Elkay cursed under his breath as the front door creaked open. He had just wanted to sneak in, grab his gunstaff and leave, but nope, the front door conspired against him, rudely announcing his presence.
“I thought I told you lot to bugger off home?”
Instinctively, Elkay apologised, only to realise that there was no one in the living room. The voice had come from the bedroom down the hallway.
“Sorry, I am just here to grab my gunstaff. Do you know where it is?”
“The one Kinisis had made for you?”
Something appeared from the hallway. It was definitely the Thantophor, but it also… wasn’t the Thantophor? Elkay couldn’t help but stare in confusion at this strange being.
“You like?” Arkadin asked, hands on his? His hips? It’s hips? Elkay really wasn’t sure. If anything, he felt slightly uncomfortable looking at this clearly very female-Ksithan-looking being. It was as if the Thantophor had turned himself into a female Ksithan, stripped off all the fur, replaced the fur with scales then shoved Panvok plasti-armour plating on top of that.
Elkay stuttered. Arkadin noticed.
“You can be honest, you know.”
“I… I hate it.”
Arkadin’s shoulders dropped. “You do?”
“You look like a Ksithan. Or a Temthan. I am not sure. I found you much more attractive when you were basically a yellow Rethavo-” Elkay suddenly covered his mouth. He hadn’t meant to say that out loud. Arkadin though didn’t seem that annoyed.
“That’s… fair, I guess. I did essentially change species…”
“But why though?” Elkay asked. “You were fine as you were… Is this because you had feelings for someone?”
“No… It’s… The reason why I’m like this is… dumb.”
Arkadin took a deep breath. “Basically the other gods hate the fact that I’m a scary death god-”
“But you are not scary.”
“I know!” Arkadin grunted. “I’m not scary at all. I’m incredibly nice considering that I am a death god! And the others all wanted to muzzle me, either turn me into a faceless void or turn me into some sort of animal. The compromise was that I make myself even less scary and take a feminine form for a while. In taking a less scary form, I was allowed to send you guys home and not have you all keeping an eye on me 24/7.”
Elkay still had a rather confused look on his face. “That… makes no sense.”
“Yeah, I know. Nothing makes any sense. But the others see me taking a feminine form as punishment and-”
“But you already were feminine!” Elkay exclaimed.
Arkadin nodded sadly. “Yeah. I told Yisini that. She didn’t listen. No one listens. So now I look like this.” The Thantophor tutted to himself, then wandered off back down the hallway. He reappeared after a few minutes, holding Elkay’s gunstaff. “You really hate how I look?”
Elkay hesitated. “It is… not to my tastes. I am sure, if I was a male Temthan, I would like you. But as a masculine-leaning Rethan, I do not find your look pleasant to the eye… Sorry…”
The Thantophor shrugged. “It’s fine. I didn’t expect your reaction but I totally get it. Anyway, you should head back home.”
“Actually…” More hesitation. Clearly Elkay wasn’t doing very well, Arkadin noticed that he didn’t normally act this hesitantly. “I… I do not really have a home to go back to.”
“Oh…” Arkadin blinked. “I’m sorry about that. Do you want to stay here?”
“Yeah. I mean, I did ruin your life in every way possible short of killing you.”
Elkay shook his head as he headed for the door. “No, I do not want to stay here. I am… just bemoaning the fact that I have to start from scratch.”
“You’re welcome to visit though, if you want!” Arkadin smiled.
“Yeah… sure…” Elkay sighed. “Thank you…”