by Syke Jr


“Can’t we have one game where we both make it to the end screen?” Lyra grumbles as she replaces the plastic gun in the arcade machine. Above is a flashing plastic panel reading Zombie Rush: Tactics.

“You’re the one that died,” replies Trixie. “Trixie played perfectly.”

“You did not,” counters Lyra. “I died because you didn’t shoot the ones dropping from above like we agreed.”

“Hmf.” Trixie throws her mane. “Excuses.”

“I’m hungry. Let’s eat now.”

“We still have tokens, though,” Trixie says as she looks around at the other, as-yet-unplayed games.

“Noooo. We’ll still have them. I wanna eat nooooooow,” Lyra says as she feigns exhaustion, going limp against Trixie and making her stumble a little. Trixie, in turn, bumps into a pony at another arcade machine and furtively blushes at them in apology.

“Alright! Fine. We’ll eat now.” Trixie gives the other mare a smug grin. “IF you admit that Trixie isn’t the reason you can’t shoot zombies.”

“Never,” Lyra says happily, trotting off toward the food counter all the same. After a moment Trixie sighs and follows. It’s not like she could ever actually make Lyra comply.

“Okay, so I’m getting nachos,” Lyra says as she stares up at the menu above the bored arcade worker’s head. “What about you? I’m paying.”

“Hmm…” Trixie looks up at the menu also. Then shrugs. “You know I eat anything. Get me anything you like.”

“Nooo, Trixie. You gotta choose. I’m not playing this little game.”

“Maybe Trixie doesn’t feel like it.”

“Maybe if Trixie doesn’t pick something, Trixie will find herself being force-fed jalapenos.”

“Okay, okay…” Trixie actually looks at the menu. “I’ll have nachos too. With the salsa and guac.”

“Great.” She turns back to the cashier. “Two nachos, one with cheese and jalapeno and one with salsa and guacamole.”

“Will those be meals?” The stallion asks.


“Great. Nine bits.”

Lyra gives him the money with her magic, and the two ponies wait for their order. There’s a moment of silence as they simply observe the arcade around them, ponies laughing and cheering each other on. The cashier sets their drinks down on the counter. Lyra picks hers up and starts chewing the straw.

“So is this a date, or…?” Lyra asks.

Trixie blushes. “I…” She looks around as if afraid someone heard, or cared. They hadn’t, of course. “Maybe? I don’t know! Trixie is your friend! Isn’t that enough?”

“No,” says Lyra, taking a sip from her cola.

“Well,” Trixie says, “That sounds like a you problem. Trixie is perfectly content loving you as a friend.” With that, she whisks up the tray of food as it arrives in her magic and walks quickly over to a booth to eat.

Lyra trots over also, and slides her way into the same side of the booth as Trixie. The blue unicorn is stuck there against the wall, pressed into the minty one as the latter obnoxiously makes slurping noises with her straw.

“Come on. Say you love me.”


“You said it before.”

“And I meant it,” Trixie says, knowing that trying to convince Lyra to give her personal space would be utterly pointless.

“Then say it.”

“Trixie does not,” Trixie says with a scowl, “say things like that on command.” And with that, she concentrates, horn glowing bright as a spell charges up—

And with a blink, Trixie disappears and reappears in midair, roughly above the other side of the booth. She flails in the air as she falls the four feet onto the rough cushion after her slightly botched teleport.

Lyra, for her part, simply lets herself topple over, slowly, slowly, comically, until she’s laying down in the spot where Trixie had been sitting, still slurping the soda.

For a time, there’s only the sound of Trixie munching on nacho chips with an air of forced nonchalance.

“Okay,” Lyra says after a few moments, “I’m sorry.” She sits up and slides her own tray of nachos over to her. “I’m just… being annoying. You know I do that.”

“Do I ever,” Trixie says.

“Just… I haven’t ever had a real relationship. I don’t know what I’m doing.”

“Trixie… also doesn’t do this much,” the other mare admits.

“But we’re having fun, right?”

Trixie smiles. “Trixie is most definitely having fun.”

“Great. Let’s get drunk.”


Trixie doesn’t get drunk. But Lyra does. And when Lyra decides to do something, she doesn’t really do it halfway.

“Heeey. Heyheyhey. We gotta. Do the zombie one again.”

Trixie looks over to the minty mare, who’s stopped dead at the Zombie Rush: Tactics game they’d played earlier. The place is almost empty, now. It’s about to close. “Um. Why?”

“Cuz. Cuz I bet you. I bet you I don’t die and I make it to the end. And yoooouuu…” She picks up a plastic gun in her magic and mimics shooting Trixie in the head with it. “...don’t.”

“Trixie has never heard anything so ridiculous,” the blue unicorn says with an eye roll. “You’re barely lucid. Let’s get you home.”

“Nnnnnnno. Zombies. You’re just scared to lose.”

“We don’t have any tokens left.”

“Aaaahahaha ha!” Lyra conjures two tokens, as far as Trixie can tell, from literally nowhere. Of course, there are about a dozen ways to do that, and Trixie knows all of them. But it’s a little impressive nonetheless considering Lyra is currently blinking with one eye at a time.

She relents. “Okay. What happens if you lose the bet?”

“Whatev’r you want.”

Trixie thinks a moment. “Leave ‘your bad at music’ as a signed comment card at Octavia’s next public recital.”

“Done,” Lyra says. “An’ if you die you have to say you love me and mean it.”

“Okay, Lyra,” Trixie says with an eye roll.

The game begins. But something is wrong. Lyra isn’t nearly as bad as she should be. In fact, even though she’s visually on autopilot: blank expression, odd squint, swaying, and mouth open, she’s not letting any zombie pass her screen alive.

Trixie is so nonplussed watching this inexplicable display that she, on the contrary, misses more often than not.

By the time they get to the boss, Trixie is very low on life and her screen flashes red. But then, a medkit! It doesn’t do much, but maybe enough. “Come on,” Trixie yells, excited despite herself, “Just this once! We can both make it!”

“Hmm.” Lyra licks her lips. “Nah.” And she stops shooting. Trixie has just enough time to register the betrayal before the boss attack, not interrupted by both players shooting, hits her with full force. ‘DEAD’ flashes up on the screen in a bloody font.

Trixie just watches dumbfounded as Lyra finishes off the boss with her remaining health. Then the minty mare turns smugly to her companion.

“Okay, okay.” An eye roll. “Trixie loves—”

And before she knows it, she’s on the ground, with Lyra on top of her, giggling like the drunken foal she is. Trixie starts giggling too.

“You don’ hav’ to,” Lyra says thickly.

“No, I… I mean it. I love you.”

The two of them lay there in the empty arcade. Lyra seems unwilling to move.

"Get... get off me," Trixie says without much authority.

"Nnn," responds the mint-green unicorn.

They get kicked out eventually.