"Excuse me," Athena said.
I looked around, settled on the camera to my left, and addressed it. "What's up? Did I hit a nerve?"
"No. You are doing quite well, thank you. It's nice to have an autonomous pair of hands for help. I have a call for you."
I wiped the silicon lubricant off my hands and onto my coveralls. "I'll take it."
The image resolved into P'nyssa. "Hi, sweetheart! What's up?"
She looked distraught, and harried, and her clothes were a bloody mess. "You'd better get down to Cutter's, Ken."
"What's wrong?" I asked, trying to think of anything that could possibly get that much blood onto her clothing.
"It's N'Nance." That sent a small chill up my spine. She nodded, apparently at the horrified expression on my face. "He's finally had his big accident."
I knew what that meant. "I'll be right there." I turned to my own patient and said, "Athena, can you lock this down by yourself?"
The cybertank grumbled her engine for a second, then said "I can manage. I understand. You will return?"
"As soon as possible. This is just a grav unit. Nance's life may be in danger."
"Go, then." I leapt off the rear grav pod and bounded for the first stepping disk, thinking 'Just a grav unit... It's her only way of getting about.' But N'nance...
I teleported into Cutter's on a physician's pad, as I was allowed, and shed my filthy mechanic's clothing as I stopped by the small office I had. I put on a cleaner outfit and ran down to emergency, passing a few people coming the other way. At emergency, I turned a left into P'nyssa's department and slowed on my way through the door. There was one patient, on the other side of the glass, and one attending, but P'nyssa sat in the room with me with a biocybe link around her head, apparently communicating with the attending. I recognized the attending as Kami, a full android who's specialty was sterile environments. Made sense.
Then I finally got up the nerve to get a good, solid look at the patient. It took every last vestige of that nerve to keep my lunch down. I looked away and said, quietly, "How is he?"
P'nyssa looked up at me, took off the link. She said, in that quiet voice all doctors develop over time, "He may not make it through the night. We've already got an h-plant in him, and it's holding. He's full of drexlells, and we've got his genecode down, but we're still talking about massive amounts of damage."
"What's the diagnosis?"
"Well, he was crushed by his ship as it came apart; his arm was removed at the shoulder by his own chair. Failure of his cooling system gave him the massive burns you see, and the hull cracking exposed him to both the heat and vacuum, not to mention radiation burns. His brain is still alive, as far as we can tell, but the telepath says he's in so much pain there's not much to receive. He took a lot of neural damage. And personally, I don't want any sensitives within a hundred klicks of him when he comes out of it. He's my best powerpath, and the feedback from him will be enormous." Her voice was very even, very controlled. She was having trouble.
I thought about it. "What about a shell-shield?"
"It's in place, but it's not a guarantee. Nance is just so powerful. But if he lives through the night, we've got a good chance of putting him back together again."
I knocked on the door. The voice said, calmly, "Come in." I palmed the door open and stepped into the hospital room.
"How are you feeling?" I asked.
The voice from the speaker said, "I feel like shit. I haven't got my own voice back, so they leave me biocybed to this thing so I can talk." His eyes moved back and forth plaintively, but the tubes and wires running down his throat still kept him from achieving any sort of expression. "It doesn't even sound like me."
"No, that it doesn't, kiddo."
"How am I looking?"
"You're so kind."
I sighed. "Nance, it's my turn at the crank." I paused for a second, then said, "Please stop stardiving."
"I know what you're going to say, and you can stop right there, Ken. You know as well as I do why I stardive. You even went with me on one. You know how intense it is. How incredible."
"Look what it cost you!"
"I can get it all back. The medicine's good enough. P'nyssa says they'll be ready to start poly-r'ing me in a few days. I'll have my arm back in two years. My ear'll grow back even faster."
"It's not worth it."
"It is to me. Just like Pendor is worth it to you."
"Pendor didn't nearly get me killed."
"No. Just Donna."
"Vy dol moria." It was the best curse I knew in Old Sind.
"No, you listen to me, Ken." He closed his eyes for a second, then opened them again. "If it weren't for you, I wouldn't be here. Okay, here I am. Back from the very brink of death. Speaking through a computer because my throat is full of tubes feeding and breathing for me. Spending half my days in someone else's cyberspace fantasies because the real world is this hospital bed. But I made my decisions. The Crystal Ball broke up because of bad design. I'd been thinking of a new ship, anyway."
"Nance..." I stopped, and put my hand over his remaining. "You're family, you know. If you die, P'nyssa will be lost without you. I'll be lost without you."
"I didn't die this time, and I'm not going to die anytime soon. You know that."
"I don't know that. You came pretty close this time."
"Yeah, well. It won't happen again."
"So, how are you feeling?" I asked. It was late at night, but Nance's sleep rhythms are so screwed up he's not sure when bedtime is.
"Fine," he said, now with his own voice. "Better, now that they're letting me eat solid food. I'm still on dialysis, but Rhys came by to tell me that my GI tract is fully healed, so they let me have meat."
"Bet that made you feel better."
He smiled and said, "Yah. Real meat. I never want to taste another plastic tube as long as I live."
"I'm still not used to the arm, though. Now that I'm semi-mobile again, I keep reaching for things with it and finding nothing there. Sometimes I wish I had a more useful psi talent."
"Yeah, like teek. Or ceep. No, I have to be a powerpath. Useless unto my own self."
"Oh, come on. P'nyssa could never function fully without you, or one of your peers."
"Yeah, well. You know what the worst part is?"
He gestured to his right with his chin. "That was the paw I masturbated with."
I raised an eyebrow, and he cackled loudly. I laughed along. "Poor Nance. Come on, you probably have every nurse in the wing after you."
"In my condition? What could I do? Most of my fur was either burned or shaved off, and it's grown back to this patchy stubble. I'll be lucky to ever again be my sexy, tawny self."
"Nanotech will help that."
"I know. I'm just being sarcastic. They won't do anything cosmetic until they get the rest of me in working order, and that could be another four or five weeks. I want my kidneys back."
"At least you kept your balls."
"Never lost them. Thanks," he said, with earnest.
"For what?" I asked, confused.
"For those cremaster muscles. Between them and the jumpsuit, my... malehood came through unscathed. Almost."
"Shrapnel caught me. Taking it out, they pretty much had to circumcise me. Looks terrible."
He brightened. "Rhys said he could give me poly-r for it after everything else, but not until." He sighed.
"You said it looks terrible." He nodded. "Why?"
"Well, it doesn't really look terrible. It looks... like it's not mine."
"Well, it certainly is yours!" I said, breaking out in laughter.
"Yeah, well, I won't know until I try it out." He smiled in response.
We sat in silence for a few minutes, then I looked up and said, "Let's see it."
"Your penis." I grabbed the bedsheets and pulled them aside. He was right; it didn't look quite like a Felinzi penis with the foreskin removed.
"Satisfied?" he said, a little annoyed.
"It looks good," I said, and casually ran my index finger from the base along it's length to the tip. He twitched under my touch, and a growl came from his throat. I felt the corners of my mouth turn up in an idle smile. The growl broke into a coughing fit.
"Don't," he said.
"Aw, why not?" I said. I was suddenly in a mischievous mood.
"Because... Because I'm already frustrated enough." I ignored him and stroked his soft cock gently along the length. "Ken, please."
"I thought you were frustrated."
"I am, but..." He suddenly caught on.
I reached for the control to the bed and brought his headrest up to a sitting position. I took my shoes off so I wouldn't track any dirt and jumped onto the foot of the bed. "I haven't lost the hand I masturbate with," I said.
He laughed and said "Go ahead."
I stroked his cock along the length, and it grew under my touch. I watched it erect in fascination, slowly, and he would sometimes tense the muscles in his groin, making it twitch back and forth. It was a substantial cock at full length; I'd seen Nance naked before, but we've never made love. I'd guess it was eighteen, maybe nineteen centimetres; it was proportionally thick for it's length. I admired it for a while, then wrapped my fist around it, feeling it pulse in time with his new heart, beating strong. I slowly stroked him, and a deep and grateful purr came from his throat. His ears lay back along his scalp, and I leaned over to kiss his nipple as I stroked him. Somewhere in the background I heard a faint 'click' as the Cutters AI sensed we needed some privacy and locked his door. Thanks, Jean.
He put his paw to the back of my head to hold me there, and I gently licked his nipple, and like his cock it grew hard under my touch.
I pulled back, and he let me go. I scooted back a little further on the bed, and leaned over to kiss the head of his cock. He moaned, and each breath after was that deep and profound feline purr. The sound was very relaxing, and I opened my mouth and slowly engulfed the pink head of his cock, running my tongue over the smooth skin. I found the tiny hole at the tip and ran my tongue over it a few times. I was actually disappointed; with his kidneys out of order, some of the familiar taste of cock that I like was missing.
I slid down the length of his cock, taking the head to the back of my throat. It had been a long time since I'd gone down on a cock that I wondered if I could still... Yes, it slid past my tongue and down my throat; I swallowed it all, burying my nose into the stubbly pelt of his belly, and that's when I realized my mistake. I'd never had a problem swallowing cock; it was taking it back out that my gag reflex objected to. I slowly pulled away, feeling the head of his penis rub against my throat, and my body shuddered and tears erupted in my eyes from the tremendous exertion. I stopped when I had it under control.
Nance noticed. "Ken? You okay?"
With his cock still in my mouth, I nodded and managed an "Mmm-hmm." The feeling of his cock wobbling back and forth with my nod made me giggle around his cock, the sounds escaping in a hum. I slowly stroked back and forth, feeling his cock, and he leaned back against his headrest. I sped up. He again put his paw against the back of my head, and his purring grew louder. If I'd had the room to smile, I would have.
His cock throbbed in my mouth, and my jaw was beginning to ache. It was now or never, and I sped up, his cock hitting the back of my throat with every push. His paw held my head in place, if I allowed it, and I worshipped his satiny cock with my mouth, teeth, lips, tongue, taking special care to run my tongue along the underside of the head.
He growled louder and whispered, "I'm rrright therrrrre." Every muscle he had was tensed for the final moment. I began to take slow, deliberate thrusts, tightening my tongue against his cock as my fingers wrapped around his balls and held them. I began to count, One, Two, Three, Four...
On 'four' he growled loudly through clenched teeth and I felt the muscles in his cock pulse, sending his semen into my throat in huge torrents, the pent-up release of what must have been weeks of reserve. I tried, desperately, to clamp my lips closed around his cock, to hold it all in and swallow it, but there was just so much of the wonderfully salty stuff that I had to let some dribble out and down his cock. I swallowed the rest, laughing in my head at the sensations and memories that brought to mind.
After a few seconds, I released his shrinking cock and lay my head in his lap. He ran his paw through my hair a few times, and then I heard him say, "Thanks."
"You're welcome." I smiled, and he smiled back.
"You know, you're not bad... for a male."
I laughed. "Next time I'll wear a dress."
"Better yet, send in N'Lane."
"Your sister?" I asked, surprised.
"Second cousin." He smiled.
"I'll see what I can arrange. Let me see if there's a towel around here somewhere I can clean that up with." I got out of bed and got a towel from the bathroom, wiped him clean and left the towel next to him.
As I did, I heard the door unlock; he heard it too, and said, "What was that?"
"Jean unlocked the door."
There was a short pause between us, and I said "Nance, get well. You're supposed to be on this side of bed, tending patients."
He nodded. "When will you be back?"
"Oh, in a day or two. Still have a universe to manage, and it's a little harder without you around."
"You, sir, are my only real competition when it comes to the ladies. Without you, I'd have to hang out with Maha, and that's no fun."
He laughed. "See ya, Ken."
I leaned over and kissed him on the forehead. "Take care."
He nodded. I closed the door quietly behind me.