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Dec 15, 2019 4:04 AM
Heartbreaker Naruto falls on Animorphs
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"I think so? People whose powers change their shape keep having those powers."

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"Okay. Uh, I was also wondering whether you'd ever tried it on someone who had reasons not to treat you like a person."

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"...Yeah. Changed their mind."

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"Okay. The Yeerks just see humans as bodies for them to use. I don't want to ask too much of you, especially not when we haven't done anything for you, but we might need it."

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He nods. "That's - reasonable."

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“Sorry for all this. I’m sure you didn’t want to be stuck here, worrying about our problems. Hopefully in a few days, we can test your powers out and then we’ll be one step closer to understanding how to do this without hurting anyone. For now..”

Scott has brought his gaming system. Technically, it’s not his; he borrowed it from his friend, Erica, and she got a new one so she hasn’t asked for it back. They have a lot of plausibly deniable items she’s loaned him like that, mostly to appease her parents.

Scott doesn’t seem very competitive. Occasionally, he’ll relate something in the game to someone from church, or school, or the hospital. He seems to prefer listening to talking, though, and prefers both to actually thinking about who’s winning.

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Nereus isn't competitive either! And frequently gets distracted from the game to chat, as well as apparently having some attention or coordination problems. He's fully capable of chattering about his home world - mostly in the forms of stories he's overheard or read about other capes, since he's been a bit of a shut-in until recently.

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They’ll take turns losing and swapping stories, then.

Scott goes home.

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Braeden is home a decent amount of the time. She must go somewhere when she leaves, but if she has a job, she keeps odd hours. She’s generally the one providing Nereus with food and regular updates- they have a lead on a Yeerk, the Animorphs are planning another mission soon.

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It’s about six days in when Derek returns with a small fish tank. He’s home early from school; the only warning, a call from him to the house to expect him shortly.

He places the tank on the dinner table.

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The grayish-green slug inside bumps up against the edge of the tank, feeling it out.

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"Can they hear me?" Nereus asks Derek.

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"No. They can sense vibrations, but they don't interpret those the way humans interpret sound. I'd like to try it anyway, before we have to resort to something unsavory."

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"It works best if they can perceive me somehow, but I can try using touch there?"

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"Let's start there. Just give Dr. Deaton a minute to get here. I wanted him to...keep an eye on things, in case we needed to subdue a host."

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Dr. Deaton arrives shortly. He prepares to subdue a host.

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Derek lifts the lid off the tank.

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And Nereus reaches in, humming softly.

(His touch is clearly of someone kind, and soothing, and friendly, isn't it - he focuses on this, focuses on coming off as nice to the Yeerk...)

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If the Yeerk is soothed, it's not immediately obvious, but it does move its various appendages. It also doesn't try to move away from his touch.

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"This will probably take a while to be anywhere near obvious," he says, softly, continuing to move his hand, friendly friendly friendly, you like me don't you -

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"I don't have anywhere more important to be. Should I give you something to do or does it take all of your attention?"

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"I'm a bit faster if I'm focusing?"

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Nod.

Derek will wait for a while, anyway.

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As will Dr. Deaton.

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And Nereus works -

Though he can't actually read Yeerk body language, and his power's not compensating (he's never been sure if his power actually can do reading body language), so he's not sure how well this is working.

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