As he washed his face in Pinkie's bathroom, his mind was reeling still from all he was taking in. Even Pinkie Pie's BATHROOM looked similar to his, a pink covered toilet, sink, even a big bathtub resting inside. Looking at his reflection in the mirror, he spoke to himself in a state of pure shock.
"I don't believe this... I don't fucking believe this... This place is so cool! They're just like my kind... all those thoughts and conceptions... all wrong... this is place is BETTER than my world... and Celestia... she said I can return home anytime I want... but I don't know if I want to ever leave..."
Drying his hands off on one of the pink pony's pink fluffy towel, he ran his hands through his mess of black hair before looking at himself once again.
"Well... time to see what else about my stereotypical ideal is to be destroyed... Twilight's waiting for me downstairs... but there's one thing I gotta check first..."
Sneaking out of the bathroom, Josh tiptoed his way to the bedroom next door and as soon as he looked in, he grinned and let out a big HA! There was no stable, no paddock... just a big cozy-looking pink bed and what seemed to be a candy-motif decorated around the room. It was too dark for him to see much else, but he had seen all he needed to and he walked back downstairs with a big grin on his face, rubbing his hands together eagerly as he spoke to the two equines waiting for him. "Alright, Twilight, where should we head next?"
"Well, I was thinking maybe we could head to my house, the town library.", Twilight answered calmly, "That way, we could set your bags down until we figure out where you're gonna stay. Plus you can meet my assistant, Spike."
"Sounds like a plan!", Josh nodded, "It was great meeting you, Pinkie Pie!"
"It was funtastic meeting you too!", Pinkie replied as she watched the two of them heading out, waving them goodbye and giggling. As soon as they were outside, Josh couldn't help but marvel at Twilight.
"Twilight, your friend is AWESOME! Are ALL the ponies here so energetic?"
The unicorn merely grinned. "You'll see soon enough, but come on, follow me."
Grinning, Josh merely nodded and followed the unicorn through town, the human taking ahold of the bags this time. It took them all of a minute to reach the giant treehouse known as both the library and Twilight Sparkles home and again, the teen couldn't help but let out a whistle of impression at the sheer size of it. It looked big enough to house a second story and, from where some of the windows rested, he had the feeling it did. But one thing that caught his eye in particular was the empty birds nest resting near one of the windows. Twilight noticed him looking at it and smiled.
"That used to be a bee's nest, but Derpy Hooves crashed into it one day and I didn't bother to get a new one. The birds nest looks cuter anyways and the chirping of birds helps me think."
"I'm guessing this Derpy Hooves is that same mailpony from earlier?", Josh quipped as he remembered that gray pegasus with the crossed eyes.
Twilight nodded as she pushed open the door and let Josh inside. To the boy's amazement, the library looked huge! Rows and rows of books could be seen, upwards of thousands, and he had a strong feeling very few of them were merely about eating hay or galloping. As he looked to the side of the bookcases, he could see a big stairway leading upwards, confirming his theory about a second story being inside. There was even an alcove on the other side of the stairwell, leading to from what the teen could see appeared to be a kitchen, complete with fridge and stove.
"Will this place NEVER cease to amaze me with its complexity?", Josh whispered without a hint of sarcasm as he set his bag down and rubbed his shoulder, groaning a bit. The unicorn merely smiled again before she called out to the second floor.
"Spike! Would you come down here?"
Almost instantly a voice with a little bit of a whine in it replied. "Aw come on! I just got comfy in my bed with one of your funny books!"
"Come on, there's someone I want you to meet!"
Soon a sigh rang out and, to Josh's shock, a small dragon made his way down the stairs, muttering to himself... at least until he turned the corner and saw the teen in front of him.
"Whoa... Twilight, who or what is that?"
With a grin, Twilight nodded towards the human, who spoke up. "I'm Josh, the human. I'm new around here, and I'm guessing you're Spike? Celestia told me quite a bit about you!"
At this, the dragon couldn't help but blush as Josh got a better look at him. His purple scales, green spines, and lime underbelly just made the dragon look really intriguing. Even though they didn't really have dragons where he came from, at this point he'd just decided to accept everything as seen with all the doubt having been erased from his mind.
"Really?", Spike said as he rubbed his claw behind his head, a sense of pride in his voice, "What'd she say about me?"
"Not much, just that you were one of her most prized assistants and she was so proud of how you've helped Twilight Sparkle."
The smile on Spike's face could have put Pinkie Pies to shame as he ran to the teen and hugged him happily.
"Thank you! Thank you... I never knew Celestia cared about me that much... Thank you!", he cooed. Josh merely smiled and returned the hug gently before looking back at Twilight.
"She told me about some other friends of yours... that you like to call yourselves "the Mane six?"
At this, Twilight could barely hide her grin. "I never knew she called us that too... But yes. If you'd like I'd be glad to introduce you to them."
"That would actually be quite nice. Maybe you ponies can help this human find a place to stay while he's here?"
"We'll do our best.", Twilight nodded before beginning to head out the door, "Spike, you want to join us?"
"Do I ever!", Spike gleamed and quickly went out after Josh and Twilight, eager to show their new friend around.
As they exited the library, the teen's bags now safely inside, Josh could still not believe how magnificent the place looked. It was NOTHING like he'd imagined a pony town to be like... instead of being all cutie and sweet to the point of rotting teeth, it was actually an intricate and delightful place! Yes, it was cute of course, that much Josh had expected, but it was in a way even he could admire.
"Wow...", he marveled as he looked again at all the buildings as the three of them walked around, "No matter how much I gaze upon this town... I just can't get over how it looks... amazing doesn't even begin to describe it..."
Spike couldn't help but whisper to the unicorn walking beside him. "Geez, you'd think he'd never seen a place like this back in his world!"
"Well, he IS the first human we've ever really had come here.", Twilight replied, getting a nod from the dragon, "For him, this all has to be mind-bending."
"Beautiful... simply beautiful...", Josh cooed, as he looked up at several pegasi moving the clouds and getting the sun in prime shining position, "Any minute now I almost expect something to come crashing down and wake me from this dream..."
"LOOK OUT BELOW!"
Hearing the scream, Josh was barely able to look up before a blue blur collided with him, knocking him down into a nearby mud puddle and dousing him and the blur in a fine brown coat. Laying on his back, Josh felt the wind having been knocked out of him and as he tried to wipe his eyes clean of the muck, he could hear the sound of another pony getting to their feet and letting out a sheepish laugh before they spoke in a tough, yet fun-loving voice.
"Sorry about that.. I was trying a new trick, kinda backfired..."
He didn't know what to be shocked at more, that the pony wasn't puzzled by him, or that she was actually apologizing, and as he managed to turn himself onto his stomach to get to his feet, he got a good look at what had crashed into him and he felt part of his heart skip a beat. It was a beautiful cyan pegasus, a rainbow colored mane covering her head and hanging a small bit over her eye and a cutie mark of a cloud with a rainbow coming out of it. Even covered in mud, she still looked amazing and he found himself at a loss for words.
"It's.. it's ok. But how.. how are you so calm? I didn't think you'd have seen a creature like me.", he sputtered, the words coming out in a choke.
"Nah, I saw ya coming in earlier, but I was on cloud duty so I couldn't say hi. The name's Rainbow Dash, best flyer in all of Ponyville!", the pegasus replied with a flashy grin, making Twilight and Spike roll their eyes.
"Oh brother...", the dragon murmured as he looked at the mud dripping off Josh's face and clothes and couldn't help but snicker. Rainbow Dash knew why he was laughing and she rubbed her forehoof behind her head sheepishly.
"Heh heh... lemme help you with th-", she started to say, but a loud shrill voice cut her off.
"EVIL! EVIL HUMAN BEGONE!"
Looking to their side, the four them could see a group of ponies and unicorns standing in a crowd, glaring at the human, led by a grey unicorn with a cutie mark of a cross on his flank. Immediately, Rainbow Dash let out a groan and rolled her eyes, an action matched by Twilight Sparkle.
"Not him again..."
"Who?", Spike asked curious. He'd never seen these ponies before and none of them looked friendly.
"That's Thoroughbred Phelps, leader of Equestria Pony Alliance...", Twilight groaned in disgust. "He and his CULT believe only pure-bred ponies should be in Equestria..."
"CELESTIA HATES HUMANS! CELESTIA HATES HUMANS!", Thoroughbred cried out, pointing a hoof at the muddy human looking at them in utter shock, "GO BACK TO THE MUD WHERE YOU BELONG!"
"Yeah! Humans are not welcome here! Go home!", a red pony by his side cried.
"CELESTIA HATES MORONS!", Rainbow Dash shot back, "You know you guys are the ones not welcome here!"
Almost on cue, several passerby ponies started to boo Thoroughbred, some of them even catcalling and jeering.
"GO BACK TO THE DARK AGES WHERE YOU BELONG.", a white unicorn with an indigo and pink mane called out.
"YOU'RE AN EMBARRASMENT TO PONIES EVERYWHERE!" another pegasi called out.
"BOO, YOU STINK!", Spike blurted out, getting a round of laughter as, seeing that they were outnumbered, the group of ponies ran off, but not before Thoroughbred called back for Josh to "WATCH HIS BACK AND GET OUT OF EQUESTRIA IF HE KNEW WHAT WAS GOOD FOR HIM!". As soon as they were gone, several of the ponies that had seen what happened called out sheepish apologies to the human before they went back to their business. The whole spectacle had left the teen in a state of utter shock and it wasn't until Rainbow Dash tapped his arm gently that he was able to speak.
"Would someone tell me what the heck that was about? I thought this was a friendly place!", he gasped as he wiped some of the dried mud from his shirt.
"It is...", Rainbow Dash replied, "They're just the local nutjob group... they hate anyone who's not a pure-bred pony and anyone who tolerates others."
"The only reason they didn't bother Zecora was they were protesting in Manehattan... thank Celestia...", Twilight added. Josh just let out a shudder before he talked to Rainbow Dash again.
"You were saying before about helping me?"
"Oh yeah, heh heh.", The pegasus remembered as she flew up and quickly returned with a big raincloud. Setting it up above the muddy teen, she began to bounce on in over and over, producing a nice summer rain and helping wash the mud off the human, but leaving him soaking wet. "Now now, no need to thank me!"
It was then she saw the teen's sopping wet face, his clothes drenched to the bone and making him look like a drowned rat. She tried desperately not to laugh, covering her mouth with her hooves, but her body failed her and before she knew it...
"Bwah hah hah hah!", Rainbow Dash roared in laughter, falling back and holding her midsection from the quivers of laughter running through her body. Before Spike knew it, he found himself on his knees pounding his fist in laughter as well at the sight of the teen, the pegasus's chuckles contagious, while Twilight just looked at the whole scene in wonder.
"Deja Vu...", she thought, remembering how nearly the exact same thing had happened to her when SHE had met the pegasus.
"I'm g-g-glad y-you find this f-funny...", Josh managed to chatter out, freezing from the rain soaking his body. He wasn't as mad as he was just annoyed, since he didn't know if his jacket would be ok getting dried... although he had a strong feeling that Twilight's magic could help him out with that... but he didn't want to bother the unicorn for something like that. Twilight could see the poor boy was shivering and she called out to him.
"I know someone who can help get you into a new set of clothes!", she yelled, "Follow me!" But as she and Josh began to leave, they found themselves being followed by both Spike AND Rainbow Dash, both of whom still were barely able to contain the last shakes of laughter. "Rainbow Dash? Don't you have work still to do?"
"Nah, hee hee, Derpy and Kyna can cover for me. I just wanna see what happens when the others meet up with Josh... It's gonna be awesome seeing them meet a human!"
At this, Josh couldn't help but grin at how Rainbow Dash had been so calm and cavalier to his appearance and he nodded to Twilight in assent. "Let her come. I like her.. and she did defend me against those ponies."
Twilight sighed before she turned back and continued her journey, leading the three of them through Ponyville once again as the teen was left again in awe at all he'd just seen... although now he also had a small twinge of fear...