As I flip through a magazine, I can't help but watch my friend Kory out of the corner of my eye, as he lies on the other end of the couch, continuing to work on one of his sketches. It doesn't help that his long, fluffy tail keeps accidentally brushing against my leg (although, the more it happens, the less I think that it's accidental). I turn my head to the side slightly and make eye contact with him, and a gentle smile crosses my face. He beams back, full of confidence as ever.
It was that innate confidence that first made me take notice of the svelte young red panda. We've known each other since the beginning of the semester, when he first appeared on campus along with the hundreds of other wide-eyed freshmen entering the wonderful, scary, and amazing freedom known as college. Unlike the others, though, Kory had an air about him like he belonged there, like he knew what he was doing and he was ready to take on the world, or at least the small part of it that Canstania College represented. When I first sat down next to him in the Student Union and struck up a conversation, he didn't seem at all intimidated by the fact that this tiger two years older and nearly a foot and a half taller than him suddenly wanted to chat, or that he was outweighed by a good hundred pounds of muscle. If anything, that seemed to make him even more intrigued by me, and the two of us struck up a fast friendship, which has only grown stronger over the past two months, and has gotten to where I felt it might be ready to take to the next level. At least, I hoped so.
"So," I finally say just before the silent staring at each other begins to get awkward, "what's the plans for tonight?"
"Plans?" Kory asks, shifting slightly in his seat. "What plans do we need to make?"
"Well, this is the last night before you leave town and head back home. Shouldn't we do something... I dunno, special, or fun, or whatever." My voice starts to trail off at the end, realizing that I don't really have any good ideas of my own.
Kory laughs a little as he sits up straight. "Ash, I'll only be gone for the weekend. I'll be back Sunday night. It's not that big of a deal."
"Yeah, I guess." I sigh, shaking my head. I feel a strong desire to let Kory know how much he means to me, how I want to take my relationship... further... but I can't find the right words to do it. For all my size and strength, this is the stuff that makes me the most uncomfortable.
"Tell you what." Kory leans in a little closer to me, resting his paw on my shoulder. My pants become a little tighter at this, but I try to hide my arousal, for now at least. "It's nice and cool out. Let's go have a walk through Barlo Park and shuffle our paws through the leaves."
Chuckling, I nod. "Okay. That'll be nice."
Kory quickly hops off the couch and runs to the hall closet. Before I can even stand up, he's already back with both of our jackets, and he tosses mine to me as he puts his own on. "C'mon! Time's wasting!"
The walk to the park only takes about ten minutes, and when we get there, I'm surprised by how empty it is, especially for a Friday evening. Usually, couples and families would be running up and down the paths, but I barely see anyone else there at all. It's almost as if we have the park to ourselves.
As we walk along one of the more leaf-covered paths, Kory starts to walk closer to me, leaning his head slightly against my shoulder. It's a nice feeling, and one that excites me, but I don't want to blow the moment, so I don't do anything crazy.
"Hey! What's that?" Kory's eyes light up as he looks down at my wrist.
"Hmm?" I say, trying to see what he's asking about.
"That's a nice watch!" he lifts up my wrist closer to his eyes to get a better look. "Is it new?"
I shake my head. "No, it's one of my dad's old watches, I think, leftover from before my parents left. I found it just last week when I was cleaning up the basement. It doesn't seem to work, though."
"Really? Hang on a second." He gently removes the watchband from my wrist and starts to fiddle with it. I watch curiously, unsure of what he's doing until--
"There! That should do it!" He hands the watch back to me, smiling from ear to ear. Indeed, the watch seems to be running, though as opposed to a ticking it sounds more like a very low, constant buzzing. What's more, I notice that where the numbers should be, there are instead strange symbols, the likes of which I've never seen before. Well, as long as it still kept time the same way...
"Thanks, Kory!" I slip the watch back on, looking it over again. As I nod in approval, Kory grabs my hand again, this time resting his paw in mine for a longer time. I look down at his eyes, and they appear to be looking up at me with a sense of affection and... maybe something more, I'm not sure. Could he--
"Oh, c'mon and kiss me, you big lug, you."
Well, that seems to answer that question. Leaning in, I press my muzzle against his and lock lips for a few moments. My whiskers brush up against his nose, and he starts to giggle. "Heheh, that tickles a bit."
"Sorry," I quickly say, backing away slightly.
Kory tilts his head, a sly grin on his face. "I didn't say stop." He jumps up and pulls his mouth closer to me, a much more forceful kiss than before that lasts for a good twenty seconds. I'm taken aback for a moment, but quickly get into it as much as Kory does. His hips press against my abs and I can feel his cock through his jeans, every bit as hard as mine. His arms wrap around my shoulders, and I can feel his claws dig in slightly to my back. And, for a moment, I feel a slight vibration on my wrist right where the watch is, resting against Kory's neck. I can feel it heat up slightly, but the heat seems to be flowing away from me and into Kory. As the kiss ends, though, I'm not sure whether or not that was just my imagination at work, or something else.
"How's that for plans, Ash?" He winks at me as he turns around and starts walking away. "I've got to head home now and get ready to pack. See you on Monday."
Still a little unsure of what just happened, I resist the urge to run after him, and simply watch him as he walks away, his hips moving slightly side-to-side as he walks, and his tail gently flicking in the breeze. Never in my life have I wanted anything more than I do right now, but I don't want to ruin what has already happened.
Now, though, comes the hardest part -- waiting a whole goddamn weekend until I see him again.
The weekend comes and goes slowly, more slowly than it ever has since I started getting to know Kory. I spend many many hours reliving that one fleeting moment where I felt his soft lips playing with mine, his small sharp teeth nibbling softly against my muzzle, not to mention his full sheath pressing insistently against my stomach... I had never felt more alive and more nervous to face the following Monday at class, knowing I would normally sit with Kory. Questions of fear and rejection run through my head, but also feelings of love and affection. I just have to wait and see.
Monday morning, I scan the halls looking for the small red panda. He's small and limber, so blending in isn't that difficult for him, but I have trained my eyes to usually be able to find him sooner than this. However, as I look, I feel a poke on my shoulder, followed by the voice I know so well by now.
"Hey cutie!" The chipper voice causes my heart to pound in my chest, and I put on my best and most loving smile and turn to look at him. My smile fades and I gasp; his handsome face is no longer where I have been used to looking, and I'm staring at a far too tight shirt showing faint traces of the deep ruddy fur that I know Kory has. Instead I have to look straight ahead to find his eyes beaming with barely contained glee. He stands quite a bit higher then when I had last seen him, now exactly the same height as me.
"I missed you over the weekend, dear Ash. I hope I wasn't too bad leaving you there like that" He giggles and wraps his now-larger arms around me.
"K-kory, what happened to you?!" I ask dumbfounded at the sudden change, albeit happy to finally be able to properly hug the sweet red panda without having to almost kneel down or lift him up.
"What do you mean, Ash? I kissed you!" He smirks and chuckles mischievously. "I went back home, and now I'm here again! Nothing really happens back home; you know it's more an obligation than something I enjoy. Right?"
He leans back and stares lovingly into my eyes, and laughs softly when he sees my shocked expression. "Surely you still can't be THAT shocked by what happened last time?! It's not like you haven't been eyeing me all semester, Ash." I continue to stare, still dumbfounded at Kory's new-found size, but he doesn't seem bothered or even acknowledges that he has just grown a foot and a half in a single weekend. "Kory! You... You're big!" I almost blurt out, mentally slapping myself for my bumbling language. This is not at all how I had prepared to greet him this morning!
"Whaddya mean, silly?" The panda giggles, still holding me in his arms. "I'm no bigger than you are! Are you blowing your own horn, hon?" He laughs louder at that innuendo.
If he's going to pretend nothing happened, I think, I won't push the subject. After all, I suppose I'm happy that he had found a growth spurt, unusually big as it might have been. I shake my head and try to throw back at him the loving smile I'd prepared at home for my sweet friend.
"See? That's much better!" He giggles and leans in to kiss me again. Most of the classes have already started and the halls are empty, so I close my eyes and lean back into the tender kiss with full passion. I stroke my paws over his back, feeling that strange buzzing in my left paw again. It seems like some sort of electric current flowing from my watch into the cute panda kissing me.
I pull back with a soft sigh and smile happily back at Kory. “I’m so happy to see you again, Kory! I can’t believe that you… I can’t believe that we kissed. Twice!” I almost melt at the all-too-cute smile on the face of the still-lithe, but suddenly much larger, red panda in my arms. “Does this mean that we are--” I start, but a finger on my muzzle shushes me effectively.
“Now now, Ash. Don’t rush it, just go with it.” He starts to walk past me, swaying his hips in that seductive manner I've come to absolutely adore. “But,” he stops, “…yes.” He laughs and walks into the classroom, leaving me standing horribly aroused, and a little perplexed, at the mischievous panda. I finally grin to myself, shrugging my shoulders before heading into class and sitting down next to the chuckling red panda.
After the first class is over, we have two hours' worth of classes on the opposite side of campus from each other. As I step back into the hallway, Kory places his arm around my shoulder and gives me a gentle squeeze and a peck on the cheek. "See you in a bit, hon."
In my peripheral vision, I notice that a few of my classmates have their eyebrows raised, and, for a moment, I think about trying to downplay any signs of affection. But when I look back at Kory's big, sweet eyes looking directly into mine, my heart melts all over again. "Bye, babe," I say as I lean forward. I mean to kiss him on the mouth, but I'm still not used to his larger size, and instead my lips make contact with his nose.
Kory giggles, then kisses me right back on my nose. "Don't miss me too much, Ash." As he pulls away, he brings his hand up through my hair, ruffling it a little, before dashing off down the hall in the direction of the art building, where his next classes were. The panda moves through the crowd of students as spry as ever, weaving in and out of traffic with an effortless grace, even at his increased height.
For a moment, I stand there in a daze, before I realize that dozens of eyes are staring at me. Snapping back into it, I clear my throat, and when that doesn't clear out the onlookers, I let out a low, menacing growl. That does the trick, and everyone goes back to minding their own business -- or at least pretending to.
I arrive five minutes late to my next class, slipping in the back and sitting in the last row. The room is a large lecture hall, and the subject is Biology, a topic which I've never had any trouble with. With today's topic, cellular structure, being one I already know pretty well, I soon find myself losing focus and starting to daydream about Kory.
I'm certainly glad that he feels the same affection for me as I do for him, but his sudden growth over the weekend still gnaws at me a bit. Not that it isn't a pleasant surprise, of course; in fact, if I had my way I would probably want him to be a bit bigger, since at my size and stature I rarely get to be around anyone bigger than me, and it would be intriguing to date someone whom I have to look up to for a change. But still, the fact that it happened so quickly, and that he (and everyone else except for me, for that matter) seems to be so oblivious to it… that troubles me, and I can't shake the feeling that something is wrong. Still, he sure is damn sexy. I've seen him shirtless before at the pool, and he has an impressive little body, tight and limber. I can't wait to see exactly how that body looks now that he's sprouted up.
After Biology, and the nondescript Statistics class that follows it (which allows me to daydream about a shirtless, then naked, Kory even more), I have a break of three hours before my final class of the day, Literature, one I also share with Kory. I won't be able to see him, though, until an hour or so before that class starts, as his Art Studio class is still going on. I have half a mind to sneak into that class so I can spend more time with my panda, but Kory has told me horror stories about the professor being a complete and utter dictator when it came to interruptions, so I decide to not chance his wrath.
Instead, I decide to head to the student union, keeping my eyes open for a certain--
I turn around just as a small yet hyper wallaby hops right in front of me, nearly knocking me over with his enthusiastic greeting.
"Well, hello, yourself, Nik," I reply. "Hey, can I talk to you for a bit?"
Nik grins, his tongue sticking out of the side of his mouth. "What do you think we're doing right now?"
I roll my eyes and motion with my hand for him to follow me over to a table near the wall. As the two of us sit down, I notice that Nik still seems to be hopping in his chair. "You need to cut down a little on the caffeine, ya know."
"I've only had two cups of coffee today," Nik counters. "And a soda."
"Whatever. Listen, I need to ask you something about Kory."
Nik's eyes light up. "Yeah, I heard the two of you became an item over the weekend. What's the question? Are you looking to buy him an engagement ring? I think emeralds would best match his eyes."
"What? No!" I frown slightly, a low growl forming in my throat. "Who told you that we were an item?"
"C'mon, Ash, I've known the guy since grade school. We tell each other everything."
"So I've noticed." I shake my head. "Listen, just keep this relatively quiet for now, okay? I mean, we're not keeping this a secret or anything, but the whole campus doesn't have to know."
"Well," Nik chuckles, "it's kinda too late for that. Everyone's talking about you two." I give him a puzzled look, so he continues. "I mean, it's not everyday that two of the tallest, most attractive guys on campus start to make out in the middle of the hall. Most furs are bound to sit up and take notice."
"Now that's not fair. We weren't making out in-- wait!" Nik's casual throw-away comment reminds me of the reason I wanted to talk to the wallaby in the first place. "What did you just say?"
"About what? About you guys being attractive?" Nik grins as he leans back in his chair. "I'm not saying you're my cup o' tea, but there are plenty who would disagree."
"No, not that!" I start to scowl in frustration. "I mean, you said…" Stopping for a moment, I try to choose my words carefully. "So, you also noticed that Kory's now my height?"
"Yeah, so?" Nik shrugs. "He's been that tall since he was sixteen. I personally don't see how a red panda grows to be that big, but whatever. I'd chalk it up to genetics, but neither of his parents are anywhere close to that height. Perhaps he simply ate more than his share of vegetables--"
Now I'm completely confused, and beginning to question my own sanity. Maybe Kory really has always been this big, and I haven't noticed it until now. No, that's preposterous. I distinctly remember having to bend down to hug him before, and being able to lift him with relative ease. There is no way I can do that now without killing my back.
Nik looks down at his phone, and his eyes bulge as he notices the time. "Crap! I'm gonna be late for chemistry. Talk to ya later, Ash!” I don't even notice as he jumps up and waves good-bye, as I'm still lost in a fog of confusion about this whole situation. Nothing about any of this makes any sense at all, and I feel my head begin to pound from all the confusion. What the hell is going on?