• Published 23rd Mar 2020
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Do Ponies on Earth have Magic Dreams? - Tiki Bat

The story of an optimistic young night pony, the special pony that enters his life, and how the two of them follow their dreams to make the world a better place!

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Chapter 39: Checking Up and Checking Out

The bright lights of the hospital room burned his sleepy eyes as he suddenly became aware of the mare shaking him awake.

“Scar? What’s up?”

“Doctor’s here for you, sleepyhead,” she leaned up close to him, being sure not to press up too hard. “Sleep well?”

“I mean I’m still in pain but the rest was really nice.” He looked up at her and smiled, “I have some important dream related things to talk about too, but let’s do that later.”

“Oh? What kind of things?”

“Dream things that I shouldn’t talk about here. Plus I have a good feeling you’ll hear some of it sooner rather than later.”

“Should I question that or just go in blind?”

“Probably go in blind. I think whatever I say is just going to make you ask a dozen more questions, so let’s just go with that. If it helps, we don’t need to worry about what this is going to cost us.”

“Yeah okay, that totally doesn’t make me think of a dozen more questions on its own,” she sarcastically replied. “I’ll just take your word that you’ll explain all of this later.”

“Yep,” Silver smirked.

A knock on the door silenced them for a moment as a striking white night pony mare with a dark blue mane and strange red markings on her wings trotted in. Something about the markings seemed odd to him, and for a moment his thoughts drift back to the description that the Dreamwardens had given of her. The memory was a little foggy, as most dream memories could be upon waking, but he definitely remembered Psychic saying something about her being blessed by Yinyu. Was this some strange part of it? Shrugging it off, he resolved to ask more later when he wasn’t dealing with a searing pain in his chest.

“Rise and shine sleepyhead,” she cheerfully called out as she walked up to the bedside.

“Morning, Doctor,” Scarlet greeted her.

“Good morning. I’ve already met you,” she nodded at Scarlet, “but I haven’t had the chance to make your acquaintance yet, Mr. Eclipse. I’m Doctor Fitzpatrick, but you can call me Tender Cure, and I’m the one who’s going to make sure you’re all good to go.”

“Nice to meet you, Doctor.”

“So, now that you’re awake, how are we feeling today?” she asked in a sing-songy voice.

Silver adjusted himself in the bed and smiled, “Doing okay. Still really sore and it hurts to breathe in, but I guess it could be worse.”

“Understandable and not uncommon. But you’re not in any severe pain?”

“Not severe,” he replied as she trotted over to inspect his X-rays.

“Alright, well looking at it now I’m a lot more confident that you’ll be back to normal sooner than later.” She trotted back over to his side and rested a hoof on his bandaged side and paused for a few moments, “I’m going to apply some light pressure, just tell me when it hurts too bad and I’ll stop.”

Silver nodded, “Gotcha.”

With a nod, the mare gently applied pressure, quickly earning a pained yelp from Silver.

“I’m sorry about that,” she replied.

“No…" Silver wheezed, “It’s okay. First time I’ve ever had a broken rib, wasn’t expecting this to…”

“Hurt so bad?” she offered. “Few do. But the good news is that from what I can tell based on your X-rays and even just this is that you only broke one rib.”

“And that’s a good thing I’m guessing?”

“No, it’s a terrible thing,” she replied. “Broken ribs aren’t fun to deal with and it isn’t going to be a fun recovery, but it could have been a lot worse.”

“I’ll take your word for it then,” Silver smiled.

“Mhmm. Now how does it feel when you breathe in? Is there any difficulty or pain?”

“Yeah just a bit,” he started, letting out a cough. “Hurts like hell if I breathe in too deeply, so I’ve been keeping them kind of shallow.”

“But no severe pain? What about when you’re resting? Anything severe?”

“It’s not like an I’m going to die kind of pain, but it sure doesn’t feel good. It aches a lot, especially when I move but if I lay still it kind of dulls a bit.”

“Alright. Good to hear,” she went to inspect his X-rays again. “So, as far as I can tell you won’t see any long term complications. You’re looking at a painful fracture but thankfully it’s nothing worse. We’re going to give you some anti-inflammatory medication to help, but my best advice to you is for you to take it easy and get lots of rest.”

“I think I can do that,” Silver smiled. “So when do you think I’ll be better again?”

“Hard to say exactly. Pony injuries are still new territory for me obviously, but it shouldn’t be more than four to six weeks at most.”

“Doesn’t seem too terrible. Anything I should keep in mind then? Work is probably out I’m guessing.”

“Indeed. I’d prefer if you took it easy and didn’t do any strenuous activity for at least the next week. That means absolutely no flying, no running, and no doing any other strenuous activities that I’m sure you don’t want to hear me say aloud but I know you can probably put together in your head.”

Silver flashed an embarrassed look as he gave a short nod, “Okay, I think I get the gist of it.”

“I don’t want to embarrass you, but I have to say these things for a reason. You’d be surprised to hear the stories I’ve heard from past patients about why their recoveries weren’t going so smoothly.”

“So no exercise then?”

“No strenuous exercise. Obviously you can get some small exercise. Stuff like going for small walks, maybe a quick trot in a week or so, but considering you live up in the mountains I’m going to ask you to keep it short so you don’t wear yourself out.”

“When should he come back for a check up?” Scarlet asked.

“You’ll probably want to come in for a follow up next week, and you’re actually in luck too. I was told that there was another doctor out here who was trying to get training specific to ponies, and managed to get in touch with another Equestrian trained doctor who’s also flown down here. Between the two of us, you should be able to get very thorough and specialized treatment.”

“Would the doctor who’s trying to get training happen to be named Ramirez?” Scarlet chimed in.

The mare raised an eyebrow, “Yes actually. How did you know?”

Scarlet flexed her back hoof and smiled, “Let’s just say that we’ve already met and had a chat about that.”

“Aha, well it seems he’ll be getting his wish and more then.”

“Anything else I need to know?” Silver asked in a more serious tone.

“Aha, I’m guessing you’re referring to the bill and those other nasty affairs nopony likes to deal with.” She trotted over towards the door and shut it, turning back to face the pair, “Has she been allowed to hear about your arrangement?”

“Yes. I didn’t get into too many details though.”

“Alright. I’ll say what I can then. Our mutual friend is going to cover the expenses for your treatment and your stay here. I was only told what I needed to know, and to reassure you that you won’t be saddled with any unnecessary expenses. You’ll hear back from them probably tomorrow so just keep that in mind.”

“So do either of you wanna tell me what’s going on?” Scarlet asked.

“I do,” Silver admitted, “but I think you’ll have to tag along with me the next time we go to bed to find out. You know the dream rules and all.”

Scarlet nodded in understanding. She clearly wasn’t a fan of being left in the dark, but was more than certainly able to piece together some of what the conversation pertained to, and the consequences of breaking the Dreamwardens’ rules about sharing information acquired inside of a dream.

“Can’t share what was told privately. Got it.”

“Sorry I can’t share more,” Silver replied. “I mean I could just rip the bandaid off if I wanted to but something tells me that we’ll be missing out on a big opportunity if I do.”

“That’s a wise decision,” the doctor agreed. “Anyhow, if you’re antsy to get out of here then we can go ahead and discharge you.”

“That sounds great,” Silver cheerfully replied.

“Now this is going to sound kind of silly, but the process is still going to be the same as if you were still a human. Which means you get to take a nice wheelchair ride out to the front.”

“You’re telling me I don’t have to walk? Well sign me right up because that sounds lovely.”

The three ponies laughed before the doctor warmly smiled again, “With a sense of humor like that you’ll be back on your hooves in no time. If you have any questions feel free to give the hospital a call and they can put you in contact with me, otherwise feel free to ask our mutual friend and they can direct you towards me within a dream.”

“Thanks Doctor, I really appreciate what you’re doing.”

“I mean it’s my job to help.”

“Of course, but you’re also being very personable and making a scary situation not so scary. And it really does mean a lot.”

“You’re welcome.”

As Silver was helped into the wheelchair and wheeled down the hallway his thoughts once again blurred into a mix of the deal he had made and what the future had in store for him. A lingering feeling of worry and anxiety filled him as he thought about what his boss would say, and more than anything else right now he just wanted to know what to expect going forward. At face value his world wasn’t changing a whole lot, but he knew that change was on the horizon, and it was surely speeding towards him.

The sudden lack of motion pulled his attention back to reality, and before long he was being helped out of the chair and walked over towards the waiting car. Silver leaned against Scarlet as he took a few slow steps forward. The pain in his side was bad but manageable, and his consolation was that at least they didn’t have to fly all the way home. Instead Scarlet’s mother would drive them back and stay over for the next handful of nights, at least until Silver could manage better on his own. The thought of needing someone around to help take care of him made him feel like some kind of small helpless animal. He couldn’t help but laugh at the thought because by all accounts he was a small helpless animal.

“What’s so funny?” Scarlet asked.

“Nothing. I just feel like a little hurt puppy.”

“Well if it makes you feel better, that means I get to take extra special care of you until you feel better.”

“You know, it does.” He smiled, “I’m going to need a lot of cuddles tonight.”

“I can do that,” Scarlet laughed. “Mom should be here in a minute or two.”

“You know,” Silver started, letting out a pained grunt, “she really doesn’t need to do this.”

“Yeah? Well too bad. You’re going to take her help because you’re already having trouble walking and the doctor already told you there is absolutely no flying at all. You better believe I’m going to make you follow the rules.”

“But…” he started, “Okay fine. You’re right.”

A moment later and Scarlet’s mother hopped out of the car to help, and before Silver could even turn his head to face her she was running over to him as any concerned soon to be family member would. Normally now would probably be the moment that he was pulled into a rib cracking bear hug, but given his injury, Scarlet’s mother had chosen to spare him that fate.

“Oh my goodness,” she gasped as she took in his bandages and bruised appearance, “I didn’t know you were hurt this badly! How are you feeling?!”

Silver returned the warmest, most it’s okay I’m not hurt too bad smile that he could muster, “Like I got kicked in the side and broke a rib, but better than before. Breathing still hurts and I’ll definitely feel this for a while, but the doc said I’ll be fine.”

“Well, you’re going to get lots and lots of rest for however long it takes for that.”

“I really appreciate you helping us Mrs. Delgado.”

“You really don’t need to stay over if you don’t want to, Mom,” Scarlet added pleadingly.

“I don’t want any of that, Scarlet. Your boyfriend’s hurt and you’ll need someone to help take care of him.”

“We have someone,” she retorted. “It’s not good for you to stay up so late with us all week.”

“I stayed up late when you and your sister were babies, and I didn’t complain then.”

“Okay, but that was more than twenty five years ago.”

“And?” She laughed, “Think I’m too old to do it again now?”

“You know,” Silver laughed, “she’s got a point there. It’s usually not a good move to call your mom old.”

“See? Silver gets it,” the woman replied victoriously. “So why don’t you both get comfortable and we can get headed home? It’s a long drive and the sooner we get there the sooner you can get to resting.”

Scarlet shook her head and broke into a fit of laughter, “Okay, you win.”

The drive home was as uneventful as driving from the valley and into the mountains could be. In fact, for most of the ride Silver spent his time curled up in a blanket next to Scarlet with his eyes closed. His pain had dulled a bit, but was still ever present in the background, and he just couldn’t wait to get home and sleep in his own bed. The worries about work were still ever present, but he simply couldn’t deal with them in his current state. There were way more important things on his mind, so he instead compromised and resolved to talk with Tweyelight about everything later. If there was any small consolation, it was that the nurse had apparently already called the salvage yard with some help from Scarlet, and had filled the other night pony in on some of the details.

Was it unfair to leave a new hire on their own without any other explanation than he was okay? Probably. But Tweyelight was more than capable in the job, and more than likely at least had a basic understanding of the scope of Silver’s injury and the chance that he was fine and headed home. Duncan was the person Silver was more worried about. The human was already struggling financially and a workplace injury with a worker who was being paid under the table would not look good for him at all. A nagging feeling of guilt welled up to the surface, making his call a priority over others.

Scarlet’s mother pulled up and stopped the car, setting it in park.

“Looks like you have a few friends waiting, that’s sweet of them.”

Silver struggled to sit up in his seat and peeked over the dashboard, “No kidding. Wonder what they want?”

“Maybe they caught wind of your little trip to the ER,” Scarlet proposed.

“You think?”

“Maybe,” she shrugged. “Guess we should go catch them up to speed.

“You two do that, I’ll find a better parking spot and unpack my stuff. Scarlet you go get Silver tucked in too, I don’t want him on his hooves for too long now, okay?”

“Gotcha mom. There’s a gravel patch over on the side of the cabin if you want to just pull over there.”

“I can do that.”

She hopped out of her seat and in the following moments helped carry Silver out of his seat and gently set him down on the soft grass before hopping back into the car. The loud engine made the group’s ears all twitch in unison, but a little noise pollution was the least of their worries right now.

The sight of three of Silver’s closest friends hanging out outside of his house would normally be an exciting break from the norm, but considering the fact that he hadn’t talked with any of them about his accident yet only filled him with a sense of confusion. Surely they didn’t know about it yet, and if they didn’t then why were they waiting outside?

Their gasps and sympathetic glances told him that his appearance was definitely a surprise to them, which only made him wonder more about why they were waiting. He wouldn’t have to wait long for an answer however, as Tinker trotted forward to greet him with an apprehensive stare.

“Silver… what happened?!”

“What happened was I scared a few would-be thieves at work and learned what happens when a human who’s clearly had some self defense training can do when you scare him.”

“Are you alright?!—“

“—Someone hurt you Blue? Where is he because I’m gonna rip his throat out when I find him!” Sine Wave suddenly yelled in a surprising outburst.

Silver flinched back as she leaped towards him, knocking Tinker out of the way with her aggressive display.

“Sine it’s all good. The cops picked him up and I’m pretty sure he’s going to get hit with assault and breaking and entering charges.”

“That still doesn’t answer my question.”

“Sine, go sit in the corner and give the bat a chance to talk. Can’t you see that he’s too hurt to set up your revenge plot?” Gyro barked out.

“Look this is a night pony thing so stay out of it, Gyromite,” Sine countered.

“Trust me Sine,” Silver interjected, “my coworker already gave the human more than a good scare.”

“Did they now? Did they really?” She snapped back.

“Yes. He’s a bat, and an ex private eye, knows a thing or two about getting this kind of stuff done.”

“Good,” the mare backed off. “So uhhh… you feeling okay?”

“As good as I can,” Silver replied with a half hearted smile followed by a short wheeze, “Just hurts when I focus on it, move around, or breathe in…”

“Which is why he needs some space so he can go rest,” Scarlet cut in.

“Oh, of course,” Tinker replied. “It’s admittedly bad timing but we have some good news that I wanted to tell you both about.”

Scarlet let out a small sigh as she stared wistfully at the small cabin’s door, “Can this wait until tomorrow? I think we’ve had enough excitement for today.”

“Not if you don’t wanna hear it over the phone,” Sine snickered.

Silver perked up, briefly tuning his pain out, “What do you mean by that?”

Tinker shot a glare back towards Sine, who returned a small blush.

“What Sine Wave means is that while you were gone, I got a call from one our our associates over in the Phoenix area. It started as a catch up call but turned into an opportunity that we just couldn’t refuse.”

Silver’s mind raced with thoughts about his own opportunity that he couldn’t refuse, and briefly wondered if this was just pure coincidence or whether there were other actors at play.

“Small world,” the blue night pony laughed. “I had an opportunity in the works that I was going to talk to you guys about too, but that’s kind of up in the air right now.”

“Oh? Care to exchange stories then?”

Silver shook his head, “I’ll hear yours, but like I said, mine is still very much a big maybe right now and it’ll be easier if I just don’t try and explain it until I know more.”

Putting it in those words was bending the truth more than just a little bit, but the reality was that Silver didn’t even fully know what his possible deal with the Dreamwardens would entail. There was a good chance that he wouldn’t even be able to share the true nature of it anyways so it was better to just leave it up to the imagination for now.

“Keeping secrets from us, eh?” the pegasus laughed before running a hoof through his silvery white mane. “I’m just giving you a hard time.”

Silver couldn’t help but laugh at Tinker’s remark, feeling a sharp jab in between that threw him into a coughing fit. Lowering his voice, he gave a short raspy response.

Dropping his voice to a more serious and stern tone, he leaned close to the pegasus, “Let’s just say it’s classified and if I told you I’d have to kill you...”

“I uhh… that serious eh?”

Unable to maintain the facade, Silver burst out in laughter, whining at the pain it brought on, “Nah, but I can’t really get too deep into it now.”

Looking back at Scarlet, he could get the hint that it was time to speed things up given the concerned expression that she was giving him.

“So why don’t you give me the abridged version of the story so I can get some rest before Scarlet drags me to bed.”

Tinker laughed, “Probably for the best eh?”

“Yeah, it is,” Scarlet laughed back.

Tinker straightened up and continued, “So the big surprise is that the opportunity we were offered was to move over to Phoenix and assist our associate in some of his own endeavors. He runs a local machine shop and in return for us providing whatever help we can, he’s willing to give us a proper workspace all to ourselves in one of his vacant warehouses.”

“That’s great!” Silver exclaimed, “So I’m going to wager a bet and say that’s why you’re here then? To say your goodbyes?”

“Not exactly,” he began. “The three of us were wondering if you two would be interested in coming along? I know it’s a lot to ask, but I also know you’ve shown interest in this kind of thing before.”

Silver hesitated for a moment and glanced over to Scarlet, who simply gave him an unreadable expression that didn’t betray a thought on the matter one way or another.

“I…” he started, “I… I really appreciate the offer, but I don’t think I’m in any position to make this kind of decision right now. Both of us still need follow ups with the doctors and I think this is something we really need to sit down on and talk about together.”

The pegasus slowly began to nod his head, looking away from the other stallion for a moment before his warm ankle returned, “I understand… I knew it was a lot to ask but it would be a disservice to you if I didn’t.”

“When are you all moving?” Scarlet perked up.

“We’ve been packing up our stuff while you were both away, and we’ll most likely head out tomorrow afternoon.”

“So it gives us a night to talk this over then,” she nodded turning towards Silver. “Let’s chat over dinner then.”

Silver began to speak up, but before he had a chance to talk, Sine jumped in again.

“Just saying, those two are for sure moving. I didn’t wanna jump to anything until they ran it by you two.”

“You’re making your decision based on what we want?” Scarlet asked, confused.

“Maybe,” Sine shrugged. “Bats gotta stay together right? Otherwise we’d all be back to where we started… just uhh don’t take too long, I kinda wanna have some warning for if I have to pack up my worldly possessions or not.”

“Do you have a lot to pack?”

“Kinda. I got lots of retro video games that I dug out of my old home before I ditched that place. Gotta take care of those babies right otherwise they’ll burn out on me.”

“Right,” Scarlet nodded, “how about we turn in for today, chat about it, and then we’ll give you an answer, okay?”

“That’s fine by me,” Tinker replied.

“Good, then we’ll catch up with you guys later. And we’ll stop by your cabin or something before, okay Sine?”

“Aye aye Red. Now you two get some rest, and take it easy Blue. No crazy shenanigans from you anymore, kay?”

Silver let out a half hearted laugh as Scarlet gently nudged him towards the door, “Gotcha.”

Stepping in, Scarlet pulled the curtains closed and turned towards Silver, “First things first. You, bed, now,” she pointed to the bed with a wing.

“Huh? Scarlet I—“

“—You are injured and you need to go lay down and get some rest. I know you wanna talk about this whole thing but not until you’re nice and cozy and I’ve had a chance to get you some water.”

Silver nodded his head and gently laid down on the bed while Scarlet rummaged around for a bottle of water.

Bringing the bottle to him, she continued, “So you want to go with them, don’t you?”

Her question hit him like a semi truck. It wasn’t as if he wasn’t expecting it, but he certainly wasn’t expecting it so soon.

“I uhh… it’s complicated,” he admitted. “I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to go, but at the same time we’ve got a lot stacked on our plates right now, right?”

Scarlet looked away for a moment and nodded, “Yeah. Doctor visits, jobs, families…”

“Our future together,” Silver added.

“That too. But we don’t even know what’ll happen yet,” Scarlet snuggled into the bed next to him and rested her injured hoof on a pillow, “Tell me this, what do you want most?”

Silver hesitated for a moment, trying to find the right words to put his thoughts together. Nuzzling up against her, he said what was really on his mind, “The nice happy life together that we’ve been talking about.”

“And would moving make that harder?”

“No,” he shook his head, “I don’t think it would, but if I’m being completely honest, I like the idea of settling down out here more. You know, it’s nice and quiet, and it’s not a bad place to raise a kid in either. Not as much stress as a big city like Phoenix. Plus a big move might be a whole world of stress that neither of us need right now.”

“You think so?”

“I guess we won’t know until we get everything figured out with the doctors, but I think I’d be happy staying here for a while. Not like we can’t go join them later if we really wanted to.”

“You sure? I mean you have the opportunity sitting right there outside. You could take it and we could make it work in whatever way we needed to.”

“But why? Why give up what we’ve made here?” He paused, “Scarlet, you’re my best friend in the whole world. You make me feel so loved and so happy and I can’t tell you how glad I am to have met you.”

Scarlet sat in silence for a moment, but her expression clearly conveyed the raw emotion she felt.

“My real dream is what we’ve been doing. Making a place for ourselves, for a family, and just seeing where life takes us. Maybe I can’t just run off and play scientist right now like I’ve been doing on the weekends, but that doesn’t really change anything for me.”

“So we're staying here and settling down then?”

“For now,” he agreed. “I think what we need to do is schedule a follow up for both of us, and maybe get a check up from the doctors too. See how your leg is doing and see if they can answer some of the embarrassing starting a family questions that we need answered, and go from there.”

Scarlet smiled, “I think that sounds like a great idea.”

Silver snuggled up to her again before stealing a glance towards the door, “So should we get a little bed set up for your mom?”

“You’re not doing anything except relaxing right here, but if you want my honest answer, I think she’ll figure it out once she’s done unpacking her stuff from the car.”

He grinned, “Well I suppose I can do that if you can offer some cuddles to help make the pain go away.”

Scarlet shook her head and laughed, “Oh alright, but I charge for those.”

“Do you now? Well name your price.”

“I get to choose the dreams for the next two weeks.”

Silver let out a deep laugh that also made him wince back in pain for a moment. Lowering his voice, he agreed to her terms, “Consider it a deal then.”

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