"Uhm, is there something you want to talk to me about?"
"Not that I can think of."
"Not even what you told Pinkie Pie?"
"Please don't try to hurt yourself."
"I have a surprisingly hard head."
"Yes, well, for my sake."
"You can talk to me about anything you want to, ok?"
"Even things that might make you feel uncomfortable or bad. Even things somepony else has told you to keep secret, ok?"
"...well, I'll let it be then. Just, we don't eat, ergh, meat here, ok?"
"Yeah, kinda figured that out."
Spring got up from where she was sitting, patted me on my back and walked back into the main room. I could tell because even though my face was planted firmly in the tabletop, that chair gave out some horrendous squeaks. We had been sitting alone and in silence for a few minutes - Pinkie and the Cakes having hustled the twins out of the room - before she tried to open that particular conversation.
It was as awkward as I thought it would be. At least I was alo-
OF course. Fluttershy crept into the room slowly. Hooves, even soft ones, made a great deal of noise on wooden floors. Sneaking out of Sugarcube Corner was going to be crazy when those twins start their teenage years. I kept my face where it was, giving a muffled grunt in response.
"Uhm, would, uhm, you like some company?"
"No." I picked my head up and looked at the newest intruder to my Fortress of Semi-Alone. "No, I think I just want to be alone right now if that's ok." Fluttershy visibly cringed. She wasn't wearing her armor anymore, probably to make herself seem less 'intimidating.'
"Uhm, I-I'm sorry but I don't think that's a good idea." OF course.
"Well, why'd you as-NO! Shut up mouth, you've gotten me in enough trouble tonight." thunk
"OH! Oh my, please don't do that." She ran over and put a wing around my shoulders. "Please don't hurt yourself."
"Why? It's a wonderful way of coping with ... this."
"THIS!" Oh god, don't shout at Fluttershy, she doesn't deserve it! I yanked my head off the table - almost headbutting Fluttershy and knocking her back regardless - and waved my hooves about. "This everything! Go to bed a fully grown man with self-control and wake up a 'My Little Pony' with the self-control of an idiot and child!" I put my head down on the table, more gently this time, and heaved a massive sigh. "And it's not going to get any better because no one believes me, no one takes me seriously, and I don't even know where to start looking for help."
"Bruce," Fluttershy sat back upright, placing her wings back around my shoulders, "we're all here to help. We want to. But we need to understand. Spring hasn't told me very much about you except you were in the hospital today and you're troubled. I need to know so I can help."
"She's going to tell you I'm delusional. I have a fantasy land of humans made up in my head to escape my problems and that I'm a damaged little colt that needs love and affection." I rolled my eyes and my head away, facing the wall instead of her. "And because the truth is so preposterous that she can't accept it - I doubt she'll even try to find out if it's true or not - I'm going to be stuck having to live a life that isn't mine."
"Uhm, oh my." I felt the wing around my shoulders squeeze slightly. We sat there in silence for a while, Fluttershy just holding me as I breathed slowly.
"...you're not going to say anything Fluttershy? About how humans don't exist or how I'm just confused or anything?" I kept my head pointed away from her, staring at the kinda garish wallpaper. It had cupcakes on it. How apropos.
"Oh, uhm, I can if you'd like." Her voice was very soft, especially when your head is pointed the other direction, and I found my ears swiveling to catch her words. Ponies may be weird but there are a few perks to it all.
"No, no. I'm kinda glad you didn't." I wanted to say more. I wanted to throw another tantrum about how unfair life is, how things shouldn't be like this. How I miss my wife, how I miss being who I was, how I just wasn't happy. But I didn't. I just sat there, underneath Fluttershy's wing, breathing slowly so as not to start crying again.
"I think it's time to get you to bed, Bruce. Tomorrow, uhm, tomorrow we can deal with ... all of this." I nodded in response and let the animal caretaker-turned-Guard lead me back into the common area. In the alcove, Spring was talking in a low voice to the Cakes, all of their eyes wide and Mr. Cake even holding back tears. I heard Pinkie somewhere, playing with the twins. Rainbow Dash had gone, it seemed. Though I didn't look at them purposefully, for a moment my eyes met the eyes of couple that was to be my caregiver. A look of worry from both sides.
Birds. Lots and lots of birds.
My old alarm was one of the buzzing-screaming deals that has the most annoying sound in the world telling you to get up. It was also located as far from my bed as I could stick it so I'd have to get up to go turn it off. The entire town of Ponyville had the sweetest bird song ever to wake up to. It was a gentle reminder that the day had begun and that it was time to wake up. One problem, though.
No snooze button.
"Argh, shut up you stupid birds!" I flipped over and tried to bury my head in the pillow, trying to drown out their racket. It was less than successful. In fact, it seemed that they got louder in response. "Can't an old man get some rest?"
"You're not an old man, silly, you're a young colt! And it's time to get up!" Pinkie's voice cut through the chirping birds. Me, I'm not a morning person. I don't like coffee but if I don't have my morning caffeine pill and Pepsi (ugh, Coke), I'm just not ready to call myself awake. And, depending on what I did last night, my hangover cure (raw egg, instant coffee powder, hot sauce and just a bit of whiskey). Pinkie is an any-time-mare it seemed. I groaned and uncovered my head.
It was dark when I had collapsed into bed last night and I really hadn't gotten a good look around - what with Fluttershy cooing at me and singing lullabies. Now that it was morning, I could take some time to glance at the room I had been snoring in. And it only took a second for me to realize that I really didn't want to stay. It was blue, sure, but man was it frilly.
"Pumpkin likes blue I guess," I mumbled as my mind tried to come to terms with all the lace. A pair of windows with yellow curtains bright enough to hurt poured sunlight into a very bright blue room. There were flower and, weirdly, soccer ball designs imprinted in the paint that seemed to match the contents of the room perfectly - flowers on the bedside table and soccer paraphernalia spread about the floor. The bed was in a corner opposite the now-opened door - Pinkie evidently just passing by to wake the 'foals' up - and aside from a dresser with socks of all things sticking out of the drawers and the slight mess on the floor, the room was pretty empty. With a long-suffering sigh, I tossed the lemon-yellow bed spread aside and tumbled out of bed. As I lay on my face, my eyes twirling in different directions, I mumbled to myself.
"I have got to get the hang of getting out of these things."
After having been subjected to Mr. Cake's hoof-y ministrations last night, you'd think I would know where the dang bathroom is.
After stumbling out of the bedroom I was temporarily inhabiting, I managed to find every. Single. OTHER. Room in the entire place EXCEPT the bathroom. It wasn't even a very complex building! Three floors, that's it. First floor, Bakery. Second floor, Cakes Residence. Third floor, Pie Residence. How in the world could I miss an entire room? After struggling to find a toilet - and failing - I was pee-dancing my way down stairs to ask for directions. Why was it so dark down there anywa-
A hundred voices shouted at me from below. The lights snapped on and I saw ponies packed into the bakery. Unfortunately, that was about as far as my brain got with trying to interpret anything before my neurons shocked themselves into a semblance of wakefulness. With a girlish scream, I tried to leap backwards. My hind hooves caught the edge of one of the steps however and that was just enough to throw me off balance. i think I kinda hovered there, in between falling and standing, for just a little longer than physics should have allowed me. But I'm no Pinkie Pie and I went tumbling head-over-tail into a pile of blue pony parts at the bottom of the steps. Pinkie bounced over from where she stood in the front of the 'call the fire marshal' level packed crowd.
"Were you surprised?! Were ya, were ya, were - sniff ew, Bruce! I didn't think it was THAT startling!"