• Published 1st Jul 2014
  • 2,448 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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7. Lost and Found (Octavia)

I sat and stared at the door.

And stared.

And stared.

A voice in my head screamed at me for not going after Vinyl and apologizing, but it felt as if my entire body had gone completely numb, leaving me unable to so much as lift a hoof to go after her. I couldn’t even convince my mouth to form words. This was it, we’d never fought like this before. We had argued, certainly – a couple cannot be married for four years without having at least a few quarrels – but this was the first one I would actually qualify as a fight, less a disagreement between two parties interested in a mutually agreeable resolution, and more a verbal assault designed to cause pain in the opponent. At least, Vinyl had seen it as a fight. For me, it was more a massacre, the slaughter of an army unprepared for the brutal combat it would be facing. When the smoke had cleared, I found myself staring at nothing, trying to process just what had happened.

Funny, I thought, for some reason, I’m not crying. I cried over almost anything these past few months, but this… this just left me feeling nothing, as if I was a spectator, watching the events of my life unfold with no control over them. I wanted to go after Vinyl, to apologize, to do anything I could to mend this rift that had appeared between us, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t do anything. I just sat and stared and waited, hoping she would return soon. The hours continued to drag on, and I found myself moving to lay down on the seat cushions and make myself comfortable. I glanced at the clock. Eleven at night. I yawned. She would be back any minute, I just had to stay up for it…

***

I opened my eyes as the first rays of sunlight filled the room while a hoof poked at me. “Miss Octavia, you really should not be sleeping on the couch in your condition. I insist you get to your bed at once.”

“But Vinyl’s in there, and I don’t want to face her yet. Not after our fight last night,” I said, yawning to dispel the lingering traces of sleep clouding my mind.

“Ah yes, I believe I heard the tail end of that. I dare say your neighbors might have as well. Would you care to explain what happened? Perhaps I can offer some advice on the subject,” he said, sitting across from me. “As a butler to your parents, I was witness to a multitude of fights in my time, and I dare say I’m now rather knowledgeable on such things.”

“Very well,” I said, sighing as I called to mind all of yesterday’s events. “It’s a rather long story though, and parts of it strain credulity.” He nodded as I began relating all of the events yesterday that led up to the fight.

“I don’t think your parents ever had that particular fight,” he said as I finished my story. “Still, I might have some advice I can give. In fact, I spent some time in Neighpon after the Great Equestrian War. Lovely ponies, and their knowledge of potion crafting rivals that of the zebras.”

“Really?” I asked, shocked at his revelation. “You spent time in Neighpon? I had always assumed you were a butler your entire life, although in hindsight, I suppose that was rather silly of me. Of course you had a life before you were a butler.”

He nodded at me and smiled. “Indeed I did. I even spent some time with the ancient brew masters, seeking a place where both mind and body could properly heal. It was there that I started working as a butler; it was my way of repaying them for their kindness for taking me in.” He shook his head, remembering days gone by, while I tried to recall just how long ago the last Great Equestrian War was. Was it sixty or seventy years ago? “The point is that I do know a bit about the potion your wife drank, and would be happy to offer my knowledge.”

“Do you know how to undo its effects?” I asked as soon as he finished talking, hoping he could offer a solution to my problem.

“I’m afraid not,” my childhood butler said. “The potion was used by the monks to prolong their lives, not reverse the effects of time completely. I do know that when a few rather foalish acolytes drank large quantities of the potion in an attempt to live forever, they reverted to foalhood and when I left, they were only a year or so older.”

“So, what you’re saying is that Vinyl might be stuck as a teenager?” I asked, as my hopes were dashed to bits on cold unpleasant truths.

“Not stuck, she will age as the years pass. Of course, I could be mistaken, and the monks do indeed know of a way to reverse the potion’s more unpleasant effects, but simply chose not to as an attempt to teach the acolytes the folly of their actions.”

I nodded, recalling Trixie’s words a few days prior. “If she is going to be stuck like this for an extended period of time, what should I do? I find myself feeling rather lost.” Hopefully after my talk with Woodhoof, I could go to our room and apologize to Vinyl for upsetting her. Even if she had been particularly abrasive, she did have a few valid points last night. Maybe I should have just accepted the new transformation. If it was what she wanted, I’m sure we could find a way to make it work. Just… the idea of sleeping with somepony who looked so much younger than me– No, not just that, the idea of going out on a date with a mare who looked almost half my age, and being judged by other ponies, made my stomach squirm.

Did Vinyl ever have to deal with this? Our age difference was practically unchanged, the only difference being that a pony in their thirties dating a pony in their twenties is much less jarring than a pony in their twenties dating a pony appearing to be in their teens.

“You do have something of a dilemma on your hooves, I admit, but it’s important to remember that she is still the same pony you married. Her judgment might be clouded by her regained youth, but certainly, you are no stranger to how hormones can skew a pony’s judgment,” Woodhoof said, giving me a small smile. He was right, if anypony could understand how quickly hormones can override a pony’s better judgment, it would be me. The last few months had tried both my and Vinyl’s patience, but she had always been there to support me. I took a deep breath, and looked at the stairs. It was time for me to apologize to my wife for my actions last night. Unless I missed my mark terribly, she would feel just as terrible about the things she said last night as I did.

“Vinyl,” I said, knocking on the door to our bedroom, “I want to apologize about last night. Can I come in?” There was no answer, and I knocked again. After several minutes of knocking, I opened the door and was immediately struck by two things. The first and most obvious was that nopony was in our room. The second thing of note was that our bed was still made and Vinyl never made our bed, meaning that nopony had slept in it since yesterday morning, meaning–

I moved downstairs as quickly as I could, which in my current state was a moderately fast waddle. “Woodhoof,” I said as I reached the landing, “did you happen to make our bed this morning?”

“I’m afraid not, Miss Octavia,” he said, still sitting where I had left him. “When I came up to the main level to do my morning cleaning, I found you sleeping on the couch, and woke you up.”

“That means Vinyl didn’t come home last night,” I said, fear gripping my body. “What if she’s hurt? What if something terrible happened while she was gone? I need to find her. Woodhoof, I need you to start searching the town for news of her whereabouts, I am going to try and catch Lyra and Bon-Bon before they head to work, and then we will head out looking for her. Actually, can you run a note to the school explaining that Vinyl will be gone several days due to illness? Do that first and then help me search the town.”

“Of course,” he said, moving to the study to write a note. “I will render whatever services I can to see that Miss Scratch is returned safe and unharmed.”

“Thank you,” I said, heading for the door at my slightly-faster-than-glacial pace. “When is Moldy supposed to come back?”

“Professor Moldeaux will be conferencing with himself in Canterlot until Wednesday.”

“Alright,” I said, finally reaching the door, “so we probably won’t have his assistance. Hopefully we won’t, at least.”

The walk to Lyra and Bon-Bon’s lasted far longer than it needed to, and I found myself wishing I could move faster just so I could talk to somepony and get out of my own head. It was… the fear that something terrible had happened to Vinyl last night wouldn’t leave me alone no matter how much I worked to dispel it. Something could have happened to her; she was a young-looking, attractive mare on the streets at night. If not for the fact that this was the quaint crime-free town of Ponyville, my fears would have been far greater than they currently were. Still, she could be injured, or suffering some other deleterious side effect of the potion.

The door to Lyra and Bon-Bon’s opened as I drew near to it. “Oh, hey,” Lyra said, frowning as she saw me. “Are you here looking for Vinyl?”

I nodded. “How did you know?”

“Well,” she said as she opened the door for me to come in, “I was talking with Bon-Bon this morning over breakfast, and she said she saw a pony who looked almost exactly like a young Vinyl Scratch at the train station last night buying tickets for Canterlot. As soon as I heard that, I figured it was actually just teenaged Vinyl Scratch heading to Canterlot, and thought that was odd because she didn’t mention any plans to head to Canterlot when I saw her Saturday, and it was really odd because I thought for sure you would go with her if she did, so I was heading over to see if you were at home and ask what was up. Then you come here, and I figured something definitely has to be wrong. I took a guess that Vinyl was missing and you just confirmed it.”

“Oh,” I said, suddenly sitting down on a seat cushion. “My wife left town last night after a massive fight. That’s… that’s hardly ominous at all.” This had to be okay, I thought, repeating the mantra over and over to myself. She was still Vinyl, she wouldn’t just abandon me… Like she thought I abandoned her. We had never fought before, and if… what if this was the end of things? Had I just ruined our relationship because of my own stubbornness?

I shook my head, dispelling such thoughts. No, I was Octavia Melody and she was Vinyl Scratch, and I was going to find my wife, apologize, and get her back, while also trying to figure out just how I was going to make my relationship with a pony who had the mind and body of a teenager. Nopony said it was going to be easy; but then, these things never were. “Come on,” I said, smiling at my friends. “We are going to Canterlot to find my wife, and hopefully I can still salvage this situation… somehow.”

Author's Note:

Edited by the wonderful EquesTRON

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