Erika was sitting in the kitchen, drinking a camomile tea Dina poured for her. It seemed like whatever her transforming process was, it took a toll on her nervous system, as she couldn't stop shaking.
Dina’s first reaction was to hug the naked woman on the floor, but soon she got embarrassed by the situation and helped her to get up, guiding her to the kitchen. Since her clothes wouldn't fit anymore, Dina gave her a blanket to wrap herself. She realized Erika's body was way more developed than her own. Her breasts and waist were bigger and she was taller. Dina’s clothes probably wouldn't fit her anymore.
“I’m s-s-sorry for startling you,” Erika said, taking her tea to her lips.
“It's okay.” Dina gave an understanding smile. “It's partly my fault, too.”
Dina pulled a chair and sat close to Erika.
“But I guess I have no choice but to believe you now.”
“This is closer to my actual age, compared to your planet’s lifespan. I wasn't supposed to trigger this transformation outside the lab, so I knew it would affect my body somehow...oh…”
The cup she was holding fell from her shaken hands and shattered on the floor, splashing tea all over it.
“Don't worry about it”, Dina said, getting up. “I'll pour you another. Are you sure you don't want to go to the hospital?”
Erika shook her head.
“Your medicine wouldn't help me much. This is a process your people knows nothing about”, she gave a faint smile. “But don't worry, it's not life-threatening. I'll be fine after some rest.”
Dina gave Erika another cup of tea and sat again.
“Look...I'm sorry”, she said.
“You don't need to apologize. In fact, in your own understanding, you did nothing wrong, and you're only guilty of your ignorance.”
Dina couldn't understand if she was being comforted or offended.
“And I'm the one who needs to apologize. I did something unacceptable in your society’s view. I apologize.”
Dina raised her fingers to touch her own lips without realizing. Then looking at Erika's lips, she felt her face blushing.
“But at the same time, I fear I need to ask”, Erika said, putting her cup now empty on the table. “Is this body good enough for you?”
Dina was happy she wasn't drinking tea, too, because she surely would spit it out after hearing that.
“T-that’s… Let’s talk about that after you rest”, Dina answered, agitated.
After Erika finished her tea, Dina guided her to the bedroom. She was avoiding touching her. Somehow it felt different than when she was just a girl. Now her adult body was alluring to Dina, and that made her nervous.
She suggested Erika sleep on her bed, instead of the floor. Then she covered the woman with blankets.
“While you rest, I was thinking about going out to look for some clothes for you. Is that okay? Are you fine, now?”, Dina asked.
Erika hesitated, moving her eyes slowly fo face Dina, before answering.
“Then I’ll be alone…”
Dina realized she was playing with her fingers from inside the blanket. She smiled. Erika looked like an adult now, but her personality was still the same as when she was a girl. The gap between her appearance and her personality was charming.
“I’ll wait until you’re asleep before going out. Is that enough for you?”, Dina said.
Erika hesitated for a moment but finally agreed, with a slow movement of her head and a faint smile. It didn’t take much time until she fell asleep, what made Dina think the reason was how the transformation affected her body. She hurried to go out on her shopping trip because she wanted to be back before Erika woke up.
As she examined the clothes she bought, Dina wondered what she was thinking. Sure she was in a hurry. But somehow, most of the things she brought home were sexy or revealing clothes. She had Erika’s figure in mind while shopping, so that was probably her influence. As she thought about Erika’s naked body again, she felt her temperature rise.
“Dina?”, she heard a voice behind her, and Erika came out of the room, still wrapped in a blanket. That alluring voice calling her name had a whole different feeling than the teenager girl, and she felt guilty about reacting differently to it.
“I-I bought some clothes…”, she said, almost afraid to pass the bag to her guest.
Erika took the bag and looked inside.
“I appreciate it”, she said and left the blanket slide to the floor while taking the clothing from inside the bag. Dina avoided her eyes, even though she had seen Erika’s naked body before.
After putting her new clothes on, there in the living room, Erika called for Dina’s attention.
“How does it look?”
Dina turned to her, seeing the woman in a black short and black top, exposing her belly and with an exposed cleavage. Even though the short looked similar to the one she was wearing when they first met, it had a completely different effect on that adult body.
“You’re… pretty…”, Dina said, avoiding her eyes again.
She felt Erika's hands grabbing her arm. The warm and humid feeling of her body gripping firm on her wrist.
“You're acting weird”, Erika's eyes were serious.
“Avoiding looking at me. Avoiding getting closer. Like something is repulsing you about my presence”, she became silent, and after opening her mouth twice without making any sound, she added: “Is it because of what I did? Are you disgusted by me now?”
Dina approached Erika and this time held her hands.
“No. It's not that. It's just that...huh…”, Dina made an effort to keep holding Erika's hands, even though her heart looked like it would explode. “Before I saw you as a kid, so it didn't affect much, but if you keep saying these things now…”
Erika gave a hopeful smile.
“So you like this body?”
Dina tried to avoid her gaze, her heart was like a thunder.
“I… I never… uh… I never did anything with a woman before, but I would be lying if I say I never had an interest. And, huh… you're, probably, exactly my type.”
“That means…?”, Erika inclined her head while asking.
“Yeah… I like your body.”
The smile Erika gave was radiant.
“So we can be lovers now! If only I knew it was so easy!”
“Wait, wait a minute…”, Dina took her hands off Erika's. “It's not that simple.”
“Why? I don't get it. You want me, and that way I can fulfill my mission.”
“Your mission is to learn about love, right? Remember what I said about that other man? Sex and love aren't really the same thing.”
“So you don't love me?”
Dina reflected in silence. She turned to the kitchen before answering, avoiding Erika's eyes.
“I… don't hate you… But what about you?”
“I don't think I feel anything at all, but that's why I want to study.”
“Study... that's… and besides, I feel bad after rejecting you before and suddenly just accepting it now.”
“Eh?”, Erika made a confused face. “I don't mind at all. I understand your previous reasoning and I was in the wrong. The thought of failing my mission made me act irrationally.”
“I… will prepare dinner”, Dina said, stopping that conversation at that moment.
They eat dinner together, and Erika seemed to understand enough to not touch the subject again, although Dina realized she wasn't satisfied with that. She realized that when she wasn’t holding anything, Erika couldn’t stop playing with her fingers, touching them, squeezing them with her other hand and hitting them against each other.
When it came time to sleep, Erika headed in silent to the place where she used to put her cushion.
“You know…”, Dina said, making Erika stop and look at her. “You can sleep with me on the bed… if you want…”
“Are you sure?!”, Erika asked, her eyes suddenly showing a vigor that had disappeared before. “Even though I want to do all kinds of things with you?”
“A-all kinds of things is kinda… wait, what are you even planning to do?”, Dina looked at Erika, as she waited apprehensively for the answer. “Well...if it's just...like...kissing...then it's fine, I guess.”
“I see, kissing. The first serious and intimate step that’s exclusive for romantic relationships. We start with a kiss, then evolve to sex, and then…”
“Just kissing!”, Dina stopped Erika. “You don’t plan to have sex with someone after just kissing… Well, some people totally do, but you shouldn’t.”
“Okay… Kissing without thinking about sex yet, I get it.”
The excited smile Erika gave wasn’t reassuring, but Dina decided she would just trust the woman for now. With a signal from Dina, Erika got on the bed, kneeling beside her. Sitting on the border, Dina turned to her, also raising her legs up the bed.
She held Erika’s hands. They were warm. Dina’s fingers were shaking as she approached the other woman. Getting closer, she realized how Erika smelled good. It was the same shampoo she used, and the same soap, but mixed with Erika’s body, the aroma was different. Somehow sexier.
“I...I never kissed a woman before..”, she said.
“I never kissed anything before.”
“Well, this isn’t true for either of us after this afternoon”, Dina said, giving a wry smile. “But that didn’t count”, she approached her face to Erika again, her heart beating like a drummer. Erika’s black eyes focused on her. Dina stopped. “By the way. You should close your eyes.”
“Why?”, Erika said, inclining her head in confusion.
“That’s just… how it is…”
“But then I won’t learn the mechanics involved in kissing.”
“Y-You will don’t worry. Just… close your eyes.”
She hesitated, scrutinizing Dina’s face, waiting to see if she changed her mind. Realizing her partner was serious, Erika closed her eyes. Before closing her own eyes, Dina examined Erika better. Her lips were humid on her stern face. She was wearing the lingerie Dina brought to her. Black with frills and perfectly fitting in her body. All her curves and body was more voluptuous than Dina’s. For a moment she felt a curiosity to touch Erika’s body, but stopped herself and approached to kiss, closing her eyes.
Her lips got in contact with Erika’s. They were soft and wet. Erika’s smell was now close to Dina’s her nose. Dina thought her heart would explode. She raised both her hands to hold Erika’s face gently while kissing her. She almost felt like pushing Erika to the bed but stopped herself.
When the kiss was over, Dina felt dizzy. Her face slowly distanced from Erika and she felt like she finally could breathe. The two women faced each other in silence, until Dina’s voice broke it, still a little weak.
“H-How was it?”
“How? What do you mean?”, Erika answered, the same as ever. “Our lips locked together, as it was supposed to happen. That was exactly like my researches, so I don't get it. Should I do something more?”
Erika’s face was the same as ever, with her head slightly inclined. That annoyed Dina, who had her heart almost jumping through her chest. She turned her back to Erika, lying down on the bed and putting the blanket over her.
“Forget it. Let’s sleep”, she said.
Erika didn’t move. Her eyes examining the volume Dina’s body made on the bed. Timidly playing with her fingers, she finally let her voice out.
“Are you angry? Did I do anything wrong?”
“You didn’t do anything wrong”, she said. “Try to think about what kissing means, but, huh, I won’t blame you.”
“Can we keep doing that?”
The room went silent. Until finally Dina broke it, with a low voice.”
“Yeah...Just…”, she became silence before completing: “Next time give me more time.”, she turned on the bed and faced Erika, giving a gentle smile. “Now go to sleep. I have work tomorrow morning.”
Erika nodded and threw herself inside the blankets. That night, Dina had trouble to sleep, always thinking there was another body lying beside her.
“A date?”, Dina asked that Friday, while putting on her clothes.
During the week, they did the kissing part twice, on the Monday and Tuesday. After that, Erika stopped asking about it, and Dina didn’t dare to touch the subject, even though, if she had to tell the truth, she was missing it.
Erika also started to help with house chores, which helped Dina. According to Erika, making the same activities could help her to understand her subject better.
Then suddenly, Friday morning, while Dina was getting ready to work, Erika approached her.
“Yeah, a date”, she said, smiling and showing some paper where there were some incomprehensive notes. “I was researching about our three nights doing love actions and reflecting why they had no effect at all. I came to realize that was common, and we skipped some important steps, like meeting in a rainy day, dancing on a ball…”
“Are you reading those books again?”
“It seems like those are spontaneous encounters, and me meeting you and being direct about my intentions probably didn’t help.”
“Yeah...that’s what I’ve been saying…”
“Yeah, I know. So I looked at how to start it over, and I found out that this date thing is an event where we cheat reality by forcing those spontaneous moments to happen again.”
Dina finished putting her clothes and stood there, looking straight at Erika.
“Am I wrong?”, Erika asked.
“No… I was actually thinking your messed up definition makes sense.”
“So, while I was looking it up, I found out that going to movies was a popular way to do these date events. Then…”, Erika almost jumped out in front of Dina to show her a poster she was holding: “I thought we could watch this tonight!”
It was a sci-fi movie, with a spaceship above a developed city at night on the cover. That was the only genre Erika would show genuine interest whenever they would watch tv together. Dina couldn’t stop a giggle.
“You just want to watch that, right?”
Erika brought the poster to her eyes and examined it, making a gloomy face.
“It’s true I have interest in this movie in particular. Should we do something else, then?”
“No, no”, Dina brushed out her comment, while smiling. “That’s not what I meant. I think that’s a good thing, wanting to do something you like together with someone you love. That’s what a date is.”
“But you don’t really care about the movie, right?”, Erika asked, with the same face.
“I’m sure that as long as we’re together, I’ll have fun. But if you’re still worried about that…”, Dina hesitated, avoiding looking at Erika. “Tomorrow is my mother’s birthday. I was thinking about paying her a visit, and, huh, if you wouldn’t mind coming with me?”
“Is it important that for me to be there to remember about your mother’s birthday?”
“It’s not about it being important. It’s an important day for me, so it would mean something if you were there.”
“I see, it’s another important aspect of love relationship I didn’t know, then. I forgot you people have emotional bonds with your progenitors.”
“Oh, that’s right. For you it’s different, right?”
“Well, mothers have little to say about their offspring development. Usually, they stay with them in the few years after they’re born and go back to other mission.”
“I see. Well, you see, a bond between mother and child is love, too.”
“I was considering that already. I understand. It should be an educational meeting, so I’ll be there.”
Dina smiled and looked at Erika. Somehow it was weird to see a grown-up woman talking like that as if she was a kid. Dina looked at her watch.
“Well, I’ll be late if I don't go now. Can you wait for me in front of the college, tonight? I’ll be done at nine.”
She had once shown Erika where she was studying. Erika had a good memory and sense of direction, so it shouldn’t be a problem to get there.
“Understood”, Erika said, as Dina went through the door.
She wouldn't lie, she was actually nervous. Her colleagues were there with her as she exits her classroom, and walked towards the college’s gate. Erika was probably there already, and it would be the first time her friends would meet her. On the other side, Dina realized she almost wanted her friends to find out about their relationship, whatever it was. In the end, Erika was a beautiful woman. Even though her friends probably didn’t have any interest in women, they should realize she was lucky. However, saying she would go out with another woman was scary.
Dina had taken some time to change after her work in the house of one of her colleagues. It was common for her to change there since it was close to college, so her friend probably didn’t find anything weird in it, even though Dina took a little more time with the makeup and in the bath. As she looked at the mirrors with her loose curly hair, a smile with her discrete pink lipstick on her face, a jeans and a red blouse with bare shoulders showing a little of her brown skin that she had bought just minutes before, she came to realize how much she was longing for that date. Dina had to think how she came to think different about Erika. She didn’t know if it was after seeing her adult form or after the kiss.
As they approached the front gate, Erika was there, her back against the wall, waiting. She was wearing a black mini-skirt and leggings that Dina herself had bought for her. It wasn’t a cold night, so it was probably comfortable. She was also wearing a white peasant top. The outfit actually looked good on her, and Dina could see her hours in front of the computer trying to research what to wear for a date.
As Erika saw Dina coming, she turned to her and gave a smile. Dina could feel her heart skip with that. As she walked to them, Dina’s friends gave her curious looks. Realizing three women beside Dina, Erika also stopped and looked at them with a confused expression.
“These are my friends from college”, Dina said and introduced each one of them. Erika smiled and introduced herself, too.
“I'm Erika. I'm Dina’s lover.”
Startled, Dina looked at her friends. The three women just looked at Erika with a serious face, until one of them, an Asian woman who had been introduced as Anna, spoke:
“I see… so it's like that.”
“No, no, no. Wait!”, Dina said, weaving her hands. “She's confused. We're not lovers.”
“We're not?”, Erika said, inclining her head. “Isn't sleeping together and kissing exclusive for lovers?”
“No! I mean, yes, but… we didn't sleep together… We just shared a bed.”
“You won’t deny the kiss?” Anna said, smiling. Dina didn't say anything. “It's okay, Dina, really. Don't worry about that. I mean, we kind of… you know… expected it.”
“What?”, Dina said, looking at her in confusion.
“I mean…”, and she looked at the other two women before asking: “Right?” Both of them nodded, giggling.
“Sorry, I'm not following you.”
“No, really, you always liked pretty women, right? Especially after some drinks.”
“Huh?” Dina tried to remember if she had done anything to make them think that.
“But we don't mind. We just want you to be happy”, Anna looked at Erika. “Still, Erika? Wasn’t that the name of the girl you found?”
“Ah…”, Dina made, suddenly remembering Anna was one of the people she asked about Erika.
“Wasn’t she a teenager, though?”
“Oh”, Erika said, before Dina could stop her. “She did thought I was a teenager since I looked like one.”
Anne looked at her, in confusion. She looked at her two other friends, but they looked just as clueless.
“I… I’ll explain it later. Although I’m not sure you’ll believe”, Dina said, pulling Erika by the hand. “Now let’s go, or we’ll be late.”
Before she left, Anna asked her last question:
“Are you two going on a date?”
There was a playful smile on her face. Dina looked at Erika, who somehow looked anxious waiting for her to give her answer, avoiding Dina’s gaze and playing with her fingers.
“Yeah, it’s a date”, she said, and Erika looked at her with a smile. “I’ll explain it all later. So… See you later.”
She left, dragging Erika with her and left her three friends chuckling behind.
That was a surprisingly common date. Erika made her always logical observations about the movie, although this time she seemed to understand more about the emotional side of the characters. She seemed to have fun explaining about concepts that Dina didn’t understand at first, and when Dina asked her if she had liked the movie, she was eager to confirm.
Later they went to a restaurant, where Erika mostly kept silent, except for a comment about how all the couples there were a man and a woman. Dina realized that was a good opportunity to talk about things that were worrying her, but she never had the chance to ask.
“Have you thought”, she said, “that our relationship is more illogical than most of those things you don’t understand?”
“What do you mean?”, Erika asked, inclining her head.
“I mean, there’s nothing to get from it, in terms of biology or science. I don’t know how to explain, but… huh… we can’t have babies.”
“Is love something that needs to generate babies?”
“I don’t believe that, but… How do I say this? Isn’t that the main purpose of sex?”
“I guess so”, Erika answered, putting a portion of pasta in her mouth and continuing after swallowing it. “Sex is not my objective, though. Just the information of how it works on a conceptual level and its relationship with sentimental feelings. I guess you’re right. If we consider the nature of sex, I should go after a male at first, like you said when we met. But I didn’t want that.”
“Because males are scary?”
“There’s that, but… It’s more than that. I just… like women better? You’re right that I don’t have a logical reason. Maybe I’m defective in that.”
“No… I don’t think that”, this time Dina had a drink of the wine in front of her. “I think that’s closer to what you want to understand. You don’t need a logical reason to love someone. Love doesn’t need logic.”
Erika gave a wry smile to Dina and reflected in silence. She started to play a little with her pasta before putting on her mouth. She didn’t order wine like her partner, and Dina believed that was probably for the best, not knowing what effect it would have on her.
“I have another question”, Dina said. “You're always saying your technology is better than ours, so you probably can do things like... artificial insemination and such? Is there any reason to have sex with males on other planets?”
“Of course we can do that. And it was the first practice we tried. Turns out that the same element nocive to men in our atmosphere also destroys any kind of cell originated from them. We learned just after the fourth month of gestation the fetus is truly safe, and we wait six months to make sure.”
Even though they were in a public restaurant, there weren't any people in the tables close to them, so no one could hear their conversation. When someone would get close, Dina would make a signal to Erika stop, and she obeyed.
“Having the children in another planet was an option, but it was dangerous leaving ourselves in the hands of species that didn't know our body well. Teaching them our technology was out of question, as it is our pride and we protect it as such. Delivering the babies in a spaceship would take valuable scientists to train and live at least six months in seclusion. We also never had any kind of prudence about sex like your species do, so it was the best choice.”
“Oh, so you have pride in your achievements,” Dina said. “That’s the most sentimental thing we heard from you.”
Erika reflected, spacing out still holding her fork.
“If I have to explain, I think it’s not really pride, but love?”
“No, I mean, if I’m going to compare the feeling we have for our culture and planet, I think it’s close to what you people feel for other persons. So maybe it’s love?”
“I wouldn’t say the same doesn’t happen with some people around here, though. How strong would you say that feeling is?”
“Well, I know of a lot of cases when someone took their own lives because they felt like they were failing our case. Like failing a mission, for example.”
Dina remembered the time when Erika kissed her. How the girl was crying and seemed desperate.
“I...I’m kinda…I’m sorry.” She said. Erika inclined her head.
“I must’ve pushed you to the edge when I refused you. What you did then was wrong, but I guess I can understand better now.”
“Oh, I see. Well, you can kiss me now, so it doesn’t matter anymore. Now, changing the subject…” She pointed out to the pasta with her fork. “Shouldn’t we try that thing where we get each side with our mouths and meet at the end? Isn’t that a date thing?”
Dina smiled, shaking her head.
As the two women walked home, holding each other’s hand, Erika seemed to be worried about something. She would look at Dina and fall into a contemplating silence.
“Is there a problem?” Dina asked. Erika’s hand was warm and soft, so she didn’t want to let it go.
“I feel like we’re forgetting something, but I don’t know what. We saw a movie, had dinner, you refused the pasta kiss… Oh!” Erika turned her face to Dina in a rush. “That’s right, we didn’t kiss! That was supposed to be the main point!”
“Ah… Well, we can do it once we’re home…”
“No, no, no! Once we get home, the date is over!”
Dina looked into Erika’s agitated eyes. She gave a smile before nodding.
“Okay, then. Let’s kiss.”
She put her arms around Erika’s neck. As Erika was taller, she had to look up to meet her eyes. Slowly approaching and closing her eyes, she put their lips together. They finished kissing and looked at each other. Dina started to kiss Erika again, this time placing kisses on her neck, feeling her soft skin.
“W-What?” Erika said. “Dina… Why… ?”
Dina buried her head into Erika’s shoulder and said in a soft voice, without looking at her:
“Can we go back to doing this every day?”
Dina looked up into Erika’s eyes again.
“Did you feel something different this time?”
“...No,” Erika answered after a pause.
“Did you hate it?”
“I didn’t. In fact, it was kind of comforting.”
“Well, that’s something already…” Dina said smiling and kissed her again.