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HuniePop: The Bounty Hunter's Escort (ch. 18) :iconcypher-ds:Cypher-DS 1 2
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HuniePop: The Bounty Hunter's Escort (ch. 17)
Shoes paced restlessly down a metal deck. Mechanical arms clicked and whirred over their surgical work. A sharp gasp of pain, which Nikki hushed back with her hands and her voice. "Easy, it's okay. You'll be okay."
From behind her came a shaky murmur. "An alien … a real live, god-damn alien."
Audrey rotated on the spaceship's deck in slow, disbelieving circles, sucking on a cigarette the way a hospital patient might grab an oxygen mask for relief. She'd kept placid long enough to help drag Celeste up the ramp, but once inside her mind retreated in shellshock.
"Nik, this is all real, isn't it?"
Nikki didn't reply, didn't even notice the question. Her senses were focused entirely on her wounded Valkyrie; she wouldn't have noticed the diva if she were swearing and prying up the metal floorboards. She barely noticed Cogni's spare camera body peering over her shoulder at the raised medical stretcher, where segmented pincer arms worked over Celeste's inert form with needles and laser c
:iconCypher-DS:Cypher-DS
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HuniePop: The Bounty Hunter's Escort (ch. 16) :iconcypher-ds:Cypher-DS 0 2
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HuniePop: The Bounty Hunter's Escort (ch. 15)
Like a hurried white rabbit, the love fairy kept one step out of Nikki's reach, skipping gaily through the carnival wonderland while she huffed in hot pursuit. The winged girl seemed to know exactly how fast Nikki could run, pausing at certain corners so she could catch up or pulsing pink light from her body when Nikki lost track. She wants me to follow; she wants to tell me something!
Nikki moved on autopilot, intent on activating this NPC quest, never really concerning herself that she was leaving the colourful lights and music of the carnival behind her; that she was jogging further into the darkness of the night.
She'd never really read the cautionary tales about fairies luring children out into the woods.
The chase ended down one of the lamp-lit piers stretching into the ocean. This was one of the loading docks for the water taxis. Normally a haven for couples stealing off for a make-out session or carnival staff ducking off for a smoke break, now it was eerily deserted
:iconCypher-DS:Cypher-DS
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HuniePop: The Bounty Hunter's Escort (ch. 14) :iconcypher-ds:Cypher-DS 1 0
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HuniePop: The Bounty Hunter's Escort (ch. 13) :iconcypher-ds:Cypher-DS 1 2
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HuniePop: The Bounty Hunter's Escort (ch. 12) :iconcypher-ds:Cypher-DS 2 2
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HuniePop: The Bounty Hunter's Escort (ch. 11) :iconcypher-ds:Cypher-DS 1 2
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HuniePop: The Bounty Hunter's Escort (ch. 10) :iconcypher-ds:Cypher-DS 0 3
Puella Captiva Madoka Magica - for Sailor Ptah by Cypher-DS Puella Captiva Madoka Magica - for Sailor Ptah :iconcypher-ds:Cypher-DS 8 21
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Got a new HuniePop story to recommend: 'A Woman's Woman' by Typhoon Boom.

It's a collab between Typhoon and myself.  See my journal for details or dive right in below:

www.fanfiction.net/s/12521951/…

Reviews and comments are appreciated!
"Let's cut to the chase," the love fairy proclaimed, walking up the now clear driveway. "There's some be-autiful ladies in this town I know an amazon like you will just love-love-LOVE to throw around the bedroom.  Since you're a former client, you should still have your Huniebee. Lets me skip showing you the basics."

Tala leaned on one leg, giving Kyu a blatant look. "Yes, I think I still have my woman Pokedex somewhere..."
 

Have I got a story for you guys!  A Woman’s Woman by Typhoon Boom.

This story is a collaboration between Typhoon and myself.  We’ve been writing scenes together for several months, and we’re finally ready to launch!

What’s to recommend?

  • It’s a Huniepop harem story. Audrey, Nikki and Aiko are all on our lady-killer’s hit-list so far.  
  • It’s a lesbian harem story.  Our protagonist is Tala - a fit, Irish redhead who puts the ‘alpha’ in Alpha Female.  Tala’s a former love fairy client - a veteran reluctantly roped in by Kyu to play the field again. (read: do this or I’ll pester you to death!)  Hoping to enjoy a nice vacation in Glenberry, Tala’s at first peeved by her new assignment, but quickly changes her tune as she meets a sexy math teacher, befriends a cute nerd and a butts heads with fiery fashionista.
  • It’s got a supernatural twist.  Aliens, fairies and monsters are all commonplace in this version of Glenberry, and Tala’s job puts her in close contact with all things weird.  Nikki isn’t the only conspiracy expert in this story.
  • It gets plenty steamy as the relationships build.  Emotional arcs and bedroom scenes?  Yes please!
  • I’m a co-author! If you’ve enjoyed stories like The Love Fairy’s Apprentice and Braving the Plunge, I guarantee you’ll like this one too!

   

So come on down and check out  A Woman’s Woman!  Drop us a review while you’re there. (Anonymous comments are accepted!)  Let us know what you’re looking forward to or enjoying in Tala’s HuniePop journey.  

 

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Nikki didn't dwell long on her despair. The vow she'd made to the masked goddess stuck like a lump in her throat - to find and expose every last deceitful love fairy. That was her purpose.

Despair cemented into unbreakable rage.

Nikki poured herself into her vow like it was the latest video game to master. Scouring the Internet for fairy websites, hitting the library to research Fae folklore; anything to dig up a possible weakness. Nikki pursued every resource at her disposal.

"I wanna know about Kyu, Tiffany."

"N-Nikki, I really not sure what to say." Even over the phone, she could picture the cheerleader sweating buckets. "Kyu, my roommate, she left months ago and I haven't seen her since."

"Dammit, Tiff, you’ve gotta have something! A phone number, e-mail; anything! That sneaky fairy bitch was living right next to you! You had to have noticed something!"

"Nikki..."

Wait.

"Are you covering for her, Tiff?" Nikki started pacing across her bedroom, a feral cat on the prowl. "Are you protecting her?"

"No! It's just -"

"Because she took Celeste away from me, Tiff! And I'm gonna find every last one of her kind, and I'm gonna make them pay! Kyu, her goddess; even Jessie."

A tiny gulp warbled over the line.

"I'll never forgive them," Nikki vowed, "and if I figure out you've been hiding them from me ... Well, you'd better wish we never met."


At first it was easy to sustain her fire and her fury. Her memories of Celeste were still fresh and raw as an open wound; the slightest thought made her chest ache and her teeth grit. She welcomed the pain, the righteous anger. She imagined her heartache blazing like a signal flare, a beacon to guide her Valkyrie home from the stars.

Nikki built conspiracy websites, calling for like-minded fairy haters to join her cause. She patrolled the city, scanning the night clubs and cocktail lounges for signs of cupidaemons. She stood on the beach late at night and flashed her laser pointer at the heavens, tapping Morse code messages to the stars.

When her resolve waned, she scrolled through online newspapers to feed her fire. How can people be so blind? she seethed. The carnival stampede wasn't caused by a feral dog on the loose, she roared in the comments section, it was clearly the adult metamorphosis of an alien invasive species, sent on a deliberate attack by a poacher from the Slovar star system!

And that crashed SUV, all the scorched craters in the nature preserve? Those weren't drunken teen bonfires, they were the exhaust marks of an alien bounty hunter's spacecraft! It should have been obvious, except that the invisible fairies manipulating the human race had zapped all the space debris and alien corpses back to their alternate dimension! Why wasn't anyone taking her seriously?

=Audrey, you saw it all! Back me up,= she texted.

=U sound like a raving lunatic. Tiffany's freaked ur gonna pull a knife on her.= Then she jumped topics completely. =Hey u still wanna hang out 2night?=

Nikki didn't dignify that with a response. She had no time for these so-called friends.

Weeks passed. Her websites went unvisited; her night patrols turned up plenty of creeps but they were only human. Text messages from Tiffany and her mother piled up on her phone. Then one day, her furious mission was interrupted by a bang on the door. Whump, whump, whump. Audrey awaited her on the other side, and she wasn't accepting excuses.

"Get your shoes. We're fixing your hair."

When she only squinted dumbly at the sudden burst of sunlight, Audrey snorted and thrust a make-up compact into her face. The glassy image horrified her.

Eyes, black and baggy. Skin chalk white and pockmarked with craterous stress acne. Her sweater dangled off her shoulders, not because it was too bulky, but because she'd lost so much weight. It was her hair that made her whimper in horror. An inch of colourless, brown rot had erupted from her scalp where she'd failed to reapply her dye. The blue silk Celeste had so adored was now dry and frayed, withering away at the roots.

"Celeste told you to live your life. Why the fuck are you throwing it away, Nik?"

She hadn't cried since the night she'd lost Celeste. Now the salt water stung her eyes, burning down her cheeks in briny trails. Audrey didn't wait for permission, she just stepped forward and forced her into a hug.

"I miss her," Nikki howled into the diva's shoulder. "I miss her and I don't know what to do."

"You get out," Audrey whispered. "You get out and you keep going. Don't waste your time fucking around with what you lost. Just walk on."

Nikki detached herself from Audrey's embrace. Excused herself to find her wallet and her keys.

Together, they walked into the sunlight.


Four words.

Four words to reach across the silence, to mend a connection left tattered and frayed far too long. Four words to reassure that she wasn't alone.

"How's it going, Mom?"

There was no hesitation from the voice across the phone. "I'm glad you called, Nikki. How're you feeling, sweet bean?"

"I dunno, Ma. Okay, I guess." The Nutmeg Café was deserted at this sunset hour, just the orange rays of a dying sun piercing the windows. She scanned one of the mirrors, brushing aside her newly blue hair. Her skin hadn't yet fully recovered, but Audrey had trained her well in the arts of concealer.

"Everything's just kinda … ordinary." No alien emergencies to stress her nerves, no thrilling dates to make her heart race; not even a 'welcome home' lick to curl her toes. "Anything new with you?"

Her mother exhaled into the speaker. "Oh, I was asked to leave the knitting circle at our church. You remember Mrs. Matthews, Lauren's mother? Well I raised a stink when that crusty old thing made a remark about … girls like you, Nikki. The group decided I needed some time alone to reflect with God."

"Mom, you don't have to go all 'gay rights activist' with the church ladies for me. I mean, I'm not …" deep breath. "I'm not with anyone right now."

"Well that doesn't change who you are, now does it?"

Leave it to a mom to beat her at perceptiveness. "I guess not."

"Whatever happened to that Canadian girl you were with? Celine?"

"Celeste, Ma, and she had to leave."

"But I thought you two made up!" When had her mom jumped from disapproval to dying for gossip?

"We did but ... stuff came up. Look, Ma, I've gotta go. Customer just walked in. Say hi to dad for me. Love you."

Nikki killed the call and gave a weary exhale. So now she shows up? A month ago, her blood would have boiled at the sight of this petite figure with her false, brunette pixie cut and her troublesome green eyes. Now, she just made Nikki rub her head in exhaustion.

"You," she scowled.

"Heya Champ, what's crack-a-lackin' in Lesbos these days?"

Nikki imagined herself summoning Celeste's magnetized rifle and shoving the barrel in the smug fairy's face. Or maybe conjuring a magical, oversized mallet for a game of whack-a-mole. She glanced hopefully at her wrist, but the crystal bangle she wore as a keepsake just glowed impotently. With her arsenal depleted, she had to settle for glaring daggers.

"What're you doing here?"

The fairy's hand shot up. "Whoa, time out! I'm here on olive branch business, Champ. Hear me out, m'kay?"

"We're closed."

"Bull-friggin-shit, missy! You've got five minutes till closing time and this fairy wants her caffeine rush." Kyu slapped a twenty on the counter. "Double caramel cocoa cappuccino grandé with extra whip. Make it, and I leave for good. I'll never bug you again."

I just closed the till, and I'll have to clean the machines again! But if it meant banishing this worthless trickster from her life, she could endure the momentary pain. Firing an angry glare, Nikki snatched up the money and set about brewing the fastest cup of coffee she'd ever made. While she worked, Kyu pleaded her case.

"Champ, I really feel super bad because of what happened to you, honest! No bullshit – I screwed up and I'm really, really sorry!"

"You used me and Celeste."

"Because I was freaked out, okay? I help people fall in love – that's what I do. Thing is, when something alien shows up on your planet, my department gets put on high alert and suddenly I'm expected to be a border patrol guard or a police officer. There's nasty stuff out there, and it's my job to keep you humans safe!"

The fairy traced a finger across the counter. "Of course, lost tourists crash-landing in New Mexico are one thing. What's a cutie like me supposed to do about hungry space animals or a mean-as-nails slave trafficker?"

Nikki didn't answer.

"So I figured, why not leave it to the expert? Horn-girl was hunting them anyway, so I could just nudge her along – Charlie to her Angels! I honestly thought Bluebell would pack up and leave after she popped a cap in those garduk. I didn't count on you guys falling in love." Kyu's lips erupted in a mischievous grin. "All it took was a smile and you toppled my master plan, Champ. Look at you, seducing that poor alien space-babe with your sexy nerd skillz."

Nikki shot an evil glare and motioned that she was nearly done at the espresso maker. Kyu swallowed and jumped to the point.

"I wanna make it up to you."

"How?" Nikki snorted.

The fairy spread her wings along with her smile. "Let me be your love coach, Champ! With my expertise and your adorkable cuteness, we'll make you a walking chick magnet in no time! The city'll hafta re-zone your apartment as the new dog pound, 'cause you'll be shacking up with more bitches than you can shake a stick at!"

"Huh?" Nikki stared at the fairy and resisted the urge to vomit.

"Y'like that, Champ? Dog Pound? Pound? As in, you'll be –"

"You're disgusting."

The harsh words didn't seem to discourage Kyu. "Hey, that's cool. No pressure. You've got your monogamy kinks; I can work around 'em."

"My only 'kink'," Nikki clarified, "is a deep desire for you to leave me alone."

Kyu pouted as she toyed with the top buttons of her blouse. "Don't be such a sourpuss, Champ. If human hunies don't do it for you anymore, I wouldn't mind letting you take me for a ride."

Nikki's eyes shot up as Kyu's shirt slipped off her shoulders. The fairy flashed her most seductive bedroom eyes as her fingers pawed at her bubblegum-pink bra.

"Did my hotness break your brain? Leave it all stuffed with fluff?" Kyu teased. "C'mon, you silly ol' bear – come take a romp through my Hundred Acre Woods. I know you're aching for a taste of this sweet, sweet hunny. This sexylicious fairy bod's all yours for the taking."

Nikki was stone silent, fairly certain that her memories of Winnie the Pooh had been scarred for life. Kyu's cappuccino was ready, but a sick, sad feeling in the pit of Nikki's stomach told her it would take more than coffee to banish the fairy.

Sighing deeply, Nikki removed her apron and stepped around the counter.

The fairy's face popped with pleasant surprise as Nikki approached, like she couldn't believe her good fortune. Her grin blossomed as Nikki laid her hands on her shoulders. A pleasant murmur bubbled from her lips as human fingers trailed down her bare arms.

"Mmm, yeah. Don't play slow with me, Champ. I can take it hard."

Can you? Nikki snapped her hands around Kyu's wrists and squeezed.

"Aw fuck!" The fairy phased out of the death grip, wincing and rubbing at her left wrist. "Shit, I just got my cast off, Champ! It still stings like a bitch!"

"I don't want you," Nikki declared, merciless in laying down the law. "I don't want any other humans or aliens or perverted fairies. I want Celeste! But now I'll never see her again and it's all because of you!"

"Yup, totally my fault! But hear me out – I've got a Plan B!" Nikki just shoved the Styrofoam coffee cup into the fairy's hands.

"Your capp. Now get out! If you ever come here again, I swear to God I'll kick your ass!"

"Kick whose ass, Nik? The fuck you talking to?"

Nikki looked up. Audrey stared at her from the café door, and the diva looked completely mystified. "You talking to yourself again?"

Are you blind? Did she have to throw up her hands and point? Over there, it's a god damn love fairy with wings and sparkles, bouncing around and flapping her injured hand! Then she remembered their invisibility. That's right, they get to choose who sees them. To Audrey, she'd been ranting to an empty café all this time.

"It's nothing," Nikki lied. "Gimmie a sec to clean up, Audrey. There's nobody here."


Walking down the boardwalk under the cool, starry night, Nikki took a moment to appraise her friend's wardrobe. Audrey was back to her extravagant Lolita dresses, her designer purses and her super-sized platform heels. To the world, her clothes were a blunt 'fuck you': That time you saw the Audrey Belrose dressing like a shut-in slob at the carnival? Well you must have been stoned out of your gourd, because this diva is still the most fabulous fashionista this crummy town's ever seen! Oh, and who asked you anyway? She doesn't give a damn what you think!

Nikki smiled, pleased that only she could read the deeper message in those frilly dresses. Ever since Audrey had yanked her from her apartment, the party girl had dressed exclusively in shades of blue. The message Nikki got came from the heart: You're worth it.

"That's a good look for you," she said, brushing a hand through Audrey's hair. Still jet black, but now with two streaks of sapphire framing her bangs.

The diva only scoffed. "Please, I make it look good."

"Yeah, yeah."

"Hey girls!" Tiffany's perky voice waved them over, her natural cheerfulness masking the fact that she'd been hospitalized with a concussion. To the cheerleader's credit, she only flinched momentarily after catching Nikki's eye. "Hey, Nikki."

"Oh. Hey, Tiffany." Her hands retreated awkwardly into their sleeves. "Um, sorry I was such a bitch to you."

"Aw, you don't need to keep apologizing! But um… no fairy talk for tonight, okay?"

"Oh, I am so done with that."

Tiffany clapped her hands. "Awesome possum! So, all set for karaoke?"

"Um, I guess. I mean, it's sort of like a rhythm game, right? Just with your voice, yeah?"

"Well, kinda. We'll walk you through it. Right, Audrey?"

"Oh my god, do you seriously not know what karaoke is? Do we need to use video games to give you a dumbed-down Sesame Street Story Time explanation every time you go out into the real world?"

Nikki sighed. "I'm buying the first drinks, aren't I?"

"Pssh! Like I'd drink your crappy colas. You're off the hook this time, but only because watching you try and sing in your shitty monotone is gonna be totally worth it."

"Audrey!" Tiffany swatted the diva on the shoulder, and that set the two of them off chasing each other and shrieking with laughter. Nikki smiled, but when they beckoned for her to come along, she hesitated. The sound of the sea filled her mind.

"Hey, can you guys give me a minute? I'm not flaking out or anything, I just ... I need to say goodbye to someone."

She doubted whether Tiffany understood, but Audrey caught her fiddling with the crystal bangle around her wrist. "Yeah, yeah. You know where to find us."


Free of jellyfish and spaceship debris, Turtle Bay Beach was open once more to Glenberry's surfers and sunbathers. Nikki spotted a few college kids drinking and partying around a late night bonfire, but she was able to find an empty stretch of beachfront where she could be alone. She curled up on a beach chair and gazed up at the night sky.

"I miss you," she whispered to the stars. "I miss you so much it hurts." Her arm reached for the distant galaxy, willing her crystal bangle to seize that one special star and bring it back to her.

"There's so much I want to say to you, so much I want to show you. So much I wish we could do together." The tears were welling up again. She paused and allowed her breathing to steady.

"But I can't keep living like this, Celeste. I can't keep waiting and worrying for you. I have to keep going." Her fingers took hold of the alien bracelet, the chain she'd kept over her wrist like a handcuff.

"I'll never forget you, but I won't forget what you said, either. I'm going to live my life. For both of us. So we can both be happy."

Her wrist felt strangely light without its crystal covering. Drawing the bangle to her lips, she gave it a farewell kiss and let it fall to the sand. It was a tiny thing, but in her mind it felt like she'd released herself from a prisoner's chain.  I'm free, she thought. Free to do what, she couldn't say, but she was free to discover that for herself. Nikki gave a final, longing look at the glowing alien jewel.

"Kos kan, Celeste."

The bracelet just sat lifelessly among the sand. Obviously, I mean, it's not like it's gonna –

It twitched.

Nikki stopped. Did that thing just -

It twitched again.

Nikki dropped to the ground, nose hovering above the crystal circlet. She held her breath and -

There! It twitched a third time, juking like a lab animal zapped with electricity, and third time was the charm: gifted with life once more, it started sliding through the sand, away from her.

Nikki clamped her hands over the bangle. She could feel it – the tug of a fisherman's lure on the end of an invisible thread. She stood with the bangle between her fingers. Up in the air, she could see and feel it swing, tugging her westward down the beach.

Nikki started running.


Farther and farther down the sandy beach, panting frantically. Sand gave way to stone; stone grew into boulders and soon she was climbing up mounds of rocky, seaside hills, puffing and sweating as she trooped to the summit of Breakneck Peak, a local diving spot. Nikki looked over the edge of the cliff, into the moonlit waters twenty feet below.

The bracelet urged her forward.

Lesser women would have whimpered and retreated quietly from this calling; more still would have shrugged it off as an impossible hallucination. A good excuse to fall back to the dance clubs, numb themselves on booze and music. But she was Nikki Ann-Marie. She embraced the unknown. She'd stealthed her way into an active crime scene with nothing but her wits and some scotch tape. She'd outrun alien monsters and freed a fairy princess from an evil dragon's lair. She'd fallen from a crumbling building just to be with the woman she loved. And right now she was scanning the dark waters and wondering what sort of chicken-shit tourist divers thought this cliff was a challenge!

Stowing her glasses in one hand, Nikki took a running start and jumped.

The dive underwater chilled her body, but she barely noticed. Deeper and deeper she swam, pulling herself towards a light in the darkness. There was moonlight here in the ocean. Artificial light.

A spotlight.

Nikki swam towards the glowing halo, and it expanded in greeting. The hatch was opening.

An invisible tractor beam guided her forward, welcoming her into a kind of decontamination pod. Sea water filtered out and Nikki gasped in the cold, refreshing air of a refrigerated ship. The hatch locked shut, and Nikki braced herself as the clank and whir of automated machinery filled the chamber. It's moving, she realized. The pod was moving from the outer hull, deeper inside until she –

The door clicked open. Barely containing herself, she exited to the cool, metal surface of a familiar chamber, silvery and smooth like the inside of a giant egg. Dimly lit to suit a pilot with night vision. Refrigerator chilled for the comfort of an arctic species.

Was this -?

"Kosoko kangai, Nikkeeee-da."

She jumped. Spinning around, she jumped again, seeing the blue-eyed security camera on its jointed stalk. The ship AI leapt back in mutual surprise. "Cogni!"

"I see that reversing the bracelet's polarity attracted your attention."

Was that a pun? Does she know how to make puns? Oh, who cares, it's Cogni! Nikki grabbed the ditzy little bowling pin and hugged her tight. "It really is you!" She really was aboard the Wraith's Wings! "Wait, how did you get back here? Won't the fairies know?"

"The ship has been substantially upgraded," a familiar voice explained. Nikki and Cogni glanced to the captain's chair, turned away towards the busy computer monitors. "With a visual refraction device installed, any tracking system will be hard pressed to discover this vessel."

Nikki's heart skipped a beat. "Celeste? Celeste, is it really –"

The chair swiveled. Nikki recoiled.

Human. The pilot looked like Celeste – tall, athletically built but … human. An Asian woman with flawless skin and black hair in a regal princess cut. Her unnatural, golden eyes were the only flaw in this terran form.

"A holo-cloak," the woman quickly explained. "More efficient than cosmetics. More … pleasing to the eye, I would think."

Nikki stepped towards this bizarre mirage that spoke in Celeste's gentle voice. The Norai allowed her to stand directly before her chair, but when Nikki reached a hand to touch her face, Celeste ducked away.

"Chiletto, the surgeons … there was only so much they could accomplish with my injuries."

Did she still think scars mattered to her? "Damn it, Celeste, just let me see you!"

Swallowing carefully, the alien nodded and punched several buttons on her wrist-top keyboard. The Asian face crackled and distorted, and then faded like a TV signal, leaving -

Celeste.

She'd cut her hair – lopped off the burnt strands and evened it out into a raggedy bowl cut, with only two long bangs of silver framing her cheekbones. Nikki pushed the hair aside, and Celeste shut her eyes as human hands explored the injured side of her face. Rondarr's laser bolt had cut across her cheek and back to her ear, leaving a white, waxy tattoo over her blue skin. "That's badass," Nikki whispered.

"It is shameful," Celeste countered, but she didn't stop Nikki's fingers from tracing across the puckered skin.

Nikki's hand explored further, towards a stark-white earlobe that felt cold and rubbery to touch. A red light blinked below the skin. Prosthetic. "I can tune it to radio frequencies. Communicate with Cogni without the need of a transmitter," Celeste explained softly. Her downcast eyes didn't entertain any great enthusiasm for having her body parts replaced.

Nikki nodded idly, her hands wandering higher. Celeste's horn was still sliced down to the ivory root, but the tip looked newly rounded, a bud covered in fuzzy white velvet. "It's growing back," Nikki whispered.

"It causes my head to feel… off-balanced," Celeste explained.

They stared at one another, lost for words. Nikki finally broke the silence by launching herself at Celeste.

"Chiletto!" The full-body tackle sent the chair crashing back, leaving Celeste pinned under her weight.

"I thought I lost you! That you'd never come back!" While she sobbed into Celeste's chest, her Valkyrie's powerful arms wrapped around her shoulders, pressing their bodies together. Callused fingers brushed through her hair.

"Where were you all this time?" Nikki sniffled.

Celeste looked away shamefully. "The closest medical station was in the Oryun cluster. It is an irreputable system known for its criminal activity, but I had datari for payment and the staff asked no questions." She picked at her ear a moment, then continued.

"After the surgeons released me, I followed my own counsel and continued my prior life. If returning to your planet would jeopardize your safety, then my only course was to move forward. I resumed collecting bounties, I drifted from one system to the next." Just recapping those empty days made Celeste's eyes glaze over.

"All my life, I took pride in being feared and despised, the terrible Koru-Shikai, but now, I had someone who would welcome my return. For the first time since I departed Tendricide, I had a home to return to." Celeste pulled a string necklace out from under her garment. A set of human apartment keys hung on the strand like a jeweled pendant.

"My resolve was set," she declared, "and I swore by the stars - pa na isho - that I would fight for you."

Nikki felt her chest squeeze, and she wondered how this woman knew exactly how to spur her heartbeat. "What did you do?" she asked.

"I began investigating systems known for cupidaemon folklore, searching for some knowledge or weapon I could use against my new enemies. My exploration brought me to a series of ancient ruins on the Shen'to home world. That was when I encountered her."

"Her?" Nikki repeated.

"Madame Butterfly, that's who! Miss me, Champ?"

Nikki yelped and scrambled from Celeste's lap. The pink-haired love fairy fawned over them.

"Aren't you two adorable?" Kyu cooed. "It's crazy how anyone would want to keep you girls from getting your same-sex, age-gaped, interspecies freak on!"

Sitting up, Celeste was less than pleased with her visitor. "We agreed you would notify me before boarding my vessel."

"And miss the big reunion? Yeah, fat chance. You two were this close to ending in tragedy porn, and I worked my buns off getting the gang back together!"

Nikki was stunned. "Kyu, you brought Celeste back?"

"Oh, she could've come back any time, Champ. She just would've had a shitload of trouble from my boss and her 'no outsiders' policy. Me? I saw something powerful as magic spark between you two – a sweet little dork and a badass bounty hunter babe, each of you looking for a little slice of home. I totally 'ship you two! It'd be like 'aw hell no,' if my new OTP fell apart!"

"Um… okay," Nikki blinked.

"So after that fiasco at the apartment, I scanned Bluebell's DNA off the clothes we snatched and logged her in my Huniebee to track! Once I saw that she was slumming around old fairy planets, all alone and sobbing for her sweetie bae, I knew it was high time to swoop in and save the day!"

Celeste clarified. "At the ruins, I unloaded an entire laser battery into her. When I realized she could phase-shift indefinitely, we agreed to talk and devised an arrangement."

"We went shopping!" Kyu squealed. "I set my girl up with that fancy personal hologram, then I pimped her ride with a sweet-ass cloaking system. After all, I can't have the fairy force pulling over our little starlet to check her ID every time she flies in for work."

"Work?" Nikki repeated.

"Yeah, y'see after this little episode with Lizard Man, I learned something: fairies suck ass when it comes to fighting rabid space dogs and asshole dinosaurs. Solution? Outsourcing! I figured we'd all be better off - human and fairy - if we hired a private contractor to look after local security." With a flourish, she gestured to Celeste.

"From now on, whenever anything nasty, tentacled or creepy-crawly crash lands on your planet, Bluebell here shows 'em to the door. With or without their arms. Lady's choice."

Nikki looked between the two otherworldly women, and her mind flashed to the masked goddess. "And your boss is okay with this? I thought she hated outsiders."

Here, Kyu winced and scratched her neck sheepishly. "Um… let's put it this way: what the Big V doesn't know won't hurt her, right? This arrangement is strictly off the books, if you get my drift."

In spite of the fairy's upbeat attitude, Nikki noticed that her fingers were trembling uncontrollably. She was defying a literal goddess to help them. Nikki reached out and took Kyu's hand in her own.

"Thank you," she whispered.

Kyu played off the quiet moment with a snort and a laugh. "Pssh! I'm a love fairy! Matchmaking lovable losers like you two dorks is what I do." Glancing quickly at Celeste, she added in whisper. "By the way, Champ, I'm putting you in charge of payroll. I hear she accepts payment in MasterCard, Visa and long, horny nights without any sleep."

Nikki winced. "You're so gross, you know that?"

"Oh, like you weren't thinking of it too!" Nikki didn't reply, but the fairy seemed satisfied with her mad blushing nonetheless.

"Hey, real talk, Champ? Look after her, okay? Make sure she's wearing that holo-cloak outdoors, 'cause you girls are on your own from now on. Me hanging around would only make the fae back home suspicious. My boss may be a lazy ass, but if word ever gets to her about you two … Well, she calls herself the goddess of love. Love can be a scary thing sometimes."

Nikki jumped a little when Celeste's hands clapped over her shoulders and pulled her into a possessive embrace. "If your so-called deity attempts to harm my Nicole, she will learn that I can just as easily be a goddess of war."

Even Kyu didn't dare joke over that threat.

The fairy nodded quickly. "Welp, I'd say it's smooth sailing fer this ship. Reckon it's time for me to ride off into the sunset, playas! Places to go, O-faces to see!"

Kyu's wings puttered to the walls but Nikki ran after her. "Hey, wait!" She had to know. "When you visited me at the café, offered to set me up with a harem... That was just a test, right? To see if I still loved Celeste? I mean, when you started stripping, you weren't really offering to –"

Kyu's foxy grin cut her off. "Thirsty for answers, Champ? You could always buy me a drink and find out."

"Yeah, um... Pass." Some mysteries were best left unsolved.

"Whatevs! Be seein' ya, Bluebell!"

"Never approach my mate again, cupidaemon."

A green-eyed smirk. "Keep her satisfied, space girl, and I won't have to."

In a jet of pink sparkles, Kyu phased through the ship walls, leaving Nikki with much to think over. Their boss is a complete bitch and they're completely perverted, but I guess they mean well, these 'fairies of love'.

Alone once more, Celeste approached her slowly, arms cautiously slipping around her shoulders as though asking, is this acceptable? In reply, Nikki jumped into her lover's arms for a long overdue kiss.

At least they know a good match when they see one.


"Are you certain this form is acceptable?"

They were walking up the boardwalk into the city, and Nikki scanned Celeste one final time for reassurance. They'd spent a good half hour tinkering with her holo-cloak's projection, stripping away the hair and ethnic ornamentation for something basic. Her skin was pale pink, her horns were hidden and her clothes appeared human, but otherwise she was Celeste.

"It's good. It's you," Nikki insisted. They'd argued back and forth about keeping the scar across her cheek, but in the end Nikki had conceded to a smooth-skinned image. That was a discussion for another day.

"So you're the unofficial guardian of Earth," Nikki continued, switching topics. "I guess you'll be kinda busy."

"According to the cupidaemon, your planet has witnessed five visitations by extraterrestrials over your last century. This includes Rondarr and myself." Celeste smiled. "I anticipate I will have ample leisure time during this mission."

"You'd better," Nikki warned, snuggling up against Celeste's arm. "Cause you've got a lot of missed dates to make up for." She'd been dreaming about this reunion and had every detail planned.

"First, we're going to the karaoke parlour so I can show off my awesome girlfriend to Audrey and Tiffany. Then, you're taking me dancing, somewhere nice where we can slow-dance and hold each other. And when my feet get sore from twirling around so much, you have to carry me home." She squeezed Celeste a little tighter. "And you have to keep me up all night long."

Celeste purred with arousal, and Nikki squealed as she was pulled into another heart-stopping kiss. Celeste's hands began prowling under the hem of her sweater, and loathe as she was to pull free, they kinda were in public...

"Hey look, it's a shooting star!" Celeste followed her pointing hand and frowned.

"Shooting -? Nicole, that is merely passing debris incinerating in your atmosphere. A star is -"

"I can tell a star from a comet, Celeste!" Ugh, another non-literal expression. "Just make a wish!"

The Norai tilted her head. "Why?"

"Look, it's a human superstition. It's good luck to see a shooting star so ..." There she went, tilting her head again. "Oh, just look at it with me. It's supposed to be romantic or something!"

"Ah."

Arm in arm, they gazed up at the sparkling diamonds of the Milky Way, the treasure trove of alien wonders that had enthralled Nikki's imagination all her life. "There's gotta be at least a billion of them out there," she marveled.

"At minimum," Celeste agreed.

"And there must be millions like the Sun, with living worlds of their own all full of amazing creatures and people."

"It is very likely."

Nikki sighed.  "All those possibilities and here we are.” A nowhere city on a nowhere planet. No warp drive technology, no advanced AI; not even freaking lightsabers! All it had was the friends who cared for her, the family that supported her, and the woman who made her feel like she was the center of the universe.

"Here we are," Celeste agreed. "I could not ask for a more wonderful place to call my home."

And as her Valkyrie pulled her into the first of many kisses to come, Nikki couldn't help but agree.

Fin 

HuniePop: The Bounty Hunter's Escort (ch. 18)
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A big thank you to all of my readers for sticking through with this story to the very end.  Thanks for putting up with my sporadic chapter updates, and for cheering me on with your comments.  It's been great fun and really helpful to get your thoughts and insights on Nikki's journey.

A preview chapter for my next story will be coming soon!
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:iconhuniepop-fan: is hosting a new contest, and the theme of the day is moms!  Stories and artwork are both being accepted.

First and second place winners can request story prompts from me.  Get out there and get creative!

Shoes paced restlessly down a metal deck. Mechanical arms clicked and whirred over their surgical work. A sharp gasp of pain, which Nikki hushed back with her hands and her voice. "Easy, it's okay. You'll be okay."

From behind her came a shaky murmur. "An alien … a real live, god-damn alien."

Audrey rotated on the spaceship's deck in slow, disbelieving circles, sucking on a cigarette the way a hospital patient might grab an oxygen mask for relief. She'd kept placid long enough to help drag Celeste up the ramp, but once inside her mind retreated in shellshock.

"Nik, this is all real, isn't it?"

Nikki didn't reply, didn't even notice the question. Her senses were focused entirely on her wounded Valkyrie; she wouldn't have noticed the diva if she were swearing and prying up the metal floorboards. She barely noticed Cogni's spare camera body peering over her shoulder at the raised medical stretcher, where segmented pincer arms worked over Celeste's inert form with needles and laser cutters. Another gasp. She gripped Celeste's hand in both of her own, wishing she could absorb and take on the hurt herself.

"You'll be okay," she repeated. "You're onboard the ship. Cogni's going to fix you up. It's gonna be okay."

In the back of her mind, she wondered just who she was trying to convince. Celeste was hanging on by a thread.

The skin around her shattered horn was black with blood. Burns and blisters from the slave bracer seared her arms and chest. Cogni had injected her full of painkillers and stemmed the worst of the bleeding but there were just so many wounds to treat. Celeste's body trembled with lingering pain and her breathing came in shallow gasps.

"You're safe…" she coughed. "Pa na isho, you're safe…"

"Of course Nikki's safe! She had you looking out for her, right?" Audrey stomped over to the table with a blustery grin plastered on her face.

"Nik, this is nothing! You should've seen this bitch slice up that giant monster thing at the docks! Ran up with nothing but a shiv and she's hacking and stabbing that fucker into a bloody, green hamburger! I got tossed in the air like a chew toy, and this chick comes up and catches me!" She leveled a smirk at Celeste. "Just had to have a big, damn hero moment, huh?"

Celeste did her best to chuckle. "Enduring your … driving skills … required … far more bravery."

"Please! Nik, get this – after we dumped Tiff with the paramedics, this bitch starts barking at me like, 'I require vehicular transport! Take me to the forested region!' Well of course I'm gonna drive like a bat outta hell!" Audrey took a fresh puff and laughed out the smoke. "I seriously thought you were Australian, you know that?"

"And I … convinced myself … you were … intelligent enough … to remain hidden." Celeste's words shook with displeasure, and yet she raised her finger in the Earth gesture of approval. Audrey smirked and flashed back both middle fingers.

"Bitch, please! I'm the naughtiest donkey you ever met!" Then she clapped Nikki on the shoulder. "See, Nik? She's gonna pull through in no time!"

The cigarette trembled between her fingers, but Nikki took the hint and forced herself to smile.

"Y-yeah," she declared weakly. "Celeste, you're going to pull through this. We'll take you back to my place – I'll get the bedroom all set up for you to rest. I'll take the week off work and look after you! And when you're healed up, we'll hit the town and celebrate! Bowling, dancing, um–"

"A target range … to practice your … firearms."

"Yeah! Anything you want! We'll take Audrey and Tiffany; Cogni, you can use one of your bird remotes and come too, right?"

She turned to the camera bot, inviting the AI to join in their illusion. Cogni narrowed her aperture like she was squinting with incomprehension.

"The bleeding has been stabilized, but these wounds are beyond my capacity to treat. Ki-Celeste must be placed into cryo-sleep and transported to the nearest medical starport."

On cue, a floor compartment hissed open, summoning a glass capsule similar to what Rondarr had used to lock up Kyu and Anton. To Nikki, it looked like a metal coffin. So it had come to this.

"Right … c'mon."

She and Audrey each took a shoulder, and with the help of Cogni's tractor beams they settled Celeste into the capsule's padded interior. Audrey stood by awkwardly while Nikki crouched to whisper her assurances.

"Celeste, we're gonna put you to sleep now, okay? We're gonna get you help."

Her Valkyrie raised her lips in a smile. "Cryogenic … transportation. Nicole, let me … see you … once more. Before I wake … from this precious dream."

Nikki went livid. "What're you saying? I'm coming with you! I'll stay with Cogni, make sure she gets you somewhere safe! I'm gonna make sure you're okay."

"Cogni will … direct… the physicians. Your presence… will merely… cause alarm."

Her presence. Right, her alien presence. Out among the stars, she would be the anomaly carted off to a galactic government lab for dissection and study.

"But you'll come back," Nikki added. "As soon as you're fixed up, you'll come back to me!"

Burdened with memory, Celeste's eyes fell away.

"Nicole … you recall … the cupidae-"

"We talked about the love fairies. They told us about Rondarr, right? They want to keep us safe!"

"They want you... kept... hidden," Celeste wheezed. "Your world ... Nicole, they ... present themselves as gods ... compassionate spirits ... but they - they -" She broke off into coughing. Nikki held her hand until she was done.

"Chiletto, they ... demanded that I leave. They declared that ... if I did not depart ... they would ..."

She couldn't finish, but recalling their threats brought strength flowing back into her eyes. "I will not allow them to harm you," she declared.

"So you're leaving me?" Nikki squeezed Celeste's hand tight, refusing to let go. "No… No! You can't just give up like this!" Not after all they had gone through to be here! "We're supposed to be together, Celeste! I …" Her voice was falling to pieces, but she forced her lips to part.

"Celeste, I love you."

The pain in Celeste's face wasn't just from her injuries. "Ashi iko cho, Chiletto. I adore you with all my soul…" She swallowed. "But this is … an opponent … I cannot best."

What had they said to her? What kind of threats had these kindly, pink fairies made to her Valkyrie? She forced her mind to search back, to peer at those searing, white flashes of memory and scrape up some glimmer of a clue. Ugh! Still nothing but blanks.

"You have to come back! Celeste, I need you. I need you to be with me. I can't go back to being alone."

A touch. A caress of trembling fingertips across her cheek, like she was a priceless treasure to be handled with utmost care. But Celeste didn't see frailty.

"You are so much... stronger than you realize..." she smiled softly, "and you are never... alone." Her eyes drifted to the raven haired girl shivering in the refrigerated ship. "Live your life... Nicole Ann Marie. I can be happy... knowing you are safe."

Why couldn't she see reason? Nikki rifled through her dress, found the keys to her apartment and pressed them into Celeste's palm.

"Come back to me." She didn't care about fairies or gods or any other supernatural crap that dared to threaten them. "Just come back home."

The metallic floor trembled as engines came online. Cogni lowered on her periscope arm to get at eye level with the capsule.

"Coordinates set, Ki-Celeste. We must depart." Audrey's hand touched Nikki's shoulder.

"Nik, c'mon - this thing's starting to move."

The capsule lid began to seal, and only Audrey's quick reflexes kept the glass from shutting over Nikki fingers. Even as she was pulled backwards, Nikki's eyes fixed to Celeste like they were tied by invisible strings. Then a hiss of frosty air filled the tube, obscuring the glass. The ship's machinery retracted the capsule into the floor.

"No!" Nikki lunged after it but Audrey had pinned her tight around the arms. The ship was rumbling towards takeoff but she didn't care. She wanted - needed to stay! "I have to – I have to be with her!"

"You heard the robot. Everybody off! This ship's leaving!"

She fought the diva every step of the way, kicking and flailing, but Audrey still dragged her down the ramp and outside, where the blasts of steam and heat made it impossible to race forward.

The Wraith's Wings rose on thunderous thrusters, maneuvered its sickle-wings skyward and exploded into the atmosphere. Nikki chased the afterburners higher and higher, following until the ship's fire was just another pinprick of light among the countless stars.

The dust settled, the wind died and the forest returned to its natural stillness.

Celeste was gone, back among the heavens.

Leaving her here.

Alone.

-------------------

Wind whipped through her blue hair as Nikki watched the dull, orange haze of Glenberry grow on the horizon. Riding shotgun in Audrey's red convertible, it wasn't speed that blurred her sightlines, but the tears welling up in her eyes.

Audrey's fingers tapped restlessly on the wheel. She'd tried turning on the radio, but the cheery pop songs felt so out of place and she settled for silence. Nikki could feel the diva glancing at her, nervously chewing her lip until she finally grunted in frustration.

"Are you just gonna sit there? For fuck's sake, I just watched an alien goat-woman stab a dinosaur through the chest and take off in a motherfucking spaceship! And that's after I was almost eaten by some god-damn tentacle monster from outer space! Fuck, maybe you can just shrug it off, but I need to talk!"

"I thought I had things figured out," Nikki murmured against Audrey's outburst. She'd always been guilty of drifting through life, not really thinking of the future. Being with Celeste had given her purpose. She'd been gifted a shining, blue beacon to light her way, granting her a life - a love - to strive towards.

"You know that building that collapsed downtown? That was Celeste, and I was there. Just trying to talk to her. I almost fell from the roof and got crushed, that's how bad I wanted to be with her! And now she's gone. She's gone. Audrey, what am I supposed to do now?"

Audrey's only reply was to continue driving. Then -

"Couple months back, I met this guy." Audrey grunted, lighting another cigarette as she drove. "Guess you could say he was the perfect guy. Nice to look at, cared for animals, made me smile. A god-damn saint. Sure as hell didn't work out."

Nikki turned her head. "What happened?"

Audrey didn't respond all at once. Her eyes and hands tensed with that glazed, spaced-out look she'd emitted at the café, and then again at the diner and the dance club. For a moment, Nikki worried that the car would slip into the ditch, then -

"Oh fuck this! Wasted enough time getting mopey over that piece of shit." Audrey shook herself from the trance, snorting and flicking her cigarette down the highway.

"Let's just say he wasn't after me for my personality. Tried to get me drunk so he could rip off my dress and get all grabby…"

Nikki stiffened. "Did he –"

"Tiff showed up and stopped him, okay? Fuck, I don't know why I'm telling you this. I mean, your girlfriend just shanked a guy in the chest to keep you safe; that's how much you meant to her." She drummed her fingers on the wheel. "I guess both our happy endings turned out shitty. Just shrug it off and keep going, I guess."

Nikki didn't answer that heresy. How do I go on without Celeste?

"Fuck!" Audrey blurted as they pulled up to Nikki's apartment building. "Tiffany – she's probably at the hospital right now. I gotta go find her. You coming?"

Nikki shook her head. "Audrey, I need some time alone. You'll text me, though? When you find her?"

"Never did bother taking you off speed dial." Nikki shut the car door but Audrey didn't leave immediately. "You sure? I don't do this break-up crap like, ever but … aren't I supposed to make you coffee? Buy a bunch of ice cream so we can gush and all that crap?"

"I’m not hungry," Nikki sighed. Then she paused. "That story about that guy.  Audrey … that was some scary shit.  You don’t deserve that.”

“Yeah, well you don’t deserve to be trashed because you’re into girls, but there’s some real assholes out there.”  Her eyes drifted shamefully.  Nikki swallowed carefully.

“Hey, maybe … can we hang out later?”

Ruby eyes smirked her way.  "Why not?  Someone's gonna have to drag you out of that apartment. Might as well be someone fabulous."

"Fuck you," Nikki scoffed, and Audrey returned her grin.

"Only in your dreams, bitch."

It wasn't until the diva drove off that the full weight of the emptiness hit her.

Celeste was gone.

-----------------------------------

Nikki shuffled up the stairwell in a daze while her mind grappled with this new reality.

Celeste was gone.

Upstairs, there'd be no one to greet her. When she opened her apartment door, there'd be no one waiting to ask her about her day. Playing video games, the second controller would go unused. No one shaking her head at Star Fox's 'intriguing interpretations of interstellar lifeforms' or flailing wildly at Sonic's 'confounded targeting reticles!'

After she brushed her teeth and slipped on her pajamas, there'd be no one waiting in bed to scoop her into her arms, kiss her softly on the neck and hold her in a warm hug as they snuggled off to sleep.

Celeste really was gone.

But she had to be coming back! She had to! What about all the stuff she left at the apartment? Weapons, clothing … Her projector sphere!

Nikki rushed up the stairs with new purpose. She wanted to bolt inside, gather up all these little mementos and hold them tight, breathing in her lover's heavy, lavender musk. It would only be a shadow, but she'd still have a piece of Celeste next to her heart.

Shit, how am I gonna get in? Giving Celeste her apartment keys was starting to feel more rash than romantic. She'd locked herself out! It had been sheer luck that a neighbour had propped open the back entrance after a smoke break. Was she going to have to sleep in the hallway? Maybe I should have gone with Audrey…

Arriving on her floor, Nikki was immediately puzzled by one suite's opened door and the boxes piled in front of it. Someone moving out at midnight? Wonder who's apart- ? Wait, that's my apartment! Nikki dashed down the hall and through her front door.

The fairies rummaging through her belongings all looked up at once.

Love fairies. Each one sporting bright, pastel hair, short dresses in floral designs and wings like butterflies and katydids. One had been stuffing Celeste's clothes into a pink packing crate. A second had been browsing the files on her computer, finger tapping the delete key. More still had been tracing wands and spray bottles over her walls and bedsheets like a winged home cleaning service.

They were sterilizing her apartment.

"Holy shit! Ladies – check this out!" The silent stares broke when one oblivious fairy with pink hair phased into the main room, waving Celeste's black evening gown in her hands. "It's one of those Kajad all-night stripper dresses! Ho ho, someone was gettin' bi-zay in here!"

Nikki couldn't believe her eyes. "Kyu?"

The fairy turned, and her party girl cheer morphed into the mortified look of a teen busted by her parents. The dress dropped to the floor.

"Champ?" The nickname cinched it. Kyu - the cop, Tiffany's roommate, Rondarr's kidnapping victim. She was a fairy. "Wh-what're you -? I mean, you're supposed to -"

"That's Celeste's dress!" Nikki shouted. Her horrified mind raced through every tender moment shared with her lover in that gown, every nervous touch and heated gasp. Nikki stomped forward and seized the leather dress in her arms, daring the pink fairy to try and defile it with her jokes.

"What's going on here? What're you people doing in my apartment?"

While the pink fairy fumbled for an answer, another sprite with fiery red hair and a leg brace flew forward and slapped Kyu upside the head.

"I thought you were monitoring that tracking charm, Sugardust! Janus' junk, she's not supposed to see this!"

"You would have had to return for her phone anyway," a regal voice commented from the kitchenette. "Just get it done now."

"Right away." Snapping to attention like a soldier, the red-haired fairy marched up and phased her hand into Nikki's pocket, plucking out her smart phone. "Hey!" Nikki swiped at the fairy, but her hand slipped through the magical girl like she was made of mist.

"Oh lovely," the ginger fairy grunted. "She had the entire crash-landing recorded with commentary! Minerva's mammaries, she could've put this all on their Internet!" She grumbled to herself as she began deleting the videos.

"You can't do that!" Again, Nikki grabbed at the fairy. Again, her hand slipped through. She might as well have been threatening a hologram. All around her, the fairies resumed their work:

"Computer clear?"

"No vids or pics, all good!"

"Hey, I need some more sanitizer for these sheets!"

"Just a sec – and check underneath the bed too!"

"Hey, is this human toothpaste?"

"Just take it all. Better safe than sorry!"

Nikki had seen this trope play out in so many sci-fi stories: a team of black-ops agents combing over a crash site and scrubbing it clean of all alien presence. Except instead of black-suited CIA agents these were flowery fairies, aliens in their own right! Aliens in charge of an alien cover-up!

A neon blue haired fairy stepped forward and yanked Celeste's dress from her grip. Celeste. They were taking away Celeste!

"You can't do this," she cried out, launching herself at each fairy in turn, trying to paw at them. "Those are Celeste's clothes! You can't take those!" To the bedroom. Before they find it! I have to save -

"Heads up, another tech piece!"

Nikki froze in horror. Celeste's projector sphere – they were loading it into one of their boxes!

"Noo!" Nikki dove in, and for just a second she was able to grab and tug at the box. Then the startled fairies extended their phasing powers and she was sent tumbling while they scurried out with their prize. "You can't take that! She stores her pictures in there! It’s all the memories she has left of her planet!  Please, those are her memories!"

She tried following the fairies, but then she noticed one especially tall and green-haired sprite poking her head into the fridge. They're raiding my food too? Wait, why didn't this fairy have any wings? She'd been giving orders before. Was she a supervisor?

"Hey, that's my mom's quiche! You can't just –"

Then the woman turned and Nikki's protest dropped along with her jaw. All of space and time fell away. She's … oh wow! The night was cold and miserable but this masked woman glowed like a warm fire. Nikki's feet staggered mindlessly towards her promise of warmth and comfort.

"Needs more salt," was all the woman grunted. No, not a woman – a goddess! Her flawless, centerfold body was crowned with a golden theatre mask and it kept sliding up her face as she shovelled forkloads of scrambled egg into her dainty, ruby lips. Just that innocent flash of a chin or a lower lip sent Nikki trembling like she'd been treated to a full-frontal striptease. Her goddess licked her lips and spoke to her, but the words came in clipped:

"Well, you mother … passable … Don't suppose … napk… in your …" Wait, what was she… saying? Hard to … remember…

Don't look at her!

Celeste's voice hit her like cold water, and Nikki dropped to her knees, duck and cover style, hands pressed over her eyes. She's the one. She's the one that messed with my memories! Nikki could hear the regal click of high heels as the woman approached. She squeezed her eyes into thin lines.

"Why're you doing this?" she whimpered. The goddess seemed amused by her trembling.

"Darling, don't take it personally - this is just the regular clean-up after your planet entertains guests. There's other teams decontaminating the carnival grounds and the nature preserve as we speak. Any evidence of visitors from beyond your planet, my fairies make it vanish." She paused to enjoy her purloined meal.

"Panic has such a distasteful flavor," she continued. "You people are so much easier to manage when you think you're the only intelligent species in the universe."

So she was the one in charge of this conspiracy. That meant she had the power to make it right again! "Celeste – you have to let her come back!"

"Let me guess," the goddess began in a mocking tone, "because you're madly in love with her? Because you're star-crossed lovers meant for each other?" A disapproving cluck of the tongue. "It gets so boring listening to you virgins blather on like broken records. Think for a minute: she's a cold-climate species with an extreme metabolism. Assuming you could keep her fed, your little love bird would still fry like an egg in this planet's summers."

"We'd find a way," Nikki objected. "We'd make it work!"

"How sweet. A long distance relationship? Please, I know how that little game ends: other mercenaries start tracking her; they trail her to this little, blue haven. Or she gets lonely and lets her secret slip over a few drinks. Soon enough your planet is a bustling galactic port, you're all learning and intermingling. You start swapping stories about culture and folklore."

Nikki finished the thought. "And someone comes to warn us about the con-artist cupidaemons and their shitty, memory-eating fake goddess!"

Time stopped. The fairies at their work – moving boxes, deleting files – it all stopped. A furious shadow fell over Nikki.

"Are you arguing with me?"

Invisible hands snatched at her shoulders, yanked her into the air like a puppet on strings. The golden mask loomed over her face with the furious fire of the sun. It was coming off.

"Oh, you can't keep those little eyes shut forever," the goddess taunted. Her finger trailed across Nikki's cheek; Nikki gasped at the contact. "Look at me," she demanded. "Look at me and let me take the hurt away."

The same invisible arms holding her up were now prying at her eyelids. The golden mask was raised and the light behind it was blinding.

"I'm going to find you people, you 'fairies'," Nikki promised. "I'm going to make sure the whole world knows what you cupidaemons really are! "

And just like that, her strings were cut and she fell to the floor. The goddess’ mask was back in place and the woman stared at her with that expressionless, gold facade.

Her head tipped back in howling laughter.

"I haven't – I haven't laughed in … oh, I'm in stitches, you're so adorable!" Nikki risked a glance up, saw her leaning on the kitchen counter and gasping for air.

"Good luck with that," the goddess smirked, snapping her fingers and waltzing out the door. The fairies understood their cue.

"Kay, ladies – time to pack it up!" The fairies! One by one they were taking the last of the boxes out the door. Nikki dashed after them.

"No! Please don't do this!" She begged them, grovelled before them; tried to snatch at their wrists to plead but only phased through their ethereal bodies. Nikki tumbled to the floor and her glasses bounced off her face.

"My glasses!" Shit, not now, not when the last fairy had just left! She patted the floor, trying to find them in the blur.

"Here." Slender fingers handed over her lenses. Nikki refit her glasses and the pink haze kneeling before her refocused.

Kyu.

"Back there," the fairy coughed, "that was just me showing off for the girls. You know that, right?"

"How could you?" The rage she'd leveled at Audrey? That had been a warm-up. This was undiluted, righteous fury and if she could, she'd slap the fairy where she stood. "You're a love fairy! You're supposed to help people find their soul mates, not rip us apart!"

"Champ, we all got jobs we gotta do. You know all about keeping your boss happy, right? I mean, making the Big V laugh like that? Genius! Pure genius!"

Nikki couldn't believe the excuses pouring like puke from this girl's mouth. "I saved your life and all you can do is rant about your lousy job? Celeste was right," she scowled. "You people really are monsters."

The way the fairy staggered, Nikki's emotions might as well have been bullets. Kyu's entire body drooped shamefully, wings and all, like she was shouldering an immense, invisible pile of rocks. "Champ, I …" she stopped. Her eyes opened at alarm and she pointed to the crystal bangle over Nikki's wrist. "Wait, is that –?"

"Miss Sugardust? I believe I said we were leaving." The dreaded high heels clicked down the hallway, and the masked goddess peered through the doorway. Kyu slapped both her hands over Nikki's wrist and whispered for silence.

A bright and perky grin greeted the fairy goddess. "Yep! On my way, boss. Just had to remove her tracking charm!" A hand waved over Nikki's shoulder, causing pink sparks to burst painlessly from her skin. "Just gotta do a quick maintenance spell and we're good."

For a long moment, the golden mask bore holes into the fairy's nervous grin. Finally, a shrug. "Don't keep me waiting." And she waltzed off, muttering something about needing a drink.

Kyu released her wrist, and they both stared at the bracelet’s white fire, the hidden token linking them together.

"This isn't right," Kyu muttered, eyes puffy and red. "By the Botoxed bitch I call my boss, this isn't right. But this is all I can do. I'm sorry, Champ. I'm really, really sorry."

She stood and ran out the door.

Nikki looked around at her apartment, her home, scrubbed clean of every trace of Celeste's presence. The luggage, the clothing she'd brought – gone. Nikki went to the bedroom, seized the bedsheets and inhaled. The stale odor of disinfectants assaulted her nostrils.

It was like Celeste had never existed - that her laughter had never echoed through these rooms, that cloven feet had never clicked across these floors. That her adoring, golden eyes had never gazed upon a lonely little girl like she was the most treasured being in all the galaxy.

Nikki fell to the bed, clutching at the alien bracelet and its faint glow like embers in a dying fire.

Now she truly was alone.

"Let's cut to the chase," the love fairy proclaimed, walking up the now clear driveway. "There's some be-autiful ladies in this town I know an amazon like you will just love-love-LOVE to throw around the bedroom.  Since you're a former client, you should still have your Huniebee. Lets me skip showing you the basics."

Tala leaned on one leg, giving Kyu a blatant look. "Yes, I think I still have my woman Pokedex somewhere..."
 

Have I got a story for you guys!  A Woman’s Woman by Typhoon Boom.

This story is a collaboration between Typhoon and myself.  We’ve been writing scenes together for several months, and we’re finally ready to launch!

What’s to recommend?

  • It’s a Huniepop harem story. Audrey, Nikki and Aiko are all on our lady-killer’s hit-list so far.  
  • It’s a lesbian harem story.  Our protagonist is Tala - a fit, Irish redhead who puts the ‘alpha’ in Alpha Female.  Tala’s a former love fairy client - a veteran reluctantly roped in by Kyu to play the field again. (read: do this or I’ll pester you to death!)  Hoping to enjoy a nice vacation in Glenberry, Tala’s at first peeved by her new assignment, but quickly changes her tune as she meets a sexy math teacher, befriends a cute nerd and a butts heads with fiery fashionista.
  • It’s got a supernatural twist.  Aliens, fairies and monsters are all commonplace in this version of Glenberry, and Tala’s job puts her in close contact with all things weird.  Nikki isn’t the only conspiracy expert in this story.
  • It gets plenty steamy as the relationships build.  Emotional arcs and bedroom scenes?  Yes please!
  • I’m a co-author! If you’ve enjoyed stories like The Love Fairy’s Apprentice and Braving the Plunge, I guarantee you’ll like this one too!

   

So come on down and check out  A Woman’s Woman!  Drop us a review while you’re there. (Anonymous comments are accepted!)  Let us know what you’re looking forward to or enjoying in Tala’s HuniePop journey.  

 

deviantID

Cypher-DS
Cypher DS
Canada
Hello, and thank you for stopping by!

This profile will host, "Redemption's Fall", the written adaptation of my Pokemon Emerald Nuzlocke.

The story can be enjoyed on its own merits, but for those of you who follow Nuzlocke Challenges, below is the modified ruleset governing my challenge:


1. Catch only the first non-ghost Pokemon encountered on each route, town or cave.
a. Excluding ghosts, you may own only one (1) Pokemon of each type.
b. Nrm/Fly = Flying Type. Otherwise, Pokemon are categorized by their Type 1.
c. The "first non-ghost Pokemon" encountered on a route is defined as "first of a type you do not yet own". If a pokemon whose type you already own appears, you must ignore it and catch the next permitted pokemon.

2. Nickname all Pokemon.

3. Create four storage boxes titled as follows: Earth, Purgatory, The Inferno and Paradise.

4. If a Pokemon faints then its mortal life has ended and its soul must await judgement. Perma-box it in "Purgatory".

5. For each soul in Purgatory you may catch one (1) ghost Pokemon. The gender and nickname of this ghost must correspond to one of the souls lost in limbo.

6. Ghost Pokemon are creatures from beyond this world. Consequently, they are unaffected by Earthly tokens. Ghosts may be healed at Pokemon centers but they cannot hold, use or benefit from any items in or out of battle.

7. If a Ghost Pokemon faints then its connection to this mortal world is severed. Perma-box it - along with its mortal equivalent - in "The Inferno", where it will live out an eternity of torment.

8. It is said that the energies of a Legendary Pokemon are capable of cleansing the sins of any lost soul. In exchange for condemning a Regi, Kyogre, Groudon, Rayquaza or Lati_s to the Inferno (i.e. catch it and box it in Hell), you may transfer one lost Pokemon from "Purgatory" to "Earth".
a. If the rescued Pokemon had a Ghost equivalent then release that ghost, as its body and soul have been reconnected.
b. Mark all resurrected Pokemon. If it faints a second time, Perma-box it in "The Inferno".

Comments


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:icondotta-natural:
Dotta-Natural Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
You have interesting stuff here.
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:iconpetersfay:
PeterSFay Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Merry Christmas, friend!

Merry christmas everybody Christmas- Pikachu Santa Sansta Christmas Icon Merry Christmas - fella (Universe) Candy Cane Christmas ver. Christmas Holly medium emoticon 
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:iconcypher-ds:
Cypher-DS Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2017
Thanks, Peter.  I hope you're enjoying the new year so far.
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:iconpetersfay:
PeterSFay Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Hey, thanks for the watch! I am really digging your Hunie Pop fan fiction.
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:iconcypher-ds:
Cypher-DS Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2016
No problem.  I'd like to keep in touch and see what sort of projects you're up to.
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:iconumbreongal:
UmbreonGal Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2016  Student Digital Artist
Thanks for the :+devwatch:
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:iconminasongoose:
minasongoose Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2016  Student Digital Artist
Thanks for the watch! Real nice talking with you! :D
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:iconfantasylover64:
Fantasylover64 Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
HIOahsdoiheiohaoishdioeha thank you sosososososososo much for the watch!!! It means so much to me >w< :iconbrohugplz:
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:iconkitsyarts:
KitsyArts Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2013  Student
hey thanks for commenting on my nuzlocke, pg 2 is up if you want to read it.
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:iconmr-bangala:
Mr-Bangala Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for the watch; I'll be sure to try to not disappoint. Also I can help you with your egg hunt I'll just have to go home first to pick up the friend code. =)
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