Chapter Description: Ryan overhears plans for his future and isn't too happy about it.
Ryan woke up from his nap and stretched. Some light was still coming in through the window so he knew it wasn't night time just yet. He sat up and felt his diaper squish underneath him. With a gulp, he felt of it and noticed it had plumped up, holding his pee, but there was something else. When the covers came off, the stench came up, and he knew he had pooped his diaper while he slept. He instantly blushed and wanted out of it, but didn't want to be changed like a baby. Thinking he would prove he was a big boy by changing himself, he took off his diaper and tossed it into the magic diaper pail, then cleaned himself with a wipe. It was still embarrassing, but if he could prove he could do this himself, maybe she wouldn't baby him so much. Unable to find anything else, he put on his old shirt, which drooped down past his knees. It was enough to cover what was necessary. Eager to show his accomplishment, he padded down the hall and heard Linda and Kuma talking.
“He's lost so much.” said Kuma. “What are we going to do?” The living plush teddy bear slumped in his chair.
“Sadly, there aren't many options.” said Linda. “He will need supervision and care day and night now. I believe he may be too young to fight. I have considered enrolling him in a re-education school, so he can get back some of what he's lost.” The wise red panda plush woman poured some tea for her and Kuma.
“Hmm, yes, I've had to attend those before.” said Kuma, drinking some tea. “They are no fun. I don't think he'll like that idea.”
“What other choice is there?” asked Linda. “If we go out again he could be reduced to an infant or have his mind totally stolen. I won't let that happen. I've decided to act as the boy's mother until he is able to return to his own world. I have never taken care of a human, but he doesn't seem much different from us. I've handled feedings, diaper changes, baths, and even education of ones who have been reduced by the enemy. I know what to expect.”
“Perhaps you could teach him here at home.” suggested Kuma.
“I can only do so much here.” said Linda. “Besides, now that he is physically and mentally a child, perhaps he should get to know some others his age, get to play with them, make some friends.”
“I'm his friend.” said Kuma, looking at her. “I always will be, no matter what his age becomes. However, I agree. Finding ones his own age, those who have lost their maturity and knowledge as well, could do him some good.”
“Now, how do we break this news to him?” asked Linda.
Ryan stood in the entrance to the living room. Upon hearing it all, he began to cry. No, he was a big boy, not a dumb little kid who can't keep his pants clean and dry! He didn't want to go to school, he just graduated! Indeed, he remembered his past and where he came from. He remembered being older, stronger, bigger, and more capable. His knowledge had been drained though, and now he was small and afraid. He would prove to them he wasn't though. He would prove himself to still be a capable big kid! He turned and ran out of the front door and outside of the village.
Linda saw too late. “Ryan!” she shouted. “Don't run off!”
“Oh dear!” said Kuma. “I'll go get him!” The teddy bear ran off to find his little friend, calling for him and searching high and low.
Ryan ran through the town, drawing a lot of attention from the plush citizens. He made it outside of the village and down the path he and Kuma had used to get there. Almost instantly, he was surrounded by a group of bio snakes. These were usually a low level enemy, but at his current age and being alone, it was a challenge. Any bite from them could cause a poison effect that continues to drain a person's health and skills until the enemy either withdrew or was defeated. With a loud but squeaky yell, he began to cast spell after spell on them, angrily dealing with each one.
Kuma was desperately searching for Ryan in the village. Thankfully enough people had witnessed him running by to tell him where he should go. He made his way out of the village and heard Ryan screaming. Fearing the worst, he headed that way, following the sound.
Ryan was still raging at the snakes, but one had snuck up on him and bit him in the leg. He cried out, reaching down, feeling terrible pain, but kept at it, giving it everything he had. He could feel something leave his mind, but forgot what it was as soon as it was gone. All he knew is that he used to know something, but now he didn't.
Kuma ran up and joined his magic with Ryan's, eliminating all the snakes handily. He then used some healing magic on Ryan's leg. “Ryan! Are you okay?!” he asked. “Come on, lets get back home.”
“No!” shouted Ryan. “You just wanna send me to school! You think I'm just a dumb baby, but I'm not! I'm big boy! I can do magic, see?! I can fight with you!”
“Yes, I know.” said Kuma. “You are still a big boy, and you can do magic, but you've lost so much. It's too dangerous for you to go alone. Look, you got bitten. I know you've lost more of yourself, and there isn't much more for you to lose before you forget your home and your family. You don't want to forget them do you?”
“No, but...” said Ryan. “I'm not little!” He stomped his feet, having a tantrum. “Not little! Am big! Big boy!”
“Ryan, please.” said Kuma. The teddy bear hugged his little friend, squeezing him tightly.”
Ryan cried and hugged his plush friend, who had recently become bigger than him. No, in fact Ryan was the one who became smaller. At least this time he didn't seem to have lost any more height. He slowly began to feel better. Kuma was like his best friend, and he felt like he could trust him. As he did, he felt a strange tickling on his legs. He looked down and blushed to see that he was tinkling. Since he wasn't wearing a diaper, it just trickled down his legs and feet, making him blush even more as he left little drops behind on the way back home. He walked in to see Linda there waiting for him.
Linda ran up and hugged him, picking him up off the floor. “Oh Ryan!” she said. “Don't you ever run off like that again!”
“I'm sowry Miss Linda.” said Ryan with a bit of an impediment. “I shouwda talked to you.”
“Yes you should have.” Linda said, carrying him to their room. “Lets get you cleaned up.”
Ryan sniffled as he was stripped of his wet shirt and cleaned with a baby wipe. He didn't feel as embarrassed about it anymore for some reason, but still blushed. He knew he should be potty trained at his age, but the mean monsters took it from him. Thinking about it made him angry, but then he was tickled by Linda and all was forgotten.
Linda smiled and helped Ryan onto the bed where she sprinkled powder into fresh diaper, then lifted Ryan by the ankles and slid it under him. She tickled his tummy a bit to get him to smile, then pulled the front of the diaper up over his tummy and taped it snugly around his waist. “There we go.” she said, hugging him. “Now if you have an accident you won't get any on the floor.”
Ryan blushed and nodded. “Stupid monthstahs made me hafta wear diapers!” he grumbled, sounding more child-like. “I gonna get em back!”
“Soon honey, soon.” said Linda. “For now we need to help you try and re-learn some things you lost.”
“Speaking of which, he did get attacked by some bio snakes, and bitten.” said Kuma. “Best check his stats again.”
Linda nodded and checked. Her smile turned into a frown as she saw that all math, reading, and science skills were gone, reduced to zero. He would have to start learning these basic things all over again. His overall mental maturity took another hit too. She put on a brave smile though, and patted Ryan on the head. “Ryan, can you say your ABCs?” she asked.
Ryan nodded, he was good at this. “Uh huh!” he said proudly, and began to recite them. He got all the way from A to Z without issue, which was a relief to Linda. At least he wouldn't need to start all of that over again to.
“Good boy!” she said. “Now can you count to ten for me?”
Ryan nodded again. This was a bit tougher, but he knew he could do it. “One, two, three, four, five, six...seven...eight...nine...ten!” he said, slowing down to think near the end.
“Very good!” she said. “Such a smart boy.”
Ryan smiled, but part of him knew she was sad. She usually only did these tests when he lost something, but did he lose anything? If he did, he forgot. To himself and others, he was just a little kid. Even though he knew he used to be bigger and had a human family, details about his own world were crumbling along with his education.
“Oh, I have a surprise for you.” said Linda, leading him into the living room. “While you were napping, Kuma picked out some clothes for you.”
Ryan looked and saw a lot of small shirts, shorts, tunics, shoes, and even some boots. He looked them over and saw that some of the shorts and pants had buttons along the leg and crotch to facilitate diaper changes. There were some cyan shortalls that he liked, and a blue shirt. Blue was one of his favorite colors besides red, which was the color of his scarf. “I like these ones.” he said, holding them up.
“Those will look good on you sweety.” said Linda. She helped him get dressed, since he was unable to do so himself, and then showed him a mirror. “What do you think?”
Ryan looked at his five-year-old self in the mirror. It was the first time he had really gotten a good look at himself since he was eight. He saw his blushing cheeks, ruffled dark brown hair, and big green eyes. The outfit looked cute on him, even if it did have a diaper bulge. “I...I like it.” he said finally. “It's comfy.”
“I'm glad you like my choices.” said Kuma. “Since there have been many victims who have lost potty training and age, there are many choices for clothing that allow for diaper changes at various ages.”
Ryan blushed, feeling his thick diaper between his legs. He moved around and could still hear it crinkle under his clothes.
“Ryan, sweety, we need to talk.” said Linda. She sat down on the couch and helped the little boy up onto it. “You remember being big? You remember coming here and your life before?”
Ryan nodded. He did, but now some of it was getting fuzzy. “I remember bein' big, goin' to school, getting some papers, then here.” he said, recounting events. Clearly some details were left out or forgotten, but it was a bit of a blur.
“Good.” said Linda. “Your magic skills are still good, but I'm afraid you may be too young now to learn the teleportation spell.”
Ryan's face dropped and frowned. “You mean, I'm stuck here?” he asked. “I hafta grow up all over again here?” Tears began rolling down his cheeks.
“Oh honey, come here.” said Linda, giving him a hug and patting his back. “It'll be okay sweety. We'll keep trying. Maybe you can, who knows? It's just not something most young ones here can learn. Maybe you can. We'll find out, okay?”
Ryan sniffled and rubbed his eyes. “O-okay.” he said. Inside he was struggling to be a big boy and not cry, but it was hard. He wanted his mommy and daddy.
Linda picked him up and held him. He was still a bit too big and heavy for her lap, but she managed. “Now, in order to help you do that, we think it would be good if you go to one of our re-education schools.” she said.
“No wanna go to school again.” said Ryan, sounding like a whiny child.
“But it'll help you sweetie.” said Linda. “You won't be the only one wearing diapers. These are schools only for those who have been regressed by the monsters. Maybe you'll even make some new friends and find out more about our world. Also, I used to be a teacher. I could volunteer to teach your class.”
“You would be the teacher?” Ryan asked. It sounded more appealing if she was involved. He felt safer and happier around her and Kuma.
“If it helps, I have had to go through something like this too.” said Kuma. “I lost a lot of my education, and even age, and had to just relearn it all.”
“You did?” asked Ryan. “W-was it fun?”
“Sometimes.” said Kuma. “But you have to pay attention and do what the teacher says so you learn and grow up right, okay?”
“O-okay.” said Ryan. “I guess if Miss Linda is there it won't be so bad.”
“Good boy!” said Linda, patting his bottom. “I'll let the association know tomorrow. Until then, you can keep training in the back yard or just play if you want.”
“Play?” asked Ryan. “Like with toys?”
“If you want.” said Linda. “I have some toys in the toy chest here.”
“Really?” asked Ryan. His eyes lit up a bit at the prospect of playing with toys.
“Right over here.” said Linda, putting him down and showing him the treasure chest-like box of toys.
Ryan looked inside happily. There were toy trains, blocks, and even some small plushes. He pulled some out and began to play as Linda and Kuma looked on. He was definitely acting more like a little kid. There was a time when he would have turned his nose up at such childish things. Then he sat and looked at one of the plushes. It was a small teddy bear, much like Kuma. “Um, I have a question.” he said.
“Of course dear.” said Linda.
“If you are all plush and have plush toys, how are you alive and they aren't?” he asked.
“That's a good question!” said Linda. “This is ordinarily something you would learn in school, but we are made of something called 'life fabric' while those toys are made of simple threads and fabrics. We are beings of magic given life while those are merely stitched together without life or magic.”
“Where did you come from?” asked Ryan, genuinely curious.
“No one really knows.” said Linda. “Do humans know where you came from?”
“N-no...not for sure.” said Ryan. He vaguely remembered debates on creation in his world, but a lot of that knowledge had slipped away.
“It seems like our bodily functions are similar.” said Linda. “That's all that is important right now. Thankfully we both have diapers and toilets in our worlds.”
Ryan nodded and returned to playing, feeling somewhat satisfied with the answer he got. He was starting to wish he had someone to play with. “K-Kuma?” he asked. “Wanna play with me?”
“Sure!” said Kuma. “I may be eighteen but that doesn't mean I can't play with toys.” He sat down on the floor in front of Ryan and helped him setup a toy train. They both set the track up so that it went around the coffee table and under a chair.
Ryan smiled and clapped, enjoying this very much. He loved playing with his big friend Kuma. He knew he used to be the same age as him, but couldn't remember them growing up together, so it felt a bit strange, but still fun. Together they played until it was time for dinner. Ryan needed another diaper change, which Linda was happy to provide. When it was time for bed, Ryan snuggled up to Kuma voluntarily in their bed. He sucked on his thumb, feeling comfort from it as he slept, and felt much more cozy and comfy than he did before. Everything seemed right, as if this was how things were and always had been. Yet he knew it wasn't true. Even if it wasn't, he would pretend it was.
Days went on this way as Linda prepared to teach again and even tutored little Ryan when not busy with other tasks. Kuma would go outside and train with him in the back yard, but also secretly go off on his own to train outside of the town. He thought maybe if he learned the spell, he could somehow teach it to Ryan or even manage to open the portal himself. Even if it wasn't possible by normal standards, he would still try for his friend.
Soon it would be Ryan's first day of school in this new world, and while he was nervous, he knew he had nothing to fear as long as his new family was there to take care of him. He wasn't sure how long it would take, but he knew he had to do it and give it his best.
To be continued...