Lamarckism Troubles

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Works by Draven Darklight on Shifti

Lamarckism Troubles

Author: Draven Darklight



I wiped the tears from my eyes. I looked in the mirror, and sure enough the cat ears were still there. I pulled back my extra thick hair to make sure my normal ears were still there too. Unfortunately they were far more likely to disappear than the leopard patterned things on the top of my head. Though the doctors say I'll just have both for the rest of my life, just like the tail.

"Nari, you in here?"

"Yea Gina, I am."

Gina has been my best friend since kindergarten. She's also just about the only girl who still talks to me other than when required to by school, and of course to say hate full things. Still even she admits she resents me at least a little. As she comes up behind me I'm reminded of why. I have a body many girls in this school would kill for. Maybe even literally if they knew they just had to kill me. Gina was almost a foot shorter, and I was much curvier than her now, especially my breasts. My increasingly bright blue hair also made her rich, dark brown look plain.

"Do you remember what I used to look like before the first heat. I was shorter than you, your b cups dwarfed my only almost a cups, and my brown always looked so dull compared to yours."

"And now you're at least a d cup, even if your hair wasn't blue it's got ridiculous body, and shine, and you're the tallest girl in school. You're also prettier than me, and no matter what anyone says the ears and tail don't hurt."

"Gina, I'm not…"

"But that's all beside the point. What I want to know is what stupid lie set you off this time."

"That's just it. It's not the lies that get me anymore. The lies I can handle. It's when they tell the truth. Someone said I've slept with every boy in the school."

"Oh come on, that's just stupid. I know when you're in heat, you're anything but picky but you can't really have slept with everyone."

"That's just it. When she said it, I realized it might be true. I mean with the pheromones even Tyrone has slept with me, and he's so gay that…"

"What, seriously?"

"Yes, that's why he's been avoiding me."

"Well I know you wouldn't sleep with Marco."

I sighed and nodded. I hated the egotistical jerk, but I'm almost sure I did. Just like so many others. If everyone over a certain age wasn't almost entirely immune to my pheromones, I probably would have slept with at least one of the teachers too. Its times like this I really want to hate my parents. I know it wasn't exactly their fault, but it still pisses me off. I mean if they just hadn't been so damn kinky, I wouldn't have this problem. If I didn't love them so much I definitely could hate them.

"You really…" she nearly stuttered "…but he's…"

"Yea, I know. He really is terrible by the way."

"I'm sorry."

"It's not your fault I'm in this mess. It's barely my parent's fault. I mean honestly, how were they supposed to know giving into some kinks and role-play when I was conceived would screw up my life."

"It's not really all bad."

"Yea, the reason I've never been sick is my body is just different enough that it's inhospitable for any real human disease. Which is a lucky break or I would be a huge walking disease vector by now."

"Nari, I wouldn't say…"

"What Gina? It's true. Personally I think it's more than that actually. I mean 3 guys have actually thanked me for getting rid of their crabs."

"Really?"

"Yea. Mom and dad were probably using some, I dunno…"

"What would do that. You really should ask them."

"Maybe, but it's obvious why I don’t want to."

"What about your uncle. He might know, and could be more, uh, discreet about it."

I shrugged. I straitened my rumpled shirt, smoothing out the band logo featuring a snarling demon, and looked back to make sure my tail wasn't causing my skirt to ride up. I looked at Gina and smiled. Gina was in all my classes now. That is one of the few good things to come of all this. I would have felt guilty if we hadn't planned to take all the same electives anyway.

"We should probably get back to class. But before we go, I didn't even hear anything, how did you…"

My cat ears twitched and I smiled.

"Oh, yea. I keep forgetting those things work, much less how well."

"Yea. I can't forget. Why did it have to be me? I mean I was normal, or at least I seemed normal. Sure puberty seemed to be largely passing me by, but…"

"Are you really sure that…"

"Yes. I told you, not a bit. I mean I can tell guys are hot, but if I'm not in heat, nothing. The last time I was reading porn for 4 hours and nothing. I have 2 speeds, cold fish and super slut, that's it."

She said nothing as she turned away. I sighed. I've never really been normal. I mean I may have looked normal, but I never really was. I started to cry again.

"Why did it have to be me Gina. Why couldn’t I have been conceived a few more nights one way or another, or this stupidity that caused this never have started." "I don't know. Nari, I just don't know. But didn't you decide that you might have gotten lucky. I mean we stole some of the tapes around then when you were in heat once, and one time your mom was wearing a strap on, and there was the time your dad was dressed as a woman, and…" I shuddered. "Yes, and the day before I was conceived dad was wearing that silly tentacle monster suit, so yes things could have been much worse." "Come on, that thing couldn't be…" "It was. 100% natural materials, down to every detail." "But that would mean that…" "Yes, I could have had much bigger problems. I love them to death, but they really are huge freaks." "At least they're not really furies. I mean have they even figured out if that kid is even sentient yet?" I shook my head. "No, and I imagine any weirdos who still have sex in suits like that are making damn sure their costumes are made of not just fake fur, but as unnatural a substance as possible." "Yea." Gina said, then giggled. "It still seems so weird that someone would…" "It never seemed that weird to me, but then again I'm pretty sure I had one of the most detailed birds and the bees speeches ever."

We both giggled at that. I looked at my watch. I had been in here for almost 10 minutes now. I really should get back to class. I don't want to, but I should.

"Uh, now we really do have to go."

"Nari, are you really okay. I mean you shouldn't take too much advantage, the but teachers give you a lot of leeway, and as long as I'm with you, me too."

"I dunno. Maybe I'm really not. But I don't think staying here is going to make it better either."

"Oh, okay."

She looked away from me. I couldn’t see her face, but she's done that enough I knew she was hiding how upset she was. I sighed and pushed open the bathroom door.

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It was not a good day to begin with, and was only getting worse. Lunch always sucked because Gina was the only girl that would still sit with me, and the only guys not scared of sitting with me I didn't want anywhere near me. Which is ironic really, since despite it being a horrible idea I figured out I really have almost slept with every guy in the school. Gina was still talking to the councilor I'm sure. He gave up on getting much of anything out of me, so just talked to Gina instead most of the time. I was just laying my head on the table staring out into space when someone pulled on my ear.

"Hey!"

"Gah, it's attached?"

I immediately had my head up and looking at a fairly cute guy. He had nice blue eyes and black hair with blonde roots. Actually the tips weren't dyed either, which was pretty neat looking actually. He had on a leather jacket, blue jeans, and some red T-shirt I could only see a little of.

"What, are you surprised? How the heck could you possibly be surprised? Of course it's attached you moron. The ones my mom wore were more than removable enough, but I don't have that luxury. And let me tell you something else…"

He had taken a step back, and I suddenly realized I had never seen him before. I didn't just not know his name, but hadn't ever seen him before.

"And I just realized you must be new. Still, how could you not know?"

"I knew the cat-girl was in this state but…"

I cringed.

"What, you don't like being called a cat-girl?"

"No, that's accurate. I just don't like being reminded I’m…" I made air quotes "…the cat-girl, as in the one and only. It's not really entirely accurate, but still it is close enough. It's depressing, and this has been a far from red letter day."

"Why?"

"Well for one thing while it isn't overall as bad as I thought, I really have slept with pretty much all the available guys in the school. Though the age cutoff seems very pronounced now that I think of it. No seniors, and almost exactly half the 11th graders. You now make exception number 8."

"You can't be serious."

I smiled. "Oh, but that's the thing, I am. Plus when I'm in heat I can remember every male face I see."

"That's how you realized I was new?"

I nodded.

"Wait, does that mean you're Nari?"

"Ah, so you've already heard the brainless super bimbo rumors."

"Sorry, but it just sounded like it might be you, I'm sure you're not really…"

"I've only been going into heat for about 3 months, so it is half right at least. I do retain enough sense to keep away from anyone involved, because that would be mean, though I think I've failed to tell the difference a few times."

"But that's…"

"Yea, I know, some huge number. I could even tell you exactly I bet, but I'm trying desperately not to figure that out. To be fair there was this really wild party that I had the unfortunate privilege of going into heat during, but overall when in heat I'll do just about anyone."

As I would guess he gulped and tried desperately to look me in the eyes. He didn't entirely succeed, but he was cute enough I didn't mind. He even looked up the second I noticed, and blushed. I gave him a big smile. He recoiled.

"Oh, the teeth. I keep forgetting about the teeth. They're new."

"New?"

"Yea, wool boy has had a head full of high grade wool his entire life, but until I went into heat for the first time there was nothing. Then I was suddenly busting out all over, my hair started turning blue, and after a while the tail and ears came in."

"You mean your hair is naturally blue?"

"Eh, sorta. As naturally as someone's hair can resemble a sheep."

"Good point. All I seemed to get is the ability to twirl batons and throw darts."

"Lamarck's Curse has given me a lot actually. Some of it I even like. Mom's rack is a bit extreme, but I can deal with it. Her curves are good, especially since I was so sure for a time I wasn't getting any."

"Um…"

I laughed. "I just meant the curves, but yea, wasn't getting any sex either. I'm just glad I lost my virginity to someone I actually knew. Even if not really that well. Where was I."

"You were listing the things the curse gave you. I assume you just call it that out of spite."

"Yea, it's called Lamarckism Absurdism Syndrome, or LAS. I know, but I like my name better, even if I probably could do brain surgery with absolute precision if I had any real idea what to do."

"Uh, what?"

"My dad is a brain surgeon. I never thought much of it before, but I can carve a pumpkin like no one else. Recently I've had it reaffirmed how good I really am. Little playing around on a corpse you might say."

"Might say?"

I giggled. I was sure of one thing. I was in heat. But everything felt wrong somehow. I certainly had the surge in confidence, and I could tell he was hot, but I had no desire to sleep with him. I looked about for some other guys, and while the little part of my brain that told me if they're hot or not was awake, my libido sure wasn't. I wasn't sure of what that could mean, or if it was a good thing or not. I was sure I didn't want to bother explaining my sister's condition at the moment.

"It's complicated and personal, I'll tell you later maybe. It's not really the point anyway."

"So I have a steady hand when it comes to throwing things, and you have a surgeon's nerves and steadiness. That seems a bit unfair."

"Yea, but you don't halfway lose your mind at random intervals."

We both looked away for a moment. That really isn't where I wanted this to go. I don't really know where I'm going in this conversation, but that was definitely a wrong turn.

"Though even that isn't all bad really. I'm pretty sure it's thanks to mom that with the exception of the first time or so, if the sex has been bad it hasn't been my fault."

He nearly choked, and started coughing.

"Yea, just like anyone else it's not like a memory or anything, just a certain amount of inborn skill."

"But the effect is very limited, only those most practiced skills…" he paused, then blushed. I mean she would have to…"

"Be a former porn star?"

"Oh. Yea, I guess that might do it. It still seems like…"

"Mom and dad tape every time they have sex. There is almost always a tape or file for every day, if not more than one."

"Were the cat ears actually tame?"

"You catch on fast. I'd rather not talk about the details, but the more I see of their escapades the more I know how much worse things could have been."

"Why do you keep watching them? Or for that matter how? Doesn't seem like they'd just leave them lying around for anyone to watch."

I laughed. "Yea, you might think so, especially if you only met my dad, but honestly I actually asked them for the files. Dad was a little uneasy about it, and there are some gaps, but he let me have em."

"Okay, but that still doesn't answer why. I mean if my parents…"

He shuttered. I couldn't blame him. Right now I couldn't think of why it bothered me sometimes, but I knew most of the time I wasn't in heat it bothered me. Even when in heat I would mute the sound once they really got into it. Some of the fore play wasn't just interesting, but highly entertaining. I still think they would make great actors with a bit of practice. I sighed, remembering his question.

"Morbid curiosity mainly, though when I'm in heat I'm more looking for ideas I think."

"You think?"

"Yea, in heat I literally don't exactly know what I'm doing. The only motivation I still clearly understand is wanting to have sex. The rest is a bit, off. The doctors say in heat my bio chemistry is way out of wack and it's not surprising I have trouble reconciling my own actions."

"Look, I want to say something here. I came over here because you looked cute, but now you're making me nervous as hell."

"Really? Haven't you heard any of the guys complain about me being an ice witch. I seem to want it one minute, but could care less the next. I think that's the wording."

"So you don't think I'm attractive at all right now?"

"No, it's just I have all the sex drive of an ice cube at the moment. I'm still strait, and can tell how totally cute you are, but I just don't care."

Though I was beginning to care a little actually. Which meant even though it was just yesterday, I'm getting a repeat. Though things usually didn't work this way, and my libido is still pretty normal. Also he isn't sniffing the air, and he certainly doesn't have that drugged out look yet. Though it is getting worse. In fact trying to cross this guy and all the rest in one day is already starting to sound a bit reasonable. That isn't good.

"Well crap."

"Huh?"

"Oh, it's not you, I just think I really am going into heat again. Usually I get at least one day before it happens again, but it's pretty damn unpredictable. Today's seems odd, but seems to be heading the same place as the others. They say as my hormones calm down things should normalize, but they're not sure."

"You mean at the end of puberty?"

"Yea, that's real comforting, isn't it. Especially since I know these things…" I said, poking a breast "…are not nearly done yet."

"What? But even if your mom…" he said, blushing again "I mean silicone isn't…"

"Yea, but seems to mean they're full of air instead. They get bigger when I go into heat actually."

"Oh." said Gina from a distance. "So you're not just falling out of your clothes on purpose, the tops really don't fit you anymore."

Gina came over and sat next to the guy. She set one of the trays she was carrying down in front of me, and set the other in front of herself. I managed to focus long enough to realize this whole conversation seemed a bit off, but was having a hard time placing why, or why I should care. Gina smiled at the guy, but he was now turning beet red, and staring off into space. It wasn't that mindless glaze I've come to hate, just extreme embarrassment. He probably had quite the woody under the table. That I was simultaneously proud and disgusted seemed very strange to me. Usually I was clearly one or the other.

"So, you going to introduce me to your friend Nari?"

"Actually I…"

"Oh, terribly sorry." He then stood and made a slight bow. "I am Callum Joth, and it's a pleasure to make both your acquaintances. I came over here to properly introduce myself but your friend can be quite distracting."

"Yea Cal, Nari and the twins are quite a sight."

"Actually, I don't think that's what he meant. Cal here seems to only let such a sight distract him for a short while. I simply wouldn't shut up, and kept rendering him somewhat speechless."

"Um…"

"Hmm, I see what you mean."

All three of us laughed. I could kind of see the heat coming this time. That was something. I liked it when it starts slow like this, gives me a warning. Though this isn't the normal slow build, it's like my brain is already there, but the rest of my body hasn't caught up. I wonder if I have the willpower left to make it out of the school. I don't exactly want to leave, especially since I already sort of like Cal, but at the same time that's all the more reason to leave as soon as possible.

"Oh, by the way, I'm Gina Valencio. And since I doubt she's properly introduced herself, this is Narisetti Garrison, but not even her parents actually call her that."

"Unless they're mad at me. But you can call me whatever, anytime."

"Uh, Nari, you sound kinda…"

"Yea, a bit, don't worry, I'll just eat and go home."

"Okay, but maybe you should hurry, even if it is coming on slow this time."

I nodded. Cal was hot, and I was beginning have some very naughty thoughts about what I might want to do with him. If I eat quick I should be able to get out of here in plenty of time. Maybe I can still learn a little about Cal if Gina talks while I chew. I think I can control myself for at least a little while.

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Now Cal was it. Well there were still a few gay guys. When in heat it doesn't seem to matter if they have a boyfriend or not, but it does matter if they have a girlfriend, even that guy I know is gay, but pretends to go out with someone. I should ask Uncle Will about that, it might mean something important. Staring at the ceiling wasn't helping anything, so I sat up. I was just in time to see mom enter.

After dinner she tended to wear nothing but lingerie and robes, but before then other than her oversized chest looked like the educated woman she was. Her blonde hair was even up in a bun and she was wearing glasses. I wonder how much longer she would be able to manage that with the way she was growing her hair out. The sweater she was wearing even did a pretty good job of hiding how huge she really was. The Jeans on the other hand just emphasized her butt. I used to be jealous, but now if anything she seems jealous of mine. Even said something about being lucky enough to get all the best features of her butt, and dad's. I smiled.

"That's something I missed seeing." She said, smiling

"Well it's not really, maybe you missed seeing something similar."

"You know you take this all too negatively. I mean you used to complain how all the guys would chat up Gina and completely ignore you. Now you have to almost literally beat them off with a stick."

She was smiling. I sighed and could feel my ears droop. I must look very cute right now. Mom came over and gave me a big hug.

"I'm sorry, I know this a big problem for you."

"I don't know if I would be that freaked out. I mean I was always sort of a furry. Though now I have to wonder why that is too. I always did gravitate toward cats." Mom just frowned.

"I mean I wanted this body, dreamed of it even. Maybe not exactly this body, but I wanted to be beating off the boys with a stick because I was hot. The problem is if there is any beating off is doesn't involve a stick."

Mom snickered. "Oh, I'm sorry dear, I know I should be more, well…"

"Don't worry mom. I figured out at a very young age I knew way more about the facts of life than I should, and you are way more frank about sex than any other kid's parents. Certainly Gina's."

"Yes, and I know how embarrassed you can get about it."

I smiled. "I do, but for the longest time I wasn't. I still remember how confused I was my first day of school when I got sent to the principal's office."

Mom released me and stood up. She always got in such a huff, even after all this time. Sometimes it could be very embarrassing, but most of the time all my friends agreed I had the coolest parents around, and the best house. I still sort of miss some of them despite everything.

"I mean, it's not like we taught you no decorum at all. You weren't going around saying tits and any other crude thing you might have picked up from us. Just penis, and you weren't even talking about sex in any thing but the most scientific way. I mean…"

"Mom, as funny as it is to still hear you rant about this, did you come in here for any particular reason?"

"Well, yes. Gina said you seemed somewhat tame today for being in heat, and considering all things it was amazing you managed not to have sex with some new boy?" "Yea, I guess. I mean I flirted with him, and I certainly wanted to have sex with him, but I resisted."

"That is good news."

"No mom, not really. It means I'm not as helpless as I claim to be. That I really am just not trying hard enough. That the suit was right and…"

"No, That isn't true. I'm not your uncle, or even your father, but I think I understand this thing well enough. In fact I might even understand this heat thing better than the two of them. Though as private as he can be, we both know he's really far more perverted than I am."

"Yea, and though I wouldn't have been able to guess otherwise until very recently, he's the truly insatiable one, though you're almost as bad."

Mom laughed. "And that is why I think I understand this heat of yours. Thanks to paranoia the male teachers have those little vapor masks of theirs, but I know you wouldn't take advantage of them even if you could. Though I think you have had sex with some of the seniors anyway."

I nodded. "Yes, I mean I'm still hot. To be fair when in heat pheromones don't discriminate, and it's not me taking advantage of them that is the concern. Though Uncle Will says my pheromones also seem to infer a bit of passiveness as well, so no matter how attracted they are, they won't act on it."

"That has always struck me as odd. Reminds me of something, but can never think of what."

"I couldn't guess what."

"Anyway, as I was saying, obviously it's an altered state, but there has always been limits, you do things you would never do otherwise, but not really ignoring all other concerns. I mean you make a lot out of it, but you didn't know any those guys were gay at the time, and you didn't mean to sleep with those girl's boyfriends, and I'm sure if you knew you wouldn't have."

"So, the fact I like Cal is enough to, not sleep with him?"

"It sounds odd, but you're looking for sex, not love. Even in heat you are still a moral individual, and that's why Cal is the last. I'm sure that's not really true though."

I rolled my eyes. Of course I had thought of more since lunch. I wasn't counting those that had asked me. Some I could have seduced, but knew they would regret if for religious reasons. Then there was the strait edge club members, which while they had never said anything, I had avoided without really thinking about it. Of course this also reminded me of some guy that mysteriously was immune to my pheromones. I smiled. Things were still pretty bad, but not as bad. I hugged mom.

"Thanks mom, that was a big help."

"So, why do you like this boy you just met so much?"

I pulled out of the hug and glared at her.

"Don't give me that look. Both your father and I take love very seriously. I mean it's one thing to have some fun before you find the one, but once you do, you shouldn't need anyone else."

"Except for threesomes." I said, and smiled

"You know we're not really into that king of thing."

"Yea, number one on that very small list actually."

"Uh, dear, you still seem a bit, how do I put this…"

"Yea, things started slow today, then there was a flash, but I'm still coming down a bit I think."

"Ah. William does want to talk to you about a few things tomorrow, so I'm bringing you in early. Make sure to mention that to him. Or am I wrong that is sounds like a slow ramp up, a fairly short and an even longer ramp down?"

"Oh, yea, I guess it is a bit odd. The monitor caught it all I'm sure."

"Enough of that though, tell me about the boy."

"Well, my first impression was basically good, and it helps that he's hot. He mainly just talked to Gina while I tried to wolf down lunch before things got too bad."

"Yes, though that clearly didn't work out."

"I don't know it he's the one or anything, but he hasn't run away screaming yet, and he seems to want more than to just get in my pants. He's just, interesting somehow. I want to get to know him. Maybe he's just some guy in the end I won't really like but…"

"Ah, that's enough for me. Just remember, I think it's kind of fun when you're in heat, but you're still daddy's little girl to your father."

"I know, always have been, always will be. He tries to shield me from anything involving sex if possible, but my first words were your actual names, and it's pretty obvious why."

"I told him we need really good interior soundproofing too, but did he listen, no."

"Mom, I don't want this though. I don't want to be that girl."

"You don't want to be a slut like me."

"Mom, it's not like that, it's just that…"

"No, I was a slut, I admit it, I was. But I decided I wanted to help people, and worked hard to make that career of helping as a nurse a reality, by using the fact I was such a huge slut to make money."

"Mom…"

"I'm not finished. That was the path I chose. My parents still don't talk to me, and all I got out of my own sister is a promise that she'll tell me if anyone dies, and she'll make sure I'm invited, but I don't regret it, because I met your father. I also know that you don't want to take that path, and with the money your father makes you have no reason to do anything you don't want to."

"Mom I really didn't mean…"

"Nari, I know you didn't, but as I said, I am a slut. I didn't enjoy just the sex with different men, but the danger and excitement of it. I could go into detail, but I'm sure you don't want to hear it."

I nodded very quickly. The truth was right now part of me was very curious, but I was certainly more in cold fish mode by now, so I resisted the urge. Especially since I had a strong feeling I would regret it if did ask for more details. Mom looked down, a tear in her eye.

"I'm so sorry dear. This thing has been forced upon you. You're being forced to do things you really don't chose to do."

"That's not exactly…"

"I'm not as smart as you or your father, and nowhere near your uncle, but I still know that. Still, I am so sorry this had to happen. If I had only know I never would have…"

"But you did, because you couldn't know. Even as all the weirdness began to come to light, you couldn't know. Even as a few realized there might be some connections, you couldn't know. It wasn't until uncle Will saw my problem, and knowing you two put it all together."

"But I'm still sorry, and…"

She looked down and rubbed her belly. She still couldn't see it, and would have to be quite a bit further along to even have a chance. I guessed she probably just did it as a reflex, not really thinking about what she would actually be able to see by looking down.

"Mom, you couldn't know. It was obvious Valsune and Yova were weird somehow, but it wasn't clear how. Heck, Mu's old enough she's normal. I admit there are times it really pisses me off, but I can't really blame you. He won't either, I'm sure of that. Whatever kink has messed with his life he'll forgive you, because you just couldn't have known."

"We don't even know for sure he's even a boy, how can you be so sure that…"

"Because I know his parents, and I don't want another sister, that's why."

Mom laughed and hugged me. I started to laugh too.

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"Are you okay?"

My sister nodded. Val had a wooden steak in her chest, just above her left breast, and I'd guess right through her heart. If it was anyone else I wouldn't waste time asking and have already called 911, but as always there was no blood, and if Val said she was okay, she was. She even still had that blissful little smile of hers. The media dubbed them undead, and while not quite accurate, it was at least somewhat a step in the right direction. Her hair had been brown like mine, though with a little more body. Now it was mainly black, with a streak of white starting at each temple. Val had always been pale, but now her skin was literally white. The so called undead were mainly the result of not taking off all the makeup after a costume party, but Val happened to be born on Halloween. Most people don't seem to realize that means she must have been conceived about 9 months before

"How did this happen anyway, I figure if some nutcase had stabbed you like that guy that claimed to be a vampire, I would have heard about it."

"Lord Pain was discussing it with the others, and Shadow Lotus and he got into one of their arguments. She kept saying it must be an amazingly wonderful way to die, and he said it would be slow and painful, so I asked Wisp if he still carries around a wooden stake, and he did. So…"

"You took in and plunged it into your own chest?"

She nodded. The black lacy bra she was wearing made it real clear how tight her bras were getting. She was one year younger than I was, and finally looked like it, being somewhat shorter and less developed overall, but clearly hadn't stopped just because I finally really started. The small red shirt with a skull on it she had worn most of the day was next to her on the bed. She was wearing a pair of those baggy black pants with all the rivets and chains she likes so much. Like always she also had some red ribbons running through her hair. A few silver rings and chains, and her various piercings. Though lately she had taken out most of the ones on her face, and added a bunch in places that would normally be clothed. She had a bunch of small rings through her collarbones I noticed. In fact while she still had a line of rings covering the edge of each ear, a bunch on each eyebrow, and one lip ring, all the rest were gone, even the nose ring. I bet she still had the tongue stud though.

"It wasn't that painful at all actually."

"Val, you do know that your definition of pain is a bit different."

"I remember, I mean it really didn't hurt that much, it didn't feel like I even hit anything exactly."

"That sounds important, somehow. You're not going to just remove it yourself, are you?"

"Dad said he's going to take both of us Uncle Will's once he gets home, and not to tell mom."

"Yea, because she's a worry wart, and would panic. Even though that's my first inclination as well. I mean sure you've started dissecting your own arm for fun, but it's still freaky."

"I suppose, but you…"

"Yea, I'm freak too, and shouldn't talk. I know."

"No. I'm far more of a freak than you. You don't like thinking about it, but you know I am. I can do things that are impossible, and as odd are you are now, you still can't."

"Except this whole thing is impossible. I mean come on, if mom had used less organic hair dye and makeup you would at least look normal."

"I know, and for that you envy me."

I blinked. I did of course. I used to envy her because she looked more like my older sister than younger, and now because she at least seemed normal. If she had kept dying her hair we might not have even noticed most of her roots were now black. The white skin had now developed into a smooth milky white that was a bit odd, but there were at least 3 other goths she hangs out with that regularly wear white makeup, even though none of them look as good as her. Val smiled.

"It's okay. You don't like the way things are, you didn't before, and still don't, so of course you envy me. Just as long as you don't let it control your actions, or run your life, it's not a problem."

"Thanks, I needed to hear that, and know just what you mean."

We both turned to Yova on the bed opposite Val's. She was texting someone and giggling. Yova sure didn't look like she was that much younger than I was, and certainly not only 13. The hooves had always been there, but the fur that went up to her waist had been brown until recently. Somehow she got in her head that taking a massive amount of hormones would be a good idea. I think the fur on her legs was already developing into the white with black spots pattern when she did it, but Val isn't any more sure than I am about that. I do know that uncle Will noticed her having 4 nipples on each breast a while ago, and while she still insists she's a horse, I'm pretty sure the leather was plain old cow. The worst thing is the hormones she had gotten from that assistant of Uncle Will's were not human growth hormone, but bovine growth hormone. She stopped texting a moment to look over at us.

"Stop staring at me Nari. Don't you have anything better to do?"

The first amazing thing was the massive overdose didn't even make her sick. The second far more amazing thing is it seemed to actually have done what she wanted and jump started puberty. She wasn't a whole lot taller yet, but she was at least as busty as Val, and probably me. The rest of the curves she decided she should have as soon as possible had also come in. I still think this might come back to bite her in the end, especially since she refuses to acknowledge the black and white tail currently growing in is clearly not a horse tail. Ever since I first suggested this fact she has been increasingly hostile. Though I'm pretty sure some of that was my own overdue puberty finally getting started. Though I don't entirely understand how and why she became so obsessed with becoming grown up so fast.

"In fact, why don't you just get out of here."

"Yea, Dad will be home soon anyway. Put your shirt back on Val. Mom would definitely freak if she saw you like this."

"Gee, you think of that all by yourself?"

Val did put her shirt back on, and left the room. I followed, but with one last look back at Yova. The jeans were designer, the shirt the same, though the tiny little low cut thing didn't look it. She was also wearing earrings, and though I couldn’t see it, a belly button ring. Dad really wasn't happy about that, and mom was even upset, though mainly because Yova had promised her not too. I was worried she was going down a path she didn't want, despite her still having control of her life.

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It had taken dad another hour to get home. Val and I were sitting in the back of the car. I figured dad would have to come up with an interesting excuse for us leaving. Instead he just avoided her and we left. He would probably just tell the whole truth after we got home anyway, so it made sense to just skip any half-assed excuses in the first place.

"Girls. You are doing okay right?"

"I'm having way too much sex, and Gina is still pretty much the only girl that will still talk to me, but other than that, yea, I'm fine."

"I'm good too."

"Other than the steak you mean, right dear." Dad said

"No, it's okay too. I don't want to keep it in there, it itches, but it's okay."

"Um, I see. Well, is there anything else?"

"There is a new student, I sorta like him. And thankfully I haven't had sex with him yet."

"Yes, you had another episode, correct?"

"Yea dad. Sometimes I think you should have just pulled me out of school like the school wanted."

"No Nari, I still believe it was the right choice. It's a medical condition, and one that doesn't really hurt anyone. It's not like you're impossible to resist."

I was glad dad couldn't see my face in the dark. My pheromones had increased in potency considerably since the court case. This did remind me that there was actually a significant group that just refused to sleep with me, even if it was pretty clear they sure wanted to. The more I thought about it the more I realized Beth was exaggerating. Though I also realized I had been systematically sleeping with as many guys as possible while in heat, and ranking them.

"Yea, though I sure wish those stupid pheromones were easier to resist." I said

"Well it's not too bad anyway. I mean how much sex can you really be having in school."

"Nari can manage quite a lot. She's gotten very good at it."

"Val." I said

I just heard dad sigh.

"Sorry, I know you don't like to hear it." I said

"I know it must seem so hypocritical, but you're my little girls. I still want to protect your older sister too."

"Dad, Mu is 23 and in college."

"I know, but she'll always be little Makhivotsu to me."

"Isn't Mu coming for a visit soon?" said Val

"Oh yea, isn't she?" I said

"Yes girls, she is. This weekend actually. We're almost there. Nari, why don't you go strait to the interns for the usual battery of tests. You were scheduled for tomorrow, but I'm sure it will be okay. Will and I will take care of you Val, then Will can talk to Nari about whatever it is he wanted."

"That sounds good." I said

"Okay, but maybe I should have some new tests too, I haven't really done this before."

"Hmmm, yes, good point honey. Will probably already has something planned actually, he sounded far more excited than I would have liked my daughter put a steak though her heart."

We all laughed a bit at that.

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"So, how you doing kiddo?"

I turned around to see Will. He looked a lot like dad, good looking, but not model handsome either. His hair was a much lighter shade of brown than dad's was, and unlike dad he wasn't clean shaven, but kept his mustache and beard well trimmed. He was also a bit shorter and thickly built. He was wearing a white lab coat over slacks and a collared shirt. He usually left the jacket in his office if he needed it for a press conference, but tended to lose it other places when he actually did need it.

"I'm good basically. You know, same old problems. The interns need more practice drawing blood, school sucks, and I'm having way too much sex."

"Most teenagers wouldn't consider that a problem."

"Most male teenagers maybe. Though sometimes I wonder if at least some of the other girls are just jealous because they wish they were getting laid as often as I am."

"But…"

"Yea, I certainly don't want to be, and maybe I should say how much they think I'm having sex. If they had any real idea, I don't think they would, then again, it's not like I'm for slow and sensual when I'm in heat."

"Nari, please. Unless it's really necessary, you know I don't like to hear this kind of thing."

Will looked down. I had already plugged the wire into the box strapped to my leg. Beth said the ankle bracelet showed how much of a criminal I really was. It could be used to track me actually, but mainly it was the other data it gathered that was important. Will sat down at the computer on his desk, and making sure not to unplug the wire sat down myself.

"Hmmm, nothing especially interesting yet."

"You said you had something to tell me?"

"A few things. Though maybe discuss might be the right term in some cases. The first is of course another modification of your libido suppressant cocktail. That's close enough to my actual field I understand it, but why nothing works baffles me."

"Didn't you say that my going into heat seems to flush it from my system?"

"Yes and, hmmm, that was especially long wasn't it?"

"You were saying?"

"Oh, well one theory, which this data supports, is that the slower onset of heat might be a result of your body taking longer to burn off the suppressant."

"Okay, then why is it not consistent, and the come down longer too?"

"Yes, well it isn't perfect. Anyway, there are various modifications, your dad will take care of that once he finishes watching over some of the tests on your sister."

"Watching over…"

"You can ask one of them later, some of them are more than a bit unusual. Let's get back to you. The other thing data seems to confirm, and this time with no counter evidence, is that your period has once again coincided with an extended period where you don't go into heat."

"So what? Why does that…"

Then I smiled. I remembered now. Will smiled too.

"Yea, it is a good thing. It proves my initial guess that your first coming into heat was the beginning of what is almost a second puberty. Also one possible cause of the erratic nature of what is usually a very regular thing in nature, is the interaction between the two separate sets of instructions trying to play out at once."

"So now that they're in agreement things will get better."

"Well, hopefully. They should get more regular I think, but human beings don't really have a proper estrus cycle at all, so it's hard to say what will happen next. Besides we aren't really there yet. You are beginning to normalize, but it will be at least another week before anything much begins I imagine, probably much more. It is a good sign I think however."

I just smiled.

"However there is one bit of bad news. I have the specialists going over it now, but your most recent X-rays suggest the claws we keep seeing will make their presence known, and soon."

"Haven't you been saying that same thing for weeks?"

"Yes, but they're pretty sure, I'm almost sure, and it's probably going to hurt, a lot."

I sighed. "Whatever, it can't be that much worse than the sudden appearance of new permanent teeth, can it?"

"Well…" he began, then shrugged. "Honestly I don't know, but that's actually supposed to happen in humans, claws, just don't come into play at all. It could get messy."

"So, let me guess. I have a refill on that painkiller prescription, and should carry around a few pills with me at all times, just in case."

"Almost right, except they also added something even stronger to carry around if it gets really bad."

"How strong?"

"It's a single dose in something similar to an eppy pen, Martin, I mean your father, could tell you more accurately what it actually is. It will pretty much knock you right out, it's basically to stop you from going into shock from the pain."

I just stared forward. Will looked away, unable to meet my eyes.

"Anyway, I wanted to ask about…" he began

"Yea, that's just what I need. Not only do I have all my current problems, and that as far as you can tell this is all going to just keep progressing, but now I have mind numbing pain in my future."

"Well, we don't really know that. I mean the…"

"You're the one in charge, just tell me if you really think its necessary."

"Yes, I think it's necessary as a precaution, because I don't know Nari. The only reason I'm in charge is a fluke. Do you even know what my specialty really is?"

"Yea, though your doctorate says disease, your real specialty is in comparative biology, mainly in regard to how diseases might be able to cross species barriers, but also a general knowledge of the structure of different animals that makes you almost uniquely qualified to lead this project. Besides Uncle Will, you did make the discovery that pulled it all together."

"Uh, you remember all that. I didn't think…"

"As often as I hear it, of course I would be in heat one of those times."

"Anyway, I didn't really come up with the theory that…"

"Yea, yea, I know. You just found the evidence that proved it. The reason you got the credit it the other 8 guys that published their theories never even tried to actually prove anything, you did, and succeeded wonderfully. So, let me ask again, you really don't know?"

"No, I'm hoping for the best. One of the development experts even thinks the reason it's taking so long is to insure that it's not traumatic at all. Though she also said your fingernails and a good bit of each fingertip will just fall off, so in my book she's just suggesting a different kind of trauma."

"Great. Well, at least there are options, even if they all are bad."

"Well, it may not be any kind of traumatic. Besides, we know just because something is vestigial, it won't disappear immediately."

Will leaned across the desk and pulled the hair out of the way so he could see my normal ears. I wondered if it was more to show me what he meant, or assure himself they were indeed still there.

"Is that why my feet and hands are itching, because the claws are coming out?"

"Maybe. Is that cream the dermatologist prescribed working out?"

"Yea, but if I don't put it on it's pretty bad." I said, then looked down at my hands. "That really doesn't make any sense though, does it. It being a good portion of my hands and feet, not just the tips mean it's probably something more, doesn't it."

Will just nodded.

"So why don't we stop talking about me, and talk about Val."

"There really isn't much to say."

"Except it proves my point. It's not like it's just my point either. Lamarck's curse doesn't seem to be very consistent, and my guess would explain Val, wouldn't it?"

"Maybe, but intent of the person at the time makes even less sense. You can't inherit imagined alterations. That defies all logic."

"Yea, like this stupid curse doesn't do that already."

"Though the main mechanism is still completely eluding us, that does not mean it isn't readily explainable by science, simply that it has yet to be explained."

"Just like how undead, especially Val, make any lick of sense. It would explain a few things about me too you know."

"Yes, I know that, but…" he said, then stopped and took a deep breath. "Look, we can debate that some other time. I know Val isn't really the one you're concerned about."

I just nodded.

"Look, she seems fine. I don't like the amount of estrogen she's producing, and I especially don't like the way she's acting, but it's purely psychological. Yova might have some serious problems, but if things go bad, frankly it's all her fault. Speaking of the psychology team."

"No. I don't like them, so I'm sticking to the court appointed dates and times, and no more."

"They do want some extra time, but no, that's not it. It's something more, general. An observation in their most recent report that seems odd."

I rolled my eyes. I wish he would just get on with it. He smiled at me.

"Well, that actually."

"Huh?"

"You are well aware of how much more aggressive you are in heat."

"Yea, I mean if it was just sex drive there wouldn't be that many boys."

"Well the point is the most recent report talks about how that seems to be leaking into your everyday personality. Furthermore they fear it could progress."

"But…"

"Dr. Koda disagrees."

I grinned. "So, what does Miriam say?"

"She says it's just increased self confidance, and I'm inclined to agree. You've always been fairly direct, but something held you back most of the time. Gina said something about it's nice to see everyone else get to really know you. However Miriam, I mean Dr. Koda, said some other things that…"

"Yes, I am still trying to set you two up, and keep telling her nice things about you."

"Could you please stop."

"Not until it works, no."

He sighed, and I smiled. I honestly had no idea if the two were even remotely compatible. I liked Dr. Miriam Koda, and know uncle was at least a little intrested, so I tried to set them up.

"So…" I began. "Anything else?"

"Well there is one thing, and it's disease research, so I can really speak with complete authority on it. Namely that my initial supposition about your immunity is somewhat incomplete."

"Define incomplete. The one reason mom and dad aren't freaking is because you said that I'm just enough off human that nothing can effect me, and in fact seems to die out."

"You're still human, just…"

"No, I'm not human. Still close, but more in the same sense different breeds of cat are close."

"Clever."

"I try."

"As I was about to explain, while this hypothesis is still largely correct, the diseases are still considered foreign invaders and produce antibodies. This isn't important for most diseases, but you are still close enough that the anti bodies might be useful for research possibilities. Or rather should."

"Huh?"

"Well, though you are certainly immune, and your body is inhospitable to all forms of disease it is not in the way I originally assumed. Do you remember my little HIV test."

I glared at him. "You though I could cure AIDS, I don't know why, but for some reason that stuck in my memory just a bit."

"Uh, yes. The point is the test proved my theory wrong, though as you may not remember I could not understand the results of the test at all. Then Val mentioned someone thanking you for clearing up a case of crabs. That got me thinking…."

He stared off into space for quite a while. Uncle Will was a genius. Everyone said so, dad always says he got the skill and determination, but his brother got the real smarts. However he stares blankly off into space for no clear reason so often you certainly might think that isn't the case.

"Uncle Will?"

"Oh, yes. Sorry. The point is I needed some sweat to test. You got me far more than I needed, and really wish you hadn't told me how, even though some of its contents only make sense that way."

"Or, even though I didn't want to know, thank me for telling me you got that sweat form a marathon masturbation session Nari. It was helpful to know that."

He just nodded. "Anyway this revealed, along with the larger than normal amount of blood I needed that your immune system is more of a carnivore than a grazer."

"What?"

"Oh, well most immune systems passively wait, at least to a large degree. They're like sheep, they move around looking for grass, but don't really actively seek it out."

"Uh, I'm pretty sure sheep actually do actively seek out grass."

"Hmmm, well a better example might be defenses. Yes, that's much more sensible. Okay, most immune systems are like guards, they patrol, and try to keep thieves out, but they don't really actively try to reduce crime. Your immune system is more like policemen, or FBI agents really, they're very good at their jobs you know. I mean extremely proficient actually…"

"How exactly…"

"Well they actively seek out diseases and eat them. That's why I said carnivores at first. In fact the process resembles HIV to a degree, but in reverse. They devour anything that doesn't resemble things that aren't supposed to be there."

"That sounds really vague."

"Well, they ignore various required and benign bacteria, and most other animal cells."

"Further proving how inhuman I am."

"No, not really. I mean not just mammals, but birds, and insects, and reptiles are on the list too. In fact the only reason I say most is that most parasites are affected too. They're literally devoured by the antibodies in your sweat. It's frightening in a way really."

"So the curing crabs thing is true?"

"Oh yes, and more than that probably, whenever you are sufficiently sweaty…"

"Like after and during sex?"

"Yes, but any other vigorous activity, or simply a hot day, you will sweat, and it will contain considerable number of these antibodies. As I have hinted they almost act like a disease in their own way, they can infect others, multiply, and completely remove the foreign organism, no matter how large."

"Even if it's inorganic." "Oh no, but anything alive. I even sent a culture to a friend of mine for use on a patient with a very large stomach worm. Quite rare really, got it in the amazon somewhere I think. Or maybe it was Africa…"

"Uncle."

"The point is while it took a few days, but the parasite was essentially eaten alive. The small culture became sufficiently large to completely disassemble the creature. Amazing really."

"Then shouldn't this mean even if I wasn't infected, it would be a cure for HIV."

"Well no. See the reason there were no antibodies is obvious. Your system doesn't work that way, but at the same time while it's more than enough for you, it ignores healthy human cells, including infected cells. That’s why the monkeys always got sick again. Their immune system is not entirely ineffective against your infection of antibodies, so the required constant doses don't work, but there still might be something there."

"Infection of…."

"It's a rejection thing, your antibodies are very resistant to being fought off, but like any foreign invader they are eventually repelled."

"But not before acting rather like a disease, but simultaneously clearing out everything else. So not only am I not a disease vector of the highest magnitude, but I could lay on hands and…"

He nodded. Well, that's one worry gone I suppose. I giggled. Thinking of the time I'd be most likely to lay on hands, and picturing myself like in one of those portraits of the Madonna. Only of course instead of holding the baby Jesus when laying hands on someone, I'd have messy hair, be covered in sweat, and several tired looking naked guys behind me.

"Uh…"

"Oh, it's nothing. Just a funny image I'm sure you don't want to hear."

"Okay, but you might want to tell Miri…" He began, then suddenly stopped. "I mean you should tell Dr. Koda if you think it might be even remotely important."

I shook my head. "No, I really don't think picturing myself as our pornographic lady of Guadeloupe matters in any way."

Uncle Will scratched his head, and after a quick progression of weird looks on his face, shook his head. He then hit a few buttons on the keyboard, and briefly did something with the mouse.

"Well, for the moment I'll assume you're right and we'll move on to the real matter to discuss."

"That's it? It sounds like I'm the cure for literally everything but HIV."

"Well, possibly. There may be some side effects. If it wasn't for the extreme hazard of the surgery, I never would have suggested such a course of action. I don't think there should be any negative reactions, but more study is needed. Also I am very curious if any of your sisters share this oddity."

"You mean other than Mu?"

"Well she shouldn't, but it would be quite the discovery if she did. I do plan to ask her for some samples once she gets here actually. To act as a sort of third baseline beyond your parents, though obviously such a baseline is inevitably not entirely…"

"Reliable, yes. Because genetics didn't work that way, and now it's not really entirely clear how it works, since despite inheriting physical traits, I have DNA that seems to match those traits."

He nodded. "Yes. But in some ways this isn't really terribly important, at least to you. In truth I could have just said you won't get sick, and if anything others would get less sick, and that would have been enough for you to continue living your life. This other mater is actually far simper, but far more important, and you really should be informed of it as soon as possible."

"Then do it already. I mean if it's really that important, why not do it first?"

Will then put one hand on his chin and looked off into the distance. I could feel my ears pinned to the top of my head. That pissed me off even more. My throat felt weird all of sudden as well. Almost like I had something in it and needed to spit, but not exactly. He looked back at me and retracted, the chair sliding back at least a few inches, maybe even a foot.

"Ack. Sorry, sorry. Keep getting distracted. The genetics team has done a more in-depth analysis on your DNA and now suspect that your eggs are not entirely incompatible with human DNA as they first thought."

"So that means I'm not disease ridden slut, passing who knows what about the school, but I could certainly end up a pregnant slut wobbling around the place? You must be joking?"

"Look, their first analysis was at least mostly correct. It would be a one in a million shot, and probably wouldn't even be possible at all if it wasn't for the syndrome in the first place."

"Otherwise some seemingly normal guy out there might have just enough cat DNA because the pet cat sleeps on the bed, and a hair stuck to some sweat."

"Well, yes, that might be it, though cat like DNA might not be the key stumbling block."

"You aren't going to mention this to either one, right?"

"No, unless it becomes important, I won't mention to either of your parents."

"If that's it, I'm going to go check on Val."

"Yea, I think there was something else, but running this project can run me ragged at times."

"Have a good night Uncle Will."

It was bad news, probably could be worse, but still bad. Usually I have much more fun with Uncle Will, but every so often it's anything but fun. Also it seems to pressure to get some sort of useful result is getting worse. I wish he could find some cure too, but I don't see it happening.

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I blinked. I had been wandering around as there was some delay with Val, and had almost run right into her. I blinked again. It really was Vanessa. She was wearing that long brown coat she started wearing a while back, and now seemed to never take off. In fact, she had also started wearing large T-shirts and loose jeans, where before it was always baby doll tees, and usually shorts. She wore some really tight jeans on occasion I guess, but the jeans she's been wearing are much looser. The dusty blonde wasn't especially busty or curvy, but it was enough, and she showed off what she had to good effect. For that matter she sure seemed to like showing it off to. I smiled.

"Now I get it."

"Gah!" she yelled, and turned around.

"Seeing you here Nessa, it suddenly all makes sense. I was so focused on myself I never really considered why you had suddenly changed dress codes."

"Oh, Nari. I should have known I'd run into you eventually."

"So you're a freak like me too, aren't you. Something inhuman."

"Yea, yea, I am. It's not like I'm the one saying those things, it's all Beth."

"But you don't defend me either."

"Elizibeth Buckley is my oldest and dearest friend. I mean we were in kindergarten together. You really think I'm not going to chose her over you?"

"I suppose not."

"Though recently I wonder…" Nessa seemed to begin, but her lips didn't move. "If I made the wrong choice. You seem way cooler than her recently."

Nessa then covered her mouth and turned away from me. I heard "shit" muttered a few times, each time a bit louder. I wasn't sure but I thought for just a second there was a lengthwise tube-like impression in the fabric, and it passed across the coat before vanishing. I knew I must not be completely out of my heat as my first thought was that must be a pretty big penis. Then I realized the far more logical conclusion considering it seemed to be coming out of her butt, and she was girl.

"You have a tail?"

"What, no I don't. Who told you that? Crap, she knows. Crap, that was out loud again. I thought they said I shouldn't have anymore problems. Crap, that too."

"Nessa, what's going on here."

"Nothing, go away. It's so freaky there is no way I'm telling anyone."

"Did you get turettes or something, I mean it seems like you can't control what you say."

"No, it's not like that. It's sorta like that though. Crap."

She then ran off, cursing all the way. That was weird.

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I looked at the wooden steak. It was like it was being devoured by termites, most of the lower section, the part that had been inside my sister, was half gone. The head of the steak was fine though, the finish even intact. Will had wanted to keep it, but Val insisted that Wisp would want it back.

"What are you looking at there dear."

"Oh, just something that Val borrowed from one of her friends."

"I see."

I turned around to see mom frowning. I don't think she realized that as much as they talk about death and pain, they're just about the nicest group at the whole school. They sure stuck by her more than my friends. Though goth's sticking by someone who can safely remove their own arm doesn't really sound that unlikely. Then again they are perfectly civil to me, almost friendly. Or maybe they were friendly, but I wasn't goth so didn't get it. I put the steak back on the table near the door. I was wearing the black and white checkerboard pajamas I bought with Beth one day. They were my favorite pair. Strangely mom was still wearing work clothes.

"Mom, why are you still in work clothes?"

"Oh, your father and I have some things we need to discuss, and while it's more fun, we usually don't get to really talk about the important things when half naked."

"Talk, about what?"

"Well you actually. Things seem to be getting worse, not better."

"Yea Mom, I know. But honestly things really have been pretty much the same for a while. I mean Gina will be about the only girl who doesn't hate me, more of the guys will be hostile because I won't have sex with them again…"

"Really, but I thought…"

"Hey, if they're bad, sex crazed or not, why should I waste my time."

Mom giggled. "Oh dear. If your father heard you…"

"But he won't. So just general stuff about me then."

"Well, there is also Yova."

"Yea, Yova."

"I don't think it's that bad, but I am a little worried too. Your father is very nervous about the whole thing of course. Why don't you say goodnight to Zelly, she said she had to talk to you and wouldn't go to sleep until she did."

"Yea, sure thing mom."

"Try to make it quick, it's already past her bedtime."

"Okay, probably some little thing anyway. She might not even remember what she wanted by the time I ask her."

Mom laughed. I walked though the living room and down the hall. First I passed my room. Then I looked in to Val and Yova's room to see Yova in there, this time talking on the phone. Mom and Dad's room was across the hall. I then walked past the bathroom to the door at the end of the hall. I opened the fairly small room to see it empty. I smiled and walked up to the empty bed.

"Hmm, I thought mom said a little fairy wanted to talk to me, I don't see anyone in here."

I felt a weight land on my back. I smiled, and pulled the little girl on my back off and set her down on her bed. The butterfly wings didn't allow her to fly, but it seemed to give her quite the jump. Zelly was wearing yellow pajamas with cute cartoon monkeys on them. Her wings were mainly purple, above, white below, and black spots here and there. Her hair was also that same pinkish white it's been since she came out of her cocoon. Temporary my ass. She had always looked cute, and now she was even cuter. She smiled.

"You got me again. So, what do you want to talk to me about?"

"Huh? Oh, I remember. I thought about asking Val or Yova, but then decided you would be best."

"Why not mom?"

"She wouldn't know."

I sighed. "So it's freak girl talk then?"

She nodded. I sat down beside Zelly. I suddenly had the feeling this definitely wasn't a little thing. I also had the feeling I wasn't going to enjoy it, unlike most of the time I spent with the little one.

"It's a bad thing, isn't it Zelly?"

She nodded. "Some of the girl's are being mean."

"I'm sure they're just jealous."

"Mom said the same thing, but she couldn't really explain."

"Well that's simple. You like butterflies and fairy's right?"

"Unicorns are better, but yea."

I looked around. There were indeed far more pictures of unicorns, and more than a few unicorn toys and stuffed animals. Cute little cats and dragons were also about. There were fairies, but usually they just happened to be with something else. Zelly was very fond of the cute. The only way the room could be any more girly is if she actually liked pink. I was quite happy that only Yova and mom could even stand the color. Mainly mom limited it to negligees, and Yova at least only to her wardrobe. Beth said I looked really cute in pink, and in a way I did, but I still hate it.

"The point is most girls do, at least a little, some a lot. Val does for instance."

"Really?"

"Yea, but most of her fairy stuff is too adult for you to see."

"So, it's porn?"

"No, that's not really the problem. It's more a matter of violence."

"Eww, I don't want to see a bunch of blood and guts. Why does Val like that gross stuff."

"I dunno either exactly. The point is they wish they had the wings, they wish their hair was weird, and I think they all wish they had the boys attention like you do."

"Really? One girl called me an attention hog, but none of them mentioned the boys. Most of them still really think boys are yucky, even if they act all grown up."

I laughed. "Yea, I suppose that is reading in my own experience a bit too much."

"Huh?"

"It means the girls at my school are jealous because the boys are paying attention to me so much, but you're a little young for that. They just want attention from anyone, though girls are supposed to mature a bit faster than boys, so maybe I'm not entirely wrong."

"Uh, shouldn't you know?"

"You would think, but no, I was what you call a late bloomer, and even then it wasn't a whole lot of blooming. But we both know boys and sex are things you can talk to mom about."

"Yea."

"Actually you already talked to mom about this, didn't you, so do you really want?"

She looked away. I shifted a bit on the bed, and looked her strait in the eyes when she looked back toward me again.


"Come on Zelly." "Why do I have to be so different. I like my wings but…"

She smiled, but was already starting to cry. I held her. She then began to really cry and I pulled her tighter. I was crying too. It really wasn't fair. There might be more to this, something she really wanted to know that I can tell her, but I don't think I'm going to hear it tonight.

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The headache was a monster of thing. It was really getting steadily better, but it still sucked. The pounding had started the moment I had gotten up this morning. I had my head down on the recycled plastic picnic table. The grey plastic with multicolored flecks was strangely soothing.

"Ooo, you don't look well."

"I agree."

I briefly looked up to see Gina and Cal, as expected. I waved, and put my head down again. It was still almost dark as everyone mulled around the school grounds, waiting for the first bell.

"I don't feel well either. I'm thinking about taking some painkillers, but I don't want to use any of the new stuff, just in case my claws finally coming out really is as bad as they think it might be. Though if it's really, really bad I guess I'll have to use that pen looking thing, won't I?"

"You sure it's not the medication, like last time."

"Nah, if anything taking the new cocktail seemed to help. Though my breasts feel weird now."

"What do you mean weird?" said Cal

"So you are interested in her breasts."

"Just sorta tingly, hardly noticed it with the headache." I said

"Okay, let me see what I still have."

"Gina, what do you mean…" began Cal

Gina then dropped her backpack on the table. I didn't bother to look up, but I could guess why Cal had suddenly shut up. Her bag had a section full of pill bottles. Most were only technically prescription, not a controlled substance so much as specially formulated to fix some issue or another. I heard Cal gasp. I guess he might not know that, and maybe a few other things, now that I think of it.

"Are those all painkillers?"

"What, why would you even think…" Began Gina

"Most are not even restricted in any way. I'm not human, so need special formulations of stuff."

"But that still doesn’t explain…" he started, then, cut himself off. "I mean you can't just carry that kind of stuff around school."

"Actually, you can. The only reason Gina has it is she's my buddy. They started the program with me, but they've since expanded it as more people have issues. Though I'm still the most obvious."

"Oh yea, and they also altered the dress code. There are actually quite a few other kids who have fur, feather, or scales, or extra limbs, or whatever else. They just have the good sense to hide it."

"Wait, seriously?"

"I tried at one point, but I have a tendency to lose clothes, sometimes permanently."

I then laughed. It hurt. I really hope this isn't anything serious. I've had the occasional weird headache before, but this seems so much worse. If I'm lucky it will go away in less than an hour like all the others. Actually aren't they always in the morning like this?

"Oh, I remember the one time that guy hid your pants and then taunted you about it. If he ran just a bit faster I bet he would have kept his pants too."

"I think I still have those actually. Wore them the whole day, and for some reason he never complained."

"Probably just too embarrassed to say a girl knocked him unconscious with one kick."

Gina then handed me a bottle. It said to take two if pain becomes serious. I think it was for when my tail was still growing in. This felt way worse, but I only grabbed one and swallowed it. I then decided I need some water and quickly walked over to a water fountain, bumping someone a bit on the way.

"Sorry about that I…"

"I would expect no less from you."

I sighed, took a drink of water and turned around. Deborah Harrison had been a good friend once, but we had been drifting apart for a while. Longer than Beth and I had been, I think. It's so much clearer in retrospect. Then things got really bad. The prim and proper black girl was striking with her white hair. Her storm costume last year was awesome. Forgetting to take off your socks resulted in at least white hair so often it was actually a checkbox for hair color now. I'm still surprised other was also added as an option for hair so quickly. She was wearing a nice yellow dress that was anything but low cut, but still gave you enough of an idea of her curves to attract the boys. She wasn't especially curvy, but she was tall, and tended to look elegant, even in jeans and a T-shirt.

"Hey Debbie, sorry about that again, just took a painkiller and really wanted something to drink. Guess I should have thought of that before."

"Of course you should have you little whore."

I sighed. "Yea, yea. Doesn't matter how little control I have, it's still a horrible sin, and while you're no more a virgin than I am…"

"No more a…"

"Okay, so maybe you're more a virgin, but you sure aren't one."

"The point is you clearly…"

"I told you, heard it all before. Spare me Debbie."

"Stop calling me that. I am not a whore."

I tilted my head the side a bit. Rather to my embarrassment a little "mew" escaped my lips. But Deb looked much more nervous. I had started calling her Debbie by accident, and had kept doing it since she had said some really horrible things to me. It wasn't that long ago she had finally given up trying to correct me. I was thinking I might start calling her Deb again, but that was certainly an odd reaction. Deb then turned around and left.

"Hmm, why am I even wasting my time with you."

"Good question little miss perfect. I mean doesn't that lunatic preacher you follow say…"

"Pah. Please, that fool really is a lunatic, and I don't know why mom listens to a word he says. Ultimately this is still a failure of will power on your part. A test from god you are failing, and badly."

I glared at her. She took a step back. I don't know why she hated it so much, but I definitely wasn't going to be calling her Deb anytime soon.

"How dare you say that. How dare you accuse me of not doing everything I can? I don't want to be like this, I just am. I don't have a choice, I can't help it."

"Please, we know you don't…"

"You think if I was locked in a room somewhere I would care. You think I could stop myself if the only person available was that old letch Mr. Vander, I wouldn't do him?"

"Uh…"

"Oh, you don't, do you? That's one of the reasons they still let me go to this school you little moron, because things could be so much worse if they just tried to keep me locked up all the time."

"But you can help it, you slept with…"

"Yea, I did sleep with Beth's precious Mark, but you know why, because like I've said a hundred times the jerk said they'd broken up. I wasn't even going after him. He came up to me when he noticed me eyeing some other guy. I still have freedom of choice when I'm in heat, but not having sex is not an option."

She looked at me, and just stared. Then I noticed a few tears.

"I'm so sorry. I didn't, I thought…" She began. "I have to go."

Deb then briefly hugged me, released me, turned around then ran in the opposite direction. Okay, now I'm confused. I'm clearly missing something here. The bell then rang, and everyone started off to their classes. I turned around to get my book bag. My headache was not any better.

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The headache had finally gone away. For a while that odd tingling in my breasts seemed worse, but that seems to have faded too. Now it was despite putting on extra cream my hands still itched. It seemed to be getting worse. So far I was doing a pretty good job not scratching. On the other hand I hadn't gone into heat even a little. I seemed to be noticing guys a bit more, almost like I was, but I wasn't really thinking about having sex with anyone. Though that always makes history more interesting.

"Now class, can anyone tell me the event that triggered the most recent LA riots. You should all know this. It's simple as can be."

Ms. Harcourt was often called Ms. Hardcourt, and Ms. Hardass, but never to her face. She dressed conservatively, wore glasses, and was blonde. She's not someone who would make an impression if you met her on the street, but she sure does if you spend any time with her. I was happy to see Cal in the same class. I raised my hand and a long silence followed.

"Yes Ms. Garrison, I would hope you would. So class, with that little hint do any of you have an answer."

There was a long pause.

"Yes Ms. Valencio, I see your hand, you don't have to keep waving it like a mad woman. Obviously you should be well aware of this as well. Come now, anyone else. I've been more than generous with this question, so I hope one of you…" She the paused and pointed. "You there."

"Uh, it was the disenfranchised being fed up with the status quo and…" began Beth.

"That's enough Ms. Buckley."

"But…"

Elizabeth. I had called her my friend, though now I can't remember what I ever liked about her. Nessa had actually introduced us. I turned around. She was wearing a white jacket over some frilly looking pink shirt, and designer jeans of some sort that probably cost more than my whole outfit even though part of it had to be custom made. Her hair was brilliant red, and seemed to gleam. I was always jealous of her hair, and still am actually. My wild mane now has body and shine, but she still can get it to lie flat without any effort. I also know her hair still had to be just as soft. Silk stockings in her case resulted in beautiful incredibly strong hair. I can almost hate her just for that, but that would make me feel terribly guilty. Luckily there are plenty of other reasons to hate her, far less petty.

"An intelligent sounding answer isn't everything, and though such a generic statement could cover countless possibilities, and in this case it is utterly wrong. Now, since no one else has a remotely sensible answer, would you be so kind as to enlighten us all Ms. Garrison?"

"It was me."

"Oh please, how vain." Said Beth

"Possibly Ms. Buckley, but it is also far more accurate than your horrendous attempt. However it is a little brief. Surely you can clarify?"

I nodded. I looked back to see Beth scowling, and Cal staring at me. Maybe Cal being in this class wasn't such a good thing.

"As the first person to be confirmed to have visible animal traits, I was singled out as being a sign of god's displeasure by a preacher in LA. He also said some things about casting out evil, and uncovering darkness, and some other nonsense. Eventually he worked a crowd up so much they stormed out as a mob."

"Very good. They killed various people in the name of purging them. In only one case did anyone actually have any sort of outward sign, a small cow-like tail. There were also a very large number of rapes, but the chaos that descended upon the city made it unclear who was actually committing such acts, and why. This is far from old news, and when this class started you were told current events would be covered, and would be part of your grade."

"But who cares what that freak…"

"Ms. Buckley. I should not have to remind you not to say things like that. I have sent you to the principal for such things more than enough times. You should know better by now. Then again you seem to have considerable trouble actually learning anything, so maybe I'm wrong."

I briefly turned around to see Beth glare at Ms. Harcourt.

"Since all of you seem to be so utterly clueless, I will put at least one question about this incident on the next test, and it won't be the same question either. I trust at least two of you will get it right."

I could almost feel the eyes of all the kids in class boring into me. Cal wasn't glaring at least. The worst thing is it reminded me there was at least one college textbook that would have my name in it. Will had told me to try to cheer me up, but being mentioned as the cause of a riot is not the way I want to be remembered, especially not at the cat-girl that started a riot just by being such a freak.


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"So this you being first thing really isn't right?"

Cal was sitting across from me. Gina was still in line. Cal had gotten here fast it seems, already eating his lunch.

"The key word there is confirmed. The real heart of the matter is doctors kept assuming everything was a weird birth defect. I mean Yova was born with hooves."

"Really, but I thought the chances of…"

"Remember, it's all sex, so with my parents only my older sister is unaffected."

"Because she's too old, right?"

"Right, they probably did some freaky ass thing when they conceived her too, but she was born before April 11, 2004, so it doesn't matter."

"No one has any idea why that day yet, do they?"

"No, though they did narrow it down to 3:26 PM Greenwich Mean Time. If you were born during that minute or after, you are effected, one minute earlier and you're not."

"Huh, never heard that before."

"That reminds me. Which member of your family has the problem, cuase you seem ill-informed to be a doctor's kid."

"Huh, what do you mean by that?" Cal asked

"Simple. The only two types of people that move here are doctors that want to get in on the research with uncle Will, or families that have a problem and think that living here will help find a solution faster."

"You mean that's wrong?"

"No, It's basically right, but they often confuse fast with faster. So who is it, little brother?"

"Yea, he has some issues. Dad said not to talk to it about anyone though. I figure you might know in a week or so despite that."

"Nah, Uncle Will is good with patient/client privilege. Wish he was a little less good actually. Nessa is having some weird issues, and I really wish I knew what they were."

"You mean Vanessa, that girl who's always wearing the big coat?"

I nodded.

"She's in one of my classes. She said a bunch of weird things today."

"Weird how?"

"Inappropriate, overly hostile, or just plain opposite of what she just said. She claimed it's nothing, but eventually the teacher sent her to the nurse anyway."

Gina then came back with both our meals, handing me my tray first. Cal put his hand on his chin a moment, then held up one finger.

"Wait, is there actually a good reason you don't get your own lunch?"

"Yea, some joker always pulls my tail. After awhile I just got sick of it."

"I'm happy to help. It's not like a big deal. I used to get her lunch sometimes before anyway. Though it was nice to have other people get my lunch too."

"Gina, if you really want to you could…"

"No, I'm sticking by you. Besides, I never liked Beth, not even a little. I mean I miss Reona and Nessa sometimes, but…"

"So do I. Sometimes I even miss Debbie."

"Yea, I don't so much."

I screeched as someone pulled my tail. I turned around to see Beth standing there smirking. I didn't like how catlike it wounded, even if it made sense for the instincts regarding my tail to be wholely wired like a cat. Debbie was behind her, and Nessa was also nearby. She seemed to be clutching her shoulders, and they looked strangely lumpy.

"Just like the little monster you are Nari. Can't even properly scream anymore."

"Oh shut it Beth. All this hatred over some lying sack of…"

"Be quiet, I know you seduced him."

"Mark came after me. I mean come on, what finally convinced me is smelling another girl on him I didn't recognize. Never have figured out who actually."

She glared at me. I ignored her and looked at Maria trying to hide behind Beth, flinching every time either of us yelled. Maria was short, had dark, nearly black hair, and thick glasses. She also tended to wear sweaters and long baggy pants. When she did wear short sleeves it was always a T-shirt, and almost always some comic book character, or some obscure geek quote. Basically she screamed nerd. She actually had a pretty good body, but was too shy to deal with the attention she got, so only her friends knew how good she could look if she bothered. She also happened to have recently acquired a pair of bear ears on the top of her head. She looked away as she realized I was looking at her.

"Are you bothering me for any particular reason Beth, or do you really just have nothing better to do."

"You deserve much worse, but I do have a reason, namely to warn that handsome boy sitting there about you. I want to warn him…" she began, then looked directly at him instead of me. "Oh, sorry dear. I really should ask your name first."

"Callum, and I have been well informed of the dangers, and fully understand them and some other dangers that have little to do with her condition. So, since there is no further need of your presence, I suggest you leave us all alone."

Beth took a step back, then clenched her fists together. Nessa started humming, something about it sounding very odd, and she turned around. Debbie looked away from me, and Maria as always looked away when the yelling started.

"Fine, stay with the stupid inhuman monster and her sidekick. Don't come crying to me when…"

I just began to laugh, so did Gina.

"What's so funny you stupid…"

"You're just as, inhuman as me you dumb bitch, that's what."

"No, I'm not, I may have the extra pair of chromosomes just like you but that doesn't mean…"

"The what now?"

Beth and I both stared at Callum. He has to be kidding right. I mean there is no way he couldn't know, is there? He seems like a smart guy, he must know.

"Hah, maybe you do deserve her if you don't know at least that."

"Cal, all human beings born since that day have an extra pair of chromosomes. They don't clearly do anything, and their position jammed in the middle makes no sense, and shouldn't be able to be responsible for everything, or at least…"

"Freaks like Nari here. Something as simple as my own odd hair makes some sense though."

"However it's position and structure, while different from other chromosomes making it clear it isn't just some error, otherwise makes no sense."

"I know all that, what I don't get is how that makes me less human." Said Cal

"It doesn't of course, Nari is just being stupid."

"No I'm not, a pair of chromosomes is a big deal. We're an entire generation far more removed from the rest of humanity than chimpanzees are."

"Yes, but most of us aren't freaks."

"Are you really sure, or am I just an early bloomer, and we're all freaks."

"Oh please. Foolish hopes to drag the rest of us down to your level. Giving into your urges and desires just like your deviate parents, and playing the price, just as they did."

Beth then turned and walked off. Maria, Debbie, and Nessa followed. Nessa was still humming, and was smiling. Only Reona was missing out of the group. Cal watched them leave and shook his head.

"She really used to be your friend?"

"Yea, but even since the fur started coming in things have been strained, and then that jerk Mark finished off what little good was left. She had already started ragging on me before then."

"Yea, but only after Mark did she start with the really bad stuff."

"I guess. Let's just eat okay, I don't really want to talk about anything for awhile."

She nods, and so did Cal.

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Cal was looking at me funny. He still wasn't done, and neither was Gina. Both were close, but I had always been a fast eater. I had been explaining things for a while, with only the occasional interruption. He smiled a few times between bites.

"Okay, so that's a pretty good overview of the cases, which fits the pattern. First you have almost no deformities whatsoever. I mean I had a bit of a tail when born, but it just looked like a normal, albeit rare condition. My first younger sister joins the growing number of children mysteriously born without an appendix, but otherwise normal."

"Peh, she's anything but that now." Added Gina

"Yea, but neither am I, and that's jumping ahead."

"The, undead, you mean."

"Yea, that's a misnomer though, I mean nothing weird happens until you start sticking stuff in them, it's only then where they keep on living without a heart and such."

"Wait, I've never heard that before."

"Oops."

I felt myself blush. I really didn't mean to say that. I should downplay it and move on quick as possible. Uncle Will is trying to put off publishing anything on undead as long as possible to avoid panic. I don't think he's going to find anything to dull the panic, but the waiting can't hurt.

"Man Nari, that was a slip up." Said Gina

"So I'm not supposed to know?"

"Not really. Eventually it will get out, but for now, trying to keep it low key. However getting back on track, Val looked normal, but Yova was born with hooves. This is systematic of a progression. Also while Yova has been slipping a bit for years, now suddenly Zelly does this thing with the cocoon, and ends up with wings. I did tell you about that right?"

Cal just nods, having food in his mouth.

"That’s what that comment meant. It seems to me like a progression of something, lets call it magic for lack of a better term. It seem to be increasing since the incident, whatever it might be, though the actual nature of the damage doesn't change."

"Damage?"

"Oh, yea, that the incident caused some sort of damage to the universe, which caused Lamarck's curse, and the leak of magic powering the odd bits of the curse, such as allowing cloth and wire to be confused for flesh and blood ears. As time goes on increasingly odd bits of our inheritance activate, possibly earlier as well, in Yova's case since birth. Though it was only a few years ago Will figured out they were actually hooves. It took a while before they really configured themselves right."

"So things could get worse for me."

I nodded.

"The really scary thing is they could get worse for anyone at all, and much worse." Added Gina

"But it's just your little theory right?" asked Cal

"It's not mine, just one I like. I forget who came up with it, but I unfortunately think it fits."

"Wait, doesn't that mean in a way the human race is going extinct?" said Cal

"Technically, though I bet we won't accept that until they're all gone, so it won't really matter."

"I mean I never though about it that way, but it makes sense. It's really a weird idea to think I'm not human. I knew all that stuff about the extra chromosomes, but never thought that."

"Yea, well being visibly lacking in humanity makes me think about it a lot."

Cal laughed. I smiled too. Val then came up to us. She was holding her right arm. I sighed and bent down to rummage through my backpack. I pulled out a spool of thread and a needle a moment later. Val sat down at the table and placed her arm on the table. When she took off the hand there was as I expected a huge gash. The cut was even halfway through the bone. I took a quick peek, and sure enough Cal was staring. As I thread the needle I looked at the veins in her arm, still full of blood, just mysteriously unmoving. I held one half closer, and she pushed the other half together. I then began to stitch it together.

"Really Val. I mean I know you've become fond of this sort of thing, but try to think of the consequences beforehand. If you cut the tendons in your right arm you can't really sew yourself back together."

"Are you okay Cal?" said Gina

"Yes, you look pale, and didn't look so before." Added Val

"How can that not hurt, I mean I know that…"

"It hurts, but that's okay." Said Val

"Yea, Val here sorta routes most pain through her pleasure center, so it hurts, but also doesn't. Right sis?"

Val nodded.

"Okay, then second question, shouldn't the blood…"

"Yes, but it doesn't." I said

"Ah, I think I see…sorta."

I finished stitching up the arm. Val held it up, and after a few seconds started flexing her fingers. She then smiled and ran off. I shook my head and put the thread away. Cal stared in her direction a few seconds, then shook his head.

"I don't think I'm really dealing with this all that well. Why should she have her pain routed though…" he began, then got a wide eyed look as he trailed off. "Wait, but that doesn't make any sense, why should what they were doing make any difference?"

"State of mind. I may be with the minority that it makes a difference, but I say it does."

"But wouldn't that mean just about any role-playing even with no weird props could result in…"

I nodded, and he paled again. I think he finally got the point I was getting at. I then scratched my head. Why the heck did I feel it necessary to impart that information to him? I mean he didn't know, but that alone isn't really a good enough reason. I noticed Cal had pushed his food tray a bit I saw a chance to lighten the mood a bit.

"So, a little bit of gore is enough to put you off your food?"

"Yea, so what."

"Well it didn't stop Gina."

Gina let out a confused "mruph?" holding the last of her pizza in one hand as she chewed. Cal started laughing, as did I. Gina just looked even more confused.

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Reona was trying to ignore me. Mark being the only other person at the table made that difficult. I was trying to ignore Mark. Strangely he definitely looked good, but I didn't feel like I was really going into heat. He was a blonde guy with movie star looks, but so generic as to be forgettable. He was also the star power forward on the basketball team, and wore the jacket everywhere. I would say he never took it off, but I knew better. In fact as far as I could tell if anyone was having more sex in this school than I was, it was him. He was staring at me, or at least my cleavage. There was a time he wouldn't give me a second look, and I missed those times at the moment. Reona had seemed to dislike Mark the moment Beth started dating him, and from the glare she was giving him, that hadn't changed.

"I know it's tempting with the way she dresses lately, but just stop it already."

"Oh, miss high and mighty is suddenly defending her? I thought Beth said to hate her, and aren't you her crony. Or have you finally realized when she says jump, you can just say screw you?"

I turned to see Reona frown. Her skin was slivery, but truly black hair and face made her asian heritage obvious. Her being unusually tall was probably the result of her last name being Masters, and her dad being as old English as the name suggests. She was one of the few girls almost as tall as I was. Her hair was long, and she had such delicate features, but like me she had wanted to be a bit more busty. In fact there were even a few people who called names for being so thin.

"Just shut up Mark."

"The stick is telling me to shut up? Tell me why I should listen to some bulimic…"

"I'm not bulimic you ass."

"Yea, she's just naturally thin, if you really cared at all."

"Oh please, like you'd really know."

"Are you kidding, of course I'd know. Your grades are good, but I have a 4.3 average. Next year I might even do better than that with a full honors load. Let me tell you, having almost all your friends abandon you really frees up time to study."

Reona laughed, then frowned. The funny thing is Reona was mad at me before my first heat, so it was no surprise she sided with Beth. Over time she seems to slowly be forgiving me, but she's not there yet. I didn't understand what I had done at the time, but know that I do I don't blame her for hating me for it. It was a really stupid thing to do.

"Sorry again, I really am. I really should have known better but…"

"Save it. You've apologized enough. It tires me." she said

"Come on girls, lets all get along."

"Shut up Mark." we both said in unison.

"Jeeesh, why you harshing on me."

"Why?" I said

"Maybe because despite being smart enough, you're lazy." Said Reona

"Yea. Your lazy ass didn't contribute anything. We never actually really talked over things, but Reona at least brought some research."

"Hey, it's like you said, we never really discussed it, and you just went and did the whole report one night, so now whenever we get time like this we can just chill."

The weird thing is I remember why I did it quite clearly, but at the same time it doesn't make sense. I know after the first day of us being paired up Reona or I would end up doing it ourselves, and I couldn't count on actually talking to her, so I would probably have to do it myself. She handed me some research the next day, and would for a few days. Then one night I went into heat when I was thinking how long it would take. I remember thinking it was too late to get out of the house, and then decided instead of just looking at porn all night like normal I'd do the report. I finished the whole project that night, and it's even already been graded. It was an A, and supposedly one of the best papers Mr. Caldore had ever seen.

"Be that as it may, you are still a louse."

"Yea, and liar. Beth is just as responsible for believing you over me, but you're still at least half of the reason things ended up this way." I said

"Yes, and you well know what you did to me."

"What are you talking about I didn't…"

The glare she gave him silenced him. I couldn't really see her face, but Mark could, and he went pale at the sight. I'd never really heard her say he did something to her specifically, but she has implied it. I wonder what he did exactly. I suddenly had a fun idea.

"Oh, and another thing, despite his good looks, and skill in bed…"

Mark beamed at this. I smiled too.

"…he's surprisingly small."

"Really, you mean it's…" began Reona

"What!"

Sucker. Everyone briefly looked at him, and though I couldn't see him Mr. Caldore probably wore a disapproving glower. The weird thing is Reona seemed to know exactly where I was going. I really wouldn't expect her to know, but people do change, and I've only known her since high school. He was a little small, but only because as far as I could tell the average penis size had gone up. Novelty condoms and similar things could be responsible for a few things, though mostly I had to assume it being the mental effect I expected to exist. Most guys would imagine themselves a bit bigger I bet. He has already turned a bit red and has his brow all pulled together.

"Look it's not…"

"Yes, it is. I've seen smaller, but it is undersized."

"So it's not my imagination, huh." said Reona

"Look, would you two just shut up."

"Oh Mark." I said, and smiled. "It's really not that big a deal. I mean you use what you have so much better than those twice your size. I mean if you weren't such a doucebag and still dating Beth, I might actually have sex with you again."

"Shut up you bitch it's not…"

"She would know, don't you think Mark." added Reona

"Damn it. I don't have a small dick!"

This time he hadn't just raised his voice a little, he had yelled. Everyone was staring at him. He turned beet red, and hunched forward, pulling his shoulders together. Reona and I started laughing at almost the same time. I think the rest of the class soon followed.

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The gang was all here. Reona and Deb were standing there looking varying degrees of aloof. Deb stood as far away from Reona as possible because she knows how short it makes her look. Nessa looked a little out of place with the coat now, but whatever oddity the curse had given her, most probably still remembered her before the coat. Maria looked like the token nerd the girls kept around to do their homework, especially the way she always seemed to hover behind Beth. Only Deb might actually need any help. I still don't get the hypocrisy of calling me a freak, but never turning on Maria, but maybe they really are as good friends as Maria thinks they are. I decided to never call her on it, as I really don't want to do anything that could mess with that poor shy girl. Beth was glaring at me. Stupid Mark.

"So let me guess, he told you how mean I was to him?"

"Yes, you stupid little whore."

"It really was his own fault, we were both talking at a low reasonable level." Said Reona

"Reona, I don't want to hear it. Especially since you won't even tell me why you don't like my darling Mark. What could you possibly have against him?"

Reona just shrugged. Nessa was humming again, though she seemed to be having a hard time keeping the tune. It was weird, she was usually pretty musical, why have trouble with something so simple? It was some classical music piece. She wasn't very fond of humming though. She whistled various tunes, but rarely hummed. Even weirder it almost sounded like someone else was humming the harmony. Beth shot a nasty look at Reona, then was glaring at me again.

"Why can't you just stay out of my life you little freak. You've already…"

"I'm not the one who won't leave you alone." I said

"Really, then what to you call…"

"I admit I was baiting him a bit, but it really was Mark's own fault."

"Hmm, I suppose I shouldn't expect anything better from you. Your whole family is perverse."

I growled. It was especially deep this time. Beth just smiled and raided an eyebrow. Debbie took a step back. It sounded less like a tiger, and more like something else, something even bigger and scarier. Everyone else in the hall seemed to stop and watch us.

"Nari." Said Gina from behind me

"It's okay Gina, really."

"Oh, I wouldn't say so, I mean just look at your first sister, she's fallen in with those loser goths, and while isn't half a big a slut as you are, she does seem to be doing her best. I guess she just doesn't have your natural talent for it Nari."

"What did you say?"

I was pissed, and my hands suddenly felt numb somehow. Other kids were slowly forming a circle around us. I felt Gina grab my left arm.

"You heard me, or are those extra ears you're so proud of less functional then you claim."

"No, I mean I must be mishearing. Because you can tease me all you want but…"

"Aww, you care about the rest of your slutty sisters? How sweet."

"Beth, you are taking this too far." said Reona

"Yes, this is rather rude." Added Deb.

Nessa hummed louder.

"Beth." Began Gina. "You really should lay off, don't you remember when…"

"Oh please. I suppose it is a bit rude, but it's the truth. This is a planned community, and the schools even share an athletic field. It's really obvious that hoofed sister of your's…"

"Yova." Added Deb

"It doesn't really matter. It's clear she's a slut in training."

At this I just hung my head. I wasn't happy about it, but it almost seemed to be true. I still looked up again and sneered at Beth, but I had limited hope that it wasn't true.

"Of course it looks like even the youngest, Zelly was it, is the same. She's such a cute little girl, but she already has a trail of boys chasing her. I wonder how long it will take for her to lose her…"

"How dare you!"

Gina had a good grip on my left arm, but I was still pretty close to Beth. I slapped her with my right as hard as I could. Beth didn't take the hit well, Reona and Maria kind of caught her as she fell to the floor, but she still ended up on her butt. She held her left hand over her right eye, but I could see where I had struck her was not just a red mark, but four deep red bleeding slashes. Four slashes that went from her lower left cheek, under her hand where I couldn't actually see them, up to past her right eye. I held up my right hand to see thick white spikes sticking out the end's of my fingertips.

"You bitch. What the hell did you cut me with? I can't believe you were carrying around a weapon just so you could…"

"Beth, that isn't it." said Reona

"What do you mean that isn't…"

"She means, it took awhile, but kitty finally has her claws." I said

I closed and opened my hand. They didn't seem to retract, though thinking about it, I could just not know how. Beth pulled her hand away from her eye and blinked. It didn't look like I'd nicked it, and the cuts had already stopped, so they probably weren't really that deep in the first place.

"I am sorry about the cuts Beth, but you deserved that slap."

"Yes, I must agree. It was most improper, even if you are right." Said Deb

"Thinking twice about it would have been a good idea." Added Reona

"Yea, stop being such a moron."

Beth turned to Nessa. This time she started whistling, and someone seemed to be harmonizing with her. I just looked at my own hand again. The flesh near my claws looked flayed, like I could just peel it off. Is that why my hands feel sort of numb, because I can? The odd thing is they look like strait spikes, instead of curved blades. They don't look like cat claws.

"I'll get you for this freak. I'll get you arrested. You think you can get away with this just because your parents were huge perverts?"

"Beth, it doesn't take that much. I mean Reona's mom was just fond of some chain-mail jewelry."

"Don't compare her to you. Your parents were different. You're different. You're a monster. An inhuman thing, not some…"

"Oh shut it." I said

"Beth, that's way too harsh."

Reona and Deb nodded as Gina said it. Nessa was whistling again, and this time I was sure she was the source of a three-part harmony. Somehow she was doing three separate tones, yet they were in harmony. However it cracked a few times, and then stopped altogether, all 3 tones hitting a sour note at once. I scratched my head.

"Oh fuck it. Forget it. It's just not worth the effort." She said

"Nessa?" said Beth

"Forget it Beth. I've had enough of this bullshit. You're being such a bitch. I can't believe you actually said that. So ya know what…" she said, then seemed to interrupt herself. "I am so mad right now. I don't care anymore. I'm not going to…" she began, but again interrupted herself "fucking hide it anymore, and I'm not going to hold my tongue because we've been friends for so long."

I then realized only part of the time her lips were actually moving. Then she took off the coat and threw it over Beth. Everyone else gasped, including me. Nessa had 2 extra heads. They weren't human heads, more like snakes coming out of her neck. I had figured it was more than just the shoulder pads and collar that were hiding things, but not only was the big collar the point, the shoulder pads weren't really that at all. They had yellow scales, and even had eyes and teeth. I was also fairly certain they could talk. I had sudden questions about exactly why they said what they did, but knew I wasn't going to get the chance to ask them. The two heads had been lying quite flat, but now they reared up.

"Man, let me tell you is this ever a relief. I mean do you have idea how uncomfortable that coat was?"

"Are they real?" said Deb

Nessa and I both glared at her in response. Nessa with all three heads. Deb took a step back. Beth seemed to be struggling with the coat not finding a good way to remove it. Except the coat was fairly big, but not particularly complex and had landed on Beth lining down, so all the fasteners she could catch her hair on would be on the outside. What was the problem?

"Seriously Deb…" began Nessa "That was a really dumb question." she continued, one of the side heads finishing the thought. "You really should be able to just tell, and even if you couldn't why would I hide these babies under cover all this time if they weren't real. They are awesome, don't you think?"

None of us moved or said anything, except Beth, who was still struggling with the coat. One of the heads then snaked in front of Nessa and she gave it a good scratch under the chin. She smiled as she did so. I found myself nodding. The heads really were impressive looking snakes, and I had a feeling would get even more impressive. I also noticed their scales were beginning to cover the area around the base of her neck as well. I imagine they will continue to spread as time goes on.

"Please don't tell me all this time you've just been hiding a second pair of breasts under this coat Doubbletree. That would really piss me off."

We all laughed at that.

"No Beth, that's not it." Siad Nessa. "If you would just stop being such a phyco about messing your hair…" like before, one of the snakes added, before the other interrupted "I mean seriously, you've been crazy paranoid about your hair lately. You could see for yourself."

Nessa then pulled off the coat with a flourish. Sure enough Beth immediately covered her head, then began messing with her hair. Her literally silky hair rarely ever tangled, and even when it did they would usually come apart with a single brushing. But there was something off about the hair on the top of her head. I couldn't figure out what exactly before it just went away on it's own, but there was definitely something that messed with the part on the top of her head. At first Beth held up a fist, clearly to yell at Nessa, but then she went wide-eyed.

"You're a bigger freak than she is."

"That's it. Look, I'm hoping it changes, but for now. We're not friends anymore Beth. You've said to many stupid things, and done too many things they are just plain mean. When you appologise to everyone, and I mean not just me, but Gina, and Nari, and all the rest, then maybe we can be friends again, but until then, we're not."

Nessa then stormed off, throwing the coat over her shoulder. The head on that side was looking backwards, and barely managed to dodge the coat. But it did dodge. Those eyes definitely worked, but I have to wonder exactly whose brain their connected too.

"Now look what you've done you stupid bitch, you drove my friend away."

"What?" I said

I wasn't the only giving Beth an odd look. Reona and Deb looked just as skeptical as I felt. But then I noticed Maria. She was frowning. She was just looking at Beth frowning. Beth then got up and stormed off in the opposite direction Nessa had gone. The crowd had parted for Nessa, but there still wasn't a lot of elbow room. Beth still didn't have to push past me in the way she had. I stepped to the side so the others could pass more easily. Maria immediately followed, Deb with only the slightest hesitation, but Reona lingered for a bit at looked at me. She followed fairly soon as well, but had to run a bit to catch up. The crowd quickly thinned out once it was clear nothing else interesting was going to happen. Though a few boys hung around a bit longer, probably hoping I might come on to them.

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Principal Gessir looked tired. Most of the time I saw him in this office he looked a little tired, but I had seen Beth leave right before I was called in. I could guess the gist of things. Beth's mom wouldn’t come in person on such short notice, but I bet she called. I can clearly picture Beth sitting there pleased as her mother yells at the principal through the speakerphone. The principal was a big man, broad shoulders, and a scar that went over his right eye. The eye that looked real enough, but never really followed you like the other one. The medals in a case hung on the wall were real. The college all star trophy on the desk was real. Gessir was in so many ways a real man's man.

"Darling, I know this isn't your fault, not really, but you do know how this was going to go right."

But he sure wasn't a ladies man. With his gruff voice and military precision still drilled into all his movements he seemed like anything but the type, but he sure wasn't kicked out of the military for a lack of courage or inability to do the job. The only things I had ever noticed is he used darling and dear more than any other man I've ever met, and when he's upset he tends to tap on his desk. It's not always a show tune, but I think they mostly are, even the ones I don't recognize. Right now it was something fairly dour I'd heard somewhere before, but no idea where. He kept having to stop himself from humming along as well. He hadn't done that before. I felt it was a bad sign.

"So how bad is this." I asked

"Well, one of the caveats of you still being here is you're not really a danger."

"Except to virginity."

He laughed. "Yes, there is that dear girl. But no kind of real physical danger, at least no more than any other unarmed 16 year old is dangerous."

"But now, it's different."

"Well, yes, but…"

He was staring at my arm again. I was picking at it, and now I had punched my claws through it. The claws on my other hand had worked themselves out as I was wringing my hands in the waiting room. I suddenly realized Beth's mom might not be the only thing upsetting the man. Gessir wore a cross around his neck. He told me the true Christian way, is a way of service, service to man, and service to god through that service. I didn't exactly have the most religious upbringing in the world, and recent events have done anything but cement my faith, but I could respect that. I could respect him. So I frowned once I realized I was causing discomfort to our poor noble overworked principal.

"You want me to stop, right?"

"It reminds me of things I would rather forget. Very bad things. Your sister is bad enough, I didn't think you had…"

"I don't, or at least didn't, though I don't think that's it. It's more like it's not quite there anymore."

"What do you mean?"

"Well I don't feel it when I poke it like this…" and pushed a claw into my skin just below the wrist. "…at all, but then I hit some sort of resistance, and I feel that."

"That almost sounds like a large amount of your outer layer of skin just died off and below that is…"

"Yea, but that almost makes it sound like I'm shedding my skin like a snake."

"Yes, in a way that almost…"

I think we both got it at the same moment. I sighed and slumped forward on the desk, and lay my head down. I hit it against the desk a few times, but the large calendar encased in plastic that covered most of the desk was a decent cushion. It almost didn't hurt at all.

"Nari, now don't be too…"

"Come on, we both know with my luck that's exactly what's happening. It's only really a question of what I'll find underneath, and if since the numbness is only on my hands and feet, does that mean they're the only places effected."

"Your feet too?"

"Yes, I didn't really notice till I walked in here though. Didn't really think much of it. After all, it only makes sense I'd get claws on my feet too, right?"

He nodded.

"So basically, I'm a danger now, so I'm screwed."

"Not necessarily. There is a case of a boy with vampire fangs, if it's in his favor..."

"My fangs are pretty impressive themselves, why were they not…"

"Well partially, they weren't an issue, because they weren't made an issue, and partially because you can't use them to actually suck the blood out of a person."

"Oh."

"I suggest you just stay away from Beth as much as possible. I'll even try harder to get her out of that last class you have together, though at this point switching classes is not remotely ideal."

"Well she's the one who seems to find me most of the time, and the one who always starts things."

"Yes, I'm aware of that, but…"

"I know, takes two to fight, both are responsible, and in this most resent one I'm the one to get in serious trouble because I slapped her first. Hopefully she's stay away for a while just out of fear."

"Hopefully. Things could get very bad if you were to hurt anyone again, no matter how accidental, or how minor. Even if it's in such a way it has nothing to do with your condition."

"Cuase then they call me a liar, and have evidence to back it up?"

He nodded. Just great. One little mistake and an already bad situation goes completely down the tubes. More stress, just what I need. I guess it's time to see what's under the skin.

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Gina looked about ready to throw up. I was a little queasy, but that had very little to do with cutting into my own skin. It was all about the nervousness of not knowing what's underneath. There was a lot of blood and some pus or other unidentified things than flowed out as I cut. I decided a circle an inch or two below the wrist would be a good start. The clean cut was immediately made jagged as my skin cracked. I couldn't see too clearly because all the blood, but there was something I thought I could see clearly enough.

I washed off my right hand. Sure enough, underneath were scales. Dark green scales. They glistened in the light, and I don't think it was just the water. From a distance they would probably be a fairly unremarkable green, but close up they looked cool. I actually smiled. Sure I didn't really want them, but what's a little more physical transformation really? It's the mental effects I couldn't stand. I laughed.

"Nari, you okay?"

"Oh sure, I mean really, what's a few scales here or there. No big deal really."

"Nari."

"Gina, I'm serious. I really am. Well, maybe not entirely, but I just don't really care. Hell. I think they look pretty, lets see how far they go."

"Nari, what do you mean see how far…"

I grabbed and pulled on the edge of the dead skin. It tore a few places, but still came off in one piece. The scales almost reached my elbows at which point they petered out in a somewhat irregular line. Most the blood had clearly pooled near my hands. I don't know why free blood and whatever else ended up under there in the first place, but it clearly had. I guess not exactly like a snake. They don't lose any fluids when they molt, or not much at least. Or at least I think they don't. Gina suddenly turned and ran into one of the stalls. The noise was very familiar, and made me laugh. I frowned right after though. I really shouldn't be laughing at causing my friend to throw up.

"Ugh, Nari how can you stand…"

"I've watched a bunch of operations. How many I was supposed to watch is another matter, but I've spent a lot of time in that hospital since I was a little kid. Besides, you seem to have forgotten I have little miss fall apart as a sister. Just because she has to be separated quite a while to start actually bleeding doesn't mean I haven't seen her internal organs more times than I can count."

"Ugh…" she muttered, then clearly threw up again

"Sorry, but you asked. Obviously more so lately though. She's never been able to feel pain, but I'm not sure the stitching thing always worked, and I know her blood used to flow normally."

"Could you please change the subject. Urk."

I waited, but heard nothing else.

"Stomach empty?"

"Maybe, or maybe a close call. Please, something else, anything else."

"Well, how bout the only logical reason this would happen, namely one of my parents wearing some scaled latex gloves, or heck why not a whole latex suit."

"I don't know if that will really settle my stomach, just make it churn in a different direction."

"Come on, that's my line. You just get to enjoy picturing my dad in whatever getup he must have been wearing to spawn me. I mean we already know mom has the wig, ears, and tail after all."

Gina laughed. "Yea, picturing your dad is some green Godzilla like costume is pretty funny."

I frowned. I suddenly remembered a few key things, one of which was a vague image of dad not in a Godzilla like costume, but a literal Godzilla costume. I immediately started routing though my bag. Mom said the phone was for emergencies only when she gave it to me. For a while that bothered me, but now I barely have anyone to call, and certainly no one I need to call on the go. I found the phone and dailed mom's number. I saw Gina come out and wash her face off.

"Nari, what is it." Gina said

"Did I ever tell you exactly what the list Nessa's parents belonged to that they met mine on?"

"You said it was a sex thing a few times, but never got around to telling me what I think, or I just forgot."

"Yes, well while I forget the actual name, it's something silly along the of the Godzilla fetish list, people who get off on wearing costumes based on all those monsters, or having sex with the people in them if not actually wearing them."

"I know I should be shocked with your parents but…"

"Yea, yea. I think it also explains Nessa, though I don't remember what the three headed thing is called, I do remember it being scaly and yellow."

"So you think that…"

"That's why I'm calling mom."

"Yea, should I just tell the principal you're taking the rest of the day off. I imagine your uncle will want to get a hold of you soon as possible once he hears anyway."

I sighed, and nodded. I didn't really like missing school, but Gina was right. No matter what the emergency I always called mom first, even if I knew dad would be ideal. I had the feeling she couldn't actually tell me everything, but it would be enough. In fact she could probably still tell me far more than I wanted to know. The phone stopped ringing and I heard mom pick up. It's times like this I'm real glad both pairs of ears still work.

"Hello Nari, what's the matter."

"Various things mom, like always, but let's start with a simple question, does dad own a Godzilla suit."

There was a long pause, then a slow "Yes, but why…"

"Guess mom. Guess why I want to know."

There was a long drawn out sigh. "So you have scales where?"

"My hands. I'm guessing the cone-like claws I have instead of the catlike scythes I was expecting are for the same reason. Nessa is having her own issues because of that Godzilla fetish list of yours."

"Kaiju Latex Fetish List dear."

"Mom, I really don't care."

"Did you say Nessa, the Doubbletree's girl?"

"Yes mom, that Nessa. She has three heads. Her normal one, and a yellow snake like one to either side."

"Oh, king Ghidorah, how interesting."

"Mom, focus."

"Sorry honey. You try to instill the importance of some things, but it just doesn't always stick. So do you want me to pick you up."

"I don't know about want, but I think you should. Uncle Will really should see me."

"Well it's for you own good you see him too. We can talk more on the drive over."

Then she hung up. I know it was for my own good, but most of the time any change brought with it something unwanted. The first brought the heat, and I really didn't want that. I think the tail was the pheromones, though he said they might have just taken a bit to develop. I held up my right hand. It really was pretty the way they sparkled in the light.

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Will kept looking at me. I had removed the skin on the other hand with a scalpel, and had done my feet too. They were basically the same other than the scales. A little thinner, but honestly they felt a little puffy lately. They all little white cones sticking out. Will said they should actually grow and curve a little. I suddenly realized I didn't know if he was basing this on the new x-rays, or just that while he wasn't a Godzilla fan in the same way dad was, or I didn't think he was, he sure had plenty of the movies, and a few little figurines actually. There was even a little Godzilla with a stethoscope on the shelf of his office.

"So, anything else weird."

"Yes actually. Were you curious why I x-rayed your head?"

"I can breath fire now, can't I?

"Well, maybe. Also, do you have any idea how much I want to correct you and say radioactive fire. Ya know I was the one that got your dad interested in Godzilla movies in the first place."

"Really Uncle Will? I did not know that." I said, holding up one hand

"Oh…" he said, and after a long pause "Yea…"

"Eh, I don't even know how to feel about all this yet. I mean I figure if anything this might calm down all my wild mood swings."

"I know you're kidding, but that actually might be the case. It could be these new developments that have been stabilizing your hormones."

"Hmm, then maybe I should be thanking you. So I seriously might be able to breathe fire?"

"Again, maybe. We try our best, but there are just so many unknowns. There is defiantly something that suggests an unknown gland or two, and some restructuring that would work as a delivery system."

"Oh, wow, you really weren't kidding at all?

He nodded. Well that sounded really cool. Then I remembered that I hadn't gotten to the bad part yet. There might not be one, but there probably was. I sighed

"So, anything else? Lets just get to the bad news already."

"There isn't any bad news yet, though there are enough unknowns I really can't say."

"So what's next then."

"Well, there is one weird bit I'm suddenly more sure of. Namely that from what we can tell your cells are immune to any negative effects of radiation. I even took a sample and sent it to a friend of mine at Berkley. They exposed the sample for days. No negative effects whatsoever. In fact he's begging for a second sample because he swears the exposure actually perked it up a little."

"So I can look forward to long walks in Chernobyl? How is that useful?"

"Well considering your cells actually retain the actual radiation itself better, I honestly have no idea."

"Oh god, I'm going to be huge eventually, aren't I?"

"No, well, it depends on your definition. You certainly won't be some city destroying monster. I mean even if this idea that role-playing might effect the outcome holds some water, the effect is not that clear or strong. On the other hand, your dad made the costume a while ago, then modified it later."

"You knew."

"Yea, I asked why I never saw the costume anymore, and he told me. I wish I hadn't asked."

"Why didn't mom tell me anyway, I ended up mainly talking about Beth and this fight we got in."

"Fight?"

"I just slapped her, if the claws hadn't chosen then to pop out, it wouldn't have been a big deal."

"So, you cut her. I wonder if that could have an effect, in the movies D-cells…"

"Will, I don't really remember those movies that well, but I have an inkling this is a very stupid thought."

"Uh, yea, almost certainly. The chance is there, but your cells seem relatively normal…"

"Compared to all the other freaks you mean."

"No, I mean compared to the rest of your entire generation. The point we've gotten away from is that the costume is taller than your dad, so that means your recent growth spurt is not the end."

I had a sudden clear image. I wasn't destroying the city just standing in the gym all my normal sized classmates pointing and laughing, my scraps of remaining clothing stretched to the limit.

"So I'm not going to be a city destroying monster, just a 12 foot tall freak?"

"No, no. The maximum upper limit is 10 feet, and a high 9 would be far more likely."

"What?"

"Er, I should clarify, 9 is more likely than ten, but most likely is a high seven. Each inch after 7'5 is less likely than the last, and by 9'8 the chance is negligible."

"I'm still going to be too tall though."

"Well that's debatable, but all are projections put you remaining in scale so…"

"So I shouldn't worry about guys losing interest, just that it will be harder than ever to convince them to look at my face. Yea, that's just what I wanted to hear."

"Hmm, how bout I leave any more too tall talk to your parents. There is something I suspect now, and want to test, but I don't know if it's a good idea. There have been some hints before, but nothing conclusive, and the test I want to run while unquestionably accurate, is still sorta stupid."

"Just tell me already."

"I want to see if the scales are fireproof."

"By…"

"Having you stick your hand as close to a Bunsen burner as possible until it starts to hurt."

"That is dumb, but this will take what, 3 minutes? Less? Why not?"

So I followed Uncle Will out of the room, after agreeing to let him try to burn me.

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"See mom, nothing."

I was holding the chicken's pan with one hand, and without the aid of an oven mitt. Honestly I was more surprised the chicken seemed so light. I'm pretty sure the wide-eyed expression on the rest of my family is for a different reason. Val is the first one to smile, and Zelly quickly follows. I place the pan down and then pull the shelf out of the oven. 450 degrees at doesn't hurt at all. I then replace it Zelly and and Val clap. Dad frowns and mom grimaces. Yova rolls her eyes.

"See, doesn’t even hurt a little."

"Stop showing off already." Said Yova

"Personally I might do the same, though I am curious what test my brother of mine came up with. I have I feeling I will have to have a talk to him about it."

Dad was a tall man. He was still even taller than I was. Will's estimate made more sense now that he had finally gotten around to explaining the fact the eye holes were in the neck of the costume. He was strong, though not thick like Mr. Gessir, more like an Olympian, though not really in that good shape I'm sure. He still made quite the figure in whatever he wore, a man of dignity, grace, and intensity. His glasses were a hint of the intelligence you would find in his eyes. Some girls eventually realized, sometimes with no small amount shame, they wanted to date their father, or at least someone like him. I always knew I wanted a man like my father, and have been proud of it.

"It was a little stupid, but really, the whole idea is to find something that was too hot to get my hand near."

"So, what was it you big showoff." Said Yova

"Dear, that's quite rude."

"We didn't find one. We did find out that my clothes still burn when I don't, so Will stopped and said we'd try going a bit further. There was so much heat it literally caught my shirt on fire."

"That's why that piece was missing, I thought Beth just ripped it." said Mom

"No, It just caught fire from the extreme heat, before I could get close enough to verify if it felt hot. I was then fully extinguished. He also wants to do more tests since I didn't feel the heat of the fire there either, or get burned by it."

I smiled. Mom frowned. Dad just nodded. Zelly and Val still looked impressed. Val could grab hot things without pain too, but she smoked and burned. There was an utterly horrid smell in the house for days after she grabbed something out of the oven without potholders. Yova was already gone. Probably just sitting at the table waiting for dinner to be served.

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"Crap."

Beth's comment about Zelly being trailed by boys had eventually percolated in my brain and I had come to talk to her. I don't know why I looked up first this time, but I did, and there she was, flying above the door. The universe was more broken than I thought. She just fluttered there as if there was some way her gossamer wings, as surprisingly strong as they were, could somehow support her.

"Zelly, how long have you been able to fly?"

"Uh…"

"Never mind, the important thing is…"

I looked at her face, and suddenly remembered, to her, the flying wasn't the important thing. School and friends were far more important then some physical change. At least until the change started effecting those friends. The flying could wait, though not entirely.

"Zelly, get down here, I want to talk to you."

She fluttered to the ground and I just stared. I walked over to her bed and sat down just like I had the other night, and she did the same. I sighed.

"Okay, I want to talk about the flying, but it might even be better if we don't. For now, don't tell anybody."

"Not even Uncle Will?"

"Especially not him, not mom and dad, definitely not Yova. Maybe tell Val if you want, she understands why this would have to be a big secret, because she has her own."

She just nodded.

"You haven't flown at any other time, have you."

"No, and I shouldn't because…uh…"

"It's complicated, but the short answer is it makes clear something most people don't like the idea of, so it's best to not let them know or they might panic. They would be afraid. You understand?"

She tilted her head a bit to one side, then a touch to the other, then nodded vigorously.

"Okay, now that that's settled for a bit lets get to what your real problem is at school."

Zelly got up and walked over to a pair of the unicorns in her room. One was one of those bean bag things, some off brand, and the other some battle unicorn from some unpopular cartoon a few years back. Zelly still had the armor around here somewhere, but I don't know if she had ever put it on the thing. She grabbed them and started messing around a bit, the plastic one ramming his horn into the beanbag one mainly. I sighed.

"Zelly, Beth said something that reminded me of our conversation last night. What you told me, you could have asked Yova or Val just as easily. This is something more specific, isn't it? Something about boys, or attraction, or some other thing you know I know and our other sisters don't. Something you don't want to ask mom and dad even I they knew. Am I right?"

She just nodded, putting the unicorns down.

"Beth said boys were following you around. At the time what she said next made me so mad I nearly forgot, but is that literally true, do the boys literally follow you around?"

She nodded again. "Yea, like their little puppies or something. I don't know when it started, and they don't even really know why they're doing it, they just say I smell good."

I barely managed not to say crap again. Honestly she has probably heard far worse by now, I had, but it was the principal of it. Smelling nice is something the boys tend to tell me when I'm in heat. Most of the time they use the word sexy, but more often the more neutral good, and nice and awesome come up often enough. The girls never said anything though, because the smell the boys detected was really my super pheromones. I walked over and took a good sniff. She smelled very strongly of wild flowers.

"Zelly, can I smell your hand." "Okay?"

I sniffed her hand and the smell was even stronger. Then I smelled the wings and fell over on my butt. Now that is a strong smell. Okay, so it's probably not pheromones thankfully, but obviously something is going on, which may or may not really have anything to do with the flower smell.

"Zelly, is that the only reason the boys ever give."

"Well they all say it, some of the girls do, though they say I shouldn't use perfume so much."

"And you tell them you don't, but they're morons, so they don't belive you…"

"Um…"

"So do the boys give you another reason they follow you?"

"Well, sometimes they don't mention the smell, and just say they feel they should."

"That, is very vague."

"Huh?"

I couldn’t even guess what was going on here. I was going to go through mom and dad's collection and see if I could find some clue that would give me some idea. Then I wondered if this is really the problem, or it was just connected to this.

"Zelly, the other girls are being mean because the boys are following you around, and ignoring them."

She nodded.

"Is that all you wanted to talk to me about or…"

"It's sorta what I wanted to talk to you about, and last night I wanted to talk to somebody but…"

"Zelly, what is it you really need me for…"

"What was it like when your ears or tail came in?"

I blinked. I was about to make a comment about what is was like when her wings came in, but that was dumb. As far as she was concerned, she went to sleep in a big cocoon one night, and then woke up with wings the next day. It wasn't really just a day, and she knows that, but to her it was like that. I had a really bad feeling I wasn't going to like the answer to the question I was going to ask, but I really had to ask it. I had to.

"Zelly, why do you want to know?"

"Well there are these weird feelings from the side of my chest and…"

I sighed. I didn't need to hear anymore. Weird feelings is vague, but I had a feeling it was enough. Zelly was asking me because Yova always had her hooves, and was denying that anything was going on with her, and Val's change was not about adding anything, just an alteration so odd that in earlier years, it would be unbelievable. She wanted me, because I had the ears, and even if she missed some of the details, I was good with boys.

"It's probably normal Zelly. Go talk to Uncle Will. Tell mom and dad about it. Whatever they are, in your case, they're probably normal. I'm pretty sure I know enough of the details about what mom and dad were wearing that I shoudn't have any more surprises, so I don't think anything else is going to pop out, but there might be something else left for you."

"Okay. Thank you Nari."

"No problem, now I think we both need to get ready for bed."

I didn't tell her I had no real intention of going to bed. I was going to look at a few videos, and not just of when Zelly and I were spawned, but Yova and Val too. Maybe even see if I can find the one for the new baby. Lets see if I can reduce the surprises in my life.

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I blew again, nothing. Again, still nothing. Was I drying out, or was it just still intermittent. Gina walked over and waved, I waved back. Cal came up a moment later, and did the same. He paused a bit seeing my hands, but smiled anyway. I was sitting cross legged on the table, the sandals I was wearing laying next to my back pack on the seat.

"Hey Nari, you look in a good mood, what are you doing?"

This time an almost 2 foot long gout of blue flame came out of my mouth. Both Gina and Cal stepped back immediately. I smiled. I was in a good mood. I was in a good mood, because I was heat, but it just wasn't the same. Because even though I'd been in heat since almost the second mom dropped me off, I'd only slept with one guy, and I almost didn't even sleep with him. That and being able to shoot blue fire out of your mouth is just plain cool.

"Well I imagine I don't have to tell you what I'm doing, and Gina, I am in heat."

"Um…"

"As to my good mood, it's partially the fire thing, but mainly that while you look plenty hot Cal, I really don't particularly want to get into your pants. I've been here in heat almost an hour, and I've only slept with one guy."

"What, seriously?" Were there other guys here?"

"Oh yea. The baseball team even had an early practice. I just didn't want to sleep with any of them enough. The one guy I did sleep with is just because he's really good, but was nervous about asking this girl out so…"

"How does…" Cal began

"Yea, good question."

"Simple, I had sex with him, told him how good he is, and that he should go forth with confidence and ask her out, because no matter what other shortcomings he may have, he is good in bed."

"And that actually helped?" said Gina

"Seems to have, they're necking around here somewhere. Both are pretty nervous about sex actually, but I'm pretty sure she's not anything close to a virgin either. Might be doing it by now."

The look they gave me was priceless. I didn't remember the girl's real name, he just called her the flower. She always had a very strong lilac smell. Probably the perfume her mom was wearing when she was conceived. She had plenty of admirers, and there were rumors. Of course the rumors quickly faded because of me. I bet all the other even remotely promiscuous girls loved me. Sure they were being a little slutty here and there, more than enough that the other girls might call them such at least, but with me around, whatever they did just faded quickly into the background. After all, why bother spreading viscous rumors about some girl that's slept with a few guys, when you have the super slut cat-girl to pick on.

"Oh yea, she defiantly could be doing it, and he might not have even heard any of the rumors about her at all thanks to me. Bet he even thinks his flower still has her flower untouched. Then again, maybe not. I mean if half those rumors are true she's got way too much experience for that."

"Uh, Nari, even for being in heat you sound a bit weird."

"Gina, don't you get it, I'm happy. I suppose I'm still thinking about sex a lot more than otherwise, but I have some control again, maybe I could use a bit more, but I’m thinking with a little effort I might be able to get that. Maybe. Besides, sex is awesome."

"You say that whenever you're in heat."

"Well it's true. Besides, I would never say that when I'm not in heat, but it doesn't mean I only believe it when in heat. I know once this ends I'll probably be all depressed about being such a slut, just as I know it seems so unimportant when I'm in heat."

"This is truly odd. Gina said yesterday was like heat-lite, and I think I see what she means, but at the same time…" he trailed off. "Gina, I think you're wrong."

"Ah, she's been feeding that I'm like a different person thing right. It's not like that at all. It's like being drunk, I'm still me, but certain things holding me back just aren't there."

"I don't think that's what Cal meant Nari."

"Actually that is what I meant."

"She's not exactly like she normally is though." said Gina

"I'm still close though Gina, that's the weird thing. It's almost the same. I have that same clarity, that same focus, and I certainly have a lot of the lust, maybe even most, but now, I can manage I think. It won't be easy, it might be very hard, hard like…"

I felt my mind drift a bit, images of guys disrobing right before we had sex filling my vision. I shook my head to clear it, and it worked. Cal still looked hot, and frankly if he asked me to have sex on top of the table there was a real good chance I would. Anyone else though I could resist, and maybe I could even suggest we go someplace more private if he were to ask me to do that. The chances he would ever actually do such a thing were slim to none I'm sure. I blew again, this time the flame was only a few inches again. A little thing like most of the others.

"That looks like it's actually coming out of your mouth, how do you not burn your cheeks."

"Oh, I'm fireproof now. Watch."

I grabbed some of my hair and blew. The jet was a bit bigger this time, going over my hair without any effect. Gina clapped. I then thought of another neat idea, pulled out a flyer for some continuing education and crumpled it into a ball. Usually I used things like that for scrap paper, but this would be neat. I blew a little jet at the ball and it immediately caught fire. The blue flame reduced the paper to ash in only a few seconds. Much faster than I thought it would.

"That was odd."

"Wow Nari, that is so cool."

"How is that even possible?"

"I already explained this, remember, basic problems with the curse in the first place, Val removing and replacing limbs, and so on."

"Isn't the answer sorta you don't know then actually?"

"It's more, the same way that other stuff works, whatever that is."

"Ah."

Then Nessa came over and waved. I waved back, and smiled. She smiled back. As she came closer I made another attempt. It was my best one yet, this was almost three feet, and expanded outward a bit too. All three of them clapped.

"Wow, that was awesome. When I heard about the scales I was curious, but that must mean my parents aren't the only ones with a rubber suit that has a hole in a odd place."

"Yea, and as I was just explaining to these two even better than the fire is I have some control when I'm in heat. Ya know, hope."

"Oh, awesome."

"Hey." Said Gina "You think just because you told off Beth everything's forgiven and you can just hang out with Nari like nothing happened?"

"Well…" Nessa began, another head butt in to finish "Yea, actually."

"Honestly I don't have a problem with it. Figured she'd show up soon actually."

"What?" yelled Gina

"Man Nari, you really are as awesome as I remember. I never should have taken Beth's side to begin with. She was already stating to be corrupted by that dipshit Mark. I finally heard about the things you said about him."

"It's the truth, he really is small."

She laughed, and all three heads made it sound like a small crowd. I joined her. Gina had crossed her arms, and Cal was gritting his teeth. Not exactly the kind of thing a polite guy like him would find funny I suppose.

"Nari, you can't be serious…" said Gina

"Of course I can, it's not like I haven't seen enough and…"

"That's not what I mean."

"Come on, Nessa's cool, her only real problem is the company she's been keeping. She's obviously not doing that anymore, so why not? We couldn't really stop her from following us around anyway." I then turned to Nessa. "There is one condition though."

"What, just name it."

"Well now I'm tempted to ask you something else, but I'll stick with what I was going to say…"

"No, just ask."

"What's Beth's problem?"

"EEP." She said, and grabbed her other two heads jaws, keeping them shut. "Well, yea, I guess not really anything you ask then."

"There is something then?"

"A few things, and a few problems, and I know at least a few of the causes, but I'm not going to tell you any of them. I'm not quite ready to start betraying her secrets."

"Okay, then we'll go with the original condition, you have to tell me about the heads."

"Now that is totally no problem. I've so been wanting to brag to someone. They are totally awesome."

All three heads smiled once she released them. Gina rolled her eyes and sat down. I leaned back and blew up into the air. At first there was nothing, the second try got me a little blue fountain of flame. I felt the heat of it on my face. Like all fire it was hot, but not burning hot. Comfortably hot, like a hot shower, but no more than that.

"It's not really that complicated or anything, they're pretty much what they look like, extra heads, the eyes work, the teeth work, anything they eat ends up in the same stomach. The only slightly weird thing is the brains they have."

"So they are like other people?" said Gina

"No, the brains do sense processing, but are otherwise not built for much else."

"Then what was with the outbursts." I asked

"Things I thought about saying, but didn't. The other thing the brains are capable of is taking orders from my main brain…" she said, tapping her own head. "But they seem a bit confused about what impulses are commands, and what aren't."

"Thus the humming was you trying to stop them from saying anything."

"Yep, the shrinks are really curious about the effect, but only one actually gave me any good advice."

"Let me guess, doctor Koda?"

"Yea, she suggested doing something with them that requires lot of concentration. Her first suggestion was tongue twisters, but when I mentioned singing she said that's even better, and absolutely perfect for me especially. Does that mean there are other…"

"Three headed people out there having your problem, no, but Dr Koda thinks ahead. She's probably thinking how much the idea of singing could be useful to anyone else, even if they don't like it, because harmonizing with the heads musically, brings more general harmony, and control."

"Oh, neat, didn't think of it like that."

I stopped just squatting there and scratched out on the table. It felt good. I heard Cal make a little noise of some sort. Probably noticed I wasn't wearing a bra. I just don't see the point in trying to fit myself back in that thing until I go out of heat and my breasts return to normal. Now I was trying to get the jets as regular as possible, but keep them small. About an inch or two, just enough that I could see them properly and know for sure. See how many in a row I can do.

"So you have complete control of the heads, and can see out of them?"

"Oh yea, I thought once the eyes came in it would be weird, but once I started being able to see out of all three sets of eyes it just seemed natural. Sometimes it's a little confusing, but mostly I have no problems. I hated hiding them under the coat, it smelled musty, and it always felt like I was half blind."

"Shouldn't it be more like two-thirds blind." Said Gina

"Maybe, but honestly so far they seem more like only another half, even though there are two of them. Besides, you can't cover two-thirds of 2 eyes."

"Eh, you can, but it would be much easier just to cover only one or both." I said

"Anyway, the point is they're awesome, they can even sing."

"Oh, sing a few bars, I know you love to sing."

"Er, sorry, I may have my own built in backup singers now, but they're not exactly stage ready, or for that matter sing in public ready. They keep warbling in and out of key, it's bad enough humming or whistling, but it sounds really bad if I actually sing."

The sun was just coming up, but felt good. Even better this particular table was siuated in such a way that a tree trunk was casting a big shadow on my head, but the rest of me could feel the full heat of the rising sun. It was nice.

"Is it an irregular variation, or regular. For that matter is it irregular but somehow in tune with your actions? You might be unknowingly altering the harmonics of the throats of your other two heads."

"Uh, what?"

"Well what I'm thinking is your vocal cords are pretty low on your neck. Clearly each head has it's own set of cords, but where are they. If they're at the base, then you alter your instrument if you move the necks."

"I know how to modulate my voice properly."

"Yea, Nessa is a great singer, you know that." Gina added

"No, that's not what I mean. I mean all wind instruments are just increasingly long pipes, but you get greatly varied sounds, in some cases because the bends themselves alter wind flow, and thus sound. The effect is fairly small since the snake heads while far longer than a human neck, still aren't that long."

"So that might matter?"

"Yep, try holding them in one position, it might get rid of the variation, though as I said in a way it's minimal, and it could be more control anyway.

Nessa then started singing scales. It was kinda boring, but she stayed almost entirely in tune for almost the entire time. Her three smiles and she came around to look at me where all I needed to know. I smiled back, but it didn't last long. The upside-down image of Beth and Maria walking over was not quite what I waned to see. Then I smiled again.

"Go away Beth, I'm having too good a day so far for you to spoil it. Just, go."

"You really think…"

I made shooing motions to reinforce my point. She stopped whatever she was saying and glared at me. I smiled.

"Beth, can't you hear me, go away, shoo fly, don't bother me."

I made the shooing motion again, but this time she paled, her eyes going wide. She immediately turned and walked off. I sat up and turned myself around to get a good look. I really did see her leaving, Maria hurrying to catch up. She had two very large silver hair clips. They were large and flashy, and though I couldn't see any gems in the flower design from here, I had no doubt there had to be at least a few. They were her style, but at the same time not something she would wear in her hair. I scratched my head.

"That was way weird."

A trinity of "Yea" came from Nessa

"She really just left, when you told her too?" Gina added

"Apparently? That make no sense."

"From what I know of her, I would have to agree." Said cal

"Hmmm, I wonder…" began Nessa "Could it be…" began another head

"Nessa, what is it?"

She shook all three heads and smiled. I already knew she wasn't going to tell me what she was thinking. I turned away from her and sighed.

"Nari, I sorta wanna tell you but…"

"Yea, you're not gonna betray her secrets, and you think this might have to do with one."

"Maybe, I'm not even sure."

"Fine, I'm not Beth, I don't want your fealty, forsaking your loyalty to all others."

"Crap, that really is what she wanted from us, isn't it? Fealty, like she's our queen. A fair and just queen to her subjects, but still a queen."

"I just want friends, keep her secrets, I really don't even care."

"Oh, you'd care, but I know what you mean."

She walked in front of me and smiled.

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"Get off me Mark."

It was not a comfortable position. He was holding me against the wall by groping my right breast, the rest of his left arm pinning me in place across my other breast. He was holding my arms above me, and was doing a good job keeping my feet on the ground by grinding into them with one foot. I couldn't tell which one, but it hurt less then I thought it should. I was glaring at him. It wasn't just that the self defence classes mom had made me take that gave me confidence. I was pretty sure I might be able to get out of his grasp. It was that even if I couldn't, as a last resort I could simply set him on fire.

"Come on, I know you're in heat, I can smell it."

"Yea, but you're a jerk. Even if this morning I hadn't gotten some control back, I wouldn't be having sex with you."

"Oh please, you have sex with everyone."

"Yea, that's Beth's line alright, and there is some truth to it, but I've been in heat for hours now, and been thinking of sex a surprisingly small amount of time, so I've come to the conclusion that I'm really not that bad at all. I was just trying to find a mate I think."

"What?"

"A mate, someone to impregnate me, which is apparently possible, but highly unlikely. Of course now that I realize that, had time to think of it, I don't think I'm going to be having even as tenth as much sex."

"Look, I don't care what the hell…"

"I know you don't care. I'm talking about something other than you. Even if you weren't a jerk with a girlfriend, there are tons of guys in this school who are way better than you. If I just wanted a good time, why would I waste my time having sex with you."

"Shut up. I'm not going to take this from you. You are not going to refuse me. Not you of all people."

"Yea, well tough. It's not going to happen."

"Oh yea, what you going to do about it, scream?"

He had a point. He had cornered me in the girl's bathroom between classes. I could scream, but I had doubts it would carry that far. I really didn't want to burn his face off, with my luck I'd almost inevitably get in more trouble than he would, especially since there is no proof he's tried to rape me yet. He hasn't even torn my clothes.

"You really are a moron, you know that? I mean attacking me in the middle of the day?"

"Oh please, you've been giving it away for free for far too long for anyone to think…"

"No means no Mark."

"Even if you have some control, I bet you still want to do me, no matter what you say, and we both know it. Don't we? You want me."

He smiled. The worst thing is he was sorta right. Even as he pinned me to the wall I was thinking about how hot he was, and it's too bad he was Beth's. Now that was gone though. I still had some primal feelings toward him, but not the ones he wanted. My adrenaline started pumping like crazy, and right now I really want to hit something, especially him. I think the kitty in me wants to mutilate him. However I'm ignoring that just as much as the first feeling, so lets try to get out of this without violence.

"I guess, but no means no, means no. Maybe there is a wet part of me that wanted to have sex with you, but unlike you it's the head on my shoulders that does the thinking, and I'm thinking no just as much as I'm saying no, so get off loser."

"Oh please, you want it. I know you want it. I'm hot and you want to have sex with me. You want to do all sorts of naughty fun things to me."

"No Mark, I don't. There really isn't that much to want…"

"Shut the fuck up, you damn well know…"

As he leaned into me I felt it. I couldn't tell for sure, but suddenly I wondered if maybe I had confused him with someone else. I was actually fairly curious, but I wasn't that curious. I smiled. Even in heat I'm not curious enough to even want to look at it. Before today if I was in this situation I think my curiosity would have gotten the better of me and I would have let things go a little further, just to get good look, but thankfully things had changed. I smiled.

"What are you smiling about? It doesn’t look like you…"

"Nothing you care about. And, no, it didn't have anything to do with that. At least you seem bright enough to realize the timing was a bit off there. Now get off me Mark."

"Are you hard of hearing or something bitch. You will stop resisting. You will give in and have sex with me. You will do it all because you want to please me."

"Why the hell do you keep saying shit like that Mark, it's not like just saying it will make me want to. In fact if anything it makes you all the less attractive."

The blank stare he gave me was bizarre. Or at least the timing was. It was almost like he expected me to just do whatever he asked. Then it was my turn for a blank stare. Crap, is that what he did expect. He could just be crazy, but what if he expected it because it worked. Then I laughed.

"What the fuck is so funny."

"Oh Mark, it's a few things, but mainly it's that of all the girls in the school, I, the slut of the world, and only I, am immune to what I'm suddenly thinking are some very special charms."

"What the hell are you talking about?"

"Most girls would listen to you without question, wouldn't they? They would just obey. But I won't Mark, and I never did. I had sex cause you came up to me and said you broke up with Beth, and I couldn't think of a good reason not to sleep with you at the time. That's it."

"No way. There is no way you are denying me. If you won't listen, then I'll do this the hard way."

"Then since screaming won't work, I'll try a roar."

"Roar? You're shitting me, you can't roar."

I just smiled. I really had no idea, but I wasn't going to tell him that. The first time I got nothing. Then the next few tries I got few faint lion roars. Mark actually laughed at the last one. That pissed me off so I tried again. This time the windows rattled as a huge roar that didn't sound remotely like a lion came out of my mouth. We both recoiled, though he had further to go, and I hit my head on the wall. Of all the things out of those monster movies I remembered that roar best, or at least similar, mine did sound a bit more girly somehow.

"I bet the whole school heard that. And I know at least a few people who will guess who might be able to pull off a Godzilla roar."

"I'll get you for this, and I'll get you again. Count on it."

He released me and walked out of the bathroom. I was sorely tempted to see exactly how much damage I could do with these new claws of mine, but instead a better plan was forming. He said to count on it. I would. Next time I'd be ready, next time it would be a deserted street, or something similar. Next time he might have help, or would be prepared if I resisted. He wouldn't really be prepared, but I would, and I'd have a full proof plan ready before anyone got here to see what's wrong. My heat has come in handy a few times, but usually I've been too distracted for it to matter. I have a feeling I will be making use of some of it's more unusual properties far more often.

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As I sat there in class it was all I could think about. Reona looked really hot. It was annoying. I was never interested in girls at all when I wasn't in heat, and only randomly when I was. I have had sex with 12 girls, and the only lesbians left other than Reona were this cute couple that seemed very dedicated.

"Why are you looking at me like that."

"Cause you're hot duh, and apparently I'm in a girl liking mood."

She blushed. It looked vaguely like she was rusting, but not exactly. Mark wasn't here, and I didn't really care where he was. A little time where I didn't have to talk to him would really help me sell things later. Reona was making various stammering noises.

"Wait, you didn't know I'm sometimes bi when in heat?"

She shook her head.

"Oh, well I am. Don't know why it's so random, but every so often I could totally do a girl. Hmmm, though this time maybe it's not so mysterious. I'm pretty pissed off at guys in general, and was thinking it would be easier if I could just swear off them for good."

"Are you suggesting whenever you get frustrated with guys because of bad sex…"

"I wasn't thinking of it that way, but maybe. I'd say it's sometimes other things, but honestly until today when the sex drive is down to a mere 11 on a dial that goes up to 10, instead of the usual 15 to 29, it would have probably just been bad sex. This time though I'd say if it really isn't random it's probably that Mark just tried to rape me not that long ago."

"What?"

Everyone heard her I’m sure, but most didn't even look up. There was a moment of silence though, and they'd be listening closely for anything else interesting like yesterday. Reona was wide eyed. I closed my eyes and thought about it for a second. Yea, if I wasn't in heat I'm sure I wouldn't have said that. I can see how it's a sensitive and delicate issue, and should not be talked about so casually. I couldn't quite understand why that was the case, but I knew it was true.

"Sorry, you know how I am in heat, it's not just way too much sex drive, it's that my inhibitions are just plain gone, and I mean completely."

"But he really… I mean how could he…"

"I was only hinting at it, but I have a little control again. I'm still so a whore, but I think I can keep the sleeping with strange men to a minimum. Especially at the moment."

I was staring at her chest and she was blushing again. I laughed. Reona admitted she was gay a few sleepovers ago, and that one reason she had come over to us was just to get a better look at us. Beth looked at her a bit oddly from that point on, but never said anything. Reona had also said she had given up on us a long time ago since it was very clear none of us were even a little gay. I knew from one of the lesbians I had slept with that as mad as Reona was at me, she had a mad crush on the new and improved me. Supposedly she also had some naked pictures of me she had gotten somewhere. Considering all the people I had let take such pictures of me while I was in heat, they could be from anywhere.

"No, I mean, he can, I'm almost sure he can. He made me."

Then she started crying. Made her? I had never pried before, but now I was real curious.

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Reona was looking very nervous as I put my T-shirt back on. It had stopped the crying right quick. Lust had blotted out whatever else she was feeling, at least enough to calm her down. The teacher let me take her to the bathroom with out really a second thought. I had offered to have sex with her, or at least take off all my clothes, but she had pretty quickly insisted I put them back on. I knew it was for the best. She would probably regret it, and I knew I would once I came out of heat, but at the moment her feelings were the only thing stopping something from happening. With considerable delight I realized that while I wanted to do her, I think my sex drive was ever lower than earlier.

"I still can't tell if you're just messing with me or…"

"No seriously. I'd do your shinny metal ass if you wanted me to, and I'd enjoy it. I mean come on, you have a great face, awesome hair, and breasts just right for your figure. Like a perfect sexy statue of some Greek goddess. Lust personified. A…"

I realized I was really staring at her, and was putting a hand down my pants. I quickly pulled it out and smiled.

"Okay, lets talk about something else or I'm going to have to either do you or duck into one of the stalls to masturbate, and I don't really want to do either."

"You want to talk about Mark, don't you?"

"Yea, what did he do to you?"

"Not much, he just started saying all these things that weren't true, that I didn't just like girls, that I wanted to have sex with him, a few other things like that."

"Like maybe, you would like to go down on me?"

She nodded. "But then somehow they seemed to start making sense, and I did things and…"

"Crap, so it's not crazy."

"What?"

"He was trying to do the same thing to me and…"

"It didn't work?"

"My guess is one of my various sexual kinks makes me immune, or maybe it's the cat and reptilian monster part of me, or just pure irony, or my pheromones block out his or something."

"Block out…"

"Oh, sorry. See Reona, Uncle Will was had noted that my pheromones, and possibly others, might have a mind control like effect. The subject becomes extremely susceptible. So far he hasn't proved I have any ability other than the power of being a hot girl with big breasts who asks nicely for things."

"You mean he might have really, that what I think…"

"Yes, maybe. I'd say it's likely unless you're more bi than you claim."

She shook her head. "It just seemed so impossible. I know what he said. He said I couldn't resist him, that I had to do what he said. I told mom and dad, but they didn't believe me. Ironically telling them about having sex with a boy helped finally undue the damage you did."

"Sorry again, I really didn't mean any harm."

"I know. I accept your apology. I mean the more and more I see how you act I realize it's just how you are. I know you didn't mean to out me to my parents."

Then she hugged me and started to cry. I tried to focus on Mark, but honestly her breasts pressing against mine felt way too good for me to concentrate that much. I was both thankful and disappointed when she released her hug.

"Oh, thank you so much. I always half thought I was right, and at some level had to believe it, but I'd always had doubts."

"Obviously that really was why he was so pissed off. I mean if is his pheromones maybe it's my nose."

"Your nose is more catlike even though it doesn't look it right?"

"Somewhat, it's not clear exactly how much. I certainly have at least a little better range. I wonder how many of the girls I've seen him having sex he did the same thing too."

"They might not even know. It's almost like your thoughts just shift to be what he wants."

"And he really is pretty good. He did get you off right?" She nodded. "Yea, but so can a vibrator."

"Well, I wasn't going to tell anyone about this, but I have this plan. You might want to bring a gas mask or something, but you see, later tonight…."

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Coming out of heat can be very depressing. Normally almost anything I do is a source of embarrassment, and my sex pep talk for that one kid and hitting on my friend certainly fit in that category. This time I had something to be proud of though. Not only had I resisted Mark, even when he stopped trying to sweet talk me, but had uncovered what he was probably doing. Of course Mark may not even realize anything, the egotistical jerk might just think his smooth talking self got even better at getting girls to sleep with him. However I have a strong feeling that isn't the case. Cal sat down, with Nessa and Gina still in the line.

"Cal, I have a big favor to ask, but don't want Gina to know about it, could you come by my house later."

"What?"

"Don't worry, I think I got myself enough under control finally that even if I went into heat, I wouldn't have sex with you. Well, unless you wanted to of course. Besides, my parents aren't really big on sex under their roof unless they're the ones having it."

"Um, could you give me some idea what…"

"Oh, you do know how to operate a video camera, right?"

"Sorta, but…"

"Eh, good enough. I can teach you mine well enough pretty quickly, You'll do fine, and having a guy as the cameraman would really help. Thanks bunches."

Before he said anything else Gina and Nessa sat down. He briefly frowned and slumped forward, but then straitened himself a bit. I felt a little bad about taking advantage of the fact he was too honorable to say anything in front of Gina, including to protest about not wanting to do it in the first place. This was important though, and if I kept acting like he already said yes, he might not even remember he didn't. This caused me to frown. He might feel less used, but the idea made me feel worse. It sounds far too much like Beth, and I think I'll be avoiding that, so I'll talk to Cal a bit more later, and get him to really agree.

"Nari, anything wrong?" said Gina

"Yea, you look a bit down in the mouth, and I can see you from multiple angles, so I'm sure."

"Oh, its just post heat regrets. Have greatly fewer this time, but still a few regrets." I said

"When you say regrets, do you mean like bad sex?"

"Actually that I regret in heat too. No, mostly the regrets can be summed up as names, though in many cases it's partially that I don't know their names."

"Ah, so you regret having good sex then?"

"It's sex with relative strangers. Meaningless sex, that is what I regret."

"Oooh, sorry to bring it up." Said Nessa

"Eh, it's not like I don't know, or don't think about it on my own."

Reona then came over and sat down next to Nessa. She didn't say anything, just started eating. I wasn't sure if she was serious about forgiving me, but obviously she was. The glance she gave my chest made me glad I had put my bra back on the second it fit well enough again. The worst part is while it made me uncomfortable I know she had never looked before, so was probably my own damn fault.

"So did you and Beth have a fight?" said Nessa?

"Not really. I just accepted Narisetti's apology, so I don't see a good reason to continue talking to that fool or her friends. Deb is just as useless, and Maria never really talks to anyone other than Beth."

"Ya know, you're the only one other than my parents that use my full name, even rarely."

"Yes, most teachers don't even attempt it either. Pure laziness on their part."

I smiled. Reona saying Maria doesn't talk was a bit ironic, but Reona did talk when she felt she should I guess. I felt something and quickly pulled my tail back, then turned around. Beth was there, hand outstretched. I smiled at the stupid looking, and surely unnecessarily large, bandage on her cheek, and the look of surprise on her face. She quickly folded her arms and took a step back. Then she walked around to face Reona, Maria and Deb catching up.

"What are you doing here Reona?"

"Eating lunch Beth, that should be obvious."

"You know what I mean. What are you doing with Garrison and that traitor Doubletree?"

"Well, as I just said, eating lunch."

Beth was trying to ignore the rest of us completely. She kept looking at Nessa out of the corner of one eye though. Pure curiosity I'm sure, but still funny seeing her try to look like she's ignoring someone she can't keep from staring at. Deb had a frown like she didn't like the whole idea, and Maria as always was doing her impression of little kid hiding behind their mom.

"Stop it with the stupidity, you know what the fuck I really mean."

"Possibly, but you certainly haven't been asking the question. You want to know why I'm eating lunch with Nari, correct?"

"Yes."

"Because you are a shallow moron that can't see you're being used, even though you are clearly immune, and I've finally forgiven Nari for the trouble she caused."

"Immune to what?"

"You haven't noticed his bad behavior, and disbelieved my own accounts, so I don't see why I should tell you what I mean. Unless you have something else to say, I think we're done."

The first thing that struck me was that I was pretty sure what Reona thought Beth was immune to. The second was how cold she was about throwing away their friendship. That was the thing about Reona, most of the time she seemed normal, but sometimes it was almost like it wasn't just silver skin, and she really was a robot. As Beth left I realized this wasn't one of those times. She was crying, just a little, but she was crying, and clutching her spoon way too tight. In fact the cheap plastic thing had been crushed so flat it went limp when she tried to scoop up some peas and continue eating. She then got up and began to walk away.

"I need a new spoon."

There was a brief silence as she walked off.

"Hmm, that's weird. I guess she likes Beth more than I thought. Personally I'm just waiting for Beth to apologize, but maybe Reona thinks it's a more permanent thing."

"You really think…"

"Honestly not anytime soon, no, but eventually. If I'm wrong I'll say my real goodbye at graduation. I can tell you this for sure, at the moment I'd rather spend an hour locked in an elevator with you than with Beth."

"You know, I wanna be happy, but now, I dunno, I’m starting to feel sorry for Beth." I said

"Huh, why?"

All three of Nessa's heads echoed the same sentiment, and I think Gina said the same thing. As I saw Mark sit down at Beth's rather distant table, all smiles, I knew one reason. Another was now it was just Deb and Maria. The last was the way her eyes kept darting around, and the way she kept fixing her hair. She was hiding something, and while I had no idea what, I was beginning to have suspicions. Namely that whatever her problem was, she was seeing Uncle Will for it.

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It seemed like a good idea at the time. Reona had passed on the message that we both needed to see Mark after school if he wanted to get any credit for the project. He told me to show up at six, and Reona at seven. He also told me he told Reona to show up at six too, but I knew that was a lie before I even talked to her. If he was really paying attention, I already gave him a paper that gave him full credit, but he believed the lie that the teacher wanted us each to present the research we found separately. Or at least I thought he did. Maybe he didn't at all, and that was the whole point.

I really didn't expect to be chloroformed before I even saw him, and to wake up tied to a bed half naked. At least I assume it was chloroform. I certainly remember an awful smell right after I got in the door, and I’m back in heat again so I do remember that. Mark sauntered into the room. I half expected it to be filled with posters of naked women, but the walls were almost bare other than some pennants, and other sports junk. He had some creepy looking statuary on his shelves. Zombies and monsters, probably McFarlane stuff, though I couldn't really see it. He also had quite a few trophies.

He was still wearing shorts and socks. Despite the fact I had walked into the worst case scenario of my plan he was still hot. Chiseled chest of an athlete, winning smile, and that bland pretty boy sort of beauty you see all the time, but isn't quite boring. I actually looked at the bedposts to see I was less tied, and more handcuffed. I also looked down to see that yes I was just wearing my underwear, and yes my bra was a size too tight again, and despite the situation I really just wish he would remove it.

"I told you I'd get you. I know what you were trying to do. I saw that pussy-assed guy you've been talking to hanging around with a camera in the bushes. I am going to make you pay, and thanks to the shutters no one is going to believe you didn't want it."

I looked over to a window. There was some type of metal shutter covering the window on the outside, but not all of the window. I was almost sure I could see a fairly large circular gap though. This had seemed like a perfect plan, but frankly the only reason it was still working at all was that either Mark wanted to gloat, or he just didn't want to do me while unconscious.

"So you're going to rape me."

"Of course I am you dumb slut. Though for the life of me I can't figure out why. I mean I don't know why, but I can sweet talk any girl now, no matter how stupid. I even got that lesbo Reona to do me. I mean when that actually worked I knew it had to be part of this whole Lemarck thing."

"The curse you mean."

"I'm a guy that can make girls do stuff just by asking, I really don't see that as a curse."

"Your answer is simple you oversexed idiot, I'm immune for some reason."

"Then why the hell did you do me the first time?"

"Cause while I'm less of a slut in heat now, I used to be a complete slut whenever I went into heat. I mean come on, I've done the entire chess club, have you seen them? My standards are not high."

"I'm not some fugly ass chess geek."

"No, you're a delectable piece of grade a hunk actually, but you're just such a jerk. You're good enough in bed too, but honestly why do you again when I know there are guys that look better, are better in bed, and are overall all around better people."

"Oh, just shut the fuck up."

I looked to the right, then the left. Then glared at him

"What the hell else do I have to do."

"Me, that's what you have to do." He said

"Gah, you're so hopeless. I can't believe it was me believing your lies, even though I had good reason to, was what ruined things with Beth."

"Eh, screw Beth. You're way hotter. If she wasn't so damn gullible I wouldn't even keep dating her. I mean why date some girl who will dump you the second she learns about your fooling around on the side, when you can get one who will actually believe you when you say you aren't."

"So you make girls have sex with you against your will, lie like mad to Beth, and now you're going to attempt to rape me for the 2nd time today. Real classy Mark."

"Yea, so what. No one is going to believe you."

"We'll see about that. See I think I have everything I need now cause you're a moronic blowhard, so I would just go let Reona and Callum in so they can untie me."

"Please, my dad might not be the richest guy around here, but it's enough. The house is soundproofed, and the security shutters have kept anyone from looking in."

"Unless I brought a wireless mike with me."

"Come on, I practically stripped you."

"Should have gone a bit further."

"Oh you're fucking lying."

He started walking toward me. Okay, now it's time to explain to him why letting me wake up, even all tied up was a big mistake.

"Stop right now or you will regret it."

He laughed of course.

"Okay, so yes I guess that is hilarious to you, but I'm serious."

"You're tied down to the bed you stupid slut. I don't care that you can ignore whatever I say, you still are not the one in a position of power."

"But my head isn't, and I'll warn you right now, that's all I need. I will cook you if take a step closer."

"Ooo, I'm so scared, you're going to set me on fire with your slut mind powers."

I stared at him. I can't believe he hadn't heard. When he started advancing again, I though about letting loose with the biggest jet I could manage, but then realized two things. One, I had focused on controlling smaller jets most of the day. The other that I really didn't want to kill him, and that I could easily do just that. So I wasn't quite sure what to do until he was right on top of me. He pulled off my bra, and looked down.

"What the, there's nothing there."

"I never said there was."

"Then where else could you put it?"

"There is only one place left obviously, now get out of my face."

He grabbed me by the neck. "How you going to make me?"

I blew a jet of blue flame right in his face. I felt much better without the bra, and had come up with plan that involved taping a mike in a very delicate place. The truth was I had all the modesty of a nudist while in heat, I could see the practical concerns easy enough, but I just was never embarrassed. Mark was shaking at the end of the bed. I blew a little jet of flame at the right handcuff, and then the left. The left caught the edge of the bed and the solid wood burned brightly.

Mark jumped out of the bed, but I just watched how the bed burned. I felt a thump as the supports for the mattress burned away. As the carpet and mattress caught sprinklers came on, putting out the spreading fire quite quickly. The bed burned until it was pretty much a pile of ash though. I noticed the blue flames only went out once they faded to red. With nothing left stopping me I just stood up. Mark was huddling in a ball, muttering "I'm gonna die" over and over again. I noticed my clothes were on the back of a chair, and grabbed my shirt. I was glad I hadn't really tried to burn Mark. He would have been a pile of ash, and that is not something I wanted on my conscious. Maybe he deserved it, but I know I wouldn't feel good about myself if I had done it.

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The worst thing about all the yelling is mom and dad were right, it was a really stupid plan. I had been thinking no one would believe me, but the police just might, and mom and dad would have, and most of my teachers. With what I knew I should have just got a bunch of girls who had run ins with him together. And even though dad went though a choking fit when she suggested it, mom's idea of throwing myself at Mark in the hallway really might have gotten him to say something incriminating. So I was staring at my ceiling feeling a little proud, but mostly stupid. Gina then came in.

"Do you have any idea…"

"Yea, mom and dad good a very good job explaining how stupid it was, you may skip it."

"I mean you were in heat again, when you don't even…"

"Yea, they said that too. I still am by the way. If it wasn't for boredom I don't think I would have even masturbated once this time, but they took the plugs to pretty much everything. I didn't even know the CD player boombox thing had a modular plug until dad took it."

"So you mean you've just been sitting here…"

"No, I had my fun and washed my hands already."

"Wait, you mean you're in heat with nothing to do and…"

"Yea, though if you hadn't shown up I might have needed to wash my hands again soon."

"You know if Reona wasn't there…."

"I still wouldn't have been raped. No, the real thing that saved me is he was punishing me, and wanted me to be awake for it."

"But if she hadn't ripped a hole in the shudder like that."

"Yea, who knew she was that strong?"

"It's not that. She's just heavy with all that extra iron."

"Yea, but still, pushing though the shutter like that, still took some strength. In fact, while she down played it. Think about it. If she was really just heavy, shouldn't she have trouble moving around?"

"Oh, so…"

"She is heavy, and it's like constant strength training. I don't know why it doesn't show more."

"It was stupid."

I sighed. "Yea, it was."

Gina then flopped down on the bed next to me and sighed.

"So, was it fun?"

I giggled. "Oh yea, I reduced Mark to a whimpering husk, of course it was fun."

"You know Beth isn't going t happy."

"I expect she's going to start yelling once she's close enough to be sure I'll hear."

There was a pause. The silence stretched on. This has been a weird day. Even weirder is I'd really been in heat most of the day, but regretted very little of it.

"You know you never actually told Cal how you were get Mark to confess, just not to come in unless he was absolutely sure you were in danger."

"I know."

"So, did you really hit on Reona."

"Yea, she's hot, and you know I'm bi when in heat sometimes."

"Actually you've never mentioned that before, or the having sex with lesbians."

"Really?"

"Yep."

"Oops. Sorry."

"So sometimes you find me attractive?"

"Nah, you're not a lesbian."

"But, shouldn't that not matter?"

"Uh…"

The weird thing was she was right, but it did matter. When I was in one of my bi moods I noticed some things a bit more, but other than Reona I wasn't the least bit attracted to any of my friends. Or anyone that wasn't both a lesbian, and I had met in person. Looking at naked girls I didn't know still did nothing for me no matter what mood I’m in. Okay, yet another addition to the list of strange things my body does.

"Yea, it shouldn't, but it does. Dang, I was hoping not to have to ever really mention this to Uncle Will."

"Ya know, sometimes I wish I was special."

"I’m going to assume you're only being slightly stupid, and mean special in the way most of my sisters, and for that matter most of our friends are special, like going into heat, bizarre colored hair, and having parts no human is meant to have."

"Yea, I mean I wouldn't want your problem, but I mean it's not like…"

"Gina, I don't want my problem, why would you."

"I suppose. The point is I don't want to be just boring old me."

"Yea, don't wish too hard, you're probably going to get something anyway, no matter if you want it or not."

"Huh?"

"Gina, we all have those extra genes. It doesn't seem like anything weird happened to you, but that doesn't mean it will stay that way. Just a little scrap of something is enough. In fact I'm beginning to think I'm lucky. I think the surprises are over for me."

"Really."

"Maybe not all of them, but all the major stuff. Sexy cat-girl and Godzilla, combined. Everything is mom and dad dressed up like that, and what they did. It's all going to be green scales and leopard fur from here. Who knows how much or where, but I think that's all the elements effecting me. You don't know."

"What do you mean?"

"Did your dad forget to take a sock off? Did your mom wear a little bit of steel jewelry, did your dad get some crab stuck in his fat?"

"My dad's not that fat, why would you…"

"Crab boy."

She cringed. The crab in the fat was only a guess cause the father of the boy with a lobster claw was pretty fat. If you ate it, it never seemed to count, but if you didn't it might still be fair game. Truthfully that was the whole point, there were still bunches of effects that just had to be the curse, but no one had any idea how.

"Wait, so anything could…"

"Yea, I complain, but frankly having far too much detail about your parent's fetishes, and especially exactly what went on the day you were conceived is pretty helpful."

"But, I don't have clue what…"

"Yep, which means at any time the curse could do anything too you, and you wouldn't have a clue."

"Nari, if you're trying to scare me, please stop, cause it's sure working."

I could feel her shaking. I leaned my head against hers and wrapped my tail around her leg. She calmed down pretty quick.

"Sorry, but you just made it sound so scary."

"I'm in heat, I don't exactly have tack to spare to begin with, and right now…"

"It's just gone. I sorta forgot. I mean you're not usually like this when in heat."

"I am actually, I'm usually just busy. Now I don't feel the need to be so busy half as strongly."

"It sounds like your problems are fading away, at least a little."

"Yea, that worries me. Especially since I think I squandered all my good karma tonight on having my stupid plan actually work. The police can even accept Reona and Cal's testimony as viable evidence, and Mark's confession will help."

"I'm pretty sure he's going to renege that, I mean his dad is a lawyer."

"Yea, but still he's probably going to end up registered as a sex offender, or something like that. I know the girls in the school will be avoiding him."

"So you really weren't scared."

"I'm not exactly cautious when in heat, and now I can breathe fire. Now I don't even have a reason to really be afraid. Plus…" I said, holding a hand up so both of us could see. "I have claws now too."

Gina giggled. "Man, I can just imagine some mugger coming up to you in a dark alley and when you turn around you melt his knife and slice up his clothes a bit. Thus the mugger runs screaming into the night, and you start laughing."

I laughed. "Yea, so can I."

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Beth looked very ready to kill. Balled fists, furrowed brow, and a glare I'm sure she wishes could kill. She was also wearing a scarf on her head. It was nice enough, and a few actresses had been seen in something similar I think, but it was still odd. It did mean it was trendy enough for Beth, but it just didn't seem like something she personally would wear. Deb was nearby, and Maria was behind her for a change. Both had worried looks on their faces. I had turned around because Nessa had suddenly stopped talking.

"How dare you make up such lies Garrison."

"We used to be friends Beth, surely you can still call me Nari."

"Shut it."

"Do you even really believe them to be lies?"

I heard some shuffling, Gina and Cal had been going over a math book, but now they were standing. I wasn't clear on exactly who was helping who, but I hadn't been bothering them. Nessa was standing too, and I saw Reona approach Maria and Deb. Beth pointed a finger at me.

"I don't know how, but you faked it somehow, tricked him."

"How? How could I fake that? How could I fake him chloroforming me and striping me practically naked, and what could I do to make him say all those things."

"I don't know, but you had to do something, it had to be something."

"I did see him when filming it, so did Reona." Said Cal

"She didn't do anything Beth." Added Reona

"Why do you continue to defend that jerk, you must know by now he cheated on you by now."

"Shut up, shut up, all of you shut up. You think I didn't hear the rumors, hear what they said about Mark. But I don't believe them. I know Mark, and I know he wouldn't…"

"Do what you damn well know he did." I said

"Shut up."

"Nari." said Gina "You should call a teacher before something happens."

"Oh please, Beth would never dirty her hands…"

I had turned to look at Gina but Beth blight-sighted me as I turned away. She was stronger than I expected and I fell to the ground face first. I caught myself but then she kicked me on the back of the head, or at least it sure felt like a kick. The second kick caused my face to crash into the ground, and I think it broke my nose. Her next kick was to my back and crushed my breasts into the cement. I expected another kick, but when I rolled over and sat up griping my breasts I saw why it hadn't come. Reona was holding her back.

"Let me go you traitor."

"I am not a traitor, I am simply spending some time with the friend I like more at the moment, as I was before. Nari has outpaced you recently. I would spend time with both if you would be amiable too it, but I know you would not be."

"You don't know anything, shut up."

"I know what Mark did, I know I'm still very gay, but he got me to have sex with him somehow. I know I talked to Dr. Garrison and he confirmed what Nari said. I know he's responsible. I know he's enough of a jerk that if she said no he wouldn't leave it at that."

"At least, not from me, as he said." I added

"Let me go. I'll kill her."

I thought there was no way she was getting out of Reona's grip, but she went limp and slipped out of her grasp. However I don't think she realized she lost her top and scarf in doing so. She came at me with one armed raised, and I knew there were various more appropriate responses, but I began to laugh. She had two wobbly antenna sticking out of her head. I couldn’t tell at a glance what insect they belonged to, but would guess the moth the silkworm turns into, whatever it's called. She stopped, suddenly wide eyed.

"Oh no, my scarf."

"Oh Beth, all this time calling me a freak and…"

I began laughing some more, then with a weird pop of some sort and a second cord that seemed to be around her waist came loose and fell to the ground. Then with a more audible metallic clink the back of her bra exploded off her back, along with a pair of wings. White and grey wings that looked in some ways much like my sister's, but covered in fuzz. Beth had just managed to keep the bra on the front of her chest. I winced at the thought she had tied back something that large. I mean they were only a few feet across right now, but I knew the torture of trying to tie my tail down to my leg was more than bad enough. I frowned. How could she stand it?

"All of you, stop it, stop it."

"Wow." began Nessa "So cool, it's like Mothra versus Godzilla."

I knew I shouldn't, but I pointed at Beth, and fell over laughing. I don't know exactly what she did, but it really hurt my head, and I still kept laughing. Even as everything started getting all sparkly and weird I didn't stop.

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I was sitting on the end of my hospital bed with Beth's chart in my hands. She did not look well. She was covered in bruises, had a large chunk of her left wing missing, and bandages around both arms and her head and one eye. I noticed it was the right eye this time, though her left definitely didn't have any scars around it. I wasn't surprised. At least slightly faster healing was common among those born after the event. I had almost laughed when I pulled the IV out of my arm when I first woke up. I knew I was in bad shape, but I also knew what I had done to control myself when in heat, and the result. I had no doubt whatever damage Beth had done was gone. I held up a scaled hand. I wonder the reptile part of me is where I get the super regeneration from?

Then I noticed Beth was awake and glaring at me as if that alone could melt me. I was thankful that she was just a normal moth, and not really Mothra, since I couldn't remember what that monster's power was, and at the moment I'd swear it was laser vision. The normal restraints on the bed were broken, but white silky cord covered both wrists and held her securely to the bed. If that's what I think it is it should be both comfortable and strong, and from an entirely separate experience her legs should be well secured too.

"How the hell can you look that good already. I mean you had a major head wound."

"Yea, and you'd know since you gave it to me."

She just glared at me.

"Eh, I don't really blame you, I really shouldn't have laughed, but even you have to admit it was funny."

Dead silence.

"Okay, so you don't. Trust me, it was funny. I mean come on, the wall of irony. All that time you were calling me a freak for being so inhuman and…"

"Shut up."

"Aww, but I thought you wanted me to answer a question."

Beth was glaring again, and testing her bonds. I wasn't sure if she actually wanted to punch me, or just leave the room. I was smiling at her all the same. I put down her chart, and leaned back.

"It's really pretty simple Beth, I regenerate really fast. I mean I lost a few fingers and they were back before I had to tell mom and dad about it."

"You're serious?"

"Of course. I thought biting down on a finger or two might help control my lust when in heat. All it really accomplished is delaying me, as right after I wrapped my hand in some gauze I was at it again. I forget how long it actually took, but is was pretty fast."

"Huh. So Even though I gave you the beating you so rightly you deserved, you're fine, and I will be recovering for some time."

"I guess."

"What exactly is tying me down, I can't identify it."

"I'm not sure, but I'm pretty sure it's spider silk, or maybe more accurately sister silk."

"What?"

"You know my little sister Zelly, I'm sure you remember the cocoon she spun."

"Of course."

"Well she spun it out of something obviously. She's been able to make those threads for awhile."

"And why would she be called in?"

"My guess is you broke the normal bonds for some reason, and she came to visit me either right after or right before and so after they drugged you she made the new bonds. There was one phase where she kept securing her babysitters to things when they weren't looking. I was her usual babysitter of course."

Beth laughed. "Ah, now that is a truly funny image."

"Beth, what's really going on?"

Beth looked away, saying nothing. I just smiled. I still don't know why I had thought of it. Maybe it was the head injury not really being entirely repaired. Maybe it was the realization that I didn't defend myself at all, even though after that first punch I certainly could have. Maybe it was just plain boredom. Whatever the case I was sure as much as we had drifted apart, we hadn't drifted that far, or we wouldn't care so much.

"What is going on is you are annoying me. If you're already so well recovered, please leave."

"No Beth. You're pissed off at me. Mark is part of it, but I don't think he's the point at all. That's what you said, but it's not him."

"I don't know what you're talking about."

"It's not me being a freak, unless you're such a huge hypocrite that filled with self loathing that you really believe that. I really doubt that's the case."

"The truth is I just hate you, and I started before Maria…"

"By then you weren't willing to take it back."

"Yes, yes, you feel so damn smart right now, don't you?"

"Considering I'm still in heat, yea."

"What?"

"Wait, is it your parents? They didn't seem the type but…"

"They would not be pleased, not at all, but they are realists. Though father is being a touch on the unreasonable side in trying to cure me."

"So what does that leave Beth? What about you is pissing me off so much?"

"I'll tell you what. Your stupid so called heat. Plus that comment about you being smart while in heat is also bugging me quite a lot."

"In heat I'm smarter, ask someone else if you want the details. Uncle Will would be happy to give you some materials I'm sure. However, I really don't get it."

"You don't get it? I'll tell you what I mean. I mean why do you get the license to do whatever the hell you want but I'm told to just control myself."

I blinked. Then I blinked a few more times. I was tempted to ask, but figured there was an easier way. I sat up and then leaned over to the end of my own bed, grabbing my chart. I then stood up and freed her right hand, my claws cutting as easily as I hoped they would. I then hit the button that elevated the top of the bed so she could more easily read, and gave her my chart. She sneered at me but began to read. She had to put it down to flip page, and didn't seem to be reading all that much.

"And just what do you expect me to see?"

"Just a little something about what my heat is really like."

"Hrrmm. I bet you never even considered anyone else could be in your situation, but Deb is having some sort of issue too."

"You don't actually know the specifics though, do you."

"She won't actually say, no. But that's not the point. Do you have any idea how bad my issue really is? No, of course you don't."

"Beth, that chart over on my bed is yours, and I did read it. I know."

"So what? I'm sure you don't really know what it means, no matter how supposedly smarter you claim to be. How could that even work."

"I don't know exactly, but I know my memory is better and I get stuff done much faster. Oh, and I do know how to read the chart. Maybe I won't understand everything, but enough that I still can't decide if I should apologize to you, or laugh in your face."

"What do you mean…"

"Just keep going. I think you'll see it soon enough, and know what it means."

There was silence as she grimaced, turning each page. Then she went wide eyed, a big graph filling half the page. The graph was enough. I knew that graph. I had seen a similar graph on her chart. She soundlessly mouthed a few things, making no sound for quite awhile. Then she turned to me. I backed up and sat down on my bed again.

"Oh my god? How can you even survive that?"

"Don't really know, there are…"

"How do you ever get anything done in heat, I mean your chart is on a completely different scale than mine, and you still have more hormones coursing through your body."

"I know all this. You were seriously jealous of me cause you have a little sex drive problem?"

"It isn't a little problem."

"Maybe, but compared to mine…"

"Anything is little. But surely drugs must help somewhat. I mean I know I'm on…"

"A little, but most don't do jack. Uncle Will tries to help best he can, but nothing really works. Thankfully things seem much better since yesterday. I'm thinking you can take about 30% off most of those numbers, maybe more. Much more manageable."

"But that's still…"

"Yes, way worse than you. I'm well aware."

"This is unbelievable, I mean I’m fairly sure you shouldn't even have the will power to stop yourself from looking for guys to fuck, much less have an even remotely normal conversation. Even if you cut all these numbers in half, it wouldn't matter"

"Yea, well I dunno. You get used to anything I guess. Still if my heat situation hadn't improved I'd probably be having sex with some guy that just broke his leg or something. I did that once actually."

"How can you say things like that."

"In heat, my inhibitions are just gone, not that I had that many involving talking in the first place."

"Oh please, you never would have said that before."

"Yea, cause I would be too shy, but you know sometimes I did. I mean you did know that was the main reason Reona wasn't hanging out with me, the way I accidentally blabbed to her parents."

"Oh, That makes sense actually."

There was this silence suddenly. Beth got this far away look in her eyes, and let go of the clipboard. I put hers back, and taking mine back, returned it to its rightful place as well. I think that we're having a civil conversation just hit her, though what she's thinking of now I don't quite get. It was clear she was thinking of something.

"Nari, that's not the real reason we're not friends, is it. I've been angry and jealous. I am jealous of the boobs by the way. It almost looks like they're even bigger by the way."

"Yea, they sorta inflate a good cup size when I'm in heat."

"God damn it." She said, trying to do something that tensed all three remaining bonds, but resulted in very little happening. "I mean come on."

"Hey, don't complain to me, it's always been all mom and dad's fault."

"But really, I mean on top of everything."

"I think you had a point." I said

"The point is that's why I've been ragging on you, not why we're not friends. I think we were already not friends anymore well before your stupid heats started."

"Yea, and once the ears started, it all started falling apart, Mark the final nail in the coffin."

"Why can't things go back to the way they were. "

"I was never really the one stopping that from happening, though I didn't help either."

"It's really just that simple?" she asked

"In could be, but there's something more going on here. You were really pissed when the ears came out, and if it's not your parents, and you're fine with Maria, then I have to ask why the heck you got so damn pissed off."

"Of course it wasn't the ears you attention staved slut, how could you be so stupid."

"This is far from the way to go about fixing a broken…"

I didn't even finish the retort before I started laughing. I suddenly got it. She's been angry and jealous alright, but what she was most jealous of was one thing I really didn't want, not even a little. It wasn't the ears, it was the fame. It was once the ears came in I became famous. For a while I was even the most popular girl in school. Everyone wanted to talk to me and be my friend, not just the guys. Generally they were vacuous nitwits I wanted nothing to do with, almost as bad as the reporters who still bother me where and whenever they feel like it. Dad replaced all the glass in our home with one way glass at great expense, and had to invest in a device to sweep for hidden electronics, since they kept getting cameras and mikes inside the house somehow.

"What the hell is so funny?"

Slowly, I stopped. I still had a hard time believing anyone really wanted to be hounded by the press as bad as I had been. Mostly they've moved on to other people to bother, but every so often someone still tries something. But Beth might just be willing to trade her privacy for fame. She was a Leo and proud of it. She wanted to be the center of attention, and reveled in others adoration. In middle school she was the queen of the school, and we were her court. High school had relegated her to more of a duchess, but as the captain of the junior varsity cheerleaders, she was aiming to be queen again, and as soon as possible. I shook my head and smiled.

"Oh god, has it really been something that stupid all this time?"

"Nari, what the hell are you talking about?"

"Beth, don't you get it. It was all about you not being the center of attention. You accepted there would be older kids that got way more attention than you when we started high school, but you couldn't accept that I would get more attention, even if I didn't give even one damn wick about it."

"Oh please, you basked in it and…"

"Did I? Or are you just imaging it because you know what you would do in the same situation."

She stared off into space again. I then realized it wasn't just the supposedly good attention of TV cameras, but the bad attention from simply having sex with all those guys, and not really understanding how minute her own issue was comparatively. Though that did leave one thing I still didn't get.

"Ok, I think I'm finally understanding what's been going though that self obsessed head of yours, but I still don't get why you were so adamant about hiding everything and calling me a freak."

"Always did hate it when you called me self obsessed."

"But you are? You even admit it."

"I know, but it still always pissed me off when you said it. As to these stupid things." She said, then flicked on of her antenna. "They're ugly, and the wings weren't much better. It was still pretty stupid though. The wings used to be smaller, but it was still a huge pain hiding them."

"Literally I'm sure. I remember the troubles I had with my tail."

"Pah, a tail is easy in comparison."

"Yea, I know. So the wings must be much worse."

She nodded. "Of course they were. I just had a thought. Did we ever actually like each other?"

On the surface it was a really stupid question. Then again I know I called her lots of different names, and called her on various bad behavior well before I started going into heat. In fact some of the best times we had were arguing about things. Movies and which boys were the cutest were usually the topic, but I do remember an especially heated argument about string theory that left everyone else scratching their heads. We did like each other, but I think we had forgotten one of the reasons why.

"Dang. We did, but I know what you mean. It's not that we disliked each other, it's that we liked to argue. Usually never happened at school, and Gina would usually start the argument."

"Yea, I don't think she ever did like me."

"More than either of you might think I'd guess, but yea, probably."

"But no matter how bad things got, there were never really any personal attacks, and that's why everyone has deserted me."

"Everyone?"

She frowned and looked away. Her antenna drooped as well, and it became clear something was wrong with them, being a bit bent in a way that just didn't look right.

"How exactly did you get so beat up anyway. I know I didn't do it."

"It was Gina mainly, though not long after she started wailing on me, the crowd descended on us. I was sure you were going to be trampled to death actually, but when they brought you in you weren't that bad. Now I suppose I know why."

"Then you got really pissed and broke the restraints?"

"Yea, though they already had me on some strong painkillers so I don't exactly remember why."

"By the way, once that wing heals you'll probably be able to fly."

"Oh please, that's just silly."

"Zelly can fly."

"Come on, stop lying. There is no way my wings could support my weight, and Zelly is the same."

"I agree, but she can fly."

"Come on, that makes no sense."

I let loose a little gout of flame. Or that was my intent at least. The 3 foot jet almost crossed the distance between us. I immediately covered my mouth.

"Okay, that was way more than I planned."

"Damn, that was impressive."

"Anyway, the point is just because it doesn't make sense…"

"Doesn't mean it won't work. Now I really want to try it. If I ever find out who ran off with that piece of wing they so are going to get it."

"Ran off with?"

"Well they sure can't find it. It was near the end so I don't even know who really did it. What I do no is even before the crowd got ugly Deb and Maria didn't help, or even say anything."

"You think Maria would actually…"

"Maybe not much, but something, yes. She told me she was just shocked, but it wasn't till later I realized exactly why she was shocked by."

"You seriously didn't realize she was shocked by you hitting me?"

"What, no. That's not really the point. The point is she was shocked that I didn't stop even after I had knocked you unconscious. That I was still that angry."

Beth idly tugged on the restraint on her left wrist. I got up, then cut off the remaining webbing. I smiled, and sat back down on my own bed. She rubbed both wrists where the webbing had been.

"You better not try to attack me again. I can't promise I won't claw you this time."

"Yea, yea. Just don't piss me off and we'll both be happier."

"So, want to make a go at being friends again?"

"It can't be that easy."

"Who said it would be easy. But I think I know just where to start."

"And where prey tell is that?"

"By talking about boys of course. Unless you're still being an idiot about Mark and aren't really in the market for a new beau?"

Beth got this look on her face. In was a look of hate and disgust. For the first time in a long time that look in hers eyes and furrowed brow wasn't directed at me. I had the feeling it wasn't directed at anyone in the room for that matter. Something sure changed.

"Gah, that stupid man. I hope he gets the death penalty for what he did."

"Uh, I'm pretty sure that isn't an option in this state to begin with, not to mention that penalty is usually reserved for…"

"You have to agree with me the world would be a better place without him."

"Yea but still. What exactly changed your mind?"

"Talking with your uncle and Reona. And I do remember why I broke the straps now. I don't know what I was planing to do exactly, but was certainly planning to do it. Why the hell didn't she just tell me? I mean maybe I wouldn't have believed her at first, but…" she trailed off, then just stopped

"But…"

"Goddamnit Nari, he tried that on me too. Your uncle is real interested in figuring out why I'm immune of course. He tried it all the time. Once I heard Reona tell me her story, I knew he tried it all the time. He always got pissed off too. Though he never tried anything."

"Yea, he is basically a smart guy, so I bet he eventually stopped."

"Not really, though he did stop getting mad. Actually that reminds me of something…"

"I think it's because he thought it worked before. I just slept with him before cause he was hot, and smelled someone else on him, so thought you broke up."

"He was hot." She said, getting a far away look in her eyes. "Uh, though that reminds me of something else. You've said that before, when you say someone else do you mean…"

"Yes, I mean sexual fluids. I can tell the difference, don't ask me where and how I picked up the ability to distinguish that specifically, cause I don't know."

Beth laughed. I laughed with her. I missed this feeling. Gina would never abandon me, and I told her so much, but Beth was different. Gina would just never really get me some of the ways Beth did, the reverse was also true. Maybe if I had never met her I wouldn't care, but I had, and now I realized that as much as I liked Reona, Nessa, and Maria, Beth is who I missed the most.

"Are you crying?"

I started, and realized I was.

"I don't get it why are you…"

"Never mind, it's not important. So you do want someone new to do the bump and grind with right?"

She laughed, then nodded. "I obviously wouldn't put it like that, but…"

"You do."

"I did love him though. Really, I did. He had numerous good qualities, but now that I really see all the bad I just can't…" she said, and now she was crying.

"Well then, I have a few suggestions, both rebound guys, and to replace your defective man."

"I don't really want your second hand boyfriends."

I laughed. She just scratched her head. I noticed she was very careful to scratch around the antenna. I shook my head.

"Beth, don't you get it. That comment you made about me sleeping with every guy in the school actually wasn't that far off. If you limit your choices to only those I haven't had sex with, it will be a very small pool of candidates. Also, none of them were in any way my boyfriends."

"You're joking, right? I mean it hasn't been that long. You can't have seriously…"

"No, there are enough guys who wouldn't sleep with anyone, and kids older than the event are at least somewhat more immune to pheromones, but anyone younger that was single was fair game. If you really want I could probably have one of my sisters bring me the list. I wrote it all out a while ago while bored in some class."

"But just sheer…"

"I'd guess it's the healing thing or something, I don't know. That's not the point, and frankly I'd prefer not to talk about it, so do you want some tips or are you seriously going to tell me you're not looking for sex in a relationship?"

"Well I am but…"

"Look, you could randomly pick some guy, but I know not only which cute guys are smart, but which ones are best in the sack."

Beth turned bright red. "But they had sex with…"

"Yes, but unless you want to visit another school to look for a boyfriend, it's the way things have to be. Besides even though it didn't last long, you dated Debbie's ex for a while there."

"I suppose, it's just…"

"Relax. If there's one thing I know, whether I want to or not, it's sex. If you don't want a list you could just tell me the names of some boys your interested in."

"Well, there is this one boy named Trenton in my chem class…"

"OOO, Trenton. He has the black hair and blue eyes right?"

"I think so."

"Yea, the reason he's so cocksure is he knows he's got something to be sure about. It's a truly, truly beautiful thing attached to his crotch, and let me tell you why…"


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I wasn't sure if Beth and I really were any closer to being friends again, but I was sure she was going to ask Trenton out on a date at least once. Of course now I was embarrassed as hell about all the guys I had ended up talking about, and in most cases in great detail about their anatomy. The weird thing is while I knew my heat was over, I still had some sexual drive left. My medications should be killing anything like that completely. I did feel a bit cold fish, but was noticing guys more like I was in heat.

"Ah, there you are squirt."

I smiled and turned around. To some of her friends in college Makhivostu was Makhi, but to me she would always be just Mu. I had always thought she was tall, but as I hugged her I remembered that I was tall now too. She was a little taller still, but I doubt that would last. She was also a nice full D-cup and had that general curviness all of us had inherited. Mom had implants, but was never remotely flat-chested, and Mu had some of dad's strong features as well. She didn't ooze sex the way I did, having a more subtle sort of sex appeal. As mom said she's the sexy librarian type. In fact she even had the glasses, though she only needed them for reading. The band T-shirt and jeans made you realize she was the cool college girl though. As she let go of me we were both smiling. Her brown hair had always been much lighter than mine, and had always looked so much shinier too.

"Heh, I guess I might need to think of something else soon. Uncle Will wasn't being the most coherent, but he did manage to mutter an explanation of your most recent changes when I asked."

"Not that coherent?"

"Oh yea, they're totally pissed at you. Will just keeps muttering about time wasted, whereas dad is lecturing everyone on responsibility and trust."

"Oh crap."

I suddenly realized they knew now. Maybe even about some of the other things I was hiding. Some of the secrets I was hiding that weren't even mine. I frowned.

"Whoa, come on. Unless you've been lying to me, you really shouldn't be frowning. I mean you say you're upset sure, but how can anyone having as much sex as you are possibly be unhappy?"

I glared at her.

"Heh. Yea, I know. Gesh, can't you take a joke."

I rolled my eyes. "Yes, and when you tell something that's really a joke, and not some half hearted attempt at one doomed to fail I will. I might even laugh. But that is not today."

"Wow, now that is harsh. But seriously, I say that a lot because I really don't get it. I mean I don't see the need for anything more than the right device and some batteries most of the time, but if I felt like it, and didn't have to worry about STDs I wouldn't mind trying to rack up numbers like yours."

"Can we not talk about this. I got a little control back during my heats just yesterday, and I’m very happy about it and if you can't understand why…"

She hugged me again, and again saw a big smile on her face. Gina has always been there, but there have always been things I couldn't bring myself to tell her. There was never anything like that with Mu. I told her even the really embarrassing things, even the really secret things.

"I really am happy for you, even though I still don't quite get it. Maybe it's just being born before the big event, whatever it was, that means I never will."

"No, you're just more of a slut than I am." I said, laughed, then frowned. "Or I should say you want to be more than I do, cause the reality is the obvious."

"Eh, I'm slutty, but not really a slut. I mean…"

"Yea, I know what you mean, and by now you know what I mean. But for lets just forget all that and you tell me what they know."

"Everything. Yova knew everything, and told on you the first chance she got."

"So they know how dead Val really is, and all my secrets, and Zelly flying?"

Mu went wide-eyed. I laughed. I tell her everything, but not right away. I thought about it for a second, then grabbed Mu's hand and pulled.

"Oh yea, didn't tell you that yet. Come on."

"But the wings, and…"

"I know, but saw it, now come on. Hopefully no one else was paying attention."

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Mu had run off once I explained everything. Beth just sat there, asking a few questions, but otherwise being very quiet. I knew it wasn't going to last. However when she turned to me I saw this far off look in her eyes.

"Did I ever tell you I dream of flying."

"Uh, probably. I mean lots of people…"

"Maybe, but…" she began, but just stopped

"Beth?"

She started "Oh. Yea. As I was saying. It's not like that. Almost all the time, I didn't always have wings, but I could always fly. I could fly and it was always…"

Beth drifted off again. I was about to ask a question, but then suddenly got it. I now had no doubt that she could fly. It was wired into her head in such a way that she even had some sense of it. It reminded me of some of my own dreams. Dreams of walking around a city as a giantess that suddenly make a scary amount of sense, dreams of guys with varying degrees of animal features that I always assumed were just sexual even if most weren't sex dreams, and the dreams that scared me the most. The dreams I was suddenly very afraid said something else about me, but I had been trying not to think about.

"I've had dreams too ya know."

"Oh yea, the furry guys, I remember that."

"That's not…"

"Oh, and the buildings. Gina teased you mercilessly about them for a while there. Course other than Maria no one else even knew."

"That not what I mean either. There are other dreams. Some I don't think I told you about. At first they didn't seem like a big deal, I just ordered around little boys, and they did what I asked. But a few times likely the things I've asked, and what they've done…"

"Guys do what I say in dreams too."

"Yea, maybe, or do they just do what you want. Lately I've ordered them off cliffs, or to mutilate themselves, or suck some other guy off."

"Okay…" she said, eyes rolling "That's a bit disturbing but…"

"What if it means the same thing?"

Beth blinked. She then punched the bed, and slowly sat up. I then realized she looked much better. Her wing was even missing a smaller piece than it had been. It's like something had kick started her own enhanced healing or something. I wasn't surprised, most anyone who ended up partly animal healed much faster for some reason, I was especially fast, and it varied, but it was common.

"Damn it Nari. You always did know how to ruin a mood, didn't you? I mean I'm telling you about my lifelong dream and then you ruin it by telling me your own stupid little problem."

"Little?"

"Yes Nari, little. You're making an unpleasant thing way worse than it is, if it's even true at all. If you really can make guys do whatever the hell you want, just like Mark, then the simple solution is don't be a raving bitch, and use it only when you have to."

"What the hell do you mean have to?"

"Well, for example, next time you decide you're not in the mood, and some other guy is, just tell him to go fuck himself up the ass with an iron rod. If you're right, he just might do it."

I was pissed, but suddenly I was laughing. Also rather suddenly I wasn't angry at all. Then I stopped laughing, and stared across at Beth smiling at me.

"This isn't even remotely the same, is it?" I said

"No, because you're actually saying all the stuff you want to, all the time, or at least most of the time. I could always tell when you were holding back. You don't do it much at all anymore. If I had been thinking clearly I would have known you were telling the truth, not Mark. Though that man really does lie effortlessly, and I caught him lying a few times and knew that."

"That doesn't really matter now."

"True enough. Gina usually talked for you, would say how you felt, and was usually right. But she also always said we didn't exactly know the real you, and I finally get what she means."

Beth's wings fluttered a bit, her antenna moving. She suddenly laughed.

"How the heck do you deal with all that. I mean this is weird as hell."

"I dunno, just do. After awhile you barely think about it. I can feel my fluffy tail moving back and forth across the sheets. I can feel the occasional ear flick, or if I'm paying attention the way they swivel around to listen to a particular sound. I can feel the slight difference of having claw tips instead of fingernails, and that having scales is sorta like wearing latex gloves, but most of the time I don't think about it at all."

"Wow, I can barely imagine all that."

"Yea, well I can't imagine what it's like to have wings, or the information those antenna have to be feeding into you brain."

"Honestly I was kinda happy they were broken, it was a rest from all that." I laughed.

"I’m sorry Nari."

"What?"

"I'm sorry for everything. It wasn't all my fault, but I'm sorry for everything I did."

"Not all your fault?"

"Yes Nari, or did you forget that even though you never started things, you would fire back."

"It was only the truth Beth, you can't blame me for…"

I began, but trailed off. I remembered what I had Gina not so long ago, and it was the truth. The truth hurt more than the lies, and while half truth's hurt only half as much, they still hurt.

"I'm sorry too Beth. I'm sorry for everything I did that made things worse. I'm sorry for my part in trying to make sure our friendship stayed dead and buried."

Then she came across the room and hugged me. She was crying, and I realized so was I. I don't really know how long we were like that, but I do know what caused me to hug her too tight and cry out in pain. I saw two figures in a similar embrace. Cal and Gina were hugging, but it was too long, and too tight. Then they kissed. He left, and she went to open the door they had been standing in front of.

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Of course Beth didn't see, and since I wasn't in heat I couldn’t quite bring myself to say anything to Gina. In fact I think both of them were utterly confused when I said "I can't do this." and stormed out of the room. It had taken me only a few minutes to find Cal talking to Zelly. I didn't bother to figure out what they were talking about, just grabbed his arm and dragged him to this little room. I did give Zelly a quick wave and she smiled back though. Cal looked back and forth, wringing his hands, in the dark room. The two patients in the room should have both been in surgery very recently, and would hopefully both be out for at least another few hours.

"So the first question is how long."

"What? What's how long?"

I smiled, realizing he thought I was asking an entirely different question.

"Nari?"

"No Cal, that's not what I mean. Besides, I can probably just ask Gina that if I'm really curious. Not at the moment, but I think I can ask you. So lets try again, how long have you and Gina…"

"Since the first day. And she has not seen me naked, nor I her."

"Though she's offered, I'm sure."

He nodded. "Yes, after all that talking the first day I didn't expect…"

"There's a whole terribly long story behind her sexual insecurity, but I'm really not in the mood to tell it right now, so lets move on."

"Uh, okay, but how did you…" Cal said

"Don't stand outside doors with window's in them if you're trying to hide something from someone on the other side."

"Ah. Then why not simply…"

"Because the first question is not the one I most needed you to answer. I already know the story. Before you know it you were in a relationship, and then she asked you to hide it from me because she said I liked you. You resisted, but reluctantly agreed. I sorta wanna be pissed at her, but I know her, and know you're the one that had to start things off." Again, he nodded.

"So the question is very simple, why didn't you chose me? What's wrong with me?"

Cal backed away, and I realized I was giving him quite the glare. Then he laughed. I had my right hand up and balled into a fist before I even knew what I was doing. It briefly wiped the smile of his face, but then he laughed again. Then he shook his head and tried to look serious, furrowing his brow and wearing a neutral expression, but a smile crept back onto his face.

"I'm sorry, I really am, but the answer is very simple. You scare me witless." I unclenched my fist and looked at my hand. "I guess I know what you mean. Sometimes I…"

"No, that's not what I mean. I could deal with that. Heck, with some of the things you've been saying lately I'm guessing I'm going to sprout some furry or scaly bits myself any day now. When I say you scare me witless I mean Narisetti Garrison, person, not Nari the cat-girl."

"Dragon cat-girl."

"What?"

"Godzilla is a dragon, I have scales as well as the fire-breathing so…" He shook his head. "Look, that's not the point. The point is you as a person scare me to death. You'd devour me whole and leave nothing left."

"Come on, you don't really think I…"

"Not literally. You know what I mean. You'd destroy me. I know this. You're more than sexy enough, and if I wanted a one night stand I think I could take it, but a long term relationship? No, anything even remotely long term would wreck me, I just know it."

"You do know that since you're in a relationship with Gina that ship has sailed."

"I really don't care. Well, maybe a small part of me cares, but I don't listen to him."

I laughed, then sighed. "Which despite what you might think, I find very endearing."

"I know actually. You're not one to hide things, at least since I've known you. And I don't just mean when you're in heat either."

I felt pretty cold fish overall, but there was still enough of a tingle here and there that with a little effort I think I could really go after a guy if I felt like it. Yet I was still glad I seemed more cold fish out of heat than yesterday. I still sorta wanted to ravage Cal, even though I knew he was Gina's. I sighed and hung my head.

"So it's really nothing about my little oddities."

"I told you, based on some of the things you've said…"

"What exactly does that mean?"

"A few things, but among others, while not my favorite, I certainly do find cat-girls hot, even if they look far less human than you."

"So, you are a furry, and after what I said…"

"Yes, but…" I then noticed he was blushing terribly. "I'd really rather not say any more."

"That's for the best I think. In fact go grab Gina and get out of her. I'm unreasonably mad at her, and unreasonably still attracted to you, so get out of here before I do something I regret. Hopefully both will pass soon enough."

Cal left without another word. As I stood there in the dark something filtered trough my consciousness. Namely, I wasn't wearing shoes, but it almost felt like I was. I could feel the ground, but it had that same weird feeling of a slight bit of distance. I suddenly really wanted to go for a walk outside, and despite only wearing the breezy hospital gown I think I would.

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I was being bad. An orderly had told me I should go back inside, so I blew a little jet of flame at him and told him no. He hadn't come back yet, and no one else had come back, but I still felt a little guilty about it. More accurately I actually felt guilty that I didn't feel guilty enough, long enough. I felt another almost indistinct poke and reached down to pick up another piece of fairly sharp glass. I had briefly wished for pockets, but then realized if I could step on them without injury, I could hold them just as easily.

"So there you my little Sex goddess."

I smiled before I turned. There was only one person who called me that, and I was happy to see him. Sergio Valencio resembled his younger sister in various ways. However it was the differences which usually held my attention most. While still brown, his hair was much darker. It did have the same shine and body, and with his wavy hair that was a good thing. He had that exact same skin tone too, but being strait most of the time I much preferred it on his chiseled body. His face only resembled hers in the eyes, other wise he had the angular features of a Greek god, or I guess roman god. In fact if you absolutely had to describe him in as few words as possible that would be it.

"You know, you're the only one who ever calls me that Serge."

"I am aware, but that's only because no one else has the courage to say it to your face."

"I think you mean gall."

I smiled at him, and he smiled back. In so many ways he was absolutely perfect. Gina blushed the first time I told her how hot her brother was, but everyone else agrees with me. Even Maria said something once, though I forget exactly what. I think that nose of his would be way too big on anyone else, but it just fits. If only didn't dislike him as much as I do.

"Gall and courage are really the same thing, just one word is used when someone is threatened by a show of courage they know they couldn't match."

"Or maybe it's real meaning, which has far more to do with an extreme lack of manners."

"Such pedestrian thinking, it's really beneath you ya know. Goddesses shouldn't have to deal with the little things us mere mortals do."

I shook my head. "Ugh, I wanted to ask you something Serge, and now you've almost made me forget it."

"Well, it couldn't have been that important, now could it, if you could just…"

"Shut up you dweeb and let me talk."

"I am but a humble servant before you my goddess."

Sergio then bowed. I crossed my arms and glared at him.

"I never have found that stupid joke on your name all that funny."

"That is your prerogative, as both a divinity and female."

"Gah." I said, rolling my eyes.

He then stood up strait again. "So, what is this question?"

"Am I too much?"

Sergio walked around me once, then again. I though he was probably staring at my butt, as I had no illusion about how little privacy the slit in the back actually gave me, especially with my tail insuring it could only fall so flat. Then he grabbed both breasts and gave a squeeze.

"You don't feel like too much too me. In fact I don't really believe in too much."

I very quickly and solidly grabbed both his wrists, and pulled his hands off my chest. He got in one last parting grope. I then turned around, stepped back, and glared at him. He smiled, but then started rubbing his wrists.

"You know, you usually slap me when I do that, at least when you're not in heat."

"No, I slap you then too, I just don't make you remove the hands."

"Ah yes, I suppose that is right. I have to say though your grip is really something this time. It almost feels like you might have broken something."

"Okay, now give me a real answer."

"My real answer is I liked calling you my little sex goddess, but that won't be the case much longer, as soon your stature will be truly fitting for one of your magnificence." He said

"That isn't what I mean."

"Hmm, then I think as your height goes up your cup size following will work quite nicely, and a little more in your rear and elsewhere will…"

"I so hate you right now."

"That certainly isn't what you said the last time…" he began

"I said you're the best, not that I actually liked you loser. It's just a simple fact. Discounting those with extras you're the best lay I've ever had. At least for now you are."

"Extras?"

"Yes, as in there are certain things you can't do because you are lacking." I said

"I don't think I'm lacking in…"

"Shut up. I don't mean like that. Dimension wise you are large if not spectacularly so. I mean there are things they can physically do that you just can't."

"You mean they have a trick…"

"Yes. Now that I'm done stroking your ego, which if you continue annoying me is the only thing of yours I'm ever going to stroke again."

"I was not aware that if you were actually in heat you had a choice."

"Didn't Gina tell you, I have more control now, and since I was in heat and had even more, it's not just not slipping away, but actually getting better."

"Really, that's tremendous."

Sergio immediately hugged me. I'd always enjoyed his hugs. Now that we were both more grown up things had been complicated, but that feeling of safety and strength was still there. It took so long for him to ruin the moment I almost thought he wouldn't. In fact when his hands finally wandered down to my ass it almost felt like it was an afterthought. I stepped back ad glared. He just shrugged.

"I truly am happy for you."

"Even though you might never get any of this again?"

"Yes, even though. However I smell a certain scent in the air, so soon we can give a test of how much control you really have?"

I could guess what he meant. I suddenly felt much hornier. He called me goddess all the time, but he had actually started after I called him my own personal sex god. The reply was natural and perfectly sensible really. "If I am a god, then you must be my goddess." I decided I better get on with things, as he was very distracting when I was in heat, and there is no way I could both resist him and continue this conversation, and not doing the first would probably preclude the second anyway.

"I don't mean like that you big spaz, I mean my personality."

"Ahh. Well my answer is the same then."

"I don't feel like too much?"

"No, that I don't believe in too much. Oh, you might be for some certainly, as a goddess you are far too much for many mere mortals, but you aren't too much. You would have destroyed the polite knight my sister is dating utterly, as just one random example. He's really far too little for you. Many people and things can be far too little though, that I believe in."

"That's a very specific example." I said, and glared at him

"Yes, and the absolutely most logical one. In some ways he seems perfect, doesn't he. Smart in numerous ways, including if the story of your meeting is truly accurate, knowing a dragon that can do him serious harm when he sees one. Many lesser minds might have simply gone ahead, with the assumption that simply because she means well she won't shred you to bits anyway."

I just stared forward, dumbstruck. I felt my tail go limp and my ears droop. Talking to Sergio really annoyed me at times. You'd figure someone with blood alcohol limit so permanently above the legal limit would have a pickled brain by now, but if anything he seemed to get sharper with time. In fact when he did drink he seemed to get even sharper. His parents had just returned from a drunken toga when he was conceived it seems. Will says the togas, if they really didn't remove them, shouldn't have done anything beyond any random piece of cotton clothing. Except Serge never got sick, seemed to get better looking each time I saw him, and was just all around perfect. Gina was a natural result of her photogenic parents. Sergio looked like a natural result of their union that had been photoshoped to perfection.

"Oh come on, you…" I started, but couldn't think of an insult. "How long were you setting that up."

"Not that long. Obviously it makes a great deal of sense, and proves my guess that the man that little fae sister of your's saw you drag off was indeed him. Then a question I eventually understand, it's all obvious. The noble night wants to rescue his princess from the dragon, but unfortunately the dragon has the hots for him, and the princess is the dragon's best friend. It could be a very sad story, don't you think."

"But it's not. It's not sad, and not a story. It's my life, you're warping the details of my life to…"

"I am not warping them, but fitting them. You've always been a dragon in some ways, even before the scales, which make you look all the more lovely by the way."

I blushed, somewhat against my will.

"Before you never really ventured far beyond your shell, and so the people were not afraid, not in awe, but they also did not really know you. Then you discarded that shell, or more accurately it was taken from you, and all could see. You still try to hide, but fate wishes you to be seen, and slowly you have given into this fate, and more and more have seen the real you."

"You are so damn full of crap."

"Really?"

He raised one eyebrow. I felt a low noise in my throat. It was sorta like a growl, but was more like my roar, just on a far lower register, and with far less volume. He stepped back, and then almost immediately laughed. The worst part is he was basically right. He so effortlessly read what was going on, and with limited information. I slumped.

"Yep, the real me, all the worst qualities of cat-girls and kaiju. The fact that neither really exist make things all the worse."

"Tsk, tsk." He said, shaking a finger. "Now surely you know that isn't the truth."

"Oh, I guess you're right. After all the mere fact I exist means…"

He laughed. "Oh, a good one, but you that isn't what I mean."

"I know. I know lots of things about you too you big nerd. Gina was the one I was friends with, never you, but I still know you. Not like her, but I know. I know when you lost your virginity, and at least roughly how many girls you slept with between then and when you helped me toss my own out the window. I know how you sweet talk girls, but after sex it just ends."

"Hmm, yes, true enough so far, though it hasn't ended with you."

"That's just because there was no start, just sex, and we just do it when I'm in heat. Ideal for you I'm sure."

He shrugged. "If you say so, who am I to argue?"

"Idiot."

He just smiled.

"I also know all the geeky things you do that could ruin your image. Video games aren't as geeky as they once were, but most of the ones you play sure are, which obviously brings up the role playing."

"Indeed, and anyone who actually runs around in the woods pretending to be their character with wooden swords can't really defend themselves, but I never do. I am well aware of who and what I am, and while it is not my nature to kiss and tell about any aspects of my life if not asked, I do not hide anything. Thinking about it however there are some aspects I refrain from informing others of, even if asked."

"Oh please, do you have any idea…"

I then stopped and laughed. I had never heard any guy mention the rumors about Serge, and though I couldn’t remember for sure had the feeling I could trace all the rumors back to girls who had actually dated. They were so exaggerated I was sure Sergio had to have been spreading them himself, but he is very good, and if I didn't know better through my far too vast experience I might exaggerate too.

"Penny for your thoughts."

"Oh never mind Serge, never mind any of it. I'm just being a whiny little baby. I mean my life is getting better, I have control, Beth and I made up. I don't think things are fixed exactly, but maybe with time. Heck, the fire thing is awesome, and darn it I actually like the scales."

"Hmm, oh yes, I would love to keep you longer, but your parents are looking for you, and they seem very angry that you ran off like this. They think you're avoiding them."

"I didn't think about it, but I guess I am. Come on, lets go."

I didn't bother to say that being reminded of how accurate the rumors were was turning me on, and I wanted to get in front of people as soon as possible. Some control, and normal control over your own actions are clearly two different things. Man I wanted to do Serge right now.

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They were furious of course. So far they hadn't said anything unexpected, they were mad and berating me. Uncle Will was the most upset of course, his hair was disheveled, and he kept pacing. Mom and dad were just glaring at me from the couch. They had just as furious the car ride home, but hadn't said anything. Finally Uncle Will asked the question.

"Why Nari, why did you…"

I smiled. "Just the question I've been waiting for."

"What?" all three said in unison.

"Sorry, but frankly everything up to this point is almost exactly what I'd thought you'd say. In fact I've mainly been tying to guess the exact way you'd end each sentence. I've done surprisingly well."

"Dear." Said Mom "We know you've been listening but it sounds almost like…"

"I knew what was coming, and so yes it was terribly boring. Now, on to the question. Why did I do it? Very simple, I did it so none of you had too, and none of you had to make the decision."

"And what makes you qualified for that?" said dad

"Nothing, but I hid some of these things from Uncle Will for two reasons, one, he might tell you, and he would be forced to reveal them to the public, possibly soon. Besides I also knew he'd understand how bad these little secrets really are. I also bet you anything Yova didn't spill her guts about her own secret."

"She has one too?" said Will

"Of course. She might not even realize it, but that doesn't matter."

"So what is it? What physics braking ability does she have? I mean if I didn't believe something was seriously wrong before, then the ridiculously high concentration of rare events in this family should prove it to me."

"Except probability is actually one thing that seems to always still work right. See the whole point is we aren't a vast deviation from the mean, the mean is just higher than you think."

Will paled at this. Dad was quickly whispering something in mom's ear, and she nodded. Like most of my ideas about how bad things were I had stolen it from someone else, but more and more I was sure it was right, and things were worse than was generally believed.

"Okay, fine, maybe it is. So what…"

"Yes Nari, if you know something about your sister…" began dad

"Please tell us."

"Yova's always been strong, but none of you have ever really questioned how strong, have you?"

"How strong could she be?" asked Will

"I don't know for sure, but she's the one that snapped that rake in half."

Will looked even paler, mom paled herself, and even dad went wide eyed for a moment.

"Nari, that was a steel rake, meant to last…"

"Yea dad, I know. That's the whole point. It wasn't that thick really, but I saw her do it, and she snapped it like a twig. She never talks about it, so neither do I."

"She admitted she had tried to use…"

"Complete lie. So I hid it. I hid that it wasn't just an organ here or there, but Val had completely removed her heart for nearly a week before I found it in a jar under her bed. Even weirder as dead as it looked I washed it out with some good antiseptic and stuck it back in there, and it works fine."

Will suddenly went into a coughing fit. Mom got up and led him to a chair. She whispered something about tea and he nodded. She then went to the kitchen. Dad was blinking, a lot. Like he just couldn't stop.

"There's more. There's the fingers I lost and regrew, there is the way I mangled my tail early on, but it was fine in a short while, even the fur grew back. There's Zelly flying, which she mentioned only recently, and her older secret, namely how much of that silk she can really make."

"Oh my god, you mean those restraints she made weren't pushing it." Said Will

"As far as I know there is no limit, she can just keep going. Of course you're not really one to talk about secrets to me where she's concerned. After I found the right video I asked her a few questions. I know about the venom sacs, and that you must have known that was always really a form of spider's silk. Playing butterfly in a spider's web was one I hadn't seen certainly."

As they all looked away I realized how pissed I was. I had felt very guilty when they had been yelling at me, but I suddenly felt far less so. I mean it's still wrong, but it's not like I was even doing something all that different than them. They were looking at me again, mom having brought Uncle Will some tea, then sitting back down next to dad.

"Nari, you have to understand…"

"Of course I do. You asked me why, but I don't understand why that was even necessary. I was trying to protect them. I never really thought it was right, but I knew what happened to me, and with them it would be worse. If you weren't trying to do the exact same thing when you lied to Zelly…"

They briefly all couldn't meet my eyes.

"Oh crap, it's not just Zelly. It's me too, isn't it, and maybe Yova?"

"Yova has some questionable test results I haven't shared with her yet, but said results suggest ways in which she will appear further cow like, and I didn't see the point."

"But what about me is there something…"

"Nari, you have to understand, your father and I…"

"There are two things. The first is that the drugs were having less and less of an effect, any effect at all, meant if things did not improve on their own, there would be no solution."

"Okay, fine, that's not important anymore, so what's the other."

"Well, I can't be entirely sure, and Martin convinced me to wait, but it's about the pheromones you produce."

"Really? I figure with my system normalizing they should be less of a problem like anything else."

"That is reasonable, but as far as I can tell the opposite is happening. In fact recent tests show you are producing not just more, but far stronger pheromones. It's possible the unstable state of your hormones was actually minimizing their production."

I felt my eye twitch. "Uh, what does this mean exactly?"

"Well, my best guess, is males will be attracted from a greater distance, and with greater intensity."

All my anger was gone as I slumped into my chair. So getting control sounds like it has the side effect of more guys trying to get into my pants all the more desperately.

"Great, just great. What did I do that makes the universe want to make me a huge whore? I mean it certainly seems like it must have been something."

"Nari…" began mom

"Really, that isn't…"

"I know dad, you don't want to hear it. It's the truth though. Oh, whatever. I did what I thought was right. That's my answer, if you don't like it, ground me. Anyway I'm in heat again so I think…"

"That should get back to normal after awhile, I think this transition is upsetting things."

"Whatever, I'm going to look at some porn, later."

I'm pretty sure there was more of this conversation to have, but I really wanted to get away. I think I was going to cry. It wasn't that the news was that bad really, fending off guys would be an annoyance, but I now had the control to do so if I so desired, and nothing could ruin that. The real problem is the idea of a herd of guys following me around sounded really appealing, and I could already imagine some things I could do. That was very depressing.

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It was annoying. Thankfully my heat ended before things started, so now they had all pretty much all wandered off. One guy who I know has a girlfriend was still staring at my chest, and badly failing to pretend like he wasn't. The crowd was giving me a bit of a wide berth, but I was just a face in the crowd. Thankfully the countless TV cameras nearby weren't aimed at me. They were aimed at an outdoor stage set up in front of the school. The crowd was mainly students from the schools, but some random adults were here too.

"Nari, I still can't see. Are you sure I can't…"

I grabbed Zelly and lifted her too my shoulder. I saw her wings flap, and she felt much lighter, but once she was on my shoulders she was back to normal again. Though in truth normal had always been a bit light. Though maybe that had more to do with her build than from the curse.

"There you go, better?"

"Uh-huh, I can see much better."

"It would be really silly for you to upstage Beth just because you were trying to get a better view. I don't think she'd ever forgive you. I mean I just was getting more attention than her and supposedly tried to steal her boyfriend, if you ruined her big moment I think she'd literally try to kill you."

"That would be bad."

I laughed "Yea Zelly, it would. I wouldn't let her of course, but things still aren't solid between us to begin with, so it really is good that you asked."

"You said I can stop hiding it soon right. I used to get a bit tired, but now…"

"I know, most of last night you barely touched the floor. Now quiet down, they already made the announcement, so the real show should start any second."

A bunch of people started pointing at something in the sky. As Beth slowly flew toward the stage and crowd I was reminded of her flair for the dramatic. The white, almost toga-like dress was clearly meant to remind you of what angels were often pictured wearing, and the thin jeweled crown made the look even more impressive. I'd never let her live down the crown of course, but it did look good, and this made really good TV. As she slowly landed on stage and out of my view everyone began to clap.

"Why is everyone clapping Nari?"

"Because they've never seen you Zelly, that's why. You're much cuter and faster than Beth, but her going first is much better for you, and will make her very happy."

"Oh, okay. I want her to be happy."

"Yea, I do too actually."

I smiled. The speakers were supposed to carry to the whole crowd, but static and buzzing was all that was carrying so far. I couldn’t see them, but I imagine the news people were swarming, desperately wishing the police guarding the stage weren't there.

"Why did you two break up in the first place?"

"Break up? It's not like we were dating."

"But you were her friend, is almost like a boyfriend, right."

"There is one really big difference between our relationship and…"

"Pfft, I know that. You don't love her in a sex way, but isn't it sorta the same way other than all the sex stuff couples do?"

"I think you mean sexual, but yea. You do remember…"

"No to say that sorta stuff most of the time, yea, I remember, but I still don't get it."

"So far you're the only one that's actually begun questioning if society's mores make any real sense, did you know that?"

"Huh?"

"Never mind, besides I guess I do while in heat, and Val is all the time, just not the sex ones."

"So why did you break up then?"

"At this point I don't really know Zelly. Though I greatly expect it's mainly because we were both acting like a pair of morons, and not communicating."

"Like men."

I laughed so hard Zelly almost fell off. Zelly jumped off my shoulders I turned to see her with one hand outstretched. I grabbed it and she pointed with the other.

"This is really boring, lets go."

"Sure, though they will fix the speakers in bit. I already know what she's going to say but if you want to…"

"No, I just wanna go."

"Okay. Want go back to your class or go look for Val and Yova?"

"Lets go find Val, her friends are nice."

"Okay."

"You know, I like it when you're happy Nari, and you haven't been much."

I laughed. "Yea, I guess I am. I mean most of the girls still hate me, Reona's pissed I slept with some girl she apparently had a crush on, mom and dad are really mad and came up with a doozy of a punishment…"

"But I thought you weren't grounded?"

"I'm not, instead I have to babysit for the next 5 years, unless I absolutely have to be elsewhere."

"I'm not a baby anymore, I won't need…"

"Zelly, you're not really the one they mean. You I can have fun with."

"Oh, the baby."

"Yea, and sure by 5 he might be some fun, but at the very least the first few years…"

"Will be really smelly. Arron says babies smell real bad, his little sister does."

"Yea, but other stuff too. What I was saying is despite all that, despite my body continuing to betray me in new and interesting ways, despite all the worry about Yova and Val, despite all the other little things trying to get me down, I really am happy."

She nodded. "Good."

I laughed again. "Yea, good. Come on, let's go."

I smiled. It was true, despite everything, I was happy. It probably wouldn't last, some new horrible thing would enter my life, but I had some hope it wouldn't. There were thousands of ways things could be better, but at least for it was enough. It was enough to a freaky fire breathing cat thing, because I didn't feel so abandoned, and didn't feel like everything was so out of my control. I was happy, and for at least today I'd just enjoy it. I'll also enjoy telling Beth I told you so once she starts complaining about the press. I give it three days before she starts whining.

Then someone yelled "take that you bitch" and a football flew out of the crowd at high speed. Apparently Beth forgot she has quite the list of people she's wronged. It didn't really mess up her flight, and even if had hit her wings I don't think it really would. But it did knock off the crown. Then she looked in the direction of thrower and sneered. This was soon followed by her dive bombing into the crowd. She is so going to regret that. I laughed. Glad she was too busy to notice.