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Jul 11, 2020 5:37 PM
A Caden and a Zeke in Citrouille.
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Zeke spends an awkward moment in the pumpkin, waiting for him to get out of line of sight, and then grabs his luggage - which has been in the corner all this time in spite of being unmentioned by the narration - and tows it to his room. 

And then he can consult a map of the campus and stomp off into the woods. It’s a witch school; nearby flora was inevitable.

He spends a little while running around, tromping vigorously over assorted underbrush, and eventually encounters a particularly ugly tree. He spends a while snapping off branches and reducing them into successively smaller pieces. He can then go on to kick the resulting stump until it’s been reduced to shattered, scattered fragments of wood.

He doesn’t normally get this upset when he fucks things up, he fucks things up all the time, he - he’s too busy incoherently growling to introspect, right now.

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He is, eventually, capable of introspection, after having engaged in further arboreal battery. 

It occurs to him that there is, in fact, a reason why he would feel disproportionately upset about upsetting a powerful witch, after having had sex with that powerful witch. It doesn’t seem that likely, but - probably still worth a test? -

He tries growing a pumpkin - nothing fancy, just a generic, mildly magical pumpkin. Just barely sixth class, as goblin fruit goes.

The growing process takes about half a second, instead of the ordinary four, and he feels a faint sense of tapping into something other - like it is when he’s draining someone, but comfortable, easy, familiar, none of the tension or sense of strain.

 

Oh.

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Oh.

He’s - mated to Caden. That makes sense, because of course he would mate on someone adorable and great and soft and snuggly -

- and Caden doesn’t know -

His only interaction with him had ended badly, after a beginning in which he in-retrospect-pressured-him into sex, and the only condition Caden had placed on that sex was ‘don’t form a blood link with me’ - no, the specific thing had been ‘don’t drain me’, but ‘don’t form a blood link with me’ was an obvious extrapolation from that, that’s all blood links were good for - and now he was always going to be blood linked to Caden, that was what mating did, and he’d be draining him whenever he made the smallest goblin fruit -

He lets out a strangled sound, and runs towards the edge of the forest, and then to his room. 

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People don’t seem particularly perturbed by the fact that an obscenely-tall-and-broad-and-shirtless man is running through campus. Although he isn’t that unusual in either respect, really, so perhaps that’s predictable - maybe a third of the population seems enhanced to a fairly similar (or even greater) degree, most everyone has some physical weirdness going on, and there are ordinary reasons for someone to run from place to place.

 

Caden is there, when he reaches their shared room, lying down in his bed and looking at several folders worth of generic informational pamphlets; he seems to have either acquired or produced a shirt, and changed into different pants. He sits up, when Zeke enters the room.

” - um, is everything -“

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“I’m so sorry - I mated on you - please don’t be upset - can I hug you -“

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He doesn’t have time to contemplate the implications of that, someone is upset and he has the means to make them stop that -

“- yes -“

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The word ‘hug’ is, perhaps, less applicable than the word ‘tackle’.

Caden and Zeke are now both lying on the former’s bed, with Caden squeezed firmly into Zeke’s chest.

”I love you,” says Zeke. “I love you I love you I love you I’m so sorry you said you didn’t want a heart link and now we have a permanent heart link and I’m awful - I pressured you into having sex and then I pressured you into this hug and I’m awful except I can’t feel as bad about the hug because it’s making me feel better -“

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Caden cannot actually say ‘there, there, I’m not that upset, also a lot of your behavior is a lot less bizarre in retrospect with the mate bond as an explanation and I don’t think it makes sense to consider you culpable for it, and using the word ‘pressure’ for what you did seems kind of excessive’ while so thoroughly en-snuggled, at least if he doesn’t prefer that it come out as indecipherable gibberish. He settles for hugging back as tightly as he can.

(His thoughts quietly run through a little spiral- he hadn’t wanted a heart link, but a permanent one had different - connotations, implications - because an ordinary, temporary one didn’t come with corresponding personality alteration and fame - and he had to admit that he liked the idea, from a certain angle - but would he have liked it, before everything, before he spent two years being someone’s person-shaped toy? - he hadn’t wanted a heart link...)

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Zeke eventually feels emotionally stable enough to unhug. Slightly. Enough that Caden can talk, anyways.

 

 

“Uh, sorry about, like, dumping all that on you,” he says, angling his neck down so he can talk in Caden’s general direction. “Here you are, trying to cope with an emotionally difficult revelation, and here I am making it all about me, you know? If you want to vent or something feel free.”

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“Um! Um.

I think that my first priority is setting up some sort of nonverbal hug safeword, my second priority is reassuring you about the fact that you aren’t an awful person, my third priority is having a reasonable conversation about how all of this is going to work - whilst still snuggling, ideally, you’re attractive and reasonably thoughtful and nice and I do like snuggling you, even - or especially - when it makes it difficult to breathe - and that ‘venting’ doesn’t even really make it on the list.”

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- Zeke sporfles.

”I love you, you’re hilarious and great, I love you I love you I love you -“

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“... and I’m not totally sure how we’d implement a nonverbal hug safeword? It’s, like, mostly a Zeke thing, little bit a fangy thing when it’s physical, I get really drawn into whatever I’m focusing on and then I sort of - stop being the kind of person that can pay attention to subtle stuff?”

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“So saying ‘safeword’ would still work, but I’m probably incapable of doing anything similarly attention grabbing when you’re hugging me enough that I can’t speak - I suppose I can make something that lets us communicate telepathically, that seems like a sensible thing to have anyways, and it’d only take two weeks, I think. I can manage in the meantime... um, in more safeword-related news, how kinky are you, generally?”

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“How much should I worry about freaking you out?”

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“Um. I don’t think anything you’re likely to say is going to shock me? I spent the last two years in someone’s basement, he didn’t exactly confine himself to handcuffs and blindfolds.”

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“I still wanna kill that guy - so, uh, obviously I really like regular sex, but I also really like other stuff? ... I’m, like, totally fine with you having sex with other guys so long as I get to watch or participate. People being helpless is hot, so if you wanna do stuff with handcuffs and gags I’m definitely down with that. Watersports are hot. Public stuff - or stuff where there’s, like, an unusual chance of someone else walking in - is hot, and actually being watched while I fuck someone is hot? I’m not super into pain, but I kinda have to - hold back, if I don’t wanna leave bruises when I hug someone or have sex with them, and it’d be super convenient if you were masochistic? - I’m also pretty switchy, don’t think it’s gonna come up with you but it might come up if we have a threesome.”

(Caden can probably tell that he has an erection, during this monologue; he’s even sort of squirmy in a way that suggests he does, in fact, want to act on it, unlike his previous snuggle-erection.)

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(Caden, too, has an erection! He doesn’t have a vampiric sex drive, but he never did actually get around to completion, during their earlier romp.)

“I’m enthusiastically okay with all of those listed things! Done whenever you’d like, even - and you can in general feel free to leave bruises. Or break bones, honestly, I’m exceedingly masochistic and I heal really quickly.“

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“... okay, just checking, how much of that is because you’re just naturally super subby, and how much of it is leftover trauma and stuff?”

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“To the extent that my preferences have been changed, they’ve been - changed lastingly, I think - and I’ve always been really submissive - why?”

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“I would be really reassured if you expressed a preference, right now - I’m suddenly really concerned about your ability to consent and whether you’d, like, actually tell me? If I did something that you didn’t like.”

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“I want to make people happy. I want to make you happy, because I like you and you love me. I want to read more about this school’s available courses and clubs, and I want to join half a dozen of each. I want to grow something that’ll give me bunny ears, after I finish the telepathy - um, bracelets, I think they’d work well as bracelets - because I’ve wanted to do that for three years but I didn’t get around to it before I was kidnapped. I want to go to the library and haul back more books than I can carry, and then read them in your lap, because I like being in your lap. I want to have sex with you, and have sex with other people in front of you. 

My previously mentioned priorities - ‘having a reasonable conversation about our relationship’ and ‘reassuring you that you aren’t an awful person and that you aren’t going to accidentally abuse me’ - stand; are they going to have to wait for the telepathy bracelets, too?”

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Zeke slightly shifts his snuggling position.

 

”- no. No, we can have this conversation now. Sorry.”

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“... you keep going between ‘I’m going to treat you like a stuffed animal’ and ‘I’m going to feel guilty about treating you like a stuffed animal and incidentally dehumanize you’ - and I actually sort of like being treated like a stuffed animal, the safeword thing was mostly just because you were guilty about it and it seemed immediately pertinent - but the hypocrisy isn’t really endearing?”

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Damn it damn it damn it he’s ruining everything again -

 

“I - I love you. You’re my heart, that’s what you being my mate means, I didn’t have one but I have one now and it’s you and I love you? I - I can’t stand the thought of hurting you, or - I’m dealing really badly with all of this and I’m sorry. I don’t think that I can stop feeling guilty, or - I get really into things, I mentioned it before, and it makes it hard to remember that people are people - but I can try?”

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“I mostly just need you to try right at this very moment, I can handle you having traits that I don’t like, it’s just really frustrating here - so, um. Back to the point. Keeping in mind that I prefer to be treated as a person and not a ball of trauma, and that I prefer to be taken at face value about my preferences, I genuinely want to satisfy all of your kinks and have sex whenever you want to have sex - except during classes, maybe, I wouldn’t mind being occasionally absent but I wouldn’t want it to be a frequent thing.”

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