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Chapter 02

      Something buzzed loudly.

      I groaned in complaint, my face buried in my pillow and blindly smacked the side table trying to hit the snooze button. I connected with something and it fell to the floor.

      The buzzing stopped.

      I sighed in relief and went back to sleep.

      The buzzing started again.

      "For god's sake," I whined as I pulled a pillow over my head to muffle the noise, "stop it already."

      The buzzing stopped a few second later, but the damage was already done. I was awake. I stayed like that for a moment, head sandwiched between two pillows hoping I'd be able to fall asleep again, but it didn't happen.

      With a sigh I turned on my side, keeping my eyes closed. I might be awake, but there was no way I was going to acknowledge that fact without protest. Through my eyelids I could tell the sun was up, and that it was bright. Maybe it was late enough that it was worth getting up.

      I slowly sat at the edge of the bed. I didn't want my head to ring any louder than it had to, and I was pleasantly surprised when it didn't ring at all. It was definitely later than I thought if my hangover was gone. I stretched with a jaw breaking yawn and then rubbed my face. I immediately opened my eyes when my hand touched my face, the shape was all wrong.

      The room was immensely bright for a moment as I opened my eyes and then it faded to normal level. The first thing I noticed as I pulled my hand away was that there was fur on it. It was orange with small black stripes. It went up my arm to my shoulder, chest . . .

      I touched my face again, not quite believing what I saw; the shape that had felt wrong was a muzzle. On top of my head, among the hair I had two fan like ears; they twitched under my touch. I slowly looked behind me and a tail lay on the bed; it started twitching as a grin spread on my face.

      I ran to the bathroom. I had to confirm what I thought I was seeing.

      In the mirror over the sink a tiger's face looked back at me. The top of its muzzle and forehead were orange with black stripes. It had an uneven white mask around caramel coloured eyes and the fluffy white fur from its belly went up its neck, under its muzzle and up its cheeks. I wriggled *my* cheek and the whiskers moved in response.

      I guess I should have been stunned, confused and maybe even scared, but only one thought was in my head. "This is the coolest dream ever," I said out loud. My voice had gone down at least an octave. There was no way Jess would tell me I could pass myself off as a woman over the phone anymore.

      I looked at my hands again, there was no fur on the palm and the underside of my fingers, but the skin was tougher than it had been. I ran a finger across is; I didn't seem to have lost any of the sensitivity there. I flexed my fingers, and claws came out from their tip. They weren't big, maybe half an inch in length, but they were sharp.

      I ran a hand along my arm. I could feel the muscles under the fur, they felt hard. I tightened the bicep and it got bigger, large enough that I could see some definition through the fur. I was ecstatic; I'd never had anything I could call muscles before. After that I ran my hand down my stomach. I couldn't see them because the fur was longer, but I could feel the six pack there.

      My eyes moved further down almost of their own accord. I don't know how I had managed to wait this long before looking at it, but my cock was standing proud. It was long and thick. I knew that it would be almost nine inch in length if I measured it since everything else matched the image of my dream lover perfectly. I ran a finger along the short barbs and my entire body shivered at the pleasure I felt.

      I was able to resist jerking off long enough to look at my legs. They too were muscular. The white belly fur continued down over my balls and on the inside of my legs, although it became shorter and came to a point under my knees. My feet were fully human, except for the fur and claws.

      Once that was done I came back to my balls. I wrapped a hand around them; they were more than a handful now, and massaging them felt much better than before. The ways I could go about pleasuring myself flashed in my head.

      I could spend weeks exploring the different ways this body reacted to stimulation, but I realized there was one thing I wanted to try before I had any chance to wake up. I sat down on the floor, hooked my arms under my knees and . . . lets just say that I confirmed that I was very flexible, that doing it myself was fun, but it didn't beat getting someone else to do to me and that it taste much better than it used to.

      Once I was done and had taken time to catch my breath I figured I should go outside, see what the world looked like through these new eyes. Getting dressed proved to be easy. The nice thing about being over weight is that it's easier to tighten a belt than try to loosen it past its last hole.

      It did occur to me that since this was a dream I didn't really have to wear anything, but everything felt so real that I decided to just go with it. I did have to forgo shoes. My feet had increased in size like the rest of me so none of those I had fit. I didn't think it would matter much. The sole of my feet was like my palm, but more so; the skin was hard and I couldn't feel all that much when I pressed on it. I wasn't going to test it by walking on broken glass, but I was confident I could do it without hurting myself.

      I finally checked the time when I unplugged my cell, it was almost eleven and I had a message.

      "Jim, it's Pat. Something really weird's going on here and Harry's not answering his phone." He sounded really worried. "Can you call me as soon as you get this, please?"

      I spent the ride down to the ground floor trying to figure out how I was going to hold my cell to my ear and still be able to talk in it. I waved to the guard and ignored his shocked expression; I wasn't going to let other's reactions bother me inside my own dream.

      I dialed Pat's number and put the phone to my ear, the only solution I'd come up with was to talk louder.

      "Jim! Thank God you called. Are you ok?" Jim asked, frantic.

      "Of course I'm fine."

      There was a moment's hesitation. "Are you sure you're ok. You're voice sounds odd."

      I swallowed a chuckle. He was in for a surprise when he saw me. "Must be a problem with the phone. What's going on?" I smiled at the people on the sidewalk, amused at their fearful reactions.

      "Harry's not answering his phone. I'm scared something's happened to him."

      "Are you sure he hasn't just left already?"

      "Of course I'm sure," he answered harshly, "his coach called me to find out why he's missed his flight."

      "Ok, ok, no need to bite my head off. What can I do?"

      "Can you meet us at Harry's place? Sounds like you're the only one of us that's ok."

      "Yeah, sure. I'll grab a taxi and head there directly." I hung up and flagged the first taxi I saw. Instead of slowing down he sped up so I flagged another one, who did the same thing.

      "Fine," I said under my breath, "if that's the game we're going to play." I stepped in front of the next one.

      It screeched to a halt and before the driver even had time to realize what had happened I was sitting in the back. "I need to go to fifty-eight fifty-three Grand Alley," I told him as I put a fifty through the grill separating us.

      The driver was staring at me in the mirror, not moving. What I could see of his reflection made him a good looking guy, black curly hair, square clean shaven jaw with a slight tan. If the rest of his body looked like I imagined it, I'd happily do him.

      I tapped the grill, making the fifty fall on his side. "I'm in a bit of a hurry, how about you start driving instead of staring?" I gave him a smile that exposed my teeth. His head snapped forward and with a strangled 'yes sir' the car sped off.

      I spent the ride imagining what I could do with the driver. I didn't try to guess what was going on with Pat or Harry, or even where the dream might be going. I'd never had a dream before where I'd realize I was dreaming so I didn't know if there was any kind of rules. Since I wanted this to last as long as possible I was simply going to go along with everything.

      "How much do I owe you?" I asked once the car stopped in front of Harry's building.

      "It's ok," the driver answered nervously, "it's all covered."

      I took out two twenties. "I'm serious, that was just to get you to drive faster."

      "It's really ok," he said quickly, a pleading look on his face. "Please, I have to go pickup another fare."

      "Oh, yeah, sure." I stepped out of the taxi and leaned back in. "Any chance I can get your number?" I barely had the time to get my head out of the way as he slammed his foot down on the gas. "I'll take that as a no," I said as I watched the car speed away.

      I turned and walked toward my friends who were standing near the entrance to the building. The three of them wore a shocked expression on their face, but Mike looked really good with it. I couldn't put my finger in it, but he looked much better than usual, and he usually looked pretty good.

      "I thought you said you were ok." Pat almost yelled as I got closer. He looked like he'd slept in the clothes he was wearing. I realized he was wearing the same clothes as last night, so he had slept in them. And as I got close enough I could also tell he hadn't showered.

      "I am ok."

      Pat looked me up and down. "You call *that* being ok?"

      "Of course," I replied and then nodded to Mike, "looking good Mike. Hi Jess."

      "What the hell is wrong with you?" Pat actually yelled this time.

      I looked at him, trying to understand why he was such a basket case today. "I'm fine," I reassured him, "as long as I don't wake up, I'm just perfect."

      Pat stared at me in astonishment.

      "Jim, honey, this isn't a dream."

      I smiled at Jess. "Of course it is. I don't look like this when I'm awake."

      Mike rolled his eyes. "You really think you're dreaming?" he asked me in a very annoyed tone. I nodded. "Then this should wake you up." And he slapped me.

      At least that's what the motion was.

      When his hand connected with my cheek there was so much force behind it that my head spun away, and the rest of my body followed. I spun in the air and crashed to the ground with a groan.

      "Ouch," I said as I turned on my back. Saying that also hurt.

      "Shit Jim, I'm sorry. I forgot, I'm still not used to being so strong."

      I didn't really pay attention to what he was saying. I was touching my tender jaw; it was crooked. Mike's blow had broken my lower jaw. As I realized that I felt a sharp pain, and it moved back in place. After that there was no pain, even my cheek felt fine.

      When I paid attention to Mike again Jess was scolding him. "There was no need to do that. I could just as easily pinched him."

      "Pinching isn't a proof of anything," I said before I could stop myself.

      Jess glared at me. "Do you want me to tell Mike to hit you again?"

      "No, that's ok. I believe you. I'm not dreaming."

      Mike offered his hand and pulled me up. I looked at my hands again. I'd gotten my wish. I was the tiger I'd imagine being, and I had Wolverine's healing ability. Which mean that my other wish had also come true. I looked at where the cab had been parked. I had twenty hours or so to get laid before I got the blue balls I'd wanted to experience. Based on the reaction of everyone I came across today I was going to have them for quite a while.

      I looked at Jess to get my mind off that thought. "You don't look any different," I said.

      "That's because I was smart to say I could transform into a woman, unlike a dufus I know who got himself stuck looking like a fur rug."

      "You should have heard him scream this morning when he changed for the first time." Mike said.

      Jess glared at him. "Hey, I was surprised. I would have like to seen you react to seeing someone else in the mirror."

      I kept my mouth shut.

      "Still," Mike continued, "you shrieked like a girl."

      "That's because I *was* a girl." Jess retorted.

      "Are we done with the comedy routine already?" Pat growled angrily. "For all we know Harry's dying and you guys are standing here wasting time."

      "Calm down, dear," Jess said trying to sooth him, "you have no way of knowing that anything's wrong with him."

      "We got our wishes, right?" I asked. "He just wanted to be smart, how dangerous can that be? He probably just got lost in some science book he finally understands."

      "Alright," Pat replied, taking a deep breath, "can we still hurry up and go check in on him?"

      "Ok," Mike said before turning to me, "you're probably going to want to stay out of view until we're back."

      I tried to raise an eyebrow, and instead felt an ear tilt sideways. "Look around, it's a little late for that." A crowd had started gathering at a safe distance. "The cat's out of the bag."

      Jess groaned and Pat rolled his eyes. "You never were in the fucking bag to start with." With that he turned and headed for the door.

      I smiled at Mike and shrugged as I walked by him to follow Pat. The entrance door required an electronic key to unlock, or to be buzzed in by the guard, but Pat simply said "open" as he put his hand on the handle and the door opened when he pushed it. He did the same thing for the door leading from the lobby to the elevator and then pressed the elevator call button.

      The three of us stood next to him as he fidgeted and pressed the button again. I looked at the indicators and all six elevators were going up.

      "Come on," Pat grumbled as he looked at them too. "Hurry up and get down here already." A moment later all the number started moving down, very fast.

      The elevator to our far right was the first one to ding and open its door. Before we could go to it the one right to our left dinged and then the one in front of us. As we watch the four people in it hold on to the rail for dear life the other three elevators dinged.

      "Sorry," said Pat as he stepped on.

      I got on next and the man and three women recoiled at my presence. Before Mike could get on they fled the elevator. With all of us on Pat pressed the button for the forty-third floor.

      Harry's number was fifty eight, it was a corner unit. I was sometime jealous of his condo, but all I had to do was remember that he paid three times more than I did and I was ok with my tenth floor, middle of the wall apartment.

      Pat put a hand on the handle and whispered "lock, open." The light on the door lock turned green.

      "Why are you whispering?" Jess asked, also in a whisper.

      "My voice carries too far here." He answered at a normal volume, "If I'm not careful every lock that hears it will do what I say. I caused a power failure in my neighborhood this morning. I yelled at all the appliance in my house to shut down because they were too loud, but my window was open and there was a power box right at the corner of my house." He pushed the door, but the chain on the inside prevented it from opening. "Damn him and his locks." He put his shoulder against the door and forced it.

      "Harry," Pat called as the chain snapped. "Harry!" Pat ran to the body lying on the living room floor.

      We gathered around the jock. He was on his back, eyes opened and glazed over, drool running down the side of his mouth.

      Pat shook him before looking up at us. "What the hell's wrong with him? How can becoming smart leave him like that?"

      I didn't have a clue. It was Jess who offered a possibility.

      "I think he's too smart." He said softly.

      "How can he be too smart? Are you saying he should have remained a dumb jock?"

      "Of course not, but he wished to be smarter than the four of us put together. We're all pretty smart to start with so that give him and IQ of what, four or five hundred? At that level he can probably grasp the entire universe."

      "What's wrong with understanding the universe?"

      Jess knelt next to him and placed a hand on his shoulder. "Honey, it doesn't matter how smart he is. I don't think the human mind is capable of holding all the information needed to understand the universe."

      "So what are we suppose to do with him then? Hook him up to a machine that's going to keep him alive for the rest of his life?"

      "He still got two wishes." I said.

      Pat glared at me. "And how much help is that with him in this state? How are you going to get him to say his wish?"

      "Jim's right," Mike said, "and we don't have to get him to say it. We never used the word 'say' only 'make'. As long as he can make his wish it should come true."

      "But how can we get him to make it. Is he even still in there?" Pat asked, almost panicking

      "You're going to have to get through to him." Jess told him.

      Pat nodded resolutely. "Right, so all I have to do is talk him into wishing he was less smart."

      "Use a number," Mike said, "using 'less smart' is too vague. You have no way of knowing how Harry or the wish will interpret it."

      "Ok, what number then?"

      "Well," Jess said, "I think Einstein IQ was two hundred."

      Pat looked at him and nodded. "Two fifty then. There's no way I'm going to have Harry be dumber than that guy."

      Pat lay next to the football player. "Harry, it's Patrick." He spoke softly, but with my keen hearing I had no problem listening in.

      I folded my ears against my head and went into Harry's bedroom; it was the furthest room, and with the door closed I couldn't hear what Pat was saying. I didn't want to hear it, it too much of a reminder of what they had shared once and thrown away. Of something I'd never even gotten a taste of.

      Harry's bedroom wasn't the center of vanity you'd expect of a football player on the road to stardom. There was only one football related picture on the wall and it wasn't of Harry. It was a team picture of the college team he'd played on. The other two on the walls were a print of a mountain as one of a cloudy sky.

      On the night table was a picture of his parents and sister. I'd never met them, but he'd shown me pictures before. Next to it was one with two young boys; nephews I guessed.

      I'd never been in this room before, and the urge to snoop was pretty strong, but I went to the attached bathroom instead for a glass of water. Drinking with a muzzle took some getting use to. I managed it, but about half the content ended up running down my chin. I was going to have to remember to buy larger glasses for my place or I'd have to start lapping water out of a bowl.

      I'd just finished toweling the floor dry when I heard Par yell Harry's name, so I rushed back to the living room. Harry was sitting, still looking dazed.

      Pat grabbed Harry's head and turned it so he would look at him. "Are you ok?"

      It took Harry a moment a focus on him and when he did he smiled. "I'm fine. Hi guys," he added when he noticed the rest of us. "You too, huh?" He said that looking at me.

      He stood, a little unsteady. "I take it we're all received out wishes." He walked to the kitchen and took a jug of orange juice from the fridge. He took a swallow before offering it to us. We passed so he finished it.

      "What happened to you?" Pat asked, he'd been fidgeting, trying to restrain the question while Harry drank.

      The jock stared in space for a moment before focusing on us again. "I got here after walking you home, closed the door, headed for my bedroom, but before I reached it I had a thought." He paused for a moment before looking at Pat. "And then I heard you whispering to me."

      "So you don't remember anything?" Jess asked.

      Harry shook his head.

      "I'm sorry," Pat told him.

      "Don't be. I'd rather be here and conscious than stuck in lala land, no matter what I might have known during that time."

      "What do we do now?" Jess asked as Pat hugged Harry.

      "That's easy," Mike said, "Harry uses his last wish to undo ours and get things back to normal.

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