Connor was half asleep in bed as the warmth and glow of Celestia's sun shone into the bedroom. The comfyness of the bed, the softness of the quilt and the warmth of the sun made Connor feel like a toasty Cinnamon bun. He could have stayed there for ages. He layed there for a few minutes more, awake but eyes closed, when he felt something poking him.
The unknown intruder poked him again.
Connor grunted louder, "Go away, sleeping."
The intruder poked even harder several more times, "Come on sleepy head get up."
Connor turned to face whoever was foolish enough to disturb his lay in.
"Good morning sleepy head," said a energetic Spitfire with a huge smile.
"What time is it?" asked a rather groggy Connor.
Connor scowled at Spitfire, "Goodnight," he said and went back under the quilt.
Spitfire narrowed her eyes, "Come on get up. I'm not going on this date by myself," she poked him again.
Connor groaned again, "OK OK I'm getting up."
"Great. Now hurry up, breakfast is ready."
Spitfire walked out of the room as Connor got out of bed and followed.
The two made their way to the kitchen. As they did Connor couldn't help but watch Spitfire's tail swishing from one side to the other, it was almost hypnotic.
Stop looking at her tail you pervert, why are you looking at it anyway?
Connor was knocked out of his trance when he walked into the door jamb.
"SON OF A-"
"Connor!" shouted Spitfire, "Are you OK?"
Connor rubbed his forehead and groaned, "Yeah I'm fine. Come on let's get breakfast."
He and Spitfire walked into the kitchen and sat themselves down. Twilight had prepared a breakfast including toast, croissants, eggs, strawberry jam, peanut butter, bagels, tea, coffee, orange juice; Twilight really went out of her way to do this.
"This is quite a spread here Twilight," said Connor, "Fit for a King."
Spitfire and Twilight raised their eyebrows and looked at Connor quizzically.
Noticing their looks he spoke up, "It's an expression. The country I'm from has a monarchy and many centuries ago Kings would often have large feasts so that's probably where the saying comes from."
"Your nation has a monarchy?" asked Twilight.
"Yes. The current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II. She's been reigning just over 60 years."
"Is she a good ruler?" asked Twilight.
"Yes. Though she doesn't rule in the same way Princess Celestia does. My nation's monarchy is a Parliamentary Constituency Monarchy. She reigns but doesn't govern. Instead the populace elect who they want to represent them in the Houses of Parliament, the legislative assembly of the United Kingdom. The Houses of Parliament reside in the Palace of Westminster and are separated into the Lower and Upper Houses, the House of Commons and the House of Lords respectively. The Lords are unelected and when I left had around 800 seats though the number isn't set, whereas the House of Commons has a set 650 seats in which you have to be elected to represent a constituency."
Twilight and Spitfire listened with keen interest, Twilight unsurprisingly writing everything down.
"How are they elected?" asked Spitfire.
"During a General Election which is usually every five years, sometimes during a by-election. To win a General Election you need to win 326 seats to gain an overall majority so passing and repealing laws can be made easier. If you have fewer than 326 seats then the election results in hung parliament in which no one party has control of the Commons."
"What happens if that happens?" asked Twilight.
"If you had the highest number of seats you could form a minority government but to pass laws you would need to rely on support from other political parties. Another option is to do what happened during the last hung parliament that occurred five years ago. The winning party, the Conservatives, formed a coalition government with the third largest party, the Liberal Democrats which allowed them to form a majority government."
"That sounds reasonable. Did it work out?" asked Twilight.
"Well it lasted until the most recent General Election which happened a few weeks ago. The Conservatives won unfortunately."
"Are these Conservatives bad?"
Connor thought for a moment, "Imagine if instead if one Blueblood, you had hundreds of them."
Twilight and Spitfire both looked mortified, "Are they really that bad?" asked Twilight.
Connor nodded, "Those Plutarchs care only for the rich. They give the rich tax breaks and other incentives while increasing taxes on poorer families and generally making it harder for less well off families to make a living. One of them who overseas the Department of Work and Pensions, is absolutely despised by millions whose decisions have had a devastating effect on peoples lives. In some cases death."
Twilight and Spitfire both had tears in the eyes, "No wonder you don't want to go back," said Spitfire wiping the tears from her eyes.
Connor went up to Spitfire and put his arm around her consolingly, "Don't let those Tory bastards dim your view of humanity. Yes we've done horrible things in the past, but we've also done great things such as wiping out a horrendous disease called Smallpox over thirty years ago. Another thing we did was land a man on the moon a mere eight years after saying we'd do it."
"I remember you saying something about these moon landings," said Spitfire.
"I'll tell you about them when we're next with Luna."
"Are you going to tell me as well?" asked Twilight on the verge of tears, terrified Connor wouldn't tell her about the Apollo missions.
"Of course I will I wouldn't-"
Connor was cut off as a purple unicorn suddenly piledrived into Connor hugging him tightly, "Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou."
"I take it that pleases you?" asked Connor.
Twilight nodded vigorously and clapped her hooves together.
The trio finished their breakfast when Connor noticed an absentee, "Where's Spike?"
"He helping Rarity with something," replied Twilight.
Twilight and Spitfire looked to each other, something Connor didn't miss, "What's going on?"
"Nothing," said Spitfire, "Just friends helping each other out."
Connor decided it was still to early to decipher that cryptic response so he just finished his breakfast.
After the trio had finished their breakfast Twilight went into her laboratory and while Connor and Spitfire went out into Ponyville. Connor was wearing some of the clothes Rarity had made, blue jeans, dark red shirt and black shoes. He wasn't sure what the shoes were made from though, it didn't feel like leather but Connor wasn't a cobbler or fashionista.
"We're we headed to first?" asked Spitfire.
"Why not head over to Sweet Apple Acres, stretch our legs a little?" suggested Connor.
"Sounds good to me," replied Spitfire, "It's a shame you don't have wings or we could fly there."
Connor chuckled, "I'm sure if I did yourself and Rainbow Dash would be more than eager to teach me how to fly."
"Who better to learn from than the best."
Connor looked towards Spitfire who looked more radiant than usual today, or so he thought. He couldn't help but keep looking at her and take in the sight of her looks. Her golden-yellow fur, dark orange eyes and her mane and tail that looked like fire itself was emanating off of her. One thing he noticed on her and other ponies before but wasn't sure how to ask, or even if he should, was the mark on her flanks.
Connor didn't respond, still in his trance.
Connor came back to his senses.
"You talking to me?" he asked.
"Who are you, the Coltfather? Yes I'm talking to you," Spitfire said with a hint of annoyance.
Was that a Robert De Niro reference or a Godfather reference thought Connor.
"Is something wrong?" Connor asked with concern.
Spitfire glared slightly at Connor, "You were staring at my flank."
Connor blushed in embarrassment, "Sorry I didn't realise I was staring."
Spitfire looked at him with narrowed eyes and mischievous smirk, "You didn't realise you were staring at my tail this morning either."
Connor went a darker shade of red while Spitfire burst into laughter, "You should see the look on you face."
"It's not that funny," Connor mumbled, "What is the mark on your flank anyway?"
Spitfire stopped laughing and gave Connor a deadpanned expression, "You're kidding right? You don't know what a Cutie Mark is?"
"A what?" Connor asked.
"Cutie Mark. They appear on our flanks when we discover our special talent. Don't humans get Cutie Marks?"
"No we do not get Butt Stamps."
Spitfire narrowed her eyes, "They're called Cutie Marks, not Butt Stamps."
"I am not calling them..........it's too girly a term and I refuse to use it," Connor stated defiantly folding his arms and stomping his foot.
Spitfire suddenly pounced at Connor and flew at him. She knocked him to the ground, rolled him over onto his front and pinned his arms behind his back. Connor tried squirming away but Spitfire's grip was strong. She had him and they both knew it.
"Would you like to reconsider your decision?" asked Spitfire.
"No. Did you know in my world the word Spitfire is used to describe people, particularly women, with a fiery temper."
Spitfire twisted his arm a bit more, "Are you trying to say I have a fiery temper?" she asked with a mischievous smirk.
Connor twisted his neck to look at Spitfire, "Well it's in your name."
Within a second Spitfire flipped Connor onto his back, landed on his front and got her muzzle close his face, "Yes it is, so are you going to start calling them Cutie Marks?"
Connor considered his options, "Only if you tell me how you got yours."
"Got my what?" asked Spitfire with a smirk.
She's got me now, may as well just admit defeat this day. I have lost this battle but not the war.
Connor took a deep breath, "Your Cutie Mark."
Spitfire hopped off Connor and helped him to his feet, "I'll be glad to tell you how I got my Cutie Mark."
The duo continued on their way to Sweet Apple Acres, walking slowly not in any rush to get there.
"It was twenty years ago, I was competing in the Cloudsdale Junior Grand Prix. A air circuit made of clouds around one and a half miles long. I was in second place most of the race, always behind the race leader Thunderbolt. I was so close to overtaking him many times but he always managed to hold the racing line and stay in front. I couldn't get past him so I decided to hold back and play for 2nd. Near the end of the circuit there's a series of corners called the 'corkscrew' where you have to perform corkscrews yourself to make the corner at speed and hit the apexes, no pony has ever pulled it off perfectly. If you can't corkscrew through the corkscrew you have to slow right down."
Connor nodded in understanding, "Sounds great, I'll have to see one of these races if they still have them."
"They still do, there's one coming up in a few weeks. Anyway approaching the corkscrew on the last lap, Thunderbolt was about three seconds ahead so unless he made a mistake I wouldn't have been able to beat him."
"He made a mistake didn't he?"
"Yes he did," replied Spitfire, "He approached the corner to narrow and he went wide and off the circuit, right then in that split second, my desire to win came back with an intensity I'd never felt before. I went through the corkscrew at high speed......while doing a corkscrew. I went faster than I ever have before, not fast enough to do a Sonic Rainboom, but fast enough that I left behind a trail of scorch marks on the clouds."
"A belated well done," said Connor cheerfully.
Spitfire smiled, "Thank you, after I won the race I was naturally very pleased. Thunderbolt finished second, I thought he would be mad with but he knows he messed up the corner. I went to see my parents, Stormy Flare my mother and Avro Lancaster my father-"
"YOUR DAD'S CALLED AVRO LANCASTER?!"
"Yes. He has the same name as the.....Avro Lancaster. I knew you'd like that, you'd get on well with him. Anyway, I was so busy telling my parents how excited I was with winning I didn't notice them pointing to my flank. My Cutie Mark is a lightning bolt of fire, if that makes sense, most likely resembling my fiery determination and ambition to win."
"That's quite a story. Your......Cutie Mark......may also represent your need for speed and warm hearted nature," suggested Connor.
Spitfire looked Connor with tears forming on her eyes, stopping in her tracks. Noticing Spitfire had stopped walking and on the verge of tears he walked over to her, "Spitfire are you OK? I've not said something to offend you have I?" he asked greatly concerned.
Spitfire looked up to Connor and stood on to her hind legs, bringing her eye level with Connor, and wrapped her forelegs around him hugging him tightly.
"Thank you," Spitfire said in tears, "That's probably the nicest thing anypony has said to me."
Connor returned the hug, "Anytime my fiery friend."