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Tesla, Starry, and I sat and talked for a little while after Mom and Gramma left. Starry did a fair amount of the talking. It certainly helped distract me from the hunger.

“Gotta admit, Tess, Crimson’s nurse is right— if you’re gonna get your cutie mark, saving somepony’s life is definitely the way to go about it. Sucks that it had to happen that way, but it’s still pretty cool, huh?”
Tess shrugged and looked back at her flank. “Yeah, I guess so. Of course I’m excited about it, but I still kinda feel bad… It all happened so fast.” She glanced down at the floor and fell silent.

Starry cleared his throat and turned to me. “Um, so yeah, Crimson, I’m sorry I haven’t been here that much. I… it’s been kinda… well, weird for me.”
My brows rose at the comment. “Huh? How so?” Tess looked his way and made the same expression.
Starry sighed and scuffed the floor a few times, shifting his gaze between me and Tesla. “Well, ever since you two… like… opened up to each other, I’ve been trying to give you guys some space. I’ve missed hangin’ out with you both, but I… I kinda feel like a third wheel or something.”

Tesla and I looked at each other for a moment before we both smirked. I said, “Wait, last I heard from Tess, she said you were busy with a lot of painting…”
Tess nodded and continued, “Yeah! Have you been coming up with stuff to do so you have something to pass the time while you leave us alone?”
Starry shrugged. “Well, yes and no. I’ve been working on my paintings because I like making them, but I also made a separate list of ideas. That way, if I finished something sooner than I expected, I could move right on to another one and leave you two alone. I got into a rhythm at some point, and I just didn’t stop. That’s why I kept saying I was busy; when I got into a groove, I didn’t really wanna lose it.” He sighed wistfully. “Seeing you two on your birthday was really nice, Crimson. It’d been way too long.”
Tess and I both nodded in agreement. “Yeah. I know Tess sees you at school, but the three of us hadn’t really hung out together for awhile. This is only the second time in what— like, two months?”
Starry frowned and hung his head. “Probably, if not more.” He sighed. “I like painting, but you guys have no idea how much I’ve missed this. I mean, it sucks that your dad getting sick is what brought us together this time, but still…”

While Starry continued staring at the floor, Tess and I looked at each other again. I smirked at her, glanced at Starry, then patted the top of my sheets. Tess understood pretty quickly and smiled back at me. Sneaking behind Starry, she ducked underneath him and flipped him up onto my mattress. She followed him over the foot of the bed.
Landing unexpectedly on his rump on top of my bed, Starry asked, “Hey! What was that about?” Tess and I smiled at each other again, then simultaneously pulled him into a three-way hug.
I started, “Starry, we’ve been a trio for as long as I can remember. That doesn’t have to stop. You shouldn’t feel the need to leave us alone unless we ask you to.” I looked at Tess. “Right?”
Tess looked at him and simply said, “Right.”

Starry looked between the two of us and pulled us in for another hug. When I noticed a shimmer in his eye, he said, “Thanks, guys. I’m sorry about all this.”
I shrugged. “It’s okay, dude. Everypony has a phase of some kind at some point or another, or something.” At that moment, I heard Tesla give a loud sigh. I turned to her and asked, “Something wrong?”
Tess shook her head, then paused for a moment before she said, “No, not really. It’s just that…” Another pause. “Why is it that when Starry and I have come here to support you, you’re the one that seems to be making us feel better?”




After a lively debate with Starry and Tesla about who seemed to be making whom feel better, my stomach rumbled again. I knew I wasn’t allowed to eat, which bothered me, but it did remind Starry and Tess that they hadn’t had dinner either. Upon hearing that, I shooed them out, assuring them that if I needed anything I could call High Flyer. As if on cue, High Flyer knocked on my door and came into my room just as Starry and Tess walked out. He looked like he was holding something under his wing.

“Good timing! I kind of wanted to give this to you when it was quiet,” High Flyer said as he approached my bed.
“What is it?” I asked.
High Flyer took a quick breath and continued, “Well, if what I remember about stent insertion surgery is correct, when he gets out of recovery, I don’t think your father is going to be allowed out of his room for some time. While you were asleep during your dad’s surgery, I spoke with your mom. I’d seen her using her computer to chat with her students. Luckily for us, we have a couple of laptops here in the hospital that some of the older patients are allowed to use.” He opened his wing and set a computer on my bed. “I discovered that they can run the same video program your mom uses, so I installed the program and saved the information for your mother’s computer.”

My eyes lit up. “Does that mean…?”

High Flyer smiled. “If your mom is over in your dad’s room with her computer, and you’ve got this laptop here, you should be able to speak with your dad face-to-face, even if you can’t be in the same room together.”
Ch 35: Times Missed
First Chapter: leveldasher.deviantart.com/art…

Previous Chapter: Ch 34: Times Shared

Next Chapter: Coming soon! Watch me for more!
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“Come on, Dad! We’ve played this boss before! How many times have we beaten him?”
“Cut me some slack, Champ! It’s not always as easy as it looks!”

I sat on the pillow in front of the TV, Dad right by my side. We’d beaten the Reaper before, but every now and then he gave us some trouble. This seemed to be one of those times. I could hear breathing behind us, but I’d learned to drown Mom out ages ago, especially when it came to boss battles.

“Dad, he got me! You’ve gotta take it from here!”
“Okay Buddy, but I’m cutting it mighty close!”
I watched the TV as Dad continued with the battle. The breathing behind me became labored; that wasn’t the kind of sound I usually heard from Mom when Dad and I were playing games, but I ignored it. I just cheered him on. “Come on! You’ve got enough life left in your bar! We’ve almost got ‘im…”

“Come on, c’mon c’mon c’mon…” Dad continued to button-mash while I laid next to him. Whenever we got to points like this, he always became really serious. He treated them like life-or-death situations, but even I knew it was only a game. I think it was just because he didn’t want to disappoint me.
“Dad, that’s it! He’s flashing red! You’ve almost won!” I pointed at the screen and started bouncing on my belly. For a second, the walls looked like they were dissolving away, but I didn’t pay attention— my eyes were fixed on the TV screen.
“Hold on, Buddy, don’t get ahead of yourself. There are still a few more hits to go!” Dad said.

I stared at the screen, watching as Dad maneuvered around scythes, jumping and rolling in all directions. When he got close to the Reaper, he was almost sliced in half, but one final dodge allowed him to get low and buck the Reaper right in the jaw. As the skeleton collapsed into a pile of bones, Dad and I high-hoofed.
“See? I knew you could do it!” I shouted.
“Yeah, your old stallion’s still got it!” Dad replied.

The two of us glanced at the corner of the screen, which was now saying, ‘Loading Final Level’, along with the spinning medallion. I said, “Alright, now we get to play together again! Let’s kick flank!”
Dad sighed and responded, “Not right now, Champ. Your mother would have my head if she knew I let you stay up this late. You need to hit the hay. You can finish the game in the morning.” With that, I heard a deep breath as I groaned and looked at the TV. Getting a look at the faded reflection in the dark screen, I caught a glimpse of a pair of extended wings and a dark, flowing mane. I squinted at the glass, not sure if I had seen what I thought I saw. Before I had a chance to turn around and look, Dad caught my attention by clearing his throat. He slowly walked to the TV and turned it off, leaving the system on. “Come on, Crimson, go to bed.”
“But I want to play with you. I do so much better when we play co-op,” I complained. “You’re gonna be busy in the morning.”
“I know it seems easier when we play together; I like it better that way, too. But if I’m not here to play with you, I’m sure you could win by yourself.” He sighed and smiled in response to my glare.
“But Dad, that final boss is so tricky! You’re much better at fighting him than me, and the two of us together are practically unstoppable!”
“Hey, at some point you’re going to have to figure out how to play single-player. I won’t always be here to play with you.”
“But I don’t get it! How come you’re still so busy? You retired!” I exclaimed. “You should have a bunch of time to play.”
Dad sighed and shook his head. “That… that’s not what I mean, Buddy. Having time to play now isn’t the problem. I’m worried about the future. Your future.”

“Ah, like father, like son.”

When I heard that voice, all my attention went from my father’s downcast eyes to the space behind the couch, then I saw a blinding light.




I bolted upright in my bed and immediately felt a tug in my chest, like somepony was trying to pull my lungs out through my nose. As a reflex, I swallowed, and when my throat tightened around the tube again, I realized I almost jerked it out. Breathing deeply, I laid back down against my pillow.
“Whoops! Sorry, Sweetheart! I didn’t think I was poking you that hard.” Gramma was leaning on the bed railing. “Sorry to wake you, but I thought you’d want to hear the good news.”
I rubbed my eyes and simply asked, “What?”
Mom was on the other side of my bed, smiling. “Dad’s surgery is over. He’s in the Recovery Room.”
My eyes dilated. “So he’s—”
“He’s fine. The surgery went just fine.”




I sank into my pillow with my eyes closed, taking deep breaths. Aside from the tube jammed up my nose, I actually felt alright. I realized that hearing good news can make you feel as good as taking a nap, and I had just done both of those. When I opened my eyes again, I noticed something on the wall that made me break out in a big grin.

“Just saw it now, huh?” Mom asked. Starry’s painting of Princess Luna and me hung in its proper place on the opposite wall. A new gold-colored, ornate frame held it in place, giving it a regal look. “They did the job pretty quickly. I thought you might like to have it back up on the wall.”
I nodded. “Yeah. Thanks, Mom.”
“You’re welcome, Sweetie. You didn’t happen to see the artist, too, did you?”

At that moment, Starry’s head popped up at the bottom of my bed, followed by Tesla’s. “Hey, dude!” Starry piped up. “You feelin’ okay? Other than that fun-lookin’ tube up your schnozz?”
I smiled at him and responded, “Hey!” I glanced at Tess and smirked. “Well, at least one of you isn’t shy about the tube.” Tess just shrugged. “Yeah, I’m doin’ alright. Definitely could be better, but I guess I just have to deal for now. When did you get here, Starry?”
Starry glanced at the clock. “Eh, about fifteen minutes ago. Tess came and got me— said you weren’t feelin’ too hot and might need a little extra support. I can kinda see why; sounds like a lot happened since Friday. She gave me the gist on the way in.”

I sighed. “Yeah… ‘a lot’ is right. I don’t think I can go through it all right now.” I looked across the room, then leaned forward and whispered, “Did Tess tell you I got another visit?”
Starry turned and glared at her. “Yeah… lucky. I can’t believe you got to meet her, too!”
I turned to Tess and said, “Speaking of which, she did leave you to watch m—”
Tess cut me off. “Oh, believe me, I didn’t go anywhere until your mom came back. Are you kidding? I was afraid to go to the bathroom!”
“Yeah. Guess she has to wait to do that at home,” Starry snickered. Tess kicked him in the shoulder.
She glared at him and answered, “That wasn’t exactly the first thing on my mind, you know! Your mom knows where you are now; I wanted to stop back at my place and tell my parents that I was coming back here! I figured— oh, just shut up!” Starry chuckled as Tess rolled her eyes.

I heard Mom and Gramma titter at the door before Mom said, “Sweetie? Your Gramma and I are going to go check on your father. We just wanted to come back and let you know how he was doing. You’ve got Starry and Tesla here— will you be alright without us?”
After catching my breath from laughing at Starry getting pummeled, I answered her, “Yeah, I’ll be fine. Tell Dad I said hi, would you?”
“Absolutely, dear,” Gramma responded with a smile.
As the two of them started walking out, my stomach rumbled, so I shouted, “Wait!” When they turned back around, I asked, “Could you ask High Flyer when they’re bringing dinner around?”
Mom and Gramma looked at each other and frowned. Then Mom turned to me and said, “Sweetie, you aren’t allowed to eat now, remember?”
I reached up and felt the tube in my nose, then followed it to the wall where green gunk dripped from its other end into a glass jar. I narrowed my eyes, stared at the jar, and replied, “Oh. Yeah. Shoot…”

Mom sighed. “I’m sorry, sweetie. When the doctors say you can eat again, I’ll get you whatever you want.” I guess I had to settle for that. I couldn’t go see Dad myself, either, so I had to take what I could get. “We’ll be back in a little while, okay?”
I returned the sigh. “Okay. Tell Dad to feel better quick.”
Mom smiled. “Will do, honey.”
The moment the two of them walked out the door, my stomach growled again. I glared at my belly, then put my head in my hooves and looked at Starry and Tess. “Well, that sucks.”

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LevelDasher's Profile Picture
LevelDasher
Josh
Artist | Hobbyist | Varied
United States
I'm more of a casual gamer than an artist, but as the grandson of an art collector, I'm trying to remedy that fact, and either way, I appreciate many kinds of art. While my icon is my MLP OC, I don't define myself primarily as a Brony, even though a lot of the art you may find here, mine or someone else's, may be MLP-related stuff (I'll have some others on the way when I get the time). Many gaming-related things as well as "older" cartoons actually top my interest list ('older' meaning 90s).

PS: I apologize that I don't respond to everyone who comments on my profile page. Please don't take offense if I didn't respond to you. I don't pick and choose- I just reply if I'm in the mood.
Interests
While I spend most of my MLPFIM-related time working on Through Crimson Eyes or editing for others, I'd still like to have something else to write when I may have writer's block or just need to take a break from those things. Unfortunately, I'm having issues coming up with some good ideas of my own.

That being said, if anybody has an idea (no matter how strange) for a story that they're willing to share (and aren't planning to write themselves), I'd be happy to hear it. If I like it, I'll put it in my Idea Dumps folder. If I use it, I'll credit you in the story description for the idea.

I know there are groups that give out plenty of prompts, but I'd rather hear stuff from individuals that aren't following what everyone else is doing (also read as, "That's too mainstream." XD ).

So does anyone have any ideas they'd like to share?

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:iconblind-dancer:
blind-dancer Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for faving Yoshi retired :)
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:iconmr-101:
Mr-101 Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2014  Student General Artist
Thank you for the watch!
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:iconbluest-ayemel:
Bluest-Ayemel Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for the watch! Is it waterproof? o.o
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:iconleveldasher:
LevelDasher Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
:baffled:  Is what waterproof?
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:iconleveldasher:
LevelDasher Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
...Nevermind.
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:iconthecaringstallion:
TheCaringStallion Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2013
How have you been? I was just wondering, did you enjoy reading "A Caretaker's Despair"?
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:iconleveldasher:
LevelDasher Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I've been alright, thanks. ACD was a pretty good story. My advice, though— grab an editor. As a teacher, I caught a lot of spelling and grammar mistakes. Sorry for being blunt, but it's a habit of mine. I'd offer to do it myself, but I'm editing for four other authors right now, and I have a lot of other stuff on my plate as well.
Keep writing— practice makes perfect, and it never hurts to get a second eye. 
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:iconthecaringstallion:
TheCaringStallion Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2013
OK, thanks for the advice and don't worry, you're not being blunt you're giving me helpful information and I like that. Writing stories isn't really my strong point, instead I like to draw but I'll try find an editor, if only I knew where to start looking.
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:iconleveldasher:
LevelDasher Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Writing is an art, and all art requires practice.
If you go to fimfiction.com and make a profile (if you haven't already), there are plenty of people willing to edit. The community on that site is quite global and you can get input from tons of people.
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(1 Reply)
:iconnapoleonvanmozart:
napoleonvanmozart Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2013
Hi, your fave made me glad!

In case you think to be interested in my future works in general, maybe it is easier if you +watch.
Only if you want.

Ciao! :ahoy:
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