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Your hands clutch at the warm cup sitting in front of you. You’re getting used to the coffee here, it’s not really coffee, at least not as you know it, but it is warm, bitter, and seems to keep you up. The flavors here leave something to be desired but it’s better than falling asleep at random times while you continue to train your body to a diurnal schedule. And the coffee shop is a nice place to meet new people as well as hold important gatherings of those you already know.

One such gathering is happening today. You asked Elwurd and Tyzias to meet you here. They sit at your table, both looking at you with expectant expressions. They already have drinks as well, you’d gotten here early and ordered for them. Well you’d ordered for Elwurd, Tyzias just came in with her mug. Arriving early had given you an opportunity to scope out a table. You wanted somewhere out of the way but not so discreet that people would become suspicious of you.

You felt as though you’d chosen a decent spot but as you chew your lip trying to figure out how to go about this you worry this may have not been a great idea. Really as much as you loved these two, they didn’t seem like they would mesh well but…well they’re the only friends you have who you know have – or had – matesprits. And that’s what you need help with.

Tyzias watches you as she sips from her mug, and you’re not sure why she’s allowed to have it in here. You try to chalk it up to alien differences but it just seems like a bad business practice to let patrons bring in their own drinks. But then again, the servers are rust and gold bloods and you have two mid bloods with you so maybe they wanted to protect themselves. Or maybe they just don’t care.

A few more moments of silence pass as you continue to worry about how unprepared you are for what you need when Elwurd breaks the quiet.

“So…are you here to announce an undying love for me? Or you want an auspice or what?” Elwurd asks. She doesn’t sound annoyed, it’s playful and you grace her with a smile. You suppose you should get to the point of this meeting.

Best to just be out with it. Do it quick. Like a Band-Aid.

But it’s still fucking embarrassing! You pull the hood of your (Mallek’s) hoodie up and tug the strings tight to hide your face, your vision becomes obscured. “I think I like a boy.” You admit your voice muffled by the fabric.

“What?” Elwurd asks.

You tilt your head so your mouth sticks out of the opening. “I think I like a boy.” You repeat.

Elwurd makes a sound like you just punched her and you peak out of your make shift hiding spot to see a disgusted look on her face.

Tyzias’ expression remains flat and she comments, “Congratulations. Wwwwhy are wwwwe here?”

“I don’t know what to doooo!” You whine, trying to sound as needy and pathetic as possible while letting the hood loosen enough so your friends can see your pleading eyes and pouting face.

“Have you tried telling himmmm?” Tyzias asks, she doesn’t look moved by your expressiveness.

“What? No! You never tell someone you like them it makes you look like an idiot!” You shoot back, your face heating up.

“Ok, I don’t have timmmme for this.” Tyzias mutters, as she moves to stand up. You feel hurt, and a little stupid. You’d wanted help and known the kind of person Tyzias was. It would have been better to outright ask for advice. You’re ready to resign in defeat when Elwurd holds a hand to stop Tyzias.

“Tell us about this boy, maybe then we can get your red quadrant all squared away and move on to more interesting topics.” Elwurd states, leaning back in her seat and taking a long glance around the shop. Tyzias sighs and sits back down, but doesn’t look happy about it. She gestures for you to speak before resting her elbow on the table and placing her head in her hand.

You sigh and remove the hood fully. “Thanks guys, I appreciate it.” You tell them with a smile before taking a deep breath. You tell them about Mallek. You explain how you met, how you’d pretended to be a robot for a bit. You told them how you had tried flirting with him and dropped his phone in the water. You told them how he threw you in the water and then saved you. You had to take a little extra time to explain it was fine and no he hadn’t hurt you or anything.

You tell them that he likes technology and that he’s into body modification. Elwurd lets out a low whistle and smirks at you, “That where the new piercing came from?” she asks pointing to your nose ring. You blush a bit and nod, you admit you helped him – sort of – tattoo someone else.

You tell them about the first night you stayed with him and how he’d offered to let you live with him, how he’d kissed your forehead, how he’d laid on you. You told them that you’d been spending a lot of time with him lately. You tell them that you spend almost every other night at his hive and that things have only gotten more…touchy.

You tell them that over the past few weeks you’ve found yourself curled up on the couch with Mallek night after night. You’ve spent a stupid amount of time sitting in his lap and playing with his hair and piercings. You tell them that you’ll fall asleep laying on him and that you find yourself holding his hand while just hanging out.

You describe how you’ve been helping him clean up his hive and you guys sometimes build forts with the technology and sit in your hiding spot to talk for hours. You tell them that you guys have inside jokes, nick-names, and tend to flirt, like, all the time.

You tell them that he tends to put his hand on your lower back, or wraps his arms around your waist, or rests his head on your shoulders. You tell them you are encouraging of these actions and almost always reciprocate the physical affection. You tell them you’ve come close to kissing him multiple times and that there’s been several incidents where you think he might be about to kiss you but something always seems to interrupt you two.

You tell them how your heart beats faster around him and how you feel like your face is always hot when he’s around. You tell them about the butterflies in your stomach and how just seeing his name pop up on your palm husk fills you with happiness.

You don’t talk about his dissatisfaction with Alternia. You know you can trust Tyzias but Elwurd’s political proclivities are a mystery to you and you don’t want to get any one in trouble. Also, you’re in public so that is a common off the table topic.

“OK so…wwwwhat’s the problemmmm? He’s clearly red for you too and you’re wwwwearing his sign. You’re basically wwwwalking around shouting ‘I’mmmm in a relationship!” Tyzias sounds a little annoyed now.

You feel a little flutter in your stomach hearing her say she thinks he likes you too. And while it was easy to gush about Mallek, the actual request you have is much harder to say.

“Did you want us to tell you that yeah it sounds like he’s into you? Because…yeah it does.” Elwurd comments, her tone is bored and her eyes keep wandering over to an Indigo girl with a short skirt on who’s sitting alone on her portable husk top.

You take another breath and prepare yourself. You don’t know how it’s going to come out, you open your mouth and state:

“I want to fuck him.”

That was not a graceful way to say that. It was too loud, other trolls are looking at you now, Elwurd has spit out the drink she was sipping on.

“You wwwwant to fuck himmmm?” Tyzias asks, she’s smirking a little but but her tone is neutral.

You drop your head and nod. “Yes. Really badly…but everything here is different and I don’t know how to have sex with a troll and like I really want it to be good. I want him to be blown away. And I mean I know you guys have had matesprits before so I guess I was hoping you can help me?” You rush through your sentence, stumbling over your words and you’re blushing again.

Tyzias takes a quick drink while Elwurd looks more shell shocked than before. “Yes.” Tyzias states. “Wwwwe can help.”

You let out a relived sigh and thank Tyzias as she takes out her palm husk. Elwurd is looking between the two of you, seemingly uncertain about what she should do, but eventually she lets out an annoyed huff and nods. “Alright, yeah can’t just leave you here in the dark.” She mutters, also pulling out her palm husk and typing furiously.

There’s a moment of discomfort as you mentally prepare yourself for the educational and pornographic pictures you assume are to come. Tyzias is finished looking up her information first. She moves her seat closer to you so you can see the screen. Elwurd leans over your other shoulder so she can have a better view as well.

Elwurd scoffs when she sees what Tyzias is showing you. Just as you’d imagined Tyzias has a hyper realistic detailed and labeled drawing of troll genitalia. Your face is warm and you can only guess your cheeks are flushed.

Tyzias starts at the top, she taps on a photo of what looks like a gray ken doll. “This is the genitals wwwwhen not aroused.” She begins, her tone is level and almost bored.

Tyzias points to the front of the figure’s crotch. “This is the seed flap; the bulge is under it mmmmost of the timmmme. It only commmmes out once the troll’s arousal begins to rise.”

Tyzias takes a moment to look and ensure you’re listening. You are. Your attention is rapt. Satisfied, Tyzias continues, “Frommmm the seed flap, sommmmetimmmmes called a sheath, commmmes a bulge. It is self-lubricating and resemmmmbles a slug, sort of. They range in length and thickness according to, usually, blood color.”

Tyzias brings up another photo of something that looks similar to a vagina. “Belowwww that is the nook. It’s also self-lubricating, but is never covered. It is wwwwhere the other troll’s bulge goes in. Though sommmme trolls prefer to only have bulge on bulge or nook to nook stimmmmulation, anything that wwwworks for you is fine.

“Ok…what is the bucket thing?” You ask. You’re attempting to keep your face free of the embarrassment you’re feeling. You know you asked about this, but there’s something just a bit strange about actually hearing it. You make a mental note that Elwurd is suspiciously quiet.

Tyzias nods and leans back, slipping her phone back into her pocket. “Wwwwhen a troll reaches orgasmmmm, they release genetic mmmmaterial. This mmmmaterial is put into a bucket – there are sanctioned ones for mmmmatesprits and kismmmmesis – the mmmmix of genetic mmmmaterial is then fed to the mmmmother grub wwwwhich is howwww the species continues.” Tyzias pauses and takes a sip from her mug.

“The buckets of mmmmeterial are collected by the drones and delivered directly to the mmmmother grub. The drones can usually tell if the genetic slurry is mmmmixed or not and if the twwwwo involved are actually red or black for one another. It’s a pretty advanced systemmmm. Any one wwwwho fails to provide an acceptable ammmmount or mmmmix is culled.” Tyzias sits up in her chair and takes another long drink from her mug, a signal to you that she is done talking.

You blink and stare at her for a moment. It seems crazy that someone unable to get laid is killed right away. You’re a little overwhelmed by this information but feel you have a better understanding towards trolls who are obsessed with one another’s quadrants.

Elwurd groans. “I have never heard anyone talk about sex in such a boring way before.” She brings her phone to the center of your little group. “Here’s what you need.” She says with a grin before hitting play on a video she has loaded and it is...yep that’s a porn.

Your eyes widen and you look around to see if anyone else can see it. Fortunately, everyone is too absorbed in their own stuff to pay attention to your trio. And the volume is off which helps. It’s a little hard to figure out what’s happening at first but you figure it out after a bit and you admit, it’s kind of hot.

You’re definitely going to have to look at more videos before you feel ready for the real thing, but it’s good to know that this gets you off. You were a little worried Mallek’s junk would scare you. But you figure with some more videos you’ll get a better idea as to how to really work with what he has.

You watch a couple more videos and are given some sites to explore on your own. Elwurd and Tyzias point out some things, and explain more slang and different positions.

You ask about oral and both go quiet. Elwurd chuckles awkwardly and rubs the back of her neck. “Well, it’s not something a lot of trolls partake in.”

“Fangs and bulges don’t mmmmix wwwwell.” Tyzias quips.

Elwurd nods in agreement. “But there’s always people who are interested in trying it. It’s more common for a nook to be eaten out than a bulge to be sucked.”

You nod and look back to the video. You’re totally going to suck off Mallek’s bulge. “Ok, so who has nooks and who has bulges?” You ask.

You look between Tyzias and Elwurd who are giving you blank stares.

You flounder a bit under their combined gaze. “I-I mean do males have bulges and females have nooks or, uhm, I mean uh.” You cut yourself off because your friends do not seem to understand what you’re talking about.

“All trolls have the sammmme genitalia.” Tyzias states after a few more beats of quiet.

“Oh! Oh, alright that’s good to know. We don’t. I mean humans. We’ve got different junk for different genders. But sometimes that gets mixed up or changed or uh…we can talk about that some other time.” You laugh awkwardly and hope they don’t ask you any questions. You don’t trust your knowledge enough to be able to explain human sex organs.

You clear your throat and ask, “Well, I guess thanks then. I don’t really know if there’s anything else I need to know?”

Tyzias shrugs. “I don’t think so, that’s the basics of it.”

Elwurd looks between you two with a confused look on her face. “That’s it? That’s all we’re going to say? We should go to a pailing shop and talk about toys and other pailing accessories.”

Tyzias takes a long sip from her mug and doesn’t look at either of you for a while. You have to admit you’re curious. You’ll be the first human to visit an alien sex shop. “I wouldn’t mind going.” You offer sheepishly, hoping to sway Tyzias. Elwurd is kind of pouting.

Tyzias finally takes the cup from her mouth and sighs. “Fine. Wwwwe can go.”

Elwurd lets out a shout and throws her arms up. “Oh man! This is going to be crazy. We’re going to make our alien cutie irresistible to their flush.” Elwurd’s arm is around your shoulders now and she’s grinning widely. You smile back at her and notice the small smirk on Tyzias’ face.

“Yeah, I need sommmme stuff anywwwway.” Tyzias says with a shrug leading the way for your trio to exit.

It isn’t a long walk but it is a complicated one. It’s explained on the way that while the shop you’re about to go to isn’t illegal per-se, it is frowned upon.

They tell you that tradition dictates that sex should only happen between those in quadrants and only to collect genetic material. It’s well known amongst everyone that isn’t the case and even those who are just trying to fulfill the empire’s requirements need extra help every once in a while. And so pailing shops exist.

Like most of the things on Alternia it’s poorly lit, for your eyes at least. It doesn’t look like any sex shop you’ve been in before and a lot of the things you think are supposed to be toys are alive and bug like. It’s pretty far from sexy in your opinion.

Elwurd and Tyzias leave your side and busy themselves with browsing, and you don’t want to bother them. The shop keeper doesn’t seem interested in you either. You bite your lip and look around as you wander slowly through the store.

It isn’t huge, but it is very well organized. There’s a small section of DVDs, decorated buckets, toys and lingerie. That’s the biggest part of the shop. There’s something in all blood colors – as well as black and red. The lace trims, ribbons, and such vary between red and black. You suppose it makes sense that you’d want the person you’re trying to turn on to know what quadrant you’re aiming for.

The one’s with black lace and trim look a bit scarier in your opinion, there’s spikes on them where as the ones with red are just overall softer. This is where Elwurd and Tyzias are. Tyzias is looking through some teal things and snapping some photos, you assume she’s looking for Stelsa.

Elwurd is looking exclusively at the cerulean section and has a few things picked out already. She waves you over and hands the bundle of clothing to you. “Try these on. They’re good brands and I think they’ll suit your figure.”

You blush a little but nod. You’re actually pretty grateful that she seems to have an idea of what you need. Plus, you’ve never tried on sexy underwear with friends before. You glance around uncertainly and Elwurd chuckles before pointing you in the direction of the fitting room.

You thank her and scurry over to the room. You lock the door behind you and put the items on a cushion in the room to look them over.

Elwurd handed you quite a few garments and, honestly, you’re not sure how most of them go on. There’s lots of straps on some and it’s a little confusing. You take your time though.

You try on a few and scrutinize yourself in the mirror. You think you look pretty cute in some of them, but honestly, you’re still not sure what qualifies as attractive on Alternia. Some others you try on just make you feel kind of awkward and like you’re trying too hard.

After some time, you hear Elwurd ask if you’re alright. You tell her you are.

“Then let’s see what you’re working with.” She calls.

“W-what?” You stutter out.

“Come on, show us so we can give you our opinions, isn’t that why we’re here?”

Your face heats up a bit but you suppose she’s right.

You put on one of the ones you liked best and slowly open the door. Tyzias and Elwurd are leaning against the opposite wall. You don’t step out of the room, but you do make sure the door is out of the way. Your face is warm and you feel kind of silly doing this.

Elwurd and Tyzias make a few comments, and ask to see others. You partake in a mini Victoria Secret Fashion Show and your judges are strict but fair. You settle on 2 choices that the three of you agree on.

As you’re changing back into your regular clothing you hear Elwurd let out a low whistle followed by an ‘oof.’ You move a little close to the door to hear what’s going on and catch the tail end of a conversation between Tyzias and Elwurd.

“What? It’s my color too, I’m allowed to like it.” Elwurd grumbles.

You can’t help but grin as you finish changing and collect the things you wanted. You’re surprised when you leave the room to see your friends aren’t there anymore. You hesitantly exit the area and begin to look for them. Maybe they were trying on things of their own.

You’re distracted searching is brought to a halt when you collide with someone else. You begin apologizing right away and take a step back, looking up at who you hit. You’re frozen when your eyes meet the cold gaze of a tall jade blood.

You swallow and take another step back. You haven’t seen this guy before and you find yourself holding your items closer to you as he stares down at you with a condescending look. His features are sharp and his eyes burn into you making you feel like the shit on the bottom of his shoe.

His hand moves out and you reflexively close your eyes and prepare to be struck.

“This one.” He says in a cool voice. You open your eyes and see he’s holding one of the two choices you had settled on.

“Wh-what?” You asked sheepishly.

The jade blood rolls his eyes and drops the garment back in your arms. “That’s the one that will impress Adalov the most.” He tells you, an incredible amount of disinterest in his voice.

“How did you know I was shopping for Mallek?” You ask bewildered.

The jade scoffs and points to your hoodie. “You’re literally wearing his sign.”

Your face heats up and you mutter a quiet ‘oh yeah.’ There’s a beat of uncomfortable silence. “You know Mallek too?” You ask.

“Obviously.” He tells you, his perfectly manicured brow quirking up.

You’re suddenly very concerned you’ve been misinterpreting things between you and Mallek. Maybe he does just want to be your friend. Maybe he’s not red for you? Maybe he wants you as a moirail and will be disgusted if you try to be sexy for him. “A-are you guys uh…friends?” You ask worriedly.

“Not really your business.” The jade informs you, eyes narrowing.

You start to stutter out an apology, and try to shuffle your things around so you’re taking up less space.

He seems to take some pity on you as his features soften, just a bit. “It’s nothing red.” He informs you.

Before you can respond, Elwurd swings her arm around your shoulders and pulls you against her. “This jade bothering you, hon?” She asks, standing rigidly straight.

The two share a hard look but it’s the jade who acquiesces. He lets out an annoyed sigh before swiftly turning – his jacket swaying dramatically as he does – and saunters out of the shop.

You feel your muscles relax and let out a breath you didn’t realize you were holding. “Thanks…who…who was that?” You ask Elwurd, her arm still securely around your shoulders.

“Lanque, he’s a jade and so obviously he knows Bronya. Which means he obviously knows and is not a fan of me.” She informs you, sounding more than a bit annoyed.

“Oh…is it like the sexy-hate dislike or-”

“No, just the regular kind of dislike. He’s all talk though.” She tells you.

“Wwwwhat’s going on?” Tyzias asks, a bag in her hands.

You shrug, “A jade bl-”

“Nothing.” Elwurd cuts you off. “We’re finishing up, gotta purchase these things and then we can go.”

“Oh! Oh shit, buying…ok I’ll put this back I forgot about having to use money to get things.” You laugh, turning to put your things away. You’re a little bummed though, you really liked them. Your favorite was actaully the one that jade blood – Lanque – had picked.

Elwurd grabs the hood of your sweater and pulls you back. “No way! I’ll buy them for you. We promised we’d help you get laid.” She says.

“Yeah and I already got you this.” Tyzias adds, pulling out a DVD with several cerulean males on the cover.

You blush furiously and attempt to respond, but nothing really comes out of your mouth.

Elwurd laughs loudly. “Glad that’s settled.” Elwurd says, taking both garments from you and going up to the counter. The person at the register appears more bored than when you came in.

After completing the purchases, the three of you exit the shop, you’re incredibly grateful for your friends help and give them both big hugs vocalizing your thankfulness.

Elwurd laughs and with her arms wrapped around your middle, bends back a bit so your feet are no longer on the ground. You let out a yelp that only makes her laugh harder. “Hey, if it doesn’t work out with your boy, you can hit me up. I know I liked what I saw.” She says with a wink. You laugh as she sets you down.

“I’ll keep that in mind.” You tease.

You wave at Elwurd as she disappears around the corner. Once it seems you’re alone Tyzias has you wrapped in a tight hug. Her arms are around your waist and her face is pressed against the crook of your neck. You smile a little and bury your face in her hair while your fingers run through her black strands and down her back.

Tyzias is letting out that weird chirring sound she does when she’s content. You take a few slow steps back so you can rest against the wall of the store. Tyzias stays in step with you and lets more of her weight rest on your shoulders once you stop moving.

“Thanks for coming out with me today.” You tell her quietly.

“I have a lot of wwwwork to do.” She responds.

You chuckle. “I know, that’s why I appreciate it so much.”

You hear her hum against you and she slowly lifts her head up to only to drop her forehead against yours. “Let mmmme see a picture of himmmm.” She demands.

You smile sheepishly and wrestle your phone out of your pocket to show her a photo of Mallek.

“So, this is the ‘SnakeBytes’ guy you’ve been texting and talking about?” She asks quietly.

You nod and smile. “Sorry I dragged you out here to deal with this with Elwurd. I kind of wanted both your takes on it though.”

Tyzias shrugs. “It’s fine.” She tells you. She blinks slowly at you before giving your nose a light kiss. “Commmme over.”

“I don’t know, I saw you texting Stelsa. I don’t think she’d be too excited to come home and find us asleep on a pile after you’ve been teasing her all afternoon.” You tell her, your thumbs caressing her cheeks while you hold her face in your hands.

Tyzias’ eyes have closed by this point and she lets out a small whine. “I wwwwon’t fall asleep. Stel can do your mmmmake up and wwwwe’ll take pictures for you to send to your flush. She’ll love it.” Tyzias opens her eyes and is giving you her best approximation of a pleading look. Which is just her regular look but more tired.

You puff out your cheeks and sigh. “Fine.” You mutter. “You’re too hard to say no to.” You grumble.

Tyzias’ mouth quirks into a smile. “I don’t mmmmind that.” She tells you before placing a soft kiss on your lips.

Your face flushes and you turn away just a bit. It was still hard for you to get used to all the physical aspects of moirallegiance.

Tyzias snickers and steps away, lacing your fingers with hers. “C’mmmmon.” She tugs on your hand and you roll your eyes but follow.

You two chat a bit on the journey and end up having a short feelings jam in her pile once you get to her apartment. When Stelsa gets home she gives you a big smile but you’ve been around her long enough to know she’s a little disappointed you’re here.

Tyzias explains your day and her plan to have Stelsa do your make up for pictures. This seems to brighten Stelsa’s mood. She seems very excited to doll you up to take sexy photos. It’s an awkward process for you but you have to admit, the pictures come out looking good.

You thank them both and give them hugs. It’s pretty much sunrise by the time you’re leaving, but you dismiss Tyzias asking you to stay the rest of the day. You tell her you have things you need to take care of and you see Stelsa’s face relax a bit. She likes you, but you feel like she’s still not comfortable enough to completely let her guard down around you.

You part ways with your friends and arrive home without issue. You text Mallek asking if he wants to hang out tomorrow and maybe go somewhere. You figure you should go on an actual date before going into the sexy stuff. You want this to be a relationship after all and not just a friends-with-benefits thing. Which is why you decide not to send him any of the photos yet.

Mallek responds quickly in the affirmative and you grin. You give him a location and time and your thumb lingers over the heart emoji for a few moments. In the end you chicken out though and just give him the details.