This is a bit short, but it seemed like the best place to stop. I probably should have just waited and made this part of the first chapter, but oh well.
“So, what do you think?” Nancy asked a few minutes later, coming back down the hall with a bit of a waddle from the thick cloth diaper between her legs. I couldn’t help but giggle, looking at her like that. She had always been far prettier than me, even if she never seemed to be consciously aware of it herself, and despite being a month and a half younger, always looked more mature than me. And yet, here she was in a very babyish dress, pink ribbons standing out quite clearly against her black hair, wearing a diaper.
“Cute,” I replied simply before noticing the look she had been giving me since I started laughing, and I realized she hadn’t been finished with her question. “Sorry, go on.”
“On or off?” she finished, holding the diaper cover in front of the diaper, then pulling it away.
“I don’t know…” She repeated the action, not that it helped me make up my mind any. “It’s cute, but it might make it less obvious that you’re actually wearing a diaper, so people might not get what you’re supposed to be…”
“I doubt that,” Nancy rolled her eyes. “What else would I be?”
“I don’t know,” I shrugged. “Try it on and let’s see how it looks.”
“All right.” She stepped into the diaper cover, gently working her already shoe clad feet through the lace-ringed leg holes. She pulled it up her legs, tugged on it to get it high enough to cover the whole diaper, then let it snap into place. She stared down at it for a second, then gave a brief giggle before putting her thumb into her mouth.
I assumed that meant she liked it better that way. “Yeah, you’re right… The diaper still fills it out enough to be pretty obvious.” I glanced over at the clock, surprised to see that it had gotten so late already. “Well, I’m gonna hit the bathroom, then we’ll get going, okay?” As I walked past her, I reached up and patted her on the head, to which she giggled again, not quite like her normal laugh… More high pitched, kind of, certainly more baby-ish sounding.
I decided she must be getting into character; she wasn’t a theater nerd, but she’d been in a couple plays at school, and she wasn’t too bad at it. This wasn’t quite the same thing, but since it would likely be our last true Halloween hurrah, I wasn’t going to begrudge her attempts at getting fully into it. I hadn’t really planned on forcing anyone but her to listen to my terrible Romanian accent, but, really, since we were going to be around total strangers, it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. Maybe I’d let myself loosen up a bit, too.
Using the bathroom was somewhat more of an adventure than I’d anticipated, since it hadn’t occurred to me at first that I should take my cape off first. I made a couple attempts at finding a good way of holding it up before coming to that realization, and then after I was done, it took me a couple minutes to get it back on just right, even though I knew that I’d likely wind up screwing it up driving to our trick-or-treat spot anyway.
“Sorry it took me so long,” I said as I passed back through the living room, after ducking back to my room to get my keys, and make sure that I had my desk light off. Nancy didn’t seem to mind - rather, she looked quite happy to see me, hopping down from the couch and toddling over to me with a smile, grabbing my hand with her own slightly warm hand.
“Awice,” she declared, using her toddler voice.
“Yep, that’s me,” I played along with her, flipping off the light in the living room as I led her out to the garage. She seemed to stumble over her own feet a couple times, making me have to stop while she regained her balance. “It must be pretty hard to walk with that diaper,” I observed. Maybe her costume choice wasn’t as inspired as I’d thought, at least when it came to the practical part of actually trick-or-treating in it.
“Hawd to walk,” she agreed.
I let go of her hand when we got to the garage, hurrying down the steps to unlock the doors on my parents’ ancient car - it didn’t even have a remote! Talk about the dark ages… I peeked into the backseat, confirming that our candy bags were there and waiting, along with a back-up pair. I looked up from that, halfway wondering what was taking Nancy so long, before seeing her still at the top of the stairs, one foot lifted uncertainly. She stayed like that for a few moments, staring down at the step below her, before setting her foot back down. Whether she was actually trying to make it to the second step, or to go back to the first, I’m not sure, because she eneded up about halfway between the two, for the split second before she tumbled down to the garage floor. She sat there, stunned, and then her bottom lip began to quiver.
“Oh, Nancy, I’m sorry!” I hurried over to her, kneeling down in front of her to give her a hug. It seemed a little ridiculous that a single article of clothing could make getting around so much more difficult, but then, I hadn’t worn a diaper in years, so it was possible. Her knee was a bit scratched up, no big deal, but it was better to be safe than sorry. “I’ll be right back,” I told her, leaving her there, sniffling softly, while I went back to the bathroom to fetch a couple Band-Aids.
“I don’t know why we got them in the first place,” I told her as I sat down on the bottom step, un-peeling the first, “but I saw that we still had a couple Strawberry Shortcake Band-Aids left, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to use them.” I reached down, gently putting the bandage over the little scratch. I put the second one on over that, in an X formation. “There, now your costume is complete!” I helped her to her feet, which might have gone a little easier for her if she hadn’t suddenly decided to start sucking her thumb again rather than using that hand to help herself up, brushing the dust off the back of her diaper cover and dress.
I went around the car, hopping into the driver’s seat and starting the engine, but still, Nancy hadn’t gotten in. I looked out the window, only to see her standing out there, staring blankly at the door as if it were some alien device. “Nancy, come on,” I rolled my eyes; her little act was cute at first, but we weren’t even out the door yet. Maybe she should save it for the customers. After a couple seconds more, I gave an annoyed sigh, reached across the car to push her door open. “Come on!” I repeated.
She half stepped, half fell into the car, scrambling around in her seat for a bit before managing to get into the right position. “Do I need to buckle your seat belt, too?!” I asked, a little too harshly. She stared at me, her big, blue eyes starting to fill with the tears that had threatened to spill when she’d fallen. “Sorry,” I mumbled, feeling as if I’d yelled at a real toddler. “But, seriously, buckle up.”
I turned back to the steering wheel, mentally going over my to-do list, not getting far before finding something I couldn’t check off. “Crap! Be right back!” I got back out of the car, running into the house to the front door, quickly setting the candy bowl outside of it.
Nancy still hadn’t put her seat belt on by the time I’d gotten back to the garage, which cause a brief wave of annoyance to wash over me. But she was probably just getting back at me for having snapped at her, so I went along with it, reaching in to do it for her, and shutting her door before going back to my seat. “All right,” I said. “We’d better get going, or all the good candy is gonna be gone!”
Nancy smiled and clapped her hands. “Candy!”