Meanwhile, up in his room, Jake was keeping himself busy. His polyester-covered feet swung rhythmically from his computer chair as he started another round of Counterstrike, his fingers moving as nimbly over the mouse and keyboard as they ever had. Jake grinned to himself as his team won another match, happy to have found something that he was still just as good at. Jake was about to enter another game when he felt a sudden pressure in his bladder and realized that he needed to take a piss. Jake sighed, hopped off of his chair, and looked for the mask that went with his costume. He still had no desire to be seen like this by a bunch of dopey thirteen-year-olds, after all.
After finding the mask and slipping it on, Jake poked his head out of his room to check if the coast was clear. Seeing that it was, he made his way to the bathroom down the hall as stealthily as possible, pressing his back against the wall and keeping his eyes peeled for party guests. Jake made it to the bathroom without incident and swung the door open to find a complete wreck of a space. The tile was pulled up, gaping holes were punched in the drywall, and, most distressingly, the toilet had been jerked out of the floor.
“Oh, shit.” Jake cursed. He had forgotten that the upstairs bathroom was being renovated and was, for all intents and purposes, unusable. His choices were now narrowed down to making a mad dash to the downstairs bathroom, the door to which was in direct view of the living room, or searching for an empty bottle in his bedroom to pee into. The pressure was building, to the point where Jake had to clamp a hand on his groin to relieve it. No time to search for a bottle, Jake decided. And getting seen in costume by a couple kids was preferable to pissing his pants in private. Grimacing behind his mask, Jake moved to the top of his steps and took a second to gather his courage before sprinting down the steps, possibly approaching a land speed record as he did so. Once Jake’s feet hit the floor, he hopped in front of the bathroom door and grabbed the handle.
It was [I]locked[/I].
For Jake, this was every “realizing you went to class in your underwear” nightmare come to life, only a thousand times worse. Here he was, a little kid in a ridiculously immature Halloween costume with a bladder threatening to burst, surrounded by teenagers who would be happy to mock him if given the chance. And, to his dismay, Jake noticed that some of those teenagers were beginning to notice his presence, pointing him out to their friends and snickering at the little kid in the Spiderman costume who needed to use the bathroom. Overcome with panic, Jake began banging away on the door with a tiny fist, desperate to get the attention of whoever was inside.
“Open uuuuuup!” Jake wailed, the mask muffling his words somewhat. He hopped up and down with his hands clamped over his crotch, not even caring at the moment how childish he must have looked. “It’s an emergency!!”
Within the bathroom, Eric and Megan were still lip-locked, making out in the only way teenagers knew how - awkwardly and ungracefully. Eric felt as though he was a thousand miles away from that bathroom, but the terror-stricken voice of his brother was enough to bring him back to reality. Concerned, Eric reluctantly pulled away from Megan, who was confused and a little irritated at his stoppage of the ceremonies.
“Jak-er, Billy?” Eric called out, remembering Jake’s alias just in time.
On the other side of the door, Jake’s ears perked up. Since Eric was in there, Jake knew he would be able to get inside. He was about to reply to Eric’s call when he felt someone come up from behind him. Jake turned around to face this mystery person and immediately wished that he hadn’t.
“Hey there, Spiderman!” Mark chuckled, Steve snorting with laughter right behind him. “And who might you be? If you don’t mind telling me your secret identity, that is.”
Jake wasn’t even thinking about why his friends were here, he was just scrambling to think of an answer that would allow him to get the hell out of there.
“Um, I’m Eric’s cousin, Billy.” Jake responded in a quavering voice. “And if you don’t mind, I’ve gotta - ”
“Well Bobby, even if you are Spiderman, I bet you can’t resist Doc Ock’s eight-tentacled tickle assault!” Without so much as a warning, Mark dove his hands into Jake’s armpits, causing Jake to break out into convulsive giggling. By now, Mark’s antics had the attention of everyone in the party, who now looked on and chuckled openly at the little boy and his uncontrollable laughter.
“Pleaaaaaase...ahahahahahaha...stoooooooop!!” Jake wailed between giggles. Mark paid him no mind, egged on by the amusement of the partygoers. Jake was beginning to grow desperate. If he didn’t get away from Mark soon, he would...he would...
“Ugh, grooooss!!” Mark suddenly shouted as he leaped away from Jake.
Jake didn’t even need to look down to know what had happened. He felt the hot liquid soak through his underpants before moving onto his bottoms, a wet spot developing at his groin and growing at a rapid pace. The partygoers, shocked by what they were seeing, grew quiet for a moment...only to resume their mocking a second later with piercing howls of awed laughter. Jake shut his eyes tightly, praying for the floor to come alive and swallow him up whole. However, he didn’t have any such luck, as the seemingly endless stream of urine ran down his thighs, flooded through the thin fabric and began to pool on the wood floor.
Finally, after a few final squirts, Jake’s bladder was empty. Already beginning to tear up, Jake slowly opened his eyes and to see a room full of people having the time of their lives ridiculing him. Steve managed bring his laughter down to a controllable giggle long enough to bend down and stare Jake in the face. Jake, for his part, couldn’t bear to look at anybody right now, much less his best friend who had just seen him pee all over himself in the middle of a crowded room.
“Aww, we’re sorry buddy!” Steve consoled the distraught little boy. “We better get you out of these wet clothes, huh?”
Before Jake even had a chance to react, Steve grabbed Jake by the waistband and swiftly pulled down his underwear and bottoms, giving the entire party an eyeful of Jake’s backside and wet little pee-pee. Jake immediately shot his hands over his shame, but the damage was done. The roar of the laughter reached near-deafening levels as Jake stood there, soaked, half-naked and with his pants and underwear pooled around his ankles. Tears flowed freely from his eyes, soaking into the fabric of his mask and causing wet spots to develop and grow beneath the eyeholes. Jake expected this sort of cruelty from kids, from Eric’s classmates...but for Mark and Steven to take the most active role in his humiliation was almost worse than anything.
Overcome with shame, Jake turned to make a break up the stairs...and immediately fell flat on his face after tripping over his saturated underpants. His round little butt jutted into the air, drawing another wave of mean-spirited guffaws from the crowd.
“What is everybody laughing at out there?” Eric wondered aloud. Over the past minute, Eric had tried to escape from Megan’s charms, but she managed to convince him that the situation didn’t seem dire enough to warrant his attention. The most recent cacophony of chuckles put him over the edge, though, as he finally broke free and swung open the bathroom door, stepping out just in time to see Jake’s pale rump on display for all to see. Megan stepped out behind him, her annoyance at Eric’s resistance immediately forgotten as she joined everyone else in the raucous mocking of this tormented little boy.
Jake turned his head to kick his pants and underwear off of his feet, and as he did so, he caught sight of Eric looking down on him, his mouth agape and his expression completely blank. Jake shot him the most heartbreaking, agonizing look he had ever seen, and right then, Eric knew that this had gone way too far. Finally, Jake managed to kick off his restraining clothing, scramble to his feet and dash up the stairs, his tiny package bobbing shamefully in front of him as he ran.
Eric stood shock still for a few seconds, feeling that the nausea-inducing combination of guilt and self-loathing might cause him to vomit at any given moment. He scoured the party to see everyone gradually getting over their laughter but still discussing their favorite parts of the spectacle, making crude gestures and drawing more obnoxious snickers from each other. Mark ribbed Steve mercilessly for grabbing the little boy’s urine soaked pants, which sent Mark into a rambling story of how that was only like the tenth grossest thing he’d ever touched. Paul and Jay were having as much fun as anyone else, which somehow managed to depress him even more.
“Hahaha, woooow.” Megan regained her composure from behind Eric. “This party gets better every minute. C’mon, Eric, let me introduce you to a couple friends of mine.”
Eric slowly turned to face Megan and found that the features he had found so beautiful only a few minutes ago now seemed to simply exist to cover up a cruel, mean shallowness that Eric found completely unattractive. He shook his head and avoided her gaze.
“No.” he said flatly. “I’ve gotta go take care of him.”
Megan sighed and rolled her eyes. “Fiiiiiiiine.”
She wandered off to some other corner of the party, leaving Eric alone with his thoughts. He took a deep breath, ran his hands through his hair, and stepped back inside the bathroom to grab the title. Silently, expressionlessly, Eric cleaned up the small puddle of urine on the wood floor, pointedly ignoring the oh-so-clever remarks the partygoers shot his way as he did so. Eric finished mopping up the spill and threw the towel in the bathroom hamper before grabbing a rag and moistening half of it with warm water. Eric left the bathroom and gave the oblivious partygoers one more final, disgusted look before heading upstairs, hoping that Jake wasn’t too distraught but knowing deep inside that he must be a complete wreck.
Jake had retreated to his bedroom, slammed the door behind him, and threw himself on the bed in heaving sobs. He was all cried out, though, and he could only maintain his weeping for a minute or so. He turned over and pulled his knees up to his chest, curling his body up into a ball before burying his face into his arms, trying to erase himself from sight.
*knock knock knock*
“Jake?” came Eric’s soft voice from the other side of the door. Jake couldn’t even muster up the energy to tell him to get lost. After a few seconds, the door slowly creaked open and Eric poked his head through. His expression immediately turned to one of concern and embarrassment when he saw Jake, obviously hurt deeply by what had just happened to him. Sighing sadly, Eric entered the room and gently closed the door behind him before walking towards the bed and sitting down on it, facing away from Jake. He played with the rag in his hands as he tried to find correct words to say.
“Some big brother I am.” Eric finally stated. “Jake, I’m so sorry. I got caught up in my party and completely forgot about looking out for you. I never thought that my friends...your friends...could be so cruel, and so...so heartless.”
Jake sniffled but didn’t look up. Eric examined him sorrowfully for a second, measuring his words as the subject he was about to bring up was a delicate one.
“Let me clean you up.” Eric offered in a reserved but helpful tone.
Jake finally looked up but avoided Eric’s gaze. His skin was starting to itch something fierce, and he knew he’d probably get a rash if he didn’t bite the bullet and let Jake wipe him down. Jake uncurled his body without saying anything, laying out with his legs spread and looking away from Eric. Eric smiled slightly, happy that, if nothing else, Jake still trusted him a little bit. Eric went about his job at a workmanlike pace, swabbing down Jake’s skin with the wet part of the towel, trying his best to make his actions deliberate and as comfortable as possible. Eric finished wiping Jake down and quickly dried him off, hoping that he did an acceptable job.
“How’s that?” Eric gently asked.
“Better.” Jake muttered, still unable to look Eric in the face.
Eric looked away. “Good, good.”
A few seconds of intensely awkward silence passed. Then, speaking to no one in particular, Eric finally piped up.
“The effects are temporary.” Eric flatly admitted.
Jake shot up into a sitting position, his eyes wide as saucers.
“What did you say?” Jake eagerly asked.
“The effects are temporary.” Eric repeated himself. “You’ll be back to normal in the morning.”
Eric craned his neck back to look at Jake, sure that his expression would be one of unbridled fury due to the extended lie Eric had told him. But, to his surprise, Jake was beaming, his face flooded with relief at knowing that this nightmare would soon be over. Eric smiled, his spirit unburdened at knowing that Jake wasn’t angry. Still, he was just a little bit sad. Jake looked so happy right now that he must not have enjoyed being Eric’s little brother in the slightest.
“That’s great!” Jake exclaimed. “Why didn’t you tell me?”
Eric exhaled and looked away. “At first, I guess I just wanted you to suffer as much as possible, to think that you were stuck as a child. But then...I came to really enjoy being your big brother, Jake. I loved have someone to mess around with, to give the affection I never got from...from...”
Eric didn’t need to finish. Jake knew exactly what he was talking about. Another few seconds of silence passed between them.
“Well,” Jake finally broke the silence. “I’ve gotta admit, it was fun being your younger brother for a little while.”
Eric turned back to face Jake, who was grinning his adorable gap-toothed grin. Eric chuckled despite himself.
“Really?” Eric asked, smiling cheerfully.
“Really.” Jake echoed, his expression suddenly changing into a pronounced frown. “I just wish there was some way I could get back at those jerks downstairs.”
Eric thought about this, wondering what he could possibly do to make up for Jake’s suffering. After a minute, a wicked grin slowly crept across his face, as he came up with the best idea he’d thought of in some time. With some ceremony, Eric pulled the pink container out of his pants pocket and showed it to Jake.
“What’s that?” Jake asked, confused.
Still grinning, Eric popped open the container and shook one of the pills into his palm.
“This,” he began, proudly displaying the small round tablet, “Is what I slipped into your soda.”
Jake stared at it in awe as Eric crept in close.
“How’d you like to turn those idiots into little kids, Jake?” Eric whispered.
Jake stared at Eric in surprise for a moment before his face broke out into an impossibly wide smile.
“Yeah!” Jake exclaimed. “But how would you get it into everybody’s drink?”
Eric thought for a second before snapping his fingers in realization. “The punch bowl! I’ll slip the pills into the punch, drop a not-so-subtle hint to everyone that I mixed some alcohol into the drink, and then get everyone a fresh cup in the name of proposing a toast.”
“Not bad!” Jake approved. “Only...”
“Only...?” Eric asked, wondering what Jake’s hesitation could be.
Jake twiddled his thumbs and looked away, his innocent smile becoming a little more fiendish.
“Only...” Jake finally continued, looking Eric square in the eyes. “You gotta drink it, too.”
Eric raised his eyebrows. He knew that, in all fairness, he should take some of the punishment as well. But Eric had absolutely no desire to re-experience his childhood. His memories of being a little boy mostly involved being tormented not only by Jake, but also by the neighborhood’s older kids who never passed up an opportunity to beat him up or humiliate him in front of the few friends he did have. Eric bitterly recalled his early days in middle school, where his small stature and undeveloped body made him the subject of merciless teasing from the seventh and eighth graders. When puberty arrived in late sixth grade, it was a godsend to Eric.
Eric opened his mouth to shoot Jake’s request out of the sky only to be stopped by his brother giving him the biggest, most yearning puppy dog eyes he had ever seen.
“Ah, jeez.” Eric moaned, looking away to avoid Jake’s inconceivably cute stare. Damn, he got good at that quick, Eric thought.
“Okay, okay.” Eric muttered. “You got it.”
“Yay!” Jake shouted with such cheer that Eric couldn’t help but smile, amazed at how adept Jake was at being a little kid.
“C’mon.” Eric got off of the bed, motioning for Jake to follow him. “Let’s go back up to the attic and get you some new - ”
Eric suddenly froze. The attic. The [I]costumes[/I].
“What’s the matter?” Jake asked, looking up at Eric expectantly.
“Jake...” Eric began, his eyes lighting up. “How ?bout we have a [I]real[/I] Halloween party?”