I find it interesting that as I was working on this and N21, I had Supertramp playing in the background, singing “Take the Long Way Home” :-)
Rather fitting for N21.
That night, Fredrik had a dream. In it, he had grown up with Paula, and when they went into hiding from Willem, it was as husband and wife, and they had three girls. Ronda, Rhoda, and Regina. He awoke, and realized that he wasn’t alone. He ordered the lights on and Paula was sitting in a chair in his room.
She was wearing some diaphanous lingerie that left little to the imagination, and her face was immaculately made up, but she seemed indecisive.
He was wearing just his boxers and a plain t-shirt, but he got up anyway, and sat down in the chair beside hers at a round table. “I suppose this is a ridiculous question, but were you hoping to do something?”
She did, but she looked at the very short time she’d been a woman, and she wasn’t sure why she felt the way she did. Certainly, she and Fred had been friends for many years. Approximately fifteen hundred, to be precise, but they were only friends. Not lovers! How could their friendship go from simply friends to lovers in a single day? Okay, the real question… How could she become a woman in about a minute?
She looked into his face, and she thought she saw tears in his eyes. She was certain that she had some in hers.
“This is some situation, isn’t it?” he asked her.
“I don’t understand it, Fred. How can I be in love with you in less than a day?”
He smiled. “I think I’m in love with you too.”
“Yes, but then again, I’ve loved you for a long time.”
Her mouth dropped open a bit as she tried to digest that bit of information.
“It’s true, Paula. I’ve been enamored with you for a long time.”
“You’re gay?” her voice broke at the thought that now that she was a woman, he wouldn’t – couldn’t love her the way she loved him.
“No, Paula,” he said as he reached out and took her hand. “I’m bisexual.”
She scanned his face, looking for some sign that he might be telling an untruth, but she saw nothing to indicate that.
“So would I be enough for you?”
“I don’t know what happened, Paula, but I am even more enamored with you now.”
She leaned over and kissed him, then he took her hand and took her to the bed. They made love two times,, and started an even more sensuous third, but something strange happened. In the middle of the orgasm, both of them switched sexes. They both fell asleep and Fred had another dream, but this time Paul had married Frieda, and she had had three daughters.
The next morning, Rhoda and Reg went to Paula’s room, desperate to find out what had happened to them. Both of them were now men. They too had made love the night before, and on the third time, they had switched. How this happened, they didn’t know, but they were still very much in love.
When they didn’t find anyone there, they went to Fred’s room as they had seen the very obvious attraction between the two the day before. They knocked on the door and Rhoda was shocked to hear her dad’s voice say, “Come in.”
They entered and they saw two couples. Her dad, and an ash blonde woman who looked remarkably like…. Fred! Also, there was Sylvia Hurst and again, an unfamiliar woman, but they quickly realized it was Jack!
“I see it happened to you too,” Paul said to them.
“Dad,” Rhoda began.
“Please. Call me Mom. I’m not sure how it happened, but I don’t want to think about being a man. This is disgusting to me.”
“Yes, Mom. Both Regina and I hate being men, but we still love each other.”
“You hate being a man now, Reg?” Jack asked.
“I’m not sure why, Doctor, but I want so very much to change back to a woman.”
“This is so strange,” Paula said, quietly, then she asked them “Did you change while making love?”
“Yes, we did,” answered Reg.
“We did too,” Fred told them. “I’m bisexual, but I’m completely nauseated by being a woman. I’m wanting very much to make love with Paula, however..”
“Sylvia, do you like being a woman?”
“Not a bit,” she said, “which is strange. Before, I always wanted to turn Jack on by being a sexy woman. I am not opposed to wearing women’s clothes, however. I don’t want to be a woman, but I don’t mind looking like one.”
“But you don’t want to be one.” Paula ruminated.
“I know it sounds strange,” Sylvia acknowledged, “but I really don’t.”
“So this just changed?” Fred wanted to make sure.
“Yes. Once I became a man, I didn’t want to go back to being a woman.” She glanced at Jack, and said, “As long as Jack’s okay with it, that’s all that matters.”
Fredrik wasn’t sure what was going on. It seemed like nothing made sense. He had known that Paul was a heterosexual man, and yet last night, they had spent the better part of the night with each other. Reg was also a heterosexual man, and now, he was a homosexual woman. Well, at the moment, he was a homosexual man, but last night, he was a… It was all so confusing.
His own situation was a bit more normal as was Jack’s and Rhoda’s. He and Jack were both bisexual, and Rhoda only liked women.
Later in Paula's office, both Paula and Fred sat discussing the problem. It wasn't easy. There was something weird happening, but damned if they could figure it out.
"I'm trying to piece this together. We've got two bisexual men, a homosexual woman, two straight men, and a straight woman. What's the connection," Fred said to Paula.
Paula pondered. "Perhaps you're looking at it wrong," she commented. "If we looked at it after the fear, it looks different. We then have, two homosexual women, three bisexual men, and a straight woman."
"Okay, I can see that," Fred agreed. "It still doesn't get us any closer to the solution."
"Well, I agree; but I think that when we look at this problem, we have to consider both scenarios, don't you think?"
"Yeah," Freeman said. "I think you're right."
Paula changed the subject. "How are you doing as a woman?" she asked him.
"Well, I hate the longer hair. I hate the breasts. I hate having to sit down to take a leak. I hate being short. Do you want me to continue?"
"No, that's alright. I think I got it. I hate being a guy too."
"You see, that's something I just don't understand. You were straight. How come you now hate being a male?"
She shook her head. "I really don't know, but I'm assuming I know who's responsible for all this."
He gave a disgruntled laugh. "Yeah, my degenerate brother."
Rather than say anything else, she just nodded. “Do you think looking at his character would help?” she asked.
“What character,” he countered.
It was her turn to give a small chuckle. “Willem had character,” she said. “It was just very poor.”
“That’s one way to put it.” Unconsciously, he brushed his long hair behind his ear where it had fallen into his immaculately made up face. Once he had done it, he let out a sigh and shook his head. “I really hate this,” he complained. “I keep doing things that all women do. I’m sitting the way a woman does. I’m walking like one. What’s the deal?”
“Remember the boys that Willem abducted and made into his harem? They were forced to act like sexy girls. I believe this is simply an offshoot of that.”
Fred looked at Paula for a long moment. “That’s a really depressing thought, you know?”
“Yeah, it it.”
“The bad thing, Paula, is I think you’re right.” He gazed at her, or at the current moment, his face, taking in every line, the dimples, the hair. Everything he loved as a woman. But he wasn’t a woman. He hated being one. He wanted to go back to being himself. These feelings he had were being forced into him, and he knew that the feelings Paula had were forced into her. “So that little asshole makes us into a couple, then reverses our sexes where we hate ourselves. Is that it?”
“Not according to the reports I’m getting,” she told him. “We’ve still got fear going on outside these walls. We have several transformations, and they seem to have no real reason...” Her voice trailed off, then she got on the comm to Reg.
“Reg, tell your investigators to check if those people have been touched by someone of the opposite sex.”
Fred held up a hand to get her attention.
“Hang on, Reg. Don’t leave yet. Yeah, Fred?”
“Check for people’s genders as well. Also...” He stopped for a moment, then shook his head. “I doubt it, but see if people have changed their sexual preferences as well. I’ve got another question to run by someone.” He stood, and told her, “I’ll be right back.”
They moved their discussion to the situation room, where they could fit more people. Normally, Rhoda wouldn’t be there, but as she was now almost inseparable from Reg, and one of the major players in this strange drama, she was present. Jack and Sylvia were as well.
“Your hunch was on the money, Fred,” Reg told him. “The reports of transformations is quite high. Most of the people report having been touched by someone else. We can only assume that it has probably happened in each case, but has just gone unnoticed.”
“Okay, but is there any suggestion as to who is going to change?” Jack asked.
“I’ll get to that,” Reg replied. “We’ve had some completely different changes as well. Sometimes, people will be touched by the same sexed person, but will suddenly change their sexual preferences. It always matches the person that they touched, or rather, were touched by.”
Paula nodded, but told her, “I see where you’re going, but I want to point something out. I don’t believe that the sexual preferences is such a different thing.”
“No, it’s not. Look at Jack and Sylvia. They are both bi-males – at least mentally they are.” She looked Jack in the eye and said, “Sylvia told us that he doesn’t mind cross dressing for you. I’m sorry to ask, but do you feel the same?”
“Why apologize? We need this information. Yeah, I have no problem doing the same for him.”
“Okay, Reg, now look at yourself. Are you interested in men?” She shook her head. “Are you bi?” Again she shook her head, but this time a smile was forming on her face.
“I see. I believe you’re right. You change sex, and gender to the same as the person who touched you!”
Paula nodded. Beside her, Fred’s expression was one of disgust aimed at his damned brother. What a complete bastard!
I really didn’t think I was going to get this out today. Yesterday was my birthday (don’t even think of asking my age) and I figured as it was a special day, I was going to cheat on carbs. Unfortunately, being a diabetic, that’s not a good idea, so I was not doing very well. I don’t even want to think what my glucose meter said this morning.
I finally convinced myself that I needed to get up a little while ago and post this. Now, I think I’ll drag myself back to bed.
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