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Anon & Pinkie: At the End

By PhysicsAnon
Created: 18th December 2020 10:08:23 PM

  1. Warning: Sadness ahead. Written for /AiE/ and /ponk/.
  2.  
  3. >It’s been strangely quiet in Equestria recently.
  4. >Ever since Twibright claimed supreme leadership and the old princesses headed off to Silver Shoals, the village of Ponyville got even sleepier.
  5. >You wind your way down the dirt paths as the morning mist rolls around you.
  6. >You are Anonymous. It has been years since you were mysteriously drawn to the kingdom of talking horses.
  7. >You have made friends with national heroes, seen incredible creatures and places, and used to fight off a new disaster every week.
  8. >There was a time when you could only wish for a break like this.
  9. >Now it kind of scares you.
  10. >The ponies you see move as if in a dream. They go through the motions of life, but there’s never much to talk about anymore. Nothing changes. Nobody new comes to town.
  11. >Dash got her wish. Applejack and Rarity are both thriving, but so busy as to never have time for you anymore. Fluttershy is halfway to becoming a forest hermit.
  12. >And Pinkie…
  13. >You open the door to the bakery, the bell jingling to announce your presence.
  14. >She’s there at the counter, like she always is. Except she’s never really there anymore.
  15. >Her smiles are halfhearted now.
  16. >”Hiya, Nonners. Here for your morning muffin?”
  17. “No. I wanted to talk to you, Pinkie.  You seem a little down lately.”
  18. >Her smile falters even more.
  19. >”Oh… You don’t need to worry about me. I’m just in a funk.”
  20. “Must be a pretty funky funk to get to the Ponyville Party Pony.”
  21. >Finally. It was only for a moment, but there was a flash of the old Pinkie smile, and a giggle.
  22. >”It’s super funky. Supremely funky! It’d make Top 40 Hits for sure!”
  23. >The laughter fades again. Dim morning light filters through the front windows. Her chaotic head of curls falls just so about her face, framing the powder-blue eyes.
  24. >You’d want a picture of her like this if she weren’t so obviously torn about something.
  25. >Before you can probe her further, she calls into the kitchen.
  26. >”Mr. Cake, can I step out with Anon for a minute?”
  27. >The middle-aged stallion steps out to say hello, bobbing his head.
  28. >”That’s fine. Seems like it’ll be another slow morning.”
  29. >Pinkie throws on a scarf, and both of you emerge from the bakery.
  30. >”Wanna go to the park?”
  31. “Sure.”
  32. >The wind whispers in the trees, and the fog hasn’t lifted an inch as you and Pinkie claim seats on a bench.
  33. >You wait patiently for her to speak first. She fidgets more than usual, staring off into the distance.
  34. >”It’s all over, Nonners.”
  35. “Uh… what is?”
  36. >”All of it. The adventures. Always being together. The songs. It’s over.”
  37. >She still can’t seem to look at you. Her eyes look like two chips of ice, fixed on some far-off point. She shivers while continuing.
  38. >”I’ve always known it was going to end. I knew but couldn’t tell the others. They don’t understand. They think they’re moving on, but there is no ‘on.’ It’s just over.”
  39. “I… Pinkie, are you alright? What does any of this mean? Of course they’re moving on. Twi’s a princess now, a real one. Rare and AJ are making money hand over fist, and-“
  40. >”Have you ever seen them work?”
  41. “What?”
  42. >”Have you ever actually seen Dash perform? Have you seen any new dresses in Rarity’s shop? Has Applejack entered another contest, put out another batch of cider, anything? Has Fluttershy taken in any new animals? Has Twilight made the news at all?”
  43. >You fumble for an answer. Fluttershy’s perfectly happy with the lack of new developments, but that’s normal. Dash… yeah… she’d have totally sent you free tickets, or a show date, or something.
  44. >Still, she’s overacting. Has to be.
  45. “They’re busy, Pinkie. But I bet we can go see them really quick if you want. We could-“
  46. >”No!”
  47. >The intensity of her refusal stuns you for a moment. Her shaking is getting worse.
  48. >Her eyes fall to the ground now. You feel a chill despite being wrapped in your warmest jacket.
  49. >”No. Please. I don’t want to see them as they are.”
  50. “Look at me. Did something happen?”
  51. >Her gaze doesn’t shift. Her voice is almost a wail.
  52. >”It’s over, Nonners! I told you! The show’s over. Everything is stuck like this. We’ll never see Dashie or Twi again. AJ and Rarity will always have an excuse. Fluttershy doesn’t even want to leave her cottage anymore, and you…”
  53. >Finally, she turns her face to look at you. You almost wish she didn’t. Her eyes are heavy with tears, radiating hurt and terror.
  54. >”You’ll go too.”
  55. >For a moment, you can’t even speak. The hair on your neck is standing upright.
  56. “…Enough.”
  57. >You sweep Pinkie up into a bundle in your arms, walking briskly out of the park.
  58. >”W-Where are we going?”
  59. “To see everyone! You’re being ridiculous. I don’t know if you had a bad dream or whatever but everything’s fine, Pinkie. You’ll see. I’m never gonna let you live this down.”
  60. >You stick your head back into the bakery and shout to Carrot Cake that you’re borrowing his poster girl for a while longer before continuing your march.
  61. >You have her resting on your shoulder, rubbing her back comfortingly.
  62. >’You’ll go too,’ your ass. What could have spooked her like this?
  63. >First stop is the boutique. Rarity’s usually calm. She might be able to help you talk Pinkie down from this fit.
  64. >Your steps quicken as the elaborate building comes into sight. You jog the remaining distance, pounding on the door with your free hand.
  65. “Rarity, you there? I need you!”
  66. >”Anonymous? Is that you, darling?”
  67. >You’ve never been so happy to hear that posh accent.
  68. “Yeah. Pinkie’s with me; she’s in a bad way. Can you let us in?”
  69. >”I’m sorry dearie, could you come back later? I’m terribly busy.”
  70. >It takes you a moment to wrap your head around the response.
  71. >How could she say that? It’s like she didn’t even hear what you said.
  72. “Rare, this is serious. The dresses can wait. Pinkie needs to see you.”
  73. >Silence.
  74. >Your hackles rise again.
  75. >Your fist hammers on the door.
  76. >”Rarity, open this door!”
  77. >You swing away, but get no response.
  78. >Your hand starts to hurt. Like you’ve been banging it against solid rock.
  79. >”It’s useless, Nonners.”
  80. “Hush, you. I... She’s just… We’re going to see AJ.”
  81. >She just looks at you with that soul-crushing stare.
  82. >The dread you felt in the park comes creeping back.
  83. >You run openly through town now, not caring who stares at the sight of you whisking Pinkie away.
  84. >Applejack won’t turn you down, surely. Not AJ. She’ll probably be just as weirded out as you are, but she’ll help you talk sense into your unstable confectioner.
  85. >The long road to Sweet Apple Acres feels endless. You’re in a dead sprint, tearing across the property, shouting at the top of your lungs.
  86. “Applejack! APPLEJACK! Where are you?!”
  87. >Your cries echo through the trees. No response.
  88. >You eat up the distance to the farmhouse, taking the porch steps in a single bound and extending an arm out to throw the door open.
  89. >You palm slams against the wood panel, but instead of swinging open, you jam your wrist against the immobile entrance.
  90. >Hissing through your teeth, you almost drop Pinkie as you recoil.
  91. >”Nonners-“
  92. >You bang on the door.
  93. >”Nonners, listen to me-“
  94. >Louder. Harder. You’ll knock this damn house over if it gets them to talk to you.
  95. >”Anonymous.”
  96. >The sound of Pinkie using your full title makes you cringe. It just never happens. It feels alien. You turn to look at her. Her eyes are still piercing and sad, but there’s a tiny smile on her face. A real one.
  97. >”Don’t hurt your hand anymore. Let me see it.”
  98. >You’re tired from running across town. You awkwardly sit, but don’t let go of her.
  99. “Pinkie, what’s going on? I don’t understand. I saw them last week, both of them, they were still-“
  100. >Pinkie slides down off your shoulder and into your lap. She takes your hand in both of her hooves, looking it over before cradling it against her barrel.
  101. >”No. They haven’t been normal since… since the end. Since Twi left and the show ended.”
  102. “What are you talking about? What ‘show?’”
  103. >She leans into you, staring down at your hand as she responds.
  104. >”We’re not like you, Nonners. You come from a place higher than ours.”
  105. “What do you mean? That doesn’t make sense. Isn’t it just another world?”
  106. >”All of Equestria is a dream. Somebody else’s dream. It had a beginning, and now it’s ending.”
  107. >You don’t respond. You can’t. You just squeeze her tight. But even a warm pony can’t ward these chills away.
  108. >”We couldn’t get through to Rarity because she can’t see beyond the script. Same with AJ. They’re supposed to be working right now, see? So we won’t be able to meet them until they aren’t.”
  109. ”But- Is that why she just… shrugged us off? Because she’s… she’s scripted to stay in there?”
  110. >”Mhm. You probably saw them at the market, right? Or somewhere they go to regularly?”
  111. “Yeah.”
  112. >”And they told you all about how busy they are. So busy. But they’re not. They’re just clockwork now, Nonners. They go home, and… vanish. Because the ones who write the story have ended it.”
  113. “But… But you’re not. Why?”
  114. >She laughs softly.
  115. >”I was just written that way. I was always aware that we were limited. I was always able to smile and wave to the ones looking in at us, but I could never see them.”
  116. >She turns upward to you, beaming through her tears and squeezing your hand.
  117. >”Until I met you! You’re just like me. You know about a world beyond this one.”
  118. “Yeah, but- you’re telling me this world isn’t real? It always felt real. How do you know it’s going to end? Maybe this is all magic. Maybe we’re being attacked by something! I bet that’s it! Let’s try and-”
  119. >She presses a hoof over your lips.
  120. >”It’s ending, Nonners. There’s no more story to tell. And you have somewhere you’ll go back to when this dream ends.”
  121. “I don’t want to go back there! I love it here!”
  122. >”No, you loved it the way it was. When everybody was here, and it was vibrant, and we could do all those fun and silly things together.”
  123. >She looks out across the silent farm.
  124. >”You’ll hate it here now.”
  125. >You tremble.
  126. “…I’m not leaving.”
  127. >”You don’t have a choice.”
  128. “Like hell I don’t! Who’s going to make me? Huh? If you’re here, I don’t want to leave. Even if you’re right, even if the others never come back, I-“
  129. >”I don’t want you to stay here, Nonners.”
  130. >Your breath dies in your chest. Her tears have dried, but her eyes are still so soft. She presses the same  hoof she silenced you with against your cheek while the other clings to your hand.
  131. >”I don’t want you to stay in a dead world. I want to see you where you belong, doing things you love.”
  132. “…How will you see?”
  133. >She hums.
  134. >”I dunno. But I’m sure I will. Maybe in a crystal ball, or maybe in my dreams. But I want to see a happy Nonners more than anything.”
  135. >You face slowly sinks down into her mane. You try to keep your shoulders from trembling, and to blink back tears.
  136. >She whispers.
  137. >”You can stay with me until the dream fades. Until you forget and move on.”
  138. “I’ll never forget. Never.”
  139. >”You will someday. But until then… hold me tight.”
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