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Status Quo - Chapter 23

Written by: Paullell

 Lana’s eyes widen in shock as she catches April’s half of the conversation.  She is completely torn.  She is able to guess at what the other half of the conversation was and she could use and aid to help Daray learn to handle her situation, but the idea of eavesdropping on private conversations is so repugnant to her that she has to pipe up.  Not to mention she would hope that her own conversations with April were private.  She tries to speak up several times but doesn’t want to interrupt.  Finally she just has to rush her words.  “I’m sorry April, Daray.  But April, your half of that conversation leaked through to me.  Should I take the earpiece out when we are together like this?”

 

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Daray shifts next to Lana so she can look down into her face where it’s laying against her shoulder. “You heard that?! Ha… How did you…? What earpiece?”

 

A moment of silence fills the room for a second before APRIL speaks. Both Lana and Daray can hear her still, and her voice seems a bit uncertain. -My apologies. At this range, the earpiece can not help but pick up on my sub-space activity.-

 

Daray lets go of Lana and scrambles back in the bed, sitting up and leaning against the headboard with a confused look on her face. “Sub-space what? What earpiece?!”

 

-Please calm yourself Daray. When your death was eminent aboard ‘The End’ I was forced to enact emergency sub-routine E-7. We are all fortunate that one of the Aegis Online soldiers involved in that operation was a mole for Solidarity Online. He was able to use his stun gun to provide enough power for the X-07 Bio-Mechanical Skinsuit to seal itself, then slip the sub-space transceiver to Lana.-

 

“So… Lana can hear you…” She blushes furiously, as bits of their most recent conversation play themselves out in her mind’s eye. What must she think? How pathetic did she sound now?

 

‘Can she hear me?’

 

-She is unable to receive your thoughts Daray.-

 

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

 

-I did inform you. However, your brain was still severely damaged from the head wound. I am not surprised that you do not remember.-

 

“So you two have been talking? While I was… Out of it?”

 

-Yes Daray.-

 

Daray hugs are arms across her chest, her face blushing furiously. The skinsuit suddenly firms up, covering her genitals and pulling her breasts back, as if she’d put on a bra, her pert nipples receding into her.

 

“I think I’m going to be sick…” She mutters as she starts to bolt toward the bathroom.

 

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Lana had expected that Daray might be upset when she found out that Lana had over heard some of the conversation, but she hadn’t been prepared for her sudden burst of activity, pulling out of Lana’s arms and then on only a breath later dashing to the restroom.  

 

Lana lies back on the bed again and covers her face with her arm.  She talks out loud to herself, cursing first in Chinese and then in Russian as well.  She is speaking rapidly and her accent is nearly perfect. April would be able to pick up that she is chastising herself for always saying the wrong thing many of the words are ones not found in dictionaries and those that April can find are very self depreciating and lurid.

 

Lana desperately wants to go comfort Daray but she is fairly certain there is no use talking about it until she has had a chance to calm down.

 

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Daray bolts into the bathroom and collapses to her knees in front of the toilet. Her hair cascades around her, creating a sort of cave, sealing her in with the commode. She thinks about vomiting for a few minutes, her stomach even going so far as to flip over a couple of times, but nothing comes up.

 

FInally, she rolls away from the toilet, dropping to her haunches on the floor, and leaning up against the shower stall. She folds her arms over her knees and rests her forehead against her forearms. This is when she hears Lana’s quiet self-deprecation. 

 

‘Can she still hear you APRIL?’

 

-Yes she can still hear me Daray.-

 

“What’s she saying?” Her voice is wavering, uncertain, but loud enough for Lana to hear.

 

-Nothing good. Although I can not translate all of it. She is a very skilled linguist.-

 

Daray chuckles, lifting her head off her forearms and resting it against the shower stall wall, turning it so she can see Lana’s head, her arm still covering her eyes as she swears quietly. “Yes.” She breathes. “She as a very articulate mouth…” She lets the comment slide in such a way that the innuendo is barely less than blatant praise.

 

“I can’t say I blame her though. I’m pretty messed up… I don’t even want to hear the conversations in my head. I can’t imagine what someone else must think of me for these stupid thoughts I have…” She obviously has no idea what Lana is saying, and APRIL hasn’t actually translated as yet, so her assumption seems to be that Lana thinks she is damaged goods, and wants nothing more to do with her. “I’ll go talk to Vash about getting you a room or something… There’s no reason you should be forced to stay around me…”

 

She wipes the stream of tears from her cheek, then attempts to stand up, but her feet are planted firmly on her hair. Mere inches off the ground, the hair goes taut, yanking her head back and causing her to fall backward into the shower stall wall. The transparent panel makes a loud gong noise from the impact and Daray collapses awkwardly, sprawling out on the floor between the toilet and shower. Her legs kick into the air and knock a whole shelf of cosmetics and beauty supplies loose form the wall, sending the various bottles, brushes, and small containers spinning through the air in a wide, rainbow arc.

 

Seconds later there is the sound of the objects raining to the floor around her. She curses colorfully (although nowhere near as articulately as Lana) as several of the items pelt her and the shelf itself finishes collapsing to the floor in a crash.

 

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Lana stops swearing when she hears April’s voice in her ear.  She shifts and takes the piece out of her ear and sets it on the bedside table.  She rolls to her feet and was already on her way over to Daray when she is talking stupidly about a separate room and she sees the whole accident occur in front of her.  Shock and worry cross her features first followed quickly by amusement.  Her heart literally melts in her chest.  Here is this beautiful deadly competent woman and she becomes a total mess right in front of her eyes.  As soon as Lana verifies that she is alright other than embarrassment she finishes crossing the distance.

 

Lana stands over Daray and slowly sinks to her knees, giving Daray every opportunity to move should she choose to.  When she doesn’t Lana ends up straddling her hips and places her hands on either side of her head, forcing Daray to look at her as well as to hold still because she is pinning some of her hair to the floor.  

 

“I was calling myself a very stupid whore who obviously doesn’t have the intelligence of a slug because I keep saying the wrong thing at the wrong time and obviously I’m not nearly as good at reading people because if I was I wouldn’t keep upsetting someone who I respect… admire… desire… and love so very much.” 

 

In between each word Lana kisses Daray full on the mouth, her voice growing quieter, more sincere, and more filled with emotion the longer she talks.  When she throws caution to the wind and confesses her own feelings she feels a release of pressure in her, a relaxing of tension. She wasn’t supposed to ever fall in love, but it is too lake now and she resolves to make the most of it.  She kisses Daray with incredible tenderness before pulling back and looking into her eyes.  “Now, next time I say something that freaks you out please stay in bed and talk to me about it.  You cause far to much damage to our surroundings when you are disturbed.”

 

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As Lana starts her descent toward her, Daray briefly considers running for cover. She doesn’t want to hurt her friend any more than she already has, but something makes her hesitate. A little nagging feeling at the back of her brain. 

 

By the time she can get the feeling under control, it is too late, Lana is on top of her, pinning her to the floor with her body, the warmth of her legs, crotch, and body pressing against her, begins to fan the flames again, and she finds herself staring deeply into Lana’s yellow eyes, glossy with concern and emotion, as she leans in closer to speak.

 

She tries to make the kisses reluctant, but she knows it’s a lost cause from the very first instant. She melts into each one more and more. She is more than reluctant to let go of Lana’s warm, silky lips by the time she is pulling away from the last kiss before her admission of love, her head following Lana’s as far as it can before her hair betrays her again, yanking her back so Lana can speak again.

 

As the last five words slip quietly from her lips, almost an inaudible whisper, Daray can’t help it. She has no idea why, or where it comes from, but she starts crying again. She throws her arms around Lana’s body and pulls her into a warm, tight embrace. She can’t even say anything, or think of anything to say. She just locks her arms around Lana, reveling in her warmth, and tries to get control of her emotions.

 

The last kiss was so soft, so tender, so full of shared passion that it went beyond any physical experience they had yet shared. Daray felt as if a piece of her very soul merged with Lana at that moment. In the space of a heartbeat, she suddenly could not imagine a day without Lana being there with her.

 

Breaking off the kiss, she realizes that she just gave a piece of herself to Lana. A piece she would never get back. But the strange part was that she didn’t want it back. She wanted Lana to have it. To hold it for her. To keep it warm and shower it with affection so she could come and visit it from time to time; see how well Lana was taking care of it while she was away.

 

Her fingers traced lightly down Lana’s cheeks as she pulled back and then gave her a strange look before admonishing her treatment of the bathroom. Daray’s face broke into a wide, toothy grin, then she started laughing hysterically along with Lana, the good, hearty laugh bringing fresh tears to her eyes once more.

 

Finally she calms down enough to hug Lana again and say, “I don’t know how this happened Lana, and I think you’re a fool for falling for the likes of my sorry, messed-up ass. But I”m glad you did. I’ve been scared to death it was just me…”

 

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Lana hugs her back, enjoying the incredible warmth of her arms and the relief of their combined laughter. “Apparently you’re the only person who was capable of breaking through my professionalism.  With my mother and my job, is it any wonder I would fight my feelings tooth and nail?”  She squeezes Daray one last time before standing up and backing away, carefully to make certain she is well free of Daray’s golden tresses.  She waits for Daray to get to her feet and then starts picking up the things that have fallen and is relived that the shelf while displaced is not broken.  She hangs it back up and quickly stacks the bottles back onto it.

 

“I told April about my Dad.  I’m not sure if I told you.  My mom was a mistress for several years.  She belonged exclusively to one man and she loved him very much.  When she turned up pregnant with me he threw her away like an old newspaper.  She was devastated.  She never would tell me his name.  I meant to go look at my birth certificate when she died but I could never bring myself to do it.”  Lana looks at Daray, the old pain of abandonment shining in her yellow eyes.  “So you see, you aren’t the only one who is messed up.”

 

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Daray takes a moment to manage her hair, getting it out from under her body and feet, before standing up again, and helping Lana reset the shelf and items. She listens to Lana talk about her past then asks APRIL, ‘Did you look into that at all?’

 

-I have been thus far unable to locate her father’s name Daray. It seems to have been removed from any of her records that I am able to access.-

 

She shakes her head at APRIL’s response, leaning into the shower stall to turn on the water, she then turns around and begins rummaging through all of the drawers and cupboards in the bathroom. “APRIL says your father’s name doesn’t appear on any of your records. Are you still listening to her?” She raises an eyebrow at Lana briefly, then turns back to her rummaging, “Have you seen any scissors or anything around here? I knew I should’ve kept that damn knife this morning…”

 

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Lana shakes her head.  “No.  I took the earpiece out when my overhearing the conversation upset you so much.  I would like to keep it though.  I think it will come in handy when we get into trouble again.  April is a very good communicator…”  She stops as Daray’s words sink in.  “Wait… I thought that both parent’s names had to be listed on a birth certificate for medical reasons… how could the record have been removed?”  Lana Watches Daray for a moment before asking.  “I haven’t seen any, but what do you need scissors for?”

 

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"Please do keep it. It wasn't you listening that upset me Lana, it was..." She pauses for a moment, catching a glimpse of herself in the bathroom mirror, "my shame..." she whispers as she closes the last drawer in the room dejectedly.

 

-Birth registries are supposed to bear the name of both parents, excepting where the mother does not know who the father is. However, that does not appear to be the case here. I am detecting evidence that her father's name was removed from her records after the fact.-

 

"She says your dad's name was removed, not omitted." Daray paraphrases as she gathers her hair in one hand, then holds up the index finger of her other. The muscles along the sides of the finger twitch, and the tiny, razor-sharp claw raises out of its sheath as she watches, then moves the extended finger and claw toward the bundle of hair in her hand. "And as for the scissors, I'm afraid this will just have to do..."

 

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Lana suffers a new level of emotional pain as she digests that news. “Wow, apparently the man really doesn’t want anything to do with me.  He should have been more careful with birth control and it wouldn’t have been an issue.”  She wipes her cheeks as a few traitorous tears trickle down her skin.

 

Lana composes herself and turns to look at Daray just as she raises the claw to her hair. Her intention becomes clear to Lana and she gasps in horror, “Noooo!!!!!”  She reaches out to grab Daray’s hand, attempting to stop her.  “Mio tesoro, your hair is so beautiful!  Please don’t cut it yet.”

 

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Lana’s hand on her wrist is sufficient to stop her cutting the strands, but the look on Daray’s face is one of extreme consternation. She looks about to protest the very idea of leaving the long, unmanageable strands, but then catches sight of the glistening tear tracks on Lana’s cheek in the mirror.

 

She turns around, retracting the needle-like claw and pulling Lana into an embrace. “It’s OK Lana. We’ll figure out what happened. With APRIL’s help, we can find him and ask him why he’s such an ass.”  She lifts her chin up and kisses Lana on the cheek.

 

Then she pulls away, but twines her fingers through Lana’s, attempting to gently pull her toward the running shower, the skinsuit softening and relaxing again, this time it even begins to fade in color, becoming smokey, then entirely transparent, revealing her body again. She seems completely unconcerned about Lana’s still being clothed.

 

“Let’s get a shower first. Then some breakfast. Then we can see about chartering a ship to Mars so we can talk to that shop owner about who he’s renting computers to…”

 

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Lana relaxes into Daray’s hug, soaking in the comfort of her touch.  “I shouldn’t care.  He’s had no part of my life so far.  Why should I think my mother’s death should make a difference?”   

 

She laughs as Daray starts to eagerly tug her towards the shower.  She pulls back before she is drug under the water.  “Hey! Clothes are on loan here.  It would be impolite to ruin them.”  Her mood lightens considerably and she looks over Daray’s body with hungry yellow eyes.  “That sounds like a good plan.  Shower first.”  Her voice drips like honey as she steps back out of reach.  Lana reaches behind her and lifts her skirt so that she can pull her tail out of the hole in the body suit.  She then works the bodysuit out of the waist band of her skirt, pulling it upwards slowly to reveal her pale toned abdomen.  Her movements are sensual as she does this, impulsively falling into a striping routine, wanting to force away the negative emotions of earlier with some positive passion.  Just before she lifts the bodysuit over her breasts her tail twists around to over her front in the teasing manner of an old vaudeville fan dance. Lana finds that striping for someone she loves is even more fun than striping for clients she likes.  She is growing aroused just watching Daray’s reactions.  With a teasing grin she lifts the top completely over her head and then holds her tail to her breasts while she tosses the top back out into the bedroom.  She leans forward, partially into the shower and kisses Daray’s cheek before backing out of reach again.

 

She turns slowly, revealing the long lines of her back, naked except for the blue strands of her own medium length hair.  She unhooks the ties for her tail and tucks her fingers into the waistband of her skirt.  She shimmies her hips as she slowly pushes down her skirt.  She has a teasing smile on her face that promises passion and pleasure as she makes a show of pushing the skirt down and slowly revealing the curve of her bottom to Daray.  Her head is turned so she can peak over her shoulder and watch Daray watching her disrobe.  She bends at the hips as she lowers the skirt to her knees; her blue and white tail flicks about, offering teasing glimpses of her sex before hiding it again.  Once the skirt is to her knees she lets it fall the rest of the way to the floor.  

 

Lana turns back to face Daray again, her tail held in front of her like a blue and white version of the old Botticelli painting.  She holds that pose for just a moment before dropping her tail and stepping forward to embrace Daray in the warm water of the shower, naked and utterly confident of her welcome.

 

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“Well as APRIL keeps pointing out to me, it shouldn’t make any difference at all. And yet, it still seems to. Which is why we’ll get to the bottom of it.”

 

Daray tries only playfully to keep hold of Lana as she backs into the shower, letting the spray cascade over her as Lana retreats a few steps and then begins to tease her with the simple act of undressing. At first, the strip-tease is just an incredible show, the curves of Lana’s body igniting ires within Daray’s body, and the steam and heat from the sower water doing nothing to deter their growth.

 

Within moments however, Daray’s hands begin to wander her own body as Lana teases and titillates her. At fist it is nothing more than gently sliding her hands up and down her sides and across her stomach, fingertips dragging light traces across her skin. She seems unable to form goosebumps, but the accompanying shiver still makes its presence known. After the shiver subsides, she is surprised to find her right hand covering her sex, but doesn’t give any more thought to it, instead pressing the palm of her hand against the top of her mound, the pressure causing her clitoris to throb under compression. Within seconds, her fingers are tracing lines forward and back between the engorged lips of her labia.

 

Her eyes fluter with the combination of her auto-erotic exploration, and the sensual display Lana is putting on for her. By the time Lana leans in to kiss her, she is flushed and panting, legs spread lewdly and leaning heavily into the back corner of the shower stall. Shortly, her other hand finds one of her breasts, kneading and squeezing it, the nipple being pinched and distended between her thumb and index finger.

 

When Lana turns to face her, one of Daray’s fingers slips off track and presses into the space between her inner labia, the tip teasing the entrance of her vagina. Her eyes pop open wide at the mostly unexpected touch. Stepping through the cascade of water, Lana is very nearly tackled. Daray pounces on her, spinning her around and pressing her into the corner. She barely waits for Lana to steady herself before hopping up and wrapping both legs around Lana’s body, trusting the wall to take their weight, her arms lock around Lana’s shoulders and behind her neck and she hungrily attacks the woman’s luscious lips and warm mouth with her tongue, lips, and teeth.

 

She doesn’t, can’t, speak, eyes clouded over with passion again. Rational thought is gone once more, leaving behind her burning passion and sheer instinct to devour the object of her desire.


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