• Published 1st Jun 2013
  • 27,267 Views, 1,385 Comments

Legend - Radiant Dawn

He was an average man in nearly every sense of the term, but his entire life is flipped upside-down when a push for a paycheck turns into something unexpected...something much more.

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Chapter 12: "But I don't do spas!"

Author's Note:

Happy Hearth's Warming to all. Here's hoping you all got presents and that your family didn't tell you you're adopted!

Chapter 12: “But I don’t do spas!”

As I made my way through Ponyville to the Sleeping Dragon Spa, I simply enjoyed the calm atmosphere. I had become a common enough sight so that other than a polite wave and smile, ponies didn’t even bat an eye at me passing through the town. It added a desirable sense of normality for me that made Equestria feel a little more like a home instead of a place to live, and I couldn’t help but smile a bit at the thought. Even now, there would be a faint pang of longing whenever I thought about Earth, but my time with ponies willing to put up with me had helped me ease into the fact that Equis was my home now, and there was no getting around it.

I was finding it easier and easier as time went on to turn my mind away from the more negative thoughts, and the warmth and care that was freely offered to me by so many helped. Sure, I was still in no way completely comfortable with my new situation, but if I was ever presented with a choice to return to my world in the correct time period, I am not entirely sure I would take such an offer.

Crazy, I know.

I had formed a home for myself here, filled with friends who cared about me and would miss me if I was gone. I was finally coming to terms with the fact that given the choice to return to Earth, there wouldn’t be anything left there for me. No family, no friends, and no familiarity. My old life could finally be laid to rest for me, and honestly, it was a good feeling.

That wasn’t to say that I completely understood Equis, nor that I liked everything about it. For one, I just couldn’t figure out the two Equestrian princesses, nor what they had in store for me. Both claimed to care about me and even wish to be my friend, but the way they acted and treated me reminded me of a cat playing with a mouse: batting it around with its paws until the mouse died, or the cat became bored. I could only hope my relationship with the princesses (if you could call it that) wouldn’t end that way, but I had my doubts.

Currently though, I decided not to think about that particular part of my life. I had a job interview to ace, and walking aimlessly throughout the town nitpicking at what I liked and disliked about the world I lived in would get me nowhere.

I was pleased to find the place of my possible job to be fairly close to the library, at a mere ten minute walk from point A to point B. The building itself looked a lot like what I would expect a circus tent to look like, only with more subdued colors and a solid construction. I pushed open the door as I ducked my head to enter, and was met with a rather quaint waiting room housed by a few patrons, and a small desk worked by a pink earth pony with a pastel blue mane and tail. She wore a headwrap that kept her mane out of her face, and a smile that could put at ease even the most uncomfortable person.

Said earth pony noticed me as soon as I walked in (as did everyone else), and she motioned me over with a hoof. “Welcome to the Sleeping Dragon Spa! You must be Mr. Smith, correct?”

I nodded with a smile. “I am.”

The pony smiled in return and jerked her head toward a door marked “EMPLOYEES ONLY”. “Follow me. We’ll get started right away.”

I pushed open the door by easily reaching above the spa pony, and followed her into a back room that led to a break room-like area where another pony with nearly the exact same style as the one previous sat, except with swapped colors for her mane and tail.

The pink one stopped next to the other and greeted, “I’m Aloe Blossom, and this is my sister Lotus. As you may have already guessed, we’re the proprietors of the spa, and the ones you will be meeting with today.”

I nodded with a smile as I sat down at a chair provided to me. “Thank you. I’m Jamison Smith, and it’s a pleasure to meet you both.”

Aloe Blossom nodded before looking to her sister, who picked up the conversation. “With our business having picked up dramatically in the past year, we are always looking for skilled workers to help out around the spa, and Princess Twilight Sparkle tells us that you’re rather qualified for a masseur position.”

I shrugged. “I suppose so, though I only have experience with providing my services to aging pets and the like.”

Lotus Blossom nodded before motioning to a waiting spa bed that looked oddly similar to one I would find on Earth, only offering support in different places for the different body mechanics of a pony. “Well, let’s see what you can do.”

As her sister took her place upon the massage table, Aloe Blossom began explaining to me. “As with any business of this type, you are strongly encouraged to disregard the common cultural issues that may or may not revolve around touch. Our clients trust us, and that trust will extend to you should we hire you. That being said, there will be no groping of intimate areas, and we do not deal in ‘happy endings’. For this practice session, Lotus and I will openly tell you if something is inappropriate, or if you should push a little further with your ministrations. After all, a good masseur is very thorough.”

I looked to Lotus Blossom as she lay waiting on the massage bed, and took a deep breath before unbuttoning and removing my jacket and rolling up my sleeves. I then approached the prone pony and grabbed the nearby oil bottle, squeezing a minimal amount into my hands and rubbing them to warm it. Finally, I began running my hands and fingers over the shoulders of the pony presented to me.

Immediately Lotus Blossom spoke up. “Alright, immediately you’re doing something wrong. This is meant to be a relaxing massage, so don’t be afraid to put a little more oomph into it. I won’t break.” I sighed and applied more pressure with my fingers and thumbs as I worked over the muscles around her neck and shoulders, and heard her groan underneath me. “Yessss...much better.”

I focused on digging deeper into the muscle with my fingers, using my unique ability to manipulate the flesh in a way no pony could with their hooves. As I heard the snaps and pops of muscles uncoiling and knots being worked out, I gradually moved my hands lower, before stopping at the withers.

Apparently Aloe Blossom noticed my plight, as she explained, “Anywhere else in society, you are not to touch the bare back of a pony. However, this is an environment where that rule is void so long as it is done in a situation such as this. Clients know that, and trust us to do our job to the fullest extent.” She motioned with her head toward her sister and smiled. “Go ahead, get in there.”

Being given the okay on what would normally be a no-no, I began to work my hands into the slender muscle that bordered the spine, relaxing and warming it as I continued to massage. Unlike a human, there weren’t many muscles along the back, but I worked to get wherever it was needed. Lotus Blossom melted at my touch, and her critiques of my skill was reduced to unintelligible babbles as she attempted to become one with the massage table.

Aloe Blossom continued pointing things out to me as I went on with my work. “Don’t forget the front legs. We walk on those too, so they need attention as well. Hooves get sore from walking all day, but take the longest to soothe. Save those for last.”

I nodded as I continued, moving my hands from the spine of the pony to her haunches, and again pausing.

Aloe Blossom giggled and said, “Same thing as the back here, Mr. Smith. Just limit your touch to actually massaging, and you’ll be fine. Avoid the obviously intimate areas of a pony underneath the tail, and you’re not doing anything wrong in this context.”

I continued carefully, using my palms and fingertips to knead the soft muscles of the croup and dock before moving to the firm rump of the pony. Immediately, my brain saw fit to advise me I was practically groping a pony’s ass, but neither pony seemed to find an issue with it, so I just passed it off as part of the job.

Good thing I don’t fantasize about ponies, or I’d have a rigid problem to deal with.

Lotus Blossom’s groans of approval graduated to soft moans, which even with my lack of attraction to ponies began to make me feel a little...warm. I chose not to focus on my own plight though, and continued my work, moving further down the splayed hind legs and kneading out all the kinks and knots in the muscles there. Finishing with that, I then moved toward the head of the table again, and did the same to Lotus Blossom’s forelegs, noticing the relaxed pony sporting a wide smile on her face.

As I finished with her sister’s forelegs, Aloe Blossom appeared beside me to once again offer advice. “Now for the hooves. Unlike what you might believe about a pony’s hooves, they’re actually not as solid as you think. They are malleable keratin over a fleshy core, and have nerves spread out throughout the whole thing. The best advice I can give you is to work it like you’re trying soften a piece of clay by hand. A hoof will never get that soft of course, but that’s how you should do it, and a few minutes of that will leave a pony very happy.”

I acknowledged her pointers with a nod and worked the hoof to the best of my ability with my hands. Contrary to what I had initially thought about hooves, fur didn’t cover the whole thing. Instead, there was a longer layer of fur that was styled to cover them for a uniform surface when in public, but in actuality, they were the same as a horse’s hooves. The texture, however, was quite different, and was much softer than I thought. Even with just the pressure of my hands, I could feel the hoof give just a bit, and this was answered with a soft moan from the pony on the table.

While moving my attention to the other forehoof, I asked Aloe Blossom, “Is your sister always this vocal?”

Aloe Blossom answered with a giggle. “Not unless it feels good, which is a good sign for you. She can be rather picky when it comes to business.”

I shrugged as I added differing pressure to Lotus Blossom’s left hoof, and then moving to the hind legs. “Honestly, this is a lot easier. Animals can’t really tell me when something feels good, so it’s a plus that ponies can talk.” I began firmly rolling the right rear hoof between my hands as I added, “It also helps that you all are willing to teach me what to do and what not to do. I wouldn’t want this entire town thinking I’m a pervert or a deviant.”

Aloe Blossom giggled and shook her head. “I don’t think you have to worry about that. Although you might become our most popular worker here with those hands of yours.”

I cleared my throat nervously at the praise. “I can’t be that good. Like I said, my previous clients couldn’t even talk to me.”

Aloe Blossom smiled as I finished with her sister’s final hoof and moved around to the front of the table. “Well, how was it Lotus?”

The mentioned pony groaned softly as she lifted her head, and smiled. “Better than I expected he could do with those flimsy things. Guess I was wrong.” Lotus Blossom lifted her gaze to look directly at me, and she grinned happily. “When can you start?”

I shrugged. “When do you need me? I’m busy tonight, but any other time would be fine.”

The prone earth pony looked to her sister for a moment before turning her attention back to me. “I think we’ll have you work the afternoon shift on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at first. It’s a high-volume time of day, but the middle of the week tends to be less busy than the weekends. The shift starts at 1:00p.m. Does that sound alright to you?”

I honestly had no regular issues with a schedule like that, so I nodded. “That sounds great.”

Lotus Blossom finally composed herself and stood, letting out a soft moan as she felt the relaxed state of her body. Eventually, she looked up at me with a happy smile. “Your pay will be twelve bits per hour, with tips.” I was pleasantly surprised about this, as Twilight had informed me that an average wage for a job was around eight bits per hour.

I smiled again and offered my hand for a polite handshake. “Well, it is a pleasure, and thank you for this opportunity.”

Aloe and Lotus Blossom both nodded as one by one, they shook my hand. At the same time, they said, “We’ll see you again soon!”

I had pieced together that they were twins, but saying the same things at the same times was a little weird.

I offered a polite wave before preparing to leave, only to stop in my tracks as a question came to mind. “Oh, what should I wear?”

Both ponies looked at me with confused expressions, Lotus Blossom saying, “Um, you really don’t have to wear anything.”

I cleared my throat uncomfortably before answering, “My race is clothing-required. I’ll leave it at that.”

Both sisters looked at me in confusion, but Aloe Blossom tilted her head in acquiescence. “Well, I guess just wear something clean and comfortable without being distracting or a safety hazard.”

I smiled, having a pair of cargo shorts and a tee in mind. “Awesome. I’ll see you both in a few days then.”

“Bye!” they answered together, in an oddly more-cute-than-creepy way.

Yes, there is such a thing...shut up.

As I pushed open the door to the library, I was caught in a rather interesting situation.

Twilight had Spike pinned to the ground as she loomed over him, and she shouted, “GIMMIE!”

Spike had his eyes squeezed shut as he lay prone, face down, over something he was hiding underneath him. “NO!”

It was at that moment I cleared my throat, and Twilight looked up at me with a horrified expression. Her hips were flush against Spike’s tail end and her wings were spread wide, the realization of which caused her to blush brightly. “I-IT’S NOT WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE!”

I smirked evilly. “And what does it look like, Twilight?” The young alicorn only blushed a deeper shade, turning her cheeks maroon as she sputtered and leapt away from her dragon assistant. I chuckled and shook my head. “God, I wish I had a camera.”

Twilight tucked her wings against her body with a snap, clearing her throat and trotting over to me with a smile. “S-so how did your job interview go?”

Again I smirked. “Oh, this isn’t over Twilight. There’s much hazing to be done yet.” As a new blush began to light up her face, I shrugged with a warmer smile. “Still, I guess we can change the subject for now. It went great. I’ll be working Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.”

Twilight tilted her head curiously. “What did you have to do during the interview?”

I shrugged again. “Demonstrate my skills on Lotus.” I shifted my feet a bit with nervousness. “It was a little awkward to be touching a pony in places I have been told not to, but they both assured me it was part of the job.”

Twilight raised her eyebrow at me. “How so?”

“I massaged her ass as part of the job.” I explained dryly.

Twilight’s blush returned. “O-oh. Is that going to be a regular thing?”

I nodded. “Apparently so. The sisters told me there’s different rules for massages, and to be fair, your flank muscles are used all day when you walk, so they get pretty tight.” I grimaced as I realized what I had just said. “I just called a pony’s ass tight, didn’t I?”

“You did.” Twilight affirmed with a grin.

I groaned and slapped my palm over my face. “Thank God I only said that in front of a princess, otherwise I’d be in trouble.”

“Maybe that would put Vinyl in a good mood for you tonight.” Spike commented. I looked over to him, and he shrugged. “She likes you, so tell her that she has nice flanks. She’ll dig that.”

Twilight sputtered incoherently for a few moments before shouting, “SPIKE!”

I just barely kept from laughing aloud, and shook my head. “I’m trying to apologize, not ask her out.”

“Well why not?” Spike asked, purposefully avoiding Twilight’s glare. “You like her, she likes you; it’s perfect. Go get her.”

Twilight was apparently too stunned to speak from listening to her young charge suddenly sounding not only more mature, but better versed in modern social structure.

Still, I shook my head. “It’s a human thing, Spike; can’t see ponies like that. It just feels...weird for some reason.”

Twilight finally composed herself as her interest was piqued. “Why?”

I shrugged, trying to get my words together before saying them. “Well…” I thought for a moment before saying, “I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but on Earth, ponies aren’t sapient. They can’t talk, and it’s highly unlikely they even think like humans do. They’re just animals, and as bad as it sounds, that’s what I’m reminded of when I see an Equestrian pony.” Before Twilight could retort, I continued. “It’s gotten better, of course. As you can tell, I’m fairly alright with physical contact now, and I can see those of you I’ve gotten close to as friends. Still, there’s that little part of my mind that’ll always tell me, ‘Dude, that’s a little horse.’”

Twilight’s face looked like a cross between surprise and offense, and I mentally cringed. “I’m not entirely sure how to take that.”

I sighed and shook my head. “It’s not in a mean way, I assure you.” Again I took a few seconds to organize my mind before saying, “Alright, let me try and explain it to you this way, and let’s use Rarity as an example: around here, I’ve been told she’s known as one of the most attractive mares around. Both stallions and mares try to get her attention, and she’s not only intelligent, but kind and generous.” Just imagining such a woman caused me to smile. “Now if she was a human, damn, she’d be a hell of a catch.” I then shrugged helplessly. “But she’s not. When I look at her, I see an intelligent businesspony who is kind and generous, but that’s it. I mean sure, she’s pretty ‒ even I can admit that ‒ but she’s not attractive to me. I can look at her and know that she’s beautiful, but she’s just not the type of beautiful that a human looks for.” I then remembered a certain unfavorable part of human culture and grimaced. “Well, she’s not the type most humans look for.” I shook my head vigorously to clear the unwanted images, and looked hopelessly at Spike and Twilight. “I’ve already explained this to both Princess Celestia and Princess Luna: I don’t find ponies attractive. To be honest, when I see the few of you that I feel comfortable with, I actually have to restrain myself from rubbing your bellies or patting your heads like I would a dog, because ‒ and don’t take this the wrong way ‒ you all are adorable sometimes.” At Twilight’s skeptical expression, I pointed to her and explained, “Like that way you grin like a crazy mare and bounce a little on your hooves when you get the chance to learn something new. Cute. As. Hell.”

Twilight blushed deeply and turned her face away. “I don’t do that all the time.”

At that point, Spike decided to add to her embarrassment. “To be fair, it is pretty cute when you do that, Twi. It’s like when it happens, you’re not Princess Twilight Sparkle or even Twilight Sparkle: Protege of Celestia. Instead, for those few seconds, you’re just little filly Twilight, getting to learn something new and interesting.”

Twilight huffed in annoyance. “You two aren’t ever going to let me live that down, are you?”

Spike laughed. “Of course not. You’ve got a ruthless human and your younger brother rooming with you. You’re doomed to live with that for the rest of your life.”

Twilight rolled her eyes as her wings fluttered in frustration. “Thanks Spike.”

I chuckled as well and gave Twilight an affectionate rub on the cheek. “We do it because someone has to remind you of who you were, so you can continue being who you are, and turn into who you are meant to be.” I tilted my head in confusion before commenting, “Wow, that’s surprisingly philosophical of me.”

Twilight tilted her head as well. “I agree. Perhaps it has something to do with the chaos magic inside of you.” Her eyes then widened and she hopped to her hooves. “Oh! That reminds me; I need fresh samples of skin, blood, and hair. I’ve been testing the samples I took last time, and I’ve come across something rather interesting. However, before I can be sure about my theories, I need fresh data to work with.”

I raised my eyebrow. “Care to elaborate?”

Twilight shook her head with a frown. “I’d rather not until I’m sure, if that’s alright. Both Spike and Princess Celestia have brought to my attention just how easily I can jump to conclusions, so I’d like to be sure before I say anything.”

I reluctantly removed my jacket and rolled my sleeve up before saying, “Just promise me you’re not going to make an army of evil human clones or something.”

Twilight giggled and shook her head. “No problem there, Jamie. Besides, humans are too headstrong to train on my own, and I’ve already experienced what too much of a friend can be like.” As she levitated a syringe and alcohol swab toward my arm, she cringed a bit. “Too much Pinkie Pie.”

As my arm was cleaned and then punctured, I asked, “Is it something dangerous that I should worry about?”

Twilight shook her head as a pair of scissors clipped a lock of hair from my bangs, and a file scraped some skin cells into a container before sealing. “Not at all. What I can tell you is that I think I might have found out how your magic is manifesting.”

I raised my eyebrow as a bandage was placed on my arm where the blood was taken from. “Like I’ll be able to cast spells or something?”

Twilight shook her head. “I don’t think so. Your magic seems to be more internal, but like I said, I want to do some more tests before I definitively claim anything.”

I nodded, thankful that Twilight was gentler than the first time she “harvested” me. “Well, thanks for keeping track of things. I’m glad I have you looking into this; the last thing I want is to suddenly find out I have some magic cancer or something.”

Twilight giggled as she sterilized and packed the containers gathered. “Nothing like that, I assure you. It’s been proven that your body has already assimilated magic just fine, so I don’t think there’s any imminent danger involved here. I just want to be sure that if anything does start happening, you have somepony that has an idea of what’s going on.”

The thought that my body had fundamentally changed still unnerved me, but I nodded. “Again, thanks.” I stretched a bit before walking toward my room. “Well, I’m going to go ahead and shower again before I go to the club. Rainbow’s going to be dropping by soon, so if she gets here before I’m out, just tell her I’m freshening up.”

“Got it, Jamie.” Spike answered as I left the room.

As the hot water cascaded down my body, I couldn’t help but feel a little apprehensive toward what was to come tonight. I mean, by what Octavia had told me, it was quite likely that I was going to be just fine as far as my relationship with Vinyl was concerned. What concerned me though was the fact that Vinyl may very well want more than a mere friendship with Ponyville’s resident human, which unfortunately for her was not something I was keen on exploring.

As much as thinking about Princess Luna and Celestia angered me, they had spoken to me some very useful words of wisdom. As part of what was to be my new life, I realized that my old plans and old ideas probably weren’t going to pan out the exact same way as I initially envisioned them. This being the case, I couldn’t say that my future was going to end up a certain way.

And, for the first time, I could admit something to myself.

Maybe as time went on, my indifference toward the pony form would wane, and perhaps one day, I might even find myself eyeing them in the way I would a beautiful woman. I didn’t really believe such a thing would happen, but I could admit to myself that such a thing was possible, no matter how unlikely. After all, my thoughts of what was and what could have been were all wiped off the face of potentiality when I came to Equestria, and the realm of impossibility didn’t seem so vast anymore. Rather than forcibly push the thought away or even completely disregard it, I simply let it settle within my mind as a possible truth of my existence. Objectively, I could tell that my willingness to be more open to possibilities like that was likely an effect of the magic within me, but I realized that there was also nothing I could do to stop it.

Instead, I turned my mind toward my mission tonight: get my friend back.