“Holy shit. Holy shit, Doreen, wake up,” Nancy said.
“Hmmmn, nah, five more… mmmh,” Doreen said, rolling over and dragging her tail over her eyes.
“The Avengers called and they want you to fight Magneto!”
Doreen shot bolt upright in bed. “Damn right! Magnetize nuts, you, you– oh God.”
She leaned over the side and threw up. Nancy sat very patiently and very nakedly next to her, tattooed arms crossed over her chest, and forced down her own sympathetic nausea.
“What happened?” Doreen groaned, more to the ruined carpet than anything.
“You decided we should go to a real college party,” Nancy said. “’It’ll be fun!’ you said. ‘Let's do some shots!’ you said. You didn’t mention you also have the proportional alcohol tolerance of a squirrel!”
“What? That doesn’t even make any sense. How many…” Doreen started. She spied a bottle discarded on the carpet. “Tequila?”
“Too many tequila,” Nancy hissed. “More tequila than I promised my family I would drink at college! Which, if you were wondering, wasnone!”
Doreen went to put her head in her hands and froze.
“I’m assuming you just noticed we’re also naked,” Nancy said. “That’s a thing.”
Doreen looked over her shoulder with wide, awed eyes. “This is the authentic college experience.”
“This is like every college alternate universe fanfic I ever read while I was stealing The Avengers’ wifi–”
“No, you’re right. We would’ve woken up cuddling.”
Nancy stared pointedly at the far wall. Doreen’s mouth made an “o.” She looked like she was about to say something else when there was the sound of a door slamming and someone calling out, “Marcus, where are you?”
“Where are we?” Doreen whispered. “I remember doing Jell-O shots with Tomas and some of the people from the Fencing Club, and then we went… I don’t know…”
“We’re in somebody’s apartment,” Nancy said. “All I remember is they mentioned making peanut brittle and I had to chase you–”
“That’s right!” Doreen said, lighting up as the memories came back. “But wait, did I get any of that?”
“Not exactly top priority here!” Nancy said, grabbing the nearest article of clothing, which turned out to be Doreen’s tunic shirt from last night caught around one of the bed posts. “I found my bra, but God knows where my boobs went.”
“I’ll find them!” Doreen said, confidently, and then she tried standing. She sagged against the other post. “Oh my God, where is Tip? I can’t bend over and look for stuff like this.”
“Doreen, you know I love your squirrel,” Nancy said, now dressed in the tunic and shaking out the covers, “but the less she touches my breast forms the better. No. Just– no.”
“I don’t complain about the cat hair in my everything,” Doreen grumbled, getting down on her hands and knees slowly to look under the bed.
“That’s because you like being alive.”
“True,” Doreen agreed. “Found one!”
There were more noises down the hall. Nancy flicked her eyes to the bedroom door handle–locked, thankfully–but began grabbing anything that remotely looked like clothing to hurry things along.
“Good, but we’ve gotta hurry,” Nancy said. “I think we’re running out of time and I’m not leaving here with one boob.”
Doreen laughed. Nancy shot her a nasty look and she slapped her hands over her mouth.
“Oh, jeez, I’m not laughing at you,” Doreen said. “It’s just… we drank a bunch of tequila and apparently threw your boobs around the room and I think– I haven’t gotten a good look, but I think you designed and drew a tattoo for me above my tail.”
She turned and, sure enough, there was a blur of now indecipherable ink just above the place where normal human back became way less normal giant squirrel tail. Nancy looked away quickly to keep from lingering on that strangeness, or what she could see past the tail of Doreen’s ass, which, while not as incredible without her tail padding it in her pants, was still great.
“We are never drinking another drop over the next four years,” Nancy declared. “We’re joining the youth intervention program Captain America runs.”
“Aw, no, he’ll out me as Squirrel Girl for sure,” Doreen whined. She jumped a little as another loud thump came from the hall. “Look, can’t you just stuff your shirt so we can make a speedy getaway?”
“With what?” Nancy asked, spreading her arms to encompass the pretty barren college apartment bedroom they were in. “The Bob Marley poster every white boy who’s ever seen a joint in his life somehow has? Not everyone has squirrel parts to pad themselves out!”
“Well,” Doreen said, holding up her purse, which she found under the bed too. “There’s always–”
“If you say nuts, I swear…”
Doreen flipped the flap of her bag open and froze. She pulled out Nancy’s missing breast form from amid the ever-present collection of acorns.
“I guess I was trying to keep it safe?” she suggested. Nancy pressed a hand to her face and started laughing too.
“Uh, hello?” came a voice from the hallway alongside a knock. “Marcus? Who’s in here?”
Doreen and Nancy began throwing clothes at each other. Nancy had to concede the tunic back to Doreen because, “Nancy, there’s just no way I shimmy into your dress without killing it with my hips,” and Doreen caught piece after piece of her outfit because “brown and gray are just not my colors, Doreen, why on Earth do you have so much brown and gray?”
“Alright,” Nancy said once they were both more or less dressed. “How the hell are we getting out of here?”
Doreen grinned. Nancy started shaking her head.
“There’s a big elm tree right outside this window,” Doreen cajoled, “and you know I’d never let you fall.”
Nancy looked between the now-rattling door and Doreen, who had pushed the window open, climbed up on the sill, and reached back for her.
“No one is ever going to believe this,” Nancy repeated, almost by habit now, as she took Doreen’s hand.
“I’m still a little hungover,” Doreen said as they prepared to jump to the tree. “So, uh, if a supervillain comes along and starts acting like a jerk, you’ll handle ‘em, right?”
Nancy squeezed her eyes shut in apparent aggravation, but she was fighting not to smile. “Of course.”
“Tippy Toe!” Doreen said as the ribboned squirrel alighted on her dorm bed a few hours later. “Where were you? You were supposed to be our chaperone.”
“You didn’t seem to need me,” Tippy said, twitching her tail in irritation. "And you didn’t get any of the peanut brittle for either of us, so, really, who let down who?”
“Ugh, fair point,” Doreen conceded. She propped her chin on her hands. “No peanut brittle, strange house… nakedness. What even happened, Tip?”
“Well,” Tippy Toe started, “you ran off to find the peanut brittle and nearly left your girl in the dust because, dummy, not all of your friends are squirrel fast. Anyway, you tried to make it up to Nancy by giving her a whole bottle of something you won in a drinking game after you got sidetracked.”
“And then you started drinking that and getting really sentimental and leaning on each other for help walking. I thought I was going to have to call the squirrel army to get you home but then Nancy kicked some boy out of his room and you nested for the night.”
Doreen covered her face with her hands. “We didn’t nest, Tippy, gosh. How’d we end up naked, though?”
“You wanted to see her–” Tippy waved her little paw. “Her arm inks. So she took her dress off to show you those, and then some other ones. And you took your clothes off for–”
“–solidarity?” Doreen volunteered.
“Sure. And then you looked at the inks and got tired and fell asleep.”
Doreen peeked through her fingers. “That’s it?”
“Yeah,” Tippy said. “Real boring lookout post. I went home and got some nuts and went to sleep.”
“That’s a relief,” Doreen said, throwing herself back on her bed. “I was starting to think we had done something.”
Tippy Toe scampered closer and settled down on one of her out-flung arms. “Would that have been so bad?”
“Yes!” Doreen said. Then, with less surety, “No? I don’t know? I don’t think Nancy could like me like that. We’re always talking about boys.”
“She took off her dress for you,” Tip pointed out. “That’s big for humans, right?”
Doreen made an annoyed noise in the back of her throat. “We’re roommates. We get dressed and undressed around each other literally all the time.”
“But she took it off for you,” Tippy Toe repeated. “She trusts you. And there were a lot of hearts in the butt drawing she did for you.”
Doreen rolled over a bit and looked at Tippy, half-hiding a grin behind a hand. “Were there? It got all smudged up. I didn’t get to see.”
“Lots of hearts.”
The door opened as Nancy let herself in, supporting her open laptop with her free arm, eyes fixed on the screen. Mew acknowledged her owner’s return with a soft cry. Nancy immediately abandoned her laptop to give her kitten the softest of chin scritches.
“Tippy Toe have lots of things to say to you today?” Nancy asked as she let her heavy messenger bag slide from her shoulder and hit the floor. “Any thoughts on what happened?”
“Yeah,” Doreen said. “We should get falafel.”
“I’m down,” Nancy said as she set aside her laptop, picking up and cradling Mew against her half-buttoned cardigan. “My liver and kidneys could use some more nutrients after what I put them through.”
“Not like ‘we should get falafel because, ha ha ha, what happened, we need to recover,’” Doreen corrected. “Like, ‘we should dress up a little nicer than usual and maybe attempt winged eyeliner and then go get falafel together together and see what happens.’”
Nancy froze and looked at Doreen. All she came up with to say was, “I always do winged eyeliner.”
“I know. And it always looks super good. I’m pretty bad at it. But I would try. If you were still, uh, down.”
Nancy blinked a few times. Then she cleared her throat and said, “Yeah, um. Yeah. I’d– That would be. Yeah. Just. My code still needs to compile and I don’t want to leave my laptop open for kitten feet.”
“Totally!” Doreen said as Nancy set Mew down and turned away to fiddle with her laptop. Tippy Toe ran to the end of Doreen’s bed to get a better vantage.
“She’s smiling,” Tip said. “She’s excited!”
Nancy whipped around to look at Doreen over her shoulder, embarrassed. “What’s she saying? Is your squirrel snitching on me?”
Doreen started laughing. Then she Googled for eyeliner help on her phone.