The following morning was stressful. Sleep eluded Statice for most of the night, so he woke up before his Alarm Spell had the chance of waking him up. He did his morning routine with bathing and breakfast before he went to the Archive. He had to do a massive update with the new information that he gathered from the citizens of Ponyville. He did not get much, but it was more than what he obtained from Discord.
“I got enough to entertain me this morning,” Statice mused as he kept updating his database. His thoughts turned sour once he had finished with his updates. He didn’t have much to do now that he was done with updating his Archive.
The green unicorn lied down on the ground, trying to think of what to do. It didn’t take him long before groaning and covering his face with his hooves in frustration. Every time that he had an idea, some sort of scenario ran over his mind that told him not to do it. It was an aftereffect of learning how to think before doing something in his previous life, and one that Statice detested. How was he supposed to enjoy his retirement if his brain kept shutting down his ideas for fun?
“This wasn’t supposed to end like this,” Statice sighed in defeat.
“You mean your retirement?” Discord’s voice chimed in before he materialized into Statice's home.
Does this guy know about knocking on the door? Who am I kidding? He wouldn't do it even if I had one! Statice frowned upon hearing the question. “Why are you even asking me such obvious question, Discord?” Statice growled as he stood up and gave the draconequus an impatient scowl.
“I am simply trying to understand my new friend,” Discord gave Statice a hug, ignoring the unicorn shivering in disgust.
“I showed you my memories,” Statice dryly reminded him. “You saw how I got into this mess in the first place.”
“Seeing is one thing, but understanding is another,” Discord said, wearing some sort of psychology teacher getup. “What did you feel when you first started that fight at the beginning of your life in Equestria?”
“I might as well talk about it,” Statice muttered grudgingly. “I am not sure. I have been met with hostility since I left Hobuck that I react to it. I can’t help but retaliate against anypony who antagonizes me.”
“True that,” Discord snapped his fingers, showing a snippet of Statice getting into a bar fight. “Those two ponies looked like they were picking trouble. Chances are that they were going to attack you if you hadn’t done so first. By the way, I love that creative use you gave your lemonade in that fight.”
“The old trick of throwing sugarless lemonade in the eyes of your adversaries,” the green unicorn smiled wistfully as he remembered every single time he had used that trick as an outlaw. “That’s a classic.”
I call it genius!” Discord clapped his hands. “I’ve never seen ponies come up with such dirty fighting! I love it! Don’t get me wrong, I love Fluttershy and the ponies…but they can be a little too…simplistic when dealing with their troubles...you know talking out their problems or blasting the bad guys away with artifacts of mystical power.”
“It’s not original,” Statice shook his head, remembering that he learned that trick when he saw another criminal do it in a bar brawl in one of his first visits to a bar. “I’ve seen enough fights with low tricks to know how to fight them dirtily.”
“You’d be surprised at how much fair play is important in Equestria,” Discord snorted. “Don’t misunderstand, some dirty fighting is shown, but it often comes in surprise tackles or throwing pies at faces.”
“That’s a waste of pie,” Statice remarked as he shook his head disapprovingly.
“You wasted liters of lemonade,” Discord countered with the same disapproving head shake that Statice made.
“What other idea do you have this time, Discord?” Statice asked. “Zecora is out of the question and that castle as well.”
“Either you explore the Everfree or you continue to Ponyville,” Discord shrugged his shoulders. “There is not much that you can do now.”
“How about you and I do some magic training?” Statice suggested. “Digitalis and I used to do it to keep our skills fresh and our spells sharp.”
Discord stared at the green unicorn for a second before bursting into laughter. The draconequus hugged his stomach as he kicked his mismatched legs into the air. Statice did not look amused as the entity kept laughing at his face.
“Are you done?” Statice asked, his blood boiling with each roar of laughter that assaulted his ears. “I am very serious on my offer, Discord.”
“You think that you have a shot against me?” Discord pointed a finger at Statice as he bit his lip. “Forgive me for the laughter, but that's insane. Not even Celestia and Luna, the strongest ponies in Equestria, could do anything against me. They had to use the Elements of Harmony to have a fighting chance against my power. And you think that you can actually beat me?”
“I don’t think I can beat you, Discord,” Statice rolled his eyes at him.
“You know so, right?” Discord was struggling not to cackle anymore as he imagined the unicorn using that same counterstatement.
“Not really,” Statice looked at him stone-faced. “Defeating you on my own is impossible, even if I were to fight all out.”
That caught Discord’s attention. “If you know that you can’t beat me, then why are you challenging me?” he asked with a raised eyebrow. "You don't seem like the type of pony that would take a losing fight on purpose."
“Fighting somepony of a higher level helps anypony learn to grow stronger,” Statice stated as he stretched his legs. “If I fight somepony of a lower level, then I will only help him grow stronger. If I fight somepony on my level then we don’t get anything. Losing to somepony who is stronger than me lets me know what I can do to improve.”
“I think that you should choose somepony, preferably one who has a strength difference that is not so abysmal,” Discord teased, still giggling on the inside for what he considered an excuse of a challenge.
“Does it look like I have anypony else?” Statice shot back, growing annoyed at his partner. “Besides, if I can get stronger fighting you, then I won’t have much threats coming at me in the future.”
“Fair enough to me,” Discord snapped his fingers. He popped into view dressed in attire that had elements of a boxer, then a martial artist, a ninja, a samurai, and a royal guard.
“Let us prepare the arena,” Statice lighted his horn and opened a portal into Hammerspace. “Be my guest, Discord.”
“Thank you,” Discord bowed as he entered into the tear. The green unicorn followed after him, closing the portal and being greeted with the familiar white nothingness of Hammerspace. “But where are we going to fight now, Statice? This place has lots of room, but I don’t like to fight in the air.”
Especially when this air has no environment whatsoever. Would it kill Statice to put some clouds or some floating islands here? My dimension has more class than this place. Frankly...this empty white space is kinda scary.
“We’re going to make an arena,” Statice explained as he floated to Discord. “Just snap your fingers to create a piece of land that is five miles long. That would be enough for our contest of strength.”
“Can’t you just bring some fighting arena for us, Statice?” Discord placed his hands on his hips with a miffed expression on his face. “I don’t appreciate being a luggage carrier.”
“My Hammerspace stores things that I want,” Statice explained as he rubbed his temples, feeling a migraine coming up for trying to reason with his new guest and training partner. “The spell does not provide me with the things I need most of the time. This is why I am asking you to do it.”
Also, I don't think I can store a cursed arena on my own! I can't pick that much weight and store it in one go! I'm just a pony!
“Fine,” Discord grumbled, silently criticizing the green unicorn as a host.
A finger snap later got Statice and Discord stranded in a floating piece of rocky land, resembling a desert mountain or a canyon. Statice uttered a low whistle as he gave the draconequus a look of admiration and respect. “This is some nice fighting stage!” Statice acknowledged him. “I never thought you had so much power.”
“Part of being born the Spirit of Disharmony,” Discord smugly rubbed his eagle fist into his chest. “Now then, show me what you got!”
The answer that he got was several magic blasts coming straight at him. Discord cried out as he dodged the attack by bending and twisting his body in ways Statice thought unimaginable.
“I wasn’t ready to start!” Discord snapped at Statice.
“You told me to show you what I got!” Statice replied with equal frustration in his voice. “Besides, why are you so afraid of my blasts when you probably had worse from Celestia and Luna?”
“Weak or not, they still hurt,” Discord huffed as he crossed his arms. “It’s like getting mosquito bites. They hurt a little, and yet you can’t help but not like them.” As he said so, he blocked every bit of magic thrown at him with his lion paw.
“Let me see if this is a mosquito bite to you,” Statice grinned as he made a solid sphere of magic and threw it at Discord’s feet. The draconequus stared at the sphere for a few seconds before it broke.
From the sphere, many lightning bolts came out and spread into the sky before falling back into the ground and into Discord. The draconequus cried out in surprise as green lightning bolts hit him, even showing a detailed bone structure during the electrocution. By the time the lightning dissolved, Discord looked heavily charred, although still in one piece and looking very annoyed.
“Lightning-works Spell,” Statice winked smugly at Discord. “I reserve them for festivities on which fireworks are just not enough to celebrate.”
“Quite a sight to behold,” Discord changed his annoyed face to an amused one. He snapped his fingers and got rid of his injuries in record time. “But you won’t catch me off-guard a second time, Statice.”
“We’ll see about that,” Statice grinned as his horn cladded in magic. A green sphere of lightning was being formed at the tip.
“I’m not going to fall twice for the same trick,” Discord smiled confidently as a catcher’s mitt was conjured into his lion paw. He confidently punched his mitt with his eagle fist.
Statice hurled the ball at impressive speed. The draconequus extended his mitt to catch it, only for the speed to be faster than expected. The sphere hit Discord’s mitt and forced it to hit him in the stomach. The ball dissolved into an electrical discharge as he was being flown by the impact. By the time Discord landed on the ground, the lightning had disappeared and he was just as charred and frustrated as he was when he got his first hit.
“Lightning Ball Spell,” Statice explained. “It’s a hit and a shock.”
“I think that you got me to act serious,” Discord whispered threateningly. “You want to play with lightning? Then you got a storm of chaos coming straight at you, dear boy.”
“It’s about time,” Statice grinned, happy to have gotten the draconequus to drop his playful attitude for a change.
The next couple of minutes, Discord snapped the fingers of his lion paw and eagle talon like crazy, sending waves of chaos after Statice. He attacked by dropping rocks, explosive chocolate milk , restricting clouds made out of cotton candy, and even natural disasters. Any pride that Statice felt after getting Discord to fight seriously was dropped the minute he saw how the destructive the Spirit of Disharmony was when he got enraged. By the time he dodged an explosion, Discord had already caught him on his arms.
“I got you!” Discord exclaimed triumphantly. “I won the fight, Statice!”
Rather than saying something, Statice shot Discord with a magical blast. The draconequus frowned as he literally split his face in half to dodge the attack.
“Nopony likes a sore loser, Statice,” Discord said in a chastising tone. “I played the game at the best of my capacity and I can…UGH!”
He didn’t get to finish his sentence as a rock slammed into the back of his head. The draconequus lowered his head until he was staring at Statice right in the eye. The unicorn was giving him a teasing smirk as his horn was lighted in magic.
“You should have anticipated that,” he teased before Discord snarled at him. “You didn’t think I wasn’t going to levitate that huge rock behind you and pull it to the back of your head the second you started bragging, right?”
The draconequus promptly threw Statice into the air before rapidly snapping his fingers. Four chains materialized from thin air and shackled all of Statice’s legs. A new chain went for the neck and another one went for the horn. As much as Statice resisted, he couldn’t figure out a way to get out of the trap.
Can't move my legs! My horn is restricted too! I can't use my magic! Darn it! He's got me!
“I guess I’m beaten,” Statice admitted grudgingly. All of his legs were restricted and his horn shackle was painfully tight enough to prevent him from properly channeling his magic into it.
“That’s more like it,” Discord growled as he snapped his fingers. They were back in Statice’s lair in no time.
The chains vanished, leaving the unicorn to rub his sore extremities, neck, and horn without wincing. Though he hated to admit it, Statice had to respect the fact that Discord was a strong fighter once he dropped his wacky antics.
“Nice fight,” Statice forced himself to smile for his friend. He didn’t like to lose a fight by a big margin, but he did not mind if it was coming from an ally. To his surprise, Discord didn’t seem happy.
“It was a nice fight,” Discord said as he coldly grabbed Statice’s hoof and shook it.
“Is there something wrong?” Statice asked nervously. Half of him was scared that he may have done something to hurt Discord’s feelings while another half was annoyed at his attitude.
“Sorry, it's just that my head is a little sore,” Discord gave Statice a glare. “It’s not like you didn't use your magic to pick up a rock and give me a rabbit punch to the back of the head!”
Now it was Statice’s turn to look indignant. “Excuse me!” he yelled, feeling offended. “It was sparring match! And you agreed to it.”
“And you threw a rock at me!” Discord bellowed at Statice.
“It was just a fight!” Statice stomped his hoof. “Why are you so upset? You didn’t seem to mind about my spells hurting you! In fact, you can actually heal much better than I ever did.”
“It still hurt!” Discord gritted his teeth.
“And what is so wrong about that?” Statice asked. ‘It’s not like you haven’t received a hit before!”
“As a matter of fact, I never received a hit in my entire life,” Discord raised his head in protest. “At least I never got hit until now!”
“You still used your chains on me and you don’t see me whining about it!” Statice pointed at the vanishing red lines around all four of his legs.
“You’re used to pain while I am not!” Discord placed his face close to Statice’s.
This guy is such an ancient overgrown baby!
“Well you wouldn’t feel this pain if you took things seriously,” Statice pushed his head into Discord’s. “You got hit by that rock because you underestimated my ability with magic. It’s just like every one of your major defeats.”
“And what exactly do you mean by that?” Discord growled at Statice.
“It means that you had Equestria under your control and you blew it because you are an idiot,” Statice answered, remembering all of Discord’s misdeeds.
“I am not an idiot!” Discord pushed Statice back with his head.
“Yes, you are!” Statice glared at him. “You conquered Equestria and you had it taken away by Celestia and Luna because you were laughing like a dummy when they blasted you with the Elements.”
“I didn’t expect those Elements to be that powerful!” Discord gritted his teeth. “And I made a consistency plan to capture the sisters just in case that the Elements worked against me.”
“And it took until after your first redemption a thousand years later before those seeds started working,” Statice reminded him, feeling annoyed that his hibernation was prolonged because of the incident. "It sounds like your consistency plan was all for nothing when you no longer have any desire to conquer Equestria anymore, doesn't it?"
“I could have conquered Equestria right away had it not been for my friendship with Fluttershy!” Discord snapped his fingers to point at an adorable picture of the yellow pegasus.
“Yeah, first you let yourself be beaten by Celestia’s asocial student and her friends by repeating your ‘point your finger and laugh at them’ mistake and then you let them use their friendship to put you on a leash!” Statice said mockingly. “That’s some way to recover your kingdom. Let the girls use the same things that beat you while you are mocking them! I am sure that worked out well for you.”
Discord snarled at Statice. “You better watch what you’re saying.”
“What happened with Tirek was your biggest mistake,” Statice stared at him coldly. “Not only did you betray your friends, but you let yourself be betrayed by him. I expected better from a former threat of Equestria, especially the only villain who managed to conquer it for a little time…”
“You don’t know anything about what happened with me and Tirek!” Discord roared at Statice with enough strength to push the unicorn into a wall.
Statice groaned as his back collided with a wall. He was about to say something else when he noticed that Discord’s angry face showed signs of hurt.
“I thought that Tirek was my friend because I missed making chaos in Equestria,” he lowered his head in defeat. “For once I was happy to be myself without worrying about being sealed in stone or having my friends abandoning me. I should have seen that betrayal, but I didn’t because deep down…I wanted a friend that could accept me for what I was.”
Statice grimaced. He had clearly crossed a line. “Discord,” he began as he walked forward to him.
“Forget this!” Discord yelled. “I think I had enough of you for today!”
With all said and done, the Spirit of Disharmony snapped his fingers and disappeared. Statice just stood there wondering what he did wrong.
“I messed up,” Statice said, rubbing his head.
The sparring match was a complete failure. Discord was a fun opponent…annoying, but nonetheless fun in his own bizarre way. It had been a while since he had an entertaining sparring match…the last time being with Digitalis. Moments like this made Statice wish his best friend could be there to provide him with advice for this kind of moments. And now, Discord was probably not going to spar with him again after that disastrous fight.
“I messed up,” Statice repeated to himself as he got out of his home and wandered across the Everfree Forest. Not having much else to do, Statice’s mind started planning scenarios with Discord.
Best case scenario: Discord was going to break up his friendship with Statice. Worst case scenario: He was going to tell the princesses and the Elements of Harmony where he was.
“Why did I have to make an enmity with the Spirit of Disharmony?” Statice chastised himself as he kept moving forward.
If his calculations were right, this was going to be the first of the very few days of freedom that Statice had remaining. There was no way that Discord was going to forgive him for a little spat just like that. He was chaos incarnate, which meant that he was probably going to get back at Statice by turning him over.
Statice gritted his teeth in frustration. Things were still getting worse for him. No matter who he met, Statice was bound to either befriend a jerk who was going to betray him or gain the enmity of somepony who could have been an excellent ally.
“I’m going to work out again,” Statice told to nopony as he saw two large boulders on the way. He concentrated his magic and lifted both of them into the air. He kept them on the air for a few seconds before repeating a cycle of raising them and lowering them.
Sweat was coming out of Statice’s forehead. The boulders were heavy enough to test his magic, but not too heavy to make them impossible to lift. He was going to need to do lots of repetition if he was to work out his magic.
“HI, STATIC!” three voices called in a chorus.
Statice turned his head around, still keeping the boulders in place. The Cutie Mark Crusaders stared at him with smiling faces, except that Sweetie Belle had a blush on her cheeks along with a wider smile.
“Hi,” Statice greeted them while trying to keep a social smile.
“What are ya doing?” Apple Bloom asked, looking at the boulders that he was levitating in his grasp.
“I’m doing a magical workout,” Statice answered as he resumed his training.
“You can work out your magic?” Scootaloo asked in disbelief.
“A unicorn can work out his magic the same way a pegasus can work out his wings to fly better,” Statice answered, trying to be patient with the fillies. He didn’t want to explain about his magic, but he knew that he was going to do it anyway.
“You mean that if I work out my magic then I can do better?” Sweetie Belle asked with an excited smile.
“Magic is like muscle,” Statice answered, not even bothering to give her an affirmation. "Constant practice makes your magic feel solid. If you make your own training methods and slowly exert yourself to surpass them then you’ll get better.”
“Can you teach me?” Sweetie Belle asked with hopeful eyes.
“You already have a teacher!” Scootaloo reminded her indignantly. “Her name is Twilight! Remember! She's the Element of Magic and the Princess of Friendship!”
“Yes,” Sweetie Belle replied in an annoyed voice. “But she makes me levitate brooms and other small objects. I want to lift boulders!”
“You better stick to her training,” Statice counseled her before she got any ideas. “A wise pony once told me to start small before going to the big leagues. These boulders right here are only half my limit to keep my magic well-toned.”
“What do you mean by well-toned?” Apple Bloom asked with a raised eyebrow. She had heard some mares talking about how well toned her brother was. She didn’t understand what they meant, but she felt curious now that Statice was using the same expression.
“Well toned magic is that your magic can work quickly and efficiently,” Statice explained as best as he remembered. He wished that he were Digitalis to explain it with more detail. “It’s like when your body’s muscles are toned enough to do hard work fast.”
“You mean like Rainbow Dash when she flies?” Scootaloo asked.
Before Statice could answer, Apple Bloom did it for him. “He doesn’t know who Rainbow Dash is, Scootaloo. He just moved to the Everfree Forest!”
As grateful as Statice was for Apple Bloom for her help, he was annoyed because he had to spend the rest of his training hearing about how great Rainbow Dash was. As much as he understood Scootaloo’s love for her idol, he was still quite miffed with having to hear her speak about the rainbow pony. Seriously, Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle had two older sisters to admire and yet they never spoke about them as obsessively as Scootaloo did. Although, given that they both live close enough to their sisters to know their flaws, it was of no surprise that Scootaloo spoke of Rainbow Dash so highly as she didn’t live close enough to her to learn that her idol was as flawed as anypony else.
Then again, maybe my brother annoys his friends by talking about me all the time. I guess I don't have any right to complain about her talking about Rainbow Dash. Braggart or not, at least she has a clean slate.
Once his training was done, Statice sat on his haunches before falling on his back in exhaustion. Since there was an absence of heavy things, Statice had to settle with lifting to maintain his magic tone.
“Are you really that tired already?” Scootaloo asked in bewilderment.
“Don’t judge him, Scootaloo!” Sweetie Belle glared at her.
“I’m just saying,” Scootaloo lifted a placating hoof. “It’s just that, compared to what we’ve seen Twilight do before…”
Sweetie Belle attempted to protest, sputtering for a few seconds as she remembered all the magical feats that Twilight had accomplished over the years. Unknown to the fillies, Statice was quite familiar with Twilight’s magic as well.
It wasn’t just him being slammed repeatedly by Twilight in a display of righteous ire. He had seen Twilight defeat an Ursa Minor big enough to destroy Ponyville back when she was a unicorn. A part of Statice dreaded how powerful Twilight’s magic was now that she was an alicorn. He was sure that even if she had still remained a unicorn that her magic was still the most powerful between him and her. What made this gap in power more apparent was having the Crusaders giving him a crash course on all the amazing stuff that Twilight had done with her magic.
“Can you levitate a pebble, Sweetie Belle?” Statice asked in the middle of their impromptu lecture. Sweetie Belle perked up at the mention of her name.
“Of course, Static!” she lighted her horn and did as he asked her to do.
Statice smiled approvingly before taking the pebble and placing it far away from her reach, until it was barely visible to her.
“Try to do it again,” Statice gave her an encouraging smile.
Sweetie Belle smiled and concentrated her magic. To her surprise, the pebble weighed more than before, and although it was surrounded by her magic, it did not budge from its spot. After a minute of concentration, Sweetie Belle lost her magic aura and was now panting heavily.
“What just happened?” Apple Bloom asked in stunned surprise. “Why couldn’t she lift a pebble when she did it so easily?”
“Levitation has three weakening factors,” Statice explained, remembering the first time he faced those obstacles. “One: you cannot levitate an object that is heavier than what you can lift.”
“But the pebble wasn't even heavy,” Scootaloo countered. “I’ve seen Sweetie Belle lift heavier stuff than this. Well…they’re really not that heavy, but they’re still heavier than some pebble.” The orange pegasus looked embarrassed, realizing how lame her comeback was with the last sentence. Statice did not seem fazed as he continued with his explanation.
“Two: you cannot levitate more than one object if their combined weight is more than what you can actually lift or if you don’t have the concentration to properly shroud enough magic in both of them.”
“But Sweetie Belle was just liftin’ one pebble,” Apple Bloom commented with the same stubbornness as Scootaloo. Statice just decided to finish his lecture.
“Three: you cannot lift an object if you cannot concentrate your magic at a certain distance. If the object is too far, then it's going to be harder for you to enshroud it in magic and then lift it.”
“I didn’t know that,” Sweetie Belle admitted, visually surprised, but not discouraged by her failure. “Well, I did, but I didn’t understand some of Twilight’s words.”
“I had a similar mentor once,” Statice smiled fondly as he remembered how hard he struggled when levitating objects when Digitalis tried to give him an explanation on the mechanics of the spell. He was grateful that Digitalis was comprehensive enough to show him by example when words were not enough.
“Have you ever tried to become a teacher, Statice?” Apple Bloom asked smiling at the green unicorn. “You’re very good, and Ah think Ah learned somethin’ about magic even though Ah can’t use it.”
“Yeah!” Scootaloo buzzed her wings happily. “You take the boring and confusing part out of the lesson and make it straight to the point!”
A little part of Statice wanted to face hoof. Being a teacher would have been a respectable job. He could have gotten a good pay and a decent social life if he helped the foals of his residence. If he made it into another town, he was going to make sure to become a teacher.
“I don’t think that I can be a teacher,” Statice humbly told them. “But I think that I got a cutie mark for you.”
“Really?” the Cutie Mark Crusaders asked as they stood on Statice’s belly. The green unicorn grunted as he felt the combined weight of the three fillies on top of him. He was going to scold them for trampling him, only to find himself mute thanks to their hopeful smiles.
Statice sighed as he came up with his ideas. “How about you girls try to get a cutie mark in counseling? I am going to pretend to be somepony else with a problem and you girls give me some advice.”
“CUTIE MARK CRUSADERS COUNSELORS!”
That was enough to let Statice know that they were going to help him out. He smiled as he now could bring his problem with Discord without getting caught. He took a deep breath to prepare what he was going to say.
“What’s taking you so long?” Scootaloo asked impatiently. “I wanna try to get a cutie mark.”
“I’m trying to come up with a case for you,” Statice half-lied. “I just need time to formulate a scenario that you can solve.”
“Sorry,” Scootaloo folded her ears in embarrassment and chuckled nervously. “I got a little overexcited.”
Statice didn’t answer. He remembered his fight with Discord and tried to make a story out of it. It had to be something that was relatable to the problem yet subtle enough to not let his association with the draconequus look apparent. A grin spread on his face as he came up with a cover story before he frowned and acted like a troubled pony.
“I have a problem, girls. You see, my friend and I got into a little playful snowball fight. My friend is much stronger than me, but I didn’t mind since the two of us agreed that he was going to hold back. He did as promised and I was barely holding my own before he dropped his guard to start taunting me. I got annoyed, but I kept my cool and manage to hit him a few times while he was bluffing. After enough snowballs, he got mad and went all out on me, winning the fight. However, the dude was still upset with me despite winning and getting back at me, so we got into a real fight on which I told him that he was careless and for that he got hit more than he should have been during the snowball fight, and we have not talked to each other since then. What do I do?”
“The way I see it's your friend’s fault,” Scootaloo spoke in a professional accent, which she imitated from Miss Harshwhinny the last time she came to her school.
“How is it the friend’s fault?” Apple Bloom asked in outrage. “No disrespect, Static, but ya shouldn’t say mean things to yer friends over some snowball fight.”
“The guy had it coming!” Scootaloo snapped back. “He was stronger than Static and holding back and yet he still had enough time to showboat. If he got hit, then it is his fault and he has no right to whine about that, especially since he won.”
“But it’s not about winnin’ or losin’,” Apple Bloom stomped her hoof decisively as she glared at Scootaloo with fierce eyes. “This is about not lettin’ some competition get in the way of yer friends. Haven’t ya seen mah sister and Rainbow Dash compete enough times to learn this lesson?”
“I think that you both need to talk things over,” Sweetie Belle suggested before Scootaloo retaliated. “I think that your friend is more upset about something other than the snowball fight, Static. You should talk to him about what’s wrong with him and find out how to make things better. Then you must let him know that his actions hurt your feelings and that he needs to be more considerate with you.”
After giving her answer, Sweetie Belle was met with open jaws from her friends and a surprised glance from Statice. None of them expected her to come up with such wise words. The stunned silence got to her as she took a few steps away from them. “Was it something I said?” she asked with a mixture of innocence and guilt.
“No,” Statice stood up with a shake of his head. He was giving a satisfied smile at the white unicorn. “You did an excellent job with the problem.”
Sweetie Belle gasped in delight, checking at her flank for a cutie mark. She was disappointed to see it bare. Apple Bloom and Scootaloo also checked their own flanks but groaned in equal disappointment when they saw no cutie marks.
“You’ll get them someday,” Statice spoke up, giving each of them a pat on the head before they had a chance to complain. “Anyway, thank you for your time. You must get going now. It’s going to be late.”
“You’re right!” Apple Bloom yelled in alarm. “It’s going to be dinner in a few minutes. Granny Smith is gonna get mad at me if Ah come in late.”
The yellow filly left the place running as fast as her little legs carried her.
“I better go after her,” Scootaloo shrugged her shoulders. “I need to go back to my house and do my homework. Miss Cheerilee is gonna be mad if I don’t complete it like last time.”
The orange filly followed in after her friend, leaving Sweetie Belle with Statice.
“Thank you for the magic lesson,” Sweetie Belle hugged Statice’s foreleg. “I’m going to practice with my magic from now on.”
“You’re welcome,” Statice wrapped a foreleg around Sweetie Belle to return the hug. Much to his surprise, the white filly lifted her head and kissed him on the cheek. He had gotten one before for saving her life, except that this time it was for no reason.
“Consider this a thank you for trying to give me a cutie mark,” Sweetie Belle smiled as she went after her friends.
Statice stood there, waving at the filly. He placed his hoof on his cheek. Ever since he had come to Equestria, affection has been very common for him. He had rarely received it before and now it just stunned him. Years of getting threats and insults felt more normal to him now than a hug or a kiss.
“I guess I’m messed up,” Statice shook his head to get rid of his confusion. He went back to his home once he noticed that the sun was settling down. That night, he waited for Discord to show up but the draconequus didn’t appear.
“I wonder if Discord ever sent that letter I gave him yesterday,” Statice wondered before closing his eyes. He might as well enjoy his slumber because, if things went downhill for him, it was going to be his last.
Earlier that morning, in a land far away from Equestria, a unicorn colt came out of a flower shop. He had a green coat, a mane and tail that came in shades of purple and blue, and yellow eyes. He had no cutie mark yet, but he didn’t mind at the time. All that he cared was to check on the mail and see if he got a letter.
He used the levitation trick that his brother taught him: visualize the mailbox opening and the letters flying in front of him. He read the envelopes, most of them to be delivered to his parents. He paused when he noticed a letter directed to him. A smile spread on his face as he darted inside the house with the letters on his grasp.
“I got your letters!” he sped across his parents, giving them their letters as he passed them by. “I gotta check on my letters.”
He locked himself onto his room and started reading his letter in a loud but still silent voice.
Dear Meadow Tails
It’s been so long since I’ve last sent you a letter. On my previous session, I had informed you that I retired from my profession and that I was to turn a new leaf. Well, it was easier said than done. I no longer do dangerous stuff for money, but somehow trouble still keeps finding me. Everywhere I go, I find jerks that antagonize me, and when I fight back, I end up becoming a fugitive. These last moments have been very difficult for me with virtually no friends. Fortunately, I made a friend after my latest escapade. He is kind of wacky but he is nice…more or less. He is kind of like me in having a shady past but he is working on it. I know that you might think that it’s a bad idea to associate myself with him but I have no other friend left. Anyway, I’ll inform you if things start to get better.
Your loving brother, Statice.
Meadow Tails smiled at the letter. He levitated it and brought a small wooden box hidden under his bed. He opened the box to reveal that its contents were full of letters from the same writer.
“I’m glad you’re safe, Statice,” Meadow Tails smiled, glad that his big brother had a friend at least. He deserved one after all that he had been through.
“It’s nice to see Meadow having a letter from his pen pal,” Lavender Petals smiled as she checked through her mail. She was a unicorn that shared her son’s coat, mane, and tail with the exception of blue eyes and a flower cutie mark.
“Our son is quite popular inside and outside of Hobuck,” Great Garden smiled back at his wife. He was a unicorn with a brown coat, a tricolored mane of red, white, and yellow, and golden eyes. His cutie mark was a collection of gardening tools, a reflection of his job in his family’s flower shop that had been passed on through generations.
“I am just glad that Meadow is hanging out with kids his age,” Lavender nuzzled her husband lovingly. “I was really worried about that imaginary friend of his.”
“He was more of an imaginary brother,” Great Garden chuckled in nostalgia. “His name was Statice, wasn’t he?”
He didn’t get an answer as his wife was now wearing a pensive frown. She was struggling to remember something as she rubbed her head with a hoof.
“Was it something I said, dear?” Great Garden asked worryingly.
“No,” Lavender shook her head while laughing nervously. “I am sorry, dear. It’s just that Statice sounded like a familiar name. It feels as if I heard it before.”
It was Great Garden’s turn to frown. “Now that I think about it, weren’t we going to name Meadow Tails as Statice when he was born? He is our first child so we wanted to give him a memorable name.”
“The flower of remembrance,” Lavender swooned romantically. “It’s such a perfect name for such wonderful occasion. I swear that we named him Statice on his birth certificate.”
“So did I,” Great Garden was rubbing his head. “But I assume that we must have been confused.”
Lavender giggled at that explanation. “You’re right. Why would anypony care if our son was named Statice anyway?”
As the conversation descended into playful flirting, a door opened for a little bit. A green unicorn colt was sadly peaking over them as he remembered the story of how he got his name from his older brother.
“If only you knew the truth,” he silently told his parents before coming back to his room. Sometimes, being the only link between his parents and his older brother was the hardest thing he ever did.