(Lol I actually made myself cry with this chapter, enjoy)
Eventually, they pulled into the driveway. It was a pretty nice place! While the neighborhood was cramped and the road was one-way, it was a nice little corner away from the hubbub of the big city. It had a small grassy yard out front, with some wind-powered yard sculptures moving in the breeze. Wind chimes and birdhouses lined the front of the house. The house itself was a light yellow, the lower third of it made from bricks. There was a planter in front of the house growing “Bird Of Paradise” flowers.
“Wow, nice place!” Brian exclaimed, appreciating the sculptures and flowers. Cherry, still on his leash, cooed.
“Su pwetty!! Gasp! Nummie fwowews!” Cherry tugged on the leash, causing Brian to tug back with a glare in the alicorn’s direction.
“Chewwy! Dese fwowews nu am nummies! Dey am fow smewwies an’ wook pwetty. Nao wisten to nice mistah Bwian.” Switchy patiently explained, being carried in Gavin’s arms by the front door. Gavin nodded at Switchy approvingly and smiled. Switchy beamed back from his owner’s praise.
“Otaaaaaay.” Cherry griped. Brian rolled his eyes with a smile. Cherry had a bad attitude sometimes, but it sure was cute.
“Hey man, you want some chocolate milk or something?” Gavin offered after a few minutes of hanging out, pouring himself a cup.
“Sure! Thanks.” Brian answered, smiling. Gavin poured him a cup, then slid it over to him across the bar-style counter, smiling and winking. Brian felt his face get warm and almost didn’t catch the cup. He turned away from Gavin and chugged some of the milk, trying not to think about how charming this new friend of his was acting.
“Y’know, Switchy’s really good at keeping Cherry in line.” Brian said after his face cooled down, gazing at Gavin over his cup of chocolate milk.
“I noticed that, yeah. I don’t even tell him to do that, he just reigns him in when Cherry seems to be acting up.” Gavin stated.
After the playdate was over and the sun was setting, Brian and Gavin said their goodbyes. Brian drove home, Cherry falling asleep in the backseat. He watched the sunset as he drove, counting the stars that began to appear in the twilight. He listened to the music that he’d turned down once he’d realized Cherry was asleep, and the soft cooing his fluffy was making from a happy dream. He sighed. Today had been a good day.
He returned home, gently lifted Cherry out of his seat without waking him, and walked inside. Once Cherry was in his bed, he showered, changed into pajamas and fell asleep.
“BWIAN! HEWP CHEWWY, PWEASE! HUU, HUU, HUU!” Brian shot up, heart racing. The only time he’d heard Cherry scream that way was when he was getting abused in the alleyway. He did his best to find his fluffy, but it was so dark. He didn’t know where he was, everything was pitch black.
He heard a telltale “SCREEEEEE!” from somewhere ahead of him, so he raced forward. He tripped over something, and fell on his face. Pain wracked his body as he felt around for whatever he’d tripped on. He picked it up and pressed a switch on it. A flashlight! Perfect. He ran forward again, hearing the screaming of his helpless alicorn pick up in pitch and volume. Cherry needed help. Now.
“SCREEEEEEACK-” The sound was cut off with a sickening, wet crack. Brian kept running, the light in his hand the only way he’d ever find his fluffy. He saw a small, red body ahead, and he reached it in a few moments.
It was Cherry. His head had been twisted around backwards, his face still frozen in an expression of agonized terror. Brian shivered, sobbing as he gently lifted the still-warm, limp little body into his arms. His only companion, gone. His chest panged with pain as he knelt on the ground. He felt like he couldn’t breathe, like something was sitting on his chest. He held Cherry’s lifeless body to his chest as he sobbed pitifully, once again alone.
He heard a demonic growl behind him and he whipped his flashlight around to see a mass of red with a strange, smiling face. It’s jaw unhinged, and-
“Bwian? Bwian! BWIAN WAKIES! Yoo habin’ bad sweepy-time pictuwes!” Cherry shook Brian awake, the alicorn worried and frantic. Cherry’s frightened face softened when he saw his owner open his eyes. “Bwian am otay? Nu hab huwties?”
Brian’s lower lip wobbled, and his face crumbled as he scooped Cherry into his arms. He buried his face into his fluffy’s mane and sobbed. He hadn’t had a nightmare that bad in years. It had been awful.
“Huu, sweepy-time pictuwes weawwy bad dis time, huh?” Cherry worriedly asked, hugging his owner’s neck. Brian wordlessly nodded, and he shivered harder when he remembered what had happened in his dream. “Bwian wan’ teww Chewwy about it? Maybe dat hewp yoo feew bettah?” Cherry offered.
“I…” Brian hiccuped, holding his fluffy tighter. “I dreamt I lost you. That you died.” Brian couldn’t take saying that out loud. He broke down, practically wailing. He couldn’t stay in this dark room anymore. He needed light, and open space. He scooped up Cherry, and the alicorn didn’t struggle. He walked out into the living room, turning the lights on all the way there. He made his way to the front porch, sat down in the porch swing, and clutched Cherry to his chest.
Cherry frowned. It must have been an awful dream to make him feel this bad. He’d never seen his owner break down like this. It hurt him to his very core, and he wanted nothing more than to find those dreams and beat them up!
“Bwian? Wisten to Chewwy. Can yoo do dat?” Cherry asked. Brian nodded. “Gud. Wan’ wook at da staws wif’ Chewwy? It weawwy pwetty!” Brian nodded again, and settled into the swing a bit. He looked up at the sky, trying to distract himself by spotting constellations that he knew. The big and little dipper, Orion’s Belt, and a few others. After a while of counting the stars, (He got to about 300, he thought) he began to feel like his normal self again. Brian took a deep breath, and released it. He felt better, thanks to Cherry.
“Hey little buddy.” He got his fluffy’s attention. The sweet little guy was still wide awake, watching over Brian and making sure he stayed calm. “Thanks for helping me out, you pulled me out of a really bad funk there.” He scratched behind his red alicorn’s ears, and Cherry purred.
“Anytime, Bwian. Yoo hewp Chewwy wots an’ wots, su why not Chewwy hewp yoo too?” Cherry smiled up at his owner. Brian smiled back, hugged his fluffy, and they went back inside.
Brian’s nerves were still pretty shot, so he triple-checked that all the doors and windows were shut and locked. He made sure the curtains and blinds were closed, and that his baseball bat was still beside the bed. He took it into the kitchen with him as he heated up some tea. As he sipped the hot drink, he felt his anxiety begin to melt away. He felt better about the nightmare. It could never happen if he watched over Cherry and made sure the alicorn was healthy and safe.
Of course, he’d have to say goodbye to Cherry someday. Old age, illness, something would eventually happen. But he couldn’t stand thinking about that right now. His heart hurt enough already. He sat down on the couch, called Cherry up to sit beside him, and turned on the tv. He sipped his drink, distracting his frazzled mind with Fluff-TV. Anything to keep his mind off the dream.
As he lay on the couch, he began to drift off. Cherry snuggled up to him. “Chewwy wuv yoo, Bwian.” The fluffy muttered, half asleep. Brian’s heart melted. This adorable little alicorn was going to kill him someday, he swore. He closed his eyes, and fell asleep. He awoke the next morning feeling much better, his red fluffy still asleep on his chest.
Previous chapter: Cherry and Brian, Chapter 6: New Connections (Star-The-Alicorn)
Optional bonus chapter: Brian and Cherry, Chapter 7.5: When Life Gives You Lemons... (Star-The-Alicorn)