In this story, Aurum seeks Calex out looking to be regressed. Why? Cause it’s time for fireworks, but they just don’t hold the same joy as an adult as when he was younger. Of course, Calex doesn’t have to be asked twice to meet the older feline’s request.


Childlike Joy
By CalexThenNeko


“Yoink!” Aurum smiled as he picked up the small orange kitten that had been napping on an open windowsill.


“Ugh er what?” Calex was jostled from sleep when he found himself picked up. It took him a few seconds to focus and actually process what was happening as his brain woke up. He was being held by a white tiger, who unlike Calex, who wore no clothes like a sensible person, was again dressed in his usual scarf, shirt and trousers combo. “H-hey! What are you just picking me up for! I was having a good nap!”


“It’s not my fault. You’re just so pick-up-able.” Aurum grinned as he continued to hold the kitten at eye level.


“What are you even doing here?” Calex asked. “I don’t need a sitter tonight.”


“It’s not that…” Aurum dug a paw into the grass as he tried to make the request he had come from. It was one thing to decide you wanted something that others might find strange, another thing to admit it out loud and ask for it. After a few seconds he found the nerve to spit it out. “I want you to turn me into a kid again.”


“Oh that’s all?” Calex acted as if this was a perfectly normal request. “Yeah I can do that for you… But, why are you coming up and asking. Usually you go through this whole song and dance of pretending you’re a responsible adult while trying to purposely bait me into causing some kind of transformation related mishap.”


“Well… There’s a thing I want to do.” Aurum explained. “Flag day”


“Yes?” Calex didn’t seem to understand the significance.


“You know! You shoot off fireworks! Throw snapdragons! Run around with sparklers! Or at least I did when I was a kid. I saw them on sale in the story earlier and remembered how much fun it was as a kid and wished I could have that same level of excitement. Then I remembered you exist.”


“Oh! If it’s about fireworks! Why didn’t you say so!” Calex squirmed out of Aurum’s grasp and jumped through the window. “I got an easy one for that.” Then with that, the kitten was gone.


“So… Wonder what it’s going to be this time.” Aurum put a hand to his chin. “Potion… Ray gun… Magic spell. Maybe a cursed artifact?”


“OK!” When Calex returned, he had assumed his bipedal form and now had a backpack slung over his back. “I should have everything we need, but you know no real point in getting started till the evening.”


“Well I was kind of hoping to be a kid by then so I could actually have fun.” Aurum was confused. He had expected to be a toddler before he got half the request out, and now the kitten was stalling. “What’s in the bag.”


“Fireworks.” Calex purred happily. “Going to be hard to have a fireworks celebration without them. These were leftover from an old party years ago. Been looking for an excuse to use the rest of them. Now, we just need to find the perfect spot to do them.”


“But I’m still an adult!” Aurum pointed at himself. “And look! Still wearing clothes! Aren’t you going to fix that!?” He knew one way to bait the kitten.


“I’m on it, I’m on it.” Calex shrugged. “But we gotta find a good spot first. Thinking the beach. Should be plenty of space to run around there. Come on let’s get going!” The kitten took off at a full sprint.


“H-hey wait up!” Aurum was very confused by what had just happened.


Where most of the piers were the beach was crowded, other people there for their own flag day celebrations. Calex insisted on marching till the crowd finally thinned out and they were far away from the piers or parking lots and practically alone. By this point the sun was starting to set.


“Alright…” Calex unslung his backpack and opened up revealing several sparklers, snapdragons and bottle rockets.


“Okay, but when are you going to-“ Aurum asked.


“Wait for it.” Calex stared in the direct of the sunset as darkness slowly started to fall over them. “Hmmmm! Okay I think it’s dark enough for them to show up.” He opened a box of sprinklers and then grabbed a punk. He lit the punk with the match then offered Aurum one the sprinklers.


“It doesn’t quite have the same appeal the way I currently am.” Aurum complained as he took the sprinkler. “When are you going to-“


“Have you seriously not figured it out yet?” Calex gave an exasperated sigh. “It’s literally right in front of your face.” Calex held up the lit punk to Aurum’s sprinkler. Immediately a rainbow of sparks began to jump off of it, some of them landing on Aurumm.


“Gah!” Aurum gave a shout in surprise. The sparks didn’t burn, they had just caught him off guard. “The only thing in front of my face is a sparkler that…” Aurum paused staring at the sparks coming off of it. There was something mesmerizing about them. He began to slowly move it through the air, creating a trail of colorful sparks. There was something fascinating about watching them and he began to wave the sparkler faster, and then wildly. His face broke into a grin as he didn’t even notice his clothing starting to loosen on him. “Hey give me another one!”


“Coming right up.” Calex lit the next sprinkler before passing it to Aurum. The tiger felt himself taken in by their lights and began to spin around in place releasing sparks. He grinned and broke into a run waving the sprinklers as he did. However, as he did his pants fell down around his ankles and he fell face first into the sand, extinguishing the sprinklers in the process.


“What… Just happened?” Aurum sat up, finally noticing how much smaller he was. He looked like a twelve-year-old.


“What happened was you again failed to take my advice.” Calex rolled his eyes. “You know you’re lucky you didn’t burn yourself. “They’re only going to get baggier too. That’s a fire hazard.”


“What are you…” Aurum paused looking at his oversized clothes. Of course that’s what the kitten was referring to. He looked down the beach, everyone else was really far away. It was doubtful anyone could see the two felines. “Fine, we’ll do it your way this time.” Aurum slipped out of his pants and then pulled his shirt off and tossed it aside. He now stood naked, except his scarf which he insisted on keeping. “Why didn’t you just say the fireworks were magic?”


“I thought it was fairly obvious given the context.” Calex lit up another sparkler and offered it to Aurum.


“Nothing is ever obvious with you, ever.” Aurum replied dryly, though he accepted the sprinkler without question.


“Really?” Calex seemed genuinely confused. “I thought I had made it pretty apparent by now what I’m all about.”


“Yes well” Aurum tried to come up with a counter argument. The tiger cub thought for a few moments, and then settled on changing the subject. “Just give me another sprinkler.”


“Sure thing.” Calex grinned as he lit up another sparkler and passed it to the tiger.


“Alright let’s try something…” Aurum held his arms and both sprinklers out ride and broke into a sprint along the beach, leaving a trail of sparks as he ran. Each pawprint in the sand was slightly smaller than the last as the fireworks continued to work their magic and the tiger began to grow younger again. He didn’t let this distract him though as he did a large circle running back towards the werekitten. As he approached he began to spin around twirling the sprinklers around him and let out a series of giggles watching the colorful lights.


Right up until he made himself dizzy and fell down in the sand again, extinguishing both sprinklers.


“Having fun then?” Calex asked as he reached a paw down to help pull Aurum up.


“Yeah!” Aurum grinned, and as he did realized the surreal situation of the kitten being above him and pulling him up. When he got all the way up he was roughly even with the kitten in height, maybe just a few inches taller. They were the same age now. Aurum was used to getting smaller and or younger when Calex was around, but it was the first time it hadn’t also happened to the werekitten too. Though he supposed it made sense, he was the one running around with the magical fireworks. “So if the sprinklers are magical what about the others?”


“Well the bottle rockets can shrink people small enough to well, fit in a bottle.” Calex explained. “But firing them up into the air that’s not really going to be a thing that happens. You’d have to actually get hit by one.”


“And the snap dragons?” Aurum asked hopefully.


“If you throw them at the ground, they make a loud snapping noise.” Calex responded with a smile.


“That’s it?” Aurum stared in disbelief.


“That’s it.” Calex nodded. “Look, sometimes fireworks are just fireworks.”


“But with you they never are!” Aurum threw up his paws.


“Well I’m sorry the magic time reversing sparklers and size altering bottle rockets weren’t fantastical enough for you… But…” Calex grabbed a pack of snap dragons and threw some at the ground causing them to make a loud bang near Aurum.


“GAH!” Aurum jumped back. “H-hey!”


“Not everything has to be magical to be fun.” Calex grinned as he grabbed a few more snap dragons.


“Oh no you don’t!” Aurum shouted and reached for a separate pack of snap dragons. The two kittens then started to chase each other in a circle throwing snap dragons at the others paws. Loud snapping noises echoed along the beach for several minutes until finally both had exhausted their supply.


“Okay…” Calex was panting by the time they were done. “Had enough?”


“Not even close!” Aurum looked into his empty box of snap dragons. “Or maybe so…” He sat down in the sand. “So… I guess bottle rockets next?”


“Wanna see how many we can set off at the same time?” Calex grinned.


Without further words, both kittens got to work, lining the beach with bottle rockets, setting them each right next to each other so that every fuse was in contact with the fuse for the previous one. After setting them up, they dug a small hole in the hand to act as cover and then lit the first fuse.


The rockets fired not all at once, but tin rapid succession, feeling the air with whistling noises as they took off into the sky disappearing from sight.


“Hey… You said those were magic. Think there’s going to be a problem when they come back down?” Aurum asked uncertainly.


“Nah we came out here pretty far from everyone else. I’m sure it’ll be fine.” Calex turned and dug back into his backpack. “Hmmmm,  but we used all the bottle rockets in one go, and all the snap dragons. Got a few more sparklers left but that’s it.”


“How many?” Aurum asked.


“Six.” Calex responded.


“Light them all.” Aurum’s face grew into a manic grin.


“You know I feel someone should be the voice of reason here.” Calex gave Aurum a curious look.


“You’re saying you’re not up for it?” Aurum teased.


“Oh no, I’m doing it. I said someone should, not that I would.” Calex pulled out the last of the sparklers and stuck them down with their bottoms stuck in the stand so they stood up. He then grabbed the punk and lit each of them one by one.


“Alright… Let’s put on a light show.” Aurum scooped up all six sprinklers, three in each paw. He began to around the beach again, spinning them, drawing shapes in the air from the sparks. At the same time he started to grow younger again, to the point that even Calex was taller than him.


But that was hardly important. He was getting the excitement he wanted. Plain sprinklers hadn’t been this exciting in years. Aurum danced along the beach watching the  light show as he created it, not minding the years as they melted away. He started to slow down as it became harder to walk. He didn’t stop until his legs suddenly felt weak and he fell down onto his knees. He dropped the three sprinklers in his left hand but managed to hang on to the others. Unable to walk any further he pushed himself onto his bottom stat up and waved the three remaining sparklers in the air above his head like they were magic wands. Eventually, the sparklers ran out on their own accord, but Aurum had already been reduced to an infant for several minutes before that happened.


“That’s everything.” Calex held the backpack upside down to see if anything would come out. Nothing did. “Guess we should head back.”


“Mrowl!” Aurum’s eyes were shining, it was clear he had enjoyed the events despites him now being practically a newborn.


“Alright, let’s go find something to eat.” Calex walked over and carefully picked Aurum up. “Not a proper celebration without treats.” He cradled the baby tiger in his arms.


“Mrowl!” Aurum sounded his agreement. However, running around so much had worn him out. He felt his eyes grow heavier. He  looked up at the orange kitten, once more realizing how strange it was to see him bigger. Then Aurum let out a yawn, leaned his head against Calex’s chest and fell asleep.


The End

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