A Pony Displaced: Another Path

by NoLongerSober

Chapter 30

Barrier didn’t speak as he and Daring stepped out into the afternoon sun.

“Gotta say, that was a really good shoot.” Daring hip-checked her companion and grinned up at him.

“...I don’t believe I’ll be doing that again. The garments were far too tight and translucent. I might as well have just flaunted my siring staff.”

Daring’s grin faded just slightly. “To be fair, you kinda did flaunt your siring staff.”

Barrier scoffed, “That was the accursed fabric rubbing me!”

Daring chuckled, “Yeah, you definitely weren’t checking Slipstream and Fleur out or anything. Still, not like they minded. I saw them staring, you know?” Daring hip-checked the unicorn a second time as she shifted the topic slightly. “So, why did you keep choosing the pink clothes?”

“I felt the mares who view this sort of thing would want to see something with masculine colors.”

Daring’s chuckle intensified to a full-blown laugh. “Masculine?! You do know that pink’s considered a really feminine color these days, right?”

Barrier’s right eye twitched ever-so-slightly. “I suppose that explains the appeal of Cadance, to some extent.”

“So, what do you wanna do now? We’ve got a few more hours until the clubs open. We could grab some dinner and see a movie?”

The charcoal stallion shrugged almost absently, “That’s fine by me, as long as my pelvis can get some rest.” Barrier’s gait slowed to a halt as his mind seemed to register the alien term. “Movie?”

“They’re like moving pictures. Don’t worry, you’ll like them. Come on.” Daring nudged the stallion’s side before wrapping her foreleg around his own and tugging him forward at a far quicker pace than before. “They’ve got a showing of Filly and Tiff’s Most Excellent Adventure soon. I think you’ll like it. It’s the third in the series.”

“Third? Do I need familiarity with the other two?”

“Nah, the last two Filly and Tiff stand alone really well. This one’s about a time-travelling villain summoning history’s greatest villains to help him. Porcina, Charlatan, Lavan, Discord, Sombra, Nightmare Moon, even Grimhilde. It’s going to be great.”

Barrier’s expression tightened slightly at the mention of his former adversaries but nodded. “I assume this shall be a grim story.”

“Nah, it’s a comedy starring a pair of stoner musicians.”

Barrier’s eyes crossed slightly in confusion but he quickly shook it away. “Very well, let’s go see this ‘movie’ of yours.”


Grimhilde’s voice—or an imitation of it—followed the unicorn and pegasus as they departed the theatre, the massive screen playing back a reel of bloopers from the movie during the credits.

Even with his back turned, Barrier knew the scene and found it drawing another grin out of him.

The actress portraying Grimhilde was stalking towards the porcine princess, a mad glint in her eyes. “Say…”

Barrier stopped to listen to the scene again in its entirety, Daring following suit with a matching grin.

“She looks kinda like a foal…” The sound of talons clicking on tile hinted at the actress’s movements. “C’mere, I’m gonna eat ya! I’m bigger than you, I’m higher in the food chain!” The griffin quickly chased the pig off screen, ranting as she went. “Get in ma’ bellaay~!” The hen’s voice shifted to an almost comically high pitch, followed by the sounds of a crash, falling equipment and a rapid ‘My bad!’ from her.

Barrier’s grin got just a little wider and a choked cough escaped him as he poorly stifled his laughter.

A short snapping sound announced the scene had shifted as the credits continued to roll by.

“Of all history’s greatest monsters, you are by far the most evil thing I have encountered.” A very Sombra-esque character was speaking to a penguin only half his height. “Offer your soul to me dark one…”

Several penguin-like quacks were heard before Sombra’s voice returned. “What? No! You can’t have my soul! I don’t even... Look, just… just get in here.” A sound akin to a tornado filled Barrier and Daring’s ears before it was silenced by a noisy slap from the penguin.

“Keep your crummy so-” the actor’s voice was replaced by a shocked gasp followed by the sound of a pony kicking something.

“What the hell, dude!” The voice of a non-actor called out.

“Oh Celestia, I’m so sorry!” The Sombra character broke almost immediately, “I didn’t mean to actually hit him! Is he hurt?”

“So,” Daring cut off further bloopers by shoving Barrier forward. “Have a good time?”

Barrier’s reply was brief laughter followed by him wiping the tears from his eyes. “Their historical portrayals…they were so damned bad that they were hilarious!”

Daring laughed with him, a hoof making its way to her eyes as well. “My favorite part was when Filly and Tiff challenged Lavan and Discord to a rock off.”

“Though,” Barrier took several deep breaths as he tried to regulate his breathing, “I can’t understand why they used candy to defeat Nightmare Moon. A spear would have been far more effective, or even striking her with their strange guitars.”

The tan pegasus snorted. “I guess this means I’ve gotta teach you about Nightmare Night. Why don’t we head back to the hotel and get some room service and I’ll give you a rundown?”

“Room service?” Barrier’s head tilted in askance.

“Yeah, we’ll call down to the hotel kitchens, order food, and they’ll deliver it. Plus the princess is fronting the bill for my stay right now, so might as well milk it.”

Now it was Barrier’s turn to snort. “Fair enough. By your lead, Masquerade.”

“Hm, but what should we order…?” Daring was more speaking to herself as they headed back, hoof pressed to her chin in deep thought. “I’ve got it!” The hoof moved from her chin to the ground with a solid clop. “You’ve never had pizza, right? Well prepare to have your mind blown!”

“Pizza?” As seemed to be normal for the day, Barrier’s head was cocked to the side once more. “Is that anything like chicken?”

“Uh, no? Why would you even think that?” Daring asked in bewilderment.

“It simply makes me think of chicken for some reason,” Barrier shrugged before taking another guess, “Ah. Is it related to that singer you like?”

The disguised pegasus groaned out her reply, “I said pizza, not Pizzazz.”

“Well, what does it entail?”

The mare just grinned. “Just wait, you’ll see. And trust me, you’ll like it.”


"Oh Faust…” Barrier groaned from his spot on the bed, a hoof rubbing his sore stomach as the stallion further sprawled out on the bed, his hooves brushing against Daring’s side as he did so. “Ugh, how many slices did I have?”

A slightly less-bloated Daring Do shifted on the bed, draping a hoof over the unicorn. “Ten. Plus four cheesy garlic breadsticks.”

Barrier groaned again and began to rock himself back and forth until he had enough momentum to shift onto his side and rest against the pegasus, his head resting on her forelegs. “I regret nothing. The taste of such a wonderous food is well worth this discomfort. Tell me, do all pizzas have cheese stuffed into the crusts?”

“Nah. Most aren’t stuffed with anything, but they can stuff all kinds of stuff into the crusts. Everything from cheese to meats to peppers to veggies.”

Barrier groaned in a mixture of satisfaction and pain.

“So what new foods have you tried since your return? Bet you splurged a bit.”

“Not really,” Barrier admitted. “I have mostly kept to foods that are familiar to me, save for what’s called a hayburger and prench fries. I suppose I ate regularly while I was with Twilight in Ponyville, but during my time in Appleloosa I didn’t really eat anything. It wasn’t until my return to Canterlot and then the frozen north that I began to eat regularly again.”

“Wait, that’s…” Daring began to count in her head. “You were in jail for one or two days, plus there was the trip to Appleloosa and the day-long trip back to Ponyville, but we ate at Twilight's…three days? You didn’t eat for…two days?”

“I was preoccupied. Besides, you’re an adventurer, surely you’re accustomed to missing meals?”

“Well yeah, but you weren’t out in the middle of nowhere. When I missed meals, I either didn’t have a choice or was stuck rationing what little I had. You were in a town with plenty of food to spare. Better believe I don’t miss a meal when I don’t have to.”

Barrier yawned and allowed his eyes to close. “I’ll try not to make it a habit. I suppose I was just accustomed to it at the time.” The unicorn further scooted over, draping a hoof across the pegasus’s barrel. “But I’ll try not to worry you about it and eat regularly.”

“Good…” Daring’s voice held a slight strain. “Might wanna keep back a bit…” the pegasus belched, “I feel like I’m gonna puke.”

The tired unicorn nuzzled the mare beneath her chin before resting his head beneath hers, his hoof gently rubbing circles along her belly. “I’ll risk it.”

“That was sappy…” Daring commented drowsily, even as she moved to embrace the pony as they drifted to sleep.


“Ph’glui?” Barrier mumbled nonsensically as his eyes half-opened to focus on the tan pegasus that was insistently jabbing him in the side.

“You mumble stuff like that all the time when I wake you up.” Daring stared down at him, unamused. “What does it even mean?”

Barrier yawned widely and sat up, eyes still half-lidded as he replied. “Classified. If I told you, it’d melt your brain. Then the brains of everypony else that happened to hear. Damned Old Ones…” The unicorn glanced at the bedside clock. “So, why are we up at twenty-thirty?”

“Clubbing.” Daring stated as she began going through the motions of her disguise once more. “You did say you’d go with me. I can’t wait to see you dance.”

“I don’t dance.” Barrier deadpanned before stretching out like a cat and hopping from the bed.

Daring only smiled self-assuredly,“Not yet you don’t, but don’t worry, I’ll fix that.”

“I seriously doubt that.” Barrier’s horn flared to life as he straightened his mane out and proceeded to do several quick stretches, eyes drifting to the pegasus as she began to slip into the same tight dress she’d worn to dinner the other night. Damn, you look good in that… Barrier stood, his gazing remaining fixed on her flank.

Daring turned around with her trademark grin. “Ready to go or do you wanna stare at my flank a little longer?”

“A bit of column A and a bit of column B,” Barrier’s lips curved upward slightly. “I propose a compromise. We can go, and I’ll walk behind you to enjoy the view.”

“Hah!” Daring turned towards the door and flicked her tail so hard that is audibly snapped. “Good to see you coming a little further out of that shell. Come on, horny colt.”

“Right behind you.” Barrier assured her, eyes ever-downward. “Very few places I’d rather be.”


This music is going to drive me crazy… The pair hadn’t even entered the establishment that a sign said was called, ‘The Prancing Pony’ yet and already it was grating on his nerves.

“Come on,” Daring moved into the building as the mass of muscle with a head moved aside to grant them entry.

“Do I have to?” Barrier’s voice shot up slightly to be heard over the noise.

“Oh quit your whining, it’s not that bad!” Daring shouted back as the pair made their way towards the bar. “So, are you going to dance with me or am I going to have to plaster you with booze until you’re too drunk to say no?”

Barrier eyed the impressive array of bottles lining the wall behind the bar. “Perhaps you should dance so that I can learn some modern dance? I can get us some drinks in the meantime.”

“Hm…” Daring appeared to be considering it for a moment before an ear-splitting grin settled on her face. “Alright, but mark my words: you will dance with me before this night is out.”

The unicorn swallowed nervously at the certainty in her voice but nodded nonetheless. As she walked away, the unicorn let a breath he didn’t realize he’d been holding escape him before turning to the bar and flagging down the light-green unicorn bartender down. “I need the hardest thing you have and a…” The hell does Daring drink? “Something for my friend. I don’t actually know what she’d prefer.”

“Right, one Negroni and…why not get her a long-island iced tea? Hard to go wrong with’em.”

Barrier hummed in response and turned away from the bar, choosing to watch the dance floor rather than the drink-mixing. He had to admit, watching Daring and the other ponies dance, he found himself envious. They seem so carefree. So… happy. Was this what we fought so hard for? The unicorn watched his companion perform several crazy half-flips as well as twists and turns that had him in awe of just how flexible Daring truly was.

Despite his efforts to watch and memorize her movements, his gaze always seemed to find itself drawn to the part of the dress that clung tightly to her flank until finally he jerked his gaze away and swung back to the bar just in time to see a reddish-orange drink be placed in front of him, followed shortly by a murky-white glass with a single slice of lemon floating atop it. Horn flaring to slide the bits across the bar, Barrier quickly took a swallow of his drink as he spun around on the bar-stool just in time to see Daring break away from the crowd, a slight sheen of sweat visible even from there as well as her heavier breathing.

“Hey,” Daring breathlessly took a seat next to the unicorn and tipping her own drink backwards…and holding it.

That’s impressive, Barrier’s mind stated as Daring emptied the glass in a single, continuous swallow.

“Alright, time to get you out on the dance floor. You got to see me shake my plot, now it’s my turn!”

Barrier shifted his gaze from Daring to the dance floor, back to Daring, and then to his drink. Horn flaring, he quickly drained his own glass, savoring the bitter taste and brief rush to his head. “Very well, but I take no responsibility if my flailing injures somepony.”

Barrier hopped from the barstool and carefully made his way towards the mass of bodies that was on the dance floor. Almost as an afterthought, he glanced to the source of the abominable noise and was met with a pale, yellowish-white mare who grinned widely at him as the beat picked up abruptly.

Well I know for certain which of the two roommates’ musical tastes I prefer…


Daring launched herself into the air and performed an impossibly tight loop before landing back-first on the bed. “Feels good to be out of that dress.” She stretched her limbs to their utmost limit. “I love how good I look in it, but man, it’s tight.” The mare relaxed and patted the bed several times. “Hey Barrier, c’mere.”

The charcoal stallion ran a hoof through his sweat-dried mane before joining Daring on the bed, laying limply next to her. “What’s on your mind?”

The mare rolled over all of a sudden, resting atop Barrier before jerking to the side and rolling once more, this time taking the unicorn with her and depositing him on top. Grinning at the seeming bewilderment in Barrier’s eyes, Daring darted her muzzle forward, pressing her lips to his and using his surprise to let her tongue explore his mouth. After several long seconds of tongue-wrestling, Daring broke away. “You know, I’ve had a really great last few days with you.” Her eyes went half-lidded and she flashed a seductive smile. “Want to make tonight even greater?”

Barrier hesitated slightly, licking his gums and noting the slight taste of alcohol that had been left behind. “That depends. Are you sober? You had more than a couple of drinks.” It was one thing when they’d both been drunk off their plots, but Barrier’s mind was still clear.

“I think I am...” Daring seemed to think for a moment before clearing her throat, “Z, Y, X, W, V, U, T, S, R, Q, P, O, N, M, L, K, J, I, H, G, F, E, D, C, B, A. Yeah, pretty sure I’m sober.”

I can’t do that on the best of days… Barrier flashed a sultry smile of his own. “Very well, let’s take the great night, and make it…” the stallion held his tongue briefly, “...glorious.”