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Fuel the Lies; Feed the Curse.

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Part of you will remain Jim, but the other part will never be the same. -- this is that choice.

Merlin's words bounce in his head as Jim's right thumb brushes over the warm metal of the amulet, blue eyes staring into the smooth glowing surface of the stone within. Water drips from the tap into a ink-black pool that fills the porcelain tub. A damning final bath as a human, if he chooses Merlin's madness over humanity.

The first instinct he'd had when entering the bathroom was to smash the jar and let the contents spill out – but it would waste their efforts, and he also had no clue to what would happen to the house. It would be a choice that would really doom them all. Of course, Merlin had tricked them into pulling all these potion ingredients together in the first place.

Of course, Merlin did want what is best for the entire world, and that meant in his eyes that Jim had to be more than human. He'd been told that being human is not enough too much in the last few days.

After all, it is his choice on how to fight. Being human is enough for him.

His shoulders drag up and down in a heavy sigh – there's too many things that could go wrong, and Strickler has all but beat him into a pulp to make him learn the lessons about fighting Gunmar. Jim feels strong enough, confident enough to do so, especially if he used Grave Sand brand coffee – if the teachers were anything to prove with it.


His body hasn't been the same since that – sharp glass cutting his nose and throat as he choked on it – but power had coursed through him so strongly, it was addictive. If one strong whiff had left him with fangs and nails that were more like claws and ever so slightly stone-like, and a grittier voice... what was a cup of Trollish coffee going to do to him?

At that thought, he might as well just go jump in the bath and drown his human body– at least Merlin ensured that he would be borne a-new. Who knew what kind of monster would result from option b of troll life-changing drugs?

His phone buzzed, resulting in his further recollection of thoughts – stirrings of how long it's been since the day Jim had found the amulet in the rubble left of Kanjigar's corpse. Getting to his feet and staring at his face in the mirror – taking in soft cheeks, the barest hint of facial hair.

It reminds him a little of his father, and the facial hair is both something he's glad to have, and hates all the same. Fingers run over his cheek, and he sighs. This would likely be another round of puberty for him if he does take a dip in Merlin's Doom Puddle. Another form of T, he supposed.

Jim pulls away from the sink, glancing over at the hot bath. At least his soak would be enjoyable now. The part that wants desperately to clutch to humanity wants him to drain, and the part that's absolutely addicted to troll-hood wants to just dive on in. He's had brushes with that part of himself, especially after Eclipse's blade was finally glowing red in the darkness of Gunmar's prison.

The fear of himself losing his humanity fully, giving into whatever feral side trolls innately have – facing that growling version of himself that spoke no verbal words, only in the language of clashing swords.

He sighs, almost reaching to dig his arm into the water to pull the plug, but a part of Jim whispers that what if that's all Merlin's spell needs – one hand in and the rest is to follow only split-seconds behind.

Jim turns, staring at his pale face in the mirror. There is no embarrassed flush, no light in his eyes. The colour and life is gone, bleached in this anxiety. Morgana is cracking free beneath their feet in Trollmarket, and here Jim's deciding if he should take a hot bath and relax.

The changes would probably be as painful as they are permanent. Very painful, and very permanent, if Merlin's tone had been anything to take note of.

An azure glassy stare pans from the mirror's pane to the vibrating phone, call screen showing Claire's icon. James Lake Junior sighs, declining the call. It stings, hanging up on his girlfriend, but this is a decision he has to make on his own.

Waffling back and forth on this is not making it any easier, and the first time he summoned his armour flickers forth from his memories again. It seemed too long ago that he'd found the amulet. He thought of Draal's first teachings, resigning to never wielding the amulet and teach Jim instead on how to properly use Daylight. Those skills became invaluable to him.

He thinks of his mother, of Toby, of Claire. Everyone he needs to protect, and Merlin's words ring in his head again, a dangerous song. Alluring, and a siren's voice that draws him to change.

The Trollhunter grabbed the phone and amulet, shoving both in his pockets before turning to leave the bathroom. Jim sighs again, turning to contemplate the obsidian black bath one last time.

He hears the door downstairs bang open, bodies tumble into the hall – Barbara Lake shouting profanities at someone. He smiles, how uncharacteristic of his mom.

“It's okay.” Jim calls down the stairs before jogging down to take everyone in – Claire is just as white as he feels, Toby looks like he is about to throw up and Walter Strickler's face is twisted in such rage and concern – almost like the father Jim always wanted and never had.

His mom looks back at him, relief clear on her face. Jim stares past her at Merlin, wondering what the wizard will think. How betrayed Merlin probably feels.

“So, you have chosen to fight as a human?” Merlin stands up, a silver brow crooked high. It's unclear what Merlin thinks. He might look human, but he's anything but one. “When the world turns to ruin, do not blame me.” Strange metal clad arms cross in front of his narrow chest, eyes narrowed just slightly at Jim.

“The elixir is still in the bath upstairs --” Jim starts, Walter cutting him off.

“No offence, Jim, but I fear you will not be able to keep up with Gunmar, Angor Rot and Morgana as you are.” His left index and thumb pinch his chin in thought, right arm curled under the elbow in support. “Being just human isn't enough.”

“There it is again!” Jim explodes, fangs and claws and stone – everything a troll is but within a human form. “Again, with being told I'm not enough! Watch, I will be enough.” A finger jabs into Walter's chest, stepping forward as he speaks. Jim's voice is snarled out, and he's seeing crimson.

It's not until Walter's back hits the wall and that he's staring down at Jim with Eclipse's armour protecting his body. They're both breathing hard, and Waltolomew's eyes glow yellow, snarling back at Jim. He looms over the Trollhunter, placing the bristling Champion in his shadow.

Spoken like a true changeling.” Fangs gnash in return, eerie smile on his former teacher's lips. Jim's never felt more eclipsed.

Chapter Text

“A changeling?! What do you mean by that, Walter?!” Barbara is the first to speak after the snarled words. Jim's dark clad fingers pull away from Walter, stumbling as he clutches at his head. His mother's question rings the same query in his own mind. Anger, clear in his body, has left him immediately shaken. Anger that clear and vivid had not shown itself in him since the Grave Sand. Unfortunately, the question's answer went unnoticed to the Trollhunter.

Jim had been told that some of the side effects would be permanent – it did make sense. Why would side effects manifest now, when it was a week ago when he'd been training in the sewers with Walter and Zelda.

The fact that this great of a change came about from just one sniff.

He pushes past everyone, going to collapse on the couch. The amulet drops off of him as his body melts into the living room furniture. He probably looks damn miserable. Jim stares at the dark finish of the coffee table, yet another person's recent words hitting the replay button with a grudge.

Has he been like this after the Grave Sand, not realizing it? Or is there something else at play? Those are but some of the questions pounding in his head with a static whine as a frustrating backing track.

He suddenly feels centuries old, tired and ready to lie down and fall asleep, never to wake again. Bones ache and creak, even if for only a moment.

Jim cupped his head and groaned. The room seems drunk, whirling all too fast but too slowly at the same time. A changeling. He, Jim Lake Junior, is a changeling.

How long had he forgotten humanity and not realized it? Had he been something .... more for weeks now? New questions stir and frustration soon bites at his heels. Someone touches his shoulder and a horrifying noise grinds within him as Jim jerks back. The hand flies away as if burned.

Blue eyes flicker up to meet the same colour. In his mental haze, it seems like his mother had pulled back from yelling at the others in the room to make sure her only family member she had around is alright. Barbara's hand curls into her chest, searching Jim's face for a minuscule scrap of difference and he feels so small under her scrutiny.

Merlin himself stares at Jim, watching as the Trollhunter's chest heaves before spluttering. “Oh, gosh, Mom!” He cries, grabbing for her hand. “I'm sorry, I'm so sorry!” His face flushes with embarrassment, clutching at her shaking hand. “This is... a lot of new information for me.” He starts.

“Well, you're still my son.” His mother offers him a weary smile – worn down by the events. “I assume you're still the Trollhunter too.” The smile quirks up at one corner,

and she lowered her head to stare at their entwined hands. “Everything will be fine.”

That comment seems more for herself than Jim.

Jim sighs, offering her a smile in return before glancing up at Claire and Toby, who have yet to say much. Their silence speaks for them in volumes, anthologies of anxieties, and Jim shares in it all.

He doesn't blame them. Apparently, he's a changeling, and that's enough to make him want to retch. He'd be more okay with it, if it was something he had sought out becoming.

But when did anything that happened to him occur because he sought it out? This all was set in motion because he had to answer that first calling. Now, here he is, not even fully human anymore. How times change.

He doesn't blame his friends if they want to jump ship now, though some part of him knows that they wouldn't leave. Claire's seemed a little... Different after Morgana left her body. Jim has not abandoned her yet, even after Morgana's attempts to kill him as she posessed his girlfriend's body.

“Jim?” Claire speaks first, stepping forward. Her thin brows are pinched together and he hates to see her worry so. She fidgets with her left middle finger and almost hesitates before going to beside Jim and his mother.

When the two most important women in Jim's life stare up at him, a beast snarls in his gut. He is not like them. They are fragile. He has no idea where the thoughts come from, but there's that sinking suspicion it's the part of him that's been growing ever since the amulet became his.

Has something with a foot in two worlds been Merlin's intent all along? Was the amulet meant for trolls in such a way beings that weren't would one day become?

After all, changelings were beings with a foot in sunlight, and another in night's ever-looming shadow.

Jim realizes he's quieted, and it's unnerved everyone even more, suddenly over-aware of the tension in the room. Jim's eyes moved from his mom and girlfriend to the wizard older than time itself.

“Are you... Angry?” Jim asks, holding his breath as he waits for Merlin, almost to tie him to a chair again. Within the amount of time Merlin has been awake, he's made strange comments about Jim's age, hit on Claire, been... weird about Toby, and taken apart the beloved gift from his kind-of father figure. And also called Blinky a thesaurus – which was admittedly not too far from the truth.

“Angry? No. After all, I said it was your choice on how to fight.” This part of their conversation was new to everyone around him and Jim sighed. He should fill them all in.

“Well, Merlin and I fought when I got back to the house, and he tied me to a chair – or so I thought, but not really – while he made this potion using the blender.” Words waterfalling from him, cheeks flushing slightly, Jim spluttered over his words. “And then he basically told me that I have to... not be human to fight Gunmar. And I know that!”

Frustration bit at his words, voice growing rougher, as if about to explode from him.

Almost too much at once, and his body moves without being told. “I know that being human isn't enough to fight Gunmar, or Angor Rot, and especially Morgana, since everyone just loves to let me know about how terrible that idea is.”

Toby raises a hand, as if to say a quip of his, before deciding else. Bile rises in Jim's throat, acrid and sour. A hand cups over his mouth, Claire and his mother parting for him to stumble up the stairs, dropping heavy against the wall but somehow making it into the bathroom. The heavier steps of his feet seem like a trick to his ears.

His stomach is quick to empty of what food he'd consumed in the day, thankfully, and he leans against the wall. A soft glow lights up the toilet, bright blue and brilliant. The amulet's comforting glow reassuring him. His eyes glance towards the still full tub, and he sighs.

Jim contemplates yet again about draining the tub. “Jim?” He hears his mom call, running up the stairs. A hand draws at his face and down before blinking at what he's seeing.

Three fingers. Three. Like a Troll.

What's wrong with my hand?!” Jim cries, leaping to his feet, and almost topples over again, much taller than before. When had this changed – there had been no pain, and talking proves to be a tougher task.

“Jim?” he hears again, and he stares at his mother from the dim light of the bathroom, eyes wide. “Honey, are you okay?” Her voice is calmer than he feels, and he just about passes out in her arms.

 

When Jim wakes back up, he's on the couch. He's relieved and remains lying down for a moment.

“How do you feel, Jimbo?” It's not his mom, or Claire, but Toby, leaning over him. His smaller hand sweeps messy bangs out of Jim's face. “You look, uh, a little stoned.” A small smile is on Toby's lips when Jim's head tilts to look at him.

“I feel stoned, and not in the fun way.” He glances over at his mom as Toby snorts at the dry joke. “That's a joke, mom, I've never done anything.” Except for Grave Sand, and now he wishes he'd experimented with something less monstrous.

Barbara has mothing but a small smile on her face.

“But, in reality, I think I'll be... okay.” he mumbled. He slowly sat up, bringing his hands up. They were both clad in the armour and mail and three fingered like all trolls. Like all the changelings he'd met in their true identity.

“Welcome to troll-hood, young Atlas.” His mentor smiled, crossing the room to crouch by him, grasping his chin with thumb and forefinger. “It might take a bit to get used to it all, but you should be relatively alright to switch. I'm certain this is... quite alarming.”

“Do you mean, passing out in the bathroom while standing up?” Jim laughed, rubbing at his forehead before feeling something. “Holy shit, do I have horns?”
Immediately, Jim took to running into the kitchen to find the nearest reflective surface to take a look at himself. Returning to the bathroom again just seemed to be a bad idea.

Chapter Text

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.

Chapter Text

Jim sighs, watching the clear water for several minutes, waiting for Toby to resurface, spitting and choking on water he must have inhaled. Has he just led Toby to his wet doom? Horror rises in his throat, sour notes wilting his courage. Guilt quickly replaces it, and all he can do to fidget. What if he empties the tub, and it dooms Toby? What if he'll resurface here, a changed-forever being, and he's doomed to some no-where plane because of Jim?

A hard swallow, fighting back doubts as he dunks an armoured hand into the water to pull the plug free, watching as the water swirls down the drain.

Jim quietly tries to sneak his way back down the stairs, His amulet dissipates as he slinks over to the couch to sit and wait.

“Jim, where's Toby?” Claire notices his lone return, and takes a seat on the couch beside Jim. The young man sighs. Her voice is concerned, edged with worry and Jim does not blame his girlfriend. His human fingers ( all too very aware of this body now, with another form just hidden out of sight – is this how all changelings feel? ) fiddling with each other. A nervous swallow occurs before he turns to the room.

“Toby... Toby was the one who went and submerged himself in Merlin's experiment.” Jim breathed, and the dog that is Merlin perked his head up at those words, an eyebrow quirked.

“So, not my Trollhunter took it, then.” Merlin hums, rubbing his chin with a crooked index finger. His frame is rigid, maybe he has hoped that Jim would give up, and go for a nice bath himself, instead of potentially dooming his childhood best friend.

A Trollhunter. Not the Trollhunter.” Jim corrects, fingers fidgeting each other, and it's a flash before they're four-fingered instead of five. The amulet's glow almost brighter. Of course, it must be protecting him again when it sensed his distress, however he fights to conceal it.

Merlin snorts at Jim's protests. “Whatever brings you peace at the end of the day.” His tone is dismissive. It's always been dismissive.

Silence further falls upon the room, Walter and Barbara close to each other in the kitchen. Jim hears something just out of his range of hearing from her, murmuring to Jim's former teacher. A part of him... is thankful his mother managed to weasel her way into his heart. After all, she is what got Walt to snap out of the Grave Sand, and Jim has always felt a little guilty for manipulating him.

“Where is he?” Claire's voice is faint, the question something she murmurs more for herself than anyone else in the room. When Jim glances down a moment later, her eyes are glassy. The distant stare bears into the kitchen table, and her brows are furrowed tightly. The long fingers on her left hand make the couch cushion a lifesaver.

“Claire?” Jim prods softly, and she hums in recognition and her head swivels up. Innocent blinks of confusion beat the glassy stare away. “Everything okay?”

Claire sheepishly glanced away, out the window. “I can't sense where he's gone.”

What if the elixir had been enough to change Jim, what if Toby was too much, and the elixir wouldn't work on him? Jim worries again.

Merlin chuckles. “My dear, you cannot sense the Tobias, because the Tobias you know no longer exists.” A hand waves, and he's staring at the wall straight ahead of him, and not towards the two on the couch. “And before you ask, most likely James has changed as well. They are no longer the two you know.”

Claire pulls away, tensing. Her fists ball on her knees, glaring daggers into Merlin. She shifts oh so slightly away from Jim, and the room spins for Jim. “What do you mean?! Jim's right beside me!” Her head snaps up towards Jim as she speaks, and Claire seems to get smaller beside him, voice a mile away and foggy. It isn't just because he is currently his new form.

“The ones you knew.” Merlin corrects. “After all, you know them as fully human. They are no longer so.” Claire seems to respond well, bristling less, and her claws put away for another day that she might rip Merlin apart.

“Oh.” She simply responds, voice falling.

They are all falling apart.

Jim catches a scent, strangely – stone and moss, and something unique. A window is slightly ajar, and it's nothing like what he's caught in the room, taking in stride. His mind had paid no attention in this form. After all, it's one less thing to take in, when you're suddenly taller by at least a foot, with horns adding another several inches, and a strange bend in your spine.

He gets to his feet, going to the door as he hears heavy footsteps, panting and gasping. A shape drops towards the entrance, and Jim manages to get it open and his arms around the other being.

Unfortunately, he's almost poked in the eye by crooked horns, and dark brown hair is damp. Friend, a part of his mind murmurs, and Jim about instinctively knows it's Toby in his arms.

Stone, pale white and heavy, but still Toby. He's thankful for his new body, the strength able to help Toby through, kicking the door closed. “Toby, oh, jeez, Toby!” He cried out, helping Toby into the living room and onto the couch.

Claire scrambles out of the way to avoid being squashed, and her brown eyes stare at Toby. Jim takes his best friend's new appearance in.

Toby's vest and golf shirt are gone, leaving him bare-chested. His rock skin is light gray, and patches of dark green hair are present on his forearms. Unlike Jim's troll body, Toby's hands are both five-fingered. His shoes are still present, and his pants are torn a bit like a certain green hulking giant. There will be some time to find him new clothing later, if Toby wants.

It doesn't look like he'll be able to wear his usual outfit. Maybe they can find something for him, but Jim hopes that his Vespa hasn't gone to waste. Merlin's armor should still be able to fit Toby, if nothing else.

It's as if Aaarrrgghh!!, a quagawump and Toby fused. He's short and stubby like one of the swamp dwellers, but his stone and body hair is similar to Toby's wingman.

“Hey, TP, are you in there?” Claire called, reaching out to brush her fingers through his messy dark hair. All Toby can do is groan, batting her hand away. Fangs show through his lips, but it looks like his braces are gone.

Thanks, Merlin.

Sure, Toby's dentist might be upset that his best client is now unavailable, but surely someone just as toothily disoriented as Toby will come along. Jim sighs, going to sit beside Toby, couch creaking beneath both Trolls.

There's thumping as Aaarrrgghh!! returns to the room, Blinky pushing in beside him. The Krubera sniffs, nose crinkling. “Don't like Troll Wingman.” He uttered, resting on his knuckles. Yet, he stays, worried for his friend and roommate. Everything is still new to Jim too, and he starts taking in what his new form is capable of understanding. Stuff his human nose can't pick up.

Claire's a sweet note to the air from her perfume, with the scent that comes from Mexican food. Toby has a new, complex scent that is shared by the other trolls in the room – mostly earthy and stone with tones unique to the being. There's the faint smell of leather and paper from Blinky, and moss from Aaarrrgghh!!. He can't quite smell his mom, or the other changeling in the house.

Merlin smells burnt. Harsh, overwhelming. Old. Ancient metal.

Jim shakes his head, turning back to Toby as he groans, pushing himself to sit properly. “Ugh, my head's pounding.” The new troll mutters, shoving a hand against his face.

“How are you feeling?” Jim inquires, watching as curious fingers push against firm skin, dragging down over his cheek.

Different.” Toby glanced down, seeming to be okay with his new body, poking his stomach. There's no give to the skin, no soft fat over human organs. Just a firm stone skin. “Huh, I don't have a belly button.”

“Out of all the things to take note of, and it's the lack of a navel?” Blinky's six eyelids fluttered in confusion, his lower set of arms crossing, upper left arm planting on his side and the upper right hand shaking his index at Toby. “Why, look at you. Look at you both.” All four hands came up, gesturing to Jim and Toby. Jim's eyes met Toby's, staring at each other. “Why, you both look like we could be related!”

Aaarrrgghh!! looked up, taking in Toby's new appearance, and his face lights up.

“Jim, Toby – Trolls! Like, Aaarrrgghh!!” He grinned, before tromping around the room, knocking the living room bookshelf over. Jim couldn't help but share in their friend's glee, laughing as well before shoving off the couch to go run outside. A glance over his shoulder towards Toby sees him getting to his feet and running after the other two to the backyard.

As a Troll, Toby is much faster – surprisingly for his size. There's more strength in his body than before. Jim feels a speed and agility that his human form does not have, but retaining more strength than say, Nomura. Jim is overwhelmed for a moment, before elated to push himself more as he leaps towards Aaarrrgghh!! in a tackle.