Got your attention, didn’t it? GOOD. Now that you’re here:
Humans Are Weird ™
I know. Anyway - I was in the dentist this morning and I had a thought. It isn’t necessarily about teeth. Those of you hopelessly addicted to Dragon Age will recognize that phrase up there in reference to some apparently gorgeous-looking, truly-heinous petit fours. Apparently they’re…I don’t know? Delicious but killing you while you eat them. Pain, but, you know “worth it!”
So there I was, getting my teeth scraped and belt sanded clean and I realized that (along with the oh-so-nice slick feeling of clean teeth) I was really looking forward to my teeth aching all day. I know. Weird. But it’s like when I had braces - I hated the rubber bands, the jerk orthodontist, getting food stuck, and the brackets scraping up the inside of my mouth. What I didn’t hate was when I got adjustments and my teeth would dully ache for days. How messed up is that? It was my own Exquisite Death. A sweet ache.
Doesn’t have to be my brand of weird. Maybe for you it’s muscles. How they ache after a good run, a good workout. You hate it while it’s happening, but afterwards, when there’s that aching tingle of a muscle well-used, it’s pretty glorious.
— — —
“Human-Denton!” The alien’s too-large eyes were wide and unblinking as he looked down on his charge who had yet to get up off the floor. Urrut was supposed to be keeping watch over this human, but he was hard to keep track of - he was constantly moving and hardly ever asleep.
Holding an arm up, Denton let it fall to the ground. Hard. Muscles aching and protesting any sort of movement. “Gimme a minute.”
“Are you in distress? Shall I call a medic? Why did you do all of that - you are…oozing! Is this normal? Shall I call a medic?” Urrut’s sticky feet peeled up from the mat - first one than the other as he shifted uneasily.
“You asked that twice,” Denton gave a wheezing laugh. “I had to see if I could do it. Gotta push yourself, Ur. Gonna hurt like hell tomorrow.”
“I am calling a medic.”
“No, Urrut-” Oh it hurt, but he sat up. Rubbing his arms, he worked the stiffness threatening to set in. “I’m fine. I swear.” Next was his legs, and then he could get up. He wasn’t kidding. It was going to hurt tomorrow, but… “Worth it.”
— — —
Maybe you’re one of those people who gets a bruise and pokes at it “because it makes it heal faster”. Let’s be real. You just like the ache of it. Reminds you that you’re alive, that you can feel, that you did something amazing or stupid or amazingly stupid.
— — —
Shore leave was over, and as the crew made their way back on board, Meera found herself watching two of the human engineers talking and laughing about what they had done with their free time, and then…then they did something odd. One peeled back the shoulder of their jacket, and the other lifted the hem of their top covering to reveal discolorations - bruises.
They were laughing about them. They were proud of them. And - she was sure her face was a mash of confusion and disgust and horror - they were prodding at each others bruises, hurting each other, and laughing about it!
Barbarians the lot of them.
— — —
Maybe it’s food. Oh god, there’s no way you don’t know someone (or aren’t that someone) that eats good that hurts. Too hot. Too spicy. Too…dairy (lactose intolerant people, I feel for you.)
— — —
The lunchroom erupted in laughter as Aimee all but bathed in the water she was pouring into her mouth, down her throat, and all over the front of her clothes. She hopped around, flailing her hands, tears streaming down her face until someone shoved a glass of white, opaque liquid into her hands and she carefully drank it as though it were the most precious nectar.
Taking flight, Zzirxax zoomed across the room, hovering nearby, “What just happened? Is she okay?”
Through laughter and cursing and what Zzirxax came to understand that the humans had done something called a ‘dare’, and that it involved Human-Aimee consuming the hottest pepper from Galmeria-6. When asked why, why would she do that, the reply was predictably human.
“Won, didn’t I?” Mouth open a moment, fanning air towards it with her hand, Aimee took a deep breath and wiped away another tear. “So worth it.”