A fall day
Winter is drawing closer and closer, and though green and brown still cover the land there is a definite chill in the air. Dampness clings to the crevices of the rocks and trees as the fading sun descends earlier and earlier, yet despite this the town of Ponyville still goes on, still living the precious and protected lives they've always known under the care of the Princess (and now Princesses). Thus Solar Solstice sets forth along the road through Whitetail Wood towards a certain playwright's home, the crisp leaves crinkling beneath his hooves.
There's a light in Bardigan's home. All the holes have been patched up and it's mostly warm. He's inside, of course, stuck to his desk and a blanket wrapped around him. Pegasi are somewhat more resistant to heat and cold than most, but that doesn't mean he finds winter completely comfortable! He does, however, peek outside and sees Solar coming, meaning the door is open by the time he arrives.
Solar_Solstice is quick to note the movement and has his hoof up in a wave by the time Bardigan swings the door fully open. "Hey there! Good to see ya, Mr. Bardigan!" he says cheerily, grinning widely. "Figured you'd be at home around this time."
Bardigan smiles amicably in return. "Of course. Come inside, come inside, it's freezing out there." He allows the earth pony in and closes it quickly. "There's hot cocoa on the kettle there, help yourself. What brings you by?"
"Don't mind if I do!" says Solstice, making a beeline for the kettle, his heavy saddlebag jangling about loudly. "Oh, well, it's kind of a weird story." He carefully lifts up the kettle using a hoof (a unique skill, to be sure) and starts to pour himself a cup. "I heard that your backroom got wrecked by the Princess, so I thought I'd drop by to help fix it, or something."
Bardigan laughs aloud. "Wrecked? No no, Solstice. It's not a wreck. Far from it, I think it's an improvement that's made my life all that more interesting." As if to add emphasis, there's an unidentified howl from the upstairs bathroom. It's probably some kind of horrific eldritch abomination. Or a howler monkey. "Besides, I think it's a *bit* overgrown. I doubt we'd make a dent."
Solar_Solstice turns his head quickly, aroused and disturbed by the sound. He turns back, and blinks, and hangs his mouth open a little. "...I guess so?" he says with uncertainty. "I mean, you're still able to actually, uh, use that room, right?"
Bardigan shakes his head. "We've had a firm lock on the door ever since the trees got too big. I can't really see the back of the room anymore, and I'm not sure it's there at all now. Anyway, it's a literal jungle in there. Sometimes critters escape and I have to put them back. I doubt anypony can get rid of it save the Princess herself."
Solar_Solstice nods solemnly as he considers the situation. "Well, I don't know if I can get rid of the plants, but maybe I can make it so you can get inside? I mean, you should be able to go in your own house and not have to use an outhouse, or borrow somepony's else's bathroom, or, uh..." He stops himself before he considers the grim third possibility.
Bardigan just laughs again! "I have a second bathroom you know. I *am* rather well off, so I can afford that kind of thing." Just let's not mention the five or six spare bathrooms he had added just in case something like that happens again. Bardigan gives Solar a little bump with his wing. "But I appreciate the thought."
Solar_Solstice nods again and taps his chin. The house did seem rather spacious even from the outside. "All right, then, sorry for bothering you, then!" he says apologetically, having a sip of the hot chocolate. "I mean, if you got it all under control, I guess I should..." He pauses for a moment. "How's little Diamond? She doing OK?"
Bardigan takes a deep breath and a moment to look away. "... Yes," he says gently. "I think she's fine."
Solar_Solstice is perspicious enough to read Bardigan's expression for what it is. "It's like that, huh?" he states. "Well, as long as she's OK right now. I mean, goodness knows my family's had some of its own escapades and stuff."
Bardigan gives a morose little chuckle. "Okay is a relative term, Solar. But I thank you for your kindness. I think we will need more of it in the days to come."
"There's plenty of kindness in Ponyville!" says Solstice, chuckling a bit. As he has another sip of chocolate, however, his face slackens from its vibrant joy towards something resembling sobriety, a hint of weight manifesting on his brow. "I'm not gonna lie to you, Bardigan. I'm not just here to check your bathroom. I...I wanna try to help you handle Diamond and all her crazy adventures."
Bardigan chuckles again, a bit more darkly this time. "Don't let her hear you say that. I don't handle her, Solar. She's the miracle mare around here. If anything, adventures just... *happen* to us. I'm not sure why, but they seem to gravitate to her and me. Sometimes it's more trouble than it's worth. I would be remiss if I didn't say I hesitate to actually 'bring in' anypony to what usually happens around here."
"Heh, I totally get you, but really, I'm not a stranger to weird happenings. I mean, I think I was part of, what, two of your Nightmare Night crises?" He grins and walks over to have a seat at the table. "Plus, I have a couple of tricks that might help in a tight pinch. Hang on a sec..." He reaches for his neck, where a large pocketwatch dangles conspicuously. "This looks just like an ordinary watch, but if you twist a knob like thi-" And suddenly, with a loud "Bzzt!", Solstice disappears in a burst of energy. Moments later, there's a knocking at the door. "Hey, it's me again!" Solstice shouts from outside.
Bardigan looks impressed! "I can see how that would come in handy," he says with an approving smile. "But I'm afraid these crises don't really work on a schedule. I'll keep your offer of aid in mind, Solar, but don't blame me when I come knocking on your door at midnight demanding you help me catch a bandersnatch." He blinks. "I had to do that to Skyheart once. It didn't end well."
Solar_Solstice smiles as he imagines the two literary ponies trying to survive all sorts of nonsense. "Like I said, I think I can handle more than you think." He walks to the table, finishes off his chocolate, and gently sets the empty cup into the sink. "Anyway, it was good of you to have me around, even if we just talked and stuff. See ya around!" He bows respectfully to Bardigan before heading right back out of the door. "And if anything changes with your bathroom lemme know."
Friday, November 21, 2014