the side of the planter, spread her knees, and raised her skirt. She wasn't wearing underwear, and the cool breeze from the upcoming rain felt nice on her vulva. She took a deep breath and fired a messy stream into the plants.
    "I don't even know whether I'm going yet," said Pia. "I left off making plans after I found Cyan in that medical unit."
    "Do you want to?" Saoirse asked. Her flow picked up, arcing back, and she sighed. "Especially after what happened there."
    A minute later, they reached an agreement that both of them could accept. Saoirse's reluctant flow took longer to cease than Pia's, and Pia let herself drip while she waited.
    "What would **she** know about it though?" Pia asked skeptically. After they'd finished, they headed inside so Pia could call Avaris.


    Del dozed off on the couch, resting her head on Althea's chest while Althea stroked her hair. After Del resolved a landing reflex, she normally felt sleepy, hungry, and horny. What Clay told her had knocked out those feelings and left her with a cold pit in her stomach and her bladder slowly filling with the last of the water she'd drunk to resolve her landing reflex. She began feeling a bit better around ten and Althea got up to make them both some tea.
    "How are you going to...you know?" Del asked, clutching her mug. The heat was comforting.
    "Diagnose you with a pterovascular condition? It'll just be on paper," said Althea, patting Del's shoulder. "Clay and I'll set up times for you to come in so everything looks legitimate, and we'll get you out of here. I promise."
    Del sipped her tea morosely. They'd discussed some options with Clay, and if Del wanted to get out, one way or another she'd have to give up flying.
    "Unless you want to fake your death, change your name, and go into hiding." Clay was trying for a joking tone, but it was clear he hadn't slept in a day or two, and it sounded like a grim prophecy. Del blamed her own sleepiness for the phrase "grim prophecy," and Clay felt the need to apologize for the poor taste of the joke before he left to get some sleep before Del's phone call.
    Del finished her tea and curled up with Althea again. She fell asleep listening to a documentary demonstrating how airship stabilizers were made and tested.

    "-does not come in sugar-free. ShamPOW(TM) is not a good source of dietary fiber. Do not swallow the towel." The infomercial voice listed the price in several different world currencies, and Del snapped off the television before the list finished.
    Althea snored softly, her chest rising and falling under Del's head. Del felt pleasantly warm and shivery under the throw blanket and didn't want to get up. Her bladder was starting to throb and she tried to ignore it: she'd enjoy the comfort for a minute or two, then get up and-
    There was a knock on the door. Del scrambled to look for the clock and found it: it was a quarter past two.

    Clay led them downstairs, taking the outdoor route that Del and Althea had used to smuggle the small hydrostasis unit up to Del's room. It had rained, and their feet slipped on the grass on the way down the hill. They passed the door Del and Althea had used to get out of the hospital wing and ventured further downhill, toward the lake and the tower-like building on the water that housed most of the facility's hydrostatic fluid storage. They approached a side maintenance door marked "COOLING AND HEATING," and Clay knocked.
    The door opened, letting out a sliver of pale light.
    "Evening, Clay," said Alvin, stepping aside to let them in. "Dr. Tock, Delphinium." He shut the door and sat down at a small folding table on which he was playing solitaire, not seeming to have any further interest in the group. A set of stairs in the maintenance room followed a network of pipes and pressure gauges, leading to a sterile off-white hallway close to the physicians' offices. Althea's office was next to Clay's so she went in to get her calculator, leaving Del alone with Clay.
    Clay's office looked like Althea's: cabinets lined the walls. Hydrostasis units of various sizes sat atop them and a desk with a neat in/out tray took up the center of the room. Clay also kept about a dozen broad-leafed office plants around the room. He walked toward a corner with a group of plants on a high table, and Del couldn't tell what he was doing until she saw the glint of metal: behind one of the tall potted plants was a small old-fashioned chrome-plated radio unit.
    "You can sit at my desk if you like, Delphinium. It takes a minute to warm up." Clay yawned, flipping a switch. The unit's lights faded to life, red and yellow. Things inside the unit whirred and buzzed, and Clay brought the wired speaker to his ear and listened. Del elected to stand, feeling too tight and nervous to sit down. A long moment later, the door to the hallway opened. Althea sidled in and padded over to Del.
    "You okay, Del?" Althea whispered. Del realized that she was crossing her legs and rocking on her feet.
    "Yeah," Del lied, more to convince herself than Althea. "I just need to use the bathroom after I get off the phone."
    Clay stood up and set down the earpiece. "Alright, Delphinium. I have all the pre-commands dialed in. Just enter the number and press send."
    Del stepped forward.

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It's Easter AND Trans Visibility Day! I do have new art I can post with this, but the character is like 5 chapters ahead so I'll just repost the movie poster, because that's my favorite pic of Del/May.

Loveinthesnow.jpg

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Part 68:

    When Yarrow arrived back at Miss Nucifera's airship, Cyan and Miss Nucifera sat at the table in the darkened front room. They were watching a movie on Miss Nucifera's laptop. Cyan pulled up a chair for Yarrow, and Yarrow grabbed his drink before sitting down. There wasn't another cup around for Yarrow to pour his festival freeze in and add ice water, and he couldn't find a good time to ask Avaris, so he opted to just drink it at full strength.
    After about ten minutes, Yarrow still couldn't quite figure out what the movie was about. He'd absentmindedly downed half of the festival freeze, which added to the latent drowsiness after resolving the landing reflex, so he excused himself to the bedroom for a nap. While feeling somewhat amorous, Yarrow had no intention of anything except plopping down face-first on the bed and falling asleep. The dagger root pulled him irresistibly down into a hazy, sleepy state, and he was out before his face hit the pillow.
    Yarrow faded into wakefulness what felt like seconds later. He felt pleasantly light, pleasantly heavy, and pleasantly-
    "Are you sure you don't want a separate cot?" Miss Nucifera said in the other room. The movie was either stopped or over and there wasn't any background noise to obscure their voices. "He's going to wet the bed." The confidence in her voice stung, but Yarrow could feel the pressure starting to build up in his lower belly. If he lost it and flooded the bed, Miss Nucifera would surely make him leave. Yarrow was vaguely aware of Cyan talking.
    If Yarrow was kicked out, he could stay more nights at the local inn, he thought sleepily. He was paid up until the end of that week, and his things were still there. The bedroom door opened and Yarrow drifted back up into semi-consciousness.
    "Do you know where everything is?" Miss Nucifera's voice asked in a whisper.
    A few seconds later Yarrow registered that someone had opened and closed the outer door and felt a weight in the bed next to him. It took a ridiculous amount of effort, but Yarrow opened his eyes. Cyan lay down next to him, stretching their legs under the blankets.
    'Hi, Yarrow," Cyan yawned.
    Yarrow wanted to say something, but his mind blanked under Cyan's gaze. One thing floated to the top of his mind like a bubble: "I'm not gonna pee the bed," said Yarrow, slurring solemnly. "I've never peed the bed. Ever."
    "Well, if you need to, I brought in a bucket," yawned Cyan. "And anyway, Avi says it's okay if-" Yarrow fell back asleep before Cyan finished the sentence.

    "It's not okay," said Avaris stiffly. "You didn't even know why you were there." She sat at Pia's kitchen table. Pia sat across from her. Rain pounded on the roof and water trickled almost musically down the outer walls. Avaris reminded herself that she was wearing her new "protective garment." It puffed out like a diaper, but it also worked as an extra petticoat under her simple blue-checked apron dress.
    "Did you?" asked Pia, stirring her tea.
    Avaris sighed, "It was right there in the paperwork I had to sign. The doctors insisted it was for taking tissue samples until after my flight trials."
    "You had paperwork?" said Pia.
    "It's the standard practice on the Haman Homeworld," Avaris replied. "My mother and I were both born there, and she made Grandfather agree to it."
    "He was your dad's grandfather though, isn't he?" Pia pointed out. "So that would make him your great-grandfather?"
    "Yeah, it's just custom to call the family elders things like 'grandfather,' 'auntie,' 'nuncle-'"
    "Nuncle?" Saoirse interrupted from the couch, twisting to look over her shoulder. "Like a court jester?"
    "I don't know, it's just the custom," Avaris sighed. "Didn't you live on the Andyne Homeworld for a year, Saoirse? You should know more than I do."
    Saoirse abandoned all pretense of reading her book and sat up. "Yeah, but I went to Spoons and stayed in the campus dorms with other off-worlders. I went to a few native friends' houses, but none of them lived on a large family compound like yours."
    "Oh, but you tried the speed d-..." Avaris stopped, blinking. "Did...did you try speed dating?" she asked Saoirse slowly. Across from Avaris, Pia tried to play off her surprise by sipping her tea, but she was still obviously blushing behind her mug.
    "How do you know that?" Saoirse asked, less ruffled than Avaris thought she'd be.
    "I don't...I didn't know I knew that until just now," said Avaris. Pia's expression relaxed a little despite how red her face was getting.
    "Did you go through my medical history too? I know you saw Pia's," Saoirse pressed. "And possibly Mayra's."
    "I saw Pia's on accident," Avaris protested. "And Mayra's records are viewable in the family archives because *she* was supposed to have died like twenty years ago!"

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Short chapter. Art next time.

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Part 69:

Three Years Ago

    "-Nucifera? Miss Nucifera?"
    "I'm down here!" Avaris was under her airship, disconnecting her water hookup. She finished hurriedly, trying not to listen to the rush of the water before she closed the valve, and pulled her wings against her back when she stepped out of the lee of her ship into the cold wind. A nasty snowstorm was forecasted to hit that afternoon, and Avaris had been preparing for it all morning. She wore a long, heavy skirt, insulated leggings, and gloves under her warmest coat. It wasn't that warm, but she wasn't planning to be outdoors for long.
    "Can you hover your ship into the hangar in about an hour? I have a bay cleared next to the office," said a grandfatherly Andyne man named Bracken. Bracken was a co-owner of Redwater Falls Docks, where Avaris was currently staying. His carefully maintained wings were black and yellow with two white stripes, and he wore a puffy coat over his beige coveralls.
    Entering the hangar would be nerve-wracking. The hangar, which was average-sized for an airship repair hangar, loomed over the mountaintop for about half a kilometer. The cavernous structure had regular side doors, though all but one had been sealed in preparation for the oncoming snowstorm. Avaris would have to enter through the giant paneled doors at the distal end of the building and pilot the Limpet through to the other end.

    Avaris had made herself a thermos of spiced cider to help stay warm during her morning activities and poured herself a mug before going into her bedroom to start up the navigation console for flight.
    The console sat on a table by the wide bedroom window, taking longer than usual to warm up in the freezing temperatures. It had once had a swiveling chair in front of it, but that had been gone before Avaris bought the Limpet. In its place, she pulled up a folding chair. On a clear day, she could've had a nice view: the Redwater Falls Docks sat perched on the top of a mountain overlooking the Lesser Redwater Falls. The river feeding the falls was frozen solid, leaving an exposed rocky riverbed and an eerie silence to permeate the air instead of the usual constant roar. The vast distance was already hazy with heavy snow, which gained opacity as she watched.
    Wearing leggings made Avaris more aware of the need to pee than usual, and she tried to go frequently to keep them dry. The cider wasn't filling her bladder as fast as usual, and the ship was ready to fly early despite the delay, so when she finished the thermos she got up and made another.
    Fifteen minutes and two mugs of cider later, it was finally time to leave her spot. Avaris began the ascent and heard something thunk against the inside of the lower nacelles. Her stomach dropped, but the ship didn't.
    Some of the dock workers helped wave Avaris through the vast hangar doors. They wore the same beige overalls as Bracken, and most of them had coats and face masks against the cold, hauling the last of their equipment indoors before the storm. Avaris was careful to fly at a distance from the workers, and once she was inside, she tried not to hover too close to the shadowy ceiling. The hangar was tall enough to accommodate most airship models, so the flight wasn't as cramped or difficult as she'd feared, but it didn't make flying in an enclosed space any less unnerving. Avaris tried not to notice the daylight from outside fading as the hangar doors closed behind her. It made her need to pee, but she tried to ignore it: the office, situated on the opposite end of the hangar, was only about two minutes away. Avaris would park her ship, thank Bracken, and hook up her power and water. It would take less than five minutes, then she'd have all night free for pee breaks.

    The figure waiting for her, standing in the middle of the hangar, wasn't Bracken. Their wings looked like Bracken's wings with softer colors: the yellow was pale and the black on the ends of the wings faded to gray. Unlike Bracken, the figure wore a rose-colored top and jeans, and had long dark blue hair, pulled back into a low ponytail. Avaris didn't notice much about the person directing her until they raised their arms in the grainy monochrome camera feed, signaling her to stop backing up. They were female, shorter, slightly thinner, and significantly younger than Bracken, possibly his daughter or some other relative.
    Avaris set the ship to hover a bit lower than usual so that her front door lined up with a catwalk along the wall, connecting to the mezzanine over the lobby that housed both the offices and Bracken's home. She wanted to relax and have a well-deserved bathroom break: sitting down had allowed her to ignore her bladder, and when she stood up she had to hurriedly clench up to avoid a leak. She almost let go at the sound of a knock at her front door.
    The young woman who'd directed her stood outside and waved in a friendly way when Avaris looked out. She probably had something important to say, Avaris thought and opened the door.
    "Hi!" said the young woman brightly. "I'm Sinningia. Sinni for short. Do you need help with your power and water?"
    Avaris's bladder throbbed at the mention of water. "I've got it, but thanks," she said. Sinni followed her onto the catwalk and down a nearby set of stairs to the repair bay's hookups. Something didn't look right about the Limpet's electricity port, and Avaris's stomach dropped again when she realized what it was.
    "My power cable," gulped Avaris. She realized that was what had fallen off on the way in.
    "Do you need a spare? We have plenty," said Sinni helpfully. The wind howled outside.
    "I should go out and check for it before the storm hits," said Avaris, hoping to get away from Sinni. While Avaris was there, she hooked up the water: it was much quicker than disconnecting it, and simply snapped into place.
    "You were in site...fourteen, right?" Sinni asked. Avaris nodded. "That's right by the office. I could nip out and get it if it's still there."
    Avaris finished and stepped back. "Thanks, but I can get it."
    "Bracken wants me to tell you that tonight is no charge," said Sinni, walking with Avaris on her way to the front entrance doors. "That includes power and water. Just stay warm."
    "Thank you, that's nice of him." Avaris meant it, but an involuntary leak sprung in her leggings. She was barely able to stop it and was glad to pause at the door. Sinni stopped next to her.
    "Are you alright?" asked Sinni. Avaris could see her former site from the glass pane in the outer lobby door, but not the terrace underneath where she hoped her cable would be. The brief leak had relieved some pressure, so Avaris told herself firmly that she had time.
    "I'm fine, I just have to make this quick," Avaris grunted, and pushed through the door. Sinni said something after her, but it was lost in the whistling, stinging wind. A bloom of heat in Avaris's leggings made her walk faster, but she knew it was too late before she reached the number fourteen spot. Avaris didn't want to pull down her leggings within sight of the lobby windows. She tried to work at her leggings on the way down the stairs to the lower terrace but couldn't separate her skirt and leggings in time. The cable lay on the ground next to the electrical port, but she didn't go for it right away: a gust of wind hit, and her bladder released a big hot gush under her skirt. Avaris hunched over, keeping her wings down, and darted forward to grab it anyway.
    When she reached the top of the stairs again, Avaris noticed that she'd stopped wetting her pants. The urine soaked slowly through her leggings, and the warmth felt good in the relentless cold. It wouldn't show on the outside of her skirt, at least, Avaris told herself, sprinting toward the lobby doors. The clean, wood-paneled lobby looked gold, warm, and inviting. As Avaris approached the door, she worried briefly about leaking again on the clean floor.
    The lobby door was locked. It made Avaris need to pee more despite the pressure release. She leaned from side to side to look in the lobby, but it was empty.
    "There has to be a side door," Avaris moaned to herself. The thickening snow whited out the docks, and she tried to squint along the hangar. She tried to think of where the closest side door might be but found she couldn't concentrate while trying to hold her bladder. Avaris took one last look to confirm that the lobby was empty and stepped back, spreading her feet on the ground with grim determination. She closed her eyes, focused, and tried to relax. Just when she thought it wasn't working, she felt her groin twitch under her leggings and a pleasantly hot drip escaped into her panties. This was going to feel good, she thought, sighing.
    The tinkle of a bell made Avaris open her eyes. Sinni stood in the lobby doorway, holding the door open.
    "Sorry that took so long," said Sinni. Avaris clenched up just in time to stop the flood. Avaris tried to look casual on her way inside, but couldn't help waddling slightly in her damp leggings.

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Sinni is very loosely based off a pic of Shelley Duvall that I've always thought was pretty. I only noticed when I saw them side by side that she has the same top as the pic of Bellis with the stupid septagonal collar. Also I totally forgot her ponytail. Sinni and Bracken both have goldfinch wings, and basically I picture the Lesser Redwater Falls as Snoqualmie Falls.

Sinni.jpg

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Part 70

    "Oh no!" Sinni exclaimed, looking down in the direction of Avaris's skirt. For a split second, Avaris thought she'd let go without feeling it, but Sinni was looking at the cable in her hand. The ceramic end of the plug was cracked and dented from landing on the pavement, and one of the prongs was missing. "Hang on to that, I'll go find Bracken."
    "Sinni, have you seen the date stamp lying around?... Oh, hi, Miss Nucifera," said Bracken, walking out of a back hallway with a clipboard. "Is that everyone indoors or gone home?" he asked Sinni.
    "Affirmative," said Sinni. "Miss Nucifera needs a new power cable, though. Hers fell off on the way in."
    Avaris's stomach twisted. She didn't know how long finding a new cable would take. She pressed her legs together and told herself firmly that the large leak outside had relieved enough pressure to give her more time. Her groin ached after clenching up at the last second when Sinni found her outside.
    Bracken checked his clipboard. "I still have some administrative stuff to do. Daffodil, could you show Miss Nucifera to the supply room?"
    "Sure thing. It's this way," said Sinni. Bracken gave Sinni his keys, and Sinni set off. Avaris followed, too confused to ask questions.

    Sinni led Avaris back into the hangar. It seemed like the vast space would suck away any heat, but the walk to the supply room was warm.
    "So uh...Sunny-" Avaris knew at once that was wrong. Her face felt hot.
    "Sinni," corrected Sinni. "That's close, though. It's like 'Sunny' with some understandable typos. What do you need?"
    "I um...I don't-" Avaris stammered. Her concentration was less effective than usual. "Why did Bracken call you Daffodil?"
    "Well, you know, Daffodil's Garden," said Sinni. "The longest-running children's show on Andyne television? The main character is a puppet with blue hair, played by blue-haired child actors in live-action skits and segments."
    "...Puppet?" Avaris wondered if the need to pee was making her delirious. The sharp smell of some fluid associated with airships emanated from a tall square building in the hangar wall with three wide doors set into the front in a vertical row. The door on the ground floor was the largest and had a standard-sized door next to it, while the two doors above sat floating in the wall, accessible by air raft.
    "Not from the Homeworld either?" Sinni said. "Well, we get all the Homeworld channels here. I'll bring you the password later if you like."
    Sinni disappeared into the supply room, taking Avaris's cable to reference its model number. Avaris had wanted to ask Sinni if the supply room had a bathroom, but Sinni was already gone.
    "There has to be one somewhere," Avaris mumbled to herself, looking around. Next to the supply room was a designated air raft charging area, with four industrial hover platforms resting on charging cradles. Behind that on the wall was a sign marked "BATHROOM" over an arrow pointing to the outer back corner of the supply room.
    Avaris weaved between the equipment and entered the back of the supply room. It opened to a small carpeted receiving area, off of which was a pair of bathrooms. Avaris leaked in anticipation and tried the first bathroom door: it was locked. She heard rather than felt a desperate squirt in her leggings and tried the other door. The lock clicked but caught and held the door fast. Avaris wanted to groan in frustration but knew she'd piss herself if she so much as breathed too hard. She waddled out the door, leaking with each step, and checked to see that she hadn't left any wet spots before letting the door shut behind her.
    Glancing around to make sure she was alone in the dim, cavernous space, Avaris lifted her skirt and spread her feet. It took her body a few seconds to unclench, but once it did, an embarrassingly loud whooshing noise echoed off the walls. The release hurt her cramped abdominal muscles, and she couldn't help moaning, glad that Sinni wasn't there to hear it.
    Avaris barely heard the footsteps until Sinni came running around the corner, pushing herself along faster with her wings. Her eyes widened when she saw Avaris, but she didn't stop running toward her.
    "Oh, phew, it's just you," Sinni sighed. "I thought we had some kind of plumbing leak."
    "If you tell me where the cleaning supplies are, I can mop this up," grunted Avaris, unable to stop the obnoxiously loud flow under her skirt. She hated herself for the moan in her voice, and the fact that she'd been caught, her skirt intentionally raised, flooding the clean floor-
    "Don't worry about it," said Sinni, as though Avaris had done something inconsequential like knocking over some papers or bumping into a desk. "It happens around crunch time. I can't imagine how long you've been holding that much pee." The puddle around Avaris spread and spattered. "No wonder you were so impatient!"
    Avaris took a deep breath. She was almost finished, and it was just starting to feel good. The worst of the cramps were slowly loosening. "Why was the bathroom locked?" she asked, exhaling slowly.
    "I lock them after I turn the water off to remind myself where I've been. If we leave the water on and one of the heaters out here fails, a pipe could burst, and it would be days before anyone notices." Sinni looked over Avaris's shoulder at a small panel in the wall with a dial over it, showing what looked like a blue semicircle. "Someone must've turned it back on since I came through here, though..."
    Sinni had to step around Avaris to get to the panel. She opened it, revealing a coiled water hose and a switch inside.
    "I'll just hose everything into the drains here," said Sinni. A network of grooves in the floor ran under the cradled air rafts, meant to catch any fluid leaks from the equipment. "Do you know how to get back to your ship from here?"
    "I do. Did you find the cable?" Avaris's heart was racing.
    "It's on the railing of one of the rafts. I thought the um..." Sinni blushed. "Well, I didn't want it to get wet."
    Avaris took about a minute to finally stop and stepped gingerly out of her puddle. She wanted to stay and help Sinni clean it up, but Sinni waved her away.
    "You've already helped me enough. I wouldn't have noticed the water here was on if you hadn't scared me like that." Sinni blushed again. "I'll have more to do after I rinse down the floor, and you probably want to change your clothes."

    Avaris shut her front door. Having thoroughly emptied her bladder, she felt good, especially since she'd gotten out of sight of Sinni. She didn't dislike Sinni, but Sinni was so attentive and chatty that it was hard to relax.
    Avaris took a long hot shower after she got undressed. The cold seemed to have seeped into her limbs despite her layers and she stayed under the hot water until she'd warmed up. Afterward, she bundled up in her warmest sweats and the disposable "protective garment" she should've been wearing when she wet herself. It added some extra insulation.
    She sat down at her front room table with her laptop and found that the network connection was better than usual, as both Sinni and Bracken had attested. There was a new email from her mother: she'd forwarded a piece of mail for Avaris from the labs at the Grace Harbor Medical Center and hoped it would get to her before the storm hit. Avaris's mother seemed to think it was important enough to send along and said she hadn't opened it.
    "Probably the blood drive program again," Avaris snorted to herself. She couldn't give blood because of her medical history, but that didn't stop the hospital mailing list from sending blood drive reminders and newsletters every few months. She'd have to call them to clear this up again: she thought she'd had it taken care of the previous year. She'd have plenty of time to call them in the next few days though.
    A knock came at the door about ten minutes later. Avaris thought she'd be annoyed to see Sinni again, but she found herself relieved that Sinni was still friendly after what had happened next to the supply room.
    "You look so cute and cozy," Sinni commented, holding out a piece of paper taped to an envelope bearing the Grace Harbor Medical Center stamp in the corner. On the paper was a string of symbols and letters in blue ink: the password to the cable service with the Andyne channels. "I can help you log in if you like," offered Sinni.
    Sinni insisted on entering the password and staying to show Avaris an episode of Daffodil's Garden, so Avaris examined the envelope while she waited. Scribbled under the address was "Re: Williams, Cassiopeia, Phys: The Destructor, Azri." She opened it while Sinni scrolled through Andyne kids' shows.
    The tests showed...Avaris squinted at the small print. She couldn't understand most of it: the list of conditions included one or two that she had, and the genetic analysis listed the subject as 24% Andyne, 37% Human, 29% Haman, and 12% "Undetermined." The test, whatever it was for, wasn't hers.

    "It took me a while to remember your name," Avaris told Pia. "I requested a copy of my history over email and yours came attached with all the other documents. I had to call them, and I couldn't convince them that we were separate people. I had to physically go in a few months later."
    "I remember Azri getting frustrated over those tests," said Pia. "In the end, she found a lab in the Irontown Weem that could do everything we needed."
    "What's a weem?" asked Avaris, grateful to talk about something else.
    Pia replied, "I've been to a few on catering contracts. Bun told me that they're mainly Amphibious underground settlements with big air-filled spaces. They're popular as event venues for Andyne business groups."
    "How long were you in catering?" Avaris was relieved to have the pressure taken off herself. She'd emptied her bladder before she left her place, and it was already starting to get naggingly full.

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Long chapter and I drew Bellis and Helly today. It looks like Bellis is staring at Helly's chest, which wasn't intended but meh, he likes them anyway. Also their background is the bi flag; most Andynes are bi, but they have weird social conventions on the homeworld and don't tend to talk about it unless they're with someone they know well. Or they're on an off-world business trip and putting smiley faces on cups.

Baked Bean.jpg

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Part 71:

    The rain only increased as the afternoon wore on. The conversation drifted, and Pia wasn't entirely sure how it got to restaurant reviews.
    "The stubby guy - what's his name, Pia? Bellend?" Saoirse asked, blushing when she realized what she'd said. "Er...uh...Bellad...donna?"
    "Bellis," Pia yawned.
    "Bellis judges you if you order Point noodles without any spice, but they're pretty authentic," Saoirse continued. "They put a smiley face on Mayra's drink too."
    Avaris blinked. She looked as sleepy as Pia felt, but she was also fidgeting like she needed to pee. Pia felt like she could go too, but it wasn't urgent.
    "Umm...smiley faces?" Avaris asked, sitting up stiffly. Pia could tell she was getting ready to do something, but not what.
    "They want to rendezvous with her," sighed Saoirse. "You did say you're not from the homeworld."
    "Really?" Avaris took a deep breath.
    "You know, there's a bathroom here," Saoirse said. "You don't need to use the diaper." Avaris winced and crossed her legs. "Pia, would you be up for a rendezvous with Miss Avaris?"
    Both Avaris and Pia knew what that meant, and locked eyes, blushing.
    Pia gulped, "Do you um...want to, Avaris?"
    "It would help alleviate your problem, and you'd come out of it with a dry diaper if we hurry," said Saoirse in a way that felt very Andyne to Pia.

    "I just threw it out there," said Saoirse, smiling. "To be honest I'm a little surprised you both said yes. Is this your first group rendezvous too, Avaris?"
    Avaris was far past the point of wetting herself, but in her shyness, she couldn't seem to let go. "Yeah."
    Avaris stood in Pia's shower while Saoirse and Pia removed her clothes. Saoirse had kneeled in front of her and was pulling down her "protective garment."
    Pia stood behind Avaris, helping unfasten the back of her dress. She shivered as Pia smoothed the feathers at the base of her wings. Under other circumstances, thought Avaris, her insides going cold, they might have been Pia's wings. The chill cut through her nerves and she let out an unexpected burst of piss all over Saoirse's front, moments after she'd tossed aside the (mostly) dry protective garment.
    "Sorry-" Avaris panted, clenching up. Pia removed her dress and set it on the sink before returning and slipping her hands around Avaris's waist.
    Saoirse grinned up at her. "No need. I'm looking forward to more."
    "Avaris, may I um..." Pia floundered. Avaris looked at her over her shoulder. "May I try oral? I'd like to get some practice in."
    "You sure? She's still really full," said Saoirse, hugging Avaris's lower half and rubbing her butt with both hands. She put just enough pressure on Avaris's bladder to make her squirm.
    "I asked because I was sure," Pia replied. "And much as I love you, Sersh, I was asking Avi. It's her pussy."
    Avaris's heart leaped. "Yes...I mean if you don't mind getting peed on," she said. "You should probably take your dress off." Pia stepped around her, disrobed, and retrieved a folding beach chair from a storage cupboard next to the washer and dryer. Avaris sat in it and leaned back, scooting her butt forward as Pia directed her to spread her legs on the tile floor. Saoirse took Pia's former spot behind Avaris while Pia settled between Avaris's legs. Avaris's heart raced and her pussy twitched as Saoirse began kissing her neck.
    "Where would you like me to start?" asked Pia, lowering her face. Avaris felt her warm breath on the quivering lips of her vulva.
    "Anywhere is fine," Avaris whimpered.
    "How do you feel about using fingers and touching your butthole?" Saoirse breathed into Avaris's ear.
    Pia kissed Avaris at the top of her vulva and let her tongue out to explore Avaris'a hard clit. Her mouth felt pleasantly hot, and Avaris twitched again, desperately trying not to let go.
    "F-fingers are fine. Let's skip butt stuff for now," moaned Avaris. Pia lapped slowly and began using her fingers to play with Avaris's labia.
    "She's really worked up," Saoirse purred between kisses down Avaris's neck, her hand cupping Avaris's boob. Avaris could feel her bladder letting go and tried not to squirm while Pia lapped faster and let a finger slip inside.
    Avaris's body felt hot, and she let go practically in Pia's mouth. Saoirse held Avaris in place while she strained and bucked, and while Pia couldn't keep her face in place with Avaris moving so much, she continued with her fingers. She didn't seem to mind that she was getting sprayed.
    Avaris flopped back in the chair after what felt like several minutes. Her head would've banged on the back of the chair, but Saoirse caught it.
    "If we do this again, I want to eat you out next time," Saoirse purred. Pia sat on her haunches between Avaris's thighs, lazily stroking the length of Avaris's vulva. It made Avaris twitch every so often.
    "So-..." Avaris gasped. "So much for...staying dry." She hadn't been this out of breath since her first few rendezvouses with Sinni.
    "Keeping your clothes dry, specifically," said Pia. "And we did that."
    "What about your clothes?" wheezed Avaris. She hadn't fully emptied her bladder during her orgasm and felt the urge to pee welling up again.
    Pia leaned forward on Avaris's thigh, tracing the pale scars there further upward. "You asked me to take them off, remember? They're with your clothes by the sink."
    "I have to pee again," Avaris panted. "Did you want to move-"
    Saoirse was suddenly gone from Avaris's side and cozying up to Pia between Avaris's thighs. Avaris felt a pang of guilt at how wet Saoirse's clothes were.
    Saoirse kissed Pia's neck and fondly watched her stroke Avaris's swollen vulva. Avaris spread her legs when the urge to pee neared, and let Pia try and aim her lips.
    "You two are sickeningly sweet, you know that?" Avaris's voice ended with a sigh. She felt a swell of warmth before the pressure was released, and Pia wrangled the powerful spray down to her breasts.
    "This is why Lady has a crush on you, you know," said Saoirse, playing with Pia's boobs in the stream.

    Cyan stared up at the overhead projection. The message had faded, but the red letters still glowed against the glaring white from the whiteboard.
    "'Give me your wings?'" Cyan read aloud. "'Me?' Who's 'Me?'"
    Cyan looked down: they were wearing Pia's catering shirt and the lotus pants. Oddly, the shirt Cyan wore was for andynes and had an open back. "But this is Pia's shirt. She doesn't have wings," they said aloud, running their fingers over the embroidered catering logo.
    The door to the hallway opened and Yarrow ambled in. "That's not exactly a mystery," he yawned, stretching. "They wanted to..." he stopped mid-stretch and clutched his stomach. "Where's the nearest bathroom?"
    "In Avi's front room," Cyan answered, walking up to Yarrow and taking his hand. "This is a dream."
    The second part didn't seem to register with Yarrow. "It's not far, is it?"
    Cyan led Yarrow out of the room, hoping that they could find some way to wake at least one of them up.
    "How are you feeling, Yarrow?" asked Cyan. The school hallway outside dissolved into an office hallway. Outside the windows, a remote, tranquil lake shimmered in the sun.
    "I mostly just need to um..." Yarrow blushed and stopped walking. "There has to be a bathroom here. Where are we?"
    "World Sleeper's facility, I think," Cyan glanced around. "Yarrow, we're both asleep. I don't even know if you're really you, or just a copy of you in my head."
    Yarrow blinked. "Am I?"
    "It could be *your* dream too," Cyan pointed out. "How does Azri get in?"
    "I don't know," said Yarrow, rocking on his heels. "She just shows up. When she leaves, she goes through a door. If there isn't a door, she just sort of...thinks it into the dream."
    "How?" Cyan led Yarrow to the nearest door, a wide set of double doors stenciled with the words "LAKE ACCESS." This wasn't right at all, Cyan thought, pushing it open. They thought they could hear water rushing somewhere far off.

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Posting this because I did an art. But that's for next chapter.

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Part 72:

    Cyan and Yarrow stepped into a greenly lit night.
    "Segoe?" said Cyan slowly. As promised by the sign, they were outside, next to a lake.
    "This was where I met Azri," Yarrow informed Cyan. "Want to go on the rafts?"
    There weren't any doors on the rafts. "How about the Haunted House?" Cyan asked. That place was all doors. Cyan could wake Yarrow, get him over the bucket, and everything would stay dry, they thought a little frantically.
    Yarrow seemed to consider it for a moment. "Can we go on the pirate ship after?"
    "Of course," said Cyan, feeling a little bad for rushing their friend out of the dream.
    The two of them started walking, and Cyan noted that the scenery seemed to be passing slowly. Cyan noticed every little desperate grunt and twitch Yarrow made, and it stressed them out little by little.
    "Do you think it'll break down again?" Yarrow asked. There was no attendant, and instead of the decorated boxcar with the peeling black paint, the car was plain and black, with a high, rounded back and a plain front railing that folded down in their laps. The ride's belt pulled them through the ominous doorway. Instead of the dusty old haunted house, they rounded a corner into howling, creaking darkness.
    The rounded black buggy emerged into a long corridor containing most of the vestiges of a haunted house hallway. A suit of armor rattled, dusty gas lamps flickered eerily, and the cobwebs danced in the air currents.
    "This isn't the same haunted house, is it?" Yarrow said, staring at a floating candlestick.
    "It's bigger than the ride was," agreed Cyan. "It seems like more of a mansion." A clock chimed, and they passed what looked like a seance at an empty table, with a woman's head floating in the oversized crystal ball. Cyan thought it was corny until they noticed it was Avi's head. For a second, Cyan thought she was looking at them, but her eyes went unfocused and she moaned.
    "She's really worked up," said Saoirse's voice. One of Saoirse's catlike ears came into view while she kissed Avi's neck.
    "Oh my," Yarrow gulped. Their car swiveled to face the crystal ball as they skirted the scene, giving a three-dimensional effect to Avi's image. Her chest was heaving and a hand caressed her breast.
    "That's Miss Nucifera," Yarrow gasped. "What was she d-"
    The car swiveled again into total darkness, and Yarrow drew closer to Cyan. Another swivel revealed a dazzlingly bright ballroom where ghosts - reflections on glass, Cyan knew, but something wasn't quite right about them in this dream. The specters danced, dined, flew around, and reveled on the chandelier. A few of them noticed the riders and waved. Cyan waved back sheepishly and Yarrow followed suit, crossing his legs behind the car's front guard. Cyan's stomach did an anxious somersault. They needed to wake up.
    "How much longer is this ride?" Yarrow asked, shuffling his wings anxiously behind him. The car swiveled again, and they passed through a short stretch of blackness into a cobweb-festooned attic. "I think I need to use the fake graveyard again."
    The car swiveled backward, tipping back about forty-five degrees, giving them a view of sparkling stars and bare tree branches with red-eyed ravens cackling at them. Neither Cyan nor Yarrow had been ready for it, and Yarrow twisted his legs together tighter with a noise between a moan and a grunt.
    "Can you hold it until we wake up?" Cyan asked, thinking hard to try and make a door appear. The car drifted sideways, approaching a sudden dead end to the track. The graveyard was much larger than the haunted house at the festival, overgrown and full of realistic-looking cracked headstones, wrought-iron fences, and looming mausoleums. The fog flowed and settled creepily around the scenery, different from the clinging damp fog Cyan had seen at the festival's haunted house.
    "I can't," whispered Yarrow. Cyan tried desperately to think a door into existence. "I'm so sorry."
    The car rounded another corner into a particularly overgrown clearing, dominated by a large stone monument, and came to an abrupt but gentle stop. Cyan didn't know this "haunted mansion" but felt somehow that this area was off-script. The faux-stone slab before them was large enough to be a door.
    "You don't need to be sorry," said Cyan, jumping out of the seat and making a dash for the grave. They immediately started pushing on the sides to find the door. It felt like real stone, and Cyan remembered the name carved into the front from the small styrofoam headstone Yarrow had pissed on in the festival's haunted house. It had an epitaph added this time.
    "My other..." Yarrow shuffled up next to Cyan, squinting at it in the dimness. Both hands were clamped between his legs and his wings were tight against his back. "My other car is a...broom?" he read aloud. Shaking, he lowered the front of his pants. Cyan started to panic.

    "Avi, why are you letting Yarrow sleep here if you know he's going to wet the bed?" Cyan had asked, standing at the bedroom door with the mop bucket while Avi put on her sandals to go to Pia's.
    "My sheets and bedding have been waterproof or extra absorbent since before I moved out on my own,"  said Avi. "If you end up changing the sheets before I get back, I'd appreciate it if you wiped down the mattress before putting on new ones."
    Yarrow had seemed to think Avi would make him leave. "So it's okay?"
    Avi shrugged and stood up. "It's not ideal, but it's fine. Do you know where everything is?"

    There was a long moment of silence. Cyan could hear dripping coming from Yarrow and felt the knot of anxiety in their stomach loosen.
    "I saw that flashback," Yarrow commented, swaying a little on his feet. One hand came up and rubbed at his temples. "Hey Cy, are there any laws against dumping out dagger root drinks? I'm not gonna finish that festival freeze thing." The drip around Yarrow's feet quickened.
    "I don't know...I need to go too," said Cyan. As they stood next to Yarrow, soft blue lights illuminated the clearing around them. Cyan didn't have to pull their pants down: both they and Yarrow were suddenly naked. Yarrow didn't even seem to notice, watching the lights throw the engravings on the monument into sharp relief. A large birthmark stood out across his right side, a dark red blotch in the growing light, and the reluctant stream of piss sparkled straight downward into a puddle on the artificially leaf-strewn ground. Both he and Cyan were a little swollen from holding it, and Cyan let go with unexpected ease.
    Cyan's stomach did a pleasant backflip when they looked up and saw that Yarrow was watching. His hair looked more blue than gray in the light.
    "You look even more like a Daffodil now," Cyan blurted out.
    Yarrow sighed, stepped closer to Cyan, and placed a hand on Cyan's upper arm. "Cy," he said seriously, if a little unsteadily. Cyan could smell the festival freeze on his breath. "Daffodils are yellow."
    "I meant the show," said Cyan. "I used to watch it on Saturday mornings when I lived in..." For a split second, Cyan was someone else. She was ten, up before everyone else on a weekend morning. She'd wrapped herself in a fluffy blue blanket because this place was so cold, and glanced at the window, crunching on a bowl of dry cereal - Apple Mummy. It didn't taste like apples at all, she thought, watching the freezing clouds flow sluggishly over the raindrop-shaped structures that made up her current home. The memory melted away, the theme song for Daffodil's Garden playing in the background. Cyan found themself back in the artificial graveyard and ran a hand through their green hair. The girl they'd just been had had long green hair.
    "That was a weird one," said Yarrow. His flow had picked up to a steady stream, and Cyan noticed his wings relaxing behind him.
    Cyan snorted. "As weird as us relieving ourselves on someone's fake grave? Whose name is this?"
    "I don't know, but someone must really hate them," Yarrow grunted. He stumbled and the arc of urine hit Cyan's foot. Cyan didn't feel it there; their brain kicked in and reminded them that they were lying down, asleep, and-
    "It's gonna be like waking up in a swimming pool," Cyan said to themself, stretching.
    "Hm?" yawned Yarrow.
    "Oh, we're asleep, remember?" Cyan yawned and aimed upward at the engraved name to see what would happen. It got wet like any flat stone surface, but soaking that name was oddly satisfying. "It'll probably absorb into the sheets before we wake up though."
    "What will?" Yarrow asked slowly. His eyes widened. "You're...you're in bed with me?"
    Cyan shrugged. They had to concentrate to keep their flow going.
    "Cyan, we need to wake up, right now," said Yarrow. "I don't know if the dagger root can hurt you, but if you wash-"
    Cyan woke up.
____________________________________________

I think the Haunted Mansion does photos? Also this isn't *from* the chapter but if they had that area with the mirrors, they would've got Avaris as a ghost. If I was confident that I could get the proper ghost effect down I would've drawn more of her, but I barely got the spacing to look okay for Yarrow's wings. Also Cyan has that goofy haircut in their dreams. And I did look at a ride-through video of the Haunted Mansion from 2023 for a lot of this.

Cy and Yarrow.jpg

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Part 73:

    After May finished her first call, she was surprised to receive another from Helly at Hyachna's Shins.
    "Pia said her brother and his um...partner?" Helly had paused like a child who'd said a bad word to a teacher. May didn't react, so Helly pushed on: "Well, Belly and I think a group rendezvous would be a good chance to meet them if everyone is up for it."

    May bit her lip, taking a moment to mentally sift through the Homeworld social nonsense for any meaning she might've missed. Her head was swimming a little, and she was glad that she'd diluted her drink. She slipped out of her robe and set her cup on the side of the bathtub. The water was hotter than she'd expected, so she sat on the corner and soaked her legs and feet, swishing them idly in the water like she had when she was a kid.
    "She said Cyan was her brother?" May said, in case it made any more sense out loud than in her head. She picked up her drink and took another sip. Even with a pleasant buzz, she felt uneasy about what she would have to do later.


    Del sat at Clay's desk, seething. The conversation with Digitalis had ended positively, but after the call, Del's mind returned to Digitalis's flying trials. The family elders had held a vote, singling Digitalis out for being half-human, and decided that he was ineligible for full family membership through the flight trials. Del wasn't sure exactly what was said to Digitalis: he'd been vague about it, almost as if to protect her. Hot anger burned in Del's belly, closing her off from everything else until Althea nudged her shoulder and handed her a water bottle.
    "I remembered it this time!" Althea said. "Clay's finished with the radio. The nearest bathroom is just up the hall."
    Del stood up and left the office with Althea, striding toward the outer door instead of the bathroom. Before Del knew it, she was outside again. She vaguely recalled that she and Althea had left Clay in the maintenance room with Alvin, discussing something related to potted plants.
    "I'm going to take a walk," said Del, unaware she was talking until she said it. Once she did, though, it was a relief to have said it. "I need to be alone."
    "At night?" asked Althea. A wading bird trumpeted across the water. Del noticed that it didn't sound like the bird calls she'd heard on the night she'd arrived. She didn't know what to think about it, so she pushed it to the back of her mind.
    "If I get lost, this place is easy to spot from the air," Del turned toward the lake, and her bladder gave a nagging throb. The water sparkled beneath a pair of mismatched moons, one a pale blue gibbous and the other a skinny white grin.
    Althea stepped in front of Del and took her hands, gently squeezing them. "Be safe, alright?"
    Del had the sudden urge to pull down her waistband and relieve herself right there, all down Althea's front. She had to go so badly...instead, she hastily parted from Althea and hurried down the hill. The path was wide and relatively straight, so Del made a split-second decision and started running. Air conditions weren't the best, but she needed a distraction. Being in the air would make holding it much easier, and when Del landed, she'd take...maybe not the longest piss of her life, but it would be up there, she thought. Her feet pounded on the concrete dock when she reached it, and she started flapping her wings just before the dropoff. Her toes brushed the water as her wings caught the air, beating hard until she got high enough above the trees for a comfortable glide.
    The World Sleepers facility's security lights were easy to see from the air. The road, snaking away from World Sleepers in both directions, didn't have any lights, but Del could easily make it out in the light of Ud's third moon. The third moon had been hidden behind the residential wing back on the ground, but now that she had a clear view of the sky, it loomed large above her in its half-moon phase. The moon was tan with dark stripes and some thinner, light blue rings and its surface seemed to have an odd smooth texture. Del remembered reading in some touristy pamphlets on the bus ride to World Sleepers that Ud had a gas moon. Del hadn't seen all three in the sky during her time there; a world having two or moons was relatively rare, but gas moons had to be even rarer. Del wished she'd paid more attention in secondary school Planetary Science class.
    The huge half-moon hung over Del and she flew faster, almost like she could get away from it. She knew it didn't work that way, and flew a few loops before curving back toward World Sleepers. If she turned northeast, she could get to the coast in about six hours. Del wasn't dressed for that, though; her fingers were already numb in the cold, wet wind. She looked forward to landing: it would be warmer on the ground.
    The lake seemed to glow faintly from beneath in the combined light of the three moons, and Del spotted the stone jetty that she and Althea had visited what felt like years ago instead of just a few days. Del descended, looped low over the rocky beach, and touched down at the base of the jetty. It took four long bounds to stop completely, and Del hooked her thumbs in the waistband for the last step. She landed neatly on the end of the jetty and pushed down the front of her pants just in time. A hard, relentless flow gushed out over the soughing waves, making only an initial splash before the sound was lost in the breeze over the water.
    Del gave a shaky, ungainly groan of relief and stretched her wings. Her voice echoed, but she didn't mind. Nobody except Alvin would be outdoors at this hour. If he was even required to do that with so few people staying at the facility. Del sighed and leaned back on her heels. It took her a second to realize that the glow on the lake, which she'd assumed was some odd property of the gas moon, was coming from under the lake's surface. The light brightened in a way that felt stealthy, and a hulking rounded shape rose noiselessly out of the water beside the jetty only about a meter away from Del. She couldn't slow or stop herself peeing, she thought vaguely, watching the dripping shape rise further, stopping at a standard half-meter hover over the water's surface. The light had been coming from a rounded porthole window, now blocked by a face.
    A metal ramp extended smartly from the strange watercraft and a door opened. Feeble yellow light framed a figure, who looked Del up and down from the doorway.
    "*You're* not Clay."
    Del's eyes acclimated to the light and the shadow in front of her came into focus: it was a tall Amphibious woman with curly green hair in loose asymmetrical plats that hung down past her elbows. Strangely for an Amphibious person who'd just been underwater, she was dry and wore clothing. Her eyes were bright pink, reflecting faintly in the gloom. Her stance changed, and Del was suddenly aware that she was vulnerable, still relieving herself off the end of the jetty.
    "Who are you then?" the woman growled. Del tensed up, not knowing whether she should try to fly away or jump in the water and swim away. Amphibious people were monstrously strong; Del didn't know why, but always thought it had something to do with how fast they had to move in the water. Swimming away could be a bad idea, but there had to be a reason the woman was staying dry-
    The Amphibious woman broke Del's train of thought. "Are you Nelumbo Nucifera?" Her eyes flashed.
    "Keyana!" called another voice. Del's flow was mercifully slowing, and for the first time, it occurred to her that she could try for some modesty. She pulled her wings around herself.
    A light set of footsteps ran up behind Del, and she craned to look over her shoulder. She was surprised to see-
    "Clay." The woman jumped down and met Clay further up the jetty. "Who the fuck is this?"
    Clay looked up at Del, who waved lamely. Her bladder was still draining somehow, and she pushed on it. It didn't do anything. Despite everything, it felt good and her body was starting to relax.
    "That's Delphinium," said Clay in a crisp, formal way. "She's a friend."
    Del almost felt warm and fuzzy about that, until her hand brushed her penis. Her hands were still icy cold and partially numb from the flight. It made her shiver, and she desperately hoped Clay and his associate wouldn't notice.
    "Delphinium, this is Keyana. She's agreed to help me with a uh..." Clay glanced at Keyana. Del's neck was beginning to strain from looking over her shoulder, so she turned slightly, dripping on the jetty with one wing screening her middle.
    "Delphinium Liliaceae?" asked Keyana, looking Del in the eye. Del nodded awkwardly. She was almost finished and willed herself to pee faster. "Althea messaged me about you. Asked if she could give you my info."
    "Did you um..." Del gulped.
    "I said yes. I wasn't expecting to meet you so soon." To Del's mild horror, Keyana approached her. "I'm Dr. Keyana Moss. Can we not touch palms?"
    Del squeaked, "Of course. I'm almost done, I promise."
    "Don't rush on my account," Keyana said, turning up the ramp right before she reached Del. She brought out what appeared to be an empty paper shopping bag.
    Finishing, Del hastily pulled up the front of her pants again, only for a last trickle of urine to escape down one leg. She pretended not to notice and turned around as Keyana handed Clay the bag.

____________________________________________

The power went out, so I spent the time it was out on my laptop battery, editing this chapter. On my day off I tried something new with my art, using Yarrow as the subject. I made some dots of different colors at full saturation, turned my tablet black and white, and drew and colored Yarrow.

BW Yarrow.jpg

CC Yarrow.jpg

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16 hours ago, Astraptera said:

The power went out, so I spent the time it was out on my laptop battery, editing this chapter. On my day off I tried something new with my art, using Yarrow as the subject. I made some dots of different colors at full saturation, turned my tablet black and white, and drew and colored Yarrow.

I really like how the colored version turned out

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