GREEN   70    10713   59.75 KB

Game Night 05: Anon Game Night (Part 1)

By twilightgamenight
Created: 18th December 2020 09:40:56 PM

  1. "So... Twilight..."
  2. >She looks up from her book - Dragons of Winter Night. You've got to find out how Pinkie Pie is getting these.
  3. >"Yes?"
  4. "Remember when we ran into Cheerilee at the market?"
  5. >"Yes..." She almost frowns at that. Almost, not quite.
  6. "I saw her again, while I was out today."
  7. >There it goes, the corners of her mouth starting to drag downward.
  8. >"And she wants to know if you can play in her game this week?"
  9. >You never did get back to your friend about her invitation. Things have been kind of... hectic. Messy. Fun.
  10. "Kind of. Actually, she heard about *your* game."
  11. >Twilight's eyes light up, her frown disappears.
  12. >"And she wants me to run a campaign for her?" your little princess all-but shouts with joy.
  13. "Actually..."
  14. >You don't know how to say this without getting smacked.
  15. "She asked me to run something."
  16. >You flinch away from Twilight, covering your head with your arms. It's not that she has a temper or anything - you're not worried about ending up on COPS! EQUESTRIA! or whatever they have here. But she can be a bit of a control fr-
  17. >"Sounds fun," she smiles at you. "What do you think you will run?"
  18. "That... depends. There's a system I really liked, and I have all the books on The Device..."
  19. >She bolts upright, standing on her chair, eyes wide open.
  20. >"There are books on The Device?" She looks hurt, like you've been keeping secret treasures hidden from her. Hell, from her point of view you guess you have.
  21. "Is there any way you could copy them?"
  22. >You wave your hand around in the air like it's holding a wand.
  23. "You know, magic them out of there?"
  24. >"I... hrmmm..." She puts a hoof to her chin, deep in thought. "Maybe. I'll have to do some research..."
  25. "But it's possible?"
  26. >"I think so. A standard text duplication spell should be able to copy the information into a blank book." She gives you a weak smile. "Maybe."
  27. "Think you can give it a try?"
  28. >She puts a hoof on your arm.
  29. >"For you, anything."
  30. "Game night is tomorrow."
  31. >She pulls her hoof back sharply.
  32. >"That's pushing it."
  33. "I thought you said 'anything'..."
  34. >"And I thought you said you loved me. But apparently..."
  35. "You can play!"
  36. >"And that's incentive because...?" She looks at you curiously.
  37. "Because you can play a librarian!"
  38. >"I'm in."
  39.  
  40. >That went easier than you expected, though you have been exiled from the library while Twilight works.
  41. >You lean back in the couch, reading yet another of Twilight's Burrows and Basilisks novels - they're not bad. Not great, but... you know.
  42. >Taptaptap.
  43. >Huh, wind must be blowing harder than you thought out there. You look over to the window - no, the trees are standing perfectly still. It wasn't them hitting anything...
  44. >Eh, must be imagining it. You go back to reading.
  45. >Taptaptap.
  46. >Okaaaaaaay, you weren't imagining it. You look around the room, but see nothing. It couldn't be someone at the door... right?
  47. >Taptaptap.
  48. >"Oh Twilight? Twilight Sparkle? Are you home?"
  49. >Craaaaaaaaaaaaap. You bolt out of the couch, running for the front door.
  50. >"Anon?"
  51. >The visitor barely whispers your name, but you still hear it through the door. You reach for the handle and pull the door open.
  52. >"Anon? Are you -" Fluttershy's sad eyes pop open wide and she blushes as she sees you. "Oh, hello Anon." She ducks her head. "I guess they weren't just rumors..."
  53. >She takes a few steps backwards, like she's trying to leave.
  54. >Oh god damn it Fluttershy.
  55. "Come here, get in here."
  56. >You wave her inside, knowing she would never step hoof inside unless you insisted. She hesitantly takes her first step inside.
  57. "See? It doesn't bite."
  58. >Fluttershy gives you a slight smile, like she doesn't believe you but she's willing to pretend. Her second hoof crosses the threshold. She hesitates again.
  59. >With a sigh, you drop to one knee.
  60. "It's okay..."
  61. >Her eyes dart from side to side, like she's looking for a trap. Oh, such a silly pony.
  62. >It's in plain sight.
  63. >You tackle her as she lifts her hoof for the next step.
  64. >Fluttershy rolls over as she falls, hooves flailing wildly in the air.
  65. >"Please don't tickle me!" she screams, as softly as politely as you can imagine someone screaming. Too late. She laughs as your fingers dance over her belly.
  66. >Bampfh.
  67. >You turn just enough to see your marefriend standing behind you.
  68. >"Am I interrupting something?" Twilight asks, mouth drawn in a thin line.
  69. "Yes, I'm tickling Flutt... ooooof."
  70. >While your attention is split, one of Fluttershy's hooves catches you in the chest, knocking you onto your back. Twilight's face looms over you, grinning.
  71. "I might have deserved that..."
  72. >"Oh, I'm sorry!" Fluttershy rights herself, looking at you with concern. "Are you okay...?"
  73. >"Yeah, you did," Twilight answers you, ignoring her friend. She dips her head, kissing you gently.
  74. >Fluttershy squeeks, and both of your heads swivel to face her.
  75. >"I knew Applejack couldn't possibly have been lying, but still..." she shuffles her hooves nervously. "So, it's true...?"
  76. "What's true?"
  77. >"That we're dating?"
  78. "That we're basically living together?"
  79. >"That we're -"
  80. "She doesn't need to know that."
  81. >"You don't need to know that."
  82. >"I don't want to know that!" Fluttershy yells, shaking her head.
  83. "But yes, Flutterbutter. Whatever you've heard, yes."
  84. >"Oh!" Her eyes light up. "So everyone *did* have fun?"
  85. "Okay, maybe I should have clarified things. I'm only sleeping -"
  86. >"DATING!"
  87. "- dating one mare -"
  88. >"I MEANT THE GAME!" Fluttershy screams in panic.
  89. "Oh. Yeah. Everyone had fun with that."
  90. >You look to Twilight for confirmation.
  91. "I think..."
  92. >"Mhm." Your little princess nods in agreement. "It was great. Can't wait for the next session."
  93. >Fluttershy exhales in relief - you suspect she was holding that breath to power her next desperate scream.
  94. >"Speaking of the next session..." she softly hints.
  95. >"Yes, Fluttershy, Twilight smiles. "We would love to have you back."
  96. >"Really...?" the pegasus' eyes sparkle with excitement. "When is the next -"
  97. >"Not for three weeks," Twilight answers, anticipating the question.
  98. >"Oh." Fluttershy's head drops.
  99. >From your vantage point on the floor, you can see the disappointment on her face. As fun as she is to tease, you do hate to see her sad.
  100. "Hey."
  101. >She tilts her head up slightly, just enough to see you through her pink mane.
  102. "I've got a thing tomorrow night, if you're free."
  103. >Her ears perk up in interest.
  104. "It's just a one-shot, but you might like it..."
  105. >Watching her try to roleplay this will be worth all the hassle.
  106. >"Burrows and Basilisks?" she asks hopefully.
  107. "No. Deathwatch."
  108. >She cringes.
  109. >"That..." she hesitates for a second, trying to think of a nice way to say it "... that doesn't sound very nice..."
  110. "It's a great game."
  111. >"...I don't know..."
  112. "Your character can have a pet wolf..."
  113. >You wiggle your eyebrows at her in a manner *most* convincing.
  114. >"Okay."
  115. >It might have been the wolf that convinced her, but you're pretty sure it's the eyebrows. Forget friendship - *these* things are magic.
  116. >"Well, actually Anon..." Twilight shuffles her hooves around nervously. "I think Fluttershy might be right. I read a little bit of it..."
  117. >Translation - she read all of it.
  118. >"... and it really doesn't sound like a nice setting." She grimaces at you. "To start with... you play a fanatical super-soldier designed purely for killing anything and everything that is even the slightest bit different. Your country is engaged in not just one but multiple xenocidal military crusades run by fools, madmen or both. You give unlimited power to omnicidal maniacs and then praise them when they start blowing up planets! PLANETS! Every species is doomed, there are no good guys, and your galaxy faces invasion by what I can only assume are galactic parasprites! And your god - who by the way sounds like he as a horrible person - is dead. Why would you ever want to play this?"
  119. >You reach up to her from the floor, wrapping both of your arms around her neck.
  120. "Twilight, I love you, I really do."
  121. >You pause for a second as she smiles down at you.
  122. "But you're talking heresy."
  123. >She rolls her eyes and pulls free of you.
  124. >"Don't even get me started on that," Twilight scoffs. "I don't even know how many times I read that word, and almost every single time it was used wrong! Usually it was talking about *blasphemy*!"
  125. "Careful Twilight, you're straying into double heresy territory."
  126. >Out of the corner of your eye, you see Fluttershy trying to sneak off - you need to do something to convince the two or you'll be stuck running another B&B game.
  127. "And I thought you liked tragic stories."
  128. >"What does that have to do with this?"
  129. "The darker the setting, the brighter the heroes."
  130. >Your marefriend remains obviously unconvinced.
  131. "Humanity is beset on all sides by the heretic, the alien and the daemon. Would you leave them undefended?"
  132. >"Ugh..." she groans. "It just takes itself too seriously. OH NO DOOM." She exaggeratedly rattles her head around.
  133. "That's kind of the appeal of it..."
  134. >You hesitate for a second, trying to think of a good example.
  135. "Remember... remember when Pinkie Pie tried dual-wielding touch spells?"
  136. >She nods, still looking skeptical.
  137. "You thought it was kind of badass, right?"
  138. >"Well of course. Because it was."
  139. "That's what a game of Deathwatch is when it's played right - a long string of badass deeds, one after another, set against the darkest backdrop possible."
  140. >Twilight snorts derisively.
  141. >"Wouldn't that get boring in the long term?" She holds her forehooves up in mock terror. "OH NO YET ANOTHER UNDEFEATABLE BEAST I ROLL TO PUNCH GIVE ME XP."
  142. >Even Fluttershy giggles at that. Well, at least she's not terrified anymore.
  143. "Yes, but... this is a one-shot game. There is no long term."
  144. >You give her a sly smile, made not very convincing by your position prone on the floor.
  145. "Surely you can't get bored in a single night, can you?"
  146. >"Well... I guess I can give it a try." She leans down and nuzzles your face. "But you owe me."
  147. "I'm sure you'll think of something soon. What about you, Fluttershy?"
  148. >She ducks back, embarrassed to be the center of attention while you and Twilight are being... affectionate.
  149. >"Well, I guess I could give it a try..." she tells you, though she still looks concerned. "There are healers, right...? I don't *want* to play an omnicidal maniac."
  150. "Oh yeah, there are several healer classes to choose from."
  151. >"I guess... I guess I could give it a try." She tries to smile at you through her mane.
  152. "Don't give me that look..."
  153. >"Sorry..." She hides her face behind a foreleg.
  154. "You'll enjoy it, I promise. You too, Twi. Though..."
  155. >"Though...?" she looks at you questioningly, putting a hoof on your chest.
  156. "I did tell you who's in the group, right?"
  157. >"Well, Cheerilee I know. And I assume Lyra, since she's always looking for an excuse to hang out with you." She pauses for a second. "That mare gives me the creeps," she adds with a slight shiver.
  158. "Me too."
  159. >"I think she's nice..." Oh, Fluttershy is still here.
  160. "Also Berry Punch. And..."
  161. >You brace for impact.
  162. "... Trixie."
  163. >"You're going to let that... that..." Twilight stumbles around, searching for the right word. "... that HERETIC play?"
  164. >You can't help but laugh at her choice of insult.
  165. "Are you sure that's the right word?"
  166. >"Hey!" She stomps lightly on your chest. "You're the one telling me I should stop swearing!"
  167. >Giggling. Fluttershy is giggling at you. Well, now that you've hit rock bottom...
  168. >"Besides, it seems like a nice catch-all... even if it's used wrong."
  169. >Great, now she's going to be going down mainstreet yelling "Heretic!" over and over, every time someone gets in her way or looks at you wrong. You feel so proud of her. So very, very proud.
  170. "So can you do it?"
  171. >"Play with Trixie?" she replies with a sneer.
  172. "I meant copy the books, but yes - that too."
  173. >She sighs and steps back, off of your chest. "I've already done it."
  174. "The book or Trixie?"
  175. >"Both," she answers slowly. "We kinda... tried her as a replacement for you..."
  176. >That... stings. Right in the pride.
  177. "Even after what she did?"
  178. >You really can't believe your friends had invited her back - not after what happened the first time she played with you. It was the last time - and the last time Twilight Sparkle ever let someone else DM.
  179. >Seriously, who creates her own setting where everything is named after herself?
  180. >She looks away from you, unable to meet your gaze any longer.
  181. >"Trixie really isn't any worse than you..." she says hesitantly, afraid of what you will say.
  182. >"Oh Celestia, did you fuck her too!?"
  183. >"DAMN IT FLUTTERSHY!" Twilight spins sharply, thrusting a hoof at her friend. "WHY WOULD YOU ASK THAT?"
  184. "Well... did you?"
  185. >"NO!" your marefriend roars in frustration.
  186. >Fluttershy squeeks in fear - sometimes you wonder if her coat is actually white and.. well...
  187. "So, how was she?"
  188. >"I told you!" Twilight screams in your face. "I didn't sle-"
  189. "As a player! I meant as a player!"
  190. >You scurry away quickly, hiding behind Fluttershy while your marefriend stands shocked.
  191. >"She wasn't *that* bad..." the pegasus whispers as you pass her.
  192. "Then why didn't she stick around?"
  193. >"Well..." Fluttershy has to think about it for a while - this damn mare can't say a bad thing about anypony, even if it's true. "You know how she is - starts off a little... just a smidgen... forceful every time." Fluttershy shrugs, hoping to lessen the impact of her overly hurtful words.
  194. >You, meanwhile, are trying to figure out just what her vaguely neutral nonsense means, and failing.
  195. "Could you put that in firmer terms?"
  196. >Fluttershy frowns, but she knows that sometimes she has to spell things out for your primitive ape brain.
  197. >"Trixie's always a bitch," Twilight cuts in, waving aside your comments before you can complain about her language."Eventually someone puts her in her place and she acts nice, so we invite her back thinking that she has learned something." Twilight takes a few steps towards you, shakes her head sadly. "But then it happens all over again. Like she's a character in some poorly written book, never showing any development."
  198. >"So... eventually..." Fluttershy turns away in embarrassment "... we stopped inviting her..."
  199. >Well, that explains why Trixie showed up at Cheerilee's two months ago, her faced stained heavily with tears.
  200. >Amongst Ponyville's gaming community, her place has a reputation as a haven for outcast souls - first Berry Punch, then you, and finally Trixie. Others came and went, but you three...
  201. "I don't know why you hate her so much."
  202. >Twilight pulls back again, shocked at your statement.
  203. >"Well, you've played with her - you must know what I mean." Twilight leans forward pleadingly. "You argued with her the most that night. How can you not understand?"
  204. "So she can get a little competitive - no worse than Rainbow Dash."
  205. >"Maybe Trixie acts differently when it's just you around," Fluttershy suggests helpfully, trying to bring peace between the two of you.
  206. >She might have a point - Trixie was far more subdued at Cheerilee's place. She hadn't even hit on you once, unlike when she played with you and Twilight. That was... weird.
  207. >Trixie never displayed any interest in you before or after that night... only...
  208. >Oh.
  209. >This conversation is going to go nowhere nice. You stand, using the table to pull yourself up. With a soft pat on Fluttershy's head - always thank your cover - you begin to walk away, heading up the stairs.
  210. >"Hey, were are you going?" Twilight yells after you. "This isn't over!"
  211. "Yes, it is."
  212. >Her jaw drops as she lets out a pained grunt. Fluttershy whines, trying to pull herself into the background even further. Oh damn it, how could you say that to her?
  213. >You sigh, crossing over to her and kneeling in front of her, your forehead to hers. Well as close as you can manage thanks to that horn of hers.
  214. "I may not like Trixie, but I empathize with her. Enough to call her my friend."
  215. >Twilight's eyes begin to narrow and she tries to take a step back. Tries - you put your arm around her neck, stopping her.
  216. "But she isn't worth our first fight as a couple."
  217. >You run your other hand through her mane comfortingly.
  218. "I didn't sneak around to spend time alone with *her*. I didn't cancel plans with my friends to hang out with *her*. And after the game, I won't be coming home and snuggling up to *her*."
  219. >"You might not be snuggling up to *me* either," she snorts in your ear. Fine. You release her, pushing yourself away from her slightly.
  220. "I can't believe you."
  221. >You really can't - why does she want to fight about this? Why is this such a big deal to her? You stand, taking a step backwards. Twilight must see the confusion and pain in your body language, because her expression softens to one of concern. She instinctively follows, not letting the distance between you grow.
  222. >"Do you know how many chances I've given her?" she asks, trying to understand your position.
  223. >You take another step back.
  224. "That doesn't matter."
  225. >"Why wouldn't it!?"
  226. "Because *she* doesn't matter!"
  227. >Another step.
  228. >Twilight... doesn't follow you this time, rooted to the floor. Her head drops.
  229. >"Do you promise...?"
  230. >You half-turn, still looking back to her.
  231. "Twilight, I promised I would never leave you, but that doesn't mean you have to come with me. Not if you hate it - her - so much."
  232. >"I... I..." she doesn't look up, even as you put your foot on the first step.
  233. "Now come on -"
  234. >Her head comes up fractionally, just enough to see your hands. Not your face - she won't meet your eyes. No matter how long you draw out this pause.
  235. "Come on Twilight."
  236. >You gesture for her to join you - she instinctively takes a step forward.
  237. "I would appreciate it if you could show me where you put the book."
  238. >She takes another hesitant step towards you.
  239. >"Go on, Twilight," Fluttershy encourages. She's still here!? "I can see myself out..."
  240. >She pauses at the door, looking back over her wing to you.
  241. >"Tomorrow night at Cheerilee's, right?" the pegasus asks. "What time should I arrive?"
  242. "Five."
  243. >"I'll be there," Fluttershy tells you with a shy smile. Thank the gods - you don't know if she's just doing this out of pity, but it will make dealing with your marefriend's insecurities easier.
  244. >You pat your thigh as the door shuts, causing Twilight to look up to you - finally meeting your eyes. You gesture upstairs with your head.
  245. "Come on, Twilight."
  246. >She breaks eye contact, but still joins you on the stairs - they are wide enough to allow both of you to ascend side by side.
  247. >Your hand moves outward, patting her head as you climb the stairs.
  248. "We really need to talk about your self-esteem problems."
  249. >"Really, Anon? I have no idea what you're talking about." She tries to step away, but the stairs are too narrow for that. "I don't have self-esteem problems."
  250. >You look down to her. Does she really believe -
  251. >Yes, she does - she does not flinch away from your look, eyes full of conviction.
  252. >No wonder she can't see Trixie's problems - she can't even see her own.
  253. >You reach the landing, hand still on her head. You think long and hard about what to say to her, for her part Twilight seems to consider the matter settled - or not. She jumps away from you with every step you take, flinches at every unexpected moment.
  254. >No, this is far from settled and she knows it.
  255. >You push open the door to the library, holding it for your marefriend.
  256. "So you don't have self-esteem issues?"
  257. >"No." Her voice is flat and dead.
  258. "That's bullshit, Twilight."
  259. >She jumps away from you, eyes full of rage. No, fear.
  260. >"It is not!" She backs up slowly, until her she is pressed up against the far wall.
  261. "Bullshit."
  262. >"I *like* who I am, Anon!" It's definitely fear. She's pretending to be angry, but it's fear.
  263. "Then why are you always so worried that I will leave you?"
  264. >You don't follow Twilight, you don't try to corner her. Instead you sit.
  265. "Why are you so scared all the time?"
  266. >You pat the chair beside you. Her chair.
  267. "Sit. Talk to me. You can't enjoy living this way..."
  268. >She doesn't move.
  269. >"I like myself, Anon," Twilight Sparkle repeats. "I just don't expect anyone else to..."
  270. >She inhales sharply, realizing what she just told you.
  271. >"I'm not... I'm not like *Trixie*!" She yells at you. "I don't expect everyone to like me!"
  272. "She doesn't expect everyone to like her."
  273. >"It's what she does!" Twilight stomps her hooves for emphasis. "She comes in, acting like everyone should worship her!"
  274. "Yes, but she doesn't expect it."
  275. >You pat the chair again.
  276. "But we aren't talking about Trixie. Come here."
  277. >She doesn't move. Gods damn it, why does she get like this!?
  278. "If you don't want to talk about this, you don't have to. But at least come here."
  279. >Twilight shakes her head, pushing herself back against the wall even more.
  280. "At least help me come up with a game for tomorrow night!"
  281. >"No." She shakes her head more vigorously. "No out-of-character knowledge."
  282. "Twilight, you don't have to come."
  283. >You lean back in your chair, holding your head with one hand.
  284. "Fluttershy will be there if that's what you're worried about. Or I can just let Cheerilee know I can't make it."
  285. >Twilight shakes her head again, finally stepping closer.
  286. >"I can't do that to you, I'm the Princess of Friendship," her voice cracks. "I can't keep you away from your friends."
  287. >You look away from her.
  288. "Then just stay home..."
  289. >She takes another step toward you, body low to the floor.
  290. >"No," she looks at you pleadingly. "Don't leave me behind."
  291. "I'll be back - unless you lock me out."
  292. >"No."
  293. >Twilight steps closer, putting her head in your lap.
  294. >"I know you aren't leaving me..." her voice sounds full of tears, but her eyes are dead and dry "... but I don't like being left behind." She closes her eyes like she can't bear to face the world.
  295. "I don't want you to be miserable playing with ponies you hate..."
  296. >"I'd be more miserable without *you*..." her body twitches in response to the emotional pain. "I don't ever want to spend another night alone..."
  297. >You lean over, running the palm of your hand up her neck to her jaw, lifting her head to face you. She opens her eyes, not quite looking into yours.
  298. >"... I am tired of being too scared to live..."
  299. >She smiles slightly.
  300. >"Besides, I can always shoot Trixie's character when no one else is looking, right?"
  301. >You ruffle her mane.
  302. "Max out Deceive with a fellowship build and you could do it while they watch. With a good roll, you should be able to convince them it was suicide."
  303. >She giggles.
  304. >"There's no way..."
  305. "It's only a -40 penalty for blatant lies."
  306. >She raises an eyebrow in disbelief. Oh, right -
  307. "Deathwatch uses a d100 instead of d20s."
  308. >Her eyebrow rises higher.
  309. "I once convinced a squadmate my character wasn't wearing a helmet."
  310. >"And how did that turn out for you?" she asks with a laugh.
  311. "Asshole shot me in the head."
  312. >You grab for her, but are too late to stop your princess from sliding from your lap. She falls to the floor laughing.
  313. "It's not funny! Do you know what I had to go through to stop him from being declared a traitor!"
  314. >"Tell the rest of the party it was an accidental discharge and make the roll?" she asks with a smirk.
  315. "Well, yeah."
  316. >"You're going to have to show me this build," she tells you, grabbing the book from where she had left it earlier and shoving it into your lap.
  317. >Twilight is avoiding the problem, but you were a fool to think you could solve her issues in a single conversation. And it's nice to see her in this kind of playful mood.
  318. "Wouldn't you prefer to have a *real* character?"
  319. >She shoves her way onto your chair - they're built wide for ponies to lay on, so sitting like you she can easily fit. A little tight, not that you mind. You slip your arm around her withers, your forearm and hand dangling down past her shoulder.
  320. >"Probably, but it wouldn't hurt to see." She looks up to you with hopeful eyes, giving the book another nudge.
  321. >You look at it - a single thick hardbound volume. You flip it open, searching through the pages to get an idea what she actually copied. Looks like everything is here - the core book, First Founding, Rites of Battle... oh shit.
  322. "Daemon Hunter Handbook?"
  323. >"It looked relevant..." her lower lip sticks out like she's about to pout at one wrong word.
  324. >You pull her tight against you.
  325. "It is..."
  326. >She smiles in relief.
  327. "But no, you can't play a Grey Knight."
  328. >"Damn." Her horn glows as she brings over several blank sheets of paper and a pen. "Well Anon, let's get started. Tell me more about these librarians..."
  329. >Despite getting supplies to write up a character, at no point does Twilight put pen to paper. All she does is ask questions and rub up against you.
  330. >"So... what level are our characters?"
  331. "How about... rank 4? That should give everyone a good chance to diversify and build the character they want."
  332. >"Mkay..." she looks back into the book, flipping back and forth between two sections. She sighs, shoving it off your lap. It hits the floor with a flat thud. "I need more books."
  333. "Is that even possible?"
  334. >"Oh hah hah." Twilight sticks her tongue out at you. "More blank books. We're going to need another copy or two if everyone is going to build their characters tomorrow night."
  335. >The pony has a point - sharing one copy between the six of you is going to be... stressful.
  336. "So we need to head out and pick up a couple more -"
  337. >"Not we." She gives you a playful nudge with her nose. "I think you can manage on your own."
  338. >After all the hassle you just went through about doing anything without her? Twilight gives you another nudge and you notice her sly smile. That damn mare is up to something... You stand suddenly, Twilight falling over into the chair with a surprised squeak.
  339. >You swirl a hand through her mane, under her face, lifting it up. She looks up to you in shock as you lean over her ominously.
  340. >And kiss the tip of her nose.
  341. "How many do you need, princess?"
  342. >"Three?" Twilight turns in the chair, curling belly up in the warm spot you just vacated. "Four?"
  343. >You didn't know ponies could purr.
  344. "I don't know what you're up to, Twilight, but have fun."
  345. >You kiss her again, this time on the lips.
  346. "I'll be back soon."
  347. >You leave your princess curled up in your chair - she doesn't move, staying in the same position until you leave the room. She's definitely up to something - better hurry and get back before she can hide the evidence.
  348. >A scarf lays draped over the back of the couch - you grab it on your way out. The days have gotten downright cold. Every morning you expect to see fresh snow blanketing the ground, but nothing yet. Probably that damn pegasus weather control holding everything back for Hearth's Warming.
  349. >Your coat - much heavier than the thin jacket you wore just days ago - hangs by the door from a hook. You always meant to put a hook right there at your place, but never managed to get around to it. Didn't take more than a few nights of sleeping here to put one up. Like you knew somewhere deep down that your shack was just a temporary accommodation.
  350. >One last thing - a bag. No way are you going to try to lug books those size through town without one. Luckily you left it hanging one hook over. Your old bag had seen better days - Twilight had picked this up for you yesterday. You never thought that ponies would use messenger bags, but she said it wasn't hard to find one she thought would fit you nicely. The strap had to be lengthened, but that was all. You've rarely seen anypony else using one though, just Derpy really.
  351. >You slip on your coat, flinging the scarf around your neck with a flourish.
  352. "I'm heading out now!"
  353. >You hope she can hear you all the way up in the library.
  354. >"Bring home pizza!" she yells back. Apparently she *could* hear you.
  355. >You can't believe that Minty's Pizza Palace is closer than the bookshop. Then again, it's not like Twilight had much choice in where her castle sprouted up.
  356. >She probably could demand the bookshop move closer, though. Has she ever been tempted to abuse her position? Hmmm.
  357. >The cold wind chills your legs, but your upper body stays warm thanks to your thick coat. It's... refreshing. Invigorating. Incentive to get the damn books and get home where it's not fucking freezing. You shove your hands into your pockets, trying to keep them warm.
  358. >Your steps quicken, the empty bag flopping alongside you in the wind, bouncing with each step you take.
  359. >The wind is sheering apart the clouds, ripping them apart like cotton candy. It has been almost a year since you've seen what real honest weather looks like - these aren't bunched up artificial clouds like the pegasi make.
  360. >At home... you used to get up and watch the sunrise. A marvel of nature - turned to some parlor pony trick in this world. Here, it's the clouds that leave you in wonder. The rise and set of celestial bodies are controlled. Tamed. But the sky? The ponies can believe they mastered it all they want, but sometimes it gets away from them and runs free.
  361. >You start to hum the theme to one of your favorite TV shows - something you will never see again. The thought is almost sad, but the memories will always be with you whenever you look up. Not even Celestia or Luna can take the sky from you.
  362. >You are so lost in your memories that you almost trip over the mint green pony standing in the middle of the street.
  363. >"HANDS!" she yells again, greeting you loudly.
  364. "Oh hey."
  365. >You take a quick step back. Make that two.
  366. "Heya Lyra."
  367. >She rears up, extending one foreleg like she's trying to shake hands. You hesitantly start to pull your hand from its pocket - best to be polite - when your friend's "roommate" stumbles into her, knocking her back.
  368. >"Oh is this that human you've told me so much about?" Bon Bon grabs your hand with both forehooves, shaking vigorously.
  369. >"You've met him before," Lyra answers, stumbling back to her hooves, almost collapsing as one of her ankles gives out. "Gah! Why did you do that!?" She gingerly puts tries to put her weight on that leg again, wincing in pain.
  370. >"What?" Bon Bon's head turns back to the unicorn, face sour. "Oh, so I have. Why don't you go sit over... um... over on that bench while Anon and I have a little chat, then I'll help you home."
  371. >Bon Bon is still shaking your hand - despite your attempts to free yourself - as Lyra limps over to the bench. The earth pony watches her, only looking back to you once her friend has taken a seat.
  372. >She pulls you down, just far enough for her to whisper into your ear.
  373.  
  374. >"If you touch her, I will fucking *gut* you," she hisses, crushing your hand between her hooves.
  375. "I'm not -"
  376. >"Don't tell me that crap again! You can't claim you aren't a horsefucker *now* you lying shit!"
  377. >She gives your arm a jerk, pulling you down closer.
  378. >"That's right. I heard about it." Up until this point, Bon Bon had kept a freakishly cheerful smile plastered on her face, but now with your head hiding hers from Lyra it turns ugly. Creases wrinkle her face as she sneers at you. "Your friend went all around town, letting everyone know that you were 'off limits,' but *I* know what you're up to."
  379. "Friend?"
  380. >Of all the things running through your mind right now, that's what pops out of your mouth? Not "fuck off, you crazy bitch" or "help oh god someone help me." Your priorities are a little messed up.
  381. >"Yeah, the white one. Rarity." Bon Bon snorts. "Some bullshit about a formal courtship. Is she part of your little harem too?"
  382. >"Bon Booooon!"
  383. >The earth pony stops her threats for a second, doubt and guilt shadowing her face.
  384. "Lyra needs you."
  385. >This might be your only chance to get out of this alive. Fucking crazy pony...
  386. "She should probably get ice on that..."
  387. >"You're lucky, shitbag!" She gives you a shove, releasing your hand. Her disturbing smile returns. "Did Anon hurt you, Lyra? Let's get you home and put some ice on that."
  388. >She trots off, giving you one last menacing look over her shoulder.
  389.  
  390. "Hey Lyra! See you at Cheerilee's tomorrow, right?"
  391. >Your friend's cheerful attempt at a thumbs-up makes Bon Bon's apoplectic deathglare worth it. Almost. You'll decide for sure when you wake up tomorrow and check yourself for any new stab wounds.
  392. >You rush onward with unseemly haste. Definitely not trying to escape. Nope. Just trying to finish this errand and get home to your loving marefriend and a warm blanket.
  393. >Alleyways and shadows keep your attention more than the sky now. You can always appreciate the clouds later if you don't get ganked by a crazy overbearing lesbian pony.
  394. >You reach the bookshop unscathed. The door flies open before you can reach for the handle - out come the Cutie Mark Crusades, swept out by a broom.
  395. >"And stay out, until you learn a proper appreciation for books!" The employee slams the door shut in your face - he probably didn't see you, right?
  396. >"Awwwww... " Apple Bloom whines, brushing dust from herself. "We'll never get our cutie marks in book burning or desot... depot..."
  397. >"Despotism," Sweetie Bell corrects, frowning back at the door.
  398. >You stealthily reach down to the inattentive orange filly... stretching out your hand to -
  399. >"GAH!" Scootaloo starts flailing around with her forehooves, driving your hand away. " I *hate* it when you do that!"
  400. "So what were you fillies up to?"
  401. >"Well, Aryanne suggested -"
  402. "Never listen to that pony. Ever. It's a bad idea."
  403. >"Yeah, we figured that out on our own." Apple Bloom sighs sadly. "Well, on to Plan B..."
  404. >"See you, anon," Sweetie Belle waves farewell to you as she trots off after her friend.
  405. >Scootaloo pauses a second longer, until her friends are almost around the corner.
  406. >"It's not like we were going to burn any books with writing in them," she pouts. "That would be a waste..."
  407. >She doesn't stop you this time as you reach down and ruffle her mane.
  408. "Good luck with Plan B."
  409. >"Thanks Anon," she smiles up at you before dashing off after her friends.
  410. >You watch Scootaloo run after her friends - hopefully those fillies find their special talents some day. Just not too soon. With a smile on your face and a song in your heart, you turn back to the door, slowly pulling it open.
  411. >"You damn fillies! I told you..." the shopkeep looks up sharply, stammering to a halt when he realizes who you are. "... that you are always welcome here?"
  412. >That's right, show the human some respect, pony.
  413. >"That wasn't directed at you, sir." He apologetically dips his head in imitation of a bow. "Would never speak that way to my best customer -"
  414. >Damn straight.
  415. >"-customer's amore."
  416. >Fuck this place and every pony in it.
  417. >"So what can I help you with today?"
  418. >You fight back the urge to feed him his own entrails. It's very easy to do, since you've never actually done it to anyone. Also, you don't have a knife. And you'd never have the guts to go through with it. But the thought does flash across your mind, letting you keep that smile you had when you entered.
  419. "I need some blank books."
  420. >The stallion's expression grows hard, and he moves from around the counter, drawing himself up to his full height. It might be more impressive if his full height wasn't just high enough to suck you off.
  421. >Actually, this sonofabitch looks like he has some sharp teeth. You backpeddle slightly - what the hell is with everyone trying to murder you today?
  422. >"This wouldn't happen to be for the trio I just sent running?" he asks coldly. His eyebrows arch angrily, reminding you that unlike horses and ponies back on Earth, these ponies' eyes are to the fore. Predators' eyes. At some point in their evolution, these things killed to survive.
  423. "No."
  424. >You hold your hands up in the omniversal sign of surrender.
  425. "Twilight sent me - she needs some for -"
  426. >He snorts dismissively.
  427. >"Well, follow me then. We'll get you set up with whatever you need," the stallion growls, turning away to lead you through the crowded tables and shelves. "I think those three have been hanging with the wrong crowd. Wanted to burn my books, they did. And they used to be such nice fillies..."
  428. "They still are."
  429. >He looks back over his shoulder, like he wants to argue, but one look at you convinces him otherwise. Every man has his breaking point, and you just reached it for the day. Calm anger settles over you like a cloak and it shows - Twilight has told you about it before, about how you scare even her when your lips curl in a perminant sneer and your voice carries a sharp bite.
  430. "They got some bad advice. It can happen to anypony, can't it?"
  431. >"If they don't have the common sense to -"
  432. "To what? Be old enough to know better? They aren't."
  433. >He has the sense to keep his mouth shut, just leading you to what you need without further talking.
  434. >That's almost more irritating - you want to fight, to take out your frustrations on somepony you don't actually care about.
  435. >You grab four - no - six identical volumes off the table the shopkeep leads you to. No sense making anyone share, when it was so easy for Twilight to duplicate the books. And maybe each pony in your gaming group will go on to run a Deathwatch game with their own group.
  436. >Through His Space Marines, may He conquer this world.
  437. >Even if it is just through a game.
  438. >The shopkeep looks like he wants to ask you to pay -
  439. "Put it on Twilight's tab."
  440. >- he can go to hell. No one gets away with treating Scootaloo like that.
  441. >You briefly consider bumping over a shelf or two, but you are not that mean. Well maybe. Just enough to give Aryanne a brick and tell her what the shopkeep did. Maybe let her know that his attitude seemed a bit... mulish.
  442. >Would that make you an accessory? Hrm. Better look into Equestrian criminal law before doing anything.
  443. >You shove the books into your bag; they barely fit, and you cannot close the clasp. Maybe six was a bit much, but hell if you're going to admit it now.
  444. >Winding your way back through the cluttered store takes no time at all - you leave the disgruntled stallion far behind. The wind catches the door as you push it open, slamming it open with far more force than you intended. A glimmer of guilt starts to form, but no. Everypony thinks of you as some doormat exotic pet. Time for them to learn just how bad an idea it is to underestimate humanity.
  445. >In a completely passive non-violent manner, of course.
  446. >You stride off, leaving the door open, a slight smirk on your face.
  447. >"That wasn't particularly nice..." A light brown stallion trots up beside you - where did he come from?
  448. "I'm not feeling particularly nice."
  449. >Your answer leaves your new companion particularly disatisfied.
  450. >"I don't usually interfere -"
  451. "He was rather impolite to some friends of mine."
  452. >The stallion remains quiet for a second, thinking over what you just said.
  453. >"Did they do something wrong?" he finally asks you.
  454. "They're just children; they didn't know better."
  455. >You truly look over to him for the first time, noting the hour glass cutie mark. Normally you can guess a pony's name by their mark - or at least get close - but your intuition blanks on this one. You notice his sympathetic expression as he nods distractedly.
  456. >"Adults grow wise from childhood mistakes."
  457. >The two of you continue to walk, nowhere in particular. You don't exactly want to lead this strange stallion back home, but after a while, it just gets too odd.
  458. "So, were you headed this direction...?"
  459. >He stops and looks around.
  460. >"No... no, I don't think I was. Were you?"
  461. "Not really."
  462. >"Oh," he shuffles around in a circle, like he has never seen this part of town before. "Well, got a bit lost in thought there."
  463. "You look a bit lost physically."
  464. >"Well, that too." He looks back in your direction. "And what of you?"
  465. "Oh, I've lived in Ponyville for a while now. I'm sure I can find my way home."
  466. >He looks you up and down for a minute.
  467. >"I'm sure you will," he says with a sad smile. The awkwardness is a bit much for you - you look away pretending to find your bearings. You expect the stallion to say something else, to ramble on further or explain himself - but after a minute of silence, you look back to him. Well, to where he was - the stallion has disappeared without another word.
  468. >Weird.
  469. >Weirder than normal.
  470. >Even for a this town's definition of normal.
  471. >With a shrug, you turn home. Enough weirdness, time to get back and see what Twilight was up to. No, just time to get back to Twilight. Luckily, your aimless wandering led you relatively close to the castle. You walk quickly now, each stride full of purpose. Your shoulder is starting to ache from the weight of the books - you shift the strap, trying to make the bag a little more comfortable.
  472. >The castle is in sight. To admit, it's kind of hard to lose track of that eyesore. It's later than you thought, the sun is beginning to set.
  473. >Ugh, the pegasi have already donked up the pretty sky with their lumpy fake clouds. You keep your head down the rest of the way - the wind is picking up again and there's nothing worth looking at anyway.
  474. >You push open the front door, like usual, it is not locked. You knocking absentmindedly once the door is halfway open. There's no response from your princess. Good, maybe you'll catch her by surprise. You shift the bag one more time, swapping shoulders, and head up the stairs. She's probably still in the library. Well, that's where she'll need these books anyway.
  475. >The library door creaks slightly as you slowly push it open. You wince at the noise, but Twilight doesn't call out to you. Did she go out?
  476. >No, there she is, still curled belly up in your chair. The only sign that she has moved is the blanket pulled over her. It's the one from her - your - bed.
  477. >Twilight is reading your iPad - she must have found some of the other books you had on there. You can see why she might try to hide that from you, but it's not as exciting as you had imagined.
  478. >"Welcome home." She doesn't even move her head to greet you, just her eyes - your marefriend is just too comfortable.
  479. >You cross over to her, dropping your bag in her chair.
  480. "Find something you like?"
  481. >"Kind of. It's enthralling, but..." she frowns at your iPad, "this Talos guy sounds like one sick bastard. How is he the hero?"
  482. >You settle into your chair without answering, sitting sideways on the very edge with her belly pressed up against your hip.
  483. >"It is intriguing reading about a villain protagonist," she answers her own question, finally setting down the tablet on the sidetable. "So, pizza?"
  484. "I thought you would still be busy."
  485. >"Oh no, I finished my character a while back."
  486. >Of course that's what Twilight was up to.
  487. "Going to tell me what it is?"
  488. >"Nope!" She tries to wrap her legs around you. "Pizza?"
  489. >You stroke the side of her face.
  490. "I'll go give them a call."
  491. >Phones are still rare in this podunk town, but Minty couldn't offer much of a delivery service if he didn't have one. Twilight made sure to get one installed after she saw how useful phones were in Manehatten, and while she'd prefer to go see a friend in person or just use magic... it certainly comes in handy in certain situations. Like right now, when you don't want to leave your chair, let alone the house.
  492. >Praise the dark gods, it's in this room. You had suggested Twilight have it installed in her study, but she was right when she said she spends more time in the library than her study. Come to think of it, does she even use that room?
  493. >She stays quite while you call and place the order, happy just to be near you.
  494. "It'll be about 25 minutes."
  495. >Minty had said 15, but that his new delivery ponies might be... unreliable. On a related note, you now have a suspicion what the Crusader's Plan B is. With luck, this attempt will work out slightly better than the last. It better.
  496. >You have no idea how pizza delivery can involve racial purity and you really don't want to find out.
  497. "So..."
  498. >You put your hands behind your head and lean back, gently squishing Twilight. She squeals, fidgeting until she is comfortable again, her head and forelegs on your lap.
  499. "Going to give me any hints?"
  500. >"It's a librarian," she teases you.
  501. "I could have guessed that much."
  502. >"Well, it almost wasn't." The corners of her lips twitch as she rests her head on her forelegs. "You described them as basically being..."
  503. "Librarians?"
  504. >"... well, yeah. But when I started reading their rules, they look more like stabby wizards in full-plate."
  505. >You can't help but laugh at her disappointed tone.
  506. "They are *Space Marines*, Twilight. Every class is going to be summed up as stabby something in full plate."
  507. >"Even the Devastator?"
  508. "Stabby archer in full plate."
  509. >"Tactical Marine?"
  510. >You think for a second, before coming up with the proper answer.
  511. "Stabby bards in full plate."
  512. >"Bards!?"
  513. "Well, they are generalists... with access to command and other charisma skills."
  514. >"Okay, makes sense. Assault Marines?"
  515. "Stabby stabbers in full plate."
  516. >She raises an eyebrow at that, but accepts it.
  517. >"Apothecary?"
  518. "Stabby medic in full plate. He even has specialty healing stabby medical equipment."
  519. >"Oh, right, I saw the stats for that... Techmarine?"
  520. "Stabby mechanic in full plate."
  521. >You pause for a second.
  522. "With extra stabbing arms."
  523. >"Ugh..." her head settles further into her arms - legs. It's legs. Been here a year and you still mix up your words when they start acting human. "I'm guessing this means purely combat encounters. Too bad Rainbow Dash isn't playing."
  524. >You pat her head softly.
  525. "No, there will be non-combat encounters."
  526. >You once had a GM that ran each session of Deathwatch as a single massive combat encounter. Dumbass just didn't get it.
  527. "The game will be action-packed, but there will be *many* opportunities that don't involve shooting or stabbing things."
  528. >"Or killing them with my brain?" she stares up at you hopefully.
  529. "Or killing them with your brain."
  530. >You scratch between Twilight's ears and she groans happily. You can feel the vibrations in your lower body.
  531. >"Just try to make it fun for everyone, okay?"
  532. "Of course I will."
  533. >"Good."
  534. >Twilight grunts in sudden displeasure as you try to remove your hand - you continue scratching, noticing her eyes are half-closed.
  535. "Hey, stay awake!"
  536. >You give her a slight shake.
  537. >"No, too comfy," she whines back, squeezing tighter around you.
  538. >You run your hand down the side of her neck, patting her shoulder and giving her another shake.
  539. "The pizza will be here soon. You don't want to eat cold pizza, do you?"
  540. >"You'll wake me up," Twilight answers eyes finally closed.
  541. "What if I fall asleep too? You have to keep me awake."
  542. >Her eyes spring open, flickering between you and the clock.
  543. >"How much time do we have...?"
  544. "Probably... oh... 15 or 20 minutes."
  545. >More like 10, if the fillies do their jobs properly. Assuming the "unreliable" help is who you think it is. Gods help her if Derpy delivers another inside-out pizza.
  546. >"Well then..." a wicked smile slowly grows across your princess's face. "Let's see if that annoying human stamina of yours can be overcome."
  547. "I really don't think now is an appropriate time for this, Twilight."
  548. >Too bad the tightness in your pants says otherwise. Too bad her head is in your lap and she can feel it.
  549. "We should probably go downstairs and wait - hell, I can call Minty back and tell him we're picking it up. I don't want another one of Derpy's abominations."
  550. >"It wasn't so bad," Twilight absentmindedly responds, pulling her head back and eying the tenting of your pants.
  551. "It might even be the Crusaders! You wouldn't want them to see anything inappropriate, right!?"
  552. >"Then we should probably stop wasting time." She undoes the top button of your trousers with her magic, impossibly slow.
  553. >You rebutton them, giving Twilight a stern look.
  554. "It's not that I don't want to, but there really is a time and a place -"
  555. >"We're in my house," she replies, horn lighting up and undoing the button again, swifter this time. "We're alone. And we have more than enough time for any stallion to -"
  556. "AND that's the problem, Twilight. Any stallion. You seem to have forgotten my innate human superiority."
  557. >You grab your iPad, holding it up in front of her face.
  558. "After reading about Space Marines, I have no idea how."
  559. >Her head collapses back onto your lap, her lustful expression replaced with sadness.
  560. >"I just - just thought it would be sexy."
  561. "And obviously so do I."
  562. >You gesture to your crotch - quite possibly the only time you have ever done that without it being wildly inappropriate.
  563. "Not finishing in time, you hopping fully into my lap to hide it, slipping inside of you while you chat with them..."
  564. >Twilight bites her lower lip, her cheeks turning crimson.
  565. "But those fillies have been corrupted enough for one day, I'm not willing to risk any more harm."
  566. >Her eyes twitch towards you, non-verbally asking for explanation.
  567. "You don't want to know. I think I may have pissed somepony off. Two or three, possibly."
  568. >Your marefriend pulls herself out from behind you with a little difficulty, climbing over the sidetable to her chair and shoving your bag to the floor. The view of her plot is... marvelous. Almost enough to make you regret your decision. Aw shit, you do regret your decision, just as you also know it was the right one.
  569. >Twilight circles in the chair to face you and lays down.
  570. >"So are you going to explain?" she asks with a frown. "If you aren't going to... you know, you should at least tell me what happened today."
  571. "well..."
  572. >You tell her about your encounter with the Cutie Mark Crusaders. She winces when you describe your actions towards the shopkeep.
  573. >"You know I'm going to have to apologize to him for you, right?"
  574. "Yeah, I know."
  575. >"And what about that stallion outside? Did you recognize him?"
  576. >You shake your head.
  577. >"What he said was a little ominous, Anon. Let me know if you see him again."
  578. >And as for the third problem...
  579. >"I'm going to have to have a little chat with Aryanne." Twilight facehoofs. "I don't know why I've let her get away with all her... her... fucking HERESY." Well, at least she only swore once. "That mare is going to learn some love and tolerance if I have to fucking *beat* it into her." Okay, twice.
  580. >She sighs, shaking her head to clear away the angry thoughts.
  581. >"I've really let things get out of hand, haven't I?"
  582. >Agree with her, and you say she screwed up. Disagree, and you say she's wrong.
  583. >You do the smart thing and keep your mouth shut.
  584. "I'm afraid so."
  585. >Oh fuck you, mouth. Fuck. You.
  586. >Twilight lifts her head from her hoof, tears beading up in the corners of her eyes. You reach over, wrapping both hands around her hoof.
  587. "It's your first time being a princess. You're bound to a few errors."
  588. >The brown stallion's words come back to you. They seem appropriate.
  589. "Adults grow wise from childhood mistakes."
  590. >"But I'm not a child..." She smiles, however. Your words - that stallion's words - meant something to her.
  591. "But you've learned from this, haven't you?"
  592. >"Twilight blinks at you in surprise.
  593. >"I-I guess so." She huffs unhappily. "I guess I need to spend time with my... subjects. Is that the right word?"
  594. >She's so adorkable when she's worried about using the right words.
  595. >Twilight sighs, looking away.
  596. >"I might have to skip tomorrow night."
  597. "Why? Wouldn't the best way to learn about everyone be to spend time with them? You might as well start with Berry Punch and co."
  598. >"Because they aren't the immediate problem," she answers. "Lyra may be creepy, but she isn't inciting fillies to violence."
  599. >Twilight leaves her chair, grabbing her planner from the writing desk in the corner. She finds the right page and sighs at what she sees there.
  600. "Tomorrow all booked?"
  601. >"Yeah, but it's not all bad." She holds out the planner for you to see, not that her chicken-scratch writing means much to you. "I get to spend some time with Cadence! But it doesn't leave any time for a little chat with Ponyville's resident hatemonger."
  602. "What? We talk all the time!"
  603. >Twilight rolls her eyes.
  604. >"Aryanne."
  605. "Oh, that little filly. I'll take care of her for you."
  606. >"Are you sure...? You aren't an official representative of any Equestrian authority, so I don't-"
  607. "I promised you I would fix *everything*."
  608. >She stops talking, pulling back and giving you a suspicious look.
  609. >"It still freaks me out when you say it like that. So -"
  610. >There's a knock at the front door.
  611.  
  612. "Well, they certainly got here quickly."
  613. >You smile in victory - a sad victory, but victory nonetheless.
  614. "Did you want to eat in here, or...?"
  615. >Twilight shakes her head, climbing off her chair.
  616. >"No, game room."
  617. >It certainly was the most comfortable room in the castle - the dining room too formal, the library too crowded. As she heads downstairs, you grab the Deathwatch rulebook and your iPad - wouldn't be bad to brush up on some of this yourself. And find out what she was reading.
  618. >Night Lords? Really? It's like Twilight browsed through until she found the most fucked up thing on there.
  619. >There's another knock at the door.
  620. >"We're coming!"
  621. >Fucking hell, you wish she was saying that under different circumstances. You really are an idiot, but at least you're a noble one.
  622. >Twilight throws open the front door revealing -
  623. >"CUTIE MARK CRUSADER PIZZA DELIVERY!"
  624. >- exactly who you expected. Somehow the three of them are all managing to carry a single pizza between them. Twilight takes the pizza as you dig into your pockets for their money.
  625. >"No, wait a second Anon," Twilight yells back to you. "Girls, come on in for a second."
  626. >"But we really should be getting back soon," Sweetie Belle responds, shuffling her way in. Gods, it's so cute how the little ones walk.
  627. >"Yeah!" Scootaloo yells, ducking your hand. "There might be more deliveries!"
  628. >Apple Bloom trudges in behind her friends without much enthusiasm.
  629. "Don't worry."
  630. >The little Apple looks at you fearfully out of the corner of her eye.
  631. "She just wants to have a little chat. I think."
  632. >"About...?" She looks about ready to bolt for the door - you close it before the urge grows too strong. Apple Bloom sighs, defeated.
  633. >"Well, I heard you tried to burn some books today."
  634. >"So?" Scootaloo challenges. "What we do with it after we buy it isn't anyone else's choice."
  635. >"Yeah!" Sweetie Belle chimes in. "We even agreed to buy a blank one so we didn't hurt anyone's feelings."
  636. >"I-I-um..." Twilight lifts a hoof to her face, like she's trying to choose between facehoofing and stroking her chin in thought. "Really?"
  637. >All three fillies nod.
  638. "Sounds like their only mistake is listening to Aryanne."
  639. >You walk up behind the Cutie Mark Crusaders, trying to look supportive. They hunker down, eyes fearful. Not the reaction you were hoping for. You kneel down, trying to look less intimidating.
  640. "You fillies are wasting your time - do you really want cutie marks in pizza delivery or book burning?"
  641. >Three sets of eyes bounce around, checking with each other.
  642. "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooooooo!" they cry out in unison.
  643. >You reach out to them, grabbing the trio up in your arms and hugging them tightly.
  644. "Are you going to listen to Aryanne again?"
  645. >"Noooooooo!"
  646. "Then leave these lesser works to lesser ponies and reach for the stars."
  647. >Sweetie Belle's eyes flare with hope.
  648. >"We can get star cutie marks? Like... rock stars? Or do you mean real stars. How would we become stars?"
  649. >Oh dear Celestia, what have you done?
  650. >"Pay the girls, Anon," Twilight cuts in, looking releaved. "I'm sure Minty needs his helpers back."
  651. >"Yeah," Scootaloo responds with a sigh. "We should probably finish out the night. He might need us."
  652. "Any idea what you'll try next?"
  653. >"Well..." Sweetie Belle looks conflicted. "Maybe. We aren't sure if we should..."
  654. "Then you probably shouldn't."
  655. >Sweetie Belle looks like she wants to say more, but before she can decide Apple Bloom shoves a hoof in her friend's mouth.
  656. >"Don't worry," she tells you with a fake smile. "We'll ask you or Twilight before we make any contracts!"
  657. >The little Apple squirms free of your grasp, making for the door. With the extra room, Sweetie Belle has no trouble following. Scootaloo hesitates a moment before dropping out of your arms.
  658. >"We should probably get the money before we leave..." she chides her friends.
  659. >You dig deep into your pockets, handing the bits to your favorite filly along with a generous tip.
  660. "Just remember that we're always here for you, okay?"
  661. >Scootaloo looks to where her friends wait impatiently.
  662. >"Yeah, *I* remember." She trots over to her friends. "Come on, Minty needs us for more deliveries."
  663.  
  664. >"Does that make any sense to you?" Twilight asks you after you've returned from seeing the Crusaders out.
  665. "Maybe? I really hope not."
  666. >She looks at you curiously, but you really can't think of anything that's not wildly implausible - or straight up impossible - and all you can do is return her look with a shrug.
  667. >"So... what are you going to do about Aryanne?" she asks, pulling a slice out of the box and munching on it. "Nothing violent, I hope," she adds sternly between bites. You're glad that she's warmed up to the idea.
  668. "No, nothing violent."
  669. >She cringes at your smile.
  670. >"Am I going to regret this...?"
  671. "Of course not!"
  672. >You nab a slice from the box, seating yourself on the floor next to her.
  673. >"Not going to lecture her about the dominance of humanity and all that?" She smirks, giving the Deathwatch rulebooks a slight nudge.
  674. "Nah, that wouldn't get anywhere with her. Not that I wasn't tempted."
  675. >But you left your flaming hat and chainsaw in your other world. Speaking of...
  676. "Why the hell did you start reading Soul Hunter?"
  677. >The question catches Twilight off guard, her mouth flapping soundlessly.
  678. "You were complaining about how dark the setting is, and then you go and start reading *that*? Surely you could have gone with one of the books with Ciaphas Cain HERO OF THE IMPERIUM - they're obviously a much lighter read."
  679. >"I-I-I thought it was interesting," she confesses, digging her head into the pizza box to grab another slice. "All of our stories have happy endings and noble heroic leads. But this story... the lead is a villian! A coward, even!"
  680. "And?"
  681. >"And a total badass." She blushes slightly, ashamed to admit she enjoyed it. "I can't wait to DM again!" She claps her forehooves together excitedly.
  682. "Got a lot of new ideas on how to play the baddies?"
  683. >She nods, a very satisfied smile gracing her face.
  684. "Did it ever occur to you that we could run a villian party?"
  685. >Her hooves freeze, eyes explode, jaw unhinges.
  686. >"No."
  687. >Her voice is hollow and soulless.
  688. >"No it did not."
  689. >You almost laugh with a mouth full of pizza. It's too good to waste spewing all over the table. Instead, you smirk at Twilight, reaching over and closing her mouth for her.
  690. "B&B allows evil PCs, has no one ever done it?"
  691. >"No! Everyone always wants to be the heroes!"
  692. "Heroes are subjective."
  693. >Twilight Sparkle blinks at you in shock, slowly taking another bite of pizza.
  694. "Next campaign?"
  695. >She nods slowly.
  696. "You going to DM it?"
  697. >Twilight shakes her head slowly.
  698. >You take the last bite of your slice, licking your fingers clean. A very nice thing about pony pizza - it was almost greaseless.
  699. "Going to eat any more?"
  700. >She shakes her head again, taking another bite.
  701. "Well, I'm going to put the leftovers away."
  702. >You stand, giving Twilight a quick scratch at the base of her neck. Her shoulders hunch upward as she arches her back towards you, not-so-subtly asking for more. You scratch a second more, moving your hand up her neck, looping your hand under her neck at the base of her jaw and pulling her head back against you. You stare into her eyes.
  703. "I'll be right back."
  704. >"Mkay," she mumbles, still trying to chew her previous bite.
  705. >You release her, snatching up the box and heading to the kitchen.
  706. >It takes you a minute of shoving and rearranging to make room in the refrigerator. It's not large, and there are a lot of leftovers taking up space.
  707. >Too many nights of take out. Not enough waffles.
  708. >You make your way back to the game room, only to notice a distinct lack of Twilight Sparkle. You distantly notice your iPad missing too. She's reading again. Not even close to when you two normally head to bed, but when you head upstairs, there she is.
  709. >Snuggled up in bed reading the tablet.
  710. "Still reading Soul Hunter?"
  711. >"Mhm," she answers, not looking back.
  712. >You fling off your shirt and trousers, crawling into bed with her. Twilight lifts her foreleg, allowing you to wrap an arm around her chest. You pull her down slightly, making it easier for you to read over her shoulder.
  713. "Are you cold?"
  714. >You feel the chill on her body as your hand slides over her velvet coat.
  715. >"Yeah..." she flicks to the next page.
  716. >You release her, reaching over to her side of the bed and grab the blanket. Twilight gets so helpless when she has a good book to read.
  717. >A swift jerk makes the blanket fly over the both of you. Your arm is back around your princess before the cloth has fully settled around you.
  718. >She flicks to the next page.
  719. "Hey, slower."
  720. >Twilight flicks back.
Twilight Sparkle Anon Trixie Berry Punch Warhammer 40k /tg/ Traditional Games Complete NSFW

For the Waifu

by twilightgamenight

Silver Spoon is an Expensive Friend - last updated a while back

by twilightgamenight

Regimental Standard: An Officer's Guide to the Equus Puella

by twilightgamenight

More 02: Something More

by twilightgamenight

More 01: Simply More

by twilightgamenight