• Published 7th Aug 2018
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The Bug In The Basement - Skijarama



A changeling egg is left in the human world by its mother in a last-ditch effort to save it.

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Chapter 11: Mama Queen

If Fluttershy’s initial scream of bewilderment and shock hadn’t been enough to confuse her friends, her follow-up shout only made things worse. “WHAT DO YOU MEAN I’M THE MOTHER?!”

From across the street, several other people that were going about their daily routine looked in her direction with perplexed faces, clearly not sure what to make of her words. Many of them picked up the pace to put some distance between them and the screaming teenager with the butter-colored skin. After a few seconds of quiet, Fluttershy finally noticed the wide range of expressions her friends were giving her. Most of them were either shocked, confused, or in the case of Pinkie Pie, almost playful. Suddenly blushing extremely heavily, Fluttershy gulped to force down the lump in her throat while putting on a crooked, forced grin. “Eheh… um… I’m sorry for shouting,” she apologized to everyone that could hear her.

“My ear will never be the same, but it’s alright. Sorry, I should have dropped this bombshell on you a little more gently. It’s Beebee. He can talk,” Eventide replied from the other end of the line, his tone apologetic.

Fluttershy’s crooked smile immediately disappeared to a blank look when she processed the last three words Eventide had said. Shifted on her feet, she cleared her throat. “He… can what?” she asked hesitantly. Had she heard him right?

It turned out she had, as Eventide’s following response made evident. “Talk. Beebee can talk. He’s been very vocal the last few days and, well… a little while ago he called me ‘daddy.’ Beebee can talk. He’s not an animal.”

For a few moments, Fluttershy was utterly silent. Her free hand subconsciously moved to rest over her heart, which had just increased its tempo dramatically. She rolled this revelation around in her head for a few seconds and was about ready to pass it off as a joke when she heard an indistinct babble from the other end of the line. It was fuzzy and distant like it was far away from the phone. She knew the voice. It was Beebee.

“Oh my…” Fluttershy whispered, her free hand reaching up from her chest to twirl a stray lock of her hair around her index finger. “Um… uh… what all has he said?” she asked after a few more seconds of trying to get her thoughts together and hearing more indistinct babbles from Beebee.

“The only things he’s managed to say properly are ‘dada,’ ‘daddy,’ and ‘queen.’ He keeps trying to emulate the sounds I’m making, so I get the feeling he still doesn’t really know what any of the words mean.”

Fluttershy’s face lit up like a Christmas tree as soon as she heard the word ‘daddy.’ “Ooooh. I see. Now it makes sense why you said ‘I’m the mother,’” she noted with a measure of relief and amusement slipping into her still disbelieving voice.

“Yeah, sorry about that. I’m still kinda trying to believe it myself over here,” Eventide apologized with a sheepish chuckle. Another babble came through, and Fluttershy could hear Eventide chuckle at it. “He just tried to say ‘believe.’ It came out as beef.’”

Fluttershy’s expression continued to soften from what she was hearing, her shock from a moment ago fading away entirely. In its place was a completely new shock. “That’s so amazing…” She breathed before a new sound caught her ear. It was Rainbow Dash loudly clearing her throat. Looking up, she saw that all of her friends were still looking at her expectantly. Her blush returned in full force, as did a swell of mild panic in her chest. “Oh! Uh… can I call you back later, though? I’m kinda…” She glanced at her friends anxiously, some of which were starting to look rather impatient. “...with my friends.”

Eventide was silent on the other end of the line for a few moments. When he spoke again, Fluttershy’s face suddenly hardened with severe disapproval.

“Eventide! Watch your language!”

Rarity perked up at that, her eyes lighting up with recognition. “Eventide? Didn’t he used to go to school with us?” she asked, looking over at Pinkie Pie.

“Yeah! He and Fluttershy got along really well!” The pink teenager replied enthusiastically, clapping her hands together. “I thought you two lost touch!”

Rainbow nodded. “He did graduate a couple years ago. I kinda forgot he existed, if we’re being honest.”

Applejack frowned at her.

Sunset Shimmer just shrugged. “I… never knew him,” she admitted timidly, raising a hand to scratch the back of her head. “Kinda too focused on… uh… plans.”

Before there could be any further commentary, Fluttershy muttered a few hasty farewells before slipping her phone back into her pocket and flashing her friends the widest grin she could. “So… the arcade?” she asked cheerfully, hoping that they would forget she had just had that entire conversation.

Rainbow snorted dismissively. “Fluttershy, come on. You think the first thing on my mind is beating Applejack on a Street Fighter cabinet after all of that?! What even was most of that?” she asked while throwing her hands into the air to help demonstrate her confusion.

Fluttershy shrank back a little bit, a few stray locks of her hair falling in front of her face. “Oh… uh… I, um… don’t want to talk about it right now?” she tried timidly, mentally pleading for them to just drop it. Her eyes darted at Sunset Shimmer especially with that concern, and it only grew worse when she thought about where she came from.

Rainbow, of course, being one of the two most stubborn people in their circle of friends, trounced only by Applejack, did not give up her questioning so easily. “No no no, I’m curious now. You were talking to Eventide Oath, right?”

“Rainbow, let her be,” Applejack cut in before things could go any farther. She reached out and tugged on Rainbow’s hair, pulling her back. “You’re makin’ her uncomfortable,” she scolded before looking back at Fluttershy sympathetically.

Rainbow shot Applejack a dirty glare before yanking her hair out of her hand. She then turned to Fluttershy, her face also bearing an apology on it. “Right… sorry ‘bout that, Flutters. Got carried away, is all...”

Fluttershy shook her head, slowly starting to relax. “It’s… fine,” she assured them.

“Are you willing to talk about it?” Rarity asked softly, stepping a little closer. “You’re not in any trouble, are you?”

Fluttershy was quick to shake her head. “Oh, no! Not at all. It’s the project I was talking about… I just don’t want to talk about it right now because it’s kinda… um… private,” she explained in a slightly more confident tone. Still, the way she allowed one of her legs to lazily swing around bespoke her current discomfort with the topic.

“Oki doki loki!” Pinkie Pie ended any further prodding in her typical fashion. “Now come on! We’ve got arcade games to play! Rarity, I’ll be seeing you at the whack-a-mole stations!” And with that, she broke into a jog down the street, leaving the rest of the group to simply shake their heads or roll their eyes at her and continue on their merry way. Fluttershy’s conversation with Eventide was not forgotten by any means, but the circle of friends was happy to put it out of their minds for now in favor of some ticket collecting.


“This is Buddha. Can you say, Buddha?

It had been almost two hours since Eventide had called Fluttershy to drop the news on her. In that time, he had spent almost every single waking moment showing things to Beebee and seeing if he could say their names. For something under a month old, he was remarkably quick to catch on to sounds. However, the meanings seemed to be utterly lost on him in most cases. The only words he actually seemed to understand properly were ‘Daddy’ and ‘Queen,’ which he used interchangeably or together.

Now, Eventide was standing with Beebee held in her arms, looking down at a curious-looking Buddha, who looked back up at them with her chocolate colored eyes. Eventide gave a small smile and spoke again. “C’mon, Beebee. Buddha. Her name is Buddha.

“Bu… bubba,” Beebee tried to replicate the syllables he was hearing, before bursting into a fit of giggles when Eventide snorted in response.

“No, no, she isn’t Bubba. She’s Buddha.

“Booba!”

“...No.”

Before they could go any farther with that particular line of thought, there was a rapid and heavy knocking on the door. Eventide released Beebee from his grip, allowing the bug to hover in the air while he went to see who it was. The door swung open to reveal Fluttershy standing there, a happy if worn out, smile on her face. “Eventide, hi!” she greeted cheerfully.

A giant smile split his face before he stepped aside to let her in. “Fluttershy, hey! Sorry if I, uh, made things awkward with you and your friends earlier,” he said sheepishly.

“It’s fine,” she was quick to brush him off before looking at Beebee. Her smile only grew when he looked back at her and came zipping forward to tackle her in the chest. She wrapped her arms around him in a warm hug before looking over at Eventide. “So, has he said anything new?”

“He tried to say Buddha just before you came in. He wound up saying Booba,” Eventide replied with a smirk, his eyes locking onto the small chitinous creature with wonder. “You know… I’m still really having a hard time believing that Beebee can talk.

As if on cue, Beebee looked away from Fluttershy to stare at Eventide for a moment, squinting with concentration. “Tu… toog… tauk…” he tried a few times to repeat the word, each time getting just a little bit closer.

Fluttershy giggled happily upon finally getting to hear his efforts clearly for herself. She gently lifted him up, prompting him to look back at her curiously. “Hey there, little guy,” she said softly.

“Ooh, gaa…” Beebee babbled before his hoof reached out to poke Fluttershy playfully on the nose. She recoiled slightly with her face scrunching up, eliciting a delighted bout of laughter from Beebee, who followed it up with another attempt at speech. “Fwo sha!”

Fluttershy’s smile returned in full force at that. “No, no, not fwo sha. Fluttershy. Fluttershy,” she said slowly, making doubly sure to enunciate.

“Fl… Flow ow shii…” Beebee tried again. He pondered the sound for a moment before squirming in Fluttershy’s hands, prompting her to release him. Back in the air, he turned around and shot over for Eventide’s chest, forelegs outstretched, “Dada queen!”

As soon as Beebee collided with him, Eventide wrapped him up in what felt like the millionth hug that day, his face somewhere between overjoyed and terrified. He held Beebee close while looking down at him, then looked up at Fluttershy. “So… uh… Beebee’s a person,” he awkwardly stated the now abundantly obvious.

Beebee, while not understanding the words, still found his tone mildly amusing. He giggled softly before curling up some more in his adoptive father’s protective arms, looking at Fluttershy as he did so. More specifically, once he was settled, he carefully watched her mouth.

“That’s amazing…” Fluttershy breathed out, walked over to gently pet Beebee behind the ears again. “Wow… I suppose we have our work cut out for us, huh?”

Eventide nodded slowly, looking down at the bug in his arms with no small amount of fear developing in his eyes. “Yeah… totally…”

His trepidation slipped into his voice and was not lost on Fluttershy. She gave him a questioning look. “Eventide, are you okay?” she asked softly.

Eventide slowly nodded before gently releasing Beebee, allowing him to fly over to the coffee table for a landing. Once that was done, his face fell into his hands with a long groan. “I signed up to take care of an animal, Fluttershy. I know I can manage that thanks to Buddha, but…”

Fluttershy already knew where this was going and was quick to head him off. “Don’t, Eventide,” she said sharply, causing him to look at her in surprise. That surprise grew exponentially when he saw the intensity in her eyes. “Don’t go doubting yourself now. For not knowing anything about him, I think you’ve been doing wonderfully.”

“But… but he can speak,” Eventide pointed out in exasperation. “And he’s only a few weeks old! How many more surprises am I going to have to juggle?”

“As many as he throws at you, and you will juggle them all beautifully,” Fluttershy rebuked while reaching out to grab his shoulders. “You said it yourself over the phone; you are a father now. And a good father cannot afford to be hesitating now! Not when it comes to his son!”

Eventide winced back from her. His face twisted with shame because she was absolutely right, and shock from how intense she was being right now. He had known she could be incredibly stern and serious, especially when it came to the tiny and innocent. He had seen hints of it here and there over the last few weeks, but this? This was a new level of resolve and ferocity that made him cower away from her. Not quite able to meet her gaze, he gave a sheepish nod. “Right… sorry. I’m just overwhelmed…”

Fluttershy’s expression slowly softened. “I know… but isn’t that why I volunteered to help you?” she pointed out before releasing Eventide and taking a few steps back. “If he throws too many surprise balls at you to juggle, you can always try passing a few of them to me. This is a learning experience for both of us, Eventide, not just you. And right now, WE are the only ones Beebee has. All we can do is our best; together.”

Eventide nodded again, this time more sure of himself. He then turned and looked over at Beebee, who was looking at the two with his head tilted to the side and his glowing eyes squinting at them.

“Tagato,” Beebee babbled out.

Fluttershy looked over at him with a small smile growing on her face.

“Mama queen!” Beebee suddenly declared while pointing at Fluttershy with an enormous grin on his face. She jumped in surprise but soon smiled extremely widely. Beebee’s hoof then shot over to Eventide. “Dada queen!”

“I’m not a queen,” Eventide grumbled under his breath in mock annoyance. He crossed his arms over his chest before giving Fluttershy a sideways glance and smirk. “So… does this mean we’re family now?”

“Wha…” Fluttershy began, her voice trailing off. She looked over at Eventide for a moment before she burst into a fit of giggles. After a few seconds, she composed herself enough to answer, albeit still between small chortles. “No! No, I don’t think so.”

Eventide shrugged. “Eh. Fair enough. Guess that makes you more Aunt Fluttershy more than mom, huh?” he mused absently.

“I dunno. Whatever he wants to call me.”

“Well, he already called you Mama Queen, so I think that’s gonna stick.”

“Hmmm.”

A few moments passed in silence, the two humans looking on at the curious bug on the coffee table with great interest. He looked back at them as well, his jaw repeatedly flexing and clenching while his tongue occasionally flicked out to lick his lips.

“I’m gonna have to buy him kids stuff, aren’t I?” Eventide asked in realization. “Like, a cradle, toys, books…”

“Boogs!” Beebee proclaimed.

Fluttershy chuckled. “Heh. Adopted or not, you’ve got a son. Might be a good idea to go all the way with him.”

Eventide slowly nodded, mulling that around in his head for a few minutes. As the seconds passed him by, an idea slowly began to spring up in his mind. “Alright… well… I think I might be able to throw something together for him…” he muttered, already starting to do the math in his head.

Fluttershy glanced at him curiously. “What are you planning?”

“If he’s my son by adoption, and he’s a fully sapient and intelligent person, then… sooner or later, he’s gonna need his own room. Somewhere to keep his things, a place to be alone if he needs some space, and somewhere to hide if there are strangers in the house,” Eventide turned to face down the hall, where the door to his basement looked back at him, closed and completely unused since Beebee hatched. “It’ll be a lot of work… but what place could be better than where he came from?”

Fluttershy leaned over to look at his basement door, her brow furrowing in thought. “You think you can really make it work?” she questioned skeptically. She quickly regretted her choice of words, though, her expression softening apologetically. “Oh! I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to be rude! I’m sure you can do it!”

Eventide laughed and lightly, playfully punched her in the shoulder while walking for the basement door in question. “Hey, don’t worry about it. As I said, it’s gonna be a lot of work. I’ll probably need some help to get it done, too, but if I can pull it off…” as he finished, he pulled open the door to stare down the old wooden steps. He then looked back at Fluttershy. Beebee was just behind her, hovering over her shoulder and watching him inquisitively. Eventide’s smile grew.

“Then my Basement Bug will really have a place he can call his.

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