The Transmundane, Episode 9: In Bed without a Demon

His voice came out as a hideous croak, but on the third try he produced words: "Never going GHK to smoke ev--HLGK--er!" He would have said more, but his throat gave out and he noticed that she'd never pulled her shirt back down. Not that he could see as much now that she was lying on her side with her legs together, but it was still a hypnotic sight. I guess it's not all about breast size after all.

She laughed weakly. "Me either." Then she realized why he wasn't talking any more and yanked her shirt back into place, but not before he saw her skin turn pink from dainty toes all the way up the splendid length of leg, past graceful curve of hip and waist to the undersides of her round breasts. "If you're recovered enough to look, you're recovered enough to go clean up!"

He blushed, but forced himself to not look away from her. "If I'm too sick to look at you, I'm dead."

"Jeez, I call you my boyfriend once and it goes straight to your head." She didn't look at all displeased, though. "But I think we really should clean out your room; I have no idea what happens to a room that gets soaked in demon vapors in the spirit world, but I bet it's not good."

"Room? What about my GHGK body?" That was enough to get him onto his feet, although he had to lean on the wall and cough for a while once he was up. I wonder if-- Duh! The lights were on! "Fan," he croaked. "In laundry room."

"I'll get it. You stay here and practice breathing."

He didn't stay there, of course; he hobbled into the bathroom, got a towel for a mask, and went in to see what he could do to save himself.

The air in his room was even worse than before; the towel let him breath okay, but his eyes teared up the instant he opened the door. His sleeping form on the bed looked fine and seemed to still be breathing, although he had turned partway over and the covers had gotten dislodged in the fight. The loathsome vapors filling the room were a lot more of a worry, though. Anyway, it would only be fair.

The demon's corpse showed no signs of healing or rising from the dead: it just lay there on the bed looking both disgusting and pathetic. He couldn't stand to touch it, but the bedding that had been burned by the pipe and left to suck up the smoke was a complete loss, so he bundled it all up together and shoved it out the window.

"Your gift is much appreciated, Hero." The blue-haired boy kicked the wrappings off and looked down at the dead demon, which still seeped smoke from its wounds. "Much appreciated," he repeated.

Tetsu was revolted to see that the boy had a thumb-sized erection. Maybe he's just thinking about all the chicks he'll get with a demon head mounted on his wall. I hope. "Uh, don't mention it." Ever!

"Be assured I shall." His smile was just as unpleasant as the dead demon's, and his teeth seemed to be strips of copper folded over his gums. "If you ever have need, call upon Tgizlatsh." He bent to pick up the corpse, revealing the complex bit of machinery between his shoulderblades where the starburst of metal bug-legs met and where the glassy cable terminated. "Fare well, Hero." The cable tightened and vibrated, and as the wind gusted he rose slowly into the air and drifted over the back fence. The last Tetsu saw of him, he was bending his head to run a serpentine tongue over one dead breast in a crackle of sparks, and the tiny white dash of his member was twitching enthusiastically.


The door banged open. "What?!"

"Don't wanna know," he croaked. I don't want to know! He turned his back on the window, and saw Ashlyn, a T-shirt wrapped around her face, plugging the standing fan into an extension cord. The fan whirred to life on its highest setting, and a stiff breeze began shoving the smoke out past him. "Fan didn't used to be that strong."

"Don't change the subject. What were you going 'ewwww' at?"

He shuddered. "You really don't want to know."

"I don't think there's any such thing as TMI any more. How do we know what's important and what's not?"

"I threw the demon out the window. The kid-- well, the monster that looked like a kid took her and acted like I gave him the best present ever. He said I should call on him if I need help, and called me 'Hero' and then he flew away, or got lifted by his cable, or whatever. When he went behind the trees he was... licking the demon. And real happy. And I don't mean in a food way."

"Ewwwwwwwwwww!" He could see her expression of disgust even though the mask. "Not inviting him in was so much the right choice!"

"I told you."

"But I was still right. Even though it's gross beyond belief, knowing that you can call on a... whatever might be handy. I guess even knowing that whatsits like dead bodies might be useful if we have to bribe one. Eww."

"I've been saying the one that came in was a demon, but if she was, so was he, I'm pretty sure. If she was a demon at all." He flopped down on the bed. "I don't know what she was, just that she was creepy and gross and pissed me off, so I killed her."

Ashlyn sat beside him and took his hand. "She did try to rape you by holding me hostage, as you might recall."

"Yah, I know. And if she'd succeeded, I dunno how much use I'd be as a boyfriend. My mouth still hurts. But--"

Her voice was perfectly flat. "I don't have any problem with rapists dying."

"I don't either, but that doesn't mean I want to be the one who kills them. Probably I could have just beat the crap out of her and thrown her out the window. I know I could; I punched a hole right through her gut." He looked up into Ashlyn's grey eyes. "Maybe she had a good reason for what she did. Not enough to excuse rape, I don't think anything does, but maybe enough that she didn't deserve to die."

Ashlyn looked away. "Maybe. I probably shouldn't have brought the baseball bat into it."

He squeezed her hand. "That didn't seem to bother her much, really. She was made out of rubber, after all."

"I guess." Still looking at her lap, she went on. "I don't know what to tell you. I guess I have to agree that just being creepy and disgusting isn't a capital crime, or we'd have a lot fewer classmates, but you weren't the one on the business end of that flamethrower or whatever it was. I'm sorry you feel bad, but I'm not sorry you got rid of her."

Wow, she's being harsh. I thought girls were supposed to be less violent. Unless... "Um, Ashlyn? Did something... happen to you?" I'm already a murderer, what's one more?

"Not to me."

"Oh. Um..."

"I don't want to talk about it." Her tone was cold and hard, but he thought he could hear the congestion of tears in it.

"Okay, o--" Yah, snap back at her, that'll really help. Idiot. "It's okay." Feeling physically and emotionally awkward, he sat up and put his arms around her waist from behind, trying hard not to think about how nice her hair felt, cool and smooth against his chest. "I'm sorry I brought it up. Sometimes I don't know when to keep my curiosity to myself."

She folded her arms over his and leaned back against him (forcing some quick tensing of abs to keep from falling over), but her head was bowed and he could definitely hear sniffles in her voice. "It's not your fault. I was just going on about how there's no such thing as TMI. And I am sorry I'm not being very sympathetic; you must feel awful."

"That's the scary thing. I don't."

Her head came up a little. "Then why are you flogging yourself over it?"

"Because I know it's wrong to go around killing people for being creepy and disgusting. But... you know that feeling you get in you stomach when you've screwed up big, or think you've screwed up, or something? None of that. She threatened you, she hurt you, I killed her, no more problem. I wonder if it's because it's just a dream."

"Unless you have a dark past you're not telling me about, it must be. I know you aren't a psycho." She tightened her arms around his. "Or maybe people normally aren't bothered by killing monsters."

"She wasn't human, but she talked and thought-- maybe not very well, but I don't think any animals are smart enough to take hostages. She was a creepy and disgusting person, but definitely a person."

"You seem to be talking yourself into feeling bad."

That's what I get for having a smart girlfriend, I guess. "Yah, kinda. If I don't feel bad, what's to stop me from killing someone else? Someone creepy and disgusting but human, like Mikey, or just someone who pisses me off."

She was quiet for long enough that he started to get worried. Then, "I just can't see you going off like that on a real person. But then, I couldn't have seen myself hitting someone with a baseball bat just for groping you. I don't think it's just not feeling bad about killing things that's different here."

"Bummer. If I'm going to lose my 'civilized inhibitions', I can think of much more fun and less messy things I could have done." He shifted his arms up until they pressed against the softness of her breasts, through the negligible thickness of her shirt, and tried to pretend he wasn't getting that feeling in his stomach.

"Almost anything would have been more fun." She looked around the room. "And it would be hard to be messier without trying." She didn't do anything about his arms, though. "At least we got most of the smoke out. We should do something about the glass, though."

"The glass is only a problem if we get out of bed," he pointed out, and carefully cupped his hands over her breasts. Not that she couldn't know what I mean, where her butt is.

"Mmm... Tetsu..." She freed one hand to trail her nails along his thigh, sending half-ticklish shivers up his spine. "I guess it's true what they say about what happens after a fight. I thought it was only guys, though."

His fingertip brushed the firm bump of her nipple, and he felt it swell and harden more. Wow. I think she means what I think she means. Wow. He ran his finger in a circle around it, and was rewarded with a gasp and a shiver. His own reaction to her reaction was just as strong; he felt like he was going to burst out of his boxers.

She twisted around in his embrace, squashing the breast he had been neglecting against his chest, and tugged his towel-mask off with her teeth. Startled, he blinked at her; she turned her face to look at him sidelong and fluttered her lashes so campily he busted out laughing and she started giggling.

Then the faintest motion of her head let the light fall through the silver threads of her lashes into the depths of her eyes, bright and wide as sunlight behind a stormy sky, and he forgot to breathe. He'd never noticed the metallic silver rings around her pupils, or the outer borders of charcoal, or the interlaced radial streaks of those colors and a thousand other shades...

His head rottled painfully back and forth, because Ashlyn was shaking him violently by the shoulders. "Tetsu! TETSU!"

He grabbed her hands to stop her from shaking him. "What? I'm right here! Why are you shaking me?"

She flung her arms around his neck. "Thank G- thank goodness you're okay!"

"I'm fine!" I am fine, aren't I? There wasn't any sign he could feel that he was lying, so he asked, "What's the matter? What happened?"

She drew back enough that he could see the shine of tears in her beautiful eyes. "You zoned out completely! You were doing the gazing-deep-into-my-eyes thing and didn't stop. I thought you were joking, so I kept going, but you didn't react at all, so I waved my hand in front of your eyes and you didn't even blink, so I thought--" She forced her mouth closed and took a couple of deliberate breaths, but he'd stopped hearing her words when he realized that the body plastered against him was no longer covered in even thin cotton.

Any softening that had happened while he was zoned vanished in a hot surge. I must have really been out of it if this didn't happen before! he thought dizzily.

The way she was leaning against him didn't give her a feel for what was going on down below (though he could feel the heat of her skin even through his boxers), but it must have been obvious that he was reacting now because she squeaked and pushed him away, grabbing up the sheet that had been covering his body to cover herself.

He had his hand on her arm before his brain intervened. She wouldn't look that scared if I hadn't been way out. Blushing, he let go. "Sorry."

"You really don't remember anything, do you?"

"I don't even remember that there was anything to remember. I was looking into your eyes, and then you were shaking me." She looked less upset the more coherent English sentences he put together, so he went on. "How long was I out?"

"Only a minute or so." Her face grew pinker. "It didn't take long before I realized that if you weren't paying attention, there was something wrong with you."

"Figures. The best scenery I could possibly see in the entire spirit world, and I black out."

"You got an eyeful when Rubbermaid knocked me off the bed!"

"Well, yah, but that's not the same as you taking your clothes off for me!"

She turned completely red. "Anyway, since we don't know why you blacked out, we probably shouldn't try that again. I bet you don't even have protection here."

He let the change of subject slide. Even I can tell when the mood is that far gone. "Would we need it? This is a dream."

She shrugged, then grabbed at the sheet before it could escape. "Sex is about making babies. I wouldn't be surprised if sex in the spirit world always produced a baby if you didn't do anything about it."

"Uh. Maybe it's a good thing I blacked out."

"There are things we could do that wouldn't get me pregnant in any world, but now you're going to look over that way while I put my clothes back on. And stop pouting like that, it's way too cute."

"Tease." He wasn't that disappointed, though; he wasn't sure what it meant to black out in a dream, or astral projection, or whatever he was in, but it didn't seem like it could possibly be good.

Behind him, he heard the slide of cloth. "Okay, I'm decent."

"No, you're excellent," he protested. "Best girlfriend I've ever had!"

She bopped him on the shoulder. "Flatterer. I just got my clothes on." She looked around the room. "There's probably something more interesting we should be doing than cleaning up, but I'm not sure what it is."

He couldn't think of anything she hadn't already ruled out, so they spread his towel and the shirt she'd been using as a mask to protect their bare feet and started picking up the remnants of his window. The glass hadn't cut his feet when he'd come in, but no point in taking chances. Anyway, as Ashlyn pointed out, leaving the place a wreck couldn't be very good for the psychic environment.

Cleanup passed without any clear feeling of time, like in a dream, but when he finally dumped the last shards into the trash, it did seem later. He automatically looked at his clock-radio, and did a double-take. "10:18? That can't be right! It was after that when I went to bed, and if it was 10 in the morning, it'd be light out!"

She looked at him oddly. "That clock says 4:41. Oh, duh! Haven't you ever had those dreams where you keep waking up and looking at the clock to see if you have to get up, but because you're only dreaming you woke up, the clock says something different each time?"

"No, but that sounds really creepy."

"Mostly just worrisome. I only get them when I'm worried about waking up on time for something anyway. But I bet that's what's happening. Like reading a book in a dream never has the same words twice."

He hadn't known that either, but Ashlyn sure seemed to know what she was talking about. "Okay, let's try having someone tell us the time." He picked up the phone and dialed POP-CORN.

<-- 8: In Bed with a Demon Contents 10: A State of Frustration -->

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