The smile floated off of Fallo’s lips and performed an intricate dance of lust, satisfaction, bliss, and just plain old giggly, embarrassed giddiness in the air over Morra’s lumpy bed. Fallo lay there, smoking a suggarrette (as people and imps have done from time immemorial in all universes everywhere in such circumstances), waiting for Morra, who was rummaging in his tiny kitchenette for a flagon of wine.
Morra lived in a one room flat in a crumbling building in the Second Ward. Cracks in his walls conversed with one another in hushed tones about the impish acrobatics they’d just witnessed, and the green bulb in the ceiling flickered, making the shadows look like they were applauding.
“Hah, I knew I had one,” said Morra, and came up smiling with his flagon.
“I never doubted it,” said Fallo.
Morra lay back down next to Fallo and handed him the wine. Fallo took a long pull, feeling the warm, sweet, under-aged wine swirl its way around his bloodstream. He handed the flagon back to Morra, who took a demure sip.
“So. Fallo Gapple. What makes you tick? Why are we…here? Why me? Why you?” Morra traced a finger along the orange skin of Fallo’s chest.
“Why all the questions?” Fallo took another sip of wine and settled back into the pillows.
“I need to figure you out,” said Morra. “Why would a successful imp with a nice place in the Quarter want to hang out with a bunch of revolutionaries from the Second Ward, and then why would he pick up one of those revolutionaries for a night of quite stunning sexual exploration?”
“Ganna and that scarred imp whose name I never got – they’re the ones that got me to the meeting. You’re the one that kept me there.”
Fallo began to feel the wine flow around his reptilian brain, the alcohol cooling his blood, slowing his heart rate, relaxing him utterly. With cold blood it was really easy to overdo it, get into a dangerous spot where the metabolism would just shut down. But a nice sip of wine now and then was a treat. Fallo took a deep drag of sugga and exhaled, slowly, watching the multicolored cloud swirl.
Morra looked at Fallo again with that face, and Fallo kissed him. And kissed him some more. The flickering shadows and cracks in the walls looked away again, fearing a repeat.
“That was nice, but you still haven’t really answered my question,” said Morra.
“What do you want from me? You are a very sexy imp and from the first time I saw you I wanted into your work shorts.”
Morra grinned with that grin, and Fallo was ready for round two. He grabbed the flagon of wine from the other imp and made a move.
“Now now…let’s not gorge ourselves, shall we?” admonished the other imp, gently pushing Fallo away. Fallo pouted a little. He found a spot to snuggle in a crook of the other imp’s arm.
“So what’s next, Morra?”
“Well I thought we’d lie here for a bit and then maybe grab a bite to eat?”
“What’s there to eat around here?”
“I’ve got some leftover pastries stashed away – they’re filled with …well, maybe ‘meat’ isn’t the right word, but it’s something.”
“And when I asked ‘what’s next,’ I meant what’s next in the bigger picture. Revolution? Rebellion? Who’s leading this thing? How have all of us not been Reclaimed? What does Ganna have up his sleeve?”
“Arms, I think. I don’t know. He hasn’t told me much – he hasn’t told any of us much.”
“Well he’d better start talking soon, because none of this makes sense to me.”
“I know,” said Morra, reaching over Fallo to grab the wine again. “But we’re getting somewhere. I know we are.”
“Yeah, but where, exactly?”
“A world where imps are treated with respect and dignity. Where there are no Reclamation officers. Where we can, I don’t know, let’s go a little crazy here, but maybe a world where we can vote.”
“Shush. Wine, relaxing, cuddling. No more politics.”
“Ok,” said Fallo. “I’m sorry.” He accepted the proffered wine flagon, sipping deeply.
The two imps laid there for a bit, and then they shared the leftover pastries. Fallo’s grin floated along the ceiling, watching the two of them, dancing in a pirouette of ridiculous, over the top ecstasy that would have been embarrassing if it had actually been a visible phenomenon. The cracks in the walls and the flickering shadows got back to the busy work of undermining the structure of the building and obscuring visibility. The world kept turning, and the story continued on the next page.