• Published 20th Jul 2016
  • 1,154 Views, 329 Comments

Going Deep Under - The Bricklayer

The seas harbor many mysteries, and one of them is about to be uncovered. Question is, will those that have uncovered it survive the experience...?

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Part 8: My bad, bad Angel put the Devil in me...

The Moby Dick: Grape Vine's Quarters

Grape Vine sighed to himself, it had been only two weeks since they had set out on this journey (Even though it had felt like months at times.) and already he was feeling the strain. He wasn't the only one, he could tell the rest of the crew was feeling it as well. Just a few days ago, Lightning Dust had gotten into a fight in the mess hall with Bulk Biceps over a plate of hay fries. Hay fries, for crying out loud! Needless to say, it hadn't ended well for the smaller mare. At the time, Grape had to admit it was certainly entertaining to see his least favorite pony on the Moby Dick get chewed out by Captain Rainbow Blaze for starting a fight over something as simple as food in which they had plenty to go around, now he knew something was going to happen, and soon, and he also knew it would be bad if the crew didn't get the rest and relaxation they sorely and desperately needed. Ever since this journey had started, it had been nothing but non stop action, which made for a good novel by somepony like H.G. Wells or Jules Verne, but in real life it put immense strain on all those involved.

"For what it's worth, this whole journey may very well just turn out to be nothing but a test of our endurance and sanity." Grape Vine mused to himself as he looked at a small golden pocket watch he had kept always by his side since this journey had started. It had been a gift from someone he cared deeply about. With a soft clicking sound, he flipped it open and gazed longingly at the small portrait inside of it, which consisted of a unicorn mare about his age with azure blue fur, purple eyes, and a mane as blue as the Caribbean sky on a clear summer's day and although it couldn't be seen, he knew this mare had a magic wand with dust trailing behind it and a blue star the same color as her mane on it's tip as her Cutie Mark.

Just then, as he mused on his thoughts about what he had left behind and what he had to give up for him to be able to even make this journey and keep an eye on his Master, and although he never said it aloud, adoptive father, the door to his quarters opened and Lightning Dust stepped in. She eyed him gazing upon his precious pocket watch and raised a eye brow.

"So, got an interest in time keeping do you?" She asked teasingly. Grape Vine gave her a soft sad look, one which made Lightning's feelings towards him change, if only for a moment. Those feelings, they weren't ones of hatred for knocking her into the Manehatten river waters, but one of curiosity. Something was obviously bothering the younger pony, and although she didn't want to admit it, she did feel a small amount of worry towards him. She too had noticed the strain this journey was taking on the crew, and if somepony as tough as her could be driven as far as she had been a few days before, there was no telling what kind of reaction would eventually develop from a pony that was such a nervous wreck as Grape Vine.

"If it were only that." Grape murmured to himself, making the only other pony in the room with him raise an eyebrow before he took a chance and gazed at Lightning questioningly.

"You... Did you ever have to leave something behind to go on this adventure?" He asked sadly, and Lightning laughed. What a silly question! Of course she had to leave something behind, her home, her belongings! Why was Grape Vine asking her this? Then she realized, Grape wasn't talking about things like homes or possessions, he was talking about far more important things. Things like... Love. Sitting herself down on the bed beside him, she looked at him with an equally sad look, showing an emotion other than rage and humiliation towards him for the first time.

"Yeah, maybe I did. We... we all probably did." Lightning whispered as she looked at him in a compassionate way, now fully understanding, or at least partly why Grape was so sad today. She took a quick look at the mare in the portrait, and sighed long and hard.

"You too huh?" She asked before her expression turned almost kindly, surprising Grape Vine even more. Here they were, two ponies who hated each other over one minor mishap, and now they were talking like they were almost old friends.

"I... I had this stallion back in the Bronx, dock worker." Lightning began to explain as she remembered her memories of the one she loved. Big, very big in every sense, yet so kind. The kindest pony you'd ever meet in her mind, and yet it was due to a cruel twist of fate that she had to leave him behind when she was called upon this journey that may very well turn out to be a farce of grand foolishness, all based on the whims and suspicions of a rich pony and his adopted niece.

"He... He was so kind, always putting up with me, even when I got mad over the smallest things." Lightning whispered before laughing to herself.

"You have noticed I have a temper haven't you?" She remarked lightly.

"Yeah, I kinda did." Grape responded with a dry tone in his voice. "So... Tell me more about him, and I'll tell you about mine."

"Cherry red fur, biggest guy you ever saw. Strong too, strong enough to give ole John Henry himself a run for his money. Southern too, just like you. And when he ever spoke... And that was a rare thing let me tell ya, it was always with the kindest and most compassionate voice you ever heard. He... He always knew the right thing to say, the right thing to cheer me up even when I'd had the worst day you could possibly imagine." Lightning continued, her voice breaking as she began to tear up. Grape felt his heart go out to her. He'd never realized it before now, but they were a lot more alike than they realized. They'd both had to leave somepony they loved behind, and for they knew they may never see them again, and it was starting to affect them both.

"So... Tell me about yours." Lightning asked after a few moments of silence between them. And Grape laughed sadly before smiling at the memories of his love, his Great and Powerful love. Taking off his glasses to wipe a tear from his eyes, he began to speak.

"Oh, what can I say about her?" Grape began with another laugh. "Welp, she was certainly a character that was for sure. Stage magician, like Hoofdini, ya know? Celestia above, I dunno what attracted me to her, still don't actually, but attracted I was. For some reason, she was attracted to me too, probably because she felt sorry for me or somethin'." Grape laughed, this time bitterly. Lightning's eyes widened. Was Grape's opinion of himself truly that low? For the past few minutes, Tartarus, now that she realized it, it had been for the past few weeks if she hadn't been so blind, she had seen what a truly courageous and kind pony he was. Always trying to be nice to his fellow crewmates, keeping them from growing truly exhausted by telling jokes and things like that, and when he took on that shark in the ship graveyard to save his friends, he never let his fear get to him, even in the face of Death itself. Without even realizing it, Lightning found herself wrapping one teal blue wing around the purple colored pony's shoulder.

"Don't worry, I'm sure you'll get back to her." She replied kindly, and Grape gave her a grateful look before responding.

"And I'm sure you'll get back to yours." He said, and Lightning actually gave him a smile towards him for the first time.

The Moby Dick: Rainbow Blaze's Office

With an urgency in her step, Lightning Dust made her way to the personal office of the captain. There were matters she needed to discuss. Her conversation with Grape Vine had enlightened her to just how low crew morale was, and his especially.

"Yes, crewmember Dust?" Rainbow asked, looking up from his sea charts as soon as his fellow pegasus came in and noted the look on his face.

"There are... matters we need to discuss..." She began, and prepared herself for the long conversation to come...

That night, Grape Vine found himself tossing and turning in his sleep as he remembered of days long since past, of a conversation he'd had two weeks and one day before this epic journey ever started. A conversation, the last one he knew he would have in a long while, perhaps the last one ever with his love. It was a cold and rainy day in Manehatten, the kind of day that made everypony miserable and just want to stay inside. But on that day then and there, Grape couldn't find it in himself to be miserable, despite the circumstances. In actuality, he was happy. The joy he felt on that day could only ever be brought on by one pony in particular, the one he left behind.

"So... You've been... recruited, is that it?" The mare sitting across from him at their table at a small cafe in Brooklyn, Donut Joe's Donuts, inquired in curiosity. She matched every detail of her portrait perfectly, right down to her purple eyes that Grape could just lose himself in to the very tip of her tail. Grape laughed at her question.

"Hah! Recruited? More like dragged along if I'll be honest." Grape remarked to his marefriend who chuckled. Grape smiled, he always loved that laugh of hers, along with everything about her.

"Might be dangerous, scary as Tartarus even." The mare remarked offhooftandly. "Sure you can handle it?"

Grape laughed again after taking a bite of his donut. Did she really have no faith in him? He was as brave as they came! After all, all the dangerous stunts he'd preformed in her stage shows certainly attested to that!

"Please! After all the things you've made me do for your acts? You shot me out of a cannon into a Manticore's mouth for crying out loud!" Grape replied, shuddering at the memory. Sure, he had been teleported into a box afterwards, but still!

"You survived didn't you?" Grape's marefriend asked him before her tone became softer and less haughty. Her concerned eyes seemed to drill into his very soul. Grape swallowed, she'd caught him. Trixie always seemed to know what he was thinking, for better or for worst.

"Trixie knows what you're trying to do. You're trying not to talk about... us." She said sadly. "You and I know perfectly well you can't take me along on this journey to look after you. Ever since you came to this city, you've had it rough. But I've been there to look after you, keep you safe." Trixie continued, fear for him in her eyes. "I know you have big dreams, become a blues guitarist, ever since you listened to the music of that Curtis Loew fellow. But look at you, you're never going to make it big if you keep protecting that Rainbow Blaze pony. His obsession is going to get him killed one day, you know that? I swear... He must have sold his soul at a crossroads to have encountered those sea beasts he's captured over the years.

"And yet that Kraken still eludes him..." Grape muttered.

"And that's exactly what I'm talking about!" Trixie exclaimed angrily. "I get that he lost his crew, but that obsession makes him dangerous to himself and everypony around him! I... I just don't want you to go down with him..." Trixie whispered, holding back a sob. Grape reached across the table and dabbed away at her tears with a napkin and laid a reassuring hoof on her shoulder.

"Don't worry, I WILL come back, I promise you that." Grape said before an idea came to him. "Hey, say I do come back with treasure from Neighlantis? Let's you and me, we hop on a sea cruise across the Caribbean, lay back and drink on the beaches? Does that sound like a good idea?"

Trixie blinked back her tears and smiled before saying "Yeah, that sounds like a great idea. And now Trixie has one of her own." She said, before she stroked his chin and her tone became seductive. "Let's you and me, head back to our apartment and have some Great and Powerful fun, hmm?"

"Oh, you're so bad." Grape grinned and Trixie smiled back at him.

"But that's why you love me so much isn't it?"

That very next morning, Grape found himself being shaken awake by Sudoku. Grape rubbed his tired eyes and put on his glasses at once seeing the urgent look on Sudoku's face.

"What... What is it? Sea Serpents? Kraken?" Grape panicked, his mind going to the worst possible scenarios he could think of immediately. Sudoku only laughed and shook his head.

"No, none of that. The Captain wants to see us all on the bridge pronto." Sudoku replied. "Now come on, you know how your Master doesn't like to be kept a-waitin'."

Grape nodded his head and threw off the covers and together he and the tan psychiatrist pony rushed towards the Bridge where they found the whole crew gathered and Rainbow Blaze setting up a microphone. After tapping it with his hoof a few times to make sure it was working, he spoke into it.

"Now, I've called you all here for a reason." Rainbow informed, and at once whispering broke out among the assembled crew. Whatever could that reason be? Was it something bad, or was it something good? Ignoring the whispers, the Captain continued.

"I've been... informed by a source who wants to be kept anonymous that crew morale is... dropping. So, I've organized a few things for this week to keep everypony happy and let them unwind for a little while."

"...And here I thought he was heartless." Silver Spanner dryly stated.

Ignoring her remark, Rainbow moved out of the way to let Lightning Dust (Who tossed a surprised Grape Vine a wink, and he at once knew who this "Anonymous" source was.) step up to the mic.

"Now this is a song I heard a while back and to be honest, it actually reminds me of a story I was told only yesterday by a dear friend of mine about somepony he'd left behind, and I want to sing this little number just to cheer him up a bit." Lightning stated, and pressed a recording crystal on one of the control panels and at once big brass band music began to play. Lightning threw a pink feather boa around herself and began to sing.

She sung of a country guy who hadn't seen a lot, but as soon as somepony came along, their heart went pop. Grape felt the emotion and passion in the song, and he felt every memory of the time he had spent with Trixie, including their last day (And night) together come back to him in a flash. Lightning, as the music swung sang "Of my bad, bad Angel who put the Devil in me..." and Grape along with the rest of the assembled crew (Even Rainbow Blaze was nodding his head back and forth and shuffling his hooves as he danced with Solar Blitz. Nearby, the Blast Sisters both grabbed Mister Gallants and, one after the other, kissed him passionately, much to his shock and surprise.) bobbed their heads along to the beat. Suddenly he felt a hoof taking one of his own.

"W-Want to dance?" Twilight asked nervously, as if she had never done this before, which was probably true. Grape could only laugh and say "Sure, but just to let you know, I'm spoken for!" and Twilight laughed along with him as they took up the dance...

Author's Note:

Well, it's finally back! The colts, and mares are back in town! (Cue Thin Lizzy:coolphoto:) I'm sooo so sorry for such a long wait, but that's what happens when you get writers block I'm afraid.:twilightsheepish: I know no apology can make up for such a long wait, so I hope the chapter is a acceptable substitute. Anyways, I've come back, and with the longest chapter in the story so far!:yay: Now on that subject, the coming chapters will be of varying length, some will be short, some will be long. I'm just going to take the Once a Time Lord route and see how each chapter turns out, and if I think they need any more added on, I'll add things at a later date. Anyways, as I promised we see some HUGE character development for Lightning Dust, and she and Grape go from feuding to actually having a shared bonding moment of those who they left behind. And on that subject, bet you weren't expecting those shippings huh? Trixie and Grape, along with Big Mac and Lightning. Yeah, I like to try odd and unusual pairings from time to time. Personally, my favorite part of writing this chapter was the flashback scene to Joe's Donuts with Trixie and Grape and revealing their relationship and just how sad Grape was to leave her behind, which actually reminded me of this song a bit.

Anyways, now that I'm back I promise to have a less... erratic update schedule shall we say and put out chapters at a more steady rate like I used to. Till next time, cheers and you have a very happy Thanksgiving!:scootangel: