Marcus followed Flurry around the palace, after a heated argument on why she shouldn't call someone...of his color, a monkey, she’d finally apologized and started his little tour of her home. Huh, why was he getting a sense of deja vu? Probably nothing. Flurry had shown him first the main foyer, then the barracks, then the kitchen. He kind of stopped listening after that and let his mind wander to a certain piece of junk still resting in the crater outside.
It still confused him as to why Mjolnir would send him here and then have him not be worthy. He had come to terms that whatever this hammer wanted from him, he had to find out. It's not like he had anything better to do in magical pony land, or Equestria, as Flurry called it. The only problem was how to prove to Mjolnir that he was worthy of wielding it: from what he’d been told, Equestria was a place of friendship and harmony.
He felt like throwing up just thinking about it. However, he and Flurry were lucky that Shining Armor and Cadence believed them about the foalnappers.
"And this here is- Marcus? Are you even listening?" asked Flurry, snapping Marcus from his thoughts.
"Huh? Oh yeah! You said something about...uh...."
"Are you serious!? You weren't listening to anything I said?!"
Marcus put on a prideful smirk, "I have you know I was listening! I just stopped after you showed me the kitchen."
Flurry rubbed her temples,"You're unbelievable."
"Not the first time I heard that."
Flurry sighed, "Fine, at least listen as I explain this last room we’re about to see. Then we can go meet my parents in the dinning room for dinner."
"Alright, but weren't we supposed to look at the rest of the empire? Or is it city? It's not really an empire if your goal isn't to expand."
"The reason why we're not looking at the rest of the empire is because I don't want to explain every little crevice if you aren't going to be a bit interested," She replied, "Plus I want this dinner to be quick as possible."
"Hey, that reminds me... where am I going to be staying?"
Flurry stopped as Marcus almost ran into her backside. She hadn’t thought about that. Marcus was sent here against his will with no money, and no way to support himself.
"Well, I guess if my parents are okay with it, you could stay here for a little bit."
Marcus rose an eyebrow, "Really? Just like that?"
"Of course! You might be a lazy potato, but I'm not going to throw you out into a world you know nothing about."
"Wow...uh...thanks I guess."
Flurry furrowed her brow, "You don't sound too excited."
"Don't get me wrong, but this is one of the few times someone actually did something for me without wanting something in return."
"Oh....then you’re welcome."
There was an awkward silence between the two. Marcus looked to the side, out the nearby window. Flurry looked down at the floor and played with her forehooves. It was then Marcus finally broke the silence.
"So, how about you show me that last room?"
Flurry was snapped from her daydream and lightly flushed in embarrassment, "R-Right, just follow me."
Marcus only nodded as he followed the young princess into a nearby door, which looked a bit more decorative than the other doors in the palace, excluding the ones that led to the throne room. As they walked in, the first thing he noticed was pink. Pink everywhere. Everything was pink; the bed, dresser, floor, walls, ceiling, and even the bathroom were pink. At least there were different shades of pink or Marcus would've clawed out his eyes from all the pink. Pink, pink, pink!
(He had to admit though, it did look kind of pretty with it made out of crystal.)
"This is my room." Flurry said, catching his attention.
Marcus rose and eyebrow, "It is? Well....um...it looks interesting. The decor was well thought up, and..uh...I see you’re a big fan of pink."
"You don't have to be nice. To be honest I can't stand my room."
"Oh thank God! I didn't know how long I could keep that up. This room is so bad I rather sleep in a crappy trash can. I mean look at all this pink! I feel like I might go blind and then throw up in your toilet. How do you managed to sleep in here? If I were told this was my room I would've ended it all right when-"
"ALRIGHT! ALRIGHT! I GET IT! MY ROOM IS TERRIBLE!"
Marcus put his hands up in defense,"Ok....no need to bite my damn head off."
"Ugh, sorry for snapping."
"Let me guess, your parents?"
"What was the first clue? You don't even want to know how many times I I’ve asked to change rooms, but mom and dad just weren't having it. Said this room holds too many memories. They think I'm going to destroy the place for Celestia's sake!"
"Don't you think you're overreacting? I mean, yeah the room looks like a pink piece of shit that needs more than flushing but it's nothing to worry about."
"Oh and pray tell, what would you do if you had a room like mine?"
"Well first I'll try to talk with my folks. If that doesn't work, I'd fix up the place you know? Starting with getting rid of all this pink. I'm surprised you haven't done that yet."
Flurry just stared at Marcus, why hadn't she had thought of that in the first place? It's not like anything was stopping her, and she didn’t think her parents would complain. She wasn’t moving out of the room, like they were worried about, just changing some things out. She couldn’t tell Marcus that though! Not like he pay attention anyway. Putting on a confident expression, Flurry looked to Marcus.
"O-Of course I thought about that," lied Flurry, "I-I was just worried what my parents would say."
Marcus rolled his eyes. It still baffled him how she got away with most of the shit she did. She was a terrible liar, whether her parents were brain-dead idiots or they loved her too much to even care. It was probably both of those options if he was being honest to himself.
"Of course," he replied, "You know, you're a terrible liar."
"What!? I'm an excellent liar!"
"Uh bitch, no you're not. It's a miracle that you haven't been caught as of yet."
Flurry puffed out her cheeks and sat on her haunches, crossing her fore legs. Marcus had to say, if this pink princess was cute before, she was goddamn adorable now! It literally took all of his willpower to not grab her and pull her into a back- breaking hug. Now that he thought about it though, could he be actually to do that? These ponies looked fragile enough, however if what Flurry had told him about two of them moving the sun and the moon was true, then that probably wasn't a good idea.
Wait, why did he think of that of all things? He was just thinking of how adorable Flurry was to questioning if he could break her back. If he ever found a way back to Earth, maybe he’d consider actually leaving his house and hanging with Devon. The anime he watched and the games he played are not helping him in the situations here in Equestria. Wait, what if-
"Hello!? Equestria to Marcus?" exclaimed Flurry as she waved a hoof in front of the human's face, snapping him from his thoughts.
"Huh, what do you want?"
Flurry groaned, "What I want is for you to actually pay attention for once. While you were daydreaming one of the guards came in and said that dinner is rea-"
"Why didn't you just say that before? I'm starving!"
"I don't think you should be that excited about food."
Marcus raised an eyebrow and glared at Flurry, "What, you calling me fat or something?"
Flurry shrugged, "Well not fat, but you do look a few extra pounds heavy. Not to mention the small gut you have going there."
Marcus snorted and slapped his stomach, "I’ll have you know that ladies love a man who's as thick as them!"
"I'm sure they do."
"Don't mock me woman!"
Flurry couldn't help but giggle as she turned her back toward Marcus and made her way toward the door, leading back in to the crystal hallways, "Yeah, let's just go get some food. We don't want to keep my parents waiting. They might assume...things."
Marcus followed her, placing his hands behind his head in a lazy manner, "Sorry Flurry, you're cute and all, but you're not my type."
Flurry whirled around making Marcus stop abruptly, "What's that supposed to mean!"
"Well, judging by the bitchy attitude I wouldn't date you. Not to mention that i'm not into bestiality-"
"So you two hunt monsters?" asked a curious voice from the backseat.
Sam and Dean had led him to their car, were now explaining to him why they were at the museum as Dean drove. It turned out that these guys were 'Hunters' for the paranormal. He’d kind of hoped they were with the Men in Black, but that theory was quickly shot down.
"We do," started Sam, "but we also investigate other things, like cursed objects, cults, and mysterious disappearances."
Dean nodded as he tapped the steering wheel, "Your friend, Marcus, is part of a series of strange disappearances all over the country. Me and Sam had been on this case for a while now, and like always we end up with nothing. Hell, not even the Angels know what's going on."
Devon raised an eyebrow, "Angels?"
"Don't worry about," said Sam, "Me and Dean have a way to find out where the next disappearance will occur. They usually happen in crowded places. A school, a social event or con, or in this case a museum."
"If you two know where these disappearances happen at, wouldn't it be easier to help these people?"
Dean shook his head, "I wish it was that easy. The thing is, they’re at random. We could go to one of those locations right now and nothing would happen. In the meantime another disappearance could be happening somewhere else. We just got lucky when we ran into this one."
Devon put a hand to his chin. There were so many things happening. Not only was his friend part of a series of missing peoples but it turned out that monsters, like vampires and werewolves , were also a thing now. How was he even supposed to be the same after today? Did he need to buy some garlic? Maybe silver?
"There is one thing that's bothering me though." said Devon.
Dean nodded, "Go ahead kid. We're all ears."
"First of all, I'm twenty-two. Second, you two said that you knew, or at least you have an idea on how to bring Marcus back, but you just said that every case you guys have on this has ended cold."
"It is true that we have a plan, but....it's complicated."
"What's so complicated about it?"
Dean put on an annoyed expression as he clenched the steering wheel a little tighter,"We need a witch."
"Oh, shit. I might not know anything about witches but just by your tone alone, it doesn't sound good."
Sam nodded, "We can handle a few witches, but we have to be careful. Unlike the other monsters we hunt, witches are better at blending in, not to mention difficult to predict. One wrong move and that could be it."
"Look enough talk," exclaimed Deana as he stopped the car, "Now we get down to business."
Devon looked out the window and noticed that they were in a parking lot. and right in front of them was the local burger joint. He raised an eyebrow and looked at Dean from the backseat. Why would he stop here? Did they have a contact here that could help them find this witch? Wait....were they just here to get lunch!?
"Excuse me, why the hell are we at the local burger joint?" questioned an annoyed Devon.
Dean looked back at him like he had a screw loose, "We're here to eat, what else? I always wanted to try this joint when I was in California."
"What about Marcus!?"
Sam sighed, "I know this is tough, but it's best that we relax right now and clear our heads. We can't just go hunting for a witch. We need leads. We can use my laptop inside while we eat."
Dean, without a second thought, left the vehicle and quickly made his way into the burger joint. Devon could only chuckle, this Sam and Dean reminded him of Marcus and himself. Maybe the two were right, he had to have a clear head if he wanted to see Marcus again. Especially if he was going to up against a witch of all things. He watched as Sam exited the vehicle, with him following short after.
"Hold on Marcus," Devon said quietly to himself, "I'll be on my way."
"Oh my goodness!" Princess Cadence exclaimed as Marcus and Flurry entered the dining room, "What happened to your cheek?"
Marcus sat down at the table with a red, throbbing mark on the right side of his face. Flurry gave a 'hmpf' as she sat in the chair across from him. "There's no need to be worried princess," assured Marcus as he glared at Flurry, "I just underestimated an annoying and bitchy bug."
"Well, maybe if you hadn't agitated the bug so much this wouldn't have happened to you." barked back Flurry.
Luckily the two parents were too stupid to catch their bickering. In fact the both of them were staring at the two with bright smiles plastered on their faces.
"It's so good to see our Flurry making some friends!" exclaimed Shining.
Marcus just gave the two rulers of the Crystal Empire a blank stare before whispering to Flurry across the table, "Are these two actually serious right now? They have to be bullshitting, there is no way someone is this ignorant."
"You'd be surprised," whispered back Flurry, before she turned to her parents, "Mom, Dad can we get started with dinner already?. I didn't have a chance to show Marcus the outside of the castle."
"Are you sure about that sweetie?" asked Cadence with a concerned expression, "It's getting kind of dark now and we don't want those foal-nappers coming back."
Shining Armor put a hoof on his wife's shoulder, "It'll be fine. Marcus helped fend them off before and he can do it again. Right ol’ champ?"
Ol’ champ? Marcus was a grown ass man! He didn't know how long he was going to take these two's constant baby talk and innocence. He was really considering to just get up and leave the room, but there was food on the line and knowing himself he couldn't pass up a good meal. His grandma taught him better than that. Marcus then noticed the stares he was getting from not answering Shining's question and snapped himself from his thoughts.
"U-Um, yeah! That was all me!" said Marcus, somewhat confident, "Trust me, if those bandits every come around here i'll knock a few screws loose."
"I'm sure you would," laughed Shining, "Now let's eat before our food gets cold."
As if on cue, a multiple of ponies dressed in cooking uniforms came from the back door with each one carrying a silver platter and top. Marcus couldn't contain his excitement, he hadn't ate anything since that tour in the museum and he may or may not have considered of eating Flurry. One of the ponies placed a platter in front of him. Marcus instantly grabbed the fork and the knife by his plate and lifted the platter.
Only for a frown to come on his face.
"What the hell is this?" he asked in a baffled tone.
Cadence, Shining, and Flurry gave him a confused look, "That's the dinner we prepared."
"No, it's not. It's just grass and leaves! Where's the seasoning! Where's the beef!?"
Flurry kicked Marcus from under the table making him yell out. He turned and glared daggers at the young princess who stared back with equal hatred, "If you haven't notice Marcus, we ponies are herbivores."
Cadence nodded, "That's right Marcus. We apologize for the misunderstanding, we completely forgot that Twilight said that you humans are omnivores."
Marcus crossed his arms and looked at the plate of literal plants in front of him. It was kind of on him for not assuming that the ponies only ate vegetables and all healthy crap. They could of at least made it look appetizing though. From what he was looking at, his meal resembled something from a damn greenhouse! If they had it, he would've just grabbed something from that local burger place back home and-
Wow, maybe Flurry was right about him being a few extra pounds. Putting his train of thought behind him he glanced toward Shining and Cadence who had guilty expressions. He grumbled inside his head and mentally slapped himself. Now he felt bad for snapping, it wasn't their fault they didn't know anything about his dietary needs. Then again there's nothing wrong with a little more green in his life.
"No need to apologize," replied Marcus, "I shouldn't have snapped like that. Anyway, I'm starving."
As Marcus was about to grab the fork next to his plate, something struck the table near his hand making him flinch back. He looked at what almost took his had off and noticed that it was an arrow. A damn freaking arrow. He was so awestruck by the sudden projectile that he almost didn't even notice Cadence and Shining Armor rise from their seats as they glared at the kitchen staff. Only now they didn't look like kitchen staff. There were 13 of them in total, 12 of them looked like regular ponies without the wings and horn while wielding crossbows or swords.
How are they even holding them with hooves?
What really caught his attention was the unicorn mare holding Flurry in a magical grip with a sadistic grin on her face. What confused him though was how she got Flurry in the first place? Wasn't she supposed to be some powerful alicorn or whatever?
"What is the meaning of this!?" exclaimed a very angry Cadence, "Let go of our daughter at once!"
The unicorn mare chuckled as her horn started to glow a deep green, "No can do, Princess. Not until you listen to our demands, and if not, you'll have to scrape your little brat from the walls of the palace!"
Marcus watched as both Cadence and Shining Armor stayed where they were obviously not about to risk the life of their only child. The two weren’t the same loving parents he met before. They held battle-ready expressions you would see on a soldier, and he was sure that even though they were pretty stupid, they definitely weren’t pushovers. He really hoped there was something that he could do, but what could he do? He was only a normal guy. He wasn't even supposed to be here in the first place!
Flurry was being held hostage and her live was being threatened. So calling for the guards were out of the question. The kitchen doors then flew open and more of the hostile ponies surrounded the three. This time there were some pegasi and unicorns which made things more complicated. How did they all sneak in? Judging by the attire that they all wore, they must’ve impersonated the staff and even some of the guards.
He looked to Cadence and Shining Armor, whose horns were glowing brightly.
"Marcus," whispered Cadence, "You wouldn't have any plans would you?"
He shook his head, "I-I have no clue. I'm hog tied."
"Fine," suddenly said Shining as his horn dimmed but keeping his stern expression, "What are your demands?"
The mare grinned sadistically. This was going perfect for her, just like she predicted the young alicorn was only a novice when it came to magic, which made it easy to contain her. Her parents wouldn't dare attack without causing their precious daughter any harm in the process. Not to mention that the guards were easy to handle, thanks to the illusion spell she cast on herself and her party. She had to admit however, the arrival of the ape creature was unexpected but it didn't look like he could pose any threat.
"The Crystal Heart," the mare said confidently, "bring me that and she will go free."
"That's impossible!" exclaimed Cadence, "Without the Heart, the empire will freeze over! Tons of lives will be in misery!"
"I'm sorry, is the Princess of Love putting her people before her own daughter? Not really motherly if you ask me."
"That's not what she meant," stepped in Shining Armor, "there has to be another way."
The mare shook her head, "Absolutely not. My employers is paying me and my entire crew a lot of bits for either the Crystal Heart or this prissy little princess. Either way, we aren't leaving until a Heart is in our possession!"
Marcus usually would've made a snarky remark to the mare because of the terrible pun she had just made. However given the situation he was in, it didn't seem like the right move. He looked toward Shining and Cadence, who both lost their glares and had the worried looks of parents. He looked toward Flurry and she didn't look like the same mare he met. She was scared and hoping for anything t get her out of this situation. The two made eye contact, small brown gazing into large light blue. He took in a deep breath and exhaled.
He really hated that he put others before himself.
"Hey!" he called out gaining the attention of the mare. He almost shit himself right there as the crossbows and swords the other ponies were wielding were pointing at him.
"What gives you the right to speak down upon me ape?" demanded the mare.
Marcus got a good look at the mare and she screamed overconfident. She had a dark grey coat, a smooth black mane and tail, green eyes and of course a horn. He gulped and started to reconsider until his gaze landed on Flurry again, why did he have to be raised like this?
He sucked up all the doubts and stepped forward trying to ignore the crossbows and swords pointed his way, "My name is Marcus and...I have a proposition for you."
The mare raised an eyebrow, "What kind of...proposition do you speak of ape?"
"Well, racism aside. I....I want to trade places with Flurry."
Flurry couldn't believe what she just heard. This human that she only had met today, who had been a pain in her flank....had offered to be taken hostage for her sake. She should be relieved but the uneasy feeling in chest had gotten even worse.
"M-Marcus....You don't have to do that!" cried out Flurry.
Marcus only smiled, "Don't worry about me. It's probably not even that bad being held against my will. Hopefully they’ll have some better food than what you guys have."
"Hold it," said the mare, "We haven't agreed on anything. What makes you think that you would be of greater value to my employer?"
"If you haven't noticed yet I'm the only one of my species here. A human to be exact," replied Marcus, "and from what I'm hearing the guy you're working for wants something in value?"
The mare stayed quiet confirming Marcus' question,"Here's the deal, I go with you and Flurry stays with her parents along with this 'Crystal Heart'. You get paid, your boss gets something equal in value, and everybody else can go about their business."
The mare gave him a curious look before smirking, "You drive a hard bargain human. I'm sure my employer won't mind a change of plans."
With that said the green magic constricting Flurry vanished and she was dropped to the crystal floor. The young princess wasted no time in galloping back to her parents. Not before giving him a worried glance, but he only smiled and nodded.
"Alright human you know the deal." said the mare as Marcus nodded, "Just know that it is out of my control on what my employer will do when I bring you back instead of the things we were paid to get."
"Just make sure my black-ass doesn't get-"
Marcus stopped mid sentence as he heard a familiar humming from outside the window. He felt the inside of his body tingle and warm up like a firecracker. He clenched his hands as they started to shake. He had felt this before….when he was close to Mjolnir. He couldn't help but smirk as he knew what that meant.
"What is it human?" questioned the mare as her horn started to glow a deep green, "Having second thoughts?"
Marcus let out a chuckle as the ponies in the room were oblivious to the small metal object that was speeding towards the window at mach speed.
"Actually I am," said Marcus as he looked toward the mare and held his hand out toward the window, "It turns out I won't be able to go with you. Instead I'm going to kick your bitch-ass-"
Marcus didn’t even have time to finish his one-liner before Mjolnir slammed through the window.....and right into the side of his head, sending both him and the mystical hammer through the nearby wall.