+Rosario + Vampire: Steam
By: The 483
Disclaimer: I do not own the right to the Rosario + Vampire franchise.
Really going to try and close it, here. Succeeded. But sorry, I knid of accidently lied about the short part.
Chapter 12: Epilogue
Capris Delacroix floated lazily in the swimming pool at Yokai Academy, he Black hair tied up, wings spread, staring blankly at the autumn clouds as they rolled gently around the light blue sky. She was panting slightly, her green eyes half shut, and modest chest straining the fabric of her black bikini. Maybe, she thought wearily, she should give it another week at 15 laps, before moving up to 20. Or maybe go to 16, or 18, first. She had started, 2 months ago at 5 laps a day. Then a month later, a little endurance hard won, made it to 10 a day. For the last 2 weeks, she had been doing 15 a day.
She did not strictly need the exercise. As a pristine example of her species, she was blessed with a naturally curvy and well-proportioned body. Granted, her bust width was a good deal smaller than a Succubus normally seemed to support, but Capris had a smaller frame than the others she had met, and the proportions fit well, and she had certainly suffered no lack of attention for it. There was another Succubus at the academy when she had attended, Kureha Takenaka, who had the larger frame and assets, but Capris seemed to tie her in attentions, without use of her special influence. Capris never used her influence. She was a Farnsworth, and her particular brand of pride excluded winning over people because she compelled them.
School had been fun. She had never had any of the problems her brother had had, but then, she had also been allowed to attend for all four years, rather than just the last two, as he had. She had had a good time, getting a full experience, without ever standing out to much, having several close acquaintances, but only on real close friend. She did little more than study her freshman year, as that was the year of the highest academic pressure. The following, her sophomore year, she played Tennis, not spectacularly, but well enough to satisfy the Zombie that was captain her year. Junior year she did not participate in any real organized activities. Then, senior year, she was Secretary for the student council.
All and all, her academic career was not bad, and she had a decent social life too. Not unusual, for a Succubus, but she could not help that. She was not the usual Succubus. She had been raised, almost as an experiment, as if she were a normal girl, not denied her heritage, but taught values and customs not her own. Partly, this was something of her father's soft heart, as the ratio of orphans from Succubi mating's were around 70%, as very few tended to settle for male partners that were appropriate to raise children. He wondered if Succi children were raised in a loving environment, if they could change. He then, intelligently, allowed his wife to do what she wanted with Capris.
So, while Capris was as much of a delicious little sexpot as genes could make one, she was not a simple slave to her biology. Oh, she still had the urges, and when she was in heat, she tended to sequester herself with Emerald Park, her friend, so as not to slip. After all, you can only fight your nature so far, and taking chances resulted in episodes like the one with Akio, the Mandragora who was her tennis doubles partner. It was a nice little romp in the equipment shed, and completely safe, both because he was luckily enough to have inherited a box of condoms from his brother, who had graduated the previous year, and that he had no expectations of her, knowing full well that she was just calming a biological impulse, and he was merely a tool for doing so. She was just lucky that he was a gentleman, and did not have the shameful need to brag. They remained friendly for the rest of High School, but neither was interested in dating each other.
After that, she spent that time of the month with Emily, who also was not averse to helping Capris calm her fever. It was easy for them emotionally, as Capris was raised in a house where Gender was not an impediment to loving someone, and Emily was the product of a Lesbian home, her biological mother having contracted a donor when her and her wife decided they wished hatch some young. Some Emerald, and her half-sister Sapphire shared biological father, while their mothers were different, but married. It turned Capris normal biological responses from a tedious, teeth grinding ordeal, into a nice growing closer with her friend. In truth, they would never really make a couple, because both preferred the company of the opposite sex, but at the same time, neither saw that as a reason why they could not love each other, as well.
Capris breathing slowed… slowly, and her thoughts began to drift toward getting out of the water and go shower to get ready for the ordeal that followed later that night. She was exhausted. Yesterday, a Friday, had been parents night, and 4 hours of answering stupid questions for parents that knew, somehow, even less than their spawn, had taken the fight out of her. And now, tonight, another batch of oldsters were due, and she had to look like she cared.
Capris was so preoccupied with these thoughts, she did not noticed the long, scaly tail snake out of the water on her right, arch over her stomach, and loop back around. So she let out a muffled cry when the coil suddenly tightened and dragged her under the water. This was a common enough occurrence that she managed not to get water down her airway, but she still came up annoyed at having been caught off guard. The tail slithered back toward its owner, a human-ish torso in a green bikini top supported on a 6 meter long column of solid scaled muscle.
"Oy. Pree." The Lamia chided her, pushing herself up so it looked like she was sitting on the edge of the pool. "We've rested long enough, we need to go shower, or we're going to be late."
"Bitch." Capris mumbled, pushing herself toward the woman and stairs. The Lamia blew her a kiss, and slithered out herself, her long tail pulsing as she drove herself onward. "I was about to get out anyway."
"Uh-huh. Sure you were, hun. You've been pushing yourself hard these last couple days. Looking forward to seeing someone special tonight?" She countered, playfully, as they moved into the locker rooms.
"Oh, Egg no!" Capris shot back with a frown. Her friend smiled as she popped the clasp on her top, dropped it, and squirmed her way into a stall, anxious to get under the warm water. While not cold blooded as were her herpetological cousins, people of her species still absorbed a lot of heat from outside sources. The sheer size and length of their bodies, but relatively small size of heart, made circulation an issue. As such, warm water was always a treat, and Emily never looked down upon a heated mattress or a warm body to snuggle with. Since sophomore year, she had been roommates with Capris, and it was not unusual to wake up to find herself having coiled around her friend in her sleep.
"Aww, Pree, what's wrong? You sound frazzled." There was a pause, and then what sounded like a head hitting the dividing wall between stalls.
"I dunno. I just am worried that I didn't do well last night." Emily smiled as she lathered her long green hair. At twenty years old, Capris and Emily were the youngest teachers at Yokai Academy. Capris was the Monster/Human Biology and History teacher, and Emily was the Sociology teacher. They were able to get into the jobs fairly easily, because both fields were fairly new, and even in the American school, the courses were being taught by young teachers. This was in part because the adaptably of the younger minds to concepts that even now were hotly debated and more unknowns then known existed. Capris and Emerald had grown up as these fields started and grew. As both of their subjects were integrated with each other, rather than a separate class, they instead both worked together, presiding over a double class.
Capris had the more technical. Her subject involved the anatomical differences between the races, and individual species, and where myth and fact were true and false. Emily dealt with the areas where people and monster societies rubbed together. There was one more in their department, who worked closely with them, a Professor Aono, who rode heard on the human students, and dealt in Monster/Human Relations.
10 years prior, it was discovered upon graduation that a human student had survived, and thrived, in the school for 4 years. Now, this year, there was around 30 human students that had been picked by the Department of Human/Monster Relations, founded and headed by Capris father, who attended the school. The revelation that a human had already managed to pass through, allowed Gerald Farnsworth to push this into action much sooner than he had hoped. It made the Neutral Dark Lord flip her vote, and he managed to push it past the final one when he pointed out that Issa Shuzen's own second oldest daughter was dating this human.
"I think we did fine." Emily answered.
The previous night
Capris leaned back against her desk, arms folded. She was in a grey business like suit, her tight skirt falling to her knees. Next to her, dressed similarly, but in a dark blue, was Emerald Park. And if front of them were nearly 60 children, and their parents. Almost 180 sets of eyes glued to them, expecting…what? It wasn't as if they would have any idea about what she was talking about. By the Egg, she was older then the subject she taught. The faux bell rang, and the "class" began. Emily, damn her, made it clear that Capris could start. She cleared her throat.
"Alright, good evening, everyone, and thank you for coming out. My name is Capris Delacroix, and I teach the Biological aspects of Monsters…" Emerald picked up where she left off.
"And I am Emerald Park, and I teach the behavioral aspect." Capris then took back the speech.
"And together, we thread these ideas into the narrative of the histories of both our own people, and Human history as well." She swept her eyes briefly around the room, trying to imitate what she thought the cool teachers did when she had been a student. "Now, for a little about myself. I Graduated from Yokai two years ago, and have been active in this field since around 10 years old. I am 20 years old, almost 21, and I am a Succubus." A hand went up from one of the parents, a human, based in the flat line of monster energy. Capris was a little taken aback, already having a question, and wondering if that meant she was a failure. "Uhh… yes, madam?"
"I am sorry, dear," the term grated on Capris's nerves; the woman obviously felt she was still a child. (Not withstanding that Capris still felt no different than a teenager.) "But I was only made aware that you folk existed about a year ago, when they asked if my son could attend this school." Capris felt a little better when she saw that this woman's son clearly wished he could vanish on the spot while his mother embarrassed him. "I am not familiar with a lot of your… races?"
"Species is the correct term, ma'am." Emerald put in, helpfully.
"Ah, thank you, I wasn't sure what the polite term was." Emily gave a wide smile.
"No one does. That is one of the things I cover in my half of the course. Trying to truly blend the Monster/Human world into a single society creates so many new and interesting problems. It's really quite a delicious prospect for those who enjoy good argument." The woman smiled nervously, but continued.
"What I was trying to say, Miss Delacroix, I am not sure what a succubus is." Ah, so that was the difficulty. Capris could handle that one.
"Well, I will explain it the best I can, but I am going to use it in my discussion. Is it okay if I wait a few minutes to go into it?" The woman nodded, and several of the Monster Parents gave the woman superior looks. This… irritated Capris. It wasn't the Human's fault she was ignorant. Great Egg, when the only human she knew was that crazy ass doctor, she had been terrified of humans. Capris nodded for Emily to take over.
"Okay, all." She tapped her chin like she was thinking. "Well, I graduated here with Capris, and thanks to her I got jumped into this emerging field. A funny little fact, my field is actually a branch of Capris field. A few years ago, when it began to become apparent to Doctor McIntyre, the leading researcher in the Monster Studies, that not all about us could be explained by genetics, his wife, Doctor Allison McIntyre, started researching how our culture evolved. I was privileged to get to study under her personally." She suddenly seemed to realize that this said nothing about her, and added, with a small embarrassed blush: "Oh, sorry, and I am a Lamia."
The boys in this class were always very happy, because the contrast their teachers offered. Capris was the hot one, lean and sleek, composed and in control. She had the appeal that came with seeming to be untouchable, like a model. Emily on the other hand, had that extra bit of padding here, there, and especially in that area that most fascinates boys, but she had that girl next door charm, and was the cute one of the pair. One of the hottest topics after one of their classes, was which woman was the superior. More than once, contrary opinions had resulted in a pair of boys ending up in the nurse's office. Capris gave a chuckled that was more an acknowledgement of her a cue then actual laugh, but her enthusiasm as she picked it up was genuine.
"Yes, we were both lucky enough to work with the foremost people in the world on these subjects, and we continue get updated information, often before it is even published. We often go off on little stories like that in class. The information we work with is so ingrained in the lore of both our species, and the human race, that associations can run away with us. Like when you look something up on Wikipedia, and then find yourself an hour later on a page you would think has no relation to your original subject." A number of the Humans, and a few Monsters nodded in recognition of what she was describing, and Capris was briefly proud her father had forced her into that year of middle school in the human world. Humans had the weirdest hobbies, but their knowledge databases were seemingly limitless. She cleared her throat again.
"Alright, with a subject like this, it is always difficult to know where to start. I just like to give out this disclaimer. This subject is an emerging science. Very little is known about it, and most of the information we have is mere theory, not yet confirmed, as up until the last 20 years or so, no one was collecting data." Emily picked up.
"So now, we are finally starting to get not only enough information to analyze, but more people interested in the fields to do the actual work. Little more than 10 years ago, there was one single man studying what Monsters were from a scientific standpoint. Now there are more than a dozen who style themselves as authorities, and last year saw the first true scientific summit of experts in the field." Then, Capris again.
"So I am going to start, with some basics on Monsters. This may be informative not just for those of you who are human, because very few of our own people know very much about who we are, outside of some clans. So I am going to let Ms. Park here lay out the basic structure we had." When Capris had started, Emily had moved to the whiteboard, and began to scribble.
"Okay." She said, when she had finished writing, and turned back to the room. "Now, there are tonnes and tonnes of Monster species, yeah? Well, the first question is, how do you categorize them? Well, it used to be by a ranking system based on physical ability. Now the highest, and least common type, we called the "S" rank. This is your Vampires, Seraphim, Major or Greater Devils, and High Spirts, like the Undine, Sylph, Gnome, and Efreet. What marks these Monsters in their overwhelming presence, you can literally feel them when they are not blocking themselves, and their lifespans are much, much longer than our own. Next, you have the "A" class, which was not strictly dependent on species, but rather the degree of Monster energy, the gauge of strength, possessed. This gradient extended down to "C" class." As she talked, she added monster types to the classes where they seemed to average.
"This system made it easy to just look at a monster, and gauge where he stood. But as a scientific system, it was dreck. All it meant was that you could estimate how strong another was without exposing yourself to danger." She then erased this, and started scribbling again, while Capris took up the lecture."
"So when Doctor McIntyre started his work, he completely ignored this, because it was usless for him, and he couldn't sense Monster Energy, being a human." A hand shot up, and Capris nodded for the parent to speak.
"Wait… so you are telling me, that the first authority on who we are, is a human?" He managed to sound incredulous, and slightly disgusted at the same time. Capris nodded gravely.
"I am. And it might be wise to not think too poorly of this, as up until this point, not one of our people showed any interest in doing the work to figure any of this out." Capris drew in a breath. "We live in a world now, where not one single part of the globe is not, in some way influenced by humanity. One of the things evident from the study of this field is that we can either adapt to the fact, or we can die." Emily smiled at her co-teacher.
"And that is an excellent segue into my first point. Now, biologically speaking, what are the two oddest things that we monster have that help up live in a human world? Just the parents, please. The students already know this, and it will help illustrate just how new this information is." She asked to the class. She chose a few people, all who answered incorrectly. 'Capris, if you please."
"We can take on a human form, changing volume, appearance, and even mass, and we are able to mate and produce viable offspring between species. These are two things that no other creature on this planet can do. Miss Park shall demonstrate only the first." Emily removed her shoes, placed a hand on her skirt, and opened a zipper on the side. Then, smiling, let her legs merge and elongate into a pillar of scaled flesh, as other scales crawled over her arms, sides, and jaw line. Her pupils narrowed into slits, and her canine teeth became thin needles, retracting into her jaws as her other teeth sharpened into fangs. She "stood" facing the class, the tip of her tail flicking about, and she looked slightly displeased.
"Darn, I forget how cold these floors are when you only touch them with two tiny little nubs." There were a few nervous noises from a couple of the humans. "Now Capris shall talk about the second." Capris took a step forward, while Emily returned to her human form, zipping back up her skirt. She had had to pay extra for one that would open up to allow her larger "hips" to flow through and stay up. She was careful not to rip it.
"Now, I am both fortunate, and unfortunate, to have lived with this research for… most of my life. For the first few years, much of it was going on in my own home, as my father was funding the research." She giggled to herself. "I still remember, I used to be terrified of Doctor McIntyre when I was young. I was always afraid he would come out from under my bed, or the closet while I slept, to run his tests. Anyway, as such, I have quite a bit of knowledge when it comes to what I am, quite apart from who I am." She turned her back, and let her tail grow, falling down her and swaying gently, in an almost… inviting way. From two little sleeve slits in the back of her shirt and dress jacket, a pair of delicate looing black wings grew and opened softly. Then, her transformation complete, she turned back to the class, and there was a collective gasp from every male in the room, and approximately 1/8th of the females.
Physically, she looked no different, but at the same time, she had transformed from a young, pretty teacher, to a figure so strikingly alluring that she could hardly have been believed to be more then a fevered fantasy. Her every twitch and movent translated desire and dripped with overt sexuality. She smiled pityingly.
"I am a Succubus. You asked what one was earlier… and I guess one way to say is that we are beings who can project our will into the other in the form of arousing sexual desire."
"I like to think of her as a "Sex Elemental." Emily chirped happily. Capris grimaced.
"That is one way of putting it. Old human tails paint us as demons that survived by feeding of the life energy of men in our thrall through coitus. While this is not true… we do possess the ability to enthrall others to our will with… I guess some would call it "lust magic," although it isn't magic. It is just being able to feel what sexually drives a person, and being able to attune yourself to that in order to dominate their subconscious. Look around, and you will notice I have captivated roughly 3/4ths of the room" This was made obvious by the small handful of boys and men, and large group of woman that looked around. The enthralled simply stared in open mouthed arousal at the woman. He wings twitched, and a wave of release seemed to sweep the room as she halted her domination.
"Myths and legends like to paint us as uncontrollable sluts, but that is not true. The researchers studying genetics have even recently discovered that there are actually two distict sub species in the Succubae family. They call them thr Eros, or "Carnal" Succubus, and the Agape, or "Love" Succubus. I am of the Eros strain. We are the Succubi that are more populous, as we go into heat roughly once a month, almost like the female human's menstrual cycle, where the desire to mate becomes almost unbearable. I was raise to be a lady, and my urges never quite rise to the point where I am indiscriminate. But it is like being lightly blitzed; things seem far more rational then they would normally. One's biology cannot be fought off entirely. This strain is responsible for 90% of all Succubi births, as the average mating cycle lasts about 3 years. This is just long enough to conceive, birth, and raise the baby to where it would be able to survive in the wild. Do not look shocked. We develop very rapidly for the first few years. I myself was in a orphanage until I was 3, and my parents adopted me." She cleared her throat, tucked her wings back, and looked as prim and proper as she had looked jaw droppingly sexy a moment ago.
"I had a… I call he a sister, though she is no more blood related to my family then I am, a sister who is one of the rarer Agape variety. This strain builds their harem while searching for a special mate. When found, this subspecies mates for life, and make surprisingly good parents." Capris smiled again, looking almost wistful.
"New speculation with this discovery, had lead to the theory that ancient succubi possibly lived in clans with one of the Agape Succubi as a matriarch, who would raise the children with the assistance of the younger Succubi.
"There is also a male variant, called and Incubus, but they are very rare indeed. About one in 2500 births." Capris bowed politely, and Emily stepped to the fore.
"And that is basically what we do her. We go into the biological and social histories and functions various species serve, as well as the bigger social picture. One final example I will give, deals with the "big picture." We mentioned how monster species could all breed with each other. Why? This is unheard of in other species. It would be like… a human being able to produce viable offspring with any other mammal on earth. Well, recent studies lead one specialist to conclude that perhaps it was the growing human population that boomed more than 50000 years ago that caused it. As humans became more numerous, more and more of the slower breeding monster species seemed to become endangered. He theorizes that this unifying genetic capability evolved to help keep the monsters from going extinct!"
For the next half hour, the let the audience ask questions, and when the bell rang, they gave their spiel to another of the four classes they taught each day. It was a long, stressful night.
Capris clipped her fresh bra on, and returned to toweling her hair.
"Maybe you are right. It's just stressful pitching all these new concepts to these older monsters. And I am always afraid that some parents will complain that my particular… breed… is not suitable to keep around all these horny young bucks."
"Aw, Pree, you know you don't halve to worry there. The Headmaster had complete confidence in you, or you would not be here. Even the parents can figure that out, and they wouldn't question the judgment of a Dark Lord." Capris gave her friend a smile.
"Thanks, Em. Why does that argument sound so much more valid when you say it, than when I just think it?"
"Because I am a natural genius." She answered easily, and hugged her from behind. Capris playfully shook her off.
"None of that tonight." Emily pretended to pout.
"Oh, woe is us, to be born into the world so compatible, but both preferring the company of men." Capris stuck her tongue out at her friend, while making a "boo on you" face.
"Yes, yes, it's a crying shame." She said, sarcastically. "Now let's quit fooling around. It's still technically a school day, and all we need is to be seen fooling around in the pool's locker room by some students."
"Oh, but Capris, I am sure they would be just thrilled to see that!" Emily said, feigning offense that she would apparently not reach this same conclusion.
"Yes, and I am sure the Headmaster would be just as thrilled to fire two new teachers for behaving inappropriately where students can come freely." Emily looked at her friend with pity.
"What happened to you, Capris? You used to be fun."
"Bitch, please. I am still fun. But on occasion, I must behave as if I were a grown up. Now come on, Emerald, get dressed. The Alums will be here soon, and we need to be ready act like we know what we are talking about." Emily knew that whenever Capris used her true name, she was starting to get irked, and hastened getting her clothes on. 3 minutes later, looking as much like their idea of what proper teacher should as they were capable, they grabbed their swimsuits and made a quick trek to their rooms in the facility dorms. They tossed, quite literally, their wet gear into the rooms, and then scurried for the auditorium.
It was their first "10 year reunion" on staff, and they were a little nervous. While it was not strictly necessary that they present themselves, it would look good. Especially seeing as there was rumored to be a number of people from the McIntyre labs looking to collect any possible data. That was the main problem with the subject: lack of data. There were anywhere from 20-100 million Monster citizens on the planet, and the most optimistic estimates on how much data had been gathered was about 2 percent of a positive sampling. SO basically, their theories were all no better than wild guesses, changing on a daily basis some times, and once holding steady for an entire 3 months. But that was an exception, and they found out that it wasn't just a shy Kraken, but an ordinary Colossal Squid. So the event was part party, part survey, part field lab.
This last part was clearly visible as they entered the auditorium. In a far corner, a set of opaque screens shielded the occupants who volunteered to give blood or allow inspection of their monster features.
There were a few students, dress nicely, working at the food tables, passing out drinks, and thinks of that nature, while the few guests that had arrived early looked around awkwardly, or talked with a teach who had taught back when they had been in school. Capris went to go and see if any of the lab people needed assistance, and Emily went to go and inspect the food tables. There was an hour until the reunion officially started, and the way she saw it, as long as she didn't get too drunk, she was entitled to browse a bit.
The cool, dark autumn air eddied softly around Mizore as she made her way up the long, paper lantern lit drive to the front of the school. Her reflectively polished high heeled shoes clicked as she pushed up the slight slope, looking around and reminiscing on how things looked so much the same as they had when she had graduated 10 years prior.
Mizore Shirayuki, the unimaginatively titled "Ice Queen of Human Relations," was one of the most feared people in her field. Not because she did anything shady or aggressive, per se, but because she was, after only 3 years, the right hand of the Director of the Department of Human/Monster Relations, one Gerald Farnsworth. She had been working directly under him for the last 6 years, and as his personal assistant for 3 of those. Now, at age 28, she was a tall, pale, beautiful woman in a sharp, expensive, custom tailored business suit, waking a good yearly salary, and she did interesting, fulfilling work. It had started with a desk job, then grown until she had found herself traveling all over the world, at first as Mister Farnsworth's personal secretary. She would come silently along, looking frigid and beautiful, passing papers or recording things, and showing, for all appearances, a bored indifference to all but her work. Not an easy task, as all the exotic locales and peoples and cultures she was being exposed to were fascinating for her, being essentially a country girl. But her odd facet, and the thing that led Mr. Farnsworth to take an interest in her came to her aid. Her face, smooth and striking, still held no hint of emotion unless she really, really felt strongly about something, or if she was looking at one particular person, who was more important to her than anyone else in the world.
But Mizore had arrived at the school late. She had been working in Siberia, his affinity for cold working to help get a good intimidation factor going by the fact that she and Mr. Farnsworth needed no protection from the cold. Even a gang of restless Winter Ents had to harbor a begrudging sense of respect to see an old man in a light Hawaiian print shirt, shorts, and a wicked grin, and a small pale woman in a grey business dress standing in the middle of a Russian winter showing no signs of discomfort. The job had not been finished, but when Gerald had been reminded by Jennifer, his wife, that Mizore's reunion was close at hand, he had all but forced her on the plane. So it was about 40 minutes after the event had started when she mounted the front stairs, passed a greeter whom she did not recognize, and entered the school proper for the first time since she had graduated.
"Good Evening, Mr. Farnsworth. It is a pleasure to see you again." The man addressed grimaced as Emily Park greeted him with stiff formality and a little bow. He stood about 6 feet tall, had messy hair, keen eyes, and a face that was roughly handsome, and clearly accustomed to smiling. His cloths were slightly ruffled, not quite formal, and seemed to match the personality he wanted to convey. He grunted.
"Damn it, girl, how many times do I have to tell you? It's Dominic to you. I mean, jeez, you've stayed at our home since Capris started school. You're family by the loose association we use, and then even more, because you've been screwing for almost that long." Emily went white.
"Y-Y-you knew about that?" Emily Park still remembered her first time meeting Capris older brother, locked talon to … she still wasn't sure what weapons the other had, with a female Angel in mortal and ridiculously bombastic combat. They had paused so Capris could introduce her, and Emily still could feel the shiver down her spine when he had locked eyes with her. Plus, later, she had seen what he had been like when one of Capris ex-boyfriends had been less then cordial after Capris had decided that she was no longer interested.
He heaved a large sigh, shoulders slumping, which caused the tiny figure riding on his shoulders to sway, it's fingers twisting in his hair to maintain balance.
"Emily… the walls in the spring are transparent, and our doors aren't soundproof. Everyone in the house knew."
"Great Egg, you're such a tactless asshole." Capris spat, walking up with a quartet of plastic cups filled with a cheap red off brand Kool-aid mixture.
"Pree-Neesan!" The little girl sitting on his shoulders squealed in a high voice, while reaching out her arms. Capris handed Emily and Dominic their cups, and holding the remaining two in one hand, reached up to pat the little girl on the head. She paused as the little girls face contorted, she looked upset, then with a harsh intake of air…*choo!* She sneeze, dusting Dominic's hair with ice that sickled forward crusting the top of his head and sending a small flurry of snowflakes spiraling out in front of him. Dominic cringed, his shoulders scrunching at the sudden cold.
"Oh, goodie. Capris, take this little baggage, will you?" Capris, laughing, put the cups on the ground, the reached up as Dominic hunched over, grabbed the little girl, lifted her free, and then brought her into a hug, which the little girl tried to mimic.
"Hello, Tsukiko-chan. How are you?" Capris lowered her to the ground, and Emily, producing a napkin, handed it over. Tsukiko waited with a look of controlled suffering as Capris wiped a crust of powdered snow from the two year olds nose, before she could reply.
"Daddy says I am a bigger noissense…nooss…um… nu-sens, then you were at my age!" She responded proudly, her tiny chest thrust forward even though she stumbled over the complicated word.
"Nuisance." Capris said, enunciating the syllables.
"Nui…sance." Tsukiko repeated slowly, and with a little difficulty.
"Very good, baby girl." Capris said happily, holding her hand out, palm flat. The little girl smiled in sheer pleasure, braced her knees, and jumped a little as she slammed her own tiny palm with what she considered her older sister. The clap could barely be felt by Capris, but the little girl had a sense of accomplishment so strongly it bordered on arrogance. Capris just wanted to grab her up and squeeze the cute right out of her. She was amazed. Tsukiko looked just like a happy, tiny version of her mother, but seemed to have her father's outgoing, loud, almost brash attitude.
She was dressed in a little black dress which served to accentuate just how perfectly white her skin was, with tiny little buckle shoes and knee high stockings of white and black stripes. Her pale purple hair was clasped out of her face with a sliver barrette, and hung to her shoulders in the back. Her face was alight with an almost savage curiosity, and her teeth showed because her mouth always hung slightly open, as if the whole world was a feast for her. On her back, the plush body of a squid hung vertically, with tentacles wrapping into the shape of a body harness around the girls arms and legs, with the two longer arms linking in the front like a belt, where they buckled. A line ran from the squid to a reel on Dominic's beltline. It was a Kraken Industries Toddler Line, essentially a baby leash, which Dominic had purchased once Tsukiko had started to walk, one because he thought it was ridiculously adorable, and two, because besides the powers all Yuki-onna had, Tsukiko also seemed to have the ability to disappear if he took his eyes off her for more than a quarter of a second. With 20 meters of spider silk line, Tsukiko was never more than a sharp tug away.
In the meantime, Dominic focused, crossed his eyes, and with a puff of exertion, forced a wave of heat through his scalp, and evaporated the ice in his hair without melting it, causing a plume of steam to rise from his head. He turned to Capris as she handed the little girl a cup and rose, returning to the conversation like it hadn't been interrupted.
"Hey, Capris. It's not my fault that both of you are screamers. All I was trying to say, was that it wasn't a secret, and that if Emily was going to be that close to you, my beloved little pain in the ass sister, then she damn well didn't need to be that formal with me." He turned to Emily, who was again embarrassed. "She offered you our home, so you're family. That's all it takes with us. If you don't like thinking of yourself as a full sister, think sister in law. Whatever." He shrugged. "It was actually a relief that first time when she brought you home for a break." Emily was surprised, her eyes widening.
"What? Really?" Dominic nodded.
"Of course, because, when I saw you both in the spring one night about a week later, when you thought everyone was asleep, doing what looked like an alligators death roll, I will be honest, I just thought… "Phew, at least I don't have to worry about her getting pregnant."" Emily had turned bright red at this, a mixture of both embarrassment and rage sputtering along her nerved. Dominic smiled. "That's better, dear. I like irritated. Better than that respect nonsense." He snorted, and continued to himself, "Mr. Farnsworth indeed. I am not that old."
"What filth are you filling my daughters head with now, Dominic?" A cold voice wafted casually in, followed by just a hint of dropping temperature.
"Mommy!" The little girl cried happily her face lighting up like a clear winter sunrise as she dropped the now empty cup, and bolted like a shoot toward the approving woman. Dominic's fingers twitched as he fought the urge to check the unwinding cable and let the little girl pull herself off her feet. He did not, even though he was trying to teach her to control her dashing excitement to a more social level, because one: he had done so in Mizore's presence once before, and was not stupid enough to do that again. And two: Mizore had been gone on assignment for two weeks now, and he felt that this was an appropriate display of affection. Mizore gracefully scooped her daughter up, and the baby clung to her slender neck with both arms, quivering with happy excitement.
"I was not filling her head with filth, Love, but merely explaining to Emily that I will not tolerate a strangers polite respect from someone who is diddling my sister in such a way that it is not necessary for me to remove their skeleton from their body." Emily, almost in tears in shame now, bowed deeply to Mizore.
"I am so sorry, Madam." She didn't even know why she was apologizing at this point, she just could not think straight. Mizore waved it off."
"It's not a problem, Emily. You never woke the baby with it. Now, Dominic, stop picking on the poor girl or you'll have her in hysterics." She poked Dominic in the chest, and he smiled lopsidedly. The girls really did look as if Mizore had found a tiny, doll sized clone of herself.
"By the Egg, Mizore, you certainly have changed." A brash, almost tangibly sexual voice wafted into their ears like a gust of expensive, heavy perfume. The group turned to see a woman walking toward them, clothed in the same black dress she had worn to the Halloween dance her sophomore year, but even more in command of how she was perceived then she had been back then. This was clear as every male eye in the room was locked onto her. It was the same with the females, but their stares had a different kind of lust behind it. As soon as she past, the girls began looking back and forth between them and her, whispering excitedly. The woman walked imperiously over, and threaded a hand over Mizore's shoulder, and smiled at the child while speaking out of the corner mouth to her mother. "I can still remember a time when you used to freeze anyone who mentioned anything remotely scandalous around you." Mizore smiled, and nudged into her with her shoulder.
"Yeah, it's crazy what growing up will do to you." Emily looked amazed as she scanned the tall, thin, scantily, yet elegantly dressed woman. She poked Capris a little harder then she meant to due to her excitement.
"Pree! Isn't that…" She whispered anxiously, and Capris nodded.
"Yeah, Em, that's…"
"Auntie Kurmu!" The baby squealed happily as she suddenly recognized the blue haired face suddenly in her own. Kurumu smiled indulgently.
"Ku-ru-mu." She said, kissing the little girls cheek.
"Kur-rur- mu." She tried, looked frustrated, and then tried again. "Ku-ru-mu!" She slammed the last syllable hard as he face lit up in victory."
"Wow, guys, she's talking better and better." Kurumu said, easing back and releasing Mizore. After the New Year's party when Tsukune and Moka had started dating fully, Mizore and Kurumu and Yukari had grown surprisingly close to each other. Enough so that when Tsukiko had been born, Kurumu was named, along with Moka, Tsukune, and Yukari, as one of her God Parents.
"Yeah. Sometimes it's difficult to get her to stop talking. The Cavanagh's at the corner store keep a private stash of aspirin, just for me." Dominic said, not unhappily. "Little one is as sharp as a whip. I am thinking I am going to get her started on dirty limericks in a few weeks." Kurumu nodded, and a look for Mizore stated that he most certainly would not. Meanwhile, Emily was still whispering heatedly at a slightly irritated Capris.
"Why is little Tsu-chan calling her Auntie!"
"Jeez, Em, because she grew up living at our house." She slapped at the poking finger.
"What!" Emily ejaculated, a little to strongly, as the others then looked her way.
"Problem, Pree?" Kurumu asked, her brow arched.
"Nah. Emily here is just a little star struck." Kurumu smiled knowingly; the same smile that shown out from thousands of posters across the land, and in a few other countries. That mix of big city glamour and girl next door innocence that made her such a hit. Emily went, if possible, even paler then when she had been talking with Dominic.
"Sorry, Ma'am." She squeaked, her voice a harsh whisper. Capris nudged her in irritation.
"Oh, cool you tampons, Em. I told you I had a sister who was an Agape Succubus." Emily found her voice enough to yell at her friend.
"But you didn't tell me she was the Pop Idol Kurumu Kurono!" There were a few squeals around the main room as the girls had their suspicion confirmed.
Sometime after Graduation, Kurumu had caught the eye of a Modeling agent, and then later, at wrap party, was discovered to be able to sing quite well. After about two years, she released a single, which flopped. She stuck to modeling small time, but a photo appeared in a major magazine, she was approached, and began modeling larger companies and some very fancy brands. About 4 years into it, a record produce found a tape of her first single. It sucked, but he like her voice, so using one of his own songwriters, called her up and got her to record a couple of songs. She seemed to explode overnight. It seemed like one day she was just a model, doing things like champagne ads, watch ads, and occasional boots and dresses, to being talked about in all circles where music was discussed. There was a rush to get an album out, a sold out tour, and now steady work, with her third album releasing in only 4 months.
Kurumu went to speak something to Emily to quiet her obvious admiration.
"No need to be impressed, my friend. Tonight, I am just an old student, her to catch up with some old friends, and see how the place is holding up." Emily merely gesticulated, unable to make a voice. Mizore tutted.
"Come now, Emerald. Kurumu is nothing to get excited about." Kurumu spun, her hands on her hips.
"Aw, thanks Mizore. You say the nicest things." She had a deeply sarcastic burr in her voice. Both women eyed each other like two feral cats, then Mizore lost the spark of fight in her eyes, and Kurumu slipped into a lopsided grin. Both women giggled. Dominic took that moment to sniff the contents of the cup, and then cocked a brow at his little sister. She waved a dismissive hand at him.
"Relax. Tsu-chan got the safe stuff. I am not that negligent." Dominic did not alter his look, and Capris gave him an ancient gesture with a single digit.
"Hey, Kurumu." Dominic turned to her, no that the giggles had stopped.
"What?" She asked, as he came over, and relieved Mizore of her tiny burden, who settled herself back on his shoulders with the air of conferring a favor.
"Me and Tsukiko caught a broadcast of you show about a month ago. Not half bad." She looked surprised.
"High praise, coming from you." She said expansively. He nodded.
"Yeah. We especially, when in the middle of the show, you toned it down and had a keyboard set up, and did a cover of Chata's "Dango Daikazku" and had the stadium just completely stunned."
"Dango!" The little girl cried happily. Dominic reached up and patted her side.
"Indeed. She listened to nothing else for three whole days after that. Did you actually play that, or was the music pre-recorded?"
"Well, thank you. My agent was a little skeptical of me putting that into the set list, but after the reaction it got, he's almost clamoring for me to include it in every show. But no, I did play the song myself." Dominic looked impressed.
"When did you learn to play the keyboard?"
"There is a lot of down time on the road in the bus, and even I can only spend so many hours on Facebook and Twitter in a day."
"Heh, Well, that's why the fans like you so much, you really seem to put in the effort to pretend to care about them, and that's what matters." The chatter continued randomly, with conversation partners changing here and there for a few minutes, until another woman walked up.
This one was short, maybe 5 feet 4 inches in her glossy black high heels, trim in an almost girlish way, but also showing of some modest curves that denoted true womanhood. She wore a simple dark blue suit and tube skirt, and a pair of rectangular glasses with silver frame were perched in her small nose under her short brown hair that hung just past her chin. Her light purple eyes flashed with warmth and intelligence as she joined the group.
"Hello, everyone." She said, her voice was still rather high pitched, but had smoothed into an adult tone as she had aged.
"Ah, hello there, Doctor Sendo." Kurumu stated bluntly. They had each partaken of another cup of the "adult" punch, minus Tsukiko and Dominic, and it was getting Kurumu a wee bit tipsy. Part of her "character" as a pop idol, was that she was a very naturally sexy girl, but was basically a pure, girl next door fantasy. So, when she was in her proper character, which was most of the time, she neither drank, nor coupled. This second was not hard, as she was still in search for the man that would complete her. As such, her tolerance for alcohol was less exercised then Mizore's, who often needed to drink socially in her work, and Capris and Emily, who were professional young adults and popular girls, so they exercised regularly.
"I don't know why you are irritated, Kurumu. You don't seem to be doing too badly yourself." She answered tartly, sticking out her tongue and making her look 13 again. Kurumu smiled.
"Not irritated, just… confused. Why a Doctor of Human Medicine?" Yukari shot back without hesitation.
"Why do you preform for human audiences?" Kurumu looked at her thoughtfully.
"Touché, Doctor." She tipped her drink in respect, and Yukari gave her a sunny smile.
"Egg, I've missed you all. Moka and Tsukune not here yet? And what about Eris and Leo?" She asked, noting the absent members.
"Ah, well, Professor Aono is o'er there, presumably giving his "I was a human the whole time" speech to yet another shocked peer, and I believe Mrs. Aono went off with little Damien to change. There was an incident with a plate of potato salad. Leo and Eris send their love, but they were still in Greece, and won't be back for a few more weeks. Leo just has too much damned family." He looked at her contemplatively.
"No Aurora tonight? Last time I saw you two, you still seemed to be almost attached at the hip." Yukari looked slightly embarrassed.
"No, she decided to stay home tonight… she wasn't feeling well, and had been slightly grouchy of late."
"I can imagine." Mizore added, with a hand on Yukari's shoulder. "How far along is she now?" Yukari gave a tired smile.
"About 7 months. And she hasn't transitioned to her Monster form since conception, because she is terrified it will hurt the baby. Her mother said it was fine, that she would swap all the time when she was pregnant, but Aurora worries, because with her, she was the product of two Undine, so her structure was the same, where as we did not have a water elemental for the donor. We asked Clifford, but he refused to speculate." Dominic Grunted.
"Yeah. Cliff is one of those real scientist. He does the work, and observes the results, not expecting, hoping, or predicting what will happen. It can be irritating, but he does good work."
"Yeah." Yukari said, with a little chuckle. "We got lucky, and found a Warlock willing to be the donor, and actually handled the whole operation at my Hospital. So, we don't know what the baby will come out as, but we are super excited all the same."
"That's wonderful, Yukari! You give me a call when the baby is born, yeah?"
"Yeah, Kurumu, you, Mizore, Tsukune and Moka, everyone, same as they did with us when their baby's arrived." She waved up at little Tsukiko, and the baby returned the gesture sloppily.
"Diddling!" She squeaked, and then giggled. Mizore poked Dominic in the chest again.
"See, you are teaching her things when I am not around."
"No, I have never once used that word in front of her before today. Isn't that right, Tsukiko."
"Daddy swears at the T.V." She answered happily.
"Yay. Thank you, dear." Mizore gave her daughter a smile.
"Ah, the life of a stay a home parent sure is rewarding, isn't it?" A new voice added, and Moka walked up, her hand held low and clutching the tiny hand of a little boy in long pants and a small red baggy hoodie.
"Beats the … tar… out of getting a real job. And the returns are the best in the world." Dominic answered. Moka gave Yukari a one armed hug, and said hello to the rest.
"Hello, all. Sorry I am late. Damien decided that his milk bag suited him best exploded down his front, so we needed to change." The child, who had his mother's eyes and fathers hair, seemed almost proud.
"Isn't it weird that you all started having kids around the same time?" Kurumu asked, looking at each in turn.
"Not really." Moka answered with a shrug. There was a grunt as Dominic, who was being kicked in the side of the head purposefully by his little girl, lifted her down, where she walked with a small tremor in her legs toward the little boy. Moka smiled down at her. "I know for us, we just waited until life settled enough that we felt we could devout the time necessary to raise a family." Tsukiko went about skillfully pestering Damien, who was emphatically ignoring her, trying to affect a cool indifference, a perk of being 7 months older then her. The difference between 2 and three may have seemed small to adults, but it was a massive gulf as far as Damien saw it, and he took pride in it.
"And we simply waited until Mizore told me it was happening." Yukari smiled.
"You really do take after your father, don't you?" She asked. He shrugged.
"Hey, if a man who's been alive for more than 5000 years can't come up with some sound strategies for living, who can?" Dominic was perfectly fine with allowing Mizore to take the lead on important decisions. Though, it had been his idea that she keep working, rather than quit to raise the baby. Mizore had been adamant, but she also loved her job. So, with patience, and a firm grasp of when to keep his mouth shut, Dominic had steadily allowed her to talk herself into it while letting her think he had badgered her into. Reality was subjective, after all.
"But, you still beat the odds, Kurumu. We all figured you'd be the one to make a mistake." Mizore added, with a giggle.
"Hey!" She stormed, stamping her foot and managing to look adorable, her cheeks glowing."
"It's nice, in a way." Yukari continued, glancing off, wistfully. "As our kids will get to grow up together."
"Oh, that will be wonderful. I know I was so stressed when I started high school, not knowing anyone. But when our kids get there, Damien will be able to show Tsukiko the ropes." The little boy gave a sulky grumble at this; an adamant denial. They all chuckled at the kids.
"Hey, there is something I've been meaning to ask you, Yukari." Kurumu said, after a short silence.
"Oh? Is it a rash?"
"No! Jeez. Do you guys pick on Capris like this?" Kurumu said, on the border of frustration.
"Yes." Dominic, Mizore, and Capris answered all at the same time. Kurumu cleared her throat, and got her composure back.
"Remember, in our second year, when the school nurse at the time did that weird stuff to you and made you adult in body?"
"Oh, yeah. I had forgotten about that." She replied pensively, recalling the occasion.
"Well, when you had your time fast forwarded, you were a good deal taller and bustier then you are now. What happened?" Yukari looked down at herself, then back up.
"I dunno. I guess that was just what I thought I wanted to look like back then. I mean, it made sense, seeing as I was competing with you, Moka, and Mizore, three of the prettiest girls in the school. I am not disappointed, though." She shrugged, satisfied.
"Oh," Moka said, looking past Yukari, "Tsukune is waving us over. Shall we go?"
"Sure," Mizore agreed, moving forward and scooping up her little one with a quick movement, causing the child to give a small squeal of joy. "Looks like there are a few others from our time in school with him." She turned to Capris as they walked. "Maybe you can try and convince them to donate samples to Doctor McIntyre's lab. I would love to see how you go about it. There has been some suggestion that I should start trying to get people to participate on the job now, too." Capris smiled up at her Sister in Law.
"Yeah. I'd be happy to. The sooner we have a large sampling, the sooner we will start getting some real answers about what we really are. And I for one, cannot wait to see what lies ahead."
Okay, okay, sorry again, I accidently lied about the short part.
Now, to address you concern, Soundsage, it is not that I have no more monsters. It is that the story I had to impart is done. I really enjoyed it, I had no idea that it would stretch further then three chapters, or that almost all would be over 20 pages. It was very fun to write, and it often surprised me where it went. When it started, I had only the image of a fight between an OC and Kurumu that would somehow transit into a 3 chapter Romance. But when it got going, that all fell apart, and it landed on Mizore and a look at a possible culture hidden within a greater human culture.
SO, it has run its course, and I would rather end then try and force more, and have it turn from something I am proud of, into a dreary (more) bore.
For all of you that stuck through, or even just managed a chapter, Thank You for your patronage. For those who reviewed and stuck through until here, Thank You even more for allowing me to spin this yarn.
Hoping you were at least a little amused, The 483.