Mel gave it a lot of thought overnight, broke down the events that transpired, relived every moment, thought every thought exactly as he did in that moment, but, no matter how he broke it down, no matter how it ended or what he dissected from that trove ebbing on the edge of a chasm of information... not a single bit of it linked back to summoning a gorgon. He wasn’t Using, as the other mages called. It wasn’t calling up his power in any way, shape, or form. His hands were busy at work on David’s package, as he told both Professor Potter and Benjamin, and, usually, when he actually did use, his face would flush. He would feel the heat in his face, but he remembered clearly that he was normal in that respect. Besides, he would never summon a gorgon; he didn’t necessarily want to summon anything, but he didn’t have much a choice with the succubus, since they took away his shoes for teatime. The selfish bitches.
When the inevitable buzz rattled through the room, he wasn’t feeling much like pulling himself out of the bed. He already did his lesson for the day, his mind greater than any test or challenge these people can throw at him. However, the buzzing wasn’t going away, and now he had an actual responsibility. He had to make sure Fluffy was taken care of, after all.
Mel grumbled and wrenched himself out of the bed, stepping on one of the succubus sprawled out on the ground, back to their usual selves. It turned out to be Saliim, yelping and spitting curses as he was slow to raise it from her left tit, stepping on the other one as he stepped over. Her screaming woke up Brin, who started to scream at her to shut up, and the shouting match commenced, all the while Fluffy snored softly in her four-poster bed set beside the bathroom door. She was curled up in the soft velvet covers, her snakes spread out on the overstuffed pillows, hissing softly as they started to stir from the two prattling succubus.
“Will you guys shut it?” Mel grumbled, caressing Fluffy’s cheek, trilling as she looked up, blinking away the sleep that held onto her silver eyes. “You woke up Fluffers.”
That caught their attention. Not because of what he said, but what she was sleeping in.
“Oh, so we have to sleep on newspapers, but she gets a full bed?” Saliim exclaimed, groaning and whimpering as she shot to her feet, back popping six times over. “Do you have any idea how uncomfortable it is?”
“Exactly! So I had to make her one, because she’s my cute little Fluffers. Who’s a pretty girl, huh?” He scratched her chin, beaming up at him, smiling so smug. Her snakes fanned out, tongues lulling again, fighting over his other hand to pet each one.
“You do know that’s a sentient creature, right?” Brin said. “It can talk and understands what a society i-”
Fluffy flashed her an evil look, and Brin dropped to the newspaper, stone once more. She whined as he pulled his hand away from her chin, crestfallen as he booped her nose, waggling his finger.
“No. Bad Fluffy,” he said. “You can’t just make people into stone willy-nilly.” She said something in a language he had no idea how to even approach, like a mix of Elven with turtle sex-grunts. She raised a little, her cheeks flushed, and puckered her lips, the snakes fanned back. “I’ll take that as an apology.”
He kissed her, a simple peck, and went into the restroom. He could just hear Saliim over the water as he stepped into cascading ice. He always took cold showers, except when it was freezing outside; why would anybody want a hot shower otherwise? It is more likely to put you asleep, and isn’t the point of a shower in the morning to wake you up? Now, during those frosty mornings; that’s the perfect time for a hot shower. The cold is already brisk enough, so you add the heat to feel the cold even more, driving you on in the d-
A loud ring struck through the air, and Fluffy came scuffling into the bathroom, sobbing. She leaped into the shower with him, cowering behind as Saliim rushed in, her wings fully fanned. The runes on her skin burned red, matching the fire ringing her eyes, glaring at the gorgon. Well, off to the side, more at the wall than her.
“What?” Mel said. “What happened... you didn’t hit Fluffers, did you?”
“That wretch called me an obese tart!” Saliim screeched. “She said that’s why you have no actual desire for me.”
“Don’t be absurd. It’s because you’re kind of a bitch.”
She scoffed, clawing at her chest. “I’m a bitch? I’m a bitch!”
“I mean, first you rob me of my shoes for teatime. Then you hit Fluffers, a poor, innocent creature-”
“That creature eats humans!” Fluffy said something in her special tongue, hugging Mel, shaking as Saliim took three strides towards them. “You dare call me a liar? She’s going to eat you, Mel!”
Mel looked at Fluffy, shaking her head fervently. Her snakes were going wild, crawling up the walls, trying to escape, while her eyes were wide and filled with tears.
“Y... you,” she managed to say. “Y...you... h...haaa...happy. M...me.”
“Don’t fall for it,” Saliim interjected. “She’s just trying to act cute now. She can speak English perfectly fine. She’s trying to soften you up so you’ll put down your guard and- why are you hugging her!”
“Because she’s so cute!” Mel cried out, cooing again as he squeezed her in his arms. She hugged him back, but Mel did not notice her sticking out her tongue at Saliim, the succubus looking utterly defeated as he faced her again. “Now, if you two don’t mind, I need to get cleaned up.” Fluffy whined, pawing at his chest as her snakes all looked up him, pleading. However, he simply eased her four-fingered hand away, their black nails scratching a touch on his furry chest. “Oh no. That won’t work on me. I like to bathe alone... I don’t think Saliim is going to hit you again. Right?”
“... I think I’m going to keep in contact with Benjamin today,” she said. “The sooner we can return that... thing home, the safer we’ll all be.”
“But you won’t hit her again, right? Right!”
“You have my word. I shall not lay a single finger on the gorgon.”
“There! You see, Fluffers. Now you two behave; I better not come out of here and the room is covered in blood. I’d be very upset.”
Fluffy groaned, the snakes spitting as she climbed out of the tub and stomped into the bedroom. Saliim was a bit slower, but allowed him to bathe in peace, all the while the buzzing rose ever higher. By the time he donned his robes again, pressed and clean on the sink, the walls were starting to shatter from the strength, gone in an instant as he stepped through the arch. Penelope was to the right of the door this day, looking a bit irked but smiling all the same... taken as Saliim traipsed out after. Fear tinged her gaze as Fluffy started to follow, stopped as Mel spun around.
“No no, Fluffy! You got to stay here for now- oh! Thanks for reminding me. One more moment.” He rushed back inside, towards the bathroom, and swiped his hand left before it. The bathroom faded to the pantry, where he rushed to the back of it, stone scraping after. Saliim yelped as she, too, was forced to maintain a minimum distance, but was able to stay just outside the pantry alongside her stoned counterpart. Mel mumbled to himself, grumbling as he picked through the three fridges, the two freezers, and dozens of cupboards before settling on a packet of pre-made meals and water bottles. He balanced them in his arms, darting back to the entry, and handed them to Fluffy, rubbing her cheek. “These should cover you until I get back. Just... waggle your hand at the pantry door to return it to the bathroom.”
Fluffy whined, though reaching for his hand, her lip quivering again, but was too slow. Penelope took it, instead, giggling as she bounced in place, pulling Mel’s attention to her. Much to the gorgon’s disdain.
“Come on. They’re serving French toast today,” she said.
“French toast? Why didn’t you say so in the first place! That’s my favorite,” he said, and dashed for the stairs. Saliim cried out, sliding along the floor beside Brin, while Penelope struggled to keep up. Her hand was raised, all but the middle closed to keep her stable, settled as they reached the table. Fire was left in his wake from where Brin dragged across the blue and pink grass in the courtyard this time of year, but he paid it no mind, loading a plate with the golden, crunchy pieces of bready-eggy perfec-
His plate was taken from him, tossed on the ground by none other than the big bitch, herself: Lucille Khan. Her jet black hair almost glowed blue from the starlight shining through the crystals in the center of the room, her red eyes ringed with yellow in their centers, pulsing, as if prowling towards him, ready to pounce and rip his throat out. Her robes were ripped at their shoulders and just below her waist, showing off her toned muscles under her scarred brown skin, while the rest of the material was soaked red.
“I was going to eat that-” Mel grumbled, cut off as she slapped the back of his head.
“Silence, whelp!” She said, her voice just as jagged as her nails, each one an inch long and tipped in steel, given serration. She dragged one down the side of his face, drawing blood, filling the grooves on the top of the cap and making it pulse with power. “I heard you were the one to cause the Catastrophe on Taco Tuesday.”
“All I did was spice them up a bit-”
She slapped the back of his head again, growling.
“Did I say you could speak?” She rapped her fingers slowly on his cheek, allowing each finger to be soaked with his blood before pulling away. She fanned out her hand, and the blood on those metal caps flashed white. Her eyes turned completely yellow, darting side-to-side, seeing something that Mel simply couldn’t see, but they and her fingers returned to normal shortly after. She huffed, and sat beside, leaning on the back of the chair. “Huh. You’re actually rather interesting.”
“Sometimes,” he said, and loaded another plate of French toast- taken and given the same fate as the last one. “Are you going to do that every time?”
“Yup. You ruined my favorite food, so I’m doing the same to you.”
“How did I ruin your favorite food?”
“Because I had sex right after with my boyfriend, who likes to... let’s say his face isn’t as pretty as it once was, and I can’t look him in the eye anymore... Because of you ‘spicing things up’, I’m single and can’t even look at tacos again.”
“That gives new meaning to-”
“’Taking a hot load in the face,’” she said with him, then turned her attention to Penelope. “So here’s what’s going to happen: I’m going to ruin yours and his relationship just like he ruined mine.”
“What?” Mel said, and chuckled, shaking his head. “We’re not together. Don’t be silly.”
That gave Lucille a start. She backed a bit from the chair, blinking, and pointed between the two.
“Wait. You two aren’t-”
“No,” Penelope grumbled, her tone having enough edge to cut through the table before her. “We aren’t.”
“Huh... could have sworn.”
“We’re just friends,” Mel said.
“Yup.” Penelope stated, stabbing her French toast with her fork. “Just. Friends.”
“Well, that explains why he is allowed to have two succubus around, then.”
“He isn’t allowed shit,” Saliim exclaimed, finally standing up. Her face was bruised, her arms a touch singed from the slowly “thawing” succubus beside. “If I had it my way, I wouldn’t be here with this... this...”
Lucille stood, and smacked the back of Mel’s head one last time.
“Like I said. Entertaining... Better watch your back, Mel.”
She walked away, allowing him to load up a plate finally with French toast-
Only to be thrown out into the courtyard by Saliim.
“All right! Fine! I get it,” he said, and bolted to his feet, grumbling as he made his way to class... only to see why she did that. There, in the courtyard, surrounded by students-made-statues, was Fluffy. “Bad Fluffy. I told you to wait upstairs.” She rushed up to him, hugging him, and trilled... making him sigh as he rubbed her snakes. “I’m not angry. Just disappointed... I guess I better start towards grandpa’s, huh?”
“Jah!” Professor Klan boomed as she stormed into the courtyard.
“... Eh... Nah. Today’s Alchemy. Surely, Professor Lou won’t mind Fluffy being t-”
“Just go to the office!” Saliim... and several other students bellowed.
“Don’t tell me what to do.”
“What to do,” Penelope said, and laced her arm through his, garnering a dirty look from the gorgon. “Come on. We’ll go together.”