• Published 20th Aug 2013
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Evergreen, Act I - DoctorEvergreen



A traveling merchant arrives in Ponyville, bringing with him good tidings, strange commodities and a mysterious past.

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Chapter II: Acquaintance

Evergreen

Fan fiction by Grey McBoyd



Chapter II

Acquaintance


Twilight awoke the next day sitting at her desk, her face in the healing book as it lied open amongst a disaccorded pile of parchment. She checked the time, eleven forty-five. She knew she shouldn’t have stayed up so late, but she was compelled to figure out how this healing magic worked, since most biological magics are illegal and the ones that aren’t are either too difficult to cast or serve little to no use.

As she made her way to the kitchen for some breakfast, Spike noticed her and said in a sunshine-like tone, “Mornin’ sleepy horse. Somepony was up a little after hours last night, weren’t they?”

Twilight answered with a morning grumble and continued toward the kitchen.

Before she waltzed out of sight in her sleep-drunken stupor, Spike said, “Check the counter for your breakfast. I made your favorite!”

Twilight heard this, looked back over her shoulder and gave a nice, closed eye grin followed by a “Thanks Spike, can always count on you, can’t I?”

When she reached the kitchen, she found a full breakfast sitting on a breakfast-in-bed tray, comprised of a stack of four syrup drenched flapjacks with butter on top, a tall glass of milk and an orange on the side cut into four pieces. Twilight would have shed a tear if she didn’t know that this is how Spike usually is; a dragon with a true understanding of loyalty and a full life ahead of him. Twilight picked up the tray and took it to her desk. Dining on the savory flapjacks, she surveyed various notes and papers on the table. She was just finishing off the flapjacks, orange and sipping on her half full glass of milk when she uncovered the book on healing magic from underneath an avalanche of study material she accidently piled on top of it.

She remembered something important, asking Spike suspiciously, “Hey Spike…about what time did we meet Doc yesterday?”

Spike replied, “Oh about…um…noonish.” Twilight checked the time, eleven fifty-eight.

She instantly snapped out of her quarter drowsiness and rushed to clean herself up for her meeting with Doc and Rainbow Dash.

After quickly combing out her mane and brushing her teeth, she was just about to gallop out the front door when she brought herself to a screeching halt, turning around and asking Spike, “Oh Spike, you wanna come with?”

Spike was in the middle of mopping the hardwood floor of the Library when he replied, “Nah, I still have a few more chores to do. If I can, I might catch up with you later. But for now, hope you have fun!”

Twilight said, “Thanks Spike.” before heading out the front door and for the town square as fast as she could.

As she galloped around the corner of a candle shop, completely out of breath, she saw Doc and a hovering Rainbow Dash at the near center of the town square, having a conversation a small ways away from the fountain. She rested her hoof on the candle shop wall and caught her breath for a moment, then cantered in the direction of the two.

Doc looked slightly to his left, noticed her and said to Dash, “Hey! There’s Twilight.”

Dash looked to her right, said, “Really? Oh yeah, it is her.” and began waving to her happily.

“Hey Twilight! Over here!”

Twilight exhaustedly waved back as she drew closer and the two turned in her direction.

When she reached the pair, she said, “Hey *pant* guys *pant* how’s it *cough* going?”

Dash responded looking to the top-right corner of her eyes, “Eh, same old, same old.”

She looked back to Twilight and continued, noticing her fatigue, “You okay?”

“Yeah, *cough* *HACK*, I’m good. Just a little worn out.”

“You look really exhausted.” said Doc, “Did you run here from wherever it is you live?”

Twilight gave her last croak before answering, “Yup *pant* *phew*.”

“That’s quite the distance for a sprint like that.” Dash remarked, “But back to the subject, we were actually just talking about you.”

“Oh yeah, Dashie here was just telling me stuff about you.” Doc added.

Twilight asked in a puff, “Really?” let her head hang for a second to give one more pant, then looked back up and continued, “What kind of stuff?”

“Not much.” Dash explained, “In fact the two of us just barely got here ourselves. All I’ve really been able to tell him was the story of how we met.”

Doc failed to conceal his chuckles and snickers before sighing and saying, “I would have given anything to have seen your mane after that ‘rain-blow dry’ thing Dashie did.”

“Hardy har, very funny.” Twilight countered, “*heh* But anywho, on the subject of today, what do you guys want to do?”

“I was actually thinking we could just walk around town and talk more about you.” Doc suggested, “I’ve already heard the beginning, and can’t wait to hear more."

Twilight and Dash just gave a simple “O.K.” and “Sounds good to me” before joining Doc as they walked down the street towards the park.

*****

They walked for several minutes in silence, admiring the various scenery of the town that never really changed. Twilight broke the silence as she caught a glimpse of a dove sitting on the branch of a weeping willow.

“So Doc, where are you from?”

“Hm? Oh, I come from a lot of places.” Doc answered, “With all the traveling, it’s sometimes hard to keep track.”

He halfway turned his head around and looked at her with his left eye, asking, “I’m assuming you’re from here?”

“Actually, no.” She replied, “A year ago, I was moved here from Canterlot on official business.”

“Yup!” Dash added, “And we’ve been best buds ever since, along with everypony else.”

They were just passing Sugarcube Corner at that point.

Twilight noticed the charming bakery and asked, “Yeah. Say Doc, care to give any of your stories on how you met the rest of us?”

“Oh, you mean the rest of your friends?” Doc asked before giving a somewhat gleeful reply, “Sure! Which one do you wanna hear first?”

Dash put her hoof around Twilight’s shoulder as she hinted, “Why don’t you start out with the best?”

Doc chuckled at Dash’s narcissistic remark and said, “*sigh* Fine Dashie, I’ll tell yours first.”

Dash gave a condensed “Yes!” and Doc began.

“Last time I remember, it was ten years ago, and Dashie here was just a wittle filly.”

He was cutoff as Dash rolled her eyes and added with a blank tone, “True, I was nine, but you know your just saying that to make me seem younger.”

He turned to her and mentioned, “And I’m also the one telling the story. Your Point?”

Dash stared back at him with an annoyed face before Doc responded with a smirk, turned his head back to the direction they were walking and continued.

“Anyway, it was about ten years ago and Dashie decided to walk up to my wagon all by her wittle self.”

Doc said the last words in the sentence like a parent would say to a toddler, further mocking Dash and suddenly making her regret having him tell the story.

Twilight tried miserably to keep herself from laughing at his foolishness, while all Dash could do was roll her eyes again and keep herself from hitting him in the back of the head. Doc continued.

“She asked me if I could cheer her on as she practiced a few flying techniques. The funny thing is, back then her flight routines were just a loop and a roll or two. I’ve seen how she does now, and I gotta say, I’m impressed with her improvement.”

Now Dash responded with a more proud infliction, huffing onto her hoof once and then buffing it on her chest with a satisfied smile. Typical Dash.

“After that,” Doc continued, “we talked, told stories, got to know each other and well…here we are.”

“Yep.” Dash replied. “I’ve basically known him my entire life since then. Over the years, I eventually introduced him to everypony else in our little friend circle.”

“Yeah,” Doc added, “and as I met each one I got to know them too.” He widened his eyes and shook his head lightly, tilting his head up slightly and saying, “And my word, what ponies they are.”

“What do you mean?” Twilight asked.

He answered, “I mean the heart in Applejack, the sustained greatness in Fluttershy, the sophistication in Rarity, the energy in Pinkie,” He gave Dash a friendly, sibling-like noogie, “the soul in Dashie here, and from what I’ve seen so far, the prioritative grasp and true discerning of others that you absolutely excel in. I’ve seen many ponies like you in my travels, and almost all of them have grown to be some of the best living things to exist in this world. Their very presence can lighten a mood, their very voice can control the movement of the sun and their personalities are like a flower in a sea of rocks. They are, singlehoofedly, the most beautiful things a fool like me could ever hope to last in this a cold, cold world we live in.”

They all stopped in the sudden surprise of such an intricate statement. Doc’s eyes widened, realizing he had said it out loud as he shyly stammered.

“Oh…uh…sorry I…erm.”

Twilight was dumbstruck by what she had just heard, saying, “Wow…that was…”

“Sorry…it’s just…”

“…amazing!” Twilight continued, “I guess a lot of the stuff I’ve heard about you is true! I’ve never known anypony to say something so…sweet to somepony they’ve barely even met.”

“Yeah…sorry.” Doc recovered, “It’s just that you…remind me of somepony I know.”

“Well I’m sure that whoever that is,” Dash remarked, “they sure are lucky to have somepony as cool as you thinking about them like that.”

Doc blushed and gave a big closed eye grin whilst scratching the back of his head with his left hoof.

“Heh, thanks.” he said before shaking his head, “But anyways, any other place you two wanna go?”

“Well I’ve already shown you all the other places where my friends live.” Dash suggested, “Why don’t we show you where Twilight lives?”

“That sounds like an idea.” Doc replied whole-heartedly, “Although from where we are now, it might take a while.”

“Actually,” Twilight mentioned, “it’s not that far from here. C’mon, I’ll show you.”

Doc just said, “Okay.” and the triplet was off to the Library.

After twenty minutes or so of walking, the Library came into view. Doc ironically began a small conversation, asking, “So Twilight, what is your place like anyway?”

Twilight lifted her hoof in the direction of the Library and said, “You’re looking at it.”

Doc looked in front of him, realized that it was the Library, and froze for several seconds before a pleasant grin slowly grew across his face.

Dash noticed this and asked, “Eh, Doc…what’s wrong?”

His eyes widened very slightly as he heard his name, looked to his right and answered, “Hm? Oh, it’s just that…I didn’t expect this to be the place.”

“Yeah *heh*.” said Twi flamboyantly. “To be honest I actually am quite the bookworm. It’s more or less the reason the princess herself asked me to be her personal student…not to brag or anything.”

Doc’s grin and eye widening immediately altered from a nostalgic glow to a minor, past-induced appearance of surprise as he asked, “You…were one of Princess Celestia’s private students?”

Twilight answered with a still lighthearted persona of conversation even with Doc’s suspicious reaction.

“Yeah, ever since I was a filly. She’s been so good to me in that time. I just don’t know what I would’ve done without her.”

Doc responded feebly whilst slowly averting his gaze to the ground, as if he felt shame, “Yeah…I guess she is pretty nice huh?”

This surprised Twilight, so she asked, “Do you know the princess?”

Doc pulled himself from his near depressed stupor and said, “Uh yeah, I mean no, I mean…Sorry, it’s another long story.”

Dash finally stopped hovering since they began their walk to this spot, faced him and asked, “Doc, you and I both know that when you don’t wanna talk about it, it’s a long story. What’s wrong?”

Doc shook his head and answered, “No, it’s nothing.” before attempting to end the conversation on a lighthearted note.

“Anyway, I guess I’ll see you two later.”

He walked away from the two and in the direction of the town square.

Twilight timidly offered before he got too far, “You can come inside and have some lunch if you want. I don’t mind.”

“Well…it’d be rude to resist an offer like that from a new friend,” Doc answered just as bashfully. He retrieved that humble, at peace, nostalgic simper he first had and replied, “Why not?”

*****

As they entered the Library, Spike was standing atop the pinnacle of a very long ladder, directly in front one of the many enormous bookcases that lined some of the building’s walls. With five or six books under his arm, he was placing a several others into their correct places, helping as he usually does.

As the trio approached, Twilight said, “Hey Spike, finishing up morning chores?”

Spike replied after some slight surprise, “Yep, just need a few more books.”

He looked over his right shoulder and saw the three. A smile began to form on his scaly face before the force of his turning made him wobble back and forth, eventually sending him toppling backwards. He was about to clash with the hardwood floor when Doc took several calm steps forward, put a hoof between Spike’s back and the floor, and caught him with ease. When Spike unclenched his eyes from anticipation of impact, he saw Doc’s amused face.

“I don’t believe we’ve properly met.”

A minute or two later, they were all sitting at a circular table that stood just in front of one of the bookcase walls, out of the way and perfect for a group of friends to enjoy talking in peace. Twilight sat on one side, Spike to her left, Dash across from him and Doc to her right. They spoke as good friends while sipping on cups of chamomile, all except Dash who just had a bottle of water.

“So Doc,” Spike asked, continuing the conversation they were having, “what kind of places do you go to?”

“Oh, all kinds of places,” he answered before taking a quick but calm sip of his tea, “and not just here in the country either.”

After taking a long chug from her water bottle, crossing her forelegs and placing her elbows on the table, Dash added, “Yeah, and with each place he goes, there’s always a new story to tell.”

“You sure have talked about these stories a lot Rainbow,” Twilight mentioned, “what are they like?”

“Crazy.” Dash simply responded. “Doc here always tells stories about how he helps others, goes on adventures and even saves ponies’ lives.”

Doc pointed at Dash lightly with his teacup whilst making the remark of, “You make it sound like I brag about it.”

His shoulders fell after giving two chuckles, then looked to the lower rights of his eyes with a humble smile as he continued, “Really, I only do it because I’ve met a lot of ponies that could use a hoof. It just feels like the right thing to do, ya know?”

“Kind, mysterious and honest to boot!” Dash said to Twilight and Spike before putting her right hoof on his head and rustling his mane, “What’s not to like about this guy?”

They got into a friendly poke fight, almost as if they were true siblings before Doc gently pushed Rainbow off of him, laughing elatedly and wiping a tear of happiness from his eye.

“*sigh* Anyway…Twilight,” he said, “I hope you don’t mind me bringing up the subject, but you said earlier that you used to be one of the Princess’s apprentices, right?”

“Yeah, ever since I really became interested in magic,” Twilight responded. “Why do you ask?”

“I just wanted to ask…how has she been lately?” He pondered.

“Ah, so you do know her!” Twilight mentioned, giving a slight, smirking laugh.

“Um…yeah.” Doc said, sinking his head into his shoulders, “To be honest, one of the things you’ll learn about me is that I can be a horrible liar. How I know her though, I’m going to have to keep a secret.”

He leaned back in his chair and took a long, closed-eyed sip from his tea with both fore-hooves on the cup.

“In that case…” Dash asked in the cocky voice she has used on Doc throughout his entire stay, “Why do you wanna know?”

“Just figured I’d ask…” Doc answered as he finished sipping, “I haven’t been able to check up on her when my travels take me to Canterlot. So I thought if I could ask anypony, it’d be you.”

“Thanks…” Twilight responded, “That’s really nice of you, and I’m more than happy I could help.”

“Well, this was a nice meet-up.” Dash said after finishing off the last drops of water left in her bottle and standing up. “Sorry for the abrupt ending, but I got a few moves to practice. Say Doc, wanna come along and cheer me on for old times’ sake?”

“Sure.” Doc answered, “Just let me check on the caravan before I do. Ponies are probably wondering where the heck I am, especially since I should be working right now.”

“Alright, I’ll meet you out by the fields in a bit.” Dash responded. “See you later guys!” she finished before taking flight and silently gliding through and out the door.

Doc stood up, pushed his chair in and remarked, “I better get going, or she’ll never let me hear the end of it. Twilight, Spike,” he ended politely, bowing to the both of them as he said, “it has been awesome in every sense of the word.”

He picked up his tea cup with his mouth, attempting to speak through his teeth by saying, “Ipft you may jush direc me ‘o the kishen, I’ll ake thish back foh you.”

“Oh, allow me Doc.” Spike offered as he got out of his chair.

“Thanks Spike,” Doc said after untightening his jaw and giving Spike the teacup, saying in a much clearer manner than before, “very kind of you.”

As Spike walked towards the kitchen with a friendly smile on his face, Doc said to Twilight with a look of appreciation and wisdom, coped with a dash of nostalgia.

“You have quite the assistant there, loyal even to somepony they’ve only known for an afternoon.”

“Yup!” Twilight simply acknowledged. “And he’s got quite the life ahead of him. I just wonder what he’ll be like when he grows up.”

“Yeah, quite a life…” Doc said subtly, looking at the ground as if in reminiscence. He snapped back into a casual persona, saying, “Anyway, I gotta go. See you later, Twilight.” before making his way to and out the door.

“Okay…bye.” Twilight said to herself.

Spike came back to find Twilight sipping her tea alone with a pleasant look on her face, as if the other two were still there.

“Hey, where’d Doc go?” Spike, asked Twilight confusedly.

“He had to leave for Dash’s trick, remember?” Twilight responded in a tranquil voice.

“Oh yeah.” Spike said, “That’s a shame. I wanted to say bye to him before he left. He seems like such a cool guy.”

“Yeah…cool guy…” Twilight responded, staring at the front door in a silent bliss.

After looking at her, the front door and back at her quizzically, Spike asked, “What’cha thinking about, Twilight?”

“Oh nothing,” she said before she took a third to last sip of her tea and continued, “I just think we made a new friend…and quite the colt of mystery he is.”

Copyright 2012

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