• Published 27th Jun 2013
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A Bushel of Apples - dramatic_spoon



Slice of life stories staring Big Macintosh and his alternate universe offspring

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I swear it's everywhere (Part 3)

Dimension 443

“Hey! You, long-maned fella, get up!”

Stratos fell out of the bed as Grandpa George Cave frowned at him from the doorway.

“What’s a matter? Back in my day we were up by four fifteen so we could do all our chores before breakfast…” the elderly stallion shook his head, “Kids these days….”

Stratos hopped to his feet and trotted out of the door. As he headed towards the kitchen, an older colt with a red mane, a pink bandana tied around his neck, and a cutie mark in the shape of two loaded crossbows, stopped by the stairs.

“Um…hi,” Stratos grinned.

“….Paula, who’s the kid?” the colt called down the stairs.

“He’s Stratos. He’s one of Bliss’s friends.”

The colt frowned as he looked at Stratos, “…I’ve never seen you before, but alright.”

The two headed down the stairs and towards the kitchen where Paula placed another waffle onto a plate.

“Right then, Stratos, this is Applebud, My baby brother.”

“I ain’t a little kid any more, sis.” The colt grumbled.

“Oh don’t be like that,” Paula chided him, “Why I remember it like it was just yesterday when Scooteroll, Charmin’ Chime and you were running around’ hollerin’ about Cutie Mark Crusading.” The mare chuckled, “Well, best you get started, I made apple waffles.”

Applebud and Stratos began to pile waffles onto their plates and gobble them down. The front door creaked open, and a haggard Erebus entered, bags under his eyes and hay stuck in his mane and tail. The stallion sat next to Applebud and sighed.

“You don’t look so good, Uncle Erebus,” Applebud paused to take a drink of milk, “Did ya get into a fight with sis again?”

“In a way,” Erebus sighed before using his magic to bring a plate with waffles towards him.

Stratos warily continued to eat his waffles. Grandpa George Cave suddenly thrust his plate at the colt.

“Want’m? I can’t eat too much before I go to the doctor.” The elderly stallion offered, “ ‘sides, I can’t have as much sugar as I useta.”

“Thanks Mr. Cave,” Stratos quickly shoveled the waffles onto his plate and began to devour them.

“He’s got a better appetite than Bliss, that’s for sure.” George Cave chuckled while Erebus froze up.

“Don’t you get started on that again,” Paula warned as she placed another pile of waffles on the table, “Otherwise you can eat your waffles with the pigs.”

“…” Erebus continued to eat in silence while Paula took a seat at the table.

“Now then, this is what we have ta do today. Erebus, you’re gonna take Granddaddy to the doctor today,”

“I don’t need no chaperone, I can get there myself!” the elderly stallion grumbled.

“It’s to make sure that you get the medicine you need,” Paula gently reminded him, “We don’t want another accident like that again.
And don’t you even think of tryin’ to sneak off, Erebus.”

“I have received notice that both my brother, Prince Tempo and the Elements are off in Ibexiana on business, so that would not be advisable,” Erebus grumbled.

“Good. Bud what are you up to today?”

“Well, um….” Applebud fidgeted, “I was gonna go see what Lickity wanted to do today.”

“It’s good that you got a marefriend, boy, but you oughta be on the farm, workin’,” George Cave shook his head.

“Grandaddy, it’s fine,” Paula chided him before turning her attention to Applebud, “You take her somewhere nice for lunch, you hear?”

“I know sis.”

“What about me?” Stratos inquired.

“Hmm. I’m not sure, Bud, would you mind taking him along?”

“…Do I have ta?”

“Oh don’t be like that, I’m sure Lickity would like to meet him, she likes kids, doesn’t she?”

“Well yeah, but…” Applebud started.

“Then that’s settled!” Paula beamed, “Now you better hurry up, Granddaddy.”

---

Stratos and Applebud walked down the street. Applebud glanced at the colt as he continued to stare at the ponies and town.

“..So who’d you say your mom and dad was again?” Applebud inquired.

“Oh, um…Big Macintosh and Cloudchaser,” Stratos grinned.

“…I don’t remember no uncle named Big Macintosh, and I’ve been to the last couple of reunions.” The colt frowned.

“Um…He was in the hospital.”

“Three times?”

“He…was busy the other times.”

“…Alright kid.” Applebud shrugged, not fully convinced.

An amber coated earth mare with a cream colored mane and a cutie mark in the shape of a bowl of ice cream left a store, her packs filled with vegetables and fruits. Applebud smiled and adjusted his bandana before heading towards her.

“Mornin’ Lickity.” Applebud politely nodded at the mare.

“Oh! Applebud,” Lickity smiled. The mare trotted over to the colt and gave him a peck on the check.

“Yuk.” Stratos retched and turned away, shielding his eyes.

“Who’s your little friend?” Lickity looked past Applebud.

“I’m Stratos.”

“He’s my cousin, apparently,” Applebud shrugged, “I dunno how, but…”

Applebud trailed off as Lickity embraced Stratos.

“You’re adorable!”

“Ahehehehe…” Stratos turned a bright shade of red, “Thanks Miss Lickity.”

“…” Applebud sighed as Lickity let go of Stratos.

“So where are you from?” the mare inquired.

“I’m from…Pony…let. Ponylet.” Stratos’s muzzle scrunched up as he replied.

“Ponylet?” Lickity frowned.

“I ain’t never head about a City called Ponylet.” Applebud shook his head.

“It’s a small town,” Stratos’s eyes flickered from Applebud to Lickity, “Really small.”

“…Well alright,” Lickity shrugged, “I’m actually foalsitting Regal Spectrum and Corundum Star today, so we can’t really do much.”

“That’s fine,” Applebud nodded, “I gotta watch Stratos to-”

The colt trailed off as Erebus struggled pass the group, dragging Grandaddy George Cave behind him.

“I TOLD YA I AIN’T TAKIN’ NO SHOTS!”

“THIS IS NOT FOR DEBATE!” the alicorn hollered back, “WE SHALL NOT LEAVE UNTIL YOU TAKE YOUR MEDICINE!”

“…Your family is so weird sometimes.” Lickity watched as the alicorn continue on his way.

“Eeyup.” Applebud and Stratos nodded in agreement.

---

Lickity pushed open her door, leading the group into the house. Two unicorns sat in the middle of the room, intently staring at their game of chess.

“Kids, I’m back!” Lickity greeted the two of them. Both unicorns silently nodded their acknowledgements as Applebud and Stratos entered. The unicorn playing the white pieces had a white coat and rainbow colored mane, while the unicorn playing the black pieces had a purple coat and blonde mane.
The two continued to focus on their game as Stratos sat next to them.

“Fellas, this is Stratos,” Applebud introduced him, “He’s my cousin.”
“Um…Hi.” The pegasus nervously greeted the two unicorns. Both nodded as the rainbow maned one moved a pawn.

“They don’t talk much,” Lickity apologized, “Boys, introduce yourselves.”

“I’m Regal Spectrum,” the rainbow maned unicorn nodded.

“Corundum Star. Call me Cory.” The other unicorn moved his bishop, taking one of Spectrum’s Knights, “Your move.”

“…” Spectrum moved his remaining knight, taking Cory’s queen, “Check. So where are you from?”

“Ponylet.”

“Ponylet?” Cory scoffed, “Never heard of it.” The colt moved his king out of the way, taking one of Spectrum’s pawns.

“It’s a very small town.”

“…Where is it located?” Spectrum moved another pawn, taking Cory’s remaining bishop.

“Um…” Stratos trailed off, “by a forest.”

“Alright, you kids behave. Bud, I might need some…help with something.” Lickity trailed off.

“Oh, right.”

The two trotted into the kitchen, leaving the three colts in silence.

“…Alright, let’s not kid ourselves,” Spectrum broke the silence, “Which one are you?”

“Wh…what?” Stratos blinked.

“Bliss mentioned you before,” Cory responded, “It’s Big Macintosh and…who again?”

“….Cloudchaser.” Stratos responded, “Did Bliss mention Nova?”

“Her genderswapped counterpart?” Spectrum inquired as he moved his rook, “Once or twice. Check.”

“She’s…I think Miss Paula called him Raindancer’s counterpart.” Stratos added.

“Oh. So he’s Flapper’s brother,” Cory moved his king again, taking the other rook, “Interesting.”

“Why? Who did he marry?”

“Well…” Cory and Spectrum exchanged awkward glances, “….Another guy.”

“…Oh,” Stratos blinked, “………That’s weird.”

“I would imagine so,” Spectrum moved another pawn, placing it on the back row of Cory’s board, “I would like my Queen back.”

“What about our counterparts?” Cory inquired.

“Oh, Well…Rainbow Dash married Doctor Whooves and had a girl named Temporal Spectrum.”

“…Doctor Whooves?” Spectrum’s eyebrow rose.

“Probably Professor Whooves’s counterpart,” Cory shrugged, “What of…Who did she say Pish Posh’s counterpart was?”

“Fancy Pants,” Spectrum responded.

“…I dunno.” Stratos shrugged, “He’s rich and famous, we’re…not.”

“What about Dusk Shine and Princess Bluebelle?” Cory pushed on.

“Who?”

“I think Bliss said they were…Twilight Sparkle and Prince Blueblood?”

“Oh, um….Miss Twilight still isn’t married,” Stratos responded, “I dunno why. I dunno about Prince Blueblood.”

The other two colts shrugged and returned to their game.

“…Is this all you guys do?” Stratos frowned.

“More or less.” Cory moved his pawn, “Checkmate.”

“…That makes us tied at Seventy-three each.”

“…” Stratos flopped onto his back, “Is there something else we could do?”

“Probably.”

---

Two Days later
Universe-Prime

Two Flashes of light erupted in Lyra’s living room, depositing Stratos and Midnight Bliss atop the Sofa.
Bonbon peeked in from the kitchen.

“Oh, it’s you two. Mac, It’s Bliss and Stratos.”

Stratos undid the dimensional transporter on his leg and handed it to Bliss,
“This one’s yours.”

“I got Scarlet’s, so who got yours?” Bliss removed the device on her leg, and strapped the proper one on.

“I dun-”

Another flash of light blinded the two foals, and Scarlet Tornado landed on the coffee table. The filly collapsed and groaned.

“Where did you come from?” Bliss inquired, “This one is yours, by the way.”

“I got stuck in Center Stage’s universe,” the pegasus filly undid the device and fastened hers, “Did you know he’s got a little brother and sister? And that they’re more annoying that he is?”

“I don’t think that’s possible.” Bliss replied.

“…..So that leaves…Gem and Center Stage.”

Two more flashes of light deposited the last two unicorns on top of Scarlet’s back.

“This is yours.” Center Stage passed Golden Gem her device, while Scarlet passed Center Stage’s his device. Stratos took his device back from Gem and attached it to his leg, just as Big Macintosh entered the room.

“…What are you doing?”

“We got all our things mixed up from the last visit.” Golden Gem responded.

“…Alright kids, next time label yours, so this doesn’t happen again.”