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Nerd Hosts Unusual House Guest

By ComfysPlace
Created: 18th December 2020 05:48:06 PM

  1. >You’re so excited!
  2. >Today’s the day, not that you had highlighted and circled the date three times or anything like that!
  3. >Ever since your princess counterpart across the mirror had started talking about the poor scared and lost guy from across dimensions you’ve been preparing to host him till he got his feet back underneath him.
  4. >With that in mind it’s why you got all your gal pals to come by the statue to welcome the lost soul to your world.
  5. >Nothing like a Pinkie Pie approved welcoming party to get your spirits up!
  6. >”Hey Twilight, so is this new guy going to show up soon or what?” Rainbow Dash asked, laying atop the statue letting her head hang upside down.
  7. >”Darling you simply can’t rush a man when he’s preparing to move across dimensions, the poor thing has already crossed one already!” Rarity chided the soccer star.
  8. “It should be soon Rainbow Dash, although,” You tighten your grip on the straps of your bag. “I’m a bit worried.”
  9. >”Aw, come on Twilight. What’ve you got to be worried about? It’s not like the guy is going to immediately start to judge everything about you as soon as he walks through the portal and start making demands of everyone.” Pinkie Pie not so helpfully blurted out, fiddling with some balloons before pausing at the look everyone gave her, “What?” ~
  10.  
  11. >”I think what Pinkie’s trying to say is you shouldn’t worry about it too much Twilight,” Sunset Shimmer said rubbing your back, “even if he is a prima don we can always stick him with Rarity.”
  12. >”Sunset Shimmer! The sheer nerve! Hmph!” Rarity exclaimed crossing her arms before Applejack elbowed the purple haired girl.
  13. >“Oh relax Rarity, it’s just some teasin’ ‘sall. Sides weren’t you and Fluttershy all prepped to bring out the tea set if’n this fella liked that fru-fru stuff you all enjoy anyway?”
  14. >”Oh yes, we were! I’m rather excited because there is this new blend I managed to order from Neighpon, it’s authentic jasmine tea!” Fluttershy butted in between Applejack and Rarity before the shy girl hid behind her hair, “I mean, assuming Anonymous is interested, that is.” ~
  15. >You feel your shoulders slowly untense as you listen to your friends bicker and joke with one another.
  16. “Thanks girls, I feel a lot better now, I guess I got stuck in my head with our visitor coming.”
  17. >”No probs Twi, but still isn’t he supposed to show up here by now?” Rainbow Dash asked rolling off the statue on her feet then stuck her thumb over at the statue, “Cuz I’m not seeing any of the usual signs the portal’s working.”
  18. “We can check, Sunset can you grab the journal from my bag?”
  19. >”Sure Twi-whoa!” Sunset exclaimed as she fumbled with the suddenly vibrating book catching it at the last second, “wonder what’s so urgent.”
  20. >The girls crowd around Sunset and you manage to sneak in over her shoulder to look at the book, the purple articulated handwriting that was a near match for your own is gone instead a ragged series of letters could be seen.
  21. >’Anon’s-gone-through-has-he-shown-up-on-your-side-yet?!’
  22. >”Can anyone else read that? It looks as mangled as some weed whacker line in a mower.” Applejack asked squinting at the hurried script.
  23. “Anon’s already gone through, and other me is asking if he’s showed up yet.”
  24.  
  25. >As one you all look up to the statue which stands as stoic as stone can be.
  26. >A few loose leaves float through the air carried by the wind.
  27. >Your gut starts to clench as worries start to rise in your head.
  28. >What could have gone wrong?
  29. >Was the magic of the portal too much?
  30. >Other you had mentioned Anon’s resistance to normal magic, what would happen if you stuck a magically inert being through a magical process?
  31. >Faintly you can hear Sunset tell the other girls she’ll send a message back and to be ready for anything.
  32. >Right!
  33. >A new friend could be in trouble!
  34. >You take up a spot in the small horseshoe forming around the statue's legs, tense and ready for anything.
  35. >...Any minute now.
  36. >”My word, Darlings! I’ve heard of taking your time, but even I must admit this is a little much.” ~
  37. >A giggle escaped Pinkie Pie beside you and you can’t help the grin across your face, “Rarity that’s awful, you were just-”
  38. >”Heads up, girls!” Rainbow Dash called out as the statue base came to life shining the bright white light. ~
  39. >Odd, was it supposed to be flickering like that? ~
  40. >One moment the statue was strobing like a dim bulb about to go out when suddenly the whole front half of the statue suddenly cut out like a shoddy vhs tape.
  41. >Anything more was lost when a crack echoed through the air.
  42. >You raised your arms to shield your eyes.
  43.  
  44. >You have made a great many mistakes in your life, practically too numerous to name, but the most recent one was listening to that little purple nerd to jump into a mirror.
  45. >EVERYTHING IS PAIN!
  46. >”Is that-”
  47. >”A PONY!?”
  48. >No shit random girls, you’re in pony land where-
  49. >Wait, if Twilight was telling the truth then you’re in the human place, but why would-
  50. >”Hold on ya’ll, that critter’s got wings! ~
  51. >”Applejack, Darling, look at it, the poor thing’s comatose. I doubt it’s much of a threat.”
  52. >It?
  53. >It!?
  54. >You’ll let that uptight, preppy, up turned nose in the air bitch a thing or two about being called an it!
  55. ”Ohgaferappen.”
  56. >Right...words, need to use the jaw more.
  57. >Trying to move only causes more pain, not the active I-wish-to-die-kind, but more the everything-is-so-sore-that-I-wish-for-sweet-release-of-sleep. ~
  58. >”Did that pony just talk?”
  59. >You can barely get your eyes open when you feel something pointy prodding your side.
  60. >”Pinkie!”
  61. >”I’m just checking!”
  62.  
  63. >Alright you’ve had enough of this!
  64. >With a mighty heave[spoiler]flop[/spoiler] you sit up right and wave your hands at the offending pointy thing sticking you.
  65. >Hands?
  66. >You ignore the screams around you as you stare at the blunt and rounded green tea colored appendage.
  67. >Then slowly look over your shoulder feeling muscles you’ve never had before twitch at the feathery wing, wings on your side?
  68. >Is it your back or your side.
  69. >Faintly you can hear a low chirping sound nearby and you realize with a start it’s coming from you.
  70. >OK
  71. >THINGS HAVE NOT GONE TO PLAN
  72. >Screaming now in a more normal voice you flail your hands[spoiler]hooves[/spoiler] and feet[spoiler]wings[/spoiler] about trying to get back to normal!
  73. >Things went blurry after that.
  74.  
  75. >When the pony started to scream in a person’s voice you didn’t know what to think!
  76. >Applejack leaped at the pony to wrestle it down you guess only to get slapped away with a wing.
  77. >Rainbow Dash tried to run in only to be smacked by a kick that sent her flying.
  78. >Rarity and Sunset were staying back on either side of it.
  79. >This is bad!
  80. >Wait, your geode! ~
  81. >Wrapping your hand around it you tighten your grip on the necklace and reach out only for your ‘grip’ to slide off!
  82. >WHAT?!
  83. >Nothing has ever been able to do that before!
  84. >You saw Pinkie was distracting the pegasus before it could hurt any one but she was playing with fire!
  85. >’Grabbing’ Pinkie’s shirt you saved her from an errant blow of a wing.
  86. >”STOP!” Fluttershy shouted out, hands spread out wide standing between the girls and the pony.
  87. >As if stimulated by electrical shock your muscles stiffen in place, you can’t move!
  88. >A few seconds pass before your muscles loosen, Fluttershy meanwhile turned to the pony and kneeled down to be eye level with the pony.
  89. >”Hi there Mister Pony, I know you’re scared, but you don’t have to worry now. My friends and I are here to help you, so can you tell us what happened?” Fluttershy asked softly, holding her hands out steady as stone up to the pony’s muzzle.
  90.  
  91. >You hold your breath watching as Fluttershy works her magic only for your eyebrows to shoot up into the stratosphere when the pony replies, “Tell Twilight this is all her damn fault.”
  92. >With a thump the pony falls down comatose while all the girls look at you.
  93. “I didn’t do anything!”
  94. >The journal tossed to the side in all the commotion started to buzz at that moment.
  95.  
  96. >Purple alights around the book as you bring it to your hands then ripping it open to the latest page.
  97. >”What’s the princess got to say now?” Rainbow Dash asked zipping close by as you read.
  98. >You hold a finger up so you can finish.
  99. >”Aw come o-”
  100. “Hup!”
  101. >”Twili-”
  102. “Shh!”
  103. >”Don’t think yer gonna win that one Rainbow.”
  104. >Ignoring your friends as you read, you see the princess is saying that the portal suffered from near catastrophic failure with the framework holding it up, at least that's what you translated the magical babble she said.
  105. >See this wouldn't happen if you put your faith in science, steel and the proper application of physics!
  106. >Even if your friends say that some of your more esoteric research looks like magic when it’s applied, that doesn’t make it magic! ~
  107. >Jotting down a few notes of your own in reply, detailing what you’ve seen from the portal to what or rather, who, came out of the portal, you look up to see the bemused looks from your friends. ~
  108. >”Now can you tell us what’s going on?” Rainbow Dash asked arms crossed in a pout, of course if you were to point out that it’s a pout she would deny it harder than her love for the Daring Do books. ~
  109. >Adjusting your glasses, you take a deep breath before launching into the explanation you and the princess had cooked up. ~
  110. “From our best guess, the portal was confused by Anon when he went through. The portal had thought Anon was either a soulless automaton or was a vacuum of magic, leading to the portal to freak out like it did.”
  111. >”As fascinating as that is Darling, but why exactly did it turn Anon here into a pegasus? Surely it’s not a random process.” Rarity asked gingerly pinching the edges of Anon’s wings to highlight her point.
  112. “You’re right, the portal wound up having to use it’s own magic and what forms it had stored in it’s memory from the last creature to go through it.”
  113. >”Couldn’t we just toss him back in and he’s back to normal again?” Pinkie asked, pointing to the statue.
  114. >”I doubt it, the amount of magic involved in that would be huge, it’d explain why there is a sense of disorientation when you go through, aside from the change in body your own magic is being used to power the change. I’m surprised the mirror didn’t break from the strain.” Sunset answered, while you went back to the journal reading what the princess had to say. ~
  115. >Essentially the same conclusion you’d made, the changes in the mirror was most likely the only reason Anon didn’t wind up in worse shape, or lost between dimensions, it looked to have also sapped the power from the additional enchantments to power the change. ~
  116. >Sharing this with the girls, you watch as they look to Anon, then each other in worry.
  117. >”Well shoot Twilight, looks like we might have to keep our guest over at Sweet Apple Acres in the meantime. Ah don’t reckon you’d like trying to explain to yer folks why you’ve got a pegasus of all things coming to visit.” Applejack offered up.
  118. >”Oh! I could host him at the shelter I volunteer at! He’d make so many friends if he stayed there.” Fluttershy put in. ~
  119. >”Fluttershy I love you like a sister, but that sounds like a terrible idea.” Rainbow said, at Fluttershy’s hurt look she hastily added, “But maybe he could come and visit when he’s awake and told about things? Right?”
  120. You interject to save your friend from trying to shove both feet in her mouth, “I’m sure Anon would be delighted to come visit, but maybe having him wake up in a cage isn’t a good idea?”
  121. >”Oh, alright then…” Fluttershy mumbled playing with her hair dejectedly, only to gasp when Pinkie squeezed her in a hug. ~
  122. >”Don’t worry Fluttershy, when Anon wakes up we can have a big ol’ barnyard banzana to welcome him here and we can bring your animal friends too!”
  123. >”Darlings, as much fun as it is to plan a party in advance, perhaps we should move our guest before we attract a mite more attention than we need to?” Rarity said pointing towards the local park nearby where a few other kids were at play.
  124. >”I’ll go and grab the bus, then.” Sunset said, already turning towards the parking lot. ~
  125. “Alright, Applejack could you-”
  126. >”Way ahead of ya Sugarcube.” The farmer answered hoisting the pony up on her shoulder with little effort, “Fella feels as light as a cloud to be honest, bet even Rainbow with her twiggy arms could lift this little guy.”
  127. >”Oi! You wanna have a go, you dyke?” ~
  128. “Girls please, we can measure clits later, let's just get to the farm.”
  129. >”Before we go Darling, wear this.” Rarity said as she reached into her handbag and pulled out-
  130. >”Oh. My. Gosh! Rarity, you never told me you learned the art of packing too! Why didn’t you tell me, girl?” Pinkie exclaimed with glee.
  131. >”A lady never kisses and tells, now off we go now ladies!” Rarity clapped her hands together after the poncho was draped across Anon and Applejack.
  132.  
  133. >The band bus pulled up with a screech of the brakes and the door opened to reveal Sunset at the wheel, “All aboard girls! Hey Twilight, got a second?”
  134. >Nodding you climb up to the seat behind Sunset while the rest of the girls load up in the back.
  135. “What’s up?”
  136. >Sunset closed the door and pulled onto the road as she began to drive, “Wanted to make some plans, get an idea on how we’re going to handle this. I mean it’s one thing to claim that we’re doing movie shoots or magical effects as part of the drama club, but I really doubt that’s going to hold up when we have a pegasus of all things with us.”
  137. “Won’t it? When I first came here I really thought that Principal Cinch was going to bring in the government on our heads or at least bring it to the courts.”
  138. >”Yeah, but it turned into a game of her word against us, and it's not like she recorded everything either.” Sunset replied, making the turn to leave town, “But have you noticed a few times on youhoof where some of our more crazy battles get posted?” ~
  139. “Special effects and cinematography, photoshop and way more can explain it away Sunset, I get where you’re coming from but I doubt anyone is really going to take what happens here seriously.”
  140. >Sunset is quiet as the paved road gives way to gravel, dust billowing behind the bus as she chews her lip, “I hope so Twilight, I really do. For now can we keep Anon on the down-low here? At least until we can come up with a disguise or try to fix his problem?” ~
  141. “Yeah I don’t see any problem with that, it’s not like we were going to trot him around town giving out rides to kids or something.”
  142. >Sunset giggled, ”Don’t let Fluttershy or Pinkie hear you say that, they might just do it.”
  143. >You can’t help the giggle either, thinking of how that would look. ~
  144. >”Say we're still on for that O&O session later tonight?” Sunset glanced back at you for a moment before focusing on the road again, “Was really excited to see how the end of that dungeon turns out.”
  145. “I dunno, would have to ask my parents if I can run it at Applejack’s house instead, don’t think having Anon waking up in a barn or strange bed is a grand idea.”
  146. >Sunset shrugged in response, “Can’t hurt to ask.”
  147. “Good point, gimme a bit.”
  148. >Leaning back you type on your phone to your house.
  149. >”Sparkle residence?”
  150. “Hey Mum, it’s Twilight.”
  151. >”Twilight! You're still out with your friends?”
  152. “Yeah, hey. I wanted to ask if I could spend the night over at Applejack’s place?” ~
  153. >”Why? I thought you and your girlfriends were going to be playing that game of yours here tonight?”
  154. “Mom! They aren’t like that, they’re my friends.”
  155. >”Who are girls.”
  156. “Mom.”
  157. >”Oh I’m just teasing you dear, although you really should try to see if you can’t meet a boy offline once or twice, don’t think I haven’t noticed your recent transactions in your account missy.”
  158. “Oh my, Mom, look, those were really important for those boys. They needed the money.”
  159. >”Sure they did, sure they did, did you at least get a dick pic out of it?”
  160. “MOM!”
  161. >You cover your face as you hear your witch of a mother cackle into the phone.
  162. >”Twilight?”
  163. >Could you file for emancipation?
  164. >You do make some money from some of your inventions, not quite enough but-
  165. >”Twilight Bright Sparkles, you answer me right now!” ~
  166. >Snapping out of your thoughts you juggle your phone before catching it.
  167. “Sorry Mom, got distracted, what’d you need?”
  168. >”Oh Twilight, did you get stuck in your head again?”
  169. “N-no…”
  170. >Your mom sighed, “Of course not, listen if you want to spend the night at your friend's house, then I don’t mind. I’ll tell your father to skip on the snacks, or maybe even have them for ourselves.~”
  171. ”Mom, that’s gross.”
  172. >”Why I have no idea what you mean dear, but what do those women in your cartoons like to say? Ora ora? What could you be implying?”
  173. “Okay-thanks-mom-love-you-bye!”
  174. >Clicking your phone shut, you lean harder into the seat and cover your eyes, groaning at your mom. ~
  175. >”Yikes.” Sunset said, causing you to peel your hands away to see the bus was already parked and the girls had unloaded to the farm. ~
  176. “Please tell me you didn’t hear all of that.”
  177. >”Only the relevant bits, don’t worry I’m used to hearing that from…” Sunset trailed off, a frown crossing her face, “Nevermind, listen it’s not that bad, so come on. Let’s go see if we can’t rouse Anon or at least get set up for the game.” ~
  178. >Sunset offered her hand to you as she stood up. ~
  179. >Smiling, you take the hand and get off the seat.
  180. “Thanks Sunset, you’re a great friend.”
  181. >Grinning Sunset replied, “Yep, that’s me grade A friend right here. You go on ahead, I’ll lock up the bus.”
  182. “Alright then, see you in a bit!”
  183. >You could have sworn you heard Sunset say something about tulips in the night but you shake your head, you’ve got a game to set up!
  184.  
  185. >You’re checking over your notes for the session today, the girls had to go and find the wiley Count Bowsend who's been long suspected of being a warlock of foul magic!
  186. >A creak from the door behind you has you hastily grab some random scratch paper to hide your notes.
  187. >”Hey Twi?”
  188. “Applejack! I told you to knock when I’m planning a session!”
  189. >You lean close and poke the apple farmer’s apples with each word, “No! Spoilers!”
  190. >”Twi you’ve been holed up in mah bathroom for twenty minutes, I doubt you’d need that long for your notes,” Applejack batted away your hand with a gentle, for her, smack. “Sides, wasn’t here to peek at yer stuff, ah was needin’ ya for that Anon fella. He woke up and is mighty pissed, you reckon you can explain things to him all nice and friendly like? I managed to get Fluttershy to wait a minute, else she’ll spook him worse than a rattler being stepped on.” ~
  191. >Rubbing your stinging fingers, you soon forget the pain as you adjust your glasses in excitement, he’s awake! ~
  192. “Well thank you Applejack, I’ll go talk to him right now!”
  193. >Carefully you put away your notes and stash the binder in your bag.
  194. >Then you’re out the door running for the barn!
  195.  
  196. >Huffing, you lean against the door of the barn after your brief minute of running.
  197. >This...is...why, phew you had invented gravity boots!
  198. >Screw this walking nonsense, although you were given citations by city hall about flying privately after the bell incident.
  199. >”This is fucking bullshit, of all the things to turn into it’s a god damn horse.” An irate man’s voice could be heard ahead of you.
  200. >Shaking your head you focus back on the present, right!
  201. >Your guest, okay double check everything first; shirt straight, but wrinkled that’s fine, glasses on and not about to slide off your nose, check and finally notecards!
  202. >You freeze in place in horror, you didn’t make any note cards!
  203. >Okay, don’t panic, just do what Rainbow and Sunset do all the time, wing it!
  204. >Just have to talk with a boy, who’s been transfigured into a pony of all things and okay deep breaths.
  205. >Eyes closed you focus on your worries and in…
  206. >Then out with all those same worries...
  207. >In and out, just like Cadence taught you.
  208. >Eyes opening you march forward with determination!
  209.  
  210. >In a stall with the door latched open you find your guest, Anon sitting looking annoyed at his hooves then at the wings before back to his hooves again.
  211. >At hearing your approach the stallion looked up and you can see the recognition in his eyes, “Twilight I swear to god if you don’t fix this I’m going to kick your ass,” Looking at his hooves again he continued, “That is if I can figure out how the hell these things even work!”
  212. >He must be talking about the princess, you ignore the slight flare of jealousy in your heart at the mistake, it’s not his fault.
  213. >Still being compared to the princess you over yourself, still stings a bit.
  214. “Actually I’m this world’s Twilight, but no worries m’lord I’ll try to help you back on your feet, er hooves I suppose.”
  215. >Anon squints at you before they widen, “Oh, great so now there are two wizards trying to help.”
  216. “Hey! I’m not a wizard, the correct term would be witch or sorceress, but I’m neither of those.” Adjusting your glasses you puff up your chest, “I’m a scientist.”
  217. >”Lovely, don’t suppose you’ve got a gizmo to turn me back hiding behind that skirt of yours?”
  218. “Ah, well not quite, we’re working on it though, no worries m’lord!” ~
  219. >”Why are you calling me a lord? I’m nobody special like that.”
  220. “Well it’s to show the proper respect for all men, who are kings after all!” ~
  221. >At the incredulous stare from the stallion, you feel your cheeks heat up. ~
  222. >”This is that sexism thing again, isn’t it?” ~
  223. >You rock back on your heels at the claim before shaking your head and waving your hands back and forth.
  224. “No! No-no-no-no-no of course not! I would never do that to a fine upstanding man such as yourself!”
  225. >”Not really much of a man at the moment,” Anon said dejectedly before standing on wobbly legs, “Just tell me how I went from me to this? Please?”
  226. "Our best guess was that you were an x factor to the whole process that caused the change, so far the princess, Sunset, and I are working to fix it." ~
  227. >Don't be a spaz Twilight, he looks bummed out here.
  228. >You clasp his shoulder, causing him to look up at you.
  229. "We will fix this Anon, don't you worry."
  230. >With him sniffing once, you thought Anon had allergies, it's when he sniffed again with tears in his eyes that you began to panic, for Anon suddenly lurched forward, clumsily grabbing you in a hug! ~
  231. >You're hugging a boy!
  232. >Technically a boy that's a stallion, but it still totally counts! ~
  233. >Upon hearing another sniff coming from Anon, you jumped to attention before reaching up with shaking hands and wrapping him in a hug. ~
  234.  
  235. >The first thing that draws your attention is how soft his coat feels. It's almost like sinking your hand into velvet or a short-haired cat.
  236. “So soft.” You murmur
  237. >Anon pulled back and rubbed his snout with his hoof as he asked, “What?”
  238. In reply you hastily say, “Oh nothing. I had said, since you are in need of something to focus on, why don't we have you come and play a session of O&O with us?”
  239.  
  240. >Internally you blanch at what you just said to a boy of all things, Ogres and Oubliettes. Are you insane, he's going to think you're a huge giant nerd!
  241. >Your jaw drops when Anon shakily asks, “What is it, is it something like D&D?”
  242. >Snapping your jaw shut, you latch onto any excuse to keep the momentum going, since educating someone has always been your go to for social situations! ~
  243. “I haven't heard of D&D, but O&O is Ogres and Oubliettes, a game where you play pretend and act out what your character does with a few defined rules that are agreed on by everybody.”
  244. >Anon starts to nod his head and you can see he’s starting to focus more on the conversation when he replies, “That sounds a lot like Dungeons and Dragons to me. Are wizards as stupidly broken as they are in the 4th edition?”
  245. Upon hearing this, you feel your heart flutter as you have a wide grin slowly spread across your face. “Oh yes, 100%. The wizard class is simply broken, especially if they wind up taking the subclass Arcane Knight, since that certainly breaks the meta of the fighter/wizard/rogue dynamic.” ~
  246. >Anton replied, “I'll be honest with you, I don't super care about the meta as much as I do the interesting lore behind some of the classes. That said, I did hear that in 5th edition they made it so that everything is a lot more streamlined and you don't have to constantly refer to other books.” ~
  247. You nod, saying: “That's actually how I was able to get my friends to join in on doing a few games of ogres and oubliettes.”
  248. >Anon rubbed at his leg and it struck you how familiar that motion was, after all you’ve done it plenty of times yourself while talking to others, Anon asks, “Would that offer to join in on your game still be open? I wouldn't want to impose.”
  249. You wave your hands back and forth frantically, “Oh no-no-no, I mean yes! It is, open the offer that is, if you want to join in then by all means! I can roll up a character sheet for you and help you make it.”
  250. >Anon smiled before shaking his head as he said, “I can make the sheet on my own, you should go ahead and focus on being the DM for your friends. I've run a few games myself and I nearly drive myself bonkers trying to keep track of everything. Adding a character sheet to be made on top of that sounds like it'd be really stressful. Just lend me a few books on what all might be different and hopefully by the end of the session I can join in on the next one.” ~
  251.  
  252. You blink in surprise at Anon claiming to have ran a game, leaning forward you asked, “What kind of shenanigans did your group get up to? If you want to swap tales that is.”
  253. >Anon brightens noticeably as he sits back and says, “Well there was this one occasion where a player of mine had gotten into the debt of his goddess, as he was a cleric of said goddess that saved him from death, and was sent on a mission to play a prank on a rival goddesse’s temple.”
  254. “What’d he do to prank the rival? Steal a relic? Deface a monument?”
  255. >”He tried to get out of it, but eventually had gotten so fed up with all the intrigue going on that he went with the simple approach.”
  256. >The simple approach? Oh no, you knew that phrase from Rainbow and Applejack. ~
  257. “Don’t tell me, he walked right in and wrecked the temple?”
  258. >”Close, he walked in and threw a rock at this giant mirror relic that showed the inner beauty of oneself.” ~
  259. “What were the domains of the goddess again?” You asked Anon, feeling some ideas starting to spark, it never hurts to have some inspiration from new friends!
  260. >”Oh it was a love goddess, really into that whole pink aesthetic and lovey dovey stuff.”
  261. >You tilted your head at the thought of a love goddess instead of a love God, how weird but maybe that was a campaign note and feature of the games he ran, you listened on as he continued, “After that he quickly had to flee while in heavy plate armor, because he has this fascination with trying to make a melee fighter out of every type of spellcaster he plays.” ~
  262. “Did he at least know about trying to sneak or lose the armor?”
  263. >”That would be the reasonable solution, but no, so in the middle of the large-scale city he tries to hide and be as inconspicuous as possible, but the closest thing that he is able to find is a nearby piece of shrubbery to jump into.” ~
  264. >You wince at the mayhem that must have been as you watched Anon become more animated, gesturing with his hooves to show the size of the bush, it wasn’t very big. ~
  265. >Still you’re glad that Anon’s mood has improved from the crying and hugging you. [spoiler]Even if you rather enjoyed the hugging...[/spoiler] ~
  266. “What’s the modifier you hit him with for all that? I’d have gone for a disadvantage with a minus four or even a six.”
  267. >Anon grinned at that as he replied, “He didn’t stay, the crazy loon had gotten a terrible roll and figured out that he could outpace the guards to break their line of sight." ~
  268. >"What makes it even better is that while I’m describing this, another player is drawing out what this would look like. By the end of it we have what looks like a bush with a pair of metal legs on the bottom of it, a head with antlers on it, because he had those as a racial feature, and the rest of him is covered by shrubbery. Then she does a little animation of him waddling back and forth like an angry little hermit crab.” ~
  269. >You start to snicker at the mental image in your head as the story continues, “At that point he manages to outrun his pursuers, and then has to try to find the rest of his party members because we had used a table for carousing rolls.”
  270. At this you let out a groan of exasperation as you reply, “Oh no... Don't tell me that you used the 100 different types of results for your carousing?” ~
  271. >Anon replied with a solemn nod.
  272. “Oh, you poor soul.The girls have loved that table more than the game itself at times, because it's not Pinkie who winds up with crazy results." ~
  273. "Instead it's Fluttershy who somehow winds up in the Noble’s estate with only a few articles of clothing, three different types of undergarments with her, and around the corner a country club is getting ready to come into sight.”
  274.  
  275. >Anon at this point leans forward as he asks, “Then what happens when Fluttershy of all people gets that?  I need details, woman! Tell me! Tell me!”
  276. You grin, feeling a little like Rarity sharing juicy gossip with the girls at the lunch table as you reply, “At the table Fluttershy is so hot and bothered that you could cook an egg on her face. Although some of the girls and I started to think she might be fudging her dice, since she keeps getting into such l-lewd situations!” ~
  277. >You froze in that instant as you waited for the sudden sniff of disapproval, yet none came as Anon watched you with eagerness, a spark of excitement in his eyes as he asked, “Yeah? What happened next?” ~
  278. You clear your throat, “R-right, still in that instance if I recall correctly, her Barbarian had charged through the hedge maze leaving a giant, woman-sized hole of about six foot six as she sprints as fast as she can before finding a stone wall." ~
  279. "She has no idea where the exit is at, she can hear a patrol is coming soon as well, and the crazy mad gal starts climbing her way up by punching handholds into the bricks to flee the scene.”
  280.  
  281. >Anon chuckled and asked, “What about the undergarments, did she keep them?”
  282. At this you feel a wave of heat creeping up your neck as you hold back a giggle and nod, “The others aren't aware of this in character but everyone at the table gave her a few nods of grudging respect for it, and she looked pleased under her hair as far as I could tell.” ~
  283. >Anon leaned back, belly shaking as he tried to hold back his laughter. ~
  284. >It’s inevitable for him to start laughing, but when an excited chirp escaped Anon you had to hold back a squeal of delight.
  285. >That was adorable!
  286. >Anon, meanwhile, has his hoof over his mouth. Glaring fierce enough to burn holes in you, he said with a blush, “You didn’t hear anything.” ~
  287. You tilted your head to the side and said, “Heard what?
  288. >Anon nodded as the pact of silence was sealed between you both.
  289.  
  290. >“Twilight, Anon, are you two still in here?” You heard Sunset from the front of the barn.
  291. “Over here Sunset, what's up?”
  292. >You hear footsteps on the dirt floor when Sunset comes into view dressed in her casual outfit, sans her jacket, then leans against the stall door, “We've got the drinks and snacks all ready to go, all we're missing is our dungeon master." ~
  293. >"You do remember our session was supposed to start like 30 minutes ago, right?” Sunset asked with a smirk. ~
  294. You smack your forehead with the palm of your hand as you groaned, “Oh my gosh, I am so sorry about that Sunset, I'll be there right away.” ~
  295. Glancing over to Anon who has been watching the exchange you make your offer again, “It wouldn't be too much trouble to have you at table if you want to, Anon.” ~
  296. >Shifting on the straw, Anon gave a shrug, “If I wouldn't be distracting then that would be fine. I can just try to write up a character while keeping an ear out for what you all might need for your party. What's your composition anyway?” ~
  297. Automatically you rattled off your players, ticking them off on your fingers as you go, “Fighter, Monk, Bard, Rogue, Sorcerer, And Barbarian.” ~
  298.  
  299. >Anon, who you noticed had been staring longingly at your fingers, reeled back in shock after hearing your player’s composition. ~
  300. >You start to cover your face at your players’ antics as Anon replied, ”You have no dedicated healing? Either your girls are the most cautious players I’ve ever heard or, well... Based on how much of a meat force you have, a really good way of making sure your squishy people don't die?” ~
  301. Groaning, you let your head fall back on the stall wall, “I know! Oh how I know, do you know how hard it is to not simply nuke Rarity or Sunset whenever they try to be too clever for their own good?” ~
  302. >Sunset cleared her throat and motioned to the door, ”Bad mounting Rarity's and mine excellent and well-thought-out plans aside, why don't we go ahead and get this show on the road?” ~
  303. You pull yourself up off the ground and pat down your skirt with a sigh, “If I must, if I must.”
  304. Glancing at Anon you offer a hand to him, “Are you ready?”
  305. >For a moment you think he’s going to refuse your hand and you can feel your anxiety rising as you recall that he is in fact a boy, he might not want to even touch you.
  306. >Yet it is all for naught as Anon smiled before gripping your hand with a hoof and leveraging himself up on shaky legs, “Yeah, let’s go see this train wreck of a party you have.”
  307.  
  308. >Stumbling, you force the shaky legs beneath you to move, struggling to keep up with the two girls as they walk. ~
  309. >You can do this, just like a two step dance!
  310. >Hearing the door creaking open, you see Twilight is already inside the house while Sunset is staying behind to hold the door open for you. ~
  311. >What’s odd is she is standing outside while holding the door instead of in-
  312. >It hits you then, she’s giving you plenty of room to walk.
  313. >A tangled ball of emotions lays in your gut as you managed to walk into the house.
  314. >There is a pause as your eyes take a while to adjust to the sudden change of light from bright daylight to sudden dim gloom, how can anyone see in here?
  315.  
  316. >”Sunset? Are you coming?” Twilight called out to Sunset, You meanwhile jump in place, feeling your wings raise up at the call! ~
  317. >You didn’t see Twilight standing in the doorway!
  318. >Squinting you managed to finally see Twilight in the shitty lighting of this house to see her looking past you to see Sunset shake her head.
  319. >“Sorry got lost in thought for a moment.” The door slammed behind her and you shuffled your wings, feeling them tuck in your side. ~
  320. >Sunset you notice is keeping a fair distance behind you as the three of you continue down the hallway.
  321. >Twilight meanwhile disappears around the corner and you follow suit the clip clop of your hooves on the wood echoing in the house.
  322. >Coming to a stop you blink, thinking that you had accidentally fallen into ANOTHER damn world again at the sight of a renaissance fair in the dining room. ~
  323. >It took a second to recognize some of the girls and as you take in the sight of small mini’s, a snack table in the back and what looks like bags of dice it finally sinks in.
  324. “Whoa, this is- You girls are going all out for this, huh?” ~
  325. >Sunset from behind you said, “The girls and I get really into this.” Leaning down to whisper in your ear the girl continued, “Personally I think Rarity just likes to show off, but she does good work. Just don’t let her know you heard it from me otherwise she’ll never let it go.”  ~
  326. >Nodding, you move further into the dining room, letting Sunset get past you as she goes to talk with Pinkie.
  327. >Twilight you see is kneeling down before a chest and rummaging in it before popping up with a robe that gets swiftly clasped around her neck. ~
  328.  
  329. >Sitting around the large oak table in the center of the dining room of the Apple farm were the rest of the girls.
  330. >” Why of course Darling, I couldn’t simply allow us to attempt a performance of the arts without the proper fittings now could I?” Rarity explained as she puffed her chest out in pride, dressed as she was in a tight corset of black and gold with the largest feather you’ve ever seen in her hat.
  331. >"Alright Rare we get it, you're a dyke, but you're our dyke." Applejack grunted drawing your attention to see she and Rainbow were living up to their counterparts back on Equestria.  ~
  332. >Applejack was dressed in a leather chest piece with chainmail arms that clinked with every motion of her arms , her helmet on the table reminded you of the old Norman style of helmet. ~
  333. >The reason why the helmet was abandoned on the table was due to Applejack having to fend off Rainbow Dash, who was stretching out to grab the mug Applejack had. ~
  334. >The athlete was clad in an elaborate rainbow tapestry wound around her lithe frame,with a few tasteful belts that held it all together, it reminds you of the Buddist monks of back home.
  335. >Only far more colorful and eye catching, though perhaps that was the point? ~
  336. >Next to the chair she was leaning out of was an elaborate work of carved driftwood.
  337. >It looked like someone had tried to make an oar out of a plank of driftwood and mostly succeeded
  338. >You can tell a lot of work went into polishing the haft and engraving the profile of a sleek cutter ship on the narrow oar's blade.
  339. >"Darling I can assure you I've seen my fair share of delectable delights-"
  340. >"She wasn't talking about what you jill off to Rarity, now can you help a gal out here?!" Rainbow exclaimed as she was held back with one hand by Applejack.
  341.  
  342. >You finally spotted Pinkie Pie near the snacks, placing down the last batch of nachos on the smorgasbord board of delights
  343. > She unfurled the long pink scarf from around her neck and whipped it out into another room. Pinkie gave it a sharp tug.
  344. > The cloth made a sharp twang as it retracted,  the end snarled around a two liter of soda that impossibly, didn’t appear to be agitated by the sudden movement. ~
  345. >Now, you’ve seen Pony Pinkie do some really wild things too, like pulling her cannon from her mane of all things, but that was impressive regardless. ~
  346. >Mostly because while this act of acrobatic scarf juggling should be impossible you can at least believe this bullshit unlike the pony counterpart could.
  347. >Pinkie turned, revealing the sharp, blue, military dress uniform with silver buttons that extended out into a lower cape thing that had you thinking of a trench coat, but more of a hybrid of it. ~
  348. > ”Sunset! You’re out of costume girl! Snap to it! We can’t have a dungeon party if we’re not in character!” Pinkie Pie exclaimed as you watched her step behind Rarity only to reappear like a jack in the box to grab Sunset by the arm, dragging her out.
  349.  
  350. “I guess Pinkie’s really into the whole costume thing too, then?” ~
  351. >”Oh you can say that Darling, once I managed to explain it as a costume party it just suddenly clicked for her then and there. The rest, as they like to say, is history.”
  352. >”Yeah, shoot, when Pinkie finally wrapped her head around it, she made the rest of us Pinkie Promise to attend in costume.” Applejack chimed in before she shoved Rainbow Dash off of her and finished her drink in one go.
  353. >”Hey! I wanted some of that!” Rainbow exclaimed.
  354. >In reply, Applejack turned to her and made a mighty belch in Rainbow’s face that had you rearing in surprise. ~
  355. >Rarity meanwhile had a pinched expression on her face as she glared daggers at Applejack, ”Ahem, in case you haven’t noticed we have a guest.” ~
  356. >The smug smile Applejack had sent at Rainbow faded as she glanced to you
  357.  >She brought her hat down over her face with a muttered, “Pardon.”
  358. >Rainbow coughed and waved her hand in front of her face, “Jeez girl, breath mint much?”
  359. >”Oh shove off ya mooch!”
  360. “Girls it’s fine, really.”
  361. >At the despairing glance Rarity throws your way, you quickly amend your statement, “It is a little gross, but it’s a natural bodily function. Just, you know, don’t over do it please?”
  362. >”Ah’m real sorry bout that ‘Nawn, if ya want Ah can git ya something to eat?” Applejack replied, face starting to turn red, you hope you didn’t piss her off.
  363. >Before you could reply Applejack was standing up and moving to the snack table while Rainbow watched slack jawed.
  364. >”Close your mouth, Darling. It’s only natural to try to be a gentlewoman in the presence of a Lord; Rainbow Dash, you best remember that.” Rarity said as she leaned over to push her friend’s jaw back up. ~
  365. >You meanwhile are left to look between the two and Applejack a few times before speaking up.
  366. “Look I didn’t mean to cause any trouble, if I am I can just-”
  367. >”Oh no Darling, it’s fine.” ~
  368. >”Dude chill, I've just never seen Applejack act like that before.”
  369. >A clanging from the end of the table draws your attention to Twilight, who is wearing a wizard robe and hat covered in stars with a large bell hanging from the tip.
  370. > Flipping the bell back from the front, Twilight asked, “What’d I miss? Was busy setting up,” Glancing at how half her friends were away from the table,  the wizard dungeon mistress continued, “Where is everyone?”
  371.  
  372. “Sunset and Pinkie went to get dressed, Applejack’s getting me a drink, apparently and I haven’t seen Fluttershy.”  ~
  373. >Waving her hand, Rainbow repiled dismissively, ”Give them a minute, Fluttershy will be out in two licks of a suck-” ~     
  374. >”Rainbow!” Twilight and Rarity both exclaimed in scandalized shock.
  375. >This must be another one of those sexist remarks again, although what a sucker has to-
  376. >The clack of a mug on wood draws your attention as Applejack set down your drink, “Here ya go Nawn, sorry again.”
  377. >You try a reassuring smile as best as you can.
  378. “Thanks Applejack, and you’re fine really, back home it-”
  379. >Recalling the drinking parties with your own friends back home, on Earth, come to mind and your smile turns brittle.
  380. “Thank you.”
  381. >”Nawn? Ya alright, ya look a bit out of sorts there?” ~
  382. >Those hypnotic green eyes stare you down, crinkled in worry and you fidget in place, you would rather keep some things to yourself, but the way she looks so earnest in wanting to help makes you hesitate to reply. ~
  383. >No, you don’t want to be a burden to her or the others, now how do you go about politely telling her to leave it be?
  384.  
  385. “I’m fine, don’t worry about it. Could you hand me a spare hand book?”
  386. >”Now Nawn, Ah don’t wanna pry, but are ya wantin’ to talk about-”
  387. >”Applejack, remind me again what was Oakenheart planning on doing with the recent rumors she had heard in the inn? I forgot since last session, sorry.” Twilight suddenly interjected from her end of the table.
  388. >Having those eyes drawn away from you grants you a moment to finally breathe!
  389. >If the others could hurry up so you don’t have to socialize as much then you’d be just dandy!
  390.  
  391. >”Eep!" ~
  392. >”Oh sorry Fluttershy! Didn’t mean to spook ya like that!” Pinkie exclaimed as she finished dragging you into the bathroom.
  393. >Tugging yourself free from your over eager friend, you find Fluttershy had just finished drying out her woad tattoo and was half dressed in her costume.
  394. “You look great Fluttershy, I’m really digging the fur coat you’ve got.”
  395. >”O-oh, well it’s nothing much really. I mean Rarity is the one who sewed it together, I only got the wool from helping Applejack shear her sheep.”
  396. >Pinkie wraps the girl in a hug from behind, squishing her to her chest, “Don’t you worry none, Fluttershy! if you hadn’t calmed them down then you wouldn’t have gotten all this soft cozy wool!” ~
  397. >”P-Pinkie Pie! Let me go! Please!?” Fluttershy exclaimed when Pinkie became rather pink herself as she dropped Fluttershy like her hands had been burnt.
  398. >”Wowee Fluttershy! Might wanna get your top on, the girls are getting a bit perky there!” Pinkie exclaimed with a forced laugh, her hands grasping in the air. ~
  399. >You avert your eyes from Fluttershy as she finishes dressing.
  400. >Mares don't look at other mares' teats, it's weird.
  401. >Cloth rustled and you hear Fluttershy ask, "There, h-how do I look?"
  402. >Pinkie holds both thumbs up at the girl, "Skinny, but fierce!"
  403. >Turning, you see the white fluffy mantle wrapped around Fluttershy’s shoulders in a cozy embrace, between that and her skirt made of chain links and leather straps, she fits the wild warrior woman motif rather well. ~
  404. >The last finishing touches in your opinion were the historically accurate woad painting that Twilight and you had looked into.
  405. >Across the naval laid the heart cave, a set of three hearts stacked atop each other like a totem pole with the smallest on the bottom while at the top were drawn the two arms of the clan mother to wrap around and embrace the clan’s future.
  406. >If you didn’t know Fluttershy as well as you do, you’d be rather intimidated with the result, a barbarian of the frozen wastes eager to bring great glory for her clan. ~
  407.  
  408. >Or in Fluttershy’s case, the pack of wolves that helped raise her character.
  409. >Raising a thumb up you say, “"Yeah, it's great to see Denmother again. Oh Fluttershy, Anon’s there out with the rest if y- aaaand she’s gone.” ~
  410. > “You don’t think Fluttershy has a teensy bit of an unhealthy obsession with Anon do you Sunset?” Pinkie asked watching the bathroom door slam shut behind a speedy barbarian.
  411. “What? The nature lover girl who's more at home with wild creatures than people having a huge fascination with an animal that isn't feral? No, get out of town, that’s impossibru.”
  412. >Pinkie deadpanned, “I knew it was a mistake to let you and Fluttershy go to that anime con.”
  413. “It’s not that bad, besides I need to finish getting dressed, now scoot.” You shoo the rogue out from the bathroom as you finish sliding on the red overcoat that goes over the cream white undershirt.
  414. > You thread the actual silver rope chain through the loops of the overcoat
  415. > Rarity always fussed at you to make sure you didn't lose "The cornerstone of your outfit, darling!" but you are more worried about losing expensive silver jewelry
  416. > You slip into your purple silk baggy pants that are the close enough to wearing nothing to remind you of home
  417. > You look in the mirror and grin at the swashbuckler before you
  418. > Now you're ready for Ogres and Oubliettes!
  419.  
  420.  
  421. >After a quick walk through the door, you leave the bathroom behind you to see the table set
  422. >Fluttershy, you see, had managed to convince Anon to sit beside her and was animatedly talking with him.
  423. >Anon’s ears, you notice, are pointed towards the mare as his eyes focus on the pencil held between both his hooves
  424. >He seems surprisingly at ease, considering he is alone in a basement with a bunch of girls  ~
  425. >The rest of the party looked eager to start as you took your seat
  426. >Twilight began the session, “Welcome back girls. When we left off, the party had managed to be contacted by the local noble in charge of the town. One, Troubled Hooves of the Von Hooft family, who needed discreet agents to investigate the strange lights and sounds coming from a swamp near the town itself.” ~
  427. >Even focused as you are on Twilight’s recap, you can’t help but make a small smile at seeing how easy it was for Twilight to simply talk once she put on the robes. Maybe it was something about her having rules and the like to fall back on.
  428. >Across the table from you, you saw Anon, tongue stuck out in intense concentration.
  429. >He carefully drags the pencil across the character sheet, beside him Fluttershy observes with a concerned gaze. ~
  430. >While using two hooves does give more stability, that method leaves the writer moving at a snail's pace
  431. >Why didn't he use the Chattermouth method? ~
  432. >It struck you then: he had no pony to teach him how.
  433. >”Sunset, any ideas on what Sparkfold would suggest?” Twilight’s voice draws your attention from Anon and Fluttershy as the others turn to look at you. ~
  434. "Oh! Uh, I'm sorry," clearing your throat, you pitched your tone down into the smoky, husky sound of Sparkfold's voice, "Why yes I do. I believe we could simply ask some of the lovely men around here if they happened to have noticed something out of the ordinary, well, aside from ourselves, of course." ~
  435.  
  436. >Oakenheart beside you snorted, "Playing with the hearts of the town is more likely to backfire on us, why not go investigate the actual source of the lights instead?"
  437. "Just because the stallions happen to love these,” You gently motion over your tuft, err... teats, (this world is so backward at times). “Over your womanly charms doesn't make it any less of a viable strategy, my good Oak." ~
  438. >Crouching in her seat Breeze-fall nodded towards Oakenheart, the prismatic cloak behind her shimmering under the light, “I agree with Oakenheart; it's just easier to deal with the obvious problem than having to do what you do.”
  439. >Stretching back, the monk let her back pop before continuing, “Course, we usually have to fight our way out of town when you ply your skills, and you know me, I’m always up for a good scrap.”
  440.  
  441.  
  442. >Sollus rolled her eyes from across the smoky tavern before she said, “My Dears, you're simply not giving us a chance! Surely a few minutes to pump the local darlings in the rumor mill, and we’ll have our hands full with all the delicious secrets we need.” Adjusting her feathered cap to side glance at you. The cheeky elf winked.
  443. >R-rarity, come on, don’t make it weird; Twilight can barely handle describing how some of the NPCs act normally. ~
  444. >Don't make her try to roleplay as stallions you’re flirting with
  445. >Thundersnow slammed her hands on the table, her half cape flaring from the sudden movement, “Yeah! Then we could even throw a we-defeated-the-totally-not-a-ghost party once we finish! We could even bring along the beastie to make new friends and make it a two for one show!”
  446. >Thank Celestia for Pinkie Pie, that mare wouldn’t know an innuendo if it groped her. ~
  447. >Holding a hand up, Thundersnow (Pinkie that is) whispered to you and Rarity, “Don’t worry, I totally know what we’re facing, and I think you’ll like him Sunset, I checked out the husbando catalog.”  ~
  448. >Closing her eyes, the crazy woman leaned back while holding up her thumb and finger together, “Very nice.”
  449. >You take back everything, Pinkie’s just as lewd!
  450.  
  451. >Jumping back into character, you give a theatrical sigh. ~
  452. “It appears we are at an impasse, Den Mother, what would you suggest?”
  453. >You know Fluttershy tends to be quiet even when in character, but when she doesn’t respond at all, you turned to the barbarian.
  454. “Den Mother?”
  455. >Fluttershy was gnawing gently at her lip.
  456. >Following Fluttershy’s gaze, you see her focused on Anon, who quietly cursed before adding a pencil to the small pile of kindling beside him.
  457. >The kindling, on a second glance, was a bundle of broken pencils.
  458. >An ear twitched towards the table, and the man-turned-stallion paused in his latest attempt to write to look up.
  459. >Upon noticing the attention on him, Anon’s ears pinned back, before he ducked his head behind his wings in embarrassment.
  460. >Peering between feathers, Anon asked, "What? Why'd you girls stop?"
  461. >"Dude, have you gone through a whole pack of pencils?" Rainbow Dash plowed through the sudden silence at the table.
  462. >Applejack groaned before she smacked the monk upside her head, "Rainbow Dash, ya just don't ask that right out!" ~
  463. >Rocked by the sudden blow, Rainbow slugged Applejack on the arm in reply, “Ow! What?! It's a legit question!” ~
  464. >Rarity sighed before she offered her jewel-encrusted pen, ”Darling, there is such a thing called tact, now Anon there is nothing wrong with the vigorous grip you have on your pencil, but might I suggest a pen?"
  465.  
  466. >“I would, but the damn thing broke on the other sheet.” Anon said, pointedly not looking over at the sheet dyed blue from the ink.
  467. >Pinkie leaned in, rubbing shoulders with Anon, “No worries, Nonners, we can do it for ya no prob!"
  468. >Anon's tail suddenly puffed up and began to swing behind the chair, "No, really it's fine, I can do it myself."
  469. >Alarmed, you lean over yanking Pinkie back off of Anon to give him some room to breathe.
  470. "Anon really, it's not that big of a deal," Twilight said as she waved a hand holding a pencil before Anon as she continued oblivious to the arched back and red-faced state of the stallion. ~
  471. >Sweet Celestia!
  472. >You have to save the sweet nerd before she gets her head bitten off!
  473. >Slapping the table, you catch the attention of the party and, more importantly, Anon as he zeroed in on your taller form. ~
  474. "Hey, Twilight, why don’t we pause the session and make a little session zero for Anon here, anyway? Help him out with getting his backstory in and making his figure." ~
  475. >“Look, it’s fine; just let me do it myself, and don’t worry about it!” Anon exclaimed, grabbing a pencil in his hoof only for it to fly out like a soap bar in the girls’ locker room.
  476. >The pencil skittered across the hardwood floor before disappearing under the cabinet that held the various knick-knacks of the Apple family.
  477.  
  478. >Staring after the pencil in betrayal, Anon whinnied softly in distress. ~
  479. >You needed to fix this and quickly before your friends dig themselves any deeper
  480. >Carefully, you approached Anon from his side, letting him know you’re there
  481. >A slight whicker of acknowledgment from the colt had you smile gently at the familiar noise.
  482. >Then you reached up to gently scratching behind Anon’s ear.
  483. >Anon jumped at the touch, “What’re you? Oh, that’s-” Trailing off the stallion leaned into your touch. “That’s not that bad.”
  484. >Rainbow, of course, has to open her mouth, “Gee Fluttershy looks like you're not the only with the magic touch for animals.”
  485. >Anon froze beneath your hand while you closed your eyes in frustration at words of the idiot you call a friend. ~
  486. >You love the girl like a sister, but Celestia if she doesn’t make you want to strangle her.
  487. >Quickly, you let your hand drop even as Anon flinched away from your side as if it were a brand.
  488. >A muffled thwack had you open your eyes to see Applejack try to help as she said in the thickest country twang you’ve heard, “Rahnbow! Dash! Ah, swear yer as dum’ as a sack of hammers can only dream of bein’ you daft fool girl!”
  489. >Rainbow being Rainbow didn't take this lying down and started to throw punches as well with the country girl
  490. > Meanwhile, Rarity daintily lifted the drinks from the table with her magic constructs. ~
  491. >Fluttershy, thankfully, was the one to calm tempers as she clapped her hands on both ears of the two loud girls forcefully yanking them apart, “Girls! That is enough! We came here to have fun, to relax amongst friends and introduce our new friend to our game! Look at yourselves!”
  492. >The two jocks are stunned as they both stared at Fluttershy, who stared back
  493. >Though it wasn't long before bright pink spots on her cheek and she stuttered out, “I-If you two don’t mind, that is?”
  494. >The two both muttered apologies while Rarity returned the drinks to the table.
  495. >Pinkie meanwhile had been frowning as she locked eyes with Anon, “Hey, Nonners? I wasn’t invading your space, was I? I know that sometimes I get a teeny bit grabby with people at times, but sometimes you really wanna share something super fantastical with them and-”
  496. >A pastel hoof hushed the chatterbox as Anon sighed, “I won’t lie, sometimes it’s annoying, but it’s just how you act right? I’ve gotten used to it.”
  497.  
  498. >Twilight, fingers tapping rapidly against her oubliette manual, spoke up, “I’m sorry Anon, looking back at how I acted, that was far too dismissive of your problem. Can you forgive me?”
  499. >The pegasus's wings flared out as Anon raised his hooves in the air, “For the love of-!” The wings hastily tucked away at Twilight’s flinch.
  500. “Anon-”
  501. >Waving his hooves Anon talked over you, “I want to do things on my own, it’s how I’ve always been. That said, I will take a moment to acknowledge that currently, I’m stuck up the creek without a paddle.”
  502. >Clapping his hooves together with a sharp clop Anon continued, “Doesn’t change the fact that I am a whiny bitch right now about it, so I’m sorry about that; hell I’ve been disrupting your game, and if you want to kick me from it I’d understand.” ~
  503. >With the full attention of the table on him once more, Anon curled down in his seat, wings coming up to shield his face, “Or we can ignore the past five minutes and try to move on? I’m sorry, I start to run at the mouth when I’m a bit nervous so-” ~
  504. “You’re alright, Anon, relax. It’s partly the whole reason why we dress up! Well, aside from Rarity flexing on the rest of us. It’s so we can act out and try different things.” ~
  505. >Rarity giggled behind her hand, “But of course and every time that ruffian Applejack plays insists on fighting monsters, the guards, the possibly corrupt nobles…” ~
  506. >“Now Ah only suggested that on account we knew he was a no-good, dirty snake! Don’t you try to say anything different, you hear?” Applejack retorted, pointing at Rarity with her finger.
  507. >Rainbow snorted at the byplay as she replied, “Sure he was, not that he stood you up or nothin’... 'Sides that it helps me with talking to all the different types of people Twilight can pull outta her egg head noggin’ of hers." ~
  508. >"No offense or nothin’,” Rainbow hastily added as she glanced at Twilight. ~
  509. >Twilight shook her head at the insult, an exasperated smile on her face, “That’s fine, besides you would have died a few sessions ago if you hadn’t chatted up Elinore Hearthtender.”
  510. >Focusing back on to Anon, Twilight finished with: “That’s why we’ll be helping you get up to speed in the first place. That is, if you want us to.” ~
  511. >You watched as Fluttershy came around the table to kneel beside Anon, “Not only that, but we can even spend a few nice, quiet and calm hours painting your miniature. I have a few different types based on what you want to make, um if you’re interested in that, I mean.”
  512. >“So stop being so darn cute and let us help you out!” Pinkie exclaimed when she appeared behind Anon chin resting atop his head.
  513. >Oh Pinkie, you don’t do that to a nervous colt!
  514. >Amazingly, instead of being spooked by Pinkie’s surprise movement, Anon relaxed and mumbled to himself.
  515. >You didn’t quite catch what he said, but judging by the bright beaming smiles on Fluttershy and Pinkie, you can tell that the magic of friendship had broken through the sad colt.
  516.  
  517. >” Heartwarming as this little talk has been, darlings... Do you think perhaps we should start with helping dear Anon with his character? We do only have so much time after all.” Rarity interrupted as she began to sketch inside of one of her designer books. ~
  518. >You vaguely recognized it as it was the same one she had pulled out when she cornered you one day at school to design your costume. ~
  519. >You’d help a sister out and try to spare her from the tender mercies of Rarity’s obsession, but colts love dressing up, right?
  520. >Clearing his nose Anon rubbed at his face before nodding, “Right, you’re right! Back in the saddle and all that.”
  521. >WHO TAUGHT ANON TH-
  522. >Wait, calm down; he probably doesn’t know what that meant.
  523. >Faintly you heard Rainbow ask, “A heavy-set human? What like thick legs, a bit of a belly and arms like logs?” ~
  524. >Anon nodded as he peruses through the player’s book, “Yeah, I was thinking of basing it a bit on a character that I liked, perfect for being an adventurer. Thinking a thick black beard, jolly blue eyes, might have had a family at one point before they all grew up and left.” ~
  525. >Already the image was implanted in your mind, and you bite your lip, then you shake your head. No! You can’t just go and make a walking fetish out-
  526. >“C-could you have him say ara-ara as a speech quirk to give him a bit of character?” Fluttershy meekly asked, while your eyes bulged at how bold the animal lover was being. ~
  527. >The naive stallion who had yet to look up from the book replied, “That’s good, let me try it.” A brief pause and you hadn’t realized you leaned in to hear, “Ara-ara Den Mother, that’s rather bold of you to assume.” The cheerful yet firm voice was at odds with the small pastel pony.
  528. >Swallowing you tried to speak up only for Anon to keep talking, thankfully in his normal voice instead of his (you suppress a shiver of desire) character’s voice. ~
  529. >”Maybe not a family, but one of those life clerics who worked at an orphanage or something, Twilight?” ~
  530. >The table jerked in place as Twilight spasmed, gripping it with both hands, “Yes, da-none?! What?”
  531. >”Acolyte background would fit in with a cleric with a life domain who was working at an orphanage, right?” ~
  532. >”That’d work with what I have, did you have a goddess in mind?”  ~
  533. >”You could have him worship Verdant,” Rainbow said, causing your head to whip to her waggling eyebrows.  ~
  534. >”Verdant?” ~
  535. >Twilight breaks out into nervous laughter as she grasped around blindly in her notes ~
  536. >“Verdant! Yes! Um,” hauling out her binder from behind the screen, Twilight continued, “Goddess of agriculture, weaving, growing things and life. It’d be a perfect fit.”
  537. >”Aaaand?” Rainbow drawled out, delight stretching across her face while the rest of you watched the exchange like a tennis match. ~
  538. >Twilight sunk beneath her screen as she mumbled, “...and fertility, but only if a couple needs it or if it’s a special night and only then! Not anything else.”
  539. >”Oh, in that case, that sounds great!” Anon chirped, “Then we can say he got a vision from his goddess that there were children of the lady in need of care for their just cause, that’s a good tie-in then right?”  ~
  540. >Fluttershy is the first to speak, “What about the children your character is taking care of? Don’t they need someone to take care of them?”
  541. >”You have a good point, maybe there’s more staff at the orphanage than they need and that’s how my guy leaves?”
  542. >You are left in awe of what you are witnessing, does he not know? He has to understand, right?
  543. >“If you’re happy with it, Anon, then we’re happy with it, right girls?” Fluttershy said, then glanced at the others with a hint of warning malice in her eyes. ~
  544. >A short series of acknowledgment and assent passed around the table before Fluttershy beamed happily.
  545. >Fluttershy then said, “Rarity you might want to get to work with Anon on his costume, I’ll go ahead and get the mini’s ready, I think I have a few that’ll work.” ~
  546. >Of course, you would Fluttershy, you and your damn collection could fill a garage…
  547. >”W-why yes, ahem Darling, did you have anything in mind while making your character? Have you thought of a name, perhaps, or even a theme?”
  548. >“Not really, but I trust you, Rarity, whatever you make is always high class.” Anon replied with a small smile, and you watched as a faint blush covered Rarity’s face.
  549. >“Ahem, well naturally, I have impeccable taste, but some direction would be useful, no? I wouldn’t want to impose on your artistic license after all!”
  550. >Not to mention that you know if Rarity went full tilt on Anon, the rest of the girls would dogpile her for dressing Anon like some type of strumpet, you’ve seen those mannequins in the back of her closet! ~
  551. “You’d need something protective, something th-”
  552. >”Aw come on now Sunset, you tryin’ to say we won’t be keeping our guy safe and sound like an apple pie on the sill?” Applejack of all people is the one to cut you off as she looped an arm around your head. ~
  553. “Gah! Applejack! Let up! I’m just saying it’s something to be aware of is all!”
  554. >”No, no, she has a point, even if it could’ve been better said,” Really Twilight just going to toss you under the bus like that?! “Scale mail is one of the options you can use, add in a shield, and hopefully, your dexterity will be high enough to keep you safe, if not.”
  555. >Twilight has the gall to shrug at this, “Sometimes the dice are out to get you.”
  556. >Freeing yourself from the farmer’s grip, you smooth back your ma-hair, your hair to see Rarity nodding as she continues to draw in her sketchbook rapidly.
  557. >”I would imagine a shield, of course, I might not have a period in shop class like Applejack, but I believe she could craft you something suitable if you ask her nicely, Darling.” Rarity said already busy in her sketching. ~
  558. >Anon reeled back in surprise, “I mean I wouldn’t- that is if you two are wanting to do that, it’d be rude of me to decline wouldn’t it? Applejack would you be-” ~
  559. >“Heck Sugarcube, ya’ll just have to ask! Give it a few days and Ah’ll see what Ah can scrounge up, it might smell like apples for a bit though, fair warning.”  ~
  560. >How are you in a party of such lewd girls?
  561. >“Is the shield made from apple trees? That’d be kind of cool.” ~
  562. >HOW IS ANON SO NAIVE ABOUT THIS?!
  563. >This is fine, just calm down Sunset. Just have to make sure that the barrel lid wasn’t recieving that scent from Applejack; otherwise, you and she would have words. ~
  564.  
  565. >Twilight cleared her throat, “As much as we’re having fun here, we do need to finish his sheet, we just have to come up with a name for your character Anon.”
  566. “You’re already done?”
  567. >”Che-duh, Twilight and I were helpin’ him out.” Rainbow said as she bumped fists with Twilight before hopping across the table to perch in her chair.
  568. >”It does help. I do have the book memorized for the most part, at least in the character creation part.” Twilight added before she winked at you.
  569. “Alright, um, Anon! What’d you decide on the name anyway?”
  570. >Standing upright in his seat Anon cleared his throat, “I was thinking of something from an old game I played, Mamuun Dero the cleric to Verdant,” wings twitching Anon asked, “How’s that for a name?”
  571. >“Oh so mysterious, and exotic I love it, Darling!” Rarity swooned back to rest in her chair yet her hand had yet to stray from her sketchbook.
  572. >Flutterhy smiled softly, ”As long as you’re happy with it I’m satisfied with it.”
  573. >Rainbow gave two thumbs up at Anon as she rocked on her heels, ”Sounds like a pretty awesome name for an awesome dude.”
  574. >Applejack scratched her chin in thought, ”Sounds a bit like that one out of town family that moved in, but if it fits your character it works.”
  575. >Twilight peered over her screen at Applejack, ”It sounds slightly Arabian to me, so that would check out Applejack. Not that there's anything wrong with that, right?”
  576. >Pinkie arrived just in time to prevent a lecture on cultural sensitivity as she exclaimed,  ”Wowzers, now we can finally have a your-character-has-been-made party!” ~
  577. “Pinkie hold off on that for now, we have to actually go on an adventure to celebrate first!”
  578. >The girls giggled while Pinkie pouted, you meanwhile, were keeping a close eye on Anon.
  579. >Thankfully Anon’s ears were perked, his feathers relaxed, and his shy smile slowly grew in size at hearing the girls speak.
  580. >Yeah, you think things will be smooth sailing from here on in, after all, what’s the worst that could happen?
  581.  
  582. >“Should we call it here for tonight? It’s already like ten or so.” Twilight asked after she glanced at the clock on the wall.
  583. >“Aw come on Twi, we just got here, dressed, and everything else too!" Pinkie rocked back and forth on her chair before she leaned on Anon's chair,  "Plus Anon’s gotta have a chance to play don’t he?"
  584. >Twilight sighed rubbing her forehead, “Pinkie, come on, some of us have things we need to wake up for.”
  585. “Oh relax egghead," Rainbow chimed in draped across her chair, "you have the whole weekend to worry about homework.”
  586. >Applejack stretched her arms up in the air until her back cracked. As she relaxed she said, “She ain’t the only one that was to worry about getting up early, Ah still have chores in the mornin’.”
  587. >“Surely you can sleep in a bit this one time, Applejack? It certainly wouldn’t hurt your eyes to rest a touch longer.” Rarity spoke up after she adjusted her feathered hat out of her face. ~
  588.  
  589.  
  590. >Flustered, Applejack leaned across the table, hands spread in a wide aggressive stance, “Now what’s that supposed to mean?”
  591. >“Think she’s trying to say both versions of you tend to overwork yourselves near-to-death, maybe ease up on it a bit and learn to relax some?” Anon explained calmly, although you could see one ear turned towards Rarity while the stallions' gaze remained fixed on the farmer.
  592. >The silence around the table was long following the sudden dissection of motive on the parts of the girls. ~
  593. >You are the first to speak into the stunned silence, “Damn AJ, he’s already got you pegged.”
  594. >“Well Ah," Applejack started before pausing in thought, the grumbling of the farm girl was like grinding stones, "consarnit fine, if’n you all are so convinced, let’s play hooligan with my sleep schedule. Twi, you in too?”
  595. >Tucking a loose strand of hair behind her ear, Twilight said, “Well, I was planning on doing some studies with Anon first thing in the morning and we’d certainly learn far more at my lab," At the mention of tests and labs, you saw Anon slump in disappointment which Twilight noticed as well, "but we can do that at a later time! Really that’s fine!”
  596. You giggled at the adorable nerd, “Twilight you’re such a dork, I swear.”
  597. >“Hey! If I’m a dork then you’re just as much as one as I am!” Twilight exclaimed, her hat's bell jingled from the violent poke leveraged your way. ~
  598. >Anon drew fire for you as he asked, “Twilight, this and that are different things. Regardless, we’re still playing right?”
  599. >Twilight at suddenly recalling Anon was here, let out a gasp before fleeing for the safety of her Oubliette screen. ~
  600. >“Oh, sorry, sorry, uhm, give me a second to look through my notes.”
  601.  
  602. >“Right! Okay, so here’s the situation then! Rarity, I mean Araceli, roll me for persuasion.”
  603. >“Of course Darling, let’s see," Rarity began to pick through her handbag which clinked with the sounds of hundreds of dice, "this one was awful last time, I don’t like the colors on you, the numbers are rather hard to read with you…”
  604. “Rarity just grab one and roll already!” Rainbow shouted, throwing her hands out in exasperation.
  605. >“Patience Rainbow! You can’t rush perfection after all, aha, here we are!”
  606. >Rarity rolled the die in her hand before letting it go with a flourish, a clatter as the emerald bounced out of the dice cage and landed between Fluttershy and Applejack.
  607.  
  608. >“Pfft.”
  609. >“Oh Rarity…”
  610. >“Ahem, well yes sometimes these things happen to the best of us you know!”
  611. “I’ll join in to assist!"
  612. >“Alright Kyria, how do you go about assisting your friend?”
  613.  
  614.  
  615. >The grin Twilight wore was unnerving, but you've become an adept hand in calling her tells
  616. >The way she nibbled on her right cheek let you know she was curious.
  617. “Easy, I distract the good man by drawing his attention on his other side and plying him with some compliments on his style of clothing.”
  618. >Humming Twilight nodded, “I’d allow it, roll.”
  619. >Picking your trusty bronze and obsidian inlaid die you roll letting it spin in the cage before...
  620. >“Oof.”
  621. >Rainbow cackles, “You can’t even make this shit up!”
  622. >You spare a nervous smile to Rarity.
  623. “A-at least it’s not a natural one?”
  624. >Rarity raised an eyebrow at you, “Darling you rolled a two.”
  625. >You would have argued the point when Twilight stole the limelight, “The two of you had found a likely mark to solicit information about the local rumors and information of the town. You would soon find that while the man is rather chatty and tells you plenty of gossip of the town and who is seeing who along with the rumors that there was supposed to be a caravan arriving into town later that day, however, as you are speaking with the bar butler you’d find that the inn-keeper, a swarthy looking women, was steadily eyeing you both before she starts to approach and, my oh my, she seems to be carrying an ax on her back.”
  626. Perhaps you didn't know Twilight’s tells as much as you thought you did, as a sinking feeling in your gut had you ask, “How old does this bar butler look exactly?”
  627. >“Oh, he looks to have just turned into an adult, looks quite young with cheerful eyes and a splattering of freckles across his face.”
  628. “Araceli, we might have messed up.”
  629. >“Indeed Darling, I suggest we leave post haste!”
  630. “Meanwhile the rest of the party is enjoying their food and drink, and from your passives," Twilight leaned to look at her screen. "Thundersnow, Denmother you two are the ones to notice that the inn-keep is looking quite irate, what do you do?”
  631. >“I throw out streamers and shout, ‘It’s party time everyone!’ then use that really long word for a magic effect to send a gust of wind throwing the streamers and noise poppers out further!”
  632. >“Denmother sees a threat and Denmother will end the threat. Denmother hoists a chair and tosses it at the back of the inn-keep.” ~
  633. >“Mosh pit? We doin’ a mosh pit! Hell yeah!” Rainbow exclaimed before wiping at her eye as she sniffed, "oh, it was only yesterday when you were just starting out Fluttershy, I'm so proud."
  634. >Fluttershy held her stoic gaze, though you could see her neck slowly turn pink, "Den Mother only protecting her pack."
  635. >“Hold on, hold on, let me just...okay then. Denmother athletics from you and Thundersnow give me a performance.” Twilight said as she ripped through her book rapidly.
  636. >“Seventeen oh spooky voice in the sky!~”
  637. >“Pinkie.”
  638. >”Oh my.”
  639. >”Heeeeey first twenty of the night!”
  640. >”Then what happens next is…”
  641.  
  642. >”Failed attempts of information gathering aside,” Snickers from the rest of the table, “The party soon sets out into the woods following the road to the area with the strange odd lights coming from. When after some time of traveling you hear the sounds of battle ahead of you!  Anon, Mamuun that is, is currently fighting alongside the caravan! Strange beasts of wood and stone are ravaging the defenders, it’s an ambush what do you do?”
  643. Anon glances at the sheet he has and quickly waps the table with a hoof, “I’ll go and haul those two wounded from the battle to safety and try to restore those in most critical need of healing.”
  644. “Roll.”
  645. >Anon stuck his tongue out as he used both hooves to rattle the dice before letting it drop before him. “Oh it’s a full one, max total thing!”
  646. >”With a cry to Verdant, you channel the awe inspiring power of her love and life to the wounded guard whose leg is soon healed back to normal. She thanks you for the assist and goes to stab at one of the fearsome creatures. Everyone else roll initiative!” ~
  647. >Everyone rolls their dice and the turns are assigned, what worries you are the fifteen small wolf figures that are in the middle of the caravan line in the middle of the table.
  648. >”Alright, first is In-Sook, what is your plan of action?”
  649. >”Girls, follow my lead!” In-Sook replied cheekily before rushing onwards in a trail of colors left behind by her cloak.
  650. >”Wait for the rest of us you fool!” Oakenheart cried out, but the words are lost as In-Sook leapt off a rock, a nearby tree then delivered a drop kick to the jaw of a creature, then proceeded to land blow after blow on it.
  651. >A bellow of primal rage filled the air as Denmother was not a second behind her comrade in arms, leveraging the oversized axe in her hands to split the creature like a log of firewood.
  652. >Amber eyes go dim and an amber light flies away from the remains to rejoin with the rest of the pack of wolf-like creatures.
  653. >”Thundersnow Dear, could you distract these rapscallions for a mo’?” Araceli called out, before she slinked away into the nearby shrubbery out of sight. ~
  654. >”No problemo Araceli, I’ll bring the thunder from up high!” With a sharp inhale Thundersnow began to play on her flugelhorn, drawing all eyes on her with the exceptionally foreign sounding notes going far through the still air. ~
  655. >Five creatures peel off from the caravan to dash towards Thundersnow as a result
  656.  
  657. “Five is a bit much isn’t it Twilight?”
  658. >”She did land a critical failure, so why not make it a complicated success?”
  659. >”Well Darling I had planned on doing something else, but instead…”
  660.  
  661.  
  662. >Araceli suddenly appeared from the other side of the brush to land a cutting blow upon the monster! ”Try to harm one of my friends shall you? Then have at you!”
  663. >With the challenge laid down for all to hear, the other four beasts changed targets to slowly prowl around the elf. ~
  664. >Stone teeth gnash against each other before a flurry of claws and teeth fill the air.
  665. >Araceli dodges two, only for one to leave her exposed for the last to clip her side. ~
  666. >Denmother bodily shoved three away from her with her ax, only for the fourth to nip at her heels. ~
  667. >Leaping between blows, In-Sook weaves between each claw and bite with martial excellence, when a stray claw leaves a slight scratch on her arm that bleeds freely. ~
  668. >”Oak! Keep the rest safe!” You shouted, already drawing on the inner reserves of your magic, sparks popping between your fingers as you took aim at the constructs.
  669. >”For Heartswood!” The stalwart knight shouted, charging forth with a shield to bash into the side of a wolf already leaping for another go at Araceli, laying into the snarling forms around her with her longsword. ~
  670. >Magic flaring in your hands you cup them by your sides as open cherry hot flames dance in your palms.
  671. >Lunging, you throw both with all your might at two of the creatures harassing your friends. ~
  672. >Small explosions rocked the wood and stone bodies, the flames eagerly snapping away at the ready made fuel found in the creatures.
  673. >Seeing the crumbled forms you nod in satisfaction, before turning to observe a rather thick set man raise up his hand holding an emblem of Verdant, “Do not worry for the Maiden walks with you brave heroes! Stand fast!” ~
  674. >The encouraging words flow over Denmother and the small wounds she had suffered fade away, then the stranger moves to interpose himself between a wolf and guard.
  675. >That man is in danger, you have to help!
  676. >”In-Sook! Quit playing around and get to helping!”
  677. >”What do you, HI-YAH! Think I’m doing here?!” In-Sook shot back, delivering a crippling blow to one beast that removed its head entirely before moving onto the next wolf threatening the caravan. ~
  678. >The wolves were wiley as they dodged the two following blows from the monk.
  679. >”DENMOTHER ANGRY! DENMOTHER WANTS PEACE!” The fur clad berserker roared out, bringing her axe up on a wolf’s exposide side. ~
  680. >The blow is so strong that it catches another wolf and the two rock into the side of a wagon causing it to shake from the impact!
  681. >Thundersnow brought her flugelhorn down on the last wolf threatening her, “Does this sound right to you?” Then blew on the horn sending the stones and sticks scattering in an explosion of sound. ~
  682. >With quick, efficient strides Araceli is already sprinting towards the fight, diving forward on the wolves eager to devour the brave guards holding them off. ~
  683.  
  684. >”Oh this die is being banished to the bottom of the whole bag!” Rarity shouted as she shoved the die into her gemed handbag. “Of all the rotten luck…”
  685. >Twilight grinned in reply, “Araceli dove forth and managed to plunge her blades into the sides of the wolf, but the speed she was going lodged the blades in the stone hide of the creature, dragging her down prone amongst the other three remaining wolves.”
  686. >”Darling, you are having entirely too much fun with this series of unfortunate events.” ~
  687. >The bell jingled over Twilight’s head as she giggled, “Maybe a little, but the stakes are higher than ever now, especially since it’s their turn! Speaking of which…”
  688.  
  689. >The amber eyes of the creatures flared in hunger as they lunged at the prone form of Araceli, only to be thwarted at the last second as Mamuun urged the guards onward!
  690. >At worst, Araceli suffered from some paltry wounds to her limbs as she thrashed to defend herself. ~
  691. >Then Oaken Heart arrived on the scene, careening into the fight with her blade poised to smash another wolf down! ~
  692. >The few remaining beasts all look to each other for a moment in the skirmish, before they quickly turn tail to flee! ~
  693. >A few half-hearted swings by those closest to the front line are had, but fail to connect leaving the party battered, but alive.
  694. >The caravaneers meanwhile, upon seeing the victory, let out a cheer for their saviors, some of the guards being swept up by family members while others bring out a few flasks of celebratory drinks. ~
  695. >The thickly set man would store his shield away before kneeling beside Araceli, “Ara ara, Quite a tumble you took near the end, if you hadn’t been there we might have been in trouble. Let me see what I can do for you now.”
  696. >Araceli responded, “Oh my Dear, but of course, I shan’t say no to a fine Lord such as yourself.”
  697. >Focusing on the Maiden’s symbol, vibrant green energies would glow from the amulet before Araceli’s wounds are healed before your eyes. ~
  698. >”Alright now Araceli, up you get before you bother the nice man any more.” Oaken Heart said lightly kicking the rogue in the side. ~
  699. >”I will have you know, Dear, that I just so happened to have been quite the distraction needed to save our new friends here, while your slow, clanking self was nowhere to be found, odd isn’t it?” ~
  700. >At this comment Oaken Heart reached down and bodily hauls Araceli up by her coat.
  701. >”I would have been able to do my job if someone hadn’t rushed in and split the group up like some young fool in over their head.”
  702. >”Oho? Dear gentlewomen, please, please let us not fight! This is a wondrous time is it not? We have survived against a great evil in these woods and these fine folk are safe to finish their journey. That is a cause of joy instead of strife, no?”
  703.  
  704. >You clear your throat causing Applejack and Rarity to jump as if stung by a needle.
  705. >Anon is looking your way and you were not prepared for the dismay wracking his face, it’s like a disappointed puppy!
  706. >Applejack managed to save you from those sorrowful eyes as she said, “Right, uh, Oaken Heart…”
  707. >Letting Araceli go, Oaken Heart cracked her neck before saying, “You’re right, I suppose. What’s your name traveler, you seem well equipped for a trip such as this?”
  708. >The thickly heavy set man would laugh joyfully, “Ara ara, you speak to none other than a humble cleric of the Verdant Maiden, may her gardens ever be fruitful and luscious. ~
  709. >"My name is Mamuun Dero; My friends call me Mamu for short if you wish, but what of yourselves? I must admit you all seem oddly… familiar to me. As if I had seen you all once upon a dream.”  ~
  710. >"We might not have met before, but I am most certainly ready to attend to my spiritual needs if you're the one to guide me." Araceli replied
  711. >Denmother marched over and gently picked Araceli up by the scruff of her suit, "Araceli calm yourself, you'll scare him like the last one."
  712. >"Dear you have three seconds to let go of this exquisite suit or you'll be suddenly suffering from an onset of disemboweling." Araceli interjected Icily.
  713. >Den Mother glanced down at the elf in her hand and a wild grin began to grow on her face, "A scrap would be lovely!~"
  714.  
  715. ”Gentlewomen! I believe now isn’t the time for that, we were in the middle of something, remember?” Turning to Mamuun you say, “we had perils to face in our travels, if you wish to stay safe, stay with the caravan.” ~
  716. >”Ara, but you see I believe that our chance meeting was a mission from my lady Verdant to assist you in your quest! Far be it of me to question the will of my goddess." Mamuun replied bowing before you, "I must insist on accompanying your fine party to this end, if nothing else you appear capable enough with arms and sorcery, yet I don't see such in terms of respite amongst you."
  717. >"No worries my good man, we'll be keeping your personage nice and safe, yes we will." In-sook interjected with a happy clap of her hands, "Now, we have some odd lights to investigate yes? Chop chop ladies!"
  718. >There are times when you start to think Rainbow is pulling all of her acting from martial art movies with the way she talks.
  719. >That doesn't make you racist does it? Humans don't even have different tribes to be racist about! They are all human!
  720. >You blink back into the game as Twilight begins to explain, "Traveling deeper into the woods, the ground slowly grows softer with each passing step. Soon the sickly sweet smell of lichen, moss and rot fills the air as you all reach the swamp lands of Finne Burrow. Through the expert use of survival skills thanks to Denmother, your travel through the swamps is not bogged down.” ~
  721. >The winning smile Twilight used after saying that is so earnest, you can’t help but to chuckle, while the rest of the table groaned at the mom joke.
  722. >”That’s so...lame…” Rainbow gurgled across the table from you as she clutched to her cider for life.
  723. >At Twilight’s grin dying a quick death you step in.
  724. “It wasn’t that bad, now come on Twi, what’d we find in the swamps?”
  725.  
  726.  
  727. >”Right, well then…”
  728. >Drawing closer in to the copse of trees that filled the swamp, Denmother was able to easily find tracks that were partially hidden leading deeper into the woods. ~
  729. >You hold the party up on delving deeper into the woods as you feel an oily taste to the air, there is something of a darker magic ahead.
  730. >Mamuun near the center of the party nodded, “You felt it too then?”
  731. >”Dears, as much as I enjoy a frolic through such,” Araceli said before pulling her shoe free from the clinging mud with a wince, “enthralling vistas, why have we stopped?”
  732. “Dark magic has been in use here, if you’re attuned to magic itself you can get a feel for these things. Mamuun we might need your skills here, the rest of you be prepared for undead or fiends, maybe even demons.” ~
  733. >Oaken cursed under her breath before rummaging through her pack, “Knew there was a reason I bought that vial of holy water.”
  734. >”No worries friend, be they bone or flesh my fists will win us this day.” In-Sook clapped Oaken on her arm, “Kyria, what’s our plan?”
  735. >”We could distract them with a bit of wow and pow!” Thundersnow exclaimed, “Just a bit of confetti and some loud noises and we can just rush them all in a flank!”
  736. “We’ll have to see what we’re up against, for now Mamuun you’re up front behind Oak and In-Sook, Den and Ara, you two get ready to flank with me.”
  737.  
  738. >”Very well, but Dear, do try to be a touch quieter when you follow us?” Araceli replied with a grin, “Last time we had to sneak you-”
  739. “Like In-Sook says chop chop ladies, let’s go!”
  740. >Damn it Ra- Araceli why do you gotta bring that up? ~
  741.  
  742. >Carefully moving forward, your party advanced through the swamp, eyes peeled for anything foul that may be afoot, when out of the gloom a large shack slowly appeared. ~
  743. >Giving it a once over, it looks abandoned, the door hanging slightly ajar, while the windows are covered in streaks of dust ~
  744. >The strange sense of dark magic filling the air is potent here, enough to make you almost choke on it.
  745. >You hear the rest of the party discuss amongst themselves on what they ought to do, they seem uncertain until you hear Mamuun offer to trigger the obvious trap that is here, at this Norsha Denmother stood up catching everyone’s attention. ~
  746. >”Ahead lies danger, Denmother’s hide is stronger than most, I go.”
  747. “Wait the pl-”
  748. >Denmother boldly strode into the clearing near the shack and you worry at your lip, watching as she goes. ~
  749. >The clearing is quiet as nothing happens, the mist swirled around the tall figure of the amazon while she glanced around, then suddenly she bodily threw herself away!
  750. >”UNDEAD!” Roared Denmother, she drew her blade, all the while shambling figures slowly clawed their way out of the muck. ~
  751. >”Hold on Denmother!” In-Sook shouted already rushing forward, Oaken and Mamuun right behind her.
  752. >Damn, damn, damn there went the plan already!
  753. >Araceli, you already know is gone as you rush out after your friends, shocked to see Denmother be bodily picked up by some strange force then thrown further into the mists! ~
  754.  
  755.  
  756. >You have barely a moment to react before you feel the oily clinging sensation of necromantic energy envelop you!
  757. >With a startled yelp you fly through the air before crashing into the branches of a nearby tree, that’ll leave a bruise, you’re certain. ~
  758. >”Thunder!”
  759. >”Damnation, face me ya no good spooks!” ~
  760. >Drawn from your own injuries, you manage to peer through the gloom to see Thundersnow crumpled on the ground, barely conscious by her light groan.  ~
  761. >Whatever plucked Denmother and hurt your friend must be invisible, the ghouls are too far away to have caused this.
  762. >Think Kyria, what creature travels with undead and ghouls in particular, there has to be something from the Colleges that can help!
  763. >Thundersnow shuddered as she struggled to sit up.
  764. >Like tinder catching alight, understanding flares through you, and with it a plan! ~
  765. >Reaching back, you pull out the bag of fairy dust you’d managed to collect from when your crew had helped pixies with their pebble infestation, the powder glowed with fey light as you grabbed a handful of it. ~
  766. >Twisting your fingers in a familiar circle you throw your hand out as a gust of wind blows past your hair, carrying along with it the dust and a few loose leaves. ~
  767. >Powder flying fast and loose, the dust settled on the glowing ethereal forms of grinning skulls with grasping skeletal hands in a loose cloak around its frame. ~
  768. “I knew it! Poltergeists, they’ll try to throw you against things or smash into you girls, be careful!” ~
  769. >”Anything useful there Kyria!?” Oaken Heart shouted to you, drawing steel and already moving to defend Thundersnow. ~
  770. “They can fl-”
  771.  
  772.  
  773. >A bellowing roar of a bear filled the woods followed by the ghastly shriek of the damned.
  774. >Good, Denmother’s still fighting and from the sounds of it, winning.
  775. >”Kyria!”
  776. “Right, sunlight they’re weakened by it!”
  777. >”Sure let me just pull that out of-whoa!”
  778. >The ghouls, freshly risen from the ground dashed into a wild melee with Oak and In-Sook. ~
  779. >One missing an eye caught the knight in the collar bone with a savage claw while In-Sook stumbled and weaved between the other two ghouls.
  780. >”Careful Oak, that one clipped you!”
  781. >Oak didn’t reply and you gnawed at your lip, you knew a ghoul’s touch carried with it a paralyzing poison that could best even hardened knights.
  782. >Thankfully Oak shook off the malaise that gripped her form and quickly bashed her shield against the ghoul to give herself room to breathe! ~
  783. >”Worry about yourself, you drunk!”
  784. >”Sorry can’t hear you over my booze!~” In-Sook taunted cheekily, ducking beneath a swipe of a ghoul then rolling away on her back. ~
  785. >Mamuun pressed forward, letting his mace fall to his side as he hoisted his shield up to bodily shove aside a ghoul, before sliding to a stop at Thundersnow's side. ~
  786. >”By the grace of Verdant, she who weaves life from base earth, be restored and grow strong once more! Ara!” Mamuun chanted, pressing something in his free hand to Thundersnow’s side.
  787. >[Spoiler]Vaguely you hear what you swear is Denmother whisper, “Lucky bitch…”[/Spoiler]
  788. >A green glow followed the chant and Thunder thankfully bounced back to her hooves, the satyr’s cheery demeanor returned three-fold, “Ha-ha! I like a bit of variety in life, but that was the one of the more bitter ones, thanks for making it a sweeter one Mammy!” ~
  789. >Thundersnow drew Mamuun close, hugging him before drawing out her war horn.
  790. >Oh no, not the horn!
  791. >Fingers already plugged in your ears, you can still hear the vibrating THRUM as Pin- Thundersnow blows into horn directed at the ghouls skirmishing with Oak and In-Sook.  ~
  792. >Dirt and ghoulish limbs fly as the satyr’s lungs blow the note, as it does you can see the Oak and In-Sook move even faster than before, working in tandem to keep the ghouls off balanced invigorated by the horn.  ~
  793. >Steel flashed once, twice and with each cut Oak decapitated one ghoul, while the other was chopped near in half with a bellowing war cry! ~
  794. >Off in the mists, you can just make out the glowing form of the poltergeist crash into Denmother, but it barely phased the half-orc as you can faintly see the outline of a bear around her form snarl in reply at the blow. ~
  795. >In-Sook rolled off the ground in a surprise uppercut that transitioned smoothly into a series of hammer blows that sent bones flying from the last ghoul, before it too returned to the earth where it belonged. ~
  796.  
  797. >”Not even a scratch to be had, you’re too slow with all that ar-aaaaaah!” In-Sook starts to say before one of the poltergeists floating above you all flicked it’s hand sending In-Sook to fly through the air.
  798. >”Aaaaaahahahaha!” The crazy loon however, only began to laugh as she tumbled end over end in the air to land on a branch with perfect poise, the branch itself a whipcord-thin thing barely moved from the sudden weight. ~
  799. >”Come at me with something better than that! You floating Nightmare Night lawn ornament!” In-Sook shouted at the poltergeist.
  800. >”Maybe don’t try to taunt the flying undead creature when most of us can’t do anything!” Oaken called up, frustration evident in her voice. ~
  801. >”Allow me Dears,” Araceli interjected as she appeared from the mist behind one of the lower flying ghosts, rapier flashing silver in the low light of the moon, a dazzling array of swipes danced in the drow’s hand.  ~
  802. >Small wisps of its form dripping, the spirit drew away while making a dismissive flick at Araceli, a tidal wave of force pressed against the drow who flexed her stance, merely sliding back five feet at most. ~
  803. >The ghost beside it thrust out with both hands, yet as even more force was brought to bear on the elf, Araceli did not move. ~
  804. >Drawing her blade upright in a salute Araceli declared, “Hello Dears, my name is Araceli Sollus. You have hurt my friend, prepare to die.”
  805.  
  806. >”The Prince’s Wife? Really Rarity?” Applejack asked tilting her hat up to rest on her hair.
  807. >”It’s a perfectly good moment Darling, don’t ruin this for me!” Rarity hissed back, “It fits with her backstory and everything.”
  808. >”Riiight.” ~
  809. >”Girls, the story?” Anon asked, gently motioning with a hoof towards the battlemap on the table.  ~
  810. >”Thanks Anon, now let’s see it was…”
  811.  
  812. >As amazing as that sudden arrival was, you notice the problem right away, Araceli could try to make another wild lunge to reach the ghosts, but that’s leaving her exposed to a counter attack easily.
  813. >From your vantage point in the tree you have an idea.
  814. “Oak! Catch me!”
  815. >”Say what now?!”
  816. >You’re already gone in a flash of flame and smoke reappearing easily within range of the two ghosts that whirl at your sudden flaming appearance as you hold cherry red hands out, right at the two. ~
  817. “Fire-Gram here!”
  818. >Waves of burning fire are belched forth from your hands, coating the ghosts in flames as they shriek in surprised agony, searing even through the cold embrace of death.  ~
  819. >You had managed to disperse one poltergeist through the flame, the other flickered alarmingly like a candle struggling in a wind.
  820. >Of course, you have nothing beneath you after watching the beautiful sight of a plan coming together, so you fall through the air.
  821. >You close your eyes, having trust in Oaken Heart to catch you, she’s never let you down.
  822. >You still have the wind knocked out of you as you’re caught by chainmail clad arms and you instinctively latch your arms around Oaken Heart’s neck to steady yourself.
  823. >”Kyria, you really need to give a gal a bit more time to actually react when you start pulling harebrained schemes like this.” Oaken said with a frown, eyes tracking to where her sword and shield had been thrown aside in haste. ~
  824. >You let out a sheepish giggle.
  825. “Sorry about that Oaken, it was a spur of the moment thing.”
  826. >”Hey Lovebirds! We still have a fight going on!” In-Sook called out from atop the trees, you flush at the insinuation as good college girls don’t have thoughts like that about their strong, sturdy, caring and-
  827. >You hop out of the prince carry as you can sense the necromantic energy in the air lessen suddenly.
  828. >A victorious howl soon followed, so you know that Denmother is doing well at least, now if you could just clear this fog up!
  829.  
  830. >Nearby Mamuun held up his small emblem to the sky, “Ara ara, blessed be oh Great Verdant, bless the aim of mine companions for their cause is just!” A small green outline around Thunder, Oak and Araceli as he finished.
  831. >Next to him Thundersnow grinned and became manic as she bounced in place, “Aw, I knew you cared Mammy! C’mere you!”
  832. >Your ears perked up as Thundersnow simply stole the virtue of the heavy set human!
  833. >A brazen kiss in the middle of battle?!
  834. >You knew satyrs were lewd little things, but-
  835. >Plucking a dagger out from somewhere Thundersnow held her thumb out and aimed at the furthest ghastly creature and threw!
  836.  
  837. >The die bounced about the table for a moment before finally coming to a stop in the center of the table.
  838. >Everyone leaned in to check the result; a natural 20.
  839. >Pinkie cheered, shaking her fists in the air, “Haha! I knew it! A man blowing on the dice does give luck!”
  840. >Anon had slowly sunk back into his seat and was sinking further into it as the tips of his ears became red, “I mean, it’s Pinkie Pie?” He said weakly, when the rest of the table looked to him ~
  841. >Twilight shook her head with a sigh, “A natural twenty on the smallest weapon in the whole game, I swear Pinkie…”
  842.  
  843. >The dagger flew end over end, before impaling itself into the eye socket of the grinning skull face that turned into a howl as it clawed at its face and around the dagger before dispersing into naught but dust.  ~
  844. >A slight tink filled the clearing when the dagger landed point-first in the ground, small wisps flowing off of the dagger in the sudden silence. ~
  845. >Only for it to be filled with ghostly wails as the last poltergeist charged forward at Thundersnow, arms outstretched. ~
  846. >Oaken rushed forward, only having enough time to grab her shield to bring it up to bear, holding the ghost back.  ~
  847. >Above In-Sook exchanged a glance with Araceli, “Let’s rock this ghost back to the afterlife! Hoist the colors!”
  848. >The mad gal boldly leaps off the branches holding her up, her cloak of rainbows trailing behind her like a flag as she uses her staff to smash into the creature's back, then tumbling forward as fist and feet flew around it.  ~
  849. >One blow across the shoulder, then a kick across the skull leaves it staggered for a moment as In-Sook resumes her swaying, guarded stance.  ~
  850. >The spirit swaying, lunged forward only to be easily avoided by In-Sook when it suddenly skittered to a stop as the steel tip of a rapier appeared in its chest.  ~
  851. >”Hello Dear, remember me?” Araceli asked brightly, before twisting the blade and drawing it out with a flourish. ~
  852. >The ghost let out a final wail, before it too rejoined its fellows in death, merely dust on the wind… ~
  853.  
  854. >The silence lingered for a moment before In-Sook cheered, “Hell yeah! Now that’s what I’m talking about! Araceli that was so awesome!”
  855. >Araceli flicked her blade clean, then sheathed it, “Oh Dear, it was hardly that amazing, but thank you. Thunder, are you alright?” ~
  856. >”A little bit of a boo-boo here, but nothing our new sugar daddy can’t fix, right Mun-Mun?~” Thundersnow replied, wiggling her eyebrows at the cleric.
  857. >”Ara ara, Bold of you to assume that Thunder, but Verdant speaks that all things grow in their own time.” Mamuun answered with a hearty laugh before ruffling the satyr’s hair, “That said, where is Norsha? Sorry, Denmother?” ~
  858. “This way I think? Denmother, are you still alive?” ~
  859.  >”Denmother has come, has seen, and has conquered!” Denmother called back stepping from the mist with a fresh bruise on her arm, holding aloft a spectral skull that crumbled into dust in her hand. ~
  860. >”Damnation, Denmother was going to craft a goblet from that…” The barbarian’s shoulders dropped from the lost opportunity.
  861. This women, you swear... Shaking your thoughts back onto the topic at hand you asked, “Alright everyone, spread out and-” ~
  862. >”Search for clues, we know!” The rest of the girls repeated after you in a monotone.
  863. >Mamuun sidled beside you before he said, “I take it that this happens more often than not, ara?”
  864. “No, whatever would give you that idea? Just stay close while we look.” ~
  865. >Mamuun nodded, staying close while you began your search.
  866.  
  867. >It’d not take long before your party had discovered near the copse of trees a ramshackle hut that appeared abandoned. ~
  868. >The mist curled around the abode in a protective manner, but yielded as you drew close.
  869. >Thundersnow took the chance to toss a rock at the door, which slowly creaked open from the impact. ~
  870. >At the sudden look she received, the satyr smiled and held her hands up, “It doesn’t hurt to check for traps at least?” ~
  871. >”Or it lets whatever varmint that might be hiding inside know we’re here. Thunder, you’ve got to keep a more tactical mindset about these things!” Oaken said while Araceli slinked her way to the door. ~
  872. >Using her blade to press further on the door, the drow peered inside before calling back, “It’s clear Dears, no nasty creatures out to mar our faces and the like, same with any traps; Honestly I’d doubt even a peasant would bother with this place.” ~
  873. >Inside was a small cottage, barely two rooms at that, looking over the worn furniture you spy a table with papers upon it.
  874. >Paying the girls no mind, you focused on what the papers held, what you found was worrying, encoded letters alongside what you can recall are ritual components for various spells. ~
  875. >It’d take time to decipher more, but you know your magical diagrams, there are a few universal symbols needed when a spell is used as a ritual.
  876. >What really alarms you is-
  877. >”Anything useful there?” You're drawn from your thoughts by Mamuun and alerted to the sight of the rest of the girls waiting on you. ~
  878. “Sorry, from what I can tell there is dark magic being used here for sure, parts of these letters detail rituals and there’s a name mentioned.”
  879. >”Whose butt do we have to kick now?” In-Sook asked, cracking her knuckles.
  880. “It didn’t mention the one writing it, or who it was addressed to, but it mentions having to work around the clumsy oaf running the town. Three guesses who that might be.”
  881. >”The Von Hooften’s are involved with this then?” Araceli asked before she grinned, “It’s always amusing how you surface dwellers place such taboos on things you do anyway, it must be the forbidden aspect that draws you in.”
  882. >”Said the cave dweller.” Denmother rumbled in reply causing Araceli’s ears to twitch to the half-orc.
  883. >”I’m sorry Dear, but did you say you're wanting to test my rapier?”
  884. >Mamuun intervenes as he stepped between the two, “Ara ara! Gentlewomen please, there is trouble afoot and we have our next clue! Let us save our vigor for our true foes, then bind them to break before our justice!” ~
  885. >Araceli and Denmother glared at one another over the top of Mamuun before they break it off, moving away from one another.
  886.  
  887. >”...and that’s where we’ll wrap up for the evening girls! I think things went rather well at the end there, what do you gals think?” Twilight asked leaning back in her seat, her wizard hat set off to the side as she fanned her face.
  888. “It went pretty great.”
  889. >”Ah had fun, even if someone coulda been a bit quicker on the draw with the planning.”
  890. >”I’m-sorry-if-I-was-too-mean-Rarity.”
  891. >”Nonsense Darling, it’s all in the character! The stage! Why, I’d be offended if you didn’t draw on your inner barbarian, I did quite like the cup idea though.” ~
  892. >”It was a pretty metal idea Fluttershy, wouldn’t have pegged you for it, but you guys tend to surprise me at times.”
  893. >”O-Oh, uhm, thank you Anon.”
  894. >”Oh, Darling, that reminds me! Tomorrow let us abscond to the boutique, and I can get started on your costume.” ~
  895. >”You really don’t have to…”
  896. >”Of course I do! Although you will be helping while I work after all.”
  897. >”Damn, I dunno about you gals, but that fight was pretty awesome, I won’t lie.” ~
  898. >”Did you see that natural twenty I had? Momma got the rolls for days!”
  899. >”Only because you badgered Anon for that kiss of the dice, what the heck was that about Pinkie?”
  900. >”It’s fine, really Dash, relax.”
  901.  
  902. >Leaning against your chair arm, you nudge Twilight who glanced your way, “What’s up Sunset?” ~
  903. “I think we did good, Anon’s a lot more comfortable now with the girls.”
  904. >”He did have a bit of experience with our Equestrian counterparts you know.” Twilight replied, adjusting her glasses.
  905. “Sure, but-”
  906. >Your phone’s alarm went off suddenly, drawing your attention and you let out a small curse as it reads 2:00 a.m.  ~
  907. >”Did we really play that late?” Twilight asked, shell shocked staring at your phone.
  908. “Maaaybe? Look it’s fine, but we best get to bed, hey girls? It’s late, let's wrap it up!”
  909.  
  910.  
  911. >It takes a few minutes, but soon everyone has their sleeping bags out, except for Anon as he nervously trots up.
  912. >”Not to be a bother, but I don’t have a sleeping bag, where do I sleep?”
  913. >”Well Shoot Nawn, you can borrow mine if’n you want.”
  914. >”Yo dude, if you need mine I can share or something.”
  915. >”I don’t mind sharing.”
  916. >”Eeee cuddle pile!”
  917. >At the tension running through Anon’s wings you clap your hands sharply.
  918. “Why don’t we have Anon sleep on the couch? Applejack, you’ve got some spare blankets he can use right?”
  919. >”Sure do, be right back.”
  920. >With that settled you turn back to Anon finding him nodding to Twilight who moved her sleeping bag next to the couch.
  921. >You had wanted to sleep next to Twilight, no come on Sunset don’t be like that, he just wants someone familiar nearby is all.
  922. >Applejack soon returned with a pile of blankets stacked above her head, “Er, Sunset? Lend a hand here? Can’t rightly see all that well.”
  923. “Shit, yeah hang on.”
  924. >Picking a few blankets you raised an eyebrow, looking over how many there were. ~
  925. >”Ah thought that since we breakin’ out the blankets some of us could use them if they needed it.”
  926. >”Why thank you Darling, as much padding as my own bag has, it's still a touch, ngh! Rough in places.”
  927. >Once everyone settled, said their good nights, and then counter goodnights, damn it Pinkie, sleep began to overtake you.
  928. >Pinkie was curled next to Rainbow who had Fluttershy next to her by the coffee table, Rarity and Applejack were totally not spooning by the T.V, then you saw Twilight who was snoring away already with Anon on the couch.
  929. >You meanwhile were at the end of the couch as there wasn’t enough room between the couch and table to fit.
  930. >You’re not mad, just disappointed, it’d have been nice to sleep next to your best friend.
  931. >Whatever, you’ll just hang out more tomorrow...dumb pony stealing your Twilight time…
  932.  
  933. >Flying through the air you soared, familiar motions through your shoulders as you dive deeply towards the ground, you can make out the individual blades of grass.
  934. >You have to pull up!
  935. >Pull up!
  936. >”I haven't seen him, have you?”
  937. >Flicking your ear, you frowned with your eyes closed as your tail swayed in irritation.
  938. >Do the girls have to be so loud in the morning?
  939. >Out of the whole experience of enjoying a sleepover, the waking up in the aftermath is the worst part, three out of ten, would not do it again.
  940. >”No, Anon can’t have gotten far could he?”
  941. >Why were they talking about you? You were still here resting quite comfortably, mind you.
  942. >”He is an entirely magical creature that we have no idea the limits of, so it's a possibility. Let's split up and start looking.”
  943. >Shoot, can’t have that now, you were making your hosts worried for you for no good reason.
  944. >You yawned, opening your eyes to take in the blurry morning light that streamed in through the bay window.
  945. >For a lumpy couch, it was rather hard underneath you. ~
  946. >A mane of purple hair passed by beneath you as you see Rarity call out, “Oh yoohoo Anonymous Darling, are you here?”
  947. >Wait, beneath you?
  948. >It's at this moment you realized where you were, atop a cabinet flush with the wall, with a narrow crawl space between the ceiling and the top of the cabinet.
  949. “Flicking flack what the heck!?!”
  950. >A startled shriek from Rarity has you flaring your wings in surprise as the fashion-obsessed girl turned towards you, “Oh! Anonymous there you are! Why on earth are you atop the cabinet?”
  951. “I-I don’t know, this is like ten feet up off the ground more than I want to be! How do I get down?”
  952. >”Well, I imagine you'd get down the way you got up there.” Rarity replied, stepping back to have a better view of you.
  953. >You, meanwhile, were peering over the edge, then rapidly skittered back from the yawning chasm beneath you.
  954. “How!?”
  955. >Rarity tittered, “Oh pish, calm down now Anonymous, I have just the thing if you'll wait a moment.” ~
  956. >Holding her hand atop some necklace around her neck, Rarity waved a hand towards you.
  957. >A shimmering field of crystal-clear diamond appeared before you, prisms of light reflecting rainbows in the morning light.
  958. >”Now hop aboard and we'll be having scones for breakfast before you know it!” ~
  959. “Is this safe?”
  960. >Rarity rolled her eyes while holding her elbow, her other hand still glowing with a pale blue of magic, “Is it safe?'' he asks, why of course it's safe! I've blocked many a frightful blow with these before, you’re in good hands you know.”
  961. “If you’re sure…”
  962. >You stepped out carefully with one hoof.
  963. >Tap.
  964. >Tap tap.
  965. >Satisfied the diamond below you wasn't going to break like a window of sugar glass, you took another step.
  966. >Soon you’ve settled atop of the force field, wings shuffling against your side as you called out,
  967. “O-okay! Ready!”
  968. >”Excellent, now hold o-”
  969. >”Rarity, have you found Anon yet?!”
  970. >”Wuahaha!”
  971. >The diamond below you twitched and tilted as Rarity was startled by Pinkie’s question, because who else could it have been!?
  972. >Whinnying in distress you jerked back against the wall, scrambling as the diamond dumped you backwards.
  973. >The cabinet began to rock underneath your hooves from your weight.
  974. >Clinging tight, you yelled as it tilted forward, falling face first towards the startled white and pink girls.
  975.  
  976. >A crash echoed in the dining hall.
  977. >You squinted through your lids, having closed your eyes to brace for the inevitable impact.
  978. >You’d have thought it’d hurt more than that; actually, you didn’t hurt at all!
  979. >If anything, you felt rather cozy and- oh my, that was a lot of pink in front of you, and beside you actually. Did you fall in a pillow?
  980. >Shaking your head to free yourself, you found the pillow giggled and shook from the motion.
  981. >“Hehe, Nonners come on now, that tickles!” ~
  982. >Oh, Pinkie caught you with her chest.
  983. >OH!
  984. >Face burning you started to apologize-
  985. >”Pinkamena Diane Pie! How many times have I told you to announce yourself before you do that!?”
  986. >Rarity interjected, marching over with the click-clack of angry heels before she lightly slapped the back of Pinkie’s head.
  987. >You don’t think that actually hurt the party gal, as her hair sprung back into place and she giggled in reply.
  988. >”Sorry Rarity, I’ll try to remember next time, good catch with the cabinet though!”
  989. >Twisting in your comfy hell, you saw the cabinet’s face leaning against the diamond shield Rarity created  ~
  990. >With a small unlady-like grunt, the young woman thrust her hand forward.
  991. >A resounding thunk echoed as the piece of furniture landed on all four legs before settling down.
  992. >”Yes, well, I’m afraid I can’t say much the same for the cabinet. Oh, Applejack is going to be quite cross with us I imagine.”
  993. >A piece of wood paneling fell off the cabinet just as Rarity finished speaking, causing the young woman to stomp her foot in frustration, “Oh come on!”
  994. “I’m sorry Rarity, that was my fault too I just, I panicked.”
  995. >”It’s fine Anonymous, it wasn’t your fault anyway.”
  996. >”I mean it kinda was?”
  997. >”Pinkie! And unhand the poor boy, you’re suffocating him!” ~
  998. “I’m rather comfortable here, but I can get down if you want Rarity. We should find Applejack so we can try to fix this, anyway.” ~
  999. >”Fix wh- Aw hell!” Tromping from the backdoor Applejack swore upon seeing the cabinet and the missing panels of wood.
  1000. >She took her hat off to rub at her hair, ruffling her ponytail back and forth, “What the hay happened here y'all? Ah was only gone for thirty minutes, tops!” ~
  1001. >”No worries Applejack, we found Nonners see? Plus we can super fix that with some wacky glue!” Pinkie exclaimed as she bounced with you in her arms.
  1002. “P-pinkie can I get down now?”
  1003. >”Gallopin’ galoshes Pinkie, let the boy down he looks feverish!”
  1004. >”Hm? Oh, well dang, sorry Nonners.”
  1005. >Deposited on the ground, you cough into a hoof to recover your composure.
  1006. >Rarity added, “We will of course be willing to compensate for the damages, Applejack. All of us, right Pinkie?”  ~
  1007. >”Oh, heh, yeah! I can totally help repay a mahogany wood cabinet on my skater waitress wages, yep!” Pinkie replied, holding up a thumb as she smiled a touch too widely. ~
  1008. >Pinkie was just as terrible a liar here too, good to know.
  1009. >Setting her hat back on her head, Applejack rubbed at her temple with a finger, “Naw, don’t worry about it ya’ll Ah can fix this with some wood glue and some TLC. Ah do need someone to grab my wood tools from the barn, y'all think you can do that Pinkie?” ~
  1010. >”Okie dokie loki!” Pinkie snapped off a sharp salute before she made a beeline for the back door. ~
  1011. >”I’ll call the rest of the girls and let them know that the search is over.” Rarity said, reaching into her shorts for her cellphone. ~
  1012. “There anything I can do to help Applejack?”
  1013. >"Eh, not particularly. That is unless ya can fill me in on what in tarnation even happened here. Last I checked, y'all were snug as bugs in a rug when I went to do my chores.”
  1014. “I don’t know what happened, I woke up atop the cabinet for no reason I can think of, and Rarity was trying to get me down, then Pinkie happened.” ~
  1015. >Applejack nodded her head, holding her chin in her hand as she followed along with your story, “Yep, that checks out.”
  1016. “Really? Just Pinkie and that’s it?”
  1017. >”Nawn, it’s Pinkie.”
  1018. >You paused, thinking it over before you nodded.
  1019. “Oh yeah, it is Pinkie.”
  1020. >The snap of a cell phone closing drew your attention to Rarity as she walked back from the bay window, “The girls are coming back, has Pinkie not come back?”
  1021. >”Naw,” Applejack replied, but her eyes suddenly widened, before she went tearing off out the backdoor  ~
  1022. >You shared a look with Rarity, then quickly followed after the farmer.
  1023. >Door slamming shut in your wake, you stumbled and ran after Applejack as she hauled open the barn door with a bang.
  1024. >”PINKIE PIE! Y’ALL PUT THAT CHAINSAW DOWN RIGHT NOW, YA HEAR?!” Applejack shouted as she dove into the barn while manic giggling could be heard coming from inside the barn.  ~
  1025. >”Oh heavens, Anonymous perhaps you ought to stay here.” Rarity told you before her gaze snapped to the barn as the sounds of a motor revved up alongside the intensity of the giggling ~
  1026. “Yep! Yep, that sounds like a plan to me, just get in there!”
  1027. >”Lovely thank you Darling!~” Rarity sprinted inside the barn, gravel flying under her heels. Skidding to a stop at the door Rarity gasped as diamonds sprung up around her, “Pinkie what in heavens are you doing!?” ~
  1028.  
  1029. >In reply, the chainsaw revved louder before stuttering
  1030. >You were reminded of a wood chipper struggling with a heavy load.
  1031. >Taking cover behind a tractor tire, you poked your head out, wondering if Pinkie had finally snapped from one too many sugar highs.
  1032. >The barn rattled alarmingly as the sounds of a low growl echoed out in the barn, it sounded like the girls were fighting each other in there!
  1033. >Where the hell were the rest of the girls?
  1034. >Craning your head, you failed to spot anyone coming, so you climbed up atop the enclosed tractor cabin for more height. ~
  1035. >For a moment, you boggled at how easy that was before you spied a few figures coming from the nearby woods.
  1036. >It’s the girls!
  1037. “Girls! Over here!”
  1038. >You jumped up and down, flailing your limbs about to draw their attention.
  1039. >Fun fact: when it's morning out in the countryside, the dew point is much lower and the roof of the tractor is slick when wet!
  1040. >A chirp escaped you as you fell off the roof.
  1041. >Death by falling on your neck when you have wings, haha.
  1042. >”Gotcha!”
  1043. >The world spun in a whirl of colors before you thumped against lithe, firm arms and a heavily panting chest.
  1044. >”You can praise me now if you wanna,” Rainbow Dash said, winking at you before a hole ruptured through the side of the barn, drawing the attention of you both.
  1045. >”What the hay? What’s-”
  1046. “Pinkie’s got a chainsaw.”
  1047. >”Oh sweet cider barrels, tell the others!” Rainbow exclaimed before she disappeared in a trail of color.
  1048. >Spinning in place from the sudden drop, you steadied yourself with all four hooves before taking a few staggering steps towards the now-running girls. ~
  1049. >”Anon! Are you okay?”
  1050. >”Where’d Rainbow go?”
  1051. >”Why is there a hole in the barn?
  1052. You whistled sharply to be heard over the three talking, “Some weird magical shit is going on in the ba-”
  1053.  
  1054. >An explosion rocked the building and a smoldering shape flew from the hole in the wall. ~
  1055. >Rolling to a stop, it looks like a bundle of twigs and logs?
  1056. >”You get back here! Momma’s got a trophy to carve outta your hide!”  Covered in scratches and bruises, Pinkie crowed, holding the chainsaw over her head as the power tool rattled alarmingly.
  1057. >”Pinkie, wait for the others!” Rainbow exclaimed before spying the rest of you, “Guys! Watch out it’s some type of Equestrian magical beast!” ~
  1058. >”A beast?” Fluttershy said, turning to the lump that slowly rose.
  1059. >Small branches and twigs shivered back into the rough shape of a wolf as Fluttershy proclaimed, “Oh, well that’s disappointing.”  ~
  1060. >”Fluttershy not now, Sunset get Anon out of here.” Twilight said before her hands glowed and a purple outline framed the creature. ~
  1061. >”Got it, come on Anon.” Sunset said before she scooped you up like some toddler! ~
  1062. “I can run damn it, put me down!”
  1063. >”Not fast enough, hang on.” Sunset replied before dropping you down behind a fence.
  1064. >Sunset turned back to the fight before sprinting to lend a hand. ~
  1065. >Damn it all, there has to be something you can do to help!
  1066. >You can only watch as the wolf threw off the magic Twilight had on it, only to be bashed across the face with a wood axe by Fluttershy, of all people.
  1067. >”You give wolves a bad name, mister! Bad dog!” ~
  1068. >The balls on this gal, dear lord.
  1069. >”Flutters, duck!” Rainbow shouted as she flew over the yellow girl to land a drop kick that sent the wolf onto its side.
  1070. >Cinderblocks nearby flew through the air to smash into the wolf while diamonds surrounded the creature. ~
  1071. >”Sunset! I need fire!” Twilight yelled while Pinkie cackled madly as she dove down with her chainsaw, tearing a limb off the wolf in a burst of sawdust and glory.
  1072. >”Give me a second!” ~
  1073. >”Got ya covered Sunset! Gals! Move!” Applejack demanded as she spun in place before throwing a blue can that sloshed alarmingly, “Light it up!”
  1074. >Sunset had taken a knee, holding her hands together before her eyes lit up in pure white, a bolt of flame flew from her hands to ignite the soaked wolf as it howled in pain, trying to escape. ~
  1075. >Rarity frowned, twitching her hands as her diamonds fully enclosed the tree beast as it burned.  
  1076.  
  1077. >The wolf thrashed in place before slowly falling still as the fire rose up to consume the last of its body.
  1078. >Seeing how the coast was clear, you slowly approached as the girls lowered their guard.
  1079. “What the hell was that?!”
  1080. >”It reminds me of a timberwolf from Equestria, but that’d be impossible” Sunset said first, slowly standing up and brushing the dirt off her knees.
  1081. “That, but also when the heck can you do magic?”
  1082. >”Anon, we’ve all been doing magic.” Twilight explained slowly while the rest of the girls gathered around.
  1083. “Yeah, but that’s more like a bunch of super powers than magic magic and I thought you couldn’t do magic here Sunset?
  1084. >”Oh, that’s from my empathy, I can use it to reach back far enough to use the memory of the spell and that’s how I did it.” Sunset said before shrugging, “Takes forever to set up though.  I'm more worried about why there was a timber wolf here of all places?”
  1085. >”Ah don’t know, but that varmint messed up my barn with its tomfoolery and now Ah’ve got a hole in my barn to fix in addition to the cabinet!” Applejack cursed. ~
  1086. >”What happened to the cabinet?” Fluttershy asked
  1087. >”Ahaha, perhaps we should focus on the magical creature that arrived here first, hm?” Rarity interjected
  1088. >”I dunno, but it was fun, I got to try out my wood carving skills! Say Applejack-”
  1089. >”No Pinkie, yer not keeping mah saw.”
  1090. >”Ah please!?” Pinkie whined, cradling the tool to her chest
  1091. >Applejack put her finger to Pinkie’s mouth with a narrowed gaze, “No, just no.”
  1092. >At the pout Pinkie leveled at Applejack, the farmer sighed, “IF and Ah do mean IF something like this happened again then ya can use it.”
  1093. >”Eeeee!” Pinkie squealed in delight before hugging the apple farmer with one arm.
  1094.  
  1095. >”Supposed to have the weekend off to relax and chill, but figured I can help ya fix your barn Applejack. What can I do to help?” Rainbow offered, scratching at the back of her head ~
  1096. “I want to help too! Even if it’s getting things or something.”
  1097. >”Pinkie and I do still owe you, Applejack, so you’ll have our help.” Rarity added in, while Applejack wriggled free of Pinkie’s grasp. ~
  1098. >”With eight people it can’t be that hard to fix up the barn ,can it?” Sunset asked looking over to the side of the barn holding her hands up to frame it tongue stuck out, trying to imagine how it’d look. ~
  1099. >”I can bring up some manuals on barn repair, if you need to reference things Applejack.” Twilight offered, drawing her phone out, fingers already a blur.
  1100. >”Ah shoot gals, that’s....” Applejack grinned before tugging her hat back to rest on her head, “Y'all don’t have to do that, but thanks all the same. Let’s get started then!”  ~
  1101.  
  1102. > ”Ah will regret this, but Pinkie think ya can use the saw to get the rest of the broken boards loose? We'll need the space for the new section of wood.”
  1103. >Pinkie nodded with a smile, “Yippee!” Revving the chainsaw the pink girl soon dove at the wall.
  1104. >Sawdust flew into a cloud around the work area as manic giggling continued.
  1105. “Maybe you should supervise her Applejack?”
  1106. > ”Nah Nawn, ah think she's got it.”
  1107. >You ducked when a flying chunk of wood went by, bouncing off the ground.
  1108. > ”Ya Might want some safety goggles though.” Applejack said, snapping the elastic tight against the back of your head.
  1109. >Rubbing at the slight sting, you watched as Applejack walked over to Twilight and Sunset, “Twilight, think you and Sunset can work on getting the plans drawn up? Ah was thinking that-”
  1110. >Letting them make their plans, you felt the wind blow past you and you caught the smallest bit of movement from the corner of your eye.
  1111. >The dusty remains of the timberwolf were being blown about by the gusts of wind on the farm.
  1112. >There were a few pieces that remained of the burned creature, a leg you think, most of the chest cavity, if you hadn’t seen the snarling visage of this beast beforehand, you’d have thought the remains a poorly put together campfire.
  1113. >Trotting over to the remains, you nudged a few pieces of wood here and there to see if there was anything special inside or on the creature.
  1114. >All you found for your trouble was dust and ash that tickled your nose.
  1115. “ACHOO!”
  1116. >A dust devil erupted from the ash, and you jerked backwards, flailing your wings.
  1117. >You fall on your back, your vision going black!
  1118. > ”Anon? Are you okay?” You heard Fluttershy walking on the gravel towards you.
  1119. >Coughing, you waved a hoof back and forth.
  1120. “I’m fine! I’m fine, I can’t see anything.”
  1121. >Must have gotten soot on your goggles, reaching up you swipe at your peepers, first one then the other blinking as the soot is smeared across the glass.
  1122. >Damnation.
  1123. > ”I think I see the problem, hold still okay?”
  1124. >You hummed an affirmative noise, squinting at the yellow and pink blob coming close when you felt gentle fingers grasping your chin  holding your face still.
  1125. > ”I’m  glad Rarity had pestered me to carry these all the time, otherwise, I’d have to have used my shirt for this.” Fluttershy said calmly as you can finally see!
  1126. >A pink, now smudged with blackash, handkerchief swabbed at a goggle lens
  1127. >The cloth was drawn back and you saw Fluttershy smiling, “There we go, now for the other one.”
  1128. >Narrowing her eyes and sticking the tip of her tongue out, Fluttershy started on the other side of the googles.
  1129. >Vision restored, you blinked at the sudden light to see Fluttershy tucking her handkerchief away, “All better now, what happened anyway?”
  1130. “I was curious, wanted to see if there was anything weird about the wood.”
  1131. > ”Did you find anything?”
  1132. “No, I just sneezed and suddenly dust was everywhere.”
  1133. > ”Maybe it’s something inherent to pegasi magic that made the dust cloud?”
  1134. “I’ll add it to the list of things to bother Twilight about then.”
  1135. > ”Anon, you know-”
  1136.  
  1137.  
  1138. > ”Hey Nawn! Ya up for holdin’ the toolbox for us?” Applejack yelled over to you from the small picnic table the girls had gathered around.
  1139. >Fluttershy pouted as you turned away from her to Applejack, “Why can’t I help with actually using the tools? I'm not crippled you know.”
  1140. > ”Er, well ya see…”
  1141. > “Dude can you even hold a hammer?’ Rainbow Dash asked, leaning against the table on her elbow.
  1142. > Applejack smacked the back of Rainbow’s head, the sports enthusiast stumbled forward to regain her footing, “Consarnit Rainbow Dash!”
  1143. > Rainbow hissed at the strike, rubbing the back of her head, “What?! It's a legit question!”
  1144. > You glanced down at your hooves, recalling that they were not hands, again, “Right,” Looking to the others you feel your wings shrug, “I can try?”
  1145.  
  1146. >Applejack passed a hammer to you and you tentatively reached up with a hoof to grab the handle.
  1147. >It’s weird.
  1148. >You could feel the smooth wood of the hammer with the soft palm portion of your hoof even while it rests on the hardened keratin of the outer rim.
  1149. >Focused as you were on holding the handle, you saw a slight indentation form in your palm as it envelopes the handle, and you’re reminded of having to use a pair of oven mitts to grab a hot baking pan.
  1150. > “Think you’re up for trying to use it Anon?” Twilight asked, watching with keen eyes, her hands twitching as if eager to take notes down.
  1151. “Sure?”
  1152. > “I know that Earth ponies tend to have a stronger grip than the other three races, I think Pegasi can manage, but we can test your grip first.” Sunset explained while bringing over a piece of scrap wood with a nail sticking out, “Try this.”
  1153. >Carefully you took aim and raised your hoof high for a mighty blow!
  1154. > The hammer rebounded off the wood, flying out of your grip
  1155. > ”Whoa!” Rainbow exclaimed as she disappeared in a streak of color snatching the ballistic hammer, “You alright there, Anon?”
  1156. “Slipped my grip, let me try again.”
  1157. >With the hammer in hoof again, you tensed the muscles in your foreleg and tried a more moderate tap at the nail head.
  1158. >Tink! Tink! Tink-tink!
  1159. >You were making some progress, but it felt like you were barely moving the nail at this rate.
  1160.  
  1161. > ”Oh I remember now,” Sunset exclaimed, tapping her fist into her palm, “Pegasi are more focused on finesse and less on strength. That, combined with their weather magic meant that they never really needed to build things from normal materials.”
  1162. > ”Wait, then what would they make their homes outta then?” Applejack asked, scratching at her head.
  1163. > ”Clouds of course. Although, to be really technical, it wasn’t until after the unification that more permanent cloud homes would be constructed using earth pony rituals.”
  1164. > ”Cloud...houses?” Applejack frowned at the thought before leaning back her head to look at a few puffy clouds nearby, “That sounds like hooey Sunset, but it’s your world Ah guess.”
  1165. > ”I think it sounds rather wonderful, although the heights would have me too scared to leave.It would be much nicer if you could build one closer to the ground.” Fluttershy added in.
  1166. > ”A personalized cloud home sounds like it’d be badass, but uh, Anon you doin’ alright there?”
  1167. >Panting heavily, you finished the rapid-fire blows of the hammer on the nail head, finally making the head flush with the wood.
  1168. >Wiping your forehead, you held up the hammer in your hoof.
  1169. “Never..better! See? I can help!”
  1170. >The girls all exchanged looks at each other.
  1171. >You get the feeling that you’re not going to be helping all that much with the repairs when the girls hesitated about what to say.
  1172.  
  1173. >Then Rarity spoke up,  “Anonymous, Darling, I know you’d love to help, but I did notice you haven’t had a chance to acclimatize yourself with your new body, as it were.”
  1174. > “Rarity has a point, I can try to help you Anon if you want to, and Rainbow can help out too.” Fluttershy added on emboldened by Rarity taking the first step.
  1175. > “I can?”
  1176. “She can?”
  1177. >Fluttershy nodded before raising her eyebrow at Rainbow, some unpsoken understanding shared between the two.
  1178. >Rainbow started to nod, “Uh, yeah! Sure I can, totally.”
  1179. >You frowned, but Fluttershy wasn’t wrong.
  1180. “Yeah, alright then we can do that. I guess we’ll go over here then?”
  1181. > “Wonderful, come along Rainbow Dash, I have a few ideas on what we can do.”
  1182. >You started to follow after the duo while the rest put their heads together on the repairs.
  1183. >As you walked, your ears twitched as you caught snippets between Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash.
  1184. > “..sure about…idea what…”
  1185. > “...don’t worry… trust…”
  1186.  
  1187. >Reaching an empty lot of land free from any nearby farming equipment, Fluttershy turned to face you while Rainbow Dash took a squat.
  1188. > “What we’ll need to do first is to get a baseline of what you personally know, Anon. Then from there, we can start to learn what you really can do.”
  1189. “I get that, but how are we going to figure out what I can even do? Last I checked you didn’t have any pegasi around to compare me to.”
  1190. > “Flutters here is crazy good with, uh, no offence, animals, so if anyone can really figure out what you can do, it’d be her.”
  1191. “Fair, I guess, but what about you?”
  1192. > Rainbow scoffed before flexing her arms at you, “You might not know it, but I’m pretty strong, plus I’m fast enough to catch you if you wind up hurting yourself, so no worries!”
  1193. “Can you even keep up?”
  1194. > “Is that a challenge?”
  1195. “Perhaps.”
  1196. >A pale yellow hand thrusted between you and Rainbow, firmly making space between you two
  1197. >“Enough you two, let’s get started. Anon, do you think you can do a lap around the edge of the field here?”
  1198. >You nodded before stumbling into what you think is a trot, or maybe it’s a canter?
  1199. >You feel a shadow cross over you.
  1200. >Looking up, you saw Rainbow Dash walking at a leisurely pace beside you.
  1201. “What are you doing?”
  1202. > “Just keeping pace with you is all, think you can go faster?”
  1203. >You narrowed your eyes at the cheeky girl.
  1204. “Perhaps.”
  1205. >You picked up speed as you got more used to your legs, yet as fast as you were now, Rainbow merely lengthened her stride, easily keeping up with you.
  1206. >This.
  1207. >This irritated you more than you expected.
  1208. >Ducking your head down you began to pump your legs faster, starting to feel the wind blowing past your face.
  1209. >Sweat dripped down, only to be whipped away as you run
  1210. >Yet Rainbow Dash was effortlessly keeping pace with you.
  1211. >Faintly you heard Fluttershy say something, but you ignored it focusing on running now, truly running.
  1212. >Thump-a-thump-a-thump-a-thump
  1213. >Thump-a-thump-a-thump-a-thump
  1214. >Leaning into the turn for just that tiniest bit of extra speed.
  1215. >Ignoring the clumps of dirt that your hooves sent flying, Rainbow Dash was slowly edging forward a grin on her face.
  1216. >No.
  1217. >You’re not having it!
  1218. >Throbbing filled your legs and your breath was ragged as your wings instinctively pumped.
  1219. >Keep the pace, one foot in front of the other…
  1220. >Just a bit more…
  1221.  
  1222. >You tripped.
  1223. >That has to be the only explanation why you were suddenly tumbling through the air and the ground was switching places with the sky.
  1224. >Whipcord thin arms wrapped around your barrel as you skipped and skidded in the dirt.
  1225. >Once, twice, then slowed in a slide that came to a sudden stop.
  1226.  
  1227. >Dizzy, you were nauseous and dizzy, why wouldn’t the world stop spinning?
  1228. >Faintly, you heard the rapid approach of steps coming your way, “Rainbow Dash! Anon! Are you two alright? I told you two to slow down, but you didn’t listen.”
  1229. >Above you, Rainbow Dash groaned lightly as she shifted her weight, letting you go.
  1230. >“Yeah, a few scrapes is all, how fast were we going anyway? It felt pretty quick.”
  1231. >Fluttershy gently brushed off your hair and replied, “Fast enough for your magic to act up Rainbow Dash. Honestly what am I to do with you two?”
  1232. “Sorry Fluttershy.”
  1233. > “Ah, my bad Flutters.”
  1234. >Leaning back, Fluttershy sighed, “It’s fine, at least you're not hurt. Still, I’m surprised Anon. No one is able to keep up with Rainbow Dash like that, although I think you were starting to leave the ground with how fast you were running.”
  1235. “Really now.”
  1236. >You flex your wings thoughtfully
  1237. > “Dude that’s awesome! Do you think if we go that fast you can actually take off? I bet if I hold onto you and you hold your wings out we could do it!”
  1238. > “Rainbow Dash, you both just crashed into the ground, at least make sure you’re not hurt!” Fluttershy exclaimed as she slapped her hands to her thighs, “Anon, are you alright at least?”
  1239. “Just dizzy is all, but that’s fading pretty quickly. I think we can try at least.”
  1240.  
  1241. >”If you’re sure.” Fluttershy trailed off, mouth twisted in a small frown, Rainbow meanwhile grinned, “That’s the spirit Anon! Let’s start with trying to get you to glide first, can you hold your wings out?”
  1242. “Eh, sure.”
  1243. >You held your wings out and straight and felt them twist subtly to catch the faint breeze blowing.
  1244. >It feels nice.
  1245. >What’s not so nice is Rainbow suddenly grabbing you by the barrel.
  1246. >“Alright hang tight now!”
  1247. >A shrill screech escaped you before the colors blurred and your wings snapped taut from the sudden gale winds.
  1248. >It was terrifying.
  1249. >It was too fast.
  1250. >It was exhilarating.
  1251. >You could barely see where you were going, but you faintly heard Rainbow shout out, “-o jum-!”
  1252. >Then the green blur beneath you suddenly dropped away and you felt the heavy weight of a young teen around your barrel.
  1253. >Yet you both swooped up high into the air, and you gaze in wonder at the sight
  1254. >Trees in the orchard as far as the eye could see,  the skyline of town a faint silhouette against the horizon.
  1255. >For a moment you were weightless, then gravity plucked you from the sky and dragged you back to the earth.
  1256. >The green below rushed up to you, you could see every blade of grass as if each was a spear pointed at your suicidal charge.
  1257. >Why does this feel so familiar?
  1258. >”ANON! Catch the wind!” Rainbow shouted frantically hanging beneath you.
  1259. >Right!
  1260. >Eyes tearing up from the wind you struggle to move your wings.
  1261. >”ANON!”
  1262. >Wrenching your wings you feel them go rigid from the wind.
  1263. >You’re not going to make it!
  1264.  
  1265. >Leaning back, you try to brace, only to feel a shudder run through your body
  1266. >You glanced down to see Rainbow running beneath you.
  1267. >The crazy gal is using herself as your landing gear!
  1268. >You both skipped off the ground once, twice before Rainbow dug her feet into the ground, bleeding off the rest of your speed.
  1269. >Without the wind, you tilt forward dangerously only to be caught by Rainbow’s arms
  1270. >“Hold on Anon! Whew, talk about a close call.”
  1271. “Maybe don’t just throw me like a football? A little warning might have been nice.”
  1272.  
  1273.  
  1274. >The sound of footsteps rapidly approached
  1275. >You looked up to see Fluttershy coming to a stop, panting.
  1276. >“You two, I swear. I think I know how you can fly better Anon, so don’t do that again please?”
  1277. >Rainbow scoffed, “Oh come on Fluttershy he’s fine, I’m fine, we’re fine!”
  1278. >Fluttershy raised an eyebrow, “Really now. Anon how do your wings feel?”
  1279. “A little sore, kind of throbbing actually, why do you ask?”
  1280. >Fluttershy hummed, “If I had to guess, your wings work like most eagles and large birds of prey, you can handle soaring, some diving as well, but if you overdo it your bones could break.”
  1281. >Rainbow gulped, her face going pale, “Oh damn, Anon listen I didn’t mean, I mean I did, but not to the point of breaking your bones!”
  1282. >Shivering, you shake your head.
  1283. “You were just trying to help, but I think I’m done with flight practice for now. Think we could go back to helping Applejack with her barn?”
  1284. >The duo agree, then follow you to the barn.
  1285.  
  1286. >Already you could see the framework for the new wall was up, the boards freshly cut and hammered into place.
  1287. >Rainbow said, with a touch of awe in her voice, “Wow, didn’t think they would get this far so soon.”
  1288. “Applejack is pretty handy with her tools, in both worlds at that.”
  1289. >Fluttershy leaned down as she asked, “Are the pony versions of us really that similar? It’s a bit wild to think about.”
  1290. >You shrug in reply, “I mean, the broad strokes are there? It’s not like I know you all well enough to say.”
  1291. >Rainbow nudged Fluttershy, “Don’t worry about it Flutters, sides it’s not like any pony version of me could be as awesome as I am!”
  1292. “Pony you can fly.”
  1293. >Rainbow jerked as if you’d stabbed her in the side, “Y-yeah well I can go so fast time stops, so beat that!”
  1294. >You felt a devilish idea creep across your brain as you hummed
  1295. “Sorry, what was that? I couldn’t hear you down there on the ground.”
  1296. >”You’re not even flying!”
  1297. >”Rainbow, he’s pulling your leg.”
  1298. >Fluttershy sighed while Rainbow stuck a finger out at you.
  1299. >“Listen here bub, anything that pony version of me I could do better, like a hundred and twenty percent better!”
  1300. “Sure, sure. We should get going,  I think the girls are done.”
  1301. >”Anon! Don’t you ignore me,you-you walking feather duster!”
  1302.  
  1303. >Rarity was wiping away at the sweat  on her brow when she caught sight of the three of you.
  1304. >“Finished already Darlings?.”
  1305. >”We finished for now, someone thought winging it was a good idea.” Fluttershy replied, shooting Rainbow a look.
  1306. >Raising her hands Rainbow asked, ”What?”
  1307. “It wasn’t that bad, I still flew! Sort of, more like falling with style, but it still counts!”
  1308. >Rarity giggled, ”With style it always does Darling, still Applejack said that we’re done for now, she’ll need to order more paint from the hardware store.”
  1309. >”It’s the wildest thing, Ah could have sworn Ah had more stored in the barn…” Applejack murmured, scratching her head in confusion.
  1310. “Oh, well I guess we can just hang out? I don’t really know what you girls do for fun around here anyway.”
  1311. >Applejack opened her mouth when Rarity said, “Idea~~~! Darling why don’t we go ahead and do your fitting for your costume? The sooner I can do it, the sooner I can bring out your inner fabulousness!”
  1312. “Should I be afraid?”
  1313. >You felt a hand clamp on your back, and followed the blue arm up to see a solemn Rainbow.
  1314. “R-rainbow?”
  1315. >”Your sacrifice will be remembered for all time.”
  1316. “Wha-ah!”
  1317. >You were shoved suddenly into Rarity’s arms, and she swung you about like a particularly fat cat.
  1318. >“Oh Darling, this shall be just grand! I have so many ideas that we can do. Gentlewomen, do let the others know where Anon and I have absconded to, yes? Capital!”
  1319. >Buried as you were in Rarity’s chest, you couldn’t see much, but you  felt her arm raise up, “Onward to fashion!”
  1320.  >What the hell are you in for now?
  1321.  
  1322. >A breeze blew through the self-made boutique, a cracked window letting in faint sounds of passing traffic.
  1323. >The noise of one car drew closer than the rest before falling silent, and not a moment later, the door slammed open with a bang!
  1324. >"Welcome to my abode Darling! Do mind your step, I left behind a bit of a mess."
  1325. >You slowly walked into the renovated shed. You saw about what you'd expected, having frequented pony Rarity's own boutique, then you did a double-take at what was in the rear.
  1326. "Is that a forge, and what's that machine?"
  1327. >The forge was a squat block thing with what looked like a propane tank attached. Meanwhile, the machine itself clamped onto the ends of a large pole in the center.
  1328. >"Ah, I see you've seen my new hobby. It's hard to believe, but I have had ever so many clientele who have been just fascinated by this new trend." Rarity explained while she flicked on a small radio near her sewing machine.
  1329. >The radio crackled on with a burst of static before a female reporter's voice filled the air, "...recent brownouts have been sweeping the nation leading to the president to call for…"
  1330. >Rarity hmmed at the sudden interruption, then flicked the knob to a classical station, violin music filling the air, "Much better, now where was I?"
  1331. You faintly heard Rarity mumble something about errant fingers on nosey children. You decide to ignore it, and said, "A new trend you'd picked up on?"
  1332. >Rarity snapped her fingers at you, "Ah yes, chainmail jewelry!  Initially, I had only planned on making chainmail for our costumes, as it would be much cheaper than ordering the pieces online.”
  1333. "Alright, so that's what the machine is for? Why a forge though?"
  1334. >Rarity giggled with her hand over her mouth, "I was getting there Darling. So you see, when I wore a quite fabulous copper and steel necklace, Someone asked where I had got it. When they heard I made it myself, they asked if I could do a chainmail hem for their cosplay, to really sell their costume as it were. I hadn't considered branching out like that. However, they offered quite the princely sum, and far be it from me to spurn another's generosity! Why, it was enough to cover half the expenses for the forge, not to mention the grinders and polishers that I have in the back."
  1335. "Wow, that's rather impressive Rarity, how'd you manage to cover the other half of the expenses?"
  1336. >"Once word got out that I was doing custom chainmail pieces, I started getting more than a few commissions. It's gotten to be a bit of a handful actually."
  1337. "Have you considered hiring out for help? For more commissions and what not?"
  1338. >Rarity hummed in reply as she walked toward her desk. She shuffled among a layer of various notes and pins before retrieving her measuring tape, "I have considered it, Darling, but who could I trust with the delicate work I'd need?"
  1339. "You do have your friends to lean on don't you?"
  1340. >At this, a sudden bark of laughter escaped Rarity before she flushed and covered her mouth, "Sorry Darling, but the idea of Rainbow of all people trying to do a cross stitch on one of my pieces is, well, let us just say she's more inclined to athletics. Never mind Applejack, who I have seen rip phone books in two when some rather unbecoming gentlewomen had made remarks after her brother."
  1341. You shrugged with both wing and shoulder, "It couldn't hurt to ask right?"
  1342. >“No, perhaps not, but for now it’s manageable. I merely have to shuffle a few things here or there and I’ll have plenty of time to finish everything!’
  1343. >Rarity beamed at you with a familiar expression of misplaced confidence.  You glanced over to her desk, noticing a small calendar covered in small notes, one of which was for tomorrow.
  1344. “Is that why you have Cloud Kicker’s fuzzy bathrobes commission circled three or four times for tomorrow?”
  1345. >“Wha-? Oh, OH! Oh bother, terribly sorry Anonymous. I thought I’d have more time, but oh drat, that was supposed to be done by today!”
  1346. “Maybe I can help? You did offer to make me a full costume pro bono, so I’d at least feel better knowing I earned it.”
  1347. >Rarity gnawed at her lip gently as she retrieved what had to have been the most garishly purple and fluffiest bathrobe you’ve ever seen.
  1348. >You catch small muttered words from the seamstress-cum-armorer as she marches towards her sewing machine with fabulous intent.
  1349. “Rarity?” You frowned watching Rarity ignored you then tried again louder, “Rarity!”
  1350. >The young woman is lost in her fey mood, you’ll need to do something to shock her out of it.
  1351. You leapt in front of the young woman and shouted, “Rarity!”
  1352. >Unbeknownst to you, your wings had flared out and up while your chest was puffed as full as it could be.
  1353. >The sudden movement and noise was enough to startle Rarity as she threw the robe in the air, “Waahah! Darling! Don’t startle me like that!”
  1354. >Instantly your wings drop as you finally catch on, just in time for the robe to land atop your head.
  1355. >Everything is purple!
  1356. "Sorry Rarity, uh a little help?"
  1357. >"Oh my, terribly sorry Darling, let me just-"
  1358. >The soft, fluffy fabric brushed against your skin,  the sensation giving you goosebumps.  Rarity covered her mouth with a hand as her sides shook.
  1359. "What?"
  1360. >"Nothing Darling, although...your mane could do with a bit of a brushing."
  1361. >You  reached a good back to feel for your mane, finding it had proofed up with a wild case of bed head.
  1362. "Ah, I see, could you, uh..."
  1363. >"Of course Darling," Rarity carefully set aside the robe  then grabbed a hair brush from her beauty station, "If you would take a seat, Anonymous, up here?"
  1364. Rarity asked while she tapped gently on the chair before the mirror.
  1365. >You eyed the copious amounts of make-up, perfume bottles, and nail polish with trepidation.
  1366. "Alright, but only a brushing, you got that?"
  1367. >"Of course, of course, now if you would?"
  1368.  
  1369. >You took a  fortifying breath, then you sat in the chair.You watched warily as Rarity smiled and began to tease the hair brush through your mane.
  1370. >The gentle tug and bristles sliding against your hair was, for lack of a better word, pleasant.
  1371. >Far more than you had expected as you leaned back against the chair, enjoying the pull as the brush scraped against your skin and hair like long nails finally catching an irritating itch.
  1372. >A few more minutes passed like this,  Rarity humming faintly as she worked.
  1373. >"What was it that you were trying to ask again Anonymous?" Rarity asked at this point she had moved on from the brush and was sliding her fingers through your hair.
  1374. "Huh? Oh, I was hoping to help you with your robe, that is if I can even do anything with these."
  1375. >You finished saying, holding up your hooves.
  1376. “Ever since the change I’ve been worse than useless with this body, I couldn’t even do anything to help with that wolf.”
  1377. >Rarity paused in her grooming of your hair and walked around and grabbed your hooves gently. "Anonymous, Darling, far be it from me to lecture you about something I have little idea about," Rarity tightened her grip, "but you can't allow such a thing to get the better of you! Quite honestly, dear, you're adorable and if I wasn't a gentlewoman I'd have swept you off your hooves to hug and shower you in affection!"
  1378. "What? Rarity, come on, look at me, I look like-"
  1379. >A finger bopped you gently on the nose, "Up-up-up I shan't hear a word of it Anonymous! We may not have known each other long, but I know that everyone has a fabulous side to them and hearing you besmirch yourself upsets me so."
  1380. "I-I’m not? Really I’m fine! It’s just, it’s just so frustrating to suddenly become an invalid in your own body!”
  1381. >Rarity went quiet, you thought you had screwed up again when she chuckled softly, "Well Darling, you may say that, but I’ve seen how you’re dealing with things. I’m quite familiar with it myself.” You know I hadn't always been as fantastic as I am before you now. I used to be belittled and bullied for my life choices and interests. A dyke and freak for what I liked and for a time I began to believe them.”
  1382. >You nervously swallow as her words hit far too close to home for your comfort.
  1383. "What, what happened?"
  1384. >Rarity turned away from you to her desk, a picture frame specifically that showed a much younger Rarity and four other young girls piled together, "Some very special little girls found me and became my very best friends. They saw that I was hurting. Just as badly as you are now." Sniffing Rarity carefully wiped her eyes, "They taught me that I deserved to be just as happy as the next person and if they had a problem with it then they would answer to her foot!"
  1385. Despite yourself a small whiff of laughter escaped you, "Rainbow Dash?"
  1386. >"And Fluttershy surprisingly."
  1387. "That girl always seems to surprise everyone."
  1388. >"That she does, and I love her all the more for it, now then!" Rarity clapped her hands together, "I believe you and I-"
  1389. >The door to the boutique suddenly opened as a pale white girl walked through the door, "Hey Rarity I'm- Is that a pony?!"
  1390.  
  1391. >”Sweetie Bell! This isn't what it looks like?"
  1392. >"Really?"
  1393. "Neigh."
  1394. >"Alright then what does it look like?"
  1395. >"I," You can see Rarity's eyes flicker rapidly around the room, trying to come up with an excuse for your presence, "I was preparing a outfit for Fluttershy's little animal friends for the city parade!"
  1396. >Sweetie Bell slowly walked in the room, glancing at you, then Rarity again with a raised eyebrow, "Right, but I don't recall you ever talking to yourself as you worked. It did sound like you had a boy here." A faint grasp comes from the young woman, "Rarity don't tell me you have some poor boy locked away here, you know what Momma had said about having company in your shed."
  1397. >"You little brat, this isn't a shed it's a boutique," Rarity snapped back, glaring at the giggling girl, "and if I had wanted company over in my boutique that is my own business not yours!"
  1398. >"Okay."
  1399. >"Okay?"
  1400. >Sweetie Bell shrugged casually, "Okay, I'll just tell Mom."
  1401. >Alarm spikes in Rarity's eyes and you take the moment between breaths to interject.
  1402. "Rarity I think the cat is out of the bag on this one, might as we-eugh?!"
  1403. >Your cheeks are gently pinched wide as your vision is filled with cream and vivid jade eyes, "I knew it, but how are you able to talk? Your tongue is so broad and flat plus the shape of your mouth is way to different for normal worlds to be used, but then again.." Sweetie Bell hummed as she prodded your mouth and teeth with her fingers, you, meanwhile, are frozen in place, worried that you might damage her delicate fingers if you jerk your head away.
  1404. >"Sweetie Belle! Unhand poor Anonymous at once! You should know better than to lay hands on a lord like that!"
  1405. >The grasp on your cheeks loosened as Sweetie Bell addressed her sister, "Oh it's fine, besides Anonymous doesn't mind, right mister?"
  1406. >Sweetie Bell asked as she turned doleful eyes on you, and your chest tightened at the look before pulling away from her grip.
  1407. >You work your jaw then said, "It's fine, if you leave my mouth alone that is."
  1408. >"Deal!"
  1409. >"Wha- Just like that?" Rarity asked before pointing a carefully manicured finger at Sweetie Belle, "Why are you so obstinate!"
  1410. >"Because you didn't ask me to, you told me too." Sweetie Bell replied blithely, her fingers running through your hair.
  1411. >You leaned slightly into the touch, feeling your eyes droop at the sensation.
  1412. >Rarity groaned at her sister's antics , then froze in place, "Anonymous, Darling, I do believe there is a way for you to help."
  1413. >Half drowsy from the trance-inducing scratching you make an inquisitive sound.
  1414. >"If you'd be a dear and supervise Sweetie Bell while I work, that would ever be so helpful! She can be such a distraction at times." Rarity exclaimed pointing at you both
  1415. >"Hey! I am NOT!" Sweetie Belle's voice cracked as she protested.
  1416. >You, being a sensible man, er, pony? Individual, stifled a small snort of laughter at their antics.
  1417. >Rarity chuckled to herself, "You do recall my golden silk cloth that was exceedingly expensive imported all the way from Neighpon, yes? The same ones you used for your little capes with your friends? The one that you still owe me money for?!"
  1418. >By the end of the reminder, the mistress of thread was standing upright with three of her diamond shields hovering around her menacingly.
  1419. >"Oh wow gee would you look at the time Mister Anon! I think there was this cool thing I wanted to show you outside, far far away from here!" Sweetie Bell exclaimed as she bodily dragged you outside, before kicking the door shut behind her.
  1420. >"And stop kicking my door shut!" Rarity shouted from within the shed.
  1421.  
  1422.  
  1423. >The backyard looked rather typical for a suburban house on the edge of suburbia, a large wooden fence split off the other houses while the back fence held a large hedge that split off the undeveloped land you could see from the yard.
  1424. >A stone path leads up towards the boutique and then to the house proper, while a small garden of various flowers lined the house, providing some color to the large stretch of green.
  1425. >All in all, not really much to act as a distraction for a young preteen unless you had toys or something to play with.
  1426. >“Phew, sorry about my sister. She's a bit high maintenance like that, but yeah this is the backyard. There isn’t much out here unless we break out mom’s sport gear, but let me tell you if we do that we’ll have to listen to her golden years back in high school.” Sweetie Bell said giving you a tour of the place.
  1427. “Quarterback?”
  1428. >“Nah, that’d make sense, she was the star linebacker for the colts.”
  1429. “No way, but then why are…”
  1430. >“Rarity and I not into sports like Mom was?”
  1431. “I mean, if it’s not too personal, I wouldn’t want to pry.”
  1432. >”Relax, it’s pretty simple really. Daddy spent more time with us while Mom was still doing her thing professionally so we just took after him more.” Sweetie Bell leaned in conspiratorially, “Dad loved cheering mom on, he even made outfits for each of us in mom’s team’s colors. Rarity paid more attention to the sewing than the game, and I liked listening to the band more.”
  1433. “That’s pretty cool, and it’s nice that your mom doesn’t try to force you to be a carbon copy of her."
  1434. >”Oh yeah definitely,” Sweetie Bell agreed before eyeing your wings, “Say do you think I could-”
  1435. “Touch my wings? Sure, just be-” A small squawk escaped you as her fingers latched onto your wing.
  1436. >Releasing you, Sweetie Bell jerked her hands back, “Sorry! Are you okay? I didn’t think it would be that bad!”
  1437. “It’s fine, it’s fine, just don't grab my feathers, stroke them if you want to touch them. Why are you so interested in my wings anyway?”
  1438. >“You’re a talking magical pegasus, it’s pretty much every girl's dream horse! I have to ask, can I ride you?”
  1439. >Before you’ve had a chance to respond, Sweetie Bell knelt holding her hands together.
  1440. >“Please, oh please, I’ll do anything to try! It’s for all girlkind, please?”
  1441. “Have you ever even ridden a pony? Or a horse, or have any experience?”
  1442. >”W-well not specifically, but I rode on Mom’s bike while she drove, that’s close enough right?”
  1443. “I don't think so, are you sure about this? You could fall and get hurt!”
  1444. >”I’ve never been more sure in my life than I am right now.”
  1445. >Damn it, those big doe eyes are going to get you in trouble. You  shook your head in resignation, “Fine.”
  1446. >Sweetie Bell pumped her fist in victory with an excited, “Yes!”
  1447. “However!” You stomped a hoof on the stone path with a definite clack, “You are going to be wearing a helmet and all the pads needed for driving on a motorbike! Understand?”
  1448. >”Yes Sir!” Sweetie Belle snapped off a salute before rushing towards the house, “I’ll be right back!”
  1449. >You waited in the backyard patiently watching a few clouds pass by, feeling like it might be a light drizzle in the evening.
  1450. >You blinked, wondering how you knew that.
  1451. >Shaking off the odd sensation, you heard more than saw Sweetie Belle return, pads strapped to her knees and elbows while a motorcycle helmet bounced off her hip.
  1452. >Exiting the house, Sweetie Belle skidded to a stop before you and saluted again, “Ready to fly sir!”
  1453. >You can’t help but make a small snicker at how serious the girl was treating this, prompting her to grin at you in reply.
  1454. “At ease there, private. Go ahead and get suited up, Then we’ll see how terrible this idea is.”
  1455. >Sweetie Belle slammed her helmet on before you could even finish and approached you with an uncanny glint in her eye that reminded you of Rarity.
  1456. >You may have made a mistake.
  1457. >You braced yourself as Sweetie Belle put her hands on your back, then swung her leg over your barrel.
  1458. “Slide back some, your knees are a bit too close to my wings.”
  1459. >”Sorry,” Sweetie scooted back, gripping your sides with her knees.
  1460. >“How’s that?”
  1461. >A few practice flaps from your wings and you nodded in satisfaction.
  1462. “Better, now remember to use your knees to hold on, and you can grab the mane. Only if you need to, that’ll hurt if you tug too hard.”
  1463. >”You know if we found some rope-”
  1464. “I’m not wearing a bridle.”
  1465. >”Alright, just saying it’s an option.”
  1466. You twist your neck and settle your hooves on the grass, “Just focus on not falling off alright?”
  1467. >”Yep, so let’s take off!”
  1468. “That’s not happening.”
  1469. >Sweetie Belle jerked on your back in shock, “What? Why?!”
  1470. “We’ll do a few laps around the yard, get you used to my gait.”
  1471. >”What about flying?”
  1472. “We’ll see.”
  1473. >You faintly heard Sweetie Belle mumble something very unflattering about your answer, but let it go.
  1474. >Starting with a light canter, you felt Sweetie Belle’s breath hitch and her knees turned into a vice.
  1475. “Relax Sweetie Belle, you're going to squeeze the life out of me.”
  1476. >”It’s not like I’m Applebloom here! Every other step feels like I’m going to fall!”
  1477. “You’ll be fine, relax your legs and move with me. If you try to hold on like a stone you’re going to skip across the pond.”
  1478. >”What does that even mean?!”
  1479. “I mean you need to flow like water, don’t overthink it, just go with it.”
  1480. >”Easy for you to say, you’re not the one up a full ten feet off the ground…”
  1481. “It’ll be easier the faster we go, so let’s try it!”
  1482. >”W-wait!”
  1483. >Too late, you were already moving from a canter to a trot, and even with the added difficulty of Sweetie Belle squeezing you tight, you managed a respectable clip.
  1484. >”Crap, crap, crap, crap, Anon I’m slipping!”
  1485. “You’re not slipping, just go with the flow.”
  1486. >The urge to run faster was taunting you, begging you to really beat hooves down the path, but you were mindful of your passenger who was still holding tight.
  1487. >”That doesn’t HELP me Anon!”
  1488. “Oh for, rock your hips!”
  1489. >At the sudden shift in the tone you felt Sweetie Belle follow through on your advice, the gait you’d been forcing through smoothed into a consistent run.
  1490. >”Wha- what the heck? Was it really that easy?”
  1491. “Always has been you goof, now let’s try a gallop!”
  1492. >Small hands turned into fists in your mane at your words, “A gallop?!”
  1493. >Laughing, you poured on the speed, feeling the liberating rush of wind going past you while Sweetie Belle screamed.
  1494. >The scream of fear turned to delight as you felt the girl continuing to move with you.
  1495. >Grinning, you do a few more laps before going through a cool-down lap to recover.
  1496. >”Anon! That! Was! So! COOL!” Sweetie Belle shouted with glee as she leaned forward to be in your sight, the little window on her helmet pulled up to show her sparkling green eyes.
  1497. >”Do you think we can try flying now? Can we? Can we?!”
  1498.  Adrenaline pumping in your veins you snort before nodding, “Sure, we can try. Just remember-”
  1499. >”Go with the flow! Got it!” Sweetie Belle finished and reached up to clip her visor down.
  1500. >With that brief reprieve over, you went back to a run with wings spread to catch the air, one flap, two, then air time!
  1501. >For all of a second, your hooves slapped into the ground causing you to nicker in disgust, you’ve done this before!
  1502. >Pouring on more speed, you tried again, only reaching a few feet in the air before dipping down again.
  1503. >You turned away from the hedge wall, having run out of runway.
  1504. >Ruminating on why you can’t seem to get up, you heard Sweetie Belle ask, “Are you sure we can do this, we're a bit on the heavier side with me on.”
  1505. “Are you calling me fat?” You asked in a teasing tone, walking back to the house to try again.
  1506. >”I’d never say that, but if I could make a suggestion, maybe eat a few more carrots instead of oats…” Sweetie Belle trailed off tellingly.
  1507. “I could say the same to you, miss marshmallow. Tell you what we can do, ask Rainbow Dash or Applejack for an exercise schedule, and see where that takes us.”
  1508. >”N-now hold on, I’ve seen what Scootaloo has to go through under Rainbow Dash, I think I’d die!”
  1509. “It can’t be that b-”
  1510. >RIBBIT.
  1511. >Pausing, you turned towards the loud croak to see a large pair of square orange eyes staring at you with a cold gaze of a simple animal from over the hedge wall.
  1512. >The six-foot-something tall wall, you recalled as you stared back.
  1513. >“Is that a giant toad?” Sweetie Belle asked you softly from behind your head.
  1514. “Yes, yes it is.”
  1515. >The toad released out another bassy ribbit.
  1516. >“What do we do?”
  1517. "I don-WHOA!"
  1518. >You flinched as the toad opened its mouth.
  1519. >Its tongue shot out, but you had already bolted, flapping and straining your wings instinctively
  1520. >"Anon you’re flying!"
  1521. "What?"
  1522. >You started to look down, and immediately wobbled in the air.
  1523. >"Ah! Don’t think about it! Just fly!"
  1524. "Right, righ-SWEET POTATOES!"
  1525. >You jink to the right as the yawning maw of the toad zipped by you and Sweetie Belle.
  1526. >Buffeted by the sudden draft you lose altitude before stabilizing once more, this time a fair distance higher than before.
  1527. >"I never knew toads could jump that high!"
  1528. "Yeah, sweet heavens, that was scary."
  1529. >The fingers in your mane tighten gently, "Thanks Anon, I wasn’t really eager to get eaten by a toad."
  1530. >At that remark you glanced back at the girl unable to see her face with the black visor down.
  1531. “When would you EVER want to be eaten by a toad?!”
  1532. >Yanking her hands back from your mane Sweetie Belle waved her hands back and forth, “Wha-don’t look too deep into it alright?”
  1533. >Despite the situation you can’t stop a small chuckle at Sweetie Belle’s reaction.
  1534. >The girl crossed her arms under her bust turning her head away from you, then her head tilted down to the toad below.
  1535. >”Geeze, besides what do we do now? This seems like magical stuff my sister deals with.”
  1536. “Agreed, don’t know how we can get to her studio though, that thing is waiting for us to come down.”
  1537. >You can see out of the corner of your eye Sweetie Belle waved an arm out to the neighborhood, “We can’t just let it wander off either, people could get hurt!”
  1538. “I know! I know,” You huffed racking your brain for ideas, ‘just let me think.”
  1539. >Nary a moment had passed before Sweetie Bell exclaimed, ”I’ve got an idea!”
  1540. >A sudden chill crawled down your spine in the afternoon sun.
  1541. “What?”
  1542. >”Have you ever gone fishing before?”
  1543.  
  1544. >Snipping the last stitch into the place you released a hearty sigh of relief.
  1545. >Now there was nothing wrong with a good bathrobe for a woman to relax in the comfort of their own home.
  1546. >Even for your standards, as high as they are, the fluff involved in this robe is near too much!
  1547. >Still the customer is always right, hopefully, Anonymous had-
  1548. >THUD
  1549. >Abruptly you turn to the studio door humming to yourself in thought, Anon and Sweetie Bell must be playing with a ball against the studio.
  1550. >You ought to tell Sweetie Belle off, but you’ve already shown such an unladylike display to the poor dear already.
  1551. >No, much better to finally start on that costume, you can already imagine Anonymous sparking in the light as-
  1552. >THUD
  1553. >A strand of your hair falls into your face, meticulously you brush it back into place.
  1554. >Just ignore it Rarity dear you’ve all the time in the worl-
  1555. >THUD
  1556. >Alright, that knocked loose some of your tools an-
  1557. >THUD
  1558. >That.
  1559. >Is.
  1560. >IT!
  1561.  
  1562. Stride outside, slam the door shut, “Sweetie Bell how man-”
  1563. >”CRRRRRROAK!”
  1564. >Crane your head back, and back and even further back to the sun haloing the sheer size of a giant toad in your backyard.
  1565. >There is a giant toad in your backyard.
  1566. >A startlingly familiar toad as you take in the coloration and the alien square pupils that stared you down.
  1567. >Why it reminded you of the very same toad that Aria f-
  1568. >“RARITY RUN!”
  1569. >You duck under the tongue that snapped out to you and squealed in terror.
  1570. “NYAOHOHOHOH!”
  1571. >Run away back towards the safety of the boutique only for the giant SLIMY toad to get in the way with a thunderous thud!
  1572. >“NOT THAT WAY! GO BACK!”
  1573. >Thank you Sweetie Bell for the OH SO HELPFUL COMMENTARY!
  1574. >Dig heels into the ground and skip back from the tongue flick, then the next one, and flee before that HORRID thing can touch you!
  1575. >“RARITY SHIELD NOW!”
  1576. >Shield?
  1577. >WHAT SHI-
  1578. >Oh well now you feel quite silly, you have MAGI-
  1579. >A sticky wad of flesh connects to your arm.
  1580. >You jerk to a sudden stop the abrupt motion causing you to blanch.
  1581. >Then you scream flying through the air into the empty void of the creature's maw!
  1582. >It.
  1583. >Is.
  1584. >STICKY!
  1585. >Driving your heels into the soft palate of the toad you feel more than see the mouth open.
  1586. >Kicking off you erupt from the toad's mouth gasping for breath.
  1587. >Faintly you hear a tinny voice above you while feeling a vicious globule trail down your luscious locks that clung wetly to your scalp.
  1588. >Hesitatingly you reach up to your glorious hair and feel the strands.
  1589. >No longer silky and smooth, destined to ride into the glorious halls of fashion forevermore.
  1590. >Instead a soiled mockery of splatted strands clinging to your skull.
  1591. “My coiffure!”
  1592. >Twisting back your eyes burn with righteous fashionable rage!
  1593. “You AWFUL creature!”
  1594. >Crystal diamonds of white light slammed into the ground around the revolting beast, flicking your hand the shard sweep forward to crash against the spongy flesh.
  1595. >You nearly lose your concentration as the toad gulps suddenly, yet you would not be denied!
  1596. >“Take your punishment you rotten reptile!”
  1597. >Struggling as you are you can just tilt the shards of your crystals for their sharp edge to gleam in the evening light.
  1598. >Clenching your hand the diamonds flew forward only for the horrid beast to leap over the shards!
  1599. >“Rarity!”
  1600. >Vertigo has you nearly pass out from the jerking leap before your head snapped back.
  1601. >A cream-colored hand is held outstretched to you, “Grab my hand!”
  1602. >Clasping hands you hold tightly as your legs are near torn from their sockets, before a sickening plop of slime echoed out.
  1603. >Trailing slime below you hold for dear life with one hand, the other slashed out at the toad.
  1604. >A surprised croak is your reward as diamond after diamond hammers home into the horrible beast pinning it to the ground like a butterfly in Auntie Jitterbug’s collection!
  1605.  
  1606. “Load too heavy brace yourselves, ladies!”
  1607. >”Wait! We’re going too fast”
  1608. >”Not to worry Darlings!” Rarity said before a diamond appeared beneath her feet that began to lift her up.
  1609. >With the sudden loss of deadweight you're able to recover your flight if barely coming down into a heavy-handed gallop that had you frothing from the effort.
  1610. >”Ew, Anon remind me to get you a saddle or something you’ve soaked through my pants with your sweat!” Sweetie Belle grumbled as she slid off you to land on the ground.
  1611. “Yeah, I’ll just put that on the list.”
  1612. >”The list?”
  1613. “Yeah the list of shit I’m not going to bother with.”
  1614. >”Hey!”
  1615. >”Darlings, enough. Can either of you explain why of all things on this good earth there was a giant toad in our backyard?”
  1616. >At the question posed you and Sweetie Belle glanced at each other.
  1617. >You both shrugged in unison.
  1618. “We thought you might know since it seemed like more magical shenanigans afoot.”
  1619. >”Yeah,” Sweetie Belle added before glancing at the toad behind Rarity with a grimace, “Is it- is it dead?”
  1620.  
  1621. “Looks like it to me, are you two okay?”
  1622. >”I am most certainly not okay!” Rarity said, flicking the globules of slime off her person with a wet splat on the pavement.
  1623. >”Fine, I’m fine at least.” Sweetie Belle replied, quietly holding onto her arm with a free hand.
  1624. >Definitely not fine by your reckoning, but that’ll have to wait; for now, you need to make sure this place is safe.
  1625. Safer, you amend mentally, glancing at the toad, “Rarity we need to call the girls, do you think we could get them all here?”
  1626. >”I would love to Darling, but-” Rarity glanced at her sister and wrapped her arm around the smaller girl, “I think I’d rather keep Sweetie Belle some company.”
  1627. >Sweetie Belle shrugged her sister’s arm off then turned to glare at Rarity, “Rarity! I’m a big girl, I can handle this!”
  1628. “You’re shaking awfully hard for someone that’s fine.” You pointed to her shaking hands.
  1629. >Surprise crossed Sweetie Belle’s face as she glanced down and curled her hands into fists, “I’m- that was just the adrenaline, I’m” the girl choked back a sob as her eyes teared up, “I’m fine!”
  1630. >”Sweetie Belle.” Rarity cooed, then swept her sister up in a hug. A moment passed, and Rarity spared a hand to wave you in.
  1631. >You fidgeted in place, unsure about intruding on an intimate moment between the sisters.
  1632.  
  1633. >Rarity glared at you.
  1634. >Nervously, you trot over and small white arms wrapped around your head, bringing you into a warm embrace.
  1635. >You felt the top of your mane get nuzzled by the sniffling girl
  1636. > You stood stock still.
  1637. >Something about not having full field of vision is making your tiny horse brain freaking the fuck out.
  1638. >You suppress the urge to kick, your job is to cuddle and comfort poor, trembling Sweetie Belle.
  1639. >After holding the hug for a few moments, she seems better
  1640. >She’s certainly not hiccuping from holding back her crying anymore.
  1641. >Right, you need something to distract the preteen from the amphibian homicide she participated in.
  1642. > Booze is good for that, right?
  1643. >Then again, she is a kid, so instead-
  1644. “What do you say to watching a movie?”
  1645. >Rarity blinked as did Sweetie Belle as they both looked down at you.
  1646. >Damn it, you messed up again didn’t you?
  1647. >”Why that sounds lovely Anonymous, since it is rather late, we could even make it a slumber party. How does that sound, Sweetie Belle?”
  1648. >”I know what you guys are doing,” Sweetie Belle scrubbed at her eyes leaving them red from the tears, “but I won’t say no to it. I think you forgot something though.”
  1649. >Sweetie Belle nodded towards the corpse, “What’re we going to do with that?”
  1650. >A faint breeze picked up at the question, and Rarity began to fret, “Oh drat, oh fiddlesticks! You’re right Sweetie Belle, oh no, what are we going to tell our parents?”
  1651. >”We? This is magical stuff, it falls in your ballpark, sis.”
  1652. >”Sweetie Belle! I need solutions, not commentary!”
  1653. >”Why not throw a tarp over it?”
  1654. >”Throw a- Sweetie Belle it’s not like I can just pretend it’s some fashion piece using a dead toad!”
  1655. “We could haul it back into the woods, let nature take its course.” You offered. The two snapped their frustrated gaze towards you, and you held your wings up in surrender
  1656. >”We can’t just do that,” Sweetie Belle said while fidgeting, “I mean, it’d be really disrespectful to just leave him out like that wouldn’t it? Can’t we bury him?”
  1657. >”Sweetie Belle this horrid creature tried to eat you, it /ruined/ my coiffure, and no doubt stressed poor Anonymous as well.”
  1658. >”I know, it’s just… it feels like the right thing to do. Applejack had said that you’ve got to respect nature when she took us all camping that one time, and well-”
  1659. “It’d be returning it to nature,” You finished before nodding, “And this way it won't attract tons of scavengers.  The problem is, how are we going to move the tons of dirt needed to make a hole big enough for this thing?”
  1660. >At your question, Sweetie Belle turned to look at Rarity, who blanched and crossed her arms in an X, “Oh no, we shan’t be using my glamorous diamonds for something as plebeian as a gravedigger’s shovel!”
  1661.  
  1662.  
  1663. “Just a bit more Rarity!”
  1664. >”Come on Sis you can do it!”
  1665. >You watched as Rarity trudged up the small incline with the giant toad behind her, the diamonds assembled into a crude sled, leaving long furrows of torn earth in its wake.
  1666. >Following after the sled, you kicked over the torn up dirt and hid your trail as best you can.
  1667. >”Big adventure they said, tons of fun they said, they never mentioned anything about this travesty!” Rarity muttered under her breath.
  1668. >Quickly checking the route back, you could see the house was out of sight.
  1669. >You spat out the branch you’d been using to help hide your tracks.
  1670. >Rarity no doubt was already in a foul mood, so maybe you could fix that with a little bit of help.
  1671. >You passed Rarity on the way up to Sweetie Belle, “Just a bit longer Rarity, you’re already out of sight of the house.”
  1672. >”That’s wonderful Darling,” Rarity paused to swipe her limp bangs from her face with a glowing hand, “I am going to use the whole tank of hot water when we get back, first thing.”
  1673. “You’ll deserve it  that’s for sure. I’m going to check in with Sweetie Belle.”
  1674. >Nodding, Rarity turned back to the sled and, with a gesture, began her slow crawl once more.
  1675. >”Hey Mister Anon, what’s up?” Sweetie Belle asked as you approached.
  1676. “We’re out of sight of the house, so we’ll find a spot soon. Do you think you could whip something up for your sister to eat while I help her dig? She sounds like she’ll be starving when we get done.”
  1677. >”Really? I mean I’d love to, but Rarity never lets me for some reason, but if you say so Mister Anon!”
  1678. >Instantly you felt your fur stand on end, your wings flaring out and startling the preteen.
  1679. >”Is something the matter?”
  1680. >You have no clue, but whatever the hell would trigger that response was worse than the toad--
  1681. >Wait-
  1682. >Cooking, Sweetie Belle, those don’t sound like they mixed.
  1683. “I...I think it might be better if I make something instead?”
  1684. >Abruptly, the tension left  your frame, leaving you very confused.
  1685. >Why were you reminded of the taste of ashes?
  1686. >Odd.
  1687. >”Oh, well Momma always said that boys were better at cooking, she loved all of Dad’s snacks when the game was on. I’ll help Rarity find a good spot and we’ll see you in a bit?”
  1688. “Ah, yeah. I’ll get on that, I think I can manage.”
  1689. >You turned away from Sweetie Belle and made tracks towards the house, ideas bouncing around in your head about what to make.
  1690. >Could go with some comfort food, good ol’ fashioned grilled cheese and tomato soup with parsley sprinkled in for flavor.
  1691. >It was closer to evening, so something filling perhaps?
  1692. >It’ll depend on what exactly the girls have in their fridge.
  1693. >Once in the kitchen, you nudged open the fridge, momentarily overwhelmed by just how much was in there.
  1694. >You spied a few familiar ingredients: cottage cheese, shredded cheese, tomato sauce, oh there was also some hamburger on the shelf that was set to thaw.
  1695. >Did they have- yes, yes they do have the lasagna noodles!
  1696. >Humming a small ditty to yourself, you began to make the deep dish dinner.
  1697. >You washed your forehooves in the sink, then settled back on your hooves.
  1698. >You paused, looking at your freshly cleaned hooves on the tiled floor.
  1699. “Son of a b-”
  1700. >Grumbling, you wash your hooves again and totter on your hind legs, using the counter to hold the majority of your weight.
  1701. >How is a guy supposed to work like this?!
  1702. >Bouncing from counter top to counter top you carefully start the meat sauce using a clever combination between your hooves and mouth to stir.
  1703. >Leaning back with a spoon in mouth you set it aside working the kinks out, how the hell does Pinkie bake like this?
  1704. >Sauce done you heft the pot for the noodles, rather heavy this thing.
  1705. >You run into a problem when you reach the sink, how heavy is this thing going to be when it’s full of water? Never mind wet noodles that need to be drained!
  1706. >A few moments thinking on the problem when your wings itched something fierce.
  1707. >Absentmindedly bringing up the wing to clean it with your mouth you freeze looking down at the appendage.
  1708. >Oh well, duh.
  1709. >Straining your wings you carefully, oh so carefully hover the full pot of water over to the burner.
  1710. >A few loose papers on the counter top fluttered away in the wake of your hovering, but those couldn’t be that important right?
  1711. >Right!
  1712. >While the noodles start to cook you catch your breath then fiddle with the burner to keep the sauce warm.
  1713. >Checking the oven you find you forgot to pre-set the damn thing, and of course it’s out of your reach.
  1714. >With a little double jump aided by your wings you click the dial into place.
  1715. >Next up is the assembly station for the pan, that was at least easy. Easier you amend as you’re just too short to use these freakishly tall counter tops!
  1716. >Dragging over a stool you climb atop it to check on the noodles as you're not sitting on the counter top like a cat.
  1717. >The noodles burble ominously at you as you peer in, nodding at the progress you make ready for the draining process.
  1718. >Then carefully you bring to bear a pair of oven mitts to fly the pot over to the sink.
  1719. >Easy, easy!
  1720. >A clatter filed the kitchen as the stool you’d used was knocked over by your tail.
  1721. >Eh, it’ll be fine, maybe Rarity won’t notice the small chip on the seat?
  1722. >Setting the pot on the lip of the kitchen you are desperate to wipe your head, but can’t keep a firm grip on the pot.
  1723. >You are NOT going to spill.
  1724. >You got this!
  1725. >Just use the bottom of the pot to tip the whole thing into the colaunder…
  1726. >Squawking your flight is disrupted by the steam lifting you up higher than you’d expected.
  1727. >Bracing for the burn to come you slowly opened your eyes to witness a small puffy cloud of warm steam below you.
  1728. >Your forelegs are buried deep in the white haze and you can still feel the pot.
  1729. >Sticking your head down into the fluffy mass you find the steam coiling into the bottom of your cloud as you hover there with no assistance from your wings.
  1730. >Rainbow Dash back in Equestria used to lay about on clouds all the time, you didn’t think steam counted as a cloud, but then again it is just condensed water vapor.
  1731. >Adjusting your stance atop the cloud you find that it’s like holding onto a bean bag chair, no matter how you move about there is always a bit more escaping your grip.
  1732. >Wait, the noodles!
  1733. >Moving the pot out of the way you float out of the way with a twitch of the wings.
  1734. >You sigh in relief seeing the noodles are in one piece.
  1735. >A check on the sauce with your higher vantage point reassures you that you’ve got some time.
  1736. >Now what can you do with this little steam cloud of yours.
  1737. >Turns out quite a few things, you can hover, go up and down with added wing movements and finally even craft small little shapes out of the mass.
  1738. >The small walls you made seemed to hold for a moment before your hoof penetrates through the doughy mass.
  1739. >You won’t lie, but you panicked just a touch when your limb was caught in the wall.
  1740. >Closing the cabinet door that you bumped into during your panic you winced seeing the small hoof print left on the varnished wood.
  1741. >Where’s a rag, maybe that can fix it.
  1742. >Wait what’s burning?
  1743. >YOUR SAUCE!
  1744. >Clicking the dial off you moved the saucepan and scrunched at the smell coming from the pan.
  1745. >Maybe a few parts started to burn, some fishing of the more burnt pieces out, you out of habit popped one of the least burnt morsels in your mouth.
  1746. >Your tongue recoils at the greasy texture.
  1747. >Freezing at the taste you roll the meat around slowly becoming accustomed as you chew.
  1748. >It’s hamburger, it tastes like hamburger, but is there always this much iron?
  1749. >Swallowing it down your stomach roiled about when it finally settled down.
  1750. >You took the time to slowly assemble the dish then park it in the oven.
  1751. >Just a few minutes and-
  1752. >Wow.
  1753. >There are dishes strewn about, emptied cans of sauce, small spills that splatter on the counter top.
  1754. >You did a number on this place.
  1755. >Head hanging low you start to clean up.
  1756.  
  1757. >It’s when you hear the doors slam open do you find that you’d dozed off while buried in the soapy suds.
  1758. >”Rarity is that lasagna?”
  1759. >”Anonymous! Darling, I thought you were planning on making a light meal.”
  1760. >With a sharp intake you struggle with wakefulness, “I think he’s pretty tuckered out, Rarity. Maybe we can serve dinner and get him to bed?”
  1761. >Rubbing at your eyes you hear more than see Rarity sighing, “Oh very well, a quick wash of the hands then supper. Anonymous can you make it to the table?”
  1762. “I’m awake, I’m awake, I can help.”
  1763. >”Mister Anon, you’re really tired just let us take care of you for a bit alright?”
  1764. >The idea of sitting down was mighty appealing to you.
  1765. “I suppose I could…”
  1766. >”Wonderful, Sweetie Belle do you think-”
  1767. >”Already on it Sis,” You stiffened when the alarm went off, “You got the food right?”
  1768. >”Of course, of course.”
  1769. >You’re led more than guided to the table and you rest your head on the cool wood.
  1770. >Clicks and clacks of ceramic on wood surround you and the heavenly smell of fresh lasagna makes you smile fondly.
  1771. >”Here Mister Anon, think you can eat some?”
  1772. >Bleary eyed you mumbled an assent and began to tuck in.
  1773. >”My Anonymous, you are quite the cook!” Rarity exclaimed after a few bites.
  1774. >”No kidding!” Sweetie Belle dug voraciously into the layered mound of pasta, “This is almost as good as Dad’s!”
  1775. “Only almost?”
  1776. >”Well, between you and me, it’s more like a tie.”
  1777. “I’ll keep it quiet then, what’s the plan for the movie?”
  1778. >”The Princess Bride!” Rarity announced with a smug grin.
  1779. >”Oh my- Rarity we’ve watched so many times.”
  1780. >”Oh, but it’s so dashing with the costume design. The rugged looks of the Prince in danger while the ever so skilled Bandit Princess would not be waylaid by the ne'er-do-wells that crooked woman sent her way!”
  1781. >”You just like it because the prince in it is dressed in that doublet.”
  1782. >”I do not!”
  1783. “Is it that bad?”
  1784. >”You haven’t?”
  1785. >”You haven’t!?”
  1786. >You blinked at the duo staring at you, one in mild shock the other looking outraged on your behalf.
  1787. >”I guess we can watch it, I didn’t realize Anon was this uncultured.”
  1788. >That’s a bit rude to say there, Sweetie Belle.
  1789. >”Oh this’ll be just grand.”
  1790. >Soon dinner was completed, the dishes set to soak while you sat next to Sweetie Belle as you both waited for Rarity to return from the shower.
  1791. >”Hey Mister Anon?”
  1792. “Hm?”
  1793. >Sweetie Belle rubbed at her arm nervously, “I wanted to say thanks.”
  1794. “For what?”
  1795. >”Tons of stuff, but I guess for grounding me out. With the toad I mean.”
  1796. “Don’t worry about it, dealing with that for the first time is rough on anyone.”
  1797. >”What did you do? For your first time I mean.”
  1798. “I had hit a deer on my way home, it was...not pretty. Poor thing was still alive, but-”
  1799. >”I get it!” Sweetie Belle exclaimed looking faintly green.
  1800.  
  1801. >”Fear not Darlings, for I have arrived!~” Rarity sang out dressed in her pajamas while her hair was still up in a towel.
  1802. >”Sweetie Belle you look ill, are you alright?”
  1803. >”I’m fine, Rarity, just some gross stories is all.”
  1804. >A scrunch of distaste crossed the woman’s face at that, “Eugh.”
  1805. “My bad on that, so what’s with this Prince’s Bride?”
  1806. >At the segue both girls began to animatedly start to talk about it even as the film began to start.
  1807. >You can feel your eyes start to drift lulled by the film’s narration.
  1808. >The sisters had laid down beside you with their commentary dragging you ever faster to dreams.
  1809. >Swaddled in blankets, beset on both sides with warm bodies, and the white noise of the film?
  1810. >You had no chance.
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