Chaperone [16 Hispis 4262]
Me:"Right. What sort of chaperoning do you need?"
Vae:"And what sort of what sort of chaperoning?"
Me:"Well. If you wanted to be intimate with each other ... or with me ... or with everyone outside of the city wall all at the same time ... I don't think I could exactly stop you."
Vae:"And why would I want that?"
Me:"I hope you don't want the second and third! But the first one is sort of what a date is about."
Oixe:"Not this time. Not in season am I. Not used to being a boy is Vae. Not sure that we like each other so well are either of us."
Vae:"The practice date is this! The amenities we wish though, all of them, for the best of practice. The arrangements I made for them -- for the play, for the chaperone, for the pornography, for ... oh, no! I forgot about the dinner!"
Oixe:"The reservation is forgotten, the sex change is forgotten. Vae has 'boyfriend on first date' down perfectly."
Me:"I've had dates like that."
Vae:"Not much sense in that! The reservation was forgotten when I was a girl!"
Oixe:"If I kiss you, will you forgive me for saying that?"
Vae:"The need to check with my romantic consultant is heavy on me!" She did something complicated that turned noises into chocolates when they got too far away from her, and beckoned me closer. "Is that proper?"
Me:"I have no idea what's proper etiquette for young nendrai on a date."
Vae:"The pretense that we are primes is the pretense you should make!"
Me:"I hope you can live up to that pretense!"
Vae:"Oh, we can, we can. With enough Mutoc Mentador! And what is the answer to my question?"
Me:"Kisses on the hand are proper. Kisses on the mouth, not so much. Kisses on the genitalia, definitely not. And I'm..."
Vae:"Rightie-oh!" She turned her spell into a box and collected the chocolates into it. "Here, Oixe! The chocolates are for you. They must distract you for a short time!"
Me:"... not really sure about the pornography either."
Vae:"But ... but ... your every date with Ilottat had the pornography!"
Me:"No, no, no!"
Oixe:"The chocolates look good! Or at least produced by a very strong spell." She ate them all.
Vae:"The appetite, does that not weaken and make smaller?"
Oixe:"Not so much. Not such a tiny monster am I, really." Which is true; she's probably fifty tons or more.
Vae:"Oixe, you must discuss things with Sythyry for now! The reservations for dinner must be made!" He vanished.
I blinked at the giant Vae-conquering monster who had just killed an army's worth of elementals. She blinked three huge pairs of eyes back to me. I felt I had to say something, or she might get bored and start fidgeting with me. I don't want to be fidgeted with by a nendrai.
Me:"Have you seen Vae since the time you first met?"
Oixe:"Not a sight of her, but plenty of words. Many, many the letters we exchange."
Me:"Oh? What does she write about? For that matter, what do you write about?"
Oixe:[with three rather dreamy little smiles, if by "little" you can understand "large enough to eat anyprime that I know"] "The very bookish sort of boyfriend he is. The letters he writes tell of stories in prime books, and of the ways of Vheshrame Mene -- and you!"
Oixe:"The tiny envy on me for him there is. The friends I do have among the primes of home, but none that I would trust to ask to be a chaperone. The friends they are for fighting alongside. The vast war against the cyarr we won, though scyanturge and perdithorne and all were allied against us."
Me:"Those don't sound like bad friends. I've never really fought alongside Vae..."
Oixe:"Not bad, but so much friends in peacetime! The war over, my friends call on me now and then, they bring respect and gifts, they ask for my fangs and my claws and my tails against this or that great beast. The fight-alongside I make with them, often and often. Not once have they even noticed that I passed the start of my adolescence, though."
Me:"Not Zi Ri, I take it?"
Oixe:"The Rassimel, Orren, Cani, Herethroy were they. Not ophidian."
Me:"Mammals and insects never really understand reptiles very well."
Oixe:"Not always, not."
Vae:[popping back into reality in the form of an Orren]"The reservations are made, for now! Transform, Oixe, and come, come, come quickly!"
She, um, he didn't wait for our permission. He tapped us with his tail, turned Oixe into an Orren and the essential world buckled beneath us, and by terrible swift ways we came to the Cafe Dutoillier.
The white, wagging waitress brought us menus, and little teal octagonal plates of appetizers. Since it was the 16th of Hispis, these were: triangles of coarse hosh toast covered with a sweetish liver pate; tiny cubes of tofu in a sticky sweet sauce; a spiral of grilled eel twisted up along a breadstick; a miniature chocolate pie; an olive stuffed with cheese.
Something was odd though. Not just that the waitress -- indeed, nobody -- didn't blink an eye that I was coming in with two nude Orren. (OK, I wish that were common enough that nobody would blink, but that's going to take a century of successful decadance on my part to achieve.) Not even that the waitress didn't blink an eye when the Orren were extremely pleased to be given the appetizers -- I'm sure both their seats will be quite sticky indeed by the end of the dinner.
Me:"Vae? Why does everyone in here have a Mentador spell on?"
Vae:"The sorrow on me for that! Not so well did I remember to change to Orren before I came here. But adequately have I fixed it, I hope!"