Arctos: Filters – Episode 1 (Part 2)

“Are you alright?” Jean asked.

“Yeah, yeah, sorry,” Bruce said, “Just…had a weird day today at work, is all.”

“Well, let’s talk about it, if you want.”

“No, it’s fine, I’m over it.”

Jean narrowed his eyes, “It doesn’t look like your over it, if you’re running to the bathroom and locking me out.” He sighed, “Bruce…I love you, but I can’t keep up with the narrative sometimes, you know? You have to let me in on occasion, if I’m going to be able to understand.”

“Seriously, I’m fine.”

It was clear that Jean didn’t believe it, and Bruce wasn’t surprised. They’d had this conversation (or argument, depending on how loud their voices got) plenty of times before, about the fact that Bruce wouldn’t open up to him…but in all honesty, Bruce didn’t know what Jean was looking for. He wasn’t a complex guy–he had a job, and he worked, and he liked Jean, and liked having sex–but Jean always seemed so…concerned about him, for some reason that Bruce didn’t really understand. It just felt like he wanted to get inside his head, but Bruce didn’t really want anyone in there, as far as he was concerned. If that meant he came off as distant and detatched…well, maybe he was.

The fight didn’t develop any further than that, but the frustration ruined the evening for them both, and to Bruce’s disappointment Jean didn’t invite him to stay the night, claiming he had an early morning the next day for work that he had to get rested up for. Bruce walked the way back to his apartment, and his thoughts turned back to the strange app he’d downloaded, and the ears he’d accidentally given himself–he opened it back up, being careful not to trigger anything, and looked through some of the options, surprised by the sheer variety the app could provide–and if they all worked like the ears had, the possibilities were…intriguing. However, for whatever reason, Bruce was drawn back to the ears, turning the filter on as he stood waiting for a crosswalk, looking at himself. He could almost feel them, just by watching himself move. To his surprise, he found himself missing them, despite the fact he’d only had them on his head for less than an hour. Still, not in public–he got back up to his apartment, triggered the ears again, and when he felt them flopping against the side of his head again, like before, he let off a sigh of relief he hadn’t even been aware of holding in.

He went into the bathroom and just stood in front of the mirror, playing with them, wondering why this all felt so natural to him. More natural than his human ears, even. Then again, in this reality, he’d always had them, so why wouldn’t they feel natural to him? Unnerved, he opened the app again, ready to get rid of them, but the screen had changed, and was instead showing a list of recommended filters for him, though since he’d only used one filter so far, all of them were, well, pig related in one way or another.

There was a filter that would make him look like a farmer, one that would make him chubby, another that would make him obese, and another that would make him fatter than he was really comfortable dealing with. Others focused on more piggish features–some added snouts, others made his hands and feet become trotters–and one promised to give him a sizable boar cock and balls. His squeamishness eventually gave way to curiosity. It wasn’t like he couldn’t just change back, right? Just to check, he removed the ears again, put them back on, removed them, put them back, removed them. He stared at himself, human again, wondering why, even with the app removed, he still didn’t feel…right, looking at himself like this. He’d never even thought about being a pig before in his life. He had a couple of friends who were furries, but he’d never once understood whatever they were talking about, or been interested in it, especially not erotically. It didn’t make any sense to him, and yet, when he turned the ears back on, he still felt so at ease in a way he couldn’t quite describe.

There was really only one way to know, he supposed. He pulled up another filter, the recommended one that would allegedly make him chubby, though not massive like some of them would, apparently. The screen displayed an error at first, telling him that he needed to back away from the camera and allow for a full body shot–then, when he did that, it also insisted that he remove all of his clothes. He did so, standing a bit awkwardly a few feet away from his phone, where it was propped up on the counter. He could see himself in the mirror, his usual body at least, and then below it, in the tiny phone screen, a body that was similar, but definitely larger, though it was too far to make out details very well. The app was on a timer, so he went up, pressed the trigger button, and then went back to position, watching the screen process–longer this time–and after a minute or so, his picture popped up. Bruce didn’t need to see the picture though. After all, he had his new gut already hanging off of him.

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