• Published 17th Jan 2012
  • 1,890 Views, 106 Comments

The Donors - GoesKaboom

The truth about Pumpkin and Pound Cake's parentage.

  • ...

Not-So-Ideal Situations

Chapter Twelve: Not-So-Ideal Situations

Ideal Diamond paced back and forth in her husband's home office, eyes narrowed. That lousy... rotten... weasel of a stallion was hiding something important from her, she just knew it. She wasn't sure what it was, exactly, but she knew it had the potential to be highly explosive. And more than likely, it would affect her, most likely in a negative way.

Despite what Moneybags seemed to think, she wasn't stupid. Okay, so maybe she didn't know very much about economics and she couldn't care less about the inner workings of her husband's company. Maybe she couldn't name any high-ranking government officials (with the obvious exceptions of the princesses). And maybe she couldn't cook., didn't care about whatever crisis was going on in Zebrica or Griffonia, wasn't all that great of a conversationalist, and maybe she didn't really give a flying hoof about most other ponies, but damn it, Ideal Diamond wasn't a complete idiot, and she highly resented anypoiny who suggested that she was. And it was clear to her that her husband didn't think very highly of her.

It didn't help that she knew that Moneybags had considered divorcing her already. She'd overheard a phone conversation between the stallion and some unidentified pony where he'd gone off on a rant about how Ideal Diamond was the most utterly useless pony he'd ever had the misfortune to meet. He complained that she'd never done an honest day's work in her life and yet she felt entitled to all of his income, spending ridiculous amounts of money on frivolous things nopony actually needed. “My god, man, that mare has enough shoes to give a pair to every single zebra in Zebrica!”

Ideal Diamond had been indignant. No, she did not have enough shoes for everypony in Zebrica! That was ridiculous. She might have had enough shoes for... oh, maybe one-eighth of the population of Zebrica, but certainly not all of it!

A few days after that inicident, the mare had found a letter on her husband's desk from a pony named Alimony Loophole, from Loophole & Loophole Divorce Attorneys-at-Law. Curious and just a bit enraged at the implications, Ideal began to read the letter. “Considering the fact that your current wife is also your business partner's daughter, I would advise you to tread very carefully with this annullment. You do not want to burn bridges within your company, and if you are careless, she could demand a large portion of your income as alimony. But if half of what you told me is true, you shouldn't have much of a problem getting a judge to-”

“WHAT THE BUCK ARE YOU DOING IN MY OFFICE READING MY MAIL!?” Surprised by her husband's sudden appearance and violent outburst, Ideal Diamond lost her telekinetic control over the document and it fell to the the ground. Moneybags immediately snatched it up and incinerated it with a burst of his own magic.

“Is nothing sacred?” he snarled. “I know you already feel entitled to use my money whenever you want, but now you're reading my private communications too? What the buck is wrong with you? If I didn't know your father, I would say you had been raised by a bunch of unbelievably uncivilized, classless timberwolves!”

“You're one to talk!” Ideal Diamond shot back. “You've been planning to divorce me, and you haven't said anything about it? You're a bucking liar, Moneybags!”

“What, because I didn't tell you I was starting the divorce proceedings? That's not a lie, you stupid filly, I didn't say anything that was untrue! And do you really think I'm stupid? If I had told you about it, the next time I turned around you'd be gone off to Las Pegasus or somewhere like that, and you'd run up my credit cards and leave me with the debt!”

They continued on arguing like that for several hours, until both Ideal Diamond and Moneybags had run out of bile to spew at each other. Realizing they'd reached an impasse, they'd agreed to go to bed and pick it back up in the morning.

But they never did. That had been several months ago now, and as far as Ideal Diamond knew, her husband had canceled the divorce proceedings, saying it would be too much of a bother to continue with it. “Just stop spending all my money all the time, amd we'll consider this whole thing behind us,” he'd said. Idea had agreed, thinking that this could possibly be the end to all their marital problems. And it wasn't like she was actually going to stop buying nice things for herself... she would just have to be more careful about it.

But ever since that incident, Moneybags had become paranoid. He never spoke on the phone, or even in person with anypony else, if he thought his wife was in the house. He'd canceled a good number of his credit cards (much to Ideal's irritation), seemed to sneak around more than usual, and put an encryption spell on every single piece of paper that he received. No matter what she did, every time Ideal looked at one of them, all she saw was a blank piece of paper. He even used the spell on things as mundane as the takeout menu . What was so top-secret about the cucumber roll special at Neighpon Garden, that it needed to be kept from her? Maybe the menu had just accidentally been caught up in the spell or something.

Everything like that aside, though, Ideal Diamond knew that her husband was up to no good. It wasn’t hard to figure out, but it still bothered the mare. Moneybags didn’t trust her any further than he could throw her, and their relationship was not one that she could just up and ask him what was going on. That would be an excellent way to make the stallion even more paranoid than he already was.

And it wasn’t like Ideal Diamond really cared one way or another about her husband… but if he was having an affair, it would reflect badly on her. She didn’t care if anypony thought Moneybags was a philandering jerk, but it did matter to her that nopony thought poorly of her. Knowing Manehattan’s high society the way she did, she knew that if Moneybags was cheating and word got out, everypony would blame her for it. She was not about to let that happen. She liked her position just fine the way it was, thankyouverymuch, and she was going to find out what Moneybags was plotting if it was the last thing she did.

Or, at least, she would if her husband hadn’t been so thorough at covering his tracks. Ideal snorted in annoyance, her most recent search of her husband’s office coming up null. Again. She was starting to wonder if Moneybags had simply warded the office against her presence as well as encrypting all of his documentation. Now that she thought about it, she wouldn’t be surprised if that was the case. She wouldn’t put that kind of sneakiness past him.

Huffing in annoyance, Ideal stomped out of the office. Yet again, it had been another fruitless waste of an afternoon. She should have gone shopping instead. That would have been a much better use of her time. But, she didn’t get very far out of the office before she heard an odd crinkling sound coming from underneath her hooves. Looking down, she realized that there was a scrap of paper that had adhered itself to her hind-hoof. Irritated, she lifted her leg to remove the offending piece of paper, then froze once she’d gotten it off herself. For once, the paper wasn’t blank. Granted, it wasn’t the most informative clue, either, since it only had a phone number, but at least it was something. Maybe it wasn’t a clue at all- it could just be the phone number to the dry cleaners’ or the takeout place, something that Moneybags didn’t feel the need to hide. But, it could also be a clue as to what he was up to. And it wouldn’t hurt to investigate, even if the lead actually led to nowhere.

If Moneybags wasn’t back at home by noon on a weekday for his lunch break, it meant that he’d opted to eat at work or go out, and that meant that the earliest he would return would be around 5:30 PM or so. Once the clock showed 12:30, Ideal Diamond decided that her husband wasn’t coming back anytime soon, and that it would be safe to do a bit of detective work. Grabbing the house phone off the wall, the mare viciously punched in the numbers written on the scrap of paper.

The other end rang once, twice, three times. Then, a click on the other end. “Hello?” A mare’s voice came through the receiver.

Ideal Diamond saw red. She had just known it! She knew it! That pathetic excuse for a husband of hers had been cheating on her! And with an incredibly low-class mare to boot, if the other pony’s voice inflections were anything to go by.

“Hello? Is anypony there?” the other mare asked. “Hello? Can I help you with anything?”

The unicorn slammed the phone down, enraged. “Yeah, you can help me with something,” she snarled at the disconnected device. “You can help me by throwing your whore flank off the nearest tall building!”

Hexadecimal stared at the phone clasped in her hooves, expression worried. “Who was that, Hexie?” Binary asked, not looking up from the machine he was tinkering with.

“Well… it was nopony. Nopony was on the other end,” the Earth pony mare replied. Binary made a noncommittal noise in the back of his throat.

“It was probably just one of those political calls again. You know it’s an election year for the bucking Parliament, they’re spending all our tax bits to drum up support from the voter base.”

“But Binary, we haven’t paid taxes in a decade and neither one of us is registered to vote,” Hexadecimal pointed out.

“It’s never stopped them from calling us before, Hexie,” Binary said soothingly. “Personally, I’m pretty sure they just use a random number generator and call every number they come up with. Don’t you remember when it was the last election cycle and MP Magna Carta’s campaign was driving everypony crazy with the non-stop pre-recorded calls?”

“You’d have a point if the caller ID hadn’t said ‘I.’ on it,” Hexadecimal replied.

Now, that made her husband look up from his work. “’i.’? What the buck is that supposed to mean? Do we even know anypony named I? Or anypony whose name even begins with I?”

“Instant Ramen from down the street,” Hexadecimal mused, “and Ink Cartridge from the printer supply shop, but I can’t figure out why either one of them would call here in the first place, let alone call and hang up.” The mare shook her head, dark pink mane falling into her eyes. “No, I’m worried this may have something to do with the job Moneybags gave us. He told us we had to keep it secret from everypony, no matter who they claimed to be.” Even though his coat was a bright blue, the Earth pony stallion visibly paled at that, eyes widening.

“You don’t think it was the EBI checking to see if we were home, do you? Maybe the I stood for Investigation!” he exclaimed. Hexadecimal shrugged.

“I don’t know. I kind of doubt it, though, that’s not really their style. They’d probably just buck our doors down and barge in here, yelling about how we have the right to remain silent and anything we say will be used against us in court. You know, like what they do on the television dramas. No, I think it might have been Moneybags’ nag on the other end.”

“You mean his wife?”

“Of course I mean his wife,!” the mare shouted. “It only makes sense! From what he’s told us about her, and the nature of the information we’re looking for, it’s obvious that she would be suspicious and try to figure things out. She probably found our phone number and called it to see who would pick up.

Binary looked skeptical, but he kept his doubt to himself. Instead, he said, “well, I’ve gotten through the Equine Reproductive Project’s firewall and disabled it. Would you believe their password is ‘password?’”

The couple had a good laugh about that, but it wasn’t enough to put Hexadecimal’s mind at ease. She was going to have to find a way to warn the orange unicorn stallion about his wife’s nosiness. It just wouldn’t do for Ideal Diamond to screw up Moneybags’ hard work and noble plans. Even if the unicorn wasn’t the most righteous of stallions, at least in this particular endeavor, his motives were pure.

And Hexadecimal swore that she would see that her friend’s goals were realized, no matter what it took. Not even if it was the last thing she ever did.


Author’s Comments:

Ugh, this chapter was hard to write. Next time we’ll be back with the Cakes, although that chapter probably won’t be coming out for a while, since tomorrow I’m traveling and won’t have reliable Internet access for about a week.