• Published 12th Mar 2019
  • 683 Views, 62 Comments

Return the Night, or no Deposit - totallynotabrony



Detective Fit is stuck on a case involving a spree of anti-lunar graffiti. There are no clues, and Fit is getting desperate. Desperate enough to call the craziest consultant he knows.

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Chapter 13

“Should I be concerned?” Fit asked as they approached the hospital. Ponies were pouring out the front door.

“No,” said Mirror.

One of the hospital orderlies saw them approaching. “Oh thank Celestia, the police are here about the bomb threat.”

Fit shot a look at Mirror.

The flow of doctors and patients seemed to have stopped as they approached the building. A stallion with a clipboard and a counting clicker stood by the door. He consulted his notes and announced, “That’s everypony.”

Spotting the police, he said, “Excellent, how soon can you begin sweeping the building?”

Just then, there was an ear-splitting bang and the stone Guard seal over the door blew off the wall and came crashing down, just barely avoiding the group. It would have crushed any of them.

Fit threw startled look at Mirror, who frowned and said, “Okay, maybe be concerned.”

“You didn’t-”

“No, I didn’t,” she said, still frowning. Her eyes shifted upwards. “But I bet I know who did.”

Underneath the seal, some impressively careful explosives work had carved out a new logo, one that only incorporated the image of the sun.

Mirror glanced around. “And speaking of, there’s one of them.”

Fit followed her gaze, spotting the stallion who he’d encountered near the colonoscopy clinic standing among a crowd. Dark Roast, was it? Fit took a step in that direction, but realized he’d noticed another of the perps. And another. And who knew how many more unknown members of the anti-Luna faction might be hiding in the crowd? Himself and three other officers was starting to seem like not enough.

A young colt appeared on the street corner. He held up a newspaper. “Extra, extra! Princess Personally Peeved about Paintings! Read all about it!”

Well, maybe that would help. The police were still outnumbered, but with news about the Princess, now they might have their marks on edge.

And not only that, just then a gasp went through the crowd and a masked mare appeared on the rooftops, silhouetted against the rising moon.

Mare Do Well did a backflip off the roof, ricocheted off the next building, spun around the horizontal bar of a lightpole, and landed perfectly on the sidewalk, cape fluttering.

“How’s it going?” said Mirror. She traded a hoofbump with Mare Do Well.

Fit realized that Haven owed him lunch, but was too awestruck to say anything.

Fortunately, Haven wasn’t. “Uh, everypony?” She indicated the stone disk that had been blown off the hospital and was currently picking up speed as it rolled away.

Fit ran after it, tugging as best he could with magic but having little effect. It was heading towards the maple syrup distillery and he didn’t want to think about what would happen if it crashed through a wall and ruptured one of the holding tanks.

He shouted and the crowd ahead of him cleared away. Fit threw his body at the rolling stone but only wobbled it. It wasn’t going to change course so easily and he was running out of time.

Judging its trajectory towards the curb, Fit dashed out in front of it and crouched, bracing. The six-inch height gave him just enough room to get his hooves under it.

He threw everything he had into the lift, using the change in height to redirect the stone’s momentum. He got it to the top of his reach, above his head, and stumbled several steps on his hind legs before finally managing to stop.

All the mares within sight spontaneously swooned, Mare Do Well included, Fit noted in the back of his mind. It was almost enough to distract him from the fact that if he didn’t put this rock down soon it was going to crush him.

WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THIS?” said a force of nature disguised as a voice.

Princess Luna descended from the sky, landing in a quickly-cleared circle in the middle of the crowd. There was fire in her eyes and the circle of ponies widened as she glanced around. Her eyes settled for a moment on the hospital’s new logo.

“If there were dissent in the ranks, it it is every Guard’s duty to seek guidance and resolve disputes,” said Luna. “My sister and I wrote that very line in the manual. But now that I am here, you may have my attention. What do you desire?”

“Um, Princess, could I get a little help?” Fit wheezed.

Luna trotted over and took the stone from him with one hoof, not even using magic. She hefted it and walked back over to the front of the hospital to rehang it above the door. That done, she turned to readdress the crowd. “Well? If there is call for it, I can establish a royal court right here and now to address any issues that anypony may have.”

Five seconds passed in total silence.

“Excellent,” said Luna. “Nopony has any problems whatsoever. Have a good night and sweet dreams.”

She flew away.

“I was kind of hoping I could get a moment of her time to read my screenplay,” Mirror muttered. Fit barely heard her, already working kinks out of his aching muscles. In the commotion, he noticed Mare Do Well had gone.

“Did you call the Princess here just for that?” Haven said.

“Well, I didn’t think we needed any help with the arrests...”

“Well if that’s the case,” grumbled Haven. “There are a couple of ponies in this crowd I recognize. We could start cuffing them.”

“I guess it would be a shame to go through all this and not get some tangible results,” Plowshore agreed.

There were still only four of them, but that was perhaps four arrests that otherwise would not have been made. They split off.

Fit approached the stallion he’d seen near the colonoscopy clinic. “I’m not really in the mood to fight right now,” Fit said as he approached. “But if Princess Luna had to come back here, I’m sure she’d be even less amused. Put out your fetlocks.”

Dark Roast hesitated, but reluctantly did as ordered. Fit snapped on the cuffs.

The next few hours were spent booking. Police work was mostly about filing papers, and catching wrongdoers only resulted in more. To everypony’s credit, several arrests in such a big case brought the office together to help Fit and Haven get everything done properly. Mirror and Plowshore, not being Manehattan PD, did at least hang around to provide moral support.

Fit didn’t know what time they finished up, only that he was exhausted. The initial testimony they’d gotten indicated that there might be more arrests to be made. Everypony wanted to be a cultist until personally called out by an alicorn princess, and then they turned into songbirds. He hung around the office only a moment longer to file for vacation. After all this, he felt like he could use at least one day off.

“Do you need anything else?” Haven asked.

“No,” he said. “But thank you. And...thank you for standing by me through this. I don’t know if I’ll be able to reciprocate. I doubt you have any insane consultants waiting in the wings.”

“Speaking of Mirror, is she...okay?” Haven asked. “Now that the case is over, I thought I should bring it up. You say she’s always been quirky, but I’m a little concerned that there’s something else going on.”

“I’ve never asked,” said Fit. “But maybe I should.”

“Then again,” said Haven, “She’d probably find some way to dodge the question or throw an even more convoluted idea into your head.”

“It’s amazing how well we know her, but don’t know anything about her, isn’t it?” Fit shook his head.

“Well, if you see her again, tell her thank you for me,” said Haven. The two of them bumped hooves and went off in separate directions.

Fit made his way home. He slipped into bed quietly, feeling the shape of Tree Hugger already there. She rolled over, putting her foreleg over him. Fit let out a long breath after a long day, and finally relaxed.

In the morning, they were both still there. Fit’s eyes slowly opened to the morning light. Tree Hugger was awake, but hadn’t moved. She smiled at him.

“We finished up the case,” he said. “I’m taking the day off.”

“Whoa, awesome. I’m happy for you.” Tree Hugger slid closer and kissed him.

When they got out of bed a while later, Tree Hugger suggested brunch. The day was easygoing, and they could always go to the gym later.

Fit considered the wedding ring in his dresser drawer as he put on a shirt. Soon. It was a family heirloom, and sized for a unicorn, but he didn’t think Tree Hugger would mind. He felt guilty that the case had kept him from focusing on the proposal for so long without taking action, but that had changed. Soon.

They went to a restaurant Tree Hugger knew. It wasn’t crowded on a weekday. The two of them had a seat and picked up the menus.

“How’s it going?”

Fit lowered his menu to see Mirror standing there, sunglasses on despite being indoors.

“Oh hey, wow,” said Tree Hugger. “Have a seat.”

Fit glanced back and forth. “How do you two know each other?”

They both looked at him. “We met at this really righteous yak yoga yurt up in the mountains,” said Tree Hugger. “It’s been a little while now.”

“That’s some coincidence,” said Fit. “Mirror was my commander when I was in the Guard. She came to Manehattan to work the case.”

Mirror sat down put a newspaper on the table, sliding it across to Fit. “Since Princess Luna actually showed up, Nosey was willing to believe anything else I told him, exactly as I told him.”

Cops Cap Caper!

The Manehattan Police Department wrapped up the case of anti-lunar graffiti with the stunning revelation that a faction inside the Earth, Unicorn, and Pegasus Guard of the Protective Pony Platoons, commonly known as EUP, had been behind it. Detectives Cross Fit and Safe Haven worked tirelessly to break the case, personally making the final arrests.

The article went on to discuss EUP’s press release. It seemed the Manehattan hospital would be under completely new management soon.

“Far out,” said Tree Hugger, reading the article.

“So what are you doing next?” Fit asked.

“I’m going home,” said Mirror. She lowered her sunglasses and smiled at him, a genuine, not-crazy one. “I want to thank you for calling me. I’ve always suspected something like this, but couldn’t prove it on my own.”

“Well, I guess I couldn’t either,” Fit said. “Thank you.”

There were so many more things he wanted to ask her. Not just about the case, but about herself. As Fit had told Haven, Mirror might be the most fascinating pony he had ever met and he couldn’t help but want to solve mysteries.

But maybe he was fine not knowing. Fewer headaches that way. Another reason to propose to Tree Hugger ASAP - to settle down.

“Oh, before I go, I wanted to give you something,” said Mirror. “A little keepsake, but who knows, maybe you’ll find some use for it.” Her hoof reached behind her, and then she placed her tail band on the table in front of Fit.

He stared at it. Did she- He looked up. Mirror grinned, fangs showing.

“I was wearing two.” She shrugged modestly. “Tell Haven that maybe she rubbed off on me with being over-prepared.”

Mirror got up and put her sunglasses back on. She waved, and walked out.

Fit sighed. As much as he appreciated Mirror, she was best served in small doses.

“So now that the case is over,” said Tree Hugger, “do you still want a backrub every morning and evening?”

Fit leaned in to kiss her. “Well, now that the source of stress is gone, I think I can get by. I won’t say no, though.”

“Mmm.” Tree Hugger smiled at him. “It’s good to have you back. The anxiety was really messing up your chi.”

“Thank you for staying with me.”

“No problem. I’m totally here for you, forever. In fact…”

She picked up the tail band, and then got down on her knees. “Fit, will you marry me?”

Author's Note:

This story has been in development for more than two years, with two big gaps of 6+ months in the middle. It just didn’t come naturally, so I guess I’m glad that it eventually came out at all.
The original format had Fit getting kidnapped along with Mirror when he visited the hotel room, but there needed to be more structure and so I had to add like four new chapters.
Safe Haven’s name is an obtuse reference to some guy who got a patent on a seatbelt in 1955.

Thanks for reading.

Comments ( 11 )

I was waiting for the maple syrup distillery explosion or some similar accident, nearly happened.

The two fake outs at the end were fun.

Aww :yay:

I still bet Tree Huger is Mare do Well, though.

And I'd love a final installment where we finally find out who is Mirror and her story.

You know it’s funny. I was wondering why I felt that name was familiar.

9525930
It was partly inspired by the great molasses flood of Boston.

9525975
I've contemplated doing a story about Mirror but ultimately it's just as Fit says: she's best served in small doses. I could write a story about her, but she exists more as a plot device than a character and reality is sometimes not as interesting as mystery.
That's also why I didn't unmask Mare Do Well. But yeah, it was Tree Hugger.

All the mares within sight spontaneously swooned, Mare Do Well included,

Go Fit!:raritywink:

“Fit, will you marry me?”

:rainbowlaugh::pinkiehappy:

Magnificent stuff. Exactly enough revealed for a Mirror story, mare of mystery that she is. Though given the ongoing conflict between her and the Guard's, er, old guard, this is probably one battle in a long, ongoing war.

Also nice to see a non-Twilight princess solve the problem. Alicorns tend to be bludgeons rather than fine instruments, but sometimes you just jeed to hit tue suspect over the head..

Great read. Thank you for it.

9530112

Alicorns tend to be bludgeons rather than fine instruments,

Interesting idea there. With maybe the exception of Twilight, the answer to "Who ya gonna call?" is only "a princess" when the world is literally at risk. Though, if we're being real about it, Celestia has a negative track record and everyone forgets Luna exists.

Great story that needs more attention, but the last chapter's conclusion felt so rushed that I barely understood what was happening. It might have been better being split into two

This one was pretty good. Cracked Mirror is rather interesting. I hope you make another story with Fit and Haven again.

Really liked this one. Hopefully there will be another installment because I am enamored of this series.

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