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Amazon Sunset Love Love Machine

By ComfysPlace
Created: 16th September 2021 03:17:21 AM
10th January 2022 03:01:49 AM

  1. >Bobbing to the music you make for your favorite spot in the card shop
  2. >Corner spots are the best after all, but then you paused on seeing this giant woman sitting there.
  3. >Damn it all, that was your spot!
  4. >Must have been one of those Equestrians that you had heard about on the news, bit odd that the gender roles were reversed apparently, but hey if she's here to have fun all the more power to her.
  5. >This one didn't look built like a brick house so maybe one of the other types they had?
  6. >The subtle glow of her eyes brought over a bottle for her to drink from while she flicked through something on her own laptop.
  7. >One of the magic types then, mentally shrugging, you take a seat and set up your laptop.
  8. >You still had to draw up more of the maps for the game your friends were expecting.
  9. >Though you feel like you're in a bit of a rut thanks to the map creator only having so many limited assets.
  10. >Still you grinned on seeing what you've come up with so far, a portion of a freshly infected zombie plagued city for a battle map as the players would travel through it.
  11. >"..."
  12. >You paused in placing some broken barrels just right, did someone just say something?
  13. >A shadow passes over your screen and you lean back only to come to a stop as your head bumps into a pair of pillows.
  14. >Surprised cyan eyes watch you through fiery locks and son of a bi-
  15. >Jerking your head back down you really don't need to get yelled at for breaking personal space or whatever the fuck it is now a days.
  16. >Maybe if you ignore what you did then-
  17. >The hand gently tapping your shoulder says otherwise, so you pull your headphones down and face the music.
  18. >"Sorry about that, I didn't think I was that close."
  19. "Oh, uh, that's alright, sorry for bumping into you."
  20. >"That's fine, what're you working on? It looks interesting."
  21. "This? It's a map, scenery that is part of a story I'm making for some friends."
  22. >"Oh you're the DM?" The exceptionally tall woman asked as she leaned against the table coming close to look over your shoulder at the map again.
  23. "Uh, yeah? It's a bit of a hobby since we can't really meet up in real space."
  24. >"Mm, I get that. I've been stuck here for a bit without getting to talk with my own friends face to face, video helps a bit, but-"
  25. "It'd be nicer to just hang?"
  26. >A soft smile crossed her face, "Yeah, oh I'm Sunset," The giant of a woman introduced herself holding out a hand, "been a bit of a trip getting used to everything over here."
  27. "Anonymous."
  28. >Returning the hand shake you find that her hand's smooth, but there are a few calluses on her palm, grip strength was a surprise as well.
  29. >Not releasing your hand Sunset added on, "Say, this is a bit crazy, but could I help you out with your session?"
  30. >Your immediate answer is no as you've had enough people meddle with your own ideas when trying to use them plenty of times.
  31. >Yet for all that seeing how earnest Sunset looked you tighten your grip on her hand.
  32. "Sure, it'll be nice to bounce ideas off someone."
  33.  
  34. "Then we the demon of plagues arrive and then-"
  35. >"Does he start to monologue?"
  36. >You shuffle in your seat uncomfortably not wanting to admit that totally was what your plan was.
  37. "I mean, not like I have a better way to try to clue in my players, it's like herding a bunch of cats."
  38. >Sunset shrugged and you become hyper aware of how close together your seats are.
  39. >You're near cuddling together it looks like, should you say something?
  40. >"Nothing wrong with a good monologue, but you really need to sell it there or else it'll just fall apart."
  41. >No no, better to just pretend that you totally meant to be this close together.
  42. "Ah, I suppose, did you have a type in mind?"
  43. >"Personally I like the taunting the heroes just before I smash their hopes and dreams into dust!" The sudden clap of fist to palm caused you to separate but my view.
  44. "That would work, but only if they were really failing at saving the city."
  45. >"You meant for them to save it?" Sunset asked her hands to come to rest on the table before she reached over and grabbed for the mouse.
  46. >Course your hand was still on it and glanced towards it just as she yanked her hand back as if burnt, "Sorry."
  47. "No, go ahead, what were you looking for?"
  48. >A few clicks and the city map was drawn back up before Sunset frowned, "How can you visualize any of this with just a few city blocks?"
  49. "Imagination mostly? The maps just to immerse you in it better, not like it's a one to one."
  50. >"Let me try something real quick."
  51. >Before you could ask what she had in mind her eyes glowed again and a faint outline of the same glow covered her hands.
  52. >Oh shit, if she breaks your laptop you'll-
  53. >Well you don't really know but you know it'll be bad.
  54. >Thankfully as you have your fit you can see Sunset wave over your laptop and a magical map appears on the table.
  55. >What's even better was that the 2D image became a 3D map, the details of the buildings are a bit fuzzy but most of it is all there.
  56. >"There, that's way better, what I wanted to point out was-"
  57. "How'd you do that?! This is so cool, do you think you could transmit this through a camera? Is it focused on what I can see or is it based on your own mental map?"
  58. >Sunset, leaned back as far as she could in the high back chair, stared wide eyed at you before you realized what you'd done.
  59. "Ah, sorry," You return to your seat and gesture onto the magigram? Hologram? magic thing, "Just really cool is all."
  60. >"S'alright, just surprised me is all, you remind me of a friend there for a minute." Sunset paused before she grinned real wide, "If you want we could head over to your place and I could show you some real magic."
  61. "What really?"
  62. >At her nod you've already packed your things and begin bodily dragging the huge woman by her hand, "What are we waiting for come on!"
  63.  
  64. >You had heard that Earth men were easy, but sweet Celestia's sunspots you didn't think were THIS easy!
  65. >Alright Sunset just keep calm and before you know it you'll have him giving you the ol' lickeroo!
  66.  
  67. >"Once that's been settled, you just need a few sparks and bam."
  68. >The wattle and mud you'd built up as best you could to recreate the city glows brightly.
  69. >Walls begin to melt, becoming like pure energy before the glow fades away to reveal a miniaturized city built up in an architecture that reminds you of a high fantasy setting.
  70. >Make fun of the Italians all you want, they built rather pretty buildings.
  71. >You grinned widely at seeing the display of magic and started to look over the whole set up. It reminded you strongly of those dioramas that people would like to build as a hobby.
  72. >The city as a whole is set up on a grand table that measured somewhere around eight feet by twelve feet with two rivers merging within the city, a raised cliff held a fortified manor that overlooked the city itself while sturdy walls framed by a moat gave additional protection.
  73. >There were even small shanty towns scattered around the outside of the wall and even the details on the houses were realistic enough to make your mind a boggle.
  74. "This is amazing, what did you say this type of magic was again Sunset?"
  75. >"Transfiguration, as long as I have some base materials I can usually change things into how I want it to be."
  76. >Shaking your head at the casual display of physics breaking you can't help yourself.
  77. >You hug the giant woman with a bear hug, or in this case more of a koala hug, careful to not just bury your head in those melons because momma didn't raise no crass fool.
  78. "Thank you Sunset, this is- This really great. Hey if you think we could try to do some research and make some figures? I mean if it's not too much trouble I don't know how much this must have cost you in terms of energy and actually you know what before that let me get you something to eat you must be starving after that."
  79. >You know there were a few things in the fridge you could cobble together at least, sides of your host!
  80.  
  81. >Watching that stocky bod walk away you bite your lip, hate to see him leave love to watch him go.
  82. >Still you didn't think you'd have gotten him to start making you food so easily either.
  83. >Feeling faint you take a seat then glanced over the display of basic transfiguration, sure the details are more in depth, but turning mud into plaster and the like isn't that difficult.
  84. >Looking over the villa on the hill you nod to yourself, you've still got it Sunset, you hope that he'll use it for that session he's planning on.
  85. >Performing some magic is fun, but that's not why you're here in the first place. How do you take the next step?
  86. >As you puzzle that out you're startled from your thoughts by the clink of glassware on wood, Anon's back and you have to hold back a grin.
  87. >Boy's already making you sandwiches and even brought out cider.
  88. >"Sorry that I didn't get any soda, it was this or water and figured you'd want something a bit more filling."
  89. "Thanks, I was feeling a little hungry."
  90. >Come on girl, think!
  91. >What's the next step?
  92.  
  93. "And done, that's the last of them."
  94. >The soft bouncy feel of fabric stretchers rests atop your head.
  95. >You don't move a muscle knowing the danger you are in.
  96. >"Really? I was done ages ago with all the groody creatures you wanted me to make."
  97. "T-they look great and all, but I wanted to make these by hand or at least you know, paint them by hand."
  98. >The slight pressure increased to a more enveloping hold as Sunset leaned further on you, "Well lemme see them then!"
  99. >Stay strong Anon, maybe Equestrians are just naturally ditzy! Yeah, that's it, far more likely than someone being interested in your goofy ass.
  100. >Plucking one of the driest out of the set of seven you hold it up for inspection like the French surrendering during the white flag.
  101. >The pleasant press of her breasts don't relent, but they do jerk in an abortive manner, the small sound of repressed laughter doesn't inspire much confidence either.
  102. >"...it looks enthusiastic?"
  103. "Hey it's not that bad!"
  104. >You retrot standing up in your seat and turning-
  105. >You fool.
  106. >You utter buffoon.
  107. >Buried in such vast tracts of land you can only crawl your way up to peak past the great hills to an amused smile that watches you impishly.
  108. >Stay very still, their sight is based on movement.
  109. >Dainty Sunset picked the figure from your hands and looked it over.
  110. >Admittedly the paints had started to clump up on certain portions, and the less you talk about the face the better.
  111. >"Tell you what," Sunset said as she leaned her head down close and you're caught in those pools of blue that flickered with delight, "I help smooth out a few pesky bits, just a tiny bit mind you, in return."
  112. >Egad the arms!
  113. >You hadn't kept track of the arms!
  114. >"You and I get a little more acquainted, hm?"
  115. "L-little fast isn't it?"
  116. >"We can have a dinner date tomorrow, for now." Sunset purred and you suddenly understood what Frollo was all about when he mentioned hellfire.
  117.  
  118. >Water...
  119. >You need water...
  120. >Stumbling through your apartment you fumble in the near dark for a glass.
  121. >A few clinks of porcelain has you wince before you find the faucet.
  122. >The glass was only half full when you already started to chug the essence of life.
  123. >You lean against the sink, the water still running at full tilt, you ought to turn that off and can't really afford pennies going down the drain like that.
  124. >It sounds nice tho-
  125. >The water shuts off.
  126. >Eyes snapping wide you see an ethereal glow fade away from the handle and glance back.
  127. >Tucking her hand under her chest Sunset grinned at you, her grin grew wider as she noticed where you were staring, "Someone's happy to see me, why don't you come back to bed and let Momma take care of you?~"
  128. >Hand shaking, only a little damn it you're no pussy, you finish your mug of water.
  129. >Pushing off the sink you walked more like shambled over to the tall lady.
  130. "Now Sunset you listen here, just because you nearly broke my bed and I think I pulled a hernia, doesn't mean you get to act all smu-"
  131. >Face meet chest, chest meet face, you're both acquainted already but it's good to keep cordial relations after all.
  132. >You had gotten ready to make your displeasure known before the tricky vixen giggled and you felt the gentle petting through your hair.
  133. >Goosebumps crawl up your spine at the sensation and your traitorous brain tingles at the sensation.
  134. >"Shh, shh, it's alright Anon, don't you worry none. I'm a little tired too, so let's just cuddle, alright?"
  135. >Through great effort you tilt your head up to frown. The genuine look you receive takes the wind out of your sails.
  136. "...Fine."
  137. >Can't even get mad at her when she has that sincere look of concern on her face, damn it all.
  138. >Only one thing to do, embrace the insanity you suppose, you squat.
  139. >"Anon?"
  140. >Then HEAVE.
  141. >"ANON!"
  142. >OOF, pretty heavy, not that you're insane enough to mention it.
  143. >"Anon, put me down!"
  144. "Nah."
  145. >Sunset starts to squirm, "Anon my head is about to hit the fl-EEP!"
  146. >A loud slap rang through the apartment as you fireman carried your...partner? Lifemate? Girlfriend? One of those through the apartment back to bed.
  147. "Nope, I'm tired, you're being too cute and we're going to cuddle."
  148. >You don't hear the response, but Sunset stops her squirming though her legs keep rubbing together for some reason.
  149.  
  150. >Ok you're fine, everything is fine.
  151. >I mean, sure you've never really gone on a date before, and sure the last time a girl might have been interested in you was some girl that reminded you of your super evil stepmother in her formative years.
  152. >That's all fine!
  153. >The reason for that is Sunset is not like that at all, she came to you and even helped you make a wild session that you've yet to unleash on your unsuspecting players.
  154. >You adjust the clothes you have on, it's not quite a suit, but it's good enough to be at church at the very least.
  155. >Slacks, button up shirt, bit of cologne and some dress shoes with that lovely click clack on the til-
  156. >DONG DING!
  157. >FUCK!
  158. >You rush to the door, but skid to a stop, calm and suave Anon you got this!
  159. Unlatching the door you pull it open and casually lean against the frame as you drawled out, "Long time no seeeee?"
  160. >Standing there is a UPX delivery man who blinked at your greeting before offering you a package with clipboard, "Sign here sir."
  161. "Oh shit, is that awesome. Uh here we go..."
  162. >No you're just naturally a rosy cheeked kinda guy shut up, you scribble something close to a signature on it before the delivery man soon leaves and you look over your package.
  163. >Most likely that PC part you ordered, but damn it all that was e-
  164. >"Hey hot stuff you ready to go?"
  165.  
  166. >Jumping in the air your package flies through the air before it's quickly caught by a pair of arms that snap out catching it while you try to stuff your heart back in your chest.
  167. >"Whoa! Anon, easy there. Are you okay? You nearly dropped your box."
  168. "FINE! Ahem, fine, I'm fine. Uh, sorry about that, do you mind handing that back? Then we can go on our d-date."
  169. >You don't like that coy grin on Sunset's face, "Oh? What's in the box?"
  170. "It's some stuff I ordered and is very delicate, can I have it back now?"
  171. >Sunset hummed as she lifted the box up out of your reach, "I don't know, what's in it for me?"
  172. >Craning your head back to regard the tall woman with a flat look you raise an eyebrow then have an idea.
  173. "I have just the thing."
  174. >"Oh? Wha-ah!"
  175. >Yanking on Sunset's collar you drag her head down in a kiss then sneakily grab your box whilst the woman is distracted.
  176. >Even through the kiss you can feel Sunset smiling as she lets you take the box.
  177. >Drawing back from each other you rest forehead to forehead, "A hard bargain, but I accept it."
  178. >The tension that had been running high in your body slowly drains away as you smile back, what were you worrying about again?
  179.  
  180. "You look good, it's got a really I don't know fashion all that well, but it's got a nice classical era look to it. Where'd you get it from?"
  181. >"Oh this is just some clothes from back home, turns out we live in a really temperate region of your world."
  182. >Throwing your mind back, you try to recall the exact location that the Equestrian’s homeland had arrived in and it clicked.
  183. "It's got the same climate as the mediterranean doesn't it?"
  184. >"That's the place with the boot peninsula right?"
  185. "Yeah the boot."
  186. >Sunset tilted her head back as you walked through the streets, her hand linked in yours, her hands felt so big and soft, "That sounds about right, you're not looking too bad yourself, very formal."
  187. "I'd like to think I'm doing alright."
  188. >"Oh, uh, I meant you look strict ready to bring me in line if- I should stop talking now."
  189. >At seeing Sunset's face try to match her hair you stifled a laugh.
  190. "No, no, it's good dynamics to understand each other's little quirks."
  191. >"...Wow, there's our best stop, we hurry in before the seats all fill up!"
  192.  
  193. >Inside the interior looked like a family and sports bar mix, booths and tables with a central bar that dominated the floor space while various televisions played different sports.
  194. >Loitering in the entry way for a seat, a waitress approached then paused at the sight of you both, though a smile plastered on as she said, "Welcome to Banana Cee's, are you waiting for more in your party?"
  195. >"Just the two of us, thanks. Do you have a booth?"
  196. >"Of course, this way."
  197. >Following after you noticed that more than a few patrons were glancing by as you walked, you wonder why they looked so shocked?
  198. >Still you've got a date to focus on, come on Anon don't people watch!
  199. >Sunset takes her seat first before she pat her seat beside her, caught off guard as you had been meaning for the otherside of the table you change tracks to sit beside the woman.
  200. >"Would you care for water, soda, we do have the perfect margarita if you're interested in that?"
  201. >"I'll take one of your Cuevas, mm peach I think."
  202. "One of those bahama mama's would be nice."
  203. >The waitress nodded as she wrote, "I'm sure you would..."
  204. "I'm sorry?"
  205. >"That will be out in just a moment, let me know when you're ready to order."
  206.  
  207. >Watching the waitress walk off you frowned before an arm snuck around your side and you're brought close in a side hug.
  208. >"Don't mind her Anon, bet she's just jealous that I've got such a cutie like you for myself."
  209. >Don't glance down, you can feel how soft she is against your shoulder, easy Anon.
  210. "Yeah, I suppose, also I'm not cute. Just pointing that out right out the gate, sides uh, this is about us getting to know one another right? So let's get into it."
  211. >That sly smile on Sunset's face has you oddly worried, "My, my, so formal. This isn't an interview you know."
  212. "Is this about that strict comment earlier?"
  213. >Sunset shied away from your glance, "Maybe," squeezing you closer the woman looked back at you, "if we're doing it like that i suppose I'll start, joined in the whole cultural exchange to try living here with your people I've even managed a swell job acting as a consultant on magical solutions for an R&D company looking into using tech with magic."
  214. "Sounds complicated."
  215. >Sunset giggled, "Thankfully it's not as bad as it sounds, but I imagine you'd be bored by it, what about yourself?"
  216. "Oh I just do some basic repairs for folks, bit of a handyman for everything and most people tend to leave me money for it. Which is nice."
  217. >"That sounds a bit spotty, if you don't mind me saying." Sunset frowned on hearing it before she hastily added on, "Not that there's anything wrong with a working st-man, it doesn't sound consistent."
  218. "Sure there might have been a time or two when I had to choose between food or water, but I made it work. Didn't really help that my food bills sometimes got away from me, but the dishes you can make are really tasty!"
  219. >"Anon that's awful! Are you doing okay? Do you need help?"
  220. "I'm fine, really, you're sounding like my neighbors."
  221.  
  222. >"There's a good reason for that!" Sunset cut you off sharply, "You shouldn't have been put under those kinds of conditions! It's just shameful!"
  223. "Sunset, easy calm down, it's done already and now I'm doing better."
  224. >Sunset huffed before she slumped back into her seat, incidentally dragging you along for the ride, "Okay, but still that's awful."
  225. "For what it's worth, thanks for being worried over my state."
  226. >Tapping your fingers for an idea you suddenly latch onto-
  227. "Interests!"
  228. >"Eh?"
  229. >Holy shit, you need to stop spazzing out, don't just blurt words out she'll think you're autistic!
  230. "Hobbies, what do you like to do and all?"
  231. >"Oh! Well, I rather do a variety of things, but the few I do keep coming back to are usually games, arts, and a few outdoor activities like biking or hang gliding."
  232. "You sound like one of those beauty pageant queens."
  233. >"What?! I do not, those are all pretty typical things we do back home, you should see my friend Fluttershy when she's feeling competitive, if she ever decided to go pro..."
  234. >The sudden shiver at the thought keenly brought to mind your placement beside the tall woman as you tried not to enjoy it.
  235. >Of course you'll fail in not enjoying it, you're just a man for God's sake!
  236. "Ah, what type of art exactly?"
  237. >"Oh glad you asked, painting for the most part though I'll pick up a few sketches if something really catches my eye," Sunset licked her lips as she regarded you with a lidded look, "Like you for one."
  238. >You know your face is burning, and you can only force yourself to not squeel at the fucking smooth line that got dropped on you, sweet potatoes on rye that was a good one.
  239. "Aha, I'd think there are way better subjects for you to go for, I mean what about those fellas at the bar? Or maybe the waitress, she looked nice."
  240. >"Meh."
  241. "Meh?"
  242. >"Yep."
  243. "Any reason why?"
  244. >"Easy, they aren't you."
  245. "Wha- what kind of answer is that we've just met!"
  246. >"Not quite true if I recall last night.~"
  247. "Those- that- okay sure, but I mean..." You gesture over yourself helplessly, "I'm nothing too special, little chubby I'll admit, I don't have amazing prospects an-"
  248. >You're cut off by the finger against your lips, "Hey, don't put yourself down like that, if you really want to know." Sunset leaned in close as she whispered, "None of them hold a candle to the passionate side I saw."
  249. >Then you're engaged in a kiss and everything is like cinnamon and spice.
  250. >Drawing back Sunset looks far too smug, it irritates you, so with your arm hidden from sight you enact revenge!
  251. >"Alright folks I've got-"
  252. >"EEP!"
  253. >"Ma'am?"
  254. >"Oh nothing, sorry, think my leg," Here Sunset glared at you pointedly, "fell asleep."
  255. >"I see," The waitress slowly replied, eying you for a moment before she was all smiles again, "Are you ready to order now or should I come back?"
  256. >"I think we'll ord-ah!"
  257. "Oh, I hope you don't have pins and needles in your leg luv, awful thing that is, I think I'll be having the steak. Sunset?"
  258. >"Chicken Pasta!"
  259.  
  260. >Waving off the waitress with your free hand you settle your hand up on the swell of Sunset's hips.
  261. "That was fun."
  262. >"You dirty little man."
  263. "Hm?"
  264. >Sunset snorted at your response, "Just you wait when we get home-"
  265. "What are we going to do at home?"
  266. >At your audacity the taller woman glanced back to see that you were not neighboring anyone before she leaned in close, "When we get home I'll ride that dick until it breaks, you'd best be prepared. You don't just tease a mar-woman like that."
  267. >You sneak in a kiss causing her to rear back in surprise.
  268. "Can't wait, by the way, why do you keep changing your words? Brain says one thing but the mouth says another?"
  269. >"Something like that, it's funny but how much do you know about where my home was from?"
  270. "You basically had an island dropped into our reality and your home is like a fantasy novel?"
  271. >"Ah, well this might be a bit of a shock but-"
  272.  
  273. >"H-hey horse lady why'd the horse cross the road!" A man at the bar called over while his friends tried to grab his shoulder, "Because, oh lemme tell my joke dammit, cuz the oats were on the other side!"
  274. >The uproarious laughter from the man soon subsided as his friends dragged him down.
  275. "Okay that was," You glanced over to Sunset and paused seeing her head bowed and focused on her drink, "Sunset?"
  276. >"That was what I was getting too, before someone." A heated glare towards the drunk then her eyes slid back to you, "mentioned it for me."
  277. "What?"
  278. >"Eh, yeah, I mean I know that some mares tend to hold off on the conversation about this, but you said you wanted to get it out of the way so this seemed like one of those big things-"
  279. "Sunset?"
  280. >"Yes?"
  281. >You gesture over her six foot and some inches tall, wonderful HUMAN body for emphasis.
  282. "I don't really see a horse here."
  283. >"Pony, not a horse."
  284. "Is-is this a joke? Or having a laugh here?"
  285. >"No it's real, only when we had arrived here we went from our normal bodies into our own forms now. There is ongoing research back home about why exactly our bodies were changed or even if these are our bodies and not simply new bodies formed whole cloth with our arrival."
  286. "That's, huh."
  287. >The drawn out silence became too much for Sunset as she said, "What do you think?"
  288. "I think it's fine, I mean last night I wouldn't call me an expert, but I don't think I'd seen anything that said you were a pony."
  289. >"Oh, well there was a reason why I had you keep the lights dim."
  290. "You didn't make me into some weird place did you?"
  291. >"No! I'd never force you into doing anal like that, it's meant to be special!"
  292. "What?"
  293. >"...What did you mean by weird place?"
  294. "Why is a weird place anal of all things?!"
  295. >"Where else would be weird!?"
  296. >The two of you stare at one another in confusion before you start to laugh.
  297. >Sunset's cheeks grew ruddy as she said, "It's not that funny."
  298. "It is, but listen," You cupped Sunset's face feeling the smooth softness under your hand, "Horse, woman, OR pony, it doesn't matter. What matters is we want this, yeah?"
  299.  
  300. >Sunset closed her eyes as her hand laid over yours gently grasping it.
  301. >You start to think you done goofed when she sharply inhales and her eyes shine brightly, "Yes."
  302. "Then it doesn't matter in the end and we can just go about our day having fun, tons of sex and inulging in each others hobbies."
  303. >"...I keep forgetting how lewd you Earth men are at times."
  304. "There was a funny shirt that summed it up best I felt, senpai in the streets and hentai in the sheets.'
  305. >"Senpai? Hentai?"
  306. >Fook.
  307. "Ah, senpai is like an elder or a person with respect in public and hentai is- heh, lewd things that we did last night."
  308. >"Kinky."
  309. >Your food soon arrived before you could come up with an exceptionally smart counter, yes you would have won that conversation for sure, only the food saved the day!
  310.  
  311. >"Then I tell her, I tell her right, that she's a tuftlet who couldn't cast a cantrip of cleaning!"
  312. >Sunset roars in laughter leaning against you as you slowly walk back, mostly from her six foot something leaning on your five foot seven self.
  313. >Staggering at the laughter you chime in with a few laughs since you've no idea what the hell she was talking about, something about old school rivals, which you didn't think was a thing.
  314. >"Hey."
  315. >Now you just have to manage the next few blocks to get back to the apartment and let her sleep off the hangover.
  316. >"Nawn, luv, honey bunches, sweetums."
  317. >Do you have any eggs and tabasco sauce you know that you'll need that hangover cure when she wakes up, you might need it too as wobbly as the world is.
  318. >"Nawn!"
  319. >Whoops that's not the drink, it's Sunset pushing you against the wall and slamming both her hands on either side of your head cornering you in.
  320. >The tall woman leered in with a flushed face, "You'rrrre cute. You know that?"
  321. "Thanks, but I think you've had a bit too much to drink Sunny."
  322. >"Sunny?" The leer fades slightly as she is still in your personal space and the booze is strong on her breath.
  323. >Still you preserve!
  324. "Trying out nicknames, now come on, doesn't a bed sound great right now?"
  325. >"Mm bed, yesh you read my mind you sexy colt you..." Sunset murmured as she kissed you roughly before you yelped.
  326. "Ah! Sunset! Not that hard!"
  327. >"Mm not the only thing that's hard..."
  328. >Is this how you die?
  329. >Groped to death by a giant amazon in the streets?
  330. >"Dirty little slut, you little hentee."
  331. >Snrk.
  332. >"What?"
  333. "N-nothing, come on I'll let you play all you want once we get home."
  334. >"Nooo I wanna it noooow."
  335. >Time for drastic measures!
  336. >You reach up and pinch at her rear causing her eyes to widen before she bites her lip, "That's it you little- hey!"
  337. >Slipping beneath the woman's legs you cackle swaying your hips just so out of her reach.
  338. "Come on Sunny, if you want this," A little hip thrust there, "You gotta catch me!~"
  339. >The ominous glow of her eyes and hands has you quickly rethink your life choices.
  340. >Instead you channel the full legacy of your ancestors and-
  341. >A trash can is suddenly yanked towards the woman.
  342. >LEG IT!
  343.  
  344. >"Three fractures in your pelvis, at least five different sprains in your wrist that will need to be addressed and if I am reading this right a severe case of malnutrition due to a lack of essential vitamins." The doctor read off dryly then let the papers drop on your clipboard.
  345. >"I certainly hope it was worth it for both of you, honestly children these days."
  346. >Sunset squirmed in her seat, the chair a touch too small for her to sit comfortably legs crossed avoiding the doctor's gaze.
  347. >You meanwhile grinned and through the tears of moving your thumb gave him a thumbs up.
  348. >"When I mentioned sprained wrist that didn't mean to use it you know."
  349. "Still worth it."
  350. >"Is he going to be alright? What does he need? Whatever it is I'll make sure he gets it, sir." Sunset interjected then either to save herself from the embarrassment or to draw the doctor's ire from you you're not sure.
  351. >"I hope you realize how annoying it has been these past few weeks with your arrival, used to be that I'd need to fix a broken bone from some kids playing too hard in their games, but no nowadays it's more of this problem." The doctor gripped before writing on a pad he pulled from his hip.
  352. >"You're little boy toy there is going to have a small prescription for hydrocodone as well as needing to have about a month or so to let the cracks heal, you're lucky you know if,” The doctor snapped his fingers then pointed at Sunset, “what was it again? Sunshine?"
  353. >"Sunset, sir."
  354. >"Right, Nightstick, if she was from the lapis subrace you'd be laid up for somewhere around twelve to sixteen weeks."
  355. "Lucky me, at least I'll know better than to tease you too terribly then, eh Sunset?"
  356. >"Anon, please, just listen to the good doctor."
  357. >"At least there are a few good eggs among your lot that give some respect, at any rate I shouldn't have to stress this, but no physical movement you understand? Wheel chair and sitting in bed for a good long while for you."
  358. >"I'll make sure he stays in bed."
  359. >You let out a low whistle still feeling a touch fuzzy from the spinny machine they had you in.
  360. >Sunset's glare was still worth it though while the doctor started to talk some more, but you were just bathing in the fact you had survived the beast.
  361. >There are a few flashes between then and now, but you think you came out on top of-
  362.  
  363. >It's night.
  364. >You're in bed.
  365. >Springs creak alarmingly.
  366. >Red yellow hair falls in waves around your face.
  367. >"Mnff! T-that's it you little slut! Let Momma bounce on that thick dick!"
  368. >A thick clap against your waist when-
  369.  
  370. >"Anon?"
  371. >A voluminous curtain of the setting sun fills your vision.
  372. "Eh?"
  373. >"I was asking if you'd be interested in a small vacation? As an apology since, well, I laid you up like this. Again I'm so sorry I hadn't thought-"
  374. >You gently tugged on the tall woman's hair drawing her lower into a kiss.
  375. "You're fine, I'm a lot tougher than you'd think, besides uh what was the vacation spot?"
  376. >The dopey smile on Sunset's face strayed when she finally heard you, "Oh! I had thought maybe you'd like to see home?"
  377.  
  378. "Sunset, are you sure that this is fine? I know you said you took time off and all, but-"
  379. >You're interrupted by a tight hug and the soft embrace of your girlfriend.
  380. >Ah!~
  381. >It's like one of those extra soft ones on the bed.
  382. >"Don't worry about it, my little salt block, this is all about you."
  383. >Wiggling your head to catch Sunset's eyes you puff out your cheeks in exasperation.
  384. "Sunset..."
  385. >"Really I've got a whole itenary planned out, wait till you see the Ouranos' heights, absolutely gorgeous views! Not to mention they have this spa there to promote healing and is really good for your skin so-
  386. "Sunset."
  387. >"Then after that we can go see the Petra Hills, the stone clans that live there have a mud bath that just soothes any aches and pains you get from rolling rocks."
  388. "Sunset, wait rolling rocks?"
  389. >"After that we'll hit up Kerato Valley, that's one of the oldest places in Equestria you know, so you can just bet they have potent magic they held onto during the unification."
  390. "Sunset!"
  391. >The stroll Sunset had you on suddenly jerked to a stop as the woman tilted forward suddenly out of reverie, "Buwha?"
  392. "We missed our turn."
  393. >Gesturing with your head towards the runway tunnel leading to the flight where a small line of passengers were having their tickets checked over by the attendant before they would move on.
  394. >"Oh, ahaha! I mean, I knew that I was just keeping your mind sharp!"
  395. "Sure."
  396. >"I was!"
  397. >You can't help the laugh that escapes you as you're wheeled around towards the line before you crane your head back to look at Sunset.
  398. "Luv?"
  399. >"Yeah?
  400. "About the trip."
  401. >"Hey, like I said everythings taken care of."
  402. "Yeah, yeah I heard you the first time, but it's more all the places your trip has."
  403. >At Sunset's inquiring look you fidget trying to think of the best way to ask this.
  404. "Did you ONLY choose places that have something to do with healing people for the ENTIRE trip?"
  405. >The question has Sunset raise her eyebrows and you can see a nervous sweat start to dribble down the side of her face as she avoids looking at you.
  406. "Sunset..."
  407. >"Oh my look at that, the line moved up, best we get our tickets ready!"
  408. "I already have them in my lap."
  409. >"Erk!"
  410. "Sunset, luv, my sweet sunshine, you do know that you don't have to do this right? We can just go and look around and all that jazz, but you don't need to begger yourself trying some crackpot healing sites. I'm hurt, not crippled for life you know."
  411. >"I know that, but not to put too fine a point on it," Sunset paused, chewing on her words, "You're healthcare sucks. Back home you'd be in and out after a week, or two at most. It's like your people never developed your magical traditions."
  412. "...We don't have those?"
  413. >"Yes, which is why it baffles me why you don't."
  414. >"Tickets please."
  415. >Passing along the way to the plane, Sunset gently patted your head, "Just give it a try, for me?"
  416. "...Alright."
  417. >The small hop Sunset does remind you of why you're putting up with all this fuss, but the kiss is worth twice as much.
  418.  
  419. >Admittedly you weren't sure what you were expecting when your plane had begun it's approach to Equestria, maybe some landmarks you could see from a distance, it's an island after all.
  420. >Or so you thought, from up high you could see the shores first after a few hours of over-flight travel, you could probably even take a cruise to get there within the week you bet.
  421. >Then again you're not a geography major either, but the fact you can't see the other side of the 'island' makes you think the news people were keeping the extent of how large the new land mass really was a secret.
  422. >Alarming, but you haven't the foggiest as to why they would go through the effort when a gaggle map would show it.
  423. "Say, Sunset?"
  424. >You turned from the window to Sunset and had to shuffle over in the frankly too large seat as this airline was catered and staffed by Equestrians.
  425. >Everything felt a touch too large that's for sure, but you manage to scoot over enough to gently shake the snoozing woman.
  426. "Sunset?"
  427. >A sharp whinny of surprise had you lean back in surprise as Sunset awoke a blanket falling into her lap then she looked about her groggily, "Hm? Whassat?"
  428. >You've gotten a bit used to the small quirks that Sunset has, but every so often you're surprised.
  429. "Sorry for waking you up, Sunbuns, but how large is your home again?"
  430. >"Er, well it's a normal house, has a few bathrooms, dining room, kitchens, the works."
  431. "No, no, not that I meant," Here you gesture out the window towards the slowly approaching landmass, "The whole island."
  432. >"Island? it's more of its own continent, we might have accidentally brought along a few friends during the planar shift, so..."
  433. >Sunset squinted and rubbed at eyes that to your gaze looked inflamed.
  434. "Are you alright? You're not sick are you?"
  435. >"No, no, it's just these stupid inhibitors." Sunset griped as she held up her hands revealing the tiny little thimbles on each digit the metal glinting in the low overhead lights, "It's annoying and gives me a headache."
  436. "The flight attendant said it'd mess up the plane right? Best we keep them on, but why is that?"
  437. >Sunset let her hand drop, "What?"
  438. "Are you sure you're fi-"
  439. >"I'm fine, Anon, just really foggy headed alright? What was the question again?"
  440. "The inhibitors? What's so important about them being on?"
  441. >A low hum escaped Sunset when she said, "Do you know how they tell you to turn off your little boxes?"
  442. "The cellphones? Yeah, is that the same thing then?"
  443. >"More or less, it's meant to keep things clear in the air. Are we there yet? I was trying to sleep through this awful part of the trip."
  444. "Just about, sorry for waking you up, I think we're going to descend soon. Let me check."
  445. >You wince leaning forward tapping away at the small screen in front of you to check your date of arrival.
  446. "Well would you look at that, we'll be there within the h-"
  447. >A soft nicker has you turn, Sunset had already craned her head back and was snoozing away.
  448. >You held back a smile then tucked her in.
  449.  
  450. >"AH! That feels so much better!" Sunset cracked her fingers now free of the tiny little thimbles, small sparks of cyan lightning flicker between her digits, then stooped down to hug you tight to her chest.
  451. >Faintly you can hear someone mutter, "Damn it they are ALWAYS taken..."
  452. >The crowd moves past you and you can see quite a few more Equestrians leaving a passing glance towards you both.
  453. Gently you bring your arms up to tap Sunset on her sides, "Sunset? Come on, I know making the trip is great and all, but come on people are starting to stare..."
  454. >Breathing deeply in your neck Sunset murmered, "Let them, need to let those other mares that you're MINE, sides I'm so glad to be rid of those stupid things."
  455. >Shit, that's hot.
  456. >Wait no!
  457. >Focus!
  458. "Sunbuns, we still gotta get out of the airport right?"
  459. >A low whicker is your response, which really doesn't help matters much.
  460. >"First time?"
  461. >You glance over to the voice feeling the overly affectionate girl continues to hug you close to see another human, he's oddly enough also in a wheelchair with a cast on his leg being hugged close by an Equestrian with a faint pink shimmery mane and having creamy white skin.
  462. "Er...yeah?"
  463. >You glanced over to see if Sunset had stopped acting more like a cat in heat, but sadly that has yet to stop.
  464. >Is there something in the air?
  465. >"Don't worry too much about this, it's just a thing Equestrian's do a lot of the time."
  466. "That does far less to reassure me here, what- Sunset please!"
  467. >At this point Sunset had maneuvered around behind you while draping herself atop you, admittedly the head cushion is really soft, but you're in public!
  468. >"Oh, she must trust you if you're that far along."
  469. "Stop being vague as fuck and explain shit!"
  470. >The asshole laughs at you, "Fine, fine, Equestrian's used to be ponies and some of their old habits still carry over. Just relax and go with it."
  471. "And this is what? Scent marking?"
  472. >"Yes."
  473. "That's dumb, you're dumb, and-"
  474. >A breath of air on your ear has you sitting upright, "Having fun?"
  475. "Sunset! Are you done with whatever it was you're doing?"
  476. >The tall woman nodded, looking almost glowing now, "Yep, come on our ride is going to be here soon!"
  477. >"Try not to break anything else on the trip here buddy!" The asshole called out before he was soon enveloped in a hug from his giant of an escort.
  478. >Seriously even with the reinforced steel the size difference alone has you worried, not that you are, but it's a thought.
  479. >Soon you exit the airport building with luggage in tow blinking in the bright sunlight.
  480. >First thing that catches your eye would have been the pair of Equestrian men who looked to be cosplaying as Roman legionaries with terrible color choice, after all Rome was all about that red, not blue and gold.
  481. >That better not be gold, why would they be wearing gold?!
  482. >Your gut starts to sink when you notice that one held a sign saying 'Sunset Shimmer and party' while the other scanned the crowds exiting the building.
  483. >Now you weren't a bright lad, but you were beginning to become a bit suspicious of Sunset.
  484.  
  485. >"Ah there's our ride."
  486. >Please don't be the weird larpers, please don't- oh damn it.
  487. >Sunset wheeled you directly to the duo who had caught sight of your approach with interest.
  488. >Where as you were used to the height of your lover here, the two bedecked men with a menacing aura looked to have been carved from solid marble towering above you AND Sunset by at least half a foot.
  489. >What the hell do they even feed the people here?
  490. >"Consul Shimmer, if you'll follow us we'll soon have you away."
  491. >"Thank you gentlecolts, if you'd be so kind, lead the way. How are things on the estate?"
  492. >One of the Adonis' easily hoisted both your bag and hers while the other continued to guide you all through the crowds towards what looked like a parking lot, only with no black top and instead had cobblestone of all things.
  493. >There was also a lack of cars and-
  494. >Wait, consul?
  495. >"You'll be pleased to know that the current crops are proceeding as planned though some of the earth ponies are complaining over the lack of ready minerals as well as the water situation."
  496. >"I see, I'll see if I can't bring it up in the next meeting with the princesses."
  497. >Alright, keep quiet now Anon ol' boy you might have stepped in something way bigger than yourself here, watch and observe.
  498. >"There was mention of another trade offer from our foreign friends to the senate while you were away, the senate has yet to respond, but word in the chamber is that the deal looks favorable though the dragons and griffins are kicking up a fuss as they always are."
  499. >Sunset rolled her eyes, "They always do, but for now let's stick a pin in that, right now I am on vacation after all."
  500. >"Yes ma'am."
  501. >Your brain is overclocking on trying to keep up here that you barely acknowledge the fact that you're loaded into a carriage of all things while the two guards, royal perhaps, guards hoist a harness to their armor.
  502. >History lessons had taught you that carriages were bouncy, terrible things that jarred the passengers for all their 'innovation of the century' yet you hardly felt a pebble beneath you and the cool air of the interior is greatly appreciated now.
  503. >Alright think now Anon, by all accounts you're possibly sleeping with a upper class woman of this land, and by upper class you mean UPPER class here if the talk of princesses are being bandied about.
  504. >Possibly even a politician since she talks with some other faction called dragons and griffins, possibly war hawks or something else along those lines.
  505. >The mention of Consul, if Equestria holds close to the old naming conventions of the Roman and their Greek aesthetic, could be seen as a representative of friendship or trades between peoples.
  506. >Still that doesn't explain WHY she would show up in a game shop for nerds and basically sweep you off your feet here.
  507. >Sitting across from you after your wheelchair has been locked into place you see your lover watching you with a nervous look, "So, you might have a question or two..."
  508.  
  509. You lean forward in your chair, elbows resting atop your knees, "One or two did spring to mind."
  510. >"Now before you start-"
  511. "Start what?"
  512. >A wince is earned and you smile as calm as can be.
  513. >"Uh," Sunset fidgeted and you merely tilted your head just a touch in an encouraging manner, "Being upset?"
  514. "Why would I ever be upset, Sunnybuns? I mean it's not like we've been intentionally hiding things from one another or something like that."
  515. >"Okay so I could have led in with that, but look at it from my perspective, how the heck would I have brought it up? You were already sceptical of the 'used to be a pony' thing!"
  516. "This and that are two entirely different things! If anything the," Here you gesture at Sunset's form, "this."
  517. >"What does that even mean, you just waved your hands at all of me."
  518. "The carriage? The giants who look like some sort of guard, the political faction talk? It's a bit much to suddenly spring on a guy is all."
  519. >"So it might have been a bit better to warn you ahead of time, I just never really found a good moment for it."
  520. >The shame on her face and the way your tall girlfriend curls in on herself at the admittance holds your tongue for a moment to think.
  521. >Damn it, why does she have to be so damn cute?
  522. >You reach over and place your hand on her knee drawing her attention.
  523. "Okay, look, just maybe if it's something big or huge just try to say something ahead of time? I feel like I got blasted with both barrels here. Keep me in the loop yanno?"
  524. >Slowly as if coaxing a cat from behind the fridge Sunset brought her own hand atop yours, "I, I can try, but there are some things that have to be kept on a need to know basis, it's just the nature of things."
  525. "Security sure, but even a heads up if we need to move or have to do something would be nice."
  526. >Sunset nodded with vigor, "Yeah, I can do that."
  527. >Smiling, you squeeze her knee, well as much as you can with your fucked wrist, but you can feel the delicate squeeze in return atop your hand.
  528.  
  529. "Still..."
  530. >The hand atop yours froze as if caught in the cookie jar, "Still?"
  531. "Still at a loss at why you showed up in that store of all places, I mean, from all accounts you'd be winning and dining all sorts of people who are more in your circle of friends."
  532. >"Trust me when I say that not many who I rub shoulders with aren't my friends, there are a few good ponies amongst the bunch though." Sunset trailed off smiling at some distant memory before you cleared your throat.
  533. "Sunset?"
  534. >"Sorry, good memories," Sunset smiled apologetically, "it might surprise you, but I was in the city as part of my job as Consul."
  535. >Your stomach begins to sink and you're hyper aware that you're in a foreign country, crippled and currently working off the good will of what are essentially aliens.
  536. >"Aside from a few other duties, I was sent over to assist in helping put down trade agreements and to garner friendship with your homeland believe it or not."
  537. "By visiting a game shop?"
  538. >Your question earned you a roll of the eyes, "Not quite, I had finished with half my duties there, when I started on the other half. Feeling out the people, how do they treat Equestrians on the street? A better understanding of what your people are and if we might even be friends."
  539. "You were sent over to watch people?"
  540. >A shrug, "More or less, although I do have a guilty pleasure for some of your entertainment and I had gone into the store to see what they had, then I noticed you."
  541. "M-me?"
  542. >A finger comes up and lightly taps your nose, "Yes you, I had thought you might have been an Equestrian in disguise at first."
  543. "I'm sorry what?"
  544. >Last you checked you weren't some seven foot tall lad with muscles that could grate meat on.
  545. >"You didn't know?"
  546. "Sunset, this is starting to feel like one of those things you need to explain to me, again."
  547. >The confusion on her face held before understanding dawned on her face, "Oh by the fat teats of Faust, your traditions are garbage I forgot."
  548. "Traditions, wait the magical traditions?"
  549. >"Yes," Sunset said as she began to move her hands in an odd pattern and the glow from her eyes intensified, "Hold on, I'll show you..."
  550. >You've gotten used to magic, you think, but the flinging motion at the end always has you flinching as if something was going to hit you, doesn't help the stuff looks as radioactive as enriched uranium for one.
  551. >Opening an eye you marvel at the rolling flames of cyan before you, Sunset was enveloped within this aura if you had to give it a name with slivers of red running through it hidden beneath the blue.
  552. "What, what is this?
  553. >"Anon," Sunset giggled at you before pointing towards yourself, "It's a cantrip for seeing magic, but we're not looking at me, look."
  554. >Following her pointed finger you near bolt from your chair as you're encased in a dark burgundy red and brown clay that reminded you of stone, if that stone was pulsing with this eldritch light, the longer you stared at the pulsating light the more you could just see hints of a pattern.
  555. >The longer you stare at the pattern the more the pulsing increases in speed, you think it might be related to your heart, but there was something more to it...
  556. >You just needed to look a little more...
  557. >Just have to follow the pattern backwards and-
  558. [spoiler]With each step forward[/spoiler]
  559. >Parchment before your eyes drawn in detail the exact placement of where buildings would go, the misty air granting you vigor as the plan would lead to-
  560. >To what!?
  561. >You have to delve deeper...
  562. >Your eyes start to throb as you go.
  563. [spoiler]Another step back[/spoiler]
  564. >"..."
  565. >There the parchment again though it is rougher in appearance and you can see a great tree central to-
  566. [spoiler]the cycle continues[/spoiler]
  567. >Again.
  568. >"...!"
  569. >You are on the cusp of knowledge, you can feel it in your bones
  570. [spoiler]the link is severed[/spoiler]
  571. >"Anon!"
  572.  
  573. >You lean back in your seat gasping, eyes wide as your vision is flooded with fiery locks, concerned cyan blue eyes and a worried frown.
  574. "Sunset?"
  575. >"Anon! What happened? You started to stare at your aura then you just went quiet then started having a fit! Are you alright? Are you hurt?"
  576. >Come to think of it, yes, you feel like you've moved a far bit more than you ought to have.
  577. Wincing you hold yourself very still, "Might have jostled something, that was...intense. What even happened? Is that normal?"
  578. >"It's a simple magical sight cantrip, it doesn't do anything besides reveal magic, I have it up on habit but most tend to go without. That doesn't explain anything unless there was something wrong with your magic."
  579. "Sunset," You said slowly, "I don't have magic."
  580. >"You do, you've seen it yourself!"
  581. "No, that's," You flounder, "That sure as hell isn't like your own magic."
  582. >"You're right, but you have something there." Sunset chewed on her thumb in thought, "I'll need to consult with a few friends of mine, and a book or two, for now we need to focus on getting you healed up."
  583. >Pointing a finger at you Sunset declared, "Without you trying to boil your brains out, yeah?"
  584. "No argument here, say where are we stopping anyway?"
  585. >"My home, at least to grab a few things and then we'll see some of those sights I mentioned before."
  586. "The springs and spas? The ones that sound really pricey or really shady tourist traps?"
  587. >Sunset grinned at you then, "I'll spare no expense for my little salt sphere."
  588. "Salt sphere?"
  589. >"I suppose spheres is better." Sunset said, licking her lips with a lascivious leer.
  590. >You cough, break eye contact and hear the smug little giggle she has when you spy out the carriage window of a city on the rise.
  591. >At first glance you are reminded of the larger cities back home, yet the sky scrappers here appear to be fashioned from stone and you can just make out different styles of buildings in what look like districts, some that remind you of an Asian flair, others that hold true to the Greek aesthetic, while others are more esoteric such as great roosts that you can just faintly spy tiny dots moving around like a great swarm.
  592. >Not to mention the giant thunderhead cloud that reminds you of buildings that hosts a great bevy of shimmering dots as well, wait you recalled that some of the people here can fly.
  593. >They have cloud buildings?!
  594. >Oh the Star War fans are going to screech you can just tell...
  595. >"Welcome to Unity, city of friendship, Anon."
  596. "It looks amazing, but why does it look so patchy?"
  597. >"Each race that makes up the council of Equestria wished for a place to design for their own needs when we first arrived, since then there have been merging of styles near the borders, but people will be people. That's not our stop anyway."
  598. "Where is it?"
  599. >"Right about here."
  600. >Turning off the road you ride on towards a large manor that had an extensive grounds and iron fence that surrounded the property.
  601. >At your dumbfounded look Sunset held her hands out and waved them, "Surprise?"
  602.  
  603. >"Alright guys, no, no I'm sure that we're good to keep going. It's only been what a few hours? Now on the last time we had delved into the Crox manor which had been over ruin by copious amounts of undead in the search for Mr. Crox's father who was bunkered down in the basement when the plague occured."
  604. >Up above you watched as your little stud recaped his story to his friends, the descriptions and imagary invoked had you there in your minds eye.
  605. >Didn't hurt that with a bit of magic to your eyes you could easily see the scene before you, of a stately manor tall and imposing yet bearing the scars of battle from windows being smashed in.
  606. >Of the uneasy greeting the party had when they were greeted by one player's father when the players quickly realize that the father in question was some type of changeling leading to battle.
  607. >Magic so similiar, yet so constrained in it's purpose, flying and feats of athleticism that you fondly recall.
  608. You flinch when that guilt of what you'd done to your poor colt surfaced again, but once you're done catching up it's right off to-
  609. >You jump when your cheek is prodded by a familiar pink fingernail
  610. >"Sunset! Equestria to Suuuunset."
  611. "Pinkie!"
  612. >"Whaaaat? You were super zoning out," Following where you were looking you see the unpredictable mare landed her gaze on your colt and you can already see where things are going, "Ohoh, Sunset~! You saucy salt block, keep your pants on now, unless?~"
  613. >The insinuation had your hair raise up, magic coiling around you as you held the mare's gaze, Pinkie holds her hands up giggling to herself, "Calm down Sunset, Calm down, it's a joke you greedy little filly."
  614. >You let out a sigh, Pinkie isn't a threat like that, that aside she's like a sister to you.
  615. >"Not that I blame you, the little fellas are just adorable aren't they?"
  616. >The really annoying little sister that needs to keep her mitts to herself!
  617. "Pinkie."
  618. >"Aw come on Sunset! Help a sister out here, ever since we've gotten here it's been nothing buy busy busy busy work all the day long!"
  619. "Can't you just find a colt to have a fling with from the human embassy?"
  620. >"Sunset!" Pinkie exclaimed lips out in a pout, "Momma Pie raised this pie the right way, I'm not going to just find the nearest pole and play the hokey pokey with him. He's gotta be the right one and all those little colts at the embassy are waaay to serious!"
  621. "I know the ones at the embassy are awfully serious, but you know they are doing their job right?"
  622. >"Pfft yeah, of course, but everytime I wind up getting a bit of my ol' Pie charm on them they get dragged off by some of the lads." Pinkie sighed stirring her tea with a spoon morosely hair smoother than the curly mass you're used to, "It's like they are afraid of making friends or something."
  623. "Well, to be fair the first impressions could have been a bit better," You take a sip from your own tea recalling the events of those hectic days, "Although it was a little funny to see their faces when their ships had gotten stuck in the harbor."
  624. >"Sunset! You're doing it again!"
  625. "Doing what?"
  626. >"You're bullying habit!"
  627. "What?! No I wasn't! I swear!"
  628. The small giggle escaping the mare across from you had your glare lightly, "I see I'm not the only one whose in a teasing mood today."
  629. >"Maybe, but you have to admit everypony could use a bit of laughter now a days, even the little guys." Pinkie said softly before taking a drink and frowned, "Ugh, too bitter, honestly what is wrong with your tea Sunset?"
  630. >Watching the mare start to shovel spoonfuls of sugar into her drink you frowned
  631. "Pinkie? Has something happened while I was gone?"
  632. >"It's nothing really, just some sour ponies and humies that are just grousing a lot more than they ought to." Pinkie tried to wave you away but you frowned at hearing this.
  633. "If someone is able to get under your skin Pinkie that's impressive on it's own, what's been going on?"
  634. >"Weeeell, from who I've been talking with and some of the papers that those nice humies have loaned me from time to time."
  635. "Loaned? Pinkie you promised!"
  636. >"I didn't pinkie promise!" Pinkie said holding up a finger to point at you before she looked at her finger in surprise, "Wow this is really useful for making a point."
  637. >Visions of news papers catching onto international incidents galore has you grasping your hair on each side of your head.
  638. "Pinkie please!"
  639. >"It was only a peek anyway, you know how much I love playing hide and seek with those fellas at the embassy anyway. They make the funniest faces!"
  640. >Tugging your hair out isn't going to solve anything so you let your hair go and relax, okay you know how to fix this, this is fine!
  641.  
  642. "Pinkie, I need you to do me a favor, okay? It's really important."
  643. >"Of course Sunset, whatcha need?"
  644. "Can you pinkie promise to not cause an international incident with our new friends? You need to treat them like you would Fluttershy, alright?"
  645. >"But they seem so tough all the time! When I give them a hello from behind a pillar they try so hard to not jump."
  646. "I know Pinkie, but I think that's just how they deal with things, so bear that in mind will you?"
  647. >Pinkie hummed eyes coming to be near unperceptiable to you from how hard she was thinking, faintly you could smell something burning-
  648. >You're about to stand up to check on Pinkie when the mare in question slammed her hands together making the glass rattle slightly from the force.
  649. >"Aha! I get it now, but if I make that promise you gotta do me a favor too!"
  650. "Oh thank Celestia, what did you have in mind?"
  651. >"I wanna go with you and Nonny on a date!"
  652. >Internally you scream, but it's Pinkie Pie, the worst she might get up to is holding hooves with him, this is fine.
  653. >"Er...Sunset? You're magic is doing the thing again."
  654. >Blinking you set your cup down and clear your throat ignoring the scorch marks around your seat.
  655. "We can do that, so...Pinkie Promise?"
  656. >"Cross my heart and stick a cupcake in my eye!" Pinkie said happily doing the motions, "You know it's really crazy but did you know those little humans have a saying pretty close?"
  657. "Really?"
  658. >"Yeppers, only they try to stick a needle in their eye! Sometimes little things like that make me really worried they haven't had a good friend for that to be the norm."
  659. "Haha...well their history is a bit, grim to be honest with you."
  660. >"Yeah," Pinkie frowned and that was a scary sight to see, "You know they remind me of Prince Rutherford and his friends, only they go waaaay overboard, I feel really bad for them."
  661. "Hey," You put your hand over hers and draw her out of her thoughts, "If nothing else at least they have learned a bit better right? Plus they've got us here now to help out."
  662. >Like a guttering flame fed fresh fuel Pinkie's cheer took and flared all the brighter, "Heck yeah!"
  663.  
  664. >"Moving across the street you can see that the coast is clear, yet as you travel through the street fog has rolled in unusual for the time of day, what's worse is how the fog is tinted green and you can see small skulls that form and dissipate."
  665. >Anon seems to be getting into the meat of things judging by the magic starting to swirl around his frame when you glanced down.
  666. >Of course that's when Pinkie crowds in beside you watching for a while when she said, "He's not bad, could do with a bit more descriptions though."
  667. "I think it's cute."
  668. >"You're weird Sunset."
  669. "Are not."
  670. >"Are too!~"
  671. >Just as you're ready to assert how you are totally in the right you see the magic below flicker, "What? Oh no, it's just the table, see I flick a thing or two here and describe stuff and it'll do it."
  672. >"Wowee Sunset, I didn't know you had a story teller table, who'd you get to enchant that for you?" Pinkie asked turning to you while Anon talked with his friends.
  673. "It's not, that's just a foosball table without the poles in it, just the handles."
  674. >"What? Then how is he...No way you found one?!"
  675. >You lean back with a smug smile.
  676. >"Now I really wanna get that date from ya."
  677. >"Oh my god, guys what the hell, nooooo!" Anon whined drawing you back from your seat to look down and you goggled down below.
  678. >Anon with his hands covering his face while you faintly could hear laughter from the headset while on the table the city scape has lost its special effects instead there appears lounging atop the castle, is well you.
  679. >Only the you on the table is large enough to drape across the castle roof, has grand sweeping horns from your fiery locks, a pair of draconic wings, hands tipped in dark claws that make a come hither motion at Anon while her tail flicked back and forth impishly.
  680. >Pinkie, at the sight, of course starts to giggle the traitor.
  681. >At the noise Anon stiffened and glanced up to the balcony where you waved back, Pinkie meanwhile let out a low whistle.
  682. >"OKAY! Moving on with the game!" Anon exclaimed as he hurried to the controls and the image of you is swept aside, "You all make your way towards the smithy, the building is-"
  683. >"Damn mare, you've really got him good." Pinkie said nudging you in the side while you take a tactical sip of your tea. ​
  684.  
  685. -=-=-=-=-
  686.  
  687. "Now you're sure this isn't going to cause any ruckus with your job...s? You never really explained how you had two of them."
  688. >Carefully you're levitated out from the carriage to land upon the pavement wheels touching down gently, Sunset's magic fades as away and the woman stands behind you softly pushing you forward, "The two jobs work together essentially, I was put out on loan for assisting in your people's research on their own magic."
  689. "Has anything come out of it? What you showed me looked really wild, but," You wave your hands miming a throwing motion, "You don't see me throwing around magical bolts and the like."
  690. >"Most of it's kept under a nondisclosure contract, but there are some oddities that have shown up," Sunset started to explain before you both approached a resort that stood over a series of cliffs that looked down on the rest of the settlement of Petra that you had traveled to.
  691. >"One thing is that most don't have access to magic, and those that were brought in lacked a vital part of manifesting their magic."
  692. "A vital component? Like an organ?"
  693. >"Close, but we're about to go in, don't worry we can talk more once we're in. You'll love it, I just know it."
  694. "What did you sign us up for anyway?"
  695. >"The full works! I needed a check up anyway." "Why does this feel more like a doctor's visit than a spa day..."
  696. >"Hahaha, Anon you say the silliest things..."
  697. >You're a touch worried now, but the doors slide open as you approach and a giant sat behind the countertop, "Welcome to Sweet Springs Oasis, best spa in all of Petra and Equestria, what can I help you with today?"
  698. >Well a giant to you, but to Sunset he looks closer in stature, perhaps hard to tell when he's sitting like that.
  699. >"An appointment for a party of two under Shimmer, full suite and a specialization in skeletal regrowth."
  700.  
  701. >"Of course, let me see, ah yes. Nurse Daffodil will be your primary care giver, if you'll wait here for a moment or two I'll bring her down in just a moment." The man replied moving in his chair and you noticed he didn't reach for a phone.
  702. >Instead he focused on something in front of him and you heard a faint crackle of fire, the next moment smoke and ashes flew through the air deeper into the building.
  703. >What in the fuck was that?
  704. >Sunset wheels you over to the waiting area where you spy a few other patrons of the facility, some looking like they had fought a wood chipper while others are already applying sunscreen to their face, "Babe? Are you alright, you look spooked."
  705. >You point down the hall where the smoke and ash had flown. "The smoke, what was that about?" >"It's just a dragon message, Anon, it's like your little blocky things. Celephones?"
  706. "Cellphones, sure, but does he just have a dragon on the other side of the desk or what?"
  707. >"Oh that's just a dragon pipe." Sunset said flippantly, waving it off.
  708. "That explains even less Sunny, what's a dragon's pipe?"
  709. >"Damn, sorry forgot you didn't grow up here, it's a specific bone that dragons have that is used to ignite their flame sacs, dragons tend to sell them on the side when they really need the money." "How do you even meet demand for it to be this common? Don't you have to grow a bunch of dragons for that?"
  710. >"Not really, dragons go through a molt every six weeks or so and the cast offs can be sold off, some dragons like to even keep their molts as keepsakes." "Never have I ever been more disgusted than I am right now."
  711. >"That's magical infrastructure for ya!"
  712. "Still have a few-"
  713.  
  714. >”Mrs. and Mr. Shimmer?” Another giant of Equestrian statue this time dressed as a doctor with fantastically blue hair that appeared more like clouds than natural hair called your party.
  715. >”That’ll be us.”
  716. “Mister and Misses Shimmer?” You asked, craning your head back to regard the woman behind you.
  717. >”The forms didn’t have a different way of referring to you in my party besides,” Sunset leaned down close her breath on your ear, “It’s not such a terrible fantasy is it? You, all dressed up in white, then I’d carry you across the threshold right to the bed.~”
  718. >Your exceptionally witty and totally not blanking on a response is prevented by the proximity of the nurse as she smiled at you both, “Just this way, we’ll do a quick examination and then we’ll move on with the rest of the treatment, while we’re walking which options of the suite were you most interested in going with?”
  719. “What exactly are all the options anyway? This whole setup feels more like a hospital than a day spa.”
  720. >”You’d be surprised at how they can be one and the same, most humans find it odd, but we do prescribe most forms of treatment including deep tissue repair with a fossilisation bath.”
  721. “Fossilisation, what now?”
  722. >Sunset you notice, appears very excited as she leans in on you enough that you can feel the softness atop your head.
  723. >”It’s a procedure where we suspend the body entirely in a bedrock mineral bath while our nurses then go in and begin to work the connective tissue and other oddities that would occur then resheath the flesh back onto the body while you're held in stasis.”
  724. “Sorry if this sounds like repeating myself, but resheathing? You’re not talking about stripping the flesh from my bones and the like are you?”
  725. >At the question the nurse paused and tapped her head in recrimination, “Ah, my apologies, our cultural sensitivity courses are still taking a bit of time to settle in, you’ve no need to worry. What you’d undergo would be similar to when your own doctors put you under when undergoing surgery.”
  726. “...I think I’ll pass on the deep tissue fossilisation thanks…”
  727.  
  728. “That’s how I’m here now soaking in mud for the next hour or two.”
  729. >”Pretty rough, still at least your healing now.” The blue haired man replied before clapping you on the back, “Still heck of a thing if the first thing she does is just waltz into your house like that. You need some more self respect for yourself.”
  730. “Ah, it’s not that bad. I rather had fun myself, injuries aside.”
  731. >Snapping a finger at you then glancing down at the noise he’d made, Soaring as he introduced himself, grinned like a child with a new toy, “See that right there is going to be a huge problem later Anon, if you keep letting her walk all over you like that you’ll wind up never setting boundaries.”
  732. “Boundaries like what? It’s not like she’s going to just make a pig sty out of my house or something.”
  733. >”Trust me colt, I’ve got plenty of experience with mares. They will make the biggest mess they can and then stare at you like you’re crazy when you point it out to them.”
  734. >Colt?
  735. >Must be some type of lingo, just roll with it Anon ol’ boy.
  736. “I don’t know, sounds like a lot of hassle, but I do have to ask.” You adjust your seat in the mud. The aches from before had steadily faded away, but a sudden movement would flare up, lapis magic was something else, “You mentioned experience with multiple wom- er mares?”
  737. >Nodding Soaring leaned back and you noticed his wings twitch from the middle of his back stretching out to soak in the mud, “It’s part of a team that works together on search and rescue, deployments for aerial stunts and the like.”
  738. >”You’re people have something similar I think, but my team and I are pretty much like a herd in practice. So you could say I’m a bit of an expert on the mare mind.”
  739. “Say I believe that.” You ignore the man’s hotly protested exclamation to continue, “Do you just have different turns or what for night activities, the way Sunset was acting earlier didn’t give off the let’s all get together and share if you catch my drift.”
  740. >”Ah yeah, that’s something that I’ve noticed a bit in the cities, seems like with all the new faces and the like some mares are trying to go mono like the crystals nowadays, but eh.” Soaring shook his hand back and forth, “The odds of that working out is so highly based on the compatibility between the two, I don’t know, it seems really risky if you don’t at least have a third to help buffer between everyone.”
  741. “You make it sound like being together for too long breaks relationships or something.”
  742. >The blue haired giant scratched idly at his face smearing mud across his cheek, “I suppose? Haven’t you ever needed some space from some ponies, er people before?”
  743. “Sure, but not to the extent of ignoring other people by hanging out with others.”
  744. >”Oh my colt, it’s not like that at all! What the whole point of having more than one partner is a way to do group activities and let out all those bad feelings get worked out.”
  745. “Won’t lie that sounds really optimistic of how a polyamourous group would work out.”
  746. >Soaring shrugged in response, “That’s why you have a head mare in charge of things, if everyone is acting like a clod they all together get punished.”
  747. “Whoa whoa whoa, punished?”
  748. >”Yeah you know, usually a bump to the back of the head with a wing or having to do an extra thirty laps on the track.”
  749. “I think there is a difference between a drill sergeant and your head mare here Soaring.”
  750. >”Nooot really, Spits is a bit of a hard flank like that.”
  751.  
  752. >”Oh Soaring, are you done entertaining the monkey? You’ve been over there for the entire bath!~”
  753. >You leaned to look past Soaring who simply muttered, “Celestia damn patrons.” To see another pegasus though this one had more curves than chiseled lines with amber skin and a redhead of straight hair as he waved a hand towards you both, you spy two other men who to your mind instantly fit the category of cronies.
  754. >”Brisk! I hadn’t seen you there, what brought you over to the spa today?” Soaring said happily as he turned himself to face the chubbier man.
  755. “What’d he mean by monkey?”
  756. >”Oh my, the poor dear is confused as well, oh well, I suppose when your minder will come to collect you eventually they’ll have you put away soon enough.” Brisk you find is rapidly becoming your least favorite Equestrian from the simpering tone he’d use, “Still Soaring, come come you must regale us with the wonderful flight you had performed for her majesty, flying up there with the best picked wing mates of our race showing the old cats that there is some vigor in our veins! Hah!”
  757. >”Brisk Prick, listen I’d be more than happy to share my stories with you, but I was entertaning my friend here.”
  758. >”Oh please dear, you and I both know the monkey could hardly understand the princess’ good equish if we were to lend him a dictionary. After all I did make the most generous donation for the wonderbolts this year after all, hm?”
  759. >You hold up a hand as you’d like to think you're a rather polite fellow and the auburn skinned man took notice with a chortle to his friends, “Oho, this will be a delight, he even knows when to raise his hoof. Go on my good fellow, what do you have to say?”
  760. “Just curious is all.”
  761. >”Curious about what?”
  762. “Curious if your name fits.”
  763. >”Why I’ll have you know that the Prick family is famous for our needlework, why my great great-”
  764. “It’s a good thing you can talk so long, might be the only long thing about you.”
  765. >A sudden silence raged about you and Soaring turned to look at you with wide eyes, Brisk meanwhile reared back as if slapped, “What exactly are you trying to imply you knuckle dragging tiny ape?”
  766. >You scratch at your nose before flicking away the smudge of mud on your finger.
  767. “Can’t be any tinier than that needle you call a dick, you scum snorting scrotum sniffing scallywag. Now are we going to fight with harsh language or are we taking this outside?”
  768. >”Okay!” Soaring darts between you and Brisk wings spread wide to interpose between you both, “I think the heat is getting to everyone here, so why don’t we just head back inside, shower off and enjoy some nice hearty pie and a cool glass of milk, my treat! Come on now.”
  769. >”I think you’ll find Soaring that while I do enjoy a good crumpet on the side here and again, that I shan’t be bought off so easily with treats such as these! If your little pet friend is so eager to as the lapis say, ‘Throw down’ then I shall oblige him! Tomorrow at noon outside of the spa, you dirty damaged deranged dirt dragger! Gents’ let us be off, I find myself assaulted with a foul stench suddenly.”
  770. >Striding past a wilted Soaring the trio soon makes tracks the mud trailing behind them like a snail’s trail before they disappear into the showers.
  771. >You meanwhile let the casual indifference fade away and slump into the mud to relax, you really didn’t fancy picking a fight even if Soaring was willing to help you in your condition.
  772. >”Anon what the ever loving buck was that about?! Do you not know how serious this is!?” Soaring exclaimed as he stood over you.
  773. >You thank your lucky stars that the mud is opaque enough to obscure the unmentionables, otherwise you’d just have a donger flopping about in your face.
  774. “What was I supposed to do? Just let him shit talk me like that and take it?”
  775. >”No, but you wouldn’t have needed to if you’d just let me lead him by the nose in the conversation! How are you even expecting to win a duel in your condition anyway?”
  776. “Oh come off it, the guy looks as fit as a beached whale, I can take him.”
  777. >”And if he picks a champion to represent him?”
  778. “Then he’s more of a coward than I thought.”
  779. >”Luna’s stars save me from stubborn humans, okay look let me run you through what a duel even is here.”
  780.  
  781.  
  782. >Resting on the submerged seat in the bath you sigh in bliss, the soothing hot waters gently thrumming over your body.
  783. >The atmosphere here is humid from the heat, but the cold open air bath gave a bracing contrast in temperatures.
  784. >Glancing over to Soaring you limply waved a hand at the herculean figure that lounged atop a steam cloud.
  785. “Run me through this again.”
  786. >Soaring let out a sigh sinking into the churning waters surrounding you.
  787. >”Alright, to dumb it down.”
  788. “Hey.”
  789. >”Shut up, your second goes in to speak for you and his second comes to negotiate with me to resolve the duel.”
  790. “And that’s it? What about that champion you mentioned?”
  791. >”Never mind, it shouldn’t get to that point anyway.”
  792. “And if it does?”
  793. >”We’ll cross that bridge when we get there, if I might finish?”
  794. “Yes, yes sorry.”
  795. >”Terms are set, I come back, we hash it out and do it again until things are resolved.”
  796. “Something tells me that Brisk might not be all that interested in talking, the whole tomorrow at noon bit gave off an impression.”
  797. >”That’s the deadline we have to fix everything, admittedly it’s the shortest that’s possibly allowed for a duel, but it’s doable.”
  798. “What happens if we don’t reach the deadline or it goes over?”
  799. >“Eh, negotiations break down and the extra bits show up, but relax if I can manage the red tape of Celestia’s bureaucracy I can handle a simple honor duel.”
  800. “You said you were a high rise ace flier or something, you moonlight as an accountant?”
  801. >”More or less, Spits keeps shoving the paperwork at me most of the time because I’m all ‘detail orientated’ or some rubbish like that.”
  802. "If you're sure about this. It feels wrong to just let him get away with trash talking to you and me."
  803. >The long stare Soaring pinned you with had you shift uncomfortably in the water.
  804. “What? He was being an ass and if he couldn’t take what he dished out maybe he should know better.”
  805. >”Most of the time the other party doesn’t immediately go for a smack down either, Anon.”
  806. “Alright! Alright!” You waved your hands up in the water sending droplets of water everywhere, “I’m sorry for dragging you into this whole thing.”
  807. >”And?”
  808. “Come on.”
  809. >The silence was quite telling.
  810. “And I’m sorry for going for fisticuffs instead of trying to defuse the situation, are you happy now?”
  811. >”Much better, who knows I might be able to get some manners through to you after all.”
  812. >You choose the mature response of splashing him with a great wave of water.
  813. >Rivulets dribbled down Soaring’s face and he turned to you, “You do know of course, that this means war.”
  814. “Bring it on fly bo-ghuahf!”
  815. >A great wave of healing spring water swarmed your body and swept you along for the ride.
  816. >Turns out, four limbs beat two.
  817.  
  818. >After the water fight and the light scolding from the staff on wasting the water you were soon wheeled over to a cafeteria for the brunch special the facility had on hand.
  819. >Whatever they had cooking up smelled delicious and you were already craning your head to get a better glance when suddenly
  820. >”Anon!~”
  821. >Waves of yellow and crimson hair veiled you from the rest of the world, staring down at you with a gleaming complexion that mirrored her smile Sunset kissed you gently, “Miss me?”
  822. >Returning the kiss you pulled her closer, hm tastes like vanilla?
  823. “Course I did, did you already eat? Or was that a new lipstick just for little old me?”
  824. >”Bit of parfait while I waited, the food here is amazing,” Sunset pulled herself back and looked behind you, “Oh so sorry I’ve got him now.”
  825. >The aide who’d been pushing you along merely nodded and stepped away while Sunset wheeled you towards the buffet.
  826. >The food here was practically steaming from how fresh it looked, you could even hear the faint hum of the heater- that’s odd.
  827. >As you grabbed a plate and began to load up on food with help from Sunset you waved a hand under the lights and frowned.
  828. >Where’s the heat?
  829. >You reached closer to the dishes holding the food and could feel some warmth from the trays, maybe it was heated with boiling water under the pan?
  830.  
  831. >”Equestria to Anon~ Are you done?”
  832. “Oh, yeah, uh what’s next after brunch anyway?”
  833. >”Well they have us listed for using the sauna and then after that we’ll finally get to hang out in the massage parlor, if I had known that they were going to be so strict about the separate genders thing I’d have taken us somewhere else, Petra are so traditional about these things.”
  834. “There a reason for that?”
  835. >”Something about making sure to protect the innocence of a stallion's virtue, supposedly.”, Sunset waved her hand to dismiss the topic, “Nevertheless, how’s your visit been so far? Feeling any better?”
  836. >You had just taken a bite out of the oddly colored pudding, some type of raspberry mixed with cherries, chewing the creamy substance as best you could, you mumbled in reply.
  837. >”Love, I can’t understand you when you talk like that.”
  838. >Gulping you leveled a small glare at the tall woman and stuck your tongue out
  839. “I was trying to say that the place is great, I met a cool guy, met some not so cool guys and have a duel set for tomorrow.”
  840. >You returned to enjoying your pudding in your cozy chair while Sunset had closed her eyes enjoying her own meal, nodding her head to each of your points when those eyes snapped open.
  841.  
  842. >”Wait, what?”
  843. >The table rattled when Sunset slammed the table, you had managed to catch your pudding cup from the shakes, while the jello you’d acquired jiggled from the force.
  844. >You shrugged in reply.
  845. >”Anon, you. . .” Sunset paused and you watched her eyebrow twitch, it drew a smile to your face, “That’s not something to joke about Anon, honestly.”
  846. “Oh I’m not joking, some dick called Brisk Prick was being well, a bit of a prick about me being here and made some unsavory comments about my new friend. I couldn’t just let it lie like that, can I?”
  847. >”Prick…Prick, where have I heard that name before, nevermind that. Anon please tell me you managed to resolve things amicably.”
  848. >”Soaring is going in as my second to talk with Prick’s second, I guess he’ll get back to me about that when he does?”
  849. >The lidded gaze you could go without, thank you very much Sunset.
  850. “What?”
  851. >”I feel like you’re not taking this as seriously as you ought to. I mean, I know stallions can get upset over their honor all the time, but I left you alone for all of two hours! Two!”
  852. “I can count, yes thank you Sunset.”
  853. >”You know what I mean!” Sunset flicked a hand out to you, “What was it that he said that was so terrible?”
  854. “Called me a monkey, insinuated that Soaring was my owner and had the average intelligence of a particularly smart dog.”
  855. >Sunset’s lips thinned out and you can see the fire coldly burning in her eyes.
  856. >You may have made a mistake.
  857. >”I see, well that gives me an idea.”
  858. “Sunset, no.”
  859. >”I’m just going to have a talk.
  860. “Sunset, you don’t need to have a talk with him while your fists are on fire!”
  861. >”I’m just chilly.
  862. “The building has central heating!”
  863.  
  864. >You don’t know how you managed to calm Sunset down-
  865. >”Awnaaawn!~”
  866. >Smooth and slickened skin clasps you tightly as you work harder, the pressure steadily mounting as fingers clench your hair-
  867. >You wipe away at your chin in half foggy remembrance and wheel your way into the sauna.
  868. >Now you should have waved down an aide after sending a giggling Sunset on her way to her own sauna, but you’re feeling quite better.
  869. >Though that might be your skull throbbing and hiding the minor aches, still you managed to lever yourself up and out of the wheel chair leaving it to slowly patter over to the sauna door.
  870. >You’re nearly swept away by the blast of steam that escapes the room, but power through the misty wisps gamely.
  871. >”Anon! There you are,” A large palm landed on your shoulder and your knees nearly buckled from the weight, “Thought I’d have turned into a prune for how long I waited on you!”
  872. >Turning to look up at the Equestrian you had started to return the greetings, but paused on the far too tight smile on Soaring’s face.
  873. “Sunset needed convincing about the whole duel thing, but judging by how you look I’m going to go out on a limb and say it went poorly?”
  874. >”Tch, yeah that’s the rub,” Soaring replied then curled his head to one of the alcoves in the sauna, “Come on and I’ll tell you the rest.”
  875.  
  876. >Taking your seat you notice the smoothed wood almost thrummed with that subtle buzz you’ve begun to associate with magic, almost like standing too close to live power lines.
  877. >You’ve not the time to try taking apart another magical piece of infrastructure when Soaring began to talk, “What it boils down to is you take back what you said, apologize for your insults and Brisk had offered to teach you ‘Proper Equestrian Etiquette’ as compensation for his own words.”
  878. >Musing on the short report you raised a sweaty eyebrow to the man, “Listen you don’t want to really hear the exact wording it wasn’t pleasant.”
  879. “Fair I suppose, probably was more insults and how my mother was descended from a poorly shaved ape. If I were to refuse and tell him to stuff it?”
  880. >”You could do a counter offer, but considering that Brisk’s second had mentioned that you would be allowed to choose the venue of the duel should you decline the offer, it looks like Brisk is eager to try and put you in your place.”
  881. “So eager for him to try and kick a guy while he’s wounded, huh?”
  882. >Soaring pointed at you, “You were the one who decided to make it physical right out of the gate, but that’s in the past, the point I’m worried about is what kind of duel he wants to use.”
  883.  
  884. “Which is it? Pistols at dawn?”
  885. >”What’s a pistol?”
  886. “Have you ever seen a crossbow?”
  887. >”Some of the Royal Guard make use of them, the last time was during the changeling invasion of ‘06, why do you ask?”
  888. “Imagine that, it has a long pipe section and it shoots small metal arrows really fast at something.”
  889. >”Oh, so it’s like a BB.”
  890. “A BB? The heck is a BB?”
  891. >”It’s basically a little bracelet that used to go around an augur's horn to assist in casting blasting spells and the like without having to think too terribly hard about it, and since it’s a bracelet and it’s blasting…”
  892. “It’s a BB, oh. Wait,” You shake your head sending droplets of sweat flying, “we’re getting off track again!”
  893. >Soaring chuckled, “Spits did say I was the air head of the group, but the choice of duel was to be o-piece so-pe.”
  894.  
  895. >You waited while Soaring looked you over with concern, then you began to slowly look left and right as the silence continued.
  896. “And? What the hell is an O piece of soap supposed to mean?”
  897. >Soaring face palmed as he muttered, “Right, forgot, sorry. It’s an old tribal term for dueling amongst pegasi, the best way to describe it is Hoof-to-Hoof aerial combat.”
  898. “Soaring, I know that Brisk might be a few mojitos short of a full bar, but I think he knows I can’t fly.”
  899. >”I know that, and so does he, hence why he offered out of consideration of your lack of ability to use a griffon style of dueling; Neckese sey Nechi.”
  900. “Soaring bud, I have been here for all of a week, please use english.”
  901. >”I’m using my history degree here damn it! Let me have this!”
  902. >You throw up your hands then as this has become such a farce you’ve given up on staying on track.
  903. “Fine, fine what’s the difference then?”
  904. >”Thank you, well o-piece so-pe is the pegasi tradition of being locked in aerial combat by way of gaining as much altitude as your opponent, the first one to faint from black out is the loser.”
  905. “Okay, and I guess the loser dies when he, you know, pancakes?”
  906.  
  907. >”Celestia’s Sun, no! The seconds of the duelers are nearby ready to catch if the both were to faint from being too thick headed, of course they also act as witnesses for making sure the winner goes to rescue his opponent.”
  908. >You lean back against the seat feeling your muscles slowly ooze into a jelly face screwed up in thought.
  909. “Rather sporting of the winner, I’d have thought that these duels are winner takes all?”
  910. >”Not necessarily, due to our military traditions and discipline it was expected that even if you’d have a grudge against your fellow soldier you’d be able to be trusted with the safety of the polis.” Soaring explained animated even in this muggy environment, far more than when he was in the baths.
  911. >”Back in the tribal era times were far leaner and the city state of each polis needed every body that could be spared, losing even a few ace fliers would be devastating to a polis’ ability to project power during those days.”
  912. “You can argue and bicker with one another, but you’d need to be seen as someone trustworthy in your unit or something like that?”
  913. >”Yep, so if you had someone that was willing to be dishonorable with their duel it’d be social suicide as none would trust you after that.”
  914. >The bench beneath you warmed and faintly you could hear the faint hiss of freshly added steam in the air.
  915. “Wild, so what's with the griffon version then?”
  916.  
  917. >At your question Soaring frowned, you had the feeling he’d have loved to continue extolling the virtues of ancient pegasi if you’d let him.
  918. >”Neckese sey Nechi is a far more barbaric practice that hens would indulge in for all types of things from bragging rights to mating rights, instead of going up it’s whoever can go down, loser is the first to break away from the dive, that and it’s anything goes. Claw your opponent in the eyes? Fair. Bash them with your wing so they are out of control in the fall? Fair as well, the only reason that terrible practice is still around is because it’s considered a protected custom of a backwards culture that should have been stamped out years ago an-”
  919. >You waved your hands in the air as the steam around Soaring began to billow ominously faint crackles of lightning starting to ripple through the air.
  920. “Soaring! Soaring! Snap out of it you air headed nonce!”
  921. >”Eh?” Soaring jerked back from your hands waving in front of his face, then bounced against the thunder cloud behind him.
  922. >The steamy soup of the air suddenly turned freezing cold, sharp cracks echoed through the air as ice coated the far wall and you let out a yelp.
  923. >”Sweet Vapor Trails! Anon I’m so sorry. I wasn’t paying attention and-”
  924. “This is fascinating! How’d you turn a thundercloud into a blizzard like this?” You tapped at one of the rapidly melting ice patches seeing it crack under the tapping.
  925. >”If you were a pony I swear you’d have been an augur, but Anon.” Turning away from the ice to Soaring who was squating to be eye level with you, “Are you really sure that you want to go through with this? There isn’t any shame in just backing out of this.”
  926. “Eh, I’ve always wanted to try skydiving after all, what’s the worst that can happen?”
  927. >”You end up dead and I have a very angry augur coming for my hide for letting you go through with this.”
  928. >You lock eyes with Soaring seeing not pity, but instead a need for reassurance, that you know what you’re getting into.
  929. >Balling your hand into a fist you reach back and smash it against the ice wall.
  930. Multitudes of cracks echoed back as the ice fell to the ground, the last chunk of ice clunked off the wood and you nodded, “I’m better than ever.”

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