At the time Nancy discovered that Doreen’s superstrength made her breath catch and her toes curl, it was at a very inconvenient time for inquiry into the strange workings of her libido: she was clinging with grim determination to a very small, very rapidly sinking boat in the New York harbor, watching while Tomas’ chipmunks swarmed the bad guy’s goons back on shore and Ken and his fish churned up a living wall of water to keep the villain of the week from escaping out to sea in what she was pretty sure was a sloop (or maybe a dinghy). And Doreen -- Doreen had both her arms and her tail wrapped around a huge old anchor chain and her heels dug into the beach, slowly but surely pulling the ferry boat full of stranded civilians to safety.
Alone on her boat with her boots getting soggy and her arms getting tired of bailing out water, Nancy was acutely aware of the tingly warmth in her stomach. By the time Ken cut neatly through the water to pull her out of the boat, she’d determined that it was official: she was a superhero groupie and hanging out with Doreen and the boys had ruined her for anyone of non-animal-enhanced abilities.
“Hold tight, Nancy, and don’t worry,” Ken told her, beaming at her through his shiny goggles with the sort of pride that meant he had come up with what he considered a great pun, “the tide has figuratively but not literally turned and this rescue is now going swimmingly!”
“Stop right there or I’ll let go,” Nancy told him, and closed her eyes against the unpleasantly ticklish sensation of hundreds of tiny fish wriggling underneath her, buoying her against the waves while Ken towed her to shore. At least the cold water helped tamp down on the squishy feelings going on down there.
Doreen rushed over as soon as the ship was safely beached. “Nancy!” she said, out of breath, cheeks flushed from the effort it had taken to haul a boat weighing several tons ashore. “Are you all right? You must be freezing! Tippy, chutt chkk, chikkety-chtt Nancy!”
“What did you just say about me,” said Nancy, who despite a couple weeks’ valiant effort last year hadn’t progressed very far in learning Squirrelese, and then she found out as she was enveloped in a living blanket of very warm squirrels. “Oh… okay, so as it turns out, squirrel blanket is about a million times more comfortable than fish floatie. No offense, Ken.”
“None taken!” Ken called over his shoulder as he rushed off to help Tomas wrap up the goons. She could distantly hear him shouting about the scales of justice and how the tidal wave of crime was now fin-ished.
Tippy-Toe, sitting just above Nancy’s collarbone, gave a disapproving “chkk-chkit”.
“That was maybe Ken’s worst pun yet,” Doreen agreed, “but at least he’s having fun! Anyway, I should probably go stop the villain from getting away in that sailboat, right?”
“Right,” Nancy agreed. “Only first you might want to make sure the villain’s on the boat.” She pointed to the sloop (probably almost definitely a sloop), which was bobbing slowly out in the distance with a shadowy figure at the helm. “Read the name on it.”
Doreen peered out into the waves for a moment, presumably making use of her Squirrel-Vision™, and then she made a face. “Aw, nuts. The Red Herring? Come on, guy, can’t you just sit down and be captured?”
Nancy patted her arm consolingly. If her fingers lingered a little on the nicely muscled forearm, she wasn’t going to mention it unless Doreen did. “Looks like this case isn’t as fin-ished as Koi Boi wants to think. But I bet you’ll find the bad guy among the civilians on the -- yeah, there he goes.”
“Oh, darn,” Doreen said, and bounded after the escaping bad guy while Nancy sat on an overturned skiff (she was fairly sure it was a skiff) and tipped water out of her boots, covered in a fluffy and incredibly warm squirrel coat.
“I know!” Doreen sprawled over Nancy’s lap dramatically, her tail almost sweeping Mew off the bed. “Literally his only thing was setting other people up to take the fall for his crimes! His goons weren’t even union-certified henchmen, just regular people he conned into being in the wrong place at the wrong time!” Mew mrrrr-ed disapprovingly, but settled down again on top of Doreen’s tail.
“It turned out he wasn’t even fish-themed,” Ken added from the floor with righteous indignation.
“Anyway, then Doreen sat him down and talked to him,” Tomas picked up the story, lounging on Nancy’s bed in his effortlessly hunky Tomas kind of way. “And, long story short, she got him to give back all the money he stole and convinced him to open a mystery bookstore called the Red Herring, so he can sell books with twist endings to keep the world guessing in a more socially-acceptable way, and… I don’t really know why that worked?”
“Because of psychology, Tomas!” Doreen said brightly. “Probably! Also, my dad loves mysteries, and he would definitely go to a bookstore called the Red Herring. It was a natural fit once we figured out his motivation.”
Nancy shook her head, curling the comforter closer to her. “Only you would think of that,” she told Doreen. “Okay, boys, it’s ten minutes to nine and you know what that means. Clear out.”
Ken bounced up off the floor without hesitation. “Goodnight, ladies,” he said with dignity, straightening his tunic. “Good crime-fighting today. Though we are swimming against the current of a world filled with crime, our upstream battle--”
“Aaand that’s enough punning for one day,” Tomas said, wrapping his arm around Ken’s shoulders and steering him toward the door. “Thanks for the tea and the mission debrief. Nancy, I’m glad you’re okay.”
“See you in Applied Logic tomorrow!” Doreen called after them. “Don’t forget to finish reading chapter seven! There might be a pop quiz!”
Almost before the door closed behind the boys, Nancy was reaching back to unhook her bra with a sigh of relief. “No-bra-o’clock is the best time of day,” she informed Doreen. “It’s been scientifically proven in a completely replicable study.”
Doreen was still sprawled over her lap, watching appreciatively as Nancy deftly freed herself from her bra straps under her sweater and tossed it aside. “But was the study peer-reviewed?”
“Technically yes,” Nancy told her, “since you’re my peer and your review is four stars. Out of four,” she clarified.
Doreen wrapped her arms around Nancy’s waist, snuggling up to the bottom of her newly-freed bosom with a happy sigh. “Five out of four,” she said. “Nancy, I love no-bra-o’clock. Can you get mine?”
Mew mewed in protest when she got displaced from her warm napping spot in Doreen’s tail and batted at Nancy’s fingers as she reached back to unhook Doreen’s bra for her. She ignored the cat for the moment, because Mew might have been the most important thing in her life, but Doreen was a close second. Especially with her bra off.
Especially with her lips trailing down Nancy’s neck and Nancy’s nose full of that faint nutty scent of acorns that clung to her at all times.
Especially with her arms snug around Nancy’s waist, holding her tight. Nancy got that squishy feeling again, and she dipped her head down to nudge Doreen’s lips toward hers, her fingers still trailing over her back, and kissed her with intent.
“Chut,” Tippy-Toe said shortly, and she flipped the window open and scrambled out, slamming it closed short of Mew’s curious paw.
Doreen always got dozy after she got off, and her eyes were half-lidded when she looked down at Nancy. “Mm-hm?”
“I like how strong you are,” she said, since there was no point in being coy. “I mean I really like how strong you are. So if you ever wanted to, you know, explore that in bed, I would be more than down.”
Doreen cracked one eye open all the way and beamed down at Nancy. “I don’t know what that means,” she said honestly, “but I bet it would be really fun to find out!”
Nancy turned her head back to nestle in amid the pillowy little mountains of Doreen’s bosom. It was seriously cosy. “Yeah,” she said contentedly. “I bet it would.”