And that's what you did. You rushed over to the train station as fast as you could.
Waiting at the platform was a few ponies. You could see that Twilight was already there, talking to Starlight as she gives her a saddle bag, presumably with the book inside. Fluttershy was also there, chatting it up. They all looked pretty happy.
You walked up from the side and weaved through the ponies until you were close enough to hear what Twilight was saying "...and here are the first three books for the Daring Do series. I thought it might be good for you to borrow these instead of just the first one in case Rainbow Dash gets all talky about it. She really really loves the series...which is obvious since it is really good. Trust me, you'll love it"
"I'm sure I will. Thanks Twilight. I'll give these a read during my off time at night. It'll help me relax if I get jittery" Starlight gave her a hopeful smile. She already seemed much calmer than she did before.
"Oh, there really is no need to be jittery Starlight." Fluttershy said in a very soft and motherly voice "Just take everything bit by bit and I'm very sure everything will be fine"
You step right in on that, as you give her a jovial smirk. "Aunt Fluttershy is right, and if that doesn't work. Just imagine everypony with funny hats. It'll be hilarious, promise"
Fluttershy was pleasantly surprised by your presence and let out a little giggle. "Anon, that's just silly. Oh! Did you get that thing for Starlight?"
"Yep..and..." ....huh.....how were you supposed to give it to her without anyone noticing? Well, would it matter? Who would care? it just looks like an odd black thing with some yellow warning labels and all that jazz.
You pull the taser out of your saddle bag and just present it. "Here it is!"
Twilight immediately takes notice before even Starlight. "What is that?" She moved in closer, inspecting it without taking it from you. Just bobbing her head about. "I've NEVER seen anything like it"
"It does look peculiar...maybe it's just a cute toy!" Fluttershy suggests with enthusiasm..until she realizes "....Well, maybe it's cute to Anon...anyway" She says meekly.
"It's just something, I thought it'd be good to give to Starlight so she could examine it and keep it as a friendship gift" Please don't inquire further, please don't inquire further.
Hell, even Starlight was looking at you with a "What the fuck were you thinking?" face
"Oh..Well.." Twilight sounded disappointed, she wanted an immediate chance to examine it. It didn't look like a toy, and seemed to function in a way she's never seen before. "If it's a gift, then, I wouldn't want to take it away or anything."
Starlight gulped, took the taser with her magic and slipped it into her saddle bag as she spoke in a very disjointed and mechanical way "Gee, thanks Anon. I'll be sure to get right on this ‘Thing’ that you just showed me just now"
Her eyes though, she was honestly expecting you to slip it to her or talk to her in private.
Dammit, just a small slip up. It really was. It was easily bypassed. "C-cool. So um, how are you feeling? Good? Everything going ok?"
Starlight was calming herself down as she rationalized what you did. Sure, the taser was a pretty big thing. But, they had no clue what it was. It could just be something foreign you found..or a toy...But the fact Twilight had interest in it was a little worrying. But she carried on as normally as she could.Still, she wondered why you'd just present it so openly when you had said before it was "secret". "I'm doing alright, I'm good, I'm feeling fantastic. I have my books so I can learn to be "Cooler" so I can get closer to Rainbow Dash. And I kind of want to look into some fashion, it might help with some of the town plans I have. Oh, and of course, I want to make the place a little more green so we can have some cute little critters scamper around. I'm sure the foals would like it. I feel like everything will be ok. But..Anon, about this..thing. Now I don't want to sound rude, but..well." Starlight looks to Twilight and Fluttershy "Can I speak to him in private? Y'know, just step off the platform with him and discuss a few things?"
"About that odd artifact Anon found?" Twilight said, finding it weird.
"In private?" Fluttershy too, found it weird
"Y-yeah, and other things too. Private friend things" Starlight began to sweat "it's embarrassing for anypony else to know.I just don't want to feel embarrassed"
"Starlight, you don't need to worry. We won't judge and-" Twilight wanted to explain they aren't as judgmental as she may think. But Starlight just cuts her off as politely as possible.
"I know!..I-I know. But Anon and I. Well, he's still my first real friend, and I'd feel comfortable talking to him alone. It's nothing against anypony, I just don't want to feel like something went wrong. You understand right?"
"Oh dear, is that it? No no, of course we don't mind. Right Twilight?" Fluttershy didn't want to seem like a bother
"I don't see why we would. Go ahead. We'll wait right here for you two" Twilight thankfully, was as ignorant as Fluttershy in this situation
And so, you and Starlight went to speak in private off the platform. And Starlight went from nervous yet collected to near frantic the moment she was alone with you. "Anon, why did you just bring out that taser thing like that?! It's supposed to be a secret, remember?!"
you falter at these words already. Stepping back as you tried to explain yourself. "I-I...y'know, I thought it'd be ok. I know I was the one who said it was secret. But it's just a taser, I didn't think anypony else would be interested in it and so, they wouldn't notice"
Starlight sighed, and shook her head as she slowly composed herself. She already felt that she was overreacting. “I guess. But, it's something from another universe. Wouldn't it be bad if Twilight actually examined it? Learned what it was and where it came from and connected it to you?"
Oh geez, you didn't think of that at all. "Yeah...geez, I didn't even come close to thinking that. I just did...I'm sorry, It just slipped. I've had other things on my mind."
"Anon..ugh..you don't need to be sorry. Don't be sorry. It's just, I know you're smarter than this. Certainly put me in my place. But, a slip up? What's wrong?" Starlight found this worrisome. she always found you in a position to be on top of your game. So it seemed off you would mess up so easily.
Shit, now she wanted to know what's wrong?
You couldn't fault her for being worried though. It was though, just a slip up. Maybe it was because the CMC and their dumbassery that made you slip up. It was a lot to think about. You really didn't think of what would happen if Twilight DID manage to find out something more about it.
Just a slip, just a slip. It's fine, this was a good thing actually. Starlight calling you out only meant you could be smarter about these things later on. "You're right. But I've got this. Just a small slip up, everypony has one, right?"
Starlight was now calm. She even smiled. She agreed, considering how she's been since her reform. She totally understood that "Very right. Heh, sooooo" Starlight shifted her eyes upwards as she lets out a small giggle "Sleepover...that outfit. You're going to send me a picture of you in it, right?"
Wut? "Uhh, I mean. I guess, but why?"
"Because, you did look pretty cute in that outfit. It'd bring a smile to my face whenever I saw a picture of you in it. You know, sort of like a mental therapy." She wasn't blushing. Why would you look for blushing?...ahh, of course you'd hope she was into you in that way, you perverted bastard. But she didn't. She just really did find it cute.
"Alright alright" You did feel a little embarrassed though. but found it encouraging at the same time. You smiled at her. "I'll get one for you."
"Good." Starlight used her magic to pull out a camera from her saddlebag and put it in yours "I asked for the camera myself so I could give it to you. Since I wanted to ask you the question. That was also one of the reasons I wanted to talk to you in private. So you wouldn't feel embarrassed when I asked and said how cute you looked"
Well damn, you had to admit. That was thinking ahead. And thank god she was thinking of you when she did. Well, maybe you wouldn't have been too embarrassed. But you didn't need everyone else on the platform hearing how cutesy wutesy you looked. Because Fluttershy would go on and on about it right there and then.
"Thanks Starlight, hey...you did a good job today. You know that?"
"..Yeah..I guess" Starlight began to feel pretty modest. She also felt she could have done better. "I'm glad everything worked out. I'm just worried about screwing up later. We went six for six thanks to you. And I don't want to mess that up."
"Well, you won't. Trust me, these ponies are all about friendship. And if something does go wrong. You got your pal Anon to help you through it"
Starlight giggled at your arrogance as you wiggled your eyebrows at her. "Sure ok, I'll remember when I end up having a "Twilight week". But seriously..." Starlight pulls you in for a hug. "Thank you Anon, thank you for this. I can go back home...and not be afraid."
You hug her back, you hug her as affectionately as you could. To show her how much you truly cared. "You never had to be afraid Starlight. I was with you the entire time"
"Except for that one time before I saw Applejack."
"Except for that...hey!" You break off the hug and look at her with a scrunchy nosed annoyed look. It just makes her laugh.
"Sorry, sorry.I just had to get one in before I left. Speaking of which, before we go back. Anon, you remember how I said to be careful around Chrysalis, right?"
...ok, that was actually a little annoying. but it's fine. You were sure you had it. You respond calmly. "Yeah, trust me, it'll be ok. I can handle it.”
"Ok, let's go back then before they start to wonder what we're talking about, hrn?"
You both walked back to the platform to speak to Twilight and Fluttershy. Or for the short remainder you all had anyway. The train was starting to pull up.
The rest of the discussion was typical friendship affair. Asking when Starlight would come visit again, and when everyone would come visit her. Some of the things they enjoy. Even asking you how you think the sleepover will go. In which you gave very vague answers. And of course, now knowing you had the camera, Fluttershy asking you for that snapshot in the outfit.
when the train was ready to take in passengers. Starlight bid everyone a fond farewell. And thanked you again, for everything you did.
You felt pretty good about it. You did a good thing. small screw up or two. But otherwise. Things would be fine. You did realize you didn't get to talk any more about the taser. But ahh well, she was happy, that was the most important thing.
And then there was the sleepover itself to get ready for. Fluttershy reminded you that you probably only had so much time left to prepare since the sun was setting over yonder. With that being said. You hugged her, said your goodbyes, and promised to take a "Dashing" good snapshot. Or really, have someone else do it because selfies with these kinds of cameras seemed kinda impossible or just very awkward. You may need three, for Diamond Tiara...just in case. You also took note of Twilight congratulating you for being such a good friend. Well, she didn't need to congratulate you really. You already knew you were good at being a friend.
So you went home, through a body of water of course. To prepare yourself for the sleepover.
You opened the case Rarity gave you and carefully took out the outfit and the little crown. "Alright, let's put this thing on."
You stand in front of your mirror as you slip everything on carefully and gaze upon yourself in the mirror. You even strike that "Dashing" pose and snicker "Look at that, who is that handsome prince in the mirror, eh?"
You take out the camera to take a snapshot, only to realize.... "Ugh, it doesn't look really good when I'm trying to take a mirrored selfie. I need somepony to take the snapshot."
But who? Well, you could have Diamond Tiara do it. You were sure she wouldn't mind taking snapshots of you. Considering how into you she was.
You left your saddlebag by the bed frame. You wouldn't need it tonight, best to leave it home.
But as you put your hoof on your horn...yeah, you'd keep that.
You tap at the buttons of the outfit. They changed colors depending on the angle. And had the symbols of chaos on them. It really was a nice touch.
The problem though. Was your mane, it went back to being fluff and wild. Diamond Tiara wouldn't like that.
And you didn't even have a comb.
But as you pondered on how to solve this issue. A certain Draconequus started to walk up through the floor. Dripping wet.
"Hmph, who would have thought fish would be so stingy! Perfect for my aquarium but..." Discord grabs and holds his tail forward to look at it, the fluff at the end looked like it got bitten off like bait. "Very very bitey"
"Discord?" You turn around to see him twisting his tail to dry it instantly.
"Ahh, Anon. Just the little pony I wanted to see. I have news!"
News? He seemed pretty excited about it as his tail fluff popped back out like a magic bouquet of flowers. "News? Oh wait..hold on."
You hold up the camera to him "You mind getting a few snapshots of me first? And fix up my mane a little?"
Discord does a quick snap of his talons to make the arcade machine appear in your room as per Fluttershy's request, but he didn't seem to interested in taking a snapshot. "Anon, really? you don't want to hear the spectacular news first? And why take snapshots? You could always wear that thing later, this is important!"
You smirk at him, wondering how he'd react to this. "Fluttershy really wants a picture of me in this"
Discord stopped for just a moment turned his head to the side, now only trying to act disinterested as his actual attention has been grabbed. "For Fluttershy?....hrnnn, I suppose I could take a picture or two before I explain everything."
Haha! Well, it didn't actually matter what order you went. Just the fact you instantly changed his mind was awesome.
Or maybe it wasn't. He raised his talons and snapped. And then...darkness. "...ah shit...what's going on now?"
You looked behind yourself to see a small light behind some curtains. You could hear music blaring from the other side. the music you'd hear in a fashion shoot.
"Come on, Anon! We don't have all day, you know. Come and strut your stuff already!" Discord called for you from the other side of the curtains.
You slowly peer through. Ahead of you was a short catwalk. Discord was wearing a pink shirt with shiny stones all along it. He was also wearing sunglasses as he boredly waited for you to step up.
But next to him, set up with a camera....was...Photo Finish? That pony from season one...what?
You slowly step out and hang by the curtains as you point over to her "Uhhh, what's she doing here?"
"Hush!" She exclaims the moment you speak "Even Photo Finish does not know why she is here, but it doesn't matter! It is obvious there is magic to be made here! The art of the photo shoot can be done anywhere! But enough talk, now is not the time for that! Now is the time for...Da Magics! You!" She points directly at you "You're the hero colt. Yes?"
"Uhhh, Y-yeah?" Wow, she was sort of imposing in her own way.
"Then Photo Finish knows what she must do! Pictures must be taken! You!....Step out and show Photo Finish your best poses!" She exclaims as she stands behind her camera.
You look over to Discord, who just rolled his paw along to let you know that he did want you to hurry.
Well, if she wanted poses. There was no reason not to be confident in yourself for this. You were going to fucking dazzle her.
You step forward and walk towards the duo on the catwalk as regally as possible, head held high. But she just shakes her head in disapproval. "No!..you must show poise, you must show self-confidence, you must show the razzle dazzle!"
Wut? "But that is what I'm doing."
"No! You are wrong. Try again!" She demands
"Oh come on! Just take the pictures! You're an expert aren't you?" Even Discord gets on her case, expecting this to have been easy. But he underestimated her tenacity.
"You do not order Photo Finish around like that. Taking photos is an art! Why would I be here if not to take the kinds of pictures that make ponies quiver from...Da Fantastics!" She poses with her hoof up to emphasize that last part.
"Are you serious? He was doing fine! What was wrong?!" Discord demands an answer. Hell, you wanted to know to. You thought you were perfect.
"Photo Finish has no time to explain. There are pictures to be taken and they must be taken perfectly! Hero Colt, step back...TRY AGAIN!" She barks at you. It actually makes you step back from how loud she was. Christ.
Ok then...let's try this again.
This time, you try being a little more imposing. Looking down at her and Discord with a more dark and tyrannical spring to your step. "No! Too tight, too stiff!...TRY AGAIN!" She yells once again.
WHAT?! "Come on! I'm supposed to be a prince! What walk do you want me to dGAHH!"
You nearly fall back from the bright flashes coming from her camera as she starts snapping photos of you midsentence.
"That's it! Perfect! True raw emotion brought from the bottom of your soul! The anger! The frustration! Even as you are blinded by the light of encroaching stardom, you pose perfectly! Do...not..STOP!"
How could you not? You had to turn your head and try not to fall off the catwalk as you are blinded from the flashing lights. Raising your hoof from time to time to block the flashes as you try to step forward to try to just smack the camera.
But you don't even get close as she suddenly stops and closes her suitcase as it engulfs her camera "We are done! You! Draconequus. You will have copies tomorrow, Photo Finish must get to work choosing the absolute best photos for viewing of the elite! Now then, I wish to vanish as quickly as I arrived. Work must be done!"
Discord just recoiled from the whole thing. A look of cringe on his face as he raises his talons."Gladly..." and snaps her away as the room shifts and morphs back to your room. The catwalk you're on shrinking into the floor as you nearly lose your footing. But manage to catch yourself.
"...the hell was that?" That was so goddamn weird.
"A possible mistake. Those pictures better be good. That didn't make any sense whatsoever" Discord was already regretting his decision. He wanted top quality pictures for Fluttershy, but now felt like he should have done it himself. He snaps his talons again to remove his clothing as he just looked ahead in irritation. "The nerve of that pony"
You didn't know whether to worry about the pictures or snicker at the fact Discord found that nonsensical. Maybe a little of both as you just let yourself cool down from that. "It'll be fine I bet, she's a master of her craft afterall. Besides, you could probably just use your magic to get those photos early, right?"
"Of course I can, the point still stands that she was irritating. But.." Discord let's out an evil chuckle "Despite that, the news I have will be quite the mood lifter."
Oh yeah, the news. "Yeah, what is that exactly?"
Discord's evil chuckle became ever darker as he tapped the end of his paws to his talons. "The crystalling...is tomorrow"
Wut? "The what?"
"Who cares what it means" Discord waves his paw dismissively "The point is that I eavesdropped on our dear Chryssi and her little runt on the matter. The Crystalling is tomorrow and from what I understand, all the princesses that are important will be at the crystal empire tomorrow for Cadances dumb baby. Which means we have four times the chances to cause some worry and dissent upon why we'd be there. You do remember ‘our reason’ to be there, don't you?"
you didn't, you had other things on your mind "What was it exactly?"
"Oh come on Anon, focus..fooocus! Well" Discord slithered through the air towards you and wrapped his paw arm along your back as he brought your head close to his as he pointed forward with a talon. "But, if you need a re-explanation. Or, even an update. We shall be having a small vacation at the Crystal Empire tomorrow. I'll be picking you and your "sister" up tomorrow from Mr.Rich. I'll put Chryssi here on temporary lockdown to ease your mind while we make our grand appearance, then leave, and find a nice little spot to sit and relax and do nothing while the princesses panic and worry why we would be there. The perfect plan in which nopony could say anything since we'd be doing nothing..it shall be glorious" Discord seemed pretty pleased with himself with this plan.
And it was a pretty simply plan. You could stand behind it. You just wonder how Celestia and Luna will react more than you did Twilight, Twilight’s reaction would be obvious. This...could actually be pretty hilarious. "Well, I'm with you on this Discord. No muss, no real fuss, nobody is gonna get hurt and we get to get a little vengeance for Nightmare Night."
"Ahh yes, the funny thing is I don't even remember most of it. Dreams are fleeting" Really? He didn’t remember much? Then again...
"Yeah..." You couldn't remember much of how you lost now that you thought about it, but you DO remember losing.
Speaking of memory "Oh..right..right ummm. So, how did I do with Starlight?"
"Oh yes, against Twilight, correct?" Discord shrugged "Wasn't really paying attention. You didn't leave much of an impression when it came to outdoing our dear princess. But, it doesn't matter now..." Discord pulls out five cards and flips them, revealing a princess on each card and himself as the fifth, represented as a joker. "Tomorrow is when we play our hand ..." Discord uses sleight of hand to shift the five cards into another five. You,him, Twilight, and two lawn chairs "And get..." He places the cards into a deck and pulls out his final hand, a royal flush consisting as you as the King,Twilight as the Queen, Shining Armor as the Jack, Cadance as the Ten, and himself as an Ace, the suit being hearts. "The jackpot!" Discord cackles as he tosses the entire deck in the air as the cards fall everywhere.
Yep, he was super invested in this. You didn't even mind that he didn't notice. You helped Starlight, and that made you feel good. Now if only the CMC stopped being stupid.
Still, there was one other thing on your mind since everything else was set. "I wonder about that baby though, has an alicorn ever had a baby before? Do they have an alicorn baby or is it just gonna be a unicorn or something?"
Discord shrugs "Who cares? it's just a newborn brat that we needn't concern ourselves with. Trust me Anon, we're going to have a blast and not even you will have a reason to complain. It'll be fun"
"Oh I know, but um. I gotta be going, I got a girl to impress" You grin as you make another "Daring" pose
"Ahh yes, that adorable little filly. I wish you luck on that Anon, I really do." Discord says as he pulls out a calendar just to mark it for tomorrow.
"Really? I have your blessing?"
Discord shrugs as he poofs away the marker "What kind of father would I be if I didn't give you one? I've seen your old life, much too pathetic not to make it up in someway now. Don't you think?"
Egh, that was kinda douchy to say "Eh, human girls are just jerks really"
"Perhaps, or maybe you just stunk at attracting any. Anyhoo, I'm going to tend to my growing aquarium of terrible oddities. Do you have anything else you want to ask?"
Actually… "Yeah, what exactly is Chrysalis planning to do about this "Crystalling" thing?"
Discord again shrugs, obviously whatever Chrysalis had in mind didn't concern him. He only wanted to seal her up for a bit so you could focus on the con. "No clue, I only heard what I needed to hear. Doesn't matter since she'll be on temporary lockdown"
Yeah… "Ok then, I guess it'll be ok. Welp, I gotta go Discord. I got a girl to impress."
"Fare thee well Anon, don't spaz out like a weasel with a ball"
You cringe at that as you open your portal door. "Yeeahhhh...ok"
You went from from the town hall to Diamond Tiara's Mansion. You were ready. Hell, this was good actually. Ahh Diamond, she wasn't so bad, she usually listened, and you had a waifu mostly secured for when you get older who adores you...and sometimes embarrasses you....it'll be fine.