I've been known to write. I've also been called a witch for using magic to do so...
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I looked out the window on the train seeing Canterlot, the seat of power in Equestria, and the potential time bomb waiting for Twilight and I that was lurking inside one particular house. “So how badly do you think they’ll take it Twilight? I mean like did they hesitate at all when you told them?” This isn’t anything you can really prepare for. I’m not a native to Equestria and I wanted my relationship to work, regardless of which way it went.
“Well,” she furrowed her brow while remembering, “a little. I mean after my brother got married I think they were a little more accepting but still.”
Sure, this was a little old fashioned to some, but we agreed we didn’t want to spring something on them at the last minute. The worst possible thing would be to ignore it until we reach a ‘mom, dad, this is my human husband’ scenario. The thought of doing such a cruel thing to anyone’s parents was unbearable.
“Yeah,” I said brushing any allusions aside, “just saying something like ‘mom, dad, I’m dating a non-pony’ might be a little dramatic.”
“Yes, but after the whole wedding fiasco I’m sure they’ll be fine with a clear cut relationship.” I gave her a skeptical look. “Okay, a clearer relationship. I mean it isn’t like I’m bringing a griffon to dinner or something.”
“You did tell them we’re coming right?”
Twilight groaned. “For the fourth time today, yes I did.”
“You didn’t just say what I just mentioned right?”
“They’re my parents. They know when I’m skirting an issue. I had to just come out and tell them. Relax; I used a little more discretion than that. Then there was my talk with Shining Armor,” I cocked an eyebrow, “Cadance helped me argue that you were a fine, upstanding person.”
“Princess Cadance thought I was upstanding?”
“Well… she thought you deserved a chance.”
I’m still worried about this. Pinkie filled me in on everything she knew about the time traveling Twilight issue. Apparently, I missed quite the freak out. I asked Pinkie so I had a perspective that was around for a lot of it, but wasn’t Spike’s. According to Pinkie, I’d have wanted popcorn, lots and lots of popcorn. Well, it isn’t like every episode were really memorable in Ponyville or even occurred. It’s just a show after all…
“Remember that nopony knows what a human is like outside of our friends. Well, Princess Celestia and Princess Luna do since I had to explain my reasons to get you here. And then there’s Cadance. We, eh, we talked a lot about you. It was just so she had a better grasp of you as a person.”
“What about the rest of Ponyville? I was running around doing errands for nearly everypony remember?”
“Well,” she was searching for the right words, “how many really paid attention to you ducking in and out of the clock tower between requests?”
“Cheerilee wanted me to come in and talk to her class about humans.”
“That’ll help her students understand who you are and where you come from. I don’t think many of them will ever leave Ponyville.”
“So, I should expect lots of staring and hushed voices right?”
Twilight winced at the question. “Don’t read any of the newspapers for a few days. If we’re found, they’ll be all over this.”
Imagined headlines passed through my head quickly but I did my best to ignore them. “Can’t we get an escort or something to your parents?”
Twilight shook her head. “I tried. Ever since Prince Blueblood demanded an armed escort to his summer villa, Princess Celestia’s denied all royal escorts for personal reasons.”
“What part of ‘no escort for personal reasons’ didn’t you understand,” Twilight snapped.
“Well is there anything else then?”
Twilight stared out our window, staring at our rapidly growing destination. “We could be lucky and not be jumped by the press.” She gave me a flimsy, albeit supportive, smile.
I hugged her and gave her a quick kiss. “Some good luck might be nice for once.”
“My parents won’t overreact,” Twilight reassured me. By my count, that was lucky thirteen…
When our train finally pulled in there was nopony at the station. After we got off we noticed something else, nopony was out, not even leaving a restaurant or house.
I cocked an eye to Twilight. “Did we miss something, like a holiday or a festival?”
“Not that I know of,” she replied.
We were both avoiding the words ‘good’ and ‘luck,’ despite our rational thought that there were no such things as jinxes or curses we didn’t wish to press our luck. Instead, we made our way through an eerily quiet Canterlot.
I occasionally looked around for some sign of life. “You sure somepony isn’t planning something?”
She passed me a conspiring smirk. “I think somepony might be thinking of something to give us cover.”
I caught her tone, “Princess Celestia or Princess Luna perhaps. I think both are valid options don’t you?”
“Yes, and it wouldn’t be the first time Princess Celestia’s bent the rules to lend a hoof.”
“Rules she made,” I started with a snicker.
“Because of Prince Blueblood,” Twilight finished with a giggle.
For a while, we just continued in silence, confident of the inevitable confrontation ending well. “Now don’t slouch,” Twilight harped after a while. “I know you’re taller than everypony but you should still try and prove you aren’t like some thug.”
“I know,” I stood a bit straighter. “Is it just your parents tonight?”
“That’s what the plan is but…”
“I should be prepared to be surprised if that’s not the case right?”
Twilight nodded. “You’re catching on pretty quickly.”
“Yeah,” I gave her a comforting smile, “I’d like to think I am.”
Soon we reached a large house that, I could only assume to be Twilight’s parents’ house. “Mom,” Twilight called as she knocked against the door. “Dad, it’s us.”
As the door opened, we were quickly ushered in by a light grey unicorn with a purple and white striped mane. “Thank goodness Twilight,” she said before turning to me, “and you must be Alex.”
I smiled warmly. “Yes I am it’s a pleasure to meet you.”
“Twilight, I know you told us that he was tall but are all humans this tall?”
“He’s a little taller than average for an adult.” She shot me a glare, “but surely Alex was thinking of something silly to say.”
Twilight’s mother looked up and matched her daughter’s glare. It made me twitch uncomfortably and give a flimsy smile, “I was thinking of something. I’ll admit that much,” I kneeled down so we were all at eye level, “it was only something a little silly and kind of sappy.” Their stern looks made me break down a little more; I could see where Twilight got her ‘serious face’ from. “I’m not saying what it is. I will however elect to say that I love her and I’m torn in two between her and a close friend. I don’t want to seriously hurt anyone’s feelings, and I think it was a good idea for her to arrange this.”
Twilight shied away as I tried to disassemble our relationship, trying to hide how much she was blushing. “Mom,” squealed Twilight once she realized how she couldn’t just vanish from embarrassment, “is everything set for dinner?”
“Yes, we’re just waiting for your father to come home. I even got the nicer silverware out for Alex,” her formerly hard glare was now warm and comforting. “You can’t use magic right?”
“I’m afraid to say I can’t, and thank you for the consideration.”
“I want to know something though mom,” Twilight had fully regained her composure, “why is nopony out in the streets?”
“I’m sure your father can explain it all to you both when he gets home.” Twilight’s mother was very soothing, a very comforting mare as far as I could tell. “And as for you,” she shot me a mock accusing stare, “I think you’re pretty nice all things considered.” A mother can always dream I suppose.
We weren’t waiting for long when a new knock at the door came. Now I could find out if we were having an unexpected guest dinner. After Twilight left to answer the door however, I found out that so far everything was as planned.
“Dad,” she said pleasantly. Twilight came back into view with a stallion with a light blue coat and a darker blue mane.
“Welcome home dear,” said Twilight’s mother. Her husband however, was more focused on me.
“So this is the boyfriend you kept talking about,” he asked with an appraising look.
I nodded and gave him a welcoming smile. “My name’s Alex sir, it’s a pleasure to meet you.”
“Dad,” Twilight was quick to speak after the words left my mouth. “Why was Canterlot empty when we arrived?”
He glanced around, as if he was expecting to be overheard. “You didn’t hear this from me, but Princess Celestia put up a curfew a few days ago. I think it was so you two wouldn’t get harassed by anypony.”
Twilight and I exchanged glances, trying to tell each other we were right, without actually saying it.
“So Alex,” said Twilight’s dad nonchalantly over dinner, “you watched out for our little girl when she was in your world right?”
I smiled, “I did. Though I only spent three months with her and her friends I felt like I knew them all my life by the end. They were better family than my brother by then. I think they may have been more than simply family too. It’s hard to say now, but if you asked me a few days after everyone left, after I could come to grips with my choice, then I would tell you that they were all the family I needed.”
“It wasn’t long after she came back before we saw Twilight a lot,” said her mother. “You meant a lot to her.”
Twilight’s plea was left ignored by her mother. “When we tried to find out why she was sad that’s really how we started to hear about you.”
“It took a while for her to open up and tell us though,” added her father. “But she told us as much as she could.”
Twilight was staring at her plate, too red in the face to look at anybody. I saw how embarrassed she was and I wrapped an arm around her. “I cried my fair share Twilight. I had a hard time even looking at a picture without crying. I just did my best to keep going, it was hard but I was reminded about how you’d feel if you saw me all depressed.” Or how angry Pinkie would be if I moped around all the time, I silently added. “Every time I came home, I expected something that wasn’t there anymore.” Now, with Twilight here, I felt like I could actually say what I had bottled up all summer. It didn’t feel painful to think about anymore. “I missed everypony, but I think I missed some of the stress most of all Twilight.”
“Well, I think that’s enough emotional time for now.” Twilight’s mom still looked supportive, but I knew she wanted to get things moving along.
“Oh, let me help you with the dishes,” I said.
“I couldn’t, you’re our company Alex.”
“No, I insist.”
She sighed and resigned to the fact that I had no intention of hearing no for an answer. I wanted to help and show some consideration for everypony.
“Mom, dad,” Twilight said after I returned to everypony else. “Thank you for inviting us for dinner, I hope we can see you again sometime soon.”
“Unfortunately,” interrupted her father as we were in mid-stride towards the door, “I’m afraid you two can’t leave tonight. With the curfew in effect the trains aren’t running.”
I was starting to appreciate the irony of the situation. We came here just fine. We were met with an eerily silent Canterlot. Now, after we found out the cause and most likely culprit of this scheme we couldn’t leave. Not until we ran the risk of running into somepony, the very thing we all thought the plan was designed to prevent. That was the last bit of evidence I needed; it was Celestia’s plan as per the show’s playbook.
Twilight sighed. “I suppose we’ll just have to be on the train first thing in the morning. I’ll show you where you’re sleeping tonight Alex.” She got up and headed off, with me right behind her.
“The guest room’s not really a bedroom anymore Twilight,” called her mother.
“That’s fine mom,” Twilight replied, “I’ll just show him to my room. My old bed will be fine.”
“They’re sleeping together,” her dad asked. We were far enough away to hear his wife’s reply though.
“Alright,” Twilight said assertively, “now get your shirt and pants off.”
I simply blinked. Where did this Twilight come from and how can I get the modest one back?
“Come on now,” she insisted, “I don’t want them to look all wrinkly when you wake up!”
“Okay,” I snapped to attention, “that makes some sense. I thought you-”
“No,” she interrupted hurriedly, her face flushed. “If were that far along our relationship then not with my parents around. They’d hear us and yell about how we shouldn’t act um… that way in somepony else’s house.”
I removed my clothes, getting a low whistle of approval from Twilight, reducing myself to a pair of boxers. Thanks to jogging all over Ponyville and working on some of the more annoying quirks of the clock tower I had built up some muscle but not really a lot of definition.
Twilight hopped up onto her bed and waited for me to fold my clothes up and join her. Her old bed could fit us both, but not by much. We were pressed tightly together, her hooves against my chest and knees.
“Twilight,” I whispered.
“Yes Alex?” Her voice just as hushed as mine.
“I wanted to tell you something, and I didn’t want to say it in front of your parents.”
“What is it?”
“After you all left, the thing I missed most was so simple. I missed this.”
“Sharing a bed?”
“No. Well, yes. Sort of. I missed being with you. Especially when you were this close to me; close enough so I knew you’re safe.”
She leaned her head into my chest, her mane tickling my chin. “Can’t you tell me things like this in the morning? On the train home?”
“I’ll be able to see you blush on the train Twilight.”
I received no response but the slow rising and falling of Twilight’s sleeping form. I smiled and drifted off to my own dreams, while we were cast under the light of Luna’s moon.
I awoke to Twilight nudging me. “Wuzzat? Twi,” I mumbled in a sleep-induced haze, “when did you get here?”
“Wake up Alex,” she said anxiously. “We have to catch the train before somepony sees us!”
As I sat up, I was immediately blinded by a shirt, wrapped in a purple haze. Taking the hint, I slipped it on, and turned to get out of bed, shoes and socks already waiting for me. I cranked my head up and saw Twilight dart out of her bedroom.
Twilight darted back inside almost as soon as I managed to get in my pants, a glass of juice in her firm telekinetic grasp. “Come on, our train’s in thirty minutes!”
That alert didn’t help much but it didn’t stop me from hurrying as much as possible. “What time is it,” I asked with a yawn.
“Six in the morning, if we miss this train the next one will be at nine.”
My brain was running slowly, but I could still think in the sleepy haze. “I’m up, but not quite awake Twilight.” I walked back over to the bed and got my shoes and socks on. “We’re still in Canterlot, it’s the morning, and we’re at your parent’s house right?”
“Exactly, and we’ll also have to run if we’re going to make our train because somebody didn’t wake up earlier,” she shot me a scowl.
I rose with a stretch. “Sorry Twi, it took me a while to get to sleep with your horn jabbing my cheek whenever you rustled in your sleep.” I looked terrible, some of the worst long hair bedhead you could imagine, though we did try to fix that in our rush, and I was still sleepy. After giving up the fight with my hair I said, “let’s get going.”
After a hurried good bye to her parents, I was out the door and doing my best to keep up with Twilight as we made a mad dash towards the train station. There were some ponies out but they really did pay much attention to us as we ran past. A double take or two did catch my eye, but nothing too special.
“If we don’t make it we’re in sooo much trouble,” Twilight called back to me. She was still ahead of me by pony’s length, one and a half at most, and my mind was filled with the desire to sleep on the train.
“Yeah,” I called out to her with a loud yawn, “we’ll get a media blitz.”
“To say the least.” She slowed a little allowing me to catch up with her. If I was wide-awake, we both knew I could keep up with a brisk canter; we’re not talking about Applejack or Rainbow here. Those two don’t really do “brisk.”
As we got to the train station, we saw guards… lots of guards. Celestia’s continued plotting or Shining Armor, I wondered, trolling or overprotective brother. What’s the reason? We both skidded to a stop and approached cautiously. Soldiers aside, we were ten minutes late and the train was still here.
“Who’s in charge here,” Twilight demanded.
“I am,” came a voice from behind us. As we turned, we saw Shining Armor; he was waiting for that perfect dramatic effect. Somepony’s been reading Celestia’s playbook. “I need to have a little word with your boyfriend before you leave.”
“Will it take long,” I said calmly. “Twilight started the morning stressed and I don’t want her going back to Ponyville in a fluster because the captain of the royal guard held up the train too long.”
He beckoned me over and passed from view. I hesitated for a moment before following him. He turned around once we were out of Twilight’s sight and stared at me. “You love my sister right?”
“More than my own life’s worth,” I replied with absolute confidence.
“I know she broke the law to get you here,” His stance didn’t waver nor did the severity of his voice. “She told me and Princess Luna’s word prevented me from arresting her. You break her heart and I’ll make sure you get all of the punishment for her actions, Princess Luna’s and Twilight’s objections or not.”
“I’ll try not to disappoint you, but it’s a mutual feeling.” I gave him a gentle smile. “She’s already getting territorial about me.”
“Explain yourself.” His voice was mellowing out, but he was still standing with so much superiority. An overprotective brother’s wrath combined with being captain of the royal guard is truly a terrifying thing.
“Know of a unicorn named Lyra Heartstrings?”
“I heard the rumors about her; she was expelled from Celestia’s School for Gifted Unicorns right?”
I shrugged, I didn’t know the situation but Shining Armor filled in the blanks. Blanks I should’ve anticipated from obsession. “She wants to write a book about humans, using me as her major reference. When I told Twilight, she told me she was going to keep an eye on those sessions,” not to mention Dash, “I’ll be good to her, have Celestia send me to the moon if that seems a suitable punishment for breaking her heart, but I’m going to be there for her through everything.”
He gave me a comforting smile, if only for an instant. “If you break Twiley’s heart I swear you’ll have to answer to me. Now you two need to get going. We only could hold the train for fifteen minutes.”
“Thank you, it’s been a pleasure meeting you Shining Armor.” I turned around and headed back to Twilight and we boarded the train, for some much-needed sleep. Okay, I needed some serious sleep; Twilight looked like she could pull forty-eight hours easy. I wasn’t lying to Shining Armor but well, there was only so much to this thing that I wanted to tell him without something to dive behind.