"Bird imagery is very effective, what can I say?" Alphonse shrugged. "Especially with the bald eagle being our national bird. It works great as a symbol for America, and for strength. Not to mention, you've been turned into the perfect specimen of a blonde haired, blue eyed all American girl. You're simply perfect for this. You exude everything about America. Plus as a woman, you present a warm, friendly face. I don't believe in fate, Dawn, but it is times like this where I must question its existence."
Brendan nodded. It was quite fortuitous, he had to agree. Whenever he did a good deed, if any cameras were around, or turned up soon after the act to catch him, they'd capture the image of a smiley, beautiful, and kind looking woman. If nothing else, it would catch the attention of any males who she came across. They would surely approve of the new superheroine.
"Any other surprises? Or am I just going to dive into training," he asked.
The doctor gave a nervous smile and looked out the windows and into the training facility, without saying a word.
"What," inquired the changed man. "There is something more, isn't there? Spill it, Al!"
"You're not looking at me, and that's practically all you've done since I woke up with these things on my chest. Something is up, and it sure isn't nothing."
Alphonse turned around, starting to blush at the accusation Brendan had levelled against him of his incessant ogling. "We have been working on a little something."
He hesitated to continue, but the look in Brendan's shining blue eyes implored him to continue. The threat of harm of he failed to do so was also clear in that look as well.
"We have been working on several costume designs for your professional duties with the project, as our new asset. It was difficult to do too much, since we're still debating a name, but the silver motif seemed clear enough, even if it did not make it to your final moniker. It would invoke your abilities, and be a striking visual, we felt."
Despite himself, Brendan found himself actually excited by the prospect. Any new clothes that would fit him now would be welcome, and that part of him that had drawn him towards Doctor McKenzie's research, and eventually this project, welcome the chance to actually wear a superhero costume. Especially now that he had the physique to fill one out, even if it had yet to sink in that it was a female's form, and likely a costume designed for a female in particular he would be filling out.
"I get a costume," he blurted out in his excitement. He felt like a kid at Christmas, getting exactly what he's always asked for.
Alphonse smiled at the response, pleased to see his friend in such good spirits, for the first time since the accident.
"Indeed you do. Like I said, we're just in early phases right now, still trying to decide things, but we do have a prototype here, if you'd like to see it."
Forget being a kid at Christmas. Brendan was like a kid in a candy store, in the middle of Easter holidays, and with Halloween moved to the following week.
Alphonse considered dragging out Brendan's anticipation even further, but he could see his friend was trying to not bounce in place. Instead, he pressed a button on one of the consoles beneath the windows, and a door slid open on the left wall. Hanging inside, Brendan could see a clothes bag that was very much like the one the nurses had found with the military uniform, except this one was an opauqe black.
Brendan didn't even wait for Alphonse to gesture towards the bag, indicating he could have a look. He went right over to the closet, and took the bag off the thin piping acting as a rack. Brendan grasped the zipper near the top of the bag, and soon had the entire bag opened.
Within the crinkling plastic, he discovered a black and silver garment, the lights overhead, and in the equipment in the room, reflectively in twinkling, blinking stars off the material of the costume.
Brendan turned red as he looked over towards his associate. "Could I try it on? Is that ok?"
"Of course," Alphonse replied. "I'll just be right outside if you need anything."
With that, he stepped out of the door, and closed it behind him. Brendan was left alone in the room, with only the sound of his nervous, pounding heart, and the whir of the few actual computers within the walls, barely heard over his own noise.
He stripped out of his own clothes, only made somewhat concious by the large windows. Brendan knew they looked out to nowhere, but it still unnerved him enough to try and keep away from them as much as he could.
Brendan pulled the costume off it's hanger, and set aside other pieces of the costume aside as he focused on the main body suit. It was mostly black, with open holes for hands and feet at the ends of long sleeves and legs.
Hesitantly, Brendan stepped into it, starting to realise just what this was going to make him look like, and show off every inch of his very female body for everyone to see, even if it did cover every inch of flesh.
The bodysuit was exactly as snug as Brendan had expected it to be. It hugged every curve with precision, and seemed to blend almost perfectly at the cuffs, making it hard to find where it began, and his skin started.
Aside from the black, the bodysuit's upper torso had a large silver portion to it. Brendan would have to let Alphonse know they needed to work on the size a bit, as he was unable to pull the front closed enough, making the silver look like a giant V over his torso, that moved up to and over his shoulders, flowing down over his back into a short silvery cape that barely came down to his shapely rear.
The empty space gave anyone a view of his bare cleavage, and down to his belly button. Try as he might, Brendan couldn't bring it together any further than that.
Giving up, he proceeded on to the rest of it. He had set aside a pair of boots, the same silver as his cape and the rest, that when he pulled them over his legs, came up to his mid-thigh. To Brendan's surprise, although he realised he shouldn't have been, each boot had three inch heels set into their soles.
Brendan stood in the heels, very unsteady, as he was still getting used to his new body, and now had his weight being shifted about in wholly unexpected ways. He stood there for some time, not wanting to move, afraid to take even a single step.
He reached over to the console where he had laid down the silver gloves, fortunately well within reach, and pulled them over his small hands. They fit perfectly, like most of the rest of his costume, and they let his fingers flex naturally, without being binding, or limiting his ability to use his fingers.
Taking a deep breath, Brendan stepped forward, and as the heel hit the metallic floor, it slipped right out from underneath him, taking the young woman straight down to the ground with a loud yelp.
Alphonse rushed in when he heard the crash and the scream. His first sight was flailing silvery limbs, and a cape. The flailing form was making loud squawking noises, trying to free itself, and figure out which way was up after the spill.
"Godsdamnit!" came the girlish shriek from underneath the flipped up cape. "I hate this! I hate heels! I hate being a girl! Why can't I just be my old self again!!"
Brendan's excitement over brief moments had been completely shattered, and had been transformed into rage at his situation.
"This sucks! I didn't ask for this, I don't want it, I just want to be me!"
Alphonse moved closer to help the young woman right herself again, and get back on her feet, but as his hand neared the silvery ball of anger, the form was bathed in a burst of silvery light. It reminded Alphonse of that drowning glare that had filled the hospital room when this first happened, but this time it was nowhere near as bright, and nowhere near as long.
This time, the glow lasted for little more than a few seconds, and when it was gone, and he finally grabbed a grasping hand, he was able to pull the person back to their feet.
Brendan flipped the cape back away from his face, and Alphonse was surprised to see not long blonde hair framing a beautiful face, but instead the very male, stubbly face of his friend as he had always known it.
Seeing the look in Alphonse's eyes, Brendan asked, "What? What are you..." He stopped. He brought a hand up to his mouth at the sound of his voice, and then the top of his head. He tried to grab a handful of thick, flaxen hair, but instead found barely any hair he could get a hold on at all.
"Oh my gods," was all he could say, as his expression became just as shocked as Alphonse's was. His look moved downwards, seeing his bare chest within the silvery confines of his costume.
"I look terribly silly."