"You're shitting me."

"No. No, I'm not. I swear to god," Militia said with her hand held up like she was an Eagle Scout. From behind her second glass of bubbly something or other. A vintage that cost more than most people's monthly salary with every glass. Mine as well for that matter, before I'd started working at that cafe and punching Nazis and...and now my head hurt just thinking about it. Moving on. "C-excuse me, Armsmaster wasn't always a total stick in the mud, you know? Everyone was young at some point."

"Well, yeah. I get that. I'm not that out of touch. But…" I popped the cork back into my bottle of brandy as I leaned forward, the paint-thinner already a good part of the way to being done as I leaned forward in my seat. "You're telling me that Armsmaster, the face of justice and the world's most boring man, used to party? On school nights?" I wagged a finger playfully. "You're really stretching my suspension of disbelief here, Milly."

"He didn't use to party. He used to get totally wasted. Those are two different things."

"Okay. Now I know you're fucking with me."

The corners of her eyes crinkled slightly more, an act that I hadn't thought was possible with how far they'd already gone. Someone was having fun...and thank the lord that our talk about how she hadn't been talking to me for the last month or so had gone as well as it had. I wouldn't have been at all surprised if she'd have just walked out after getting my contact info. That she was spending the time to actually talk to me instead, over a couple of drinks, was freaking wonderful. "If that's how you want to take it, then sure." She then shook her head. "What has the world come to when a hero of my caliber has their word doubted at every turn?"

"Well, maybe, if you'd wanted to be believed, you shouldn't have started off with MP being a straight-A student who ditched Prom to go to the library."

"The local library had an extensive collection of what Aleph would call 'golden-age' comics. The good grades just got her the slack she needed from Legend to indulge in her habit." She sighed, most likely remembering better days. "She took more than a little inspiration from this one hero named 'Squirrel Girl', that I remember. Called her an inspiration."

"That...huh." I probed one of my tusks with my tongue while I thought that over...and wasn't SG a 90's thing? Fuck if I knew. It wasn't like Wikipedia was a thing around here. "Really?" I popped the cork off my brandy again, finding that I wasn't nearly as done with it as I'd thought. "That explains a lot."

Militia gingerly lifted her bandana to take another sip. Maybe another two before she let it fall and she gave me a questioning tilt of the head. "You read comics?"

In the middle of taking a swig of brandy, I snorted. Nearly wiped my mouth with my sleeve before I remembered that the suit I was wearing was worth more than both our drinks combined and reached for a napkin instead. MM's laughter, light and airy, brought a (hopefully) invisible blush up to my cheeks. "You could say that, yes. I've got a kind of...passing interest?"

I wasn't lying either. There'd been a period of time where I'd looked up the Hulk for tips on dealing with my new 'condition'...not that it helped much or anything. Whatever existed was all pre-eighties stuff, about as deep and meaningful as a puddle that had been left out in the sun. Still though. It had been something to do while I wasn't working and while Lisa had been away.

I was easily amused. Thank god for that. Seriously, I'd have probably gone insane otherwise.

"The Hulk, right?" She laughed again, this time at my incredulous stare. "Don't act so surprised. I did say that Mouse liked her comics, right? She isn't exactly the type to stay quiet about her interests... And I'm not blind. I can see how he might interest someone in your predicament and with your..." She gave me a slow look from top to bottom that actually made me feel kind of uncomfortable. In a good way. Good, bad way. Baddish. Shit. "Stature."

Damn it, Lisa. I have no idea why I still listen to you. Really, why? I already know you think this is hilarious. 'Just tell her what happened' and 'she'll totally understand' and 'she'll be totally professional' my gigantic, green, tattooed ass...and boy, was asking Contessa what that one was about going to be a fun time.

I was just kind of low-key hoping I wouldn't get to experience how it felt like to wake up dead for the sake of a plan I had no hope of understanding at this point, actually. And, yes, I knew that that was long-winded and didn't make sense. The waking up dead thing, not the plan thing. The other, other thing is though, we were talking about Contessa here. Fuck your sense and logic. If she really wanted me to wake up dead she'd find a way…and it would probably really fucking hurt.

Also, I really needed to stop doing this 'introspection' thing while I was in the middle of a conversation. Twas rude and I, sometimes, missed things that I really shouldn't have while I was lost in my own head.

Things like how Militia had finished half of her bottle of champagne and was in the process of pulling her shirt up. You know. Just the little things that made my day to day a lot more difficult than it should have been... I'd just come here so that I could help lay down ties with the PRT before the inevitable hostilities between us started. You know. Civilly. That one thing that didn't involve people fighting each other to the death on the streets when they didn't have a common enemy...but I couldn't do that without someone getting naked, could I?

All I could do was look away, say something, and hope that she came back to her senses before things got weird. Sure, Missy had left like an hour ago to go 'reconnoiter' after I'd given her a short piggyback ride, but that didn't mean we could just do what we wanted. I didn't want to add any more mental scars to the collection she already had if she came back and, I'm pretty sure, seeing the two of us in mid-coitus would be something special.

"Hey, hey, heyllo." I hunched my shoulders and quickly averted my eyes just as her shirt made it over the first row of what had, from what I'd seen, looked like some damn impressive musculature. Like, fuck. Mine weren't bad or anything but I kind of, you know, cheated. Also, these were on a woman. It just didn't quite compare. "I know you might have had a little much to drink but, maybe, instead of doing whatever you're thinking of doing, you should just, you know, not-"

"Shush. I'm looking for an opinion here. Now, I know I'm not exactly as tall as SheHulk...I think. That's never come up," Militia started in what was, to me, an extremely odd tangent that wasn't quite meshing with her actions right then. Whether I'd missed something or she was so drunk that that, somehow, made sense to her… Man. I said I had no idea a lot, didn't I? "But I think I've got the body to make up for it… What do you think? Am I exaggerating?"

I couldn't help it. I whimpered. Internally. In the deepest, darkest parts of me where I tried to put all the reactions I had that might tear at the ragged remnants of my tattered and seldom used machismo. That just wasn't fair...she just wasn't fair...and I wasn't getting out of this without a bottle upside the head or yet another case of nudity in a place that wasn't mine, was I?

Knowing my luck, it would be both at once. God damn it, Lisa.


This wasn't what Hannah had been expecting today. None of it was. That went without saying, but she said it anyway.

To hear that she hadn't been talking to the genuine article that was Moss, the highlight of her day, had been a blow. She wouldn't deny it. She might not have been Colin, the king of overworking and social avoidance, but her personal life was...lacking. A consequence of her just being too busy to do more than shoot the shit around the water cooler or in the cafeteria during daylight hours while her nights were, to be clear, not exactly action packed.

Crime slept, even if she didn't. Criminals, contrary to the thoughts of many (even her, sometimes, after seeing some of the things they did on the daily.), were human too. They had jobs. They needed sleep. They weren't always available to join in on the next push into so-and-so's territory or to gather protection money. That was a fact of life that not many people considered when they said she was 'lucky' to have so much time to herself.

While everyone was asleep, she was up and about. Alone or as good as, often with a book in her hand, contemplating thoughts, or just staring at the ceiling until she pulled out some of the paperwork that Colin had passed onto her; all part of being his Second.

Moss had become a sort of...touchstone, after their first meeting. Something to keep her grounded, a steamy penpal. Someone to talk to, passing messages back and forth like she was one of her Wards that had just found a crush. Like Dean, before whatever it was that had caused him to break up with his girlfriend...and it had been for much the same reasons if she was honest with herself.

She wanted somebody. She wanted somebody to want her. Simple. Human...and she'd found what she'd been looking for every time she talked to 'Moss'. Just two consenting adults, tossing banter and innuendo back and forth, sometimes even into her off hours. It had been...nice...while it had lasted. Although, she was coming to find that actually talking to him made up for that loss.

Whoever this impersonator was, they'd gone to great lengths to keep their 'voice' as close to the real thing's as possible. His opinions. His likes. His dislikes. His penchant for using the word 'anyway' when he wandered off into a somewhat related tangent...or his strangely smooth diction, translated into stark reality.

… Strange for someone that had just regained the power of speech, she meant. Not that it was strange or… That didn't matter. What did was that she'd been pleasantly surprised to find that her loss hadn't lasted past the end of their negotiations, if that.

It had been like picking up an old conversation. One that you knew nearly by heart...and the fact that, when Missy hadn't been able to hold back her request for a piggyback ride, he'd actually given it to her? That had broken the ice between them faster than that one iceberg had broken the Titanic.

And, yes. She understood the irony of that statement.

The twist he'd added near the end, with Missy cheering and hollering the entire time, had been one of the funniest things that Hannah had ever seen. Not because he'd started spinning in an attempt to make Missy dizzy or anything, no. What had been funny was that he'd failed, miserably, and he'd been forced to bow his head and take a knee in an attempt to not be ill while Missy had laughed at him.

The girl broke space over her knee on a daily basis. Some spinning wasn't going to make her dizzy, no matter from how high up it was done… She was going to have to talk to Missy about using your powers, without permission, on someone that had just been trying to fulfill a request of yours though. Even if he'd brushed it off with some laughter of his own after standing, along with an easy acknowledgment of his defeat, it had been rude and, most likely, a lot worse than he would admit.

People could barely handle three dimensions in a, mostly, rational world. Pushing someone over those three dimensions while they were already dizzy and spinning on their heels was just cruel… Also, these Penthouse floors were surprisingly sturdy, considering what Moss had put them through in that short time he'd been stomping around with Missy on his back. Too sturdy.

Another Shaker power, perhaps? An extension of the one that kept his victims alive to keep inanimate objects in one piece? Something to consider...when she wasn't a push away from yelling at him to just fuck her already!

… She couldn't say that though. Dear Lord, no. She had her pride, her dignity. She had to be subtle, no matter how long it had been since the last time she'd slept with someone (five years or so? Longer?), she could control herself. Had to. She could tease and prod and suggest, yes. Maybe push it a little with the innuendo and flirting...but she couldn't just demand that he take her right this second, right up against the glass sliding door for everyone to see.

She had her pride, her dignity and…and damn them both to hell for existing. Also, Glenn might kill her. Actually kill her if she, somehow, scared off the greatest surprise PR hit of the decade. A secondary consideration, yes, but a serious one with all the memos and almost threats he'd been dropping on Emily's desk...and here she went to make a fool of herself.

Then again, maybe not. It might work. She wouldn't know if it would work until she tried it...and who dares, wins... Right?

"I think there's a lot that can be said about hard work. Pushing yourself to your limits," she said conversationally as she ran her left hand, her ring finger, slowly from one side of her waist to the other. Right through the thin line between bumps as she flexed them into perfectly obvious visibility. "Self-improvement for the sake of it, just because you can."

"Uh-huh…" He replied faintly, bringing that smile right back up onto her lips as he did.

"My job requires a certain level of fitness in order for me to be effective. Something just above the local SWAT teams in terms of intensity at the least. Of course, as one of the first Wards..." A finger flick against her stomach caused a dull thud to sound and Moss to flinch. "I guess you could say that I knew the importance of a healthy body better than most...or maybe I'm just saying things?" She looked up just in time to see Moss's eyes nervously flicker away from her body. A light sheen of sweat had built up on his forehead while she'd been away and the clean-cut lines of his short, black hair just made it stand out all the more. "What do you think?"

"I...Uh… I think… I'm definitely thinking of something, yeah."

She had him tongue-tied and thinking of sports. That was better than almost any compliment he could have given her...almost. But now, time for the clincher.

"Want to touch?"

As his back went ramrod straight, a small part of her brain realized that she might have been just a bit too drunk. Tipsy, maybe, as she began to feel something she hadn't felt in a long time.

Fear. The pain of rejection. She'd survive, yes. Her attraction to him didn't define her...but going back to feeling like she'd had at the start wasn't something that she was looking forward to. Disappointment was never fun...and she swore that the impending doom was burning away some of the buzz.

Some people didn't like muscles. Some people didn't enjoy scarring, which she most definitely had...but oh well. If he didn't like it, he didn't like it. She couldn't do anything about it.

"... Huh." Moss asked slowly as he brushed a hand over his head, the bristles on it being moved making her hair stand on end. Him standing up, just before he started walking towards her just made that even worse. "Are you sure about this?"

And just like that. The fear evaporated.

"Very," She said, trying to keep her voice level as she looked up at him through lowered eyelids, the bandana over her mouth taking away more than a few of her options in expressing her interest...that she could think of. It had been a while. "Seeing is nice and all but, if you really want to understand something…"

She held her breath, whatever she'd been about to say completely lost as he knelt in front of her. Scanned her, every inch of the visible flesh on her face in a way that had her olive cheeks lighting up with a blush. Her heart stuttering in her chest at the surprising amount of intimacy that came with it as he, gently, ran a warm thumb over her side.

"You have to touch it," He finished for her with a low rumble. Like rolling thunder, the feeling of pure bass shaking you down to your bones. Peaches, the minor bite of alcohol on his breath a soft and inconsequential underlay to his blind exploration of her body, now as stiff and tense as whipcord while his eyes never left hers. "You have to take the time to know it. Like this." He brushed one of her scars, just under her arm, and he stopped. "Tell me about this one."

… Was he trying to kill her? It felt like it, with how fast her heart beat now. Like a rabbit's, scared out of it's wits.

"That one is sort of recent..." She answered, proud of how solid her voice was as he traced the mostly healed wound. Safe to touch, if still a little red. If she hadn't known any better, she'd have assumed that she wasn't internally screaming. "Got it just before you showed up."

"It's obvious," He said, only to pause and pull back when she hissed when he pressed down just a little harder, the heat of his thumb sinking into the muscle like a warm bath. "Are you alright?"

"It's...fine," She reassured him before she trailed off, slightly confused at the lack of hurt that came with his touch. A pleasant one, seeing that this one ached if she just walked or sat wrong. "It can be a little sensitive sometimes." She continued, not quite believing what she was saying. "That's all."

"Hmm..." Was the only sound Moss made, clearly too busy tracing the stitch marks on her side to really add any input...that, or he was waiting for her to continue talking.

That reminded her… He'd asked her how she'd got it, right?

"You can thank Hookwolf for that one. Hellhound got him riled up one day, attacked one of his dog fighting rings, and we had to clean it up. When offered the chance to come quietly, well…" She shrugged. "He decided that the best course of action was to pick a fight with the law instead."

"He's a Nazi. Bad judgment is sort of a prerequisite."

She laughed, honestly laughed at that. It was nice. It had been far too long since she could just relax.

"You aren't wrong. When he cut me, Armsmaster was already there to take him down. I swear I'm still blinking the spots out of my vision from how brightly he lit the bastard up. Some kind of super-taser." She giggled, then lowered her voice. "He hadn't even tested that yet, you know? He was pissed that I'd got hurt."

"I know that feeling," Moss muttered darkly, his grip tightening slightly on her waist.

A light flick on the nose made her laugh as his nose scrunched up with the shock. "Quit it. That was a while ago and he got what he deserved."

"... Right." He nodded as he started feeling a few more legacies of her job. He didn't look, not even once, but he was unerring when it came to finding them...had he memorized where they all were with just that one look? "Right…"

Before he'd even run out of parts of her to touch, her hands were already at work. Pulling at the buttons of her shirt when it became too uncomfortable to pull it up anymore, thanks to the fabric bunching up...and she was starting to get mad. Frustrated, definitely.

And, with those two feelings backing her up along with the old adage of fortune favoring the bold, she decided to deal with the problem in the most direct way possible...and it seemed to work. Moss didn't even seem to notice the buttons flying everywhere, his eyes now the size of dinner plates as he took in the view.

"You can thank Leviathan for this one," She said as if nothing had changed, all while rubbing her left breast unconsciously. The half dollar sized divot in it made the reason as to why obvious. "His water echo hit the Space Needle, the bastard. Enough to cause shrapnel to rain down on my position, along with several others. As the only one injured, even if impaled, that was chalked up as an overwhelming success."

"I woke up a week later in the Hospital and only realized how close I came to dying when someone brought out what had got me. A piece of metal lodged fractions of an inch away from an aorta. I didn't undergo proper surgery until a few days after the attack due to the number of injured and Panacea having fallen unconscious from exhaustion hours ago. It took twenty hours to get out." She snorted. "I still set off some of the more sensitive metal detectors on the Rig, if you can believe it... That's nothing special though. Fillings do that too… Tinkertech is like that."

She looked up at Moss, this time to see him staring at that scar like it had personally offended him. "And you can touch it too, you know?"

His teeth clicked together audibly from behind his closed mouth as he began to work his jaw while he thought that over. Hemming and hawing until she decided to end that as well, by taking his hand and placed it directly onto her. Pulling at it until it fell on her breast...and she shuddered. Enjoyed the moment and soaked in the heat, her hands on top of his the entire time...a time that ended far too soon; lasted just for a moment as she brought up the fortitude required for her to go all in.

Quid pro quo. Tit-for-tat. She knew his face. She knew his name...so…

Her heart, somehow, sped up further yet as, with more than a little trepidation, her hands up. Around. To the back of her head where, with fumbling fingers, she undid her bandana and let it fall. "This one came from one of my first nights out," She said, amused by just how much bigger his eyes had become as she ran a finger along the almost invisible scar running left to right across her lips. "This was before the Ward program had anything resembling protocols or standards."

"It was just us. Just three dumb kids in Halloween outfits wandering the streets. Getting candy. Having fun. You know, kid stuff...but we turned a corner, and startled someone. Someone younger than we were, the little punk. A quick draw of the knife and I was bent, hands over my mouth and wondering what had just happened. Me...Mouse Protector had tackled him and was savaging his legs, all while Armsmaster was already smacking him with his very first Halberd. The poor kid was crying, apologizing for everything." She shook her head.

"I didn't even press charges. It was hard to when all I had were a couple of butterfly bandages and he couldn't see through the black eyes they gave him." She snorted with a nostalgic look on her face. "I probably should have though. He messed up my classic good looks."

"And, yet, you're still beautiful." He interrupted, clearly amused. "Funny how that works."

She was his now, just with that. He was hers. Just for today. Just for right now...but that was the truth of it as she saw it.

She could see it in his grin. In her own reflection, the mirror of his eyes as he cupped her face and lifted her chin… Gave her a kiss, the taste of peaches and him as a full body shiver hit. A natural consequence of the lightning that resulted from the first touch of their lips against the other. The electric current, using her spine like Jacob's ladder to scatter her thoughts and set her core ablaze… No. That was far too tame.

She was crashing. Burning. Her little game gone completely off the rails as he continued to play with the breast she had offered to him.

He was impossibly gentle. Nowhere near as rough as she'd (hoped? Feared?) imagined him to be as a hand large enough to palm the entirety of a breast, a tit larger than Hannah could ever hope to have, found itself content to continue in its earlier play. Tracing and prodding and, just the once, pulling at a nipple without a care in the world even as she pushed herself into it with a needy whimper...and she came to a realization.

He'd barely done anything. He hadn't even started to do what he could do and, yet, she was just inches away from orgasm. Just a nudge away from a release that she'd been waiting for since the first time they'd met...and that was terrifying. Gratifying. Both. She had no idea if he'd be able to knock her unconscious, to force her into her yearly sleep a couple of months early...but, once again, fortune and the bold.

That, or just the unbearably horny. That might have been it. It wasn't like that didn't have its place in the old stories…


As soon as I got home, Lisa was going to get it. I wasn't sure how she was going to get it or when, but she was going to get it. Not in a fun way either, seeing as that would just encourage her. Actually, fuck it. We were going couch shopping, first thing when I got back, just so she could be banished to it for a good part of a week. Then, after that, we'd go and do a bunch of things that I liked to do but she hated. You know. Just for starters.

Gender equality was a thing, alright? I thought so and Hannah seemed to agree as she pawed at the buttons of my shirt, thick discs of good plastic that she couldn't quite get a grip on. Understandable, seeing as they'd been made for someone with much bigger hands...but, when she paused and gave the front of it a questioning tug, something had to be done before she did something...rash.

I'd seen what she'd done to her own shirt. Room keeping would be finding buttons for days. Even if it had been hot as hell from my perspective, having it happen to me wasn't something I was looking forward to...this shirt was the most expensive thing I'd ever worn in my life. More expensive than that old Rolex I'd used to wear before I'd changed...and it had been a gift.

I missed it. Hadn't realized it till now, but I did. I was going to have to pick up another one, I guess. Just something to help me keep my mind on the prize.

I began to pluck at my shirt with a single hand, the pop of the buttons going off in the closest thing to a staccato as I beat her to the punch. Something that she wasn't at all put out about as she slipped her hands into the gap of my button up and started to feel me up directly. With both hands on both sides of my chest in a way that wouldn't have been out of place when it came around for me to stop teasing her and return the favor.

… It was nice to feel wanted, as expected. The day that changed was the day I died.

As soon as the last fastener was done my shirt was thrown to the side. To where, I had no idea. Didn't really care either, beyond the fact that it was somewhere safe as I broke the kiss and pulled Hannah up to her feet; the lack of a squeal when I swept her off her off of them right after was unexpected. The sort of thing that pattern recognition, Pavlov if you wanted to be (metaphorically) exact, had taught me to expect whenever I did this sort of thing.

Sweeping a girl off their legs tended to make them weak in the knees. That Hannah had just let out a startled gasp, a delighted coo, and put her arms around my neck while I carried her to bed was different from what I was used to...and I liked it. Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed some noise and a little kicking before getting down to business; it was just that there was nothing wrong with a little dignity from time to time. Surety. That feeling that I wasn't the only one that knew what they wanted.

The other girls were getting better about that sort of thing but, sometimes, they just fell apart. Even if they were, all in all, legal, no matter what Lisa had let me think for the first month we'd been together, they were still growing. Still coming into themselves and finding their place in the world. Superpowers could only go so far when it came to that sort of thing...and Hannah was showing why that was in spades, right off the bat.

What mattered here, I think, was that she had experience...the sort that came through dealing with life and all its ups and downs. Not the other kind of experience, of course. I couldn't speak for her in that case...didn't really know anything about that, now did I? And, even if I had, that wasn't my place… Anyway, her two decades of heroics were showing and I had to get my pants off before I started testing its integrity. That—

When I laid Hannah down she put her weapon aside, glowing green and shifting, onto the nightstand. That it ended up as a knife didn't escape me.

—or she did it for me. She wasn't looking all that picky about how it happened. Not exactly a tough choice to make for me though, if I wanted to be able to leave this place under my own power and with my modesty, mostly, intact.

'Mostly' was as much as I could hope for, really. At some point, I'd come to recognize that clothing was an almost ephemeral concept in my daily life and had, somewhat, come to terms with it. One didn't go around in commando while wearing tight spandex and 'capris' shorts if they were completely cockshy, after all...that was no longer something I could afford though. There was a face to me now, a reputation that wouldn't be helped by me sporadically flashing the locals.

The pants came off, faster and easier than the shirt had, showing exactly where Lisa's mind had been when she'd commissioned them as Hannah's eyes visibly lit up. Memorably. I didn't get much time at all to categorize it for what it was, anticipation and satisfaction before she kicked her pants off...but whatever. I knew what I'd seen and another look wasn't going to change anything.

She was waiting and I was stalling. The man in me, the orc, both, were screaming at me to jump into this situation I was in head first. It seemed that an attraction to strong, fit women was, if you weren't a totally insecure little bitch, universal. So, with every part of me now in total agreement about what I should do, I continued to hold onto the initiative for all it was worth.

I stepped forward, got onto the bed, and kneeled in front of a languidly reclining Hannah. Laid back on a hill of pillows with a thread count in the thousands with her arms at either side of her, looking a great deal like what I imagined a queen would look like even as her legs parted before me. Strong, confident. Helpful in an almost patronizing manner as I kept pressing on and into her space. I towered over her. Pushed even further, far as I could go until she was holding her thighs up by her ears and my cock could flop down and slap right onto her slit...if we both weren't still wearing our underwear.

Underwear with a matching set of damp spots, right on the front for much the same reason.

She was so incredibly eager. Maybe even more eager than Lisa had been at her most stressed and desperate. The noble Miss Militia had been aching for this since day one from what I'd understood...and 'enthusiastic' was one of the sexiest things a girl could be.

My Orc brain went crazy. Snarling and demanding to know why I hadn't just given her what she wanted yet, and I couldn't really think of a good excuse. Especially because of...well.

Lisa was first. My first. The bearer of my children and the holder of my purse. We had a bond, a genuine connection, something special... But Miss Militia had an advantage over her. A clear and obvious advantage in one important area. An advantage that Lisa would, as time permitted, eventually grow into but was a long way away from.

This right here, displaying herself for my enjoyment and preening harder than any peacock or bird of paradise, wasn't a precocious teen that might break if I handled her too roughly (no matter what she thought of her endurance.). This was a warrior. A fighter. A matriarch. An individual who could survive the worst anyone could ever throw at her. Who had survived the worst anyone could throw at her and was carrying the scars to prove it.

The dull roar of blood began to sound in my ears. Like the ocean but heavier. Deeper. A great deal hotter as I reached for my partner for the night with no more compunctions about what I was about to do. There was absolutely no reason to not fuck her for as long and hard as I could possibly manage, was there? She was an eager...just waiting to be claimed. All I had to do was reach out and…

Take my goddamn underwear off. Right. Down, boy. Lisa would kill me if I tore up some of the clothes she'd just bought me.

I fight down the Orc with some difficulty, keeping my eyes on the prize as I rocked back from a pouting Hannah and pushed my thumbs through the waistband of my briefs. But, funnily enough, before I could pull them down and actually get rid of the fucking things, Hannah stopped me. Let her legs drop to either side of me, sat up, and put one of her hands on mine; her body pressing tight against mine as she did.

"Please...let me."

… I was fine with this.

Hannah, taking my silence as permission, rolled over. Got onto her hands and knees right in front of where I was kneeling with her head at crotch-height, mere inches from the bulge in my surprisingly durable underwear...and she stared. Long and hard, burning that cloth covered mass into her already perfect memory...before she closed the distance. Turned those inches of separation into nothing at all when she fell forward. Letting gravity take the wheel as she guided herself, unerringly, directly into my sack with her face with a nearly silent and definitely guttural, "Fffu...uhck."

Her tongue darted out, seeking the source of her excitement in the most primal possible way...only for her to suddenly twitch backward with a cough and a sound that lightly reminded me of a cat with a hairball as she started picking cotton strands off of her tongue.

I couldn't help the laugh that that came up because of that. I just couldn't. I'd never been all that good at hiding when I was happy or amused or excited. It was one of my flaws. Feeling all those good feelings at once was just the stuff that pushed me over the edge from a smirk into full-blown laughter. The sort to make the olive tone of her skin turn a shade darker with a blush as, with a light-hearted scowl, she spit one more time, hooked her fingers into the front of my boxer briefs, and pulled them down.

When my dick sprung out of its cage like a pissed off python with an extremely fortunate case of gigantism, she was ready for it. As ready as anyone could ever be when something like that happened anyway. What that meant, in this case, was that, instead of taking it to the chin like a champ, like a few people that I knew would have done (Amy had some fight to her, I'd admit) she'd dodged. Flicked her head to the side and twisted her torso like a boxer whiffing a jab, the sound of air being displaced and all, only to be there when it came back from saying hi to my gut.

"Well, hello there..." She caught what might as well have been a hammer with ease. On her shoulder, the tip extending just past her head and the shaft in the crook of her neck without even a wince to show for it. "Where have you been all my life?" Just a smug smile and what might have been a cute tilt of the head...if she hadn't decided to, while maintaining eye contact the whole time, brush her lips against my captive length in a kiss. "Stuck to a chronic procrastinator, I see, poor thing~"

And, now, no one was laughing. That was pretty much it for me. The doe eyes she was giving me, the kiss and the way she had turned her head and began snuffling at my package. Combine all those things together and what you got was the last straw on an already gigantic pile. Straw. Straws on straws on straws, an unbearable weight that broke my metaphorical back like a fucking toothpick under a steel-toed boot.

Was that an exaggeration? Most likely. Did I care? Not really. I wasn't the one that had found themselves in trouble here, put in the same room as someone that outmassed her by three times her size and weight. That was all Hannah right there. That was her niche, her own little slice of cold, hard reality. She was picking a fight that she just couldn't win—


Oh fuck, oh god, was that too much? Did I push over his comfort zone? Was that too far under his comfort zone? I have no idea! He's just staring at me and he hasn't said anything and he smells and tastes and feels so fucking good what do I do!?


—and I was going to have a lot of fun showing her just why that was.

When three people were just barely enough to take the edge off of me while giving everyone time for their own lives and interests… Hannah was really going to get it. Really no other way to say it than that. The relatively gentle hand I was using to work her panties down, getting over her muscled thighs and as far as the knees before I had to push her over to get the rest, was a clear enough sign of my intentions and what I was going for.

A good blow, much like the one that Hannah looked like she had been about to get into before I'd interrupted her as rudely as I had, was all well and good. Great, actually, but it was the sort of thing that you did when you had time. We were busy people. There was a war going on and, from what I remembered, she was still on the clock. Having Armsmaster track her all the way here, into my room while in the middle of a deeply intimate moment did not sound like how I wanted to end the day.

"Hey! I'm back from the gift store! I've got gifts! Dibs on the chocolate!" Vista called out cheerily, making the both of us freeze as we were suddenly confronted by one of the major issues that came with being responsible for children. "… Wait. Where'd you guys go? And what's that smell?"

The lack of privacy, or tact when that privacy was invaded, was a killer.

I closed my eyes and swore. Internally. Hannah, in contrast, was happy to make up for the deficit as she slid out from under me and slipped her pants back on. Pretty much the same thing I was doing, if only quicker because

"And why is there clothes on the…floor..." Vista, who had been rummaging around in the living room up to that point, went completely silent for a long while. A good twenty seconds at the least. "Do you guys need a moment?"

"That would be nice," Hannah called back, her voice tight and her already deep blush now a full body condition thanks to us being found out. "Come back in ten minutes."

"S-sure. Can do." Vista coughed, loudly, and then there was silence once more.

A silence that only lasted as long as it took for Hannah to write something out onto a note, give me a kiss on both cheeks, and shove that note into one of my hands.

"My home address and number," She growled, her tone pure disappointment and the set of her lips the picture of frustration. "If I don't see you tonight, so help me…" With that done with, she forced her hand, the hand carrying her underwear, into one of my pockets. That it was empty when she pulled it out was nowhere near subtle...and the dry cleaning bills were going to be horrendous. Oh well. Lisa's mess, her problem. "I'll hunt you down like a dog and take you on the streets. I'm not joking. Don't forget."

"Y-yeah." I nodded, fist in front of my mouth as a part, deep inside of me, started screaming with rage...and maybe a little curiosity, wondering just what she would do if I didn't show… No. That was fucking stupid. Shut up, orc brain. Your ideas are shit. "I'll see you then."

Fuck my life. I was going to be feeling an ache for days.