My name is Johnathan Crown. I am commonly known as Johnny Bass, one of the best electronic producers in the world. I was starting my first world tour of the year.
It was early morning, and I woke up with my phone ringing. I looked over at my clock that sat neatly by my bed, and it read eight o’clock. Who could possibly be calling me at this time in the morning was out of the question. I hated early wake-ups.
"Hello? This is Johnny speaking, who is this?" I asked the person on the other side of the line.
"Yo! Johnny! Ready for your tour? I'm heading to your place to take you to the airport!" Replied Gary’s voice, my manager.
"Look, Gary. I know you're pumped up about the tour. I am excited too, but could you at least have the decency of giving me some time to wake up?" I replied in a slightly annoyed tone.
Gary Winter, my old-time friend since middle school, has always been the early bird. It was surprising he managed to get up so early in the morning, even as a kid. This habit seemed to have stuck with him forever. Interesting at times, but I'm not quite like him. I am more of a night owl. Staying up late, waking up late, which fits perfectly with my "party hard" lifestyle.
"Oh snap! My bad, I didn't even look at the clock this time..." He replied awkwardly, "I'll try to find some traffic on the way so you can get some food and drink, alright?"
"Sure thing, bro. Just don't get caught in the highway and miss your exit!" I joked.
"I'll try.. see ya in two hours then?"
"Two hours it is."
"Alright, now go have a breakfast of champions!"
So there I was, waiting for Gary to pick me up. After that, it was off to the airport and all the way to Toronto, Canada for my first show of the year. Everything was peaceful, and I had plenty of time until Gary arrived. I decided to take a quick nap on the sidewalk bench next to my apartment door to make up for lost sleep time.
I was in an open field, grass as far as the eye could see. It was pouring like there was no tomorrow, and some occasional lightning. To the East, I could see a small town, and a huge forest that spanned for miles next to it. One the other side of the village there is a huge field of trees. From the distance I was, there was no way to know what kind of tree it was, but it was big. Not as big as the forest on the other side, but... big. Behind me I could see a railway, which looked kept under well maintenance; it looked brand new. A bit beyond that, there was a small hill, where a lonely oak tree sat there. It looked like the perfect spot for viewing a sunset... If the skies were clear, obviously...
I heard a voice, yelling "Hey!" from above. I looked up to the clouds, and I saw a small creature, poking its head from the clouds. I was about to yell back, but it went back inside the clouds.
Now I was curious. What was that thing doing there? What was it anyway? I just stood there, wondering whether it would come back or not.
A few seconds passed and I was soaking wet, but I didn't care. Finally the creature came back, and this time it left the clouds and started to fly towards me at an extremely high speed from the looks of it, and I just standing there in awe, not caring if was going to crash onto me or not.
As it got closer, I could make out what it was: It had the body of a small horse...but with wings.
Now I REALLY got curious... As it got closer and closer I could see that it had a rainbow-coloured mane and a cyan-coloured body. When it was really close, about 50 metres from me, I started to hear a... car engine?
When it was right in front of me it prepared its wings to land. The creature looked majestical, like nothing I've seen in my life. When it touched the ground in a soft land... I didn’t expect the loud tire screech noise and the loud horn sound it made when it opened its mouth.
At that moment, I wasn't sure if I should’ve run into the car and scowl at Gary, or jump out of the bench and scream like a girl. I chose somewhere between the two...
"Wh-wh-what in the world is wrong with you!?" I screamed at Gary, who was laughing hysterically as he rolled down the window.
"You should have seen the face you made when you jumped! You had the same face back when you watched Paranormal Activity! This is gold, I should've recorded this!" he said, tearing up from laughing so hard. I got up from the ground, put away my stuff in the car trunk, sat on the passenger seat and smacked Gary on the head.
"Ow! Come on! it wasn't so bad! If I really wanted to scare you I'd be a lot better than just a honk", Gary replied while rubbing the back of his head, which was visibly red behind his short hair due to my smack.
"I'll just hope that day will never come..." I muttered.
"Ok, your deck is hooked up, John!", shouted Gary who was helping the technicians with the wiring backstage. I was in the front of the stage fiddling around with my equipment. "Play us something heavy!"
I plugged my laptop to the mixer, and picked a random song from my playlists. I was about to hit the play button when I heard something coming from one of the speakers at the far side of the stage.
"Just a sec, Gary. The left speakers are acting funny." I called out.
There was no answer. I guess he went for a drink or something... So I approached the back of the speakers and saw a ripped wire. I saw a strong spark accompanied by a loud snap when I nudged it with my foot and the two ends touched. I slowly backed away from the wire and went backstage.
"Is this your idea of a prank, Gary? You have to try harder than this!", I chuckled. Gary was walking back from his break.
"What prank?", he replied.
"Oh you know, the dangerously placed exposed wire sitting near the speakers and stuff..."
"...exposed wire?" He asked curiously.
As soon as he said that, I felt a weird feeling in my gut. Something was wrong... "Just teasing ya, just go back to your business." I said, faking a grin on my face.
"Oook...” He said suspiciously, “What about the tunes I asked a few moments ago?", he asked.
"Oh, yeah. turns out my laptop battery died and I had to recharge it. It should be done booting up and I'll get to it." I lied.
I walked to the toolbox next to me to pick some isolating tape for that suspicious wire, and quietly ripped some of it. I walk back to the wire to fix it for good. Gary was already busy with other stuff and I didn't feel like bothering him. Sure I got to tweak the sounds at the booth, but that doesn't take long to set up. I figured that whatever was wrong with the speakers, it was something I could fix myself - It wasn’t rocket science.
I grabbed the end coming from the speakers. I was about to reach for the other part of the wire and pull it a bit to give it some breathing space, but when a technician backstage accidentally tripped on the same wire I was reaching for, my hand went right onto the exposed part. And boy what a shocking surprise that was...
The current exploded through my body and I stumbled backwards and fell to the ground. I found myself unable move, and I felt the wire coming into in contact with my ankle, making me flop around like a fish out of water. My vision was getting so blurry I couldn't see anything at all, and all I could hear was a loud buzz and ringing in my ears. In a matter of seconds I was out cold...
I woke up, but something felt odd - I felt like I was floating. Not floating like in water, but in mid air. I somehow looked below me and I saw a person lying on the floor motionless, surrounded by some people who looked like paramedics by the look on their clothing. But something else was bothering me...
The hell am I doing up here? I thought. A few seconds something clicked in my mind and I recognized the face of the person that was lying on the ground. Wait... the fuck am I doing down there??
Confused and now panicked out of my mind, I wanted to scream but nothing came out. I wasn't a person anymore;I was something people would call a ghost, or soul. I was dead.
Suddenly I felt something pulling me upwards. There was no string or anything, just a supernatural force dragging me away from the scene, through the stage ceiling and to the sky. It was raining out, followed by heavy lightning. I enjoyed watching the lights from my apartment window, but now I was right in the middle of it - It slightly amused me, even though I was scared to death... literally.
Then out of nowhere, a lightning bolt went through me. Everything went white and I blacked out for a second time.
I woke up for my fourth time in the same day: Waking up in the morning, my power nap, le electro choc, and that lightning bolt...
I was still floating in the air, and after a short moment I noticed I wasn't flying in a Toronto sky anymore - however, the heavy rain and lightning were still there. I could see grasslands below me, a town to the east with a forest next to it... and the hill with the tree on top to the west... almost exactly like in my dream. Straight down I could see a long thin line that stretched out to both ways and onto the horizons, which I assumed to be the railway I’ve seen in my dream.
The fuck is going on? I began thinking, Everything looks just like my dream but from a different perspective. Am I in the hospital from that accident? I mean, I can't feel anything... and it's like I'm dreaming in third person or something, r-right? Totally possible...
But I don’t seem to be floating up anymore... I seem to be floating across the the sky now, like a cloud... that's it! I'm having that same dream but from a cloud's point of view! It makes much more sense now! I thought to myself, obviously losing it at that point.
I stopped caring about what was going on and watched the scenery. It was dark and grey because of the storm, but I was still aware of my surroundings... I couldn't see anyone down on the ground because of the altitude, but I simply assumed that my own self was standing down there, all soaked and looking around without worrying about anything.
I looked back to the clouds around me, and there I saw it. That same cyan winged horse-like creature from my dream, hopping around the clouds and kicking them once in a while and causing lightning bolts to strike down at the earth. It didn't call me out down below like before, nor did it look down at the ground this time - Instead it started to fly towards my cloudy body, which what I was considering myself to be at that point in time.
So.. is that thing going to kick the shit out of me to make me spit out lighting bolts? Oh God why...
When someone experiences a weird or scary moment in their dreams they usually wake up, yet I couldn’t find myself to do so. As the creature got closer I recognized its features a bit better and it looked just like a winged horse; a Pegasus. After a few failed attempts to ‘pull’ away from this dream I remembered the faint memories I could make from the event before this ‘dream’... That... shocking surprise.
Oh man, what if I really am dead???
What is this? Is this some kind of cruel joke on me? I died, and now I am reborn as a fucking cloud, bound to be beaten by a pegasus until I spit out lightning?? Why couldn't I be reborn as a normal living being? Like a bird or something??
Wait, now that I think about it... clouds aren't living bei- OW!
I was lost in my own thought process and ignored the pegasus’ presence. It gave me a swift kick from above, and suddenly I found myself speeding down towards the ground at an insanely high speed. The air cleared up slightly after I left the cloud layer and I saw a body laying on the grass - but I was going too fast to make out what it was and everything looked blurry to me.
And then I hit that body really hard - Or at least it felt like it. There was a big flash and everything went white. One could say I whited out and went completely unconscious for the third time in the same day.
Okay, I'm getting really sick of being knocked out cold now... Wasn't dying enough already??
I opened my eyes. My vision was as blurry as the time I got shocked by that wire, but at least I wasn't spazzing out. I felt extremely weak, my throat felt dry as a desert and my insides hurt like no tomorrow - I felt like hammered shit. But at least I felt that I had a body to feel something. I could feel the cool wet grass, and the raindrops from the storm hitting my side with all its might. My vision slowly started to recover, and so did my hearing and the rest of my senses.
Once my vision was fully back to normal, I saw a bolt of lightning strike a few feet away of me. The loud thunder made my ears ring for a few more seconds, but I didn't give a flying fuck about it. Being struck or turn deaf by a lightning bolt was nowhere in my list of worries at that moment. A few seconds passed and I heard someone yell out "Are you ok?". I tried talking, but all I did was let out a very sore groan, and my dry throat didn’t help a single bit.
I was too tired and weak to barely move my head, so I closed my eyes and tried to rest. But the memories from recent events came back to keep me awake.
Heh, turns out Gary will never have the chance to pull a real prank on me... ever again...
I heard something land a few feet behind me. It then started to walk towards me, as I could hear it stepping on the grass and the occasional splashes from puddles nearby. The rain was starting to go stop by then, and a female voice started talking:
"Are you ok?! I thought I had hit you or something with that lightning bolt!"
I let out a faint moan, followed by a small cough from my dry throat.
"Phew, I thought you were dead... Can you get up? Do you want me to get some help or do you want me to stay and keep you company?"
I wasn't sure if I would be able to get up any time soon. I could use some help, but having someone to talk to made me less nervous. I tried speaking, and luckily I managed to say something understandable:
"Stay... please..." I couldn’t even recognize my voice because it was so weak and dry. I didn’t even think that whoever was there with me understood it.
I shut my eyes for a moment and tried to rest again. Whoever was keeping me company helped me calm down, and I fell asleep almost instantly.
I think I was asleep for roughly an hour. The weather had cleared up and the sun was visible - it seemed it was around 4PM, considering the sun’s position on the sky.
I shifted my head a bit, trying to get a bearing of my surroundings. The female voice spoke again. It had a raspy tone to it - A bit tomboyish I might add.
"So... Do you want to talk or are you just gonna have me stay here and watch you sleep?"
I felt I was able to move around with ease. I tried getting up to my feet, but something caught my eye when I looked at my hands... because they weren’t hands anymore. There were no more fingers, and instead I found myself staring at a pair of white hooves - same thing for my feet. I flinched and jerked my head backwards so quickly it was strong enough to pull my whole body up from the ground and onto my feet - hooves, in my case - and let out a scream, just like that morning with Gary and the car. I was in the body of a freaking horse!
"AAAAH!" I yelled out in panic, and shut myself up almost instantly after not recognizing my own voice; It felt and sounded completely different!
"Whoa whoa whoa! Calm down! What's wrong!?" Said the female voice, obviously startled after my tantrum...
I shakily turned around - while trying not to fall - to look at her and I saw the cyan, rainbow-haired pegasus from my dream, and the hour before. I could now see her eyes clearly: they were big and had a dark pink iris. She didn’t look like the horses I knew; her head was rounder and her muzzle was a lot shorter, her legs were a bit thicker and her body was generally slimmer. Nonetheless it still resembled a horse, it was surreal! But still... holy shit, not only it was a flying horse, but it was a talking horse!
"WHAT!? You can talk??" I yelled out, still disturbed with the change in my voice - and everything else for that matter.
The pegasus rolled her eyes. "No... what you hear is a parrot... of course I can talk! Did you fall off a train and hit your head or something?"
"What train?", I asked, trying to put my wits together as I spoke. She gestured her foreleg to the rail line a few feet from where we were standing.
"I wasn't on a train... In fact, I wasn't in this place at ALL!" I said breathing heavily, barely able to stand up in my new body.
"Are you alright? You look panicky, you can't even stand up straight." She inquired, slightly worried.
"That's because I'm not supposed to be a freaking pony!" I screamed but not directed towards her. I was scared out of my mind and she seemed to understand that without any worry.
"Well, you obviously are one right now...", the pegasus rolled her eyes once again.
"What I meant to say is that I wasn't a pony until today..." I said trying to calm myself down and not scream my throat to oblivion. I was slowly but surely gaining control of my legs by then, "In fact, from where I am... ponies can't talk; nor do they have wings!"
"They can't talk... and they have no wings? Boy it must be preeetty boring being a pony where you came from..." She said.
And without a shred of doubt I realised the truth in her words... I was in a place where there were flying horses that could talk and communicate like sentient beings. That's something no one experiences in a lifetime... except for me, of course.
"So... where are we?" I asked.
"We're a few miles from Ponyville, where I live. I am in weather duty, keeping the rain heavy and all, but then I got bored and started to kick the clouds and cause some lightning... until I saw you down here."
"Wait wait... Ponyville? There are MORE talking ponies like you???"
"You don’t say?” she asked sarcastically, but I could tell that she was just trying to brighten up my mood, one way or another.
"Well... can you take me there? My throat is dry as a rock in a desert and my insides hurt so badly I could eat those train tracks. My guess is that you all eat fruits and hay, like from where I come from... right?"
"Sure. There's an apple farm run by the Apple Family next to town, so you got plenty of their apples to eat at the market - But I prefer their cider, it's delicious!” She said.
"Alright, let's go then." I said. I was feeling a bit more calm and the tragic event that took place before all this wasn't worrying me as much. I took a step forward - just to end up tripping and falling face first on the ground, causing the pegasus to laugh hard at my failure.
"You're like a little baby taking your first steps!” She said after she stopped laughing, “It's funny, but kinda cute actually."
And she was right. I was pretty much a little colt, like she said. I never walked with a set of four legs before, so I just chuckled with her while I picked myself up.
"Why don't you just fly to Ponyville? It's much faster than walking." She asked me, hovering in front of me.
"But... I don't have wings..."
She sighed, hovered to my side and poked me on what I felt as my wing, just like hers - except mine were white. It felt really strange to feel a part of your body that you never had in your life. I could understand the legs and everything else, but the wings just felt weird as hell.
"Wait whaaa..." I muttered in confusion as I looked behind me and at my wings.
"Well, seeing as you can barely walk, I don't think you can fly at all...” She chuckled, “I guess I'll have to walk with you to Ponyville."
"Nah, it's fine. I know where to go now; you can go ahead of me. We'll meet there instead". I could see on her face that she looked like she wanted to fly as fast as she could, and I felt that I didn't want to hold her back.
"I don't like leaving my friends hanging. I'll go with you." She insisted, smiling.
I smiled at that moment - I had died, come back to life, and I already made a friend... I felt so alive - Of course, I died not too long ago but somehow... I was still alive.
"You never told me your name, I think I should've asked you by now." Said the pegasus.
"Johnathan Crown. But back where I lived, I was mostly called Johnny Bass." I said. "What about you? What's your name?"
"The name's Rainbow Dash, best flyer in all of Equestria!", she replied with a proud smile and pumped her chest outwards, "Nice to meet you, Johnny."
Equestria... this just get weirder and weirder, doesn't it?
"Well? what are you waiting for? You said you were hungry!" Said Rainbow Dash, who was getting a bit impatient.
It was baby steps all over again. I had gotten used to standing up stopped falling over for no apparent reason. It was hard to imagine I'd have to learn how to walk again. If I was reborn as a baby I would have been fine; I could learn from scratch. But the fact that I had to learn to walk on a brand new set of legs with a whole new set of muscles and bones made me dumbfounded. I still had the mentality of walking on two legs, but four was just too much. Not to mention the wings... I had no idea of how to even move them, they were just packed against my body, motionless. And I still had to learn how to use them someday. It's like I was climbing a brick wall only to find an even taller one to climb over.
"If you haven't noticed, I shoved my face on the ground on my first step. You said it yourself, Dash - I'm like a baby."
"And a pretty big one." Rainbow Dash added. We shared a small chuckle.
"Can't deny it though. Once i learn to walk, I'll become a big boy! I'm back to being a toddler! Yipee!" I tried to hopping in place to emphasize my words and almost fell over again. Rainbow Dash shook her head only slightly, and I could tell she was "tsk tsk"-ing in her head.
Don't push your luck Johnny, baby steps first... literally...
I moved my front hoof first, trying not to go too fast. My opposite back leg came after, and so on. It looked so complicated, until I remembered I used to pretend I was a dog back when I was a kid crawling around the house on my knees and hands. Huh. this shouldn't be too hard.
"Okay, I just gotta feel the ground below me. No rushing... Baby steps, nice and easy..." I muttered to myself. What surprised me the most was that my hooves were just as sensitive -if not more- than a human foot. I was feeling every piece of the grass being crushed by it, and I could feel the wet soil below. In a few minutes I had mastered walking once more.
"Good, looks like you learned how to walk now." Rainbow Dash spoke up, "Let's see you run around a bit. Think of it as walking but um... faster, you know..." Rainbow Dash was having trouble teaching me how to walk. Hell, I don't think anyone around here is able to teach that, not even to a filly or a colt. It was that sort of thing where you can't explain how you do it, you just... do it.
I picked up my pace, and soon I was trotting around enthusiastically with a big open smile on my face. Though it wasn’t too long until I lost my balance and went face first into the ground.
Rainbow Dash facepalmed (or facehoofed in this case) and shook her head, "Well it's a start. At least we can get to Ponyville before it gets too dark."
"By the time we get to town I think I'll get the hang of it. Don't worry." I reassured her after getting up, "Meanwhile, tell me about the town. What kind of stuff should I see when I get there?"
"Well, for starters there's Sugarcube Corner, run by the Cake Family." She started to hover next to me and we started heading towards Ponyville. "They sell the biggest variety of sweets in Ponyville. It's where you'll find the biggest party animal you'll ever meet in your life, Pinkie Pie - And I guarantee she will throw a party in less than two days for anypony who is new to town."
"A 'Party Hard' kind of pony? Sounds interesting, I was a party rocker myself back in my other life! I think we'll get along pretty well." I said.
"Oh yeah? Well I'm sure we'll start seeing some pretty wild parties from now on... but what do you mean by your ‘other life’?" She asked, raising a brow.
"Oh right, I never told you how I got here, did I? It was a pretty strange thing, actually. You were in my dream this morning before I died... Strangest thing ever. It was my first da-"
"You... dreamed about me?" She interrupted. I wasn't really sure what she found so surprising, but she raised a brow. I caught a glimpse of red on her face.
"What's the problem? It was just a drea- OH NO it wasn't like that at all! Oh geez I think I worded that out in a bad way!" I put a sheepish grin on my face, and I my cheeks felt burning hot. "What I meant to say was that I dreamed of that same moment when you found me in the rain, that's all."
Holy cow, Johnny, you almost made her think you were flirting with her. What are you thinking!?
"Ah. That makes a lot more sense." She said, slightly concerned, "Wait... So you said you died? What’s that supposed to mean?"
"Well... It's sort of a shocking story, to be honest." I said. Shocking story? Really!? That was horrible! "It was my first tour of the year - I was a dance music producer, you see. I was prepping up the stage, getting the equipment ready, and I saw this broken wire near one of the speakers. I wanted to fix it so I went to close it with some tape. I basically got shocked right out of my body."
"So you were careless and lost all your success and friends just like that?" She asked, looking serious and worried.
"Pretty much..." I replied, and let out a short sigh.
"I can see where you got the 'shocking story' from."
“Yeah. What do you think?"
"Even Twilight can come up with better puns than that.", she said while keeping her serious face, "Anyways, what happened next?"
"I woke up floating in the air, right above myself like I was a ghost or something. Then I got sucked out into the sky and into the storm happening outside. My ‘soul’ got struck by lightning... and next thing I know I woke up here."
"But... how did you get struck by lightning? There was nopony to fly around and stomp the clouds to cause the lightning. You said there were no pegasi where you come from." She seemed curious, and her big pink eyes were showing it.
"Some clouds just shoot lightning on their own, really. If they meet another cloud with an opposite charge, or the ground below it has an opposite charge, they just let it all out. But enough cloud science - the point is that they don't need a pegasus to kick it out of them. Moving on... I woke up inside a cloud, and you eventually kicked it. I was shot down from the cloud and into this body... my new body, I guess."
"Well that explains why that cloud never shot anything..." She rubbed her chin with a hoof, "So I guess I kicked you out of that cloud. Wouldn't that mean I brought you back to life, in some way?", she asked.
"I guess I could say you're my... mother?" I said hesitantly and forced a grin, instantly regretting saying another horrible joke.
NOPE! The fuck am I doing? All these lame jokes... I'll end up making her mad! And then I'll REALLY get kicked in the head!
Rainbow Dash facehoofed once again, "Ugh, Johnny just stop with the jokes. You are horrible at it."
"Yup, I'm done here..." I replied, lowering my head a bit, "Ok, besides Pinkie Pie, who else should I know around here? Who is this Twilight?"
"She's the town librarian; she lives in a big tree near the market. She's a nice pony to talk to, and very smart too. She loves hearing about how newcomers arrive in Ponyville. I'm just not sure if she'll like it when you tell her about your death. I mean, it WAS pretty silly not to tell somebody who knew how to do something about it. I know some ponies who are reckless, but not THAT much!"
"Can we NOT talk about the wire? At least not now. Save the scolding for later, please!" I cut her short. I felt sweat dripping down my forehead.
"Sorry, I won't talk about that wire anymore" She bit her lip, "But I can't help but notice that you're pretty heartbroken from all this, am I right?" she asked.
I nodded softly, looking down at the ground as we walked. "I could barely make new friendships after I started DJ'ing. All the friends I ever had was my manager Gary, some DJ's I met while on tour the other years, and that was it! I never kept many friendships for too long because I was never able to keep contact with them all the time! I won't even get started on all the fans that will be heartbroken to hear about my accident..." I almost cried, I felt a tear drop dangling just outside my eyes, but at least it felt good to tell her about my suffering. "And I blew it all away... the only friends I had, blew it all away! I just fucking blew it!", I was so angry at myself I stopped walking and started to hit myself repeatedly in the head with my hoof.
"Hey, it's okay...", Rainbow Dash put a hoof on my shoulder and stopped me from hitting myself. "You'll get the chance to meet tons of new friends around here, don't worry. Think of this as a second chance to avoid those mistakes.", she assured me. "We all make horrible mistakes, and sometimes, you just gotta...” She paused, as if hesitant to say something, “Turn that frowny upside downy, like Pinkie Pie says... I can't believe I just said that."
"You're right, Rainbow. I'm being a crybaby now. I have to get back up and move on..." I rubbed my tears away. "Thank you for that, Rainbow Dash. It's good to vent it out once in awhile." I sniffed.
"Ponyville will give you many opportunities to make you happy. Trust me on this one, Johnny.” Said Rainbow Dash, smiling back at me.
After a few more minutes walking in silence Rainbow Dash spoke up, "Well, looks like we arrived. Let's go to the market and get you settled in."
"Welcome to Ponyville, Johnny!" said Rainbow Dash.
We walked under the wooden archway that read "Welcome to Ponyville", followed by a small wooden bridge over a river. It looked nothing like the cities back where I grew up and lived. There were barely any vehicles in the streets and no sidewalks. It looked like I was back into the 1800s, except it was full of ponies instead of humans. Ponyville seemed like a laid back kind of town; almost nobody was in any sort rush whatsoever. In fact, all the ponies I saw at a first glance had a smile on their faces. A small grin at the very least.
"Is everyone here always this joyful?", I asked.
"It's everypony, Johnny." Rainbow replied, with a smirk on her face.
"Looks like you need to learn some new words, seeing you're not even from this world," she chuckled a bit and cleared her throat, "But I'll leave that kind of stuff to Twilight teach you. I'm not as good as her with words or with any kind of teaching, really. I'll explain this one for now to get you started: We say anypony, everypony and stuff when we're talking about ponies. We use everyone and anyone, or anybody or everybo- ugh, too much grammar. Not cool...", she paused and frowned for a moment. "My point is that you use pony when you're talking about somepony else. You know what I mean?"
"Oh I get it now!" I said, "But I think it's kinda silly. Why can't we just say anyone when we are referring to a pony? Just like any other creature in this world? If there are any I mean."
"It's up to you if you want to sound silly when talking to ponies." She replied, "If that's what you want, then I'm not gonna stop you from doing that." She joked, "And yes, there are tons of other creatures around here. Many types of birds, squirrels, bunnies, buffalos, cows, a whole bunch of weird creatures in the Everfree forest, and that's just near Ponyville", she added,"I can't even imagine how many more creatures are out there!"
"Wait, these animals also exist in my world! Talk about coincidence!" I said with a smile, "I never saw many animals in my life besides squirrels and pigeons, and most of them I've seen them in a zoo when I was little."
"What happened to the animals? Did they vanish or something?" She asked, slightly concerned.
"Just humanity taking down forests and making tall buildings to live in. The animals just took off deeper in the remaining parts of their forest. The only ones that stayed were squirrels, racoons, pigeons and small mice. I find it really annoying how people think they can just claim an area like that and do whatever they want with it."
"Look, I may not be an animal lover like Fluttershy but that is just horrible and uncool. At least you are not like them." She said in a serious tone. "Just don't let Fluttershy know about this or she will start crying because she doesn't have any way of helping them."
"And Fluttershy is...?"
"Ponyville's animal caretaker." she said, "She houses little animals and takes care of them when they're sick. Some ponies go to her cottage to find a pet." Rainbow Dash smirked and continued, "I remember when I went there to find my own pet. Who would've thought I'd have a turtle as a pet?", she chuckled a bit, just before a speeding blob of pink crashed into her.
"Ohmygosh Dashie are you okay? I was going to buy some cherries for a new cake recipe I made, but then I realized that orange- flavoured cakes don't have cherries in them, so I ran back to buy oranges and I forgot to buy baking soda that was near the cherry stand, then I ran back to buy the baking soda and then I ran into you, and who is th-", said a bright pink pony, speaking so fast it would leave the world’s fastest speaker with their jaw on the floor. Oh, I think I already know who this pony is...
The pink pony let out a massive gasp when she turned to me
"GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!" She sped away faster than a fighter jet. All I saw was a pink blur and a trail of dust that made all ponies around us rubbing their faces to get the dirt off their eyes.
"Let me guess... Pinkie Pie?" I asked, finally breaking the silence. Pretty much everypony around us nodded and went back to their businesses.
"And you'll see her again in about 5 minutes, trust me." Rainbow Dash said while getting up.
From the first ten seconds I had spent with Pinkie Pie, it seemed like she had a mix of Red Bull, coffee, and anything else that has sugar in it. That was the craziest thing I've seen all my life. Not even a heavy duty crack addict could keep up with Pinkie Pie! Her mane looked like she put her head in a cotton candy machine and turned it on; in fact, it actually looked like her mane and tail were actually made of cotton candy - it smelled the part, too. At least that's what I thought it was when she crashed into Rainbow Dash.
"Johnny? Hello!", I saw a blue hoof waving in front of me. I was completely lost trying to figure out what the hay just happened.
"What? Oh, sorry. Kinda got lost in my thoughts a bit." I shook my head, "Was that cotton candy I smelled from Pinkie's mane or something?"
"Yep", Rainbow Dash still had a dazed look in her face from the crash.
"Did she put her head in a cotton candy machine or something?" I asked.
"Ha! I knew you'd say that!" She chuckled and continued, "Literally every new pony around here asks that same question when they meet her!" She laughed a bit more and recomposed herself, "She says she uses some kind of shampoo. Kinda fits her personality, though."
"It sure does..." I commented.
"What do you think I smell like, Johnny?" She looked at me with a smile.
"What is that supposed to mean?" Where did THAT come from!?. I felt a sweat starting to form on my forehead.
"Uhh.... forget I said anything" She turned her head away from me and looked at the market, I caught a glimpse of a blush on her cheeks. Well that was awkward..., "Let's get something to eat. I think I see Pinkie and Twilight in The Daisy and Rose, they make some pretty good sandwiches there." She took flight and went ahead of me.
I trotted towards the three ponies sitting outside on a table. Rainbow Dash was whispering something to the purple unicorn, (presumably the Twilight she mentioned before my emotional breakdown). She had a dark purple mane, with a hot pink line in the middle, same for her tail. Her horn poked out from behind her mane that covered her forehead. She had bright purple eyes that seems like they would glow at night. As I approached them, Pinkie Pie blurted out:
"WAIT! WAIT! BE RIGHT BACK!" She sped off towards a gingerbread-looking house.
"What's up with her?" I asked the remaining two mares.
"Just Pinkie Pie being Pinkie Pie." answered the purple unicorn.
"She'll be back in a few moments, you'll see." Added Rainbow Dash.
"Right, I assume you're Twilight, correct?" I asked the unicorn.
"Oh right! I totally forgot to introduce myself! Yes, my name is Twilight Sparkle, nice to meet you!" She said with an embarrassed look. "What a way to mess up a first meeting with a new pony..."
"It's all good! I do that sometimes as well. My name's Johnathan, but you can call me Johnny for short.", I said to Twilight.
Suddenly, I got blown by a huge wall of confetti and strings.
"Told ya she'd back." Rainbow said to me with a smirk on her face.
Pinkie Pie proceeded to sing her little "welcome" song. I watched as Pinkie performed her song and dance next to a cart that looked like a mix of popcorn machine, microwave and a food trolley or something.
Welcome welcome welcome
A fine welcome to you!
Welcome welcome welcome
I say how do you do?
Welcome welcome welcome
I say hip hip hurray!
Welcome welcome welcome
to Ponyville todaaaaay!
"Wait for it....", Pinkie said.
"Wait for wha-"
A small door opened on the side of the cart and my face got stuffed with even more confetti and string.
"Catchy..." I commented, and spat out some confetti.
"It's a work in progress..." cheered Pinkie Pie with a confident smile.
"So how about that party you are going to throw for me?" I smirked.
"OH RIGHT! I'll get started with the invitations right away!", she blurted out before running out again.
The waiter came to our table to greet me and ask for my order. He had a white coat and a dark brown mane and a moustache, wearing a black bow-tie.
"Welcome, ladies!" he greeted Rainbow and Twilight, until he noticed the new pony before him. "And who might be you? I've never seen you around before." he said to me with a slight British accent.
"I just arrived in Ponyville. Thank you." I nodded to him, "I heard this place makes great sandwiches." I replied.
"That indeed is true, sir. What would you like to order in this fine afternoon?" He asked us.
"I'll have today's Special" said Twilight.
"Same for Rainbow over here."
"I guess I'll try out the Special, too" I said.
"Good choice. I shall be back with your orders in a few minutes" said the stallion before walking back inside. Until then, I hadn’t noticed he was a unicorn and was taking notes on a floating notepad. I shook my head a bit from the strange occurrence. Well, this is not exactly as strange as my arrival here, now that I look at it.
"So Johnny, Rainbow Dash said that your arrival here was quite... shocking, I might say..." Twilight finally broke the silence.
"Literally, I guess", I replied. Here comes the scolding...
"We all make mistakes, don't worry. Enjoy your second chance at life and try not to think about it too much" she smiled at me.
I turned my head to Rainbow Dash and asked:
"So where's the scolding?"
"I explained how you were upset about it and asked her not to bring it up too much.” She replied.
"The last thing I want to do is to make somepony upset over any mistake they make. Rainbow Dash already talked to you about it, so I won't bring up the same topic just to say the same thing she said." Twilight added.
Gee, thanks... so she would have scolded me if Rainbow hadn't flew ahead of me...
I smiled and nodded at Rainbow Dash, as a way of saying "thank you". She nodded back, and we waited until our food arrived.
"Here you go, friends!" said the unicorn waiter, now floating three plates with a sandwich on each and approaching our table.
Rainbow's ears perked up and looked at the waiter. "Sweet! I'm starving!"
"Me too!" I said right after.
The plates floated down in front of us. My mouth was watering. I hadn't eaten since I left the plane 5 hours ago. And that was on a totally different world!
The sandwich was made with whole wheat bread, and I could see apple slices poking out from between. There was some lettuce and a green olive on a toothpick stuck on the center of the sandwich. Something else caught my eye, it was a white thing inside the sandwich. It didn't look like mayonnaise or any kind of dressing - in fact, it kind of looked like a petal...
"Is that a petal I see?", I asked the two mares, who were already half way through their sandwiches.
"Yup. It'sh a dhaishy, the besht out therr!" said Rainbow Dash with a mouthful of her sandwich.
"It's delicious, Johnny!" said Twilight, "You'll never find out if it's good by staring at it." she giggled.
I then remembered that scene from Lion King, when Simba eats his first "grub" in the jungle:
I took a bite from my sandwich. The daisy's texture was a bit odd on my tongue, but it was quite tasty!
"Hmm! Noth bhad!", I said with my mouth full of food.
"Oh great, we have another "Rainbow Dash" chewer...", Twilight said with a sigh.
Rainbow Dash and I chuckled and I almost choked on my sandwich.
After we finished our sandwich and paid the bill (courtesy of Twilight Sparkle), I asked a bit about how life worked around Ponyville, and eventually the currency ("Bit" sounds like a silly name for currency, to be honest).
I don't know why, but it took me a while to notice the markings on almost every pony's flank.
"What's up with those tattoos on everypony?" I asked.
"Oh you mean these?" Twilight said, looking at her own ‘tattoo’, "They're called "Cutie Marks", they represent a pony's special talent. My cutie mark represents my love for star gazing and being adept at magic." she said. "That reminds me, we never saw your cutie mark, Johnny. What is it?" She proceeded to look at my flank, and so did Rainbow Dash.
Well THIS isn't awkward at all!, I thought. I was blushing so hard. Two mares staring at my ass in public!!
"W-w-what are you two doing? Talk about maturity!", I blurted out, just causing an even bigger scene. I turned towards them and they stopped.
"S-Sorry, got a bit carried away there!", Twilight blushed and lowered her ears a bit.
"I was just curious! Nothing else, I-I swear!" said Rainbow Dash, blushing even harder.
"Riiiight... you know I can check it out myself without you two staring at it like two perverts!" I frowned at them.
They blushed, lowered their heads and they kicked the ground a few times. I could still see them giggling behind their manes that fell over their faces.
"...Nah, it's ok. You can look at it all day long if you want..." I winked at them.
"JOHNNY!!" They screamed at me at the same time. I stumbled back and almost fell over.
"Sorry! Sorry!" I said, sweating heavily.
We looked around us, realizing the sudden silence that fell on the whole area. Some ponies had stopped to look at our commotion, some were blushing, some had their jaws wide open in shock. We stared back at them with a sheepish smile on our faces, sweating our faces off. Pinkie Pie was bouncing around with a saddlebag far down the street, obviously delivering party invitations.
"OKAY! It's getting dark! We should get going home now!" Said Twilight, breaking the silence, trying to shake off that extremely awkward moment.
"Uh, Twilight..." I interrupted, "I don't have a place to sleep."
"Oh right... You can sleep at my place until you find a place of your own. I have a guest bedroom." Twilight said.
"Haha, lucky guy!" said a stallion that overheard us. Twilight picked up a rock from the ground with her magic and threw it at the pony's head, staring at the pony with a cold stare.
"Aah! Okay okay I'm going now!" He yelled out after dodging the rock and ran away.
"Well... now that this is taken care of..." I broke the silence, "What does my cutie mark represent? I'm pretty sure you two had a good look at it the way you were staring at my flank...", I rolled my eyes.
"It looks like a vinyl disc, and a headset over it. You must be good with music!", said Twilight.
"Makes sense - I was a DJ back on my other life."
"Oooh! A DJ!! Vinyl Scratch is gonna love to have a new pony to play with her on her shows!" Beamed Twilight, "You should go see her tomorrow and say hi to her!" She added.
Rainbow Dash interrupted, "I don't know about you guys, but I'm heading home for a good night sleep, see ya!" She took off to the clouds and waved at us while we waved back.
"Okay, let's head to your house, Twilight." I said.
"Yup." She nodded. Suddenly Rainbow Dash came back and hovered in front of me.
"By the way, you should come over to the park tomorrow afternoon for some flying lessons; I'm helping Scootaloo with her flying so you can join her if you want." she said.
"Great idea. I should at least know how to move them, thanks for the invite!", I smiled.
She smiled back and flew away, disappearing into the clouds while me and Twilight continued our way to her home.
We arrived at a large tree in the middle of town, windows scattered about and a large telescope poking out from the canopy.
"This is it - Ponyville Library. This is where Spike and I live. There are tons of books around here so if you ever feel the need to indulge yourself with some knowledge, feel free to grab a book and relax!" said Twilight as we walked in, getting excited just by saying the word "book".
"I never had time to read books, being a DJ and all..." I said. "But I guess I got plenty of time to read since I'm not one... yet".
"Great!" she cheered, "If I'm not around you can ask Spike to help you grab a book you're interested in, but I think you'd rather sleep than read right now."
I nodded and looked around the library. Man what a huge place! The library walls were made from the tree itself, and the floor was made of wood tiles. The shelves went up to the ceiling and every single slot had a book in it. There were a few tables around for reading and at the back I could see what looked like the kitchen door. Next to it was a staircase that probably led to the bedrooms and the observatory with the telescope. I heard footsteps coming down the stairs, and I saw a small purple and green-scaled creature about half my size walking down the stairs.
"Hey Twi." said the creature with big green snake-like eyes. "Who's the new pony?"
"Hi Spike. This is Johnny, he'll be spending a while with us while he finds a place to live." said Twilight, and turned to me. "Johnny, this is Spike, my number one assistant!" Spike scratched the back of his head and smiled at her.
"Wait, what is he anyways?", I whispered to Twilight, "He kinda looks like a dragon or something"
"He is a dragon, Johnny." As she said that I felt a chill crawl through my spine. A motherbucking dragon, oh god I am so dead... again.
"He's not going to set me on fire is he?" I asked nervously.
She giggled for a moment at my question. "He's nice to everypony Johnny. he would never hurt anypony at all. Even if he accidentally spits out fire it won't set anything ablaze."
"Accidentally?" I said with a tone of fear in my voice.
"Only when he sneezes, but his "sneeze flames", as I now call them, aren’t even hot - they're just as a warm as a hot summer wind."
"Oh, but you gotta see how fast I can bake cupcakes and stuff like that." Spiked joined in. "I can bake them to perfection in less than 2 seconds!"
"Remind me not to stay in the way when you do that." I said.
"Nah, don't worry. I may be a baby dragon but I got my fire all under control," he smirked. "Not to mention these bad boys over here." He said while wiggling his claws. "They're really great at cooking! I can't imagine how I would be able to do stuff without them!"
I know that feeling bro... I thought to myself and sighed mentally.
"Well we should get going to bed now." Twilight interrupted and looked at Spike. "We got re-shelving to do tomorrow morning, and I don't want to force you out of bed because you were up too late."
"Alright." he grunted and headed back upstairs.
"And now to show you where you'll be sleeping." She turned to me and motioned me to follow her upstairs.
She opened the door with her magic and let me walk in for a better look. Not only there were tons of books at the main parts of the library, but the guest room looked like a miniature version of it! Except it was a bedroom, of course. The side walls had shelves filled with books. The back wall had a bed big enough for two ponies; it had a lavender-coloured sheet on it and two large pillows. A study table was next to it, along with a feather quill, an ink pot, a pile of paper and a few scattered books on top. There was a window next to the bed, and I could see the moon outside.
"Sorry it looks kind of messy." Twilight said, "I was going to have it cleaned up tomorrow after re-shelving, but then you showed up."
"Messy!?" I laughed, "You should have seen MY bedroom back on my world! The only thing that seems out of place here are the open books on the table, and that's it! I can put them back in the shelves if you wa-"
"Oh nononono..." she cut me off, "You need to put the books in the right place or else they won't be sorted by author name, and then we'll have to re-organize everything! Don't worry about this - I'll have Spike put them in the shelves tomorrow."
"Ookay, I guess I'll just go to sleep now." I yawned, "I think I'll go look around the town a bit more and meet some new faces in the morning."
"If you want we can make a checklist of things you have to do tomorrow." she suggested.
"But I only got like... three things to do tomorrow: meet new ponies, flight lessons with Rainbow and Pinkie's party."
I saw a paper fly out of the table covered in a purple aura, followed by the quill getting dumped into the ink and started scribbling onto the paper by itself.
"There you go, your checklist for tomorrow." She placed the checklist on the table and smiled at me.
"Uh, thanks I guess." I said quietly.
"You're welcome. Good night Johnny!" she trotted away to her bedroom next door.
Wait... how am I going to write on that checklist? Ugh... I'll worry about that later, I'm dead tired...
I jumped on the bed and let out a huge sigh. I needed a good rest. Man this bed is comfortable!
It was my birthday. I woke up bed with a full smile on my face. I recently graduated from university, had a job interview scheduled in a few days and I was spending the weekend with my parents. Life was going great!
"Johnny! We got something for you downstairs!" yelled my parents from the living room.
I slowly walked downstairs, still drowsy but smiling. There was a large box covered in gift wrapping on the dining table. My eyes shot wide open. I've gotten big presents before, but this is just insane!
I slowly ripped open the paper wrapping, revealing a DJ mixer set, complete with a new laptop and a headset.
"For our little DJ." mom said.
"Yeah, little" my dad said to her. And we all started laughing together.
I woke up, sun shining through a slit in the window curtain and hitting a section of the wall. I felt slightly sad for my parents for losing their son, but it felt good to know that their son was "in a better place", as they said the same about grandma Rita a few years back. I felt a tear slipping out from my eye. I rubbed it off and and headed downstairs for some breakfast. Twilight and Spike were already in the kitchen.
"Good morning." I said. They turned to me and gave me a smile and a nod. Spike was preparing sandwiches, and Twilight was filling three cups of apple juice and reading a book at the same time.
"Good morning, Johnny." they said in unison.
"So what are you reading Twi?" I asked.
"Just a book on psychology", she replied. "I've read all the books in this library, so I like to re-read them once in a while to keep my mind fresh."
"All of them!?"
"Twice." she smirked.
My left eye twitched. This is just crazy! There must be thousands of books in this place and she read all of them twice? One would think her cutie mark should've been a book instead!
"Well... I listened to over 24 hours of the Gareth Emery Podcast twice in a row!" I chuckled. Who am I kidding? That's nothing compared to reading millions of words... twice!
"I take it he's a DJ back in your world?" she asked.
"A producer, and he makes weekly mixes showcasing the latest electronic music."
"Interesting, I bet Vinyl would like to meet him." she said.
"I bet she would." I nodded.
"Still nothing compared to the millions of words she read... twice!" Spike said with a chuckle.
I hope to god he doesn't read minds and this was just coincidence...
"Are you going for a walk after breakfast, Johnny?", Twilight asked.
"Yeah, I think I'll go visit Vinyl Scratch after I pass the market and talk to the ponies around there."
"Well it's pretty early right now. It's still 8:30am," Twilight said, "she usually wakes up at 11am according to her roommate, Octavia."
"Wait, 8:30am??? Did I get up THAT early already??"
"Is that a problem?", she asked.
"It's just that I'm used to waking up near noon, too.", I forced a laugh. "I'm a ‘night owl’ kind of guy, waking up late and staying up late. The only reason I went to bed early was because I was so tired from these recent events."
"You can always change your sleep patterns - waking up early means you get more time to do stuff during the day." said Spike. "For me it means more time to see her..." He sighed and stared out the window looking at a white unicorn that was walking past the window at the time. Twilight rolled her eyes and picked up the sandwiches and placed them on the kitchen table for us to eat.
"Wow Spike, this is really good!", I said, complimenting his sandwich, "I think it's on par with the Daisy and Rose sandwiches, if not better!"
"Yeah, well I wouldn't want to throw them out of business because of my skills, so I just keep it between Twi and her friends." he boasted.
"So is it like a family recipe or something?" I asked. Spike lowered his head and went back to eating his sandwich, which had a few gems in it. Twilight let a small sigh and looked at me.
"What's wrong?" I asked. Did I say something wrong? Twilight moved her head next to mine and whispered:
"He never met his real family, I've had him since he was a hatchling." she said.
"Oh... ok I'll try to lighten up the topic then..." I whispered back, and turned to Spike. "So do you dragons grow wings at an early age or what?"
He looked up, a smile grew on his face, "Twilight said that according to some of her books we are supposed to grow wings once we hit our teenage years, but that's still a long way to g." he said, "But walking is just as good. I like the feel of kicking rocks around when I got nothing to do."
"Speaking of stuff to do, we got re-shelving to do before noon!" said Twilight in a gasp, "After that we have to head over to Sugar Cube Corner to help Pinkie with the food for Johnny's welcome party." Spike grunted at the word "re-shelving".
"Don't worry Spike..." I said, "Twilight seems pretty good at moving stuff around so it shouldn't take too long to finish it. If you want you can come watch me try to fly over at the park."
"Alright." he cheered up ,"That way I can see you perform crash landings all afternoon!" He laughed. I didn't... but I just forced one seeing that Twilight was giggling a bit behind her breath and I felt that laughing with them would ease up my frustration. I still haven’t figured out how to open my wings! I guess I'll just try them out while I walk around town.
"Okay Spike, The sooner we finish this the more time you get to hang out with Johnny." said Twilight. "You should check out the bulletin board at the Town Centre for any job openings, Johnny." she turned to me while holding a saddlebag with her magic. "Take this - I put a quill, ink and your checklist in here. Just ask any unicorn to help you out."
"Thanks Twilight! See you at the park Spike!" I said while walking out the door with my saddlebag strapped to my back.
So this is how it feels to have something strapped around your belly... It kinda tickles... Wait, where is the Town Centre?
"Uhh... which way is the Town Centre?" I said as I turned back to the door.
"It's a few minutes past Sugar Cube Corner, the giant ginger bread house. You might even see Pinkie Pie there, maybe you can help her there." said Twilight while she floated some books and giving them to Spike, who was on the top of a ladder next to the shelves.
"Okey dokey! See you later then!" I said, and went back outside.
I didn't notice it before, but this world was VERY colorful... It's like someone turned up the saturation dial on my vision. Not that I didn't like it - in fact, I enjoyed it. I've lived in a world where metal boxes on wheels roamed the black street pavements and the grey sidewalks and the occasional trees...
Time to meet this new pony folk. Today will be a new day... Now let's begin by trying to flap these wings...
Okay, let's see how these wings work...
I walked around the market stands and looked at what kind of things were being sold. It was mostly food, since all I could see was a huge variety of fruits and vegetables. Cherries, carrots, lettuce, onions, potatoes, berries, bananas, apples, oranges, the works., Others had their own store, like SugarCube Corner. There was also a fancy-looking house full of decorations, fancy windows with a carousel-looking thing with a flag on top. And along with looking around I was trying to figure out what damn muscle I was supposed to move to work my wings!
One of the ponies approached me. She was a unicorn had an aquamarine coat, a pale light blue mane, and golden eyes. She was soon followed by a cream-coloured earth pony, with a curly pink and blue curly mane and tail and sky blue eyes..
"Hi there! You must be new around here!" Said the unicorn.
"You seem to be having trouble keeping your face normal. Are you okay? Did you eat something bad?", asked the other pony with concern..
"Yeah, I literally got here yesterday." I said, "and what's wrong with my face?"
"You seem to be making some really funny faces around here, we couldn't stop looking at you and wonder what you were doing." said the aqua unicorn.
...My concentration face... crap.
Ever since I was little, I had this habit of making really weird things whenever I am focusing on something really hard. For example, I stick my tongue out when I am writing, my thumb sticks up when I'm eating (weird, huh? I guess I won't have that problem here), and when I was trying to flare my nostrils, I made some really strange faces until I finally learned it. I guess the last one came back to haunt me...
"Oh... It's because I am trying to learn how to flap my wings. I can't seem to figure it out so I’m kinda focusing too hard and I end up making these faces."
"Wait, you never used your wings before?" asked the cream pony, shocked at my answer.
"How old are you anyway!?" asked the unicorn - she had the same expression as her friend.
Shit... how old AM I in this body??
"Uh... would you believe me if I told you I have no idea how old I am?" I grinned sheepishly.
"Maybe... seeing as you can't even flap your wings after all these years, unless you got hit in the head and you're having amnesia." said the unicorn. "Do you at least remember your name? We haven't introduced ourselves yet"
"My name's Johnny Bass, nice to meet you!" I said.
"Name's Lyra Heartstrings, this is Bon Bon. Nice meeting you Johnny! You said you got here yesterday. Where are you from?" she asked.
"Eh... not from this world, I can tell you that. I wasn't even a pony a few days ago!"
"So what were you before you were a pony?" Bon Bon asked.
"A human, but I don't think you guys got that kind of species around here do yo-"
"A HUMAN!? I KNEW IT! I KNEW THEY EXISTED!" Lyra screamed and started jumping around with joy, "This is awesome! I heard tales of creatures that walked on two feet and had things that poked out of their arms and could grab stuff with them, but I was always told it was an old pony's tale!"
How the hell did these ponies know about humans!?
"So... if you're not from this world... how did you get here?" asked Bon Bon, while she struggled to hold Lyra in place. "Lyra, calm down! You're making a scene!"
"What in tarnation is going on 'ere?" said an orange pony with a cowboy hat, and a thick southern accent. She started walking towards us.
"He's a human! He's a human!" blurted out Lyra. "He's not from this world!"
"Well I don't wanna butt into yer conversation, but your screamin' is scaring away mah customers. I got apples to sell!" said the angry cowboy pony (cowpony, cowgirl pony, I don't know man...). "Sorry fer that, sugarcube;" she said to me, "You seem new here so I can't really blame you fer this. What's yer name?"
"Johnny Bass, nice meeting you."
"Applejack, pleasure to meet ya. When did you arrive 'ere in Ponyville?" she asked.
"Yesterday, I woke up outside Ponyville in a thunderstorm, and I got rescued by Rainbow Dash. I can tell you the whole story later, if you want."
"Ohh... so you're the fella she was talking 'bout this mornin'. I heard about your accident; sorry to hear that..."
"I'll move on, don't worry."
"Lyra! Look at the time! We have to go to Pinkie Pie's to help her with the party she's throwing tonight!" said Bon Bon as she pointed towards the Town Centre clock. "That's the Johnny she mentioned in her invitation, remember?"
"Oh yeah! I completely forgot about that!" said Lyra, "sorry Johnny! We gotta hoof it for now, see ya at the party!" and with that they ran off to SugarCube Corner.
"Okay, bye!" I said while waving a hoof at them.
"So yer looking to buy sum apples, Johhny?" asked Applejack.
"Actually, I don't have any bits right now. I'm looking for a place to work and get some cash of my own."
"Well why didn't you say so? We can always have some help at the farm; just drop by any time! If yer up for the job I mean."
"Sure! I'll come by tomorrow morning - I got stuff to do at the moment."
"Alright then. If ye need any help, don't be afraid to ask me. I'm the most reliable pony around these parts!" she said, walking back to her apple stand, which had a whole bunch of baskets filled with apples.
Okay then, I guess that counts as meeting new ponies, time to scratch off that checklist... If I can use that quill somehow...
I walked over to a table at The Daisy and Rose and reached into my saddlebag, placing the checklist on the table. I picked up the quill and put it next to the paper stared at it pensivly.
I don't think there's such thing as hoof writing, is there?
I tried to pick up the quill with my hoof. Nothing.
"Hey Johnny!" yelled Rainbow Dash from above waving a hoof at me. She was kicking the clouds and clearing the skies.
"Hey Rainbow! I have a question about writing, can you come down here for a sec?" I yelled back.
She flew down and walks over to my table and looks at the paper and quill. "Don't tell me you don't know how to write..."
"That's the thing, I know how to write... if I had hands... how do you do that with hooves?" I asked.
"Johnny... that's impossible, we can't grab tiny stuff with hooves." she explained. If you pay attention to your hooves you can see that you can move them slightly and hold bigger things like an apple."
"I knew that!" I gave her a grin. "I was just making sure you knew that too!"
"Uh huh..." she rolled her eyes. "Just use your mouth to write, like this.", she reached for the quill, and I felt her mane brush against my neck, it smelled nice. Like a breath of fresh air. And since I’ve been used to living in a city environment, fresh air was rather hard to come by. Ugh, snap out of it, Johnny!, I shook my head and paid attention to what she was writing.
Hi, this is Rainbow Dash. I am writing this on Johnny's checklist to show him how to "mouth write", because he is too lazy to figure out how to do it by himself.
"Hey!" I whined. Rainbow Dash just stuck her tongue out and laughed.
"I'm kidding about the last part, Johnny, calm down!" she giggled.
"Okay, thanks for the help anyway,” I said, "But I got one more thing to say."
"And what's that?"
"You smell like a breath of fresh air, and I love fresh air."
She smiled, punched me on the shoulder and flew back to the clouds.
"Ow?" I yelled as she flew away.
She stuck her tongue at me again, and went back to clearing the sky.
[X] Meet new ponies... check. Now what time is it?
I headed over to the city hall, and looked up to the clock. 10:30, did I seriously spend one hour walking already?
"I guess I'll start looking for this pony DJ now." I said quietly.
"That's DJ PON3 to you, buddy." said a voice behind me.
"Who!?!" I hate when people talk right behind me after listening to my conversation, even if it was with myself... I turned around and faced my "stalker". It was a white unicorn mare wearing deep purple (ha, Deep Purple) shades and had a rather wild blue mane and tail with two eight notes as a cutie mark. Ugh, "cutie mark", that's gonna take a while to sink in... it's just so girly...
"A DJ... wow. I never see many pegasus DJs around, this pretty cool." said the mare.
"Uh, thanks... but would you mind not creeping up on me next time?" I said as I closed my wings after being startled.
"No problem, bro." she nodded, "I'm Vinyl Scratch, nice to meet you."
"Johnny Bass, and I was looking for you actually. But I thought you were going to wake up at 11 today?"
"How the hay do you know I wake up at 11?" She looked angry and scared. I gotta use my words better, or I will end up getting that horn shoved up somewhere uncomfortable...
"I didn't, you just told me-" I joked. "IT WAS TWILIGHT SPARKLE! SHE TOLD ME ABOUT THAT!" I waved my hooves at her when I saw her horn glowing with a blue aura.
Her horn stopped glowing, but she was still disturbed. "And how do you know Twilight Sparkle? I never saw you around here before."
"I recommend we find a place to sit, it's kind of a long stor-" I paused, and recalled what she said when she startled me. "Wait, how did you know I was a DJ?"
"The cutie mark never lies, bud." she replied.
"Makes sense... anyways, let's find a place to sit."
"Sure, lead the way."
We walked over to the park and I told her about how I was a producer/DJ back on Earth, and how I got sent here.
"Shocking events..." She smirked, "Painful, but at least you tried to liven that story up a bit with that."
"Wait, you liked that pun? Nopony I talked to found that funny at all!" My eyes went wide open.
"It's silly, but yeah, it wasn't bad," she said, "but the wire part was very stupid of yo-"
"I know... I know..." I waved a hoof. "I got told that already, though if it wasn't for my stupidity I wouldn't be here meeting you or anypony at all."
"True... well I gotta head to the market and get some blank music sheets for my roommate; she plays a cello and is running out of paper for her new song."
"Octavia, right?" I asked her, she shot an eye at me and before she said anything I blurted out "Twilight! Twilight!"
"You're creepy, you know that?" She said.
"Says the one who was listening into my conversation..." I retorted.
"There's nothing wrong with that! Everyone I met in my life has talked to themselves at least three times a day!"
"And how do you know that? Oh yeah! You have to listen to their conversation closely... wait..."
"I guess that backfired on you, Vinyl!" We both laughed out loud and walked back to the market.
"That will be 10 bits, missy." said the stallion to Vinyl, sliding the stack of papers across the counter to her. She pulled out 10 gold coins from her light blue saddlebag, placed them on the counter and put the papers on her saddlebag.
"Now that's done, I'll drop these at our apartment and go get some lunch, wanna join us Johnny?" she asked.
"Why not? Okay, I'll join you two." I nodded.
We entered a 2-story building and walked up to the second floor. Vinyl opened the door to her apartment with her magic. It was an average sized room - there was a couch with a small TV across the room and a coffee table in between. The kitchen was on the side, a few dishes on the sink and a fruit basket on the corner. On the other side of the room there were were three doors - one led to the bathroom, another I guessed to be the bedroom - since I saw a portion of a bed from where I stood - the third door was closed and painted bright red, with a black quarter note emblazoned on the center.
"Feel free to look around; I'll just leave these papers with Octy and we'll be on our way." She walked into the bedroom and left me to explore the apartment.
I took another glance at the kitchen. It looked like there was a subwoofer mounted next to the sink. "Uhh.... Vinyl? Why do you have a subwoofer in the kitchen?"
"It's a dishwasher Johnny, not a subwoofer." She said from the room.
"Looks like a subwoofer to me..."
She walked back with Octavia - a grey mare with a stylish dark grey mane, lavender eyes, a treble symbol as a cutie mark and a pink bowtie around her neck. "This is Johnny Bass, Octy, a pegasus DJ, isn't that superb?", said Vinyl.
"Hello Johnny, I see we have two ponies to make absurd amounts of noise at night now" she sighed, "I also see you caught eye on that dishwasher, one of Vinyl's 'brilliant' ideas". She had a slight british accent.
"It uses low frequency sounds to help clean the dishes at a microscopic level!" Vinyl cheered.
"Won't that vibrate throughout the whole building and annoy the neighbours?" I asked with concern.
"It does..." said Octavia. "We had to install soundproof walls and a new door because the neighbours were getting irritated with it. I'm glad you at least have sympathy for other ponies' ears." she smirked. "Say, would you like to join us for lunch? I can hear your stomach growling."
"Sure, I'll join you two!" Wait, I said that already... oh well...
We walked out of the building and headed to the Daisy and Rose, picked a table outside and waited for the waiter/waitress. Surprisingly enough, the same waiter from yesterday showed up.
"Good day Johnny, Vinyl, Octavia. What would you three like to eat today?"
"I'll have the Caesar salad, please." said Octavia.
"I'll have a daisy sandwich with soda." said Vinyl.
"I'll have what I had yesterday." I said. He seemed to remember what I had, since he just nodded at me.
"Alrighty then, I'll be back in a few minutes with your orders." And with that he walked away scribbling on his notepad. Moments later I saw Twilight and Spike walking out of the library a few buildings away.
"Hey, Twi! Spike! Over here!" yelled Vinyl right on my ear, which I promptly flattened.
The purple mare and the dragon joined walked over to us and sat on the last two seats of the table. "Looks like you met Vinyl and Octavia already. So what's up?" asked Twilight.
"I was going to ask if you two wanted to join us for lunch; we just ordered our food seconds ago." said Vinyl.
"Actually we just finished lunch, courtesy of Spike!" Spike said proudly, "And boy that was a good sandwich!"
"I can attest to that!" I said, raising my hoof. And just then the waiter came with our food and placed them on the table.
"Well hello there, Twilight and Spike! Can I get you something as well?" he asked.
"We're fine; we just stopped by to chat. Thank you." said Twilight. The waiter nodded and walked back inside. "So how's your new composition going, Octavia? I can't wait to hear it next time you play at the theatre in Canterlot."
"I'm halfway done. Vinyl had to get some more paper for me because we were running out of it." she replied.
"Yeah, two musicians using one stack of music sheets can go through them pretty fast." Vinyl said with a smirk.
"Wait, you use music sheets to make electronic music?" I asked.
"Well yeah, how else would you write down your music?"
"I just use my laptop software to write down the melody..."
"Are you serious!? Where's the fun in that!?" Vinyl gasped, "Sure, I use my computer to make the music, but I always write down a melody before I use the computer."
"It's because it makes her look like an actual composer, not just a producer who spends all her time making loud scratchy noises with machines." Octavia joined the conversation, chuckling under her breath.
"It's not noise! It's art!" said Vinyl.
"Please explain how this is ‘art’..." she replied back.
This conversation about music went on for about an hour. It was pretty heated seeing as they both started talking louder and louder. I didn't dare say a word because I was afraid I'd get a hoof shoved into my face, until Twilight finally interrupted.
"Girls! Both of your music is art! Both of your audiences enjoy it right?"
"Yeah..." said Vinyl and Octavia. "But how do you enjoy music if you can't dance to it?" Vinyl continued. Twilight facehoofed.
"Never mind..." Twilight sighed. "We should go back to the library, Spike. Lunch break is almost over."
"But what about Johnny's flight lessons? I want to watch him do crash landings!" asked Spike.
"Oh right, sorry. You can go with Johnny then. I can handle the library by myself in the meantime."
"And I should go back to writing my composition." added Octavia, "you know... actual music."
"My music makes people dance, at least." Vinyl shrugged.
"Oh boy... here we go!" I said. "I guess I'll be going now... see you around, Vinyl and Octy!"
"Only Vinyl can call me Octy, Johnny." said Octavia. Vinyl promptly hugged her roommate, squeezing Octavia against her body and snarling at me.
"O-okay... I guess I'll just head to the park now - c'mon Spike!"
"Right behind ya!" he said while getting off his chair.
Spike and I reached the park and sat on a clearing. We let the time pass by watching the staggering tiny clouds Rainbow Dash left to make the sky appealing, she obviously clearing clouds somewhere around Ponyville. It was about noon, the sun was at its peak in the sky.
"So did you get your wings working yet?", Spike asked
"I got the hang of it, sorta", I said, "if flapping your wings when you get startled counts."
He chuckled, "It's a start. Let's just hope you don't smash into a pony like Fluttershy...", he paused, "or a tree."
"I'll try to aim for a pond then, I'll even yell out "mayday" if I have to."
"Mayday? What does that mean?" He asked.
"It's a codeword for aircraft pilots if they're about to crash, you never heard of that word before?"
"If I was about to crash while riding a balloon or a carriage, I'd scream my lungs out in panic instead of "mayday""
"Good point. I bet I will do the same today", I chuckled.
"Hey Spike! What's up?", said a kid's voice a few metres away.
"Oh hey Scootaloo, are you looking for Rainbow Dash too?", he asked.
"Yeah, is she here yet? She said she was going to help me with my flying today.", the little orange filly asked while approaching us. She had purple eyes and a short purple mane.
"We're waiting for her to finish her weather patrol", Spike looked at his wrist as if he had a watch, "she should be finishing up by now.", he pointed at me with both his arms like I was a prize in The Price Is Right or something."This is Johnny Bass, he got here in Ponyville yesterday."
"Hi there!", I smiled at the filly.
"Are you the one Rainbow Dash and Twilight yelled out the other day?", she asked me. "I was hanging out with Applebloom and Sweetie Belle in the park and we heard them yell out "JOHNNY!" from far away. It was pretty weird."
"Yeah... that was me they were yelling at.", I muttered.
"What happened?", she asked curiously.
"Two words: cutie marks"
"They were angry with you about cutie marks?", she tilted her head confused.
"You don't want to know...", I looked away to a random direction.
"Alright then...", she said, still curious about what happened. "Oh look it's Rainbow Dash!", she pointed towards a cyan blob heading towards us. "Are you going to help her with my flying, Johnny?"
"She's going to help BOTH of us, actually", I replied.
"I'm just here to watch to watch the show", added Spike, "Be right back, I'm gonna buy some popcorn", he left to the popcorn cart that was passing by some fillies and colts playing volleyball.
"Wait, what?", her head snapped back to me in confusion, "You still don't know how to fly!?"
"It's a long story...", and with that Rainbow Dash landed in front of us.
"What's up, Scoots? Ready for your training?", asked Rainbow Dash. Scootaloo nodded happily. Rainbow turned her head to me, " and did you get used to working your wings yet, Johnny?"
"Sure did!", I said with a grin, and flapped my wings slowly to show her. "I can feel them giving some thrust with one short flap, this is pretty cool!"
She watched my wings for a few seconds, one of her brows raised, "I'll have to teach you a thing or two about taking care of your wings", she said slightly concerned, "you don't want to be losing feathers all over the place."
"Why? What's wrong with them?", I asked. Don't tell me this is like "hair loss" for pegasi..., I looked at my wings trying to see if there was anything wrong with them. They sure didn't feel strange, well... Having wings is already strange to me but you get the idea.
"Don't worry about it for now, I'll explain later. For now let's start by warming up", she said.
We spent about 5 minutes doing some basic wing movements, some jumps and push-ups (She said it was for lift-offs). Rainbow Dash did some push ups of her own with her wings instead of her legs, show-off. Scootaloo did a lighter version of my exercises, since she was much smaller, but in the end we all broke some sweat.
"Alright, I think we're ready for some actual wing action!", said Rainbow Dash, getting up from her wing push ups. "Before we begin some actual flight, I have to give Johnny here some "Flapping 101" lessons, okay Scoots?"
"Sure, Rainbow Dash", said Scootaloo with a smile. Spike finally came back with his popcorn.
"What took you so long, Spike?", Scootaloo asked.
"Some pony was taking waay too long to choose what drink he wanted. It's either apple juice or Hoofsi (Pepsi) for Pete's sake!", said Spike, putting a handful of popcorn into his mouth. "The lhine wahs ghething phretty bhigh.", he swallowed his popcorn and continued, "and welcome to the club, Johnny".
"Club?", I asked, tilting my head. "What club?"
"The Rainbow Dash Chewers Club, of course.", said Rainbow Dash, Scootaloo chuckled under her breath. "Now, less talking and more flapping!", she said in a military-ish tone.
She spent a few minutes explaining me the basics of wing flapping. How to flap to go forward, how to brake, how to glide and some take-off and landing positions. After I got used to the movements and positions on the ground, Rainbow Dash decided it was time for some actual flights.
"Alright, first off is Scoots. Since you can't really fly really high you can do some hovering laps around the park. Meanwhile I'll get Johnny to do some take-off jumps and some hovering.", Rainbow Dash said.
"Wow, even I learned to hover on my own, Johnny", said Scootaloo letting out some chuckles. She hovered away at trotting speed around the park.
I was going to make a witty comeback, but decided not to. I'd probably get burned when she come back around the park, so I just looked back to Rainbow Dash and went back to my training.
"Right", said Rainbow Dash clearing her throat, "let's not waste any more time now. Try hovering for now, baby steps you know...", she winked.
"Very funny...", I muttered. I gave a good strong flap and a small hop to get started. By keeping a constant flapping motion I managed to stay in the air stationary like a helicopter (without the blades) about 2 metres off the ground. I heard Scootaloo yell "Way to go Johnny!" from the other side of the park, she was halfway through her course and was coming back now.
"Well I guess it's a start.", I said, "How come Scootaloo doesn't fly higher than me? She definitely seems like she can go higher than our shoulders", I asked.
Rainbow Dash took off and hovered next to me. "She's kinda scared of heights", she whispered, "weird, but this is why I'm getting her to fly this low, just to give her some confidence. I'm going to fly higher with her next time we train, hopefully she won't freak out."
"So her case is like riding a bicycle without support wheels?"
"What's a bicy- I won't even ask...", she shook her head and continued, "Moving on, try flying forward. Don't go too fast or you'll end up like yesterday outside Ponyville", she pointed a hoof to a patch of dirt below us.
"Nom nom", I said while making munching movements. We shared a chuckle and I accidentally banked forward a bit too much from my laughter, hurling myself forward and right onto a tree. Between the muffled noises and the loud ringing from my massive headache, I could hear Spike laughing his guts out.
For some odd reason I didn't fall down. My face was stuck to the tree, my legs hugging the trunk and my body pancaked to it. I managed to get my face out of the tree, the rest of my body followed suit and I started falling. I just barely managed to turn around to land on my legs, still pretty damn dazed from the crash.
"I thought only Fluttershy wanted to be a tree.", said Rainbow Dash, "but in her case she wanted to be a tree herself, not become one with a tree!". She laughed for a few seconds and recomposed herself. "You should get some ice for your head, you're almost growing a horn there."
"Holy guacamole Johnny, that was a pretty short flight!", said Spike catching up to us, "now I lost 5 bits because of that. I thought you would last at least 30 seconds without crashing".
"You made a bet?? Really Spike!?", I scowled.
"With who?", asked Rainbow Dash, who was looking a bit mad herself.
A gray pegasus with a sky blue mane landed next to Spike. "Alright man, pay up", he said. Spike grunted and gave him the coins. "Hi Dash!", waved the pegasus.
"Oh it HAD to be Thundercloud", she rolled her eyes.
"When Spike said he never flied before I just had to see this! Sorry Johnny, but I just knew it was going to be interesting", said Thundercloud.
"I thought the same thing this morning", I nodded in agreement, rubbing the lump on my forehead. Holy crap it does feel like a horn!, "not a pleasant experience..."
"Heh, I was like you when I was a little colt in Cloudsdale", he smirked, "the only difference is that we had clouds to cushion our crashes, your tree is not exactly cushion material", he chuckled. "Oh well, it was fun while it lasted, I gotta head to the weather station and prep up the rainfall for tonight. Catch you later Dash!", he flew off to the clouds waving at Rainbow Dash.
"Uh... hey Johnny?", asked Spike.
"Yeah?", I turned to him.
"It HAD to be a tree, didn't it?"
"Maybe because you jinxed me with that statement when we first got here", I muttered. "And where'd Scootaloo go?"
"She saw you crash and started laughing so hard she had to slow down and not crash into something herself", said Rainbow Dash chuckling, "and here she is."
"Sweet Celestia, Johnny, I've seen some pretty funny crashes before but this wins a gold medal!", approached Scootaloo who was wiping tears off her eyes.
"Yeah I think I'm done for today, I'll go to Pinkie Pie's and see if she needs any help", I said. I don't mind gaining attention from crowds, but now it was just getting uncomfortable. "Catch ya later Dash!", I hopped and started hovering again. If I was going to avoid crashing into other things I have to practice.
"I'll see you at the party then", said Rainbow Dash, "I'll get Scoots to fly a bit more for now", she waved.
"I'll head back to Twilight now", said Spike, "she's probably getting overwhelmed by customers right now", he looked at his imaginary wristwatch again, "see ya later Johnny Crash!". He ran to the library laughing.
"Rainbow Crash and Johnny Crash... hmmmm", said Scootaloo tapping her chin with a curious grin, almost giggling. Rainbow Dash's face almost flushed red before she shut her up and went back to flight training.
Time to talk to the party animal... and with that I started hovering to SugarCube Corner, my head still throbbing in pain.
To get to SugarCube Corner meant I had to cross the whole market. It was still crowded with ponies so an amateur flier like me trying to hover through them meant iminent disaster. Flying over them meant an even bigger disaster so I chose to walk. I guess I'll have to pass up on my unsupervised flight practices for now. So I hovered to the market and kept walking from there, which looked even more crowded once I landed.
Man, it wasn't this crowded in the morning. How many ponies live in this town??
Some ponies I could already recognize, like the stallion over at the paper supplies stand, and Applejack selling her apples with the help of a yellow filly a few metres ahead, the white unicorn mare Spike was babbling about during breakfast was there talking to Applejack.
"Wow he really has good taste, she's beautiful...", I accidentally said out loud. Luckily nopony paid attention to what I said...
"Um... excuse me?", said a cream-coloured mare with the softest voice I've heard in my life. She had a ridiculously long pink mane that covered half her face and had a saddlebag on her. Her eyes were blue with a hint of green, and she was looking at the ground trying to hide the rest of her face behind her hair. She was almost directly in front of me and was flushed red. Oh shit, I think she heard me... Godammit I need to stop talking to myself in public!
"Oh... uh... hello there! Need something?", I said to her trying to make the situation a bit less embarassing. That made her shrink even more and let out a barely audible squeal.
What's up with her? That is a really shy pony... is that even possible??, I thought. This time I managed to keep my mouth shut.
She stared at the ground a few more seconds. Oh man this is just getting worse... I finally decided to break the silence.
"My name's Johnny. What's yours?" I asked.
"Um...Fluttershy...", she said again in a barely audible voice.
"Sorry... can you repeat that again a bit louder? I couldn't hear you..." I said trying to sound as nice as possible, you never know...
"Fluttershy...", she said again.
"Hello Fluttershy, nice to meet you.", I said. "I guess you overheard what I said, right?". She responded with a nod, her mane still covering half her face.
"I was actually talking about somepony else, not you. Sorry about that", I said trying to comfort her. Wait, that can come out wrong... She slowly started to look up at me confused. "Not that you're not beautiful, you're just as pretty as her too!" I quickly said with a smile and breaking a sweat. She was adorable, honestly, her innocent eyes almost made me squeal and "dawww" right in front of her.
She went back to her blushed state, but this time she smiled a bit. "Oh... um... thank you..."
"You are the animal caretaker, right?" I asked her. "Rainbow Dash told me about you yesterday. I'm new here so I'm just trying to socialize with everypony."
"Rainbow Dash?", she asked shyly.
"Yeah, you two know each other?"
"We've been best friends since we were fillies in Cloudsdale, she's the reason I got my cutie mark too", she said smiling. The fact that Rainbow Dash already met me made her feel more comfortable. And she finally poked the rest of her face from behind her mane. At least as much as she could because some of it still kept hanging over her face for it was so damn long!
"That's pretty cool! So I guess your talent is taking care of animals?", I asked after I glanced at her cutie mark for a split-second. There were three pink butterflies on her flank for her mark, and as soon as I recognized they were butterflies I quickly looked back at her eyes. I didn't want to have any other cutie mark stare-downs that resembled yesterday aternoon in any way, especially since I was in a crowded place, nothing compared to what it was back in the Daisy and Rose. I do like being the center of attention, seeing as I took a career as a DJ and producer. But there are two types of attention: The ones that make you feel like a boss, and the other where it makes you wish you were invisible. I felt my whole body shiver in terror for an instant, but Fluttershy didn't seem to notice it.
"Yes", she nodded. "Anypony who doesn't have enough time to take care of their own pets come to me for help, so I babysit them while they're too busy."
"You remind me of some places from where I'm from", I said.
"And where did you come from, Johnny?", asked Fluttershy innocently.
"It's complicated...", I sighed, "I can tell you later if you want."
"Oh... I'm sorry if I made you worried...", she said worryingly, "you don't have to tell me if you don't want to."
"It's alright, I just don't think it's the right time, is all". I definitely didn't want to tell her about my accident right now, especially to somepony as fragile as Fluttershy. And making up stories on the go is not my forte.
"Does the owners' pets give you any trouble?", I asked, trying to change the subject.
"Not at all. The only one that is a bit harder to deal with is my pet bunny Angel, he is kind of demanding sometimes", Fluttershy replied
"Well, shouldn't you be at your cottage then?", I asked her.
"I'm just here to buy some cherries", she replied. "You see, Angel has this favourite dish of his and the final ingredient is a cherry on top of it."
I'm starting to think that this Angel pushes her around a bit too much... I wondered, doesn't sound like an Angel at all... heh, the irony."Well, I guess I'll let you get back to your business. I got some stuff I need to get done myself"
"Alright, see you later then Johnny", she smiled.
Moments after turned around and started to head towards Applejack's apple stand, Fluttershy called me again.
"Wait, Johnny?", she said suddenly, but so quietly I just managed to hear her.
"What is it Fluttershy?", I turned back to face her.
"Are you the Johnny Bass Pinkie Pie mentioned in her invitation?"
"Yeah. You coming over to the party too?", I asked. she simply nodded shyly, but still smiling.
"Alright then, see you at the party. Where will the party be anyway?", I asked her.
"Um...Pinkie said not to tell anypony...", she said. "She made us do the Pinkie Promise too."
"I understand. I'll see you at this surprise party then". I said and walked over to Applejack's stand once more. It's not much of a surprise party anymore now that I think of it...
I finally approached Applejack’s stand, but the white unicorn was already gone from view. So much for meeting new faces. I had nothing to do until I discovered where Pinkie Pie’s party was happening. What the hay is a Pinkie Promise? Ponies don’t have fingers; they can’t do a pinkie promis- oooh…. Pinkie… Pinkie Pie…
“Oh, hey Johnny. Need something?”, asked Applejack when she lifted her head from under the balcony.
“Just passing by” I said, glancing at the apples on the baskets scattered around. “Who was that unicorn talking to you?”
“That was Rarity. She works at Carousel Boutique, y’ know… the big fancy house with the carousel thingy on top?” she pointed a hoof towards said house… “Why, you wanna talk to her? Don’t let Spike catch ya too close to her”, she chuckled.
“What? No! It’s nothing like that at all!” I shook my head furiously. “Spike’s the reason I want to talk to her, really”
“Ah’m just playin’ with ya, Johnny. No need to go apple-faced now.” She laughed.
“Big sis, can ah’ go play with Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle now?” said a kid’s voice that had the exact same accent as Applejack. I couldn’t see much of her, since she was behind the balcony with AJ. All I could see was a giant pink ribbon poking out from behind the balcony.
“Sure, Applebloom. Ah’ think we can call it a day now. Go have fun!”, said Applejack while smiling at her little sister. Applebloom ran from behind the stand and stopped next to me to say hi.
“Hello there, Applebloom!” I said to the filly. She was yellow, had a red fluffy mane, that giant pink ribbon on her head and bright orange eyes.
“Hi there! Applejack was talkin’ to Rarity ‘bout somepony called Johnny. Is that you?” she asked, smiling at me. Those big orange eyes kept staring at me with all the joy in the world. I could barely contain myself from squealing from so much adorableness. I was struggling just as hard when I was talking to Fluttershy.
“Sure am! Got here yesterday.”
“Well, see ya ‘round Johnny! Ima go play with my friends now!” she said, and darted off to the park where Rainbow Dash was finishing up with Scootaloo’s training.
“So uh. Do you know where Pinkie Pie is going to throw this party?” I said while turning back to Applejack.
“Eeyup”, she nodded.
“Aaand you’re not going to tell me, right?”
“Eenope”, she shook her head.
“You did a Pinkie Promise, right?”
“Yes ah’ did. And nopony breaks a Pinkie Promise”, she said. “And even if ah’ didn’t do the Pinkie Promise I’m still not gonna tell ya”, she said before I could speak.
“Ugh, took the words right out of my mouth…” I grunted. “Seeing as you’re not going to give in even if I nag you I’ll just give up now.”
“I’m as hard as rock, sugar”, she smiled.
“Well… what is this Pinkie Promise anyway?” I asked.
“It’s really simple”, Applejack said, “All you gotta say is the following: ‘Cross mah heart.hope to flay. Stick a cupcake in mah eye’, if you want you can put your hoof on your eye, like this”, she stuck her hoof on her eye. “But once you do the Pinkie Promise, you better not break that promise! And trust me ah know how it is to break a Pinkie Promise…”
“What happened?” I asked.
“Let’s just say it involved a carriage chase and a Pinkie Pie with the anger of a hundred crabs in a can and leave it at that…” she shuddered at that thought.
“Okay… remind me not to make Pinkie Pie upset then…” I said.
“You betcha”, she said with a shaky voice. “If you’re not busy, seeing as you got time to stop by and chat. Would you mind helpin’ me pack these apples on this wagon ‘ere?”
“Sure, AJ”, I said smiling.
“AJ?” she asked.
“Short for Applejack, you know… I like giving short-hoof terms for my friends”
“When did I ever say I was your friend, Johnny?” she said flatly.
“Well… I just assumed…” I said awkwardly. You have GOT to be kidding me!
Applejack burst out laughing and fell to the ground. “Ah’m kidding Johnny! Really! Sheesh don’t worry ah was just kiddin’!”
“Well I didn’t think it was so funny…” I mumbled.
“Cheer up, sugercube!", she got up and picked up a basket to put on the wagon. "If it makes you feel better ima do the same thing you did and start callin’ you JB. That good?”
J…B…JB… Nope. Nope. NOPE.
“Uh…You know what? I take that back and I’ll just stick to calling you Applejack…”
After loading the apples onto the cart and walking back to Sweet Apple Acres with Applejack, it was time for me to start looking for Pinkie's party that was supposed to start in the hour. Without any clue to its whereabouts I had to start looking. There's nothing fun about being late to your own party.
"Ah can take over from here Johnny", said Applejack, while she stored the apples in the barn with the help of a big red stallion, who I assumed to be a family member.
"Oh, right. This is my brother, Big Macintosh", she said after noticing me watching them unload the cart, and threw another basket over to him, which he grabbed the handle with his mouth without dropping a single apple.
"Howdy!", I said.
He simply nodded with a short smile and grabbed another flying basket a few seconds later. Only then I noticed he was chewing on something that looked like a piece of hay or something, like cowboys in wild west movies.
"He's quiet like that, don't worry", said Applejack. "Don't ya have a party to go to?"
"Right, I'll head back to town and start looking for it", I said and started walking back
"Hold on, I forgot to tell ya something", she said quickly.
I turn around once again. These ponies always have something to say right after we finish talking!
"Pinkie said to look fer clues 'round Ponyville to find out 'bout the party. Somethin' bout paper scattered 'round town. She said it so fast ah couldn't get all of it."
"Alright, thanks. I should get going now.", I said. "Aren't you going to the party, too?"
"Yes, but the difference is that ah know where the party is, suger", she smirked. "Ah can't go with you 'cause you got to use the clues to find the place"
"And the Pinkie Promise.... I get it now"
"Eeyup", she nodded.
"I'll be off then, see ya later!", I said and turned back to town, this time nopony else calling my name because they forgot to tell me something.
As soon as I got back to town, I wasted no time in looking for those paper clues. Though I couldn't search too hard or else I'd be late to my own party. But I couldn't search too fast or I would miss the clues and end up being late to the party too. Oh boy, Pinkie sure planned this one out perfectly...
But one thing caught my eye when I started looking around: the town looked deserted. Almost all the houses had their lights turned off, and only the street lamps were there to light the town. Either something was going on or Pinkie invited the whole town to the party.
"Time to look for clues, I guess...", I said to myself. Nopony to hear me this time so I could talk like this without any eavesdroppers to take my words the wrong way...
It wasn't hard to find Pinkie's clues, since there was an envelope taped to a tree next to one of the houses, labelled "to JB"
"I guess Applejack wasn't the only one who thought about calling me JB...", I muttered.
I pulled out the envelope and opened it.
This is your written telegram
I hope it finds you well
You're invited to a party
'Cause we think you're really swell
Gummy is turning one year old so help us celebrateOops! This is Johnny's party not Gummy's! This means I should be giving you clues, not an invitation. Silly me!
Okie dokie lokie! Here is your first clue:
"Park... Time for a walk in park, then", I said out loud. Putting my thoughts into words helped me keep focused, and since nopony was around there was no complaining or "why are you talking to yourself?" out of nowhere.
I flew to the park, since there was nopony to crash into by accident. I had to land once I got there because it was already dark out and the only source of light in the park at the moment was the Moon, which looked almost exactly like the Moon I knew before, except it didn't have as many dark spots, but who am I to complain? It still looked glorious as ever. The night sky here in Ponyville was a lot brighter than in any city I've been to. If I stared at it long enough I could make out a bit of the galaxy.
And I wasted a minute or two star gazing... so much for talking to myself to keep focused...
o"Damn you beautiful sky, I'm getting late to my party!” I yelled out. "No hard feelings though, I gotta find some time to admire you more". Man I must be losing my sanity if I'm starting to talk to the skies...
I started looking around the park for any loose envelopes. I mostly looked near trees, since it’s a lot easier to spot a hanging piece of paper on a tree trunk than on the grass. In a matter of seconds I spotted an envelope taped to a nearby tree.
I picked it up and opened the envelope labelled the same way as the first one. Reading was a bit harder this time because I had no light source other than the moonlight. A cold breeze almost made the paper fly away if I hadn’t put my hoof on top of it quickly. After squinting my eyes for a few seconds I finally managed to read the message:
“Well that’s not creepy at all… This is some kind of reverse psychology for sure”, I said. I flew over the pond (luckily without going for a swim) and stopped by the trees Pinkie mentioned in her letter.
Now that I was in the middle of the trees, it got really hard to see where I was going, there was no more moonlight to help me look around. Luckily the third envelope was on one of the outer trees and wasn't too hard to find, even in the dark:
"I really hope I don't have to wear that suit.", I muttered. I hated formal wear, mostly because the fabric is itchy on my skin. It might not be itchy on my new body, but it sure was during my high school prom night... It really put my self-control to the test that night...
I walked into the trees. It didn't help that as soon as I started to walk in the sky began to cover up with clouds, and soon the moonlight would be gone. A cold wind was kicking up and a sudden gust made me shiver a bit.
"Easy there, it's just the weather, there's nothing to be afraid of..." I said to myself trying to keep my wits about.
The black suit was nowhere to be found. Mostly because the sky was being covered by dark clouds, and the trees prevented even the tiniest sunlight from the lamp posts at the edge of the park from getting in. It felt like straight out of a horror movie.
"Man, this is not fun at all, where is this damned suit?" I scowled.
I bumped into a tree face first, and hear the sound of paper being crushed as I did it. I picked up the note and read it squinting as hard as I could. The moon was almost completely covered up at this time.
Remember how I told you not to look back? Well forget about that and look back now.
You walked past the suit, silly!
The note had a badly drawn stick pony at the bottom. Either Pinkie was bored or she meant something by this. I was betting on the latter.
Right then, the moon got completely covered and everything went pretty much pitch black.
I turned around and started walking back. But just when I did so, a bolt of lightning struck a few metres above me, hitting a a tree branch and breaking it. During the flash, I saw the figure of a tall, white, skinny and faceless pony wearing a black tuxedo right in front of me. And by in front of me I mean centimetres from my face.
"BUCK ME IN THE ASS OH GOD!" I screamed at the top of my lungs.
My heart had skipped a beat, and my legs froze in place. I fell over and shoved my face into the grass, curled up in a ball, freaked out of my mind, waiting for the inevitable.
But nothing happened...
I slowly looked up, still shaking in fear, my mind racing wondering what would happen next. Luckily all I saw was the white pony standing still, which turned out to be a mannequin, and was being lit by the fire from the branch that got hit by lightning, the shadows projected onto the other trees moving frantically as the cold wind blew against the fire.
Legs still shaking, and now with a cold sweat dripping from my forehead, I took the small note from the suit's outer pocket. Now that I had a small fire lighting the area it made reading a lot easier:
PS: There's a flashlight in the inner pocket to help you get out of here without bumping your head into things, heehee!
"Well, too late for that now..." I said out loud, voice still shaky, but I was getting over it. "And how the heck will I put this on without the help of anypony?"
"That's why I'm here", whispered Rainbow Dash's raspy voice behind my ear.
It didn't matter who it was that talked, I felt my heart skip a beat again, my wings spread wide open, I looked up and screamed like a girl, shaking so much it was like I was in an earthquake.
[Author Note: If you want an idea of how his scream sounded, here it is. (Slenderman video but the scene is not THAT scary)]
"I never knew stallions could hit notes that high!" she said before bursting into tears of laughter
I recomposed myself and turned to see Rainbow Dash rolling on the floor laughing. "Well it wasn't you who got two mini heart attacks in less than a minute" I said to her.
She got up and wiped her tears off and trying to keep it that way. "Will you chill out? It's just me! I'm supposed to be helping you in this part of Pinkie's Clues thing she got going on here."
"Wait, does that mean that the mannequin and the lightning was her idea??"
"Sort of... only the mannequin part. But she didn't mean for this to be THAT scary. You were supposed to bump into the mannequin. The lightning was just coincidence, remember how Thundercloud said about the storm for tonight?", she said.
"Oh, that makes a lot more sense now... except that I was where the mannequin was standing before I found the note. Can't explain that, can you?"
She kicked some dirt around and was trying to hide a smile. "Yeah.... that was me who put it there. Don't be mad at me okay? This was Pinkie's idea not mine..."
"Nah, I can't be mad at you. My friend Gary always pulled pranks on me like this, not as scary as this, but I never got mad at him." I told her. Then I remembered how I used to pay Gary back with a smack on the head or a prank of my own. "Though I always have some kind of payback later on."
"So you're telling me I should expect a payback for doing this?" She raised a brow. "That kinda defeats the whole purpose of the payback for your scare..."
"Oh I'm not going for payback on you, Dash" I smirked, "It's for Pinkie Pie"
Dash's face lit up and she had that look of a kid who was going to do something naughty. "What do you have in mind?"
"First you're going to help me get this suit on, then we'll finish Pinkie's Clues game and find the party. And we're gonna need the help of somepony else for this, preferably a pegasus..."
"Got it." She said, and she helped me get the suit out of the mannequin and put it on me.
"This suit is a bit tight... is it supposed to be like this?" I asked, feeling a bit uncomfortable wearing it.
"Well, Pinkie Pie asked Rarity to measure me when making the suit, so yeah. You're a bit bigger than I am... But you still look pretty handsome"
"Heh, thanks" I blushed, "But I'm not even a centimetre taller than you, this doesn't make sense to me."
"When it comes to clothing, nothing makes sense..." she said with a sigh, "It's getting late, so what's the plan for paying Pinkie back so we can get head to the party?"
"Okay, here's the deal: go to the party, and find a pegasus to help out with something, but don't be too specific. Just ask them to meet me outside SugarCube Corner. When you see me coming to the party. Get Pinkie Pie to stay near a window, got it?"
"Consider it done!", she said in a military tone. "Just let me get this small fire out before it gets out of control." She flew away towards the sky and brought back a piece of the clouds above, she jumped on top of it for a bit and the cloud let out some rain on the burning branch. "And you might want to hurry up, Thundercloud should be starting the rain any minute now."
"Oh snap, you're right! See ya in a few minutes!" Rainbow Dash flew out of the trees and went to do her part of the payback. I pulled out the flashlight from the inner pocket, which was crushing my chest since the suit was rather tight, turned it on, held it on my mouth and got the hell outta dodge. Since I had a flashlight now I could fly without crashing into something. It took less than a minute to get to the market and then to SugarCube Corner.
Arriving at SugarCube Corner in about 40 seconds became my personal record. Flying was quickly becoming one of my favourite pastimes, probably surpassing stargazing. The feel of the wind blowing through your face and everything whipping past you is exhilarating! Though this time I couldn't see much other than whatever was ahead of me being lit by my flashlight or the lamp posts around town, everything else was near pitch black. Nonetheless, that short flight was exciting, especially because I had nopony to walk in my way to create a ball of pony and dirt.
There was nopony else but me outside SugarCube Corner, or in any other place in Ponyville for that matter. The lights were off inside as well, but I could still make out a faint light coming from some unknown source deep inside the store. I quickly turned off my flashlight and stood a few metres away from the store, waiting for Dash's "volunteer" to show up.
It took more or less than a minute for a gray and blonde pegasus mare to walk out the door and look around the area curiously. I flicked my flashlight on and off to catch her attention and waved. She happily hovered towards me. A little too quickly I might say, because she would've crashed into me really hard if I'd forgotten to dodge. She slid a few metres across the ground after crashing belly first onto the ground.
"Bit excited today, aren't you?" I asked her, tying to be friendly.
"Yeah, the muffins at the party are amazing!", she said while getting up. "Dash told me about your plan, what is it?", she asked when she turned around. I got a bit stunned from what I saw.
"Eye-I uh..." I stuttered. Her eyes were pointing at two different directions, neither of them seemed to be pointing at me, but she sure did look like she was looking at me. Bit creepy at first, but I got over it.
"Cat got your tongue, Johnny?", she asked playfully.
"Not really, nice to meet you miss..." I paused, waiting for her to complete my answer.
"I think a cat really got your tongue... finish your sentence, silly!", she giggled.
I sighed in frustration... did Dash really sent me a... wow I'm at loss of words right now...
"OH! You want to know my name! Silly me!", she said. "My name's Ditzy, but everypony calls me Derpy."
"Can't imagine why..." I said quietly. She didn't hear me, fortunately. She was just humming a song to herself, bobbing from side to side and staring at me. I shook my head and continued.
"I guess we should get started on this then. Thundercloud should be starting the rain any moment now." I remembered.
"I was about to say that!", she gasped "It's like you read my thoughts! Are you secretly an alicorn!?!"
"I'm pretty sure I'm not..." I said, "Can we get started now?". I was getting slightly annoyed with the delay. She seemed goofy most of the time, but deep inside I knew she was a good girl, with some... difficulties...
"Alright! What do we do?" she asked.
"From what I learned from Rainbow Dash, pegasi can kick lightning from clouds, right?"
"We sure can!", she replied happily.
"Alright, I need you to bring one of the clouds from the storm down to the window where Pinkie Pie is. Then I want you to strike a lightning bolt behind me when I'm next to the window on my signal. Got it?"
She nodded and flew upwards to get a cloud from the menacing storm Thundercloud had prepped up. He was most likely bring down that water in a matter of seconds by the looks of it. While Derpy was retrieving the cloud, I blew out the lamp posts around SugarCube Corner to make sure Pinkie Pie didn't see me when I got close to the window. Derpy soon came back with a cloud about the size of me and her combined. It was pretty dark as well, it could probably pack a lot of punch with one lightning bolt.
"Just one question", she whispered while she positioned the cloud above me while I stood in front of the window. "What is your signal for me to kick the cloud?"
"Uh... how about on 3?"
"Works for me!"
"Alright then....", I turned around to see Pinkie Pie chatting with Rainbow Dash next to the window. She was surprisingly close to the window, and yet she wasn't aware that I was right there on the other side. That's how dark it was outside SugarCube Corner! I had an evil smirk on my face as I started counting to 3.
"Okay then" I whispered, "get ready...on the count of 3. 1..."
"SON OF A-"
"SLENDEER!!!" screamed Pinkie Pie, who interrupted my own cry of fear. She ran away from the window and started breathing heavily, her eyes were smaller then a pea, and she got the hiccups, then started laughing at her own hiccups, causing her to get even more of them, and she laughed at those too. It was a vicious cycle, and soon pretty much everypony inside was having fits of laughter.
I, on the other hand, was staring at Derpy, not sure if I should be angry or panicked. The lightning bolt not only was before I gave the mark, but it was literally inches behind me!
"What?", she asked innocently, standing on top of the cloud, "you said 3!"
I stared at her with a blank face (no pun intended) for a few more seconds, "you gotta be kidd- Never mind, the plan worked, most of it at least..." I sighed. "Let's get inside and avoid the the huge wall of water coming towards us!?" I looked behind Derpy to see that the storm already kicked in and it was going to reach us in mere seconds. She turned around to see the rain and quickly flew indoors, in which I followed right after to join the laugh-fest Pinkie caused with her hiccups. Derpy was already at a table where she was having the time of her life with the muffins.
"Well... that was impressive, Johnny" Rainbow Dash approached me. "not only you paid back Pinkie Pie, you managed to give her the hiccups, work out a plan with Derpy in less than a minute and still get away from the rain before it got to you!", she gave me a pat on the back. "Your natural white coat and the suit made the perfect Slendermane costume!" she laughed.
"Wow, did I really look like Slender?"
"If you didn't have a face or that black mane, I would've freaked out of my mind and hide in a corner...", she admitted. "You did scare everypony quite a bit, too. But they're ok with it."
"Heh, back in my world some people don't like pranks and will be upset with you for quite a while." I added.
"Yeah... about that..." she said, "You might want to talk to Fluttershy. She's under the table on the far side of the room."
"Oops, I didn't plan that out did I?", I said. Scaring Fluttershy by accident was bad and made me feel bad. "I should talk to her before she decides not to speak to me anymore". Rainbow Dash seemed to agree as she just nodded and waited for me to head to Fluttershy's table.
I walked over to the table with the shaking pink hair poking out from under the table cloth. "Flutters?" I asked quietly, but still loud enough so she could hear me in the middle of all the talking around us.
She slowly poked her head from under the table cloth, her eyes looking up at me from under her mane. The scene almost made me squeal and I just wanted to hug her tightly because of so much adorableness! Of course I contained myself, due to the social awkwardness that would cause...
"Sorry if I scared you, can you forgive me please?" I asked. I almost sounded like I was begging when I tried to sound as nice as possible.
"It's ok...", she said quietly as always. "It was Pinkie's scream that scared me, and the lightning. I didn't see what happened."
"I just gave Pinkie Pie a scare, as a payback for scaring the life out of me in the park with her notes game", I admitted. "It actually backfired on me because I also got scared when the lightning bolt hit." That made her giggle a bit, which relieved me a great weight from my consciousness for scaring her.
"C'mon, get out from under that table and let's enjoy the night.", I smiled at her. She crawled out and we walked back to the party.
Seeing Fluttershy around the party was rather painful to watch. She was constantly avoiding everypony except Rainbow Dash, Twilight, AJ, Pinkie, Rarity, Spike and myself. It was introversion taken to the next level!
Other than that, everything went a-OK. Nothing scary happened after I arrived and everypony were enjoying themselves, and I was getting the occasional "welcome" from some of the guests. Even Thundercloud dropped by for a visit, leaving a long track of water behind him from all the rain outside.
The party lasted a bit past midnight, and everypony went back to their homes, which Thundercloud gave them a chance to rush their way back while he stopped the rain for a few minutes. It was quite amusing to see the town crowded with ponies rushing to their houses in the middle of the night. The only ones left were me, the 6 mares and Spike.
"Well, that was a fun night", said Twilight. "Just like every other party", she smiled at Pinkie Pie.
"Yup! Hopefully we get to make a new welcome party for somepony new next week!" she beamed, "Ooh! Maybe even tomorrow!"
"If we do have a party tomorrow, I'll have to pass the cake", I said, "I hit my quota for sugar for the rest of the week. Totally worth it!"
"Well, ah guess we should go on our ways now. Don't forget to stop by the farm in the mornin', JB!" said Applejack, who decided to stick with that acronym, which I finally agreed to let her use it. No Bieber around here so nothing awkward will happen around here, right?
"I'll make sure he gets up early, Applejack. You can count on it", said Twilight. I didn't like the smile she gave me when she finished that last sentence.
"It was a pleasure meeting you, Johnny", said Rarity. Her sofisticated tone of speaking was so elegant that I now realized why Spike was so "ga-ga" around her. "I realized that the suit was going to be a bit tight, seeing I had to use Rainbow Dash for measurement. If you want you can come to my boutique and I'll have a proper one made for you."
"Thanks, Rarity." I smiled. "Now I guess we should get some shut-eye before we have a nasty case of 'lack of sleep'", I added. Everyone agreed and we said our final goodbyes and went our separate ways, except Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy, they had to go to the cottage together because Fluttershy was a bit edgy about going home in the dark.
"I'm wondering about something..." I said to Twilight as we approached the library. Spike was riding on Twilight's back.
"Something bothering you, Johnny?"
"Kinda. You know how I was shot from a cloud and into a new body?"
"Yes, what about it?"
"Did I just happen to materialize the body I am in or did I get sent into a body that was already on the ground?"
"You mean like, possession of a body?", she asked.
"If you like to put it that way, yeah."
"I don't know Johnny, nopony else was around when it happened. And Rainbow Dash only noticed you there after she kicked your cloud. It's very hard to see things on the ground when you're very high up on the sky." she said as she opened the library door.
"Who cares? It's your new life!" said Spike trying to change topic.
"I guess you're right..." I smiled. "But I still don't know how old I am in this body" I chuckled. "For all I know I could be 20 years old or just over 40.
"Well, how old were you?", asked Spike.
"I turned twenty-four 3 weeks before I got here". With that said, Twilight's face slowly changed from smiling to sad. Spike didn't seem to notice since he was facing the opposite way. She looked very concerned about something, and I wasn't sure if I should ask about it or not. You know how girls work...
We went to our own rooms (or in my case, the guest bedroom) and went to sleep. I was just finishing up snuggling myself under the sheets when I heard the door knock, and Twilight slowly walked inside with that same worried look on her face.
"Something wrong Twi?" I asked while I got out of bed, ruining my perfect sleeping position.
She stared at me for a few seconds, slowly walked towards me and gave me a hug. Wait what? This better not turn into something completely awkward...
"To die so young...", she broke the silence, "I can't even imagine how it must be..."
"Relax, Twilight", I said trying to comfort her, "I got a second chance, now. And I'm not going to let it go to waste."
"But what if you didn't get that chance?", she broke the hug and went back to facing me, her eyes were turning a bit red and was almost crying. "Even so, how are you going to handle dying again after this new life is over? It must have been horrible!"
"Ok, I admit, It was a very scary experience, but if it wasn't for that, I wouldn't be meeting all of you. This new life is turning out to be better than my last one, and I'm glad that you're all being part of it." I smiled.
Twilight held her eyes from tearing up and took a deep breath. "I just can't bear to imagine seeing you going through that again."
"Hey, how about we go downstairs and have something to eat or drink?" I asked. "To get your bearings straight and all that. I don't like seeing my friends like this."
"Okay", she peeped. And we went back to the kitchen to get some water. After a few minutes of random chatter, and getting her mind off the subject, she finally eased up and we finally went back to our well-deserving sleep.
"Uh... Johnny?"Said a muffled voice. My head under the pillow, I couldn't make out who it was, and I had no intention of poking my head out to find out.
Hnng... who's this? I want to sleep...
"Johnny, you're late."
I'm not late... leave me alone...
A few seconds passed, and it seemed my nuisance was gone.
I love you, bed.
"Okay, you asked for this..."
And with that, a small spiky mass crashed onto my back, effectively waking me up. I turn around to see Spike curled up in a ball, who landed squarely on my back and was now laughing with Twilight, who obviously had hurled him at me.
"Okay! Okay! I'm up!" I yelled, rolling out of bed. "What gives?? Why did you do that??"
"I told you I was going to wake you up. Remember last night?", she giggled.
"Oh... that..." I mumbled.
"I think you're forgetting something..." she continued.
"Nah... I'm pretty sure that was it." I said, rubbing my eyes with a hoof.
"Starts with Apple, Johnny.", said Spike, clearing his throat.
"Oh darn... I'm late, aren't I?"
"If I didn't wake you up, you would have", said Twilight. "Come on, we got some important things to talk about before you head to Sweet Apple Acres." And then she headed downstairs.
"I'll just say one final goodbye to the bed, then". I said, walking back to bed for a snooze, but I was stopped short by Spike, who was sitting on the edge of my bed.
"Not a good idea, Johnny...", he shook his head, his arms crossed. "I've tried that before and Twilight was not amused."
I walked down the stairs and to the kitchen to have breakfast, Spike following right behind me. Twilight was already at the kitchen table looking at a piece of paper, taking a sip from a glass of water.
"I'll get started with breakfast, Twi", said Spike, who walked over to the counter and grabbed some ingredients to whatever he was going to make.
"Okay, Spike.", said Twilight, then she took her concentration off the piece of paper and looked up to me. "I believe a problem has turned up, Johnny", flipping the paper around and showing me its contents. It was a poster for a missing pony. It had the picture of a white stallion pegasus with a black mane and tail, with dark brown eyes.
"Okay then, what's the problem?" I asked. "I never saw this pony before, Twilight."
"That's because it's you, Johnny", said Twilight flatly. "If that's your real name".
"Okay Twilight. if you want to tell me something, say it quickly because this is freaking me out a bit", I said. Angst filling up inside me.
"You don't have to hide anything from me, Carbon Streak.", she said.
"Twilight, trust me. I have no idea what the heck you are talking about now, honest!", I said. I had a theory or two about what might've happened for this to come up, and neither of them sounded good at all. I started sweating cold, which wasn't helping in any way.
She paused to think for a second and continued. "Alright, let's think about this for a second. I got two possible situations for this: Either you ran away from Manehattan for Celestia-knows why --which is irrelevant right now--, or the story about your "death"--" which she used her front hooves to make imaginary quotation marks "--is actually true and you really did possess this pony's body three days ago."
"I am definitely going for that second theory", I said, trying to keep calm.
"And I'm not sure if I should trust you on that. Sorry", she said flatly once more.
"Just one question, when did this poster show up?", I asked.
"This morning, right before I walked up to your bedroom with Spike. But I only took a look at it afterwards."
"So you came up with those theories in one minute?"
"You're pretty smart, Twilight. But I'm still sticking to my death story being true and that I was from another species and all that."
Twilight sighed, thought for a second and spoke once more."There is only one way to find out for good, then. We need to head to Canterlot and sort everything out with Princess Celestia."
"And can she read my mind or something?"
"Uh... no. Why did you think that?", she asked confused.
"Nothing special, forget about it..." I said quickly. Dammit Derpy!
"But we can't head to Canterlot until this afternoon, when the train passes through Ponyville. So you will have to try really hard not to attract attention to yourself until then, because obviously these posters will be all over town. And ninety nine point nine percent of all ponies here saw you during Pinkie's party last night. That might be a problem..." she said.
"Wait. So Johnny is actually a runaway pony?", said Spike walking back with a tray with waffles. "Well that's something we don't see everyday around here..."
"It's just a possibility, Spike. For now Johnny/Carbon will have to keep a low profile until this afternoon when we go see the Princesses.", said Twilight to Spike. She turned to me and continued, "I got an idea of how we can keep you out of trouble until then. Let's discuss it while we eat and hurry, because Applejack will start working around the orchard in less than an hour."
"So what colour do you want to have?" she asked. We were facing a mirror in her bedroom. Her horn glowing and ready to set off at any moment. Now that I finally looked at myself in the mirror after my arrival, I really did look like the pony in the poster.
"I think I am going to regret this very soon..." I mumbled.
"We don't have all day, pick one colour. If you want you can pick two or three, just choose!", she said annoyed.
"Fine. I'll go for Black and green..." I said. Twilight's nodded, her horn glowed even brighter and a beam fired at me, engulfing me in a white light. I got blinded for a good five seconds, and still had trouble adjusting my sight for another few seconds, so I shut my eyes for the moment.
"Hmm... not bad...", said Spike. "goes well with the cutie mark..."
"Since when do you know anything about this kind of stuff, Spike?", asked Twilight. "I never heard you talk about fashion before."
"I've spent enough time around Rarity's boutique to learn these things..." he said quietly.
"Riiight...", she said. "you can open your eyes now. It wasn't that bright...". I assumed she directed that to me.
"That's because it wasn't you who got engulfed in light..." I said, opening my eyes and facing the mirror to take a look at my new mane and tail.
[AN: Here's what he should look like if you're wondering. I took a RD vector and edited the colours. Took me 5 minutes to do it, so it's not that great >.>]
"You're right. I actually look a lot better now!" I said to Spike.
"This illusion spell doesn't last all day. It will probably wear out by the time we get on the train. By then you should be fine." Twilight said. "Unless you want to keep it like that then you can just get your mane dyed once we sort this out."
"Then why didn't I get it dyed now instead of later??"
"Because if you went outside right now everypony would recognize you from the poster!", she said annoyed, "are you even paying attention???"
"I woke up less than an hour ago, calm down!"
She sighed and looked down before talking, "Very well... head to the orchard and go do your work with Applejack. Then come back here so we can pack some stuff before heading to Canterlot."
"Just a thought. But shouldn't I wear something to cover up my face?" I asked warily. "You can't possibly imagine that no one will recognize me even after giving my mane a new colour, right?"
"He's got a point, Twi." said Spike. "He still looks the same, but now he has the looks to get attention from all the mares around here..." he smirked. "give him a pair of sunglasses or something."
"Good idea Spike", she agreed, then walked up to her bedroom and came back with a pair of sports glasses. "these should do for now."
"I'm not the athletic type... it wouldn't fit me at all..."
"You're a Pegasus. You are all naturally athletic, no matter what..." she said, "and that's not the point, you have to cover your face to avoid unwanted attention! Now go! Applejack is probably waiting for you already!"
"Okay! I'm going!" I said while she shoved me out her bedroom and out of the library. She closed the door and I heard her ask Spike something about writing a letter.
"Man... I don't think I've ever seen a girl get so annoyed at me since my roommate Ashley back in undergrad...", I mumbled as I flew towards Sweet Apple Acres.
I flew across Ponyville a bit higher and faster than usual so nopony could catch a glance at me long enough to recognize me, at the expense of nearly crashing into the Town Hall. I saw Sweet Apple Acres a few seconds later and started my descent, and I saw Applejack waiting by the entrance to the orchard, lying down by an apple tree, with her Stetson hat covering most of her face. She pulled it back when I landed in front of her and looked at me, somewhat confused by my new look.
"Uh... that you, Johnny?", she asked while tilting her head.
"Yeah, got a little makeover this morning." I explained.
"And what for? You looked just dandy without that green hair", she said, "not that you don't look just as good..."
"Huh, I guess Spike was right about this..." I said.
"I think I really will get the attention from all the mares around here with this new look." I said, which made Applejack raise a brow at me. "Too bad I can't do that right now. I believe you read that poster sent everywhere this morning?"
"Wait, are you sayin' that pony is you?" she asked. "What in tarnation did you do Johnny?? Partied too hard after Pinkie's party?" she joked.
"Not really. Twilight is a bit suspicious about this and now she thinks I'm a runaway pony from Manehattan, hiding under a new name and all that..."
Applejack stared at me for a few seconds, probably processing what I just said. "Well... Ah'm pretty good at sniffin' out liars, and besides, ye don't even have an accent for somepony who came from those parts! It's completely different!"
"Well she didn't think about that, and now we're heading to Canterlot this afternoon to figure this out. Talk to the Princesses and all that jazz..."
"Well, no matter wut happens, you can be sure that ah believe you.", she put a hoof over my neck. "Like ah said, ah'm good at sniffin' out liars.", and with that she sniffed my neck and backed away a step or two. That was enough to creep me out and make me blush, not sure what to think of that. "Aaaand yer not a liar." she added.
"Don't think of it in that way, though..."
"Too late..." I said quietly.
"Well dagnabbit, let's git to work then. Lotsa trees to buck today!"
I followed Applejack into the orchard. The trees at the entrance were scattered around and not many of them were around, until we walked up a hill and reached the top. It revealed the rest of the orchard, which was very dense and spanned a good hundred acres, it was freaking huge!
"Oh please don't tell me we have to buck all these trees..." I said worried.
"Nah, don't worry suger. Even ah can't buck all these trees by mahself", said Applejack giggling lightly. "Ah' learned that the hard way, too..."
"What happened?", I asked.
"My mouth made promises my legs couldn't keep."
"I see... So how many acres are we going to work on this morning?"
"Just hold on one sec, bud. Do you even know how to buck them trees?" she interrupted, "hold yer horses!". We shared a few chuckles from the accidental pun she made, then she continued, "Ah'll show you how it's done once or twice and give ye sum tips on how to get the most out of yer kicks.".
She walked over to one of the carts lying around the orchard, filled with hay-weaved baskets. She then placed them under a tree nearby and prepared herself to kick the tree.
"The best way to get a nice buck is to be at the right spot next to the tree. Not too far, not too close." She was facing her back against the trunk, and was about 2 feet from it. She lifted her hind legs and balanced on her front legs for half a second, before jerking her hind legs towards the trunk at a crazy speed, letting out a loud thud when she hit the tree. The shockwave was strong enough to knock away all the ripe apples from the tree, and shook a few apples from the trees nearby. My jaw dropped from so much display of power. "Just like that", she crossed her front hooves and smirked.
"Remind me not to stay behind you when you do that...", I commented, which she chuckled and made me walk to another tree nearby.
"I'll set up the baskets, cuz it needs a lot of technique to place them just in the right place for the apples.", she said, and brought the baskets to place around the tree trunk. Until we got interrupted by Applebloom yelling from far away.
"Big sis! Where are you?!" yelled Applebloom in her southern but thicker accent than her older sister.
"Over here Applebloom!", she yelled back. Then she rushed to the last tree she bucked and picked an apple from the baskets. She threw it up in the air and gave it a swift kick upwards, sending pieces of the apple sky high. The perfect improvised flare for the occasion.
"Oh I see what you did there..." I commented, giggling a bit for using that silly meme.
"Learned from Rainbow Dash when she was talking 'bout the books she read.", she said. "She might be a daredevil, but deep inside, she has a little egghead in her", she chuckled. Applebloom joined us a few seconds later, running as fast as her tiny legs could, making the cutest hoofstep sounds ever as she did.
"Hey, sis...did I... miss... anything?" she said, taking breaks to breathe from running so fast.
"We were just gettin' started. Johnny's 'bout to make his very first tree buck.", said Applejack.
"Ye think he's gonna knock all the apples in one try?", she asked her big sister.
Applejack chuckled a bit. "Heh, nopony makes their first buck, Applebloom. Now go on, Johnny, give it a try!"
I walked over to the trunk, turned my back to it and lifted my hind legs before jerking them back. It let out a nice loud thud. I felt my bones shake from the force, and I was expecting a rain of apples to crash down on me. But the only thing I got was about 3 or 4 apples scattered around.
"Not bad, Johnny. Just walk a bit closer to the tree and you should knock'em all down!", cheered Applejack. I nodded and walked a step back, and gave the tree another kick. This time the thud was considerably stronger, but nothing as close to Applejack's. More apples fell compared to my first try, but there were a few stragglers hanging from the branches.
"You'll get there, just need a bit of practice", said Applejack as she approached to collect the baskets and place them in the cart. "We'll keep going til' lunch, then I'll let ya go back to Twilight and solve that little problem of yours."
I think we covered about 2 acres of the orchard in the next few hours. The carts were full with apples and Big Mac stopped by once in a while to pull them back to the barn. My hooves were aching and my flanks were burning from so much kicking. Applejack didn't seem to break a sweat. And Big Macintosh pulled those carts like they were filled with pillows instead of apples! Applebloom had helped with catching the apples by balancing baskets on her head, and occasionally threw some apples at us to eat, so none of us were too hungry, peckish at the very least. It seemed like AJ and Aplebloom were the loudest of the RD Chewers Club, 'cause damn those were some loud bites!
We gathered in front of the big barn next to the orchard entrance, which Big Mac opened to pull in the carts filled with the day's harvest. I did't get to see much inside the barn, since we were unloading the apples on a space right next to the door. I got a glance at some basic farming tools and piles of hay all over the place, a but nothing big like a combine harvester (which makes sense, it doesn't sound possible for a horse to drive machinery). Once we finished unloading the carts, Applejack and I walked out to the farm's entrance to say our goodbyes.
"So how did ya like working 'round the farm, JB?", she asked.
"Do you guys only farm apples? Don't you get tired from kicking hundreds of apple trees?" I asked her.
"Oh we got other kinds of trees, they're a bit deeper into the orchard", Applejack replied.
"All you guys do is... kick trees?" I asked reluctantly.
"'Course we don't!" she laughed. "We got tons of other foods to grow like carrots, 'taters and wheat. We just happen to be in apple season, and we're gathering tons of apples before winter. Whatever we have left over we use fer making cider and sell 'em fer the whole town."
"Cider as in... non-alcoholic cider or foamy alcoholic cider?" I asked.
"We got both of them ciders, we make the non-alcoholic cider on the spot. The foamy cider we have them stocked a while before we sell 'em. Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie can go through the day's stock in half a day!"
"Wait... they don't get drunk from drinking all that cider?" I asked. All that cider and not get wasted from so much alcohol? Sweet!
"Well... we sell the non-alcoholic cider once more so they don't go crazy all over the place" she said. "Just don't tell 'em that...". She continued, which I nodded in agreement. I couldn't imagine what Pinkie Pie would look like if she got tipsy. If she is already that hyper without alcohol, adding that to the mix sounds like a train-wreck waiting to happen... As for Dash she would probably be crashing all over the place, because I know I would.
"Anyways, t'was great having you 'round to help, JB. Would ya like to do this again sometime soon?", she asked me.
"Why not? I enjoyed the exercise, which is something I don't get often. Once I sort this missing pony thing out with Twilight, of course."
"Aw shucks, ah'm probably making you late fer Twilight." she scowled herself. "Lemme grab the bits you earned for today and you can go." She rushed to the family house and came back with a small bag a minute later. "Here ya go, suger. Enjoy!" she lobbed the bag over to me, and I grabbed it with my mouth. The coins inside made quite a noise, indicating my "paycheck" was pretty decent. Since I couldn't talk while biting on a cotton bag I simply nodded and flew back to the library in a rush.
"Ye forgot your sunglasses!", Applejack yelled when I was almost back in town. I sighed heavily and turned back to the farm. It's either them forgetting to say something or me forgetting something instead...
"Thks" I muffled to her with the bit bag still on my mouth, I was still hovering a few inches above ground.
"You're welcome", she smiled, and put the sunglasses on my forehead instead of my eyes. "You look better that way, too"
"Thks fr th advch" I muffled again.
"Any time, JB. G'luck with yer 'missing pony' thingy", she said. She tipped her cowboy hat and turned back to the farm, and I turned the opposite way back to Ponyville. When I reached the "tree-brary", Twilight was standing outside the door talking to Rainbow Dash, who was holding a book under her wing.
"If you happen to finish it before I get back from Canterlot, Spike will take care of it for you", I heard Twilight say as I approached them. "Oh hello, Johhny Streak, how was it with Applejack this morning?", she said when she turned to look at me. I could sense a humorous tone when she said my two names. It was for the best, I guess. This whole thing wasn't too exciting to be involved in.
"Johnny-what now?" I asked after placing down my bit bag and raising a brow.
"Just a name we made up until we sort this out. Thank Rainbow Dash for the name. Honestly I was thinking of Carbon Bass... but she said the two names don't mix very well."
"I was bored, it just came up to me while Twilight was explaining the poster problem" Rainbow Dash added.
"Boredom does that, I understand" I said. "Just please promise you'll drop the name once we sort this out. Johnny Streak sounds like something out of a horror movie..."
"How does it resemble a horror movie?" Twilight asked. "Doesn't ring a bell to me", she shrugged.
"Here, let me make an example: A streak of blood caused by the evil guy when he dragged Johnny on his face across the pavement."
"Eh... if you say so", said Rainbow Dash shrugging. "I can come up with worse scenes in my sleep, just saying."
"Oh really, Dash?" I asked in a challenging tone. I recalled spending a night reading some SCP pages, and telling her some of these stories would tone down her confidence. "If you want we can have a little competition when I get back from Canterlot, you up for it?"
"Is that a challenge I hear?" she asked raising her voice. "I am going to wipe your stories on the floor!" she started hoof fighting the air. "You're on!", she grinned.
"Just so you know, she just happened to have some horror books loaned from the library early this morning, her mind will be fresh" Twilight approached and whispered to me.
"I got an ace up my sleeve. Don't worry..." I whispered back. Whatever Rainbow Dash had cooking would be no match for an SCP case!
"Well, we can have a sleepover when we get back. How does that sound, Rainbow Dash?" Twilight asked her
"Sure! It will make it even better!", she said confidently.
"Alright then, we gotta get to the train station in a few minutes, we'll see you later Rainbow Dash!", Twilight said and turned to me. "You can leave your bits in your room. I'll wait here."
"Aight, see ya later, you two!" said Rainbow Dash. And with that she took off to the clouds.
I placed the bags on the study desk and went back outside, Twilight was now talking to Spike. Probably giving him some last minute briefings before leaving the library in his hands -or claws, in this case.
"Don't go setting the whole place on fire, alright?" she said jokingly.
"You know that you just jinxed Spike with that, right?" I interrupted. "My mom said that once before leaving me alone in the house and I ended up setting a cloth on fire inside the oven. I smoked the whole house."
"Well, there's no oven in the library, because I'm the one who bakes everything with my breath", said Spike trying to tease her. Now she was getting nervous and was beginning to regret leaving Spike alone.
"Relax, Twi, you've known him since he was born. You obviously would know if he had any pyromaniacal tendencies"
"Or would she?" Spike added with an devilish grin.
"ALRIGHT, TIME TO GO!", she burst out loud pushing me ahead of her and towards the train station. Spike stood by the library door waving at us while both me and Spike laughed like a pair of hyenas.
"I'll buy the train tickets, you can wait for me by the train." said Twilight, who was still annoyed from being yanked around by me and Spike. I walked over to the train and waited by the rails, where the train was just arriving and the wheels were grinding to a halt in the noisiest way possible, enough for my ears to ring for a full minute. Not only that but I just had to sit right where the train door was and I almost got knocked out by a suitcase that floated out when the doors opened, followed by the unicorn who was levitating it. He seemed to be in a rush, as he apologized quickly and was running like his hair was on fire, but I couldn't possibly imagine what could possibly have him in such rush to get out and run off like that. Ponyville could possibly be the most laid back town I have ever seen, except the part where it almost got destroyed by Discord, according to Twilight's stories. This whole "Elements of Harmony" thing was so weird and supernatural I just considered the six girls to be heroes or something.
After a few seconds dodging the passengers leaving the train, Twilight pulled me out of the fire by levitating me out of there. I felt sick from the sudden lack of gravity. "When I said by the train I didn't mean 'sit right in front of the door'", she commented.
"I had nowhere to go, I got surrounded instantly!" I talked back.
"You could've flown out of the way..."
"Details, details..." I sighed. "And don't levitate me again without warning, please. That sudden zero gravity almost made me puke on everyone under me"
"It was that or have you get stepped on by dozens and dozens of hooves."
"Okay, you win this time..."
"Next stop, Canterlot!", yelled out the ticket collector from the door.
"That's our call, let's go", said Twilight, who walked ahead of me instantly. Giving the ticket holder both our tickets.
The outside of the trains here are almost exactly like the trains back on human society. But when we walked inside, the similarities ended: the train seats were nothing like a human train's seat, they looked more like a bed than a seat, and had a small compartment next to it for luggage. They were sized for one pony, and were arranged like bunk beds.
"Well this is new..." I commented. "Beds instead of seats... why didn't humanity think of this?? The seats we have can barely recline all the way down unless you pay a fortune for first class seats! This is great!"
"I'm glad you liked it" she smiled. She seemed to have gotten in a better mood now. "Pick any spot you want, but do it quickly if you want to get a spot next to mine, before the other ponies fill up this traincar", she pointed to the window and I saw the ponies coming to the doors to board the train, and there were LOTS of them.
I turned around, a bit confused. "Why, you want me to sit next to you?"
"You're good company, and we can talk more quietly without annoying the others."
"I got you shoving me away out of the library twice today and I'm good company??"
"I knew you and Spike just wanted to get a rise out of me, but in the moment I was just nervous. I'm not mad at you." she replied.
"What about in the morning when I kept delaying my leave to go to Applejack?" I asked.
"Okay, that one I really was getting a bit frustrated. I don't like being tardy, nor do I like others to be either." she paused. "Tardy as in late." she continued before I opened my mouth to ask what it was. "And pick a spot already, our cart is going to begin filling up any time now". We could hear clop sounds from the hooves on the wooden floor and some chatter on the car next door.
I flew up and picked the bed above Twilight's. "Alright, I'll sleep on top of you", I said, and yes I intended for it to sound strange.I looked under my bed and saw that she was looking at me with the most weirded out face I've seen. "Ugh, that just sounded horrible..." she replied and shoved her head in her pillow.
"Sorry, just had to. No hard feelings?" I chuckled.
"Sure, but please keep the joke level low when we talk to the Princesses.", she looked up at me, still nervous. "Do you want a book to read on the trip?"
"What books? I didn't see you put any books on your saddlebag." I asked.
"I used a spell to shrink them, so I can fit at most 10 of them without trouble"
"Wow that's... that's actually possible? You can literally pull off a Santa Claus with this! Alright, toss me a book. I guess we're in an overnight trip, right?"
"We should get to Canterlot in the morning. And by the way, your green hair will wear out overnight." she replied. "and who in the world is Santa Claus??"
"I guess you don't have that here then... oh well... and what did you say about my hair? Aw man...the hair was so cool, can you 'reset' the timer on this thing?"
"Not until it wears out first. Now here's a book to read, it's Rainbow Dash's favourite." she floated a book over to me. It was called "Daring Do and the Quest for the Sapphire Stone". The cover was a picture of a light brown pegasus swinging on a vine. She had dark pink eyes and a black mane with different shades of gray and was wearing an adventurous-like jacket and hat. Heck, it was pretty much a ponified version of Indiana Jones or something.
I started reading Daring Do's book, I was few pages in and it literally looked like something Indiana Jones could be doing, which made it even better. I was almost ending the chapter when the train finally started moving. I guess about ten minutes passed since we first entered the train.
"Wait, where is everypony?", Twilight asked out of the blue when the train was off the station. "We're the only ones in this car as far as I know."
"Heh, we picked the one car no one was going to use", I chuckled.
"Nopony" she retorted.
"Wha- oh please..." I grunted. "Okay, we picked the one car nopony was going to use... You're such a grammar freak...". Twilight giggled and went back to reading her book.
"So it's just you and me... alone." I said trying to sound serious.
"Don't even start it..." she interrupted me. Fine then, bookworm... I can't have fun anymore...
There are a few things that happens in life that are pretty embarrassing and awkward. Things that no one should be forced to experience or see. Like walking into someone in their shower, and vice-versa and any caught-in-the-act type of moments.
Unfortunately for me and Twilight, that had to happen. We were almost done reading --which by the way, Daring Do's book is intense as hell-- and were getting ready to sleep, it was sometime near midnight. The train was making some noise from the rails, but it had become background noise and we were used to it by now. I decided to finish up the book before sleeping, in case I regret not finishing it now. I spent a few extra minutes reading, and Twilight was asleep by then. I turned off the lights, and only the moonlight was shining down inside the train. I didn't want to wake Twilight just to get her to put the book back in her bag, so I flew down and quietly landed next to her while holding the book with my teeth, trying as hard as I could not to bump the book into anything and leave the book on top of the bag.
And that's when it happened.
The car door slowly opened, in which I panicked and pulled my head back to see who it was. There was a stallion staring right at me, he had a mare with him, nuzzling him on the neck passionately. Wow... just freaking wow he just HAD to pick this car...
He was trying to say something, but kept stuttering. That caused his "marefriend" to stop nuzzling him and look at me. This time she managed to squeal out something that should not have been said:
"Thief?!? Where?" I said, panicking and not thinking straight. What I didn't realize was that I still had the book on my mouth, which I dropped when I spoke. And that's when I noticed what was going on. Oh... that's just fucking great!
I didn't even have time to react, because the stallion charged and tackled me to the ground, creating enough noise to wake up Twilight from her sleep. When she saw what was going on, she literally threw the stallion off me with her magic and pinned him in place a few metres from me in some sort of force field.
"Lady! He was going to steal your book!" the stallion protested. His marefriend was shaking and speechless, not being able to move and just watching the whole thing.
Twilight looked over to me and saw her book on the ground, which she placed back in her bag next to her bed, "He was reading my book and was going to return it to me! But that's not the point, there was no reason to attack my friend!" she snarled at the stallion. She released the field around him and the mare joined his side, hugging him.
"Okay, what are you two doing here then?" the stallion asked us. "I can't believe you got here before us. We had this all planned out!"
"Planned out? Had planned out what?" I asked. Oh please don't tell me it is what I'm thinking...
"Oh.... uh....I thought you two were... you know..." the stallion started. "forget I said that..." He started blushing heavily. Of course it is what I'm thinking. It always is...
"What??? No!!" We yelled at the same time. They backed away a step, startled.
"Okay! Okay! We'll be going now!" said the stallion, and they closed the door and went back to their cart.
A few seconds passed, Twilight and I looking at the door without uttering a single word until the awkwardness passed, which I doubted it was going to vanish any time soon, so I did the only thing I could to try to move on with it.
"The book was great, by the way."
"Good night, Johnny..." she grunted, and hopped back to her bed. "That stallion ruined this great dream I was having..."
"What was it about?" I asked.
"Um...It's personal...", she replied nervously. "Go to sleep now, I want to try to get back to that same dream. It is too good to end like this.", she said smiling softly. I complied and flew back to my bed, and looked out the window and to the stars.
Time for a little stargazing...
Morning came faster than I wanted. I spent too much time looking at the skies most of the night, and I probably got 3 hours of sleep before the Sun started rising. I wasn't going to get much time to sleep later anyway, so I rubbed my eyes for a good few seconds to try to wipe out my drowsiness. If someone looked at me they'd think that I was trying to rip my eyes out, thank goodness for the empty traincar. I put my sunglasses back on and watched the sun rise slowly over the horizon as the train rode up the mountain where Canterlot was located.
I guess life decided to troll me and pull out a nice and big "fuck your sunrise watch time", because the train started going through tunnels every ten freaking seconds. It was one tunnel, some sunlight, and another tunnel... over and over and over again... as we approached the city, I caught quick glances of Canterlot during the time the train wasn't inside a tunnel. Canterlot had a gigantic white castle that could very well make up for half the size of the whole city. It also was hanging just at the edge of a cliff, with a waterfall at the bottom dropping at a lake down below. I let out a heavy sigh and plopped my head back onto my pillow hard enough for my sunglasses to bounce back to my forehead (like a boss!). I stared at the ceiling until we got to the station, which we were arriving in a few minutes according to the ticket collector who used the intercom. It was so sudden and loud it startled me a bit, but Twilight barely reacted at all, I only heard her shuffle a bit in her bed and went silent again. What a heavy sleeper... I thought.
As the train started slowing down. I got up to stretch my legs, and saw that Twilight was still sleeping, her ears down and loose, breathing slowly and peacefully, completely unaware of her surroundings.
So quiet and peaceful... I thought. She has a light smile on her face, it means she must be having a nice dream... Would be a shame of something happened to it...
A grim smile started taking over my face. "Sorry Twilight, but I gotta have my payback for yesterday..."
I reached onto the far side of her bed and grabbed one end of the bed sheet, and pulled it across to my side. In a few seconds I packed Twilight inside her own sheets. I rolled her around a bit --which surprisingly she didn't wake up yet-- to make it even harder for her to get out, then I took her pillow and hurled it at her from across the corridor, effectively waking her up for good.
"What the- what's going on??" she squealed inside the packed roll of sheets. It took her a while to crawl out, and when she did she had that look of someone who just woke up, combined with annoyance and confusion, just like me the other day when she hurled Spike at me. When she realized what I had done, she levitated the pillow and stared at me for a few seconds, with a grim smile on her face.
"You wouldn't hit a guy with glasses now, would you?" I said quickly while lowering my sunglasses back to my eyes.
"Of course not..." said Twilight. Then she slowly walked towards me. Pushed my sunglasses back to my forehead, and ducked just before the pillow came from behind her hurdling towards my face. Let's just say that it hit me hard enough for me to see little colourful dots floating around for quite a while, only wearing out when we were outside the train and leaving the station.
"Here we are Johnny Streak, Canterlot. It's where I grew up!", said Twilight.
Canterlot was very clean and polished, and had white cobblestone roads, unlike Ponyville. The theme for the buildings wasn't too different, but they were a lot brighter and had lots of details in gold. Hell it looked like a city exclusive for rich and sophisticated people. The citizens around here were mostly unicorns for some reason, and all of them wore some kind of clothing, or at least an accessory. Some stallions had some very classy moustaches, true sirs right there.
"The castle is this way, Princess Celestia is probably waiting for us already.", she said, nudging me to grab my attention.
"This place is so... posh, it's kinda strange..." I commented.
"That's because we're in the downtown area of Canterlot. The area where ponies live is not too different, but it's less 'posh', if you want to call it that", Twilight replied.
We reached the Canterlot Castle's gates, which looked massive from where we stood. The two guards standing on the two sides of the gate were wearing a full set of golden armor, both of them unicorns. As we approached the gates, they glanced at us with the most serious face I've seen in my life. They nodded slightly at us and each opened each side of the gates and let us in.
The castle grounds was much more open and had a few water fountains here and there, and one walkway led to a park full of statues. The main door to the castle had a rather long staircase. As we reached the castle doors, another pair of guards opened the doors for us.
I was greeted with a corridor as wide as the length of two buses, and the walls were filled with glass paintings, but I couldn't make out what they meant. The carpet was red and had artifacts in glass covers all over the place. What struck me hard was that I could actually recognize some of the objects, though barely, because they looked like they took countless hammer strikes to them. Some ponies were walking around with saddlebags with books in them, and some were just chatting next to some of the windows.
"Is this a museum or something?" I asked confused, because this place didn't look like a royal castle at all.
"We technically are at the museum part of the castle." Twilight nodded, "The Royal area is on the far side of the room. And the castle also has a hotel area to the left, where they host most of the parties here."
"So this place is a hotel, a museum, AND houses the royalty?" I asked surprised. In which Twilight just nodded back with a hum.
"You'll get the time to look around once we talk to the Princesses.", Twilight added. "It shouldn't take too long. We might even make it to the train back to Ponyville this afternoon."
"Ahem, excuse me miss" ,said a light grey stallion pegasus from behind us. "I'm sorry for listening in to your conversation, but did you say something about the train?" Good god these ponies just love to listen into everyone's conversations...
"Yes, what about it?", Twilight asked.
"Well, I was at the train station not too long ago, and the train's engine seemed to have malfunctioned.", replied the stallion, "I wouldn't hope to ride the train today, at least not until tomorrow."
"Well, at least we know we don't have to waste our time getting back there, thank you", she said. The stallion nodded and walked away.
"Good thing we're right next to a hotel, we can probably book a room right now." I added.
"We don't have to", Twilight interrupted, "I'm sure Princess Celestia will let us use the royal guest bedroom while we're here."
"Oh, the perks of being a princess' personal student... that's lucky." I commented.
"Come on, the sooner we deal with this Johnny/Carbon problem the more time you have to tour around the city. I might even get time to go visit my brother" Twilight said. And we continued walking towards the "royal room" door, which had yet another pair of guards. The only difference was that one of the guards wasn't a unicorn but a Pegasus. They smiled at us and opened the doors to the room where the princesses were in without even asking what our business with them was...
Yet another huge corridor to walk through... except this time it had two large thrones at the end, where I saw two large unicorn and Pegasus hybrids talking. One was almost twice as big as us and had a white coat and a rainbow-like mane that flowed in a non-existing wind. The one to the right was smaller than the white one, but she was a bit larger and stronger-looking than a regular pony, and had a dark blue coat and a mane that looked like the night sky, which also flowed around. I couldn't help but stare at it for a few seconds seeing as I enjoyed stargazing myself, but I quickly snapped out of it because, well... It'd look creepy and they are royalty for goodness' sake!
I approached Twilight as we walked towards the Princesses. "So what are they? They're both unicorn and pegasus, what do you call them?"
"They're Alicorns. They can live for many centuries compared to regular ponies who only live for at most one century", she whispered back. Oh damn talk about aging and still looking young...
The two Alircorns got up, and the taller (and older one, presumably) spoke. "Twilight Sparkle! My faithful student! I received your letter from Spike. What is this about somepony named Johnny?" she asked. She had light pink eyes, had a Sun as her cutie mark and wore a golden chestplate-like accessory. The other princess had ocean green eyes and had a crescent moon as a cutie mark. She left the throne and walked to Twilight and they embraced for a moment. I just stood at the bottom of the staircase, waiting for my turn to speak.
"Right..." Twilight started, "as I told you in my letter, Rainbow Dash found this pony in the rain and she brought it in to Ponyville. A few days later Ponyville received a pack of posters for a missing pony, who looked exactly like him. But he claims that he is from another world and that he was sent to this body instead."
"Ah yes, we did receive some posters around Canterlot about this same Pegasus." Princess Celestia said while taking a look at me. She squinted her eyes for a second, examining my flank... Goddammit... I thought, trying hard not to shudder. "Unfortunately they weren't descriptive enough and forgot to give a description for a cutie mark."
"So there's no way to find out what happened to him?" Twilight asked.
This time Princess Luna spoke, which according to Twilight was the princess she and the other "bearers" helped a few years ago. "Actually, one of our scientists discovered a special kind of 'history check', it can be performed on any living creature as long as they fit in the machine... We might be able to find out what happened. But first we'd like to hear his side of the story", Princess Luna said, looking towards me. "Would you mind telling us what happened to you?"
"Yes, your Highness." I said politely and bowing down for a few seconds. I proceeded to tell them a short description of my life before dying and how I woke up, as well as what I think happened, but this time I held back on my electrical pun. They pondered for a second and Princess Celestia spoke again.
"Hmm...", she paused, "that's quite a... shocking story, really." Oh dear god she didn't...
"Shocking, indeed", added Princess Luna, who was giggling silently, but I could see that she was shaking like one would when they're laughing under their breath. Twilight's ear and left eye twitched, but she still kept her composure. "I didn't notice any doubts on his words, he seems honest about his story" the princess continued, "but it is still a good idea to run this examination on him to confirm his story."
"It's not going to hurt him, is it?" Twilight said worryingly.
"It's completely safe" said Princess Luna, "he won't feel anything according to the doctor who designed the system."
"Okay", Twilight said relieved, "there is still one teeny little problem: the train we were going to take to get back to Ponyville broke down and we don't have a way back until the train is fixed."
"That's okay, Twilight", Princess Celestia said, "I'll have you two stay at the guest bedroom while you are in Canterlot. I'll escort you to it once we finish with Johnny's examination."
"Thank you, Princess", said Twilight.
"I'll walk you two to the medical bay", said Princess Luna while getting up. We followed her back to the first room we entered and took a right to one of the corridors. Every single time we passed by somepony they'd bow to Princess Luna.
A few minutes walking and we reached the medical area of the castle, which had a different setting than the rest of the castle as it was mainly tinted white and had marble flooring. It was much like a regular hospital back in my other life, it had a patient area with a receptionist, emergency rooms, a staff room, etc. We entered an examinations corridor, where it had rooms for different kinds of equipment such as X-ray machines. But the room we walked in had a rather peculiar machine. It looked like a shower box but it obviously wasn't meant for that. There was a pale yellow unicorn fiddling with some wiring behind the machine, but he heard us walk in and quickly went to greet us.
"Good morning Princess Luna!" he said, bowing down for a second. "Is there something I can help you with?", he had an eastern-European accent and wore a doctor's robe. Why does every accent I hear sound exactly like the accents I heard before??
"Yes, Nikolai" said the princess, "we have found somepony that might give your machine some interesting results, this is Johnny Bass, or Carbon Streak."
"Wait, two names?" he asked confused, "I do not know what is going on, your Highness, but my machine was not built for testing which name fits best for a pony."
Princess Luna giggled and continued "Not at all, Nikolai. We believe that Johnny might have accidentally taken possession of this Pegasus named Carbon Streak for some mysterious reason. I am sure your machine can detect what exactly happened, am I correct?"
"We could try. It should be a good way to test my machine. It's not every day somepony walks in with a case like yours", he said to me. "Now let me just finish installing the chamber's camera and microphone and you can walk into it. It shouldn't take long". He walked to the back of the machine and spent a few minutes behind it. In the meantime I spent a moment to examine the contraption I was going to walk into. It had a large console screen embedded onto the side and a small slit next to the screen that probably meant paper came out of it. It had a few buttons below, but I wouldn't know what they'd do since I'd be inside while the machine is in use, and the machine was turned off anyway.
"Alright, the camera is hooked up, let me start up the machine and mister Bass can walk inside." he said walking out from behind the machine.
He powered on the machine and let me walk inside. He closed the door shut and everything went dark for a second until the lights turned on. I saw the camera he mentioned staring down at me from the corner.
"Wow it's very small in here, I'm glad I don't have claustrophobia." I said.
"Yes, which is why I had to install the camera and intercom right away", I heard Nikolai say through the intercom. "When the machine was still being tested, we had some volunteers come over to make sure the machine was scanning properly. The last pony who walked in freaked out in a matter of seconds. Unfortunately he was a unicorn and when we closed the door he tore a hole in the door in panic!"
"Ouch, that looks like very expensive equipment." I heard Twilight say.
"It is. I'm glad I work at the royal medical bay and not out in some other city without the proper funding. This thing costed a fortune to build!", said Nikolai. "Now, Johnny, I'm going to start up the scanner, so please be as still as possible!"
I promptly stood still as a statue, and immediately an orange beam started sliding down from above very slowly, going right through my body. I didn't feel a thing, except the mild discomfort when the beam slooooowly shone down into my eyes... After a few seconds, the door opened and I walked out.
"Hmm... this is very interesting..." Nikolai said looking at the screen.
"What does this machine actually do, Doctor?" asked Twilight.
"What is ultimately does is run a 'history' of the subject's body up to a week in the past. The scan ranges from organ functionality to brain activity, though it can't actually read the subject's mind." he started. "The interesting part is in the time frame 3 days ago."
"The day Rainbow Dash found Johnny. What about it?" asked Princess Luna.
"Well, you see, take a look at his organ and brain activity for the morning." Nikolai pointed at the console screen, which had the outline of my body, and the structure for a nervous system and vital organs, "if you examine his digestive system, it shows definite signs that he hasn't eaten for quite a long time. Same thing for any kind of liquid intake".
"Are you saying that Carbon Streak was starving?" the princess asked. The doctor nodded.
"Well it makes sense, since he left Manehattan and wasn't seen for a while, so he obviously got lost and didn't eat much after that." said Twilight, "what happened next?"
"I know the machine runs with 100% accuracy after the countless test runs I ran. So according to the results..." he paused for a moment, thinking of what to say, "...you actually died at 12:30 in the afternoon, according to the history results for your heart. It just stopped beating!"
"Wait what!?" me and Twilight asked at the same time. Princess Luna's eyes were wide open and just as confused.
"You're not possibly suggesting I took possession of a... dead body, are you?" I asked the doctor. What the fuck?? This is so messed up!
"I'm sorry, but I actually am..." he said slowly.
I felt the urge to scream and panic like in a horror movie. My legs started shaking. "Am I a zombie or something? What the fuck man!!" I screamed, startling the three ponies.
"What is this word 'fuck' you speak of?" asked Princess Luna.
I stared dumbly at the two ponies and the princess. Not sure of what to make out of this. Oh man their innocence. At least profanity here is not going to be a problem... I think.
"It does sound like the word 'buck', but it probably means something else" said Twilight. "What does it mean?"
Nikolai cleared his throat loudly, "Sorry for interrupting, but I'm still not done with the results." THANK YOU DOCTOR!
"My apologies" said the princess. "Please continue."
"You better tell me I'm not a freaking zombie or I will flip out!" I said nervously.
"That's what I was going to explain before you started screaming..." Nikolai sighed, "And no, you're not a zombie in any way. Take a look at your body functions about an hour after Carbon Streak died." he filtered my body's system and showed my neural system. "At around 1:30 in the afternoon, your nervous system fired up out of nowhere, and the rest of your body fired up with it instants later."
"That was the same time Rainbow said she found him..." Twilight pondered. "She did say one of the clouds she kicked didn't fire a lightning bolt, even though she was sure it would."
"That must have been when she kicked you out of the cloud and you got shot down right into Carbon Streak's corpse" added Princess Luna.
"So pretty much you revived his corpse and now live inside his body. But Carbon Streak is no more, because the brain patterns after the revival are completely different, which means it's a completely distinct mind living inside this body." Nikolai said.
"So you really did die in an accident before all this..." said Twilight. "But how did he end up in this world?"
"Now that's completely out of my expertise, Miss.", Nikolai interrupted. "You'll have to find that out with somepony else."
"Thank you for your time, Nikolai" said Princess Luna. "We should go back and talk to Tia and let her know our findings."
"I'm still dazzled by the fact that I took over a dead body an revived it..." I commented. "Takes a while to sink in, you know."
"It'll pass." said Twilight. "Let's go back to Princess Celestia."
We walked back to the throne room and explained what we discovered to her. She took it all in without asking anything until we finished. I like people who are good listeners and don't interrupt others with questions every five sentences.
"I see.", said Princess Celestia. "I assume it is safe to say that we can let Carbon Streak's family about what happened to him and we can proceed to give Johnny a proper identity."
"Pretty much", said Twilight, turning over to me, "I'm sorry I doubted you when I saw the poster... please don't hate me!"
"Oh come on, Twi. I can't hate you for that!" I said, "It was just a misunderstanding. I would've thought the same thing about someone else!"
"Somepony.", she uttered. I held back a grunt, but she clearly saw my face of frustration and laughed. The princesses giggled a bit. But Princess Celestia quickly continued. "As for the guest room, let room service know that they should prepare the room for two guests.", she said looking at one of the guards stationed next to the thrones.
"Yes, maam.", said the guard. And he galloped away to the door, which the two guards quickly opened, letting him through. At the same time another guard came inside, stopping beside us.
"Your Highness, the Royal Scout has arrived from the Everfree. " he said. "She says she has found something and needs to talk to you right away."
"Bring her in", the princess said quickly. The guards at the door nodded, and one of them went outside to tell the scout to come inside.
And in came a light brown pegasus mare with black mane and an Indiana Jones-like jacket.
If that is not the same Pegasus in that book, then that's a damn good costume... and coat colour... and mane...
"Welcome back, Daring Do.", said Princess Luna. The Pegasus nodded and walked towards us.
Okay... it is her...
"Keep it together, Twilight...", Twilight started mumbling, looking back at Daring as she approached the princesses and was about to stop next to us ."Keep. It. Together.". She was having a hard time controlling herself the closer Daring Do got to us. As soon as Daring stopped right between us, she was sweating bullets, staring right at Daring. I was expecting Twilight to snap and faint at this point. Either that or freak out like a fangirl...
"What's the urgency, Daring Do?", asked Princess Celestia.
"There are some very unusual ruins that I found in the Everfree Forest, your Highness", she began. She had a raspy voice, just like Rainbow Dash, but her voice sounded slightly tougher and older. She looked a lot stronger too, her legs looked as strong as Applejack's and I did NOT want to find out how strong she was at that moment... "A lot more unusual than anything I've seen in my life".
"What does it look like?", asked Celestia.
"I would have brought pictures of it, but I lost my camera when a pack of Timberwolves ambushed my camp while I was sleeping.
"This is why we suggested you bring a partner with you at all times, to prevent this type of problem, Daring", Princess Luna said concerned.
"Uh... Is this something we should leave you to speak in private?" I asked them. Twilight was way too nervous to speak and i felt that if I let her speak she would look like an idiot. "We were already done here, anyways."
"Not at all, Johnny." Princess Celestia answered. "You can stay and look around the room if you wish to."
I nodded and went to Twilight, shoving her away from Daring to see if her sanity went back to normal. After a little pushing I got her to the bottom of the stairs.
"Omigoshomigosh it's really her!" she started mumbling again, and was slowly pulling out the book I read in the train, along with a quill and ink, "Rainbow Dash will flip out when I send her this book with an autograph from her!"
"You should wait until she's done talking to the princesses then..." I interrupted her. She shook a little and let out a little squeal of impatience, then went back to watching Daring speak to the two princesses.
"Okay, I might not have a picture of it, but I can definitely describe what it looks like." Daring Do said. "It looks like a metal hollow box with two buttons inside. I didn't mess with it at the moment, so I looked around a bit more and I found this metal plaque with some faint markings. It looked a lot like the ones in Cloudsdale's Rainbow Factory. I can draw it for you if you wish."
"Well, it's convenient that Twilight is here then. Would you mind lending us one of your scrolls?" Luna asked, looking at us.
"Wh-what?" Twilight squealed, snapping out of her daydream. "Oh yeah! Of course!", she shakily walked up the stairs and stopped next to Daring, giving her a scroll and her quill. Daring scribbled for a few minutes, rubbing her head a few times, and gave the quill back to Twilight. Princess Celestia levitated the drawing to herself and frowned.
"Sister, take a look at this", she said while giving Luna the drawing.
"Hmm...", Princess Luna said, "this looks a lot like how Johnny described himself a while back."
Okay, what the fuck... How did I get involved in this? I thought, sweating bullets just like Twilight.
"Johnny, would care to take a look at Daring's drawing?", Princess Celestia asked me. Well what do you think? You mention my name while talking about some ruin I never heard of... I thought. Luckily without spitting it out.
I walked up the stairs and Luna turned the drawing to me. The first thing in my head when I saw the drawing was: Holy. Fucking. Shit.
It was a safety sign, reading "LAB COATS MUST BE WORN AT ALL TIMES", and next to it was a drawing of a lab coat. But not just a regular lab coat like Nikolai's. This was a full on lab coat designed to be worn by bipedal beings. And I'm pretty sure there aren't any beings that can fit that lab coat other than a human...
I was at loss for words at this point. I just stared at that piece of paper for a full minute, until Twilight finally nudged me to snap me out of it. "Are you alright?" she asked.
I shook my head violently to get a hold of myself. "How in the world..." I stuttered, "... I have no idea what to say or make of this..."
"I could go back there and investigate with a team." Daring said, "I remember the way like the bottom of my hoof, I can get there twice as fast now".
"Like you said, Daring. You did find this in the Everfree Forest." Celestia Interrupted. "Taking a group of ponies there is extremelly dangerous as it attracts a lot more attention."
"I guess I can take one pony with me", she said to herself. "Who do you suggest I take?"
"Why don't you take Johnny?" Luna said. WHY ME? I screamed in my head. "He did recognize the drawing you made of the sign, he might be able to help a lot better than anypony else."
I did not sign up for this...
"Am I volunteering or am I being volunteered?" I asked.
"It's up to you, Johnny. If you wish to go, you may.", Princess Celestia said, "but I suggest you go since this might be of good use for you about how you ended up here."
Godammit she's right... I thought to myself. "Alright, I'll go. But let me warn you Daring: my camping skills were zero when I was a human so don't even think of asking for my help setting up a tent."
"We'll I guess that's settled then." she said, "We'll leave tomorrow morning at around 7. And we might not even need to set up camp this time." Oh great, more early wake-ups. I seriously am going to end up with Gary's sleep patterns if this keeps up...
The door behind us opens again, this time a guard comes in and walks up to Celestia. "The royal guest room is ready, your Highness."
"Perfect, show Johnny and Twilight the way.", said Princess Celestia.
"Wait.", Twilight interrupted, and walked over to Daring Do, taking out the book and quill once again. "Can you sign this for my friend? Pleeease??" she said with the cutest grin I've seen in my life.
"Big fan, huh?" she chuckled and took the quill, signing the book at the back of the cover. "There you go.", Twilight contained herself not to jump around like she had spring shoes on. But I saw that she was silently saying 'yesyesyesyesyes'.
"Now Johnny..." Daring turned to me. "7 am. Sharp. Got it?"
"I'm not your CO, no need for that." she chuckled. "But thanks." She bowed to the princesses and walked out of the room.
The guard next to us led us to the royal guest bedroom, which was located in a separate section of the castle, and was located at the second highest tower of the castle. as we travelled up the stairs out in the open, there was a brilliant view of the valley below the Canterlot, as well as the city itself on the other side. Far into the valley towards the West was the Everfree Forest, which looked just as massive as in Ponyville. We entered the room, and it was the biggest room I've seen in my life -both this life and my other, though this one doesn't really count since I've been here just a bit over 3 days-. The guard left the room a few moments after we entered.
Twilight set her saddlebag at the edge of the bed... the bed...
"Uh... Twi?" I said.
"There's only one bed." Brain, please don't pull a joke right now or Johnny here won't even sleep on the bedroom floor, but outside...
"You better think a bit before you say anything..." she threatened.
"I'm telling that to my brain as we speak." I grinned. "We should go get something to eat. We haven't eaten since we left Ponyville". And with that, our stomachs decided to pop in and say 'hello'.
We had breakfast at the castle's hotel. And because we were royal guests we paid nothing for the food there. That was a seriously delicious breakfast -too bad there was no bacon and eggs... oh god what am I thinking-. We walked out of the castle grounds and went to walk around the city, which Twilight insisted she wanted to show me the places where she use to visit when she grew up, such as the school and libraries she went to before becoming the princess' personal student, the park where she used to go to with her foalsitter (foal... baby... babysitter, yeah... go figure). We walked around the city until around 2 in the afternoon. We stopped in front of a building that looked like a spa house or something...
"Uh, Twilight. What do you want to do here?"
"I was thinking you wanted to get your green and black hair back. Unless you want to keep your jet black hair as it is."
"Oh man! I completely forgot about that!" I smacked my forehead. I was so distracted this morning I completely left that unchecked. "But you'll have to pay for my hair dye, Twilight." I continued, "I don't have the money to pay for that and I don't want you to pay it for me."
"Consider it a gift, then." she smiled, and pushed me into the building. I felt like I was taking advantage of her at this point, because I was already living in her place for the time being, and now she is going to pay for MY new hairstyle? Either she's just generous or this is something else...
I stood by the window and waited for Twilight to pay for my hair dye, which I now didn't feel as enthusiastic as before. She walked over to the mare behind the counter and asked for a hair dye, and pointed to me while giving the mare the bits. The mare motioned for me to come, so I followed.
After a few hours of lying on my belly with my mane and tail being dyed with neon green, we finally walked back to the streets, it was already getting dark and the city lamps were being lit up.
"Your mane looks a lot better than when I used illusion spell on it." Twilight complimented. "It kinda glows faintly in the dark..."
"Waaait.... you didn't have anything to do with this, did you?" I cocked an eyebrow at her. I can't believe she seriously paid more the necessary just to make me look better. This is definitely something more than being generous...
"Maybe..." she giggled. "Let's head back to the castle. You're gonna need a lot of sleep since you'll up and running all day tomorrow."
"Okay", Twilight said. Both of us staring at the big round bed in front of us. "I guess we can share the bed."
I was about to open my mouth when she interrupted me: "Don't. Even say anything." she said in that same threatening voice. Geez give me a break here...
"I was going to suggest we grab an extra bed sheet... because you know... so we don't end up pulling it away from each other." I sighed.
"Oh..." she blushed, "good idea... The room service should have left a few extra sheets around here somewhere..." she continued, looking inside the closet in the other side of the room. "Aha! Here it is!"
She set the second bed sheet on the bed and jumped onto her side of the bed, quickly levitating the sheets over her. "I think I'll give my brother a visit tomorrow morning, so I'll get some early sleep."
"Eh... what time is it anyways?" I asked.
"It's half past seven. The clock is right there, Johnny." She pointed to the clock on the wall, right across from where the bed was.
"Oh... right. Heh", I chuckled forcefully.
Yeah..... I'm definitely going to end up getting Gary's sleeping patterns...
I get on my side of my bed, and drag my sheets over myself, snuggling my head and facing the other way. "Good night, Twilight."
"Good night, Johnny.", she said sweetly.
I wake up, drowsy as usual. I was lying belly side up, looking up at the ceiling, instead of facing sideways when I went to sleep. So I assumed that's what was causing my breathing to be a bit heavier. It was just my own weight pressing down on my lungs...
But am I THAT heavy? I thought. This isn't right...
I looked down to see Twilight's head resting on my chest. Sleeping heavily as usual, because not even my sudden gasp was enough to wake her up.
How the hell did we end up like this? This can head in so many directions it's making me spin!
There was a knock on the door, and when the door slowly opened, there was a big, muscular, white-coated and blue-maned unicorn followed by Daring Do.
Oh boy... this is not good...
Someone please shoot me...
"Erm... sorry, I'll come back later", said Daring Do, who was blushing and smiling awkwardly and walked away. The big guy, on the other hand (hoof, whatever...), took a slow and deep breath.
"Twiley... What in the world going on here??", he said when he let go of his breath. His voice was not intimidating as I was thought, but he sounded extremelly confused and angry. Twilight promptly woke up when his voice echoed loudly across the bedroom. Her eyes snapped open and her pupils slowly turned to me, until they met mine. She instantly squealed and jumped about a meter in air. I rolled out of the way instants before she crashed back onto the bed. Neither of us were in our side of our beds, but right in the middle. We crawled out of bed and faced the huge stallion who was still standing by the door. Twilight's face were pretty much glowing red, and I wouldn't be surprised if mine was too.
"Oh my goodness! Brother this is NOT what it looks like!" said Twilight, her voice almost cracking as she spoke. Like he's gonna instantly believe that, Twi... wait... brother?
"Wait... That's your brother??" I asked nervously. I could feel my heart trying to blast its way out of my chest at this point.
"Yes, I am..." he sighed. "And who are you supposed to be?"
"He's just a friend!", Twilight interrupted, "we didn't mean to end up like that!"
"Like... that?", he raised a brow and looked at the bed. Sheets spread all over the place.
"I-I mean me sleeping on top of John-" said Twilight, before I ran over to her and shoved a hoof in her mouth.
"Dear god, Twilight you're making things worse!" I screamed. I took my hoof out of her mouth and continued speaking to her brother. "What she's trying to say is that this is a complete and total accident." I said trying to keep my breathing steady. I didn't want to know how hard Daring Do can kick, and I definitely don't want to find out how hard this guy can hit. "When we went to sleep last night we were on our sides of the bed. This morning I woke up with Twilight over here using me as a pillow, nothing else!"
"Or you can just say that we moved around bed while asleep and happened to end up like this..." Twilight continued. "That was just as bad as what I said, Johnny..."
"I'm still waiting for a simple explanation...", Twilight's brother sighed. "Just be straight and simple: Are you two together or not? Geez, it's not that hard...". We shook our heads quickly as soon as he asked.
"See? Not that hard..." he continued. "Now... Twilight. Who's your roommate?"
"His name is Johnathan Crown, or Johnny Bass for short.", she replied turning to me. "Johnny this is my brother, Shining Armour".
"Can't say I've seen him around before. Where are you from?", he turned to me.
"It's complicated..." I said quietly, still a bit intimidated by his massive build. "Have you heard of a city called Vancouver?"
"...what?", he asked confused.
"Thought so..." I continued. "Let's just say that I'm still trying to find out how I got here, and I'm going to some place Daring Do found in the Everfree Forest."
"Oh so that's why she was here...", Shining said, "and just out of curiosity, you look a lot like a Pegasus I saw in a poster yesterday..."
"Yeah... I possessed his dead body near Ponyville..." I said awkwardly. His face was so priceless it took a lot of effort in my part not to laugh.
"Okay... not going into much detail there..." he said, shaking his head, and turned to Twilight. "you might be wondering why I'm here at this hour...", he said looking at the clock which read 7:00AM, Twilight nodded, and he continued. "Princess Celestia told me you arrived in Canterlot in the afternoon, but I was so busy with managing the patrol groups I had no time to say hello. She didn't give much detail, but she said that you brought a friend and was sleeping in the royal guest room for the time being.". He paused and sighed. "My brotherly instincts kinda kicked in and well... that scene didn't help with my thoughts much..."
"You're not going to control who I sleep in bed with now, are you?", Twilight said. Me and Shining slowly turned our heads to her with brows raised, and she blushed hard again, realizing what she had just said. "No! I didn't mean it like that!"
"Then in what way did you mean it??" I asked just as confused as Shining was, since he pretty much had the same look on his face.
"I'm just going to sleep for a few more minutes...", she groaned and jumped back on the bed. "I'll meet you in the dining room, Shining Armour...". She covered her face with a pillow and held it with both hooves.
After a second or two of silence, Shining Armour spoke, "Alright... I'll meet you downstairs...". He then turned to me, asking me to follow him outside.
I walked outside, Shining Armour was facing the view down below. I was a bit blinded by the sudden brightness of the morning sun in the East but I quickly adjusted. "So how is Twilight treating you?", he asked me, and turned around to face me.
"In what sense?" I asked back.
"Like... the way she is behaving, the way she talks around you and all that.", he said.
"Oh... well, she did seem to get friendlier after my first night in the library." I replied. "Is this where I think it's going?"
He chuckled, and closed the bedroom door with his magic. "Maybe... It's that feeling in my gut saying that. Though I might be wrong. Anything else?"
"Well... she did pay extra just to have my mane glow in the dark a bit... and she didn't even think twice after I asked her not to pay for my dye... I did find that a bit strange."
"Anything else?" he asked.
"Eh... this might be nothing, but she did say goodnight to me in a way that sounded a bit sweet..." I said, "you know, to be nice as a friend..."
"How sweet did she sound?", he asked.
"Um, I don't know, I didn't pay much attention to it." I replied.
"Did she sound a bit like: Good night Johnny", he said, trying to imitate Twilight's voice, in which sounded a lot like her.
"Whoa! Dude that's creepy!" I said. "How did you do that?"
"Hehe, having a sister for almost 20 years makes you learn how to imitate her." he laughed. "I bet she knows how to imitate my voice as well!", he laughed a bit more and continued. "Anyways, did she sound like how I said it?"
"Except that it was creepy, yeah..." I commented. "It sounded a bit sweeter than that though...", in continued. Shining Armour laughed again.
"Haha, yeah...", he paused to breathe a bit, "she definitely has something with you, alright. Just like my wife when she says it to me".
"I freaking knew that hair dye wasn't normal..." I mumbled. "Is this the part where you threaten me and tell me not to hurt her or something?"
"You could say that..." he chuckled. Shit... he's gonna pin me to the wall or something..."Except the threatening part..." Oh... okay...
"But I don't feel the same way like she does for me..." I started, slightly relieved that he's not gonna go big-ass tough guy on me. "I mean... I like her as a friend, but nothing like that..."
"Hey..." he paused, "as long as you don't mess with her feelings, we're okay. Simple right?" I nodded calmly and he continued. "I'm not one to control who she can date or anything, but if they mess with my little sister, they have a thing or two coming...". I nodded not so calmly a second time...
"Good, now that this is settled, tell me a bit more about yourself." he asked. "That first impression was totally a fluke", he chuckled.
"Not much to tell, really." I began, my tension was easing up by then. "I was a famous music producer, had fame and money and a good manager I knew all the way back to kindergarten. And a few days back I was stupid enough to let myself get shocked to death by a wire. Next thing I know I'm in a cloud and got shot down by Rainbow Dash into a dead body..."
"Yeah... that's kinda creepy..." he commented.
"I know right? I almost had a full blown fit when I thought I was re-born as a zombie or something!" I continued. "But Doctor Nikolai down in the med centre assured I'm alive as ever. And now here I am, going into a forest that looks grim as hell with a pony that I barely knew through a book to investigate some ruin..."
"Well... you can count on Daring..." he assured me, "she knows how to take care of herself and others. You can't become a royal Scout out of nowhere." he chuckled. "Oh well. Nice meeting you, Johnny. Hopefully you make it back in one piece and maybe you can start making some music for everypony again." he smiled. "I'll be heading down to the dining room, I'll see you two later!", and he turned around and went downstairs. Suddenly he stopped just before disappearing around the tower's stairs and made that famous I got my eye on you move with a hoof. I grinned nervously before he broke his serious face and chuckled silently.
I went back to the bedroom to pick up my things. In which by "things" I mean my sunglasses, the only material thing I really own right now, really... and even that is borrowed from Twilight. I picked up my sunglasses with my mouth and pushed them to my forehead with a hoof. Then I heard Twilight groan quietly behind her pillow before moving it out of her face.
"Sorry about that...", she said turning her head to me, "I don't know what happened, I just felt this warm thing next to me while I was sleeping and I decided to sleep on it..."
"Hey..." I interrupted her, "it's not a big deal anymore. Me and your brother talked a bit and he's cool with it now."
"What did you two talk about??", she asked nervously, her ears perking up instantly.
"Not much, he was just getting to know me better, calm down." I chuckled. "Now get out of that bed and let's have some breakfast."
We walked down the tower back to the main dining hall. Twilight was slowly getting her wits together after that scene... We entered the dining room and Shining Armour was sitting at the long dining table next to a pink alicorn with some other ponies that most likely work for the Princesses as well. When Twilight saw the mare sitting next to her brother she cheered up and trotted over to them. I was going to follow her to greet the alicorn, but a light brown hoof went around my neck and pulled me to the side. It was Daring Do, who was looking impatiently at me and was tapping the floor with her hoof.
"Erm... putting that previous scene aside..." she began, " we were supposed to be leaving to the Everfree Forest five minutes ago..."
"Without any breakfast?" I asked, surprised. I mean, we were going to travel all day and I didn't want to leave without having a decent meal.
"If it wasn't for that delay you could've eaten something... but then that happened..." she blushed. "We can pass by the kitchen and grab a snack. While in the forest we can eat any fruits or berries we find. Don't worry about food poisoning." she replied. "I know which fruit is good or bad in that place." she added just before I could ask about the same thing.
"Alright... Anything else I should be aware of before leaving?" I asked.
"Well, since you're a Pegasus like me, we can cover a lot more ground by flying." she said. "Think you can handle flying for long hours without stopping?"
"Eh... I'm not sure. I never flew for longer than two minutes or so."
"Well I guess it's time you put this new body to the test", she said. "We'll keep flying until you get tired, deal?", she spat on the bottom of her hoof and presented the sloppy mess to me.
"Uh, what are you doing?" I asked, slightly disgusted.
She rolled her eyes and lowered her hoof, "I'll take that as a yes...".
"...Sure". And with that, I turned to the table and gave Twilight and Shining Armour a wave to let them know I was leaving. Shining Armour happily waved back, as well as the Alicorn next to him, and Twilight gave an awkward smile and then waved. I continued my way to the kitchen with Daring. We both ate some celery and an apple given from the chef. We then walked back to the tower and up to the entrance to the royal guest room.
"Daring, what are we doing here?" I asked confused. She was looking out to the valley below, her wings flapping slowly. Oh... are we going to do what I'm thinking?
"Time to test those wings, Johnny.", she looked back at me with a mischievous grin. Oh fuck are we REALLY going to do that???
I hesitantly walked up next to her and looked over the ledge. It was a drop that looked much higher than the tallest skyscraper in the world! I swallowed dry and looked back at Daring. "You sure about this?"
"Wait... are you thinking we're going to dive??", she laughed. "Oh man, we're not the Wonderbolts, Johnny! We might be Pegasi, but if we pulled out of a dive this high we'd end up with a mighty wing cramp." she said, controlling herself. "We're going to glide to the Everfree forest and slowly descent on the way."
"That's what I was thinking too, Daring Do. I'm not crazy", I lied with a poker face, but she obviously didn’t buy it because she chuckled under her breath.
"Okay, we wasted enough time already." Daring Do said, climbing the ledge of the stairway. I followed suit and tried hard not to look directly below me. I might not have vertigo, but looking directly down from high above can be disorienting.
"Let's go!", she yelled, jumping down with her wings closed and dropping a few metres before flaring them open and gliding quickly towards the forest to the West.
I closed my eyes and sighed, flapping my own wings slowly for a small warm-up, "Rainbow Dash, your teaching skills might be horrible but at least I know how to fly now... Thanks.". I smiled and tilted forward, letting my whole body fall over the ledge, packing my forelegs against my chest. I opened my wings half a second later and tilted them a bit, letting the air drag me forward. Soon I was following Daring Do that was a few seconds ahead of me. We were gliding across the landscape which was a good five hundred metres below us.
The scenery... holy crap what a scenery. If I was doing this at night with a clear sky I would probably go nuts with the view, but at the time I had to take what I could get. Every once in awhile I would look down to watch the land. Since it was still early in the morning, there were a few fog patches scattered around from the cold night. The fields below us were completely covered in grass, a few dirt roads that looked like thin lines crossed the landscape, one or two of them leading straight to the Everfree forest. A few scattered patches of yellow indicated some of flowers or dandelions, but it was impossible to tell from our height. I took a quick glance back at Canterlot Castle. We had dropped a few metres and I was able to see the waterfall that ran below it; its massive drop made it look like the water blended into the lake below as a mist. And now that I noticed it, there was another forest next to the lake. Looking at the tone of the leaves, I’d say Fall was about to start. I turned my head forward again, just to see that I accidentally slowed down and that Daring Do was almost turning into a small dot with wings in the sky. I quickly increased my speed and caught up to her. While the breathtaking scenery was all around us, the menacing dark green forest could be seen to the Northwest, where our destination was supposed to be.
The drag was the only noise I could hear while we flew across the land , the wind blowing against our wings and face. We spent about an hour like this until we finally landed in front of the Everfree Forest, which at the place we landed it just looked like a huge wall of dark trees. It looked intimidating as hell, I wouldn’t want to walk into that place alone... Daring Do’s got balls, like damn!
"Well... here we are, the Everfree Forest." Daring Do spoke, and she took a swig off of her canteen before offering me some of it.
"Thanks." I smiled, and picked up her bottle with my hoof. Yeah that's right,my hoof! Turns out that we can actually pick up some stuff with them after all. The act of doing that for the first time scared me a bit and I almost dropped the bottle, because I felt the cold water inside the canteen, much like I would with a hand. I took a sip or two and gave it back to Daring, in which she put it back in her saddlebag.
"So where is this ruin you talked about?" I asked her.
"It's deep inside the forest. If we fly over it, we'll eventually find a clearing with some metal fences, but that's really far in." she replied. "Even while flying we'll only reach it by noon."
"Well, what time is it?" I asked.
"It's adventure time!" she joked, and pulled out a watch from her bag. "Just kidding. I think I've set off all the hazards on my way there already.”
She checked her watch and put it back in her saddlebag and continued.“ It's just past half eight, get ready flap those wings, kid." She crouched a bit and jumped up in the air, hovering just above the trees. "Just tell me when you start to get tired and we'll take a small break."
"Roger that." I said, and took flight behind her.
We spent the next three hours flying past tree after tree, and an occasional clearing with a small lake... And more trees, and more trees... I was getting so bored I almost didn't realize Daring Do slowed down right in front of me and I almost crashed into her mid-air.
"Well... I think we're getting close." she said looking at me. I just barely dodged her and was now trying to control my hovering and not crash down into the trees. She cocked an eyebrow and continued. "You tired yet?"
"A bit..." I said. "but since you say we're close I don't think we need a break.". After I regained control of my flight I looked around. It was literally a field of trees. Not a single hill or mountain in sight except for Canterlot castle at the very edge of the horizon. "This forest is freaking huge..." I commented, "how did you not get lost in here the first time?"
She turned her flank to me and showed her cutie mark. This is NOT easy to get used to...
"Okay... it's a compass rose..." I said.
"Exactly" she smirked, "my sense of direction is unmatched. I could find my way back to Canterlot in pitch black conditions without even trying." She squinted her eyes a few kilometres ahead and continued. "Wow we really are close. I think I remember seeing that tree...", she pointed towards one of the taller trees around us.
"You remember trees??" Holy shit what other special talent does she have that I still didn't find out yet?
"Yeah... I got a bit of a photographic memory", she smiled, "It's how I managed to draw that sign back in the castle in so much detail" she flew ahead of me and inspected the tree, then yelled back at me. "Yep! That's the one! We found it!"
I quickly flew towards Daring Do to the tree she was hovering, and she pointed down at the small clearing where the tree was sitting next to. It was a large metal fence, but extremely rusty, bent and tangled like a bunch of audio cables in a stage floor. I saw the sign Daring Do had drawn the previous day sitting in the dirt, extremely worn out and just as rusty as the fence. There was a concrete building with something that looked like an elevator. That must've been what she referred to as the metal box...
We landed next to the elevator door which was slightly open, and Daring looked around a bit before speaking. "Yeah... do you recognize anything else other than the sign?"
"Yeah, this metal box you mentioned is something called an elevator" I replied, trying not to lose myself to what I was seeing. "It lets you travel up and down long distances without moving a muscle. But the way the area looks I don't think it even works..."
Daring Do promptly walked in through the opening. Wow that's careless... this thing could drop at any time!My thoughts were interrupted when she spoke up from inside. "There's a green light blinking in here, Johnny. I think this still works!" Wait what???
"Are you sure??" I said startled, walking inside the elevator. There was a green flashing light next to a cracked display, which was probably the display for the floor level. Daring Do, being the reckless pony she is, touched the light with her nose, which turned out to be a button. The elevator doors slowly closed, trapping us in the dark. It slowly accelerated down, taking us to whatever place this was. The only current source of light was the blinking green button next to Daring Do, who kept looking around as if she could see everything clearly. “Is it supposed to do that?” she asked.
"Let's just hope this elevator doesn't drop with us inside..." I sighed.
It was like life was watching our every move and felt like messing with us, because as soon as I finished my sentence, the elevator let out a loud clunk, and went free fall mode on us for a few metres before going back to its normal speed. That was enough to make me scared shitless and almost let out another girly scream. Daring Do on the other hoof was just slightly startled by the sudden drop, and shrugged it off.
About a minute later, the elevator slowed to a stop and the doors slid open again. Fortunately for us, it slid open completely. It revealed a fully lit up corridor painted in white. The walls didn’t look damaged or cracked, they actually looked mildly clean. However though the lights on the ceiling were flickering on and off every few seconds. The area lacked any signs of recent activity or life.
"Wow this is new..." Daring Do commented. "Do you recognize this?"
"It's familiar to what I've seen before..." I looked ahead squinting my eyes due to the sudden brightness. The corridor was not too long, and there was a closed door at the end of it, with a faded label that barely read DECONTAMINATION ROOM. "From the looks of that door, this seems to be a lab of some sort", I continued.
"We're not going to discover much by standing inside this elevator then. Let's go." Daring Do said, and trotted towards the door, looking from side to side searching for any traps.
"Uh, Daring", I called out. "This place doesn't look like it has any traps at all."
"You can never be too careful..." she replied as she approached the door. She pushed the button next to the door and it slid open, revealing a small room, with another door with a foggy window.
I walked in with her just before the door she just opened closed behind us. The small room had tiny holes on the walls, which promptly blasted us with what was supposed to be a decontaminant, but instead it was a wall of air from the sides. By the time the gust of wind ended, our manes were all messed up and Daring Do's hat went missing. She had a little freakout but we quickly found her hat sitting on the corner, along with my sunglasses which also had flown out of my head. The foggy door slid open and we walked out after picking up our stuff.
The next corridor was full of black boxes with blinking lights on the right side of the room - Looking over to the side, there were few consoles on the other side of the wall. Their lights were all blinking erratically and were connected to cables that went through the ceiling.
"Whoa...", said Daring Do. I walked next to her to see what she saw.
"Whoa indeed...." I replied. "I think those things are server boxes..."
"A what now?" she looked at me, I could pretty much see the word "confusion" written on her forehead.
"Never mind..." I replied back, because there was no way I could explain to her what the hell a server is. "Let's keep looking around. This is getting weird but at the same time making me curious as hell..."
We spent a few moments walking around the server boxes. They were emanating a serious amount of heat; it felt like I walked into a sauna. Not even the cooling fans that ran over the ceiling were helping much. Whatever power supply was keeping these things running must be pretty well hidden because there was nothing that resembled a power plant out in the forest.
"Johnny, I found another door!" Daring Do yelled from across the maze of server boxes.
After a few moments scrambling out of the corridor of hot boxes, I saw Daring standing by another door. It had a seriously worn out and unreadable label. She opened the door and we walked through a small corridor once again.
"So many corridors, this is annoying..." I commented.
"This is what I have to deal with on my job, lots and lots of corridors." Daring chuckled, "this is nothing compared to what I've experienced."
We approached the door across the corridor, and I pushed the button next to it. A loud hiss came from the door, along with a thick fog coming from the edges. A cold and thick cloud seeped out of the next room, engulfing and blinding us for a few seconds.
Daring Do shivered a bit. "Ugh, this is pretty cold..."
"And we forgot to bring jackets..." I joked. She chuckled a bit and walked in ahead of me, disappearing in the cold fog that was slowly thinning out.
"Um... Johnny, you might want to see this..." she said from inside the fog. I walked in and waited for the fog to thin out a bit more.
"Once again... whoa.", she said.
"And once again... whoa indeed..." I replied.
Tanks. Tanks everywhere. No, not military tanks, but the ones that look like hot water tanks in people's houses. Rows and rows of them, lined up to the wall and surrounded by the same cold fog that filled the entire room - which now that the fog has died down a bit around us - we saw that it was circular. In the middle of the room was a small group of consoles made up of about six large screens, all of them turned off, two of them were cracked in the corner looking like they've gotten a few hits. I felt my coat shiver from the cold, and if it was possible I bet it was going to stay on end.
"So, what the hay is this place?", Daring Do asked.
"You're asking me? I'm pretty much as confused as you are!", I retorted, a bit cranky from the cold.
"Then we better start looking around if we don't want to freeze in here. How the hay did they make this place so cold?" she asked, shivering a bit herself.
"My best bet is air conditioning, but you'd need a pretty damn good one for it to be this cold."
"Air conditioning?" she asked. "You mean the big metal contraptions that can cool air?" Hmmm... I didn't know she would know about air cond- wait what?
"Hold on, you've seen one of those?" I asked, mildly surprised by the fact that she knew what I was talking about.
"Yeah, there's one on display in the castle museum. It was discovered by one of the royal scouts that came before me. Pretty neat find, I might say." She replied, "But we don't really need those around here because it doesn't get too hot in the summer around Canterlot. The regions more to the South of here might use them once in a while, though..."
"So wait..." I interrupted her, "you ponies salvaged technology -I'm guessing out of the blue now...- from US???"
"By 'us' you mean humans? So that's where these things came from?"
"You could say that..." Well this wins the cake... Ponies are now the dominant society on Earth and this is the future, and god-knows how long time has passed!
"Ok, so now this kinda explains why I didn't see any humans around yet. But it still doesn't explain how you guys can talk..." I said.
"I guess you could say... evolution?" Daring Do shrugged. "Let's just stick with that and find any useful information around here before we freeze to death in this room..." she shivered her coat again.
"Good idea. Let's take a look at those consoles." I said. We walked to the console with the least cracked screen we could find and tapped a random key. The screen flickered a bit and displayed a list of names, along with a frontal shot of their faces on the side - none of them that I recognized.
"Wow... so that's what humans looked like..." Daring Do commented, her eyes wide open staring at the screen while I scrolled through the list. "You guys looked beautiful..."
"I could say the same thing about you guys." I smiled. "It's just so surreal it's hard not to stare sometimes..."
Daring Do turned her head to face me; she looked suspicious. "Are you implying something here?" she asked. Oh come the fuck on it was just a compliment!
"Uh... no? Why would you think that? Were you implying something when you commented on humans?" I retorted.
"No! It was just a compliment!" she exclaimed.
"Same thing with my comment... now let's just drop the subject and move on..." I sighed.
"Agreed." she nodded and faced forward to look at the screen.
When we reached the bottom the screen i broke the silence. "Well, I don't recognize any of these people - I'm kinda glad I don't, really."
"There's more than just those people, I think..." she commented, pointing at the top of the screen. "This list is called 'Staff'; there's another one next to it called 'Subjects'."
"Well that's kinda fishy..." I said, "what kind of experiments were they doing here?" I carefully used my hoof to move the cursor to the next tab and opened it, revealing an even longer list of names.
"Well this is odd..." Daring Do said. "Look at the information for each name on the list." she pointed a hoof towards the right side of the screen.
DOB: September 25, 1963
Freeze Date: October 9, 2016
Status: Death from leukemia
"Freeze date? The hell?" I asked out loud, "Were they freezing dead people in here?"
"What's this leukemia he died from?" Daring Do asked, "I never heard of that. Is it some kind of creature of your time?"
"It's a type of blood disease. Pretty much fatal for all cases and there was no cure for it in our time." I answered. "But why they're freezing a dead person with leukemia is beyond me..." I closed the man's profile and loaded the next one on the list.
DOB: March 3, 1971
Freeze Date: June 9, 2014
Status: Death from pancreatic cancer
"Another dead person..." I commented. "This is creepy if you ask me..."
"I'm with ya on that one." Daring Do said, her face mildly disturbed when I took a glance to the side.
A few minutes passed and we scrolled through the list, and pretty much all the subjects on that list were listed as dead by some type of terminal disease - most of them cancer. Luckily I didn't know anyone on that list, since that would have been pretty shocking (Not that this was not shocking in any way). By the time we reached the end of the list, it occured we were still in that freezing cold room.
"Johnny, are you still feeling cold?" Daring Do broke the silence.
"No... why? Hold on... Is it getting warmer?" I said. I realized that the room was no longer freezing cold and that the room was at a tolerable temperature.
"I don't think we're the only ones in here..." Daring Do said, now looking around suspiciously, "I'll go check out the other rooms and make sure we're safe. Stay here no matter what, I won't be gone for long." she ran towards a door in the far end of the room and disappeared, leaving me alone in the room with the console. There were a few names remaining in the list so I decided to take a quick look at them.
DOB: August 17, 1996
Freeze Date: January 7, 2016
Status: In Cryogenic Stasis
"Oh fuck... this is not the kind of "alone" I was expecting... holy shit!" I said out loud, almost screaming. Daring Do came back a few seconds later. "What happened? Did you find something?" she asked. I motioned her to come look at the screen, and when she saw the last line, her eyes went wide open.
"You were right, we're not alone in here", I said. "We need to find her and get out of this place. Did you find anything on your end?"
"I'm suspecting that there are some Diamond Dogs nearby. I heard some clinking sounds coming from a wall not too far from here. Probably their pickaxes. Let's hurry up in here."
"Diamond dogs... what?" I asked, confused.
"They mine for precious or shiny materials, and this place has plenty of shiny stuff..." she gestured a hoof towards the metal tanks - which now that we looked at them, they were labelled as liquid nitrogen. A chill went down my spine. "If they break those tanks while we're still here, things will get cold pretty fast..." she continued.
"Still doesn't explain why the cooling system stopped working." I said. "Maybe they hit a power line or something... which means... oh crap..."
"The server room will probably be extremely hot, yes." Daring Do completed my sentence. "As well as killing this... Amy that is still alive and frozen in here." she said, reading the screen with her profile. "There's a console with a window near the door we came from that we haven't looked at yet.", she ran towards the console.
We reached the console with a window that was foggy when we first entered the room because of the cold air, but now that the room was a bit warmer we could see a circular room with a small hole on the centre. The console had a small screen with a prompt for a name. Seeing as the only obvious option we had was to type the girl's name, I quickly typed in "Amy Winter" with my nose on the keyboard. Her profile came up on screen, displaying the same information on the other terminal. There was a green button on the screen labelled "Subject still suitable for thaw. Proceed with thawing process?"
"Heck yes I want to unfreeze her!" I yelled at the screen. Daring Do looked at me confused, and had that "what's wrong with you?" look in her eyes. I pressed the bit green button labelled "Thaw" (so original), and a loud hiss came from behind us. One of the tanks slid underground and showed up inside the enclosed room behind the window. The glass fogged up slightly just enough for us to see some shapes, but not see exactly what was going on. The top of the tank opened up and a small stream of liquid nitrogen came out from the bottom of the tank and went through grills on the metal floor, a huge cloud of steam coming out as it did, blocking our view entirely. When the tank was almost empty, two mechanical arms went inside the tank and pulled out what we now saw as Amy in her frozen state, which surprisingly enough she didn't look like a popsicle at all. All we saw was a light pale blur being held by two metal lines in mid-air. The tank went back inside the floor and the hole sealed itself. The arms lowered Amy's body just enough for her feet to touch the floor. Another hole opened up from the ceiling and a transparent tube surrounded the girl, which started filling up with some sort of liquid. We could barely see what as going on the whole time.
"So... is it just the head or do humans have no fur other than their heads?", Daring Do asked.
"Just our heads. We wear clothing to warm ourselves up. But we have no body hair... Most of us..."
"I see...", she said. "she's going to have a hard time when she gets out of there. This room is warming up but it's still a bit cold, even for us."
The console in front of us flashed a pop-up to us, telling us that her body was being warmed up, as well as her clothing.
"Well... that's convenient..." I commented. "Though I doubt the thawing will be as fast." Another pop-up showed up, with a timer that read "10:00".
We stood there in silence... staring at the timer counted down the painfully long ten minutes that we couldn't afford to waste. "Whale oil beef hooked!" I yelled out. "This is not helping!!"
"Whale what now?" Daring Do looked at me, "what's wrong with you lately?"
"Ah it's nothing..."I said, breathing slowly. "It's just that this is probably the last living human we'll ever see in this world and we're under the risk of either instant freezing or incineration!"
"Look, the Diamond Dogs have a fair good amount of rock to dig until they reach this place, so we still have about an hour until they break through, we'll be fine on that end" Daring Do assured me, "As for the server room we can probably find another way out if the room is too hot to go through."
"Then let's go check it out while Amy is being revived, we still got a few minutes left." I said.
"Good, I'll stay here and keep an eye on her", Daring nodded.
I walked back through the small corridor and into the server room, which welcomed me with a faceful of warm air. The lights on the terminals were still blinking, they were just flashing red, probably indicating that they were overheating. Luckily for us, computers usually have a fail-safe for these situations and it wasn't long until they stopped flashing completely. Phew, I think I overreacted too much and completely forgot about that...The room went completely silent now that the fans from both the ceiling and the servers themselves stopped spinning. I let out a sigh of relief and walked back to Daring to tell her we had a safe way out..
"So uh, the server room is a bit warm, but the terminals shut themselves off from overheating" I said.
"That's good" Daring Do replied, "Amy should be ready in a few moments"
We patiently waited for the tank filled with whatever liquid it had to drain out. Once it was almost empty, the mechanical arms came back to hold Amy in place. The transparent tank went back into the floor and another pair oh mechanical arms approached her. They were holding something and they looked like so,e type of clothing or robe. Oh I see... warm clothes... Moments later a wheel chair rolled in from behind the girl and the arms let her go and she fell back on the chair. She finally woke up and groaned a little.
"Well..." Daring Do spoke, "I think we're ready to go now."
"The sooner, the better" I said, walking over to the small microphone next to the keyboard."I guess this is how I speak over to the room she's in?" I spoke into the microphone. My voice echoed through the room and Amy looked up, still dazed. The glass Was still foggy and we couldn't tell if she was groggy, confused, scared, you name it. Daring Do stood silent, watching the girl's every move in awe. Even if it was just a slight head movement.
"OK uh..." I spoke up, "Do you see an exit somewhere in that room?" She looked around a bit and lifted and arm, pointing to one of the walls. "Good" I continued, " We'll meet you there".
We walked through the door Daring had previously investigated, and we saw the door that Amy supposedly had pointed at. We heard the tiny wheezing noise from her electric wheelchair approaching and we stood there waiting for her. She was approaching the door and it was about a quarter of the way open and I saw part of her arm and the wheelchair. My heart thumping in my chest from excitement. I could almost see part of her face when the lights went out and everything went dark. Amy let out a small shriek, I wasn't sure if it was from the sudden darkness or maybe she saw us just before it went dark, but it didn't matter at the moment. Daring Do spoke after letting out a long frustrated sigh, "Ugh, stupid dogs hit the main power line..."
"What's going on???", Amy shrieked again, "Who are you guys?" Her voice sounded dry and raspy like she was dehydrated, I wasn't surprised that she coughed right after speaking.
"We're here to get you out, Amy", Daring Do spoke, "don't worry about the dark, I got that under control. Johnny, get the water from the canteen and give it to her."
I moved my hoof toward where Daring's voice was coming, but I wasn't near her enough to reach her, so I shuffled forward a bit and rubbed the ground slowly until I felt the bottom of her leg. If it was her front or rear leg I didn't know, so I followed my hoof up her leg and I felt the shape of something that resembled a flank... I gulped silently and Daring Do broke the silence again.
"Wrong move and you're getting out of here with a broken tooth."
Amy let out a dry chuckle, "Oh I think I know what happened..."
I cleared my throat and quickly moved my hoof to the side and felt her saddlebag, which I quickly reached in and pulled out her canteen and went toward Amy, hoof extended with canteen being held on it. "Here Amy, take this bottle." I felt a tug on the bottle and I let go of it.
"Well, time to put that photographic memory to work then, Daring" I said towards Daring Do was supposed to be, I was completely blind just like Amy.
"Yup.", she replied. "We better get moving then. Good thing I brought rope so we can climb up through the elevator." I heard the sound of her hooves hitting the marble floor when she took a step, making that unmistakable "clop" sound, echoing across the corridor.
"Wait..." Amy spoke, "how why did you guys bring a horse inside this lab?"
"Well?" Amy asked after a few seconds of silence, "The doors are kinda tight for a horse to walk through..."
"Because ponies, Amy", I cut her short, "Ponies can fit through these doors."
"Alright... ponies it is then..." she trailed off, "but they don't smell like ponies to me, they smell too good to be one." Oh boy...
"What do you mean by that?" Daring asked.
I used my hearing as best as I could and approached her, "Hey uh... try not to make her find out we are talking ponies and all that." I whispered, "At least not now."
"You know she's going to find out soon, right?" She whispered back. "Don't look at me when I laugh my head off when it happens..." She went back to talking normally, "So what is this about a pony's smell?"
"You know... These ponies you got here smell like they've been in a forest, and smell like fresh air. Instead of smelling like shi-" Amy replied, but I cut her off before she could finish the sentence.
"Hey uh... Daring, how's the door going? Can you open it?" I heard Amy sigh in frustration, but apparently she shrugged it off since she didn't keep pressing on with the questions.
"It needs power to open, and we're out of that for now." Daring replied. "Isn't there an emergency switch for that kind of stuff?"
"I think there's an emergency lever for the door so you can slide it manually", Amy replied. "There should be a hatch on the wall next to it."
"Time to work that photographic memory, Daring." I said again.
"I can only remember things I've seen..." Daring Do replied. "I didn't see a hatch on the wall so I'll have to find it in the dark." And with that she started tapping the wall looking for said hatch, making audible clopping noises being heard as she did.
"Daring, I think your pony is getting nervous..." Amy said after a few seconds.
"Say what now?", Daring and I asked. Daring was still tapping the wall. What is she on about?
"Your pony is tapping the floor, it means it's nervous." Amy continued. "Just saying you should hurry because it probably doesn't like the dark..."
"I'm not afraid of the dark..." Daring Do replied, she sounded a bit confused.
"Not you, Daring..." Amy sighed, "your pony!"
I facehoofed silently and stayed like that for a second or two, sighing as I did. "It'll be fine, Amy... Daring is probably close to finding that hatch."
"Yup. Found it." Daring Do interrupted me. "I feel a lever - do I just push it down?" she asked. Amy hummed in response. I heard a click and a sliding noise, followed by the slightly cold air from the previous room. "Done, now the next doors will be faster to open." Daring continued. "Will you be okay with this cold room, Amy? We won't take long to get through it."
"Yeah..." Amy replied while shivering, "I'll be fine. This warm robe will do fine for now."
I heard Daring walk back to us, followed by the rolling wheels from the wheelchair. Daring Do was probably pushing the wheelchair, seeing as me and Amy were blind in the dark. I followed closely to Daring Do's side so I wouldn't get lost. The cue for stopping was when I bumped into Amy's wheelchair when they stopped, in which Amy let out a soft yelp. Daring Do proceeded to open the door once again.
“So Amy...” Daring Do spoke, “Why were you here in the first place?”
“You mean why I was frozen in here?” she asked.
“No... why is the sky blue...” Daring deadpanned.
“Sorry, still a bit woozy from waking up...” she replied quietly
“That’s not even the proper question.” I began, “Why are you frozen among a bunch of dead people?”
“Because I have terminal cancer.” And with that silence broke the room when Daring stopped pushing the wheelchair - well not until I bumped into it a second time. “...but don’t worry too much about it for now. It’s still in very early stage and won’t be a problem for a while. Let’s focus on getting out of here first.”
“Kinda makes sense... seeing as all the other subjects in here had some type of disease,” Daring Do said, “But why are you the only one alive out of all of them?”
“It was more of a choice of mine and my family.” Amy replied, “We recently found out about a tumor in my brain - it’s still in its early stages, but we all knew it would eventually come back even if we removed it. I didn’t want to go through the surgery process every time the tumor came back. Not to mention the huge risk of permanent brain damage if the surgery went wrong; I couldn’t bear to live like that.” she said sadly.
“Must’ve been hard on your family, wasn’t it?” I said, feeling a bit down just with that kind of talk.
“My brother took it the hardest.” Amy continued, “it wasn’t even a year since his best friend died in an accident, and seeing his little sister suffer and probably leave his life later would leave him even more distraught.”
“So what made you choose to be frozen?” Daring Do asked, she went back to pushing the wheelchair and we reached the next room.
“It was this new project some scientists came up with - freeze people with terminal diseases so that in the future years - when science has progressed more - they could use them as a ways to find a cure.” she replied, “My brother said that he’d rather see his sister live a full life than lose it at such young age. And that he’d do whatever he could to give that to me...” she chuckled softly and I heard her sniff a bit.
“That’s... a great brother you had...” Daring Do commented, and by the tone of her voice I could tell she was getting a bit emotional. Hell I felt like crying at that point, about to throw my feelings out all at once.
“We’ll make sure you get treated as soon as we get back,” I said to Amy trying to keep myself together, “I saw this piece of equipment that was pretty awesome. I doubt they don’t have a way of helping you.”
“Thanks...” she replied. A smile grew on my face and we fell back in silence.
We repeated the same process quietly (not bumping into wheelchair anymore) through the server room and through the decontamination room, and through the corridor, until Daring Do spoke up.
"We should be at the elevator." She said. "We need to find a way to go up the shaft since we're out of power. I'm thinking we use my rope to lift Amy up, but this time I need light for this so I'm lighting up a flare." Oh great, that's my cue...
"Wait..." Amy spoke, “Why didn't you use a flare before?“
"Flares are used for extreme measures, Amy", Daring replied, "I can't really tell where I'm going when flying to reach the elevator hatch. My photographic memory is kinda useless at this point..." Damnit Daring why did you say that??
"Fly!?" Amy said, startled. "Who are you guys!?"
"Did I say I could fly?" Daring said giggling, "Oops. I guess that's your cue, Johnny."
I sighed, "I guess it is...", I turned towards where Amy's voice was coming from. "Look, promise me that ,whatever you do, you won't scream in the next few seconds..."
"Oh, that makes me feel SO much more comfortable..." she deadpanned.
"Please, just promise me?" I pleaded.
"Fine, I swear I won't scream..."
Okay, if I am going to end up scaring her I have to make this go out with a bang... I thought. We spent a few seconds in silence. Until Daring Do spoke up. "Done yet?"
"Just one more thing, Daring." I said, and looked back towards Amy.
"Oh, please..." Daring Do sighed.
"Pinkie what now?", Amy asked.
"Will you Pinkie promise you won't scream?"
"What the hell are you talking about!?" she said, probably looking confused as hell at that point - I tried hard not to laugh.
"Just say these words: Cross my heart. Hope to fly. Stick a cupcake in my eye.", I continued.
"And what will that do?" she asked, still sounding confused. "I already swore I won't scream..."
"Just do it."
"Fine." she sighed. "Cross my heart. Hope to fly. Stick a cupcake in my eye... Better?"
"Very much", I said, trying not to giggle. "Okay Daring, light it up."
"Here goes!" Daring Do said. We heard a short flapping noise followed by a scratch coming from where Daring was - which was somewhere near the ceiling from where the noise came from - and suddenly the elevator was filled with a bright red light. I squinted my eyes for a moment and when my vision cleared up I saw that Daring had dropped the flare on the ground and was examining the hatch on the ceiling in the corner. I looked over to Amy and she was staring straight at Daring, eyes and jaw wide open.
"Wh-wh-what is this!?" She said panicking but not exactly screaming, "What the hell is going on!?"
"Huh, not the kind of reaction I was guessing..." Daring Do said, "kinda disappointing, really."
"Not funny, Daring..." I scowled, and turned to Amy, "I'm glad you're not screaming... Look, we're gonna answer all of your questions as soon as we get out of this place, okay?" I said to her calmly. She nodded nervously and went back to watching Daring, who already had the hatch open and was now pulling out some rope from her saddlebag and doing some kind of knot, making it look like some kind of improvised swing rope seat.
"Now we just have to get Amy on this and we can fly out." Daring Do said.
"I g-guess I have to get out of this chair now", Amy said shakily. "It's getting a bit uncomfortable now..."
"So what was the chair for?" I asked.
"Well... I did wake up from being frozen not too long ago, my balance was a bit fuzzy at the time..." she replied. "I think I'm fine now". She got on her legs and stumbled a bit and almost fell over, so I rushed to her in case she fell. "Forget being fine... I'm really hungry."
"No doubt about that..." I said. "Let's get you on that rope and we'll be out of here." Being careful not to burn myself, I grabbed the flare with my mouth and helped Amy walk to the rope hanging from outside the hatch where Daring Do was hovering - who now that we noticed she was wearing slippers. Amy sat on the improvised seat and motioned a hand to Daring to fly up. I followed up alongside Amy just in case she lost her balance all of a sudden. When we reached the top, the elevator door was closed and seeing as Daring Do was busy holding on the the rope with her teeth I forced the door open with my front legs. Much to my surprise the door was easily opened - not sure if it was supposed to be easy or if Carbon Streak had done some workouts recently, but it felt good. Daring Do pulled Amy out of the elevator shaft and we all sat on the grass, bathing in the midday sun for a few seconds. It felt good to be back in the sunlight.
I spat the flare out of my mouth and onto a patch of dirt. "Well... now we got time to play 20 questions." I spoke up, "Who wants to go first?"
“Obviously me...” Amy said first, we nodded and let her drop the questions on us, since she probably had a whole set of them at the moment. “To start off: WINGS!?” she pointed at Daring Do’s wings and mine.
“Problem?” Daring Do said smirking. “Pretty cool, huh?”
“I thought you were going to ask how winged horses came to be...” I said to Amy.
“Screw that!” She yelled, “this is awesome!” A big smile on her face popped up. Well at least she cheered up after that conversation down there... “I was creeped out at first but now that I think of it this is amazing!”
“Ok, next question.” Daring Do said.
“I think I know what the next one will be...” I commented.
“I bet you do...” Amy said to me, “So I might as well say it now: How the heck are you guys talking? Hell, forget that! You guys don’t even look like ponies!”
“Come again?” Daring Do tilted her head.
“Well...” Amy continued, “the ponies I know have longer noses and thinner legs. Your legs are much thicker and your faces are shorter. You’re also a lot slimmer... And not to mention the giant eyes, and yours is freaking pink!” she pointed straight at Daring. “And your hair...” she turned to me, “It’s black and green!”
“It’s dyed!” I protested, “Also my mane is not even close to the ones I’ve seen on other ponies.”
“Wait...” she interrupted me, her eyes wide open in awe, “There are more of you???”
We haven’t even told you about unicorns yet...
“Alright, screw it..” I threw a hoof up in the air and looked nowhere in particular, “You can scream now...”
“Later, because my throat is still weak...” she coughed and continued, “So where are the rest of you?”
“Closest city is three hours away from here, and that was while flying.” Daring responded. “If we’re gonna get you back in the same amount of time we’re gonna need some help. And I got just the thing...” She smirked and pulled a red object that looked like an arrow. Are those... fireworks??? Why the hell do you keep that around!?
“Why do you keep fireworks in your bag?” I asked Daring while staring at the fire hazard in front of me.
“It’s like a better version of flares.” she explained. “Come up here for a second.” she flew up and motioned for me to follow her. I flew up next to her and she pointed a hoof towards the faint contour of Canterlot Castle far to the South, and I heard Amy “whoooa” down below. “Royal guards patrol the castle grounds the whole time. When I light this baby up, at least one of them will see it and send a team for assistance. Even though I’m a decent flier, having someone like Amy riding me while in the air will be exhaustive. Royal Guards on the other hoof are heavily trained and can pull heavy carriages with ease, so Amy will feel like a feather to them.”
“Clever...” I said, “why not use a radio?”
“Batteries can die on you at the worst times, and I don’t take that kind of risk.”
“Good point...” I said. We flew back to the ground, where Amy was still staring at us. Daring pulled out a lighter from her bag and motioned me to come over again.
“Here, hold this on the ground for me so I can turn it on,” she said. I kneeled on the ground and held the lighter up with my hooves and opened the cap - seconds later, Daring stood in front of me. “Watch your hoof.” And without a single word of warning she quickly stomped near the lighter, barely missing one of my hooves and just clipping the trigger on the lighter, promptly lighting up a small flame. “Now hold that so I can light this thing up.”
“Next time do a countdown...” I mumbled.
“Don’t be a chicken...” she joked. Amy giggled a bit and I sighed loudly on purpose to let out a bit of my frustration.
“So I’m guessing Daring here is the leader out of the two of you?” Amy asked.
“You could say that.” I said, “How did you know?”
“Well...” she continued, “Daring’s voice sounds a lot tougher than yours, Johnny.” Ouch, man... just fucking ouch... Daring Do was approaching me with the small rocket in her teeth when she heard Amy and spat it out laughing.
“Ohohohoh that was a good one!” She said before going back to laughing hysterically.
“That hurt...” I said while trying to mentally soothe the pain from the blow that my masculinity just took.
“Sorry, it’s the hard truth...” Amy shrugged with a smug. Daring Do recomposed herself and picked up the rocket she dropped.
“Okay, enough time wasted here,” Daring said. “Let’s signal the guards and grab some food while we wait.” She approached the lighter and lit up the fuse. She placed the rocket on the bottom of a hoof and flew up. She then launched the rocket even higher and let it fall back to her. Suddenly she did a front flip in mid air and struck the rocket with her hind legs, launching the rocket even higher and towards Canterlot Castle. I watched the small light from the fuse suddenly burst into a huge explosion of red and blue a couple hundred metres away from us.
“And that’s how you call for backup with style.” She smirked while landing next to us. “If they saw the blast they’ll signal back with some fireworks of their own, so for now let’s just wait a few minutes to see if they saw it or not. Then we can start planning our way back properly.”
A few minutes passed, Amy and I were sitting on the ground near the elevator while Daring hovered above the trees looking out for the signal from the guards back in Canterlot.
“Okay... I see their signal. They should get here in about the same time as we spent getting heres” Daring said landing. “I’ll go get some berries from nearby.” She walked out of the clearing and into the Everfree Forest.
“Alright.”I said, turning to Amy “So Amy, tell me more about yourself. You said that your brother was really worried about you back in there.” I motioned my head towards the elevator shaft.
*There's a convo between me and my editor in the middle of the google document right here. I put it in the AN*
“Yeah...” she nodded. “The news about my tumor really hit him hard...”
“So about his friend...” I asked carefully, “Did you know him?”
“I never really met him...” she replied, “My brother said that he used to visit the house back when they were in middle school, but I was little so I don’t really remember. They were really close, almost like a brother to him.”
“Is it ok if I ask how he died?” I asked her, “If you know what happened, that is.”
“He got electrocuted while setting up the stage for his show.” She replied. Seems familiar to me... wait...
“What was your brother’s name?”
“Gary.” she replied. Holy fuck, what...
”And his friend’s name was?” I asked her. This cannot be happening... I thought. I was at the brink of screaming.
“Johnathan, though everyone just called him Johnny all the time...” she said chuckling, “Funny... same name as... yours?” Her eyes widened a bit, probably realizing what was going on. “Are you... him?” She gazed disbelievingly at me, and, mouth agape, she pointed at me - almost accusingly.
I nodded nervously, my eyes were almost as wide as hers at that point.
“How???” She yelped. “How are you still alive and why are you a pony with wings!?”
“I have no idea!” I screamed at the top of my lungs, I was pretty sure my voice would be hoarse after that scream.
Suddenly Daring Do flew up and out of the trees and came flying towards us. “What? What happened?”
“I believe me and Amy have met before, I just didn’t remember quite well.” I said with a shaky voice, “N-Now that I realized, your last name does ring a bell now... Winter...”
“Okay... that’s pretty weird, alright...” Daring said, laughing nervously herself. “Anyways, I brought some berries from the forest. Can you pick them out from my bag for me, Amy?” Amy got up and walked up to Daring - whom, now that we got a better view of our respective heights, was just about twice as tall as us ponies. It seemed that ponies of this time had the same height as the ones from our time.
She split the berries between us three and we ate them in silence.
A few hours passed. Daring Do was sitting on top of the concrete structure keeping watch for the guards that were to arrive soon. Amy and I were on the ground. I was sitting next to Amy looking around the clearing, bored out of my mind. Amy on the other hand was taking an afternoon nap on a patch of grass. Well, she was napping until Daring Do spoke up out of a sudden.
“Alright, I see two guards coming towards us!” she exclaimed while taking flight and landing next to us. Amy groaned and rubbed her eyes, but suddenly snapped them open and got up when she saw the two golden-armoured white pegasi landing before her. One was a male pegasus with a large muscular build just like Shining Armour’s - he had a deep blue mane and deep blue eyes while the other was a light blue-maned and green-eyed female pegasus with a slightly smaller build (but still looking fit and strong like his companion). The guards were just as surprised to see Amy as she was to see them, it was slightly amusing.
“What is it that you need, Miss Do?” the male guard spoke in a deep and raspy voice.
“Well as you can see, we need some help getting back to Canterlot.” Daring said while looking at Amy. “She obviously can’t fly and we would like to get back there before sundown.”
“Of course”, the female guard nodded and looked towards Amy, who had been staring at them the whole time. “Excuse me miss...”
“Amy,” she finished her sentence.
“Amy...” she said, “Would you mind riding on my back for the trip back to Canterlot?”
“Would I???” she cheered, much to our surprise. “Definitely not!” The pegasus nodded and approached her. Amy climbed onto her back and adjusted herself on the pegasus’ back.
“Just watch the leg so you don’t hit the wings while we fly.” the pegasus said.
“I guess we’re ready to go.” Daring Do said, before she was cut off by a sudden series of yelps coming from the elevator shaft.
“...What was that?” Amy asked worryingly.
“Looks like the Diamond Dogs found the tanks...” Daring Do sighed. “Too late for them now... Let’s go.” And with that, Daring, the two guards with Amy and I took off back to Canterlot.
Oh boy, do I want to see the look on everypony’s faces when they see Amy...
"Do you mind if I nap on your back?" Amy asked the guard after a few minutes of flight. All we could see at the time were trees, so I could understand why she wanted to sleep on the trip. The guard shrugged in response, and Amy adjusted herself so she could rest her head on the guard's neck.
By the time we approached the Everfree Forest's border, it was already getting dark and the moon was visible just behind the mountain where Canterlot was located. My guess was that it was around six in the evening. Looking down into the forest I saw some movement inside the trees below us, and sometimes I saw packs of glowing green orbs blinking at us. Shit, no wonder Daring wanted to leave the forest before night... I don't even want to know what those things are... I swallowed dryly before looking forward again and ignore the forest. Canterlot was clearly visible from the distance we were, and we began ascending towards the city embedded into the mountain cliff.
"Shouldn't we wake her up now?" Daring Do asked when we were a few minutes from reaching the castle.
"She sure would love the view..." I responded while looking over at Amy. I flew towards the female guard to try to wake Amy up. "Hey, Amy? We're almost there..." I said in a louder than usual volume to battle the wind's noise.
She moaned a bit before opening her eyes and looked at me. She then looked down and saw the altitude we were at and hesitantly got up to a sitting position on the guard's back. I raised a leg and pointed to the castle, in which she finally looked at, making her even more speechless than she already was.
We flew over the walls protecting the city and landed inside the castle grounds, just in front of the doors that led to the museum where me and Twilight first entered. Amy got off the guard's back and walked next to me and Daring. We entered the museum corridor, and as if pegasi weren't enough to make Amy shocked, the room consisted mostly of unicorns - not to mention, some of them had coats with colours you'd find in a crayon box.
"S-So many colours..." Amy stuttered, "and there are... u-unicorns!?"
"Yup..." I said quietly. "We need to go see the Princesses right now, so please keep calm and don't panic, alright?" She nodded nervously, her head was turning quickly from one pony to another, staring at them as she did. Likewise, the ponies that noticed Amy stared right back at her with pretty much the same reaction as hers. We rushed to the corridor and approached the door that led to the throne room.
One of the guards approached us as we entered the room and saw the two thrones empty. "Miss Daring.” He greeted her, “The Princesses are currently at the dining table. They said that you may join them at any time."
"Thank you." she nodded back at the guard, and turned to face me and Amy. "Well that gives us some time to let Amy recompose herself."
"S-sort of...", Amy asked nervously, still dazed from seeing crayon-coloured ponies.
"Well... just as a precaution," I spoke, " The princesses about as tall as you and are both unicorn and pegasus." Her eyes widened at the end of my sentence. "Just letting you know in advance in case you freak out or something..."
"O-okay..." she stuttered. We walked back to the museum and followed Daring to the dining room, where the Princesses and other unicorns were having their meals. Twilight was sitting next to Princess Celestia, and when she saw me without a scratch she beamed with happiness Very subtle, Twilight.... Her expression went from happiness to complete surprise in mere nano-seconds when she noticed Amy standing next to me and Daring Do. Celestia noticed her pupil's reaction and looked over to us, and had a similar reaction to Twilight's. Luna followed suit a few seconds later.
"Good god they're beautiful..." Amy muttered while staring at them, "their manes..."
"Let's get you settled and eat, first. Those berries weren't a proper meal." Daring Do interrupted. Gee, Daring, you sure know how to ruin a moment...
"R-Right!" Amy snapped out of her trance. We walked over to the princesses and picked the seats next to them. Twilight insisted I sat next to her (I wonder why...). Amy sat on the other seat next to me.
"So... this is a human..." Twilight pondered while looking over at Amy. "How did you find it?"
"She was frozen among others in the ruins Daring found, which turned out to be a cryogenics lab." I replied. "And her name is Amy Winter."
"Hello, Amy! I'm Twilight Sparkle." Twilight said to her. Amy waved at her nervously. The fact that she was surrounded by talking and winged/horned horses didn't quite sink into her yet. "Let's get you three something to eat."
"I could use something to eat right now." Amy replied; her nervousness was slowly starting to go away. She looked at the food served at the table in front of us and picked some food for her plate - Seeing her use her hands to eat made me slightly jealous, but I kept my cool and chose my own food as Twilight served it for me. (I'll pick levitation over hands any day of my life, to be honest)
"Let's discuss your findings once we're done eating," Celestia said to me and Daring Do, "for now let us have a peaceful meal." Everyone agreed to it and went to mind their own plates.
Once we were done with dinner Daring Do, Amy, Twilight, the princesses and I walked back to the throne room. The princesses sat on their thrones and the rest of us took a spot in front of them. We spent a few minutes explaining what Daring and I found and how we found Amy.
"I see..." Celestia spoke, "so why was Amy frozen among others, yet the only one alive?"
"That I can explain for myself," Amy said just before Daring was about to answer. Amy explained what had happened, inclusing her tumour and how she and I were already acquainted before everything that had happened so far.
"Wow, what a coincidence." Twilight said, "but what about your illness? Can't we do something about it?"
"I believe so." Celestia answered her pupil, and looked towards Amy, whose eyes started glowing when she heard the answer. "Remember that machine used to examine Johnny?"
"Yes." I answered.
"We could use that to find her tumour and I’m certain we can take care of it for good." Celestia smiled, Amy's eyes were at the brink watering and I saw a smile slipping out. "But as far as I am aware, it will take a few days for the doctors to analyze your anatomy, since you're not a familiar species to them." Amy's smile began to fade a bit, but I still saw some joy in it. Everyone else in the room had stood silent, and were listening to the princess attentively. "The cost for a procedure like yours is very expensive and dangerous. But the outcome has always been successful." she smiled.
"How much are we talking about for this procedure?" I asked the princess.
"It's no matter." Celestia answered me, and turned once more to Amy, still smiling. "I'll personally take care of the expenses for your treatment."
There was a huge silence in the room. It wasn't an awkward silence at all. All of us were standing there in awe. A few seconds passed, and I heard a sniff coming from Amy. We looked over to her and she was staring straight back at Celestia.
"...C-can I hug you?", she whimpered, stopping to wipe a tear with her robe. Celestia stared at her for a short moment and smiled once again, spreading one of her wings. Amy finally snapped and ran over to the princess and they hugged for quite a while, all the while I could hear Amy's muffled voice from pressing her face against Celestia's neck saying "thank you" countless times. Meanwhile Luna was smiling at the two, Twilight was a bit teary-eyed and Daring was smiling a bit herself. Amy finally broke free of the hug and stared at the princess for a few more seconds before walking back to her spot next to us.
"Now, it won't take too long for the scanning to be complete" Celestia said, "we can still do that tonight and let the doctors examine the test results. But I'd still recommend you stay here in the medical bay so the doctors can keep an eye on you. Will you be alright with that?" Amy nodded quietly.
"And what about a place for her to live?" I asked. "Twilight's guest room is already taken. I don't see anywhere else where she can stay near us."
"Oh don't mind that, Johnny." Twilight answered, "Pinkie Pie would love to have a roommate, and Applejack has a guest bedroom at her farm as well. We can sort this out when we get back to Ponyville."
"Pinkie Pie.... Applejack..." Amy wondered, "All these names... I'm going to have to get used to them." she giggled. Twilight raised a brow and turned back to me.
"What's wrong with our names?" she asked me, almost frowning.
"Nothing... It's just that us humans aren't used to those kind of names." I replied, "I was a bit like her when I first got here - she'll get used to it fast."
"As for you, Johnny," Luna spoke to me, "I've taken the time to prepare your identity, and dealt with Carbon Streak's posters. You shouldn't have any trouble with anypony else around Canterlot about them asking you about it."
"Well, that's a relief." I said, "So I'm all clear now?"
"You just have to head to the embassy to complete some minor details and you'll be done." She replied.
"One more night in Canterlot and we're back to Ponyville, then." Twilight said, "I hope Spike is okay with spending another night alone..."
"As far as I know he probably would've gone over to sleep at Rarity's if he didn't want to be alone" I chuckled. Twilight rolled her eyes and giggled a bit. "But what about Amy? We still need to figure out where she'll be staying with us."
"Since she'll be staying a few days in Canterlot, we'll have some time to decide where she'll be living" Twilight replied. "But for now, I think we've got it covered for now."
"Well, now that we've dealt with all this, I've got some paperwork to fill out about this trip", Daring Do spoke. "It was nice working with ya, Johnny", she smirked and extended a hoof. I approached her and extended mine and we did a "hoof" bump. She bowed to the princesses and walked out of the throne room.
“Now Amy...” Luna looked at Amy, “If you would follow me to the medical bay...” She walked with Amy out of the throne room.
“Okay. Just to be clear:” I began after the doors closed, “Amy will spend a few days here being treated, I have to head to the embassy before leaving Canterlot, and then we’ll sort out where Amy will be living in Ponyville. Did I miss anything?”
“Nope. I believe that is all”, Twilight said. “I think I’ll talk with Cadance a bit before going to bed.” She approached Celestia and said their goodbyes. “See you soon, Johnny.” she smiled and walked out of the throne room.
“I’m thinking I’ll go finish my identity issue now.” I said to the remaining princess, “so where do I go to reach the embassy?”
“One of the guards can show you the way.” Celestia said, looking at one of the guards stationed next to the thrones. He nodded back and walked towards me. I bowed to the princess and followed the guard out of the throne room. A few minutes walking around the castle and we reached a medium-sized room with similar decor as the hospital area, there was a counter with a single light blue unicorn arranging some cabinets.
He turned around when he heard us walk in and turned to face us. “Oh, hello there!”. He said smiling. He had a silver mane and matching gray eyes, as well. “I’m guessing you might be the one called Johnny the Princess of the Night mentioned when she passed here earlier.” He walked to one of the cabinets, bringing back a few papers with him. He placed the papers on the counter, holding a quill.
“As far as I’m aware, you’re just like Carbon Streak on the physical side, am I right?” he asked me. I nodded back politely to him.
“Very well, I’ll just copy over Carbon Streak’s information... except the name, of course.” He said while reading over Carbon’s file. “Now... for the name...” he looked up to me. “What is your full name?”
“Jonathan Crown”. I replied. I was half expecting him to find my name odd. My guessing was deemed correct when he raised a brow at me but shrugged.
“Rather uncommon name...” he commented, “seeing as you’re not from here I should’ve expected it.” he chuckled. “And your occupation?”
“Right now I’m working at Sweet Apple Acres in Ponyville, but my main job would have to be musician.”
“I see.” he nodded, “So musician, then...” He quickly wrote it down on my file and looked up again. “Your age?”
“Uhhhh... Can’t you just compare it to Carbon’s profile?”
“Yep.” he smiled, “just keeping ya on your toes”, he copied Carbon’s age to my file. And then it hit me, I still don’t know my age!
“Question...” I spoke up. The unicorn looked up to me. “What is Carbon’s age anyway?”
“You’re a fine young-looking twenty-year old stallion, Mr Crown!” he smiled back. 4 years younger!? Oh man Amy is gonna turn into jelly when she hears this! “And that is all for now. We just need to take a picture for your profile.” he continued. “Is your hair naturally green and black like that?”
“It was dyed green, actually.” I replied.
“Very well, you don’t need a new picture taken then.” he nodded. He stamped my file on the bottom. “The last step is for you to sign here and we’re done.” He levitated a quill to me and I grabbed it with my mouth. Great... First time writing with my mouth and it has to be an official signature...I slowly and carefully wrote my name down on the line and gave back the quill to the unicorn.
“And this covers it all! you’re now officially an Equestrian citizen! Welcome to Equestria, Mr. Crown!” he said to me after I handed back is quill. “Take care of yourself, now!” He waved at me as I walked out with the guard. I smiled and waved back.
“Can you take me to the guest room, please?” I said to the guard escorting me, he nodded and motioned me to follow him.
When we got up to the guest room door, the guard nodded and walked back down to his duties. I opened the door and saw Twilight talking to the same alicorn I saw earlier in the morning before leaving with Daring to the Everfree forest - they were sitting at the edge of the bed. She saw me enter and smiled, Twilight looked behind her and waved at me.
“Hi, Johnny! This is Princess Cadance.” Twilight said, “She’s my sister-in-law!” Cadance had a mix of gold, pink and purple mane and had slightly pale purple eyes.
“Having some girl talk, I guess?” I asked.
“And some catching up.” Twilight beamed.
“Well, I’ll leave you two to yourselves now.” Cadance said while getting up, “Good night, Twilight. It was great seeing you again.” She passed by me at the door and winked at me. Whoa... what? If she was Twilight’s sister-in-law, then that meant she was married to her brother, which meant he probably told her about Twilight liking me, or she was told by Twilight herself just now. I shrugged off the strange feeling and proceeded to walk inside.
“So, I’m an Equestrian Citizen now.” I spoke up, Twilight had walked into the bathroom and was brushing her teeth. Heck, did these ponies really take all of humanity’s ideas and technology!?.
“Hmm!” she said with a mouthful of foam in her mouth, then spat it out on the sink, “Congratulations!”
“And just one thing...” I said quietly.
“Could you hurry up a bit? I just realized I haven’t been to a bathroom in over three days...”
You gotta be kidding me... even THIS!? I was staring at the white porcelain bowl called a toilet in the bathroom after Twilight finished her brushing Okay, sure it's a bit bigger than usual but they seriously based everything off from what humans used???
"I'm guessing I just... sit on it?" I muttered, "or as close as I can get to sitting..."
"You talk to yourself a lot, don't you?" Came Twilight's voice from the other side of the door.
"I'd like some privacy here, thank you!" I yelled at the door nervously.
"My bad!" she yelped and laughed awkwardly.
After I finished my "businesses" - which by the way, "retractable" organs if you know what I mean, is reeally creepy and weird if you ask me. I looked around the bathroom a bit to find any other resemblances to the bathrooms I was familiar with. It didn't take long for me to notice the decorated curtain on the far side of the unusually large bathroom - since it's a royal guest bedroom then these bathrooms aren't too common, but the bathroom had way too much open space -. I walked over to the curtain and slid it open, revealing yet another familiar-looking bathtub - It was a very large bathtub as well. If it wasn't for the shower head and the faucet I would've just called it a Jacuzzi.
"I bet this thing can fit four ponies all at once..." I said out loud. Twilight in three, two... one...
"You're doing it again..." Bingo. I chose to keep quiet and ignore her at that point.
"Well... I think I'll take a bath before going to bed..." I said quietly, turning over my shoulder and sniffing the closest part of my body that I could reach - which in this case was my wing -."Yeah... I smell like dirt and tree sap..."
"Don't forget to use the brush!" yelled Twilight from the other side. Okay... one thing is notice someone talking to themselves ... but paying attention to what they're saying??? Forget ignoring her!
I opened the bathroom door to confront Twilight, who was in bed reading a book. "Twilight..." I sighed, "One thing is comment on me talking to myself, but this is downright creepy..."
"Sorry..." she pulled back her ears, "won't happen again..."
"Thank you." I said and walked over to the drawer to get a towel. I walked back to the bathroom and turned open the tub's faucet. After a few minutes waiting for it to fill up I finally stepped into it. I let out a big sigh of relief as I sank into the perfectly hot water.
"Hmmm.... I might as well sleep in this tub for tonight..." I sighed, looking up at the ceiling. "Okay... time for some cleaning."
A few minutes into rubbing my head with some shampoo, I glanced at the brush that was sitting at the corner of the bathtub. How do I hold that thing? My line of thought was interrupted by the sound of the door opening and Twilight walking in. That and also the fact I had left the curtain wide open.
"Knock before entering you know..." I frowned while sinking all but my head into the water full of soap.
"Oh please, Johnny..." Twilight giggled, "you're just taking a bath."
"Exactly!" I exclaimed.
"Exactly what?" She asked. Hold on... ponies don't exactly wear clothing, do they?
"I feel like an idiot now..." I muttered. Twilight giggled a bit more. "But why did you come in here anyway?"
"Just came here to check up on you, that's all." She said calmly.
"What am I? Two years old?" I said sarcastically, "I know how to take a bath on my own..."
"Very well..." she replied, "Have fun with the brush!" Oh you... She turned around to leave the bathroom.
"Wait." I called out. Twilight stopped at the door and turned around smirking.
"I don't know how to use the brrsrshh... I slurred.
"Didn't quite catch that..." she said, still smirking. Please don't make me say it... I'm feeling like an even bigger idiot...
"The brush..." I muttered quietly. Come oooooon, don't do this to me...
"What about the brush?" Fuck it, you win.
"I don't know how to use the brush!" I yelled, crossed my forelegs and pouted. Oh great, didn't know I could cross my legs like this but whatever... Twilight didn't budge a single bit and just laughed.
"Need help? Or can you figure it out by yourself?" She asked calmly.
“...Alright fine, help me..." I sighed.
"But didn't you say you knew how to take a bath by yourself?" she asked.
"Are you going to help me or not!?" I snapped at her. Seriously, stop torturing me like this!
"Awww...." Twilight cooed in a baby voice, "Liwwe Johnny doesn't know how to bwushie-bwushie!" Ffffff-
"...Done yet?" I said, sinking back into the water and grunting silently. Twilight nodded and approached the bathtub.
She levitated the brush floated it between us. "Since I'm a unicorn I can just levitate it around to use it." She began, "But for you it's a bit more complicated."
"A bit?" I asked, raising a brow. "I can't even pick up a pencil with my hooves, much less a brush handle..."
She lifted her hoof and showed it to me. "Do you see my hoof? Lo-"
"No, I see a microphone." I interrupted her in a sarcastic tone... which made Twilight raise a brow at me, "You know... because of the obviousness of the answer and uh..." I trailed off, "just keep going..."
Twilight slowly shook her head in disapproval, "Anyways... look at where my fetlock and knee meet."
"The knee and the what now???" I shook my head in confusion.
"Fetlock... the back of my hoof, and knee, just above it..." she sighed. "Just look at what I'm doing." She bent her knee forward, and much to my surprise she used it as a hook to ‘grab’ the brush. "Simple as that." It was pretty much like bending the wrist for humans.
"Ah." That was all I could muster, as I was too busy mentally face hoofing myself for never noticing I could do that.
"But since you just learned that..." Twilight continued, "I guess it would be okay if I just brush you this time." She grinned. Suuuure...
"Or use it as an excuse t-" I mumbled quietly, but stopped mid-sentence. Crap, I should have kept that in my head...
"Excuse for what?" Twilight asked, tilting her head.
"Oh, Twilight..." I began, "You're trying too hard now, seriously." Might as well just get this cleared up already...
"W-what are you talking about?" She stuttered.
"Ohhh! You stuttered!" I smirked and pointed an accusatory hoof her. "I heard a stutter!"
"N-no I didn't!" Wooooow really, Twilight?I thought. After a few seconds of silence Twilight sighed and continued. "Alright, fine. I stuttered..." She pulled back her ears and looked down slightly.
"You're hiding something, and you're being awfully bad at it." I said, laughing a bit. The tables, Twilight. They have been TURNED!
"And what exactly am I hiding?" She talked back.
"Let's examine the situation for a moment here..." I said calmly and rested on the side of the bathtub. "Here I am... taking a bath in peace, when out of nowhere you show up to "check up on me"..." I said while making aerial quotation marks with my wings.
"And I see no problem with that..." She replied. "You didn't know how to hold the brush, so you'd end up asking for my help anyway."
"Not the point I'm trying to make..." I gritted my teeth. Don't try to get away from this, Twi... "Even if I DID end up asking for your help on my own, you'd still happily come to help - which brings us to reason why we're here talking about this." Wow, I feel like I'm giving her a lecture now... Twilight broke eye contact and looked to a wall, and tapped the floor slowly. Just a bit more and she'll snap... Part of me was enjoying playing with Twilight like that.
"And what exactly are we talking about?" She asked in an innocent tone, but I didn't buy it.
"Let's play a little game..." I said, rubbing my front hooves together like a mad scientist - or at least how I think a mad scientist pony would. Twilight rolled her eyes an kept quiet.
"It's called Clues."
"Ookay?" Twilight said, looking extremely confused as to what I was going with that.
"I'll give you some clues, and you have to use them to figure out the answer."
"Why not just call it-" She retorted, but I interrupted her with a "shush".
"My game, my rules... Let me have some fun, will ya?" I said. Twilight rolled her eyes and kept quiet. "First clue: You said I'm good company, back in the train in Ponyville."
"Is this where I think it's going?" She asked nervously.
"You bet it is..." I smirked.
"Can't I just say the answer now?" She whined. "This is a bit torturous in my opinion."
"You did the same to me a few moments ago. It's only fair I do the same to you." I replied.
"But I didn't go this far..." She trailed off.
"Okay... I promise not to do this again.” I said calmly, "Now. The quicker we do this the quicker this ends."
"Fine..." she sighed.
"Great!" I smiled. "Second clue: You insisted that I sat next to you at the dining table when I came back with Amy and Daring Do." Twilight nodded and stood silent. "Third clue - well, this is more of a question: Why did Cadance wink at me when she left the room?" I asked.
"Uhm... well..." she muttered. Yup, I got her now...
"I'm waiting..." I lifted my front leg and looked at an imaginary watch, Twilight shook her head in disapproval once more. "What did you tell her that caused her to do that?" Twilight mumbled something completely incoherent and went quiet again.
"Okay, let's skip that... On to the next clue: When we went to bed the other night, you said, "Good night" to m-..."
"And there's nothing wrong with that as far as I'm aware." She interrupted me, slightly nervously.
"It isn't..." I sighed, "unless you say it in a sweet voice like you did." Twilight's face went red and her ears twitched a bit.
"Okay I guess we know the answer that can come out from these clues." I said putting my front legs behind my head and resting on the side of the bathtub again, waiting for Twilight's response, but she just stood there quiet. Okay, Johnny... enough playing with her, just get this over with...
"Alright, I'll answer it for you if you want." I spoke up after a moment of silence. Twilight nodded in agreement. I took in a deep breath before speaking again.
"... You like to watch other ponies bathing, do you?"
"What!?!?" She exclaimed, slightly confused. "Okay, I do like you but I'm not a cree-" she realized what she had said and stopped mid-sentence. "Okay, I gotta admit that was clever..."
"Gotcha." I pointed a hoof at her once again. "I already knew that, I just wanted to see how long it'd take for you to say it yourself."
"Please don't do that again..." she dropped down to the floor and sat down.
"I promise. "I said calmly. "Why were you making it so hard, anyway?"
"I don't know..." She trailed off, "I definitely didn't imagine it to end up like this, though."
"Well... It doesn't really matter now." I continued, "Do you feel like we cleared the air now?" I asked her. Twilight nodded quietly. "Alright, do you still want to brush me?"
"You had enough fun for now, don't you think?" She raised a brow at me and got up to leave.
"Fair enough..." I said, "I'll be out of here in a few minutes." Twilight closed the door and left me to brush my coat on my own.
After finishing my bath and drying my mane and coat, I walked back to my side of the bed. Twilight was still reading her book, so I scooted over to try to see what she was reading, but Twilight closed the book shut just as I began reading.
"Need something?" she asked me calmly.
"Just curious as to what you were reading..." I trailed off, "never mind..."
"Oh, it's just a romance novel..." She replied and turned off her bed lamp.
"Okay... Good night, then." I said, turning away from her and back to my side of the bed, shutting my eyes.
"Good night, Johnny." Twilight replied, but not in the same sweet voice as the other night. Heh, she really was trying too hard.
A few minutes of silence passed, I was about to fall asleep, but Twilight spoke up. "Johnny?" She asked out quietly.
Before she could continue I stopped her. “...I’m sorry I just need some time to think, alright?"
"Okay..." I heard Twilight say nervously.
"It's alright... I’m not mad at you." Okay, she likes me, but do I feel the same way? How does this work?
I didn't get much sleep that night - with the thought of me possibly putting Twilight in the infamous "friend zone" and with Amy being around as another source for my worries (not that I don’t want her around or I think she can’t take care of herself), there lingered too much in my mind for a proper rest.
Though I suppose I did expect a feeling of responsibility to arise considering my own character, I still have mixed feelings about Amy - especially seeing as, as far as I can tell, I am the closest individual she can relate to. Not to mention she's my best friend's sister, and he promised her he'd do his best to help her. I felt it was my duty to take up Gary's promise and see it come true.
I woke up extremely tired that morning. The only thing that could plausibly get me out of that bed was if the room was on fire. Twilight could hurl pillows at me for hours and I still wouldn't move and inch.
"Johnny, we're going to miss the train if we don't leave for breakfast right now!" I heard Twilight's voice through the pillow that was over my head.
"I'll skip breakfast for more sleep..." I muttered through the pillow, "I feel like I drank a full reservoir of wine in one night..."
"What about Amy?" She asked. "Aren't you going to talk to her before leaving?" Oh, right... Amy...
"Alright..." I groaned, moving the pillow out of my face. The light coming from the window shone right over my eyes, and I tried my best not to cover up my face again. I slowly squinted my eyes open and saw Twilight on her side of the bed, organizing her bag.
"Not enough sleep?" She looked over to me. I simply nodded back at her, rubbed my eyes and sluggishly rolled out of bed to get up.
"I feel... I feel like I need to take care of Amy. This has been bugging me all night." I said, picking up the sunglasses next to my bed lamp. "I'm the closest one related to her brother."
"You want to take responsibility for her brother?" She asked me. We started walking out of the bedroom and back to the dining room.
"Well... not exactly be her brother..." I replied, "Nothing like that. I just feel like I have to take hold of Gary's promise to her."
"What was this promise?" She asked. "She never mentioned that last night."
"She said Gary wanted to do whatever he could to see his little sister live a full life." I said, "They expected Amy to wake up in a time where there'd be a cure for cancer, or something really close to it. But it seems even here you ponies still have that going on."
"But we do have a way of treating cancer for good." Twilight assured me, "Princess Celestia said it herself."
"Yes, but the problem is that the treatment is done on ponies." I said to her worryingly, "They never did this to human species as far as I'm aware... What if something goes wrong in the treatment? What if the very thing Amy is afraid of happening... happens?"
"Johnny..." Twilight said, walking in front of me and placing a hoof on my shoulder to stop me from walking, "There is no way you can know for sure this will happen. You're trying to punish yourself over something completely out of your control."
"You're right..." I sighed, "Maybe some food will help clear my head..." We continued walking to the dining room.
Shortly after we finished breakfast, Twilight and I walked to the medical bay to see Amy. We were almost at her door when we crossed paths with Daring Do, who was just leaving Amy's room.
"Daring, what a surprise!" I said. Twilight was already in her state of fan-girl shock and was staring at Daring, "What are you doing here?"
"I was giving Amy some encouragement, "Daring replied, "I was also asking a few questions about the lab she was in - mostly about those server boxes you mentioned."
"Did she know what they were for?" I asked.
"Apparently they're holding a lot of information about what happened during the time the lab was running." She replied, "Stuff like weather reports, world news, all sorts of things - And apparently we can recover them."
"Oh right! The hard drives!" I remembered, "Hopefully we can still get them intact, Because of that liquid nitrogen spill that happened there..."
"Luck will have to be on our side, I guess." Daring shrugged, "I'm heading there now with some specialists to help recover them. We're bringing proper lighting this time..."
"Good luck with that." I smiled, "Keep me posted on what happened and with what you find. I might be of help."
"Will do." She nodded and looked at Twilight who was still staring at her, "What's up with her?"
"Fan-girl shock..." I chuckled, "I've seen these happen a lot in my time."
"Right." Daring shrugged, "I'll talk to you soon." She walked away back to the waiting room me and Twilight came from - who finally snapped out of her trance once again.
"Hng..." she groaned, rubbing her forehead, "I need to learn how to stop doing this..."
"At least you weren't screaming and trying to kiss her." I chuckled, remembering some scenes that happened to many famous artists back in my days. Twilight raised a brow at my response.
"I'm not into mares..." She said, slightly annoyed.
"I know, just giving an example," I replied hurriedly, "Don't get worked up over this." We continued walking towards Amy's room, and when we entered we saw her eating breakfast - which consisted mostly of fruit, some lettuce and corn on the cob. Poor Amy... she's being forced into being a vegan like this.
"Oh, hey guys!" Amy cheered, "How's it going?"
"Just passing by before we head back to Ponyville." I said, looking at her plate. "You sure you're going to be okay? You don't seem like a vegan person..."
"Oh this?" She looked at her plate, "I'm not vegan, but I never ate too much meat anyways. It won't be a problem for me."
"But I am missing the bacon, though..." I said, Twilight looked at me in confusion, and Amy simply laughed but completely understanding how I felt. "And it's best you don't know what bacon is..." I said to Twilight, who shrugged in response, yet slightly nervous about it.
"You seem cheerful this morning." Twilight remarked, "Are the doctors treating you well?"
"Some doctors are kinda cranky, but the the nurses are so sweet and adorable!" Amy squealed, "I just want to hug them until my arms fall off!"
"Glad you're happy, then." I smiled. Seeing her without thinking about her problems for this little while gave me a small relief. "We'll see you back in Ponyville."
"And don't worry, we'll find you a place to stay." Said Twilight. Amy waved at us as we walked out of the room.
The trip back to Ponyville lasted all day. We didn't ride in an empty car like last time, and we just read a book in silence during the whole ride. When the announcer spoke on the intercom about Ponyville coming up next, the sun was about to set. We left the train station and headed towards the library in silence. When the library door was in sight, we spotted Spike locking the door and holding a pillow.
"Spike?" Twilight called out as we stopped right behind him, making him scream for his life.
"Gah! Don't do that!" He yelled as he turned around to face us. "Oh, it's you guys... Welcome back!"
"What are you doing with that pillow?" Twilight asked Spike.
"I was going to uh..." He trailed off, "...sleep at somepony's house for tonight." Why am I not surprised...
"Who is this somepony?" I asked him.
"Rarity..." he muttered silently.
"Heh, I knew it." I chuckled. Spike threw an angry glare at Twilight, which made me stop laughing almost instantly.
"You told him!?" He scowled at Twilight, who was a bit surprised herself, "I thought I told you to not to tell anypony!"
"And she didn't tell me about it." I interrupted him, "I picked up on that as soon as you mentioned Rarity on my first morning here."
"Oh..." Spike said, looking back at Twilight. “I'm sorry for yelling at you Twilight..." He hugged her leg, in which she wrapped him with her other leg in a small embrace. It was an adorable scene and I couldn't help but smile at them. The broke the hug and Spike turned to me. "Was I that obvious?"
"Very obvious." I said, throwing a quick glance at Twilight, making her a bit uneasy. "Now that we're back, you don't have to sleep over at Rarity's anymore, right?" Spike's mood went down slightly by the look on his face.
"Hey, bud." I spoke again. Spike looked up at me. "I'm not one to decide whether you can go or not. That's up to her." I motioned my head towards Twilight.
"You can sleep at Rarity's for tonight." She smiled at him, whose mood instantly went back up and had a big smile on his face, "Just make sure you come back before the library opens tomorrow, alright?"
"Yeah! Yeah!" He said while he ran out into the street. "See you two tomorrow!"
Twilight opened the door and we walked to the kitchen to grab a quick bite and a drink. We went upstairs towards our respective rooms to drop our stuff on whatever we lay our eyes upon when we enter the room. My first glance was at the bed that was neatly made - probably done by Spike while we were away. Since the only thing I had on was Twilight's sunglasses, I lobbed it onto the bed and walked towards the bookshelves in the room to check out what books Twilight had in there. That is, until she called me out from her room.
"Johnny! Come here for a second!". She called out. I left the room and took a turn towards her door - It was wide open and I saw Twilight sitting on her bed that was located on a platform near the window. Her study desk right under it and neatly tidied up. I climbed up the stairs and stopped by her bed.
"You like star-gazing, right?" She asked, looking out the open window and at the early evening sky - it was just beginning to turn dark and had a mystical shade of purple near the horizon, partially hidden behind other houses and the trees in the park.
"Yeah. How did you know that?" I asked, slightly surprised of how she knew about it.
"When we were heading out to Canterlot, after that incident in the cart..." She began. I nodded, signaling for her to continue, "After we went back to sleep, I saw your shadow across the corridor. You were sitting, just like I am right now."
"Yep. I like star-gazing once in a while." I said, smiling.
"Then come here and join me. It's going to be a new moon tonight." She smiled, and shifted over to the side. Oh, what the heck, Johnny. Can't hurt, right? I climbed her bed and sat next to her by the window.
"It's not completely dark, yet." I commented, "We still have a few more minutes until we can see a decent amount of stars."
"I guess so..." Twilight said, "but the sky is very beautiful at this hour, don't you think?"
"Yeah." I said, looking out the window, "The twilight sky is breathtaking." I looked to my side and saw that the other Twilight was blushing slightly. "You mean the sky, right?" I asked awkwardly.
"Whatever you wish it to be..." She said smiling, continuing to look out the window. Seriously Johnny? Are you seriously going to deny this? My mind was in conflict with itself. One side kept arguing against it, while the other kept arguing to go for it.
"Twilight..." I muttered after a minute of silence. She turned towards me. The few stars that were visible in the sky were reflecting onto Twilight's dark purple eyes. Once again... get this thing over with, dude! "I need to talk about something..."
"I know..." She replied calmly, "I can tell from the look in your eyes. What is it?"
"This... thing going on with us." I began, "One part of me keeps telling me 'yes', and the other says 'no', and I have no idea what to do..."
"Are you saying..." She said carefully, concerned. I didn't let her finish her sentence, though.
"I mean, I like you and all that..." I continued, "It's just that I'm torn between whether this is right or wrong, you know?" From the look on her face, Twilight still didn't understand what I was saying.
"I don't follow..." she tilted her head, puzzled.
"Let me try that again..." I cleared my throat, "One part of me tells me that I should just be friends with you, and that I shouldn't go farther than that..."
"And the other side says otherwise?" She completed my sentence. I nodded silently.
"I think it's because of the fact that I'm still human." I continued, "Not physically, but mentally. A human and a unicorn is just something that sounds really confusing to me... It feels weird."
"I see no problem with that." Twilight argued, "Look at Spike and Rarity for example; he likes Rarity, and the fact that he's a dragon doesn't stop him from caring about her." She's got a point...
"I guess it's that whole 'Love knows no bounds' kind of thing..." I shrugged, "That sounded so cliche."
"And cheesy..." Twilight giggled. I joined in almost instantly.
"So cheesy I could store it and never run out of it for a year..." I joked, but silence fell upon us, and I shrunk quietly in place while looking out the window.
"... Why store so much cheese like that?" Twilight asked out of the blue.
"It was a joke." I laughed. Her tendency to take things literally most of the time is what made me realize why I liked being around her in the first place - She does have that creepy habit of listening in to what others are saying to themselves, but it was alright.
"Oh... heh." she laughed awkwardly, "I get it now: too much cheese, so you have to-" I put a hoof on her mouth to stop her from speaking.
"You don't have to explain it." I chuckled, and looked back at the evening stars. After a few moments of silence I spoke up. "I think I know why I'm liking you now." I chuckled.
"And why is that?" She asked quietly.
"You're 'adorkable'." I said turning to her, looking into her dark purple eyes as they reflected the night sky.
"A what?" She asked, puzzled.
"What I mean is that you're cute..." I blushed, and quickly continued, "... and nerdy."
"...Nerdy?" she inquired. She wasn't offended by the look on her face, just mildly confused.
"Let's see..." I placed a hoof under my chin, "Dorky, bookworm, egghead, etcetera... Nerdy, get it now?"
"Oooh..." She blushed, "Bookworm, because I like to r-" She stopped talking again when I glanced at her. "Oops... I did it again..."
"Yes. And it's adorkable." I smiled at her. She smiled back and we both looked back out the window. Twilight rested her head against mine and we stared at the sky in peaceful silence for the rest of that evening.
I slowly opened my eyes and lifted my head, looking around.
Falling asleep in Twilight's bedroom - not to mention her bed - was not what I had planned on. Since that incident in Canterlot I was slightly terrified of sharing a bed with anyone, especially because of my tendency to stir around in bed often - combine that with Twilight also stirring around in bed just as often and the results are pretty much doubled.
To my luck I woke up on my own side, at the foot of the bed.I looked over next to me and I saw Twilight on the opposite side, sprawled open and hugging her pillow like a bear hugging her cub.
I quietly sat up on the bed and looked around. The window was still open, and as a bonus, the sun hadn't even risen yet and a cold wind blew in making me shiver a bit.The sky was still a bit dark and the horizon was just starting to gain that familiar orange hue. I looked at Twilight's bedside clock and it was reading 5:30AM.
"Crap..." I muttered quietly, "Window was open all night, and I caught Gary's sleep patterns..." Surprisingly enough, I wasn't feeling tired at all. It was a rare occurrence for me to have less than eight hours of sleep and still wake up without feeling tired.
I got out from Twilight's bed and flew from the platform and down to the lower floor, accidentally landing too hard -thanks to my beginner flight abilities - and causing a nice audible thud to vibrate throughout the whole room. Twilight stirred in her bed and let out sleepy moan. "Well she's having a good sleep..." I said while looking back at the platform.
"I should check for any stolen stuff..." I said quietly, remembering about the window still being open, "Though I might just be paranoid now." I used to live in an area that was known for having plenty of break-and-enter reports. My apartment door had a cutting-edge, state of the art lock. It was one of the best in the market and had only one design flaw: The door must be closed for it to work. However with a really good lock on my door, it didn't prevent me from checking if it was messed with every morning before leaving my apartment. The library didn't have a lock like I had - It was a simple key lock and a handle - and the window didn't have a lock at all. I naturally began to look around Twilight's bedroom for anything that looked out of place (not that I would know where everything was located). I finally gave up and accepted the fact that Ponyville was too peaceful to have any kind of petty crimes like these. The town wasn't tiny, but it was small enough that if somepony stole something or committed any sort of crime, somepony else might just say 'it was that guy who lives next door'.
"I don't think I'll get any more sleep so I guess I'll try to make some breakfast..." I muttered and walked downstairs to the kitchen.
My awoken, yet still drowsy consciousness overestimated my skills in holding any sort of object - which in my case, it was zero - and I was having a hard time trying to grab anything. I rage quit after a couple of failed attempts and reached for an apple that was in the fruit basket instead. I ate it in a a few quick bites and had a second one. Though it didn't fulfill my hunger, it felt enough so I could hold on a few more hours until Spike came back from Rarity's (not that I would always rely on others to make food for me). I walked out of the kitchen after I was done eating - which was literally in seconds - and I headed back upstairs to wait for Twilight to wake up so we could start figuring out what to do in regards to Amy staying in Ponyville and where she would be staying. I was about to reach the staircase when I heard a flapping sound coming from the main room of the library. I turned around almost instantly and found myself face to face with a brown owl sitting at the edge of a table, staring back at me with its big - though not as big as a pony's - eyes. I looked up to the top of one of the shelves and saw a recently opened window.
"Hey buddy." I spoke to the owl, even though I was pretty aware that it was probably not going to talk to me, "Back outside, now." I frowned at it.
"Who?" It hooted; It literally sounded like it was saying the word 'who'.
"Yeah, you." I said, "Out." I flew to the door and opened it, gesturing my front leg towards it. The owl didn't move an inch and kept staring at me for a few more seconds.
"I said y-" I said, but stopped to grunt in frustration - I was getting mildly annoyed with that owl at that point. "Stop with this little game! I know what you're doing!" I yelled at it. The owl preened its wings a bit and went back to staring at me.
"Even though you're annoying me to hell, I gotta admit you're pretty clever for an owl...Won’t get fooled again, though." I said while closing the door, then walking to the table and stopping next to the owl.
"Who?" A blood vessel in my brain had probably burst when I felt my head twitch furiously.
I took a few deep breaths to calm myself down. If I can't get rid of this owl, I might as well pass the time with it until Twilight comes to help sort this out. "I got a nice song that will make good use of you." And test my vocal chords, possibly... "It's from a band that you can easily pronounce."
"That's the spirit!" I cheered, "We're gonna do a little rehearsing first, just so you can learn the song. I'll start." I cleared my throat before continuing, "When I point a hoof at you it means its your cue, alright?" The owl simply blinked and kept looking at me. "...I'll take that as a yes. Okay, one... two... and one, two, three, four..."
"Whooo are you?" I began, slightly startled by the fact that Carbon's voice was pretty decent at singing - I found it a bit 'sexy' in a way as well. Fuck yeah... I pointed my hoof at the owl, signalling it to continue.
"Who?" I pointed my hoof at it again.
"Who?" Aww yeah, baby!
"That was awesome!" I cheered, "Let's do the real thing, now..." I tapped my hoof on the ground to catch the beat.
"Whooo are you?"
"Whooo are you?"
I really wanna to know
Oh, I really want to know
C'mon tell me who are you, you, you?
I found myself singing with an owl I never met in my life, and looking at an extremely confused Twilight Sparkle standing by the stairs with a slightly drowsy face and messy mane and tail.
"What's with all that racket?" She slurred, but I could tell she was slightly annoyed.
"Oh gosh, I am so sorry!" I ran towards Twilight and stopped in front of her, "I completely forgot that you were sleeping!"
"Actually I was awake since you landed on the ground with that thud." She rubbed her head with a hoof Oh, crap..., "I was just waiting for the sun to rise because it was so early... And what were you singing with Owlowiscious?"
"...Owlowiscious? This owl is yours?"
"Yes." she replied, "He likes to fly around at night and comes back early morning."
"Then how come I didn't see him the other morning?" I asked.
"He's a bit shy around new ponies; he was in the basement the other day until you left." She giggled, "But it seems he built up some courage to meet you!"
Owlowliscious flew and landed on Twilight's back. "Who?"
"He sure knows how to annoy me, though..." I remarked.
"Yet you still managed to teach him a song." She smiled, "What was that song?"
"Just a song that I used to hear a lot when my dad was listening to his music." I said, "After hearing this guy here say 'who' a couple of times it clicked into my head and decided to try it."
"Well, whatever song that was, you sounded really good..." She smiled.
"Thanks." I chuckled and blushed, "I was surprised with my voice, too. I didn’t pay attention to it when I first woke up as a pony, because well... Who wouldn’t freak out if they woke up completely different than what they used to be?” I said and Twilight nodded in agreement, “Anyways, did you sleep well?"
"One of the best I've had in a while." She rubbed her eyes, "You?"
"Not common for me to have little sleep and still wake up feeling good." I said. ”What time is it now?"
"It's almost six in the morning." Twilight replied. "We got some time until the library opens and Spike comes back and you start your work at AJ’s."
"Right... I guess we can talk for a while." I said. Twilight nodded and walked to the kitchen. I followed behind her while Owlowiscious turned his head behind his back and stared at me. Holy shit, that's creepy...
"I'm not as skilled at cooking like Spike is, but I can make something for us this morning." Twilight said while walking towards the sink. Owlowiscious flew away and stopped by the kitchen window. "How about a simple daisy sandwich?"
"Sure." I said, and picked a seat by the kitchen table. After a few seconds of tense silence I finally found something to talk about. "So... Where do you think Amy should stay when she gets here? She’ll be out in the street unless we find her a good place to stay." I spoke up.
"Well, you kinda know her better than anypony else." Twilight said, "Since both of you have a similar background and culture. Where do you think she should stay?"
"I'm not sure..." I sighed, "Other than both of us having known Gary since childhood I don't know much about her."
"Well, how about we base our options on what we DO know about her?" She suggested while floating a pair of sandwiches to the table.
"That could work." I shrugged. Twilight nodded and glanced at Owlowiscious who was still sitting by the window. He flew away to the reading room and came back a few seconds later with a few scrolls in his claws and a pencil poking out from the centre of the inner scroll. "Yaaay more checklists!" I said sarcastically as Owlowiscious dropped the items next to Twilight.
"Everypony loves my checklists." She giggled while unrolling the empty piece of paper in the centre of the table, "And you're no exception."
"Yeah..." I grinned lightly and took a bite from my sandwich, "They are pretty useful..." I spoke after swallowing. Gotta be polite around others, and Twilight isn't in the RD Chewer club.
"Let's begin, shall we?" She smiled and levitated the pencil above the paper, "What kind of things interest her around here?"
"Uh..." I trailed off, "Pretty much everything, I guess. Almost everything is new to her." Twilight nodded and scribbled on the paper. "Though she did say she found the nurses adorable, so my guess is that she likes peace around her." I added a few seconds later.
"So staying at Fluttershy or Applejack's place would be nice for her, then." Twilight suggested, "They both live in a calm environment. Let's add them to the list." Twilight said as she wrote down their names on a small list on the bottom half of the paper.
"Erm..." I cleared my throat, "Amy said she wanted to hug the nurses - and I quote - 'until her arms fell off'. Fluttershy might not be the best of options." I chuckled.
"Definitely not..." Twilight laughed, striking a line over Fluttershy's name.
“Though Fluttershy might have some trouble with Amy about that, I think you’re in for it just as much as her...” I said.
“Huh?” She tilted her head, confused.
“Erm...” I cleared my throat, “because, well... you’re also... adorable?” I trailed off, blushed and looked away. Did I just say that? That was so cheesy! I could only hear Twilight giggle silently, and the way her laugh sounded I could tell she was probably blushing, but not as bad as I was. “I’m sorry... that was just silly of me...” I slurred, “Can we forget about this? It’s making me feel a bit awkward...”
“I’ll let it pass...” she said calmly, “... for now.” I can’t wait to find out what she’s gonna do with this... I thought sarcastically. "How about we wait until Amy gets here so she can take a look around the town and she can tell by herself which place she likes the most?" She continued, pulling away from the subject.
"That can work." I nodded, "We only have to make sure that your friends are available for taking in someone into their place."
"Of course." Twilight nodded, "you can start ahead with AJ when you head over there. I'll re-write the checklist and we can take take a look at it at the end of the day to see who can take Amy in." She threw the scroll onto a trash can in the corner and unrolled a second scroll, writing her friends' names on them. "If you find somepony else who can also take Amy in, feel free to write their name here." She continued.
"You think they're just going to say yes to me saying: 'hey, do you have a place for a stranger to live with you that you never met in your life?'" I said in a sarcastic tone.
"Well, I don't know how your society worked, but ponies are very open to newcomers. Don't be surprised if nine out of ten ponies you ask say yes to having Amy stay at their home." She giggled. In the case of Lyra she will scream instead of saying 'yes'... . "Which reminds me... you haven't really told how your day-to-day life was as a human." She continued, and her face suddenly grew a curious look.
"Well... we still have a few more minutes to spare before I head to AJ." I shrugged.
"Your civilization is... odd..." Twilight commented after I spent a few minutes describing human society and answering some of her inquiries. "Peaceful yet so chaotic..."
"Tell me about it..." I nodded slowly in agreement. The more I talked about humanity the more I felt that the condition I found myself in - being alive, that is - was more than just sheer luck; it was more of a blessing. I admit that I was distraught for losing everything I had, but a big part of my consciousness was telling me that this was a privilege, considering that I was freed from all the chaos from the world I used to know and that it was replaced by a society far more peaceful that what us humans were. I smiled and continued. "It was a stressful life but I was happy with it..." My smile faded away with that last sentence, reminding of how much I had lost: My career, the small group of friends that I managed to keep contact with... my family. I felt close to having another breakdown similar to the one I had with Rainbow Dash. Twilight noticed my change in mood since her own expression changed slightly. I took a deep breath and pushed the dark thoughts away, changing the subject. "It's all in the past now. It’s a chapter of my life that I need to close..."
"I was about to suggest that." she replied. "I guess Amy is also lucky to be here, isn't she?"
"Lucky?" I chortled, shaking my bad mood away, "I think we were given a blessing of some kind. I mean, having this opportunity to live free of all the stress we had before and have it all replaced with a society made of beautiful beings like yo-" I stopped myself. "Fuck, didn't mean to say that... and I didn't mean to say that, either!" I laughed nervously. Nice going, dude. You're so smooth you're like a bar of soap sliding on ice...
"I got your point." Twilight giggled, "Now I have to ask you this before the opportunity goes away: what does 'fuck' mean?" Oh great, where's Urban Dictionary when you need it... Wait, that's actually worse than trying to explain it myself.
"Uh..." I cleared my throat, "It's kind of a word that depending on the context it's used on, it can be bad, really bad or just really inappropriate."
"And in this context it was..." she trailed off, waiting for my answer.
"I don't know, it just slipped." I said, shrugging. "And you said it sounded like 'buck'. But isn't 'buck' another word for kicking?"
"Yeah, among other things as well." Twilight replied, uneasily. Oh wow, and here I thought these ponies had a clean mind about things
"Huh... I guess you just told yourself the answer, then." I said, "This gives the phrase 'bucking with Applejack' a whole new meaning now." I laughed a like a school girl, but quickly stopped and cleared my throat when I looked back at Twilight and saw her frown at me. "...Sorry."
"Which reminds me - you should be heading out to Sweet Apple Acres any moment now." She said.
"Yup." I nodded, "I will also ask her about Amy and whatnot." Twilight simply nodded and took a sip of her drink, only to spit it out dramatically when a loud bang came from the door, making both of us jump in our seats. We got off from our seats and rushed to the wooden door that had acquired considerably large crack right down the middle. When Twilight opened the door to see who had done it, she stood face to face with a grey blonde pegasus with a mail bag around her neck.
"Hiya, Twilight!" Cheered the cross-eyed mare, "I got mail for..." she pulled out an envelope from the bag with her mouth and held it on her hoof to read it, "...for Johnathan." She frowned, "Weird, I don't think there's anypony in here named Johnathan..." She looked back up to Twilight and saw me approach the door. "Oh hi there Johnny! Nice hair!" She waved at me, dropping the letter in the process. Not really bright, is she?
"Hi, Ditzy!" I spoke up. "This Johnathan you're talking about would be me."
"But I thought your name was Johnny?" She tilted her head in confusion for a few seconds until clarity hit her and cheered again, "OH! Of course! It's a nickname! Here's your letter!" She picked up the letter and gave it to me. "Sorry about the door, Twilight!" She said worryingly.
"It's no big deal, I can get it fixed in no time." Twilight smiled at her.
"Okay... See you around!" She said before walking towards a nearby house.
"Interesting..." I said quietly as we walked into the middle of the reading room, "Not even a week in Ponyville and I am already getting mail..."
"And aren't you interested in knowing who it’s from?" Twilight asked curiously.
"Of course. But as you said, I should head out to Sweet Apple Acres soon. I can read this later." I said to her while looking at the white envelope that contained no further information except its destination - 'Johnathan Crown, Ponyville Library'. "Why isn't there any information on who this is from?" I frowned.
"You have a LOT of things to learn about how stuff works around here..." Twilight smiled, "Whoever sent the letter will be known when you open the letter. Keeps it confidential, in a way."
I shrugged in agreement. "Well... I'll just leave this in the bedroom and go to Sweet Apple Acres to begin my 'roommate' hunt."
I approached Sweet Apple Acres and landed next to the gates to the orchard. Applejack was nowhere to be found, so I assumed that I arrived early and waited by the gates. As I looked past the gates, I saw that the apple trees were all empty. I guess all the apples to be bucked are at the back... I chuckled after thinking about that new meaning of that not-so-innocent word I learned a few moments ago. Dammit Johnny, mature yourself!
I was almost considering taking a quick nap when I spotted Big Macintosh walking out of the barn where we last stored the apples the other day. He was pulling out a cart that was pretty much spilling out apples. Applejack walked behind him pulling another cart, but this time it was full of wooden barrels. She looked at the gates and spotted me. "Wrong side of the farm, JB!" She yelled out, chuckling a bit.
I got up and walked over to the barn. "So what's all this stuff for?" I asked.
"We're makin' some sweet, delicious hard cider today!" Applejack cheered. "Fortunately for you, no more applebuckin' 'til Spring!".
"Soo... no more hard work?" I asked jokingly, already knowing the answer for that question.
"I didn't say hard work was over." She laughed, "We're far from doing that today, sugercube."
"So how are we going to make hard cider?" I asked.
"Well, aren't you eager to gettin' to that cider?" Applejack said, "we'll get to that once we gather everything we need." She turned to Big Macintosh and continued, "Big Mac, you go on ahead, I'll get Johnny 'ere to pull our big ol' 'Squeezer'." Big Macintosh's eyes widened and looked at me. They had a small pitiful look to them and shook his head slowly as he walked away to the other side of the farm that had a larger clearing. “Come on in, JB.” Applejack called from inside the barn.
As I walked in, I spotted the regular equipment I saw the last time I was there. Applejack was at the far side of the barn pulling a saddle hook thing whose name I didn’t know. I approached her and I saw a huge wheel connected to a small treadmill that went through a small box and some really weird machinery on a small platform with wheels, but that wasn’t what caught my attention - rather, it had something that looked like a giant concrete hamster wheel attached to it!
“I’m guessing this is the Squeezer?” I looked at Applejack.
“It sure as sugar is!” She cheered. “And you’re in charge of takin’ him outside!”
“Well... by the look on Big Mac’s face... this must weigh a ton.” I commented.
“Eeyup!” She said, and put the saddle-like thing on my back. It felt slightly awkward since I pretty much had to push the damned thing with my chest. I gave a small push, only to stay in place and see Applejack hold a chuckle.
“...Seriously?” I cocked an eyebrow. “Even on wheels this thing didn’t budge a single bit!?”
“Ah guess this was my fault.” She walked behind me and came back with a piece of wood balancing on a hoof. “Fergot to take this bit of wood so Squeezer ‘ere doesn’t roll out by himself. You should be able to move him now.”
“Nevermind...” I shook my head and tried to pull Squeezer again. Holy shit even without that piece of wood this thing is still barely moving!
Applejack walked next to me. “Need help there, JB?” She asked.
“I’m fine, just getting warmed up...” I replied, obviously lying. Applejack naturally noticed it - she cocked an eyebrow. Wait... no. Not doing that again!
“...Okay, fine, help me.”
Applejack walked to the back of the platform 'The Squeezer' was on and she pushed it slightly. That was enough momentum for me to be able to push 'Squeezer' on my own. Though I couldn't stop for a second or I'd be stuck in place again. Half a minute passed and I finally walked out of the barn with the giant machine behind me.
"Well..." I said, taking a small pause to catch my breath and wipe sweat off my forehead as I walked towards the other side of the farm. "Part one of the journey is done... Where do I take this guy?"
"I'll lead th’way. Just don't stop or you'll be stuck again." Applejack smiled and walked ahead of me, pulling her cart of barrels.
We reached a clearing on the opposite side of the farm, where we caught up with Big Mac who was standing next to an old light green mare with a curly white mane. Both stood by lots of carts filled with apples. Applejack led me next to the middle of the clearing with barrels and we finally stopped walking. Applejack picked up a few rocks and placed them on the wheels of our respective ‘loads’. I walked away from 'The Squeezer' and sat down on my haunches, breathing heavily.
"Never have me do this again..." I panted. "I'm not fit for this type of work..."
"Sure thing, suger." Applejack smiled. "'Th’ hard part of the job is over. From now one it's pretty simple. I'll let ya pick what ya wanna do now."
"So what kind of stuff are we going to do now?" I asked while getting up. "It's not involving pushing anything, right?"
"Nope!" I heard a male voice with the same southern accent coming from behind me, which I guessed to be Big Mac.
"Okay, I least I know he talks..." I commented with Applejack.
"Well, he's shy. He just takes a little time to git used ta new folk." She said.
"Kind of like Fluttershy, I guess."
"Ya could say that."
"So what are my options for part two of the cider making?"
"Wow... ya really ARE lookin' to making this cider, aren't ya?" Applejack laughed. "Let's just hope ya don't drink it all like Rainbow and Pinkie. Okay, ya can choose 'ta help Granny Smith pick out the good apples from the bad ones and feed them to 'Squeezy', or you can work with Big Mac and help 'im power 'Squeezy' in the big wheel, OR ya can help me stack them cider barrels as we fill 'em. What do ya say?"
"Well... I'm not really keen on visual detail..." I muttered. "So I won't be really useful with Granny Smith." I turned around to face 'The Squeezer'. "I COULD help Big Mac power this guy, though..." I turned around to face Applejack again, but instead I found myself face-to-face with Granny Smith and her wrinkly face and droopy eyes. She was eyeing me up and down, as if inspecting me or something. It felt really creepy, to be honest.
"So who's this little fella ya got here, Applejack?" Granny Smith spoke in a shakily tone. "Is this stallion a pretender to the family?" WOW... Seriously???. Applejack sighed and lowered her hat over her face.
"Why, Granny? Why do you always have 'ta assume things like that when a stallion other than Big Mac walks in our farm?" Applejack said, pushing her hat back up, looking slightly embarrassed.
"I'm just here to help you guys make cider!" I said, nervously. "Honest pay for honest work, all that stuff!"
"Okay then youngling..." Granny Smith shrugged and walked back to the apples.
"I'll just forget that never happened..." I said quietly. Applejack nodded slowly. "As I was saying... I think I can work with Big Macintosh with powering 'Squeezy' here." I motioned my head towards the machine. "I could actually go for a bit of running right now; I forgot that equines have some pretty darn good stamina." I chuckled. I was feeling a bit better, even after pushing a machine that weighed nearly a quarter of a ton, by the looks of it.
"Well, we just need 'ta unload the rest of them apples and ye can join Big Mac. Ye can sit 'ere and catch yer breath for now." She joked, and walked to Big Mac and Granny Smith. I walked to the big wheel that I was going to spin with Big Mac to power the machine and examined it for a few moments.
"Why do I have a feeling there's going to be a hamster joke about this?" I said to myself.
"Good idea. I can do that." A raspy voice spoke right behind my ears. Godfuckingdammit Dash! I flared open my wings in surprise, and felt my right wing slap something. I turned around to face Rainbow Dash and saw her rubbing her face; she also had a white feather stuck in her mane.
"You kind of deserved it... I'm not apologizing for that." I smirked. "How long have you been here?"
"Just enough to hear you mention hamster jokes. So you're working for AJ, huh? Kinda weird for a DJ to work at a farm instead of, you know...working with music?"
"I'll get to that once I have enough money for buying my equipment." I said, "Besides, AJ gives me a nice workout around the farm." I looked at 'The Squeezer' and looked back to Rainbow Dash. "Even if it's pulling a quarter-ton machine... What are you doing here, anyway?"
"I always come here to watch the Apple Family make their cider." Rainbow replied, just before Applejack and Big Mac approached us.
"Well, howdy RD!" Applejack called out. "Feel free to help out, if ye want to!"
"Nah... I think Johnny's got it covered, isn't that right?" Rainbow Dash looked at me. "If that's actually your real nam- OH yeah! So how was it in Canterlot?" She asked curiously.
"Well... for starters, I'm now called Johnathan Crown, a full Equestrian citizen. As for Carbon Streak, well..." I shrugged. "I guess I should thank him for giving me a 'replay' in life..."
"Ah knew ye were telling the truth, suger." Applejack smiled. "I'm glad things turned out alright. Mind telling us how things went while we work?" She asked.
"Sure, I guess..." I shrugged.
"I'll just go get my folding chair and a drink. I'll be right back, my house is not too far from here." Rainbow Dash said and flew away. As she flew away I noticed she was heading towards a particular cloud that was hanging a lot lower than regular clouds. What, does she live in that cloud or something?
"She'll be back in about ten seconds." Applejack spoke up, bringing my attention back to her and Big Mac. "Ye can take your spot with Big Mac on the wheel, suger."
I climbed onto the wheel next to Big Macintosh, and just like Applejack said, Rainbow Dash was already coming back holding a drink and a folding chair on her legs. She placed the chair a few metres from us and laid down on it, taking a sip from her drink. "Show time." She crossed her forelegs behind her head and started watching us.
Applejack nodded and turned towards Granny Smith, who was sitting by the other end of the machine. "You ready, Granny Smith?"
"You kids take too long to get ready! I could've taken a nap this whole time!" She called out. Applejack chuckled and turned back to me and Big Mac. "Alright, you two. Let's make some cider!" Big Mac nodded to her and started moving the wheel. I quickly caught up and started running along with Big Mac.
"Aw shoot!" Rainbow Dash spoke up after a few seconds. "I forgot to stop by Fluttershy's and get some of her sunflower seeds! You never know when those two might get hungry..."
"Hardy har har..." I deadpanned, "Got any more from where those came from?"
"I don't want to waste them all in one go, chill out..." She replied, "I'll throw some of them as the moment arrives."
"Well... while Dash 'ere isn't makin' fun of you two. You can tell us how things went in Canterlot." Applejack said while loading a barrel into the machine.
“I’m pretty sure you are going to love this. Especially Rainbow Dash...” I said.
“Oh great... now the suspense is going to kill me...” Dash interrupted. “...My bad, go on...”
“...anyway... We talked to the princesses. And I explained to them a bit of my life and how I was a DJ and all that.” I continued. “I went down to the medical bay in the castle with Twilight and Princess Luna. We got this doctor to scan my body in some weird shower box-like equipment; It pretty much told us that I took over Carbon Streak’s corpse, reviving it in the process.”
“Soooo.... you’re a zombie?” Rainbow Dash asked, curiously.
“Hell no! I threw a fit in the lab when I thought the same thing!” I replied. “I’m ‘alive as ever,’ as the doctor told me.”
“So what happened to Carbon Streak’s identity? And all those posters?” Applejack asked, removing the barrel she had placed earlier and loading a new one.
"Princess Luna took care of that for me." I replied, "All I had to do next was go to the embassy and get my citizenship. Now... the part that Rainbow Dash will love will be coming very soon...” I smirked and looked at Rainbow Dash, whose eyes went wide open and ears perked up in excitement. “Anyways. So I spent the rest of the day walking around Canterlot with Twilight, because the train back to Ponyville was being fixed for the day. We visited her favourite places and all that, chatted; pretty much passed time, because we had nothing to do. Until the next morning, that is...” I trailed off. I should just skip the bed incident for now.... I looked back at Rainbow Dash and smirked.
“Can you just stop doing that and get to it already??” She complained. After Applejack and I laughed for a few seconds I continued my story.
“Alright, cool it! So the next morning I went to the Everfree Forest wi-”
“Whoa whoa whoa, hold it, sugercube!” Applejack interrupted. “The Everfree Forest??”
“AW COME ON! NOT YOU TOO!” Rainbow Dash cried out.
“Yes...The Everfree Forest, AJ.” I sighed. “But all was well because I went in there with the best guide you can have.” I smirked towards Rainbow Dash.
“...Who would be...?” Dash tilted her head curiously.
“None other than Daring Do, of course!” I replied. Unfortunately she didn’t react as I thought she would; she kept staring at me with a blank expression.
“...Yeah, stop yanking me around, dude. That’s not funny...” She groaned.
“I’m serious!” I protested, looking at Applejack. “AJ, you can sniff out liars, can’t you? Tell her I’m not lying!”
“Uh... sure, just one moment.” She replied, reloading another barrel. She walked up to my side of the wheel and - not surprisingly enough - took a sniff at the base of my neck while I was running. Why... AJ... why??
“Seriously, Applejack?” I groaned at her. “Do you literally ‘sniff’ out lies or something?”
“Only with you, sugercube. Cuz I just looove the embarrassed face ye make when I do that.” She laughed, and walked back to her barrels. “Oh yeah, JB’s not lyin’ ‘bout Daring Do, Rainbow.”
Rainbow Dash’s wings flared open and she got up from her chair so quickly I felt like she was going to charge at me for no apparent reason. Startled, I lost my pacing and tripped on my own legs. I brought Big Mac down along with me, and we both fell off the wheel and sprawled on the ground aching in pain - But not before spinning a few times around the wheel and sending me very close to spitting my breakfast back out into the world.
“Oww....” Both me and Big Mac said in unison. We shakily got up to our hooves and Applejack was already next to us by the time we were up.
“By Celestia! Are you two okay??” She asked worryingly.
“I’m fine.” I said, and looked at Rainbow Dash, who had her eyes open in shock and was breathing heavily, her nostrils flaring with every huff. “What the heck was that, Rainbow??”
“YOU MET DARING DO!?” She rushed towards me and stared into my eyes, inches from my face. “You met THE Daring Do; the most amazing adventurer in all of Equestria??”
“Yeah! Now please calm down and let me finish my story!” I yelped, still startled by Rainbow Dash’s reaction. I had a feeling she’d be excited about it... but boy did I underestimate her... She backed away and went back to her chair to get her drink.
“Ok, now I want to know everything!” She said, slowly settling down after a few seconds. Big Mac and I got back up in the wheel and began running again.
“Ok, just promise me you won’t do that again.” I said.
“Sorry...” She muttered. “You got my word on it.”
“As I was saying. I went to the Everfree Forest with Daring Do the next morning. She had found a sign that looked very familiar to me, so I just had to check it out with her. We flew for hours over the forest until we reached the clearing where she had found the sign and the ruin it was in. It turned out to be a facility holding dozens of frozen people... humans.”
“Humans... wasn’t what that unicorn was babblin’ that other day ‘bout you?” Applejack asked.
“Yep. Dozens and dozens of frozen humans... dead humans - except one.”
“Only one?” Rainbow Dash spoke. “Why?”
“Well... after we unfroze the only human still alive in there, she told us that the lab was supposed to keep these people frozen so later in the future - supposedly a couple of years after my time - could be used as ways to find a cure for various diseases. In her case she and her family decided to freeze her so she’d have a chance to be cured of her tumour and live a full life.”
“Wow...” Applejack spoke, and went back to being silent. Rainbow Dash was more speechless than her, by the looks of it.
“And get this: She’s my manager/best friend’s sister!” I yelled to add drama to it. It worked perfectly, since both Applejack, Rainbow Dash, and even Big Mac let out a ‘whoa’.
“Okay, enough of the human; what about Daring Do?” Rainbow Dash continued. Wow, she’s not letting go of that, is she? “Is she just as awesome as in her books??” She asked enthusiastically.
“Yes, just like in the books, Rainbow.” I replied. “She knows how to take care of herself and others.”
“Sweet!” She cheered. “What about Twilight? How did she react?”
“Why would you care about Twilight in this?” I asked. “I thought you’d be more interested in Daring than anything else.”
“Because she introduced me to Daring Do’s books, silly!” She replied.
“Well she did kinda freeze in place whenever Daring got too close to us. It was pretty funny.” I chuckled. “One second she’s completely fine but as soon as Daring walks into view she turns into a statue.”
“Speakin’ of Twilight...” Applejack spoke up. “Did somethin’ happen while you two were in Canterlot?” She asked curiously.
“Not sure where you’re going with this...” I said, confused.
“Well, ah don’t want to look like a creep but...” she paused hesitantly and walked up next to me. “Ye kinda smell like you’ve been in her bedroom recently...” She whispered to me. Yeah. Not creepy at all, AJ...
“Uh... that might be true...” I said. I felt a sweatdrop forming at the top of my head, and it definitely wasn’t from running.
“‘Might be true’?” Applejack giggled. “Suger, ah’ know it’s true. I’ve been to her bedroom and I’d recognize that scent she puts in there anywhere.”
“You’re not possibly suggesting what I think you’re trying to suggest... are you?” I asked, hesitantly. These ponies jump to the most inappropriate conclusions, geez!
“Suggesting what?” Rainbow Dash spoke up - she had obviously caught up to the conversation to an extent.
“Well... did ya?” She smirked. Oh, Christ... she is...
“No.” I replied nervously and quickly. “Nothing happened. End of story.”
“That’s it?” Applejack laughed. “You ARE talkin’ to a pony who can tell when somepony’s lyin’, y’know...”
“Alright, fine...” I sighed. “She invited me over to some star-gazing and I ended up falling asleep in her room. That’s all.”
“You were in her room?” Rainbow Dash asked out of nowhere. “Why?”
“Are you even paying attention to what we’re talking about, Rainbow?” I asked.
“I’m kinda busy looking for a joke to throw at you. Don’t blame me for trying to concentrate...”
“You? Concentrating?” Applejack looked at Rainbow Dash. “Well that’s a first!” She laughed.
“Yeah, yeah... laugh it up...” Rainbow Dash mumbled. “So what’s this about Johnny sleeping in Twilight’s room? Did they... you know...”
“No, I did not!” I replied instantly. “I swear you two are just trying to tease me about this now!”
“Um...” Big Mac spoke up. “AJ? Th’ barrel’s flooding...”
“Aw shoot!” Applejack scowled and ran back to the barrels.
This is going to be a long morning...