The room she was lead to bore the nature of something forbidden, untouchable and secluded. Kanna felt truthfully somewhat uncomfortable being alone with a man but decided there was no use in being neurotic. This professor was a gentleman, refined and intelligent. Certainly he did not have Adrian's character, his charm, but...
Wait. Was she honestly comparing another man to the giant? Kanna tried her best to remain attentive but truthfully found herself a wee bit distracted.
"You could say that he is...interesting, I suppose." She said when August commented on Adrian's behavior.
"Mmhmm..." Her guide tucked the keys in his pockets and began filing through folders and documents organized neatly in bind around the room. "And what, if I may, brings you to Catharcus?" He found what he was looking for and placed the bundle of hand-written pages atop a polished oak desk. "The original manuscript for Les Chocelles." He said quietly, reverently as he touched their pages with a latex glove, offering her one as well.
She accepted the protective gloves and slipped them onto her hands each in turn but did not go to touch the solid history as of yet. Instead, Kanna made her reply to the professor's inquiry, taking note of the low lighting in the room.
"I am here with a few friends of mine to garner support for the equality of giants and human beings. I have seen first hand the harmony that can exist between both of our races and know that beyond a shadow of a doubt, something must be done."
There was a flicker of hesitance across his face, then it was replaced by exuberance. "What an outstanding task. Challenging, of course, given the political nature of the...situation." He shook his head and met her eyes. "But if I can be of any assistance, please don't hesitate to ask."
"Once the woman spearheading our campaign is freed up, perhaps you might like to speak to her. She's actually a former student of mine. Exceedingly bright woman."
Kanna exclaimed almost like a proud mother yet with enough taste to not seem over the top.
"And...as obnoxious as Adrian can be at times, he believes in the cause as well. He's an honest man."
"I would very much like the opportunity." He smiled courteously, notably not commenting on Adrian. "I'm sure she's a marvelous girl, being educated under your tutelage." He lowered his gaze again to the parchment.
Jude blinked his eyes open. Immediately he was concerned with how long he had slept. He didn't have a watch on him, but judging by the sunlight, it had been a couple hours at least. Pen was, for the moment, still asleep in his arms, her bare skin pressed against his in a radiating warmth. He looked down at her, wanting to remember how it felt to hold her in his arms instead of his hands.
The light chittering of birds at the beginning of evening time and began to mark the end of her time together with Jude at this height. Pen started to come to and her immediate thoughts rested on the child she'd dreamed of before. At present, she could only pray that by some miracle, some stroke of luck Jude had gotten her pregnant today. And if he hadn't, she would scour the world for a way for them to try again.
She stirred in Jude's arms and opened her eyes, pressing her lips gently to his chest
"Hey." He smiled down at her. "..You're a quiet sleeper." Jude rubbed her arm, feeling its slenderness fill his hand. "I thought maybe I just couldn't hear you before..." He trailed off with a sheepish chuckle.
"You're pretty quiet yourself, actually."
She then proceeded to screw up her face
"Adrian on the other hand..."
Pen started giggling profusely
"His snoring could wake an undead army."
"It's not that bad.." He said with hearty chuckle. Jude shifted, turning on his side to face her. With one arm arm at her back, the other cushioned her head and curled around to trailed his fingers through her sun-heated locks.
"I could get used to waking up to a face like this." The tip of his nose brushed against hers. "You're the most beautiful thing I'll ever live to see." He whispered heavily. "..If that's not too cheesy to say." He added with a humorous undertone.
Penelope smiled at Jude when a variety of physical touches came into play. Her hands found purchase at his torso and took the time to explore that, tracing planes of toned muscles whilst she gave his nose a light nuzzle.
"I was thinking that...Maybe I should start looking for size changing spell if you like being human sized. Of course, I will admit that I've gotten really used to sleeping on your chest or snuggled up to your cheek and I pretty much love havin' ya big." She admitted.
"It certainly has its perks." He kissed the tip of her nose and smiled softly as she mapped the terrain of his torso with her hands. "If there's a less painful way to shrink, I'd be grateful for it... You think there might be a spell out there?" His half-lidded gaze became more alert, the gears in his mind whirring to life.
"Even if I have to invent one." She smiled into his chest and kissed him again. "..Though that'll mean some trial and error."
Her hand sought his and circled Jude's bare ring finger.
"Well, you've got yourself a willing test subject." The image of what one day might be a gold band on that finger inevitably crossed Jude's mind. "...There's no chance of me sprouting a tail from these "errors" is there?"
Pen giggled and wore a feisty smile before promptly smacking Jude's admittedly rather nice ass
"No promises, though... I do wonder about how the process will go."
She hummed in thought.
He grinned and moved the arm atop her so his hand was on the small of her back. He felt the little indents in the curve of her pelvis there.
"I trust you." He said, not an ounce of hesitation as he looked into her eyes.
Pen sat up and stretched tall, feeling a few cracks give way to relieved muscles. She dug around for her clothing, rustling leaves and such before she found her underwear. She slipped on her undergarments
"We should do something with the time you have left like this. How about coffee? Then we should probably find you a place to go when this wears off...I'm guessing clothes aren't exactly going to stretch with you?"
She giggled and offered him her hand.
"Coffee sounds great." He accepted her hand and stood up beside her. They gathered their carelessly discarded garments from the leaf-strewn ground. Jude laughed sheepishly, zipping up his pants. "Admittedly... I didn't think that far ahead." He watched her dress, holding his shirt in his hands as he thought aloud. "D'you suppose we could make it up to the room like this?"
As Pen slipped into her blouse, deft fingers effortlessly buttoning the smooth garment up, she pulled her hair back into a loose ponytail, plucking a twig or two out of the mix
"I'll show you how it's done."
She grinned, elated that she'd get to show Jude the ropes of being her size, if only for a little bit.
She pulled her pants on then toed her boots on
"I hope you're good at climbing."
"Everything but shirts." he replied, smirking faintly. After slipping on the shoes he had woke up in that morning, he closed the space between them once again. Fingertips contacted her jaw to tilt her head upward, but she hardly needed guidance. He kissed her quietly, circling the inside her lips with his tongue. All the angst and uncertainty he felt last night seemed nonexistent now.
They started back toward Catharcus, hand in hand.
"You know... I'm going to have to buy some new shoes. That old bat took my boots!"
"Old bat?" Pen inquired inquisitively, head cocked to the side and eyes fixed upon the man as they traversed the shallow stretch of forest they had dashed headlong into several hours previous. The field greeted them with the glow of early evening as the sun began to wane. A gentle breath of wind carried itself across tall blades of grass.
Jude noticed the setting sun with a small amount of disagreement that the day should end so soon.
"Oh! Right, I haven't told you yet." he chewed on his lip. "The method I used to be... like this.. Isn't strictly speaking legal. You see, I was out walking last night, and there was this old woman just standing there..."
He proceeded to explain how she had hardly even seemed surprised to hear he was dating a human; how he had followed her back to that shady warehouse and drunken that awful elixir. For the sake of Penelope's conscience, Jude toned down how painful it had been to be condensed from sixty-eight feet tall to five-foot-ten.
"...so I woke up this height, but I have no clue where my old clothes are now. Serves me right for making an under-the-counter deal, I suppose." He said with a wry smile.
They had reached the outskirts of town by this point. Since the city was new to both of them, they ended up wandering around together in search of a good coffee joint.
Pen made a silent note to look into the potential location of this old woman but her mind wandered with the drifting scent of chocolate and coffee from down the cobblestone street a ways. Pen paused a moment to drink in the scent before grabbing Jude by the arm and practically dragging him down the road.
She stopped before a quaint little cafe that doubled as a bakery and as she thought, it was of German make. A wooden owl sat on the shop sign. Pen led Jude inside.
Cuckoo clocks lined a few of the walls and along with other wooden carvings of gnomes, fairies and all sorts. A round woman with a jolly face greeted them both with an immense smile. Cakes with marzipan sat in the glass display case along with cookies, candies and a whole variety of other delicious confectioneries. Another case played host to a deli, baring German butter cheese, schikenschpeck, and sliced up sausages and liverwurst.
"...How are we gonna choose what to order now?"
Pen was fairly certain she was about to start drooling.
"I haven't the faintest idea." Jude replied. Eyeing the delectable assortment in front of him, he had to hand it to her- she knew how to pick a place. He ordered first. The schikenschpeck looked fresh, so he ventured to try it sandwiched between rye with a leaf of lettuce. As an afterthought, he asked for a strawberry tart. They caught his eye in the display window like candy for a little kid. While she placed her own order, Jude glanced up at the ceiling. He estimated roughly ten feet total. He never would've had a chance to fit in here before, but he was glad he did. Penelope ended up paying, since his own money was back at the inn. Not to mention a tad large for their cash register.
"Let's sit over there." He pointed out a two-seater table in the middle of the window. After wiping away the previous diners' crumbs, they sat down to eat. The sandwich was delicious- the bread moist, the lettice crisp, and the meat salty with a residual tang. He hadn't realized how hungry he was, but it was obvious now. He discovered he wasn't as noisy of a chewer as he previously thought; it seemed much less noticeable now.
Jude leaned back, pausing to admire the change of pace of being able to look across the table and be eye-level with her. Not that he had ever minded their set-up in the slightest. But after a time, one does become curious about these things, and it was nice to experience it. Pen glanced up at Jude, caught mid-bite of her liverwurst sandwich. She smiled and blushed, her eyes fading downward before she kept on eating. After polishing off her sandwich, she started on an and custard danish with a cup of steaming darjeeling tea loaded up with milk and sugar.
"I've got to remember this place. Good God, I love German food."
She wiped the corners of her mouth with a napkin she'd snagged and sipped her tea.
"You looked like you were about ready to eat an entire horse there."
She laughed, raising her eyebrow in a particularly teasing fashion, a smirk claiming her lips
"I also notice your choice in dessert."
"Bugger off." He waved off her smug comment with a mildly embarrassed smile. "Forgot to eat breakfast." He mumbled. Stacking their empty plates in the middle, he next reached for his dessert. "What can I say? You've made me love the damn fruit." He smiled at her, then took a slow, savorful bite out of the sweet tart.
At his indignation, even if only for a moment, the young woman gave a pixie-like giggle. Perhaps that was where her trickster side stemmed from-- the fey blood that flowed through her veins in trace amounts. After finishing up her tea and danish, she stopped and just smiled at Jude across the table.
"You really are incredibly handsome."
Jude was about ready to go- he patted his pocket for his coin-purse to leave a tip, only to recall he didn't have it with him. He raised his head.
"I'm glad you approve." He reached across the table to lay his hand over her smaller one. "...You are going to be seeing a lot of me, if you favor the whole 'till death do we part' thing."
She stood up and took Jude with her after leaving a small but reasonable tip on the table to be collected. Penelope swung their hands between them and glanced at the time.
"You've got about two hours left now, give or take."
There was no wistfulness, no regret, no sadness at losing him in this form for a while. She loved him no matter what.
"Let's get goin'. We've got some climbing to do."
"Damn.." Jude craned his neck. The exterior of giant inn was far more impressive from this angle. He started for the entrance but had to stop short when a family of three exited. He threw a protective arm in front of Pen. Once the coast was clear, he grabbed her hand tightly and smiled at her, eyes alight.
"Run!" He advised, taking off in a sprint to make the door before it closed.
"Welcome to my world!"
Pen laughed, an airy, free sound of pure exuberance. She ran with him, powerful legs lending her the strength to do so.
"Stay against walls."
She advised back.
Once the pair of them had reached the staircase, the fun part came. Pen let out a puff of air and crossed her arms
"Time to climb these babies. You ready?"
She wondered silently if she could use any magic to get them upstairs. Would her spells work on Jude as well? Before she could really think about it, she was floating a bit off the ground with Jude.
Staying by the walls as per her instructions, Jude found himself at the foot of the stairs. as he pondered his own stamina in comparison to the scale and length of the staircase. He was so absorbed in his thoughts, he didn't notice at first that he was hovering.
"Neat trick." He smiled as the ground receded beneath his feet. "After you." He waved a hand toward the stairs, wobbling a bit in midair from the action.
She blushed and fixed her glasses a bit before holding his hand a bit more tightly
"All you've gotta do is walk. Imagine there's solid ground under your feet right now."
Penelope advised before she took a deep breath and started ascending, a half a foot above the stairs, close to the wall. The hovering was taking a little bit of energy but nothing detrimental. He gave her a sheepish smile as he righted himself beside her. He took slow steps at first, expecting to fall through the open air when he looked down. It became much easier when he focused instead on the light-hearted woman beside him.
"I feel like I'm dancing on air." She beamed.
"You practically are." He chuckled. He had never been much of a dancer himself. A series of rumbling footsteps shook the stairs as they neared the steps. Jude yanked her to the wall and shielded her with his own body as a group of teenagers clamored down the stairs, followed by their exhausted mother. Jude smirked despite the craziness behind them, realizing how close they were. He took advantage of their momentary proximity to steal a quick kiss. Once more, Pen savoured the feeling of those same pillowy lips brushing against hers acutely rather than covering entire sections of her body. She loved his lips; they were always fantastic and sweet.
Once the people had passed, they continued climbing through air to the top of the stairs.
"Well," he declared as he gazed down the immense hall of doors. "That was fun. Wait...How are we going to get into the room?"
Penelope pursed her lips and gave things a thought. They were both too small to open the door and she didn't know if either of them could fit through the gap at all.
"We're gonna have to get creative."
He slowed to a half in front of their door. He released her hand to peer under the crack. "Mmph. Can't squeeze underneath..." He leaned way back to look up at the doorknob. "Maybe you could sprout those fairy wings of yours and- no..." He shook his head turning back to her. "I don't even have the key on me. Looks like we're gonna have to wait for Ade to get back."
Penelope tapped her foot a moment before a light-bulb moment occurred
"You might not have a key but I've got something even better."
She chanted a spell and ascended to the doorknob, her hands small enough to fit into the keyhole. After some rustling around, she heard a click.
"On the count of three, I want you to run at the door full force and tackle it!"
She called down to him
"You should be able to open it if I turn the handle!"
She moved forward, thanking got the door and pushed down on it
She called down.
"Are you nuts?" He exclaimed, looking at her like she had lost her marbles. The door was enormous! Still, when she counted to three, he threw himself at the door. It nudged an inch- just wide enough for them to pass. He grunted under the immense weight, his muscles straining. Once she was safely inside, he pushed off with his remaining strength and dove into the sizable crack.
"I have... A renewed admiration for you." He said, catching his breath on his back.
Pen fluttered over toward the gigantic bed and landed on the bed before glancing over to check the time
She called out, her pixie wings evaporating like fading mist.
"You're kidding." Jude wasted no time in scaling the bedspread and jointing Penelope on the giant bed. He sat down beside her, looking at her with an almost desperate desire to hold onto her like this. Ocean eyes grazed her up and down, and he closed his mouth when he couldn't find the words.
Penelope's hand found his cheek, the other his hand, fingers lacing together.
"It's alright." She smiled lovingly, brushing hair away from his forehead before leaning in to kiss his lips in a devoted fashion. "I love you a lot."
Everything about her was soothing. She was like a balm; calming his agitated brain. He immediately felt guilty for ever thinking she would love him less in his natural state after being with him at equal scale. Jude leaned into her every caress. "You're either a fairy or an angel, I swear." He trailed kisses towards her neck and let one hand stray to her lower back, teasing at the curve of her rear. The gratefulness inside him welled up in a shuddering smile. "Right now, in definitely leaning towards the latter."
"I'll be your angel." Pen embraced him and wound her fingers into his short hair. "You're mine already."
A gentle sound escaped him, in between a laugh and a moan. Jude faced her with an adoring expression.
"I love you." He murmured against her skin. Withdrawing, he glanced over his shoulder at the clock. "May as well take this off..." He removed his shirt, balling it up and tossing it next to the substantially larger one thrown across the bed. He laid on his side, looking up at her. "I wish I had a ring for you." He pouted slightly. "I think that's my only regret about this day."
Penelope stepped back and smiled tenderly, awaiting the inevitable change his body.
"There's always next time."
She said optimistically. Sure she would miss closer interactions same size couples had but she'd fallen in love with Jude as a giant first. Regardless of the form he took, she loved him with every part of her.
"...Close your eyes or something." Jude mumbled, shifting on the covers. "I feel weird with you watching me like that." He chuckled self-consciously. Already, he felt cramped in his own skin.
He quickly removed his remaining articles of clothes and closed his eyes as well. It felt more like the bed was getting smaller than he was growing. He was grateful that this time it was not painful in the slightest.
Pen could hear something like the shifting of a body with her eyes closed. She was honestly surprised how quiet growing back to full size was for Jude.
Finally, it seemed to stop. He reached out gingerly for Penelope, his hand sliding against the sheets until his fingertips made contact with her tiny form.
"Now that's familiar."
He smiled softly and opened his eyes. She could feel large, gentle finger graze her body, making her feel tiny but hardly insignificant. She could feel the soft rumble of his voice in her bones. Pen opened her eyes and smiled tenderly up towards the giant on the bed with her.