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/bootleg/ Jacky Part Eight

By BlondieAnon
Created: 19th December 2020 04:27:54 AM
Jacky Sparking Shine Faint Prism Anonymous Bootleg

  1. >"We gotta get Sparks... Sparks and..."
  2. >Jacky dropped onto her 'bed': a collection of loose fabrics, discarded garments and scavenged blankets
  3. >Faint Prism watched her little sister collapse
  4. >They weren't going to recover from this
  5. >She knew this
  6. >They had scraped by for so long, and had ultimately accomplished so little beyond filling their bellies and gaining a reputation
  7. >Prism was not fond of her reputation
  8. >Her wings were her one saving grace, and they were now broken
  9. >Half in sheer shock and of acceptance of her fate, she left the only consistent home she knew
  10. >The two ponies were gone
  11. >The food was gone too
  12. >This was all because of those two unicorns
  13. >She sat down, the poise she had built up for years crumbling in seconds
  14. "You can't have taken this from me... not when there's nothing to even show for it."
  15. >She didn't bother to look for Sparking Shine
  16. >The rowdy unicorn was never meant for much, Prism knew that much
  17. >She was an extra pair of hooves, a source of magic, and a necessary distraction for Jacky
  18. >The only issue is that if her body is found nearby, they'll have to come up with an excuse
  19. >Prism's lip quivers
  20. >If she goes back inside and finds that Jacky isn't moving...
  21. >She can't think that
  22. >But she is
  23. >It's too difficult to stay strong when there's no one to be strong for
  24. >"Did you get any food out of all of this?"
  25. >It's one of the unicorns
  26. >Not Sparking, but the other
  27. >A green pony, with a black mane
  28. >She looks like she's been kicked around, but her injuries pale in comparison to Jacky's
  29. "Do you see any food here?"
  30. >The green stranger looks around before shrugging
  31. >"I guess not."
  32. >She had appeared seemingly out of nowhere and claimed to just some sort of vagabond
  33. >Jacky was happy to have a new friend so Prism let it slide
  34. >She had even brought food a few times
  35. "I don't need food... I need medicine."
  36. >"For your wing?"
  37. "No. Let my wings rot. Jacky needs help."
  38. >Prism speaks with the confidence of someone who knows that she's already dead
  39. >"Can medicine really fix what happened?"
  40. "It has to."
  41. >Something about the unicorn's facial expression is unsettling
  42. >Despite getting roughed up and running away from the fight, she's acting like nothing bad happened
  43. >"I can help."
  44. "And your cost?"
  45. >Everyone had a price
  46. >To offer themselves, or their services, there was always something they wanted in return
  47. >The only time Prism had ever seen otherwise was when Jacky helped her
  48. >Of course, she always helped Jacky without hesitation
  49. >They were the only ones who they could trust
  50. >Even if Jacky didn't know better, Prism did
  51. >"My cost?"
  52. >The unicorn sounded amused
  53. >Disgustingly so
  54. >"Nothing. Besides, you don't have anything to really offer, do you?"
  55. >Prism looked down at the blood-stained cobblestone
  56. >"Let me rephrase... you don't have anything to offer that I could want."
  57. >She spoke with an even more vile tone
  58. "Help her."
  59. >"And what about you?"
  60. "I don't care what happens to me."
  61. >Prism replied without hesitation
  62. >She was a dead pony walking
  63. >She had been for as long as she could remember
  64. >But Jacky had a chance, a future
  65. >That chance had to survive
  66. >"Iiiiiii see. What about Sparking?"
  67. "Am I supposed to care about her now?"
  68. >"I suppose not..."
  69. "Help her. Before it's too late."
  70. >Time was running out
  71. >Jacky had taken a few bumps to the head before, but she always recovered
  72. >She was strong, ever since she was a filly
  73. >Strong enough where she probably didn't even need Prism to survive
  74. "I'm begging you."
  75. >Those last words caused something to dislodge itself from the guardian's throat
  76. >She fell over, her energy finally drained
  77. >Her eyes focused on the blood clot that Jacky expelled
  78. >"Alright, I'll take care of her. But you gotta remember that you asked for this. Don't get mad at me."
  79. >Faint Prism's eyes focused on the blood clot
  80. >She listened to the unicorn move toward the sewer entrance
  81. >She tried to speak again, but she couldn't bring herself to muster the power
  82. >Prism's vision started to blur
  83. >And then fade
  84.  
  85. >"LET'S GET READY TO RUUUUUUUMBLLLLLLLLE!"
  86. >Prism snorts and jerks her head up
  87. >It was that dream again
  88. >Sounds like Jacky
  89. >"IN THIS CORNER, THE PONY THAT BRINGS HOME THE BALOGNA, THE RED HOT RUMBLER HERSELF, SPARKING SHIIIIIIIIIIIIINE!"
  90. >After a moment of silence, she can hear what sounds like a pre-recorded series of cheers
  91. >"AAAAAAAAAND IN THIS CORNER! THE MAN WITH THE PLAN, HAS TWO HANDS AND KICKS SAND, AHHHHHHHHHH-NOOOOOOOOOOON!"
  92. >Kicks sand?
  93. >"Kicks sand?"
  94. >Anon's voice comes up
  95. >"Yeah, well... you know. It rhymes."
  96. >"See, she gave you a crummy intro because you're going to lose."
  97. >Sparking speaks up
  98. >They must be having another little gaming competition
  99. >Though it took time, she was warming up to the unicorn
  100. >She was warming up to Anon too
  101. >Or trying to
  102. >She understood that he was going through things she couldn't hope to replicate
  103. >She wanted to be on a better level with him, if only for Jacky's sake
  104. >"You kidding me? I get the worse intro, I'm the underdog, that means it'll mean that it'll be a huge upstart when I win! I didn't even get an applause!"
  105. >"Oh... crap..."
  106. >The applause audio starts back up, but it doesn't start at the beginning
  107. >The illusion isn't nearly as convincing, even she can tell
  108. >"...thanks Jack."
  109. >"Ah... sorry... uh, ANYWAY. MAN VERSUS MARE. TWO LEGS VERSUS FOUR. LET'S SETTLE THIS LIKE TRUE WARRIORS AND GET IT ON!"
  110. >A blasting song out of nowhere starts
  111. >Or, more like they unmuted the TV
  112. >It sounds like one of those fighting games
  113. >In no time at all, mutual trash talking erupts
  114. >Prism pulls herself up, sitting in the living room
  115. >Anon has so many blankets and pillows that she was able to more or less recreate their home
  116. >As much as a home could be when it was a dry, relatively scent-less section of tunnel
  117. >Part of her wants to join in
  118. >To be one of the gang
  119. >Something stops her from moving
  120. >She always feels so weak after those dreams
  121. >Like the dream never ended
  122. >Her wings ruffle
  123. >Of course, they're fine
  124. >She's examined them time and time again, and every time they're completely fine
  125. >Maybe a little stiff from not being used
  126. >They still shimmer too
  127. >She used to be so proud of them
  128. >Anon seemed impressed too
  129. >That little bracelet they cobbled together for him sent him over the moon
  130. >Of course, the headband and necklace were... interesting to see
  131. >Same with the garter she still kept on her hind leg
  132. >It was relatively so little, and took hardly any time at all to make
  133. >But everyone enjoyed it
  134. >Maybe that was enough
  135. >Prism nudged a few blankets into place and laid back down
  136. >"EAT MY HORN, LOSER!"
  137. >"EAT MY LOSER, HORN!"
  138. >"THE SALT IS FLOWING! AS GOD AS MY WITNESS, SHE'S BROKEN IN HALF!"
  139. >"SHUT UP, I'M STILL-"
  140. >"DEAD, FUCK YEAH!"
  141. >The mocking, anguished, excited screams fill the apartment
  142. >It's comforting, in it's own way
  143. >Jacky is happy
  144. >Sparking may as well be a new pony
  145. >And Anon...
  146. >Anon is keeping everything together
  147. >She is thankful for him
  148. >And maybe even thankful to the other unicorn
  149. >No one seems to talk about her
  150. >The name is difficult to remember
  151. >She isn't even sure if she does remember it
  152. >Maybe it was just her imagination, reaching out for anything
  153. >But maybe it happened
  154. >Or maybe her dream was nothing except a dream
  155. "...N..."
  156. >It wasn't worth worrying, surely
  157. >Otherwise she would know the name
  158.  
  159. >Sparking Shine usually has her video games
  160. >Jacky has her movies and music
  161. >But they both also have Anon
  162. >Prism knew well that they got along swimmingly
  163. >And that she was the odd mare out
  164. >Perhaps it wasn't by active measure but more merely personality affinity
  165. >Jacky was more than happy to roughhouse, as she always was
  166. >Sparking hated getting hurt but the pair bickered and fought as often as they got along
  167. >As much as they could have gotten along, given circumstances in the past
  168. >To an extent, Prism felt left out
  169. >Like sometimes her only true friend had forgotten her
  170. >The smile she wore was greater and brighter than anything the pegasus had ever seen before
  171. >It didn't hurt to see her smile in such a way
  172. >It just hurt that she wasn't the cause of it
  173. >It didn't hurt nearly as severely as it did before
  174. >Maybe it was just a fact she had to work around
  175. >She wasn't out of the fight just yet
  176. >"YAHAR ME HEARTIES!"
  177. >Prism grimaced
  178. >Anon got a new bottle of alcohol
  179. >Of course he would guzzle it quite freely and proudly
  180. >Jacky followed him nearly gulp for gulp
  181. >She didn't understand how such a smaller body could contain so much of the spirits
  182. >Maybe it was because she was always trying to be in high spirits
  183. >"GUT ALL YE SCHALLYWAGS WHO DON'T BOW TO THE CREW OF ONE PLUS TWO!"
  184. >Oh no
  185. >Sparking joined in on the drinking
  186. >The trio stomp out from around the corner, in the hallway
  187. >Anon's wearing a green bandana
  188. >Jacky has a yellow one around her head, leaving her ears poking out and a fluff of her hair coming out to cover half of her face
  189. >Sparking's red bandana is lopsided, going over one of her eyes
  190. >"THE BIRD. YAR SHE BLOWS."
  191. "Blows?"
  192. >Like a pair of minions, the two ponies from behind him spring forward!
  193. >Sparking leaps first, emitting what could only generously be called a warcry
  194. >Prism ducks to the side, missing contact by a hair
  195. >From the sound of it, she landed fine on a pillow
  196. >"YOO-HOO, YAR-HAR, A PIRATE SHIP IS JUST THE WATER EQIUVALENT OF A CAR!"
  197. >Jacky stopped her assault to do a small wiggle of a jig
  198. >When she saw that the rhyme and dance only caused a smirk on the pony, she crossed her eyes and let out a cry
  199. >She rammed her head forward, only to be stopped by the one trick Prism always had up her sleeve
  200. >Up her wing, rather
  201. >It WAS her wing!
  202. "Pegashield! Brigands like you can't even afford my down!"
  203. >As quick as Prism deployed the wing, Jacky slowed her motion down to a crawl
  204. >She slowed and deepened her yowl, only to gently slide her face into the bundle of wings
  205. >With the most minor of flaps, Jacky flung herself back as dramatically as she could
  206. >Thankfully her nearly backflipping ended up with her face sliding along a quilt
  207. >She thunked to the floor gracelessly, which wasn't surprising because she could only control so much of herself for slow motion
  208. >Anon glared at her
  209. >"Aye... you've done goofed now, lass. FOR I WILL SLAY YE AND CLAIM MY BOOTY!"
  210. >Sparking snickered behind Prism, insisting on staying laid out
  211. "If you think you can... try me. Your prized pony crew haven't harmed a hair on my head. What could a human captain do?"
  212. >"I'LL... DO THIS!"
  213. >He whips out something from his back pocket in his shorts
  214. >It's... a small length of metal with a rubber grip and a... brush at the end?
  215. >Like it's an ancient art, he pulls his arms out while holding onto the rod
  216. >It extends to four times its original length
  217. >"SCRATCHING BACKS, BACKING SCRATCHES, I'LL USE YOUR FUR IN MY SAIL PATCHES!"
  218. >Wielding the extendable back scratcher like a claymore, he steps menacingly toward her
  219. >The crazed look in his eye tells her that he isn't the same human that so intently dismissed her when they had a chance to speak
  220. >The crazed look in his eye also told her that he had drank more than what was his norm
  221. >The cheering from minutes earlier must have had something to do with it
  222. >"EAT THIS!"
  223. >Anon rears back and swings overhead
  224. >His swing is as slow as Jacky's attempted skull crusher of a headbutt
  225. >"Captain, noooooooooooooooooooooo...!"
  226. >Jacky holds up a shaky hoof, holding onto the 'ooo' note as long as she could
  227. >"Avenge meeeeeeeee...!"
  228. >Sparking has a rougher time trying to hold her 'eee' tone, her voice audibly trembling
  229. >The stereo sound of the girls letting out their own earworms could only last so long
  230. >Surely
  231. >Anon's blade of itch eradication stops three quarters of the swing
  232. >Amused, he shifts his attention to the two ponies
  233. >Both of them are making rather awkward faces, trying to hold onto their note for as long as required
  234. >Prism notices his viewing and smirks
  235. "Waiting for something?"
  236. >He pivots the rubber grip in his fingers, presumably to scratch his back
  237. >"They can really hold a note, can't they..."
  238. "Must be all that singing..."
  239. >As quiet as they were, it was no doubt impossible to listen to normal words when screeching such sounds
  240. >Both of them admired the dedication
  241. >The eyes closed
  242. >The warbling voices
  243. >After almost a full minute of listening to their voices fail, Anon clears his throat
  244. >It half sounds like an attempt at a roar
  245. >Immediately the two subordinates stop and look at him
  246. >"Let's parley. Better to not spill blood when not needed, aye?"
  247. >"Aye... aye-aye, cap'n!"
  248. >Jacky closes her eyes when she speaks up, her throat thoroughly put through its paces
  249. >"Blech... I'll survey this pillow here."
  250. >Sparking sounds gassed, like she was giving it her all
  251. >Anon sits down, crossing his legs and putting his hand on his knee
  252. >The gesture makes him look a bit more bigger than he is
  253. >"Aye... grab the Stoke. First mate Shiny be defeated. But she never flee, see...?"
  254. >He squints at Prism as he speaks
  255. >She would have to admit that all of this is rather entertaining for being impromptu
  256. >They had been goofing around for the better half of an hour prior so they must have had something to build up to
  257. >"AYE AYE!"
  258. >Jacky cries out with her eyes closed, fighting through the croaking in her throat
  259. >She wobbles to her hooves and wanders off after a hard, quick yawn and a shake of the head
  260. >Prism peeks over Anon's slumped shoulder, watching her wander off back to the bedroom with less than keen dexterity
  261. >He sighs
  262. >He seems relaxed
  263. >Certainly more relaxed than he's been for days now, probably longer
  264. "Letting off some steam and playing around, I see?"
  265. >"What can I say, it's not rum but I was feeling a little like a scallywag."
  266. "I can tell. Enjoying Jacky's haircut?"
  267. >Anon holds up a straight finger, leaning into the palm planted on the side of his knee
  268. >"I will have you know that it is indeed a work in progress... and that the more messy it is, the more appeal there is for various enterprises."
  269. >Prism's smile crinkles and her eyes narrow
  270. >She isn't displeased but it is a little more information than she would like to know
  271. >Presuming she knew what he was referring to
  272. >And presuming what he was referring to was what she was thinking of to begin with
  273. "I see... well. What would you like to parley about?"
  274. >Anon gives the pegasus a stern glare
  275. >One that looks like genuine frustration or anger
  276. >As soon as it comes up, he shrugs
  277. >"Iunno. I thought you were being left out."
  278. "I don't mind. The alcohol you have is... certainly stronger than what I've had before."
  279. >She did sneak into a handful of small, upper-class parties
  280. >Back when the trio were far more ambitious and had stars in their eyes
  281. >After having been swat down one times too many, and far harder than usual, Prism made sure that they didn't try anything again
  282. >Jacky was almost never punished or harmed from their schemes and attempts
  283. >Prism would never admit it to anyone
  284. >She broke her body for Jacky
  285. >Even now, when she was sure that there was no pain
  286. >Part of her just couldn't let go of the stiff, stinging sensations that came with certain movements
  287. >She was proud of it
  288. >It was the sort of pride that came with the understanding that it could never be uttered in public, or to any living soul
  289. >That pride kept her going
  290. >The pride of not just being Jacky's best friend, not just her sister for all intents and purposes, but to be her shield from harm
  291. >She was the pony's shield from some of the most vile, disgusting, sadistic evils of the world
  292. >The world as she saw it, anyway
  293. >The world as they experienced it
  294. >The limited world that they couldn't escape, no matter how hard they tried
  295. >Prism shook her head
  296. "I have had alcohol before we came to you. Can't say I'm a fan."
  297. >She smiles at him, as if that were that
  298. >"Ah... well dang. I suppose that's fair. Shine doesn't have a stomach for it but that's nothing a little peer pressure can't fix, eh?"
  299. >He waits for an answer
  300. >Prism twists her head around to look at the plundering unicorn
  301. >She's out like a light, with the bandana over both of her eyes
  302. "Well now... you're down one crew."
  303. >"Aye... it sure seems that way, doesn't it. Well, bless her for that dive, truly magical."
  304. >Who would have thought that a pony like Sparking Shine would ever end up in such a lofty position in life?
  305. >And yet she seemed to hunger for more still
  306. >Prism wasn't jealous, and didn't pity her
  307. >She really didn't feel anything at all
  308. >Maybe a twinge of companionship, when they sang and danced for Anon
  309. >An appropriate reward for his deeds, of course
  310. >She worried that she was just too worn down, and remembered their clashes too well to put them behind her
  311. "Yes... I'm happy she's here. I can't imagine her being happier anywhere else."
  312. >"Thanks, I suppose. You know, you're making me sober. JACKY, WHERE BE THE LIQUID GROG FOR MOTION SLOG?!"
  313. >Jacky let out a wooping mix of... syllables from what could only be presumably his room
  314. >"...well I guess she's taking a bit of a break too."
  315. "Well you are quite the slaver driver of a captain."
  316. >"Aye... aren't we all?"
  317. >Maybe
  318. >None of them would ever be playing so roughly and so freely, if she had her say so
  319. >Of course, there was no plans to pour over or thefts to attempt
  320. >To an extent, Prism felt like she just couldn't let go of her own life
  321. >How could she?
  322. >How could anyone ever get over what had happened in the past?
  323. >These thoughts and more swirled around the pony's mind
  324. >She was nothing if not a thinker
  325. >It allowed her to stay one step ahead in most situations, even when her body refused to follow her commands
  326. >Despite the constant questions and probes, her smile remained
  327. >He didn't seem to notice that at all about her
  328. >Good
  329. "You don't drink all that often... is there a special situation?"
  330. >"Aye! Christmas in two days! I've gifts to give, work to not go to, on account of the white blight out yonder, and time to sleep in!"
  331. >His boisterous voice and vague accent starts to peel off but he still seems amicable
  332. "I see... that is a lot of good news."
  333. >Before she can tell why or when, Anon lurches over
  334. >He holds her in a tight hug, both of his arms squeezing her wings to her body
  335. "...can... can I help you?"
  336. >"I love you, D."
  337. >What in the world caused this revelation!?
  338. >"You're my friend. I'm sorry I'm not the easiest to talk to at times, and it seems like I keep a lot of things locked inside. I just try to do what I can to make sure I don't drag anyone here down. For a friend like you, I would gladly ride a train to hell, and endure whatever flames may bake me for your wellbeing."
  339. >He releases her from the bear hug
  340. >Part of her wishes that the hug could have continued
  341. >"Same with Shine an' Jack. For all of you, my sword and my rifle are there for your just cause. Anything less is a false fluke of friendship that I wouldn't wish on even my worst enemy."
  342. >She can't help but feel an air of finality from him
  343. >She's felt this sort of seriousness before
  344. >This tone and weight wasn't unfamiliar, but it was alien
  345. >What did she ever do to warrant such fealty?
  346. "...this is the alcohol speaking, isn't it."
  347. >Anon rears himself back and then lurches forward, waggling a finger
  348. >"Yes... and no. This sort of good stuff doesn't make me say anything fake. I just feel more boisterous. What man could drink such substance and not feel pride for what value he has in his life? If he wouldn't fight for such sustaining ideals and relations, what would he fight for? What could he fight for?"
  349. >For all of his words, she seems to understand his point
  350. >Probably
  351. >Some of it sounds similar to her
  352. >"I know you have secrets. I know that as the older sibling, you've gone through hell and stepped on landmines so those younger to you can stay innocent and safe for longer."
  353. >His smile widens as he say that
  354. >But he's not looking at her
  355. >It's like he's looking at something that only he could perceive
  356. "E... excuse me? And how do you know that?"
  357. >"Because, I'm an older brother! And older brothers and sisters like us, we're aware."
  358. >His smile fades
  359. >But the look in his eye remains
  360. >"I... suppose I should say that I was an older brother."
  361. >His eyes slide down to Prism's face
  362. >The growing wetness behind his eyes causes her to avert her gaze
  363. >"Cherise the bonds you've forged through fire and pain. You forsook tools, shortcuts and sacrificed only yourself. You were the brains and the invisible guiding hand. Only you could give the best advice."
  364. "I... think you should either get some rest or try to at least ease off of the drink."
  365. >"Aye... my first mate will keep you captive."
  366. "If Sparking Shine is your first mate, then what is Jacky?"
  367. >Anon mumbles something and scratches the side of his face
  368. >That mumbling turns to a cheerful laugh
  369. >"Ah... she's my right hand. Where I go, she goes. There's no rank when it comes to her and I."
  370. >He's certainly more earnest than normal
  371. >"Anyway... a captain drinks with his right hand! Haha!"
  372. >He stumbles to get up
  373. >Fails
  374. >Tries to get up again
  375. >Succeeds
  376. >And awkwardly gets to his feet
  377. >He sighs like he let off some massive weight and stumbles off
  378. >Or maybe the sigh was him putting back on a weight
  379. >Prism watches him wander off, her ear flickering and twitching to listen to Sparking snore
  380. >She had worried that Jacky may have told him something about her
  381. >But... maybe he had a point
  382. >He had lost his little siblings, in a way
  383. >He was a big brother as much as she was a big sister
  384. >If he didn't have them, what would he have left
  385. >More so, if she didn't have Jacky, what would she have left?
  386. "...I suppose there are more similarities than I gave him credit for...big brother Anon, hm?"
  387. >She smiled
  388. >There was no way he could have done so much good
  389. >Not compared to her
  390. >If she had nothing else, she knew that she succeeded in her every effort
  391.  
  392. >Prism enjoyed sleeping in beds
  393. >But they weren't her favorite
  394. >The firm, solid floor was something solid for her to spread out on
  395. >She didn't have to worry about falling off
  396. >And she could share her space without having to worry about constraint
  397. >"Hey... hey Faint Prism."
  398. >Prism nuzzled the blanket that she used as a pillow
  399. >After balling it up and mashing it flat, it was the best
  400. >"Hey.. pspspspspst... look at me."
  401. >Who could be bothering her?
  402. >It doesn't sound like it's Anon
  403. >Or either of the other two girls
  404. >Groaning, she barely opens one of her eyes
  405. >The one in her face is a human... possibly?
  406. >With a big, long red cap that has white fur on it
  407. >And a big, long beard that obscures the face
  408. >"Hey... ho ho ho."
  409. "WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!"
  410. >Her wings shoot out and her body goes stiff
  411. >"Wait, no... shit, hold on..."
  412. >Her scream continues, eyes locked to the panicked human
  413. >"No... presents... fuck, be quiet, or you'll wake them up!"
  414. "JACKY HELP ME!"
  415. >Her tone was so full of genuine fear that the bearded human recoiled back
  416. "JACKY IT'S AN INTRUDER! SPARKING, PLEASE!"
  417. >"No, shit, fu..."
  418. >The human scrambles off, leaving through the front door with a slam
  419. >Jacky stumbles out of Anon's bedroom, with Sparking in tow
  420. >"Wha happened? What was that slam?"
  421. >Jacky's cautious and half-alert
  422. >The unicorn doesn't even bother to open her eyes, taking tiny steps to stop from bumping into somethingi
  423. >Prism finally manages to stand up, running toward the front door
  424. "HE WAS HERE, AND THEN HE-"
  425. >The front door opens
  426. >Prism nearly screams again... at the sight of Anon
  427. >Anon holding a bag
  428. >"Geeze... some big guy in red just ran past me. Crazy times."
  429. "Anon! Thank goodness, you saw him!? He was in here, he was in my face an-"
  430. >"Nah, don't worry about it. That was just Santa Claus."
  431. >Anon closes the door behind him, preventing any pony from giving chase
  432. >Not that two thirds of them seem to care
  433. >"Anyway, enough about him, I have presents!"
  434. >That finally makes the the unicorn perk up enough to open her eyes
  435. >"Presents? Why?"
  436. >"Because... Christmas!"
  437. >That comment makes Jacky perk up next
  438. >""It's Christmas again? Awesome!"
  439. >She bounds off to the living room but she's the only one who seems to understand that
  440. >"Come again?"
  441. "Presents? This is no time for presents, Anon someone broke i-"
  442. >"Yeah yeah, I saw him. Don't worry about him, he's gone."
  443. >Something about this is... off
  444. >Prism follows behind the human, her energy spike starting to taper off
  445. >Anon sits across from Jacky
  446. >Sparking sits right of Jacky
  447. >Prism sits right of Sparking
  448. >All of the ponies look tired to some degree
  449. >Anon looks wide awake
  450. >Excited even
  451. >"So... presents. First off, Jackonaught!"
  452. >She puffs out her chest when her name is called
  453. >He pulls out two nondescript boxes that are covered in flamboyant red and green... paper?
  454. >Two are set down in front of her
  455. >"Next, our very own Shiner..."
  456. >He produces two more box... but one is obviously bigger than either of Jacky's
  457. >The smug unicorn chuckles with a sly grin, like she won the contest of bigger boxes
  458. >"And, of course... D-live rocker."
  459. >What did he just call her?
  460. >The two remaining boxes he pulls out are...
  461. >Well, they really aren't any bigger
  462. >They're actually rather small, in relation to Sparking's one big box
  463. >At least they're all covered in the same wrapping
  464. >"So... that Santa guy threw these at me on his way out. I don't know what's in them so... I guess we just gotta see what's in them!"
  465. >That's really all that needed to be said
  466. >Jacky was quick to almost headbutt her presents, tearing at them with reckless abandon
  467. >Sparking's magic causes the wrapping to pull apart in a quick whirlwind of red
  468. >Even though she isn't physically touching it, she seems to enjoy the destruction
  469. >A little less worried if that Santa character really did have intent on giving them gifts, Prism got started on her boxes too
  470. >Anon beamed at the trio ripping and shredding
  471. >All of the boxes, when stripped from their wrapping, lack detail
  472. >Normal white boxes
  473. "This is... interesting."
  474. >"Gotta open them, bonehead."
  475. >Prism couldn't help but notice that Anon has no presents of his own
  476. "Where are your presents, Anon?"
  477. >"Me? Ah... eh, Santa said they were on the way. But don't worry about me, check them out!"
  478. >Jacky opened one of her boxes and let out a squealing... noise of joy
  479. >The sound was completely alien to her
  480. >She brought up the box's contents with her front hooves, revealing... her?
  481. >Not her
  482. >The fur and mane colors are inverted
  483. >And thee little western-style hat on the plushy doll is brown
  484. >"IT'S MA!"
  485. >She hugs the doll as tight as she can
  486. >The doll lets out it's own squeak
  487. >The doll squeaks...?
  488. >"AND MA SQUEEE-EE-EE-EEEAKS!"
  489. >She falls over to the side, hugging the doll repeatedly
  490. >It's maybe half as big as her
  491. >It looks well-made too
  492. >"Jack, don't forget your other present."
  493. >Anon's smiling as wide as he can but he's managing to hold it together in front of her
  494. >Unable to control herself, she flings herself onto the other box and effectively vaporizes it
  495. >She holds open the contents: a folded up... blanket?
  496. >Anon pries it from her mouth and unfolds it
  497. >"Poncho. Same pattern as Blondie's, so now with this and your hat..."
  498. >Jacky neighs some sort of response and leaps at him, knocking him clear over
  499. >The two start talking over each other in an audible mosaic
  500. >Prism looks over to Sparking
  501. "...have you seen her this happy before? I really... I'm sort of at a loss for words."
  502. >"Yeah... she told me that Christmas was supposed to be a big fancy deal with family. But last year they didn't really do anything."
  503. "...well, shall we open your presents next?"
  504. >"Sure. But I don't really know what would really make me all that excited..."
  505. >Their attention shifts back to Anon
  506. >He flings Jacky back, with the poncho equipped
  507. >It's orange with a yellow pattern sewn into it all over
  508. >She lands on her back and scrambles around until she captures the Applejack doll
  509. >She coils around it and gives it a Jacky-strength squeeze
  510. >It squeaks in what could only be presumed glee
  511. >Or pain
  512. >Even if she wasn't frail, Prism wouldn't want an extra-strength Jacky Squeeze
  513. >"So... I think she's happy. Alright Shine, you're up."
  514. >Sparking shrugs and opens the smaller box first
  515. >"Alright but I don't know wha-WHOA!"
  516. >The smaller box's contents raise up into the air
  517. >It's a red hat with yellow lettering
  518. >The lettering says "GET SMOKED"
  519. >She lifts it up and places it onto her head, in awe
  520. >It doesn't fit well due to her horn
  521. >"Hold on, let's..."
  522. >Anon leans forward and turns the cap backwards before settling it on her head
  523. >It still doesn't fit well since it was presumably made for humans but her horn keeps it in place
  524. >"That's some pro gamer gear right there, Shine. Trash talk, fashion, and it hangs off your head like.... a... well, like a hat on a horse."
  525. >Sparking rears back onto her hind legs, front legs shaking
  526. >"I WILL BRING THE FIRE!"
  527. >From what she has heard and see, Sparking certainly fits the description of someone that would wear... a hat like that
  528. >Her red aura starts to undulate from her body
  529. >"GET SMOKED, BOX!"
  530. >The bigger white box gets shredded apart so quickly it practically explodes
  531. >The confetti of thin, white cardboard reveals her second present
  532. >A...
  533. "...what is that?"
  534. >"A fight stick controller. Allows you to play fighting games and stuff like you're in an arcade. A lot of pros actually use those rather than normal controllers. Since you have magic and all, I guess ergonomics don't mean a lot... but hey, just in case, right?"
  535. >A vicious grin spreads on the unicorn's face
  536. >"Oh Anon... I'm going to beat the crap out of you with this... you can't hope to win now."
  537. >The gaming pad lifts up, covered in red
  538. >She gallops out of the living room at full speed, cackling like she was gifted a death machine
  539. >The last thing Prism could see was the 'GET SMOKED' text on her new hat
  540. >A small cloud of cardboard confetti followed in her wake
  541. "...oh dear..."
  542. >"Yeah... I'm an enabler. But joke's on her because she'll have to get used to the control layout and she can't steal intel on that from me because I never got around to using one."
  543. >He gives the pegasus a knowing smirk, like he outwitted his opponent
  544. >"Anyway... yeah. Your turn."
  545. "Well, I suppose I should prepare myself for any embarrassing acts of..."
  546. >The first box she nudged open was filled to the brim with bottles, jars, and even a big brush
  547. >"A few scented oils, shampoos and stuff for fur/mane/hair care and... a brush. For wings too, maybe? I'm... not sure how wings work. Or how you deal with them. So I'd hope that you'd know how to mess with these in the best way."
  548. >Prism nudges through the bottles
  549. >A lot of them are pretty scattershot when it comes to scents and themes
  550. >Some sound far more appealing than others
  551. "That's... that's very thoughtful of you. Thank you."
  552. >"Yeah, sure, don't worry about it. And then your second one too..."
  553. >Intrigued by what he could come up with next, she nudges the top off the second box off with her hoof
  554. >Inside is a rectangle
  555. "What... what's this again?"
  556. >He reaches inside and holds it up
  557. >It has a glass pane in the center and has some sort of wood lettering that says 'Sisters' on top and 'Always best friends' on the bottom
  558. >"Picture frame! Granted, we gotta get a picture but... you know, for you and Jack. Pictures are important, right? So with something like this, it'll just be really nice."
  559. "Oh... Anon, that's..."
  560. >"Merry Christmas."
  561. >As wholesome as the moment is, it's broken when they can both hear Jacky squeezing her doll
  562. >"...I don't think she's paying attention."
  563. "...so is that doll meant for people, because...?"
  564. >"Of the squeaker? No... it's for dogs."
  565. "You bought Jacky... a dog toy."
  566. >"I bought Jacky... a Jacky toy."
  567. >He points a pair of finger guns at the unicorn and smiles wide
  568. >A squeak from the Applejack toy just seems to cap it off
  569. >Unable to help herself, Prism bursts out in modest laughter
  570. "Ooooh boy... we're going to hear that squeaking forever, aren't we."
  571. >"Yes. Yes we are."
  572. "Ahhh. Thank you Anon."
  573. >"Ho ho ho, D."
  574. >Prism's warm feeling turns to an icy chill that bolts down her entire body
  575. "W... what was that, Anon?"
  576. >"Nothing, D. Merry Christmas."
  577. >"ANON! HOW DO I GET THIS THING TO WORK?!"
  578. >"Aaaand that is my cue... make sure she doesn't eat her ma, too much, ok?"
  579. >Anon slips into a rising step and heads to his room
  580. >Presumably to spend the rest of the morning playing games with Sparking
  581. >"Yeah yeah, you won't be able to win with it anyway. But let's see what buttons do what."
  582. >Left alone with the hugging strangler herself, Faint Prism sighs at the remnants of all of the presents
  583. >There was really no build up to this at all
  584. >As far as she was aware, there was no build up to this
  585. >He certainly never went around asking them what they wanted, to her knowledge
  586. >Jacky sighs, nuzzling the Applejack doll
  587. >The hat has already been knocked off from the doll
  588. >"Christmas is awesome, Dashie..."
  589. "I agree! But what does Santa Claus have to do with Christmas?"
  590. >Jacky stops her squeezing of the doll
  591. >The look of intense concentration on her is admirable
  592. >Even if it ended not three seconds later
  593. >"Don't remember, don't care!"
  594. "That's ok. Merry Christmas, Jacky."
  595. >How many Christmases have they missed out on?
  596. >Maybe that shouldn't matter too much now
  597. >Maybe it's ok to live in the present more
  598.  
  599. >As quickly as the festive Christmas spirit came, it was already gone
  600. >Sparking's new fighting game pad has dominated her waking hours
  601. >Between that and the silly hat, she has gotten... very passionate about her video games
  602. >Jacky has been squeaking the Applejack toy consistently
  603. >She hasn't been wearing the bolo tie, as she said that was for going out, but she hasn't taken off the poncho except for when she takes a bath
  604. >The two have been exceptionally happy
  605. >But something doesn't sit well with the pegasus
  606. >Anon had set up a laptop in the living room, to give Sparking control over the desktop computer and bigger TV
  607. >And to presumably get some more peace and quiet
  608. >Prism sat next to the half-laying Anon, who was playing some sort of 2D game
  609. >She cleared her throat, trying to think of how to act toward him
  610. >She was used to having plenty of faces and personalities
  611. >The longer she stayed, the harder a time she had lying
  612. >Acting
  613. >Pretending
  614. >When Anon didn't react to her throat clearing, she repeated the gesture
  615. "Anon... how did today go at work for you?"
  616. >"Eh? Oh it was fine I suppose. What's up?"
  617. >The insistent squeaking makes her frown
  618. "Is... isn't Jacky a little too old to have some toy like that?"
  619. >"What makes you think that?"
  620. "Well she... isn't..."
  621. >Prism trails off, trying to figure out the best way to word herself to convince him
  622. "She isn't a filly... not anymore. And I suppose I..."
  623. >She can't just say that she's annoyed by the squeaking
  624. >Or that she's jealous because she hadn't seen Jacky be so happy in so long
  625. >Or that she feels embarrassed by proxy
  626. "Is it healthy for her?
  627. >He pauses his game, rotating to read her face
  628. >"What do you mean?"
  629. "It is of Applejack and she still believes that it's her... well, you know."
  630. >"Is that a problem?"
  631. >He doesn't sound mad about it
  632. >He sounds genuinely inquisitive
  633. "Well... it isn't true."
  634. >She pats the floor with her hoof
  635. >"I suppose it isn't."
  636. "It isn't."
  637. >"What else don't you like about it?"
  638. >With her chance to speak freely more or less granted, she leaned forward and lowered her voice
  639. "It. Is. A. Dog toy!"
  640. >"A Jacky toy."
  641. "No, Anon! It's a toy for animals and she needs to...!"
  642. >She isn't sure what Jacky should be playing with
  643. >If she should be playing at all
  644. >She never had time to play
  645. >She couldn't allow herself to play when there was food and safety at stake
  646. >Something about all of it just didn't sit well with her
  647. "She needs to... do something better."
  648. >"Better... like what?"
  649. "Well. You have bills. Isn't it time that we do something to help with that?"
  650. >"Eh."
  651. >He shrugged with a smile
  652. >"Nah. It'll take a hot minute before my savings raise back up... but I think we're getting along fine as is, unless something's a problem."
  653. "But you could use more."
  654. >"Not really. Money's nice to have but when push comes to shove, I really shouldn't make such a huge deal out of it. I'm kinda used to not having a ton. So I make do as is. And I think it's nice that I can make do, slowly build back up, and then still get you guys stuff."
  655. >She doesn't really have an answer to that
  656. >It's also veering off course from Jacky and her toy
  657. >Sighing, she sits up straight and adopts a more formal posture
  658. "I think Jacky's too old to be playing with a toy like that. And I think she should be more responsible. Same as Sparking and myself."
  659. >"...eh. It's not a priority."
  660. >The nonchalant answer makes her deflate
  661. "Come again?"
  662. >"It's not a priority, so don't worry about it. You guys don't really add a lot to the bills as is and... I guess it's kinda cool to have you three around. Work can be pretty stressful. And if I come home and if anyone else is stressed from work or bothered, it kinda compounds. And I guess... Iunno, I don't know how to word it. It just isn't a priority to me that any of you work. Enjoy yourself, you know? Do what you like. Don't worry about having to take care of issues."
  663. >He sounds confident in his words but he is getting visibly uncomfortable
  664. >If she keeps pressing, she may be able to convince him
  665. "It would only be fair, wouldn't it? None of us are useless, w-"
  666. >"It's not about being useless, man."
  667. >His tone is neutral but his reaction is a quick snap
  668. >It is enough to surprise her
  669. >"Just... don't worry. Give it some more time to just get adjusted. If you're really that dedicated to making some scratch, we can look into methods. But just don't worry about it. It isn't a requirement, I'm not asking for it, I've never had the intent of any of you doing that."
  670. >He focuses back to the game on his laptop
  671. >"You guys are my friends. And it was Christmas so t'is the season for gift giving and all that."
  672. "But wouldn't you like something in return?"
  673. >His discomfort is palpable
  674. >"I want my friends to be happy. There's no reason to worry about me."
  675. >It could be selflessness
  676. >But it could also be something else
  677. >She's seen enough to know that the 'something else' most likely isn't malicious
  678. "Alright then..."
  679. >He shifts, trying to nudge off some invisible weight
  680. >"And about Jacky and her toy... let her have it. Everyone's goofy in their own ways. If you don't like it, talk to her about it. Not me. I like that she has it, and I like how happy I've been able to make her. I wouldn't ever ask her to stop it. It doesn't bother me all that much. Same with Shine. The hat..."
  681. >He chuckles to himself
  682. >"Maybe I went a little far with the hat. But it does psyche her up and it fits with her smack talking."
  683. "Well I don't really care about her."
  684. >Her reply came out so fast it was obvious she really didn't care
  685. >"Then there you go."
  686. >While she was soundly defeated when it came to her topics, she did seem to strike gold in addressing things he really did not want to go into
  687. >She sat down behind his back and leaned against him
  688. "I am glad that you see me as a friend. I do appreciate the things you got me."
  689. >"Yeah, I can tell. Didn't think Jack would smell so nice with lemongrass."
  690. "I'm still content with smelling of cherries."
  691. >"...yeah. That is nice too."
  692. >Prism smiled and leaned against his back more with her side
  693. >Her wing extended out, covering the top of his side
  694. >"Something else up?"
  695. "No... just acting as a blanket. I used to do the same with Jacky when we were much younger. Before we gathered so many scraps and fabrics and blankets."
  696. >Prism looked over the mess of a nest she made of the living room
  697. "It took... many months. And a lot of cleaning. And some stealing. We lived in what was basically a sewer tunnel. So we used whatever scented items we could. And we just had a little... hole in the tunnel that we called home."
  698. >She immediately feels regret at saying such things openly, in her own voice
  699. "Until we got enough... I would just cover her. And keep a few oranges or apples near her face so she would have something better to smell."
  700. >She sighed
  701. "I... guess she used to get on my nerves back then too. She was very active... and I was often too tired or hurt to play with her. Or worried."
  702. >"Yeah... you did good, D."
  703. "Thank you."

Angel Cake's Quest

by BlondieAnon

/yandere/ Mr. Pear Bear

by BlondieAnon

/yandere/ Your Night Mare

by BlondieAnon

/bootleg/ Jacky Part Nine

by BlondieAnon

/Jacky/ Themes n' Songs

by BlondieAnon