I was laying on something soft, feeling my hair brushed when I awoke. It felt nice. It would have felt nicer had I been in Lily form. I sighed and shifted to it, smiling to myself as I did, before my brain caught up. My eyes burst open, and I sat up as fast as corporate used to come down on Amazon warehouse workers who messed up. Thank fuck that hellish place was gone... my brain was now making connections. I was sitting on some sorta thin floor mat. I was in a gym. And the lady who had knocked me out was sitting next to me, hands pulled back in surprise, slight concern on her face. “Okay ma’am you have three sentences to tell me who the fuck you are before I deck you in the face with a flaming fist for kidnapping me.” I raised my fist to nail my point home. Oh, I wasn’t even tied up? Bad move if she was evil.
“May S. Lugubra. Do you… not recognise me?” There was a bit of a crack to her voice, as if she was about to cry. I frowned in confusion slightly, but looked her over, as closely as I could, to the point of being creepy.
“No… I… I don’t. Should I?” The frown escaped my face as it was switched for a raised eyebrow type confusion. She sighed, shaking her head a bit, looking down at her hands, at which point I swear I could hear the ding of an idea lightbulb coming on. You’ve seen cartoons you know what I mean. May laughed a bit sadly.
“Right, right, you wouldn’t recognize me like this. Perhaps, like this, then?” There was a quick flash of fire on her, as if a gas stove got lit for a second, and then the fire was gone. The first thing I noticed was the stereotypical succubus tail now curling from her back and onto her lap. My gaze going higher, I saw the four folded up wings. Then I saw her face. Is the next lyric ‘Now I’m a believer’? I’m not sure if it fits for this situation right now, but my brain was connecting the dots. Especially after I saw the two pair of horns, one pair rams horns, the other goats horns. And her cat-like yellow eyes with black sclera. This was Her.
“Me-ass-eye-eel?” She burst into laughter at my pronunciation of her name.
“Oh my dear sweet Lily, that is NOT how you pronounce it. It’s Mey-ah-sa-el. Just May for short though.” She wiped a tear from her eye, and then pulled me into a hug. A hug so tight and warm, it immediately reminded me of mom. Well, except that May’s tail was also curled around my lap, and she was using her wings for the hug too. “Oh he fucked you up right and proper dear, didn’t he. Can’t feel even nubs of your wings or tail. And you’re a foot shorter! That shouldn’t happen.” She had begun stroking my hair. The initial shock of being suddenly hugged had left me, and the familiarity it was bringing gave me only one idea of what to do.
I hugged her back, I buried my face in her shoulder, and I cried. “Why… why did I have to turn into a succubus?! Why did it have to make me realise I want to be Lily all the time. Why couldn’t I have stayed in an ignorant bubble?” I was sobbing pretty hard, probably difficult to understand in that moment. “Why did I have to realise that I want to be a girl so badly? Why did I have to realise I can’t ever really be one, because dad won’t let me? Why May, why?!” I was letting a week’s worth of feelings flood out of me. No, not a week’s worth, a lifetime’s worth. May was still just holding me close and stroking my hair, to let me cry it all out.
“It’s because all my descendants are girls, Lily. Even if it takes them a couple years to figure it out, they’re girls. Always. Every single one of them. Not because they turn into succubi, but because they simply are, at their core, girls. That end up choosing to spend their lives with girls if the option is there.” She had stopped stroking, gently grabbed my shoulders, pushed me back a bit so we were facing each other, and wiped my tears. “And know what? Fuck your father. You are a girl. Wishing to be one is a sign of being one. Realising you’d prefer to be one after you get to try out being one is a sign of being one. Lily. You’re an amazing young woman. If you are scared of your father’s reaction?” She grabbed my face and touched my forehead with hers. “I will rip into him as his mother-in-law for your sake. I didn’t get to be there for you all these years. I’m going to be there for you now. You got that?” I gulped and nodded, to answer her question, as she smiled and ruffled my hair a bit. I held a fist close to my heart, took a couple deep breaths, and spoke.
“My… My name…” A couple more quick breaths. “My name is Lily Donnellan.” A couple quick more. “And… I’m a girl.”
Crack. Such an extremely simple phrase, spoken nervously but with conviction, and my entire world view up to this point was shattered. “I’m a girl. I’m… a girl. I’m a girl. A girl. I am A Girl.” I began laughing that hysterical laughter again, but instead of panic or fear it was just full of joy. May lifted me up in a hug in that moment, with a little spin, as I laughed until I couldn’t, wiping away the tears of joy. And sighing. “Okay… should I call you May or Grandma?”
“Either one works, Lily.” May chuckled to herself, putting me down.
“Grandma… why the hell are we in an empty gym?” I gestured to our surroundings, a big empty space with a couple exercise machines.
“Oh, I wanted to test your abilities: Speed, Strength, Stamina, Wall Climbing. To confirm just how much damage Leonard’s attempt had made.” She had been counting on her fingers, and I sighed and slumped my shoulders.
“Okay, that makes some sense, I suppose. There is one problem though.”
“You kidnapped me in effectively pyjamas. All I’m wearing is a pair of panties and this old t-shirt of mine. No bra. And from what I know…” I gestured to my chest, hoping she’d put two and two together.
“...Soreness from them flailing around during exercise. I’m so, so sorry Lily, I had completely forgotten.” She facepalmed in embarrassment, visibly blushing from her blunder. Leo was right about the blue blush. That made me remember all the times I blushed in demon form. “Do you have sports wear?” I shook my head to answer her.
“Grandma I literally only admitted to myself that I was a girl not even two minutes ago, I literally only have one outfit. And that one isn’t sports appropriate.” I coughed a bit from the awkwardness. “Makes it all the worse I wore it while beating up people… Oh god I must have flashed Saul my panties when I drop kicked him from a Fastball Special.” Now it was my turn to rub my face in embarrassment.
“You did WHAT?! Lily what have you gotten up to while I was looking for you?!” May had an expression that combined fear, awe and excitement. As if she had just gotten off a rollercoaster.
“Uhm. A lot. But do you think we could do the bonding time somewhere more appropriate, and with me not in pyjamas?” I grabbed my shoulder and smiled a bit nervously.
“Oh! Oh, oh yes, definitely, I rented this place for the next week anyways. Uhm. Your place then?”
“Yeah… Could you help me deal with the cravings though? I really do not like the rumble from the goat cheese sandwiches.” I gestured towards it, earning a confused look from May.
“Goat cheese? Why...Goat...cheese…” She facepalmed. “Bovid instead of bovine, such a dumb mistranslation. Four exotic beans and cow’s milk, not four exotic beans and milk from a hooved creature. Okay that one’s on me, I won’t slap your friend for messing up from a bad copy of a wrongly written down ritual.” May walked off to the side, throwing a blanket towards me. “Cover up a bit while I get you home.” There was the flash of fire again, May had changed back to her human form, as she grabbed onto my shoulder and let me out. I could see The Question across the street when we walked out. Guess the gym was real close.
I figured it wouldn’t really be the best option to keep me waiting through some feats of strength before fixing the cravings issue. Which is why I knocked on Leonard’s door, who opened it looking as if his cousin had given him one too many White Russians. “Hey Leonard, have you met my grandma, Meassael?” I gestured to her, and she waved at him. He did a very slow quadruple take between me and her.
“They really should put the pronunciations of names in the lexicons. Nice, she found you, no need to summon her then!”
“I do require space for the circle, and chalk for it. I expect the one who had first attempted my ritual to have such things.” May had leaned forward to Leonard. I hadn’t realised it, but he was actually shorter than my regular height. Which meant that May, at her 6’ height with stompy boots was towering over him.
“Y-yes I do. Please, do come in.” He moved aside to let us pass, which made me let out a little giggle.
“I think you intimidated him a little bit too much.” May shot me a look of confidence.
“Oh sweetie, he’s not my type.” She sighed and took the armchair I had claimed for myself before. “Leonard, show me the ritual page you used as your guide, would you kindly?” He closed the door and nodded to answer May, rushing to his laptop and scrolling through to the page in question, which May checked over meticulously. “Imperfect circle, mistranslation of a typo on my part, wrong words. Thank fuck all I need is to draw the proper circle and have me and Lily sit in it.” May got up and grabbed the chalk Leonard was now handing her. “Oh, Lily, you might want to have a chat with Leo, you know what I mean.” May gave me a wink, a flash as she want demon form, and a smile as she grabbed the chalk in her tail.
I turned to Leo and scratched the back of my head. “So. Uhm. You know how you asked me whether to switch to Lily and use she/her pronouns for me all the time a few days back?”
“Yeah, and you were a bit unsure and confused at the time.”
“Right. Simply put… oh my fucking god please do so, I need it!” I grabbed his shoulders, and he smiled and pulled me into a hug.
“So your eggshell finally cracked, huh?” He chuckled. Oh wait.
“Wait was THAT what you and Félicie meant?! Is it some sort of trans inside joke I didn’t know and completely missed?!”
“Yeah, eggs hatch into chicks.” Leonard was chuckling a bit still.
“You little shithead how the fuck did YOU know before I did?!” Leonard let me go in that moment, as he shrugged.
“I recognised some of your experiences as stuff trans girls tend to go through which made me start thinking of the possibility. I was expecting you to crack sooner though, honestly, what took you so long?” He raised his eyebrow at me, and I sighed and scratched my shoulder.
“Denial. I was denying myself this, because I know dad will react badly when he finds out his son that he tried to raise into a masculine pillar of society is in fact a girl that’s interested in media history, who likes girls and loves skirts. Have you worn a skirt before? Like, oh my god the spinny thing feels so great!” I had gone from depression straight to beaming at him in excitement, and he shrugged.
“Doesn’t feel as great when you’re forced into them as a guy. Ya know, little 6 year old Leonard didn’t get to say no to the pink princess dress he was made to wear on Halloween, even though he wanted to go as Raven From the 2052 Reboot, But A Boy. Your first dress is a hand-me-down from me, remember?”
“Oh, yeah, shoot, sorry, I keep not really connecting your transness to stuff you must have gone through. That must have felt awful.”
“Eh, the boobs and periods were much worse. My body yelling ‘have a baby! have a baby!’ like can you imagine ME as a mom?!”
“I can imagine your wolfboy MPregged, you as a parent would be a disaster.” I laughed as Leonard punched my shoulder.
“Oh shut up you vile temptress. I think your ancient grandma’s done with her doodling, anyways.” He pointed off to the side, and sure enough, May was just standing in the circle, arms crossed, smiling at our antics. I punched Leonard back and walked over to her, getting nervous about the procedure.
“Grandma, I was… asleep for the first one. What should I expect?” May gently held my shoulders in that moment.
“Well, first, I’m so sorry to say I need you to go into your human form for it. I know, I know it’ll hurt, but we can work on making your human form line up with your succubus form later. Okay? Other than that, expect some warmth, a light show, and maybe one or two visions.” There was a lot of guilt in her expression, but I nodded and shifted back into Peter, at which point May grabbed my hands. “Ready?”
“As ready as I’ll ever be...”