Actions

Work Header

Paradoxical Taxonomy

Work Text:

Kanaya’s sigh nearly folded over itself, and it was all Rose could do to force herself to speak.

“Darling Beloved,” she offered, in a way that was neither a question nor a statement as she kept her gaze downward, as if she were keeping her attention focused on the baby squirming in her lap; internally, Rose mused abstractly about how often she had used the funeral phrase for her wife as of late.

It had been funny, for the last few decades of their marriage.  

Rose’s thoughts were disrupted by the sensations of a creature navigating her lap.

The larvae, as she liked to call their kind, was fat and freshly hatched; slime from their emergence still coated their thin skin, which soaked steadily into her dress. Their mouth, yet to open, nudged repeatedly at her fingers, likely trying to differentiate her scent between guardian and food.

“Rose Dear,” Kanaya stated, her tone firm but familiar with warmth.

Rose continued to stare offhandedly at the baby in her lap as her wife walked over to sit across from her; Kanaya made no move to pluck any grub from the newly emerging egg pile.

Rose swallowed a breath; she had foreseen their conversation many times.

She found herself nervous of it, regardless.

“I don’t suppose you’d care to beat around the proverbial bush for another decade or so,” Rose offered, knowing Kanaya would not.

“I’m not chastising you my Love, I am merely concerned for your well being,” her wife replied; the familiar trills of sincerity settling her nerves as she spoke.

Rose swallowed nervously; it had been a few years since she had heard that term of endearment from her partner. The use of it now made her worry; having been caught in another perigee of disassociation, she couldn’t recall when last she had used it herself.  

Rose made no effort to push the grub in her lap away as it inevitable bit into her fingers, stumbling through the learning curve of learning how to feed.    

“You have not been as happy as you could be, as of late.”

Rose took a steadying breath.

“It is not in regards to my love of you,” Rose replied earnestly, turning her gaze to her partner; “I would shudder to think that I might have at any point caused you to worry of that.”

Kanaya smiled fondly and shook her head; “I know, Dear; but the point still stands.”

“It is likely another bout of dissociation fueled by our hyper-extended lifespan. Nothing more,” Rose explained flatly; “Another year or two and it should fade.”

“But it shall return again,” Kanaya countered; “Each stronger than the last, if the previous bouts have been anything to take note of, and I do note, as you’ve noticed. I worry for you; Rose, you have not been tending to yourself, or the others, or the children.”

Rose bit her tongue to keep her face from souring.

“Yes, I know you are fond of the Mothergrubs and the hatchlings;” Kanaya inferred, continuing, “but you’re interest in them halts once they molt and obtain a form too Human for your liking.”

“You make it sounds as though I detest children.”

“No,” Kanaya replied, shaking her head, “You do not detest them. Fear them, perhaps; as I’m sure Dave would agree.”

“I can only imagine what you two have divined from my behaviour;” Rose sighed as the grub in her lap checked through one of her fingers, “What is it that you two have come to conclusion of?”

“You still carry residual effects of your childhood ills,” Kanaya replied consolingly; “You are likely comparing yourself to your mother and abstaining from the wrigglers because of it, and us, by association.”

“As the others and myself dedicate what time we spend with the general populace to bettering the communities’ youths, it is likely no coincidence that you’ve inevitably abstained from maintaining your relationships with us as well.”

Rose closed her eyes; visions swimming over her lids that she didn’t attempt to decipher.

“I admit that you are likely right my Light,” Rose replied, forcing herself to use the dust covered phrase; “I am not above such passive aggressivity. I apologize for my behavior, and I shall take steps to correct it.”

“My Blossom, it pleases me greatly to hear that,” Kanaya replied, her tone deeply relieved; “I spoke with your dancestor earlier, as she has also been worried; it would please us greatly if you were join us in discussing this matter further.”

“Roxy as well?” Rose mused, thankful her wife had returned her endearment; “I suppose you shall next be telling me that Dirk is waiting in the shadows, ready to strike and forcibly move me into compliance as he too, suckles the thread of concern.”

“He’s not in the caverns no,” Kanaya replied, “But he has made it clear that I am to call upon his aide if I desire it for your benefit.”

“Astounding.”  

“Do not be curt with me Rose,” Kanaya replied, “and please do not hold it against your family; they just care about your well being.”

“Forgive me Kan,” Rose pleaded; “I don’t mean to be spiteful with you. I am greatly touched and continually grateful for the care you and the others offer me. It is only myself that I am displeased with.”

“I know, Dear,” Kanaya replied understandingly, she smiled warmly; “Hopefully, Roxy’s idea will help sort that out.”

Rose smiled before standing up, letting the grub tumble to ground and held up a hand sporting several digits, and revealing several more pieces along her body to be missing besides.

“May I have a quick regeneration for the road?”

“Of course Dearest,” Kanaya replied, rising to her feet. She pulled out her lipstick from her pocket and shifted into its more menacing form; Kanaya tried not grimace as the chainsaw squelched through her wife’s body, cutting her clean in two, before quietly returning into its pigment application form.

Kanaya smiled as the grubs, lured by the scent of Rose’s blood, descended onto the dead Rose as a new Rose began to reanimate from her fallen self; the sounds of dozens of tiny mouths feasting on flesh in a carpet of rainbow tints helped soothe her nerves as she waited for partner to finish regenerating.

“Where is this meeting to occur, might I ask?” Rose inquired as her newly corporealization form gathered the attentions of the the cavern's surrounding attendants and wrigglers of various stages; her voice tingled across Kanaya’s ears as it materialized with the rest of the girl.

“She’s surveying over our Kingdom today;” Kanaya replied, as Rose became wholly formed.

Rose stepped out of the hatching pit, a genuine smile on her face; wordlessly, she took Kanaya’s offered arm and together they left the young to feed.  

A short time later, Rose brushed her fingers through her hair as Kanaya fastened the lacing adorning her back, content in her feelings of enamorment for her wife.

“I wasn’t aware that meeting with my Mother-Child necessitated that I don my gay apparel,” she chided, unable to resist the temptation of prodding her partner for more information.  

“There’s nothing wrong with taking pride in your appearance, Dearest,” Kanaya chided; “Besides, it’s been a few perigees since you’ve modeled for me. Humor me, my Love.”

“At your wish,” Rose replied warmly, earning a pleased hum from her wife.

Soon finished, Kanaya wrapped her arms around Rose, and placed chaste kiss upon her cheek before drawing back.

“Come, we’ve only so much time before our duties demand our attention once more,” Kanaya declared; “We wouldn't want Roxy to worry further by being late.”

“I don’t know,” Rose teased, as she followed Kanaya to their room’s door, “I for one was pleased in her assessment of your prowess the last time she came looking for us.”

“Getting Hootbeast-called by your dancestor is not my idea of profitable repeatable offense Rose,” Kanaya replied dryly as they stepped into the hallway; “Even if the assurance from your moirail was somewhat flattering.”

“Catcalled my Dear,” Rose insisted, “that would be Purrbeast-called, if I’m not mistaken.”

“I thought it was Wolf-whistling,” Kanaya replied dryly.  

Rose hummed, pleased, and walked in amiable silence as Kanaya led them through the castle, passing pawns and rooks comfortable ease.

She was grateful that the castle workers at least, were used to their presence, and did not overly fuss beyond nods or bows or murmured fair blessings; it was often a great hassle to bear the attentions of their subjects outside of it, and Rose, like many of the others, often avoided the general public for that reason.

The walk to her mother-daughter’s quarters was blessedly calming for her mind; by the time Kanaya opened Roxy’s chamber door and ushered her inside, Rose was feeling much more optimistic about the situation at hand. While she did not always share her genetic conspirator's viewpoints, she was more than willing to admit to favoring Roxy’s ability to think quickly and utilize nonstandard notions.    

Roxy’s sitting room was homey in a way that brought a smile to her lips, and upon catching sight of her mother-daughter lounging inelegantly on her couch, who sat up at the sight of her, face filled with affection, Rose didn’t bother hiding her sigh of relief and bounded over to give her ecto-relation a hug.

“Hi-ya Rosie,” Roxy sing-songed during their hug.

“My Roxy,” Rose replied affectionately, drawing back to offer Calliope an embrace as well.

“Hello Love,” Calliope offered happily; “It’s good to see you about.”

Rose nodded and took a seat as Kanaya took a moment to greet them herself before she too, sat down, prompting the others to do the same.

“Tea? Lemonade?” Roxy offered.

“Lemonade please,” Rose chose.

“It’s raspberry,” Roxy warned, as she poured a cup.

Rose nodded, and took the offered beverage.

“So,” Roxy began; “I know this isn’t your first time at the intervention rodio, kiddo.”

“That is an unfortunate truth,” Rose agreed; “But Kanaya informed me that you have a few ideas that will help with my behavior as of late.”

Roxy exhaled loudly before stealing an encouraging glance from her girlfriend, who smiled as much as her bone structure allowed.

“As your Mother slash Daughter slash Bestest Friend in the extended universe,” Roxy declared cheekily, “I’m puttin my metaphorical foot down to say that you gotta listen to me before shootin’ my idea down, which I know you’re already itchin’ to do ‘cause of your seer’in powers.”

“I’m not adverse to your idea, if you’re thinking the same one I’ve been seeing you think,” Rose admitted; “But I remain as of yet to find it a practicable solution. But,” Rose furthered, “I am willing to hear you speak of it. I am always open to your suggestions.”

“Good,” Roxy replied, nodding; “I know you and Other me didn’t get on well; or rather, that we’ve all attacked all of that from that angle. But lately I’ve been thinkin about it, and everything you’ve told me, and everything I would do, if I had been Her, and I think we’ve maybe been approaching your feelings all wrong.”

“I do hope you’re not suggesting I return to a life of booze and Jazz,” Rose replied; “Kanaya would not be pleased to find her wife passed out behind the couch in a puddle of soporifics, especially as Vriska is not here this time to stop me.”

“No,” Roxy responded quickly, her tone firm; “Not that. Our binge drinking days are behind us and neither of us are going back.”

“I’m glad to hear it,” Rose replied, taking a sip.

“What I’m suggesting is, that you liked the passive aggressive stuff, and that maybe it would be constructive for you to have that back in your life.”

“A kismesis, you mean,” Rose inferred.

“In a word? Totes,” Roxy affirmed, nodding a bit.

“I see. Or rather, I ‘saw’,” Rose corrected, before continuing, “A reasonable suggestion, but there is a snag in the rug of infallibility here that you’ve yet to address.”

“Like what?”

“I’m immortal, Roxy my Sweet. There’s no real candidate I can choose that will be of match to me. I refuse to inevitably sour any relationships I have with you or Dave or any of the others, especially as many of their available quadrants are already filled, or else they lack the want to utilize the quadrant system entirely.”

“You could try one of the longer lived castes,” Kanaya offered; “Someone Indigo or higher would live a fairly long time, or we could simply ask Dave or Aradia to stretch their time indefinitely.”

Rose shook her head; “Even if time was not a factor, there’s still the matter of equality. A kismesis is meant to inspire you, drive you further. How could someone not from our session understand me well enough to drive me to excel? All that would lead to is some young hot-shot deluded into grandeur thinking they had what it takes to compete with a god, and I would simply laugh from the sidelines and drive them into ruin, enjoying every step of the way. I will not let myself ruin a string of perfectly good people for my own twisted amusements.”

“Actually, I figured you would say all that,” Roxy carefully interjected; “I didn’t mean to make the decision for you or anything, but as I’m your Daughter-Mother-Best Friend, Kanaya told me it was okay to pick out a suggestion.”

Rose looked at her curiously.

“And who, pray tell, did you find?”

“Promise me first, that you’ll give her a chance.”

“Of course,” Rose replied, setting down her cup.

“I mean it now,” Roxy warned, “I’m going to bring her in, and you have to not abscond or reject her straight off outright.”

“I never do anything straightly,” Rose offered, nodding, as Calliope gave her an encouraging smile; the way Kanaya shifted in her seat, as if to grab her, did not leave her feeling as optimistic as she was sure the others would have liked.

Roxy flashed her an excited grin, and trotted over to one of the doors leading deeper into her chambers.

“Don’t worry if things start to get too intense,” Calliope cooed, catching her attention.

“If things don’t work out, I want you to know that I’m more than willing to mediate for you,” she offered.    

“Thank you Callie,” Rose replied, giving her a nod before she eyed her wife, who blushed.

“We’re only thinking of your well being, my Love,” Kanaya insisted sheepishly.

Rose said nothing.

Roxy came back through the door, a mixture of excitement and nervousness molded across her face.

“Alight, now presenting, for your spade suitin’ pleasure, a dame of many names, a cat who knows how to swing, the fantasti-”

“Just bring her in, please, Roxy. I’m not sure I can wait and resist the urge to ‘look’ into it myself.”

Roxy bit her lip and pressed the door open.

In strutted a girl that Rose knew more intimately than she had ever wanted.

Jasperosesprite^2 looked around the room and offered everyone a smile; her feet lifted from the floor, spinning her in an elegant arc as she drank them all in.

When her eyes fell to her, she grinned, her flickering colors gaining intensity.

“Hello Rose! It’s nice to see you; Roxy said you’d be stopping by. And Kanaya too? Isn’t that lovely, and why, the lovely skull-faced Calliope is here as well? What luck! It seems we have a full house tonight, and that house is filled with nothing but smokin’ hot mommas. A shame Jane couldn’t attend then, eh?”

Kanaya made to take hold of her arm, but Rose pointedly remained in her seat. She refused to give her alternate self the satisfaction of a reaction; or at least, that is what she told herself to keep her body in place.

The sprite winked and carried on, mid-air, her tail flicking from side to side as she spoke; her toro twisted, allowing her to rest her elbows her posterior, her tail circling around her head like technicolor mane while her hand cradled her chin.

“And we could have invited Jade while we were at it! Terezi too. Maybe Davepetasprite^2 if we had been feeling particularly risque;” Jasperosesprite^2 pondered allowed, petting her chin’s tentacles they way a wizened old man well versed in magic might have stroked his beard, had he been caught deep in thought.

“Still,” she mused as she twisted back around, folding over herself to reach a sitting position; smiling, as if tossing out her previous thoughts all together, “The fact remains that we gorgeous gals remain here and now, and we should definitely celebrate that purr-fectly delicious fact. I, for one, would like to put forth the motion that we should partake in hair brushing and belly rubs, or in the case of Calliope, head rubs and wing brushing.”

“I hate you,” Rose declared suddenly, derailing Jasperosesprite^2’s conversation and unnerving everyone else’s attentions entirely.

“I hate all of you,” she declared in a voice with too many layers to be called anything but Eldritch.  

Jasperosesprite^2 looked at her and smiled; “Why, I love you too, Rose.”  

A bubbling, thickened feeling swelled up within Rose’s gut while Roxy, Calliope, and her wife, all beamed at her with pride and Jasperosesprite^2 began to purr.

  

“I am very proud of you, Rose,” Kanaya later declared as they walked back to their chambers.

Rose hummed, not yet trusting herself to speak; after they had left her ecto-relation’s wing, they had sat in court for a few solar rotations. Twice, Rose had tried to open her mouth, to assist her wife in delegation, only to snap it shut and withhold dribbles of grimdark brine.

She hoped Kanaya had not felt overburdened; gently, she brushed her fingers along the hem of her wife’s sleeve before nestling them within her wife's hand.

As Kanaya allowed their hands to intertwine, Rose hummed again, and offered her what she hoped was a small smile.

Her wife seemed pleased by the action, and led her past their loungeblock and into their bedroom.

“I think an evening of relaxing would do us both good, what do you think?” Kanaya asked, looking her over.

Rose swallowed what she hoped was the last of the horrorterror’s guile and nodded.

“A bath perhaps, before bed would suffice,” Kanaya thought aloud, “And Jake has a new movie he’s asked us to review, if you’d care to partake in a visual and spiritual journey of how much that boy’s directors pit him against the supposed evils of wearing pants.”

Rose huffed, amused; feeling a fleeting moment of fancy, she leaned up to kiss her wife’s cheek.

“Stew with me in our ablution tub,” Rose commanded, taking her hands in her own; “The posterior of one Jake English is not one I wish to postulate on tonight.”   

Kanaya smiled knowingly, and allowed her to lead them to their bathing chamber.

Rose offered her a coy grin and flicked on the lights to the room.

At first, she wasn't completely sure that she was seeing what she was seeing; it was this hesitation that allowed their dwelling’s intruder to smile broadly and further relax, as if completely unfazed by being found.

Jasperosesprite^2 was sitting in their tub, smiling.

That in and of itself would have been enough to leave Rose in any state of disarray, but her alternate self’s activity is what caught her tongue and held it.

The sprite was lounging haphazardly in their tub, which was filled with a few layers of raw fish.

Her legs dangled over the side with a pair of Dave’s old heelys on her paw-feet; her claws poked holes in the front of the shoes and the sprite’s tail hung over the back of the tub, swishing.

In her lap, sagged an open sack of powdered sugar.

Wordlessly, Jasperosesprite^2 picked up one of the fish still wriggling with life, dipped it into the bag, and nonchalantly shoved the creature into her mouth, swallowing it whole.

She licked the suger from her lips, contrasting to the rest of her body covered which was layered in a sugary dust, and suckled her finger-paws clean.

Rose fought to reclaim her ability to breathe and shook.

Jasperosesprite^2 grinned harder and started to disappear one section and stripe at a time, until only her cheshire smile remained before that too, slowly faded away.

Rose looked at the tub, pink and lilac cat hair covering split sugar and flopping fish, and then back to her wife, her mouth staunchly refusing to gape to open.

“I’ll grab a towel and the wastebin,” Kanaya mused, a grin tugging the corners of her mouth, before she turned to wander off.

Rose looked back to the tub and sighed.

A snaking suspicion tickled her gut, tempting Rose to look in her shower.

Rose swallowed her apprehension and walked over to take a look.

Pulling open the curtains revealed two hairballs and a dead octopus.

Rose screeched, her pitch delving back into Eldritch octaves as Kanaya returned, cleaning gear in hand, smiling.  

“Normally I would suggest letting the servants attend to this sort of thing,” she mused, as she offered the towel and wastebin for rose to take, “but there’s nothing quite like cleaning up the first mess your pitch partner makes for you with your own two hands.”

“You just want to see me on my knees,” Rose finally scoffed, after swallowing her grimdarkness back; she took the supplies from her wife with a respectful nod.

Kanaya’s smirk strengthened, showing off an array of her sharp teeth.

“I believe you owe me a little posturing, my Love.”

“Yes Dear,” Rose sighed, resigning herself to the chore.

She began collecting the sealife, swearing and muttering under her breath as Kanaya happily perched herself on the sink to watch.

As Rose slowly made a dent in the slew of fish in the tub, she made a mental note to give one of her friend’s a call; Jade was a resourceful girl, and as she recalled, knew a thing or two about animals, stuffed and otherwise.

 

The next day, after a pleasant phone call to the dogeared ruler, Rose found herself sitting across from her old friend, cup in hand, wondering how she wanted to approach the subject.

She was unable to stop herself from letting words depict a kaleidoscope of her feelings for her alter self; Rose was thankful that Jade seemed to share her sentiment on parallel selves.

Jade was certainly a loyal, refreshing friend, Rose thought internally.

Rose tried to swallow her feelings of exasperation and dutifully sipped the herbal tea that Jade had graciously poured for her.

“I think everyone hates meeting up with their spriteself,” Jade offered cautiously; “I nearly strangled Jadesprite for being such a crybaby about everything! But! At the same time, meeting a sprite of someone else is like, really fine. I liked Davesprite quite a bit! And Davepetasprite^2 as well.”

“Hell,” Jade huffed happily, “Karkat swears he’s his own kismesis, and he’s not even a sprite of himself!”

“It’s harder to face our own inner flaws then it is to deal with then the manifestations of how our friends see themselves, you mean,” Rose pressed; “I suppose that’s true.”

“Part of me is admittedly, still a little unsure about the entire ordeal,” Rose murmured as she gently ran her fingernails along the sides of her cup.

Jade frowned and her ears tilted forward.

“A piece of me worries that my brand of self loathing isn’t quite quite cut to fit the design of kismesitude,” Rose admitted.

“You could always tell Jasperosesprite^2 that you changed your mind?” Jade ventured, tilting her head; “I’m sure Roxy would be okay with it.”

Rose laughed a sound devoid of humor and grinned mercilessly.

‘I’m afraid I can’t do that,” she answered honestly; “Lalondeian pride is a specifically intrinsic kind of aggression. If I back out, she wins. I can’t let her win Jade. Not again.”

Jade’s brows furrowed slightly.

“Again?”

The question startled Rose slightly; she shook her head to clear away her racing thoughts and braced her teeth neatly together.

“Nothing,” she uttered quickly; “The matter is irrelevant.”

“Okay,” Jade whined; “If you say so.”

“Thank you,” Rose replied evenly; “If I might return this visit to my original intention of arrival?”

“Shoot,” Jade huffed happily, before sipping her own drink.

“It has occurred to me that perhaps my condition stems from a decreased acquirement of fresh skills. Since the Game ended, and our coronations, I have let myself fall into something of a lackadaisical funk, as I’m sure you’ve noticed;” Rose explained calmly, her fingers gripping her cup tighter.

“I thought that it might be wise to break that habit, and to ‘get schoolfed’ on some new venture of recreational diversions.”

“That sounds like a great idea,” Jade offered, a small grin gracing her features; “What did you have in mind? I’m sure Kanaya would've taught you something of gardening by now. Physics maybe? Chemistry?”

“Taxidermy.”

Jade’s eyes widened for a moment as she processed Rose’s statement.

“I could teach you that, yes;” Jade replied slowly, “But it’s not exactly a skill that’s… pleasant in the process? It’s really really gross in a lot of the parts, really.”

“That’s fine,” Rose replied, nodding once; “I’m sure Dave and Roxy will be thrilled over any mistakes or successes I make, regardless.”

Jade inhaled something akin to a breath of relief; “They certainly do like those dead things, huh?” she offered, smiling once more.

“They certainly do,” Rose replied, her mouth forming a strange grin; “I think I’m starting to see the appeal of it myself, in fact.”

Jade frowned again, deeply; Rose’s grin faltered and she sat straighter in her chair.

“Rose, are you going to something bad to your spriteself?”

Rose kept silent, and regarded Jade cautiously as the canine imbued girl sighed.

“It’s okay, if you are I mean,” Jade mumbled; “It’s not like we can die or anything anymore, so.”

“Just don’t make a habit of it,” Jade requested, as she looked at Rose suddenly.

Rose breathed a moment before nodding once.

Jade rushed a large swell of air into her lungs and expelled it quickly as she picked herself out of her seat and slammed her hands on the table.

“Well!” she barked cheerfully, her face lit with excitement; “Let’s get started then, shall we?”

 

Rose could not deny herself a smile when she returned to her kingdom, bottles of preserved fauna and more than a few small hide covered statues in tow. She left the recently deceased possessions in the loungeblock; Kanaya watched her silently as she unpacked them all.  

Kanaya then regarded her fondly, when she followed her to their chambers; likely pleased with her initiative to pay their friend a visit.

Rose grinned, cheekily, as she knew she hadn’t for quite some time as Kanaya looked her over.

“Should I be concerned?”

“The real question, my love, is when shouldn’t you be;” Rose teased.

Kanaya hummed; a pleasant consistent sound that Rose had once grown accustomed too. Trailing behind it, wafted a faint scent that Rose also knew quite intimately.

“My Dear, I do believe your gay is showing,” Rose quipped, as her wife coaxed her into her arms; she had once called her wife’s vestigial tooth-like tubercles running along her arms a manner of evolutionary cheating, she recalled warmly as Kanaya kept them from snagging into her clothes. She wouldn’t have been lying if she mentioned being rather enamoured of them, as she was sure Kanaya by now, was no doubt well aware of.

“Not yet, but she will;” Kanaya replied evenly, already stooping to nuzzle the flesh of her neck.

The scent grew stronger, secreted by the glands under her wife’s chin.

Rose licked her lips as a long forgotten ache began swelling up inside of her; she wondered if Kanaya’s idea for her pitch-infused jumpstart had been more successful than she had anticipated.

“My Light, how long has it been?” Rose murmured as Kanaya nibbled along the skin of her jaw.

Kanaya hummed deeper, the sound trilling into a contented growl.

Rose wrapped her arms around her wife’s neck and savored the feeling of their bodies pressed comfortably together as Kanaya slowly swayed her in a dance that led closer and closer to their bed.

Rose bit her lip in anticipation when the back of her legs brushed against the front of the blankets.

“Two sweeps Rose,” Kanaya murmured mournfully as she brushed her lips along her cheek; “It gets so cold, when you fade.”

Rose ignored the sinking sensation in her gut in favor of kissing her wife; she poured her apology into the kiss, hoping that her wife would understand.   

Kanaya started to peel away her clothing, her claws easily pried away the layers; Rose moaned whenever Kanaya allowed a hint of pressure to her claws, leaving the faintest red trails along her skin.

Fully undressed, Rose shivered; part of her was still nervous, allowing her wife to see her in such a state. From their first time, all the centuries ago lingered a fear that her body, as an extension of herself, would never prove satisfactory to the girl and now, after all their time together, she was left with a fear that her body, and self, would prove too tired and devoid of variables to prove desirable.

Kanaya cupped her chin and placed a chaste kiss against her lips; Rose found herself still marveling at the way her wife’s chitin softened around her mouth -years of having to deal with her humanly enzymes bombarding it no doubt.

She knew that she too, had not remained unchanged over the course of their relationship; as she helped Kanaya undress, she envisioned all of the times she had purposefully respawned herself with minute changes; thicker skin, wider hips, sharper teeth. Even during the metaphorical eclipse she had found herself lost under, she had kept herself just sturdy enough for her wife; out of habit or hope, she didn’t dare contemplate.

Free of her own cloth coverings, Kanaya’s body rippled as her various chitin plates and soft underlying tissues shifted into their resting state.

Rose watched Kanaya’s body move for a moment, as Kanaya no doubt watched hers; their states of alien person hoods no matter how familiar, always still seeming underlyingly strange.  

Slowly, Kanaya produced a hissing sound, expelled air forcibly escaping from her abdominal spiracles; the plates around her face shifted slightly as her eyes focused.

Rose hummed happily in response; affectionately, she ran a finger along her wife’s chest plates before trailing her hand to the bare scar-flesh in Kanaya’s abdomen. Kanaya’s plating had never grown back in the place Eridan had once shot her, much to her wife’s ire, despite multiple attempts to respawn and ‘reset’ it.

She pressed against the flesh with just enough force to no longer comfortably label ‘gentle’; the outer scar tissue had no nerves left while the sensitive tissue remained hyper sensitive underneath it.

It had taken many attempts to find the perfect match of persistence and tenderness to use her wife’s physical distortion to their advantage. Finding all the sensitive spots and needed pressure was instinctual nature to her now, Rose knew.

Kanaya seemed appreciative, if the chirping and skittering of her tiny mandibles were to be trusted; she smiled, watching them. Trolls still held something of an aversion to making use of their vestigial attributes, declaring them things like ‘Alternian’ and ‘barbaric’.

Even back all those years ago, when she and Kanaya had co-hived on the meteor, her wife had skittered around questions and mentions of her finer insectile attributes; Rose supposed she had been little better, as she had spent an equal amount of time dodging around the societal rhetoric of things such as her hair covered legs and her compulsive need to shave them for it.  

Her thoughts were unraveled as Kanaya pressed against her again; she lifted her up, allowing Rose to wrap her legs around her middle, and to let Rose’s face to be even with her own.

They kissed deeply, slowly reacquainting themselves with each other in a way that came more freely than any other they had found.         

Rose pulled away for air; recalling in passing the number of times she hadn’t and accidently killed herself along with the mood.

Her wife fell forward, letting Rose land against the bed with a slight bounce; Kanaya followed her, bracing her weight around her body instead of on top of it, to keep from crushing her.

Kanaya nuzzled her face against Rose’s as the hiss in her abdomen spread into a thrumm.

Gingerly, Kanaya balanced her weight on her forearm to stroke along her body with the other, making her gasp slightly at the initial contact, before the sound lulled gently into an appreciative moan.

Rose had often lamented that her wife’s biological origins negated an evolutionary need for heavy petting; while her wife was content with courting of flirty dances and posturing, there was little Rose’s touches could do to excite her in the thick of the moment.

Still, her wife respected her own biological instincts with remarkable care; she was content to let Rose have her way with her, in whatever exploratory manner she wished, and Rose would have been hard pressed to recall a time that Kanaya had neglected to thoroughly make use of her mammalian instincts to capitalize on her pleasure. Even now, Kanaya was trailing her claws along her skin, tantalizing her with the barest hints of tactile stimuli.

“Let me feel you this time,” Rose quietly implored; Kanaya made no verbal response but nodded, her hum briefly in pitch as her hand continued to glide along her body.

Rose let her own hand drift to her wife’s nook; she had learned over time that the different blood castes had possessed different genital configurations set ups to prevent cross-breeded mutations, and while due to the implementation of the parasitic use of mothergrubs it was no longer a concern for their species, the configurations had remained. Too costly from an evolutionary standpoint to get rid of, Kanaya had once told her.

Kanaya’s configuration, jade blooded as she was, was resultantly complex in comparison to her own reproductive organs.

She fingered Kanaya’s openings slowly, enjoying the slick feeling of her wife’s fluids on her fingers and the feeling of the tiny tube-like orifice that she coaxed from deep within its hood; it was something of a personal vice, not that she would admit it, that she found something satisfying about being able to touch her wife so intimately without her instinctively fearing injury or growing uncomfortable.

Sure, Kanaya could get the same pleasure from a different human, she knew, but no troll could offer it, which Rose hoped made up for her lack of trollian appendages.

Kanaya, considerate creature that she was, kept her claws dulled and short for her; Rose felt somewhat guilty for her wife’s need to mind herself. She maintained them impeccably however, and Rose knew she’d be hard pressed to find anyone else who kept their claws as neat as she did.

As Kanaya’s fingers came to rest against her clit, her claws scratching minutely against the skin above; Rose moaned her wife’s name and lifted her hips.

Kanaya leaned over her and trailed her tongue along her body, gliding between her breasts and stopping against her lips before she repositioned herself.

“Let me know when,” Kanaya murmured, her voice sounding strange to Rose’s ears after being reunited with her wife’s primordial based means of communication.

Rose grunted in agreement; Kanaya carefully rested her nook against Rose’s vagina and brought a hand to her abdomen to press against the swollen bulge within.

The claspers on either side of Kanaya’s nook slid against the wetness of her skin; Rose rubbed against them until they managed to catch and lock into place. She pressed harder against them, before attempting to pull away, and smiled when they held; they bit into her skin uncomfortably, but she wouldn't deny the handiness of their functionality.

With Kanaya’s claspers in place, Rose knew their the sensory output was quickly spurring the rest of her wife’s biology into taking action.

From with her nook, Kanaya’s sensory fronds began to unfurl; their ability to sense the differences in pheromones between their pitch and flush partners was something of a marvel to Rose; or they would have been, if not for the fact they largely reminded her of feathery antennae. As a jadeblood, Kanaya’s fronds were quite large in width and length yet remained delicately thin throughout the seasons.  

The fronds unfurled slowly, dripping sticky jade pigmented fluid that Rose found increasingly arousing to watch, brushing against her belly slightly before their instinctive desire to investigate brought them back down to worm their way between her legs to burrow inside her.

The fronds tickled as they moved within her, and Rose made no effort to restrain her pleasure racked movements and sighs.  

As the fronds gently pushed her open, Kanaya’s bonebulge extended, and the tiny tube rubbed against her anxiously until it aligned enough to embed itself within her.

Kanaya pulled Rose against her, as much as Rose’s biology and respective position would allow, and leaned down to slide her teeth around Rose’s collarbone.

With both of their weight resting on one hand, Kanaya kept Rose pinned against her with the other, and began rocking gently to appease Rose’s inscitual desire to rut.

After a few moments, the pressure against Kanaya’s internal bulge began pulsing, and one pulse at a time, her slurry began seeping out of her nook while her eggs traveled through her bonebulge to release within Rose.

It had taken Rose many attempts and persuasions to make her wife comfortable with the idea of using her in lieu of a bucket; the residual fear of drones and death had been something weighing heavily on Kanaya’s mind. Once they had agreed to try it, it had then taken many tries to get it beneficial for the both of them. Now, it was almost no effort at all.

Rose’s labored breathing shook her body as the feeling of her wife’s nook pumping into her increased in pace pulsed through her; the chitin normally covering Kanaya’s crotch shifted as Rose rubbed against Kanaya’s nook, applying a dizzying pressure to her clit that she greatly appreciated.

Rose came before her wife truly fell into rhythm, and as her wife continued to alleviate her own needs, Rose happily reached the peaks of climax a few times more.

She soon lost track, as she usually did during their couplings; Rose simply closed her eyes and allowed herself to exist solely in the feelings of sensations rippling through her core.

Their sheets were thoroughly ruined by the time Kanaya’s slurry was near expended, and Rose’s clit somewhere beyond sore and deliciously sensitive.

Kanaya slowed her motions and pressed Rose to the bed, resting her brow against hers, and pulled Rose’s hips as flush against hers as she could; Rose mumbled keening noises of affection and dug her hands into the scalp around her wife’s horns, knowing the last stretch was often the most intense for her wife.

Rose held on for as long as she could stand, the feeling of her internal organs swollen to capacity both arousing and uncomfortable; several times, she had neglected to call her tolerance reached, and allowed her wife to continue past the point of safety for the rush of an erotic respawn, but Rose felt that now would not be the proper time for such an occasion.

Reluctantly, she dug her fingernails into the sensitive skin around Kanaya’s horns and tried to form a coherent command.

Immediately, Kanaya shifted her hips, allowing her bonebulge to slide out of place, ounces of slurry and infertile eggs spilling forth at its removal.

Claspers still in place, Kanaya pressed against Rose at an angle, to keep as much sensation on her bud of nerves as she could as her gene bladder and egg sack slowly emptied themselves.  

They laid together, panting, and enjoyed the feeling of togetherness as Kanaya’s body languidly began retracting itself while Rose struggles to reinstate her humanity.  

When Rose found that she could speak, she shot her wife a snarky smile and kissed her again.

Kanaya exhaled contended huff, and watched her warily as Rose sat up and let the excess drip out of her.

“Was it good for you?” Kanaya asked, jokingly.

“On any other day my Light, I would tell you I missed it and command you to do it again;” Rose proclaimed as she stood and stretched the soreness out of her muscles, jade dripping down her legs, “Alas, it shall have to wait until my return.”

“Oh?”

“I’ve another visit to make, I’m afraid;” Rose replied as she finished out clean garments from her dresser to slip on, “The drawbacks of being social as it were,” she teased.

Kanaya hummed again as she visibly began settling herself down for a nap.

“Wake me when you’re back then Dear,” she insisted as she set her chin against her hands; “Don’t do anything I’d approve of.”

Freshly dressed, Rose shot her wife a cocky smile before dashing off to send word, and herself, to her brother; she hoped her jars and mounts of the artfully deceased would garner some forgiveness and affection from him.

She took a carriage, mostly to give her attendants something to do, and spent much of the trip taking in the sights of the developing towns and cities.

Subjects waved and shouted as they caught sight of her entourage, or else nodded respectively as the continued their daily tasks.

Rose paid attention to the children, specifically; she found herself trying to place which of the children, if any, had once been grubs or hatchlings that she watched over. She didn’t deny the slight pain she felt, when each time she remained uncertain if she actually knew any of them at all.   

When she stepped out of her personal carriage, it was not her brother surrounded by a throng of nakodiles that met her, but her father-son with his beautiful legs and sun-bleached hair.

“Dirk,” Rose stated, pleasantly surprised.

“‘Sup,” he replied, as he helped her to the ground.

“Is Dave here today, perchance? I brought some things for his collection,” Rose explained casually, as she gestured to the carriage behind her and her servants rushing to unload her offerings.

Dirk huffed; “He has too many dead things as it is.”

“I made them myself,” Rose countered, smiling happily.

Dirk’s brows raised just slightly behind his glasses; his lips started to curve.

“He’ll like that,” he replied as he motioned for the nakodiles to part for their passing.

Rose slipped her arm around Dirk’s, and felt herself begin to relax.

“I trust that you’ve been well, while I’ve been out of it all,” Rose asked.

Dirk snorted; “I’ve just spent three weeks recalibrating my mechanical menagerie because that sweaty horsecock Hal-jock kept trying to give all my horses udders,” he drawled in lament.

“Arquiusprite is still giving you the go-around then,” Rose mused, a slight lilt in her speech.

“When is he not,” Dirk replied, exasperated; “That reminds me.”

“Oh?”

“Catbait Squared wanted to see you by the way;” Dirk murmured, as they continued to the Strider Estate, Castle Turnways.

Rose’s face twitched slightly at the mention of her alterself; she forced herself to reply evenly.

“You don’t say;” she replied evenly, “And where might I find her?”

“I’m taking you there;” Dirk replied, as they walked past the front door entirely, “You wouldn’t find it on your own. Or,” he amended, remembering her powers, “You wouldn’t be able to unlock it at any rate.”    

“Lead on then, if you must.”

They walked without speaking; their surrounding ambient was of a plethora of gyrating consorts and neither ecto-relation desired to add to the cacophony by speaking.

It was a long walk; Rose grew bored of it, and opted to float when they reached the side of the castle.     

Not long after, Dirk lifted up to join her.

Still, it wasn’t until they had reached the back of the castle that Dirk motioned for her to land.

Rose waited patently, fighting an urge to fidget, as Dirk tapped several bricks composing the castle's structure in what Rose was fairly certain, had been the theme song to one of his Bro’s old movies.  

Part of the wall parted ways with the rest of the structure, backing deeper into the building before sliding to the side, offering an entryway.

Dirk smirked, seemingly proud of his handiwork, and nodded for her to go inside.

“My, does this to lead to your fabled dungeon?” Rose teased, as she stepped inside.

She threw a glance over her shoulder to witness Dirk’s scowl; she smiled quaintly at him before turning back to the passageway.

Behind her, the passageway slid closed, leaving her to own devices.

Unperturbed, she followed the hallway down, and around, and back, and up, and down, and further down, and down some more; when she came to the point at which she assumed she was supposed to feel properly lost, she found a door and pushed it open with little thought.

The room she stepped into opened into what apparently was, in fact, a dungeon.

Her initial smirk faded into a puzzled expression as she glanced it over, noting how clean and systematically everything appeared to have been placed; it looked like a showroom, in Rose’s opinion, if torture rooms were to have showrooms, she thought.  

Jasperosesprite^2 was sitting on an operating table, legs folded under her, smile flickering out of sync with the rest of her color pallet.

“Nice place, wouldn’t mew say? Our father certainly worked hard on it.”

“It’s never been used,” Rose replied, as she eyed the implements tidily tucked in their places around the room.

“Of course not,” Jasperosesprite^2 chided, her tail twitching; “He just wanted to impress us.”

“Ah yes,” Rose replied, as she walked closer to her alter self one premeditated step at a time; “Dirk’s infamous ‘basement’. However did you con him into actually letting you in here?”

The sprite’s grin widened before her expression took on a more subdued, and coy appearance; “Simple. Dirk’s my friend. You really should talk to him more often, you know.”

Rose’s answering exhalation was faintly audible.

Idely, she glanced over the tools to her left and ran her hand along the rim of the counter as she continued to walk closer to her other self.

“I have plenty of friends,” Rose ventured with a lack of emotion; “In fact, one of them taught me a new game. We’re going to play it, in fact.”

The sprite’s eyes twinkled.

“I know,” she replied; “I’m you, remember? And also, a very attractive cat-princess doll of eldritch influence,” she giggled as she ran a paw-hand over her one of her face tentacles; “I can See better than you can, simply by my nature of being a sprite. I Saw you learning a few new tricks, so I took the liberty of learning some new things myself.”

Rose stopped and carefully lifted chin; “You aren't going to stop me?”

The sprite chuckled, causing her fur to ruffle in volume; “Oh no, this pussycat’s got claws; you’re gonna have to work for it, my tragically unbe-felined self.”

At that, the sprite hopped off the table and landed in an overtly abrasive stance, her claws extended, grin slashed across her face, her colors rotating wildly.

Rose grabbed a fistful of items from the the tray closest to her hand and hurled them at the sprite, who dodged, and rushed forward without ever touching the ground.

Rose held an arm in front of her to block Jasperosesprite^2’s attack, and winced slightly as the sprite’s claws dug into her flesh while her other hand pulled her wands from her sylladex.

The sprite tried to wrestle her control away from her wands, but Rose managed to keep her grip steady and blasted her other self across the room with a blinding beam of light.

As Jasperosesprite^2 started to lift herself off the floor, Rose switched to her needles, and pinned the sprite to the wall with unsavory grimdark power.

The sprite attempted to struggle free but no matter how hard she pulled or what position she twisted herself into, she remained unable to break free. As as the sprite struggled, Rose scanned the vicinity and smiled; several pairs of scissors were hung neatly on a nearby particleboard and Rose took a moment to select a pair. Rose looked back at her other self and her last dredges of her good mood vanished.

She walked back to the sprite and watched her struggle for a moment.

When Jasperosesprite^2 noticed her staring, she stopped struggling and grinned again.

“You had to have known that this was going to be a bad idea,” Rose stated, as ink dripped from the needles still in her hand.   

The sprite’s grin shrunk in size until it was nothing more than an amused smile.

“That remains to be seen, now doesn’t it?” the sprite offered vaguely.

“I can’t let her win,” Rose murmured quietly, as she stepped closer; “Neither of us can.”

Rose didn’t wait for the sprite to respond; instead, she lifted her needles and commanded the swells of grimdark shadows to lift the sprite and flip her position on a vertical axis.

“Now;” Rose stated as she readied herself, “Jade said that it was the belly for all fours, and the back for bipedal…”

Rose walked behind the sprite and using her scissors, cut along the back of Jasperosesprite^2’s clothes and used the grimdark mass to pull the garments away cleanly.

“If all goes right, you’re going to make for a lovely gift. I’m sure Jade would love to have a bit of compensation for all of her hard work,” Rose mused; “Yes, a nice hard mount for Jade, and I think I’ll save your insides for Dave. A few jars full of sister-doll-cat-demon will no doubt look nice in his collection.”

“You know Rose,” the sprite mused as Rose looked her over for a brief moment; “You take too much for granted.”

“I’m done listening,” Rose declared, as she used the grimdarkness to gag her alter self.

Rose took one of her needles, pressed the tip between the girl’s shoulder blades, and made an incision along Jasperosesprite^2’s spine that traveled down to stop just short of the girl’s tail.  

The sprite twitched as Rose pulled the skin apart to reveal the connective tissue keeping the sprite’s skin attached to her internal organs, which she had expected, as well as several pieces of wrapped hard candies, which she hadn’t.

She cut the connective tissue that she could reach away carefully, pulling out candies as she did so, slowly making each cut parallel to the skin to keep from accidently marring it.

Out of curiosity, as one candy toppled into her palm, Rose took the time to inspect it.

It looked like a wrapped butterscotch candy; Rose’s eyes shut on their own accord as a faint memory of being four years old, shoveling anything that she could fit into her princess doll’s mouth.

She blinked the vision away, noticing that the candy didn’t feel quite right and unwrapped it to find small jagged pieces of broken glass. She pulled out another one and ripped open the wrapper to find a pair of cigarette butts.

She snarled.

Rose exhaled deeply and pulled the rest of the visible candies out, letting them tumble to the floor unceremoniously as she rolled Jasperosesprite^2’s skin back.

Using the grimdarkness to position the sprite, Rose jostled Jasperosesprite^2’s thigh to expose the joint within and snapped it before repeating the process to the sprite’s other leg.

Bit by bit, she continued rolling the skin over itself, revealing more of the sprite’s internal workings; Rose payed no mind to the crayons and plastic cat toys embedded within some of Jaspersprite^2’s organs and forced herself not contemplate the symbolism of their existence as she cut away more and more connective tissue.

Once she reached Jasperosesprite^2’s neck, she rolled as much of the skin back as she was able, and popped the girl’s shoulders out of their places and cut them free.

The sprite’s skin was now hanging loosely around her middle; Jasperosesprite^2’s body was nearly bursting clean away from her pelt, which pleased Rose greatly.

Rose focused next on freeing the sprite’s front, cutting away more connective tissue and brushing away more candy.

Rose adjusted her grip on Jasperosesprite^2 as she worked, using the grimdrakness to keep the sprite taught against her skin; the sprite was nearly free, and Rose once again marvelled at how little blood came with skinning a beast.

Using the grimdarkness, Rose pulled the sprite’s limbs free of their skin.

Rose focused her attention on the grimdarkness pulling away the skin from Jasperosesprite^2’s head; she cut clean through the sprite’s ear canals and exposed the sprites cheeks and jaws.

Jasperosesprite^2’s face tentacles had worried her briefly, but they pulled out of the girl’s skin without any trouble, prompting Rose to grin.

As she cut through more tissue, Rose sighed and noted the dullness of her scissor blades; remembering Jade’s instructions to use a different blade for the eyelids, Rose used the grimdarkness to fetch her a particularly enticing exacto knife from a cup resting on one of the far counters.

Slowly, with great finesse, she cut the sprite’s eyelids free and kept a continual pressure tugging at the sprite’s skin as she worked to free the rest of the sprite’s face.

The skin came free of Jasperosesprite^2’s face with a tiny satisfying squelch and Rose allowed herself to smile for a moment before turning her attentions back to her alter self’s other end.

She exposed an inch of the girl’s tailbone before growling; the feeling of pulling the tail free was sickeningly liberating.

With the last tug, Jasperosesprite^2 was completely free of her pelt; her body writhed against the grimdarkness, which had lessened its hold, allowing the sprite to move within it.

The skin wavered in the air for a few minutes as Rose thought the situation over; she hadn’t thought to bring any sort of mount with her, and the pelt would dry out before too long.

Ignoring the sense of dread in her gut, Rose took the pelt over to the sink in the corner of the room and ran it under cold water, rinsing it out in a manner nearing tenderness.

When she was done, she looked at the pelt more closely, a strange wash of emotion rising through her at the feel of the fur beneath her fingers.

A vision of Jasper, sitting in her lap purring contentedly as she murmured to him, stroking his soft fur as she rambled about whichever facts had once fascinated her briefly swam around her brain.

Rose shook her head to clear the thoughts and brought the pelt to her face.

The fur had stopped flickering, leaving the pelt a permanent shade of pink with purple accents; it was not the lulling black fur of her beloved childhood pet, but it felt much the same. Just as thick, just as soft.

Her lip trembled for a moment as an intrusive compulsion stuttered through her nerves.

Without thinking of it further, Rose called the grimdarkness to her frame, which peeled off her clothes as she slid the skin on.

The pelt felt as though it was nearly an extension of her already existing skin; she was slightly amazed by the fact, until she recalled the sprite she had pulled it from possessed a body nearly identical to hers. The tentacles hung limp from her face, and tugged the surrounding skin slightly.

Rose frowned, her second skin frowning with her, and thought on it a moment before using the grimdarkness to fill the space where the tentacles would have gone and chuckled as she manipulated them around for a moment. She forced herself to keep from laughing further, afraid that she’d lose grip on herself entirely.

She looked back at her alter self, writhing and silently screaming.

She pulled the grimdarkness from Jasperosesprite^2’s mouth.

Jasperosesprite^2 was laughing.

“What’s so funny?”

The sprite kept laughing; she laughed wildly, recklessly, as if in abandon. She convulsed as she did so, her muscles spasming and twitching.

After a few moments, the sprite went still.

Rose ran a hand over her second face, the tips of her fingers poking through where Jasperosesprite^2’s claws would have been; she found herself sad that she hadn’t thought to include them in the pelt.

After a few seconds, Jasperosesprite^2 began moving again.

She looked up and smiled, her grin seeming far larger than normal without any skin to obscure it.

“My turn.”

Rose’s eyes widened in the fraction of a second it took for Jasperosesprite^2 to free herself and tackle her to the ground.

In the surprise, Rose neglected to pick up her needles and the sprite effortlessly pinned her and kicked them away to keep her from getting them again.  

“That was fun, but we’re going to play a different game now,” Jasperosesprite^2 declared, her teeth catching the lights, glinting wickedly; watching her body move and speak without its skin was unsettling to Rose in a multitude of ways that she didn’t care to think about.

“Oh? And what, pray tell, is that going to be,” Rose huffed as she tried to struggle and ignore the way the sprite’s face moved.

The sprite laughed deeply before letting the sound die into a fit of hissing giggles.  

“Let’s just say, that I think you need to work on your flexibility,” she chirruped innocently, with a menacing flare in her eyes.

Rose’s retort was quickly stripped from her lips before having a chance to speak them as Jasperosesprite^2 flipped her over and put all of her body weight onto her shoulders, pressing her back against her legs.   

Rose gasped as pain flared up inside her nerves. It was difficult for Rose to keep her eyes opened, both through the pain, and through the way Jasperosesprite^2’s organs lit up internally; her strange phosphorescence reminded her of the way she’d watch the glow within her wife spring forth within the hole in her abdomen, but brought none of the comfort her wife’s glow gave her.  

Jasperosesprite^2 paid her vocalisations no mind as she grabbed her arm and pressed against the joint.  

Rose managed to stumble around a quiet “Don't,” but the sprite ignored her.

Jasperosesprite^2 folded her arm as far back as it would go against the grain of its natural elasticity. Slowly, she increased the pressure, forcing to bend further and further as Rose tried to swallow her shuddering gasps and brimming tears.

“Just think,” the sprite chattered happily; “If we hadn't been such terrible daughters, neither of us would be here right now.”

Rose silently screamed as Jasperosesprite^2 pulled her arm against itself, tearing tendons and tissue with a series of unsettling pops.

Rose started to sweat as she felt the pelt coating her skin began to stiffen around her.

Jasperosesprite^2 let the limb fall awkwardly against Rose’s body before moving on to the girl’s other arm. She repeated the process, this time waiting less before simply snapping the limb the wrong way and discarding it.

“But we love how much we hate her, so here we are,” the sprite drawled, as she repeated the procedure to Rose’s legs; her thighs, her knees, her ankles.

Each joint that the sprite could find, she manipulated; forcing Rose’s body to bend against its abilities without care.  

“We can’t bring her back, but at least we can have each other,” she chirruped; “We can both be winners without her.”  

As the process went on, Jasperosesprite^2’s skin hardened around Rose, becoming less and less pliable as it tried to affix itself to her body, causing her to sweat while it forced the sprite to use increasing amounts of force.  

Rose stopped fighting her reactions when Jasperosesprite^2 reached her fingers; she let screams and grunts hoist themselves out of her throat and wailed in agony as her body demanded.

The pain was maddening.

Jasperosesprite^2 set to work on her back; twisting her spine in ways that only a snake or a feline would be capable of maneuvering in comfortably, and Rose found herself questioning which of them the sprite better resembled.

When every joint in her spine had finally been snapped, Jasperosesprite^2 found delight in using her flexibility to move her around like living cat-toy; the sprite took joy in maneuvering her and watching as she tumbled over, as she was no longer able to remain upright on her own and closer resembled a rag doll then even Jasperosesprite^2 did.

Jasperosesprite^2 batted at her, her claws digging into her stolen skin, tugging it slightly as she did so; she twisted and doubled over herself to swat at her, her unskinned muscles and tendons visibly highlighting her movements.

The sprite made use of her hind claws as well; Jasperosesprite^2 used them in juncture with her front claws to stretch out her body. Jasperosesprite^2’s claws kneaded broke through her lost skin and into Rose’s body, purring as she did so. Her languid stretching caused several bits of herself to slide out of her organs and skitter along the floor; the sprite glanced over the stray crayons and glitter coated candies with an air of detachment and huffed.

She folded her over again; the sprite used her feet to brace against her back while she pulled her arms as tightly as she could. Her joints, already torn, protested with pain but did not resist.

“You know, only the best positions can be reached with assistance,” she mused, twisting Rose’s arms around at the elbows as she did so; “And we don’t really need to worry about overstretching you, do we?”

The sprite chuckling hissing breaths to herself as she attempted to fold Rose’s arms into a self holding knot with little success.

Jasperosprite^2 sighed and let her limbs drop; lazily, she she twisted her around at the waist to face for a moment, holding her by her shoulders while her arms hung limply over her thighs.

“The illusion of control is a dangerous thing,” the sprite mumbled as she eyed her; “That goes for Godhood most of all.”

She let her drop face first, her head falling to rest onto her feet before circling around her to knead her sections of her back around her spine briefly.   

The sprite crawled on her back and rolled over onto it; Jasperosesprite^2 stretched herself out, her hands gripping Rose’s toes while her legs stretched out as far as they could reach along the floor, her spine following the curves of Rose’s back with ease.    

“I however, don’t have to concern myself with that sort of thing,” she mused, “Us feline based constructs are born with an innate sense of lackadaisical composure,” she trailed.

She rolled over, her stomach pressing against Rose’s back; “One might even say that cats, by design, are well known for understanding their places in the universe, whichever place that may be,” she continued, as she toyed with the blonde locks Rose had scaled off of her own head.

Jasperosesprite^2 lifted her off of the ground, the sprite’s back stopping just shy of scratching the ceiling, to let her go and watch her fall, her limbs flailing wildly, only to rush after her and grab her by an errant limb to hoist her back up and repeat the process.

Again and again, Rose tumbled about mid-air as her alter self toyed with her; she managed to shout a few curses in between her gasps and grunts at the sprite, which Rose felt traces of pride over, despite her alter self’s lack of a response over them.      

 Rose & Jasperoseprite^2

Eventually, Jasperosesprite^2 pulled her onto her lap.

The constricting skin surrounding her paired with the pain of every joint in her body having been ripped apart made it difficult for Rose to breath; she’d lost track of her ability to speak.

Tears fell freely from her face and clung to the second skin.

“You make such a pretty doll;” Jasperosesprite^2 murmured into her ear.

Jasperosesprite^2 ran her hand over her own skin; her own skin, underneath, felt the heat of the touch with ease.

She trembled.

Jasperosesprite^2’s hand settled on her breast, her skinless body stuck to her pelt; some of the fur digging into the tiny protective coating around her muscles and ligaments, some of the fur sticking to it completely as she pulled away.

The sprite fondled the pelt over Rose’s breast, rolling the skin back and forth over hardening nipple beneath as her other hand grasped Rose’s head, her claws digging in slightly.      

Jasperosesprite^2 started to hum and dug a claw threw her pelt and into Rose’s nipple, the claw digging underneath the nub of nerves to uproot it completely; she brought the bloody mass on her claw to her lips and settled it into her mouth, suckling it contetedly as she moved her hand down Rose’s abdomen and to her crotch.

She fingered her without care of her claws, staining herself with residual jade fluid as she did; the sprite parted her open, pressing against her clit with her thumb, allowing slurry and jade tinted eggs to drip down her hand and pool between her legs.

As orgasm began to overtake her, Jasperosesprite^2 bit through her pelt to pierce the skin of her ear beneath. The sprite purred, the sound loud and deep; the reverberations lapped at Rose’s frayed nerves in waves of mobius pain.

The sound was only interrupted when the aching creak of the dungeon door was swayed open; footsteps fell amiably onto the floor one by one in path clearly headed towards them.

When they stopped just short of reaching her and her alter self, Rose opened her eyes to see Dirk watching them impassively.  

“Thanks for letting us play in your naughty room Dirk,” Jasperosesprite^2 chirruped; she pulled her paw-hand from between Rose’s legs and pulled her into a somewhat more upright position.

The boy didn’t speak, but eyed them over a few times more; likely deciding if it was his place to intervene.

Rose managed to find a vestigial trace of her voice; Dirk nodded and withdrew his sword.

Without any other acknowledgement, he pierced Rose through her heart; Rose’s vision swam with murky ink-stained water, obscuring her final moment’s witnessing Dirk swiftly decapitating her alter self.

A few seconds later, as if waking from a blackout, Rose was whole and hovering a few feet over the corpses of herself and her kismesis, Jasperosesprite^2 floating idly beside her.

“Thank you,” Rose stated as she glided down to the floor, away from the corpses.

“It would have been terribly inconvenient to have lived in those bodies forever.”

Dirk nodded silently and offered her a slight smile.

“Dave was getting impatient;” he mumbled, as his attention shifted to tracking the swaying movements of the sprite beside her; “He’s been waiting to show you his kid’s book report. Lil’ Dude got an A- because the teacher didn’t dare mark him any lower, but the whole thing was wild.”

“Well then, let’s not keep him waiting,” Rose declared as she smoothed down the fabric of her regenerated dress; “Or his kids either,” she added, “it’s high time I met them all, I do believe.”

“You’ll like this batch,” Dirk replied happily; “Nihilists, the bunch of them.”  

Dirk offered her his arm which Rose gladly took; they were halfway to the door when Rose paused, remembering her desires for the bodies.

She turned, to regard them and the sprite.

Jasperosesprite^2 was sitting on the corpses, hunched over herself, her limbs pointed in the wrong directions. She was happily munching away on her corpse’s strange internal organs; glitter, stuffing, and plastic feathers seeped from a punctured sac, all discolored from the dead sprite’s candy lilac blood.

Feeling Rose’s stare, the sprite looked up and smiled, her mouth discolored from her impromptu meal.  

Rose sighed airily and turned back to Dirk, who shrugged and quietly began leading her the way back, a tiny proud smile resting on his face.