Pounds For Pumpkins
Warden Eldorado was a mess.
Curled up in a ball on the soft bed, she couldn't keep the tears from streaming down her face. Her hat was long discarded, the striped beanie thrown carelessly to the floor.
“S-Stupid emotions,” she choked out. “Stupid memories...”
She could see him in her mind's eye, almost like it was yesterday. His silver coat shone with blue not unlike her own, his snow white mane cast back in a wind-swept manner. His eyes held no irises, and at first thy were scary, but...
His soft, goofy smile. His long, slender legs that used to hold her, with a hidden strength that she could only be in awe of.
And what he was. What he was... she still couldn't wrap her mind over it, even two years later.
The horn on his head lit up, and for a moment he was there, right in front of her, with her, back. His silly little callick, with a sky blue tip, hung over his muzzle. She smiled weakly as he flashed his cheeky grin. She could see the sharp tips of his canines, betraying his ethereal truth. He was bigger than she was, bird chested but not huge. Anything but, in fact. Very slender, befitting his athletic lifestyle.
He looked just as he did the last time she saw him, back in Onyx...
She blinked, and with that, he disappeared.
He disappeared, but Waldo was not alone.
“Waldo?” Pound asked carefully, his voice soft.
He was standing right where she'd imagined... him... and she had to blink again.
He really was just like him. A pegasus instead of a unicorn, and with a completely different colour scheme and mane style, but...
He reminded her of her lover, so much. So very much that it hurt. She felt the tears welling up in her eyes, not even realizing she'd stopped crying moments ago.
“Waldo?” he asked again.
Celestia, now he even sounds like he did...
Waldo felt herself curl up tighter, and she hid her face with a leg. She couldn't believe what her mind was doing to her.
Her face burned a deep scarlet as she felt a weight press down next to her on the bed, and she knew that Pound had climbed in next to her. To another, it might have been surprising to say the least for another pony to join her on a bed, but this was Pound.
She hated to admit it, but the dork was probably the closest thing she had to a friend right then. Pipsqueak and Skyfire, too, but Pound...
He gave her a chance, every time she did something stupid. She doubted he even realized she messed up most of the time, but it wasn't out of ignorance. He obviously cared about her, and she just couldn't understand why. He had Pumpkin, what was he doing giving concern to another mare?
“Waldo,” Pound repeated, carefully setting a hoof against Waldo's back, right between her shoulder blades.
A quick spasm shot through Waldo, and she could not control herself as she gasped lightly under his touch.
Stupid hormones, she spat to herself.
Pound looked over to Pumpkin, who was in the doorway. He gave her a nod, letting her know that he had this. She paused for a moment, a look of concern briefly flashing across her face, before nodding back. She trusted him. It's not like he would do anything stupid or thoughtless, after all. The poor mare before him was drunk and confused. There was no way he would even think of taking advantage of her.
Pumpkin left the doorway, heading to her own room. As Pound stayed with Waldo, Pumpkin crawled into bed and very quickly drifted off into sweet dreams of her beloved.
“Can we... talk about this?” he asked.
She laughed before she even had time to think.
“About what, Pound?”
Pound rolled his eyes before waving over her distressed form with an idle hoof.
“The fact that you're in hysterics right now. I spent how long living in the same tent with you?”
Pound let himself snort.
“Something is bothering you, and I want to help.”
Waldo let out a dry laugh, refusing to move her face from beneath her leg.
“Oh yeah? How could you help? You've already done plenty.”
Waldo expected him to chastise her, but instead let out a sharp moan as he ran his hoof in a small circle between her shoulder blades. He pressed with the perfect level of pressure.
“Waldo, you know exactly what I mean here. You're distraught over... something, and I won't feign ignorance. I'm pretty sure part, if not most of it, has plenty to do with me.”
Waldo giggled, mind scrambling with ideas. Her inebriated state, even after the “help” Pumpkin had given her earlier, was not helping matters. At all.
“Yep, plenty. Lots to do with you,” she nodded. She then mentally punched herself.
What are you saying?! she yelled at herself. Shut up!
“Nope,” she responded to herself. “Don't wanna.”
Pound looked to the side, cocking an eyebrow as he cast his eyes around the room. Who was she talking to? They were the only two in the room-
“Uh, Waldo? Who are you talking to?”
Waldo gave Pound a look, only to double-take.
“Who do you think? Warden and I are having a wonderful conversation here!”
Pound rubs the back of his neck awkwardly.
“Warden? Isn't that... you?”
Waldo lets out a high-pitched giggle, scoffing as though he'd just said the most obvious thing in the world. Which, truth be told, he kind of did.
“Well duh, silly!” she barked.
Pound gave Waldo a curious look.
“Waldo, you're acting very drunk. Is the potion Pumpkin gave you working?”
Waldo nodded vigorously.
“Yeah, it is! It's working really good!”
Pound floundered as he tried to understand what was wrong with Waldo. He slowly started backing away.
“Uh, Waldo? Maybe we can finish this chat tomorrow...”
Waldo reached out and hooked a leg around Pound's.
“Nu-uh, I don't wanna.”
Pound froze. Her voice way waaay to cheerful.
“Well, I think we should continue this conversation tomorrow. No offense, but you're kind of all over the place. Not to mention still obviously drunk.”
“I'm not drunk! I would know if I was drunk. And right now, I am certainly NOT drunk.”
With that, Waldo nodded confidently, sure of herself.
Pound let himself laugh nervously.
“Oh yeah? Then how did you go from crying your eyes out moments ago to being all bubbly like this? You're never this enthusiastic.”
“Isn't that the same as being drunk?”
“Nope, it's more fancy. Totally different thing.”
Waldo growled before pulling Pound down to her level.
“Look buster, I can't help it if you are just as cute as he was!”
Well, now we are getting somewhe- she just called me cute. Shit.
“It really doesn't help that you just can't leave me alone, either!” she huffed.
Pound gaped. “I don't leave you al- we were in BMT! I couldn't just leave you alone! We were part of the same training squad!”
She turned her nose away.
“Still not an excuse.”
Pound grimaced. This mare was a hoofful.
“Look, you're still... intoxicated, right now, so I'll come back in the morning.”
He made a move to climb out of the bed, but-
Waldo's grasp on his leg held firm. He looked back at the mare.
“Waldo, I'm seri-”
Waldo was looking away. The bubbly sound in her voice was gone, leaving a hollow plead.
Pound glanced at the door. He really wanted to just go, finish this in the morning. But...
“Please...” Waldo whimpered.
He sighed. Why did he have to be such a nice guy?
Remaining where he was, he took Waldo's hoof within his own.
“I wanted to talk with you,” he tried to explain. “You're... concerning me, Waldo. Scaring me. I'm worried.”
Waldo murmured something incoherent.
“Come again?” Pound asked.
“One more time?”
Waldo swallowed hard, her mind slowing down.
“... Why are you... so worried about me...”
Pound gave a weak chuckle. At least now she was willing to talk.
“Because you're my friend. I think it's safe to say that, in the short time we've known each other, we've been through quite a bit.”
Pound brushed his hoof along Waldo's.
Waldo shivered against his touch.
Pound looked at her in surprise.
Waldo wrenched her hoof from his grasp.
“You're an idiot!” she barked, turning away.
You just got her to start talking, and now she's trying to close up again! Do something!
“Waldo-” Pound said, reaching for her shoulder. As soon as he touched her, though, he felt it.
She was crying again.
“Why do y-you...” she sniffled. “Have to r-remind me of him so much...”
Pound let his hoof linger on her shoulder. He sighed. This was a... delicate road, to say the least. Should he press on and risk locking her up? Or turn away and let her sort it out herself.
No, I need to confront this now, he decided.
“Waldo... who do I remind you of?”
Waldo laughed throatily, almost choking on a few tears.
“Oh, nopony,” she practically sang. “Just a pony I knew a couple years ago, a pony I was absolutely crazy about. You aren't him, though.”
Pound waited. She had more to say.
So he waited.
… and waited...
Aha! There she was!
“You... you're a lot like he was...”
Waldo laughed softly, wiping at her tears.
“But I'm sure I'm just saying that because I'm drunk.”
Pound cracked a grin.
“Well, now you're admitting it.”
Waldo held up a hoof.
“Save me the humor. I'm perfectly sensible right now, just very... emotional.”
The pegasus nodded in understanding. “I get it if you don't want to talk about certain hings, but... you're obviously a mess right now. Can't I... Can't you tell me anything?”
Waldo chewed on her bottom lip.
Well, there is a few things I wouldn't really mind sharing with him...
She took a deep breath in. “I suppose I could... give you an idea of... whats going on-”
She lightly tapped her forehead.
She turned so her body was facing Pound. She curled back, tucking her knees under her chin, resting her head on her legs.
“Where do I begin...” she wondered aloud. Her mind felt wide open. The potion Pumpkin had given her earlier must have started kicking in.
“Well, uh... I used to... like this colt.”
“I noticed,” Pound commented. Waldo shot him a sour look.
“Sorry,” he apologized.
“Anyways, he was... just like you. Like, you could be a clone of him, if you had a horn instead of wings!”
She shot her hooves out in exasperation.
Pound cocked his eyebrow.
“So he's tan?”
“No, I mean...” she sighed.
“You act just like he did. And I thought I'd managed to forget about him, but...”
She cast a teary eye towards Pound.
“Then I met you. And it's the same thing all over again.”
Pound gulped. He had figured it was... something like that, but hearing it from her...
“Waldo, I... how do I say this...”
Waldo held up a hoof, halting him.
“You don't need to say anything. Now that the stuff Pumpkin gave me is kicking in, I can think a bit clearer now.”
She waved him away.
“Don't worry about anything. In fact, I'd rather you forgot what I said tonight. It's... for the best.”
She looked sadly down to her side.
“Besides, your sister needs you much more than I do.”
Pound grimaced. His heart wanted to reach out for the mare in front of him, but...
Waldo laughed ironically.
“Go. Please leave me.”
“Waldo...” he started, but she wheeled to face him. She was angry.
“I said go!”
Pound swallowed hard, but slowly did as he was told. He left the room, closing the door behind him.
As soon as the room was shut off, Waldo collapsed in a heap, fresh tears springing into her eyes.
“Why'd you have to do that, Warden?”
She choked out a sob as she slowly drifted off towards a eventual hangover.