Before you ask, the commissioner really liked the idea of a chapter that went in this direction. But before you complain to him, so did I.
David stared at Farida for a moment, mind trying to get hold of that particular litany of curses, while she fiddled with her phone.
“Oh you gaping fucking bitch!”
“Is everything okay?” he asked, trying to get the imagery of cuntwaffles out of his head.
“The police know we’re in Switzerland, they have our identities and our broadcasting our fucking identities everywhere!” She cursed again. “I cannot fucking believe this. It’s everywhere. My parents are going to lose their shit. ‘You’re part of a long and glorious line of Anubii, famed for their care for the dead, for being the borderguards between this world and the next, and you went and fucking robbed graves!'” She growled, bumping her head against David’s chest.
“Well, keep quiet, we’re almost at the border,” he murmured.
“Actually, we passed it about 10 minutes ago. They didn’t even stop us. Got to love the Schengen Area, eh?” Gerlinde smiled back through the open area.
“I thought we were going to have another exciting fight,” said Durandal, his expression mopey as he leaned his chin on his palm, sighing softly.
“They are overrated,” said Caladbolg, frowning.
“Oh, god, they’re blaming me for the damage done to the paintings! It was that damned dragon bitch! Well, and you, Gerlinde,” said Farida.
“In perfect fairness, I’ve always found myself at odds with the museum system. The great amounts of money paid into them are primarily a way for the ultra-wealthy to show themselves off to everyone, and the supposed gains to the common man are at best questionable.”
“Yeah, thanks Engels,” said Farida, her eyes rolled. “I can’t believe it. This is worse than high school, when that bitch Kobold spread that rumor about me losing my anal virginity behind the school shed. The racist jerk.”
“So,” David began, “what exactly is the stereotype about Anubises and-“
“Shitburgers! How are we going to dodge this shit?!”
“There’s a park near here. We’re gonna hang out there for a bit, take a day to relax, and then get back on the road. Move slow. There are plenty of car thefts in Switzerland, enough that we won’t be completely obvious because of it. The main key is to keep the two out of you the limelight,” said Gerlinde. “And I finally get to use my car hijacking skills for good.”
“Yeah,” said David. “How exactly did you learn to hotwire cars again?”
“I mean, it’s not exactly an interesting story. I was a disobedient teenager who wanted to learn how to do things that would protect me, I decided to teach myself how to hotwire cars with some help from friends. I never stole them, just wanted to see if I could do it. It’s a lot harder to do nowadays, though. Thank god for classic cars.” She studied the GPS, and David gripped Farida tightly as the car took a couple of quick fishtails. “Alright, park’s near here. The Chasseral! One of the highest summits outside of the Alps in Switzerland! We’ll hang out, have a good time, you can calm down.”
The park was not particularly crowded. It was barely dawn when they arrived, and the air was still sharp and cold. A long and winding road took them up a surprisingly serene and beautiful mountainside, culminating in a long ridge that wound across the highway. Thick forest surrounded the peak, though quite a lot of open green countryside was visible around it. Gerlinde pulled the car over at the side of the road, about a kilometer north of the peak.
“So, why are we hiking around some random peak?” asked Farida, who was clearly making an effort not to pout.
“Good clean air, having time with our thoughts, being a notable distance from any serious police force presence, all of those good things.” Gerlinde smiled. “If nothing else, if that Dragonlord bitch tries to track us down around here, she will have significantly fewer precious paintings to throw at us. Besides, I thought it would be a nice visit.” She sat in the back of the car, carefully slathering on another coat of suntan lotion. She hadn’t stopped smelling of coconuts for the last couple of days, and it was putting David in the most peculiar mood for a pina colada. “Also, it’s supposed to be beautiful.”
Caladbolg sighed. “I believe I will remain with the car. If anyone shows an undue interest in it, I will be able to warn us.”
“Without killing anyone?” David asked.
“Of course! What do you take me for?”
“Or maiming them?” he continued. Caladbolg glowered.
“Just take all the fun out of life, then, why don’t you.”
He smiled. “I know you’re just messing with me. If you’re sure. How about you, Durandal?”
“I’ll come along. There might be a fight.” Durandal grabbed onto Gerlinde’s hand, squeezing it with both of his. Together, the four of them exited the car, and began the steady climb up the hillside, entering into the forest. Farida was a few paces behind, and David slowed to match her pace, resting his hand on her paw. She was growling to herself every few minutes, staring off into space. That also didn’t cover the fact that, despite it all, she was still just a bit out of shape, and soon, she was puffing and breathing hard, leaning against a tree.
“Give us a minute, we’ll catch up at the peak.” Gerlinde pouted, but Durandal tugged her along forward, pointing at a squirrel, and within a few moments, they were out of sight in the woods. David crouched down by Farida. “You doing okay?”
She puffed out her cheeks. “I’m just… I don’t know. I’ve been feeling…” She bit her lip. “She summoned you here. Right?”
It took David a moment to follow her train of thought. “The dragon? Apparently.”
“And… if it hadn’t gone wrong, if something weird hadn’t happened- I would never have met you. You’d be with her.” She was quiet for a second. “I wonder if… maybe you were supposed to be?”
“You met the woman, right?” asked David, an eyebrow raised. “She’s nuttier than a squirrels-only asylum. She’s nuttier than a scrotum factory that also processes peanuts. Trust me, if my fate was to wind up with her, fate can go screw itself.” He crouched down beside her, and gave her a soft kiss on the lips. She returned it quickly, perhaps just a bit of desperation tinting her movements. He wasn’t going to complain about that, though, as her paws tightened in his hair. When the kiss broke, he smiled. “Is that really what’s bothering you?”
“I’m…” She looked down, and bit her lip. “I don’t know how I’m going to deal with this, if you go home, David. It’s not just the adventure and the uncertainty, it’s… you. Leaving. Maybe forever.” She wiped at her eyes, and there were tears running down her cheeks. “And I know it’s greedy, and unfair, and selfish, but I really, really…” She sighed. “I don’t want you to go, even though I know it’s the right thing for you, and I know there are people who miss you there.”
“Family, sure,” said David. “But I’d miss you, too, you know.” He rested his hand on hers. “There’s still so much we don’t know. Maybe-“
“But the other part! That’s the thing that drives me nuts, because who knows why she’s doing all of this? Maybe what she really wants is the same thing I want, which is for you to be here, or for more humans to be here, and that scares me, because that lady, like you said, is a fucking nutjob. And the right thing to do, in that case, is whatever goes against what she wants. But…” She slid both paws around his hand, and pressed her face against it. “That doesn’t make it hurt any less.” She sighed softly. “Fuck. Stupid emotions. Stupid head.” She leaned against him quietly, and squeezed him around the waist. “I just wish there was more I could do.”
“Well, you scared the ever-loving shit out of Ver.” He smiled at her, and Farida cracked a smile back.
“Yeah. That was pretty awesome. Man, the look on her smug bitch face… That’s gonna keep me warm for a few days.” She sighed, and pulled herself back to her feet. “Alright, let’s go check out that peak, huh?”
The two of them were walking for several minutes through an increasing fog when Farida pointed. “Hey. Is that…?”
The smell of the water filled the air. It was not, strictly speaking, an unpleasant smell. There was a mineral aspect to it, but not sulfurous. The surface bubbled occasionally, and steam rose, creating a thick cloud of mist above. The temperature rose several degrees as they approached, and Farida grinned over her shoulder at him. “Hey, David. You ever skinny-dipped?”
“Not in the Swiss Alps,” he confessed, and smiled. “Are you sure this is a good idea?”
She bent forward, and dipped a paw in. “Mmmm. Hot, fresh. And it’s been at least a couple of days since either of us got a good chance to use a hot shower, hasn’t it? That fight certainly got me sweaty.” She began stripping out of her clothes, and winked at him, her shirt over her head, her bra cupping her chest in a way that made him want to rip it off.
“Fine,” he said, with more reluctance than he was actually feeling, for no other reason than that it was fun to tease her. The two of them stripped down, and Farida went first, wading into the water. She dove forward, and under the water for a few seconds before bursting out, throwing her head back. Her dark hair flew in a great arc and slapped against her back, clinging to her body directly. She smiled over her shoulder at him, and splashed some water at him. The warmth of it was surprisingly pleasant, perhaps ten degrees above body temperature, and a welcome change from the brisk morning. He carefully hung their clothes on a branch, and then climbed in after her.
True to her words, the water was fantastic. It bubbled slightly on the skin, and tingled pleasantly. There was a salty smell to the water, but it seemed rather soothing. The two of them spent at least half an hour together in the water before climbing out. Farida shook herself dry, and grinned at him as he wiped his face clear. “Sorry.”
“Yeah, you’re going to be,” he teased, and smiled. “You feeling better?”
“Yes,” she murmured, and slid her arms around him, squeezing him around the shoulders. The two of them quickly finished dressing, and found the hiking path not long after. When they reached the top, Gerlinde and Durandal were on the ridge, admiring the view down into the ridge.
“You two fall into a river or something?” asked Gerlinde, her eyes flicking to David’s still-wet hair. “You must be frigid.”
“Nah,” said Farida. “We found a hot-spring!”
“Hot-spring?” Gerlinde raised an eyebrow. “I didn’t see any mention down in town. You’d think they’d commercialize something like that. But… I wouldn’t mind a soak.”
“It was right down here,” said Farida, a few minutes later, frowning as she set her hands on her hips, staring down at the forest path. “Maybe we passed it by?”
“Perhaps it was the Spring of Brigadoon,” said Gerlinde, smiling. “If the two of you fell in a river, you only have to say so, you know.” She laughed all the way back to the car, while David spent the walk in silence. Caladbolg greeted them as they returned to the car, and was at least as amused by the experience. Farida and David slipped into the trunk again. Farida was asleep within five minutes, and David didn’t last another five.
“Hmmmm. Interesting,” said the voice. “Not what I was made for. Not what I was generally meant for. But… interesting.”
David shook his head, trying to clear the cobwebs. He felt as though he were floating in water, in a sensory deprivation tank. Warm. Comfortable. Restrained, but not panicked.
“Don’t freak out. This is just a dream. Let me see… Well. As it turns out, I can help you. My original purposes were somewhat less… savory, but despite my limits… yes, I think I can be of very great help for you. If you want my help?”
David tried to focus. “You’re being very evasive, even for a dream.”
“Well, let’s just say, my help is the kind of help that can be a touch polarizing. But I can ensure that, while you cross Switzerland, you will be safe from the hunt.” The voice chuckled, and it was feminine, soft. Rather attractive, really. “That is my specialty, after all. So. What do you say?”
David sighed. “Sure. Why not? I mean, this is a dream.”
There was a very audible pause before the voice finally said, “Sure! If that makes it work for you.”
David bolted awake, which slammed his forehead into the trunk. He cursed, and tried to dislodge Farida from on top of him. It was surprisingly difficult, her body feeling strangely heavy, and denser than usual, though he wrote it off as simple sleepiness. He carefully crawled out of the space in the back seat, and found it easier than he expected. He looked up into the rear view mirror to check that he hadn’t cut himself.
He nearly jumped at the sight of the woman in the back of the car. He flailed for a moment, head turning wildly, only to frown. He looked back in the mirror again.
The young woman stared back at him. Gray-blue eyes under a veil of long dark brown hair. Pretty face, but somehow familiar.
“Who the hell are you, lady?”
David turned to find Gerlinde standing at the open back door, her umbrella drawn, pointed like a sword at his throat. Caladbolg was standing next to her. The sword frowned. “It’s David.”
“What?” asked Gerlinde and David at the same time. David couldn’t help noticing that their voices were now pitched quite the same. He scrambled out of the back seat, and his pants fell to the ground, leaving him hanging, so to speak, in the breeze; the hem of his shirt the only thing preserving his newly found modesty.
Well, her modesty.
David stared down at himself, and then up at the others. “Caladbolg, please tell me you know what this is about.”
“Mmm.” Caladbolg frowned, and rubbed her chin. “Spontaneous gender bending. I mean, I knew of it happening a few times, but-“
“The Pool of Diana,” said Durandal, from the other side of the car. He leaned against the car door, a bag of pretzels in one hand. They were outside a gas station somewhere along the road. People were staring at David, and she yanked her pants up quickly, feeling an intense flushing heat spreading across her cheeks with all the unstoppable force of a tidal wave fuelled by pure embarrassment.
“Oh. That might be it. You mentioned a hot spring? But usually that was used for… well. Other things.”
“The pool of Diana?” David asked, trying to ignore how soft her skin felt with both hands digging into the pants to keep them from falling again. She was actually at least a couple of inches shorter than Gerlinde, which made a hell of a change from her previous height. Gerlinde stared down at him, seeming unable to quite make up her mind on whether to laugh, or possibly bite David. Caladbolg nodded sagely.
“Made by the Huns. They were a human empire who tore the Roman empire apart not long before I myself went into my torpor in the lake. Deadly warriors.”
“We have them in my world. They were human-only, then?”
“Well.” Caladbolg coughed. “They believed strongly in the conquest of the other races. They respected the strength of the Roman Mystics, and so sought to capture that power for themselves. They would take wounded warriors prisoner, and their shamans blessed pools of water to… Well, turn said warriors into women. Usually. I am amazed that one of the pools survived this long.”
“Usually turned the warriors into women?” David asked, an eyebrow raised.
The trunk opened, and Farida climbed out. David stared for a moment, and found a very odd sensation building somewhere in her stomach. Farida’s face didn’t look much different, although it was a little bit harder, a little bit more masculine. The Anubis was notably taller, and the T-shirt that Farida had been wearing was looking quite a bit tighter across those shoulders. Farida ran a hand through his hair, and frowned down at David. “Why do my pants feel like they’re about to cut off circulation?”
“I think this is my fault,” said David, and explained the dream.
“Ugh.” Farida sighed, and rested his chin on his hand, frowning. “I can’t believe this.” He paused for a moment. “Actually, I absolutely can, which is really part of what drives me nuts. So. They said while we cross Switzerland? So this is going to wear off?”
“I hope,” said David, frowning down at herself. The only thing keeping her shirt from slipping off like the pants was a rather prodigious cleavage she was only now becoming aware of, and which was beginning to make itself known on her back. “This would be a kind of strange way to get back home.”
Caladbolg rubbed her chin slowly. “If all else fails, I’m sure I could cut apart the enchantment. But I think this is rather a stroke of luck. The two of you are barely recognizable. This may be just what we need.” She paused for a moment, and then smiled at Farida. “And I must admit, that is a rather good look for you.”
“Yeah, I…” Farida paused a moment, and stared at David. “You’re, um. Showing.”
David’s eyes flicked downwards. the neck of the shirt had slipped down enough to expose a nipple, and she yanked it up hard and fast, covering herself. “We need to find a clothing store.”
“That would be a good idea. These pants are… really, suddenly uncomfortable.” Farida coughed, turning his head away from David, cheeks darkening slightly. “On the plus side, we don’t have to sit in the trunk, now.”
“Yeah,” said Gerlinde, frowning as she looked around the rest area. “We’re almost to Bern. We can settle down there for a week or so, keep out of sight of the authorities, support ourselves for a little bit, and then sneak down to Italy, make a run to Rome. Figure out what we’re going to do from there.” She paused for a moment. “We could really use some money.”
Durandal tilted his head at this, but didn’t say anything. Caladbolg nodded. “Alright. No time to waste, then. We’ll leave the car somewhere outside of Bern, walk in, and find a place to stay. But first things first, you two should change clothes.”
“Eh?” said Farida, and then he frowned. “Ah, yeah. It looks like we’re about each other’s sizes. Here, just a minute.” He stepped away, walking into the store, and returned with the bathroom key.
It struck David that the bathroom was a great deal more clean and attractive than most of the gas station bathrooms she’d seen in her life. It was sparkling and white, and while the quarters were a bit tight, they could mostly dress without brushing into each other. Mostly.
The shirt came off smoothly, and David experienced the sensation of cotton drawn across a pair of extremely sensitive nipples. The sensation was substantially stronger than she had expected, and a shudder ran through her, from her toes to the tips of her ears, her whole body shaking slightly as her breath hitched a bit, a soft gasp coming from her throat.
“You okay?” asked Farida, and a warm, fluffy paw settled on David’s lower back, smooth and strong. The warmth seemed to sink right into her skin, making her knees wobble a bit.
“Y-Yeah. Just. Kind of strange, you know?” She sighed. “I wonder when I’m going to learn that everything in this world is going to react insanely to my presence. We go for a quick skinny dip and I wind up a girl.”
“Yeah, but. A cute girl.” Farida coughed. “Not that I’m usually into that kind of thing, but. You do look good.”
“Thanks-” David looked over her shoulder, and caught Farida with his pants down, literally. A flush ran across her cheeks, and she looked straight forward, focusing on the tiles on the wall. “You look… good, too.”
It wasn’t just the casual touches, or the warmth radiating off of Farida that was making David’s knees a little weak. There was also the smell. David had always liked the way Farida smelled, and it wasn’t bad. But it was distinctly more noticeable. The scent had a touch of masculine bitterness. It was a little strong, but with each breath, it became a more pleasant odor. She wondered for a moment if Farida had experienced the same thing, and that made her legs tighten a bit. She let the pants fall to the floor, and was then surprised by arms going around her shoulders from behind, the warm and fluffy paws making her breath catch in her throat.
“Maybe it’s a little bit odd, but… I’d really like to have some fun while we’re like this. After all, we don’t know how long it’ll last, and it’s the sort of chance most people never get.” Farida nibbled at David’s throat. David abruptly regretted all of those times she’d teased Farida by nibbling the Anubis’ neck. It was a more intense experience than she’d thought, and she felt a sudden trickle of warmth between her legs. At first there was a wild, horrified moment where she thought she might have lost control of her bladder, but then she realized it was arousal.
“Oh, great,” muttered David. “I’m a gusher.”
“Yeah?” asked Farida, cheerfully. Then he spoke again. “That’s kind of hot.” There was a predatory touch to his voice, something that sent a little shiver of apprehension and excitement up and down David’s spine, making her thighs shake. Farida pushed him forward gently, and it was irresistible. He was used to her being stronger than him, but this amplified the difference in physical strength to a degree that was both unnerving, and deeply exciting. Soft pink nipples were pressed against the unyielding wall, a sensation that was both uncomfortable and exciting at the same time. Farida’s hips pinned David to the wall, legs dangling, those two strong arms resting along her sides, squeezing her slowly. “You’re really cute like this.”
“You’re having a little too much fun with this,” David said, her voice shaking as she spoke, her toes curling as she twitched slightly. “Don’t get too rough, okay?”
“I don’t know,” murmured Farida. “You’re acting all vulnerable and helpless, it kind of makes me want to get all… harsh with you.” He slid a paw down, and cupped David’s ass. The sensation was curiously enjoyable, feeling those strong paws kneading and- well, put bluntly, pawing at her. “We could try anal.”
“I thought you didn’t like anal,” said David, regaining a little bit of her balance, though she was still feeling alarmingly aroused. She squirmed a bit in those hands.
“Well, I don’t like receiving, but-“
“No.” David stuck out her tongue over her shoulder. “Turnabout’s fair play.”
“Mmm. Spoilsport.” Farida nibbled her ear gently, and David became aware of the erection pressing up against her back, wedged between her cheeks in a very intimate way. It twitched slightly, and David coughed.
“If we stay in here any longer, they are definitely going to think we had sex, and I’m not ready to deal with that level of teasing.” She paused for a moment. “But… sometime once we’ve settled down in Bern, we can… fool around.”
“Oooh.” Farida gently let David down, a grin on his face. “I’m going to hold you to that.”
David couldn’t help a quick peek at Farida. She was not, generally, attracted to men. It had never been something that she’d felt any particular ways about. But Farida looked good. Perhaps it was a rush of hormones, or some consequence of the pool, or just some suppressed feelings slipping out. But the idea of being on the other side of things was suddenly very tempting. She distracted herself by pulling on Farida’s clothes, finding them a surprisingly good fit. The tight black silk panties, though, were a bit of a surprise. Still body temperature from Farida, they were silken and form-fitting, and the heat of someone else’s body was strangely intoxicating.
When the two had changed, David stared at the mirror. “It’s a bit tight,” she said, readjusting her shirt and the bra underneath. “I think I might have to take it off, it’s kind of pinching.”
“Just rub it in my face, why don’t you.” Farida grinned. “Though I wouldn’t mind it if you rubbed it in my face. Here.” He reached back, and the bra came undone, releasing the pressure on David’s chest. The relief was palpable, and she rolled her shoulders. “So… is your family, uh… all like that?”
“I hadn’t really checked,” David admitted, lifting the breasts slightly. They were heavy, and soft, and the simple act of touching them sent a little thrill of illicit pleasure down her spine, making her close her eyes and sigh. “Is it always this distracting?”
“I could ask the same thing.” Farida reached down, and readjusted his groin. “No wonder you’re always readjusting down there.”
“I… don’t do that,” said David, flushing.
“Trust me, you do.” Farida grinned. “But I can see why. Here, I’ll get you a bar of chocolate so you don’t sulk.”
“I don’t sulk either!”
David sulked in the back seat for a few minutes before she finally opened the bar of dark chocolate. She bit into a chunk, and let it slowly melt over her tongue. A warm little rush ran through her as Farida rested an arm over her shoulder, squeezing her gently. David found herself leaning into Farida’s side as the car started. Caladbolg sat on the other side, and frowned. “Did the two of you do anything?”
“No!” said David, flushed.
“Not yet,” said Farida, and grinned. David shot him an accusing look. “Well, I mean, it’s not that surprising…”
“How does it feel?” asked Gerlinde, a sly smile on her face in the front seat, her eyes flicking up to the rear view mirror.
“Distracting,” said David and Farida, at the same time. Gerlinde giggled, and they settled down some, Farida staring out the window at the rolling green countryside, and the sharp mountain peaks.
The shirt David was wearing still smelled of Farida. She lifted the front of the shirt, and without quite realizing why she was doing it, held it against her nose, taking a deep breath. A shiver ran through her at the scent of Farida’s body. She looked up just in time to see Caladbolg staring at her. “What?”
“I’m going to help you buy some condoms when we stop in Bern,” said Caladbolg, frowning. “I don’t want you getting pregnant.”
“Can that happen?” asked David, feeling a slight tinge of panic.
“I don’t know, but I’d prefer not to find out. Besides, it’s just good sense.”
David slugged Caladbolg lightly on the shoulder, and leaned back, closing her eyes to relax.
Switzerland was not a large country. It was only an hour’s drive to reach Bern. They parked the car about a mile out of the city on an isolated country road, and continued on foot, walking with their things slung over their shoulders.
“You know, I suppose I really shouldn’t be surprised that this road-trip would wind up with something like this happening,” said Farida. “I mean, compared to the cathedral at Aachen, this is really pretty mundane.”
David huffed. The new center of balance and the loss of close to a hundred pounds of muscle and bone were making themselves known. The bags which she had previously carried effortlessly were weighing her down, and the white cotton t-shirt was soaked with sweat by the time they reached the edge of town. She wiped her forehead, and sighed. Then she noticed Durandal staring at her. “What’s up?”
“I can see your tits.”
David’s eyes dropped. The shirt was indeed soaked through with sweat, and becoming modestly transparent. Pink nipples were visible capping the curve of a pair of tits that could hold up a christmas tree, and she dropped her bags, covering her chest. “Shit! This is inconvenient.”
“Oh, please.” Farida sighed, and bent over, picking up David’s bag with one hand. “You are such a girl.”
“Hah hah.” She was rather glad for the rest, though, and tugged the shirt, making it somewhat less lewd. The sensation of wanting to preserve her modesty, of having to worry about it, was strange, and yet exciting. She’d never tell anyone, but it was fun being attractive.
It was about noon when they reached Bern itself. The Swiss city sat nestled in the midst of a large and winding river valley, the river visible to their north, twisting several tight hairpin curves that formed the city’s contours and heart.
“First things first,” said Gerlinde. “We should see if we can find somewhere to get you some proper clothes, David. And a bra that fits.”
“That sounds good,” said David, shifting uncomfortably. “This is getting a little hard on my back.”
Shopping was a less dramatic affair than one would expect. Farida was kind enough to help David pick out a good selection of clothing, which mostly played to a theme of ‘white cotton’. David found her interest momentarily picked up by a selection of red silk lingerie, but rethought it when she saw the price tags. They paid with cash, and she wore the clothes out, feeling relieved. They settled down at a hostel, and David leaned against the frame of one of the bunk beds, frowning. “Odd. Gerlinde and the swords aren’t here yet?”
“I’m sure they’ll be fine,” said Farida from the bottom bunk, resting his head on a pillow.
“I’ve solved our money problems,” said Durandal, as he stepped inside of the hostel. Gerlinde and Caladbolg were moving quickly behind him, and David felt a sinking sensation in the pit of her stomach.
“What did you do?”
“Robbed a bank,” said Durandal.
David slowly let her head fall back against the wall, as Farida sat up, glaring at them. “I leave you guys without supervision for half an hour, and you rob a bank?”
“You needed money,” said Durandal. “The bank had more money than it needed. It was just lying around in their safety deposit boxes. They didn’t have the lights on inside. Gerlinde helped me get in. We’ve got money now. What’s the problem? We used to do this all the time to moneylenders.”
“In fairness, it’s going to be difficult to catch us,” said Caladbolg. “We disabled the cameras.” She tapped the sword at her side. “Really quite easy. And we only took a few thousand dollars. If they didn’t want us to rob them, they should have had better defenses. Besides, we’ve robbed at least three historical sites so far.”
“That was more like… I don’t know, freeing prisoners of war.” David sighed, and looked around the hostel. “We’re going to have a long hard discussion about this road trip’s gradual slide into theft and lawlessness when we get the chance, do you understand me?”
“Well, I got you a little something.” Gerlinde grinned, and produced a shopping bag. “Bam. A little something-something for you to wear on that date that you have been clearly champing at the bit for.”
David paused for a moment. “What?”
“Oh, come now,” said Caladbolg, rolling her eyes. “We all are aware of the writhing sexual desires you two have been feeling for each other in these new bodies. You are not very subtle about the way you keep staring at Farida’s groin. Not that I can blame you.”
“I-” David’s brain threw a rod, and she was left gaping, opening and closing her mouth, trying to think of some kind of response besides ‘Oh’. “I see.”
“I also wanted to see how you’d look in it,” said Gerlinde, grinning toothily in the way that only a vampire could. “I’m not generally much for girls, but I can appreciate a fine aesthetic as much as anyone.”
“Thank you, Gerlinde, for making this already deeply bizarre situation even more embarrassing and awkward.” David sighed. “Fine. How about you three go find somewhere that looks good for dinner, and I’ll change in the meantime?”
“Very well,” said Caladbolg. “Durandal, you stay here, keep an eye on things.” She caught the look David gave her. “Things besides David.”
“I’m not really interested in her, anyway,” said Durandal, shrugging as he took a seat on the floor. Farida groaned, pulling himself off the bed, and joined Caladbolg and Gerlinde. Then, it was just Durandal, and David.
“You’re not interested in me, huh?” asked David, smiling. “That makes a welcome change. Having Ver go all ‘marry me’ made me feel a bit like my life was becoming a bad comedy.”
“I’m… still getting over things.” Durandal’s face fell for a moment, the slender young man’s face turned towards the ground.
“Yeah. I remember hearing that about you, that you were mourning your last wielder. But I also heard you weren’t really that caring about humans.” David tilted her head to the side. “What changed?”
“Does it matter?” asked Durandal, his voice quiet. “It wasn’t any great revelation or some secret. I wouldn’t even say it is a very interesting story. Kind of sad, really.” He looked up at the ceiling. “The Mystics we were fighting wanted to break me. To shatter me, and see me gone, forever. I hadn’t thought it was possible, but they had a Dragonlord with them. They were going to shatter me. They nearly succeeded, which forced Charlemagne’s host to retreat. Roland gave his life to protect me, sent me home with Charlemagne while he stood and fought the horde with a simple iron sword. I watched him fight as I rode to safety.”
“That’s rough,” said David, softly.
“He was just another in a long line of humans who had died for wielding me. But I felt helpless when I watched that. I’d never felt like that before. I should have fought alongside him. He might even have won if I had. But I was a coward. When I finally realized what it was like to be vulnerable, to be at risk of dying, I was just… paralyzed.” The sword sighed. “I didn’t fight again. I was frightened. I was ashamed.” he looked up and met David’s eyes, and there was a moment of pleading fear there. “Please don’t tell Caladbolg.”
“I won’t. But you don’t think she’d understand?”
“She couldn’t. She’s never been in fear for her life. She doesn’t know what it’s like to know that she might die. But she always despised my callousness. She cared for the people who wielded her, even though they were beneath her. She’d never forgive me for what I’ve done. She always said that a good sword was one that preserved its wielder’s life, no matter what that cost.” Durandal wiped at his cheeks, and David realized there were tears on them. “I’m a bad sword.”
David was quiet for a moment, and then softly hugged the short sword. He regained control of his emotions quickly, his expression returning to a monotone, but he returned the hug, appearing grateful for it.
“I’m sorry. Like I said. It is not a very interesting or dramatic story. Just… sad.”
“It’s okay, Durandal. They can’t all be winners, right?” David gave the sword a bracing smile. “I think Roland died doing exactly what he wanted to, and he would be overjoyed.”
“You don’t think he’d prefer to be alive?”asked Durandal.
“Well of course. But… Let’s say that he handed you over. Would it have saved his life?”
“The Dragon Lord would likely have left the field of battle. Charlemagne’s host would have triumphed.”
“Then he thought your life was worth more than his. He traded his life willingly. That was all his choice, and you’re not responsible for it. All you can do is try to make sure he was right.”
Durandal crossed his arms, and David slung an arm over the sword’s shoulder, squeezing him gently. “I do not know if I believe you,” said Durandal. “But it helped to hear that. Thank you. Caladbolg was right, you are comforting.”
Then the sword leaned his head sideways, right onto David’s chest. “Alright, hug’s over. I need to get changed.”
The clothes weren’t so bad. They were a bit embarrassing, and David cursed Gerlinde’s fashion sense, but they were at least simple to wear. It was the makeup that was throwing her for a loop. She was forced to consult the smartphone Gerlinde had left with them to find tutorials on makeup. After scrolling through a half dozen pages of exotic and inhuman skin tones, she found one on vampire makeup. She followed every suggestion with all the naievete of the truly innocent, and studied herself in the mirror of the women’s bathroom.
She was going to stand out like a curse in church.
It wasn’t just the black stiletto heels that were having the same effect on her balance as standing on the deck of a sailboat in a hurricane. It wasn’t just the fishnet stockings and skirt that she was convinced were transparent at the right angle. It wasn’t the blouse which made an already formidable cleavage look like something you’d find in a very erotic mountain range. It wasn’t even the red lace bra and panties which she could swear were visible through the skirt.
It might have been the makeup, the thick mascara, blood red lipstick, black eye-shadow, and pale foundation that made her look like something out of a Suicide Girls photo-shoot, though even that couldn’t have produced this effect alone.
She was going to stand out a lot. That was both terrifying, annoying, and exciting.
“Hey, David!” Farida’s voice came from the room outside. “You finished? I want to see!”
“I changed my mind!” said David, her voice high and squeaky. “Give me a couple minutes, I’m just going to change into my normal-“
The door clicked and swung open. Farida stood in the doorway.
David might have expected catcalls, or a mischievous comment. Possibly even gales of outright laughter. She’d not expected a silent, intense, smoldering stare. Or the tent in Farida’s pants. Abruptly, David’s hips were lifted onto the sink, and Farida’s hips were pressing quite intimately against hers. Farida bit at her neck, and the sensation was deeply unlike any that David had experienced before. It sent a wave of tingling pleasure through her entire body, her toes curling, her breath catching in her throat, her eyes closing as a moan bubbled up. One of her thighs was squeezed in that strong, furry paw, and hitched up, skirt sliding up her leg- “D-Dinner!”
“Oh, right,” said Farida. He paused for a moment. “We have time for a quickie, though, there’s some lotion-“
“A-after!” David said, some part of her hindbrain protesting violently at the sudden slowing of sensation. It was, altogether, a very different kind of desire from what she was use to. No less powerful, but a bit more… desperate. There was a warm, moist feeling between her thighs. “Fuck me, Farida, you’re-“
“Is that an invitation?” Farida gave another light snap of the teeth next to David’s ear, and it sent a little twinge of fear and eagerness up and down her spine. “We found a nice place. C’mon.”
The expected laughs and catcalls did not follow as David stepped out. Gerlinde just smiled confidently. Caladbolg was studying her carefully. “An interesting choice. Much camouflage depends on subtlety, blending in with one’s surroundings. But this method- attention-grabbing, but diverting- also has much to suggest itself.” Her eyes flicked down, and she frowned. “Those heels are rather trashy, though.”
“The heels?” asked David, incredulously. “Everything else is fine, but the heels are what you take exception to?”
“The rest look easy enough to fight in,” said Caladbolg, with a smile on her face. “We found an excellent restaurant. And the best part is, their dress code will allow you.”
As romantic spots went, it was perhaps not the traditional candle-lit dinner. The bar was close quarters, filled with young Mystics and frenetic music. In their booth, however, the sound was muted by some ingenious design. There was room for five around the table, although it was a tight fit. David was squeezed into one corner, between the wall and the Farida. She found it was surprisingly pleasant, pressing into Farida’s firm side, as the food was placed in front of them. Hearty pub food, greasy and rich, and tall steins of strong beer. It reminded her of Germany.
It had been- perhaps- two weeks since they’d been in Germany. The thought of that was shocking. It had felt like months had passed with all the incredible events of the past few days. The chaos, the confusion, the sheer weirdness- It was all sort of too much. And so she didn’t worry about it. In the face of everything, being a girl for a little while was nothing. It was even kind of fun. For the first time since falling into the ocean in Spain, there was no pursuit, no dangerous following that they had to watch out for. Aside from, possibly, Farida.
David let her eyes tilt to the side. Farida. David hadn’t spent too much time examining the Anubis, at least partially because of nervousness about what she might see. The Anubis was nearly a foot taller than David, grown much taller with newfound masculinity. Broad shoulders strained the shirt he wore in a way that was strangely exciting. The hair was the same, messy and black as night, framing a face that had changed little- A touch sharper, perhaps, but still feminine, warm, large eyes, soft lips, in a way that was easy to get lost in.
Farida darted forward, and planted a kiss on David’s lips. She stiffened, in the cookie jar, her face going a terrible red.
“We’re just going to head home and make it an early night,” murmured Farida, his voice low and growling. It seemed to reach somewhere deep inside of David’s spine, and she froze like a rabbit under the eyes of a hawk, breath catching in her throat as she stared up at the Anubis, heart beginning to pound. “You three don’t mind, do you?”
“Can I watch?” asked Caladbolg, her expression perfectly serious.
“No,” said Farida, quite firmly, while David momentarily considered the idea.
The evening was cold, surprisingly so. It wasn’t enough to break David out of a haze of warmth and embarrassed excitement. The alcohol had hit her harder than she had expected, and it was only thanks to Farida’s strong arms holding her up that she hadn’t already fallen on the ground. The Anubis’ body was so warm and firm up against her side, making her heart pump a bit quicker with each second that they held each other.
They’d barely made it down the street before Farida was kissing up and down David’s neck, delivering sharp little bites to her ear lobe. David’s breathing began hitching up, the rush of excitement pushing through her. It was like-
It was like, before, when she’d been male, it had been a constant need. An ache, almost. The desire to have sex was constant, but rarely particularly overwhelming. It built slowly over time, like a river flooding.
This was more akin to a dam that had overflowed. It had seemed entirely manageable only a few seconds ago. Now, it was all she could do to not throw herself against the nearest wall and start tugging at her clothes. It was as though a switch had been flipped. And as something warm dripped down her thigh, the dam metaphor was getting a bit more apt.
“Ah…” David murmured, and tugged at Farida’s arm, pulling it against her chest a bit more firmly. It was strange, and slightly frightening, and incredibly exciting, finding herself in this state. Wanting so badly to lose control.
They were barely in the hostel before Farida had David pressed up against a wall. She found herself dangling, those two strong paws around her hips, a knee pressed firmly but tenderly up against somewhere very sensitive. David’s breaths came quick and shallow. It was as though the gentle pressure was making it impossible for her to breathe deeply, and so, though she panted and gasped, her lungs never felt any fuller. Farida began to plant kisses on her neck, and her hips began to rock back and forth.
“Hmmm. I realize, I don’t have any condoms, and I’m not sure where I could buy any at this hour,” murmured Farida. “I don’t suppose you’d let me…” His hand gripped David’s ass, and a shiver ran down her spine.
“What was that?” Farida asked, his breath hot, running down David’s collar, making her shiver again.
“Well, if you don’t want to,” murmured Farida, pulling his knee away. He pulled back a few inches, and then David’s fingers, tightened against his shirt, kept him from pulling away any further.
“Can I take a quick shower first? Just to make sure I’m clean?”
She stood under the hot water, and it still seemed cold compared to her flushed body. She stared down at herself momentarily. It was the first time she’d really examined her own naked body. The soft, pink nipples, the curve of the breasts, the intensely soft skin. She was pretty. Really pretty.
It wasn’t weird if she went forward with this, was it?
She took a breath, and stepped out of the shower, wearing only the stockings, the heels, and the dress. She made it two steps, and then she was grabbed, and pushed over, suddenly bent over the bed. She had just a moment to gasp, her heart racing, when the dress was tugged up, exposing the curve of her ass. She shivered as a thumb slowly pressed up against the tight little rear hole, her toes curling in her heels as she took a deep breath. Farida was hunched over her, hands on her hips, an erection pressing stiffly against David. The only thing preserving her anal virginity was a thin layer of fabric. Being on this side of things was… interesting.
There was an unzipping. David looked over her shoulder, and felt strangely inadequate, though she was fairly sure it was just because of the size differences. She watched, her eyes fixed on the shaft, and she swallowed. “I don’t think that’s going to fit.”
“You just have to relax. I’ve got lube.” The little bottle appeared in Farida’s paw, and she gave it a quick squeeze, the slick blue lubricant falling down in a slow spiral, coating the shaft. “So, rub it. You want to make sure it gets an even coating.”
She stared down for a moment, before realizing what he meant. The flush spread further across her face as she took it in both hands. His heartbeat was strong, reverberating between her fingers each second, making her own heart race with excitement. The slick lube made it easy for her fingers to glide over his erection, tugging it lightly. He growled softly, and began to grind against her.
The first warning she got was his cock slipping out from between her slippery fingers. Then, that thick shaft was pressing against her. She’d always heard how uncomfortable, even painful anal sex could be. She’d been nervous about this moment, and if she’d seen it coming, she probably would’ve tensed up. As it was, he slid into her with surprising ease. His moan filled the air, and resonated curiously with a sound that she realized was coming from her, a low and heated sound that was more akin to a purr than anything else. Her ass flexed once around the intrusion, and her toes curled, her heart pounding once very hard. He chuckled. “I felt that.”
Her heart began beating faster, and his soft chuckle confirmed it. Farida could read her heartbeat just from being inside of her. The Anubis could tell how excited she got, could read her mood and desires effortlessly. That was a violation more intimate, more exciting, than even the one she was currently undergoing.
“You’re enjoying yourself, aren’t you~?”
“S-stop teasing me- ah!”
The protest was interrupted by a sudden thrust of the Anubis’ hips. David’s brain switched off for a moment, turning into a puddle of warm pudding in her skull, hanging limply from Farida’s hands as the Anubis began to pump her. She wasn’t remotely prepared when the orgasm hit, a wave of intense pleasure that wiped away everything for a moment. All of the awkwardness, the uncertainty, it vanished in a tide of lust and desire, her hips quaking, her legs kicking.
“You’re… really, really into this,” murmured Farida, when David had finally regained consciousness. She was panting, sweaty, trying to recover her bearing. She was on her back now, legs spread around Farida’s waist, still penetrated to the balls. The sight of that shaft disappearing inside of her, coinciding with the sensation of being stretched, the constant press of him against her most vulnerable places, was making it very hard to recover. “That’s cute. You’re a buttslut.”
“What?!” David squeaked, face flushing. “Don’t say that!”
“Come on, it’s adorable~ Watching you totally lose it like that, you were making all these funny faces, I was worried you were having a seizure at first! You’re a natural buttslut.”
“I’m not going to let you fuck me there again if you keep saying that!”
“Really~? I’ll call that bluff.” His hips began to draw away. David’s ankles locked around his waist, quite involuntarily, keeping him from pulling out more than a fraction of an inch. The slow smile that spread across his face made David want to die, or at least get fucked senseless again. “Good. Now that that’s settled, buttslut…”
“You get really mean when you’re a guy,” murmured David, covering her face, trying to regulate her breathing somewhat, succeeding only in panting and gasping. The sound was clearly getting Farida more excited, that shaft twitching deep inside of her, making her quiver and twitch slightly, her nervous system seeming to be somewhat out of control.
“You’re just so tempting to bully, you know? How can I resist. Besides, this is only going to last a little while, I need to enjoy it while I can. Buttslut.”
“B-Be quiet,” murmured David. Then she began to moan as Farida’s hips pumped again.
This time, she managed- barely, to hold out until Farida came. The pleasure was overwhelming, the thrusting growing more intense and strident, but the rhythm never changing. Farida was apparently as obsessive there as everywhere else, and it did a great job of reducing David’s mind to a fine jelly. The hot rush of semen poured deep inside of David, and some distant and embarrassed part of her let out a little shocked cry that she’d let it happen. The rest of her was much too happy letting it happen, the sticky seed triggering her own orgasm. She went limp after a long few seconds, hanging from Farida’s hands, arms and hair scattered around her, almost drooling. “You alright?” asked Farida, smiling.
“That was… almost too much. I think anymore and I might’ve gotten addicted.”
“Oh, we’re not done yet.”
Farida’s hips began to move again, and David let out a gasp, protest dying on her lips. She went limp under the assault. It was quite a few hours that night before she was finally allowed to rest, and when Farida finally pulled out to shower, David fell asleep almost immediately.
Five days like that. Five long, hip-aching days. Farida only seemed to grow more excited through the days, and by the end of it, when Caladbolg finally judged they had slipped the attention of the police, and could make the trip, they started out, renting a car with a fake ID. David had meant to ask how they’d found such a thing, but was, at that point, having trouble just making sure that she didn’t get dehydrated.
Farida was insatiable. The thing was, it got better each time. That was honestly a little bit scary. It was the kind of thing that could addictive if you got too used to it, and David couldn’t help but feel some kind of deep and abiding shame about giving in so eagerly each time. But that wasn’t stopping her from giving in.
It was a bright and shining Saturday morning when they set out onto the roads, driving along down the roads. Farida and David took shifts driving, counting on not getting pulled over before they reached the border. The drive was beautiful, the sun shining down onto the Alps. They rode north at first, bearing west as they followed the A2 along the long and winding path towards the few passes through the Alps. The mighty Bernese range rose to their right, visible as a range of snowcapped peaks in the distance, turned blue by the dozens of miles between the car and them. David watched, Farida at the wheel, admiring it, sitting slightly funny. It was fun, but she could get awfully sore.
“I spy, with my little eye, something starting with… D,” said Caladbolg.
“Deviants?” asked Durandal.
“Degenerates?” asked Gerlinde.
“Okay,” David said.
“Dirty Little Sluts?” asked Farida.
“Got it!” said Caladbolg, beaming.
“For the sake of the Dark God or whatever, don’t encourage them,” said David, flushing ferociously. “Look, we’re not that loud!”
“Oh, yes, you’re very subtle, the way you grab at Farida’s pants and then the two of you mysteriously vanish, there’s a bunch of yelling and groaning, and then you reappear thirty minutes later, sweating, flushed, and with your shirt on backwards.”
David looked down with a start, and realized the neck tag was rubbing against her throat. She pulled her arms in, rotating the shirt around her body quickly, trying to ignore the snickers and chuckles from the back of the car as they turned around a corner. “Look, you don’t have to tease me.”
“They’re just jealous,” said Farida. He grinned cheerfully into the mirror. “Part of being a girl, getting used to being mocked and teased for doing things that the other girls wish they were doing.”
“Well, maybe in America. I personally am teasing you because it is the funniest thing imaginable to happen to someone.” She grinned. “I’m almost tempted to take you for a ride myself, David. I wonder, does your blood taste sweeter when you’re a girl?” She winked. “It certainly smells sweeter. Maybe that goddess that did this to you will make me into a boy before he changes you back, so I can try it out?” She looked aside to Farida, and smirked. “Or would that prick your pride too much?”
“Absolutely,” said Farida, resting a hand on David’s knee. The little possessive gesture made David’s heart beat faster, and she looked out the window again to avoid giving it away. Caladbolg’s chuckle behind her made it clear that she had failed entirely. Thank god they weren’t playing poker like this.
Around mid-afternoon, after stopping for a quick lunch in the mountains, they switched over, so that Gerlinde was driving when they went through the checkpoint, to avoid any possible difficulties. On the insistence of the other two, Farida moved into the back seat while David stayed in the front. They drove approximately two miles, around the curve out of sight of the checkpoint. Then Gerlinde jerked abruptly on the wheel, and the car nearly flew off the road before she pulled onto the shoulder.
“Whoa! Are you okay?” asked David, heart beating quickly, before she noticed that everyone else was silent. She turned her head.
Everyone was staring at the fourth person in the back seat. She was attractive, her features Greek, skin lightly tanned, dressed in a chiton. She did not look particularly exceptional, though she was pretty, and smiling. “So, how did you enjoy it?”
A few minutes later, they stood outside, on the shoulder, Caladbolg’s sword held against the woman’s throat. The voice had been instantly recognizable for David- the same one who had changed her. Caladbolg spoke through clenched teeth. “Who are you?”
“Ah. The Spring of Tiresias, at your service.” She smiled nervously. “It was helpful, right? I’m, uh… not used to this kind of reaction.”
“You could have asked,” said Caladbolg. David groaned.
“She did. Let her go, Caladbolg, I don’t think she’s going to hurt anyone.” She smiled politely. “Sorry about that. I kind of expected you to show up in a dream or something more subtle than… y’know.”
“Oh. That’s a bit embarrassing. I decided I wanted to see how you enjoyed it!” She smiled cheerfully. “I see you made it through safely, and everything. I wanted to make sure that you had a good time, that it felt good, that you played safe- You’re not pregnant, are you?”
“We made sure that wouldn’t happen,” said Farida, before David could stop her. The Spring of Tiresias stared at her for a moment, before giving David a raised eyebrow. “How… unique. You didn’t try anything with the new parts I gave you?”
“I mean, we did a little bit of fondling, but-” began Farida, before David slipped a hand over her mouth.
“I think we should change back,” said David.
“Are you sure? I mean you’ve hardly even gotten a chance to try out the really fun stuff. I mean, think about this! I could change you back at any time!”
“Then you could probably change us at any time, right?” David smiled, aware of the hungry and thoughtful look on Farida’s eyes. “I’m flattered, maybe even a little curious, but we still have this whole epic quest thing to deal with, and I have to admit, if I did happen to get stuck in this form, it’d be really, really awkward to explain to my family.”
The Spring sighed, shaking her head. “Well, that’s hardly any fun. I mean, just-“
“Oh my god, you’re into this,” said Gerlinde, staring, her expression shocked. “This is all a kink for you, isn’t it?”
“No! I can’t believe you’d even accuse me of that! That’s the silliest thing I’ve ever heard of!” said the Spring, in a completely unconvincing tone of voice, doing her best to affect a look of shock and offended pride. She wasn’t at all good at it.
“Are all road trips like this?” asked Durandal, his head tilted.
“Look, I was made for a purpose! And I was expected to fulfill that purpose,” said the Spring, all wounded pride and fragile dignity. “So, it would’ve been very silly to not grow to enjoy it. Sure, perhaps I was looking for an excuse, but-“
“Okay, change me back,” said David. “I’m not going to hold a grudge about any of this, you helped out a lot, but I want it clear that I’m not going to do this again.” She paused for a moment, and looked at the others. “As long as any of you except Farida are around, anyway.”
“Alright.” The Spring sighed, and David thought of something. They were still in their clothes.
Then, his clothes were abruptly far too tight.
After a brief, embarrassing, and in his case painful struggle, the two were dressed properly again, the Spring smiling apologetically. “Sorry. I’m a bit rusty. But-“
There wasn’t really anything that announced the presence. There was a tingle that ran up his spine, but that was about it. Caladbolg drew her blade even as the verdigris length of steel appeared in mid-air, pierced through some unseen veil. It swept apart, and in the gap stood Vereoria Dracos, her smile a mile wide, Tizona leaping aside to stop Caladbolg’s drawn blade from taking off her head. She grabbed David, and with inhuman, impossible strength, she yanked him off his feet and through the portal.
The last thing he saw before the portal closed was Caladbolg leaping forward, throwing the sword in a perfect overhand arc. The gap in the air sealed shut a fraction of a second before the blade reached it.
“Well,” he said, turning towards her, trying to show a confidence and braggadocio that he certainly didn’t feel. “Isn’t this new and different.”