7 - Many Waters

What? Oh. Snif. Oh, hehe. “Open your eyes, Owner.”

They’re full of salt, but I manage to free a hand and rub them enough that I can open them and take a last look at Lyra’s beautiful form and...

Words fail.

All possible symbols in all theoretically possible concept serialization schemes under all conceivable and inconceivable models of computation fail.

They should have sent a poet, but all the poet would say is that they should have sent a god.

Lyra’s there, beautiful as ever, smiling with tears in her eyes a joyful smile that will break into laughter at any moment, but framing her head is...heaven. It has to be.

We’re floating in an ocean.

We’re inside the Starry Night.

We’re in the depths of space.

I don’t know how else to explain it. There’s water, massive waves that gently lift and drop us, size tempered by the corresponding slowness of motion, shining a pale purple around us, an endless ocean that gives no regard to gravity or horizon, swooping and curling with the motion of the sky in the Van Gogh painting, waves piled recursively on waves until they’re the size of moons, planets, galaxies, making great valleys, endless mountains aligned on every possible axis, tendrils of water curling away like the arms of spiral galaxies to join other masses of the staggering, direction-less sea or find their way curling into space.

Above us, so close we should be on fire from the radiation, turns a massive gas giant planet, streaks of purple-and-green clouds defining an axis of rotation almost parallel to the local horizon. A tendril of water spirals up and around it from the main mass of sea, and behind it the ocean continues, a wall of water light-hours, light-years across curving up and around, curling and subdividing into a fractal of peaks, tendrils, and valleys, marked with waves I can’t even conceive the scale of but to see that stars shine between the planet and the backdrop of ocean. One hovers at the planet’s horizon, near enough to be a small sun for us, its light blending with the planet’s purple glow to give our part of the sea its color, making a blinding jewel set into the planet’s silhouette. Elsewhere the sea shines brilliant cobalt blue, or darkly luminescent, or glowing golden in the light of the galaxies that wind in and out of the water.

Beyond the sea, behind the planet and everywhere else that isn’t visibly water, the sky is an impossible blast of stars and galaxies and nebulae, so densely packed and varied it’s amazing they’re even discernible as distinct points of light.

On earth, they wouldn’t be - we’re breathing warm air that is the fulfillment of every restless, longing summer night ever lived - but everywhere I look everything has the diamond-sharp definition of hard vacuum.

I’m not one to weep at beauty, but the salty drop that rolls into my open mouth isn’t seawater.

There’s no land in sight, but I don’t care. I’d trade eternities to drown in this.

When my eyes finally turn back to Lyra’s shining face, she wipes a tear and speaks in a tremulous voice.

“I love you too. If we’d died, it would have still been worth it, yeah.”

Kiss me.

Slowly, tenderly, I reach for her lips with mine, savoring the softness and the sweetness. I drink of her, and at length I warm enough that she can drink of me as well.

How long have we been kissing? I don’t care. Let’s make out here, forever.

We made it.

We made it.

We made it.

Snif.

I didn’t think it’d be so easy to cry and kiss at the same but I’m not complaining. Hey, don’t stop, you were just starting to feed me...OMIGOD AWW HEHE quit kissing away my tears it’s making me cry even harder.

Oh Owner, you’re crying just as hard. I wonder how human tears are? Do they count as nectar?

Oh. Whoah. Sniffle. It’s like I can taste how you feel. Is this what drinking my nectar is like for you?

They say the material plane is grey, but I had no idea, not really. You’ve never seen anything beautiful before, have you?

Except me. Oh. You look at me this way. 

Oh my god.

C’mon, kiss me more. If I follow your mouth with mine will you get it?

You will...yeah. Feel me. Feel how I rub up against you, all soft and warm. Feel my breasts all squished up against your big strong chest? Can you tell how safe I feel in your arms?

You can, and you like it. Good, I need you. Fill me.

Her tears taste sweet and floral like the rest of her, but somehow different in tone. I can’t shake the idea that I’m eating a different part of the same dessert.

We kiss for what could be fifteen seconds or thirty years. By nectar or relief or Lyra’s warm, naked body wrapped around mine without a single Planck-volume of space between us--my shorts have gone, stripped away I suppose by the speed of her wing-assisted dive--I start to feel a lot better, adrenaline draining away to leave only the feeling of her nectar unraveling tight muscles and bruises.

Even in this moment there’s a hunger in her touch, a need that breaks my heart even as I fulfill it. It’s beautiful and terrible and perfect.

Despite the strength we grant each other making out, we’re flagging from treading water, easy as it is in this strange, buoyant sea, and I finally have to break the kiss to breathe harder, and Lyra lets out another of her musical whoops the second I do.

“We made it. We made it! WOO! We’re safe. Wanna play, Owner? I bet there’s a raft hanging around.”

Play, or sleep for a couple billion years. Is there a raft? Where are we?

She kind of wiggles in my embrace, unwrapping from me, but after all this I can’t let her go.

“It’s okay, Owner, I just wanna stick my head in the water and see where we are.”

Shame we don’t have a leash, but then what are tails for?

She wraps her tail around my wrist, and taking hold of it in my hand allows me to let go of her body, and she dives, nimble as a fish, tail going vaguely taught after a second, pulling this way and that.

Now, from down here can I see any raft anchors? Sweet, there’s one, not even a dozen cubits away. Talk about your precision landings.

I can juuuust see the lights down there. Oh home, it's good to see you--ooh, what a cool ferry! The whole hex-forcefield thing is fucking metal, I’ve got to say. I wonder if--okay okay Owner is waiting, self.

She stays down worryingly long, and I’m about to haul her back up when she surfaces.

“This way, c’mon, we can sit and catch our breath.”

She’s been underwater for a solid two or three minutes, but she’s not even winded, and now her tail is tugging me powerfully through the water toward a low black shape I can only see now and then among the waves. As we approach, it seems that we’re swimming into a circle of calm, as if there’s some force that compresses the waves smaller and smaller until they’re the small but tumultuous waves of a large lake on a windy day.

YUS HERE WE GO omifuck Rocks under my ass this is so comforting.

Rocks, and the Bones. Yeah. So good to be safe.

It’s not far, and before I know it she’s leapt out of the water onto a raft made of the same glossy black stone Cleavage’s blade is--was, it never did return from wherever it flew off to--cut from. I climb up after her, gripping onto a small rounded ledge that circles the edge, carved at intervals with faces or gargoyle-ish things I can’t make out in the waves. To my surprise, the apparent stone turns out to be soft and elastic, a texture somewhere between 'gym mat' and 'mattress', perhaps explaining how it rises and falls gently with what’s left of the waves as if floating.

On top, the raft is flat-topped and softer, maybe twenty feet square and apparently seamless, its shiny surface inlaid with a pair of concentric pentagrams in silver--the smaller one inverse to the larger, its points touching the corners of the pentagon at the center of the large star--each ringed by a double-circle filled with the same script as Lyra used during the ritual we did.

Lyra sits on the edge of the raft, and I sit beside her, arm around her shoulders, and in response she folds a wing around me, so with my free hand I stroke the tip where it settles by my side, the skin strangely soft under my fingers. Smooth, powerful muscles move under the surface as she leans into the attention.

“You have one mighty lung capacity, by the way.”

It’s so, so easy to forget how much you have to learn, especially when you pull off stuff like what you did with that car. The Capricorns in the Library are going to kill me, all the books I’m going to make them find and check out for us.

“It feels good and gasping and stuff like...it’s almost like cumming, sometimes you just have to, but I don’t need air to survive. Just lust.”

That’s Power Perversion Potential if I’ve ever heard of it.”

Grin. I knew this was in you somewhere. Keep it up.

“You’re learning.”

There’s so much to talk about. So much to do. Where do we even start? I wish you’d decide. Maybe you will if I just snuggle on your shoulder and let you get used to the view for a while.

You could sit looking at this for lifetimes, and we do. Slowly, the star sinks behind the planet, lengthening our shadows as the light dims.

No way. Did we get here just as the Eye is eclipsing Omega? Talk about your timing! It hasn’t been night here my whole life, and I get to sit here and watch my very first starset with you. It’s enough to make you think there’s such a thing as fate.

I hope watching the Eye open is as epic as they say. Hard to imagine it not being.

“How did we get here? Are we dead? This looks like Heaven.”

If heaven includes a swimming raft designed by Slayer’s album cover artist. But then, stranger things have happened tonight.

"I dove into the depths of the True Sea and into the Absolute Shadows--um, that was the really dark part where it felt like we turned upside down--brought us here which is exactly where we want to be in Rl'yeh Sade."

"Absolute Shadows? Didn't we dive in the Gulf of Mexico?"

“All oceans are the True Sea, Owner. Then down in the dark all you have to do is stop thinking about what's real and swim for the story you wish was true and the Absolute Shadows can let you in to Rl'yeh Sade and send you to the right part of it.”

"Aren't we not in anything?"

"The raft is part of Rl'yeh Sade, so it's a place in Rl'yeh Sade the Absolute Shadows could bring us. That's how I knew there'd be one."

I want to go on inquiring, but Lyra’s quiet, thoughtful seeming. I can’t really blame her, for myself I’m having an odd mental image of this endless crowd of questions, worries, hopes, and fears packing my head but all silent, just gawking at the view.

Okay. One last question for now.

"So this is the True Sea, too?"

Nod nod "Uhuh! It's the True Sea expressed as an ocean with Rl'yeh Sade and lots of other secret stuff too probably under it."

What, you asked me something important, oops...

“No, we’re not dead. Welcome home, Owner.”

What else could it possibly be called? It’s the fulfillment of oceans. It’s like every time you’ve ever looked out at the horizon line, or stared into the void between the stars on a cloudless night and wondered what’s out there is that electric moment of anticipation before a kiss, and this is the kiss and it’s a succubus kiss, inhuman and otherworldly and full of strange energy and heartbreakingly, impossibly beautiful and comforting.

“This is your home?”

“Ours, now. Well, home is downstairs. But I thought you’d wanna see this first and I knew you wouldn't know to do it so I wished for it while we were swimming through the Absolute Shadows.”

Downstairs? Heh. Not from hell, indeed.

“Thank you. This is amazing. I...this is so beautiful I can’t think.”

If I hadn’t just seen an angel I’d think she was one for real.

You’re not kidding, are you? Your energy tastes almost drunk or something. I know humans like the Sea, but damn.

Nuzzle on your shoulder, look up.

“Look, the Eye is opening!”

We’ve been sitting, Lyra’s head on my shoulder, curve of her horn fitting perfectly around me so that what rests on me is her silky hair and soft flesh, her wing soft and comforting like a blanket, for who can say how long? Does time even work right here? Heaven is eternity, maybe this is what that feels like...it’s not important. 

Nothing is important but Lyra’s curves under my arm that’s around her and the view I’m lost in.

Her voice startles me back from the void.

“The Eye?”

She raises her hand and points to the planet that dominates the sky.

“The Eye of Sade. Watch.”

Slowly, the last of the sun - the star - sinks behind the planet’s arm, and the deep dark of interstellar night washes over us, Lyra and the waves and my hand in front of my face becoming starlit silhouettes. Other parts of the Sea (it’s somehow impossible to think of this place without capital letters) stay lit, but they’re so far away - it could be light-years, if some of those points of light are normal stars - they don’t illuminate us any more than do the riot of stars in the void.

In the moment of darkness, I turn her face to mine and kiss her, slow and deep and long.

We’re going to miss it but I’ll miss just about anything for a kiss like this. Wonder if I can talk and kiss at the same time?

“Look...mmf...look at the. Mmmm...”

Well I can’t if you keep messing with my tongue like that! Hehe, tickles, this is fun...

It takes me a second to figure out that she’s trying to talk, and once I do there’s a certain irresistibility to getting in the way of her attempts to form words, especially effective because she smiles or giggles every time I mess her up. Eventually she gets enough of the sentence out that I notice a change in the starlight and break the kiss to look up.

“Look.”

There’s an arc of light, just a sliver, in the planet’s atmosphere, the star’s light refracting through the atmosphere, focused by some odd property of the green-and-purple clouds to make an arc like a winking eye.

“That’s amazing.”

“It’s just getting started.”

The arc should fade as the sun sets, but instead it grows, spreading over long minutes to encircle half the planet’s disk. Is this possible? Could you do it even with godlike planetary engineering, carefully arranging layers of gas with different refractive indices to make a cosmic-scale Fresnel lens? Even then, through a whole planet, and a gas giant at that? You’d need airborne optical fibre or something and the star would have to be a supernova...

It doesn’t matter if it’s possible. It’s right there in front of me.

The arc reaches halfway around the planet, widening and brightening, outlining Lyra’s form in dim purple-and-green that don’t quite meld together, and then the Eye winks open, concentric rings of brilliant light the cold white color of the star but fuzzed with purple and green refractive fringes rushing into existence across the face of the planet in less than a second, forming a perfect negative image of an eye with a blazing white pupil and brilliant purple-and-green iris. At the last moment of the Eye’s opening, a fine ring of dust or ice around the planet catches the light, angled into a lopsided ellipse so that the Eye is laughing, or lustful, or pleased, or all three, black cornea flecked with stars and galaxies.

It’s still night, but the reflection of the eye in the waves makes the sea luminous, giving the waves and foam where it occurs beautiful glowing edges, an effect that slams into existence all around us when the eye opens but then goes rushing across the distant Sea like an expanding shockwave.

...it takes me a moment to realize that those places must be light-seconds away and I’m watching the opening Eye’s light expand through space so far away I can see its progress. If we’re in nighttime-gloaming under this light, how is there enough of it for me to see it reflected from light-seconds away?

It doesn’t matter if it’s possible. It’s right there in front of me.

It’s funny how things fall together sometimes, enough to make me believe some divine providence brought me here if that weren’t counter to everything I’ve thought providence was supposed to push you toward. How many lonely nights have I spent thinking it’s impossible that a girl would ever want someone like me? That I am in some vague way monstrous and unlovable? I’ve never understood how or why, but all my life it’s been burned into the walls of my soul in letters of fire a light-year high.

And yet, here I am in this impossible place, in this impossible moment, with this impossible girl, impossibly in love.

Deeper magic, as they say, from before the dawn of time. Maybe I am a monster, but so is she. It’s time I really broke the rules.

This...I’m glad I got to see this with you. Maybe it’s just the obsidian raft but it feels like sitting here watching this with you is washing my soul. Sade knows it could use a bath after all that time on Earth.

Hey, where are you going? Oh, we’re getting up, okay. Take your hand and be pulled up? Hell yes.

Hehe! Yeah, I’m lighter than I look, huh? Bouncier, too, just you wait...

I kind of feel bad giggling at you almost falling on your ass like that but the look on your face when you learn something new about me is so cute and happy I can’t help it.

“You’re not even slightly human, are you?”

“Not even a little.”

And you love it. Wait’ll you find out why...

“Show me yourself, and take off the hair-things. You’re beautiful and I want to see you. Just you. As you really are.”

That’s...aww. Why does that make me feel all weepy?

"Yes Owner."

The light of the Eye is softer than that of the star we came here under, but it’s enough to get a good look.

Your breath is so hot right now I can feel it through my hair as you wrap me up and hug me. I smell pretty good, huh?

The membrane of her right wing is in tatters from the sandblasting of the breaking car window, but it’s already started knitting back together, and I can see new skin at the edges of the tears, sealing them and filling back in. Her whole right shoulder must have been just as bad, but it’s fine now, regenerated as we made out. She doesn’t favor it as she moves--has it already healed enough not to hurt?

You’re letting go. So you can see, I’m guessing. Well, then let’s stand in the middle of the center pentagram and do this with some proper drama.

Middle of a pentagram. I can’t wait for you to learn how these work.

‘Not even slightly human.’ You said it like you were gonna jump me right there. Well, alright, fangs out, come on. Make my barb soft, it’s sexier that way...

It’s weird, if I’m confident about anything it should be this stuff, I mean I’m as hot as any other succubus but especially with you I can’t lose, but the idea of letting you see my fangs and ears and toes and stuff makes me feel like the new humans look taking off their clothes in the middle of a dungeon for the first time. Even my wings feel all big and awkward and I’ve been proud of them since day one, I mean how many Sade get legit bat wings and are still this cute? So metal. And yet.

Please love me.

Here’s the circle. Now or never. Banzai...

It’s shocking to realize that this is my first really good look at her since we met, the first real moment we haven’t been running or fighting or almost fucking or collapsing into each other.

Stand up straight. Back arched. Wings spread. Will you do the heart thing for me again, tail? Good.

Now that I look her legs are as lovely the perfect thighs I’ve been (having been unable to really get my eyes away  from her cunt when not staring determinedly into her eyes except to get lost in her cleavage) enjoying all evening, shapely and soft. Like the rest of her body, there’s a sort of liquid power in them, like she’s a wave barely contained by her need, ready to break over me wetly if made to come hard enough.

In demon-girl form she has cute human-looking feet, toenails painted or naturally colored to match the purple-black shading she has anywhere a human would be pink. Seeing me looking, she stretches her toes, revealing webbing like a sea-creature in between them.

Damn, we must have sat there a while, my hair is almost dry. Is enough of it still in twintails to pull off a proper sexy-librarian shaking-out? Yes, amazingly. Maybe theses ties really are blessed.

Motion gravity-assisted by curves and bare breasts draws my eyes upward, past soft, broad hips with a pronounced, hungry-looking cunt between them, to her trim waist disappearing behind the curves of her breasts with their huge, hard nipples gleaming in the Eye-light to her face to watch her untie the little leather thongs that hold her hair in place and shake it out, putting her whole body into the action almost like a dance move so that her hips sway and breasts bounce with the action, and another of those unbidden thoughts tells me I’ve resolved to have her do that again while straddling me and impaled. At the end of the motion, she turns her head aside, eyes closing, expression submissive, and raises a small, soft hand, nails the same paint or color as her toes, to pull back her silky metallic hair and hook it around her horn, revealing a long, pointed ear more animal than human. The one she turns to me has a circular notch taken out of it halfway up, but it looks like an old wound (but shouldn’t it regenerate?).

Drop the ties by my side and put my hands out.

Her tail, almost looking like it has a mind of its own, wraps shyly around her body, curving over a hip and settling the barb on her breasts. It’s changed, soft and fleshy instead of the edge of razor-sharp horn or bone she’s had all evening.

Is there even a note of shyness in her affect as she stands there, arms akimbo, wings spread, legs just a bit apart, showing herself?

Now, smile and bare those fangs...

Something in the way she looks aside almost expectantly stirs something in a part of myself I don’t know well, and then it passes as she opens her eyes to peek at me and seeing my expression grins a grin with canines lengthened into small, stubby fangs curving over her lower teeth and matched by a bottom set that curve up.

She’s a monster, with fangs and wings and a tail and horns, hopeful and shy and daring me to love her. She’s perfectly, sublimely, absolutely beautiful.

I take a step forward and, lifting her tail from her breasts, take the soft barb in my hands, stroking and exploring it. In this state it’s soft, the skin tender like the protected place where thigh meets cunt. She keeps her head turned aside, but her eyes narrow in pleasure at my touch and when I kiss the tip softly she coos, surprised.

Oooooh...no way....

So tails are sexual. That’s rather fun.

It’s not that whatever hard-wired map of hotness that exists deep in my animal brain includes tails as such, but the way she coos and gasps as I play with it, lips parting with the pleasure of my stroking fingers clutches at my cock and heart the way that making out or feeling her up does, drawing me onward. It’s exhilarating, being able to stand a few inches apart, drinking in the sight of her naked body, pussy glistening visibly and nipples standing out in the starlight, and yet inflict this kind of pleasure on her as if I had my head between her legs.

Ooh...holy fuck, am I about to cum from having my tail played with? I didn’t know I could do thaaat....oh please be careful Owner that’s sensitiiiiive!

Even better is watching her struggle with herself to keep the pose she’s struck for me as I play, and trying to imagine what her comment about breathing for fun must mean for how she feels now lends an extra fire to the enjoyment of the sound of her ragged breaths and the way her breasts heave as I tease.

It’s obvious that the points are the sensitive part. How will she react if I actually kiss one?

“Nnnnn...” And also WHOAH. But getting any words that coherent out of my mouth way isn’t going to happen right now.

Ooooh...Oh my....That night you read the cunnilingus HOWTO, you committed every byte of that thing to memory, didn’t you? I totally thought we were just having a fun wank session! Teach me not to underestimate you when you’re horny.

Yeah, make the little circles, get the rhythm...more...oooh...OHGOD

Her orgasm seems to surprise her as much as it does me, her lips moving with her breath as if she’s trying to say something and then bursting open to let out a surprised moan wreathed with the stringed-instrument harmonics of her voice at its limit. She sways on her feet as she comes, trembling in response to my tongue and hands on her tail, and then falls against me and I let her tail fall from my hands to catch her and she hangs limply in my arms, looking up at me with dazed, happy, kiss-me eyes.

Whoo, that was...different. Not like from my clit, but deeeefinitely not bad. Holy fuck if my pussy isn’t yelling for all the touching it didn’t get while you were busy with my tail, though. PLEASE FUCK ME!

Damn right you’re getting kissed. When our lips meet her mouth is full of nectar I drink hungrily before we can actually start making out, warm and lovely as always, the kiss burning with the fire of Lyra’s drinking me in return. Her stubby fangs trail softly on my tongue as I probe her mouth, bringing the strange inhuman spice of her nature into her mouth where I can trace its curves with the tip of my tongue.

Mmmmffffff kiss....

“Did you just...”

She nods before I can finish the question.

Good girl, more kissing for you.

Mmmm...

Dammit hurry up and fuck me already, I’m going to implode if I don’t feel you inside me soon! At least you’ve got the wits to feel me up real good with those big strong hands of yours. My butt is so tiny in your hand you’ve almost got your fingers in my pussy, maybe if I just twist a little this way...uhuh...

I’ve been thinking it since the sunset started to be seriously impossible, but when my fingers make contact with the slick wetness that’s run down the inside of her thighs the die is cast.

Wait, don’t set me on my feet, I can’t stand up yet...fine, fine, I can stand, I just wanted to be a puddle a little longer.

Think I’m making a puddle, though. What did you do to me?

Oh. Ooh that’s a toy of a different color. Yes, sheath goes over your head and gets set outside the circle. Please, Owner...

Odd to think I’ve already sucked it and yet this is my first decent look--through my own eyes--at your cock. Still no sign of that curve you obsess about when you wank. Looks hell of bigger from this angle, too--this is going to be interesting after a couple of decans, even without nectar you’re kinda hung.

Gently, I reach for her.

....fuck. I don’t want to do this all tender and vanilla, not something this meaningful, and neither do you. Not really. Owner.

But you think you do. It makes me so mad, what they did to you! I'll get you back. I will.

Without courage, true love waits, as they say. Let's push you off the cliff. Owner.

Banzai!

When I reach for her hand to lead us to the ground, she takes mine and places it over her heart, nestled into her cleavage. With the softness of her breasts to distract me, it takes a second for the weirdness to register, and even then I have to shift my hand around a bit to be sure, to make sure I’m not just missing something.

Her breasts heave with her breath, soft and warm around my hand, and her body thrums with life, but:

“You have no heart.”