A Keychain of Girls

byRaistlinMajere©

"I can't cure him...I mean, we can't." Chiu said.

"What?!" Danny cried, "No, I can't stay as a girl! What about school? What about my future?"

"Whoa, whoa! I didn't say that I hadn't found a way." Chiu held up her hands defensively.

"Oh...sorry." Danny said, sitting back in the chair.

"Now, this curse, because it was applied while your soul was separated from your body...well...hell it's impossible for anyone to remove without destroying your body...which would be counter productive." Chiu said, "Anyone except for Xexas that is. A sudden burst of his demon magic from inside you would burn out the curse."

"And how do you expect me to get Xexas to help me remove the curse he put there?" Danny raised an eyebrow.

"I don't...but something else happened when Xexas put this curse on you." Chiu said, raising a finger, "You were made into his keychain...like ours, you are a link to his powers."

"Wait, what does that mean exactly?" Jen asked, "I didn't hear much about your keychain except that's where Danny got you from."

"Well, our Keychain is what makes us immortal, but at the same time it's what binds us together. With it, anyone would have free reign of our powers, they could siphon us dry for their own magical gain. Danny is now that kind of connection to Xexas. Theoretically, if Danny could get close enough to Xexas, he could siphon some of his power and Xexas won't be able to do anything. With that demon magic, he could push out the curse." Chiu explained.

"Really?! Then let's go kick his ass!" Danny said, jumping up.

"There you go jumping into things again. Wait a moment, I'm not done explaining. Doing this is not without dangers." Chiu said, putting a hand on her leg, "Danny, absorbing demon magic is very dangerous to humans, often lethal. Also, if it doesn't kill you there's a chance that, if you absorb too much, you will become Xexas by assimilation."

"So we're walking a very fine line here. A nigh suicidal chance for Danny to be a man again." Jen said, "Personally I'd say be a woman for the rest of your life, but then again peeing on your feet must be pretty nice."

"Mother." Danny rolled his eyes, "So how would I go about doing this? I mean, how do I siphon demon energy from him."

"You should, when you get close enough, be able to feel the magic inside his body and you should be able to simply control it as you do the magic inside yourself." Chiu explained.

"How do I know how much is the proper amount?" Danny asked.

"I...uh...I don't have a clue. I mean, I don't know how much power he put into it and I don't know how much it would take to push it out." Chiu said, tapping on her forehead.

"This is starting to sound impossible." Jen said.

"Not impossible, just difficult. There is no such thing as impossible." Koto laughed, "I say we go for it."

"Yea, but I say it's not your life on the line." Danny said, "I need to think about this." Danny said, getting up.

"Hey Danny." Chiu stopped her.

"What?" He sighed.

"Don't leave the apartment." Chiu said.

"Why?" Danny sighed again.

"Because the only thing keeping Xexas from attacking is the anti-demon barrier I have placed around this building." Chiu warned her.

"Okay." Danny said, turning to the slider. She walked out onto the balcony and looked down the busy street.

"Wait...Why didn't he attack us in the field yesterday then?" Koto whispered to Chiu.

"I put a barrier around there while you guys were there." Chiu shrugged.

*******

"Mom..." Danny said, sitting down next to her in front of the television.

"Yes honey?" She turned her head.

"I'm going to do it. I can't go on living as a girl. It's not me." Danny said, "If there's a chance, even as slim as this one is, I'm willing to take it."

"I suspected as much." Jen smiled, "Just come back safe for me okay."

"I will mom." Danny said, giving her mom a hug, "And if...well...if I don't...the girls are yours."

"What?" Jen said.

"The Keychain in my bedroom, It's the sign of their ownership. Whoever holds it owns them. Well...if this turns out bad...I want you to have them." Danny said, scratching the side of her face.

"Oh...okay." Jen said solemnly.

"I'm sorry to put you through this again." Danny wrapped his arms around his mother.

"It's...It's..." Jen stuttered as tears started to drip down her face, "...alright..."

She started to cry loudly and she wrapped her arms tightly around Danny. Danny stood there, holding her mother for quite some time. After a little while, she helped her sit down on the sprite's futon in the living room. She went and got a glass of water and a box of tissues.

"Here mom...I'm sorry about this..." Danny said guiltily.

"It's...it's not your...your fault..." Jen cried softly.

"Mom...I wish there could be another way...but you heard Chiu and I'm sure she knows what she's talking about." Danny said, sitting close to her mom, "I have to."

"I just...don't want to lose you!" Jen sniffed, putting an arm around Danny, "Even...if...if it means...your a girl..."

"Mother..." Danny said, laying her head on her mom's shoulder.

*******

"I've set up a trap on the roof of the apartment. If I down the barrier while we're up there, Xexas is sure to show up and I haven't underestimated him this time. The trap will hold him." Chiu said, closing the apartment door behind her. She was now wearing her magical robes, beautiful green and silver, they ruffled about her ankles.

"Thank you Chiu." Danny said, standing up.

Danny had been sitting with her mom for quite a while now. It hurt to see her mom back in a state of such sorrow, but what could she do besides comfort her before she left.

"Danny...please come back..." Jen said, grabbing Danny's hand.

"I will mother." Danny said, clasping her hand tightly.

As she let go, Jen's hand fell from hers and Danny left her sitting in the apartment alone. Her heart ached, leaving her mother like this, but she couldn't do anything else. Chiu and Danny climbed the stairs to the roof and Chiu opened the door.

The apartments had a flat roof with a small concrete wall around the edge. Koto and April were standing together near the door. They were wearing their magical outfits, Koto in her tight shorts and small top and April in her long, white and gold robes. Danny closed the door behind her and turned to Chiu.

"Can you keep the barrier at least around our apartment? I don't want mom getting hurt in this." Danny said, "Xexas would be cold enough to try and capture her."

"I had planned on keeping the apartment safe." Chiu nodded.

There was a gust of air as Chiu released the invisible barrier. There was a moment of silence and suddenly the clouds above them started to darken. All around them, the clouds thickened and the sky darkened. Lighting flashed and thunder cracked above them. Shadows coalesced on the roof in front of them. They swirled around and then dissolved away, exposing Xexas. He was wearing a clean white suit with a red undershirt, all tailored to fit his teenage body.

"Danny! Looking cute as ever!" Xexas cried out with a maniacal laugh.

Chapter 14 - A Demon's Magic

A magic circle burst into light beneath Xexas and a thousand bands of light exploded into the air. They ruthlessly cinched down around Xexas and pulled as tight as Chiu could make them.

"Yes!" Danny cheered.

Suddenly black smoke started to leak between the bands of light. It rolled across the ground and the circle of light started to flicker. It flickered out and died. The beams of light shattered and left Xexas standing flatly on the roof with his hands in his pockets. A dark aura radiated out from him.

"I take it that was supposed to be strong enough to hold me? Well you didn't take into account how much stronger I got when the last of my powers coalesced." Xexas said, taking a step towards them.

"Sisters!" Koto said, looking at each of them.

They nodded in turn and Koto leapt forward.

"No no no. This is between Danny and I. We can't have you three interfering." Xexas said, holding up his hand.

A wall of black shadow exploded from him and hit her. It pushed her back and wrapped itself around the three of them, encapsulating them in a dark swirling dome. They could be heard talking frantically inside, but it was so quiet that Danny couldn't make it out.

"Now Danny, it's just us...don't worry, they're fine. But that barrier will hold them for a few minutes at least." Xexas smiled, holding out his arm with a flat palm open towards Danny.

Shadows swirled around his wrist and spread into a vicious looking three foot broadsword. Xexas swung his hand casually at Danny, the dark sword whistled in front of her.

"I will end you Xexas!" Danny said, lunging at him.

A glowing blue sword extended from Danny's right hand and she clashed with Xexas. Filling her muscles with magic, she shoved forward, pushing Xexas back.

"Oh...when'd you get so strong?" Xexas smiled, pushing back.

"I'm not going to tell you!" Danny shoved with all of her strength and pushed Xexas back.

Danny, before Xexas could react, leapt forward with the Shundo and brought her sword down from above. Xexas barely blocked in time and both of their swords shattered. Danny didn't waste any time. She punched Xexas in the chest, releasing a pent up burst of fire magic. There was an explosion in front of her and Xexas was thrown back off the roof, his entire body smoking. He smashed into the apartment across the way, crashing through a slider.

Jumping from the roof, Danny leapt straight into the broken slider and into the wrecked apartment. Xexas was extricating himself from a broken table. He got to his feet just as Danny reached him.

"Good hit Danny, but mine's better!" Xexas said, holding his hands in front of him.

Lightning crackled around Xexas' fist. Danny barely had time to erect a magical barrier around herself before Xexas punched Danny in the chest and launched her through the roof with a burst of lighting. Danny's barrier was shattered by the blow, but it did protect her. As she flew above the roof, Danny righted herself and used magic to carefully land on the roof. Xexas jumped out of the hole made by Danny and landed ten feet from Danny.

"You're right, that was good." Danny cracked her neck.

In a flash, she lunged forward and punched Xexas in the stomach as hard as she could. Xexas countered and started to fight back. Danny fell into a line of martial arts attacks and defenses, fighting with Xexas in a blindingly fast exchange.

Xexas got the upper hand and smashed Danny in the chest with a flat palm. Danny gasped for air as she was thrown across the street and through the business building there. The barrier around her barely protected her as she piledrived through all the walls and floors of the building, ending up on the bottom floor in the main lobby. People screamed and yelled. There was an explosion and the building rattled. Xexas exploded through the ceiling and landed in front of Danny, barring her way from the door.

Danny built magic up into her arm, determined to plow Xexas under. Xexas lunged at her and Danny punched. Magic erupted in a spiraling torrent of razor wind, shoving Xexas back and destroying the front of the building. The explosion of razor wind destroyed the next two buildings down the block, shoving Xexas away. Danny blinked, surprised at the destructive power. She could hear more screams of terror and realized exactly what she had done. She leapt forward through the destroyed building front and through the wreckage of the the next to eviscerated buildings. Xexas stood up from the rubble of the second one and dusted himself off.

"Beautifully done, but not enough!" Xexas said, bending his legs.

Suddenly Danny was doubled over in pain and flying skyward at the same time. Xexas had punched her in the stomach, spun around and threw her into the air. Danny gasped and grabbed her midsection, groaning in pain. She gritted herself and halted her motion with magic, holding her position a few hundred feet in the air. Xexas was still on the ground below.

"Die Xexas!" Danny cried, magic building up in her palm.

She swung her arm downward and a beam of light erupted from it. The detonation below her was deafening, exploding outward to decimate six more buildings. The flash was almost blinding and Danny instinctively covered herself with a heavy barrier.

It was good that she did because, from the smoke of the explosion, a volley of dark missiles exploded at her. They erupted feet from her, encapsulating her in a dark smoke. She couldn't see anything and it terrified her for a second. Danny punched her arms outward and screamed. A torrent of wind spun away from her, shredding the darkness. When she could see again, Xexas was floating in front of her.

"I'm tired of this!" Danny cried, lunging forward in a flash.

Xexas was ready, but not for what Danny did. At the last moment, Danny disappeared and reappeared behind Xexas. She punched Xexas in the lower back as hard as she could, while grabbing his neck with her other hand. An eruption of blue fire exploded out from his lower midsection. Danny spun around and gripped his throat tightly. She started to forcefully descend, holding Xexas in front of her by the throat. The ground approached alarmingly fast and there was an explosion of rocks and dust as Xexas slammed forcefully into the burnt rubble. Blood erupted from Xexas' mouth.

"I am sick and fucking tired of your shit!" Danny screamed, crushing Xexas' windpipe.

Suddenly she realized that she could feel more than his heartbeat. She could feel his magic coursing through his body. Smiling, she started to absorb his magic through her palm. More and more, it flowed into her body. Danny didn't know what she was thinking, but she absorbed as much as she could. She siphoned Xexas dry, watching his body dry up and stiffen. He turned sun bleached and his skin turned to dry paper. Danny let go of his throat and stood up. She looked around and suddenly realized there was a crowd gathering around the rubble.

She screamed at the top of her lungs and flexed her arms by her sides. Dark energy exploded from her, creating a massive aura that reached higher than the buildings around her. Wind tore away from her and she screamed to the heavens. Veins in her body traced in black and her eyes grew red. Her hair was snapping about above her and her clothes rustled wildly. As the power died down, she disappeared in a cloud of darkness.

*******

Danny appeared back on the roof of his apartment. He was back to a male body, but he was still wrapped in dark power. A thick dark aura radiated from him as he stepped across the roof towards the sprites, who were free.

"D...Danny...is that...you...?" April said, holding out a hand worriedly.

"Don't touch him...he's been saturated with demon magic." Chiu said, pulling her back.

"That would explain the eruption of shadow we saw over there." Koto said, watching Danny walk towards the door.

It melted into the shadows at his touch and he walked silently down the stairs. His hair was down to about a foot of thin, dark hair. His eyes glowed dark red and his skin was shadowy. His clothing was also changed into only a pair of black denim pants and heavy leather boots.

"What...what do we do?" April stuttered as the followed behind him at a distance.

"It would seem he's heading back to the apartment...so Danny's still in there somewhere." Chiu said, worriedly.

They followed Danny down and into his apartment. He actually opened the apartment door instead of just removing it.

"D...Danny..." Jen sniffed, looking up, "Oh Danny!"

She cried out and leapt on him, crying madly. She wrapped her arms tightly around his neck and balled into his shoulder.

"M...Mom...?" Danny's voice seemed far away.

The shadows around him started to dissipate and he wrapped his arms around her. The shadow retreated from his skin, but his eyes stayed red. He held his mother close, trying to comfort her.

"I told you I would be fine mother." Danny sighed.

"I know...It's just...I heard the explosions and the whole world shaking..." Jen sniffed, wiping at her eyes.

"Danny...are you okay?" April said, putting a hand out to him.

"Yes, I feel a little strange, but I'm back to myself." Danny said, turning to April.

All three of them leapt on Danny and laughed happily, hugging him tightly.

*******

Everyone in the house was happy, except for Chiu and Danny. The two of them were sitting quietly in his room with the door closed.

"We both know there's something wrong. I may be back to normal, but I definitely don't feel right." Danny said, looking at Chiu.

"Well, the fact that you drained Xexas of all his demon energy and survived is a miracle in it self. Can you explain anything about the return here? Walking back into the apartment?" Chiu asked.

"I watched myself do it...but I wasn't in control. I don't know why, but this is where I ended up." Danny shrugged.

"Its possible that, by absorbing all of his magic, you absorbed his desire for the Keychain." Chiu said, holding her chin, "But seeing your mother, your own will broke through his remnants of desire."

"Hmm...but why do I feel so strange?" Danny asked, rubbing her hands together.

"Hold still..." Chiu said, moving to the bed next to him.

She put a hand on the side of his face and pressed her fingers to different spots across his face. Her eyes closed and she focused for a minute.

"Whoa!" Chiu cried suddenly, her hand pulling back.

"What is it?" Danny raised an eyebrow.

"His demon magic has mixed on the most intricate level with your own unincanted magic." Chiu said, "It's amazing."

"Really? What...uh...what will happen to me?" Danny said, looking down at his hands.

"I don't have a clue. I mean, you're still you and your not a girl...so...there's nothing but to wait." Chiu said.

"Stop it! Stop it! I demand to get fucked first!" Koto cried, bursting through the door.

She stopped when she saw the two of them just sitting side by side.

"We aren't sleeping together." Chiu said flatly.

"Ohh...um...well...I'll be back after dinner." Koto said, sidling back out of the room.

"Well, I suppose you have company tonight." Chiu smirked.

"I suppose I do." Danny shrugged.

"That's all?" Chiu raised an eyebrow.

"I've come to terms with the fact that I'm going to be sleeping with them...speaking of which...what about you?" Danny said.

"What...what about me...?" Chiu said, shocked.

"Yea, what about you?" Danny said, scooting closer to her.

"Oh! Um...well...I...we...umm...maybe...sometime...I..." Chiu stuttered, prodding her fingers together, staring at them nervously.

"Oh Chiu, I swear you're the cutest one of them all!" Danny laughed, standing up.

He kissed her on the cheek and walked out of the room.

Chapter 15 - Magical Investigation Squad

"You know there going to come investigate something of this magnitude. I mean, he killed hundreds." April whispered to Chiu.

"I know that...all I can hope is that they don't trace it back to Danny." Chiu said.

"How won't they though? I mean, they'll just trace the demon magic back to him and..." April swallowed.

The sprites had multiple run-ins with the Magical Investigation Squad before. Their specific situation, being immortal and bound to an inanimate object, went against dozens of magical laws. But they couldn't punish the creations for their master's doing, so the three of them were left alone most of the time. But more often than not, their introducing of magic into a mundane often caused problems and a lot of deaths. It had happened twice before and both times, the MIS had to be argued with, not to take them away and lock them up. Both times, the judge had seen that it was the mundane's problem, not theirs. So the mundane was stripped of magic and his mind was modified.

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