A sequel to the last one, this focuses more on Kaos and how I read her as trans.
Kaos was over the moon. She had never imagined that Ruki would find an interest in her, or that anyone would, really. To be asked out by a girl was something she had never imagined in her wildest dreams. She wasn’t supposed to actually touch them or be with them, just to look at them from afar. Or occasionally from a bit closer. It was a miracle that someone she looked up to as much as Ruki liked her back.
Just thinking about it was enough to make her lose all sense of mental fortitude. Sitting in her room, curled up with her tablet as she always was, it was hard to continue drawing normally. After all, Ruki liked her. Her. How could you explain that?
Ruki was truly a wonderful girl. She was beautiful in every way. She may have felt some shame at the size of her boobs but Kaos certainly wasn’t complaining whenever she got a look. It’s almost amazing how one girl could be so attractive and so cute at the same time. And on top of that, she was such an excellent mangaka. Sure, Kaos couldn’t actually read her manga, they were a bit too much for her, but the art was magnificent and she had so many fans. Kaos was so happy Ruki had become more comfortable in writing what she did. Seeing Ruki succeed while enjoying her craft gave Kaos a bit of confidence, something she really needed given how things were going for her.
But it all just seemed a bit unreal. It wasn’t odd to Kaos that Ruki liked girls. Given the manga she read, it was her assumption that most high school girls were gay or at least that it was normal. But why her? After all, much as she may have tried to blend in with them at times, she wasn’t exactly a real girl.
I mean sure, everyone treated her like a girl. And a lot of the time, she felt like one. Her parents had been accepting since was young. When she was miraculously accepted into an all-girls school or when she was allowed to room with other female mangaka, it felt incredibly validating. The people around her helped make her feel comfortable in her own skin, something she hadn’t been able to say very often in the past.
And the same was true for being the target of Ruki’s affections. But Ruki didn’t even know that Kaos was trans. Would that be a dealbreaker for her? Kaos didn’t think Ruki was into guys or anything. Kaos believed that trans girls were girls, of course, but that didn’t mean Ruki would still like her if she found out.
She might even find it creepy. Kaos had obviously run into those who found her gross for being trans but she was expecting that, though it hurt nonetheless. But those who hated her for liking girls as well were perhaps even worse. They made her feel far more male, far more disgusting. Getting treated like she was just fetishizing femininity was painful. It really stung in a way that being called a boy alone didn’t.
Mmmm. Maybe she should just curl up in bed with her daki. Thinking about this too much was never a good idea, it’d just lead the dysphoria to flare up. Maybe she should’ve just refused to date Ruki in the first place. As much as she wanted to go out with her and to finally fit in with the girls, it would be better to never try than to eventually get turned down in this case.
On the other hand, Ruki really did make her feel so much better about herself. Being around so many gay girls helped her to feel more comfortable in her own sexuality, even if she may have been a bit too much for the others to handle at times. Ruki was so incredibly beautiful and perfect, the true ideal of a girl that Kaos had imagined from a young age. Being loved by her felt so good. She didn’t want to give that up. But she didn’t know what to do, exactly.
All this time, Kaos had been sitting on the floor of her room, nervously drawing on her tablet while muttering to herself occasionally. That was pretty normal behavior for her but it had been going on a bit long, so Koyume, also sketching some ideas on her bed, was feeling a bit worried, especially given the pained looks that kept flashing across Kaos’s face.
“Umm, Kaos-chan, are you alright?”
Kaos immediately snapped up, remembering that she was, in fact, in a room with another person.
“Oh, I’m just trying to figure out what approach to take for my next proposal. Ruki-san’s been a big help but my editor still hasn’t approved of anything.”
She almost regretted the words as soon as they left her lips. Did she really want to lie to Koyume? She was terrified of coming out to her of course, but it might have been a bit easier than talking to Ruki first. And if this relationship with Ruki was going to go any further than mere words, she’d need to know at some point.
“I’m sorry, what I just said wasn’t true Koyume-chan. I’m um, really worried about talking to Ruki-san about something.”
“What is it? I’m sure she’d be fine with anything you had to say. We already know most of your insecurities anyway.”
That might not have been the nicest way to put it, though Kaos appreciated it all the same.
“Well, you might know most of them but I don’t think you know very much about this.”
“Just tell me first, then!”
Alright, this was doable. She didn’t know how much Koyume knew about the subject, so it might be a bit tricky to word, something which would only be a bigger problem because of how nervous she was but at least she seemed receptive.
“So, you know how I really like girls, right? And how I’m always reading manga with cute girls and stuff?”
“It’d be hard not to notice.”
“Yeah. So, you know how you and Ruki-san have sometimes found it a bit odd how I don’t necessarily consider myself a girl like them?”
“Mhm. It is odd how you always seem to leave yourself out when talking about girls.”
“Well, umm, this is kinda hard to say. It’s just, the reason I do that is because I’m not a normal girl like you, or Ruki-san, or Tsubasa-san. I’m transgender, I was born a boy.”
Saying that was incredibly hard. And as may have been expected, Koyume was not expecting to hear that. Her face showed signs of confusion and concern. Kaos was afraid that she was about to meet some more of the rejection that had characterized her life, leaving her friendless once again. The color began to drain from her face.
“I don’t totally get it Kaos-chan but you’re still a girl, right? I’m sure Ruki-san will understand that too.”
Given how quickly she had sunk into despair, she was not expecting that sentence. Kaos had never believed she’d hear those words from a friend. Nor was prepared for the hug she immediately received after they were said. It was so different from the hugs of her parents, those who had known her for the entirety of her life. It was so warm, so kind, and exactly what she needed at that moment.
After spending a good hour crying her heart out to Koyume, explaining the entire situation and all her worries, Kaos managed to bring herself to her feet. With her eyes swollen red, it would be obvious to Ruki that something was up but it was hard to imagine that her confidence would last much longer than this, so telling her was now or never. She was already dead tired but this was important.
“Don’t worry, Kaos-chan. If I understood it then I’m sure she will as well. She loves you after all!”
Koyume’s words were certainly encouraging.
“Ruki-san, I have something I want to talk to you about.”
The door to her and Tsubasa’s room slowly opened.
“Yes, Kaos-chan! What do you — what’s wrong?!”
She knew her face would give everything away.
“Well, I-I just talked to Koyume-chan about this and I think I really need to tell you too especially if you’re going out with me.”
The look of concern on Ruki’s face grew even more apparent. She prompted Kaos to sit on her bed as she spoke and Kaos gladly did so. Aside from that, she stayed silent, allowing Kaos to say what she needed to.
“I know I go to an all-girls’ school and live in this girls’ dorm and all. And I know you see me as a girl. But I’m not a girl the way you think I am. My body isn’t really a girl’s body. And if you only like girls, which I think you do, then I’m not sure that you’ll really like me…”
“Kaos-chan, are you saying you’re trans?”
Kaos nearly fell off the bed. Ruki actually understood? And not just in the way Koyume did, she knew what Kaos was talking about? The previous talk may have opened her mind to the idea of being accepted but she had no idea something like this could happen.
“Y-yes, but how do you know about this stuff Ruki-san? You don’t even know how to use a computer.”
Even in moments like this, her smugness accidentally slipped out.
“I’ve read a lot of manga for this job, Kaos-chan, and some of them are quite informative. I mean obviously, I didn’t have any idea that you were trans, I thought you were just gay, but it’s really cool to actually know a trans person! How did you manage to get into our school? I didn’t know things had progressed that far. And what about—”
“U-uh, Ruki-san, could you slow down for a minute?”
Ruki had been getting pretty excited asking all those questions but after hearing the almost frightened tone of Kaos’s voice, she seemed to realize that she was being a bit intrusive. Not to mention, she hadn’t actually made it clear to Kaos that she accepted her yet.
“Sorry. Well, I just want to make it clear that this doesn’t change anything between us. You’re still just as much a girl as I thought you were when I asked you out. It was just a bit exciting is all but I hope you know that I still love you and you can speak to me on your own time.”
Kaos immediately began to cry again. Ruki had to wonder whether or not that girl had an ocean trapped somewhere in her body given how frequently she shed tears.
“So, Kaos-chan, you still want to go out with me, right?”
“O-of course I do!”
It was hard for her to even get that short response out given the crying but somehow she managed it.
“Then, do you wanna kiss me?”
Kaos simply nodded her head as Ruki leaned in, giving the girl her first kiss and making it clear that she was still loved, that she absolutely counted as one of the girls. It was absolute bliss.
Eating lunch on the roof the next day, Kaos and Ruki were both in an excellent mood. With not a single cloud in sight, Kaos felt comfortable enough to lean her head on Ruki, something she obviously took great pleasure in. Koyume and Tsubasa honestly looked a bit embarrassed to be around them, though Kaos didn’t really care right now. Things were basically perfect. Perhaps with Ruki’s help, she’d feel comfortable enough associating with other girls that she’d be able to write a manuscript her editor would accept.
That might have been a bit much to ask for. But whatever the case, she now knew their relationship wasn’t about to fall apart. And that gave her all the confidence she needed.