Snarling fangs, wild dark hair, horns very much like a goat - resembling Blinky's and a dusty blue rocky skin were what greeted Jim as he smacked his lips in the reflection of the toaster. He tilted his head back and forth, looking at the thick sideburns, and pointed ears typical of all trolls.
“Well, it's not permanent.” Toby piped up, and Jim lowers the toaster, cocking a dark bushy brow at him. “But, there's nothing a good dentist and a haircut could fix.” Jim laughed at that, before setting the toaster back down.
“So, uh, how does clothing work?” He asked Stricklander, and the other changeling hummed, rubbing his chin as he thought for a moment, most likely to have an understandable explanation. “I mean, now I'm in armour, and too big for my usual clothes.”
“Oh, just as you switch skins, you switch clothes.” He stepped over, his fingers steepled together and pointed down towards the floor. The man seemed exhausted all of a sudden, dark circles under his eyes. “I mean, have you seen me?”
A toothy grin flickered onto Jim's lips before scrunching up his nose, puffing his chest out. “Good look for picture day?” He spoke, turning slightly to show himself off to Claire and Toby. His mockery earns a snorting laugh from Claire.
The new changeling glances up at Merlin, who simply grouched some noise and a huff of air leaves Jim. “Well, you've picked your way of fighting, boy. I hope you're happy.” He spoke, turning to stare out the window, hands clasped behind his back.
“I didn't drain the tub – I didn't just ... want to waste it.” Jim cupped his forehead, before the room shifted and a bright flash of light lit up before he was back to normal, but still in the armour. Toby perked up.
“Wait, the elixir or potion thing?” He stared up at Jim and before Jim could react, there were two things happening at once – Toby going for the stairs, and the backdoor slamming off its hinges.
Toby stops from running up the stairs to glance in the direction of the ruckus, and Jim does too. Aaarrrgghh!! has slammed it open, charging in – his voice is a low growl – eyes deadly points of neon green on black orbs and the runes on his arms lit.
“Troll.” He snarls before coming to a sudden stop and sniffing around. Confusion is quick to take hold on his wide face. “What happened?” His gaze falls on the familiar faces before looking at Jim. “Why you smell... off?”
Jim hesitated, fiddling with his fingers. “Apparently, I'm a changeling.” He speaks, watching as Blinky pushes himself past Aaarrrgghh!!, six eyes blinking one after another, stunned at the Trollhunter's words.
“What did you say, Jim? Did I hear you speak correctly? A changeling? Why, I've never heard of a human becoming a changeling, only trolls doing so.” He is quick to rush over, patting Jim down with his hands over the silver armour before Jim changes, shooting up over Blinky even more.
“Yeah.” Jim nodded. “You... You heard me.” His arms lift awkwardly in a shrug. Aaarrrgghh!! grunts, shoving his face against Jim and scenting him. It knocks him off his feet, and the Trollhunter grunts.
“Did Merlin have a hand in this?” Blinky sneers, turning to glare at Merlin who had since found himself a seat at the dinner table, relaxing without a care in the world.
“For once, no, I did not. I gave him a choice, and this is the result of something else.” He rolled his eyes.
Jim finds the floor under his feet again as Aaarrrgghh!! backs off, shaking his head slightly and glancing around, unsure of what to think of the new information. “Don't like Troll Jim.” He mumbled, and Jim reached out before changing back.
“Aaarrrgghh!!, it's still me, it's just a new version.” He calls gently to the former Gumm-Gumm general. Giving up for the moment to let the large being be, Jim turns to look for everyone, his gut clenching as the unsettling feeling something's wrong takes residence and makes bow ties of his stomach.
Toby wasn't in the room.
In the commotion, Toby had left, finishing his creep upstairs, and suddenly Jim's regretting not just draining the tub.
“Toby!” Jim cries out, tripping up the stairs and seeing him in the bathroom, looking at the tub.
“Look at you, Jim.” Toby spoke softly. His brown eyes don't leave the inky water. “You're a changeling, and Claire's... I don't think Claire's been the same for a while.” He fiddled with his fingers. “Don't tell her that.” Toby's head bobs for a moment as he speaks.
“What... what are you doing?” Jim murmured, stepping close to his best friend.
“Making a choice.” His voice was flat. “Everyone around me's changing so much, and I'm staying the same, Jim! You've got your fate practically handed to you on a platter, and Claire's got her mystic mumbo dark magic jumbo, and I'm just normal Toby with a normal girlfriend, and I just happen to be friends with supernatural beings.”
Toby's voice shakes, and Jim immediately goes to grab his wrist. “Tobes, no, that's not it, you're anything but normal. You're so important to me!”
Toby finally looks up at him, eyes swimming with tears. “Jimbo, I don't know what to do. There's this that we spent so much time getting together, and you don't even use it, and are we just going to let Aja's totally legal activity go to waste?”
Jim sighs yet again, pulling Toby down to sit on the floor with him. “Hey, it's okay, Tobes.” He ran his other hand over Toby's, hoping to help calm his mind. “I mean, I didn't realize what I am until, like, thirty minutes ago.”
A soft sob leaves Toby as he flops back against the bathroom cabinet. “God, the world's just going to crazy town banana pants, and I'm just scared.”
“We all are, Toby.” Jim admits. “The world is ending outside the door, and Merlin seems to think that was a good idea for me.” A hand gestures briefly at the tub. “Too bad something else got into my blood stream.”
Toby's silent for a bit, contemplating something. Why else would he have come up here?
“So, Merlin said that would change you into a troll?” Outspoken Toby is oddly quiet as he asks, and Jim's breath catches briefly.
“What are you planning, Toby?” Blue eyes stared him down before Toby scratched at his face slightly.
“Well, we don't want that going to waste, right?”
Jim suddenly regrets not taking his bath, but his damage is done. “It's going to be permanent.” The Trollhunter sits up straighter and starts getting to his feet as Toby pushes himself up.
“I know, Jimbo.” The shorter boy turned, offering a shiny mouthful of braced teeth in a smile before reaching up to tap his fist against Jim's chest. “You made your choice, I'm ready to do what I can to help.”
“What about Darcy?” His voice is quiet, and Toby glances away for a second before shrugging.
“Y'know, maybe she'd be down? I don't think it'd be much of an issue. Besides, Officer Scott can't easily kill me then.” He hesitates, going over to the tub. “... I don't know how I should do this.”
“I don't think clothing will matter.” Jim pointed out. “Hopefully it won't be too bad.”
Toby shrugs, and starts climbing in with his shoes and everything else on. “A little weird, don't think baths were really meant to have shoes in them.” He jokes.
“Do you regret anything we've done?” Jim shifts from foot to foot, staring at the water.
“No, and I'd do it again, Jimbo.” He smiled. “Thanks, Jim.”
And Toby sits down before taking a breath and submerging himself. Jim stares down at the water as it bleaches back to clear. Bubbles pop a few times at the surface, but the darkness obscures any sight of Toby.
All he can do is hope that this was the right choice, and that he should have tried to stop Toby.
It's unnerving when the darkness disappears, taking the body of Toby Domzalski with it.