Katherine turned a corner and continued her drive back home, her new Fluffy Spike sat in his carrier cage in the passenger seat next to her. She noticed that he was being surprisingly quiet for a Fluffy with a new home.
“You ok Spike?”
“Yeh, jus a wittew wowwied. Wast hoomin Spike meet am biggesh meanie.”
“Well you don’t have to worry yourself with me, I’ll look after you. Lily’s the one who’s gonna be nervous, she’s not had a friend in so long so she might be a little bit iffy around you.”
“It means scared but not quite, she won’t be happy to see you but she won’t be sad either, just give her some time to get to know you and you should be ok.”
“Spike fink undastan.”
“Glad to hear it. But while we’re on the subject of home, I have a few rules for you to follow.”
“Spike knyo bout wittabox and mannas, nyu mummah nu need wowwy.”
Katheirne smiled, Spike was a clever little thing. “I’m impressed Spike, you’re smarter than I expected. Yes I will need you to use the litteebox and don’t forget your manner, but the biggest rule is a new one. Do you know about the bad air making Fluffies into meanies?”
Spike solemnly nodded. “Fink daddeh hab finkie-pwace sickie, he say wowstesh meanie fings wast time Spike see him. Dat many fowebas ago nyo.”
“Oh Spike I’m so sorry to hear that.”
“It ok, Spike knyo daddeh nu wan be meanie, bu stiww miss him.”
“I don’t mean to sound rude but if your father has the virus then you know how dangerous it is, because of that my new rule is that you’re not allowed to go outside. You and Lily can stay in the safe-room when I’m at work and once I’m home I’ll let you out to explore the house, but you cannot go outside at all without my supervision. Ok?”
Spike nodded, after seeing what this sickness could do to his father and his brother Chilli, he wanted to avoid it as much as possible. Katherine saw the sullen look on Spike’s face so she turned the radio on, finding a happy song to cheer him up.
‘Imagine me and you, I do, I think about you day and night, it’s only right.’
Spike’s ear perked up, enjoying the soft beat of the drums Katherine even saw a smile growing on his face.
‘To think about the girl you like and hold her tight. So happy together.’
By the time the chorus kicked in Spike was happily bobbing his head along to the music, he barely understood it, but it made him feel happy for the first time in a while.
“Aye can’t see Mee wuben nubuddy bu yu, fow aww ma wife.”
Katherine laughed at Spike’s poor singing, it was endearing in its own way, she sang along with him for the rest of the drive, a small but crucial step in their relationship had been made and they were both enjoying it.
Before long they reached their destination, Katherine’s home wasn’t massive – compared to Josef’s borderline mansion it was a quaint little thing – bit Spike still looked at the place with wide eyes.
“Dis nyu homsies?”
“That’s right, and remember; even if Lily doesn’t want you as a special friend, you’re still allowed to stay here and play with her.”
Spike nodded, feeling his stomach twist a little bit. Now that he was mere feet away from meeting Lily it suddenly hit him that he’d never had a special friend before, he’d never had enfies before, too focussed on protecting his family to go about starting his own.
Now that that was a very real possibility, Spike felt uncharacteristically nervous.
Katherine carried the cage inside and called out. “Lily? There’s someone here who’d like to meet you.”
She placed Spike’s cage on the floor and opened the door, carefully Spike stepped out just as he heard a small squeak of a wheel come round the corner.
“Mummah? Wai back su…”
Lily stopped in her tracks as she and Spike locked eyes. He was the first male Fluffy she’d seen in months and she suddenly felt very self-conscious about her missing limbs and patchy Fluff, a stallion as handsome as Spike wouldn’t want anything to do with her.
Spike for his part was feeling somewhat similar, even with her injuries Lily was still a very attractive mare and being so close to her made his testosterone spike like never before. It was an entirely new experience for Spike, but he had to admit it felt nice, if a little scary.
Unaware of the two Fluffies nerves, Katherine knelt down to stroke Lily’s mane. “Lily, this is Spike, I brought him home to be your friend and help you not feel as lonely around the house.”
“Mummah nu hab du dat.” Lily said, her eyes not leaving Spikes.
“I did Lily, you’ve not been the same since… well I thought some company might help cheer you up. Now you don’t have to be scared of Spike, he’s very friendly and he doesn’t have any thinkie-place sickies, however if you feel more comfortable I can put him in the pen until I get home from work.”
Lily shook her head. “Nu, Wiwy bewiebe mummah say Spike am gud Fwuffy, nu need put in sowwy-pen.”
Katherine smiled. “Ok then, you wanna come say hello?”
Tentatively, Lily moved forward, the squeaking of her wheels suddenly sounded louder than ever as she close the gap between her and Spike. Seeing what she was doing, Spike did the same, stepping out of his cage and slowly moving closer to the injured mare.
“Hewwo?” He spoke softly after a moment. “Am Spike, nice tu meet pwetty mawe.”
Lily blushed. “Fank yu Spike, am Wiwy, sowwy nu can gib huggie tu nyu fwiend.”
“It ok, Spike can stiww gib huggies.”
Spike moved a little bit quicker until he and Lily were right next to each other, with his little heart about to beat out of his chest, Spike held his breath and wrapped his hood around Lily. It was slightly awkward with her wheels but they managed to form a Fluffy hug, Lily cooed at the first affectionate touch she’d shared with another Fluffy in close to a year while Spike stayed silent, his mind too focussed on the wonderful scent Lily was giving to formulate coherent thoughts.
Suddenly there was a strange click sound from behind them, and both Fluffies turned to see Katherine with her phone out, having taken a picture of the hugging pair.
“Sorry but you guys were too cute not to take a photo. You guys need anything before I head back to work or are you both ok?”
Lily smiled, a genuine smile for the first time in a long time. “Fwuffies gud mummah, Wiwy show Spike wound homesie.”
“Good girl, I’ll pick up some spaghetti for dinner tonight in celebration.”
With the promise of future skettis, the Fluffy couple started babbling away to each other in excitement. Katherine chuckled at the sight before leaving them, she’d been away from work slightly longer than she planned to, but hopefully Lewis would understand when she explained why, they might not see eye-to-eye when it comes to disciplining Fluffies but he was a hugboxer and loved this sappy crap.
As she walked to her car, Katherine quickly took out her phone and texted Josef.
‘Found a new friend for Lily. Think they’ve hit it off’
She followed it up with the picture of the two Fluffies hugging before putting her phone away and getting back in the car, oblivious to the repercussions of her actions.
Josef stood in his basement, cackling away as Rufous chewed on the remains of his own newborn foals, his latest mare only able to watch after having her limbs ripped off by the deranged Alicorn. Beside him, the Crimson Vision was bent over with laughter at the sight.
“Ah, Cwimson wememba wen fiwst num babbehs, wittew fiwwy, wook wike hew mummah. Gut sum gud fukin out hew.”
“Which one, the mother or the filly?”
Josef and Crimson laughed together, the poor mare with Rufous was terrified of this strange human who seemed to talk to someone who wasn’t in the room, but she was too traumatised to speak and Rufous was too insane to listen.
Leaving Rufous to his work, Josef returned upstairs, seeing the morning sunlight through the windows took him by surprise, he hadn’t realised it was even morning yet. Of course truth be told, he rarely knew what time it was anymore, sleep was something that eluded him, between the darkness of the basement and his infected eye, Josef barely even knew what time it was anymore. Occasionally he would go for days without sleep and not even realise.
Not that he cared anymore, other than Katherine, Josef had nothing that required him to pay attention to the passing days.
Since though, now that it was morning, Josef’s first stop was to the bathroom upstairs where he kept his eye drops, he opened the door to find Crimson staring at the toilet.
“Neba undastan how hoomin use dis fukin fing.”
“Think of it like using the litterbox, except at a different angle.”
“Fuk dat, Cwimson nu wike angews. Wemind Cwimson of pointy bastawds dat huwt Cwimson dik.”
“Well he can’t hurt you anymore. Cause you’re dead.”
“Ouch, hut Cwimson whewe it huwt. Kunt.”
Josef chuckled and opened his cabinet, pulling out some eye-droppers and dripping some solution onto his infected eye, there was a slight sting at the medicine hit his cornea but it passed quickly. Once he had his sight back, Josef looked in the mirror, annoyed that he could still see the yellow ring around his infected pupil.
“Daddeh stiww hab Fwuffy viwus.”
“I do not have a goddamn Fluffy virus, alright. Clearly there are some residual effects from the proximity I’ve had to Rufous, but it’s not done any harm, I’ve not wanted to rape or murder anything. I’m doing just fine.”
“Yu knyo yu tawking tu hawwucinashun wight?”
Josef left the bathroom in a huff, Crimson was right, and Josef hated that. The disconnect between his conscious and his unconscious minds was getting hard to keep track of, seeing visions of Crimson wasn’t normal but Josef had gotten so use to talking to his old friend that he’d been able to ignore the warnings and forget that he was seeing things.
Josef briefly wondered if he should do some more examinations of the effects of F.A.07 on humans when his phone went, he opened to see a text from Katherine.
‘Found a new friend for Lily. Think they’ve hit it off’
Then the picture appeared on Josef’s screen, and he almost dropped the phone in shock.
“No fucking way.”
There, clear as fucking day, with his black hoofs wrapped around Lily’s wheeled frame, was Spike, the same Spike who tore the hole in Josef’s cheek, the same Spike who butchered Crimson, the same Spike who made a fool out of Josef Fucking Mongala.
Anyone who says all Fluffies look alike are wrong, Josef knew this was Spike, after almost a year of searching he’d found him.
And with his mind overflowing with thoughts of torture of mutilation, Josef remembered he had a key to Katherine’s house.
Back at The Farm, Lewis clocked in and made his rounds, checking in on the soon-mummahs and any births that happened during the night, everything seemed fine so he made a quick stop to check on Martha and the group in Bay 45 before heading to Spike’s cage.
Ever since Cobalt had contracted F.A.07 a few weeks back, Lewis had been extra attentive to the little family, especially since they told him what Josef had done to them all. So every morning, Josef would take Spike out of his enclosure and let him spend breakfast with his mother and sister, providing he hadn’t shown any F.A.07 symptoms.
Turning the corner towards Spike’s enclosure, Lewis was surprised to find it empty, he checked the logs wondering if someone had taken Spike out for a check-up or a wash, and saw a note from Alan saying Spike had been sold.
“Alan, what the fuck have you done?”
Because of F.A.07, no Fluffies were being sold at the moment, Alan selling Spike was likely a cover for something else, and Lewis didn’t like the iffy feeling in his gut. He didn’t suspect Alan of doing anything criminal, but given the circumstances he feared Alan might have done something without thinking.
Lewis rushed through to the dining area, he knew Alan liked to grab a quick catch-up with the morning shift before going home, and as luck would have it he found Alan still chatting away.
“Alan, you know what happened to Spike. You said he was sold off but we’re not selling any Fluffies at the moment.”
“Oh yeah, Katherine took him, wanted a new friend for Lily, said she’d like a stallion so they could have kids or something but…”
Alan’s voice trailed off as Lewis heard nothing but the high-pitch whine of terror in his ears, his whole body chilled over, his breath caught in his throat, a frozen sweat dripped down his neck and his stomach twisted hard enough to almost make Lewis throw up.
Alan stopped babbling when he saw the ill look on Lewis’ face. “Jeez Lou, you feeling ok?”
“What have you done?” Lewis spoke in barely a whisper.
“What the FUCK have you DONE?” Lewis yanked Alan by his collar and stared at him with an unhinged fury, Alan was caught completely off-guard by the violent reaction.
“Whoa Lou, what the fuck man?”
“Do you have any fucking idea what you’ve done?”
“Done what? I gave the little guy a new home. Look if this is about not telling you Spike was going then I’m sorry but Katherine’s in-house so I figured different rules applied, and this is for Lily so you don’t have to worry about her making any abuse mistakes or…”
“I’m not worried about her you dense fuck; I’m worried about her fucking boyfriend. Or did you miss the part when she got back together with the Fluffy Reaper?”
The colour drained from Alan’s face. “What are you saying?”
“I’m saying she’s with Josef again, the same Josef who butchered Spike’s family.”
“Oh fuck, shit god, Lou I swear I had no idea she was back together with that psycho prick, she said it was for Lily and I was just trying to help, I swear I didn’t know…”
Lewis let go of Alan and backed away, taking deep breaths to try and calm himself down. “Alright, if we’re lucky we can get him back before anything happens. How long ago did she take him?”
“Just over an hour, she took him home to introduce him to Lily, she should be back by now.”
“Then come on, you got us into this mess so you can help get us out of it.”
Together the two of them raced towards the front entrance, Lewis praying they still had time, they arrived just as Katherine was clocking back in.
“Hey Lewis, look I know I should’ve said something but I wanted to surprise Lily and…”
“Where is he?” Lewis barked at her, taking Katherine by surprise.
“Spike, where is he?”
“He’s at home with Lily, what is this about Carter cause I’m not gonna stand here and be shouted at like a fucking child.”
Alan stepped forward, sensing Lewis was close to breaking point. “Kat, Josef’s the one who killed Spike’s family, I didn’t know or else I wouldn’t have given him to you.”
Katherine’s eyes went wide as suddenly it all came back to her, everything Josef said about Spike and his family, about their escape, about how Spike wounded him, about how he killed Crimson.
With barely contained rage, Lewis looked Katherine in the eye. “Does Josef know about him?”
Katherine slowly nodded. “I sent him a picture before I came back.”
At Katherine’s home, Lily led Spike around, letting him know where everything was.
“Dat am baf-woom, mummah gib washies in dewe, nu be scawed of wawa, mummah use bestesh wawm wawa tu hewp Fwuffies smeww pwetty. If Spike am scawed, Wiwy gu wiv him fow baf.”
“Spike fink he be ok, bu wike dat Wiwy offa.”
Lily smiled again and kept moving. “Oh, dis am pway-woom, Wiwy hab bestesh time hewe, hab aww toysies an bwockie an wittew bedsies fow…”
Lily trailed off, remembering the beds that were meant for her babies, the babies she never got to have, she started to cry when she felt Spike put a hoof on her shoulder.
“Wai fwiend hab sad wawa?”
“Wiwy jus wememba babbehs, pway-woom was fow aww Fwuffies, bu tummeh babbehs gu foweba sweepies, meanie stawwions huwt Wiwy in wowstesh way. Wiwy twy tu feew betta fow mummah, bu miss babbehs, fink bout dem aww da time, fink of huggie Wiwy nu can gib anee-mowe, fink how dummeh Wiwy was fow bee-in ousside. Wai Wiwy nu stay in dummeh house, stoopid dummeh mawe.”
Spike quickly enveloped Lily in a hug before she broke down. “Fwiend nu say fing wike dat, nu Wiwy fauwt meanies gib wowstesh huwties. Nu can contwow wha udda Fwuffies du, it nu faiw, bu nu can bwame sewf.”
Holding her in his arms, Spike felt comfortable enough to open up to her.
“Spike hab bruddas and sissy, Chiwwi, Moss an Taff-ee, nu see dem in wong time. Moss am gud babbeh, am wingie-pointy wike Spike, bu Chiwwi an Taff-ee am bad babbehs, Chiwwi wowstesh of aww, gib bad speciaw-huggies tu mawe den gib sissy Ginga foweba sweepies wen twy tu stop him.”
Lily looked up at Spike, wondering where this was going, Spike contined.
“Spike knyo Chiwwi am bad babbeh, awmosh gib him foweba sweepies. Bu nu did, nu wan be wun tu huwt brudda, nu wan bewiebe brudda am dat bad. Nyo Ginga am gun, an Spike hab tu wive wiv dat. Spike hab heawt huwties, bu hav tu wememba dat Chiwwi am weason Ginga hab foweba sweepies, nu Spike, if Spike bwame Spike den Spike neba fowgib sewf, Spike nu huwt Chiwwi wen shouwd bu Spike nu teww Chiwwi tu gib Ginga foweba sweepies edda. Fwuffies am wesponsibew fow own actions, nu udda Fwuffies.”
Lily saw a tear run down Spike’s face at the memory of his siblings, she quickly leant forward and licked his nose, taking him by surprise.
“Fank yu fow teww Wiwy bout bruddas and sissy’s, knyo it hawd for Spike tu tawk bout.”
Spike smiled at his new friend, his new… special-friend. Did he love her, did she love him? It was too much to think about, he made the choice to kiss her back there and then and…
He was interrupted by the door, both of them heard Katherine unlocking it from outside.
“Wai mummah bak su gain?” Wondered Lily.
Curious, the two Fluffies made their way towards the front door, through the frosted glass they could see a figure unlocking the door. Spike looked over and saw Lily looking concerned.
“Dat nu wook wike mummah.”
Spike was about to question her when something hit his nose, a scent that sent shivers down his spine and brought out a fury in him, a fury born from the deaths and dismemberments of his own family.
Spike jumped in front of Lily, adopting a protective stance and growling as the door opened and in walked Josef Mongola.
The doctor and the Fluffy locked eyes, a beat of recognition passed between them before a cruel, sadistic smile crossed Josef’s face.
“Hello Spike, it’s been a while.”