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Father of the Night 8: Retrieval.

By Mandroid
Created: 19th December 2020 01:30:51 PM
AIE Safe Anon OC Applejack Anondad

  1. >You groan as the light from the morning sun seems to pierce your eyelids and draw you out of your sleep.
  2. >Peeling yourself off the couch and out of the puddle of spit underneath you, you rub your face and look around the living room.
  3. >...Exactly the same as the last time you saw it, and with no Bruce in it.
  4. "Balls...still taking it badly..."
  5. >You climb off the couch and shuffle over to the stove to make breakfast.
  6. >Hmmm...if you wanted to make it up to him, you'd have to start small.
  7. >Eggs and bacon for breakfast it is.
  8. >You crack the eggs over the pan and go on auto-pilot.
  9. >Last night was...not a good night for you two.
  10. >You knew it wasn't the best choice of action to do what you did, but it was the only one you could really do and it worked out in the end.
  11. >Still...seeing that confusion and anger in his eyes, mixed with the first scent of fear you got from him...that was new.
  12. >You dish the food out onto a plate and set it on the table.
  13. "Bruce! Breakfast!"
  14. >...No response.
  15. "Up and at 'em, Bat-boy!"
  16. >Still nothing.
  17. >You grumble and move from the table to the bedroom door.
  18. >To your mild surprise, the door is locked.
  19. >You bang twice on the door.
  20. "Bruce, come out, you need to eat."
  21. >No sound comes from the room, you were starting to get worried.
  22. "I'm coming in there."
  23. >Okay Anon, just like you remember: Kick hard and lean into it, strike right near the handle.
  24. >Your foot strikes the door three times before it give and you can get inside the room.
  25. >The bed is empty, the window open, and a poster for Goatham city was laying next to the dresser Bruce used.
  26. "...Oh dicks."
  27.  
  28. >You scarfed down your food and ran out of the house, catching the first train to Goatham.
  29. >Unfortunately, Goatham was almost a full days ride from Ponyville.
  30. >You spent the entire ride worrying.
  31. >He'd probably snuck out the second he closed the door last night, wanting to just return back to his old life.
  32. >You could see his desires...going back to a life that made sense instead of all this, but you were still worried.
  33. >Goatham City was the armpit of Equestria, a place nestled in the Bridle Shores where most of the goats leaving Roe Island ended up and a big bag of crime and corruption.
  34. >No way were you letting Bruce stay here, and he already had a lead on you.
  35. >"Next stop: Goatham City. Coatham City." the loudspeaker says.
  36. >You climb to your feet and wait for the train to make a stop at the station.
  37. >Stepping out, you notice the big difference between Goatham and the rest of Equestria: The Sky.
  38. >Even at night in the rest of the kingdom, you could see the sky. But here all you could see is an impenetrable layer of clouds and smog.
  39. >You hike up your coat and walk down the road with a picture of Bruce in hand.
  40. >A few shops along the way are your first stops, you hold out the picture and ask each and every pony inside if they've seen him and where.
  41. >Every one of them gave you nothing.
  42. >Exasperated and a bit annoyed, you left the latest store you were in and stomped down the street.
  43. >Dammit, where could he be?
  44. You really hope he wasn't going after guards or something again...not after just getting out of that.
  45. >You take a deep breath.
  46. "Think like Bruce..."
  47. >Think like a detective.
  48. >After a few moments of that, you remember that there is only one place he could be.
  49.  
  50. >Putting any degree of thought into where Bruce could be lead you into the center of Old Town, the part of Goatham that had been standing since the city was founded.
  51. >You pushed past the old guard barriers and walked down the alley behind the movie theater.
  52. >It was dark save for a single street lamp still buzzing with electricity that illuminated a bench underneath it.
  53. >A bench with a costumed child sitting in it.
  54. >You step out of the shadows. [spoiler][/spoiler] "Hey..."
  55. >Bruce says nothing but shuffles away from you a bit.
  56. >Damn...
  57. "I saw you ran away...can we talk?"
  58. >You expected him to snap or try and break your arm or something, but instead he just cleared a space on the bench next to him.
  59. >You take your seat without a word and wring your hands.
  60. "Let me just start by saying sorry...I didn't mean for it to get out of hand like that."
  61. >"...Then what did you mean to happen?"
  62. >You sigh.
  63. "I...wanted you to be able to focus. You have so much potential to do so many things for so many people but you were wasting it on assaulting guards because they were in your way. I wanted you to be able to go up against something that could give you an outlet instead of letting all this anger consume you."
  64.  
  65. >"Something would have come up...it would have happened naturally."
  66. >You shake your head.
  67. "By then it'd be too late, and it wouldn't be enough."
  68. >Bruce looks away from you.
  69. "You needed someone willing to stir the pot for you, Bruce. You needed something to latch on to."
  70. >"I need someone who would come all this way to get me more." Bruce says before clamping his hooves over his mouth.
  71. >You look over and chuckle before scratching the top of his head, he doesn't resist you.
  72. >Bruce looks down at himself. "Did...it work?" he asks.
  73. "Do you still feel angry?"
  74. >Bruce shakes his head.
  75. "Then it worked...doing this was able to get all the anger out in the right way."
  76. >You look down and see a new Bruce then. Not an angry kid or a paragon of justice, just a tiny little colt who looks up at you and asks "Can we go home now, Mister Anonymous?"
  77. >You scoop him up and put him on your shoulder, he was heavier than most in that suit.
  78. "Yeah...let's go home, Bruce."
  79.  
  80. >The ride back to Ponyville was just as long as the ride from, and you get back in the early morning.
  81. >The two of you stumble into the house and lock up, both ready to turn in.
  82. >"I believe I shall retire...goodnight, Mister Anonymous." Bruce says as he shuffles to the bedroom and ditches his costume along the way.
  83. "G'night Bruce."
  84. >You rub your face and sit down at the table.
  85. >A bit of cold cereal would make a decent midnight snack.
  86. >You start eating and think about the night.
  87. >It...felt good to finally do something that was far in the "right" category that helped him out, and it felt good to have him accept that help.
  88. >If he was gonna remain your ward for a while, you'd have to learn to like each other.
  89. >As you think, you notice a warm orange glow from outside.
  90. "Huh?"
  91. >Someone having a campfire?
  92. >You pull back the curtains over the sink to reveal just what you thought: A fire.
  93. >Directly on the outside of the house.
  94. "WHOA SHIT!"
  95. >HOUSE! ON FIRE!
  96. >You run to the front door to get the fire brigade, it's by sheer luck that you look out the window first.
  97. >Outside are almost two dozen members of what looks like the Diggers and Razorclaw's.
  98. >Fuck!
  99. >One of them lights a bottle on fire and tosses it at the house, you can hear the explosion and feel the heat radiate through the roof as the windows blow out.
  100. "FUCK!"
  101.  
  102. >You run back to the rear of the house.
  103. "Bruce! BRUCE GET OUT HERE!"
  104. >The fire behind you was spreading fast, what the hell kind of cocktails were those?!
  105. >Bruce comes galloping out of the bedroom and stares wide eyed at the house. "What is this!?"
  106. "Claw's and Diggers outside! They torched the house!"
  107. >"HOW DID THE-"
  108. >Bruce is cut off by the sound of parts of the roof falling down through the ceiling.
  109. >"Gah! Dammit!"
  110. >You crouch down low to avoid the smoke and start hacking up a lung to get what you breathed in out.
  111. >All the while, the house fell down around you.
  112. >The heat was unbearable and your lungs felt like they weighed a tone and a half, you couldn't move.
  113. "Bruce! *cough* Get out of here!"
  114. >"No! Come on, we have to escape!" he says grabbing you.
  115. >You shake him off. [spoiler][/spoiler] "Get! Now! While they're distracted!"
  116. >Bruce could escape, you couldn't, that made the course of action clear as day.
  117. >More of the house continued to fall and the flames grew closer.
  118. >You hear Bruce shout "Idiot human!" and grab you by the back of your shirt.
  119. >Your dragged along the floor of the collapsing house and thrown into the closet at the end of the hall where you always used to find Bruce.
  120. >The boy looks over the house one last time before jumping in himself and slamming the door shut.
  121. >You keep coughing over the sounds of your house collapsing around you.
  122. >And then you black out.

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