The Problem with Power
This is a work of fiction. There should be no way that these characters are like anyone else, but if that isn’t the case, it has definitely been unintentional. Also, if you happen to find that your life is represented in these pages, I’ll be impressed.
The Problem with Power
By Heather O’Malley
assisted by the rest of the Whateley Gang
I’m going to love you
When the world ends
I’m going to hold you
When the world is over
We’ll just be beginning...
Dave Matthews Band – When The World Ends
September 19, 2006, Whateley Academy
The problem rolled through his head over and over. But he could see no way around it. He was stuck and he knew it. He was caught in a catch-22 and he knew it. If he fought back, he would become what he feared, but if he didn’t he would become a victim. There really seemed like no good way around any of it. He was not pleased but what could he do?
Adriane sighed as he trudged towards the cafeteria in Crystal Hall. He knew that he was going to have to put up with the teasing again. Why couldn’t they simply leave him alone? It really was just unfair. He knew that he could let lose on the whole lot of them, but how was that going to solve anything? And to use his power? That thought alone churned his stomach. No, he would have to endure.
They said he was an Exemplar, not that anyone could tell. He hadn’t gotten taller, filled out anymore, gotten harder muscles. If anything he had gotten a touch softer, lean muscle, no real gain in height, nothing that screamed out guy to anyone. If anything it screamed something else. Not that he minded. He had been afraid of what the future might have brought as his body changed. Unfortunately, what had changed only opened him up for ridicule.
Adriane shrugged his backpack on a little tighter, knowing that he was going to face a gauntlet to get to the food line. His name was one of the reasons that he was given a lot of grief. He had been named after his great-great grandfather who was supposedly some sort of adventurer in the late Victorian era. But the problem was that the way his name was spelled made it seem like a girl’s name. He had always been taunted because of that and to add that to what his BIT had done and life really wasn’t much better.
A couple of the wannabe’s started cat calling him once they could see him, making comments about the pretty little girl. Adriane ground his teeth and practiced his breathing techniques to control his anger. He didn’t quite rage out, but when his anger went, so did his power. And that power scared the crap out of him. His biggest wish was that it would go away and leave him be. He could deal with anything if that power would just disappear.
Saying that he could disintegrate things would not be the most accurate description of his power. To say that it released the sub-atomic bonding in a certain quantity of mass would be a bit more accurate. There was a flash and then the object had been reduced its quantum energy state which faded back into the great pool of energy that everyone swam in. There was even speculation that he might be untying Strings that rested below the quantum state. The physics of whatever it was that he did made Exemplar Geniuses heads hurt. Whatever his power did, he didn’t know the physics of it and hated to watch it work. Just thinking of it turned his stomach.
Lost in his thoughts, Adriane was tripped. He hit the ground hard; however his hands, that had tried to catch his fall, vaporized sections of the floor instead of stopping him. His head smacked into the floor making him see stars. His sunglasses broke as well, cutting parts of his face. The laughing that broke out around Crystal Hall was loud and raucous as he tried to get his hands out of their holes. A voice called down to him, “Awwww…did the pwetty wittle girl fall down and hurt herself?”
Adriane slowly got to his feet and he turned angrily towards the group laughing, which seemed to be a few of the Masterminds. Without his sunglasses, the twisting and churning power that filled him was obvious and the corona of power that started to surround his hands brought the table full of students into a shocked and worried silence. Adriane growled a little, ready to reach out and slap their faces, destroying everything in his hands path. The bastards would pay.
He took a step towards them and kids slid back, away from him. The looks of worry and some fear were plain on their faces. When that registered, sinking through his anger filled brain Adriane turned, grabbed his backpack and ran from Crystal Hall, crying, the fight drained in an instant flash of memory. As he left, he heard the table shift from shock back to laughter. He could barely hear Heartbreaker protest, “Guys, that’s not funny.”
He ran back to his room, wiping tears from his eyes. The world was blurred as he burst through the dorms doors and headed up to his floor. He collapsed onto his bed back in Melville, deeply troubled. He had almost lashed out in anger, lashed out with his power. He could have killed those people and all they had cared about was to tease poor little girly Adriane. He hated them and in a way hated that he was girly. But he was girly and a part of him reveled in that. That only fueled the tears.
Adriane had a secret. Something he could never tell his parents or let anyone else know, not even Dr. Bellows. If they knew about it, he would die of embarrassment and he didn’t want to risk that. If it got out the teasing he would endure would eclipse what he had to put up with now.
He needed to calm down, to try and feel better, before the memories of that event came. Adriane headed over to his closet and opened his trunk. Hidden in a false bottom were his special things, things that helped him to keep calm through all of this. He rubbed the satiny material of his nightgown, wishing he had the time to wear it. He touched his panties and bras gently, longingly. Sighing as the soft material slid through his fingers, he let things go. The softness of girl clothes had always made him feel calm and happy, as it always would.
He had been dressing in secret for years. He had been so careful, so cautious when he tried on his mothers clothes, wore her shoes. He always returned them exactly to where they had been. His eidetic memory certainly helped with that. He had never been caught and he worked hard to make sure he wouldn’t be. Fear of this secret getting out to anyone kept him on his toes.
With the sigh of long suffering, he let the panties fall through his fingers to rest at the bottom of the trunk. He lowered the secret panel and rearranged his winter clothes in the trunk, wishing he had been able to bring his teddy bear with him. Hugging his bear always made him feel better but he had been sure his roommate would have mocked him for it.
After moving his trunk out of the way, Adriane got out his diary and wrote about the event. Yet another sad event to happen to him, it was beginning to become the norm. He wouldn’t fight back because what he could do was worse than death. It was erasing a things existence, leaving nothing behind. There would be no trace left behind.
He looked at the clock and realized that he had combat class soon. He was fine learning the moves but he was terrified of touching another person, even though his power was safe. What if he did what he had before? What if he erased someone? The thought turned his stomach. Maybe today wouldn’t be a good day for that. He was still too jittery over the events of lunch and the possibility of sparring did not appeal to him. He tossed a couple of Tums to calm his stomach.
He sighed and closed his eyes. It was so difficult to hold back from tears sometimes. Adriane grabbed his book bag and headed out. Maybe Dr. Bellows could get him a note and maybe he could try and get his doctor to approve his being able to eat at a different time. Avoidance might not be a great plan, but it was a plan. If he could avoid this, then maybe he might be able to relax.
With everyone off at classes he made it to his counselor’s office quickly and without incident. He knocked softly, hoping he wasn’t disturbing anyone.
“Come in.” With that Adriane entered the office. Dr. Bellows didn’t look overly surprised to see him, which wasn’t necessarily a good thing. He was sure the good Doctor knew about some things just after they happened. “What happened today, Adriane?”
“Haywire tripped me. I ruined more of the floor of Crystal Hall. And I was about to slap him, using my power. I almost lost it.” Adriane was sniffling a little. The memory of Daniel Fehr’s face ran through his memory over and over. He shuddered, wishing he had remembered to grab his Maalox.
“Now did you almost lose it or did you get angry and then afraid?” Dr. Bellows was well used to dealing with teenage angst. Add regular teen trauma with mutant powers and the result could explode out of all proportion. He was the mental health equivalent of the Bomb Squad.
“Uhm…I got angry.” The blush looked cute, but then Dr. Bellows reminded himself, yet again, that this was not one of the many Changelings on campus. This boy had other issues, despite some of the similarities he had to Ayla Goodkind.
“Do we need to get you into anger management classes?”
“Maybe. I…I just got so mad. I lost another pair of sunglasses, got my face cut and smashed my face into the ground again. I am getting tired of that. I want to fight back, but I don’t want to kill anyone.” Adriane sniffled some, as his frustration was making him cry.
“I take it you skipped lunch again and hid in your room?” A nod was all the answer he got. It was mostly what he got from Adriane. “Maybe you need to just ignore these bullies and take the high ground?”
“Couldn’t I just eat at different times? You know, so I won’t have anyone who can bully me?” Adriane asked hopefully.
“I don’t think that is possible. You need to find ways to deal constructively with your anger and to stand up for yourself in a non-violent fashion. Make some friends. Don’t be so afraid of other people.” Dr. Bellows was busy writing a note up for the boy. “You need to eat and make it to class on time. Skipping Martial Arts class is not a good plan.”
Adriane nodded. Dr. Bellows handed over the note. “Now go get some food.”
Adriane took the note and hustled to Crystal Hall. He was able to get some food as they hadn’t quite cleaned up everything after lunch, as there were often stragglers. He was also hungrier than normal due to using his power. After he finished, he took his tray over to the wash window. The automated system would clean everything so long as it was deposited in all of the correct areas. He did that and headed off towards the last class of his day.
Powers Lab was always his last class of the day. His teacher kept pushing him in two different ways, one to get him to be able to erase more matter and the other to create more control. The control was so much harder than just removing the mass. He was having lots of trouble getting the control down, every time he simply erased the entire object.
Now he was looking at the block that his teacher had set in front of him as if it were going to bite him. “What is this?”
The teacher chuckled. “This is a test. This block is composed of three different metals of different densities wound around each other. You can see the discs where the main conglomeration of them is. What I want you to do is to touch one of the circles and to remove only that metal from the mesh. It will be easy to tell the difference. Ready?”
Adriane frowned. “No. But when did that ever make a difference?”
He reached out and touched the cube. The metal was cool to the touch and was interesting to look at. He rested one finger on the spot that was supposedly tin. He relaxed and exhaled slowly. He relaxed his hold on his power, letting it move through the object. He opened his eyes to see holes where none had ever been. He smiled; maybe he could control his power. At that he thought back to Daniel Fehr and he shuddered. The response was immediate.
The instructor patted him on the back. “Good work. We can get your power under control. It’ll just take time. Nicely done Mr. Reichs.”
Adriane couldn’t see what was good about what had just happened. All he had done was utterly destroy something else. He sighed and nodded, just to get left alone. He sat back looking at the spot where the cube had been. All he was good for was destruction.
He sighed happily when the bell rang and classes let out. He loosened his tie and packed up. The Library of the school was wonderful and had a lot of quiet nooks and crannies where he could sit and think. It also helped that a lot of the idiots who enjoyed tormenting him seemed to be congenitally afraid of books. It was something he loved to exploit.
After only getting tripped twice, he made it to his sanctuary. He waved at Miss Henderson as he walked in, heading for the stacks and for some of the quieter study areas. His favorite one was by the philosophy books. Good reading material and basically no one was ever there. Apparently very few teenagers were worried about philosophy. He loved them. After all, the unexamined life was not worth living.
With a loud thump, his tossed book bag landed on the small table. Adriane slumped into a chair. Halloween was coming up and he wanted to try and think of a good costume. He desperately wanted to dress in his girl’s clothes, but then there would be the joy of explaining things to his roommate and dressing that way would only encourage his tormentors. So he had to think of something else, something manly.
The problem was that nothing outside of dressing like a girl appealed to him and his fear was keeping that from happening. His frustration kept growing. What was he going to do? Last year, before all of this, he had talked his mom into letting him go trick-or-treating dressed as a cowgirl. He was sure she had bought the story of him losing a bet. No one would buy that here. He had looked so cute dressed like that, but those pictures were in the secret panel as well.
He heard humming heading his way so he looked up. Around the corner came this girl with long blond hair held back with a knitted headscarf. Her blue eyes were a deep rich blue and seemed larger because of her glasses. She smiled at him brightly and he was dazzled by her. She was everything he had ever wanted to be.
She seemed to be talking to him but he was so stunned he really didn’t register anything. “What?”
“Do you know where I can find Hobbes?” Her voice was lovely.
“Your stuffed tiger?” Adriane blinked at her, as if she was speaking another language.
Her laughter was clear and light, like a bubbling stream. “Philosopher. I never had a stuffed tiger.”
Adriane blushed. “Uh…yeah…Hobbes…right there.”
The girl picked up the book she was looking for and then turned back to him. “Hi, my names Kayleigh. What’s yours?”
“Adriane.” His face burned brighter from admitting his girl’s name.
“Cool.” When she didn’t mock him Adriane looked up at her, almost confused.
“Yeah…Cool. Like Adrian Belew? Musician. Cool name.”
Adraine had no idea who that was. Music wasn’t really his thing. “Uh…thanks. Uhm…do you have, like, a codename?”
Her smile never seemed to fade. “Sure, it’s Sunshine. I have light powers. What’s yours?”
“Damnation of the Gods? You named yourself Damnation of the Gods?” She looked confused.
“Well, yeah. I hate my power and so I feel damned.”
Kayleigh took a seat, looking at him as if trying to figure him out. “What is your power?”
“I disintegrate things.” There was a heavy finality in his words.
“Really? That’s kind of cool. But your name makes you sound like some sort of a villain. Are you a villain?”
“Wha…no. I just hate the fact that I have a power.”
“I’m sorry to hear that.”
They both started talking, losing track of the time. Adriane kept looking wistfully at her, dreaming of looking like that. He was smitten but surely someone like that already had a boyfriend. And when she admitted that she already had one he almost cried. At least he waited until later to lament that fact.
September 27, 2006
Adriane held his finished paper. It had taken a while but at least that project was done. He was sitting at a table in Crystal Hall for breakfast, rereading it as he ate. Suddenly the paper burst into flames. Adriane yelped and threw the paper away from him. All that work gone.
He heard the laughing and he turned. One of the resident pyrokinetics looked quite pleased and his cronies were having a great laugh at his expense. Adriane got red faced. He glared at them which only made them laugh harder. He could feel his power rising but he forced it back down.
He raced back to Melville and printed out his paper again. He showed up late to class but thankfully the teacher wasn’t that big of a stickler for things like that. He was sweaty from the run but not too bad. He just felt a bit clammy as the sweat cooled on his body.
The training he had already gotten in combat class helped him to fall correctly the five times he was tripped that day. He was an easy target and he knew it. He was small of stature and wasn’t willing to risk using his power against anyone. Adriane sometimes wished he were larger and such but then he thought about dressing and how awkward that would look. To say he was conflicted would be an understatement.
After classes he headed straight for his room. He was tired of people and didn’t want to see anyone. A few more pranks were pulled on him on his way back and he managed to keep from attacking them with great effort. His frustration level kept growing and growing.
Once in his room he shut the door and locked it. His roommate was thankfully very rarely in the room but Adriane was paranoid about getting caught. His greatest fear was that someone would find his stash and then it would be all over. No one would respect him and they would make loads of fun at his expense. He couldn’t face that much public humiliation. He had to be extra careful to avoid getting caught since his roommate was one of his tormentors.
The Sophomore gave him loads of grief because he had to live with the “sissy fagot”. He hadn’t hit Adriane but he had shoved him around. Basically, his roommate Anvil, was a bit of a PK superman and liked to use that to force Adriane to do things. This didn’t make him feel any better about things.
He ran his hands through his silky things, wishing he would be able to put something on or to actually be able to wear something. The pent up tension made him cry. When he noticed a few tear stains on his panties he put them away. He didn’t want to ruin them. They were his lifeline, the things that kept him going. If only he would be able to dress up or even to be able to sleep in his nightgown like he had done at home then all of this bullshit would be bearable. The trunk went back into his closet easily and Adriane sat on his bed and cried.
He was so tired of all this crap. He had a power that was evil and he was trapped, unable to get the relaxation he needed. His pillow was all he could manage to hug to himself instead of his beloved bear. With his back to the wall he sat there and cried.
The door boomed open as Anvil stormed into the room. Adriane jumped some. Anvil looked at him derisively. “Christ, are you crying again, you big baby?”
Adriane didn’t answer. It would only antagonize him more and Adriane wasn’t up for more grief. He also realized that if he had been a minute longer with his beloved silkies he would have been caught. He wanted to keep crying but with Anvil there it wasn’t a good plan. If only he could end this pain, but he had already found out that he was immune to the effects of his own power no matter how hard he had pushed.
No one knew that he had tried to kill himself. No one knew that he simply wanted to be done with things. No one really cared. He would miss Kayleigh but even there he was in a failed situation. He wanted her and she was hooked up with someone else. He wanted to just leave, but there was no really easy way to do it. Even if he threw himself off the top of the building he would probably survive the impact due to his Exemplar status. If only there were some way for him to die.
He hugged his pillow and tried to ignore Anvil. If this was his life, did he really want to keep it?
October 8, 2006
She had unerringly managed to hunt him down day after day, trying to cheer him up. Unfortunately it was working and that was actually making the teasing worse for Adriane. As long as he was in his survival mode, he could deal with things, but with someone trying to drag him back to life, it was more difficult. That determination she had shown helped them to build a friendship.
It was odd, however, that afternoon when he found her instead.
She had been crying, her eyes red and puffy. Seeing her like this stopped Adriane in his tracks. The sight threw him for a loop. “Oh my God…Kayleigh…what happened?”
“Adriane…its Robert. He dumped me.”
Adriane pulled her into a hug. He felt powerless, unable to help when his only friend suffered.
Kayleigh cried against his shoulder for a few minutes. Adriane ran his hand down her hair soothingly. He looked up and saw Miss Henderson looking on disapprovingly. He looked up at the older woman pleadingly. She stared at him and then turned away. “Hey, let’s go somewhere else. I don’t think Miss Henderson appreciates the noise.”
She nodded weakly. Adriane led her through the building to the little lounge; it wasn’t private but with classes out it was basically empty. He lowered her onto that loveseat gently and sat next to her. She turned and hugged him again. “He…he wanted to have sex with me and when I said I wasn’t ready he got angry. I just wanted him as a friend, I thought he knew that.”
Adriane had nothing to say to that. He just held her, trying to make sure she knew he cared. What a fucking bastard!
“I mean, I’m not really ready for something like that. I enjoy making out but not the whole sex thing. I am trying to be a good girl since I promised my Daddy that I would. And there is just something about Robert that scares me.” continued Kayleigh. “I want someone who is gentle and kind and soft. Is that too much?”
“No…its not.” Adriane wondered if he fell into that category or if he was just some sort of security blanket for her. However the hope gave him something to wish for, like a light at the end of the tunnel. He was conflicted, so he sat there and did nothing more than hold her and try to make her feel better.
9 October, 2006
He followed her, confused. “Where are we going?”
She sighed, sniffling a little. “Well, this place is riddled with tunnels and such. A little while after we got here I decided to go on a great explore. I wandered all around. Luckily, I can’t get lost. Supposedly that is one of my powers, so good for me. But I did notice that there were some areas where the dust hadn’t been disturbed, so I went there first, flying to keep from disturbing the dust. And I found the coolest place. You have to check it out.”
They went down about six levels, into an area where there were no working lights. Adriane was nervous, he couldn’t see in the dark and his power screwed up nightvision or thermal imaging systems for him. He was blind. “Uhm…can’t see.”
“Come here.” Adriane was picked up and felt them drifting away from the faint light. “I almost brought Robert here as well, but he can’t see in the dark either and made a fuss.” They traveled on for a few minutes, even going down one level. Finally Adriane could feel a pressure change, as if a sealed door opened.
He was sat down and he could feel the door close. Lights flickered on faintly, first red and then slowly brightening to a full spectrum light. What came in to sight took his breath away.
The room was fairly large, easily larger than about four or five of the dorm rooms. It had a fairly huge wardrobe and it looked like a clothing designer’s room, or a costume room for a theatre company. There were also a few rooms that came off of it. It was really cool and seemed to have been forgotten. Adriane couldn’t imagine why. “Wow.”
“Yeah. I was just looking for someplace to hang out and I got led here. I figured that I would try to not disturb anything so I flew here, well more like floated. But I found it and found a way in. There is a really nice bathroom, with a clawfoot tub, a bedroom and a meeting room. It’s pretty nice. When I need to get away from things I come here.” Kayleigh sat on the sofa and curled her legs up underneath her. “There is a large screen that can show you several different scenes. I almost always pull up the Rockies. Keeps me from getting homesick.”
“This place is really awesome…and you just found it?”
Adriane kept struggling to keep from looking over at the various costumes and women’s clothes around the room. He looked back and noticed that Kayleigh was staring at him. She had her head cocked in reflection. His heart went into overdrive, fear drying his mouth. “What?”
“You really are pretty Adriane.”
Adriane blushed; he looked away, over at the door. “Uhm…anything else interesting about this place?”
She ignored him and his attempt to change the topic. “You really seem to like women’s clothes. You have had a hard time taking your eyes off of some of the things in here. You have also stared at my clothes. Do you want to wear them?”
Adriane about stopped breathing. He gaped like a fish a few times unable to say anything in response. She just kept on, as if unaware of what her words were doing to him. “It’s okay if you do. I don’t see anything wrong with that. You see my Aunt Teresa used to be my Uncle Tomas.”
Adriane’s head was spinning. He slumped into the cushions and felt his world coming to pieces. Her lips on his snapped him back.
At first he just sat there as Kayleigh kissed him. Then, as he registered what was really going on with him, he started kissing back pulling Kayleigh into him. Time fell away and he just existed for that moment there, as their lips merged and they shared breath.
Eventually, she broke the kiss. “Adriane, you have been so kind and there for me. I thought about this all last night. Will…will you be my boyfriend?”
Kayleigh’s voice was fragile, nervous, and vulnerable. The sound of it almost brought Adriane to tears. What she was asking almost did the same thing. “Oh God, yes.”
Kayleigh was nestled in Adriane’s arms as they lay on the couch. “So…any ideas for Halloween?”
“Nope. I…I actually wanted to dress but…” A lot was left out of what he said but all of it was heard.
Kayleigh started laughing in delight. “That’s perfect.”
“What?! But people will think…”
“You can blame me. Say it was my stupid idea. There you go. We can dress like each other. That should work. You can let yourself be yourself and I can have fun.” Kayleigh made so much sense that Adriane just blinked at her and then kissed the top of her head. Could this really work? Could they get away with it?
“So where do we go from here?” asked Adriane.
“I was thinking dinner. Does that sound good to you?”
Adriane sighed. Was he dreaming? The girl of his dreams actually liked him? He could certainly get used to this. “Sure.”
The trip back was made in the dark, with Kayleigh holding him tightly to her. They headed in to Crystal Hall holding hands. Adriane’s tormentors sort of froze, not really believing their eyes. Girly Adriane had a girl?
They got their food and headed over to a sparsely populated table so they could be alone together. Their meal was pleasant until this large brick headed over. Kayleigh caught sight of him and sighed. “Crap, here comes Robert.”
Adriane looked up to watch a veritable wall of person head up. He was huge and easily dwarfed Adriane. True, a real fight would be shifted totally to Adriane but he wasn’t going to risk hurting anyone with his power, not again. Not ever.
“So, babe, I’m sorry about earlier. I wasn’t feeling my best after I got a C in a test run and I didn’t mean what I said. Can you forgive me?”
Kayleigh rolled her eyes. “Please Robert, you dumped me, fine. But leave me alone. Adriane and I are together now. He at least treats me well.”
Robert looked own at Adriane and actually started laughing. “Girly boy? You are into girly boy? No wonder you wouldn’t put out.”
Adriane tightened his fists. He wanted to pop the brick in the face, but that definitely would have ended poorly. The idiot might not even have felt it as he was definitely not one of the Supermen types. Adriane felt a bit powerless and afraid.
The sound of Kayleigh slapping Robert filled the whole of Crystal Hall. Robert’s head snapped to the side and the slap was like a crack. He looked back, glowering angrily at her. When he started to haul back to hit her, Adriane stood and slid between them, his hands crackling with his power. He had taken off his glasses and stared up at Robert with his eyes roiling with power. He was pissed and willing to do whatever he had to. “You will not touch her. If you do, I will end you.”
All of Crystal Hall fell silent with this statement. Robert looked down at Adriane and it was clear that he was thinking. Since he had paused, still contemplating violence, Adriane reached out and grabbed Robert’s school jacket. The smile he gave was utterly without mercy and the jacket vanished as Adriane’s power flared through it. “Go.”
Robert stumbled a few steps back, surprised and stunned. Adriane stood there, the corona of power swirling around his hands, staring at the brick who stumbled away. The idiot had to have the last word though, “Next time you come between me and my woman, I will pound you.”
Adriane stared at him until the brick left Crystal Hall. He then turned and sat down, sighing. He whispered. “Oh God, I was so scared.”
Kayleigh swiftly moved to the other side of the table and hugged him. “You didn’t need to do that, but thank you.”
Adriane blushed and looked down at his food. “Well, I couldn’t let him hit you.”
She hugged him again and kissed him on the cheek. “Well, I owe you one and I think I have an idea of a good present for you.”
October 11, 2006
Adriane stared at the ceiling. His world had changed so much that it was difficult to really grasp. Kayleigh had utterly shaken up his world. And for him to stand up to a brick? What the hell was that about?
He looked at his watch. According to the letter that she had given him at lunch, he needed to grab all of his “secret” clothes and stuff and head down to the secret room. Adriane was fairly sure he could make it to the edge of the dark zone, but inside? Hopefully, she would meet him there and take him the rest of the way in.
He picked up his backpack that was full with his bras and panties, even his nightgown. It had been nerve wracking to quickly transfer his things from the trunk to the backpack, the whole time worried about his roommate’s return. He sighed, trying to slow down his heart. This whole thing was crazy, almost as crazy as the fact that he had a girlfriend.
The route down to the dark area was fairly easy, just needing to get down to the access tunnels and to move from there. He did this quickly, wanting to see Kayleigh. She was waiting there, smiling even brighter when she saw the backpack. She kissed him and picked him up, flying through the darkness. She set him down once they were safely inside their secret place.
It was a good bit cleaner than the last time he had been there. Things were neat and tidy. There was a box sitting on what was passing as a coffee table. It had his name one it in lovely cursive script. There was even a heart over the I and was wonderfully girly.
Adriane nervously opened the box. There was a blue satin nightgown inside, nestled in white paper. Adriane almost broke into tears, as this was tangible proof that Kayleigh accepted him for who he was. She hugged him tight and whispered into his ear. “This is one of mine. I wore it last night and then boxed it up. I love you Adriane.”
They kissed again. Adriane was really starting to enjoy the whole boyfriend/ girlfriend thing. When they released, Kayleigh all but squealed, “You got to try it on. Please!”
Adriane nodded and shed his clothes, except his underwear. He slithered into the nightgown and luxuriated in the feel of the material. He had missed this, a lot. He sighed happily as he could feel some of his tension drain away in the pleasure the nightgown brought him. He opened his eyes and saw Kayleigh staring at him. He blushed as she said, “God, that was hot.”
She stood up and walked over to him. She ran her hands over Adriane, enjoying how the satin slid over his body. She smiled, her eyes half opened as she felt herself drift away on the sensations of Adriane in the nightgown. Adriane responded in classic fourteen year old male mode: he began to get erect, painfully erect.
When Kayleigh accidentally brushed against his erection, she blushed and turned away. Adriane blushed as well. He pulled on his pants under the nightgown and the denim helped to make it less obvious that he was enjoying this. His erection ached but he was too embarrassed to deal with it. He quickly ducked into the bathroom someone had installed in this hidden room.
He splashed some cold water on his face and looked into his own eyes. “Don’t fuck this up.”
Kayleigh was sitting on the couch, nervously playing with her hair. Adriane sat on the opposite end of the couch and nervously glanced over at her. “Uhm…I really like the present.”
“I kind of noticed.”
“That…that was the first time I ever touched a guy’s…you know.”
Adriane didn’t know what to say in response. She continued, her voice a little shaky. “It was…you know…kind of nice. I…erm…I liked it. It just surprised me is all.”
Adriane turned to face her. “So, everything is okay?”
“Yes. I am sorry that I ruined the moment.” Her apology surprised Adriane. He hadn’t expected her to feel bad about what she had done. He had been feeling bad enough for both of them.
“It’s okay. I really like this nightgown. Thank you for getting it for me.”
She smiled at him. “You are most welcome.”
She held out her arms for a hug and Adriane didn’t pause. He slid over and hugged her tight, kissing her on the cheek. The held each other for while. She looked over at the clock that was mounted over the entrance. “Oh…you should get changed. Dinner is being served right now.”
Adriane grudgingly got up and changed out of the nightgown. Kayleigh watched him as he did that. She could see the sorrow. “Hey…what do you say to playing this weekend? We can come down here and you can try on whatever you want. I can help with your hair and makeup. It’ll be fun. I can bring some movies down here and we can watch them.”
That brightened him right up. “Really. It doesn’t freak you out or anything?”
“Nope. You looked wonderful in the nightgown and I can’t wait to see you in something else. Remember, this isn’t new for me. My family hangs out with a number of Drag Queens, Transsexuals and Transvestites. This is not all that weird. Weird is someone in a dress that is too tight trying to hide their mutton chop like sideburns with their wig. That is weird.”
Adriane laughed and the two of them headed off to dinner.
October 14, 2006
After breakfast Adriane managed to avoid getting tripped more than twice as he headed back to his room. He wanted to grab his things and head out to the secret room. To be able to dress and to share it with someone was just wonderful. It made him happy just to think about it. So happy that he didn’t mind the stupid pranks.
Anvil was still at breakfast since Bricks needed more food than any three normal folks. Adriane wasted no time in getting ready and out of the room. There was no reason to ask for trouble. He took some of the back stairs to avoid being noticed and then made his way into the access tunnels underneath the building. He hustled through the tunnels, pausing occasionally to check to see if he was being followed. Everything seemed clear and he could hear no footsteps.
He got to the dark area and moved in, until he was completely hidden from normal sight. He sat down with his back against the concrete wall and waited. His life had certainly changed in a fairly short period of time. He had gone from desperation to happiness all because of Kayleigh. Maybe things weren’t as bad as he had thought? He still hated his power and wished it would go away, but he was dealing with the bullies better. He only wished his control would improve faster. He really wanted to destroy the specific things he wanted to when he wanted to, that way he could destroy someone’s clothes in an instant or something else. That might get them to leave him alone.
Sure, he had been able to do it once while he was angry, but he hadn’t been able to do it since. It had been five days since the scene in the cafeteria and he wasn’t able to make a jacket disappear on a target, let alone anything else. It always made everything disappear. He really couldn’t figure out what his problem was. He was getting frustrated about his powers, again.
And that display had only taken care of the bullying for a few days. It seemed as if some of the Bullies here really had short term memory issues. What was he going to do? The teasing and stuff had worn him down and now he just wanted things to end. Kayleigh helped but not enough. If only his power would cooperate.
A soft beam of light enveloped him. He smiled up at Kayleigh, who was floating next to him. “Hey Mister, want a ride?”
“Sure.” She picked him up and flew through the darkness until they were safe in their private room. She kissed him before she set him down.
Adriane put his bag on the coffee table. “Well, I brought all of my stuff. Now I don’t have to stress in my room.”
“Good. I don’t want you to stress. So…want to try something on? I brought you a dress I like to wear and I…I kind of wanted to…you know…see you in it.” Kayleigh turned away from Adriane some, embarrassed.
Adriane smiled shyly. “That…that would be really cool. Uhm…uh…”
Kayleigh brought out the dress. It was a nice summer dress of white with daisies all over it. Adriane really loved the look. It was the kind of thing he really wished he could wear, but would get beaten down severely for. It looked light and airy and he smiled as he imagined himself wearing it.
“Come on silly. Get dressed.” prompted Kayleigh.
Adriane got out a pair of panties and a bra that would go with the dress. He headed towards the bathroom that they had found stocked with loads of costuming items, including breast forms of different sizes and skin tones. The door closed softly and Adriane started by stripping off everything, piling it in the corner. Then he pulled on the panties, tucking himself under. It felt odd but he did like how it gave him a flat front.
The bra was next. Adriane closed it and then looked at the breast forms. He had decided that a B cup would look most natural on his frame and so went with that. He dropped the breast forms into the cups and adjusted them until they felt right. He then pulled the dress on over his head.
It fit him well as he and Kayleigh were so similar in build. He looked into the mirror and smiled. He quickly brushed his hair into a more feminine look and smiled at the results. He looked like a girl. There would be no problem with him passing. He started to cry, as he had never been so happy. It started soft but grew stronger and stronger.
Kayleigh knocked on the door, clearly worried. “Adriane…are you okay in there?”
Adriane shook his head, not even thinking about the fact that Kayleigh couldn’t see it. He kept looking into the mirror, despite the fact that he couldn’t really see anything through his tears. He trembled as he sobbed.
Kayleigh soon had him in her arms, as he hadn’t heard the door open through his sobs. She held him tightly, lifting him. She ran a hand over his head softly, murmuring, “It’s okay sweetie, it’s okay.”
It took Adriane a while to calm down. The reflection had been Adriane, the way Adriane had often seem himself in his fantasies. He had been the girl of his dreams. But slowly, as Kayleigh held him and he began to feel safe he quieted down and looked up at Kayleigh. She asked quietly, “Are you okay?”
“Did your reflection surprise you?” she asked.
He nodded again.
“You liked it?” Her only answer was a blush. He turned away from her, embarrassed. What must she think of him?
“You look wonderful, sweetie. I think you look really cute in that sundress.”
Adriane looked up, surprised. “You…you don’t think this is weird?”
“No silly. I told you before. This is fine. I just want you to be happy and if dressing like this makes you happy, why would I mind?” Kayleigh looked confused, as if she couldn’t figure out why he might have been worried about this. “And you know…seeing you like this gave me an idea. How about we dress you up like this for Halloween?”
Adriane blinked several times, as if he hadn’t heard her. “What?”
“Yeah…we can get you a costume of some sort and I bet no one would know. I have a really cute idea that should be fun.”
“Really?” He asked, scarce believing what he had heard and wishing with all his might that it was true. She leaned down and whispered in his ear. The more she described the broader his grin became.
October 27, 2006
Kayleigh had been excited, almost bouncy. The costumes had arrived. She had told him at lunch and the last half of his day had been worthless. All he could do was to think about the outfit that was waiting for him. He had shivered with delight so often that one of his teachers had asked if he was feeling alright. He had stammered that he was okay and had managed to keep from doing much of anything except for class work for the rest of the period. Power Theory had been tough to focus on, but he did at least try.
Adriane meet Kayleigh by the Library after classes had let out. He hadn’t exactly sprinted over, but he certainly hadn’t walked. He was panting when he ran up to her. “Well?”
“Impatient much?” teased Kayleigh. She giggled and they took off hand in hand towards one of the entrances to the tunnels that covered a great deal of campus. They made their way quickly into the secret room. There on the coffee table were two boxes. Adriane’s heart was racing. Was this for real? Honestly? This was so much better than Christmas.
He was too nervous to even touch the boxes. Maybe he was dreaming? Maybe he would wake up and his roommate would be there, laughing at him? Maybe he would wake up and Kayleigh would have been just a dream? So much of his life, especially since his power began manifesting had been a nightmare. Was it possible that the worst of it was gone?
Adriane opened the box that Kayleigh had said was his and looked down at the material. The dress looked so light, so airy. He was afraid to reach out and touch the material for fear of tearing it. Kayleigh smiled at him. “I am sure this is going to look awesome on you. We almost look identical and I am sure no one will be able to figure out who is who. See, problem solved.”
Adriane smiled. Maybe, just maybe Halloween would be fun. He was looking forward to being able to just be himself but to be outside of the safety of this secret crossdressing lair was terrifying. He swallowed nervously and picked up the costume. They had to make sure that it fit or the whole effect would be ruined. He took a deep breath with his eyes closed and exhaled slowly. He could do this.
October 31, 2006
He couldn’t do this. Adriane was so nervous. Surely everyone would know it was him, despite the fact that Kayleigh assured him over and over again that no one would be able to tell. He had looked in the mirror and he could tell it was him. If he could tell, everyone could. If he didn’t want to do this more than he was afraid he would have taken the costume off.
He swallowed and stepped out of the bathroom. Kayleigh squeed and bounced. “Oh my God sweetie, you look adorable. Now twirl.”
Adriane twirled and loved the feel of the skirt lifting some. The princess costume was wonderful and Kayleigh looked rather dashing in her prince costume. She walked over and put the tiara on his head. “There. Now you look perfect.”
The curtsey was a bit wobbly, as nerves made Adriane a bit less graceful than he normally was. “Thank you.”
“Are you ready to go then?” Kayleigh smiled at him, which was a bit like cheating as he had no natural defense against that. Her feminine wiles defeated him every time. He just nodded, his palms damp.
She flew them to another exit and they made it out into the night air. The two both had cloaks and pulled them a bit around themselves, especially, since the dress didn’t provide much in the way of insulation. She took his hand and gently led him away from the safety of the door. He swallowed hard and followed her.
They got smiles, but no one called out either of their names. No one pointed and made any noises. No one called out, ‘Hey! Look at the Fairy!’ Adriane slowly relaxed. Maybe this whole crazy plan just might work? He released the air he had kind of had been holding, awaiting the chaos of laughter and jeers which never came. It seemed like everyone was far, far too interested in their own friends and barely spared the time to look at any others.
Adriane began to actually smile. It felt like a weight had been lifted off of him and he spontaneously grabbed Kayleigh and hugged her tight. He whispered in her ear, “Thank you so much for this. I love you.”
Hand in hand the two entered the gym, chatting away like two girlfriends out having fun. Adriane realized that maybe he needed to rethink his life. This was the most fun he ever had and he felt free and alive and desperate for more. It even made up for what was passing for music. They laughed and watched the crowd, impressed by some of the outfits. Halloween really was sort of magical in so many different ways. When the two got a chance to slow dance, Adriane wished this night would never end. He rested his head on her shoulder.
The kiss Kayleigh gave him at the end of the dance took his breath away and he sighed, looking lovingly into her eyes. She was incredible. Where had she been his whole life?
As the demon chick was setting up her gear for her round of music, the two of them headed towards the door. Kayleigh had whispered a lovely idea into his head and he definitely agreed that it might be for the best.
The air was cool. Some of the stoners were off to the left so they headed right, where the air didn’t smell of pot. There were some decorative shrubs alongside the building which might be a great spot to make out. The sound of the music blared out of the gym as they turned the corner. They lost track of the music as they began to kiss again. Adriane liked how she was holding him. It felt nice and he melted into her arms. He was safe here.
The sound changed, radically. They both fell to the ground, somewhat dizzy and nauseous. What was going on? It was hard to think straight. Kayleigh did not look too good; in fact she was a bit green. There was a sound behind them. He turned and looked up to see two Chessmen standing there, looking down at them, weapons at the ready. He gasped in surprise. What the hell was going on? They shouldn’t be here.
“Not target.” The voice was mechanical and flat, no emotion.
“Take into gym for containment.”
They held their weapons comfortably, just like they had been programmed to. Their presence was menacing and forced them forward. Adriane helped Kayleigh to her feet. She was shaky and making those noises that you would associate with being ill. “Move.”
There were screams filtering out from inside. Just what the hell was going on in there? Was this really a good plan? Doing what they wanted? “Move.”
Adriane realized he had stopped. They were almost at the corner of the building. If they were taken inside…
Afterwards he couldn’t figure out exactly why he did what he did. There were several other kids in the area and the world had gotten sharp, clear, and utterly distinct. He spun, causing the skirt of the dress to swirl. The feeling was exquisite. One hand hit a Chessman and his power flared out. The swing continued through the disintegrated Chessman and into the other. Again his power flared and nothing remained. He was pissed.
“Kayleigh…hide. I will try to help the others.”
“Adriane…I can barely stand. I…I…” She almost vomited, the sound waves beating on her. He wasn’t sure why it wasn’t doing the same to him right now but he really wasn’t going to question it.
Adriane grabbed his Prince and hustled her out of the way. Hopefully, any other Chessmen about would stick to the building and not farther out. He lifted the hem of his dress and hustled back, trying to stay out of the line of sight of the door. He ran on his toes so his low heels wouldn’t make noise clacking on the concrete.
The other kids who were outside seemed to be fleeing, some screaming in clear panic. That added to the chaos filling the area. However, Adriane saw the world clearly and there was no panic in him right now, just the simple determination to keep his love safe.
It looked like there was a pair of Chessmen guards at the door, keeping people in. He snuck up, doing his best to stay out of their sight and along the wall. He got to the door and the wave of vertigo hit him again. The sound was really disorientating. He shook his head, trying to clear it, the curls bouncing. He had to do this. It was the only way.
The first one had no idea what was coming. A quick touch and there was suddenly only one guard at the door. The other one was spinning quickly to face him as he tried to cross the distance to it. A burst of light hit the weapon, knocking it from its hands. Adriane tripped on the hem of his dress but stretched out one hand and managed to touch the killer robot.
Suddenly, the exit was clear. Someone helped Adriane up and out of the way, as students surged from the building. Weapon fire was erupting everywhere, both inside and out. Adriane turned and looked at his rescuer. Anvil looked back at him and smiled weakly.
Oh God! He was going to die! Anvil!
Kayleigh was trying to marshal the students into some sort of defense, but very few were listening. Mostly they ran towards their dorms, adding to the utter chaos of the moment. Anvil set Adriane down, making sure the princess was steady on his feet. “You okay dude?”
He nodded, unable to speak. When was the beating going to start? Is this what happened when the world ended?
“That was incredible Adriane. Thank you. And…you do look really cute in your costume. Until those things disintegrated I had no idea it was you. Thanks.” Anvil looked impressed and the look on his face wasn’t one of disgust. Adriane couldn’t figure out what it was.
They all ran, trying to escape the chaos, as the night erupted into death and madness.
November 1, 2006
There were no classes today. That had been sent out via the schools intranet to every system at school. There were also flyers up in all of the dorms. When every thing had quieted down, and the staff had done a student count, they had all been able to stagger off to bed. Anvil hadn’t really blinked when Adriane took off the dress and was wearing lingerie. Adriane had grabbed his towel and went off to wash up, getting the dirt and makeup off of himself. He was wrung out and couldn’t care less what Anvil might say. Kayleigh had called him her hero, and that was all that mattered to him in the end.
He lay in his bed, thinking about things. He had never been able to take out that much mass before without having to really push. It had been so very easy. Was it because he was more relaxed dressed as a girl? Was it because he was worried about his girlfriend? He didn’t know. It could even be just yes as both questions had some truth.
The dress still hung over the back of the chair, the lingerie on the floor, hose draped over the dress, heels toppled over. He had done it. He had gone out fully dressed in front of other students and it had been magical. Until the fight, it had been the best time he had ever had in his life. Did being dressed really make that much of a difference?
He could hear Anvil beginning to stir. Adriane got up and began to grab his clothes, hoping to get out of there before Anvil did something or said something. There were too many things churning in his head to want to deal with any more crap. He didn’t make it.
Adriane stopped and looked over at the PK superman. He was worried.
“That was awesome last night. I mean everyone was so scared and fucked up from that sonic thing and then you showed up and saved the day. Thanks. You really are a hero.” The sincerity in the voice was clear and Adriane wasn’t sure what to do about that. “And like I said last night, nice costume. You looked good. But I wouldn’t wear it as a permanent thing. I mean you tripped ugly on that skirt dude.”
Both laughed at that. It had been funny and terrifying at the same time. What was going on?
Adriane went to the shower and got cleaned up again. A few of the other guys congratulated him on being the big hero. It was messing with him. Even some of the applause when he walked into Crystal Hall threw him for a loop. He hadn’t really done anything, had he?
Kayleigh joined him in the food line and bowed. “My heroic Princess.”
He curtsied. “My Prince.”
They both giggled. Maybe this wasn’t so bad? Adriane decided then and there that he was going to talk to his counselor and see if it might be alright if he could dress off and on. Kayleigh loved him and he had been a hero, dressed as a Princess. Maybe that might help him find control and stuff? They were there for this, right? He wanted to find control and he had liked being Kayleigh’s Princess. Maybe this way he could get both.
Adriane laughed and smiled as he ate with his girlfriend. Maybe this power wasn’t as much of a problem as he thought?