Chapter 2: Quite the prank
I rub my eyes and look again, but the Cutie Mark is still there.
“What the... fuck?” I say aloud as I slowly reach up and shut off the water. After a moment of staring, I turn to check the other side, confirming that the logo is blazed across both of my thighs. “Where the hell did these come from?” I ask the air, then reach down to feel them again. I run my hand over the mark, expecting to feel plastic or something. But no, all I feel is skin. It’s like the cutie mark is tattooed right on there.
I step out of the shower and kneel down to get a better look. It’s very well done. Most tattoos I’ve seen have soft edges, and the colors are usually a bit faded. That’s not the case here though. The detail lines on my thigh are razor sharp, and the colors are as vibrant as day. I mean, the detail and clarity of this lightning bolt would put graphic vectors to shame. I stare at the images for a while, my mind still failing to make sense of the pictures my eyes are sending up.
To try and calm my nerves, I start attempting an explanation out loud. “It must have been Jack. He always pokes fun at my obsession with Dash. He probably put one of those temporary sticker tattoos on me when I fell asleep”. Just as the words leave my mouth, my mind tells me that couldn't have been possible. Jack fell asleep before you did, it couldn’t have been him. There is also the annoying fact that this doesn’t look like sticker that you could just slap on someone's leg. There are no cracks, no raised edges, and no flaws on any kind. It’s perfectly flush with my leg.
I rub my eyes, trying to think when this could have happened. I’m too tired to make sense of this, and the alcohol in my system isn't helping. This is going to have to wait till morning. I go to bed, chuckling to myself, “See, this is why I shouldn't fantasize about stallions. Look what happens!”
I awake to the sound of a mixer in the kitchen. Jack is making pancakes, as per usual. I put on a robe and shuffle into the kitchen. “Morning, Jack,” I mumble as I pass him by on my way to turn on the coffee maker.
“Hey Dave, good morning!” Jack replies enthusiastically. He is always far too cheerful in the mornings. Well, at least he is putting himself to work here and making breakfast for us. As for me, I won’t be truly awake until I have caffeine in my veins.
As I wait for the coffee maker to finish, I return to my room to change out of my pajamas. As I change, I look in the mirror to check if I need to shave. I have some short stubble on my chin, but it matches my brown hair color and goes pretty well with this short haircut. Satisfied with my look, I turn away from the mirror, catching a glimpse of color from my upper thigh. Oh god, how could I forgotten about the cutie marks from last night! They are still there! I do a quick once over, nothing else is out of place, I just have Rainbow Dash’s cutie marks on my legs. I take a step back and look at myself in the full length mirror. One thing's for certain, I look utterly ridiculous with these tattoos on me.
One quick clothing change later, I enter the kitchen to the smell of pancakes, maple syrup, and coffee. Jack is one hell of a cook, but before I could enjoy breakfast I have to address the elephant in the room. I don't want to give Jack the satisfaction of fooling me, so I decide to start out pretending I already figured it all out. “Haha, Jack, very funny. Don’t know how the hell you did it, but good work.”
Jack looked up from his mug of coffee. “Hmm? What’s up? Something wrong with your pancakes?” He leans forward and frowns at my plate for a few seconds.
“You know what I’m talking about. Your little, colorful handiwork last night.”
I know this is Jack’s doing. It has be him. Fiona is too sweet to prank someone, and Evan doesn’t even know what a cutie mark looks like. However, Jack just shrugs as he looks at me. “I have no idea what you’re getting at. Did your toilet flood or something?”
I bite my lip. Unfortunately, Jack naturally has a perfect poker face, I can never tell when he is joking. Well, fuck it, one way to find out for sure. “Fine. I’m talking about this.” I turn sideways and pull down on the elastic waistband on the side of my pants, keeping myself covered but bringing a cutie mark into full view.
I am rewarded by a mouthful of hot coffee spit from Jack across the table. “Ppfft! Jesus Christ, dude what the hell were you thinking!”. Now it’s my turn to look confused. Jack stands up and walks over to get a better look. “Seriously dude, when the hell did you get those!”
I frown, his words were exactly what I thought when I first saw it. “So... you're telling me that these cutie marks aren't your doing?” A mix of confusion, and a little bit of panic comes over me.
Jack doesn’t even acknowledge my question. “Dude, you’re killing me. The show peaked over half a decade ago, and you went and got a tattoo now? Do you ever think you’re taking this Rainbow Dash thing a bit far?”
“No see, I didn’t—.” I start, but Jack cuts me off.
“I mean, having a favorite pony is one thing. But you have t-shirts of her, toys, plushies, stickers, god knows you probably even clop to her, and now you get a tattoo? You're way too obsessed, you even insist on crediting Dash for your good luck with the weather.”
I bite my lip. I could never explain that last one, but I did have a history at being unnaturally lucky with the weather. I always can tell when it’s going to rain or when frost is coming. And I never get stuck in bad weather. My friends always ask how I’m so lucky with it, and in recent years I would just laugh and say that Dash is looking out for me.
I’m brought back to the present by the end of Jack’s rant. “....you read fics of her, you credit her for your good fortune, you wanna marry her, and now you got her tattoo? I mean, I know you love that mare, but I think you crossed the line somewhere in there.”
I raised my hand. “Dude, calm down, this was all just a... joke. Yeah, a joke.” At this point, my mind decides to help me and starts creating a lie as fast as I can speak it. “It was, uh, Fiona’s idea. Yeah, she, uh, gave me some temporary tattoos she bought online, and then... we... um... we made bets to see how you would react to seeing them on me! A bet which, by the way, I just won.” I end with a smile. Did he buy it? Please tell me he bought it.
Jack looks at me for a second, then shakes his head and sits back down. “Gah, I should have known.” He picks up his fork and resumes eating, then glances back up at me “Rainbow Dash, you are one crazy motherfucker.”
“Hehe, thanks man, you should have seen your... face” My mouth stumbles as my brain replays back Jack’s last sentence. He called me Dash. Huh, clearly he’s making fun of me at this point. Clever bastard, I almost didn’t catch it.
A few moment later Jack finishes his food and starts putting his dishes away. “So, Evan is showing up with the truck in about thirty minutes to take me into town. What do you wanna do until then?”
Oh, I do have something on my mind. “All this talk about ponies, has gotten me in the mood to watch ponies.”
I hear Jack laugh over the sound of the dishes being cleaned. “Haha, I should have known. Well, let’s get started, but can I make an episode request?”
“Yea sure, which one do you have in mind?” I reply as I frown to myself. To be honest, I had wanted to pick the episode today. I’m interested in seeing the show finale again, something about it is bugging me. Jack will never suggest that one though, he hates that episode.
“Can we watch, the show finale?” Jack asks with a pause in his voice. I raise my eyebrows in surprise, but I don’t bother questioning the reasoning behind his choice. Never second guess good fortune. I just grab the Season 5 disk and turn on the TV, feeling eager start the episode already. I don't know what it is, but there's just something in my memory of this episode that feels... off.
A moment later, Jack sits down on the couch a few feet away. He speaks up, “Something about this episode is bugging my mind, it just feels 'off' to me all of a sudden.”
I blink twice. Maybe I should have second guessed good fortune.
Most of the episode passes without incident. I remember it all too well. It starts out with Discord and Celestia allied together in an epic battle against a huge hellspawn from Tartarus. It’s a pretty amazing battle, but then takes this strange turn in the middle of the fight. Celestia takes a bad hit from the hellspawn, and is lying down on the edge of this volcano. She cries out for help and Discord teleports over. Discord then kneels beside the defenseless Celestia, and you can hear her cry out for help and explain she can’t move her legs. Just when you think Discord is going to save her, he instead laughs and kicks her limp body over the edge of the cliff.
To this day, I can still feel the heart pounded dread that I got when I first saw this scene, and the terror that filled me as the Goddess gave out a blood curdling scream when she landed into the lava below. In any case, after Celestia's fall, Discord then laughs maniacally and explains to the camera that he played her for a fool this whole time, and he waited over a thousand years for this day.
The next scene shows Discord traveling to meet Twilight, where he surprises her with some sort of magical attack which eliminates her in a flash of white. Then after that scene, of course, is the scene where Discord attacks Rainbow Dash at nighttime, and Dash fights Discord in midair for a while before—. Wait, what the hell? Why are the credits rolling right now? Why is the episode over after the Twilight scene? What happened to the last scene with Dash? The episode wasn’t supposed to end with Twilight, there was more to it!
“Aww man, what the hell? They cut the last scene!” Jack stands up and is visibly angry at the TV. “That was the best scene in the entire episode! The entire season even!”
Phew, it’s a relief to hear Jack confirm my thoughts of the missing scene. For a second, I was worried the final scene with Dash never actually happened. Good to know Jack’s got my back here. “Yeah, Jack, they must have cut it out of the episode. Stupid Hasbro.”
Jack shakes his head. “What a bunch of idiots. Why cut out the final scene? That doesn’t make any sense!”
“I know right!” I happily agree.
“It’s such an emotional, powerful scene too. It really sticks with you once you see it”
“Exactly!” I couldn’t agree more, that Dash battle is tearful, but amazing.
“It’s a short scene too!”
“Yup” I nod as I take a sip of water.
“One final battle,”
“Of Applejack defending her farm.”
“Mhm—!” now it’s my turn to spew water across the coffee table. “Wait, what?”
“The last scene. Applejack is on her farm and Discord shows up.” Jack stares at me waiting for acknowledgment.
Okay, I know Jack is wrong here, the last scene is Dash fighting Discord in the night sky in a spectacular battle. Applejack’s farm? Where the hell is he getting that from? “I uh, I don’t remember that scene, dude”
Jack rolls his eyes “Dude, that’s the scene. You just said yourself, they cut a scene. Well, that’s the scene they cut! What scene did you think they cut? I’m telling you, it’s the one with Applejack.”
I’m in a pickle here. On one hand, I’m positive the last scene shows Dash. But on the other hand, after this morning I’m not really willing to put myself out on that limb. Jack would probably get annoyed and claim it’s just more evidence of my Dash obsession. But yet... I know that Dash scene is real.
Jack sees my hesitation and decides to jog my memory. “Remember, Discord shows up on the farm and spars with Applejack. He mocks her for trying to fight back, joking that she is powerless against him. Discord then, he then...” Jack swallows hard and his voice gets quiet. ”He calls her a useless pony.” Jack turns away from me, and, if I didn’t know any better, I would swear he just started crying. I've never seen him cry before...
After a moment, I see Jack blot his eyes with his sleeve, and he continues his storytelling. “After Applejack is broken and beaten, Discord charges up some spell. But just before Discord finishes her off, Big Mac comes in and tackles him from the side. Discord screams at him and there is a tussle offscreen between him and Big Mac. You hear Big Mac scream out for Applejack. He tells her to run, he tells her for the love of Celestia just run and save herself. Then, there is a spectacular explosion and Applejack screams out for her brother. She doesn’t hear her brother though, Discord’s laughter just rings out as he returns to finish off the wounded Applejack. And that’s that, the episode just ends right there.”
The clock on the wall ticks loudly, and I don’t know what to say. Not only have I never heard that Applejack story before, but I don’t think I have ever heard Jack get that emotional over anything before. The emotion in his voice, Jesus. Where is that story from though? Is Jack confusing canon with a fanfic he read? Why would he read a fanfic about Applejack? Thankfully, the silence is broken by a loud doorbell.
“Come in,” I yell over my shoulder. I turn to see Evan enter the apartment, jiggling his car keys. I turn back to Jack. “I don’t know Jack, I don’t actually remember that scene, but it has been a long time since I saw this episode.”
Evan walks towards us. “Dave, Jack, hey guys. What are you two talking about?”
I reply without even turning to look at him. “Don’t worry about it, Evan. We are just trying to settle a discrepancy with ponies. Trying to figure out how this episode ended.”
Evan laughs, “Oh, well then I’m just in time! I can cast the tie breaking vote!”
I roll my eyes. I really am not in the mood for Evan’s antics, “Oh, sure thing buddy, that’s a big help from someone that hasn’t seen the show.”
Evan crosses his arms. “Not true, Jack made me watch a few episodes back in the day!”
I looked over at Jack, he nods. “It’s true, I did show Evan an episode or two. But I only showed him some Season 1 classics way back when. I never showed him the finale.”
Evan looks between the two of us. “Wait, the finale? Is that the episode with that freaky magic chimera thing that attacks everyone?”
Jack and I exchange looks, and then both turn to stare at Evan. Jack speaks up, “Yeah, that one. When did you watch that one? And how does it end?”
Evan stares off at the wall for a second, then ignores the first part of the question. “Well, let’s see here, how did it end. It shows the apple farm that is run by that orange colored mare....”
“Applejack.” My friend and I say in unison.
“Yeah, sure, her. She’s having some battle with the magic chimera thing, and her brother, the protagonist, is watching. At first he thinks it’s just an argument, but then he sees that it’s actually a fight, and that his sister is in pain. Anger courses through his veins, and then he just fucking charges in there and tackles the monster. He starts beating the snot out of of the beast with his hooves, but then the monster fights back. The stallion yells out, telling his sister to run, to save herself. Then he gets hit by some spell, and it ends right there. That’s the end of the show. Gotta admit, that stallion had some guts.”
“See, I told you! It ends with the scene at Applejack’s place!” Jack says triumphantly as he gathers his bags and makes for the door. “My brother doesn’t even watch the show and he knows the correct final scene!”
Jack has a good point there, that scene must have really happened if Evan knew about it. Then why the hell have I never heard of it? And where did that Dash scene come from? It has to be from something. I know it’s not a fan animation, is it just something I just came across recently?
I help Jack get his bags to the door, and decide there would be time to ponder this later. “Alright, thanks for staying over Jack, nice seeing you Evan!” I wave, then look up at the sky. A feeling floats through my mind ~Thunderstorm is coming~. Hmmm, I should get my mail before the rain hits. I hop outside, and walk the two blocks to the main apartment office to get my mail. My mind is still trying to make sense of that Applejack scene, and I’m not really paying attention to where I’m walking. Unfortunately, this ends with me bumping right into Fiona, who was walking the other way. “Ah! Oh, sorry, sorry Fiona!”
Fiona steps back in shock but then relaxes when she sees it’s me. “Eek! Oh hey, Rainbow Dash, so sorry about that! I’m such a worried mess right now, I gotta go deal with something!”
Man, she looked really preoccupied with something. Wonder what got her worried like that, it’s not like her to run away without saying... Wait a second... I rub my forehead. Great, just great. First the mystery tattoo, and now I’m starting to hear things. “What the fuck is going on around here,” I yell to the sky. Maybe Jack is right, maybe I do need to lay off the Rainbow Dash stuff for a few days. I return home and close the door. Behind me, I hear the sound of the first raindrops hitting the street behind me, and the back of my mind tells me that this storm will bring two inches of rain over six hours. I yawn and head for my couch, still worried about what Fiona said and what that missing scene in the finale was all about. I need a nap, maybe it will clear my mind.
I wake up with a yawn, still hearing thunder outside my window. Man, what time is it? I reach over and grab my phone to check the display. It’s 3pm, and I have a missing text message notification. I half groggily reach open the message, it’s from Jack, sent about two hours ago. I blow my long bangs away from my eyes and read the screen. “Oh, haha, real funny! Jackass.” I’m too tired to make sense of it, so I just toss my phone across the sofa. I sit up and rub my neck, I should probably get up, half the day is already gone and all I did today was nap.
I make my way to my room and turn on my computer. As my computer loads I wonder if my cutie mark tattoo thing was still there so I unbutton my pants and pull them down a little so I can see my 'flanks'. Yep, the mark is still there on both legs. I rub my temples trying to make sense of things, then notice my computer had finished loading. I realize how cluttered my desktop screen had gotten, so I decide to go through some of these pictures I had saved on there and get them organized. I start flipping though images, deciding which ones to delete and which ones to file away into the correct folders. After fifty or so normal pics, I get to a unique picture of Dash lying on her back and looking down at herself. I tilt my head and try to decide if the picture is worth keeping, and then, out the corner of my eyes, I catch a glimpse of the colorful marks on my own legs. I look down at my exposed legs and feel a sense déjà vu. Then I look back up at the screen and notice Dash’s legs were tilted in the exact same fashion as mine were right now.
I laugh out loud and look down at my own leg and smirk. It’s amusing to see 'my' cutie marks matching up so well with the ones in the picture. It is kind of surreal really. I smile as my eyes dart back and forth between my legs and the ones my screen. It’s a perfect match, and it’s almost arousing for some reason. I keep looking between the two images. Damn, it's a shame the anatomy between my legs doesn't match that of a mare, then we would really match....
I blink and realize my train of thought. “Ah! What the hell, brain!” I snap my legs back together and stand up, visibly shaking and no longer in the mood for this game. The mental picture of me having a marehood between my legs refuses to fade though. I just keep imagining myself lying on my back with my legs and pelvis looking just like Dash's in that artwork. I can practically feel her nethers existing between my own legs, going along with her cutie marks perfectly. I shake my head again and splash more water on my face, careful not to get my bangs wet.
Wait... bangs? What the fuck? Oh, no, no. I look up at the mirror and almost scream. My hair is supposed to be short, not crazy long like this! What the hell is happening to me? I look like a Final Fantasy character! I grew bangs that cover a fourth of my face, and I have long hair going down my neck! It’s also, wait, is this hair tinted? I learn forward. My hair is supposed to be dark brown, but right now its pretty much running through a full gamut of faint color shades. In the back, my brown hair is tinted slightly violet. But in the front, the brownish purple changes into a subtle rainbow spectrum.
I step back from the mirror and my cutie marks come back into view, I make the connection, my hair looks like a half assed attempt at Dash cosplay. “Well, that settles it. In case anyone was wondering, if you obsess too much about something, apparently parts of your body start trying to look like it.”
I leaned against the wall and started running my fingers through my long hair. I mumble out my worries, “Oh god, how am I going to explain this to Jack? He is going to totally flip out when he sees this. He's going to think I did this on purpose or something. Gah, I’m gonna have to come up with a—.”
I close my eyes and sigh, then walk over to my cellphone. Speak of the devil, it’s Jack. Of course it’s Jack, the universe hates me. Well, at least I don’t have to explain any of this over the phone. I don’t have to tell him anything until we meet in person. Meh, I’ll worry about that later, I’m not going to meet with him for a few days. I answer the call, “Hey AJ, what’s up?”
“I’m coming over. Now. I’m already on the way, I’ll be there in less than five minutes.” I open my mouth to speak, but Jack hangs up the phone before I can even reply.
I look back at the mirror, cutie marks on both of my flanks, and multi-hued hair running down my neck. “Yup, I’m boned,”
Shit, shit, shit, shit. Jack’s going to be here any minute, how can I explain this? I toss on a sweatshirt and some pants, then I try to comb the hair so my bangs aren't so huge. It’s no use though, there is just way too much hair up there. I tidy up the living room while I try to think of someway to explain my hair to him. Maybe Fiona put me up to it? Wait, frick, I already used that excuse this morning. Come on think, what could have caused this?
Wait a second... Fiona, she gave that plushie! I start frantically searching for the plushie, it must have had a hand in this whole thing. Guy gets some sort of enchanted, magical, realistic looking plush, and then the guy wakes up with cutie marks and pony hair that matches the plushie! Like a voodoo doll or something! That happens to people, right? I’m in full blown panic mode at this point, I have to find the plushie before Jack gets here, that will fix everything. It has to!
Oh there it is. It’s still sitting on the dining table, exactly where I left it. I pick it up and hold it in my hands, turning it over slowly. “Um, now what? What the hell am I supposed to do with this?” I look at the plushie and scratch my head, trying to figure out why I thought finding the plushie would have in any way helped me out of my current situation.
I hear the car pull up outside. Well, looks like I wasted my last few minutes. I’m going to have to just come up with a story on the fly. I put the plushie down and head back towards the kitchen, awaiting the door knock. I then notice my throat is getting dry with anticipation, so I turn around and start to pour myself a glass of water. I just manage to fill the glass when I hear the door get kicked open and slam against the wall. “Jeez, AJ, the least you can do is knock.” I put the glass down and start to turn around.
“You! Dash! What the hell did you do?!” Jack screams as he makes his way inside.
I wince, wow, he’s really not happy with my new hair. I try and explain myself as Jack walks into view. “Look dude, I didn't want this. I really don’t wanna talk abou—Ahh! Whoa, what did you do to yourself?” My eyes go wide as I look at him. He has long, blond hair flowing down his back, and his eyes shine bright green, like a pair of fresh apples.
"Very funny! Now fix this!" Jack yells.
My brain does a double take. “Wait, but you... I thought you were yelling because of my hair, you’re yelling about your hair?”
Jack reaches back and grabs some of his yellow hair and waves it in front of my face “No shit! Why else would I be yelling? Why would I ever care about, um... your hair...?” He trails off as he glances up at my forehead, and seems to finally notice that he isn’t alone in this situation.
We stand there for a second, both staring at each other’s slightly off putting appearance. I really need to break the ice here, so I swallow the lump in my throat. “Your, um, your eyes turned bright green, dude.”
“And yours turned magenta,” Jack says without skipping a beat.
I blink, “Wait, really? Frick, I didn’t even think to check my eye color. Magenta eyes, that’s pretty sweet actually.” Jack doesn't seem amused, instead he turns sideways and pulls down the side of his sweat pants, confirming what I just recently assumed would be there.
Jack pulls his pants back up, then throws his hands in the air in confusion. “A cutie mark of three red apples! What kind of stupid joke is this? I don’t even like Applejack!”
I agree, Vinyl Scratch would have been much cooler.