• Published 1st Jul 2014
  • 3,048 Views, 359 Comments

Foal Fever - Distaff Pope

With a filly on the way, Vinyl's started dreaming about her glory days as Equestria's premier DJ. A mysterious potion offers her a chance to feel young again, and with Vinyl's youth restored, Octavia's pregnancy is suddenly a lot

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5. Bad for Business (Octavia)

“Lyra Heartstrings, open the door this instant!” I yelled as I pounded on our former neighbor’s door. Of course there was no response, this was just going to be one of those days where nothing went my way. My wife regresses back to being a teenager because of some sort of midlife crisis, Twilight says there’s no easy way to get her back to normal, I have to turn down Vinyl’s advances because she is suddenly substantially younger than me (or at least appears to be), and now I can’t find Lyra to take me to the shop where Vinyl bought the infernal potion. Thankfully, I happened to know for a fact that Lyra and Bon-Bon don’t make a habit of locking their doors, and while I don’t typically take advantage of that fact, today I felt like making an exception.

The first floor of the house was empty, although there were more than a dozen coffee cups on the kitchen counter, meaning Lyra was either on one of her truly legendary caffeine kicks or she was sleeping it off. Hopefully the former, because if she was asleep, there was no way I could rouse her, and with shops closing so soon, that meant another day of not beating the merchant who sold Vinyl the potion to a bloody pulp – although I suppose if she was willing to cooperate, I might find some other way of working out my frustrations. I headed downstairs, careful to announce my presence this time. “Lyra! Are you down there?”

“Hay Tavi!” she said. “What’s up? Is everything okay? How is Vinyl?” The questions were rapid fire and I barely had time to process them as I descended to the basement. Once I reached the bottom landing, I saw Lyra wrapping magical energies around an amulet and for reasons that I would prefer not to know, there was a monkey’s paw next to her, resting safely on the workbench, its two biggest fingers curled up.

“Vinyl turned herself back into a teenager. That should answer all of your questions satisfactorily,” I said, walking up to her. “Now come on, I want to go find whoever sold Vinyl the potion and… I don’t know what I’m going to do when I find her.”

“Interesting,” Lyra said, mumbling to herself. “Is Vinyl regressing an attempt at corruption or the logical continuation of the wish?”

“What?” I asked, staring at her in obvious confusion.

She smiled and shook her head. “Nothing! Just being absurd and talking out loud, nothing important.”

“Lyra, is there something you aren’t telling me?” I asked, my confused look slowly shifting into a stare.

“Nope, not at all. Everything is totally fine, let’s go find Trixie,” she said, floating her saddlebags over to her and putting the locket inside.

“Trixie?” I asked as she headed towards the stairs. “Why does that name sound so familiar?”

“Well,” she said, laughing, “do you remember that cruise a few years ago?”

I nodded.

“And do you remember that magician girl you tried to sleep with.”

I nodded as my stomach suddenly turned to lead.

“Then you remember Trixie. I’m sure you two will have plenty to catch up on,” she said, opening her front door.

“Could this–” I cut myself off before completing the invocation of tempting fate. I’d already made that mistake once in the past two days, doing it again would just be reckless. “Of course I get to run into her again. That’s just… of course the stage musician I tried to sleep with five years ago sold my wife the potion that turned her back into a teenager. The alternative would just be silly.”

“Yeah,” Lyra said laughing, “Funny how small a world it can be. It’s like everypony comes to Ponyville. Ooh! That reminds me, have I shared my theory about how Ponyville is a chaos nexus with you yet?”

“No,” I said, shaking my head, “but after two weeks of living in this town, I developed a very similar theory.”

“Right!” Lyra said, slowing down her pace to walk next to me as we headed towards the market on the outskirts of town. “I think watching all that crazy stuff happen to you planted the seed, but then the more I thought about it, the weirder the town became. First, all six of the element bearers live here. I suppose they’d have to live somewhere, but that somewhere being Ponyville is so statistically unlikely that it borders on impossibility. I guess that explains some of the more improbable things in this town, like Nightmare Moon first appearing here and Discord making this his chaos capital of the world, but there are other odd things. Luna basing her orchestra and her school here could be explained by her affinity for this town, but there are so many little things, like all the stuff that happens to you.”

She rubbed her forehead. “Yes, all of these incidents on their own are explainable, but in aggregate, the whole thing just stops making sense, you know?”

“If you’re arguing that this town makes absolutely zero sense, you don’t have to work hard to convince me. I’ve been saying that for years, and everypony just thought I was crazy,” I laughed as we continued our walk.

“And you were right. I mean, you’re still kind of crazy, you were on seven different medications up until a year ago, but you weren’t wrong! You were probably completely right about this town having some sort of intelligence that enjoyed messing with your life. I’m testing that theory now.”

“How are you testing it?” I asked, feeling the familiar tingle of worry up my spine. Lyra meant well, but I could easily see this ending with the entire town in flames… or turned into humans. With her, either is probable, and the latter is more likely.

“Can’t say too much without risking contaminated results, but I can say that I am observing events to see if they seem to form a proper narrative.”

“Does this have something to do with the pie gene?” I asked as we walked past the first of the travelling stalls, where a merchant offered signed Daring Do books.

“Maybe. Yes, but not quite in the way you’re thinking. I’ll explain when I have more data.”

“Please don’t,” I said with a sigh, “I’d prefer to keep what sanity I have intact and not go back on my medications. I’ve already taken more than enough for one lifetime.”

“Ooh! Right, I completely forgot the doctors said you were okay to go off your meds… Well, I suppose they kind of tapered you off as opposed to completely cutting you off, but… how are you? Doing, going off meds, I mean.”

“Besides today’s events, I am fine, I can even drink again, or at least, I could if not for the fact I am pregnant. Perhaps I might be able to drink one day without something terrible happening. Perhaps. I’m not particularly hopeful though.”

Lyra nodded her head as I spoke, guiding me to a nearby tent. “We should totally have a few drinks after you’ve delivered. I think you will need it.” She laughed at that as we approached a blue tent with an equally blue unicorn standing in front of it.

“Come and behold the arcane knowledge possessed by the Mysterious and Magical–” Trixie stopped as she saw Lyra and me approaching her. “Dr. Heartstrings, do you have the amulet? We will be leaving in a few days and it would truly be a privilege to have such an artifact in my shop.”

“Sure do,” she said, floating the amulet out of her bag. “And hey, Tavi here has a few questions for you, nothing big but she wants to know a bit about that potion you gave Vinyl yesterday.”

“Yes?” she asked, turning to look at me. “What do you wish to know about the Magnificent and Mystical Trixie’s potion? Is it not wonderful?”

“Actually, it isn’t,” I said, looking at her. “My wife turned herself back into a teenager.”

“She did? Then she is found in violation of the Great and Powerful Liability Contract, making Trixie exempt from any wrongdoing, malfeasance, or misuse on the part on the part of the customer. No legal action against Trixie can be pursued at this time.”

I sighed and rubbed my forehead. “I don’t want to sue you, I just want to know how to get Vinyl back to normal. That’s all, and I thought that since you sold the potion, you might be able to offer me some assistance.”

Trixie tapped her chin in thought before responding. “Yes, the Great and Powerful Trixie can offer you some assistance. In fact, I know just the potion you need.”

“Wonderful,” I said, feeling a smile immediately form on my face. “Then I’ll just purchase it and be on my way, for a while I was worried that this issue might take some time to resolve.”

“I said I know of the potion you need. I never said I had it in stock or that it was easily obtainable. To possess it, I will need to travel to the furthest corner of Neighpon, find the ancient brew masters of old, wait a month while they brew the potion, and then travel back to Equestria within a week so that the potion doesn’t lose potency. Doing so would cost a very large amount of bits on Trixie’s part, and even if I was working at cost, it would be no less than 800,000 bits. Throw in the amount of potential business lost, and the price more than triples.” My nascent good mood was smothered in its crib at her explanation. “While I do sympathize with you, the potion’s effects are not permanent, and your wife should eventually mature with the passing of time.”

“So there’s nothing you can do?” I asked, frowning as she glanced at several ponies walking by. “No other assistance you can offer?”

“I’m afraid not, but I will look through some of the more obscure tomes of lore I have collected and see if there is some knowledge the Magnificent and Mystical Trixie can glean.”

“Thank you,” I said, giving a defeated groan. “Then I suppose I should get back to figuring out how in Equestria I am going to deal with a teenaged wife until a way to fix the problem appears. It’s…” I shook my head, “I’m sorry, how very rude of me to complain about my personal life in front of you. If you will excuse me, I need to pick my wife up and make sure she doesn’t do anything else monumentally stupid today.”

“Of course,” Trixie said, giving a little flourish as I turned away. “As a sign of the Mysterious and Mystic Trixie’s sympathies, all items in the emporium are 20… no, 30% off for you. Trixie hopes she can count on your patronage in the future.” Because when I want to go out shopping, I go to the shop that turned my wife into a teenager, I thought as I headed back to Twilight’s castle.


“I still don’t see what the big issue is,” Vinyl asked as we headed back to the house. “Being young is awesome, I don’t know why you got upset when I said you should take a couple of sips of the potion to relax, and be young and cool again.”

“Because first of all, I’m only twenty-five, and more importantly… Do I really need to go through the whole list of reasons why me drinking the potion is a bad idea?”

Vinyl rolled her eyes. “No Mom. So, are you just going to lecture me all day? I mean, can’t we have a little bit of fun?”

I stared at her in utter and complete horror. First, she called me mom, presumably jokingly, and then in the same breath, she tried to proposition me. How is that even… I’m assuming I’m not alone in thinking that that is in particularly bad taste. “Vinyl,” I said, trying to collect my thoughts, “please think for a moment about everything that is wrong with your last statement, and then think about why I’m turning down your… generous offer.”

“Okay, so I called you mom,” she said as we walked, familiar faces glancing at us and presumably wondering just why my wife looked so much younger than usual, “but it’s like… you have been particularly mom-ish today. Maybe all those pregnancy hormones are getting your mom instincts fired up and ready to go.”

“Or maybe it’s the fact that my wife insists on acting like a foal. You’ve been acting like an utter child all day, and your treatment of me has fluctuated wildly between making fun of my ‘stuffiness’ and attempting to seduce me, so you will pardon me for not being instantly wooed by behavior that is just so schizophrenic.”

“And you’d know about that wouldn’t you?” she mumbled.

I swiveled my head around to glare at her as pain and rage vied for supremacy. “Excuse me, Vinyl, I don’t believe I heard that.”

She matched my glare with her own. “I said, you’d know about crazy. I mean, you’d have to with all the different meds you’ve been on, your little episodes, and let’s not forget the way you talk like your entire life should be a story. You are crazy, but I put up with it because I love you.”

“I’m sorry, Vinyl, are you trying to get at some larger point here? Because if so, it’s lost on me,” I said, struggling to keep my temper in check.

Vinyl frowned and the anger melted out of her eyes. For a second, she looked almost like her normal self. “All I’m trying to say is that I’ve done a lot to help you, and now it’s… I just want you to support me.”

“Of course, I support you,” I said as we started walking again. “That’s what I’ve been doing all day, trying to support you.”

“No,” she said as condescension reentered her voice, “you’ve been trying to fix me. You haven’t been even a little bit happy for me. What if I want to stay like this?”

“Then…” I frowned. The real her wouldn’t, the real her was a mature responsible adult. What I was talking to was a version of her whose priorities had been altered. Listening to her would be as pointless as listening to a pony who had been affected by changeling venom. She had helped me recover after that terrible incident, and now I would return the favor, whether she liked it or not. “You don’t,” I said. “At least, the real you doesn’t. Believe me, I know how confusing it is to be under the effect of mind-altering magic, and I promise that I will help you.”

“Uhmm… yeah, the only mind-altering magic that is affecting me is hormones, and all they’re doing is reminding me of how awesome being a teenager again is,” she said as I opened the door to our house.

That was a terrifying thought, that the only thing responsible for Vinyl’s sudden shift in personality was hormones. Of course, I suppose I couldn’t cast too many stones, as I woke up terrified last night that Vinyl had left me and couldn’t stop sobbing even after I found her sleeping in her workroom. It was a small miracle I had managed to exhibit such a tight control over myself today, and there was one point where reason had almost entirely left me and I succumbed to Vinyl’s advances. Thankfully, I managed to persevere in spite of my weaknesses. “Alright,” I said after several calming breaths. “We can talk about this later, I just need some time to think.”

“I can give you that,” she said before kissing the sensitive spot on my neck. “Why don’t the two of us go and do some thinking in bed.”

There was a second where all my pent-up frustrations from the day melted away and I found myself dreaming of how wonderful being intimate with my wife would be. She was still my wife, what harm would there be in having another night like last night and – a soft sigh escaped my lips – enjoying my life. Maybe Vinyl was right and I am a bit too uptight. So what if she was a teenager now?

The word ‘teenager’ shook me out of my reverie and I pulled away from Vinyl. She wasn’t her proper self, and taking advantage of that fact would both be morally wrong and might damage her trust in me once she was returned to normal. “I- I’m sorry,” I said, the words getting caught in my throat, “I can’t, not until my thoughts on the matter are properly sorted out.”

“Really?” she asked, rubbing her cheek against my flank, making me grateful that we were currently inside our own home where no passers-by could see such a brazen display. “Because all this heat I’m feeling is telling me exactly how you feel. Stop trying to convince yourself otherwise.” She kissed my cutie mark, slowly moving upwards until she was nibbling on my ear. My body shivered with pleasure, and I wanted nothing more than to–

Stop it, I thought, trying not to fall prey to the tyranny of hormones. I was still in control, I could still make responsible decisions, and even though I found myself fantasizing about having so much sex with Vinyl that we burned a hole in the couch, I would not give in to my baser impulses.

“I can’t. I need… I need to go for a walk, I’ll see you in a while,” she frowned at me as I spoke. “I think I will sleep on the couch tonight as well.” Before she could make a response, I walked back outside and closed the door. For some reason, she didn’t try to follow me, and I was incredibly grateful for that small mercy.

The next few hours were spent wandering around Ponyville while I worked to collect my thoughts on the issue at hoof. I still deeply loved Vinyl, and I need not delve any further in explaining how pregnancy hormones affected my feelings for her. Of course, they also affected my ability to think clearly, or even just figure out what I was actually feeling. I haven’t cried this much since I first moved to Ponyville – and at least then, I actually had things to cry about. Now, I’d sob for an hour if the paper was ten minutes late. Trying to sort out just what I thought about Vinyl becoming a teenager was virtually impossible.

Despite her lapse in judgment and current idiocy, she was still Vinyl Scratch. She was still my wife. She was still the mare who had supported me through impossible things more times than I could count. The fact that I would support her now was never in question; the only thing I wasn’t sure of was just how that support would manifest. Would indulging her strange fantasy that being young was wonderful serve to hurt or help the situation? Was she under some mind-altering magic, despite protestations to the contrary? Would she be upset with me for playing along when the potion was finally dispelled? Could the potion be properly dispelled? If not, could we continue our relationship with her being a teenager? Could I raise a filly and keep an eye on Vinyl Scratch at the same time? Would I actually have to parent Vinyl and deal with her moodiness?

None of those questions were answered while I walked, and I came back to the house feeling worse than when I had left, a feeling that was only compounded when I opened the door to find my wife sitting on the couch and glaring at me.

Whatever was about to happen, I highly doubted it was going to be a pleasant experience.

Author's Note:

Hope you enjoyed your 4th of July, Americans, and as for everybody else, I hope you all had a great day as well.