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The Best Laid Schemes

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Your earliest memories of Latula, when you met her in kindergarten, were of a very loud, very round little girl who'd stuck sequins all over the frames of her glasses. You remember wondering how on earth she'd managed to not get gluestick residue on the lenses; when you'd asked her, she'd proudly gone, "like this!" and had proceeded to spell out her name on your arm in sparkling plastic. You'd been so fascinated by the contrast between her pink t-shirt and the darkness of her skin that you hadn't said a word in protest.

She was always more physical than you. Granted, with your asthma you were hardly inclined to run around climbing trees and roughhousing like Latula did, but even in ordinary, everyday activities Latula seemed to fling her whole body into whatever it was she was doing. Watching her eat breakfast the morning after a sleepover was like watching someone do yoga - every movement was precise, calculated, executed with absolute control over the muscles. She made making toast look like meditation, made making her bed seem like a contemporary dance. Next to her, you might as well have been made out of cardboard. You knew from observation that, whenever the two of you were seen together as children, people assumed that you with your slight build and frame would be the graceful one. Before you had the vocabulary to become enraged at the prejudices of humanity, you had scratched your head as to why people assumed Latula was clumsy just because she weighed more than you did.

Mituna barged into your lives in your freshman year of high school. He had just moved from across the country so he could undergo intensive physical therapy with some specialist nearby; he'd been in a car accident that left him seizing at the drop of a hat, or so you'd overheard from the school faculty gossiping in the hallways (which explained the golden retriever that followed him everywhere, curling up and snoozing at his feet in his classes every day). Mituna was very, very loud. Latula took to him immediately, of course. It took you a bit longer to befriend him (and even then, your relationship was based almost entirely on competition, in everything from conversation to the hours of games the three of you would play together on the weekends), but ultimately the three of you became inseparable. You just...worked. You worked together better than anything else.

You made quite a picture. A rather aesthetically pleasing one, to your delight - the tones of your skin made a perfect gradient from Latula's dark, earthy colors to Mituna's unnervingly pale complexion. You were somewhere in the middle in that respect (and in height, too - Mituna towered over the both of you, while you could only claim vertical superiority over Latula), and the way the lines between you contrasted and complemented each other was, you thought, a marvelous thing.

(Mituna didn't understand your fixation with color and order by any means, but still let you arrange all of the pastels and colored pencils in his art supply kit in a way that pleased you. It was around that time that you decided there was more to him than his eccentric vocabulary and overbearing voice)

You finished high school together, but didn't immediately apply to college. Mituna was taking a gap year to accommodate the plethora of medical tests he was having to go through (his seizures had lessened in abundance, but had been replaced by migraines that left him bedridden for days), and since Latula was so determined that all of you attend the same school and graduate in the same class year, she and you put off college until Mituna was in a position to put up with academic stress once again. You didn't mind, really - a year to work and not worry about exams or assignments was nice, and you knew quite well that the world would not end if you attended college at twenty or twenty-one instead of eighteen years old.

It was around that time that the three of you started dating each other.

 

It was, you admit freely, a challenge in the beginning. Not in terms of jealousy - you each were a side of the same pyramid and came together seamlessly - but in the sense that romantic relationships involving more than (the socially-expected) two people were a bit of a novelty to you. None of you knew quite how to dance around each other without elbowing somebody else in the ribs, so to speak. You and Mituna conflicted most often, as the rivalry that you two had shared as platonic friends seemed to grow exponentially when romantic feelings were taking into consideration. You aren't proud to say it, but the two of you fought over Latula quite often. Back then, it was hard to break away from the cultural idea that one person only possessed enough love for one other person, and so the both of you would compete over her affections like crazed Black Friday shoppers, sure of your love for each other but unsure about her, the third variable.

Latula initially didn't quite know how to deal with that, understandably. At first, she'd merely make exasperated threats of getting the both of you a "get-along shirt." When that only escalated the situation, she tried to mediate, to no avail.

Witnessing her finally lose her temper was a horrifying experience that you hope you never have to see again. It took her two whole days to calm down, and, when she was finally speaking to you and Mituna again, she seized both of you by the ears and herded you into the bedroom, where she proceeded to demonstrate how much love she could possibly dole out in one sitting.

You and Mituna didn't fight very much after that.

(at least, not over her)

Your relationship got a lot more stable after that.

Patterns of behavior emerged, though, as time wore on, and it bothered you. In disagreements, Latula was always the mediator. If Mituna was having a bad day, she recruited you and swooped in to shower him in affection. The same applied to you, when it came to be your turn to receive life's hammer to the back of your head. The three of you formed your own support network. Except when it came to be Latula's turn.

It bothered you. It really bothered you. Latula was the first one to respond whenever anything appeared to be amiss with you or Mituna, but when it came time for the both of you to rush to her side, she would disappear. Would give some strange excuse about having work to do, movies to watch, games to play (she never played games alone, had always preferred to sit on the couch in the living room so the both of you could keep her company), and would slip away with nothing but the sound of the lock to her bedroom in response to the confusion on your faces. You of course understood the need for mental space when one's brain was throwing a tantrum, but right up until the point when you had started dating, Latula had tended to crave company when her moods took a plunge. She used to come to you immediately whenever she needed comfort, curling up at your side and demanding exactly what it was that she needed to recover.

You didn't know what had changed.

You all had separate rooms. Given Mituna's tendency for overstimulation and your own mental health problems, it had seemed apt to get a three bedroom apartment. Latula's room was your shared room, with the king-sized bed and the majority of all of your clothes crammed into it. Latula had claimed that she didn't need alone time like either of you did (ironically enough), which was why her room was the communal room. Except for the few times she would shut herself away, her room was your room, your space to bond, to sleep, to laugh, to be. Latula was so open with everything, from her possessions to her personal space to each and every thought that bounced through her head - this was why her episodes never sat right with you.

Mituna, surprisingly, was the one to come with a plan of action. The two of you never quite knew what to do with yourselves when Latula was in one of her moods, so you were both sitting on the couch trying to convince the other that you were focused on your own activities. You had been reading the same page of a library book for the past hour. You weren't sure what Mituna was trying to achieve on the other end of the couch, staring blankly at the Xbox main menu, but you could easily tell he was in the same predicament as you.

You just wished you knew why Latula wouldn't let you near her whenever her moods dipped.

You just wanted to know why.

"We should give her a bath."

You start, and peer over at Mituna. "What?"

"A bath. Y'know. Hot water. Her in it. Good shit."

"Our bathtub isn't big enough for the three of us."

His mouth twists. "No duh. We'd be, we'd be the ones, um." He makes a noise of frustration. "Word please."

It dawns on you. "Oh. We'd give her a bath?"

"Giving her a bath. Yeah. We'd be the ones - yeah."

"Huh."

"Yes, no, yes?"

"Well, it's hardly a strange idea, at least."

"Aww shucks. Love you too, Kanny."

You rather like the idea. "Hm. So, a hot bath, we could maybe wash her hair, use the rest of that bubble bath in the cupboard..."

"No fire. Makes me sneeze."

"I wasn't going to suggest candles," you scoff. "I am quite aware of what happened last time."

"And sex."

"What?" You aren't sure which sentence Mituna intends that tidbit to be tacked on to.

"We'd wash her hair, let her soak, hot water 'n nice soap, yada yada yada, 'n then we'd get her out of the tub, haul her off to her bedroom and have sex."

"Goodness." You give Mituna a side-eyed glance. "And the media dares to suggest that romance died with our generation."

"What, it's a good idea. Like, instead of us having sex with her, she could have sex with us."

"And those manage to be different scenarios because...?"

"Like, if we're having sex, we all get off. But - "

"Ohhh, I see."

" - if she's having sex she's the only one who can. Who's gotta. Y'know?"

"So you're suggesting that we give her a bath and an orgasm and then call it a day."

"Uh, yup. Yeah."

The idea certainly appeals to you. Perhaps, too, when you both have made her drowsy and giggly, you'd be able to bring up her self-isolation and be able to get across all the emotions you've been trying to convey for the past few months.

You just want her to not feel the need to hide herself away from you. That's all.

"Let's wait a day or two, then." So Latula doesn't get it into her head to interpret your actions as an immediate response to her latest bout of solitude.

Lying by omission is a mild sin, yes? Yes. You're sure of that.

Mituna finger-guns you. "Fuck yeah. Day after tomorrow, then. We are the sneakiest romancers."

"Mmm."

A finger gun jabs you in the thigh. "Say the thing."

"Do I have to?"

"Yup. I'll start again. We are the sneakiest romancers."

You sigh, "it is us," and go to make yourself some tea.

 

****

 

Latula reemerges while you're finishing up dinner and Mituna is setting the table. From the bleary clouds in her eyes, you guess that she'd been sleeping for most of the time she was in her room.

"What's up, buttercup?" Her voice is thick when she addresses Mituna.

"I-D-K. Whole buncha things, prolly. Not my dick though."

"Psh, can't have everything." She shoves his glasses all the way up the bridge of his nose with her index finger. "Need help, lil' V?"

"No, I'm fine." You say. It's like nothing ever happened.

You just want her to feel secure around you. That's all.

That's all.

Dinner progresses normally. While you're washing up, Latula stretches her arms above her head and says, "so after the movie, do ya'll wanna get cozy?"

"Nahhh, maybe tomorrow?" Mituna raps at his temples with two knuckles. "Brain's a bit foggy."

"If Mituna isn't participating, I'd rather wait." You say. "Besides, I was hoping to watch The Return of the King tonight, and you always fall asleep by the end of that one."

"Hashtag so true!" Latula chirps, and goes to fetch the popcorn and oil. "'Tuna, where's Hamlet? If your brain's bein' all funky again you should keep him close, yeah?"

Mituna snorts. "He's sleepin' in my room."

"Are you sure that that's - "

He pokes her shoulder. "Hush up. S'fine. He's got the best detective nose. Detection, whoops. Stop worrying."

"Still," you call over your shoulder as you set the popcorn bowls in order, "the both of us would feel better if he watched the movie with us." You know quite well that Mituna is only putting on a show to stall your plans until tomorrow evening, but you could hardly pass up an opportunity to watch a movie with Hamlet warming your feet.

You get a stink-eye for your efforts, but little grumbling as Mituna goes to drag Hamlet's bed (likely already occupied) to the living room.

It's a lovely evening. Latula falls asleep halfway through the movie, as predicted, and you end up feeding Hamlet her share of the popcorn. You and Mituna cart her off to the bedroom and lay her down in middle of the unmade nest of blankets and pillows. You're both about to leave (sometimes she needs a good twenty-four hours after one her episodes to recover), but she grabs your sleeve.

"Stay."

She rolls over to the far edge of the bed to make space for both of you. You fall asleep with Latula's hand fisted in the hem of your shirt and Mituna's face resolutely mashed into your neck.

It's lovely.

 

You wake up to Mituna kneeing you repeatedly in the back of the thigh.

"What." You mumble, and don't open your eyes. If he's trying to get you to take Hamlet out, you are not going to move because you did it last time, thank you very much, and besides he's still fast asleep in the corner so why  -

You're firmly rolled onto your back. Mituna is hovering over you, wide awake.

Now? He mouths. It takes you a moment to realize what he's talking about.

"She's asleep!" You whisper. "And anyway, the bath - "

"Can come after! It'll be sweeter."

You point at the peacefully slumbering lump of blankets that is your joint girlfriend. "She's asleep," you whisper again.

Mituna rolls his eyes and clambers over you.

"What are you doing?" You hiss, and try to grab at him, but you aren't fast enough. Mituna tugs the blankets away from Latula's face, holds himself over her on all fours, and plants a kiss on her forehead.

Her nose scrunches up. You forget to tell Mituna to knock it off, because oh, that's adorable. You curl up on your side to watch.

"'Tula. Hey." Kiss. "Latulaaaaaa." Kiss. "Darlin' Tula." Kiss.  "Wake the heck up."

"Mituna," you begin, but are interrupted by Latula's vaguely bothered grunt.

"Hey, hey, there she is." Mituna flops down, putting all his weight on top of her. "C'mon sweetie, we got a surprise." He tilts his head to the side and licks a single strip up her neck.

Latula lets out a high pitched eep, and suddenly her arms are around him and she's wide awake, staring at the ceiling with a slight flush to her cheeks.

"There we go. Mornin', Tula." Is Mituna's (muffled) response.

She looks over at you and blinks. "Good morning." She nests a hand in his hair, but he pulls away to sit up.

"So we were thinking."

"God forbid," she intones automatically, but Mituna only rolls his eyes just a little bit.

"So we were thinking, and we think that - "

"We think that you constantly put so much effort into us, that we should put some effort into you." You interrupt. She tips her head back on her pillow to laugh, just a little.

"Psh, what fuckery is this." She pauses to yawn. "You two take plenty good care of me."

"Yes, but - "

"But we're also taking care of us si-simul - fuck - at the same time."

"And?" Latula yawns and lets her eyes flutter closed. "Nothing wrong with that."

"Yeah, but you're awesome."

She grins. "Awwww."

"We want to focus on you."

She opens one eye. "We are talking about sex, right? My brain isn't being dumb and automatically going there?"

"Yup, the first one." Says Mituna.

"No," you say at the same time, and then wince. "Well, yes. We're talking about everything."

"Everything, huh - "

"So can we? Pretty please. Cherries 'n all that." Mituna is running a gentle finger along the lines of her collarbone.

She wraps one arm around his waist and reaches for you with her free hand. You take it in yours and squeeze tight.

"Sure thing," she says, and gives a soft little smile that could reform even the most hardened of criminals. You love her so. "C'n a gal get up and get a glass of water first, though?"

"Gotcha." Mituna clambers off of her and practically levers her upright. "Go, go. Hurry back."

You can hear Latula's giggles all the way to the kitchen sink, and even over the rush of tap water you think you can still hear traces of her laughter echoing around throughout the apartment.

When she returns, she's brought the glass with her, sipping on it absently as she makes her way over to the bed, but even the distorted view of her mouth that the glass gives you isn't enough to disguise the upward curve of her lips.

Mituna starts tugging at her shirt as soon as she sits down. You bat his hand away while Latula sets the glass on the bedside table, and then scoot up to press your chest into her back. Her skin smells good. She reaches back to thread a hand through your hair.

"So, 'Tuna." Her voice is trying to be casual but you can hear the lightness in it. She's trying not to giggle. "Why're you trying to hide your boner?"

"Huh? Oh, uh," Mituna looks momentarily baffled, and jams his other hand in his lap for good measure. "It's because we're not. With you, anyway."

"You always make sure that we're the first ones to be taken care of, even when we're like this," you put in hurriedly, before Latula can voice the question mark you can see forming on her face. "So now it's your turn to go first."

"And last," Mituna adds. "'Cus you aren't gonna do us. Just sleep after, yeah?"

"I just woke up, silly. 'M hardly going to want to snooze before noon or so."

"The point is," you say, digging the heels of your palms into the meat of her shoulders, "that we're going to take care of you and you don't have to do anything back. Just enjoy it."

"I mean, sure, but - "

"Please?" Mituna leans forward and cups her face in his hands. "Please please. Let us?"

He's got that expression on. You can't help but peek at him from over Latula's shoulder and feel your heart constrict. Dammit. How can he be so good at bringing forth so many emotions and broadcasting them through his eyes? He's so much better at nonverbal communication than you are. He could make puppies swoon with that look he's got going for him.

Latula sighs, nearly dislodging your chin from its perch on the ball of her shoulder. "Fiiiiiine, darlin'. But we're going out for dinner tonight, then. My treat."

"Perhaps," you say at the same time that Mituna drawls, "maybe." As if you'd let her pay for dinner. That would entirely defeat the point.

"Maybe, huh?" She's beginning to catch on, you think. "Hm."

"Hm, yourself. Kiss." Mituna tugs Latula's face forward and nips at her bottom lip. "Arms up, too."

Latula obliges, and you seize the opportunity to draw her pajama top over her head. Mituna makes a pleased little noises and seals his mouth over hers, pulling her in so they're both pressed together chest to chest.

You're content with letting Mituna take his turn with Latula first. You scoot back, letting the lip-locked pair settle more comfortably in the middle of the bed, and reach out to dig your hands in Mituna's hair. He hasn't conditioned it in quite awhile (although, to be perfectly honest, he never does unless you or Latula remind him that conditioner is a thing that exists), and your hand sinks right in. You try not to sigh pathetically at the softness that envelopes your hand, but only just manage. Your fingers bump something, and you open your eyes (when had they closed? Good lord, and you're supposed to be paying attention) to see that Latula has wound her hand in his curls as well.

You remember her telling him, "You know, for a white dude you've got some fucking awesome fringe on top. I hope you like having it pulled," a few years ago.

(turns out he did, and, if the contented little noises he's making right now are any indication, still does)

When you move around behind Latula again, you snake your hand past her breasts, down, down the soft skin of her stomach, intending to give her something to shiver about while Mituna continues to ferociously go at her mouth.

A hand smacks you away. "Nope, my turn. Hush up." Mituna doesn't bother to pull away, mumbling the words into Latula's lips.

You withdraw your hands and settle them instead at her hips, squeezing and rubbing the tension from her lower back. She's so warm. Warm and soft and she smells so good, like clean sheets and fresh air and skin. So alive.

A tiny, breathy noise catches your attention.

"Say please." Mituna whispers. Latula makes an even smaller, frustrated noise. You look down to see Mituna trailing his fingers along the top of her pubic hair, carding the coarse curls this way and that, occasionally dipping his finger just not low enough. Latula pinches his arm.

"What was that about being taken care of, again?"

"You c'n be taken care of and still hafta, have-have to nice. Ask nice. Nicely." Mituna says, his eagerness betraying him as his concentration on the thought-to-word progress slips a little more than usual. His aphasia tended to crop up at times like this, where his brain is processing so many things at once that nicely-formed sentences get bumped to the bottom of his priority list.

(you'd never tell him this, but you get the most unimaginably huge warm-fuzzies explosion in your chest when his grammar and vocabulary start to slip whenever you engage in bedroom shenanigans. He's comfortable, he's happy, he's trusting the both of you enough to let his mind go and to just feel)

Latula heaves a long-suffering sigh, but it doesn't fool you, so you continue working the knots from her back. Her whole body shudders when you dig your thumbs on either side of her spine and slowly drag them up. You mouth absently at her shoulder, at the soft skin of her neck, at the heat under her jaw, feeling her relax further and further into you as you continue your ministrations.

A soft squeak tells you that Mituna stopped beating around the metaphorical bush.

"Hey, hey, easy there, tiger." Latula chastises, pulling away from you to sit up straight and cover Mituna's hand with her own. "Sure, you're kinda cute, but I just woke up."

"Whoopsies." Mituna sticks two fingers in his mouth and works at them. "'Orry, 'Ula."

"Mmm, no biggie." She tips her head back to look at you. "Doin' okay back there?"

You very nearly tell her hush, this is about you, don't worry about me, but that would only rile her, so you say, "well, the view is rather nice."

"You bet it is."She reaches around to pinch at your ribs, then wriggles a bit so she can pull you in for a kiss.

Kissing Latula is rather like sinking in to a soft mattress after a long day of standing on smarting feet. You just let go somehow. Something unclenches behind your sternum. You feel as though you have never exhaled so deeply, in such a cleansing manner.

You don't kiss her for very long, however - a hand snakes up your thigh and pokes you much harder than you anticipated. You break away with a muffled yelp.

"Don't got all day, Kanny." Mituna says, before promptly sticking his fingers back into his mouth and saying something that sounds vaguely like, "fingers getting pruney and Hamlet's getting bored."

You only raise your eyebrow a little. A fractional amount. A true testament to your restraint, surely. "Goodness, we can't have pruney fingers." You go to maneuver Latula so she's fully facing him once again. She's got that sleepy-cheery look on her face that means the both of you are succeeding at your job thus far. "As for Hamlet, I'd rather prefer he gets bored."

"Incoming," Mituna warns, drawing his spit-slicked fingers from his mouth and moving towards her.

"Rodger that! Clear and ready to receive you for landing, good sir!"

To his credit, Mituna manages to stay on task despite abruptly vibrating with laughter. You turn to gently dig your teeth high up on Latula's neck when Mituna's slippery fingers make contact with her skin.

Her whole body jerks, to your utter delight. Peering down the folds and curves of her body, you see Mituna providing just the barest minimum of stimulation with one of his fingers, tapping at the base of her clitoris whisper-light. He bares his teeth in an impish grin when her toes curl and the muscles of her legs tense.

"Ask nice? Can't remember. If you did."

"Seriously? C'mon, 'Tuna."

You crane your neck to mouth at the soft skin of her earlobe. "We're simply ensuring your continued and enthusiastic consent to these activities, my darling. Surely you can't find anything reprehensible about that."

Latula's legs are starting to shift a little, her knees starting to draw up off the mattress before she relaxes them again. "Dude, this shit again, huh?"

"Yes," you coo into her ear, "yes, this shit again."

"Seriously? C'mon, 'Tula." Mituna manages, as usual, to mimic with uncanny accuracy her exact tone of voice and inflection as before. "What's wrong with you askin'?" He curves his wrist a little, getting a shaky (albeit rather impatient) exhale for his troubles.

"You know what I like, silly." She reaches forward and scrubs at his hair.

"Yeah, but what if, what, if the things you like changed overnight? 'Cus your, your body, I-D-K, had a mid-life crisis while you slept. Something. Or something."

"We're only ensuring your absolute enjoyment," you manage to say around the shell of her ear. "We've got you, 'Tula."

"Pleaseeee? Just want maximum feel-good potential. For you, want it all, all for you."

She attempts to make a grumbling noise, but instead sounds more like a very content bumblebee. "Fine."

"Fine, what?" Mituna pulls his fingers away, putting his free hand on her hips when they try to follow him.

"Fine, please."

"Please, what?"

"Please touch me."

"But I am. Touching you. We both are. Got any quests, requests for location, though? Gotta speak. Up."

You nudge him with your foot.

"Okay, okay." He readjusts himself so he's lying on his stomach before her. "I go, I go."

"Faster than an arrow from the Tar-ah-Tartar's bow." Her spine curves away from you when Mituna mouths at her inner thigh.

"Swifter."

"Who fuckin' cares, Kanny - oh, that's lovely," she breathes.

"Yeah?" Comes Mituna's reply. Her fingers spasm at the vibrations of his words, and she tugs on his hair a little (not noticing the way his eyes flutter shut when she does).

"Yes, you utter cantaloupe, now would you just - a little higher - "

He just hums into her skin. Her head falls back onto your shoulder. You plant a kiss on her temple.

You'd both agreed to tease her a little, back when you'd been scheming. The way you figured, if you both went into automatic 'give Latula an orgasm' mode, you wouldn't convey what you were trying to convey. You wanted her to have fun as well as feel good. You wanted to put time into making her have fun.

Not too much teasing, though. You're about to nudge Mituna again, noting that he'd been mouthing at the skin of her labia for quite some time, before he moves of his own volition, closing his lips over her and suckling softly.

Latula's words arrive on the tail end of a tiny moan. "Was beginning to wonder if you'd forgotten where it was." Her eyes are darting all over the ceiling, so she is unprepared for him to hollow his cheeks briefly. "Ah-a, apparently not, hm?"

"Oh ye of little faith." You palm her breasts, glow a little inside at how much heat is radiating from her skin.

"Not faith, patience."

"Oh, don't worry." You pinch one of her nipples between your fingers and roll it gently. "I have enough of that for all three of us."

"You're a, a god damn liar. Ah, ah, right there, 'Tuna."

"Perhaps." You pinch a little harder. "But do you honestly object?"

Her only answer is to squeeze her eyes shut as Mituna decides to get one of his hands involved, too.  She's close - always gets riled up fast when Mituna goes at her like he's doing now. Her hands are beginning to shake against the skin of your thighs, where she's rested them. Her hips keep squirming in a slow circle.

When she shakes apart a few minutes later, she's too overwhelmed to make a sound. Her teeth sink into her lower lip and her entire body goes rigid. You run your hands over the tense muscles in her shoulders, her biceps, her abdomen, the tops of her thighs. When she comes down, she's breathing in quick, shallow puffs of air that would alarm you if she didn't go utterly limp at the same time.

"Ah, okay - " She says weakly, and pushes at Mituna's head, who withdraws from between her thighs, wiping his mouth on the back of his hand before resting his cheek on her thigh.

"Just okay?"

"Hush up, 'Tuna-fish."

You smile, continuing to pet as much of her skin as you can reach. "Can I see if I can do better than 'okay'?"

You can't see precisely what expression she makes from the angle you're at, but you see Mituna's pupils dilate in response. "Um, now?"

"Mm-hmm." You wrap your arms around her belly and squeeze. "I'll be slow, just as you like."

When she manages an orgasm as quickly as that, her body is usually hypersensitive, twitching at the slightest touch. Often she's too sensitive to try for another, but, if you do say so yourself, you were always good at finding ways around obstacles.

"Ah, I mean, if you want to - "

"What do you want?" You want very much to have a turn, but there's plenty of time for that.

"I, um - " Her pupils are huge. She's always rather lost for words immediately after an orgasm, but today she seems especially speechless. You can practically feel the smugness rolling off of Mituna in waves. "Maybe? You can, we can try, at least."

That's all you need. You kiss her cheek in thanks, and squirm around to switch places with Mituna, who immediately exclaims, "you're so warm!" and wraps his arms and legs around her like a large, rather uncoordinated koala.

"Mmm, yeah?" Her eyes track your hands as you smooth them over her stomach. You can't resist squishing, just a little, and the corners of her mouth perk up.

"Yeah. Here, sit up for a hot sec."

Mituna collects all the pillows and shoves them behind him so he can lay back a little, allowing Latula to use him as a sort of chaise lounge.

She's very slippery. When you first reach your hand between your legs, your fingers skate across her skin as though it were wet glass. She hums, makes a small noise that tells you to be extra careful. You put the barest amount of pressure behind your index finger and slowly - oh-so-slowly - draw a line down from where you can first feel her clitoris under her skin all the way down until it slips inside her, just a little. She starts, and you feel her thigh muscles bunching up on either side of your wrist.

"Okay?"

"Mmm."

You continue like that for a little while, just running the pad of your finger up and down in slow, gentle laps. Each touch appears to both relax her and wind her up further, as her hips press into your hand while her entire upper body melts against Mituna's.

You can tell when her oversensitivity begins to be overpowered by the desire to topple over the edge again. She's noisy, now, letting little notes accent the end of each exhale. Mituna gives you a thumbs-up. You allow yourself to apply more pressure as you drag your finger down the hood of her clitoris and back up again, before pressing your thumb over the head and rolling it from side to side, so slippery there's no friction at all.

"Hah - "

She's close again. You allow yourself to feel an inkling of pride that the both of you have managed to do this to her. You don't change the speed of your thumb, but press down a bit harder. Your thumb skids, however, and you accidentally dig the very tip of your thumb into the sensitive flesh just underneath the head of her clitoris.

Latula comes with a hitch-pitched series of frantic whines, grabbing your wrist in an iron grip and clawing at the sheets with the other. It takes her a good thirty seconds for her breathing to even out, and a bit longer for you and Mituna to recover from your surprise.

Latula's head rolls back and her eyes close. Her breathing deepens, like she's about to fall asleep.

Mituna hauls her up. Her knees are shaking, you observe, and you dazedly tag along with them to the bathroom. Hamlet briefly raises his head - he'd fallen asleep, thank goodness. Having him constantly around while the three of you fooled around was the one factor that always made you a little uneasy - and sniffs at the air before rolling over and deciding to ignore all of you.

After he seats her on the toilet lid, Mituna turns to you.

"That was forty motherfucking seconds, is all you took. Sayin' here 'n now that I'm gonna beat you. Thirty, at least."

"I'd like to see you try," you say, just to egg him on. "Hurry and draw the bath."

You cradle Latula in your arms while Mituna fills the tub. She wraps her arms around you and sighs, tucking her face into your side. She's more relaxed than you've ever seen her.

"Love you," she murmurs into your shirt. "Love you a ton."

You sit like that while the bath fills. Mituna crouches next to the both of you and runs his fingers through her hair in the way you both know she likes. She seems entirely content to bask in your touch.

Mituna leans up and gives you a soft kiss, stroking the side of your face with the knuckles of two fingers. Good one, he mouths, and gives you a sunny grin. We did good.

"Ya'll planned this, didn't you?" Latula mumbles - she'd seen Mituna's lips move. Oops.

"...Yes," you admit. "Yes, we did."

"Mmm. Thought so." She squeezes you tighter. "Any special reason, or am I just one lucky bitch?"

"We love you." You tell her.

Mituna chimes in with, "because you got all sad again and we didn't know how to help you."

You feel her smile. "So, orgasms, huh?"

"Hell yeah."

"But in all seriousness - "

"We jus' wanna help you. Like us, like, like you do for us." Mituna interrupts. "That's all. So. We kinda run, ran outta ideas. So, orgasms."

Latula giggles, and you can hear the joy in it. Your heart swells. "If you're lookin' for more ideas you could wash my hair."

"Duh, were gonna - was gonna do that shit anyway. Up get. Up you get."

The both of you escort her to the bathtub. She sinks under the water with an appreciative groan and tilts her head back. You gulp at the long, winding line from her neck down to her belly, and get to work on her hair.

It isn't until you and Mituna have finished working shampoo into her hair that she speaks again.

"...'Jus don't want to add to it all, you know?"

"Hm?"

"What?" Says Mituna. When there's no response, he yanks on a lock of soapy hair. "Psst. 'Tula. What you say? What did you."

She opens her eyes and gazes at the ceiling. "Just, like..."

"Yes?"

"Hush, Kanny, I'm gettin' to it."

"Sorry."

"It's just...we don't need more issues in the pile, do we?"

"What do you mean?"

"Like, 'Tuna's got his brain shit and you've got your brain shit. I don't need to toss my brain shit in, too."

Ohhhh. Oh, dear.

"Brain shit isn't a competition!" Mituna spits out. "We c'n deal with our own brain shit and have room for more dealing, okay?"

"Don't suffer alone, 'Tula." You cup water in your hands and let it trickle over her head, watching the rivulets of shampoo slip-slide down with it. "That hurts us more than any of your 'brain shit' possibly could."

"I know, I know. Just, it's hard to bring up and be like 'yo, guys, my brain is like wading through peanut butter right now' - "

"What's wrong with that?" Mituna puts his hand on the back of her neck and tilts her head back under the water while you stir her hair around to get the rest of the shampoo out. "Please, 'Tula. If you gotta say it like peanut butter, then do it."

"Even if you think you're being too blunt, please just say what's on your mind." You add. "Please, Latula. We love you."

You think you see tears welling up in her eyes. She doesn't draw attention to it, so you leave it be. She exhales long and hard, then takes your hands in each of hers.

"I'll try."

"Love you, 'Tula babe. Want bacon for breakfast?"

"Fuck yes," she sighs, and moves to get out of the tub. "Help me out."

And so you do.

You do, you do - you will. You'll give her everything, everything you possibly can to make her smile. You love her so.

You're going to help her in any way she'll let you because, oh, you love her so much. She smiles at the both of you, and right then you think that there isn't anything else in the world that could possibly make you happier.