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User:Mona Lisa/Being Tanda
|This story contains adult content.|
Author: Mona Lisa
A smile crept across Tim's face as his computer made the connection. "Welcome to FurryMUCK" scrawled across the screen. For the past several months, Tim had been living here, on this screen, during his time away from his job as a filing clerk for a local software company. He ate dinner at the computer, and even had the computer at his bedside. He was addicted. Addicted to being Tanda.
He was an average looking guy, he pretty much blended in with his cubicle walls at work. No one really ever noticed him these days. Except online. As Tanda, he could be... captivating. She was clever and witty, beautiful and sexy, social and outgoing. Online he could take his time wording her responses and he never stuttered or mumbled. And he had no social fears, because he was always anonymous. He could make her description whatever he liked. She was a dainty white tiger lady with sexy curves. She wore a tight and revealing dress with a hole in the back for her long fluffy striped tail.
This evening was much like any other. As Tanda, he spent some time in a social area, chatting with anyone and everyone, being her usual entertaining self. Eventually Tanda paired off with someone, this time it was Silvercat, and they went into a private room and enjoyed some private time together.
Silvercat was one of the first characters Tim had met as Tanda. He was a panther-like humanoid with silvery fur, thus his name. She met him the first day she was created, those years ago. Silvercat was always courteous, and before long they were more than just friends, but online lovers. Tim was embarassed the first time, as he had rather limited real life experience, especially from the female perspective. He only knew what he had seen in the few adult pics and videos he had stumbled across online. Silvercat was patient and seemed to have plenty of knowledge. It certainly wasn't the last time they did it. Tim enjoyed the thrill not only of the act itself, but also of the subterfuge.
When Tim finally logged off, it was 3 am. He had really enjoyed the attention that night. He thought about the morning and how little sleep he'd get before having to head off to work. Back to boring reality where he was just Tim the filing clerk. He thought about his evening as Tanda. Her life was fun, she always had the attention of everyone in the room. She was everything he wasn't. Just before he fell asleep he whispered to no-one in particular, "I wish I could always just be Tanda."
Tim woke up abruptly to his alarm clock radio blaring David Bowie's voice, "Ch-ch-changes... gonna have to be a different man" He rolled over in bed, very groggy. Something was not right. Everything seemed tickly, and he was particularly uncomfortable for some reason. It was still early morning. A little bit of predawn light seeping between his blinds made a dim shadow of his computer monitor.
His blankets were wadded up unceremoniously at the end of the bed. He was usually bundled, as his rented room was almost always quite cold. But this morning he felt quite warm. His normally soft flannel pajamas itched something fierce. His bed even seemed bigger. What was going on, he wondered, am I really that tired?
"I said that time may change me, but I can't trace time" sang Bowie. Tim reached out to turn off the radio and as he did so he felt an odd tickle. He opened his eyes and in the dim light saw a black and white striped arm in front of him covered in thick fur. The hand was dainty and the fingers slender and delicate. And it was obeying his commands! He watched as it flicked off the alarm and felt the strange tickle again as the fur brushed against the bed. It was his own arm he saw. He brought the hand closer to examine it. It was lightly furred in white as well, with a light pink cat claw on each finger in place of fingernails. He flexed the fingers and watched the claws retract and extend. He knew that hand.
He sat up in bed and saw tiny stripey furred feet peeking out of his now much too long pj bottoms, as long blonde hair fell around his neck. He couldn't believe what he was seeing.
He leapt up out of bed, went out into the hall and rushed to the mirror in the bathroom. In the reflection looking back at him he saw HER, dressed in his pjs. Tanda, just as he had described her on FurryMUCK. Except incredibly real. He stared at the image in disbelief. Luxurious striped fur covered a curvacious body. Two lovely tiger ears poked up through her shoulder length golden blonde hair. The face was youthful and mostly human, but furred with black stripes on the cheeks, a black nose tip and beautiful blue eyes. His soft flannel pajamas hung loosely on her smaller frame, but were a bit tight across her bosom and hips. He twisted around and could see her tail reflected in the mirror. HIS tail! He just couldn't believe it. He couldn't decide whether to be frightened, exuberant or turned on. She was beautiful. But she was him! Tim, now suddenly Tanda. What happened?
He remembered his incredible evening online last night and his subsequent wish. Was this a dream? He reached behind himself and grabbed the tail poking up out of his pjs. Ow! Not only did it feel real, but he could feel the sensation of his tail being grabbed. Suddenly he realized that the uncomfortableness he'd been feeling since he woke up was that the pj bottoms were constricting her tail. His tail! He pulled the pjs and boxers down to free his tail and blinked, seeing that certain pieces of equipment were totally missing, with a shapely mound in their place. He was not a he anymore. He reached down to his furred crotch, feeling underneath the fur a gentle mound of feminine flesh he had only ever imagined. It was so soft!
There was a rough knock on the door. Tim (Tanda?) nearly leap out of his pjs, jostled out of his reverie.
"Hey Tim, some of us need the bathroom too," came the voice of Mick, one of his housemates.
"Um, I'll just be a minute," Tim said, not recognizing his own voice. It was soft and clear and even higher pitched. A far cry from his usual mumbled and very bland voice.
There was a pause outside. "Um... sorry miss. Take your time. My name's Mick, I live in the room across the hall. Let me know if there's anything I can do for you."
What a change! Mick always gave Tim a hard time. Stomped all over him, really. He got a little thrill realizing that Mick was being nice to him because he was now Tanda. A wry thought came to him, he might be nice because of the voice, but what would seeing him like this do? He'd probably be totally freaked out! Or worse, totally attracted to him. Gross! Either way, he didn't want to risk it.
He pulled his pjs back up and tucked his tail in a bit more carefully. It was uncomfortable, but would have to do. He looked around the room for something to wear. In his panic he hadn't thought of an escape plan when coming INTO the bathroom. He saw his white terrycloth robe hanging there and grabbed it. Furred feet poked out underneath, but what could he do? Maybe Mick wouldn't notice. He wrapped his head in a towel, obscuring his face and tucking in his ears. Well, that was uncomfortable! But it would have to do.
He tried to sneak out of the bathroom, covering everything but his eyes and feet with the robe and towel. Mick was still right there.
"Hey, um..." Mick was saying.
Tim didn't want to hear him finish and he went straight down the hall to his room. "Excuse me," Tim couldn't help saying in a lovely soprano as he had to literally dodge around the surprised Mick.
"...cute slippers," Mick finished as Tim vanished into his room. "Hey Tim, who's the lovely lady?" Mick was knocking on the door.
Tim grimaced, shaking the towel off his head. Lovely lady? Mick couldn't have even seen anything, so why would he say that? What should he say? He couldn't respond as Tim, not with this new voice! Thinking quickly he responded, "Shh, he's still sleeping." Again came that lovely voice... Coming from his own mouth.
"Don't worry, Tim sleeps like the dead," Mick chuckled.
Mick just wouldn't leave him alone, what was he going to do? Thinking back to online... what was his best weapon against unwanted male attention as Tanda? Ah, right. Declaration of intent towards another male.
"Not while I have anything to say about it he doesn't, now go away," Tim responded in Tanda's soft voice.
Tim couldn't tell if Mick was choking or trying to hold back laughter, but it was getting quieter, as if Mick were walking away. It must have worked, he thought. He had a twinge of anger that his love life, or lack thereof, was being so openly mocked by Mick, but that was quickly overcome by a mix of confused feelings as he contemplated his situation.
What about now? Would his social life be all that better? He hadn't had a girlfriend since third grade, when his parents got him glasses. Then his dad got a job out here in California and he found himself having to make all-new friends in a strange town. It didn't help that he'd always been particularly shy, but now most anyone would think him a freak. He'd often imagine what it would be like to actually BE Tanda, but now it was true!
He locked the door, then tossed off the robe and towel. These pjs tickled so much and were far too warm! Why did he want her to have long fur? He stripped off his pjs and boxers and looked at himself. Her body was perfect, even more beautiful than he had imagined. He gently smoothed out the fur, enjoying the feeling of not just the fur, but of having the fur stroked. He reached up and cupped his breasts. They were real, not only could he feel their weight in his hands, but he could feel them being held. That was nice. He reached down and gently petted the shapely furred feminine mound there, amazed at the soothing and yet exciting sensations. Enraptured in the slowly building pleasure, he sprawled out on the bed, tail down between his legs. With his other hand he stroked his breasts, feeling the pert nipples hidden under the long fur. They were so sensitive! He quickly came to a climax, unable to contain the intense thrills of this new body for long.
He lay in bed, letting the alien waves of pleasure wash over him over and over again. As they finally began to fade, he realized he had no idea how long he had been laying there. He looked at the clock. 8:15! He was supposed to be at work already! Well, he certainly couldn't go like this. That was totally out of the question. Can't even call in sick, not with this voice. Maybe he could send a quick email.
Tim booted up his computer, noticing the sheets underneath him were soaked with feminine juices. He was glad he'd grabbed a towel. He attempted to clean himself up with it as the computer booted up. He was going to need a shower.
Tim fired up his email client. "I'm not feeling like myself today", Tim typed in an email to his boss. Thank heaven for the internet! He chuckled ironically. What am I going to do staying home? Get on FurryMUCK? But how could I go out like this? He looked at his shapely and furred body. Then he added, "Hopefully I'll be okay tomorrow." Though he wasn't sure he really WANTED to change back. He sent off the email. Was there some way he could stay Tanda? He couldn't go back to work. Even the Equal Employment Opportunity Act wouldn't cover turning into a totally different species, not to mention the strange looks he'd get. He could certainly find employment at a circus, but that thought did not appeal to him.
Suddenly his Instant Messenger popped up. "Hello Tanda!" it said. How did... Oh right, he had left his IM set to Tanda's account last night, and it had automatically logged in when he booted up. He had an IM account set up for her as well as email, a website, and even a blog. Not only did it help maintain the illusion for Tanda's longtime friends, but it provided other outlets for Tim to be Tanda.
It was Silvercat, aka Jwdsn12. "What are you doing home?" asked Silvercat.
What indeed, thought Tim. He typed, "I'm having a really weird day and can't go in, I might lose my job."
"That's terrible! What happened? Having a pretty bad day?"
"Yeah, pretty much," Tim lied. Other than his now uncertain future and maybe getting hit on by his awful housemate, the day hadn't been all THAT bad. At least he's not at work.
"You live in San Francisco, right?" Silvercat had pestered Tim about Tanda's real life location before, and Tim had said she lived in the city just because he was familiar with it, and because Silvercat already had figured out Tanda's time zone.
"Umm yeah," Tim typed, not sure where this was going.
"Okay! I live in Palo Alto, not so far away. I happen to have the morning off, let's go do something to lift that mood up. Get your mind off your troubles."
Tim was floored. He hesitated, unsure what to say. Well, he'd known Silvercat for a few years now... And he'd always been a nice guy. He was going to have to trust SOMEONE and Silvercat was probably as close as he had to a best friend right now. Besides, he'd been wanting to meet Silvercat, but he never had the guts to tell him he was really a guy. He didn't want to break the illusion... but now there was no illusion. And who would more easily accept him in this form than Silvercat? "Sure," he typed. His finger lingered over the enter key. Did he really want to do this? Well he couldn't very well stay cooped up inside all day. Sent!
"Fantastic," Silvercat replied, "I can pick you up in about half an hour or so... I think... where do you live, exactly?"
Tim smirked, Silvercat might've been surprised to meet me yesterday and see I was actually a guy, but today will be even more of a surprise! He gave his address, adding, "Just park out front, I'll come out and meet you." Tim looked out the window and was glad to see that Mick's motorcycle was gone.
"So... What do you look like?" Silvercat inquired.
"You've read my @description, you know what I look like."
"Yeah, but what about IRL," Silvercat inquired. Tim grinned. He already knew Silvercat was asking what he looked like in real life. But his @description now matched that perfectly.
"You'll just have to see."
"I mean... Are you a girl? Because if you aren't, that's okay, we can still go hang out, I just want to prepare myself. Nothing wrong with saying what you look like, right? I mean, I'll find out soon enough."
"Exactly, you'll find out soon enough. Oh, I need to shower first, so give me an hour or so?" Tim typed, suddenly realizing.
"An hour? Heh, maybe you ARE a girl. Alright, see you then."
Tim logged off and pulled the robe on, thankful that Mick was gone. He hopped in the shower and grimaced at the strange sensation of having wet fur. He shampooed his furred body, ending up using far more shampoo than usual. He even had to shampoo his hair twice, as he wasn't used to it being so long and thick. He accidentally got shampoo in his ear, and THAT was unpleasant. Washing his TAIL was certainly different as well. Halfway through, the drain was clogged with fur, and he had to scoop it out.
He tried to dry off with a towel, but with little luck, getting wet fur all over the towel. Good thing Mick has a hairdryer, he thought, because I'm gonna need it. He plugged it in and after what seemed like forever, he got his new body dry. He looked at himself in the mirror and laughed! He was a giant ball of fuzz. A kinda sexy ball of fuzz. He rummaged through the drawers and found a brush (he usually only used a comb) and worked at getting his fluffy fur to behave. Just as he thought he had it mostly tamed, the front doorbell rang. Ack!
He ran to his room (not even bothering with the robe) and shouted, "Just a minute!" at the front door with his girly voice.
Out on the porch, Jeremy (Silvercat) grinned. The voice and tardiness clinched it, Tanda's a girl. You really never know with these online meetings. He listened to her scampering across the house, then he tried the front door. It was unlocked. As he opened it, he heard a door slam elsewhere in the house. He walked into the front room and took a seat on the couch.
In his room, Tim was panicking. He was certain he had heard the front door open, Mick must have left it unlocked. He took a deep breath and laughed a bit to himself, "Okay girl, we invited him, and it's not like he's a total stranger. Now to find some clothes... Oh." Tim froze. I'm going to need to make room for a tail, he thought.
In the front room, Jeremy lounged, looking at the magazines. Huh, no Cosmo or other fashion mags, he thought. Maybe she just wasn't a magazine reader. Motorcycle magazine? PC Now? Is that a Games Games Games mag over there? He wondered if any of those were hers.
Just as he was picking up the magazine to check the recipient, he heard a door down the hall open. Jeremy looked up just as she walked into the room wearing baggy green shorts rolled up with her tail poking out through a hole in the back, a tan tshirt tied at the waist, and blue sandals on her furry feet. He dropped the magazine and his jaw in stunned silence. She was exactly as her description said she was... but words could not compare to the reality. It had to be a costume, but... it looked too real, the way her tail swished behind her nervously. She bit her lip and he realized she was waiting for him to say something.
"You're... really a tiger girl," he fumbled with the words, "that can't be a costume."
Tanda smiled, looking a bit relieved. "No costume, it's real." She walked forward and swished her tail in front of Jeremy, "See? Feel it."
Jeremy grimaced, a little reluctant to touch the proffered tail, afraid it would break the illusion. He felt the fur, and could feel warm sinewy muscle underneath, "It is... well, YOU are... real." He looked up at her, obviously confused.
Tim laughed to himself, smiling as he heard the giggle come out in his soft voice, "Well I'm glad you think so, I was beginning to worry I was the only one who did."
"How... is this possible?"
"Um. I'd really rather not talk about it right now."
Jeremy's mind was whirling with questions. "But you're..." he shook his head trying to think of what to say, but he could only stand up, scratch his head, and grin awkwardly, "Um, you ready to go?"
Tanda nodded. They walked to the car.
"You know, I had you figured for a guy... but you sounded so troubled, I had to help. I'm glad I was wrong." Jeremy walked around his faded green Civic and opened the door for Tim.
At first, Tim didn't know what to say to that. He got in the car and adjusted his tail awkwardly. Then he grimaced, "Wait, what made you think I was a guy?"
"Well, the first time we... you know... well you seemed a bit too... naïve? About female anatomy." A red blush showed under Tim's cheekfur as Jeremy went around to the other side of the car.
As Jeremy sat down he suddenly had a strange expression, "Is Tanda your real name?"
Tim blinked, "Um. Yeah." Somehow it didn't even seem like a lie. After all, he... she... really was Tanda. Only the mind was Tim, and after all it was always the mind behind Tanda, right?
"Huh. Just an unusual name, that's all."
"Well I'm an unusual girl," she smiled and crossed her legs, noticing that for the first time it was actually comfortable to do so.
"There's no doubt about that." Jeremy looked at her blue eyes and soft fur. He just couldn't stop looking at her. "Um... so yeah, fun right? Nature or technology?"
"What? That's a strange question."
"Well, it determines where we go. Nature or technology?"
Tanda (he was really starting to think of himself as Tanda. After all, he'd been pretending to be Tanda for so long, it was so much easier to just BE Tanda.) smirked, "Alright then, nature."
"Crowded or secluded?"
Tanda eyed Jeremy, "Semi-secluded. Don't get any ideas, mister."
Jeremy laughed, "Fair enough." He started the engine and began driving.
"So where to, then?"
"You kept me hanging on your appearance, it's only fair I get my secrets."
"Alright." She looked out the window at the people they passed by. They were all humans. She wasn't one of them anymore, she thought wryly.
Jeremy snuck a glance at her during a red light. "You're driving me crazy, you know."
Tanda started, "Huh? What do you mean?"
"I've never before in my life met a real live actual furry... I hope you aren't offended by the word, it's the only one I've got... and it is all so unbelievable, but you're here and..." Jeremy shook his head in exasperation, "I don't understand how it's possible."
They sat a while listening to the car before Jeremy said, "I'm sorry, that was really down of me. I'll attempt to be more chipper." With a wide grin, he flicked on his CD player and the Beach Boys came on.
Tanda reached over and turned it off, "I should just tell you. After all, you of everyone I know would probably understand best. I mean, it's really why I accepted your offer of aid this morning," she took a deep breath and looked at him.
Jeremy looked at her for a moment then said, "Okay, hold on." He pulled over to the side of the road, turned to her and said, "You have my full attention."
She took another deep breath, then went right into it, "I haven't been totally truthful with you this morning. Last night before I fell asleep, and indeed every moment before then, my name was Tim Holton. Just an average human guy. This morning, all that had changed."
Comprehension dawned on Jeremy's face, "I'm glad I pulled over. Okay, I thought it was odd a sexy tiger girl would go online to play as herself. But that only explains half of it, you see."
"I know, I know. Believe it or not, that's the easy part to explain. All I know is I made a little wish last night, and woke up like this."
"You... just wished it? That's all?"
"Well, yeah. And now I'm going to have to put holes in the back of all my shorts."
"You seem rather resigned to being Tanda."
"Well, I did wish for it. It wasn't exactly against my will or anything."
"So you're saying you want to stay Tanda?"
"Are you offering me a choice? I wasn't aware I had one. But yes, I would love to stay like this."
"Well... ah, that explains why you couldn't go to work. What will you do?"
"If I knew that, I probably wouldn't need the distraction. No offense."
"None taken. Well that certainly clears the air. Any other confessions you need to make while we're stopped?"
"Nah, I'm good. You?"
Jeremy started up the car again and chuckled, "No, I think I'm okay for now." They drove for a while and then Jeremy said, "Still quite unbelievable, if I wasn't seeing with my own eyes..."
They pulled into a small parking lot by the sea near 22nd street. Tanda laughed, "The beach, eh? The water in San Francisco's bit cold for swimming."
"Who said anything about swimming?" Jeremy got out of the car and was going around to the other side to open the door, but Tanda had already gotten out.
"Then what..." she began, then saw him coming around to open the door for her, "Oh. I didn't..."
"Chivalry isn't dead, but it may as well be." He sighed dramatically.
"Don't be, I just need to get faster at opening the door for you," he grinned, "Come on, let's walk."
The beach was relatively empty, just a few people out for a morning jog. A brisk wind swept over the greenish waves as they strolled along the beach. Tanda's fur ruffled in the wind, but she didn't really feel cold, though Jeremy zipped his windbreaker closed.
"People are staring at me," Tanda said quietly after a while.
"It's because you're beautiful."
"Oh, I doubt that."
"Well your doubts are unfortunate because you are very beautiful."
"Ha ha. I meant I doubt that's the reason they're staring."
"Well it is certainly part of the reason."
"The rest of the reason being they think I'm wearing a strange costume, and don't know why I would." She grimaced and looked down at her sand filled sandals, "Well these aren't helping." She kicked them off to the side of sandy trail and kept walking. The feel of the cool sand on her feet was wonderful.
Jeremy chuckled. "So you think they'll let you keep your job?"
"You kidding? I can't go back there like this."
"Well, you'll have to put some shoes on, that's for sure. But they couldn't turn you away, that's racial discrimination, right?"
"That aside, I doubt I could prove I was the same person. I certainly don't FEEL like the same person."
A little girl and her mother were coming up a side street towards the beach. The girl broke from her mother and ran up pointing, "Kitty!" The mother rushed forward and pulled the little girl away, telling her it's rude to point all the while glaring at Tanda.
Jeremy chuckled, "Well perhaps you could get work as a mascot."
"Like for an amusement park, or sports team? How embarrassing," she grimaced, "Besides, eventually someone would realize this is far too realistic for a suit."
She smirked at him slyly, then broke into a run down to the water, but stopped when the sand became damp.
Jeremy came jogging up a moment later, panting a bit. "Well that was unexpected."
"I feel so much more energetic. I... was something of a computer potato before."
Jeremy put his hands on his knees, taking short breaths, "You and me both. I'll have to get in shape before I can keep up with you."
She looked at him, "Well, you're no bodybuilder, that's for sure. But at least you've got a cute butt."
Jeremy turned to check himself, "Really? I always wondered." He paused and looked at her, "Wait, so you're gay?"
Tanda startled, "Now what does THAT mean?"
"Err.. I mean..." he furrowed his brow, "I guess that's not what I meant. Do you like guys or girls?"
Tanda frowned, "Let's take things one at a time, huh?"
"I'm sorry, I just keep thinking how before this morning, these past three years, you were a guy."
"I'd really rather you didn't. This is who I am."
Jeremy nodded, "Uh-huh." He looked at her. He didn't know what Tim had looked like... But there was no trace of masculinity in her. She was quite feminine, and so very alluring. His mind drifted to last night's encounter as he looked at her.
They walked along the beach in silence for a while, Tanda looking out at the waves, Jeremy watching her, both lost in thought.
Thus distracted, they practically stumbled into a beachside campsite. Two teens huddled around a small campfire with half a sixpack of Coors. The first, a somewhat burly teen in jeans and a plaid jacket, stood up and ran his hand through his sandy hair, just a few feet from Tanda.
She startled, backing up a few feet.
"What's this?" The teen wiped beer from his mouth with a plaid sleeve and taunted, "I thought the zoo was across town?"
"Yeah," laughed the second, "See the sign? No pets." He stood up, a tall gangly youth, and gawked at Tanda contemptuously.
"Hey look, man," Jeremy said, "We're just going for a walk here."
The first teen gestured at Tanda with his beer can, "What's the costume for, freak?"
"Heh, I'd bet she'd look real hot without it," quipped the second teen, tossing a handful of sand at Tanda.
Jeremy stepped up to the second teen and snarled, "Back off!" The teen fell backwards into the sand with a drunken grunt.
"Alright, alright. You can keep your catgirl, we're just having some fun," said the first with an offhand wave.
Jeremy turned towards the first teen, but Tanda put her hand on Jeremy's outstretched arm and whispered, "Let's just go." Jeremy nodded and they headed back down the beach, the occasional jeers of the teens drifting on the wind. Tanda sighed, brushing sand off as they walked.
Jeremy scowled, "Stupid punks."
"They're just kids. Drunk kids."
Jeremy smirked, "Should we call the cops? They're certainly not legal drinking age."
"No, let's just go."
Jeremy frowned, "You'd think that here of all places... isn't San Francisco supposed to be the most tolerant city in the world?"
Tanda grabbed her sandals as they walked back to the car, "Well, that was fun, all things considered."
Jeremy looked at his watch and grimaced, "I've gotta take you home, got some things that need doing."
"Yeah, maybe we can do this again sometime."
Tanda watched the trees whiz by as they drove. "Hey, thanks for uh... Y'know, defending me."
Jeremy smiled, "Yeah, no problem."
Tanda squirmed a bit in her seat, "Damp fur and sand is no fun."
"Yeah... Sorry. I really didn't expect anything like that."
As they pulled up the street towards Tim's house, Tanda could see the motorcycle parked out front, "Uhoh," she said.
"What?" asked Jeremy, already looking worried. He parked across the street from house, looking out at it.
"Could we... I know you have to go, but... I just can't face my housemate right now."
"Ah. Think he'd get mad at you tracking in some sand?" Jeremy grinned.
Tanda glared at Jeremy.
He sighed, "Well this just isn't your lucky day. I uh, have to do some stuff at home and I suppose you could tag along. As long as that's not too secluded for you."
"I... I guess that's fine. I just... don't know what to do with myself now."
"Sorry about the mess," Jeremy grimaced, indicating the empty soda cans, various computer bits, food wrappers, and other detritus scattered about the small studio. The place was small, a couch and TV on one end, a cluttered table with several computers on and near it at the other, and a kitchen and bathroom beyond them.
"I could see why you'd want to get out of the house," she giggled, "...just what is it that you do, anyway?"
"Well, I'm a programmer... Today I'm technically on-call, or more specifically on-email," Jeremy flipped open his laptop on the kitchen table, "But I've been away a little too long, gotta check my email."
"Well that sounds rather droll. Cool that you can telecommute, though. I always wondered why you were online so much."
"Yeah, I like that part the best." Jeremy popped open his soda and squinted at his screen, "Oh boy, looks like I have a doozy, test found a server crash in my code. Um. Feel free to watch TV or raid the fridge, I gotta get some work done. This might take a while."
Tanda nodded, "You won't even know I'm here."
Jeremy didn't respond, he was already typing and clicking frantically, deep in his work with a furrowed brow.
"Just like that," she commented to herself as she flopped onto the couch with a yawn and stretch. She eyed the small pile of remotes on the cluttered coffee table with some distaste, then picked up a sudoku book lying on top of a stray keyboard. After doing several puzzles in pencil, she curled up for a nap on the couch.
"Done!" Jeremy closed his laptop triumphantly. He looked over to the couch where Tanda had went but didn't see her. Had she left? He didn't remember her saying anything. Wait, that's a tail dangling off the couch. He stood up, pushing the chair back, and saw her sprawled out on the couch, fast asleep. "Huh, well it's been about 5 hours."
He walked over to look at her. Her face, those lips, so perfect. She was more beautiful than he had ever imagined... Those three years of fantasy online, and here she was, real and in front of his eyes. He admired her gorgeous body and found himself getting quite turned on. He sat on the floor next to her and ran a finger along a stripe on her cheek.
Tanda stirred slightly and a soft purr began in her throat. Just like online, he thought. He lightly kissed her lips and touched her side, then slid a hand up under her shirt to feel her furred and braless breasts. They were incredible, and the fur so soft and pettable. He looked at her shorts and couldn't help but wonder if she was wearing anything underneath.
A shiver ran down her spine as his hand stroked her breasts, then down her furred stomach towards her... Tanda awoke with a start to find Jeremy nearly laying on top of her. Her shirt was pushed up above her breasts and her shorts were around her ankles.
"What are you doing?" Tanda protested, trying to squirm out from under his much larger body.
"You loved it online. Now I can give it to you in real life," Jeremy said, sliding his hand down to cup her feminine mound.
"No! Get off of me!" She tried to squeeze out from under him as he positioned himself on her, but couldn't escape.
"Isn't this the reason you made the wish? I can feel your flesh, it wants this. You want this."
She screamed, feeling something firm in his khakis prodding at her crotch. Tanda wrenched a hand free, intending to slap him, but felt with surprise her claws ripping into his cheek.
Jeremy leapt back in pain, his hand to his face. He looked down, seeing blood on his fingers, "You freak! Look what you've done! I've loved you for three years and now this..."
Tanda rolled off the couch, scrambling on her knees with her shorts around her ankles.
Jeremy came up behind her, putting a hand on her still-bare backside, "I'm sorry, you were just so darned sexy laying there..."
Tanda whirled about hissing, "You don't get it. Back off if you want to stay a man!" She extended claws out on both hands and Jeremy took a few steps back and tripped over the coffee table. Tanda took that moment to pull her shorts up and run for the door.
"I'm sorry, come back! Tanda, you're my dream girl!" was Jeremy's plaintive cry, but Tanda was not listening. She slammed the door shut behind her and ran through the dark parking lot to the street. She pulled her shirt back down and ran along the streets, sobbing. She knew Silvercat had been rather amorous online, but... never expected anything like this. He was her best friend. She thought... Well this was not the price she intended to pay for friendship.
Not even a day as a girl and then this happens. Was she being unreasonable, seeing as she had so willingly submitted to him the night before? Online or in real life, did it matter? Could she blame him, could he have stopped himself? Maybe it was her own fault, maybe she should have worn long pants or slept under a blanket so as not to entice him. Had she wanted it herself? Before she had fully awoken, she WAS excited. She remembered the thrill as he touched her breasts, and a deep shame came over her. Was that the reason she had made this wish? For pleasure, for seduction? Was she now an unwitting temptress? Is that why Mick reacted so strongly to her? She didn't have answers, no answers. Only questions that tortured her mind with guilt and rage.
She wandered the streets, thankful it was evening. At least if she stayed out of the lights, less people stared. Eventually some landmarks became familiar. She was pretty close to the college campus. Maybe Christine? Christine was Tim's sister, and they hadn't talked much lately. But when they were younger they had been close. And she knew he was online as Tanda, if only she would believe before she called the cops.
"Who's there?" came the voice from within.
"Christine! It's me. Tim." Tanda felt a little strange saying that. "Please let me in... I don't know what to do."
"You sure don't sound like Tim," Christine said as she cracked the door a little. She looked out and saw Tanda in the dim porch light, "Huh. Nice costume, just like those drawings in that silly book you bought. You getting ready for that convention?"
"Um... can I come in? I need your help."
Christine sighed and shrugged, "Yeah sure, whatever. It's not like I need to study or anything..." She opened the door all the way and froze as Tanda stepped in. "Wow. That's an amazing costume. How the heck do you look so... short?"
Tanda closed the door, "Is it just you here today?"
Christine walked around Tanda, looking her up and down, "Yeah, the roomies went clubbing. Where'd you hide the zipper?"
Suddenly a feral hissing came from under the television stand and claws swiped at Tanda's bare feet. Tanda leapt back, nearly knocking a picture frame off the wall.
Christine laughed, "Bonnie, be nice, he's not here to replace you." The cat continued hissing and growling and Christine frowned, "Alrighty, I'm sticking you in the bathroom." She scooped up Bonnie expertly and tossed her through a small door, quickly shutting it as claws skittered across tile. She turned back to Tanda again, "So... did you make the costume or... Oh my god, your tail swishes!"
Tanda flopped down on the sofa, "That ain't the half of it."
"So you're saying you just wished it, and poof you're a furry sex fantasy?"
Tanda winced, "Please be tame, I've had a rough night."
"Oh?" Christine raised an eyebrow and looked Tanda over, "Oooh." She sat up and grinned, "Boy troubles already? You sly girl."
Tanda frowned, visibly pained.
"Sorry... you remember what the shrink said: 'resorts to humor when things go awry.' Thanks mister, how much do I owe you for THAT one?"
"I... didn't know what to do, I thought it might be nice to meet with a friend from online, you know, a fellow furry and all. I fell asleep on his couch, and before you know it..." She raised her hands, unable to finish her sentence.
"Say no more, kemosabe. Men are walking erections. But just because you're sexy doesn't give him an excuse not to control himself." She looked thoughtful, then smiled, "Huh, that's funny."
"I guess I kinda always wanted a younger sister, someone I could... Say... would you like to go clothes shopping?"
"What about studying?"
"It is the panacea to your pain! Besides, I have an older sister at long last. I think celebration is in order."
"Looking like this?" Tanda gestured at her furred body and held out her tail.
"Too true. That shirt and shorts combo will not do. Looks like you raided a thrift store and left your taste at home. Maybe Jaz has something your size." She grabbed Tanda's hand and started upstairs.
"We're just gonna raid her closet?"
"Why not? She raids my chocolate stash all the time." She stepped into her roommate's closet and flicked on the light, "So what happened? He tried to jump you..."
"Well, I got away before he could do anything. Left him something to remember me by," Tanda said somewhat absently, looking at her fingers as she extended and retracted her claws.
Christine peeked out, "Something to... Oh wow, those would leave a mark. If every girl came equipped with those, half the men in the world would be eunuchs."
"I don't know, maybe I was too harsh on him."
"What'd they put in your Cheerios? He tried to jump you while you were sleeping. If that doesn't make him scum, I don't know what does." She paused. "Aha. This skirt is perfect." Christine held out a short flared dark blue skirt with white embroidery on it, "Huh, wonder why I've never seen Jaz wear it. Well, try it on, it should be about your size." She tossed the skirt to Tanda, who caught it clumsily.
Tanda stood there looking blankly at the skirt. She blushed, "I've never... worn anything like this."
"Well thank the maker for small favors. What? You're telling me you don't even know how to put it on?"
"Well, first thing you'll have to do is take off those ridiculous shorts."
Tanda blushed, then struggled to take them off, her tail getting caught in the tail-hole she had hastily cut that morning. When she finally managed, Christine stared at Tanda's half naked form. Tanda caught the look and covered up self-consciously. "What?"
"Sorry... I guess I didn't really believe you until just now. I half expected to see a misshapen lump hidden under an uncomfortable zipper down there."
"Huh. I guess you'll need some undies too." Christine rummaged through some drawers. "Pink? Red? Black? Ooooh, leopard spots."
"Just something simple she won't miss. I am not terribly comfortable stealing your roomie's panties."
"You wouldn't fit in mine, you're like a toothpick. Besides, she'll never notice. I'll stick them back in her laundry after our shopping trip."
"With bits of white and black fur on them?"
"Bonnie likes to sleep in the laundry baskets." Christine tossed Tanda a pair of white undies. "How 'bout these, she's got a ton of 'em."
Tanda hiked them up her legs, they fit snugly, except for her tail poking over the back. "Hey, these are way more comfy than boxers or briefs." She smoothed down her leg fur, then posed with her hands on her hips.
"Great, you've got a career as a lingerie model. Get that skirt on, I'll see if I can find a top. Ah, and a bra."
"Yeah, you don't just let them dangle like that. It can hurt, they're distracting, and eventually they'll droop. A good bra is a girl's best friend."
Tanda had just managed to squeeze into the skirt with her tail tucked inside when the bra landed on her head. "Um. Thanks." She slipped off the tshirt and got tangled in bra straps.
"Yeah, turn around. I can get that." Christine deftly adjusted the bra and buckled it. "How's that feel?"
"Super. So that's what that ache was."
"Yeah, here's a top. Let's go. Did you bring your car?" Christine scooped up the tshirt and shorts and tossed them into her room.
"Just as well, you might not even reach the pedals anymore. We'll have to make do with the bug."
"Oh! My wallet..." Tanda fished in her shorts pockets for her keys and wallet. She looked down at the skirt and top and grimaced, "Ummm, where are the pockets?"
"Pockets? Silly, girls don't get pockets. They get purses. Pockets lead to lumps. And as we know, lumps are what men have, not us gals." Christine looked about, "I have a few of my old purses still, you can borrow one. We'll just have to get you your own." Christine looked in her closet and pulled out a worn red leather purse, "Ah. This should match." She tossed it to Tanda, then slung her own purse over her shoulder and led the way.
Christine looked over at Tim as she stopped at the light. Tim had never really been a macho guy, being a girl seemed to suit him somehow. She looked at her shaplely form dimly outlined by the streetlights, and then the light turned green.
"I must say, you didn't think your wish through very well didja?" Christine chuckled a little as they pulled into the parking lot.
"Huh? What do you mean?"
"Well, it's not like you can be a normal member of society. Sure you're a girl, nothing wrong with that. But ummm, the fur and tail kinda make you stand out, to say the least."
"Not to mention needing to cut holes in all my clothes. My tail doesn't fit well in this skirt." Tanda grimaced, then started, "Hey. You said something about a convention?"
"Did I?" Christine cocked her head as they parked and got out of the car. "Oh right. That. Turns out there's a few furries in my biology class," she chuckled at the look of astonishment on Tanda's face, "...not real ones, Tim, just those obsessed with your current condition. Anyhow, they were talking about an upcoming furry convention in the area." She paused a moment, "You should go to it."
"Well, maybe at least there I'd blend in." Tanda nearly whispered to Christine as various people in the department store stared at her.
Christine chuckled, "Doubt you'd ever really blend in, but at least you wouldn't be so out of place there. Ah here, let's get you some unders."
"I'm not sure I'd want to go by myself, I wouldn't want another encounter like today." Tanda frowned, a little embarrassed standing among all the girly underwear while passerbys stared at her.
"Don't worry, none of it will bite you. No grandma panties for you, your tail wouldn't fit. Ah, over here. Is there someone else you know from fairymud?"
"FurryMUCK. What would be the point? Like you said, all men are walking hard-ons." She blushed a little as she noticed a mother and daughter that were picking out clothes nearby leave hurriedly.
"Well maybe not ALL men, but I see your concern... These should be the right size, is red okay?" She tossed them to Tanda, "You know any girls on there?"
Tanda caught them gingerly and chuckled. "Plenty, but are any female in Real Life? Yeah, these are cute."
Christine raised an eyebrow, "Well SOME have got to be. Oh, my friend from German class is... Hey, why don't you go with her? She's going. I'll let her know your predicament."
"What, that I'm every male furry's sex fantasy?"
"No, not that. The part where you're worried about accidentally meeting up with a certain obsessive and abusive aquaintance."
"Now, let's see if we can find you a dress..."
After stopping by Christine's place so Tanda could change out of Jaz's clothes and into some of her own, Christine offered Tanda a ride home.
Once in the car, Tanda looked at the heap of clothes covering her feet to her seatbelt under the dim light from the stoplight and smiled in spite of herself. "Thanks for taking me shopping. I admit, that was fun."
"Yeah, no problem. It was enlightening."
"Hm? How so?"
"Well, I didn't expect you to enjoy picking out dresses so much. We got what, five dresses? And only a few pairs of pants and shirts?"
"Well, they don't cinch my tail as much, though I guess I'll still have to make a few alterations."
"Uh-huh." Christine snuck a glace at her brother's new form while they stopped at a red light. She paused a moment, then grinned. "That and just watching peoples' reactions. I've never seen a department clear out so fast. And the look on the checkout lady's face when I told her it was your husband's credit card? Priceless."
"Yeah, sorry." Tanda sighed sadly. "When I went to the beach, the reaction wasn't much better."
"Tim? What's the name I should tell Kira to watch for online? I forget."
"Tanda," She smiled, "And if you don't mind... I'd like it if you called me Tanda from now on."
"Oh?. You think it's totally permanent, then?"
"I have no reason to think otherwise. Besides, why'd I buy this much clothing if I didn't? In any case, my wish didn't have a specified expiration date."
"Boy, your boss will have a surprise when you go in for work."
"What, you think just because you got your wish that your rent will pay itself? That your credit card company will foot the bill for all those dresses?"
Tanda was silent.
"Like I said, you didn't think your wish through very well." Christine was serious.
"They're not just going to believe I'm Tim like this."
"Well, obviously you aren't Tim. You're Tanda, just like you wanted." Christine sounded a little annoyed.
"Hey, I thought you were happy for me."
"Well, I had to cheer you up somehow. But really, it's just like you to make a rash decision without considering how it might affect you or anyone else."
Tanda was silent.
"Remember when you dropped out of college? You left me as the only one in the family who might finish and you wasted all that money mom and dad had been paying. And now you're stuck doing lame dead-end jobs like the... Whatever it is you do."
"Well I'm not stuck there anymore, there's no way I can go back to work now."
"Actually, I don't know about that. Talk to your HR or something."
"You think I'll be able to keep my job?" Tanda didn't sound very hopeful.
"Heck if I know. But trying to keep it has gotta be easier than trying to find a new one. Tell them you got some body work done over the holidays. That it's just side effects from your estrogen treatment. Make up a new disease." She grinned a little.
Tanda giggled, "I like the third option. Tigergirlitis, I think they call it. Rapid onset..."
"...Makes you feel hot." Christine giggled too. "Yeah, they'll believe that one. Boy, you're lucky the holidays are just over, could you imagine dad's face if you'd shown up like this for Christmas?"
Tanda was quiet again. "Well... Maybe it's best we don't tell mom and dad."
"What, and make them think you dropped off the face of the earth? Does that mean I get the honor of lying for you?"
"I don't know..."
"Don't worry, I'm not gonna tell them. But you'll have to, sooner or later. Just like you can't keep running from work. At least not if you think this is permanent."
"Yeah." Tanda stared very intently at her feet. She wriggled her toes. "Well, I guess I can email Wendy, she's the head of HR. Maybe we can figure something out."
"Yeah. Well, hey we're here." Christine pulled up behind Mick's motorcycle. "Just don't be a stranger. I'm glad you popped by tonight."
"Yeah, and I got another lecture."
"You deserved it. And you got some new shoes and stuff. Focus on the positive. I just hope some of my lecture sunk in."
Tanda nodded, "Well thanks anyway. See you around."
"I hope so. Good luck, Tanda."
Tanda smiled as Christine used her name and then picked up her pile of clothes. It's pretty late at night, she thought, and it looks like Mick's light is out. Huzzah.
She climbed up the stairs to the front door, got out her keys from her new purse, then turned and waved to Christine as the blue VW Beetle pulled away. She opened the door carefully so as to not make any sound. The floor creaked as she crept towards her room.
She stopped. There was something in front of the door, but she couldn't tell what in the darkness. She reached over it and somehow opened the door and flicked on the light. It was two dozen red roses in a vase. Tanda was stunned, and nearly dropped her bundle. She scooted them out of the way with her foot and plopped her new clothes on the bed. She came back and picked up the vase, noticing now the small pink teddy bear next to it. She scooped that up and brought it all into her room and locked the door.
Who could they be from? She set the roses next to her computer and picked up the card nestled in them.
To: T. I'm very sorry about what I did today. I was a total jerk. Please forgive me. -J.W.
She threw the note in the trash, growling. She picked up the little pink bear and tore it to shreds with her claws before throwing it away. Pompous ass, she thought, thinks he can buy sex from me? She thought back to their meetings online, and how quickly it had turned to sex. Heck, they hardly ever spent time together doing anything else. She sighed. Of course she was the one who suggested she go with him, but he should have KNOWN it was because she couldn't go home. She ripped the petals off the roses and threw them all away, then flopped on her bed sobbing.
When she woke up, light was streaming through the blinds into her face. She brought her hands to her face, looking at her furred fingers in the golden light. It wasn't a dream, it was all real. She smiled.
She sat up. She smoothed out the now-rumpled dress she had picked out the night before. It was light blue with short sleeves and went down to her ankles. She had fallen in love with way dresses swished about her feet. Sure they were more comfortable for her tail than pants, but she was still going to cut tail holes in both the dresses and pants anyway. No, the real reason she'd picked them was the swishing.
Then she saw the vase still sitting there and she grimaced at it. She intentionally toppled the flower vase into the trashcan and sighed as she heard the water sloosh out. Well, at least the can is waterproof. I'll deal with it later, she thought.
She thought about work. Well, it's not like I spend all that much time interacting with other coworkers, she thought, I'll just be that curiosity: the tiger in filing. Sure, she'd likely get strange looks and people would avoid her, but... nobody really ever paid attention to her before, so the only difference would be the strange looks.
But wasn't Tanda supposed to be witty? Social? Outgoing? Wasn't that the reason she'd made the wish? She sighed. People still don't want to talk to her, they dodge out of her way. Well, other than Silvercat. And Christine. And those drunk teens. And the little girl at the beach. That was certainly more people than Tim usually talked to in a typical day. Yesterday had not been a typical day.
She booted up her computer and looked through her pile of clothes. Six dresses (while Christine wasn't looking, she got a second pattern of one style in particular she liked a lot), two pairs of jeans, a few shirts (errr... blouses!), a couple more bras, some undies, and four pairs of shoes. It had cost a bundle, but it really wasn't all that much clothing. Just the seed of a wardrobe. Not much of her old clothes would fit now. She expected she'd have to eventually get jackets in her size too, but for now she can just "swim" in her giant jackets.
She logged in and was glad to see she had logged out of her IM before shutting down yesterday. She did not want to deal with Silvercat. She logged into her work email and began writing an email to Wendy Iverson.
Wendy, This is Tim Holton from Document Services.
She paused, unsure how to continue. She felt pretty uncomfortable using the name Tim now, but what else could she do? Maybe it'd be easier to discuss in person.
I've undergone some physical therapy that has changed my appearance. I would like to continue working at SmithCo, but I am concerned about the reaction of fellow co-workers. Can we meet to discuss this issue?
She sent the email, nervous about what it could mean. I could get fired, she thought. Well, maybe that wouldn't be horrible. She did have a little money saved up. But not enough to last more than a few months. Or she could get to keep her job. She realized that particular possibility scared her a bit. What would be so bad? Because it was the same old thing?
All she could do now was await a response. Now to meet ... what was her name? Kira. She logged onto FurryMUCK, smiling at seeing the familiar screen. She added Kira to her watchfor list, only to find that was not a valid name. Was Kira her Real Life name? Then what was her furry name? Uh oh, Silvercat's online. What was the command? Oh yeah... "watchfor #hidefrom Silvercat". That should do it, presuming she didn't accidentally bump into him.
She waited in a non-public area to avoid any possibility of bumping into Silvercat, and hoping Kira would pop on and contact her. Yaz, one of her good friends, paged her and they had a nice chat while she waited. Then an email came from Wendy.
Tim, Why don't we chat in the Pine conference room over lunch? I'll meet you at the receptionist's desk at noon today. Let me know if that works for you. -Wendy Iverson, HR Manager
Noon? That gave her three hours to get there, no problem. Tanda sent an assenting email, then told Yaz she had to go get ready for work. Time enough for another shower and a late breakfast.
Tanda parked her little Geo in the far end of the parking lot, a little nervous. She had gotten a few doubletakes from other drivers at red lights, followed by incredulous stares. She unbuckled her seatbelt and sighed, here goes. She smoothed out her red dress as she got out of the car. This dress felt the most business-like.
As she walked across the parking lot, she couldn't help but feel like the large building in front of her was the enemy fortress. She laughed, it's just a meeting with HR. You've already been through worse, she thought, don't panic now.
She got to the reception area with only a couple stares from early lunchgoers. Maybe this wouldn't be so bad, she thought. At least none of them are drunk teens. A tall woman with red hair and wearing a stiff green business suit stood up from one of the reception chairs with a bewildered look.
Tanda smiled inwardly as she proffered a hand, "Wendy, right?"
Wendy squinted at Tanda, like she was trying to pierce an illusion, "That's me. And you are?"
"Call me Tanda, please. I emailed you this morning."
"Um, you mean..." Wendy paused as something dawned on her, "Well, let's get to the conference room first."
Tanda nodded. The receptionist, a small asian woman, watched all this in total puzzlement.
Wendy led the way through cube farms to the conference room. Faces peeked over cubicle walls, staring at the pair. Wendy and Tanda walked in silence.
"Aren't I covered by the Equal Employment Opportunity Act?"
"Well yes, California law allows for you to change your gender and keep your job, but..." Wendy paused uncomfortably.
"I think you've taken your furry obsession to an unhealthy extreme."
"You don't understand, this is who I am."
"Wearing the costume to work creates an abnormal distraction. Surely you saw the attention it created on our walk here. You will have to take it off for work."
"No, I really mean it. I can't, it's impossible."
"Are you currently in counseling?"
"What are you talking about?"
Wendy stared for a moment, "I'd like to set up an appointment for you with a counselor."
"What, like a shrink?"
"He's a therapist. He's very good at talking people through possibilities and I think a session with him would be very helpful, help you work through any issues you have."
"You think I'm crazy?" Tanda stood up angrily, "Look at this tail. This is NOT a costume. See these teeth? Go ahead, have a tug on my ears."
Wendy shrunk back, "Please... don't come closer!"
"I'm REAL. This," She gestured at herself, "Is what I am," She put out a hand and demonstrated extending and retracting her claws, "See? Sure, someone might be able to do that with animatronics... but not on my salary."
"If you are looking for more compensation, this is not an effective way to get it." Wendy had backed her chair up all the way to the wall.
Tanda looked down at the cowering woman and sighed. She sat back down, "I'm not looking for more pay. Just your understanding."
Wendy looked confused and frightened, unsure what to say to that.
Tanda grimaced in annoyance. She obviously wasn't getting through to this woman. "Fine. Set up an appointment. Good thing I've saved up so many sick days."
"That's hilarious. I bet she pissed herself," Christine's voice laughed through the line.
Tanda giggled, switching the phone to the other ear, "Yeah, maybe. But now I have a shrink appointment. It's all your fault. You made me try and keep my job."
"What? Aw, come on. A little time with a shrink will probably do you good."
"Hey, I gotta get to class. Good luck with the therapist." Christine stifled her mirth.
"Hey, wait. I tried to contact Kira online, but that's the wrong name. What's her online name?"
"Huh? I thought that was it. Huh, I guess Kira's her real name, then. I'll ask her, she's in my next class."
"Yeah, alright. Get to class."
"Right. Seeya." *click*
Tanda put the phone down. Well, perhaps Kira was on, whatever her character name was. She logged in and went to The Jive Pony, a low-key hangout she'd never seen Silvercat at. She visited with a few furs she hadn't spoken to in a while when she got a message.
Kirofox paged, "Hey there. How are you?"
Huh. Who was Kirofox? Kira's character? She tried using the whospecies command in hopes it might yield some clues.
Name Sex Species Kirofox male Foxish
That was odd. Maybe that's why Christine didn't know Kira's online name. Kira played a male character.
Tanda paged, "I'm pretty good, all things considered. Thought you had class right now." Kirofox paged, "What, me? Nah, not just yet." Tanda paged, "Whatcha upto, then?" Kirofox paged, "Nothing. Just looking for you, really. Killing time before class." Tanda paged, "Mind if I join you?" Kirofox paged, "Come on by."
A summon from Kirofox arrived, so she waved to the few folks at The Jive Pony and accepted the summons.
Tea Room Gold trim with whitewashed wooden surfaces were the dominant décor. The mint wallpaper continued the gold theme with a fanciful golden paisley pattern. A large elaborate fireplace dominated one wall, a short bookcase nearby filled with a number of boardgames. A couple of white couches and chairs were arranged in a nice sitting area with a low table. Nearby was a small dining table with white wooden chairs. Kirofox lounged on a couch near the fireplace. He perked up as Tanda entered, "Ah there you are." Tanda looked around at the opulent room, "Nice decorator you have." Kirofox smiled, "Thanks, I like to think I have good taste. Tea?" Tanda shook her head, "No, I'm good. So you are going to that Bay Area furry convention?" Kirofox raised an eyebrow, "FurliCity? I go every year, yeah." Tanda sighed in relief, "Mind if I tag along? I am worried an ex might be there." Kirofox thought a bit, "I uh... Mind if we meet in person first?"
She hadn't thought about it, but that seemed reasonable.
Kirofox frowned, "Wait. Who is this ex? They are on FurryMuck?" Tanda nodded. Kirofox pursed his lips, "I see. That wouldn't be Silvercat, would it?" Tanda blinked. "Wait. How do you know that?" Kirofox sighed, "I am sorry." Tanda tilted her head, "What?" Kirofox grimaced, "He was the one who asked me to contact you and give you... well I imagine you probably do not want it regardless."
She was furious. How dare he... she wanted to scream. But... that wasn't Kirofox's fault.
Tanda blinked again, "You... are not Kira." Kirofox raised an eyebrow, "Who is Kira?" Tanda threw her hands up in disgust, "Nevermind. UGH!" Kirofox slumped, "Sorry." Tanda took a deep breath. Then she looked over, "Flowers and an apology note?" Kirofox looked confused for a moment. "What? Uh... oh. Yeah. Is he that predictable?" Tanda growled, "Yeah. I threw the last set in the trash." Kirofox looked pained, "That bad, huh? Wow." Tanda turned to Kirofox suspiciously, "How do you know him again?" Kirofox ran his hands through his hair, "Uh, he's my brother." Tanda stared. "What?" "Not for real," Kirofox protested, "Here. I mean, I'm a fox and he's... not, but like we were friends and... yeah. Is it really THAT bad?" Tanda frowned, "We met in real life. I should probably press charges, but I doubt anyone would believe me." Kirofox was silent, looking at the fire. Then he nodded, "Yeah, I get it. He said something about meeting in real life and screwing up. Sounds like a lot worse than screwing up." Tanda nodded silently. Kirofox looked over at Tanda, "Look. I can't make it better. But I don't need assholes like him in my life. I am happy to help in any way I can." Tanda scowled, "Put the fear of god into him." Kirofox nodded, "I'll do that. And other than that, he's dead to me." Ess paged, "Oh hey. Your sisss said to messsage you?"
Oh thank the stars, thought Tanda. Ess? Yeah, I would not have guessed that one.
Name Sex Species Ess None Cornsnake
Huh. Tamra was starting to see the advantage of not advertising one's femininity online.
Tanda paged Ess, "Oh hi. She said you were going to Felicity?" Ess paged, "FurliCity. Yeah. Never been?" Tanda paged Ess, "No, um. Is that ok?" Ess paged, "Yeah no problem. I'll qmail you the detailsss." Tanda looked at Kirofox, "Hey. Um, I should go." Kirofox nodded, "Yeah, I think I get it. Look, seriously. If I can help at all..." Tanda nodded, "Thank you."
"Well I must say, I half expected to be filling out a fifty one fifty based on the message your HR lady had sent." The short man leaned back in his chair, tapping his pen on his clipboard absentmindedly.
"Well thanks doc," Tanda began.
"Please. William is fine."
"And everything that happened with Jeremy. It was not your fault."
"No. Nothing you did or indeed could do warrants abuse." William sighed, "Though given the situation, I can certainly understand not wanting to take this to the authorities. But... the flowers."
He took a deep breath, then leaned forward, "That is very worrying behaviour. If... K...yrefox?"
"Kirofox," she offered helpfully.
"Yes. If he manages to put some fear into Jeremy, that might be the end of it. I would follow up with him. Ask how it went."
"Would you like me to... update your medical files?"
"Well, usually we make folks jump through a few hoops to get the name and gender marker changed..."
"Oh. I... yes. This is me. I think maybe who I always was inside."
William nodded sagely, "There is of course paperwork if you want to change legal documentation as well. I can set you up with a social worker to help with that, it should be covered by your insurance."
"It is? I mean, I can change all that? Even photo ID?"
William shrugged, "Well, legally this is who you are. It isn't like you can take it off."
Tanda laughed a little, "Not without a really good razor."
"See! I told you, it'd be fine." Christine was grinning, Tanda was certain.
Tanda shifted the phone to her other ear, "Yeah. He wrote a note for work. I guess I am the tiger in filing."
"That's the spirit. So did Kira talk to you?"
"Oh yeah. I'll meet her at the hotel. She said her suite was full, but I could crash on the floor if I bring my own bedding." Tanda was really looking forward to the convention. She wasn't going to mention the thing with Kirofox, that was just too awkward.
"Awesome! I'm proud of you, big sis."
Tanda grinned at that for some reason.
"So when do you go back to work?"
"My therapist recommended I take a few days to adjust and figure out how to better message the change before I go back." Tanda was really at a loss. She really didn't want a repeat of how it went with Wendy, times twelve.
There was silence for a moment. Then Christine cleared her throat, "Well, even if you just tell everyone you changed your name, people will still have questions."
"I don't have any answers."
"Then maybe you will just have to come up with some answers. It will be good practice for mom and dad later."
Tanda slumped, "Thought you might say that."
"Maybe you can have it announced at a big meeting or something. With pizza. Techies love pizza."
"Mmm. Donuts maybe, since I probably need to do it in the morning. Can't I just tell them I am a new employee?"
"Can't see that one blowing up in your face," Christine quipped.
"Yeah." Tanda frowned.
"Is your boss nice? Might help if you have a chat first."
Tanda considered, "That is probably a good idea."
"I'm full of 'em."
Tanda's stomach growled. "I should go. Thank you."
"No problemo. Good luck."
She was really hankering for a tuna sandwich. Which meant going to the kitchen. And maybe bumping into her roommate. She hadn't heard him or anything, but she could see Mick's motorcycle out front.
Tanda quietly cracked open her door and peeked out. Looked clear. She softly closed it behind her and softly crept up the hall and across the living room. Her furred feet made hardly a sound as she padded towards the kitchen. Ahh, silent like a tiger, she thought, this will definitely come in handy. She had a brief worry of being captured by the military and turned into a super soldier. I have read too many comics, she thought wryly.
She got to the pantry and pulled out the last can of tuna. She'll have to go shopping soon. A plate, some sour dough bread, some mayo, pickle relish, lemon juice, black pepper, and a little pepper sauce and she was good to go. Hmm, a little spicy, she thought, maybe I have more sensitive taste now? She hadn't eaten much the past two days. A bowl of cereal before seeing Wendy, some cheese this afternoon, and nothing really the day before. Nothing particularly strong tasting. Well, the sandwich was still good, but she quaffed a glass of milk to blunt the heat of the pepper sauce.
She was washing the plate and glass when she heard Mick's door creak open. She froze, but the sink water was still running. Crap. She flicked it off, but it was pretty much too late.
"Hey Tim," Mick called around the corner from the living room.
A moment later she could hear the bathroom sink. She deftly slipped her dishes into the drying rack, then slunk across the living room hoping he wouldn't...
"Oh hi there. I thought you were Tim. I could have sworn I smelled one of his nasty ass sandwiches."
Tanda kept her back to Mick, "Oh, yeah. He told me how to make them. They're good." Maybe if he doesn't see my face...
"Huh. I guess. Is... that a tail?"
"Nice talking to you!" Tanda bolted back into her room, shutting the door directly afterwards. She leaned against the door, taking a deep breath. This was not going to work. She needed a way to address this. She had to tell Mick if she was going to stay here. Maybe she could move somewhere else... that really did not make any sense. If she was going to live as herself, she'd have to figure out how to interact with the world. Besides, other places might have a more restrictive pet policy, some wry corner of her mind noted.
Mick was shaking his head and heading back to his room when he heard Tim's door open. A short young lady in a long dress (and covered in tiger stripes?) stepped around the corner. "Hi Mick."
Mick blinked, "Um. Hi, uhhh..." Why was she painted like a tiger? Those were some nice curves, though.
Mick nodded slowly, "Hi Tanda. You two are into some kinky sh..."
"I used to... BE Tim."
Mick doubled over laughing, "T-t-tim... You." He was having a hard time getting words out between guffaws, but then he saw her very serious face. "What. You are serious."
Tanda nodded, "This is me." She did a little twirl and he caught another glimpse of that tail and watched the fur ruffled by the air. That's fur. Not paint.
Mick scratched his head, unbelieving.
"Look. I still can pay rent. I'll still stay out of your stuff and clean up after myself. Nothing really has to change."
Mick looked at this shapely waif standing in front of him. Then he realized what had been clogging the shower this morning and growled, "You could start with getting the fur out of the drain."
"No. This is... You can't just... grow boobs and a fucking tail."
Tanda shrugged, "I did."
Mick looked the figure up and down. There was really no trace of Tim. "How do I know... you didn't eat him?"
Tanda laughed. Then she noticed he was waiting for a response, "I uh... didn't. Ask me anything he would know."
"How did you get so short, then?"
"I... no, I mean something you know that he would know."
"...Not that it would be a big loss. Ok fine, my last name, the landlady's name, and what I drove before my Betsy."
Betsy? The motorcycle? "Ok, uh Scott, Elisabeth Johnston, and... wasn't it a Jeep?"
"She was a Wrangler," he corrected. But Jeep was technically right. Mick took a moment to process this. This really was Tim. "So why are you a tiger?"
"Not really sure. I just woke up like this." Tanda wasn't about to give him the whole spiel.
Mick eyed her. He... she? Seemed pretty okay with this. Happy, even. Happier than he'd ever seen Tim. It just... didn't make any sense. She... he had flirted with him yesterday! He suddenly felt angry, "Look. Just stay out of my way and don't get any fucking kitty litter in here, freak. And clean up your nasty ass fur, Tim."
Tanda flinched as he raised his voice, that last word hitting her like a kick in the stomach. She nodded and slipped back into her room.
Well, that could have been worse, she thought. She didn't understand why he was so angry. She sat on her bed, letting the adrenaline drain from her system.
She glanced over at her computer and saw a message from Kirofox.
Kirofox paged, "Hey Tanda. How goes?"
Peachy. At least she doesn't have to worry about moving, though. Yet.
Tanda paged back, "Not terrible." Kirofox paged, "Well I have good news, at least. SC said he would back off."
She shuddered a bit at the memory.
Tanda paged, "Thank you. I appreciate that."
Well, that's an improvement. Hm.
Kirofox paged, "So I guess I will see you at the convention this weekend?" Tanda paged, "Yeah. That sounds nice." Kirofox paged, "You still want to meet?"
Meet? Oh... when she thought he was Kira... she could really use a friend right now.
Tanda paged, "Uh yeah. Ok. Where do you live?" Kirofox paged, "Me? Oh I'm driving down from Seattle in the morning. I can meet you wherever on the way. I'm staying in the con hotel tomorrow until Tuesday after the con." Tanda paged, "What time will you get to San Francisco?" Kirofox paged, "Huh? Umm, let me check. Probably 3 or 4?"
She realized she should probably meet him somewhere public. Just in case things went south like they did with Jeremy.
Tanda paged, "Mind meeting me at the Mango Tango Cafe?" Kirofox paged, "That looks close to the con hotel. I'll park first, then meet you there. See you around 5:30? I'll be wearing jeans and a red Zelda shirt" Tanda paged, "Deal. See you then."
Tanda said goodbye and logged off. She flopped back on her bed, a little drowsy, but still feeling a bit frazzled from her encounter with Mick.
She smirked, thinking of a good way to relieve that stress. She slipped off her dress and soon everything else. She let her fingers wander and before long brought herself to orgasm. This one was not so quite as powerful as before, so she just laid back enjoying the afterglow. That is a very nice perk, she thought.
Tanda rolled over to her stomach, wiggling a bit so she could lay comfortably between her breasts. Mmm... wriggling felt really good. Then she realized she was a bit horny still. Huh. She rocked her hips against the bed. Oh yeah. Not long after she had to press her face into her pillow to muffle her own squeals as she had a full body orgasm like she'd never had before. So wonderful.
Tanda laid there, feeling like so much magical glowing jelly that had been poured onto her bed. As she basked in the waves of unfettered pleasure, she let herself drift into blissful sleep.
When Tanda arrived, her boss was already there, sitting at a table near the back of the sandwich shop. She got some confused looks from the other patrons on their lunch breaks, mostly professional types in suits or at least polos. Gary didn't seem to notice her, he was looking at his phone. Probably work email, she thought.
"Can I... help you miss?"
Tanda didn't even see the server walk up, "Uh no. I'm meeting someone." She gestured vaguely in her boss's direction and managed a pleasant smile, then started over there.
She dodged some chairs and a few plates, then slid into the chair across from Gary. "Oh hey," she said nervously.
Gary looked up from his phone and just stared. Finally something seemed to jostle him, "Huh. You said in your email 'significant physical changes'. I didn't expect..." He stopped and took a moment to compose himself. "I also read the note from William that you sent. I am fine with you taking time to... adjust."
He took a moment to respond, "I guess what I am trying to say... is there anything you need from me?"
"I guess I just don't know how to tell people so I can just get back to work without people freaking out. Wendy really flipped out."
"Did she," Gary seemed concerned.
"And my housemate. It has been a tough few days."
Gary nodded, "Well, I am happy to be your ambassador for whatever message you want to convey to the team."
"It's my job. You're a good worker..." He paused. "Tanda, right? Did I pronounce that correctly?"
Tanda beamed, "Exactly so."
A little neon green Geo made its way up the hills of San Francisco with a tiger girl at the wheel. Tanda had hurriedly packed that morning before going to meet her boss. She could have taken public transit and saved a bit on parking, but she wasn't excited at the thought of lugging all this stuff on and off the trains. Plus she had enough to worry about without throwing a bunch of random public transit riders into the mix. Besides, she was saving on not having to get a hotel room. And she could make a quick getaway if she needed to.
It was strange. Some people had been really accommodating about her change, while others were just awful. She wished she knew what made the difference, maybe it was something she doing? There really didn't seem to be much commonality. Wendy, Mick, those kids on the beach, Silvercat... though he seemed okay with it at first. Maybe that was different. She just wanted to figure out how to... be accepted. Hopefully the convention would be better.
Before long, she started seeing folks on the street with ears and tails. She must be getting close. Someone in a full fox mascot-style suit caught her eye and waved to her. She looked behind herself, saw nobody else they might be waving to, so she waved back with a smile. Wow, they are all like me, she thought, except in costume. This was going to be fun.
By the time she pulled into the parking garage under the hotel, the streets were mostly people in costumes or at least with ears, horns, tails, wings, or any combination thereof.
She found a parking spot deep in the bowels of the lot. She unpacked her things, then strapped everything to her wheeled suitcase, then started her way up. The underground cement walls echoed with excitement. She was definitely not the only one looking forward to this.
The stairs emptied into a long hall with tall vaulted ceilings. And it was amazing. A bipedal griffin seemed to smile to her from the balcony at the top of a nearby flight of stairs. She could have sworn she saw a baby woolly mammoth getting on the elevator with a few other furries. That... was a costume, right?
Tanda pulled her top-heavy suitcase up to the line for the elevators. She was going up to the 14th floor, and she wasn't about to walk all those stairs with her bag. Seemed like she wasn't the only one to feel that way. A few fox-eared young men in t-shirts and shorts were talking excitedly, fox tails hanging from the backs of their belts. A dragon next to her complimented her costume and she thanked them. Another load of furries went up. Looked like her group was next.
She was one of the first in, so she made sure to press 14 before she moved to the back to make room for the fully fursuited raccoon and green otter in overalls and the others. She was stuck behind purple dragon wings, almost pressed against the back when she heard a familiar voice.
"...Room for one more?" the voice said as the doors closed in right after his silvery feline tail.
Oh no. Jeremy? She tried to hide herself behind the dragon. It helped that she was so small. Of all the elevator rides... She kept as quiet as possible, hoping to avoid his vision. Floor 3? Really? The two fox-eared furs exited, giving everyone some breathing room. Floor 5 and the otter exited, making half the elevator have to step out for a moment to make room. Somehow Tanda managed to hide behind the dragon still. Floor 6 and a grey-haired man in a business suit breathed a sigh of relief as he extricated himself.
Floor 12. Nobody seemed to be getting off. The dragon turned to her, "12?" Tanda shook her head silently as she panicked, suddenly exposed. Jeremy locked eyes with her. Well screw it, she thought. Tanda slipped through the doors a quickly as she could as people scooted out of her way. The door closed behind her just as her suitcase slipped out. Alone. At least he will think she is on the 12th floor.
She sat on the floor, tucking her skirt underneath. She stood up and pressed the up button on the elevator again. A few moments later, she heard a door slam shut. She had a horrible thought. Could that be him coming? She... just didn't know. Seemed unlikely, but... The elevator opened up to a bright yellow fennec fox in a baseball uniform and a few other folks wearing ears and tails. The fennec gestured her in with a baseball mitted hand. The stiff smile in the mask was still somehow reassuring.
"Wow. Nice costume," said a chubbier fur in leopard ears. His shirt depicted a bat girl in a suggestive pose.
"Thank you," she smiled, feeling a bit safer here.
He stared at her a few seconds and then offered, "I'm Januk."
She was feeling a little uncomfortable, then the doors opened on the 15th floor. Guh, I forgot to hit 14, she realized. She dashed out pulling her suitcase behind her, right behind a guy with a lion mane, ears, and tail. "My floor! Nice to meet you," she said to Januk, who smiled and waved as the doors closed.
The lion furry looked at her and smiled, then pulled his cart off down the hall.
She breathed a heavy sigh of relief and headed down the corridor, looking for the stairs. She found them at the end past the ice machine and went down a floor, the footsteps and suitcase clanging echoing up and down the metal and concrete shaft.
She headed out into the 14th floor, checking room numbers. "Aha. 1407." She knocked.
From the other side, muffled voices spoke excitedly and then the door opened, revealing a rather androgynous person with firey red, orange, and yellow hair that was chin length on one side and shaved on the other. "Tanda? Come in!"
Tanda pulled her suitcase in and was greeted with a shy wave from a tall girl seated on one of the beds wearing a spiked collar and black lipstick and cat ears, in sharp contrast to her long straight platinum blonde hair.
A red-bearded youthful man in a dapper robin's egg blue suit stood up from a chair at the far wall, setting down an aged volume, "Welcome, Tanda. I'm Ritz. You've met Darla and Ess."
"I'm Darla," The collared cat girl clarified, then gesturing at Ess, "My bothfriend Ess uses gender nuetral pronouns."
Ess put their hand on Darla's shoulder tenderly, "Thanks, babe."
Tanda nods, "Like... they/them/theirs? Ok. Uhhh, Christina used a differe..."
Ess cut Tanda off, "I am not exactly ready to be 'out' at school yet. But I'm much more comfortable as me here."
Tanda thought a moment, "You should tell Christina. I'm sure she'd be awesome about it."
Ess raised an eyebrow, "You think so? Huh. Maybe."
Ritz was scooting around furniture, "I'll set up over here on the floor. Tanda, you are welcome to this queen bed here. Ess and Darla are taking the other."
"It is closer to the bathroom," Darla quipped, "I have a tiny bladder and don't want to be stumbling over people in the dark."
Tanda blinked, "Wait, but I thought you wanted me to use the floor. I brought a mattress and everything."
Ritz tut-tutted, "I will not have it. Besides, the mattresses here are far too soft for me."
"Well... do you want my folding one? It is thinner."
"I will try it. Thank you, miss."
Tanda shrugged, "Thank you for the big bed."
Darla smiled, "Well now that's settled, we should talk schedule. There's the opening gala tonight which we are going to. We'll happily be your escorts if you are interested."
Ess noted, "DJ Frazzlepuss is playing. It will be epic."
"I already saw... SC today. In the elevator. But at least he doesn't know which floor I am on."
Darla took Tanda's hand and patted it, "I'm sorry. Chill here if you need to."
"I'll be fine after a bit. Oh, what time is it?"
Ritz checked his watch. "Five thirteen, why?"
"I... promised I'd meet a friend nearby."
Ess handed Tanda a card, "Here. You'll need this room card to get back in."
"Oh. Thank you." Tanda tucked the plastic card into her purse, "You are all so kind, I really appreciate this."
"Get going, sweetie," Darla insisted with a shooing gesture, "One of us will probably be here when you get back if you still want to dance to Mr. Fuzzypants."
"Frazzlepuss." Ess corrected.
Tanda finished fishing through her pile of stuff, pulling out a little purse. She smoothed her dress, "Do I look okay?"
"Like a million bucks," exclaimed Darla, "That fursuit is really amazing."
Tanda blushed and managed a little curtsey.
"Go! You don't want to miss your date!" Darla shooed her out the door.
"It's not a date!" she called behind her as she ran down the hall.
Tanda smiled as she hurried up the street from the hotel. It was busy, lots of folks in business attire, mostly heading down escalators to the underground subway. She got a few odd looks, but there were a lot of furries here, so she wasn't particularly out of place. She was going to be a couple minutes late. Her little aqua flats weren't the best for running, so she just... fast walked.
By the time she reached the cafe, it was 5:40pm already. Red shirt, right?
Across the room, she saw a red shirted somebody facing away from the entrance. Black fox ears peeked out of short thick green hair. She quickly ordered a tea, then hurried over while dodging a few patrons. There were a couple other folks in partial fursuits here, so she didn't feel totally out of place. As she got closer, she noticed the black-tipped rusty red fox tail poking out through the back of the chair. Wait. That tail twitched.
Tanda moved to the other side of the table, her mouth open. There was an actual fox person sitting here at the table, reading a paperback. "Uh... Kirofox?"
The fox looked up, "Oh, you are the spitting image... your tail?! Wait. It wasn't just me!?"
Tanda nodded, realizing that Kirofox was a female fox.
"Did it happen to anyone else?"
Tanda shook her head, "Not that I know of. I mean... maybe some of those suits are real, but... I could tell immediately with you. Um... you don't look like the Kirofox I met online..."
She closed her book, then smiled, "Oh. I'm Karafox. Call me Kara, though. Kirofox is one of my alts. When did it happen?"
"Wait, so... I just wished I could always be Tanda... and then I woke up like this. You?"
Kara nodded, "Glad I wished for this one and not my octopus alt."
Tanda giggled, "Yeah... at least your clothes still fit."
Kara raised her arms a bit, the shirt hanging a bit like a tent, "Yeah... mostly."
Tanda blinked, realizing, "Oh. Yeah. My sister took me shopping. Boy clothes suck anyway."
Kara put her hand to her mouth, "You... weren't a girl before?"
Tanda shook her head.
"Oh. I'm sorry, that must really be a shock."
Tanda shrugged, "No, not really. I feel more myself now."
Kara nodded, "Me too. I was Krista before. But I... wasn't particularly nice to look at."
Tanda frowned, "I doubt that."
Kara fished around in her bag and pulled out a wallet, showing Tanda a photo inside. It was of a couple, both a little heavy set. The man was maybe in his forties, a little taller than her and sporting a thick moustache. The woman was quite lovely, a good deal younger, perhaps her late twenties, with wavy brown hair and a sweet smile.
"Feh, you were totally pretty." Tanda looked at Kara, admiring her bright green pixie cut, cute nose, and blushing smile. "To be honest you're still adorable. You've got that Maid Marian thing from that animated Robin Hood movie going on."
"Aw thanks," Kara looked down, blushing more, then looked up with big blue eyes, "You are really quite lovely yourself."
Tanda smiled, then realized, "Oh... wait, what happened to... your boyfriend?"
"Husband. He travels a lot. He... hasn't seen me yet. I didn't tell him either." Kara left out the part where he will probably be furious to see her like this. He hated her furry art.
Tanda nods, "I didn't tell my parents yet... I am not a kid or anything, I live on my own and have a job and stuff."
Kara raised a furry brow, "What do you do?"
Tanda shrugged, "Boring office job. My boss is cool with this, amazingly enough. But San Francisco is pretty chill about diversity."
Kara nodded, seeming a bit distant. "I uh... draw art commissions for people."
"Does... he know you're here?"
Kara looked a bit shook, then smiled a somewhat fake smile and lied, "Henry? Oh sure." She decided she should change the subject, "Uh, so... did you find your friend?"
Tanda nodded, "Yeah they are pretty cool."
"...they? I thought it was just one person?"
"Well yeah, but Ess is gender neutral. Also they have two other suite mates."
"You have a room, then?"
"Yeah, I'm crashing with a few friends from previous cons."
"Did... you tell them yet?"
"I was... sorta hoping this had happened to everyone so I wouldn't need to explain myself."
"Well maybe it happened to your suite mates too."
Kara nodded. Tanda's tea arrived so they sat silently for a bit, sipping their beverages. The after work crowd was beginning to thin out. A light drizzle outside had a number of people walking by under umbrellas.
Tanda finally spoke, "Can I see some of your art?"
Kara shook her head, "I don't have it with me. I have a few pieces in the charity auction and my Dealers Den booth."
"Oh that's awesome."
Kara shrugged and smiled, "I might have a few scraps in my room."
Tanda grinned, "Can you show me?"
By the time they got to the hotel, the line for the elevators was getting ridiculous. "We can take the stairs," Kara suggested, "I'm only on the fourth floor."
Tanda nodded. They bounded up the stairs. There was an energy in the hotel, a building excitement that was infectious, such that when they reached the fourth floor, they were nearly skipping down the hall.
The room was another double queen, like the one Ess and her friends had gotten. Kara moved her suitcase off of a box. "Here," she said as she opened the box. It was filled with books, pencils, and pens. She pulled out a black leather book and flipped through it. She handed it to Tanda.
"Wow. This is impressive work," Tanda murmured in awe. She started slowly flipping through the book and stopped at several sketches of a lion girl in a sun dress walking through a pine forest with an armful of books. "I like the upper left one a lot. I really like her expression."
"It is mostly just studies in pencil. I usually do a few test drawing to gauge the layout and framing I want."
"Your final pieces must be incredible, then."
"Hey, so were you planning to go to the opening gala?"
Kara looked at Tanda and then frowned, "No... I shouldn't. It was a long drive. I need to get some sleep. thank you, though."
"Oh. Okay. Ummm, I'll see you tomorrow, then?"
"I'll be running my booth in the dealer's den tomorrow."
Tanda nodded, a little disappointed. "Well, I'll... see you around."
Tanda could hear the beat from halfway across the first floor, thankfully. She had stopped by the room and seen Darla who unfortunately wasn't feeling up to dancing. Darla had told her where the great hall was, but she'd gotten a bit lost anyway.
"Tanda?!" squealed an unfamiliar voice.
Tanda turned and saw a tall man with short curly black hair in jeans and a mauve button-up coming down the stairs to the mezzanine. She didn't recognize him.
"I'm Yaz! The skunk." He hopped down the last two steps.
Tanda smiled, spotting the plush black and white tail bobbing behind him. "Yaz?! Hey. I am honestly surprised you recognized me."
"Well your suit is really damn good. Looks exactly like your online description. Very impressive... wow. How did you do the tail? Robotic? It definitely isn't one of those mechanical cord ones..." He bent around to look.
She got a little self conscious as he stared at her butt, despite the dress fully covering it, "I uh... I didn't know you were going to be here. It is so good to see you."
He stood up, making a hug gesture, "I'm here every year. I don't think I've seen you come to any before."
Tanda leaned in for a hug, surprised by how big he seemed compared to her and thankful he only went for a quick embrace. Guess I haven't totally gotten used to this yet, she observed to herself. "No, this is definitely my first con."
"Impressive fursuit for your first con. Looks like it'd be really warm."
"It's not bad. I was just headed to the gala..."
"Ah! So was I. Shall we?"
The ballroom was dark except for the colored lights bouncing around the walls. Bodies, furred and human, bobbed and undulated over the central dance floor as the DJ laid down intense techno beats. It was a bit overwhelming to Tanda, but she was determined to enjoy herself. She wasn't given much chance to think about it when Yaz grabbed her hand and pulled her to the dance floor.
Yaz said something to her, but she couldn't make it out, so she just smiled. She shrugged and started just rocking from foot to foot to the beat. Then she started watching how everyone else was dancing and tried following along, clumsily at first, but then she started to pick it up. She was never much of a dancer, but body was stronger and more flexible now, and somehow the beat came naturally now. Yaz didn't have the dexterity, so only managed to barely keep up.
Before long, Ritz and Ess spotted them and came over to join. Ritz gestured appreciatively at Tanda's dancing, and she mouthed thank you in return. Ess said something she couldn't quite hear, and gestured to Yaz. Tanda shook her head, it sounded like Ess was asking if this was the friend she had gone to meet. Or maybe the creep she was trying to avoid. Either case it was no.
The music came to a crecendo and the beat dropped and there was silence. There was some enthusiastic applause and then Ess was able to make heard, "Where's Darla?"
"She wasn't feeling well," Tanda shrugged, then said, "This is Yaz, a friend from online."
Ritz gave a thumbs up with a grin, "I'm Ritz. Also with a Z."
"I'm Ess. I'm agender and my pronouns are they/them/theirs."
Yaz nodded, "Like asexual, but gender? Cool."
Ess looked like they wanted to clarify, but the beat was picking up again, so conversation became facial expressions and gestures.
Tanda was all excitement and energy as they walked back to the elevator. The dance was still happening, but they had switched to DJ Westpaw and Ess was ready to head back.
"I'm in room 707," Yaz called after, "I'll see you around." He waved and they waved back, then he ducked back into the dance hall.
"He seems nice," Ritz observed.
"You just like him because he has a Z in his name," Ess accused.
Ritz feigned injury, "Can't a guy have a type?"
Ess held up a hand, paused, then frowned, "There's a typography joke in there, somewhere."
"Don't you margin-alize me," Ritz grinned.
Ess slugged his shoulder playfully, "You're obnoxious when you have a crush."
Ritz sidled up to Tanda, "He's... not already spoken for, is he?"
Tanda laughed, "I mean, I assumed he's straight, but he's all yours as far as I am concerned."
"Oh, he might think he's straight. But he can't fool me as well as he is fooling himself."
Ess laughed, "You think your gaydar is infallible? Ok Mr. Smartypants, what about our Tanda here? I've been trying to figure her out all night."
Tanda stepped into the elevator then started to protest, "No, I'm..."
Ritz pressed 14 and shushed her, "Don't you try to sway the judges. Hmm. Now that I think on it, she's definitely gay as rain."
"I am not!"
Ess nodded, "All this femme going on threw me off at first too, but I think you're right."
"You two are terrible!" Tanda fumed.
"Must have hit pretty close to the mark to get her all riled up like that, huh kid?"
Ritz laughed, "You and your Star Wars quotes. Stop trying to flirt with me, Ess. You're not going to get anywhere."
"Gah!" Tanda stomped out of the elevator.
Ritz followed, smiling, "Aw, we're just giving you a hard time, hon. Society projects their heteronormativity on us all the time. It's fun to reverse the tables every once in a while. No harm meant."
"Don't take it too hard. Just means we're cool with you joining our little club," Ess pointed out as Tanda opened the door to the room.
Tanda grimaced, "Thanks."
Darla stood up from the bed, "Are these meanies giving you a hard time, hon? I'll protect you." She put her arms around Tanda and shooed off Ritz and Ess, "Begone, cruel ones."
"I don't know, maybe they're right."
"Oh? About what?"
"Ritz says she sets off his gaydar," Ess offered helpfully.
Darla coughed and then cleared her throat, "Ahem. I see. Well stop projecting, you two. Give her space to figure out her shit."
Ess shrugged, "I got no pony in this race."
Tanda sighed, "Nevermind." She flopped on her bed, fairly exhausted anyway.
Ritz poked his head up. "Wait. You sleep in your fursuit?"
The next day, Tanda went with Darla to a few panels. The first was a discussion of furry themes in popular culture. Tanda had never really considered how prevalent furries were in media, it gave her hope that she might see more acceptance herself. The second one was on fursuit construction, which was interesting to Darla. When people started asking Tanda about her suit, she politely excused herself to the restroom, not wanting to become a spectacle when they realized it wasn't a suit.
After finding a restroom (she did actually need to go) and managing to dry her furred hands in the air dryer, a girl in panda ears looked at her curiously. Tanda turned to her, eyebrows raised.
"Uh... excuse me if this is rude, but... you can actually use the bathroom in your fursuit? That is impressive."
Tanda smiled weakly and shrugged, "Skills." Then she quickly made her way out into the hall. Another person asked to photograph her, and again she declined. She just didn't want undue attention in case they later realized it wasn't a costume. She had another 45 minutes to kill before Darla got out of her panel, so she pondered what to do. The art show for the charity auction was across the hall, so she decided to go see Kara's work.
Inside she checked in her purse at the desk and got stickers and a pen in return, in case she wanted to bid on anything. She walked around, looking at cubicle walls and small tables covered in various bits of furry-themed art. The quality here was generally high, varying from watercolor character portraits of furry characters to scupltures of animals to lifelike plaster masks.
She was looking at a set of highly detailed postcard pieces of tourist destinations populated by cartoonish furries, when out of the corner of her eye, she was drawn to a large full body portrait in ink. The figure reclining on the lilac couch... it was Tanda. Like... really damned close anyway. That was her actual favorite outfit she wore on FurryMUCK. She walked over to take a closer look. It was somewhat impressionistic and a bit exaggerated (her eyes were not THAT big, were they?), but it was definitely of her. Did someone do all this just from Tanda's @description on FurryMUCK? It was very good.
She looked at the tag, there had already been three bids, it was up to $245. One more and it will go to live auction... Artist - Karafox? She... must have drawn it in the last few days. Next to it were two other large pieces by Karafox, one of Kara seated at an easel and peering around it with an artist's pen in hand. This one was far more detailed. It must have been drawn from life.
She looked at the other... a griffin that seemed somehow familiar, flying through a dusk sky. The griffin that waved at her before? That just seemed unlikely. But the resemblance was there, certainly. Had the griffin she had seen been like her? Real?
"Quite a good resemblance." The man standing next to her wore an old timey brown suit, monocle, curled moustache, and an air of eccentricity. He continued, "You know her? She is a lovely artist. I have bought a few of her pieces over the years."
"I... yes, I do."
"That is a wonderful costume, did she make it for you?"
Tanda shook her head, "No."
"Then who? I would quite like one in this style myself."
"It was," she didn't think she was bending the truth that much, "anonymous. I... I don't know who made it."
"Look here, young woman. People don't go crafting fursuits that somehow fit perfectly without meeting them in person to take measurements. I made this coat myself, and measurements were absolutely required. You simply cannot expect me to believe such an absurd..."
"Are you done, love?" Ritz slid up and wrapped his arm around her. "You seem distraught. Is this man bothering you?"
The man straightened himself up and addressed Ritz in a huff, "I was simply..."
"Harrassing my darling here? Leave at once before I have you removed." Ritz raised his voice a bit, which had the effect of catching the attention of the guard in wolf ears and tail near the door.
"Well I never..." the eccentric man began, but then he caught a glimpse of the movement of the guard and beat a hasty retreat into the rows of art.
"Let's get out of here," Tanda said quietly to Ritz, "And thank you."
"My pleasure, dear."
Even while collecting their things from the check-in desk, the monocled man was nowhere to be seen. Creepy, thought Tanda. They made their way into the crowd hall before Ritz spoke.
"Was that him?"
"Who? Oh. No, he is not the one I was originally trying to avoid. I have no idea who he is, but he goes on the list as well." Sadly, she was starting to wonder if the con was not any safer than anywhere else for her. They walked for a bit, then Tanda perked up, "We should go see my friend in the dealer's den."
The entrance was just across the hall. They went through the wide doors into a large room filled with displays of anything furry-related - furry art, fursuit costume parts and materials, shirts with furries on them, films featuring furries, games with furry characters, and even furry themed music. Tanda wondered at a booth of spiked leather, then decided she didn't need to know. Tanda spotted Kara across the room and waved, but Kara was distracted by a customer. The crowd here was quite intense. The pair wound their way through the room.
They managed to get to the aisle and found Kara's booth nestled between a booth simply filled with stuffed animals in a great variety of sorts and sizes, and a vendor selling furry stickers and comic books. Kara's customer was in the middle of buying a few pieces, a half-size print of the griffin piece Tanda had seen earlier on top of the pile. He thanked her and complimented her on her mask, then waved as he walked towards the display of dragon horns.
"Hi!" Tanda waved, smiling.
Kara looked somewhat relieved, "Tanda, how are you? I have never sold this much art at once. It's wonderful!"
Ritz looked from one to the other, "You two must have had the same suit crafter. So to speak."
Tanda grinned and nodded, "Long story," then turned to Kara, "Glad you're doing so well. I saw your pieces in the gallery, they're wonderful!"
Kara blushed, "Oh, I have been meaning to talk to you... is it okay I sell that portrait of you? I... didn't know you when I painted it. I simply thought he was commissioning one of his own characters... When he refused to pay, I sent it to the auction. I didn't realize it was... well, I am so sorry. I can try to get it removed."
Tanda considered, "Nah, I don't mind. The charity auction money is going to the Bay Area Animal Shelter fund. I'm okay with that. Besides, It is up to $245!"
Kara per her hand to her mouth, "Oh my. That is quite a sum."
"Wait... who commissioned my portrait?" Tanda asked with a lump in her throat.
"Really? Him!?" Tanda shook her head in frustration.
"The guy? What is with this guy?" Ritz asked.
Kara nodded, "I'm sorry... I had no idea."
Tanda shook her head, "You didn't know, Kara." She became aware of other folks crowding in to look at Kara's artwork, "We should go."
Kara held up a hand, "Hey Tanda, I'm stuck at my booth until six. You want to maybe join my roomie and I for dinner later? Both of you."
Ritz scratched his neck, "Mind if our two other roomies come?"
Kara shrugged, "Nah, the more the merrier. Meet at the room at 6." One of the customers started asking questions, so Tanda waved a silent goodbye.
Ess and Darla had plans, so it was just Tanda and Ritz who stepped off the elevator on Kara's floor. Tanda waved politely to the fox-tailed man who had struck up a conversation with her (ignoring Ritz, of course). As the door shut, Ritz patted her on the shoulder sympathetically.
Tanda was about to thank Ritz when she realized she heard someone shouting. "I know she's here! The room is reserved in her name." As they rounded the corner, Tanda saw the man who had been in Kara's photo. Henry, red faced, was shaking a finger at a fairly tall and stoutly muscular woman with black hair topped by yellow cat ears.
"Look," the woman said exasperatedly, "I don't know anyone named Krista. You must have the wrong room. If you don't leave, I will make you leave." She flexed her fingers, which looked far more muscular than Tanda thought fingers ought to be.
Henry swung, but she blocked it. She grabbed his wrist and twisted it backwards, "Get. Out." Suddenly she spotted Ritz and Tanda, "Oh hey friends. I'll be done with this in a moment." Henry objected, then the woman tossed him roughly to the floor and hissed, "Get lost."
Henry saw them coming and scampered to his feet waving his finger, "You haven't seen the last of me." He shoved past Ritz and Tanda, nearly knocking her to the ground.
The woman frowned, helping Tanda up, "Come on. I'm Irene."
"Tanda. This is Ritz. Thank you." They followed Irene into the room, then Irene shut and locked the door.
"Well I am sorry you had to see that. I wish I knew what that was all about, though." Irene shook her head, "Kara should be up soon, she asked me to be here in case you beat her. You want some water?" She proffered a bottle.
"I'm fine," Tanda demurred.
Ritz nodded and raised a hand, catching the bottle in mid-air. "Thanks."
"We were thinking the Chinese place. You folks down?"
"Always," Ritz smiled.
Tanda nodded, thinking about the encounter with Henry. Did Kara know he was here? "Maybe we should meet her downstairs? In case Henry looks for her booth?"
"You know him?" Irene frowned, "The dealer's room is closed now, so she'd be just packing up behind closed doors. She should be ok?"
Tanda considered that, "I'll go check. I'll text if I find her. Message me if she gets here first."
Irene paused, "Wait. That is not a costume either. Like Kara."
"Ritz will fill you in." Without waiting for a reply, she was bounding off towards the dealer's den. Right now Kara had anonymity because of the change. But if Henry matched Kara's new form with Krista... it seemed he might be trouble.
At the ground floor, the hall was packed with activity. The dealer's den was closed, there were no panels running, everyone was out. She caught a glimpse of Yaz waving, but she was on a mission. She waved back, but without stopping. She got to the massive closed dealer's den doors. A man in leopard ears with a "Gofur" badge stood in front of them. Oh, he seemed familiar, what was the name, "...Janus?"
"Januk." corrected the Gofur, seeming surprised she was talking to him.
She suddenly noticed Henry about thirty feet away looking around at the various tables of artwork outside the Dealer's Den that were currently being packed up by their proprietors. Crap. At least he doesn't see me yet, she thought. She turned to Januk, "Oh hey. Um, I need to help carry my friend's things?" She gestured at the doors.
"Oh, I'm not supposed to..."
"Look, it would be a huge help, art stuff is super bulky..."
She leaned in a bit to tug the door open, feeling a bit gross as his glance wandered down her cleavage, "Pretty please? I left my dealer badge back at the room."
He was entranced, "Oh, yeah. Um hey maybe I could..."
With that she was already in the dealer's den, the door shutting behind her. She looked around, the room was mostly empty, but she could see Kira putting a sheet over her table. A tall man with a green Robin Hood cap and boots wearing red fox ears and a tail was talking to her. Tanda came dashing up, "Oh hey Kara, I thought you could use a hand..."
"...if we worked together, we could be a great couple costume," the man was saying.
Kara glanced up, relief clear in her eyes, "Uh yeah. Can you grab that box?" She mouthed 'Thank you.' to Tanda.
The guy objected, "I can carry stuff to your room..."
"Oh sure, I can get that." Tanda hefted it without much effort, "Anything else?"
"Nah, I got the cooler."
"I can, uh, get the sign," the man offered.
"No, that stays here..." Kara waved him off.
Tanda jumped in, "Thank you, she needs some rest. Have a nice night."
"I have spare crash space in my room..." he was suggesting.
Tanda grabbed Kara's arm and smiled to the man, "Nice meeting you." She looked about and noted a back door out of the hall. She tugged Kara along. The man seemed dumbfounded.
"Hey, the exit..." Kara objected, pointing at the way Tanda came in.
Tanda shook her head, "No, this is safer."
"Safer?!" Kara looked worried.
The door opened up into a rather empty hall. There were stacks of chairs and a baby grand piano. As the door clicked shut behind them, Tanda whispered, "Henry came to the room. He was threatening violence. He tried to attack Irene."
Kara put her hand to her mouth, "Is she okay?"
"Ha ha, is HE okay, you mean. She tossed him like a ragdoll."
Kara smirked a bit, then frowned, panicked, "He... knows what room I'm in? He must have seen the credit card reservation for the room, then asked at the front desk..."
"He doesn't know what you look like, though..."
"He's seen my art. He..." she trailed off, frightened.
"Look. We will get you a new room. You can use mine for now, I'm sure my roomies would be ok."
They went up a few floors via stairs in order to avoid the front of the Dealer's Den. Kara broke the silence, "Thank you, Tanda."
Tanda smiled, "Any time."
"I am seriously not used to this kind of attention from guys, it's aggressive. I am not sure I even want to run the booth the next two days. I made good money, but..."
"You might be right. Henry will probably spot you..."
Tanda opened the door to her room and heard a shrill eep. She froze. "Um... everyone okay in there?"
Ess's voice called back, "We thought you were going to dinner..." There was a nervous giggle that was probably Darla.
Tanda blushed, "Um... we are just gonna drop off a few things and be gone, sorry." She took Kara's bundle and put it inside next to the box she had carried, then closed the door.
The crowded restaurant was wall to wall white tablecloths over cheap round tables. Worn oriental patterned carpeting scuffed by wooden chairs surrounded by walls that looked like they had dozens of coats of paint on them made it clear this place had been here a while. The sweet smell of fried rice permeated the whole place. An aquarium mounted in the far wall contained large fish. They stared out, oblivious to their probable fate.
"He punched you?" Kara asked worriedly.
Ritz laughed, "He tried. She tossed him aside like a broken China doll."
Irene said nothing, thoughtfully nibbling on her chow mien.
Tanda frowned, "Kara, what are you going to do about the booth? He'll see you."
"I can't just abandon my art... I could use the money. Maybe he'll just..."
Irene scooped a helping of sweet and sour pork onto her fried rice and shrugged, "I'll run it."
"But don't you have that panel you're running?"
"Eh. There are two other writers on it. It will be fine." She stabbed a few hunks of bell pepper.
Kara was quiet for a moment, considering.
"Besides," Irene noted between bites, "He's not going to mess with me again. You should get to enjoy the con for once, really."
Kara nodded silently.
Tanda took a sip of hot and sour soup, then remembered, "She needs crash space. He knows her room."
Ritz shrugged, "I could swap with her."
Tanda grinned, "Not sure that room can handle that much muscle."
Ritz flexed and kissed his bicep. "Henry certainly won't be able to."
Irene smirked and shrugged, "Fine by me."
"Thank you. You're awesome. All of you." Kara smiled hopefully.
Irene nodded, "Don't worry about your stuff. I'll bring it up."
Ritz smiled and grunted, "And my axe!"
"You can have the bed, I brought a mattress." Tanda gestured to the one Ritz used the night before.
"No, I'm okay on the mattress," Kara brushed her off, "You've done so much for me, I can do this."
Tanda scratched behind an ear and nodded, unsure what to say to that. A few moments later she realized she was sorta staring while Kara busied herself setting up sleeping space. Kara looked up at her and smiled. Tanda pretended she had only just glanced over, making it look like she was busy brushing her hair. Okay Ritz, maybe I'm a little bit gay, Tanda thought.
"Have you seen my pills, Ess?"
Ess casually tossed the bottle to Darla as if they'd been waiting for her to ask. Darla nearly fumbled it, but managed to catch it before it hit the ground.
Tanda brushed out a few tangles. More today than yesterday, must be all the excitement. She looked over at Kara and sighed a bit. Kara had stopped by the bank before getting dinner and emptied out her bank account. Henry had insisted on being a cosigner to it, so she was worried he'd empty it and she'd have nothing. She got a new cell number. Apparently she had to block his number earlier, but then he tried from another number.
Tanda couldn't imagine having to deal with him for as long as Kara had. She said it had only been the past year that he'd gotten this way, but her eyes had said otherwise. Tanda admired the nightshirt and shorts outfit Kara had borrowed from Darla, and how it accentuated Kara's curvy form. Okay, maybe a lot gay, Tanda admitted to herself sheepishly. Kara caught her look again and raised an eyebrow. Tanda smiled and busied herself getting a particularly stubborn knot out.
Kara went to brush her teeth and Tanda watched her disappear around the corner. That's when she saw Darla looking at her. "What?" Tanda mouthed, tossing up her hands.
Darla cocked an eyebrow and nodded her head in Kara's direction, "She likes you. Go!" she mouthed back.
Tanda grabbed her toiletries bag with a grin, then hopped up. Nothing ventured...
At the sink she smiled at Kara. Kara's mouth was filled with toothpaste, but Tanda thought she maybe saw a smile back. Tanda fumbled out her paste and toothbrush, chuckling to herself.
It wasn't the first time she'd brushed since the transformation, but she still couldn't get over the fact that despite her canines being the only teeth that had gotten more tiger-like, her teeth were the only change that felt weird to her any more. The t and th sound in particular felt weird to her tongue, though it didn't keep her from making the sounds. Eating had been interesting. Not harder, except for when the teeth got in the way of a spoon's full bowl, but as long as she sort of sipped from spoons it had been fine.
She looked over and noted Kara's mouth and teeth. That had to be a lot tougher to get used to. Tanda's teeth and jaw had remained mostly human while Kara was much more fox-like, you might even call it a muzzle. And yet endearing. Even adorable, Tanda realized with a smirk.
"What?" Kara asked, after rinsing her mouth with some water.
"Hmth? Jub wabing you wasth yourth teeb." Tanda sputtered around toothpaste foam.
Kara giggled and shook her head. She washed her face and the towelled off. "Goodnight, sweetie." Kara smiled as she walked away.
Sweetie? Huh. Then she managed a weak, "Goodnight."
Tanda woke to the bed moving a bit. She opened her eyes to see Kara's smile. She was kneeling next to the bed. "Um," Tanda started.
Kala put a finger to Tanda's lips and whispered, "Shush. May I join you?"
Tanda blushed. "Yes please." She scooted over to make room while Kara crawled in.
Kara lay on the pillow next to her and smiled and quietly said, "Thank you. Can I... hold you?"
Tanda nodded, biting her lip. Kara wrapped her arms around Tanda's torso and Tanda snuggled in close, feeling incredibly comforted and safe. This. This is how she KNEW she was gay as fuck.