I opened the door. "Noah, this is going to be your room."
"It's small!" he objected as he walked in, Malthus following.
"It's smaller than your room back home because everything is smaller on a starship. You wanted to come along so it's something you're going to have to get used to."
He gave out a very fake heavy sigh. "Okay," he managed to say with that voice children have been using for centuries. "I guess I can manage."
"That's better. Your stuff's going to get here in a little bit once the sorters figure out where it is and who it belongs to. Now, I should tell you that it's your bedtime in one hour by the ship's clock and you're going to be in bed on time. Tomorrow you have school, you know. First day of shipboard."
"One hour?" he whined. "Dad, I've got three back home. I'm not so sure this was a good idea."
I sighed. "Look, Noah, it's just one night. You've even got Malthus in your room. Tell you what. When you're in your room, I'll give you a spare hour until lights out. But don't stay up later than that. And I'll have Lance watch you."
He gave me his one-eyed look, squinting the other closed. "Okay," he finally agreed. "Just this once."
"Just this once. Starships aren't like home, kiddo. You'll have to get used to how we live out here. Think of this way; we are now separated from Pendor. Even if you wanted to go home, you can't. It's impossible. You're stuck with us."
He nodded. "When are we pulling out?"
"Well, boarding is scheduled to end at dawn and we're going TL less than an hour later. Everything's going to be happening en route. No changes, no apologies."
Noah nodded. "I understand."
"You're sure? You know, your sister's having an easier time of this than you are."
"That's 'cause she's too little to know better," he replied.
"Hey. I told you to cut that out."
"Well, it's true."
I sighed and sat down on his mattress. "I know, Noah. But someday she'll be as old and as smart as you are. Someday she'll be as smart as I am. So will you. So, just because she's that way now doesn't mean you have to treat her with disrespect."
"Maybe I was wrong. Anyway, you go shower and stuff."
"They said that on starships water is really limited. How long can my showers be?"
"Who said that?"
"My friends back at school."
"That was true a long time ago, Noah. These days we have a lot of water and I don't think you have to worry. Take as long a shower as you like."
"Thanks, Dad!" He trotted out into the hallway and disappeared into the bathroom. I was watching the door closed when a hand came down on my shoulder. "Trouble?"
"Nah," I said, turning around and giving Aaden a hug. "He's okay. How's Sheja?"
"Sleeping," he said. "All this excitement wore her down." He grinned quietly. "You don't look so perky yourself. Do you have an assignment tomorrow?"
"Yeah," I said. "It's nothing, really. I'm just worried about them. You know. How about you?"
"What about me?" he asked, tilting his furry head sexily. Or maybe that was just my imagination; I imagine everything he does as sexy.
"I'm thinking about you, you know. I know you don't like space."
"Oh, I don't know," he smiled, balling one hand into a fist and pounding on the wall playfully. "I think I'll manage. It's not unlike contracting to someone who lives indoors all the time." He grinned.
"It's not like that at all, you silly furry," I said, tackling him up against the wall and hugging him hard. "I'm worried about you. I love you."
Squeezing tightly, he whispered "I'm glad you're worried. I am too." A deep sigh. "I don't know how I'll react. It's frightening, Ken. I've never been in space for very long."
I looked up at him. "You're one of the best intra-atmospheric pilots I know. I've seen you fly from Pendor to Pandora with no problem. You've flown most of the times we've transited to Terra. I don't understand what this thing is with you and, well, this trip. Is it the distance? The time involved?"
He shook his head. "I think it's the unknowing of it all. Even the distance between Earth and Pendor is pretty well covered, and now, with that rest stop idea, it's got to be one of the safest corridors in all of space." We eased apart and walked back towards the living room. P'nyssa walked out of the kitchen. "The kids in bed?"
We both nodded. "Pretty much," I said. "I told Noah he could take one extra hour of light because he was losing two from the move." She nodded. I was glad to tell both of them; that way they knew the decision I'd made and wouldn't contradict it. At any rate, they wouldn't because Lance would stop them, but it was nicer by far to keep that kind of process inside the family.
I sat down on the couch. "It's kinda strange to think that we're still in Pelcityran," she said. "I feel like we're already in transit. Cut off from the outside world. News has to be wrapped in packets to go on the Pin-bound stream."
"That's the way it's going to be for a while," I said.
"There are so few windows on this ship," Aaden sighed. "That bothers me more than anything."
"What is there to see? In hyperspace you don't see anything. The lounges that have windows show projections of moving starfields, 'predicting' where we are should we drop. It doesn't do us much good to do that, though, because there's still nothing to see."
"I know. Call me old-fashioned, then. I like having lots of windows to look out of."
"It's hyperspace that bugs you, then?" P'nyssa asked.
He shook his head. "It's all that stuff."
I rose from my seat on the couch and straddled his shoulders, sitting on the back of the couch so I could give him a rub. He sighed as my hands squeezed down, massaging into his flesh and trying to relax him. "That feels good."
"You're tense." I looked up at P'nyssa, who gave me a curious look. I mouthed to her, "Let's keep him up so that he'll sleep through transit." I tilted my head in Aaden's direction and then closed my eyes, then tossed my head, trying to convey message. She got it and grinned.
I paused for a moment, then opened up a channel in my head. "Lance, is anyone using the Simaculae on this deck?"
"Can I reserve it for private use, next two hours?"
As I asked Lance for the program I sought, I slid off the couch back and down by his side, pulling his head towards me, his muzzle to mine. I kissed him briefly, then stood up. "Come with me, lover," I said, holding out my hands.
"Because I want you to?" I replied. "Come, it'll be fun." He sighed and rose slowly. I grabbed his hands in mine and led him out into the hallway. This deck's simaculae was center of the residential area and had a doorway on every side. I led him through the nearest one.
Inside had been transformed into a dark dungeon space done mostly in grey and red. "What the?"
"I want to make this a familiar trip for you." My hand slid up past his wrist and grabbed him by the forearm. He knew I carried Shatha in me and he didn't, but we both knew I'd never use it on him. I try to avoid using that supersoldier nanotech stuff, period, but I've got a suite in me, just in case.
I swung him around and he landed with a whumph! into a netting of padded leather. "Take him up, please." The chains from which the net hung started to cinch up, carrying Aaden upwards. He didn't even argue, just grinned as I walked to the wall and pulled off two pairs of cuffs. Tossing one set to P'nyssa I said "Get his hands, would you?"
She caught them deftly-- surgeon's dexterity-- and began doing his wrists. I wrapped a pair around his ankles and then fixed them to chains above his head. Being a little taller and much stronger than P'nyssa, I also walked around the front to get his arms. When he was fixed down, I leaned over. "Comfy?"
"Oh, yes," he grinned. "Very. Oh, dear, I'm all tied down. Whatever shall happen to me?"
"You sound like she does," I said, pointing.
"I meant it that way."
"Are you clean inside?"
Aaden paused for a second. "Yes. Just don't go deep."
While we were talking, a loud SNAP! came from the other end of the room. Aaden looked up to watch P'nyssa pull on a half- meter-long mitten glove. She also pulled up a pair of small stools, one to sit on and one to leave her tools on. "Poor Aaden," she grinned.
"Wait a second," he said. "She's not going to..."
"Uh-huh," she grinned, picking up a tube of lubricant and smearing the white, slippery stuff all over her gloved mitten.
"But she's never... I mean... "
"She's done me," I said. "You've even watched that."
"But, but..." I watched her mitten disappear between his legs; from my angle at his head I couldn't see where it went, but I could tell as he closed his eyes. He leaned his head down on the sling and, while never quite completely closing his mouth, I could see it moving, forming words. Or maybe one word. I leaned over to listen. "Trust," he was whispering, over and over.
I walked back around the sling. P'nyssa had a grin on her face, but her eyes were definitely serious as she worked her thumb in and out of his asshole. "Give me that glove, would you?"
I helped pull the other glove over her other mitten. It was shorter, just for working the lube and a spare thumb. "And put on some music?"
I nodded, walking over the selection monitor and pulling up my private list. I wondered if the monitor had been on the wall when we'd came in or if the software-- Lance-- had made it appear when he heard P'nyssa mention it. I found something decidedly mellow, pure-tone synthesizer stuff, and let it play. Aaden gasped softly as she slid both thumbs besides one another, stretching his anus a little wider. "You like this, Aaden?"
"Yes," he whispered. She grinned and kept at it.
Her pace was very slow and deliberate, trying to draw this scene out as much as possible. Fisting is physically exhausting for everyone involved, especially the bottom. It releases a ton of natural opiates into the body, a major dose of the hormones with which the brain 'rewards' itself for getting rid of waste material. That was the effect P'nyssa was after. By making this last a long time we could get him completely exhausted and then literally 'float' him back to the room and into bed.
I wandered back to the wall, picking off another item. "Aaden," I whispered.
"Huh?" he asked, looking up.
"Here." I reached down and slowly fitted a Mephit blindfold over his face.
"Wait, I don't need that."
"Trust," I whispered to him. "Trust me, lover. You'll want it."
He glanced up at me, unsure, then nodded. "Okay." I pulled it around his head and fixed it in back with the velcro lining.
I wandered back around to find that P'nyssa was slowly squirming her covered mitten. His asshole had nearly opened completely for her and it wouldn't be too long before she had her mitten within him.
I'm always amazed by this process. Especially with Aaden. I wondered how he was feeling. For a long time he'd been talking about his love for P'nyssa, being part of the family. But he still talked sometime about feeling out of place, not part of it all, because of the imbalance. Both I felt attracted to both he and P'nyssa, P'nyssa felt attracted to both he and I, but he only got sexually aroused by me.
I started to fret, just a little, about what was going on his mind, and if (how?) he would confront me in the morning. Because I was asking a lot of him tonight. It wasn't just that she was going to touch him; she did that a lot, non-sexually, giving him massages or healing him when he managed to cut himself working. He even gave her rubs back. It was that she was literally invading him. Aaden and I agree on the view of intercourse, or even just penetration, as a major psychological thing; having someone enter my body, or being invited into someone else's, is very profound. Beyond the public-social-personal-intimate "spaces" that sociologists are always talking about, talking about invading someone's physical being was pretty serious.
And she pushed a little as his asshole closed down. Her mitt slipped completely inside him. "I'm in," she said.
"I know," he whispered back. "Oh, Fah, I know."
She slowly slid her mitten back a little, stretching him open, then slid back in, letting him close. I stood behind her, looking at his asshole stretch around her wrist, closed tight. "How's he doing?" I asked.
"He's fine," she said. "Although if keep this up she's going to cut off circulation to my mitt. He's pretty tight."
"I know," I grinned. She smiled back as I walked around the sling again, back to his head. I stroked his cheek softly and he twitched at my touch. "You okay?"
"Better," he agreed. P'nyssa began to go deeper, probing him within. He gasped gently. "Oh, she's good."
"She better be. Remember, she's got psionics to order your hole to do things in ways I can't begin to match."
"I know," he sighed. "I can feel her moving up inside me."
I smiled as I touched him. I enjoyed my position as his second during this scene, loving him for what he was. From what I could see, though, P'nyssa had a lot of her arm inside him. At least 20 centimeters and going onto 25 including her mitt. I touched his chest, felt his muscles pulling his lungs open, felt the air rushing into him and then being pushed out of him, listened to it leave his mouth. His heartbeat had slowed. Fisting, more than anything else, is trust. She held his life in her mittens, literally; all his barriers were down to her. They had to be for him to let go so much, to relax his defenses that much, to relax his muscles that much, to let her ten slide into him. "It's so much," he sighed, as if reading my thoughts.
"Fine, fine," he said, rolling his head slowly. Yeah, he was gone. I looked at my watch. This dance had been going on for over an hour. "I think it's time she came out now, though." He smiled. I stroked his cheek and looked up at her. She nodded, slowly withdrawing her mitten. Even that would take a while as she made sure not move it in the wrong direction or to irritate the lining of his rectum with too vigorous a motion.
Slowly she pulled out. More and more of her ten emerged from his butt and I could see the pink outline of his anus grasping at her wrist as she slowly pulled that, too, from inside him. Finally the tip of her mitten came free and his asshole slowly closed behind it. Stretched by her invasion, it was loose and a little swollen. But it looked fine. Her glove was clean, too. Picking up a damp towel, she cleaned off his butt as well as she could. She pulled the glove off, turning it inside out and tossing it, dry side, to the floor.
"Okay, Lance," I said silently, "Bring the gravity down real slow. Don't drop it to zero. We're going to walk him back to our cabin."
The gravity did lower, slowly, until it was about ten percent. That put Aaden's weight somewhere around 60 Newtons; the more scientifically unsophisticated would say he "weighed" "around 12 kilos." P'nyssa and I unhooked the harness and began carrying him, easily, down the hallway and into the bed room. She eased him down onto his side and slowly rolled him over.
He stirred slightly. She ran a mitten along the back of his head and pulled at the anastat velcro, which has the other wonderful quality of being silent. It slipped free and she pulled the blindfold off as I lowered the lights. She kissed his cheek. "Goodnight, beloved."
The door closed behind us as we left.
Sometime in late morning, the door to the bedroom opened and he walked out, licking the roof of his mouth. I was up instantly and had him in my arms before he could even open his eyes properly. "Hi!" he laughed as my arms went around him.
"Hi," I said, kissing him on the side of his chin gently. "Sleep okay?"
"Fine," he said. "Thank you."
"For what you and Nyss did last night. It's been a long time since someone did that and... I sorta needed it."
Surprised, I looked into his eyes. "You're sure?"
He nodded. "Insecurity and I don't get along very well."
"I know," I said, holding him close again. "I know. You will always be part of this family, Aaden. I need you more than you'll ever know." For a short moment while we held each other, everything shut out; P'nyssa, the kids, the ship, everything, and all my attention was on him, in him. "I love you."
"I love you, too," he whispered. "Where are we?"
"A couple of light years out already."
"I slept through transit?" he asked.
I nodded. "I was kinda hoping you would, too. Just so you wouldn't be so nervous when it happened. I was thinking of you."
He sighed. "I guess this is it."
"Yep." I hugged him. "Welcome to long-duration hyperspace."