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    Laura S. Fox
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

This Strange World Needs A Kicking! - 28. When You Become

Chapter Twenty-Eight – When You Become

“So, you beat up those jerks to save me and now you don’t even want to look at me?” Milo asked as he turned Sebastian by grabbing him by the shoulder.

“No, I don’t want to look at you,” Sebastian replied stubbornly. He truly hoped Tani would be merciful and wise enough to let Milo go without learning the truth. Something told him that Milo wouldn’t take it lightly to having been fooled into believing that, all this time, he had been together with his friend, Kai. And it was enough that the boy was upset with him for other reasons, such as breaking up with him without too many explanations.

Milo sighed. Even with his eyes closed, Sebastian could feel the other’s presence, his solid heat, the appealing scent of his skin, and the warmth and kindness of his touch. It was pure torture if he had ever known one.

“Fine. Then I’ll just say what I came here to say,” Milo started.

“Wait,” Sebastian interrupted. “Are you feeling all right? That boy Chet --”

“Why don’t you open your eyes to check for yourself?” Milo challenged him. “You cared enough to put on that display of a Kung-Fu fighter. Why don’t you care just as much now?”

Sebastian closed his fists. “I cannot.”

“Maybe we could just tell him --” Tani started.

“Tani, quiet,” Sebastian ordered.

Through some miracle, the girl said nothing more.

“Something is seriously off about you,” Milo said. “And your sister. I can’t recall her ever shutting up because you told her to. Tani, what’s going on?”

“Tani, don’t tell him anything,” Sebastian insisted.

Closed eyes notwithstanding, he could tell Kai’s sister was dying to let it all out in the open. But a gut instinct told him that it would be a terrible idea to drag Milo further into this mess. It was enough that a thirteen-year-old now knew that traveling between different worlds was possible, an astonishing discovery that no one else was aware of in this dimension.

“You two are truly acting like siblings,” Milo let out in frustration. “I could always tickle you, you know?”

“What? Tickle me?” Sebastian asked, quite baffled by the idea.

He barely had time to react when Milo quickly attacked his flanks, triggering an unbearable sensation. The giggle that escaped his mouth was unforgivable. So, guided by his honed instincts, he grabbed Milo by the wrists and wrestled him down to the floor.

“Guys, this is getting really awkward and X-rated,” Tani scolded them. “Don’t you care there’s a little girl in the room?”

“Little girl my ass,” Milo snorted as he tried to fight back Sebastian’s counterattack. “Just looking at all those mangas spread on your bed right now is making me blush,” he emphasized the last words. “Hey, when did you get so strong, Kai? And a Kung-Fu fighter?”

“He is not --”

“Tani, shut it!” Sebastian yelled.

“Oh, hell, we’re going to get nowhere like this,” Tani mumbled.

***

Kai couldn’t keep his eyes open as much as he wanted. The pain in his chest seemed to fade, too, so that had to be Sebastian’s body healing itself. It was so good to be OP. Sebastian really had everything, a hunk’s physique, uber martial skills, ice magic, and an awesome guy like Pepin to love him. Yeah, he would miss being an awesome prince from another world.

“Hey, Pepin,” he called, slurring the words, “where are you taking me?”

Pepin held him close. “We’re going to the Shimmering Cavern. I must save you.”

“Save me? Ah, don’t lie. You just want to go there really bad,” Kai teased and snickered. At least he attempted to do that because the sound coming from his throat was a wheeze. He could hear Pepin sniffle. “Hey, don’t cry,” he said softly. “Sebastian cannot die. I mean, this body.”

“Please, tell me your name,” Pepin said with pained determination. “Your real name. You owe me this much.”

“Yeah, okay,” Kai agreed. It wasn’t like Pepin hadn’t already guessed that he wasn’t Sebastian. “Well, my name is Kai and I’m from a place called Terra.” That aspect seemed essential to mention, and it sounded fancier than just saying Earth. “I’m actually an awkward teenager who likes to play video games all night long.” Speaking was difficult, but Pepin deserved the truth. “And I look nothing like Sebastian. I’m skinny and the only fights I ever get in are when I’m in front of a computer, and I’m armed with a mouse. Disappointed yet?”

Pepin cradled him in his arms. Kai would have comforted him, but he felt so weak and sleepy.

“How could I be disappointed when I love you? And I don’t understand half of what you’re saying. Especially about using a mouse as a weapon.”

“Well, you don’t actually know the real me,” Kai pointed out. A bout of cough shook him. “Did those assholes give me the flu?”

“You like to joke so much,” Pepin said with tenderness. “Just stay with me a while longer. Kai,” he whispered his name.

Kai smiled, although even something like that required a great deal of effort on his part. “I like how you say my name,” he confessed.

***

He woke up shivering. For a few moments, he looked around confused. Was he going to fight the dark magic assholes again? But no, he wasn’t in the same place as before. Around him, crystal-like formations gave a gentle glow. “The Shimmering Cavern?” he asked tentatively.

Pepin appeared above him. “Yes. Please, stay awake this time, Kai.”

“All right. For you,” he added with something he wanted to sound as teasing.

Pepin grabbed his arm and pulled him into a sitting position. “I prepared everything. But you’ll have to walk with me over there,” he pointed at an altar, “and say the words I’m going to tell you.”

“Ah, the ritual. It’s how I’ll get home, right?”

Pepin helped him by putting an arm under him. “It will save you,” he said with determination.

Kai didn’t argue. It was too tiring to do anything. Pepin had to drag him to the crystal altar. He didn’t protest when Pepin took one of his hands and placed it around a tiny shard that felt as cold as ice. The shard was placed inside a small fountain that looked like the prettiest thing he had ever seen in his life. Pepin wrapped his hand around his, bringing some warmth.

“Kai, listen to me, even if you don’t believe it, please say the words I’m going to tell you, all right?”

“Anything for you. Have I told you you’re the prettiest guy I’ve ever seen?”

“Yes,” Pepin said impatiently. “Now, please, Kai, say… say that you love me. Even if you have to lie.”

Kai laughed. “Pepin, don’t be so silly. I don’t have to lie. I love you anyway.” It had to be the flu because he didn’t feel like lying about that.

Pepin’s eyes grew wide and then filled with fondness. “And I love you,” he said gently and pressed their hands together over the shard.

Kai shivered at first as the coldness of the shard appeared to intensify, but Pepin held his hand wrapped around his, and soon the shiver he felt was replaced by something else, a feeling of intense happiness and gratefulness. “Pepin, you must have the most amazing magic,” he whispered.

He didn’t know if he was falling or not. But his eyes were closing again.

***

“Just for how long are you two going to love-wrestle each other on the floor in my room?” Tani complained.

“Until Kai admits that it was a mistake to break up with me. And what were you afraid of, anyway? I saw how you kicked Chet’s ass like he was nothing,” Milo said. “Damn, you’re really strong! How come I didn’t notice? What kind of workouts you do?”

“Whatever is free on the Internet,” Sebastian replied promptly.

He increased the pressure, wanting to overpower Milo and finish this foolish fight. The boy was putting up quite a struggle, though, and his athletic prowess showed.

Tani groaned. “You know what? I’m just going to tell you even if Seb doesn’t want to.”

“Tani!” Sebastian shouted again.

“Who is Seb? Do you have another boyfriend, Kai?” Milo asked, his voice wounded.

It was so hard to do all those things without looking at him once. Sebastian also needed to make Tani shut up, so he pushed Milo back and jumped to his feet.

“He’s Prince Seb--” Tani started when Sebastian caught her and covered her mouth, making the rest of her words turn into unintelligible mumbles.

Her eyes grew wide as she looked at him, and then Sebastian realized that he had opened his in the meantime. Tani caught his wrist and her muffled protests intensified.

“He’s what? A prince? Did you rope your sister in your little make-believe, too?” Milo got to his feet by the sounds he made.

Sebastian shook his head to make Tani understand that she needed to stay quiet, but she was nodding just as frantically to convince him otherwise.

“You two are a pair,” Milo said as he got near. “What’s this whole story about a prince? Are you guys roleplaying? Like right now? It really shows that you’re brother and sister.”

Sebastian closed his eyes again. He could feel Milo’s breath on his face. That was too close for comfort, and he still needed to hold Tani. He could do many things now, even in Kai’s body, but he only had two hands.

He let out a distressed sound as Milo shamelessly tried to push one of his eyelids up.

“I’ll make you look me in the eyes and tell me you don’t love me--” Milo began. “Damn, what the hell?”

Sebastian opened both his eyes to look at the other. Milo was a couple of feet away and staring at him in disbelief. Only briefly because he soon sighed in relief. “Cool contacts. For a moment, I thought your eyes turned truly blue.”

Tani found that moment to be perfect for releasing her mouth. “He’s Prince Sebastian of Ifigia, and he has badass ice magic!” she shouted in one go without one break for breathing.

Milo crossed his arms and began laughing softly. “Cool story, sis. But seriously, where did you get the money from, Kai? Because I can almost swear your eyes now look completely different. It’s like they’re burning blue. I’ve never seen anything like it. Those contacts must have cost a fortune. Now, letting aside your crazy ideas for cosplay, look at me and tell me you don’t love me anymore and still want to break up with me. Because nobody ever did such a crazy and awesome thing for me as you did earlier today, and I don’t buy it that you no longer want to have anything to do with me.”

Sebastian sighed. “Didn’t I tell you, Tani? No one in their right mind would believe such a thing.”

Tani pursed her lips and frowned. “O.M.G., Milo, do you really have to be the aloof guy in this story?”

“Story? Do you two have an opening in your little play? All right, I’ll consider it if you want me to join you.”

Tani groaned and threw her hands down, making fists. “Doesn’t he annoy you beyond belief, Seb? How can you be in love with such a complete airhead?”

“I don’t know how. The only thing I know is that I am,” Sebastian replied.

Milo let his jaw drop but exaggeratedly enough to convince those around him that he was faking it. Then he cupped one ear and turned it toward him. “You are what? Let me hear that again.”

“I am,” Sebastian said, putting all his weight behind each word, “in love with you, Milo Bennett.”

***

Summer hadn’t always been his favorite, especially during childhood. Camping in the woods and going to fish with his dad, just the two of them, had felt a little boring, but now he wished that those times were back.

Kai was pretty sure he was in a dream. The sun was pleasant on his face. But there was also the sensation of wet feet, and then he realized that he was up to his knees in water.

“Just look at this, Kai.” He turned his head to see his dad reeling in a fish that had to have at most two inches in length. “Isn’t he a little beauty? Come on, give him a little kiss.”

Kai made a disgusted face. “Ew, that’s gross. Are we going to eat that?”

His dad laughed and placed the fish back into the water. “No, we’re only fishing for sport.”

Kai surreptitiously looked at his own hands. Definitely, he was no longer a kid, not the same age he had been when going on these trips with his dad. Only rarely he dreamed of his late father, and not just once, he had woken up afraid that he was forgetting his face.

That was a chance to take a good look at his parent’s face once more. “Dad?” he asked tentatively.

He let out a sigh of relief when he saw the same fine lines around the corners of his eyes, the big bright smile, and the wiggling eyebrows that told him that his old man, as his dad liked to call himself, was up to no good.

“Come here,” his dad urged him.

Kai groaned but moved anyway. He grabbed the handle and listened as his dad explained how to make the line travel farther. For his sake, he tried a few times, but it looked like he was just as a complete klutz as ever. At least once, he almost got his dad’s fishing hat when swinging his arm back.

“No, like this,” his dad explained patiently.

“I have no idea how you don’t get bored explaining everything to me like this. I’ll never do it right,” Kai said.

“You will. It will just take a few more tries,” his dad encouraged him. “And that’s what dads are for, to never give up on their kids.”

“Then I’m afraid I didn’t get that personality trait from you. Anything I do, I end up giving up,” Kai admitted.

He was in a dream, so it was all right to say it, especially in front of his dad.

His dad laughed his low gentle laugh and ruffled his hair. “You’re young now. But you’ll see how much the world changes when you, too, become a dad yourself.”

Kai tried another time, and the line stretched in a perfect arc only to land at a good distance. “I did it!” he shouted victoriously. “Dad, did you see--”

When he turned, his father was no longer there.

***

How many times was he going to wake up today without knowing where he was? Kai touched his head and then rubbed his eyes. Ah, right, they were at the Shimmering Cavern, and apparently, he liked to fall asleep on hard surfaces. So, still not home, and his dream was quickly fading. There were noises around him, and then he noticed Galien and Conrad hurrying toward him. “I know, I know,” he said, putting one hand up, “I shouldn’t have gone against the dark magic assholes by myself, blah-blah-blah. Hey, wait, how come you two are here?”

Galien stopped a few feet away from him and crossed his arms. “Pepin sent Adhe to get us.”

“Ah, cool. By the way, I think I killed all those jerks,” Kai said. “I mean, I think because the last one was pretty suspicious when I asked him about whether he was the last one or not. Yeah, he looked like he was hiding something. Not that he showed much since he was wrapped up like a mummy.”

“You must be feeling pretty good if you’re talking smack, the language of barbarians, so freely.”

“I guess.” Kai touched his chest, where that dagger had gone through, and only felt the blood dry on the fabric.

“Allow me to inspect you more closely, Your Majesty,” Conrad said.

“He’s all right for now,” Pepin intervened.

Kai turned his head to watch the beautiful servant walking toward them. He was clutching something in his hand, pressed against his chest, and at a closer look, Kai realized that it was the shard they had both touched earlier during the ritual. Pepin now wore it around his neck on a leather piece of string.

“What happened to your eyes?” Conrad asked as he got closer, ignoring Pepin. “And your hair?”

“What do you mean?” Galien came near, too. Conrad caught Kai’s chin despite his protests and turned his head. Galien suddenly pulled Conrad back with all his strength, making the other stumble and fall on his ass, and drew his sword, pointing it directly at Kai’s neck. “What are you, demon?” he shouted.

Kai had no chance to intervene because Pepin pulled him into his arms and hid him quickly behind his back. “You cannot touch him,” the servant hissed at the two. “You are here to pledge your loyalty to the new ruler of Ifigia.”

“That,” Galien hissed back, “is not Sebastian! What are doing, Pepin, siding with our enemy like this? He must be with the House of Uxilan! His eyes are dark! And his hair! Look at it, changing its color!”

“He’s not with the House of Uxilan,” Pepin said with determination. “You cannot kill him.”

“Just watch me. Out of the way, Pepin!”

“You cannot kill him, I said,” Pepin’s voice grew louder, “because I’m having his child!”

“What?!” Conrad and Kai both exclaimed at the same time.

Galien stopped his tirade, remained silent for a few moments, and then let out a long and weary exhale. At the same time, he lowered his sword. “Ah, well, Pepin, now that’s quite the surprise. And who might your chosen be, then?” It looked like that simple declaration was enough for him to change his mind.

Kai was too busy to process the new realization. When? How? Why? “My mom is so going to kill me when she finds out I got a boy pregnant,” he groaned and buried his face into his palms.

“I’m not pregnant,” Pepin said slowly, like he thought Kai was a bit slow in the head.

Given the situation, he surely felt like he only had half a brain.

Pepin showed him the shard. “Here lies the next protector of Ifigia. He is your son and mine.”

Kai scratched his head. “There’s a baby? In there?”

Pepin closed his hand over the shard. “I must protect him until the ice goddess decides to give him life.”

“Forgive my interruption, Pepin,” Galien said, “but how do you think Reya will react once she learns that you gave yourself to a stranger instead of Sebastian?”

Conrad jumped into the conversation. “How can Pepin have a child in this manner?”

Galien turned toward him. “Well, Conrad, the reason why his mother and I, as well, have insisted that Sebastian would finally bring Pepin to his bed and by his side, was this. Pepin is a Lelian, and they’re the only ones capable of such an incredible feat not reserved to us, mere mortals.”

Conrad narrowed his eyes. “So that was why you were so bent on dragging me away from Sebastian? To secure an heir and a future ruler for Ifigia?”

“At first,” Galien said courteously. “But let’s not dwell on how much I want you right now. We have the more pressing matter of finding out who this barbarian talking smack is. And why Pepin gave up on building a future with Sebastian for him.”

“He’s not a barbarian,” Pepin said impatiently. “He’s from a place called Terra where people use mice as weapons.”

Kai put one hand on Pepin’s shoulder. “Let me try to explain before my head explodes. Really, Pepin, you got us pregnant? Without letting me know first?”

“It was the only way I could save you. Now you have the protection of the Shimmering Cavern. I fooled you, yes, but I don’t regret it,” Pepin admitted. “And I’m not pregnant like when women are with child,” he cared to insist. He was even prettier when he got all determined like this.

“Okay,” Kai said. “Not like I was expecting you to say sorry or anything. And I don’t want you to say sorry. Ah, what am I saying? Are we really going to be dads, you and I?”

“Hey, Terran,” Galien called, “are you going to tell us how you got here and managed to pass as Sebastian?”

“Well, you see,” Kai said and scratched his head, “one day I was minding my own business, and despite not being hit by a truck or anything, I woke up in Sebastian’s body, next to Conrad who wanted to get freaky with me. And it happened a couple of weeks ago or something? Could have been longer.”

“Was that when you began to reject my advances?” Conrad questioned. “Where is the real Sebastian?”

“I suppose,” Kai continued, “that he is about to fail the finals in my place. And he’s probably having shock after shock because of all the technology and stuff in my world that is surely freaking him out.”

Galien exchanged stunned looks with Conrad. Surely, they couldn’t understand what he was trying to tell them.

“Sebastian and I must have switched bodies,” Kai explained. “But I should have said it first. My name is Kai Martin, I’m eighteen years old, and I’m just a totally normal, average high school student.”

“A high school,” Galien said slowly. “Are you a scholar?”

Kai sighed. Well, this was going to take a while. “Not really. Actually, I won’t be too pissed about Sebastian failing my finals since that might have happened anyway.”

“A most powerful curse must have been cast on the prince,” Conrad said. “And this boy appears to be innocent of any involvement with it.”

“Normally, I would disagree with you, Sir Conrad,” Galien replied, “but this story is so astonishing that I can only imagine that this boy was used merely as a tool of convenience.”

“Hey, don’t call me ‘this boy’ like I’m ten or something,” Kai protested. “But it’s true that I have no idea that I would land here, and in my world, such a thing happens only in mangas and anime series.”

“What are anime series?” Galien asked, his eyes filled with curiosity.

“Cool stuff that I should be able to show to you just so that you can understand how cool it is,” Kai said promptly.

Galien pinched the bridge of his nose. “What a dumbfounding situation,” he mumbled under his breath.

Kai was about to pitch in with some explanations of his own when he felt his body trembling. Hey, what were they saying? That his eyes and hair were getting dark?

Could it mean… that he was turning into himself?

“Kai, what is wrong?” he heard Pepin calling for him.

***

“This dude is not my brother,” Tani insisted, pointing at Sebastian and swinging her arm wildly. “I’m telling you, I shit you not, he’s this awesome prince from a fantasy land!”

“Tani, don’t say ‘shit’,” Sebastian chided her. “And it is impossible for Milo to accept such a thing. You’re still a child and that’s why you do.”

Milo came closer to him again. “Kai,” he began, but then he stopped. “What--”

Tani squealed in delight. “Your hair is growing, Seb!”

He stared in disbelief as the hair on his head began to lengthen. He caught a strand between his fingers and watched it turn into the familiar platinum color he knew so well.

“How is this happening?” Milo whispered. “Kai!” he shouted in alarm.

Sebastian registered faintly how both Milo and Tani hurried to him to catch him as he was falling.

TBC

Well... I know... it's another cliffie... might not be the last... but anyhow, the switch is taking place, and I soooo bet that you won't easily guess what happens next. Stay tuned, that's all I'm going to say. And I'll shut up. For now.

Until next time,

All the best,

Laura.

Copyright © 2021 Laura S. Fox; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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Chapter Comments

Well well well some one is going to be a daddy soon.

Edited by lara
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Well thank you for making me choke on my taco with the "im having his child" line!! Im glad the boys are "growing into themselves"

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Wow... The switch... Only the goddess and Mrs. Martin must show up and the family photo is complete.

I am so excited to read what is going to happen next.

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The switch is happening but will they remain in the other’s world? I am excited for what happens next.

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This switch into their own bodies in the other world is very interesting. Lookin forward to where this goes

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On 10/10/2021 at 9:27 PM, lara said:

Well well well some one is going to be a daddy soon.

You said that, and I immediately thought...

1kgx2m.jpg

 

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On 10/10/2021 at 9:39 PM, Wesley8890 said:

Well thank you for making me choke on my taco with the "im having his child" line!! Im glad the boys are "growing into themselves"

So, so sorry about that! But Pepin is just full of surprises!

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On 10/10/2021 at 11:52 PM, johnnyboy2285 said:

Wow... The switch... Only the goddess and Mrs. Martin must show up and the family photo is complete.

I am so excited to read what is going to happen next.

Yeah, almost a complete family photo indeed...

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On 10/11/2021 at 12:27 AM, J.El said:

The switch is happening but will they remain in the other’s world? I am excited for what happens next.

I have quite big plans and this is not the end! I'm going only to say that for now!

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On 10/11/2021 at 5:01 AM, VBlew said:

This switch into their own bodies in the other world is very interesting. Lookin forward to where this goes

Hopefully, in a very surprising direction...

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