[Cat!Charles and dog!Erik versions here based on palalife’s super cute artwork and specific de-aging idea from here, as aided and abetted by helens78]
ninemoons42 writes: it’s a small world after all
He’s always known that the humans have certain ideas about cats, and particularly when it comes to his breed, and so he takes special pains to be sweet-tempered and easy to please and companionable and docile and lively, nothing like most cats - but then again, Charles really is a simple cat at heart, a cat of certain pleasures, never more happy when he’s with his human or, as is often the case when his human is away, when he’s chasing after the neighbor’s dog - the big dog with the big voice and the big scowl, who is really a softy at heart, who teases Charles relentlessly but he loves it, and it gives him an excuse to tease the dog back.
Today, though - today he feels different, and tiny, which is strange because he knows it’s been a while since he’s been a kitten, and everything in the world seems much bigger than usual and - oh, oh, this is not good, because since when was Erik’s paw as large as all of Charles’s all at once, because since when did he have to almost bend over backwards to look his friend in the eye, since when did he have to back up to look at him, and Charles can feel the fear in long fierce shiver-shocks wracking him from nose to tail, and he cries out and intends for it to be annoyed but it comes out sounding piteous and small indeed, and when he bats feebly at Erik, Erik actually flattens himself to the ground to look at him, sniffing suspiciously for a moment.
/You were turned - small,/ Erik barks, and that’s a very loud sound indeed, and Charles yowls and bares his teeth in consternation - to which Erik answers by tapping him on the head with one very large paw, and Charles eeps and tries very, very hard not to start crying or panicking or both, because he thinks small means kitten and that’s only what he looks like, he’s really an adult, and he has to maintain his dignity, somehow, some way.
/I don’t want to be like this!/ Charles cries, and he skitters back when Erik peers at him because Erik is a big dog and looks even bigger like this, and Charles tries to back away from him, tries to ward him off by hissing and swiping miniature claws at him - but to no avail, because Erik picks him up by the scruff of his neck and Charles reluctantly goes limp, reluctantly lets himself be picked up and carried, because he’s so small and because he can’t fight, and the surprise is that Erik trots off to his bed and drops Charles in it, and then curls up nearby, keeping watch.
/No one will hurt you while I am here,/ Erik growls, but quietly and gently, and Charles shivers all over once again and closes his eyes, and hopes that things will be better when he wakes up - but a small part of his small self hopes, too, that he will remain small, so that he can keep basking in Erik’s company, in Erik’s protection.