A/N: It is finally time for me to contribute to the world of DnD show tickle content, as well as expand the Knismo Tiefling Cinematic Universe™! I love love love Dimension 20 and especially FigAyda so I simply had to. I have ideas for more D20 fics to write, and if you have any prompts I'd love to hear 'em ^^
Summary: Fig is craving tickles. Ayda is not familiar with the concept outside of what she has read in the Friendship Section. Obviously, this has to be amended.
Warning: very vague spoilers for Fantasy High: Sophomore Year
The precursor to Fig’s craving is extremely mundane. She’s in the middle of writing a new song when she hears a ruckus down on the first floor of Mordred Manor. She ignores it at first, but as it continues her curiosity gets the best of her. When she goes downstairs, the source of the noise is immediately apparent: Kristen and Fabian are rolling around on the floor of the living room, locked in an intense tickle fight.
At the moment, Kristen has the upper hand, relentlessly going after Fabian’s sides while he squirms and laughs boisterously beneath her. As Fig watches, Adaine — who is sitting on a nearby couch with a book open in her lap — sends out a translucent blue Mage Hand to squeeze Kristen’s knee. Kristen topples off of Fabian with a surprised yelp and glares at Adaine.
“You dirty cheater!”
Adaine tries to suppress a mischievous smile as Fabian takes the opening to pin Kristen down. “I just wanted to make sure you didn’t kill him,” she says innocently.
“I didn’t need any help, I’m able to handle myself, Adaine!” Fabian says with an indignation that Fig knows is masking gratefulness. He starts to go to town on Kristen, who shrieks and dissolves into frantic giggles as she curses him out.
Fig smiles and turns to go back upstairs. With Adaine around she isn’t worried that anything will get out of hand, and she doesn’t want to interrupt her friends’ fun (based on past experiences, Kristen probably initiated it and deserves whatever consequences result from it). But she can’t seem to get the mental image out of her head; the playfulness, the trust, the perfect kind of “conflict” and vulnerability…
The thought turns into something of a craving that lingers in the back of her mind and rears its head whenever it’s most inconvenient. By the time she next gets to spend an afternoon with Ayda, Fig decides she just can’t take it anymore.
“Hey, can I talk to you?” After psyching herself up for a while, Fig finally manages to break the peaceful silence. They’re laying on Fig’s bed, cuddled up together with Fig curled into Ayda’s side using her chest as a pillow -- shout out to Gorthalax and Adaine for figuring out how to make everything in her room fireproof.
Ayda shifts slightly to look at Fig. “Are you not talking to me already?”
“I meant about something in particular.”
“Have I done something to make you feel as though you might not be able to?”
“No, no, I just-” Fig huffs with frustration at herself. It shouldn’t be this hard. “I’ve been wondering if you could… do me a favor.”
Ayda sits up, causing Fig to have to do the same, and looks at her with a mix of concern and determination in her fiery eyes. “Fig, I will do anything to make you happy. What is this favor?”
Fig can feel herself blushing. “It’s really not that big of a deal, you absolutely don’t have to if you don’t want to.”
Ayda just waits silently for her to continue. Fig groans and leans her face into Ayda’s shoulder. Why is she struggling so much with something this trivial? Of all people, her girlfriend is probably the least likely to have a bad reaction. But still-
“You seem distressed.”
That snaps Fig out of her spiraling thoughts. “I’m sorry, I’m just… it’s embarrassing.”
“I don’t think anything you want could be embarrassing.”
With a deep breath, Fig resolves herself. She takes one of Ayda’s hands in both of hers, fiddling with the dark, slender fingers so she doesn’t have to make eye contact. “If you wanted to, I wouldn’t hate it if you, um-” her voice goes quieter- “tickled me for bit.”
The few seconds of silence as Ayda processes are some of the longest of Fig’s life. “Are you telling me that you would like to be tickled?”
And, right, Ayda is one for clarity and absolutes. Fig can’t get away with implications, dancing around her feelings like she does with the Bad Kids. “Yeah.”
“I don’t understand why you found that difficult to say. Did you expect me to have an unfavorable reaction?”
Fig finds the courage to meet Ayda’s eyes. Like always, her expression is difficult to read, but Fig doesn't detect any judgement. “Not expect, but I was worried you would.”
“It’s not something most people like.”
“Figueroth Faeth, you are not most people,” Ayda declares as if it were the most obvious thing in the world, and Fig couldn’t help smiling a bit at that. “I would like to better understand so I can satisfy your desires better; why exactly do you want to be tickled?”
It being put so bluntly, makes Fig hide her face in her hands, blushing hard. Ayda probably isn’t trying to make her this flustered, but it's happening anyway. “I don’t know, it’s just fun laughing and being close to someone and not having to think about anything for a while.”
A hand on her cheek guides her out of hiding, and she looks up to see Ayda studying her with a soft smile. “It makes sense that one would like that. I have to admit, I do not have any direct experience with tickling, but it is discussed in some of the texts from the Friendship Section. Would now be an appropriate time to begin?”
Fig gulps and nodded.
But Ayda just cocks her head, bird-like. Maybe it was a phoenix heritage thing. Regardless, it's an indicator that Fig had learned means she wants more information.
"You seem apprehensive."
Fig laughs a little, self-conscious. "Um, yeah."
"Have you changed your mind?"
"No, it’s just…"
Ayda waits patiently for her to finish.
"It can be a little overwhelming. So it can make you nervous if you know it’s coming."
That just seems to confuse Ayda even more. Damn it. "But… it makes you laugh, and laughter is an indicator of enjoyment."
"Well, yeah, but it's different from regular laughter. When you're being tickled, your body automatically tries to make it stop."
"Even when you're enjoying it?" Ayda asks. At Fig's nod, she adds, "Why?"
"It's like a defense mechanism or something. You try to protect yourself, while the other person is encouraged to keep going from your reactions."
"And this response exists even when non-physical damage is easily inflicted?"
Fig puts her hands up. "Don't ask me, I didn’t invent it."
Ayda pauses, clearly lost in thought. And, well, as much as Fig kind of wants to be on the receiving end right now, isn’t it her duty as a good girlfriend to help her understand?
"Here, I know it’s kind of hard to describe with just words if you've never actually felt it, but… maybe I could show you? So you know what I mean?"
"That would be more efficient, yes."
But Fig wants to make sure, because to her brain, the emotional to Ayda's logical, the 'yes' feels too easy. "So I have permission?"
"Of course, why would I be adverse to an activity my paramour enjoys?"
And okay, fine, she's probably not going to get it until she actually experiences it for herself (Fig deems to ignore the part about her enjoying it). So Fig sighs, biting back a grin. "You'll see."
She reaches out to prod experimentally at Ayda's stomach. Ayda jerks back a little, but gives no other response except for looking down at the spot perplexedly. After a moment, she meets Fig's eyes again.
"Is that it?"
Fig actually grins at that, tail twitching behind her eagerly. "No, not even close. Just wanted to start you off easy. Let's try… this."
This time, Fig uses her nails -- painted black and longer than usual thanks to her hiatus from playing with the Sig Figs during spring break -- to scratch at Ayda's ribs through her tunic. And, to her delighted surprise, that gets a reaction.
Ayda reels back with a choked laugh. Fig has half a mind to stop again and ask for input, but the whole point is to give Ayda the full experience, right? Or, at least, the experience Fig was hoping to be on the other side of later. Besides, Ayda has always been direct if there's something she wants (i.e., it stopping), and is certainly adept enough in magic to make it stop if she wants. And that's a mental image, getting her so bad that she'll resort to using her arcane energy, maybe even spell slots, to escape. Something for another day though, depending on how she feels after the trial run.
One step at a time, anyways. Even if this is the only time Ayda will allow it, Fig imagines she can get away with going for a little longer than strictly necessary in the name of research, and she's going to indulge herself in every moment of it. So she continues to scratch insistently at the spot that got that first big reaction. It only takes a moment before Ayda is huffing out staccato laughter.
"This is tickling!"
"Feheheels… ha… weird."
"Good weird?" Fig ups the intensity, bringing her other hand to Ayda's thus far untouched set of ribs, and is rewarded with a yelp. She's never heard Ayda make a sound like that before, and it's very entertaining.
"I-hi am not suhuhuhure!"
"That's okay, you can think about it."
And, while it wasn't the original plan, this is also very fun. Slowly enough that Ayda could stop her if need be, Fig climbs onto her lap. Keeping one on her ribs, which have proven to be a good spot, she moves her other hand up to her neck. The noise that comes out is an almost avian squawk that quickly devolves into shrieky laughter.
Cautiously, Fig slows her fingers. "No?"
A wash of relief runs through her; it was a reflexive protest, not an actual one, and Ayda is squirming but not making a move to actually push her off. Her grin grows impossibly wider. "Well, yeah, babe, 'cause you're ticklish."
It's interesting, seeing a mage usually so serious and measured falling apart like this. There are many words Fig would be inclined to describe Ayda with: stunning, genius, gorgeous, astounding, divine. But this adds a new one to the list, one she never would have expected: adorable.
She keeps it up for a while longer, seeing what other good reactions she can draw out. She doesn't go too hard though, she doesn't want to overwhelm her girlfriend and accidentally turn her off of it, after all. The point is fun, and gods know Ayda could use a little more playfulness in her life.
Which is why, after a few final digs of the fingers, Fig stops, resting her hands on Ayda's hips. She watches, smiling, as Ayda pants to catch her breath.
"That… that was…"
Fig lets herself smirk and raise an eyebrow. Now, she's the one waiting for an answer. Oh, how the turn tables.
"…strange," Ayda finishes.
"Good strange?" Fig teases.
Ayda thinks for a moment, the tiniest hint of a smile still playing on her lips. That's a good sign if Fig has ever seen one. "Not bad strange."
Fig gives her a kiss. "I can work with that."
There's a peaceful silence between them for a few seconds. Then, Ayda does the head cocking thing again, and her flaming eyes narrow ever so slightly in… amusement?
"So, you wanted to be a recipient of this."
All of a sudden, the delicious feeling of smug satisfaction is chased away by her nerves from earlier. Oh. She'd managed to forget the entire point of bringing this up. "Um. Yes?" It comes out way too tentative. She tries to channel her confident rocker persona that usually comes so naturally to her.
Ayda's nimble fingers find Fig's sides, just resting there, but even that plus the anticipation is enough to make Fig suck in a shaky breath. Nope, confidence isn't going to happen. "M-maybe I shouldn't be on top for this."
"Why not?" Ayda is back to the picture of calmness.
"I'll probably squirm away."
"Even though you want this?"
Gods, Fig is blushing again. "Yeah."
"Hmm. That seems counterproductive."
Fig's throat feels incredibly dry. She tries to swallow to soothe it, but it doesn't help much.
"Maybe," Ayda says, "you… shouldn't. If you want me to have any measure of success, that is."
And that's when it hits her. Ayda -- Ayda frickin' Aguefort! -- is teasing. Something Fig didn't even know was possible.
She hides her face in her hands with a whine, her vulnerable spots be damned. Her tail twitches, needing to let out some of the pent-up jitters that make her insides feel like the lingering vibrations of one of Gorgug's cymbal hits.
Whether it was planned or just convenient, Ayda chooses this moment to start tickling. It starts out unpracticed, gentler than what would be most effective, but Fig's already keyed up enough by the whole situation that it doesn't matter much. A cry of surprise quickly makes way for a snort, and she starts to fold back but manages to keep her hands over her face.
"Figueroth, why are you hiding your expression?" Ayda asks.
"Embahaharrasing!" Fig squeals.
"I thought we established that you do not have any reason to be embarrassed about this."
Though she appreciates the sentiment, the flustered feeling doesn't dim in the slightest. She hasn't experienced this in any significant amount in ages, not since middle school when she was a cheerleader, back before her horns started coming in. Sure, she'd helped once or twice when Adaine had wanted to practice Hideous Laughter, and it'd been tickly, but it was an entirely different feeling than this. With the spell, there was no urge to escape, just an inability to stop laughing. With this, with Ayda, she's overcome with the conflicting needs to stay, cuddle close, relish the affection, and run, dash, Misty Step away (and she can't even do that!).
Then, one of Ayda's hands makes its way around to the small of Fig's back, which isn't a regular tickle spot but of course she doesn't know that, and inadvertently hits one of Fig's worst but usually overlooked spots. She squeals with a full-body writhe, then just barely stops herself from grabbing for the offending hands. Instead, she flings her arms around Ayda's neck and giggles helplessly into her shoulder.
Fig manages a nod.
"Like my neck," Ayda muses.
And that is seriously not helpful, because it reminds Fig of the position they were in mere minutes ago and she's struck with the sudden urge to turn this into a tickle fight. But she hadn't explained that concept to Ayda, and she doesn't really want to take another pause on this to do so. Instead, she adds it to her vague-but-growing to do list and resigns herself to laughing herself silly without retaliation.
Ayda is a quick learner (whether that is fortunate or unfortunate for her, Fig isn’t sure), and soon, her technique has improved considerably. It's not long before Fig can't take it anymore, pushing her hands away with a breathless, "Stop, stop, oh my gohohohds!"
The formerly-tickling hand on her back starts to rub soothingly up and down as Fig works through her remaining laughter, forehead pressed to a shoulder that is ember-warm even past a layer of cloth.
"That was satisfactory, I hope?" Ayda says, a little less sure of herself than before.
"You," Fig gasps, "are unfairly good at that."
She can practically envision the furrow in Ayda's brow at that. "I am… unsure if that is a compliment or criticism."
"Both." Then, for Ayda's peace of mind, "Compliment, really. But, holy fuck, you've seriously never done that before?"
"I have not."
"Could've fooled me."
There's a soft chuckle. "Perhaps you are just very… what was the word… ticklish."
Fig whines and buries her face further into hiding. "Why did I give you this kind of power over me?"
"To have fun, no? I certainly had fun, and I hope you-"
Fig silences her worries with a kiss. "With you? I'm always having fun." She ducks her head bashfully. "This time especially."
Ayda hums thoughtfully and presses a kiss to Fig's temple. "I'll have to remember that for the future."
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