This story is a fan-fiction of MLP:FiM. I don't own any of it. It belongs to Hasbro, etc, etc.
Don't sue. Seriously. That would be so uncouth.
“Twilight, I'm so sorry. I should have asked him if it was ok for me to use the party cannon.”
“It's alright Pinkie, everypony is safe and sound, so don't worry about it.”
“Safe and sound?! You saw what he did at Suguarcube corner! He's not safe to be around.”
“Shame on you rainbow Dash! He's just a scared pony. How would you feel if you were dropped in a new place and you knew there was something wrong with yourself?”
“He was fine all day until the party. And that's the reason the Princesses wanted him to come to Ponyville. So we could help him with this.”
“And we shall. That display was quite dreadful, don't you agree? I've never seen a pony act that way before.”
“Aw Rarity, you shoulda seen Big Mac here when he started getting' bigger. Whoowe, he was so angry sometimes he'd jus' go out and buck a whole field of Sweet Apple Acres in an afternoon.”
This cacophony of whispers pulled me out of the darkness and into waking. I realized I was in a bed and the speakers had surrounded my bed. I opened my eyes, but nopony noticed, since they were all talking about me. I looked around until found the pony I wanted to talk to.
“Hey, you” I said to the large red stallion who sat a little away from the mares in a chair, looking off out the window, into the night. He looked over to me as I called him.
“Don't ever do that again.” I admonished him. “That stunt you pulled off where you tried to physically hold me down, yeah, don't try that when I have an attack.”
Now all the mares were looking at me as well. “You could have gotten seriously hurt.” I finished to the hulking stallion.
The cyan coated pegasus a little away from Twilight burst into laughter along with the orange coated cowpony. The pegasus rolled on the ground, her prismatic mane mixing with the hard white tiles. The cowpony was a little more refined. She just stood and let out a large guffaw.
“YOU?! HURT Big Mac?! Hilarious!” said the rainbow maned mare.
The cowpony chimed in. “Sorry sugarcube, but you ain't even close ta Big Mac's size. And he's a work horse. You wouldn't be able to hurt him if ya tried.”
The red stallion spoke up. “Normally I'd agree sis, but after havin' this here fella get out o' my bear-hug, throw me to the ground, and almost break my leg, I'd have to say I'da lost the fight if somepony hadn't pulled him away from me with magic.”
The cowpony stood shocked, her pride in her brother being replaced with sudden fear.
“Really Big Mac? He coulda really hurt you?” she asked with wide eyes.
“Eeyep sis. I've been in enough scrambles to know he woulda broken me and then some. His eyes told the whole story.” he said slowly. When he finished he sat back in the chair and chewed on a stalk of hay.
“Horseapples!” said the cyan pegasus who was off the ground, and now fluttering inches from my face. “I'll take you on any day!” she challenged me with a confident smirk.
Twilight opened her mouth to stop this mare before she could continue, but the quiet yellow pegasus beat her to it.
“RAINBOW DASH!” she yelled. “That is ENOUGH! Don't you know what he's been through!”
Rainbow dash shrunk back. “Oh yeah. Sorry.” she said quietly.
“Hey, hey, everypony calm down. We should stop all this fighting. Heck, I haven't even been properly introduced.” I interceded before the argument could expand and affect me. Having two attacks in one day is not my favorite thing to do.
Twilight took the lead. “Crimson, I'd like you to meet my best friends and also other Element bearers.”
She first pointed to the cyan pegasus that sat dejectedly at the foot of my bed. “I'm sure you met Rainbow Dash. She's the element of Loyalty.”
Rainbow Dash gave a sheepish smile. “Also the fastest flier in all of Equestria.”
“For the record” I said “I'll go a few rounds with you, as long as you have the right protection. Mouth-Bit, flank pads, hoof pads, etc.”
Rainbow rose from her slumped seating position to s stand. She gave me a quizzical look, one of her eyebrows raised. She opened her mouth to speak, but Twilight shoved her hoof in it.
She gave me a serious look. “Don't get her riled up Crimson.” before to moving on to the orange mare in the cowpony hat.
“This is Applejack the element of Honesty and owner of Sweet Apple Acres. The big red stallion is her older brother, Big Macintosh.”
“It's good ta met you, even if it ain't to hospitable.” the orange mare said in a country accent with a tip of her hat.
“Those knots were tied really well. You should compete in some rodeos. I always loved the ones they had out in Appleoosia.”
“Thank ya kindly.” she said with a knowing smile.
The massive stallion waited for his sister to fisnish then spoke in the same country accent. He shook my hoof and said “Most 'round here jus' call me Big Mac. I'd like ta know what ya used on me. I used to be on the hoofball team in school, an' I had some friends who were inta that there coltbatives. I just thought they were nuts back then, but fer a pony like you ta throw me clear off the ground....”
“It's not magic or anything like that. You just gotta know where to put yourself. The rest is just waiting for an appropriate time.” I said nonchalantly.
I was going to say more, but Twilight continued with her introductions. She pointed to the quiet yellow pegasus who had the sudden outburst at Rainbow.
“This is Fluttershy. She is the element of Kindness and she takes care of animals in her cottage by the Everfree forest.”
“Hello” she said shyly, just as her name implied. “I'm so sorry for all that you've been through.”
“It's no big deal. Just a day in the life of Crimson Moon Steelhooves....” I trailed on, waving a hoof above my head in a circle.
Twilight next turned to a pure white unicorn with a curled purple mane.
“This is Rarity, element of Generosity and proprietor of Carousel Boutique.”
“It's a pleasure to meet you darling. That uniform is quite dashing on you.” she said. Then she grimaced slightly. “However, I think it could use a wash and a little touch up. Come drop it off at the boutique and I'd love to make it fabulous!”
I chuckled. “Sure. I'm charmed to meet you madam. Just please be careful with it, it's been with me from the beginning of the Battalion.”
“But of course! It would be unheard of me to ruin such a dapper outfit.”
Twilight moved on to the last mare. She had a pink coat and her darker pink mane which hung low to the ground. She looked extremely sad and somewhat guilty when Twilight started to speak.
“This is Pinkie Pie. She's the element of laughter and she works at Sugarcube Corner.” Pinkie pie looked at me with large sad eyes.
“It's my fault you're in the hospital right now. I'm really really sorry. I just wanted everypony to smile.” she said morosely, finishing with a sigh of defeat.
“Where's the 'laughter' part? It was gonna eventually happen anyway. Better to get it out of the way now I guess.” I replied. “Plus isn't laughter the best medicine? Twilight said you know a lot of good jokes.”
As I muttered the word “jokes” Pinkie looked back at me with wide eyes and a grin. She hopped into the air, and her hair went from straight locks, into a frizzy poof, which looked a lot like cotton candy.
“You're right!” she said excitedly. “I'll be back in a second!”she said as she sprinted out the door of the hospital room. Twilight shook her head in amusement.
“You shouldn't have done that.” said Applejack.
“What?” I said innocently.
Rainbow dash answered bemusedly. “When you become friends with Pinkie pie, you realize to expect the unexpected.”
Then my bed started shaking. I grabbed onto the sides so I wouldn't be thrown off.
“What the buck????” I exclaimed. Out from under the bed came a familiar fuzz-ball pink mane. Pinkie pie was climbing into the room from under my bed. When she got out, she poked her head back under it and started dragging something out which caused my be to shake even worse.
“Hhhhowwww didddd youuuu dooo thatttt?” I asked while she pulled a large silver package out. The bed stopped shaking after she pulled it out, but everyone in the room save Pinkie and I started laughing.
Pinkie said “Hi!” excitedly.
I was still at a loss for words. “But...How...If you just.....Wait.....What??”
“Like Rainbow Dash said” Twilight explained “When you become friends with Pinkie pie, you have to expect the unexpected.”
“Yep!” Pinkie pie agreed cheerily. Then she opened the silver package. A three story cake popped up from the package's depths leaving me even more surprised. From nowhere Pinkie had plates and utensils.
“Who wants cake?” she asked. Everypony agreed to some.
As we ate cake the element bearers started to ask me friendly questions like where I was from and what I did on my off days back when I was in the battalion.
“Stalliongrad, born and raised” I started
Pinkie cut me off “..on the playground was where I spent most of my days!”
I gave her a puzzled look, but then remembering it was Pinkie, I went on with my story.
“Well I was born in Stalliongrad in the middle of winter on the last Lunar eclipse before Luna returned; thus the name. I'm an only pony and my parents both still live in Stalliongrad. My mom stayed at home while my dad was a head smith in a steel forging factory. The Steelhooves have been Smiths since time immemorial, so my parents were a little against me joining the Battalion, but I'm different from the rest of them.”
“Whatdda mean?” said Rainbow between wolfing down pieces of cake.
“Here look” I moved the sheets off of me so they could all get a good look at my cutie mark. It was a sword superimposed on a tree.
“That's the weirdest cutie mark I ever seen.” Rainbow said before getting a harsh look from Fluttershy and Twilight.
“I know. It's because I have a rare talent. Now everypony in my dad's side of the family have some sort of metal working cutie mark. Bellows, Ingots of metal, Tongs, Hammers, and such. But I'm the only one with a different mark. I'm talented in fighting.”
The mares looked at me with understanding. Applejack looked relieved that only somepony talented in fighting could take down her older brother. Rainbow Dash looked a little humbled, knowing she would hold no match against me. Twilight looked at me with pure interest.
“There aren't that many other ponies with talents in fighting. In my time in the Battalion, I met only four: Shining Star in the Solar Guard, Spitfire of the Wonderbolts, Quicksilver Lee, and a monk in Thayland.”
Rainbow Dash's jaw dropped. “The captain of the Wonderbolts has a special talent for fighting?!”
“I spared with her.” I told Rainbow challengingly. “Ask Soarin' about it.”
“Anyway” I continued “I got my cutie mark when I was playing in the alleys one day after foal school. I caught three older students picking on another younger one. I didn't know any of them, but something in me made me stop. I watched them for a little, until the small foal got mad and threw a hoof into one of the older foal's gut. His hit was weak and earned him a hoof to the face. It was gonna get much worse for the younger foal, but I stepped in. 'Hey pick on somepony your own size; it's not fun to bother sompony smaller.' I told them. They laughed at me and started to circle around me. Then they attacked me.”
I paused and noticed the mares were on the edge of their seats. I went on.
“Well, it was over in minutes, but to me it felt like forever. The three bullies laid on the ground with some pretty bad injuries. One had a broken jaw, another was gasping on the ground, and the last was out cold. I didn't feel it when it came to me, but the younger student pointed out my new cutie mark to me as I helped him up. 'That was soo cool' I remember him saying. But when I got home, it was very confusing. My parents were proud that I had got my cutie mark and so was I, but they were also apprehensive of what it meant. We celebrated me getting my cutie mark, but then I was grounded for the next week for fighting. Eventually, after this happened again, my parents signed me up for Colt Maga, an ancient fighting style that is mostly just practiced for it's tradition. In Stalliongrad, there was only one place to learn Colt Maga, and it was on the other side of town. Twice a week I would go to the dojo, and come back home late at night and extremely tired. The master of the dojo, Tranquil Flame, taught me how to control my urge to fight and how to improve my fighting abilities. He taught me three things that have always stuck with me.”
“One-It's alright to fight.”
“Two-Learn when to fight seriously and when to fight to teach.”
“Three-You can fight anyone, provided they are properly equipped, or are just as good as you .”
The mares chewed their cake and digested the words for a moment, until Big Mac of all ponies
asked “How'd ya join the Battalion?”
I told them the story of how my father and I were in Canterlot when Luna returned.
“When I saw her up there, I knew I'd do anything for her.” I reminisced.
“Dawwwww! Somepony was in love.” said Rainbow mockingly.
“I was.” I said flatly. “But I knew it wouldn't work, so I settled for being best of friends. She said she'd come visit soon. Shining said he'd bring Cadence and come visit too.”
Twilight chocked on her cake. “Princess Luna and My brother and his wife are coming to visit?!” she choked out.
“Yeah. They said they'd just pop in. No need for any big fuss or anything.”
We polished off the few remaining pieces of cake when we all started to notice the time. It was well past midnight. Unlike me, the other ponies were used to a life in the sunlight, so I could see the time getting to them. One by one they bid their adieus and good-nights until it was just Twilight, Applejack, and Big Mack left in the room.
“Goodnight partner. Try to get some shut eye.” Applejack yawned out. “I'm gonna go straight ta Sweet Apple Acres and hit the hay.”
Big Mac rose from the chair he had been statuesquely occupying for the whole night. A few of his massive joints popped as he rose to exit the room. Before he passed the door frame he turned around.
“Tonight might not have been the best night fer ya'll, but I'll have you know if ya ever need help, come around ta Sweet Apple Acres. Now that yer currently jobless, you could even help us buck. Faust knows we could use the help, but Applejack is too stubborn to admit it.”
“Thank you Big Mac.” I said serenely. “You are a good friend.”
It was extremely hard to notice, but Big Mac blushed a little. “Get some shut eye partner.” he said as he left.
That left Twilight and I. The silence in the air was palpable for a short time as Twilight tried to decide between saying something or just leaving. So I decided to end the awkwardness silence.
“I guess this solves your problem of finding me a bed.”
“Haha! Yeah I guess it does.” she said. She bit her lip for a second then said “I'm really sorry about what happened earlier. If I had known the party would have done that to you,I..”
I cut her off with a wave of my hoof. “How many times do you think I had attacks up in Caterlot? I had seven attacks after coming back. Three of those attacks were in public. The worst one was in the middle of a royal luncheon.”
Twilight gasped. “Oh, I'm so....”
I was tired of people saying they were sorry for me. Even if it was a loving, caring mare like Twilight, I couldn't hear that phrase again.
“Don't. Don't be sorry. Just deal with it.” I said sharply. “That's how I've been dealing with it since I got back. The most dangerous thing you face out on the field is your own attitude. If you stay positive and keep looking forward, then little else matters.”
Twilight gave me a sad smile. Tears were on the corners of her eyes. “Oh Crimson..” she said as she pulled me into a tight hug that could rival Big Mac's bear hug.
“At least we don't have to worry about your attitude.” she said releasing me and wiping the tears from her eyes.
“Yeah and I don't have to worry about your strength.” I muttered making Twilight laugh. “Seriously, I'm gonna be in here another few days, cause I think you just broke a dew ribs.” I even foalishly rubbed my sides.
Twilight giggled and hugged me again. This time the hug lasted much longer. It had been a long time since I had shared a hug like this. Luna was like a sister to me and the mares in the Battalion were all my comrades, so my love for them was heart-deep, but it was family love. Twilight's hug re-awoke a long dormant flame inside of me. I returned the embrace in full, and it took Twilight by surprise. But, she didn't fight it. We held each other for an infinity. I turned my head and looked into her eyes. I could tell she felt it too, but she shied away.
“I...I should go and let you rest..” she said letting go of the embrace, blushing madly.
“I guess I'll see you in the morning?” I asked.
“Yep. Spike and I will come pick you up after we get you a bed.” she hurried towards the door, hitting the light switch on the wall, plunging my room in to familiar darkness. She grabbed the door with magic and started to walk out, closing the door behind herself. Sh stopped before she was all the way out and turned her head to give me a sidelong glimpse and small smile.
“Have a goodnight Twilight.” I said to her as she shut the door.
I stayed awake in my room for a while. I did not once think about the attack I had earlier, but I thought about Twilight and her great friends as I peered out the window from under my sheets. Ponyville really wasn't so bad. It was true my first day had been a little hectic, but it could have been much worse. Better yet, I had the six Bearers of Harmony to help me out personally.
I smiled to myself as I thought about the mares. Rainbow Dash, so feisty and rambunctious. I used to case after mares like that, but they had always broke my heart. Applejack, a caring friend that would certainly help me out until both of us had solved the problem of my disease and then help out even afterward too. Fluttershy, a cute mare, that made me feel like I had to protect her. Not in a romantic way, but I couldn't see anything bad happen to such a kind, timid, and gentle creature. Rarity, a little distant, but I'm sure I could become fast friends with her after getting to know her better. She didn't seem too interested in my stories, probably because they were quite gruesome, but I had some gentle stories of my time on duty. Pinkie Pie, even under that fun-loving exterior, I could tell she still harbored some guilt for my attack today. I would chase that away after I teach her some pranks and tricks the units often pulled on one another. And finally Twilight. She was the element of Magic, right? She had to be the element of magic because she definitely put some kind of spell on me. I thought about them until I fell asleep, dreaming about the warm embrace of a certain lavender unicorn.