X. Through the Looking-Glass

Story by Vexxus on SoFurry

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X. Through the Looking-Glass

As told by Lily

It took me about ten minutes or so to calm Kaeden down enough to where I could get him out of his soaked diaper. I made a mental note to call up Chainbreakers to see if they had any resources for dealing with severe phobias like that. I'd actually read a book on regression when Kaeden had first expressed to me that he wanted to continue to be treated like he had during his rehabilitation, but I didn't recall seeing anything like what he was going through now. I had a copy in the car, and made a mental note to thumb through it later.

I'd seen how badly storms could debilitate him before, but this was definitely worse than what I was used to dealing with. I wasn't sure if the 'puppy' treatment was hurting things or not - perhaps what we were doing was making things worse? But then again, I wasn't willing to stop it - I'd definitely seen the kind of good it could do for him. And if I was honest with myself... I had to admit that I really enjoyed the control I had over my boyfriend. It was something that both of us would have a very difficult time giving up, if we ever had to.

Meanwhile, I held my boyfriend, stroking his back, rocking him back and forth on the edge of Milo's bed. We both needed a shower, so I hadn't put a clean diaper back on Kaeden. A couple towels underneath us would keep anything off the sheets in case he had an accident, and a blanket over top protected his modesty.

A short time later, Milo came in. I blinked in surprise as I saw that he was only wearing a diaper - and not only that, but he was already wet. Hadn't he just showered? He looked a little nervous and embarrassed. It seemed like he'd forgotten we were in here. Given that Kaeden was normally dressed the same way at home, it was pretty easy to consider a diapered male as entirely normal and something to be expected. All I had to do was treat the awkward situation as normal, which I hoped would set him at ease.

"Hey Milo. He's calmed down quite a bit. Thanks for letting us wait in here."

"Oh, you're welcome. I'm glad I could help."

He sounded a bit tense - and looked it, too, before he grabbed a stuffed shark off his nightstand. He clutched it tightly to his chest, and seemed to relax a little. I was a bit confused at the continued silence, when suddenly, the light in my head clicked on. He was probably too shy around me to ask me to leave.

"Oh, I'm sorry, you probably want to get dressed?"

"If you don't mind," he said, with a shy smile.

"Thanks. I left all our stuff in the car, though. With the storm still going on... you have anything Kaeden and I could wear? He needs a clean diaper, at the very least."

I didn't particularly want to spend the rest of the day in a bikini, and my boyfriend literally had nothing to cover himself with. With the storm going on, I knew an accident was not a matter of if, but when.

"Sure," Milo nodded, then went under the bed and pulled out a toy box.

From it, he got me a diaper for Kaeden - a different sort of brand than what he usually wore, but suitably infantile. A few moments later he handed me a t-shirt from his closet - one with a Labrador on the front, and large letters spelling the name 'KODY'. I looked at him questioningly - that wasn't the first time I'd seen that character.

"It's a TV show... Roundup Adventures?" he explained, blushing a little in the same way my boyfriend often did. "Kaeden would probably like it, if he doesn't watch it already."

"I'm sure he would," I replied, smiling. "I've, ah... heard of it, before," I answered.

"O-oh. It's a pretty fun show." He paused for a few moments, clutching his shark even tighter. Evidently the shark served a similar purpose as Kaeden's stuffed wolf did.

"Well...um, I'd offer you some pants for him," Milo said, "but I think we have different waist sizes, and something tells me he doesn't wear them very often anyway."

I felt Kaeden lean into me a bit harder. I hugged him in return, stroking the fur between his ears.

"Yeah, I usually don't allo- I mean, I usually just dress him in a shirt and diaper at home. That'll do just fine. Thanks so much, Milo."

"I'll ask Nina if it's okay for you to borrow some of her clothes in the meantime. You look like you're about her size, maybe. I'll lay something for you outside the bathroom door. There's a diaper pail in there too, y'know, for..." he gestured toward Kaeden's used diaper, which I'd taped up into a ball and set next to us. "Is... is he gonna be okay?" Milo added, obviously concerned.

"He's in a bad way, but he'll get through it," I assured him.

I stood Kaeden up, wrapping one of the towels around his waist. I told him to grab his things, and when he had, I grabbed his paw with one of mine, and his wet diaper with the other. Just outside the bathroom door, I had Kaeden lay his shirt and his clean diaper down, so neither would become damp with the humid air.

Once inside, I found the diaper pail Milo had been talking about, and took care of that. Looking forward to the warm water, I stripped down and turned on the shower - which turned hot pretty quickly, since it had just been used. Kaeden seemed to be relaxing a little now that we were further removed from the storm, and the sound of the shower blocked out some of the lighter rumbles of thunder.

"Well, come on, puppy, don't be so shy. It's not the first time we've showered together."

"Oh-oh," Kaeden stammered, stepping in with me. "I-I thought... I thought you w-wanted me to wait."

"Well how else will Mommy... um, I mean, will I clean you up?"

The word sounded strange in my muzzle - it had just kind of slipped out, what with all I was doing for him since the storm hit. Sure, I changed Kaeden's diapers and fed him bottles and all other manner of puppy-related things, but thinking of myself as a maternal figure sounded odd. Evidently it did to Kaeden too, judging by the look on his face.

"Sorry, puppy. Just kind of slipped out. Sounds kinda weird, huh?" I said, to defuse the awkward feeling in the air.

My boyfriend nodded. "Y-yeah. I love you and all, and everything you do for me, b-but... Ashleigh's my mommy," he said quietly. I nodded, although I didn't really understand.

Of course, during the course of my own rehabilitation, I'd formed a tight relationship with my caregiver... but then again, I knew both my parents and already had a good relationship with them. My boyfriend had basically never known his mother, and given the issues Kaeden had that Ashleigh helped him with... maybe it made more sense than I thought.

"That's okay," I said gently, starting to lather some shampoo into his fur. "I'm quite happy being your girlfriend."

He wagged his tail a little in response.

"Hey, puppy, I think that's the first time I've seen your tail wag since the storm started."

"It's harder to hear in here," he said. "A-and I think I'm starting to get used to it, a little." The bathroom was in the center of the house, and had no outside-facing windows, so it probably was easier for him to cope in here.

"On that note," I said, moving his body out of the shower stream and working the lather into the rest of his fur, "I'm wondering if maybe we shouldn't see a doctor or a therapist or something about your storm phobia."

Kaeden pressed his ears back and whimpered a little. "I-I... b-but it makes sense, and all. With what happened to me..."

"I know, puppy, I know. It does make sense, but that tree fell in your room when you were... what, seven years old? That was a long time ago. And your fear now makes it hard for you to function when a storm rolls in." I moved down to his legs and tail. "It's at least worth looking into, right? You don't want to react like this for the rest of your life, do you?"

Kaeden sighed and nodded. "No. I don't."

I bit my lower lip as I moved him back under the shower head, rinsing out the shampoo, then started washing my own body. I wasn't sure if I could ask the question... but I needed to know what my boyfriend thought, too.

"Do you think being a puppy all the time is a part of that?"

Kaeden went still, although I couldn't tell what he was feeling at the moment.

"I... I'm actually not sure," he said. I sighed. He'd just been deep in thought. "Maybe? But... it helps a lot, too. Y-you... you don't want to stop, do you?" he said, looking up at me with what could only be described as 'puppy-dog eyes'.

"No," I said, laughing. "And quit giving me those eyes. You know what those do to me."

"That's why I do them," he said, with a sly grin.

"Kaeden, I like this way too much to stop. And I know you do, too."

He nodded, and we didn't talk much more until I had finished rinsing the soapy lather out of my fur. There was one more thing I wanted to cover with him.

"Hey, Kaeden... I need to apologize to you for what I did on the beach today."

He turned and and looked at me, seemingly confused. "What do you mean?"

I took his confusion as good news for me, but I had to be sure.

"When I wouldn't let you wear anything to cover up your diaper on the beach today, and threatened to spank you. You seemed pretty upset about it."

"Oh," Kaeden said. "Um... i-it's hard for me to explain. I... I was really embarrassed, and... well, but we talked about this, right? I like it when you make decisions for me. It helps me to feel... little and stuff. I trust you, Lily," he said, wrapping his arms around me for a hug.

I hugged him back, momentarily reflecting back to my earlier slip. Considering we were both naked, that kind of parental title felt even weirder than it had then. It was just an innocent hug and all, but still - girlfriend was just fine, even if I did feel like I was taking care of my own child every now and then.

"It's okay, Lily. Honest," he reassured me.

I rubbed his back, but I didn't want to leave things at that. I couldn't have my boyfriend get into the habit of excusing things like this.

"No, Kaeden, it really isn't. I didn't respect your limits when you were clearly not okay with things. I do owe you an apology for that."

Kaeden nodded. "I forgive you. You're getting better, just like me, but that doesn't mean we won't slip up sometimes. I'm glad we can talk about it, though."

"We're okay then?" I said, giving the top of his head an affectionate lick.

"We're okay," he said with a smile, closing his eyes and resting the side of his head against my chest. "Love you, Lily."

"I love you too, baby pup," feeling a few happy tears well up in my eyes.

I know Kaeden sometimes had issues with his self-esteem, and felt like he didn't deserve me, but in truth, it was the other way around. I don't know what I'd done to deserve such a sweet boyfriend, who without a thought would instantly forgive me when I'd broken the immense amount of trust he'd placed in me.

I wanted to stay like that under the hot water longer, just holding my puppy close, but eventually, we had to let go. A few minutes later, Kaeden actually surprised me by talking first - normally he looked to me to take the lead.

"Whenever you make me do something like that... it's always turned out for the best," Kaeden continued, once he'd let go of me. "So... I may not like it at the time, but, I want you to decide those things for me. It helps me grow and keep getting better. I don't want to slip back into what I was before I went through Chainbreakers."

"And neither do I, puppy. You help me a lot too, you know."

"I do?" Kaeden said, with a wag of his tail. "I didn't know I helped you at all."

"Of course! Kaeden, I was a bully and a nasty person because... well, I have a dominant personality, y'know? And I never learned how to express that in a healthy way. I got better the same way you did, sure, but I learn to improve through taking care of you. The old me never would have taken your feelings and your best interests into account when making those sorts of decisions for you."

I was rewarded with another puppyish hug, to which I laughed, patting the top of his head.

"Let's dry off, hmm?" I said. Of course, when I said 'let's', what I really meant was that I'd dry him off, and then myself. Puppies have a hard time doing that on their own, after all.

I opened the door a crack and peeked out, making sure nobody was in the hall before bringing Kaeden's attire in, and my own borrowed clothing that had evidently been placed there in the meantime.

I took care of myself, first. I'd left my swimwear to dry out, and just decided to use it for undergarments in the meantime. Milo had found me a pair of Nina's jeans, and a plain-colored t-shirt, which was pretty much my normal afternoon attire anyway. Once I was properly dressed, then came my boyfriend. I laid a towel down on the tile floor, and unfolded the diaper.

"These are pretty cute, Kaeden. We might have to think about ordering you some."

Of course, my own bias might have been showing through a little bit - the diapers were outer space themed, or at least as space-themed as a diaper designed for a twenty-three-going-on-three Shepherd could be. The taping panel had cartoonish designs of stars and crescent moons, with a number '10' in the center in equally cartoonish font.

I'd find out later, to my great amusement, that as he wet his diaper, stars began _appearing_for the wetness indicator, rather than having something disappear, as with his normal brand. I pulled the shirt over his head, and his face lit up upon seeing the character on the front.

"You still watch this show?" I asked, cocking my head to the side.

"Y-yeah," he said, blushing.

"Oh," I replied, a little surprised. "I haven't seen you watch it at home before."

"It's, um... well, it's a kid's show. Like... really a kid's show. I didn't know if you'd really like it or not."

I laughed aloud at that, and if the look on his muzzle was any indication, he was at least twice as surprised and confused as I had been.

"What's so funny?" he asked after a few moments.

"Don't you remember the sleepover? I've seen this show before too. Besides, out of all the things I do for little Kaeden, why would you think a children's TV show would cross the line?"

He thought a moment, then laughed a little bit, too. "I guess that is kinda silly, huh?"

I nodded, and allowed myself a few moments to recover.

"Let's head back out, huh?" Kaeden nodded, but I saw a tell-tale tremble in his body.

While it could have been related to the thought of being seen in a shirt and diaper by our two new friends, I doubted it. He already should have gotten over that fear at the beach today. Still, after what I'd done on the beach, I had to make sure.

"Do you want me to see if I can find you something to cover up your diaper?" I asked, concerned.

Kaeden shook his head. "I-I'm okay with that, now," he said, but he was still visibly shaking. Suddenly, it clicked, and I knew exactly what was bothering him.

"I know the storm's louder out there," I said, kneeling down and trying to soothe him. "But I'll be right there with you, okay? And Milo and Nina will too, I'm sure."

"Is Ikici here too?" he asked longingly.

I silently cursed to myself. I'd left his stuffed wolf in his diaper bag, which was out in the car, still being pummeled by rain. If I wanted my boyfriend to cope as well as he could, I'd have to get the plushie for him.

"He's in the car. I can go get him, if you need him?" Kaeden bit his lip, then nodded.

"It's okay. Can you handle staying here with Milo and Nina for a few moments?" His eyes widened, evidently not having made the connection that he'd be parted from me for a bit. I squeezed his paw a bit until he settled down enough to whisper a quiet affirmative.

I took his paw and led him from the bathroom and toward the living area - where we promptly almost ran into Nina.

"Oh, there you two are!" she said. "I was just looking for you. Dinner is cooking, and we'll be eating in a half hour."

"Actually, I was looking for you, too!" I said, laughing. "Can you babysit Kaeden for a few moments? He could really use his stuffed wolf right now."

"Aww, sure. I'll keep him right here safe with me until you get back. Come on, pup," Nina said.

Kaeden reluctantly let go of me, and stood by Nina. I didn't want to prolong our parting, lest it give Kaeden the idea that me leaving really was something to worry about. Of course, that's not something an adult would really ever worry about, but I wasn't sure how Kaeden's puppy mindspace really worked.

Nina offered me a coat, which I gladly took. I didn't want to have to ask for another set of clothing, and I didn't want to stay out in the storm long enough to pull all our luggage from the car. Kaeden's plushie was the only important thing to get right now. With a big breath, I opened the door, and ran out into the rain.

'The things I do for my boyfriend...' I thought, grinning.

IX. Showered with love

**IX. Showered with love** _As told by Milo_ We hit the road back to Northshore. Lily was determined to bring Nina and me home, but I wondered if she was going for 'soon' or for 'safe'. I closed my eyes, afraid to look at the road, although I...

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VIII. Wet dogs

**VIII. Wet dogs** _As told by Kaeden_ I didn't _quite_ turn around in time to avoid getting tackled to the ground by Lily. Evidently the two of them had been racing to see which would get to us first - and I honestly didn't know who had won....

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VII. Girls talk

**VII. Girl's talk** _As told by Nina_ "Well, since the boys survived the water, maybe we should take a dive as well. Are you with me, Lily?" I asked. The Shepherd shrugged her shoulders. "Sure, I guess I didn't come all this way just to lay...

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