Chapter 2.14 – The Reality Check
Barry woke up the next morning, refreshed and satisfied in a way he couldn’t recall being since college. Maybe since before college, if ever. It was disconcerting, because he couldn’t remember getting into bed. The last thing he could recall with any real clarity, was watching Ian milk his own desires right out of Richard. He knew he had driven home, he could recall some of that. He’d gotten in the house, drank the cum and that was it.
He felt great though, and the more he thought about it, the more he could begin to recall something else, something different. He’d been at the bar for a party, but it was a party for him. He’d gotten the promotion, of course. There was no one else remotely qualified like he was, or as well liked and respected by his team and leadership in the company. Evan had called him into his office for his interview, and nearly handed him the job right then and there. There was no Richard, anymore. He didn’t even exist. Barry heaved a sigh, laid back on the bed, and basked in what he recalled. It was what he’d wanted. All of it.
Eventually he got up, went into the bathroom, and there in the mirror, he could see a few shifts as well. It wasn’t as extreme as the Prestige he’d taken in the bathroom (not that that had happened in his new memories) but it was still apparent. A stronger jaw. He was a little more toned, his posture a little straighter. He just looked more important than he had the day before. He looked like someone who could hold the attention of a room. He took a shower, and only after did he notice that something was missing–he wasn’t sure where Dennis was.
He checked his phone but didn’t see a text from him, though there was one from Ian.
“Hey, just checking in, I bet you woke up feeling great. You might notice some lingering nausea and blurry vision–this is perfectly normal. Your reality is still sorting itself out, tying up loose ends. Try not to do anything too crazy–choices you make for the next while can have repercussions if you don’t take it a bit easy. For something like this though, you should be fine in a couple of hours.”
He texted him back, asking him what he meant by repercussions exactly, but didn’t get a reply right away. Ian was probably still asleep, after all, it seemed like he’d still had more work to do on Richard after Barry had left. In any case, he was sure that it couldn’t be anything that terrible. That still left him wondering about Dennis. He tried to remember if Dennis had been there when he’d gotten home, but he couldn’t remember either finding him, or not finding him there. Most likely he’d just gone for a morning jog. He didn’t do it regularly, but sometimes he’d get to feeling like he needed to try and get into shape again, go jogging for a week or two, and then call it quits when it came clear it wasn’t going to happen like magic.
Beyond that, he was hungry. He went down to the kitchen, started making himself some breakfast, only for the world to lurch around him, making him feel like he was going to vomit. It took a minute or two for it to settle, and when his vision cleared, the world wasn’t quite the same, but he couldn’t quite place what had changed. That must be what Ian had been talking about. He checked his phone again, and there was still no reply. Now he was worried, but if Ian said it would pass, then he’d just have to be patient. In any case, the sudden lurch had spoiled his appetite, and he set the breakfast he’d started back in the fridge for now. Maybe when Dennis got back they’d eat together, while he congratulated him on his promotion. He was looking forward to watching his husband eat crow–not that he supposed he would notice. He wondered how this reality stuff would even affect him. Barry could remember the way things had been, but would Dennis?
It was not long after that he heard the garage door opening–which was odd. When Dennis went running, he always went out the front door. He also heard the car. Maybe he’d just gone to the store or something, but that was rather unlike him. He went out to the garage in time to watch a sheepish Dennis climb out of the car, wearing a rather odd assortment of clothes–leather gear, with an oversized shirt on top and some baggy pants below. They looked at each other, Dennis’s eyes as large as plates, and he stammered out a few syllables, but Barry didn’t hear any of it. His vision slipped sideways again, and his guts twisted, and he could feel something growing taut, but he didn’t know what to name it.
When the world snapped back, he was clinging to the bannister of the small flight of steps down into the garage, and Dennis was leaning over the side mirror of the car–but he looked different. Smaller, a little chubbier. Younger too. No, he’d always looked like that, but it felt like his eyes were trying to stare at two versions of Dennis occupying the same space. “Fuck, what did…what was that Barry?” Dennis asked, forcing himself upright again, and saw himself in the mirror. “I…no, I was changing back, why do I look like that again?”
Barry turned around and went back in the house, stumbling a bit as he went. He needed to call Ian, find out what this was doing to them both. He checked his messages, but there was nothing. He called him, the phone rang a few times and then went to voicemail, and Barry almost threw his phone across the kitchen.
“What’s going on, Barry? What happened?”
Dennis had followed him inside, and when Barry turned to look at him, the world just kept turning and spinning, Dennis blurring and spinning with it. Dennis didn’t fit right, he was the wrong shape, the wrong color, the wrong sound. He needed to be different. He needed to fit. That thing grew taut again, tighter and tighter, and then it snapped apart, everything slammed together again but it was right now. Of course Dennis was getting home late–his slutty cub of a husband liked to go out on the weekends. Barry went with him usually, but didn’t last night because of his own party–he’d told Dennis to go on without him. “Looks like someone had a good night at the Hideaway,” Barry said, grinning at him. “Go home with the staff again?”
“No, Barry, how do you know that? I…I feel so weird, what’s happening?”
Barry walked over, and pulled him into a tight embrace, wrapping one hand around the back of him and cupping his ass. He was smaller then him, but then, he always had been. The sensation felt strange to him all the same, and the sense of power it gave him, was an unexpected rush, and he pushed his tongue into Barry’s mouth, reminding him who he really belonged to–only for Dennis to push him away.
“What’s gotten into you? Why…why do you look…strange? Barry, answer me.”
Barry, however, was feeling a bit frustrated. How dare the cub rebuff him like that, so easily? Barry was the important one. Barry was the one who brought home the money. Barry was the one in control. He could almost feel his vision shaking this time, Dennis stubbornly refusing to shift into his proper place. Yeah, proper place, he’d put him in back where he belonged. He stepped forward, and when he went to grab Dennis this time, the world shuddered again, but at last, he felt something turn around and lock–and when it snapped back, he had Denny shoved up against the wall next to the door to the garage, one hand running down to his hole and probing it.
“You fucking slut, how many men had you last night? Did you even count?”
“What’s one more, eh?” Barry said, and pushed his cock into his loose hole and Dennis gasped in sudden delight.
He knew this was wrong. Barry had never been this aggressive before, this domineering, but where the old Dennis would have put him in his place, his hole was too hungry, his heart thrumming at a different, eager frequency. They fucked right there in the hallway, Barry cumming after a few minutes, and pulling free.
“Get yourself cleaned up–and then make us breakfast, would you?” Barry said, “Something a little celebratory, after my promotion.”
Dennis just mumbled something like a yes, and scampered upstairs and into the shower, trying to sort out what had just happened to him, what he’d felt, what he was, who he was. The shower didn’t really help, and when he climbed out, he looked at himself in the mirror, and he just felt wrong. He’d been different. Older, more dominant. He’d been important, he’d been a surgeon. But that was gone now. He just worked…as a receptionist. A receptionist at the hospital, he didn’t want to work more than that, after all, when would he get to go out and get fucked if he had an important job like that? He shook his head, the thought felt so natural, but he had to remember it was wrong. He went downstairs, planning on demanding Barry explain what happened to them, but his voice wouldn’t come out, like he forgot the words even as he tried to say them. Instead, he fixed them both a nice breakfast while Barry read the morning paper.
After they’d eaten, Barry checked his phone, and saw Ian had replied to him. Reality, apparently, could struggle to accommodate other odd changes or deviations in behavior, leading to radically altered timelines. Barry shot back an angry little note, telling him he would have appreciated the warning first. Ian apologized, and asked him if he could think of anything happening. Barry couldn’t though. As far as he was concerned, his life had never been better. Everything was exactly as it was supposed to be.
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