A/N- This was written for a contest, but I pretty much just wrote it to have fun, not win. This is not meant to have a brilliant plot, just to provide some comic relief. :)

xoxo Daphne xoxo

Never Again

He wandered down the hall, strands of hair hanging in his eyes. He didn't bother to push them away. It was too late at night to concentrate on such trivial things as that. The stairway door was open and as he reached it, the strains of music reached his ears. The unfamiliar tone froze him in place. The world roared around him, and he gripped the railing to steady himself. No. Not this...

Naomi sat up in bed, gasping for air. Her beside alarm clock proclaimed the time to be 2:07 a.m., the neon red numbers acting like a beam from a lighthouse in the darkness of his apartment. Sitting back against the headboard of her bed, she tried to sift through the confusion and orient herself.

Her head was pounding and her heart was racing madly, but she took several deep breaths and forced herself to calm down and think logically. As realistic as dreams could be, this one was nowhere near the realm of possibilities.

To start with the most obvious reason,despite herdream in which she was definitely of the male persuasion, she was not a guy. As she sternly reminded herself of that fact, she unthinkingly stretched her fingers out, their slender forms feeling unfamiliar. They felt too small all of a sudden, too feminine and delicate.

She frowned. She had never felt this way before… so unfamiliar in her own body. "I'm not a guy!" she exclaimed in frustration, desperately trying to convince her body to start feeling like she had two X chromosomes again. After all, her slender body could only be mistaken for a guy's body with a lot of alcohol and a touch of craziness. She could easily be called the most feminine person in all of New York.

She started as she heard a groan next to her, her heart resuming its frantic pace.

"Naomi, what are you doing?" a male voice, drenched in exhaustion, asked.

She froze, panicking. The voice had come from right beside her—in her bed! She forced herself to slowly move her head to look at the source of the strange voice. Her throat constricted when she saw a muscular, tattooed man lying next to her.

"Naomi, are you alright?" the man asked.

A bright light flashed through her mind.

Naomi? My name isn't Naomi. It's Nick. And why is there a man in my bed? I couldn't have been that drunk last night!

The man sat up, a concerned expression settling over his stubble-covered face. "Naomi! You look like you've seen a ghost! What's wrong?" the stranger asked, his voice strained.

"Get away from me!" he yelled, something horribly wrong with his voice. It was high pitched and almost squeaky, like he was once again going through puberty or something.

What's happening to me?

Nick leapt out of bed, but his legs felt incredibly wrong and he ended up tripping over his own feet. He stuck out his arms to save himself from hitting his head on the floor, but something was wrong with his arms, too. They felt rubbery, like they had no muscles, and he ended up collapsing in a heap on the floor.

The man jumped out of the bed and turned on the light. "Naomi!"

But, Nick was up and running before the man ever reached him. He shot out the door, starting to get used to his legs again.

He raced through the hallway, randomly taking a door and hoping it would lead him to some kind of exit. Somehow, he managed to find an exit and make his escape.

Where am I? Vaguely, he thought that he must still be in New York. The slightly rank and polluted smell, coupled with various aromas of street vendors' foods, surrounded him and just screamed New York City. But, where?

He flung up his arm, calling for a taxi. Luckily, one pulled up promptly just as Tattoo Man came racing out the front door, thankfully clothed this time.

"Take me to 1602 West 42nd Street, right now," he ordered the taxi driver.

"Naomi!" the man shouted after him, but Nick just hunched down in the taxi and looked away.

I'm never drinking again. Never.

"It's none o' me business, lass, but didja get into a wee bit of a lurver's quarrel?" the driver asked in a thick Irish accent, glancing at Nick via the rearview mirror.

Nick stared at him in horror as it registered just what exactly the man had said.

Did he just say lass? Has the whole flipping world gone nuts

He opened his mouth to make a retort, when he caught a glimpse of his face in the rearview mirror.

What the...? Jesus! I'm a girl

He slumped back against the taxi cab's seat, his mind racing. His legs, his arms, that's why they had felt so wrong. And Tattoo Man had kept calling him Naomi… something in the back of his mind twitched at that thought, something important. He tried to capture the thought, but it fluidly slipped right through his grasp.

The cab driver must have interpreted the look on his face as answer enough to his question, because he stopped paying attention to Nick, which rather suited Nick at the moment.

He needed to think. He looked down at his hands resting in his lap, stretching them without thinking. They felt so… small… and delicate.

Someone drugged me. I think I look likea chick because someone slipped something in my drink last night and I was too wasted to notice.

Well, that explained why he thought he looked like a girl, but what about Tattoo Man and the cab driver?

Maybe I'm hallucinating about them, too. Maybe I'm really at home in my bed, tripping on acid or something.

He squeezed his eyes shut, willing himself to wake up. When he opened them, nothing happened. He was still in the cab… and he still had boobs. And, although he had jokingly wished for them several times, all he really wanted was for them to go away.

After an eternity, the cab driver pulled up to Nick's apartment. Ignoring the driver's pitying look, Nick paid the fare and got out. He stood there for a moment, his silk nightgown fluttering in the wind, and watched the cab drive off. He tiredly walked up the stairs to his apartment and unlocked the front door.

Just get to bed. You'll wake up tomorrow morning and everything will be normal.

He walked swiftly towards his room and walked over towards his bed, too physically and emotionally exhausted to even flip on the light. He sighed and crawled underneath the covers… when his leg brushed something that vaguely felt like human flesh.

He yelped loudly and sprang out from underneath the covers. A voice—that sounded like his voice!—yelped right along with him, and someone jumped out from underneath the covers as well.

He quickly turned on the light and about fainted when he found that he was looking at himself in the flesh… tall, tan, black hair, and athletically built. And although it was avery wide-eyed and shocked him, there was no doubt that the person before him was… well, himself.

"What are you?" the man who looked like him asked timidly.

He gaped. He never thought he'd be literally having a conversation with himself.

Good, God. I really have lost it. Even Freud couldn't figure this mess out.

He spread his hands helplessly. "I'm Nick."

The Nick look-alike looked confused, but seemed to be taking the fact that they were both in some body-snatching nightmare a lot better than Nick had. "And why are you in my body, Nick?"

What did he mean by "in my body?" Nick's eyes widened as he realized what had happened. He was in some chick's body. So, that must mean the chick—Naomi, wasn't it?—was in his body. "Why are you in mine?" he countered defensively.

Naomi spread Nick's hands in a gesture of helplessness. "I don't know," she stated, her voice taking on a slightly hysteric tone. "All I know is that I woke up from a dream that I was a guy. I was still in my body, but I felt like a guy. Then, a bright light flashed through my mind and... and then, well… I was a guy."

"What the hell is going on?" Nick asked the room at large. Forget his oath to never drink again. What he really needed right now was a shot of tequila.

"Well… I, uh, think it's my fault."

"What do you mean?" Nick asked, backing away slightly.

"I tend to have, um… I guess you could call them self-fulfilling dreams. Sometimes my dreams will just… make themselves real." At the horrified look on Nick's face, the Nick look-alike quickly explained, "Nothing big like this. Just something like, I'll dream that my hair is blonde instead of brown and I'll wake up and it's blonde, and then I have to dye it back. It's normally harmless stuff."

Now I'm not sure which one of us is nuts.

"Lady, I don't really care whether it was harmless before or not, just change it back! I am not a feminine person! I want to exchange your estrogen for my testosterone, okay? Just make me a guy again!"

"Okay! Don't yell at me! I didn't do it on purpose," she stated. Nick glared at her, his look clearly stated that he didn't give a flip if it was on purpose or not.

"Listen, I think that if we each go to sleep in our own beds, that it should just wear off and we'll be back to normal in the morning."

"You think? You don't know if you can change us back?!"

She looked flustered, and brought her hands up in a nervous gesture to tuck her hair behind her eyes… only to remember that her long, brown hair had been replaced with short, black hair.

"I'm no happier about this than you are, okay? But, it should work." She grabbed a pen that she saw resting on Nick's nightstand and picked up a random piece of paper lying on Nick's clutter-strewn floor. "Here's my number. If we're not normal in the morning, call me and we'll figure something out, okay?"

For someone who is in another person's body, she sure is calm about this. It made him wonder what else she had done unwittingly with her "magic dreams."

She started to leave, when she stopped and turned around. "Do you have a Discman?"

He stared at her. "Yeah?"

"For some reason, music is very important to my dreams. If I listen to classical music every night, it helps keep my dreams under control. There's something about the complex structure that helps keep me grounded in reality and won't let the dream world interfere. Now that I think about it, I think my batteries must have died or something." She paused, as if in thought, then continued. "But, the point is, you need to listen to something very familiar to you tonight. Something that will help link you to reality, okay?"

Music linking you to the real world? This is getting way too weird. He glanced down at his silken nightgown and bare, pale feet. Correction. It got way too weird a long time ago.

He shrugged. "I listen to Aerosmith every night anyways."

She gaped at him. "Aerosmith?"

"Yeah." He gave her a weird look.

"That's what was in my dream, I think. The unfamiliar music I heard was the music you were listening to."


"Shouldn't we be getting to sleep now, so we can hurry up and return to normal?" Nick asked, but she was already leaving.

Nick heard the front door to his apartment slam shut, and he sighed. Body switching, magical dreams, and music that kept your hair from turning colors… God, he needed a drink.

Instead of going to get a drink, he simply placed the paper with her number on his nightstand and turned on his CD player, basking in the comforting sounds of Aerosmith. Then, after opening his window to relieve the sweltering heat in his apartment, he basically collapsed onto his bed. Within seconds, he was fast asleep.

Several hours later, he woke up, stretching his arms lazily. He stopped mid-stretch as he remembered all that had happened last night, but heaved a huge sigh of relief when he saw that the arms he was in the process of stretching were muscular and tan, not skinny and pale.

God, that was a fucked-up dream. He groaned as he hauled his body out of bed, all too aware of his eminent hangover. Ugh. I'm never drinking again.

He donned his robe, then walked over to his nightstand to take a drink from the glass of water he always had sitting there.

He picked up his glass, smiling smugly at the lack of a piece of paper on his nightstand. Yep, just a dream.

Preoccupied with finding some Tylenol to get rid of his pounding headache, Nick never noticed a piece of paper with a name and number on it getting picked up off his floor by a current of wind and blown out the open window.