This is one of a couple short stories that I posted on deviantArt and forgot to post here. This one was a response to a prompt someone gave me about a victim of regression being lost and separated from their caretaker at the mall. I added a bit more detail, but that’s what inspired it. Hope you enjoy it!
Annie loved her momma. I mean, Megan had really only been her momma for, what, a couple of weeks? A random encounter with a cruel god, some sort of magic or something - Annie wasn't clear on the details - and then suddenly Annie found herself regressed back to toddler-age. Stressful, to say the least. Annie had done the only thing she possibly could - run to her best friend's house and hope for the best. And it had probably been the best decision she possibly could have made - Megan was, as always, there for her no matter what, though being held in her arms had a bit of a different meaning now that Annie was small. It hadn't come as a huge surprise when Megan offered to care for her, but it was still about the only thing Annie could cling to now that she had effectively lost control of her whole life. Her job? Fired due to unexcused absence. Her family? They had already filed a missing persons report. Her apartment and everything within? Already taken by a mix of family and investigators trying to figure out where the 25-year old had disappeared to. A 2 year old couldn't exactly walk back in and claim to be her. Megan offered her the only grounding she could possibly have at this point. "Momma" had been another accident. Annie said it one night in a fit of crying, and Megan had actively seen that she was referred to as Annie's momma ever since. Annie had no objections; it felt natural and comforting, and that was what she needed in this time. So Megan became her momma, and she became her momma's little girl. And so it was that Annie found herself doing the scariest activity she thought possible: going to the mall. Annie used to love going to the mall, but it was a different story now. Everyone was so much bigger than her and the place was so crowded that she was afraid she'd be stepped on or snatched up. Momma comforted her and hugged her close before strapping her into her carseat for the ride, but it didn't do much to assuage her concerns. She resolved to hold her momma's hand or, preferably, bury her face in her momma's shirt the whole time, though with her momma shopping she wasn't sure she'd be allowed. Still, she made the effort as Megan lifted her out of her carseat, successfully clinging for the duration of the walk through the parking lot before being partially defeated as Megan set her down and grabbed her hand immediately following. Of course her momma had her go clothes shopping to start. Annie saw the Build-a-Bear on the way through and tried to point towards it, begging Megan and using her best sad puppy dog face, but momma was as always immune. "Maybe if you're good" were the only words said in relation to Annie's desires as Megan dragged her off to the designated children's clothing store not too far away. She did her best to sit there and look pouty as Megan grabbed piles of clothing, holding each item up to her in turn to see if it would fit. "Come on. You need clothes, remember?" was simply met with crossed arms and further pouting from Annie. Megan sighed and lifted Annie up, much to Annie's delight, only to bring Annie over to a fitting room. The pouting returned almost instantly, but Annie was at least cooperative as she was undressed by Megan. Annie was one hundred percent sure she wouldn't ever get used to what came next as Megan reached down and pulled out the waistband of her diaper to check the girl. Still, Annie wouldn't make her momma's job any more difficult, so she just stood there blushing until Megan came back with a verdict. "A little bit wet, aren't you? We'll get you a change a bit later, okay?" Annie was too embarrassed to do anything but meekly nod as she tried to hug Megan, and, as expected, was met with a warm embrace from her best friend-turned-momma. A side effect of her transformation seemed to have been a complete loss of control. Fortunately, being only about two years old in physical age meant that there were plenty of diapers in her size. Still, diaper checks, not to mention changes, were a very personal thing, and she wasn't sure she'd be used to that anytime soon. Megan released Annie from her arms and began the tedious process of dressing Annie into every outfit she picked out, one at a time. Annie made sure to show that she was not amused at every possible step, pouting audibly in addition to her stuck-out lip and crossed arms whenever she could manage. All this resulted in was Megan reaching into her bag and pulling out a pacifier, which was consequently placed into Annie's mouth. Yet more blushing ensued, but it had the expected effect of quieting Annie for the duration of the fitting. As the last set of clothes was lifted off of Annie, Megan crouched down and pulled the pacifier out. "Thank you for being so patient, Annie. Now, can you please wait here for me? I'm going to go grab another couple of sets of clothes. I promise, I'll be right back." Annie didn't like the idea, but she did trust her momma, so she slowly nodded. "Okay, momma." She flinched as her hair was ruffled, but again turned to blushing as she felt Megan's lips brush across her forehead. "Good girl," she heard from Megan, bringing a smile to her lips. And then before she knew it, Megan was gone. Annie stood there anxiously, eyes trained on the door, bouncing back from foot to foot as she anxiously awaited her momma's return. Seconds felt like hours as the time slowly ticked by. Thoughts began racing through Annie's mind. Why was her momma taking so long? What if something happened? Did something happen to her momma? Did her momma run away? What if her momma never came back? Annie felt certain in this last one as she ducked under the fitting room stall door, clad solely in her diaper, socks, and shoes, and toddled through the store, frantically glancing from side to side. Before she knew it, without seeing her momma anywhere, Annie had exited the store and was dodging between the crowds of people walking through the mall, tears running down her face. "Momma! Where are you?! Momma!" A strange, unfamiliar man in a blue uniform bent down and looked her in the eyes. "Hey. Do you need some help finding your mommy, little girl?" Annie panicked and tried to run as she met his gaze, crying and screaming for her momma. And as soon as she turned around to do so, she ran right into some very familiar arms. Megan's warm embrace had never felt so good as Annie continued bawling, burying her face in Megan's chest. Wrapped comfortably in a set of strong arms, one of them rubbing her back and head, she cried for what seemed like several minutes, ignoring everything but the fact that her momma was back. She looked up worriedly at Megan's smiling face, which promptly gave her another kiss on the forehead before speaking. "Now, what did I tell you to do, Annie? I was right outside the door." Annie couldn't respond, preferring to continue crying and sniffling. Megan pulled a tissue from her purse and held it to Annie's nose. "Now, can you blow for me, sweetie?" Annie did as she was told and immediately stopped sniffling, her face much cleaner than before. Annie laid her head down on her momma's chest, not saying a word as she happily accepted the pacifier that Megan held at the ready. "I think we're done with shopping for today, okay? I'll grab you some clothes and get you changed, and then we'll head on out. Maybe we can stop by Build-a-Bear on the way out if you're up for it." Annie weakly nodded, barely paying attention as Megan walked her back into the shop, laid her down on the bench in the changing room, and changed her into a fresh diaper and romper. Megan fortunately made the checkout at the store quick, but Annie's face only lit up again once they were inside Build-a-Bear. Forgetting entirely about the fact that she was holding onto her momma, Annie reached out almost immediately at an ivory teddy bear with brown paws and belly. "You want that one, Annie? You sure? You only get to pick one." Annie could only respond with nodding and grabby-hands as she stretched dangerously far away from her momma, causing Megan to have to quickly wrap her free arm around Annie to prevent falling. "Be patient, sweetie. I'll grab it for you." Annie found a soft but floppy shell in her arms and looked curiously up at Megan. "Don't you remember how Build-a-Bear works from when you were little, Annie? You have to stuff the bear yourself with lots of love." Annie nodded, but gave the unstuffed bear a hug regardless as Megan carried her to the next station. "Now Annie, I'm gonna need to take your bear for a second so we can make him super cuddly, okay?" Annie barely was able to keep herself from holding tight to the bear as Megan pulled him out of her arms. A lady Annie didn't know held her bear, pushing him against the nozzle of a whirring machine that looked like it had a lot of white, puffy stuff inside of it. As Annie hoped, the bear was held up to her looking a lot more stuffed than it was before, but it was just out of her reach. She almost started to tear up before the lady holding the bear addressed her. "You have to give your bear a heart before you can take him. Go ahead and pick one out, okay?" A plastic container of fabric hearts lay in front of Annie, who of course attempted immediately to reach out and grab one. Her momma anticipated this, however, and already was holding up a couple for her to choose from. Annie grabbed one and hugged it tight, just like the bear, but the bear-holding lady's voice spoke to her again. "Now all you need to do is close your eyes, spin around three times, make a wish, and give the heart a kiss!" Annie closed her eyes and felt the pacifier come out of her mouth as her momma spun her all the way around one, two, three times. Annie made the most important wish of her life up to this point: that her momma and her would be together forever, and that she'd never have to be separated from her momma no matter what. Then, she opened her eyes and gave the heart the biggest kiss she could. The lady held out Annie's bear, a hole in his back, for Annie to put the heart into, and she took the hint, reaching out of her momma's arms and into the back of the bear to deposit the heart deep within. The lady pulled the bear out of Annie's reach for just a couple of seconds before handing the bear back to her, this time all stuffed and fluffy, and with no hole to be seen. Annie felt a feeling of warmth inside as she hugged the bear and felt her pacifier enter her mouth again, the happiest feeling she had felt in a very long time. Megan carried the happy little girl over to the checkout counter, pulling out her wallet and handing a plastic card to the cashier. As the man behind the counter reached down to grab a cardboard house in which to place Annie's bear, Megan shook her head. "Thanks, but I don't think we'll be separating these two anytime soon." She rubbed her little girl's back as she carried the girl right on out of the mall. "Did you have fun today at the mall, sweetie?" The only possible answer came back, and though it was not an answer at all to the question, it gave Megan all the answer she needed. "I love you, momma." "I love you too, sweetie."