Pt. 2 – This is who I can be?
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Woah! Lacy could’ve written down a million different sentences that would come out of Jacks’ mouth and not a single one would’ve been that.

 

“What is that supposed to mean?”

 

“I don’t mean to be pushy, I just…” Jacks trailed off, looking Lacy in the eye for the first time since sitting down next to her.

 

“So you’re a girl, and you think that secretly I want to be a guy too?”

 

Jacks nodded slowly.

 

“And that troll doll thing you sent me a picture of has what to do with all of this?”

 

“I was going to give it a little more time before we circled back to that, but the short answer is… everything.”

 

“The cube-shaped troll doll made us both trans?”

 

“No! That’s not what I– Forget the cube for the moment. I just said some really big stuff. How does that stuff feel?”

 

How did that stuff feel?

 

“Well, you being trans I guess isn’t the most shocking thing on earth.”

 

Jacks pushed up her glasses– Wait, Lacy had no clue what pronouns to use for Jacks.

 

“When you say you’re trans, you mean like you’re a girl, right? I know there’s a ton of different… flavors.”

 

Jacks laughed, and Lacy smiled at the ridiculousness of the situation.

 

“Yeah, I’ve always kind of known, but never really acknowledged that I knew. I mean, it's not like the world is built for letting little kids, much less fully grown adults with a 401k, know that they’re actually girls. But yeah, I’m a girl with the ‘she/her’ and all.”

 

“Okay.”

 

Jacks’ words hung in Lacy’s ears. “I think you’re trans too.”

 

If anything, Jacks’ revelation had pushed Lacy closer to believing that she was in fact gay. She logged that for later, trying to grapple with the completely outlandish statement that Lacy was also trans.

 

“You literally think that we were both drawn in by each other’s repressed gender oddness?”

 

“Your words, not mine,” said Jacks, “But yeah. I mean god, how many times do we have sex without alcohol involved? And when we do I know that I’m very… particular, and truthfully you are too.”

 

“You make it sound like–”

 

“Sorry. I didn’t mean it like that. And you’re probably not. I just, I’ve thought about this for a really long time and everything I see in myself I see as an inverse in you. Maybe it's some incredibly convoluted wishful thinking but…”

 

Lacy thought it over. There was no way that she was right. Lacy didn’t want to be a man. That word “man” had never felt right for her. She didn’t even like calling other people “man”. But what about something less impenetrable? Was she a guy? Maybe a boy?

 

She leaned back and started to stare into the middle distance as too many things clicked into place. She’d never fit in with girls her age. Lacy had tried her best to steer clear of being a “pick me girl” or “one of the guys” but it was how she was comfortable. She’d only avoided it because of the optics.

 

But there were things about her that were undeniably woman, right? She looked down at her ample chest. She’d never liked the size of her boobs, but that was normal. It had brought attention that she didn’t want back in middle school, and made working out like 15 times more annoying as she had to deal with jiggle and sweat that made her stomach turn.

 

Oh shit. Was that not normal? Every woman she knew would complain about bras.

 

She shopped in the men's section from time to time, but they had clothes with pockets and sleeves that didn’t try to make her look stupidly incorrectly dainty. 

 

Oh, fucking shit.

 

“You really think that…” Lacy couldn’t finish the sentence, as tears began to stream down her face.

 

“Uh oh, I thought it might be like this.” Jacks grabbed Lacy’s hand and squeezed tight.

 

“Jesus.”

 

The two of them sat together for longer than either of them could tell. They felt each other’s hearts beat as Jacks wrapped her arms around Lacy.

 

Jacks had years of buildup and emotional moments to bring her to the realization of who she was. She knew that dropping all of this on Lacy like a ton of bricks would end in heightened emotion one way or another. Even though she appeared to have been right, she was sorry.

 

Cracking an egg was no small thing. Lacy’s whole world was being recontextualized.

 

Minutes bled into hours before Lacy finally dried her tears and nodded.

 

“So if you are right, what does that mean? For me, for you, for us?”

 

“So back to the troll doll cube.”

 

Lacy met Jacks’ eyes for the first time since their moment of silence.

 

“This better not be some fucking prank. I swear to god Jacks, if this is a fucking prank I’m going to–”

 

“It’s not a prank!” Jacks’ hands were up defensively. “I swear on every fiber of my being that what I’ve said and what I’m about to say are 100% serious.”

 

“Okay.”

 

“So. The troll doll cube. I think it's…” and she was most worried about this part, “magic.”

 

Lacy stood up and pointed to the door. “That’s it. Get out.”

 

“Lace, I’m not fucking with you.”

 

“How can you not be fucking with me?”

 

“It's genuinely magic, or if not magic then it's a technology I’ve only ever dreamed of. And come to think of it, kind of scarily invasive–”

 

“What are you talking about?” Lacy was on the verge of another much bigger breakdown. “Jacks I’m way too fucking tired for this tonight.”

 

“Wait– Just wait!” Lacy began to turn away, but Jacks gently grabbed her shoulders, nudging Lacy back to face her. “I can prove it.”

 

Lacy looked at Jacks pleadingly. Jacks had known this was going to be a lot, but the reality of how “a lot” was truly hitting her. Lacy was undoubtedly on the edge of a breakdown and Jacks wasn’t far behind. But if she could just show it working.

 

Jacks picked up the cube. Then she pulled a hair out of her head, wincing just a bit, and placed it onto the furry troll-head part. The frizzy brown hair on the cube shifted to match the wispy blonde that Jacks had plucked. Then Jacks touched the cube to her head.

 

She focused on what she’d seen during her experimentations in front of the mirror. She knew what her face looked like now with its squared jaw and brow. She wasn’t a neanderthal, but she wasn’t too feminine either. Then Jacks envisioned what she could look like. She thrust her hopes and dreams of a face into the cube touching her forehead and felt the soft pins-and-needles feeling spread across her face.

 

She heard Lacy gasp and opened her eyes. Then Jacks took the cube away from her face and the pins-and-needles returned again as she assumed her face returned to its default.

 

“What was in that fucking burger?”

 

“Lace, I didn’t drug you.”

 

Lacy didn’t look convinced.

 

“I got the cube as a part of my inheritance when my grandma died, blah blah blah. I never thought anything of it but earlier I was thinking about myself and coming out to you and thought it would be a whole lot easier if I could just transition already and I was just rubbing it mindlessly in my hand and it…” Jacks trailed off again.

 

“That thing can…” Lacy trailed off too.

 

Jacks stretched out her hand, offering the cube over.

 

Lacy picked it up, turning it over in her hand. Then she plucked a hair from her head and placed it as Jacks had. The blonde changed to Lacy’s curly near black.

 

Lacy closed her eyes and she touched the cube to her sternum. Jacks had never seen the transition like this before. She watched as Lacy’s breasts receded, flattening out. Lacy opened her eyes, tears rolling down her cheeks.

 

She pulled the cube away and her anatomy returned to normal.

 

Lacy sat down, her breathing picking up as she tried to avoid sobbing. Jacks had tears in her eyes too. It was so much.

 

“I never thought anything could feel so right,” Lacy said, “I thought if that was how I felt that was how everyone felt. We were all always wrong all the time and that was just how life was.”

 

Jacks wrapped her hands around Lacy. “You don’t have to feel that wrong ever again.”

 

Lacy looked up at Jacks. “Do it. Whatever you have to do, do it.”

 

Jacks wiped away one of Lacy’s tears and smiled. Never in her wildest dreams had she thought this moment would come.

 

Jacks picked up the cube. “If you want to change back just think it, and you can stop at any time.”

 

Lacy nodded.

 

Jacks pressed the cube to Lacy’s sternum again. “Think. Visualize yourself now, and how everything could be. Hold both of those together in your head. I’ll do the rest.”

 

Jacks had admittedly never tested the cube on more than herself, but Lacy’s experimentation had proven it could work with anyone. When she or Lacy had used the cube on themselves the changes were temporary, able to only take effect while the cube was in contact with their body. Jacks had a hunch, even if she didn’t know why that with two people the changes would be more permanent.

 

Lacy closed her eyes and the changes began again. Her chest flattened out, but things didn’t stop there. Lacy’s hips cinched inward and she grew a few inches taller. Stubble started to come in around her chin as well as a faint adam’s apple. The tanktop she was wearing began to look dashing as it emphasized her broader shoulders and arms. Within seconds, she looked like she would have if she were born a cis guy.

 

The moment of truth came when Jacks pulled the cube away. She felt her will meet up with Lacy’s, the two of them together sealing the changes.

 

“Holy shit.” Lacy’s deeper voice hit the couple’s ears. It was breathy, and while by no means the deepest voice that Jacks had ever heard it was undeniably masculine.

 

Lacy took a step back but immediately reached over to Jacks.

 

“You’re next, right?”

 

It was Jacks’ turn to tear up.

 

“You can have a minute if you want. I’ve had plenty of time to–”

 

“No, I want this for you. If that’s okay.”

 

Jacks smiled. “Yeah?”

 

Lacy gently wrapped her arms around Jacks’ waist. “It feels like all I never let myself dream it could be. If you’ll feel even a quarter of what I feel, then you need to feel it. Now.”

 

Jacks wiped away a tear. “Okay.” She plucked another hair and touched the cube to her chest. She’d done enough experimenting to know what form she wanted. It was perhaps, a step beyond what she would have had she been a cis woman, but she could normalize later. It was time to walk into her dreams.

 

The pins and needles spread again. Lacy watched as Jacks’ face changed into the beauty she had seen a few minutes before. Jacks lips larger, her eyes somehow even more doe-like. Jacks’ chest grew, taking in size every bit that Lacy had just lost. Her baggy t-shirt now held taught in places it hadn’t been moments before. She lost a few inches in height, shrinking smaller than Lacy. Her hips grew wider, stretching the inelastic fabric of her sweat pants to the limit.

 

Jacks looked like a blonde Grecian goddess as her hair spilled down her shoulders.

 

“You’re gorgeous,” Lacy said, unable to come up with any other words.

 

Jacks opened her eyes. She looked at Lacy through her thick glasses and smiled in a way that Lacy had never seen her smile.

 

“Hi,” said Jacks.

 

“Hi.”

 

Lacy’s arms were still wrapped around Jacks’ now smaller waist.

 

“How does it feel?” Jacks asked as she looked up at her partner for the first time.

 

“Strong. It, I feel strong. How do you feel?”

 

Jacks smiled. “Happy.”

 

Lacey frowned just a bit. “Were you not– I know that we’re still kind of casual but–”

 

Jacks laughed and Lacey’s frown dissipated. “I’m happy we can both be us. You really feel alright? This is like fifteen huge steps for one night.”

 

“Yeah,” Lacey’s smile returned, “Yeah. I’m more than alright.”

 

Lacey took a deep breath, feeling her new body. With an exhale she realized just how real it felt. Screw whether it felt right or wrong, it felt real. It was like every time she’d interacted with her body until then had been 50 steps removed. This was what it felt to just be.

 

“So how does it feel to be right?”

 

Jacks smiled again. “I feel like I should be asking you that.”

 

“Well I don’t feel like a woman right now, that’s for fucking sure.”

 

Jacks got onto her tiptoes to plant a kiss on Lacey’s cheek. “A present for my new… he/him? They/them?”

 

“We’ll stick with he/they for now. God, I’ve never even given half a thought to a name. Oh shit. Have you?”

 

Jacks blushed a little, excited beyond belief at how quickly everything was moving. Part of her wanted to slow things down just so she could savor it all.

 

“Quinn.”

 

Lacey’s eyes went wide. “Your middle name. That’s… so perfect.” Then he went red. “You don’t… it wouldn’t be weird if I did too… I mean just to try it out?”

 

Quinn laughed. It was poetic. Their middle name was perfect. “It would be the opposite of weird. Honestly, I think it's sweet. Tate. It suits you.”

 

“Tate it is then.”

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