I'm sooo sorry this took so long to post! It was a lot harder than I anticipated to rewrite Ker'ak'de's chapter and just like the twins, he demanded to go his own way - the humans too. WARNING: later in this chapter, it is NOT what it seems. I'll repeat, this story has NO 'pup' action *cough*. No. But it DOES have elements of innocent discovery and puppy love/crushes. So please don't get the wrong idea. :)

I swear come hell or high water, I WILL get back to two scenes per chapter, LOL. I don't own/make money from Aliens/Predator but the humans are all mine. Thank you again SO much for reviewing, I hope this keeps you entertained - all views are welcomed with open arms.

Ker'ak'de wondered, and not for the first time, why these pups were acting so differently from adults. He'd encountered Ooman adults before, many a time, but never had they behaved so strangely and what seemed to him, against the nature of their species. Granted he'd run across, battled and hunted males more so than females but occasionally a female Ooman warrior was thrown in his path. He'd never openly spoken his thoughts on the matter but he did have opinions of Ooman females based on his experience. Maybe that was what seemed like such a huge chasm in his understanding.

The scent of mint was strong on his palette from the tube the slightly older female was carrying, clutched to her chest while she stared at him with open… awe? Ker'ak'de couldn't be sure. Dragging his gaze up to the pup's face, he couldn't make out many details but he knew when their eyes connected. The female gasped and tensed but those reactions were minute and easily overlooked since she didn't step back, move away or avert her gaze.

Ker'ak'de growled again low in his throat and allowed his dreads to rise, flicking his gaze from the female's face to the items she protectively clutched against her. He was familiar now with the smallest pup standing beside her, still carrying the large bottle of lotion that the crowd was meticulously massaging into his skin. He approved of that... for now. But the older ones intentions were highly suspect and he made sure to convey that as best he could.

"Wow," the smallest pup breathed in awe, "Do you feel that?"

The crowd quieted completely from their soft murmurs and even those massaging him paused in their work to regard the little one. Quickly turning, she shoved the large bottle in her hands to her nearest neighbor before stepping forward until the tips of her shoes almost brushed Ker'ak'de's weight baring forearm. The little one seemed to roll her fleshy lower lip inwards to her mouth, her small teeth worrying it as barely contained excitement sprayed from her pores.

"Feel what, Anna?" Nancy asked, having lost the Yaut's attention but seemingly not worried about that as she continued to hold his hand, now with both of her own to continue her own massage.

"The like," Anna started before stopping, wrinkling her brow as if in thought for a word or proper description. "Vibrations! Yeah, he's like, vibrating when he makes that noise. I can feel it inside. My chest is all shaky and stuff. It feels so weird but so cool. It almost makes me wanna laugh!"

Nancy smiled in understanding and patience, nodding. "Yes, I feel it too. What do you think it means?"

Anna shrugged a small shoulder before giggling, or trying not to, since her expression brightened while she studied the prone Yaut in front of her. "I dunno, but it's sooo cool. I like it!" No sooner were the words out of her mouth, Anna launched herself at Ker'ak'de. Falling with a thump to her boney little knees she fell across the Yaut's deep, broad chest with childish delight and discovery. One arm stretched as far as it could to surround him, the other bent up over his ribs she nestled her ear against his pectoral and closed her eyes as the Yaut's vibrating growl buzzed into her ear and rattled her whole body.

Ker'ak'de immediately went silent and still. He didn't even dare breathe, not with the little pup half on top of him like this. Tensing, he squeezed Nancy's hand perhaps harder than he'd intended as she gasped to his side and the ones massaging him seemed to spontaneously come back to life as his muscles hardened under their stilled hands. Immediately he was enveloped in touch again and slowly, oh so slowly, he relaxed and Nancy exhaled heavily.

"Anna, I don't think he likes that." Nancy cautioned, her voice a bit hoarse as she tried to keep the throbbing ache from her crushed hand out of her voice. She didn't think anything was broken, but it felt ridiculously hot and sore as she flexed her fingers to help bring back circulation. "Can you sit up for me please, and do me a favor?"

"Aww, he stopped!" Anna complained with a pout, lifting her head and glancing from Ker'ak'de's face to Nancy across from her. Frowning a moment, the little girl tried to guess what her friend might want but soon gave up with another shrug and laid her chin down on the Yaut's chest. "Okay, I guess I can."

Ker'ak'de didn't know what to think. Instinctively when the pup draped across him, he'd lifted a hand to the small of her back as each time he breathed in it felt as if the female would slip off from how high his chest raised. The little pup seemed to move inside her top though, her body sliding while the fabric stayed so the pads of his fingers scraped against her bare skin. She felt hot, her temperature a lot warmer than his own without the netting and so soft he snapped his mandibles in tight to his maw and contracted his brows. In comparison his callused touch was like sand against glass.

"Good girl," Nancy murmured. "Now sit up, go on. That's it, stand up and come over here, above his head." Gesturing with one of her hands, Nancy snapped her fingers where she wanted Anna to end up.

Anna wrinkled her face in protest, but finally sighed in indignant resignation before pushing off the Yaut's chest and getting to her feet. A quick rub or two later on her grating patterned knees, she traipsed where Nancy indicated and stood at Ker'ak'de's head, out of his sight before looking unsure. "Um, here?"

"Right there, peanut. Good, now go ahead and sit down, Indian style and scoot up real close, okay?"

Nodding, Anna dropped down to sit and folded her legs into position as Ker'ak'de trilled and swung his massive head around. When the little one had pulled away he hadn't stayed her, but he'd also been slightly sad to let her go too. He didn't quite understand why. He hadn't wanted her laid across him like that but once there, he couldn't deny that it felt... pleasant. Her lack of fear and obvious enjoyment of him had triggered something in his brain. It made him feel… approachable. Female Yaut's never allowed their pups close to others, never close enough to actually engage physically and by the time the pups were old enough to do just that it was always for conversation or to challenge, never to simply... simply...

He didn't even have a word for what he sought to describe. There were a couple he could use but they didn't quite feel right somehow. Frustrated with himself, the confusing situation and everything in general that formed a large tangled knot deep inside, he couldn't see Anna so he tilted his head to look at Nancy as she directed the pup behind him. Her scent was layering on his palette, not thick at first but grew in depth the more he breathed. Commanding, calm, confident but there was something else. Trilling again, louder this time he squeezed her hand and when she tightened, he tugged to cant her closer to his face while he chuffed the air directly in front of her with a flutter of his eyes.

The massaging crowd gasped and their rhythmic, coordinated effort quickly fell off key and out of sync. He tensed again and growled, narrowing his gaze on Nancy's face. Pain. The little female was suffering. At first, he suffered confusion until he clued in on the tension in her hand as it held his. Eyes widening, he barked out a noise and tried letting go but Nancy quickly diverted his intentions and clung to his hand with both of her own. Threading her fingers with his like before she tightened up, strong for a pup, and grasped his wrist with her other as she met his gaze head on in challenge.

Her scent was stronger now, labored and intense as she bore down with both her will and her physical strength, trying to show him that she was fine, that all was alright. Paya help him, he'd hurt a pup! Without his mask he couldn't see any injury clearly but he needed to let go. Pushing off his opposite arm, he lunged at Nancy to bark directly in her face with a hurricane blast of hot breath as he shook the hand she held but she simply dug in and held on tighter.

"No!" She reprimanded right back at him, impossibly leaning in to his half assed display of dominance, coming up on her knees to tower over him by a few inches. "No!" Blasted right back by her own breath, Ker'ak'de growled louder and struggled to sit up. Didn't this pup understand that he'd hurt her? He'd dishonored himself! Shifting his weight to free his opposite arm, he made to reach across and physically pry himself loose when the young female Veronica yelped and dropped to her knees at his side, quick to snatch his reaching hand and hold it tight while the others broke into noise and as one seemed to converge, increasing their efforts to massage and soothe him.

"Anna!" Nancy commanded, not taking her eyes from Ker'ak'de. "Anna, massage him, peanut. Rub his head, rub his temples. You can do it."

"Why's he upset, Nancy?" Anna cried, her hands fluttering in the air, unsure of what to do, where to touch, how or if she should as she breathed heavy. "I don't want him to be upset!"

"Anna!" Nancy commanded again, harsher this time as she finally tore free from the Yaut's challenging stare to pin Anna in place. "Do what I said, damnit! His head'll fit into the cross of your legs like that, so you need to massage him. Just trust me and do this, peanut, please!"

While Anna squealed out a distressed cry, wriggling and bouncing in place, Veronica across from Nancy kept battling with Ker'ak'de as he barely fought at half strength. Palm to palm, she gripped the back of the Yaut's hand with white knuckles as she struggled to counteract his jerking, tense movements. Long brunette hair swaying, flicking and flying in front of her long, narrow face she thinned her lips and braced her thighs for the tug of war before shooting Nancy a glance. Do something!

"STOP!" Nancy shouted, right in Ker'ak'de's face. The force behind the word was so strong, hyper saturated with pheromones that Ker'ak'de did as she commanded without even understanding the word she spoke. Freezing in place, his body a dead weight, he slowly slumped back against the ground with Nancy following him all the way down. It was pure instinct on his part to follow the will of a female, language barrier or not he clearly understood that this female wanted his compliance and wouldn't take no for an answer. Oddly enough, her show of dominance calmed him as much as it pricked.

The female's eyes were so strange in his natural vision. A grayish white they burned into his brain and melted his muscles. Entranced, he soon found himself prostrate completely on the catwalk with his head gently pillowed in Anna's lap behind him. The little female whined a faint noise and he could feel her shifting but he didn't move. He didn't dare. Not with Nancy's command mere inches from his face as she'd followed him all the way down, leaning over him. For a split second he even forgot why he struggled in the first place. This female's scent was nothing but compelling now, ordering his submission.

Instead of angering Ker'ak'de, it sucked the fight right out of him. This female, whatever her point may be, screamed that she was in the right and he was in the wrong. She was wholesome, strong, and as she should be. Blessed Paya, she even growled at him a bit right at the end as she exhaled deeper than before. His pupils blown into black, the barest rim of color showing at the edges he exhaled himself and fully relaxed, lightly twitching his upper right mandible.

For what felt like hours, the pair did nothing but heavily breathe into each others personal space. Nancy's humid, gusting breaths bathed his maw in sweet moisture, the taste and scent undefined but enjoyable as she kept a firm hold on his now lax hand. Pressing her thumbs into his wrist with deep circular motions, she hugged his palm and fingers against her developing chest until he could feel the pounding of her Ooman heart. Claws flexing automatically, they curled into the pup's neckline to loosely grip, also having snagged the gold medallion she wore on a chain.

"Anna," Nancy panted.

"Yeah," Anna replied quickly, her pitch high, thready but sure. "Yeah, I'm here. I'm… I'm doing it." Her small hands shakily had taken to rubbing Ker'ak'de's temples, smoothing over the thicker barbed hair like projections to ease his demeanor while her thumbs pressed in firm running lines back and forth along his ridge that formed the crest.

"Good girl," Nancy breathed, almost to herself than the younger female as she was so close to Ker'ak'de now that her entire face could've fit within the spread of his mandibles had he flared them open. As it was, the lower flaps were closed tight yet the two upper had spread to lightly tap and trace Nancy's cheekbones with their talons. "Keep rubbing. Everyone, keep rubbing. Don't stop. Please."

Across from her, Veronica took heed and increased her massage on Ker'ak'de's opposite hand. Fingers pressing along the bend lines of his large callused palm, she breathed heavily too, washing across his scarred knuckled as she dripped her chin a bit to watch Nancy closely, guarded. "Do you know what you're doing?"

"No," Nancy wavered, puffing against Ker'ak'de's face again. "I have no idea. Everything I've learned has gone right out of my head. I'm going by pure instinct, Ronnie. Don't push me, please."

Softening slightly with the use of her nickname, Veronica nodded and wet her lips nervously before gazing around. Catching the eye of many in the crowd who had fresh dollops of lotion in their palms, she frowned and ordered, "You heard her, keep rubbing him. Calm him down."

The crowd gasped in noise, some even whimpering as they quickly got back to work, working the thick, silky, luxurious lotion in the Yaut's scaly skin. Their body heat warming it quickly, Ker'ak'de groaned out a submissive noise that would've embarrassed him had these pups been Yaut but since they weren't, he gave up fighting when the fingers started kneading again. His skin, always dry, seemed to suck up the lotion at an alarming speed. Constantly refilling their cupped hands with pumps from the bottle, their determination and stamina were no match for Ker'ak'de's needy spirit.

"Everything's alright," Nancy breathed into Ker'ak'de's partially blocked maw. Her forehead pressed to his prominent brow ridge she didn't seem in discomfort though the protruding bone had to hurt her. "We mean you no harm. We want to help you. Please let us help you. Please." On the last word, her voice tightened on a whimper.

Ker'ak'de instantly purred without any thought involved. It was natural to him when a female was in distress, and this time, this strong, commanding female seemed strained to the limit. His sensitive soul cried out at that, and so he purred. He'd only wanted to remove himself after hurting her, to examine her damage and yet here she was concerned about his own state. Confused, overwhelmed, out of his league and badgered by scents that screamed good will despite all odds he kept still.

"I-I think..." Veronica stammered. "He thought something was... was wrong?"

Sighing deeply, Nancy closed her eyes. Leave it to Ronnie to map the logic. Opening her eyes again to Ker'ak'de's glazed, enchanted gaze, she murmured. "I'm alright. Everything is alright."

Until the people at the very back of the crowd gave an uproarious cry of alarm. Planted in the T junction, the cry sounded from all three avenues very deep, back in the pack of students along all three hallways. Spreading like a wildfire, panic flared up the ranks until everyone had caught wind. Jerking her gaze up from Ker'ak'de, Nancy sucked in a large breath and held it as she assessed what the fuss was about. Quickly darting her daze to Veronica and Anna, even Linda who stood just to the side she gruffed and nodded firmly, confirming that they should stay put.

"Lean in!" Nancy called as loud as she could, before pushing to her feet while still holding the Yaut's hand. Ker'ak'de stirred as if from a deep sleep, lazy and a few seconds behind he registered the commotion around him. The thickening scents of distress, fear, adrenaline and Nancy now standing without letting him go. Something wasn't right. Something was wrong. Shaking his head, he lifted it from Anna's lap behind him and blinked hard in all directions as he tried to force his senses back online. The pups were clearly stirred up. But why?

"T3 offence!" Came the cry from the hall to the left, quickly spread in rapid succession along the right hall and front hall in tandem. "T3 offence, T3 offence, T3 offence!" The growing voices shouted, cheered, screamed and commanded until the very air shimmered with noise. Unseen to Ker'ak'de's circle, the back pack in each hallway seven layers deep had spun to confront the hard meat facing each hall with battle cries, screams and curses. Armed with enzyme canisters, water hoses, SoBall equipment, chairs and color guard twirling flag poles the students intimidated the hard heats.

At the command to lean in, Anna bent over Ker'ak'de's head in her lap as she kept massaging, smiling into his unfocused eyes as she said cheerily, "My sister Jennie helped me make the lotion you're wearing. Jennie's real smart. She's older than me and sooo cool. You'd like her. It doesn't smell, the lotion I mean, so you won't smell like a girl or anything. Guys shouldn't smell like girls. It's weird." Anna's face scrunched up as Ker'ak'de blinked and trilled before shifting his gaze to Nancy.

Still standing, Nancy held his hand tighter than he thought a young Ooman possible, pressing it against her stomach as she struggled to see over everyone's heads down each hallway, shouting out commands as needed. He could feel her muscles tighten like metal; vibrate, until they relaxed momentarily until she yelled out again.

"Hey," Anna pressed on, undaunted by his shifting attention. "Hey, mister?" When the Yaut's gaze remained on Nancy, Anna pouted and slid her hands down to tug on some of his dreads. She didn't pull hard, well not at first, because quickly she learned that they weren't just rubber tubes growing out of his head like she first thought. They were warm and pulsing, like they had their own heartbeats. Gasping in a little breath, she glanced down with wide eyes. "Mister!" She yanked.

Ker'ak'de yelped instead of roared, the sound pained and high pitched which immediately embarrassed him. He hadn't made a sound like that since he was still a pup himself. Grousing, he tucked his head way back, jamming the back of his crest in the hollow of little Anna's crossed legs. Still unable to see the Ooman, he kept arching, dragging the little girl across the grated floor with her shins trapped under his neck. Yelping herself, Anna held tighter to his dreads on instinct as they swelled a bit and throbbed in her fists. Ker'ak'de chattered his maw, dense hard claps of his teeth as he bit down on the urge to yell out again or to do something even more dishonoring, like yanking one of his hands free and grabbing a fistful of her furry head covering to see how she liked it. It was tempting. So tempting.

"Mister?" Anna whispered now, chewing on her fleshy lower lip until it glowed a brighter red than the rest of her. Not that he could focus correctly since she was a mere inch from his face, her eyes hovering directly over his as she bent over him in her lap. Forcing himself to blink a few times, clearing the faint watery sting from his eyes as the pup still clung to his dreads, he clicked his mandibles and growled as low as he could. "Do you have a lot of heads?"

Ker'ak'de had no idea what she was saying, and with his ears struggling to hear her breathy words through the uproar still raging all around him, he didn't even know why he tried. He didn't understand yet he struggled to hear. Where all of these confounding pups taught how to be the center of attention or was it natural?

"Anna!" Veronica chirped from Ker'ak'de's right, leaning to give a fast strike with a hand to the younger pup's hovering head in a cuff like slide that caught the girl above her ear. "Stop it, you're smothering him."

Anna cried out, surprised, at the glancing blow and quickly shot up with a stiff back and growing mutiny on her small face as she pouted in Veronica's direction. "I am not! I was asking him if he had a lot of heads!"

"A lot of heads? Anna...," Veronica started, her confusion evident in her voice as she struggled to keep up with the surrounding war chants, jostles from her peers and what in the world the younger girl was talking about.

"Yeah, heads!" Anna challenged right back, her chin jutting out before she yanked on the Yaut's dreads again and bent back over him quickly. "Do you?"

Ker'ak'de yelped again despite himself, unprepared for another siege to his tubules and anger flash fired through his veins. Enough was enough! Yanking his hand free of Nancy, violently enough that it sent the older girl stumbling and tripping over his midsection with a surprised cry of her own, Ker'ak'de swiftly grabbed a handful of young Anna's fur. His palm encompassing the entire back and top of her head, he grated in with his fingertips to make a fist full of the long strands before giving his own tug. It was enough to stretch the pup over his head even more and she quickly screamed.

Letting go of his dreads, Anna grabbed onto the back of his hand and dug in with her thin, flimsy nails as her own indignant scream sounded off right in his face. Even through his burst of anger, he was sure he hadn't tugged that hard, just enough to give the little menace a taste of her own medicine. Flaring his mandibles, he roared right back at her. The competing sounds bellowing from both of them did little for anyone's ears as many of the massaging pups left off their rubbing to clap their hands over their heads and duck down, trying to ride out the pitches that bounced like rubber balls through the hallways.

Veronica was no different, cringing and tucking her chin to her chest as she struggled to keep control of the Yaut's right hand as he jerked her to and fro, unseating her kneeling balance at every turn. Long dark hair obscuring her vision, she chirped out another noise before Linda dropped down beside her to help hold on.

"Pile on!" Veronica yelled out in a nasal like tone, her bird like face scrunched up in the strain she felt holding on. "Pile on!"

"Do something!" Linda screamed at random, clinging to the Yaut's forearm like an out of control joystick that just kept jerking her along for the ride, trying hard not to get hit in the face or head.

Slightly winded from her suddenly unstoppable fall across Ker'ak'de's lower abdomen, Nancy groaned and tried hard to coordinate her muscles, getting to her hands and knees on either side of the powerful Yaut that kept struggling. The massagers were offline, all of them busy covering their ears as chaos continued to rein. The back pack in each of the three hallways continued to battle the hard meats and in between discord ran amuck as the students had no idea what to do or who to turn to, feeling converged on from both sides they kept twisting and turning, bumping off each other.

In an almost perpetual motion cycle, Ker'ak'de and Anna kept feeding off each other, continued to tug and pull at each others hair, both bound and determined to make the other cry 'Uncle' first. Ker'ak'de wasn't at all prepared for a full battle of wills against a pup so young. The harder he pulled on her, the louder she screamed and the harder she tugged on him in return once she realized she couldn't pry him off. Bending up his knees to plant his feet firmly, he surged his hips upwards in a serpentine like writhe that knocked Nancy off balance, sliding her down his torso until her fleshy side connected with his throat. Her upper body now tucked against his armpit, the arm wrestle with Veronica and Linda raging just over head, Nancy struggled to regain her breathing and bearings. Constantly rising and falling with the Yaut's breathing, Nancy regrouped.

Swinging her left leg over his chest, she straddled his chest with both hands planted on his breastbone. Heaving and bucking, she adjusted as best she could with small gasps and cries, his near naked state leaving nothing for her to grab hold of before she finally reached the end of her rope. The hallway fights, the inner circle scared and feigning back, Nancy let the rage boil inside her stomach. Acid bubbling, waving up her throat with Meg's parting words in her head before this entire adventure began she sucked in as much air as her lungs could hold and let loose a blood curdling scream.

Backed by the power of her lungs it shot like an explosive round towards the elevator in front of her, then bounced along the hallways on either side before rebounding to echo behind her. All of the frustration, the hidden fear, the lack of sleep, the excitement, it all fueled the guttural sound that filled the level around them, topping them all as she contracted her muscles to shove out an even higher octave with her face tilted to the ceiling and hands grasping deep into the Yaut's flesh. Her short nails cutting semi-circular moons into his scaly skin, some faintly glowing with neon green blood almost at the surface she bent at the waist a bit and powered out the soul shrieking sound until its very end, running out of air, strength and steam.

Her throat raw and slightly coppery when she finally swallowed, Nancy sucked in great gulps of air for several moments with the sound of her own power still ringing in her ears. Huffing and panting, she collapsed slightly with bent elbows as she bowed her head and struggled to reinflate her burning chest.

Absolute silence crushed the area.

"Trophies...," Nancy croaked, barely audible as her throat rebounded with fresh licks of pain as she swallowed.

No one answered back, not right away. Veronica felt herself come around slowly, struggling through lethargy of shock that she hadn't known she'd fallen into. Blinking her burning eyes, sure that they'd been wider than what was comfortable and stuck open like a doll's, she exhaled in a rush of relief. Apparently she'd been holding her breath, too. "What?"

"Trophies," Nancy repeated, no less scratchy but louder than before as she held her hunched pose over the Yaut. "'Do you have a lot of trophies,' not heads."

"You heard that?" Veronica asked with incredulous surprise, her brows knitting together sharply.

"What's the difference?" Anna posed in a breathy tone, struggling to calm down after her own tussle with the Yaut whose dreads she still fisted but loosely now.

"The difference is," Nancy said after another swallow, less painful this time, and finally raising her head to take stock of the picture directly before her. "Once they sever the head from the body with or without the spine, they don't call it a head anymore. They call it a trophy because they take it with them."

Anna continued to breathe in deep pants but it was hard to see her face. Ker'ak'de had kept hold of the young girls hair as surely as she had his and it kept Anna's head mostly angled downwards. The once cute pixie cut had been growing out for awhile, now almost shaggy. Amused despite herself, Nancy lifted her brows at the scene frozen in time.

"But it's the same thing!" Anna complained, struggling to lift her head despite the hold keeping her in place.

"I suppose it is." Nancy conceded, trying to piece together what had happened to get the two of them locked in childish combat. When the shouts had started signaling the aliens had returned for a fight, she'd temporarily tuned out their inner circle to stand and direct her classmates but had tried to keep half an ear attuned to the things closest to her person. It wasn't easy; in fact it had made her exceedingly anxious. No matter how many high marks she'd received for precision in multitasking, doing so in stressful situations always left Nancy feeling doubtful.

Even now her heart pounded. Her breathing had slowed to a more manageable level but she could feel her pulse strongly in various parts of her body, especially her temples. The Yaut's gaze was as wide open as everyone else's seemed to be, having taken a brief cursory glance around her but she couldn't seem to make herself meet his eyes in particular on the off chance he was watching her own and they'd collide. She felt too conflicted.

The continued silence lulled Nancy's eyes closed and she didn't fight it, she'd seen enough. Her classmates were all staring at her like she was some kind of freak show for screaming like she did and a fresh wave of embarrassment swept through her, leaving her gasping for breath again as she continued to sit astride the Yaut. That point in particular she absolutely refused to focus on, too unsure of her ultimate reaction if she allowed herself to think on it. Ignoring the impossible, the deep and dramatic rise and fall of the Yaut's chest that kept her bobbing like a boat in an ocean, the slight but natural heat of his lotioned skin as it rubbed the insides of her thighs and the thundering multiple beat of his twin hearts under her sweaty palms she instead made herself breathe in through her nose and out through her mouth.

"T3," she suddenly shouted, struggling not to wince as her abused throat flared up again. "T3, what's going on?"

The crowd around her slowly started to wake up, much like Veronica did, at this latest commanding shout. Those closest, the numerous massagers, especially. When Nancy had screamed, they'd stopped holding their ears and instead had scuttled back, actually pushing hard against those standing behind them to create a circle of open space around the Yaut. It wasn't very wide between them, but it was symbolic and the students seemed to finally notice it with varying reactions. Veronica's hawk like eyes swept them all, making contact with as many individuals as would meet her gaze before they quickly looked away and painstakingly scooted closer, surrounding them anew.

"T1," a distant female voice shouted from Nancy's left, "we're okay! We wounded the alien and it ran off!"

"T2," another female voice raised from Nancy's right, "we're alright, alien ran away pretty fast!"

Nancy waited another few seconds but had yet to hear a shout from T3, the hallway directly behind her and cringed inside a split second before the anger came. Unknown to her, her hands had relaxed and released their death grip on the Yaut's chest beneath her. Instead they'd started to massage him, feeling the slight slickness of the left over lotion that needed to be rubbed in along with the faint and passing depressions of her nails. A sudden purring vibration rocketed up her arms and legs, tingling her skin and chasing a hard shudder up the column of her spine until she groaned.

"T3," she called out shakily but with her usual strength back at last, "what's going on with you?"

No one answered her as the purring vibrations continued. It tingled, tickled, excited and soothed all at the same time but still she didn't dare open her eyes and look at the Yaut below her. She'd just started to regain her confidence, hauling it up bucket by bucket from deep within straining strength and waning energy. He couldn't see that in her eyes, she couldn't let him. Operating solely by instinct, Nancy wasn't lying when she'd told Veronica that she didn't know what she was doing. She'd wrestled control away from Brittany at the last second due to her gut.

Meg had wanted Brittany, not her. Brittany was supposed to be the team leader on their Level. She was slightly older, slightly taller and tougher by all accounts. She didn't mince words, she didn't hold back. She didn't sugar coat anything or respect anyone's feelings, simply saying what was on her mind and expecting everyone's compliance like she was a goddess. Nancy didn't agree with that or with Brittany half the time.

"T3!" Nancy shouted, louder than before despite the coppery tang of blood. "Talk to me!"

The vibrations increased beneath her and Nancy struggled not to make another sound though the need to groan again was almost overwhelming. Anna had commented earlier that she could feel the power of the Yaut as he growled from a couple feet away and Nancy knew what she meant, but she hadn't counted on this. Direct physical contact as it happened. Nancy was twelve, still so young and so clueless about males in general. Absolutely no male teachers were allowed in their specific colony and it had been a lifetime since she'd been around them, let alone one of another species. She wasn't prepared.

Regardless, after Meg's orders and everyone had filed out with their assignments she'd felt slightly rebellious. Overlooked, under appreciated and frankly, it felt wrong. Nancy had fought her conflicting feelings, biting her tongue and forcing herself to take direction from Brittany until the moment the elevator had dinged. Somehow, someway, Nancy had known.

"Nancy?" Veronica murmured softly from her left. "Are you alright?"

No, she wasn't, but she couldn't say that. Cramping inside, Nancy breathed in a huge shuddery breath and released it with slumped shoulders, her eyes still closed. Even her brain was buzzing from the Yaut who never stopped his odd purring, the vibrations continuing to come. Brittany was the better fighter and she could be dead right now since she wasn't answering. Nancy had pulled a fast one, and a classmate might have suffered for it. Her heart twisted.

"She's freaking out," Linda's posh voice accused from her left. "What're we supposed to do?"

"No she's not!" Anna broke in, still restricted by the Yaut's unrelenting hold on her hair. Wincing noticeably, she managed to turn her small head a bit in their direction to give the barrette wearing blond the stink eye. "Shut up!"

"Don't tell me to shut up!" Linda's voice rose, slightly panicky under her air of superiority.

"Will you stop it? Both of you!" Veronica bit out, darting her gaze between Anna and Linda, exasperated. "Nancy's thinking. Let her think. We're all stressed out and could use a break. Just relax."

"She's not thinking, she's freaking out!" Linda charged again, letting go of the Yaut's forearm finally to sit back on her calves and cross her arms over her chest, narrowing her eyes. "You heard her; she doesn't know what she's doing!"

"Shut up!" Anna shouted, flinging an arm out to try and smack the blond but coming up quite short in distance. "Shut. Up! You don't know what you're doing either!"

"What if they come back?" Linda snapped, leaning forward a bit to challenge little Anna. "What if the aliens come back and they kill us all? You trust Nancy," Linda slurred the name in the negative, "to save us? You're stupid!"

"I'm not stupid!" Anna shrieked, letting the Yaut's dreads go finally to flip the middle finger on both her hands at Linda. "I do trust Nancy; she knows what she's doing. She's got everything under control. You're the one that's freaking out because you're prissy and stupid and scared!"

"Stop it, both of you, please!" Veronica begged, keeping hold of the Yaut's hand in both of her own while ping ponging her desperate gaze between Anna, Linda and Nancy pointedly, silently pleading with her friend to intervene with her voice.

Ker'ak'de in the meantime had no idea what any of them were saying, and at this point, he didn't care. Nancy's scream had shattered his psyche, rendering him immobile as he kept hold of little Anna while staring right at the strong female as she'd straddled him and dug in as if for the long haul. His skin burned from her nails and his heart pounded from the scents she was pumping out. Insubordination. He'd experienced that himself many times in his life. Not directly as a leader, but as a bystander and he knew, he just knew that it was happening to this Ooman pup sitting on him and that she was fighting silently, internally, for control over herself and the hundreds that packed the three hallways around them. She was so young.

He'd purred out of instinct the moment he scented her anew after that soul searing scream and as of yet he couldn't stop. He could breath separately from the purr in his chest, it didn't trouble him. What did however was the young female's inaction and closed eyes. His knees were still bent, his feet still planted on the catwalk but his head was raised. Little Anna's forehead would bump off of his occasionally but he paid the little pup no mind. He had eyes only for Nancy but she wouldn't meet his and he didn't know why. During the purr, he'd trilled softly but still she didn't respond.

In his culture, despondency from a female was a worry. It rarely happened but it wasn't completely unheard of. Considering this pup's age, it was only natural as she was still coming into her own. This was perhaps the biggest test of her dominance to date and even though it involved him and continued to prick his male pride, his sensitive spirit rallied to support her. He didn't stop to wonder why. He was sure his mind couldn't even fathom it. Nothing as of yet made any sense.

Reacting purely on instinct as a male to a female, his purr continued undeterred. Still she wouldn't meet his eyes or command those around her, not like before. Tucking in his upper mandibles, he flared the bottom ones in a frown and narrowed his eyes. Releasing his hold on little Anna finally, he also tugged purposefully at the hand that the other female held, Veronica. Her gaze snapped to his quickly and widened as she tightened on him, fighting him, but he wouldn't be persuaded, not in this. Without the others to massage him, he was coming online again. Awakening, becoming alert and growing assertive as a full grown male. Reaching across, he grabbed hold of one of Veronica's wrists and squeezed with a low growl. As the pressure increased, her wide eyes grew wider and she started to squirm, whimpering.

"Oh my god!" Linda shrieked, leaning away in self protection. "Let him go! Let go!" She grabbed hold of Veronica's upper arm closest to her, shaking. "He'll hurt you, let go! We're losing control of him. Oh my god, oh my god!"

"Stop it!" Anna whined, now freed as she went back to work, trying to massage his temples like Nancy had told her to earlier but she was so shaky it was a half-assed job while her stress grew. Readjusting her position since the Yaut's head was up, she changed out how her little legs were crossed, putting the leg on the bottom on the top in the Indian position.

"Ow, please!" Veronica whimpered, her left wrist held in a vise like grip as she struggled to hold out, furiously massaging his wrist and palm with her right hand while squirming and bowing down from the pressure. "Please, don't!"

Nancy heard all of this as if from a distance. Having yet to open her eyes, she struggled to make sense of her situation and the sensations growing inside of her. The... purring was doing things to her that she hadn't planned on. Her lower half was on fire now, throbbing, tingling and building a growing ache throughout her body that she didn't know how to stop or combat. She felt slightly light headed, her skin tight over her muscles which were tense and locked up, her blood pounding through her veins and pooling low. She didn't know what it meant, any of it. It felt so foreign, so strange but so... good.

Breathing in deeper, a tight rubbery band seemed to constrict around her chest, fighting her as she shivered and tightened her tingling thighs around the Yaut's expending ribcage like a rider on a horse that she'd seen in historical videos. Toes curling within her shoes, she shuddered in a breath and let it out in ripples. The throbbing continued to grow.

Groaning helplessly, her arms buckled a bit where they'd planted on the Yaut's chest as she shook from head to toe and finally, forcefully, peeled open her drozey eyes. Blooms of color flooded her cheekbones, feeling like a flash of heat as it prickled over her scalp, down her neck and onto her chest hidden by her blouse. What...?

Her vision hazy, Nancy blinked a few times as she continued to pant, fingertips digging into the Yaut's chest on their own. Squeezing, she kneaded the heavily layered muscles without her nails above each of his pectorals. Gazing at the top of his breastbone, Nancy slowly lifted her gaze over his four sectioned mouth parts to his eyes. What she saw there stopped her heart for a fraction of a second. He was staring at Veronica, but enough was seen to kick start her pulse even faster than what it had been. "Shhhh," she hushed instinctively, kneading his flesh deeper as best she could.

Ker'ak'de flexed at the sound, hardening his muscles, and suddenly Nancy's fingers met a brick wall of resistance in their massage. She kept on anyway, massaging in small circles with her fingertips as her palms pressed hard with her body weight. "Shh, it's alright. You're alright. Hey..." Her voice trailed off.

Ker'ak'de jerked his head around immediately, colliding with Nancy's eyes as his purr ramped up several notches on instinct. His hold on Veronica eased off, and while he heard her exhale of relief and felt her struggle to keep massaging him, he focused completely on Nancy. Even Anna's continued head and neck massage were forgotten.

Nancy drew in another deep breath, but Ker'ak'de saw her heat signature ignite. She'd been even brighter than before, but now she was positively on fire. A scarlet red, bordering on white from head to toe he met her gaze. Eye sockets so white they glared, he couldn't look away. Chuffing the air in slight confusion, he registered the lingering panic, confusion and apprehension of the crowd around him but the almost sickening sweetness of Nancy enthralled him completely. She was reacting to him. Not as an alien species, but as a male. An individual. Her scent called to him for support, for protection, for comfort, for reassurance. Unlike before when her scent and voice were commanding, now she was... submissive.

He felt conflicted. Painfully torn in two, and his tusks clacked together in agitation. His male pride recognized that she was noticing him as a male, finding him worthy, deserving though he hadn't done a thing, so on the tail end it felt... wrong. His spirit sensed her weakness of youth, on the cusp of adulthood and responsibility, of true physical authority and he ached.

Ker'ak'de didn't feel like himself and it worried him. No matter how hard he tried to rein himself in, to grapple and control everything that was warring inside of him he lost out. Powerless to impulse, he released Veronica and now with two free hands, hard, large and callused; he gripped just above Nancy's knees on both legs before sliding them slowly upwards.

Stopping at midthigh, he felt the pup shudder and suck in her breath. Her pores sprayed pheromones. Intoxicating, indicative, deceiving. She wasn't old enough. Not yet, but his body reacted anyway by tightening up. Abs rippling, pecs flexing under her grasping hands he gripped the grated floor with his clawed toes and flicked out his tongue like a snake.

Once, twice, three times. His purr continuing, he growled low in his throat, lower than ever before as his pupils blew wide open until barely any color could be seen. He liked this Ooman pup. He liked her a lot. Immediately his conscious screamed that she was young, too young, a mere pup and he needed to respect her age. In contrast, his soul screamed out that it needed her, liked her, and craved her. His body was the hardest to control. Twitching, aching, cramping, he suddenly sat up with a hard contraction of his abs that was fluid in motion.

Nancy gasped in a short breath as she slid down without a choice, the graduation of his chest forcing her weight back in a slow slide as the fabric of her skirt and underwear slowed her progress, bunching and tangling as she went in a narrow and narrower stance until she rested on his lap, squirming slightly, uncomfortable. Her hands remaining on his upper chest, she tilted up her chin to meet his gaze. His eyes were hard, expressive, and overly bright. Mandibles slightly flared, he chuffed the air a few more times before letting out a faint whining sound that ended on a shuddering grating groan.

"N-Nancy?" Veronica hedged, having been unable to keep hold of the Yaut, her hands remained up, shaking a bit as she seemed to debate grabbing hold of him again. Even little Anna seemed confused, her hands resting casually on his back as she bit on her lower lip with wide eyes, trembling and glancing at Veronica since she could no longer see Nancy.

Lost in the Yaut's gaze, now up close and personal, Nancy drew in another deep breath and groaned fully on the exhale this time. She'd noticed his smell before. Earthy, salty like sweat, musky. A normal male smell she'd guessed but now, now it seemed different. There was a specific spice note in the air, in her nostrils that she couldn't quite place. It tickled her senses, deepened the earthiness of him and elevated the musk until her head swam. Lifting her hands, palms pressing up to the Yaut's shoulders, she curled her fingers around the tops and shuddered hard, confused.

Ker'ak'de continued his purr as the female slid down to his lap. Containing his own shudder at the contact, his large rough hands slowly pressed up, sliding, to her hips where they stayed. Fingers flexing slightly, her savored the softness of her skin. So smooth compared to his calluses. Sand on glass, he remembered, having touched Anna's back but this was... different. Wrong. It was wrong and he should be ashamed of himself.

He was on a certain level and if he focused on it he knew he'd feel sickened, agitated, trapped and would lose control in order to break free of these annoying pups and their confusing games. He was an Honorable Warrior, second in command to one of the most respected, feared and admired Elders in recent history. He was a Hunter of all things and there were hard meats loose in this complex that he needed to track down, kill, and dissemble for trophies. Ooman's were always high on the hunt list in his Clan but these were mere pups, not adults. The Ooman is a pup. A small, insignificant pup.

Before Ker'ak'de knew what was happening, he was growling in earnest as his constant purring faded and died away to nothing. Despite staring Nancy right in the eyes, in the face, he was failing to see her anymore as his thoughts built, strengthened and started to solidify once more. Oblivious to the small voices around him gasping, murmuring and breaking out in nervous chatter he released a hand to grip the pup's throat purposefully.

It was a tight fit and though Nancy gasped a small breath, her chin came up. Whether because his broad palm had forced it up or she consciously directed the overly submissive gesture Ker'ak'de couldn't be sure. For a brief second he faltered and his prominent brow wrinkled, mandibles twitching together uneasily. It felt wrong. Honorable Warrior Ker'ak'de was well within his right to assert his dominance, to hold the pup as he was. Honorable Warrior Ker'ak'de knew just how much pressure to exert so as not to hurt the Ooman as his thick long fingers flexed, adjusted and tucked together to make a seal.

Nancy's effortless and continued submission was wrong. Her wide eyes, so clear and still white to his vision was wrong. The whole situation was wrong on an entirely new level that Ker'ak'de couldn't even begin to understand. Even that thought made no sense because everything about his time in this complex so far made no sense. Left him confused, disjointed, uncertain. How could this new turn of events possibly complicate matters that were unbelievable to begin with?

"Nancy? Nancy are you alright?" Veronica's voice broke into the mix again, sounding skittish but with a backbone that wasn't sure if now was the time to assert itself.

"I told you she's freaking out!" Linda blurted in a hissed whisper.

"Nancy? Talk to me, please?"

"She's freaking out I told you!" Linda hissed again, leaning closer to Veronica's ear as she gripped the girl's upper arm hard with both hands, giving a violent but tightly controlled shake. "You have to do something!"

"What? What's happening?" Anna pleaded, still unable to see and growing more desperate to try as time went on. Coming out of her sitting position, the little girl rocked up onto her knees and stretched as much as her tiny body could, trying to see around the big Yaut's side to her two classmates yet she couldn't. "What's he doing to Nancy?"

"She's not freaking out, will you stop it!" Veronica bit out at Linda, sharply turning her head to stare down the disheveled blond with growing impatience. "She's calm, just wait."

"She's not calm and you know it! She's out of her freaking mind, and if you don't do something about this I will." Linda gritted out through clenched teeth, narrowing her eyes at the bird like brunette beside her, squeezing harder on her arm. "She shouldn't be here anyway, it should be Brittany!"

"Nancy? Nancy! What's happening to Nancy?!" Anna's panic continued to grow without an answer to her questions, yet she was too well schooled to disobey an order so she didn't shuffle aside to peer around the Yaut though she could have. Her knees were glues to the uncomfortable grating and her hands fluttered, sometimes massaging the males back and sometimes pausing, inconsistent and ineffective as her voice pitched dangerously high.

Nancy was distantly aware of the crowd around her, of the massagers slowly moving away again, of the two girls quietly fighting off to the side and little Anna growing upset but she couldn't seem to move a muscle or bring herself to care. Her entire being and focus was lasered on the extraterrestrial male before her who seemed to grow more ominous and menacing as time passed. She knew that his gigantic hand was at her throat, knew that he had only to squeeze or thrash her aside violently to kill her yet she still couldn't move.

It was the most terrifying and humbling moment of her entire short life. She didn't want to die, not like Brittany who might be dead. Not like Brittany who should be here in her place instead of in T3 who refused to answer her. There was no doubt about it, she'd lost control of the entire situation and had absolutely no idea what to do about it. Not yet. Not with her body still running amok with foreign sensations on top of her exhaustion, doubts and fears. Worst of all, this male was looking at all of it in her eyes, right now. Common sense screamed at her to close to her eyes, to cut him off, but she couldn't.

There was nothing she could do about her smell, no way to mask it, knowing it was backing up what he saw written plain as day in her face as she whimpered pathetically and felt her lower lip tremble. I'm just a kid, she thought sadly. Just a kid who doesn't know what she's doing. I'm gonna get them killed. "Please...," she whispered hoarsely.

Ker'ak'de narrowed his eyes, still not understanding anything except the sinking submission that this pup kept drowning in. Her pulse was frantic against his palm and her thin skin was clammy with sweat. She stunk of useless emotions and he found himself growling even louder. Gone was the pup from before who commanded him despite being a pup, and for a lightening flash of regret, longing and pain he missed that side of the Ooman. Missed how he felt in her particular presence. Now she was weak and pathetic, thrusting the reality of their situation back on to his shoulders. His rank, his responsibility, his Clan identity as an Honorable Warrior. His male pride was in full force, his spirit crushed.

In that moment, he hated the Ooman and his fist slowly tightened on her thin vulnerable throat as he drew her closer to his face. Nancy leaned as he pulled, not even trying to stop him despite the pressure noosing around her. On some level, she felt relieved that someone else was in control. That things were out of her hands. Before she could stop them, the whispered words tumbled out as his tusk tipped mandibles fanned around her smaller face.

"Nancy," she murmured for his ears alone. "My name is Nancy."

Ker'ak'de lowered his growl, straining to hear her words though he knew he wouldn't understand. It was annoying yet relieving how quickly he'd responded to her regardless. Readjusting his hold around her neck, his fingers rippled in a wave like pattern from index to pinky as his thumb sprang free, off to the side a bit. Hot, humid breath blasted over her.

Nancy breathed in deeply whenever he exhaled, which made no sense. Her lungs struggled a bit to draw in enough air off to the side, anything to counteract the massive amount of carbon dioxide he emitted. That alone seemed to calm her. He was like them in that way, so she blinked slowly before arching her neck, straining to see his eyes more clearly. Her hands still rested, clutched, to the tops of his massive shoulders so she dug in harder with her grip.

"Nancy," she murmured again into his inner maw, his mandibles now having spread open enough that all four tusks rested and twitched against the sides of her head. She didn't dare look down at the sharp inner teeth though she knew they were there. Instead she kept struggling, climbing, fighting to keep a lock on his eyes.

Ker'ak'de trilled before he could check the impulse, the sound alone questioning as he wrinkled his brow.

"Nancy," she said again, stronger this time but still pitched low as she released a hand to slid slowly from his shoulder down over his chest, stopping above one of his twin hearts. Pressing in with her palm, she gripped with her fingertips.

Immediately, Ker'ak'de tensed from head to toe, his eyes blowing wide with surprise as he sucked in a massive breath and in impulse tried to snap his mandibles' closed but couldn't because her head blocked the way. She couldn't know. She couldn't possibly know or understand what that chest press meant. It was wrong! Yet her eyes had changed, still a glaring, blinding white but with a faint gray outline that suggested she asserted herself. Reflexively, his fingers dug into the back of her neck as his thumb rubbed the length of her jaw on the right.

"Nancy's freaking out!" Linda's voice suddenly shrieked from the sidelines, sounding like a bolt gun or pulse rifle in Nancy's ears. Instantaneously, the present caught up with her like holding the fast forward button on a holo tape. "If no one will do anything then I will!" Suddenly releasing Veronica, Linda grabbed hold of Nancy's left arm and shook her harshly before jerking her sideways. Crying out as the Yaut's tusks drew blood on her cheeks and temples, Nancy crumpled.

"Nancy!" Anna cried, digging in tight with her fingers to the Yaut's back.

"Stop it!" Veronica cried again, grabbing frantically at Linda.

Ker'ak'de snapped out of his stalemate along with Nancy, instantly loosening his hold on her as the other pup grabbed and yanked. Blinking rapidly through his cycling confusion, he heard the Ooman cry out and he simply reacted. Roaring in anger, he twisted his torso and grabbed hold of Linda's blouse again tightly, clenching it in his fist to drag her close.

Roaring again into her small face, he let his mandibles flare out completely in a full spread with his maw open, drenching her in his breath and displeasure as her body banged up against his side, dragged by the knees across the grating.

Linda screamed bloody murder, clutching at his hand and wrist with clenched eyes and a wrinkled up face as she leaned back as far as possible, arching away from his closeness in pure fear. His lungs were much bigger than hers, so long before he was done she'd sucked in another panicked breath to yell, "He's gonna kill us, we're gonna die!"

Nancy snapped to attention so suddenly, so instantly that her bones ached and her head throbbed painfully. She'd heard upper classmen describe the feelings of a hyper-jump and though she wasn't in the transport center she seemed to understand at last what they meant. Gone were the crushing feelings, the helplessness, the doubts and instead she simply steeled her spine and reacted. Flooded with adrenaline and purpose, she shouted in command.

"Lean in, massage!"

When the crowd around them still chattered, seemingly uncertain and scared it only sparked her anger. Twisting her own torso, the large hand around her neck loose enough to break free she knocked it aside with considerable force. "Massage, now! Now, massage him, move!"

With yelps, bodily jerks and cries in the affirmative the surrounding crowd sprung to action as if they'd been hibernating. Quickly fresh lotion was pumped into waiting hands as they got to work again on the male before them. Converging on his legs from toe to thigh, his arms, even little Anna in the back yipped and scrambled as the bottle was passed around and crossed her. So skittish and wound up she didn't bother to pass the bottle to Veronica, she simply threw it at the brunette who chirped in surprise and caught it awkwardly against her chest before catching Nancy's eye.

"Massage," Nancy growled out. "Now."

Veronica's eyes widened as she nodded quickly, scrambling with the bottle to coat her hands before jammed it harshly against Linda's side. Squealing, Linda squirmed and wriggled in the Yaut's hold, the bottle ignored and dropping to the catwalk with a heavily bouncing thunk.

"Now, now, move!" Nancy's voice rose with steely authority as the bottle was quickly snatched up and passed around in a circuit. Her own body in the way, Nancy breathed deep and hugged her skirted thighs around the Yaut's hips in his lap, squeezing as tight as she possibly could before gripping hold of his own naked throat.

Ker'ak'de's roar died off as he shot his head to Nancy, an angry flare of rage still blazing in his expressive eyes as Anna yelped behind them, getting whipped with his dreads at the quick move. Releasing his throat, she grabbed both sides of his face tightly in her hands and lowered her voice, narrowing her eyes. "Let. Go."

Growling again in challenge, Ker'ak'de jerked his torso forward, bumping into Nancy as he breathed deep to let loose another roar. Nancy was having none of it. Not now. Snarling she slid her hands down to grip both of his lower mandibles tightly, yanking them open to the sides and tightening to jerk his face closer, their foreheads almost crashing.

"I said, LET GO!" She thundered, rising up onto her knees despite the painful spread of her thighs as she sat on him. Muscles quaking, she tensed repeatedly to keep her pose and dug in tighter with her fingers.

Ker'ak'de instantly went still as the great breath he'd taken rushed out of him in a defeated whine. The sound was submissive even to his own ears and his pride pricked painfully, wracking his body with a twitchy shudder. That part of him was deflating, beaten back and crippled to the point that he struggled at first to resurrect it. Shoving Linda back from him with enough force that she screamed again before crashing into classmates, he seized Nancy's blouse in a death grip and met her head on. His dreads rising around his crown in full bristle, his pupils narrowed as he jerked his knees up closer to his chest in a sitting position, knocking into Nancy's back and forcing her tight into his chest.

"Nancy!" Veronica cried, twisting away from Linda's flung body and knocking herself off balance, she hit the catwalk on her hip and grimaced, wrists braced with hands lifted up to preserve the lotion covering them.

"Nancy what's happening?!" Anna followed up, shrieking the question at the Yaut's back though she was furiously massaging him, still up on her knees.

"BACK OFF!" Nancy roared in his face, her expression so contracted that he couldn't see her eyes anymore. Her whole body was tense, strong and commanding as she tightened her hold on his mandibles and jerked with full force. Powerless to stop her, their foreheads collided painfully. "Back off. NOW!"

Still he struggled. His claws cutting through the fabric of her blouse, he roared again on an exhale, crushing her between his raised legs and his chest. Nancy felt trapped, pinned, compressed, yet as painful as it was it was also comforting as her hips tilted, her weight shifted and she yanked more fiercely on his mandibles. Forearms parallel to the ground and bunched high up, she locked herself in place while staring into his wild eyes.

"Back off," she snarled, so close that her lips actually brushed his inner maw. The teeth there smooth, stained slightly yellow but pristine in texture as they panted into each others spaces. Ignoring the ridiculous impulse to lick his teeth, Nancy trembled and curled her fingers more securely. Her thumbs on the insides, her fingers wrapped over the top with his lower tusks in between she squeezed and shook him, thrusting out her developing chest to bang against him. "Back. Off."

Panting harshly, Ker'ak'de fought with himself. Forgotten was Nancy's strength in the beginning. The only thing his pride remembered was her capitulation into submission, prodding him to rise to the occasion and dominate. He was Honorable Warrior Ker'ak'de, always the victor with his inner conflict and doubts never known. He always rose to the occasion, always survived, always the victor. Growling again, he snapped his upper mandibles closed against Nancy's temples.

She flinched slightly, and he was tempted to back off. He could smell her blood, knew that he'd injured her when her counterpart had grabbed her yet he couldn't stand down. This pup, and she was a pup, had shown weakness. The predator in him couldn't easily ignore that. The grip she held on his mandibles was beyond painful, yet he could endure. He'd been through worse. He could survive a mere pup, insignificant, pathetic, undesirable. An Ooman pup.

"Nancy," she barked harshly into his mouth.

He growled louder, tightening his hands on her blouse. Undesirable. Ooman pup.

"I will win," she murmured, lowering her voice out of the blue and catching him slightly off guard. "I'm in charge, and we will brush your teeth, Yautja." Lifting her thumbs, she scratched them down the length of his lower mandible tusks. They slid smoothly at first until reaching the last bit near his flesh, scratching and skipping over the rough pitted surface of plaque. "You will submit to me. You don't have a choice."

His growl fading out, he chuffed in the next breath or two and suddenly stilled. Remembering the odd smelly tube that the other pup had carried, the scent of mint strong on his palette, he snapped his maw shut tightly. Cetanu, save me.