Space Between Universes 7

Seimeni didn’t bother knocking because the door was ajar. She phased through the half-closed door, not even considering bothering to open it, only to realise that maybe she should have knocked.

The new guy was lying in his bed, only partially covered, looking rather prone. He immediately squeaked in panic and threw his blanket over himself. As he did so, he seemed to phase through the bed, hiding inside it.

“Oh!” Seimeni beamed. “You worked out how to phase! You’re more like me than I thought!”

Arkay’s hand stuck up from the bed. “Can you go away or something? Or fucking knock maybe?”

Seimeni shrugged. “I didn’t see anything.”

“It doesn’t matter if you see anything! It’s rude!”

“Your door was ajar.”

“That’s because I can’t actually close it!” Arkay finally pulled himself out of the bed. He was obviously very nervous and very angry at the same time, but he knew that he couldn’t show that anger. Clearly no one had told him he was allowed to stay. “I wasn’t given a way to close or lock the door and your boss keeps on coming and checking on me anyway… I thought I’d have like, ten minutes while you all had your meeting on whether I could stay or not…”

Seimeni shrugged some more, not sure how to respond. She never really had to deal with this when she arrived here.

“Um… We all agreed to wait until you grow up a bit.”

“What?” Arkay just looked confused now. “Grow up..? Is that…” The Decayling trailed off, staring at his hands. “Is that… why all this black stuff is peeling off me?”

“Black stuff?”

Arkay hesitated and pointed at a small pile of black, flaky material by his bedside table. “It’s embarrassing. Things are happening to me and… I can’t really describe them. But I keep on peeling off black stuff from my arms and legs and tail. Like dead skin except deader. I suppose peeling it off helps stifle the emotions I’m feeling, but… I assume it’s bad for me, right?”

“I dunno, to be honest…” Seimeni frowned, then suddenly started smiling again. “But you mentioned emotions… You wanna talk about them?” Seimeni floated into the room proper, pulling out the small chair from the desk that had been supplied in the room and sat down on it, legs crossed in a vaguely provocative manner.

“Uh…” Arkay inched away, sitting awkwardly on the edge of the bed. “Is something going on?”

“Not unless you want something to go on…” Seimeni smirked. But she quickly stopped. Her playfulness seemed to be… scaring the Decayling more than anything else. “It’s a confusing time for a little one like you. Lots of weird things happening. Your body is changing and growing up. Things may be confusing.”

“Were you… were you coming on to me?” Arkay abruptly asked, backing away further. “Because I wasn’t doing anything like that! And I’m really not interested in that sort of thing. Not yet. Not until I know what the fuck is going on.”

Seimeni shrugged, sighing a little. “I kinda hoped you would be. Most Decay-Lords aren’t into the old natural Life-Goddess things. And you’re the first attractive being to appear on this vessel for… well, according to the time-generator, about a billion gogool Planck time moments. Probably way, way more because you have no idea how much of a pain measuring things with time is…” The wispy Decay-Lord opened her legs, leaning forward. “And you really are a little stud. A gorgeous little specimen.”

Arkay took a deep breath, trying to collect his thoughts. “While I… appreciate the thoughts… and the offer… I’m not comfortable with any of this yet. Heck, I’m still trying to figure out my own body, what is old and new… And I… I don’t know if I’ll be staying…”

“What do you mean?” Seimeni asked as she tidied herself up then sat down next to Arkay. “We all agreed that we’d let you stay. At least until you’re a proper Decay-Lord.”

“Yeah but… I don’t feel… welcome…”

“Ah pssst!” Seimeni laughed, waving her hand dismissively. “The others will get over it! Plus, Vikalos likes you. As long as you don’t piss him off, you’ll be fine!”

“Really?” Arkay blinked.

“Yeah.” Seimeni laughed again, patting Arkay on the back, then getting up from the bed. “I’ll leave you to it, alright? And I’ll ask Vikalos if we can get you a lock or something for your door. After all, you’re gonna need some privacy while you grow up.”

Arkay smiled, just a little. “Oh… Cool… That’s good, I guess…”