Visiting My Father

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OK, I know. This took way too long to get out. I wanted to have it out before Megaplex, but I was waiting on some vital critique from a very busy canine, and this story wouldn't be as good as it is without his input. From a writer's standpoint, it was worth the delay.

Thanks to everyone who read the first installation of this, and thanks to those of you who take the time to read this one. It covers a lot of ground, about three times as much as the first one, so it's a bit long. Hopefully, it's enjoyable :3

Formatting this thing across multiple websites is a NIGHTMARE. We need some kind of agreed-upon standard. Some things that are supposed to be centered may not be, and adding in italics alone took 10 minutes when it should just copy-paste from one thing to the other. Inkbunny uses BB code. SoFurry uses HTML. Tumblr just sits there and does nothing. It's very frustrating with more experimental formatting.

Huge thanks to the folks who helped me proofread:

Axle - Patcher - -

I'm truly honored by the response from the first story. I hope you like where this is going.


Being crammed on a bus filled with large predators for ten hours helped me realize how nice it is to be a chipmunk. Though this behemoth bus was stacked high enough to see over tractor-trailers, it was really built for rodent-sized passengers. In fact, I'm really not sure how anyone over four feet tall could stand to be cooped up in those little armchairs, trying to find some compromise between fitting both their legs and their baggage under the seat, or having to duck down to bend into the mobile port-a-john with the window crudely painted over for privacy. I was fine, though, thanks to my God-given stature - or lack thereof. We stopped twice to stretch and eat, and I'd stocked up on enough citrus-flavored carbonated water and chocolate-covered almonds to tide me over the rest of the way. I got motion sick at first, but a little Dramamine and a pair of headphones worked wonders for the long trip, and I was able to finish my library book just before the driver's perky static announced that we would be arriving in Chicago in fifteen minutes.

The bus had started to get a little too warm as we passed through winter-ravaged farmlands and into snowy plains, so walking out into the cold night was more than a shock. The wind tore through my hoodie that had served me so well back home, freezer-burning my nostrils. Luckily, my father was thoughtful enough to pack a big, red duffel bag full of padded winter armor. He wasn't easy to pick out at first, being so much shorter than the rest of the welcoming crew that had gathered at the makeshift bus stop, not to mention being hidden under an unseemly amount of warm clothes. "Try this on," he said, already holding open a puffy black coat by the time I'd approached with my bags. "Gladly," I said with a noted shiver in my voice, dropping my things to slip my arms into the silky sleeves. "Geez, I've never been this cold in my life." "Southern living makes you soft," he said through his muffler. "Does it fit?" I zipped it up and tested out my range of movement. "Yeah, I'd say pretty well." "Good," he beamed. "It's yours. Here, put on these gloves." Before I could protest the gift, my father was suiting me up in more clothes than I would have ever thought to wear on my own. We get pretty cold winters in Tennessee, but the Windy City cut straight to the bone. In spite of my scarf, hat, and extra layers of fur, that wind would not be denied. Dad rigged the duffel over the handle of my rolling suitcase while I saddled my messenger bag, and we made our way down the street in defiance of the gale blowing back against us. "Where's your car?" "Car?" That answer worried me. "You do have a car, don't you?" He chuckled. "Oh, no. You don't get around too easily by car here, and parking's a nightmare. Case in point." He nodded his head to the left as we passed by the most frightening parking lot I've ever seen. In the south, parking jobs are shoddy at times, but at least we have a sense of order about it. This was a travesty, cars parked directly behind other cars as if jumbled up on a sliding puzzle. And in the middle of it all, a poor, blue minivan parked in the most civilized manner would have to wait for every other car in the lot to move before it could hope to extricate itself. "Holy shit. How do you get around anywhere?" "Language, Clunk," he reminded me. "We take the bus and the L-Train. And walk, of course." "Wow." "What?" "I kinda thought you were loaded, I guess." Dad had a good laugh at that. "I wouldn't say that, but I'm certainly not in a bad way." "It's just, I take the bus back home because I have to. I wouldn't want to rely on it if I could afford a car." "Ah, well, the bus system here is a bit more reliable than the MATA buses you're used to. Buses come more often than once an hour, and the trains run every few minutes." "Man, I wish it were that way back home." "Perhaps one day it will be." "What do you mean?" "This way." My father turned the corner and led me down a staircase in the center of the wide walkway which led to a mosaic-tiled room with a set of turnstiles blocking the path. Dad pulled off his gloves and reached into his pocket, producing two plastic cards. He swiped one, triggering a green OK! light with a click, and walked through. "Here, this one's yours," he said, handing me one card while pocketing the other. I took the time to position it in the thick material around my fingers and pulled it through the card swipe. "You're loaded up for the whole weekend," Dad said. "That should be plenty enough to get you around town." We didn't have to wait long for the empty train to roll into the small station. The inside was every bit what you'd expect to see in the movies, except conspicuously covered top to bottom in multicultural advertisements. Dad plopped down into one of the seats, adjusting his injured leg like one might adjust a tie. I sat next to him, leaning up against him as much for company as for warmth. He wore a sweet cologne that turned his woody musk into maple. It wrapped around my head as I tucked myself under his arm. He resisted at first like a reluctant date, but his arm found a comfortable spot draped over my shoulder as the train lurched forward. "Watch out the window," he said, his breath hot on my ear. I didn't say anything, but I was eager to get under those heavy clothes into a more intimate snuggle. For now, though, the plush of his coat was a relief from the hard seat I'd spent 10 hours in. Besides, I got the feeling my father wasn't as gung-ho about having sex in a public train car as I was. Dark stone blurred by outside the window in a predictable pattern for a while, but soon, we rose up and out of the tunnel. The train shook against a sharp turn, and all of a sudden we were outside again in the blue dusk. I'd like to say we were high above the city, but the skyline rose to meet us. In the south, cities are laid out flat across the land. Chicago was stacked vertically, buildings rising several stories on all sides and stretching out to the lake on the horizon. "Wow," was all I could manage. "It's pretty impressive, isn't it?" Dad beamed. "Yeah," I admitted. I watched the buildings slide by on either side. From where I sat, it looked like I could've walked across the rails and wooden planks from one rooftop to another on the other side. Darkness was fast upon us, though, and before I had a chance to absorb the whole city skyline, the lights inside the train car cast my image on the glass, blocking my view. Something akin to a map above the nearest sliding door flashed a small, friendly light that seemed to correspond with our position along the route. When 'Armitage' lit up, my father eased me forward and grabbed onto the pole next to him. "The next stop is us." We quickly grabbed up all of my things just in time to be jostled forward by the stopping train. The doors slid open, and a handful of evening commuters replaced us inside. The landing looked kind of like a long deck with benches under lit awnings that warmed my ears as we walked by. My rolling bag clip-clopped down the steps, tossing this way and that so violently that we had to stop and reposition the duffel bag a couple of times so it wouldn't drag. Not far from the bridge from which we'd come, we met a well-packed bus heading out toward the lake. The further down we went, the higher the buildings rose on either side of us until they peaked and gave way to what I assumed was some sort of park. Only a few small obstructions were silhouetted on the lake behind them. If you could call it a lake. From what I could see, it might as well have been an ocean. My father pulled the cord that ran along the top of the bus, and soon it slowed to a stop. We clambered out the back door and onto a wide sidewalk. A remarkable number of people were out walking about in this ridiculous cold, all bundled up beyond recognition, just muffled muzzles and a vague sense of ears under hats and hoods. A short walk later, my father led me under an awning into a building I would have easily passed up as just another downtown high rise. "Are we... staying in a hotel?" "Hmm, it does kind of look like a hotel, doesn't it?" Having lived in an apartment for some time, and having seen_Home Alone 2_ once or twice, I'd come under the assumption that apartments lacked the kind of conspicuously ornate, marble-laden, concierge-run front lobby before us. Polished, wooden benches lined the walls, interspaced with palm greenery. At one end of the lobby, three golden elevators, ostentatious and well-used, stood waiting. "You live here?" "You sound surprised." Dad pulled down his muffler to reveal a sideways smile. "What did you expect?" "I honestly don't know. A house, I guess?" "Houses are for suburbs, kiddo." He pressed the up arrow on the wall, and a door slid open with a ding. "Up we go!" My father lived on the top floor in room 1001. I was thankful the elevator didn't shoot up the shaft, instead giving us a little time to start pulling off our winter armor and let the sweat loll off our tongues before we had to move again into the hallway. The door was at the far end of the hall. Dad tumbled the lock and kicked open the door with his bad leg. I stood patiently while he recovered, threw the light switch, and ambled inside. "Just put your stuff down in that corner, and we'll sort it all out later," he said, hanging his coat in the closet behind the door after I walked in. It surprised me how cozy the living room was. The clean, wooden floors cast a warmth over the small room. A long, red couch rested on the near wall, with two end tables on either side, each supporting an egg-shaped lamp with a slanted shade. The nearest table had a couple of old sci-fi magazines stacked haphazardly on one another. On the far end of the den, a bookshelf lined from top to bottom with paperbacks and magazines stretched from the floor to the ceiling. In front of that, a cozy chair looked out into the cloudy night through a tall window, with a floor lamp tilted at just the right angle to cast a comfortable reading light. The wall adjacent to the corner I was meant to unpack in held all the color in the room. Framed movie and concert posters were artfully positioned on a neutral red backdrop, mostly of people and movies I hadn't heard of.Forbidden Planet. Dave Brubeck. Many clearly too old for my dad to have witnessed in person. A few low shelves stretched along the baseboard, filled with CDs, vinyl, and even cassettes. The centerpiece was a large stereo system with a turntable, surrounded by homemade model kits of rockets and mobile suits. I couldn't imagine my father got full use of the giant speakers that framed the whole display. Most importantly, though, it_smelled_ like home. Someone lived here. The wet scent of wood and fur marked this as chipmunk territory, and I felt truly at ease for the first time since I'd left my apartment that morning. "This is nice," I said. "I wonder how much a place like this would cost." "That's a weird thing for a kid to wonder," Dad said, falling into the cushy red couch with his arms outstretched. I kicked off my covered Birkenstocks and dropped all my excess clothing to the floor on top of my bag. Dad was waiting for me on the couch, and I was eager to curl up close to him on this cold December night. "What do you wanna eat, kiddo?" he asked as I plopped onto the couch next to him. I could think of a few particular things I wanted to taste. "I figured we'd take it easy tonight," he said. "Order in and watch something." "Like what?" I said, sliding in to fill the gap between us. It didn't matter to me. I found that maple musk to be far more interesting. "Well," Dad began, shifting away toward the arm of the couch. "Oh, um, they say this new_Star Trek_ movie is good. Which would be nice. The last one was terrible. They tend to go in cycles of pretty good and really terrible, so maybe this one will be good. I don't know about this director, though-" "Dad," I interrupted his light-speed dissertation, grinning. "That's fine. We can watch that. What delivers here?" "Oh!" My father jumped up so fast he almost stumbled over his own leg. "Hold on, I want to show you something." I sighed back into the cushion as he shuffled around the corner. Clearly, I'd gotten my shyness from my paternal side. He wasn't gone long before he came back in with a laptop and plopped the heavy thing into my lap. "GrubHub." "Grub Hub?" I repeated with significantly less confidence. "Look," my dad urged. I looked. "You can order almost anything you want, and they'll deliver it." "Really?" I didn't believe him. I could barely get the pizza guy to deliver to my apartment. "What are you in the mood for?" "Hmm..." My dad's address was already entered in, so I typed "Japanese" into the search bar. Sure enough, myriad options popped up. "These will all deliver?" "Sure will! Get whatever you want. I'll get the Blu-ray started up." "Wow," I said. My dad had a Blu-ray player, a science fiction library,and unlimited access to any type of food without even leaving his house. This was essentially paradise. Our bento boxes arrived just as Kirk and Spock were trying to disable the giant drill threatening to wipe out the Vulcan homeworld. Dad pulled out a couple of convenient TV trays from the closet so I could gape wide-eyed at his ridiculous television while shoveling rice into my fat chipmunk cheeks with cheap wooden chopsticks. We might as well have been at the movies, as far as I was concerned; I'd never seen a TV that big outside of a Walmart. This was the only decent way to live, in little penthouse apartments with big screen TV's and fancy takeout food. By the time the movie finished, I was comfortably nestled under my dad's arm, both of us satiated and sleepy. Dad patted his chubby belly and stretched. "I can't believe I'm already tired." "Likewise! Then again, sleeping is one of my favorite things to do." Perhaps now I could get in close under those clothes that kept us apart. "Well, I got it all set up for ya. Hop up, kiddo." Dad stood. I rose more carefully and watched him pull the red cushions off the couch and pull out a hidden bed that had somehow been crammed underneath. It folded out with hardly any effort, and it was mostly made, save for a couple of stray covers that my dad quickly flipped over. "You sleep out here?" I asked. "Naw, I sleep in the back," he said, thumbing over his shoulder toward the kitchen door. "I figured I'd give you the warmest room in the house, with the fireplace." "Oh," I said, trying to hide my disappointment. "It's good and comfy. Give it a try," he said, patting the fat comforter on top of the mattress. It was. I said as much. "Excellent. If we sleep now, we'll have an early start tomorrow. There's a whole bunch I can't wait to show you." He spoke with genuine excitement, carefully maneuvering around the small bed. "I'm gonna hit the shower. Do you need anything else in the meantime?" "I don't think so," I said. I'd slept on pullout beds before, and this one was remarkably comfortable. I started pulling off my shoes, and dad limped his way into the bathroom hidden behind the wall where I'd dropped all my stuff. As it would happen, nature called before my dad was finished with his shower. I knocked on the door. "Yeah?" "Can I use the bathroom? Or is there another one?" I spoke loudly through the wall. "Oh, um..." I heard the rustle of a shower curtain. "Yeah, go ahead." Steam fogged my glasses as I entered, making it a bit difficult to find the toilet, but with a little effort, I plopped down without incident or injury. As I wiped my glasses with the untucked corner of my shirt, I noticed Dad's pantleg was sticking out of a hamper right in front of where I sat. I looked over to the shower to make sure my dad was facing the other direction. My chest fluttered. I was definitely gonna do it. I leaned forward and peeked into the clothes that filled the basket, the scent of dirty laundry floating up on the humid air. One more look to make sure I wasn't being watched, and my paw dived in, fished out a pair of my father's boxer-briefs, and shoved them under my shirt. I finished quickly and hurried out of the bathroom, stowing them under the blanket at the top end of the bed. Not long after, the tap stopped flowing with a clunk, the shower curtain rings jingled, and my father stepped out in a terrycloth robe, vigorously drying his head. "All done. Should still be some hot water left, if you wanna use it." "Thanks," I said, "but my fur gets all crazy if I sleep right after taking a shower. I'll wait until morning." "Suit yourself," he said, passing in front of the bed and turning a knob. With a whoosh, the gas fireplace lit up. "I'm gonna hit the hay, but if you need anything, let me know. Sweet dreams, kiddo." I made a production of yawning. "You too, Dad." His whole face from cheek to ear rose when I said that, and I heard his teeth clicking together on his way out of the room. The lights went out, leaving me with the dim glow of light pollution and fireplace. I pulled off my the rest of my clothes, stretching my tail which had been weighed down by my belt all day, and climbed into bed. I waited a few minutes until I heard a soft, faint snoring from the other room, then I pulled out my prize to examine it. Dad's red boxer-briefs were black in the limited light, but I could make out the white letters on the black elastic, and the tasteful white border at the leg ends. With one paw encouraging my balls to descend, I brought the crotch to my face and inhaled in short bursts - one, two, three! - before taking a long drag. My dad must have been excited earlier; they were still wet with the sweet-bitter, iron smell of precum and inner-sheath that swirled together against my father's woody, walnut-tinged musk. I kicked off the covers, pushed down on the button that hid my boyhood away, and imagined being knelt before him, admiring that wet, curved dick that dripped and glistened. My mouth watered at the very thought of catching a long sliver of drooling pre on my tongue, but I knew there were even better things in store. I repositioned the boxers, remembering how my father had spurted and dribbled that first time I'd dug my snout between his legs. Chipmunk nuts have a distinct, savory odor when they drop in arousal, and Dad had definitely filled out the extent of the special rodent pouches built into his drawers. I tugged my short, black sheath up and down my little shaft, tickling the fuzzy, dark skin of his balls with my whiskers. I loved the way my old man smelled, and in the fantasy I was brewing, he knew I loved it, weighing down my head with his paw to keep me from breathing in anything else. I shifted in bed, and pictured Dad straddling me so my nose prodded the cross-section of of his boxer-briefs. "Unf, Dad..." I was already leaking fervently, legs tensing as I drew in that unique brew of ball-scent and butt-sweat that melted together at the taint. "Go on, kiddo. Take a good whiff," I imagined him saying. "Y-yes, sir!" I spread my father's round, ruddy buttcheeks, shoving my snout into the seat of his underwear, right into those musk glands under his tail, where every pheromone stank of undiluted manhood. I kissed his tight, pink pucker in my mind, licked it, tongued it wide open and drank his sweat. God! I'd be marked, my entire muzzle painted with tainted spit! That pungent stench would be all over me! He'd sit on me and drown me in it! "I'll make sure everyone knows you belong to me, kiddo!" "Unf! Dad! Dad!" I huffed frantically, desperately. Dad was sucking me off, grinding his rump into my face, telling me what a good, little boy I was. I was his good little boy! That's all it took. My balls jumped as I humped into my paw, but I managed to stifle a potentially messy situation with his boxer-briefs, filling the fabric with a pent-up teenager's cumload. "Unf, thanks, Dad. I needed that." I lay there in afterglow for a long time, remembering my dad's fat, tan belly with the attractive treasure trail against my nose, the way he caressed me, teetering between lust and comfort before ravaging me with love. I wondered if I'd done the right thing, coaxing him into my apartment. 'Maybe if I hadn't, I wouldn't be here now,' I thought. Things could have been very different. Maybe if I hadn't, I'd be snuggled up next to him in his bed right now. Probably not. I cleaned myself off and crept into the bathroom, hoping to bury the evidence of my crime deep under the pile of dirty clothes in the hamper before crawling back into bed.

I slept pleasantly and woke up well-rested just as the morning sun crawled over my body and settled on my face. New smells had replaced last night's mischief. "Are you roasting chestnuts?" I called toward the kitchen. "Ah, you're up!" Dad called back. "Come on in here!" I stood, stretched, and ambled into the kitchen. "Oh, you're still naked!" Dad sounded surprised. "Oh, I am," I replied, surprised at his surprise. I hadn't even thought about it. "Well, put on something comfortable. Breakfast is almost done!" I'd never seen my father in casual clothes before. His grey t-shirt hugged his belly just a bit too tightly, clearly from a time when he was a bit thinner, but his wide-legged jeans settled on his thighs just right. Of course, I didn't really have any clothes like this. I returned to the kitchen table in my usual white button-down and khakis. "We need to get you more clothes that fit," Dad said idly, setting a square plate full of chestnuts in the middle of the small table and sitting opposite me. "Where'd you get those clothes from, anyway?" "You'd be surprised how hard it is to find clothes in my size that aren't for little kids at thrift stores," I said, grabbing a still-hot chestnut and gnawing off the shell. "Plus, Jeremy is a lot taller than I am, so his old stuff doesn't fit so well, either." "That's definitely on the list this weekend, then." Conversing while breaking open nutshells is a uniquely rodent ability, I've come to find. It's a separate language Axle can't speak when we're in the diner. Usually, I have to alternate between speech and cracking, but with Dad, we talked easily around the chestnuts as we broke them down and popped the soft meat into our mouths, readying the next nut while still working on the previous. It might sound silly, but it's an enormous comfort to be able to do what comes naturally instead of bending to society's whims. I talk to other rodents, of course, rats and mice, but nothing is quite as natural as being around another chipmunk. It's a luxury I realized I'd sorely missed out on since Jeremy and Charlotte moved away to Philadelphia for college. "I wanna show you something," Dad said as he cleared the table of shells and plates. "You sure like showing me things," I said, resting my chin on my paws. "Well, I've got a lot to show you. Come over here." He tugged me over to the window where the sitting chair looked out over the city. "We're going there first." I looked out the window. The sun still hadn't completely touched the park spread out below, but I could see it all the same, covered in snow, with concrete walkways wandering around a frozen lake. From there, only a couple of wide streets separated us from a barren, frozen beach, and then water as far as I could see. I touched my nose to the window to look down at the sidewalk and was immediately reminded how cold it was outside compared to our warm penthouse. "Wow, everything's frozen. I've never seen anything quite like this." "Yeah, it's funny. If you'd gotten here two days ago, it was warm enough to rain. But overnight, it all turned into a big blanket of ice. This has actually been a warm winter, so far." "Yeah, right. Warm." "You sound incredulous," Dad said. "I can't fathom that anyone here understands what warm weather feels like."

My father and I bundled ourselves into our winter armor, I in my puffy new jacket and Dad in his tan leather trench coat, both over layers of clothing and natural winter fur. Then we dropped ten floors at an uncomfortable speed, much faster going down than up, so that the nuts in my stomach seemed to roll around in my chest. Out through the palatial lobby and into the icy street, where desperate cars moved with deliberate speed through the slush, a quick jog across the street, and we were among the leafless trees of Lincoln Park. "You mentioned once that you get restless in your apartment and take walks in Audubon Park," Dad said, the steam of his words trailing back into his face as he walked. "Yeah," I said, moving carefully over the frozen grass, "though usually not when it's this cold." "It is a bit cold," he admitted, "but there's a reason why I like to come out here this early when it's cold. There's a lot to do in Lincoln Park. A free zoo, good food, and in the fall the scenery is pretty spectacular. But this early in the morning, everything is closed." "So no one is here because everything's closed and it's too cold for sensible people to be out," I said. "Ha, something like that. Here, one more street to cross." Dad grabbed my gloved paw and toted me across the narrow road. "It's a good time to get away from the noise of the city. Something about being in this park on a chilly Saturday morning is refreshing, the way it burns in my nose. Something I thought you might appreciate- whoa!" "Careful, Dad," I said, steadying him. While the pathway had been salted, patches of ice lingered here and there, and we were surrounded by fields of ice on either side. "Yeah, no kidding," he said, bruxing with his long front teeth. "Usually, it's not so icy when I come out." "Guess I picked the wrong weekend to come up to see ya," I joked. "Naw," he shook his head, taking up his gentle limping stride again, "It's always one thing or another. I'll take an icy walkway over a burning tar mat in Memphis any day. Besides, I bet you've never ice skated before." "That's true! I've actually always wanted to, though," I said. "Millennium Park has a rink near the Bean we can check out later. Of course, you could always practice in the grass." I looked over the glass that separated the grass from the sky. "Do you think it would hold me?" "Try it." I pressed a winter Birkenstock onto the sheet of ice, leaned my weight into it, stepped onto it. Solid as a steel beam, and slick as a frying pan covered in butter. I looked back at my dad, who stood amused with his weight on his good leg. I managed enough friction to push one low paw forward, but the other slid backward in response. My arms fluttered around autonomously to right the wrong I'd committed while Dad just laughed. "Don't fall, now!" Once my balance was reestablished, I wagged my hip forward and let the momentum carry me across the ice, watching captured leaves and imprisoned tree limbs pass under me like fossils in amber. "There you go. Newton's your friend on the ice," Dad reminded me. "Why don't you come over here and teach me Newton's First Law?" "Ha, you're not goading this old chipmunk out onto that ice. Maybe in the rink later." "I don't know if I can get back over there," I laughed, moonwalking in place. "You gotta try to make your own friction. Have you ever been on inline skates?" "I'm really bad at rollerblading." "Damn," he said, twisting his muzzle in thought. "Well, try this. Turn your foot out diagonally and push off with the side. No, not like-- there you go! Just push forward and I'll stop you," he said, bracing like a baseball catcher. He stumbled back a bit when I collided with him, but he caught me in his arms just the same. "Thanks," I said, squeezing him around the middle. He clicked his teeth together, patting me firmly on the back in return. "Alrighty, Clunk, right over here is my favorite part of the trail." Dad guided me a little ways forward to a bridge that overlooked a frozen pond. The path veered off to the right and down a hill before encircling the entire pool. Between the path and the bridge, the hill slid down in an icy slope to the boardwalk below. "I think," I measured, "I'm gonna try to slide down." "That's a long way down. Sure you can handle it?" Dad taunted. "Better than you can," I retorted. I'm a sucker for peer pressure. "Probably so. Just don't fall in the lake. There's no fishing allowed, so I won't be able to pull you out." "Hmph," was my reply. It wasn't_that_ far down, but I did decide to move a little farther along where the drop wasn't as steep. I ran out onto the ice, and before I could do anything about it, I was speeding down the slope with nothing between gravity's pull and what little weight a chubby chipmunk is worth.

Newton's Second Law: Force equals mass times acceleration. Thus, acceleration equals force divided by mass.

There wasn't any backing up, but I knew the salted boardwalk below would stop me before I got to the lake.

Newton's First Law: An object in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside force.

The boardwalk was a little slick, but the rubber under my Birkenstocks caught dry ground, and I stumbled forward. I might have been fine if I'd noticed before I ran down the hill that there was a small mesh fence about shin high. Instead of stopping, I tripped into it and tore it down, but not before it sent me into a free tumble.

Newton's Third Law: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Any force exerted by one object on another is met by an opposing force.

The ice under my shoes resisted every attempt to brake myself to a halt. I stepped on a second mesh fence, trying to fall backward, but by the time I crushed my tail under my padded bottom, I was sliding out over the pond. My cloth gloves gave me more purchase on the wet ice, and I came to a stop at last. "Clunk!" I heard my dad scream behind me. I turned onto my knees. The ice groaned and whined and crackled. "Don't move!" I saw my dad, frozen in surrender with his paws arrested in front of him, as if trying to convince a police officer not to shoot. And then, water. I dangled in it, breathed in the great cold of it, took it into me and became one with it. I watched my legs fumble around me in a vertigo seizure, trying to make contact with earth and lift me off like a rocket, but every tease of ground slipped out from under me like a slick rug. I reached up and grasped at the thin air, but the weight of my clothes dragged in the water until I was too tired to struggle. I saw my glasses float upward to the glass sky before it closed up and left me in the blue, blue darkness.

I've never felt so perfectly alone.

But really, I'd always been alone. I'd always had no one, and that could never change. No one would save me from drowning. Not my father. Not even Axle. I was always doomed to die as prey animals do, cold and afraid and alone.

The world crashes around me. Darkness becomes light, and a cold unlike I've ever known comes over me. Death reaches down and takes my wrist, drags me out of the water with his icy, bone paws, and lays me out to be judged. He presses his terrific hindpaw against my chest, grinding the heel into my naked fur until I heave my heart out to be weighed. Death hovers over me, so close I can taste his frigid breath as he sucks what little life I have left out of me. His cloak envelopes my entire being, body and soul, in shadow, and he weighs my heart. "I trust you knew your place in this world," he growls. "You reached too far." "I know." "If you were meant to have a father, you would have had one from the start. You were not destined to know such things." "I know." "Your father would have eventually realized the true nature of your heart. He could have never loved you for what you were. I've spared him that epiphany." "I know. I know, I know." "This heart isn't worth the mercy I've shown you; it might as well be made of lead. You deserve a fate far worse." "Yes, I know." "Come with me." I comply, all bone, dragging my soggy pelt behind me. Death hoists me onto his black horse and we ride with an uneven gait into infinite cold. We ride, we ride, we ride, and I hang like a dead catfish, held to the back of His lopsided steed by His will alone. Comets of fire and ice whiz by as we drive toward deep space, toward Absolute Zero. I hear old ghosts whispering, crying, wheezing. Incessant, breathy prayers of the damned. Death sets fire to the unending night. The crying is clear in my head now, desperate, incoherent pleas to an unconcerned god. The horse whinnies and bucks, and at last Death lets me fall to the ground and shatter against the walls of Hades. "Stand up." "What's happening?" "Stand up, Clunk." "I'll fall to pieces." "You have to stand up." Even as he demands me to get up, I feel his essence weighing me down. All the while, the Hell around me grows and grows, and my bones begin to thaw. "I'll try." I gather shards of bone and bind them again to flesh against Death's gravity. Leaning into the wall, I push up and stand on unfamiliar paws. "Thank you." Death holds me steady, as if he pities my fate. "Come on, just a little further." His voice is pained and warm and familiar. I feel as if I've known Death for a thousand years. "I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry. I'm not worth--" "Hush, Clunk. Keep walking," Death coos. I focus on my toes, watch them pass out of sync with His unsteady stride. Doors pass. Door after door, each numbered for a different soul. Mine stands at the end of the hallway. How my heart aches to be through that door! "Almost there, Clunk. Stay with me." "Yes, sir." We stand in front of the unceremonious portal, and it flings itself open. The smell of roasted chestnuts fills my head, and I know I am home at last. I collapse on the hot floor, arms held out wide to embrace it. Up again, he insists, and he wraps me in the gentlest new pelt and lays me in a bed of feather down and straw. "I've got you, Clunk," he says, hugging my head against his icy, plush chestfur. "Please, please stay with me. I don't know what I'll do if I lose you. I can't--" He smells like warm mud and damp bark. "I'm here, Dad." He sighs and shivers, and his tense grasp goes limp.

A sweet, slow beat invaded my dreamless slumber. I rode into consciousness on waves of trombones that rolled in and out. A woman crooned over a sleepy horn section in a language I didn't understand. A dry heat stole the water from my skin, and a smell, like warm chocolate and hazelnuts, warmed my lungs. I dared to open my eyes. Soft colors and shapes of fire flickered quietly, without the crackle I'd been led to believe all fireplaces gave off. I sat up and rubbed my eyes, feeling around for my glasses. White daylight poured over a wooden floor, catching loose fur in the air and making strange patterns of shadow that shifted and turned. How did I get here? It was like I'd started the morning over. Dad in the kitchen, scent of nuts and breakfast, warm blankets on a thin, fluffed up mattress. But no glasses. "Oh, thank God, you're awake." Dad's blurred form didn't look as fresh and bright as I'd remembered. The fur on his naked belly was slightly matted, from what I could tell, and there was a tiredness about him that was almost tangible in the stiff way he limped, holding two large, steaming, blue rectangles. He held one out to me. "Drink this. It should help." I took it and sniffed it automatically. Hot chocolate made with hazelnut milk. What had I done to deserve a treat like this? "What... how did I get here?" "Honestly, I don't know myself," Dad grunted as he dropped onto the pull-out bed next to me, taking a long swig of his amber drink. It reeked of honey and cinnamon and alcohol. "Drink, Clunk. It'll make you feel better." Indeed, the hot milk soothed my broken lips, warmed my core from soul outward. "Have you... seen my glasses?" "Shit," he spat. "Probably in that damned pond. I'm sorry, Clunk, I don't think I have it in me to go diving in that Godforsaken water again." He winced, his ears shrinking back at the thought, and finished his hot toddy in one, painful gulp. I watched the steam that would have normally fogged up my vision float up my nose. "You came in after me?" "What do you mean?" Dad said, setting his empty mug on the floor with a grunt of effort. "Of course I did. What was I supposed to do, let you drown?" "You carried me all the way back up here?" My eyes were starting to water, maybe from the steam. "Somehow, I guess I did," he said, propping up the head of the mattress to a gentle incline and easing his head back against it. "I don't know how I did it, but here we are." I thought over sips of hot cocoa for a long while. "I don't know what to say," I said finally, setting the mug down on the floor in front of the fireplace. "You don't have to say anything, Clunk. Come on, lie down, keep warm." The music playing crescendoed with my heart. I crawled up to my father's waiting arms on paws and knees and let him pull my head against his nude, heaving chest.

Why this feeling? Why this glow? Why the thrill When you say, "Hello"?

"I don't understand," I said, leaning up on my elbow to look Dad in the eye. "Why would you do that?" Dad's brows furrowed as he searched my face. "You're my son. Isn't that enough reason?"

It's a strange and tender magic you do. Mr. Wonderful, that's you.

"But you barely even know me. I'm nobody." "How could you say that?" Dad looked confused. After a moment, he kissed me on the forehead. "You're somebody to me. Someone I hope to have around for a long time. And I love ya, kiddo. That's good enough reason for me."

Why this trembling When you speak? Why this joy When you touch my cheek?

With all the restraint I could muster, I kissed him on the cheek. "What song is this?" "Ahh, that's Peggy Lee singing 'Mr. Wonderful,'" Dad bruxed with the most serene look I'd ever seen on his face, like he might fade off into the happiest slumber. "No mistaking that voice. She's fantastic."

I must tell you what my heart knows is true, Mr. Wonderful, that's you.

This was one of those precipice moments, like looking into a yawning chasm and not knowing what was at the bottom or how far down it would go. My soul wanted to jump into freefall, but my reasonable brain warned me to back away from the edge and find a safer way down. I bit my lip and let go of reason. "Can I tell you something, Dad?" I asked, pulling myself onto his chest so I could feel his heart pump against my ribs. "Of course, Clunk," he said with gravity. "You can tell me anything." I leapt into a kiss, landing it square on my father's mouth. He resisted, chiding quietly with a click of his teeth. "Hold on, kiddo." But the electricity of that simple kiss implored that I try again. Dad leaned his head away, but I could feel in his pulse he would need very little convincing. Again, into the side of his muzzle, into his neck, into that sweet spot between the shoulder and the clavicle. I seized his collar in my teeth and felt his whole, naked body shudder and capitulate under me.

And while there's longing to know your charms, To spend forever here in your arms...

"Clunk, I can't..." Dad flubbed weakly. "I... I don't have the energy." I framed his chubby cheeks in my paws and pressed my nose to his. Those brown eyes behind his rounded spectacles were weary. He'd spent a great deal of himself on me today. I owed him everything I had. "Just let me do the work this time, Dad," I said. Once more, slowly, I pressed my mouth onto his, and he let me in.

Oh, there's much more I could say, But the words keep slipping away. And I'm left with only one point of view Mr. Wonderful, that's you.

My first taste of alcohol burned sweetly, wrapped in honey and saliva from my old man's kiss. Dad's slender fingers sifted through the short, auburn fur behind my head, clenched and took hold of it, sending fire down my spine and into my loins. Jim Russell lit me up in his embrace, compelling my body to move in the rhythm of his tongue. "You... have a very persuasive kiss," he huffed, his face flushing with heat under my palms. I thumbed his cheekfur and slid another convincing smooch into his mouth, mounting his bucking hips so that his slick bone grew right between my hindquarters. Once, twice, thrice my heart skipped as the curved tip caught in my pleading hole, threatening to plunge in, only to tease past and spurt into my tail. Peggy Lee's song danced into a big finish while I sat studying my father's blurred figure with my paws. I ran my tiny fingers over the arc of this face, down his short neck and over his wide chest where his nipples puckered and heaved. I kneaded the fat of his plush, fuzzy belly, fluffing the matted fur around his navel where our tummies met.

One more thing before I'm through, Mr. Wonderful..... I love you.

Dad sat up under me, brushing his claws over my whiskers. "You really wanna do this, Clunk?" "I'd be really upset if we stopped now," I smiled, holding his paw to my cheek so he could feel my blush. "I already fell through thin ice. Can't imagine getting blue balls on top of that." Dad breathed a chuckle through his nose. "When you put it that way, it seems like the only reasonable thing to do, but this isn't--" I stopped him short with a finger, connecting his nose to my boyhood by a string of precum. "When you put it that way..." I stuck that slick finger into his mouth and his words trailed off. "Take a break. Let me do the work this time." I pulled the mute out of his mouth and he kissed it wetly, letting his heavy paw fall to my shoulder. I used the damp digit to inspect under my tail. For his reluctance, Dad's dick had done an overzealous job of lubing me up; my two fingers disappeared inside me with ease, twirled and spread me out, and left my butthole twitching as the curved end of his rod slid from my fuzzy taint, up my sticky backside, and into its winking mark. It was a wonderfully agonizing descent. I'd dreamed of the way Dad's curved cock had dragged against my sweet spot for months, and there it was, forcing precum out of me in hefty spurts as I came down on it. I clutched my father's chest pelt and clung to his shoulder, wagging down to the hilt with the help of his weighted paw. All three and a half inches of my shaft strained against his fat belly, making a mess of that dignified trail of gray that ventured down below my hefty balls. Dad wasn't particularly long, and he wasn't particularly thick, but the sheer, unrelenting hardness of his curved os bone left me panting and giggling like an idiot. I sat upright, trying to control the way my body shuddered. "Whew! Haha!" "Y-you alright?" Dad tried to look concerned, with his ears sliding back, but the way he cocked his eye as I sat on him, and the fact that he was clearly pushing me down, worked against his effort. I laughed, patting the end of his muzzle with a finger soaked in his fluids. "Y-you're terrible," he said, talking around the digit as he sucked it hungrily, one eye still closed. "Love you, too, Dad," I smiled, intending to kiss him on the nose. As I leaned in, though, he pulled me forward by the scruff of my neck and shoved his tongue into my mouth as we clumsily collided. "Mmph! Mmm..." He led me through the waltz that jazzed on behind us, the perfect tempo, the perfect rhythm for a steady, lilting grind on that insistent rod. My dad had the perfect riding dick. I usually reserve that title for canines. Their bulbs aren't made for constant humping. They lock in, settle and swell and fill you up; they're built for the long drive. But my father's design was well-suited for face-to-face action, the upward curve clearly intended to pound his son's prostate without mercy, like a marksman's arrow, tapered and sharp and never missing the bullseye. We snogged like beasts, grunting and huffing, my father's flustered breath breathing sweat and alcohol into my sinuses. The pheromones that rose off of us were palpable, black walnut and cinnamon mud, pond and dirt. Dad was rough with his paws, tugging and clawing and seizing the fur between my ears. I teetered on the edge for as long as I could, but you can only hang on for so long before something's gotta give. "I can't help it. I gotta cum now," I said, breaking our kiss with a smack of saliva. "Go ahead, kiddo," Dad breathed. I sat upright and leaned backwards so my dad's cock was pinned just right, grabbing the skin of my sheath button and stroking. Steady, not too frantic. I'd found the slower you can manage to jerk, the longer the orgasm, and after the morning I'd had, I deserved a nice, long finish. "Will you... tell me I'm you're good boy?" It burned my pride fiercely to request such an embarrassing thing, and the butterflies were almost unbearable, but I needed to hear it. Dad's ears pinned back, the fur on his cheek standing on end, but he grinned an impish grin. "That's my good little boy," he cooed. "My good little boy, cumming for his papa." I know I look stupid when I blow my load, and I'm happy to accept that the better it feels, the stupider I look. Whining weird cries and breathing with my entire body, eyes rolled back, ears giving mixed signals. I'm a mess. But I'll be damned if I didn't look satisfied as hell lurching forward over my dad's belly, chest soaked, my little teenaged cock still dribbling as I milked out the last drops. "Whew, I really needed that. Wow." I stuttered out an unflattering chuckle, looking up at my dad. He just smiled a confused smile and laughed. "Well, I'm glad you're satisfied." "Did you get off?" "I'm all right, Clunk." "That's not a good enough answer," I said, giving him a quick smooch before dismounting. Sure enough, that cock still stood tall and proud, fluids still sputtering faithfully from the tip. If I needed my rocks drained, Dad needed it ten times more. I straddled him backwards so I could rest on my knees with my tail tickling his nose. The stink of sex greeted me well before my tongue found his tapered head. I reveled in it, pressed my nose against the rod that had just plowed my ass and huffed the pungent musk. Chubby guys have a wonderful, stinky pouch right around their sheaths that is a perfect pillow for curious noses, and Dad was no exception. I pushed down with my face, exposing the base of his cock which was hidden in his fat, and held his slick, black button down between my fingers. Sucking dick is frankly one of my favorite things to do; I keep my teeth filed against social expectations just so I can do it. Even more, though, I love to suck a dick right after it's plundered my rump; the entire aesthetic changes. There's a different kind of stickiness, more viscous than mere precum, with tastes and smells made richer and more potent when mixed with my own special blend of secretions and spices. It's no longer just about getting a mouth full of jizz. The entire process is a treat to the senses. Dad's labored breaths were hot against my leaking tailhole. Not long after I'd gotten his modest length into my mouth, I felt my dad's wide tongue drag between my buttcheeks. Frankly, it startled me. I'd almost forgotten my dad had his own feast spread out before him, and I certainly wasn't expecting him to take up the invitation so eagerly. I wagged my whole backside for him, pushing a little more of his precum out for him to taste, and his whole belly rose up against me in great, heaving gasps. Two more long drags of his tongue, and my mouth was flooded with thick, nutty, chipmunk spunk. If I wasn't busy with the force of his orgasm, I'd have chuckled at the way he huffed and squirmed under me, his nose planted firmly on the glands under my tail. "Unf, God, damn," he wheezed. "That's just not fair..." I let him get his fill of my scent before turning awkwardly on one knee, careful not to kick him in the head in the process. I flopped down beside him, draping my arm over his chest and pulling myself close. "You seemed to like that a whole lot." "We're never gonna have a normal father/son relationship, are we?" "I sure hope not," I said, dragging him into an open-mouthed smooch. I sensed his ears pull back, his brows scrunching up in disgust, but his tongue sucked down the cum I'd stored in my cheeks to share. His whole muzzle reeked of me where the wet of my hindquarters had soaked into the fur. I had half a mind to mount him again and try for round two, but Dad had said it best before. There wasn't enough energy left in either of us for another romp. This was good enough, though, basking in the smell of incest while a stranger crooned love songs through the stereo. "God, I'm gross," Dad said, frowning at the viscous spit trail that connected our lips as I pulled away. I laughed. "Maybe. But you know what?" "What's that?" he said, wiping his mouth before settling his arm around my shoulder. "I'm not cold at all anymore," I said, cuddling up against the soft of his chest. "Ha, true enough," he admitted. "Warmed up right to the core." "You're a hot dad, Jim Russell." "Oh, God," he flustered. "Please don't say that." "I call 'em as I see 'em!" I poked. "Oh, nooo!" he cried, covering his face. "Why are you so strange?" "It's my most redeeming quality!" I said. "Otherwise, I'm pretty boring." "Boring would be the last word that comes to mind." "Stick around a little while." I yawned and tugged at the sticky mess I'd left in his fur where I'd lain against him. "This is all very weird for me, Clunk," he said at length. "I'm not scaring you away, am I?" I tried to play that off as a joke. "No, nothing like that," he said. I didn't realize I was holding my breath until I let it out in a sigh. "But I don't understand," he continued. "Why in God's name would you want to--" Dad grasped at the English language -- "do_this_--" he resorted to a frenetic hand gesture-- "with me? I'm old and fat. I have a gimp leg. Why me?" "Because," I replied, burying my head under his arm, "I like the way you smell. I like the sound of your voice, and your taste in authors. You're probably the coolest dad I could ever imagine. This is what I have to give in return for all that." Dad was quiet for a long while. "It's not a lot," I added, "but hopefully it's not that bad." My ears flinched as his whiskers brushed against them, and again at the sound of the firm kiss to my head. "God, Clunk," the old chipmunk said, pulling me into a needy hug. "I was so scared I was gonna lose you out there. All I could think about was how I'd missed out on so much, and how I'd never get the chance to make up for it. I'm so glad you're still here, Clunk Russell." I heard my tail wagging against the bedsheets. "Love you, Dad." "Love you, too, kiddo." "What now?" I yawned. "I think we've had enough excitement for today. Let's take it easy." "Good. I could lie next to you all day long," I said, stretching. "You might have to," he replied. "I don't know if I can even move my legs, let alone stand on them." "Guess we'll need some GrubHub." "Maybe in a little bit. Right now, my tail is falling asleep, and I'm not far behind. Scoot over." I shifted so Dad could lie on his side, freeing his tail from under his weight. He hugged me close, and I pulled the covers over us. I measured my breaths out to match my dad's until I slipped into slumber, warm fire at my toes, sleepy trombones in my ears.

We kept things lazy and easy that day. Dad offered to take me to get new glasses, but I'd packed a spare pair in my stowaway bag. Besides, before anything else, a shower was definitely in order. I coaxed Dad into the hot water with me, brushed out the mess that had hardened in his chest fur, and got to try out one of my father's many scented shampoos. Dad had wanted to cook for me that night, but instead he took the opportunity to introduce me to Chicago-style deep dish pizza, which frankly gives a whole new meaning to the term "pizza pie." A good three inches of thick, meaty tomato sauce stuffed with pepperoni and mushrooms, all held together by three different types of cheese. This was a monster that couldn't be domesticated as mere finger food. This beast required a fork and a knife and a plate to tame it, but boy, was it ever worth it. Dad managed to get around the apartment with a much slower, more weighted limp than usual, but he was certain he was "gonna feel it in the morning." I did what I could to keep him off his lowpaws, and insisted he treat me to a movie marathon. I popped the popcorn while dad loaded up the DVD player with the_Alien Quadrilogy_ boxset. I clung to my father's arm and shoveled popcorn into my mouth at an alarming pace, cringing as aliens hugged faces and burst forth from chests. Dad was endlessly amused by my reactions, and kept trying to insert trivia into the scenes where -- as I was quick to remind him with a shushing finger -- absolute silence was necessary. After the second brilliant film, Dad insisted that there weren't any other films to watch, even though the box clearly showed four alien-themed movies. "Trust me," he said, "there are only two." Dad pulled out the mattress for me again that night. To be honest, I was tempted to sleep in those sex-soaked sheets, but I had other ambitions. While he was in the bathroom, I slipped through the kitchen and into his bedroom. The light on the white bedside table lit the simple room in an amber glow. My dad's massive bed took up most of the small room, which was otherwise nondescript beyond the two long closets along the far wall and the clothes overtopping of their sliding doors. In spite of what my father had said the night before, no fireplace can heat a bed like a warm body. Besides, large beds are lonely when you don't have anyone to share them. It was in both our best interests that I dropped my drawers, unbuttoned my shirt, and crawled on naked knees over the massive, fluffy comforter. Instead of bouncing against a box spring, each movement sank into the deep white of the bed. I drew back the great, quilted cover and settled in to the pillows like a bug, pulling the sheets just over my muzzle so I could see the doorway. Dad was calling for me, but I didn't answer. He'd find me soon. "No, Clunk." He pretzeled his arms in the doorway. "But I'm so comfortable!" I pleaded. "And you'll be perfectly comfortable by the fireplace. Come on, out." "But you're so much warmer," I insisted, "and this bed is way softer, and I'm really tired--" "Clunk--" "--And after everything that happened this morning, I don't want to be alone." Dad ground his teeth. "Please? I really, really don't want to sleep alone tonight." Dad heaved in, and sighed out, and his strict stance slumped. "Dammit, Clunk." I tucked my head further under the sheets. "You're gonna be the end of me, kiddo," he said, pulling off his t-shirt and tossing it aside. "Scoot over. You're on my side of the bed." I obeyed, clicking my teeth and wagging my bottom while dad turned out the light and lay beside me in the dark. "Your bed is ridiculously comfortable. You've been holding out," I said. "Hush, it's bedtime." "Yes, sir," I said, grabbing his paw and tugging it around my middle. Dad didn't resist, but he didn't pull me close, either. "Sweet dreams!" "Good night. Sweet dreams." Instead of hugging me like I'd hoped, Dad ran his slender fingers over my belly, traced the outline of my navel, caressed my sides down to my rump with the tips of his claws and slid back up over my arm. He feathered over my eyebrows, grazing over every sensitive whisker on my muzzle. "Oh, wow... That feels really nice," I breathed. "Shhh," he cooed, patting my cherubic tummy. After a moment, his magic hands went back to work, and I fell asleep in perfect bliss.

Perhaps sleeping most of the day away had left me well-rested, or perhaps my dreams had simply found a convenient bookmark. Either way, it was dark when I woke up, and Dad wasn't lying next to me. The kitchen light shone through the open doorway, and I heard something shuffling in the dining room. I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes and grabbed my glasses from the bedside table. Dad was in the living room, sitting in the great chair that looked out over Lincoln Park. "Dad?" I heard the cushion jump. Something clicked, and Dad stowed something away in the seat next to him. "What are you doing up, kiddo?" "I dunno. Couldn't sleep." I leaned to the right to get a better glimpse of my dad in the kitchen light. "You all right?" Dad didn't reply immediately. "No," he said at length. "I have a lot on my mind." "You wanna talk about it?" I stepped carefully forward. "Maybe... that would be a good idea." Dad looked at my reflection in the window and patted the fat arm of his recliner. "Come sit down with me." I felt the need to step lightly, worried I might crack the quiet my father was straining to maintain. I sat gingerly on the arm of the seat, which sank under my weight. "Clunk," Dad said to the floor, "I've spent a long time living with a lot of regrets. Every wrong turn I've taken, the opportunities I've spoiled, the people I've hurt along the way, like you. Those things haunt me. I look back, and I feel so stupid. I've done a lot of awful things, and now half of my life is gone. All I want to do is set things right. I want to fix all the things that I've broken. I want to be able to look back another forty-two years from now and say, 'My life was worth something, after all.'" I didn't know what to do with that information, so I stayed quiet. "I want to be the kind of father my pa would be proud of, and I've been nothing but a failure. I married a woman I couldn't love and doomed my kids to suffer the consequences of my horrible decisions. God, and I kept having kids... All I wanted to do for years was run away, but I should have stayed, or at least been involved. And it took me fifteen years to do something about it, Clunk. Geez, maybe it's too late to be a father at this point." Dad had slumped into his paws. I squeezed his shoulder, but I didn't have the right words to offer support. "But I want to try," he continued, sitting up. "I want to repent for the mess I've made for you, and I hoped maybe I could be a positive thing in your life. But... I don't know what's wrong with me. I never felt this way about Jeremy, or Charlotte, God forbid. Hell, I don't think I've had a gay thought before in my life. And here I am, unable to stop myself from... just... doing all these terrible things to you." "Dad--" "It's wrong," he said, trying not to let tears form in his voice, "and I don't know if I can stop myself, Clunk. I want so badly to be a part of your life, kiddo, but I..." He paused and sank back into his chair. "I don't want this to be another regret." There was a thunderous silence. "Can I say something?" I tried, shifting uncomfortably. Dad simply nodded at the ceiling. "I... I don't know a lot about families, what they're supposed to be. I see them on TV sometimes, but that's just fiction. I've never had that sort of family. But you're as close to that fantasy as I've ever gotten." Dad was strangling the other arm of the chair in his grip. "I can't imagine how." "Well, for one thing, you saved my life," I insisted. "I don't think you understand what that means. Why would anyone risk their life for me like that? Me! Who am I? I'm nobody! And for what? Nothing! I never thought anyone would do that sort of thing for me." "Any decent person--" "I think," I interrupted, "love is an easy word to throw around. I've known caring, maybe. Infatuation. Lust. I'm used to people using me for what they can get out of me, and sometimes, I like that feeling. But what I feel from you is different. I know you don't want anything out of me, but for some reason, you want to give me everything. Like I said, I don't know a lot about this stuff, but that seems like the kind of thing everyone calls love. You love me, and that's more than I could have ever asked for." "You're sweet, Clunk," Dad said with the saddest smile, finally daring to look up at me. He pulled me into his lap and hugged me from behind. "But this is not how a loving father treats his son." "Who says?" Dad just laughed, and held me tightly. "You'll just have to trust me on that one. I'm not fit to be a parent like this." "Respectfully," I argued, "I disagree. I know people whose parents tossed them out on the streets when they found out they were gay. You've never once questioned my sexuality. Hell, you've embraced it completely! From what I hear, most parents can't even work up the courage to_talk_ to their kids about sex. I'd say you're leagues ahead." Dad laughed again. "That's some twisted logic, kiddo." "Maybe I'm a little twisted, or maybe I just don't understand. I want this. I want this really bad. Why do we have to fight it?" "You're just a kid, Clunk," Dad said, his voice like a pin drop in my ear. "But I'm not!" I pulled away and stood, daring to raise the decibel of the conversation. "I've got a job. I pay my own rent. I've raised myself since Jeremy and Charlotte moved out." "Then why don't you understand?" Dad said, leaning forward. "There are consequences to this! Adults have to take responsibility for the things they do!" "Then why do you keep trying to run away from me?" I yelled, nearly swiping my dad's sensitive nose as I pivoted back toward him. Dad looked at me like I'd struck him across the face. "What do you think? That I'm gonna report you to the police? That, somehow, having sex with me is gonna scar me into any more of a deviant than I already am? I've been making my own decisions for a very long time now. Do you think you're forcing yourself on me, that I'm some helpless puppy you have to protect? I'm choosing to have this kind of relationship with you, and frankly, it's probably the most responsible decision I've ever made. You're safe. You take care of me. I'm financially stable for the first time in my life." "You don't have to have sex with me to get all that, Clunk!" "And that's what makes this a healthy relationship!" I said, crawling into my father's lap and planting a kiss on his snout. "But I prefer it this way. If you honestly don't want this with me, that's fine... but if it's some misguided attempt to punish yourself, to make up for your mistakes, then you're wasting your energy. I don't want perfection. It's too late for that. I want you, Jim Russell." "Ho-ly cow, Clunk," Dad sighed. "How did I ever get into this mess?" "That's what you get for getting to know me," I said, propping up his chin so he couldn't look away. "It's a package deal. Free chipmunk, comes with a big, freakin' mess." "I'm terrible," he said. "I'm gross." "Then you're just what the doctor ordered," I said, kissing him on the mouth. His tongue pressed forward to meet mine. "Ugh," he cursed to himself. "I love you to death, kiddo. But I can't help but think this is way out of bounds." "Then stop thinking about it and just enjoy it. I'm giving you my consent, and I promise to let you know when you're out of bounds." "You're not old enough to give your consent." "Says who? If I'm old enough to pay my own rent, I'm old enough to have a say in who I fuck." "We've gotta do something about that mouth of yours." "See? That right there, Jim Russell, is why you're going to be an awesome dad." Dad was unconvinced. "I know I shouldn't be at ease with this." "I'm at ease with it. The only reason you're not is because you're afraid someone else is gonna disapprove." "Where are you getting all this stuff from?" Dad said, wrinkling his brows. "Don't forget that I'm pretty gross, too. If I worried about that all the time, I'd be miserable. It's just who I am. I don't really have the energy to worry about what everyone else is going to say about everything I do. This makes me happy. Why should I let some overbearing stranger ruin that?" "Geez," Dad worried, chewing on his lip, "I hate to say it, but maybe you're right. I'm really scared to admit that. I'm scared to admit that I really like... you know... the closeness of it all. I just... don't want to make any more mistakes." "If you don't mind me saying, sir, I think the biggest mistake you could make is worrying over something you can't do anything about." "Maybe... God, that's pretty much all I do, isn't it?" Dad said, the horror of epiphany dawning on his face. "What good does it do you?" "Well," he said, "it got me close to you." "That's different," I said. "You did the one thing you could do, and good things happened." "Alright, then, what can I do about the mess I've gotten us into now?" "Enjoy it. If it makes you happy, and no one's getting hurt, then there's nothing to worry about." "Out of the mouths of pups, as they say." "I'm, like, fifteen, Dad." "You'll always be a pup to me, Clunk." "So," I challenged, "think you can you kiss me without overthinking it?" Dad gulped and limbered up his neck. "I don't know, but I can try." His age showed in the way his spectacles sat on his nose, how he looked at me over them rather than through them, biting his bottom lip with his rodent overbite. The corner of his lips rose into a sheepish smile. Our noses found each other first, brushing over one another to make way for our muzzles to meet in a simple, innocent smooch. He kissed me again, testing the way it felt on his lips. The third time our snouts met, he let me sink into his mouth, drew a gentle circle around my tongue with his before closing with a soft smack. "How's that?" I said, peeking at his reaction. "Mm..." Dad was lingering in that moment, hanging onto it behind his eyelids. "Maybe this can be good, after all." Dad grabbed my bottom to pull me into his plush belly and guided my head back against his muzzle. I draped my arms over his shoulders and kissed him. And we kissed, and kissed, and kissed more, more deeply, until I was certain he was going to saddle me on top of him and grind his tapered dick into me like he had that morning. "Hold on, Clunk," he said, sensing the anxiousness in my breathing. "Let's keep this simple. We have the whole weekend to fool around." "Y-yes, sir!" I sat nose to nose with him and listened to our breaths shake and rattle out of rhythm. "OK, moment's over," he said suddenly. "I can't feel my legs." I burst into laughter and helped my father to his footpaws. I walked him through the pins and needles to bed, where he cuddled up against me and whispered nibbles into my ear.

The rest of our long weekend together flew by. Even though he needed a cane to get around the next day, Dad insisted we get out of the apartment. He grinned through his stiff walk, full of vitality in spite of his tired legs. We took the bus to the train and the train to the Loop, which is an area downtown encircled by elevated tracks. There, in one of the dozens of towering buildings, was a small mall dedicated entirely to rodent fashion and culture. If you're a predator or generally larger mammal, you might be unaware of how hard it is for rodents to find stuff that fits. Your typical Walmart doesn't carry adult shoes in a size 1 wide, or jeans that fit a rodent waist with a rodent length. I've never been fond of being a teenager in a wolf cub's clothing. Not only that, but underwear aren't designed with chipmunk anatomy in mind; I find them incredibly confining. But here, in the center of Chicago's downtown area, was a place with clothes that fit snuggly, comfortably, in styles that appealed to more adult sensibilities. Polo shirts with attractive acorn emblems, jackets with warm brown-and-tan stripes, jeans with sensible lengths for rodents of any size. And not just clothes, but colognes and shampoos, the kind my father used, and nutty dessert shops with hazelnut-pecan milkshakes. Dad even picked me up a new grooming kit with a dedicated tooth file and whisker trimmer. I've never been in a mall solely filled with squirrels and mice and shrews. Being able to see over everyone's heads was a brand new experience for a rodent who's usually surrounded by wolves and bears and thylacines. And the whole place had a special smell about it, none of the meatier oils that predators give off in public places. I felt very safe and at home, and that in and of itself was special. Dad spent a small fortune on me there. I tried to protest, but he insisted. "I'm not sure I can get all this stuff into my stowaway," I said. "Well, we'll deal with that when the time comes. It might not be an issue." "What do you mean?" "We'll see when the time comes." And he left it at that. Since it was close by, Dad walked me to Millennium Park afterward, and we stared at a giant, warped mirror twisted into a three-dimensional arc. "We call it The Millennium Bean." "It's... interesting," I said, looking up at the way our reflections slid up the smooth, curved wall. "I'm pretty sure that's the only reason we keep it around." I spent some time finding out all the ways my reflection could be warped by the monument before Dad walked me over to the nearby iceskating rink, where parents pulled their children along while the more skilled skaters did backward sweeps into figure-eights. "I think I've had my fill of ice for the weekend," I said. "Besides, I don't wanna get out there without you." "Yeah," he admitted. "I wanted to take you out there, but there's no way my legs are up to the task." "Next time I'm in town, then," I said. Dad just grinned. Before we headed home, Dad stopped by the small grocery store near the apartment and picked up some fresh ingredients for dinner. When we got home, we disrobed, and I broke in a new pair of sturdy blue jeans and a light-brown t-shirt with a faux, acorn-based university logo. Dad laid out the ingredients on the table, sorted them out, and prepped his cooking area. I quartered potatoes while he cleaned chicken and prepped the oven. "What are we gonna make?" I asked. "Chicken Vesuvio," Dad explained. "I had it at a restaurant when I first moved here and decided to try my paw at it. I think I may have managed to make it better, in fact! Here, chop up the garlic and the carrots while I get the chicken and potatoes started." Dad covered the chicken in a mixture of flour and an aromatic blend of Italian spices and fried them so that the entire kitchen smelled of oregano, sage, and rosemary. Then, he drained most of the fat and had me add in all the vegetables. He sprinkled dried garlic and spices by rubbing his little fingers together over the meal and drenched the whole thing in white wine, causing the kitchen to fill with a delicious-smelling fog, before tossing it into the oven. While we waited for our food to bake, I helped Dad clean up the kitchen, listening to him talk about all the recipes he'd learned since moving up north from Memphis. "Sounds like you have a lot of food to cook for me before I have to leave," I teased. "There aren't enough meal times in a month," he sighed, leaning into the oven to poke the potatoes with a fork. "If all goes well, though, I'll have plenty of chances to teach you the importance of good food." "I sure hope so!" I said, clicking my teeth together. My mouth was already starting to water. Ten minutes later, he pulled the chicken dish from the oven, transferred the food to a pair of plates, and garnished the meal with peas and left-over drippings from the pan. I had to give it to him: my dad was as good with Italian as he was with roasted chestnuts. The meat was still moist and the veggies soaked with flavor. The chef made his first move on me that night, too. As I washed the last of the dishes, his paws slid under my shirt and around my waist from behind. His whiskers tickled my ear when he invited me into the living room when I was done. I was tempted to rush through the last couple of pans, but I knew I'd have to wait longer if I didn't do it right the first time. Besides, there's a certain pleasure in anticipation and earning your reward. I dried my paws and floated into the living room, where Dad waited on the big red couch in nothing but a t-shirt that didn't quite pull over his belly. I blushed when he patted the inside of his thigh, ambled over with my pigeon-toed walk, and wiggled into my seat between his legs. I felt his hot breath pour out over the back of my neck, enjoyed the way his nose dug through my fur. I raised my arms so he could work my shirt off over my head and toss it off to the side. "I'm still a little nervous," he admitted. "That's OK," I assured him. For a while, I thought he'd be content to hug me close around my belly, but soon his fingers were teasing my belt line. My stomach sucked in so he could reach into my pants and take a firm grip on my balls. Without instruction, I unbuttoned my pants so he'd be free to touch me unhindered, but Dad suggested I just go ahead and take them off. In what must have been an incredibly ungraceful action, I managed to wriggle them down to my ankles and kick them away. I spread my legs and adjusted my rump so I could feel my father's hard-on under my tail. Dad nibbled on my neck and worked my little black button sheath until all three inches of me stood tall, and then he told me all the things a good boy wants to hear from his papa until I came all over my tummy. We sat and talked and laughed while my spunk dried in my fur, all snuggled on the couch, until it was way past bedtime. Dad seemed OK with going to bed unfulfilled, but I made sure to get a mouthful of him before letting him doze off to sleep. We rolled out from under the covers at noon on the last day and stopped at a corner diner to get breakfast à la carte. When we were warm with stuffed stomachs, Dad took me to a game store further uptown called Dice Dojo, which sported an impressive library where one could try out almost any game they had for sale. There, Dad introduced me to some of his favorites. I've never had someone to play board games with before. I'd played some real-time strategy games with Axle over the internet - games at which the thylacine thoroughly trounced me almost every time. And I'd played simple things like Candy Land and The Game of Life with kids from elementary school before. The kinds of games my dad played, though, offered a reasonable middle ground. In Cosmic Encounter, for instance, we played alien species pitted against each other in a race for galactic dominance. The goal was to get five colonies on planets in other systems using unique alien powers to battle, negotiate, and colonize. The game play was simple, but it required the kind of lateral thinking my mind craves. This sort of game wouldn't have been much fun with just two players, but the Dice Dojo community gave us three more players to try our prowess against. If there was anything like this in Memphis, I'd never found it, and I wouldn't have had anyone to introduce me in the first place. We easily lost a few hours in the game store, but Dad managed to drag me out to see "something special." As the afternoon sun starting making long shadows of the city's giant buildings, we ended up on a street lined with rainbow spires and gay bookstores. "Boy's Town," Dad called it, Chicago's gay district. There were lots of places we couldn't go, but Dad let me wander around a few of the book stores and novelty shops full of suggestive gift cards and t-shirts. Most impressive, though, was the gay community center that pretty much took up an entire city block. In Memphis, our community center is a small house in the liberal arts district. Don't get me wrong, it's very cozy, and the community there is hardy and friendly. It's nice to be able to get free testing as a teen without getting weird looks. That said, Chicago's center was the equivalent of a Southern mega church for gays. It had everything from a gym to a grocery store. The main foyer housed a roaring fire, in front of which sprawled a couple dozen classy round tables. Condoms and cookies were available by the tray-full. Dad blushed something awful when the weasel at the front desk asked if we were an item. I was half-tempted to say yes, but I simply explained that my father was showing me the sights. "Oh!" the weasel dooked. "You must be the gay one, then!" "Yeah, just me," I grinned. "You mean to tell me your_father_ brought a fine, young buck like you out to our colorful little corner of city?" Dad tugged at his scarf and nodded quickly. "You could say that." "Don't be so bashful," the weasel said, dismissing the emotion with his paw. "That's probably the most beautiful thing I've heard all day. My pop could've stood to learn a few tips in parenting from someone like you." The fur on Dad's face fluffed proudly as he bruxed. "Well, you know..." "Yeah, my dad's pretty cool," I chimed, stretching up to kiss him on the cheek. "Clunk," Dad flustered. "Well, cool dad, I'll be happy to show you and your son around. We have plenty of youth programs he might be interested in." "Oh, I'm not--" but Dad cut me off before I could explain I was just visiting. We spent about an hour getting an earful from an enthusiastic ermine, who would start on one tangent and end up on another mid-sentence, distracted by some plaque on the wall or some buff ferret walking out of the gym. By the time the tour was finished, dark had descended on the Windy City. Soon after, we stuffed our faces with gyros at a small, Mediterranean restaurant and braved the cold back to my dad's apartment, where we snuggled up under his thick, white blankets. I spent a great deal of time with my nose nestled between my father's legs. Those thick layers of clothes and jackets had caused his hindquarters to sweat, and the pheromones were driving me crazy. We fooled around in the laziest way, the most relaxing way. We talked about the things that turned us on while I tried my paw at jerking my dad off to completion. I cleaned up his nutty cum and kissed it into his mouth, which he suckled down without so much as a grimace. I was glad Dad had found a comfortable place in all of this mess I'd brought on him. It seemed a shame I'd have to leave after all that. "Wow, kiddo," Dad sighed, pulling me into a snug under his arm. "So I guess this is the last night." "Yeah," I frowned. "I'm not looking forward to another ten hours on that bus." "I don't blame you. But hey, it'll be nice to get back to your own place, right?" "Maybe. I think I could use a few more days of vacation." "How'd you like Chicago?" "Boy," I said, "I'm not sure how to sum it up. It's like another world up here. Like I went to Narnia or something." "Narnia, huh?" "Well," I reconsidered, "maybe not that different. But I really love it here. It's nice. I'd love to visit again." "You're welcome any time, kiddo." "Thanks. I'm gonna miss this the most, I think." "What?" "You. The smell of your sheets. The weird way the city sounds from ten stories high." "My bedroom, basically." "No, not just your bedroom. Just... this. All of it." "Yeah," Dad sighed, rubbing his footpaws against mine, "I'll miss this, too, I think. I'm not the ladies' man I used to be. I forgot how nice it feels to have someone to sleep next to." "I kinda wish I didn't have to go back home." "Well," Dad said, turning so our tummies touched, "what if you didn't have to?" "Didn't have to?" I echoed, propping myself up on my elbow to mimic my father. "What if you could stay?" "I mean... I'd love to, but how could I stay?" "Well, you could live here, with me." His whiskers twitched in the most peculiar way. "Are you serious?" "Yeah. Why not?" "Oh, my God... I don't know what to say." I had to roll onto my back to think. "I mean, I want to, but... I have a job, a lease. I can't break my lease." "I can help you break your lease," Dad said, leaning toward me with a tad too much enthusiasm, "and you won't have any reason to work if you move up here." "I... what happens if this doesn't work out? If I lose my job and break my lease, I won't have anywhere to go." Dad recoiled, and faltering without a response, settled on his back, twisting his arms. "Wow, not really an optimist, are you?" "I just imagine I'd be hard to live with," I said. And for a moment, I was afraid that was that. "Ok! How about this," Dad said, leaning over me with renewed vigor. "Your lease is up in May, right? And you said you worked from home sometimes, didn't you?" "Yeah..." The bed was plush enough for me to put a little extra distance between our snouts. "Stay with me for a few months," he explained. "I'll help you pay your rent, and you can work right here from the apartment. More importantly, I can help you get ready for your GED test and get your life back on track. We'll test the waters, and if it doesn't work out, you can move back to Memphis when you turn 16." "Wow... I'd really be putting you out in that scenario," I frowned. "You've finally got me putting out," he said, finally pressing his nose to mine so I couldn't escape, "and now you want me to stop?" "D-dad!" I couldn't believe he was making_me_ flush. "Are you really sure you want me to live with you?" "Absolutely," Dad said with the surest smile. "Haven't been this positive about something in my life." "God... I think I'm gonna cry." I knew I was going to. I could feel that tell-tale burning in the bridge of my muzzle, the ghostly static in my cheekfur. "Holy cow, don't cry!" My old man looked at me like a babysitter looks at his first screaming baby, and I just started laughing, which only seemed to baffle him more, until we both looked so stupid that we were both laughing at one another. "I love you so much, Dad, I don't know what to say!" "Love you, too, kiddo," the old chipmunk cooed, kissing my mouth and drying my cheeks with his thumb. "What about my bus ticket?" "Well, about that..." Dad looked like he'd broken the neighbor's window with a baseball. "What?" I sat up, and Dad sat back in response. "I didn't buy a return ticket." "What?" "I just thought I'd put my intent out there in the universe, see what happened," he smugged, lying back on folded arms. "I figured if it didn't work out, I'd could splurge on a last minute ticket." I shook my head and crawled onto my old man's round, soft belly. "You astound me, Jim Russell." "Is that a yes?" "I need to get a few things from home, but... I'd love to live with you, Dad." "That's my boy," he chirred, pulling me into his chest and ruffling the fur between my ears.

My phone's alarm sounded at eight o'clock Monday morning, offering me a head start to get up, get ready, and get to the bus stop. I skipped the snooze and put my phone on silent, and we snored in time until noon.

Meeting My Father

"I'm not gonna be able to make it tonight." My slender thumbs were numb against the glass keypad of my cell phone. The weight of it made me weary; it felt distant in my paws. I shook my head and stared at my ghost in the bathroom mirror. I couldn't...

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