Zephyr watched in awe as this mare remained floating in the air before him. After she finished with her gigantic gasp, she landed perfectly on all four hooves.
“Hi, I'm Pinkie Pie! You're new to town, right? I know everypony in town and I don't know you so you must be new to town and thinking about how you're new to town made me think that maybe you didn't know anypony, and that made me sad, so I’m throwing you a welcome to Ponyville party!” She finally breathed in, before gasping again. “Oh my gosh, I almost forgot the welcome wagon! I'll be right back!” She zoomed off in a seemingly random direction.
Zephyr sighed, the last thing he wanted was attention. He figured he could slip in under the radar and not have to deal with introducing himself to more than a hooffull of ponies. That way his identity would remain somewhat secret...
The crazy mare returned, this time hauling some ridiculous looking wagon behind her. She started to dance and sing.
“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 today!”
Zephyr watched in amusement as she finished her routine. A small ding from the wagon preceded a miniature oven popping open, revealing a well made cake. A loud pop sent confetti flying everywhere.
“Well, what do you know? I actually got it right this time!” The mare said, before giggling.
Zephyr started walking away, thinking she was done.
“Wait, aren't you going to come to the party?” She asked him, looking at him with big puppy dog eyes.
“Sure, why not.” He responded. He actually was thinking about not going, but he couldn't tell her that. Not with those eyes.
“YAY! This is gonna be the best Welcome party EVER!” She squealed, dashing off again.
“Crazy mare.” Zephyr muttered to himself, before wandering off down the street. Ahead of him, he saw a lavender unicorn walking towards him. Further down the street, a magenta earth pony trotted along, minding her own business. He kept walking, hoping against hope he wouldn't be stopped.
“Hey there.” The lavender unicorn said, attempting to catch his attention.
“Oh, hi.” Zephyr responded.
“I'm Twilight Sparkle. I saw Pinkie give you the welcome treatment. I take it you're new to town?” Twilight asked him, and he couldn't help but chuckle when he heard her last name.
“Yeah. I'm Zephyr.”
“That's an unusual name...” Twilight mused, obliviously ignoring his chuckle. She must have thought he was thinking about that Pinkie.
“I like it though.” He said simply, looking at her like she'd hurt him. He inwardly smiled at the mental acrobatics she went through to backpedal.
“No, I mean... er... it's a great name, really, it's just... not a common name...” Twilight said, looking flustered.
“I understand what you mean, it really isn't something you hear everyday...” Zephyr responded, nodding.
Twilight let out a sigh of relief. “So I'm betting Pinkie's going to throw a party. You're going, right?”
“Actually... probably not.” Zephyr confided, “I'm not really into the social scene...”
She gasped, speaking somewhat loudly, “What do you mean you're not going to the party!?” She quickly covered her mouth with her hoof, looking around to see if Pinkie had heard her. Convinced she'd gone unheard, she removed her hoof from her mouth. “But Pinkie's going through all of this trouble to throw you a nice party, and you're not even going to show up?”
“Uh...” He hadn't really thought about it until now, but that did seem like a kind of crummy thing to do. But he couldn't really show himself in that kind of public setting, right? I mean, how far from covert could you get?
Twilight sighed, “I can't make you go, but I hope you decide to. It'd make Pinkie really happy.” Her piece said, she trotted off, leaving him feeling like quite the schmuck.
He trotted across the street, noticing the magenta earth pony had stopped and was watching them speak. He gave her a soft nod, before noticing her eyes widen and her diving to the ground. In slight panic, he thought about his actions just before... when he was hit by the force of a freight train. He heard his spine pop in the collision, and he wound up muzzle-to-muzzle with another mare, this one a light blue pegasus with a rainbow-colored mane.
“Did I hear you're skipping a Pinkie Party?” She asked.
“You gotta go! Please!?” She looked upset, “You don't know what Pinkie gets like when ponies don't show up to her parties. You don't want to know!” Her eyes were wild. “You have to be there!”
“I don't have to do anything.” He argued, irritated that she'd effectively pinned him under her.
“Normally, that'd be true, but not this time. You're going to that party, whether I have to drag you by the tail or not.” She wasn't really the kindest thing, was she? Although he couldn't help but think about her trying to drag him by the tail. She'd have quite the tug-of-war going. Being of a vampiric nature like he was, he was naturally stronger than normal ponies, making anything trying to drag him have to work harder to succeed. But making her drag him would only serve to draw more attention and being able to resist her would cause ponies to ask questions. Questions he didn't want them asking.
“Alright, alright. I'll go. Geez.” He muttered, looking up at her. She seemed satisfied, as she hopped off of him. Suddenly she stopped, looking back at him guiltily. “Oh, hey, I didn't hurt you crashing into you like that, did I?”
He remembered his spine popping, “Nah, not really. Just misaligned my spine.” He answered dryly, “Just gotta pop it back in place...” Twisting around, he heard a sickening crunching sound as his spinal vertebrae rubbed together, followed by a slight pop.
The pegasus looked at him, disgusted by the sounds. “Okay, well bye!” She flew off very quickly.
He returned to walking towards the hut the Princess had acquired for him through what amounted to a long chain of friends. He briefly wondered how many of them were covert operatives, before shrugging and deciding he didn't really care right now.
A few hours later, his amazing nap was interrupted by a knock at his door. Opening it revealed the smiling face of Pinkie.
“Oh, hello! I didn't know you lived here! Anyway, the party's almost set up and it'll be at five, i'm just passing invitations around. Ooh, right, and it'll be at Sugarcube Corner, the large gingerbread house down the street!”
“That sounds... great. I'll be there.” Zephyr said, before closing the door. He sighed. His emotions conflicted within himself. First there was his survival instincts telling him that being exposed to that many ponies would be hazardous. Then there was his guilt telling him he should go, if only to make Pinkie happy.
He debated with himself until it was almost time for the party to start. He was deadlocked, but he decided that it wouldn't be right to just not show up. After all, she went through all of that just to try to make him happy. He'd only be there for a little bit, so it's not like anything would go wrong, right?
Trotting for the gingerbread house, he noticed it was full of ponies, and that music was blasting. He could hear each note clearly from here – vampiric hearing at work. Trotting in, he noticed that crazy blue pegasus looking wildly around, but she seemed to calm down when he entered.
“Hiya!” Pinkie popped up in front of him, surprising him and shaking him to his core.
“Great party, right?”
Seeming bored, she hopped off to see who else she could talk to.
Zephyr sighed, he was impressed that she'd managed to set up such a large rave in such a short amount of time. He wandered over to the confections, grabbing a couple cupcakes. Although they wouldn't nourish him, he still enjoyed their sweet taste.
“Hey, there you are.” A voice spoke from his right. He turned to see the same pink pony that had watched him on the street. He quickly took note of her rounded muzzle, as well as her sweet and gentle voice.
“I'm Cheerilee.” She said, cocking her head to one side, as if expecting something. Zephyr cringed inwardly, he should have introduced himself first.
“That's a unique name, your parents must have been artists...” Cheerilee mused.
“Yeah, my mother was.” Zephyr shrugged.
“Did you decide to follow in her hoofprints and paint?” Cheerilee asked, actually interested.
“Nah, I'm not any good.” Zephyr replied, “My instructors actually told me to quit.”
“Oh, that's horrible.” Cheerilee seemed shocked, “Let me introduce you to some other ponies.” She changed the subject pretty quickly, obviously she didn't want to talk about art anymore. Zephyr didn't mind.
“I dunno...” Zephyr said, looking apprehensive. He really didn't want to spend a lot of time meeting everypony here. While it was true that the more ponies he knew, his life here would be easier; it also meant that he'd have to be able to keep up his facade in front of everypony, which would be needlessly complicated.
“Oh, how bad could it be?” Cheerilee asked, pushing him out into the crowd.
Zephyr shivered – he knew this feeling, though. It was a slight chill of fear that sparked in his mind and resounded down his spine. It was the natural feeling a vampire gets when they were in proximity with other vampires. Somepony here was a vampire, and he had no idea who, or whether they were friendly or not. The worst news was, they knew who he was; He was an easy target for an unknown threat.