5: Have I Told You Lately That I (Hate) You?
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I seem pretty good at wearing my mouth out, Buck thought, but that ain't so bad: she seems pretty good at listening!

He spent the first few hours telling stories he didn't have to explain much for. Finding funny things, getting into scary situations... drinking, a lot. A quick summary of his life to the point he crashed his truck, and things he found notable. She wasn't exactly interested at first, but he worked his way in: why she didn't have so many books, and in the absence of books you could always find someone to hear from. That got her piqued, but when he pointed out that a traveler from another world may well have stories out of this world, that sealed it. For the next little while he had her attention.

It helped him unwind, too. Telling her about everything he did back then. Her fever couldn't diminish the interest she had in the tales he told- but what really caught her interest were the mechanical things he spoke of! Even if he wasn't the most technically inclined- he couldn't name alloys of steel, or specific engineering qualities. But in a roundabout way he could talk about industrial things, engines, how everything he did back home was of a technical bend. That he really wasn't quite so talented at farming- most of what he did was fixing.

"So when I said I died in a truck, I wasn't talking about a little wooden hand-truck, you might be thinkin' of." He had a dry throat after all that talking. "I was talkin' about a big oily machine that stunk like high hell, and I had to get inside it every week ta' fix it. And when I needed to get liquid fuel for it, it cost a lot to fill up. Didn't have any paint left on it, either."

"Interesting." A cloud fell across the sun. It cast a nice shadow across the little house. Buck thought about the small Codex squirreled away under his pillow. He needed to get back into reading that. "And you liked it?"

"I loved it!" Buck grinned. "Wouldn't trade it for the world."

They sat in silence for a few minutes, their ciders long-since empty and the last crumbs of Alexandra's pastry on her bed. The little woman- tall for her town, but still short compared to him- she wore a fever like it was going out of style. Watching her cough and groan made his chest sink in a little bit. Buck had been getting used to the fact that the folks here went without shirts. He still wore his because it was his habit, and he got odd looks for it.

Odd looks like what he got from that lady at the apothecary, who was still on his mind. She stuck out like a sore thumb wearing her robes- and thick gloves over her fingers- and a big, fancy hat- and she was an elf! An actual elf! With pointed ears and pale hair and snow-white skin. He almost wanted to pull her aside and ask all his questions he could, but she'd just gotten into town and said she was soon to visit family. And being so polite he wouldn't keep a lady like that waiting anywhere! When he said he lived with the farmers outside town, and more specifically Rodrick and Amelia- she cocked her head at him. Then they parted ways and he went back to his resting place. But she was an elf! 

"Mm. I think I'm going to rest for a little bit." Alexandra slipped lower onto her bed. Buck took it as a sign to excuse himself. "...Thanks."

"If you ever want to hear another one, you know where to find me." He stood up and grabbed the empty bottles: the brewer (everyone just called him the brewer) would want them back. All the boys were still with Rodrick. The man slipped through the kitchen- Amelia, the matriarch of the family, stopped him. She had a basket of greens she'd plucked from the garden. 

"Were you telling her stories?" She asked him, and Buck nodded. Despite her age, she looked young and spry, and she had a sharpness to her that reminded him of the elven lady at the apothecary. He knew the people here had kids young. "Why- look at you! I can hardly get her nose out of her books when she's ill."

"Thanks, thanks." He rolled his shoulders. "Do you need help with anything, ma'am? I was going to see the boys and help Roddy out, still plenty of light left. They could really use me out there."

Amelia chuckled then turned to cut up the vegetables. "No, no, not at all. You work hard enough. Go take a rest and read that funny book you have. Rodrick can handle things, he's no old dog!"

That... caught him off guard. Buck raised an eyebrow. Surely, surely- "Wouldn't ya have something for me to do? I'd feel bad if'n it were me and little ole' Alex out for the day. There somethin' to clean or somethin' to fix or- do you want me to run any errands? Ma'am?"

"Roebuck!" Amelia set her knife down and spoke more sternly: even that made Buck think twice. "You're so stubborn for working, I swear! Does every man from your part of the world want to wear themselves out like that?"

"No, ma'am."

She put her hands on her hips. "I don't know any man who works as hard as you do for as little as  you ask for! I'm telling you now, go get some rest! I swear by the forest itself! If I catch you sweating anywhere near this household, young man-"

"Understood, ma'am!" He nodded and got out of there quick, hurrying across the yard. The man felt a fool: but- well, maybe he could stand to rest some? It couldn't hurt.

For having a spot in the barn? It was pretty nice! It was an older barn- a while back they'd had the fortune to build a larger barn. Now they used this one for storing tools, preserved food, furniture, everything that didn't quite fit in the small home of theirs. Buck asked for his privacy- but really he wanted space. They set him up in the attic space and that's where he rested.

The ladder creaked as he went up it and slid into his small space. It wasn't tall enough for him to stand up in- but that didn't matter, since he only ever slept up. Buck climbed into the small chair they'd gotten up there and pulled the Codex Esoterica out, thumbing the latch open.

Then feeling a heavy pair of breasts crest his head and a familiar feminine voice greet his ears. He huffed.

"Bucky!" The goddess squealed. Her again!

"...Hi Ziva." Buck was getting pretty good at keeping his eyes on the things he really needed to focus on. That being his book. Not the tits pressed into the top of his skull or the sugary-sweet words dripping off the woman's tongue. Her weekly visits had given him plenty of practice. "How's it going?"

She swooped down and wrapped him in a hug; certainly warmer than the cold, dry words of the textbook he'd forced himself to open. In her first guise she appeared entirely human. Now? In this new world- she had a canine bend to her form. Lithe paws grasped his chest, thin claws poking the old tank top. Behind him, he heard the coyote-like tail she had thumping against a beam. "Just checking up on you, dear! Or should I say deer, y'know, since you're Buck."

"Heard it a million times before." Buck ran a finger through the page. This particular section dealt with the "Beastmen" of the world. How they looked human, but often bore animalistic features. He wondered what the connection was between it and the goddess currently sliding up behind him. There wasn't a single page that dealt with who or what Ziva, the 'Unspoken Goddess,' actually was. "But that's nice of you."

With inhuman flexibility the goddess slinked over, almost curling into his lap. The thin dress she wore surely stayed on by magic- because any other way it would've exposed the divine body of hers. Bushy ears stuck out of her head, her midriff exposed. She defied gravity with how she laid,  and finally Buck closed the book-

And gave her belly a thump. The goddess barked and twisted in his lap, nearly throwing Buck off his seat and to the rickety attic floor. "What was that for?" She pouted.

"I'm tryin' ta read my book!" He whispered. "And yer not helpin'!"

"Are you? I'd think you'd want to have a little fun, you seem pent-up." Again she wriggled, rubbing herself over him. If he were weaker-willed he'd have reached down and taken those ears between his fingers and rubbed them. He stopped himself. That might have gotten weird. "Country boy got the eyes for someone else? Oh- is it who I think it is?"

Buck fumed. 

"Oh-ho-ho! I've been keeping an eye on you, Bucky!" The goddess flowed like liquid off his lap, taking a kneeling position and leaning on his lap. She had her head positioned... precariously close to the manhood tightening up his trousers. "You aren't thinking of doing a little homewrecking are you? I'd never have taken you for the type!"

Thump. The Codex struck squarely on her forehead. Ziva rubbed her brow with a canine whine. He'd normally have compunctions about hitting girls unprovoked but Ziva'd be the exception. She's a goddess! She could take a few thumps. He hoped. "No. I'm not. Why would ya even think of that?"

"Just a thought." The goddess pouted. "Oh, oh, I bet you're thinking of one of those provincial girls! With the great big tits and wide, firm hips you can just grab up and-"


"Ow! That hurt!" Ziva kept on whining, kept on guessing, and kept on getting a book knocked upside her head. "C'mon, third guess, third guess... Oh, that elven lass at the doctor's? Why she's pretty exotic by your old standards on Earth isn't she! Couldn't you just nibble those ears all day?"

"Ziva." Buck raised the book up.

The goddess chuckled. "Was I wrong?" 

"Yes." But he didn't drop the book on her face. "I ain't been here but like three weeks!"

"You're... supposed to be-" Ziva frowned. "C'mon, I drop you, big, muscular man with a good attitude in a whole world full of topless women, you can go and start a family or a harem or anything like that, and you read a book and bust your ass all day?"

Buck nodded. "Yes. But if you had to ask, I'm pretty fond of Alexandra. She's a smart girl and I like 'er freckles! I even told her stories too!"


"Ya want me ta' repeat that verbatim or somethin'?" He smirked. Now that sent Ziva into a cackling fit, the divine being slipping down and curling up and down into a hysterical fit. She got real loud, loud enough he thought the women in the other building might hear- but he looked through the window and saw neither Alexandra nor Amelia coming out to check. The fit lasted a minute, then another, then he pushed his bare foot into her side to get her to just... "Hey, hey, quit that, quit it, dammit! Ziva, what're ya here for?  Trying to get me in bed or somethin' or you got news for me?"

When the goddess calmed down she sidled back up on the man's side. "Oh, a little bit. You know how I told you this place was safe?"

His heart skipped a beat. "What? Course I do. What're ya sayin'?"

Ziva hummed and kissed his ear. "Well, this place is. Why you could raise a nice little family with whatever cute girls you snatch up, or little Alexandr-" Bonk "-cute Alexandra. But isn't it so boring here? All you do is farm. Most folks that I send to new worlds are the more adventurous and daring kind!"

Buck kept on nodding. "Go on."

She grumbled. "You're not giving me a whole lot to work with here. Did you read the full terms of me sending you here?" She fingered open the codex. The pages shifted to show a long... Long... LONG jumble of legalese.

"I was chewing on it." He replied, looking between the text and her.

"Well I kind of... Just got some good news and a little bit of great news! What do you want to hear?" The goddess beamed. For some reason Buck felt a lot of trepidation.

"Well, start with the great news!" He skimmed the codex.

Ziva gave him a pat on the back. "Well it's about time the world got a new hero! See, if you read up on the particular terms and conditions of coming to this world, you'll see that every god or goddess has a champion or champions they selected, personally. As part of coming here, you agree to be mine, receive any and all blessings bestowed upon you by my decree, and you also have the right to petition me for any particular blessings you see fit- don't worry! I'm very generous. Just so long as it fits the budget. The great news is that you're up next for being one of my champions! Isn't that wonderful?"

"Wait, what?"

"Yeah, it's in your contract!" Her grin mever faltered. "Section B, under 'Resurrection or Reincarnation into another world. Any world beholden to divine influence you can be called upon to act as my champion. It's right there. See, little subsection here."

" Ziva! I'm an American! We don't read terms and conditions!" Buck growled.

"That's fine. That's your great news! You'll be acting as my divine champion. Now don't worry, I'm not as overbearing as some of those other gods. You don't even have to worship me or anything, and honestly, anything goes so long as you're doing things kindly... And keeping it fresh." She smirked. "Why you could stay right here and take a little wife and it'd fit within my tenets. Breed a few demigo-"


"Right. Anyways. Good news!" She clapped her hands together and jiggled... Pleasantly. "I consulted with some of the Fates and they say there's going to be a great adventurer coming through or around or even from here! And every great adventurer would benefit from a big, strong man like you to keep them company! So keep an eye out for anything that may seem like an epic quest- or the start of one. It might get a little hairy, but like I said,. I've got your back!"

"...Wait, next in line? What happened to the last guy?" He tilted his head to the side.

"Don't worry about it!" Those words made him worry about it. She hopped up and swung herself into his lap, snuggling into his chest. "He's doing fine. Just- indisposed right now! Like married and settled down indisposed. He's not a lot of fun now. You know how it is with married men."

"Z-Ziva!" Her plump rear ground into his manhood, a raging hot rod of iron that got her giggling and cooing. Buck reached a hand down and grabbed her thigh to try and push her off, fingers sinking into her soft flesh with an utterly divine give. His heart drummed a mile a minute and his breath shot in quick in-out-in-out. "Do you molest all yer champions? I swear I'm about ta' find the Human Resources department- of the Gods, and I'm bout to file a complaint!"

Ziva squeezed up close and breathed in his ear, lavishing his neck and his cheek with gentle kisses. Buck damn near wanted to kick her off. Crazy goddess. "Why I just think you're handsome and you look good all hot and bothered like that!"

"I- okay!" He hissed. "But can ya just let me read my book?"

"Awww." With her arms draped across his neck she gave him a smoldering look, lips inches from his. For second he wondered what she tasted like. Maybe something sweet: she didn't wear an ounce of makeup on her face. "You don't want to have a little fun? A little roll in the hay? Even if it'd make ya feel better? I bet I can take care of that libido of yours."

He bodily pushed her away, but he couldn't break her grip. A bit of ice dripped down his spine, she was a goddess, if she wanted to she could just have her way with him. He fumbled for his words. "Ma'am! Sex outside of marriage is immoral. But you are real pretty. If ya just- cool off a little, y'know, take things slow, I hardly know ya, Ziva! Ya sent me here without letting me read my contract and I don't know if yer gonna try and entrap me with a baby if I screw ya six ways to Sunday!"

"You have a verbatim copy." She pointed out, twisting and grinding in his lap. "And why would I entrap you?"

"I don't know, my brother almost got entrapped by a pretty gal like that! And yknow what? Just- git! Git outta here ya perv! Perv goddess- is that what ya are- the Unspoken Goddess of perverts? I like ya but I don't like ya that much!" He howled and thumped her rear with the Codex, continuing to push her off. She broke her grip, but her smile told him she just played along. "I am a man of temperance! I will not be swayed by your charms, woman! Git outta here before I do somethin' stupid!"

Just then he heard Amelia's voice ring out. "Alexandra, Buck, Rodrick, boys! Come here! We have a guest!"

"Temperance? How sweet!" Ziva smirked evilly, sliding off him with a bounce in her step. The goddess vanished in a puff of smoke. "Oh? I think that's my cue to leave. Have fun, Bucky boy!"

"Oh- Jesus Christ!" He cussed her out and waved away the smoke. "I swear to God, woman, hate it when you do that."

He groaned. Barely a page through his codex and already he'd been called for. It must've been important because Amelia had the meal bell ringing. She kept calling out, "Come on boys, we've got a guest!" The words dug into his skull as he groaned, clambered down the barn and hustled back alongside the troupe of young men and Rodrick.