“Mmph…” Jamie moaned as she forced her tired eyes open. A quick glance at the clock made her sigh- it was 5:45am, a time that up until recently, the 26 year old woman would have balked at, especially on a cold, wet Sunday morning in December. However, Jamie didn’t hesitate to swing her smooth, slender legs out of her bed, wrap a warm dressing gown around her shivering body and pad the short distance down the landing towards the reason for her being awake so early.

“Hey, hey cutie…” Jamie whispered softly as she gently scooped the crying baby girl up in her arms, giving her forehead a soft, loving kiss before slowly rocking her in her arms.

“When I see you alone,
I see what's in your mind.
You love me yes you do,
You don't need to tell me.
I know you love me most,
No one else take my place.
You need me, yes you do.
Forever, and ever...”

“You sure you don’t want me to record that for you?” A familiar masculine voice asked from the doorway to the nursery. “I know someone with a studio…”

“…I prefer singing it live,” Jamie replied with a giggle. “To an audience of one, hehe!” The blonde woman gave her distressed daughter another gentle kiss on her forehead, before giggling again as her husband leaned in to kiss the baby girl, before giving Jamie herself a long, loving kiss.

“She need changing?” Stuart asked.

“If she does, I’ll do it,” Jamie whispered. “You go back to bed, you had a long night, heh. Are- are you badly hungover?”

“Didn’t drink much,” Stuart shrugged, taking his daughter from Jamie and gently rocking her in his arms. “Shh, shh, shh… Kinda stopped getting totally blasted since, well, you know, ‘responsibilities’, heh.”

“Wouldn’t trade it for the world, would you?” Jamie giggled.

“Not a second,” Stuart whispered, gently kissing his daughter again as she began to calm down. “God… It’s so weird, though, how this has become the new normal…”

“Waking up before 6am?” Jamie asked. “Having to deal with little stinkies at every hour of the day? …Yeah, I guess it has, hehe!”

“Not like either of us don’t know how to deal with big changes in our lives, though,” Stuart mused- a point his wife fully agreed with.

Just seven years earlier, Jamie had been a fully anatomical, fully 'functional' young man named James. 'He' had a penis, testicles, a flat chest... But now, from the outside, Jamie was no different to anyone who had been born female... Like her husband had been. The day before his sixteenth birthday, Stuart was an ordinary teenaged girl named Claire. Inside and out, 'she' was an ordinary girl. 11 years later, Stuart possessed a penis- a real, flesh and blood penis- had a flat chest, muscles and facial hair, and was quite the good-looking young man.

As big as those changes were, though, the couple were forced to admit that their most recent change- the addition of Olivia to their lives- was the biggest change of all. Jamie was in full agreement with her husband that despite the added demands on her time, she wouldn’t change a single second of the three months she’d spent with the baby girl in her life.

“You were so born to be a mother,” Stuart sighed as he watched his wife expertly change Olivia’s soiled nappy with a smile on her face.

“Heh, if you’d told me that ten years ago…” Jamie mused. “But that’s a conversation we’ve had a hundred times, heh.”

“Like the conversation we’ve had of how to explain to Olivia how her mum and dad grew up?” Stuart asked. “Or how to comfort her if us being- well, us- causes her to be bullied at school?”

“I know you like planning ahead,” Jamie said softly. “But those are things we don’t have to worry about right now. I mean, Olivia’s not worry, right?”

“All she’s worried about is where her beloved mum goes every time she leaves the room,” Stuart giggled, gently stroking his daughter’s tiny hand. “And I suppose it’s not like she won’t have friends, like, a ready-made posse waiting for her when she starts school.”

“Assuming we can all get them into the same school,” Jamie sighed. “What with catchment areas…”

“’Catchment areas’?” Stuart giggled. “You grown-up…”

“Yeah,” Jamie giggled.

“And there’s one school we know they’ll all be members of,” Stuart giggled. “You know Krystie wouldn’t have it any other way.”

“Assuming, of course,” Jamie said, “that Olivia doesn’t suddenly develop an allergy to leotards and tights and decide she’d rather be a footballer- or even a boy?”

“Then we’ll love ‘Oliver’ just as much as we do Olivia,” Stuart said, giving his wife a gentle kiss. “Just as we agreed.”

“Yeah,” Jamie sighed as she stared down at her baby daughter, who was slowly starting to drift back off to sleep. “…Shall we get up? Doubt I’ll get back to sleep, and we are meeting up with the others for brunch…”

“I dunno,” Stuart mused. “This may sound weird, but Sunday morning has always been my favourite time of the week. You’re completely stress-free, completely relaxed, got no obligations… If you’ll forgive me quoting scripture, it really is a ‘day of rest’. When you don’t have anything on so you can just kick back and be yourself.”

“Heh,” Jamie chuckled. “So… Back to bed, then?”

“We could always try for another baby,” Stuart shrugged.

“…We’re both sterile,” Jamie reminded her husband.

“Then we’ll have to try extra-hard, won’t we?” Stuart giggled, giving his wife a playful kiss before taking her hand and leading her back to their master bedroom.

In a different part of London, another couple were being awoken before sunrise, though unlike Jamie and Stuart, they didn’t have the option of getting up and then going straight back to bed.

“Ahh…” Jessica sighed as she forced her deep blue eyes open and reached out to switch off her alarm.

“Ugh, already?” Paige moaned, rolling over and cuddling her tired body close to her fiancée’s. “It’s too cold to get up…”

“This from someone who grew up in Scotland?” Jessica teased.

“SCOTland, not Lapland,” Paige retorted, making her American fiancée giggle. “Should’ve laid off the champagne last night…”

“Not every day one of our best friends gets engaged!” Jessica giggled as she slid out of bed and stretched her tired, hungover muscles.

“That was Tuesday and we both had leave on Wednesday and Thursday,” Paige retorted. “They couldn’t have had the party then?”

“Eh, the only REAL time to have a party is, and always has been, Saturday night, you know that,” Jessica replied.

“…Yeah, that’s true I guess!” Paige giggled as she slowly dragged her tired body out of bed. “Even if it does mean that Sunday mornings usually suck. Though it was a GREAT party, heh.”

“Not as great as our engagement party, though,” Jessica giggled as she wrapped arms around her fiancée’s tiny waist. “And DEFINITELY not as great as our wedding will be, hehe!”

“Aye,” Paige giggled as she examined the diamond ring on her left hand. “Where you off to today again?”

“Glasgow, believe it or not,” Jessica chuckled. “You?”

“Gay Paree,” Paige sighed, earning a grimace from her fiancée.

“Ouch,” Jessica said, giving Paige a gentle kiss on her shoulder. “Lucky I’ll be back before you, I’ll make sure we’ve got some booze ready and waiting.”

“Ah, what would I do without you?” Paige giggled. “God, wish I was going to ballet this morning, though.”

“That makes two of us,” Jessica sighed. “And not just because I get to squeeze my body into a leotard, heh. Or better yet, see your body in one, hehe!”

“You’ll just have to settle for my body in a tight stewardess’s uniform,” Paige giggled, giving her fiancée a long kiss before leading her to their shower cubicle.

A few hours later, in another part of the vast city, six of Jessica and Paige’s friends and colleagues were gathering inside the vast, but still warm studio that was the home of the Krystie Fullerton School of Dance.

“Ugh, mon dieu,” Zoe spat as she locked the exterior door behind her. “Why is this island so freezing in December?”

“Tradition,” Amy replied, making the Frenchwoman giggle as she and her friends stripped off their coats and winter clothes to reveal the skin-tight pink dance tights and black leotards that they were wearing underneath. The six women then attached soft canvas dance slippers to their feet with shiny satin ribbon, before taking their place at the barre lining one side of the room.

“Why, exactly, do we do this again?” Sophie asked as she adjusted her leotard for a more comfortable fit. "And why can't I wear my sports bra and leggings again?"

“It’s good exercise,” Hayley replied.

“It aids your balance and your posture,” Zoe called from the opposite end of the barre. "And you need the uniforms so that I can check your form with no obstacles."

“But most importantly,” Amy said with a giggle, “it’s an excuse to be as girly and gorgeous as we possibly can!”

“And,” Rachel interjected, “it’s a great way to catch up with friends.”

“I was about to say,” Sophie said. “It’s not like you need help being any girlier.” Sophie bit her lip as she was confronted by loud coughs from three of the other women in the studio. “Umm, neither do any of the rest of us, heh.”

“If by ‘girlier’ you mean ‘more female’, then maybe not,” Rachel said.

“Oh god,” Natalie sighed. “Midlife crisis in three…”

“Well how many thirty year old women do you know who regularly pull on a uniform and go to a dance class?” Rachel snorted.

“I only know one thirty year old woman full stop,” Natalie reminded her blonde friend, who rolled her eyes in response.

“And admittedly, you do look, like, eighteen dressed like that,” Sophie said.

“Why thank you, Miss Connelly!” Rachel said with a smug grin.

“If you’re having that much of a ‘crisis’ about it,” Amy asked, “why come at all?”

“Because, Miss Harris,” Rachel replied, “can you give me a good reason why a thirty year old woman SHOULDN’T pull on a uniform and spend her Sunday mornings dancing?”

“Because said thirty year old woman got engaged five days ago and should be spending EVERY morning wrapped around her fiancé?” Amy retorted, making Rachel blush and the other women coo as Rachel slipped off her sparkling engagement ring and carefully placed it down on top of her kit bag.

“Trust me, we’ve been ‘celebrating’,” Rachel said with a wink as she skipped back to the barre. “Danny knows that it’s sisters before misters, though!”

“Spoken like a true teenager!” Natalie giggled, making Rachel roll her eyes again. “Or should that be ‘ty’-ager?”

“You tell me, Miss Twenty-Five!” Rachel retorted, making Natalie blush. “Speaking of which, one of my first acts as a thirty year old was to change into a ridiculously extravagant tutu and dance a particular routine… Do we know anyone else who had a birthday recently?”

“And whose fiancée has spent the last days altering the costume?” Zoe teased, making Natalie blush even deeper, before giggling as Zoe went into the studio’s store room, emerging seconds later with a clothing rack, on which was a voluminous pink tutu.

“Come on, birthday girl…” Amy teased the Manchester native.

“…On one condition,” Natalie said with a grin. “I get to wear my pointe shoes too!” The assembled women all giggled as Natalie eagerly stripped off her soft dance slippers and her leotard and changed into the tutu and her beloved stiff, shiny pointe shoes.

As Natalie took her first position, four of the other women watched with eager grins on their face, while the other one wasn’t quite as eager. Mere months earlier, Sophie’s Sunday mornings had been much more carefree and hadn’t consisted of pulling on tights that simultaneously rode up and sagged in the same place or a leotard that ‘pulled’ uncomfortably. However, Sophie was forced to admit to herself that she was having a lot of fun- even as she wondered when- or maybe even if- she’d ever become a man again.

Unbeknownst to Sophie, several dozen miles away in Cardiff was a young man who’d often wondered the exact same thing in that exact same room, and who was busy combing his hair as he and his grandmother readied themselves for their weekly visit to church. Ian smiled as he buttoned up his smart, light blue shirt and as he laced up his shiny black shoes- if he’d been dressing for church eighteen months earlier, his attire would’ve been very different.

Whilst girls like Jessica, Paige or Natalie grew up dreaming of being able to get up every morning and pull on a bra and a thong, or a dress, or apply make-up or nail polish, for the first sixteen and a half years of his life, Ian did all those things- and felt increasingly stressed with every passing day. The day he abandoned his old life as ‘Kayleigh-Ann’ and moved to Cardiff to live with his grandmother, as a full-time boy, had been the happiest day of his life- even if it made his life a lot busier.

Ian smirked as he packed his work shirt into a bag to take with him to church- ‘Kayleigh-Ann’s weekends had consisted of hanging out with her (female) friends, exchanging gossip, make-up and fashion tips and talking about boys, which to Ian had been far more of an obligation than an actual job. Ian much preferred what his weekends had become- he may have had to deal with endless streams of customers, but he was earning money whilst doing it, money that he could spend on anything he wanted, rather than the cosmetics and hair care products that ‘Kayleigh-Ann’ had been obliged to buy. And at the end of the working day, he wouldn’t be picked up by his grandmother, but by his friends- one of his REAL friends, with whom he had a lot in common, unlike ‘Kayleigh-Ann’s friends- one of whom would likely be the petite sixteen year old ginger haired girl with whom Ian had become very close very quickly…

“Are you coming, Ian?” The seventeen year old’s grandmother called in her thick Welsh accent.

“On my way,” Ian replied, grabbing his bag and heading downstairs to where his smartly-dressed grandmother was waiting. Ian may not have had been able to sleep in as late as ‘Kayleigh-Ann’ had on Sundays, but that didn’t bother him, as he had far more reasons to get up and enjoy his life.

Back in London, another group of teenagers, only slightly younger than Ian, were stirring as the early morning light started to stream through a crack in the curtains.

“Ugh,” Laura moaned, rolling over in her sleeping bag to avoid the light, before sighing as her face landed on another mop of long, blonde hair. “Hey,” the sixteen year old girl whispered, gently shaking the owner of the blonde hair. “Hey, Ash! Wake up!”

“Urgh,” Ashley moaned, cuddling her sleeping bag close to her shivering body. “Thought this was a SLEEPover, we’re meant to be sleeping!”

“Really?” Laura asked. “You wouldn’t rather be awake and enjoying this?”

“…Maybe,” Ashley replied with a quiet giggle, keeping her voice as low as possible to avoid disturbing the other six girls in the room.

48 hours earlier, Laura and Ashley had woken up and each had pulled on a white blouse, a pair of black tights and a straight grey skirt. Later that evening- just as Sophie, Natalie and the girls were doing as they spoke- they changed into soft pink tights and black leotards. It was far from the first time that either girl had done either of these things, but both were just as excited to do as they had been the first time- especially as when Laura and Ashley were born 16 and 14 and a half years earlier respectively, they had been healthy baby boys. Boys whose Sunday mornings would’ve consisted of watching sport on TV with their fathers (or, in Laura’s case, stepfather), or hanging out with male friends playing videogames, or playing football in a local park.

As it was, Laura and Ashley were curled up in sleeping bags on the floor of the bedroom of one of their friends, whose birthday it had been the previous day. Their hair was intricately styled, their faces still extravagantly made-up from the day before and their nails were coloured in dark polish with delicate patterns painted onto each one. It was the sort of scenario Ian had found himself in many times, and each time it had caused him unbearable anxiety- but for Laura and Ashley, it was a dream come true. They not only looked like the other six girls in the room- they were like the other six girls in the room, regardless of how they’d been born.

“Ugh, shut up already,” Nicole sighed, opening her pale blue eyes and sighing at the sight of her friends chatting. “It’s too early, especially on a Sunday morning…”

“Yep- and you’re not helping!” Harriet sighed, earning giggles from her friends- all of whom were rapidly waking up due to the commotion.

“Ugh, who’s woken us up?” Suriya- who was sharing a bed with her sister- grumbled.

“Laura and Ashley,” Nicole immediately replied, pointing an accusing finger at the two blonde girls.

“Well, you know what the rules are,” Priya said with a menacing grin as she and her friends all picked up their pillows and slowly backed the two blonde girls into a corner.

“Oh- no, no-“ Laura pleaded, before shrieking with laughter as she and Ashley were repeatedly battered with the girls’ pillows. The ‘attack’ only lasted for a few seconds, but both Laura and Ashley were panting for breath by the end of it, they were laughing so hard- and so were their friends.

“You know…” Suriya said, “I don’t think pillows are enough… I think someone needs to have their first ever tickle fight…”

“You do and I swear I’ll piss all over your floor,” Laura threatened. “I’ve not been to the toilet yet this morning so I mean it!”

“…Okay then,” Priya shrugged, before laying back down on top of her bed. “God… There’s no way we haven’t woken mum and dad up now!”

“They’re old,” Suriya shrugged. “They normally get up this early on Sundays anyway.”

“But I don’t!” Nicole playfully growled, swatting the giggling Ashley again with a pillow.

“Probably because you don’t normally sleep in the same room as seven other girls,” Megan observed. “It’s a miracle we got ANY sleep, hehe!”

“Speak for yourself!” Harriet giggled, shooting a playful wink toward where Ashley was laid in her sleeping bag.

“Weird to think, though,” Priya mused. “Two years from now, we’ll probably have had our last ever sleepover.”

“Seventeen going on seventy!” Suriya teased her sister, who responded with a playful shove that sent the petite Indian girl tumbling off to bed onto the protesting Megan.

“Seriously, though,” Priya said. “Two years from now, I’ll be at university, probably away at uni, you’ll all be at least sixteen, at least one of you will probably spend every Sunday morning in her boyfriend’s pants…”

“Shut. Up,” Laura retorted with a snort of laughter. “Ahh… Dunno about you girls, but I hope I NEVER get too old for sleepovers, hehe!”

“Even when we all have kids of our own who are having sleepovers of their own?” Megan asked.

“Especially then!” Laura said with a twinkle in her eye. “So how about less worrying about the future, and more worrying about right now, as Miss Moore and I need our revenge!” The eight girls in the room all giggled as they picked up their pillows, ready for another round of the fight, before a loud knock on the floor cooled their enthusiasm.

“…They’re awake, then!” Suriya sighed.

“Not much point in trying to get back to sleep, is there?” Mia asked, giggling as the other girls shook their head. “Breakfast, then?”

“Sounds good,” Priya said with a smile as the eight girls all grabbed their dressing gowns and headed down toward the kitchen. “We can watch the DVD of the Out of Heaven Southampton concert this morning if you want?”

“Uh- hell yeah!” Ashley giggled. “Heard it was even better than the Wembley Arena one!”

“It was at a stadium, so there was, like, three times as many people there!” Suriya giggled. “I’d LOVE to go to a stadium concert one day…”

“Or even better, a festival?” Mia asked.

“Now THAT is it!” Priya said with an excited giggle. “One year, before we’re forced to ‘grow up’, the eight of us are going to a festival.”

“Hell yeah!” Nicole cheered.

“Especially if Out of Heaven are playing it!” Ashley said as her mind wandered back to the evening in October when she and her friends watched their favourite band play live. Like Ashley, one of the band’s members hadn’t been born a girl, and had to endure years of wishing that she could go to school wearing a skirt, or go to dance class, or have sleepovers with her friends… Ashley wondered what Sunday mornings had been like for her when she was fourteen.

A few miles away, the famous woman in Ashley’s thoughts was quietly stirring in her bed, relaxing after the excitement of the night before. Her relaxation, however, was brought to an abrupt end when she felt a large weight sit on the end of her bed, causing her to wake up with a loud shriek.

“Who- it- you!” Stephanie babbled, before growling at the sight of the giggling blonde girl sat on the end of her bed. Her growl quickly changed to a giggle, though, when the blonde girl slide along the bed to give the brown-haired singer a long kiss on her lips.

“Good morning, sunshine!” Kayla teased. “How’d you like your wakeup call?”

“No better than the last five times you did it,” Stephanie snorted as she returned her girlfriend’s kiss. “Why are you so perky this early, anyway?”

“Cheeky,” Kayla giggled.

“You know what I mean,” Stephanie sighed. “My head is KILLING me…”

“Your own fault,” Kayla said, laughing as she pulled Stephanie’s warm duvet off of her, only for the brown-haired singer to quickly snatch it back again. “Nobody told you to drink so much…”

“I’m not defending why I’m hungover,” Stephanie moaned. “I’m asking why you’re NOT.”

“You know I don’t drink casually,” Kayla said. “I hope you know that, anyway…”

“I’d be a pretty poor girlfriend if I didn’t,” Stephanie chuckled, before grinning widely as Kayla handed her a bottle of water and a packet of aspirin. “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome,” Kayla said with a wide, warm smile, gently stroking Stephanie’s long hair as she drank down several gulps of water. “And I suppose it wasn’t my brother who got engaged, heh.”

“Now HE will be hungover!” Stephanie giggled. “Dunno about Rachel, I know she usually goes to Zoe’s private dance lesson on Sunday mornings. Heh, she could probably go there and get back before he regains consciousness.”

“Pub doesn’t open on Sundays, then?” Kayla asked.

“Not until noon,” Stephanie replied. “It’s the perfect job for Danny- surrounded by booze, gets to show off his ‘personality’, stays up until 2am and doesn’t get up until mid-morning.”

“And we should know a thing or two about ‘perfect jobs’,” Kayla teased.

“Damn right!” Steph giggled. “Come to think of it, Rachel’s probably the perfect partner for him too. She’s mature, tolerant…”

“And do we know a thing or two about- about ‘perfect partners’?” Kayla asked.

“I like to think we do,” Stephanie replied, leaning in to give her girlfriend another gentle kiss.

“Even though we sleep in separate beds?” Kayla asked, biting her lip as her girlfriend frowned. “I’m sorry, I-“

“It’s okay,” Stephanie whispered, biting her own lip as an awkward silence filled the bedroom. “…Might as well get up now that I’m awake, heh.”

“Nah, not if you’re comfortable where you are,” Kayla said. “Dunno why but I’ve always loved Sunday mornings, especially in winter.”

“Sunday mornings in winter are the most ‘lie in’ time of the entire year!” Stephanie retorted with a chuckle.

“Meh, maybe,” Kayla shrugged. “Just remember when I was, like, eight, getting up early on Sunday and watching movies on the sofa with my dad… ‘Cos of his job, like, I didn’t get to see him much, Sunday mornings were the one time of week we were guaranteed to see each other so he’d always make time…”

“Yeah, I know the feeling,” Stephanie sighed. “My parents were always working shifts so most of the time it was me and my brothers. Probably not watching the same movies you were, though…”

“You never know, you might have done,” Kayla shrugged. “Toy Story 2, high School Musical, Enchanted- ugh, I LOVED Enchanted. You?”

“Titan AE,” Stephanie replied.

“Never heard of it,” Kayla chuckled.

“Danny’s absolute favourite film when he was younger,” Stephanie said. “I never liked it much. Then there was Thunderbirds, Chicken Run, Shrek- though everyone loves Shrek, I guess…”

“…Yeah,” Kayla said with a tired chuckle. “Sounds like you’ve got a bit of catching up to do!”

“19 years of it,” Stephanie said softly, smiling as Kayla leaned in to give her a tight hug. “Though I am definitely making up for lost time, heh. Now that there’s nothing- well- yes, no THING holding me back.”

“Damn right,” Kayla giggled. “So…”

“So…?” Stephanie asked.

“So…” Kayla repeated. “How about you get yourself out of bed and come and watch Enchanted with me? We can easily download it through Amazon…”

“It’s still cold out there,” Stephanie moaned.

“We could cuddle up underneath a blanket if you’d like?” Kayla asked.

Twenty minutes later, the young couple were indeed cuddled up underneath a blanket, each wearing a comfortable hoodie and leggings and watching one of Kayla’s favourite childhood movies. The two women were utterly relaxed as they shared each other’s body warmth, exchanging no words but letting each other know just how much they cared for each other.

As Kayla rested her petite frame against her, Stephanie wondered what the future of the relationship would hold. The two women had only been in a relationship for a little over a month, but had been friends for almost three years- and to Stephanie, it felt like she’d always known Kayla. The blonde girl was unquestionably the best friend she’d ever had, but the new dimension to their relationship was a step into the unknown, and one that made both women nervous. However, it was far from Stephanie’s first ‘step into the unknown’- and like those previous steps, she had the support of her friends and family, in particular the two friends whose relationship convinced Stephanie that she and Kayla could work as a couple.

Nikki and Sarah were the last of their friends to get out of their bed on the cold Sunday morning, but they were not the last to have woken up- not by a long way.

“Mmm,” Nikki tiredly moaned as her wife reached behind her to gently caress her soft, smooth skin.

“Want me to stop?” Sarah whispered.

“You are joking, right?” Nikki giggled, sighing happily as Sarah's caress suddenly became less gentle.

“You know it’s almost half past eleven, right?” Sarah asked. “And you’ve got work tomorrow, I’ve got uni and a TON of coursework…”

“Hope you’re not implying that what we’re doing is wasting our Sunday morning?” Nikki teased.

“Hell no,” Sarah giggled. “Kinda wish every morning could be Sunday morning, heh.”

“Hmm, I could do without the hangovers, thank you very much!” Nikki laughed.

“Oh come on,” Sarah playfully moaned. “We weren’t THAT bad this morning…”

“Meh, true,” Nikki shrugged. “Ever since that trick your friend Becky showed us…”

“That ‘trick’ is just ‘cut back when you start drinking so much that you STOP getting hangovers’!” Sarah retorted.

“Worked, didn’t it?” Nikki asked, rolling over to give her wife a long, lazy kiss. “…Okay, we should probably get up…”

“I will do if you unwrap your arms from around me,” Sarah said, before giggling as she realised that what she just said was unlikely to happen any time soon.

“I work REALLY hard and I need to get my community service done quick if I want to get my passport back for Jenny and Alexa’s wedding,” Nikki moaned. “I’m entitled to my lie-ins…”

“11:30am has gone past ‘lie-in’ and is straight into ‘sleeping disorder’ territory,” Sarah retorted, giggling as she finally freed herself from her wife’s embrace and padded toward the shower. “…Well? Coming?” Nikki giggled as she immediately threw back the sheets and slid out of bed, following her wife to the shower where they celebrated their love underneath the hot flowing water.

A short while later, at a very posh coffee shop in the centre of London, the young family that had been woken up six hours earlier were being greeted by several of their best friends- most of whom were also accompanied by their young families.

“Hey Jay!” Charlotte squeaked happily as she gave her BFF a long, tight hug, before crouching down beside the squirming infant in Jamie’s stroller. “And hello to you, extra-special goddaughter!”

“Extra-special and STILL not settled into a sleep pattern,” Jamie sighed, before crouching down beside the toddler clinging to her BFF’s hand. “Hey there, big guy! Got a hug for your godmother?” Jamie and Charlotte both giggled as the 2 year old boy nodded, before giving Jamie a gentle hug. “I’ve already given number two a hug, hehe!”

“Yep!” Charlotte giggled, gently rubbing her still-flat belly. "And here's a bit of a newsflash- you just hugged number three too!"

"Number thr-" Jamie said, her eyes widening in shock. "You- twins!?"

"Yep!" Charlotte squeaked excitedly. “Gonna be so cool… Though I am NOT looking forward to the sleepless nights.”

“That’s what he’s for,” Stuart says, making the girls laugh as he patted Keith on the shoulder. “We’re a bit packed in today… Want me to drag another table over?”

“You’re going to need to drag another shop over at this rate!” Krystie laughed as she cradled her three month old daughter in her arms.

“Not that we’re complaining, of course,” Mary giggled. “What’s it that someone’s always saying?”

“You can never have too many friends!” The assembled crowd cheered simultaneously, making Jamie blush as she took her infant daughter out of her stroller and sat down with the tiny girl on her knee.

“You really, truly can’t,” Jamie whispered to herself.

“Hey girlies!” Nikki and Sarah simultaneously squeaked as they exchanged hugs with their friends Katie, Lauren and Jacinta at a coffee shop a short distance away from where Jamie and her friends had congregated.

“Hey you two!” Katie giggled. “You’re looking a billion times more not-dead than you usually are at this time on a Sunday!”

“I’ll take that as a compliment,” Nikki replied. “Even though I know it almost certainly WASN’T.”

“Hehe!” Katie giggled. “Becky’s advice helped, then?”

“Yep!” Nikki replied. “Barely drank anything last night.”

“Who said anything about last night?” Lauren teased. “I was wondering if you were still hanging from your 21st…”

“Ugh, probably,” Sarah sighed, letting out a quiet giggle. “So, then… Ophelia?”

“Guess,” Jacinta sighed. “I’ve texted her, she says she might be along later.”

“The rest of us are going ‘man-free’ today, though,” Lauren said with a smirk.

“Not just today, for some of us!” Sarah giggled, grabbing Nikki’s hand and giving her a very long, deep kiss.

“Enough PDAs!” Katie complained.

“Aww, I think it’s cute!” Lauren chuckled.

“Say that again and I’ll snog YOU!” Katie playfully growled, leaning in toward her black-haired friend with her mouth wide open.

“Okay, okay!” Lauren said, laughing as she pulled away from the freckled girl and causing their married friends’ kiss to end in a fit of giggles.

“Aww,” Nikki playfully sighed at her friends. “You know, you WOULD make a cute couple…”

“No offence to you two, but- ew,” Katie said.

“And no offence to me either, I hope?” Lauren said with a deep pout, which quickly descended into yet another fit of giggles.

“No, plenty of offence to you!” Katie teased, blowing her BFF a loud raspberry that attracted the attention of several nearby diners.

“I thought you were the one who wanted to snog me?” Lauren replied.

“Almost every day, by the way,” Jacinta sighed. “Should see them when they’re trying to get photoshoots done.”

“Ooh, reminds me,” Katie said. “Can you text that friend of yours, the blonde one, the really tall one who modelled for you?”

“Who, Laura?” Nikki asked.

“Yeah,” Katie said. “Need someone to do a bit of work for us, ideally a blonde model, and, well, we can’t afford an Angel, heh.”

“And DEFINITELY can’t afford any other blonde models, if you know what- and who- I mean,” Lauren said, lowering the mood at the table.

“…If rumours are true, a seven year old could afford her with their pocket money,” Sarah eventually said, making the other girls giggle.

“And I’m sure Laura would be up for doing some modelling,” Nikki said. “She LOVED doing the work for us last month. Then again, who wouldn’t love getting paid to dress up in gorgeous clothes, hehe!”

“I know I never get sick of it,” Jacinta giggled.

“I’ll text her now so I don’t forget,” Nikki said, getting her phone out of her bag. “Ooh, also, it’s, what, 12:45, right?”

“Yep,” Sarah said.

“What’s the time difference between here and Minnesota?” Nikki asked with a wicked twinkle in her eyes. “Maths isn’t my strong suit, it’s, what, 3, 4 hours?”

“…Sounds about right,” Sarah said, sharing the look in her wife’s eyes as she composed a second message.

“Umm…” Jacinta said, looking at her phone. “The time difference is actually six hours, it isn’t even 7am there yet.”

“Oh,” Nikki said, before shrugging and pressing the ‘send’ button on her phone. “Whoops!”

“Good to see ‘maturity’ is a major part of married life,” Lauren says with a snort of laughter. “When you two are over there next summer, we’re going to make sure you get NO sleep.”

“You’re not going to have to try very hard, hehe!” Nikki giggled, before being distracted by a notification on her phone. “Ooh… Looks like there’s an Angel gathering nearby, Jamie just posted a photo on Instagram. Aww…”

“Let me guess- it’s not Jamie herself in the photo?” Lauren teased, getting out her own phone and letting out a loud ‘aww’ when she saw the photo in question.

“Olivia is SO cute…” Jacinta sighed happily. “Almost makes you want one of your own, doesn’t she?”

“Maybe in ten or fifteen years, heh,” Katie laughed. “…Are we gonna go gatecrash, then? Looks a bit packed there…”

“On three,” Nikki said with a giggle. “One, two three…”

“You can never have too many friends!” The five young women simultaneously cheered, finishing their drinks, grabbing their bags and walking the short distance through the cold London air to where their friends were sat.

Laura sighed happily as she adjusted the clean pair of black tights that she’d pulled on underneath her short black skirt, her ‘slumber party costume’ of an elaborately-patterned nightdress having been carefully folded into a bag to take home. All around her, her friends had also changed back into their street clothes- even the two girls whose house they were in- and their weekend was slowly but surely coming to an end. Exactly 24 hours hence, seven of the eight girls would be dressed in identical red blazers and grey skirts, and the weekend would be just a memory- but there would be plenty more to look forward to. And, as the text message on Laura’s phone confirmed, there were plenty of new adventures and opportunities just waiting for her to experience them.

“Thanks for the lift home, Mrs. Moore,” Laura said as she slid onto the back seat of the car behind her fellow transgendered girl.

“Yeah, thanks for the lift!” Megan concurred.

“That’s quite okay, you two,” Ashley’s mother replied. “You girls had fun, then?”

“Ugh, loads,” Ashley said with a happy giggle.

“Yeah, I remember having sleepovers when I was your age,” Ashley’s mother giggled. “Of course, back then it was Spice Girls instead of Out of Heaven, and we didn’t have phones that acted as mini computers. Hell, in 1996 we didn’t even have a HOME phone that wasn’t attached to the wall, heh.”

“Yeah- kinda getting embarrassing, mum,” Ashley cringed. “Though I can think of something else you wouldn’t have found at a girl’s slumber party in 1996…” Ashley let out a long sigh as she gestured toward herself and Laura.

“…Just another reason why 2017 is better, then,” Mrs. Moore shrugged, earning happy giggles from the three teenaged girls in the car. “And speaking of time, you, young lady, have about three hours’ worth of homework when you get home!”

“Yes, mum,” Ashley sighed.

“And you’ll probably need to help Bryony with hers, too,” Mrs. Moore reminded her eldest daughter.

“Me help Bryony?” Ashley retorted with a snort of laughter. “Try the other way round!”

“I’m so glad you girls are helping her settle in,” Mrs. Moore said.

“Nah, we like Bryony,” Megan said with a smile.

“Yeah, she’s cool,” Laura concurred. “Just reminded me though, I’ve got loads of homework too. AND my play to memorise lines for…”

“Big couple of years, your GCSE years,” Mrs. Moore said. “Then again, sixth form, or further education college or whatever you call it, isn’t any easier, heh.”

Whilst Laura and Ashley were being driven home, the memories of their weekend with their friends fresh in their minds, a young man 150 miles away was enjoying the start of his weekend with his own inseparable group of friends- the difference being, however, that one of the members of said group was the opposite gender to him, and spent a lot of her time with her tongue in Ian’s mouth.

“Mmm,” Chloe sighed happily as her lips parted from the young transman’s. “Umm, uh, you- you’ve got a little, umm, smudge, hehe!” Ian tried not to blush as Chloe licked her thumb, before wiping off some of the lipstick that had become smeared on his mouth.

“You know,” Ian said, “you could always wear less make-up?”

“And where would be the fun in that?” Chloe retorted with a smug grin.

“I could probably name a few ways that make-up’s not fun,” Ian said as he loaded the filled mugs of hot tea onto the tray.

“Yes, but that’s because you’re a BOY,” Chloe teased, smiling as Ian let out a quiet chuckle. “A smart, funny, and very sexy boy!”

“Hehe,” Ian giggled as he and Chloe emerged from the kitchen to the cold back garden, where their three friends were busy tinkering with the large metal contraption that had brought the five friends closer over the previous few weeks. “How’s Chwilen?”

“Fine,” Lee mumbled as he sipped his drink. “Mm, iced tea, just what I ordered.”

“If only you could heat it up through the power of your sarcasm,” Chloe dramatically sighed, earning chuckles for all four of the boys in the garden. “D’you reckon Chwilen will be ready to go tonight?”

“Doubt it,” Lee sighed. “Need to re-weld one of the wheel housings, that won’t be a quick job.”

“Oh,” Chloe said, obviously disappointed by the news.

“I can always run you home, if you want?” Rob offered.

“Why?” Chloe replied with a smirk. “I’m still part of the team, aren’t I? Just ‘cause I’m not gonna get to drive it tonight…”

“And if you went home, we’d have to peel you off of Ian,” Neil teased.

“You’re welcome to try,” Chloe retorted, wrapping her arms around her boyfriend in a long, tight hug.

“Ian, I’ll say it again,” Lee said with a snort of sarcastic laughter. “Marry her. ASAP.” The five teenagers laughed as they continued their work underneath the bright artificial light of Lee’s garden, their friendship enhanced by the fact that they’d all see each other the following day at college as well- and the day after that, and the day after that too…

In London, as afternoon turned into evening, the group in the crowded coffee shop- which had grown to include included Nikki, her friends and their partners- were getting ready to disperse and head home, when they were suddenly joined by six familiar faces.

“Ah, finally!” Jamie teased the four young women and two young men as they sat down at the edge of the throng of people.

“Well, if SOMEONE would just tell us where they are,” Becca retorted, making Jamie giggle as she stuck her tongue out at her.

“You guys getting ready to go?” Adeola asked.

“Yeah,” Jonathan replied with a sigh. “We’ve been here a while, kids are getting a bit restless, you know?”

“You ‘responsibility-free’ folks are welcome to stay if you want,” Charlotte said with a giggle. “Is there a better word that means ‘responsibility-free’?”

“The only one that springs to mind is ‘irresponsible’,” Viks said, giggling as the six newcomers all simultaneously rolled their eyes. “Though it’s not like we all don’t have responsibilities of some sort, kids, work, uni…”

“Especially as it’s the dreaded M-word tomorrow,” Marco sighed to near-universal agreement.

“Still, weekend was never gonna last forever,” Mikey sighed. “You four recording tomorrow?”

“Us FIVE, yes,” Stuart said, making the taller man roll his eyes and earning playful jeers from his sister and her band. “Still months away from a finished album though.”

“Meh, we’ll just have to tour again then,” Becca shrugged. “Any update on getting us an American tour?”

“That’s probably years away,” Jonathan sighed. “And if I book you and Addie a hotel room together we’d probably lose money on the tour on the compensation we’d have to pay out!”

“Oh please,” Adeola snorted. “As if Steph and Kayla aren’t just as bad as us!”

“Shocked and appalled,” Kayla said, shaking her head even as she exchanged a stealthy smile with her secret girlfriend. “How long have we lived together, Steph? Over a year?”

“And yet you’re still not engaged,” Stuart teased, earning an eye roll from the two singers even as they exchanged another stealthy glance. “I can take Olivia if you want to stick around for a bit and, you know, chat…”

“…Please,” Jamie said, nodding as her husband gestured toward the singers with his eyes. Jamie gave the tiny baby a gentle kiss on her forehead, before handing her to Stuart to put into her car seat. “Nikki, Steph, wanna help me get the drinks?”

“Umm, sure!” Stephanie replied, standing up and following her two fellow transwomen to the counter, where they placed their expensive order for their remaining friends. “I take it Jon’s gonna make it a priority to get the Angels’ coffee shop open soon, then?”

“If we don’t drink up all their profits on the first day!” Jamie giggled. “Now that the Italian Angels are up and running, it shouldn’t take long.”

“Jon’s been sending me around various shops to get a feel for various themes,” Nikki said. “It’s been good overtime, you know?”

“Not sure you should be telling us that you’ve been getting paid to sit around and drink coffee all day!” Stephanie teased the younger woman.

“And I’m DEFINITELY sure that we shouldn’t be talking about work on a Sunday!” Jamie said confidently, making her friends giggle. “Ahh… You know, I always, ALWAYS hated Sundays when I was, you know… Before I was ‘Jamie’.”

“They sucked pretty hard for ‘Nick’ too,” Nikki said. “Well- not always, they didn’t. Some Sundays I’d get to spend with Sarah, which means I got to spend them as Nikki, you know?”

“There were some days like that for me before I joined the band,” Stephanie confessed. “Days when I didn’t have work, or had to go out and look for work, and my parents were on a shift, I’d get up and spend all day as Stephanie…”

“Let me guess,” Nikki said. “The worst part of the day- or the whole week- was Sunday evening, when you had to stop being ‘Steph’ and had to put that life away for another week?”

“That wasn’t a guess, was it?” Stephanie asked, smiling sympathetically as Nikki shook her head.

“Which just made Mondays suck even more,” the twenty year old woman sighed.

“Fortunately,” Jamie said with a smug grin. “Our Sundays have improved a LOT recently, right, girls?”

“Hell yes they have!” Nikki giggled. “Mondays aren’t all that bad either, now-“

“Now that we don’t have to stop being who we really are once Sunday ends,” Stephanie finished Nikki’s sentence, earning an appreciative smile from the young woman.

“What is it you say, Nikki?” Jamie asked. “’Girl Life Forever’?”

“Girl life forever!” Nikki and Stephanie simultaneously cheered.

“And here’s to the next Sunday,” Jamie said with a smile. “A chance to relax and be who we really are.”

“And who, pray tell, is that?” Nikki asked.

“Wife, mother, supermodel,” Jamie said with a grin. “Steph?”

“Singer, daughter, sister, aunt?” Stephanie replied, smiling as she earned a nod from the blonde woman. “Nikki?”

“Umm…” Nikki said. “Wife, sister… And most importantly of all…”

“Girl!” The three women cheered.

Later that night, long after the sun had set, Jamie found herself stood back at the doorway to her daughter's bedroom, staring over the infant as she slept in her crib.

"Hey," Stuart whispered, greeting his wife with a kiss as he wrapped an arm around her slender waist. "We should get to bed, we've both got work tomorrow..."

"Mmm," Jamie tiredly mumbled. "Just want to watch her a couple minutes more..."

"I know you do," Stuart whispered. "But mummy needs her sleep just as much, and daddy definitely does!"

"I guess you're right, hehe!" Jamie giggled as she gently closed the door to the nursery and followed her husband back to their bedroom. "Besides, there'll be another Sunday along in seven days' time."

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