Stunned both by Rascal’s abrupt appearance, as well as his startling collapse, the fluffies stared wide eyed at the red earthie’s massive frame laying on the dirt. It was Angel who responded first, the pegasus trembling as it dawned on him what had just occurred.
Running over to his side, Angel fell beside him, his hooves shaking the red earthie as he shrieked, clearly fearing the worst.
“NUUUUUUU!!! BE OTAY WASCAWW!!! BE OTAY!!!”
Shaken from her stupor by the pegasus’ pleading cries, Glory strode over to the grieving fluff, pulling him back as best she was able.
“Nu gib shakies Angew! Wascaww cud be otay buh hab huwties!”
Going limp in her arms, the scarred pegasus’ was nearly catatonic, his bravado from his recent naming all but gone now. Lowering him gently, Glory laid him on the softened dirt before making her way to Rascal. As she leaned over his fallen frame, placing her ear against his chest, Evergreen beckoned Pink Berry to check on the downed pegasus before making his way over to his special friend and wounded leader.
“Am…am Wascaww foweba sweepies?”
Her eyes closed, Glory tried to focus despite her lover’s anxious tone. It was faint, but the lithe pegasus could hear Rascal’s weakened breathing. Smiling meekly, she looked up to Evergreen.
“Nu…Wascaww am bweev’n…buh am huwties…mow’f wook su ba’…”
Raising herself, Glory pointed to the earthie’s bulbous jaw, the left side of which was discolored and had nearly doubled in size. In addition, there was a great deal of bruising on his chest, the blackened skin easily seen against his red fluff.
“Den…den fwuffies hab tu hewp Wascaww!”
Motioning over to Pink Berry, the fluffies gathered around Rascal, save for Angel, the scarred pegasus lying eyes wide on the ground. It was difficult work, but with their combined effort, the small herd moved the earthie, despite his massive size. Finding a fallen tree, Evergreen decided that would be the best place for a new nest, a place for the fluffies to stay while Rascal recuperated. Once he was resting comfortably, they spent the better part of the day gathering leaves and foliage to both cover him and to eat later, as well as refilling their water bucket. By the time the task was done, it was well past midday, with Glory trying her best to check on Rascal.
While she had little in the way of experience when it came to injuries, the lithe pegasus’ trips to the vet had taught her more than most. As she looked over the red earthie, Angel curled up beside him, she knew that something had to be done about his jaw, or he’d never recover.
As his eyes fluttered open, Rascal instantly winced, groaning in pain as his hooves slid to his battered chest. Peering around, the earthie tried to speak but was quickly interrupted by Angel, who lunged towards him and wrapped his hooves around him tightly.
“Wascaww! Wascaww am wakies nao! Angew miss Wascaww su manies!”
Smiling for a moment despite the pain that the scarred pegasus’ affection was causing, Glory grew nervous as she saw his face sour slightly hearing the fluffy’s new name. Regardless, it was clear that just being back with Angel pleased Rascal greatly.
“Wascaww am gwad tu see yu tu…Angew…am Angew otay?”
His smile dwindling, Angel began to sniffle before abruptly crying.
“*huuu…huuu…huuu…Angew nu kno wewe Wascaww wus! *huuu…huuu…huuu…An wai Wascaww hab huwties?”
Giving a slight glance towards Evergreen, Rascal sighed before returning the pegasus’ hug, pushing through the clear agony it caused him.
Wascaww…Wascaww wiww tawkies bout’ dat wateh…Fow nao, fwuffies nee’ tu keep moov’n…
Trying to stand, it was too much for the injured earthie as before he could even rise to his hooves, Rascal shrieked from the effort, his eyes bulging as he fell back over, his breathing now sharp and rapid.
“Nu moov Wascaww! Yu hab tu mani huwties!”
Leaning over so he was closer to the downed earthie, Evergreen softly pressed on Rascal’s stomach, halting the stubborn fluffy from hurting himself further. Struggling for only a moment, the earthie sighed as he relented, wincing as he laid back.
“Otay…otay…Wascaww nu can wawkies wite nao…Huwties tu manies…an’ tawkies huwties tu…”
“Dats cuz Wascaww’s mow’f hab ba’ huwties…Cud eben hab 'fection”
Sharing a confused look, Evergreen, Pink Berry, and Angel all glanced to each other, and then back towards Glory.
“Wat am 'fec…'fection?”
Giving a knowing glance towards Glory, Rascal smiled grimly before looking towards his unicorn friend.
“'Fection am nu see huwtie…Can gib fwuffies sickies…eben foweba sweepies…”
The mere mention of the dreaded term caused the herd to gasp, with Angel starting to whimper, the sullen pegasus suddenly wrapping his hooves around Rascal again, burying his face in his chest as he sobbed.
“*huuu…huuu…huuu…NU!!! ANGEW NU WAN WASCAWW TU GU WAY’!!!”
“It am otay Angew…Wascaww nu am gu’n anywewe…”
Consoling the scarred pegasus, Rascal turned his attention to Glory, his expression dire.
“Wat du Gwowy kno bout’ 'fections and huwties? Can Gwowy hewp Wascaww?”
It was a fair question. Glory only knew the term from her monthly check-ups at the vet. Overhearing a conversation between Reginald and her doctor while she was supposed to be asleep in her carrier, Glory had learned about the concept, and how injuries left untreated could weaken or even kill a fluffy. But there was one thing that the lithe pegasus remembered most of all, but was loathe to discuss it. But if it could save Rascal…