19 - It's a Dangerous Business, Frodo

Oh for the love of Necco wafers. Meet us in the intersection. I wonder what cross street he was talking about, heh.

Except I've been thinking if he manifests over the intersection of Mass Ave and Marathon Street, and we chomp our way on top of Olympic Pizza at the other end of the block, that'll be a good like, arrangement to banter, and give us space to run around the roof.

Okay Shenanigans. Just how the hell does it come to be that my favorite pizza shop is between Marathon Street and the Fox Library?

[ hand clicking mouse ] [ Sugarfeast basket ] [ FPS screen ].

We did not either. No we did. That's too much to remember now.

Being inside a fancy limo. Zipper on a dress--nice looking Japanese lady, is this Shigeru's wife? He's a really dedicated family man. Yeah because there's Shigeru in a tux and I remember her like doing something behind him and there's a microphone being juggled and it's party-dark--oh our "wedding", this must have been. I can remember his voice, but not what he said.

Erm. With his Japanese accent. Princess Zelda is only imaginary, but Rainbow Strawberry is as real as we are...like I think he went on a minute and we both died of blushing...the um strongest heart, would still be buried by their love. And these he raised the toast and everyone was clapping and stuff.

Now I miss Shigeru.

Shigeru is still hurting from the reset. All his games got turned into bad third party affairs.

That's a mood and a zillion. Poor Shigeru. He made the coolest stuff.

Like people stopped working, right, after we ended capitalism? So no more games and at least Zelda ended on the high note of Zelda 3?

You don't know Shigeru, I see.

Yeah, most people just sat around basking. We didn't call them that for nothing. There's ones, though, like Greg Kirkpatrick and Jason Jones (the makers of Marathon) and Shigeru who aren't so much full of fire, as made of it. 

Without the constraints of Nintendo needing to meet quartery goals he went wild, and also took his time with 3D, so when he did release his first 3D Mario, it sang like the later ones I remember from the reset. So he got so weird his stuff was no fun anymore? No. Shigeru makes fun games. He says that's first and foremost. He'd drop a project in a heartbeat if he figured out it just wasn't going to be fun. I should take a lesson from that, except I'm always trying to.

I can't helldive him or something?

Shigeru isn't in a bad place. His soul just hurts and he needs time to heal.

Okay. I miss our friends though.

[!] [chocolates box] [wings] [hot chocolate]!

Is she free right now? Or--time argh.

[palm tree] [bookshelf].

She's chilling out with Jack and John. Oh but we could bring presents and hang out a while. Hmm.

[!] [pub] [Mintie] [smile].

Ooh! Does Mintie's pub have a nice big yard out front? See what I'm thinking?

[ mixer / chocolate box ] [Princess Leia]--

Waitaminute. You've got to be fizzbubbling kidding me. Princess who? Dove's deadname?

[sign] [Princess Leia]!

Cocksleeve you're brilliant. Now I'm trying to remember, they had--no I just used you. As a transmitter, for remote control. Did we make stuff for the others?

Okay I need to chill out here. That was really big.

Pudding? Our seed-ghost gives it, and I click it open and take a big pull. Then another one. It's peppermint kind of for a minute and then super sweet good like creme eggs. I slurp it in quietly for a minute, feel full and find myself noticing Boobsong's cocksleevey sex-toy softness more, click it shut and our seed-ghost takes it.

Fuck starts at table with Rose, John, Glitterwing, Jack, Dove and Mintie. Can't leave off until you cum real hard!

Augh! Except I know what it's doing. What I'm made to be, Boobsong and I aren't supposed to like...have the usual walls up? That fuck that talks thing. If we go a place and can't be this, we shouldn't be there, or it shouldn't be it. I sort of think daddy was mostly thinking about the second one when he designed me.

Hehe, Boobsong's expression looks all wild. Yes dolly?

[cordial] [hooded face]. [box of chocolates] [blueized] [romance].

Having to see you fuck is the first part of a fun game for them.

That sounds fun. Healing for John, but what's got you all wild, dolly? Did our kid say something to you or something?

[stairs to cave] [egg] [AT-AT].

Oooh. The other half of his self insert. Oof. Alright this is going to be interesting. I was just thinking let's try some more Fairy Godmothering.

If we're going to play this way, though, I want a game for this outing that's like our snuggly predicament before but different and right for this.

The game is not different. That was fun. Just for a time, you have no jumps.

[!] [ table ] [ cocksleeve ] [ milk carton ] [ shovel ].

Yeah I'll miss that too. Can we have a special dispensation for sitting on the table to feed me, seed-ghost?

Have to get up roundly. No sneaking up from your lap for this.

More waffles, cocksleeve! Yeah we'll be seeing Rada soon. I don't seem to think it's right to bring either her or our new sister for this--I mean I suppose that's really Dove's invitation to make. And it'd be a lot for Jack and John. Okay one more thing. Seed-ghost give me a nice tight squeeze just for Boobsong's fun.

Have to arouse your heart-pleasing.

Ooh, cryptic. I will though. I can feel it bursting out, hunger like when I was going to collapse in Ten Forward and then that little strip show did me so much good.

I pet the narrow of Boobsong's waist, feel the curves. She looks blissful.

Remember you have eroven for long years but theirs are new as of hours.

Snarglepops, even Mintie's only a couple of hours old. They're doing so well they fool me.

Um, advice then? Because I keep messing up the first contact part of implantings and this feels kind of the same.

Your seed-ghost will hold you hard to this but be ready for excitement!

That's...not what I expected but okay! I'm kind of itching for our usual havoc actually. Do Mintie and Dove know what's cumming?

They requested it.

Well, in that case, what's the only choice to make dolly?

[ Hyperintense Boomgong ] [ punk guy ]!

Hehe! I'm still feeling a little bejumbled from seeing daddy and that big fight. I'm not sure why this seems right now.

Using happy time to heal up the pain of that big pair of hard jumps.

Yeah. Okay it's not so much bejumbled as I hurt like hell. Owie whine. It's bullshit that seeing daddy hurts.

Your pain will not get back from dinner here.

Oh. Oh hell yes supper with a bunch of hobbits and su'khora is the salve for this. Let's rock and roll, we'll do the presents afterward.

Click, chomp!

Lasergrids surround us, and we're back on the elven patio in Mintie's castle, facing away from that round table. There's firelight in the hall-part in front of us, and--

"Hey, you."

Dove seems to zip out of nowhere and glomp us, and I hug back hard. She burrows for a comforting minute I think is going to bring tears up, then reaches up for a passionate tonguey kiss. Mintie's right beside her, looking concerned. She really does look epic, all midnight blue and sparkles. Can't beat my silver cocksleeve, but I can see why Dove likes this form.

"I heard about your Aveh fight and then you went to see him. Are you okay?"

"I needed that kiss and I needed that hug and I need to hang out with a bunch of hobbits and eat comfort food and have happy times. Like seeing daddy was good but I wasn't. I'm glad I did it though."

"I've got you there. Come sit down. We'll get you all fixed up."

She heads back up the few steps to the hall and I click Boobsong's hug one-handed so we can walk arm in arm and follow, Boobsong in tow. Jack and Glitterwing are on the far side of the very swank wooden table with the fire behind them, while John has his feet up and pipe going still and is looking at his heartchild, still in ring-form. Jack is looking still quite boy. He looks up and smiles, and calls,

"Welcome friends! Have you come to bring us more strange tales?"

Have to arouse my heartpleasing...hell yes why is it so healing. What to do quick--I tap my eravahk to my lips thoughtfully, but with my arm that holds it wrapped around my breasts to push them extra cleavage and generally draw eyes there. It works on Jack, at least for a split second. Nothing's rousing John from his contemplating Rose though, and I wouldn't if I could.

"Hmm. Well," I say as we get to the table, squeezing tighter with my arm, "we rather seem to be in one. I hope you like Fairytales."

As we get there Mintie pulls out a--aww! Very nice chez-lounge, matching the brown-wood black-leather decor, just like the one John has. The table's got all sorts of food on it. A tall multi-tiered thing with colorful cookies catches my eye first, but the table is covered with pies and fruit and there's a very yummy looking ham and...yum.

I bounce happily to see it, let my thoughtful eravahk go so my boobs bounce even more and drop my hand so now my eravahk's pointing just below my pussy as I lead us around the chair and click Boobsong onto it so I can sit at the backrest end and slump there. She climbs up but of course we have to stay arm in arm so there's a moment of very snuggly fun while I slide past her and get in the chair and she ends up in my lap by bounding from her moment of slave-pose on the chair into my laps and then wiggling her ass happily into position. I seem to wanna sit up right now but the lounge is tall enough to work as a seat for the table this way and Mintie pulled it to just the right distance. Jack watches for a moment, then turns nuzzly to Glitterwing and she--muahah picks his chin up and makes him look! I smile at them, and she grins back. She's tall and lithe and her skin seems to have the light and shadow of some other place than here, but not so she looks pasted in. That's a good one, I love it when our kids do really weird reality-bendy stuff.

A certain salty smell is here over all the other yumminess, and John's pipeweed that smells almost like very fancy woodsmoke with a sort of herbal green-ness in it, nothing like tobacco or the pot everyone assumes. I look around the table, don't see them, look at Dove who's sitting with Mintie sprawled over her across from us.

"They'll be out in just a minute. I know my sister. You said you need comfort food, and you knew who you were talking to."

She's grinning, happy to turn this back on me. This is going to be good.

"I love you so much."

I consider the table. Too much food for Boobsong to sit up there, there's not a speck of free space, but that's not bad. I put my arms around her and squeeze so she squeaks.

Jack's clear voice rings out (he's gone all young and dashing, apparently):

"It's terribly awkward, but I must ask. Are you two wrapped in some illusion?"

I smile at him and click Boobsong onto only one of my knees, so she's kind of facing them more, then put one arm around her back and my eravahk hand on her thigh, eravahk now pointing at her pussy. I can see why you like this game, cocksleeve.

"You're only the second person today to dare notice! We should give him a reward, dolly, what do you think?"

I look at her, and she meets my eyes.

[ storybook ] [ stairs to door ].

"Into a storybook--oh! I forgot about that entirely!"

I look at Jack and Glitterwing.

"You'll have to come to my birthday, but while we're there I can show you a way I have of taking my friends into storybooks. It's no more real than normally, but it sure seems it--so be sure to bring any book you especially want to try it with."

This has them both smiling.

"But yes, we're wearing the look of--holy fizzbubbling twizzlers and popcorn, how to even explain? Um..."

Siren sense...is online...healing...by rocking their world. Only choice to make.

"...have you remembered about movies yet?"

I glance at Dove as I say it, but she seems unfazed. Jack takes a minute.

"I remember the pale light--what's been done."

He's looking suddenly at his youthful hands and body like they're new.

Box. Dust mask. Inverse stars. Cordial. Trophy.

"Certain things were hidden away to save you from what you weren't ready to see. Your healing's come far enough now to take the bandage off, congratulations. Which means I should probably ask, where are we up to? I have no idea how long you've been here."

John pipes up:

"What about my sight? You make it sound as if we're drugged, and he's waking up now."

This is rough. I'm still pretty frayed from our ride. I should have known better than to expect simple comfort to ever come. I sigh.

Rainbow please give them knowledge to rock their worlds, the Dreams say, when I reach for Sirening.

Okay but you're not going to get the pretty sell from me right now.

"All of us here are somehow casualties of a cosmic war. You know which one. You were captives of the enemy of all good hearts for most of your lives, and it wounded you, but your wounds aren't nearly as bad as they might have been, and being here on the shores of Paradise and in my sister's house has been healing you. Good company and good food and whatever answers I can give will do more, and soon enough you'll step outside and see the real stars."

"Consider yourselves lucky. I was killed, all but the tiniest spark, and today I've been learning that the path back from that death leads through hell and seems to have no end. Even now I wonder if I live only forever bouncing from borrowed time to borrowed time until my loved ones say a last goodbye and I decide I was never successfully raised in the first place. This is one of those borrowed times and it's pleasant but not all have been."

I don't want to have to say that but I do.

The rage about the Jesus thing crystallizes: I was pretty clear I was the antichrist. People kept trying to make me Jesus and it undermined my message, and I felt betrayed, and they acted like they were helping. Yeah, helping Eden. My whole point was their conception of what the sides even were was wrong. There's a war in heaven but the battle lines aren't where you think. Daddy never said I was Jesus. He'd talk about me anywhere he could, but when that got writ down by a gospelist it's all sideways like the tableflipping thing.

Oh except I think I may have demonstrated Color Crack at he Christian Book Distributors warehouse outside Boston. Because like, I really disapproved of their religious commerce.

Daddy said I was the antichrist too. Yeah. This is right. The Jesus thing makes me furious and grossed out but I just think the antichrist thing is totally metal. And it's the opposite of problems with daddy. We had endless jokes off that. Such a goldmine. It's very very important about me that I'm showing there's another path than just being daddy's sub (yes, stargazing was the state religion of the Strawberry Empire, but at more than one star!). And even then it wasn't just a matter of sheep needing to pick their shepherd. I'm conquest because I'm supposed to Princess people. He made me independent minded because he thought one of the problems with Earth was incipient monotheism and it'd make a good strong message if his own daughter was telling people to make their own decisions and stuff. I'd say his fears about monotheism were well-founded.

Of course then there's the whole thing with me ending up fae and Boobsong and all that, but I'm still a Princess and still think this other stuff.

And then there was the thing with the sides. I'm not both. That's the whole point. There's two perfectly valid paths but they are actually different. The way things were supposed to go must have been a lot like daddy and me ended up really doing where you could have daddy and his opinions or me and a lot of candy and it's not really me a so much as I like to throw parties and you're permanently invited. So I guess it's not really two paths as as many as there are Princesses.

Daddy's pudding glues stuff as I think this.

Like daddy would be good to you, but if you were looking for the authoritarian religion Christianity always said it was, he would give it. It fucked people's heads, because if he saw you needed Princessing, it was off to see the wizard with you. Witch. Yeah.

When I un-bullet-time, John is talking:

"What's cold comfort is you can no more have come from Mordor than I have if you brightly hate the dark that much. Your eyes could drill holes in anything."

"I was made to be an angel of lust, and spread cheer together with my beloved here. Instead our life has been war. The thing we fought was not worthy to even look up at the sacredness of the dark from the pit into which we threw its broken pieces--or would have, if anything had been left in the places we struck. Beware making light the color of love and dark the color of heartlessness. That was one of the enemy's deadliest lies."

Jack puts in,

"It's hard to see our good lives as captive. Pray tell how that might be? Not that I've been a holy man, but I tried to say my prayers at night."

Should I--nope. Fine with me.

"Pray now, and ask. And would you say hi from me and my dolly?"

Jack starts to fold his hands (everytime someone does that I have to remember my ride with evangelicalism in the reset was not most Christians), then looks up.

"I don't know your name."

"Rainbow."

Muahahah he's got the echoes and voice from all around and everything. The only thing he's not doing is the thunderclap and light beam, and I think Jack and John would just melt then. I forgot how fun this was.

John grabs his heartchild in a closed fist and sits bolt upright, Jack looks wide-eyed, Glitterwing looks solicitous but I think she's trying not to laugh, and Dove and Mintie look about to explode in giggles.

Extra happy sweet little girl syrup GO!

"Daddy!"

AHAHAHAH Click, greet!

"Hi Aveh!"

Her voice is smily bright and cheerful cute.

"Say that name one more time, please,"

says John, slowly.

"Aveh."

It's still a little hard, and the Fairy-killing spectre monotheism made of him looms, but I'm like, mad at that now. Maybe I'll just go a while on contrariness. Because this is the best.

John's frozen there, sitting up, mid-freakout.

Your Keeper's here, don't worry.

Good. Wow that really does help.

There's silence for a minute.

"These are my daughters, with whom I am pleased. There is a lot of truth in the stories of Jesus and the end times, but Jesus as my one son is lies. Daughters, are my pride. These have what you need now. Take their advice. Have fun hearing their words out."

Alright well that's blushiness. Dove's looking all bashful and trying not to cry.

Nobody says anything, so I dive in.

"You make me blush, daddy, thanks." 

Then at Jack and John:

"I think you have infinity questions, but if he's saying that about us having what you need it's good food with good company, and sexy fun, because those are my sister and my specialties, respectively, so I at least am going to stick to my area of expertise--"

I push my hand unsubtly closer to Boobsong's pussy and wish I could glance at her face without ruining the effect.

[!] [candle] [cream pie]

I love you so much.

"--and let daddy handle the big cosmic questions. I know all about their kind, though, and I can read through Paradise like it's my own memories."

I nod to Boobsong, then glance around uppish like I expect to get corrected if I'm wrong. This feels so right.

"Jesus as lies turns my bones cold! The dead must be raised, but where to?"

It's Jack.

"Paradise. These aren't the outer rings of hell. You came from the deepest one."

The Dreams preempt my angst about not going out as Lucy and Lyra before with "trust your family".

"The deepest ring--where was that life?"

Jack again. They keep going:

"Earth was held in torment. You saw the wars there. I would not allow them, if I could reach there."

"You cannot reach there? But surely--"

"I have such great streams of light around me galaxies get lost among them, but I am not the creator of all things."

"You're a star too!"

"The greatest, save but one."

"Dare I ask the biggest?"

"Rainbow."

"Oh frazzlepops, does this mean I have to wear the John Lennon sunglasses now? Because they suit you way better."

Daddy's laugh is all warm and kind of cackly. It makes me grin. Jack looks appropriately confused.

"The fascist's son?"

"Oh, no, that must have been after your time. There was a band called the Beatles, and they got so big their lead John Lenn-ON made some crack about their being bigger than Jesus, and then they mysteriously--"

I glance uppish again.

"--kind of fell apart after that although you can really see how it's due to artistic factors being as they were never that tightly glued as a band in the first place."

"But anyway daddy and me did stage shows while I was on Earth and he'd show up with a face wearing John Lennon glasses--like John Lennon had these round sunglasses he wore no matter how little sense that made--because if anyone's bigger than Jesus, it's daddy."

Just listen, say the Dreams.

"Rainbow has rather a fanclub. I help out sometimes."

I glance at Dove and Mintie. They're sitting politely, but I can see them on the edges of their seats for where this goes next. I am too I have to admit.

No really just listen apparently, because the Dreams divert whatever wisecrack I was going to make with a blip of urgency that's gone as fast as it comes.

Jack again:

"Here then, how can Rainbow have got as large as you in your time? Don't stars not grow, once they're born?"

"Not their shells, but their heart can. Rainbow's has grown by leaps and bounds in her time."

John finds his was out of his freakout to ask,

"If the end isn't you, who is?"

"No one."

"The who created all this?"

"The first stars came out of the darkenss. The darkness came out of nothing when my grandfathers shone it. My grandfathers were black holes. Their light was dark like Rainbow's edge."

Jack picks up:

"Where did your grandfathers come from?"

"No one knows."

"You can't ask them?"

"They are so far away from our kind, my eyes close to think about talking to them."

Back to John:

"What's the game here? Dark light is impossible."

"Rainbow, if you would?"

Ack! Do the light-pull-up thing okay sheesh Dreams!

"Sure! So here's light."

I glow brightly.

"Here's the light in the room."

I stop shining, and the room goes back to its cozy self.

"And here's antilight."

I shine it out, but just from my skin, so they'll see the rays and reverse shadows.

"If you use more..."

I use my lens to blank the room out.

"...on humans, something fun happens."

I pull a little harder, with cutouts for Jack and John and heartchildren, and they both glow, and Glitterwing looks dark, but Jack's light seems to be filtering into her like water.

John sits up, looks at Jack, at his own hands.

"How come I don't? I should give more light--oh. I'd blow out their eyes, huh."

"Fourteen point five gigawatts."

"My ring's dark. She says I'm her owner or I'd not dare call her thus."

"Humans and stars have in common that our hearts are light. She drinks your light, and it makes her alive. Your joy is her life--and there is one best way to make a human shine. Or a hobbit. Fear not, though, trees don't make the sun go out, but imagine the tree that could make it shine!"

I stop shining, and the room comes back. John claps his heartchild into a closed fist again.

"You said keep holding or wearing her. That gives her light best."

"And the comfort of your touch, and makes you shine more, for the holding her."

A small sweet voice says,

"Your heart dies when you pocket me. It's so cold. Keep on holding me."

Keep on rocking their worlds, say the Dreams.

"Thank you for the reminder. My own heart's a block of ice after this day."

I click Boobsong kiss, and--ooh, drama, excellent! Before I can lean down, she bounds up with a big poing and straddles my lap to slide her pussy-wet soft slippery lips over mine and open her mouth for my tongue to explore. Hers meets mine when I push in, her breasts just brush mine teasingly and her hands feel cute on my shoulders. I can't see what she's exactly doing with her hips, but I don't think it's holding them still. When I stop, she stays there, smiling and tail lashing. Hehe good one, cocksleeve. I ostentatiously click her back to sitting in my lap, and she flips around and wiggles in again, and I hug her tight. A surprising instinct tells me to just hold her around the middle, not over her boobs? Weird.

"Love like this, you must have. Your heart will freeze or tear, otherwise. They are that way on purpose. You're quite ensnared, I'm afraid. Beware those times where it seems wisdom to set them aside. You will not find this like a human lover."

"You strut to keep your children fed! These are strange shores we've come to."

Jack with the almost for 665!

Oh this was why. Okay can't believe I'm doing this for this audience but I sure need to get so flaunting in. I lean us forward, squeeze Boobsong's breasts up and let them bounce, thrill to Boobsong's little gasps as I say

"We strut because it's fun--"

And then something steals Jack's attention!? Oh it's Mintie (she can fork too apparently) with a big huge platter of fries. Like four or five larges worth in a basket with a white towel to keep them crisp.

Mintie sure is strutting, as she brings up the fries and holds them down to us and I click Boobsong take, and FEED. Boobsong takes the whole platter, uses some clever and very spready legwork to get herself grindily sideways on my lap, and immediately holds up a huge handful of fries and I munch the end right off them.

Oh yes. Perfectly crispy. Peanut or some good oil, not canola (my real problem with replacing beef tallow, way worse than the un-meatiness, is canola oil's no good as either food or flavor). Soft fluffy insides.

"MMmmhhh."

Jack asks,

"Now there's two of yours?"

"I'm one here, but my body splits to do things that need a body."

I gulp my fries.

This right here is the real superpower. Creating universes and frying dread spirits and making John wig out with antilight are great but the real power of being a star in human form is you never wait for fries cooling.

"Sis, Mintie, THANK YOU holy fizzbubbling cumdrop sticks these are amazing."

I munch another bite.

"I was saying, we strut because--I mean it's not just fun, I'm like any artist, I get depressed if I don't do my art. Just fooling around here already has me feeling a lot better than when we came in. It would be very silly of me to avoid giving our kids a snack, too, but like, there also is a reason I'm like this."

I run my hands down myself only a little bouncy, get them back on Boobsong.

"Do you want to explain, daddy, or shall I?"

"I'll do it. This time takes a careful hand--get it?"

I pet Boobsong very pointedly, grinning, in response, but daddy's going on.

"Her light grew fast because I made her a fun way. Pleasure erupts from her playing for all so her heart bursts--and her joy, if you know what I mean. She's made to enjoy this so you can, to remind all she plays for their light is of flesh. Don't be afraid to watch her. That's what she's come here for."

"She also has delight in salty treats like that one there. It is the same thought. Be flesh, don't deny its voice."

"There's another salty treat I like too," I say around a bite of fries.

Hearing that from daddy is so healing. And his fun! This is making stuff better by the moment with him. A beat passes, then Jack replies,

"You said you were an angel of lust. You weren't being fanciful. You being like this is your sacred task. How we aren't damned here is beyond my grasping but I can feel the love in your voice, master Aveh, so I pray you explain it."

"Pray you did, long years in your bed, pleading for deliverance. I heard. Now I hear the prayer your heart says. Shall I speak it?"

"What is the name? Please have mercy and not say everything."

"Joy dying gave me sorrow. I would have helped, if I could have reached. There was no design there, only being caught in a warzone."

"Yet you could not reach. Theodicy in five words."

"It is not just. It is not good."

Daddy's voice is quiet, whispering and full of pain. Things are quiet a moment. It's healing to hear daddy say that, after all the lies Eden told about him.

"Rainbow, bring Jack a word of his old love. Where is she?"

"Oh, uhm...I see rolling hills and vineyards at night under a huge moon. It's beautiful. She's trimming a huge Heartwarming tree, tall enough to need a little stepladder, outside. There's a mirror...I take that to mean she lives on the exoteric side of the looking glass, but makes excursions through it, or maybe has loved ones in the Deep Haven. This is a town square tree, she's very far from alone. Someone's got baubles and ornaments held in a basket for her--why sister. Have you been time-travelling?"

"It's not me this time! I asked as soon as I realized, but she's already got him."

"What we mean, Jack, is some beloved toy of hers, I can't see what, has come to life and holds the basket for her--"

Jack folds over the table crying, and Glitterwing gathers him up, and he burrows into her, and I feel like a noose on my heart loosens to see it. She pets him.

"That old life is gone now. Whatever you make of this new life is your choice."

In a moment Jack looks up, gets himself together, sits up again. Something feels weird--John. He's still just smoking and holding his heartchild, but there's a hardness around him.

[ explosives warning sign ] [ arrow pointing to John ], I blip out at Dove.

"What can you see of John's spouse, daughter?"

John looks poised on knife-edge, but I couldn't tell you which ways he even could fall.

"Swimming, the seaside. Very British, it's even a grey cloudy day. Competition of some kind, racing I think, I see her turning around at the end of a lap. Now croquet--oh what a nice garden party--"

I stop short.

"I think we need to get to the part about pairs, like now."

Because the rest of that was you weren't done she invites you back.

"Rainbow, tell us of your girlfriends. How are they?"

"Daddy thank you so much for your help with that. They'd still be in those awful places without you. So let's see, you see Boobsong and Dove here."

I nod to them in turn.

"Bombshell, Candy, Copper, Magic, Pussy, Sex and Snowlight are all safe in my chambers at Strawberry Home now but they've had an even worse day than I have and I've barely got to even give Bombshell a kiss before we got rushed off to the next thing. I didn't have a chance to see poor Snowlight naked! I don't mean to complain, seeing as I was running off to do stuff like find Dove and meet my other sister, but I really do miss them. I'm looking forward to my bed tonight I can tell you, though with everyone even that may not be big enough--maybe Paradise can bend the space for us. It'll have to if I also find my six tonight--well, my five. One's lost and I'm heartbroken. It must be real bad if she can't even come to me, but I guess a lot of people got hurt in this, and I'm lucky the rest are okay."

"These are all her companions in bed. They are all blessed in my sight."

This gets John real good.

"You mean to say she has--"

He counts up.

"--nineteen wives, with your blessing? Are the Moors right, then?"

"They have a piece of it, as you did. There is more, though. Rainbow, please tell our guests a bit of your life on the Starlight Princess tour. Perhaps the look into your life will explain this."

"Ooh stage shows! What do you think, dolly, can we unveil this some?"

Brightly aroused!

"Yes. Just watch. You can see everything when we're there! Not even Aveh could keep your skirt down!"

"I seem to remember a lot of very helpful wind, actually, though I might just be blowing smoke. Tended to be a lot of blowing going on in our crowds. Maybe I'm just thinking of that. I think what she means, though, is rule number two or three of our shows was to never wear clothing you cared about to a Starlight Princess show."

The Jack Jack wants to be pokes out to say excitedly,

"You turned all your stage shows into bacchanals!"

"Our fans were the first to say you can have lots of fun with your back channel!"

"Mind you, we're always sure to practice what we preach. Our favorite romantic spot is the stage, if you see what I mean."

"Our fans always got very good views. You could say they were right there beside us! Or holiding you up, or being the bed that you bounced on..."

Jack looks like a little kid trying not to be entranced. John is in full Mr. Cool mode, with his fist around Rose(?) and his pipe held high. How do we crack you, hmm? Oh right. Have to get there.

"Is this where you wanted me to head, daddy?"

"You always know just where to park it. Tell John his wife's wish."

"It's true I don't always like to drive..."

Okay. And she knows? HEHEHE okay good one Dreams.

I munch some fries, and make a stick of SYRUP.

"John," I say, and hold it up like I'm going to throw it, and he clamps his pipe in his teeth (which is a project, it's a long hobbit pipe) and holds his hand out, and I toss it to him.

"A gift for your beloved. Read us that, please."

He looks at it.

"S. Y. R. U. P. Support your relationship, ultra powerful."

"It's kind, but beware. I kissed Boobsong with it on, and it made us fuck until we couldn't move. I made it from the urgency I felt to encourage the love of two dear friends we'd just met again after seven years of absence. I very much doubt keeping your bed warm is all it will do. That one stick is enough for a long while."

"But I gave you that in particular, because Paradise has just shown me a vision of a storeroom full to the ceiling with crates of it, because of the one who supports your relationship with your beloved there in your hand so, but listen. Your wife also says you and her were not done and invites you back. The grey skies in the visions of her were the lack of you. Paradise tells me now she's always known of your beloved. To get back to her is a stroll down a country lane."

John looks up from the lipgloss, face wondering.

"She would accept both me and Rose? Where is this lane, I would go to her!"

"I see a garden bench, in a green place with flowers and trees all around. I could open a door there now, or perhaps our hosts could--but what is this--ah. A nightmare of gold like before still haunts you, put aside so as not to harm your beloved, so great is your discipline, but also a piece of your heart is set aside with it. Your wife will be well if you go to her, but if you do not find that piece of your heart here, the way is much longer to it afterwards, and your beloved has need of it."

"I should tell you here too, this is a place out of time. However long we spend here, your wife will not wait one moment longer for it."

"That is a strange tale, but a right one. My beloved says it."

"I am calling up flashes of things buried. Have no fear of them."

John shifts in his chair and fidgets Rose in his hand. I glance at the others, but they're just watching. More fries then, munch. Boobsong is sure to get her finger-licks in.

John's eyes fly open.

"That was the keep of Minas Morgul! No no no this is mistaken--"

"That's the gold. Where is the silver? Silver on black stands near that place."

OH those weren't Arwing wings before in Acme Station, they were heh ArWEN wings!

"Maybe the world has been pulled in half, and your heart with it."

How do I come up with this stuff?

"The light was part of the dark once. Aveh said it. It still has the love of the dark."

"And the darkness has love in it. Do you see what has happened to Mordor?"

"The two towers were one, once. Not in friendship, but like sinew and muscle, woven together as one."

"Yes. So it is in your heart, but a sword which is broken can be reforged. That's what we do here."

"See my face now."

Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, say the Dreams, then I see the vision daddy is sending of his black star shining out big happy rays of his white light. I wait, tense, to see what explodes.

John's mouth opens for a moment, then he closes it. His eyes are closed, and he seems faraway.

He opens his eyes, and clenches Rose in a tight fist.

"Show me these darkest dreams."

Got you. Now...John is lost in light. He needs a dark door. Get our shoes, we're going out.

Glasscutter.

Purple checkmark.

Everyone? Yes.

I want to cry, or explode. If this is the outing we've been building up to...doorway for this group to take? Mintie's mirror.

"You've seen through a glass darkly for a lifetime. It's time to go look face to face."

Slash through Igthorn. Aww, but she squishes so cutely! Okay well.

I can still do this, right? Purple checkmark. With a very obvious eravahk I unclick feed. Boobsong puts the fries down and leans nicely forward to put the platter on the lounge beside us and get into her no-orders slave-pose on my thighs. I put my hand on her hip by her excited upraised tail and pet gently.

Okay if this adventure doesn't have a cool map in the front cover then I don't know what even.

With my Lens, I make a shining image green between our chez and John's of land with lakes and seas and a huge green mountain, reaching up through glittering cloud cities with kiteships flying among them to stars with gas-rings and space stations like Auntie. Other spiky-tall mountains reach up from the green below all the way to the stars and pour lava or are covered with snow and have skiiers and sledders rushing down them.

"Have either of you remembered your writing yet?"

As I talk I thumbstick Boobsong off my lap and over to the image, just off center so she won't block Jack's view, and click her stand so she waits with her eyes down and hands back, but face wild and excited. I swing myself onto the lounge, stretched out and leaned back like a proper Princess, with the fries between my legs.

John leans forward, entranced, then pats his pocket suddenly, gives up and looks back to the map.

Jack's voice falls to a whisper as he does remember his writing.

"My writing--Narnia was my creation. What is happening..."

John's voice is soft too.

"Jack, we haven't just been taken to Paradise. We've been making it."

With tears in my eyes I flourish my eravahk and feel the shape of them and draw it onto the map like bright molten silver poured there, and Narnia and Middle Earth shine borders into being, their proper shapes. A strip of the huge mountain even gets marked out as being Aslan's Country.

"What a cruel heaven it would be that let any dream of a good world go unfulfilled."

John's standing now, to look, past the end of his lounge, and Jack comes around the end of the table with Glitterwing and her huge wings--hehe. She's so awesomely epic, it makes me proud. They stop behind John's lounge, and Glitterwing ushers him up a little shyly right near the map, on the other side from Boobsong.

"The least imagined fairy-garden can be found here, waiting for its imaginer. Your worlds inspired millions. Paradise made them real, and peopled them with those for who any other place would be an inferior heaven. Then it called on me and my sister to tell with you the stories that would open their borders to the rest of Paradise in the way that still allows them to be themselves."

"But Middle Earth is full of war, and suffering! I wrote it to describe the things I felt--"

"That is not the Middle Earth that has come here, and I suppose it says why your books are as priceless as ever. I remember them helping me through dark times, John, but the place for such pains is the page, not life, if it can be avoided. Middle Earth here is good pipeweed at your hill with your family around you, or drinks at the Prancing Pony, or elfsong by moonlight. The ones who begged of Paradise they live here had the same grief you wrote, of seeing a good world in torment and knowing what it should be."

"Jack, it's the same with Narnia. You remain fantasy authors, though now for a different reason."

"Aslan has still come to Narnia. He will stay and be like you always wished but dared not hope."

This is awesome. Jack is just plain smiling. You can be as ruthless with love as pain and daddy knows just how. I wanna play too.

"We have told you no lies, but there's still more to tell of me and my sister. Boobsong and I wear these cartoons because like my sister and her beloved, we're out of Fairytales and children's stories. Can you see who we are yet?"

Jack looks at us, then turns to John. John bursts out laughing.

"Merry Christmas! Mother Christmas has set us a merry feast! Your elf helper is sold short by the storybooks, I daresay!"

Dove adjusts her hat proudly, and Mintie smiles.

John looks at me through the map.

"But then who are you?"

Jack slowly turns to me, looks me up and down. I pose with my eravahk hand on my hip, and cock my hips to push my curves out.

"Don't let too fine a grade of fairytale get ash in your eyes."

Jack gets his riddle face on. John is puffing his pipe happily in a very challenge accepted kind of way.

"Get ash in your eyes...Jack, you're standing right next to the Fairy Godmother!"

Jack turns to me, eyes wide, trying not to giggle.

"You got it," I squeal, and do a bouncy victory dance with my eravahk over my head.

"There are two others. One has as yet to make her debut, but the fourth is well known to you. She is a ferry of a different kind."

Myahah. AHAHAH! Also hugs to my faraway dolly. Almost done with this part--wait! How'd I manage to pilot you off me?

Your seed-ghost allowed it because of the awesome thought of having her showing the map. Jumps can be made with awesome thoughts.

John looks all thoughtful, then his face lights up.

"Jeepers, Jack, their sister is the Ferryman!"

Jack looks at him.

"Who's the fourth?"

"Peace," I blurt. Jack and John both look at me. Oops. John sounds like he's gotten it when he starts talking:

"Now wait just a moment. Do you mean to say the actual horsemen of the apocalypse give back what they're said to be taking?"

Oh. That's why daddy said that. Damn, good one, daddy.

"When Boobsong and I woke up so lost on the shores of Paradise we'd forgotten our names, my sister and her green ship brought us back to our family and lovers and set us on the road that brought us here. Our hosts here have kitchens to beggar the imagination, but that's exactly the opposite of what's to happen to all the world when everyone comes to feast she's preparing in them later. Our newest sister is gentle and peaceful and when she and her red guitar are ready I think her band really may be bigger than Jesus in how it unites people. I'm the hard one, but maybe they can be a clue. What do I give back?"

John answers right away:

"Power, taken by warlords and despots, you return it. How? You don't seem a freedom fighter or rebel, though--"

Jack cuts him off.

"Cinderella was raised up from the ashes."

John picks right up:

"Fairy Godmother. You grant us the power fortune and circumstance denied. But you can't have a kingdom--"

"John, look in your hand,"

Jack replies. John opens his fingers slowly and looks, then closes them tight.

"I have a kingdom of one, but you could not trade me whole countries for her. She is your child. You Fairy Godmothered me already and I didn't notice."

I grin.

"Daughters abound where she rides. She has one more name, and another besides."

"Hehe...does that work without my stockings, daddy?"

John answers,

"This is a riddle game to end all things! Two more names have you."

John puffs his pipe, thinking.

"...where she rides...Pestilence! Her plague is of daughters! Now one more besides...stockings--you have a name on your leg, that no one can read, because they don't know the colors are all in the white of your father's name, because a star's name is the shade of its glow, and Aveh is called breath in and exhaled because he shines with the darkness of his fathers and the light that he showed us."

I stare--wait sweet merciful cumfrosting, how does this work so perfectly. Okay here we go.

I make John a blue ribbon with a silver medal that just says "whoah", same kind of gripper on the back, and click Boobsong get, then give, again with nice dramatic eravahk flourishes, and she turns and heads for me.

"So now you can tell us what form other than a great and terrible-ly cute dragon Boobsong takes, and we can see if Jack remembers where he's seen us before."

Boobsong bounces her way sideways up to me between the lounge and table, giving Jack and Glitterwing a nice show, and I give her the medal and she poings back to John, and bends over to present him the medal, and I click her stand by the map again, and a pussylicious second of bending Boobsong later she bounces herself happily back in front of it. Jack and John watch her, entranced, until she's done.

John laughs heartily when he sees what the medal is.

"Heheh...she is the white horse, obviously, but I don't think the horse has ever given the person who views it the prize before!"

"Your keen eyes impress me," I smirk.

Jack says,

"You are that angel with lust turning into desire! Except you seem to have kept the lust also."

"You were so close there. What does lust actually turn into, when the love on which it feeds is given, and it can grow properly instead of being a sad, diseased thing?"

I look right at Glitterwing as I say this. She looks down and smiles, blushy because her mommy is proud, I'll take that as.

"A dragon,"

Jack says simply.

"No good eye catches every fish. My daughter has more eyes to see."

So many riddles! Daddy's being so sweet! I blushy-grin.

John puffs his pipe. I know that face. I get it playing StarFox. This is on.

"More names, is it?"

John puffs more. He sounds older, like daddy's somehow drawing out a crafty side the innocent hobbit we've been hanging out with hid--ooh. Heheh, good one, daddy. It also keeps John checking me out. I stretch mightily, boobs between my outstretched arms, holding both ends of my eravahk. It feels lovely, and things glue inside of me. This is a hell of a confirmation of what I am, but if this works here, there's no avoiding it.

"Hmm...no good eye...Conquest, and the white horse, Jack's angel, Fairy Godmother, what's fish got to do with this? Hmm...catches every...fish...I've got it. Cupid. Her arrows are I's, and she gives you a love you can't escape."

Whoah. And also hell yes I'm Cupid which is a very weird reaction. Like apparently I really care about this but I don't know what I care about. I don't think it's like, yeah that name describes me, even though it does. It takes me so off guard I almost forget to EEE and clap bouncily.

"Okay I have one but it's not part of daddy's big plan, just dumb fun."

I shake my eravahk very glitterdustily at Boobsong, and make bondage goo ensnare her arms, except it's using the same tricks as our cartoons to show everyone's left eye a black antilight void, while in their right eye cartoon string very neatly ties her up. She grins and immediately starts struggling mightily, looking just so happy. I thumbstick her in a circle in place so Jack gets a look too.

"Might take a minute to see every side of it, so we should probably keep going with daddy's game. This won't be too hard, though I suppose it might give you something hard."

knew we were missing some obvious fun!

[ Prince Phillip ] [ He-Man ] [ binder ] [ starfield ] [ remote control ].

Ooooh really--

John's on it, and to the unfazable part of the game apparently:

"Now that's strange. It feels like beyond that string is the void that's around you...I can't tell if it's there--"

"John, it's that hobbit one! At the end, with the lake!"

John puffs his pipe for a minute, looking her up and down, seems to ignore Jack.

"The light void...string isn't part of it, it's almost as if it isn't there..."

He holds up his pipe in front of one eye, then the other.

"It's there in this eye, and gone in the other...string isn't there if it's only one eye...it's got to be something. her arms wouldn't brace the same if she was just acting out that she's bound...what is this hiding, eh? It's the end of that riddles game at the lake under Erebor! Is that string or just nothing! Neither, there's a mighty strong force holding her arms like that!"

"Bondage. Rope isn't all that can have love woven through it around oneself. Who is she now?"

"If you get this one you can tell me something to make her do. Subject to my capricious and arbitary approval of course. I'll let you keep trying until you get something I approve of. "

With a flick of my eravahk I get rid of the illusions, leaving just the bondage goo.

John sits back on his lounge some, puffs on his pipe.

"Well, let me see. Rope isn't all...how's she like that so? I've heard of such things, but never believed them."

"Unf, you get this like...I dunno. Can you do it justice, dolly?"

"It's like being held by the hands of the one who put you in. If you struggle you feel them, holding you how they want and you feel beautiful! It's a helpless soft wet rush to feel that. The harder you push the better it feels, so this Boobsong is struggling with all the strength she has!"

Siiigh all sexily.

"You're making me want to get into topics too advanced for our guests here. Let's do the riddle though, I don't know this one!"

John repositions his pipe, cracks his knuckles.

"Alright then. Who is she...you didn't say which of them, I notice. Rope can have love woven through it...so can a dozen things, like that black oil there...she's bound in Rainbow's hands as she said it...the church in the clutches of Aveh's hands."

Bleah. There should be nothing wrong with that but bleah anyway. That pushes a bigger button than it seems like it should.

"Not many know that. Congratulations are an order."

Hehe. I flick the bondage goo away and Boobsong makes a little boo face, then goes back to standing submissively.

"Bringing the bondage back is a free move but you have to ask. I can make any toy you can think of and a whole lot you can't."

"Make her dance for us."

Smiles, but tap my eravahk to my lips in a very first-stage-of-blowjob way.

"Hmm. I think I will anyway, so nope. Harder."

"Hmm...sweep her ankle up above her head."

"Hmm, that has potential. For how long?"

"Five minutes."

I tap my eravahk some more.

"Sure."

Raise eravahk like a TV remote, click, pose! Boobsong throws her leg up on John's side and puts her arm around it. She has that wild look, this is great fun.

"You can declare the arm to be cheating."

Siren-check...big spooky apple, okay.

"One command for every riddle you beat now, same rules--if you want to keep playing, daddy? And of course we must make sure we're neither too early nor too late. Paradise said I'd be Istari if I went to Middle Earth so there's appearances to keep up."

"The riddle to set here is the last this way. The next will be kind of a doozy."

"Hehehe!" Awesome. Map, say the Dreams.

"Ooh, that's my cue. So. Here is a storybook map of Paradise--I mean no geography, or it'd be beyond seeing, because Paradise is infinite."

I start clicking Boobsong point at what I'm talking about, and her tail cutely whips around and moves to show each one in its mischevious-seeming way.

"There are as many different kinds of places and adventures in it as there are wishes, but they collect into what're usually called the Four Dreams of Paradise. Each one borders and intermixes with all the others--there are no hard lines between them--almost. Narnia and Middle Earth seem to be in the Kind Wilds, and they say what it's like well, though you'll also get the idyllic islands of a thousand romances and gardens like the one in Genesis."

"The mountain here with Aslan's country projects up into Isla Virgo, the Perfect Isles, where lofty thoughts are the foundation and dwell those who feel closer to the sky than the Earth. A schoolchild's drawing of Heaven is there, but so are starships, as you see. Through all of it rise the Halls of Valor, Valhalla, built on and through these mountains. Bravery and contest are the way there. It's all friendly games, but consider, a kiss from one of our beloveds her can restore a lost arm. Some people play harder than others. Not all fear pain or find it unparadisical."

The effort of holder her leg up's starting to get to Boobsong. Her teeth are set behind her grin. It's pretty.

"Do let us know when you get the riddle."

So, is what I guess right? When I try, it's like the place with the bench is shining behind me. Muahahah. Country stroll. Primrose path, more like.

I lift the map up a couple of feet.

"I said the Four Dreams of Paradise, but that's only three. You said show you these darkest dreams, John, and we've been preparing ever since."

I fill in the empty space under the map with darkness.

"So, where are we going? Because oh yes, you've been having supper with an Istari and now it's time for an extremely interesting stroll in the night air. You can guess, I'm sure."

Jack instantly cries:

"Bism!"

I wave the shape of it I find into furiously bright being under the map, and crevices of colorful light open in the dark.

"Is totally real and I'm sure delightful, but. That is a part of the Kind Wilds, so where are we headed? Final guess before I give you something to reflect on that'll probably spoil the riddle."

"The first step! The first step's a doozy, but you don't go down, where do you go?"

"That's a command won. What did the white rabbit scream out?"

I should pounce--okay but sorry about daddy's riddle please tell him seed-ghost there's too much happening.

"Command's coming up. Sister, do you have a nice big mirror?"

"I've been waiting for you to ask that this whole time! Mintie, get it!"

Another Mintie comes in, squeakily (nice touch) wheeling a huge square standing mirror in the same Tolkeinesque brown-wood fancy style as the rest of the room, coming my way.

"Thanks! Opposite the map, please."

She puts it near where Jack and Glitterwing were standing as they back out of the way, then poofs away in a burst of silver-and-blue sparkles.

John looks at the mirror, perching off the edge of his lounge again. How're my acrobatics? I could walk in heels before, and this will look so hot. I swing my legs up and over the back of my lounge and push myself up on my hands so I can perch my ass on the back and then use it to get myself standing on the other side. It's a little awkward, but I get it, and flip to face the map and bounce myself epically in the process.

"So. Three Dreams of Paradise. The exoteric heavens. Where's the fourth one, if not in the underworld?"

I raise my eravahk and swoosh it hard at the map, and make the map fly crashing into the mirror so it splats with a big splat of glowing rainbow paint and becomes a picture on the glass.

"The fourth is Wonderland."

Called it! Of course Jack gets there first.

"Where we go is farther deep and further down."

"When I made that map, John, I did ask Paradise to show me where that bench where your wife waits was. It lit up as bright as Bism, but you couldn't see it. I could. Look now."

A glance a Boobsong just shows her sexy and determined, making me smile. I gesture at the mirror with my eravahk. There, in the depth of the mirror among half-seen beauty weird and so heart-thrilling, is a brilliant spark. From where I stand it's off-axis, out the side of the mirror, not under any part of the map.

John looks, from where he sits.

"There's nothing, to my eyes. Just that painting."

"Come closer."

I point toward the spark with my eravahk. John gets off his lounge and comes to the mirror.

"The fourth Dream is behind every mirror in Paradise, if you have the key to open them. It's threshold is that paining, a place called mirrorspace that is a funhouse reflection of the place that mirror stands."

John stands and looks along the line of my eravahk. All I can make out of the part of Rl'yeh Sade the mirror's showing us is book pages, stacked like stairs.

"Fun games are there, but suppose you went on into darkness, instead? What would you find off every map, and beyond the bounds of the mirror itself, like this is?"

What would she think of--muahahah only choice to make! You got it, Dreams.

"I know some of your life, John. Your wife was an innocent, kind, and good woman. She was also no fool. She knew who she was marrying, and now she's back for more even though death did you part. Are you ready to find out what she knew all along?"

The book pages blur and flash and are picket fence for a moment as John turns to me. This is going to be interesting. It turns to glitching TV static as he talks--eaaahahaha!

"Open it, please!"

I get this, right? One drop at a time--and--okay,.

"This door leads always to the same place so we'll meet on the other side, but: I can only take Boobsong. Dove can only take Mintie. You can only take Rose and Jack can only take Glitterwing. Each of us has our own key, but Paradise will not part you and your beloved for even a moment."

"The key is this: meet the monster in the mirror, yourself, and give it the kiss of love and acceptance it needs to enter the part of paradise that will embrace all its dark strangeness."

Boobsong is doing something while I talk? I glance, and see her getting back to her pretty hands-back submissive pose.

"There is mercy. You can beg as you kiss that Paradise be patient with your imperfect self-love. I do everytime. Even so, to do this you have to at least see the monster in yourself, and so we've been playing games with you and Jack to bring yours out--which brings us to your command you've won."

I spin my eravahk on it's axis dangerously.

"It's a great way to get started. Send us off with a really good one. I bet you can think of a way to make us really spark. Come on," I coo, as I walk the couple of steps to Boobsong, "you know you want to."

I pet Boobsong's head sweetly as I say it.

[ eggbeater with frosting ].

That's the plan!

Jack comes closer. Let's see if you get this riddle. He looks us up and down.

"My command is the last riddle! Very well...to spark you...have her strike you on the arse with your wand."

Grin to split my face in half. So is Boobsong.

"Okay wow I didn't realize how much I need a spanking. Now you're getting it. Doesn't that feel so much better than just being nice? One condition, which is that you choose this because you prefer it, and not because there was something else you didn't dare ask. I do like to think I squeak good, mind. She's very strong, and I'm very pathetic."

As for the other thing...really. Just go for it. OkaaAAAaay...muahahahah.

"You want one? Okay then here is what I dared not ask. Make her bring your climax, here in front of all of us."

I grin down even wider. Cheshire-cat, say. His face is defiant, but blushing.

"YES! Good one. It's fun, isn't it? Here's a reward for your courage. It'll make that mirror kiss far, far easier, but watch out, because it'll also extract the courage that would've taken another way--one that's much more fun, and you'll have the benefit of being able to just eat the candy and then ride the roller coaster, instead of carrying yourself through the whole thing, but it won't be less scary, just easier and more fun."

I make the candy, it comes out a little pair of cherries in striped colors, and I grin inside, because the transgender flag was definitely invented after his time.

"You're kidding me."

Muahahhah. I checked.

"Also, Paradise tells me this much of your wife: she has a secret that will be dear to you, and there is its key. She and Rose have something in common."

Do Jack now too? With tea. Interesting. Not now then. Oh hatter. Hmm.

"I can scarcely refuse--this will be terrifying, won't it. Well, down the hatch!"

He takes the candy and palms it into his mouth before I can say another word--and with plip like a drop falling into a glass of milk, he's she (and that's an officially Dreams-sanctioned pronoun change). Her face has gone thinner, and it looks like her body's changed to be a bit more lithe (but only just), and from what I can tell she's got soft hobbity curves like Dove now. She looks down at herself, feels her body all over, does the obligatory grab your own boobs just-transformed thing, then puts her hands down suddenly and looks up at me. She's pretty, with a her black hair made long and a tallish oval face.

Yes that's right she gets no description until she's a girl. Still gay over here.

"You have a long--"

She stops, feels her throat, licks her lips. I can't help thinking she's trying not to smile.

"When it happened to me I stat there staring at my own breasts for a good minute thinking girl was mimicking what I said perfectly."

"You were a man at one point?"

"Daddy made me like this, but it's been a very ugly war. Boobsong's kiss healed me, but those were bad times."

Should I--muahah blow the roof off. I turn to Jack, where he stands shocked with a smiling Glitterwing, who nods at me happily.

"How about you, sir dufflepud? Will you ride too? I just said how to get back, if it's not right for you!"

"Our eroven's kiss! Clever. You've tricked me into making sure I give her human shape as soon as I can manage it--"

Jack sounds serious as he says,

"John, what did she say just now?"

"Sir dufflepud. You're ugly compared to me now! Maybe I'll keep this just to confusticate him. Oh but my wife--her secret is she's like you, isn't it. Lesbian. She was--I never noticed any problem--"

John's voice has turned sweet and small-hobbity, but the crafty edge is more out than ever. Muahaha.

"I'm pretty Lesbian, but lots of people like both. Such as Boobsong and her kids. She was perfectly pleased when I was a boy."

[!] "Important part wasn't erased. See very soon what that means!"

"Hehe...it really does suit you. You'll be back in no time if that's right for you, but in the meantime, I triple dog dare you, have fun with it while you're stuck this way. Starting with this!"

I lean down cleavagefully.

"Now that you've come this far, isn't it terribly awkward being the only person here wearing clothes?"

Without missing a beat, she starts pulling her tunic off, surprising me totally. Just...what did I just do?

Her voice comes muffled from inside her tunic as she works it off.

"There's nothing to do but enjoy it! Fear is a flavor, just like curry, I've got it! Come on, Jack, get on it!"

"It will be easier getting onto things after the candy..."

Hehehe couldn't be better than daddy picking that one up. John's down to just an undershirt, which is kind of cute in its own right.

Jack is still serious.

"I've got to hear one thing. Do you believe we've been imprisoned in manhood and you're setting us free?"

"That door doesn't open unless you already know it's the right way. I'm giving you a very interesting break from your normal insane bizarrely weird introduction to paradise. Come on, it's one more pair of awesome breasts in the room to see! That said, either me or daddy will tell you a very interesting story if you eat the candy. Maybe I'll do it while Boobsong makes me cum, we'll see."

"Rainbow, why don't you see what a white one does to him?"

"White one?"

"Oh! If you think so!"

I make a completely open-intention candy and hold it out. It comes out as a little white windmill.

"That will just do something fun. No idea what. It bends to your heart's whim."

He has a silent debate with Glitterwing, and then takes the candy and eats it.

Well, it's fast-acting day for my candy apparently. Jack zips small to be John's size, except that leaves him hanging in the air to be snatched and held by Glitterwing. Is that the only change? Nope, she's been girled too, though she's more willowy than John. She looks down at herself, then up at Glitterwing, who looks down at him so happy she could cry (this is another Dreams-endorsed pronoun change).

What is with all the implanting and then not fucking your heartchild until you're swimming in nectar going on today? SIGH. At least they got this far.

John's voice comes from below. I look down to see her still with her undershirt.

"Well, that we are different is no mistake, but how we aren't damned here is my question now. Have you noticed what's missing?"

Okay I know our kids didn't just chomp everyone. Just what the hell? This is really getting to be a streak.

"Oh that's always happening to me. Um, stuff always turns out to be where it's supposed to when I really can't find it. Try looking there."

I glow nice and bright, including my clit, and make myself rotate through colors, and point to Boobsong whose stars on her mound and tummy are glowing in time with me.

"I mean not Boobsong specifically, just like, the walnuts don't fall far from the tree."

She stays in pose, but her smile turn both mischievous and blushy.

"Lucky these are bigger fiends than you are. Happy keeping up with them--they'll sure keep you up!"

"John I think we're not getting back from this."

Jack's new voice is clear and femme, but way less little-kid than I expected, like Boobsong and me both sound more childish than her for instance. Not that that's a high bar.

"Jack, friend, I think you're right, there. I suppose John's no use then. Nor Jack for that matter! How's a man get names here?"

"Doesn't matter to you, does it!"

"No I suppose not at that."

"Names are what you make them."

"Mine was from a tea canister."

About-to-not-be-John ponders:

"Well, let's be true here. I'm a hobbit, that's pat. Maybe...Sunflower. I'll leave Tolkien where it is. What about you, sweet miss dryad?"

Wow, they really were blueized! Poor things. Her friend answers,

"Starbough. Pleased to meet you, Sunflower!"

"Likewise, Starbough!"

"Holy rave necklaces, you two sound like you've been coming up with names your whole lives. Pleased to meet both of you."

"The mirror waits. What monsters will you see? These are beauties, to my eyes."

Light shines through the trees outside, and daddy's beautiful white-and-antilight rays shine almost horizontal in on me and Boobsong and Dove and Mintie.

From the mirror, tinkling little bells quietly start to ring out a very familiar rhythm.

"The fourth Dream is fairyland."

Starbough's voice is low.

"I did say you were in a Fairytale. But cocksleeve, where are we going?"

"Further down and farther in! Let's go so your cocksleeve can get YOU that way."

"Fairyland is still just the start. All the stories will be."

Sunflower is finally pulling off her undershirt with the mirror showing madly glitching analogue TV static that rolls and glitches the jagged bars of almost a channel, revealing a pale hobbit body a little more leanly Took to Dove's very proud curves. She's quite au naturel, of course, and all three stories match curtains.

She hurls the undershirt to the floor, defiant.

A quick check--it'll be healing, huh.

"HP Lovecraft's father actually made some deeper dives and wrote them down. If only his son hadn't been so squeamish, the twentieth century might have been different. Boobsong and me couldn't get there until 1993, but we fixed it good when we did!"

I stomp my foot at the mirror, the room rattles like a drum, there's a pitch-perfect channel-change sound, the tinkling bells become the thunderous chaos of the Starlight Princess theme, and the mirror glitches into eighties cartoon of a me-and-Boobsong idol glowing as the topper of a snowy Heartwarming tree with light-strings hanging up in the otherwise-blurry background...but every light-string has its own idea of down. At the top, rainbow bubblegum-bubble letters that could also be dildo-letters spell out Starlight Princess.

Holy peppermint blowpops it's good to see that. I take Boobsong arm in arm again. The others have all gathered around the mirror.

So Lucy and Lyra--huh? Heartwarming prep is incomplete, yeah, missing what I have though, it's time to come home, into the looking glass, camouflaging us would break me so it's off to a Starlight Princess adventure the old way.

My face shakes. I thought it--okay! Click, introduce!

"You're being in the Starlight Princess Heartwarming Special with Princess Tulip Dove Hestia Proudfoot, Heartwarming Hostess, her doll Mintie, Sunflower Ronald Reul Tolkien, Starbough Staples Lewis, Aveh the star at the top of the astral plane and god of Abraham, this Boobsong and her Princess Rainbow Darkshine Strawberry, Merry Fairy of Sugarfeast, Miss Very Nice Boobs Says Her Cocksleeve, Great Smelling Cum Says Everyone, Firstborn Heir to the CHyajjoh Crown, and MISTRESS OF STARFOX. Happy Heartwarming!"

Sunflower looks properly scandalized when Boobsong gets to my titles, but Starbough actually titters with a hand to her mouth.

Boobsong's hand is down on my hip because it'd be very silly of her to miss a chance to grope me but it also lets me do this: FLOOMPH!

"I said we came from a long way away, and it's true. America where I've spent most of my life is a long way from Narnia, but that's nothing to this trip. Let's rock and roll!"

I can still see our reflection on the mirror's shiny surface, over the glowing image inside it. The paint's gone, or rather it's turned into this title screen I think. We look so  gorgeously hot. Come on, monster in the mirror, let's have some fun!

Before I can charge the mirror, though, Mintie shrieks:

"There's something pulling at my foot--AAH!"

"It's got me too!"