The Bug In The Basement

by Skijarama

Chapter 24: Why Are You Afraid?

The Next Day…

    Well, Beebee was certainly energetic today. He had been all but unable to sleep the previous night in his sudden onrush of giddiness, and now he was flying all over the place and practically shaking with how excited and hyped up he was. And it wasn’t because Fluttershy was coming over in five minutes, according to him. No, it was due to the overwhelming amount of ‘good stuff’ in the air. He had tried to list off the colors of the lights that only he could see, but eventually gave up because there we just too many.

    Right now, he was doing backflips in the air with his wings, giggling excitedly to himself as he did so. Eventide was keeping close and observing Beebee very carefully. They didn’t want him to fall to the ground in an exhaustion fit again. After the seventh consecutive backflip, he chose to intervene. “Come on, Beebee, try not to overdo it. I get it, you’re excited, but we don’t want you to collapse again.”

    “I’ll be okay!” Beebee retorted, doing another backflip before spinning in the air to shoot Eventide an enormous grin. “I’ve never felt so happy before! Whatever that light show was last night, it was amazing!

    Eventide rolled his eyes with a quiet sigh and charmed smile, before reaching out to unceremoniously pluck his son from the air. Beebee gave a pitiful whine at his aerial performance being cut short, but he was forced to grumpily concede Eventide’s point when he noticed just how out of breath he already was. Eventide set Beebee on his shoulder, where the bug promptly slumped down to rest, using his forelegs to hang on while his rear legs dangled off the back.

    “There we go,” Eventide said quietly to him. “Just rest for a little bit,” He then turned and looked over at Buddha, who was currently laying down next to her food and water bowls, both of which were about half consumed. The golden retriever had been watching them curiously as they interacted, her eyes mainly focused on the now heavily panting Beebee. After a few seconds and a reassuring look from Eventide, though, she concluded all was well before going back to her food and taking a few chomps.

    Eventide breathed in and out, enjoying the newfound quiet.

    Then came a knock on the door.

    ...Welp, there went the quiet.

    Buddha scrambled from her food to run up to the door, and Beebee’s wings were once again buzzing madly, this time right in Eventide’s ear. “It’s Fluttershy, it’s Fluttershy!” Beebee exclaimed eagerly, jabbing his hoof at the door.

    “Well, at least he had the foresight to not leave my shoulder,” Eventide mused before lifting Beebee from his shoulder and set him down on the floor. “Probably, but let’s not take any chances. Get to my room and wait for me to call you,” he instructed firmly while pointing towards his room.

    Beebee pouted but did as he was told, running off to hide in the bedroom. Eventide gave a nod to himself, then walked over to the door. “Okay, Buddha, move aside,” he said, nudging the dog to one side while grasping the handle and opening the door. Sure enough, there was Fluttershy, looking back at him with a large smile on her face.

    “Hey! Sorry, it took me so long to come. Had to say bye to someone,” she said before looking down at Buddha and kneeling down to give the excited and slobbering dog a few pets. “Hello, Buddha! How are you, girl? Oh, Who’s a good girl?”


    “That’s right! It’s you!”

    Eventide chuckled and back up, allowing Fluttershy to enter the home once she was done petting Buddha. Closing the door behind her, Eventide than turned back to look down the hall. “Okay, Beebee! It’s safe! Come on out!” he called happily.

    The summons were answered immediately. Like a rocket, Beebee did as he was told shooting out of the bedroom, across the living room, and right into Fluttershy’s chest. The impact carried enough force to tear a gasp out of Fluttershy and force her to stumble back a few steps. She thumped into the door and leaned against it for support, managing to wrap her arms around Beebee in a tight hug. With a slight wince, she looked down at him and gave a large, friendly smile. “And it’s good to see you, too, Beebee!”

    Beebee beamed up at her for a moment, his eyes alight with joy at seeing his favorite aunt while his wings buzzed excitedly on his back. “Hey, Fluttershy! We saw the light show, and the school exploded, and now everything is so bright and tasty, and I’ve never felt so full!” he announced in one, long, uninterrupted stream before remembering that little thing called breathing. He took in a deep breath, trying to relax. Then, with a weak exclamation, his muscles gave out on him, and he all but fell limp in her arms.

    Fluttershy kept him from falling, thankfully, lifting him back up and holding him to her chest with a small frown. “Oh, Beebee… did you wear yourself out again?” she asked sympathetically.

    “Uh-huh…” Beebee quietly mumbled before snorting in dissatisfaction. “I hate being tired… I wanna fly more!”

    “I know,” Fluttershy said soothingly, giving Beebee a few gentle pats on the back of the head before gingerly handing the little guy back to Eventide. “But you can’t right now. You’re still really skinny.”

    Beebee huffed but otherwise said nothing. Eventide took him, and with slow and cautious movements, got Beebee back onto his shoulder. With that, he locked gazes with Fluttershy and smiled. “He’ll be okay.”

    “Oh, I imagine so. He’s got you to take care of him,” Fluttershy replied with confidence before clasping both her hands behind her back, her expression turning a touch more serious. “So, everything’s fine here?”

    “Yeah, Beebee stopped being sick at about the same time the lights flared up. What was all of that, anyway?” Eventide ventured curiously, his attention briefly shifting to look at Beebee.

    Fluttershy’s eyes flicked between Eventide and the nymph on his shoulder a few times before she answered. “Uh, well, you remember how Sunset turned into a giant she-demon a ways back?” she asked hesitantly, her hands beginning to nervously fidget behind her back.

    Eventide nodded. “Yeah… you still haven’t told me why that happened. Or why you had wings that night,” he said slowly, noting Fluttershy’s sudden nervousness. “Hey… are you okay?”

    “I’m fine!” Fluttershy quickly blurted, a large smile growing on her face. It was clearly strained. “Anyways, uh…” her eyes drifted to and locked onto Beebee, who was now watching her with wide, confused eyes.

    “...Why are you so afraid?” Beebee suddenly asked, drawing Eventide’s attention. Once he noticed the confused looks he was getting, he took a breath and clarified. “I mean, there’s a lot of purple and black around you. I think it means you’re scared of something…” he cringed and shifted back a bit, his tongue sticking out. “Dada usually turns purple and black whenever I do something bad that gets me hurt, or whenever I get sick or tired. I don’t like it. It tastes bad…”

    Eventide observed Beebee for a second more, considering his words, then turned to look at Fluttershy. She flinched back from his searching gaze, looking genuinely distressed and anxious about something. “Fluttershy, what’s wrong?” he pressed in a tender voice and took a step forward. To his surprise, Fluttershy took an uneasy step back, her eyes no longer able to meet his.

    “It’s… it’s nothing,” she said in a quiet, quivering voice that was barely audible. She shrank back, her hair falling in front of her face to hide her. She went completely still as if she were hiding from a large, angry animal. In turn, Eventide took a slow step back.

    “It doesn’t seem like nothing,” He observed in a soft and reassuring tone. “Fluttershy, it’s okay. You can tell me what’s wrong.”

    She shook her head, one of her teal eyes becoming visible again. “Um… I…”

    “Dada” Beebee suddenly interjected, poking Eventide in the face with a hoof. “It’s getting worse. I think you’re scaring her.”

    Eventide blinked in surprise and took another few steps back. He watched Fluttershy for a few more seconds, and he had to guiltily admit that Beebee was probably right. He gave off a quiet sigh and held up his hands in a disarming gesture. “I’m sorry, Fluttershy… I shouldn’t have pressured you like that. If you don’t want to talk about it, I won’t force you. But… I’m happy to listen if you need me to.”

Fluttershy gave a wordless mumble of gratitude, slowly emerging from behind her hair. “Thank you… that means a lot… but it’s nothing too serious, don’t worry,” she said softly before taking a deep breath. “Now, uhm… about the light show and Sunset turning into a demon… to cut a long story short, the light show you saw last night was an extension of when Sunset turned into a big demon.

“We’ve, uh… well, actual, real magic has become a thing around CHS, and Sunset started using it first. It messed with her head, made her worse than usual, and turned her into the demon you saw. Some other people who can use magic, called the Sirens, saw it when the school exploded six months ago, and recently began trying to steal all of the magic at CHS for themselves. They did this by using their own magic to spread anger, hatred, and more. They fed off of that negativity, and got more powerful the longer it went on. The light show last night was my friends and I stopping them at the last performance of the Battle of the Bands.”

    Fluttershy finished recounting her story, then looked down at the ground. Everyone was quiet for several moments as Eventide and Bee processed this information. They watched Fluttershy, scrutinizing her in surprise. Well… that was quite the infodump. Magic? Magic duels? Sirens? If he hadn’t seen it with his own eyes, or if Beebee wasn’t in his life, he might have claimed she was lying.

    But his son was a small emotion-eating bug horse.

    Eventide gave a nod and a smile. “Alright… was anybody hurt?”

    “No, but the people trying to steal our magic got away. They’re powerless now, though, so don’t worry about them,” Fluttershy assured, a genuine smile on her face this time. Then her expression turned to one of confusion, and she tilted her head. “Wait… you believe me?”

    Eventide jabbed a thumb at Beebee. “Look at my son.”

    Fluttershy couldn’t help but give a small snort of amusement, conceding his point.

    Beebee’s wings twitched on his back, and he tilted his head to go along with an inquisitive chitter. “So… were you afraid we wouldn’t believe you?” he asked curiously, drawing both of their attention. He squirmed a bit and elaborated. “I mean, whenever someone on T.V says they saw a big monster or magic or something, nobody believes them. Dada never believes me when I tell him about the monster in my wall…”

    “Because it’s a pipe, not a monster,” Eventide recited with a roll of his eyes.

    Fluttershy gave a slow nod at Beebee and visibly relaxed. “Uh, yes! Yes, I was scared you’d think I was making it up… or that I’d gone insane. Kinda silly, I guess, since you, uh, you know… saw it all happen,” she mumbled, one of the long locks of her pink hair falling to conceal her face.

    Eventide shrugged. “I mean, my son is a bug horse that hatched from a green egg that I found under a tree three months before the high school across the street from me was blown up by a gigantic she-demon. And he lit my bed on fire once with his face. I’m prepared to believe just about anything at this point.”

    “Wait, I did?” Beebee asked, surprised.

    Fluttershy giggled at the two, turning her face down. “I guess you’ve got a point, there… Sorry. I was being stupid.”

    “You were being shy and unsure of yourself,” Eventide corrected her gently. He came forward and put a hand on her shoulder. “You’re fine, Fluttershy.”

She gave him one more appreciative smile. “Thank you...” she said before glancing over her shoulder. “Well… anyways, I should probably go and get back to the others. We’re supposed to be going into town soon to celebrate, and I’m already holding them up to talk to you.”

    Eventide raised an eyebrow, then nodded. “Uh, sure, go ahead. Thanks for filling us in, though I’d like more details later if that’s okay.”

    “Of course,” Fluttershy assured, punctuating her sentence by reaching out with a finger to poke Beebee on the nose. The bug immediately went cross-eyed, then glared indignantly at the offending appendage as if it had committed a mortal sin. Again, Fluttershy giggled, then turned for the door. “Bye, you three. And good luck on the job hunt, Eventide!”

    With that, Eventide slapped a hand to his forehead. “Shoot! I totally forgot about that!” he yelped before giving an appreciative look. “Thanks for the reminder. I should probably get on that.”

    Fluttershy nodded, then stepped out through the door.