• Published 30th Oct 2011
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Two's Company, Three's a Crowd - Lithe Kamitatsy



One night of fun for a certain musical pair will leave their lives upside down.

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Chapter Fifty-Five

(A/N: I am SO, SO sorry for the late update and the lack of information as to why! I assure you I am fine, and have just been busy preparing for the new school year as well as relaxing during the Christmas/New Years break. I'm sorry for leaving you all hanging for so long, so without further adieu, I give you Chapter Fifty-Five!)

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Rolando sat in the living room, trying to make sense of what he was seeing. Everything seemed much more constricted, much smaller than before. He could feel his heart beating like a drum in his head, sweat threatening to drip off his chin.

Relax...relax...you are not in danger...remember what the therapist told you: Wide, open spaces...

"Wide, open spaces...wide, open spaces..." he repeated to himself as he shut his eyes, desperately trying to get his phobia under control.

"Dear, are you alright?" A voice said, pulling him from his concentration. When he opened his eyes, he nearly jumped out of his skin. Marianna's face had become heavily distorted, her muzzle longer than it should be, her eyes almost bulbous, her nostrils deep pits of endless darkness.

"I...uh..." he stuttered, unable to think of what to say.

"You look ill, are you sure you are okay?" Marianna asked as she took a seat next to him, placing a concerned hoof on his shoulder. Rolando closed his eyes and shook his head slightly, and sighed with relief when Marianna looked as beautiful as the day he had met her.

"Yes, love...I am fine," Rolando said, sharing a quick kiss with her. "...Never better..." he said softly as he looked away, wiping sweat off his forehead.

"What a relief. You looked like you had seen a ghost," Marianna chuckled, grabbing him by the hoof. "Come, we should go sit with the girls," she said as she tried to pull him off the couch...to no avail. "Dear...you have to get up..."

"My...my legs will not respond..." he said softly, his voice trembling slightly as he tried to will his legs to work, but received nothing but tremors in response. "I cannot move my legs..."

"What is wrong, Rolando? What is happening to you?" Marianna asked seriously, looking him in the eyes, very much concerned for his well-being. Rolando recoiled slightly, his pupils shrinking to the size of pinpricks. "...Oh no...I thought you were over this...oh dear, oh dear, oh dear!"

"Mom, what's going on?" Vinyl asked, looking over as Marianna began to tear through her saddlebags, desperately looking for something. "What's wrong with Dad?" she asked again. Marianna looked up for a moment, her eyes showing fear and deep concern.

"Vincenza...I believe your father is having a relapse..." Marianna said in an urgent tone. Vinyl's eyes widened as she swallowed hard.

"I thought he got over that..." Vinyl said softly, trying to think of what to do next.

"Vincenza, I need you to keep your father calm while I look for his medicine..." she said as she frantically dug through her saddlebags, desperately searching for the small pill bottle she carried with her in case a "relapse" ever occurred. To her horror, it was nowhere to be found. "Oh no...oh no oh no oh no..." she said, her searching becoming much more urgent. She tipped the saddlebags over, emptying their contents onto the floor, and staring in shock when she discovered the pill bottle was not among them. "...I must have gotten rid of them after he stopped having the relapses..."

Vinyl felt a chill run up her spine. "...You mean we're all stuck here, and Dad is losing it?!" She then sighed as she tried to think of something to do about the situation, keeping an eye on her father out of the corner of her eye. "...I'll go. Nurse Redheart's clinic has still got to be open- I mean, the blizzard is only starting to kick in, right? If I hurry, I should make it before the worst of the blizzard hits, and Dad'll be back to whatever he thinks is normal," Vinyl reasoned. Octavia swooped in faster than Vinyl could start a new sentence.

"Vinyl, are you out of your MIND!? If you set one HOOF outside, the Royal Guard will arrest you for going against orders! What about the cold? The blizzard may not be in full effect, but it is getting into gear," Octavia said, a look of deep concern in her eyes. "As much as I want Rolando to get better, you cannot just go out there and try to fix things all yourself!"

"Octy, trust me...I can do this," Vinyl said, reassuring her with a nuzzle. "I'll be back soon- besides, I can use my magic to keep myself warm. We unicorns are good for somethings," she winked as she slipped on a scarf. Octavia stared at Vinyl, and sighed, blushing slightly.

"You had better come back safe..." Octavia said softly. Vinyl smiled, and shared a soft kiss with her.

"Duh, who do you think you're talking to?" Vinyl chuckled as she made her way to the door. "Octy...please help my Mom keep my Dad under control while I'm gone. Lyra, Bonnie, please help Octy. She's gonna need it," she said.

"I will do my best, Vinyl..." Octavia said.

"Sure thing, Vinyl. We've got this," Lyra grinned.

"You can count on me Vinyl," Bonbon winked.

"Great...I'll try to get back as soon as I can Mom," Vinyl said. "So what, just standard anti-anxiety medication?"

Marianna continued to dig through her saddlebags when she came across an old prescription that had never been filled out. "Oh dear...that must have been why there were no pills...take this to Nurse Redheart and have her fill it out as soon as possible. Vincenza, please stay safe..." Marianna said, trotting up to her daughter to not only give her the prescription but embrace her tightly. "I would never forgive myself if you got hurt..."

"Don't worry, Mom...I'll be fine, you'll see..." Vinyl smiled, returning the hug. "Good luck Mom."

"Thank you, dear...I will most certainly need it," Marianna said, giving Vinyl a kiss on the forehead. Vinyl then turned to leave, opening the door. A massive surge of cold air burst forth into the room, the temperature dropping almost immediately. Rolando turned to face the door, seeing it wide open.

"Outside...I need out...I NEED OUT!" he yelled, immediately trying to make a break for the door. Marianna stood in his way, Lyra using her magic to hold his legs together as Bonbon held onto his tail, Octavia hurrying Vinyl out.

"Hurry back...please..." Octavia said, sharing one last kiss with Vinyl before shutting the door. Vinyl turned, and began to make her way to the Ponyville General Clinic.

*~*~*~*~*~*

Marianna had managed to subdue Rolando momentarily, using her magic to ease the tension in his mind like the doctor had shown her. "This is only a temporary fix...until he has his medication, he will not calm down..." she explained.

"Why in Equestria is he acting like this? I would have never taken Rolando for a claustrophobic," Octavia said, confused. "I can only wonder what caused something like this- especially to this degree..."

Marianna sighed, keeping partial concentration on the spell. "Lyra, come here for a moment, please." Lyra did as she was told and made her way over to the older couple.

"Yes, Marianna? What do you need?" Lyra asked, willing to help in whatever way she could.

"I am going to teach you how to use the spell. I can feel myself running out of energy...to perform the spell, you must envision the mind of the pony you are affecting, and transfer any calm thoughts you can come up with to the receiver. Can you do that while I recover?" Marianna requested.

"Of course, have a rest," Lyra said. She did as Marianna told her, and focused her magic around Rolando's head, and began to transmit one thought that truly soothed her- her dream of being showered with roses at a performance. Rolando, being a fellow musician, felt the affects as well. His body relaxed slightly, his breathing becoming more regulated and even.

Marianna took a few moments to recoup, and sighed. "As it turns out, Rolando had a horribly traumatizing experience when he was just a colt. I learned this from his father, seeing as he was too afraid of reliving the memory to tell me himself," Marianna explained. "The story is not a pretty one, and I can understand why the poor dear goes through this."

"What happened to him?" Octavia asked, Bonbon nodding in agreement as she helped Lyra by dabbing her head with a cloth to prevent sweat from getting in her eyes.

"As far as I can remember, his grandfather told me that one day when Rolando was sitting on a performance that Ostinato, his grandfather had just finished, he decided to help the other performers put their instruments away. He tried to help move the cello into its case, but fell in behind it and was squeezed into the case. The case was made of a different material than it is nowadays, so it drowned out any attempt at trying to call for help. Thankfully there was a crack in the side of the case that allowed him to breathe. It was only until the cellist arrived home two hours later, opened the case and retrieved his cello did he find a very scared, very confused and very much upset Rolando," Marianna explained.

Octavia's heart sank as she looked over at her future father-in-law. It pained her to see somepony she had always looked up to, in such a fragile and compromised state. "You poor thing..." Octavia said softly. "I can only wonder what-" she stopped dead as she thought back to what might have caused it. She remembered standing next to Rolando in the upstairs hallway as they surveyed the scene of Kester being put through a wall, and remembered him mentioning about the hallway being cramped. "...He did mention it. He mentioned it when we were upstairs. He said he felt the hallway was 'crowded,'" Octavia finished.

Unbeknownst to them, Rolando had been listening to everything that was being said...and it was affecting him. The soothing images that Lyra had been feeding him no longer calmed him as the repressed memories of the experience from his childhood rushed to the surface.

"Uh oh...he's rejecting the images! We have a problem!" Lyra said as she was forced to begin to hold Rolando down, Bonbon assisting her. Rolando began to fight against them, desperately trying to force Lyra and Bonbon off of him.

"Octavia, stay back! I cannot risk you getting hurt in this situation, go stand near the door!" Marianna yelled. She then stood up, cracking her neck slightly. "I will handle this..."

*~*~*~*~*~*

Vinyl felt the frigid winds cooling her down to her bones. She slipped her trademark goggles up from her neck onto her eyes, blinking in surprise at the view around her: the entirety of Ponyville looked as though it were blanketed in white to the point nothing else was visible. The fountain had frozen over, the buildings obscured by the thick snow still falling. Vinyl used her magic to keep herself warm, and began to make her way towards the clinic. She heard the sounds of wings flapping over head, and immediately ducked into a small snowpile, peeking out. She saw two pegasus stallions, dressed from head-to-hoof in the winter armor for the Royal Guard, scouting the area.

"Too close...I gotta go more stealthy this time..." She looked around for whatever she might have been able to use, and grinned when she saw something useful. She made her way over to an old, used cardboard box, with a huge logo that read "ORANGE" on the side. She threw some snow on the top, and wormed her way underneath it, looking out the slot cut in the box for a pony to place a hoof to lift it. "This'll do nicely."

She began making her way forward towards the clinic once more, moving slowly and carefully. As she rounded a corner, she heard the sound of snow being crushed under hooves, and stopped dead in her tracks. Two Royal Guardscolts made their way past the box, one of them eyeing it suspiciously.

"Hey...was that box there before?" one stallion asked.

"What, did you think it just got up and moved by itself? The cold must've frozen over your brain," the other stallion responded. "That, or too many video games."

"Shut up, idiot. Just forget I asked," the first stallion said, continuing to walk without him.

"Sure, sure...just be on the look-out for killer mailboxes!" The first stallion shot the second a dirty look, which was answered by laughing. The two unicorns continued their argument as they cantered away, leaving Vinyl alone once more.

"Idiots...didn't even bother checking..." Vinyl chuckled to herself as she resumed her trek. After twenty minutes of walking, she arrived at the front door to the clinic. She lifted the box up and off, and entered the clinic. Nurse Redheart was quietly reading a book, thankful for the snow day.

"Hey Nurse Redheart," Vinyl said cheerily, causing the nurse to jump.

"O-Oh...hello Vinyl. I'm surprised to see you out here, aren't you supposed to be at home?" she asked.

"I would be, but we've got a bit of a problem...see, my dad's claustrophobic, and he's having a bit of a freak-out back at home. Do you think you could get this filled out so I can take it to him?" Vinyl requested, using her magic to send the prescription over to the nurse.

"Oh, this is simple. Just give me five minutes." The nurse then got up, and disappeared into the back end of the clinic. Vinyl waited patiently, and after five minutes, Nurse Redheart reappeared with a small baggie in her mouth. She set it down on the counter, and pushed it towards Vinyl. "Make sure he takes this with water and food. These pills will tear a pony up if they're taken on an empty stomach," she advised.

"Sure thing, Nurse. Thanks again!" Vinyl said as she turned to leave.

"Take care, and stay safe!" Nurse Redheart said, returning to her book. Vinyl exited the clinic, and donned her disguise once more. She made her way past the guards, standing still when she needed to. She was forced to intensify the heating magic around her when a particularly strong blast of cold wind hit her.

"Looks like the storm is getting worse...gotta pick up the pace..." Once the house was in sight, she ditched the box and made a break for the door...which was wide open. "What the-?" Vinyl stepped inside, and her jaw dropped at the sight. Marianna was crying softly, Octavia comforting her as Bonbon iced a sore on Lyra's shoulder. "What happened here?!"

"Y-Your father...he..." Marianna choked out, unable to speak properly. Octavia looked at Vinyl, her expression one of sadness.

"Rolando snapped...he threw Lyra and Bonbon off of him, and knocked Marianna out of the way...he threw open the door, and charged off into the blizzard," Octavia said softly, feeling tears well in her eyes. Vinyl turned to face the outside once more, and saw hoof-prints about the same size as Rolando's leading away from the house.

The winds kicked up, howling louder than ever as the clouds continued to lay their icy, white blanket over the town.

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