Chapter 20: Surprises
Rarity looks up at me from the bed. She’s wearing a pair of socks on her back hooves. Her skirt was gone too, leaving her with just a pair of lace underwear that barely covers anything. I take a deep breath and step into the room, closing the door behind me.
The mare smiles coquettishly, “I thought for sure you were going to spend the night with Pinkie. Not many guys could turn down an offer like that.”
I laugh softly, it had been a tempting offer. In the end though, I decided to go for the mare I loved, rather than the one I just want to sleep with. Though, looking at Rarity on the bed in those garments, I’m starting to wonder if I want the latter too.
“Well, come on then, I don't bite.” Rarity pats the bed next to her.
I look at the bed and raise an eyebrow, “Rarity, I know we brought this up before, but your bed is honestly too small for two ponies.” With a grown mare lying on it, there were less than 6 inches of mattress space left at her side.
Rarity looks around, “Oh, is it too small? I think it's good like this...”
I bit my lip as I walk over to the bed. With so little room, literally the only option was to spoon, something I'm actually more than happy to do. I crawl in behind the white unicorn and start to embrace her fur against mine, bringing her soft body up against me and--
“Shining.” Rarity's head, just inches in front of mine, turns to look at me.
“Yes?” My heart drops, did I do something wrong? Rarity actually looked a little concerned here.
“Darling, you're wearing your boxer shorts. You sleep in those?”
I raise an eyebrow, “Uh, yes? I wouldn't sleep in the nude, I mean--”
Rarity clicks her tongue. “Shining, you were wearing those all day long today. They are probably filthy by now, if you want to sleep in this bed you are going to need to change into some clean pajamas. See what I am wearing?” She rubs her hooves over her lace lady garments, “I changed into these for bed, you're going to need to change out of your clothes too.”
I roll my eyes, “Not all of us have hoof stitch, pony-fitted nightwear that we can wear at night. Where am I supposed to get pajamas that fit a stallion?”
Rarity smiles, “You just have to ask.” Her horn glows and from across the room float a new pair of shorts. They land on my lap and I inspect them, immediately impressed with the quality.
I let out a low whistle, “These look amazing.” I get out of bed and Rarity looks the other way as I change into them. “And they fit perfectly! How did you get my measurements?! I mean my waist and my hips and everything, it fits me so well!”
Rarity blushes slightly, “I just sort of... eye balled that general region of you and made it from there...”
I was going to ask her how long she must of had to study my rear end in order to get accurate measurements, but I decide some things are better left unsaid. I pat them gently, “Well, thanks. These are perfect.”
I get back into bed with her and once again we start to spoon in order to fit on the small bed. Before long her entire body is pressed up against my underside and my hooves hold her close. “Um, are you comfortable Rarity?”
She pushes her body even closer into mine, “Exquisitely so.”
I pull my head alongside her’s and we cuddle for a few minutes. At least we're keeping this civil, as much as I loved every inch of her body, I’m sort of nervous about actually 'doing anything' with her. I've only been a guy for a day or so, I wouldn't even know where to start. This is nice though, just a light cuddle with nothing--
My thoughts are cut short as Rarity speaks with a sultry tone, “Shining, I just realized something.”
I bite my tongue as I'm almost too scared to reply, “Oh...?”
“Remember that magic lesson you gave me?”
Failing to see how it is relevant here, I nod, “Sure?”
“Well, I just remembered the payment. I owe you a kiss, don’t I?”
Before I can reply I feel her shift positions as she turns around. A few seconds later and she is entirely turned, our faces so close that our noses touch. She brushes her cheek against mine. My heart races as I gaze into her eyes and I start to seriously question how the heck I can find a small horse this attractive. Well, when in Rome...
I nod, “That's right, you do owe me a kiss. I want to collect on that debt Miss Rarity.”
She brings her lips to mine for the ‘payment’, gently placing a kiss right on my lips, making the hair on my neck stand up in excitement. After a moment she breaks the kiss, her soft lips leaving my own. “Well, that was nice--”
Deciding to act on my impulse for once. I cut off Rarity by moving back in for a second kiss. I don't stop at the lips this time, and before I realize what I'm doing I find my tongue rubbing against hers. At first she gives a cry of surprise, but then it turns into a soft moan of passion as our tongues dance. It is very, very strange. I've made out with several guys back when I was a human, but this wasn't anything like that. Not only are the genders flipped here, but the fact remains that Rarity, as beautiful as she is, is still a freakin pony. Her muzzle is huge, and so is her tongue for that matter.
Does that make it better than kissing a human? Before I can decide for sure Rarity breaks off the kiss and blushes, “Well, Shining, that was unexpected. It was pleasant though.”
I blush as well, “Thanks. Payment accepted Rarity.”
She nods, “Good to hear. I imagine that will do for tonight?”
I snuggle up against her her, “Sounds good, but I think we should do this again tomorrow. You know, for science.”
She laughs and lightly hits my shoulder with her hoof, “Already looking to the next time, huh? You're such a guy.”
I peck her on the cheek, “Thanks?”
She strokes my cheek with a hoof, “I'm glad you're here with me for this whole pony thing.”
I brush her mane out of her eyes, “Me too. Rarity, I've loved you for so long...”
She smirks, “Wait, are you talking about me, or Rarity from the cartoon? Is that why you're hooking up with me? Just to get in the pants of a cartoon character? I know how popular rule 34 from that show is...”
I laugh, “Very funny 'Tom', and come on, it's obvious you're much better than the show’s Rarity. You beat her in every way!”
“Yes, forget her! She is clearly inferior, I'm a better Rarity than she ever will be!” Rarity remarks.
I blink, my subconscious tells me something about our dialogue is... off. Oh well, I'm sure I'll figure it out later. I hug Rarity's body close to mine, “Thanks for sharing your bed with me.”
She snuggles into me, “You should move in with me here. We can switch beds with someone and get a bed big enough for two.”
I kiss her on the cheek again, “Full size bed? Don't be ridiculous, sharing a single is much, much better.”
She closes her eyes and smiles, “I was hoping you would say that.”
I hold her close as I drift off into sleep, “Goodnight Rarity...”
I find myself in the throne room of Canterlot. Thin smoke fills the air and I don't see any of the ceremonial guard. A few broken helmets and spears are scattered about and I hear diffuse screaming in the distance. Panic floods my veins as I cry out, “Twilight!!!”
I gallop down the halls to her chambers, as I get closer I can feel someone that doesn’t belong is in her room. I can’t sense Twilight anywhere, but I will defeat whatever beast or monster is in her room and save my sister. I yell out as I approach the room, “Show yourself, beast. Your path of destruction ends with me!”
A shadow falls across the doorway as something inside of it moves. I bare my teeth and start to charge my horn, Captain of the Royal Guard was more than a title, I had decades of combat training and am more than than capable of--
*clap* *clap* *clap* A slow applause behind me makes me lower my guard and I turn around. Discord sits on a charred pillar, smiling at me, “A noble effort dearest BBBFF, but you’re too late, you missed the fireworks.” He kicks a smoldering piece of rubble, “I had a quite a battle with the guards here, they all came running once they heard your sister scream.”
“Where is she.” I growl, my mind thinking of the most painful spell imaginable to use on this monster.
“Pity the guards were so disorganized with both you and Celestia not here to lead them. I daresay I might have actually been in serious trouble otherwise. Well, no matter, the battle is over and I clearly won.”
“My sister...” I growl, my horn glowing violently, and the rubble around me quivering from the sheer anger I was pouring into my magic.
“Is gone.” Discord waves his lion’s claw at me. “And please, don’t waste my time with your spells. An entire legion of Canterlot’s finest fell where you stand, not to mention the Element of Magic herself. Now... if you were smart, you would have gotten the other Element Bearers before you came looking for me. Twilight was certainly the most powerful, but a few of the remaining ones could actually give me some serious trouble, especially if you were supporting them with the rest of the royal guard. But you’re a fool, and you came here alone. Now I can start picking them off one by one. Thanks for that...”
I blink, wait a second, the others! Oh god I have to warn them! I stop charging my spell as I realize my folly in coming here like this. Rarity, Applejack, Pinkie, Fluttershy, and Dash especially. She’s a Captain in the Wonderbolts, with them at our side we--
“Thanks for lowering your guard. I was actually worried for a second.”
I turn back to him, “Wait, wh-”
Everything fades to white.
"For five score, divided by four...”
I sit up with a start and inhale a deep breath. Rarity's warm body at my side offers me some comfort, and I take a few deep breaths to calm down my racing pulse. Man, that dream, that was terrifying. And it felt so real, more real than any other memory I can think of. I shake my head, all this pony stuff going on during the day is starting to affect my dreams. Since I'm living the role of Shining right now, my brain must be playing back what it remembers of that pony from the show finale. That was such a terrifying episode...
I take a few deep breaths, tomorrow I should ask Twilight why she wrote such a strange ending to the show. Why would a five year old girl write about Celestia being betrayed, and all the ponies being attacked like that? Damn it sis, your story is still giving me nightmares all these years later. I sigh and lay my head back down on the pillow. At my side I feel Rarity stir in her sleep, and I toss one of my forelegs over her to hold her body close to mine. That nightmare was just a dream, it can't hurt me.
A few hours later I awake again, this time to a nose affectionately nuzzling my neck. I open one eye and see Rarity cuddled up against me. I laugh, “Good morning to you too, Rarity.”
She rests her head against my neck, “I think your sister is already awake. I heard the coffee maker turn on a minute ago.”
I nod, “Sounds like my sister. That mare loves her morning coffee.”
Rarity sighs, “I guess that means we have to get up now.”
I look down at the two of us intertwined on a bed that is too small for us, then nuzzle Rarity softly. “I think I'm going to get used to waking up like this.”
Her brow furrows, “Well, don't. We're not going to be ponies for much longer. Once Twilight figures this out...”
I correct myself, “Ah, you're right. I forget that sometimes, it's all too easy to think I'm keeping this body. I mean, I already feel pretty comfortable like this. Feels like I was born to have these hooves.”
Rarity nods slowly, “Yes, I admit, I’m also sort of growing fond of being a mare. That’s actually a bit worrying. Nothing against you Shining, but I don't think I want this to be my life. Living as a mare? It's not really who I am... right?”
“Oh, I know. It's just a temporary thing for now. But I want to enjoy parts of this while it lasts.”
Rarity bites her cheek, “Come to think of that, can we play this down if people ask about it? I know we didn't do anything serious, but still, if someone asks what happened can we just tell them we slept normally?”
I think about that, “Fine with me I suppose. You don't want anyone to know we cuddled and stuff?”
She sighs as she leans back into me, “I want some dignity left. What if we all change back into humans tonight right after we tell everyone that I, as Rarity, slept closely with you? Then everyone spends the rest of their life knowing that I didn’t even last two days as a girl before I started kissing a guy. I don't think I would want that on my resume when I go back to being a guy myself.”
I nod, “Makes sense. My lips are sealed.”
She leans close, “Well I don't want them sealed just yet...”
She gives me one more light kiss on the lips. I grin at her, but before we can take it any further a beeping noise from downstairs gets our attention. Rarity's ears swivel slightly, “Wait, that's the oven timer. Is someone baking?”
Curiosity gets us both out of bed and we quickly make our way to the hallway and down the stairs. Rarity trots past me and we're just feet from the kitchen door when I realize something amazing about the sight in front of me. Unfortunately, this pleasant sight is something that needs to be fixed, so I reach forward and grab Rarity's tail with my mouth to stop her.
“Mmmh?” Rarity comes to a dead stop and looks back at me inquisitively. I take one last look at the sight and then point, “Rarity, you um, you forgot to change clothes. You're only just wearing your lace underwear...”
She blushes and drops her tail to cover herself. I laugh, “Yeah, we should both probably go change into our day clothes.”
She trots back up the steps, “I saw you staring at the end there... I would reprimand you for that, but I suppose I owe you a thanks for letting me know.”
I follow her back to the room, “Well sure, and it's also worth mentioning that it's nothing I haven't seen before.”
She rolls her eyes, “Oh shush you, it's different when we're sharing a bed.” We enter the bedroom and start to put on our crude clothing. Well, I had crude clothing, Rarity actually had a whole outfit made for herself. I guess I can't complain though, she did make my some nice night shorts. One day I should ask her to make me some better shorts to wear during the day. Well, there's time for that later I suppose.
In any case, we quickly put on our clothes and make our way back towards the kitchen. The two of us arrive at the door and I pause. I open the door and hold out a hoof, “After you, milady.”
Rarity grins and trots through, I follow right behind and look over to see Twilight sitting at the table with a cup of coffee and a plate of somewhat burnt muffins. But burned or not, the fact that we actually had fresh baked goods was enough to make me drool.
Twilight nonchalantly brings another muffin to her plate using her magic, then looks up at us. “Ah, I thought the smell of muffins would bring people to the kitchen. I found a box of baking mix in the cupboard. Anyway, hello you two...”
“Hey sis.” I say nervously, I realize Rarity and I walked in at the same time, and Twilight knew we shared a bed. Hmm, so much for keeping this relationship on the down low.
Twilight smirks and sips her coffee, “So... how was it?”
I slowly turn to grab a cup of coffee so Twilight can't see my face. Rarity appears to be able to hide her emotions better, she just raises an eyebrow, “How was what darling?”
The alicorn rolls her eyes “Shining and Rarity sharing a bed? I may be mostly book smart, but I'm not that stupid when it comes to social cues. You two have been in each other's hooves for days now, and now you're sharing a bed at night? Ponies that sleep together tend to... you know.” Twilight raises her eyebrows a few times in quick succession.
Rarity scoffs, “Twilight, come on, it's not polite to jump to conclusions. And I assure you, we didn't partake in such feral acts.”
I nod as I walk to the table with my coffee hovering beside me. “Rarity is telling the truth sis, we didn't fuck.”
“SHINING!” Rarity hisses, “Language, please. This isn't a frat house, we're trying to eat breakfast here.” I blink, I said the same thing Rarity did, right? So what’s the deal?
Twilight tilts her head, “You guys are claiming you didn't do anything? Well, uh, I sort of heard you. There was banging and heavy panting.” I bite my tongue and Rarity suddenly becomes interested in the pattern on the ceiling. Was that Rarity and myself? No, it couldn't be. Twilight goes on, “It lasted for like an hour!”
Wait a second, an hour? Rarity and I exchange glances, we just kissed, and it didn’t last that long! Rarity turns to Twilight and asks nervously, “Where were the noises coming from?”
Twilight's eyes gesture up, “It was directly above me. The room right above mine?”
Rarity blinks for a second, “That's Pinkie's room.”
Showing perfect Pinkie timing, the pink mare enters the room a second later while humming a happy tune. She skips across the kitchen. “Goooood morning everypony!”
The three of us stare at her with open mouths. Rarity stammers, “Good... morning... Pinkie.”
She smiles, “That's what I said!” She sees the muffins and extends a hoof to grab one.
“Ahhh!!” Twilight telekinetically lifts the entire plate away from her. “Pinkie! Wash your hooves before you touch these!!”
Pinkie pauses for a second, then smiles and heads towards the sink, laughing to herself, “Ah I get it! Cleanliness is next to godliness! And the muffins were next to you! And you're an alicorn! You’re a clever one Twilight...”
Twilight puts the muffins down, but her ears remain slanted forward in aggression as she watches Pinkie wash her hooves at the sink. With Twilight distracted, Rarity nudges me in the side and whispers, “So, you must have really missed out last night. If she lasted over an hour by herself...”
I blush, but wave a hoof in the air, “I remain happy with my decision.”
Rarity affectionately leans into my shoulder, but then remembers the present company and pulls herself back up. She clears her throat. “Well, so, what are the plans for today?”
Twilight groans, “I was really hoping someone else would know.”
Pinkie giggles, “What, you think the answer to all this would just come to us in a dream or something?”
I want to laugh with Pinkie, but I actually pause for a second. I was having strange dreams, wasn’t I? Nah, that’s just silly, I dismiss the notion, but not before noticing that both Rarity and Twilight also seemed to be deep in thought about something. Maybe there’s actually something to that? I’ll have to ask Twilight about it later, but I’ll do it one on one. It would be hard to take dreams seriously in a group like this.
Twilight clears her throat, "Alright, does anyone have any ideas? Come on, I don’t want to sit around all day. We need to do something..."
The table fell into silence, the only sound was the rain that fell outside. I suppose the rain made sense, with this being Seattle and all. Still though, it cast a damp mood on all of us. I sigh and put my hooves on the table to get everyone’s attention. “Alright, no one has a plan, let's all just brainstorm some ideas. We go in a circle and everyone contributes at least something.”
A phone beeps on the counter, Rarity excuses herself to go check it. Twilight starts the brainstorm session, “We could try to find that red pony from Chicago... again?”
Pinkie sighs, “I guess? Or we could read the show bible and look for stuff?”
I tap my chin, “How about going through Tess’s childhood drawings and looking for more clues?”
Rarity returns to the table, “My parents are coming to Seattle tomorrow night.”
Pinkie shakes her head, “Oh Rarity, that’s not a suggestion, that’s a declarative statement.”
Rarity shakes her head, “No, I’m serious, I just got a text message from them. They are coming to town for the weekend and said they will be using this apartment. They asked if I had people over at it.”
Twilight leans forward, “What did you tell them?”
“I told them I was alone and they could use it. I was hoping we could fix this pony thing before they found out, but if they are coming tomorrow...”
“We’ll all go to a hotel,” I declare. “Should just be for a day or two, right?”
Rarity nods, “Yeah, that might work. We’re going to have to clean this place up though. Not sure if you noticed, but it smells like horse in here.”
I smirk, “Gee, wonder why. Not a problem though Rarity, we’ll clean up tomorrow morning before they come and head out before they get here.”
Pinkie tilts her head, “Maybe they can help, or if not them, some other humans!”
Rarity shakes her head, “I don’t want them involved. I’m not that close to my parents, but still, I don’t want them to see that I’m living in the body of a female pony.” She looks around at the other mares, “No offense to the other female ponies in the room, of course.”
I snicker, “It’s understandable Rarity. And Pinkie, as for ‘other humans’ I think that’s a bad idea, who knows what they would do. Bronies would probably want to try and pet us or something, and people with authority would want to do tests on us.”
Pinkie’s eyes go wide, “They would chop us into bits?”
Twilight shakes her head, “No Pinkie, that’s just silly. They wouldn't cut us up and they definitely wouldn’t kill us seeing as how we would be an ‘endangered species’. However, that being said, we would probably get shipped to the CDC or something. Then, as sapient as we are, we would probably still be treated as animals and put in cages and fed off the floor until they were thoroughly convinced that we were as smart as humans and we didn’t pose a threat to anyone.”
Rarity shivers, “Treated like a common beast? That’s probably worse than being cut up into pieces.”
Twilight sighs, “Speaking of cuts of meat, we're completely out of food. I made muffins because the refrigerator is literally empty. And before you ask, yes, that was the last box of muffin mix.”
Pinkie whines, “See, this is why we need humans. Humans can get us food!”
I raise an eyebrow, “We could get food delivered? Anyone have cash?”
Everyone at the table says no, but Rarity adds to it, “Who has cash these days? Anyway, you can order from most places online and pay with a credit card. Might be awkward picking up the food when they ring the doorbell though...”
Pinkie smiles, “That might be good! If there are other ponies out there in the city, they would all have to get food delivered to them too, right? We could ask the delivery guy if he has seen any other ponies!”
I raise an eyebrow, that idea wasn’t actually as stupid as it sounded. Still though, there has to be a better way. “You know, maybe we should look online. Just poke around on local social media and city specific forums. Maybe we're not alone?”
Twilight nods, “I'm liking this idea.”
The unicorns moved to the computers and started poking around while Pinkie started cleaning the place up a little bit. At first I thought our search would prove fruitless, but all of a sudden...
“I'VE FOUND SOMEONE!” Rarity exclaims loudly, then lowers her voice, “Pardon, I mean, look at the person I found, or should I say pony I found.”
We all trot over to her screen. It’s a blog of some sort, which Twilight reads out loud, “My tail hurts today, I sat on it the wrong way. I can't even reach back there to massage it and make it feel better, these darn hooves and pony limbs don't reach back there like my human hands could. I miss being a human, colon, beginning parenthesis.”
I facehoof, “Twi, that's a frowny face. You're not supposed to literally pronounce the symbols.”
She continues, unabated, “But as hard as it is, I sort of like being a pony mare. It’s sort of nice having hooves and a tail. My horn let’s me do useful magic too. Granted, having my gender change to a female really does take some getting used to.”
Rarity nods, “Well she's certainly right about that very last part.” She looks at us, “So, what do you think? We need to find this mare! The more of us, the better, right?”
Pinkie claps her hooves, “And she might have food!”
Twilight raises her eyebrows, “Yeah, great find Rarity, send her a message. Say you are also a pony mare in Seattle, and you would like to meet her.”
I sigh, “Um, is this safe? Meeting random people on the Internet?”
Pinkie scoffs, “It's not a random person, it's a random pony. And I haven't met a single pony I didn't trust!”
I shrug, I guess that made sense? I look back over at the blog, “What if this is just like, a tulpa or something?”
Rarity glances at me, “What’s a tulpa?”
I shake my head, “Don’t worry about it. Anyways, are we sure this is genuine?”
She scrolls down the page, “There are about fifty entrees, every one has her talking about being a mare. Her profile pic shows some Friendship is Magic pony I haven't seen before, and her details list her as a female pony in Seattle. Looks good to me, I suppose.”
Twilight nods slowly, “Well, we gotta trust her for now. Send her an email, ask her if she can meet us tomorrow afternoon, pick some local park that is discrete. We won't want any humans around for the meeting.”
I look at my sister, “Why tomorrow?”
She glances back to me, “Traveling by car as ponies is risky. I can drive us fine using magic, but we’re in a city and cars around us will probably notice a purple unicorn driving on the highway.”
Rarity nods, “Yes, that may be problematic.”
Twilight shrugs, “We’ll have to risk it. But we should try and limit our driving. We have to drive to a hotel tomorrow, right? Well, on the way we can stop at a park for this meeting with the new mare. It saves us a trip.”
I nod, “Yeah, that’s actually pretty smart. Alright let’s set it up, tomorrow afternoon we meet her in a park.”
Twilight glances at the screen, “What’s the new mare’s name anyway?”
I lay low in the bushes and check my phone, it's 4:55pm. The mare said she would meet us at 5pm sharp over on a bench on this side of the park. It was the perfect spot, not only is the park bench in an isolated area, but there is a thick tree line just a few dozen feet away. Pinkie and I lay there, hiding in the bushes as we stake out the park bench. About a hundred meters back, Rarity and Twilight were hiding under even thicker cover.
Rarity thought this plan of mine was a little overboard, but I played enough war themed video games to know the importance of good surveillance. I also knew to have a fall back area we can run to if things go south. Who knows who this Starbreezer pony is, and being the only stallion in this group, I feel responsible for the safety of the three mares.
“What kind of food do you think she brought? I hope it's something sweet.”
I constantly look around us, looking for any signs of a mare. She might be really shy and could be hiding like us, or heck, she might even chicken out and not show up at all. The wait is killing me, but it should be over soon. I mumble a response to Pinkie, “She asked if she should bring anything, and we said food that ponies would enjoy. It's probably going to be carrots or something.” I look around again, then pull out the walkie talkie that we had previously used in the book heist. “Forward post, we see nothing. You two see anything back there?”
Rarity’s voice comes through, “Not at all darling, just some wonderful birds.”
I smile as I hear her voice. Last night Rarity and I shared the bed again. Nothing serious, just cuddling and some kisses. It was a good night though, and I’m really looking forward to tonight.
Pinkie rocks back and forth “Oooo, I can't sit still! Starbreezer said she would have a yellow hat on, right?”
“Mmhmm.” I try to ignore my thoughts of Rarity and focus on the mission before us..
“Ooo, maybe that's her!” Pinkie points at a twenty-something aged man. He strolls down the path carrying a grocery bag and wearing a yellow hat.
I squint at him, “Nah, he’s just a passerby. We're looking for a mare, not a dude. Though wait, he's stopping... Hmm, he’s sitting at the bench where we told Starbreezer to meet us. It’s possible she asked him to scope out the area for her. She's probably close by.”
“Can we go say hi? He has a bag with him! I bet it has food!!”
I hold up a hoof to keep Pinkie still, I didn't want her to give away our position just yet. “Hold on Pinkie, I have her cell phone number. Let me text her and see if she replies.” I pull out my phone and send the message 'Hey, are you there yet?'.
“He's reaching into his pocket!” Pinkie exclaims in a hushed voice. I squint, and sure enough, the guy pulls out a phone and I see him type something. A second later my phone vibrates and a message appears, 'Yeah I got there a few min early'.
I sigh, “I don't like this, she said she would be alone, why send this guy ahead of her without telling us?”
“Oh come on, like you said, she's probably just as scared as us. You know... one of us is going to have to make the first move. And it’s not going to be Starbreezer, so it’s going to be either you or me.”
I nod slowly, “Yeah but--”
“DIBS!!” Pinkie leaps out of the bush and bounces towards the man.
No! I watch helplessly as she goes towards him by herself. The guy is typing something on his phone and doesn't see the pink mare bouncing towards him, but it's only a matter of time. My walkie talkie produces Rarity's voice, “Oh my god she just ran in.”
“Stick to the plan Shining, stick to the plan!” Twilight's voice commands.
“I’m going, I’m going!” I move out of the bushes and gallop after Pinkie.
I’m about 2/3 of the way to the strange man when he casually looks up to see Pinkie bouncing about five feet away from him. “Hi there mister, I’m Pinkie Pie!!”
“What the ffffuuuuu!” The man jumps out of his bench and falls backwards, screaming in shock.
I finally catch up to them and turn to the man, “You, man in yellow hat, where is Starbreezer? Are you her lookout?”
The man looks up at us, holding his chest, “What the fuck, how did you... oh my god, can you take me to Equestria!! Oh my god, this is happening right now isn’t it!!”
Pinkie bounces, “Hello! So like I was saying, my name is Pinkie Pie! And this is--”
I cut her off with a hoof and glare at the man, “Starbreezer. Where is she?”
The man takes a deep breath and slowly gets to his feet, never taking his eyes off the two of us. “What? That’s me, I’m Starbreezer. That’s my online handle.”
I throw my hooves up in the air, “What the crap? Starbreezer is a mare, she has dozens of posts talking about her hooves and tail and such. You’re clearly human.”
The man calms himself and walks forward, then carefully touches the side of Pinkie’s mane, grinning like an idiot as he does so. “Wow, so you get our internet in Equestria? Heh, well I can see the reason for your confusion. Here on Earth we have this thing called RP. See, in it we humans like to--”
I roll my eyes, “I know what RP is you spitwad. I just would have thought that if it was RP, then somewhere on your site you would have said as much. You wrote that whole thing as if you were really a mare. Misleading much?”
He starts to pet Pinkie in earnest, while she just stands there and smiles. He glances at me, “Hey man, that’s how RP works, you can’t break character. Besides, it should be obvious I wasn’t actually a mare. Come on, it’s not like an actual pony would...” He looks at us and bites his lip, “Right, nevermind. So anyway, can you take me with you?! Please!” He starts to grab at Pinkie with both hands, holding handfuls of her mane and smelling her fur.
I rub my face with my hoof, then magic out my walkie talkie. The guy squeals in excitement, presumably at seeing magic, but I ignore him completely and turn on the walkie. “Starbreezer isn’t a mare, it’s just some damn brony that has an RP account.” I swear, “Sorry gals, looks like we made this whole trip out here for nothing. Talk about a waste.”
Pinkie stares at the grocery bag, “Not entirely wasted! He brought food.” She jabs a hoof at him, “Give us the candy and no one gets hurt mister!”
The guy takes a step back, and nervously reaches for the bag, “It’s not candy, it’s just a few bags of apples and--”
I magic the bag away from him and drop them on my back. “Thanks. We’ll take these and be on our way. Sorry we can’t pay you for them, but knowing the type of fan you are, I guess seeing actual ponies should be payment enough. This meeting was all a big misunderstanding. Just go home and try to keep what you saw here to yourself.”
He runs up to me and puts a hand on my fur, petting my side, “Wait! Take me with you!”
I bare my teeth, and he steps back. “I’m not a pet, get your hands off me! And no, we can’t take you with us, sorry.”
“If I can’t come with you, then can you come with me? Just for a day? Please! I can give you all the apples you want! My friend and I are like, the biggest bronies in Seattle! I can even pay you, do you want money?”
I roll my eyes and keep trotting, Pinkie just tilts her head, “Money? How much are we talking here bucko?”
“PINKIE!” I bark.
She looks at me and shrugs, “What? Show up, get petted, make some G’s. It’s free money dude.”
The man nods excitedly, “Yes! It would be so much fun! Hey... Shining Armor? You’re him right? Anyway you don’t have to come if you don’t want to. Just let Pinkie--”
I roll my eyes, we don’t need this guy, this is taking too long, and we are far too exposed out here. Who knows what other people might walk through the park and see us out in the open. “Pinkie, we have more important things to worry about. Let’s go, now.”
She drops her ears, “Aww...”
I wave a hoof at the guy, “We're leaving. Nice meeting you, ‘Starbreezer’.” I shake my head as I turn and walk away. Starbreezer, what kind of guy RPs as a mare and pretends like he’s not even RP’ing!? Talk about confusing. I take a few more step then pause. Wait, where is Pinkie?
I turn back around, oh come on, I was walking for about ten seconds, and Pinkie is still talking to that creep? ”I SAID WE’RE LEAVING!” I yell as I focus my magic and levitate Pinkie through the air away from the brony.
The brony takes a step back in shock and Pinkie shoots through the air. “Weeee I’m flying!” Pinkie squeals as she sails over me. I drop her in the bushes where we started, then make my way over there.
“Shining.” Twilight speaks over the walkie. “Looks like he pulled out a cellphone, I think he’s trying to take a picture of you as you walk away.”
I sigh, then click the microphone, “Whatever, no one will believe him, it will look like a bad photoshop.”
“True enough.” She replies, “Rarity and I will meet you two back at the car.”
We pull into the parking lot and Rarity shuts off the engine. It was a short ride to the hotel, and while we were disappointed at being deceived, at least we had a bag of apples to munch on. God knows we certainly needed it. These last few days we have been living on stale crackers and expired ramen. At least Rarity’s parents were at the apartment tonight. They would probably leave some food behind when they left.
I glance around the parking lot, “This motel looks really sketchy.”
Rarity nods, “Yes, it is a little uncouth, but I picked it because it has a fully automated check in and check out station, which is great for us since we can’t really talk to humans.” Rarity looks around, ensuring there was no one else in the parking lot. “Okay, I got my debit card, I’ll go get the room keys.” She opens the car door and carefully trots to the automated room key vendor.
Pinkie raises an eyebrow, “Wait, so this is a fully automated motel with zero staff anywhere? Wow, that’s really sketchy, like, we’re talking Etch-A-Sketch levels of sketchy.”
I give Pinkie a confused look, then remember to just ignore her, “How many rooms are we getting?”
Twilight, keeping watch out the window, responds with a smirk, “Rarity told me we only needed three rooms.”
I feel myself blush slightly, “Ah yes. That’s probably because she’s, um, she’s always looking for a way to save money? That’s Rarity all right, the Element of... being fiscally conservative?”
Twilight chuckles, “Right, I’m sure that’s the reason brother. Looks like she’s coming back, everyone grab your bags and let’s head to our rooms.”
We put our overnight bags onto our backs and step onto the parking lot where Rarity gives each of us a room keycard. I tuck mine in my bag and join the others in trotting across the parking lot. Good thing it’s getting dark out, four ponies walking across a parking lot would draw some serious attention otherwise. It is, what, 8pm or so? I smile, well, that leaves a lot of a time for Rarity and I to have some fun in privacy. We have a good four hours before we actually have to sleep. Yes, this is going to be one hell of a night.
The mare of my affection stops trotting, I stop as well and she looks at me. “Oh, did I lock the car? I always forget these things.” She glances over at me, “Shining, can you go back and make sure the car is locked? I'll just meet you in the room.”
She gives me a coy grin, then magics the car keys over to me. I catch them with my own magic, “Of course. Oh, but wait, what room are we?”
“The room numbers are on the keycards darling. Oh, and if you get lost, you can use this.” Rarity sends a folded piece of paper, probably a map of the hotel, over to my bag and slips in the pocket. I nod, “Sounds good Rarity, I’ll see you in a minute Rarity. Get the bed warm.”
She grins, “It will be.”
I trot away from her and get to the car, sure enough it was left open. I lock it and make my way back to the staircase leading to the rooms, being careful to ensure no humans are around. I magic out my keycard and look at the room number: 1142. I trot down the hall until I find the room, then slide in the key and open the door. I grin as I push open the door and--
“Hey Shining? What are you doing here?” Pinkie looks up at me from the bed. She appeared to be out of breath and I was scared to ask why.
“Sorry Pinkie, I went to the wrong room. Didn’t mean to... interrupt you.”
She smiles “Oh no need to apologize, I was actually just thinking of you." I wince, I’m pretty sure I didn’t need to know that fact. Pinkie smiles at me, “Anyway, you’re welcome to stay the night if you want. My old ‘offer’ still stands.”
I back out of the doorway, “Yeah, thanks but no thanks Pinkie, I have Rarity is waiting for me. I just think I opened the wrong... door?” I glance at the keycard, then at the room number. They both say 1142. The heck is going on here? I look back at Pinkie, “I have the wrong room key... do you know which room Rarity is in?”
Pinkie shakes her head slowly, “Heck if I know, she isn’t even on this floor! Neither is Twilight, we all took separate staircases.”
I swallow hard and glance around at the rows and rows of endless doors of the hotel. Uh oh, where the heck is my room? Without the room number, I’m totally lost. I would have to sleep in this room tonight since it’s the only one I can find. That would be, oh god, spending the night with Pinkie!? No, I can’t let that happen, think of Rarity! Actually, hold on a second, Rarity gave me a map didn’t she? That probably has our rooms on it! I step into Pinkie’s room and close the door behind me so I can sort through my bags in the light of the room.
Pinkie claps her hooves, “Oh, you are going to spend the night with me?! Oh my gosh, this is going to be the most incredible, amazing, mind blowing--”
“No, no, I don’t mean to confuse you Pinkie, I’m just in here so I can find a map that Rarity gave me. Ah ha, here it is!” I pull out the paper and unfold it. Wait a second, this isn’t a map, it’s a note?
Dear Shining Armor,
Sorry for tricking you like this, but I know you would have never taken this offer had I just asked you about it. I do have feelings for you darling, and I want us to tending to our relationship... But I just feel so bad for keeping you away from Pinkie. I know how much you probably want her, and at the same time it’s selfish of me to claim the only stallion Pinkie will probably ever see. So for both of your sakes, you have tonight. Do what you want Shining, you have my full permission.
Forever and Always,
I stare at the card, unsure what emotion to think. Did Rarity really think I wanted Pinkie? No, no, I really don't!
“What’s the letter say?” Pinkie asks, and I look up to see her laying on the bed.
I lick my lips, “It’s uh...”
She leans forward and gives me a cute smile, “It’s what?”
My heart skips a beat, “Buck...”