• 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 13: A Place Of Your Own

One Week Later.

Beebee sat on his haunches in the middle of the living room, looking at the tall brown box with wide, curious eyes. His mouth hung slightly open from the angle, and his wings buzzed on his back every so often. Eventide gave him a small smile from his leaning position against the front door before returning his attention to the phone by his ear. “Yeah, think you can get them to help with that?” he asked hopefully.

Fluttershy’s voice responded, slightly reluctant. “Um, I can ask. I don’t know if they’ll actually agree to it, though...” she muttered, her voice slightly raised to be heard over the clamor of the Canterlot High School cafeteria that was blazing on in the background.

“Fair enough. The more hands helping out, the better. Gimme a call as soon as you know, and I’ll put Beebee in my room. Remember, we don’t want him finding out about this, and we don’t want your friends finding out about him. Who knows how quickly Pinkie or Rainbow would throw it up on Facebook or Twitter, and I’m not in the mood to deal with that bit of backlash.

There was a light-hearted giggle from the other end of the line. “Oh, I don’t think you’d have to worry about Pinkie Pie. She’s wonderful at keeping secrets. She wouldn’t be any good at surprise parties if she wasn’t.”

Eventide resisted the urge to facepalm. “Fluttershy… that’s when it’s Pinkie’s secret. I just don’t want to take any risks,” he explained dryly.

Fluttershy’s voice was a bit more solemn when she answered. “Okay, fair enough. I’ll call you again in a little bit.”

“Alright,” Eventide nodded before noticing Beebee rising into the air with his wings to poke the box near the top. Eventide winced. “Ooh, gotta go. Beebee’s poking the bed box.”

“Okay. Bye, Eventide!”

“See you,” he said before turning off his phone and stuffing it back in his pocket. With that done, he turned and quickly walked over to snatch Beebee out of the air. The flying bug squirmed and squeaked in protest, but Eventide was quick to remedy any malcontent by playfully shoving his fingers into Beebee’s side and wiggling them about.

And so Beebee started laughing and kicking, trying to get away from the tickling sensation. Eventide just smirked for a few moments before finally letting Beebee go back into the air. After a few moments of catching his breath, Beebee turned around and pouted indignantly at Eventide, which only served to make the young man laugh. “Oh, don’t look at me like that,” he chided lightly.

Beebee just puffed up his cheeks in annoyance but was quick to get over it. He shifted to one side in the air, squinting curiously at the big brown box. Eventide glanced at it before giving a quick nod. Inside it was housed the pieces for what was soon to be Beebee’s bed. It wasn’t anything particularly large or extravagant, little more than a mattress and a frame fit for a child. He’d already bought blankets and a pillow earlier that week, along with a few other things here and there. Now he just needed to get the bed into the basement and enlist the aid of Fluttershy and her friends to get everything built and put into place, all without letting Beebee know what they were up to, and without letting them know that Beebee existed.

He mentally cringed as he imagined what would happen if Fluttershy’s friends learned about the little guy. While there was a good chance nothing bad would come of it, the more people there were who knew about Beebee, the more likely it was that something bad might happen. He wasn’t exactly fond of seeing his son being taken away by men in black suits and sunglasses, so for now, secrecy was the plan.

Time began to pass while he awaited the return call from Fluttershy, during which he made sure Beebee stayed away from the large box, as well as from the door to the basement. Both of them were starting to get restless and antsy when, finally, Eventide’s phone rang in his pocket. He quickly answered it and brought it to his ear. “Yo.”

“Sunset, Applejack, and Pinkie agreed to help,” Fluttershy’s voice started from the other end of the line. “Everyone else is busy with homework or school activities.”

Eventide nodded along. “That’s fine. I’ll see you guys here after you get out of school, then?”

“Um, yes, if that’s a good time.

“I have literally nothing else going on today. Come over as soon as you are ready.”

“Okay, see you then. Bye!”

“Bye.”

And with that, the line went dead. Eventide pulled his phone away and checked the on-screen clock. They had a couple of hours still before school was out for the day. Stuffing his phone back into his pocket, he looked up at Beebee, who was hovering in the air not far away with a tilted head. “Bai,” he babbled, his face scrunching somewhat.

Eventide shook his head with a smile and sigh. “No, not bye to you, Bee,” he noted before glancing over at the now substantially larger pile of kids books by the chair. An idea sprang into his mind, and he gave Beebee a sideways glance. Well, they needed some way to pass the time, and the chair was right next to the windows. He’d be able to see Fluttershy and her friends coming before they reached the door, giving him ample time to tuck Beebee safely away in his room.

Not the soundest plan in the world, he had to admit. If someone got nosy, Pinkie probably, than Beebee stood a good chance of being found out. Eventide scratched the back of his head and chewed absently on his lip for a moment, his mind briefly loading up on anxiety before something wrapped around his other arm. Surprised, he looked down to see that Beebee had more or less wrapped himself around his arm near the shoulder, hugging it tight and looking up at him with worried eyes.

Eventide’s smile slowly returned. The hand on the back of his head drifted down to give Beebee a few affectionate scratches behind the ears. “Heh… you always seem to know when something’s wrong, don’t you?”

“Sowmy wong,” Beebee echoed before nuzzling into his father’s shoulder, his wings buzzing a few times on his back. Eventide was briefly enthralled by the adorable image, before finally giving himself a soft shake and nudging Beebee off of his shoulder.

“Hey, now, save some hugs for later. Now, wanna read a book?” he asked, a knowing grin on his face. Beebee still didn’t really know what the words meant, save for ‘Book’ and ‘read.’ And upon hearing those words in a sentence, the little guy’s face lit up with delight.

“Book! Reed!” He replied, flitting over and coming to a landing on Eventide’s shoulder. He leaned down to peer intently at the books that they were now walking towards, almost looking like he was about to start panting like a dog in excitement. One of his forelegs reached out to wiggle uselessly in the air at the first book Eventide picked up, a book with a bright yellow backdrop, vibrant red text, and the illustration of a certain monkey on the front cover. “Gorg!”

Eventide nodded. “Yeah, Curious George. You like this little monkey, don’t you?”

“Cuius Gorg! Mun gii! Read!”

“I’ll take that as a loud and resounding yes,” Eventide chuckled before sitting down on the chair. Beebee knew the position by now, and hopped down into waiting arms to be held close up against Eventide’s chest, his eyes wide open and starry as the book turned open to the first page.


Beebee’s mind danced and frolicked enthusiastically while his father read off from the book in his hands. His eyes followed along with Eventide’s finger as he traced it along the lines of shaped ink, speaking slowly and carefully to make sure Beebee could keep up. Any word that was short and simple enough, he was quick to latch onto and repeat, his infantile mind trying to connect the dots and meanings of the words. Each time a new sound slipped out of his mouth, Eventide would briefly stop and encourage him, often while repeating the word again so Beebee could get the pronunciation down.

“Jigsaw” was a hard one. He just couldn’t quite figure out how to get that odd ‘j’ sound out of his mouth. It was always either a ‘g’ or an ‘s.’ Nevertheless, he kept at it, beaming every time his father paused to help him along and encourage his progress. Time flowed slowly by, the two of them taking their sweet, sweet time. Eventually, though, a knocking came to the door.

From Beebee’s point of view, a knocking on the door meant that either Aunt Fluttershy was here to visit, or Eventide was back from work. Given that Eventide was currently holding him, though, that left only one other option in his mind. With excitement springing to life in his chest, Beebee launched from his place on Eventide’s chest, eliciting a pained ‘oof’ from him, before shooting over to the door and waiting expectantly by it.

But something was different, this time. Something was wrong. Eventide stood up from his chair way too quickly, his face twisted with worry and fear. The subtle pink haze that Beebee could sometimes see drifting off of him turned a dark shade of purple while his hands reached out. The grasp wasn’t quite as gentle as Beebee was used to, eliciting a frightened squeak from him as he found himself being hurriedly rushed to the bedroom.

Eventide said something to him as soon as they were inside, setting Beebee down on the bed. It came out fast, rushed, and almost sounding afraid. Beebee looked up at Eventide in confusion and concern and was about to jump up to try and hug him again, to try and make him feel better when he felt Eventide’s hand gently press on his back, holding him in place. The two looked into each other’s eyes for a moment, and Eventide said something else.

“Sorry, Beebee, but you’re gonna have to stay in here for a while, okay?”

Beebee’s face scrunched as he tried to make sense of the sounds. He recognized sorry, but that was about it. Shaking himself slightly, he took a tentative step forward. “Dada?” he asked carefully.

Eventide gave him a small smile, then leaned down to plant a quick kiss at the base of his horn. If nothing else, Beebee was able to take some comfort in the fact that his father was starting to calm down. A brief spike of panic, like when he had tried to nibble on those weird black snake-looking things behind the magic box in the living room, or when his wing had gotten stuck and hurt when he grew out of his grub skin.

To his confusion, though, Eventide then stood up and left the room, never breaking eye-contact with Beebee as he went. The door swung closed, and Beebee was left to his own devices. A click from the door told him that it would not open anymore, and a small, quivering squeak worked its way out of him. Usually, that only happened if he was in trouble, which had only happened two times so far. What had he done wrong? Shaking slightly, his wings buzzed, and he hopped off of the bed before trotting over to the door. He put his ear to it, listening.

There were voices. He recognized the voice of his father, Eventide, and that of Aunt Fluttershy, but he didn’t recognize the other three. One of them was incredibly loud and high pitched, while another one sounded weird and foreign, making all of the words it uttered sound completely alien. The third one was softer spoken than the other two but louder and deeper than Aunt Fluttershy by a hefty margin. The five voices talked back and forth, with Beebee only able to pick out a few words in the mix.

“Box.”

“Move.”

“Nephew.”

“Bedroom.”

“Sunset.”

Beebee’s face scrunched up with thought, and he began to try and mimic the words as he heard them. “Bok. Moo. Nafoo. Bet woom. Sunsud.”

Then came the thumping, making his jump back from the door with a squeak. The thumping continued, and after a minute, he heard the sound of another door opening. Then he heard steps descending the stairs into what he thought of as the nursery hive, the old wooden steps creaking even through the walls. Beebee’s face scrunched up even more, and he put his ear by the door again. What was going on out there?

The sounds continued for a time, and then eventually stopped altogether. Beebee listened for a long while, only occasionally hearing a distant thump or muffled voice, too distant to be properly discerned. He looked up at the doorknob, high above his head and frowned. After a moment, his wings started to buzz on his back, and he lifted into the air to try the knob. Unsurprisingly, it didn’t budge. He tried for several minutes, the smooth surface of his hooves usually just sliding uselessly off of the equally smooth and polished round knob.

Eventually growing tired of this sequence, Beebee simply reached out and knocked on the door a few times with his hoof. They were light taps, nothing at all like the knocks he had heard a few minutes ago. When no answer came, however, he knocked again, this time with a vocalized question. “Dada?”

Nothing.

Beebee tried a few more times before finally giving up and drifting back over to the bed to rest his wings. His breath was slightly heavier than when he had lifted off, and a bead of sweat formed on his brow. He Let out a slow, quiet whine of loneliness before curling up into a ball by Eventide’s pillow and closing his eyes. Eventually, despite his confusion and worry, he managed to fall into a light, dreamless sleep.


When Beebee awoke again, it was with joy and delight as he saw Eventide’s smiling face looking back down at him. He had been shaken awake, it seemed, and Eventide now sat next to him on the bed. “Hey there, Bee,” he greeted, prompting Beebee to launch up and hug him around the throat. He knew not to squeeze too tightly, but he couldn’t quite help himself this time. Daddy was here, and now all of his worries and fears could go away. His body relaxed even more when he felt Eventide’s hand very gently return the embrace. He chirped quietly, just content, and closed his eyes.

After a few minutes, Eventide stood and began moving, his hands very carefully keeping Beebee’s eyes turned towards his father’s chest. At first, this wasn’t anything to be concerned about. But when he felt their altitude descending, and heard the tell-tale creaking of the steps leading to the nursery hive, his attention was diverted. He squirmed in Eventide’s grip, trying to get a better look, but Eventide kept him gently immobilized. This only served to make him more curious and confused. Shortly, though, they reached the bottom of the stairs.

“Ready, Beebee?” Eventide asked in a soft whisper. He then slowly turned Beebee around in his hands, but not before covering his eyes with one of them. Beebee huffed and waited patiently for the veil to be lifted. “Three… two… one…” The hand removed itself.

And Beebee’s jaw nearly hit the floor.

“Surprise!”

The nursery hive had been… changed. It was so completely different, now! The single light that had been on the roof had gone from a dusty gold to a pristine white and had a shade over it. More than that, the walls were no longer a murky gray, but a bright and inviting sky blue. The harsh, gray stone floor had been covered with a soft, richly green carpet. There was a bed in the far right corner, covered with bright blue sheets and darker blue blankets. Beebee was able to spy his favorite ant toy resting against a fantastically plush looking pillow. Next to the bed on the left was a wooden bedside table, on which was a lamp casting orange light throughout the room and giving it a warm, inviting look. On the far left side of the room was a smaller, circular rug made up of splotches of bright, friendly colors, with a large colorful treasure chest sitting on top of it that was filled to the bursting point with toys.

Beebee barely even noticed when Eventide let him go, and just continued to hover in place, staring at it all with a gobsmacked expression. He heard Eventide chuckle quietly to himself, before a finger poked him between the wings, urging him to explore. Which he did, with great enthusiasm. The box full of toys was his first target, naturally, and he threw it open to see toys and stuffed animals and action figures, all just waiting to be played with. Now laughing in excited joy, Beebee then shot over to look at the bed where his ant lay, gently prodding the sheets with his hooves.

They were soft and warm, and he immediately began to jump up and down on it, relishing the bouncing motions for several moments. Eventually, though, he looked over at Eventide, who was leaning against the support beam next to the stairs with a smile on his face. To Beebee’s surprise, Fluttershy stood behind him and to his side, her hands clasped over her chest and a warm smile on her face. She looked at Eventide happily. “I think he likes it,” she said.

Eventide nodded slowly when Beebee went back to bouncing on the bed, laughing merrily to himself. “Yeah… looks like he does,” he replied, happy to put all other thoughts out of his mind for now in favor of just watching his little bug explore his new room.

It still smelled like dust and cobwebs in here. But eh, one thing at a time, Eventide figured. And besides, if it bugged Beebee at all, he certainly didn’t show it. The smile on his face and the laughter bubbling out of him was as pure and sincere as it came.

Author's Note:

Fun Fact: Next chapter will feature the first big time skip of this story.

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