Finished The Ryan and Dorie Story

Frogsy

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Diaper Lover, Little, Carer
Thanks for your support and help in writing my first shared story. I've made some changes to help with the early pacing (my personal biggest gripe) and added some further character development. Hopefully this will address some of the constructive criticism I have received on the early chapters. Chapter One has had the most changes, because I felt torn between writing something simple and cutesy and something slightly more complicated. And slightly more complicated (while still cute I hope) has won the fight. I'm going to move Chapter Two into a second post. Originally it was attached to Chapter One in the first post. Anyways, your support and guidance is soooo greatly appreciated. All your comments, good or bad, have helped me to hopefully become a better writer.

A special thank you to JubeyKitty, Teddy, and Albasion for their input and suggestions for a better story. Also a big thank you to Tripped and/or whichever mod will end up helping me post these changes and update my story.


Chapter One


So far, Ryan Mulligan had seen death only three times.

The first time was when he was eight, staring at his goldfish, floating on his back in the little glass bowl. He'd tapped on the glass a few times and then looked over his shoulder at his mother in great confusion. She'd frowned at him. The second time was in the sixth grade. A thin boy named Andrew went out sick and never came back to sit behind him again. After a month of his absence, Ryan had gotten suspicious. During the drive home from school he asked his mother where Andrew had gone. She simply frowned at him again. So the final time, at the age of twenty-four, when his mother frowned at him over the white sheets of his grandmother's hospital bed, Ryan was pretty sure her outlook was not good. Two weeks later, Ryan went to his first funeral. He'd spent nearly the entire gloomy ceremony with his head bowed down, floppy brown hair falling into his eyes. He repeatedly tapped his fingers against the side of his pants. Pinky, ring finger, middle finger, pointer finger, thumb. Then he paused, tapped his thumb a second time, and went back the other way.

This was one of the things he did when he was a little uncomfortable. It was imperative to his safety that he did, in fact, tap his fingers the exact right way whenever his brain requested it of him. So he also tap tap tapped his fingers and escaped into a daydream through the entire reading of the will. It wasn't until he heard his sister squeal that he dropped back into the real world. "Are you serious? Ryan gets the house?"

"You and I have already got our own houses, Sarah," said Ryan's mother. "It's only fair."

"But, she's kidding, right?" asked Sarah.

"Enough," said Ryan's mother. And that was the end of that.

Sarah was a few years older, already married, and she did indeed have a house of her own. Mostly her own, that is. Part of her house was owned by the bank, as parts of most people's houses are. Ryan got a good deal - no bank owned any part of grandma's house. Ryan's house, he realized, smiling. No longer would he wake up to the high heel clomps from the apartment above him, or have to wear headphones every time he watched television for the benefit of the apartment beside him. He'd have to get a different job, he realized, but that was part of the good news, too. Working as a waiter was not particularly suited to his skills, and he was glad to be getting out before he burned somebody's lap with steaming hot soup. Better jobs surely awaited him in this new town.

So then there was the move, which consisted of one Toyota packed to the roof and a six hour drive that left Ryan with a headache. His GPS began getting confused about the second he passed a big green sign that said Welcome to Northbarrow. Underneath the gold lettering it said in white blocks with black numbers: Population - 832. He imagined that tomorrow an old man with a bucket of paint would come around and change it to 833. Maybe not. He was technically taking his grandma's place. Old people are always moving on to make room for the new ones.

There were bluebirds sitting on the old-fashioned lamppost just before the cobblestone walkway. The comforting sight very nearly took his headache away. He stretched his legs and found the energy to unpack the car, leaving the little foyer with a ticking grandfather clock now stuffed with boxes and bags. From all the lifting and trips back and forth, Ryan was so tired that his eyes stung and his back ached. He fell asleep on top of the fluffy white comforter without even taking off his sneakers.

Being an adult can be hard. Don't let anyone tell you any differently. But it was especially hard for Ryan, who suffered from an obsessive compulsive disorder so bad that he had to talk to a therapist once a week and take at least one pill a day. When things got to be their worst, and all he could do was gulp for air, there was a special bottle of pills. And he nearly dipped right into it today. Ryan had to unpack, clean up the house, and decorate it to less geriatric standards, all while trying to find a new job so he'd have electricity next month. And like he'd always done, Ryan became a slave to the details of things. Instead of browsing the classifieds, he spent an hour trying to unstick ribbon candy from a pretty crystal bowl, untangling stockings from the shower rod, and organizing a big drawer full of family photos. And that made him miss his grandma, of course. Those sorts of things always hurt more than funerals.

It was sometime after he burned his lunch in the unfamiliar oven when Ryan felt like dropping into the fetal position and crying. Normally if he was here, in this house, his grandmother would be the one cooking. And she never got angry when Ryan would watch over her in the kitchen, asking that she wash her hands more often than she'd care to normally. Sometimes it felt like she was the only one who understood his needs at all.

Ryan opened a window to clear the slightly smokey kitchen, eyeing the pretty yellow house next door. It had a white picket fence all around it and two chipmunks chased after each other in the flowers. Most importantly to Ryan, everything was in its right place. It was the rare circumstance of perfection. He used his phone to snap a picture of this idyllic house, making sure to get the bird feeder in the shot, where one red robin pecked for his lunch. That was when the doorbell rang and nearly made him bang his head into the window frame. It had three musical bings like little bells. Bing bing bing.

That was when he met Dorie, the young lady who lived in that very picturesque dwelling. They were nearly eye to eye, seeing that Ryan was somewhat small and Dorie was somewhat tall. They were both five foot eight. She stood on his grandmother's welcome mat in an old-fashioned blue dress with big buttons. The ends of her blonde hair were flipped upwards in a curl, and her lips were painted a pretty red. Ryan couldn't help but to check down the street, making sure all the cars hadn't turned into big boaty things. It seemed the time disturbance had only occurred inside of Dorie, though, and nothing else was affected. "Hi! I'm Dorie Jones, from next door." She pointed to the yellow house with the white picket fence.

"Oh!" said Ryan. Then he suddenly dropped eye contact because he got shy around new people, especially if they were attractive women around his age. The best quip he could make right now involved how he totally took a picture of her house a minute ago, and that would sound extremely creepy. "I'm Ryan, uh, Mulligan."

"I know," said Dorie. "I've brought you a casserole and apple pie. You know, like a welcome to the neighborhood. People don't do that enough, anymore."

Ryan was pretty sure people didn't do that at all anymore. But that made him like her a little more. The quirky girls always caught his fancy.

Dorie's hands were covered in oven mitts, protecting her skin from the hot casserole dish. Ryan tried to help by getting the warm pie tin off the top and opening the door a little wider. Before he could get more than a thank you out, Dorie was speaking again. "She talked so much about you. Your grandmother. Don't tell your sister, but I think you were her favorite. She called you sweet little Ryan and whenever she said your name she smiled. 'Look out for my sweet little Ryan,' she'd say, when she was just starting to get sick. Oh my goodness, what's burned?"

Ryan felt his cheeks flushing from the sweet little Ryan comment. But he didn't feel like tapping his fingers or finding an excuse to escape. It was alright, the way Dorie said it. Even when she remarked on his poor job of cooking, she wasn't rude or judgmental about it. "I burned my lunch," said Ryan. When it happened, he wanted to just give up everything about life, but now he kind of breathed out a quiet laugh.

"Oh my," said Dorie, holding up a charred black stick from the baking pan.

"It was supposed to be french fries. I found them in the freezer."

"This oven's off, you know. Runs hotter than it says. Your grandma was going to remodel the kitchen, and get everything upgraded. But..."

"But she got cancer," said Ryan.

"Yeah," said Dorie. "Are you okay?"

When he was little, his big sister Sarah had told him that if he had to sneeze and didn't want to, all he had to do was stare at the ceiling and say pineapple in his head. After a while Ryan learned that it could sometimes stop him from crying, too. So his eyes focused on the ceiling and he said pineapple pineapple pineapple and soon the tightness in his throat faded away. "I'm just hungry," he said.

"Good thing I made you some green bean casserole," she said.

"That's my favorite of all the casseroles."

"I know," said Dorie. She smiled at him, and found two plates in the cupboard. "This is your grandma's recipe."

Though he longed to ask how much, exactly, she knew about him, Ryan just made polite conversation while they ate together. It turned out the Dorie was a dancer and would love to find professional work, but didn't want to move into the big city where all the best jobs were. Her real job was as a dance teacher, helping little girls in tutus learn to spin on their toes.

"I just like it so much in Northbarrow," said Dorie. "Everyone here knows everyone else. It's so nice knowing there's a friend around every corner. It makes me feel safe."

"That sounds nice. I'm a big fan of feeling safe."

"I ran away once," said Dorie. "When I was about nine, I packed my book bag full of clothes and I tried to go to Philadelphia - where all the action was. I hitched a ride from a kind old lady, and she drove me around town a while and bought me ice cream and we had a long talk about how dangerous it is for nine-year-old girls to be hitching rides from strangers and trying to go to the city all alone. Then she took me back home and I thought my dad would be furious but he seemed pretty calm. It turned out she called him from the ice cream parlor so he wouldn't worry."

"Aw, that's nice," said Ryan.

"Anyway, that lady was your grandma. Mary."

"Really?"

"Yup," said Dorie. "That's part of the reason why I took to looking after her when she started getting sick, before she went to the hospital. I lived next door by that point, anyway, so it only made sense. Neighbors ought to look out for each other, you know?"

"Yeah. Sometimes she talked about you, but whenever she mentioned your name I thought she was referring to an old friend of hers. I mean, an old friend."

"Well I am seventy-eight," said Dorie.

"What? Are you?"

"Twenty-five," she said, smiling. "You're the most gullible person I've met, maybe. That was supposed to be one of those obvious jokes."

"It's just that there's so many possibilities in the world," said Ryan. "I mean, like, if the giant squid exists and black holes are real then maybe there's a genetic mutation that made an old person look really young."

"That's a good point," said Dorie.

"I should have visited my grandma more than I did," said Ryan. It seemed off topic, by now, and it was, but it had been on Ryan's mind since the day of the funeral.

"Why didn't you?"

"I was afraid," he said. Dorie put her hand on top of his, for a reassuring pat. Then she got up and cut out two pieces of fresh apple pie.

It was while Ryan had his first mouthful of the best apple pie he'd ever tasted, when Dorie further alleviated his troubles. His hunger no longer an issue, now she focused on his job prospects. "I'm friends with a couple who're looking for someone in IT. That was your major in college, wasn't it? Internet technology?"

Even though Ryan had not yet had a career other than waiting tables, his real specialty and his college major was indeed computers. His grandmother had apparently bragged of her grandson's collegiate abilities, at some point. Surprisingly, Dorie must have been paying attention.

That afternoon, when Ryan called the number penned on a torn off piece of envelope, he realized that Dorie had essentially found him the only job for his field at all in this small, rural town. His bosses would be Mr. and Mrs. Parker, who ran a business out of their house selling homemade clothes for dogs, cats, bunnies, and even tiny little dresses and sweaters for hamsters and mice. They wanted Ryan to make them their own online store, fully functional and secure for their customers. After that, he'd be around to maintain it and be their one-man technical support team. It wasn't the highest paying job in the world, but it was more than fair and Ryan would mainly work from home. And most importantly, with this job Ryan wouldn't have to carry precarious trays of food through a crowded restaurant.

"Ed, this is Mary's grandson - the young man Dorie told us about," said Mrs. Parker.

"Oh, right, yes, Dorie's friend," said Mr. Parker.

Ryan hoped Dorie would be his friend, one day. So far she really seemed more like a guardian angel that his grandmother set into place. He adjusted his tie, looking between Mr. and Mrs. Parker, hoping they would ask the kinds of questions he'd prepared for.

Instead, they had completely forgone the job interview. He got the job the second Mr. Parker said that a friend of Dorie's was a friend of his. "Welcome aboard, Ryan!" They shook hands. This firm handshake marked the first time since the drive up to Northbarrow that Ryan felt like a fully capable adult.

"Do you have any pets of your own?" asked Mrs. Parker.

"Not yet," said Ryan.

"Oh you simply must get one!" she said.

"I've always wanted a mouse," said Ryan.

*

Ryan's favorite time of night was twilight, when the sun's already sunk but the sky's not dark enough for stars. He roamed around his lawn, checking out the shrubs and the hedges. They were overgrown and pointy, really standing out in contrast to Dorie's immaculate yard. "Nice night, huh?" That was Dorie, who stood by her bird feeder, filling it to the brim with seeds.

"It feels like summer, already," he said. There were tree blossoms and fresh grass scenting the air, so it even smelled like summer.

"We've only got another month until it's official," she said. "How do you like it so far in Northbarrow?"

"The people are really great, here. Like you..." he said. Then he gasped, as though trying to suck the words back into his mouth. "I mean, like how you helped me get a job. Which was great."

Not the smoothest of verbal corrections, but Dorie seemed to pay it no heed. She spun the cap back onto her bird feeder, and headed over to Ryan so they wouldn't have to talk so loudly. "Those hedges," she said, shaking her head.

"I wish I had a light saber," said Ryan. "Then I would just... phhvvvzzzuu! Phhvvvzzzzzuu!"

He imitated swiping those hedges into nice straight lines, and then turned to Dorie so he could apologize for being an embarrassment of a human being. But Dorie just laughed, holding up her own imaginary light saber. They broke into an impromptu fight, which culminated in Ryan dropping to the ground and holding his side.

"You've won this battle," he said, his voice an overly dramatic rasp. Then he stared at the lamppost until his eyes lost all focus.

"You were a worthy adversary," said Dorie. She attempted to close his lifeless eyes with a sweep of her palm. Ryan once read that in real life you can't close a dead man's eyes. They'll just keep popping open again. But Ryan played along, keeping his eyes closed and trying not to laugh. Dorie began something of a soliloquy, lamenting the war and her hand in Ryan's departure. "If only there was a way to bring him back," she said. Then she tickled his ribs and Ryan squealed, scooting backwards on the grass. "I've done it!"

They had coffee together that night. Their small talk turned into deeper conversation before they knew it. "Once," said Dorie, "I heard this Buddhist saying. Live every day like your hair was on fire."

"Live every day in terror?" asked Ryan. "Way ahead of you. I think I do that naturally."

"No, just live life to the fullest... and don't just sit there. Do things. Don't wait for things - go out and get things. Live every day like it's your last day on earth."

"Don't you think that maybe that'll lead to dangerous behavior? Like, if I knew I would die tomorrow, I wouldn't be afraid of anything. I'd... do whatever I wanted. I wouldn't buckle my seatbelt, anymore!"

"Well you should definitely buckle your seatbelt," said Dorie. "I mean, just because you'll die tomorrow doesn't mean you should go on letting yourself fly through windshields."

"But I always think I'll die tomorrow, or today, or any minute. That's why I'm like this."

"I think that, too. And that's why I'm like this."

"I probably should have had decaffeinated," said Ryan.

"I could go for one more cup if you're interested."

"Yeah, sure," said Ryan, refilling their cups with fully caffeinated coffee after 8:00pm. "I'm living on the edge!"

Dorie laughed; a sound Ryan particularly loved to hear, especially when a joke of his made her do it.

Until midnight that night, Ryan kept acting like himself. He was nerdy and anxious and quite a bit childlike, and Dorie didn't roll her eyes or groan. Not even when he made a reference to Doctor Who. Being with her felt like a relief. She was like the sun breaking through the clouds. It made him feel more alive than he'd ever been before.

*

"I think I'm in love with my next door neighbor," said Ryan. His new therapist nodded, writing something down in her notebook. "It's a crush, probably. It feels like that. But maybe it's love, though. It could be, right? Could it be? Anyway, I think I love Dorie."

"Why's that?" asked Doctor Fowler. "What makes her special to you?"

"She played with me."

"Sexually?"

Ryan felt a blush rising to his cheeks. He was always a blusher, and being fair-skinned only made it more pronounced. "I meant that she had an imaginary light saber battle with me, instead of scoffing or, like, yelling at me to grow up. ...I feel like I can be myself around her, without being ashamed."

"Ashamed of what?"

"Being myself."

"Why are you ashamed to be yourself, Ryan?"

"I don't know," he said. But he did know, really, and was too ashamed to tell his new therapist. So he went with the generalized version; the nutshell. "Everyone always believes that being yourself is the best thing. And they say that to each other and they tell that to their kids. Just be yourself, and people will like you. But that's not really true, you know? What they really mean is that you should be just the right amount of quirky. But not too quirky. If you're too much 'yourself' then people stop liking you. So when I was hanging out with Dorie, I kept thinking I'd crossed a line, and was too myself. But it was okay, with her. Maybe she's just a really great liar, or something, but it seemed like we really clicked. Like maybe we were the same amount of weird, inside, so it was okay. You know?"

There were a few more notes scribbled into her notebook. He'd had quite a few therapists, and they always seemed to take the most notes during the first visit. "How is everything else so far?"

"I'm getting kind of stressed out with everything else," he said. "It feels like I'm barely keeping my head above water."

"There's this list of life stressors, Ryan, and you've experienced a lot of the worst ones, all at once. You've just moved to a new town, hours away from your family and friends, and you've also just gotten a new job. And this is right after a death in the family. You need to focus on taking care of yourself, during this transition. Especially because of your history. Do things that relieve stress. Let's talk about that. How do you relieve stress?"

Ryan licked his lips. "Uh..." he said. "You know. Video games."

*

By the weekend, Ryan was exhausted. He'd done a ton of work on the house, nearly getting it to the point of being a house he could call his own, as well as countless hours building the structure for the Parker's Pretty Pets web-store. He hardly had five minutes to himself that week. And twice Mr. Parker called him over because he couldn't get his DVR to record Survivor.

Nearly to the point of being frazzled, Ryan did something he hadn't ever told anyone about. In his bedroom, he pulled off his clothes other than his briefs, and dressed himself back up in blue footie pajamas. They were spotted with colorful trains, each with three little puffs of smoke. It felt so warm and soft against his skin, and just felt so right all around, that Ryan immediately felt his muscles growing less tense. He set himself up in the den, curled under a white blanket that his grandmother had knitted and sat his old one-eyed teddy bear on his lap, just under his left arm. On the coffee table sat a big sippy cup of apple juice. Technically it was a 'thermos' but it drank and felt an awful lot like a sippy cup, which made Ryan feel happy. He looked to his side to check on his new mouse, who was named Algernon and wore a tiny red sweater. Swag from work. Algernon was currently working out on his wheel. Ryan looked back to the television and pressed start on his video game controller.

A full hour of bliss ensued. It didn't matter what video games he played in this state. They didn't have to be from his childhood, but the act of playing video games in his footie pajamas with a blanket, his bear, and a handy sippy cup nearby, was what always put Ryan at ease, no matter how bad his troubles were. He never told any therapists, or his mother, or anyone at all. It was far too embarrassing to speak of.

When he heard the bing bing bing of his doorbell, his heart fell and melted in the pit of his stomach. He paused the game, but his blood went a little cold. In order to get upstairs and change his clothes in a hurry, he'd have to pass three or four windows. He'd forgotten to lower the shades in this new house, other than the ones in the den. His apartment never asked so much of him. All the windows were several stories up. Someone would have had to climb up the building to his balcony to have spied on him. But now, he was in serious trouble. So he did the best he could think of, and wrapped himself up head to toe in that white knit blanket. It had to be Dorie, which was possibly the person he least wanted to know about this. By now he would consider her a friend that he hoped would be, one day, his girlfriend. And who would date the guy who currently wore footie pajamas with trains on them?

When he answered the door, he possibly looked sick. His face went a little pale from the fear of being discovered, and usually people who can't stand an unblanketed short walk to the front door are several degrees into a fever. Ryan hoped that was what Dorie would think, anyway. And she did. "Aw," she said, "Are you okay?"

"Well..." said Ryan.

She pressed the back of her hand against his forehead. "You feel a little warm. I was going to ask you if you wanted to see a movie with me and a few friends, but..."

"Yeah, I'd better not," said Ryan.

"I'm going to cancel tonight, too," said Dorie. "Let's get you some chicken noodle soup."

"Oh, don't do that, it'll be okay. I'll be okay. Go see your movie! Have fun."

"Don't be silly, Ryan," said Dorie. "We'll get you right as rain again and maybe we can see the movie tomorrow night instead."

Before Ryan could think of a good reason why she shouldn't stay, Dorie was already putting her purse down and hanging up her jacket. So he stayed there, tightly clutching his blanket around his shoulders. So occupied with hiding his footie pajamas, he'd forgotten about the bear and the sippy cup. He thought he could explain them, which he tried, in fact, the moment Dorie walked into the den. "Is this your bear?" she asked, holding the raggedy one-eyed toy up.

"I um," said Ryan, trying to hide the sippy cup behind the couch. "I guess... yeah."

"That's so sweet," said Dorie. "Don't be embarrassed. I think it's sweet that you kept your old bear around. It's very sentimental."

"Thanks," said Ryan.

"Let's get you comfortable here, and I'll find you some soup. You have soup?"

"I have chicken flavored Ramen in the pantry."

"That's probably good enough," she said.

She jogged upstairs to fetch him two pillows from his bed, and apparently a thermometer and Tylenol from his medicine cabinet. If there was one thing Ryan didn't like about Dorie, it was how she seemed to have little understanding of boundaries. But then again, she was only trying to help someone who she thought could be very sick. So she fluffed up his pillows, he laid down with his blanket still wrapped around him, and then before he could stop it a thermometer was placed under his tongue. "Let's see how bad it is," she said.

Ryan nearly whimpered, knowing it would say something around 98 degrees and the jig would be up. But he was torn. He kind of wanted this. He liked Dorie doting on him and taking care of him. Also, it seemed to make his footie pajamas that much more comfortable. It was like his mind bounced between feeling a little elated to feeling terrified, just back and forth like that.

Dorie stuck his teddy bear near his chest, just by his elbow. If he wasn't busy hiding his pajamas he would have grabbed it and held it close. Well, maybe not in front of Dorie. "There you go," she said. "He'll make you feel better."

He almost spilled all the beans at once. He almost said that it did make him feel better and actually he was wearing footed pajamas with trains on them and there was a sippy cup poorly hidden behind the couch. But he knew better. Someone who had an old teddy bear lying around was almost normal compared to spending hours at a time full on regressing back to young childhood. Dorie pulled the thermometer from his lips when it beeped.

"98.7," she said.

Oh terrific, thought Ryan, I'm only point one degree feverish. "I guess the fever went down," he said.

"Yeah. I guess so. You playing video games? Killing aliens?" At least the video games didn't have to be justified. Tons of full grown adults played video games without ever having to explain themselves.

"Not aliens. Zombies."

"Why's the blood blue? Did these zombies used to be royalty?"

"No," laughed Ryan. "If you're not good with blood or if you don't want your kids seeing that much real violence, the game lets you change it to blue or green, you know, less blood-like."

"You're not good with blood?"

"I'm a fainter," he admitted.

"Even when it's fake?"

"Sometimes even then," said Ryan, looking towards the door. Whenever he was embarrassed he found himself looking for an exit before he knew what he was doing. He'd been looking at doors a lot this night.

"Wow," said Dorie. "I've heard of that. Never met anyone like that before, though. I'll get you that soup. You're probably hungry if your fever broke, right?"

"I am pretty hungry, actually," said Ryan. "But it's alright, I mean, now that I'm not as sick. I can make the soup, or whatever."

"You're still getting back on your feet! I'll make it for you. Just relax. Play your game or something."

It was a shame that this perfect bowl of Ramen would cause such grief. It smelled delicious, like far more carefully selected herbs sat inside than that single square packet of salty flavoring. Dorie had even poached this beautiful egg in it, its yolk golden orange. He'd never himself figured out how to do that. But when he sat up excitedly at the sight of this fantastic meal, Ryan's blanket fell right off his shoulders. His little footie pajamas were revealed all the way to his hips. At first he nearly got angry at them, going around showing people that part of him was still about four years old. Dorie smiled, and then covered her smile with both hands.

At the sight of what looked like clear mockery, Ryan made the worst mistake of all. He turned that inner anger to Dorie. "Stop! Don't laugh at me. Stop laughing! I didn't even ask you to come here. You just barged in my house and took over and... just get out! Get out of here! Go away! Don't come back!"

She looked hurt. Her eyes went round and she dropped her hands from her lips. No longer was there a smile, there. Dorie squinted at him, her hands trembling slightly. "I saw the sippy cup behind the couch," she said, because she was now pretty angry, too. That seemed sufficient. Ryan dropped forward to sink his head into his arms, and Dorie made a hasty exit.
 
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monkeegurl_90

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In live with this super cute story! I can't wait for more :) I didn't see anything grammatically wrong with it
 

MetalMann

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I have to agree, this story is great and hope to see more soon.
 

Frogsy

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Thank you Monkee and Metal! Your comments really made my whole day and I'm so glad you enjoyed the story so far. Thank you for your replies, it meant a lot to me.



Chapter Two



That night Ryan cried a little in shame, over a lot of things. Yelling at Dorie, wearing ridiculous footie pajamas in the first place, and the fact that she could possibly be on the phone right this second telling every friend she ever had about the new creep in town. Of course she would be. Who wouldn't? Ryan deeply considered moving the next day. He kept his eyes to the ground while grocery shopping, and then on Monday he felt himself blushing when Mr. Parker came over to drop off some paperwork. Did he know? The idea was too much to bear.


It was a childish tantrum he threw, too. The whole outburst could have come from an actual child, every single word of it. He didn't even drop an f-bomb, or anything. Not only the yelling, but the way he yelled at her, made him want to crawl into a hole and never return. Even the thought of writing her a long apology seemed like further digging his own grave. Anyway, the last thing he wanted was for anyone to have written proof that all the stories Dorie spread across town were true.


Was she even laughing at him in the first place? This was a question that kept coming up for Ryan. She smiled when she saw the teddy bear. It could have just been something like that. A smile. Maybe she covered her mouth with her hands because it was such a big smile. But it could have been laughter, really. And most people usually cover their mouth because they're shocked. She was shocked, he reasoned.


Ryan didn't wear his footie pajamas again, and nearly threw them out on Thursday. He planned to put them, and his sippy cup, and maybe even the teddy bear right in the bottom of the kitchen trash bag, fill it up with terrible food-garbage that no one would ever touch, and then be done with that part of his life forever.


Friday came by, and Dorie still hadn't. He had told her to never come back, so he wasn't sure why he kept hoping she'd ring the door bell again anyway. Maybe it was just so that she could see him answer the door in jeans and a tee shirt like any normal person would. Even if she only came to yell at him, well, at least the memory of him in normal clothes would be the last one.


On Saturday, he trimmed the unruly hedges outside, giving up on his quest to stay hidden from her view forever. She might come out and get in her car, or do her own gardening, but he'd have to deal with that. It would be awkward and silent, but that was the bed he'd made for himself so he'd have to lie in it.


She did come out, in fact. It looked as though she wanted to talk, or perhaps scream at him, or maybe take a picture to show her friends. 'Don't date this weirdo,' she'd warn them all. And they'd nod and keep it in the back of their minds. "Ryan..." she said.


He stepped backwards, taken by surprise and overcome with a bout of social anxiety, he dropped the shears and then instinctively tried to catch them. By the blade. His hand felt a little wet and sticky before he even felt the sharp sting of pain. Don't look, he reminded himself. But he didn't have to look. His mind sent a picture of gore that only a graphically violent horror movie could have produced. His fingers were half off, dangling by skin, and his palm was sliced like a river running through a canyon of raw meat. In reality he'd only cut his index finger and his pinky, and they required not much more than cold water and two bandaids. Ryan swayed, though, and felt his face go cold all at once. Dorie covered her mouth with her hands. For the second time, he couldn't tell if she was laughing at him or not. At least this time he couldn't possibly have prematurely screamed at her. It was too late for him. His eyes rolled back, his knees buckled, and his world went black before he even hit the ground.


Two slits of light, and then two blurry balls of light, and then Ryan finally focused on Dorie's face above him. He realized he was half in her lap. She'd taken the upper half of him to hold, apparently, which is something one shouldn't do in this case. Ryan felt like he shouldn't ever correct her, because it was one of the nicest feelings in the world, waking up with his head in the warm crook of her arm. Then he remembered they'd had a falling out, and the last time he spoke to her he yelled. "Are you okay?" she asked. "Ryan?"


"Mmm," he groaned. In this sort of twilight, it was hard to form full words.


"The hedge sort of broke your fall, but, uh, if you're hurt or... am I supposed to call 911 for this? Do you want an ambulance?"


"No..." he managed, this time. The only thing that scared him as much as blood were hospitals, which he viewed as big buildings containing mostly blood. Fortunately hospitals were rarely required for fainting, other than the one time he banged his head into hard concrete and managed to knock himself out while already having been unconscious.


"Ryan, listen. I'm sorry about the other night. Before you can get up and run away or something, I wanted you to know I'm sorry. I wasn't laughing at you. Okay? It made me smile, and I don't know.... I don't know. And I'm sorry for trying to tease you about the sippy cup I saw, but sometimes when I'm hurt the first thing that comes to mind is to stab back. But that- but I shouldn't have- but I'm sorry."


"It's okay," said Ryan. "I'm the one who's sorry. I'm the one who...- I'm a freak."


"You're not a freak. And yeah, I have a bad habit of inviting myself inside places. You're not the first friend I had who got mad at me for it."


"I feel so guilty about yelling at you that... I don't ever think I'll feel not-guilty again."


"Alright, well... let's take care of your hand first. Can you walk back inside?"


It took Ryan a little longer than usual to get back inside. He avoided looking at his hand, or even that whole side of his body. Dorie washed his hand for him and even put the two bandaids on. Ryan should have felt his stress melting away with her kindness and care, but he was far too consumed with guilt. Here she was, selflessly taking care of him, after he'd screamed at her about a week ago. "Thank you for everything, Dorie."


"It's alright. I'm glad to see some pink in your face again."


She poured him a glass of orange juice, insisting he drink it right down. So he drank and they sat in the kitchen, Ryan getting used to being in the pressence of someone who knew. She knew his deep, shameful secret, and she wasn't yet trying to tie him to a stake and burn him. It was more or less a miracle. Or just a sign of a very sweet girl who deserved far more than to be asked to 'leave and never come back.'


"I literally just still feel so bad about Friday," said Ryan. "Even worse now, I think, after how nice you've been today and... okay, every day since I've known you. I just want to die for the way I treated you. And also for being a weird loser and everything. Do you want to hit me?"


"What?" she asked.


"Like, do you want to punch me? Not in the nose because I heard you can kill someone like that, but my cheek or my jaw, or something?"


"I'm not going to punch you," she said. "But, well, considering your mental age when you did yell at me, I think what you actually need is a spanking."


Ryan felt his whole face get hot at once, and he knew he surely must have blushed nearly purple right to the roots of his hair. This only made Dorie smile, and by now he had learned a lesson that these smiles usually meant she saw something cute. And he was about to learn another lesson, now. Dorie pulled open her purse and removed a hairbrush. It was plastic rather than wooden, but the large oval surface surely looked like it would get the job done.


"Are you serious?" he asked.


"Well you were the one who requested that I hit you," said Dorie. "And you won't feel better any other way, will you?"


"Maybe?"


"I forgive you," said Dorie.


"No you don't," insisted Ryan.


"See? And that's why you need a spanking." Dorie had a look in her eyes, similar to when they were playing with imaginary light sabers on his lawn. Could it be something of a joke? A game? Another example of Dorie playing along with him?


Still, for a while Ryan stayed right where he was, frozen right up in the kitchen chair. His head buzzed and his throat felt dry. This hadn't been an actual fantasy of his, not a sexual one and something he only rarely thought of concerning his little games of regression. But she seemed right, that it was more like a punishment to fit the crime, and it was probably a lot safer than taking a good punch to the jaw. Though it felt like time had slowed down around him, Ryan managed to stand up when Dorie patted her knee. "Over my lap, little guy," she said.


This sweet nickname nearly made Ryan smile. It was the way she said it, without a hint of sarcasm or mockery in her voice. It wasn't a jab at the time she caught him regressing, it was more like a nod to that. And when she said that, he sort of felt little, even without his teddy or his footie pajamas. He bent forward, across her lap, without nearly as much awkwardness as if the adult version of him had done it. It suddenly felt right.


Her hand rubbed his back, over his soft tee shirt. "Why are you getting this spanking?" she asked.


"Because I was so mean to you, for no reason, and I feel so bad," he said. It seemed as though his voice was a little bit higher than usual. It wasn't baby-talk, but it wasn't quite his usual voice, either. "And I want you to forgive me?"


"Alright," she said. He felt her hairbrush tap the seat of his jeans just once. It was the softest of taps. This wouldn't be so bad at all, he thought. She was just playing some kind of mental game with him. It would be a make-believe spanking. They'd giggle about it later, and all would be forgiven. And then he realized that must have been something like a practice swing, because the next spank wasn't nearly as soft. He didn't even register the sting until the second swat landed. He crossed his feet at the ankles, as if it would help. A few more strokes of the brush made all of his backside burn at once. Ryan balled both hands into fists, squeezed his face up, and held his breath. He'd taken about ten, though that hairbrush was unrelenting. Maybe, he thought, the punch would have been better. This punishment seemed to go on and on, and he couldn't hold back anymore. He cried out, "Ahh! Ah!" and tried to cover his bottom with his hand.


"No you don't, young man," she said, pinning that errant arm up against the small of his back. The spanking continued, just as hard, about a stroke a second.


"I'll be good!" he tried. Ryan wasn't sure exactly what he was saying, as long as it would make it stop. "I won't do it again! Ever again!"


"This isn't only for you yelling. In fact, it's not. You think it is. But this, is for hating on yourself so much. You're not a freak. You don't deserve to die, Ryan! Everyone has secrets. Yours isn't nearly as bad as what some people do. At least you're not a serial killer."


"I am a freak!" he yelled. "You don't know me! I'm a loser. A psycho. I'm a pathetic-"


The brush cracked down just a little harder. It was enough to stop the words coming out of his mouth and replace it with further groans and ah's and the sound of him sucking the air in against his back teeth. "I've looked all this up online. You're not the only one who needs this kind of thing. And the little part of you needs to be loved, not hated."


All through her lecturing the brush continued to fall. It was getting to be too much on him. The things she was saying, his own feelings of self-loathing, all the stress of the move and his new job, his grandmother passing away, and of course the physical and admittedly childish pain he felt under the seat of his jeans. And she was right. He had always been too hard on himself. Before he knew it, he broke down in tears. It wasn't a slow progression. Not a tear here and a tear there, but it went from dry eyes to bawling in under three seconds. It was even worse than the time he watched Up.


A hand rubbed his back after another few seconds. He wanted to stop crying, but he couldn't do it. Dorie let him stay there and cry, and after half a minute when it still didn't seem like he could stop, she nudged under his shoulders. He stood up, thinking that maybe he'd hurt her legs. But she put a hand on either hip and pulled him down to sit on her lap. He winced with the sharp reminder of the state of his backside, and then lay his head against her shoulder. Dorie rubbed his back in circles, holding him in both arms. "There you go, it's okay," she said.


"You don't huh-hate muh-me?" he asked, stammering through his tears.


"No. And you shouldn't either."


For a while he cried even harder. But Dorie was gently playing with his floppy curls, or rubbing a warm hand up and down his arm, or massaging his back. He calmed down into a state that was even more relaxed than when he indulged his little side with video games and pajamas. He'd gone little without intending to. Right now he wanted to stick his thumb in his mouth, which was something he allowed himself to do only rarely. Even home alone, the act embarrassed him. He also felt like he could drift right off to sleep with his head resting on her shoulder, but he wanted to stay awake so he could savor the moment of being held and comforted in Dorie's arms. That spanking wasn't so bad to take if this was how it ended up. He began formulating ways to get himself spanked again, maybe next weekend, and then Dorie said something that changed everything.


"Feel better, sweetie?"


"Uh huh," he said, his voice gone childlike and small again. "Thank you for... for... you know."


"Ryan... is it okay if... do you want to put on your footie pajamas and diapers now, while I'm here?"


"I don't- I don't have diapers."


"You don't?"


"No."


"Online it said... usually... well I guess I'm not an expert or anything. Are you not an AB? You're not an adult baby?"


"I'm just a fruh-"


"Do you want more of the hairbrush?"


"Sorry, no, I- I mean I'm just... I don't know. I never looked it up online because I got really paranoid about Google saving all my searches."


"What do you care what some people in California think that'll never even meet you, huh? I bet Google has seen much worse."


"I guess," said Ryan. "I could go and... I'd... uh...."


He froze up again, right in her lap, even going so far as to stiffen his arms and his back. "It's okay, Ryan. After all the reading online I did, I want to... I really want to ageplay with you. ...I mean, that's what you call it right?"


"I always called it footie nights. Just my pajamas and my bear and my sippy cup." He still couldn't get the words out without his face flushing red. But at least this time he managed to say them at all.


"Can I stay then? Can today be a footie day?"


Ryan hid his face against her shoulder. "Okay," he managed. He didn't know how he was going to manage being there in his pajamas with her, right there, if he could barely say the words footie pajamas at all. But he found himself slowly heading upstairs to his bedroom, anyhow. Twice he checked quickly over his shoulder that Dorie wasn't laughing or preparing her cell phone to snap a surprise picture of him once he got all dressed up. But she was looking, well, nearly as anxiously excited as he was.


When he emerged on the upstairs landing, wearing his zipped up footie pajamas and holding the arm of his teddy bear in one hand, Dorie held a hand over her heart. She smiled, and Ryan could tell that her eyes lit up. That gave him the courage he needed to walk downstairs to her. Still, he tapped his fingers in a steady and soothing rhythm against his side.


"Oh my goodness," she said, giving him a warm hug.


"Do you think it's really weird?"


"A little," said Dorie. "It's a little weird, I guess. But I don't care. I like it. I mean, I like weird things."


Ryan gave her a little grin, grateful for her honesty. It seemed to ease the tension. They watched television for awhile. Dorie put Spongebob on for him, and she cuddled him against her side like she would an actual child. Ryan hadn't been snuggled like that for ages, and it felt so great that he almost felt like crying. He didn't, though. Instead he voiced his appreciation in the following, stammering way. "I- I uh- I like that. Holding."


"Oh good, me too!" said Dorie. She seemed a little relieved to hear him say it. Ryan had to remind himself that it wasn't just his first time, and she needed to have some idea of how to play her role, too. So he also let her know that he liked the way she rubbed her hand up and down his arm.


Later she made him a peanut butter and jelly sandwich while he waited and kicked his feet rather happily under the kitchen chair. "Do you want milk in your sippy cup?"


"Juice," he said.


"Where is it?"


"I hid it," he whispered. "It's upstairs."


"Well you go and get it, okay?"


He hopped up from the chair and bounded up the stairs. He'd gone so deep into his mindset of being little that he'd not even been thinking of it anymore. He didn't realize he bounced up the stairs like a little boy. It was just the way it happened. All metacognition had seemed to fly out the window. His big side didn't need to be there to watch out for him or to make sure he didn't get hurt. Dorie was doing that. Ryan didn't, as of right now, have one single care in the world. When he handed his sippy cup to Dorie, he squealed out a happy laugh and hugged her.


She tousled his hair, filled his sippy cup with juice, and cut the crust off his sandwich. Dorie herself had tuna salad, which Ryan thought was a very grownup thing to eat. They played with Algernon for a while after lunch, letting him run around the house in a hamster ball. Apparently, mice enjoyed them, too. "Oh, he's in a green sweater this time," said Dorie. "That's a new one."


"He has three sweaters," said Ryan. Technically he kind of sang that. Then he flopped his head against Dorie's thigh, curling up to use her lap as his pillow. Without a second thought, his thumb found a most comfortable place between his tongue and the roof of his mouth.


"Aw, little Ryan, I think that spanking and everything else really tired you out. What about a nap before dinner?"


"Noo," he whined.


"Well, see, now I really think you need a nap. You're getting cranky and you can hardly keep your eyes open. Come on, little one," she said, offering him a hand up. She put Algernon back in his colorful mouse-house (because Ryan hated saying it was a cage, which it basically was) and then guided Ryan upstairs. This time he didn't bounce or run. He was far too tired, and pouted when he realized Dorie was right. "If you're good, I'll get you pizza for dinner. You like pizza?"


"Yes!" he said. "With pepperonis."


Dorie turned down his comforter, and let him crawl into bed. When she held his bear over him, he held up both his arms for it. "What's his name?"


"George," said Ryan.


"He looks like a George," said Dorie.


He turned on his side, clutching the teddy right against his heart. Then he put his thumb right back in his mouth. The last thing he felt were two warm lips, planting a little peck of a kiss on his forehead. "Goodnight, sweetie."


"Night night," he whispered.


When he woke, his mind had gone big again. It took him a moment to realize he was wearing his pajamas. Then another moment to remember Dorie put him to bed and she even kissed his forehead. The memory made his heart flutter. Still, to be on the safe side, he changed out of his special pajamas and put his regular clothes back on.


Then he padded on socked feet downstairs, peeking around the landing to look for her. He almost expected to find a note. It would say: Now that I've had time alone to think about it, I think this whole day was weird and I'm terribly ashamed for the both of us. Let's never speak of this again.


He didn't find that note, or any other one. Instead he found Dorie herself, sitting at the kitchen table, playing with her iPad. She must have retrieved it while he slept. "Hey," she said, looking up at him. "There you are."


Her eyes lit up again, even though this time he was just wearing jeans and a tee shirt. "Hey," he said. He'd gone big again, and thus, he'd gone very shy. The day was as amazing as it was embarrassing to look back on.


"You okay?" she asked.


He nodded, looking anywhere but her eyes. "Do you still like me?"


"Yeah," she said. "Do you still like me?"


"Yeah."


"Good."


Ryan smiled, finishing the walk back downstairs to her.


"Do you still want pizza?"


"Yes," he said. "All parts of me like pizza."


Dorie laughed.


"I can pay for it, though," said Ryan. "I feel like I owe you."


"Why? I had fun today, too. A lot of fun. Let's just split the cost."


"Did you really have fun, too, really?"


"I did!" she said. "It was like I got to be myself around you, and you got to be yourself around me. I think that being allowed to be yourself is maybe the greatest thing that can happen between two people."


"You like taking care of people?"


"I was practically ecstatic that night I thought you were sick. I was so heartbroken when I realized you didn't actually have a fever that I immediately felt guilty - for wishing you had a fever. I just wanted an excuse to take care of you all night. It's awful. My father always said I had Florence Nightingale syndrome. And you were right, I did basically barge in on you. I couldn't help myself."


"No, I shouldn't have ever even said that when you were just trying to help me. And it's not awful to want to take care of people," said Ryan. "I... really like... like... really like..."


"I really like you, too," said Dorie. "Even if you do sometimes get so shy you forget how to talk."


"Do you um, want to go out and get a pizza?"


"Like a date, Ryan?"


"I don't know, something, like, yes, yeah like a date."


"I'd like that very much," said Dorie. "Although I think I had assumed our relationship status changed the moment you let me spank you."


"What- what are you doing on your iPad?" asked Ryan, because one of his favorite methods for dealing with his shyness involved changing the topic very suddenly.


"Getting you a few surprises." He tried to peek, but she clicked it into sleep-mode. "Surprises," she reminded him.


That night he stayed big, and felt just as comfortable being big around her as he felt being little around her. He got to see her dance, which was a beautiful sight. And he got his first dance lesson of what he assumed would be many. It went fairly well. They laughed until their faces hurt. Then, that night, he gathered up all his courage and he kissed her lips. It was a sweet kiss, and put many fears to rest. It didn't feel like kissing his mother, like he was afraid it could be, after what they'd done that afternoon. And it also didn't feel like kissing someone who was just a friend. It was just as nice as he'd hoped it would be. He thought he ought to check with Dorie, though, too, and make sure she didn't think kissing him on the lips was too weird. Before he could ask, she tilted her head again and kissed him a second time.


He figured it was probably safe to assume she liked the kiss, too.
 
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camlilone

Est. Contributor
Messages
23
Role
Adult Baby, Babyfur
. . . . . That was really good! I expect 50 chapters in the next 30 seconds so I can keep reading... yep yep 50!
 

Frogsy

Est. Contributor
Messages
870
Role
Diaper Lover, Little, Carer
Thanks again for your kind words about the first two chapters. I'm really glad a few of you have enjoyed it so far even though it is incredibly twee! Here's chapter three. :)

Chapter Three

There was this phrase that echoed more and more often in Ryan's mind. "Do you want to put on your footie pajamas and diapers now, while I'm here?" Diapers. It was specifically that word that got him. He'd thought about it since he was in the single digits and always wanted to try, but just the idea of wearing diapers made him feel like he was committing a crime against his own sanity. Twice he'd seen such a thing in the movies, and those characters were a laughing stock. They were mocked so greatly and universally that it almost seemed like it could possibly bring about world peace. Sure, one country would say to another, we'll never agree about religion. But we can certainly agree that adults should never choose to put on diapers.

Dorie had brought it up on her own though. She said the D-Word all by herself, due to her research on the internet. Maybe it was a test to make sure he didn't wear diapers like the terrible creeps in those movies, and maybe Ryan passed the test. Still, the phrase, the word, started haunting him the day after Dorie said it. He pushed it away that day. Ryan was good at pushing things away that scared him. He forced it out of his mind for two entire weeks. But then Dorie and he wanted to roleplay again on the three week anniversary since the very first time they'd become a couple. They snuggled all afternoon, Ryan in his footed pajamas and tucked under Dorie's warm arm. He'd been such a good boy that she got him an ice cream cone, a treat she'd tucked away in her freezer just for his little side. Quite a bit of that ended up all over his face, but it had been a great day full of giggling and cuddles.

Naturally, Ryan thought about diapers again the next day, even though Dorie hadn't even said the word once. And it echoed in his thoughts again on Monday, and Tuesday, and Wednesday, and Thursday, and by Friday Ryan had to do something about it. No one had to know, anyhow. It would just be a secret between himself and the four walls of his bedroom.

At first, he tried to put all his underpants on at the same time. There were ten clean pairs of briefs available to him. So he put them on one by one. In the end, it felt exactly like wearing ten pairs of briefs. It didn't feel particularly thick or comfortable. It didn't bring out his little side. All it did was make him feel very silly and cause him to lose five minutes of time separating ten pairs of briefs to put back in his drawer. So then there was his experiment with a bath towel. He tried to get it to wrap around his bottom as though it were a cloth diaper, but there were two main problems. One: Ryan had exactly no idea how to fold a cloth diaper in the first place. Two: He actually didn't want that type of diaper at all. He wanted the kind from his own youth - not someone else's youth.

He found himself in the grocery store that afternoon. His cart held nothing but a decoy loaf of bread and one carton of eggs. The diapers became the beautiful foreign supermodel of his dreams. He was too shy to even look at them. Twice he whizzed down the aisle, his head down, and then snuck a quick glance at the big white packages over his shoulder. "Damn it, just go over there!" he told himself, fists clenched and heart pounding. But he couldn't do it, because other people roamed the aisles, and he'd have to walk up to someone at a checkout counter. It was a quiet, rural town. More people went to his small college than lived in this town. And someone just walked past him this very second and said, "Hey Ryan! Buying some bread and eggs, huh?"

This brought up something that made Ryan cringe. It was the not so fond memory of how he purchased his footie pajamas. It was his freshman year of college. Like many others, it was his first time living away from home. Also like many others in college, Ryan found himself wandering thrift stores. There he saw the blue footed pajamas with trains on them, just about his size. Perhaps a little big, but perfectly too big. He had to have them. By that time it had just been his teddy bear George and very short bouts of sucking his thumb. So Ryan picked them up, and tried to act so very nonchalant about his reason for this purchase. But Ryan was Ryan, and what really happened was that he used the phrase 'Halloween costume' approximately eighteen times in the span of sixty seconds. He jogged out of the store looking very much like a person who was going to toss his cookies at any moment. And then he spent the next couple years of his life having this one memory sneak up on him nearly anytime it got too quiet, causing him to cringe so hard his neck hurt.

There was no possible way he could do it. No way at all. And if he broke his perfectly clean online record, he felt it meant there would be proof forever and ever all throughout the history of the world that he was a weirdo. And what if he became a famous web designer later in his life? What then? The world would know all of his secrets faster than he could run from the paparazzi. Ryan did know that becoming the first world-famous web designer was about six times less likely to occur than his fear of a plane flying directly into his house. It didn't matter. He wasn't going to search for anything other than mundane things and sometimes the word boobs because that was not only expected among young, strapping, American men, but practically lauded.

He tried the underpants again. He tried the towel method again. He tried two towels. This had twice the failure rate that one towel had. And, as it turned out, still felt nothing like the disposable diapers he dreamed of. So Ryan went next door and paid Dorie a visit. It wasn't long after their exchange of two kisses on the cheeks and two hey's that Ryan got around to his reason for coming over unexpectedly.

"It's just that my internet record is totally clean and..."

"Ryan, what's this about, though? What did you want to look up? Let's look it up together. I know two great websites filled with nice people who like their footies and their teddy bears."

He shook his head, shoving his hands into his pockets. "I don't need this on my internet record."

"I don't think this internet record thing you speak of is a real thing."

It was not a real thing.

"I'm the IT major, around here, Dorie," said Ryan.

99% of Ryan knew fully well that it was not a real thing. But sometimes that one percent can be the loudest of all. And it was true that ISPs kept some records of browsing histories. But, well, that was usually just in case you went around stealing identities or doing things even worse than that.

"You seem frustrated. You need your jammies, don't you?"

"...Can I just maybe have thirty minutes alone with your iPad? I have to just see how- how people are-"

"Ryan..."

"Never mind," he said. "Just never mind. I have pictures of bunnies wearing dresses to catalogue for Parker's Pretty Pets."

Dorie tried to give him a discerning frown but couldn't help a smile over that last part. "You really won't tell me, huh?"

"I can't say the words. My throat will close up before it would ever come out."

It was obvious he was correct. His hands were shaking from just the suggestion that he speak of it, and his breathing began to go in short and hurried gulps. When he saw those two movies, he was in a theater. He heard the laughter himself. They weren't empathetic laughs. The sound of them alone made a sharp pain start in Ryan's heart and shoot clear down to his fingers and toes. If Dorie laughed at him, well, he figured his heart may well fully stop right then and there.

"Okay, sweetie. Okay. Take the iPad. It's alright. One day I hope you'll tell me."

"Can I use your Wi-Fi?"

"Mine?" asked Dorie. "But you're the one who has Wi-Fi in this area. I've been using yours. It's much nicer than being stuck near walls all the time."

"Mine? Using mine? I... I didn't secure my own Wi-Fi?" asked Ryan, his voice but a crackling dry whisper. It hit him like that plane he always imagined would one day crash straight into his house. That first night after moving he was overtired and had a headache. He promised himself he'd secure the connection the next day. And on that day he had even more work to do. He'd forgotten. His internet record was ruined. "My internet record..."

"Oh Ryan, I'm so sorry. I thought you were being neighborly when you did that."

"Oh my God."

"The Garrisons are using it too," said Dorie, pointing to the house on the other side of Ryan's house.

"Oh dear God."

"Sit down," said Dorie. "You look unwell."

She gave him juice, not in a sippy cup, and not to try and regress him, but because he looked like he could really use something with glucose in it. Ryan sipped and paced and often stopped to rock back and forth on his heels.

"This is why there's no such thing as an internet record, sweetie. At least around here everyone is using everyone else's connections."

Ryan sunk down to sit at Dorie's kitchen table, resting his forehead against the heel of his palm. He heard her footsteps, quiet ones. Dorie's footsteps were always very quiet. Then he heard them again. "Do you want one of your surprises now?"

By surprises, she meant those things she purchased on her iPad about a month back, apparently using Ryan's unsecured Wi-Fi. The thought made him whimper. It had to have been something like better looking and newer footie pajamas, or a more childish sippy cup. His sippy cup was rather large and had a neutral design of wavy lines. Maybe she found him one with trains on it to match his jammies. Either way, it was nice of her to do this for him, and she didn't intend to embarrass him in front of his ISP. He nodded, albeit meekly. His lips stayed in their little pout.

The next thing he knew, he was looking at an over-sized pacifier. Everything about it was a copy of what a baby or a toddler would have. The baby blue mouthguard had a picture of a teddy bear sucking his own pacifier. He wondered if that pacifier had a picture of its own teddy sucking a pacifier, and so on and so on. The teat was almost shaped like a big wide thumb rather than the rounded kind that Maggie Simpson sucked on. "It's called a nuk 5," explained Dorie. "Other people like you, well, they rave about them. I thought maybe you'd really like it, too, since you suck on your thumb when you're sleepy. It's already sterilized if you want... want to try it out. Do you? ...Ryan? Is this too young for your little side? Did I mess up?"

His cheeks had gone red from just looking at it, and knowing it was intended for him. Even still, it was a bit easier set up like this. Technically by putting this thing in his mouth he was doing her a favor. She'd be so sad if he wouldn't even give it a try and Ryan didn't want to make his girlfriend sad. He took it and turned it over in his fingers. Then he stuck it in his mouth. It didn't feel very good. Not terrible, but not very nice, either. He wondered how he ought to break the news.

"It goes the other way, sweetie." Dorie pulled it out by its tiny handle, turned it right-side-up, and plopped it back between his lips for him.

Oh! Instantly Ryan could see what all the fuss was about. No wonder this thing caused real babies to stop crying. He sucked on it, just a little, hearing its gentle squeaks and soft puffs of air. What was he upset about earlier? His personal internet record? Well that was just ridiculous. No such thing, even. His head flopped against Dorie's shoulder and she snuck an arm out from between their bodies and then held him. "You look adorable," she told him. "And that color really goes well with your big brown eyes."

"Mmmph oom mphumm," said Ryan.

"You're welcome, little guy," said Dorie, kissing the top of his head. She held him against her warm and cozy cardigan sweater for a while. Sometimes Ryan would suckle on his new paci and sometimes he just let it sit still in his mouth, but either way he sort of felt like he was melting away from contentedness. Dorie ruined it, though not intentionally. "I have to start getting ready for work in a bit."

"Mmm," said Ryan. Couldn't those kids skip one dance class? Just for tonight? Either way, he pulled out his new pacifier and gave Dorie a big hug and a kiss to her cheek. "See you later, then."

"I'm going to give you your other present tonight," said Dorie. "I think... you'll look so adorable in them. I hope you'll like them."

Look adorable in them? Ryan's heart skipped a beat. Diapers? Did she mean she read his mind and got him real diapers? For the four hours of her absence, Ryan couldn't think about anything else. She managed to find him an adult-sized paci, which he didn't know possibly existed, so perhaps she really did know all his deep desires.

While she may have, the surprise she had in store for him was not diapers. After she'd returned from work and paid him a visit at his place, Dorie held them up with a grin from ear to ear. Blue denim shortalls hung from her fingertips, styled much like the classic OshKosh B'Gosh overalls from his childhood. There was a picture of alphabet blocks in the center of the bib, the letters A and B and C. "I thought you'd like some daytime play-clothes. What do you think, Ry?"

"I love them!" said Ryan. He did, too, even if they weren't diapers. He held them against his body, noting that they were just the right size. Dorie helped him into them, snapping the metal catches onto the two big buttons in front. Under the two shoulder straps she had him wear his red and white striped shirt.

"So, so cute," said Dorie, giving his cheek a gentle pinch. "Do you want your paci?"

"Yes!" said Ryan, jogging into the kitchen to retrieve it. Once it found its home in his mouth, Ryan felt the familiar calm wave of regression. His eyes seemed to get bigger and rounder when he did that, something he noticed when he snuck a glance at himself in the hallway's mirror. Normally his little-self didn't get to look into mirrors very often, but he had to see what Dorie called so so cute.

They played video games for a while. Ryan sat on his knees next to Dorie, sucking absent-mindedly on his new pacifier, only occasionally letting it out of his mouth so he could sip on some apple juice from his special cup or to offer Dorie zombie-killing tips and information. The combination of his new and old methods of regression made him especially jubilant. Over the past several years, little Ryan had gotten far too used to single player modes.

This excitement and full regression led him to do something little boys are infamous for. He wouldn't let go of his video game controller even when his bladder called to him. Then when his bladder practically screamed at him, he still didn't pause the game. It wasn't until a wave of sharp pains hit him low in the abdomen that Ryan finally got up. "Be right back," he told Dorie, putting his paci down on the coffee table.

The very second he left her view, Ryan held his hand just over his bladder, grimacing and trying to find the perfect balance between walking and running. Walking would never get him there fast enough, and running would ensure he'd lose any kind of control he currently had. Barely soon enough, he'd made it all thirty feet to the downstairs bathroom. He stood in front of the toilet, fumbling with the straps on his overall shorts. The hourglass shaped catches were stiff and new, and held on to those big metal buttons about as tight as they could. Ryan whimpered, pulling and tugging at the strap that wouldn't budge. He tried the other side. No luck. His bladder shot a pulsing pain right down to his toes, making him whimper out a soft cry. "Dorie!" he called, his voice high pitched and frightened. He stumbled into the hallway to try and meet her partway there. "Dorie! Dorie! I can't undo my snaps, Dorie!"

"Hang on, little guy, I'm coming!" she called out, but he didn't see her come out from the den for a whole entire five seconds, at least.

Ryan crossed his right leg over his left leg, breathing through his clenched teeth. "It's an emergency!"

Then the worst thing happened since the night he got mad at Dorie for seeing his footed pajamas. His body didn't wait for Dorie to unsnap his snaps. Just as she made it to the dining room, one whole room away, his bladder spasmed a final time. It happened so fast. In a matter of seconds, his brand new shortalls were soaked. Dorie's mouth rounded in an O and she stopped jogging his way at that moment. Ryan too was frozen up in shock, standing in a puddle.

"Oh," he moaned in shame.

"Oh no, sweetie," said Dorie. She became unfrozen first, and walked over to him.

"I couldn't get the snaps undone," he whispered to the floor. There was no good place to look. Dorie stood ahead of him, a puddle surrounded his feet, and staring at the ceiling would just look strange. So Ryan screwed his eyes tightly closed, covering his face with both hands.

"You waited a little too long to go potty, huh?"

"Uh huh," he squeaked. "I'm suh-sorry. I'm sorry! I didn't wanna stop playing the game!"

"Shh, it's okay, little one," said Dorie, rubbing his shoulders. Still, Ryan wouldn't move his hands from his face. "Let's get you into a bath."

It took a while to carefully get off his socks and clean him up enough so he could make it upstairs without leaving behind a trail of wet footsteps. Dorie had to use several paper towels. But twenty minutes later his new shortalls were tumbling in the washing machine, and Dorie was turning his hair into a mohawk with shampoo. "I think you know what you need, sweetie pie," she said.

"Spanking?" he asked, pouting.

"Oh my goodness, no, little guy. You don't get spankings for accidents and honest mistakes. Never, ever," she said, punctuating the two words with gentle pokes to the tip of his nose.

Ryan had still only ever gotten spanked the one time, and it was only because he was so overwrought with guilt and self-loathing that it was the best thing Dorie could think to do. It was more like much needed therapy than a punishment at all. She later told his big side that she feared he'd try to harm himself somehow if she didn't intervene when she did.

"You're not mad?" he asked, eyes big and round.

"Not mad a bit," said Dorie. "But I think what little Ryan might need is a diaper or a nice pull-up under his shortalls and jammies. It's not to embarrass you but just to make it a little bit easier for us both if you get too focused on things to remember to go potty again. What do you think? Do you think it'll make you feel better or make you feel worse?"

"...Buh... better," he told the inside of his palm, pressed tight against his mouth. Even though she assured him it wasn't meant to embarrass him, Ryan's face still resembled a tomato.

Dorie smiled at him, rinsed the last of the shampoo from his hair, and kissed his forehead. Several times he tried to say something, got so far as to vocalize one syllable or two, and then went quiet again. "You can tell me, sweetie," said Dorie.

He shook his head from side to side, crouching so low in the bathtub that he almost got bubbles in his nose when he breathed in.

"Hey now," she said, putting a finger under his chin to see him eye-to-eye. "There's no reason for this, sweet one. I'm not thinking mean things about you."

"That's what I wanted to look up on the internet but I couldn't say the word!" The words shot from his tongue as fast as a semi automatic.

Dorie chuckled and reassured him by stroking her fingers against his cheek. "Diapers?" she checked.

Ryan nodded.

"See what happens when you refuse to get your little side what he needs? Your subconscious gets the both of you in the end."

Ryan wondered if that was true - that the accident was set up somewhere deep in his mind. It was possible, anyway. That sounded like just the kind of rotten thing his mind would do to him.

"Can I confess something to you?" asked Dorie.

"Uh huh."

"I already have just what you need hidden at my house," she admitted. "I bought them online with the pacifier and the overall shorts. For a while I thought I'd have to try and talk you into them, like a favor for me, but I don't think I'll have to do that, now."

Ryan shook his head, biting his lower, smiling lip. His eyes sparkled, further giving away his keen interest in his fate. He waited on the bed for her, sucking fast on his pacifier, covered up in warm and fluffy towels. When he heard the sound of his front door opening up with Dorie's return, his heart fluttered and began beating harder with her every footstep on the staircase. She held up the folded disposable diaper so that Ryan could take a look, first. It had cartoons on the front where the tapes are meant to stick. "Cute, huh?"

He nodded and grinned, again having a hard time looking at her in the eyes. His hand reached for the diaper, but Dorie kept it close to her. "Can I do it?" she asked. "I brought powder and everything."

"Mm hm," Ryan decided, not removing his pacifier from his mouth. It was not only soothing, but a great excuse for not being able to talk. Even though his little side was less shy than his big side, Ryan found himself covering up his face with both arms. Everything from then on was all the sense of touch. His legs being carefully pulled up, the soft cotton of a diaper sliding under his bottom, powder sprinkling against his skin. Dorie ran into a little bit of trouble adjusting it. She pulled the front up, back off, and then slid the diaper down a bit. Then she pulled the front back up between his legs, and this time she must have gotten it right. Next he heard the tapes being undone. Once his diaper was properly on and snug against his tummy he could hardly believe he'd kept himself from this for so very long. He hadn't been so cozy and comfortable and little since after he'd been potty trained, he imagined.

Dorie then dressed him in his footie pajamas with the trains, handed him his one-eyed teddy bear named George, and then gave his tummy a bit of a tickle. "All ready for bedtime. And you won't have to worry a bit if you have another accident. You're all set."

She was right. If the first time they played he felt as if he didn't have one care in the world, now he felt that ten times as much with his diaper on. He reached his arms out to her, and they hugged and then snuggled for a while. Ryan kept wiggling and squirming in his diaper, obsessing over the new sensation and bulk and the crinkling sounds it made anytime he moved an inch.

"You're just a wiggle worm right now," said Dorie.

Ryan giggled. "It's just that if I stay still, I sort of forget it's there. And I don't want to forget."

"Aw," said Dorie, giving his padded bottom a couple of gentle pats. "That ought to remind you, too!'

"One day I'll pay you back for all this," promised Ryan.

"Well one day I hope you realize that I love taking care of you."

Dorie stayed beside him in his bed to read him a bedtime story. He leaned against her upper body, his head nestled against her side, looking at the pictures in the Bernstein Bears book. Ryan sucked on his paci, growing sleepier with every melodic and rhythmic word she spoke. Even all his enthusiastic squirms and wiggles had ceased. He drifted off in the middle of a couple of pages, missing a whole section of dialogue, and then woke up confused about what Mama Bear was saying and why. The next time he drifted off would be the last before sunbeams found him in the morning.

There was nothing quite like waking up in a diaper. His pacifier had fallen out at some point, and lay near his pillow. His bear, too, had fallen and lay now on the floor beside his bed. But his diapers and his jammies hadn't forsaken him. Ryan would have never considered himself a morning person until this day when he grinned not five seconds after he awoke. He got up, undressed, and put his jammies aside. After sneaking one quick glance in the bathroom mirror at what he looked like with just his diaper on, he carefully pulled off the dry diaper without breaking apart the tapes. Then he hid them in his closet under a blanket and found some normal twenty-four-year-old's clothes to pull on for the day. He whistled while he made himself breakfast. Later he found his overall shorts already dried and waiting for him to fold them up and hide them, too, under the blanket in his closet. It had all been things he would have expected on the day after a roleplay with his Dorie. But there'd be one thing most unexpected that day. It would happen just after he put his dishes in the sink. It started the way a lot of bad things for years have started; when the phone rang.

"Ryan?" asked Dorie. Her voice trembled, like she was crying. "I got hurt. My ankle..."

He heard sounds like sniffles and the tiniest of cries, making him squeeze up his face and wince in sympathy. "Aw, Dorie, I'm sorry. Did you try ice? Advil?"

"Nothing's working. It hurts so much," she squeaked out. "It might be broken, Ryan! Ah, it really hurts! I don't think I can even move. I'm scared."

"I'm getting my jacket on right now," he promised. "Where are you? Home?"

"The dance studio," she said. He could hear her pulling in gasps of air, pained and trying hard not to burst into tears. "Can you come? Can you take me to the hospital?"

He covered his mouth with his hand before a cry of misery escaped his lips. The hospital. Well that was only the second most terrifying thing in all the world to Ryan. Maybe the first. It was very likely to have his first and foremost fear, of blood, right around any possible corner. A chill went down his spine that left his fingers tingling under his nails. "Sure," he said. It was more like he heard himself say it, but at least his mind eventually agreed and didn't go back on his promise. "Yeah. Okay. It'll be okay, Dorie. I'll take care of you. I'll take care of you for a change."
 
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Rocky

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555
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Adult Baby, Diaper Lover
I'm really enjoying this story. It's very cute and I think I see a good plot element coming with this ankle incident.
 

LushieCat

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248
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Diaper Lover
Don't get me wrong. It's a really cute story and enjoyable to read, though at parts it felt really rushed and as a reader you have to achieve suspension of belief and logic. It might be the way that most people would desire it to happen, but I guess I don't really have a lot to relate to in terms of the characters. Mostly I have trouble believing that the character of Ryan is actually 24, because he seems to instantly become immature, or that he is capable of really taking care of himself. And, I honestly have extremely little insight into the character of Dorie. I don't know much about her, past her being the enabler of Ryan's AB side.

This is very well written in terms of grammar and dialogue, but the characters seem really flat, and I cannot find the motivation behind their actions. Other than Ryan's AB side, and Dorie's caretaker side, there is very little character development going on, so I can't visualise them as people.

On the other thing, what is amazing, is your intro. It's beautifully woven and catches my attention instantly. You are a very skilled writer. I just feel that despite the beginning of your story being very well written and enthralling, the moment the AB stuff comes into play, things sort of fall flat for me. Things happen too quickly. Too many things are a given, too many questions arise. Ryan seems to hand over his privacy and life instantaneously, without questioning Dorie.

I think you thought the plot out really well, and you deliver in the case of the theme of the story, but you haven't expressed the story behind the story as well, which makes it difficult for me to connect to this.
 

Frogsy

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870
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Diaper Lover, Little, Carer
You brought up some good points and I thank you for taking the time to discuss my story with me! I think what happened with Ryan was that I gave him my personal insecure form of attachment and arrested development by mistake. His character wasn't meant to have been abused or neglected in childhood, but because it was all I really knew myself, he ended up with my personal problems. The unreality you see might be because he acts like a person who has been through abuse while you have read no mention of it (and as the author I actually did not intend for it in his past either.) So that's where I went wrong. I see this as a problem and I'm honestly a bit worried that I'll never be able to write characters who came from a normal functional childhood because I don't know what one is myself. This is also why things happen so quickly. Ryan formed an insecure attachment (to Dorie) just like I would have (and have) at his age (and before and still after, unfortunately.) Dorie was also not supposed to have been abused and she too formed an insecure attachment (I think.) Part of me was thinking she would have done that because she felt as if she knew Ryan after a while of hearing his grandmother speak of him so often. Also her personality is a bit towards the busybody side and she's a bit forward. Perhaps though again I have given a character a trait that I didn't intend to because of my own struggles. One day this will either change or I'll have to accept the fact that I have to write what I know, and what I know is sort of sad and a little psychologically unhealthy.

I agree the plot does seem rushed. When I criticized my own chapters in my head, which is something I'm always doing, that was one of the first things I noticed, big time! I think part of that is because I was new to this site and I was a bit unsure of myself as a writer in this genre and how I wanted to write for this new audience. I still am unsure of myself, obviously! Hehe. This story was supposed to be somewhat of a simple and sweet coming of age story in the world of abdl. I think I didn't want it to be a great complicated drama or anything. That being said, I know that I rushed things a bit. I'm not sure what to do about that in retrospect. Perhaps the best idea is to take that into mind for the next time. If I change all the parts that I also think were rushed, I'll basically have to fully rewrite the entire story. I think I didn't want to lose every possible reader I had because I spent ages getting to the main ideas. That could have been a mistake, I'm not fully sure.

I am a bit disheartened that I didn't do a good enough job of fleshing out my characters. This was one thing I thought I had actually done well at in this story. Either we just don't personally see eye to eye on that, or this is an issue I have to look closely at for myself and see what I'm doing wrong. I might not be communicating it well enough, which is just terrible since my only job is literally to communicate the story to you! In my mind the characters are fleshed out. Perhaps that's an area I need to study further and read up on.

Thank you for taking your time to write out constructive criticism and helping me to become a better writer one day. I really appreciate that very much.
 

LushieCat

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Diaper Lover
Thats the funny thing. I know for a fact that in your head you know your characters very well, and they are fleshed out. The problem is where you don't express this in your story. There are so many creative ways to do this, and I know that this isn't foreign to you.

I guess I could try to pinpoint a few parts.
Being an adult can be hard. Don't let anyone tell you any differently. Ryan had to unpack, clean up the house, and decorate it to less geriatric standards, all while trying to find a new job so he'd have electricity next month. He spent an hour trying to unstick ribbon candy from a pretty crystal bowl that morning, untangled stockings from the shower rod, and created several more boxes of things to be donated to the Salvation Army. It was sometime after he burned his lunch in the unfamiliar oven when Ryan felt like dropping into the fetal position and crying.
This sort of is an example of this. You state adulthood is hard. But your example of this is Ryan getting frustrated at doing chores. People do chores since childhood usually, and Ryan apparently has been living alone for a while since you state he had an apartment. You talk about the frustration, but you don't really give a good reason for why he would be frustrated by the time he burned his food. Does he have a generalised anxiety disorder? Is he devastated by his grandmother's death? Lots of action, very little insight into Ryan's thought process"


Ryan felt his cheeks flushing from the sweet little Ryan comment. But he didn't feel like tapping his fingers or finding an excuse to escape. It was alright, the way Dorie said it. Even when she remarked on his poor job of cooking, she wasn't rude or judgmental about it. "I burned my lunch," said Ryan. When it happened, he wanted to just give up everything about life, but now he kind of breathed out a quiet laugh.
You sort of imply here that Ryan likes Dorie instantly. But you don't explain what about her attracts him. You don't go past describing her outer appearance (age would be useful as well, cause for all I know she is 45). Perhaps in your head you understand why, but the audience doesn't get a chance to like her. I can see how you incorporated that she is a busy body, but she is still a very flat character, and I can't understand how she puts Ryan at ease.

Ryan hoped she would be his friend, one day. So far she really seemed more like a guardian angel that his grandmother set into place. Considering a potential job was on the line, Ryan sort of nodded at Mrs. Parker's assumption.
You jump from Ryan's opinion on Dorie, and then back to the scene at hand. This sort of kills the flow of the story.

Instead you could perhaps have Ryan zone out while talking to Mrs. Parker, and daydream about Dorie, and express his insecurity on whether she'd like him.

The whole story seems a series of brief interactions and sure, it gives a lot of background insight into the situation at hand, but does little to actually move the plot forward. It is like white noise, not seemingly crucial to the story, just filling it in with words.

A couple of times, Dorie had come to visit him and talk over coffee. Those were the best moments of his week.
Here is where you'd have an opportunity to develop the relationship between Ryan and Dorie better. You could explain what it was that made these moments amazing, what Ryan felt during these coffee dates, how Dorie acted. You just add their relationship is blossoming as a detail and tell us no more.

The whole problem Ryan has with his sleeper is an example of great plot development and suspense, and parts of it are very well done, but you don't build it up as intensely, it becomes a bit of a flat and rushed scene. It's a scene that would include a lot of tension, but you don't really add enough to create this tension.

She looked hurt. Her blue eyes went round and she dropped her hands from her lips. No longer was there a smile. Dorie squinted at him, her hands trembling slightly. "I saw the sippy cup behind the couch," she said, because she was now pretty angry, too. That seemed sufficient. Ryan dropped forward to sink his head into his arms, and Dorie made a hasty exit.
This was probably the only really good character development of Dorie that made her more into a person and not just an accessory to the story.

I think the problem is that even when you do start to show us a bit of the personalities of the characters, you then drown them out in extreme amounts of detail and plot, whereas you could continue to reveal them through these very details and actions.

This is a wonderful story, it's very sweet and easy to read. I don't think there is any need for you to rewrite it, and I think that considering the cliffhanger you left, there is a perfect opportunity to flesh out Dorie more.
Your characters can be as broken or in arrested development as you want. They are your characters. You just need to give just enough details on them in order to allow the audience to see things through their point of view as well and react emotionally to the situations that occur to them.

I think a good idea with writing is to always ask yourself 'why is my character like this? why did they react like this? what perhaps, subconscious fears or desires motivate them?'. Then once you can answer those questions, it is up to you whether you reveal it right away, or save it for something to be vaguely implied throughout the story.

I see a lot of potential in your writing, and I hope you continue to write and improve, creating enjoyable works along the way.
 

TeddyBearCowboy

A real-life, genuine teddy bear cowboy...
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634
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Adult Baby, Diaper Lover, Babyfur, Diaperfur, Little
Frogsy,

This is a really good story. I find myself as a reader drawn into the story and anxiously awaiting what is next.

Keep up the great work. If there were any suggestions I could share, it would be perhaps to add some additional descriptions that bring a little more visual acuity into the story. Descriptions that can help the reader see, feel, hear, smell, taste, touch, etc. . . The plot and story line seems sound, but perhaps adding additional descriptions of the senses would add to the reader experience.

However, this is only a minor thing and even without adding further descriptions, your work is great. I hope to read more soon.
 

Frogsy

Est. Contributor
Messages
870
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Diaper Lover, Little, Carer
This sort of is an example of this. You state adulthood is hard. But your example of this is Ryan getting frustrated at doing chores. People do chores since childhood usually, and Ryan apparently has been living alone for a while since you state he had an apartment. You talk about the frustration, but you don't really give a good reason for why he would be frustrated by the time he burned his food. Does he have a generalised anxiety disorder? Is he devastated by his grandmother's death? Lots of action, very little insight into Ryan's thought process"
I think what this meant was that it was hard to move into a new house in a new town all while trying to find a new job. I don't think it was just chores, but the whole idea of that. I've moved twice and it's absolutely exhausting!

I did intend for Ryan to have OCD which I thought I explained by 'showing' rather than 'telling' which is a thing I'm always striving for. He's always tapping his fingers or taking an hour to clean one bowl or having odd fears of unlikely events such as planes crashing into his house. Perhaps I didn't explain this well enough or show it well enough, so I'll try and fix any confusion in the next section. :)



You sort of imply here that Ryan likes Dorie instantly. But you don't explain what about her attracts him. You don't go past describing her outer appearance (age would be useful as well, cause for all I know she is 45). Perhaps in your head you understand why, but the audience doesn't get a chance to like her. I can see how you incorporated that she is a busy body, but she is still a very flat character, and I can't understand how she puts Ryan at ease.
Good point. Dorie is definitely not supposed to be 45! She's 25 - one year older than Ryan. I should have explained that. The instant attraction I thought was based on looks (it's always so often for men) and then by her personality which he might find a little intimidating, but overall well meaning and kind. That's right, though. I rushed that bit a lot because I thought on this forum people would have little interest in non-AB stuff. That's my mistake, not anyone's here!

I thought her personality was shown a bit through her unusual retro style of clothes and her habit of acting like an anachronism. People don't bake pies for new neighbors anymore. That just doesn't happen, but Dorie likes to do things like that. Maybe I should have explained more there, too. I think I have a thing with trying to be minimalist in writing. I used to have a bad habit of writing a hundred pages on the span of two days. Not one detail would be missed. Now I went the other way and skip over weeks at a time and try to focus on moments that explain where people are now and how they are doing at that moment.



Here is where you'd have an opportunity to develop the relationship between Ryan and Dorie better. You could explain what it was that made these moments amazing, what Ryan felt during these coffee dates, how Dorie acted. You just add their relationship is blossoming as a detail and tell us no more.
I should have - I agree. Again, I didn't do that because I thought there'd be little interest in the non-AB sections of the story. There will be more relationship development in the next chapter and I'll keep in mind that a lot of you are actually fine with reading chapters that don't contain diapers or ageplay.


I think the problem is that even when you do start to show us a bit of the personalities of the characters, you then drown them out in extreme amounts of detail and plot, whereas you could continue to reveal them through these very details and actions.
I guess I don't like to say stuff like "Ryan has OCD" (as often - sometimes I do) rather than show it through those extreme details. It could be though that no one is getting it - that I failed to develop through showing and not telling. That my showing just confused people and they would have rather have been told. Whose knows. I could try and find a better balance between the two concepts, although so many places say to never tell anything at all, and only show.

This is a wonderful story, it's very sweet and easy to read. I don't think there is any need for you to rewrite it, and I think that considering the cliffhanger you left, there is a perfect opportunity to flesh out Dorie more.
Thank you - and that was what I was planning on. Developing Dorie a lot more. Also you don't get to hear Dorie's thoughts or anything because this is from Ryan's perspective. Swapping around the perspective at all is a big no-no. If I ever say what Dorie's thinking (without dialogue) that would be a mistake because Ryan isn't a mind-reader.

Anyway thanks I just wanted to share my perspective and see if you were able to get any of those ideas or if I really *really* need to focus on 'showing and not telling' in a way that still leaves the reader informed. You're really helpful and thoughtful and a very good constructive critic. A lot of the things I agree with and part of me is considering going back and putting in the scenes I dropped out because I thought people wouldn't give a darn about it.

Edit - this is also why Teddy may have noticed some lack of sensory detail. I didn't think you all wanted more than something fluffy and gentle and with diapers... I underestimated you guys. You're far more discerning than I would have assumed. My fault - I'm too used to less intelligent corners of the internet.
 

Albasion

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Messages
337
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Adult Baby, Diaper Lover
The story so far has been incredibly cute and awesome, and I definitely hope you will continue writing! It's the dream, isn't it.. a girlfriend like that. ^^" The introduction was incredibly well-written, believable and interesting, and the rest of the story keeps up that quality. It's sweet and I can relate to a lot of stuff in terms of feelings and fantasies.

Of course, there is some room for improvement. For the most part I agree with what JubeyKitty posted; the characters could be worked out a little better in the episodes to come, and a select few moments strike me as kind of rushed and/or implausible. There was only one moment that kind of annoyed me; that is, the part where Ryan wets himself. It's pretty cliché for an AB/DL story, but what's worse, I have always found that it doesn't seem realistic for a healthy male adult in his mid-twenties to have 'accidents' like that, even when regressed. Out of experience I know how difficult it is to reach and maintain a state of regression, even if you're with people you trust and know about that side of you. And even if you do reach that state, you don't suddenly become even remotely incontinent; in fact, I have never succeeded in wetting myself at all when regressed, regardless of bladder pressure!

But honestly, aside from that particular pet peeve of mine, this story is awesome. Keep it up! :)
 

LushieCat

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Messages
248
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Diaper Lover
I think what this meant was that it was hard to move into a new house in a new town all while trying to find a new job. I don't think it was just chores, but the whole idea of that. I've moved twice and it's absolutely exhausting!

I did intend for Ryan to have OCD which I thought I explained by 'showing' rather than 'telling' which is a thing I'm always striving for. He's always tapping his fingers or taking an hour to clean one bowl or having odd fears of unlikely events such as planes crashing into his house. Perhaps I didn't explain this well enough or show it well enough, so I'll try and fix any confusion in the next section.
What you described is Generalised Anxiety Disorder. OCD is having obsessions or compulsions, such as doing something a certain number of times, making sure every door is closed and so on. I think it's a fantastic idea, this characteristic, and you definitely caught my curiousity with the finger thing. I think in order to fix that bit, you could say for example :

Being an adult can be hard. Don't let anyone tell you any differently. In Ryan's case, it had always felt a more difficult feat to achieve than for other people. There was an infinity of things he had to accomplish. He had to unpack, clean up the house, and decorate it to less geriatric standards, all while trying to find a new job so he'd have electricity next month. It all felt so overwhelming. He spent an hour trying to unstick ribbon candy from a pretty crystal bowl that morning, untangled stockings from the shower rod, and created several more boxes of things to be donated to the Salvation Army. Just as it seemed like he was getting the hang of things, he found his lunch burned due his lack of familiarity with the oven. It was so overwhelming and frustrating that the only thing Ryan felt like doing was dropping into the fetal position on his couch and crying.

Edit - this is also why Teddy may have noticed some lack of sensory detail. I didn't think you all wanted more than something fluffy and gentle and with diapers... I underestimated you guys. You're far more discerning than I would have assumed. My fault - I'm too used to less intelligent corners of the internet.
I think your biggest problem in that case, is that you appealed to both the people who love fluffy diaper stories and the more picky people who enjoy quality writing as well. I think the strangest part is that you do actually employ a lot of powerful and effective techniques for writing that grab a reader's attention, as I was definitely hooked from the first paragraph, so these sort of discreptancies are harder to pinpoint reading the story the first time, and I had to comb over it with a fine tooth pick a few times to truly give you some feedback.
 

Frogsy

Est. Contributor
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Diaper Lover, Little, Carer
The story so far has been incredibly cute and awesome, and I definitely hope you will continue writing! It's the dream, isn't it.. a girlfriend like that. ^^" The introduction was incredibly well-written, believable and interesting, and the rest of the story keeps up that quality. It's sweet and I can relate to a lot of stuff in terms of feelings and fantasies.

Of course, there is some room for improvement. For the most part I agree with what JubeyKitty posted; the characters could be worked out a little better in the episodes to come, and a select few moments strike me as kind of rushed and/or implausible. There was only one moment that kind of annoyed me; that is, the part where Ryan wets himself. It's pretty cliché for an AB/DL story, but what's worse, I have always found that it doesn't seem realistic for a healthy male adult in his mid-twenties to have 'accidents' like that, even when regressed. Out of experience I know how difficult it is to reach and maintain a state of regression, even if you're with people you trust and know about that side of you. And even if you do reach that state, you don't suddenly become even remotely incontinent; in fact, I have never succeeded in wetting myself at all when regressed, regardless of bladder pressure!

But honestly, aside from that particular pet peeve of mine, this story is awesome. Keep it up! :)
Thank you Dareios for your insight and plot help! You're right, by the way! Oh my gosh I wasn't sure if I should have written that part in that fashion. I thought I might have been too cliche, there, or unrealistic. That being said as a grownup out of my teen years I've had two accidents and I'm not IC and never considered myself to be. One time it happened nearly exactly like this one - I got absorbed in what I was doing to the point of neglecting my body's needs. So that's why I thought maybe it was plausible enough for a fictional story, but who knows, I might have minor IC issues that I didn't know I had. Maybe Ryan has whatever minor IC issues I have, too. Usually my minor IC comes from being tickled or laughing too hard. (Is that everyone in the world or just some people?) I'll try and deal with that issue in future chapters. I feel like I rushed some things because of my uncertainty in writing for a particular kind of audience. In other stories or in the future of this one I'm going to change that behavior of mine.

Jubey - Ah I can see what it is now that you're after. I think you're saying I do need to 'tell' a few times instead of only showing. I'll try and incorporate that in the future - especially if things seem possibly confusing or misleading.

edit - sorry for all this whole page of deeper discussion but I'm so enamored with in depth discussions of writing and I've never had any real help and critique until this forum. It's hard for my husband to do what you guys can do. It would be hard for him to be objective like you can be. I love your insights as readers who don't 'owe me' anything at all. New chapter coming up soon for those interested! :)
 
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