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Georg


Nothing special here, move along, nothing to see, just ignore the lump under the sheet and the red stuff...

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Mar
30th
2020

For your ongoing shut-in entertainment - Substitute Librarian snippet (long) · 12:35am Mar 30th, 2020

Just to let you know, there has been some progress on an arc in The Substitute Librarian, in particular a point where Emerald is enjoying his solitude in the middle of the night in the dark library tree. Nothing but him, his homework project, some cold medicine for his sniffles… and a midnight visitor, a mare who he refuses to look at for obvious (to him) reasons. See below the break.


Some quick background before I start. The Substitute Librarian is more or less "What would Green Grass from The Traveling Tutor and the Librarian look like if he and Twilight Sparkle never meet, written as close to Estee's particular style as I can." More or less, it's a play-piece to exercise my ability to have a character *NOT* get what he/she wants, because I'm a giant squish. Enjoy!


The first few hot cups of Zebra medicine had vanished somewhere during his tasks, so he returned to the kitchenette with his empty cup and checked the teakettle, which still had enough warm water to make more. This time he added a healthy heaping spoonful of generic wake-up juice powder, then a second, before adding the paper packet of herbs and stirring. There was a note attached to the packet detailing the administration of the concoction, but it did not say anything about mixing it with something useful, and he was going to drink the wake-up juice anyway, so meh.

Despite his sniffles, Flitter weather had one major advantage. Intelligent ponies would look outside, calculate the probability of getting a cloud of slush down the back of the neck, and determine it was easier just to re-read the books they already had checked out. When closing time came around, there were not enough books stacked up on the Return table to make it worth going out into the library and putting them where they belonged, so he heaved his saddlebags up on the counter instead.

It was still a little chilly in the library’s main room, but at least he had the place to himself. This was literally the only place in Equestria where he could ‘spread out’ and attack his most recent project without interruption. At home in the family library, he would be bothered by both parents and servants, while trying to get anything this complicated done in the frat house was just begging for trouble. And staking out space in the school library was just asking for his project to be used as a hoof-wiping rug.

First things first. He spread his still slightly damp vest and fedora out to get the best effect out of the library’s ancient heater, stomped the library couch cushions until they were less lumpy, and put the container of wake-up juice concentrate next to the leftover Zebrican medicine on the kitchenette table for easy access. Worst case, if he could not get to the end of the project before sleep claimed him, the library’s main room couch would be ready for his inevitable collapse. And his sinuses would remain clear.

It was peaceful. Quiet. A welcome relief from the slush and chill of the last two days. And most of all, a hole in his schedule which the long-delayed research project would fit quite nicely. He already had most of the notecards all made up, with weeks worth of research in odd hours to figure out their appropriate statistics for prominent Protocerans through recent history. All he had needed was time and space, which was finally available.

“When I get out of college,” muttered Emerald as he arranged his notecards, “I’m going to go nutters with nothing to fill my spare time. Probably wind up studying flowers or collecting feathers like Father. The last thing I’m going to do for the rest of my life is study griffon genealogy. Who killed who in what flock, who hatched from what nest.”

He placed down more notecards, then put a shoulder to the librarian’s desk to give him more space. There were a lot of dead griffons to scatter around the floor, tacked down with colored plastic pins.

“My frat brothers would move these around just to spite me,” he muttered. “At home, the servants would ‘tidy up’ behind me.” He unreeled some red yarn and began to tie it around pushpins. “Red for murder, yellow for treachery, blue for infidelity, orange for incest…”

There was a substantial pile of cards to work through, with notes on each of them. It made a fascinating evening task, with occasional trips into the kitchenette to make more cups of the zebra’s cold medicine. The generic wake-up juice powder from the librarian’s pantry fizzed when heated on the stove with the herbs, giving a bubbly potion that left an undescribable taste at the back of his mouth while clearing his sinuses like some sort of demented nasal plumber. He did not, however, try mixing it with coffee. There are some mysteries that should remain unsolved. Besides, it would probably dissolve the bottom out of the teakettle.

Professional griffon historians had a thousand theories about how certain nests were allies or rivals, mostly driven by the wants and public needs of the same nests. Their books were full of half public relations, half fantasy, half political necessities, until it was nearly impossible to separate the buckets of lies from the few niblets of truth.

One thread at a time, he wove his colorful web across the floor. It took scooting the librarian desk all the way to the checkout counter until he could get all of the cards pinned down, then the task of getting every thread arranged after that became a gargantuan time-sink, far more than he had expected.

“Don’t any of these birds die of old age?” Emerald nipped off another bit of yarn and tied it to a hefty red pin. He had already determined that particular massacre was just as inaccurate as most griffon history, since several later reports had ‘victims’ walking around just as healthy as could be. Still, there were a large number of verifiable fatalities, and the questionable ones could be validated by other strands in the web.

Maybe.

The front door of the library clicked while he was debating between white and mauve for how one would indicate a cracked egg, and the faint trit-trot of feminine hooves threatened to break his concentration on the intricate card-web. “Hello, we’re closed,” he called over his shoulder. “I put the sign up and everything.”

“Oh,” sounded a beautiful feminine voice. There was a short pause, then she added, “We… I thought Twilight Sparkle was at home.”

“She’s at a personal appearance in Manehattan,” he said while trying to focus on finding one feathered murder among dozens. “I’m Emerald. Can I help you, young lady?”

“Actually…” The unseen hooves shuffled on the bare oaken floor, and a faint sound of feathers being rearranged caused him to put a quick hoof down on the few unsorted cards.

“Careful about any gusts, Miss,” he called out over his shoulder. “I just about have my research project on griffon geneology all arranged. If you’re needing a book, go pick it out, find your library card, and I’ll get you checked out.”

Don’t check out the sexy mare while doing homework. Don’t check out the sexy mare while doing homework…

There was a long pause from behind him, most likely while the unseen mare looked over the counter at the rear of the crazy earth pony crouched down in the middle of a rainbow of yarn strands.

“Very well. We shall need whatever your library has on griffon relations over the last century. I am expected to preside over one of their diplomatic meetings next week.”

“Good luck.” Emerald waved a hoof. “History is off that way, in the second bookshelf. Minotaurs on the bottom, griffons on the top, but I can save you looking. I pulled both griffon history books earlier, and they’re sitting on the librarian desk next to my collection.”

It would have been so easy to abandon his project and go help the cute pegasus, or at least she should be cute with a voice like that. A little flirting, some late-night ‘studying’ about griffon preening… was more his brother’s preference. Graphite had the enviable ability to incite affectionate nesting behavior in any feathered female he spoke with, and had left a smiling trail of both female pegasi and griffons in his wake for years. Single ones, thankfully, and to be honest, Emerald was getting a little tired of cute feathered females edging up to him, engaging in friendly conversation, and then dropping the line, “I understand you have a brother…”

There were less than a half-dozen notecards left to get pinned down onto the floor, so this was not the time to get distracted. Unfortunately, he had left the more difficult ones to the end, and there were more question marks than validated facts on each of them. He had just gotten three pushpins into one card and began to stretch out colored yarn when the mare from the other side of the checkout table politely cleared her throat.

“The books upon the table are fictional romances. The historical records are still on the shelves.”

It took a moment to get one of the sour-tasting yarn pieces tied down before he responded, “Griffon history is always wrong. It’s written by the victorious griffons, and they always want to pad their credit. Their romance stories are written by pony citizens of Protocera. They publish under pen names, and keep a much more accurate accounting of dynasty shifts and nest quarrels, who is rumored to have fathered which eggs, real genealogy of ruling branches, vengeance chains, things like that. The rarer the book, the more accurate, since certain aggrieved parties like to engage in pyrotechnic editing practices. Never loan a griffon romance book to a griffon. You’re likely never to get it back. Or at least most of it.”

“Some things never change, I suppose.” The rustle of pages continued while Emerald cautiously backtracked the two remaining yarn strands and tried to find the appropriate eggs with a pin. He had to admit some unseen feminine company in the library was welcome, particularly the kind of company who didn’t look over his shoulder and chatter foolish questions. And ever since he had created a ghost librarian story for the sleepover on his last visit, the mental construct of a ghost… well, haunted him at times. Expansion and contraction of the oak tree made strange noises in the night, and knowing there was another real pony around gave a convenient corporeal pony to blame.

Still, after a period of time with no more noises than the rustling of pages and Emerald’s cautious enumeration of yarn griffon corpses, he decided to say something polite once he had tacked down his next-to-last card.

“If you’re presiding over a griffon diplomatic meeting, Princess Celestia must trust you considerably. Have you known her long?”

There was a brief pause, a short huff of exasperation, and a terse, “Yes.”

“So are you a member of the diplomatic corps?” he asked absently while trying to track an orange piece of yarn which kept trying to turn blue on him. “Or a researcher from the university, getting some practical experience? Because if you waited until the last minute before flying down to Ponyville of all places to learn about griffons, you’re getting pretty desperate.”

There was always a deep pause before the mare spoke, which struck Emerald as a practical habit for a diplomat to hold, like she always weighed her words on a precise scale before speaking. If she had been a unicorn, he might have considered introducing her to Father and seeing how they got along. He appreciated a mare who thought before speaking. But a pegasus? No. He’d either go sparse or full matchmaker.

“I am unfamiliar with griffons of the present era,” she said.

“A closeted historian, then.” Emerald lifted one hoof and tried to remove an affectionate piece of mauve yarn that anchored a dynasty while shifting to the Old Griffonent they probably spoke back then. “<Not used to speaking in the present Gathering of Flocks, Young Hen? Perhaps you should seek the counsel of a Guiding Tercel to chart your… upwellings?>”

“<Updrafts>,” said the mare out in the library in an elegant short series of Protoceran chirps and clicks. “<Mother Wind is weak beneath your wings, young chick. Learn to spread your feathers before the stones rise up to greet you.>”

“I didn’t think my enunciation was that bad,” he grumbled. “You should hear my brother, Graphite. He can sing in both modern and historic dialects, with accents. Makes me sound like a crow. Is he helping you with the meeting?”

Again, the pause, and the measured response. “I am unfamiliar with a pony by that name.”

“They’re probably keeping him away from the diplomats’ cute daughters. Last thing we need is for one of them to turn up with egg. Ha!” Emerald ever so slowly teased a knot out of one strand of yarn that had been pinned down in the wrong place, which would have put the hatching before the egg-laying. “You’d know if you met him. Smooth grey coat like crushed velvet and a flowing white mane. He’s a hopeless flirt, and I have no idea why mares let him get away with it.” Since the mare in the main library room was a member of the official diplomatic corps, Emerald squelched his usual crude joke about Graphite being an exceptionally cunning linguist and moved onto the next. “If anybody can get you ready to talk to a Meeting of Claws, he can. Just be aware that he does flirt, and you have to keep his attention on the subject or you’ll wind up outside walking with him under the stars and talking about foals all night.”

The mare snorted, but it was an amused snort. “Nepotism doth suit you poorly, M’lord.”

It was a bit of a shock, but since most of his homework books on the table were from Father’s library with the House Chrysanthemum seal on the cover plates, it was a fairly short line of deductive reasoning for her to draw a line between the baron who owned them and the idiot son making yarn doodles on the library floor, so Emerald decided to double down rather than fold.

“It isn’t bragging about your relatives if they can do the job,” he started. “If the griffons were led by a single hen, and it was necessary for the Equestrians to obtain an alliance by marriage, I would be willing to bet cash bits that inside of a year, I would have griffon in-laws.” He paused to think. “Inside of another year, nieces and nephews with beaks. Father would be… confused. And I would still never get the teaching job I want,” he admitted, turning back to tracing yarn.

“Teaching griffon histories?” she asked.

“Oh, heavens forbid!” Emerald began to ever so slowly pick his way backward and out of his twisted web, keeping his nose almost to the floor. “I like history too much. I will be teaching young unicorns their first magic.”

This time the contemplative pause went on longer than most, and Emerald regretted putting his hat and vest down on the desk to dry. “Yes, I know I’m an earth pony,” he added quite redundantly. “That doesn’t mean I can’t teach unicorn magic.”

“I never said you could not,” sounded that patient voice again. “I was merely wondering to myself if perhaps you have chosen the more difficult path out of some sense of challenge, but then I noticed your Mark.”

“I’d probably be teaching young students if I had a Mark for flower arranging,” he mused while looking over the yarn strands. “There’s something magical about seeing one of them do something they never could before, unicorns in particular. As long as there’s somepony around to turn you back from being a gardenia,” he added.

The mare made an encouraging noise from behind one of the bookshelves, where she had probably gone to see if there were any more books related to her upcoming task. He straightened up with several pops from his spine, then moved over to the desk to begin pulling checkout cards from the Ponyville library books she had already selected.

“I should get overtime for this,” he muttered under his breath, then raised his voice. “Ma’am, I’ll get you ready for checkout. I’m done with Father’s books for the moment, so you can give them to Graphite to take back home when you’re done with them. Do you have a local library card?”

There was that distinctive pause again, then a simple, “No.” It only made sense, since she was from Canterlot. He didn’t have a library card in this library either, but he had reviewed Twilight Sparkle’s extensive instructions regarding such, and he had been looking for an excuse to use the machine anyway.

Minotaurs were responsible for creating most of the complicated mechanical widgets in the modern world, and cameras were no exception. The country was his father’s second largest trading partner, after all. Little enchanted gizwizzes and hoodads carried out critical tasks inside the optical paths and crystalline innards of modern cameras, including the instant photo development process and thaumaturgically charged paper that a photographer needed to purchase for each photo. With every click and flash, a cash drawer bell rang, and the wealth of House Chrysanthemum grew by some tiny fraction of a bit.

About forty years ago, most probably nudged by Emerald’s grandfather, the Equestrian library system had discovered the convenience of modern plastic identity cards. The old system of actually knowing who was checking out books was promptly tossed out, and libraries across the country plunked down the bits for a state-of-the-art magical machine with levers and cranks, that if treated just right, had a distinct chance of producing a plastic-wrapped card with a recognizable photograph of a library patron on it, which would then in theory be carried around by the patron to identify themselves when they wanted to check out a book.

In practice, no.

The Golden Oak Library of Ponyville had a filing drawer filled with all the plastic library cards they issued, most probably because they had exactly the same problem as the rest of the rural Equestrian libraries when patrons came in without their cards and had to resort to the old method of checking out books. The questions such a policy prevented were obvious.

So why did we spend all those taxpayer bits on this machine? Who can we blame?

Despite Emerald’s legitimate complaints about his parents constantly trying to set him up with a ‘proper’ unicorn bride, there were certain advantages to being in his family. Since the family company had the license for importing the card-making machines from Mazin, a few of the devices had been ‘misplaced’ over the years for research or novelty purposes. And since his father owned the company, Young Emerald had been tickled fourteen shades of pink to find a hefty crate in the family carriage house one morning, with permission to open it up and use it.

It took three days of careful picking through the manual, detailed examination of the mechanisms, and a few dozen-dozen false starts, before he had been the proud owner of a slightly blurred plastic card. At the time, Emerald thought that his father had stayed in the background to allow his ‘handicaped’ son play time with the world’s most fun toy. It was only later that Emerald discovered the company had used Father’s notes to put out a new and much more readable manual, along with selling an update kit for each cardmaker using color-coded knobs and various numbered arrows indicating how to twist or push each of them in sequence.

‘So easy even a foal can do it’ was the advertising line.

Young Emerald didn’t mind a bit, particularly after getting his big brothers to float the clunky device upstairs and into his room for further study. More than a few ‘unauthorized’ plastic identity cards of various types had been produced in the years since, which made getting the Golden Oak Library’s device prepared for use a nearly trivial task. He ran the camera up and down on the greased slides and checked the fluid levels, then got out the paperwork part of the checklist.

“Once you have some time, come over to the counter and fill out this form.” The indicated form was stored right where Twilight’s notes said, which was no great surprise. “Then put it into the green slot on the cardmaker, and I’ll get your photograph. Let me know when you’re ready.”

Two of the yarn threads in his project had become tangled, which required a delicate touch to determine which griffon cousin had killed the other, and gave him something to do while the mare strolled over to the counter and filled in the form with brief strokes of the library public quill.

“I have completed the task,” she stated plainly, “and placed the form into the slot. Now if I am reading the instruction poster correctly, I put my hooves on the green marks, face the camera, and smile, correct?”

“Yep. Let me get the camera elevated,” said Emerald as he pushed repeatedly on the floor plate that ratcheted the mechanism upward along the toothed track. “Tell me when you see the red light in the lens. Any time. Not yet? It’s at the top of the track, so you may have to bend down a little. Don’t forget the smile,” he added.

“I believe I see it now,” she said, adding in a stilted voice, “I am smiling.”

Emerald stepped on the correct pedal, the mechanism gave out a flash, and there was a quiet reshuffling of hooves on the other side of the counter.

“Beg pardon,” she said. “We did not expect a light.”

“Not a problem.” Emerald reached one hoof above the counter and flipped a lever on the camera, although he kept his head down like he had been doing throughout the photography session. “Now turn sideways to put your hooves on the red marks, and we’ll get a picture of your cutie mark.”

“Very well.” There was that distinctive pause again while the mare moved with the graceful precise pace of the aristocracy. “Might I ask a question of you, M’lord?”

“You just did.” Emerald stepped firmly on the camera’s shutter release again and another flash lit up the inside of the library. “There we go. I’ll pull the plastic card out after it finishes developing and store it with the rest, if you’ll sign the slips from the back of each book. I get to file them, also. Thank you for visiting our library and we hope your meeting with the griffons goes well.”

A certain silence continued to fill the library while he returned to his wooling over griffon vengeance chains, determined not to say the first word. It took concentration, and he discovered two more errors on his cards during the process, each of which needed penciled corrections and double-checking every card associated with them.

Eventually, he decided on the better part of valor since the stubborn pegasus might just stand there silently and look at his rump until Sunrise. “Yes, M’lady? Did you need anything else?”

“An explanation, for starters.” The unseen pegasus cleared her throat. “Since I have entered this establishment, you have not looked at me once. Nary a sideways glance, no coincidental looks in a nearby mirror, nothing. Praytell, is my countenance displeasing to you?”

“That is a question which requires another question to answer it.” Emerald nipped out a push-pin and began to unthread a duplicated piece of yarn, since a griffon egg was seldom laid by two different hens. “Are you currently married, engaged, dating, or otherwise in a romantic relationship with another sapient creature of any species or gender?”

There was that particular pause again, only longer this time, followed by a firm, “No.”

“Then I am doing what is best for the both of us.” Emerald considered how the strand of yarn was going to take extra work to extract from its friends and decided to explain his situation as simply as possible. “You see, I am in a similar situation. I will not lie to my parents. They wish me wed in the worst possible way, and I can show you the list of mares they have attempted to pair me with if you wish to dispute my phrasing. When I meet them later this week, they will inquire if I saw any young and eligible mares of appropriate breeding while at this job. If I keep my head down and don’t look at you, I can honestly tell them no.”

After a shorter pause, “And if you look?”

“They will want to know your name. If I don’t know, they’ll ask about your Mark and backtrack from there. They’ll research your family, contact any living relatives, check to see if our families would make a good pairing. The disruption would be a terrible inconvenience for you, M’lady. And worse, if our families decide we make a good match, they’ll arrange a marriage, and you’d be saddled with me forever. Then I would be unable to carry out my plans for teaching young unicorns their first magic, and your career as a diplomat would be negatively impacted, since there are many who look down upon mixed marriages. Particularly one to a scruffy stallion such as myself.”

“I understand.” This time the pause followed the words, and threatened to remain after she added in a somewhat more friendly voice, “What if I like what I see?”

“You don’t need the scandal,” he managed after a few rapid moments of thought. “One of Equestria’s diplomats fooling around with a college student who has not even completed his primary degree? Besides, I’m quarrelsome, stubborn, disagreeable, opinionated, lazy, picky, and I take all the covers at night. I shed like a rug in the Fall, sleep away most of the morning in Winter, spend every day with a book in Spring, and like to spend Summers traveling the country wherever I choose to go. You can do far better.”

“Mmm…” The rustle of paper distracted him from unthreading the pestersome piece of twine, but from the sound of her hoofsteps headed toward the library door, the pegasus was preparing to leave. It would have been so easy to sneak a peek as she walked toward the door, but he had never been able to lie well to his own mother, so Emerald remained silent and focused on his yarn. He was just considering the whole layout of colorful sheep-byproduct and the probability that he could pick out errors every hour for the next century or so when the young mare’s voice shocked him out of his creative fugue.

“M’lord, are you currently engaged, dating, or otherwise in a romantic relationship with another sapient creature of any species or gender? And we shall consider Twilight Sparkle such, for the purposes of this question.”

“I haven’t met Twilight Sparkle,” said Emerald reflexively. “And I’m not currently dating. Although next year, a Canterlot policemare is going to ask me… Well, that’s complicated. So for all intents and purposes, no.”

“Good.” The library door opened and closed, then Emerald could hear the fading sounds of wings.

“I swear this job would drive you to drinking if you weren’t crazy already,” muttered Emerald. “Then it will probably make you an alicorn, and that’s a whole new level of insanity.”

At least all the yarn threads seemed to be correct for a change, and the unexpected library patron was gone, so his life could go on. Part of that was getting the camera out of his saddlebags to capture his work, because it was doubtful that Twilight Sparkle was going to allow him to leave his little arts and crafts project spread out over her floor for the next few months. So after making another hot cup of wake-up juice and zebra medicine, he got the camera out and proceeded to take photographs of every section of his yarn project, with several taken from the second floor of the library where the notecards’ contents would not be clear, but at least they would look pretty.

“Finally. I should leave the cleanup for Twilight Sparkle tomorrow night,” he managed. Another drink of mixed medicine and wake-up juice made him shake his head and regard the mess. “No, she’d probably find a dozen errors and drag me back here to fix them.”

The precious photographs went into a sealed pocket on his saddlebags before Emerald even thought about his library tasks. He arranged the fresh library checkout cards from the unknown mare by habit, sorted them into the correct drawers, and picked the warm plastic card out of the identity card machine.

… which he accidentally looked at in order to file it properly.

… and then had to look again.

Surreal. There were probably some other words to describe it, most of which started with some screaming and running about, and that would not have been productive use of his time at the moment. Not now, when his head was still fuzzy with Zebra medicine and enough wake-up juice to crystalize in his bloodstream. Maybe later, when he went back to Canterlot where she lived. Or maybe never go back home again. He gave the card one last look, comparing the cutie mark to the brief glance he had gotten of Twilight Sparkle’s skinny flank.

“That is one hot plot.” He held the card up to the library’s lighting devices and gave a low whistle, only to whirl around at a small noise behind him.

For one terrifying moment, he could have sworn that Princess Luna was standing in the doorway, but it was only a shadow, and he was all alone except for the hammering of his heart. With deliberate tread, Emerald returned to the library desk, picked up the half-empty mug of Zebrician medicine and wake-up juice mixture, and returned to the kitchenette.

“Never mix medicines,” he muttered, pouring the concoction down the drain.

* * *

Comments ( 10 )

Caution: Use of this product may cause the user to see mythical alicorn princesses when mixed with wake-up juice, which nopony would be foolish enough to do so why are we even writing this warning label.

I loved it!

Of course, we all know that Luna would never set up a prank date for Twilight and Greenie that would go hilariously wrong even before they met, causing all sorts of havoc and minor property damage and sending the entire town into a panic and then I would need to throw the entire refugee camp a party to cheer...

PINKIE, GET AWAY FROM MY COMPUTER!!!

FTL

5231397
Poor Greenie... oh yeah, sorry, Emerald.

You may deny it, even to yourself, but the pattern seems to indicate that you may enjoy torturing/embarrassing your poor characters just a little too much. :trollestia:

Thanks for sharing this tidbit and making a dull day brighter. :twilightsmile:

... Well. I mean... Look it was one time on a dare and my friend from med school said it'd be fine! How was I to know mixing Zebrican herbs would have that kinda effect! It's not my fault Princess Celestia decided to find out what all the noise and hubbub was up on the fourth floor! A Pegasus only has so much to live for and not a lotta time to live it! ...She is a fantastic kisser though.

One question: Flitter weather?

5231592
“What?” Emerald looked over his shoulder at the mustached conductor, then back out at the Ponyville train station. “Oh, just thinking. I’m supposed to be covering the library for a few days, and—”

“Then off you go,” said the old stallion, giving him a push. “We’ve got a schedule. And keep an eye out. It’s Flitter weather.”

“Flitter—?” Emerald turned around on the train platform, only to have the train door slide shut and the train start to move almost immediately. It did seem to be a warning, although ‘Flitter’ did not show up on the weather schedule posted on the side of the station.

His first step out from under the station’s roof made the warning abruptly obvious.

“Oops,” sounded a female voice from above, in the same vague direction that the brief deluge of slush had just fallen. “Sorry.”

Whatever pegasus had just dumped a cloud on him certainly did not sound sorry. The laughter only drove the point in deeper.

“That’s fine,” he called up into the cloud cover. “Accidents do happen, after—”

The second cloud full of slush caught him right in the face.

Better hope Celestia never hears of this, otherwise the matchmaking prowess of his parents will be the least of his worries.

*edit* I just realised I missed the forest for the trees

Makes me sound like a crow.

Now, now, let's not add corvids to the mix. The Palaververse is a whole other kettle of sapients.

Great stuff. I kept expecting Luna to offer some pointers on the older relationships, but I suppose there's scant hope of any actual facts surviving after a millennium. Looking forward to the chapter. (And I know the whole point of the story is that Greenie and Twilight never meet, but darn it, I still find myself wanting their eyes to meet across a crowded room at the very end of the tale.)

This is going to b published in an actual story, correct? Because it’s too much fun to be relegated to a blog post... even if it was a treat during this trying time.

5234112 Yes, eventually. The last 3-day visit I have him on blew up out of control with the CMC taking a bath at the library, him catching a cold, the above bit, and being visited by the Ghost of the Forbidden Forest.... Ok, it's Trixie, but she has an excuse.

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