"Queen…?" Kim snapped her head over to the door, her eyes wide as they met with onyx black ones. Long blonde hair with black bangs, pale ivory skin and trembling hands coiled around the door's edge, a hissing sound audible behind her, stood a shadow of her former self.
Terre clung to the door frame weakly, her lips parted, her hands clammy and her skin covering in a sheen of cold sweat. Her golden hair was lank to her face and back, her dark ebony bangs stuck to her cheeks, and her onyx eyes half open tiredly. Even in her state, she couldn't deny the things she had just heard.
Kim was sat on the bed by Katel's side, her emerald eyes open wide, her midnight jet braids tucked behind her ears, and her lips parted from her latest yelling session.
The last word on her lips repeated itself, unable to form any other word. "…Terre…"
Her friend, the one she imagined in her head had glorious golden hair waving down her back, a nerdy little white lab coat on, sapphire eyes and the biggest smile in the word. Almost annoyingly big.
But this Terre…looked half dead. Kim jumped from the bed, pulling Terre inside and into a firm embrace immediately. "What happened to you? Are you sick? What's wrong Terre?!"
"I feel…heavy…" Kim blinked, and opened her mouth to question her, when her eyes locked onto something behind her.
It was long, a smooth glossy navy, dark, skeletal, tipped with a merciless spear head…and connected directly to the base of Terre's sore spine. It hung from her limply, dragging along the floor as Terre forced herself further into her friend's embrace. "It, it, h hurts." She whimpered, and Kim pulled her closer, as if hoping the appendage would drop off.
Terre had a Xenomorph tail.
"It's ok." She didn't know what else to say. How on Earth could that be ok?! She had a honking tail! It looked, excusing the pun, alien to her. But it was obvious that Terre was in no state to hear that. Instead, Kim rubbed small circles in her back, and looked back over to Katel as Terre sobbed into her neck.
He had already risen to his 7 feet, dark dreads framing his face, amber eyes already having found the source of Kim's confusion and Terre's distress. He stood tall, and placed a colossal hand on Kim's free shoulder.
"This is expected. The main function of a Queen hard meat is to produce more of her kind, and protect her spawn. To do that, you will need some sort of weapon…and it is known for Kinda Amide to biologically adapt rapidly to different environments or handicaps. So it was expected that you would…change." Katel kept as impersonal as possible, but from his rigid frame, he was obvious uncomfortable with this. Almost as uncomfortable as Kim was.
After all. The Terre in her dream had had a tail just like that.
Terre clearly didn't want to hear that, as she jerked a cry into Kim's neck, holding her tighter.
"I, I, j just woke up l like this. A and it hurts so much!" She whimpered, Kim crushing her nearly with desperation to sooth her in her hold.
"I It's ok. It is."
"No it isn't." She shook her head, as if insane.
"It is. You're still Terre. No matter what happens to you, you're still my Terre!" Kim shouted, squeezing her eyes shut. "Even if you become 12 feet tall and grow another head, you'll still be my Terre Jones!"
Terre raised her head to look at her, her onyx eyes watery, and a timid smile on her lips.
"…grow…another head?" Kim blinked, and chuckled slightly. Terre giggled and stepped back. "Another head?"
"What? Queen's can have two heads, right?" She looked over her shoulder, and Katel hung his head forward, holding his head in despair. Kim sweat dropped at him, and looked back to Terre, her left eye twitching. "It could happen…" Terre stepped back, only to trip over her own tail and hit her bum on the floor with a thud. She hiccupped a sob, and drew her knees up to her chest, staring at her tail like it wanted to whip her. But it laid their motionless.
"I'm a freak…"
"You are not a freak, my Queen!" Everyone, including Terre, jumped when Damon in all his 8 foot glory, dropped from the ceiling above them behind her. He pulled her up into his arms, and coiled his own tail gently around hers, lifting it up slightly too. Terre smiled softly, closed her fathomless eyes and rested her cheek tiredly against his vast armoured chest. "You are beautiful, and at last complete."
"You've been saying that for such a long time now…are you sure this time I am?"
Yes, my Queen. Terre clutched at her head, and winced.
"Please just talk. My head hurts too much for more than my own voice in there right now…"
"Terre." Kim walked forward, but Katel's grip on her shoulder halted her. She looked back at him questioningly, but he shook his head at her.
"Take her back to you room. She needs to rest. I want to hear nothing suspicious, understand?" Damon didn't move, or acknowledge him. Aggravated, Katel clicked his mandibles together furiously. Terre reached behind her warrior and pushed the door open. Damon nodded to this silent command, and retreated back into the room. But before he could shut the door-
"Kim…Queen?" Everyone stopped, even Damon was listening.
"Yeah…I guess I couldn't just let you get all the attention." Kim chuckled nervously, not knowing quite what her reaction would be.
Yautja and the newly dubbed 'Shadows' were age old enemies.
Terre was now the Queen of Shadows.
And Kim the Queen of Yautja.
Would Terre be happy or…
"Well…I always said you were a royal pain in the ass…" Terre mumbled happily, already half asleep in Damon's strong arms. Kim felt elated suddenly, and stepped forward with a beaming smile.
"We are two of a kind, right?"
"Friends forever?" there was a pause, and Terre shifted in Damon's arms. She used the last of her strength to push herself up, and raised her heavy onyx eyes to gaze blindly at Kim.
"Always forever." With that, she yawned and fell back into Damon's tender arms, unconscious.
Kim was so relieved, she didn't even bat an eyelid when Damon slammed the door shut on them curtly, and almost floated back into Katel's room.
Katel lingered his amber eyes curiously on the closed door, before he tore himself away to join his mate. As soon as he closed their door, he was met with a beaming Kim.
"Right, so, Queen Katel huh?" Kim threw herself back on the bed, folded her arms behind her head, eyes closed, and laid her legs open lazily. "That doesn't seem too bad."
"Queen Kim of the Toj Yen, is the correct title." Katel leaned with his shoulder against the wall by the bed, eyebrow raised and looking down at her with amusement.
"Well, it's just about the same thing. Though…I prefer Queeny." Kim chuckled, and opened her emerald eyes quizzically when Katel trilled at her.
"Am I to understand that this is one of those… 'best friend has approved it' things again? Because you have certainly changed your tune."
"Yep." He sweat dropped, but trilled never the less.
"I will never understand the inner workings of you females…"
"Well, I could give you a crash course in my 'inner workings' if you like."
Katel blinked, smirked, and soon crawled his way over the bed to her.
"I wouldn't object…Queeny."
three days later…
"I swear Terre, I think I preferred you sick." Kim grumbled, pouting off to the side.
"You don't mean that!" Terre giggled, poking her friend's cheek. They were all sat in the kitchen area, as Kim dubbed it, with dried meat strips and strangely orange coloured water. Terre had guzzled down at least 3 chalices of the stuff, Kim being a bit more reserved.
She still hadn't gotten used to drinking orange water. And if she had to eat these meat rations for much longer… "You're just upset because I'm back to teasing you, huh, Xena?" Terre giggled, and plonked herself back in her seat. Her colossal tail swung behind her giddily, a personification of Terre's mood, and the girl wouldn't stop smiling.
That was good. At least she was acting like good old Terre again.
"Cha, talking to yourself is the first sign of madness, Xena."
"No it isn't." Kim folded her arms and mock glared at her. "Befriending you is the first sign of madness. Because I must be insane to like being around you. And stop doing that!" Terre was goofily miming everything Kim was saying. It was really hard to be angry with her when she did that…you just wanted to laugh. "I swear, you act like a kid!"
"Oh, that's 'coz I am. 16, actually." Kim blinked at her. And Terre giggled. "The reason I had to work in the basement and near the Queen in the first place was because they threatened to tell everyone that I snuck into university when I was still in high school and became a super nerd too early." She winked one onyx eye at her. "Black mail was the game they plaid. But that doesn't really matter anymore, does it?"
"And…you didn't think to TELL me?"
"Run for cover!" Terre scuttled over to the other side of the room quickly, scarily aided by the swaying motion of her skeletal tail. She picked up a stool and held it between her and Kim, as Kim had jumped up and stormed after her. "She's gonna blow!" But Terre couldn't stop giggling and smiling.
"I'll give you 'she's gonna blow'. All this time, you never told me I was hanging around with an adolescent kid!" Kim's left eye twitched, and she raised a fist at her. "I have half the mind to hit you upside your pauking head!" Terre stuck her tongue out at her and grinned goofily. "Then I'll add a leash to that collar of yours, and walk you around the ship, kicking your ass from behind with every step I take! See how you can tease me then!"
"I'm not a dog!"
"I beg to differ…"
"Waaaaa! Kim's being mean to me!" Terre dropped to her knees and pretended to bawl her eyes out. Kim scowled with a sweat drop, and turned her back.
"No. No you do this every time." She folded her arms, closing her eyes. "I will not fold because you throw a tantrum. Not going to do it." She pursed her lips together, her form rigid and firm.
Katel just watched from the table, a brow raised, and clicking his upper left and lower left mandible curiously at them. they way they interacted…was just odd.
"WAAAAAAA!" Terre bawled louder, rubbing her fists over her eyes childishly. "Meanie Kim! MEANIE Kim!" Kim flinched, and seemed to tense even more.
Katel rolled his amber eyes, and drank from his chalice.
My mate will give in. she may seem cold, but she is far to soft on the inside to make a stand too long. Especially against the Ooman Kainde Amide, it seems. He had been watching them together too long now not to notice how their interactions went.
Terre would tease Kim.
Kim would lose her temper.
Terre would manipulate Kim into apologising, and revert back into her sunshine self.
But Terre made Kim smile and laugh so heartily, Katel didn't mind.
Although if she didn't stop that hissing wailing soon…he was going to throw his cutting disc at her.
It was like nails on a chalk board, truly. And he dragged his talons along the table, trying to keep his resolve. Any second now, Kim will relent to her. Any second…any…second…
"Oh for God's sake Terre! I didn't mean it!" Katel sighed with relief, when Kim ran to Terre and pulled her into an embrace.
"I know." Terre giggled, her tears vanished and she looked like she had never cried in her life, making Katel want to smack his head against the table. He almost did. "But you should learn to control your temper, or one day, you really will upset someone. Someone important."
"You are important, idiot." Kim shook her head, and dragged Terre back over to the table. "Sit. Shut up. No teasing." Kim huffed and sat next to Katel again. He hooked his arm around her back and held her against him discretely. Kim smiled, and forced herself to drink more orange water. It didn't particularly taste of anything. but the pigment was a little off putting. She nibbled the end of another piece of dried meat, and snapped. Again. "That's it. I'm going stir crazy!" She snapped her irritated gaze on Katel, who simply raised a clam brow at her.
He was getting used to her moods, and learning how to detect whether her scowl was because of genuine distress or fury, or just a portrayal of her inner frustration. If it was the latter, she meant no challenge or offence by it. And in this case, it wasthe latter. "If I don't get to eat some real food and get off this dinky little ship soon, I'm going to KILL someone!"
Terre slipped away from the table, and seemed to be comically tip toeing away.
But Kim stood on the end of her tail, and yanked her to a stop. "And where the hell are YOU going?!?"
"To safety! Whenever you wanna kill someone, it's usually me!" Katel trilled loudly, getting accustomed to the antics of his mate's friend. It was actually entertaining. The day after she emerged from her room, Kim force fed her and poured liquids down her. The day after, she changed.
To according to Kim, returned back to normal.
To think, you had to care for this pup-like female constantly for years back on your planet. How could you have not known she was but a young blood? He clattered, and entertained himself with watching Kim sitting on Terre's back cross legged, and pouting down at her.
"Well if you didn't give me reasons to, then I might not want to kill you!"
"What did I do?!"
"Other than constantly worry me sick, wear my patience thin, and tip toe on my sanity?!?"
"…yeah? Other than that?" Kim hung her head forward and sweat dropped, before snapping it back and growling.
"I'm gonna kill you one day!" Kim gave her a nuggy in her golden hair, and Terre squirmed.
A great roaring hiss echoed throughout the hall.
Katel was on his feet, having grabbed the collar of Kim's halter neck tanned skin top, and yanking her back into his protective embrace. His spear was extended like a bar in front of her, and his amber eyes scanning for the source of the noise.
All on instinct.
"…Katel…it's just D." Kim blinked up at him, pointing up at the ceiling. Katel snapped his head up, and stared at the creature above him.
It was about 7 to 8 feet when he let it onboard on ship.
Now…Damon coiled his magnificent 9 feet along the ceiling, claws digging into the metallic tiles and hissing his singular mouth down at him. His sleek, navy framed mesoskeleton seemed to dim into the darkness of the room, broad shoulders, long powerful legs, muscular arms and supple fingers with claws tipped on each one. The same tail that had recently developed from Terre's anatomy, swayed along the ceiling from this 'drone'.
Kim tried to walk back over to Terre, but Katel pulled her back against him, having a stare off with the 'Shadow', as Terre named them. "Katel…?"
"Damon?" Terre pushed herself up to her feet, her tail coiling around her feet a few times. She brushed off her identical tanned brown halter neck top and hanging skirt to Kim's, and blinked up at her warrior with confusion in her onyx eyes. "I didn't call you."
"A drone will react to more than their Queen's words." Katel never looked away from Damon, who was hissing and glaring right back. "Kim…I suggest you don't hurt your friend again. Even in play."
"The Kainde Amide will not see your innocent fun as 'safe' if it causes even the slightest bit of discomfort for its Queen."
Kim gazed back at Terre, feeling just that little bit further away from her.
"Damon, stop that. Come down here." Terre rolled her eyes, not taking this as seriously as Katel and Kim were.
Damon dropped behind her with a soft 'pat', and placed his clawed hands on her shoulders.
"You should not be risking the welfare of our children like that. Rolling around on the floor with that hunter's mate on your back." Terre's eyes grew wide, and she gasped, snapping her head round to look at Damon, horrified. Worry not my Queen. For now, they are safe. But…be more careful next time. You have more than yourself to think about now.
"…I'm sorry." Terre felt that familiar lump rise to her throat again.
Over the last few days, Damon had been hinting and hinting about her pregnancy more and more. No matter how hard she tried to avoid the subject. She had even pretended to be asleep before Damon joined her in bed, when they retired for the night.
She hated that she was evading him, it wasn't that he had done anything wrong particularly…
…but she had.
Kim had asked her if she was attracted to or had done anything with Damon. And at that moment in time, she truthfully answered no.
But now…now she was in love with him, and according to Damon, pregnant with hundreds of mini shadows right now.
Ignoring that fact, allowed her to be cheery and blissfully unaware for the last few days.
That was all well and good…but could she ignore what she'd done once she started to physically show she was pregnant? She couldn't deny it when her stomach was so swollen she can't walk through doorways anymore.
And she already felt dizzy when she woke up, and heavy in her stomach.
In fact, thinking about it, was starting to make her feel a little sick right now…
No. I'msorry my Queen. I have worried you. Forgive me. Damon took his hands back, and bowed to her. Terre forced a smile, and nodded.
But she suddenly felt so cold…so…numb.
She felt guilty.
She felt ashamed.
…but…this is what she wanted…
She wanted to have a family.
She looked back to Kim, who was smirking up at Katel. He had one of her thin braids between his fingers, tracing her cheek with the end of one and clicking cheekily at her. It was obvious that the two didn't think they were being watched, so Terre looked back to Damon.
"I suddenly feel quite ill. I'm going to lay down." She walked straight past Damon, blanking everyone and slamming the door shut behind her.
Terre threw herself on her bed, and sniffled to the pillow.
How come Kim and Katel could be happy and open about their love, but she had to keep it a secret?
Terre had even been slightly responsible for their happiness. They wouldn't be mates right now, had she not taken a part in getting them to stay in the same room as each other.
Kim would still be a pathetic mess, and Katel would still be moping in the trophy room, had she not helped them.
Terre scowled, hissing through grit teeth and pulling her collar off harshly.
"It's not fair!" Terre screeched, throwing the collar absentmindedly behind her, and thumping the bed beside her. Her tail whipped angrily behind her, and she buried her face in the pillow. They get to be happy and guilt free. But I have to keep my love secret, and worry what they'll think when they find out.
Katel will kill you.
Kim will hate you.
Why are you hesitating?
Kill them all. Kill them all now.
That voice echoed in the back of her head, and she seriously listened to it…before shaking her head.
No. I could never hurt Kim or the man she loves…guy…mate…oh whatever! She pushed herself up onto her knees and let tears fall down her cheeks.
She wasn't in pain anymore. Hadn't been for days.
Turns out the pain had come from her tail making its way out. Once that happened, she was fine again.
At first, she was unnerved by the sudden additional appendage.
But when Kim accepted her because of it, regardless of anything, she accepted having a tail too. She even found it amusing to sit by Kim when they were waiting for Katel to finish up in the bridge, and tap her shoulder at the other side of her with the tip of her tail, making sure she lowered it immediately and look the other way the entire time.
Kim still forgot she had a tail at times, blankly looked behind her, then to Terre, scratched her head, and returned to polishing her wrist blades.
She had her going with that one for at least 20 minutes…
Why does she get to be so happy…while I get to be so miserable?
Terre heard the door creak open, and she hung her head forward.
"Damon, can I be alone for a while please?"
You will never be alone again, my Queen.
"Stop talking in my head Damon. I told you, I prefer to hear you talking instead."
It doesn't feel natural to… Damon cleared his throat. "…Yes my Queen."
Terre choked a sob, and turned sorrowfully to her own mate.
"If you want to talk to me mentally, you go right ahead. I didn't mean to make you feel bad Damon."
"You could never make me feel bad, my Queen." Damon closed the door behind him, and rose to his back legs, walking like every other humanoid on the ship. He joined her on the bed, laying on his side and looking up at her. "You don't feel ill…do you?" Terre tearily frowned, and closed her eyes. Damon shifted, sitting up and pulling her into his massive arms and brushing his lips over her face soothingly. "Then what troubles you my Queen?"
"I have to keep so many secrets Damon." Terre hiccupped, and clung to him desperately. "I love you. I'm pregnant. I wanted this. But I can't tell Kim anything…"
"No, you can't." Damon held her tightly. "Your companion is only content to protect you from her hunter mate while you are baron in her eyes. Once she learns you are carrying, she will loyally tell her mate, and…I will have to protect you. And I would have to kill them both."
"Damon, no! You can't-"
"If you wish to protect them from me, My Queen." Damon licked her cheek affectionately, and stoked her arm. "Then you will not tell them that you are carrying. Because if it comes to you or them, they will die."
"They'll know as soon as I put weight on Damon! I can't hide a huge honking belly from them!" She snapped, whimpering immediately afterwards.
"We will not be here by then." Terre blinked, and gulped to calm herself.
"W what do you mean, we won't be here by then?" Damon raised his head and looked away. "Damon?"
"I overheard the Hunter and his mate this morning. They plan to stop on a preserved planet for the sanity of your companion and to replenish their rations." Terre's eyes opened wide, and she stared at him. "We shall escape at that time, and you may finally create a nest for our hive to flourish. We shall remain hidden whilst your companion looks for you, and no doubt after an amount of time, the Hunter will grow inpatient and be glad to be rid of us, and leave."
He doesn't do anything unless she tells him to.
And she did NOT tell him to go and do that!
"D…Damon." Well, it was her own fault, she supposed. She was the one who told him to have his own will and personality. So obviously…he would… "Damon…we're leaving…forever?" I'll never get to see Kim again?
"Yes. We are."