Six Followed by Nine

by TGM


“And so, as you can see,” Twilight Sparkle hastily scribbled down a mathematical equation on the blackboard in front of her. “if we subtract the two, and carry the one, what do we get?”

Spike was staring at the blackboard from his desk, eyes staring off into space to look at some nonexistent thing. “Does it matter?”

Twilight levitated the chalk away from the blackboard and turned to look at him, eyes narrowing and wings ruffled. “Of course it matters!” She tapped the equation on the blackboard with her chalk. “This is basic math, Spike! Ever since I stopped giving you homeschooling lessons in Canterlot, you’ve done nothing to further your education on your own! And since the schools around here don’t allow dragons to enroll, it’s important you get the basics at the very least!”

Spike huffed, a spout of green flame leaving his nostrils. Twilight took it as a prompt to continue and tapped the blackboard again. “Now, like I said before, what do we get?”

“Two hundred and sixty nine.” Twilight ignored his monotone voice.

“Right, and two hundred sixty-nine minus two hundred isssssss….?” Twilight turned to look at him, smile wide and eyes sparkling. He was finally learning! He was going to figure it out all on his own!

Spike’s eyes widened suddenly, and he hid his mouth behind a claw and began to giggle behind it. “Sixty...heh...sixty-nine! Hahahahaha!” Spike fell out of his chair, his legs kicking in the air as a confused Twilight Sparkle simply cocked an eyebrow.

“What’s so funny?”

Spike scrambled to his feet, eyes wide. “ don’t know?” Twilight slowly shook her head, eying the dragon with a hint of skepticism. “Pffft! That’s—!” He collapsed again. “Even funnier! Hahahahaha!”

“Spike.” Twilight poked him with the chalk. “Spike!” The dragon didn’t seem to hear her, tears were quickly welling up in his eyes as he struggled to get ahold of his laughter. Twilight frowned, wondering what made the dragon laugh so hard. “All we said was sixty-nine…what’s so funny about that?” She set the chalk down. “Maybe I’ll go look it up in one of my boo— ...oh.” Her ears flattened against her head as she remembered the violent explosion that had ended her former home, as well as annihilated all the books she’d collected. “Right.” She gave Spike one last glance before making her way for the staircase. “Well, let’s see if any of my friends know what it means…”

A short trot down the streets of Ponyville later, Twilight entered Carousel Boutique. “Rarity? Are you around?”

“In here, Darling!” The singsong voice of the fashionista mare called from the next room. Twilight poked her head in the room, noticing two ponies waiting at a counter as Rarity feverishly worked to sew something together.

“Ah, Rarity! There you are!” Twilight quickly trotted up to the side of the counter. “I was hoping you could answer a question for me.”

“Oh yes of course dear, just let me finish up this orde—”

“What’s so funny about the number sixty nine?” Rarity blanched, and stumbled a bit. She lost the grip on the fabric she was sewing, and the machine went wild as the fabric was torn violently in two. Thankfully, they didn’t seem to notice, as they were too busy staring at the Princess with their mouths agape to notice.

“W-what?!” Rarity managed to stutter out, blinking rapidly.

“Well I was teaching Spike a lesson earlier today, and as we were going over some of our techniques the number sixty-nine was brought up.” The two mares gasped as Rarity somehow managed to tear the fabric she was holding again, this time it floated and landed atop one of her customer’s heads.


“Yeah, I was just as confused. Then he lost control of himself and started laughing, and I didn't know why. I couldn't just bend over and take it without knowing what was so funny, so I decided to ask my friends what it might mean.”

The room had gotten noticeably hotter as all the mares in the room save for Twilight were burning red with embarrassment. Finally, Rarity snapped to her senses and began pushing Twilight to the door. “T-Twilight, you need to go.”

“What?! But Rarity, I haven’t figured out how significant a sixty-nine is yet!”

“Oh! My dress!” The mare from the counter finally seemed to realize that her dress had been systematically destroyed.

“I don’t have time for this right now,” Rarity grumbled as she pushed Twilight out the door.

“Rarity, now that’s not being a very considerate friend! I will not stop until I reach a climax to this issue!” With another burning red glare from the alabaster unicorn, Twilight found the door promptly slammed in her face. Twilight blinked, confused at Rarity’s sudden and harsh reaction before finally moving on. “What got her so uptight, I wonder?”

Twilight decided to go see Pinkie Pie next. Surely her pink friend who was always willing to help anypony could help her out of her perilous predicament. On the way there, she decided to try and ask as many ponies as she could about her question, but to her annoyance most of the ponies she asked about it seemed to go red in the face before insisting they had to be elsewhere and running off. The only one who didn't was the local dentist mare, Colgate. Colgate wiggled her eyebrows, gave her a piece of paper with an address on it and ran off, giggling. Weird.

Twilight eventually made her way over to Sugarcube Corner, which was in the depth of its morning rush. She was able to locate Pinkie Pie relatively easily, she seemed to be playing waitress for the day. She bounced from table to table, carrying various pastries in her hooves that the Cakes placed on the counter. “Pinkie!” Twilight waved to her friend, who only spared her a glance.

“Oh!” Pinkie darted to the counter and over to another table, where a grey coated earth pony and a white unicorn with an electric blue mane were sharing a shake. “Hey!” She darted back to the counter and over to another table where the ponies she recognized as Lyra and Bon Bon were sitting, Lyra in her usual strange fashion and Bon Bon just glaring at her. “Twilight!” Pinkie stopped just in front of Twilight, bouncing in place. “I’m kinda busy today, can it wait till after my shift?”

“It’s okay, Pinkie, just a small question.”

“Oh in that case,” Pinkie rushed back to the counter, bouncing over to another table, this one with a yellow coated mare with long, braided red hair and a blue coated mare with a purple mane sitting across from her. “What is it?”

“What’s so funny about the number sixty-nine?”

Pinkie froze in mid-bounce, dropping the food in her hooves to the floor with a clatter. Several of the customers froze as well, their gazes lingering on the purple alicorn. Pinkie rubbed out one of her ears with a hoof, then blinked. “S-sorry Twilight, could you say that again?”

Twilight rolled her eyes. “Well, it’s just that I was practicing some techniques with Spike earlier today, the number sixty-nine came up.”

Several ponies gasped, other scrunched their muzzles up in disgust. She heard a few whispers, saying things like “She did that with a baby dragon?”

“Oh my…”

“I like her!” The latter was followed by a swift smacking sound, originating from the table with the grey earth pony and the white unicorn.

Pinkie’s eyes darted around nervously. “U-uh, Twilight maybe now isn't the best time…”

“I mean, really,” Twilight continued, the pink pony’s pleas going unheeded, “all I want is some relief. I went to Rarity’s to see if she could help me, but she was already trying to help two other mares and was pretty busy.”

This statement was followed by a retching sound from several tables, as some ponies got up and began to trot out the door.

“Well, there goes my appetite…”

“Of all of the worst times to talk about something inappropriate, I never!”

“Aw, do we really have to go? I wanted to hear what happened next!”

“What in the name of Celestia is going on out here?” Mrs. Cake emerged from the kitchen, glancing about in irritation. Upon seeing her customers steadily filing out the door, her irritation turned to panic. “Wait! Whatever is the matter?”

A brown earth pony stallion looked back at her with a frown. “Why don’t you ask her?” The pony pointed a hoof at Princess Twilight before stomping out of the bakery. Mrs. Cake frowned, turning to look at Twilight and Pinkie. Pinkie’s mane had deflated as she looked back at Mrs. Cake with a helpless expression, though Twilight seemed oblivious to the entire thing.

“— that was after she used the sewing needle. I didn't even get to the part when she ripped the dress.”

Mrs. Cake trotted up to the two, frowning deeply. “Your highness, I’m afraid I must ask you to leave. You're driving away all of our customers.”

Twilight turned to face Mrs. Cake, her face contorted and her eye twitching slightly. “Why won’t anypony just come out with the truth! What does sixty-nine mean?!” Mrs. Cake’s face went beet red.

“Your highness, please…” She glanced around.

Twilight let out an aggravated groan and stormed out of the bakery, which quickly shut behind her. She might as well go see if Applejack would know anything while she was out here…

Ponyville was much emptier than the last time Twilight had walked through, though she still caught the occasional glimpse of a pony’s tail going around a corner, or a set of eyes dart under a window ledge right before it slammed closed. They were all being fairly unreasonable, even more so than usual.

The route to Sweet Apple Acres was a fairly straightforward one. Twilight was still lost in her thoughts by the time she realized she was even there. Luckily, Applejack was still out in the fields. Apple Bloom was standing below the tree she was bucking, a basket balanced on top of her head. Big Mac wasn't far off, doing some apple bucking of his own. Twilight smiled and trotted up to the trio. Applejack was an honest and trustworthy pony—surely she'd tell Twilight the answers she sought.

“Hi Applejack!” Twilight greeted her friend, who removed her stetson and waved.

“Heya. Twi. Come to ‘git a break from all that studyin’?”

“Not exactly. I was actually hoping you could answer a question for me. Everypony else in town seems to not want to answer at all.”

“Lay it on me, Twi. Ah’ll do what ah can.” She reared up her hind legs in preparation for another buck.

“What’s so funny about the number sixty-nine?”

Applejack’s eyes widened and she missed her target, instead bucking straight into the basket on top of Apple Bloom’s head. The apples went flying from the basket, sailing straight and true over the tops of the trees before smashing straight through the windows of the Apple Family’s home. Granny Smith emerged from a broken window and shook her hoof in the air. “Ye darn kids! I’ll git ya’ll yet!”

Applejack cringed before shaking her head, looking back at Twilight. “Ah’m sorry Twi...I think I mighta misheard ya...did ya'll say…”

“Sixty. Nine.” Twilight’s hoof ground into the dirt, as she huffed. “The answer’s been teasing me all day! I feel like I’m right on the verge of finishing this predicament, but all of our friends so far haven’t been much help! In fact, they seemed to make it a whole lot worse! Pinkie didn't even last a minute before Mrs. Cake told me to get out!” A loud thump could be heard behind them, and they turned to find a bucket of apples at Big Mac’s feet, his mouth hanging wide open as he stared at the two of them. If he had wings, they’d probably be spread wide open right about now.

“What’s Twilight talkin’ about, sis?” Apple Bloom cocked her head to the side. Applejack just laughed nervously.

“Hehe, why don’t ya’ll go help your big brother lil’ sis? I gotta talk to Twilight for a minute…” Apple Bloom did as she was told, but had to wave a hoof in front of Big Mac’s face a bit to snap him out of his trance-like state. After the two had walked off, Applejack removed her stetson and stared at Twilight.

“Twilight...ya’ll can’t just go around saying things like that to friends and family! It’ ain’t right.”

Twilight stamped a hoof. “Can you at least tell me why?! I’ve been asking around town all day and nopony will tell me!”

“You’ve been...oh for the love of Celestia…” Applejack pulled her stetson down over her face for a minute, before releasing a deep sigh. “Look Twilight, ah’d love to answer yer questions but ah got a lot of buckin’ to do…” her face went beet red for a moment. “Why don’t you uh…” Applejack glanced around, then noticed a cyan and rainbow blur heading straight for the two of them.

“Why don’t you...ask Rainbow Dash! Yep, ah’m sure she’d know!” with that, Applejack quickly began to rapidly assault a nearby tree with her rear hooves, despite the tree having seemingly lost all of its apples.

Twilight rolled her eyes before looking up into a nearby tree, where Rainbow Dash was perched.

“What’s up Twi? Haven’t seen you in a while.”

“Hi Rainbow Dash.” Well, Rainbow Dash seems to know a lot about other ponies in town, maybe she’ll know something about why everypony’s being so weird about it? Twilight reasoned in her head before looking back up at her friend. “Rainbow, can I ask you a question?”

Rwinbow Dash began to preen her feathers. “Sure, go ahead.”

“What’s so important about the number sixty-nine?”

Immediately, Rainbow Dash yanked hard on her feathers, pulling several out with a loud “Yow!” Rainbow blinked a few times before staring down at Twilight. “Oh… see…” Rainbow glanced around nervously. “I uh...Applejack needs help with Applebucking! You should go ask Fluttershy!”

“After all those times you’ve dozed off in my orchard, you honestly think ah’d allow you to—” Applejack was cut off as Rainbow Dash quickly rammed her to the side, and rapidly began to kick the dead tree with her hind hooves as well.

Twilight ran a hoof down her face and glared at the two. “Fine! You two have fun bucking, then!” Twilight flicked her tail angrily as she trotted off, leaving Rainbow Dash and Applejack looking beet red.

“What’s this I hear about you two bucking?” Granny Smith lumbered over towards the two, having been just out of earshot of Twilight’s statement.

Applejack paled. “No, Granny, it’s not what you think!”

“Nonsense! I’m still hip enough to know what that term sixty-nine means, and I heard that you and yer friend here are ‘bucking partners’ now. Ah suppose it’s time ah tell ya’ll about how the birds and the bees work.” Applejack pulled her hat over her face to hide her embarrassment while Rainbow Dash shifted around uncomfortably.

Twilight trotted up the path to Fluttershy’s cottage, birds and other small animals darting out of her way as she did. “Lousy, good for nothing friends…” She mumbled. This was her last chance, Fluttershy was the kindest, sweetest pony she knew. Surely she’d have some answers. Twilight carefully rose a hoof and knocked on Fluttershy’s door.

Slowly, the door opened, and Fluttershy poked her head out. “Oh. Hi Twilight.” She opened the door fully, cocking her head to the side. “Is something wrong?”

“Yes!” Twilight flailed her hooves in the air. “I was teaching Spike math this morning and we came up with the solution number sixty-nine! He started laughing and wouldn't tell me why! I went to Rarity’s but she kicked me out, so did Mrs. Cake and Applejack and Rainbow Dash are too busy bucking to help me reach a climax to this mystery!” Fluttershy’s face was noticeably red. “So, please Fluttershy, you're my last chance. Can you please, please tell me what's so funny about the number sixty-nine?”

“…” Fluttershy looked off to the side, hiding her face behind her mane. “...You know Twilight, I could just show you...if that’s okay with you?”

“Show me? Well, I mean, sure, but what does that even mea—” Twilight was quickly jerked inside Fluttershy’s house, and the door slammed closed behind her.

~Thirty seconds and one unsatisfied yellow pegasus later~

Twilight laid on Fluttershy’s bed, staring at the ceiling. Her wings were fully extended on either side of her body, and her mane was disheveled and stuck up in random places. Fluttershy was rolled to the side, her back to the purple Alicorn as she grumbled to herself. Twilight took a deep breath and spoke, “...Oh. So that’s what it meant.”