Michael Ames thumbed through the paperwork that needed to be signed before the procedures could be started. He was amazed at all of the medical waivers that needed to be signed, and there were endless waves of arcane, bureaucratic documents which all needed to be signed in triplicate. On top of that were several expenses, and he had to make arrangements with his insurance company to see how this would affect his coverage.
His partner laid his hand on his shoulder. "Are you sure you want to go through with this, Mike?" he said with notes of concern.
Michael's eyes began to tear up. They had roleplayed this fantasy for decades. At least it had started out as merely roleplay. Michael had thought at first that it was fun to pretend he was his husband's "pet" and kneel down in front of him to receive "scritches." It had started as a wonderful game. As time had passed, though, the identity had begun to assert itself more easily. The kneeling had become sincere, and his heart began to ache every time he looked in the mirror and realized the fur wasn't really there. "Tony, we've discussed this. You feel it too, you said--"
His husband wrapped his arms around him, shushing him and kissing him on the ear. "Yes, my sweet reynard. It's the real you. I can't deny it. It's just...so permanent."
A hush fell over the room, and they sat there quietly for a long time. Soon, Michael got back to going through the documents, continuing with it until late into the night. It would be weeks later that Michael would be rolled into the operating room to begin his transformation.
Michael groaned as he came awake. As he tried to open his eyes, he quickly squeezed them shut again as the light stabbed into them, supressing waves of nausea. He felt a hand close around his, and its owner talked to him softly. Everything seemed to be amplified, though, as if the world had suddenly stepped in front of a microphone after mumbling ineffectually for a long time. The beeping of the machines echoed loudly in his ear, causing the sensitive fur in them to tickle.
"They said it came off about as well as they expected," Tony said. "Like Dr. Shriner said, real life isn't quite like the fantasy, so keep that in mind." There was a funny, itchy feeling against Michael's chest as he was scratched there. "Hold on. Let me get the nurse here to help us turn down the lights."
The overly bright world behind his eyelids dimmed considerably, and Michael laid there for a while working up the nerve to open his eyes again. He tried moving his feet a little bit, but he found that he was strapped down firmly. He panicked a little from the lack of mobility, his eyes flying open, but his husband reached down again to rub his chest, shushing him.
"It's good to have you back with us, buddy," his husband said, a bright smile lighting up his features. He turned to a man garbed in a nurse's outfit. "Hey, can we roll down the sheet and let him look at himself? He's been waiting for this a long time."
The nurse shook his head. "No," he said. "We really don't think he's in any shape to take in so much at one time. Lets give him some time to adjust, and we'll see what happens from there."
Tony nodded at the nurse, understanding, and he knelt down next to his bed to talk with his husband for a while. He described what he had seen of the outcome of the procedures, and they started cracking nervous jokes with each other after a while. Michael wished he could be released from the constraints, though.
Three days later, Michael was still feeling weak-limbed, but with Tony's help he managed to stand up. He almost fell over as he realized his heels wouldn't go all the way down to the floor, but his husband caught him just in time.
"Be careful," Tony said. "Look, just try to walk on tip-toe."
Unsteadily, Michael tried that, and he stood up as tall as he could. As they had planned, 4'10" brought him up just high enough to lay his head against Tony's chest, so he did just that, leaning against his husband to support himself as he got used to his new stance.
It turned out that Tony was right: it felt like he was stuck walking on tip-toe, and it was going to be a while before his muscles were toned enough for him to take any long walks this way. Also, it surprised him how much the movement of his tail could throw him off-balance. It was going to be like learning how to walk all over again, this time with a whole new factor to contend with.
Tony led him over to sit down in a chair, and then he went over to the tote-bag he had brought with him for all of his visits. After digging around, he pulled out a pair of briefs and pair of blue demim shorts that were cut to almost the same shape. He grinned humorously as he laid them in Michael's lap.
Michael looked up at his husband ironically as he picked them up. They were smaller versions of the kind he had always worn during their roleplays, but he had always dressed himself presentably in his human life. "Jeez," he said, flushing slightly around his ears. "You're not going to make me wear this kind of stuff everywhere now, are you?" He held them up for inspection, and he saw there was even a (very) small triangular notch in the back for his tail to sit in. They would definitely be riding embarrasingly low.
Tony grabbed his ear playfully. "Now, don't you start getting cold feet, my little reynard," he said. "No more human life for you!"
They giggled together, but it finally started to sink in for Michael how serious this all was. His hands--no, his paws, damn it!--trembled very slightly as he undid the velcro snap holding up his hospital gown, and Tony helped him struggle his way into the things. Then a child-size t-shirt was pulled over his slim torso, and, once he was dressed, Tony picked him up and set him on the bed.
For two quiet hours, Tony simply stroked his hands over his fox's beautiful new body. This fox was HIS. Michael was HIS, his and his alone, to hold and to keep. Michael laid his head against his chest submissively, and occasionally they exchanged a soft word or two. In time, though, a nurse came in holding some release forms, and it was time for the two lovers to go home.