I'm not sure what it is about showers. Maybe it's the white noise of the spraying water, maybe it's the enforced isolation of standing in a narrow stall, maybe it's the relative lack of visual stimulation. Whatever it is, my brain seems to work better in the shower than anywhere else.
Like this one shower not too long ago. I had stolen a starship, escaped from Earth, exposed a galactic-scale time-travel swindle, and I had met Bolfi. It was about the best outcome that a humble con artist like myself could ever hope to achieve.
Bolfi wasn't human, exactly. Well, technically, he wasn't human at all, but to my unsophisticated eyes he looked like a tall, blonde Adonis with pointed ears and a cute little ridge on his nose that did nothing to ruin his rugged good looks. His race had a sexual encyclopedia, the Pludex Gork, that made the Kama Sutra look like "Sex for Idiots."We had spent two weeks locked in our hotel room going through it in detail.
Did I mention that Bolfi had a frankly amazing level of stamina?
On the morning of the fifteenth day, I yawned and stretched, then came fully awake when my hand bopped his head.
"Morning, lover," said Bolfi, rubbing his eye.
"Sorry about that," I said with a sheepish grin."Not really used to sharing a bed."
He leaned over and kissed me. It was a tender but brief kiss, the kind that people give when they're completely comfortable with each other, but there's halitosis involved. "Not a problem."
I wrinkled my nose. "Ooh. Morning breath, however, is."
"Oops, sorry." He sniffed. "You want the first turn at the shower?"
"I think we're both pretty smelly."
"Okay then, yeah, me first." We hadn't tried every position in the Pludex Gork, of course, not in only two weeks, but it was starting to get repetitive. I was getting bored. There were only so many ways that two humanoid bodies could fit together.
While I was in the shower, it hit me. Why did I have to be limited to two?
I finished, dried off in the instadryer, cleaned my teeth with the instabrusher, ran my hair through the style-o-matic for a nice braid, and walked back out to the bedroom. The hotel's facilities weren't quite as extensive as a transmogrification unit, but they got the job done. "Next!"
Bolfi gave me a kiss on the cheek and dashed in after me.
I lay back on the bed and called up the Illustrated Pludex Gork on the holographic display. There were dozens of positions in there, classified by equipment requirements, level of gravity, and number of participants. I called up the section for two male and one female and started flipping through the options. By the time Bolfi came out of the shower I was starting to get worked up again.
I turned to him and gave him my best lascivious leer. "Bolfi, I have an idea."
He glanced to the display, and back to me, raising one eyebrow. "Why do I suddenly have a bad feeling about this?"
Then the door opened, and Bolfi walked in carrying a tray with breakfast for three. "You should hear her out," said the second Bolfi. "It's a good idea."
The first Bolfi shook his head and blinked.
"What do you say?" I said, waving my hand at the hologram. "Want to give it a try?" The position wasn't anything particularly challenging. It was a full gravity position, a classic double-penetration with the female in between the two males. It seemed like a good choice for starting out.
The second Bolfi shrugged."What can I say? She's a persuasive woman."
The first Bolfi finally managed to speak. "You're not supposed to be here! It's against the rules for us to even exist in the same time. It's way too easy to create paradoxes. Way too easy to damage the timestream."
"You might as well give up," I said, standing up to put my arms around him. "The fact that he's here at all means that I will convince you to do it. Let's just try it out, and if you don't like it, you can just not go back in time and the whole affair will never have happened."
"It doesn't work like that," said the man I decided to call Bolfi One."This is why there are rules about these things! If we create a paradox it could create a completely separate timeline, branch us off into a separate universe. You just don't do that kind of thing."
Bolfi Two just sat and laid out the plates in a small triangle in the center of the bed. He knew he had no part in the conversation. "You know me and rules," I said."We're just using it for a little fun. We're not changing history or anything. What could go wrong? And besides, what's an alternate universe between friends? Would anyone actually notice the change?"
He shook his head. "It's just not done."
"Come on, sit down, have something to eat." I positioned myself in front of one of the plates.
"I brought your favorite," said Bolfi Two. With a sigh, Bolfi One sat crosslegged and took a bite of a pale purple thing that looked like a cross between a muffin and a croissant.
We ate in silence until Bolfi One turned to Bolfi Two and said, "Is it really worth it?"
"Oh, dude," said Bolfi Two. "Completely."
Bolfi One looked over his shoulder at the holographic display, still hanging in midair over the bed. "Tequila," he said. "I'm going to need tequila."