I open the door to my studio, taking off my messenger bag as I do. I take out my camera and drop the bag by the door, not bothering to put it on the hook.
Maybe being a stallion is making me sloppy.
I head upstairs, leaving the camera on the desk. I can process the new photos later. There aren’t many of them; I wanted to get back. I found a great new technique, though: top-down shots from directly above the town. By putting a cloud to sit on in just the right position there’s some great composition to find. I look forward to taking more on a day where the light is better.
“Star?” I walk into the office, where my unicorn is conspicuously absent. I pass through the room and open the portal door. My ear twitches. I can hear what sounds like the shower running. As I continue into the bedroom I hear something else, too.
...my friends and I we’ve cracked the co~ode
we count our dollars on the train
to the party~
I grin. Silver Star sings human songs in the shower all the time. I don’t recall ever hearing this one, though.
—and everyone who knows us kno~o~ws
that we’re fine with this
we didn’t come from money
But every song is like—
“I’m home, Star,” I call out, stopping her dead. She’ll stay in there for literal hours if I don’t announce myself.
The water stops and there’s a long pause. “How long were you listening,” she calls out suspiciously.
I roll my eyes. “Like ten seconds? Why does it matter?”
“I guess it doesn’t.” I hear the stumbling sounds of her getting out of the shower. “How do you deal with so much hair to dry?”
“You have magic, at least,” I respond before turning and heading for the kitchen. Neither of us have eaten yet. But I’ve only been rifling through our cabinets for a minute or so before I hear Star joining me in the kitchen. “Dry alre—?”
But my question dies in my throat. She’s not dry at all; in fact, her wet mane is draped over her neck and down her shoulder in an… alluring way. Her eyes are knowingly half-lidded to show off her eyelashes. She’s really smiling for the first time today.
I try to say something, but all that comes out is: “Hh.”
“So you think I’m cute?” Star says in the cutest voice possible, flicking her tail and sending droplets of water flying in my direction. A couple land on my muzzle. She takes a step forward. “I have to admit, I think you’re handsome~”
I’m just frozen, there in the kitchen with my hoof on the cabinet door and mouth hanging open. I hadn’t been expecting this attitude. As I look at that pretty, pretty face and adorable smile, though, I reflect that it’s more than welcome. She takes another step forward as I close the cabinet, blinking and swallowing. She bats her eyes at me.
“You’re… getting water everywhere.”
And in a split second, Star drops the seductive act and runs a hoof through her dripping mane, grimacing a little. “Yeah. I didn’t want to waste the opportunity, though.”
“No, it…” I swallow again. “It was worth it.”
She smiles at me. “Yeah?”
“Yeah.” I also take a step forward and find myself needing to look down to meet her eyes again. “Star, please don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say you are the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen by an order of magnitude at least.”
She doesn’t blush. She just blinks smugly as she turns around to go back to the bathroom and dry off. “Hm. Correct answer.”
I shake my head a little as I hear her cursing at her mane indistinctly from the other room. I wonder what caused the good mood. “Did you hear back from the princess?” I call out, taking out a tea towel to wipe up the water Star left everywhere.
“Yeah,” comes the reply. “She said we’d only be stuck like this for a day or so, and she’d fix it in our sleep. So I’m alright now. I can last a day, I think.”
My face falls a little. A day doesn’t feel like long enough to make the most of this little accident. But hey, at least it’s something. “So will you go to the park with me now?” I grin. “We can cuddle.”
There’s a long pause. “If you cook me lunch.”
“Done.” I grin triumphantly as I open the cabinet again. I was going to cook lunch anyway.
Star is surprisingly animated as we walk down the road from the studio.
I raise an eyebrow and glance down at her. “Not worried about ponies seeing you now?”
“Oh I absolutely am.” She flicks her mane out of her face. “Two things: one, I’ve buried it down deep. Two, I’ve decided maybe this really is still just a dream. I can hope, right?”
She looks up at me with a vaguely accusative expression. “You didn’t tell anypony about me earlier, did you?”
“No! I promise. I didn’t even talk to anypony.”
We pass through the park gates and make our way to our favourite spot, the spot where we fell asleep one night when Silver Star was still new in town. The grass is soft and cool there. Star pulls off her saddlebags—they look really huge on her—and takes out her book and my graphic novel. I take it from her magic and lie down with a sigh, inviting the unicorn into the crescent formed by my legs and barrel there in the grass. Smiling a little, Star joins me, pressed into my belly with a sigh of her own. I start to hum as I try to find the place I left off on.
Star presses her head, her ear, against me, not opening her book yet. “I like it when you hum.” A pause. “I can hear it in your chest.”
I chuckle. “I like it when you sing.”
“Sorry I was being such an arse about being a mare. It’s not so bad. You know, for a day.”
I roll my eyes a little. “Wow, thanks.”
“Oh shut up. You don’t want to be a stallion forever, do you?” I don’t answer immediately, which makes her pull away and squint at me. “You don’t, right?”
I think for a moment. “No,” I say finally. “I don’t. I like my old self more. This body is a little too tall. And when I was flying earlier? I was way less dexterous than normal. Plus I think I’d rather be pretty than handsome.”
Star gives a little laugh. “Yeah. I’m with you. This body is too small. And I don’t want to be cute forever, even if I like being cute for you.” She looks at me somewhat slyly. “But yeah—I noticed in the shower: mares are more flexible.”
I snort lightly. “Sometimes I wonder what effect exactly innuendo has on sexual ponies.”
“I know, right? From their reactions sometimes I assume it’s, like, instant boners all around.”
We’re silent for a little while as Star opens her book with her magic and starts reading. I start to hum again when a thought occurs to me. “Will you sing for me, while you still have this voice?”
Star looks at me again, almost blushing. “I don’t know.”
“Come on. What’s that one about just laying here?”
“Chasing Cars.” She looks thoughtful. “I guess I could.”
“Or that one you always sing when you’re wasted.”
“What, House of the Rising Sun? With this voice? Definitely not. You could sing it while you’re still a stallion.”
“No, the other one. The depressing one. Dust in the Wind.”
“Oh, right.” She giggles, then stops herself, frowning. “Hm. I don’t like how girly that giggle is. I do like the irony of that song though, here in Equestria.”
I chuckle too. “Yeah. Why did ponies on Earth like reminding themselves of the horrific void awaiting them so much?”
“Dunno. Something to do, I guess.”
“Hm.” I close the graphic novel I realise I’m not really reading. “So go ahead. Sing something.”
“Wait, right now?” Star grimaces, looking around. There aren’t any ponies laying nearby, but there are some walking through the park. “I dunno. I don’t sing in public.”
“I never asked you to, before.” I nudge her with a wing. “But now I am.”
She chews her tongue, setting her book down. “Okay, for you. But only quietly.”
I grin. “Deal.” And I reach out with a foreleg, pulling her close and wrapping her up in a full embrace just like I had that morning, wing and all. I hear a small mph as the little unicorn adjusts herself against me.
I simply wait. After a time, the hesitant lyrics come.
we’ll do it all
on our own
The voice is sweet and soft, and just as wonderful as it had sounded through the bathroom door. I close my eyes and smile.
we don’t need
A passing earth pony gives us an odd look, but Star can’t see him, and her voice actually gets louder and more confident.
if I lay here
if I just lay here
would you lie with me and,
just forget the world?
I lay my head down in the grass with a sigh. I’m more than happy to just lay here as Star continues to serenade. Maybe forever.
By the time we’re leaving the park, it’s coming on to the evening, since Star wasn’t even awake until nearly noon. We’re headed for my studio since she flat-out refuses to go to the pub.
“Come on. I bet you get drunk really fast as a mare.”
“I get drunk really fast as a stallion, Snap.”
“Yeah, but now you can do it even faster. It’ll be like a speedrun.”
“I really think this is affecting our minds. You were not this obnoxious before.”
“And you weren’t this timid.” I bump her, and she almost stumbles, shooting me a glare and flicking her mane out of her face again.
“I’m not timid, I just don’t welcome the prospect of everlasting ridicule. The magic inhibitor was bad enough.”
She rolls her eyes. “Okay, sure. Isn’t being timid cute, though? So you should appreciate it.”
“Good point.” I stifle a yawn. “You’re lucky we didn’t run into anypony. I was kind of hoping for it, just so that I could watch you being all timid.”
“Yeah. Good thing Celestia doesn’t like messing with me quite that much.” We’re approaching the studio, now, and Star opens the door with her magic, setting off the little bell. The saddlebags are slipped off and, unusually, hung on the hook using her magic.
She doesn’t notice my grin at that as I step past and lay on the couch with a happy sigh. “So, what, we just watch a movie or two?”
“I guess.” Before she can say anything else, though, a flash of light heralds the arrival of a letter, which falls onto my desk only to be hastily scooped up by Star. “Selene got back to us already! Yes!”
“Great,” I say, less enthusiastically but forcing myself to not sound sarcastic. She probably wouldn’t have noticed, though; she’s reading the letter thoroughly.
“Tonight,” Star announces after a moment, “She can do it tonight. Right now, actually, if we want. Apparently Celeste had a similar problem in the past and had a spell ready.”
“Huh.” The idea of Celeste as a stallion floats through my mind. “Alright. You go order food and pick a movie, then; I’ll just upload the snaps I took today and come up in a minute.”
“Sure! Pizza sound fine?”
I look after Silver Star thoughtfully as she heads through the door leading upstairs. I’m happy that she’s getting her body back. Even if I got her to enjoy the day a little, she’ll clearly be a lot happier to be back in her own skin. His own skin.
But… hm. I don’t know if I’m done enjoying this yet. I’m looking forward to being a mare again, sure, but I can’t help but wonder if there’s more fun to be had with Silver and our other friends before then. Unlike Star, I was looking forward to messing with them a little.
I probably have time to slip out to the magipostal box without Star noticing. So I pull out a pen to write a quick letter to Princess Selene.