Away at College
Sometimes good things come out of bad situations. I’d been having a really hectic week at college, midterms were approaching quickly, and consequentially, it seemed like every professor on campus had a paper or a project or something that was urgently demanding my attention. And then on top of that were the review sessions for the upcoming tests. Those can’t be scheduled until after the last class of the day lets out, so consequentially they always seemed to be late at night.
I had stayed late for my History of Medicine review, and by the time that the professor wrapped up, it had been dark outside for quite a while. It had been unseasonably cold and rainy the last couple of days, and the dreary weather was a fitting accompaniment to the way I felt. Yawning tiredly, I walked towards the marble stairs that edged the large fountain and reflecting pool that dominated the east mall, already looking forward to getting home, putting on some warm, fuzzy pajamas, and having a well deserved and long overdue nap.
When you wake up early and go to sleep late too many days in a row (as students tend to do) it eventually takes a toll on your alertness. Maybe I was more tired than I had thought, or maybe I was just in too much of a hurry to get out of the rain, but whatever the reason I should have been paying more attention. Slipping on the slick marble of the fountain steps, I lost my balance and fell into the reflecting pool, hitting my head on the decorative railing that circled the fountain with an audible ‘crack’.
Feeling the icy bite of the water, I began to panic, quickly clawing my way back over the edge, to collapse back on the sidewalk in a daze. Shivering uncontrollably, I tried to think. “Need to get inside…” I muttered to myself, noticing my backpack lying on the stairs where I must have dropped it. As I tried to stand up, a wave of dizziness overtook me, and I sunk back down to my knees. “Rest a minute…then go.” I thought disjointedly, unconsciously closing my eyes and hugging myself “Diaper is all wet too…” What seemed like a second or two later, I felt paws shaking me. “Are you okay?” a female voice asked. With a great effort, I forced open my eyes and tried to focus. I was sitting on the ground for some reason, and a vixen holding an umbrella was standing over me. “She’s pretty…” I thought idly, no longer noticing the cold. Then there was a light shining in my eyes. For some reason it was moving back and forth. As the black spots faded from my vision, I saw the vixen again. She looked worried. Then I drifted off into darkness.
I was roused again by the sound of running water. Forcing my eyes open, I found myself in a bathroom. The same vixen from earlier was adjusting the faucets for the tub. Groaning, I felt the growing bump on the back of my head. “How are you feeling?” she asked, finishing with what she was doing and turning her attentions to me. “What…” I mumbled in confusion, not remembering who she was or how I had gotten there. What in the world was going on? “I saw you slip” she explained, sensing my confusion “You’ve got a bad concussion and hypothermia. It‘s sleeting pretty badly outside, so I made a command decision and brought you here instead of trying to get you to walk all the way across campus to the medical building.” Seeing my dubious expression, she added quickly “Don’t worry, I’m a med student. My name is Becky.” “Nick” I muttered by way of response.
“We need to get you out of those wet clothes and into the hot bath.” She instructed “With all the water your fur is holding, it’s the quickest way to get your body temperature back up.” Sitting down next to me on the floor, she began unbuttoning my shirt. Suddenly I remembered: my diaper! How would I be able to explain why I, a full-grown fox, was wearing a diaper? With a squawk I tried feebly to fend her off, reddening in embarrassment. “I can do it myself.” I protested weakly. “You can’t even walk without help right now.” She said kindly as she unfastened my pants. I began to feel panic creeping up on me again. There weren’t all that many foxes at school, so if she found out about my diapers, there was a good chance that literally everyone else would too. I tried to jump up and leave, but she just put a paw on my shoulder. “Don’t be embarrassed.” She reassured me as I found myself sitting back down “You don’t have to be self-conscious.” Then she had my pants off and my diaper was out for all to see.
Becky didn’t say anything, she just raised an eyebrow slightly as she efficiently unfastened the tapes and tossed the absolutely soaking diaper in the trash. “Please don’t tell anybody.” I asked despairingly. “I won’t, I promise.” she agreed. Looking into her eyes, I decided that I could trust her not to. “Now,” Becky nodded, taking my paw “let’s get you warmed up.” Standing up, I was hit by the dizziness again, and if Becky hadn’t been holding onto me I would have fallen. Gently settling into the bathtub I felt the warm water surround me with a relaxing warmth, quickly starting to draw the cold from me. Gradually my shivering begin to lessen until it finally stopped as the hot water did its job. Disappearing for quite a while, Becky returned with a couple of towels and a bathrobe that looked to be a few sizes too short for me. “Oh good.” She smiled; looking relieved “You’ve gotten most of your color back. Probably feeling quite a bit better, aren’t you?” Nodding, I got out of the tub a little bit shakily, and took the offered towels.
After I was dry again, and wrapped up in the bathrobe Becky had found for me, we went to the living room, and I curled up on the couch while she made me some tea in the little kitchenette. “You’re in my History of Medicine class, aren’t you?” she asked, sitting across from me in a recliner. “Uh huh.” I nodded, taking the proffered cup in both paws and sipping it slowly. After I had finished my tea, Becky looked at me curiously “I was wondering, what’s the deal with the diaper? I mean, you’re not exactly old enough to need that for medical reasons…”
Looking down into my empty teacup with an ashamed expression, I tried to explain. “I…like them. They make me feel secure, less stressed out. Not just the diapers, but acting like a little kit.” Once I started talking, I found that I couldn’t stop. I told her about how I had discovered them when I was in high school, how they made me feel safe and cheered me up when I was having a bad day. How I had never told anyone about it because I was afraid they would make fun of me. How I wished that I had someone to be my ‘mommy’ and to take care of me. Finally, after what seemed like hours I ran out of things to say, and just sort of trailed off into silence. I expected Becky to make fun of me, or tell me to get out of her apartment, or something. But she didn’t. She sat there thinking for a minute, and then shrugged and poured herself another glass of tea.
“I…I should probably go now.” I decided, standing up shakily “I really appreciate you helping me like you did.” Looking up and seeing the look of shame on my muzzle, a glint of realization flashed in Becky’s eyes. “Sit down, Nick.” “But…” I protested, wanting nothing more than to escape this situation. “Firstly, there’s nothing wrong with that. You’re not hurting anyone, and I don’t think badly of you for it. Second, you’ve got a serious concussion, and aren’t going anywhere tonight, even if it was safe to drive outside. And finally, I’m not going to tell anyone anything, so relax, you look like you’re going to be sick.” Becky lectured, moving over to sit next to me on the couch. “You’ve had a hard day, haven’t you?” she said sympathetically, patting my paw. “Uh huh.” I nodded “It’s been a long week. Weather like this always makes me a little bit melancholy.” Putting her arm around my shoulders, she gave me a hug. “Why don’t we see about getting you to bed? You’ll probably feel a lot better after a good long nap.” Yawning a little bit, I nodded. “That sounds nice.” I agreed.
Offering me her paw, Becky led me down a little hallway that ended with a bedroom on either side. “This one is my roommate’s, but she’s out of town for the weekend.” Becky explained, leading me into one of the rooms. It was furnished simply but neatly I noticed with approval. Looking at a collection of framed pictures on the nightstand, I observed that her roommate was a petite Siamese cat. Sitting down on the edge of the bed, I sank into the depths of its softness. Sighing a little bit I snuggled under the blankets, already beginning to drift off to sleep. “See you in the morning.” Becky smiled, shutting the door behind her as she departed for points unknown. Yawning again, I curled into a ball, tucking my tail over my muzzle, and promptly fell sound asleep.
I woke up at my usual time, somewhat confused by the unfamiliar surroundings until a rather persistent headache jogged my memory. Sitting up, I grabbed the bathrobe that Becky had loaned me the night before and went in search of my clothes. The bedroom door across the hallway was still closed, so I quietly tiptoed into the living room, eventually finding my way to the clothes dryer, where, sure enough, everything waiting for me, cleaned and neatly folded.
Having gotten dressed, I headed back to the kitchen. “How are you feeling?” Becky greeted as I sat down at the kitchen table. “Okay, I guess.” I shrugged, watching her dig out a box of cereal and a couple of bowls, tossing them on the table before sitting down herself “I’ve got an absolutely lethal headache, and I’m sore all over, but I think I’ll be okay.” Pouring herself a bowl of cereal, she considered this. “Well, we probably ought to take you down to the clinic this morning and have them take a look.” Becky decided, passing me the cereal. “I’ll go after our test.” I agreed, helping myself to the box. Becky looked like she was going to disagree for a second, then shrugged. “That’s okay, I guess. I don’t think an extra hour will make much of a difference one way or another…”
We ate breakfast rather hurriedly, then after tossing the dishes into the sink, headed over to the auditorium where the test was going to be held. By then I was not feeling well at all, besides my headache, I had the usual pre-test nerves, and by the time we had sat down in the lecture hall it must have become rather obvious. “Are you feeling okay?” Becky asked, looking at me critically “You don’t look so good.” “I’m okay.” I nodded “It’s just nerves and that damn headache.” “You’ll do fine.” She replied, patting my paw reassuringly as the auditorium began to fill up. ‘The History of Medicine’ was a lecture class, so it took a little while to get everything ready for the test, but by the time the professor arrived everyone was pretty much ready to begin. “Right. Put your notes away and we’ll get started. You have an hour, begin!” the elderly grizzly bear stated after handing out the test forms.
The test wasn’t as hard as I’d thought it would be, and before too long there was a steady stream of people trickling out of the lecture hall. I finished with time to spare, and, breathing a sigh of relief turned in my test and stepped outside into the sunshine. Closing my eyes, I felt a little smile play across my muzzle as I enjoyed the warmth of the sun and the feeling of a slight breeze blowing through my fur. “Hey there.” Said a voice as a paw appeared on my shoulder. “Hi Becky.” I laughed, opening my eyes. “You’re thinking of putting off going to the doctor’s, aren’t you?” she accused good-naturedly. “It had crossed my mind.” I confessed “I’d kind of like to find a nice, quiet piece of lawn and take a nap…” “You can always do that afterwards.” She pointed out, taking my paw and starting to walk in the direction of the medical center. “You’re not going to take ‘no’ for an answer, are you?” I groused, visions of my nice, peaceful nap beginning to fade. “Nope.” She grinned “But afterwards I’ll help you find that quiet piece of lawn.”
The medical center was only a couple of minutes walk away, and before I could think up a convincing argument why it wasn’t worth the trouble we were standing in front of the receptionist’s window. After I explained the problem to the feline behind the desk (after which Becky gave a somewhat corrected version of events, admonishing me for downplaying everything) he led us back to one of the little rooms to wait for the doctor. There wasn’t much to look at in the room, just two chairs, the examining table, and a print of a rather bad landscape painting hanging on the wall. Hopping up on the table, I sat down cross-legged, wrapping my tail around myself. “See,” Becky commented brightly as she took a seat in one of the chairs “This isn’t so bad, is it? We haven’t even had to wait yet.” “Yet.” I shrugged “One should never assume that…” I was interrupted by a cheerful voice from the doorway “Hi, what seems to be the trouble?”
A middle aged doe stood in the doorway, dressed in an outrageously colored tropical-print lab coat. “Professor Fawdan?” Becky said, looking a bit surprised “I didn’t know you worked down here.” “A couple of days a week.” She nodded, sitting down in the last remaining chair “Most of the professors in the department do, off and on.” Turning to me, she smiled “Well, I assume you’re the patient… What’s the trouble?” “I fell down.” I shrugged, relating the story. “It’s good that you came in.” Dr. Fawdan nodded “Things like that can be pretty serious.” Ignoring the ‘I told you so’ look that Becky was broadcasting in my direction, I just nodded. “Let’s see what’s going on, shall we?” Dr. Fawdan decided, examining me.
After a couple of minutes of poking and prodding, she turned to Becky with a mischievous grin that practically screamed out ‘pop quiz’ “So, what is your diagnosis of the patient?” “A concussion, probably a couple of cracked ribs, and a mildly sprained wrist.” Becky offered “Though Nick seems to be none the worse for the hypothermia.” “Probably due in a large part to you.” Dr. Fawdan nodded approvingly, poking one of my sore ribs more thoroughly. “I would agree with you for the most part, except that I don’t think the ribs are as bad as you think.” She decided, turning to me “What you really need is some rest. Just go home and take it easy this weekend.” “Okay.” I agreed, watching Dr. Fawdan write something out on her prescription pad. Tearing the sheet off, she handed it to me “This will help with the soreness a bit. It would probably be a good idea to have your roommate keep an eye on you for the next day or so, just until you start feeling more like yourself again.” Shaking my head, I explained “I live by myself, so that’s not really an option.”
“If it isn’t an option, it isn’t an option.” Dr. Fawdan shrugged “But I really would recommend it if you can arrange something.” “Well,” Becky grinned slyly “Maybe we’ll think of something…” My ears perked up slightly as I picked up on her comment. Besides being very pretty, I was beginning to discover that I really enjoyed her company. She was fun to be around. “I don’t know, after that test I’m not sure how hard I’ll be able to think.” I said seriously, feigning ignorance as we stood up to leave.
Walking with us back to the reception area, Dr. Fawdan told me that “I’m sure that you’ll feel much better soon, but if anything is still bothering you in a couple of days, come back in and we’ll take another look.” Assuring her that I would, Becky and I continued over to the receptionist, and Dr. Fawdan went back to work. After giving my paperwork to the receptionist, we headed back outside into the sunlight. “Why don’t we drop that prescription off at the pharmacy, and then go find that nice piece of grass?” Becky suggested. “That sounds good to me.” I agreed. The student services building had its own pharmacy, and after a short wait the pharmacist had everything taken care of. “Now, these will make you drowsy,” he explained as I paid for the little orange bottle of pills “so you should avoid driving unless you have to, and don’t operate any heavy equipment.” “But I like operating heavy equipment!” I growled to Becky as we left “My plans for the afternoon involved using a big yellow machine to dig holes in the ground…” Laughing at my expression, she took my paw and playfully explained that “You’ll just have to change your plans. I’m sure it will be a horrible imposition, but I was hoping you could escort me to a nice patch of grass…” “It would be my honor and privilege.” I said chivalrously as we headed for the park.
One thing about the campus that I always liked was the greenbelt. A long wooded park running along both banks of a large stream, it was a green oasis in the concrete desert of the city. And also immediately adjacent to campus, making it a perfect place to eat lunch, go running, or just unwind after class. As Becky and I walked paw in paw through the park, I was a little surprised to find it much emptier than it usually was when I visited. “It’s usually much more crowded than this.” I thought out loud as Becky pulled me towards a particularly nice spot under the canopy of a spreading oak tree. “Most people are in class right now.” She pointed out logically “We would be too except for that test today…” Lying back in the grass, I put my paws behind my head and looked up at the clear blue sky. “On a day as beautiful as today, I’m glad I’m here instead of in the classroom. It’s almost enough to make having a test seem not so bad.” I mused watching a fluffy white cloud slowly drift across the sky. Turning my head slightly, I saw Becky sitting cross-legged with her back against the tree trunk and her beautiful, fluffy tail wrapped lightly against her side. “No arguments there.” She smiled, closing her eyes and settling down for a nap.
Hesitating for a moment, I moved up next to her and put my arm around her shoulder. Sighing a little bit, Becky rested her head on my shoulder and before too long had drifted off to sleep. As I sat with my thoughts for company, I smiled to myself. This was turning into a strange, but not altogether unpleasant, day. And Becky was the biggest surprise of all. I had just met her, and I was already growing attracted to her. “What do I know about her anyway?” I debated, a little bit scared of my uncharacteristic reaction to my new friend. “Well, she’s a Med student, she’s in my History of Medicine class, is smart and funny, seems to be interested in me, didn’t think I was strange when I explained to her about my diapers, and oh yeah, she’s also gorgeous!” Smiling a silly little smile, I shook my head cheerfully. “I think I want to get to know her a bit better.” I thought, stating the obvious simply because I was pleased with the idea. With that pleasant thought drifting in my head, I closed my eyes, and was soon napping myself.
We were woken up an hour or two later by the first drops of rain. Rubbing the sleep out of my eyes, I looked around to see that heavy clouds had rolled in during our nap, and judging by the rapid drop in the temperature and the way the wind was starting to blow, there was going to be a big storm very soon. “We should get going before we’re caught in the downpour.” Becky groused with some urgency as she got up and brushed a few stray pieces of grass out of her fur. “Better hurry, too…” I agreed, moments before the storm broke.
By the time we had ducked into the nearest building, we were both soaked through. “Stupid weather.” I scowled, looking around for any indication of a men’s room. Becky, somewhat to my annoyance, was taking things much more calmly. “Well,” she shrugged “Do we want to wait it out here, or do we want to make a break from building to building?” “Actually” I suggested, having calmed down a bit at this point “I’m not parked too far from here, we could always try for that instead, it’s probably closer than the main buildings anyway.” “That sounds like a plan!” Becky nodded cheerfully as we got ready to make another run for it.
Sprinting through the adjacent parking lot with Becky right behind me, I quickly found my truck, rapidly unlocked the driver’s side and jumped in, reaching across to unlock the other door. Ducking inside, Becky looked over the scratched and battered remains of the vehicle rather dubiously. Laughing at her expression I explained that “I’ve got nicer things in the garage, but I like to drive this around campus because people get out of its way.” “I’d believe it.” She nodded. To be fair, the truck really didn’t look like much. Eighteen years old, it had been used on a ranch for most of them before I got a hold of it, and it showed it in the collection of scrapes and small dents sprinkled throughout the body. Likewise, the interior upholstery had obviously seen better days as well. Shuffling around in the little room afforded by the cab, I managed to take my coat off and sling it across the seatback before turning over the engine. In contrast to the vehicle’s battered appearance, it fired over instantly with a healthy purring sound.
“New engine.” I smiled, reaching over and turning the heater on “I got this thing from the people whose house I take care of. The previous owner left it when he moved out, and they were going to scrap it, so I talked them into giving it to me.” “The people whose house you take care of?” Becky questioned, running her fingers through her headfur. “Uh huh.” I nodded “I’m taking care of this huge old place out in the middle of nowhere. The couple who own it are going to move there when they retire, but they needed someone to keep it up for them since they live out of town. I get to live there for free, and they even pay half of the utility costs, it’s really great.” “So you live there by yourself?” she asked “Doesn’t that get a little bit lonely?” “Not really,” I shrugged, it’s actually really peaceful. And I’m at school so much that it really isn’t a problem.”
We sat in a comfortable silence for a while after that, watching the rain become heavier as it beat against the windshield, becoming a sizable storm rather rapidly. Looking contemplative, Becky turned to me and stated that “I think that I should stay over tonight.” “Huh?” I questioned dumbly, completely caught off guard by the suddenness of her comment. “You really do need someone keeping an eye on you for the next little while.” She elaborated “ And I’m getting the impression that you’re too stubborn to spend the weekend in one of the overnight care rooms back at the infirmary, so that leaves someone staying with you.” Thinking about it briefly, I decided that it would probably be a good idea, but I really didn’t want to impose on my new friend. After I explained this a bit hesitantly, Becky just grinned. “It’s not an issue. Besides, they’re throwing an event back at my student housing building, and I hate those things. They’re too loud, and I always end up not being to sleep all night.” “I guess it’s settled then, we’ll just swing by your apartment so you can get some of your stuff.” I nodded, looking a bit more cheerful to be having company than my comments about never getting lonely would lead one to assume. Putting the pickup in gear, I headed in the direction of her apartment.
When we got out at Becky’s building, it had actually grown cold outside. Beginning to shiver in the gusty wind, I followed her back inside. “Let’s see, two days…” she thought aloud, grabbing a small overnight bag from the closet and opening it up on her bed. Flipping through the clothes in the closet, she began to make selections, folding them neatly and putting them in her bag. In much less time than I would have expected, she had packed the suitcase, and was just finishing rounding up some of her schoolwork as I came back from the bathroom. “That’s about all of it!” she declared, flipping off the bedroom light and herding me towards the front door. Pausing for a moment as we passed the kitchen, she added as an afterthought, “Do you have food, or should we stop at the grocery store on the way there?” “I went shopping on Wednesday, so everything should still be pretty well stocked.” I decided after thinking a moment. Taking her bag when she set it down to lock the front door, I led the way back to the truck.
Setting her bag in between the passenger and driver’s spots on the bench seat, I sighed contentedly as I started the engine and turned the heater on. (By this point it had gotten downright frigid outside.) Becky meanwhile had situated her small collection of luggage, buckled her seatbelt, and smiled over at me “Ready for blast off captain!” Pulling out of the lot, I got on the highway and headed for home. The traffic around campus wasn’t all that bad, apparently most people decided that it would be wise to stay home this evening rather than venture out into the weather, but once we had gotten onto the highway it was raining heavily, forcing me to slow down considerably. “Don’t be so tense.” Becky chided, resting a paw on my arm. “Huh?” I wondered, blinking in confusion. “You’ve got this really annoyed scowl on your muzzle.” She said gently “Growling won’t make the rain go away.” Shaking my head in amusement, I laughed “No, it probably won’t, will it?” “That’s better.” Becky grinned as I made an effort to relax a bit. “I’m just looking forward to a hot shower and a nap.” I explained “I’m starting to feel pretty tired…”
After about another mile the rain started turning into sleet, slowing our progress to a crawl. “You’re probably sorry you volunteered to come by now.” I groused as I turned the heater up to full blast. “Not yet.” Becky laughed, grinning at me “You’ll have to do a lot worse than this!” At that moment a random thought occurred to me. “I just remembered,” I explained happily, seeing Becky’s curiosity at my sudden change of demeanor “ the day before yesterday I brought in a pile of firewood! That’ll be nice after this weather.” Nodding her agreement she reached over and rubbed behind my ear “I’ve always liked hot cocoa by the fireplace in the wintertime…”
Twenty minutes later, after nearly missing the exit we were pulling up in front of a sprawling two-story house at the end of a large loop driveway. “Nice place.” Becky commented as I pulled around to the garage. Automatically reaching up to my sunvisor, I was a bit annoyed not to find what I was looking for. “Have you seen a garage door opener around here somewhere?” I questioned as I felt around blindly under the seat. “Not that I remember…” she shrugged, joining in the search. One of the benefits of the small size of the truck’s cab was that there wasn’t all that much to search, and I rapidly located the garage door opener clipped to the storage net that hung behind the seat. “I forgot I moved it there yesterday.” I sighed as the door began its ascent “I had my CD-player shoved up behind the sunvisor, and it was getting in the way of things.” After we had pulled into the garage, the door began to automatically lower after us, so that by the time we were climbing down out of the truck it had already closed, and the garage heaters had fired up and were starting to take the chill out of the air.
“What’s that?” Becky asked curiously, pointing to the only other vehicle in the six-car garage. “That’s a Anner-Harris 3000.” I informed her as she went over for a better look “They made them quite a while ago across the ocean.” “I’ve never seen one of these before” she informed me. “I wouldn’t have expected you to.” I shrugged “They didn’t make a whole lot of them before the company was bought up by another one.” Becky circled the green two-door convertible with some interest. “That’s a really eclectic car…Does it have a story or anything?” She asked. Closing my eyes, I rapidly began to recite from memory: “Anner-Harris 3000, 2+2 convertible sports coupe, manufactured about 40 years ago. It’s powered by a straight-six block fed by two side draft carburetors. Four-speed manual transmission with a two gear overdrive box. This one has had a bit of extra work done to it.”
Smiling politely and nodding, Becky quickly changed the subject. “Since it’s your house, I’ll cook dinner.” She decided as I grabbed her stuff out of the truck before we headed into the house. “Nope, nope” I disagreed “You’re the guest, so I’ll cook dinner.” This led to a good-spirited argument, which we eventually resolved by deciding that we would both cook dinner, but not until everyone settled in, and more importantly, someone had the chance to turn up the thermostat for the rest of the house. “Honestly,” Becky laughed “You’ve got the temperature just perfect out in the garage, but in the house it’s cold!” “It’s an automated system in the garage.” I sighed “I set the temperature four or five months ago, and it’s been running happily ever since.” Continuing on past the living room, I led Becky upstairs and down the hallway a little bit. “This will be your room.” I explained, doing my best impression of a stuffy old butler as I set her bags down on top of the dresser “There’s an adjoining bath through the far door, it should be properly stocked with linens and the other necessities.” “Where’s your room?” she wondered, sitting down on the bed and taking off her shoes.
“I’m across the hall.” I shrugged, dropping the fake accent as I dug out the pills that the pharmacist had given me earlier. “I probably should take one of these…” I mused as I popped one in my mouth, making a face at the bitter taste it had. “What did Dr. Fawdan prescribe for you anyway?” Becky asked with mild interest, curling her toes in the carpet idly. “Phosnol-something or other.” I said, stumbling over the name on the bottle before giving up and handing it to her. “Oh,” she nodded, reading out the name on the bottle “Yep, that will make you sleepy before too long.” “Well, we should probably go get dinner on to cook first then…” I decided as we headed back to the kitchen.
We decided on Macaroni and Cheese for dinner because despite our earlier spirited discussion, neither Becky nor I really felt like cooking all that much anyway. After getting everything in the oven to bake, Becky suggested that we get a fire going in the living room fireplace. Nodding, I followed her somewhat sleepily and watched as she went about setting the fire. Smiling contentedly, I watched as it grew from a tiny little spark into a cheerful blaze under Becky’s careful ministrations. After she closed the glass doors on the fireplace she decided that “Dinner is probably done by now, why don’t we go eat?” Yawning a little bit, I followed her back to the kitchen and did my best to make myself useful bringing things to the table. Meanwhile Becky was looking at my state of drowsy semi-wakefulness with an expression of polite understanding. About halfway through dinner when I nearly fell asleep in my macaroni, I was beginning to understand why she had decided to come over and play nurse.
When we were both through eating, Becky suggested that I might benefit from just resting in front of the fireplace for a while. Giving it a little bit of thought, I decided that was an excellent idea: I really was too out of it to do anything of significance any more, and I was also hoping that Becky would sit with me and talk for a bit. Moving to the living room, we took some of the large throw pillows off the sofas, and set up a comfy little spot in front of the fireplace. Sighing contentedly, I snuggled up on the pillows, Becky sitting down next to me with a great deal more dignity. “Dinner was really good.” I commented idly as I stared off into the fire. “I thought so too.” Becky agreed, stroking my headfur absentmindedly. “Tell me about yourself.” I asked sleepily after I had gotten comfortable.
“Well,” she answered, starting in on the standard issue college introduction “I’m a second year medical student, and I’m specializing in pediatric medicine. Other than that, there’s really nothing much to tell.” “So where are you from originally?” I wondered, somehow finding myself with my head in her lap as we basked in the warmth radiating from the fireplace. “Oh, I’m from up North.” She shrugged “I decided that I’d go to school away from home because I wanted to try being out on my own for a change.” “How do you like it?” I asked curiously. “It’s not as nice as I thought it would be.” Becky explained “I’ve got a younger sister at home that I shared a bedroom with when I was growing up, and it’s a real change to be by myself all the time. It gets kind of lonely sometimes.” “I know the feeling.” I nodded a little sadly. Then, deliberately changing the subject I asked “So, what do you do for fun?” “I paint.” Becky explained simply as she continued to rub behind my ears. “It’s a creative outlet…” “Sounds interesting.” I nodded “I’d like to see your paintings sometime if you don’t mind.” Assuring me that she wouldn’t mind at all, Becky reached across to add another log to the fire before settling down a bit more comfortably.
“What about you?” Becky wondered “You’re taking History of Medicine too, are you in the medical program, or just interested, or what?” Smiling a tired little grin I explained “Nope, not a medical student. I’m in the law program, and our class fulfills one of my history requirements. You’d be surprised by what is cross-referenced under exactly what here…” Shaking her head in amusement, Becky commented that “It seems I’ve managed to run into a real character in my travels …” Yawning again, I just smiled “Well, maybe you just got lucky this time…” Scratching behind my ears before sifting around to find a more comfortable position, Becky grinned widely “You know, I think you may be right.”
We sat in a comfortable silence for the next little while, until Becky asked lightly “Is it time to change the little kit for the night?” Looking at her oddly, I wondered if I had head her correctly through the now rapidly developing medicine haze. “I was going to skip that step for the time being.” I explained, beginning to blush. “Why?” she responded, her ears and tail drooping almost despondently. “Because I’m somewhat self-conscious about the whole thing.” I responded, beginning to sound a bit exasperated. “Well I think it’s cute!” she countered, tapping me gently on the end of my muzzle “Come on Nick, please?” Looking up at Becky, I saw a sparkle in her eyes as she looked down at me, and I rapidly decided to give in to her request. I never really seriously thought that I’d find someone who was not only willing but even eager to share my…tendencies with. And the fact that Becky was an absolutely exquisite example of vulpine beauty made the situation even better. Taking a minute to look over her form, I couldn’t help but smile. Becky was about as tall as I was, and was lightly built, but athletic, not overly skinny as some of the females at school tended to be. Her eyes were a beautiful golden brown, and her fur only a few shades darker. And finally, she had one of the nicest tails I’d ever seen. So full and fluffy, with an absolutely perfect patch of white at the end that I found myself wanting to touch it and see if it was as soft as it looked.
Nodding slightly, I got up and shuffled down the hall towards my bedroom. Looking confused, Becky watched me walk out of the room, until, seeing me pause and look back at her from the doorway, Becky realized that she had misinterpreted my actions. Then, gracefully rising from her spot on the sofa, she followed me from the room barely managing to restrain a gleeful grin. I was a little bit worried that I had made the wrong choice when I noticed her mischievous look, but as we walked down the hallway, Becky reached out and took my paw in hers and gave it a reassuring little squeeze.
Showing her into my bedroom, I gave myself a mental pat on the back for my good timing: just last weekend I decided to move all my school mess into another room and set up a little office. In the process I’d cleaned up a bit, so now the towering mountains of miscellaneous junk that usually dominated the room were gone, yielding the space to a freshly vacuumed carpet and a neatly made bed. “Let me guess where you keep your little kit things…” Becky laughed, eyeing a brightly painted footlocker stenciled with the word “Toys” that was sitting at the foot of my bed. Smiling an affirmative, I put it up on the nightstand and flipped open the top to reveal my small collection of little kit things.
Taking out a fresh diaper and a can of baby powder, Becky sat down and patted a spot on the bed next to her. “Hop on up, little guy.” She said sweetly. “I can handle this part myself.” I assured her, blushing visibly through my fur. Reaching up, Becky grabbed the back of my belt, and pulled me down next to her with a little ‘whumph’ sound as I sunk a little bit into the mattress. “It’s okay, I don’t mind.” She grinned. Sighing a little bit, I nodded my assent. Things were really feeling a bit hazy at this point, I guess it was my medications making me drowsy. “Now let’s get these off of you…” she said as she unbuckled my belt and eased my pants down until my tail started getting in the way. Lifting my backside up cooperatively so she could slide them the rest of the way off, leaving me in just my boxer shorts and T-shirt. Then those too were gone, and I was lying there, in the fur, shivering slightly as Becky busied herself with something in the toy box. “What did I do with that…oh, here it is!” she declared in a slightly perplexed tone before coming back with the baby powder “It fell off the table when I wasn’t paying attention.”
“Now be a good little kit and lift up for a minute.” She instructed, slipping my tail through the diaper’s tail hole, then situating it under me. “That’s good.” She smiled, giving me a little tap on the thigh, indicating I could lay back down. Getting the little can of baby powder, she sprinkled a generous amount onto my diaper region, she then expertly folded up the front of the diaper, and closed the tapes. “There we are, all done!” Becky said, smiling broadly “You were a good little kit, weren’t you?” “Uh huh.” I nodded “But I’m cowld.” I added in a small voice. “Well, why don’t we go sit back down by the fireplace…” Becky suggested “It’s all warm and toasty down there, and I can read you a story if you would like. How does that sound?” “Good.” I nodded, stifling a little yawn as Becky took my paw and led me back to the living room.
‘A story would be pretty nice.’ I thought to myself as I sat in front of the fireplace while Becky got her backpack. She had put on a couple of larger logs before she went, and by the time she returned they were blazing merrily in the hearth. “I’m back…” she declared cheerfully, depositing a small stack of books next to us on the floor. The books, I was interested to note, were all children’s stories, a lot of which I remembered from when I was growing up. “I’m taking kiddy lit’ this semester.” She explained, as I looked through the pile of books, then broke out in a cheerful laugh. “I just realized something.” She grinned, tousling my headfur “I’m doing my homework for the weekend…” Laughing with her, I handed her my selection. “This one.” I said seriously before happily snuggling back down with my head in her lap to watch the fire.
I drifted in and out of a happy little doze as Becky read, so I really didn’t take in too much of the story, but, just lying there with her in the warmth of the fire, my muzzle twitching a little every now and then as I slept, I was happier and more content than I could remember having been in years. Becky must have been feeling the same thing, because she was very reluctant to get up, preferring to sit quietly and rub me behind the ears as we watched the fire dance in the hearth. Finally, after quite a while she sighed and said that “It’s probably time we both got to bed, it’s really late.” Nodding, I made a halfhearted attempt to rub the sleep from my eyes. “Umm, Becky?” I asked a little sheepishly, looking down and shuffling my feet “Could I have a drink first?” Looking down at me affectionately, she decided “Okay, but just a little one…” Shaking my head yes, I went to the kitchen and quickly returned with a bottle of juice.
Becky didn’t look too surprised when I handed it to her, she just sat down on the couch and patted her lap. I sat down next to her, and she put one arm around me, and held me back against her chest as she offered the bottle. Sighing happily, I began to sip from it. It felt so nice to be there with Becky, being fed my bottle, that I had soon closed my eyes and was making little churling noises in pleasure. I just felt warm and safe, and for that moment of time, all my problems seemed to drop away. Class schedules and due dates were the furthest thing from my mind.
I must have fallen asleep, because the next thing that I remember clearly was Becky shaking me gently. “Come on sweetie, we need to get you to bed now.” She whispered softly. “Can’t I stay here?” I mumbled, unwilling to leave my comfortable little nest in front of the fireplace. “I know, you’re all warm and toasty there, but it’s better for you to sleep in your own bed.” She persuaded as she cajoled me onto my feet, and, taking my paw, slowly led me back to my room. I managed to find my bed without actually waking up to any greater degree. “There.” Becky smiled “That wasn’t too much trouble now, was it?” she asked rhetorically as I sleepily burrowed in under my pile of blankets, pillows, and other miscellaneous pieces of bedding materials. “I’m a little cold.” I said plaintively, burying myself up to the very tip of my muzzle under the pile of blankets. “I’ll turn the thermostat up before I go to bed.” Becky promised, leaning over to tuck me in. With a look of tired happiness, she gave me a little kiss on the forehead. “Good night Nick.” She smiled as she turned off my bedroom light on her way across the hall to her room.
Towards the middle of the night, I woke to the sound of someone sniffling from across the hall. Feeling a little bit concerned, I got up and padded over to the door. Peering into the room, and blinking from the light, I saw Becky. She was sitting against the wall, with her paws around her knees crying quietly. At a loss for words, I hesitantly went into the bedroom and sat down next to her, putting my arm around her shoulders. Giving a little start, she looked over and her eyes met mine. Looking into her eyes, seeing the paths her tears had traced down the fur of her muzzle, I felt a sudden wave of sadness so deep I nearly began crying too. “What’s wrong?” I asked tentatively, giving her a hug. Not answering, Becky buried her muzzle in my chest and returned my hug. Not knowing what else to do, I sat on the floor and held her in my arms for an eternity, until, finally she began to calm down.
“I’m sorry.” She sniffed “Sleeping all alone…it sort of reminded me of how far away from home I am, and how much I miss my family.” “It’s okay…It’s okay…” I assured her, never letting go for a moment “Do you want to talk about it for a bit?” “I know it sounds a little strange, but I’ve never really slept in a room by myself before.” She started out “I always shared a room with my little sister for as long as I can remember, and I guess that sort of became one of the things that made my home what it was. And then when I came to college, I’ve always had roommates. They’re not my sister, but…well…it sort of feels the same, you know.” Nodding encouragingly, I began to rub behind her ears. “My family was always really close, and I’ve not heard from them in a long time now. My parents’ company is in the middle of a merger, and they’re too busy to call me as often as they used to, and my little sister is busy getting ready to go to college next year…” smiling forlornly, she paused for a moment before finishing “…I guess I just miss hearing from them. I’m sorry I woke you up.”
“It’s okay.” I nodded forlornly “That must be really special. My family was never really all that close. Sometimes it makes me sad that they never call me either, I don’t think they’ve ever called except to ask where to mail something to. I guess it really doesn’t matter to them.” “I’m sorry” Becky almost whispered “that must be awful for you.” Smiling unconvincingly I tried to shrug “It doesn’t bother me all that much, I’m used to it by now.” Hugging me back a little tighter, we sat together for a time, neither one of us really knowing what to say.
“You can share my room if that would make you feel any better.” I offered after Becky began to drift off to sleep, only to awake again with a start. Looking through the simplicity of my offer to the sentiments behind it, Becky was genuinely touched. “I…I think I will, if you don’t mind.” She said slowly as I stood up, and offered her a paw. Returning to my room, I helped tuck Becky into bed before tossing an extra blanket from the closet on the floor. “What are you doing?” she asked curiously. “Going to sleep.” I shrugged, lying down on the floor. “Come up here, silly.” She responded, already starting to slip back into a pleasant reverie. Sensing my hesitance, she sat back up a little bit, resting her muzzle on her paws.. “I need someone to hold right now.” Becky told me simply, still sounding a little bit sad “And I think you do too. When was the last time you felt like you weren’t alone Nick?” Burrowing my way into the covers, I pulled my extra blanket across us before settling down. As I was drifting off I felt Becky snuggling up against my chest as she finally went back to sleep. Watching her in the moonlight filtering through the window, I saw a contented little smile play across her face. Putting my arm around her, I was soon fast asleep, with a contented little smile of my own.
The next morning I woke up with a smile on my muzzle. I could feel Becky’s warmth next to me in bed; I could hear her soft, steady breathing as she slept; and I could faintly smell the perfume she had worn the other day, a soft, feminine scent, that was just a little spicy, like cinnamon. “So this is what it’s like to wake up next to someone.” I thought to myself, still caught up in the pleasant reverie of the not-quite-awake. Remembering that there was no class today, I decided that there was absolutely nothing in the world that would be worth getting out of bed for right now. Sighing contentedly, I rolled over on my side slightly and closed my eyes, trying to extend the happy little fog I found myself floating in for as long as I could. “Life is wonderful as long as the world does not involve itself in it.” I whispered, drifting off again into a state that was more asleep than awake.
“Good morning my love.” Becky whispered gently, running her paw through the patch of white fur on my chest before ending up scratching behind my ears. “I’ve been up for a while.” I protested groggily as I woke to the dawn for the second time today. “Oh? What, pray tell, have you been up to then?” she asked playfully, sitting cross-legged on the bed, her luxurious tail dancing behind her. “I was just thinking about how wonderful it feels to have someone next to me when I wake up.” I replied without thinking. As soon as I finished the sentence I realized what I had said, and immediately began to blush, looking down and fidgeting with the sheets. Leaning over from where she had been sitting, Becky softly kissed me on the muzzle. “I know what you mean.”
With thoughts of breakfast drifting into my head, I found my way out of bed while Becky was putting on her clothes. As I slid back the covers, I discovered a slightly embarrassing little detail that I thought best not to mention to Becky. Getting out of bed, I casually started heading towards the bathroom. Becky, besides being smart and pretty also proved to be observant as well. I didn’t make it out of the room before she instructed me to “Hold it!” and came over for an inspection. Sticking a finger under my diaper’s elastic, she shook her head in mock seriousness. “You’re wet, little kit.” She informed me “We’re going to have to get you changed before breakfast or you may develop a rash…” And with that, she took me by the paw and led me to the bathroom, where I was instructed to “Hop on up on the counter, I’ll be back before you know it.
As I sat on the bathroom counter, I began to idly stare out the window at nothing in particular. Before too long, I was beginning to get cold sitting there in nothing but a pretty wet diaper, and I was soon shivering slightly, and hugging myself to stay a little bit warmer. “Okay, I’ve got everything. We’d left them in…” Becky started as she came back into the room and saw me shivering on the counter “That’s it, we’re going to get you some warmer outfits.” She announced, lowering the toilet lid and laying out the supplies she had gotten on top of it. As a temporary solution, she closed the bathroom door and turned on the heater for a while. Once everything had warmed up a little bit, she nodded. “Hop down for a minute.” Shrugging a little bit, I did, sitting down on the rug directly under the heater. Closing my eyes, I looked up into the heater, thoroughly enjoying it’s radiated warmth. She, meanwhile had unfolded a thick beach towel onto the counter, so when Becky helped me back up onto it, I had something other than cold tile to lie down on.
“Now let’s get you cleaned up, little guy.” Becky smiled, unfastening the tapes on my diaper. As she folded down the front I lifted my bottom a little bit so she could slide the old diaper out from under me. “Yep, definitely in need of a change.” She said seriously, tossing out the old diaper and grabbing the box of wipes. Taking out a wipe, she soon had my diaper area cleaned off, and was opening the can of baby powder. Soon the pleasant scent of the powder was wafting lightly through the air (along with a little wisp of powder…). Sprinkling a bit onto the necessary places, Becky gently smoothed it onto my skin, adding a little bit extra for good measure. Then I was rolling over a little so that she could sprinkle some on my bottom before threading my tail through the tail hole of a fresh diaper. Sniffing once, I couldn’t quite stifle the urge, and let out a little sneeze. I guess that some of the powder had wafted up around my muzzle… “You’re so cute…” Becky chuckled as I scrunched up my muzzle and sneezed again. Expertly she taped up the tapes on the diaper, and then wiped my nose daintily with a tissue before helping me off the counter. “There we are, all done!” Becky grinned, giving my bottom a little swat before taking my paw and heading back out into the hall “Now, how about some breakfast?”
I sat myself down at the kitchen table and watched Becky make breakfast. Despite being in an unfamiliar kitchen, delicious smells were soon wafting out of the oven. Every now and then she would ask me where to find something, but for the most part I just passively observed the activities. Right about the time that my tummy was beginning to protest the wait, Becky declared that “It’s done!” before reaching into the oven and pulling out a delicious looking coffee cake, which promptly was deposited on the table to cool. Becky, meanwhile was sorting out dishes for the two of us before setting them down on the table too. “I hope you don’t mind eating at the kitchen table.” “No, not at all.” I shrugged. “I’m used to eating by myself, so I usually eat back here anyway.” “Well good.” She smiled radiantly, scratching behind my ears as she reached over my shoulder and deposited a cup of tea next to me on the table.
Grabbing the little orange bottle of pills the doctor had given me from where it sat on the counter, Becky joined me at the table. I had already served both or us generous helpings of the coffeecake, and retrieved orange juice as well, just for good measure. “Take two of these before you eat.” She instructed, sliding the bottle across the table to me. “But I feel all right.” I protested, sipping my tea. “You feel all right because the pills you took last night haven’t completely worn off yet.” She explained patiently “But if you wait another half hour or so, you’ll be seeing things rather differently…” Nodding reluctantly, I took my pills.
“I’m a little bit worried about this morning.” I said. “Oh? Why is that?” Becky asked as she finished off the last of her breakfast, and, looking quite content, slid the plate out of the way before returning to her tea. “I didn’t exactly do that intentionally…” I blushed, still a bit nervous talking about these things, despite Becky’s obvious acceptance. “It was probably because of the muscle relaxants in the medicine that Dr. Fawdan prescribed for you.” Becky explained reassuringly. We continued sipping our tea for a while before a thought crossed my mind. “What are we going to do today?” I thought out loud as I glanced down at the weather forecast in the paper. (“Cold and clear all day, with very little chance of scattered showers late in the evening.”) “Well,” Becky proposed “I was thinking of going to the fabric store and getting some material to make you a warmer outfit.” “Are you serious?” I asked, feeling both hopeful and apprehensive at the same time. “Yes, I’m serious.” She chuckled, seeing my poorly contained look of glee.
Depositing our dishes in the sink, Becky grabbed a handful of advertising fliers out of the pile of old newspapers in my recycling bin, then waved me towards the living room. Sitting down on the sofa, she patted the spot next to her invitingly. I wasted no time in taking the hint, and was soon snuggled up next to her, with one of her arms around my shoulder. Looking at the first flier in the stack, I curiously asked “What are these for?” Opening one up and flipping through the pages, Becky stopped in the section that had clothing “For the Little Ones.” “I thought that we could pick out something you like here before we went to the store for the cloth.” She explained logically. Nodding my agreement, I began following along with her in the catalog.
We flipped through the sections of play clothes first without anything particularly catching my eye, but when we got to the pajamas and sleepers I started to see things with more promise. “What about that?” Becky asked, pointing to a two piece pair of pajamas in one of the magazines. “That’s kind of neat.” I agreed, before turning the page. “There! That’s what I want.” I grinned when I saw that the next page contained a collection of footed sleepers. “Those are cute.” She agreed, marking the page before we began a debate over which one would be best.
Quite a while later we had an adequate selection of ideas. Besides two different varieties of sleeper, we had also marked things in the playsuit part of the catalog and a few others scattered here and there. Once again I was becoming a little bit drowsy from my medicine, and noticing this, Becky suggested that maybe I should take a short nap before we went into town to select materials. I was thinking about arguing with her on the point, but she was right. “That’s probably best.” I agreed as I stretched out full length on the couch. Becky meanwhile settled down on the carpet by my head. “Becky?” I asked sleepily “Yes Nick?” she said, scratching under my muzzle. “I like you a lot…And I like having you take care of me…” “Well I like you too, and I like taking care of you.” she answered. “I’ll bash my head every day if you’ll keep coming here to take care of me.” I offered seriously. “That won’t be necessary.” Becky informed me. Leaning across the space between us, she gently kissed me on the muzzle “Now go to sleep my little fox kit. You need a nap so you’ll be fresh and perky for our outing later.” Feeling absolutely content, I closed my eyes and just enjoyed the feeling of Becky softly scratching behind my ears until I drifted off for my nap.
I woke up about an hour or so later. Yawning and stretching a little I decided that “I should do that more often…” Padding down the hallway, I found Becky in the bathroom tying up her headfur in a loose ponytail. She had changed clothes since I fell asleep, and was now wearing a nice pair of jeans and a very pretty emerald green silk blouse. “Hello.” I said in a small voice “What’cha doing?” “Oh, you’re up.” She smiled. “Yep.” I said simply, rubbing the sleep from my eyes. “Well, I was just about to go get you, but I thought I’d get changed first.” She informed me cheerfully “But since you’re already up, we’re ahead of the game.” “You look pretty.” I informed her, sitting down on the floor and putting my chin in my hands. “Thank you.” She smiled, sounding flattered.
“I’ll be dressed in a minute.” I declared as I headed for my bedroom. “Just a minute!” Becky called after me, running down the hall and finally catching me at my door. “Let me check something first.” She explained, sticking a finger under my diaper tape, and finding it dry. “I didn’t think you would be wet just yet, but it’s always good to check.” Becky explained. “Well, let me go get out of this diaper and into some pants, and then I’m ready to go.” I said, heading for my room. “Well…I had a thought about that.” Becky said, coming in and sitting down on the bed. “The medications that the doctor put you on have the potential to cause you some incontinence problems,” she began “…So I was thinking that it would probably be best if you kept wearing your diapers for the time being, just to prevent any embarrassments if you have a problem.” “That’s probably a good idea.” I nodded, pulling a pair of pants on over my diaper. “I’m glad you agree.” Becky laughed, leaving me to get dressed.
Looking through my closet, I decided that I wanted to dress as nicely as Becky did. As I was flipping through my shirts, I found that I actually had one that was a very similar shade to the blouse that she was wearing. Smiling at the coincidence, I selected it as well as a black pair of slacks, and was very shortly dressed and returning to the living room where Becky was sitting on the couch finishing the newspaper. “Ready?” she asked, picking up her purse and a backpack that I had not seen earlier. “What’s that for?” I asked curiously. “Diaper bag.” She grinned “After all, what good would it do you to be wearing a diaper that you couldn’t change?” “That’s only logical.” I grinned back, taking her paw.
We headed out into the garage, where I immediately discovered that a new car had arrived since the last time I was in the room. “They’re breeding.” I observed, staring at my two vehicles, and then eyeing the new one. “I got my car from campus while you were asleep.” Becky explained “You really shouldn’t be driving yet for a number of reasons, and this way it isn’t a problem.” “But I drove us here in the first place.” I pointed out, my tail moving rapidly back and forth in my agitation. “Yes, and frankly I was pretty concerned about you driving then too.” She responded somewhat bluntly. Giving me a quick hug, she added consolingly “Please don’t argue with me about it, okay?” What could I do? Shrugging my shoulders, I waited by the passenger door while Becky took the driver’s side and hit the power locks button. Opening the door, I sat down and fastened my seatbelt. “I’m ready.” I grinned as she started the engine and backed out into the driveway.
The ride into town was peaceful and generally quite uneventful. As we passed the exit that I typically took to get to school, I asked curiously “Hey Becky? Where is the fabric store anyway?” “It’s down about three exits from here.” She explained, shortly before taking the exit in question. Down a smaller side street, and we were pulling into the parking lot. “We’ve arrived.” Becky grinned as she shifted into park “Now why don’t we see if they’ve got some fabrics we like, how does that sound?” Nodding vigorously I got out of the car and took the paw that she offered as we walked inside.
Not wasting any time, Becky headed straight to the children’s prints, which were in a corner of their own towards the back of the store. Since it was the middle of the day, there wasn’t anyone else within earshot of us, which really made our shopping easier. “Do you see anything you like?” Becky asked as we began looking through the rolls of cloth spread out before us in the tabletops. I was the first to find a pattern that I liked. It was a solid color, a light pastel blue. “I like this one.” I announced decisively, pulling the roll of material off the table and setting it down on the measuring board in the middle of the store. Becky had found a pretty green roll with little teddy bears, which she held out for my inspection when I came back over. “How about this one? You’d look really cute in that, maybe for a playsuit…” she suggested. “Okay.” I nodded, thinking that the little teddy bears really were pretty cute at that. After picking out one or two bolts of material and piling them up on the measuring table, Becky made a quick swing down the left wall, picking up appropriately colored thread, and a selection of snaps, zippers and buttons.
“I think we’re set.” She decided upon returning to the measuring table with her little hand basket of assorted fittings. “Now we just get the material trimmed to the lengths we need, and we’re done.” Nodding, I listened quietly as she explained to the elderly raccoon what lengths of each material she wanted. The raccoon, I noticed, was quite efficient in cutting the material, but the two of them rather quickly ended up giggling together and talking about other things, so pretty soon I lost interest and began to wander around a bit with our basket. I rapidly discovered that there really isn’t a whole lot to see in a fabric store, but just as I was giving up all hope of a distraction, I found a rack of embroidered appliques. Looking through the rack, I was really impressed by how many different ones there were. Then, down at the bottom, I found a set of alphabet-block shaped monograms. Reading down the row, I quickly found the “N” block, which, coincidentally happened to be in a shade of blue very similar to the one the material for my sleeper was. Grabbing one, I tossed it in the basket, then went to join Becky at the cash register where she was checking out.
“Hello.” I smiled, dumping the contents of the basket next to the neatly folded lengths of material on the counter. “Cute.” Becky grinned, noticing my letter, and giving my paw a little pat. After the cashier had rung up our selections and I had paid, we returned to Becky’s car. Tossing the bag in the back seat, I settled down comfortably awaiting the return trip to the house. After slipping behind the wheel, she commented that “I was thinking about making another stop, since it’s on the way home anyway.” “We might as well.” I shrugged, covering my muzzle before a yawn escaped. “Are you up to it? You look kind of tired.” Becky fretted. “I am a little bit, yeah. But I’ll be okay, Mommy made me take a nap before, remember?” Hearing me call her “mommy”, a surprised look flashed in Becky’s eyes, and was quickly followed by a happy little smile on her muzzle. “Okay then little guy, just as long as you promise not to overdo it.” “I won’t.” I agreed as she started the engine.
The other stop, it turned out was at the local mall. “What do we need here anyway?” I asked as I followed Becky inside. “A couple of little things.” She replied. Entering through one of the main department stores, we headed towards the doors to the mall proper. The first stop on the way was the perfume and makeup counters. She apparently knew what she intended to buy, and was just there to pick it up. Grabbing two smaller boxes of makeup from the counter, Becky paid the clerk, and then we headed out into the mall. “That was most of it, but I still need to get a new organizer wallet for my purse.” Becky explained as she took my paw in hers.
The mall wasn’t particularly crowded today, so it made for a pleasant walk. “Where are we going next?” I asked curiously as Becky led the way. “To the leather store on the other end of the mall.” She explained “That’s where I got this purse to begin with, so they’ll probably have wallets to match it.” “Oh, that makes sense.” I nodded, then added as an afterthought “Do you think we could stop at the candy store on the way? I sort of want one of those peppermint sticks they sell.” “Well…” she thought aloud “Since you didn’t make a big fuss about me driving I think we can get you a peppermint stick.” Considerably cheered by this agreement I grinned happily, my tail whisking behind me in anticipation. I always liked peppermint sticks, I guess I have a bit of an oral fixation, but they really are one of my favorite candies.
The candy store happened to be on the ground floor as well so it really wasn’t any trouble to drop in as we passed it. When we were still three or four stores away from it I stopped in the middle of the walkway, closed my eyes, and took a deep sniff. “Yummy! I can smell chocolate!” I grinned, pulling on Becky’s paw. “I can too.” She nodded “But let’s not get overly excited, it will be waiting when we get there.” Sure enough, the candy store was waiting when we got there. Becky wasn’t in any hurry to leave, so we took our time looking around before I picked out my treats. Someone had taken great pains to decorate the store. The walls and shelves were all painted white, with a peppermint striped accent border running along edges and up the decorative pillars on the front of the shelves and display stands. Centered in the middle of the room was a four-sided counter where the cash registers were, along with a huge old-fashioned soda machine and a glass case full of about a hundred different kinds of fudge. The countertops, I noticed, were all made of a white and pink patterned marble, which blended nicely with the rest of the store.
Finding my way to the display of glass mason jars that held a huge selection of candy sticks, I actually had to hunt a little bit to find the peppermint ones. (They turned out to have both red and green stripes which threw me off for a while…) Taking two of them I went over to where Becky was admiring the jellybean corner of the room. “This is a really neat store.” She commented as I walked up “I’m surprised that I’ve never been in here before.” “Uh huh.” I nodded “It’s one of my favorite stores in the mall.” As we were slowly making our way back to the counter, Becky noticed that my peppermint stick was actually peppermint sticks. “Why do you have two of them?” she asked, pointing at the candies poking out of my shirt pocket. “One for now and one for later.” I replied in my small voice. “Okay.” She nodded, reaching over and tousling my headfur.
As we were waiting in line behind a matronly old collie who was picking out a selection of different kinds of fudge, Becky began eyeing the soda fountain. “It’s actually the old style kind where they mix in the syrup from bottles.” She commented, obviously somewhat impressed. “That way always tastes the best.” When it was our turn at the cash registers, Becky made up her mind “This will probably spoil our lunches, but it’ll be okay just this once…” Then, as well as buying my candy sticks, she ordered us both large ice cream floats. “T’ank you.” I said in my small voice, somewhat incomprehensibly since I was trying to stuff a spoonful of ice cream in at the same time I was trying to get words to come out. “You’re quite welcome.” She replied, responding probably more to my cheerful expression than to anything coherent I said as we continued our walk.
When we arrived at the leather goods store, they had a sign prominently forbidding customers from bringing “Food or drinks” into the store. Laughing a little, I pointed out to Becky that the ice cream floats would probably get us in twice as much trouble with the management since they were sort of food and drinks all at the same time. In the interests of world peace we sat down on one of the benches scattered throughout the mall to finish our snacks. I had been slurping mine quite a bit more…vigorously than Becky had, so consequentially I was done before she was. As I was sitting on the bench, idly looking around the mall, it struck me how nice it was that they had chosen to decorate the building with plants. There were huge potted trees spaced at even intervals so that they would extend upward through the space in between the walkways on the second story, and there were planter boxes around all the escalators, and way off towards the center of the mall there was a large landscaped fountain, which was always fun to watch when one was waiting for others or just had some spare time to waste. “Are you thinking deep thoughts, Nick?” Becky asked as she finished up her snack. “Not really, just staring off into space.” I shrugged as we threw out our trash and headed into the store. “Silly little kit.” She smiled as she gave me a hug.
It took Becky a great deal longer than either of us had planned to find what she was looking for: the store was having a massive sale and was utterly packed, and on top of that they appeared to be woefully understaffed as well. Eventually we did find the wallet that Becky wanted, and after standing in line for a great deal of time we did get checked out. And then, breathing a collective sigh of relief, we stepped back out into the mall. “Well, that was an ordeal...” Becky laughed. Groaning theatrically I slumped against the wall. “I think I shall collapse from exhaustion…go on and save yourself Becky…” Still grinning, she took me by the arm and I allowed myself to be pulled more or less to a standing position. “Come on, let’s get out of here.”
As we were walking towards the door a very odd feeling came over me. Then, without further warning, I felt a liquid warmth spreading through my pants. Stopping suddenly in my confusion, I realized what had happened. “What’s wrong Nick?” Becky asked with concern, seeing the expression on my face. “I wet myself.” I whispered in disbelief. Not looking terribly concerned, Becky shrugged “Well, we knew that something like that might happen, you shouldn’t be too surprised.” “But…” I stammered, beginning to feel lost. Sighing deeply, Becky shook her head. “I think you weren’t quite as rested as you led me to believe.” She informed me “It’s okay, really. We’ll just get you cleaned up and in a fresh didie before we head for home.” Then, taking my paw, she led me to the bathrooms next to the food court.
“How exactly do you plan on doing this?” I asked “its not like we can casually walk into the men’s room and use the changing station.” “Oh ye of little faith.” Becky grinned, stopping in front of the bathroom doors “What do you see.” “Huh?” I answered, completely lost at this point “What do you mean? There’s the men’s room and the women’s room.” “And?” Becky prompted, indicating a third door to the left of the two larger entryways. “That one’s labeled ‘family’. I don’t think I’ve noticed that one before.“ I replied, looking puzzled. “Exactly!” she grinned, using the same tone of voice one would to praise a particularly intelligent little kit. Testing the doorknob and finding it unlocked; she grabbed my paw and pulled me inside.
Hearing the lock click, I calmed down a little bit and glanced around the room. It was set up a lot like a cross between a bathroom in a house and the regular old mall bathrooms. The real difference, I observed, was that the sink had a much longer counter that looked sort of like…”A changing table.” “Exactly.” Becky grinned; sounding quite pleased with herself. “Malls usually have bathrooms like this so people can take care of some more…varied necessities that would be inconvenient in the normal bathrooms, changing kits, people with health issues, stuff like that.” Laughing, I decided that “They probably never thought it would be used for our particular need.” “Probably not. Now hop up here on the counter and let’s get you taken care of little guy.” She agreed, patting the spot in question.
Lying down on the table, I rapidly decided that being changed at home was a lot more comfortable than on a cold countertop at the mall. By the time Becky had finished setting out some of the contents of her backpack, I felt goose bumps beginning to rise under my fur. “You’ve got an odd expression on your muzzle…” She commented as she unbuttoned my pants and whisked them off to reveal the sagging diaper underneath. “The table is cold.” I explained, doing my best to not begin to shiver as my damp diaper area was exposed to the cool air. “I’ll try to make this quick.” She assured me as she dug out the wipes and began cleaning me up. “Lift up a little bit so I can get your tail through.” Becky instructed while pulling a fresh diaper out of her bag, along with the container of baby powder. I was more than happy to comply with anything that would put a bit more space between me and that slab of arctic tundra posing as a table. Threading my tail through the tail-hole in the new diaper, she fastened its tapes and told me I could lay back down. As I was settling back down, there was the sound of a key in the door’s lock, followed by the door banging open as a huge Doberman in a security guard’s uniform barged in.
“What are you two doing in here?” He barked loudly before coming to an abrupt stop when he got a look. Storming over to the door, Becky snarled at him in a tone of voice that gave the guard reason to pause “Just what the hell do you think you’re doing barging in here? If I needed help with my patient I would have asked you for it!” “I’m terribly sorry ‘mam.” The guard responded quietly, quickly looking down blushing almost as red as I was “Someone reported seeing two young foxes disappearing into the bathroom, and we assumed that…you were…well…err…” “Well, we are quite obviously not.” Becky glared icily “Now why don’t you go find something useful to do somewhere else!” With another round of apologies, the Doberman hastily made his exit, shutting the door behind him. Snapping the lock shut again, Becky’s attention returned to where I was lying on the table. Seeing that I was noticeably shaken, her demeanor softened instantly. Gently stroking my muzzle, she did her best to calm me down. “He really scared you didn’t he? Well, let’s just get finished up here and go home for an afternoon nap, okay?” Not entirely trusting myself to speak, I just nodded shakily.
Pushing up my shirt a little bit so she wouldn’t get baby powder on it, Becky efficiently took care of powdering my diaper area, then folded up the front and taped the tapes. Seeing that I still wasn’t looking so good, she got a playful glint in her eye. “You know” she said casually “I wonder if my little kit is ticklish…” Before I had time to take precautions, she moved in and was tickling my tummy and sides mercilessly until I was laughing uncontrollably. I’ve always been ticklish, I should have guessed that Becky would decide to find that out sooner or later… “There, that’s better.” Becky smiled merrily as she let me catch my breath and get my pants back on. Then after I checked in the mirror to make sure I looked reasonable, Becky packed up her backpack again, and we once again were heading for the parking lot, this time without interruption.
Becky needed to stop back at her apartment on the way home to get her sewing equipment, and after helping her to carry the heavy machine out to the car I was beginning to really look fondly on the idea of going home. By the time we got back to the house, I was feeling more than a little bit run down. Grabbing the heavier of the selection of items from the back of Becky’s car, I followed her to the living room, where it was all deposited on a table by the picture window that overlooked the swimming pool, and beyond that the woods behind the house. It had so far been a long and somewhat stressful day… Yawning a bit, I toyed with the notion of taking an afternoon nap.
Blinking back to reality, I noticed that Becky was looking me over critically. “You really don’t look too good right now, Nick.” She explained, seeing my questioning look. Glancing over in a mirror, I saw what she meant. My ears had none of their usual perkiness, my whiskers were droopy, and I had the look of one who desperately needed a nap in my eyes. “I think maybe I should lie down for a little bit…” I suggested. “That’s probably not a bad idea.” She nodded. Stretching, I had a thought. “Would it be okay if I took a nap on the sofa in here? I think I’d like the company.” “It’s okay, the sewing machine isn’t loud at all. I use it pretty regularly when my roommate is asleep, and it’s never woken her up.” Becky decided, seeming flattered that I’d ask. “I’ll be right back.” I nodded, getting a pillow, small blanket, and my favorite plush fox Rufus from my bedroom.
Returning to the living room, I saw Becky beginning to lay out some of the pieces of fabric, smiling at me when I came back in. I quickly settled in on the sofa, idly watching her work on the sewing. She had torn out the pictures we had looked at earlier in the morning, and laid them out in different places on the floor, then stacked up piles of cloth, zippers, buttons, and other materials by the pictures. As I grew drowsy watching, she prepared a pattern for the first outfit, and by the time the sewing machine began to whir softly I had slipped off into a peaceful sleep, unconsciously beginning to suck my thumb.
Looking up from her sewing, Becky couldn’t help but smile at the peacefully slumbering form on the sofa. Stopping her work for a moment, she went over and retrieved the plush fox from where it had fallen on the floor and returned it to Nick’s arms. “Sleep tight my precious little kit.” She contentedly watched him sleep for a little while before kissing him lovingly on the forehead and returning to her project smiling happily.
When I woke up I felt a hundred times better than when I had gone to bed. Uncurling myself from the comfortable little nest I had made on the couch, I stretched, then yawned widely. “Did you have a nice nap?” Becky asked cheerfully. “Uh huh.” I affirmed. Padding over to where she was working, I arrived just in time to watch her put the finishing touches on the top half of an adult sized romper. “Looks like you’ve made a lot of progress.” I commented, looking appreciatively at the pile of outsized clothing sprouting up next to her chair. “Yep.” Becky agreed. “I’ve finished up the outfits we were talking about earlier.” Standing up and stretching herself, Becky gave me a little hug. “I already ate lunch. You looked so peaceful sleeping there on the couch with your little fox and your thumb in your mouth, I hated to disturb you.” “I’m glad you didn’t.” I shrugged “After taking a little nap I feel a lot better than I did earlier.” Picking up the stack of outfits that Becky had just finished, I explained that “I’ll go try some of these on and see how they look.”
I carried the entire stack over to the closest bathroom, and proceeded to look through them more carefully. There were a lot of neat stuff there, and I was smiling happily by the time I emerged from the bathroom wearing the footed sleeper Becky had made from the light blue material and my letter “N” block applique. From the moment I put it on, I loved my new sleeper, it was just so warm and snuggly that I couldn’t help but like it. Back in the living room, Becky was waiting to see how her handiwork fit. “That’s so cute.” She smiled as I did a little impromptu model impression, turning back and forth to show off the entire outfit. After we had admired the sleeper sufficiently, I returned to the bathroom to change into another example of Becky’s handiwork. After quite a number of trips, I had gotten a chance to try everything on, but was also getting pretty tired again from it all. Guessing the reason I had quieted down a little bit, Becky made a good suggestion. “I’m pretty worn out from all that sewing. Why don’t we have some heated up macaroni for dinner, and then maybe we can watch a movie and then turn in early. How does that sound?” “It sounds just about right.” I nodded as I took my pile of new clothes over to the bedroom, where I folded everything up and put it all in my toy box. Returning to the dining room, I found that “Dinner is served.”
Dinner passed in a comfortable silence, and after the leftover macaroni had completely disappeared we quickly began to do the dishes, both looking forward to the promised movie at the end of the day. “I really want to thank you for making me those outfits.” I said seriously as the last dish was returned to the cupboard “That’s really one of the nicest things anyone has done for me in a long time, and I really like them.” “I can tell.” Becky smiled “It was worth it just to see how happy you were when you were trying them all on this afternoon…now why don’t we go pick one out for you to wear this evening, and then see about that movie?” Smiling happily I took her paw and we headed for the bedroom and my new clothes.
“So which one do you want to wear tonight, little one?” she asked as she went through the box while I lay on my tummy on the bed and watched intently. “Can I wear my blue pajamas?” I asked. “If you like…” Becky decided, sorting them out of the other clothes, then taking me by the paw and leading me to the bathroom “But I have the feeling you may need a change first.” Sticking a finger under the diaper’s elastic, she confirmed her suspicions. “Yep, hop up on the table.” Taking off the wet diaper, she very efficiently cleaned me up. As I lay there on the table, Becky decided that “You know, you’ve really got a cute tail…” “I like my tail momma.” I nodded seriously “It’s soft.” Smiling happily she deftly caught the end of my tail and tickled my nose with it. Giggling, I squirmed out of the way, and rolled into a fuzzy ball on top of the table, tucking my tail over my muzzle so that all that was visible was a pair of blue-gray eyes peeking out from under the white tip of my tail.
Poking around playfully, Becky lifted up the tip of my tail from on top of my muzzle and put her nose up against mine. “Would my little kit like to get dressed and go watch a movie?” she asked seriously. “Okay.” I decided after a bit of thought “But only if I can pick.” “Deal.” Becky laughed as I lithely uncurled myself and lay back down on the table. With practiced efficiency, she swiftly had a clean diaper on me, and with only a little more time, Becky was zipping me into my new footed sleeper. “There we go.” She declared “Now how about that movie?”
While I was digging through my cabinet of DVDs trying to decide between them, Becky disappeared in the kitchen. After some serious thought I settled for Disney’s The Fox and the Hound. Becky, meanwhile, returned from the kitchen carrying a bottle of juice. As the movie started and we were getting settled in, she offered me her lap, where I happily curled up and accepted the bottle that she presented to me. We sat quietly watching the movie for a while, with Becky feeding me the juice until it was all gone, then, setting aside the empty bottle she took me into her arms and held me tight. Sighing contentedly, I shifted around slightly to find a more comfortable spot before returning to my sleepy reverie.
Quite some time later when the movie ended Becky turned off the TV with the remote, and then looked down to find me mostly asleep. “You’re just adorable.” She whispered in my ear, giving me a little kiss on the muzzle, but not quite waking me “Why don’t we just head on to bed now, all right?” “ ’Kay.” A small, sleepy voice acknowledged from her lap before I finally extracted me from the comfort of her arms and sort of shuffled back to the bedroom. Crawling into bed, I buried myself up to the end of my muzzle, and listened idly as Becky changed into her pajamas and did her little pre-bed evening routine. Before too long I felt the bed shift as she crawled under the blankets.
“Well, we had a nice day, didn’t we?” she asked sleepily as she snuggled up and put her arms around me. “Uh huh.” I responded, snuggling back. “Don’t let me forget that I have to go back to campus tomorrow to pick up a book.” Becky remembered. “I won’t.” I agreed, then added as an afterthought “Hey Becky, why did you get into pediatrics anyway?” I immediately felt her stiffen a little and began to wonder if I’d said something wrong.
After a long pause, Becky began. “I’ve always liked kits. There’s just something about taking care of them that has always been an urge for me, I’ve got a mothering complex or something I guess. When I was growing up I always loved to baby sit for my little sister or the neighbors. Sure, the money was good for a teenager, but I mostly did it because I liked the feeling of being a parent and taking care of the little ones. And I was always good with the little ones, I was the neighborhood’s favorite babysitter. Everyone would always comment that I was going to be a great mother some day when I had my own little kits.”
Sensing that this was very hard for her to talk about, I snuggled up a bit closer as she unconsciously hugged me tighter. “I always looked forward to having kits of my own, that was what growing up was supposed to be about, meeting a good male and starting a family… Then one day when I was riding my bike I had an accident. I don’t remember anything, I just woke up in the hospital hurting all over and wondering what had happened. The doctor said that I would eventually recover…but because of my injuries it would be very unlikely that I would ever be able to have a kit. I guess going into pediatric medicine is my way of still working with children, of being able to mend boo-boos and make it all better with a bandage and a lollypop.” Nearly crying now she finished in almost a whisper “But we can’t always make it all better. Some things stay broken forever. And I’ll never be able to have kits of my own.”
Becky sat there on the side of the bed holding her knees in her paws, and with her tail wrapped around her like a cloak. Seeing how her ears drooped and how tears were beginning to form in the corners of her eyes seemed so strange to me as I thought back on the beautiful, happy vixen I had come to know and care about over the last few days. I felt so bad for her, and I would have given anything to see that radiant smile cross her muzzle again. My diaper crinkling softly as I moved, turning towards her. Taking her paws in mine, I looked deeply into her eyes, looking for that sparkle of happiness I had come to love before it was lost in her tears. “The last few days that I’ve known you I’ve been happier than I can remember ever being before. I want you to know that I may not be the male of your dreams, but if it makes you happy, I’ll be your kit for as long as you want me to be.” Reaching out and catching me in a huge hug, Becky buried her muzzle in my chestfur and began to cry. As I wrapped my arms around her in return I did too.
To Be Continued...