Chapter 20 - Terminal

The Boy Who Would Be Prom Queen by Emily

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Synopsis: Is this the end of Lance's adventure? Will Lance's friends and family realize she's gone?

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Eighteen Hours Until Prom

Tyler had finally finished recounting his story about his relationship with Zoey. Lance was starting to doze off when Tyler announced he was hungry and pulled off the Parkway and into a drive through lane. White Castle. “Hey, Simone, you got any money?”

Lance pulled some cash out of her purse and handed it over to Tyler. She supposed it was only fair, given that Tyler was spending two hours on a round trip to the airport.

After they got some food, Tyler got back on the freeway and resumed his drive to the airport. They shared a sack of sliders as they drove.

“So, I finally got that date.” Tyler chuckled after he finished his fourth burger.

“You were going to take me to a fast food restaurant? And make me pay?” Lance scoffed.

“This isn’t fast food,” Tyler said, holding up another burger. “This…is White Castle,” he proudly exclaimed.

“It’s no In-N-Out Burger.”

“What’s that?”

“The best food in the world.”

“I highly doubt that, Simone. You’re in Jersey now.”

Lance shrugged and not much else was said on the drive to the airport.

After Tyler found an open spot between two families hugging and saying goodbye, Lance got out of the car and took a long look at the Departures sign. “Thank you Tyler.”

“Any time.” Tyler looked at his gas gauge. “Hey, bud... I mean babe. It’s a long drive here and back. You wouldn’t happen to have any gas money, would you?”

“Um, here’s a ten, Tyler.” Lance handed him a bill from her purse. “That's all I can spare right now.”

“Thanks.” Tyler started to put the car in gear, then stopped. “Hey, Simone.”

“Yeah?” Lance responded. She wondered if Tyler even knew her real name.

“Listen. I know you’re going through something. And I know what happened at school today sucked. But do you really think running away is the best idea?”

“Tyler, now isn’t the best time for this,” Lance replied. “What should I do? Go back to school? Go to prom so Dee can humiliate me even more? This time in front of the whole senior class?”

Tyler shrugged. “I’ve had times on the football field where I had to just man up and face my demons.”

“Ha. Man up,” Lance scoffed. “You sound like my dad.”

“Or woman up. Girl power. Whatever. If I was you, I’d roll up to prom in either a suit or a dress or whatever your fancy is and own it. Show everyone that ‘Simone’ doesn't give a shit. Strut into that prom with your arms around Zoey and Oliva and tell everyone you’re the biggest thespian in the world and everyone else can suck it. But that’s if I was you and I had both girls pining over me.”

Lance couldn’t hide her chuckles at Tyler’s choice of words. “Thank you for your pep talk,” she said sincerely. “But I have to do this.”

Tyler shrugged. “See you around, then.” He then drove away leaving her at the airport.

Lance walked up to the line for the check-in counter. 

After the three people in front of Lance were helped, the ticket agent looked at her, “How can I help you, miss?” 

She smiled at being called ‘miss.’ It reinforced her conversation with Mack. Maybe this whole trans thing was right. “I’m looking for a flight to Los Angeles,” Lance explained. 

“ID please?” she asked.

Lance handed the agent her driver's license from her purse. 

The lady scrutinized it. “This is a boy’s ID,” she said, handing it back to Lance.

“But..” she struggled to find the right words. “I… am a boy…” Her voice trailed off as she was no longer convinced of that fact anymore. She looked down at the dress she was wearing. She saw no signs of “Lance.” She gave the lady at the ticket counter a nervous smile.

“That wasn’t convincing at all, sweetie. Try again.” 

 “I umm… was going through a tomboy phase when I got my license?”

The lady rolled her eyes. It was nearing the end of her shift and her patience was wearing thin. “Departing when?”

“Um, as soon as possible.”

“We have a direct flight to Los Angeles that leaves in a few hours at 5:30 AM for $479 plus tax. How would you like to pay?”

Lance gulped. “Four hundred dollars?” 

“It’s going to be over five hundred with tax and fees.”

She reached into her purse and pulled out her wallet and opened it. There were a few bills in there left over after this week’s lunch and the gas money she just gave Tyler, but she then realized she kept her dad’s credit card in her boy wallet. A wallet which was currently sitting in her bedroom. She backed away from the counter ever so slowly, embarrassed she’d come all this way with no money.

The ticket agent sighed and yelled, “next.”

Lance, feeling more depressed than ever, sat down on an airport bench. It had been the worst day of her life. She buried her head in her hands and sobbed. All this way and she couldn’t even pay for a flight. It was the middle of the night and she couldn’t call anyone. Who would she call anyway? Not Dad. Maybe Zoey was still up. She was so embarrassed. Eventually her anxiety mixed with the exhaustion of the day caught up to her and she dozed off, curled up on the bench in the airport.

* * *

As time went by the noisy airport got quiet. Every time the automatic doors opened, the cool spring air would come in and make Lance shiver. She was cold and the bench she was sitting on was uncomfortable. Occasionally she’d wake just to stretch a bit and cry. 

Lance adjusted herself on the bench again, and the next thing she knew, someone was placing a warm jacket over her half-sleeping form. She looked up to see who it was.

“I’m sorry,” a lady with pink hair apologized. “I saw you shivering and couldn’t help myself.”

“Oh, umm, thanks,” Lance stuttered, sitting up. “I uhh…. It hasn’t been a good night for me.”

“Oh, was your flight delayed?”

“No. I left my money at home and couldn’t afford a ticket.” Lance started to sob. “Then I didn’t have anyone to call…” At that point Lance broke down into tears over the events of the past 24 hours.

“Oh, you poor thing.” The lady reached into her purse. “Here’s a tissue.”

“I’m so sorry, it’s just that-” She debated internally whether or not to tell this stranger everything.

“You know what?” the lady suggested. “My flight doesn’t leave for a few more hours. There’s a coffee shop down the concourse. Let’s go get something hot to drink and we can talk a little easier. Would you like that?”

“I’m sorry, I don’t have money-”

“Now, don’t you worry,” the lady assured Lance. “This is on me. I insist.”

Lance looked at the kind lady and managed a weak smile. “Thank you.”

“My name is Jena, and who might you be?”

Lance panicked before answering. “My name is…Lance,” she finally said, looking away.

Jena didn’t react at all. “Well, Lance, you’re a very pretty girl. Now, let’s go get ourselves something to drink. It sounds like you’ve got a lot on your mind and we can keep each other company for a while.”

She held out her hand and Lance gratefully took it, standing up and stretching her cramped muscles. They headed down the concourse to a mostly empty coffee shop. Lance sat down at a small table while Jena started towards the counter.

“What would you like, Lance?” Jena asked her kindly.

“Um, I’m not much of a coffee drinker. Could I please have some hot chocolate?”

“Sure, would you like some marshmallows on top? Or maybe whipped cream?”

Lance’s smile perked up at the mention of whipped cream. “Whipped cream would be great, thank you.”

As Jena headed up to the counter Lance considered her situation. It was the middle of the night, she couldn’t go home, she couldn’t call anyone, and this kind stranger wanted to keep her company. She was lost in thought when Jena returned with two steaming cups and a plate with some pastries on it.

“Oh, my God,” Lance bubbled. “Those look so good!” She wondered if Jena could hear her stomach rumbling. She hadn’t eaten anything in hours, and even then it was just a little. She hadn’t had much of an appetite riding with Tyler.

“Well, then, help yourself,” Jena said, pushing the plate towards Lance.

Lance all but attacked the plate of goodies she was so hungry. Jena chuckled and picked one up after Lance was already munching away.

“You look like you haven’t eaten in a while,” Jena remarked.

“I had a single White Castle slider hours ago,” Lance admitted. “I screwed up. Not only did I leave my credit card at home, I gave my ride almost all my cash for gas and food. I don’t even have enough left for a vending machine or a payphone.”

“So, Lance, what brought you to the airport in the first place?” Jena inquired. “It seems like it was a spur-of-the-moment thing for you.”

“I’m trying to get home.”

“Where’s home? How’d you end up in Newark, New Jersey of all places?”

Lance looked her in the eye for a long moment before deciding she could trust her new acquaintance with the whole story. “It all started when I moved here from California. I had to enroll in school…” Lance told her everything. Jena listened patiently, and displayed complete empathy when Lance went over the worst parts, reaching out and taking her hand. “...and so I decided I had to leave and go back to my old home.” When Lance finished catching Jena up on her situation she breathed a big sigh of relief. It felt like a giant weight had been lifted from her shoulders. 

Jena excused herself from the table. “I think we're going to need more food and drinks.” When she returned, Lance was visibly more relaxed.

“Here you go, take as much as you want,” Jena said. This time she had egg sandwiches and doughnuts on the plate. Lance took a sandwich and the hot chocolate, and slowly ate while Jena spoke.

“That is quite a story, Lance. I can see why you might feel the only solution is to run away, back to the safety of your old home.” Jena paused before continuing. “I’m afraid, though, that whatever troubles you’re trying to escape from are just going to catch up with you eventually. Not necessarily the people. In a few days, many of them will be gone from your life forever. Such is high school. But finding acceptance in yourself - that will go with you everywhere.”

“But, I just don’t think I can handle this.”

“I think you can,” Jena said with such positivity that it sparked a belief inside that maybe she could.

“How many friends would you say you’ve made since moving here?”

“Well, I made a lot,” Lance admitted. “But I was pretending to be someone else. And I lied to all of my friends, and now they’re angry with me.”

“Lance, from what you told me, you stopped pretending to be your sister a long time ago.” Jena drove home her point. “Once she got you in the door, so-to-speak, you just started being your true self. That’s why it was so easy for you to make friends. You were no longer trying to fool anyone about your true nature. You’re not running from them. You’re running from yourself.”

“You seem like you have some experience-”

“Let’s just say I’ve dealt with this before, Lance,” she broke in. “I went through issues with acceptance by my own family.”


“When I look at you, I see a younger version of myself.”

Lance nodded. Maybe Jena was right. Maybe running away was wrong. She needed to stand up for herself, even if it meant facing disapproval.

“Thank you for everything, Jena,” Lance said with warmth and resolve. “You’re right, running away isn’t going to solve anything. I think I really just needed support. I wanted my mother and sister."

“I think you have more support here than you realize. In fact, I wish I had your friends when I was your age.”

Lance smiled when she thought of her friends. Zoey, Mack, and Olivia. Each of them had shown support and never once put her down. Even girls like Peggy and Trudy treated her like a girl and never stopped to question it.

They chatted a little while longer. Lance asked Jena where she was flying to.

“Well, remember I told you I had experience in family acceptance?” Jena asked. “I hadn’t spoken to my mother in over ten years. She called me last month. She has cancer, and it’s not going well.

“Oh, my God, Jena,” Lance cried. Here you’ve been helping me with my problems and you’ve got some huge issues of your own. I’m so sorry for taking up all your time.”

“Don’t worry about it, Lance,” Jena assured him. I have a feeling our paths were meant to cross tonight.”

Then Jena checked her watch and announced, “Well, Lance, let’s get cleaned up and then I’ll be on my way.”

The two stood up, and Lance gave Jena a hug. 

“How can I ever repay you?” Lance asked.

“Don’t pay me,” Jena replied. “Pay it forward. Someone else will need help down the road and you can do what I did tonight.”

Lastly, Jena reached into her purse and pulled out a few dollars. “Call your dad, Lance.”

Lance took the money and thanked her benefactor again.

And with that, Jena was off to catch her flight. Lance headed back to the chair she was trying to sleep in when Jena had come to her aid. She sat down and started to replay the events over in her mind. This time, instead of despair, she felt…hope. She checked the time. It was three o’clock in the morning. She vowed to call her dad at a more reasonable hour. And with that she settled into a restful slumber.

* * *

8 AM

Ten Hours Until Prom

Simone knocked on Lance’s locked bedroom door. “Lance, good morning. It’s me. Simone.”

“Still no answer?” Dad asked with increasing concern.

He walked up to the door. “Lance. Son. Open up.”


Dad shook his head, reached above the door jamb for the emergency key, found it, and shoved it into the door knob and the lock popped open.

Dad and Simone entered the room. The light was on and a breeze from the open window was blowing the curtain around. But Lance was not in there.

“Where do you think he went?” Simone asked.

“He was upset last night about something. And he’s been hanging out with his friend Zoey quite a bit lately. Maybe he went to have her console him about whatever was going on last night.”

Simone nodded. “I’ve got one of his friend’s numbers.” She grabbed the cordless phone from Lance’s room and brought it to her own room. She opened her luggage and looked for a piece of paper she had written a number down on. She found it. She was about to dial the number when she noticed something on her dresser. She walked up to it and examined it. It was a sketch. A woman in a prom dress. It was gorgeous. She then walked up to the closet. All of the clothes she had shipped here with her father and brother were hanging up. She also saw some tops and dresses she didn’t recognize. 

Then she saw it. 

She pulled out the prom dress wrapped in clear plastic. She pulled the plastic off and brought it to the mirror. “Oh Lance,” she mumbled. “What did you get yourself into?”

She dialed the number on the paper.

“Good morning, Lance,” Mack answered.

“Mack, it’s Simone.”

“Oh hi, Simone, I assume you had a good flight.”

“I did, but my brother is missing.”

* * *

“What do you mean she’s missing?” Zoey asked Mack. “I saw her last night.”

“What time?” Mack asked.

“I dunno. Around 10, 10:30? After me and you chatted. I went over to tell her how I felt. Olivia beat me to her.”

“She did?”

“Yeah. They were making out in the street,” Zoey said with disappointment.

“I think that might’ve been Simone.”

“I know, she was dressed up. I imagine she came out to her dad too.”

“No. The real Simone.”

“What? Lance’s sister? She’s here? Since when?”

“Since last night around 10, 10:30.” She chuckled.

“So, you’re saying Lance ran away?”

“That's what me and Simone think.”

“And how do you know Simone?”

“We’ve been chatting since the night of Peggy's party. She’s been helping me get stuff for the prom. For Lance.”

“She knows?”

“Kinda. It’s a long story, Zo. Let’s focus on Lance. Where would he go?”

“I don't know. There’s not many places she could get on foot.”

"So if Lance was not there, then who was making out with Olivia?”

“Umm.. the real Simone, I guess?”

The phone rang and both sisters looked at each other.

Zoey ran and picked up the phone. “Lance?”

“It’s Tyler,” the voice on the phone replied.

Zoey sighed. “Tyler, this isn’t a good time-”

“It’s about Simone,” he interrupted her.

“What about Simone?”

“I drove him or her to the airport last night.”

“You drove her to the airport?” Zoey raised her voice. “Why would you do that?”

“She told me to. Besides I told her Dee was planning to out her at prom and she decided to just go home. Home to California.”

Zoey sighed and rubbed her temples. “How long ago was this?”

“Around midnight. I’m sorry Zoey. I tried to stop her.”

“It’s OK,” she said. “Which airport?”



“Listen, I’m sorry. I’m done being Dee’s pawn. She's the one who encouraged me to break up with you. It was a mistake. Maybe we can try again-”

“Tyler, that’s not going to happen. Me and you were never a good fit. You breaking up with me helped open my eyes to it. I see that now. But I do appreciate you telling me about Simone.”

“OK, Zo. Good Luck. If there’s anything you need just ask.”

“Thanks, Tyler.” She hung up the phone. She turned to Mack who had a surprised look on her face. “Tyler took Lance to Newark airport.”


“Last night.”


“She was so upset about everything that happened yesterday. Plus, Tyler told her Dee is planning to humiliate her in front of everyone at the prom. Tyler said she wanted to go home to California.”

“Dee is such a bitch!” Mack cursed.

“I know, but the important thing right now is to go find Lance. We don’t even know if he really flew home. Get ready, you can help.”

* * *

Lance awoke to the hustle and bustle of the airport in the morning. She had a crick in her neck from the way she had fallen asleep on the airport chairs. She wondered what time it was. The airport was very busy and it appeared she slept a while after not getting enough sleep in the early morning. She spotted the time on the wall. “Noon!” she exclaimed out loud.

She looked around and remembered her time with Jena. She realized she had made a mistake in running away. She needed to go home. To her new home. She’d have to face the music at school. But she had friends now. If they forgave her.

She walked over to the convenience store and changed out the bills Jena gave her for coins to make a phone call. She stood at the payphone deciding who to call. She was still too embarrassed to call her dad. So she called Zoey.

The phone rang and rang. When it finally answered Lance started to speak. Then she heard the outgoing answering machine message. She just hung up, not really knowing what to say. She was even more discouraged at this point.

* * *

There was a knock at the front door. Lance and Simone’s dad opened it to reveal Zoey and Mack.

“Zoey? Mackenzie?” he reacted with surprise. “Lance isn't here right now.”

“We’re actually here to see Simone,” Zoey said, forcing her way in while pulling Mack inside behind her. 

“Where's Lance? I thought he was with you,” Mr. Biggs said as he watched the girls come in. They didn’t answer him. “Lance sure has some weird friends,” he thought. He curiously looked at Mackenzie. Sure, he met her yesterday, but today she didn’t have makeup on. She had one of those faces that reminded him of someone. He couldn’t put his finger on it so he shrugged it off.

Zoey and Mack rushed down the hall to Simone’s room. 

Zoey stopped at the threshold and saw Simone on the bed. Her heart skipped a beat as she looked at the girl whom she had never met but looked very much like the girl she had fallen for. “Oh my God! You are twins.”

“You must be Zoey,” Simone chuckled, getting up off the bed to meet her visitors. “So do you know where Lance went?”

“She - I mean he - went to the airport,” Zoey explained.

“Why the airport?” Simone questioned. “And it's OK, I know about my brother,” Simone smiled. “Well, I didn’t actually know, but deep down I knew. Lance was never like any other boys. He was more of a sister than a brother. But he hasn’t come out to me. Not yet, anyway.”

“He hasn't come out to me either. But I kinda have a thing for… her.”

“Lance came out to me,” Mack added. “But I imagine she’ll want to tell each of you in her own way."

“Why the airport?” Simone repeated.

“She asked my ex-boyfriend to take her there,” Zoey explained. 

“We were kinda hoping she’d call here this morning since you called me.” Mack added.

“She was attempting to run home - to your home.” Zoey was on the verge of tears. “I’m so sorry, Simone. This is all my fault. All of it. If it weren’t for me, she wouldn’t have run away. I pushed her too far. I put her up to this bet. And I didn’t protect her.”

“It’s OK,” Simone assured her. “It’s not anyone’s fault.”

Zoey slowly nodded but wasn’t convinced.

“So, what's the plan?” Simone asked.

Mack pulled a printout from her pocket. “Here’s the flights from Newark to Los Angeles today. Lance could be on any one of these - or none of them - if she never left.”

"Wow, Mack," Simone gushed. "You really come prepared." 

Zoey rolled her eyes. "Nerd," she coughed out, hand covering her mouth. 

Mack wasn’t phased. "Bimbo!" she loudly retorted. 

"I think I'm going to like hanging out with you two," Simone giggled. "So do you really think Lance is on one of those planes?" she asked, pointing at the list. 

“It’s our opinion she… I mean your brother… isn’t on any of them,” Zoey emphasized.

“Lance can’t afford an airline ticket,” Mack explained. “Unless she used your dad’s credit card.”

“And the person who took her to the airport said all she had was a purse. I know for a fact that she doesn’t keep any credit cards and minimal cash in her purse.” She took a deep breath and announced. “I’m going to the airport to get Lance. She’s my responsibility.”

“We don’t even know if she’s there,” Mack countered.

“She’s there. I just know it. I have to try. I owe it to her.”

“I’m coming with you,” Simone added.

“Wait. I think you should stay here.”

“Why?” Simone looked quizzically at both Zoey and Mack.

“I need you to fill in for Lance… at the prom,” Zoey said, looking at Simone. “In case we don’t make it back in time.”

“You want me to go to the prom as my brother?”

“Actually you’re going to prom as yourself,” Zoey laughed.

“Well, technically you’d be going as your brother pretending to be you,” Mack corrected. “I’m sure there’s a subtle difference.”

“And when he comes back?” Simone asked.

“You’ll switch places so he can enjoy her own prom,” Zoey suggested. “Listen, I know this is weird. I know Lance would never admit it, but he’s looking forward to this. And if ‘Simone’ isn’t at prom, she can’t win prom queen.”

“Is this about your bet?” Simone stared hard into Zoey’s eyes and put her hands on her hips. Her look and posture demanded complete honesty.

“I swear to you it isn’t,” she said with absolute sincerity. “Lance wanted visibility. He… she wants this. She wants to be prom queen. I’m doing this for her. Not for my stupid bet anymore.”

Simone sighed. “So what do I have to do?”

“Around 4, your date, Olivia will arrive here to pick you up. She’s taking you to dinner at a fancy restaurant and then to prom.”

“Olivia? You’re not my date, Zoey?”

Zoey blushed and looked at the floor. “Um, I kept putting it off and then Olivia asked her first.” 

“When all this is over we’re going to have to have a nice chat about your intentions with my brother.”

“OK,” Zoey timidly nodded. “Oh, and at prom, you need to steer clear of Deanna.”

“Who’s Deanna?”

“My former best friend. She’s the one I made the bet with. I think she’s jealous I’ve been spending more time with Lance than her. Don’t trust her. Just… avoid her.”

“No problem. I’ve had my fair share of dealings with the Queen Bitches at my school.”

Zoey smiled. “Alright, I’ll try to find Lance and come back as soon as I can.” 

After Zoey left the house, Simone turned to Mack. “Is that sketch from you?”

“It is,” Mack smiled.

“It's beautiful.”

“Lance wanted something based on your prom dress.”

“But still. If you’re doing all this to Lance, I bet she will look prettier than I did last weekend.”

“I’m sure we can relax a bit,” Mack said. “I left enough time to do Lance’s makeup, but I don’t need to do yours.”

“Why not?” Simone asked with a smile. “I've never had a professional do it. Plus, you’re going to do Lance’s makeup later, we should have the same thing done.”

“OK, let's get started.”

“So tell me about ‘Simone’,” the real Simone said, as Mack was laying out makeup, clips and various accessories.

“What would you like to know?”

“She’s popular? She’s nominated for prom queen?”

“She made friends very quickly. At first, Lance was channeling you, but once she came out of her shell, she made everyone feel comfortable around her. Including those that were initially uncomfortable when we hadn’t perfected her image.”

“How many people know she’s a guy?”

“There’s a few people that know she’s trans. A few think that they know the truth about the bet. Most people only saw and heard what they wanted to.”

“I’m so proud of him... I mean her. I knew something was up when she talked about making new friends. You. Zoey. Olivia. Oh, speaking of… is Olivia my height? Blonde?”

“Yes, she is. Why?”

Simone touched her finger to her lips and smiled at the memory. “I think we already met. Are Olivia and Lance…”

“Love triangles are complicated,” Mack answered. “Both Zoey and Olivia are into Lance. I don’t know if Lance has a preference. If she did, she might not tell me since one of the girls in question is my sister.”

“Wow,” Simone said. “I have to meet this new Lance. Not one, but two girls. I’m almost jealous.”

“Oh,” Mack said with a raised eyebrow. “Olivia must’ve made some impression on you.”

Simone blushed. “Um. Yeah. You could say that.”

“And you’re going to dinner and then prom with her.”

Simone’s cheeks burned an even brighter red. “I uh… better shower and get ready then.”

When Simone was in the shower, the phone rang. Mack saw that it was an unknown number. Despite this not being her house, she picked it up anyway. “Biggs Residence.”


“Lance? Where are you?”

“I’m at the Newark airport.”

“Oh thank god. Zoey is coming to get you! Stay put.”

Reactions: 💜 2, 😂 1


Hi, I'm Emily and I'm writing Gender Transformation Fiction! This site is a place for my to keep all of my stories in one place. I'm also a software developer in the daytime, so this site will also be a proving ground of cool new features that pop into my head. Feel free to message me on Twitter or at my Discord Server! You can also find me on and

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So good! Love that Lance has so much support coming her way

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There's so much going on here and i love all of it xD

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This is so damn sweet.

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Aww this is so cute! But what will happen when Olivia goes to dinner with Simone?

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