Chapter 1

Caution: This Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa, Fa/Fa, Mult, Reluctant, Coercion, Mind Control, Magic, BiSexual, Fiction, Masturbation, Transformation, .

Desc: Sex Story: Chapter 1 - Allen is an alien symbiote, searching for the ability to do what all sentient life wants to do; procreate.

The grass tickled Allen as he moved over it. It was slow going, and Allen felt the pressure of the marching time. The sun would be rising soon. He should have driven up closer to the building before leaving his vehicle, but it had been easier this way.

He had learned long ago to be aware of his surroundings. There were many people around, but all sleeping, thankfully. There were some domesticated animals too, but those were easy to bypass, especially when they were locked up with the people. A few stray animals and some nocturnal urban creatures were up and about still, but they decided it was best not to make a fuss over Allen. Or, at least, that's the decision Allen helped them make.

Movement like this takes forever! Dawn was fast approaching and Allen was annoyed that he hadn't even made it to the spigot on the side yet. <I should have used one of the nocturnal creatures to bring me closer, > he thought, annoyed with himself. But even still, he knew that the trial of getting an animal to take him closer would have taken just as long as moving himself, and probably cost more energy in the long run.

The sound of a shower starting shattered the pre-dawn stillness. Allen cursed himself for his reverie and stopped moving, trying to figure out what was happening. A little searching and he had it. One of the people was up and moving about. Hiding from people was more difficult without proper cover.

<Wait for it. Patience. Aha, running water. Yes, that person will be busy for a while yet. I still have time.>

Allen continued his methodical motions to the spigot on the side of the building. The water pathways weren't always the most desirable, but they tended to be efficient hiding places. Light struck Allen's skin and he froze.

<The light! Where does it come from? There, in a window. Whew.> Checking out the horizon, he knew that dawn would not wait much longer before the sun came out.

<Just over a meter to go. It'll be close. I hope none of those domesticated canines needs to be let out just yet.>

Allen continued. One would think he was hurrying, but he really only had one speed for long distance movement. It was as fast as he could possibly go over any surface with enough friction to move, but it wasn't exactly speedy. Already a few rays of sunlight were warming the plastic siding of this building. If he could, Allen would have been sweating with worry.

<Made it! Now, to make certain I wont be observed entering the dwelling.>

Casting out, Allen quickly searched for someone who might be coming this direction. Happy at not finding anyone who would be a danger, Allen extended himself up, thinning out and entered the spigot. The first rays of the sun struck Allen warmly before he was half done. The heat helped his viscosity as he entered the spigot.

Time passes...

Allen went over the list in his head again. <There are twenty four distinct dwelling spaces. There are fifty one people occupying those spaces in varying amounts. Nine of those spaces have canine companions, eight have feline, and four have avian. Five dwellings have only one occupant, while only one of those does not have an animal companion. Three of the five, including the one without an animal, are females. Two of the females, the ones with animals, seem to be elderly. The other seems to be much younger, but has a physical problem requiring a mobile chair. The two men seem to be approaching the middle of their life, and don't seem to be caring for themselves well.>

Something about the chair bound female seemed odd too. Something about the observations made felt wrong. <I should observer her further. But what of the ones who aren't dwelling alone? Do any of them seem acceptable?> Allen cast out again, feeling for the people in the dwelling. He was running out of nutrients and was going to have to decide soon. Much of what he found was unhappiness, sorrow, and fear. It simply would not do, but there was nothing he could change about it yet. Deciding, he set about moving through the pipes to the correct apartment to wait for his opportunity.

It took a while to get into position. It took even longer for the opportunity to arise. The female did not seem to need to bathe often. When she finally did, he understood why. The washing facilities were not exactly conducive to one lacking the use of one's legs. This worked in Allen's advantage, however, since this required the female to fill the tub with water, rather than stand and let the water cascade around her.

She filled the tub, placing in it some oily substance that created bubbles. It was annoying, as it tended to dry Allen out even more, but it was useful since it concealed him nicely. While she was undressing, he slipped in with the water flow, letting the water push him in. The sound when he entered was only slightly louder than just the water by itself.

Allen spread out his five liter volume on the bottom of the plastic tub, happy that this particular tub didn't have the rough surfaces that many do. It was difficult for him to separate himself so that the person could feel the texture, yet still be thin enough to be ignored on the non-textured spots.

The woman shed her clothes in short order, and climbed out of her chair with her powerful arms. She walked on her hands over to the tub edge, and heaved herself up. The chair, it seemed, was too big to fit past the toilet. Allen started his subtle manipulation as she got on the rim of the tub. She'd had another long day, it seemed and was in a foul mood, looking forward to just relaxing in the tub.

The more she felt the pleasant heat arising from the water, the more her mood slowly relaxed and lightened. She was close enough now that he didn't have to strain to feel her thoughts. "Yes, a bath was a great idea," she thought to herself. "I can't believe those jerks at the bar, thinking I would be easy just because I have a wheelchair." Her mood was turning worse again, but Allen kept up the gentle pressure. <Slowly, > he thought to himself, <don't make her suspicious.> In the end, it was the water itself that did it for her. Her back had been aching again, and feeling the heat on her back helped unknot both her muscles and her emotions.

Allen let her continue to bathe for a while before pressing a little harder. He had learned much while growing up here. His timing was nearly perfect. The slow pressure, and low doses of soothing happiness, combined with a minor arousal did their trick. As she was washing her lower stomach, she let her hands linger longer. "Well, I hadn't planned on it," she pondered, "but why not? It's a rerun tonight anyway." She took it slowly this time, letting it build. The rough washcloth on her lips distracted the sensations of her too sensitive clitoris, so she didn't overwhelm herself. She brought her hand up, making sure it was very wet, and slowly dropped water onto her nipple. She moaned slightly at this, and used the washcloth to grab her redening outer labia and press them together, using this as a nice buffer for the stimulation as she massaged her clitoris.

"Yes, slowly this time, oh it feels so good." Her thoughts echoed her actions.

Allen was not idle during this time either. He was opening the membrane slightly, strategically, and interfacing with the skin of her legs, her buttocks, and her lower back. Biding his time a little more, and confident knowing that he could convince her to stay as long as was necessary, he let her skin slowly absorb him. It would take a very long time if he let her absorb him with just her skin, but he was confident he could time the next part right.

Her hand had gone from dripping water on her nipples, to massaging her pert breasts, and the strong pectoral muscles beneath. She stayed away from her nipple, not ready for that level of sensation, knowing that it would be more likely to turn her off than further her excitement. Her other hand had dropped the washcloth, however, and was now rubbing her swelling lips with her bare fingers, massaging the labia around, and teasing her sensitive clitoris and awakening vagina. Their slow motion seemed to match well with the soft moans purring in her throat and the gentle images she was seeing behind her closed eyes.

It didn't take her very long before just the rubbing and touching just weren't quite enough, and she parted the lips with her finger, teasing herself. She briefly wondered how long she could continue this before she just had to enter that moist opening that brings so much pleasure. It wasn't long. She moved her hand down from her breasts and pinched her clitoris between her labia as her other hand worked a finger between her puffy lips and into her radiating vagina.

This was what Allen was waiting for, and he thinned himself out a little as he extended himself into her vagina as well. This was the critical moment. Would he have enough energy left to make her ignore the extra volume? He moved quickly, but paid attention to her response. This time, he needn't have worried. She was enjoying it too much to care. It took a while for him to get the rest of his five liter volume inside her, but thankfully she had been able to absorb a lot through her skin. Allen had to slow down her building orgasm to give himself time, but she wasn't trying to rush herself either.

Allen took a little extra time to stimulate her clitorus himself. He reached up with a tendril of himself, his not-quite-fluid body caressing all the nooks and crannies in her labia. He parted the insides of the lips just enough to reach through a tongue of his membrane. Gently, he engulfed the clitorus, vibrating it and caressing it from all directions at once.

"OH, it feels so much BETTER this time." Her thoughts were confused, but happy, and her hips were soon thrusting against her hand. "I haven't felt so FULL since... since..." her thoughts were interrupted by a moan as the last of Allen slipped inside of her. Happy now that he would have enough energy left to control the pace of the symbiotic bond, he removed the dam on her emotions. Mind and body released as one, as all the tension of her day ran out of her in one large deluge of orgasmic release.

Their eyes blinked open sleepily. "Mmmm, how long have I been out," she wondered aloud, "I'm lucky I didn't drown.".

<Around forty five minutes, > replied Allen mentally. Allen shifted slightly, as the adrenaline pumped through their system. <Calm down, Mary!> Allen thought, but of course, it simply fueled her panic a little further.

"Who said that?" asked Mary, panicking a little now, and reaching around for something to use to defend herself, settling her hand on the plunger kept behind the toilet.

<Don't worry, Mary, I kept you from relaxing enough to worry about drowning.> Allen's softly soothing thoughts weren't calming Mary nearly as much as he'd hoped, and she kept looking around for someone, thinking she heard him. <My name is Allen. Looking around for me is a futile search, Mary, for I am within you.>

That information seemed to be a jolt of lightning in Mary's brain, sending her mind reeling. Without herself doing it, her back stiffened and her arm and hand flexed on the side of the tub, keeping her upright. This seemed to scare her even more. Panic in her voice, and tears of fear in her eyes she tried to get a handle on the situation. "What ARE you? Why are you in me? What do you WANT with me?!" Her voice was strained as she rapidly babbled out questions.

<My name is Allen. I am a symbiote, Mary. Do you know what a symbiote is?> Allen's soothing tone continued. To the part of Mary's brain that wasn't completely wrought with hysteria, and his responses seemed practiced.

Not trusting herself to speak much, she squeaked out an uh huh. <Very good, Mary. In my particular case, I'm a benevolent symbiote. I hope you'll soon learn to trust me, but for now I can do nothing but tell you the truth.> Mary's mind was searching desperately for a way out, or something to do.

<No, Mary, you're not crazy, and you're not going to become a slave, and your planet isn't going to be taken over by pod aliens.> Allen's reassurances were scarily in time with Mary's horror stricken thoughts of the future. Mary wasn't aware yet that Allen could hear her thoughts as if she'd spoken them aloud.

<Mary, the water's gotten cold, and our body temperature is dropping. I suggest we get out of the water and dry off. If you can't take care of that, will you let me?>

Despite his gentle tone and the soothing emotions being pushed into her, Mary was starting to freeze. Sighing mentally--a habit he'd picked up from a particularly sullen host--Allen delved into Mary's muscle memory to figure out how she normally does this. Clumsily at first, but gaining surety, Allen manipulated Mary's nervous system and lifted her to the edge of the tub. Mary's mind whimpered as she watched and felt her body doing things without her telling it to do so. Allen made another mental note to try to figure out another way to convince the host that the union was a good thing.

<Mary? Can you take it from here? You're much more likely to avoid having us land on our face.> Allen was worried about maintaining balance while drying off and didn't want to break their head open on the toilet.

Slowly, the emotions Allen had been feeding her calmed her enough that she could respond. "Yeah," she sobbingly said, "I can get us dried and out of the tub." Mary found herself thinking back to what her mother had said so many times, "At least you're alive, and as long as you're alive, there's the chance you can better your situation." Allen observed passively as she found that thought and memory, and was pleased at how it put steel in her back.

Mary toweled theirself off and even forgot herself enough to smile warmly when she got to her satisfied vulva. When she remembered, she gave a little start, a small blush, and continued toweling off. Her mind was thinking furiously about all sorts of consequences, plans, the future, and what ifs. Allen passively observed them all, trying to regain his strength. The bonding was rapid, as tends to happen during sexual experiences, but it still drained him. Add on the energy that he had expended trying to calm down Mary, move her, and keep her from falling over; it was no wonder he was feeling drained. It takes time to absorb nutrients from the host, and he was going to have to absorb a lot.

After Mary had theirself toweled, covered, and back in their wheelchair, she started panicking slightly again, wondering what he was going to have her do next, and how to ask him.

Forestalling the question, Allen interjected to her, <Mary, please head into the kitchen. We're going to be fairly hungry soon, and I would like us to have something ready when it happens.> Allen observed Mary's thoughts as she was thinking about stuff to eat. He had his own opinions, but he kept them to himself to avoid tipping his hand early on.

"How about some Chicken Noodle Soup?" asked Mary, feeling like she was talking to herself, or a ghost.

<That is a most excelent choice, Mary.> replied Allen, happily. <It will fill our belly and provide us with a good deal of easily digested nourishment, as well as being tasty.>

Sighing, and whining to herself in her own mind, but feeling the vague echoes of hunger, Mary wheeled theirself into the kitchen and began making the soup. She really did enjoy the soup, and ate it frequently, but she didn't want to have to do dishes again. Cooking on the too-high stove was bad enough, but doing dishes was a pain. Allen avoided commenting to her mental tirade. Now was not the time to give away the extent of their new relationship. Not yet.

"So, what do we do next, A--," she couldn't come up with the name he'd given himself, and sounded nervous in her speech, even to herself.

<Allen, > he provided.

"Right. Allen. So, uh... what happens after we eat?" She almost spilled the soup as she popped the top off, she was starting to shake from nerves again.

She felt theirself sigh and then felt another wave of calm come in on the tide of her emotional sea. <After we eat, we shall talk. You shall ask me many, many questions, and eventually we shall learn more trust. We will share ourselves with each other in an embrace of intimacy no two humans could ever have. Then, we shall sleep, for we are both exhausted.>

"How are you doing that to me? I don't -want- to be calm and relaxed. I don't want to feel comfortable! What are you doing to me?" Mary's mind was trying to panic, but even her voice came out more calm than she had feared it would.

<I am stimulating the endorphins in your brain to induce those feelings. Your consciousness and your brain are highly connected, and since I share your brain now it is much easier than to try to calm your emotions empathically.>

This should have overwhelmed Mary's mind again, and she knew it, yet somehow, she remained in control, and calmly examined the statement. She had no clue if there was any validity to the claims, but it sure felt that way. Allen noted all this and was pleased at the potential this host had shown. She had demonstrated that she was capable by her solitary existence, and now that she was clever and aware of herself and how things had changed. Perhaps he'd finally found a suitable host. He suppressed his excitement, not wanting to rush things.

Allen left Mary alone with her thoughts while they ate. The warmth restored life to her internal furnaces, drained from the prolonged period in the cooling water, and the spreading warmth helped suppress the shakes and trepidation even further, allowing Allen to relax his stimulation and empathic manipulation.

Allen was proud of their choice in food for the evening. A good amount of minerals and saline to replenish him, as well as the fluid to rebuild some of the volume that he'd lost due to the oils in the water. Even if this host didn't work out properly for long, he knew that he would be well nourished and able to repair the damage of the toxins the last host had ingested. Ingested? It was more than just the ones he had ingested; it was the ones that had permeated every cell of their being. It had been nauseating, but the host had served its purpose while there was need.

Finishing with their meal, and having basked in the glow of a warm, full belly, Mary began to become agitated again. Sitting up straight and looking around for something to focus on to talk to, she settled on the remaining fluid in the bottom of the bowl before her.

"You said something about talking?"

<Yes, do you have any particular questions you want answered first?>

Whimpering slightly, she felt theirself choke down a sob and fight back some tears. "Yes, why me?"

<I was running out of time. My energy was draining to the point where a bond might not have been pleasant had I waited much longer. On the other hand, you were the most suited for bonding in this multi-dwelling habitat-->

"Apartment building," she interjected, fumbling to interpret the words that flowed through her mind.

<Yes, this apartment building. I sense that you understand how many of the others would be unsuitable already. You are a nice and gentle person. I have been with those who are cruel and malicious before, and I dislike it. You are a capable, independent being, and have no domesticated animals that would require me to drain my energy faster to placate them.>

"I have a dog!" she retorted, annoyed. "Oh, but he's at the vet's. I'd forgotten. I took him in to get his toenails clipped."

<So that is what was wrong with my earlier observation, > Allen noted to himself.

"You were observing me?" she asked, surprised.

Scolding himself for his lapse in thinking aloud, he gently replied, <Of course. I have observed many of the dwellers of this mul--er Apartment building. I needed to know who would be best, and what sort of life they had while here.>

"For how long?"

<I was in the building for one week before deciding on you.>

"You watched me for an entire week?" she asked, a squeak of embarrassment escaping again.

<Only for a few days, actually, while you were here. You were one of the first I watched, then I watched some others to see if any would be as good as you.> He kept to himself how his lack of speed kept him from checking closely on many of the others.

"As good as me? But surely you'd want someone who had working legs." She flopped her legs in the chair, forgetting for a moment how proud she was of her life despite her disability.

<Mary, > Allen chided. <A physical disability can be overcome much easier than mental, emotional, or social disabilities. You know this! It is one of the reasons I came to you. Others in this dw--er apartment building have dysfunctional familial relationships. In my weakened state, I hardly wanted to try to distract other humans while bonding with a dysfunctional one.>

Hearing him remind her of her own pride and how she was a very well adjusted young woman brought a smile to her face. She thought that he had been able to tell all that about her, and the others, just by observing them. "Well, okay, I guess you have that. This isn't exactly the best neighborhood after all. Okay, so I think we've established why me, at least for the most part, but... what do you want?" She was very nervous about the answer to this question.

<As a symbiote, I rely on my co-host to provide me with transportation, ease of nutrition, and companionship. However, I -am- a symbiote, not a parasite.> His statement headed off where her thoughts were leading. <I provide as much as I take, sometimes more so.>

Confused, and not certain that she really wanted to know the answer, she asked anyway. "What sort of things do you provide?"

<Well, for starters, I provide companionship. I am going to be your constant companion for a long while.> This idea in particular seemed to send her into shock again, but he continued on, trying to reassure her. <Besides companionship, I can help out with a lot of things. I'm another set of eyes for you, in a way. I can prompt you with possible consequences I see of your actions. Notice things you might ignore. Help focus you when your mind is tired, or completely take over if we want that, for a time. The body needs much less rest than the mind does. I can also alter your metabolism some, and help in other small ways.>

"Oh my God, what am I going to do about work tomorrow?" The future was weighing heavily on Mary's mind with worries about somehow people finding out about the symbiote and governments coming to probe and test and kidnap and and... Mary's smart, ever thinking mind was busy finding solutions, and Allen decided to capitalize on them.

<You should live your outside life as normal, at least for the time being. If you need more time to try to cope, you could call in ill. But for now, unless you have any more immediately pressing questions, I think it is time for sleep.> Allen, deprived as he was of light reaching his own membranes, moved their eyes to look at the chronometer on the wall.

Groaning slightly at feeling their eyes move without her controlling the movement, Mary said, "It's going to be a long time before I can get used to that. But you're right. It's getting late."

Allen was pleased at how focused Mary became when she had a goal to concentrate on, and smiled to himself as she went about taking care of the dishes and making sure everything was ready for bed.

'A good choice in hosts indeed, ' Allen mused.

Allen loved the feel of sunlight warming their skin. The dormant period was nearly over, but Allen had been busy rifling through Mary's memories. She'd been through a large number of memorable experiences for such a young human. Overall, he'd found that she will make an excellent host for a while, and he may have even found a perfectly compatible host. It wasn't a certainty, however. But there were strong signs that they might evolve together nicely and become much more compatible than they were now.

Allen blocked off the eyes temporarily from Mary's sleeping mind, and used them to look at the clock. Six o'clock a.m. already. He decided that he should wake Mary now so she can either get theirself ready for work, or call in sick, whichever she decided to do.

This part wasn't too hard, and was in fact quite fun. It is so intimate to wake up the host gently. First, by increasing the body heat by raising the metabolism. Then, by inducing a general feeling of being well rested and comfortable. One of the previous hosts had likened it to always waking up feeling snuggly. Then, by increasing the heart rate and bringing a small flush to most of the dermal capillaries. Lastly, because most hosts found it to be such a nice way to start the day, by increasing the blood flow and sensitivity around the genitalia.

Having done all this rapidly -- it's amazing how fast one can interface with the body directly when one isn't constrained by having grown up with the body -- Mary was soon touching herself and generally playing with herself as her consciousness rose out from dreamland. Her long, slender hands wasted no time in getting to the source of that blissful heat. In no time she was rubbing her clit and sliding three fingers in and out of her welcoming vagina; pulsing, engorged and wet from Allen's purposeful stimulation.

Allen had seen surfing on a television once. To him, it was a great analogy for sex with his host. He caused the waves, and then provided the board for the host's long surf in to satisfaction. Allen provided that board now, and Mary's enjoyment of herself soared.

By the time she was done, a mere five minutes later, Mary was covered in sweat from head to toe and panting hard!

'God, I hope I'm not horny like this constantly from now on, ' thought Mary, panting even in her mind. 'Well, I guess there is no denying it anymore. It wasn't a dream. I've -never- made myself come like that before. Come to think of it, I don't think anyone else has either.'

"Good morning, Allen. Sleep well?" Mary asked, sighing contentedly, trying to catch her breath.

Amused, and pleased with himself for hiding his ability to hear her thoughts, Allen shared their physical smile, noting how Mary reacted to an extra set of mentle "muscles" tugging on their lips. <Good morning, Mary. I slept quite well, thank you, although my sleep is much different from yours. Did you enjoy the wake up call?>

"Oh did I ever?" Mary gasped out, still a little short of breath. "It was wonderful, but I'm afraid. Am I going to be horny constantly now?"

<No, Mary. In fact, I can help you when you decide either to be horny or to be calm. By the way, if you think -to- me, we can communicate that way too. You don't have to worry about being seen talking to yourself in public then.> Allen tried to convey a loving smile with the tone of his thoughts.

"Aren't you speaking out loud to me?" Mary was confused, her mind had always been interpreting Allen's words as sound.

<That is incorrect, Mary. I simulate the signals your ears send to your brain. I find it easier to communicate in ways the host expects.> Changing how he communicated slightly, he continued. Now, instead of hearing his words, Mary thought his words, only with a different tone and knowing they didn't come from her. <Some prefer this method to the audible one, to avoid the impulse of looking around for the source of the sound. Which do you prefer?>

"Ick. That's freaky. Put it back the other way, I think. As long as I'm the only one who can hear you, then I don't have a problem with it," Mary decided, continuing to speak out loud.

<Try thinking to me, Mary, so we can get comfortable with it to avoid slips in public, > Allen suggested, switching back to his way of speaking aloud.

Mary paused, wondering how it was going to work. Her forehead scrunched up and she tried to direct her thoughts. <Allen, are you there?> Mary asked, unsure of herself.

<Yes, Mary, that was wonderful. Aim them just like that.> Allen's mental smile was soon reflected by their physical smile. <You'd best decide soon whether you wish to call in sick for today.>

Glancing at the clock, Mary gasped and cursed aloud. <I'm already late, if I wanted to go in. I can't go in smelling like sex and all sweaty!>

Allen saw that Mary was wondering what that strange flavor she was tasting was. Mary was shocked when she realized her hand had been brought to her mouth and she was sucking her own juices from her come soaked hand.

Allen thought to Mary, <Mmmm, we taste wonderful, Mary.>

Mary was stunned, never having brought herself to taste her secretions before, and not knowing whether she enjoyed the slightly tangy, thick taste or not. <Please don't do that, Allen. Not at least without asking me first.> Mary aimed her thoughts to Allen, trying not to panic again, or over react.

Allen replied, very apologetic, <I'm sorry, Mary. I got carried away I guess. One of my previous hosts enjoyed cunnilingus a great deal, and I grew to appreciate it the taste.>

<Previous hosts?> Mary replied, not sure if she understood correctly. <You mean you've been in other people before?>

<Yes, quite right, Mary. I've been in many mammals, and some few plants during the fifteen years I've been here, or about that anyway. It was hard to understand the passage of time during the first while. I prefer humans as my hosts, although from what I have learned from previous hosts, dolphins might be suitable too.> Allen had them glance at the clock again. <Shouldn't you be making a phone call about now?>

<Doh! You're right, > Mary acknowledged, reaching for the phone. <Today is -definitely- a sick day, and maybe tomorrow too. We've a LOT to discuss, you and I, Allen.>

Allen was pleased at Mary's creative, yet truthful excuse about why she wasn't coming into work. Something she had consumed wasn't quite agreeing with her, and she wouldn't be able to focus at work, and wasn't sure if she was going to be able to be in tomorrow either.

Allen silently observed Mary, as she decided that she needed to do something about the cooling, sticky sweat coating her. She concluded that she should treat today as just a regular day off, and begin her day with her calisthenics routine. She started off with the rings today, since they were the easiest. Allen decided to give another small indication of what benefit having him as a symbiote can be, and sped up the muscle recovery processes, as well as the repair processes. At the end of the workout, she was surprised and thinking about how she was usually feeling tired and sore, and wondering if she forgot to work hard enough or left out part of the routine.

It was a strenuous routine indeed, Allen noted. He was quite pleased at how fit her body was despite her inability to use her legs. He worked very hard to help the muscles out, using the results of his memory delving the previous night to find an acceptable goal of muscle mass and shape.

<Allen, > Mary asked, having come to the possibility that maybe it was his work, <did you help out on the calisthenics or something?>

<Yes, Mary, > Allen replied, pleased with himself, <I did. Your muscles usually don't understand that they can or should repair themselves and refresh themselves while exercising. In some cases, it can actually be dangerous to do so, but usually they don't, simply to conserve energy. The body isn't well suited to the modern human lifestyle.>

<Wow, Allen, that is awesome. I feel great. Usually I'm pretty tired after this. Although, I do feel rather hungry!> Her mental dialog was interrupted by the loud grumbling of an annoyed stomach.

<Well, the healing process does take even more energy if done during exercise. Not to mention that we've had a rather busy morning, altogether.>

Laughing out loud, pleased with herself and her good mood, and genuinely acclimating to her new lifestyle, she added, <Perhaps, Allen. But before we get something to eat, I should really take care of the sweat. A little bit tends to go a long ways.>

So they went to bathe, a sponge bath this time, to make it speedier. Mary cautioned Allen not to encourage more playtime, since they still needed to get something to eat. Allen mentally sighed to himself, longing to convince her to taste her wonderful juices again.

So they bathed, dressed, and headed into the kitchen to fix some breakfast. After a little encouraging, Mary finally agreed to prepare twice her normal breakfast, and eventually admitted that she was glad Allen had pushed her into doing it. Surprisingly, she wasn't even to the point of being full after eating. Allen watched all of this, mostly quiet and resting. The night had been very restful for her, but he hadn't had the mental downtime that she had. He didn't need much downtime, but some was required to be operating at peak efficiency.

They set about discussing what they should do for the day. She couldn't be out and about doing a lot, since she might be seen by a coworker and reported back to work. It wouldn't be a huge deal with work, but she didn't like taking sick days to have fun, especially since she had to take quite a few sick days every year just for doctor visits.

Eventually, they decided on just going to get Frank--that was the dog's name--from the groomer's and go grocery shopping for more food, since it appeared they would be eating more than she had normally been. The sky had started to cloud over, and it was looking like it would rain sometime that day anyway, so it simply reaffirmed their decision to not go to the park, or do more shopping.

Getting down to the car, and into it, was a well practiced chore for Mary. Allen noticed that it was a stark contrast to how easy the other hosts had done it, yet seemed just as practiced when done by Mary. While they were driving down the road at the speed of life in the city, Allen was taking in a lot of what was going on around them. It seemed that while this wasn't the best area of town, it wasn't exactly high crime compared to places Allen had been before.

'It'll be good to get away from the constant negativity for a while. Perhaps I'll be able to make a positive change here that doesn't involve the complete rewrite of someone's consciousness, ' mused Allen to himself, hopeful.

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