“Oh look, it’s the diaper-butt.” Diego jeered.
“Watch it, kid!” Judith barked harshly, snapping the tallest boy to attention. She then gestured to Curtis. “I brought a fourth, so now you all can play doubles at foosball.”
“I don’t want him on my team,” Clint said, breaking his concentration for a moment and letting Tobin score a point. “Crap!”
“Then Curtis takes the loser’s place after this match, which unless you stop playing like total garbage, is gonna be you.” Judith smiled a taunt toward the blond-haired boy; he was down a few points.
“Shut up, Judith, stop distracting me.”
“Hey, I already called loser.” Diego rose up.
“And you’ve already been in here playing for almost an hour, it’s time to let someone else have a turn.” Judith crossed her arms. “You can play the winner after that.”
“Hey, can we play Super Smash Bros. yet?” Clint turned to Judith after digging the puck out of his goal.
“No, Isavelle and Lucy are watching a movie.”
For the next couple minutes, the two players went silent while the puck shot back and forth at high speed. Eventually, Tobin scored a few more points, giving him the victory.
“Ha! You suck,” Diego said, directing his words to the loser.
Clint went to retrieve his drink while Curtis handed his off to Judith and then took his place at the table.
“I already beat you too, so I guess you both suck.” Tobin took a sip from his own drink before returning to the table. “I kinda wanna play foosball, it’d be fun with two versus two.”
“Well you can have diaper-boy on your team, I’ll take Clint.”
Curtis looked at Judith, a little hesitantly. She whispered in his ear. “Don’t forget what you say to meanies.”
“You ready, Curtis?” Tobin asked.
“Yeah, Curtis.” Clint cut in. “Are you ready, or do you need your diaper changed first?”
“What do you care?” Curtis shot back.
All three boys and Judith were taken by surprise. The boys’ shock lasted a few seconds while Judith beamed a proud smile.
Clint recovered and taunted from across the table. “I can smell your diapers from here.”
Curtis, still riding on the success of his previous statement, only replied “so what?”
“Are you all gonna play or what?” Judith butted in before anyone else could reply.
The match started, Curtis and Tobin sending the puck flying from side to side. For a time neither of them scored, but after a wild, sideways shot, the first point went to Curtis. Curtis grinned widely and they began again. The second point was his, then Tobin scored, then Curtis scored again.
“Looks like diaper-boy is kicking your butt,” Judith said with a laugh.
“Shut up.” Came the reply.
They continued like that for some time, Curtis maintaining a solid lead for most of the game. Eventually, Tobin got on a good streak and caught up. With two points to go, Tobin scored again, moving himself into the lead.
“You better not lose to him.” Diego directed toward Tobin.
The curly-haired boy only concentrated on the game. Curtis did too, bringing himself a little closer to the table. The puck shot back and forth for another minute. Curtis very nearly scored a goal, but Tobin stopped it and returned with a direct shot while Curtis was still focusing on offense. The shot scored, giving Tobin the victory.
“Bam! Take that.” He slapped the paddle down on the table.
Curtis looked a little disheartened, but Tobin came over and shook his hand. “Good game, that was close.”
“Thanks,” Curtis replied a little sheepishly.
“Good to see at least someone knows a thing about sportsmanship,” Judith muttered to herself.
“Alright, diaper-boy, give it up. It’s my turn.” Diego took the paddle as Curtis accepted his drink back from Judith.
“Wait a sec,” Tobin said.
“Nah, he lost, I get to play.”
“No, not you, dummy.” Tobin turned to Curtis. “You, take my spot.”
“What!?” Diego said, surprised.
“What’s the matter, afraid you’re gonna lose?” Tobin shot him a sly look.
Curtis accepted the position and the match began. Clint and Tobin looked on eagerly. Both players quickly scored a couple points on each other, then Curtis pulled ahead by two.
“Bullcrap!” Diego grumbled angrily as he retrieved the puck from the return.
“You know the diaper-boy is in the lead, right?” Judith stated flatly, much to Diego’s vexation.
Curtis went on to score a few more points, furthering his lead. The other two only laughed more and more as Diego lost his composure. Even Clint joined in the taunting.
“You’re about to get beat by a kid in a diaper, how does it feel?”
“I said shut up!”
Diego managed to land a couple goals, but then Curtis scored two more of his own. By the time they were on the last point, Curtis was ahead by eight. Diego was angrily sending each shot with as much force as he could manage. He scored a point but didn’t celebrate.
“What are you gonna do when he beats you?” Tobin grinned through a mouthful of crackers. “You should have to wear a diaper too.”
Tobin burst into laughter, Judith chuckled; Clint laughed too, but he looked a little worried—probably for what they would say if he lost to Curtis. Diego stewed angrily but Curtis spoke up.
“How about you stop making fun of me?”
Diego looked him in the eye from across the table. “Not a chance, diaper-boy.”
Curtis sent the puck flying and no more than a minute later, had claimed victory.
“Now you suck it!”
“Whatever, man, you just got lucky.” Diego tossed the paddle carelessly across the table and walked away to get his drink.
“How about we play foosball now?” Tobin chimed in.
After a couple minutes of discussion and one bathroom break, all four boys gathered around the foosball table; Clint and Diego on one side, and Curtis and Tobin on the other. The match was close, but Clint and Diego took the win. They swapped Clint and Curtis, and then Curtis and Diego won. After that, instead of swapping teams again, they began a rotation of one-on-one. Curtis played two rounds first, beating Clint narrowly, then losing to Diego. The name-calling didn’t exactly stop, nor did it even slow down, but the hostility toward Curtis quickly faded, notably more so after each of his wins. Instead, they boys continued to exchange a steady volley of insults as the matches carried on—they just came across as less mean-spirited.
Judith, who had been content to watch thus far, now came over and asked to play. “I just wanna play one match and then I’ll leave you alone, fair enough?”
“Fine,” Diego said, having just beaten Curtis. “I’ll play you, but I’m not giving up my spot after.”
The other boys agreed and the match began. Up until that point, Curtis had be table-side for every match he spectated, but now that Judith was playing, he lingered by the wall next to the shelf where everyone had set their drinks. Judith furiously worked the bars, but soon lagged behind in points, and ultimately lost.
When the match was finished Judith returned to her seat, watching from a safe distance while the boys played. She eyed Curtis, noticing him standing away from the other boys. He was holding his drink, but wasn’t taking a sip. The other boys launched into the next match while Curtis began to fidget. As the match progressed, so too did Curtis’ movements. Every so often, he would turn around and look toward Judith, who pretended to be engrossed in her phone.
But she wasn’t; she was watching Curtis struggle every moment he wasn’t looking directly at her. His movements were a clear sign of someone struggling to hold an urgent need to use the bathroom. It was as if he couldn’t stand still, desperation making him twitchy and on-edge. This went on for several minutes while Diego and Tobin continued their match; the other boys didn’t seem to notice Curtis’ plight.
“And the champion reigns supreme!” Diego announced, having throughly beaten the other boy.
“Whatever, I still beat you at air-hockey.”
“Whatever, four-eyes, you’re still a loser.” The taller boy spun the bars idly while Clint took his position.
“Does Judith wanna play again?” Tobin looked over at the older girl.
“She can play after I beat Clint.”
“You mean after I beat you,” Clint shot back.
“Judith, did you wanna play again?” Tobin called over.
“Nah.” Judith waved them away.
“Whatever, let’s get this started.” Diego dropped the ball into play and the match began. From then on, there were gasps and jeers and mild curses, all while the continued sound of the bars spinning accompanied the clack and bang of the ball rocketing around the table. If it wasn’t the two players yelling at each other, it was the third boy calling out the score or pretending to be an announcer.
Curtis, however, was not participating; he clearly had his own problems.
By now, he was starting to look desperate in such a way that it would be obvious to anyone who saw him; and at the same time, he looked entirely unsure what to do about it. He would shoot a glance toward the door, then toward Judith, then back to the door, then down at the carpet beneath his feet, all the while twitching, shaking, and clenching with steadily increasing intensity. Strain was etched into his face as the force of urgency seemed to hit him in waves, a visible shiver traveling down his body, pulsating as he rocked slightly on his feet.
Sometime during the middle of the match, he lost his own battle and filled his diaper with something conspicuous. His face scrunching as he tensed, bending in the middle. It seemed he couldn’t hold on any longer. Rapid breathing paused with a light whimper and he leaned into a push on his tummy—one final stand or an intentional effort to relieve the immense pressure, it didn’t matter. Soon there was a quiet rustling and a sticky sound as a great mass forced his diaper outward, expanding it from inside his pajama bottoms until the shape was unmistakable. He paused for breath—or maybe he managed to regain control for just a moment—it didn’t last either way. Wrinkling his face again, biting his lip, he bent his knees this time. The already prominent lump around his bottom quickly doubled as more poop surged into his pants. Curtis grunted as the last of his messy accident entered his diaper, and heaved a great sigh when he was finished. His diaper was now very obviously in need of changing.
Judith stifled a giggle; no one noticed her.
Curtis straightened and carefully reached around to feel the back of his pants. He looked around again, not daring to move from his position. Once more, it seemed like he didn’t know what to do, but as he still had the drink in his hand, and was too far away from the shelf to set it down, he chose instead to sip it occasionally and watch the game from his current position and awkward stance.
Eventually, the match ended with Clint celebrating loudly while Diego muttered excuses. All three boys made their way past Curtis to where their drinks were set.
“What’s the matter, Curtis? Why’re you standing like that?” Diego elbowed him lightly. “You need your diaper changed or something?”
“No!” Curtis said defensively.
“Smells like you do.” Clint laughed and made his way back to the table.
The next match started, but Curtis still hadn’t moved. Judith got up and dragged a vacant chair over to him. “Here, you can have a seat if you want.”
“No, it’s okay.” He dismissed the chair, but Judith left it right next to him.
“Suit yourself.” She turned to leave.
She paused, then slowly spun around. Her face was like stone, her eyes narrowed. She could probably guess what he was about to ask and she didn’t look like she wanted to hear it.
Her expression sent his gaze dropping to the floor. “Never mind…”
She tousled his hair. “That’s a good boy, you have fun.” And with that, she left the room, pausing to glance back only after disappearing from sight.
Curtis looked longingly after her but didn’t move. Again, he felt around the back of his pants. He looked at the chair. The other boys weren’t paying any attention to him, but he watched them carefully, trying to hide his actions. He slowly moved to the chair. Bracing himself with one hand, he lowered. His bottom, or rather the protrusion around it, made contact and he stopped. Stopped, then lowered some more, his face twisting with disgust. Too much, apparently. He stood back up and felt his pants again.
“Hey diaper-boy,” Diego called to him. “Come over here and keep score for Clint so I don’t have to keep running around the table.”
Tobin waved him over too. “Come on.”
Reluctantly, Curtis set down his drink and awkwardly waddled over to the table. The smell which followed him was still mostly that of baby powder, which, given its excessive application, managed to overpower the odor from the other contents of his diaper. The match was still heated, Curtis took his place at one end.
“So, Curtis, does Judith change your diapers too?” Diego flashed a mean smile.
Curtis replied after a minute. “Yeah.”
The taller boy laughed at him mockingly. “You know, you were walking kinda funny. Is it ‘cause you crapped in your diaper?”
Clint added. “It sure smells like it.”
Diego shot back to Clint. “Nah man, that smell is ‘cause you farted. Don’t try and blame diaper-boy for you being nasty.”
“Shut up, man.”
Diego turned back to Curtis who was looking very guilty, face red with embarrassment. The older boy prodded the younger with a look; the younger boy faltered. Diego had his answer, but it seemed he demanded an admission.
“Did you really poop in your pants?”
Curtis nodded weakly.
“I…I had to go.”
“Like, it doesn’t bother you?”
Curtis shrugged, but it was barely noticeable.
“Dude,” Clint paused, about to drop the ball back into play. “You’re gonna get in big trouble. You did the same thing when we went to Six Flags.”
Curtis suddenly looked worried, the other two looked confused.
“What happened at Six Flags?” Diego’s eyes darted between Clint and Curtis.
Clint rolled his eyes. “Like, a year ago or whatever, we went to Six Flags and he crapped his pants. His mom was pissed, my mom was pissed, Judith was pissed. The whole car smelled like crap; we had to stop and wait forever for his mom to clean him up. I think he got his butt whooped.” He turned to Curtis. “And didn’t you get grounded for like a week?”
Curtis couldn’t respond his eyes started glistening.
Diego laughed, then looked at Curtis and laughed even harder. “Man, I don’t think his sister’s gonna wanna change your diaper if it’s stinky.” He nodded toward Clint, then focused on Curtis. “You better hope your mom doesn’t throw away all your Christmas presents.”
Curtis shrunk down while the others laughed.
Clint and Tobin resumed their game; Diego turned once more to Curtis. “But why though? Do you like it or something?”
Curtis seemed to boil over and spoke up. “What do you care if I wear diapers?”
“’Cause only babies wear diapers.” Diego’s eyes narrowed.
“Well, I beat you at air-hockey, so what does that make you?”
Diego’s face fell to a scowl. “Shut your face, diaper-baby.”
Curtis only wore a victorious smirk, one which only made Diego look more annoyed. Eventually, the match came to a conclusion, with Clint claiming the win. Next, it was Curtis’ turn to play against Tobin. Right from the start, Curtis managed to pull together a sizable lead. As the match continued, however, Diego began sniffing the air.
“That doesn’t smell like fart anymore; that smells like legit crap.” He made a face at Curtis. “Dude, you’re weird.”
Tobin then scored a goal.
“Uh oh, Curtis. Can you keep playing or are you gonna have to go get your diaper changed?” Clint laughed as he added a point to Tobin’s tally.
“Shut up, I’m still winning.”
“Not for long, I bet.” Diego sniffed again. “Not with a big ol’ crap in your diaper.” Adding emphasis on the word diaper got a reaction from the younger boy.
Curtis shot the tallest boy a dirty look, but quickly returned his attention to the match. Tobin managed to score a few more points on him, but he then scored more of his own. In the end, Curtis managed to win by a couple of points.
“Wow, Tobin,you lost to everyone; you stink,” Clint jabbed, sliding the score counter back and forth. “You stink almost as bad as Curtis.”
Diego laughed, then seemed to remember something. “Wait, Clint, you never played against diaper-boy at air-hockey.”
At this, both Curtis and Clint were hesitant, but the other two boys almost literally pushed them toward the table. Once they’d started, the other two boys took their places watching from one side, though they did make loud mention that they preferred to stay away from Curtis’ end of the table. Curtis only steeled himself and planted his feet. It didn’t take long, however, for it to become apparent that the state of his diaper wasn’t about to make a difference in the outcome of the match. He gained the lead almost right away and held it for the entire match.
“Nice job, Curtis,” Judith said. All the boys looked up in surprise as none of them had seen her approach. She looked around at them in turn. “So, what if I said I kicked the other girls out of the kids’ room so you can play games?”
All their faces lit up, except Curtis, who looked rather concerned.
“But.” She held up a finger. “Curtis and I get the first match, one on one.”
Clint and Diego looked a little bothered each, but shrugged. They all gathered up their drinks and snacks and made their way back through the bustle of the main room, then down the hall on the other side. Curtis attempted to keep up with the other boys, but his awkward waddle soon let them out of sight. Judith was right behind him. Her hand on his shoulder cause him to jump.
“Here, finish your drink so I can throw it out. It’s almost empty anyway.” Judith handed the can to Curtis, who quickly drained the last of its contents. Judith took it back from him, replacing the pacifier in his mouth. She veered away to dispose of the can and then rejoined the group in the kids’ room.
The TV was on, and Super Smash Bros. was already started, waiting at the menu. The boys had taken their seats on the couch, except Curtis, who remained standing. Judith strode into the room and pulled up an ottoman. As the seat was quite wide, she only took up half of it.
“Come on, take a seat, grab a controller.” She patted the cushion beside her. “Let’s get this started.”
Curtis approached hesitantly, taking the controller. Judith pulled down on his arm and even though he resisted for a second, he ended up landing firmly beside her. He grimaced, letting out a squeak of discomfort, but Judith ignored him. She picked the game rules, then the stage, then they picked their characters. Curtis picked a swordsman named Roy, while Judith picked a Princess Peach. Unfortunately for Curtis, his character had no ranged attacks, while Judith’s character had both ranged attacks as well as the ability to glide long distances through the air. Judith just kept provoking him with thrown objects until he rushed in blindly, then she would either counter or run away. This led to a rather sound victory for Judith, which was celebrated with a round of laughter and taunts from the other boys.
Curtis whined as Judith got up and moved back to the furthest couch. His pleading look trailed after her, but she paid him no heed.
After that, the other three boys joined in for a four-player free-for-all. Diego muscled the controller from Curtis’ hands and changed his player-name to diaperboy. Naturally, Curtis’ immediately removed it, but the other boys all demanded he put it back, so he gave in, much to their amusement and his chagrin. Somewhere amid the teasing about his pacifier and the laughing at his new player-name, they finally started a match. The rules were simple elimination, and Curtis was the first to be eliminated.
After the match, Judith called out loudly. “Come here, Curtis.” Curtis obeyed hesitantly, and the other boys all turned and watched. “I guess it’s about time for a diaper-check, isn’t it?”
She spun him around and pulled out the back of his diaper, instantly recoiling and letting it snap back into place. The other boys laughed.
Judith then gently felt the firm bulge in the seat of his pants, remarking with a smile, “looks like someone made big present for me. You want me to change you, I guess?” She spun the boy to face her.
Curtis nodded frantically.
“Come on then,” she said, slinging her bag over on shoulder. Then, before Curtis could react or protest, she scooped him up too. He threw his arms around her and almost started crying.
“There, there,” she soothed. “We’ll get you out of that yucky diaper and then you can come back and play with the other boys.”
Their exodus was accompanied by laughter and taunts like “Ooo, you’re in trouble now,” and “did the diaper-boy make a big stinky?”
Safe in the bathroom, Judith set Curtis down. Instead of a towel, this time she laid out a baby changing mat. Curtis let himself be laid down on top. Judith set out her supplies and then peeled away his pajama bottoms.
Curtis spit out the pacifier. “Judith?”
Judith was already at work. She spoke softly in reply. “Quiet now, sweetie. Let me get you all clean.”
“Judith.” More urgent this time.
She looked up, concerned at his tone. “Yes?”
There was a look of worry on his face. “Are you mad?”
“No, of course not,” she said, after recovering from her surprise. “Why would I be?”
“’Cause it’s all stinky and yucky.”
Judith caught herself chuckling. “That’s part of taking care of my little baby.” She stroked his hair back. “You get to play, I get to clean up all your messes.”
“Don’t tell my mom.”
She just smiled. “Don’t worry, kid, I’ll make sure—”
“Please don’t tell her!” He spoke in earnest.
This puzzled Judith. “Why?”
“I’ll get in trouble.”
Judith thought for a long moment; Curtis looking up with great distress. Finally, she took a deep breath and smiled down at him. “You won’t get in trouble, I promise.”
“Shh.” She gently offered the pacifier; he accepted. “I’m taking care of you now, and I will be the whole time. All the way until after New Years. You’re my little baby. Babies don’t get in trouble for using their diapers, do they?”
Curtis shook his head.
“That’s right. Now how about you lie still and let me change you. The longer you talk, the longer you have to stay in that yucky diaper. You don’t want that, do you?”
With Curtis quiet, Judith began the process of changing him. She didn’t recoil at the smell, but kept a neutral expression while she worked. Curtis cringed at first, squirming involuntarily, but the more clean he became, the more he relaxed; Judith smiled to match. No more than a couple minutes later she was taping him into a clean diaper.
“Now, doesn’t that feel much better?”
He nodded, a smile peeking from behind his pacifier.
She got up and began washing her hands, glancing over her shoulder as she spoke. “You like a clean diaper better than a dirty one?”
He lay still but nodded again, this time with a little more emphasis.
“You had to wear that mess for a while, didn’t you?”
His look was quizzical.
“I know; I saw.” She turned to face him, drying her hands as she continued. “But I promised not to check you so much, just like you wanted me to, so you had to wait a long time.”
“So, are you ready to let me check you again? Wouldn’t you rather me check you more often so I can change you when you need it?” She returned to his side, smiling, but with just a hint of triumph. “I can’t change you unless I know you need it. What do you say we go back to regular diaper-checks instead of letting you stay in dirty diapers all day?”
Curtis just shrugged with a smile. Blushing as she patted him on the thigh and leaned away.
“Now come on, I’ve got something nice for you.” She dug into her bag and pulled out his pair of jeans and half-zip, hunter green, pullover sweatshirt. “How about these?”
Curtis’ face lit up right away, the pacifier came out of his mouth. “My clothes!”
“Yup.” She beamed. “They’re all clean.” Judith then helped Curtis change into his regular clothes. His diaper still rose above the waist of his pants, but the pullover easily covered it.
Curtis inspected his clothes, evidently happy to wear them again. He couldn’t see the odd stitching along the seam between the legs. “Thanks Judith.”
“Go on,” she said, giving him a light swat on the rear. “Go play games while I clean this up.”
Concern furrowed across Judith’s brow. Then she wore knowing frown. “They’re making fun of you, aren’t they?”
“Who? All of them?”
Curtis stared down. “Mostly Diego, sometimes Clint.”
Judith put her hands on his shoulders. “I can make them leave if you want. You can play games all by yourself, or with just Tobin.”
Curtis’ head shot up and he shook it side-to-side. “No, I wanna play with them.”
Judith thought for a moment then popped the pacifier back in his mouth, swooped him up in her arms, and carried him into the kids’ room. Gently placing him back on the ottoman, she kissed him on the forehead.
“There you go, sweetie,” she said in a cheery voice. “all clean again.”
She left him looking confused. A minute later, she returned with a plate of cookies and other sweets, setting it on the coffee table beside Curtis. She also set down a baby bottle with milk in it.
The other boys scoffed, but then Clint started to reach for the plate. “Nice.”
Judith swatted his hand. “Those aren’t for you, dummy. They’re for Curtis.”
“Well, can you get some for me too?”
“No, there’s no more gingerbread.” Judith tossed her hair carelessly, then looked down her nose at the two boys on the couch. “And don’t bother going to get some yourself, mom already said you can wait till after dinner.”
“Aww, come on.”
Judith started to walk away again but then she stopped behind the couch where Clint and Diego were sitting. She leaned over the back, right down between them, a hand on each shoulder. “If you’d like some cookies, maybe Curtis will share some if you ask nicely.” She raised her voice enough to catch Curtis’ attention as well. “Or maybe he’ll tell you that he doesn’t wanna share his goodies with a bunch of jerks.”
Clint shot her a dirty look.
“You behave,” Judith said sternly as she turned to leave. “Curtis.” She called, pausing in the door. “Tell me if they’re mean to you.”
Curtis nodded, and when she had left, set his pacifier aside so he could munch on a cookie. He caught Clint and Diego staring at him, but ignored them and began selecting his character.
“Can I have a cookie?” Tobin asked. “I’m sorry if I was mean.”
“Sure.” Curtis said, handing him a cookie. He turned to the other two boys, who were seated behind him, on the couch. “Do you, uh, want a cookie?”
Clint shook his head, Diego did the same. Then Diego asked “are you still wearing a diaper?”
Curtis nodded, but didn’t seem as bothered as before.
“Whatever, just don’t stink up the place,” Diego said with a scoff.
They each picked their characters and started the match. A four-player free-for-all. This time Curtis did much better, being eliminated only right before Diego, who placed second. Between matches, Curtis would eat some of his snacks and drink from his bottle. Tobin asked for another cookie, but the other two didn’t say anything more. Well, nothing other than the usual banter as they sliced, pummeled, and shot each other’s characters out of the level. This continued for another couple matches before Judith came back. As soon as she entered the room, she went right up to the couch where Clint and Diego were sitting.
“Alright, move. Both of you. I’m sitting here.” Her command was punctuated with a snap of her fingers. She had waited until the current match had concluded so all the boys were busy arguing about game rules and which stage to play on.
Clint got up right away, but protested. “Come on, Judith.”
Judith only intensified her stare.
Diego hadn’t moved, but Clint tugged his sleeve. They moved over to the other couch, which was positioned farther from the TV, and at an angle.
“Oh, you can have the ottoman if you want.” Judith offered. “Curtis is gonna sit with me.”
Curtis turned to see her beckoning him with a finger. He collected his bottle and plate of goodies and took a seat next to Judith. However, she had something else in mind, and quickly had him sitting on her lap. She removed his pacifier and offered him the bottle, which he drank. Once the next match started, she held him tightly around the waist, occasionally offering cookie or piece of candy.
“I see you’re playing a lot better now that you’re in a clean diaper.” She teased him with a light tickle, but quickly stopped so he could concentrate on the game. For a while, she just held him, sometimes looking off to one side at her phone. The boys continued their usual taunting and jeering at each other while smashing their characters to bits. A few matches later, however, Judith noticed that Curtis was getting eliminated almost right away. He was starting to get frustrated. Judith watched the game for the next couple of matches. Finally, she’d seen enough.
“Diaper-boy loses again,” Diego mocked.
“You two are just picking on him.” Judith pointed an angry finger toward Clint and Diego.
Diego shrugged his shoulders in an exaggerated motion. “What? It’s not my fault he’s too much of a baby to not suck at the game.”
Clint stifled his laughter.
“If you’re gonna play like that, why don’t you just play teams?” Judith said hotly.
Diego shrugged again. “What’s it matter? He still sucks.”
“You know what? How about I kick all of you off the game and let Curtis play by himself?”
“What!? But I didn’t do anything!” Tobin protested.
Judith offered him a smile. “Okay, well not you then.” Her eyes flared as she pointed them back at the other boys. “But you two, you’re just being mean. Why don’t you just go play somewhere else instead?”
“That’s not fair! Why do you like Curtis so much just ‘cause he wears diapers?” Diego pointed a finger right back at her.
“If you wore diapers, everyone would make fun of you too. I’m nice to him ‘cause everyone else just wants to be a jerk. It’s Christmas, somebody should be nice to him at least.” The tiniest bit of hesitation flashed over her face before she bore down and steeled her gaze.
Diego just grumbled in response.
“You know what?” Judith said, a wicked smile spreading across her face. “How about we settle this in the game? You two versus me and Curtis.”
“Easy! You’re on!” Diego sat back down wearing his own wide grin. “Prepare to get your ass handed to you.”
Clint looked confidently toward Curtis and Judith. “So when you lose, we keep playing and you have to leave.”
“No. If we lose, Curtis will wear a dress and I’ll—” She paused to shush Curtis as he began to protest. “And I’ll wear a diaper just like him.”
For a moment, all eyes turned toward her, even Curtis. No one said anything. If it weren’t for the background music in the game, it would’ve been quiet enough to hear a pin drop.
Judith reclined back as Tobin handed her his controller. “Yep, we’ll both be in diapers and then you can make fun of us all you want.” Again, she had to shush Curtis before he could protest. “But if you lose, then you have to wear diapers.”
Once again, the room was brought to utter silence. Judith smiled wide enough that her teeth showed, but everyone else was in shock.
Judith reached into her bag, pulled out two diapers, and threw them on the ground next to Clint and Diego. She eyed the two boys. “So, what’s it gonna be? Are you scared you’re gonna lose? Don’t worry, I’ll change you when you need it. I’ve changed your diapers before.”
Diego leaned close to Clint, whispering something in his ear. They seemed to be discussing the decision amongst themselves. Judith was greatly enjoying their sudden hesitation.
She leaned back confidently. “You can pick the stage too, I don’t care.”
Diego kept whispering in Clint’s ear; Clint was shrugging and shaking his head. They both kept looking down at the diapers, then up at Judith. Finally, Diego set his face and said “fine, we’re picking Hyrule Temple.”
“Remember, winners take all, losers have to wear diapers. No rematches or excuses.”
Judith pushed Curtis off her lap so he was sitting beside her. “And don’t even think about trying to back out of it when you lose,” she called over to the other boys, then pointed to Tobin. “Tobin, you’re a witness.”
“Judith,” Curtis whispered. “I don’t wanna wear a dress.”
Judith took a hand off of her controller and put it around Curtis. “Don’t worry, sweetie, they’re only good when they team up and you’re by yourself. Now you’ve got a teammate. Just pick your best character and we’ll win, I promise.” She squeezed him in a hug, then let him go. “Okay?”
“Okay,” he said, flashing a faint smile.
Clint and Diego selected rather quick swordsmen—Chrom and Marth respectively, while Curtis went with his usual pick of a swordsman named Roy; Judith, however, picked a character named Link, who had a sword as well as many ranged attacks. The stage they selected was a large level of varying height.
“I’ll keep shooting them and you hit them while they’re distracted,” Judith whispered in Curtis’ ear and the match began.
That’s exactly what she did, too. Since all of the other characters had no ranged attacks whatsoever, she was able to stand back, lobbing a nearly endless assault of speeding arrows, whirling boomerangs, and tumbling bombs. Curtis, who would otherwise be out numbered as well as slower than the other two, was now able to land heavy blow after heavy blow, each one sending his opponents flying. Soon, the other boys picked up on the strategy, and decided to shift their focus to Judith’s character instead. Judith, using herself as bait, kept leading them around the level, all while continuing her ranged assault any time she had the chance. Curtis only had to wait for Judith to lead the others past him and could land easy hits as the other two almost completely ignored him.
At some point, Clint and Diego managed to corner Judith in a lower part of the level. The close quarters of the area gave them the clear advantage and they were able to knock her character out of the stage, leaving her with only two lives remaining. Of course, their small victory was short-lived, as Curtis moved into position to guard one of the only two exits to that area. Judith’s character then respawned and she went to guard the other exit. Despite loud grumbling and shouting about strategies, the other boys weren’t able to coordinate an effort to punch their way through, and they both ended up losing another life as a result.
As the match continued, Curtis and Judith were able to play more and more off of each other’s strengths. The other boys almost exclusively focused on one of them or the other. They were easily baited, and soon became frustrated. But once Curtis was down to one life, they renewed their attempts to finish him off and leave Judith outnumbered. They ignored Judith’s arrows in favor of an all-out assault on Curtis’ character. However, they messed up their timing and Curtis was able to pull of a powerful counter-attack which sent them both flying. Clint was eliminated by the attack, and with no one else to back him up, Diego immediately ran away. He didn’t get far, as Judith’s ranged attacks were able to slow him down enough for Curtis’ character to catch up and deliver the finishing blow. Match over; victors: Curtis and Judith.
“Bam! Suck it!” Judith celebrated her victory with a muscle-flex. Curtis jumped up from his seat while the other two threw their controllers down in rage.
“Bullshit!” Diego shouted. “You just kept shooting us and running away the whole time!”
“Yeah, come on. That’s a bunch of garbage!” Clint added.
Judith rose up and pointed across the room. “You lost.” Her voice boomed. “No rematches, no excuses. You lost, so you know what that means…?”
Both boys backed away a step.
Judith advanced. “Which one of you is gonna be first?”
“It’s not fair!”
“It wasn’t fair when you picked on Curtis. Now you’ll know what it feels like to wear diapers.” She closed in, stopping to pick up the diapers she’d thrown earlier. “Now which one of you is gonna be first? If you don’t pick, I will.”
Clint started to push Diego toward Judith. “Hey man, this was your idea.”
“Diego,” Judith said menacingly. Fire in her eyes. “Don’t make me chase you, I promise it’ll be so much worse if you do.”
“No!” He stumbled backward.
“Wait!” Curtis called out. They all turn in his direction. “Wait, don’t. You don’t have to.”
“What?” almost everyone said in unison.
“Curtis,” Judith regained her composure first. “We won, fair and square. They lost, this is what they agreed to.”
“I just want them to stop harassing me.” Curtis’ voice cracked a little. “That’s all I want. Can’t you just make them be nice to me?”
Judith turned slowly back to the other boys. “I don’t think they will.”
“Please,” Curtis begged.
Her gaze bore into the two boys and they withered. “If I let you go, will you stop harassing him?”
Clint clasped his hands. Diego tried to look tough, but only managed to look bitter. “We will; we promise.”
Judith leaned down close. “Okay, I’m gonna let you off the hook on this once, but only because Curtis wants me to.” She grabbed them by their shirts. “But I swear, if I hear or see one more time that you’re being mean to him, that’s it: you’re going in diapers. And I won’t stop even if he begs me.”
She released them and held up the diapers. “As a matter of fact, he retains the right to demand you wear diapers at any time, for any reason, or even for no reason at all. You got that?”
“Yes.” They nodded frantically.
“That means that if he wakes me up in the middle of the night and tells me he wants you to wear diapers after all, then I’ll come and drag you both out of bed and put you in diapers right then and there. Do you understand?”
“Now, listen close.” She leaned up to Clint’s ear and whispered something. His face showed completed horror. After she whispered in Diego’s ear, his face did too.
“I understand, yes.” Clint began to babble, he was on the verge of tears. “I promise, I swear.”
Diego’s look went sullen. “Fine, okay, I get it.” He pulled away from Judith. “You made your point, now leave me alone.”
Judith glared at him for a moment. Then there was a lengthy and awkward silence.
“How about…” Tobin began hesitantly. “How about we play Mario Kart?”
Again, there was a silence.
“Can I play?” Clint looked toward Curtis. “I uh… Please?”
“I’m sorry, Curtis.” Diego still looked sullen, defeated, and bitter, but his tone was true.
“It’s okay, man. Don’t worry about it,” Curtis said, shrugging and flashing a half-smile. “Tobin’s right, let’s just play Mario Kart.”
It took a few minutes for the unease to die down, but it did, and not long after, the boys were happily crashing and banging into each other on Mario Kart. Judith took her place on the couch once more, Curtis climbing back onto her lap. She pulled him into a hug.
“That was very sweet, Curtis.” She kissed the side of his head as she whispered in his ear. “I’m proud of you.”
Curtis didn’t break his gaze from the TV. “I don’t want to be mean to them, I just don’t want them to be mean to me.”
“Well, that’s okay.” She stroked his hair gently. “I didn’t really want to change their diapers anyway, yours are enough for me.”
Curtis’ cheeks flashed crimson.
After several races, Curtis dropped out of the game, claiming he was kinda tired. Setting the controller down, he turned sideways on the couch and stretched out across Judith’s lap. She just smiled and stroked his hair again.
“I’m thirsty.” Curtis looked up at her with a smile.
“Okay, baby.” She held up the bottle of milk, inspecting its contents. “Hmm, not much left.” She offered him the nipple and he drank until it was empty and made a loud sucking sound. She pulled the bottle from his mouth, replacing it with the pacifier. “Hang on, sweetie, we’ll get you some more.”
The other boys were just finishing a race.
“Clint, can you go fill this up again?” She held out the bottle, giving it a little shake. “Just milk, please.”
Clint had taken the bottle from her, but paused for a moment to stare curiously at Curtis as he sucked happily on his pacifier. After a few seconds, he pulled his eyes away and left, returning shortly with the bottle now full.
“Thank you, Clint.” She smiled as she took the bottle and put it in Curtis’ mouth. Immediately, the boy began sucking on the nipple; his eyes closed and he let out a sigh of contentment.
They lay like that for some time while the other boys played video games. The smell of cooking had been almost constant throughout the day, whether it was a savory ham roasting, or golden bread rising, or sugary sweets and treats; there was never a point when the aroma of something tasty wasn’t pouring out of the kitchen like an invisible cloud. The scent had been getting progressively stronger of late. More and more, they could hear commotion and clatter of people talking and moving out in the main living room.
Finally, one of the aunts poked her head in the door. “Alright kids, it’s time for dinner. Come on and get cleaned up.”
“Can we finish this race first?” Diego called over his shoulder without pulling his eyes from the TV.
“Looks to me like you just started it,” the woman said flatly. “How about you just turn it off and go wash your hands.”
With much grumbling, the other boys all started to get up. They turned off the games and dropped the controllers right where they’d been sitting.
“Hold it, you two,” Judith said, drawing the attention of Clint and Diego. “Don’t forget those.”
Their faces fell when they saw she was pointing at the two diapers on the ground. The diapers were laying right where they’d fallen earlier. Both boys were frozen in place, neither one daring to move.
Judith was obviously amused at their hesitation. “Pick them up,” she said with a smile. “Put them back in my bag.”
Curtis too, had moved from his position. Judith checked his diaper and collected her bag. She motioned for him to follow, but he stood still.
“Come on, Curtis.”
“Up,” he said, holding his arms out.
She smiled and scooped him up, much to the wonderment of the other boys. “Do you really want me to carry you?” she asked when he put his arms around her. “Or are you thinking this is like at lunch time and you can get out of having me feed you?”
His cheeks flushed a little. “I want you to carry me.”