I warn you now, this particular chapter has a stupid amount of fluffy in it. Listening to music definitely influences a person. Anyways, if you want to read this, go ahead. I'm not exactly the best fluff writer out there, so if you want, spare yourself the eye cancer and skip ahead to the next chapter. When it's up. If you DO want to read it, then continue beyond this warning.

. !All characters unless stated otherwise are creations of my imagination, and resemblance to anything or anyone is pure coincidence. Plotline of the story and events are also my ideas, resemblances are coincidence. © - I think that's usable, right? Read, Review, do what you will with this story, just don't steal it.

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I'm eventually going to get used to waking up and realizing that I was asleep for longer than needed. I've been unplugged from everything, and it seemed that I was free to move around as I pleased. Swinging my legs over the medical bed, I shuffled over to the door and clumsily opened it. It was easy to see that I wasn't on the ship, so I explored the place carefully. Walking along dirtied, white walls, I kept one hand on the right wall, and one hand with a lightning bolt ready to fire in case I needed to. I kicked open a door that sounded like something was there, but found only a rat being eaten by a cockroach of the same size. I shrugged the sight off and turned around, coming face-to-face with the only red head I knew. By instinct, I screamed and flew back from shock. "Ahh!"

"Whoa whoa whoa! Hold your horses Artemis, It's just me. Joshua? Swords guy?"

I took a moment to take recognize his face, and then allowed a breath of relief to escape. "Geezus Joshua. You scared the crap out of me."

Heavy footsteps started taking form in my ears, then Wren barged into the room with a gun in hand. "Joshua, what was it?" She looked at me, but said nothing.

"It was Just Artemis here. Kicked the door open."

Wren actually LOOKED at me, then decided that it was safe. She lowered the gun and apologized. "Sorry Artemis. I'm just jumpy after the ambush."

"Ambush?" I raised a suspicious eyebrow.

Joshua answered, "We were ambushed by those raiders. Remember Wrath and his 'Demons'? Scouts reported that he's found out where we are."

"That reminds me." I waved around the room. "Where are we?"

"Semi-broken down hospital. The ship's medical bay was full, so we had to make do with this. You and a few others are resting here."

"Few others being?"

"Akira. Silena. Couple of other soldiers. For the most part, we're fine, but we won't be able to sustain a heavy attack." She furrowed her eyebrows angrily. "You would THINK that a fucking FLYING BATTLESHIP would survive a landing..."

She stormed out of the room angrily. Joshua turned to me and said, "Don't mind her. She's just a little worried."

"Well then, we should be helping her out a bit." I walked out the door and looked for Wren. He followed me out the door, but went the opposite direction.

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I found her at a desk with her head down, resting herself for the time being. I pulled up another chair and sat across from her. "You alright?"

Her left fist stuck a thumb outwards. "Just tired. It's around 8pm, and I am exhausted." Her fist tumbled on its side.

"Well..." I looked for something to do, other than stare at her breathing. Which I wouldn't have minded doing, honestly. "At least move somewhere a little more comfortable. My back hurts looking at you." Slowly, she dragged herself up, her eyes half open and lips shut tightly. Her hand stuck out to her side, beckoning me to help her up. I did so, throwing her over my shoulder for the second time since knowing her.

"I don't know why I trust you Artemis. You can't even keep yourself conscious after lightning storming someone." She laughed weakly.

"Yeah. You need some rest." Making slow progress, we managed into an empty room with a light bulb barely alive. I gave it a light shock, and it sputtered to full brightness. I heard thunder outside, which meant a storm was coming.

She mumbled, "I knew there was going to be rain soon..." I deposited her on the bed and let her rest, turning around to leave. "Artemis?"

"Hm? Whatcha need?"

"Thanks."

"Uhh... sure. You're welcome." I left her in the room to rest, and decided to check on whoever else was here. Jumping around the various rooms of the long-abandoned hospital, I found Silena sleeping, and Akira watching a crackly TV.

"It's amazing that the TV still works." Akira said. "Kinda crappy, but it works."

"Nice to know that."

She patted the mattress she sat on, inviting me to sit next to her. "So. How are you? You've been out cold for a while now, buddy."

"I'm fine. Apparently, you can plug me into a wall and I'll fix up. And you? I don't see any wounds on you anywhere."

"I wasn't really hurt. But Wren was being paranoid and made me stay here. I think it was just a company thing. So she wasn't so alone." she lied down on her back, her breasts sticking in the air like a pair of mountains. I tore my eyes away, and she continued talking. "Have you seen Silena? She's been pretty quiet."

The storm grew louder, and the first droplets of rain started hitting the windows and walls. "I passed her up on the way. She's sleeping too."

Suddenly, Jason's voice appeared from Akira's pocket. "Akira, can you hear me? Over."

She took out a small walkie-talkie and replied. "Yeah, I read you. Over."

"Alright, listen. The storm is headed our way, and I'm going to assume there are still a lot of injured people over there. You guys are gonna have to hold your own there until the storm passes, alright? Over."

Akira sighed and pressed the button. "Alright. I'll tell Wren once she wakes up. General, if we're attacked and overwhelmed, what do you want us to do? Over."

"Uhh... get whoever you can out alive. Whatever it takes, get as many people as you can out. Over."

"Okay then. We're on it. See you tomorrow, I guess. Over." Jason didn't reply back, meaning his command was over. "I figured this would happen."

Her tail flicked around in an annoyed pattern, and her ears were standing straight up. "How many people are resting here?"

She thought about it for a second. "8 people on the bottom floor, and another 4 on this one. I don't think anyone's above us. Why?"

"I'm gonna go find the best way to keep watch over the place. If you want, you can help."

"But it's raining outside! And my tail will get wet..."

I turned on my heel and started leaving. "Hey, your choice. I generate electricity like hell in water, so I don't see why you're complaining..."

I heard her groan in defeat, and then her footsteps. "You're mean." She punched my shoulder and knocked me into the wall.

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In the rain, I felt like I was dying. Literally. The lightning that kept me alive was seeping into the water around me, causing a very faint aura around me that would feel tingly when entered. Akira on the other hand, was wet. Very, very, uncontrollably seductively wet. She was also very grumpy. She decided to follow me to the roof, but she did nothing to help me. She just stood around, letting herself soak while I did the work. "You know, if you're gonna be up here, you might as well help me. If not, you can go back inside."

I stuck a miniature turret-sensor into the roof, and dusted my hands off. Just for show really. "A-a-a-a-are y-y-y-y-you done?" She asked through shivering lips.

"With this part, yes." She groaned audibly. "Listen, go back inside. I'm not forcing you to be with me or anything. Besides, can't you like, summon fire or something?"

"N-n-not when I'm c-c-c-cold!" She rubbed her arms together.

I sighed. She wasn't going anywhere until I was done. Well, the place should be safe. No one's stupid enough to attack in this weather. "Akira, come on. Let's get you inside."

She dashed downstairs and immediately wrapped herself in layer after layer after layer of clothing. She ended up looking like a massive tofu ball. I laughed at her, and she scowled at me. "What're you laughing at?"

I pointed at her. "You. You look ridiculous with all those layers."

"Well I'm cold!" I smiled and pushed over an ancient sofa. I set off a few sparks to get it started, then fanned the flames down with some wood. Also ancient. She scooted closer, letting a deep breath escape her lungs. Her tail flicked happily as the warmth spread across her, and her ears propped up happily as well. "Thanks."

She smiled warmly at me. I returned the gesture. "No problem." We sat in silence for a while, neither of us having any reason to say anything. Well, I did have one question. "So. That tail."

"My tail?" She looked at the appendage.

"Yeah. How'd you get that?"

"Oh. I was born with it." She said it so casually, one would think that she was used to telling everyone about it. "I never really told anyone about it. They never asked. I was sure they were all just laughing behind my back. Dear god, 4th grade."

She hugged a pillow and shoved her face into it. "Uhh." Her breathing became deeper, like she was trying to calm herself. "Hey, what's wrong?" I inched closer to the woman, wrapping an arm around her protectively.

She refused to speak. I let her do whatever it was she was doing, until she poked her head up. "I couldn't breathe head-down." she said monotonously.

"I see." I moved away from her, giving her some personal space.

Another wave of silence overtook us while I spaced out, and by the time I came back, I realized the fire had almost died out. Akira made no move to reignite it. Wordlessly, I went to find another source of fuel for us. Joshua and Wren were probably asleep right now, so I didn't leave the room at all. I put a piece of the wall, and the remains of a medical bed onto the embers, then sparked them to life. I took a seat next to Akira. She said, "Artemis."

"Hmm?" I rubbed drowsiness from my eyes.

"You're... unique. You know?" She sounded sleepy as well.

I managed a chuckle. "How so?"

"Most boys at your age- actually, any boy at any age would have done anything to get my clothes off." She deepened her voice in an amateur male impression. "'Hey Akira, why don't you step out of your clothes? They're dripping wet, and you could get sick.'" She frowned for a brief moment. "You on the other hand, have made no attempt to strip me."

"Are you asking me to?"

She pushed me. "No! Hahahah~" She giggled. "I'm just saying, you're different. Trustworthy." She rested her head on my shoulder, pulling her ears down. I felt her tail wrap around me at the same time. "This is really, really stupid right now." After a long yawn, she sat up from the comfortable position, and with a burst of energy said, "You know, guys all throughout my life only 'loved' me for my body. Even in elementary school, boys would like me because I was cute. Not because I was nice, or smart. Not that I was very smart anyways, heheh." Akira yawned again, and rested her head on my shoulder. "Because of that, I've never really loved anyone, truly. I never really loved my parents. They always treated me like I was a freak, always favoring my siblings." She forced a smile as I listened to her. A blue flame appeared in her hand, and she juggled it around her fingers. "I summon fire, have a tail, and fox-ears. I guess I am kind of a freak, huh?"

I clutched her hand with mine, extinguishing the flame. "No, Akira, you aren't a freak. You're a beautiful woman, who has better... erm, assets, than most." She giggled at that. "You have a tail, and two unnaturally cute ears, but hell, they're cute." I paused as I tried to find more to say. I ran a hand through her hair and said, "Akira, you said you've never had someone truly love you before. Well, I love you." A long, very silent awkwardness followed.

It took a moment for what I said to sink in.

When we finally made sense of what came out of my mouth, I scrambled to fix what I just said. "I-I mean, like a friend! I don't like, LOVE you, just 'love' you. You get it? Like, how people call each other 'mom' or 'dad' but they don't really mean it? Ah shit, I fucked up, I mean, like, I don't want anythi-"

I stopped talking when I saw her hunched over, holding her stomach. Then without warning, she busted out in tear-bearing, gut-wrenching laughter. She continued this way long enough for me to feel awkward. "Artemis!" She calmed down enough to yawn. "Artemis, Artemis, Artemis Forza. You are a unique young man." She wrapped one of her arms around me, holding me close. "Thanks for listening to me babble. 'Night~"

"Night Akira. Sweet dreams." Really? Sweet dreams?

She smiled. "I love you."

...

"Good night."

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The next morning, I woke up with crusty eyes, and a sleeping beauty on my shoulder. I eased out from under her, and left the room. Thankfully, the fire hadn't burned down the place, so I walked over to the remaining embers and stamped them out before they got a chance. I took another look at Akira, taking the moment to look at her body. The half fox, half human lady's massive chest rose and fell in time with her breathing. Still, I'm not sure how to react to her statement last night. 'I love you.' I shook my head and decided it was just random. She was sleepy, and probably drunk, and we fell asleep with a conversation about her 'loving dilemma. With a smile, I left the room to go find me something to eat. The rain had stopped pouring, but the ground outside was still drenched. I walked to the bottom floor, where I found Wren. "Morning." Wren was sitting at a table, half a slice of bread in front of her.

She looked up at me and smiled. "Hey. You sleep well?"

I nodded. "Well enough. You?"

"I was snoring like a pig. Thank god nobody saw me." We laughed for a moment, just relaxing in the early morning aura. She offered the other half of her bread to me. "Want it? It's all I could find here."

I shook my head. "Nah. You need it more than I do. Besides, once we get back to the ship, there's gonna be plenty of food. Right?"

She smiled at my optimism. "I love kids. They never seem to see the negative half of things."

"We do. We just ignore it. A lot."

Her smile lit up the room, making everything seem better. It might just be because she saved my life, but Wren was amazing. She caught me staring at her, then started checking herself for anything wrong. "Wh-what are you staring at?"

She checked her hair crazily. "Heheh, nothing. Just uh, spacing out."
She raised an eyebrow, but let it go. "Did you and Akira fix the defense systems on the roof?"
"Mostly me, but yeah. There's a turret on every corner of the roof now."
"Can we move them?"
"Uh..." I thought back on the installation. "No idea. Maybe Joshua knows how." When Wren heard Joshua's name, she laughed behind her hand. "What?"
She said, "Nothing. Just remembered something about him."
"What was it?"
She waved a hand dismissively. "Nothing, nothing."
"Tell me! You don't leave a teenage male hanging like that! Besides, you're a girl. Don't girls like gossiping?"
Wren rolled her eyes. "Alright fine. You know the medic that checked up on you a while back?" I nodded. "Turns out, she's pretty good with swords. She's been keeping an eye on Joshua ever since she found out, and when he found out, oh boy..." We laughed at Joshua's dilemma, surprised at the unexpected pairing.
Her face snapped into seriousness when three loud bangs were heard at the front door. "You heard that?"
She nodded. Grabbing a gun from her holster, we approached the noise cautiously. "All the injured are on floor 3, so they're safe. Go upstairs and make sure no one gets through."
I told her, "I'd rather not."
The statement made her stand straight, looking offended and surprised. "Are you defying my orders?"
"N-no! Well, yes, technically, but it's more of a selfish reason." She softened enough for me to explain. "I just want to make sure you're alright. We don't know how many enemies are here, and I don't wanna force you to solo everybody." I felt my face burning from embarrassment.
However, Wren sighed, then grinned. "You're a sweet kid, you know?" She gave me a kiss on the cheek(as well as an unintentional hard-on. Damn hormones.), then led the way. "Come on, let's check it out."

Holding the pistol in front of her, she checked the corners while I stood behind her, ready to annihilate anyone on the other side.

We heard footsteps to our left, and turned in that direction. We barely caught sight of a foot walking into a corridor. She charged in with me right behind her. I fired first, shocking the trio of people in front of me. When they fell, Wren kicked over the biggest one and aimed the pistol in his face. Then, her entire body went slack, and her arms fell. "What is it Wren?"

My hands still held a ball of energy in them, aimed at the other two men. Wren pushed my hands down. "Calm down Artemis, it was Jason and a few soldiers."

When my hands stopped crackling with lightning, they started moving, albeit very slowly. Eventually, the face of Jason and two other soldiers came clear to me. I felt a blush of embarrassment creep onto my face. "Oh. Uh. Hey there, General."

The General smiled, but was obviously forced. "Don't worry. I won't punish you. Maybe. We're just here to escort you guys back to the ship, and send you off again into another mission."

"Acknowledged." Wren said, "Artemis, get Akira. I'll get Joshua and the soldiers."

"Gotcha." I ran upstairs to the room Akira was, hopefully, in.

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I found Akira still in the room, playing with a mouse who found his way into her dress. Lucky mouse. When she noticed me, she rolled over on her back, letting her dress fall everywhere. "Hi there Arty~ how's your morning?"

"You're drunk again." She giggled, causing the folds of her clothes to fall even more. "Could you uh, put your clothes on right? It's awkward for me..."

She puffed out her lower lip. "But it's so hoooot~!"

I resisted the urge to say, 'Yes you are.'. Rather, I said, "Mhm. Yeah, it is. But we need to get going. The ship's all good, and we can finally get back."

Slowly, she stood up and tightened her outfit, then brushed the hair out of her face. I just stared at her like it was my first time seeing a woman. She chuckled and said, "Is doing my hair making you feel uncomfortable?"

She walked towards me. "Err, no. I mean, It's nice, but not that uhm... Erg, not that..."

She smiled and brushed my leg with her tail. "I get it~ now, let's head to the ship, shall we?"

I exhaled deeply, content that she was done. "That's a good idea."

I followed her out, staring at her figure while she wasn't looking. I wondered for a moment, who was hotter? Akira, or Wren? Wren did have a nicer figure, but Akira... she had those tits. And she was tall. Very tall. I put the thoughts away, going back to the teenage sport of ass-watching.

She slipped on one of the staircase steps, falling directly onto Joshua, who just entered the room. Wren, Joshua, the soldiers, and Jason were already there. "Uhf..." Akira got up and helped Joshua to his feet.

"Thanks."

"No problem."

"We all here?" Wren shot a look at me and Akira.

"Uh, yep! Looks like it."

"Good, then let's go."

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With surprisingly little enemy encounter, we made it back to the ship. It was still on the ground, but the area was cleared of a lot of things. It started to look very much like a permanent base. Somehow, it made me relaxed, just thinking that we'd be done moving. Akira caught my look glazed over look. "Artemis? You alright?"

"Hm? Oh, yeah. I'm fine. Just uh, thinking about things." I smiled in her direction, and she returned the gesture.

When we got into the base itself, Amelia immediately jumped into Joshua, forcing him to carry his sister. "Joshie you're back! I missed you!"

Viktor and Harold both greeted Wren and I warmly, and although they didn't say it, they were both happy we were back. Viktor even went as far to say, "Artemis. Good to see you. I almost started to miss having a power source nearby."

It was obviously forced, but it was accepted nonetheless. Wren and Silena embraced each other like they hadn't seen one another in 5 years. That made me think about how long we were actually gone. It didn't seem very long, but being unconscious did make things seem shorter than they really were. Akira was in the center of a horde of males, each one professing their deep longing to have her, and her body, back. It made me sad that people only liked her for her body, but she didn't let them see it. She entertained her lovers, brushing them with her tail, working magic on them. "She's nice, isn't she?"

Silena walked up next to me, adorned in her armor. "I'm sure that guys go absolutely ape-shit over her."

I chuckled. "Most do."

"And you? Why haven't you fawned over her yet?"

"I'm secretly gay." She smiled and laughed, doing the same combo people have used forever. "Naah. I'm just caught between a rock a hard place."

Silena teased me. "You have an erection, and your jeans are hurting you now."

"Dude!" We laughed again, and I told her, "You know, it's real easy being around you. There's no strange, 'female' aura that surrounds you too much."

She raised an eyebrow. "Female aura?"

"Yea, you know. That feeling a guy gets when they're around women?"

"Perverseness?"

"The feeling of having to impress her. Like, like turtles."

"Turtles?"

"Turtles."

"Interesting analogy. Continue."

"Well, during mating season, the male turtles go out of their way to impress a woman. Any other time of year, when there are no lady-turtles, the man turtles are all hostile, and mean."

"Your point being?"

"Uh, women make men stop being men."

She nodded her head, understanding the strange analogy I used. "I see. Nice way of putting it there. I can see why Wren likes you." I raised an eyebrow, trying to look uninterested, but on the inside, curiosity raged like a jackrabbit. On weed. She caught my interested look, and added, "Not like that, lover boy."

She laughed at my obviously disappointed face, but said nothing about it. I spotted Admiral Khan in a doorway, looking disgusted that we came back. When he disappeared somewhere else, I joined Wren and the others, passing the time in relative ease. The rest of the day was peaceful, kind of like our average Saturday afternoon.

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When all decided to hit the hay, we all walked in a massive group, breaking away into our respective rooms when we passed it up. It wasn't until only Akira and I were left when we realized the same thing. "Akira, do you remember which room you had?"

She shook her head. "No, actually." She giggled. "Let's just find a room and share it."

"I have no problem with that." With a whip of her tail, she turned around and backtracked the corridors, doing nothing noticeable. "Are we just walking and hoping that we hit an empty room?"

She rolled her eyes and said, "You really think I'd do that? I'm listening to what's behind the doors. If I don't hear anything, then that room's ours." She stopped in front of a seemingly random room, and placed ears to it. She grinned, then opened the door. "Told you."

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I lied down on the solitary bed, not bothering to change into anything else. I just rested my head and watched as Akira stretched. My body froze when I realized that this was the only bed in the room. Unsure what to do, I just stayed still and acted like there was nothing strange. She dropped herself on the bed, and her sheer size took up most of the mattress. I curled up on the very side of the bed, facing away from Akira. I heard her laugh to herself, then she asked me, "Is this awkward for you?"

"Very much so."

"Why? I thought it would be... pleasing, for a man."

"It is, but ah, you're a lot older than I am." I thought for a second, trying to remember her age exactly. "How old are you exactly?"

"Guess."

"50."

"I will burn you into a cookie, Artemis."

"Fine! 40."

"Artemis."

"Fine, fine. 35?"

"Liiittle lower."

"25."

"Minus one."

"24."

"Bingo." She flung herself under the covers, her body facing my back. We exchanged a few idle sentences without much interest from me. She sighed disappointedly, grabbed my shoulder and said, "Artemis, would you face me when you're talking?"

Without my consent, she turned me around, and we ended up being face-to-face, on a way too small mattress. At this distance, our noses barely had a centimeter of space between them, and she could see the redness in my cheeks. "Uhh... Yeah... I told you, this is awkward for me."

She smiled, but I could tell it was a little odd for her too. "I know. Her eyes darted back and forth, unsure what to rest their gaze on.

She eventually settled on looking at my eyes. I turned over sharply, trying to control myself. "Night Akira."

A sigh of disappointment escaped her lips. "You too, Arty."

I closed my eyes and tried to sleep, but I just couldn't get myself unconscious. Akira was still, but sometimes showed signs of being awake. I whispered, "Akira?"

"Yeah?"

The unexpected reply caught me off guard. I said, "Can't get to sleep."

"Me neither." I felt her move around, sitting on the bed with back to the wall. I joined her, resting in the same position. "What's up with you?"

"Thoughts. You?"

"Same." Her newly disheveled hair fell messily, long strands covering some of her face. "I was thinking about you, actually. "

"Really now?"

"Mhm. Actually, more about what I said."

"Which part? The being-a-freak or the I-L-Y part?"

"Heh, the I-L-Y part." She shifted uncomfortably. "You know I didn't mean that, right? Well, not all the way."

"I figured as much. I kinda hoped you were drunk and weren't thinking right."

She chuckled, and dropped the seductive act for a minute. "Yeah. It just slipped." She sighed and added, "Besides. I know you aren't interested in me."

Her eyes looked at me, trying to pry for what I thought she wanted to hear. "Ahh, what do you mean?" She kept pressing on. "You can't mean me and Wre- the Lieutenant?"

"Of course! Admit it, you like her." Akira poked my stomach teasingly.

"Ow, stop that!"

Akira continued the tickling attack, forcing me to stifle laughter while fighting her off of me. "Arty likes Wre-en, Arty likes Wre-en~"

When she let me go, I managed to say, "Not... exactly. Phew..."

As I tried regaining my breath, she tilted her head and asked, "What?"

"I don't exactly like her. I mean, yeah, she's adorable-slash-amazing, but she's also half a decade older than me. I have no idea what to think of her."

"Awh, Artemis has love problems." Though I expected her to say something teasing, she merely curled under the blankets. "Sleep on it. It helps." She pulled me underneath, this time with her back to me. "Night~"

"Night, I think."