Worship Me NSFW

Author's note: A birthday story for Damien!! A very belated birthday story, at that. But Damien is such an important floof in my life, I couldn't let his birthday pass without a story from me! ... Er, I mean that I couldn't let his birthday pass any further without a story from me!

The wolfgirl's stomach was overwhelmingly hot. Emi was increasingly sure she would just melt away from the heat alone... let alone the stinging, aching acids that splashed against her with every movement.

Of course... none of this was new to her. It was a little frustrating how often she was in this situation. In this exact stomach, no less.

"C... Candy..." Emi whimpered. She could feel her limbs weakening to the point where she couldn't even move them. The fight had gone out of her long ago, and at this point... she just had to wait for it to be over. And it probably wouldn't be all that much longer... "You... have to... stop..."

Candy was not paying any attention to her passenger. The little mana-powered arcade machine Emi had painstakingly set up for Candy had Candy's full attention. As she leaned over the console and mashed the buttons, her tail wagged so hard that her hips swayed from side to side, making her stomach's liquid contents slosh around noisily. "Zap! Zam! Blast! Pow! PowuUUUURP! Kerjam! Oh! Oh!!! That was a close one! Did you see that, Yummy? It was really close! But I got them first! Oh, it's the next level! Can't talk now! Zow! Kachow!!"

Emi was too weak to even respond. She could feel her mind slipping away, and she embraced it. She'd have to tell Candy off after reforming...

She let go of her grasp on consciousness, and let the rushing river of darkness carry her away.

===

The inside of the reformation chamber smelled like plastic and burnt electrical components. Emi did, too, until her new body got a shower, her new clothes went through the laundry, and her natural scent had time to reassert itself. It was one of the few things that kept Candy from just sitting in here eating fresh Emis out of her own reformation machine again and again. That, and the fact that Emi kept upgrading the lab security system every time Candy found a way around it. The current revision was more or less perfect - even with all of Candy's knowledge of Emi's usual tricks, it had survived a few assaults.

Which made it all the more surprising when Emi spotted someone through the window of the chamber. Her heart thumped in her chest. How did they get in there? Who were they? It didn't seem like the person was Candy... for one thing, they weren't being nearly destructive enough. Nothing had been smashed. They were just... standing there. The lamp on her worktable cast a halo of light around them, but she could make out a pair of animal-like ears. Not wolf ears, though. Short, stubby ears. An arctic fox, maybe? It was hard to tell with the light behind the intruder silhouetting them, but they clearly had very pale fur - white, even. So it would fit. Probably another one of those augmented types...

"Come out, Emi. Meet the goddess your death gave life to," the intruder said.

Um... Huh. Theatrical. Now Emi knew why the table lamp had been turned on and set up that way. A drama student who got past her security system didn't sound like a scenario that usually went well for her, though. And Erin was out of town this week. Candy would still be back at her own home.

"A goddess, huh? When is this goddess going to get here? Can we reschedule this?" Emi called through the reformation chamber's door. The door was only intended to be opened from the inside, so Emi would be safe... for a little while. But her new body needed food, water, rest. And the reformation chamber lock wasn't exactly secure against someone determined to open it.

"She stands before you," the intruder said, ducking out of view with a sweeping bow. "Come out, now. My patience is short."

Okay. No stalling. A new plan probably wasn't going to come to her unless she could take in the room first, and the intruder was getting annoyed. Emi opened the door... and bit back a laugh. Your patience isn't the only thing that's short, she thought (and did not say - she wasn't foolish enough to provoke the stranger just yet).

The intruder was smaller than her by a good foot or two - and Emi was not going to make any basketball teams herself. The only reason the intruder had been at anything like eye level was because of a stepstool that she had apparently set up out of view of the window.

So far she didn't seem particularly divine. She did look a little familiar, though. But... in pieces. Reya's nose. Candy's eyes. Mei's cheeks. And an overriding sense like Emi was looking in a mirror.

"I sense that you want to know who I am and why I am here." The intruder hopped down from the stool, approaching Emi and looking up at her.

Emi rolled her eyes. You don't say. Aloud, she said, "Keen senses."

The intruder folded her arms across her chest. As she talked, Emi caught a flash of fangs. "Each time your life's thread was cut, what was left of you spilled out... but that machine you made always made more. All that essence, all that energy, it had to go somewhere. And thus... me. You may call me Aphia."

"Okay. Aphia. That explains why you exist." Although it really raised more questions than it answered. "But why are you here? I'm glad all that... whatever, essence, wasn't wasted, and all, but... Do you need something from me?"

"Where mortal souls generate their own essence, we deities only subsist on what essence mortals yield to us. On belief and worship, in other words." Aphia's ears flattened. "And I regret to say that I... have no one to believe in me. No one even knows I exist."

Hearing those words from such a small, cute creature... Emi's heart ached. "Oh, no..."

"So! Even though you do not know me, you were the one who gave me life," Aphia said earnestly. "So if there is anyone I can turn to, it has to be you. Will you help me?"

As much as she distrusted the intruder, Emi could not deny that she was starting to feel fond of the little goddess. Maybe it was her disarmingly cute face, or her small size. Maybe Emi was just a little addle-brained after a fresh regeneration - it was known to happen.

Whatever the case, Emi could not say no. "... Let's talk about this in my room."

===

The incense tickled Emi's nose and filled her darkened bedroom with haze. She'd had some leftover from a brief and misguided attempt to use it to banish the wolf sisters - didn't work, Candy ate her anyway. Aphia sat atop Emi's desk, dancing lights splashing across her from the few candles Emi could scrounge up in her room. The candles contributed their own scents to the mix, muddling the incense scent.

Aphia pointed down at the floor in front of the desk. "Yes. Kneel."

The carpet was rough under Emi's bare knees. "This is kind of weird. And it's kind of uncomfortable, too."

"You must drive out all thoughts of normal and comfortable." Aphia stared down at her with surprising seriousness for such a small and cute creature. "Only accept what is, and what has been, and what will be. Then you will know peace through my touch. Close your eyes."

Emi obliged. She could still see the candlelight faintly through her eyelids, a little bit of brightness in the dark. "Okay, sure."

"Good. Now, meditate on my image. Repeat in your mind that you seek my peace. I will bless you. Remain calm and still... I am still new to being a goddess and all of the power that comes with it, and it might feel strange at first. But I am trying my best."

Awwww, poor thing... She really is trying so hard... Emi couldn't help a little smile. She supposed it was possible that Aphia's powers were still too weak to tell what she was doing, and she could get away with only pretending... But Aphia had just struck her right in the heart. She really wanted the little goddess to feel strong. Aphia, give me your peace. Grant me your peace? I seek your peace. I seek your peace. This is so weird. Um, I seek Aphia's peace.

Though she had retreated into her mind to focus on the short goddess in front of her, she could still feel her body's reaction to it all. Ticklish warmth spread over the top of Emi's head. This must be Aphia's blessing! Little points poked into the back of her neck, sliding down and giving her a chill. Her face felt slimy, and there was a hot breeze on her neck. Okay, this was more than strange. Just what was Aphia doing?

As if reading her mind, Aphia spoke to her from somewhere on the desk. "I am trying. Patience..."

Blessing people must be so difficult, Emi thought. Especially for a new goddess. But she's doing great. I believe in her, and I want her peace. I want... Okay, what is she doing to me?

Emi's arms felt like they were suddenly glued to her sides. Her chest, too, was slowly being squished down, like someone had run a very taut string across it and pulled it down until it pinched. And her head felt so heavy, she was bending forward more and more with every second. Almost like...

Opening her eyes, Emi could no longer see the candles. Or the desk. Or... anything. Not even Aphia.

Coming out of her meditative trance, she was suddenly aware of the quiet sounds that surrounded her - little squeaks and grunts in Aphia's voice. And a rushing of air. Her hair had gotten quite damp, too, and was matted to the back of her head.

On second thought, she had a sudden awful feeling that Aphia was all she could see.

Her body jerked. She had been halfway down enough throats that she knew she wasn't getting out of this situation by sitting still any longer.

Aphia responded immediately, her voice still coming from the desk. "Calm, my child, calm... Relax..."

My child? Didn't you just say that you were born from ME? Emi thought indignantly. She didn't listen to Aphia's commands, instead pulling herself away from the source of the voice. Her head was being crushed by what Emi could authoritatively say was a throat, devastatingly tight muscle squeezing in on her temples, and yet... that voice was still clear as day.

"What are you doing to me?!" Emi shouted.

"Testing your faith." Aphia sounded hurt. And... the swallowing, or at least what felt like swallowing, was continuing even as she talked. Emi was completely on the floor now, those tiny fangs she'd caught a glimpse of earlier digging into her rump. "The senses can be... manipulated. Nightmares... of being eaten alive, perhaps... can fool them. You cannot trust them. But if you really believe in me... Then nothing you sense can shake your faith."

An illusion... Then, she was still sitting in front of her desk, and Aphia had just chosen an illusion like this for some reason? "I thought you were going to give me peace!" Emi cried.

"There, there," Aphia murmured. "Just trust in me. Do you really think, after the time we've spent together, I would hurt you?"

... Maybe Emi hadn't known Aphia for long, but she had looked pretty harmless. And if she really had deity powers, she wouldn't have gone to all these lengths just to eat Emi... Considering that the two of them were alone all this time...

Aphia's soothing voice washed over her. "If you can overcome this nightmare, you will have peace in the face of anything you can imagine. Sit. Breathe. Stop struggling."

And it was really soothing. Even against the distracting sensation of teeth nibbling their way - slowly, apparently with great strain - across her rear end, Aphia's voice made her feel drowsy and comforted.

Against her better judgment, Emi settled down.

Warmth rippled through her with every little gulp. She felt like she was lying on her front, now. She could feel - as if they were real - lips against her thighs, a tiny rivulet of drool dribbling its way down the back of her thigh.

But they aren't real, are they? Emi couldn't deny that resisting the instinct to fight or flee made her feel surprisingly powerful. And peaceful... although maybe some of that was Aphia's doing. Aphia was right - if she could maintain her senses this well while, to all appearances, being eaten alive... You really are such a good goddess.

She started up her prayers again in earnest, much more seriously this time. The tiny goddess was doing her best to give Emi something, whatever she could manage with her limited power... even if her methods were a little bizarre. She hadn't learned a lot of methods of dealing with stress that involved being crammed into a tiny stomach, her shoulders hunched, her arms crossed awkwardly against her chest, her head bent, and her butt in the air... But then, wouldn't any goddess born from any part of Emi be a little bizarre? And over-engineering the solutions to problems was kind of her thing. If anything... it was proof that Aphia was who she said she was.

Emi's feet curled reflexively as teeth scraped over her heels and pointed fangs poked into her delicate soles. She kicked them lazily, her toes flexing and curling and splaying in the air from the ticklish sensation. It was all fake, anyway.

And the simulation seemed to have stopped here. Teeth and tongue tickling at the bottoms of her feet, making her kick and wiggle... her imaginary captor shifting and moving around, making the stinging acid that was dribbling down the sides of the chamber splash all over her. The stomach bounced a bit, its owner perhaps landing on something soft, and Emi's face got shoved into the puddle at the bottom.

All of the burning from the acid was starting to ruin her calm a little, though. Her feet twitched, remembering old habits. Run. She had to run. Not that there was anywhere she could run to in this nightmare. And she couldn't seem to control her real body.

Okay, yeah, the calm was definitely fading now. A small tongue played across and between her toes, making her feet jerk away from it.

Aphia, please... Deliver me from this... she prayed.

No response from Aphia, just some satisfied humming. From Aphia? Or from her imaginary devourer? The two were starting to blend together in Emi's mind.

"Okay, I think that's enough," Emi said aloud.

"Oh? But, my child... You aren't finished. You shouldn't be in such a hurry!"

Aphia was scolding her, now. That definitely wasn't helping her calm. Whatever peace she'd felt earlier was definitely fading now. Like waking up from a dream. Only, in this case, she was going deeper into the nightmare.

It was like a lucid dream gone wrong - she couldn't move beyond wiggling her feet against her captor's mouth. And, with the acid levels rising, she was finding it difficult to speak, too. All the fear and panic that she'd missed out on earlier was flooding into her system now.

Aphia...? Aphia!!

Her feet were gulped down her captor's throat. Her illusory captor's throat. Or maybe her real captor's throat. What was even real? Emi was starting to lose the thread. Her chest squeezed down - and not just because, with her legs now crammed in with her, Emi's arms were crushed against her chest. And the movements of the too-tight walls were only grinding her arms and legs against her, mashing her head down into her knees. This was way too real for a nightmare.

Small hands - Emi was certain they were the same ones that had touched hers as they were preparing the little makeshift altar - pressed into her skin through the incredibly taut stomach walls that contained her. Pushed her around, turned her with the help of the stomach muscles. The walls were so slick that although Emi couldn't move herself much, with her captor's help, she was being tossed every which way inside the stomach. It was incredibly disorienting. Emi tried to focus on where the acid was dripping down her body to tell which way was up, but increasingly, her skin was just a sparkling mess of pain. Stinging in places, burning in others, aching everywhere.

As her head rose above the surface of the acid again, she called out. "Aphia! Aphia, I need you!"

"Not as much as I need you, though," Aphia said from around her. Not from in front of her this time, but from around her.

It was a sort of acoustics that Emi knew all too well. It wasn't being eaten alive that was the illusion, was it...?

"Wh... What do you mean?" Emi cried. She tried to ignore how much her butt burned, being submerged in the acid like that. Pressure came down on her head, pushing her back down toward the hated stomach juices.

"Well, I can't be all essence and no soul," Aphia said calmly. "I'd fall apart! The best deities have devoured thousands, even millions of souls. You'll be my first... but that's enough to get me started. I can use you to get more. And I know your soul will be compatible..."

Her catgirl "other half", Mei, had made some talk about souls. Specifically, about trying to claim Emi's and make the two of them whole again (a whole Mei, of course). But the idea of being gone permanently - not even having an afterlife - was suddenly terrifyingly real. "Aphia! You promised!" Emi shouted.

"Did I?" Aphia's voice was still cute, but it wasn't soothing anymore. "That doesn't sound like something I would have done. I thought that what I mostly did was lie to you. And I'm so sorry."

"No you're not! You-" Emi's rant was cut off by her head being dunked in the acid again. Her entire body burned - and persistently so, even after being raised out of direct contact with the acid. She was weakening. Aphia's stomach was brutally strong.

Aphia still came through clearly, as the entire stomach vibrated with every word. "Of course I'm not. That was another lie! Hush, now. I'm still new to absorbing souls, and I'll need all my attention..."

Emi's clothes were dissolving way too quickly for Emi's comfort. Not that they'd ever provided much protection. Emi tried to marshal her limbs to help push her out of the tiny foxgirl's stomach, but what they had gained in mobility, they had lost in strength. And Emi suspected that most of their newfound mobility came from slowly melting away.

Aphia wasn't talking anymore. Emi strained her ears, but over the splashing, sloshing acid... all she could hear was burbling body processes, the still-steady thump of a heart, and breath.

What would a goddess need of all those things? Emi thought, despairingly.

It didn't make sense to her. But nothing made sense to her anymore. It was all increasingly topsy-turvy. And consciousness was rapidly threatening to abandon her.

She clung to it for a while, and then gave up and let it go.

===

Aphia curled up on Emi's bed, one of Emi's thick notebooks resting on her massively oversized belly. Were she mortal, her stomach would have burst by now... It was a minor miracle that she'd even gotten all of Emi inside her.

And one that had taken most of Aphia's energy, especially after the comparatively minor exertion of throwing her voice. She looked forward to true divinity, to having more power than this useless little vessel could hold inside itself. To being able to manifest a vessel wherever she wanted, rather than having to carry it around with her.

But she was in no hurry. She would have plenty of time to regain her energy, finish her meal, and be gone long before anyone came looking for Emi. Her ear twitched as she turned the page. It was its own sort of fascinating, catching up with what Emi had done. She felt a kind of kinship with the girl, given the nature of her origins. It was just a pity that she needed the girl's soul to start on her path to goddesshood.

Well... "needed" was a strong word. It helped, at least. And what she knew of Emi from sharing so much of herself with the girl and the hungry girls around her told her that Emi would be an easy target for a predator willing to take advantage.

"BrRRUUAAARP!" Acid-eaten panties that might have once been blue landed on the corner of Emi's bed. Aphia regarded them for a moment, then shut the notebook and extended one short leg to hook the waistband with her toe.

She brought them nearer for a moment. A fascinating curiosity...

But, she'd have a much more permanent memento of Emi. Aphia kicked her leg, sending the underwear across the room. Her belly was already soft and rounded. It wouldn't be long now.

Emi's soul - the first of many, no doubt - was nearly hers.

Aphia closed her eyes, reaching into the spirit realm. She could feel it. Souls didn't have a shape, exactly, nor were they conscious to feel... but Emi's was full of terror and cramped from being held in a space far too small for it.

Waves of warmth from Aphia's core washed over Emi. Like a rock at the beach eroding away into sand, every wave took a little bit more of who Emi was. Her technical skill. Her love for Erin. Her strange and wonderful relationship with Candy. Her humanity. Her name.

When Aphia was done, there was nothing left of Emi anywhere. That machine Aphia had found earlier... There was no point to it now, was there?

She opened her eyes again, leaning her head back. She might have been finished with her metaphysical task, but her stomach's physical task was still nowhere near completed. It would probably be the rest of the night before it was done.

She hummed to herself and opened the notebook again. At least she'd have plenty of entertaining reading material while she processed the body. It might not give her any power, but at least it would keep her little vessel running without needing to expend any more of her precious divine energy...

===

Candy leaned over the arcade machine. As soon as Yummy came back, Candy was going to show her - Candy had beaten every one of her high scores. Every one. From the top to the bottom!

There was a knock on the doorframe. Candy's head jerked up. There was only one person who would be here. Yummy!

... But it wasn't Yummy. A short, pudgy foxgirl with white hair and stubby ears was standing in the doorway. She had a wrapped gift. "Candy, isn't it?" she said, holding the gift up. "This is for you."

"Me?" Candy hopped over, taking the gift and eying the foxgirl with some distrust. "Why'd you get me a present?"

"It's not really from me. It's from Emi!" the foxgirl said. "Enjoy it, okay?"

"Well... okay," Candy said, furrowing her brow and pulling the bow open.

The foxgirl wasn't leaving, for some reason. Maybe she wanted to see what the present was, too.

She lifted the lid... "A skull?" Candy said skeptically. She was pretty sure she had this skull, too. A couple of it. It was Yummy's skull! But why would Yummy give Candy her OWN skull?

The foxgirl wiped her lips. "Mm. I thought you should have it." She turned and left a very confused Candy standing alone in the arcade.

... Well, no sense wondering about that. All the more reason to work on impressing Yummy for next time!