Nope of Another God [1 Thory 4261]
... and, when I got Seeks-? Strenata to my apartment.... We chatted on the couch in the main room about fuming grape brandy. I suggested that she come to my room for a backrub, but she declined.
We chatted on the couch in the main room about how a Zi Ri / Orren might enjoy a pot of boiling water. I suggested that she come to my room for a glance at some magic theory textbooks, but she declined.
We chatted on the couch in the main room about summertime birds, and about the prospects for bringing one down with a flung scallop shell. I suggested that she come to my room to glance at Dustweed's bird-book, but she declined.
We chatted on the couch in the main room about the prospects of making a sentient saloon. I suggested that she come to my room for a bit of brandy, but she declined.
We chatted on the couch in the main room about kaleidoscopes. I suggested that she come to my room to play with a couple of mirrors.
Seeks-? sighed. "Sythyry... Mirrors are OK. Brandy is OK. Swimming is OK. Body-play is not OK."
Me:"I didn't ask for that!"
She caught her tailtip and started chewing on it, which she only does when she is distinctly unhappy. "Not in as many words, Sythyry. But you've been trying to get me to your bedroom for the last hour ... for the last two months, I'm pretty sure. And you've been giving me constant hopeful glances since you went Orren."
I muttered some incoherent denials. Neither of us believed them.
She sort of curled up, chin on her knee, holding my left hand in her right. "Sythyry, you've been a good friend for months now ... a surprisingly good friend ... and I've very much enjoyed all the sorts of things we've done together. I trust you more deeply than I trust most people. There's a lot I'd like to share with you ... but not my body. Not with anyone but an Orren."
I had suspected as much ... I had sort of been told as much ... I glanced very eloquently down at my body, just as tall and browny-furred and triangle-tailed as hers.
Strenata:"I know you're Orren now. I don't know what to make of that really. You're still a Zi Ri. It still wouldn't be right."
We spent some moments disagreeing about philosophical principles. Transaffection is more proper for the upper classes than the lower, and Strenata is definitively lower, so ... does it go by my rank or hers, or both, or what? Zi Ri are by custom acceptable by any species as lovers ... which is a rule, according to Strenata, that she knows in her head, but not in her vulva.
Me:"What does that mean?"
Strenata:[Looking very subdued]"When I think of coupling with you, my body explains to me that I am not interested."
So it's not a matter of philosophy or ethics or morality or anything, really, though she can come up with plenty of philosophy and ethics and morality which support her position. She's simply distressed by transaffection, at least as concerns her own person. This understanding took a good hour and two-thirds -- or, more precisely, a hideously bad hour and two-thirds -- to reach. And we did wind up in my bedroom, because Dubaille came home and we didn't feel like arguing in front of him.
Also Rhedwy tracked us back to my apartment and tried to sit on the bed between us, until Strenata told her she didn't need to chaperone any more. Rhedwy pretty much flew out of the window to get away from what was obviously an emotional scene. Sleeth aren't much on other peoples' emotions, unless they are fearful emotions and the Sleeth was personally responsible for causing them.
Me:"Well, what about if I spend a lot of time with you in Orren shape?"
Strenata:"I don't know, Sythyry."
Me:"Would you want to be intimate with me, if ... um ... I were Orrenny enough?"
Strenata:"I don't know, Sythyry."
And we spent the next third of an hour more or less crying incoherently at each other. Of course the Cloak wore off halfway through that, and I didn't feel like recasting it, making further discussion of personal contact even more difficult.
And that's where we left it: nowhere. Maybe she will, sometime, when I'm wearing Orren form. Maybe she won't. Maybe she'll let me ride on her shoulder still. Maybe she won't. Maybe I'll try harder. Maybe I'll find another Orren. Or something.
Oh, and she wrote her full name in her hat-card, as "Seeks-Some-Sense". 'cause nobody understands her. Especially not herself.