Anon rapped on the doorframe.
"Mrs. Sprig, are you alive in there?"
He cleared his throat.
"Wha ... ?"
The owner of the farm peeled her head from a scuffed mahogany desk, an old expense report clinging to her cheek. Bleary eyes sluggishly blinked, and her mouth was pursed in confusion, a tired mind failing to parse the figure opposite her.
"You alright, Mrs. Sprig?"
He stepped into the office, partially illuminated by the beams of light that streaked through half-closed shutters.
"Anon ... issat ... " She rubbed her eyes and looked around, a yawn escaping her as she tried to catch up with the real world. "Ugh, what time is it?"
"About 8:00 or so. Late night, I take it?"
"Yeah, barely got out of bed this morning ... " She stretched her hooves out to the side and rolled her shoulders. "More tired than I thought. You need anything?"
"Some ... personal business just came up, I need to take the next few days off. Seeing as it's the off season and everything, I don't have that much to do anyways."
Don't ask, tell. Confidence and stuff.
She sighed. "Alright, but it's ... your fault if ... " Another yawn. "Celestia, it's your fault if you miss anything." Her head returned to the desk. "Bucking stallions and their bucking periods ... "
With a self-congratulatory fist bump, Anon said his goodbyes and wandered back outside, questioning how a stallion even had a period. After a minute or so, he filed it under 'pony nonsense', alongside the pegasus wingspan and those spontaneous musical numbers.
Going through the horribly squeaky screen door that led out from the farmhouse and towards the main gate, he caught sight of Twilight, who all but demanded to follow him when she showed up at his house that morning. She was practically vibrating in place, her excitement palpable. The farm workers went out their way to avoid her, not that she noticed, and wondered what exactly had her looking like a puppy on crystal meth.
"I was gone for two minutes."
She giggled. "I know, I just wanted to say it!"
"Right." Hands in his pockets, Anon walked past her, the barest of glimpses confirming that she was following him. "What is it you wanted to do again?"
"Just ask you some questions." She waved a hoof, her body language apparently taking precedence over being able to walk. "Basic stuff, nothing too personal."
He had absolutely no desire to do anything of the sort, but knew that he should probably get on Twilight's good side before asking her to leave. Some discomfort now, he figured, would save him from having to rub the lotion on his skin later.
"Sounds good. Let's go to the park, it's beautiful this time of day."
In other words, Anon wanted witnesses.
"Great!" She started to bounce around. "This will be so much fun! I've always wanted to know more about you, Anon!"
He forced an uneasy smile.
Summer's boss was far less flexible than Anon's, so she couldn't get out of work to deal with the visitors. Believing that one obsessed weirdo posed less of a threat than two, she invited Rainbow to accompany her on the morning cloud patrol, ostensibly as a way to exchange weather management techniques. That left Anon alone with Twilight, who was more than eager to spend time with him.
Reaching their destination, they sat down on a bench nestled between two oak trees. Twilight prepared her quill and notebook, tail swishing and eyes sparkling. It was as if this was the greatest moment of her life, and Anon couldn't help but find that a little sad.
"So, easy ones first." She clapped her hooves together. "When did you get here? To Equestria, I mean."
"About 5 years ago, give or take."
"So that makes you ... "
She wrote for a bit before looking back up at him.
"How did you get here?"
He shrugged. "No idea. I was sleeping at the time, so your guess is as good as mine."
"Hmm. Are you sure you don't remember anything, no flash of light or pulling sensation?"
"Yes, I'm sure. Kind of hard to experience much of anything when you're unconscious."
She had the social grace to blush. "Heh, right. Have you, um, enjoyed your time in Equestria?"
Anon scratched his neck. "I don't have many complaints, at least about Equestria itself. I mean, I've got a good thing going on here, and I'm pretty happy with how it's all turned out. A little too small-town for my liking, sure, but nothing really stands out as particularly awful." He leaned back and crossed his arms. "I do miss them all, though."
She tilted her head. "Who?"
"My friends and family. You have to remember, I didn't even get to say goodbye to them, was just shat into another universe without any warning. They've probably gotten over it, and I've filled a lot of that void within myself, but ... I dunno, it still gets me sometimes."
Twilight rubbed his thigh, an awkward attempt at comforting him. It made Anon rather uncomfortable, but he suppressed the outward signs of his feelings for the sake of appearances.
"You're married, right?"
He raised an eyebrow. "Happily, yes."
"How did that start?"
"Well, we were roommates at first, and it just grew from there. Don't regret a thing."
It was obvious to Anon why she was asking these questions, but he didn't yet feel the need to call her out on it, if only out of the same disturbed curiosity that one would apply to a car crash or house fire.
"Not really, no. Our relationship is pretty comfy, all things considered."
"What are your thoughts on herding?"
"You know that humans are monogamous, right?"
"I mean, the show never really touched on it, but that is my headcanon, so yes."
"Jesus Christ, did you really just ... whatever, then you already know the answer. I'm not looking to add anyone else.
She tried to hide her disappointment. "What are your thoughts on the show?"
"Part of me finds the idea of it hilarious, part of me finds it disturbing, and part of me actually enjoys it. It's a bit like looking at a photo album, I suppose, just watching my friends and I have fun together."
"And the fandom?"
He winced. " ... They're, um ... spirited? A lot of it is pretty fucking weird, and I'm not gonna say that I'm happy with all that porn of me, but at least they're passionate about something, I guess." Anon ran a hand through his hair. "This may be my racialism speaking, but humans aren't the worst things to obsess over."
"I see." She turned the page. "Well, in Season 3, Episode 5, William references 'the raft incident'. What's the story behind it?"
Anon rubbed his forehead. "Christ, he really brought that up in the show?"
"Well, back in middle school, we all went to summer camp together, and ... "
They went on like this for the next few hours.