"The Genome Project" (Asylum on InsaneJournal) - story of an age shifter

Who: Laney and Alfie
What: calming him down, telling secrets, getting period (all wrapped up in one thread)
Where: the Tibbits household

Laney knocked on Alfie's bedroom door. She'd come over almost immediately, made small talk with his mother and headed straight upstairs to where she was now. She was worried. He was her best friend, she'd seen the best and worst of him, but she'd never seen him that angry before. Not that she'd actually seen anything, but if his journal entry was any indication to how he was acting, then Laney figured it was serious.

"Alfie?" She didn't want to just go in. If he got angry at her for that, she didn't want to end up like his desk. Of course, she figured Alfie probably wouldn't try and hurt her, but there were just some chances she didn't want to take.

Alfie had been lying on his bed since he'd written that journal entry. Having allowed some time to pass, he was beginning to realize what an idiot he had been and how he had let his emotions get the better of him. Now that he was thinking clearly, he was turning his anger toward himself. This time, however, it didn't contain that same amount of rage that left his desk in a pile of rubble on the floor of his bedroom. Instead, it was just making him shake his head, feeling totally, completely and utterly disappointed in himself.

At the sound of Laney's voice outside, he fought the urge to just stay in the same position. It was lazy and rude on his part, and he didn't want to be that person regardless of how powerful his anger was and how it managed to dominate him time and time again.
He wanted to be stronger than this, physically and metaphorically. Sitting up and rubbing his eyes, Alfie said, "Come in," in the most controlled voice he could muster. It wasn't just the anger than was draining his energy now. It was all the other emotions that came along with it too.

Laney turned the knob and pushed the door open slowly. Peeking around it, she gave him a shy smile and moved into his room. After hesitating for a moment, she shut the door again behind her. They needed privacy. Him breaking his desk out of anger was a huge deal and what she was going to share with him was too.

"Hi," she said, kind of quietly. "You feeling okay?" She wasn't exactly sure why she was tiptoeing around him. It just felt weird to act like they always did while a pile of wood sat within such a close range. She stood there awkwardly, not sure whether she should sit next to him on the bed or not. "You really fucked that thing up, huh?" There. A little joke could lighten the mood, right?

Alfie snorted and let himself smirk a bit. Count on Laney to make light of such a heavy situation, but that's what he liked about her. That was why they were friends, and why he believed they would always be friends. He would never be angry at her. Sure, he was upset about Carter, but that was mostly directed at Carter. It just so happened to spill over on her too. Still, in this moment, he knew he couldn't be angry at her.

"Yeah, it was pretty hardcore." He shrugged and stifled a yawn. This being angry business sure made him want to sleep. "I'm afraid some times that I'll hurt myself when I do it, but..." He showed her the arm he'd used to karate chop the desk and well, it looked pretty normal. "You should have seen it." Though he frowned, glad she wasn't there to witness possibly the lowest moment of his life.

She took a step closer to him to examine the arm he was holding out. She couldn't even tell that he'd hit the desk with it. There wasn't even a scratch on it. Laney was impressed, and her facial expression showed it. "I wish I did," she responded, letting her inhibitions go and finally taking a seat next to him.

"So why'd you do it?" She narrowed her eyes at him trying to figure him out. "Mad at somebody?" She wondered vaguely if Carter opened his big mouth about their terrible kiss, but figured Alfie probably didn't care enough about that to destroy his furniture.

Alfie just stared at his desk, wondering how in the heck he was going to rebuild it without his parents knowing what happened. He didn't know someone who could construct something out of nothing, did he? An idea struck him, and he pulled out his cell phone, quickly sending Glory a text message before returning his attention back to Laney.

"Lexie, Annie and I were talking about... my ability. And Lexie said she knew of other people who had abilities too. When I asked her who, she wouldn't say." He frowned but continued despite the familiar feeling of rage building in the pit of his stomach. "It really didn't even matter who it was. I just.... I wanted her to tell me. I wanted her to trust me, you know?" And the feeling of rage was quickly replaced by disappointment in his sister.

"Oh." Well, that was good. For Laney, at least. He wasn't mad at her, not that she thought he might be. But, well. "I have an ability." She blurted it out before she could think about it. Though, why she hadn't told Alfie sooner was beyond her. He'd shared his strength with her ages ago. "It's different than yours, though. I can't control it as much." So far, the furthest in age she could look was eighteen. She hadn't tried much further. It took way too much energy to even look that old, let alone middle aged or something.

"It's kind of embarrassing actually, and way stupid. Definitely not as cool as lifting whatever you want and destroying things." She looked down at her hands, wondering if she could muster up enough energy to demonstrate for him. Maybe if he had candy or something. It usually helped if her blood sugar was high.

Alfie blinked and was momentarily distracted from his present predicament with his desk. He stared at Laney in disbelief, though why he couldn't believe it, he wasn't sure. Of course, he knew about Lexie, so he had come to believe it was just a family thing. Then, Lexie had brought it up that she knew others with abilities too, and it all came together. "Really?"

He had completely turned his body to face her, now totally immersed in this conversation. "What can you do?" The previous sadness and anger and disappointment and whatever he had been feeling faded into nothing. Now, all that was left was his undivided attention and interest in her talents. "Can you show me?" It was probably more exciting than when he discovered his own strange ability really.

Laney nodded, looking up at Alfie. She was already blushing, though she wasn't exactly sure why. She figured it had to do with the fact that her power was so cheesy and kind of absolutely useless and not at all because Alfie was looking at her like she was suddenly the most interesting thing on the planet. "You're the only one I've told. Not even my sister knows." She didn't really trust anyone enough to tell them.

"I can like, age myself or whatever. Like I can make myself older or younger. I haven't done it in a while, but I can get to be like...I don't know, what looks like my sister's age."

She closed her eyes and bit her tongue. It took all the concentration that she could muster, and she wasn't a very focused girl to begin with. After what seemed like the longest minute of her life, she felt herself begin to grow. It wasn't by much. It was kind of a shock to her to find out that she wasn't going to be the tallest girl when she got older. Her height eventually stopped around five and seven inches. Her shirt tightened a bit as her breasts grew and she'd forgotten how much pain she'd been in the last time she'd decided not to take her bra off or wear a looser shirt.

After several minutes (as the process was slow), her hair had most of the streaks out and her face had lost the majority of its baby fat.

"Weird, huh?" She asked, when she was finally done. She'd managed to make it to eighteen or so, not wanting to try further.

Alfie's jaw could have swept the entirety of his floor from the way it had dropped. That was simply unbelievable. He couldn't even imagine something like that happening. It certainly didn't happen in movies or even video games. No one could age like that, not right before his eyes and in a matter of minutes. She looked so.... different. And like she might have been in pain somewhere. "How... uhm... but.... whoa...."

He was totally and completely in awe. All words had long since left his vocabulary, and he had reverted to being some creepy, hairy caveman who had just seen fire for the first time. Any higher level thinking went out the window right along with his internal censor. "Holy fucking shit!" And no, those couldn't possibly be what he thought they were. Holy hell... Laney so totally had the nicest boobs EVER.

Laney let out a laugh, which had dropped an octave, naturally. "Yeah, that's kind of the reaction I was expecting. Sorry it took me so long to show you. It's not useful like yours so I just kept it to myself." She looked down at herself and then back up at her best friend. He was staring...directly at her chest. She crossed her arms self consciously, but it was no use. She was in more pain that way. Her tiny training bra was three sizes too small, and the strain was evident by the soft sound of tearing threads. Five minutes ago, it was hanging loose from her body-- a commodity she wore because her mother and sister insisted on it. Now, it was like a girdle, constricting her in the most uncomfortable way.

She reached inside her shirt collar and down her back to try and loosen it a little. "I have to get this thing off before it---" She was interrupted by the sweet sound of fabric ripping. "Dammit. That's the second one this month. My mother's going to kill me." On the bright side, though, her breasts were definitely feeling a bit freer, or at least as free as they could feel in her just-as-small shirt.

"What do you think?" She pulled her hand from her shirt and looked down at herself. Her hips were definitely wider, her thighs were a bit thicker (thank God she'd chosen to wear a skirt that day), and her midriff was just as toned as Natalie's. "Kinda stupid, right?"

Alfie's jaw was still sort of hanging open as he shook his head from side to side. No, that wasn't stupid at all. Those were breasts. Yep. He definitely knew what those were. And suddenly, they weren't even in a bra any more. They were just like hanging out in her shirt. Alfie could feel his body temperature sky rocket, and he had to make it a point to keep his hands over his crotch. Not now, you damn thing. NOT NOW!

"It's... It's.... It's...... wow." Was that how she was going to look like in a few years? Was that what he had to look forward to? He was going to need more than two hands to cover himself up for sure then. And of course, he couldn't ask any questions even if he wanted to, because his brain was long gone, and his mouth had conveniently left too. He didn't mean to stare or drool or any of that stuff. But he was sure of one thing. There was no amount of mental scrubbing that could take away this memory of Laney.

Laney ran a hand through her hair. She figured it was normal that he was speechless. She'd been like that when he'd showed her. Still, she kind of wanted him to say something coherent. "I guess this is what I'm going to look like eventually, because every time I've done it, I've ended up looking like this." She thought she kind of looked like Natalie, which she supposed made sense, seeing as they were sisters and all.

"I wonder what you're going to look like," she said offhandedly, as she plucked at the fabric of her shirt absentmindedly. Her training bra, noticeably bulging under her shirt was annoying her. After several seconds of debating with herself, she reached a hand under and tore it off, tossing it away on the floor. She'd take it with her when she left, hoping that it was salvageable. "Too bad I can't age other people. Then we could both walk around here like teenagers and do grown up stuff."

Alfie nodded, still unsure what to say and certainly not wanting to say what he was thinking. Yes, his brain was slowly starting to come back in, but it was settling in a very southern region, one that didn't really do all that much thinking and more like just continued to stare at the now completely bra-less girl in front of him. "How... uhm... How.... How long... you know.... can you.... like.... stay.... like that?" He sounded like a retarded person, but he was just captivated by her, as if he was seeing her in a new light.

He liked the idea of being the same age as Laney looked. Maybe then he would have more control over what was happening to him below the belt. "Does it hurt? I mean.... growing?" He raised an eyebrow at her chest again, wanting so much to just feel them. Fucking hell, why hadn't he ever thought about wanting to feel a girl's boobs before this? This was so stupid.

Laney thought for a moment. She couldn't really remember wanting to stay older for more than an hour, really. She was sure she could stay longer, though. "I don't know. I've never really pushed it to the limit. It makes me really tired when I'm done. Maybe if I practice or something, then it will build my tolerance or whatever you want to call it. The most I've done is like an hour and fifteen minutes." She shrugged like it was no big deal, like anybody could change their age and the way they looked at the snap of a finger. To Laney, it wasn't really that cool, but apparently to Alfie it was enough to stare.

"Yeah," she said, touching one of her boobs. "They get real sore for like the first five minutes and then they feel fine, or normal or whatever. I'm not really sure what they're supposed to feel like. It's when my bra is too tight that it's really painful. It squeezes them together funny. I stole some of Natalie's old clothes and keep them in my closet for when I want to change." They were clothes that Natalie wouldn't have missed.

Alfie blinked in surprise as some distant part of his mind registered the fact that she could stay this way for an hour and fifteen minutes was totally awesome. He couldn't actually vocalize this, because the guns that were firing intelligent neurons to his brain weren't currently up and running. The only thing firing at the moment had less than honorable intentions. "Wow."

Okay, he was starting to sound really pathetic, and it was bugging him. But he just couldn't get out of this frame of mind. The only thing he could think about at the moment was staring him dead in the face in a C-cup. "Can I..." No, Alfie, no. Do not proceed. Do not pass Go. Do not collect one hundred dollars. Stop. Halt. Shut up. Stay quiet. Don't say another word. Yet, despite the mini Jiminy Cricket in his brain telling him how much of an idiot he was, Alfie still had to say it. "Can I touch them?"

It caught her off guard, that much was for sure. She blinked a few times and then thought hard about his question. He was a boy. It was only normal that he'd want to know all about her boobs, right? When she'd first gotten them, she'd been just as interested in them as he was. She'd examined herself in the mirror for a good half hour one time, even. Keeping them to herself didn't really seem fair. He was her best friend, after all. And she really didn't have the mindset of an eighteen year old yet anyways.

"I guess so. But be gentle cause they're still kind of sore." Laney took a deep breath and scooted a little closer to Alfie. It was such an intimate thing that they were going to do, but it wasn't really the sort of thing that was registering with her. It was like her experimental kiss with Carter-- a necessity. Weren't girls supposed to like getting their boobs touched? That was what all the movies implied, anyways.

Alfie had to make sure he had heard the right thing. Had she really said yes to this? The dark side of him, the part that lived in his pants, was throwing some sort of victory party while the rest of him was shaking like a leaf from nerves. Why had he even asked that? Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. But she had agreed, and he couldn't just back down now. He was no wimp. He just had to make sure to keep his emotions in check.

Nodding, he lifted his hands and slowly placed them over her breasts, not doing much at first but slowly tightening his grip ever so slightly. He was glad he had such control over his power, even now during this emotionally unstable moment. Still, he was making a huge, conscious effort to not hurt her. And after a moment, he pulled back, grinning up at her. "You're amazing, Laney."

She closed her eyes when he touched her. It just felt like the sort of thing he might have wanted privacy for. His hands felt weird, though oddly not bad. It wasn't exactly comfortable, but if it was anyone else, it might have been terrible. When he pulled back finally, she peeked open her eyes and smiled. "I know," she responded. "But so are you." It was a queer thing to say and she immediately regretted it. It was out there, though, and she couldn't take it back even if she wanted to. Her walls were down-- all of them, and Alfie was seeing her other, less rebellious-without-a-cause side whether she wanted him to or not.

"Should I go back now, or..." She let her voice trail off, not really sure what the other option was. Mostly, she wanted to know if he was satisfied with the way she was going to look some day, and not just with her newly acquired breasts. Now that he knew about her ability though, they could sneak into movies so much easier. And maybe she could work out a way to practice making someone else look older, so Alfie could join in on her fun. She wondered if it was possible. It was something that was on her mind a lot, and now that she could talk about it, it might be easier to figure out.

"I have to tell you something else, too. But I think you already know." If Carter was telling the truth, and Laney wasn't sure why he'd lie about something like that, then Alfie knew about the kiss. But Laney wanted him to hear her side of the story.

Alfie shrugged unsure of what the right answer to that was. He wanted to just stare at her like this for the whole night, though he knew it wasn't just because she looked like this. There had always been this strange attraction between them, one that he was still far too young to understand and had often pushed away and shrugged off. But it was rather undeniable at the moment. "If you're uncomfortable, you can switch back." There. He had found most of his voice. That was a good sign.

"Oh yeah?" He frowned, wondering what it was that he already knew. Blinking for a moment as his brain kick started up again, he said, "Oh! Is this about the Carter thing? That you.... kissed." The word tasted sour in his mouth, probably because of the mental image that went along with it. But it was more than just a bitter taste in his mouth. It was the awful feeling he got in his stomach whenever he thought about it.

Laney frowned, the thought of changing back momentarily forgotten. "Yeah." She turned an awful shade of pink and her cheeks got noticeably hot. She had never had a reason to blush before-- she didn't really have any reason to be embarrassed ever. But now was one of those times, and Laney didn't like the feeling. "It was just...you know. He mentioned that he had never and I had never and it was to see what it was like."

She bit her lip. For calming him down, reexplaining something that kind of seemed like a dead subject probably wasn't helping. She sort of regretted bringing it up now, but that didn't stop her from feeling like she had to defend her side. For one, Laney didn't know what Carter had told him. And for another...Alfie shouldn't have heard it from him. "I kinda wish I waited though. That sort of thing is probably better with best friends, and not just science fair project partners." She looked away from Alfie then, twiddling her fingers in her lap. "It wasn't what I thought it would be. It was kind of gross with Carter. No fireworks."

Movies always said there were supposed to be fireworks, didn't they? Laney definitely didn't see any of those. "And he said the Pledge of Allegiance afterward. What a nerd, right?"

Alfie smiled, then chuckled a bit and eventually broke out into a decent laugh. Even he was surprised that he wasn't totally fuming. But Carter really was a nerd. Honestly, who said the Pledge of Allegiance after kissing a hot girl? It was the lamest thing he had ever heard. "Hah! Carter. If I'd have been him, I wouldn't have done that." But then, he didn't actually know that for sure. Some times, you didn't know how you were going to react to something until the moment when it actually happened. Then again, the Pledge of Allegiance?

"Super nerd if you ask me." He paused for a moment and thought over what she had said. That bit about best friends suddenly struck him. "Maybe.... maybe you should try again.... with someone else.... when you're back to normal...... if you want." And he indulged for a moment in the idea of kissing her while she looked like this. It made his head spin, and he fought to keep the goofy grin off his face. But he had to admit that kissing Laney in her original form would be far more appropriate, seeing as how he wasn't sure whether looking older meant you had more experience in that sort of thing.

Laney's stomach did an involuntary flip at Alfie's comment about what he would have done (or not done) if he were Carter. She wasn't quite sure why, but it was probably the same reason that made her blush even more when he mentioned that she try again with someone else. Clearing her throat awkwardly, she closed her eyes and bit her tongue. After several seconds, her body went back to normal. Apart from her shirt being just a little bit stretched out, and her bra ripped on her lap, she looked exactly like she had before she'd changed.

Once her body got over the awkward shock of suddenly being six years younger, she looked up at Alfie. "Have you ever kissed anybody before?" She folded her hands in her lap and ignored the strange pain that she was having in her lower abdomen.

It really was like something totally awesome and out of a movie. Alfie couldn't believe this really was real life. It seemed so amazing to watch her change before his very eyes, and he couldn't say that he didn't believe it because he hadn't seen it happen. He had. Frowning a little at the face she was making, Alfie shook his head 'no'. "Never much thought about it really." And he hadn't. Not until the last few months really.

He rubbed his head awkwardly and looked down. It was one of the things that bothered him about this situation. Carter, the total nerd, had kissed a girl. And Alfie, the not-so-total nerd, hadn't. He supposed he was more unique that way, but it still didn't sit well with him, especially since the person he had kissed was Laney. Alfie wondered why that mattered. It wasn't like he cared about that who-you-had-your-first-kiss-with girly stuff. But somehow, the fact that Carter had kissed a girl, and that it was Laney, made it some sort of a big deal to him.

"Yeah, neither had I. Not until Carter mentioned putting a kiss in the script for that movie he's making. He wanted me and...you...to do it." Man, why was it so hot in Alfie's room? Laney tugged at her shirt a bit. Her cheeks felt really hot and literally shaking from nerves. She hoped Alfie didn't notice, but wasn't doing much to cover it. Plus, her stomach was still feeling really weird. Usually the body shock went away by now.

Alfie raised an eyebrow, half not expecting to hear that. Well, that changed everything. Sure. Carter was the first out of the two of them to kiss a girl, but Alfie was probably going to do it repeatedly. Didn't scenes require multiple shots and takes some times? He grinned a little but tried to hide his approval of the situation under a more normal guise. "Do you think that maybe we should start practicing? I mean, I don't usually rehearse when I go on screen, but we have to make this look right, don't we?" Damnit, where was his chapstick?

She bit her lip and busied herself with looking at her torn bra. "Maybe. That sounds like a good idea." She wasn't about to admit that she actually wanted to see what kissing Alfie was like. She wasn't even sure why she wanted to. But she did. Even when she was kissing Carter, she sort of maybe wished it was her best friend instead. Not that there was anything wrong with Carter. But it was Carter. Nerdy Carter. He wasn't her type and he tried way too hard to impress her.

Alfie didn't even need to try to impress her. He just impressed her on a regular basis just by being himself. She liked that about him. It was why they were such good friends. And it was probably why she scooched a little closer to him now, licking her lips instinctively.

"Carter said that we weren't supposed to hold hands or anything. But I guess we have to close our eyes." She swallowed hard. Another pain shot through her gut and she felt an odd sensation. Figuring it was just nerves, she ignored it.

Alfie nodded, unsure exactly how to proceed with this. He cursed Carter for at least going through with it. Here Alfie was trying to figure out how to fucking start. He thought back on all those movies he had seen in the past and on those romantic scenes that usually made him want to gag and cover his eyes. Perhaps he needed to go back and rewatch those with a fresh perspective. "I think that maybe..."

He reached out and brushed his thumb over her cheek, gently tilting her head to the side. Yeah, didn't kisses start like that? It wasn't one of those straight on kisses. The best kisses were the ones where you got full access to lips on lips. He looked in her eyes for a moment just to be able to keep his courage going before slowly leaning in, eyes closing as he did so. Meanwhile, the solar system that lived in his pants was having a party.

Laney felt a tingling on her skin where his fingers touched. It was weird and new but she knew she liked it. It was one of those things that she couldn't quite explain but was okay with that because explaining it might have made it seem less than it was.

When he leaned in, she leaned in too and when he closed his eyes, hers fluttered shut as well. Their lips were so close and then, finally they were touching ever so lightly. It was different than kissing Carter. Way different. She felt warm. She felt tingly. She felt...wet.

Laney's eyes opened rather abruptly and she pulled back fast. Panic raced through her for a split second as she questioned whether or not she had just peed herself. Finally deciding that no, she hadn't peed, she shot up off the bed. Weird pain in her abdomen, moody for a few days...those were things that her teachers had warned her about in Sex Ed. All the signs finally came together. She had just gotten her period! On her best friend's bed!

Doing her best, she did a quick check for blood without looking like it. "I have to go," she said, quickly, blushing profusely. "I'll see you tomorrow or something..."

She ran out of his room without a look back.