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#8823
April 11,
0430

Breep breep breep breep breep-

Matt started awake at the sound of a shrill alarm. Darkness surrounded and confused him at first. He couldn't see! Wait, that's right, he'd had that incident yesterday. Matt forced himself to relax back into his pillow. It didn't help. Whomever was enslaved by that alarm was banging around in their apartment. Matt couldn't help overhearing them, really. Or the man snoring to beat the band on the ground floor apartment. Or the dog barking two blocks away.

Siiigh. I should have anticipated this...

There wasn't going to be any going back to sleep now, was there? Matt swung his legs out of bed and sat up. The room came into focus for his radar sense. It was a confusing thing, reporting not just edges and space, but texture and temperature, density and depth. It was like touching everything all at once, really. Overwhelming. In addition to that, his hearing was reporting things that he really didn't care to know. The same with his nose...ugh, who had a cat? They needed to scoop their litter box, badly.

The carpet under his toes was...rough. Odd. Hadn't it been a thicker Berber type weave? His skin was over-reporting too, apparently. Wonderful. Not everything was terrible. Ms. Four Thirty Wakeup was brewing coffee and the roast had a rich smell to it. Still, whoever she was wouldn't appreciate a groggy blind man tracking her down and asking for a cup.

Yeah, THAT'D be a great conversation...'Hi, your alarm woke me up, can you give me a cuppa?' Sounds like a Klaus line...well, I'm up, might as well get up.

Anybody's body would rebel at getting up so early, but Matt was startled to actually hear the creaking in his joints and muscles as they transitioned from a sleep state to a more mobile wakefulness. It gave him pause, but couldn't stop him from finding his sweats and socks. Nobody would be up at this hour to see him running and he craved movement and freedom.

Next was shoes...they'd be in the front hallway. Matt quietly made his way out of his room. More smells assaulted him, some subtle and others rank. To his dismay, some of the more offensive came from the shoes he and Klaus kept by the door. How was he to have known? Logically, it made sense that foot odor and bacteria would not result in good things, but...Lord have mercy! There wasn't much to do except get the Febreeze and try to fix the issue. Since that was in the kitchen, Matt headed there, only to be assaulted by the trash. Well, he'd take that out on his way to go run. The bananas on the counter were a surprise...each one was a little more or a little less ripe than its fellows. Didn't they all come from the same bunch? Matt puzzled over the fruit until the answer hit him. They'd been pollinated at different times, so were subtly different ages...minutes, hours, it didn't make a difference.

Well I'll be damned...

The wonder of being able to tell which of the bananas was the ripest wore off relatively quickly. Something to marvel over at another time. But, he resolved, he would definitely marvel over it. Perhaps something to be thankful for when dark days came? Can't see worth shit, but his sense of smell was uncanny...and his hearing, he added as Ms. Four Thirty cursed her keys for going missing. She certainly was able to get ready to go quickly, wasn't she? Matt quirked a grin that nobody would see and collected the Febreeze. A lonesome bottle of Lysol cowered in the back of the cupboard too, so he grabbed it.

Radar sense called the bottles nearly identical, but his nose was able to differentiate them. And my, how they were different! There was the familiar level surface smell...Lemon for Lysol and Fresh Linen for the Febreeze, but Matt had to focus in order to detect those attributes. Now, the first hit to his nose were the factory-load of chemicals and solvents in each spray bottle. Some were caustic, others benign, but the complexity was nearly overwhelming again.

Armed with enough chemicals and antibacterial spray to effectively go to war, Matt resolutely advanced on the offensive tennis shoes. It took a delicate hand to be able to balance spraying away the stink and yet not fumigating himself out with the shoes. Eventually, Matt was satisfied with the job. He put on the now-lemony shoes and his sun glasses. The sun was just peeking up over the horizon, so it wouldn't be too odd. Hoodie, keys, garbage for the dumpster, and he was gone.

Brisk air greeted him, carrying the weight of car exhaust, garbage, stray animals, and humanity. Did he know that a flock of eight gulls roosted down the street and two blocks down? And how the hell did he have THAT precise level of pinpointing? Unbelievable.

Matt flipped his hood up and jogged down the stairs and picked up the pace as he continued down the block. Nobody gave him a second look. That was good. A blind man shouldn't be able to run, much less at a near Olympic pace. And he was, wasn't he? This pace was killer, and yet it wasn't. His lungs were burning with effort, but his muscles weren't screaming. So, he needed to build his endurance, but his strength was higher than ever. Well, then. Maybe whatever mutation he'd suffered through was more than just a sensory change...

Oh no...what if they made me into a werewolf like that McGarret guy that Klaus was working with?

There was an easy test for that. When he finished this run and some calisthenics, he would prick himself on one of Klaus' silver blades. Oh, that would be fun to explain to his friend...Sorry, thought I was a werewolf. Excuse me while I go clean up this bleeding mess. Wouldn't Klaus be surprised if his best mate was a monster? Matt was pretty sure that Klaus would kill him.

As his breathing evened out and stopped hurting, Matt redirected himself to thinking cheerful thoughts. So long as he worked out early enough in the morning or late enough in the evening, there was no reason why he couldn't keep doing this. The Thames smelled. Traffic noises were picking up. Matt pushed himself harder, panting and sweating through the overwhelming sensations assaulting him.

It was almost painful, the way everything was more real. Matt tortured himself with the exercise. The air became a breeze that stung, not from the speed but from his own sensitivity. Eventually, all things end, and so it was with the run.

Six o’clock, if he could trust his inner clock. Time for breakfast, a shower, and…he didn’t know what. The therapist had given him a work book and audio CD to start doing home study to learn Braille. He’d need to memorize the alphabet and then start practicing. Hopefully the text wouldn’t be stupid. It was probably stupid.

Matt made his way back into the apartment and headed towards the shower. After a detour to pick up a new outfit (hopefully not mismatched), he headed to the shower. Under the hot water, he was able to relax and start ordering his thoughts for the day.

Note to self, get mum over to help arrange the outfits into something I can sort through quickly.

The drops of water felt like he had the jets on. Reaching up, Matt was dismayed to find that such was not the case.

Hypersensitivity? Sure. Why not? Maybe that was how the radar sense worked. He was over feeling air currents, over smelling things, over hearing things…Maybe it was a good thing he couldn’t see anymore. Would he have developed X-ray vision? As he washed his hair, he contemplated how much worse things could be. What if he DID have X-ray vision and he couldn’t turn it off? Everything was bones and see through! He snickered at the thought…didn’t he kind of already have that detail? Since he could hear the water groaning through the pipes as he rinsed off, it was safe to say that he did get to enjoy the “Too Much” kind of sensory information. Already, he could foresee a slew of problems that would come along with that.

Music, conversations, phone calls…nothing will be a solo act anymore. I’ll be able to eavesdrop on everybody!

Sarcasm was a good indicator of mental health, he’d once read. If that were true, then he must be fairly balanced to have come up with a line like that. Matt dried off and pulled on pants and trousers, then went to go shave his face. His hand lingered on the razor for a moment when he realized that he couldn’t see his reflection in the mirror. Well, he’d just have to do his best, right? Same with combing his hair. At least brushing and flossing his teeth were more tactile sensations than the other daily hygiene tasks. Aftershave, deodorant, tee shirt…he was ready for whatever it was he was going to do with the rest of his morning.

Breakfast first, right? Well, second or third, after working out and taking a shower. But what to eat? Something not overwhelming, preferably healthy…There was the box of Cheerios he’d bought to counterbalance Klaus’ bright colored sugary cereal. There were eggs, toast, fruit…he had options, but what could he prepare realistically? At this stage, cereal seemed like a good option.

Back into the kitchen he went. Matt opened the cupboard and grumbled to himself. Unlike the earlier hunt for the cleaning sprays, his hyper-senses were working against him rather than with him. The food pantry had lots of boxes and bags. These boxes were predominantly cardboard and they all soaked up the smell of whatever their contents were…and whatever their neighbors were. Time would probably give him the experience he needed to ort things by smell, but for now, everything was just one big old happy miasma. Maybe toast would be better.

Matt closed the pantry and began searching for the bread. The plastic wrapped loaf was snuggling with the toaster. Perfect. Matt thought to himself as he pulled out two slices, popped them in the appliance, then waited. The burning crumbs at the bottom, near the element, smelled bad. The heating element itself was buzzing obnoxiously. They needed a new toaster, didn’t they? Matt sighed, pushing away the low level of frustration he was starting to feel with his new super senses as he leaned on the counter and crossed his arms.

Sounds of movement from Klaus’ room made Matt focus in that direction. His friend was awake and almost done getting ready for the day. Good. Had to pretend like he couldn’t see him…ugh. Matt hated the pretense. How was he supposed to explain to Klaus the comic-book ridiculousness that the two of them had been thrown into? Who knew? Matt dropped his gaze back to the floor when he heard the bedroom door open.
#8888
Klaus hadn't slept much. He'd managed to doze off after three and hadn't woken up until the sounds of the shower turning on could be heard. Klaus' brows furrowed and he groaned in protest as he looked at his alarm clock. Seriously, Matt? he thought. Six a.m.? "Ugh." He closed his eyes and turned to his side roughly as though that made the point to his unwitting friend. The normalcy of the act and the amount of time Matt spent in the shower almost made the events of yesterday seem a mere dream. If he could get around so well, then perhaps things were normal. Maybe he'd go out and find his friend's sight had returned as quickly as it had left. No rhyme, no reason. Just back, conveniently.

Klaus sighed as he heard Matt go out to the kitchen. Fine, then. He couldn't be considered a responsible adult if he stayed in bed with his newly blind best mate heading for the kitchen. From the sound of it, he was doing something other than cereal. Better get up before he gets ambitious and chops a finger off. He sat up and rubbed his eyes before stretching and then sat a moment before standing. Alright, clothes. Or at least a shirt. He barely had time to appreciate the fact he could theoretically wander about naked without his friend being any wiser. The pajama pants he wore and the t-shirt he grabbed from the closet was good enough for now. He could shower and such later. All he'd have to do, however, was put on some jeans before he took Matt to his therapy appointment later on.

Once Klaus slipped on his slippers, he left his room and walked out, scratching the back of his head as he did so. He should probably brush his teeth, but he wanted food. Why was it that falling asleep after two left you hungry as a hippo?

"Mornin'," Klaus said as he stepped into the kitchen and went for the carton of pre-whipped eggs in the fridge and then grabbed a carton of ready-hash browns from the cabinet. He set some water to boil as he grabbed the bit of cheese left to grate it. About as fancy as he got, but it would go with the toast Matt was making if Matt decided he wanted some after he smelled it.
#8910
Mat looked up at the greeting and smiled, but bit back the words he wanted to tell Klaus. After all, how did you gently break it to your friend that they smelled like funk and that their growling stomach was obnoxiously loud?

"Hi..."

What was there really to say? Matt had a hard enough time cataloging all the new stimuli that assaulted him. Klaus, for example, had a garlicky tinge to the unwashed smell that was clinging to him. The shirt he had on smelled faintly of laundry detergent. His teeth needed brushed. When had Klaus had garlic? Or mushrooms? Was that something from his time down below? And the eggs and hash browns he was cooking kept squeaking as they heated. Was there a reason Matt could hear everything or was he the only one in the world who got to enjoy the 'too-much' that the world had to offer?

On top of that, Matt didn't know what to do with his gaze. The eyes themselves, glazed and vacant, provided no information to him. He hated that. Not simply because it was off putting and detrimental to the small amount of vanity he had, but because he didn't like feeling useless in any capacity. He settled for just closing them, but found the effort foreign feeling, so he settled for 'looking' out the kitchen window.
#8911
When the water took to boiling, Klaus picked up the kettle and poured it into the hash brown carton. Once he set the kettle down, he closed the carton, pinched it between his fingers by the flap and then shook slightly before setting it down to do its fluffing up so he could brown them. Weird though it sounded, it actually tasted a lot more like the stuff at restaurants than the frozen bags of shredded hash browns. Done with that for the moment, he turned his attention to the eggs in time to sprinkle some of the cheese he'd grated on top before flipping it, which truthfully amounted to pushing the eggs around the edges so the uncooked side went down to cook. It wasn't long before those were done and divided between two plates and he poured the hash browns into the pan to brown. A few minutes later, the meal was ready and served, placed on the table.

"Now, I know it's nothing compared to your mum's cooking or even your own, but this is pretty damn good for me," he told his friend before setting to perk some coffee. He didn't often make it at home, yet today screamed for something a little different than orange juice. "You going to want some coffee? Or something else?" At the very least he could pour a drink for Matt so he didn't have to feel with his finger or whatever to avoid overfilling. It was only full day of blindness number one. He could do a little for him.
#8913
How was it that he felt so isolated? He could hear the neighbors, and yet felt so alone in his own head. He'd have to shake that if he was going to keep surviving. And that was the key, wasn't it? Survival?

The toast popped while Klaus was fiddling with the eggs, so Matt found the side of the toaster and followed it up, extracting the two pieces of bread. He at least could contribute that much to the meal, right?

"I'm sure it will be wonderful; It's going to be awhile before I can cook again. Eggs, right? And...hashbrowns? That means coffee, for sure. Thank you. Take this toast, I don't know where to put it. Or tell me."

God, this would be easier if Klaus wasn't here. Or if he told Klaus about his new abilities. But...if what Matt suspected was true, Klaus was safer not knowing. After all, MI:5 playing god by making mutations wouldn't want those same mutants making a fuss and telling people...Matt and Klaus were both safer not sharing this secret.
#8955
"Yep," Klaus said, allowing the carafe to fill a little further. "And no problem. Didn't want any cereal, and I couldn't have you living on bread alone." He smirked. "Do you take Catsup?" he asked as he grabbed the toast from Matt and put them on the plates in question before taking the couple steps to the coffee maker. He poured the water into the unit then carefully measured out the grounds (Couldn't have it too strong but certainly couldn't have it too weak either.) before he pressed "brew."

As the coffee maker began to make its ridiculous start-up dry throat gargling noises, Klaus went and grabbed the butter dish from the counter and set it on the table and then walked over to the fridge. "Boysenberry or raspberry?" Klaus asked, looking between the two jars he now had in his hands. "Assuming you want something on your toast besides butter." He personally preferred only butter, but he knew other people had different preferences.
#8961
Klaus took the bread on the way to brewing coffee, so that was one problem fixed...next, catsup. "Negative on that...too much experience with that on ships to ever want it again." Navy pukes didn't know how to season food properly, Matt felt. Well, they did. Navy food was some of the best in the world, but because of dietary restrictions and what not, salt and pepper was an "add your own" when it came to their eggs. Too often, though, the salt and pepper didn't make it to the tables in the chow hall, so your options were plain or with tomato sauce. No thanks.

Matt made his way to the table and sat down. It was weird, being useless. Usually, he was the one bustling and preparing chow. Now, he was just a participant instead of an actor in the morning routine. He winced slightly when the coffee pot went all out trying to heat the water. What was once an annoying raspy gurgle was now a roaring cauldron of noise.

Raspberry, please." He managed to speak his preference without giving a hint to the discomfort the coffee maker had given him. He should have expected that, shouldn't he? After all, he saw Klaus starting it...but it was the volume, not the sound itself that had been so painful. Ugh. These new powers were going to be annoying to get use to.
#9118
Klaus put back the boysenberry and set it on the table. Enough time to grab a couple butter knives later and they were on the table next to their respective condiments. It would be a little bit for the coffee maker to finish its thing, so Klaus sat at the table and buttered his own toast, leaving the top off the butter dish for the time being. He was sure to let it make a little thud as it hit the table top, figuring that would let Matt know the top was off the butter dish so he didn't manage to stick his hand in the stick of soft butter. Or, at least he would be less likely to do so.

"You sleep alright?" he asked. Why not? He had his doubts he had as early as he had, to Klaus' knowledge, woken up. If he hadn't been able to sleep, had Matt? He didn't say where he'd be more anxious about it than Matt. Then again, Matt had actually experienced it, and had he really been able to get any sleep while the work doctors were poking and prodding him to figure out what all had happened? Probably not. So maybe he'd managed to sleep some out of sheer exhaustion and the anxiety had had the opposite effect and woken him earlier than what he should have with such a crazy day yesterday.
#9208
And how exactly did he respond to that? Was there any way really to explain hearing everything without sounding like a lunatic? Matt considered his reply and settled for a shrug before expanding on the gesture with words.

"Waking up was disorienting, other than that, no complaints."

Other than that early wakeup, he continued mentally, I was just fine going for a run. There's so much more to see and sense not that I have the perceptional ability to be aware of it. Did you know there's a skunk on the other side of the river? Matt said none of those things and took a bite of his eggs

He could taste the fridge on them. What the hell...was all food going to just taste like other things from now on? It was time to start buying organic produce then, and the kind of eggs you get from the farmers market that don't go in the fridge. Matt tried the toast next, nearly spitting it out from the sugar in the jam. What the hell. It was time to learn to endure 'too-much' with his food too. Everything was going to be this way, wasn't it?

Hell.

There was something that he should add to the breakfast conversation. For the life of him, though, Matt couldn't think of any conversation starters that accurately represented his gloom. There was always a sarcastic quip, but if he did that too often, Klaus was going to catch on that it was a ruse. Maybe he should just try being honest...

"I'm really tempted to try and be humorous...'how's the weather outside' or something equally frivolous..." Matt took a drink of water, eyes set to the middle of the table and brow furrowed. A muscle twitched in his jaw as he worked over his words.
"...but I'm not feeling upbeat enough to make it genuine. How did you sleep?"

Maybe asking a question in return would swat away the inevitable commiseration and pity. Matt didn't want pity.
#9283
Klaus groaned as Matt said he had been tempted to ask something "frivolous" like the weather. Yeah, this was awkward enough without it affecting their conversation that much. He'd rather talk about some random level on Sonic II or some challenge they'd encountered with a game they'd played when they were teens than the weather. Thankfully, Matt chose not to discuss the weather that Klaus had not yet experience, though, and instead bounced the question back on him.

"Craptacularly," Klaus replied without a second thought. "Took a while to get to sleep, and next thing I know it's three hours later and you're up and about and there's sun. Gosh, I hate the sun. So much." He did. Once it was out, it was nearly impossible to fall back asleep unless he'd had a horrid night's sleep. He needed to get a set of black-out curtains for his room. He'd bought a set for the room Matt was utilizing because he used to sleep on the futon the day before the hunt so he could wake up, throw on his hunting gear, arm himself, and head out, but he hadn't bothered for his room. There had been a sort of separation of that part of his life from his normal routine. Now, it sort of had to blur together, it seemed.

Klaus sighed as he took a few bites of his food, a bit cautious thanks to Matt's reaction earlier. He had a feeling that was Matt's effort to reign in his true thoughts but Klaus knew him well enough by now. "This isn't that bad, mate."
#10002
Matt schooled his expression carefully. Klaus had noticed his reaction to the hint of flavors that he was detecting. How could he play it off? Well, first off, he had to stop plotting and just react naturally to the conversation. Matt raised an eyebrow and grinned at Klaus.

"Three hours? Don't tell me you brought someone home and sent her out before I got to meet her. Oh, is she still here?"

Matt grinned and craned his head to the hallway towards the bedrooms, then laughed and settled back, taking another bite of eggs. He masked his distaste at the flavor, but did comment.

"I think I'm still feeling sick...food's tasting a bit off..."

That would be a good excuse, right? He'd had a hell of a fever yesterday, so maybe it was just going to be a natural assumption that things weren't quite normal?
#10043
Klaus snorted at Matt's joke and shook his head. "Yeah, even I'm not that fast," he said with an eye roll. His numbers were higher than what they should be perhaps, but he certainly wasn't bringing a girl home every night, much less every week. Klaus had no doubt he could if he wanted to, but that wasn't him. He preferred to work for it. Right now, he could go for easy, but usually easy wasn't as fun for him. He'd learned that earlier on. Confidence and some sense of self-confidence fed over into the bedroom. Drunken bravado and trying to prove a point? Yeah, not so much. Too boring and too messy. No thank you. Not to mention, he preferred to wait til he really needed it.

At Matt's comment, Klaus looked at his best mate with concern. Well, it would make sense given everything he'd seen Matt go through the night before. Perhaps that was all there was to it, yet didn't taste disruptions tend to be more toward the not tasting like much at all side of things? Then again, most fevers weren't accompanied with your friend telling you your inside voice was far too loud, so there was that. He was beyond expecting normal with this bout of things. "Well, maybe you should get some more rest before your appointment, yeah? You were up rather earlier. Couldn't have gotten much more sleep than me."
#10300
No, he hadn't slept well this morning. Matt pushed his eggs around his plate.

"I fell asleep early yesterday afternoon, remember...what I want to do is go work out, but I know, I know....not a good idea."

He even managed to not sound disgruntled as he admitted that a blind man going to the gym was a questionable idea. The eggs were a lost cause, so Matt got up and collected his plate, felt his way over to the trash, and scraped the food off. He found his way to the sink and started washing the dish, careful to maintain the charade that would become irritating far too quickly. Likely in the next two hours, Matt estimated.
#10347
Klaus stretched upward and arched his back toward the chair then settled with a shrug. "I dunno, mate. Maybe in a day or so when you've gotten a bit more used to everything. Talk to your person today, see what they think. I'll take you tonight if they decide you're ready." He saw no reason not to let Matt go to the gym so long as he was deemed healthy enough. After the huge fever spike and headache and everything that happened yesterday, though? He wouldn't feel comfortable without a doctor directly telling him Matt was physically ready for it. Last thing he needed was for Matt to push himself too hard at the gym and have another episode because Klaus decided to just give into his friend since he himself wanted to work out, too. He'd just have to figure out how to work out a trio group since Matt couldn't quite spot him anymore. Sucked because they'd settled into a routine before Matt had joined the marines and then a bit here and there when he'd be in town and go with him. Hopefully Matt at least understood the rationale behind him not saying, "Hell yes, let's go right this moment!"
#10356
It was at this moment that Matt almost told Klaus about his abilities. He managed to keep the charade going, but it was so tempting to just blurt out that he could see better than ever, hear things in an unreal way, and that his strength and stamina were higher now than they'd been at his peak in the corps.

Instead, Matt suppressed the urge to confess and grimaced.

"Yeah...the almighty doc gets their ruling first...but you can't stop me from doing some push ups...that'll at least get the itch to work out out of the system."

And Klaus wouldn't want him spotting if it was the end of the world. Not cool, because they'd have to call in a third person to join their routine. Maybe Cole? Or Geoffrey. Did Geoffrey work out or was pushing a mouse the extent of his workouts? Matt wasn't too sure.
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