[I know I haven’t tended to post fiction here, but.

Very unfinished bit(s) of a piece; set in a kind of cross between a high-tech-fantasy world of mine and BDSM scene things.

Narrator is male in my head.] 


Honestly, this is what I get for airing my woes to Marcella. Unfamilar city, time, nothing to do…

“Well, what do you do at home?” She was packing while talking to me, off to one of her concerts.

“I go to the dungeon.” Like she didn’t know.

She glances at the camera from across the room.

“Well, it’s not that small a city, I’m sure they have one. Just look it up! Anyway, I really do have to run…”

Once the video closed, the search bar seemed to stare at me like it was going to follow me around the room next. Not that there was much in the room. Some nights, the data hook is about all I could want, but some nights it really isn’t.

So, a search and transit and an entrance later, here I was.

{some time, events, and meeting a person later (first line here is not the narrator’s)}

“So, recap. You want reassurance about causing pain, I like painspells. You’re going to hit me with painspells and voice whatever insecurities you might want to, I’m going to enjoy myself and reassure you. Your safeword is cyan, in which case I should stop reassuring you and do something else. I use the same one if I need to stop reassuring for whatever reason. I’m otherwise not doing anything that requires a special safeword, so I say ‘not that much’ and such if I need to. Red and yellow remain as general emergency safewords. Does that sound right?”

I nod, then feel like I should be saying it out loud. “Yeah – yeah, it does.”

“Excellent!” She sits down on the bench and swings her legs. “Shall we start?” Oh god. But this nervousness is part of the idea, in this case. I take a breath.

“Yeah. Let’s start.” She flashes a stronger smile than usual.

“5 4 3 2 1 go.”

I swallow, breathe again.

“I’m, um, not sure about this. What if I hurt you?”

“You’re not going to hurt me. You’re using a very straightforward painspell, it doesn’t go high enough that it could do damage. You just demonstrated in front of the DM that you could can cast and control it perfectly well, and we just checked to make sure there aren’t any adverse reactions with me. If it’s too much and you can’t fix it for some reason I can grab the analgesic again and I’ll be completely fine while we sort it out. If you turn out to be secretly evil the analgesic will still work and we have a DM team right there to put a stop to things. They know how to deploy shields, protecting and containing. And if something does go wrong we have a great medical response record here and we will deal with it.”

I nod my head, memories coming up with the words. That was actually reassuring. Like to a rhythm, she taps her fingers up and down the strap of the analgesic. Across her shoulder, holding it in place on her chest for hopefully easy and intuitive grabbing, if needed. I’d seen it in effect just minutes ago, holding my spell while she tightened her hand on it, the spell doing its work to no actual effect at all. Which was exactly what should have happened, but still – magic was seriously amazing sometimes.

“But I mean – any time you see it, in history like – bad people use painspells. It’s always terrible.” She’s stopped playing with the strap, put her hand down next to her.

“That’s because of how they’re using them. It’s not an inherent property of painspells any more than it’s an inherent property of canes” she nods sideways toward the trio at the table “moving things around” another nod “or sex for that matter.”

{somewhat later, one branch of the story. (first line here is the narrator’s)}

“Cyan.” She’d exhaled and started untensing back when I’d cut the spell. With barely a pause she swings her legs down, turns, looks at me.

“You OK? What’s wrong?” I clench my eyes shut.

“Cyan. I’m sorry.”

“There’s nothing to be sorry for.” I open my eyes and she’s there, standing and keeping distance. Maybe a minute passes. I don’t note it. “Touch?” I nod, prompted to reaction, and she leads me back toward the bench, sits down on it next to me, pausing to telegraph each move before making it. “If you want to talk it’s OK. If you don’t want to talk it’s OK.”


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