Bonus story: You’ve Got Male!
WARNING: This story is utter silliness. Originally I’d intended to write a Halloween crossover story featuring characters from Lyn Thorne-Alder’s Addergoole and A. M. Harte’s Above Ground (with their permission). Somehow that evolved into… this, which has nothing to do with Halloween. But it’s good fun, so here we are.
Earlier this week I started this story on LiveJournal, and asked the above mentioned authors if they’d like to role-play some of their characters. “Yes!” was their enthusiastic answer. Najela got in on the act, too, with Takun from her soon-to-be-relaunched serial It’s All Relative. Below is a slightly edited version of our silliness marathon.
Enthusiastic applause welcomes smarmy game show host JIM on a garish game show set.
JIM: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen of the Alpha Facility, and welcome to “You’ve Got Male!” I’m your host, Jim Johnson. I must admit to being surprised when I learned who tonight’s contestant would be. Let’s give him a warm welcome: Dr. Shane Myers!
Shane, wearing a flattering suit, hesitantly walks on stage. He blinks at the studio audience like a deer in headlights and avoids looking at the camera. Jim guides Shane to a line of five chairs. Jim sits in the one on the stage right end. He motions for Shane to sit in the one beside him. Shane stiffly follows suit.
JIM: So, Shane, before we bring the other contestants out, tell us a little about yourself.
SHANE: A- about…
JIM (sotto): Just like we rehearsed.
SHANE: Right. I’m, um, Shane– Dr. Shane Myers, director of the Genetics Department. Ph.D. in Genetics, Masters in Biochemistry and Biology. I enjoy science… um, obviously, and Tae Kwon Do, and basketball. Playing basketball, not watching it on TV.
Shane manages a small, nervous smile.
JIM (sotto): Your son!
SHANE: Oh, right. I’m the father of a beautiful, intelligent one year-old son, Jacob. He’s… amazing.
Shane smiles genuinely. The audience “awww”s.
JIM: Isn’t that sweet. Now let’s bring out the first lovely lady!
Shiva ambles on stage, her ass wiggling. She’s a pretty girl in her late teens, tall and slender with long, sleek auburn hair and green eyes. In concession to the setting, she’s wearing sandals, barely, nice jeans, and a nice blouse.
SHIVA (grinning): I’m Shiva, a student at the Addergoole University. I enjoy the art of the human psyche, among other hobbies.
The corner of Shane’s mouth tweaks up as he admires Shiva’s physique. He relaxes a little.
SHANE: Hello, Shiva. No last name?
JIM: A little eager, aren’t we, Shane?
There are a few appreciative laughs from the audience.
JIM: Let’s bring out the second contestant, a lady whose bite may be more dangerous than her bark.
The audience applauds as Rae, a lean, muscled woman in her mid-twenties, saunters on stage. Her movements are fast and fluid, her blonde bob swinging with each step. Her blue eyes are trained solely on Shane, her lips curved in a sensuous smirk as she openly scans him.
She’s wearing tight black trousers, and an off-the shoulder blue sweater that seems on the verge of slipping down further.
Rae takes a seat next to Shiva, ignoring the girl entirely.
RAE: Hello, Shane. I’m Rae Lakeside, and I’m a werewolf.
Shane initially ogles Rae as much has he had Shiva… until Rae turns her predatory grin on him. Shane shifts in his seat.
SHANE: Hi, R– A werewolf?
RAE: Why, yes. I suppose you could say I’m an animal in bed.
She leans forward in her seat, dipping one shoulder.
RAE: And if you pick me, I’ll tell you all about it.
Shane stares, equal parts intrigued and taken aback.
JIM: Shane’s not the only eager one, it seems. Hold on, you two. We’ve got
one more contestant to introduce.
The audience applauds until a tall guy with white hair and gray-blue eyes and brown lion-like ears walks on to the stage. *crickets*
TAKUN: What the…? A dude? What kind of name is Shane for a dude?
JIM: Uh…well it is a guy’s name?
TAKUN: Not in my world.
JIM: Well, do you want to leave?
Takun looks at Shane, then at Rae and Shiva, then back at Shane.
TAKUN: No, I think I’ll stay.
JIM: (raises eyebrow) Uh… well. This show is called “You’ve Got Male,” after all.
[audience laughs and claps]
Shane looks from Jim to Takun and back.
SHANE (to Jim): What the hell? I put on the application that I’m straight! Not that I’m homophobic or anything, but– (to Takun) I don’t want to go out with you!
JIM: Must have been an administrative glitch. This is a live show, though, so we’ll continue.
Shane turns beet red, but doesn’t protest. Rae leans back in her chair, looking amused. She eyes Takun’s animal ears speculatively as he sits down next to her.
RAE: (to Shane) How about we leave the cats here and go back to yours?
SHANE: Cats? (Notices Takun’s ears.) Oh! (Stares, then glances sidelong at Rae) I… uh… think we’re supposed to stay here…
RAE: (to Shane, smirking) Oh, I don’t like doing what I’m told.
JIM: We’ll start with an easy, fun question. What’s your theme song? Since you’re today’s male, Shane, you answer first, please.
TAKUN: Hey! I’m male!
SHANE (muttering): Unfortunately.
JIM: You’ll get your chance soon enough, Takun. Now, Shane?
Shane bites his lip, thinking.
SHANE: I, um, hadn’t prepped for this one. Um… I guess “She Blinded Me with Science.”
JIM: I have to ask, Shane. Who’s “she?”
SHANE (flustered): How should I know? It’s your stupid question.
JIM: No need to get defensive. Now, Rae, what’s your theme song?
Rae tilts her head, as if considering the question, but really is just showing off her neck to its best advantage.
RAE: I don’t listen to a lot of music, but if I had to pick, perhaps “Bad Things” by Jace Everett. I find the lyrics particularly fitting…. “I wanna do bad things with you.”
She shoots Shane a hooded look. Shane looks at her askance.
SHANE: Are you in heat?
RAE (frowning): Are you not a red-blooded male? I figured a sexy, intelligent man was too good to be true.
Shane’s flattered and a little scared after Rae’s comments.
SHANE: Um, thanks. I think.
Takun folds his arms across his chest in irritation.
TAKUN: I don’t think it matters in this case but “A.D.I.D.A.S.” All Day I Dream About Sex. By the way, I’m not a cat, I’m a lion-wolf.
Rae perks at the news.
RAE: So you’re half alright, then.
TAKUN (smirking): Yes. Half wolf, if that’s what you’re referring to.
Rae gives him a proper once-over now, making a point to turn her back on Shane.
RAE: Which half?
She winks at Takun.
TAKUN: Which ever you want. (smirks) I guess being on this show is paying off.
RAE (smug): Don’t count your cubs before they’re born, boy.
TAKUN: Cubs?… I..er…um…well…wow…(sweats, chuckles nervously) Hehe.
Jim eyes Takun and Rae, who look like they may go into heat at any moment.
SHANE (to Takun): A lion-wolf? (to Jim) Where did you find these people? I thought this show is Triptych-only.
JIM: It is, but, you know, Bittorrent. (shrugs)
SHIVA (laughing): “These people?” Come on now. But as for theme song… I’ve always liked “Stray Cat Struts.”
Shane gives Shiva a relieved smile.
SHANE: Great song!
RAE (sotto): If by great you mean boring.
JIM: Our second question is a little more difficult. If you could invite anyone to dinner, who would it be and what would you talk about? Shane?
SHANE: Wow, that’s hard. Um, either Albert Einstein or Nikola Tesla. Both were clearly brilliant. Tesla may have been stark raving mad. Would I have time to catch them up on the advances in physics? I’d like to know what they think about–
JIM: Thank you, Shane. We get the idea. How about you, Rae?
RAE: I would have said Shane 5 minutes ago, but I think he’s going to have to work a bit harder to get it.
The audience “oooohs.” Rae soaks up the attention.
RAE: I guess if I had to pick anyone, it’d be that bitch–sorry, I meant witch–who killed my family. We wouldn’t have much to talk about, though. Or, at least, she wouldn’t be talking long.
Shane looks relieved.
SHIVA: Anyone, hunh? (she picks up as Rae finishes, looking thoughtful) All easy answers aside, I think I’d like to have dinner with some of the mothers of our country. Abigail Adams, for one.
SHANE (genuinely): Interesting choice. Do you study history?
Shiva smiles and leans forward, getting a little nerdy as she gets into her interests.
SHIVA: I like history as much as I like psychology, though I think that anthropology will be my final destination. I get along well with our history professor, though, so it’s a good subject for me to do independent studies in.
Rae raises an eyebrow.
RAE: Get along well with your professor? Is that what they call it nowadays?
SHIVA (amused): When it’s Professor Valerian, yes. When it’s VanderLinden, we usually call it “buffing our grades,” or, if we want to be really crude, “polishing the linden wand.” But I do fine in Lit, and VanderLinden isn’t really my type… so I settle for talking history with Professor Valerian.
Shane opens his mouth to say something, closes it, opens it, and closes it again.
TAKUN (sotto): Something tells me I should become a professor.
TAKUN: Hmmm, maybe bring my parents back from the dead, unzombify them, then ask them what they were thinking when they got together and talk about what could have been.
The audience “awww”s. Then Takun points at Rae.
TAKUN: Or her. I wouldn’t mind going to dinner with her. We wouldn’t even have to talk… except for pillow talk. (smirks)
Rae smiles, half-amused, half-intrigued. She suddenly looks predatory.
RAE: “Her?” I have a name, you know. (to Shane) At least one male on the show seems capable of more than just chit-chat.
TAKUN (snickering): They should rename the show “You’ve Got Weirdo” instead.
The audience “ooooh”s.
SHANE: Look, were-chick, I’m plenty capable of more than chit-chat. Maybe if you toned down the attitude you’d realize the value of conversation!
JIM: Whoa, okay! Let’s move on to a more positive question. What are your best qualities?
SHIVA: Ooh, now this is starting to sound like a job interview. I’m loyal to and protective of my crew – my friends – compassionate when I can afford to be and tough as nails when I have to be.
Shane smiles in appreciation of Shiva’s answer… and her body.
TAKUN: Well… you know, this wouldn’t be awkward if I wasn’t telling this to a dude. (to Rae and Shiva) I’m rich and good in bed. I’ve beaten all my friends at every drinking game we’ve ever played. Um… that’s about all. You’d probably have to ask my ex-girlfriends.
Shiva rolls her eyes.
Shiva: Rich and good in bed. Aren’t we all?
TAKUN (taken aback): Well… it’s true. Don’t hate, just appreciate.
Shiva smiles, showing all of her teeth.
SHIVA: Sweetie, I ain’t hating, I’m just not impressed.
SHANE: Same here. (hastily, to Takun) Not that I’m into you. At all.
Shiva looses a deep, throaty laugh.
SHIVA: Oh, this is fu-un!
Annoyed by Shane’s hostility and Takun’s apparent boasting, Rae is leaning back in her chair, arms crossed, looking bored.
JIM: Rae? Your best qualities?
RAE: Resourcefulness. Loyalty to my pack. [She examines her nails, half nodding towards Shiva.] What she said.
Shiva smiles, sort of a pleasant expression.
SHIVA: Some things are cross-species, I suppose.
Rae suddenly eyes Shiva, as if in a new light. She half-smiles.
RAE: (to Shiva) Like the uselessness of men?
Shane looks between the two women, half intrigued and half wary.
JIM: How about you, Shane? Your best qualities?
SHANE: Critical thinking skills and resourcefulness. (grins briefly at Shiva) Useful in many settings.
JIM: Now that everyone’s relaxed… sort of… it’s time for the interesting questions. If you were captured by a tribe of cannibals, how would you suggest they cook you to match your personality? Shane?
Shane looks at Jim as if he’s grown a second head.
SHANE: That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.
JIM: (shrugs) It’s a figurative question, of course. Your answer?
SHANE: I’m not answering that.
JIM: Need I remind you of section 17, paragraph 8 of your employment contract?
Shane’s eyes go wide.
SHANE: I, um… I wouldn’t. The question asks how I’d suggest they cook me. I would tell them not to cook me.
JIM (annoyed): Answer the question.
Shane rolls his eyes.
SHANE: Fine. Carolina barbeque. Happy?
JIM: Not really. Rae?
RAE: Who came up with these questions, anyway?
She taps her lips thoughtfully with one finger, her tongue darting out to wet the tip.
RAE: They’d have to eat me rare. Or at most medium rare. Cooking any longer than that tends to ruin the flavour of meat.
SHIVA (amused): Why not go whole hawg and eat you raw? Now, Shane stole my answer, so… I’m thinking with a sugar glaze, over a bed of rice. Sticky rice.
RAE: Because a little seasoning spices things up. And, sugar glaze. Sounds tasty. I bet we’d complement each other, in a dish.
SHIVA (grinning): It may be the only way we’d ever compliment each other. But I think you’re right on that one.
SHANE: Was that supposed to be a double entendre?
SHIVA (to Rae): You know, I’m not certain. Rae? Was it?
RAE: Why don’t we leave that man confused. It suits him better than his holier-than-thou attitude.
Shiva chuckles earthily.
SHIVA: So be it, then.
Shane sits back and crosses his arms.
SHANE (muttering): Knew I should’ve just picked up someone at the bar.
TAKUN: I suggest they dip me in chocolate, then while their melting the chocolate gently over a double boiler, I will run away to freedom.
Shane blinks, impressed.
SHANE: Good answer.
Rae glances between the two of them, amused.
RAE: Maybe the two of you can get along.
JIM: It’s time for our fifth and final question. Ready, everyone?
SHANE: Do I have a choice?
JIM: Make up a poem to woo one of these lovely ladies– er, ladies or gentleman, right now.
JIM: You heard me. Poem. Now.
SHANE: I’m a scientist, not a poet!
SHANE: What if I don’t want to woo any of them?
JIM: Doesn’t matter. You should have read the application more carefully.
Shane curses under his breath.
Shane stands, paces in front of the contestants a few times, then stops in front of Takun.
SHANE: Roses are red, violets are blue
I hope Jim plays “hide the sausage” with you
Shane gives Jim a venomous smile as he returns to his seat.
SHANE (to Takun): Nothing personal. But it is for Jim.
Jim grinds his teeth, glaring at Shane. After he regains his composure, he turns to the contestants.
JIM: Your turn to woo Shane, in verse. Although people’s definitions of “woo” vary.
Shiva grins, chuckles, then daintily clears her throat.
SHIVA: If in this visage mine you do see spring
and blossoms of a land that’s far from thine,
if things I say taste to your lips daring,
too bold, too flippant, or too bright-shining,
remember, dear, this face you see today
will in a hundred years still be the same.
Shane gapes, amazed. Shiva smiles at him cheerfully.
SHIVA: You like?
SHIVA (purring): I’m glad.
Shane gives Shiva his best smile.
TAKUN (to Shiva): Wow… where did you learn that? Shane stole mine, so I have to think of something.
RAE: Is this a dating show, or a writer’s group? It’s just been all talk and no action.
She eyes Shane.
RAE: I guess that’s a reflection of the show’s contestant, despite his initial appearance….
SHANE: Has it occurred to you that maybe I don’t want to take any action with you?
RAE: Then why haven’t you made a move on either of them? Oh wait, you have! (to Takun) It may have been a crap poem, but he did choose you, after all…
Shiva smirks playfully.
SHIVA: I told you I did fine in my English classes, didn’t I?
TAKUN: Show off.
SHIVA (placidly): Of course.
RAE: I suppose it’s my turn.
As soon as I clapped eyes on you
I thought: Here’s a man, through and through.
I thought we would definitely get along.
But then again, I’m often wrong.
(to audience) Perhaps I came on too strongly,
but a rude, weak man deserves to be treated wrongly.
That said, his body is more than alright,
so I’d put my complaints aside for a night
if he wanted to come over… for a bite.
Shane nods, impressed.
SHANE: Nicely done.
Rae blinks, looks at Shane, then to the other two contestants to see if they heard it, too. Then she settles back smugly in her seat.
RAE: Why, thank you.
JIM: Takun, that leaves you. Poem, please.
TAKUN: She stole mine too. … Hmmm, I got one.
I love you, you love me
Let’s to get together and make a family
With a great big grin and a kiss from me to you
Won’t you say you’ll f*ck me too.
SHANE: That’s better than I expected.
TAKUN: Uh thanks… I guess.
SHIVA: Aaaaaww. *big, toothy grin*
JIM: Now that all of the questions have been posed and answered satisfactorily… for the most part… it’s time to see who’ll see more of our lucky male! (glances at Takun) Shane, I mean. (to contestants) Which of you would like to spend time with Shane?
Shiva smiles warmly.
SHIVA: Well, I suppose it’s obvious that I’d like to spend a little time here and there with him.
Shane puffs up with pride.
TAKUN: If he knows any hot chicks, I guess we can have a guy’s night… or something. (looks at Rae) Or if he goes with the Poetry girl, I can go with the werewolf. Everyone wins.
RAE: Interesting proposal, Takun. But you’re forgetting one thing. Who says I want to go with you? You’re cute, boy, but you’re not the prize. (eyes Shane speculatively) And I do like winning.
Takun’s jaw drops.
TAKUN: Well… I’m just flabbergasted. But seriously, Shane, if you know any hot chicks, let me know.
RAE (slyly): If he knew hot chicks, he wouldn’t be here…
SHANE: I know hot chicks!
JIM: I’m sure you do. But right now you have a choice to make: the werewolf or the poetess?
Shane looks between Rae and Shiva.
SHANE: Do I have to pick one?
SHANE (reluctantly): Um… Rae.
Rae leers at Shane, who’s a bit wary. He looks at Shiva, putting his hand to the side of his head with his pinky and thumb extended.
SHANE (mouthing): Call me.