tagSci-Fi & FantasyFlowers for Tabitha

Flowers for Tabitha

byXarth©

Author's Note: Thanks to LizHaze for beta-reading my first cutesy little urban-fantasy lesbian story. It was just something I had the idea to try writing, and I think it came out ok. Enjoy.

****

Rose shook her head in wry resignation as she entered her bedroom. A very contented looking cat lay sprawled across the blanket on her impeccably-made bed.

"Every damn day," Rose muttered to herself.

Felicia belonged collectively to the four twenty-ish-year-old girls living in the house. However, for reasons unknown, she gravitated to Rose's room far more often than any of the others. Unless Rose was careful to shut and lock her door every morning, she could expect to find the smug little furball upon her return. Not always, of course, because cats had their own agendas, but often enough to be annoying.

Rose picked up the napping cat and cradled her in her arms. She scratched behind her ears where she liked it.

"You're lucky you're so beautiful," Rose said as she walked back to the doorway. With a kiss on the head, Rose bent and released her furry package. "Run along now."

"Mrroww?"

"You've got your own bed. We've been over this."

"Mrrrrow."

"You watch your language."

Rose shut the door firmly with Felicia on the other side. Honestly, the attitude on that cat....

Alone at last, Rose began stripping out of her day's outfit. Classes had taken a lot out of her that day, and she felt the need to get comfortable and unwind a little before having to interact with any of her housemates.

Everything went, and for a moment she was totally naked in the privacy of her own room. She enjoyed the feeling of it, the full unburdening of her physical self. Every now and then she contemplated wandering the house like that; it was only the girls, after all. She wasn't quite brave enough for that, but it was a close thing.

Rose pulled on a comfy t-shirt, but that was it for the moment. The only other thing she pulled out of her dresser was her trusty mechanical friend. She owned exactly one sex toy, and her lone vibrator had served her well over the years.

Pushing back the covers, Rose settled into her bed. She took a perverse pleasure in having reclaimed the spot--yet again--from Felicia. What Rose intended was more fun that mere napping, not that the cat would have agreed.

The vibrator emitted a hum as it was activated. Rose smiled as she lay back and positioned the toy at her dampening pussy. This was what she needed. A little 'personal time.'

The happy vibrations did lovely things all along the length of Rose's slit as she traced her toy up and down. Even better was when she gave in and pressed it right to her hidden little clit. That was the spot.

Several minutes and a small, warm-up orgasm later, Rose opened her eyes. She frowned as she saw Felicia perched casually on her dresser. Rose's gaze flicked to her still closed door, then back to the cat. Fuck. How the hell had the little witch managed that?

"I'm really not in the mood for your shit right now," Rose growled. "I'm busy."

Felicia gazed passively back, then turned her head and began licking her paw like she didn't have a care in the world.

"Hey! I'm talking to you, furball. I don't know how you got in, but you best get right the hell back out again."

The cat kept right on licking.

"Jesus fuck. I try to get a little alone time...."

Rose grumpily stood and padded bottomless over to her stupid intruding kitty. She had just gotten nicely worked up, and it was terribly annoying having to stop and throw Felicia out again.

"Alright, you," Rose said.

Rose grabbed at Felicia, who surprisingly dodged out of the way. Usually she'd let herself be picked up. Rose put her hands on her hips and glared at the cat. Felicia stared back just as impassively as ever. It was, however, a silent staring contest....

"Tab?" Rose said with a sneaking suspicion.

Felicia cocked her head.

"Tab, that better not be you."

The cat finally looked away with something akin to chagrin.

"Goddammit, Tab. Change back this instant!"

Nothing happened.

"Really? You intrude in my room, and you're going to act all shy about it? Fine. Have it your way."

Rose turned her back and waited. Felicia cautiously appraised the back of Rose's head, then the floor, then the bed. She hopped down from her perch and reached the relative safety of the sheets Rose had pushed off the side of her bed during 'play time.'

There was an unnatural sound of flesh shifting in ways it was never meant to. Rose silently counted another ten seconds, then turned back around.

Tabitha, the youngest of Rose's housemates at barely nineteen, had wrapped herself in some loose bedding. Her small, lithe form was almost entirely hidden by a makeshift robe of sorts. She watched Rose sheepishly as though expecting an angry outburst at any second.

"You spying on me now?" Rose asked. "'Cause that's not cool."

Tabitha flinched. "Wasn't," she mumbled unhappily. "I just... I got the shift so good this time, and I wanted to show you. I didn't know what you were doing."

Rose sighed and rubbed her forehead. "You're not even supposed to be shifting without supervision at your level. It's dangerous. Let alone using it for your own amusement like that."

The poor, trembling girl under the bedsheet looked even more downcast. "Are you gonna tell?"

This was the trouble with Tabitha. She took things so hard that Rose rarely got to properly berate her. She was a fragile little thing, the sort of girl Rose couldn't help feeling protective of. Tabitha was like the baby sister she'd never had as a child.

"You know I wouldn't tell anyone," Rose said gently. "But you should at least warn me when you're going to be practicing your shifting. More experienced shifters than you have had things go wrong, and how would we ever know."

Tabitha cracked a faint smile. "You'd know. You always know it's me, somehow."

"Tab...."

"Well you do. I looked just like Felicia, you know I did. And you still knew anyway."

Rose put her hands on her hips, but the glimmer of excited pride in Tabitha's face made it hard not to smile too. "Only because Felicia's a noisy little witch. It was just luck that I noticed you weren't talking."

Tabitha shook her head. "Couldn't get the 'meow' right. But you'd know anyway. You always do." She grinned impishly. "One of these days, I'm gonna fool you for real."

"You shouldn't have that as your goal, Tab. I really don't want to think what would happen if you get stuck some day and none of us can tell you apart from a real animal."

"Don't worry, Rosie. I can look after myself. Haven't ever been stuck, not even once."

Tabitha stood a little more proudly for a moment until she realized she'd let her sheet hang more loosely. Not that Rose could see much, but the swell of her small cleavage was visible for a few seconds. She quickly wrapped herself back up, her form shrinking again in mild embarrassment.

"For someone who shifts as much as you do, you'd think you'd be used to people seeing you without clothes," Rose said.

"Am used to it. Jus' don' like it is all." Tabitha's hunched position made her words come out even more muffled. "People are mostly nice about it, but I'm so tired of my stupid boy-ish body."

"Tab, we've been over this. You--"

"I know, I know. 'Jus' 'cause I got no tits and no ass and I could fit through a basketball hoop without touching the rim doesn't mean I got a stupid ugly boy body.'"

"Well it doesn't."

"Easy for you to say. You actually look like a woman."

"Which I suppose you know a little too well by now, huh?"

The rich crimson that filled Tabitha's face was gratifying to Rose. Despite wanting to comfort the girl, she was still kind of annoyed with her.

"I really didn't mean to interrupt...."

"Interrupt me masturbating?"

Tabitha's blush deepened further. "Pr'mise I din't," she squeaked out. "I jus'... I did a quick wall-walk to get past your door, 'cause I thought it'd be a fun surprise, you know? And once I realized... I mean, I can't do two wall-walks so soon."

"So you were stuck," Rose pressed. "The way you keep insisting you couldn't possibly be?"

"That's different."

"Not that different."

Tabitha shifted uncomfortably. Rose knew she was torturing the poor thing by lecturing her while she was so flimsily dressed. Tabitha deserved at least some of what she got for her intrusion, but she'd probably suffered enough by now.

"Go on, go get dressed." Rose nodded toward the door. "And next time knock before coming in."

Tabitha nodded gratefully. "Thanks, Rosie. And... sorry."

The younger girl scampered out of the room trailing the ends of her 'robe' across the floor. Rose shut the door behind her, then leaned against it with a long, weary sigh. Tabitha was kind of a handful at times. Shifters tended to be anyway, but this one especially.

It was only a moment later that Rose glanced down at herself and realized just how exposed her lower half had been during the entire conversation. Tabitha had been looking down an awful lot, but that had been chagrin rather than perviness, right? Of course it had. There was no way she'd been checking out Rose's naughty bits while getting chastise. No way. Probably.

****

A few days later, Tabitha struck again. She'd basically been good up until then, albeit a little on the quiet side. Rose had let her defenses down, as she so often did when it came to the younger girl.

Rose was just chilling out in the common room, curled up on the couch watching a movie. Lisa, another housemate, had been watching with her for a while, but had wandered off and hadn't returned. Jenny, the final house dweller, was flitting back and forth between the movie and the kitchen. Tabitha was presumed to have been holed up in her room.

Felicia came padding in as casual as could be. She hopped gracefully up to the arm of the sofa next to Rose, then stared at her favourite human hopefully.

"Hey, furball," Rose said. "What you looking for?"

Felicia cocked her head.

"Lap time, I take it? Pretty sure you've been fed already." Rose shifted her position to make room for the cat, then paused. "Assuming you're actually Felicia, that is."

The cat remained quiet a moment longer, just long enough for a frown to begin forming on Rose's brow. Then, "Mrow?"

Rose shook her head ruefully. "Sorry. But you know Tab. Have to watch myself."

Rose crossed her legs and formed an ideal kitty throne for Felicia. The cat gazed disinterestedly off to the side for a moment, fulfilling the feline protocol of 'making sure no one thinks I need them,' then pounced into Rose's lap. She curled up happily, and was soon letting out a soft, constant purr as Rose's fingers found the backs of her ears.

The girl and cat snuggled together with their movie for a while until Jenny popped back into the room. Rose didn't pay any attention at first to the way the other girl regarded Felicia with a quizzical awe.

"Don't know how that cat does it sometimes," Jenny muttered. "It's like she doesn't obey any physical laws."

"What's that?" Rose asked without taking her eyes off the screen.

"Oh, nothing. I just saw Felicia down the hall, is all. And somehow she beat me here. It's enough to make you think you're crazy sometimes."

Rose looked down at the cat in her lap. It looked back with impassive eyes. And yet....

Jenny's phone buzzed. "Whoops, gotta go," she called over her shoulder. "Lemme know how the movie ends."

"I'd have to let you know how it started," Rose whispered to herself. "And probably what happened in the middle too."

Still, disdain for Jenny's ability to focus aside, Rose was more interested in her remaining movie buddy. She looked like Felicia, acted like Felicia, even sounded like Felicia. But if there were two cats running around that evening, then it was a safe enough bet that the one sitting with her wasn't the real one.

"Dammit, Tab," Rose said aloud.

"Mrroww?"

"Cut the shit. I know it's you."

Rose picked the cat up before she could escape, then marched to her room. She tossed 'Felicia' on her bed and stood with arms folded. The cat did nothing for several moments, but Rose wasn't backing down this time. She kept right on staring until finally the cat wriggled under the covers, then expanded into a roughly human-sized shape.

"Knew it," Rose said. "I thought we talked about this."

Tabitha's grinning face appeared from under the blanket. "I got you this time," she said triumphantly. "I got you for real."

"Yes, you did. But that's not--"

"I got the voice right and everything."

"Yes, but--"

"And I didn't even bother you in your room or anything, just like you said."

Tabitha's pride was too infectious. Rose gave in and smiled back. "Ok, you got me."

The younger girl beamed even wider. "Told ya I would."

"You did."

Tabitha carefully pulled a sheet around her and emerged from her blankety cocoon. In her excitement, she wasn't quite as thorough about covering herself as usual. Her shoulders and most of one leg remained exposed. It was certainly nothing indecent, but showed an uncharacteristic lack of self-consciousness.

"And I'm still gonna get better," Tabitha proclaimed. "I'm pretty good already, but if I keep at it I could be one of the top shifters around. I know I could."

"I know you could too," Rose said.

She hugged Tabitha. The younger girl slipped an arm free to throw over Rose's shoulder in return. When they separated, half of Tabitha's protective sheet fell away. For a moment, Rose had an unimpeded view of half of her petite frame.

Despite what Tabitha thought of herself, she truly had nothing to be embarrassed about in Rose's opinion. She'd never be a full-bodied woman with all the juicy curves she craved, but it was silly to think that everyone had to conform to a single figure. Tabitha had a beautiful lolita thing going on if only she'd recognize it. Lots of boys would have been happy with her precise, slender frame and perfect little titties. If Rose had been a guy....

Tabitha's grin faded and she yelped in shock as she realized what she'd allowed to happen. She scrambled for the dropped edge of her covering and pulled it tight around her body. The moment was definitely over.

"Tab...."

"I gotta go. Get dressed. And... stuff."

Rose caught Tabitha's shoulder before she could escape. "Tab, wait."

"Please, Rosie. I don't want to talk about it. I don't want another lecture about how my body's just fine the way it is. I can't handle that right now."

Rose let her go. "Ok, Tab. Just... come back if you want to talk about it. I'll be around."

Tabitha nodded, then absconded. After watching her leave, Rose glanced at the bed.

"Hope she brings back my sheet this time," she said to an empty room.

****

Much to Rose's surprise, Tabitha showed up again around bed time. She had some returned bedding in tow, which Rose accepted without comment.

Rose began remaking her bed. Tabitha hung around, fidgeting awkwardly with the hem of her shirt.

"Something up?" Rose asked.

"I dunno. Maybe." Tabitha rubbed her arm and shifted her weight from one foot to the other. "You said I could come talk to you."

"Sure did." Rose waited, but nothing was forthcoming. "Anything in particular you wanted to talk about?" she prompted.

"It's kinda weird...."

"Ok, but you still have to tell me for the whole 'conversation' thing to work."

Tabitha looked away. She bit her lip, then risked a glance back at Rose. "I liked earlier," she blurted. "When you had me in your lap. When... when...."

Rose's eyebrows shot up. "Reeeaaally? When you were getting kitty ear scratchies?"

"Yeah. Basically then."

"That doesn't seem so weird to me. Cats like it. And dogs too, I guess. And a fair number of people, I imagine."

Tabitha tugged at a loose string on her shirt. She toyed with it distractedly while she built up to her next admission. "I think I need more," she said softly.

Rose grinned. "Is that all?"

She stepped toward Tabitha and raised her hands. Tabitha jumped back a step.

"No no no, not like that," Tabitha squeaked. "Not as a person. That's... it'd be like...."

"Oh for fuck's sake, Tab. Just say whatever you want to say. It's me."

"I need to be a cat, Rosie. It's better that way."

"How is it better?"

Tabitha hugged herself in a gesture she'd picked up to both provide self-reassurance and hide her body. Her voice dropped to a barely audible level. "Because when I'm shifted I don't have to think about how I look."

"Oh, Tab...."

"No, I know. Don't say it." Tabitha took a deep breath. "But seriously, Rosie, everyone loves cuddling with Felicia." She shrugged. "No one's interested in me. That gets hard to take after a while."

Rose took another step closer. She wanted so badly to wrap Tabitha in her arms and hug the pain away. It was hard to say how that would be received, so she restrained herself.

"I wish you wouldn't say things like that," Rose said. "It breaks my heart."

"Sorry. It's true though."

"But--"

"I've been around a lot of other shifters, during lessons or when we're practicing or whatever. We've been... naked... around each other a lot. It gets more or less normal, I guess. Kinda." Tabitha shrugged miserably. "Still, there are some looks tossed around. Some flirting and whatever. But, like, never at me."

"Goddamn, Tab."

"I know. Sad, right? Or maybe you think I'm exaggerating?" Tabitha managed the most pathetic smile Rose had ever seen. "I've never been asked out, Rosie. Not by the guys at any of my shifting groups, not by anyone. Ever. How's that for sad?"

Rose couldn't actually look at her friend for a moment. She was afraid tears might start flowing if she gazed too long into the big, sorrowful pools that Tabitha's eyes had become.

"That is... rough," Rose managed in a fairly even tone.

"Sorry. I didn't mean to dump all that on you. Maybe I should, like, just leave you be for tonight. It might have just been a stupid idea anyway. It was just a nice feeling, you know?" Tabitha shook her head. "Who am I kidding. Of course you know."

Just as Tabitha turned to leave, Rose found her voice again. "Give me five minutes."

"What?"

"Let me get ready for bed. You can come cuddle."

Tabitha chewed on her bottom lip. "Are you sure?"

"Of course I am. I wouldn't have offered if I wasn't."

A smile--small, but genuine--cracked Tabitha's lips. "Five minutes," she agreed. Then she was gone.

Rose stood where she was for a moment, concerned that she'd done the wrong thing somehow. She shook her head and got changed for bed. If Tabitha was asking for something like a little cuddle time, it was both something she needed and something Rose was happy to help out with. How could agreeing possibly have been wrong?

Shortly thereafter, Rose had crawled into her freshly remade bed. She'd left the door slightly ajar, not that it was strictly necessary. It felt right to leave it open in silent invitation, just in case Tabitha had doubts.

As expected, a cat that looked exactly like Felicia showed up before long. It padded near-silently to the bed, then bounded up next to Rose. Rose smiled and lay still while the cat picked its spot and settled in right next to her. A soft purr hummed against Rose's skin. She smiled and closed her eyes.

****

Rose woke to a naked girl in her bed. That seemed odd to her bleary brain. It wasn't something she was much accustomed to.

As soon as Rose realized the girl snuggled up with her was Tabitha, the pieces all kind of fell into place. She hadn't realized that Tabitha shifting back to human form while she slept was a possibility, but there was no particular reason it shouldn't happen, she supposed. Rose didn't mind, really, but her friend might have a different opinion when she regained consciousness.

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