Growing Up

Usual disclaimers apply.  The following contains male-to-male sex.
If you are under age or such reading is illegal in your country,
please go elsewhere. Otherwise, please enjoy.

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Brian really hated himself, as he rummaged through his bedroom closet.

Not a week after Steve left him, he'd called asking him to box what was left of his stuff, so he could come pick it up. And, like the sap that he was, Brian was doing just that, in the hopes that seeing him again would convince Steve to come back.

Why he'd even left was beyond Brian, he'd been the perfect boyfriend, always there for Steve, doing everything he wanted and going everywhere with him. Didn't he see just how much he loved him?

The only thing Steve had said to justify the breakup was: "It isn't working."

Brian grabbed a box and threw it out.

How could it not have been working? he'd done everything for the guy.

He went back in the closet for whatever was next and paused. Under where the box had been was a bundle of tan plush. Brian picked it up and turned it in his hands, revealing a dark brown mane, a face with a silly smile on it and small arms and legs that dangled.

He looked at the plush lion for a moment before frowning. "Mane?" he asked out loud, as recognition set in.

It had been years since he'd even thought about his childhood's best friend. He smiled as he remembered running in the woods behind his parent's house. He and the lion had had so many adventures together.

He dusted him off, as he lost himself in the memories. Those had been such great times for him. His family might not have showed him much love, but Mane had always been there for him. When they were together Brian never felt alone.

He hugged the plush to his chest. "I loved you so much," he said, getting choked up.

"I love you too." He heard someone say, somewhat muffled. He pulled the plush away frowning. "Hi Brian," the lion said in a childish voice, "It's been a long time, hasn't it?"

Brian flung the plush away in surprise and took a step back, tripping on the box and falling down. He heard the plush yelp as he landed on the floor, just before his head hit the floor and his head was ringing.

"Are you alright?" someone asked. Brian opened his eyes because it wasn't the childish voice of before.

If he hadn't already been on the floor Brian would have fallen again on seeing the lion standing over him. "Mane?" he asked. This wasn't the lion plush he had found in the closet, he was a full grown lion standing on two legs and most definitely male, he noticed before quickly looking away.

"Isn't this great?" he replied nodding, before offering Brian a hand.

Brian hesitated for a moment before accepting it and being pulled to his feet. "What happened?"

"I guess I must have grown up, like you," Mane pulled Brian in a hug, which Brian quickly returned, compressing the lion's torso.

“You’re not as squishy as you used to be.”

“I must be made of denser foam now.”

Brian wrapped his arms lower on Mane and lifted him in the air. “You’re still pretty light.”

“I *am* a plush.”

Brian put him down, but didn’t let go. He buried his face in the lion’s chest and felt the arms wrap around him.

“There, there,” Mane said, “I’m here now. Whatever’s wrong I’ll deal with it.”

Brian nodded and felt tears start to well up as Mane’s hands rubbed up and down his back. It had been a while since he’d been held in this way. There hadn’t been much intimacy in those last few weeks leading up to Steve leaving him.

He looked up, eyes wet, to find Mane looking down at him. There was so much love in those eyes, and a hint of mischievousness, that he would happily drown in them. He moved his face closer to Mane’s and the lion did the same.

Their lips were almost touching when they heard something crash in the kitchen. Brian looked in that direction.

“Ignore it,” Mane said, gently getting Brian to look at him with a hand.

“There isn’t anything there that should be able to fall,” Brian replied, as he looked into those beautiful amber eyes.

“It doesn’t matter, we’re the only thing that matters.” He brought their lips together and started to press them together when rustling came from the kitchen.

Brian pulled away. “I have to go check it out.”

Mane grabbed his arm. “I said to ignore it,” he said with a hint of steel in his voice.

“I can’t. Someone might be trying to break in.”

* * * * *

At first glance everything looked normal in the kitchen. When he looked again he noticed that one of Steve’s dragon rider figurines, on the shelf lining the wall, had fallen off it and onto the table. As he watched, the dragon, with its rider, moved toward them.

“You can not stay here,” the rider said, in a strident voice and pointing her lance at Mane.

“I go where ever I want,” Mane growled back.

“There are rules to be followed, you know that.”

“Fuck the rules, Brian wants me here.” Maned placed a possessive hand on Brian’s shoulder.

Brian looked at Mane, surprised at the language. “What’s going on?” he asked, looking back at the dragon rider.

“You need to send him away, Brian. Mane doesn’t belong here.”

“I go where ever I want. Brian belongs to me. He can’t send me away.”

“Mane, can you go to the bedroom, please?” Brian asked.

“What?” Maned stared at him.

“Please, just go to the bedroom while I talk with her.”

“You can’t seriously consider listening to that!” Maned pointed at the dragon rider.

“Mane, I need to know what’s going on. Just let me listen to her,” Brian pleaded with the lion.

“Fine, but all it’s going to do is try to turn you against me.” Mane stormed out, slamming the door shut.

“You are doing the right thing, Brian.”

“I don’t want to hear that.” Brian stated, “I want to know why you’re saying I have to send the only person that’s ever loved me unconditionally away.”

“Mane being here isn’t right.”

“But why?”

The dragon rider sighed. “What brings us to life is the love a child feels for us, it shapes who we are as toys.”

“So that’s why Mane changed?”


“And that’s wrong?”

“Yes, it is. A child’s love is pure and innocent. We become a reflection of that.”

“That still doesn’t tell me why what I can have with Mane is wrong.”

“As children age, their love changes. It looses it’s purity, it’s innocence, so we are placed in a closet and we go away.”

“And that love can call you back.”


“Then how come none of them are alive?” Brian gestured to the other dragon riders on the shelf. “God knows Steve loves you guys more than he ever loved me.”

“We’ve all felt the love Steve holds for us, but we know better than to come back.”

“Until now.”

“I’m a special case. I only came to bring Mane back.”

“But why does he have to go back? What’s so wrong about him staying with me? Are you afraid that others will see him? I can keep him hidden, I swear.”

“No, this isn’t about keeping Mane hidden. It’s about what he will do if he remains with you. Haven’t you noticed how he has changed?”

“Of course I’ve noticed. I could I miss the fact that he’s an adult now.”

“That is not what I mean. His physical form is not the only thing that has changed. His personality has too.”

Brian remembered the tone of Mane’s voice. “Of course he was angry, you were threatening him.”

“As toys we are not supposed to feel anger. The love you feel for him is changing him.”

“So he’s not so innocent, how is that a problem?”

“It is wrong, Brian.”

“I don’t care! You think I’m looking for some perfect love? You think I’ve ever had that? I spent my life settling for some guy who tells me that he loves me but barely shows it. I’ve devoted myself to guys that just dump me because I’m not ‘what they were looking for after all’. Mane *loves* me. I can see it in his eyes and I feel it in the way he holds me. I don’t care if it isn’t perfect.” Brian paused and then whispered, “I just want to feel loved.”

“I know Brian, but he is shaped by your own love. What will you do when you have shaped him into something dangerous to you?”

“I don’t care,” Brian said softly.

“Brian, you know this is wrong, I can see that you do. Please send Mane back. Find a closet to put him in and then put him out of your mind. Do it so we don’t have to be the ones who take him away.”

He looked at her. “I can’t.”

“If we have to do it, it will be unpleasant for both of you.”

Brian looked at her again before leaving the kitchen with a shrug, closing the door behind him.

* * * * *

Brian barely managed to close the bedroom door before being pulled into a tight hug.

“It’s about time you came back,” Mane growled, “I was starting to think you were going to abandon me.”

“I’d never do that,” Brian replied, breathing in Mane’s foam and synthetic fur smell.

“Good.” Mane’s hands started rubbing up and down his back. Brian closed his eyes; it had been so long since anyone had touched him tenderly. It came as a complete surprise when Mane grabbed his ass with both hands and pulled him tight.

“I want you so bad,” Mane said, grinding against him.

Brian looked down when he felt something hard rub against him, and then immediately up when he saw that Mane was sporting an erection. He found himself looking in Mane’s eyes, and there was a hunger in them that made him uncomfortable.

Mane leaned in and whispered. “I’m going to fuck you so hard you’re not going to be able to walk anymore.”

Brian swallowed hard. Was this what she’d meant by Mane being changed? There didn’t seem to be anything left of the child like innocence he’d shown when he’d first awakened. Now it seemed that all the plush lion wanted was sex.

She’d said that his love was changing him; was he really that obsessed with sex? Or was it that sex was the only way he only felt he could get love? Brian tried to decide if a life of being used by someone who used to be his childhood toy and best friend was all that bad while Mane nibbled on his neck.

“Wait!” Brian exclaimed as Mane was undoing his belt. “Stop!” He tried to push the lion away somewhat, but couldn’t manage it.

“What? Why?”

“Not . . .” Brian had trouble getting his mind to work. “Not like this, not here.”

“But this is the best place for it?”

“She . . . It’s still out there.”

“I don’t care. It can watch me fuck you for all I care.”

“That’s not it. It thinks that I’m trying to convince you to leave. If it decides I didn’t do it, they’re going to come and take you away by force.”

“Let them try. I’m going to break them all in tiny little pieces.”

“No, I can’t take the chance. We have to leave. Let’s go back to the wood behind my parent’s house, they’ll never find us there. We’ll be able to do anything we want there. You’ll be able to do anything you want to me.”

Mane looked at him with a predatory smile that made Brian swallow hard again.

* * * * *

Mane stuck out his tongue at the kitchen door as they sneaked by it.

Brian opened the door passed it and led the lion down the stairs into the badly lit, and damp, semi finished basement. He opened the door on the other side of the room and got out of the way. “This is the way outside,” he whispered.

Mane stepped in front of the door, and looked inside the small dark space. “This doesn’t really look like outsiiiiddddeeeee!” the last two syllables got stretched as Brian pushed the lion inside the closet and slammed the door shut behind him, locking it and taking the key out of the lock.

“Brian, open the door this instant!” The door shook as Mane tried to open it.

“I’m sorry,” Brian said softly.

“Damn right you’re sorry!” Mane pounded on the door. “You’re going to be even sorrier when I get out of here.

“You don’t deserve what I’m doing to you.” Brian rested his forehead against the door. “You’re suppose to be a child’s toy, not a sexual perversion of one.” He could hear Mane exerting himself trying to force the door open, but he didn’t have enough mass to accomplish it.

“Listen to me, you sorry excuse for a man,” Mane growled, once he’d given up on the door. “You’re doing to open this door right now. If you do that I won’t punish you too badly. If you don’t you’re going to regret it once I do get out.”

“Goodbye Mane.” Brian turned and leaned back against the door. She’d said he had to put him out of his mind.

“Don’t you dare say goodbye to me! Do you have any idea how far I had to come to be with you again? Or how hard it was? I’m not going to leave until I’m fucking well and really to.”

It wasn’t working. He tried to think of other things, but his mind kept drifting back to the plush lion. He rubbed his forehead and realized he was holding something; it was the key that had been in the lock. He’d never figured out why the previous owner had bothered putting a lock on a closet.

“There’s no fucking way I’m going to let you lock me away in a clo . . .”

He’s guessed by the pink second bedroom that they had a kid, so maybe they’d wanted to make sure she didn’t get in here.

“Brian, Please, don’t do this to me!”mane pleaded, no longer sounding macho. “I can’t go back. I love you so much. Please let me out.” He sounded younger still. “I’ll do whatever you want me to.”

He’d never used it himself, he didn’t own enough things to warrant storing them here, and Steve had never set foot in the basement, he hated them.

“Please Brian,” Maned said, now sounding like he had when he’d first woken up, “don’t send me away. Remember all the good times we’ve had together. We can have so many more of them.”

Brian sighed and stepped away from the closet, not quite sure why he’d come to basement. He went back upstairs to the kitchen, picking up the dragon rider and placing it back on the shelf.

Maybe Steve leaving was for the best. Maybe it was time that he learned to love himself instead of constantly looking for it in others.

Without really thinking about it, he threw the key in the junk drawer and closed it.

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