XIX. Friends indeed
As told by Milo
The next morning, I awoke to the sight of Nina calmly sucking her pacifier. For some reason, I enjoyed watching her sleep. She usually has this peaceful expression on her muzzle that just doesn't fail to make me feel happy. When she's with me, Nina can express herself however she likes, big or little, and I know that's one of the reasons why she sleeps so peacefully.
After switching Sharra to my other side, I slowly scratched my girlfriend behind one of her ears. As her eyes slowly opened, I took my pacifier out and gave her a lick on the muzzle. She hugged Natasha a little tighter and crawled up to me as close as possible.
"Hey there, little princess," I whispered. "Had a good time in Dreamland?"
She slowly nodded.
"Did you manage to stay dry during your visit?"
Of course, we both knew my own diaper was well-used at this point, and neither of us would deny the irony of the situation, but that never kept me from asking a question like this.
"M-Mwaybe..." Nina said, looking away and hiding her face behind the head of her stuffed White Shepherd.
"Does that mean 'no' or 'no idea'?" I asked kindly.
She took her pacifier out.
"Um... I's woke up in the middle of the night, and I hadda go potty, but um..."
"You didn't get there in time?"
Nina whimpered. "Natasha wanted more cuddles, so I gave her lots, and then I kinda forgot. Y-you's mad wif me now?"
I smiled and put my arm around her. "Of course not, princess. You'll get the hang of it eventually. Do you think you need a change before breakfast?"
"Then I suggest you be a good girl and show me your diaper, okay?" I said, slowly folding the covers back.
Since my girlfriend wasn't wearing pajama bottoms, all she had to do was lift up her shirt. She didn't really have to, as the lower half of her diaper told me enough, but she played along anyway.
"You're good for now," I decided, then got out of bed.
"So I's not good later?" she asked, sitting up and tilting her head.
"Of course you are," I laughed. "You're always good. Well, almost always. I meant to say your diaper doesn't need to be changed yet."
I wanted to go to the bathroom to freshen up, but before I could open the door, Nina took my hand and held me back. I wanted to ask her why, but she pulled me into a hug and let her lips touch mine.
We stood like that for a while, enjoying the kiss - and each other's touch in general. Just when I wanted to let go, Nina tightened her embrace. As I gently stroked her back, I heard a faint hissing noise, and a very recognizable one at that.
"Why did you need me to do that?" I joked.
"I didn't, but I couldn't decide what to do first, so I just did both at the same time."
I smiled. "All done?"
"Yeah, I guess so. Thankies, Milo."
It was my turn to cock my head. "What for?"
"It's easier to wet myself when you're the only one who's watching. Lily and Kaeden are nice dogs, but I don't feel comfortable using my diaper in their company yet."
"Oh, well, that makes sense. Breakfast now?"
"Depends. Don't you need a change?"
"Nah, not yet. My nightly accident wasn't that big. By the way, Mr. Pot just called. He says you're black, Ms. Kettle."
We both laughed.
"Seriously, though, do you think your diaper will hold until after breakfast?"
"Of course, silly. I just went."
"Which tells me... what exactly? My little princess has proven herself to be quite accident-prone," I replied quasi-seriously.
She playfully pretend-punched my arm, then went to the living room. I followed her, shaking my head.
Our guests were awake as well, but they appeared to be cuddling under the covers. As far as I could tell, they hadn't heard Nina and me enter. I signaled my girlfriend to be quiet, then crept up to the head of the couch-turned-bed.
"I'm not against you dogs having a snuggle party on my couch, but I amdisappointed you didn't invite us as well."
"Heh, sorry," Lily apologized. "Kaeden's a bit of a slow waker."
I wanted to answer, but a smothered growling noise interrupted me, and all eyes turned to Nina's stomach.
"Sorry, people. My tummy's a big meanie in the morning, and the only way to make it stop is by feeding it," she explained.
Nobody really felt like doing anything fancy for breakfast, so we all ate cereal. Lily announced that she and Kaeden were planning on leaving after breakfast, but other than that, we ate in silence, save for the clanking of spoons against our bowls, clear to the very bottom.
"Is your tummy monster satisfied, princess?" I asked when Nina's bowl was empty.
"Good. Now how about we go dress ourselves and take off our diapers?"
"Could we please not?" she asked, giving me the puppy eyes.
"Princess, your diaper probably won't hold another accident. You'll make a mess of yourself."
"Then change me. Please?"
"You don't want to stop playing puppy, don't you?"
Nina shook her head.
"Speaking of which, I guess you and Kaeden need to be changed as well?" I asked Lily.
"Not much of a guess, concerning him," she responded, glancing at the front of her boyfriend's diaper.
"And what about you?" Nina interjected.
The insides of Lily's ears grew red.
"I think it's safe to assume there are two wet Sheppies at this table, princess."
"Hey! I only did that because I didn't know whether I was allowed to take it off," Lily defended herself.
Nina chuckled. "And we're supposed to believe that? Stop pretending you're such a big girl."
Lily folded her arms. "And I'm supposed to believe your diaper is still dry?"
"Nope!" Nina said, standing up to proudly show the five stars on the front of her Whelpies diaper, clearly indicating it was soaked. "The difference is I don't deny I'm a puppy."
Lily huffed in mild annoyance, although I got the feeling she was more irritated that she couldn't come up with a good retort on the spot.
"It's okay, Lily, I'm just joking. I know you're not a puppy. D'you want me to clean you up? You guys are leaving soon anyway, so you don't have to keep your diaper on if you don't want to."
"Nah, I'll be a good sport about it. You said until we left, and I guess we haven't left yet, have we?"
"For the record," I said, turning to Kaeden. "Lily is responsible for you again now, so if you want to be changed, you'll have to ask... oh, right, I remember. You don't..."
"Not unless he wants to have a soggy bottom the whole way home," Lily interjected, grinning. "But it is a long ride, he should really be changed before we take off."
"We'll go to the kitchen in the meantime. Just give a shout when you're done, okay?"
Nina and I went to do as I announced. While I did the dishes, she took a sheet of paper and started scribbling something down. She told me to be a good puppy and to the dishes while she copied her cookie recipe. Since I wasn't supposed to know said recipe, Nina expected me to keep facing away from her.
When I was done, my girlfriend was just folding up the paper. I took the liberty of erasing the memo from my whiteboard, since it was redundant now. As if a choreographer had written a script for it, Lily shouted 'all done' from the living room, indicating we could come back without embarrassing Kaeden.
"Before you guys leave, I think you should have this," Nina said, offering the paper to Lily.
"Ah, the ancient art of baking cookie treats," the Shepherd replied as she read the recipe. "Thanks a bunch."
Nina giggled. "Look at the other side, silly."
A short moment of silence. Although I wasn't sure Lily would allow him, Kaeden could no longer contain his curiosity and stood on his toes, looking over his girlfriend's shoulder.
"B-but... that's the recipe for what we had for dinner last night!"
"The Secret..." Lily whispered, as her boyfriend's words dawned on her.
"I want you to have it," Nina said.
"I'd love to, but I can't take it. We made a bet, remember?"
"Of course I do, but even though you lost the bet, you won my friendship in the meantime."
Lily cocked her head. "By losing a play fight? I thought this was about sportsmanship?"
Nina chuckled. "No, by playing fair. I didn't expect you to take it as well as you did, and I think you have a good reason to be proud of yourself. You're a really nice girl, especially for someone who used to be a bully."
Lily shrugged, at a loss for words. "I, um... I guess so, yeah."
"Don't be shy now, Lily. You were a good puppy yesterday, so you deserve to have this.
"Thanks," she finally answered, relaxing her posture. " Means a lot that you'd trust me with this."
"Just don't ever tell anyone you got it from me, okay?"
We all shared a laugh at that.
"Actually, I have something for you guys as well," Lily said, digging through Kaeden's diaper bag. "There you go. This book is not for sale through regular channels, and only available for people with a relevant academic degree. When Kaeden moved in with me, I told my caregiver about my relationship with him and that he wanted me to treat him like a puppy. The book covers a big part of the theories on which the therapy Kaeden and I underwent is based. The first part of it is about regression and how it can be used in various forms of therapy. It tells a lot about methods too."
Nina accepted the book and held it up so I could see the cover. It read 'Regressive Reformation' by a certain Kit Cameron.
"This is the second edition, by the way," Lily continued. "The first one was published over twenty years ago, but that one was... let's say it's the boring version of this book. A lot of theory, as there wasn't that much practical experience back then. The new edition is more like a handbook for caregivers."
"Caregivers of big little puppies, I assume?" I asked.
"That's the reason why you can't buy this in a regular bookstore. So just like you shared your secret recipe with us, I want you to have this handbook."
"As long as we don't tell anyone you got it from you?" Nina countered, jokingly.
"Hah! You get the idea."
"Oh, and I have something for Kaeden," I said. "You're looking for a job, right? Dunno if it's of any use to you, but Northshore University is in dire need of a lights and sound engineer."
"Someone to operate the lights and other stage stuff during plays and final practices. It's hard to find someone to fill in such a vacancy, because it's not a full-time job. Besides, work typically comes in waves, so the hours aren't that stable."
Kaeden fidgeted and chewed at his lip, seemingly unsure about it.
"The new academic period starts in September, and if they think you're doing a good job, you can stay until at least June of next year. Possibly even longer," Nina added.
"Most of my experience is in construction..."
"That's okay. It's not exactly rocket science, so they'll be able to teach you while you work."
"I-I'm not sure...what do you think?" he said, turning to Lily.
"If it sounds like something you'd enjoy, go for it."
"Well, but, um... what about when I need... ch-changed..."
"You still have to wear a diaper to work, if that's what you're asking. We can talk about allowing you to change yourself, though, if that works out best." Lily gave him a reassuring pat on the shoulder.
"Mostly I just mean... I'll miss seeing you during the day." Kaeden fidgeted with his paws, looking a little nervous at the idea of not seeing his girlfriend for so long. It was actually kind of cute.
"Well, you never know," Lily mused. "Maybe we can move up here, or at least closer to here. Most of my work I could probably set up to get done at home. There's a train from Sparrowfalls to Northshore you can take, too."
"If it helps," I spoke up, "you can spend the night here if your hours run late, as long as you give me a call beforehand."
"It's not September yet, so take your time to choose," I reassured Kaeden. "If you decide to apply for the job, call the number I wrote down on the back of the recipe. His name is on there, too."
"Thanks, Milo," the little Shepherd answered. "We'll look into it."
"There's one last thing we should do before you guys leave," Nina said with a toothy grin.
"What's that?" Lily asked.
"Taking your diaper off."
The girls went to my bedroom to take care of Lily's diaper, while Kaeden helped me convert the couch back into... well, an actual couch. Lily came back out, and although she was a good sport about her unexpected 'regression,' she seemed much happier and back in her element.
Kaeden got a quick diaper check at the front door - since he'd just been changed, I suspected it had more to do with Lily being ornery than Kaeden's actual diapering needs. Once she'd pulled his pants back up and buttoned them, we all hugged goodbye. We waved as they pulled out, and watched as they disappeared around the corner.
"So, what do you want to do today?" Nina asked after I had closed the door.
"Besides playing puppy?"
"How's this, for starters?" I queried as I pulled her into a tight embrace.
"Oh, I like that," she replied. "Although we should probably get changed first."
"Fair enough. Last time we did this, a certain little princess had a not so little accident."
"Hey! You's bein' mean!" Nina said in her puppy voice.
I gave her a lick between the ears. "And you're being adorable."
In my bedroom, I put the changing pad on my bed and motioned Nina to lay down. Once she was comfortable, I began untaping her diaper. Usually, she was distracted by cuddling Natasha, but today was an exception.
"Y'know, when I first met him, I was really wondering what little Kaeden would be like," she said.
"That's funny. I was kinda asking myself the same thing."
"The point is, though, I think there's no such thing as 'little Kaeden'."
"Why not? You've seen him, right? He's a puppy, like, all the time. Even when he's talking with his normal voice."
"Have you heard him use puppy talk while he was here?"
I paused for a moment, tapping Nina's hips to make her lift up her bottom.
"Good point, but I still don't understand what you mean."
"Well, technically, if there's a 'little Kaeden', there has to be a 'big Kaeden' too."
I chuckled. "And you're saying there's no such thing?"
"Not really, no. Like you said, he's a puppy all the time. Have you noticed the way Lily treats him? It's not just because she's a dominant girl, Milo. Kaeden wantsher to be like that. I get the feeling he can't live without someone to take care of him."
"Anything wrong with that?" I asked neutrally, taping up Nina's fresh Poochies diaper.
"Maybe, but maybe not. I don't know. Perhaps I just don't understand the dynamic of their relationship."
"I guess that's why Lily gave us that book about regression."
"Yeah, probably. I'm going to read it as soon as I'm in a mood that is at least remotelyadult again," Nina replied as she sat up and put Natasha down on the bed. "Your turn!"
We swapped places, and she offered Sharra to me. Even though Nina has been my girlfriend for almost a year, I still felt the need to hide my face behind my stuffed shark whenever she changed my diaper. It wasn't as much about being embarrassed anymore, I just don't like to see my own privates when I'm playing puppy.
"Do you want me to change your diaper or just take it off?"
"I's want dwy cwinkles," I replied.
Nina nuzzled my tummy, then began to untape my diaper.
"I, um..." I started, but I couldn't find the right words. "I want to..."
"It's okay, Milo. Just tell me what's on your mind. You don't have to search for the perfect way to say it. I won't judge, y'know."
"Yeah, I know," I said with a content sigh. "It's just... the past two days have been quite the experience for me. I've never done anything like this."
"Neither have I, angel. Did you like it, though?"
"Nope. I loved it. Of course, it was scary to show my puppy side to Lily and Kaeden, but it was different from my birthday party. Granny is not a littlefur, and she had never heard of it, while Kaeden is a big puppy himself and Lily is his caregiver."
"And don't forget she's been in the same program as Kaeden. If I understand it correctly, both of them had been wearing diapers fulltime for months. She might not be into this the same way we are, but at least she knows what it's like."
I lifted my bottom so Nina could change my soaked diaper for a dry one. She threaded my tail through the hole in the back, then tapped my hips again to tell me I could lay down. Being the diaper changing expert she is, it took her only a few seconds to tape up my diaper. When she was done, she climbed on top of me, after I had put Sharra aside.
"Thankies, Nina," I said after we had cuddled for a while.
"You're welcome. You know I enjoy changing you."
"No, no, I mean... well, thanks for that too, but... I really had a good time with Kaeden. It was good to see another guy my age who's being a puppy and still has a relatively normal life."
"I wouldn't exactly call Kaeden's life 'normal', but yeah... I think I get what you mean."
"So, that's what I'm grateful for. You helped me make some new friends, something I find kinda difficult."
"You're afraid people will reject you, aren't you?" Nina asked.
"Sorry, angel. I didn't mean to hurt your feelings."
"It's okay, princess. It's just... it's true, y'know. I've never had many friends, let alone good friends. I wanted to, but I guess I was afraid to lose them again."
"Like you lost your parents?"
"Well, not in the same way, but yeah. I had a really strong bond with both of my parents. When they died, I told myself I never wanted to feel like that again, so I kinda shut myself away."
"Until I came along, right?"
"Yush..." I sighed happily. "Until I allowed you in, and I've never regretted that decision. You went as far as fulfilling my birthday wish, even though I had said it aloud."
"Milo, I know you like playing puppy, and I enjoy it too, but that's not how wishes work. It's not as romantic as in the stories you read when you were an actual puppy. If you want something, you'll have to let me know. I can't do everything, though, but as your girlfriend, am I not supposed to know your heart?"
I remained silent for a while.
"I... I guess you should," I then said.
"It might be scary, especially for you, but you trust me, don't you?"
I nodded. "More than anyone."
"Then, by all means, let me know when something is on your mind. Wishes can only come true if you say them out loud. Words have more power than you can imagine, y'know."
"I suppose they do," I said, but my mind was somewhere else at this point.
Not that Nina was boring me - on the contrary. I was pondering what she had said, and thinking about my biggest wish. Something I hadn't ever dared to say out loud, let alone to her. Still, I had to tell her eventually, but not yet. Not now. If I wanted to see it come true, I should talk to Gregory first. I might be her boyfriend, but if anyone knows her, it's her father.
Ring out the bells again
Like we did when spring began
Wake me up when September ends
Here comes the rain again
Falling from the stars
Drenched in my pain again
Becoming who we are
As my memory rests
But never forgets what I lost
Wake me up when September ends
Summer has come and passed
The innocent can never last
Wake me up when September ends
Like my father's come to pass
Twenty years has gone so fast
Wake me up when September ends
(Green Day - Wake me up when September ends)
- The end, for now.