• Published 29th May 2019
  • 9,311 Views, 408 Comments

And when the darkness comes around - Cackling Moron



Local human encounters nocturnal pony, provides sustenance

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All we need is blood

Author's Note:

Again, my sincerest apologies to anyone who can actually Do The Art - your craft shall be mercilessly sacrificed upon my altar of formulaic fluff.

If you do notice any inconsistencies with anything it is, as ever, magic.

MAGIC! WHOOOO!

Lamia was not the best subject Eric had ever worked with. Not the worst though.

It was not that she wasn’t good at the sitting still. Normally she was very good at the sitting still. It was just that she found the sitting still while being looked at for extended periods of time by Eric to be an experience she was unprepared for.

That was the key point. It was having Eric’s attention focussed so intently on her that was the issue. Often, just having him smile in her direction was enough to make her flustered, depending on the context. But having to stay in position while he looked her over so intently? Top to bottom?

Agonising.

She managed it though, long enough for Eric to finally pull back from his pad with a flourish.

“Well that’s something,” he said, nodding to himself as he looked over what he’d done. Lamia relaxed, letting out a breath she hadn’t really been aware she’d been holding, wings falling limp by her sides, tension releasing.

“Is that it?” She asked.

“No no, that was just me sketching, trying to get you down. Did you know I’ve never drawn a pony? Not properly, at least. Done some kind of generic ones in the middle distance for some things once or twice, but nothing like this yet. Nothing in detail, trying to be really like someone. Weird. Anyway, what do you think?” He asked, turning the pad around.

Lamia hopped down from the chair she’d been perched on and clip-clopped over for a closer look though she was paying more attention to Eric than what he was holding, something he’d said having caught her brain.

“I’m not a pony though, I’m a batpony,” she said, coming to a halt in front of him and flopping onto her rump.

“Second part of that word’s the important part, Lamia. Think I captured you? Roughly?.”

He held the pad out further in her direction and now she had a look.

It was a picture of her. This should not have been a surprise, but actually seeing it still came as something of one to Lamia, who’d found the whole experience a little on the surreal side.

“Is that what I look like?” She asked. Eric turned the pad around again and looked it over.

“Like looking in a mirror, eh? I’m, uh, I think I did alright on this, given I pretty much just started. Think that bodes well.”

“It’s really good,” Lamia said. She had no real frame of reference but it had looked good to her. And she was heavily biased in Eric’s favour. He could have done just about anything and she probably would have said the same thing.

“You’re too kind. Though I did have good subject matter to work with,” Eric said, giving her a wink. Lamia didn’t get it.

“What?”

“You, silly!” Eric chuckled, giving her a poke in the belly. Lamia squeaked.

This was the first time this had happened. It was also possibly the single cutest sound that Eric had ever heard in his life to date, at least off the top of his head.

“Oh,” he said, face lighting up. “Oh I have to do that again.”

Again, Lamia didn’t really see where this was going. Blame her extended isolation.

“Huh?” She went, head cocked to the side, big eyes blinking. Eric just grinned wider, laid the pad to one side, and struck.

Her guard wide open, she was entirely unprepared. Both Eric’s hands found her belly and started tickling. There was a split second of absolute shock where her brain simply failed to acknowledge what was happening, but then that moment passed and it hit her. And the giggling started.

“Eric! W-what - ah!”

Far too late for that. Already she was on her back, belly even more exposed, the tickles coming thick and fast along with the squeaks.

“This is going better than I expected,” Eric said, perhaps not thinking through what he was doing as much as she should have done. To him it was harmless fun. To Lamia, something of a shock but not an altogether unpleasant one. To any number of unnamed, immaterial, hypothetical outside observers? Anyone’s guess.

Beneath his fingers, Lamia squirmed.

“Stop! S-stop!” She squealed between snorts and giggles, hooves flailing, the rest of her wriggling helplessly and none of her really getting anywhere. Not that she was putting much effort into it.

“You’re just so fluffy!”

“Erriiiiiic!” She wailed, now trying to buffet him with her wings, bouncing on the floor.

Concerned that she might hurt herself doing this Eric finally eased off, falling back onto his haunches - having lunged from his chair to start tickling in the first place.

It took Lamia a few seconds after he’d stopped to realise that he’d actually stopped, her squealing and flailing continuing even as she just knelt there watching her. Then she twigged it, stopped moving, and cracked one eye to see him there, grinning down.

“...oh,” she said, getting shakily back up into a seating position and dusting herself down.

Then:

“That wasn’t funny,” she huffed, glaring. This only served to make Eric really want to get right back to the tickling. Or the hugging. Or something, really. She just looked adorable when she glared. Probably not what she was going for.

“I got carried away. Sorry,” he said. “Can you forgive me?”

The glare persisted but could not hold, and quickly broke and she had to look away.

“...fine. But that was mean!” She said from behind her mane. Eric made a good show of appearing contrite.

“I know, I’m a terrible person. I don’t know what came over me!” He said.

Lamia, who’d managed to somehow get part of her mane stuck in her mouth, had to blow it out, which somewhat undercut anything she might have said next. Not that it mattered a whole lot, with what she said next being:

“Being a meanie came over you.”

This was a statement that would have been extremely difficult to deliver with gravitas, regardless of who you were. Fluffy, slightly breathless batponies couldn’t even have attempted to do it.

All Eric could do was smile in agreement. She wasn’t wrong.

With a grunt he pushed up from the floor and sat back in his chair.

“That’s enough for one night though, I think. For art at least,” he said, yawning, stretching. Lamia’s face fell.

“Oh...you’re going to go to bed?” She asked.

Eric had to finish up on the yawning and stretching before he could reply:

“Heh, you miss me when I’m asleep?”

“...yes…”

Eric had not caught that.

“Pardon?” He asked.

“It’s quiet when you’re asleep.” Lamia said.

Somehow, despite this being far, far longer than the single-syllable thing Eric had failed to hear initially, he didn’t notice any issues and just took what she’d said at face value.

“You need a hobby, Lamia. But it’s fine. Got nothing on tomorrow. Just waiting for paint to arrive and that ain’t for days. Can probably do some stuff for this portrait, maybe. Nothing urgent. Nothing I need to wake up for!” He said. This statement was unclear.

“So you can stay up with me?” Lamia asked, tiny bit of hope flickering.

“For a bit, ‘course,” he said.

Lamia hopped excitedly onto all fours and smiled without noticing herself doing it. A wide, pointy smile.

“Thank you!”

“No need to thank me! No chore spending time with you, Lamia. But what to do, what to do…”

Eric stroked his chin in thought. Lamia let him get on with it, not having really had any plan on what to do other than just hang around with him. That was about as far as her thought process had gone.

He might have had a point about her needing a hobby - it was just an issue that had never come up before.

“You go out at night, don’t you?” Eric asked, out of the blue.

This was true, she did. For feedings when she needed them, and also just for fresh air on occasions. She came and went via the window in her room upstairs, as Eric understood it.

“Yeah?” She asked, unsure where he might be going with this.

“Well why don’t we go out together? Tonight? Right now? Not if I’ll cramp your style if you’re out for blood.”

Mention of blood did not buoy Lamia’s enthusiasm. It was a complicated issue. Going out and feeding like she always did not was a problem, that was normal. Not a fun thing to do and often culminating in failure, yes, but she was used to that.

Feeding from Eric, though, was new. And reliable. And delicious. And made her feel bad because she didn’t want to think of Eric as delicious, she wanted to think of him as possibly the only pony - person, he said, but he also said he didn’t mind - she’d met in her life who had been nice to her from the very first moment.

And it would be so easy to just not even bother going out anymore, not when Eric seemed perfectly willing to indulge her anytime she asked. It would be so easy! But it would be so bad. She knew that. And even knowing that there was always that part that just wanted to do it anyway. Because it was easy, and he was delicious.

She preferred not to think about it too much if she could help it.

“I’m not hungry…”

“Alright then! Just a nice walk, eh? You and me! Nice to stretch my legs. And you your, er, wings I suppose.”

She had no idea why he was suggesting this but she couldn’t see much wrong with it.

“O-okay…”

And so off they went into the night, Eric pausing only to put a coat on first. It was a little nippy out after dark, or it could be - paid to be prepared for changeable weather, in his experience.

Eric’s house was fairly central as regards the layout of Ponyville but things were still quiet once outside, the night air brisk. He took in a lungful.

“I’m already enjoying this,” he said.

Lamia did fly around at first, but somewhere around the halfway point of the walk this transitioned into her riding around on Eric’s shoulders. How that had happened he hadn’t really noticed, but it had. He didn’t mind.

Lamia’s reasons for having done this were not complicated.

“Everything looks very different at night,” Eric said, hands on his hips, looking down one of Ponyville’s wider thoroughfares. Deserted now, of course, and so deliciously quiet.

“Does it?” Lamia asked, not removing her face from where it had ended up, buried in the crook of his neck. He gave her a quick scratch, reaching up idly, other hand staying on his hip.

“Heh, suppose you wouldn’t know, would you? Take my word for it, Lamia.”

She did, and so said nothing, and Eric kept on walking. He was heading around town in a rough circle, not straying too far, mostly just enjoying the difference between what it was like during the day and what it was like during the night. He’d done that sort of thing back home, too.

Some minutes later, at the very start of what might have been the home stretch, Lamia piped up:

“Eric?”

“Yes?”

“...where are you from?”

He was kind of impressed it had taken her so long to ask this question.

“Ah, not from round here. Another world, another time, in the age of wonder,” he proclaimed with booming seriousness - or as booming as he felt was polite given the hour. He couldn’t keep a straight face though. “Heh, not really. Just from somewhere else. I wouldn’t worry about it.”

“How did you get here?”

“The usual way.”

There wasn’t a lot Lamia could say to that. So she went with something else:

“Do you like it here?”

“Love it here! Much more my speed.”

“So you’re not going to leave?”

Now that question Eric had not been expecting. So unexpected was it that he even stopped walking, doing his best to look down at Lamia to answer her. Given that she was practically wrapped around his neck he could not do this, however.

“Leave? No. Why’d you ask?”

“Just wondering…”

Eric considered this, then shrugged. He had to shrug extra hard with Lamia on his shoulders, and shrugging extra hard very nearly made her fall off. She went meep again, but clung on.

“What a strange thing to wonder…”

Not long after this Eric arrived back home, Lamia dismounting once he was through the door, slipping down him and landing by his feet to follow behind.

“Well that was bracing but now I really must be going to bed, I’m knackered,” he said, again yawning and stretching.

“Okay,” Lamia said, doing her best not to sound too doleful. Chuckling, Eric bent to give her another scratch. It was a very hard habit for him to break.

“Oh you, don’t sound so sad! I’ll be back up again in a few hours! I mean, you’ll probably be asleep by then...but hey! We got tomorrow night, eh? Or later tonight. Is this morning? I lose track. Point is, cheer up Lamia. I even saw you smile earlier! Made my night.”

“W-what?”

Eric, yawning again, missed her stuttering surprise at this, and also missed how she very nearly tripped over forward.

“Hmm?” He asked, once he’d finished and saw nothing out of the ordinary. Lamia said nothing, and Eric shrugged the moment off.

“Tell you what: tomorrow night you and I are going to sit down and see if we can figure out something for you to occupy your time with. Doesn’t sit right with me to think of you just waiting around twiddling your thumbs - er, hooves - all night if I’m not around and you’re not out there. Got to stay active, Lamia! Otherwise you lose your mind. Trust me! I’d know! Now, I’m heading up, you want a hug before-”

Hugs before bed were a thing in Eric’s house now, since Lamia started visiting and staying over every single day since he’d said she could visit. He was not sure why they had become a thing but she plainly appreciated them so they were a thing.

So much of a thing that he’d barely finished asking before she’d leapt up and wrapped herself around him.

“Steady on, there! Oh you,” he said, squeezing her before peeling her off himself and setting her back down on the floor and giving her a pat on her fluffy, fluffy head.

“I don’t know why you batpony types have this sinister reputation - you’re a bundle of wonderful you are. Don’t ever change. Now! Finally! Nighty night,” he said, determinedly, giving her a wave and then heading for the stairs.

“Goodnight, Eric,” Lamia said, watching him go.

She couldn’t be sure - because she didn’t really have the experience to be sure - but she was starting to get the creeping feeling that she and Eric were looking at something from two wildly different angles and seeing something completely different.

She just wasn’t sure what.