"And who cares if it does, huh? Who?"
"...I might need to take a day off tomorrow. Once one doctor gets a look at me they'll probably want a lot more looks."
"Hm. Well, someone has already volunteered to fill in," said Rowan. "I doubt there will be any problem with that."
"I don't know. I guess we can ask about that when he gets here."
"Oh, uh..that might be my doing."
His eyes narrowed a bit. "What did you do?"
"She's...meeting with Rowan. That—policeman from last Monday. Emma's there too."
"And they just left you on your own?" said Rory, crossing her arms.
"Well, don't let me stop you," Rory waved.
"Yeah, she is very cute," he nodded. "...Uh, wait." He scratched his head. "When and how did you get powers, though?"
"Oh, it's not as bad as it sounds. This is just, something that needs to stay as much of a secret as it possibly can."
"Oh, no. It's nothing convenient like that." Amory wrung her hands a little bit, nervously. "Uhh...I have to, pet the target a little. Orr, a lot."
"You don't have to tell me. But, that's the only way they work. And it's a temporary effect that wears off after a while, so..."
"I'm not the jealous type, especially of someone a decade younger."
"We weren't arguing," said Clark, "just.."
"Argument~!" Rory half-sang.
"It's fine. Just, a little weird, still."
"Okay then, just...stay there."
"Amazing! I think I can just..." Clark pulled herself upward with a small flex of the will, floating a foot into the air. Amory stepped aside, the tip of her tail finally leaving Clark's with one final brush. "...Pretty much I can superman-fly. I don't think it has to be just me, either."
"Oh? Can you pick me up too?"
Clark tried holding her hand out to Rory, and some of the aura surrounding her went over to her wife. Then with a small upward wave, she was lifted up as well. "I think I can only do this for someone willing. No good as an attack."
"I can't argue with saving lives..."
"She looked—" "—...starved, just like it sounded. Her stomach was...—" Minus waved incoherently. "When I looked at her body was doing,—" "—the thing I really noticed was that her power was pumping heat in from the air to use as energy.—" "—That's why her skin is so cold all the time. She should be getting that from food and isn't. I don't know if—" "—I think something worse might be wrong with Don's normal body, to cause him to not eat and then...—" "—but surviving off of only the heat like that is messing her up too. It, technically works kinda, but it'd be like surviving on a diet of exactly as much sugar as the energy you use up. And—" "—stress! So much stress. I don't know about mental, but it looked like a general,—" "—overall physical problem that registered to me right away as a massive ball of stress. I wouldn't be surprised if there's sleep deprivation in there, too."
"Oh—" "—yeah." Plus tried pulling a little of the water vapor out of the air; she waved it around a bit, and then briefly formed a third knife for that body out of it. "It's a little harder to 'make' fire...—" "—my best bet is probably using electricity to spark a bit of grass or something."
"Um...—" "—I could probably throw the ones that're easy to get back. Or—" "—if one element is more useful than another for some reason I can use that one specifically."
"That'll work," Minus nodded.
Despite verbal claims to the contrary, Rory actually had experienced a small pang of jealousy. Not "romantic partner" jealousy, but "watching another kid eat a piece of candy" jealosy. Even though she was sure she ought to find it at least a little wierd, one of the most dominant thoughts she had while watching Amory 'power up' Clark was how much fun it looked like and how soon could she do it, too. That anticipation of getting a turn had caused her to nearly-unconsciously say her phrase and shift to her own fox-form right near the beginning of it all. On top of that, her husband had seemed visibly hesitant about it, tensed and almost ready to literally run away, up until the newly-powered girl actually touched her ears. It was like night and day from there, with her falling forward into Amory's arms and practically begging for it to continue.
"Um, okay." Amory gave a slightly nervous smile, which was just amazingly adorable. Nearly every movement or expression she made since changing to this form was mercilessly cute and just made Rory want to pat her on the head and give her candy or something. It wasn't like there weren't other cute fox-girls—Light, her husband of course, that cop-turned-Initative agent (or whatever the right term for someone working directly with them was)—but Amory had managed to top all of them in just the past few minutes. It was something in her mannerisms while like this, maybe her voice?
"Please don't actually attempt that," said her husband with a slightly concerned look.
"N-not that I can tell, nope." Having had attention called to that outfit, Amory was blushing and looking away—still impossibly adorable.
"Hm. Do you keep all of your strength when you're smaller?"
"Feels like it to me!" Without putting her hands together, Rory was able to pull her height and appearance back to the 'normal fox-form' one. "I could probably get away with being seen powered up and folks would have a hard time telling the difference if I don't shapeshift openly."
"That's pretty good news," said Amory. "I wonder just how different you can make yourself look..."
"Yeah, as long as we're violating the conservation of matter," said Clark.
"Um..I get the feeling I should leave?" said Amory, standing up.
"Oh, sit down," he waved. "This is a very nice option but we'll save it for after some more discussion." Rory did feel some effort was necessary to keep this up; it was pretty clear that something about these powers' nature didn't really 'take' to a male body very well in general. He relaxed again and instantly felt the new equipment slip away, just before the rest of Rory shrank and grew back to the deeply female form again. "Phew. Are you able to 'top off' our timers, though, just out of curiosity?"
"Uhh, y-yeah. It's not exactly a timer, more like 'power usage' meter. I can just..." She held out a hand and wiggled her fingers to express, "a little bit and fill it back up. But I have been told it doesn't feel great when it does eventually wear off, if you don't change back yourself before then."
"Uh...it's mostly focused on body-shape in particular. She can't change her hair, skin, or or eye color, or really alter the fox-parts at all. But when it comes to the rest, it's pretty powerful. She even managed to go as far as turning into a guy."
"Uh..Rory suggested I have 'magic fingers' when it comes to foxes. It sorta makes sense with how my powers work in general, I guess."
"Not particularly. It might be good information to find out, if it's not too strange to ask about. I guess Emma doesn't know, then."
He shook his head. "Unless you told her."
"I see. Well, I won't say anything either, then."