On the floor—look!

Entwined, our clothing

Imitates us.

-Yureiko Tsuruta Crane

What happened next began like a scene from one of those smirk-and-jiggle anti-intellectual teen sex comedies, along the lines of Porky's, or perhaps Animal House or American Pie. (I never went out of my way to see one, but I had a roommate who adored them.) Such movies glorify the 'jock' lifestyle, if it can be dignified by calling it a lifestyle, that is, and would have the viewer believe that any young man who does not go around in a constant state of priapism is not healthy and that all young women are there for is to act as 'cumdumpsters', I believe the phrase is. Distasteful, degrading, and insulting to both genders, if you ask me.

While the protagonists of all these movies are an endless parade of Bo Griggs and Sherry Squires, let us not leave out that well known figure of endless fun, the awkward, bespectacled nerd who can't get any. (And no, Revenge of the Nerds does not make up for it!) But I digress.

Suzume went up to change, and I waited to be on hand should she need help. Beyond untying a couple of knots, she managed quite well on her own until she got down to her white cotton slip. Its tie had frayed, the threads locking together into a dense wad with what seemed like the tensile strength of steel. She couldn't untie or break it. That was where I came in.

Rather than employ the Gordian solution of cutting it apart, I (little guessing the consequences) took hold of either side and yanked hard. The string not only broke, the slip tore apart and Suzume, caught off balance, lurched into me.

Suddenly I—had my hands full. Only for a moment, however, because Suzume gasped out, "Oh!" and pulled away, the picture of outraged modesty, covering herself and shrinking back as if I were Jack the Ripper.

"I'm sorry—it was an accident. I didn't mean to—." I gabbled out before I recovered my dignity. "Suzume, I would never, now or in the future, ever—force myself on you."

"It is not that," she replied, sounding miserable, "for indeed, I trust you. But my figure is…meager. I have a flat chest, and my legs are not curved and plump as they should be. I had hoped it would be dark, the first time—the first time I disrobed."

Her face had flushed deep rose. Well, so had mine. At that moment, Scarecrow was screaming 'Do something! Say something! Idiot!' and I was tongue-tied.

So it was Dr. Crane, believe it or not, who said: "Different cultures have different standards of beauty. As do men. I…think you have a lovely figure."

She sniffed back a quiet little sob. "Truly?"

"Truly—oh. Oh!" That last part was because Suzume had turned back toward me and dropped the remains of her slip. All she wore was a short hip wrap, and she could not meet my eyes, but looked at the floor instead.

Scarecrow stepped forward to cup her face in my/our hand, and raise her chin so she had to look me in the face. "Yes. Very truly. Most definitely."

After that—well, we were in my bedroom, and that meant there was a bed right there.

Good taste, modesty, and a desire not to wind up sleeping on the sofa again (she doesn't lock me out, but she lies there so rigid and chilly that sleeping on the sofa is preferable) forbid me from going into detail about what went on, but I will say what did not happen. We did not have any form of intercourse. As I tell my patients, intercourse is not the be-all and end-all of sexual activity, and it's more important that the people involved be mutually happy with what's going on. Whatever that might be. Besides, it would have been unprotected, not to mention jumping the gun. As it were.

A/N: Yes, very short. I'm sorry! More next time!