With the Storm King defeated and Equestria free from his evil grasp, Twilight was free to finally throw that second Friendship Festival thing. There were fireworks, performers, speeches, fun, games, all sorts of shit. Unfortunately for you, with your adrenaline gone, the injuries you incurred during the struggle against the Storm King finally took their toll. And while, somehow, not serious enough for you to go to the hospital this time, it was enough to worry Fluttershy to no end. She pretty much was holding onto you gently and making sure you were ok throughout the entire festival. You didn’t complain, after all that shit? You could use a little cuddling.
Of course, you weren’t too keen on this Songbird Serenade chick. Sure the presentation was pretty rad, but the song was only so so. But of course, all the ponies were into it, including Fluttershy. “Isn’t her song amazing, Anon?”
No, not really. “It’s pretty good, Aunt Fluttershy. Sorry we couldn’t do the whole bird choir thing. To tell you the truth, I was more excited to doing that than just sitting around.”
“Awww, Anon.” She cuddles you close “Don’t you worry about any of that. I’m just happy you’re ok and here with me...You are still ok, right?” She asked. She had been asking all night. If it wasn’t her, it’d have gotten grating by now.
“Yeah, just gonna need a couple of days to get over feeling so tender.”
“Well, I could always get more medicine from Zecora. We already know that helps.”
OH GOD NO! “E-erm, ugh…” But what’s a little shit over her being happy. “...Ok, I guess a little medicine won’t hurt.”
“C’mon, Anon. It’s for your health. We already know you can handle it. Besides, Nopony wants to be sore for too long. You’re very lucky, you know that? Any worse and you would have been taken to the hospital, then you wouldn’t be able to go anywhere for days. A little medicine to get you moving sooner isn’t going to hurt.” She begins to sound a little sterner as she goes on. Of course she would, she was relieved you were ok. But she didn’t want you to try to heal on your lonesome, she didn’t want to risk you getting worse due to you doing…something dumb.
“I know, I know.” You sigh “Aunt Fluttershy…” You nuzzle under her chin “You’re the best, you know that?”
“Awww, no I’m not. I just try my best, that’s all.” She gives you a couple of gentle rubs on your head. She felt pretty modest about your praise.
“Well now, Anon, you really do have a squishy little soft spot, don’t you?” You heard a cool voice speak to you from the side.
You look over to see Capper. He was holding a bag as he stood before you, calm and cool. “Capper? Hey, what’s with the bag?”
“Oh, you know. Now that the Storm King is gone, I decided it was time to move on. And I mean move on in a major sense. Got a lot of wrong I have to right. It’s no big, but before I met all of you, I wasn’t really the best cat on the block. Er…” He looks to Fluttershy as he nervously rubs the back of his neck “Sorry about the whole slavery thing, really, it was the old me.”
Fluttershy looked to him with a cheerful smile and a nod “Oh, Capper, I forgive you. We all do. That meanie of a Storm King just brought the worst out of everypony. I mean…” Fluttershy felt perhaps him being shattered to death was a bit much, but she was also conflicted with even that given how much he had hurt you. “Maybe being broken into pieces wasn’t what he deserved, but erm... I’m just...Oh...I just want everypony to be ok, that’s all.”
“You really are the Element of Kindness. Well, when I’m done doing what I’m doing, I’ll probably come see you all again. But right now? I better get going before it gets too late, the badlands ain’t good for my fur when it’s all boiling hot and everything. Oh, but before I forget.” Capper puts his bag down and looks inside of it. After a few moments, he takes out a familiar looking bowtie. “This belongs to you, right?”
Oh hey! It’s your bowtie. “Hey, you found it!” You could have made another one really. But it was the thought that counts. You take it from Capper and place it in your saddle bag. “You’re a good guy, Capper. Let me know the next time you’re in Ponyville. I kind of want to show you how I hang out. Y’know, the ‘Anon’ way.”
“Sounds like a plan.” He does a quick wave with his hand “Take care you two and...OH!” He slaps his head when he realizes he forgot one more thing. “Tempest and her little friend are pretty much shipping off too on one of those airships near the entrance of the city.”
WHAT?! “She’s leaving without saying goodbye?”
“What? Oh, no no. She definitely wants to say goodbye. I was just worried you were going to blow those things up or something. Call it kitty intuition, but you seem like the kind of pony who likes to finish the job, if you know what I mean.”
“You mean just blowing them up for target practice?”
Capper points right at you with a wink “Exactly.”
“Oh dear…” Fluttershy let out a silent gasp “I suppose there was a chance Anon could do that. B-but, I wouldn’t let him, of course. I know Princess Celestia wants to keep at least one of them for historical purposes while breaking down the rest for parts for other ponies to use. So blowing them up would be a big no no.”
“Good to hear. Glad something good is coming out of that hot headed king. Well, I’m off. For real this time. You two stay cool.” And with that, and shared goodbye, Capper went on his way. To where? You had no idea, but you wished him luck just the same.
If Tempest was wanting to say goodbye, but not around, she must be waiting nearby. She probably still wasn’t comfortable being around a huge group yet. You didn’t blame her. She had been capturing and ruining cities,villages, and kingdoms for such a long time that she probably didn’t feel worthy enough to be around a group of random ponies. “Aunt Fluttershy, I’m feeling a little better. Do you think I can go and find Tempest?”
Fluttershy took a moment to think. She didn’t want you to roam on your own, she didn’t want to have you agitate your injuries to a point where you may actually have to go to the hospital. But she also considered how Tempest had changed when coming face to face with you. She hated the thought of you not even being able to say goodbye. So she sighs, and let’s you go. “Just be careful,Anon. Please? I don’t want you stressing your injuries, but I don’t want to hold you back either. Just...Say hi for me, ok? Tempest doesn’t seem so bad at all. In fact, I wouldn’t mind spending the day with her someday. We could sit around, have a picnic, and talk over tea. I think it’d be nice.”
“I do too, actually. She could probably use a day like that. She’s been through so much, a day to forget would be something she’d really need. In anycase…” You give Fluttershy a hug. “I better go find her before it gets too late. I love you, Aunt Fluttershy, I’ll be back.”
Fluttershy gives you a quick peck on the forehead. “I love you too, Anon.”
And with that, you moved away from the festivities to find Tempest and Grubber. It actually didn’t take too long, they were watching the show from a bridge nearby, away from everyone else.
You walked up to the both of them with a smirk “Heya you two, heard you guys were gonna be going soon. Didn’t want to join the party?”
“Hmph, I did, but Tempest was feeling antsy, that’s all. And since you were all broken up, this guy right here…” Grubber pointed to himself with pride “Decided to keep her company. Besides, we can still see the show. And…” Grubber whips out a cupcake and stuffs it in his mouth. “I’m still close enough to make a run for the cupcake table. So it’s all good.”
“Relax, Grubber.” Tempest looks upon you with a stoic look “Anon took a pretty bad beating. The fact he’s still able to walk around is admirable…” She then smirks at you “Then again, that head of yours seems to be more powerful than any alicorn magic.”
“Well, yeah. See all this?” You wave your hoof along yourself “Every piece of me is a pure chaos machine. From my adorable body to my brilliant mind. I’m the Hero Colt for a reason”
“Hmph” Grubber crosses his arms “...Tempest still kicked your butt. But…” Grubber sighs “I gotta throw this down though, I’m glad she’s not following the Storm King anymore. That guy was whack. So yeah, I guess that’s really because of you and how you helped her.” Grubber calms down, and moves in for a gentle hug “You’re cool with me, for sure this time. If you ever need me, let me know. Also, you got to make sure I hear you, or else...Y’know, I won’t know when to come.”
You return his hug. He really was Tempest’s version of Spike, for sure. “Heh, thanks Grubber. Sure, if I need your help, I’ll come a yellin’.”
After the hug, you then look upon Tempest, who was watching Songbird Serenade’s performance. “You sure you don’t want to come down and join the party?”
“I’m sure, I’m glad I have a few new friends here. But I don’t belong with other ponies, not yet anyway. Observing from this distance is good enough for me.” She then looks to you, and lets out a more gentle smile “Though, it’s still nice, nostalgic really. And you and Grubber being here is enough for me to enjoy it.”
“Heh, well, trust me, if I still had a charge? I’d be willing to show you how a human throws a party. It’s a lot more fun than this, that’s for sure.”
“I admit, I’m intrigued. Maybe when I come back, we can party like a human does. You already know I’m good for it.” Tempest says, confident she can handle it.
“Hey, I’m good for it too. Don’t know exactly what a human is, but if they make a good cake, I’m all good for it.”
When she comes back? “Wait, where are you going exactly?”
“Someone has to tell everyone else that the Storm King is gone. Anon, his reach was far and wide across the lands beyond Equestria. Now that he’s gone, everyone he’s subjugated deserve to know they no longer have to live in fear. It’s gonna take me awhile, but once I’m done, I’ll come back to take you up on that offer. You can make it my ‘Welcome Back’ party.” Tempest shrugs.
“Wow, Tempest. You’re amazing!” Grubber says with admiration. “You never liked parties before. OH yeah, just don’t forget that I got your back. Need to learn to groove? Pack in the snacks? Or even win a few party games? Yeah, just ask me to teach you. I’m good at those type of things. I want us to get closer and closer everyday! Until we’re practically siblings! Yeah!” Grubber was getting a little hyped there. With Tempest not being an asshole anymore, it seemed he wanted to be as close to her as possible. She was his first friend and his commander after all, so the respect he had for her was fairly great.
“Relax Grubber, you don’t have to brown nose.” Tempest says, not harshly, just in a way he’d understand without spazzing.
“Sorry, I was just saying what I feel. Sometimes a guy just has to say what’s on his mind, y’know?” Grubber says as he takes in another cupcake.
“I know. So, Anon.” Tempest looks back to you “Before I go, I wanted to ask, what’s the worst human word that someone like me can say?”
WUT?! “U-uh...Why?” She wanted to know the worst one?!
“A lot of the Storm lands will still have some guys willing to cause a fuss, especially those who were actually loyal to the Storm King. I kind of want to make a statement if I have to fight. I don’t know what it is about the human vocabulary, but it really gets my blood red hot. So, tell me, what’s the worst one?”
Wow, you did not see this one coming. It almost felt like… No, Anon. She’s gone, don’t worry about her. “Well, shit, fuck, and assfaggot are pretty bad ones. There’s a few SUPER bad ones, but don’t really work in the context of this world, so, y’know, just stick with those three. You already know how to use the word shit. So with the word fuck, I’d suggest things like ‘I’ll fucking deck you!’ or “I’m gonna fuck you up really bad!” and assfaggot? Eh, just a really good name.”
Tempest nods in approval. She liked the sounds of that. “Ok, let me try that out. Grubber, front and center!”
Grubber, without hesitation, runs to her front and salutes “Commander Tempest, ma’am!...armph” He takes one last bite before being completely ready.
“Ok, just let me know how you feel after I tell you this. It’s going to sound harsh, but I just want to see if my theory is sound.”
He salutes once again “If it’s about that human word thing, then I can handle it. I’m ready! Give me your all!”
“Ok...Listen you little assfaggot! I’m going to shit down your fucking throat if you EVER EVER think of even stepping out of line, you hear me?!” Tempest, woah, really lays it on thick, it even scares you.
Grubber gulped, tensed up, and fell over “I suddenly feel empty...Ogh….My tummy hurts.”
Tempest chuckles, and gives him a gentle pet. “It’s alright, Grubber. That’s exactly what I was hoping for. Even though I don’t even get some of those words, they seem to have a really profound effect, like a spell.”
“Yeah...cripes. Just try not to use that on guys who don’t deserve it, ok? That’s a pretty strong responsibility you got there.” You tell her, worried she could over do it.
“I got it. Well, I guess it’s time for me to get a move on. Grubber, go get as many cupcakes as you can carry, that’s an order.” She tells him.
Grubber slowly gets up, wipes his brow, nods, and silently goes to grab more cupcakes.
“I hope I didn’t traumatize him. But those words...They really are powerful.” Tempest was amazed by how insulting they really sounded.
“Yeah, heh. They are pretty great. Oh, Tempest, if you’re gonna go…” You take out the bowtie, and hold it up to her “Take this.”
“The bowtie…” Tempest was amazed, she didn’t know it was found. But she let out a little bit of a giggle as she took it “Wow, I didn’t think anyone would have been able to find it. Are you ok with me keeping it though? Considering what’ll it’ll remind me of?”
“A memento is a memento. Besides, it’ll still remind you of me, and that’s what’s important, right?”
“You’re right, that’s what’s important. Anon, you have a good head on your shoulders...You just need to work up those shoulders a little more, get some training done.” Tempest says as she gives you a gentle head pat.
“Yeah. I need to see Rainbow Dash about this training. I told this amazing guy, Mr.Rich, that I would...But I kind of have been dodging it. But not anymore! I’m gonna train hard! For sure!” You gave a pump of your hoof.
“That’s good to hear. Maybe we can have a rematch when we meet each other again. As long as your aunt isn’t going to freak out.”
“Yeah, we might have to do that in private. Heh…” You look to Tempest with sad eyes. There was something nostalgic about her. In a way, perhaps this is how you imagined Chrysalis would have been if she had reformed. You couldn’t be sure, and it was most likely a fantasy. Still, it was a nice thought. “You take care of yourself, Tempest.” You hug onto her tightly. “And come see us soon, ok? And, my aunt says hi...heh, kinda forgot to mention that.”
Tempest didn’t tense up like she would before. She just hugged you gently, and whispered “I promise. And...say hi to her for me”
And with that, her and Grubber left Equestria on their mission to liberate those still shackled by the spirit of the Storm King’s rule. You, you went back to the festival and sat with Fluttershy to tell her SOME of what you and Tempest talked about.
What an adventure this all was. You made new friends, defeated a deadly foe, and farted on Twilight. You were sure Discord would love to hear that last bit.
Even then, tomorrow would be another day. And you were ready to face it head on.