by BG (Mr. Blue)
== She Likes Cloth: Chapter III, "PXS" ==
“No, it’s not working. Try it without the hat.”
“I think the hat looks cute, don’t listen to her Casey, keep it on.”
I didn’t like the dress either way. The hat didn’t even factor in. Why are all the prettiest clothes so uncomfortable? Humans had a lot of clothes and wore them all the time, they couldn’t all be this bad right?
“I like the hat but not the dress. Can I just have the hat?”
Strawberry took on a serious tone. “If you want to be taken seriously in this world hon you need to at least be comfortable wearing casual clothes.”
Comfort is the problem Strawberry.
I pulled off the dress in front of them and they both cringed a little. Why are humans so weird? And yes, Berry counts as a human in this case. It’s not like I was wearing anything before, but they insist on making me go into that little closet room to change.
“Not entirely sure on your philosophy Jam,” Strawberry’s human friend Emily said, “but I can’t argue with clothes shopping. So I’ll just pretend I agree.”
I looked at the hooded jacket Emily was wearing. That looked much more comfortable.
“Do they make anything like that in pony sizes?” I gestured with my hoof.
“Sure,” Emily said, “I think they’re over this way”
She lead us through the maze of clothes, further from where they kept the dresses Strawberry liked. I saw more comfortable looking human clothes where she brought us. She found a rack with the magenta “Mares” sign that this store used to distinguish pony clothes. Strawberry had told me that some stores had the pony sizes all in one section, but that usually meant they didn't have much of it. That would have made it easier though. If we hadn't had a tall human with us to see over the racks I don’t know how we would have found anything. At least the pony clothes racks weren't so tall, but that was mostly because the clothes on them were smaller anyway.
“Ooh, I love the colors on this sweater!” I said half fluttering over to it. It was so very blue. I knew a pony that was that color once. He was nice.
But I never knew a pony who was that soft before! How did they make the cotton here so fluffy? I could just rub my face in it all day.
“PC, stop rubbing your face on all the clothes!”
“But it’s sooooo soft, Strawberry.” I whined.
“Oh, is that what your cutie mark means?” Emily laughed.
I blushed with embarrassment and stopped. But then I felt wrong. It was so soft! I needed to wear it!
“No you don’t want that one,” Strawberry says as I hook my roof around the hanger.
“Because it’s way too big for you, and it doesn't have wing holes.”
“I always think it’s weird how they organize some of these racks.” Emily mused, rummaging through the clothes higher up. She stood on the tips of her shoes to reach and pulled something down. “Have you ever noticed it Jam? Whenever they get the chance they put the pegasus stuff on the higher shelves.”
“Yeah, it’s not like we can fly up there with their ‘no flying in the store’ signs all over the place.” Seriously, those signs were getting annoying. And apparently there were altitude limits too depending on where you lived. So I wouldn't get to fly around those tall buildings without a special license or something, and you needed to live here to get one.
Though Emily said there’s less human sky traffic in a lot of places now anyway with pegasus powered carriages and stuff becoming popular. Which is sad because I wanted to see a helicopter. They sound really cool. Even with the spinning blades of death.
She also said getting a job as a pegasus on earth is even easier than for unicorns. Even with most of the weather being “untamable”. It was all about being able to deliver small amounts of stuff short distances, faster and more direct than other human transportation could, and without using gasoline or anything like most cars did.
I don’t think I could ever do that though. I’m too small for a one pony cart and I’m always the weak link on the team pulls. I’d hate to be a delivery mare but I don’t know what else I could do here. I was asking Emily and Berry about it on the way over. Emily seemed to know more somehow. I think she mentioned some pegasus friend of hers. I hope she didn't mean coltfriend... Except I’m not judgmental! Stop being judgmental Pillow Case! You’re a terrible friend! Ponies can be with whoever they want! You've been alone since graduation. Stop judging others!
Oh Celestia, I've been alone since graduation...
“Try this one on Casey. It looks about your size. A ‘pXS’?”
Pegasus, Extra Small, with fries. That’s me.
“Yes. Aww, what pretty stripes.” I took the sweater from Emily and it instantly became fused to me face.
“Casey, are you ok?”
“Yes.” I squeaked, my voice muffled in the fabric.
“Why don’t you, you know, try it on..? Or at least stop breathing into it please”
“Sorry Berry.” I mumbled, “It’s just so very soft.”
I hugged it one more time before putting it over my head. Once my hooves were through the sleeves and my wings found the holes I began hugging myself instead.
So. Very. Soft!
I squee’d with joy and Emily started laughing along.
Strawberry rolled her eyes and smiled. “What am I gonna do with you Casey.”
“Lend me some more American bits to buy this. I still need to get what I brought exchanged.”
“They’re called Dollars. Bits are just Equestrian currency, no other country uses that.”
Always lecturing ponies Berry, lighten up. Wear more comfortable clothes instead of itchy dresses! I need more clothes now.
Emily pulled down something else from the out of reach rack. “Why don’t I ever see anything like this in human sizes?” It was similar to the hooded jacket she had on except without any sleeves.
Maybe because you don’t have fur on your arms? Or do you? I swear I saw a human with fur on his arms. There wasn't much but I thought they were supposed to be balder than that.
“Is it my size at least?” I asked
She checked the tag. “No but I think there might be another one that is. Hold on.”
Her fingers had trouble grabbing the edge of the hanger.
She’s wasn't very tall compared to most other humans I’d seen. I think she’d actually be just as big as me if she were a pony. Or maybe if I walked like a human. The thought made me feel more comfortable around her.
Even if I might maybe be sort of, a little bit, maybe, still, kinda, afraid a human will eat me…
I blame you granny. You crazy old mare.
“It might be a little loose but I think this one will fit fine.”
I took the weird hooded vest from her. It was such a small silly looking thing. Not as soft as the thin sweater but still a nice cotton.
I pulled it on over my head and put my limbs through the appropriate holes. I think I meant to take off the sweater first but I decided to pretend I didn't. It was half a size too big so it actually fit better that way. I tried out the hood and played around with the drawstrings.
“Why don’t they make these in Equestria,” I said, “They would be perfect for flying.”
And it’s so soft and warm...
“Casey, are you ok in there?”
“Yes, but I’m never coming out. You can’t make me.”
Emily laughed and Strawberry sighed dramatically.
“Come on Jam. You’re the same about those dresses. Casey just has a softer side. You should get something like that, maybe show off that cutie mark for once.” Emily lowered her voice a little, “And I bet Michael would like it if you showed a little more tail too.”
I was so glad they couldn't see me blushing inside the hood. Though I bet Strawberry was much more red, if that’s even possible for her.
She’s sort of already really red.
“You know how I feel about... that, Emily.”
“Sorry Jam, I think you worry too much though. I don’t know many ponies who worry about clothes as much as you, but that’s part of what I like about you.”
I pulled the hood down. “So can I get these then? Are we done looking at clothes because I know what I want now.”
Strawberry Jam smiled smugly. “Oh we've barely even started Pillow! We still have more shopping to do before you’re ready for life on earth.”
I guess that’s not too bad. I only had one condition. “Okay but I’m not taking these off.”
She and Emily both started giggling together.
“Fine then!” Berry said, “Let’s go look at socks!”
* * * * *
“Don’t act so disappointed Casey, I was only messing with you. I didn't think you’d actually ‘like’ looking at socks. I didn’t know you were like ‘that’.”
“I’m not! I am not Strawberry! ...They’re just so—”
“Yeah, we know Pillow.” Emily giggled. “The cutie marks says it all.”
“It’s not like I’d wear those things in public anyway. I just like human made fabrics.” I’m no ‘tail lifter’. Unlike some ponies in my family. Stupid cousin Cross Stitch. Slut. What did he even see in her anyway... Beside, socks wouldn't look nearly so provocative with something like that dress Strawberry was wearing. They’re only slutty if that’s all you’re wearing. That’s what Stitch always said at least. Gah! No, no more thinking about her. She makes me feel so mad I could just... I don’t know what, but it wouldn't be very nice. It would be mean.
We finished browsing through clothes and moved on to the checkout line. Strawberry said not to worry about paying her back when I got my bits exchanged for American money. It was really nice of her. Ugh! That checkout line! It looked so short with only humans waiting in it, but you can fit so many humans in one space. That many ponies in a line would have already stretched halfway across the store. It took forever! Then we had to go outside to the parking lot again.
They kept telling me not to be afraid because the cars had to stop at the crosswalk in front of the doors no matter what. I must have looked a lot more nervous than I was. But those things are scary when they’re moving! They just growl like some kind of monster and they could trample a pony easily, even at their slower speeds. Riding in them isn't so bad though. They can move super fast but aren't stuck on a track or anything. I liked Emily’s car, it was a lot smaller than any others I've seen, and such a pretty light blue color too.
Strawberry had been telling me on the ride over about all the complicated rules they made so the cars can move so fast without crashing. They stay in nice neat lanes, flash some lights to move to other lanes or turn, there were signs everywhere saying so many things that you had to obey, and there were the red lights that turned on when you had to wait your turn so others could drive in front of you.
There’s so much, I don’t think I could ever learn enough to drive myself. Strawberry said very few ponies drive anyway, especially in the city, and especially pegasi.
The three of us got into Emily’s car again. Berry opened the door for me because I couldn't figure out how. How was I supposed to know that you needed to lift that tiny metal handle with your hoof? I guess it makes more sense for human hands. The same goes for the seatbelts. They are so uncomfortable, but Emily said she’d have to pay a fine if anyone in her car didn't have one. How would they even know that anyway?
As soon as I was inside I dug through the plastic bags for me new sweater and hoodie. I had to take them off so we could buy them but it was a little chilly out so I didn't need an excuse to put them on again. I tore the tags off with my teeth and pulled them on.
Much better. I felt almost safer with them on. I don’t know why. It’s probably some psychological thing. Like that blanket I carried everywhere when I was a little filly. Whatever happened to Blankey? I bet mom threw her away. She always complained about me dragging the thing across the ground.
I leaned back into the seat and hugged my forelegs again. So soft
“So where are we going now?” I asked.
“Well Emily has plans later” Berry said, “so she can’t drive us around all day. I was planning on keeping things simple for today if that’s fine. I was thinking we’d go out to eat and then head back to my place.”
Berry looked back at me for confirmation and I just nodded. I was already feeling overwhelmed just watching everything fly by the window of the car. I’d also forgotten about my lunch back at the station. I just left it there when I saw Strawberry.
“So what were you thinking then?” Emily asked.
“How about that vegan place Becki’s been talking about?”
“Yeah, she took me there. It’s alright I guess. Their only selling point is ‘being vegan’ though. They’re really sort of bland.”
“I guess I should have assumed that with Becki. I was just worried about Casey.” She looked back at me.
“I’m used to it but I’m not sure how you are around the smell of meat. I've known some ponies to be a little too touchy about it, and this is your first day here.”
“Oh. Umm. I guess I’ll be fine.” Just as long as I don’t have to eat any, I didn't say. I don’t know if I was being a pushover or if I was actually ok with it.
Hey! I already decided I wouldn't judge anypo-anyone. If humans have an... interesting diet then that's fine! They don’t eat hay right? I bet they’d feel just as weird being in an Equestrian restaurant.
Except hay isn't part of an animal...
No. I can handle it. I've got my new security sweater to keep me safe right? I had Blankey to hide from the monster humans under my bed as a filly. This was just like that except they’re not really monsters anymore. Because that was racist Granny. Shame on you. You shouldn't tell those horrible stories to impressionable little pagasus fillies who are afraid of the dark.
“So how does Chinese sound?” Strawberry asked, looking back and forth between the two of us.
Emily just shruged.
I had no idea what that was. It might be good if Berry likes it. I was in the mood for something else though.
“Um, would it be fine if we got some pizza?” I read a thing about Chicago when I was trying to decide on coming here. It said something about pizza I think. No wait, was that another city? I don’t know. They all sound the same sometimes.
“Really? Pizza?” Berry looked at my skeptically.
What? It’s not like they can put meat on something as good as pizza right?
“Actually I’m feeling in the mood for pizza too.” Emily says.
“You sure that’s what you want Casey?” Berry asked.
“Yeah. I like pizza.”
“Alright then. Pizza it is. You know is area better than me Em, but pick something pony friendly.”
“There are places that aren't friendly to ponies?”
“What? No, well yes, I mean,” Berry facehoofed and turned to look at me. “I meant with a pony friendly ‘menu’ Casey, I don’t know any pizza places that hate ponies. A lot of them love hiring pegasi for deliveries. There are people that don’t like ponies, just like how there are ponies that don’t like humans, but most of both are very friendly together. So don’t worry about it, alright?”
“And some ponies and humans,” Emily said flashing Strawberry a sinister grin, “are a little more ‘friendly’ together than others.”
I tried not to giggle. I’m not sure if I should have laughed at that, but it was funny.
Berry’s getting all flustered now. Awww. How does she even get more red than that anyway? That just made me laugh harder.
“Not you too Pillow.” Strawberry said sounding wounded.
“She’s right Casey, you shouldn't laugh at ponies just because they keep their roommates up all night shouting their boyfriend’s name.”
“ALRIGHT THAT’S-that’s quite enough.” Strawberry’s voice gets really high when she’s upset.
I giggles some more for that. Wait. Why was she shouting his na-OMIGOSH TOO MUCH INFORMATION EMILY! Sweet Celestia I need some brain bleach or something. Bad thoughts! Bad thoughts! Not That There Is Anything Bad, Wrong, Or Immoral About What Two Sentient Adults Of Any Race Or Species Do Together In The Privacy Of Their Homes Of Their Own Volition. Or Even Showing A Small Amount Of Affection In Public As Any More ‘Traditional' Couple Would.
Nice save there Pillow Case. Nice save. Fight that racism.
I thumped my head lightly against the glass window and stared outside as the alien city sped on by.