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Side Effects (2000)
|Jan really looked forward to today's workout because he really needed it, the week was more than hectic. First, about a month ago, their fairly theoretical research suddenly became quite practical. A week after that, they started kidding they were well on the way to the Nobel prize, but there was a ring of truth to it that frightened everyone involved. After all, you are not supposed to get the prize before you had gray hair (or no hair at all), and certainly not for something you discovered by a serendipitous accident.
Mike had gone back to some papers he co-authored with his mentor, and found out that although this man had tragically deceased, some of his previous research had been published posthumously in the mean time.
This lead to a breakthrough: for the first time they managed to fool the mass/energy conservation law. Actually, more like bend it - It states that mass and energy cannot be destroyed or created from thin air, just be converted from one to another and back. The law says nothing about time, though - so the result of Mike's and Jan's research, a complex machine that in itself was a breakthrough, and very much the crowning achievement of both Mike's and previously his mentors tragically extinguished life, alowed energy to be `borrowed`.
As long as you returned it back `at some later time` the law was satisfied. It was quite spectacular, watching discharges which seemingly came out of nowhere. Well, after the experiments the whole room got a bit colder as the energy of the discharges got `returned`, but it didn't matter - they were definitely on the way up and felt like they were discovering the Holly Grail.
As the end of the day was nearing, Mike had just finished the final series of discharges when Jan heared him calling, yelling something about noticing something really strange. Jan opened the glass door to the room with the inflation field machine.
"Look at this - have they become predictable, or am I just imagining things?"
Jan got over to the thick glass of the discharge chamber. Six sets of electrodes were imprisoned there under high vacuum. Mike started the machine again. It took some time for the accelerators to do their work and alow an energy concentration big enough to bend the laws of the universe, even if only in a microscopic space and for a very small length of time.
"Now watch carefully - it's almost as if they discharge across the set I want them to - look, one, one, three, two". Jan watched in amazement as a discharge occurred where Mike predicted a fraction of a second after he said it.
"Now three, four..." Mike started, and Jan cut in, saying "Five"
while Mike said "One". The discharge split in a very curious way over two sets of electrodes - one and five! They both looked at each other and they almost felt the temperature in the room drop a few degrees, but not because of the machine - because this was downright frightening. They stood like that for seconds.
"OH... MY... GOD." said Mike.
"No, no, no. This can't be happening. Here let me try" Jan said, and restarted the machine. They both waited the requisite time interval, very aware of the hair on their necks standing straight up.
"OK, here we go - one, one, one, one, Jesus they seem to be listening to me!" he almost shouted. "OK, OK - what if we do one, two...
seven?" and then, there was a sound like someone plucked a string the size of Golden Gate bridge, the lights dimmed, and the temperature fell something like ten degrees, and then it was dark, but not before the almost obligatory noise of burning electric equipment. And then there was nothing, for a while.
== * ==
When Mike opened his eyes, he found he was looking at the ceiling.
This was really strange because he was sure the last time they were open he was looking at Jan. Then he realized he was laying on the floor. He sat up, and noticed Jan slumped by the door, his back on the wall.
"Oh shit" he uttered, but just then Jan opened his eyes. He looked at Mike with a stare you could just see saying "why am I looking at the world from below all of a sudden?".
"What the hell happened?!" he asked, looking at Mike. He stood up, wrapping his hands around himself. "And why is it so cold?"
"I have absolutely, and I mean it, no idea at all" Mike said, looking at his watch. "Damn, my watch stopped." The machine was obviously quite dead, probably a fuse blown somewhere. Mike rushed out the door to look at the data logging equipment, but soon found out it was also very dead.
"Oh, bloody shit, the power seems to have gone out, there are no logs at all. How the hell am I supposed to know what happened here?" he went over to the control console, noticing the smell of burned electronics. Now he was really beginning to get angry!
"Damn, damn, fucking damn!" he said, suddenly realizing Jan would probably be very surprised to hear him use such language. "This piece of shit is fried to a crisp". He turned around and yelled a `you sure you`re OK?` to Jan, who answered he was.
A few seconds later, it became obvious that there was nothing they could do with the machine. Several key parts had literally fused together, and others, including most of the inflation field chamber, were missing entirely. The measures provided to contain the dangerous field had proven effective, but in essence, the machine was destroyed. It would take months to have it rebuilt, that is, IF the powers that be granted the money. Mike was obviously pissed, and so was Jan. The future suddenly became uncertain.
Finally, with an uncanny way of making sense which Mike had gotten to know as one of Jans principal characteristics, Jan simply said: "Mike, I think we need a workout".
== * ==
Jan once again contemplated how things just seemed to go from bad to worse. The building security came, then more people. There were procedures for this sort of thing. For a time, things were out of Mike's and Jan's hands. Both men had lifted for years and knew that the ego stayed out of the gym. A workout would do them good. Mike's car wouldn't start again, no surprise, really. Of course, Jan was more than happy to give him a lift. Truth be said, Jan had loads of occasions to be near Mike, especially in the gym. For the moment, this made Jan think much more pleasant thoughts, which was highly welcome.
Mike was a real turn-on. It was a real inspiration for Jan to go on pumping the weights which made Mike look at him with a look which Jan could almost call devouring, if it wasn't so strange. It would last only a second, and then he would avert his eyes. It almost looked as if he wanted to look and didn't want to look at the same time. Jan himself was much more adventurous and sometimes he would help Mike out in an exercise more than just spotting: touching, holding him or pushing him, which gave him opportunity to have real contact with the object of his desire. And this desire grew - it wasn't merely sexual.
He actually liked Mike as a person and friend, and that only made the desire stronger. In fact he had done some of that touching some minutes ago while Mike was finishing his last set of curls.
"Come on, quit fooling around" he heard Mike say. Jan's internal retrospective ended up being burst like a bubble. There was one last set of curls to do, and Mike was ready to give him the added pull to finish the last few reps. He started, and got on fine looking at himself in the mirror, when he noticed Mike looking at him too, practically staring at him, and he felt himself getting hard. Mike noticed that as well, because the pants he was wearing hid nothing in this position. He went on as best he could finishing the set, Mike forcing the last few reps. He saw there was no-one near and decided to rise up which would show his equipment quite blatantly. As he turned, he saw Mike quickly adjusting his sweatpants. He didn't think much of that as Mike always had these sweatpants which seemed two sizes too large, but then he noticed a lump on the pantleg that was slowly twitching. At that point he knew noting would have gotten him to go soft, but it was obvious he was not the only one with that problem. He never the less decided to play it safe, and uttered one of his favorite 'neutral` explanations. He couldn't resist adding a little twist, though.
"God, look at me, I really should get a life - and there aren't even any chicks around - so it must be you". They both laughed. "Well, at least someone thinks I'm attractive", Mike replied, and they both laughed out loud, but as they winded down, both ended up looking at each others crotch, and Jan noticed Mike was actually in a far more troubled predicament as his pants were beginning to tend out, and for the first time Jan got the inkling of the real size of Mike's equipment, and blurted out "You don't give yourself enough credit" realizing too late that this could hardly be 'neutral`. He suddenly felt a pang of fear, he may just have made one hell of a stupid mistake. He tried laughing, and so did Mike. It was a quite hollow laugh and ended in seconds when their eyes met.
== * ==
Mike wouldn't have given up his training with Jan for anything in this world or the next, but even rolling a steam roller over him wouldn't make him admit that to anyone, especially not to Jan. He was Mr. Right, and if he couldn't have him, at least he wanted to admire him from near instead of far.
Getting to know Jan as a person only made Mike more determined. Jan was all Mike would have liked him to be, and those jock vibes he emitted from time to time to the general public, somehow were never aimed towards him, and even if they were, they wouldn't have fooled him for a second. Jan had a rare easy-going nature, and was very open, and passionate, even openly emotional. Mike knew he was actually in love up to his ears but even ten steam rollers passing over his most tender parts wouldn't make him admit that - not even to him self, really.
He loved to be near Jan but he tried hard not to show it, for fear Jan would sense the sexual side of it. There were times he thought he went over that thin line and gave off his true feelings, but luckily it seemed that Jan didn't notice. Or maybe he didn't mind?
This was again one of those times. Jan was just doing his last set of biceps curls, and as far as Mike was concerned, Jan doing curls was was not something to be missed. In Mike's opinion, Jan had the most beautifully shaped biceps on this planet (and Mike's subjective opinion was very close to the truth in this case), and when those biceps did curls, they would pump up magnificently. Seeing that would give the inkling of the true size of this Adonis before him, because those pipes of his would bunch up into shapely balls of rock hard flesh, peaking hugely. As Mike watched them do that he could barely contain himself imagining how they would grow even bigger in time, and he found himself wishing he could feel them, kiss them, lick them all over. Up and down, up and down... hard balls to hard bars of flesh with a split in-between, back to hard balls. They were so pumped up now, they looked larger than ever. He shifted his stare a bit to look at the rest of this muscle god in the mirror, and almost froze when he saw the bulge in Jan's pants. He felt that telltale hot feeling in his ears and he knew there was no stopping the hardon he was going to have in seconds, and there was no way to get away, Jan was just at that sticking point. He helped him out, thanking fate he was bent down, but just then Jan was finished. Mike just had to adjust his pants or his problem will become very obvious before he thought up an excuse to get away. But Jan just stood up, that bulge very prominent in those painted-on pants of his and said this thing which should have spelled `red alert` to Mike, but instead it made him even hotter. He quickly tried to get out of his predicament by uttering some sort of reply, but then he felt his cock was almost at that point of hardness which only Jan could bring about. It was too late, Jan was looking right at it. And then he said the thing Mike expected the least, and started laughing. Mike laughed as well, but the laugh got stuck in his throat as their eyes met. And so did Jan's.
"I'm sorry..." they both said at the same time, which made Mike loose words for a few seconds. Then came the moment of truth. He heard Jan ask him quietly: "Mike... are you gay?"
He felt he was going to cry. He had spent his whole life getting prepared for this question and he always thought he`d be the one asking it, or at least he`d see it coming. Everything in him tried to say 'no` but instead he heard himself say a quiet "Yes". Then, he heard the last thing he thought he would.
"Oh fuck. Your place or mine?"
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