Game, Set, Matched

A birthday short story for Breastmilk Gaming

	The sun beat down on a warm spring day. The light bounced off of the metallic cars of the parking lot and right into Barry’s eyes. He huffed, squinting as he hurried through the parking lot. He didn’t have time to go back to his car and get his sunglasses, he was already running late now. He dashed across the parking lot, getting honked at as he continued hurrying. He strutted down a path, rushing past trees and the science building on campus. The gym came into view and Barry stepped inside, struggling to keep himself from jogging. The noises of a crowd’s excitement echoed down the glistening, well cleaned hallway. The door to the gym was still open, inviting Barry inside.
	The overhead lights brightly illuminated two teams, one in red, Barry’s college’s colors and the other in green. The volleyball net was set up with six people on each team stretching and warming up. Barry quickly made for the bleachers, sitting on the second row behind the college’s team. Not a lot of people had come to watch, a lot of them were younger men who came to oogle the jersey and tight fitting shorts wearing monster girls. Most of the girls were quite large, six feet at least except for the small, four foot nine kobold who was somehow the team captain. 
	Barry was interested in one thing only; not the hellhound whose eye fires burned brightly, not the amazonian with her stoney expression, it was the tallest girl on campus. Eight feet of pure muscle with tree trunk legs and arms that looked like they could rip a van in half. She was a chimera, an amalgamation of three monsters. Starting from the top of her head she had large minotaur horns and cute cow-like ears on the sides of her head that twitched as she focused on her opponents. Her hair was a deep crimson with highlights of cream and was cut in a short bob cut to keep it out of the way. A fluffy mane of cream and brown fur adorned her neck. Her breasts were large and obviously bound underneath her tight fitting jersey. Her muscular arms from the elbow down were covered with fur, the colors started as a deep crimson and turned to a dark brown toward the fingertips. Her powerful lion-like legs were the same, crimson to dark brown. On her back, bound with a few long lengths of rope were two brown wings that were small for her height but still had a massive wingspan and cream colored feathers dotted within. They were bound as extra appendages were not allowed in this volleyball league.
	Her name was Zephyr and Barry was, admittedly, wholly infatuated with her. Unlike most girls on the team, eleven girls total, she was much too intimidating for many of the men on campus to oogle over. The way she sneered and glowered at most men was enough to keep any possible suitor away. But not Barry, he had always admired her from afar. Far enough away to keep her from dishing out her ire and growls. The closest he ever got was when he watched the team play sports. He was pretty close to her now, she was in the front left of her team, close to the net. Barry was on the second row of the bleachers, behind where the coach and the rest of the team sat. 
	He folded his arms, leaning back and smirking. He wished he had more time before the game to buy a hot dog and a soda, but the game was starting as made obvious by the away team serving. Zephyr stood ready, her arms held up as her teammate launched the ball into the air, another set up for her, smacking it high. The chimera grit her sharp teeth and jumped up with her powerful legs, spiking the ball down, over the head of one of her opponents. Another dove for it, barely managing to get the ball into the air where another could send it back up and then a third spiked it over. Zephyr set it up this time, letting the kobold hit it after her then letting their jinko team mate spike it at a strange angle, scoring a point for her team as it bounced off the ground.
	Barry clapped with a little smile on his face as the crowd burst in applause and shouted at the scored point. It was always a joy to watch his college’s volleyball team play. Especially because of how the team captain and the coach would yell at one another. 
	“YOU’RE DOING GOOD, GIRLS!” The coach screamed.
	“THANKS, MOM!” The captain hollered back, her tail furiously wagging.
	The serve came again from the home team, knocking it over the net to the away team. They hit the ball up and a big hellhound spiked it back over. The mantis in the back row dove, hitting the ball wrong and making it fly high and wildly off to the left side and out of bounds. Zephyr growled and leapt for the ball, managing to hit the ball back to her team as she realized she was diving into the crowd. Her benched teammates yelped and got out of the way.
	Barry sat still, completely awestruck as the chimera so gracefully won the point for her team. It was only as her massive form got closer and closer did he realize she was on a collision course with him. By then it was too late to move.

	“Ugh…” Barry grumbled as he was roused from his unconsciousness. His body ached and his vision was blurry. A light overhead blinded him as he stirred. Two big hands quickly pressed him back onto his soft bed as he tried to sit up.
	“He’s awake,” The woman called.
	Barry rubbed his eyes as the hands were removed and another person walked into the room, “So he his,” He grumbled, “How are you feeling?”
	“Tired…” Barry groaned, his vision was slowly returning.
	“That’s normal. We had to use your own mana to help you recuperate quickly. You didn’t have much so you are obviously going to feel drained. Some broken bones, a concussion, a few internal injuries. If Zephyr here hadn’t caught herself as much as she did, she might have completely crushed you.”
	Barry grunted and rubbed his eyes, looking right at the doctor as he finally adjusted to the overhead light, “Zephyr…? Right, I remember,” He slowly sat up, helped by the doctor and the woman from earlier. He turned to see who it was, freezing as he gazed upon a massive and powerful woman. Zephyr was there, sitting at his bedside. She turned away from Barry as he stared with nothing but embarrassment on her face.
	“What’s your name?” The doctor asked.
	“Uh, Barry,” He replied, struggling to wrench his awe filled gaze from the minotaur-griffin-manticore chimera. 
	“Well, Barry. Your body was put through a grand amount of strain from the injury and our student’s healing. I must advise you, if you take a hit like that again any time soon, I doubt we will be able to bring you back from the brink,” The doctor explained, “A bad car crash, a big skateboard accident, getting leapt upon by a larger mamano…” He eyed Zephyr who was still looking away from the two, “Do you both understand?”
	“Uh, yeah,” Barry felt his heart fall down into his stomach.
	“I understand,” Zephyr nodded, finally sitting up and looking confident. The beauty and power had returned to her, at least in Barry’s eyes. She was still in her volleyball uniform but she had reached behind herself and removed the binds with her powerful paw-like hands. Upon hearing those words, the doctor nodded and left. Zephyr’s wings stretched out, nearly bumping both ends of the small infirmary room, “I am sorry, Barry,” Zephyr began.
	Just hearing his name on her lips made Barry’s heart flutter. It also made him realize he must have absolutely nothing going on if THIS is the most excited he had been all week. Maybe even that whole month. Barry blinked, realizing his brain had been wandering again. He cleared his throat, “Don’t worry about it.”
	“As the doctor said, your life is now at risk because of my… mistake,” The stoic chimera wrung her hands, “I… will get right to the chase. Ceasing of the beating around the bush…” She sighed, “I would like to protect you. If something else were to–”
	“I accept,” Barry blurted out before she could finish her sentence.
	She stared at him with wide cat eyes. Her spiked, mace-like manticore tail swung from one side of the room to the other, “Truely?” She smelled the air, “I smell no fear on you. You may be the first on campus to express this in my presence,” She smiled with relief, “I am glad you have accepted. The guilt would be unbearable had you refused.”
	“Yeah, we can’t have that, huh?” Barry chuckled nervously, mentally kicking himself for being so gung-ho about this, worried he would scare her off. Like she had said, most guys were nervous around her. But would his acceptance of her scare her off or push her away?
	Zephyr ran her fingers through her hair and sighed with relief, “Well, I am glad that is settled. I must go speak to the doctor and make sure you are clear to leave. One moment.”
	“Hey, how long was I in here?” Barry asked as the chimera turned to go.
	“Overnight. It is Monday at nine-forty-five in the morning. Do you have classes today?”
	“Yup. At ten.”
	“I see. Like I said, I must confirm with the doctor that you can leave,” Zephyr stepped from the small room. Barry grunted and managed to rouse himself from the bed, sitting on the edge and then stepping onto the cold, tiled floor and putting his shoes on. He put his hand on the wall for support, making his way out of the room and into the lobby of the campus infirmary. Zephyr towered over the head doctor and a nearby chirurgeon– a wizard or witch who focused on the healing aspect of necromancy magic. The chimera placed a little bag of coins on the counter, “Is he cleared to leave?” She asked.
	The head doctor looked over some notes, “He can leave when he feels ready to. It would be wise to not rush him.”
	“Is there any way to speed up his recovery?”
	The chirurgeon nodded, “Keeping him in close proximity will feed your own aether into him to regenerate his mana.”
	“Close proximity…” Zephyr repeated, letting the words hang in the air. She turned as she heard shuffling from behind, Barry was slowly making his way to the desk, still trying to get his tired legs to wake up, “Barry, are you feeling well enough to leave?”
	He nodded, not having heard the conversation she had had with the doctors due to how enamored he was with her cute butt in tight shorts, “Yup.”
	“Here,” The chirurgeon waved his staff, casting a fine, mint smelling mist over the two, cleaning them off and making them both smell fresh, “The two of you should be fresh and cleaned up for your classes now.”
	“Thank you very much,” Zephyr nodded, “Shall we, Barry?”
	“Hm? Oh, right,” Barry shook himself and followed Zephyr out of the building, who quickly fell in step with him as the two walked down a concrete path. The morning sunshine cast long shadows across the ground and trees, “So, you sat by my bedside all night? Why?”
	“I felt responsible, of course. The doctor said you were not doing well when I brought you in, so I felt the need to stay,” Zephyr explained with a stony faced expression. A small group of smaller monster girls got off the path to let Barry and Zephyr by.
	The man folded his arms, “Not a lot of girls would do that for me. I’m surprised you didn’t just drop me off and leave. You’re still in your volleyball uniform. You didn’t even take the time to get out of that.”
	“Why do you think others would not do what I have?”
“Well…” He scratched his head embarrassedly, “I’ve never really been a hot commodity.”
Zephyr nodded, “I have felt that way before. Men and mamano are both too intimidated by my size and strength to approach me in most situations. Not to mention human women being afraid of my imposing stature. The only ones I really connect with are my sports teams because I am good at what I do.”
“I was never any good at sports…” Barry grumbled. He glanced up at the chimera who was peering down at him, “Well, I don’t think you’re that scary.”
	“Oh?”
	“I haven’t heard of a single instance of you attacking someone. No rumors of you throwing a cheshire off a balcony or anything. Stuff like that spreads like wildfire on campus. I swear I’ve heard nasty rumors about most other monster girls around here. It doesn’t sound like anyone has any beef with you,” Barry explained, seeming entirely confident to Zephyr.
	“I see. I suppose I have kept my head down… Where is your class? We have been wandering in circles, Barry. It is not wise to be tardy.”
	“Ah, right, this way,” Barry blushed, realizing how much he was enjoying just basking in her presence. Zephyr had to crouch a bit as she passed through the entrance to the math building. Barry only took ten steps before Zephyr grabbed his arm and pulled him to the side, putting herself between him and a salamander that leered at her. She leered back waiting for her to leave the building before releasing Barry.
	“That harlot,” She hissed to herself, “Barry?” She could hear the boy’s heart pounding in his chest and see the redness on his face surrounding his wide eyes, “...Barry?” She repeated.
	“Hm? Huh? Oh, uh,” Barry was still thinking about the feeling of her massive hand gripping his entire forearm, “My class is just over here.”
	Zephyr nodded, quickly shepherding him into his class, “I shall reconvene with you after class.”
	Barry gave her a thumbs up, “Alright, see you then. Should we meet–”
	“We will meet here. I will be here when the class is over,” She waited until the classroom door was shut by the professor before leaving.
	
	Barry had hardly taken two steps out of his class room before a big hand grabbed his wrist and pulled him to the side. Zephyr swiftly looked him over, “Are you well?”
	“I’m fine, Zephyr,” Barry replied with a little chuckle as she gripped one of his shoulders, “It’s not like we had full contact in math class.”
	“Ah, yes,” She blushed, feeling quite foolish as some passersby snickered at them.
	“Look at the new love birds,” One whispered to the other.
	Zephyr blinked as she looked down the hallway after them, “Love… birds?” She echoed to herself before looking down at the red faced man in front of her.
	“Huh?”
	“Nothing,” The chimera folded her arms and stared down at him, “Where is your next class?”
	“Oh,” Barry scratched his head, “I just had that one class today,” He lied, knowing he could miss the next one.
	He heard a noise come from deep within Zephyr’s chest and her tail swished from side to side. The noise was almost like a purr combined with a growl. Due to how stoic her expression still was, Barry was unsure if she was pleased or not. She nodded, “Very well. Perhaps we should go on a walk?”
	“Oh, sure. I’m down for that,” Barry smiled, eagerly following the chimera out into the sunshine. He squinted as he marched across campus with her, feeling a sense of relief as the woman used her large wing to shade him from the harsh spring sunlight, “Thank you,” Looking around, Barry saw that the two of them were getting looks from most everyone on campus that spotted them. Looks of bewilderment or disbelief were tossed their way. Barry felt embarrassed, but still happy to be around Zephyr who seemed to simply ignore them.
	“We are here,” The chimera announced.
	Barry looked up, noticing they were at the mamano dorms, single occupant rooms and each one was soundproofed, “H-here?”
“I must give you your prescription now.”
	“M-my what?” Barry suddenly felt very small under the imposing eight foot tall woman. She had gotten changed into a loose tank top, a hoodie and a pair of daisy dukes. 
She folded her arms and her expression turned stern, “Your medicine. It is as the doctor said I should. Come with me. Now.”
	Barry trembled. This was it. He knew what was about to happen. He was powerless to stop her even if she tried it now, “O-okay…” Barry felt like he was marching to his doom. But in a way, he was looking forward to it. He followed her up the stairs, down the hallway and stared with his heart pounding as she fumbled with her keys in her big paws. The thought of running for it crossed Barry’s mind, but her manticore third would just get more excited, probably. 
	The loud THUNK alerted him to the fact that it was unlocked. Zephyr pushed the door open, “In,” She commanded. Barry nodded and scooted into the room, almost trembling with fear. The room was spartan in its furnishing. An armchair with a foot rest, a cabinet, a small closet, and a desk with a chair. The last thing was a bed that seemed almost too small for the chimera. Her hand gripped the man’s shoulder, it was gentle, she was careful not to squeeze him too hard. Zephyr guided him to the bed before climbing in and reaching her hands out to the man. Her wings unfolded invitingly, gently moving as she took his hand and pulled him close. Barry got on the bed where he was flipped over, his back to the chimera as one of her big hands pressed against his chest and held him as the small spoon as her wings also enveloped him in a hug, “Why are you so nervous?” Zephyr whispered as her tail coiled around one of Barry’s legs.
	“Y-you’re going to have your way with me, right? I-I’m nervous about sex…” He whimpered.
	A gust of air from Zephyr’s nose rustled the man’s hair, “Sex? That was not my intention…” She chuckled, shifting herself and patting the man’s head, “The doctor said to keep you close to help recharge your mana. And… do not think I do not notice you coming to all my sport events. You watch me intently every time. Do you just like my uniform?”
	“W-well… I love your volleyball uniform…” Barry admitted. His face was and his heart was still pounding, “But you’re a joy just to see.”
	“Because I am good at sports?” She held him tightly, but not too tightly that she might hurt him.
	“You–” He took a deep breath. He knew this was the time as he snuggled close to her, “You are the most beautiful creature on God's green earth to me.”
	Zephyr purr-growled again, the claws on her hand coming out of her big paw for a moment, “You should not tell me that while you are at risk of death if I man handle you too hard,” She purred, “But thank you, handsome,” She kissed his scalp, “Shall we watch a movie while you recover?” She asked, reaching for the tablet on her nightstand.
	“I’d like that,” Barry smiled, resting his head on her arm. It was the warmest he had ever felt.

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