It was your standard meet and greet really, a handful of excitable fans (surprisingly not all female this time) who wanted hugs, photos and autographs. There was one girl in the corner who hadn’t been able to say much when Bill and Tom had come by, she’d gotten autographs but appeared to be too timid and unsure to ask them for more than the quick signature. Bill had flashed her the most winning of smiles and asked her if she enjoyed the show, she nodded emphatically and blushed to the roots of her light brown hair. She seemed a little less shy around Georg, actually able to speak out loud, sharing gentle pleasantries.
Normally Gustav wouldn’t have noticed the fan until he was face to face with her actually signing autograph, but there was something not quite right about her, not in a sinister manner, but just not quite within the realms of normal. However if you’d have asked Gustav what it was that made him feel that way he couldn’t have said.
When he stopped in front of her he had quite expected the same quite treatment, but there was a sudden unexpected brightness to her eyes and the reserved nature had mostly (though not entirely) disappeared.
“Hi!” She said, palpably bubbly and happy.
“Hello,” Gustav returned cordially, “How did you enjoy the show?”
“Oh it was the best!” she exclaimed, “Just the whole aura surrounding you guys is so fantastic! It’s really bright yellow and green, so full of life. You’re the brightest I think, I know everyone expects it to be Bill but he pours out to the fans as well and it covers everywhere like fine smoke but you’re just in the music it’s all concentrated into your drum set like bright light.”
Oh god he’d gotten a crazy. He did like what she was saying though, he wondered if she had synaesthesia where sounds look like colours. He’d heard of it, but he’d never thought it’d be so strong for some people.
She abruptly stopped speaking and flushed red again, “I must sound mad, I’m sorry.”
“No you don’t,” Gustav insisted politely, she looked at him and he changed his mind, “Ok you do, but it’s alright to seem a little crazy sometimes, Bill gets away with it after all.” He chuckled, lightening the atmosphere a little.
She giggled in response then her eyes widened as though she’d just remembered something important, suddenly rummaging in her bag. When she found what she was looking she pulled her hand out of her bag clenched tightly around the mystery item within.
“I made this for you,” she said slowly uncurling her fingertips to reveal what looked like a young girl’s friendship bracelet, made of twine and red thread, “I think you deserve it.”
“Thank you very much,” the drummer said, never forgetting his manners, (even though it was a little girly for his tastes).
“Do you mind?” She said holding the little cotton braid between her fingertips; a shy smile on her lips and a faint blush in her cheeks.
Gustav smiled as openly as possible, “Not at all,” he said holding out his wrist, “thank you.” He repeated as she tied it quickly into a knot. It was just cotton; he thought to himself, he could always take it off later.
“Just a note, in this is a wish; a singular wish so use it wisely, and as always, ‘be careful what you wish for’.” The bright smile was back and it almost caught Gustav off guard, it was as if there were two different people in her, one was confident if not a little insane, and the other was shy and withdrawn.
“I’ll make sure I do.” Gustav reassured her, though he was starting to feel a little uncertain about staying in her presence. Pleasant crazy was still crazy after all.
“Can I have a hug?” She said, back to the shy part of her persona.
“Sure,” Gustav acquiesced, feeling much more comfortable on familiar ground, letting her briefly bury her face into his shoulder before pulling back and wandering over to the next fan with a wave.
As security hurried them out of the back stage room Gustav took one glance behind, but as he did he could have sworn he caught her wink at him and then fade out of existence in the blink of an eye.
“That girl liked you a lot.” Georg said, leaning up against the door frame
Gustav chuckled, “I suppose, she was a bit strange though.” He gently brushed against the braid on his wrist; he decided it was nice enough to keep up for a while. Georg however didn’t look as happy about it.
“Is she the kind of girl you like?”
Confusion spread quickly along the blonde’s features, “What are you on about?”
“That fan,” Georg asked again, “is she the kind of girl you’d go for?”
“No,” he stated simply, “why the sudden interest in people I wouldn’t date? Are you trying to tell me something? Do you want me to go looking for girls?”
“Of course, I don’t!” Georg insisted, “It’s just sometimes I think it would be easier if you were in a relationship with someone like that.”
Gustav paused for a second confused as to what Georg could mean “Do you want to be with someone else?” he returned.
“No, why would you think that?”
“Well this isn’t exactly the sort of conversation that’s going to make me feel secure in this relationship.”
“I’m not saying I don’t want us, it’s just that sometimes it’s not very easy.” Georg attempted to explain.
“Easy?” Gustav asked, trying not to become flooded with fury by the suggestion. “Since when has what we have ever been easy. What I wouldn’t give for a week, just a week of not having to sneak around, of not having to pretend like we’re just friends. You could have turned down David’s suggestion of pretending you had a girlfriend like I did but no you thought it’s be a good idea.”
“Gus, David’s only trying to help, it’s not like...”
“I know!” Gustav shouted before sighing deeply and rubbing the bridge of his nose where his glasses were pinching. “I know; I just don’t see why we have to. I know David and Bill and Tom have our backs, but I just hate that it needs to be like that. We’re not doing anything illegal or wrong and yet people act like they’re covering the tracks from some bloody homicide.”
Georg smiled though it didn’t quite reach his eyes, which looked just as tired of the situation as Gustav felt. He opened his arms wide letting Gustav step into their protective circle and press his face into the bassist’s shoulder inhaling the soft sent of his cologne. The familiar position brought a little calming comfort to Gustav who was just weary in far too many ways at the moment.
“I’m sorry, I really didn’t mean for it to sound like that, I just feel like I’m holding you back from something more real most of the time.”
“You feel pretty real to me.” Gustav muttered into Georg’s warm chest.
“Yeah, holograms are pretty sophisticated nowadays”
Gustav let out a watery chuckle but didn’t comment. After a few silent moments Georg spoke again.
“Let’s go to bed” he suggested and Gustav let himself be nudged along without further argument.
As they lay in the dark of their bunk Gustav fingered the little cotton bracelet that the fan had given him earlier that day. “I wish,” Gustav said thoughtfully “that for one week it would all be easier, that for one week I could feel what it was like to not have to hide it.” As he tugged on the bracelet it snapped under his fingers, he was a little surprised that it broke so quickly, but he supposed it was just thread; it was never going to be particularly strong. He picked up the broken bracelet and placed it on the little shelf before snuggling back down next to his boyfriend.
“We’ll go on holiday soon, no-one will bother us and we can just be us. We’re about due a break anyway.” Georg promised, placing a kiss on the top of the drummer’s head and within a few soft moments the two drifted to sleep.
On the stroke of midnight, unseen by all Gustav’s thoughtless wish was granted.
Gustav woke the next morning feeling a little peculiar. Georg’s hair had obviously gotten all over him in the middle of the night, and was now tickling his nose, as much has he liked Georg’s chestnut locks, his face wasn’t where he wanted them to be. He blindly brushed it off his face and towards Georg’s, only he found that this didn’t help the situation in fact if anything there was now more of Georg’s hair in his face. After a couple of minutes of blind brushing he decided that he was going to have to open his eyes and face the morning.
But when he did he found that the hair he was holding was not Georg’s. It was blonde, very blonde and for half a second Gustav was worried that he’d been drugged and kidnapped by some lunatic fan, but it became quickly evident that the hair was attached to his own head! It was long blond and very real.
He shoved against Georg’s sleeping form “Why is my hair down to my hips?” He asked a near panic taking him over.
“Because you haven’t cut it...?” Georg said a mixture of confusion and amusement in his voice as he carded his fingers through Gustav’s now extremely lengthened locks.
“But why?” Gustav said twisting his fingers into the long and surprisingly soft hair.
“Is this about that article?” Georg said, sensing something amiss, “I don’t care if they said that you were less feminine than Bill, it’s was Bild for god’s sake it’s not like their opinion matters. You don’t need to change who you are for anyone, anyway I love your hair.”
“Of course I’m less feminine than Bill, it’s not exactly difficult. I’d be worried if I was.”
Georg laughed loudly at that. Far too loudly for the quality of the joke Gustav thought, but Georg was always easily amused. Georg placed one light kiss to Gustav’s forehead before rolling out of the bunk. Gustav rolled onto his back to stretch out his limbs and wake up a little from what were obviously the last vestiges of a dream, when he noticed something wrong. Two things wrong in fact. Underneath his baggy t-shirt, tightening the cotton material were two perfectly formed breasts.
He brought his hands down to the new lumps on his chest, they looked very much like they were real, he’d not noticed them before when he was worrying about his hair, but now it was obvious that his hair was the least of his worries. Maybe this was still some kind of messed up dream, or maybe this was some kind of convoluted prank.
He squeezed hard over certain parts new parts of his anatomy. Ok that hurt; most definitely not asleep and yes they were fucking attached.
What had happened? Had he eaten something strange, was his drink spiked? No, he was fairly sure that the only things he’d consumed had come though catering...
And why was it that Georg didn’t see that it was anything weird; like he somehow expected Gustav to have Rapunzel-length hair and size C knockers? He sat up quickly looking around. This was still his bunk. It was still his and Georg’s bus, hell even his old ragged stuffed bunny was here. It was like nothing had changed, well...almost nothing.
He swung his legs out of the bunk. God, even his feet had changed; they were far more demure and neat. His legs were completely smooth from what he could see, and a lot slimmer. He needed a mirror. He stumbled to the blessedly empty bathroom and quickly snapped his eyes shut and located his way to the mirror by memory alone. After steadying himself with a deep breath opened his eyes to study his reflection.
His face was fairly plain, in fact he looked a hell of a lot like himself, slimmer jaw line, smaller nose, fuller lips, but it was obvious that he was still himself, perhaps like a twin sister. That was good in a way; at least he didn’t feel like a complete stranger.
He was a hell of a lot slimmer in general. He touched his hand to his cheek. This early in the morning it would normally be rough with stubble, but he found his skin was completely soft. Though it was unusual it felt not unlike when he was a young teen and he hadn’t needed to shave. He moved from his face to his neck and then further down to the rest of him. He placed his hands on his waist and was immediately confronted with how thin it was compared to his normal male body.
‘Fucking hell’ Gustav thought, ‘my body is actually fit’ He noticed that he hadn’t changed height; he was actually pretty tall for a girl if he thought about it. It was very strange, he’d always been short, but now he’d probably be seen as above average if not tall. But the curves, god have mercy he’d not explored curves like this in a long time, and hell this gave him a whole new reason to perve over them, or at least he would if he wasn’t about ten seconds from freaking the hell out. All the evidence had led to one startling conclusion.
He was a woman, a hot woman.
Breathe Gustav, just breathe, you’ll figure this out, just breathe!
“Do you want me to cook you breakfast?” Georg’s voice floated over from the kitchen.
“Yeah! I’ll be a minute” Gustav called out voice strained and far higher than he was used to. At least Georg was still his boyfriend, some small comfort in familiarity, but Georg didn’t see anything amiss with him being a girl; like it wasn’t his Georg, the same but different. It’s ok though, it gave some sense of stability, even if it wasn’t as much as he would have liked.
He pulled down his boxers (though why a girl wore boxers to bed he wasn’t entirely sure) to confirm the whole obvious truth. And fuck he was going to have to pee sitting down.
he she’d sorted herself out she went into the kitchen to try and compose herself, maybe try and sort out who she was.
Gustav sat at the table contemplating how to gently ask what was going on, when Georg placed breakfast on the table and swooped down for a kiss.
Gustav’s instantaneous reaction was to push Georg away. Sometimes Georg tried to get a little too close in public places, and Gustav had to be the one to put a stop to any activities that could expose them as a couple if they weren’t in complete privacy, the an open area of the bus, which was full of security and the like, was most definitely not within the permitted boundaries.
“What are you doing?” Gustav stated sternly in a whisper. Hopefully no-one around them had seen anything; that would take far too much explaining.
Georg lifted a single eye brow incredulously. “Giving you a kiss,” He stated as if Gustav had somehow completely lost his, her, marbles. The pronoun thing was going to take some getting used to.
“But you can’t, people might see!” Gustav insisted.
“You can’t let people see!” She screeched.
“Why not? It’s not like anyone cares.”
She floundered for a moment over that, “Nobody...cares? Nobody should know.”
“What are you on about? Did you eat something funny Gusti?”
“Gusti,” she said, now just feeling pissed off “what the hell kind of nickname is Gusti?”
“It’s not,” Georg said pausing and clearly looking worried “it’s your name. Your parents were expecting a boy? Your mum was high on pain meds you always say. You stopped complaining about that when we were like six. Are you feeling ok? Do you need to lie down?”
Every single little thing that she tried to get a straight answer about made the world make less and less sense. She still hadn’t even figured out how on earth he became a she, and the one person she would normally direct her questions to was the wrong person. It was like invasion of the body snatchers only she was the one snatching the body.
Gustav needed answers and she needed them now, this left her to depend on the only fully comprehensive source of band history; Internet fangirls.
She stood from her seat and wandered back to the bunk where she hoped her laptop was still situated, leaving a very confused Georg to stare after her wondering what on earth had just happened.
After finding her laptop Gustav took several minutes trying to work out the password, his standard password didn’t work (Gustavscomputer2005) and had gone on to try various combinations of names and addresses before realising that Gustav wasn’t actually his name here. She changed the password accordingly and breathed a sigh of relief when it opened without further fuss.
Quickly opening her internet browser she did what she was normally too scared to do and typed the band name into YouTube.
Fortunately for her the first few hits on the page were not from crazy fans, but from their own record label, settling for starting at the beginning she clicked the first link for ‘Durch Den Monsoon’ that she could see.
She was extremely relieved to find that little had changed about the video, the twins were still the focus, Bill even more so. There were the few standard shots of Gustav playing but he didn’t even dress differently to her (thought it seemed strange to refer to himself as a separate entity). She wore the same t-shirt and the same cap. For a moment she thought that the long hair was a recent thing until she caught a glimpse of what appeared to be a tight bun.
She looked for the next music video and the next and the next, and aside from the one obvious change. Gusti was exactly the same as Gustav, they did the same things and wore the same clothes and drummed the same way. And to Gustav’s great shock, when it got too hot behind the drums Gusti seemed to be quite willing to shed her wife beater or t-shirt in favour of sitting behind her kit in just her sports bra (which Gustav concluded had to be really tight to prevent her from ‘falling out’).
It was good Gustav supposed, at least he didn’t have to try and pretend to be like someone else. After having her fill of camera phone shots of concerts (mostly full of Bill’s face and his strange approximation of dancing) she started on the interviews. The first link she looked for was their first TV total interview, “So are you all single?” Stephan Raab asked the group.
“All except Gusti” Bill piped up,
“Yeah I have a boyfriend.”
There was something almost therapeutic about going through all the profiles and looking at the interviews to see that nothing much had changed aside from gender. Though she had noticed that a few of the questions of sexuality had been thrown out not only to Bill but Gusti as well, she supposed that the masculine attitude that she showed did make her look a bit like a butch lesbian. What did surprise her were the answers to those questions.
“I don’t think gender matters.” And that was all that was said on the topic, it wasn’t a yes, but it was most definitely not a no. She had assumed that any bisexual tendencies would be swept under the rug, but he guessed that the idea of two girls making out was probably much more pleasant for the general public, and the record label, than the idea of two guys boning. She laughed loudly, if only management paid attention to the internet they would quickly see that a huge amount of their fan base loved the idea of them being gay and intimately involved.
On a rare occasion the situation had changed entirely, she supposed it was to be expected, that as a female she wouldn’t really have any idea of what to do with a room full of naked fangirls that had turned up to see Tom for example, and she had more interest in the male celebs than the female, (well Gustav supposed that it wasn’t that much of a change, only that she could be far more open about it.)
Her stomach rumbled loudly and she remembered that she’d stomped out of the kitchen before actually eating anything this morning. ‘One more interview’, Gustav decided clicking another link ‘then I’ll go eat.’
“There has been a lot of speculation on who the female singer is on the song ‘Geisterfahrer’ is it Gusti on the record?”
Both of the video images of the twins laughed loudly “No it would sound like a strangled cat!” video Tom said, more laughter followed.
“But no,” said video Bill, once he had calmed a little, “Gusti doesn’t like singing, we were working with a professional singer, but for privacy reasons she would like to remain anonymous and we’re asking our fans to accept that.”
“So,” the interviewer spoke again, “You’ve been away for a while, and so are all of you still single?”
“I have a girlfriend,” Georg spoke and Gustav almost began to cry, she remembered why she hated this interview so much; it was the introduction of the fake girlfriend that caused her male self so much pain. She had hoped that the situation had changed, but apparently it had not.
“Can you tell us who she is?” the interviewer asked. Gustav was about to shut the laptop lid when the Georg on the screen took Gusti’s hand and pressed his lips to their entwined fingers.
The interviewer, clearly shocked that they had gotten the scoop of the year without even trying, could only splutter, “Really?” to which Gusti nodded, but said nothing.
Gustav shut the lid down the last strains of Bill declaring that the twins were still single muffled by the closed lid then eventually stopping as the computer went to sleep.
She understood now.
This was his wish.
He should have taken that girl more seriously, he had wanted his and Georg’s relationship to be simple and open and it was, it was completely open and simplicity was not an issue here. Be careful what you wish for indeed.
Now the only question left was; how to change back?
Obviously with some temporal shift, or whatever else had gone on which amounted to freaky fan magic, he was in a world where the normal status quo was Gustav being female. This meant that Georg was not only oblivious to her plight but, for all Georg knew, he was also completely straight; this combination lead Gustav to keep his ‘true identity’ as it were from Georg as long as possible, and hopefully that would be long enough to find that mystery girl and for Gustav to get zapped back to where he belonged.
But it had been three days. Three days of being female, three days of not a clue on how to go about finding the elusive witch-fan and most importantly three days of mood swings the like of which he had never suffered before.
How the fuck did girls deal with the depression all the time? Gustav had never cried like this over something as stupid as not being able to find a hair band in his entire life not even when he was a small child; and small children were built to be irrational.
Gustav had sat blubbering into her cornflakes for close to fifteen minutes before Georg had calmly pointed out that the hair band had been on her wrist the entire time, and then after taking it off her, he sat her down on the sofa and brushed softly through her hair, far longer than was strictly necessary. The attention had made her feel like some kind of pet kitten, but fuck it she decided. She needed some fuss, especially since she was sneakily avoiding sex with Georg, out of what she was sure was necessity, though it felt a lot like fear.
She was hoping to hell that she could change back before her real period. She didn’t think she could cope with that.
Another day had passed and the band were herded into a promotional photo shoot, Gustav felt uncomfortable in photo shoots in general, but at least they weren’t as dangerous as interviews, she knew she could sit in the background and pretty much ignore what was going on when questions were being, but it didn’t mean that the prospect of having one didn’t make her nervous.
The photographer was obviously excited to have the band in, and had a whole rack of clothes brought in for them to choose from. It seemed like an over the top selection for a magazine, but she wasn’t going to complain, they had all picked out the clothes they wanted to wear very easily (aside from Bill who was still flutter clapping over different combinations of skin tight leather and boots).
Whoever had put together the clothes obviously had the band in mind, as there was something suitable for each of their own individual tastes, (Gustav personally had changed from her black t-shirt and khaki shorts to a simple, white wife-beater and different khaki shorts, which felt very normal and practiced, aside from the slightly strange way they fell on her form), however when the photographer stopped in front of Gustav he shook his head and then sucked at his teeth for a second before talking at her in an almost certainly fake over the top English luvvie accent.
“No, not really what I was thinking for you, I know there’s a certain practicality to your clothes when you’re playing, but I was wanting to bring out some of that natural feminine beauty you have.” He turned to address David who was standing off to the side, “Is that ok with you?” David shrugged and made a vague gesture towards Gustav clearly wondering why he was being asked.
Rather than taking David’s gesture and an invitation to ask the drummer in question, the fancy photographer took it as permission and started ruffling through the racks, pulling out a bright-flowery-just-below-the-knee-length-floaty-dress thing. “Here, go put this on.” He instructed pressing the garment into her hands and pushing her back towards the changing rooms.
She stumbled into the room before holding up the dress and looking at it in horror. It was a beautiful dress, and she could imagine some people could wear it wonderfully, but she was also certain that, whoever that person was, they were not her. She couldn’t even tell where the zip was or where the straps were supposed to go, let alone how to make it look nice.
“Natalie!” She shouted in desperation.
A few seconds later the makeup artist walked in lip liner still in hand, and saw Gustav looking distinctly pathetic, dress still on its hanger and eyes full of confusion. “Help.” She uttered in a strangled voice.
“Oh you daft thing,” Natalie said sympathetically, and helped her on with the flowery garment.
“Are you done?” the photographer asked as he swept in, not even bothering to make sure that Gustav was decent. “Perfect,” he said regarding her, “I was going to say loose the work boots, but they’re perfect, daring, cutting edge, very Lily Allen. Natasha is it?” She said addressing the beautician.
“We need her face simple, naturally beautiful. Bring out her eyes, make them stand out, big and beautiful.” He pulled Gustav’s hair out of its bun and moved it to frame her face before stepping back, “Can we cut her hair?” He said once again ignoring that Gustav could make her own decisions.
“Well, I,” said Natalie clearly perturbed.
“No.” Gustav finally said firmly, “My hair does not get cut in anyway shape or form.” Remembering how clearly Georg said he loved her hair the way it was.
He sighed heavily as though put out, “Ok, can you curl it then? Keep it down and move the parting to the right; it’s her better side.”
It took another twenty or so minutes of Natalie working on her before, Gustav was declared done enough to have photographs taken.
She wandered out of the changing rooms and back to the set where Bill and Tom were already play fighting, much to the delight of the photographer who was snapping away at them, clearly enjoying the organic method of photography. Shuffling slightly embarrassed to the side of the main screen she joined Georg who grinned at her in amazement, though she could only just see it, not really willing to take her gaze away from the floor.
“You look beautiful.” He told her and she finally lifted her eyes to his.
“Do you really mean that?”
“I really mean that.” He insisted.
“You’re not just saying that to make me feel less embarrassed about wearing this stupid thing?”
“Never. Anyway,” he stepped up close to her and placed one hand on her waist bringing his other hand up to gently cup her jaw, “No matter what you wear, you’re still always the most beautiful person in the room.” He finished placing a whisper soft kiss to her lightly glossed lips.
Unfortunately the tender moment was ruined by an obnoxious series of clicks and flashes.
“Adorable,” the photographer announced, “but no more of that unless I say so please, you’ll ruin her makeup.”
The rest of the photo shoot proceeded as expected and though irritating to a severe degree, the photographer managed to capture some truly spectacular moments. Gustav just hoped that for all their sakes no-one would try to get her into a dress ever again.
And if she ever got home she was also never complaining that Bill took too long getting ready.
She could feel it in the air, the steady beat of the music that they were going to play, the show wasn’t starting for another ten minutes but frankly she couldn’t wait this is what she lived this life for, forget anything else, this was right where she belonged, she was shuffled quickly to her drums twirling the sticks in her fingers and feeling infinitely grateful that despite the many physical changes, drumming in this body didn’t feel significantly different to before.
The show started and she was completely lost, lost in the rhythm, lost in the music, lost in the crowd and she wasn’t planning to find herself for another ninety minutes. As the show progressed she was more and more aware that Georg wasn’t quite playing as usual, he wasn’t wrong per se, but he seemed tighter, like he was nervous. Although nerves were pretty standard before a show, once they got on stage the nerves usually went. She wasn’t going to worry about it though, not when the show was going so well.
She was sitting on her plinth waiting for the intro to their last encore song when she noticed Georg nod to Bill who then spoke into the microphone.
“Gusti,” Bill said getting her attention, “Could you come down here please?” She was very confused as she put down her sticks and walked down the steps towards the front of the stage. Bill handed the microphone over to Georg who had put his bass down and was walking to meet her.
“I’m not used to this, so forgive me if I forget what I’m doing.” Said Georg into the mike, “As most of you will know Gusti and me have been dating for about two years and I love her completely.”
There was a wall of noise from the arena, a sea of ‘aw’s interspersed with the occasional boo from the less supportive fans. Georg threw his winning grin at the crowd.
“And I have a question to ask.” he said, turning to the startled drummer. The screens had focused on the pair. Gustav was very confused and had no idea what was going on, right up until the point where Georg had gotten down on bended knee where it all hit home with perfect clarity.
“Gusti Schafer, will you marry me?”
Gustav was shocked to say the least and started to feel a little bit like a winning beauty queen as she had to cover her mouth to stop her from sobbing out loud. Unable to truly make a sound she conveyed her answer by nodding her head frantically, allowing Georg to take her hand and slip a simple but beautiful diamond ring on her finger.
She pulled Georg to his feet and threw herself at him, placing a hard passionate kiss on his lips, to hell with the audience, the whole world could watch (and probably would come tomorrow’s headlines) this moment was just him and her.
It was Bill who eventually got Gustav to let go and go sit back behind her drum kit. How anyone expected her to do anything after all that she didn’t know, but somehow she managed to fumble her way through the last song on autopilot and without really registering how she found herself back onto her and Georg’s bus, before the reality of what she had done really hit her.
Gustav sat down cross legged in the bunk staring at the rock adorning her finger. In the heat of the moment it had been so easy to say yes, to dream of a life lived happily and openly with her husband forever and ever, but then she realised that it wasn’t right. This wasn’t her Georg, and it wasn’t her decision to make. She was stealing someone else’s boyfriend, and even if they were similar in every single way, Gustav and Gusti were not the same person. The only choice he had to was to tell the truth and hope that there would be some way for both Gustav and Gusti to get back to their own homes.
She looked up at Georg tears threatening to spill over in her eyes, she wiped furiously at her face trying to stop them from falling. “Georg,” she began, “I’ve got something really important I need to tell you.”
“What is it?” Georg said wandering over from the direction of the bathroom.
“I think you’ll want to sit down.”
Georg sat next to her on the bunk and Gustav twisted her hands together not looking up trying to find the right words.
“Oh my god, you’re pregnant.” said Georg, the colour draining from his face.
Gustav snapped her head up, the possibility hadn’t even occurred to her. She could be pregnant in this world, but Georg had taken her silence as admittance and had begun to ramble.
“It’s ok,” he said quickly, “it’ll be fine we can take some time off, we’ll probably need to be recording a new album soon anyway, and since we’re already getting married we can...”
Gustav had burst out laughing and had grabbed at Georg’s hands which were trying to stroke Gustav’s (hopefully) empty stomach and placing them over Georg’s mouth.
“Stop, I’m not pregnant, or at least I’m fairly sure I’m not.” Gustav let go of Georg’s hands and he visibly sagged with relief.
“Thank god,” said Georg, “No offence, I’d love to have kids with you and everything, but yeah, not right now. So,” he said sitting back again, “what is it you want to tell me?”
“I’m going to have to tell you now that this will sound crazy, impossible even, if it wasn’t happening to me I wouldn’t believe it myself but what I say now you have to believe, because it’s completely the truth.”
Georg looked a little scared but didn’t speak, letting Gustav continue.
“I’m a man.” Gustav said, ploughing on before Georg could interject, “And not some kind of I was born a woman but inside I’m a man, I mean that I’m not from here, I was never a woman.”
“You are a woman Gusti; I mean I should know right.”
“Here I’m a woman, but I’m not from here, it’s like I’ve been moved body.”
“What so you’re some random person in Gusti’s body?”
Gustav could see that she was not being properly understood. “No, that’s not what I mean, I’m still Gustav but it’s like an alternate dimension or something. I’m still Gusti, and I’m still in love with you but in my world we were all guys.”
“Did you hit you head?”
“I told you it’s weird, but honestly you have to believe me, I couldn’t make something like this up.”
Georg didn’t say anything for a minute, but eventually spoke clearly and patiently, “Ok then, start from the beginning,” and so Gustav did. She told Georg everything from the meet and greet to the fan, from waking up confused in Georg’s bunk to the week of confusion and secrets.
The bassist in turn had listened silently allowing Gustav to talk for as long as she needed to, not speaking again until she had completely finished, to which he had calmed her fears but confirming that yes the whole story did sound entirely insane, but yes, he did believe her. By this point they had curled up together and Georg was brushing Gustav’s hair in what was now and entirely familiar and comforting way. They had started asking questions back and forth about their respective worlds and respective partners and matching up personal details.
“When did we get together here?” asked Gustav.
“What do you mean properly?”
“Like actually dating rather than just... you know.” Georg raised his eyebrow in implication.
Gustav was surprised; he and his Georg hadn’t had actual sex until at least two months into their relationship, “Really?”
“Yeah, so which one?”
“Wow, both I guess.” She decided
Georg paused thoughtfully for a moment, “The first time, I was fifteen I think, so you probably would have been fourteen, we’d just gotten signed for the first time and we were in the tent back in my parents’ house.”
Gustav almost choked on air, “Fourteen? I thought you meant a few years ago tops.”
There was rumbling laugh from the bassist, “No, it was a long time ago, you decided we were old enough and you just went for it. Once you know what you want you’re as bad as Bill. I think you just wanted to say that you weren’t a virgin for all the big interviews we were going to have.”
“Did we sleep together a lot?” Gustav asked, unable to be anything but curious.
“On occasion, but not very often; maybe a handful of times before we dated.”
“When did we start dating then?”
“14th of August 2008.” Georg rattled off proudly.
She smiled in return, “So two years exactly.”
“Two years exactly,” He repeated, “I thought it would be romantic, but obviously the gesture was a little misplaced.”
Gustav didn’t reply to this, she felt it wasn’t really her place, his place he supposed giving the context of the situation to agree or disagree.
“So who else have I dated?” Gustav said eventually breaking the silence.
“That I know of, Tom,” Said Georg with a laugh.
“Now I know you’re making it up,” Tom had never been her type and even now she felt absolutely no attraction to him.
“I suppose it doesn’t really count, it was less than a week a long time ago, I think it was a mutual agreement never to speak of it again.”
Gustav covered her face with her hands, this place was officially far too weird for her to deal with, “Did I ever...?” she trailed off.
“With Tom?” Georg said, not really laughing anymore.
She nodded in response, not sure if she wanted to know the answer, but curiosity getting the better of her anyway.
“I’d assume so, I don’t really know, as I said, you don’t talk about it very much, and I don’t really want to hear about it either.”
“Sorry,” she said quickly, she supposed the idea made him jealous, after all Gustav would feel horrible if Georg and Tom had had a relationship, however brief, in his world.
“Don’t worry about it, it’s not like you knew.”
Georg put his hand on her mouth, “Nope, my turn to ask a question.” he picked up Gustav’s hand and stroked the ring that sat on her finger with his thumb. “Do you love me?”
“Yes,” she said in honesty, “I mean, not in the same way as my you, but yes I do.”
“Does he love you, your me?”
“Yes,” there was no need for hesitation, she knew with every fibre of her being.
“I guess it’s just proof then,”
“Proof of what?” Gustav said feeling far calmer now.
“I always thought that I’d feel the same, as if I wouldn’t care if you were a man or a woman or a mongoose, that I love you because you’re you. I think this is just proof and I’m glad.”
She smiled and nodded in response, it was like a fire, a warming heat deep in her chest to think that these things didn’t change, despite the circumstances.
Georg bit his lip as if contemplating whether or not to ask the next question. “Is he the same?” he asked, although it wasn’t very specific she knew exactly what she meant.
“You’re the same, just a little different and I suppose by default a little more gay. You and him are the same though, like I’m her only a little different, well, quite a lot different.”
The silence sat comfortably between them for a short moment before Gustav spoke again. “I’m not her though, you do know that. I need to go back, and you need to get her back.”
“I know.” Georg conceded, “We’ll figure it out in the morning. Maybe that fan still exists here too and she’ll be able to reverse it.”
“Ok, in the morning.” She replied settling into sleep.
And on the stroke of midnight Gustav’s week was up.
Morning rose quietly in Georg and Gustav’s bunk and she snuggled into the warm shoulder she was resting her head on listening to the soft snores that brought her comfort. She opened her eyes and stared at the peaceful face beside her she lifted her hand to brush his hair from his cheek, but as she lifted her hand she noticed that it was very much not female, it was the thickset callused hands that Gustav had, the real Gustav had, the one that was a he and the one that was back home. He grinned widely and rolled onto his back stroking his hands down his flat chest and then coming to rest on the edge of his boxers he lifted the hem and took a quick peek.
He almost shouted for joy at what lay within, he had never thought he could be so happy about his morning glory but he supposed that when it’s been missing, you’re glad to have it back. Georg opened one bleary eye to be greeted with the sight of Gustav smiling at his penis.
“Huh?” the sleepy brunet enquired,
Gustav let go of his boxers and had to laugh at the absurdity of the situation, “It’s nothing,” he said rolling over and placing a kiss on his boyfriend’s lips.
“So feeling better today?” Georg asked
Gustav stopped a second wondering what had happened here in his absence. “What’s the date today?”
“Um, the seventh I think. Why do you ask?”
Not a single day had gone by, and Gustav found that he didn’t mind one bit, “I’ll explain to you another time. Right now we have more important business to attend to.” Gustav said groping Georg through the sheets.
“We do now, do we?”
Somewhere very far away but not very far in the future church bells chime for the woman about to become Gusti Listing.