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Cute Milf Green - Days 1 & 2 (RGRE, Mayor Mare)

By ScribblesAnon
Created: 19th December 2020 06:52:26 AM
24th September 2021 12:12:22 PM

  1. >Be old lady
  2. >You're not that old, but you can't keep lying to yourself, Mare
  3. >You're no spring chicken anymore
  4. >"Middled-aged" might be too generous for even Rarity at this point
  5. >Be Mayor Mare at unholy hour
  6. >You blearily glance at your clock
  7. >4:31 blinks back at you
  8. >Moan and roll over
  9. >Snuggle your ratty body pillow and try to go back to sleep
  10. >Just5MoreMinutesPlease.yawn
  11. >Step 1: roll over
  12. >Step 2: try to sleep
  13. >Step 3: fail to sleep
  14. >We'll get 'em next time, lads
  15. >Get up with the usual series of popping and cracking
  16. >Morning stretches always leave you feeling younger and more tired at the same time
  17. >Get out of bed
  18. >Hear crashing and yelling outside
  19. >You cock your head and perk your ears
  20. >Sounds like Anon again
  21. >And that squawking sounds like Rainbow
  22. >One of these days you're going to retire
  23. >Trudge to kitchen
  24. >Coffee first, insane town residents second
  25. ---
  26. >Be Anon
  27. >Obviously you're Anon, ain't no other fucking monkey bois in Poniville
  28. >Be exhausted, somewhat drunk, very not okay Anon
  29. >You need to work out more
  30. >"Come on! Just let me show you how a REAL mare treats a sockslut like you!"
  31. >Be tryna escapee also drunk insane palette horse
  32. >Jump (flop over) at just the right moment for Rainbow to zip past and crash into a convenient pile of empty cardboard boxes
  33. >Been tryna escape fucking horse all goddamn night
  34. >Little sexist birbpone is like a friggin bloodhound for your dick
  35. >You are tired, had way too much to drink, and are fed up with fucking Rainbow and Fluttershy and Twilight and pretty much every other sluthorse in this town
  36. >Rarity's okay though
  37. >She's covered for your ass a few times.
  38. >Turns out fashion pony is actually a bro
  39. >Be too caught up in exposition to dodge Rainbow when she comes around again
  40. >"Gotcha!"
  41. >Grunt as you topple over against somepony's back porch
  42. >Rainbow is panting as she plants her scrawny spergasus ass on your midriff
  43. >"So.... come here often, big boy?"
  44. >She has that fucking shit-eating grin
  45. >ohSweetBabyJesusHerBreathSmells
  46. ---
  47. >Be caffeinated
  48. >Be Mayor Mare, sans sleep
  49. >Be angry get off my lawn stereotype
  50. >Be trying to be angry GOML stereotype but its still too early for this shit
  51. >Just want to go back to your bed
  52. >Open backdoor
  53. >Rainbow is doing supremely unprofessional things to...
  54. >Yep, that's Anon.
  55. >Poor colt looks ragged
  56. >TakeCharge.exe
  57. >You clear your throat.
  58. >"Ahem."
  59. >Rainbow looks up at you like a deer in headlights.
  60. >Not sure where that turn of phrase came from. Must need more coffee.
  61. >Take a sip.
  62. >"Rainbow, care to explain what you're doing on my back porch at 4:30 in the morning, trying to undress a stallion?"
  63. ---
  64. >Be Anon again
  65. >This is it. Time to bite the pillow and dream of Kansas.
  66. >Rainbow is fumbling with your shirt making all kinds of breathy promises about how utterly dirty she's gonna do you.
  67. >Thank god pegasi cannot into buttons
  68. >Maybe you can use your coat as a distraction?
  69. >Nope, too pinned.
  70. >Fuck.
  71. >You resign yourself, barely hearing the porch door opening.
  72. >"Ahem."
  73. >You can't make out who's standing in the dim light, but that tone is a forest of bureaucratic fuck you.
  74. >Lay your head back and sigh. Safety!
  75. ---
  76. >Be Skittles
  77. >Finally about to get yourself some hot monkey dong
  78. >After a wild goose chase from the bar, across town, back to the bar again for another round, and through town again, you've finally caught Anon.
  79. >Fucking tease has been playing hard to get for months, but clearly you just had to show off how athletic you are and boom! Ticket straight to poundtown for THIS mare!
  80. >You were about to claim your prize and drag him back to your place.
  81. >Well, you were going to have some fun and THEN drag him back to your place.
  82. >But the stupid colt chose the exact wrong house to crash into.
  83. >So be getting reamed by Mayor Mare instead of getting reamed by Anon.
  84. >"...and why haven't you submitted this year's Form 32C3s? In fact, I haven't received last month's weather reports either, now that I think of it."
  85. >No dick is worth this.
  86. ---
  87. >Still be terminally clitblocked Skittles again
  88. >Still getting lectured at about fucking work on a SATURDAY NIGHT
  89. >Er, Sunday Morning
  90. >You try making it blatantly obvious you don't have to take any of this crap because you're a marely mare.
  91. >Roll your eyes, huff loudly.
  92. >Stallions like bad mares, totally!
  93. >You glare at Mayor Mare and floof your chest fluff
  94. >"This is MY stallion you dried up, pudgey has-been!"
  95. >Mayor Mare stops mid-paperworkaholic rant.
  96. >Oh Shit I Said That Out Loud Didn't I.
  97. >She's staring at you, wide-eyed.
  98. >OhYou'reInForItNow
  99. >She narrows her eyes at you, then looks down at Anon.
  100. >"Anon, dear? Would you care to come inside and join me for breakfast?"
  101. >Anon rolls over and scrambles through the door like a sexy drunken four legged spider.
  102. >That sounded better in your head.
  103. >It's still in your head.
  104. >Fucking.
  105. >You snort angrily and paw at the ground.
  106. >"I'll expect those forms in my office by Monday, Dash."
  107. >Shit, she's got you by the teats now.
  108. >"Aww... C-come on, Mare, I didn't mean it like that! I just don't want you stealing MY stallion. I saw him first."
  109. >Old bitch is smirking now, she knows it too.
  110. >"Why so eager? If I'm a dried up has-been, there's nothing to worry about for such a fast, diligent, strong pegasus like yourself?"
  111. >She leans closer.
  112. >"Those forms. My desk. By Monday."
  113. >You growl, lashing your tail, and let out a frustrated yell.
  114. >Then you take off like a bat out of hell.
  115. >You'll do the stupid papers, and THEN get Anon.
  116. >You're right. Not like an old grey mare like her has a chance of stealing Anon from you.
  117. ---
  118. >Be Anon
  119. >Be hiding in Mayor Mare's kitchen, half-listening to the argument going on outside.
  120. >Make yourself some coffee.
  121. >Smells like some pumpkin spice shit, but fuck it. You're coming down off your adrenaline and alcohol haze, and you're exhausted.
  122. >You'll probably collapse without caffeine to keep you awake long enough to thank Mayor Mare for the save.
  123. >As far as you know, SHE isn't a sex-crazed lunatic.
  124. ---
  125. >Be Mayor Mare
  126. >Glare after Rainbow into the slowly lightening sky
  127. >The gust she kicks up sends a shiver through you. Goddesses the wind goes right through you these days.
  128. >You take another sip of your coffee, and enjoy the warmth settling in your belly.
  129. >Mmmm pumpkin spice
  130. >Stepping back inside, you close the door and sigh quietly. You feel like a deflated balloon, now.
  131. >You lean against the wall and look across at the hallway mirror.
  132. >It's taunting you again.
  133. >You're not really that pudgey, you've been going for walks in the mornings!
  134. >And there's still plenty of muscle from your younger days, just....
  135. >Your flanks are comfortably insulated, is all.
  136. >The wind goes right through you, these days.
  137. >And... you did okay in the Running of the Leaves this year, too!
  138. >Just a few places back from the year before.
  139. >Still best in the over 40 category!
  140. >Turning to the side, you give your hips a little wiggle, and move to take another sip of coffee.
  141. >Your mug is empty.
  142. >...
  143. >Who are you kidding, Mare?
  144. >You're old.
  145. >You're not the strong young thing you used to be.
  146. >Just driving off Rainbow Dash has taken a lot out of you, and it's not even 6 o'clock yet.
  147. >You can't even look yourself in the eyes in the mirror and lie that you used to be a real charmer.
  148. >Be Mayor Mare
  149. >Be lonely
  150. >Also be startled when there's a cough behind you
  151. >"Hey... uh, thanks."
  152. ---
  153. >ywn admit to liking this pumpkin spice crap
  154. >Anon Again
  155. >Be on your second mug of aforementioned pumpkin spice crap
  156. >Take a swig of your coffee as you hear what sounds like Rainbow zipping off in a huff
  157. >Thank god
  158. >You thought she'd never leave, to be honest
  159. >Element of fucking stubbornness and raep
  160. >The back door closes with a thump, and Mayor Mare's hoofsteps sound briefly.
  161. >You should probably go thank your savior.
  162. >Just1MoreSip.yawn
  163. >And another.
  164. >You probably should have asked before helping yourself to her coffee, but it's 6 in the morning and you're not really thinking straight.
  165. >(No homo though)
  166. ---
  167. >Be Anon
  168. >You've drained your second cup of definitely unacceptable trash-tier coffee
  169. >Set the empty mug by the coffee maker because you're probably going to need more if you plan on staying vertical
  170. >Not because you WANT to make more though.
  171. >Popanon didn't raise no metrosexual guaca-vacado toast munching ninny!
  172. >There's some text on the mug.
  173. >It says 'Ponyville's #1 Mayor' on the side
  174. >Huh. Didn't even notice.
  175. >Rubbing your eyes, you stumble over to the back hallway like the picture of graceful manonly monkeyhood you are.
  176. >Political horse is admiring herself in the mirror.
  177. >Maybe admiring is too strong a word.
  178. >Her ears are kinda drooping.
  179. >She looks like she could use another dose of coffee.
  180. >You look a little closer.
  181. >Or... jesus, maybe she could use a hug.
  182. >Anyway.
  183. >You clear your throat.
  184. >"Hey... uh, thanks."
  185. >She jumps, and the mug cradled in her hoof crashes to the floor and pulls an allahu ackar
  186. >Sharp shards everywhere!
  187. >Mayor Mare turns toward you, and in slow motion you see her left hoof come down on a large piece
  188. >It's like one of those shitty History channel specials on anti-cavalry weapons in action
  189. >The ones with the shakey shot of one horse running in slowmotion with a gray filter towards a bunch of obviously fake spikes
  190. >ModernCaltrops.ouch
  191. >She recoils and immediately lifts her hoof, but can't seem to locate a safe piece of floor
  192. >"Shit, sorry! I didn't mean to- Here let me just..."
  193. >You step over and heft her up, one of the larger pieces of mug crunching under your shoes
  194. >Oof, maybe not the littlest pony
  195. >You should work out more, assuming you can dodge all the mares at the gym.
  196. >Maybe you can get Mayor Mare to threaten them all with paperwork?
  197. >Fucking Dash reacted like a vampire to garlic, soooo....
  198. ---
  199. >"-non?"
  200. >Distracted. Right!
  201. >Still Anon
  202. >She's looking up at you from your arms
  203. >"Uh. You okay, Miss Mare? Mayor Mare, ma'am?"
  204. >She grimaces and holds up her hoof, examining it.
  205. >You make a roll for medicinal knowledge.
  206. >"That's definitely a cut alright."
  207. >Stupid fuck.
  208. >You're dimly aware of a periodic drip... dripping against the floor.
  209. >"Crap, should we call an ambulance? That's..."
  210. >Woo! BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD!
  211. >Mayor Mare gives you a strained smile.
  212. >Maybe she got some blood on her face? She's a little red.
  213. >"Please stay calm, it's just a little cut. Nothing to go to the hospital over, Anon."
  214. >She shifts slightly, using her other hoof to put pressure on the wound.
  215. >You don't miss the way she winces.
  216. >"Could you be a dear and put me down over by the kitchen and grab the first aid kit in the bathroom?"
  217. ---
  218. >Be Political Horse of the Local Elected Variety
  219. >A Mayor is You!
  220. >A red Mare is you.
  221. >You are not a clever red Mayor Mare.
  222. >If only your constituents could see you now.
  223. >You'd cut yourself open after startling like a new intern on her first day at work.
  224. >And Anon had just jumped in and picked you up like you were nothing more than a foal.
  225. >Stronk Earth Poni Leadership indeed.
  226. >Stronk human arms though....
  227. >Today is NOT your day, Mare.
  228. >Ugh, you're getting blood everywhere and you sincerely hope that doesn't stain too badly.
  229. >Anon just suggested going to the hospital.
  230. >Right, TakeCharge.exe!
  231. >Prioritize!
  232. >Dynamic decision-making! A firm hoof!
  233. >Community organizing in action!
  234. >We don't negotiate with Zebras!
  235. >Right!
  236. >Poor Anon probably hasn't seen blood before, being a stallion.
  237. >Best get this sorted out before he faints.
  238. >You smile reassuringly as you try to stem the bleeding, and direct him to get the first aid kit.
  239. >When he sets you down in the kitchen, you turn on the tap and dip your hoof under the stream.
  240. >It stings, but you can't see any fragments in the wound.
  241. >You give the frog of your hoof an experimental flex.
  242. >FUCKING LUNA'S TEATS
  243. ---
  244. >Be Mayor Mare (Scribble Scrolls to your friends)
  245. >Goddesses you wish you had more of those
  246. >Be ouchie
  247. >You grit your teeth and clench your eyes shut.
  248. >The tapwater cleans your hoof, but the pain lingers.
  249. >Gingerly, you try again.
  250. >CELESTIA’S FLAMING DOCK
  251. >Have I ever told you the definition of insanity, Mare?
  252. >"Ma'am? Uh, Miss Mayor Mare, which cabinet is the first aid kit in?" Anon calls from the bathroom.
  253. >"Should be under the sink!"
  254. >You frown.
  255. >"And call me Scribble, please!"
  256. >Ma’am always makes you feel old.
  257. >You ARE old.
  258. >But you’re not THAT old.
  259. >Anon returns with the first aid kit
  260. >HelloooNurse.pootis
  261. >”Thank you, dear. Could you set it on the table there?” You point with your nose.
  262. >Under the stream of cold water your hoof has gone pleasantly numb, so it doesn’t really hurt when you pad it dry with a clean towel and hobble over to the open box.
  263. >”Is there anything I can do to help, Miss Scribble?”
  264. >You grunt negatively at him as you struggle to unravel some gauze, waving him off with your free hoof.
  265. >Okay, the stallion’s out of the room.
  266. >Come on, Mare, just like basic.
  267. >The gauze finally unravels, and you start wrapping it around your injured hoof.
  268. >Blasted awkward… dammit!
  269. >Tying a knot while down a hoof is such a hassle!
  270. >Canterlot hornheads never knew how lucky they were.
  271. >You growl on the second failed attempt, grimacing as the gauze begins to taste like copper in your mouth.
  272. >”Here, I’ll get it.”
  273. >A pair of pale hands deftly take the tangled gauze from you.
  274. >The blood leaking around your initial attempt is sopped up, and a new section is cut from the clean roll.
  275. >You try not to gawk as Anon’s hands are stained red.
  276. >He’s not even acting grossed out, which is far removed from what you’ve come to expect from today’s stallions.
  277. >They’re delicate creatures, but you remember how your father would bandage your scrapes and kiss your bruises away as a foal.
  278. >Stallions today aren’t like that, or so you thought.
  279. ---
  280. >Be Mayor Mare
  281. >Actually, be Scribble Scrolls
  282. >It's Sunday, you can let your hair down for once
  283. >Be getting fussed over by Anon
  284. >You're a mare, you could've bandaged yourself up!
  285. >This isn't too bad though.
  286. >Mmmmm... ouch, okay stings like heck.
  287. >Another moment passes as this strange, strange colt neatly ties a knot around the top of your hoof.
  288. >The pressure against the cut leaves a throbbing pain, but it should heal within a few days.
  289. >Marvels of magic medicine!
  290. >Anon adjusts the knot and is holding your hoof as he examines his handiwork.
  291. >His long, slender fingers wrap around your hoof like... comfy spiders?
  292. >Screw it, it feels nice and you can feel a pleasant tingle run up your foreleg like static.
  293. >A stallion is holding your hoof.
  294. >You feel like a much, much younger mare.
  295. >20 years younger, even.
  296. >Has... has it really been that long?
  297. >Wait. Hol' up.
  298. >Mare, you're staring.
  299. >Mare.
  300. >Mare, you're not a starstruck filly anymore.
  301. >Mare, the nice stallion is talking to you.
  302. >Mare, the stallion holding your hoof is talking to you.
  303. >Now he's waving his hand in front of your face.
  304. >Landsakes...
  305. >SAY SOMETHING SCRIBBLES.
  306. ---
  307. >Be Concerned
  308. >Just kidding, actually be Anon
  309. >Do be kinda concerned though
  310. >Is blood loss a thing with tiny horses?
  311. >It's not like they have a lot of space to store it all, right?
  312. >AskingForAFriend.nervous
  313. >"Scribbles? Hey! Are you okay?"
  314. >"You're looking a little horse- uh, pale."
  315. >Shut up it's fucking 6 a.m. and you're running on fumes and caffeine
  316. >Expect shitty jokes
  317. >The mare spaced out while you were wrapping her hoof
  318. >Maybe she's woozy?
  319. >"Do you need to lay down?"
  320. >Wave a hand in front of her muzzle
  321. >Welp, it's confirmed.
  322. >Scribbles.exe has stopped working
  323. >Abort, retry, ignore?
  324. >Boop her.
  325. >...You don't think boops work for reset button.
  326. >Don't resist, you know you want to boop.
  327. >Not gonna boop! Look at her! She's clearly spaced!
  328. >Nightmare Moon Mission II: Electric Boopaloo
  329. >"Scribbles, do you want me to-"
  330. >"BREAKFAST!"
  331. ---
  332. >Be Scribble Scrolls
  333. >Be strong, dignified mare
  334. >Who also be a little lightheaded
  335. >Face can’t decide if on fire or pale as EndTimesHorse
  336. >BREAKFAST!
  337. >Who’s gonna cook? You?
  338. >Oh no, what if he thinks you just told him to get back in the kitchen?
  339. >Sure it’s a colt’s natural habitat but even you know not to say it!
  340. >SexualHarassmentLawyersCanSmellYourBlood.mosquitoes
  341. >Way to put your hoof in your mouth, Scrolls!
  342. >Might as well try to chew it off
  343. >Maybe the stallion will take pity on you if you’re a cripple
  344. >Okay, how do we salvage this without looking like a loon?
  345. >implying anything’s there to salvage
  346. >Getting a lil ahead of yourself, ain’tcha Scribbles?
  347. ---
  348. >Be Anon
  349. >You thought Mayor Mare had snapped out of it, but it looks like that outburst took a lot out of her
  350. >Poor mare’s ears are drooping again
  351. >Prolly needs more coffee, and some food wouldn’t hurt either
  352. >Yep she’s back to being quiet and a little spaced.
  353. >Fuck it, you’re booping the reset button
  354. >Fingers, you are go for boop, begin the procedure
  355. >Index is on approach to snoot
  356. >Boop in 3…
  357. >2…
  358. >1…
  359. >We have contact! Good hit, Index 1!
  360. >Target is engaging the Scrunch, prep for response!
  361. ---
  362. >Be tastefully wrinkled and slightly winkled mare
  363. >Oh My Goddesses he just gave you the boop
  364. >Red alert! Defcon 5!
  365. >MAXIMUM SCRUNCH ACTIVE
  366. >OhMyCelestiaJustKillMeNow
  367. >Face is definitely on fire
  368. >”A-Anon!”
  369. >Dignified, natural leader
  370. ---
  371. >Be Anon
  372. >Be currently flipping up some bitchin’ pancakes
  373. >Grannanon taught you how to the best fucking pancakes
  374. >May have slightly burnt the first batch, but you’ve confiscated Scribble’s Frilly Apron of Cookery +3
  375. >Passing all the skills checks with natural 20s, bitches
  376. >Even managed to do that thing where you kickflip a pancake with the spatula
  377. >BronyHawksXtremePankateboarding
  378. >You glance over your shoulder at Mayor Mare.
  379. >Scribble Scrolls, ya dunce. Call her Scribbles.
  380. >"Are you sure you're okay, Miss Scrolls?”
  381. >Okay close enough, but if you start miladying I’m out of here
  382. >She’s sitting at the little counter, nursing a mug of coffee
  383. >You can smell the pumpkin spice from here and you take another sip from your own cuppa.
  384. >”You're definitely getting your color back, but-"
  385. >Scribbles looks up at you, but she’s clearly running overclocked upstairs. Maybe worrying about how to clean up the blood in the hallway?
  386. >”I’m fine, really, Anon! You don’t need to do all this.”
  387. >You grin and nonchalantly flip another pancake.
  388. >Miss the pan like a pro and drop it right into the sink.
  389. >Oops.
  390. >Uh.
  391. >Maybe that alcohol is still working its way out of your system.
  392. >Or the caffeine is making you jittery.
  393. >”WELL! I don’t mind, and I don’t think you’re in any condition to be cooking, Miss Scrolls.”
  394. >Ears are drooping again! Sadhorse imminent!
  395. >”Besides, I don’t really eat breakfast all that often, so it’s nice to have pancakes again.”
  396. >She smiles a little bit, ears perked. Wait, no, there’s a headtilt.
  397. >”You like cooking, then?”
  398. >Nodding, you slide a plate of pancakes in front of her and drizzle on some syrup.
  399. >Ponies love sugar.
  400. ---
  401. >Damn, this colt can cook when he isn't burning everything!
  402. >Be Scribble Scrolls
  403. >Be sitting at the kitchen counter enjoying a steaming stack of fresh pancakes, slathered in mouthwatering syrup.
  404. >Pancakes that Anon made.
  405. >In your kitchen.
  406. >While wearing your Frilly Pink Apron of Cooking +3, no less.
  407. >It fits him surprisingly well.
  408. >ColtsInTheKitchen.yanno
  409. >Some things never change.
  410. >You’re having a hard time not staring at the “Cuddle the Cook!” emblazoned across the front.
  411. >At this point you’re not sure whether to be flattered, shocked, or attempt to drown yourself in your coffee.
  412. >Mmmm, pumpkin spice.
  413. >Anon serves himself a plate and turns off the stove.
  414. >”I do, though I’m used to cooking for myself. I don’t cook all that often.”
  415. >The tall stallion takes a heavy seat next to you, the stool groaning under his weight.
  416. >Poor dear… he looks exhausted and in need of a good nap in a warm bed, cuddled up with…
  417. >Mare, you’re doing it again.
  418. >Just… just have another pancake. Take your mind off things.
  419. >You savor your next bite, humming appreciatively.
  420. “I’d have thought you’d have plenty of experience, Anon! I mean, you’re…”
  421. >You have to tear your eyes away from “Cuddle the Cook!”
  422. “I mean, these are delicious! You clearly know your way around a kitchen.”
  423. >Smooth save, Scrolls.
  424. >Smooth.
  425. ---
  426. >Still be Scribbles
  427. >Smoothest talker west of Manehattan
  428. >Anon smiles, closing his eyes. Either he missed your near faux pas or forgave it out of hoof.
  429. >”Yeah, but usually it’s bachelor food. Perk of living alone is that you don’t have to do anything fancy unless you have guests.”
  430. >That’s a perk?
  431. >Your eyes drift over to a picture hanging next to the stove. A younger Scribble Scrolls is caught mid-laugh, forelegs wrapped around another grinning pony.
  432. >Oh, Raven…
  433. >When was the last time you two had gotten together?
  434. >You know it’s measured in years rather than months.
  435. >Maybe you should send her another letter? Offer to cook her favorite wheatloaf?
  436. >She’s probably settled down and with a herd, by now.
  437. ”Yes, I suppose that’s a… perk.”
  438. >You attempt a smile.
  439. ”Thank you for cooking for us. When I offered breakfast I wasn’t expecting being treated as the guest.”
  440. >With a shrug, Anon breaks into a jaw-crackng yawn, interrupting what you assume was some variation on “You’re welcome” with a foghorn.
  441. >A glance at the clock reminds you it’s still unreasonably early.
  442. >Maybe early enough to return to bed if you close the blinds and refuse to acknowledge the dawn’s light. The coffee might keep you up, but perhaps you could manage a light doze?
  443. >Poor colt is in a worse state than you are, though. You get the feeling Rainbow didn’t let him have any rest last night.
  444. >Turning in your seat, you wipe you muzzle with a cloth napkin.
  445. >You hesitate.
  446. >His eyelids are drooping, and his clothes are messy.
  447. “Anon, dear, would you like to stay awhile? Perhaps take a nap? It wouldn’t be right, just sending you out into the chill without some rest.”
  448. ---
  449. "Could you repeat that?"
  450. >Be Anon
  451. >Actually, you're tired, but you can be Anon too
  452. >Don't crush my dreams, dad!
  453. >You rub your eyes and try to stifle a yawn.
  454. >Feels like last night is finally starting to catch up to you, and be damned what the coffee has to say about it.
  455. >Mmmm pumpkin spice.
  456. >Okay, now you KNOW you're tired. Ain't no proud Anon gonna admit to liking that shit.
  457. "Sorry."
  458. >Scribbles is looking at you, eyes wide and blue.
  459. >"I asked if you'd like to lie down and get some rest before you go?"
  460. >You... thinking. You're thinking.
  461. >The gears in your head might be turning at a rate comparable to molasses going uphill in the middle of January... with crutches....
  462. >BUT you are thinking!
  463. >When you don't answer, Scribbles quickly continues.
  464. >"I'm sure you can take care of yourself, Anon, but autumn is upon us and I know you don't have a coat to keep you warm."
  465. >She's fidgeting with her bandaged hoof.
  466. >You should probably tell her not to do that.
  467. >The wound is still fresh, she might reopen it.
  468. >Which would be bad.
  469. >Right.
  470. >She's still talking. Uh. Bed, sleep. Good.
  471. >Yes.
  472. >You absently take her injured hoof in your hand to keep her from dislodging the bandage.
  473. >There. No more bleeding, Scrolls.
  474. >Cute pones are... like. Horse gods. No bleeding, and shit.
  475. >The grey-maned mare freezes for a moment, and then continues speaking.
  476. >"A-And I know you live across town, so it's probably a bit of a trot back home."
  477. >Oh yeah, she's the one that filed your resettlement papers all those months ago.
  478. >"I just changed the sheets yesterday, so you can borrow my bed for a few hours, okay?"
  479. >Well, one of the ones. Wait.
  480. >There's three Scribbles ponies sitting next to you at the counter.
  481. >And it seems they're all voting that you find the nearest comfy horizontal service and crash.
  482. >You're clearly the victim of voter fraud.
  483. >This is unconstitutional!
  484. >Actually, you were gonna vote sleep anyways so fuck it, jokes on them, they're rigging the vote in your favor!
  485. ---
  486. >Continuing to be Anon, you finally manage to translate your jumble of thoughts into a coherent mumble.
  487. "I. Yeah. I'll take you up on that, Miss Scrolls. Uh. Please."
  488. >Standing, you move to take the dishes to the sink, but Scribbles stops you with an outstretched hoof and a wobbly smile.
  489. >"Scribble, please. I'll clean that up later. Let me show you to bed before you fall asleep on your hooves!"
  490. "Okay."
  491. >You take hold of her injured hoof again, being careful not to put pressure on the underside.
  492. "Lead the way, Scribbles."
  493. >She stammers out something and the two of you start limping and stumbling through her little horse home.
  494. >This is just like that one war movie.
  495. >The one where the guy gets injured and has to half-carry the other injured guy to safety.
  496. >It was kinda gay but y'know, war is gay.
  497. >Kickass slo-mo walking though.
  498. >Hey, there's the bedroom!
  499. >Scribbles removes herself from your side to hobble over to the bed.
  500. >With a flick of her neck, she quickly tosses a love-worn body pillow into the open closet.
  501. >She closes the door and gives you a bright, wide grin.
  502. >"Sorry, uh. I forgot I left that there."
  503. >Awww, pony's all red in the face. Wasn't even a waifu pillow and she's embarrassed.
  504. ---
  505. >Be Scribble Scrolls
  506. >Be gaining more white hairs in your mane by the second.
  507. >At this rate, you won't even have to buy manedye anymore.
  508. >First you drop your second favorite mug and have to be bandaged up like a foal.
  509. >(It felt nice being cared for like that, didn't it, Scrolls?)
  510. >Then you weren't even able to cook breakfast for your own guest.
  511. >(Like you'd ever turn down a colt in your kitchen. I wonder if he can smell the loneliness?)
  512. >(You do realize it's just pity, don't you?)
  513. >And then he held your hoof as you walked him to your bedroom.
  514. >(Getting ideas, are we? That's ambitious, even for you!)
  515. >But this is probably the most embarrassing thing.
  516. >(Not even any upsides, like letting a poor defenseless colt hold your hoof, eh?)
  517. >You forgot about the stupid body pillow!
  518. >And Anon had just watched you toss it in the closet.
  519. >He probably thinks you're some ancient virgin now.
  520. >Which you emphatically aren't, by the way!
  521. >It's just been a while.
  522. >That's all.
  523. >Any mare is bound to get lonely and want to cuddle up to something in the night. It's classic herding instincts at work!
  524. >Twilight gave a lecture on the whole thing a couple of months ago, in fact.
  525. >...which, if memory serves, was about a week and a half after Anon arrived.
  526. >Huh.
  527. >Drama later, Anon now.
  528. >Grinning shakily at Anon, you gesture towards the bed.
  529. "If you like, I can take the apron back to the kitchen and see if I can't get some of the dirt out of your coat?"
  530. >The tall colt cracks another sleepy yawn, and slips out of the apron, followed by his coat.
  531. >"Thanks. I mean, uh, again, Miss Scribbles."
  532. >Such a polite colt!
  533. >Such an adorably tired colt!
  534. >Hnnnng!
  535. "Please, just Scribble. Or Scribbles, I suppose," you chuckle weakly.
  536. >He sits down on the edge of the bed, bending down to undo the laces on his shoes.
  537. >Then he kicks them off and you find yourself staring.
  538. >Again.
  539. ---
  540. >Socks.
  541. >The stallion on your bed is wearing socks.
  542. >L-lewd.
  543. >Now you know why Rainbow was so determined earlier. A stallion walking around outside with socks was just begging for trouble of the marely sort.
  544. >...or maybe looking for it.
  545. >Was Anon...? He held your hoof, and... and he's wearing socks and he doesn't even seem to mind that he's wearing them with you, a mare in the same room Oh sweet Celestia is he flirting with you?!
  546. >(In your dreams.)
  547. >STOP.
  548. >Cool it, Scrolls, your cutie mark is on fire.
  549. >You promptly and chastely tear your eyes away like the respectful gentlemare that you are.
  550. >Fortunately, it doesn't seem that Anon noticed your not staring, and its not like your muzzle could get any redder than it is.
  551. >The large stallion collapses back onto your bed, groaning happily.
  552. >OhSweetCelestiaGiveMeStrength
  553. >You're suddenly very glad that you let yourself get talked into a Princess-sized mattress by Davenport, back when he was still in the beds business.
  554. >According to the latest economic data, colts in sales positions make nearly 25% more than mares.
  555. >GovReportsThatMakeYouGoWellDUH.dock
  556. >The strange stallion takes up the almost whole bed on his own, and there's just barely enough room for his hooves. Feet?
  557. >Bottom appendages!
  558. >feat. socks.unf
  559. >No, don't start staring again, you'll never stop and he'll think you're trying to get under his tail.
  560. >(Like you're opposed to the idea.)
  561. >(Like it would ever happen.)
  562. "Ahem, would you like me to set an alarm for sometime in the afternoon? Say, one o'clock?"
  563. >Anon grunts affirmatively, then props himself up on one arm to look at you.
  564. >"I'm not. Uh. Going to be keeping you, am I?"
  565. >You tilt your head inquisitively.
  566. >"I mean, if you've got shi-" He's interrupted with another yawn. "...stuff to do today. I wouldn't want to leave a stranger in my home alone."
  567. ---
  568. >Ah, so that's what he was worried about. Stallions were always paranoid about that sort of thing, but with mares like Rainbow around you could understand the concern.
  569. >With a smile you throw his coat and your apron over your back.
  570. "No, no I don't mind. You're a trustworthy sort, Anon. A good stallion. Besides, I'm going to take a nap on the couch once I'm done tidying up."
  571. >His brows lower, and he frowns.
  572. >"I can take the couch, Scribbles."
  573. "Oh, no no! That wouldn't do. The couch is rather short, and somewhat lumpy. Please, you're my guest."
  574. >What?
  575. >It's not like you could just come out and call him... uh, large. Stallions hate when a mare brings up their weight!
  576. >And if a colt doesn't get his beauty sleep, there's Tartarus to pay.
  577. >You can already feel to sore spots forming on your barrel and the crick in your neck throbbing just thinking about that stupid couch.
  578. >Cost of getting a Princess-sized bed: You did't have much funding afterward for a comfortable sofa.
  579. >"Are you sure? I can, uh, scoot over or something?"
  580. >With admirable effort, the stallion rolls to the far side of the bed and curls in his arms, leaving a near-perfectly pony-sized opening of soft mattress tucked in against his barrel.
  581. >Torso?
  582. >Belly?
  583. >Should've paid more attention in comparative anatomy, Mare.
  584. >Regardless, comfy warm close-to-stallion sleepy place available!
  585. >Even as your face heats up and you take the smallest, most treacherous of steps forward, you know you're about to refuse.
  586. >It wouldn't be proper.
  587. >It wouldn't be right.
  588. >It'd be taking advantage of a colt whom you saved from another mare.
  589. >You're old enough to be his dame.
  590. >He's just taking pity on you.
  591. >He was drinking and hasn't slept at all.
  592. >He's not thinking straight.
  593. >You wouldn't take advantage of a stallion like that, would you?
  594. >...
  595. >No...
  596. >But you want to.
  597. >With a forced chuckle, you wrench yourself back away from the bed.
  598. >You grind your injured hoof into the floor.
  599. >Focus, Mare.
  600. ---
  601. "N-No, no, Anon, I should get the kitchen cleaned up first. I... Once I finish that I'll see how I'm feeling, alright?"
  602. >That's not actually a no, Mare.
  603. >Anon smiles and lays his head down on the pillows, eyes beginning to droop immediately.
  604. >"Alright. I'd feel bad if I was... uh... kicking you out of your... your own bed."
  605. >Another forced smile pairs nicely with the pain lancing up from your hoof.
  606. "Get some rest, dear. I'll wake you later."
  607. >As you leave the bedroom, you glance over your shoulder to see Anon's already fallen asleep. His wide chest rises and falls in a steady cycle.
  608. >You're just dying to turn around and dive into that space next to him.
  609. >Cuddle him and keep him safe and warm.
  610. >Remind him that there are still good mares, that you're a good mare, that you can be a good mare, a worthwhile companion.
  611. >Show him an older mare has got everything… everything a younger mare has too.
  612. >And, and that not all mares are like Rainbow Dash or Cloudkicker.
  613. >Heh... Not all mares.
  614. >Caramel would have a fit at the next town hall if he heard you utter those words.
  615. >Heaving a sigh and gritting your teeth, you crush those feelings and stuff them all into a mental closet.
  616. >Your chest feels a little tighter as you canter into the kitchen and start cleaning.
  617. >You resolve to start the latest Daring Do book you picked up at the library yesterday once the dishes are done and the blood in the hallway is scrubbed away.
  618. >Maybe a good book will take your mind off things.
  619. ---
  620. >Be Anon
  621. >Be asleep
  622. >...
  623. >Be snoring softly
  624. "Zzz..."
  625. >You are not very exciting while asleep.
  626. "Zzz..."
  627. ---
  628. >Be Scribble Scrolls instead.
  629. >You are awake.
  630. >You are not happy to be awake.
  631. >But it’s fine.
  632. >After cleaning the dishes and getting the worst of the dirt out of Anon's coat, you've moved on to cleaning the back hallway of blood and improvised ceramic caltrops.
  633. >The blood has dried and stained the small carpet, but it's a ratty old thing and replaceable.
  634. >You scrub a little more, trying to get the last of brown and red out of the floor, but your heart isn’t in it.
  635. >Standing, you hobble back to the kitchen, throwing away the dirty cleaning rag and washing your hooves thoroughly, careful to keep your bandages dry.
  636. >You head into the living room, careful to stay on the carpets adorning your floor. You don’t want to wake Anon, the poor colt needs his rest.
  637. >Retrieving Daring Do and the Fallen Kingdom, you crawl up onto the lumpy couch and open to the first page. The last novel had ended on a horrendous cliffhanger, with the titular heroine captured by Aryanne and the Ponazis.
  638. >Hopefully she’d be able to reconnect with her missing sidekick (an attractive, spunky stallion named Windiana Pones) and stop Aryanne from reactivating the ancient magical superweapon buried under the temple of Tantapony.
  639. >See? Just the sort of thing to take your mind off this morning.
  640. >The words are blurry, so you wipe a hoof across your eyes.
  641. >Scrolls, you have spectacles for a reason.
  642. >You sigh, then look around the room. You must have left them on your bedside table, because you couldn’t remember putting them on after getting up.
  643. >Your glasses were on your bedside table, in your bedroom.
  644. >Next to your bed, in which Anon was sleeping.
  645. >Great.
  646. >You bury your face in the book to help stifle your frustrated groan.
  647. ---
  648. >Still be politics horse
  649. >Book is surprisingly comfy.
  650. >Couch is unsurprisingly not.
  651. >There’s a lump right under your barrel that makes it impossible to sit still, and morning light is streaming in through the windows. It’s blinding, but the way it catches errant motes of dust is pretty.
  652. >You huff and raise your head from the pages, blowing your mane out of your eyes as you glance toward the bedroom.
  653. >Perhaps it wouldn’t be too difficult to sneak in and snatch your glasses off the bedside table?
  654. >Then you could at least read until you need to wake Anon.
  655. >Still… Sneaking. In your own home. UGH.
  656. >Just go in there and retrieve the darn things. You’re a mare, and you’re the MAYOR, for crying out loud.
  657. >If he wakes up, the colt can just go back to sleep!
  658. >DeterminedScrunchface.poni
  659. >Buck it.
  660. >Closing your book, you hop down off the couch and trot back to your bedroom, once again careful to stay on the carpets.
  661. >It’s not sneaking!
  662. >You’re just trying to courteous.
  663. >You have to force yourself not the knock when you reach the door, choosing instead to quietly nose it open.
  664. “Anon?”
  665. >You whisper just loud enough that if he’s awake, he’ll hear you.
  666. >No response.
  667. >You take a ginger step across the threshold, and your eyes are drawn to your bedside table. A thin trickle of sunlight is seeping through a crack in the blinds, glinting across your glasses.
  668. >Right where you left them, next to your alarm clock.
  669. >Mission objective sighted!
  670. >Acknowledged, you are clear to approach.
  671. >You step up to your bedside, ready to retrieve your glasses and go, but a soft murmur brings you to a halt.
  672. >”Zzz… mmmgh.”
  673. >You freeze, eyes locked on the sleeping form on the bed.
  674. >If Anon wakes up, it’d d look very bad. Sure, you’re only here for your glasses and absolutely not having thoughts about anything else, but colts aren’t exactly the most rational of creatures.
  675. >And he’s wearing socks.
  676. > Anon shifts in his sleep, then stills.
  677. >PleaseDon’tWakeUp!
  678. >You nervously let out a breath when Anon doesn’t stir further.
  679. >Anon’s chest rises and falls in a steady rhythm, and you can hear his soft snores. It’s hard to resist a tentative smile.
  680. >It’s hard not to see the difference between now and earlier this morning. His brow is free of worry, and he looks peaceful.
  681. >Carefree, strong, young and healthy….
  682. >Sleeping colts are so cute.
  683. >OhLunaYou’reSuchACreep
  684. >You jerk back, and your ears droop. First stallion in your home in moon only knows how long, and here you are acting like… You don’t really have a word to encapsulate the shame seeping down your neck.
  685. >Eyes lowered, you retrieve your glasses, clumsily bumping the sleep mask to the floor with a light flap of cloth.
  686. >Anon stirs again, and one of his eyes peeks open.
  687. >Record Scratch.
  688. >Freeze frame.
  689. >Yep, that’s me. You’re probably wondering how I got into this situation…. Well…
  690. ---
  691. >Be sleeping Anon
  692. >...
  693. "Zzz..."
  694. >Yep, you're still asleep alright!
  695. >From a great distance, you think you hear someone call your name.
  696. >Mmm. Probably not important, if you’re this comfortable.
  697. >Gradually, though, you feel a niggling feeling. It’s one of those little subconscious ones, some ancient mechanism from bygone years of evolution.
  698. >Not an alarm, but the concerned tapping of survival on your shoulder. It’s letting you know that beyond your dreaming mind, in the outside world, something’s up.
  699. >Meaning you should be, too, you lazy fuck.
  700. >There’s a muffled fwap, as something hits the floor.
  701. >Be slightly less asleep Anon.
  702. >You open one eye, finding a blurry Scribble Scrolls sitting on her haunches. She notices your regrettable state of wakefulness. She starts saying something, but you’re too sleepy and warm and tired pay attention.
  703. >Must be here to share bed sleep buddy offer yes. Guess you’ll have to move over to make room.
  704. >Yawning, you prop yourself up on one arm, glancing at the clock at the bedside.
  705. >The numbers tell you that it is still too early for any amount of truly rational thinking for a man as tired as you are.
  706. >Scribbles is still talking.
  707. >…Something about glasses?
  708. >Too long, didn’t sleep. More listen. Wait.
  709. >A full minute passes while you try to sort out that thought, drowning frowsily.
  710. >Wait, Scribbles is words. How do?
  711. >No, no, you’re pretty sure she isn’t even using words at this point, babbling rapidly as she is. Maybe it’s the exhaustion, but to your sleep-addled brain she reminds you of your alarm clock back home.
  712. >”…but I’m so, so sorry I woke you! I didn’t mean to, I just wanted to get my glasses but you looked….”
  713. >Clocks have sleep buttons, don’t they?
  714. >”And I’m sure you were having a nice-”
  715. >You mumble incoherently in response and boop her snoot right in the sleep button.
  716. >She scrunches immediately, leaving her vulnerable to your follow up.
  717. >Leaning over the side of the short bed, you swiftly wrap your arms snugly around her barrel and drag her under the warm covers with you.
  718. >She drops her glasses but you can pick them up later.
  719. >Fuck this talking crap.
  720. “Silly horse. Sleep.”
  721. >Burying your face in pillow and the soft cloud of her mane, you start drifting off.
  722. >Ponies are cute, but they’re bad at saying “Yes” in two words or less.
  723. ---
  724. >Be Mayor Mare. Scribble Scrolls.
  725. >…Scribbles.
  726. >Be trapped in Anon’s long, powerful arms, your back pressed against his barrel. Your face feels warm, and you’re certain it isn’t just from the heat radiating from the stallion behind you.
  727. >At this rate, your rolled scroll cutie mark is going to spontaneously combust.
  728. >Every slow breath he takes presses him against you, and his scent is enveloping you like a heady cloud.
  729. >Truth be told, you have no idea how you’re feeling right now.
  730. >This is so, so wrong.
  731. >Mortifying terror got shanked by intense embarrassment almost immediately, but spilled sadness’s drink in the process, which set up a four-way brawl between shame, happiness, shock, and abject depression.
  732. >Lust seems to be lurking in the corner with a bottle of whiskey, biding her time.
  733. >You wiggle, rearranging your legs to get comfortable, but Anon mumbles sleepily and holds you tighter.
  734. >Not tight enough for your ribs to protest, but enough to pass along the message that no, moving around is not welcome at this time.
  735. >SeatbeltLightIsOn.jpg
  736. >Your heart is beating a rapid tattoo within your chest.
  737. >You’re not hyperventilating, but that’s only because you’re Mayor Mare and that means keeping a cool, collected head in times of trouble.
  738. >Trouble was familiar, and came calling often to your little town at the edge of the Everfree.
  739. >Crises you could handle easy enough.
  740. >This?
  741. >This is beyond any crisis you’ve ever dealt with. You’d rather be going through another of Applejack’s stampedes, or that time a hungry timber wolf wandered in from the woods.
  742. >Or any of the Elements' many, many screw-ups and self-built disasters.
  743. >You breathe in another whiff of Anon’s scent. His own breathing tickles the delicate fur at your ears. At the very edges of your awareness, you detect the faintest hum of contentment escape his sleeping form.
  744. >…
  745. >You know what?
  746. >Buck it. The Tartarus with it. Enough is enough.
  747. >When was the last time you enjoyed yourself? When was the last time you weren’t Mayor Mare?
  748. >When was the last time you did something for yourself, and let the consequences slide til morning?
  749. >…afternoon. Close enough.
  750. >So buck it.
  751. >You’re going to steal this moment.
  752. >You’re going to capture it in your hooves, hold it to your breast and pray it doesn’t end.
  753. >You’re going to etch every second of being held into your mind, and pretend that instead of a sleepy one-time cuddle, the stallion behind you is someone who knows you and loves you and adores you.
  754. >And, and pretend that when you two get up later he’ll make you something delicious, and you’ll go out for a night on the town and it won’t matter to him that you’re a little pudgy, or dried up, or a has-been.
  755. >You’ll sweep him off his too-tall legs and give him a kiss Rainbow could only DREAM of giving.
  756. >And… and…
  757. >And when it ends, you’ll treasure the memory and cherish it, and maybe you’ll go visit Raven and eat a tub of ice cream while sobbing into your friend’s shoulder, and tell her all about this colt you don’t have a chance with.
  758. >It’d be just like you to reconnect with her like that.
  759. >But.
  760. >For now, you snuggle back in against Anon, clenching your eyes tightly to force the tears down.
  761. >Those are worries for when you wake up.
  762. >Anon gives you another squeeze, and you let a wobbly, delicate smile cross your muzzle.
  763. >For now, you can let yourself indulge in a little happiness.
  764. ---
  765. >Be Mara Mara.
  766. >Muya Maya.
  767. >Mur Murr.
  768. >Scrabble Pebble.
  769. >Stribble Stroll?
  770. >Scribbles.
  771. >Be very Scribbles pony.
  772. >Also be a sleepy, cozy, warm, fuzzy-headed pony.
  773. >You’re cocooned in blankets and a held by a pair of strong limbs. All is right in the world.
  774. >You’ve been drifting in and out of consciousness for the better part of four hours. Cracking an eye confirms the time; there’s an hour before the alarm goes off.
  775. >You stifle a satisfied moan as your stretch out your forelegs.
  776. >If you’re honest with yourself, you should probably wake Anon right about now.
  777. >But…
  778. >Gingerly rolling over, you prop yourself up. Anon’s in a deep enough sleep that he doesn’t seem to mind your fidgeting.
  779. >You can’t help but look over him, expression soft and heart feeling softer.
  780. >He’s so…
  781. >Young? Handsome? Strong? Peculiar?
  782. >Everything you wanted when you were younger, and everything you gave up for the sake of your career?
  783. >A gentle smile sneaks onto your muzzle. Tartarus with it, Anon’s a cute when he’s asleep.
  784. >You’re feeling almost giddy.
  785. >Whoa, Mare, that’s the cuddly hormones talking.
  786. >Buck it. Either way, you couldn’t stand to ruin this. You furiously trample the creeping thoughts seeking to drag you back down.
  787. >You lean in and nuzzle Anon’s neck. The action sends a thrill through you.
  788. >This is too intimate. This is so wrong.
  789. >It’s perfect.
  790. >You don’t stop, slowly dropping back down onto your tummy while nuzzling deeper in against his neck, all but burying your muzzle in him. He hums in his sleep, and his arms find you again and pull you in tight.
  791. >See?
  792. >Even he wants it.
  793. >You inhale, taking in his scent. It’s different, and there's a faint undercurrent of something… intoxicating.
  794. >Maybe it’s the companionship.
  795. >Maybe it’s the searing hole in your chest.
  796. >Maybe it’s knowing that in an hour he’ll wake up and leave.
  797. >But you can’t help the small tear that trickles down your muzzle and lands with a soft plip! on his neck.
  798. ---
  799. >Be wakey Anon.
  800. >Only sorta awake, but Scribbles is moving around and you don’t want to accidently squish her when she gets comfortable.
  801. >So you’re awake and aware enough to know she’s being a cute little pony again.
  802. >They’re almost all cuddlers, or nuzzlers, or something. Very touchy-feely critters.
  803. >At first you’d welcomed it, and thought they’d welcomed it too.
  804. >AwYeahBBLetAnonBeYourCuddleSlut.png
  805. >You were kind of starved for attention, back home. It was hard not to indulge them, and yourself.
  806. >Hugs? Yes please.
  807. >Ear scratches? Momanon never let you have a pet.
  808. >Cuddles? Hell yeah!
  809. >Intimate cuddling? Oh hey, wait a minute now…
  810. >LEWD? Hey, stop that! You’re not…!
  811. >Shut up and buck me, colt! NO!
  812. >The first few months were okay. You just wish Rarity had taken you aside and talked to you about it sooner. Maybe you wouldn’t be dealing with Rainbow like this if she had.
  813. >You weren’t exactly an expert on ‘sending mixed signals’ shit.
  814. >Oh, Scribbles is moving again…?
  815. >D’aww… that’s a sleepy nuzzle.
  816. >Her nose is a little damp and chill against your skin, but it feels nice, and the soft fuzz of her muzzle pressing in against your neck…
  817. >Cute little horse fits right into that spot like a puzzle piece.
  818. >Mmm, morning cutie.
  819. >Cutie? Really?
  820. >Come on, you’re still not super awake, and she’s being cute. Besides, she’s been nice.
  821. >In hindsight, it’s kind of sad how a pony treating you nice instead of like a piece of meat is enough to make you want them to be happy. Sort of.
  822. >You’re not sure you’re running at full capacity yet.
  823. >But it’s like. She’s one of the few ponies who doesn’t… do that. Or hasn’t tried to yet.
  824. >Hell, she saved you from fucking Dash!
  825. >IfYannoWhatIMean.jpg
  826. >That puts her head and shoulders above the rest. Its hard to imagine trying this anymore. Cuddling. You can count on one hand the number of mares you’d trust in this situation.
  827. >Okay, maybe taking her up on her offer of bed was a bit of a risk, and you weren’t thinking clearly, but… you trusted her, and she didn’t break that trust. She saved you in the first place.
  828. >And she’s pretty cute. Gets all red-faced and nervous.
  829. >Yeah, Anon ain’t stupid, boys!
  830. >Something small and wet drips onto your neck.
  831. >…Oh.
  832. >Poor Scribbles…
  833. >Okay, time to wake up and comfort sad pone.
  834. “Mmm, morning cutie.”
  835. >Oh look, now you actually said it out loud.
  836. >Scribbles sits up and wipes a hoof across her muzzle, and gives you a wobbly smile. She’s probably hoping you didn’t feel that.
  837. >But you did.
  838. >” I’m sorry, dear. I didn’t mean to wake you.”
  839. >You gently pull her in closer, letting her rest her muzzle in that perfect spot against your neck again.
  840. “It’s okay, but I’ll only forgive you if we stay like this for another couple hours. ‘M still tired.”
  841. >She shifts against you, then raises her head.
  842. >”Anon?”
  843. “Mmm?”
  844. >”Would you mind if I turned off the alarm?”
  845. “Nope. But I might end up sleeping all the way til tomorrow, so I hope you won’t mind if I stay the night.”
  846. >You close your eyes, and despite your best efforts you can’t help but smile.
  847. >You can almost hear her blushing from here.
  848. ---
  849. >>34741898
  850. >Be Scribble Scrolls
  851. >You wake up to a dark bedroom, but a warm bed. Yawning, you lick your lips and grimace at how dry your tongue feels.
  852. >Bleh.
  853. >Your clock tells you it’s late, and the dim light filtering through the curtains says the same.
  854. >It’s sunset at the earliest.
  855. >Anon is still asleep, but you don’t think you could drift off again if you tried.
  856. >He called you a cutie.
  857. >’Mmm, morning, cutie.’
  858. >You wanted to squeal like a batpony!
  859. >Err, thestral. Have to be politically correct about these things nowadays.
  860. >And he wanted to stay!
  861. >Yes, perhaps most of that was the sleepiness, but he’d SOUNDED lucid. He’d probably change his mind, seeing as the colt was a bit of a homebody, but maybe you could offer to walk him home, and then the two of you would stop on his doorstep, and you’d ask if he wanted to get a cup of coffee sometime, and he’d lean down and…
  862. >Whoa, Mare, somepony left the thermostat up too high!
  863. >You’re smiling dopily. Totally undignified if anypony was around or awake to see it.
  864. >MayorMareOfPonyvillePublicServant.jpg
  865. >Of course, the teasing colt fell asleep immediately afterwards, but you are absolutely certain he knew EXACTLY what he was doing!
  866. >Stallions and their whimsy, leading good mares around by their noses!
  867. >You huff softly, which reminds you of your dry mouth.
  868. >You carefully slip out of Anon’s sleeping embrace, and make your way to the kitchen. You hoof doesn’t hurt nearly as much as it did before, but you’re still wary about putting pressure on it. There doesn’t seem to be any fresh blood seeping through the bandages, and you’d like to keep it that way.
  869. >Retrieving a glass of orange juice, which you pray Applejack will never find out about, you take a long sip as you consider your mostly empty icebox. You’d meant to go out shopping today, but events had conspired against you in ways you’re not certain you could object to.
  870. >Fortunately, you have plenty of foodstuffs in the pantry, so you’re not going to go hungry.
  871. >You idly call to mind your daydreams from earlier, and head back to the bedroom. Soft snores drift out the door, and you wonder if Anon could be convinced to make dinner.
  872. >…Probably a bridge too far, and if you’re being honest with yourself that’d be an awful thing to ask of a stallion after such a traumatic day.
  873. >Even though you’re sure Anon is no normal stallion.
  874. >You have to shake your head free of thoughts about Rainbow pinning him to the ground.
  875. >Shameful, completely without restraint, and… well…
  876. >Fillies will be fillies, after all.
  877. >And Anon was rather handsome for an alien monkey.
  878. >Hard not to give her that, at least, though in truth you didn’t want to give her anything.
  879. >But YOU had just had your tuft all over him, AND given him nuzzles, AND cuddled with him.
  880. >Absolutely scandalous.
  881. [spoiler]>Technically not as bad as the bridge to nowhere fiasco, but it’s a close thing.[/spoiler]
  882. [spoiler]>You’re not sure you could get away with this like you did that.[/spoiler]
  883. >You didn’t have much room to judge though, which wasn’t too shabby for a dried-up has-been.
  884. >Sighing, you smile and turn back to the kitchen.
  885. >Might as well get started on dinner.
  886. ---
  887. >Be a dark beast, awoken from its slumber. Sealed away for generations, now it rouses from the endless expanses of the dark world.
  888. >What pitiful mortals dare to wrest it from its dreams, and cast its horrors upon the landing of the waking?
  889. >What pathetic offering have they placed upon its altar, in the hopes of averting its wrathful gaze?!
  890. >Be Anon.
  891. >Smell food.
  892. >Awake to food smell.
  893. >Good food smell.
  894. >Anon, awake!
  895. >Groaning, you sit up, and stretch. Your head hurts a little, but aside from that and the ache of tired muscles, you feel pretty good. There’s a restlessness to your waking though; you doubt you could drift off again if you tried.
  896. >Even if you could, though, you wouldn’t want to! You can smell something delicious wafting in from the kitchen, and the clatter of utensils explains the pony-sized empty space on the bed.
  897. >Yawning, you stumble to your feet and drag yourself into the kitchen, standing rubbing your eyes as they adjust to the bright electric lighting.
  898. >From her place at the stove, Scribbles looks over her shoulder and gives you a smile. She looks pretty adorable with glasses on and her mane tied back.
  899. >”Ah, good morning, Anon dear. Evening, really, but you’re awake now. I hope you’re feeling better.”
  900. >She prances in place, then adds a shake of something to the bubbling pot on the stove.
  901. >”I took it upon myself to make dinner, since you probably needed the rest.”
  902. >She’s smiling at you.
  903. “Mmm. Evening, Miss Scrolls. Yeah, I’m feeling a lot better, actually. What’s cooking?”
  904. >You shake off the last of your grogginess and join her at the stove.
  905. >Scribbless her heart, she made spaghetti!
  906. >”Just spaghetti, I’m afraid. I had a tin of the noodles in the pantry.”
  907. “It smells delicious.”
  908. >The sauce is bubbling in a smaller, separate pot, and the strong scent of tomatoes and herbs fills the room.
  909. >”Thank you, Anon. Would you care to set places for us on the counter? The spaghetti should be done in a moment, and the sauce is just warming now.”
  910. “Sure thing. Where’re the forks again?”
  911. >Scribble Scrolls points you in the right direction, and soon afterwards you have places set and a steaming heap of spaghetti and sauce in front of you.
  912. ”Thanks again for letting me use your bed, Miss Scrolls. And for the food.”
  913. >She quirks an eyebrow at you.
  914. >”Just Scribble or Scribbles, please. ‘Miss’ isn’t as bad as ‘ma’am,’ but both make me feel rather old.”
  915. “Thank you, Scribbles.”
  916. >She replies in kind to your earnest smile.
  917. >”You’re quite welcome, Anon.”
  918. >Silence falls as you dig in.
  919. >This is some damn good spaghetti.
  920. ---
  921. >Be Scribbles again.
  922. >You and Anon have polished off dinner, and together you’ve just finished cleaning up the last of the dishes.
  923. >You play with your spectacles. Come on, Mare, ask him. Now or never!
  924. “Anon, it’s getting rather late, and I’m so sorry I’ve kept you so long. Would you care to stay the evening?”
  925. >You have to resist biting your lip as he frowns thoughtfully.
  926. >”I don’t know… I should probably be heading back. I don’t want to overstay my welcome.”
  927. >Drat!
  928. “N-No! You can stay if you’d like. I’d hate to just push you out into the cold, and the sun is down.”
  929. >Back it up a bit, Mare! Too pushy and you’ll scare him off! By Celestia, you’re out of practice.
  930. >”Nah, I’ll be okay. I kinda need to get a shower and do my laundry for tomorrow.”
  931. >Curses! Foiled again! Can’t separate a stallion and his fashion!
  932. >Oh well. Last chance, Mare, make it count!
  933. “It would be remiss of me not to walk you home, at least. I pride Ponyville on being a safe town, but I’d feel better if I saw you home safe.”
  934. >Please, please, please!
  935. >The colt smiles.
  936. >”I definitely wouldn’t object to the company, Scribbles.”
  937. >YES!
  938. ---
  939. >Be Mayor Mare.
  940. >You’d be Scribbles, but it’s dark out and you have to take charge and show confidence. A stallion who feels safe is a happy stallion, and a happy stallion makes a happy mare.
  941. >That’s what your mother told you when you started dating, at least.
  942. >She was right for the most part!
  943. >And… she was probably still right when you stopped dating to focus on politics.
  944. >The secret to a successful political career is making sure stallions feel safe.
  945. >…Yep, the representation and ethics committee would LOVE that one.
  946. >You would like Anon to feel safe, though.
  947. >Maybe you’re getting a little ahead of yourself.
  948. >The two of you are walking quietly side by side in comfortable silence. The tip-tap of his boots and the clip-clop-clip-clop of your hooves are cheerful, but slow.
  949. >Well, it’s a mostly comfortable silence.
  950. >Anon’s coat was thankfully dry by the time you left, but he’s hugging himself and if you angle your ears just right you can make out the chattering of his teeth.
  951. >It isn’t supposed to be this cold! Celestia’s sake, it’s not even the end of autumn!
  952. >You can’t imagine what it’d be like not to have a coat!
  953. >A breeze whispers through the quiet street and you immediately feel like you know what it’s like not to have a coat. The wind goes right through you, even with the warm scarf looped around your neck.
  954. >Rarity is such a sweet mare, if a bit whimsical and colty.
  955. >Despite trying your hardest to suppress it, you let out an involuntary shiver that travels from your tail and hindlegs, up your barrel and past your forelegs, to your neck and finally leaves your ears quivering.
  956. “Brrrrr-rrrr… I wasn’t expecting it to be this cold, otherwise I’d have wrapped up a little more.”
  957. >”Y-yeah… You said it.”
  958. >Anon probably catches the wind more than you do, tall as he is. Poor dear…
  959. >You stop when the two of you reach Sugarcube Corner, and unwind your scarf and offer it to your companion.
  960. “Anon, here. Put this on. You’ll be frozen half to death before we get you home otherwise!”
  961. >Anon shakes his head, though looks more like another shiver from where you’re standing.
  962. >”N-no, I couldn’t. You’re just as cold as I am!”
  963. >Of course he puts up a fight about it, stubborn colt! He’s cold, you have a scarf, and your sire taught you to be a gentlemare!
  964. >It’s simple!
  965. >Who are you kidding, he’s a stallion; of course it’s not simple.
  966. “I insist! I’m a grown mare, I can take a little nip. You, however, are…”
  967. >…a delicate stallion in need of a mature, guiding hoof to keep you safe and warm at night.
  968. >YouCanFeelTheWeightOfLawyersBreathingDownYourNeck.jpg
  969. ”Um, clearly freezing, and I can’t bear to see you suffering through it any longer.”
  970. >Anon frowns.
  971. >The breeze picks up again.
  972. >”You sure?”
  973. >You desperately suppress the shiver threatening to run up your tail.
  974. >Nodding, you grin widely.
  975. >Ha! Teeth can’t chatter if they’re clenched tight.
  976. >No unmarely shivering for you, you’re a beacon of strength and steadiness on this dark night!
  977. >Anon wraps your scarf around his neck, and the two of you continue on.
  978. >”Thanks, Scribbles.”
  979. >You don’t reply.
  980. >The human is probably inundated with your scent, the way he has the scarf hiked up over his mouth and nose.
  981. >B-buck, he spent the whole day in your bed, he probably reeks of you!
  982. >You’re suddenly very glad it’s late enough that no one else is out and about.
  983. >…But you can’t resist pressing yourself up against his hip as you walk along.
  984. >My, but you’re being forward.
  985. >Closing your eyes, you drift back to daydreams of romantic evening walks.
  986. >A breeze cuts you to the bone, and you shiver.
  987. >Anon feels it, and stops.
  988. >You almost don’t notice for a moment, until the warmth of his presence is gone and another shiver wracks your body.
  989. >He steps forward and kneels in front of you. A warm hand caresses your ear.
  990. >Mmmmf, that feels good. Painfully so, as heat works its way into your numb eartufts.
  991. >“Scribbles, you’re freezing!”
  992. “N-nonsense, I’m f-f-fine!”
  993. >”Oh, hell no. None of this braving through, shit. Here, hop in.”
  994. >Anon unbuttons his coat and holds it open.
  995. >You hesitate, trembling. It’d be undignified. You’d look silly. You already look weak. Your hoof is rather sore, but numb. You’d be cuddled up against his chest and held in his big, strong arms.
  996. >”Scribbles, either you get in here or we’re gonna be here all night.”
  997. “But, I…”
  998. >Another gust of wind leeches heat from your bones and makes the decision much easier.
  999. >The offer of warmth is too much to ignore, and that’s most certainly the only deciding factor thank you very much. You crawl into the space against his chest, and he closes his coat around you, standing. There’s enough space at the top for your head to poke out.
  1000. >You hope your mane doesn’t tickle his nose too badly.
  1001. >His arms cradle you, one wrapped around your barrel and the other supporting your hindquarters.
  1002. >Goodness, it’s much warmer in here than you expected.
  1003. “Thank you, dear. It… was getting to be a bit much.”
  1004. >You feel his chuckle just as much as you hear it.
  1005. >The two, err, one of you walk in silence for a few minutes, and you crane your head back to appreciate the night sky. It’s clear, and the moon is bright.
  1006. >You feel something tickle your left ear, and flick it away.
  1007. >Another tickle.
  1008. >Your flick your ear again.
  1009. >You squirm in Anon’s coat, trying to escape the tingling at the tip of your ears.
  1010. >Flick.
  1011. >Anon’s chest heaves like he’s about to burst into laughter and then your ear tickles again. He was blowing on the furry tips!
  1012. “Anon!”
  1013. >You wriggle around to look up him, scrunching furiously in a display of dominance.
  1014. >You go, Mare! Show that colt who's boss!
  1015. >Your eyes meet his.
  1016. >Oh Celestia you’re close enough to share breaths.
  1017. >You’re not blushing, you’re not blushing.
  1018. >He’s grinning at you like he wasn’t just being a whimsical, obnoxious, handsome tease.
  1019. >”Sorry, Scribbles. They were right there and I couldn’t resist.”
  1020. >Huffing, you turn away from him.
  1021. “Well, it tickles.”
  1022. >”You’re adorable.”
  1023. >Without a word you flick your ear back, whapping him softly on the cheek.
  1024. >He blows on it, and you whap him with your other ear.
  1025. >You can feel the smile glowing on your muzzle.
  1026. >It turns into a bit of a game, seeing if you can slap him without his breath tickling you. You’re both chuckling and giggling. You feel like a filly, or a foal, or maybe this is how Pinkie Pie feels all the time? Young and bountiful and full of life and joy.
  1027. >You give him cheek one last tap, slower this time.
  1028. >It’s more of a caress, if you’re being honest with yourself.
  1029. >You’re flirting with him.
  1030. >What you expect to feel is a gust of warm air and the urge to flick your ear away.
  1031. >What you do NOT expect is for him to catch the tip of your ear between his lips and nip it lightly with his teeth.
  1032. >You let out a sharp breath, and clench your eyes shut. You shudder. Anon can probably see your muzzle glowing.
  1033. “Uhm. I… careful dear. They’re sensitive.”
  1034. >GoddessesKillMeNow.pne
  1035. >Your voice is a weak mumble.
  1036. >”Aw, geez. I’m sorry, I didn’t hurt you, did I?”
  1037. “N-No! Just startled me, that’s all.”
  1038. >”Okay.”
  1039. >CONFOUND THIS COLT.
  1040. ---
  1041. >The rest of the trek to Anon’s home passes swiftly, as his long legs (unf!) eat up the distance. He doesn’t shiver at all the rest of the way there, and neither do you.
  1042. >You don’t doubt this is in part because your entire body feels like one massive blush.
  1043. >There was some awkwardness as he struggled to hold you and retrieve his house keys, but soon enough you find yourself easing out of his arms in the cozy entrance hall.
  1044. >It was a nice home, built by a pair of pegasi who’d moved on a few years ago. You guess Anon liked the taller ceilings, and when you mention this he gives you a rueful grin.
  1045. >”Yeah, you wouldn’t believe how much of a pain it can be when most creatures are half your height on this world. Ponyville isn’t bad, but my visit to Manehattan a few weeks ago was awful.”
  1046. >It’sNotEasyBeingTall.bigbirb
  1047. “I can imagine!”
  1048. >You smile up at him, craning your neck to meet his eyes.
  1049. >He smiles back.
  1050. >A beat passes.
  1051. >He looks away, and picks up your scarf from his coatrack.
  1052. >”Sorry, I probably shouldn’t keep you.”
  1053. >You heave a sigh.
  1054. “I suppose not. I do have work tomorrow morning.”
  1055. >Oh, right. Dash owes you a stack of weather reports, and she’ll probably be all huffy about it and throwing her tuft about.
  1056. >That’s going to be fun to deal with.
  1057. >Draping your scarf around your shoulders, Anon picks out a cozy-looking red plaid jacket from the rack.
  1058. >”Here, this should keep you warm on the way home.”
  1059. >Anon slips it around your shoulders and helps you slide your hoofs through its large sleeves, rolling them up for you so you won’t stumble on the cuffs. You feel like a foal trying on your mother’s clothing.
  1060. >”I’ll probably be wanting that back at some point, but you’re going to need it on the walk home.”
  1061. >You idly play with your scarf.
  1062. >The heat in your chest spikes dangerously.
  1063. >Maybe…
  1064. >Maybe there’s a chance…?
  1065. ”Well… if you want, I could return it to you tomorrow? Perhaps over coffee?”
  1066. >Mare, don't forget about Dash, you're playing with fire here...
  1067. >The worst that happens is he says no.
  1068. >That would be the worst.
  1069. >Goddesses, please say yes...
  1070. >Anon doesn’t speak for a moment.
  1071. >Then another.
  1072. >His brow furrows.
  1073. >The silence turns into a minute, and you can feel the warmth in your chest waning. It’s a struggle to keep your ears from drooping.
  1074. >”…Would noon work? I’m helping Rarity til five, but I should have a break at lunch.”
  1075. >…
  1076. >HolyBUCKHeSaidYesThatsAYesRightOhMyGoshThatsAYes.heartattack
  1077. ”Oh! I mean, certainly! My lunch starts at noon as well.”
  1078. >“You’re buying, though.”
  1079. >An unmarely giggle bubbles out of you. Of all times, it’s at the END of the night that he acts like a colt.
  1080. “Naturally!”
  1081. >Anon stops you at the door.
  1082. >”Hey, Scribbles?”
  1083. >You turn.
  1084. “Yes, Anonymous?”
  1085. >“Thanks again, for earlier. It really means a lot.”
  1086. >A gentle smile graces your lips.
  1087. “You’re always welcome, dear.”
  1088. >You start trotting home.
  1089. >”See you tomorrow!”
  1090. “See you!”
  1091. >Anon’s jacket is thick and keeps the cold breeze off your coat, but the warmth in your chest is what keeps the chill at bay.
  1092. >That night, you bury your muzzle in your pillow, inhaling the scent of the wonderful, strange, incredible, peculiar MAYBE that’s stumbled into your life.
  1093. >You probably shouldn’t get your hopes up.
  1094. >You’ve been hurt before.
  1095. >Before you know it, sleep catches up to you, and you drift off with a soft smile.
  1096. >That night, you dream of happier things.
  1097. ---
  1098. >Morning in Ponyville shimmers with a layer of frost as you canter toward town hall. Dawn is just beginning to break over the horizon as Celestia’s sun stains the clouds a brilliant orange.
  1099. >You are Mayor Mare this morning, and you greet the other early risers with foggy smiles.
  1100. “Good morning, Roseluck!”
  1101. >One third of the flower sisters gives you a wave from the front of her shop, setting out an arrangement of autumn flowers.
  1102. “Ah, Davenport, I trust Love Seat is feeling better?”
  1103. >The stallion gives you a wide grin and a nod as he flips the sign on Quills and Sofas to ‘Open.’
  1104. >”That she is! Fall weather agrees with her.”
  1105. >Derpy swoops by overhead, giving you a cheerful wave as she narrowly avoids a lamppost.
  1106. ”I hope your deliveries go well, Miss Hooves!”
  1107. >Your words fade into the crisp air and a steady smile graces your muzzle.
  1108. >You’re not normally this chipper in the morning.
  1109. >Normally you have a pile of chips on your shoulder in the morning.
  1110. >One for being awake at an unholy hour, another for not having enough coffee, a third for missing the tail-end of whatever pleasant dream Luna sent your way, yet another for the ache in your hips, and a full set for every other minor inconvenience associated with being out of bed before 8 o’clock.
  1111. >Quite the pile, even on a good day.
  1112. >Certainly, you always greet your constituents politely, but that’s part of your role as a politician. You mean it every time, but… Routines grow from habit, and familiarity breeds contempt.
  1113. >You care for them all, but polite words and diplomatic greetings become rote after the tenth year in a row.
  1114. >But after yesterday…
  1115. >HE SAID YES!
  1116. >Scribbles has herself a DATE!
  1117. >Momma’s still got it!
  1118. >Suffice to say, it’s difficult not to float across the ground.
  1119. >Maybe it’s the pegasus blood in you? According to your father, his great-great-grandfather was a pegasus.
  1120. >Even if it’s just coffee.
  1121. >And only then because the human needs his coat back.
  1122. >But still….
  1123. >Anon’s jacket keeps the cold away, even better than your two hot mugs of coffee from earlier.
  1124. >MmmmmPumpkinSpice.png
  1125. >You slow to a steady trot as you approach the town hall, pausing to take in the warm, drifting scents wafting from Sugarcube Corner.
  1126. >Cinnamon and ginger, mixed with hints of warm pumpkin bread and sweet rolls…
  1127. >The town square is only just beginning to show signs of life as ponies go about their daily routines, but you can see ponies drifting towards the bakery as Pinkie zips outside to flip over the ‘Closed’ sign.
  1128. >She gives you a shining grin and a rapid wave before disappearing back indoors.
  1129. >Your hoofsteps slow, and you stop.
  1130. >This… this was worth it, wasn’t it? Your town is full of happy ponies, going about their lives with as little stress as you can lay upon them. Your tenure as mayor has made a difference, hasn’t it?
  1131. >What you gave up was worth that, right?
  1132. >Throwing yourself into your duties and role as a leader, pulling late nights at town hall, forcing yourself to the front to make Ponyville the best place for everypony…
  1133. >Memories of Zecora, Anon, and a few of your other nonpony residents jump to mind.
  1134. >Sorry, everyONE.
  1135. >…as possible.
  1136. >LawyersPleaseHaveMercy.jpg
  1137. >That was the right thing to do, wasn’t it?
  1138. >You straighten your back.
  1139. >It was worth it. And now things are looking up.
  1140. >Anon’s scent fills your nostrils as you bury your muzzle in the large collar of his jacket.
  1141. >Today is going to be a good day.
  1142. >Stopping on the town hall’s front steps, you turn and watch the sunrise.
  1143. >Celestia has outdone herself this morning, though the dazzling rays probably won’t keep the chill of autumn away as well as you’d like. With the leaves down, the pegasi will be gearing up for first snowfall, and first frost was weeks ago.
  1144. >More paperwork, of course, but the forms are familiar to you.
  1145. >Far above you, a streak of rainbow cuts across the sky.
  1146. >Ah. That form is ALSO familiar to you.
  1147. >Right.
  1148. >Buck, you’re going to have to deal with her today, aren’t you?
  1149. >Suddenly, your smile feels brittle in the chilly air.
  1150. >Ugh.
  1151. >You let yourself into the front hall and make your way upstairs to your office, hanging up Anon’s jacket and turning on the coffee pot in the staff room.
  1152. >’Helmets on, mares.’
  1153. >’We’re going to war.’
  1154. ---
  1155. >Be Anon.
  1156. >Balls fuck fucking fuck ass fuck it’s cold!
  1157. >Your fingers are numb as you rap on Carousel Boutique’s front door, despite having bundled yourself up with a couple extra layers and a warm hat.
  1158. >Definitely going to have to ask Rarity to pay you in gloves or some shit today. Bits are nice, but they’re no good if your fingers fall off from frostbite.
  1159. >Okay, so maybe you’re exaggerating a little, but you always forget that mornings are stupid cold before the sun is overhead.
  1160. >Rarity opens the door with a gracious smile, her mane already perfect and her eyes not showing even the slightest hint of fatigue in spite of the early hour.
  1161. >”Oh! Good morning, Anon! The walk over wasn’t too taxing, was it?
  1162. >Your negative grunt is muted behind your scarf.
  1163. >“Please, do come in!”
  1164. >She steps as and motions you in with a graceful hoof.
  1165. >Fashion horse: beauty incarnate, but doesn’t need her beauty sleep.
  1166. >You’d be exasperated, but it’s balls-freezing out here so instead you trudge indoors with another muffled grunt in place of a teeth-chattering hello.
  1167. >Rarity’s magic chimes as she helps you out of your multiple layers, and you stomp your feet and rub your hands, basking in the warmth of glorious indoors.
  1168. >She hangs up your clothes, nose twitching as your innermost overshirt floats by.
  1169. >Shit, you don’t smell, do you? You slept in a little bit and didn’t get a chance to shower.
  1170. >Well, technically you had time, but you learned your lesson about leaving the house with wet hair in late fall back on Earth.
  1171. >So, deodorant and a fresh set of clothes was the best you could do if you didn’t want a head cold by noon.
  1172. >Fortunately, Rarity doesn’t seem inclined to comment, though you take a surreptitious sniff under your arm as she finishes arranging your shirts and hat on the coat hooks.
  1173. >Nope, just deodorant smell.
  1174. >”Tea, darling? I also have some marvelous coffee, I know you like that.”
  1175. “Good god, yes please! A hot coffee sounds great about now. It’s freezing out there, Rares.”
  1176. >She looks you up and down with a critical eye, her lips pursed in an adorable pout. “Forgot that coat I made for you, hmm?”
  1177. >Shit.
  1178. “Uh, no, actually.”
  1179. >Rarity clip-clops her way to her small kitchen in the back of the boutique, and you follow stiffly, still working the life back into your limbs.
  1180. >Her voice is muffled as she pokes her head into a cabinet, emerging with a pair of mugs in her magic.
  1181. >”Lost it, then? That’s alright, I can always make you another before we finish up for the day.”
  1182. >A whirl of teabags, coffee beans and a pot of water float around the kitchen as she sets to making you both something to drink.
  1183. >You instinctively duck under a small creamer and a bowl of sugar cubes as you join her, though you needn’t have bothered as they jump upwards over your head at your approach.
  1184. >It’s easy to forget how talented she is at multitasking sometimes.
  1185. >You cough.
  1186. “No, no, I didn’t lose it either. I leant it to a friend.”
  1187. >For a brief, almost imperceptible moment, all of the floating items freeze in midair before resuming their musical drifting. She busies herself with the kettle and coffee maker, her back still to you.
  1188. >”Oh?”
  1189. >You take a seat at her small table.
  1190. “Yeah, I had one helluva weekend. Shit was pretty crazy.”
  1191. >She looks over her shoulder at your, brows lowered. “Anon! I wish you weren’t so colorful with your words. Sweetie Belle should be getting up for school soon. Which reminds me, I should put some toast on.”
  1192. >Her frown lingers for a moment as a slice of bread slips into the toaster with a magical chime.
  1193. >Then, slowly, she breaks into a delicate smile.
  1194. “Now, do tell me about this crazy weekend of yours, darling!”
  1195. >It takes you nearly half an hour to recount the events of the weekend, and halfway through your explanation of Saturday night/Sunday morning Sweetie Belle comes downstairs. The little unicorn blazes out the door in a flurry of squeaking goodbyes and pattering hooves, though Rarity forces her to stop long enough to grab a slice of toast in her mouth.
  1196. >After waving farewell to the adorable filly, you resume your story, with Rarity nodding along.
  1197. “Hmmm. Where was I?”
  1198. >Rarity toys with her mane, taking a sip of her chamomile tea. “Rainbow was chasing you all around town.”
  1199. >You grind your teeth.
  1200. “Right.”
  1201. >She tilts her head and hums in sympathy. “Poor dear. You’ll have to forgive her, I don’t think she’s ever heard the word ‘finesse’ in her life. She was like this with Thunderlane for a while, as well.”
  1202. >You grimace. As much as you like Rarity, she’s always too charitable when this sort of crap happens.
  1203. >And it happens WAY too often.
  1204. >Yeah, you get it, Rainbow Dash is one of her friends, Elements of Harmony and all that jazz, but it’d be nice if she’d just take your side for once.
  1205. “Humph. It’s like she doesn’t have a speed between ‘Right here, right now’ and napping in a tree.”
  1206. >She chuckles musically.
  1207. >“No, darling, I’m quite certain she’s never considered slowing down. Though according to Lily she was asking about romantic flowers the other day, so perhaps she’s learning?”
  1208. >You can’t help but snort derisively. Rainbow, learn the meaning of no?
  1209. >That’ll be the day.
  1210. “You’d think that, but you haven’t heard the rest of it.”
  1211. >She arches a brow and motions for you to continue.
  1212. ”So, she finally caught me. I’ll spare you the details, but I was thinking that that was that, when who should open the back door but Mayor Fucking Mare!”
  1213. >”Oh my!”
  1214. “Yeah. She invited me inside and sent Rainbow packing.”
  1215. >Rarity is smirking that smug little gossipy smirk.
  1216. >”And then she swept you off your hooves, having successfully rescued the stallion in the distress!”
  1217. >She fakes a swoon, then breaks down into giggles.
  1218. >You smile absently.
  1219. “Yeah. Yeah, something like that. She invited me in for breakfast, but she cut her hoof pretty bad when she broke a mug, so I ended up making us pancakes.”
  1220. >Rarity titters.
  1221. >”Such a gentlecolt!”
  1222. >The rest of your account passes uneventfully, with Rarity making ‘Oohs’ and ‘Ahs’ at all the right moments, up until you mention Scribbles let you use her bed. And that you’d dragged her in with you.
  1223. >Rarity coughs and splutters for a moment, and you’re concerned until she catches her breathe.
  1224. >”Beg pardon, darling, but could you run that by me again?”
  1225. “What? I was sleepy, and she looked pretty tired and I felt bad about kicking her out of bed.”
  1226. >The unicorn purses her lips.
  1227. >”Anon, we’ve talked about this….”
  1228. >You raise your hands in mock surrender and roll your eyes.
  1229. “I know, I know. Signals and all that. Things are weird here, I get it. Give a pony an ear scratch and it’s a goddamn marriage proposal.”
  1230. >Rarity gives you a sharp look, eyes narrowed.
  1231. >“Language. And darling, I hate to be rude, but technically you’re the odd one out.”
  1232. >You shrug it off with a forced grin.
  1233. >You don’t want to think about it.
  1234. “It was fine, Rares. It’s not like I stayed the night or anything. We just used the same bed because we were both tired.”
  1235. >”…and cuddled.”
  1236. “And cuddled, which was entirely my doing, so get whatever negative ideas about Scribbles out of your head right now. She’s been incredibly kind, and she staved off Rainbow Dash for me.”
  1237. >You move to take another drink of coffee.
  1238. >“I wasn’t thinking anything of the sort, and even if I was I’m only trying to look out for you, darling. It’s just that you have… Oh, how shall I put this? You have a particular brand of romantic misfortune, Anon.”
  1239. >You pause and let out a sigh.
  1240. “Scribbles isn’t like that. I promise this isn’t another Cloudchaser.”
  1241. >You drown yourself in coffee in an attempt to forget.
  1242. >”Scribble, darling.”
  1243. >You pause mid-sip.
  1244. “Huh?”
  1245. >“Her name is Scribble Scrolls. You’ve been calling her Scribbles.”
  1246. “It rolls off the tongue easier.”
  1247. >She’s smirking again.
  1248. ”Seriously, nothing happened.”
  1249. >“Mhmm. And then what happened?”
  1250. >You shrug.
  1251. “She walked me home, and we chatted on the way.”
  1252. >No point mentioning everything with the cold and wrapping the adorable little Mayor (Mare?) in your arms for warmth.
  1253. >God only knows she’s gotten enough gossip ammunition out of this as it is.
  1254. >Or not, since she’s always stood by her promise not to gossip about you.
  1255. >Fuck knows she’s still a slut for both kinds of tea, though.
  1256. >The unicorn blows on her tea, then takes another sip.
  1257. >”That was good of her. She’s quite the gentlemare.”
  1258. >You nod, fully aware of what she’s trying to do and…
  1259. >And what?
  1260. >It’s not like Rarity playing matchmaker for you again is going to mean anything, seeing as you’re already, maybe, possibly, you’re-still-not-entirely-sure-how-to-feel-about-it on the way to going out to lunch with Scribbles.
  1261. >That’s what most sane people call a date, Anon.
  1262. >Do you even know her enough?
  1263. >You’d talked sure, but are you even ready for that?
  1264. >You shake your head.
  1265. >You’re just getting your coat back.
  1266. >And having lunch.
  1267. >And potentially engaging in smalltalk.
  1268. >And maybe talking a bit more seriously about things and getting to know her better.
  1269. >There’s no use denying it: You’ve got a date with Scribbles later.
  1270. >”But, to come back to the beginning, how did she end up with your coat?”
  1271. “She got pretty cold on the walk back to my place, and I didn’t want her to freeze on her way back so I leant it to her.”
  1272. >Rarity rests her muzzle in her hooves.
  1273. >“You’re a very sweet stallion, Anon. Sorry, man. I’m still trying to learn that.”
  1274. >You wave her off.
  1275. “It’s fine. But speaking of, would it be alright if I took an extra half-hour at noon?”
  1276. >Rarity’s smile sharpens.
  1277. >Well, fuck.
  1278. >Blood in the water.
  1279. >”Oh, whatever for, Anonymous? We have such a busy day ahead of us, after all. Plenty of winter orders to fill.”
  1280. >You’re trying very, very hard to keep your expression blank.
  1281. >”It must be pretty important to pull you away from the Boutique. I know how much you pride yourself on your work ethic.”
  1282. >Blank stare, Anon.
  1283. >This is the staring contest of your life. Winner take all!
  1284. >You blink.
  1285. >Fuck.
  1286. “Well, yeah. I was just gonna go get lunch. And I wanted to swing by and pick up my coat.”
  1287. >Goddammit she’s still smugging at you.
  1288. >“Mhmm. Well, I suppose I can spare you the extra half-hour, darling, but you have to make me a promise.”
  1289. >She’s going to be teasing you about this all fucking morning, you just know it.
  1290. “What do you want, Rarity?”
  1291. >She sets down her teacup and leans in, placing a hoof on your hand.
  1292. >You don’t move away, but you can feel yourself breaking out into a cold sweat.
  1293. >She smiles wickedly.
  1294. >“I want you to have an enjoyable date with Mayor Mare.”
  1295. >Yep.
  1296. >Gonna be a long fucking morning.
  1297. ---
  1298. >Be Mayor Mare, scratching at a piece of paper with a quill in hoof.
  1299. >You’d like to be just Scribbles, but Anon isn’t here right now and despite all your daydreaming you still have work that needs doing.
  1300. >Speaking of….
  1301. >Blinking, you look over the short memo you’d been writing to the weather team. A number of Ponyville’s farming families had requested a light first snowfall.
  1302. >Something about easing their plants to sleep?
  1303. >You couldn’t pretend to understand what they meant by the request, but you were happy to humor them as were your old bones.
  1304. >Despite being an earth pony, all the plants in your office and home were plastic for a reason.
  1305. >Looking over your work, you smile.
  1306. >Then you notice the little heart dotting one of your “i”s.
  1307. >Hmm, you’ll need to scratch that out before-
  1308. >You frown as you notice another one.
  1309. >As you progress further down the memo, the frown advances to a grimace.
  1310. >THAT was not something fit to leave the Office of the Mayor… Oh dear.
  1311. >Then you wince when you notice the name surrounded by hearts scrawled in the margin.
  1312. >Finally, a fully-fledged blush spreads across your muzzle when you find the point where the memo drifts off the pages and meets your earlier daydreams.
  1313. >You had NOT meant to write any of those thoughts down, and you find yourself very thankful that Cally Graph had retired when she did and town hall was currently in need of secretary rather than furnished with one.
  1314. >The heat in your muzzle intensifies as you peruse a particularly sordid line.
  1315. >Oh my…
  1316. >Closing your eyes, you take a steadying breath.
  1317. >You carefully remove your glasses, then rest your head on the cool mahogany of your desk, cushioned by your forelegs.
  1318. >You groan aloud.
  1319. >Buck this form, buck that report, and buck THIS memo in particular!
  1320. >Sitting up, you crumple up the memo, toss it into the wastebasket with a flick of your hoof, and lean back into your chair with a sigh.
  1321. >You prop your head up on your good hoof and idly examine the other.
  1322. >The bandage on your hoof is freshly changed from this morning, and there is no pain as you gently flex it.
  1323. >Holding it to your barrel, your eyes close.
  1324. >His hands grasp your hoof, the delicate digits of hands wrapping around and holding you steady as he bandages the cut.
  1325. >His scent drifts into your nostrils...
  1326. >Salty and warm, not earthy. Perhaps slightly bitter, but unmistakably male.
  1327. >Your blush deepens.
  1328. >Now is NOT the time, Mare! Get a hold of yourself! You have work to do and papers to sign, and Rainbow Dash will be coming in at some point.
  1329. >Head in the game, Mare!
  1330. >Mare?
  1331. >Are you paying attention?
  1332. >Mare?
  1333. >Mare, you’re acting like a lovestruck filly! Colty, even!
  1334. >Anon’s red plaid jacket is hung up on the coat rack next to your office door.
  1335. >It smells like him. Heck, your whole OFFICE smells like him!
  1336. >Sliding your chair back away from your desk, you slowly walk up to Anon’s jacket and press your muzzle into the soft lining. His musky, foreign scent fills your nostrils and you absently pull the jacket off the rack, hugging it close to you.
  1337. >When you close your eyes, you drift back to… was it really yesterday? It feels so long ago, now.
  1338. >That’s saying something, Mare.
  1339. >You shake your head, dislodging your glasses from the tip of your muzzle and burying your muzzle deeper.
  1340. >Wrapping it around you, you snuggle into the warm coat, trying to evoke the feeling of his arms wrapped around your barrel.
  1341. >Surrounded by his scent.
  1342. >Held close, and warm.
  1343. >The sleepy murmurs.
  1344. [spoiler]>’Mmm, morning cutie.’[/spoiler]
  1345. >The strength in his arms as he carried you in the cold.
  1346. >The faintest feeling of his heartbeat against your back.
  1347. >How his eyes shone with concern as he made sure you were alright.
  1348. >The chuckling laughter as the two of you chatted while he cooked for you.
  1349. >Oh, Mare… you’ve got it bad for this colt, don’t you?
  1350. >You sigh dreamily.
  1351. >Faust, yes, you do.
  1352. >Careful, Mare. It’s been ONE DAY, you shouldn’t be writing love poetry until week three at least.
  1353. >Colts LOVE poetry.
  1354. >And you have a date-!
  1355. >The sudden and heavy knocking at the door startles you, sending you scrambling to replace the jacket on the rack and diving into your chair. An expert hoof sets your mane aright, and you quickly settle your glasses back on their customary place at the tip of your muzzle.
  1356. >Mane? Check.
  1357. >Glasses? Check.
  1358. >Busywork papers?
  1359. >You grab a random stack of papers and settle them in front of you on the desk.
  1360. >Check.
  1361. >Smile? Check.
  1362. >You take a sniff, and you whirl your chair around and slide open the window, letting in a fresh gust of cool air.
  1363. >Turning back to face your desk, you pin down a drifting paper and set to looking busy.
  1364. “Come in!”
  1365. >The door opens.
  1366. >Even though you were expecting her to show up at some point today, when Rainbow Dash trots through your door it’s a struggle not to groan aloud.
  1367. >Oh well, at least it’s not too long until you can leave for lunch.
  1368. >Rainbow slams a massive stack of forms down on your desk, and you gesture for her to take a seat.
  1369. >She does so with a mix between a smug grin and a glare.
  1370. >Perhaps you spoke too soon?
  1371. ---
  1372. >You can feel the breeze as an arrow splits the hairs at the tip of your left ear before embedding into a massive tree with a solid and deadly thunk.
  1373. >Another follows shortly after, buzzing past your neck like an angry hornet and burying itself deep into the soft soil.
  1374. >You are Daring Do, and right now you’re running for your life through the Jungles of Aripo. Your galloping hooves kick up divots of soft loam, and not for the first time you curse your injured wing.
  1375. >The natives had gotten lucky earlier in the chase, and you’d only had scarce moments to stem the bleeding and bandage yourself up before you had to move again.
  1376. >Sweat stings your numerous nicks and scrapes earned through barreling headlong through the underbrush, but you don’t have the luxury of slowing down to fawn over the stinging welts and small cuts.
  1377. >Why does this always happen at the worst times?!
  1378. >Behind you, you can hear the zebras whooping and yelling undulating war cries, sharp yipping sounds and rapid clicks that remind you of a typewriter.
  1379. >You’re not certain how the nefarious Dr. Astra Tadly convinced them that you were behind the disappearance of their sacred idol, but whatever lies his silver-tongue had woven set you solidly in their sights.
  1380. >According to legend, their tribe had earned the favor of an ancient god, and in turn it had granted them a token of its favor: The Emerald Elephant. It was said that whoever wielded it was shown the path to power and riches.
  1381. >Now, it was missing.
  1382. >You suspected it was Dr. Tadly’s work, but before you could speak aloud your musings to the village elders the treacherous professor had organized a mob. By the time one of the young local zebras who was acting as your interpreter could warn you, it was too late.
  1383. >And now you were on the run: bleeding, flightless, and alone.
  1384. >These thoughts race through your mind as you race through the jungle.
  1385. >If you can escape the zebras, you might have a chance to prevent whatever Tadly’s plot happens to be, but you need more information. Why would she betray you like this? What use could she have for a lump of emerald, given her family’s investments in the gem business in Griffonia?
  1386. >When did the black mare learn Zebrican, of all things? She was a geologist, not a linguist!
  1387. >Your tired mind is awhirl with questions that will only be answered if you can escape. There’s no telling what Dr. Astra Tadly’s angle is, since you’re only twenty pages in and…
  1388. >Oh.
  1389. >Right.
  1390. >ACTUALLY be Skittles Horse, awesomest pegasus alive.
  1391. >Well, be Rainbow Dash.
  1392. >You’re not exactly tired, but you’re rewarding yourself for a job well done. You got all the stupid forms done for Mayor Mare. It took you ALL day yesterday, and most of the night, but you finished!
  1393. >You’d been sorely tempted to skip your morning flight exercises, but you knew that skipping once meant skipping forever so you stuck to your routine and had rewarded yourself with a chapter of the latest Daring Do when you returned home.
  1394. >Stifling a yawn, you figure if you really need it you can take a nap in AJ’s orchard later.
  1395. >She has the BEST napping trees, after all.
  1396. >And Big Mac provides some sweet eye candy.
  1397. >Not that you’d ever DATE him. Not you!
  1398. >The Dash is a Smash and… uh…
  1399. >Crash?
  1400. >You scrunch at that one.
  1401. >Splash? Lash? Gash?
  1402. >Maybe you can ask Twilight for more egghead words rhyming with “awesome” and “Dash.”
  1403. >Oh! You got it!
  1404. >You’re a smash and Dash kinda mare!
  1405. >Mareliest pegasus in Ponyville!
  1406. >You, the awesomest pony in Ponyville, yawn loudly and slide a bookmark into your copy of Daring Do and The Emerald Elephant.
  1407. >You’re up WAY earlier than you’d like, but that’s because bucking Mayor Mare forced your hoof with all that stupid paperwork. If AJ was here, she’d be giving you a stink eye about being honest and yeah, yeah, you should have been keeping up with them all along,,,.
  1408. >But they’re SO BORING!
  1409. >As it is you have no idea how Mayor Mare or anypony else puts up with being stuck at a desk all day. Books are okay, at least Daring Do is, and Twilight’s been trying to get you into anatomy for some reason, but meh.
  1410. >You bet the Wonderbolts don’t have to put up with this much paper crap. They probably have ponies for that.
  1411. >Yawning, you glance at the clock.
  1412. >8:52 a.m.
  1413. >You’re up way too early. Ordinarily you’d go back to napping after your morning flight and a hot shower but the stupid paperwork and Mayor Mare and…
  1414. >You groan loudly. You ARE tired if you’re going in circles like this.
  1415. >Mayor Mare will be fine waiting another half hour, so you stretch out on your cloudbed and luxuriate in the pops and release of tension. If you drop off the papers before noon, you can spend a couple of hours dozing and then have the rest of the day free to see what Anon’s up to.
  1416. >That old nag was such pain!
  1417. >After reading another chapter (Okay, AJ, two chapters), you set your book down and with a loud yawn you make your way to the door to your cloud home.
  1418. >A picture hung up in the hall catches your eye.
  1419. >You pause for a moment. You’re not the mushy type, but…
  1420. >It’s a picture of the six of you and Anon, a few weeks after he first came to Ponyville.
  1421. >A faint smile crosses your muzzle.
  1422. >Those were the days.
  1423. >Cuddles whenever you wanted, ear-scratches, even belly rubs… and Celestia, the things he could do with your wings!
  1424. >Of course, Rarity had eventually had enough and given him the talk, but it was fun while it lasted.
  1425. >You knew he still gave out ear-scritches, and you’d heard Roseluck talking about how some other mare had heard about him flirting around.
  1426. >And you KNEW he had to have a thing for pegasi given his history with Cloudchaser.
  1427. >AND he still wore socks, so he HAD to be into it on Saturday.
  1428. >Dumb colt was just playing games and hard to get, but he’d change his tune pretty quickly once you got him into your tuft.
  1429. >Dirty sock-wearing cuddle-slut!
  1430. >Grinning, you jump out your front door and catch a thermal with your spread wings, gliding into town proper.
  1431. >You totally don’t have to make a speedy return trip to grab your paperwork.
  1432. >It’s a short flight, and your wings flare as you alight on the town hall’s porch, hooves setting down lightly in a perfect landing. Before knocking, you take a moment to fluff your tuft just a little. Pegasi have the advantage on that front because of the altitude adaptions or something something.
  1433. >To be honest you stopped listening about halfway through that part of Twi’s lecture since you didn’t really need to be told pegasi were awesome.
  1434. >Egghead stuff, you know how it is.
  1435. >Go crazy and bury themselves in books and papers and at the end of the day pronounce that the sun is hot like it’s some kinda feat of intellectual reasoning.
  1436. >Bleh. Time to face the music, give the Mayor some of the Dash, and then blow this joint so you can go find yourself some HMD.
  1437. ---
  1438. >Be Mayor Mare again.
  1439. >You are NOT frustrated, nor are you exasperated, and you are most definitely NOT irritated.
  1440. >Not you!
  1441. >See? You even have a smile pinned on your face to prove it!
  1442. >You’re flipping through the hefty stack of papers Rainbow Dash thumped down on your desk while the colorful pegasus lounges in your guest chair, fidgeting.
  1443. >The minutes pass in an awkward silence save for the rustling of paper and the occasional breeze drifting in through the window.
  1444. >To be honest, you’re not sure whether she tried to complete the forms and didn’t know how, didn’t care enough to put effort into it, or intentionally did a poor job of it for revenge’s sake.
  1445. >All of them are near equally likely, and none of them seem particularly worse than the others.
  1446. >It’s probably a toss-up between not caring and intentional sabotage.
  1447. >You sigh as quietly as you can when you reach a section that’s largely blank save for a small doodle of a pegasus flying around the margins.
  1448. >To her credit, it’s a surprisingly artistic little picture.
  1449. >As if sensing your shift in mood, Rainbow shifts in her seat and looks around your office.
  1450. >The colorful pegasus takes a sniff.
  1451. >You immediately glance at the jacket hung up in the corner of your office, and then force yourself to focus on the papers before you.
  1452. >Buck buck buck!
  1453. >On the one hoof, you’d dearly like to rub her muzzle in it.
  1454. >YOU, the dried-up has-been, have a date with Anon, the object of her… well, call it affection.
  1455. >Ehh…
  1456. >Attention, then.
  1457. >On the other hoof, she’s young, athletic, hot-headed, and not particularly hesitant to come to blows over a colt if you remember the incident between her and Flitter over Thunderlane correctly.
  1458. >You’re an adult, Mare! Handle it like an adult!
  1459. >Heck, you’re Ponyville’s finest politician!
  1460. >AND THINK FAST! If you don’t do something, she’s going to sit up and find out just why your office smells so good, even with the open window muddling the scent slightly.
  1461. >You clear your throat to get her attention.
  1462. >Adjusting your glasses, you squint your eyes and cock your head.
  1463. “…Miss Dash, why is the cloud map for the week of the 14th shaped like a penis?”
  1464. >Rainbow Dash coughs and rubs at the back of her windswept mane.
  1465. >”It doesn’t!”
  1466. >You flip the paper around and raise an eyebrow.
  1467. >She scrunches her muzzle.
  1468. >“That’s... totally not a penis.”
  1469. >You raise your other eyebrow and give the paper a significant look.
  1470. >”Not at all a penis.”
  1471. >You wobble the paper back and forth, and the doodle flops around in a terribly suggestive manner.
  1472. >”…Okay, so it’s a little penisy.”
  1473. “Care to explain that?”
  1474. >That’s it, Mare, stay on the offense. Keep her off-balance and not thinking about the familiar scent wafting from your coat rack.
  1475. >Rainbow chuckles nervously and avoids your severe glare, instead taking a deep whiff.
  1476. >”Say, Mayor, your office smells pretty cool today! Uh, new air freshener?”
  1477. >Trying to look as nonchalant as possible, you take a sip of coffee from your empty cup. You’ve got this.
  1478. “Yes, but that doesn’t answer my question about the… penis on form 32C3a.”
  1479. >Rainbow changes tack, rolling her eyes and snorting aggressively.
  1480. >”I couldn’t remember the exact pattern for that day and I know nopony is ever going to read through these because nopony’s ever brought it up before!”
  1481. >You wince visibly.
  1482. >It seems like you’re going to have to be more thorough about reading through her weather reports from now on. Despite how you feel about her at the moment, she’s always done a great job as a weathermare, so you hadn’t felt any pressure to ensure her paperwork was sufficient beyond the first page that received your stamp of approval prior to filing with the weather office.
  1483. >Hopefully that won’t come back to bite you in the flank come next audit year.
  1484. “You’ve… done it before?”
  1485. >Your voice sounds faint, and you can hear the wailing call of a thousand misfiled government forms cried out, and then were silenced.
  1486. >At this point you wouldn’t even have to fake a headache as an excuse to eject her from your office.
  1487. >”Well, duh. I’ve got better things to do than fill out paperwork that nopony ever reads.”
  1488. >You rub your temples.
  1489. “Miss Dash, be that as it may, it is part of your duties as a Ponyville weathermare and municipal employee to properly fill out all documentation and file reports in a timely manner.”
  1490. >”Yeah, I know, I know, but-”
  1491. “And frankly, your impatience and lack of discipline are causing me and certain other residents no end of trouble.”
  1492. >She grunts. “Like who? Anon?”
  1493. >Faust yes, Anon!
  1494. >You’re almost surprised to feel the spike of possessiveness flicker alive in your heart.
  1495. “Who else?”
  1496. >She grimaces and bares her teeth, wings twitching.
  1497. >”Look, Mayor. You clitblocked me on Saturday night and Mare, that’s not cool.”
  1498. >You look up sharply.
  1499. “Nor is bucking a colt on MY back porch in the middle of the night, Miss Dash! A colt who, I might mention, was quite happy to flee into MY home at first opportunity!”
  1500. >Rainbow stands rapidly, your guest chair clattering noisily to the floor. She braces her forehooves on your desk and fluffs up her tuft, muzzle scrunching.
  1501. >”He just had the jitters!”
  1502. >You meet her glare with a scrunch of your own, rising from your seat much more slowly.
  1503. >Last time you tried jumping up like that you’d nearly pulled a muscle.
  1504. >”I don’t get what your problem is! You’ve never even had a coltfriend since I’ve been in Ponyville, and now you’re getting all over my business because he was playing hard to get?! I bet you think you have chance with him, huh? Or do you get your kicks clitblocking the mares who do have a shot?”
  1505. >You affect a smirk.
  1506. “No, but watching you fail is amusing.”
  1507. >Careful, Mare… Reign it in. This isn’t the old days.
  1508. >”Yeah? Well I’ve got news for you, Mare! That colt’s as good as mine, and I’m planning to get down to wooing him this afternoon while you’re cooped up in your dustybuck office with your crap paperwork.”
  1509. >You freeze, and judging by Rainbow’s expression it she thinks she got one up on you.
  1510. “After… noon?”
  1511. >Your eyes widen as you glance at the clock. Oh dear, Anon said he was going to be swinging by around noon for lunch, and it’s 11:47 now.
  1512. >Oh dear, oh buck!
  1513. >You grit your teeth.
  1514. “As far as Anon goes, he has every right to turn you down if he so chooses.”
  1515. >”And I’m telling you right now that nopony turns down the Dash!”
  1516. >She strikes a pose and you can’t help but smile wryly.
  1517. “As best as I can tell, Miss Dash, that’s exactly what he did on Sunday morning. So maybe you should be leaving him alone, hmm?”
  1518. >Rainbow grits her teeth audibly.
  1519. >Score one for the old mare!
  1520. “Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s my lunch and I need to get going.”
  1521. >“What about the paperwork? Am I off the hook?”
  1522. >You huff and toss the packet of forms into your filing cabinet, to join the many other papers that you’ll look at later and that have been waiting to be looked at for… entirely too long if you’re being honest.
  1523. “Yes yes, fine, just… please try to keep up with it from now on. I’ll be looking over it more thoroughly after today, and I expect you to be on top of it.”
  1524. >At the mare’s eyeroll, you add.
  1525. >”And I’m certain that the Wonderbolts prefer mares who take their duties seriously.”
  1526. >With that, you hurry out the door as quickly as you can manage without looking undignified.
  1527. >You have a date to catch!
  1528. ---
  1529. >Be walking color palette pony.
  1530. >Be the Dash.
  1531. >Be Rainbow Dash.
  1532. >Be somewhat confused.
  1533. >Of all the things to happen, you didn’t expect Mayor Mare to just give in like that and leave.
  1534. >Usually she’s got bigger teats about paperwork and stuff.
  1535. >You would have liked to rub it in that you were gonna get your hooves on some HMD whether she wanted you to or not, but after throwing your stack of (admittedly half-assed) papers into her filing cabinet she’d dashed out the door like she thought you were gonna kick her.
  1536. >You kinda wanted to as payback for before, honestly.
  1537. >See, AJ? You can be honest with yourself sometimes!
  1538. >Snorting at the thought, you chuckle, and are promptly interrupted by a wide yawn. Ah well. At least you have the rest of the day free to take a catnap and see if you can’t finish what you started on Saturday night.
  1539. >As you turn to walk out of Mayor Mare’s office, you catch sight of a piece of paper with a heart scrawled in the margins sticking out from her wastepaper basket.
  1540. >Ordinarily, romance was off-limits for pranks, but you’re not feeling very charitable (sorry, Flutters) or generous (you too, Rares) after being clitblocked so hard yesterday, and to be honest (See, AJ?) Mayor Mare hadn’t made you want to do her any favors during your meeting either.
  1541. >Still, you should probably fill out those forms from now on in case what she said about the Wonderbolts and paperwork held any water.
  1542. >You can work on that later.
  1543. >But first! Mysterious crumpled paper!
  1544. >You quickly nose the paper out of the basket and spread it with your hooves.
  1545. >At first it reads like some boring politics junk, bla bla bla, light first snow please, bla bla bla… Oh wait, this is for the weather team!
  1546. >You’re ON the weather team!
  1547. >So, technically, this isn’t even eavesdropping paperwise!
  1548. >Or… Darn, it’s not spying either. That might’ve been kinda cool.
  1549. >Anyways, you continue browsing through the boring junk until…
  1550. “Oh my gosh, did she really dot her “i”s with hearts? Pinkie… no, Rarity is gonna love this!”
  1551. >If anypony knows what to do with a juicy rumor, it’s her.
  1552. >You keep reading, and reading, and it gradually devolves into something…
  1553. >You lick your lips, a faint blush spreading across your cheeks.
  1554. >W-woof, that’s lewd.
  1555. [spoiler]>Cuddling? Hoof-holding?![/spoiler]
  1556. >You whistle quietly, grinning mischievously to yourself.
  1557. >Mayor Mare’s got it BAD for some stallion.
  1558. >Wait, “hands?”
  1559. >Your smirk vanishes.
  1560. >…Isn’t that what Anon’s wigglers are called?
  1561. >Your eyes widen, and then you notice the name scrawled in the margins and outlined in a heart.
  1562. “Anonymous… Scrolls?”
  1563. >The nameplate on Mayor Mare’s desk reads “Mayor Scribble Scrolls.”
  1564. >Something ugly and hot bursts in your chest.
  1565. >That bucking…!
  1566. >THIS explains everything. You growl quietly.
  1567. >You tuft fluffs up and your ears draw back.
  1568. >You’re about to gallop out the door when a breeze draws your eyes to the open window.
  1569. >Papers flutter about Mayor Mare’s office in your wake as you blur into a rainbow streak, rocketing into the open sky.
  1570. ---
  1571. >Be Anon.
  1572. >You’re dying.
  1573. >As the coppery taste of blood fills your mouth, you wonder how it could come to this. You never expected to die.
  1574. >Who expects to die?
  1575. >Who expects to die a violent death in peacetime?
  1576. >Hell, you fully expected a demise related to internet addiction, or maybe a fap session gone horribly wrong, or maybe just passing quietly in your sleep.
  1577. >But not… not like this.
  1578. >Not struck through by sharpened steel, the taste of blood on your lips the last thing you’ll experience. Betrayed by the one pony you thought you could trust!
  1579. >”Oh, come now, darling, it isn’t that bad.”
  1580. >(It really is that bad.)
  1581. >”Anon, it’s just a needle-stick! And do stop being so dramatic, that’s my job.”
  1582. >Not even a bit of sympathy?
  1583. >No?
  1584. >feelsbadman.jpg
  1585. >Be Anon, sucking on your thumb and decidedly not being dramatic.
  1586. >Probing your grave wound with your tongue, you wince as it stings in protest.
  1587. >”Anon….”
  1588. >You groan loudly, clutching your chest with your free hand and falling (carefully) onto Rarity’s small but conveniently located fainting couch.
  1589. >(You aren’t fat, but you are bigger than its usual occupant, and you’ve had to replace enough chairs that you’ve learned your lesson.)
  1590. >Fashion Horse huffs.
  1591. >”Anon, really!”
  1592. >Rather than reply aloud, you lower your brow and give your thumb an especially loud suck. Popping your mortally injured digit out of your mouth, you squeeze the pinprick until a tiny droplet of blood shows, then present it to marshmallow pony.
  1593. “I’m injured.”
  1594. >Rarity, unfazed by the sight of your vital juices flowing freely, scrunches her muzzle and narrows her eyes.
  1595. >”It’s a pinprick, darling.”
  1596. >Her tone is flatter than your ex’s chest.
  1597. “Aye, tis not so wide as a church door, nor so deep as a well, but ‘twill do, ‘twill do.”
  1598. >Her scrunch turns into a quizzical frown.
  1599. >”Anon, what-?”
  1600. “Ask for me tomorrow, and you shall find me a grave man!”
  1601. >One perfectly-trimmed eyebrow raises and her lips begin an upward tilt.
  1602. >”Anon-!”
  1603. “I can’t remember the next part, but since I’m dying you should probably inform my next of pin.”
  1604. >You deliver the line with all the mastery of an elementary school actor playing the part of the tomato in the class play on the basic food groups.
  1605. >(Hey, no one ever said you were good at it, though Mommanon insisted you were special.)
  1606. >Her lips wobble, struggling against all odds. The upward tilt continues until she lets out a small giggle.
  1607. >“You’re terrible.”
  1608. >Nailed it!
  1609. >Grinning, you inspect your pricked thumb.
  1610. >The little drop of blood sits at the tip, looking blood-like.
  1611. >Eh. You’ll live.
  1612. >You’re still in Rarity’s boutique, having spent most of the morning helping to put together a wide variety of the same kind of dress. Well, it’s a bunch of different dresses, using the same pattern.
  1613. >Or something.
  1614. >Hell if you know, you just work here.
  1615. “Maybe so. Mind getting me a bandaid? Needle-less to say, I’m pindisposed at the moment.”
  1616. >Rarity lets out a peal of laughter, which she suppresses to giggles, then a wide smile.
  1617. >”Anon! Those are awful!”
  1618. >She’s still smiling as her horn chimes and a bandaid floats out from a small first aid kit she keeps handy in one of the sewing cabinets.
  1619. >Heh. Handy.
  1620. >Okay, maybe you are being sillier than normal.
  1621. >You wrack your brain for another pun.
  1622. >Yeah, definitely feeling a little sillier than usual.
  1623. >Must be the blood loss.
  1624. >When you go to grab the bandaid out of Rarity’s magical aura, it darts just out of reach. She flutters her eyelashes at you and flicks her ears in your direction.
  1625. >“Ah, ah, what does a gentlecolt say…?”
  1626. >Now it’s your turn to give her a look flatter than Flat Stanley.
  1627. >And Flat Stanley was flat as fuck.
  1628. >It’s in the name, you know.
  1629. >Annnnnnd now she’s pouting.
  1630. >”Come now, Anon. A polite colt is a desired colt! What do you say…?”
  1631. >You sigh.
  1632. >She’s been like this all damn morning, trying to sneak in dating tips and whatever else she thinks you’re going to need on your coffee date.
  1633. “‘Nurse, give me the damn bandaid or I’ll sue you for malpractice?’”
  1634. >She purses her lips.
  1635. >“I warned you not to push through all the way. Again. And do mind your language, please. We are on the clock, after all.”
  1636. >You roll your eyes and hold out your hand.
  1637. “Please, gentlemare, prithee give me the bandaid afore I expire of mine grievous wound. A curse on both your houses.”
  1638. >Rarity gives you a puzzled glance, head tilted slightly.
  1639. >”Gentlestallions don’t curse, darling. But here, allow me.”
  1640. >She lowers her horn to your hand, and closes her eyes tightly. A small spray of blue sparks spills from the tip of her horn, and she lets out a long breath, sitting back on her haunches as the bandaid wraps itself around the tip of your thumb.
  1641. >You raise your eyebrows and gently rub the bandaid to make sure it was firmly stuck. It feels warm.
  1642. “What was that?”
  1643. >She gives you a self-satisfied smirk and gently tosses her mane. “An anti-septic charm.”
  1644. >You hum aloud.
  1645. “Saving on antibacterial cream?”
  1646. >Rarity scoffs softly as she returns to sewing a lining on one of her Fabulous Fancy Dresses (Ruby Edition). “Why-? Never, darling! A gentlemare should know how to care for herself and others, that’s all.”
  1647. >You raise an eyebrow.
  1648. “I know I have a track record with needles, but you don’t have to do that for me. At this point if I don’t leave the boutique with more holes in me than when I entered it’s a bad omen.”
  1649. >Dress Horse looks up from her current fashion project as you sit up from the fainting couch.
  1650. >”Must you always be so…” She waves a hoof absently, “…macabre?”
  1651. “Well, it’s not like I use Spike as a pincushion. Where is he, anyways?”
  1652. >She sighs and magically affixes a ruby in place. “Twilight ran off to Canterlot for the week. She stopped by last night to let me know.”
  1653. >You scowl.
  1654. “Another Royal Archives binge?”
  1655. >Rarity hums affirmatively, magic twinkling as she adjusts a series of stitches.
  1656. >You put your head in your hands.
  1657. >”She’s got it into her head there’s a miniature Nightmare Moon running around. Poor Spikey is going to be exhausted when they get back, I’m sure.”
  1658. >A small list floats up next to her dress and she jots down a note.
  1659. >Probably a reminder to send Spike a gift basket, or something.
  1660. >You groan aloud, and she looks up from her work.
  1661. >“…At least this time she isn’t trying to find more human anatomy books?” She says, tentatively.
  1662. ”Or trying to write them.”
  1663. >You can’t keep the grumble out of your voice.
  1664. >Rarity grimaces, then smiles.
  1665. >“I thought that was going to be a wild goose chase from the start, honestly.”
  1666. “Then why the hell didn’t you tell her that?”
  1667. >”I did, darling! And watch your language.”
  1668. “Fine. Please tell her again and rub it in for me.”
  1669. >She titters. “It’s bad manners to say ‘I told you so.’”
  1670. >You raise an eyebrow and your injured thumb.
  1671. >She looks blankly between your face and your thumb, and then her lips curl into a small ‘oh.’
  1672. >You waggle your thumb.
  1673. >Rarity’s ears flatten and her tail twitches. “That’s different.”
  1674. >You snort and roll your eyes, grinning at her. No harm done, all that.
  1675. “Riiight. Anyway, do you have any… thumb caps? Thumb protectors?”
  1676. >She tilts her head. “Do you mean thimbles?”
  1677. >You snap your fingers, and wince as your thumb prickles.
  1678. “Ow! Yeah, that. Those, I mean.”
  1679. >Rarity trots over to one of the less-used sewing cabinets and returns with a cookie tin rattling in her magic.
  1680. >“I happen to have picked up quite a collection over the years. My sire makes a point of buying me a souvenir thimble whenever he and my dam go traveling.”
  1681. >You pop off the lid and set to capping each of your fingers with a thimble for the hell of it.
  1682. >No more needless needling for you, no sir!
  1683. >Your fingers are pinproof!
  1684. >…Wait a second.
  1685. >You blink, then turn to Rarity.
  1686. “You know, that’s pretty thoughtful of him and all, but what do you use them for?”
  1687. >You wiggle your thimbled thumb and fingers.
  1688. >“Well, darling, they’re useful for….”
  1689. >Rarity blinks, then looks from the tin of thimbles, down at her hooves, and then back up to you.
  1690. >“Hm. I never actually gave it much thought, to be honest.”
  1691. >Just another weird thing to chalk up to Horseland being weird.
  1692. >Like round doorknobs.
  1693. >You don’t know who thought those were a good idea, but they knew how to have a good time.
  1694. >To date, Pinkie Pie is the only non-unicorn pony you’ve seen who has an easy time with them.
  1695. >And she’s Pinkie Pie.
  1696. >Checkmate, atheists.
  1697. >Wait another sec.
  1698. “That seems a little clothes minded of you.”
  1699. >She frowns, mouthing your words back to herself. You can see the moment she catches it, because she stops midsentence and scrunches at you, eyes narrowed and horn glowing.
  1700. >”Anon, I will get the spray bottle. Don’t think I won’t.”
  1701. >You raise your hands in defeat.
  1702. “Hey now, I’ve learned my lesson. Save that thing for the furry menace.”
  1703. >She huffs and turns up her muzzle. “Opal is perfectly behaved. She doesn’t butcher Equish or engage in such low humor.”
  1704. “Fair enough.”
  1705. >Shrugging, you set a thimble (Mare-A Lago Resort, Flowerida) at the tip of Rarity’s horn as she closes up the tin. It’s hard not to chuckle as her eyes cross upwards at her horn.
  1706. >”Really, darling?”
  1707. “Just looking out for you, Rares. Don’t want you to get pricked!”
  1708. >Sitting down in your stool next to Rarity, you resume your task of sewing together some flower lookalikes.
  1709. >Poke through, pull thread, back through, pull thread.
  1710. >Rinse, repeat.
  1711. >You’re just getting back into the rhythm of it when your needle seems to get stuck on something, so using one of the thimbles on your thumb, you brace it and push harder.
  1712. “Ow!”
  1713. >And promptly miss the thimble on the other side in favor of your ring finger.
  1714. >Rarity doesn’t even look up from her own needlework as another bandaid floats into your field of vision and promptly applies itself to your most recent injury.
  1715. “Huh. Thanks. No antiseptic this time?”
  1716. >”No, the effect should last for another fifteen minutes, give or take.”
  1717. >You frown.
  1718. “Still kind of hurts, though.”
  1719. >This time she glances over at you, a glint in her eyes.
  1720. >“I’d offer to kiss it better, darling, but I wouldn’t want to tread on any hooves.”
  1721. >Annnnnnd there’s the smugging again.
  1722. >Fabulous little shit deserves a boop for that one…
  1723. >”Speaking of, don’t you think it’s about time for you to be off? It wouldn’t do to be late for an appointment with the Mayor.”
  1724. >You grin, and give a significant glance around the boutique.
  1725. “What about being fashionably late?”
  1726. >She closes her eyes, takes a deep breath, and floats a trio of rolled up magazines and a spray bottle out of the back room.
  1727. >”Out!”
  1728. ---
  1729. >Wrapping your scarf around your face, you examine yourself in the mirror.
  1730. >AllahuAckbar.mp3
  1731. >You give Rarity one last wave and close the door behind you.
  1732. >Wait. Where were you supposed to meet Scribbles for coffee?
  1733. >Thinking back, you realize that neither of you had specified a location for your… uh. Coat-retrieval. Coffee.
  1734. [spoiler]>Date.[/spoiler]
  1735. >You groan aloud, voice muffled by layers of clothing.
  1736. ”Fugh!”
  1737. >Rarity’s voice is audible through the closed door. “LANGUAGE, DARLING!”
  1738. “…fugh.”
  1739. >The door opens for a brief moment, long enough for a rolled up magazine to gently smack you upside the head.
  1740. ---
  1741. >Be Mayor Mare.
  1742. > You’re trotting at a brisk pace towards Carousel Boutique.
  1743. >Well, it’s closer to a gallop than a trot, but it’s a DIGNIFIED and CIVIL gallop.
  1744. >You got about halfway there from Town Hall before you realized you’d forgotten to grab Anon’s coat on the way out, but by that point the sun was high enough in the sky that you didn’t want to risk missing him.
  1745. >Fortunately, you made up for lost time on the way (though your hips have made it quite clear that they aren’t happy about it), so you slow to an enthusiastic canter as you approach Carousel Street.
  1746. >It’s still a little chilly out, but hopefully Anon won’t be too cold.
  1747. >Perhaps you could invite him back to your office for a private meeting?
  1748. >You remember the memo you’d crumpled up and thrown in the trash.
  1749. >Oh dear… perhaps Celestia was overdoing it with the sun this afternoon? It’s awfully hot out all of a sudden.
  1750. >No, Mare, best leave that for later.
  1751. >As if it won’t be a later at best kind of thing, anyway.
  1752. >You shake your head to dislodge any lingering thoughts, and turn the corner to Carousel Boutique.
  1753. >”Oh shid-!”
  1754. >Something catches you in the ribs and falls on top of you, shoving you to the ground and knocking your spectacles askew.
  1755. >”Fughin goddmn fugh-!”
  1756. “Ow… Pardon me, I wasn’t looking where I was…”
  1757. >You get your hooves back under you, and stand up, silently groaning at the new aches and pains enthusiastically making themselves known. Cradling your bandaged forehoof to your breast, you turn to check on whoever you’d run into.
  1758. >Hopefully they aren’t too hurt…
  1759. >You KNEW you should have brought along some liability waivers!
  1760. “Going…?”
  1761. >It’s a familiar, tall silhouette.
  1762. “…Anon? Oh my goodness, are you alright?”
  1763. >The big bundle of cloth and stallion raises his right hand, the short and stumpy wiggler extending upwards while the others are balled up.
  1764. >”Juft peashy, Scrbbles.”
  1765. >You tuck your glasses into your collar and nose Anon onto his front, then bracing underneath his shoulder push him up into a sitting position as quickly as you can.
  1766. >Your body registers a few complaints, but you file them into the “Later” drawer as you fretfully look over the stallion for injuries. His long legs both seem undamaged, thank Celestia, but maybe he hit his head?
  1767. ”I am SO sorry, I should have been looking where I was going!”
  1768. >Anon mumbles something through his scarf and waves you off gently as he gets to his feet. He brushes himself off, then crouches, pulling the scarf wrapped around his face down to examine you in turn.
  1769. >”It’s alright Scribbles, I’m the one who ran into you. You okay?”
  1770. >You nod, pushing the dull aches and the stinging pain from what feels like a scraped hock under a calm demeanor.
  1771. “I’m terribly sorry for being late, Anon, I got caught in a meeting with…”
  1772. >You trail off.
  1773. >Might be best not to remind the stallion of his trauma from the weekend. You can fluff your tuft about putting Rainbow in her place later.
  1774. >Well, maybe not exactly putting her in her place, but you’re the one with a date and she isn’t.
  1775. >Score one to the old mare.
  1776. >You shake your head.
  1777. “Anyway, I’m so sorry for being late to pick you up.”
  1778. >“Pick me up?”
  1779. >Your heart sinks.
  1780. >He didn’t forget, did he?
  1781. “For our… um, lunch meeting?”
  1782. >The tall human stallion shakes his head, frowning.
  1783. >“Oh! Yeah, no, I completely forgot to work out the details last night, sorry. I was just rushing off to town hall when I realized I didn’t know where we were going to get together.”
  1784. >Now it’s your turn to frown.
  1785. “No no, dear, I should have arrived earlier to escort you. It’s a bit old-fashioned, I suppose, but old habits die hard.”
  1786. >You smile hesitantly.
  1787. >Mare, you can’t say you have enough experience to have ever formed a habit.
  1788. >Your smile turns brittle even as you crush the thought.
  1789. >Anon’s brow furrows for a moment, and then he makes an “Oh!” of realization.
  1790. >You tilt your head curiously at him, smile fading.
  1791. “Is something wrong?”
  1792. >He shakes his head. “Nah, Scribbles. Just figured something out.”
  1793. >You cough nervously.
  1794. “That’s good. I… ah… may have left your coat back at my office, sorry, so we’ll have to stop there after lunch.”
  1795. >Anon glances in the direction of the boutique, then shrugs.
  1796. >”No, that’s fine. I’m sure Rarity won’t mind if I get back a little late.”
  1797. >You notice Anon wearing… wait, what? Why is that on his head?
  1798. “You’re… not too cold, are you dear?”
  1799. >He shrugs again. ”I’m a little chilly, but it’s better than it was this morning. I should be good til evening, though.”
  1800. >Mare, you’re staring.
  1801. >You’re aware that you’re staring, but you’re pretty sure that is what you think it is.
  1802. >You’re having a hard time not being confused.
  1803. “I see.”
  1804. >Probably best not to say anything.
  1805. >Maybe it’s a new stallion trend?
  1806. >Or a trend for younger ponies?
  1807. >Er, creatures?
  1808. >You pause for a moment, and then make the mistake of opening your muzzle.
  1809. “Anon, dear, I’m not much a mare for fashion, but why are you wearing a towel on your head?”
  1810. >Your hooves clap in front of your muzzle, but the damage is already done.
  1811. >Oh, Mare, you’ve stepped in it now!
  1812. >Eyes wide, you immediately begin to stammer out a backpedaling apology, but…
  1813. >Well, for some reason, Anon doesn’t look annoyed.
  1814. >In fact, he looks amused, if nothing else.
  1815. >Sounds amused too, going by the chuckling.
  1816. >You’re not sure why, but Anon’s chuckles burst into laughter.
  1817. ”A-Anon, what’s so funny? Anon?”
  1818. >Despite your questions, he’s unable to explain without falling into a fit of chuckles as you make your way into town together.
  1819. ---

SpideRarity/Anon (Snippet)

by ScribblesAnon

XPONI (RGRE, MLP/XCOM)

by ScribblesAnon

Cute Milf Green - Days 1 & 2 (RGRE, Mayor Mare)

by ScribblesAnon