Posted September 13, 2020 at 12:00 pm

"What??" Teige said hastily, as Yoshi covered her face. He tried to smile reassuringly. "It's only the first day, kiddo! I didn't expect you'd master it on your first--"

"No, it--" Yoshi's breath hitched, as she gripped the front of her shirt. She managed, "it is me. I h-hate this shape."

That seemed to suck some of the wind out of her sails, forcing out that last part. Her trembling stopped and she just stood with her face in her hands. She said defeatedly, "It is...you would not understand. I'm sorry."

Teige also just stood for a moment, looking at her with his ears laying against his horns and his tail trailing on the ground. Then he scratched his neck and said, "You play this trick on yourself, yea?"

He tilted his head up, looking at the sky. It was empty, except for one small cloud that had formed. "Where, most of the time, you just, sort of..." he searched for the word, "dissociate from your own body, like. Saves you from feeling there's something wrong about it. About you. Works, as long as you don't have to pay much mind to your own body."

Yoshi raised her face a little, tears still streaming down her cheeks.

"But then you have to, in order to change your shape, and every time, it feels like having cold water thrown on you." Teige looked round at her again, his blank white eyes sympathetic. "Something like that, mebbe?"

Yoshi stammered, "H...How d-do you..."

In a bloom of green fire that was nearly as bright as the sky, the goat-headed shape was gone, replaced by a very, very tired looking red-haired man. He smiled, but barely.

"Ah, you know," he said ruefully, "Been there, done that."

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