Chapter 26 – Friends on the Other Side
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After having witnessed that thing prowling outside from far away, I was glad I had plans for the day after. And I was especially glad said plans didn’t involve me having to walk outside, since I was definitely not ready to risk facing whatever horrible creature wanted to take a bite out of me. But I realised in that moment, there was somebody else I should ask to join me for the activities I had planned. 

So I made my way down to the basement. I hadn’t really had contact with any of my neighbors, besides Leonard, since the incident. Which was definitely a shame, especially when it came to the resident basement dweller. I gave a quick knock to her apartment door, only for it to open up as if by ghostly force. 

Félicie was floating in the middle of the room, in slime blobcat form, surrounded by elemental spheres circling her, as if she was the sun and they the planets. She had her eyes closed, but the moment the door opened, so did they, and she gave me a quick wave with her paw. The spheres disappearing as she gently settled on the ground. “Hey Lily!” 

“The hell kind of Avatar The Last Airbender stuff was that?!” I let out, my voice pitched higher in amazement and amusement. 

“I kiiiinda finished the entire kitten witch books in a week. Honestly, why don’t we normalize making learning just as fun for adults as it is for kids? Erm, my point is,  I was just messing around.” Félicie shifted from her blob form into catgirl form. “Is there something I can help you with, or did you just come to say hi?” She stretched out, yawning in the process. 

“Well, I met this really cool angel fae trans witch, and she’s running a support group for trans descendants, so I figured hey, why not let the catgirl who lives in my apartment complex know about the whole thing and invite her?” I gave Félicie an awkward smile, and her eyes lit up in excitement. 

“How long have you known this cool trans witch for?” Her tail was flicking around full of curiosity, 

“About a week? She’s great, she even makes transition potions for us.” Féli slithered towards me in a second, I didn’t see her use her feet. One moment she was in the middle of her apartment, the next she was in front of me, giving me star eyes 

“Please introduce me!” With a giggle, she bounced over to her table, grabbing the twelve tomes on it. “I’m giving these back to Leonard and then I’m getting lessons from the angel witch!” With her head held high in mock disdain, as if she was a spoiled joyful princess, she made her way out of her apartment and back within the span of two minutes. “Gonna have to wear clothes, though, sigh...” Were the words that made me realise I had only ever seen Félicie naked. She bounced over to her wardrobe and got to dressing up, as I closed the door and turned around. 

“You’ve been naked this whole time and I didn’t even register it.” I ran my hands across my face, both to give her some privacy and to express my feelings of stupidity. 

“I’m like a cartoon character, no details on this body.” Félicie called out from her wardrobe, before she walked out in a simple dress. 

“Cartoon furries generally have the girls wear clothes while the boys remain naked though.” 

“I’m not furry, I’m slimy! Come on, show me where it’s happening!” Félicie grabbed my hand and got ready to walk out the door, but I pulled out the coins from Katka swiftly and stopped her in her tracks. Well no, not really stopped. She kept going for a hot minute as her arm stretched out like gum, before the realisation hit her and she got pulled back. The sound was like a whip striking. 

“You’re the one acting like a Looney Toon. We just ring the coin and Katka lets us into her place with a portal.” To demonstrate, I flicked it. 

“This isn’t Lily’s beautiful house. But that’s definitely Lily holding a slime catgirl’s hand. Come on in.” Katka’s head poked out of the portal that had materialised in Félicie’s living room, inviting us through the portal with a wave of her hand.  So with a shrug of my shoulders, I crossed the threshold. “Right, Lily, if you’d introduce me to the friend you’re bringing along.” 

“Oh this is Félicie, she’s one of my neighbors, and one of the people Leonard awakened by accident.” I gestured in Félicie’s general direction. 

“Are you here to support Lily for her first meeting, or are you trans as well?” Katka turned to face Félicie, who grinned at her. 

“Trans as well! And I heard you brew transition potions. I want to learn how to do that!” She was giving her best pleading kitty eyes to Katka, but I was pretty sure she’d be able to withstand such an assa-

“Okay!” Katka was wearing the expression of someone who just saw a kitten stretch and yawn. Her voice was barely not baby speak. 

“Félicie you have to teach me that, turns out I’m part cat too, see?” I pointed to my ears and flicked them around to nail the point home. Félicie just gave my face a bap with a paw. A big beaned bappy paw out of slime. 

“Do you have more books on magic by any chance?” She was still giving Katka the pleading eye look. Which I could only see because her paw was ever so slightly transparent. 

“I can show you my lab after the meet up. Come on, let me introduce you to everyone.” Katka lead us to a sizeable room in her house. Made me wonder if this one was permanently there or only got summoned for the meetups. There was a table with snacks and drinks on it, surrounded by about ten people. Changelings and Nephilim and Nihilim, all mingling together. Oh, and a dragon head sticking through the door. I was certain there was a good story to that. “Hey everyone, say hi to the two newbies! This is Lily, trans girl using she/her pronouns, hatched very recently so try and be gentle.” Katka grabbed my shoulders while introducing me, so I gave an awkward wave. “And this is Félicie, who I wasn’t expecting so I’ll need her to do her own introduction.” Katka scratched the back of her head, a slight smile on her face, unsure how to approach my… could I call Félicie my friend yet? Felt a bit too early. But let’s go with it anyways.  

“Hi! Yes, I’m Félicie, I’ve known I’m trans for a while, but the slime cat girl bit was a little surprising. I didn’t expect to become my online avatar irl.” She gave a quick wave as well, definitely more enthusiastically than me. 

“Right, with that, let me introduce you to everyone else. Who should I start with…” Katka tapped on her chin in contemplation, looking at the crowd in the room, so I cleared my throat. 

“I’m gonna sound offensive probably but what’s up with the dragon head?” I tilted my head towards said head, who huffed a bit. 

“My name’s Sarah. And I can’t fit more than my head in this room.” Sarah turned her nose up, and stuck her tongue out with a giggle. “You can’t see it, but I’m waving hello.”

“Yeah Sarah is a delight but she can’t really shrink down, so this is how we accommodate her. Right, next person to introduce! The nervous looking girl with a solid halo of sticks is Heather, this is her third time here. Lotta preconceived notions we’re slowly getting out of her head.” Katka pointed to Heather, who hid further in her coat with a yelp, before continuing to stim with a rosary. “The Galadriel looking gal who is desperately trying not to stim with her wings and who’s wearing live butterflies as a tiara is Starsong. Is there a femme version of edgy? Because Starsong is that. And she’s very nice. And isn’t bothering anyone with her stimming, so go ahead and do it, ya silly faerie.” Katka rolled her eyes at Starsong, who stopped holding it in and flapped her dragonfly wings. 

My gaze then fell on something I wasn’t sure I was hallucinating. A satyr girl had a furby in her lap. But not a furby toy. A living one, she was currently gently holding the furby’s toes as it giggled in her lap. “Am I high or is that a living furby?” 

Katka, as a gracious host, quickly answered. “Oh yes, that’s Snurt. They’re a sweetheart, as well as Red’s support animal.” She flew over to Red to give Snurt a quick chin scratch. “I would advise against hurting Red. People’s unease around furbies is instinctual. The body remembers what they can become when their loved ones are hurt.” 

“Okay… are there any other toy pets that are based on real life Fae Realm creatures, or just furbies?” It really opened Pandora’s Box on what one could find on toy shelves and in the wild. Shit, were Mogwai real? 

“If we include plushies and figures in the toy pets category, well, Sarah is right there.” Katka gestured towards Sarah to nail her point home, who nodded to help with the visual aid. “Right, next up is Rachel! Don’t let the horns and tail fool you, she’s a changeling with shapeshifting powers.” 

“I just really like this form, it’s comfortable.” Rachel spoke up, grabbing her tail to hug, making me understand her feelings exactly. 

“The slime enby doing mimicry of everyone’s features is Eiren.” Katka tilted their head to a blue slime person, who was currently shifting a pair of horns on their head into cat ears, as they smiled and waved at Félicie. “Then there’s Solana, don’t let her flowery appearance deceive you, she is one dommy flower. I hope you don’t have anyone tied up at home right now, Solana!” Katka accusatorially pointed to the plant girl, who simply giggled, daring us to guess. “And the girl who brought her own writhing chair of tentacles is Jackie. You should be wearing chainmail gloves near her, she is extremely edgy.” 

“Hey!” Jackie shot back, getting off her chair of tentacles, before she sat down with a pout, as Katka had been too precise in her attack. 

“Oh oh oh!” Katka quickly shot over to me, before she dragged me over to a… familiar looking demon. Their skin tone was lighter than the individual they reminded me of, but it was still like matte steel. Their horns rams horns, and their neck and bust and wrist and ankles covered in… “Lily, this is Jo, they’re descendant from Odionyx, so that makes you kind of cousins, in a long roundabout way.” Katka held both mine and Jo’s shoulders, smiling ear to ear. 

“I can see you staring. Yes, it’s steel wool. I’m a metal sheepy. Baaaa.” Jo’s bleat was absolutely adorable, and I wanted to give them a hug in that moment. So I opened up my arms to offer one. 

“Cousins?” I asked, ready to receive a hug. 

“Cousins.” They hugged me back, and I was surprised to find their wool felt softer than freshly dried sheets. 

 

The support group had really helped. They were all a bunch of sweet dorks with loveable quirks. We ended up playing the newest version of Quiplash for a bit, along with cards against humanity. It took a while before we got to the actual support part of support group, talking about stuff that was bothering us, or that we wanted to work on. And once that was done, we enjoyed some cake and left, Katka portaling us home. Unfortunately, my return was immediately ruined by the fact I could see the beast outside, watching this place, before it ran off again. Almost all the hard work Katka and her friends had done to calm me down and bring me down to Earth had become in vain. Almost all of it. The rest would be undone by what followed. 

There was a knock on the door. Methodical, mechanical, practiced. As if performed by a robot masquerading as a human. Which was racist towards the AI’s, now that I think about it deeply. The AIs were nowhere near THAT mechanical. I was starting to suspect who it could be, but I hoped it wasn’t the case. With a deep breath and a quick glamour casting, I opened the door. 

“Good Afternoon, miss. I’m Arthur Donnellan. I believe this apartment is the residence of one Peter Donnellan. I would like to speak with him, as his father.”

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