Vita was having the time of her life, she had finally gotten to meet new people, and humans!
She'd studied the traditional herb-lore, beast magics and alchemy of her people for well over a century since her awakening.
Awakenings refer to when a dryad becomes sentient, and that happens naturally with age, her family then teach the mewling spirit how to interact with the world.
Life was good in her grove, she never had bad soil, the weather was wonderful thanks to their ever friendly sylphs and her family showered her with love, their world fell under the jurisdiction of a greater lord whom ruled peacefully and joined Lord Alisters alliance long before she was even a sapling.
Her world was a major producer of a wide variety of healing products and food, rendering great aid to other more impoverished worlds, other worlds specialized on other things.
Everything from potent elixirs, to mana regeneratives, to pills that recreated limbs, as for food they produced mostly fruits and vegetables, but certain animals were grown in the wilds and hunted.
Not everything could thrive on vegetation after all and some people required meat for a stable diet, it was all part of the cycle of life and death.
The only problem was she could barely move very far, in terms of her people she was little young-ling, and like so many of her sisters and cousins she craved something adventurous!
Sometimes she contemplated rash things, but for the most part she recognized them as a flight of fancy, to leave and explore the worlds, righting wrongs and bringing happiness to other misfortunates.
'Speaking of misfortune.' Vita turned her attention to her new friend.
Vita stared at Alex, he looked a bit down, as well as distracted, was he sad? Was he hurt somewhere?
She didn't like him sad, he was the nicest one of humans she had recently met, the others were either creeps, bores, or still angry with her over those little pranks.
He took time to actually explain things about humans and humored her curiosity as well as being polite and forgiving her for the prank.
The whole blood extraction was different for him so maybe it was that, for her she would have to remove sap from her bark to recreate an elixir of this type.
It was wonderful to be able to interact this way with people other than her sisters and animal companions, even if it was a little weird, she loved how her mother finally gave her this opportunity.
"Alex are you alright?" She asked curious.
"Huh? Yeah." Alex responded despondently.
He went back to working the most recent attempt at the creation of a healing elixir, he resumed his silent brooding, and she frowned at a loss of what to do.
He was usually so cheerful, that was her favorite Alex, this version was too broody and it bugged her, maybe she should cheer him up.
'Maybe I should try something new.' Vita tossed her mind to tales her other sisters recounted to her of their humans.
She had to admit she was curious, after-all there were so many things to try with this form and humans were so interesting.
Perhaps she should try to distract him from his worries, why humans worried about so many little things she'd never know.
Mind decided she took several steps back, disappearing from his line of sight, she eyed him like prey, slowly sneaking behind him she made sure to mask her presence.
"BOO!" Vita tickled Alex's midsection.
"Ack!" Bowling forward Alex's most recent attempt splattered to the floor.
A moment passed as Alex stared with his mouth open at the result on the floor, Vita smiled, she liked that look.
'Do they normally do that? If they do a bee might get in there. Do humans eat bees?' Vita tilted her head sideways.
Red faced, Alex stomped the floor before sitting down and rubbing his face.
Shrugging she labeled this attempt a failure.
With a pulse of PSI she restored the splattered attempt.
"Why did you do that?" Alex asked as he stared at the restored 'elixer' attempt.
"Because you were trying so hard on it?" Vita tilted her head, did he not want her to restore it?
"What?" Alex asked, she nodded completely confused along with him.
A moment passed in brief silence, as Alex brooded.
"You look sad, so I wanted to distract you." Vita smiled at him, she rather liked smiling, to show her joy to everything and everyone.
She stared at him as he sighed, was he mad? It was hard to tell what upset humans, they were so touchy about some stuff, Alex was nice enough though.
Another brief idea flashed through her mind.
'Perhaps. Fi said that other boys rather enjoyed it, she had gone on and on about it too...' Vita observed Alex's face as he had gone back to concentrating.
Slowly appraoching Vita stared at Alex, Alex quickly caught on to her look.
"What?" Alex frowned.
Smile widenning, she pounced on him, sending them to the floor.
"Wait! What are you~ mhh?" Alex cut off as her lips met his.
Oh yes...she was rather enjoying this, the tongue too right?
Once they came up for air, Alex was panting with wide doey eyes, the look was priceless and she giggled.
"Wait...." Alex leaned backwards escaping her.
'Is this that thing Fi said? Where they pretend to not like it?' Vita smirked, she leaned forward towards Alex.
"... Where is this coming from?" Alex was huffing slightly, he looked slightly out of breathe.
"I can't want to cheer you up?" Vita demurely asked with a grin.
"Uhh..." He looked at a loss for words.
"You know...there're many things I want to try..." Vita smiled.
'This is going to be fun.' Vita sized him up, crawling on all fours towards him.
Stradling him, she looked deeply into his shocked eyes, quickly she pulled his pants, baring his naked form.
He seemed ashamed for some odd reason and tried to cover up, pulling him into another kiss she wore away at his relucatance, until only eager anticipation remained.
Slowly she lowered herself unto him as new sensations flooded into her.
'YES! This IS going to be so much fun.' Vita released a low moan, which quickly turned into an excited high pitched laugh.
Stunned Alex lay there in bed, right next to Vita, whom was staring at him with a smug smile, while laying on her belly.
"What?" Alex asked awkwardly.
The sex had been a great help in distracting him from thoughts of Jess, but now that he started thinking with his upper head he felt things went from normal to bizzar in a few....sittings?
"Nothing. I'm glad you're feeling better." Vita palmed her cheek, peddling her feet back and forth in the air.
"Uhh....thanks?" Alex coughed.
'And here I thought you were innocent.' Alex smiled awkwardly.
Vita outright laughed at his awkwardness, cementing in his mind that this was just a friendly fling and nothing serious.
Hours later, Alex once more glared at the darkened vial in his hands, his most recent attempt was an abysmal failure, the futility was most vexing.
He only wished he could recover from the blood loss much more rapidly, Vita claimed it was important not to over-estimate his body's natural limit, thus she only restored him when she deemed it necessary.
After so many tries he was definitely feeling under the weather, his energy wasn't coming as quickly and he tended to lose focus more and more, it was likely his mind though.
"Alex why don't you stop. We can practice something else." Vita advised from her corner.
"Can you restore me again please?" Alex asked, the stress was getting to him.
"Alex, listen please you already know the process. The last one you made was adequate. I don't want you thinking you can just make these everyday and make a habit of it." Vita pleaded with concern.
Alex sighed, what did it matter how many times she restored him here? He couldn't die here, at least not from this experiment as he understood it.
He needed the practice or this whole thing would be a waste of time, it made him want to throw up his hands in expaseration.
Turning back to face the 'elixer' he noted the condensed blood was dense and dark, completely unlike the golden-amber-hue Vita demonstrated.
The one previous to this had been a bright crimson red, strangely once stoppered the blood itself still swirled and moved, as it alive, it made Alex distinctly uncomfortable knowing this had come from his blood, or rather his imaginery blood.
"Alex, take a break with me." Vita purred, biting his ear.
Suddenly Alex's mood took a complete turn and he smiled, with Vita at his side he found himself thinking less and less on his break-up with Jessica and more on the lovely dryad in front of him.
"A break sounds great." Alex suddenly felt a lot better, invitation accepted.
"I thought so too." Vita smiled coyly, gently guiding him to a bed.
Dressed skimply in leaves as well as a simple bra, Vita remained dressed as Alex grabbed her by the waist and spun her unto the bed.
Her skimpy skirt parted easily as her mounted her, pinning her against the fabric.
Bull-like Alex slowly forgot everything with each thrust, his worries, inadequecies, even painful memories, the moment was all that mattered.
Her moans made him grabbed her by the legs, as sweat dribbled down his neck, her lithe legs wrapped around him and her moaning pitched.
Ensuring her orgasms twice more and he doubled his effort, he lightly bit her neck as he felt himself hardenning further, followed quickly by an overflowing release.
Panting Alex rolled over to her left, out of breath, collapsing from his finished effort, both relief and exhaustion settled into him.
They laid there basking in their afterglow, untill Vita rolled a top him.
"My turn." She smiled viciously, a venerable tigeress had found her next meal.
Appearently there were many benifits to being able to recover from fatigue with a thought.
"I mean it Alex. I need to teach you other things." Vita was tracing circles on his chest.
"I feel I've learnt quite a lot." Alex smiled coyly, giving her a playful wink.
Did he sound smug? He felt smug.
"Goof. Don't think I don't know what you're doing." Vita smacked his shoulder playfully.
"Roger, I get it. No need to get so aggressive." Alex lifted his hands up as if giving up.
"Good." Vita removed herself from him.
Her skimpy clothing unruffled itself quickly, tidying itself up in no time, molding itself to perfectly refit her curves, Alex stared.
"So... you said something new?" Alex questioned, snapping out of his fudge.
So far he was stuck mostly as a healer and even though he knew that was an important role, he sort of wanted something more combat oriented.
You can't really survive by only healing after all, monsters don't kill themselves, Sarah and Eian had been far better than he at killing monsters and it sort of made him feel...was un-macho a word?
He didn't really get his hopes up much though, Vita didn't look much like a war goddess, a sex goddess on the other hand...
"How about learning a stalled method of healing?" Vita tilted her neck to a side.
"A what?" Alex rubbed his temple.
"It's good for things like constant enviornmental hazards, just pushing healing into someone can be wasteful. Extreme temperatures, airborne poisons are easier to deal with this way." Vita clarified.
"I guess... What else can I learn?" Alex wanted something more battle oriented.
"Hmmm....OH! I know, I can teach you to have your healing target a specific area entirely. It'll heal every living thing you target, as well as damage undead in the area." Vita smiled.
"Actually, I don't want to offend but, do you have something I can use in a straight-up fight?" Alex asked.
"OH! Well...yes, but I thought you were going to be a healer, like my sister advised." Vita tapped her chin, still smiling.
"Roger that, but I figured there's no reason I can't do both. I mean, it'd be good for me to be able to defend myself." Alex smiled at her antics.
"Oh, in that case, I'll teach you the basic battle-spell I know: Over-drive. There are other spells, but I'm not a proficient warrior. Sorry." Vita gave a light smile, a faint blush crept up her neck.
"It's fine! Anything you can teach me is good." Alex raised his hands up placatingly.
"Goof." Vita teased.
Rolling himself off the bed, Alex asked an important question.
"Could you please...use your cleaning trick?" Alex tried to sound relaxed.
"...Maybe if you ask nicely." Vita's smug smile, drew forth a sigh.
"Pretty please?" Alex infused as much fake enthusiasm as he could.
"Well Over-drive is simple really. It invigorates you're body past it's regular limit, making you stronger and faster." Vita started.
"Why didn't you teach me this before!" Alex's eyes practically shone, finally something that sounded remotely useful.
"Simple really, it's not Qi, the more you push yourself the more damage your body sustains, even with your enhanced body, it'll eat your reserves steadily. Just expect the battle rush, addiction is a serious risk and my mother told me many battle maniac's got addicted to it's high." Vita finished.
"...Soooo it hurts? How much?" Alex tensed, depending on the answer he might only use it when he really needed to.
"...I personally have never used it, being a dryad, but from my understanding it doesn't hurt much, while your under it's effects at least. If you don't heal yourself prior to stopping it likely will though, the amount probably varies: how far you pushed, how much you healed yourself and how strong your actual body is. Qi is much more suited to this form of combat, but this can be used along with it." Vita explained.
Alex looked up and reflected on that.
'So, I should probably learn to use Qi.' Alex thought.
"How do I use Qi again?" Alex asked, he couldn't quite remember.
"Oh that... You need to form a core, which... should happen naturally by reaching seven in Body, after that....your core will start generating Qi at eight, which you will learn to use naturally. Control training should also help though. I'm no expert Alex, I don't have a body like yours." Vita seemed a bit uncertain and for some reason she wasn't looking Alex in the eye.
"Roger, so how do you fight?" Alex ased as he looked at her with a smile.
"....I don't. I usually can't move too far from my body." Vita quieted.
'Wow that must be so sad.' Alex thought to himself, pity making him really feel for the otherwise cheerful girl.
Alex frowned at that thought, Vita seemed to flinch at his expression, which completely baffled Alex.
That raised a few questions, how did they move away from their parents....or was it parent? Alex was confused now.
"Are you alright? Is there any way I can help you with that?" Alex let his concern show.
"...Well yes, but don't worry about me." Vita's expersiion brightened quickly at his question.
"What is it?" Alex asked.
"Don't worry about it Alex. Focus on surviving your world. I have my sisters and I can experience the world through some of my animal friends. I'm happy." Vita blessed his question with a radiant smile, it's sheer intensity actually made him blink.
Pouting slightly Alex felt his curiousity skyrocket.
"Are you sure?" Alex raised an eyebrow, he tried to keep his tone casual.
"Curious?" Vita smiled brightly.
"Nevermind." Alex sighed, he wasn't willing to walk into another trap and her current vibe totally eminated that feeling.
"Aw. He-he-he. Let's try teaching you Over-drive. A large open space sounds good." Vita patted him on the shoulder.
"On it boss lady." Alex inwardly sighed, his curiousity slightly dampening his mood.
Alex lost track of time, but he estimated at least a day or two had passed, likely more since he was actually having some fun.
Over this time he'd subtly tried to coax Vita to spill the secret, but she seemed to somehow be on to him, deftly evading his questions and teasing him relentlessly when he showed even the slightest interest.
All he had managed to garner was that it was somewhat frowned upon in her culture, as well as it required quite a bit of trust on her side, the scarcity of information kept fueling his curiousity.
"Goof! Focus!" Vita chided him lightly.
Alex grit his teeth and pushed as his blood boiled along with a rising adrenaline rush.
Muscles contacting, Alex heaved the stone and with some effort lifted it over his head, he tossed it to his left, which landed a good five feet away.
Self satisfied Alex, took in a breathe of 'fresh' air, Vita had explained the whole place being a big illusion thing, it felt so real though, so Alex decided it was best to just ignore it for now.
Over-drive as it turned out wasn't unbarebly painful, it felt a little similar to running full sprint on tired muscles, definatly uncomfortable though.
The rush from Over-drive was definetly nice, mentally Alex noted people in his home would gladly work out every day to experience it, it wasn't as intense as sex, but damn it was better than beer and rum.
The only time he'd actually felt Over-drive hurt was when he misjudged his healing, after he came down from the most intense adrenaline rush ever he forgot to heal himself causing him to fall to the floor with intense cramps.
'Man I definetly couldn't lift that thing normally, I guess this makes me stronger by about an entire half more, and that's just pushing average. Then again Vita said pushing too much can really hurt...so maybe an emergency?' Alex pondered, staring around the open field.
"Alex, it's time. You should go meet your friends. You've learnt Overdrive well enough and those other little things I taught you just need practice." Vita gave him a small smile.
"....Roger." Alex tried to smile, but couldn't.
He'd grown fond of her, at least friend level, the whole sex thing had seemed more a fling to her anyways, it totally helped him cope now that the whole Jessica thing was over too.
It felt awkward that it had come so suddenly, he would probably not ever see her again and now he had to say good-bye.
'Wait! Does this mean I'm meeting Jessica again?' All of a sudden he felt a bit nervous, then again for now he had to say good-bye.
"...Look...um. I'm not too good with this but are you sure I can't help you somehow? I really appreciate all you've done for me." Alex scratched the back of his neck.
"...Goof." Vita huffed not unpleasantly however, a sad smile appeared on her face.
The silence was getting to him, he totally felt awkward now, maybe he should have just let it go and said nothing.
"The only way...is for me to become your familiar Alex, and that is all kinds of crazy." Vita bit her lip, not looking at Alex.
"What does that mean?" Alex blinked, completely confused.
"It means I would...have to give up everything to be with you. I'm sorry Alex I like you, but...that's more like getting married and I'm sorry." Vita looked at the floor.
"Oh..OH! ... I mean yeah that. That's a bit...weird." Alex looked at the sky, flustered.
Suddenly Vita smiled, mirth twinkling in her eye.
"You know. You'd also need my moms approval, unless you want to just steal me away and escape." Vita gave an over exaggerated dramatic sigh, winking at him playfully.
"Hahaha." Alex awkwardly laughed, trying to cover a cough.
"You'd also need to be a lot stronger. A true knight in shining armor." Vita teased him, eliciting a more pronouced cough.
"I...think I see why you were keeping it hidden this whole time." Alex fumbled the words past the awkward situation.
"Curiosity kills. But seriously Alex, relax, I'm not dying and this whole simulacrum makes us meet new people all the time. I'm happier now than I've ever been." Vita gave him a smile and patted his cheek.
"....as long as you're happy....." Alex smiled.
"Always. Good-bye Alex, it's been lots of fun." Vita smiled.
"Goodbye Vita." Alexander straightened and gave her his best smile, he wanted her to remember him happy.
Alex looked at her face, those brilliant emerald eyes, beaming face and radiant figure, he ingrained it in his mind, swearing to never forget his friend and the happy times they spent together, brief though it was.
The world washed away in white and his face fell.
"Idiot." Alex mumbled to himself, he sighed.
A confused jumble of emotions wrestled inside, he felt mostly regret though, he had no real understanding as to why, but he felt he'd likely carry it till he died.