It’s No Game

Ⅲ.10.a: Hold Your Head Up

by Queen Fiona

Tags: #D/s #dom:female #f/f #hypnosis #pov:top #sub:female #gamemechanics #multiple_partners #mystery #romantic #second_person #worldbuilding
See spoiler tags : #bad_thoughts #corruption #cuties #cyberpunk #minced_swears #superhero #yurification

Thursday, May 13th, Reiwa 42.

It’s no surprise that you’re getting a lot of glances tossed your way today, per Nazakawa-kun’s gossip. An average-looking troublemaker like you became a beauty, and has other beauties going the extra mile to get noticed by you? You’d want to hear all about it, if it were someone else! What Rita did is straight out of an anime, and Irma’s quiet and soft determination…

Screw future-past-you! You don’t need to brainwash girls at all, apparently! Which raises a lot of questions about future-past-you, which you are very stridently not answering with the simple conclusion that she wants to brainwash girls.

(…how did it go again? Some of them want to use you, some of them want to get used by you…)

“It’s easy to consider one’s enemies monstrous. It’s only human.” Seul-ki draws on the smartboard as she continues today’s lecture, and you diligently take your notes. “Of course, human beings are driven by the same desires; to simplify this, we’ll say that humans seek to fulfill their values, and humans tend to share similar notions of value.”

Anyway, none of that really matters to you, right now. You’ve got your study date today, finally! You found a time, you found a room (thanks, Korri!), you’re all set! You’ll be alone with Stella, and helping her succeed, helping her achieve her dreams of escaping her circumstances, getting into a good university, and becoming a therapist! And really, that’s enough for you…

(right?)

“It’s really quite simple – your enemies are human beings, just like you. You can only be enemies in relative terms. But this is an easy lesson, and honestly something of a tautology! Even so, and I realize this phrasing might be showing my age, I had to tell you that story in order to tell you this one.”

You look back toward Stella, and wave at her, grinning brightly. The girl with golden eyes has been staring a hole into the back of your head all day, but the moment your gaze meets hers, she turns away with a blush.

Honestly, it’s kinda cute.

“Back when I was still considering clinical practice, I was observing interviews with a certain patient who grew up in an enclave of Old America. That the patient grew up with beliefs we would consider reprehensible is unsurprising. That the patient would say hateful things about the vulnerable, in the name of ‘dark humor’, is equally unsurprising.”

You keep running through scenarios for your date in your mind. You’re wondering, if you’ll confess, and she’ll accept your feelings, and you’ll kiss with fingers entwined…or, maybe it’s more like, she’ll confess, and apologise, and you’ll forgive her with a kiss…

(You push aside any thoughts of anything further. E-even if you’ve heard rumors about Stella getting caught doing some heavy petting once a few years back. Heck, you might be expecting too much already!)

“However, traditionally, one thinks of such things as an act of deliberate violence. And indeed, in many cases that remains so; unabashed violence against the vulnerable is a mark of the memetics of the late Heisei era, and thus is maintained even decades later in these nations of Old America founded upon such ideas as their foundation.”

You’re starting to see Milia’s eyes flit your way, too. Or maybe they always were, and you just never noticed – and yet, you get the sense that now, she’s looking at you for you, not simply because you’re the teacher’s pet.

(…don’t read into that.)

“But this person did not observe their actions as violent. Indeed, they were disturbed by the very notion. They considered their jokes – jokes founded on flagrant disrespect, far more than simple ‘dark humor’ could excuse – a fundamental and vital part of their answer to the bleak, and indeed a universal answer to the bleak, despite all evidence to the contrary. Their reaction to attempts to correct was not violence, nor even brittleness, but genuine fear. They were terrified, that they might lose their only solace in this world. Terrified that people around them were changing. No desire to simply hate freely, but utterly terrified that they might lose their own happiness and ability to cope.

“All of this, based on violence toward women, and denial of their names.”

Your head pops up from the automatic act of note-taking at those words. Denial of their names, huh?

Rita said something about that, didn’t she? When you checked her social media this morning. There wasn’t a whole lot on there politically – probably because Rita prefers posting about her hobbies and creations, rather than signalling her politics – but you remember that was one of them. If things like that happen in Old America, girls buried under dead names, it’s no wonder a belief like ‘the Goddess will remember your name’ would appeal to girls like Rita.

“If someone takes genuine emotional fulfillment in something that hurts others, if someone is genuinely emotionally disturbed by the idea that someone would not want to do this, or at the changing values of society…how, then, do we fulfill that person’s values? How can we reconcile our desire to make each and every individual human happy with the idea that some humans’ happiness can only come at the expense of others – and not in any abstract sense, as anyone who, pardon the expression, lives in a society might experience, but in a direct and total sense?”

Rita’s made such a massive impression on you, in such a short time…it’s getting hard to not think that maybe, you did meet her in a dream, or something. That a woman of science and skepticism believes such so strongly is reason enough for you to have pause. What if you did meet her before, in future-past-you’s life? And you were drawn to her by something like ‘fate’?

What if you’re fated, to dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?

“We attempt to slowly alter human value toward a greater whole, but this very process is imperfect, and every action causes a reaction. Or to put it another way, society is an endless waltz between peace, revolution, and reaction. That cycle is what brought us the Collapse, is it not?”

And yet, Rita isn’t the only woman who’s captivated you this much, nor been so driven.

But if it’s Seul-ki, that takes on entirely different connotations. She’s not someone who can, or should, be aiming for your affections. And yet, she’s taken an interest in you and yours, pushed you toward Stella Maris, encouraged you to accept her ‘wisdom’. And it’s blatantly obvious you aren’t the first, by any means – at the very least, Milia de L’Impératrice has once been the beneficiary of Seul-ki’s ‘wisdom’. And is jealous of you, seemingly, for being the one who Seul-ki favors most.

Future-past-you grappled with the same questions. She encountered Milia – and may have made Milia into one of hers. There’s no question in your mind that this means you’ll have a ‘fateful encounter’ with your favorite teacher, just as future-past-you did.

So, with that in mind, the question remains…

“One might consider that the only way to prevent this is the capability to alter a person’s values, on the individual level – ah, but that would be unethical, of course, if it were even possible. But, what is the alternative? Is the sanctity of individual will compatible with the fulfillment of an idealized human society?”

what kind of person is Yi Seul-ki, really?


As a result of Stella’s…avoidance? Shyness? Pride? Whatever it is that kept her from talking to you much, it took a frustrating amount of negotiation to figure out where the study date was going to be.

The good news is, you found the most private place on the campus you know of. Korri passed you her secret study spot – an obscure quiet study room somewhere on campus that’s long since been forgotten over the past three decades as newer, better rooms for studying are built or repurposed.

It’s not hard to see why people prefer other rooms, though. It’s just flat drywall with no natural light, rows of desks with uncomfortable chairs, only a couple of well-padded armchairs as proper creature comfort. Korri, on the other hand, would love this room…and it serves well enough for the current purpose, since Stella requested some measure of privacy.

It makes sense, especially with Nazakawa-kun always on the lookout. (You’re pretty sure Stella’s decent friends with him, so she’d definitely want some discretion!)

There’s a camera watching you, as there is so often – connected not to human operators, or even an algorithm, simply a permanent archive only reviewed when necessary – but besides that? It’s just you and Stella.

And so there you are, you and Stella in two chairs very close to one another, looking at one another awkwardly.

You haven’t dressed up too much; sleeveless button blouse, white with cute blue frills, tight shorts, a bit of makeup. Still, you aren’t expecting something huge today. Stella’s dressed up very similar to usual, too; corset and all, glossy lips, those curls and ringlets that she must take so much time to maintain…

Even if you seem to have both avoided dressing like it’s a date date, the atmosphere is still pretty strained…but, that’s to be expected. It’s been a week, and Stella still has no idea what to say…

At the very least, you know what she’s thinking.

…Cibele’s definitely cuter than she was before her accident. That much is obvious just looking at her. She’s got the Empress rattled, and then they’re going on a date? And then Nazakawa-kun mentions that teacher from his night class went out of her way to impress her…what’s happening here?

She’s noticed something, for sure. But, you know, you don’t think it’s enough to say ‘Cibele has a supernatural power’, right? That’d be a ridiculous thing to think, really – the only reason you believe it is because you are you. Any other situation, you’d just find the concept kind of silly!

So it shouldn’t be too bad, once you’ve pushed past the awkwardness.

“Um…so, I guess maybe we should look at some of your past essays!” you say, trying to break the ice. “Ehe. That way, I can see what Seul-ki’s said about them, and we can see where you fall short! Right?”

“…sure.” Stella sighs, and carefully reaches for her phone, sending you one of the essay assignments. “Go ahead and check it for me. Everyone else I’ve asked can’t figure it out.”

There’s some distance between you, but it’s at least a friendly distance. You grab your reader so you can look at it more comfortably, and scroll through it…

This one is the ethics essay Seul-ki assigned earlier this week; Stella just got the marks back today. She’s written about the Stanford University prison experiment of Showa 46 – an experiment so well-known you’d expect anyone you asked to know at least the gist of it. Simulated prison, guards becoming abusive with their power, people can’t be trusted with it, etcetera. It’s rare, but sometimes people do still use it as a straightforward example of humanity’s inhumanity – you’re all but certain someone in your class has taken it at face value, and expect Seul-ki to set them right.

Still, Stella’s working toward the point of the experiment’s premise, methodology, ethics, and conclusions all being vitally flawed from the start; demand characteristics, selection bias, subjective and anecdotal evidence. Even that is relatively well-known these days, but it’s used as a thrust for a much bigger argument – that is, it leads to broader critique of how psychological studies of the following Heisei era were often similarly flawed, attempting to use flawed methods, insufficient sample sizes, and biased selection of subjects to arrogantly and proudly come to conclusions they, and reporters following them, claimed applied to all of humanity. In this, it was reflective of a broader trend of the era to paint American liberal democracy as ‘the end of history’, Stella argues.

…and it’s really good!

Maybe it’s your ego talking, but you don’t think it’s better than your essays for the class or anything. That said, you’d say it’s as good as them, give or take. It’s got all the analysis Seul-ki insists on; it’s even consistent with her own positions on the subject, so it’s hard to figure out what it is that doesn’t measure up.

“…I’m sorry. I can’t figure out why Seul-ki doesn’t like this,” you say, rubbing the back of your head. “It’s all consistent with her lectures, too. Lemme put her notes up…”

“Sure,” Stella says, leaning in slightly as you read the red markings over the typed essay. The notes are all pretty vague, honestly; that said, she’s marking grammar and spelling pretty strictly here. A lot of her choices seem to be semantic; variations marked as mistakes. Other times it’s just completely vague as to what it is she doesn’t like about a passage…

Seul-ki is human, sure. And sometimes you get the sense she’s a bit at odds with Stella. Some amount of variation for largely subjective reasons isn’t completely unexpected. But this –

this is way too much!

There’s only one reason that this essay would be marked down as far as it is – that is, if it were being marked down on purpose.

“…so. It’s what I thought.”

Looking up from your reader, Stella’s eyes have narrowed, and she looks you straight in the eye – the look on your face tells her all she needs to know.

“I was starting to suspect, to be honest. That she was leading me on, lying to me. I could simply never imagine any teacher would have a reason, at least not without showing blind hatred. As it turns out, I was just looking in the wrong place.”

The wrong place? Reason…

“You know that she suggested this, right? This date?

!

“Ms. Yi is…easy to trust. I knew she and Milia didn’t like each other, but Milia’s a bitch, so who cares what she thinks, right?” Stella shrugs. “So I told her a lot of things I probably shouldn’t have.”

Things…about being poor, or her relationship with Marina. Maybe even about her fetish, too. Yeah, that tracks. Heck, the only reason you didn’t tell Seul-ki before future-past-you came along is because you didn’t realize yourself!

“So, to her it must’ve seemed easy. If she knew how I’d react to you, it’d be easy enough to predict I’d swallow my pride out of necessity. That I couldn’t reject this assignment, and that said assignment would change things, and then I’d have to ask you for help – Cibele, star student, teacher’s pet.”

“I didn’t know what she was planning,” you say.

“…I guess not. Then again, she could never have predicted you, Cibele!”

…what?

Stella’s eyes narrow, and her mind flares with determination. “Ms. Yi always saw you as special. And it always pissed me the fuck off. But her is one thing. Hell, even me is another. But it’s not just me, is it?”

…oh.

That’s…is she? Does she? Could she?

Play it cool, Cibby, play it cool…”Ehe. It’s just, you know. The accident was really scary! After that, I just kind of thought I should pay a bit more attention to things, right? Dress better, be bolder, that kind of th–”

“Bullshit!”

Oh no.

Oh no.

“I’m not a moron, Cibele! People don’t just get more physically attractive overnight! And even Ms. Yi couldn’t have hypnotised me like that! No one else could ever notice – not even Ms. Yi has noticed – but you’ve changed, Cibele.”

She knows.

Stella doesn’t know what she knows, but she knows.

“Maybe you think I won’t believe whatever it is, and maybe I won’t, but lying to me so transparently…” Stella sighs, finger reaching up to fiddle with one of her blonde ringlets. “Don’t take me for a fool.”

…you, uh, you didn’t plan for this!

You completely, and quite reasonably you think, missed the possibility that Stella would figure out something was going on! This is entirely unexpected! You have no idea how to respond to this! And if she suspects what you did to her, what you’ve done

right

panic

there’s only one thing to do, before anything else:

“I’m sorry!” you exclaim, as you bow your head to Stella in penance for the horrible, yet very sexy, things you’ve done to her! “I’m supposed to be a good person but in reality I’m just a depraved slut with a hypnofetish!”

…well, it’s true.

And yet, Stella – beautiful, passionate, driven Stella – sighs heavily, and tugs your head right into her hands, lifting you out of your bow.

“E-eh?” You blink, gazing at Stella’s beautiful eyes. She’s got this horribly annoyed look, on her face, as she gazes upon you, and you reach out to read her intentions –

but she reaches you first.

Her lips meet yours, of her will, to return the kiss you gave her, pushed upon her. You don’t need telepathy to understand this feeling, and yet, you can’t help but be surprised by the way her lips so easily meet yours, and her tongue tastes of you as your lips open, and her delicate fingers hold you so gently within her grasp.

It feels wonderful.

Stella’s eyes flutter, as she parts from you, your heart fluttering so powerfully before her determined gaze.

“If you’re going to kiss a girl, Cibele, you’d better take responsibility when she develops feelings for you.”

“What –”

“Like you don’t know. I told you – you’re too nice.”

…but you aren’t, are you?

“…I get it. I’ve been a bitch, Cibele. I’ve been a far bigger bitch than you ever deserved. You have no reason to trust me, not after what I’ve done.” Stella’s hands still grip behind your head, as you breathe hotly, caught with a heat between your ears, a flutter in your heart. “But, you said it yourself, didn’t you? The basis of hypnosis is trust. I’m…I’m going to trust you, if you’re willing to trust me.

“I’m not angry. I’m not upset. But I need to know the truth.”

Trust…

Your body feels so hot. This is something you never could have predicted. The idea that Stella would figure out what you did, what you’ve become, and want it…

your reason snaps.

every excuse you have breaks.

there’s no reason to hold back anymore.

You reach up, and grasp Stella’s head as she grasps yours. Her eyes widen, her heartbeat rushes a little faster, but she doesn’t resist.

You took your first kiss from Stella, an entranced and beautiful Stella shaped by your hands and your words and your light. Stella took your second, to answer the feelings you gave her, to show her tacit acceptance of your will. Your desire.

You wanted her, so you took her. And Stella wants to be taken.

You take your third kiss from Stella Maris. Your lips, painted a lovely burgundy color inspired by Rita’s ribbon, meet Stella’s shiny gloss.

Your tongue eagerly takes of what Stella has offered you. Stella, compliantly, opens her lips, obeys your will, and it’s this impossibly wonderful feeling, it’s so powerful, to feel someone open for you. Open to your kiss, open to your words. To your desires.

The way she bends backwards when you push. The way her head feels in your hands. The way she tastes, within those glossy lips.

All for you.

That you can feel just how much she loves it helps, too. That you can feel how accepting she is. That prickly nature of hers…you’ve conquered the hedgehog’s dilemma. The spines that line Stella’s mind are made entirely of rubber as far as you’re concerned. She wants to know more, even as she knows you’re capable of far more than you ever could, or should, be as an ordinary human.

…and she’s such a good kisser, too!

Your hypnotised first kiss was amazing, and you’d never give it up, but – but the way Stella’s tongue moves, the way her mouth opens, the way she moves and shifts, it’s perfect, you know so easily why Stella’s talents are so highly spoken of, and you wonder what else that tongue could do –

and she parts

that wet, wonderful pop sound, it fills your ears

“So tell me, Cibele.”

Ba-thump.

“Do I wanna know?”

Ba-thump.

“Do I wanna know what it is you’ve done? What you can do? What you will do?”

Stella asks this, and yet, you get the feeling that somewhere, deep within her, a feeling welling up unprotected to where your telepathy can reach –

she doesn’t want to be given a choice.

You were wrong, weren’t you? Stella’s interest in hypnotherapy was, and is, completely genuine. And yet, she has a fetish, too, a fetish Seul-ki surely knew of just as she knew of yours, the desire to be taken, a desire she could never hope to fulfill…

until now.

And you smile.

No, you even smirk a little, letting yourself get a little smug about it.

All this time, you’ve been fretting over giving in to the urges that future-past-you has awakened – no, the urges you always had – never thinking about what would happen if someone asked you for this, of their own free will.

“I have a crush on you,” you whisper, still holding Stella within your grasp. “I have for years. I think that, when you get past the stuff you built up to keep people away, or try to convince them you’re rich –” Stella’s eyes widen as you casually reveal information you shouldn’t have “– you’re a really amazing person who’s absolutely worth loving.”

As it turns out, what happens is, you want to have fun.

“…how did you –”

“Stella.”

Stella’s head perks, and her eyes are drawn right back into yours, and your heart is pounding at just how you’re capable of speaking with such power and conviction.

And you grin, baring your teeth to Stella, letting her feel how you hold the power. “Why don’t we make a game of it?”

“A game? But…” The way she quivers, the way she shivers, the delightful heat building past her defenses inside her mind…

You can tell. Stella wants you to toy with her. Just a little, playfully, tease her about all of this. She doesn’t mind playing the role, of the mouse hunted by the cat, the fly in the spider’s web. As long as you aren’t going to lie to her…

The idea that you can turn her around like this is hot to her.

“I want you to guess what I’ve done to you,” you say. (It’s not a question.) “What my abilities might be. Where they came from.”

“I have no time for games,” Stella says, huffing and looking aside – but you can tell her heart isn’t in it.

She just wants to see what you can do. What you can make her do.

“It’s okay, okay?” You giggle a bit, and flash a peace sign of reassurance! “This is just for fun. If you guess correctly, I’ll call you a ‘good girl’.” (You love how she shivers just from that.) “If you don’t…”

“You’ll…you’ll use my trance trigger.” Stella’s right on the same wavelength.

Yeah…yeah, you can do this. You want to do this. You need to do this.

Your S vibes are on point. Your power will guide you. And Stella wants you, so badly, so dearly…

Really, you’ve already captured her heart. With your powers, yes…but also you, yourself.

This?

This is just to make it official.

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