Ponyville Bouquet

by Cascadejackal

Chapter 3: I'll flux your capacitor



“So, we don’t owe you anything?” I stared at the doctor. Seriously, nobody in the wasteland was that generous! To my disbelief he shook his head.

“That’s right. Equestrian healthcare is free, although I wouldn’t mind if you donated a few of those healing potions. I’ve never seen anything like them!”

“Huh?” I was confused. “They’re just normal healing potions...”

The doc shook his head again. “Even our best healing potions aren’t as effective as the ones you and your friends have.”

“Well... I guess we can give you some... I mean, you’re not charging us or anything, so-”

A sudden squawk from behind where Ibis, Rose and Shot were sitting made me turn around, only to see Ibis being cornered by a purple unicorn with the messiest mane I’d ever seen. One of her eyes was twitching and she was bombarding my grey feathered friend with questions about the future, until he was pressed flat against the wall. Thankfully, Shot wasn’t in the room, or she might have attacked the strange mare... where was she, anyway? I didn’t see Rose, either.

“Um, doc?” I turned back to the doctor. “Who’s she?”

The buck facehoofed, before crossing the room and putting one hoof on the mare’s shoulder. “Miss Sparkle... Miss Sparkle!” Having successfully gotten her attention, he gave her a smile. “I’m glad you remembered our appointment, but could you please not harass the other patients?”

“B-but they’re from the future! See?!” A purple glow surrounded her horn, which was now pointed straight at Ibis. Even as the griffin leapt out of the way, he was surrounded by wibbly-wobbly glowing thingies, and the mare gave the biggest, freakiest grin I’d ever seen. “Trans-temporal particles! But... they’re not decaying... they’re... stable...” Her eye started twitching again and she advanced on Ibis, who was picking himself up and swatting at the glowing things surrounding him. “They’re stable... who are you? Starswirl the Bearded is the only unicorn in recorded history to create a working time-travel spell, and I know it’s not his work because you would have gone back to your own time by now. The future must be so advanced if you’re able to create a permanent temporal displacement field...”

At this point, Ibis had jumped over one of the beds and was using it to keep some distance between himself and the crazy mare. I was just sitting in place and looking on in bewilderment, while the doctor tried to calm her down.

“Miss Sparkle, please calm down.” The doc pleaded with the crazy purple mare, but she ignored him completely.

“Oh, I have so many questions!” She was practically chasing Ibis around the bed now. “What’s the future like? Can everypony travel through time? Why did you come back?” She gasped. “Is there going to be some disaster in the future?! Did you come back to stop it? How-”

The doctor sighed as the strange mare suddenly dropped, her words slurring together as she slumped on the tiled floor, a syringe stuck in her flank. “I’m really sorry about that. Miss Sparkle tends to be somewhat... unstable after her longer study sessions. We have her assistant send her in for check-ups, just to make sure she doesn’t have one of her episodes, but she’s never accosted other patients before. It must be because you said you were from the future.” He waved a hoof at Ibis, who was perched on the bed, watching the tranquilised mare warily. The glowy things that floated around him were starting to fade by now. “While I doubted your story, Miss Sparkle seems to believe you, and she is Ponyville’s expert on unusual magic, so I’ll take her word for it.”

“Uh-huh...” I just stared at him, confused. One second, Ibis was being chased by a deranged mare, the next the doctor was saying we were from the future. I was starting to think I’d missed something.

“I’ll take care of Miss Sparkle, if you’ll excuse me.” The doctor picked up the mare in his magic and took her out of our room, Rose slipping past him in the doorway with a bewildered Shot Glass on her back, staring at the purple pony as she passed.

“Lily, who was that?” Rose cocked her head and, after depositing Shot onto the bed Ibis was perched on, sat next to me.

I shrugged, watching our baby sister and Ibis talking. I caught the words ”Ponyville”, ”Map” and ”Crazy Mare” before Shot raised her pipbuck-encased foreleg for Ibis to look at.

“I dunno, Rose... the doc said her name was Sparkly or something...”

Rose stared at me for a second, then Ibis, then the door to the room. “Twilight Sparkle?”

I shrugged again. “Sparkle sounds right... I don’t think he called her Twilight, though... why?”

My pale sister grabbed her saddlebag in her teeth and dragged it over, before plunging her head into it and emerging a few seconds later with a book in her mouth. The battered old book, showing its age, was promptly spat onto the floor and flicked open to what I could have sworn was a random page, but then again... Rose always did have a good memory for her books. “I think that was her, Lily. Twilight Sparkle.”

I looked at the picture she had her hoof on. “Twilight Sparkle. Element of Magic. Uh, Rose... it says she was alive two hundred years ago... y’know, before the war?”

Rose blinked. “And?”

“And? And nothing, sis. How could a pony who was alive hundreds of years ago have just walked in and chased Ibis around? Did you hit your head or something? Let me check.” When I tried to see if there was a lump under that crimson mess my sister called a mane, she shook her head.

“Lily, we are two hundred years ago.”

I stopped fussing with her head and stared at her. “What?”

“The teleporter, remember?” I nodded slowly. “I think it was more broken than I realised. What were you thinking of when you pressed the button?”

I scratched my head. “Like I told Ibis, I was thinking of... of Ponyville, the place from your books, not the one full of raiders.”

Rose nodded. “And that’s where we are.”

“Are you sure?”

“Ibis, Shot,” Rose called out, “where does the map say we are?”

“Ponyville.” Shot answered. “How’d you know we were checking the map?” Rose just blinked in response before turning back to me, and Shot stuck her tongue out in retaliation.

“See? Ponyville. Ibis and I already checked the date; Shot’s pipbuck says it’s two hundred years ago.”

I groaned. “I’m confused, Rose...”

At that point, one of the nurses came in, wheeling a little cart with some covered trays on it. “Is anypony hungry?”

Ibis stared at her, one eyebrow raised. “Don’t I get anything?”

The nurse took a step back, smiling nervously. “Oh, I’m sorry. Most of our patients are ponies, and I didn’t mean-”

Ibis waved one claw, sighing. “I know, I know. Forget it. What’s on the menu?”

We all crowded around the bed Ibis and Shot were on, since it was closest to the cart, and got a covered tray each. Me and Rose plonked ourselves down on the floor, where there was enough room for all of us, with Shot and Ibis joining as soon as they got their trays.

“Enjoy!” The nurse smiled as I pulled the cover off and... immediately started drooling.

“It... it’s so... beautiful...” The biggest, shiniest apple I’d ever seen, next to what gentle, nervous, delicate inspection revealed to be a freshly cut daisy sandwich on bread that was so soft and fluffy it was like a cloud on my plate. Beside that was-

“What the hell? What is this stuff?!” Shot cried out as she spat one of the things that looked like yellow bacon back onto her tray. “Ugh! It’s on my tongue”

The nurse looked taken aback. “That’s haybacon, dear. It’s good for you.”

Shot narrowed her amber eyes, glaring at the nurse. “That’s not bacon... that’s not even meat!”

The nurse gasped, one of her hooves shooting to her mouth. “Meat?! N-now, dear, meat isn’t for ponies...”

The charcoal filly just snorted and jabbed Ibis in the side, distracting him from poking his food around on his tray. “Big bro, I want some jerky.”

“Yeah, yeah.” The big grey griffin idly pulled a clawful of delicious, salted radhog meat from a pouch on his belt and dropped it onto Shot’s tray before picking up his apple and eyeing it dubiously.

Shot’s eyes lit up, and she grabbed a hunk of the meat in her hooves, lifting it to her mouth...
The nurse cried out and extended her hoof, trying to get the meat away from the amber-maned filly, only to scream as Shot sunk her teeth into the intruding foreleg instead to protect her meal.


The mare tried to pull away, but Shot was latched on. “Shot Glass! Let her go right now!” I reached over and tried to pry the little filly’s jaws apart, but she growled at me. Next was Ibis’ turn to try and free the poor nurse.

“Isabella Greywing, stop that. You don’t know where she’s been.” He tried to grab her muzzle in his claws, but Shot swiped her hoof at him.

“Shot.” At one word from Rose, Shot let go and looked up at her sheepishly. Blue-grey eyes met amber, and amber blinked. “Say you’re sorry.”

Shot grimaced, but turned back to the nurse, who was cradling her injured foreleg, a small bit of red showing where the skin had been broken. “Fine... I’m sorry...” I rolled my eyes, knowing full-well the filly was only apologising because she was told to.

“T-that’s okay... dear...” The nurse hissed the words out, keeping out of Shot’s reach. “I know you didn’t mean to...”

The filly snorted. “Oh, I meant to.” With that, she lifted the meat again and took a big bite out of it, glaring at the nurse. I rolled my eyes and pulled a healing potion out of my bag with my magic, sending it to the nurse.

“I’m really sorry about that... Shot doesn’t like other ponies, and she’s kinda... protective of her food... drink this, it’ll help.”

The nurse drank the potion and stared at her leg as the bite marks vanished. It wasn’t bad enough to need a healing potion, not really, but I didn’t want to get us thrown out. “Um... thank you, I guess...” She looked at Shot, who stared right back, completely unconcerned. “But I think the doctor will need to hear about this. It isn’t normal for ponies to eat meat.”

As she left the room, I shrugged. We ate meat all the time. Then again, if we really were in the past, then they might not... and if we weren’t in the past, then they were just really weird.

Deciding it wasn’t my problem, I floated up the shiny, luscious apple and, with a crunch that could have ended the world, bit into it.

When that first bite touched my tongue, the world seemed to stop. Electricity arced up my spine, my mane stood on end, tremors of absolute joy ran through my entire body and then... I melted.

Ibis looked at me, laying on the floor and moaning quietly as I ate the delicious, wonderful apple that surely must have come from the Goddesses themselves, and smirked. “Lily, did you just...”

“N-no...” I blushed and would have hit him, but the apple was just too good. “Rose... stop looking at me like that... I didn’t!”

Rose was hiding her face behind her mane, but I could see her cheeks were almost the same color as the mess on top of her head. “Lily... It was just an apple... and you...”

Shot looked between the three of us, her gaze finally coming to rest on me, and her look slowly changed from one of confusion to one of grossed-out realization. “Wait... did Lily just... oh... OH! EW!” She made a face. “LILY!”

“Oh, shut up.” I grumbled, ignoring them and devouring that heavenly fruit. Jerks.


Shot and Ibis were going through their supplies, stashing the leftovers from our meal and making sure they had a good supply of meat. From how the nurse and reacted, they were worried that they wouldn’t be able to get more any time soon.

“So... we’re really in the past?” Rose nodded. “Well... what do we do? I mean, we could stop the war... or try to, anyway...” Rose shook her head. “Why not?”

“Lily, if we try to change things, we could make them worse!”

“Huh?” This time, Rose sighed.

“Lily, it’s like in my Doctor Whooves books. When he tries to fix things in the past, it changes lots of things in the future. If we stop the war, we might not be born! Lily, I don’t wanna be not-born! It would be worse than dying! And I didn’t like that!”

“Okay, okay...” I put my hooves on Rose’s shoulders, trying to calm her down. “But we can’t just let the war happen, can we? Think of all the ponies that died! There’s gotta be something we can do, sis.”

Rose thought for a moment, then sighed again. “Ibis, Shot. Come here.”

With that, Rose laid out the plan. I won’t repeat everything she said; it was really confusing, and full of timey-wimey stuff that gave me a headache. The plan was pretty simple, though. We just couldn’t talk about the war too much, or reveal anything about what was meant to happen to the ponies of this time. The war was pretty easy, since none of us really knew what it had been about, and the pre-war ponies were even easier, since we knew almost nothing about any of them. In fact, Rose was the only one who knew anything at all, and even that was limited to what she’d learned from her books. She even hid the books that might reveal the future at the bottom of her bags, just to make sure nobody could read them by accident.

Other than that, we just had to keep out of trouble and avoid drawing too much attention to ourselves. No killing ponies if we could help it (Shot didn’t look happy at this), no getting rich (I groaned when I heard that one), nothing at all that could change things in big ways.

Pretty much, we had to live normal, boring lives, and hope nothing went wrong.

Our planning was interrupted by the sound of the door to our room opening, and the purple mare from before came in, smiling sheepishly. Her mane looked a lot better, and her eye wasn’t twitching like crazy any more “Um, sorry about before. It’s just that I got really excited, since you’re from the future and all. So, if it’s alright, could I ask you some questions? There’s so much you could teach me!”

Me and Ibis looked at Rose, who nodded. “Okay, Miss Twilight Sparkle, but we can’t reveal too much in case we change things.”

The purple unicorn’s eyes lit up. “That’s fine! My first question is, how do you know who I am?”


Nine days later...

We’d spent the last nine days in the hospital, being checked out, poked and prodded, talking to counselors and being interviewed by Twilight Sparkle. True to our plan, we hadn’t said too much about our time, and I hadn’t really wanted to answer some of the questions anyway... especially the ones about Shot Glass...

Finally, though, they decided we could go outside. With a couple of orderlies beside us, we followed Twilight through the corridors of the hospital. Rose was next to the purple unicorn, talking to her, while Shot was riding on Ibis’ back. I was just glancing around, taking in all ponies around me in wonderment. Since waking up, I’d seen ponies cleaner and plumper than any I’d seen in my life. The water we’d been given to drink was almost invisible, it was so pure! And the food... ooooh, the wonderful, amazing food... carrots, potatoes, peas and best of all... the apples...


Not realising we’d stopped in front of a big double door, I walked straight into Rose’s backside. She ignored me, and I realised Twilight was talking to us all.

“I can’t believe they haven’t let you outside before now. C’mon!” With that, she threw open the doors... and our mixed screams, shrieks and squawk of pain filled the air.