• Published 23rd Jun 2017
  • 1,317 Views, 39 Comments

The Ones Who Returned From Stone - Skijarama

Equestria has fallen. The Crystal Empire is all that remains of organized pony society, and the survivors want their home back.

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Chapter 14 - Quiet Words

Author's Note:

NOTE: This chapter contains a low-detail sex scene, of sorts. It's after the scene-break. Consider this your warning if you are uncomfortable with reading that kind of content. There is an important set of details in there, though, so keep that in mind.

Several hours later, Flurry Heart and Twilight were still seated in the latter’s personal study, which also acted as her bedroom, just catching up on lost time. Plus, Flurry showed Twilight her collection of books, which the lavender princess had spent a not insignificant amount of time losing herself in. It was nice, really, just sitting there with the curtains drawn over the windows to keep the red glow away while the two of them just… bonded, in candlelight.

But the niceness eventually had to come to an end, as there were a series of questions burning in the back of Twilight’s mind that she needed answers to. All of them in regards to her friends…

“So, Flurry,” she began, lowering her ears and looking away slightly. “My friends… how…. How did they all get their… you know…”

“Their disabilities,” Flurry sighed and closed the book she had been looking at. The soft thump of the closing volume echoed in the room much louder than it really should have. “Are you sure you want to know? I mean, gruesome details are nothing new to me, having seen ponies being murdered in horrible ways right before my eyes since I was a little filly, but I know you aren’t as… used to it.”

“They’re my friends, Flurry. I have to know what happened to them,” Twilight replied solemnly, tensing up a little bit. “Just… just tell me what happened to them, okay? In order, if you can.”

“Alright,” Flurry nodded hesitantly, then cleared her throat. “It was actually Fluttershy who had her disability show up first. When Ponyville was being evacuated shortly before Canterlot fell off the mountain… I guess it was too much for her. She basically had a stress-induced heart attack, or something similar. That’s what the patch of missing fur over her heart was; she needed surgery. She has to keep up on some medication now that helps keep her relaxed and her heart rate low. She’s… pretty much had to stay secluded away from anything intense for a long time now. If her heart acts up again, she’ll die.”

“I was wondering about that… well, if nothing else, hers seems like the least… crippling,” Twilight commented quietly while screwing her eyes shut.

“Rainbow Dash was the next one,” Flurry continued, biting her lip and sighing. “I remember this one… I was six or so, and Rainbow Dash was helping Applejack and a few other ponies with something or other outside the barrier. They… were ambushed. A few fiends had stalked close by without being detected and jumped on the group. Applejack escorted the other construction ponies back inside the safety of the shield while Rainbow tried to fend off the fiends. She…” Flurry closed her eyes tightly. “...was pinned down. Against Dad’s orders, I wound up running down there to try and help. When I got there… they were… ripping her wings off with their teeth. I think one of them was laughing.”

Twilight shuddered and cringed, her stomach churning at the mental image. “That’s horrible…”

“Yeah… I know. We got her back inside the barrier pretty quick, but… well…” Flurry shook her head and opened her eyes. “We didn’t have the resources or the know-how on making prosthetic wings. So… she can’t fly anymore. Applejack’s spine was broken when she went to Canterlot to try and salvage something that could with that issue. She took an entire squad of Crystal Guard elites with her. She and one other were the only survivors, and had nothing but the permanent loss of her hind legs to show for their efforts,” Flurry actively growled deep in her throat as she thought back on that. “...Some of the guards we lost were my friends.

“Anyway, after Applejack, it was Rarity and Pinkie Pie who got their disabilities, more or less at the same time. They were in Little Lapis, trying to boost morale among the ponies there with some nice new decorations Rarity had put together and a shipment of cakes and other pastries that Pinkie Pie had made,” Flurry looked down and grimaced. “Pinkie was hit, first, if I’m remembering right. An entire swarm of duck-type fiends descended on the town and went after Pinkie first to try and keep her quiet. They tore her tongue right out of her mouth… would have killed her if Rarity hasn’t stepped in, swinging around an uprooted fence-post like a sword.”

Twilight couldn’t help a small snort of amusement at the mental image of Rarity clobbering monsters with a giant club. “That’s… if it weren’t for the fact she went blind and lost her horn from this story, I’d be tempted to laugh.”

“Oh, trust me, it’s hilarious,” Flurry added with a grin. “It’s funnier with a visualization. I went and asked one of the painters in the city to do a ‘dramatic recreation’ of Rarity’s finest moment, and the result is…” Flurry winked. “Fabulous.”

Twilight snorted again. “...You weren’t kidding about the morbid sense of humor, were you?”

“Nope~” Flurry shook her head, though her smile quickly faded to a grimace again. “...The ducks got fed up with her attacks pretty quickly, though. She’s lucky that her horn and eyesight are all she lost. An inch deeper from that claw strike and her brains would have painted the snow… That whole town got lucky that the guard were able to force the fiends out after that.”

Twilight sighed and nodded slowly. “Alright… alright, I think I’ve heard enough…”

Flurry frowned a bit more intensely. “Actually… there is one more thing I should probably catch you up on. Tell me,” she leaned forward, her eyes narrowing. “Did Drifter tell you about what happened to Discord?”

Twilight blinked and shifted back a little. “Er… no, she didn't. Why? What happened to him?”

Flurry leaned back and scowled. “...When he learned about what had happened to Fluttershy, he lost it. He teleported to Mount Eclipse after uprooting an entire mountain. He was going to throw it at Horizon and try to kill him. It… didn’t work,” Flurry’s horn lit up with pale yellow magic, withdrawing a small locked box from under her bed. “I’m not sure what all happened, but…” she opened the box and procured the contents. Twilight’s eyes widened and a hoof flew up to cover her mouth in shock. For from within that box drifted three things; the tip of a red snake-like tail, capped with a tuft of grey hair, a yellow eye with crimson pupils, and a single, curved fang. “...Horizon somehow killed Discord. Right now, our best guess is he found some way of nullifying his magic, probably through the same dark stone the Changeling Throne was made of, or an equivalent, and then tore him apart when he arrived.”

“Discord’s dead…?” Twilight choked out, barely able to believe it. She never liked that trickster, if she was being honest, even after Fluttershy helped reform him, but he didn’t deserve this…

“Yep. Seems Horizon got payback on him after all,” Flurry noted grimly before returning the objects to the box and returning it to its place under her bed. “One of his fiends came up to the Crystal Empire’s barrier, regurgitated the contents of that box, then left… that was… a long time ago, now.”

Twilight sagged, the weight of all of this new information feeling unbearably heavy on her shoulders. “...Okay. Now I’ve heard enough.”

Flurry Heart nodded solemnly while reaching a hoof out to Twilight’s shoulder. “I’m sorry if I made you feel bad, Aunt Twily… We’ll fix this. Now that Drifter and the kids brought you and Luna back, we might have a full fighting chance.”

Twilight nodded, her face hardening with determination. “Damn right… We’ll need to discuss our plans for that soon,” she said through grit teeth, envisioning the pony-turned-monster that had caused her friends and country so much suffering. “...We’ll make him pay.”

“Yeah, we will,” Flurry agreed with a sharp nod before a small smile appeared on her face. “But that can wait just a little bit longer… There’s one last thing I need to take care of first. Plus, you, Luna and Drifter all need some good and proper rest.”

Twilight’s eyebrow raised with curiosity as Flurry Heart stood up and turned for the door. “What do you need to do?” she asked, shifting slightly.

Drifter looked back over her shoulder at Twilight and smiled brightly. “I gotta go thank the guy who found you and helped bring you back, of course! His name is Blackberry, right?”

Twilight nodded, smiling slightly. “Yeah, that’s his name. I’m sure he’d appreciate the gesture.”

“Heh, I hope so,” Flurry shrugged before pushing open the doors of her room. She paused, then, and looked back at Twilight one more time with a somewhat softer expression on her face. “...It’s been great seeing you again, by the way. It’s nice to really… know you.”

“You too,” Twilight replied softly with a small nod and gentle smile. Flurry’s own smile widened a few inches before she once again turned and resumed her journey out of her study.

“Little guy’s sound asleep,” Grapes noted in a quiet whisper while trotting over to Blackberry with a small smile on her face. They had been lucky enough to find a room that was essentially unoccupied on the top floor of the hospital, and this particular floor was the least populated. Bramble was, as Grapes had just noted, sleeping peacefully in the room just next to the one she was sharing with Blackberry. “Haven’t seen him snoring that peacefully in years.”

Blackberry smiled, sitting on the edge of the bed. It was really just two hospital beds that they had put together side-by-side and then held in place with some restraining straps that would normally be used to keep violent patient held down. “I’m glad…” he said simply, his eyes never leaving Grapes as she trotted up to him and sat down next to him on the bed.

“So am I,” she whispered, leaning over and kissing him softly on the lips. Blackberry hummed and kissed her back eagerly. A few seconds passed before the two separated, Grapes flashing him a tiny smile. “I’m also glad you’re back…” she leaned over and kissed him again, this time a bit more forcefully.

When their lips separated again, Blackberry had a small smirk on his face. “You seem extra needy tonight,” he teased gently, wrapped a foreleg over Grapes’ shoulder and holding her closer. She purred a little and gladly scooted up to his side, pressing her body against his.

“I’ve been without my husband for a while, Blackberry. I think I’ve earned the right to be a little needy,” she shot back before leaning in for another kiss. This time, though, she went past his head and kissed his neck while planting a hoof on his chest and rubbing small circles into the rough and unkempt dark fur.

Blackberry shuddered against her ministrations, a shaky breath leaving his lungs. “You, uh… you’re pushing my buttons, there,” he said awkwardly, a red tint coming to his cheeks.

“Good,” Grapes purred into his ear before pushing him onto his back and climbing on top of him, straddling his stomach and resting both of her forehooves on his chest. He reacted by resting his hooves on her hips and looking up at her with wide, eager eyes.

“Oh-hoh, now I get it.”

Grapes sighed exaggeratedly and rolled her eyes. “You always were slow on the uptake, weren’t you?” she asked teasingly before leaning down to kiss his chin, reveling in the feeling when his hooves began to glide up and down her back.

“I have a lot on my mind, give me a break,” he shot back when she slid lower down to kiss his neck again. He moaned slightly when he felt her hooves starting to explore his body a little bit.

“Well, right now,” Grapes nipped at his collarbone, eliciting an excited gasp out of him. “Put all of that other crap out of your mind and focus on us,” she continued trailing her kisses further and further down his body, and Blackberry’s mind did indeed gradually blank as he gave himself over to their act, even if they did their best to be quiet.

However, as their time together progressed, Blackberry felt his right side, where that unknown fiend had stabbed him, starting to throb with pain every few minutes or so. Not enough to take him out of the task at hoof, but enough to be noticable. Then, just as he and his wife were reaching the end of their endurance, the back of his head began tingling.

“Ah, good… you’re right where I need you,” a cold and emotionless voice said inside of Blackberry’s head, just as he and his wife moaned and gasped away the end of their act with the height of their passion. Collapsing onto Grapes’ back, gasping for breath and about ready to fall asleep, Blackberry’s face scrunched up with confusion. Who was that he had just heard speaking? What did they mean?

Those thoughts were obliterated when Grapes rolled onto her back beneath him and pulled him down for one more kiss. When they parted, her eyes were slowly starting to drift closed. “That was wonderful, Berry… welcome home…”

All other thoughts were washed away by that sleepy murmur, and Blackberry decided to not question the voice he had heard for now. Right now, he was tired, he was spent, and he needed some sleep. He rested himself down and wrapped his forelegs around Grapes’ belly, hugging her close against him. And it was in this way, resting with his beloved, that Blackberry fell asleep.