Here we go again! Another early rise, another chapter written! I never get to sleep in any more, but that’s fine I think I prefer writing over sleep anyway.
The piercing sound of the morning alarm split Blake’s head like an axe chopping wood. Grumbling, his hand felt around for something to throw at it. Instead it came into contact with a shoulder. A bare shoulder. Not his own.
Blake’s eyes opened slowly. Several things registered at once: He was in his bed when he distinctly remembered passing out on the couch. He was also completely naked and he was pretty sure that he had pants on the last time he came through the front door of his house. The most puzzling part was the naked body in bed with him.
Blake pulled the sheets back. He felt his chest tighten.
He had never seen the man before, though he was certain to be around Blake’s age. His hair was short, but moderately shaggy. It was a rich brown color, slightly darker at the roots. His skin was tanned and from what Blake could see, he was in very good shape.
Blake swallowed. It wasn’t that he denied that he was gay, no. It was just that he didn’t think it was important. There were things beyond sexuality, he told himself, and there was no reason to let it define him. He was more than he took to bed.
Then why haven’t you told Jared? Blake winced at the treacherous voice in his head. His own.
His heart hardened. He would not let the thoughts of others direct him and label who and what he was. But gazing at that relaxed, muscular back and beautiful face, Blake felt weakness. So much weakness.
Hey! Khamon! Are you there? Maybe the simbiont had an idea of what had happened.
There was no answer. Blake poked around in his head for a second. He felt Khamon, but he knew the simbiont was asleep.
Blake carefully slipped out of bed, leaving the stranger alone. He quietly slipped into the living room, making a beeline for the bathroom. Once safely inside, he locked the door.
‘Alright, calm down. You’re not crazy, do you hear me? You are not crazy. There is a simbiont inside of you and a strange man in your bed.’ Blake ran fingers through thick, black hair. He stopped when his elbows his the counter. Wasn’t his hair shorter the other day?
Blake looked into the mirror.
He recognized the person staring back as himself, but at the same time, he was different.
Blake had never been that muscular. In shape, yes. But there was no need to go beyond that. There had been definition in his chest, back and arms, but he never had a six pack, not like now.
Eight-pack. He corrected after counting. He turned from side to side, examining new, taut muscles moving under his skin. And his skin! It was clear and radiant. His hair was shaggy now, not quite enough to make him want to get it cut, but enough that it was obviously an overnight change.
What else was different? Blake leaned in. His eyes were much more vivid. Their almond color was now accented with dark rivers of brown and flecks of bronze. The same eyes wandered over his chest, with its slight amount of hair, down to his underwear, which looked suspiciously fuller.
Blake frowned. He slipped a finger under the side of the elastic and pulled down.
Eyes widened. Other guys had always been a bit envious of him, but now it was clear he would have to stop showering after practice. He hadn’t remembered it being THAT big. Now he knew something was going on.
Khamon. The simbiont didn’t respond. KHAMON! Blake some how nudged the simbiont and felt it stir.
::Is there danger?::
No! There’s just this! Blake gestured to his naked form.
::I see you have noticed the alterations I have made to your body.::
Yeah, now change it back!
::I do not understand.::
Change. It. Back!
::You are displeased?::
Hell, yes! I was the way I was for a reason! If I wanted all this I would’ve done it myself.
There was a pause. ::I based all of the alterations off of thoughts and desires in your subconscious mind. They are changes your chose, yourself.::
Blake ran his fingers through his now luxuriously soft, shiny hair.
::I thought you would be pleased.::
It’s not that…ugh. I was happy with who I was.
::Does physical form matter so much to you? I can change it back, but it would take seventeen hours and forty-eight minutes.::
No. Blake thought. No, leave it.
He stared at himself in the mirror for a minute. He looked different, better. But at the same time it made him sad. Sure, he looked awesome, but he couldn’t help feeling a little bit...less somehow.
Blake looked at his penis again, lifting it in his hand.
It doesn’t actually get bigger than this does it?
::I can make it--::
No! Blake sighed. Too much of a good thing...
He moved his equipment around.
You made everything down there bigger. He said, noticing the small changes. And I have foreskin now. Why on earth do I have foreskin?
::It had been amputated for an unknown reason. I merely restored it to its natural state. Is this wrong?::
No. Blake said, after thing about it for a minute. No, it doesn’t matter.
Wheels began to turn.
What else did you change?
::I have altered your muscular structure slightly, for more efficiency and strength. As well as your skeletal structure, but only moderately. Further reconstruction requires more material. I have also purged your genetic data of several defective genes which would have been a threat to our imminent survival.::
There were several other small changes. Khamon delighted in listing them off. More efficient breathing, movement and digestion. Increased range of vision and sensory perception and an alteration of his internal organs so they remained constantly healthy.
::I have also made several mental alterations.::
What does that mean?
::Your mind was disorganized. You gave in easily to weaknesses and passions. I eliminated them and reconstructed your neural pathways. There were also burnt out synapses which I repaired.::
::No. Your sensory perception now extends to something you call “hocus-pocus” or “psychic power”. I believe the latter to be correct.::
What do you mean? I have powers now? Like a superhero?
::Not exactly. With my knowledge I was able to expand your awareness to detect other simbionts and project your thoughts as well as emotional state.::
Fine, fine. Now what do we—
There was a knock on the bathroom door.
‘Dude! Open up! I gotta go!’ He recognized Jared’s voice. He immediately opened the door, remembering he was naked only as his hand left the handle.
‘Holy shit, B!’ Jared’s eyes were glued to Blake’s dick.
‘Fuck.’ Blake sighed. He reached for his underwear, pulling them on.
‘Dude.’ Jared was grinning stupidly at him.
‘Don’t, Red. Not a word.’ Blake said, closing his eyes.
Jared’s grin became a smirk.
‘Not a word to ANYONE.’ Blake said.
‘Fine,’ Jared shrugged, the grin returning, ‘I was just gonna bolster your rep around campus. But if you don’t want me to...’
‘Please. Don’t bother.’ Blake said, moving into the kitchen. Jared was not an unusual sight at any hour of the day, but the huge mess in his house was. As well as the half a dozen people passed out on the floor.
Blake heard the toilet flush and Jared came back into the living room.
‘Why are there three topless women lying in a pile on the living room floor?’ Blake asked.
‘Oh! The sisters. Man, you missed it. They were totally—‘
‘Jared. Explain. Now.’ Blake said.
‘Oh.’ Suddenly the tall man was a little boy. ‘Wellllll, I came over the other day and you were passed out on the couch. Musta been pretty tired after that match!’ He grinned, but it fell away when it was clear Blake was not amused.
‘You were still in your gym stuff, so I took it off ya and put you in the bed.’ Jared shrugged. ‘I didn’t know you’d sleep so long.’
‘How long have I been asleep?’ Blake asked.
‘Well, do you remember what day it was when you passed out on the couch?’ Jared asked.
‘Yeah, Thursday. I went out at about ten thirty or so.’ Blake said.
Jared nodded, rubbing the back of his head. ‘Yeah, well, it’s--‘ He looked at the clock on the wall, ‘Nine-forty one in the morning. Saturday.’
‘Saturday? Are you saying I slept for more than a DAY?’ Blake asked.
::It takes time to make adjustments for us to be more compatible...::
Fuck compatible! You move into ME without asking, then you start to move the furniture around...No! You start full scale renovations! I didn’t ask for this. You fucking thing! Why couldn’t you mess with someone else’s life?!
Khamon was silent. When he spoke, Blake felt a wave of regret, apology and sadness.
::I am sorry. I am sorry I could not have chosen someone else, Blake, but you are the only one. Without you I would die, very quickly.::
What do you mean? Blake felt his nerves calm a little.
::Do you remember what Peor called me in his court?::
Atavist. Blake remembered--the word had shot through his mind like lightning.
::It is true. I am an atavist. I am able to bond to a very limited amount of hosts, and the genetics must be in a specific sequence, or else I risk rejection. The others, they are able to bond with most of the people on your planet. I am different.::
A genetic throw-back. Blake said, trying to remember the meaning of the word.
::Yes. Something like that.:: Khamon stilled. ::I am sorry I have drug you into all of this. I am sorry I gave you no choice. If you wish I will disengage. There is still time.::
Won’t that...kill you?
::Most likely I will die within a few hours of leaving your body.::
Blake chewed his bottom lip.
::There are thirteen hours before the bonding becomes irreversible. If you wish to think it over, feel welcome. I take no offense.::
Blake remained silent.
‘Dude? You okay?’ Jared asked.
‘You just spaced on me.’
‘Sorry.’ Blake said. Then brought himself back into the world he had known most of his life. He would think about Khamon later.
‘So you had a party...’
Suddenly Blake remembered the strange guy in his bed.
‘Jared, there’s a--‘
‘Stranger in your bed?’ The voice was light and full of humor. The stranger himself stood in the doorway, clad only in boxers. Blake had to physically swallow. The stranger looked much better when he was awake.
‘Uh, yeah.’ Blake felt his voice break, silently cursing himself.
‘I’m Rob.’ The stranger reached out. Blake clasped his hand. The handshake was firm and steady.
‘And you are?’ He asked, head tilting slightly.
I’m such an ass.
‘Can I have my hand back there, slugger?’ Rob asked.
‘Sorry.’ Blake said, dropping the hand instantly. Rob rubbed it gently.
‘Some grip you got there.’
‘Kendo.’ Blake said, ‘Gripping the sword. Holding the sword. In my...hands.’ Blake finished lamely. Jared laughed and Rob smiled.
‘Maybe you do need more sleep.’ Jared smiled and threw his arm over his buddy’s shoulders. ‘Rob here is in biology with me.’
‘Jared tells me you’re a history major?’ Rob asked.
‘Not really. Mostly mythology. It’s more of a hobby.’ Blake said. All thoughts of the other people passed out in his living room gone.
‘Uh, about the bed.’ Rob’s cheeks flushed a little bit. ‘I was kinda drunk and didn’t want to sleep on the floor with...’ His eyes wandered to the three women on the floor.
‘Ah.’ Blake nodded, ‘No problem. Anytime. I mean, you know, uh...’
‘Thanks.’ Rob flashed a smile and Blake felt his stomach do a summersault.
‘I’m starved.’ Jared said, ‘What say we go and catch some brekkie?’
‘There’s food here.’ Blake pointed out, ‘I don’t mind cooking.’ His eyes watched Rob silently, waiting for a reaction.
‘Uh, there WAS food here. It’s kinda, mostly gone now.’ Jared grinned sheepishly.
Blake rolled his eyes. Most of it was Jared’s anyway.
‘Out for breakfast it is.’
Jared changed his clothes in record time, though they smelled mostly like stale smoke. Rob had graciously borrowed some of Blake’s clothes. The black-haired boy decided Rob looked good with clothes as well. Especially in jeans and the navy blue tee that showed his form nicely. Then again, his own shirts were now little bit snug. Blake actually felt the stares of several people fall on his body and linger. It took every ounce of control not to blush furiously.
They went to a small diner near the campus called The Cock and Crow. Blake always smiled at the name, even though it was quite apparent on the sign, a rooster fighting a crow. On campus most of the students called it The Cock. It was a running joke started decades ago when the diner used to be a pub. It still retained a bit of its atmosphere, but had opened up the space considerably, allowing people to see in through wide windows.
They also served breakfast, which was what the trio was waiting desperately for. As they waited for their food, Blake felt Jared lay his hand on his chest.
‘Wow, buddy. You been hitting the gym without me?’ Jared asked. Blake hoped he didn’t notice. At least he didn’t mention the extra inch or two his hair had grown.
‘Yeah, you’ve got a good body there, Blake.’ Rob said with a smile. Blake almost spit his coffee out. He swore Rob was flirting. Jared, oblivious, smiled and nodded his agreement.
‘Hey, you should come to kendo practice.’ Jared said to Rob.
‘Yeah? Blake any good?’
‘Any good? He beat a nidan the other day! You should see him in action.’ Jared said.
‘I’d love to see him in action.’ Blake felt his face start to flush. ‘I bet he handles his sword well.’
‘Oh man,’ Jared said with awe, ‘You should see him. When that sword is in his hands, no one can stand in his way. Well, maybe sensei.’ Jared finished quietly, not wanting to be disrespectful.
‘I’m not that good.’ Blake said.
‘Aw, come on.’ Rob said, ‘Modesty killed the cat.’
A petit waitress set their food down in front of them. Blake noticed Jared’s roaming glance. The waitress was sneaking peeks at all three of them. Blake was too preoccupied to thank her. As she left Jared’s eyes watched her behind. Blake turned to rob, only to realize Rob’s eyes were on him.
Blake controlled his blush this time, instead turning to Jared.
‘I assume Shelly is over?’
‘Totally.’ Jared said eyes still on the waitress. He turned to them, grinning like a fool. ‘You guys get a load of that? Wasn’t she fine?’
‘Not my type.’ Rob said without taking his eyes off of Blake. Jared looked between them, raising an eyebrow.
Blake dug into his food. He felt like he was in grade school again.
Suddenly he was ravenous. What had Khamon said? More raw materials were needed. Food then. Blake wondered if it mattered what kind of food it was. To be sure he ordered several more plates of a wide variety of dishes. Jared and Rob stared as he shoveled back the food.
‘Man,’ Jared said, after Blake’s sixth helping, ‘You might wanna cut back on that. Not gonna look too suave if you puke in public.’ The taller jock’s eyes wandering to the waitress over the counter.
‘Relax, I’m not going to embarrass you in front of your lady friend Jared.’ Blake said. ‘I mean, I missed all those meals while I was asleep.’
‘Asleep?’ Rob asked, watching Blake eat his third helping of hash browns.
‘Dude here slept for over a day.’ Jared grinned. ‘I guess he has some catch up to do.’
‘I’m not sure it works like that.’ Rob said. Blake almost panicked. Of course, Rob was a bio major. He might have some idea of what was going on. He couldn’t use the simple excuses he had been giving Jared.
Wait, wait, wait. Might know what going on, eh? That you’re bonding with a simbiont? Come on, Blake. I don’t think Rob is that good. Or crazy.
Blake shrugged and continued to eat. By the end of breakfast they had been there for two hours and Blake had eaten ten plates of food. He groaned when his bank account was heavily dented. The food at The Cock and Crow was cheap by most standards, but ten plates did add up.
‘Well, I gotta run.’ Rob said, looking at his watch. He clapped Blake on the shoulder, ‘I’ll get these things back to you tomorrow. Thanks for letting me crash at your place.’
‘No problem.’ Blake cursed silently as his voice squeaked. Rob laughed and walked off, waving to Jared.
‘Later, men.’ Jared and Blake began to walk. It was silent for the most part, but he could feel Jared looking at him.
‘So...’ His tall friend said, ‘What do you think of Rob?’
‘He’s cool.’ Blake said.
‘Yeah.’ Jared nodded. The tension became thick. Blake almost wished for the van from a few days ago to round the corner and come at them. He looked up to the corner. Nothing. Not even a red bug.
‘Listen, Blake...’ Jared stopped walking. The humor had left his friend’s voice.
‘You know...’ Blake trailed off.
‘That you’re gay dude.’ Jared said, ‘It’s okay. I mean, I’m okay with it.’
‘Oh.’ Blake said. They started to walk slowly.
‘Am I what?’ Blake asked.
‘Are you okay with it? With being gay? Because if you’re not, you know, you can always talk to me.’ Jared almost mumbled the last part. Blake grinned.
‘I think I’ll be okay.’ Jared gave a little smile.
‘So how did you find out?’
‘How did I find out? Man, you’re always checking me out! How could I not know?’ Jared chuckled.
‘Really? That obvious?’ Blake asked.
‘Extremely obvious. To me anyway. Though I gotta admit, I kinda was showing off a bit.’ It was Jared’s turn to blush.
‘You’re not...’ Blake asked.
‘Uh, no. I dig ladies. Well...’ There was a hesitation as Jared mulled things over.
‘Red, it’s okay. You don’t have to answer.’ Blake said.
‘Naw, it’s fine. I guess I mostly dig the ladies, but I could dig some guys. Certain guys.’ He quickly cleared up.
Blake nodded. Jared stole a glance. Both guys grinned and laughed, throwing their arms together.
‘So I think Rob has the hots for you.’ Jared said.
‘Oh yeah, dude. Definitely. He was looking at you like a starving man looks at a steak dinner.’ Jared said. Blake snorted. They walked down the road back to the house.
Blake stared at the ceiling. His bed was comfortable, but he couldn’t sleep. He hadn’t felt Khamon all day. The simbiont had respectfully withdrawn to give him his thoughts.
Did he really want this to happen? Khamon would die without him, but then, if he let him stay his entire life would change. Who knows what all this stuff was about? Alien creatures would chase him all over the place. Well, he assumed they were aliens.
And the things the simbiont did. The changes he made. He liked them, but it was a little like cheating...or was it. Blake wasn’t sure how he felt about the creature and his actions. So far, he had clamed to do everything to make Blake more...habitable. This bothered him a bit. But he couldn’t just turn Khamon out, could he?
Khamon, are you there?
::I am here.::
How much time is left?
Blake mulled things over. He sighed. He was probably going to regret it later.
Khamon, you can stay. Consider this a formal invitation.
::Thank you, Blake. I can only begin to understand the alterations you will have made in your life for me. I will always be grateful.::
Don’t mention it. Blake thought for a second. Hey, can you make me sleep? You know, conk out? I’m having a little trouble.
::For how long would you like to rest?::
How long do you need?
::A normal amount of time with be sufficient now, since I have finished the preliminary modifications.::
Alright, but I want a detailed report in the morning.
::Good night, Blake.::
Blake grinned. How very human of the simbiont.
Good night, Khamon.
No sooner than Blake thought the words, before he was suddenly asleep.
How was that? Notice a small trend of the length of the chapters? I get a little caught up sometimes and write more than I set out to. It’ll probably go one for a bit, at least till Christmas, when I go to visit my parents, restricting my access to a computer and the internet.
Anyway, I hoped you enjoyed. If you have any comments, questions or criticisms, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.