You followed the map all the way to the clubhouse. All the while wondering when you'll get to see Pinkie again, how things will go with DT, and how the CMC were going to react. You also hoped they were all there.
You walk up the boards to the door of the clubhouse. You bring your hoof to knock, but then hesitate.
You meditate in place for a moment. You needed to be in a state of mind that wouldn't seem off.
You think for a few extra moments to plan out your actions, but are unable to think of anything. So...the only option is to hoof it and see how it goes.
"Who is it?" It's the voice of Scootaloo.
you get a small feeling of melancholy from hearing her. Last time you were with her you upset her.
"Oh..umm..It's Anon, I wanted to talk to you girls about something."
"Anon? Ok give me a second"
Suddenly, you can hear a lot of hushed whispering. It seems they weren't expecting you, at least...not so soon. You can hear a lot of scrambling about and hushed noises.
Then, the door opens, Scootaloo at the other side of it. But you don't see Sweetie Belle or Applebloom...odd...you could have sworn you heard more than one set of hooves shuffling.
you take a breath, and give Scootaloo a warming, nonaggressive smile. You were hoping she wasn't still upset..
"Heya Scootaloo..umm..how's it going?"
Scootaloo looked away from you, She was looking around the room for something, or she seemed to anyway. She then put on a smile. "Oh nothing really, how are you Anon?"
Well...she's smiling at you. That's a good sign. Well, since it's just you and her. You thought maybe you should apologize to her. You knew one of your goals was to befriend all three of them. And the news you had would cause a less heralding blow if you at least made amends first.
"I'm alright..umm..Hey Scootaloo, about the other day. Look, I want to apologize. I didn't mean to upset you and all. I just..."
You went silent. Did you really want to go as far as to say something along the lines of "Rainbow Dash is super great?". She wasn't THAT bad..but still. She could be cool when she wants to be. It's just sometimes she's so...
But before you could finish thinking. Scootaloo had noticed your pause and spoke. "It's alright Anon, I..I shouldn't have gotten so worked up either. I guess I let my fandom really get the better of me, huh?"
Fandom...ha. If only she knew how much that word had merit in your world. And to you in general. You did have your own favorites after all. the board you visited always had vicious arguments. You wondered for a brief moment how Scootaloo would react to IWTCIRD. But that was neither here nor there.
"Nah, it's fine. Trust me. I can reaaalllly understand it. Back home...at...the orphanage. We'd get into a fight or two about our favorite...uhh...teams..in...stuff.."
"Teams? Like the Wonderbolts? How do you feel about them?"
Shittier than Rainbow Dash. Then again. You had to at one point ask Discord how far canoninity goes into this world. You were sure there were some differences. Big one being that you were sure this whole day wasn't gonna be part of an episode any time soon. So you shrugged.
"They are pretty alright. Spitfire a cute-..I mean cut above the rest."
"She's pretty cool, but if Rainbow Dash was in the Wonderbolts..she'd probably be captain in-" Scootaloo is suddenly cut off by a soft noise.
What was that noise?
You and Scootaloo look back. You could have sworn you saw a pink bow behind the cabinet.
Scootaloo reacts to it more than you do though. And seems to try to hurry things along "Right..oh..umm..Anon..I also wanted to thank you for something."
Thank? what'd you do?"
"I heard about how you stood up to Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon. That you defended Sweetie Belle and Applebloom and even me. How you told them off because...well..you know.."
Scootaloo looked happy and sad at the same time as she thanked you. no doubt a reminder that she was flightless was something that always torpedoed her mood.
Poor Scootaloo. She's had a hard life. Well...not really..but hard enough in this world.
"It's fine, the way those two were acting. I wasn't going to let them just walk away without an apology." That you were sure of.
Scootaloo's smile slowly grew hearing that "Wow Anon, it's like you're a hero. That's kinda cool. But, is your dad really Discord? I mean...you dont-"
"PSSSST...PSSSST" The voices interrupt her again.
Scootaloo suddenly shifted tones to that of more of a presentful manner as she looked back for a moment then towards you. "Right..umm..Anon. Me and the girls were preparing a surprise for you."
Surprise? huh...well..It was obvious at this point they were hiding. But you were a nice guy...for the most part. Best not to ruin their fun. You needed all three present anyway.
"All of you were gonna surprise me? Gee, that's pretty thoughtful. But um....aren't we the only ones here?"
Scootaloo started stepping backwards still facing you "noooope...We're actually all HERE!"
Suddenly, on that cue. Sweetie Belle and Applebloom burst out of their hiding spots as confetti flies and bursts everywhere and balloons float up to the ceiling. The girls themselves all had cute party hats on. Adorable. You had a feeling you knew what this was all about....hope they don't all come crashing down when you finally tell them about Diamond Tiara.
"Well look it all of this, What's the occasion?” You wondered
Applebloom walked up to you and gave you a gentle pound to the chest "Come on Anon, ya gotta be more excited than that. This is yer welcomin' celebration, You're gonna be an official Cutie Mark Crusader like us!"
Right..you did sort of agree to that.
"o-oh right,Almost forgot about that. So, uhh..anything I gotta do?"
Sweetie Belle shook her head "Not really, all you gotta do is is be sworn in and that's it. We'd have a cape for you and stuff...but..uhh..my sister is kinda on a rampage...somepony touched the new dress she was working on. So I haven't been able to get any materials"
Your pupils shrink....YOU were that somepony.
"O-oh...well..that's pretty bad"
Sweetie Belle nodded "Yeah, and the weird part is I don't remember anypony coming in and touching it. It's really really strange...but anyway. She'll calm down."
Applebloom got up to begin the necessary requirements for you to be fully accepted into their group. You do what she tells you, say the oath, yadda yadda. It all ends with them being excited and hugging you. If only you got this kind of female attention back home.
Unfortunately, now comes the part where you put a rain on their parade. You really really didn't want to tell them. But you knew you had to. You could only imagine the kind of episode this would make if you didn't tell them and they spotted you with Diamond Tiara. With a lame moral and everything. You were above that.
"So..girls..now that I'm a Cutie Mark Crusader...I can say something and you gals will definitely not have a ridiculous freak out moment...right?"
"Freak out moment? Wait! Do ya already got a bonafide way to get us all cutie marks?!" Applebloom said, again. showing her single minded nature on the subject.
"...not really...It's something else"
"Oh right, you were gonna give us all the details on Discord right? Because I really want to know, that's gotta be pretty crazy" Scootaloo asked.
"Eh..I can save that for next time. I actually can't stay too long. Already cutting it close with the whole pledge thing"
Sweetie Belle took her time to answer, thinking hard. Finally she had her question "You..didn't touch the dress...did you?"
Evade mode activate
"Uhh, well. I don't think I did. I was just looking at it really."
"Oh...hrn...What is it then?" Sweetie Belle asked
"Ya, you're being all secretive about it, we're all crusaders now so ya can tell us! We'll understand!" Applebloom said, trying to encourage you.
Oh boy, probably best not to hesitate any longer. Just tell them and get it over with.
"Wellllll....Applebloom, Sweetie Belle...remember when I went off on Diamond Tiara?"
They both nod
"Ah still think ya went a little overboard, but... ah can forgive it. Ya we're just trying to protect us"
That was true...but damn, you shouldn't have let your blood boil like that.
"waiiiit.....you didn't actually go and attack Diamond Tiara did you?" Sweetie Belle asked.
"What?! No no...no. Actualllllyyyy.."
you take a breath
"...I'm sort of punished for that whole thing and-"
suddenly, a triple collected "WHAT!?" rang out throughout the clubhouse.
"Who punished you?! Do you mean Diamond Tiara sent some thugs to get revenge?" Scootaloo said, bewildered that'd you'd be punished at all. “Did you beat them all up?”
"That can't be right, he looks ok. And I don't think Anon is some super duper warrior.Oh, I know! Did Discord take care of the thugs?" Sweetie Belle added
Applebloom herself seemed quite flabbergasted with the responses from her fellow Crusaders. She was wondering why you were punished...but that was a stretch "Girls...ah think he means he was punished BY Discord"
"Applebloom got it"
Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle became more astonished, Applebloom just intrigued by it.
"Why would he punish you for that?! That sounds like something he'd have been proud of" Scootaloo was sure of it.
"What I want to know is why Diamond Tiara gets off scott free! ooohhhh!" Sweetie Belle felt a tinge of rage build up within her "She always gets away with everything!"
You raise your hoof to correct her
"Acccctuallly......she's punished too"
again, a collective gasp.
"That's ah new one. Never thought that would happen.But Anon, ya got punished because ya went too far, right?"
..dammit...you didn't really want to admit that one. You felt that you didn't. She was a gigantic cunt. But Applebloom didn't fully agree with your actions to begin with.
You slowly nod
"Yeah...that's the reason."
Applebloom turned to Sweetie Belle and closed her eyes and nodded "See, told ya he went too far"
Sweetie Belle contested her comment "pfft, only because Discord is nuts."
"Are ya saying our sisters, if we had done somethin' like that, wouldn't punish us either?" Applebloom cocked an eyebrow at Sweetie Belle, she knew the answer. And she knew that she knew too.
"......Wellll...mnn..." Sweetie Belle hung her head "They would..."
Scootaloo however, was now just curious on what the punishment was "So if you and Diamond Tiara are punished....then...what exactly are your punishments?"
Here we go...the big whammy. You chuckled, a little scared of the reaction, hoping a small laugh would lighten your mood.
"Well..that's the funny thing..I sort of...have to hang out with her...or something like that..for awhile. Not sure how long. Isn't that funny?"
They all look like they just found out that someone died. They don't even collectively gasp.
All three looked at each other, and at the same time said "We gotta hide him"
"You gotta w-WHAAHEEEY! WHAT ARE YOU DOING!"
They grabbed you and put you in a corner as you struggled. Then threw a blanket over you and held you down.
"Don't worry Anon, They won't find ya in here! We'll keep ya fed and everything until it all blows over!" Applebloom assured you
"WHAT?! LET ME OUT! YOU'RE OVERREACTING!"
"Calm down Anon! We'll protect you!" Sweetie Belle called out.
Scootaloo looked to her as she held you down as well "Wait...who are we protecting him from? Diamond Tiara or Discord? And wouldn't Discord find him anyway if it was him?"
"I dunno, but if he has to hang out with her. What if he turns out worse than Babs did when she was hanging out with her? He might not even be able to recover like she did!" Sweetie Belle said
"ahm...actually...she may have not recovered at all if we didn't..almost..well" Applebloom added.
Dammit, you couldn't even breath under this damn thing.
They didn't even seem to know what they were doing at that point.
"GIRLS! GIRLS! I CAN'T BREATH!"
Hearing that, they hurriedly remove the blanket. And apologize.
"Sorry Anon, we were just trying to hide you....Do you know a place?" Asked Sweetie Belle
Goddammit..they were worried over nothing! granted they didn't really know you. You weren't going to let yourself get manipulated by Diamond Tiara, if that even was going to be the case.
You look at them, you wanted to yell for such a stupid action they took. But you hold it in. You hold it in because you didn't want any further trouble. You didn't know when you had to get back, but you were losing time...if there even was that. You weren't even sure if you really had to go back as soonish as you thought.
"Girls...I don't need hiding...just relax ok?..geez..I feel like I was gonna die in there."
"But ya do need hiding Anon! Diamond Tiara might take ya away and make her one of her diabolical minions!" Applebloom said in a panic
Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo, hell..even you looked at her with cocked eyebrows.
Applebloom smiled nervously. "Ehmm...too much?"
"See, now you're not being sensible.....but" Sweetie Belle turns to you "She's sort of right too, Anon. She might try to get you to be on her side. We've seen it before."
All three nod
.....relax Anon...relax. They are dumb children. You just had to get across that you aren't an impressionable idiot. Because if this went on, you were gonna flip.
"Girls, relax ok? I'm not gonna go on her side or anything like that. I'm just going to ride this out until it ends. Trust me. It's gonna be fine."
"But Anon, What if she uses her girly wiles on you!?" Applebloom exclaimed
"Erm...Applebloom, what does that even mean?" Scootaloo was ignorant on it.
Applebloom shrugged "Dunno, heard muh sister say something about it a few times about Rarity and some stallions"
Oh boy. This was getting nowhere. You try making your tone a little more stern. Without seeming hostile.
"Girls, I'm not going to suddenly betray you, I'm not going to suddenly hate you, I'm not going to stop being a cutie mark crusader, and I'm certainly not going to be charmed by her girlie wiles, got it?"
Well...not unless it somehow became sex.....is that wrong to think? eh, you didn't care. Because that probably wasn't gonna happen either.
They cautiously nod, but Applebloom still had to ask "Ya promise? You'll stay a Cutie Mark Crusader?"
"Yes yes, I will. Now will you three ple-"
Suddenly the three hug onto you. What's all this then?
"Good! there's not many pony's our age who don't got a Cutie Mark. It's really just the three of us and a few others. So havin' another friend we can talk to is great!" Applebloom said as she cuddle hugged.
"Yeah, and since you're a colt! we can try some things we haven't been able to before to get our Cutie Marks!" Scootaloo said in excitement.
Oh god.....that could be interpreted in so many ways.
You blushed..you dirty minded colt you...
"Well, we could be your trainers for a big race, or maybe even ringside fighting. And get trainer cutie marks, and you'd get your fighter or racer..or..something Cutie Mark. We're girls so we can't do some of that stuff, like fighting and sparring I mean” Stated Scootaloo
How disappointing.....and painful sounding
"Yeah..that sounds uhh pretty..cool. But girls, I kind of got to get going now. Stuff to do and all that."
"What? But ya just became a Cutie Mark Crusader! We got Crusadin' to do!" Applebloom said as she tried to urge you from leaving.
All three make a huge sad pouty face at you. Seeing this collective assault on your cute sensors was disarming. But you had to go. You would not be so easily swayed....unless orgies...yeah...gotta get mind out of the gutter...
"sorry girls...Look, I'll make it up to you. The next time I get the chance. I'll do whatever ideas you guys have for the whole day. We'll all do it together. How's that sound"
Sweetie Belle seemed confused by that "But Anon..that's what we should be doing anyway. We all do crusading together."
Dammit...you had to go
"Ahh, what I meant was. I'd be able to convince my dad to let me come early so we can get a whoooole bunch out of the way."
Scootaloo nodded to that "oooohhh, now that makes sense. Ok, that sounds good to me!"
The other two nodded, they agreed.
thank god. a part of you didn't want to go really however, an odd feeling indeed. It may have been fun to go on a crusade or two. But you surmised it's probably best to get this over with, not piss off anyone, and just wait when you'll finally have the time and privilege to just go about Ponyville on your own. You knew for sure, or hoped anyway, that Discord wouldn't just keep you cooped up or doing what he wanted to do all the time. You concluded the only reason it was like this now is because he's actually really and truly getting you accustomed to Equestria...while having a little fun along the way.
With that, finally, you are able to say goodbye to the three, and head off back to Fluttershy's cottage.
That wasn't so bad. You got super nuzzle cuddles from Pinkie and instantly became friends. a Super big plus. And...the CMC themselves aren't that bad. Just overzealous, you were sure of that as you got used to one another. That things would be ok. You'd probably have to answer some questions about Discord again next visit. Whatever..it'd be fine.
You finally manage to get your goodbyes out with them, as they remind you to come back soon and not let Diamond Tiara convert you.
You know you were made of stronger, sterner stuff than that.
You turn around, and exit the clubhouse....only to immediately slam your face into another door.
You were right outside Filthy Rich's manor.
You rubbed your face to try to calm the pain.but finally, you let out your pint up rage.
"DAMMIT DISCORD!CAN WE STOP WITH THE FACE THING?! ITS GETTING OLD!"
"Well Anon, it's not my fault you don't look where you are going. And please don't yell..it's rude."