He came to awareness slowly. Unlike how he usually awoke, his eyes did not snap open immediately. And the awakening was actually a relief as the cacophony that had been raging inside his head stilled to a whisper. As he lay there, he tried to access where he was and how he was. He sensed he was still in his bedroom. Good. His body seemed to be reporting everything working. Even better.
He experimented opening his eyes. With only a slight resistance from the crud built up on his lashes they opened to darkness. Or rather night. Because while there was only light from the moon coming into his window he could see everything clearly. Not unusual as he always did have excellent night vision.
Heartened he tried moving. The pain shooting through his arms and legs at movement actually made him feel better. It meant he was still alive, and this wasn’t a dream. Slowly he sat up. His vision swirled briefly with colored lights, and his head throbbed once, but the action went surprisingly well. Before he tried standing he took a deep breath and held it.
And coughed as his stench filled his mouth and nose. Taking smaller breaths, he smelled his pits and then his sheets. How long was I out? Smells like I died here!
Nothing for it now as he realized how badly he stank. He rose slowly to his feet. Only a slight wobble. But there was something missing. He looked down at his knees and tried flexing them, one at a time.
No pain. At all! That I can live with. For decades now he had been living with pain in almost all his joints and muscles. As he twisted and stretched, he found only the slight pull of muscles not used recently and that faded more quickly than he expected.
Smiling slightly he looked around the room. It was just as he remembered when he went to try and sleep the illness off. The water jug by his bed was still full, so he must not have gotten thirsty. Though he was hungry now.
Time for food.
He brushed against the bed as he took his first step toward the door and the smell wafted up anew.
After a shower.
He considered going directly to the shower but plucking at the sheets he knew he wouldn’t want to touch them after, so he stripped the bed and put the linens in the hamper. Then he moved quickly to the shower. As soon as the water was warm enough, he jumped in and stood under the stream for minutes just letting it cascade over him, soaking his entire body. Not bothering opening his eyes he grabbed the shampoo and lathered up his hair. When his hands went down to his face, they stopped at the almost full beard they felt. His eyes snapped open to look down. Something he regretted almost immediately as the soap ran into them. Cursing lightly he quickly rinsed the soap out of his eyes and off his face. Then he again tried to look at the hair on his chin.
Definitely a beard. How long was I under?
He reached for the razor and saw his hand. The skin was tight and firm against his hand; not the almost sausages when he went to sleep. And none of the leathery and wrinkly look from before that. Looking down at the rest of his body he saw that the rest was the same. If he was being honest, he looked better than he had in decades. In fact, since he had gotten out of the Army! His smooth skin hugged the muscles underneath like he had been working out hard for months. He actually had fully visible abs.
Toight. Very toight! I need to get sick more often!
He spent time enjoying the shower, scrubbing down twice to get all the sweat and stink off himself. And checking his new self out. It wasn’t until he had dried himself off and started checking himself out in the mirror, something he had avoided when he started packing the weight, that he discovered the next surprise. None of the old scars were anywhere on his body.
It was then things started settling in for him. He had changed. He wasn’t sure how much yet. But so far he was liking the changes. Walking without any pain was almost making him high. Then his stomach reminded him how hungry he was so he threw on a robe and headed for the kitchen.
Time enough after food to figure this out.
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