Status: One-shot.

Don't Listen to Them

one of one

For Kellin, some days are better than others.

Some days, she walks around like she’s on top of the world, a queen, a goddess. Other days, though, days like today, she feels like she could only be accurately described as the scum of the earth.

She didn’t even do anything wrong, really, except be herself. She can usually pass as a woman quite easily—she thanks God every day that she naturally looks quite feminine—but sometimes, people can just tell. They can tell that she talks with her voice slightly higher than it normally is, even though it’s already pretty high to begin with. They can tell that her shoulders are broader than they “should” be. And this person can definitely tell.

Is it because she forgot to shave this morning and there’s already noticeable facial hair growing? Is that what gave it away? Or is it something else, her stride, her voice, her body? She wishes she just didn’t give a fuck, but she does. She really, really does.

It starts when this dude, no older than thirty, glances over at where she’s standing behind the counter next to the cash register and mutters to the woman who came in with him (his wife, Kellin assumes, judging by the way they hold hands and the rings on their fingers), “Can you believe this place hires trannies?”

That hurts more than it should, but it makes Kellin wonder just how obvious she is, if some random customer can tell after less than five seconds. She thought she was looking great. She thought the pink flower crown was a nice touch. She thought the white-and-pink crop top over the white cami and the pleated pink skirt all made her look pretty. She’s not feeling very pretty now, though.

It would be fine if that was all the dude said. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. After about fifteen minutes of Kellin continuing work as usual and telling herself that she’s beautiful (she’s not sure she believe it), the guy and his probably-wife head up to the counter with their things near the very end of Kellin’s shift. The woman wrinkles her nose at Kellin, whom the guy stares at for a few long moments before saying, straight to her face, “You know you’re a man, right?”

Kellin is taken aback by the comment, and for a few seconds she doesn’t even know what to say. Part of her can’t believe that this guy is an actual person that exists. Part of her can’t believe that someone would actually say that to her. The other part of her knows better, though.

“I—I’m not, sir,” she says politely, about to take the items on the counter and ring them up when the lady speaks up.

“Honey,” she says condescendingly, “we can all see it.”

“I don’t—I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Kellin says pathetically, feeling her face heat up, and all of a sudden her chest is tight. She just wants to ring up these people’s things and get them out of here as soon as possible.

“Fucking freak,” the guy says, pushing the items toward her. “What do your parents think, huh?”

This dude just won’t quit it, even as Kellin starts to ring everything up. Her hands are shaking as she answers timidly, “M-my parents are okay with it.”

The guy looks almost angry at that response. “I sure as hell wouldn’t be. My son ever did that, I’d beat his sorry ass.”

I’m sure you would, Kellin thinks, but she doesn’t dare say it out loud. Even if she wanted to say it, her throat is closing up and her mind is starting to go blank. Her anxiety is already bad enough around new people that don’t harass her.

“Fucking she-males,” the guy continues, and, God, will he ever stop? At this point, he’s just ranting. “I can’t believe they even let you work here.”

Kellin doesn’t want to admit it, but all of a sudden, there are tears pricking at her eyes, and she blinks them back in desperation. More than anything else right now, she just wishes she could stand up for herself.


The voice belongs to an angel, a savior in the form of a short but threatening-looking young punk dude who marches right up to the guy and his wife. “Fuck off,” he snaps, getting all up in the guy’s business.

“Oh?” the guy says, though it’s clear that he’s at least a little bit intimidated. “And who might you be?”

“Doesn’t matter,” the punk replies dismissively. “What matters is the fact that I’ll knock your fucking teeth in if you say one more rude word to this girl. Pay for your shit and then get the fuck out.”

Her hands still shaking but her chest filling with gratefulness and relief, Kellin quickly rings up the few items and stutters out the total amount due. She keeps expecting the guy (or the woman) to say something else as they’re paying, but the punk’s cold glare seems to be working. When it’s all over and they’re about to walk away from the counter and out of the store, Kellin still blurts out, “Have a nice day,” because that’s what she’s supposed to do. She hates herself for it afterward. They don’t deserve for her to comply or pretend to be polite. She should’ve told them to go fuck themselves.

As soon as they’re out the door, Kellin leans down, rests her elbows on the counter, and buries her face in her hands as her hair falls into her face. Her chest is still heavy and she’s still on the verge of tears. She’s dealt with situations like this before—of course she has—but she still can’t believe how mean and terrible people can be sometimes. It’s kind of upsetting. She feels like she should be used to it by now. She should be immune.

“Hey, hey,” she hears the punk say softly. “Don’t listen to those people, okay?”

Kellin slowly looks up at him, noticing the pain in his eyes as he watches her. It feels almost like he knows what she’s going through, somehow.

“Thank you,” she whispers, her voice cracking a little. “For stepping in. Also, sorry. Sorry that you had to step in.”

“It’s fine,” the punk assures her, his voice having gone from rough to tender in a matter of seconds. “I couldn’t just stand by and let that happen. I couldn’t watch you fall apart like that. Especially not when I…well, I get it, kind of. Except I’m the other way around.”

Kellin just stares at him as she starts to calm down. “Trans guy?” she guesses quietly, pushing herself up off the counter and straightening up, rubbing at her eyes to get rid of any lingering tears that might be hiding.

He nods. When he notices her looking him over, he adds, “No surgery yet, but I’ve been on T for a while now.”

“Oh,” she says simply, briefly thinking about her own transition—or lack thereof. Yes, most of her family has been surprisingly accepting of her, but none of them have much money, so she has yet to even get hormones. “You look…nice.” It’s an understatement. This guy is super good-looking.

“So do you,” he responds. He sounds genuine, but after what just happened, Kellin is hesitant to believe him.

“I—um—thank you,” she says, smiling a little. She likes this guy. He’s sweet, and he seems like someone who would understand her a lot better than anyone else she knows. “Who are you, anyway?”

“My name’s Vic,” the punk says, smiling back at her. “I just came in here to pick up a few odds and ends of shit I need. Bread. Scissors. Socks that don’t have holes in them. I don’t know if you sell socks here, though.”

Kellin laughs a little. “I don’t think we do.” She tucks a few strands of hair behind her ear. “I’m Kellin, by the way.”

Vic nods. “Well, Kellin,” he says, biting at his lip ring, “I should probably let you get back to work.”

“My shift ends really soon, actually,” Kellin says, glancing over at the clock on the wall. 4:55. “Five minutes.”

“Oh, really?” Vic says, smiling in a way that’s weirdly adorable for someone whose appearance is so outwardly threatening. “I’ll go grab what I need, then.” He pauses, playing with his lip ring some more in an awkward and maybe even nervous fashion. “You wouldn’t wanna hang afterward, would you?” he blurts. “You totally don’t have to if you don’t want to.”

The words surprise Kellin, but in a good way. She doesn’t really have anywhere to be in particular once she gets off work, and she really does like Vic. Hanging out with him might be a fun way to end a generally shitty day.

“No, yeah, I’d like that,” she says. “Really.”

When Kellin gets back to her apartment around ten, she finds her roommate, Justin, sitting on the couch and watching some reality TV show. “Yo,” he says when he hears her come in and close the door behind her. “Where’ve you been all evening, Kells?”

“I met a dude,” Kellin replies, kicking off her shoes and sitting down next to him. “We hung out and went places after work.”

Justin raises an eyebrow, lowering the volume on the TV. “Oh, God. If he’s an asshole to you, I swear—”

“He’s not,” Kellin assures him, but she knows Justin is going to become the Overprotective Best Friend anyway. It’s annoying sometimes, but she really does appreciate it. “He looks kind of scary, but he’s sweet. His name’s Vic.”

Justin looks like he wants to say something, but he stops when he sees the smile on her face. Changing the subject, he says, “How was work?”

Her face falls at the thought of those nasty customers, and she pulls her legs up against her chest, frowning and resting her head on her knees. “Vic looked about ready to fight someone,” she says. “I’ll leave it at that.”

Justin immediately knows what she means, and he puts an arm around her. “You don’t deserve any of the shit you get just for being you,” he says. “I’m glad this guy could see that.”
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right ok so this fic came from this au: “i’m on the verge of tears because of a rude customer and you step in and stand up for me.” as you've read, it’s pastel/punk again, pastel!transgirl!kellin and punk!transboy!vic.