AN: Finally got this done. This is the final chapter of Stupor Heroics for this story arc. Which feels good, because I've felt like this was an arc that really needed to happen before I could really do anything with this story. Now I feel like I have a lot more freedom in terms of what storylines I want to tackle from here.
That said, I will be putting the story on hiatus for a bit now that this chapter is done. As much as I enjoy writing this story, I've been writing quite a bit of it lately, and I'm pretty burnt out. I don't expect this break to be as long as the previous one, but inspiration is a fickle thing. I will, however, be coming back to this story sooner than later. For the moment though, Archetypal is back in full swing now that I have UnderratedHero onboard, and that means I need to start working on my own contributions for that story. And I'll probably be working on some of my other neglected stories in the meantime. So while I will not be writing this story in the near future, I will continue to write other stuff. I hope that was articulate enough, its 2am here and my brain not working so goodly now.
Conuk: Better late than never. What's important is that you're enjoying the story now. And yeah, I feel pretty confident that if you like this story, you'll probably also like Archetypal and Gigant. Both of which have tvtropes pages, incidentally, if that helps your decision making :)
nuuo: No M rating. I don't write lewds, I feel like I've made that abundantly clear by this point, no clue why people keep expecting differently. But if someone else feels like tackling Lincoln, Lori, and Lynn's first night together, they're more than welcomed to take a shot at it. I'll plug them in the fic and everything.
JRC1700: Lucy will be back eventually. There's just things that needed to happen before I could start chasing down all those plot seeds I've been planting. And I feel like I'm now in a good enough place where I can do that. After I take a decent sized break from the story, obviously.
I'm also very amused to see all the concern for Lincoln's pelvis, haha. Don't worry, this isn't that kind of fic.
Lincoln tried not to focus on the pain. Which, in his defense, was a fairly tall order.
Every non-meta resident of Royal Woods, Lincoln had seen his share of second-hand action. Get enough costumed wackos with superpowers throwing hands at one another, and eventually, some unwitting bystanders were going to get pulled into the fray. It was like jury duty; painful when it happened, but infrequent enough to keep from becoming unbearable. Lincoln himself had experienced various parts of his body being broken, bruised, and on one occasion torn off (though thankfully impermanently). Lincoln could say, with no false modesty, that he was no stranger to pain. So the fact that his entire body arched in ways that he had never before managed to experience was as fascinating as it was terrifying. Truly, Lincoln Loud had discovered a new frontier of bodily injury. And it hurt.
Fortunately, the worst of it had subsided. There were certain parts of him that were sorer than others, but he'd gotten to the point where as long as he allowed himself to remain relatively still, his minute to minute experiences were largely confined to long periods of dull throbbing, occasionally broken by short, intense bouts of searing aching. Choosing to prioritize his physical health, Lincoln had notified his professors that he wouldn't be attending class, and allowed himself to linger in bed. Laying there, avoiding unnecessary movements whenever possible, and focusing most of his attention on the phone in front of him, Lincoln felt like he was slowly, but surely recovering from his recent ordeal.
"So...let me see if I've got this straight"
And while the sensation of her naked body gentle melding against his was profoundly unhelpful to his physical recovery, very nearly to the point of actively being detrimental, the beautiful, buxom, blonde bombshell peering over his shoulder was aiding considerably on the spiritual end of things, if nothing else. Which Lincoln chose to interpret as a net win, all things considered.
"So..." Lori said, frowning in concentration as she attempted to process the information she'd been digesting. It was adorable. It seemed unfair that such a beautiful woman could also be so weirdly cute, in her own way. "There's like...a high school. For superheroes. And we all go to it?"
"Basically," Lincoln replied, trying to keep his eyes on his game. The game was safe, it didn't cause his body to...react, in perfectly natural ways that were, nevertheless, excruciating at this point in time. "The player is the headmaster of the academy. They manage the school, train the heroes, and send them off on missions."
"Then how come none of us look like high schoolers?"
Lincoln nearly shrugged on impulse, but managed to stop himself just in time. "Probably because it's a lot easier on the developers to just take existing heroes and slap a school uniform on them. It's just one of those suspension of disbelief things. People play the game because they want to collect and use their favorite heroes, you just kind of roll with minor, immersion-breaking things like that."
"Huh." Said Lori, pursing her lips thoughtfully. "Is this part of that 'husbando' and 'waifu' thing?"
Lincoln winced internally but nodded. "More or less. Its a fandom thing."
"Which brings me to my next question" Lori muttered, fidgeting as she tried to get a better look at Lincoln's phone. For a moment, he simply allowed himself to enjoy the experience. The pleasing softness of Lori's pressing into his back, juxtaposed against the gentle swell of her formidable bicep encircled protectively around his midsection trigged a variety of intoxicating sensations throughout his battered body. Lincoln had a type, the previous night had made that extremely clear. The question was, did Lori and Lynn just so happen to check those boxes, or did he develop those preferences because of them? Food for thought, he supposed.
"I can't help but notice that your...squad? Has Lynn, Becky, Lucy, and...Lori squinted at the screen and peered closer. "Is that Lana?"
Lincoln swallowed loudly. "Well," He began, trying to keep his voice level, "Furiosa's good at bursting down single targets, Mountainess has great crowd control, Umbra can fight at range, and Mamimal gives the entire team poison resistance. Which is kind of required for this event."
"...Yeah, I don't really get what any of that means," Lori confessed after a short pause. "But what about Luminary?"
"It's just...not a good mission for her skillset, that's all." Lincoln replied, allowing himself one nervous glance at the now pouting blonde, before he turned his attention back to his device, hoping that she'd let the matter drop.
It was...intimidating to talk to Lori. It had nothing to do with her looks or her powers. To him, Lori had always been impossibly gorgeous and fully capable of twisting him into a human pretzel, so the fact that her natural supermodel good looks had been augmented with a physique more akin to a fitness model's, and an ungodly amount of physical power besides, honestly hadn't changed their dynamic all that much. No, the problem was that the previous night had been, well, amazing felt like an understatement, but it was the best his sleep-deprived brain could concoct. But had also been very...raw. Primal. Three kids finally surrendering to years of pent-up emotions, and feelings that had been thought to be unrequited. And as much as Lincoln had enjoyed the experience, the thought of what came next, frankly, terrified him. He and his sisters had finally surrendered to their emotions. They'd willfully done insane, obscene things to one another, and he didn't regret it for an instant. But now that it had happened, what did Lincoln Loud have left to offer one girl, so far out of his league that she wouldn't even know he existed, had they not been siblings? Let alone two of them? So he'd clammed up, used the excuse of his fleshy, mortal body's limitations to dodge the topic just a little longer, and allowed himself to bask in the afterglow of the previous night. It was beyond cowardly, but it was also keeping them around, just a little longer.
Lincoln started in surprise as Lori rest her head atop his shoulder, her soft hair tickling his bare skin.
"You know I'm not actually mad, right?" She asked, nuzzling his neck with her face.
"I figured." He replied, wincing ever so slightly as the lie crossed his lips. Honestly, it was hard to know exactly where he stood right now with Lori, and he was terrified that a single misplaced word or deed might be all it took to send her storming out the door, and out of his life once more, possibly for good. So he'd been playing his cards as close to his chest as he dared. Apparently, she'd noticed.
"I'm just making conversation," She continued, giving him a quick peck on the cheek. "I promise. Please don't shut me out."
"S-sorry," He muttered, flushing crimson, partly due to the unexpected bit of affection from the older girl, but also from guilt. Lori had always had a knack for seeing right through him, and apparently, even their time apart hadn't changed that. He supposed there was something comforting about how familiar this all felt, gratuitous nudity aside. "I was just thinking—"
"—About last night." Lori finished for him. "I don't blame you. That was pretty..."
"'Wow', is the word I keep coming up with," Lincoln supplied, half-joking. To his surprise, Lori let out a soft, melodic giggle, and pressed herself a little more tightly against him.
"Not a bad way to describe it," She murmured into his ear, her breath leaving a pleasant tingling in its wake as it brushed against him. "You were pretty 'Wow' yourself, little bro'."
Several noises emerged from Lincoln's throat, not one of them actual words. When it seemed like this wasn't likely to change, he simply clamped his mouth shut, and turned back to his phone, hoping to minimize any additional, forthcoming embarrassment he might cause himself. Given that he could hear Lori's smile, just out of view, it didn't seem like it was helping much.
"Look, Lincoln," She continued. "We're going to have to talk about what happened eventually. But..it doesn't have to be right this second."
"We...don't?" He asked, slowly.
"No, we don't." She affirmed. "Truth be told, my brain's not running on all cylinders right now, seems like you really did a number on me last night."
Lincoln suddenly felt himself sitting a little straighter.
"Liked hearing that, didn't you?" Lori chuckled, slowly trailing her fingers up towards Lincoln's chest, tracing small circles into his skin along the way.
"I-its kind of hard to not take that as a compliment," He murmured, trying to fight back the fresh flush of warmth that was spreading throughout his body.
"It was meant to be one." Lori gave him another peck on the cheek. "But yeah. Right now, we can just sit here and enjoy the moment. Although..."
"Although?" Lincoln prompted, a small knot of worry forming in his stomach.
"Seeing as how last night just kind of...happened..." Lori cleared her throat. A quick glance to the side revealed that her own eyes were darting back and forth, uncharacteristically nervously for her.
"Yeah?" Lincoln prodded her, trying not to let his own jitters overtake him.
"I guess the one thing I would really like to know...when we do get around to talking about this, is...are we going to figure out how to make...this...work?"
Lincoln ran the sentence through his head again and again, disassembling it and reassembling it over and over, trying to make certain, beyond reasonable doubt, that he was properly parsing her meaning.
"You mean...you, and me?" He asked, cautiously, his heart hammering in his chest so hard that he could barely squeeze out that barely adequate collection of words.
"Well...yeah," Lori said, softly. "And Lynn too, I guess. I mean we were all pretty stupid last night, so I wouldn't blame you if you wanted to call it quits after that. But...you know, if you wanted—"
That was all he needed to hear. Squirming around as best he could in Lori's iron-clad grip, Lincoln turned to his sister and answered in the only way his heightening emotions would allow. He kissed her. And when she didn't immediately throw him across the room, he allowed the kiss to deepen, sinking as far into Lori's embrace as their bodies would allow.
"Wow. Again." Lori giggled nervously, once they both came up for air. "I'm...uh, I'm guessing that's a yes, then?"
He kissed her again.
"Guessing that's also a yes to Lynn?" She asked, sounding a little more oxygen-deprived. "Because now I'm starting to have second thoughts about sharing—"
Once more he pressed his lips against hers, throwing every ounce of energy he had left into the act. It may have been his own clumsiness, or it may have been Lori's own fatigue catching up with her, but to his surprise Lori began to topple backward, taking him with her. They hit the bed, forcibly separated from the impact. Fortunately for him, however, some parts of Lori were considerably softer than others, and he suffered little more than a brief moment of disorientation from the fall. Once he felt his sense of direction was properly oriented once more, he tentatively looked up. Lori's face filled his vision. She was smiling at him.
"As much as I'm enjoying this, I need you to use words, Linky," Lori panted tightening her grip on him just a bit more than was necessary. "I need to hear you say it."
"I want this to work." He replied, barely able to raise his voice above a whisper. "I want us to be together. All of us."
"I guess I can live with that," Lori murmured, closing her eyes and letting out a soft, contented sigh.
So comfortable was Lincoln in his current position, combined with his lingering fatigue from the previous night, that he very nearly nodded off right then and there. And in any other circumstances, he very well may have—
Had it not been for a tinny, surprisingly annoying noise that rang out. It suddenly occurred to Lincoln that both of his hands were full of Lori, and not his phone.
"Lincoln, I'm feeling very loving towards you right now, but I'm going to need you to shut up whatever that is!" Lori growled. Nodding hurriedly, desperate to avoid ruining the tender moment they'd just shared, Lincoln untangled himself from the blonde's grip, and began casting his gaze around the warzone that vaguely resembled his bedroom. He finally spied his phone, vibrating in place as it keened, demanding his attention. Muttering unkind things about the device under his breath, Lincoln crawled forward and snatched up the phone, half tempted to hand it to Lori so she could demolish it. But then, he caught a glimpse of the screen, and his ire cooled.
New Student Incoming! Read the displayed message. And now, he felt conflicted. On the one hand, there was a beautiful naked woman waiting for him, but on the other...
"What's the holdup?" Lincoln started in surprise as Lori's arms once again wrapped around his midsection. A glance over his shoulder put him face to face with the blonde once more, her expression irritated, but mingled with a small amount of curiosity.
"I...uh, I pulled." Said Lincoln, gesturing to his phone.
"You wanna repeat that again, in English?" Lori deadpanned, her expression not changing in the slightest. Oh, right.
"Pulling is slang for when you spend your resources to get new characters," Lincoln explained, feeling a little sheepish. "I guess my thumb must have slipped when we—"
Lori leaned forward and gave him a quick peck on the lips, smirking as she pulled away.
"...That," Lincoln concluded, with an embarrassed chuckle. "Total accident on my part, sorry about that."
"It's fine, Linc," Lori assured him. Then, to his surprise, she craned her neck to peer over his shoulder. "So...who'd you get?"
"I don't know yet," Lincoln replied, "But if you're cool with me finishing this up..."
"Go ahead," Lori murmured, resting her head on his shoulder once more. "We're both up, you might as well. Besides, I'm curious who it'll be."
Lincoln breathed a silent sigh of relief. He was profoundly grateful to have his sisters back in his life and treasured the time they'd been able to spend together. But...accident or not, he'd just spent some of his precious, premium currency. It'd be a shame to let that pull go to waste. Uttering a silent prayer to the gods of random number generation, he swiped his phone and watched the screen explode into a kaleidoscope of colors as the scene transitioned to a first-person view of the academy's entryway. The large, imposing-looking front door swung open, and the stock animation lens flare triggered, deliberately designed to add a little more tension and drama to the process. Finally, the screen began to clear, and Lincoln's breath hitched in his throat.
"Good to meet you, headmaster," Purred an all too familiar voice, "I'm looking forward to working together."
Lincoln's jaw dropped as his new arrival loaded into view, tiny simulated klaxons blaring and fireworks exploding in the background as the game commemorated the occasion.
SSR Summer Goddess Luminary! Proclaimed the onscreen text, hovering below the painstakingly detailed image of a gorgeous, blonde superheroine. Clad in nothing but an extremely revealing, power blue bikini. The spitting image of the girl currently wrapped around him, albeit, somewhat more clothed.
"...Wow," Lori muttered from her perch on his shoulder. Swallowing nervously, Lincoln cautiously turned his head, trying to make any sudden movements. Lori's expression was indecipherable, but she was staring intently at his phone screen.
"I can't believe it," She continued, a small scowl forming on her face.
"Did I make it weird?" Lincoln ventured, wincing in embarrassment. Lori turned to him, her face scrunching up in confusion.
"What? Oh!" Lori chuckled and gave Lincoln a reassuring squeeze. "You think that's what I'd find weird? After everything, I let you do to me? Get over yourself."
Lincoln winced again, but this time out of wounded pride. "You could have said that nicer. But fine, what'd the deal?"
"I wore that swimsuit for a photoshoot." She explained. "They told me it was going to be used for some kind of charity, fundraising thing."
"Well, it definitely raised some funds," Lincoln replied, thinking back to several people he personally knew who had nearly bankrupted themselves trying to beat the odds and acquire the incredibly rare Luminary variant he'd just lucked into. "But wait, if that's the case, then what's with the voice acting?"
Now it was Lori's turn to look embarrassed. "They gave me some lines to read. I just kind of did it without thinking, I guess."
"Huh." Lincoln looked back at the digital Lori on his screen, who was currently batting her eyes and giving him a sultry wave. "You should probably have a chat with your PR people."
"Oh, we're definitely going to be talking about this," Lori muttered, a palpable tinge of steel in her voice. "That said...what do you think?"
He tore his eyes from the phone screen with no small amount of effort. "About what?"
"About the swimsuit." Her eyes darted back and forth nervously. "How does it...look?"
"It looks fantastic." He said immediately, his brain only registering the words as they left his mouth. Fortunately, Lori seemed pleased by the admission, positively preening at his words.
"I was only asking because, as it happens, I actually still have it. The swimsuit, I mean. They let me keep it after the photoshoot. Not that I really get a chance to wear stuff like that."
"O-of course," Lincoln replied, trying to keep his voice level.
Lori sidled a little closer, resting her cheek against his.
"I was just thinking," She murmured into his ear, "That I could dig it out and try it on. If you were interested, I mean."
"Oh my god," A voice groaned from the other side of the bed, causing the pair to start in surprise. "Will you two cut that out?!"
A little ways away from the cuddling siblings lay the titanic form of Lynn, in all her naked, amazonian glory. Laying, face down, in a crumpled heap at the far end of Lincoln's bed. As far as Lincoln had been able to tell, she hadn't moved at all since he'd woken up. He'd been operating under the assumption that she'd been asleep this whole time.
"Morning, Lynn," He greeted her, waving out of habit, even though she still wasn't looking his way.
"What's so good about it?" Lynn grumbled, her voice somewhat muffled by the mattress in her face. "Just trying to relax over here, and you two are ruining it by being all lovey-dovey over there! Get a friggin room!"
"We had one," Lori deadpanned. "But if you want some privacy, I'd be happy to take Lincoln back to my place..."
"Don't you dare!" Lynn growled, her completely still form utterly at odds with the fire in her voice. "You've had plenty of time with him, it's my turn now! Get over here Linc, we're going another round!"
Lincoln could feel the blood draining his face as she uttered those words. Unfortunately, he could also feel where it was being redistributed. It wasn't that he was unwilling, his body's reaction was more than enough evidence of that. It's just that his flesh was just so...weak. And spongy...
A tap on his shoulder signified that Lori wanted his attention. Lincoln complied, turning to the older girl, and was greeted with a silent, conspiratorial wink.
"Sure thing, Lynn," Lori called back, a smug smile spreading across her lips. "Just come on over here and take him."
There was a very palpable beat of silence.
"N-no need for that," Lynn replied, "I've got all these...hormones...and stuff, you don't want to be anywhere near me when I go off. So it'd be better for everyone if Linc just came over here, and did his thing."
"Uh huh." Lori gestured to Lincoln, as if to say "Your turn." And for a moment, he sat there, paralyzed with indecision as various parts of his body made extremely compelling arguments both for and against complying with Lynn's request. Fortunately, fate took the decision out of his hands.
THUNK THUNK THUNK
Lincoln experienced a brief moment of vertigo as a...sound, of some kind, reverberated throughout his apartment shuddered around him. It almost sounded like tapping, but on a much, much larger scale, which was supported by the way the room around him began to tremble, triggering a cacophony of squeaks and creaks from the building that that seen more than its share of wear and tear. Just as he was thinking it might be time to panic, he heard a voice.
"LIIIIIIIIINCOOOOOOLN!" It said, the magnitude of the noise sending fresh ripples throughout the apartment. "ARE YOU HOME?"
"What the hell is that?" Lori asked, clutching Lincoln protectively, and casting her gaze around the room. Lincoln and Lynn, on the other hand, were significantly less alarmed.
"Sounds like Stella." They both said in unison. Lincoln looked to Lynn in mild bemusement, half expecting her to return the gesture, but heroine remained face down on the bed, somewhat spoiling the effect.
"I should probably see what that's about." Lincoln continued, letting out a small sigh. Part relief, part disappointment. He suspected this would now be a recurring element of his life. He made to get up, but quickly found his movement arrested by Lori's protective embrace. Clearing his throat, he turned to Lori and jerked his head towards the door.
"Oh, right." Lori tittered.
She released Lincoln from her grasp, and finally, for the first time that morning, Lincoln was free. Stealing himself, he planted his feet on the floor, and hoisted himself into the air, wobbling only slightly as he tried to acclimate to being upright once more. Now, assuming he could stay on his feet, all he had to do...was...
It suddenly dawned on Lincoln that he was feeling quite drafty, for reasons that became significantly more apparent when Lori let out a low, wolf whistle.
"What was that?" Lynn called out. "I heard something."
"Nothing sis," Lori said reassuringly, as she gave Lincoln another wink. "Just enjoying the view."
Lincoln tried to fight off the mixture of shame and pride that was now surging through him as he frantically scanned the floor.
"Uh, Lori?" He asked, trying not to sound too hurried. "Any chance you saw where my pants went."
"I...kind of...vaporized them?" The blonde replied, scratching the back of her head in embarrassment. "It was when you were busy with Lynn. I was worried you might put them back on before I got a turn."
The unspoken "Why?" seemed obvious enough, so Lincoln settled for simply looking at Lori incredulously.
"None of us were thinking straight!" She protested, crossing her arms in a huff. "At the time it made sense!"
"I'd have probably done the same thing." Lynn offered. Lincoln shook his head in exasperation but decided to let the matter drop. Just another thing he was going to have to get used to, he supposed. Wobbling over to his dresser drawer, Lincoln selected a clean pair of sweatpants and slipped them on, then began making his way towards the door. Upon reaching his destination, he turned back to wave goodbye at Lori, who immediately responded in kind, but as he made to do the same to Lynn, he realized the obvious problem.
"Bye, Lynn." He called to her. "Back in a bit."
"Hurry back!" Came her muffled reply. Shrugging, Lincoln opened the door and slipped out into the hallway.
"He's gone, Lynn." Lori said as she heard the soft padding of Lincoln's footsteps grow silent." So be straight with me. How bad are your legs?"
"Can't feel a thing." Her not-so-little sister muttered. "You?"
"I'm literally only able to move by floating." Lori replied, "And I'm pretty low on juice. Gonna have to pop into space and soak up some sun before I go back to work tomorrow.
"Real talk. Are we absolutely sure that Linc doesn't have any powers?"
"Lisa scanned him pretty thoroughly after the camping trip. So unless he got bit by a radioactive pornstar at some point between now and then, I'm pretty sure that's just natural talent at work." She let out a contented sigh as she allowed herself to drop back onto the bed. "Totally worth it though, right?"
"Definitely. Soon as I can move, I'm gonna go again."
Lincoln stumbled into his living room, trying to maintain his footing as he figured out where that racket was coming from.
"HEY! LINCOLN! OVER HERE!"
He winced as the apartment shook once more, threatening to send his already unsteady body plummeting back to the floor. On the plus side, the giant eyeball currently pressed up against his kitchen window seemed like a pretty good place to start his investigation.
"Hey there, Stella." He called out as he worked his way over to the window and opened it, with only slightly more effort than was usually required. Now that the window was opened, he was able to address her face to face...relatively speaking. "You're looking...huge?"
"THANKS!" She replied cheerfully. "I WAS WONDERING WHAT HAPPENED...TO...YOOOOOOOU?"
Lincoln watched, confused as the gargantuan girl's face slowly slackened, her voice trailing off until she stopped entirely.
"Stella?" He asked, waving at his friend, trying to get her attention. "Everything okay?"
"BUUUUH?" Stella replied, her eyes dull and glassy.
"What the heck is...oh!" Lincoln flushed red as he realized that, while he'd thankfully remembered to put on pants before leaving the privacy of his room, he'd completely forgotten to put on a shirt. No wonder Stella was so put off.
"Sorry about that Stell!" He called back, turning his back on the face in the window. Spying his coatrack, nearby, Lincoln trudged over and yanked off one of his coats, quickly slipping it on and zipping it up as quickly as he dared. Giving himself a once over, and deeming that he was finally relatively decent, he spun around and made his way back to the window.
"Sorry about that," He apologized, letting out an embarrassed laugh. "I didn't mean to—"
Lincoln abruptly stopped as he noticed a thumb and index finger, each roughly as large as he was, slowly sliding towards him through the open window.
"Uh, Stella?" He called again. Immediately, the girl's gaze sharpened once more, and focused on his now properly clothed form.
"Everything...okay?" He asked cautiously.
"UM, YEAH." The giantess tittered nervously, quickly withdrawing her hand. "JUST...STRETCHING A BIT. GOTTA KEEP MYSELF NICE AND LIMBER, YOU KNOW?"
"I...guess?" He conceded. Stella was being weirder than usual, but his entire life had gotten significantly more weird in the last twelve-hours or so. He figured he could just let this one go. "So, what's up? Normally you just use the door."
"I'M ACTUALLY WORKING RIGHT NOW" Stella explained, pushing her face up against the window again. "CLEARING DEBRIS AND STUFF. NOT THE MOST GLAMOROUS JOB, BUT IT'S EXPOSURE, RIGHT?"
"It certainly is," Lincoln replied diplomatically, trying not to dwell on just how exposed Stella's spandex-clad form became when she went into her big mode. The last thing his friend needed was for Lincoln to be ogling her while she was just trying to do her job.
"ANYWAY," She continued, "THAT'S WHY I DIDN'T DROP BY IN THE, UH, NORMAL WAY. LOOKS LIKE THIS IS GONNA BE A PRETTY LONG JOB. PROBABLY GONNA TAKE ALL DAY."
Lincoln shrugged sympathetically. "Well, you've gotta do what you've gotta do. Thanks for stopping by anyway, I'll tell Lynn you said 'hey'."
It...sort of felt like the conversation should be over by that point, but Stella continued to stand there, peering in through his window.
"Was there...something else?" He ventured.
"WELL..." Stella began to fidget nervously. It would have been adorable under normal circumstances. At her current size it...still looked adorable, truth be told, but it also made Lincoln incredibly anxious to see her super sized limbs swing so closely to his building.
"IT LOOKS LIKE I'VE GOT TOMORROW OFF," She said at last, "SO, IF YOU'RE NOT BUSY, I WAS WONDERING IF MAYBE YOU'D WANT TO HANG OUT?"
"Sure," Lincoln replied.
"YES!" Stella turned to the side and gave what probably would have been a fairly covert fist-pump on a normal-sized person. Once again, he figured it was probably best to avoid pointing this out. "I'LL, UH, CALL YOU LATER THEN? SO WE CAN WORK OUT THE...UH, THE DEETS? AM I SAYING THAT RIGHT?"
"It's fine, Stell", Lincoln chuckled.
"ALRIGHT!" Stella nodded, clearly pleased. "WELL, I'VE GOTTA GET BACK TO WORK! SEEYA LINC!"
With an incredibly enthusiastic parting wave, Stella spun on her heel and marched off. As he watched her leave, Lincoln shook his head in bemusement. It wasn't even noon, and his life was already exponentially weirder than it had been the previous day. Which, strangely enough, seemed to have become the new normal for him. And yet...
Lincoln cast his gaze back down the hallway, smiling as he thought of what lay waiting for him. Right now, at this second, he wouldn't have it any other way. He'd had eight years of relative normalcy. Whatever one could say about his life at this particular moment, it was definitely more interesting now than it ever had been. He had no idea what tomorrow might bring. Or the day after that. But he was certainly looking forward to finding out.
Feeling satisfied with his short bout of self reflection, Lincoln began trudging back towards his bedroom...only to stop partway there, and whirl around, working his way back towards the kitchen.
"Better put a pot of coffee on." He thought to himself, wincing as he nearly tripped over his own feet for the umpteenth time. "Good, strong coffee."