Leigh awoke Wednesday morning during early daylight absolutely soaked. Seeing that her Love was already awake, looking ill and wheezing, her first words of the day were, “What happened?”
“You don’t remember?” whhhhhrrr
“No. We went to bed, both feeling like shit but at least with nothing in particular in our throats—at least mine. Then I slept and I woke up just now. And I’m not wheezing.”
“True: you’re not” whhhhhrrr, “which is great.” whhhhhrrr “No memory of pulling me against you and slowly kiss-eating my lips as a meal, thankfully without biting me, just barely?” whhhhhrrr
“I did that?!”
“You most certainly did.” whhhhhrrr
“You’re not bullshitting me, are you?”
whhhhhrrr “I swear Leigh, this and everything else I’m about to tell you is the total truth.” whhhhhrrr “I didn’t sleep much last night, so I was awake for the whole thing.” whhhhhrrr
“What all did I do?!”
“You had a very high fever.” whhhhhrrr “Once you were done with the embrace and the kissing,” whhhhhrrr “you kept moving my hands onto your fat parts that you don’t especially appreciate me touching when you’re awake,” whhhhhrrr “such as your upper arm fat and your sloping back rolls.” whhhhhrrr “I couldn’t understand anything you said when you were asleep,” whhhhhrrr “though your emotions were a fairly easy read from your murmur intonations.” whhhhhrrr “During one span when I was all too fully awake,” whhhhhrrr “you kept moving my hand onto your mound.”
“Yes.” whhhhhrrr “When my hand was first on it, you made the most endearing feminine happy peep moan sounds I’ve ever heard.” whhhhhrrr “When I moved my hand away, you made unhappy more groan-like mumbles, until you pulled my hand back over and onto your mound, when the contented sounds returned.” whhhhhrrr “We did this over and over. You don’t remember this?”
“Not even slightly.”
“Wow. I truly thought you were awake,” whhhhhrrr “and not feeling well enough to bother speaking with me.” whhhhhrrr “I think deep inside you must like all-out intimately sexy touch much more than you let on” he grinned and wheezed, then coughed.
For the first time in days, her sudden inner heat was from embarrassment rather than fever.
“I await a cogent explanation as to why other cruise ships have been allowed to dock in U.S. ports for purposes of releasing passengers for repatriation, land-based quarantine, or their homes as individual situations warrant, and we are barred from so doing.”
Current shift First Deck Officer Cristi Crunklebunk subtly bit her lip, staring out the Sapphire Prince’s Bridge windows with eagle eyes, scanning the ocean as the on-duty watch keeper whilst once again this shift’s Second Deck Officer Niles Mayhew navigated at the helm. It was difficult listening to Captain Cranch diplomatically negotiate with inexplicably obstinate U.S. authorities. “Debris field 25 degrees to port.”
“Debris field 25 degrees to port confirmed. Bearing 7 degrees starboard upon consensus.”
“Concur with bearing 7 degrees starboard.”
“May I respectfully and with all due deference humbly suggest that it is time to advance a step up your chain of command if no meaningful answer is forthcoming. At least 10 nations of the world are watching, awaiting news of when their citizens will be allowed to debark and repatriate.… This is already an international incident, Ms. Muellish.… It is appreciated. We need action on this. Thank you.”
Both Deck Officers eagerly awaited their Captain’s report.
“Continue with practice maneuvers until further notice. We might as well get something beneficial out of this mess” he ended with a telling sigh.
“Out with it! Out with it!”
Whack—Leigh slapped Clark’s back along with her verbal coaching, to get him to cough up the phlegm both of them knew was in his wheezy throat.
“Cough it out, Neener! You know you have to.”
There it was, in his own until-now-empty reused noodle cup: a big slimy gooey gray-green-gold glob of pestilent phlegm.
“Doing good, Neener” she praised him, caressing his arm and upper back. “Soon you’ll be feeling better, like me.”
“Can’t be soon enough” whhhhh HLLULKa PPPGGGHT!—out came another glob.
“Got any more?”
whhhhhrrr “Not right now.” whhhhhrrr
“Alright, let’s get you moving and move that nastiness outta there! Ready to March With Honks The Goose?”
“I’d better.” whhhhhrrr
🎼 Honk! t-thh Honk! t-thh HonkHonkHonk Honk! t-thh Honk! t-thh HonkHonkHonk 🎼…
She of course joined him, to motivate him and ensure she stayed on the mend. Very sick and very tired as he was, following the wildly bouncing fat butt, hips, and thighs of his cruise wife absolutely motivated Clark to push through his discomfort and fatigue, and keep marching.
As a reward for doing a fourth march cycle, Leigh let him grab her hips and press into her butt and march together as a unit. Both of them were bottomless, making the intimate marching contact very rewarding indeed!
Within roughly half an hour after the marching, with the aid of lemon-infused chamomile tea that neither of them could smell nor taste, Clark managed to get out several more phlegm blobs of various interesting shapes and coloration specifics.
“Ulllggh. Why does this thing have to come back for a reprise?!” Leigh whined Wednesday evening.
whhhhhrrr “At least you’re not wheezing again.” whhhhhrrr
“Thank goodness for that!” Hack! “Cough’s still around, though. How’s your fever?”
whhhhhrrr “Do I get to take the 5th. Amendment?”
“No” she replied, putting the back of her hand against his forehead. “You feel like you’re on fire, Neen.”
“Yeahhh” he sighed with a wheeze. While bad to have a wheeze at all with this disease, his still wasn’t as intense as hers had gotten.
In a very sweet, affectionate voice she asked, “Anything you need to help you feel better?”
“May I squeeze and caress your belly, please?”
She couldn’t refuse such an earnest request from her love in high discomfort, especially not with the many tears rolling out of his eyes and the slight whine his inner child applied to his tone. “You mean my gelatinous pudge ball?” she flirted.
Affectionate and lusty restful fatsex provided an excellent distraction to both suffering lovers from their immediate ills. Leigh found herself getting so turned on by his ongoing handy hand belly explorations that her diligent digits dove down deep into her mildly plush mound, for direct personal self-stimulation they both found unexpectedly exciting.
Clark awoke Thursday morning the 19th. of March startled to find himself in near-sopping wet bedding. Equally unexpected, cruise wife Leigh looked more bright-eyed happy to see him than ever before that he could recall. “Please tell me I didn’t pee in our bed.”
“No, you were sweating.” She held the back of her hand to his forehead, “Your fever broke. Or, like mine, is now taking mornings off to come back late in the day. How do you feel?”
“Drained. Still can’t smell anything. Wheezing’s gone, at least for now.”
“We’ll do some marching together later, to help ensure it stays that way for both of us.”
“What’s got you grinning so much this morning? Are you part Cheshire Cat?”
“Maaaaybe” she glitter-eye flirted.
“No really Chonk, what’s up?”
“Remember anything about your fever dream?”
“I had one?”
“Ohhhh yes. I made a video of it, even. Wanna see it?”
“You made a video of my fever dream?!”
“Well the part of it that happened out here in the waking real world, yes. You’ll have to tell me if hearing and seeing yourself from my awake perspective triggers any memories of your sleeping experience of it. Come cuddle close over here, so your sweat spot can start drying out.”
Heart racing from trepidation, he settled against/into her, bracing himself for what was to come. “Alright, run it.”
The larger screen and sound system of the built-in infotainment system came to life.
Clark watched himself sleep-caressing Leigh’s distant upper arm using his hand of his arm wrapped around her as he cuddled her. To him it looked like a lying-down version of the way many loving couples stand close next to/into one another when they’re feeling loving and affectionate, especially when there are others around, such as in public places, at meetings, at parties, and so on.
Hearing himself mumble something along the lines of “mur wurfmst Churkr” caught his full attention. “What did I say?”
She paused the video, “That one’s not intelligible. Seems to me you say the same thing, or close to it, several times. The others were clearer. Ready to continue?”
“I didn’t do anything bad, did I?”
“I don’t think so! Quite the opposite. Ready?”
Her ongoing bright grin and super-strong affection continued to rattle him. “Alright.”
Transcript of the video soundtrack:
Hur hrr ur mt my wife Chonky?
(movement of limbs, as if walking)
Huurriii. Haf you met my wife Chonky?
(movement of limbs, as if walking)
Hi. Have you met my wife Chonky? Yesur reruuur mmmnn dssss
Panic burst throughout the being of Clark Barr. In full fight/flight/freeze response (tending towards flight), he wide deer-in-headlights eyes frantically looked about the room as he trembled, more so seeing the happy matrimonial gaze of his love and waking-life-declared cruise wife Leigh.
The panic made him bolt out of bed, narrowly avoiding her too-slow latest attempt to comfortably and amorously pin him down with her fat leg. He frantically ran around in circles as though the stateroom was engulfed in flames with the strongest flames on and around their bed and out in the hallway, seeking a means of escape.
“Clark honey it’s Okaaay! Settle down, please!”
She eased herself out of bed, approaching him with her palms-open hands out, as non-threateningly as she could. “Hey hey hey. Take my hands, and let’s talk about this, please.”
His overwrought unease had yet to dissipate. To him the outstretched arm hand-holding was like a wedding stance at the altar! “Another ceremony?! I already apparently said ‘I Do’!”
“Cruise lovers’ cuddle please, alright?”
He quietly went along with it, still trembling.
“Look me in the eyes, please.”
This simple request took him longer than she expected, truly making her wonder what all was going on in his world. Eventually he managed, still looking devastated though at least now no longer trembling, nor tense nor otherwise acting as though he was about to run off again.
With their eyes locked, hers looking up at his, his looking down at hers, she calmly and slowly explained, “No one can hold anyone to something they said during a fever dream. I don’t understand what your dream means to you, and now I wish that I’d waited to even mention having that video until you were more fully awake and maybe after we’d had our taste-free breakfast. In no way did I intend to upset you! From out here not knowing what’s going on in your interior, I thought it was endearing and adorable. It’s extremely flattering that you would have that kind of dream and your brain would make those words come out of your mouth, even if that’s not at all your waking reality.
“Shall we order breakfast? Maybe put some of our super-soft towels down on the couch and sit there so the bed can air out and dry out?”
“OK, but I can’t wait much beyond bathroom visits, ordering breakfast, and starting tea for me and whatever you’re drinking this morning for you before I explain my internal dream, which all vividly came back to me soon as I heard myself speaking intelligibly.”
“You don’t have to tell me Neener, if you don’t want to.”
“I need to tell you.”
Having not really used the couch much at all so far, it suddenly became their sitting-up secular confessional. With tea and cardboard-tasting pastry in hand, cuddled bottomless hip-to-hip with her, Clark got into his explanation.
“In that dream, of which I truly had no waking, conscious memory until you played that video, we were indeed recently wed—truly dream-real married. So here’s where you’re going to start not liking this, but as you correctly point out, it’s a fever dream, not anyone’s reality. You were twice as fat as you are now—easily. And in my fever dream, you were very contented being and remaining that way.
“The fat wasn’t even the main part. What I felt in the dream and felt all over again as you played the video was the profoundly deep all-encompassing love of every type and every definition of that word in our language that the vast majority of the time I real-world feel being here with you, with our cruise playtime dating and marriage and circumstantial forced living together.”
Deeply touched, she set aside her minimal breakfast plate in preparation for cuddling him deeply. He stuffed the rest of his flavor-free (to him) pastry into his mouth and set aside both his now-empty plate and tea mug towards the same goal.
Cuddled into a familiar yet suddenly very serious embrace, he continued, “In the dream, we were as happy as two lovers have ever been, equally and powerfully proud to be with one another. Earlier in my fever dream when I apparently wasn’t making any real-world noises or motions worth recording, we were together and you were leading us around to meet all friends and family members of importance to you, proud of me and proud of us and our future.
“After that, in the dream we did the same thing, with me taking us around to introduce you to everyone who matters to me. That’s the part you recorded—not all of it which I experienced inside the dream, but it was all that same idea, which is more or less what you did with us with your peeps. Like many if not most dreams, in the dream it was as if everyone was in the same place like at the same party or something, when in reality these people are spread around the U.S. Some of them I haven’t been in touch with for years.” He began to get choked up, tears again streaming out of his eyes, “Some… in the dream… aren’t even… alive any more (sniff). Like my father (sniff).”
The deeply loving gaze between them seemed to transcend time and space.
“So exceedingly proud of having earned the honor of being your husband was I in the dream that my mind even brought back my dead father so that I could introduce you two to each other (sniff). As you captured in your recording, in the dream I always referred to you as Chonky (sniff), rather than Leigh, even though to me Leigh is a beautiful given name!”
Now her eyes were watering, not yet tearing.
“Similarly in the part which remains in my head and could not be real-world recorded, you always referred to me as Neener, not Clark. In all cases, each of our friends and relatives accepted these names as readily as they real-world would our given names. We in my dream did so as well, as if it was the most natural thing in the world.”
He clasped her hands, similar to the way she’d offered them when they’d been standing, “So here’s what I know of what’s going on, that had me all frantic here in our shared waking reality, and still has me somewhat messed up. I love you, Leigh. Real-world love you like that—I know I do. I’ve loved before over the course of my life, as you know at least somewhat from our life story sharing, to the degree we’ve made it through parts of our two long-life stories. This is different. This is more. Waaaay beyond sex, sex appeal, and all that, much as those things matter to me. With every other woman I’ve been with, I’ve felt varying degrees of tension or stress: a need to always be on my toes. The ones I was with longer, not so much, in some cases almost not at all. Almost. Others I’ve been with more briefly including very recent dates with fellow cruisers Beryl and Rebecca have been higher stress. Rewarding to be sure for what they were, in the more limited ways that drew me and each of them together, but at least some background tension nevertheless.” He gave her hands a couple of squeezes, “You are the easiest woman to be with that I’ve yet to experience in my life—easy as in the complete lack of this tension or stress, or so very little compared to all who’ve been in my life before you that it may as well be zero. So far I feel I can totally relax around you and be myself. This was not at all my experience with you at MatCon, nor until we worked through things and got to know each other better and trust each other and I no longer felt the need to be wary and ready to apologize over and over for things I wasn’t aware in the moment were offensive.
“What had me wanting to run away to places that don’t currently exist for me to run to seems to be a combination of factors, some of which remain unclear in my mind through this very moment. The one that is clear is fear: fear of making the wrong choice—the wrong choice for me. We’re igniting the fire of romantic, passionate, caring, bonding, all-encompassing love at a time when our generation was taught that everyone was supposed to already be or at least be transitioning into being sexless grandparents, doddering around minding the grandchildren until we croak. Thankfully that’s not our reality, however for me at least this is likely Last Call for immersive love, especially long-term. Being honest part of me wants to be the playboy I never was earlier in my life, flitting around tasting the amazing variety of fat women and their very different bodies, minds, and spirits. You know well from our pre-cruise past that this wouldn’t be a total first for me, but there haven’t been that many women intimately in my life, hence the reason I hadn’t done anyone other than one night with Alyssa between you at MatCon those years ago and Beryl earlier on this cruise.
“The frantic panic is largely that I don’t know what I want. As mentioned, part of me wants to try the playboy thing, and I did start along that path at the beginning of this cruise. Problem for me is that I found it a lot of work and plenty stressful to make it to the point of intimacy, then a gaping emptiness once it was over, which in both Beryl’s and Rebecca’s cases was more their choice than mine. Though as mentioned, I found it stressful to be on my toes with them, so if things had gone longer, they likely would not have made it as far as the first level of quarantine. Knowing Beryl, I truly don’t know how she’s tolerating the current quarantine level, though she’s positive enough I expect she has her ways. She might or might not have been able to tolerate me in quarantine with her, and I might or might not have been able to handle it. There is no possible way that Rebecca and myself could have been or still be quarantined together, on both our parts.
“With you, it’s all different. We’ve had some moments, but nothing severe. I welcome hearing your reality soon as I unload the small remainder of what’s on my mind. My reality is that I have seriously considered going the polar opposite of playboy: throwing everything in for you, seeking a perpetual bond with you as life partners.”
Now it was Leigh’s turn to be trembling slightly.
“You may not want that at all, and I’m almost done and want to hear whatever you choose to share about anything. At least 3 times since you invited me to move in here together with you, I’ve felt a soul-crushingly strong overpowering sense that I ought to propose to you.”
“That’s pretty much how I responded! I let it go because to me that sort of commitment ought to be a mutual decision, rather than a power play by one party or the other that may put the other party in an awkward position. This is probably better, letting you know this profoundly deep, innermost overpowering feeling in this way, rather than going down on one knee with a ship-purchased engagement ring in a box in my hand. Far more than any ceremony or tradition, I do not at all know whether such a thing would be good for either of us long-term, no matter how we may feel now. By that I mean I don’t know whether when one carefully scrutinizes each of our true natures, whether both of us together are the marrying or living together ongoing as life partners type—whether that’s best for each of us as individuals. And if it is, are we each the other’s optimal partner for such an endeavor?
“All that chaos hitting me all at once a little while ago very soon upon awakening in drenched sheets, still ill with what almost has to be COVID-19 per our symptoms, was more than my brain could handle—especially my primitive brain in the amygdala, where emotions and fight/flight/freeze happen, as I understand it. That is my full understanding to this moment of what-all went down, between my fever dream and now. Soon as I kiss you, my monolog is over.”
The electrifying current of energy flowing through them throughout the extended kiss made it felt like someone had wired them up and plugged them into 120V house power. Or if not that, that the ship was being torn asunder. Despite slight ongoing achiness and light fevers, neither of them coughed.
“Saying Thank You! seems wholly insufficient for all you’ve just shared. Right now I feel like we’re together, holding onto each other as a unit as we tumble through space. There’s a vertigo slow spinning, like a satellite in orbit rotating on an axis: a unified tumble. Not that I’m an expert because I’m not and I haven’t felt anything quite like this before, but to me it feels like literally falling in love: the falling through space version.”
“Sure that’s not the next chapter of COVID-19?”
“I’ve not read of it being a symptom of anything other than love. Have you?”
“I have very little else to say at this time of any urgency or import, other than this: I love you, Clark. Truly and deeply love you, in any and every way of which I know love. It is too soon in my opinion to seriously be talking engagement or marriage. I do want us to be open to seriously considering how we might possibly remain an ongoing very short distance or living-together romantic item past the end of this cruise, to be revisited closer to when that happens, once this new reality in which we find ourselves unfolds further.
“For right now we’re still healing, and while we may be turning the corner and out of the dire woods, we’d best keep our focus on fully healing until we know we’re safe—as safe as anyone is who’s gone through the disease, given that there’s still no official word regarding post-infection immunity, nor how long that may be effective if it exists. How’re you feeling?”
“Worn out, more from all the intense emotions than the virus. You?”
“Filled with gratitude. And love. And about as much flavorless food as I can stand at this time. Up for a shave and shower?”
“Yes. Did my stubble abrade you too much last night?”
“It’s getting there. So are my legs.”
“Is your leg stubble bothering you?”
“Yeah. I like feeling smooth down there, especially when rubbing against you or the bed sheets.”
Shaving together in the bathroom proved to be Clark’s and Leigh’s latest unexpected bonding experience. His needing to hold her belly fully out of the way whilst she shaved the far upper reaches of her thighs proved an especial highlight.
First Deck Officer Ellen Glenn was unsure what to think when she briefly glanced towards Captain Cranch. Her immediate instinct was to jump, seeing a vaguely pistol-like object in his hand pointed at his forehead. Very quickly her brain processed that the object was bright orange plastic, and not especially gun-shaped.
Captain Cranch rotated the IR thermometer in his hand, reading its LCD display. “38 point 5 degrees celsius. Officer Glenn, you are hereby in charge of the ship until further notice. I shall report back via an appropriate means once triaged.”
“We’ll change the bedding ourselves, if your quarantine policies allow that.… We both had massive sweating, and it’ll dry out, but we don’t want to wreck your very nice bed.… Oh really? What happens to them then?… I would like to please be on the list to take or, if the price is fair, buy this one then.… Yes, seriously.… Please do! You might consider working things out with senior management and making this a general offer. I doubt I’m the only one who feels this way.… OK, thanks Emmy! Bye.”
“What was that all about?” Clark asked Leigh at the conclusion of her phone call with Reception.
“They will allow us to change our own bedding under the circumstances, since we’re likely still contagious. They’re dropping off a fresh set in a bag outside the door with a knock as usual for room service and everything else. We put all the old bedding in the bag and leave it outside the door, and they’ll collect it next time one of the stewards passes through our hall.”
“What’s the whole list thing about?” CCCHHH!
“Everyone’s so worried about COVID-19 and all the unknowns of SARS-CoV-2 that once this cruise is over they’re sending the ship to dry dock for a total public interior refresh.”
“They just did one of those on this ship a year or so ago!”
“I know; I read that too when researching the cruise.”
“They can’t afford that! They’re–, this whole pandemic is going to put a huge crimp on recreational public mingling, especially the cruise industry!”
“I don’t know what to tell you, Neener. What matters to me is that Emmy says that they’re gutting the stateroom interiors, or at least anything guests can possibly touch. Meaning that they’re disposing of all these amazing cloud-comfort beds. Being in love with our matrimonial bed–”
“Oh, come on, Neen!” she purred, cuddling into him. “You know you’re as crazy-insane in love with me as I am with you. We’ve had this discussion within the past few hours, you’ve admitted you feel it, I assure you I feel it. But anyway, whether you consider it our matrimonial bed as I do, or our cruise marriage bed, or none of the above but just the nice super-comfy bed in my-now-our stateroom, if they’re getting rid of it and I can nab it for what I consider a fair price, I want it. That’s what the whole list thing and the rest of the end of the conversation was about.”
“You’d be doing them a favor hauling it away on your dime and their schedule, so I’d not rush to offer them money.”
“You wouldn’t happen to have a truck capable of hauling this bed, would you?”
“You’re getting so far ahead of yourself and reality I can’t even believe it. First we have to fully survive the pandemic. Then you have to find out what Royal Prince has in mind for where they’re going to dry dock this beast, and when their crew is taking the bedding out and how that hand-off will work. To answer your question, I can help you arrange for a moving truck for this, if you want help.”
“Yes I want help. Ideally I want things to magically work out such that you’ll be sleeping in it with me back on land, somewhere where we live together, whether legally married or not.”
“What if we break up?”
She moved his hands onto her soft, fat hips, “Then I’m going to renew my gym membership and get back to the gym! But I still want this bed.”
“I take back what I just said.”
He deep-squeezed her hip fat, migrating back to her buns with additional squeezes, “While it’s true your belly does precede you slightly, mostly you go far to the sides of yourself and trail yourself rather than getting ahead of yourself.”
“Be thankful that I’m completely lost to love with you, so pretty much everything you say sounds loving to me. Otherwise I might be ticked for you calling me out for being pear-wide pear-bottom fat. Except maybe not, because your love and your hands and all of you are making me happier being fat than I’ve ever before been in my life.”