Dragon King: Homecoming

by Sipioc

Family Binds and Friendly Ties

Chapter 2

Grocery shopping. That is the one thing that didn't seem like a root canal with a hammer and nail. Plus it got me out of there, so... bonus.

Making my way through town, I received a mixture of greetings and stares from ponies. Both go unheeded as I look over the list. It has been meticulously itemized down to the type, whom to buy it from, and how much to pay. All I needed to do now was pin it to my chest and prance into town and I would look like a proper idiot.

I could see the marketplace come into view and I picked up the pace. The sooner this was over the sooner...we'll okay I had nothing really better to do.

The first stop on the list was vegetables, and the purveyor was one Golden Harvest. The mare in question nibbles on a carrot as I trot up to her stall.

“Good morning.” The orange haired mare jumps to attention before recognizing me. “Oh! Hiya Flint!

“Hello.” I woke up next to the embodiment of chipper, this was just cruel.

“Did my Scrippie send you to shop from me.” Nope, I’m here to kill you if you keep talking like that. Despite what I want to say, I manage a nod. “Aww he is so sweet! Just the other day he was telling me…”. Choke on the carrot, please, just choke on the carrot.


Well she didn't choke, but despite me being her coltfriend’s roommate she does manage to charge me more than what Script wrote on the list. The price of being able to leave. Shrewd mare.

The remainder of the shopping goes mercifully faster and it isn't long before I have everything on the list. The bags feel heavier on my back but it's nothing I can’t handle.

Walking through town in more of a daze than anything else. Absentmindedly, I look to the north, and in the herd of thatched roofs one stands out in particular.


Miss Pie had finally let me alone since I got back into town. All it took was agreeing to attend one party tonight as well as a “Welcome Back to Ponyville” party for me personally tomorrow night.

Jokes on her, I won't be here that long. I smirk slightly as I come to a stop at my destination. The two story house had changed little in my absence, but it...was good to see it again.

Being gone so long I surmised the etiquette would be to knock. After I did I could hear a familiar male voice through the open window.

“Just a minute!” The shuffling of materials followed by the clang of metal told me that Sparks was tinkering again. His voice came again after a long stretch of silence.

“Snug Bug? Honey, can you get the door while I get this cleaned up before your mother-”

“Too late.” Came a clearly ticked female voice. “Bugaboo, get the door please?”

“Yes, Mommy.” A smaller voice responded.

There's a click and the door opens. A pegasus filly answers the door. Her coat a tannish yellow and is complimented by her red mane that's held in a modest pony tail. She is still young but has just reached the age where her wings now tuck at her sides neatly, partially covering a mark that hadn't been there since last we saw one another.

Upon recognition her eyes go wide at the sight of me, shock on her face. This is soon replaced by a sullen expression.

“Oh...it's you.” Irritation is heavy in her voice.

The feeling is mutual. “Shouldn't you be at the Boarding School?” I met her ire with my own.

“It's summer,” She parries condescendingly, “and it's not a ‘boarding school’ it's The Calvary Academy for the Gifted.” She continues haughtily.

“Oh my, I’m all a quiver.” My tone is parched dry as I push past her and enter the house.

I can feel her icy glare chill the back of my head before she shuts the door a bit heavier than necessary.

“Isn't there a bog or a mud hole you should be wallowing in right now?”

“Bug, who are you talking-”any further argument is blocked by the arrival of an Indigo earth mare.

Time ticks by interminably, so I decide to cut to the chase and get it over with.


That, apparently, is the kick she needs to ensnare me in a hug.

“Flint! Oh Flint! Your home!” She squeezes me tighter before yanking my face down to her level so that she can bombard me with a slew of kisses on my cheeks. There was a time I would attempt to reel away or pry her off, but I had learned it was simply better to let her get it all out of her system.

“Son!” Came the patriarch; a light grey Pegasus with an orange mane, same as mine. He joins this swarray of affection, thankfully only contributing a clap of a hoof to my back.

After counting to ten, I bring it to an end.

“Cozy. Sparks. That’s enough.”

They both chuckled before relinquishing their hold.


It was a bit after noon when we all sat down for lunch. The little maggot was making faces at me from her side of the table when our ‘parents’ weren't looking. I of course reciprocated in kind.

“So it's been forever, my boy!” Sparks said distractedly twisting a pesky nut on what had once been a either a coffee maker or a blender. “Where have you all been?”

Hardening my gaze at the whelp, a turned and addressed my ‘father’. “I mostly wandered. South east to the Hayseed Swamps, then through the Badlands. Then... a little further.” I had actually gone all the way to my old domain, but they didn't need to know that.

“Oh I wish you wouldn't wander so far out there.” Cozy chided bringing a salad and plate of sandwiches over. “The name alone gives me the willies.”

“The lack of supplies is a far more real danger,” I respond with a shrug, “beyond that you just need to stay alert.”

“Nevertheless,” Cozy shook her head as if to clear an unpleasant image,”I really wish you would just find a place to settle down, lay some roots…” wait for it,”....find a nice mare…”

“Mother..” I sigh, not really wanting to hear this conversation again.

“What? What?” She smirked innocently. “Is it wrong I want to see you happy and safe? With two or six little ones running about?” She not so subtly says into her glass of iced tea.

“I'm not exactly the relationship or kid type, Mom.” I retort flatly.

“Yeah, I would suspect his species eats their own young.” The sibling snarks.

“You wanna be the first, runt?” I say getting up from my seat with a growl.

“Hey!” A voice break me out of my thoughts. So engrossed was I, that it takes me a moment to realize where it came from.

“Up here, Three Step.” The tomboyish voice draws my gaze upward. Well fate is taking a bat to my day, it seems.

Her mane, as bright and attention seeking as her ego, is the first thing I see against the backdrop of the midday sky, and it's enough for me to slightly grumble on its recognition; Rainbow Dash.

“There something you want, feathers?” I sneer up at her.

“A good thunder cloud to zap some manners into you would be a nice start.” She sneers right back in that raspy voice of hers, while she glides down to stare me in the eyes. Its funny how she tries to stare me down, even though she’s a head and a half shorter than me.

I narrow my eyes at her. “That would be the last thing you'd ever do.” I say with all the sincerity in the world.

From the start, there’s been a level of distrust between us. She’s always telling the others she has a ‘gut feeling’, that there’s something off about me. I would compliment her intuition, were it not for the fact that I refuse to compliment her on principal, for any reason.

We stare eachother down for a time, before her nostrils flare and she turns away with a snort, breaking the stalemate. “Whatever, have you seen Twilight?”

In another time, turning her back on me would've been insult enough for me to strike, but no. Not today anyway.

“No.” I reply snidely.

“Big help you are.” She glares back at me.

“I’m following your excellent example.” I retort.

The already tepid conversation between us turns downright frigid, and we both fall silent.

With a huff of disgust she powers into the air in her usual ‘look-at-me’ display of athletic prowess. Her powerful take-off sends a cloud of dirt into my face. I have no doubt she did that on purpose.

Snorting the dirt from my nose I brush the remainder off with my good foreleg.

“Well, at least you two are talkin’ to one another.” The drawl is familiar enough for me to recognize it in an instant. Despite this, I keep my guard up.


I simply chose to rest for the remainder of the afternoon. Cozy and Sparks had apparently turned my old room into a home office, though why it reeked of Body oil I will never know, nor do I really want to find out. Mom offered to set me up in one of her company’s houses for a while. She deflated a bit when I told her I planned on being back on the road by tomorrow.

She seemed to perk back up when I mentioned that I had been strong armed into attending a party tonight. She even seemed to know the pink pestilence by name. It was then that she got that look in her eye. That ‘Cozy Homes” look that seems like a wonderful idea but it usually involves me being groomed and dressed in a suit with a big red bow tie.

Never again.

Instead it was something equally demeaning.

“This sucks!” Came the statement of obvious from the sibling I was now strung along with for the evening. “I was hoping to go with Mom and Dad to Filthy Riches party! Now I am stuck with you on the longest night of the year!” She whined, kicking the dirt in front of her.

“I know, it's gonna be hell.” I concurred nodding solemnly.

“Of all days, why did you pick today to show back up?” She further growls at me.

“I could smell it on the wind, today was the day to ruin the Bug’s life.” I respond flatly.



She simply huffed with anger, clearing cycling down. Amateur.

The library was still some distance away and while I was content with the silence she could always start up again.

“So…” my mind sought for the least mind peeling topic to bring up. It took some considerable effort, “...how's school?”

To her credit she saw right through it, “what do you care?”

“I don't, but I'll take your mindless chatter over your whining any day.”

She narrowed her eyes and regarded me for a moment. “Celestia above, were you always such a plot hole?”

“For as long as ah c’n remember,” came a voice from behind, the recognition of which and the irritation within made me tense up instantly. I was careless, trying so hard to drown out the whinging of the whelp that I failed to notice her approach.

I attempted to reel about, but this plays right into her plan it seems, as a rope snags my back leg, followed deftly by a shove that knocks me on my back. I attempted to flail but my assailant already has one loop around my other limbs, and begins adding more. I bellow out a roar of anger before that too is silenced by an additional loop of rope.

Moments later there I was, hog tied in the middle of the road, my head still spinning. All under twelve seconds. Still I refuse to give up. With a muffled roar I pull against my restraints. The rope digs into my skin holding me tight. Pushing past the pain I fight against it, but apart from some popping of my joints and minor creaking of the ropes they hold tight.

A figure steps over me and I already know who it is. Her brown Stetson shading her face from view.

“Ya done?” She drawls.

I grit and go at it once again, even harder this time, pulling strength from my anger; a well that has never dried on me yet. The edges of my vision go red as I go slightly numb to the world, until a sharp poke to my snout brings an involuntary yelp out of me and equally involuntary tears to my eyes.

“That's enough.” the mare scolds cooly, withdrawing her hoof back from the jab she just delivered. “Neither of us need to explain to anypony where you got rope burns from, ponies might talk.”

Shaking my head as best I am able, I clear my vision. This allows me to snarl at my captor.

“Yeah? Ah bet you’re steamed.” She says tippin her hat back revealing her freckled face and pair of green eyes that regard me with contempt. “Right back at ya, ya warthog.”

At this point, I have no choice but to lean back and listen, so with a snort I let my head fall back, but I refuse to look at her.

“Yah come back after two long years, not so much a postcard and Ah hafta hear about it from Pinkie Pie?” She punctuates her point with a jab to my ribs. “Ah thought yah treated yer friends better.”

The list was short, but…. yes, she was somepony I counted as a friend. “Nmwory.” I relent an apology.

“Save it.” She says yanking on the bonds for good measure before summarily sitting on me like a bean bag chair.

To my right I can hear the Bug is rolling over laughing at my current status. “Ohohohohoho! Applejack you have just made this night A-mazing!” Laugh it up while you can, Insect.

The older mare swells with a pride as she shifts on me, giving me a juicy opening. “T’wert nothing Snug, just a little-EEEP!” She squeals and jumps off me rubbing her flank where I was able to nip her, even with a restrained jaw.

She is beat red as she glares at me, indignantly. I meet this with the best smirk i can manage.

"Dn't unnerestmte me.”