Chapter 3

One Small Step for Danny

 

It took several doctors and a bevy of nurses to soothe Barb’s sore tail, make sure I wasn’t going to go all hysterical hermaphrodite on them again, and to quiet down the rest of the hospital ward.  Hearing what sounded like a lion roaring in the halls had resulted in the frantic pushing of every single one of those “nurse call” buttons they put by your bed as well as at least one call to 911.  Finally a rather frazzled-looking Dr. Kosar reappeared, this time opening the door slowly to see that Barb was back in her mostly-human shape and sitting in the chair by the bed.

 

“Ah, the coast is clear,” she said as she stepped in.

 

“All clear, doc, come in,” I told her.  I waved one hand at Barb who was wearing a smile I can only describe as sphinx-like.  “I was just trying to get her to explain where her clothes go when she does her presto-change-o routine.”

 

The doctor snorted in a most unprofessional way.  “And I bet she gave you the same answer she gave us.  ‘I’m sorry doctor, I just don’t know.’”  The good doctor was full of surprises – her purring impression of Barb’s sphinx-voice was perfect.

 

Barb’s smile widened into a toothy grin.  “Sorry.”

 

I harrumphed.  “Must be nice.  I ruined a perfectly good shirt when I changed.  Not that any of my clothes will fit me now…”  I realized the two of them were both grinning now.  “What?”

 

“You realize what this means, don’t you,” said Barb.  She and the doctor exchanged glances and said at the same time “Shopping!”  They sounded exactly like teenaged mall rats.

 

“Oh no.  Not gonna happen.  I can’t go out in public like this,” I gestured hopelessly at my body.

 

“That is actually what I came to talk to you about, Danny,” said the doctor.  “You need to get up and moving around.  We are going to discharge you this morning.”

 

“Discharge?” I wondered.  I did not like the sound of that at all.  Normally I hate hospitals but I had no desire to face the world looking as I now did.  “Barb is the one that roared, why do I have to go?”

 

“Danny,” the doctor said firmly.  “There is nothing physically wrong with you.  Yes, you have changed into something new but you’re hardly the only one.  We have patients coming in with urgent medical problems and we need to have a bed for them.”  She paused.  “We gave you some powerful sedatives yesterday and overnight.  We kept you here for observation and to ensure that the drugs had cleared your system.  Now that the drugs have run their course it is time for you to start learning about your new body.  Lying around here will not help you with that.”

 

“We just want to see you up and moving, Dan,” added Barb.  “A lot of people seem ok with their changes, like me.  Others seem to be unhappy but coping.  There are some, though, that are so upset that there have been a few suicides.  We’re worried if you don’t get used to your new body you’ll wind up in that last group.”

 

I sighed and nodded.  “I understand why you would think that.  I haven’t exactly been the picture of calm have I?  I don’t understand it.  I’ve faced some pretty bad situations before and didn’t go into hysterics like this.”

 

Dr. Kosar nodded.  “I’ve seen your military medical records.  Still, those experiences could not have prepared you for what happened yesterday. You also cannot underestimate that effect of your new body’s chemistry on you.  I’m still waiting for some lab results, but I cannot imagine what your hormonal balances look like.  Why, you may not even have the same hormones as most people.  After all, something has to keep your unique physiology operating—“ she stopped as she saw that Barb and I were both giggling.  “What is it?”

“I’m sorry,” gasped Barb.  “You sound just like a nerd with a new computer to play with.”

 

“Right, except I’m the computer,” I chimed in.

 

The doctor could not help but laugh with us.  A sudden thought occurred to me.  “You seem very interested in all this.  Just what sort of doctor are you?”

 

Barb grinned wickedly.  “Yeah, tell him…I mean her…what you do.”

 

The doctor gave Barb a hard look that did nothing to diminish her grin.  “I’m a gynecologist, Danny.  I’ve also studied urology.  That’s why they referred you to me.  Oh!  That reminds me, we’ll need to set up an exam schedule for you.  Your new body requires some maintenance you’re probably not used to.”  Seeing the horrified look on my face, she hurried on.  “First things, first, though. You need to stand up and try walking around some.”  She moved to the side of the bed and pushed down the railings to clear a path for me.

 

I bit my lip.  “OK…”  I had been avoiding this but curiosity overwhelmed my doubts.  I pushed the sheets down my body, doing my best to ignore the unfamiliar shape of it and that darned flowery gown.  I sat up and was besieged by odd sensations – hair tugging at my scalp and fluffing around my ears and pressing on my back; the cushiony feel of my bottom; and the now almost-familiar tug and sway of my breasts.  I gritted my teeth and decided if I could face a drill sergeant I could face this.

 

I dropped off the side of the bed and nearly fell over.  My balance was completely off!  The doctor had anticipated this and was quickly beside me, a hand on my elbow to steady me.  Once my breasts stopped bouncing, I looked up – way up – to meet the doctor’s gaze.

 

“The floor was a little further away than you expected, wasn’t it?”  I heard Barb giggle and mutter something about little girls.

 

I ignored my catty friend and shrugged.  “I’ll get used to it I guess.  So, how tall are you?  I’m not surprised that I’m shorter than Miss Tiger Butt over there--”

 

“Hey!” protested Barb.  “That’s lion, not tiger!”

 

“—but I’m shorter than you, too.”

 

“Danny, I am a bit above average height for a woman.  I am five feet, nine inches tall.”

 

“OK…so I’m not a midget.  That would make me what, five feet three or four inches?”

 

“Yes, about that.  You’re on the short side of average for a mature female.”

 

“That’s ok!” said Barb, still smarting over my remark about tigers.  “She’s still just a teenager.  Give her a year or two and maybe she’ll grow up to be a big girl!”  She gave her rumbling laugh and her tail flicked about.

 

I gave the doctor a long-suffering look.  “And she calls herself my friend.”  The doctor laughed.  “So, do you have a bigger mirror around here than that small one?” She nodded and waved towards a door on the wall next to the entrance to my room. 

 

Walking, I discovered, was everything I hated about the new me rolled into one little bundle.  My center of gravity was wrong, making me tilt precariously forward and back as I walked.  My wider hips meant that my legs were farther apart than I was used to, giving my gait a feminine sway.  I thought that was something girls learned to do but now realized that it was at least partly due to physiology.  Then of course there was the jiggling.  My breasts bounced with each step.  My butt vibrated.  To top it all off, my hair swished and flopped all around me like a cape.  Still, it was only a few steps to cross the room and despite my staggering about like a drunk freshmen at his first frat party I managed to make my way to the door, where I got another surprise.

 

Hospitals like big doorways so that wheelchairs can get through, and this hospital used thick dark wooden monsters for their doors.  I looked at my shrunken arms and decided I had my work cut out for me.  I turned the handle and gave the door a big yank – and yelped in surprise as it went crashing against the wall.  One hinge popped off the door frame and its screws went rattling across the floor.  I looked back over my shoulder and smiled weakly.  “Sorry, guess I don’t know my own strength.”

 

Dr. Kosar was standing a few steps behind me looking a little flustered, but managed to respond.  “I did mention that you have unusually dense musculature.  I’d say that diagnosis turned out to be correct.”

 

Barb was still in her chair, her eyes wide.  “You have a gift for understatement, doc.”  She looked at me.  “And you were afraid of me as a sphinx?  Remind me not to arm wrestle you.”

 

For the first time I felt a little better about things.  I flexed my arm, causing a smooth curve of muscle to pop up.  I touched it with my other hand and found that the little hill of muscle was smooth and feminine and yet firm as a rock.  “I don’t even work out,” I told them and winked.

 

Barb groaned and made shooing motions.  “Go on; look at your pretty new self while we decide how we’re going to explain the door to the maintenance staff.”

 

I smirked and ventured into the restroom.  It was plain but did have one of those tall, wide mirrors above the sink.  In it was the same young woman I had seen in the hand-held mirror.  She looked as though she were just over twenty years old, despite Barb’s jokes about teenagers.  She had an impish smirk on her pouty lips and a gleam in her emerald eyes.  I sighed as I looked down.  The hand mirror had not done the rest of my new form justice.  The girl in the mirror was lusciously female, built on proportions that were right out of a comic book or a men’s magazine.  Long curls the color of burnished copper fell around her face and covered her shoulders in riotous waves.  The girl’s floral hospital gown could do little to disguise the expanse of her bosom, the smooth indent of her waist, or the firm broad curve of her hips.  Her limbs and torso were feminine but not as thin as I had thought.  She was sexy even in the dorky gown and I wondered what she would look like in better clothes.

 

I blushed at the thought and watched as the girl’s cheeks became a rosy red in the space of a few heartbeats.  No wonder my cheeks feel so hot when I do that, I thought to myself.  The girl’s – I mean my – cheeks were practically glowing, my pale skin doing nothing to hide the blush.

 

I turned a bit so that I could see a profile view, which only made it worse.  My breasts thrust forward firmly despite their size, forming twin slopes that led to taut curves below.  My bottom made another slope behind me, though it was hard to see beneath the mass of hair that was pooled on top of my butt.  I was pushing futilely at the heavy mass of my own tresses when a familiar voice said, “So, what do you think?”

 

I looked over my shoulder to find Barb watching me from the doorway.  I looked up – way up – at her.  “I’m a damn Barbie doll,” I told her.

 

She laughed.  “Not hardly.  Too short, too red-headed, too hippy, way too strong, and definitely equipped with a lot more, um, anatomy.” 

 

I smiled a little.  “Not anatomically correct, though?”

 

She bit her lip and looked abashed.  “I wasn’t going to say that.”

 

 I shrugged and looked back in the mirror.  “I am definitely cutting this off,” I told her as I pushed at my heavy new tresses in vain.

 

“Don’t you dare!  Do you know how many women would kill to have hair like that?”

 

“Fine,” I told her.  “You come over every morning and comb it or brush it or whatever.  Look at all this!  It’s like a big cape or something.”

 

Barb giggled.  “At least you’ll be warm in the winter. Hang on, I want to try something.”   She disappeared for a moment but was soon back, with a beaded leather thong in her hand.  I recognized it as one she had used to tie her own hair back on occasion.  She stepped up behind me.  Her reflected image towered over mine – her chin was several inches above the top of my head.  “Let’s see now.”  She gathered my hair together, pushing and tugging and muttering to herself.  She finally got it all together and quickly wrapped the thong around it several times, tying it in a complicated-looking knot.  The thong rested just at the nape of my neck, pulling the hair atop my head straight back while the rest ballooned out into a massive pony tail behind me.

 

Barb grinned triumphantly.  “Look at you!  That is a very cute look and the turquoise beads go with your eyes.”  She stroked my long hair, musing, “Of course it would look adorable with some nice bangs up front…”  A little part of me agreed with her and was enjoying the feeling of her stroking my hair, but I did not want her to know.  I frowned at her in the mirror which only made her giggle.  “Oh come on, don’t be so pouty.  I know this is a big shock but you’ll get used to it.”

 

I looked at the girl in the mirror, looking in vain for some hint of my old self. “Maybe,” I said, shaking my head and watching as my hair swished behind me.

 

“If your first styling session is done,” called the doctor from the other room, “We should get things rolling.”

 

The next hour or so went by in a blur.  The doctor had me call her assistant and schedule a follow-up appointment.  The doctor then left, quickly replaced by a nurse who came in and took my blood pressure and temperature.  Another nurse took a blood sample.  Still another wanted me to fill a little cup with urine.  I was happy to find that I could still stand to do that, though the sight of my slim hands on my penis was unsettling.  Barb thankfully was not there through most of this.  I can only imagine what she would have had to say about the urine sample.  She finally reappeared with a bundle of clothes under her arm and a smug look on her face.

 

“Almost ready?” she wondered.  “They told me you can check out as soon as you’re dressed.”  She gave the bundle a meaningful look.

 

“Uh-huh.  Let me guess, you got the most girly clothes you could find?”

 

Barb smirked.  “Not intentionally, no.  Seriously, Danny, I know this is really hard for you to deal with.  I may tease but I’m not going to try and make it harder.  On the other hand, I think you’re going to have trouble finding clothes that aren’t ‘girly’ given your figure.  I also went with a skirt—“ Barb quickly held up a hand to hold off the complaint I was about to make. “—because let’s face it, girl’s pants are going to be too tight in the crotch for you, and boy’s pants would be too narrow in the hips.”

 

I grumbled but could not really argue with her logic.  I took the bundle from her and returned to the bathroom, treating the door more gingerly this time.  It was only then that I realized that I had to take off that darned flowery gown and I felt a strange trepidation at seeing my new self in the nude.  I gritted my teeth, though, and reached behind me to fumble with the laces of the gown.  The next few minutes were, to put it mildly, not my best as I found myself struggling with the tiny knots the nurses had put in the laces, my hair which decided to join the party by tangling itself in the laces, and of course my wiggly new body.  I nearly fell when one of the laces ripped off in my hand.

 

“Fine,” I growled and grabbed the neckline of the gown in my hands.  I pulled and was surprised at how easily the fabric ripped right down the middle, falling to the floor in a floral mess.  “Never liked that outfit anyway,” I said smugly.  Then I looked up and was mesmerized by my reflection in the mirror.  I had been prepared for the fact that I had breasts, but seeing them was another matter.  They were immense and yet had the flowing, teardrop-shaped curves that silicon-enhanced breasts never have.  The nipples were embarrassingly large and pink, surrounded by thick aureoles that puffed up from the tips of each breast.  I could not resist turning my shoulders a bit and watching my new tits sway ponderously from side to side.  Like most guys I had loved large breasts but I was less sure about possessing my own pair!  Despite that I realized the sight of them was turning me on as I felt a familiar stiffness growing below.

 

Looking down between my breasts, I saw my cock was indeed starting to harden.  Something was wrong though.  The tip looked too smooth, almost malformed – until I realized that my transformation had not left my penis untouched.  It was now uncircumcised, as though the doctor’s knife had never touched it.

 

Still, that hard shaft rising from smooth womanly thighs was a bizarre juxtaposition.  Even more strange was the moist feeling coming from below my incipient erection.  I suddenly realized what that sensation must be and instantly I was blushing again, my cheeks burning.  “This is going to take some getting used to,” I muttered and quickly turned my attention to the bundle of clothes.

 

Barb had thankfully kept it simple.  The outfit consisted of a plain white shirt – blouse, I corrected myself with a sigh – that looked like it would barely cover me, a green skirt, some ankle socks, and some tennis shoes.  The underwear was simple also.  There were plain white panties slid easily over my hips.  The smooth material struggled to contain my penis but would have to do for now.   Then of course there was the bar.  Oh, it was not a problem to put it on.  It was a sports bra like the ones an old girlfriend of mine used to wear jogging.  I used to like them because I didn’t have to undo any hooks or snaps or anything else when she would let me take them off of her.  I had watched her put one on enough that I was able to figure out how to do it.  The problem was the fact that I needed one now. 

 

I sighed and squirmed my way into the tight-fitting bra and looked in the mirror.  The new girly me looked like she was getting ready to hit the gym.  “Great, Workout Barbie,” I told my reflection.  I was about to finish dressing when I saw something that made me exclaim, “Son of a bitch!”

 

I must have spooked Barb because the door to the bathroom flew open.  “Are you ok?”  she said, tail tip flicking behind her.

 

 “It’s ok, sorry to startle you.  Look!”  I pointed happily to my right shoulder.

 

“What in the world is that?”  she said, leaning over to look.

 

“A scar, of course.”

 

“That big?  What the heck did that?”

 

“A 7.76 mm round, full metal jacket.  I’ve got the slug at home still,” I told her absently as I twisted around so I could look down at my left calf.  Sure enough, there were two more scars there, just below the knee, one on either side.  “Same thing there, but I don’t have that slug.”

 

“Umm, ok,” said Barb.  “Want to tell me A, how that happened and B, why the hell you’re happy about it?”

 

I looked up at her.  “It happened because I was being stupid, standing around in the middle of a street, and a sniper decided to demonstrate the errors of my ways.  He put one round into my shoulder, knocked me clear off my feet.  Bastard hit me again as I was crawling for cover.  I managed to point out where he was to the guys in my tank, and they showed him that a 120 mm main gun beats a sniper rifle any day.”

 

Barb blinked.  “I knew you were in the war.  I didn’t know you were injured,” she finally said in a small voice.

 

I shrugged.  “It’s not something I talk about much.”

 

“So why are you happy about the scars?”

 

I smiled.  “This is going to sound stupid.  I’m happy because they’re mine.  Nothing else about me is any more.  My face, my eyes, my hair, my voice are all different – and that’s just the stuff above my shoulders.  But this—“ I touched the familiar shape of the entry wound on my shoulder.  “—this is me.  For the first time since I woke up I feel like this is my body, no matter how weird it looks.  Does that make sense?”

 

Barb hugged me.  “Yes,” was all she said.  I enjoyed the hug but something still bothered me.  Why had the transformation restored my foreskin but left my scars alone?  How could it reshape my very bones and yet not touch my old wounds?  I briefly considered asking Barb but decided that she was unlikely to have an answer.  I also could not think of any way to broach the subject of my restored foreskin that would not result in another beet-red blushing attack.  I decided it was best if we just got moving.

 

Dressing went quickly after that.  I tried hard to ignore the sensation of the skirt’s hem swishing about my thighs and the airiness of it.  I was not used to feeling a breeze on my privates as I walk around fully dressed!  The shoes were actually too tight but would do until we could get something better.  The blouse basically fit but did nothing to conceal the curve of my new bosom.  Barb told me I looked precious resulting in yet another blush attack.

 

Barb handed me a plastic bag that had my wallet, keys, loose change, and a few other things that must have been in my pants pockets.  I held it uncertainly until she passed me a purse.  Yes, a purse.  She must have gotten it from the gift shop because it had a tiny hospital logo stamped in the cheap black leather.  I thought of protesting but realized I had nowhere else to put my stuff.  I grumbled but emptied the contents of the bag into the purse.

 

The worst part was leaving the room.  Until now I had only had to deal with Barb, the doctor, and a few others.  They knew what had happened to me and were being very supportive.  Out there was the rest of the world and I had this unreasonable fear that everyone would look right through my appearance and know that I was a freak, a hermaphrodite, not even human.  A large part of me wanted to crawl back under the covers of the bed and stay there till, say, the turn of the century.

 

Still, my scars had reminded me of who I was.  I would do no one any good by retreating or hiding.  It was time to move forward.  I gritted my teeth and stepped out of the room.

 

I was not surprised to find Barb waiting patiently for me.  I think she knew the struggle I had faced because she looked vaguely relieved.

 

“OK, Danny.  Let’s get you signed out.”  She grinned and I knew I was in trouble.  “Then we go shopping!”