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Oh to be Old Again
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"What do we say?"

"Ugh, that stuff tastes horrible!"

Pinkie forced my head around, staring very hard into my eyes.  I think I've mentioned this but she can get really intense when she wants to.  Except this time, she had a definitely crazed look.  While her very, very angry eyes filled my vision, I noticed something out of the corner of my own that caused a lump of ice to hit my stomach.

Her hair was straight.

I know what happened last time this occurred and I did not want to end up in any cupcakes, brownies or other baked goods.  As creepy as the ponies are, I could laugh at the ridiculousness of it all.  It was all so surreal that, despite my attempts at going home, I wasn't treating it all as something that was really happening to me.  Like a dream.  This, though, this was terrifying and oh-so-very real.  It had gone into 'wet pants' time a good while ago but I had done all that already and was feeling really parched.  I instinctively swallowed, gagging at the taste.  It was so thick going down my sore throat.

... get your damn mind out of the gutter, what is wrong with you?

"That's not what we say."  Her voice, despite the anger in her eyes and the slight shivering I felt in her hoof as she held my head still by a very sore ear, was calm and level.  I don't think it was a good sign.  No, no it was not a good sign.  "What.  Do.  We.  Say?"

"I, I'm sorry I called you a bitch and a cunt and - ow," I stammered out the beginnings of an apology only to have it cut off by Pinkie's hoof slipping down to grasp an ear.  Pony ears are very sensitive turns out.  It felt like someone was grabbing my, er, something else except without the stomach-turning that such a pain usually produced.

"You don't have to repeat the words, young stallion.  What." Yank.  "Do."  Yank yank. "We say?"  Hard pull.

Coughing weakly through the soap foam, I tried to curl up into a ball.  Her hoof on my ear kept me from getting very far.  The door to the rest of the hospital was closed and I had been a jerk thus far, so I really don't think my screams would gain much attention.  Especially since I had been screaming and ranting every couple hours and no one had checked up on me yet.  I was alone with a very irate and unstable Pinkie Pie.

"I don't want to die," I whispered, my own eyes probably pin-pricks to hers.  Absently, I felt kinda sad I'd never gotten the chance to see the colors of my new eyes.  I bet it was something boring, like blue - ice blue eyes staring at me - but I'd still like to know.  At my mumble, Pinkie's brow furrowed as if she hadn't heard me quite right.

"What?"  Her voice was still very level, though I could hear the confusion in it.  Some small part of my mind golf-clapped.  I managed to confuse Pinkie Pie.  I did two impossible things today, good enough day to die during I suppose.  I was very tired, I realized.  Tired, hungry, scared and a bit chilly from sitting on the bland pea-green tiles of the bathroom.  To hell with masculinity!

"I don't wanna die!"  I blubbered like a 9 year old through the foam ... I really hope that was just the situation and I wasn't somehow regressing in age.  That would be weird.  Of course, 'weird' barely described everything I had gone through that day.  Something more like 'torturous' or 'monstrous' would fit better.  "Please don't kill me or put me in cupcakes or try to make a stuffed animal out of my skin or anything!  I don't even have a cutie mark for your dre-e-e-ess!"

As soon as those words left my li-muzzle, the grip on my ear vanished.  Through my tears (and hooves because, let's face it, I didn't really want to see anything coming by that point in time), I could see Pinkie looking at me with a horrified expression on her face.

"Wha-hey, I'm not gonna kill you.  I'm not even gonna hurt you!"  I found myself being cradled in her forehooves as I let loose with a wailing that would put banshees everywhere out of a job.  I had a really, really stressful day up to that point and I was only in Equestria for a few hours at most.  Well, a few hours while conscious anyway.  Crying helps, or so I've heard.

And that was when Counselor Meadows showed back up.


After a few minutes of me blubbering and Pinkie's stammering explanation as to why she was cradling a soap-faced youngster on the bathroom floor - with me trying to help through the crying and the sniffling - I was taken to the bed that had become a damned fixture in my life.  Two nurses, a doctor and that white unicorn were all called in along with the downcast Pinkie Pie and I got to see a side of Ms. Meadows that I don't think was her best.

"The hay is wrong with you ponies?! "  She paced furiously in front of the five pairs of downcast eyes.  "This poor colt is obviously disturbed and probably has been lashing out in sheer terror and you idiots go and make things worse trying to treat him like some kind of delinquent!"

This was going to end very badly for everypony involved.  And I felt fucking terrible about it.  If I hadn't been a huge idiot and a jerk, none of this would have happened.  What the hell me, I tantrumed over a smoke?!  Tried to escape?  Yelled out curses words willy nilly?  This would not do at all.

"Uhm, Ms. Meadows?"  I squeaked.  Yes, I squeaked.  Though I felt queasy from the soap-based discipline I had to do something!  It's not their fault they were treating an adult like a child.  I looked like a child!  My mistakes are my own and I am not going to have four ponies chewed out over my own stupidity.

The universe had other plans.

"In a minute dear."  I was waved at absentmindedly by the still fuming Meadows.  "While I would agree that his language is foul and unnecessary, he's probably just trying to be an adult as he saw them from whatever hellhole he had to go through.  The actions of the staff and visitors here has been deplorable!"

"Ms. Meadows!"  A few of the currently-being-chewed-out ponies risked a glance my way, including the still distraught and obviously very unhappy Pinkie Pie.  I - me, a guy that couldn't even stomach his asshole of a boss being upset at him - made Pinkie Pie upset.  I am officially the worst pony.  The only thing worse would be to make Fluttershy cry and, ya know what, I think I saw that happening if I didn't get my act together.

"I said in a minute."  I noted a rising tone of annoyance in her voice.  Good sign, I think.  "There will be no more soap-based punishments, regardless of how bad his language gets, am I clear?  No 'whoopings,' paddling or any physical punishments of any kind will be tolerated.  This young colt has been through enough and we do not need to be adding to his distress through-"

Yeah, you know what universe?  Go fuck yourself.

"Ms. Meadows!"  I tried to bellow.  It came out more of a wail complete with voice cracks and whines.  I didn't think I would ever get used to this body.  But, hey, at least it got their attention right?  With an exasperated sigh, she finally turned to look at me with a forced grin.

"YES, Bruce?"  Turns out some ponies have slightly pronounced canines.

"Uh, uhm, I don't want anybo-anypony to get in trouble, Ms. Meadows.  It's my fault, uhm, about everything."  Wow.  Trying to confess to wrong doing while being stared at (hungrily) was hard.  After a moment of blank blinking, the mare shook her head.

"Yes and no, Bruce.  You have been a naughty colt but I can't really blame you.  After ... what you've been through, I don't think any foal would be, uhm, nicer.  But these ponies are adults.  They should be more respectful," she cast a hard glare at the four who suddenly took an extreme interest in the floor and walls, "and gentle.  Especially with a dama-er, confused colt like you."

"But Ms. Meadows, I -" she cut me off.  Rude much?  Also, thanks for your high opinion of my lifestyle, Meadows.  Really.

"Ba, ba, ba, ba!  I wont hear anymore of this.  These ponies have been very mean to somepony of your delicate nature and it will not stand."  With a semi-sweet smile, she turned back to the four other 'adults' in the room.  "I think I've made myself abundantly clear.  Dr. Horse, is the patient fit?"

The muffin-maned doctor opened his mouth to say something, thought better given his audience, and just gave a sad little nod.  Meadows nodded enthusiastically.

"Good!  Come on Bruce.  it's time to get you into a more settled environment."  I tumbled off the bed and, with a gaggle of suddenly very concerned ponies tagging along behind me, followed Counselor Meadows.  As I passed through the door, I had a sudden chill.

Foreshadowing and I never really got along.

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