And so we come to the last part of “Lesson Plans” this time on the Tale. Perhaps it is a rambling story, sometimes with a little bit of truth, but there is, always, with one singular truth: one can teach and others can learn. But then the one that learns can also be the teacher. As such, there will always come the need for more …
With all that Tera offers, with all of the moments she gives of herself, there are some things even she cannot do. Every soul has a right to choose what they will do: to make the decision to turn left or right; to pick Jello or RediWhip, latex or leather, tea or cocoa. Some of the choices don’t seem all that important at the moment they happen, but some are clearly very much so. The choice to accept Tera’s love is one. To understand that she will be there always is another. To know that she will support your choices is yet another.
The fourth is somewhat more circumstantial. It is the choice itself.
Adelle was looking into her mug, trying to read the tea leaves. That in itself was a problem as she wasn’t drinking tea. In truth, she was stalling for time, hoping that Tera might have to go somewhere, be with someone else.
Tera wasn’t leaving.
She remained there, waiting patiently for Adelle. She didn’t look at the time, didn’t at any point divert her attention to someone else in the Realm passing by. That’s not to say Tera wasn’t polite, as she was, when someone called out her name in passing.
Adelle listened to Tera, a bit perplexed at how she could be so open, so giving, so able to do so.
Tera’s soft voice shook Adelle from her thoughts and she looked into Tera’s so-green eyes.
“Is that the problem, Adelle?”
Adelle shrugged, knowing that Tera had heard her thoughts: “I … just don’t get it.”
Tera cupped a hand over Adelle’s own as it held onto the mug: “You aren’t me, and I’m not you.”
The words pulled at another memory, one from not so long ago.
The book that Tera had gifted her with was amazing. Adelle understood that, being one of the succubi, she could do quite a lot of magic, though much of it was based on sexual need, fantasies, desires, and so on. Learning that magic wasn’t too bad, even if she needed a lot of extra tutoring. Tera gave her lots and lots of that. Still, the thing that Adelle wanted was to do more, to be more. Having learned that there wasn’t a sorceress in the Realm, certainly not one that was one of the succubi, drove her. That drive meant, on several occasions, the Realm Fire Department were called out to put out various fires and other things which shall remain nameless but are the things of gossip and legend in some of the more naughty parts of the Realm.
Adelle was painting over the wall which had been scorched in her last magic attempt, her hair a mess, her clothes, jeans, and a white tank top covered in blue paint.
Painting was not her strong suit.
She was in the midst of wiping her cheek with the back of her hand, leaving a smear of blue there, when there was a knock at her door. Putting the brush down, she opened the door, assuming it was either a hunky firefighter or a cute sexy one coming to ‘check on her,’ as they were want to do. “Everything’s fine! I …”
She instead found Tera standing there, a warm smile playing on her lips: “… was attacked by a can of blue paint?”
Adelle sighed: “Hi, Tera … Come on in.”
Tera looked around as she did so, noting the organized mess that things were at the moment: “Been busy, I see.”
Adelle nodded, walking back into the room where she had been painting. She didn’t mind that Tera was visiting, she cared more that the place was a mess. Her Queen didn’t like messes.
The red-tail asked: “How are you doing with your magic?”
Adelle blushed, looking away: “I’m … making progress.”
She put her hands together and then opened them revealing that she held a black rubber ball. Holding it in her hands, she shrugged: “Getting somewhere.”
Tera smiled as she displayed her right hand and a red rubber ball appeared there.
The questioning look from the black-tail was met with Her Majesty’s reply: “You aren’t me, and I’m not you.”
Adelle didn’t know what to say, so Tera continued: “Magic is very specific to each of us. It lives within us in its own ways. Yours is black. Mind is red. I can do things you can’t and you can do things I cannot.”
The bluenette snorted at that: “Sure.”
Her mentor tilted her head to the left: “Have I ever not told you the truth?”
Tossing the black ball to Tera, Adelle walked around the room. As she did so, she noted the various things there, some magical, some sexual, some both and neither. She also noted the occasional white mark here and there in the room where things hadn’t quite gone so well. The memory of one particular spell that was clearly out of her league came when she looked at the wall she had been painting before Tera arrived, it needing to be patched up in the wake of the explosion that happened. “No. But you have been upset with me.”
Tera closed the gap between them: “What makes you think that?”
Adelle didn’t exactly look at her idol: “Oh, the look you have sometimes, the expression of frustration. It’s hard to miss, Tera.”
“I have that look because you have one real problem. You have so little confidence in what you can do that you are sabotaging yourself.”
Tera then started ticking off points on her fingers: “Picking spells you aren’t prepared for. Biggest problem you have. There’s a reason why the book starts with easy things and moves to harder ones.” Adelle’s expression was neutral, but she still wasn’t looking at Tera as she continued: “You didn’t start out teleporting from here to Earth or creating those amazing corsets of yours out of thin air. You started out by learning about being one of us, then who you are, then what you could do, one thing at a time.”
“… in a rush. Yes, I know.”
Adelle looked straight at Tera now: “No, Tera, I’m not in a rush. I …”
And then the truth came to Adelle … the one single truth that she needed to admit: “I … just want to make you proud of me.”
The teacher reached out and tucked some of her student’s blue hair back into place: “I’m always proud of you. You’ve never disappointed me.”
Adelle wondered why Tera was so fixated on her hair being perfect when Tera’s own was always so messy and wild.
The Queen had that bemused smile of hers: “You aren’t me, and I’m not you.”
“You keep saying that.”
“It’s something you need to understand. It took me a long time to figure that out myself, for my own reasons.”
The red-tail placed the two rubber balls into the black-tail’s hands: “Be yourself, sweetheart. That’s the only thing that I’ve ever wanted. You can make as many messes as you want to. That’s the point.”
Adelle looked at the balls: “You aren’t me, and I’m not you.”
Tera smiled: “Exactly.”
“Okay, I’ll try.”
Teacher kissed student’s cheek: “All I can ask for.”
Student burst out laughing when she saw that teacher’s lips had been turned blue by the paint.
Touching her lips and seeing the paint on her fingers, Tera giggled: “At least it’s not my tail.”
Adelle wondered about that: “Oh? What happens?”
Tera’s answer was nebulous: “Try and see. But remember: you aren’t me, and I’m not you.”
Later that day, Adelle had found some rouge body paint and a brush. Her screams of self-pleasure could be heard from one side of the Realm to the other. Succubi tails are, after all, quite sensitive things.
The red seeped into her mind, her thoughts changing, shifting. In a moment of clarity, she understood why Tera’s tail was the fiery red it was. It was the red of love—fiery, passionate love; love without concern or hesitation; a complete and total giving of herself.
That realization was shattering to Adelle. It haunted her, deeply so.
Her thoughts returned to the present as she admitted something to Tera: “I … painted my tail.”
Tera arched an eyebrow: “Oh? Any particular colour?”
“Um … Red.”
Her Majesty had a knowing smile now: “Learn anything?”
The novice succubi smiled: “You aren’t me, and I’m not you.”
“That’s true. But I’ll let you in one a secret.”
Adelle perked up, looking at Tera intently: “Yes?”
“Red and Black are one in the same.”
Adelle nodded as she placed a rubber ball on the table: “Yes. They are.”
The ball was both black and red.
Lesson Four: The path to enlightenment is specific to every soul. No two paths are the same.
The path you take is the one you choose.
Tera can offer you love, hope, and understanding, but she cannot lead you there. The choice is, always, your own.
For Adelle, the path led to magic. Tera and the Realm opened the door, but this fiery, passionate, black-tailed succubi would be the one to make it her own.