"If you can guess what color panties I'm wearing, I'll go out with you."
That's more hope than I've ever gotten out of Elizabeth, who tends to dismiss me as easily as a princess dismisses a peasant. It's not that she's cold and aloof, but for the longest time she seemed convinced I was asking for some other reasons. With a statement like that, I began to realize that what seemed like ice around her heart in the given topic was melting, showing her natural playfulness.
We met when we were fourteen, and have been friends ever since. We met in school, bonding over mutual love of a band that I can't remember the name of that both of us have come to despise. The musical experience was certainly worth suffering for the sake of friendship. Especially given how she grew into not only a very bright girl, but one with an amiable personality.
She's not very tall, normally. Only five foot three, though rather average in weight. She stands out in a crowd by merit of being charming, as opposed to having a large bust or especially brightly colored hair. A short-haired brunette with hazel eyes and average legs, a decent chest, and one hell of a sensitive nose.
When I say 'normally', I'm referring to the other trait that makes Elizabeth stand out of a crowd. Namely, that of her family's curse.
The Whitley family was cursed with lycanthropy. Or, that's what she explained it as in the beginning. The rumors are exaggerated, as things tend to be in family history. Whether the curse was never one that transformed the family into bloodthirsty monsters or whether it weakened over time, I can't say. What I do know is there's truth to the fact that Elizabeth has a curse, and I know exactly what what it is.
It's an oversimplification to call her a lycanthrope. Liz is basically a were-everything. She has another curse, one that can also be passed down family lines: Elizabeth is allergic to everything. Maybe that's not the truth, but it's what she tells me. Even if she isn't allergic- and I'm inclined to believe she actually is- she has a terribly sensitive nose. I've seen her try to rub away a sneeze with a finger, only to make it twice as bad and twice as loud in the end.
And, when Elizabeth sneezes, her curse takes effect...
"HA..AAaa... HAAAAHSSSNNNKKK! Oh god, what'd I turn into? Did I get ears?"
"No, you're fine. Not even a height change." That was one of the only times I've ever heard her stifle a sneeze.
I looked over to see Elizabeth frantically patting her head, making absolutely certain nothing had emerged. Next was her butt, more specifically the base of her spine. She apparently didn't trust her hoodie to fully conceal the appearance of animal features, should any suddenly decide to populate her body.
"It was probably just a random one."
"Yeah, but I never know! And you know what happens if I catch a bit of cat hair on the wind."
"Yes, everyone will think you're dressed as a catgirl for the night, and nobody will be any the wiser."
That comment earned me an indignant snort and a glare. "Ha ha, very funny. And just what do I do if it happens in the middle of the party?"
"That's a good point. You should go over to Tasha's house first, and get some cat ears preemptively."
Elizabeth rolls her eyes, marching down the sidewalk and forcing me to increase my pace to have any chance of keeping up. "Yeah, or I could end up with cat ears and a dog tail."
"Or bunny ears or wings." I pointed out. The neighborhood was large enough to contain the 'multiple pet owner' type of person. Tasha was quite a reasonable gal, and quite likeable, but Elizabeth didn't tend to spend much time with her, for obvious reasons. "You could go as a dragoness too."
"First off, I haven't seen any marigolds in a while. Second, that's /asking/ for trouble. Third, I'll get asked by everybody where I got the costume, and I don't have a lie for that."
Catching up to Elizabeth, I felt my heart beating faster, mind flitting back to what she promised earlier. Her skirt didn't flip up while she marched away, and I wondered if there was something that could make it. With just one sentence, Liz had managed to trap my brain into a perverted, eighth-grade pattern of thinking.
"Hey sailor. My eyes are up here."
She caught me staring at the dancing edge of her skirt while lost in thought. Redness overtook my face. It stayed there when I saw her rubbing her finger underneath her nose, her nostrils each giving a faint twitch.
"Ah.. oh shit.. AHh.." Elizabeth started to fan her face, and slowed down. I decided to stop walking entirely, thinking perhaps she'd bend over when the inevitable occurs. To my luck, she stopped walking as well a few moments later. "AHh..AAAHhh...AAAAAHH!" No fighting it now... She rubbed her nose with a finger, not helping herself in any way whatsoever.
"HAAAAAHHHHCCCHHHHHOOOOOOO!" Liz doubled over, giving the effect of her rear end rising into the air. I should have known better than to think I'd be able to see anything more, especially given she's shorter than me. It pulled her skirt up, but not nearly enough.
"I'm not going to breathe fire, you know. It's safe in front of me."
"What if it was marigolds doing that?"
"I don't think so. Besides, only the second sneeze would have me breathing fire. Are we almost there?"
I pointed to the house on top of the hill, and Liz groaned at the winding trail of stairs leading up to the front door. "Being rich should not mean being a jerk to everyone else."
I had to laugh. "He's throwing a party for everyone who's not going trick-or-treating, and you call him mean because of his stairs."
Elizabeth briefly put on an annoyed, pouting expression. I mused to myself about staying back a few stairs, and tried to do so on the way up. One by one I lagged behind... and then Elizabeth halted and glanced back. "Good effort. C'mon, get up here." So much for that ploy.
"HHa.. HAaah.. Hh.. HHEhh..HHAAAHh...HAAAAAHH!" She stopped again before reaching the top, hands suddenly going out to her sides before she gets her bearings. One goes up to her face, and she reels as she lets out a ferocious "HHHHH-HHHHCCCCHHHHHHHHOOOOOOOO!". Another gasp signalled she was about to sneeze again, and I backed up a step while she was busy, then another... "HHHHEEEEHHHHHCCCCCCHHOOOOOOOOO! HA..HAAAH...HHAAAAAAAHHHHCHHHHOOOOOO!"
She stopped when she stopped sneezing, at what felt like one stair away from where I could have seen, and I briefly felt a bit like a creeper instead of a person playing a game. I thought I saw a frilly edge, but the lack of light prevented me from perceiving any colors. As she recovered from the tickling in her nose, I recovered my placement on the stairs. "You okay, Liz?"
"As long as I don't have zoology for an epidermis." An interesting choice in words, given with a snort at the end to clear her nose completely. "This had better be worth it."
I couldn't focus after the door was answered. All I could really pay to was Elizabeth's twitching nose. I stumbled through the introduction conversation, trying not to hesitate when Liz's breathing staggered.
The red rug and welcoming lights were no distraction from the sailor fuku outfit adorning Elizabeth's body. While not as terribly short as in any artwork I've seen, it wasn't any lower than mid-thigh. I was baffled by her willingness to wear such a thing on a cold night, but she did thigh-high stockings and a hoodie to keep herself warm. I can't say I wasn't appreciative of the joke behind the outfit either. What could be more appropriate for a transforming girl?
Whatever had been tickling her nose that night persisted once indoors. "Heh..EHhaah.. dammit, something IHH! is... making me need to sneeze!" Music to my ears... "You muh.. made sure he doesn't have any pets, right?"
"No cats and dogs on the premises, no birds, no rabbits, no horses out back." Elizabeth tried to control herself while I spoke, but it was getting visibly harder. Her fell open and shut as the hushed sound of her breathing could be heard, and she rubbed her nose ever so lightly to try and ease the need to explode out of it.
"Mahh..Hahh..uhhh.. Maybe it's juh.. HUHH.. juh..HUHHh just dust..." she theorized, sounding hopeful.
"Or flowers, for decoration."
"Duh.. don't even go there." Her face scrunched up, eyes lidding halfway. I knew that face... one she made just before all hope was lost. "HUHHhh.. HUUUHhhhh..."
I noticed something on her skirt as I found myself staring at it. A long, orange hair stood out against the black fabric. I couldn't figure out what it was as fast as Elizabeth's body could.
"HHUUUHhh... HHUUUHh... HUUHHHHHhhh... HHUUHHHH-HHHHHHHHUUUUUUHHHHCCCCCCHHHHHHHHOOOOOO!" Her shoulders shrugged protectively up and towards herself as she bent over a mere twenty degrees, managing to control herself that much. She probably didn't notice her nails change length as she sneezed. Nostrils twitching back and forth, the onset of another began. "Huh. HUHHh.. Hhehhh-hAAAHH..." Her head lifted, and she froze there, until another, tiny gasp moved her head enough that the light from the chandelier was hitting her eyelids.
"HHHHHHAAAAAAHHHHHHCCCCCCCCHHHHHHOOOOOOOO!" Down to forty five degrees... She sniffed once, and I saw her hoodie nudge up slightly. Elizabeth definitely noticed that. She also noticed the black stripes on her legs just above her stockings. She swiveled for a mirror on the wall, and gasped in surprise. "Oh no..." The reflection of two catlike, orange-and-black striped ears were more than visible over her shoulder, even inside her black hoodie. "You said he dihhh-HHIHH...!"
The host had said to me clearly that he had no cats, presumably not including a pet of a more exotic variety. Elizabeth's nose knew better, and knew that all felines were the same. "Didn't ha-hhhAAAH.. Have any CAAAH..AAAAAAHHhhHAAHhh...HHHAAHH..." The oscillations in her breath finally came to a breaking point. "HHHHHHHHHHHAAAAHHHHHHHHHHCCCCCHHHHHHHOOOOOOOO!" She was suddenly an inch taller, chest pushing harder from the inside of her outfit.
Even then- or perhaps especially then- she was a beauty to behold. Her hair was only spiced up by the presence of the brightly colored ears, and the added weight in her bust tightened up her shirt and made it appear even bigger than it had become. Gaining an extra bit of height didn't hurt her either. Neither she nor I had any time to truly reflect on these things in the middle of her transformative sneezing fit. The quarter-second between her sneezes had elapsed, and my time for thinking was done.
"HHHHHAAAAAAHHHHHCCCCCHHHHHHHHHOOOOOO! HAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHCCHHHHOOOOOOOO!" Elizabeth jumped up another inch, and then another, stripes appearing on her face. She was becoming larger, stronger; more like a tiger. Her hazel eyes had changed hue to yellow, and fluttered as her breath caught. "HEEHh....HHHEEEEEHHHHHHHHCCCCCHHHHHHHOOOOOOO!" When her eyelids lifted out of the way, her pupils were slitted. I knew that Elizabeth would sometimes slip into animal thoughts, and I felt a pang of worry in my stomach when she swivelled her head to face me. I could see hunger in her eyes... before her allergies made her blink and take a shuddery gasp, changing the scene of a hungry predator into one of a very cute half-tiger girl with a desperate need to sneeze showing in her face. "hhh-hhHEHHHHH! HH-HEEHh... HEEEEHHHHH! HEEEEEEHHHSSSSSHHHOOOOOO!" More stripes suddenly made themselves known on her skin, and her nose had turned an all-new shade of pink around the edges, trying to imitate that of the predator feline. "You saah-id no CATS!" The last word stung like an attack, full of disdain for the species I was rapidly becoming more appreciative of.
Not thinking clearly at all, I said the first thing that came to my head before I even thought it completely. "As far as I knew, he didn't!" She was unable to show her displeasure at the weak defense, face occupied by flares of her nostrils, scrunches of her nose, and involuntary gasps. "Well you rih.. really screwed uhh..UHHH..." Elizabeth's breath hitched, amber irises disappearing as her eyelids dropped, head tilting up farther and farther. She was a master of delaying her sneezes, and a novice at holding them back. Earlier tonight had been one of twelve times I've heard her stifle out of several hundred attempts, and I knew the count wouldn't rise to thirteen soon. "UH..UHHHH...UUUHHHH! UUUHHHHHHHCCHHHHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOO!" Her shirt was forced outwards by another growth spurt, and ended up looking more like a badly shaped corset. I could see down past her collar as she doubled over, untanned flesh pressing the straps of an undersized bra forwards.
She was past being cute at that point, somewhere between terrifying and absolutely stunning. Cosmetic black stripes running through her brown hair and all along her body was the least of all the changes, but still one to make a point over. In addition to her orange-and-black ears, Elizabeth was sporting yellow, slitted eyes, an imposing extra six inches that made her even taller than I was, and had grown what I knew had to be at least a cup size and a half, if not a full two. Her nails were sharpened into claws, and she looked much more ready for Halloween than she had when she walked in. Her transformation didn't save her from her family's curse though, her pink and sensitive nose alerted her to the presence of dander still in her nostrils. She gasped a deseperate "HEHHHhh!", another, deeper "HEEHHHH!" and then snapped her head forwards. "HEEEHHHHHSSSSSHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOO!"
There was no mistaking her for anything else than a tiger-girl. Her pale thighs were strong and patterned with black marks, her arms were slender but toned, fingernails promising pain to those on her bad side. She saw me as a tiger would see me, and pounced, knocking me into a wall. She showed me her large, jagged teeth, growling... then her eyes lost focus, her nose twitched, and she inhaled sharply. "HEEEEHH.." Her eyes shut, and her grip on my shoulders loosened. "HEEEEHHHH! HEEEEEEHHHHHHHCCCCCCCCCHHHHHHHHOOOOOOO!" Elizabeth sneezed in my face, the rush of wind blowing past me uselessly. Over her shoulder, I saw a tail jolt up and out from underneath her skirt, sending it into the air. She was done transforming, and the sneeze seemed to knock her back into her senses, and put me further out of mine. Her chest was pushing against my ribs, squished against me. She sniffed, pulled her claws off of my skin as she stepped away, and headed for the door. A very sincere "Sorry." is all I got for my trouble. "I need some fresh air..."
Her skirt seemed even shorter as she walked away, thanks to the half foot she'd sprung up. Her steps were brisk, making it flutter, and the added appendage snaked out from underneath it threatened to expose more than just the small portion of her butt that I got to see. The sections of her legs that lead up to it were tight and toned, and helped her march quickly towards the front door. I was in no hurry to follow her, and for good reason. Halfway there, her mouth dropped open, eyelids fluttering as more cat hair caught up to her nose.
"HAAh.." She was still headed for the door, despite being blinded by closed eyes. Her tail twitched back and forth, preparing to brace against the force of the explosion that was coming. "HHAAAAH.. HAAAAHHHhh...Hh-HAAH..HAAH..." Elizabeth put her hands out in front of her, not minding who or what she sneezed on so long as she didn't run into anything. The door was waiting for her, and thankfully her hands were there to cushion the meeting as they came together. She'd avoided ramming her face into a wall of oak. "Hah..HHhh-aaahh..."
I was reasonably certain the door hadn't been dusted. Or, if it had, it hadn't been dusted well. Elizabeth's nose was near a crook of the several carved rectangles that decorated the giant wooden portal, and had the misfortune of continuing to detect the presence of a feline. "HHHh! HHHH! HHUUUHH!" There was no way she was going to escape without one more sneeze. Her white claws added nicks to the door, which I realized had plenty of tiger-scratches already. Occasionally, the exit must have been used as a scratching post, which meant more than likely there was cat hair on it. Not for very much longer, though... Liz's tail gave a few lashes back and forth, displaying its owner's irritation. "HHHh..HHAAHh...HH-HHAAAAHH.. HAAAHHH... HHAAAAHH... HAAAAAAHHHHH!" Her body tensed...
"HHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHCCCCCCCCCHHHHHHHHHH OOOOOOOOOOOO!!" The noise rung in my ears, a thrill jolting through my body. Elizabeth's tail spiked into the air as if suddenly bidden to fetch the chandelier. Her long legs lead up to a toned ass, covered in small, lime-green panties that clung tightly to her body thanks to the changes it had undergone. Elizabeth's nails raked the door, and she hitched her breath as she opened it, letting out another gigantic sneeze into the night air as it struck her in the face. "HAAAHHHCCCCCHHHHOOOOOOOOOOO!!" No doubt about her underwear's color, so easily seen as her orange-and-black tail shoved up the back of her white skirt.
I followed the tiger-girl outside into the cold air. Her ears turned flat, pointing to either side of her. Something was bothering her, and I knew exactly what. More sniffles followed her, and her nose kept deciding to try and clear out: "HA..HAAAAHHHHHHHSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHOOOOOOOOOO!! HAAAAAHHHHHHSSSSSSHOOOOOOOOO! HAAAAAAHHHSSSSHOOOO! HAAAAAAAHHHHCCCCCCCHOOOOOOOOOO!!" Each offered another flick of her tail, and another glimpse at her underwear and her rear end. Elizabeth's skirt danced in the air, unable to be kept down in the back, and Elizabeth herself finally bent completely over with a terrific "HAAAH... HAAAAAAHHH...! HHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAHHH! HAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHCCCCCCCCCHHHHHHHHHHHHHOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!"
With her front down and her back up, I could see the details of her body, the lines and curves all snugly held inside the green fabric that had grown much too tight for proper censorship. Her hands had caught and clung to the middle rail of the stairs leading up to the front door, claws thankfully unable to do damage to metal. She took a deep breath and let out another report into the air. "HHHHHHHHHH-HHAAAAAAHHHHHHCCCCCCCCCHHHHHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" And finally, she was done, snorting loudly out of her nose. Slowly, she started to stand up straight, panties disappearing as the veil of her sailor skirt fell around her lowering tail like the ending of a theatre show. "Ugh, let's just go."
I was more than agreeable to the idea, following Elizabeth down the stairs and back towards the sidewalk. I waited until we had some distance from the house to start up a conversation. For her own sake, I didn't want anyone in earshot when she learned she had to make good on her word.