XVIII. Reflections

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19 of MonoChronicles IV: Friends in Need


XVIII. Reflections

As told by Lily

I started the second round a little more subdued. Partly due to my earlier brashness which had caused us to lose the first time, and partly due to having just been changed. It was getting easier to handle, however, as time went on. I think I was starting to draw on my experiences in the Chainbreakers program, and given that everyone but Milo was in a diaper, it was getting easier to relax. Maybe this wasn't 'my thing', but I thought I was at least starting to understand a little more what Kaeden - and Milo and Nina, for that matter - got out of all this.

We wound up winning our second round, but only barely. We were plagued with a lot of bad rolls and bad luck. I think it helped that both me and Kaeden had a little more experience under our belts.

The rest of the day was fairly uneventful. We all got on some pants and went outside to help clear the drive of debris and fallen limbs, so that we could leave the next day. Thankfully, the storm had spared our car. The only thing I found was a small dent on the rear side panel, and I wasn't even sure it was from the storm - it was in a spot that was easily missed, after all.

I was a bit reluctant to head back inside, as that meant returning to my "puppy attire" of just a t-shirt and my diaper, but I managed okay. Watching TV that afternoon with Kaeden curled up by my side almost made me forget what I was wearing. And by that evening, I really didn't mind anymore. Sure, it was a little odd, and sure, it wasn't really my thing - but it wasn't a bad way at all of learning just what Kaeden experienced on a day-to-day basis.

I had to be changed once more before bedtime, and Nina said I hadn't even blushed. I was a little distracted, thinking of fun things to reward Kaeden with when we got home, but largely I think I had just recalled how routine diaper changes used to be for me, during the few months I was in therapy.

Kaeden was wet, as usual, so before I left the bedroom, I made sure he got changed into a clean diaper, too. I had just pulled my pajama bottoms on when Milo and Nina called us out to the living room. I'd just grabbed a shirt for Kaeden to wear to bed when I heard their voices. Dropping the shirt, and taking his paw, I led him out to the living room where I gave them a bit of a confused look until I saw something in each of their paws, and remembered: bottle-feeding.

Back to blushing, for me. It had less to do with the puppyish activity and more that it had taken me so long to figure it out. Normally I'm a lot quicker on the draw than that. I momentarily felt jealous as Kaeden got up on the couch and laid his head down in Milo's lap.

"C'mon, Lily, you gotta do this too!" my boyfriend insisted, before nursing at the offered formula.

I shrugged, and laid down next to where Nina was beckoning.

"No better way to learn, I guess, right?" I said, as she moved the bottle toward my muzzle.

"That's the spirit!" she replied.

I hesitated a few moments, finding it difficult to take the final plunge myself. "Oh, what the heck," I said, finally giving up and accepting the nipple.

I'd never actually had puppy formula, before. My caregiver had always used actual milk, or juice. And once I'd earned extra privileges, I was mostly drinking out of a sippy cup, anyway. The taste wasn't bad, it was just... different. I felt like I could probably get used to it - as Kaeden obviously had. I glanced over while partway through my own, and he was nearly finished.

Milo let Kaeden up, who thanked the Indian, then patiently waited on me. It was only another minute or two before my bottle was empty as well.

"Ah... thanks, Nina," I said, blushing a little. I felt so unlike myself - it wasn't necessarily a bad feeling, just unfamiliar to me.

"Aw, no problem! You were so good. It'll be so lonely here without you two tomorrow!"

"We've enjoyed ourselves, too," Kaeden added quietly.

I nodded to show my agreement. Milo then asked us to get off the couch, so he could pull it out and make our bed. I didn't even really think about that tying in to the whole 'puppy' idea until a bit later. He really seemed to naturally fall into a caregiver role in a way I could only hope to do for Kaeden.

Despite the fact that both of us had just been changed, Milo insisted upon checking us one last time before bed. Kaeden's check was quick, of course, since his diaper was the only thing he was wearing. I was a little reluctant to slip my pajama bottoms down, fumbling with them nervously. It felt like the insides of my ears were red as a tomato. Thankfully, Milo didn't make a big show of anything, and I could 'cover up' once more.

Upon finding us both dry, he held the covers up for Kaeden, then me, and tucked us in. Despite my normally 'large and in charge' personality, it felt kind of... nice, to be cared for like that. It wasn't anything big, just a small gesture, but still.. more and more I was beginning to understand just what exactly Kaeden got out of all this. I mentally took a note to try and do more 'small things' like that for him.

A few minutes after lights out, I rolled over, placing one arm atop my boyfriend's back. Kaeden always slept on his tummy, like an actual puppy - yet another thing I found irresistibly adorable about him. After a few moments of kneading his strong shoulder muscles, I moved my paw down to gently cup the seat of his diaper, giving him an affectionate squeeze.

"You're adorable, you know that?" I said into his ear, giving the top of his head a quick nuzzle.

"Mmm. You too. Th... thanks for doing all this for me, Lily."

I furrowed my eyebrows. "What do you mean? I lost a bet, that's why I'm... I'm dressed like you."

Kaeden gave a small laugh. "You wouldn't have risked your dignity unless it was for me. I know you better than that."

He had me there. "Yeah, I suppose so. You do bug me to wear a lot..."

"You look cute in a diaper," he drawled sleepily, reaching one of his paws over to play with the tapes on mine.

I snorted. "Don't count on me doing this much at all. I mean, it's an experience, but, well... I wasn't really doing it just to be eye candy, even much as I love you. I kinda figured, you know, that if I lost - at least I get to sort of experience the things that you do. Maybe I could be a better girlfriend if I understood things better."

"Thanks," he yawned. "I appreciate that. But didn't your therapy show you that?"

"It's... not really the same. Remember when I met you up at Ashleigh's place, after you graduated? We had a little play date there?"

Kaeden nodded. "You played puppy then, though."

"Right," I admitted... "but it wasn't the same as when we had to do it."

Kaeden nodded. "Yeah, it is a little different. And I guess if you weren't thinking about it from that perspective..."

I nodded. "Exactly. I was mostly just focused on getting to see my boyfriend again, anyway," I said with a sly grin. "Like I told you then, it's still not really my thing, but I understand a bit better now."

A few minutes of silence passed between us. I felt Kaeden's breathing grow heavier, and more even, and I wondered if he'd already fallen asleep. I closed my eyes, wiggled up a bit closer to him, and tried to nod off myself. I wasn't sure how much time was passing, but my eyelids were feeling heavier, my body relaxing into the soft sheets...

"Hey Lily?" I suddenly heard, before I could go off to dreamland.

"Hmm? Whatsamatter, puppy?" I slurred. Evidently I'd been pretty close to falling asleep.

"I... thanks for making me do this."

"Hm? You mean meeting up with Milo and Nina?"

I felt him nod in response.

"We talked about this as a couple, though. You agreed to it, right? I thought we both decided."

"Yeah, but, Lily... I usually agree with whatever you want. I mean, I was a little excited, but I never could have done this without you. Sometimes I just need a little push."

I leaned over and gave him a lick on the nose, something that serves as a quick, affectionate kiss for long-muzzled species like us. "Sometimes a big one, too."