Days Like Today – WWA short story

WWA-based one-shot.

draco-stellaris-days-like-today

Will you cut it off now?” DS asked huffily. She was sitting on a blanket in the shadow of a palm tree and had hoped to enjoy a quiet day at the beach. The latest Wormhole Xtreme! novel lay abandoned at her side, where she had thrown it when she had sat up in a hurry. She was looking accusingly at Tommy and Rhys who were standing nose to nose and were glaring and growling at each other. Both were in their swimming trunks and soaking wet. Tommy broke the eye contact first and looked at DS with an untypical defiant expression. “He ducked me under water – again.”

DS sighed deeply in resignation. It had been like this for hours now. They just didn’t stop bickering today. Some days were good, some not so good but today apparently was one of the bad days. Tommy and Rhys were just too different from each other. Tommy was the weaker one, too timid to speak up and Rhys had enough self-confidence for a whole hiveship full of Eddies, at least he liked to give that impression. It had been clear right from the beginning that they wouldn’t get on well together but nonetheless both had agreed on their arrangement to share DS as their worshipper.

On days like today DS kept asking herself if it had been wise to persuade Tommy to accept Rhys as her second Wraith, if it hadn’t been better to end the relationship with Rhys before it had gotten too strong. Tommy had been patient and understanding, after all it was not unusual to share a worshipper with another Wraith. Most of the other boys had to share too and DS always made an effort to keep the attention she gave to both Tommy and Rhys well balanced. For a moment she wondered how the other worshippers managed to keep all their boys equally happy. Mar had three boys and TP and SW had a multitude of Wraith to worship who all seemed to manage just fine. Ciannwn had several Wraith too although she mainly concentrated on Boris. Draygon and Geekywraith just had one Wraith each and were perfectly happy with them. The only worshipper DS could think of at the moment who had similar problems was PA, maybe she should talk to her and ask her if she had found a solution yet to keep Aurora and Craig from squabbling.

Tommy and Rhys had calmed down and, while still shooting glares at each other, had sat down on the beach several metres apart, feigning ignorance of the other’s presence. Sighing again DS laid herself back on the blanket. Don’t ever make me choose, she thought. I couldn’t give up either of you. Even the thought of living apart from one of them made her cringe. I’m too clingy, maybe we all need some distance for a while.

Not able to continue reading her novel she decided to get rid of all her built-up tension by having a good long swim in the ocean. Fern came bounding up the beach, wagging her tail like mad and licked DS’ hands enthusiastically.

“Hello Ferny. I’m happy to see you too.” Glancing sideways at her sulking Wraith DS added “yours is the first friendly face I see today.” Stroking Fern’s head a final time DS made her way to the water. She strode purposefully into the shorebound waves and dived in headfirst, pulling her arms through the water with more force than necessary to get some distance between herself and the beach.

Fern bounced around Tommy, trying to get her huge head underneath his arm and pushed her wet nose into his face. Giving her an apologetic pat on the head Tommy gently shoved her away a bit.

“Sorry, Fern. I’m not in the mood to play with you today.” Fern remembered there was still another green man she hadn’t even greeted yet and ran over to Rhys, barking in excitement.

Seeing a cow-sized dog advance on you at a ballistic speed can be slightly unsettling, especially if you are a grumpy Wraith so it was only logical for Rhys to stop her before she reached him. He turned his head towards her, bared his teeth in his most scary way and roared at her loudly. Fern stopped dead in her tracks, stemming all four huge paws into the ground and left a trail of deep grooves in the sand. She scrambled backwards yelping and whining, her tail between her legs and stopped in the middle between Tommy and Rhys. There she laid down, head on her front paws, and let her eyes dart from one Wraith to the other. She couldn’t comprehend her world anymore. Never before had one of the green men snarled at her.

“You should be careful around Rhys, Fern,” Tommy explained to her, looking straight forward out over the sea. “He’s notorious for his foul temper around people who try to be nice to him.” Not daring to lift her head Fern looked at Tommy with sad eyes.

“Don’t listen to him, Fern,” Rhys grumbled, not looking at her. “And that wasn’t meant to be personal, I would have snarled at anyone.” Fern’s ears twitched but she still didn’t lift her head.

“Which is exactly what I tried to say before, Fern,” Tommy stated calmly, still looking at the sea.

For a moment all three were silent, the only noise being the splashing of the waves rolling onto the beach. Then Rhys cleared his throat.

“I’m… I’m sorry,” he mumbled. “It won’t happen again.” He turned around for the first time and reached out for Fern.

“Come here, girl.” Fern got up and cautiously sniffed Rhys’ hand, not taking her eyes off him for one second, then gingerly she came closer. When Rhys’ started to pat her head she began wagging her tail again and tried to lick his face.

“No, you won’t!” Rhys exclaimed. In a desperate attempt to hold her off his face he raised his arms, but too late. Fern had already put her broad paws on his shoulders, knocking him backwards onto the ground. There the two of them ended up in a struggling huddle of green limbs. The huddle gave off loud yipping and complaining noises. Tommy watched the performance with a straight face.

Finally Rhys managed to shove Fern away and sat upright again, he scowled at Tommy with an expression which clearly read “don’t dare to laugh or there will be trouble”. Tommy’s mouth twitched and he snorted, his shoulders shaking with suppressed laughter. Rhys’ complexion took on a pinkish tinge and he growled but the growl turned into a chuckle soon. Looking at each other both Wraith laughed out loud with Fern bouncing around them like a crazed, barking kangaroo.

DS heard the noise when she swam back to the beach, fearing the worst she accelerated, trying to get back quickly. When she was close enough she got up and walked out of the water, staring in amazement at her Wraith who were rolling in the sand, shaking with laughter in a very unwraithy, undignified way. The dumb look on her face changed as a hesitant smile tugged at her lips.

“Hey boys,” she ventured. “Fern cheered you up?” Indecisive she remained standing as Tommy and Rhys stopped laughing and looked at her. None of them spoke a word but DS knew instantly that they were communicating telepathically, blocking her mind out on purpose. Suddenly both grinned and reached out; each of them took one of DS’ arms and pulled her down to the ground, between them.

“So you finally stopped snarling at each other and decided to gang up on your own worshipper instead?” she chided.

Rhys put an arm around her waist and nuzzled her neck.

“Sorry, we were awful today,” he mumbled into her ear.

We?” Tommy asked with an accusingly raised eyebrow.

“It was mostly me who was awful, but Tommy helped,” Rhys purred with a smug grin. “I could never have managed alone to be that awful.”

Leaning closer, Tommy ran a finger along DS’ chin and looked into her eyes. He said “I admit that I have contributed some of my own awfulness to maintain the usual high standard. Can you forgive us?” DS closed her eyes as Rhys began to bite her neck gently.

“I would forgive you almost anything, I love you, both of you.” She held Tommy close to her and kissed him.
On days like today DS knew why it was worth the occasional trouble.

 

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