Those That Know
Once the proper morning approached, Anna woke up a bit early. She felt hungry, and got out of the bedroom to go grab a bite.
She descended the stairs and entered the kitchen, only to encounter Lucie’s mom sat on a chair, eating, who threw her an incredulous look.
Wait, did she just…? Anna reconnected with reality when she realised she’d let herself go with the flow again. She’d completely forgot to hide her new feline features. She hadn’t even checked how Lucie was doing…!
“This is… a look.” Lucie’s mom said.
“Y-yeah… “ Anna hesitated, glancing away. She felt her new tail wrap around her leg in panic.
“You don’t need to tell me anything if you don’t want to.” The older woman reassured her. “But I can feel you need someone to confide to.”
Anna sighed in relief, and took a couple moments to think. “It’s… It’s fine.” She said, taking the chair opposite to Lucie’s mom’s. No doubt, with the state her mind was in, it was the smart thing to do. “I probably need to get it off my chest, yeah...”
“You can count on me to not tell a soul.” She waved her coffee affirmatively, then looked up in thinking. “Well, maybe my husband purely so that you don’t have to give the explanations twice.”
Anna smiled with a bit of reservation, then started to go through the events of the past few days. The lab, the portal, Sam’s change, the collar (which she reflexively tugged at whenever she mentioned it), her own changes, the encounter with the principal and vice-principal - everything was laid down, save for her family troubles and her new relationship with Lucie.
Once Anna was done, she felt relief over putting into words the madness that had been this series of events. It was always a wonder how therapeutic speaking can be.
“Feeling better?” The mom asked.
“Yeah.” Anna eventually replied.
“I know it probably doesn’t feel like that to you, but I assure you, you’re holding up really well.” She stood up and walked to the fridge. “What do you want for breakfast?” She asked, opening it.
“I don’t… I don’t know, I guess I’m pretty limited if I’m mostly carnivorous now…” Anna scratched her head, feeling slightly lost in her own shoes… Ah, how that sentiment was familiar now that she realised it.
“Well, you managed to digest your milk yesterday, right? Maybe I can spruce that up a bit with… Hold on, I’ll check on the internet what cats can eat.” She said and went upstairs to look for her phone, giving Anna another moment to herself.
She decided pretty quickly not to dwell on the upcoming day - gosh, how will she even hide the cat parts of her?- and instead reflect on… herself, a little bit. On how much better she was, now. Sure, she had had the time to observe and get to know her new body in the mirror, but she hadn’t explored her mind and feelings on all this yet. Anna felt like her existence as Marcus had been a lifetime ago. She still couldn’t believe that’s been what she needed all this time, all those years… The little ways in which she’d been uncomfortable as Marcus, avoiding mirrors, refusing to turn her webcam on, only using her mic for the most critical informations during raids. How she had never revealed her name to her guildmates, exclusively asking them to refer to her by her character handle. The weekend couldn’t be close enough, she itched to calculate some optimal DPSes and buff charts again. Though that’d require going back home to get her computer… Maybe not, then.
She stopped her gaming tangent and went back to thinking of all the signs, those that make so much sense in hindsight, but that she’d never noticed until now. A lifetime of them hidden in plain sight, that she hadn’t been taught to decipher. It was a bit embarrassing, but… It was also mostly sad. If she hadn’t understood them… Could it have been the same for others? Could it be the same for others to come, even? A terrifying prospect. She silently swore to herself to do her best never to let people feel as lost as she did.
She thought once more of her current body, just for good measure. So far, it had been inconvenience after inconvenience - the bizarre thought process, the new instincts, the food restrictions. But… She didn’t mind all that as much as she thought she did. Sure, it was still something she had to deal with, and it was just adding to the pile of problems, but there was something about it she had to admit felt right… Or at least enjoyable. Purring last night had been incredibly relaxing, and even if thinking like herself required a conscious effort, the loss of inhibitions was something that’d work to her advantage.
“Alright, so I jotted down the list of things you should probably avoid from then on.” Said Lucie’s mom, descending the stairs. “Surprisingly milk is on it, so maybe you don’t actually have a digestive system that cat-like?” She handed Anna the piece of paper, who quickly read it over.
Chocolate, nuts, bread, alcohol, amongst other stuff… Nothing she couldn’t do without, she supposed. It felt very akin to simply having allergies. “Thanks.”
“Maybe you’d want some fruits, sweetie? You can still taste sugar, right?” The older woman asked.
“Gosh, I hope so.” Anna answered a bit too genuinely. She liked her sweet tooth, she better have kept it.
Lucie’s mom cut a slice of an apple and presented it to Anna. She grabbed and tentatively ate it - thankfully, its taste was intact! She nodded in relief, and the mom went on to cut the rest of the fruit up into some milk she was boiling in a saucepan.
Anna had another question surface in her mind. “How come you… Well, it’s kinda silly to ask, but that you’ve accepted me so readily?”
The mom grimaced. “It’s unfair that we live in a world where you’re correct to assume it’s not simply because it’s the right thing to do that I didn’t raise an eyebrow at you.” She sighed, and pondered for a few moments if it was the right idea to add what she was about to say. “But you’re right. It’s because I’ve been used to stranger things.”
Anna’s ears perked up in surprise.
“I can’t really tell you much. It’s… due to an old job of mine. And secrecy was sworn, for better or worse.” She took a wooden spoon from a drawer and tasted how Anna’s breakfast was coming along. Satisfied, she turned off the stove and filled a bowl with the delicious apple milk and presented it to the catgirl. It smelled sweet, and as fruity as expected. “I feel like I need to tell you at least a couple details, for your own safety.”
“Gosh…” Anna took a sip, discovering her tongue’s new sensitivity to heat. Thankfully, the mom had apparently expected it, and made it only tepid, even if to Anna it felt like a warm treat. “It’s really that bad?”
“Gracious no, it isn’t that bad. Just misguided. But it could still be trouble.” She sat down next to Anna. “There’s some stuff out there that people are devoting their life over to prevent anyone from learning they exist. The government’s in on it.”
“Oh.” Anna replied, stunned. “So some sort of… Men in black?”
The older woman chuckled. “That’s exactly the movie everybody goes to, and it is indeed quite accurate. Except they don’t deal with aliens, those we have yet to know whether they exist, but things that are already on and from Earth.”
There was a moment of silence.
“Anyway…” Lucie’s mom said, standing back up. “That’s about all I can reasonably tell you without risking way too heavy consequences. Hope it’ll be help enough.”
“It’s… Pretty mind-boggling stuff.” Anna replied. “I guess I’ll… Make do with that info?” Her ears picked up on someone coming down the stairs.
Lucie made her entrance in the kitchen, wearing little slippers to go with her pajama. She smiled and approached Anna. “Morning kitten.” She said with a peck on the cheek that left the catgirl a blushy mess, before she moved on to hug her mom. “Morning mom.”
Her mom returned the embrace with a laugh and a glance at the family guest. “So it IS that kind of relationship!”
Anna buried her face in her bowl of milk to avoid the embarrassment, while Lucie replied with a roll of the eyes and a smile. “It evolved into it.”
The last member of the family passed by the corridor and took a mildly surprised glance at the kitchen, before going out to fetch his newspaper, and getting a quick briefing from his wife.
After a breakfast full of parental banter, the two girls were on their way, with not much they could do but reuse yesterday’s disguise and tuck the feline features in.
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- Princess Alchemist Catgirl
Bio: I write the LGBTQ gender bending stories I wish I had when I was a teen, and all the internet had was cis gaze erotica. I write so that future trans kids have better stuff to look at to figure themselves out than what I had.