The next monday at lunch time, I arrived first to our group’s usual spot where we hung out between classes. It was windy today, with the ever present overcast sky looking like it wanted to rain, even if it never would. Wellington was like that. Our spot, a row of benches set up against a wall, was looking particularly depressing today. Jeremy had taken to eating elsewhere recently, which meant it was just Dana, Greg and I. I was still pissed at him for his bullshit, but not having Jeremy around felt wrong. I know the others felt it too.
“Jeremy didn’t show again?” Greg asked when he sat down next to me.
I shook my head in response, too busy struggling with my windblown hair to respond verbally. Damn wind. It took me a moment, but I wrangled it into a ponytail and stuffed the end into my shirt so it wouldn’t blow around.
“Nah… and Izzy is AWOL too,” I sighed, poking at my gross looking sandwich. The damn thing had absorbed all the mayo and the bread now had more in common with sludge than anything solid.
“Any reply from her over messenger?” he asked, picking up his considerably nicer looking sandwich.
“Yeah she said they are sorting it. She might be back in school tomorrow even. She’s kind of bad at texting though.
He snorted, “One of those people then.”
“Yeah. It’s cute coming from her though in a sad kind of way. I don’t think she’s had many friends before us,” I said, smiling sadly at my gross sandwich.
“Yeah she is cute isn’t she. Speaking of, have you seen Dana? She said she was coming soon but I don’t see her,” he said, looking up and around.
“You’re the one who’s dating her,” I giggled, “Shouldn’t you know where she is?”
“I don’t know where she is all the time. That would be way too hard. I’d have to microchip her or something, and I won’t do that because I’m not a republican. My girl has rights!” he said, laughing around a mouthful of food.
“Why thanks! I like having rights,” Dana said, coming around the corner near us.
Greg looked up and winked at her, “No problem babe. You’re way cooler than me anyway. Maybe you should microchip me.”
“The only reason I’d do that is if I wanted to help you figure out where you are when you’re lost,” she quipped, sitting down heavily next to him.
“Oh damn good point. That actually sounds like a good idea,” he said, and I couldn’t tell if he was serious or not.
“Babe you have the maps app on your phone,” she said rolling her eyes.
“Yeah but it would be pretty fun to have you like guide me out of being lost. Like a team building exercise or something,” he said, smiling affectionately at her.
Dana rolled her eyes, but her smile betrayed her real feelings, “I’ll let human resources know about your idea.”
“Thanks babe,” he said casually, turning back to his food.
“You two are adorable,” I giggled. They really were. They had been together for a while now, and from day one they had seemed rock solid. I fully expected to attend their wedding in like ten years time.
Dana smiled at me and winked, opening her lunch box and getting stuck into her food.
“So what took you so long?” Greg asked.
“I um… I went to find Jeremy,” she said, her expression dropping along with her tone.
I winced and looked away. Even if he was the one who had messed up, it was because of me that he’d done it. Now our friend group was down a member and everyone was sad because of it. I wish there was some way besides agreeing to date him that would fix things.
“He was hanging out with that Juliet chick of all people. The one who is super stuck up. She looked actually interested in him, it was weird,” she said, giving an exaggerated shudder.
“Why’s it weird?” Greg asked, seeming genuinely confused.
“Because normally a stone cold bitch like her wouldn’t even give Jeremy the time of day,” I said thoughtfully, “How do you think he wormed his way into their crowd?”
“I have no idea,” Dana said shaking her head.
The rest of that lunch passed with a melancholy that seemed to persist through the rest of the day. It was only when I got into Pellan and found Karen’s arms that I began to feel better.
Tuesday morning found me sitting in my first class staring at the very pretty girl in the seat next to me. She was looking down at her desk and trying very hard to pretend that the entire class wasn’t doing exactly the same thing I was. She was taller than me by half a foot or more, but still medium-short by normal girl standards. Her hair was long and light brown. The type of hair that would go blonde in the summer. From what I could see of her figure through the sack-like school uniform dress she wore, it was hot without being overly sexual.
Her face though, that was great too. Small but proportional to the rest of her body, it had a heart shape and two large gorgeous blue eyes in the middle. Her lips were full and her noise was adorable. She was adorable, and her name was Isabelle. There were also startling similarities between her looks and what Zach had looked like. Very startling, and I was having a hard time figuring out exactly what they were. It was like I could tell you that there was a forest, but I couldn’t point out any specific trees. It was downright odd.
“Izzy!” I whispered, although everyone was staring so they probably heard me.
She looked over at me slightly, giving a very nervous little wave of her hand.
“You look amazing!” I grinned. My heart was full to bursting with happiness for her. Even with all the stares she was getting, she still seemed to be on the verge of running around and dancing.
She shuffled her seat closer and leaned over to whisper in my ear, “I know! I’m so happy even all this attention isn’t bothering me much. I’m a girl!”
She practically squeaked the last part, and her voice sounded almost identical to the one she had in Pellan, so at least that was one feature I knew the source of.
“Yes! Come sit with us at lunch? Please? I want to ask you so many questions oh my gosh! You look so good!” I giggled, smiling at her fondly.
“Okay!” she said, and her smile was just incredible. My heart gave a little jump of happiness. I knew exactly what she was feeling, and I had helped get her there.
Then Mr Brown called us to order soon after, and then did that one thing that teachers always feel the need to do, and which is never a good idea. He pointed Izzy out.
“Now everyone, I would like to introduce Isabelle,” he said motioning to Izzy, who proceeded to shrink into her chair, “You used to know her as Zach. She has come out as transgender and I expect you all to treat her with respect and kindness. Any misuse of pronouns or other such bullying will not be tolerated as per school regulations and law.”
Once Mr Brown was finished speaking everyone sat there just staring at Izzy, who did an awkward little wave, the tiniest “Hello” ever coming out of her mouth.
Mr Brown nodded, then turned back to the whiteboard, “Thank you Isabelle, now on to today’s class…”
When Izzy arrived at our hangout spot for lunch, I jumped off my seat and grabbed her for as big a hug as my tiny body could manage, then jumped back and grinned at her. She seemed to be feeling shy, but her grin was overpowering her shyness and lighting up her face. Gosh, it was incredible the difference this change had done to her. She seemed like she might float away, as opposed to being crushed under the weight of her depression as she had been before.
“Wow! You’re cute as fuck!” Dana exclaimed, “Hot too! Damn…”
“T-thanks!” she squeaked back, shuffling her feet awkwardly.
“Leave her be,” I giggled, pulling her to the bench next to me and sitting her down, “Now tell us everything!”
“Wha- Everything?” she asked, her eyes going wide.
“I mean, you don’t have to tell us about your first time masturbating or whatever,” I said quickly.
Greg coughed from the other side of Dana and piped up, “But if you want to, I’m… we’re all ears!”
“Perv!” Dana laughed, punching him lightly in the arm.
“Well, um… I guess I woke up, and I could see things hadn’t gone to plan. My parents were freaking out, trying to figure out what was going to happen, when this little floating message made out of magic popped up. It was Feslia telling me that something had gone wrong in Pellan, and she’d had to transform me without the slowing down thing. She also told me she’d cast a sort of glamour on me. It makes people see resemblances between my old body and my new one, even if I actually don’t look that much like my old self,” she told us.
“Well that makes me feel better,” I said with relief, “I was having a bit of trouble with that in class earlier!”
“Yeah it seems to be working pretty well so far. She said it would fade in like a month, so I have to get all my ID and stuff changed before then,” she nodded.
“Wow… that… damn it Feslia why didn’t I get a spell like that? I am so complaining the next time I see her,” I grumped, poking at another gross looking sandwich. I really needed to tell mum that she could stop making my lunches. Her sandwiches were amazing when they were fresh, but they deteriorated pretty rapidly when they were stuck in a school bag for a few hours.
“She probably didn’t know much about the problems you’d face,” Dana said, ever the voice of logic.
“I guess,” I said with a pout.
“So the powers that be are actually believing your story?” Greg asked, leaning forward to look past me at her.
“Uh… it’s been a mixed bag. Some people are suspicious... We’re telling everyone that I’ve been on HRT for a while, as well as that organ growth program thing the government set up last year. I think in reality no one cares enough to call it out. People see a good enough reason and they just shrug and continue on with their lives. I think the doctors will be a different story, but we haven’t gone to see them yet,” she told us, sighing at the last part, “We’ll probably have to change doctors and get my medical records… changed the same way Syl changed her name and stuff.”
I nodded, thinking about how I had kind of made things more complicated for myself than they had needed to be. Like was anyone really going to put us under a microscope like that? They needed a pretty damn good reason to suspect that we were anything other than regular trans girls. Shit trans girls had been fooling doctors and authorities into thinking they were cis for decades. There were all sorts of stories about trans women being asked if they were pregnant and stuff by medical professionals, even after their medical situation had been explained previously. I had no idea about trans guys. Did they get asked if they had like, erection problems or something? Gross!
“That’s crazy. Surely someone will notice,” Dana frowned.
Both Izzy and I shook our heads at the same time, then grinned at each other. She spoke for both of us when she echoed my thoughts from just now, “People are way too self centered to give a shit Dana. Trans people have been doing shit like this for years. Doctors and authorities are surprisingly dumb when it comes to this kind of thing.”
“I find that hard to believe, surely someone will notice in the end?” Dana frowned, “Kinda worried for you if I’m honest.”
Izzy shrugged, pulling her lunch out of her bad, “We’ll see. What I’m doing is practically a trans tradition, only in reverse.”
“Well if you think things will be fine then I guess we gotta trust you hey?” Dana said.
“So did you get your abilities and stuff?” I asked in a whisper.
“Yes! Which means I at least have like, a fallback if people get angry or whatever,” she whispered back.
“Awesome!” I smiled, “So you’re doing okay. Yay!”
“Yeah pretty much. Which is surprising considering what it sounds like happened while I was out of it,” she said.
“Yeah things were pretty intense there,” I told her, “But I’m just glad you’re okay.”
We ate lunch while talking about all the strange little things we’d had trouble with during our changes. Both of us had problems bumping our hips and boobs on things, which made sense. I was personally happy to have a comrade in arms when it came to the whole transgender thing. It was nice to have a friend who understood that side of things.
School continued fairly uneventfully, although when I saw Juliet in a hallway she practically jumped out of her skin and glared some pure hate at me, which was weird to say the least. I kept texting Izzy to make sure her day was going fine, but she reported that mostly people were staring and not saying anything. Kegan tried to talk to her, but gave up when she flat out ignored him because she was too scared to talk. I was glad he didn’t get too dickish with her.
I was almost to my door when I heard a little chirping sound from a nearby bush. My first instance was to ignore it, except that I saw a dark fluffy feathered tail sticking out the back of the little shrub.
“Uh, Nia?” I asked hesitantly.
“Yup! Let me in! I need to talk to you!” she told me, her voice muffled by the leaves.
“Alright, let me just unlock the door,” I said, giving her a quizzical look.
It was hard to take her clandestine antics seriously when she was a three foot tall ball of fluff and feathers.
When I had the door open she rushed past me and into the hallway beyond, then turned back and asked, “Can we talk in your room?”
“Um, yup. Sure thing. You know the way,” I said, trying not to giggle at her. She was so funny.
We both made our way into my room and I closed the door behind her. She hopped up onto my computer chair so we were at the same height.
“Um… so yeah. Hi again,” she said awkwardly.
“Hi to you too. How are things going?” I asked, unpacking my stuff from school. My room was still a mess, but at least now it was all girl mess. Bras hanging off all sorts of things.
“Good! Mostly. Things have changed, but they are also very much the same. I’ve been embarrassing myself by eating a ton of fast food and snacks that I missed,” she laughed, her tiny dragon voice ringing like a little bell.
“Oh nice. I would totally do the same,” I giggled. I don’t know what I’d do if I lost access to all those foods I crave sometimes.
I sat down on my bed once I had put what I need to away. I wasn’t going to get changed in front of Nia. That was going a bit too far.
“Right… so anyway. I wanted to talk to you about Karen… you see her in Pellan right?” she asked, seeming to lose a lot of her confidence.
I fluffed my pillow while I listened to her. How could a badass warrior like her be so scared of this situation?
“Um, yeah. She knows you’re here by the way. I couldn’t get myself to lie to her…” I replied, bracing for the worst. I hope she wasn’t angry.
“Oh… um… okay. I can’t be mad at you for that. I’m actually a little glad that my sister is dating someone with a heart as good as yours is,” she said, smiling a toothy smile, “Which is actually what I wanted to talk about.”
“No… kind of. She really doesn’t look happy at home. God it looks like all the fucking bullshit expectations and pressure just fell to her after I was gone. Our parents are… they have a lot of ideas about how things should be, and they will do their best to make us fit that mold. They really don’t like things that aren’t normal. Being a lesbian falls well within ‘not normal’ to them. I… don’t even know where I’m going with this to be honest. I have no battle plan, I have no idea what I want to do, I just want to help my sister,” Nia said, beginning to ramble and wave her tiny hands around with increasing agitation.
Nia was right. Karen didn’t say much about it, if at all, but I could see the way she looked when it was time to log out of Pellan and go back to our Earth related problems. She needed to get out of that place. I wanted to see her happy all the time, not just sometimes.
“She’s of age to leave if she wants. Just has to prove she has somewhere she can go that is safe and supportive. Look up the laws, find a place where she can live and then invite her to stay with you. Seems simple enough to me,” I said, smiling at the thought of finally getting to be with Karen on Earth too.
“Yeah. Real simple Syl. Real simple. I’ll just go do that then…” she said sarcastically, “How do I know she would even want to stay with me if I did that?”
Oh my gosh! Nia please! She practically idolises you! She’s already leaping at the idea that she might get to talk to you again. She needs you, you dumb, dumb dragon. Gosh!
“She loves you Nia! You should be talking to her, not me,” I told her, getting a little frustrated at the tiny dragon.
Nia cringed and stayed silent for a moment before she nodded, “I know… I know. But how? I can’t just rock up and like… shit I don’t know. I’m drowning in doubts Syl.”
“I can ask her if you’d like?” I offered.
“Uh.. yeah. Okay. Yes. Ask if she… fuck, yeah just ask her if she wants to talk,” she sighed with resignation.
“I will then. She’s going to say yes though. I know that already,” I smiled, reaching out to quickly pat the dragon between her fluffy ears.
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