Marco let out an exasperated sigh as he opened up the front door of his home and led a sniffling Star into the living room, absentmindedly kicking the door closed behind him. The lizard-esque teenager flopped down on the couch, hunched over in melancholy as she held her bruised tail against her, her head flush against the armrest in defeat. Marco could only sigh as he gently seated himself next to her, a hand tentatively reaching out for her shoulder. She relented, picking herself up from the armrest and leaning into him, her reptilian side drinking in his body heat greedily. After a seemingly eternal minute only marked by Star's muttering, the girl finally spoke up.
"Why do they all hate me, Marco?" she asked, as she felt Marco silently sigh against her. "What did I do to make them all so angry?"
"Star," Marco began, "they're confused. People tend to be afraid of what they don't understand. They don't know what to think of you. I sure didn't until I started talking to you."
Star curled her tail away from herself and around Marco, latching onto his abdomen. "Then why do they always start jeering and throwing things? How come they don't want to know me?"
"Sometimes people are afraid to take that step, Star. It's only been a couple of days since you started going to school regularly, and none of them have ever seen a girl like you. They need time to see that you're not so different from them."
Before Star could reply, Marco gently dislodged her tail from him and stood up. "Let's not think about it for now, and get you patched up."
Star took Marco's outstretched hand and let herself trail him into the bathroom. Marco motioned for her to have a seat on the rim of the shower as he opened up the sink cabinets and began grabbing various bottles and boxes. She let out a brief giggle as he knocked his head against the top frame of the cabinet and swore.
"You're gonna need all that too at this rate," she quipped. Marco ignored the jab, happy that she was beginning to be more positive. Setting down the supplies in the dry tub, Marco sat by her and took hold of her tail. Star turned her head away as he observed her injury. Marco silently took hold of a cotton swab and dipped a single end into a bottle of rubbing alcohol.
"This is gonna sting a bit, Star," Marco began, before noticing her downward gaze, boring into the linoleum. "Star?"
"Marco, do you really think I'll fit in here?" Star muttered, keeping her gaze locked on the teal tiles below her. "I'm the only person like me in this whole town, and everyone doesn't even want me to be near them, much less talk to them or be friends. Even you're just putting up with me because of my parents. What if they don't just throw things or step on my tail next time? What if they just run me out of town, and leave me by myself? What if I'm just an outsider?"
Marco's chest filled with a mixture of bile and dread that he forced himself to swallow. Taking Star by the chin, he turned her head up gently to look at him.
"Star, I've only known you for a couple of weeks now," Marco began, "but even after you crashed my house and started living here, I've had more fun with you in the last week than I've had in my entire life. You're one of the coolest people I know- always ready to dive into whatever's in front of you, no matter what the odds against you are. I'm the safe kid, the guy who never takes any risks no matter what, and despite that you still managed to make me like you. I know you can be friends with other people in time. I know they'll come around."
"...Do you really think so?" Star finally choked out, tears finding their way back into the corners of her eyes. Marco reached up and tenderly wiped away the moisture.
"Totally. Now, hold still, because this will sting."
Star nodded and stiffened slightly as Marco brought the swab down and softly ran it along one of the cuts in her tail. She hissed at the sensation, before gradually loosening herself as Marco ran his other hand affectionately along the other side of her tail, blushing. Tail holding was something she considered very intimate, and the soft nerves in her tail took in his hands nervously.
"Uhh, Marco..." Star piped up. "I can do this, you know..."
"Just relax, Star. I've got this."
Star's reply was cut off as he moved to another open spot, slightly squirming as the fleeting sensation of pain forced her to focus on his hand. It was embarrassing to have her tail handled like this by her friend, but despite herself, she was enjoying it. His fingers played with the flexible spines on top, as Star could see Marco's face bunched up in concentration, carefully moving the swab around the lacerations in the ridge. She leaned back and did her best to stifle a low moan that escaped her, blushing deeply and letting her eyes slowly close.
Marco put down the red-tipped swab as he observed the results. Nothing looked to be in need of bandaging, with most of the cuts already congealing and scabbing over. "Star?" he piped up, only now noticing her distant state.
"Huh? Oh, y-you're done?" she stammered out, blushing again as Marco's quizzical stare met her eyes. "Cool! Uh, wanna go find something on pay-per-view?"
"Uhh.. okay, I guess?" Marco shrugged back. "You okay? You looked lost in your head or something there."
"What? No! Nothing like that, nothing at all!" she spat out quickly. "Okayseeyouonthecouch!"
Before Marco could respond, Star was out of the bathroom and almost falling down the stairs to the living room. He sighed and began putting up the first aid supplies. Down in the living room, Star heaved a titanic sigh of relief as she flopped on the couch, her tail twitching as she felt phantom tings of Marco's fingers along the length.
'Ok, you're cool,' she thought, 'you're not getting all excited, you're just gonna watch a movie or two with your friend who only had his hands all over your tell and is really good at massaging and is really warm and nice and...'
"...Oh, this is bad," she thought aloud.
Star bolted up from the couch with a shriek and saw Marco standing by the couch, chips and juice in hand. "Can't think of anything you want to see?"
Uh, yeah, yeah that's it!" Star laughed out, cold sweat beginning to form on her forehead. "I'm drawing a blank here."
"I'm sure we'll find something," he replied, sitting down next to her and letting Star feel the body heat bleed off of him.
The next 5 minutes was a test of endurance for Star as she flipped through the listings, trying to ignore her tingling tail and the living radiator next to her as Marco pointed out interesting titles. Finally settling on a crime drama, Star relaxed as she slunk away from Marco, settling against the armrest.
Star turned to see Marco offering her a spot underneath a blanket he had pulled out from under the coffee table. She gulped and nodded, carefully tucking her tail to the right so as not to get near him, and scooted over. Almost flush to him, the heat he gave off was intoxicating, and she let herself fully connect, resting her head on his shoulder. Marco looked over to see Star smiling contentedly.
"Uh, Star?" he asked.
Marco held back a laugh as the girl drew in his own natural temperature, wrapping his arm around her shoulders and pulling her a bit closer. Star gasped, but almost immediately returned to her state of serenity with a satisfying thump against his chest. The two simply enjoyed the other's presence as the film rolled, neither bothering to talk over the television.
"Thanks for today, Marco. I needed some couch time," Star whispered out, her heart beating faster as she realized how much closer she was to him than before. "You're a good friend."
Marco said nothing and simply gave a squeeze back as Star's blushing intensified. Marco turned his head down to see the girl staring up at him with half-lidded eyes and a smirk he did not trust for a single second.
He was abruptly cut off by Star's lips pressing into his. Star's eyes snapped wide open as she realized what she was doing, but before she could pull away, Marco's arms locked around her and she felt him press back. A single, searing second passed between the two, and they both pulled away, panting.
"...Wha jus happened?" Marco slurred out, his face a bright crimson that matched Star's cheeks.
"Sorry Marco, I kinda lost myself," Star lowly replied, her face staring at the floor through her hands covering her blush. "It's just, you've really been the only one I can turn to since I got here. I guess I got attached, huh?" She turned to avoid his eyes and found herself rudely interrupted as Marco took her hand in his.
Marco spoke up after a brief moment of paralysis. "I mean, uh, we do already hang out a lot a-and stuff, so I can see how you feel. And I'd be lying if I said that I disliked that."
Star's eyes shot to his. "So you're not mad or anything?"
"No. If you feel like this, I'm not gonna get mad at you or anything. I can't make you not like me all of a sudden." Marco paused between sentences as he saw Star grinning again. "Star?"
The lizard girl wrapped herself around him again, her tail affectionately snaking its' way across his lap. "Wanna head to the real theater tomorrow niiiight?" she sang out, coyly pulling her arms around him.
"A-A-A date?" Marco stammered out.
"Yup!" she quipped back bluntly.
Marco's mind flooded with hormones and questions to himself for a moment, before his head cleared and he found no reason to refuse. 'It's just Star, right? Not much to really change, I hope.'
"Sure, I guess."
Marco gasped for air as Star's arms and tail squeezed him viciously while an excited squeal shot out from her like a tea kettle. "Oh my gosh this is gonna be so much fun!"
"Yeah, really!" the boy choked out past the three limbs compressing him. Star loosened herself to grab the blanket again and pouted as she saw the film credits rolling. Marco laughed at her expression and got up from the couch to put away the snacks. In the kitchen, Marco felt bullets of sweat burst from his forehead as he opened the pantry.
'Why do I have a bad feeling about this?'