• 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 V: The Walker of Rain

Evergreen

Fan fiction by Grey McBoyd



Chapter V

The Walker of Rain


“*sigh* The sunshine is positively pristine today, is it not?” Rarity chirped to Fluttershy as she felt the warm embrace of the late afternoon sun grace her skin and soak into her coat.

“Yes…beautiful…” Fluttershy quietly replied while looking around at clusters of trees and patches of swaying grass, their colors of sage exploding and dancing in the delicate gale that gave an frequent pass-by. It was the next day, and the two were on their way to their weekly appointment at the spa. The trail from Fluttershy’s cottage, through town and to the spa, was a beautiful one at that time of year to saunter leisurely. The air felt brisk with the approach of fall and winter, yet the humidity that lingered in the lambent sunshine gave a comforting coziness to the earth and made everything feel just right. The two ponies were in the middle of pleasant small talk as they walked through town, nearing the spa. It was a short distance away just as Rarity noticed the natural lighting of the area beginning to grow darker and darker as they walked. She immediately knew what that meant and stopped right in her tracks. Her mood instantly switched from her subtle and regal joy she had at most times to a much more irritated disposition as she gazed skyward and saw Dash placing one dark cloud after another into a gigantic clump that had begun blanketing the entire town. She yelled up at Dash as she was moving a cloud into a dented area of the clump and fixing its position.

“Rainbow Dash!”

Dash quickly perked her neck upwards for a moment and spun it around her left shoulder to see Rarity, a fierce look that demanded explanation on her face and a timid-as-always Fluttershy standing shyly several feet ahead of her.

“Oh hey gals.” Dash remarked casually, “What’s up?”

“Don’t tell me your ruining another perfectly sunny day with all this vile rain!” Rarity said pompously.

“Well sor-ry! that a shower was scheduled today, Rarity.” Dash sarcastically replied, “We haven’t had rain in a while and the plants are getting dry. It’s gonna take up most of the day, so if I were you, I’d get your thingy at the spa over with and let me do my job!”

Rarity simply gave a snobby, personal *hmph!* and continued on with Fluttershy into the spa. Dash returned to her work as they walked to the door and shut it behind them.

“Are they gone?” somepony whispered from behind Dash.

“Yup, you’re good. ‘Means you still have a little time before you have to tell them.”

“Great.” Doc said as he emerged from under a small mound of clouds, standing in front of it as if he were a pegasus and saying as he adjusted the top of his shirt, the bandages no longer around his wrists, “It’s hard to explain how the hay an earth pony like me can stand up here.”

“You mean aside from everything else?” said Dash after gawking at his comment.

“Eh…” Doc sounded as he looked to the top left of his eyes and sort of “twitch-swiveled” his right hoof in the air, followed by him continuing with a smile, “I guess you could say it’s more of a priority, but not by much.”

They both laughed. Dash friendly asked as the duo’s laugher died down.

“Are you ever going to tell ‘em?”

“ ‘Course I will, Flutters and Rare deserve to know that at least.”

He leaned backwards against the mound that he just emerged from and crossed his forelegs over his chest.

“Well, you better do it soon, somepony is bound to notice you up here and be quite surprised.”

He leaned his neck forward and spoke in a brazen tone.

“It’ll happen on it’s own time. ‘Patience, like magic, only needs a little to go very far.’ ”

“Ya know, there’s a difference between letting things come on their own time and just being too lazy to do them.” she said without the slightest ounce of aggression and a hint of sarcasm.

“Yeah, and I think we both have trouble finding that difference.”

They chuckled happily once more before Dash remarked sarcastically and placed another cloud into the gigantic bunch.

“Very funny. What are you even doing up here again?”

“Just stickin’ close to one of my most favorite pegasi ever.” he replied with a childish grin and tone before returning to his friendly, mentor-like persona, “Keeping an eye on ya so you don’t hurt yourself again.”

“Awww…” she sarcastically sighed while rolling her eyes, looking back over to him and saying in the same tone, “you really do care.”

She gave a few chuckles as she looked back to her work with a grin. He stuck out his tongue at her like a child, but still kept his calm smile.

“Don’t worry, I’ll be fine.” Dash dismissed after a short pause.

“Okay, don’t let me down on that.” he said while walking to the clouds edge and looking back over his shoulder, “It already sucked enough helping you the first time.”

She smiled widely, knowing he cares but is cool enough to make a joke out of something so serious. She tried her hardest not to blush, but failed after he spoke his next words.

“Just be careful Dash. That feeling I had, that I might have lost you, I never want to feel it again.”

He then jumped casually off the cloud, and out of sight.

*****

Twilight was back at home, taking some notes on an experiment she had been conducting for the last few hours. She was deep in her work, as she is with most things. A very determined mare, doing her best since the day she was born. She heard a knock at the front door, perked her ears to hear it a second time, then dropped what she was doing to run for the Library foyer. She was in a very minor state of panic as she entered the foyer, but quickly calmed herself as she heard Doc’s happy voice from the other side of the front door.

“Candy gram”

She opened it to see Doc bowing his head down and speaking in a comedic imitation of a regal, Canterlot gentlecolt.

“Good afternoon, Miss Sparkle. How go-ith thee this fine day?”

She laughed and attempted the imitation herself while emitting the last ounces of her cachinnation.

“Well, *heheh* I have been feeling positively splendid today. As for you?”

“Simply divine.” he replied with exaggerated facial expressions before chuckling thrice and returning to his normal self, “What’s up Twi?”

“Oh not much, wanna come in?”

“It’d be an honor.” he replied politely, taking several steps inside, “I just came by to say hi and possibly read a book or two.”

“What about your caravan business?” she asked as she closed the door behind him, “Come to think of it, I barely ever see you working there.”

“Oh, everypony just grabs what they can on the first day and barely need anything past that. I like to see as many of my friends as possible before I have to go.”

“Well, thanks for coming to see me then. So, what book would you like?”

“Oh I don’t know, I’ll find something. In the meantime, just pretend I’m not even here.” he said before turning over to a nearby bookcase, searching it for something that would pass the time.

About an hour later, Doc was just finishing up a few chapters of “The Maretian Chronicles” while reclining in a wooden chair that he teetered on its back legs. Twi made great amounts of progress in her project, even though she worked solely on her own while Spike was acquiring some well deserved rest. Doc had his face in that book since he started reading, so he was surprised to hear a booming sound from outside and was exceptionally overjoyed to realize it was thunder, followed by the pitter-patter of rain against the glass of a window above one of the nearby bookcases. He immediately jumped out of his chair and from one shelf of a bookcase to another with ease, placing the book back in it’s proper place while at the levitated peak of a jump, then gladly letting gravity take over as he cleanly fell fifteen feet down to the resilient hardwood floor of the Library. He ran over and looked down the short hallway that led to Twi’s lab.

“See you later Twi, gotta go!” he yelled down it before turning and making a run for the door.

Twi barely made it to the end of the hallway to see Doc close the door behind him, but she still gave a smile and slow wave in its direction…She didn’t quite know why, but she did. Several minutes later, Doc literally waltzed in the rain as he happily trotted through town. Every drop that hit his coat felt like a tidal wave across his skin. He would spin in it and feel the drops hit him horizontally along his forelegs and pretend he was falling with it. The fresh, hydrated smell of precipitation flooded in and out of his nose with every savory inhale and happily made room for the next with the sigh that served as every exhale. Other ponies were running for cover with an umbrella, newspaper or book over their heads while Doc happily stood their and danced with himself, drenching every inch of his body and feeling the surge of energy with each nearby lightning strike and the ear-busting crack of its thunder. He maneuvered through every street, walkway and path he could find in the fifteen minute span between his first steps in the cool humidity to the point in his waltz when he passed by the Carousel Boutique, only to have his joyous warmth come to a screeching halt as he heard a shriek from within…and it sounded bloodcurdling. He violently burst through the door with his left shoulder and looked viciously around, ready for a fight. He was slightly calmed to simply see Rarity running around the house, looking for something in a panic. She failed to notice his entrance so he asked her, sternly and deeply.

“What’s wrong?”

*EEP!* Oh…*easing sigh* it’s you Doc.” she reacted nervously, “I need your help! I’m looking for a ladder, a rope, anything!”

She continued searching frantically.

“What for?”

“Come, I’ll show you.”

She took his hoof and led him out the door, taking a left and approaching the tree next to her house. She pointed into an open section of leaves before Doc knelt a little for a better view, squinting his eyes and getting a perfect sight of Opal up in the tree, clenching onto a branch for dear life.

“I got her. Stand back.” he calmly ordered while getting into the prepatory position for a sprint, followed by a dash at the tree with incredible speed.

He scaled the tall tree in an instant, simply placing his hooves lightly and swiftly as he they appeared to practically stick to the tree side until he slung himself up and landed on a branch in a crouching position. He balanced himself on the branch with his hind legs and held out his forelegs to Opal without saying a word. When Opal caught a glimpse of Doc as she decided to take a quick peak from her eyes that were practically welded shut, she started clawing her way to him slowly with long reaches and nervous pulls. Opal would never do that for anypony else under any circumstances, not a pony on this earth. When she got within his reach, he bundled her up for warmth and cradled her in his bosom with his left foreleg, hopping down from the high branch hind legs first and landing smoothly with Rarity’s shivering cat huddled in itself under his drenched, tired body. Rarity screeched with excitement and worry as she ran over and hugged her cat lovingly. Any other situation and Opal would have sliced her face into ribbons of meat, but right about now, all she could think about was keeping warm. Rarity relished the moment as much as she could before she looked out of Opal’s fur and at Doc through her dripping, straightened mane with her soft blue eyes. She saw a smile trailed along Doc’s face after he got back on all fours, the only thing breaking through his serious stance and the somewhat frightening way he looked down on her due to his height. Yet she saw his smile, and simply thanked him by embracing herself and Opal tightly to his chest, which was so cold that it almost felt dead in the icy water that clung to his clothing. She muffled a thousand “thank-you”s into his shirt with sobbing pauses and tears of joy concealed in the rain.

“It’s my job to keep all of you safe, think nothing of it.” he simply said before hugging them back for a few blissful moments. He then backed up and began taking off his soaked work shirt.

“You two should get inside.” he said, pulling his shirt off with a tug over his back and a pull across his head and shoulders.

He slung the dripping glob of cloth over his shoulder and onto his back as he continued.

“If you stay out here you’ll catch a cold, not to mention all the lightning. I’ll be fine, but right now,” he began walking off in the direction of the Library while saying over his shoulder to them, “you two need to watch out for yourselves. So be careful, I’ll be there when you need me.”

*****

Back at the Library, Twi had made great progress in her experiment and was even beginning to near its end. Despite this milestone, she decided to take a break and join Spike for a nap, absolutely exhausted after so many hours of work. Spike was still asleep as Twilight approached her bed, so she gave him a delicate kiss on the forehead and whispered “Thanks” before jumping into bed and off to sleep, content with the cute idea of Spike still assisting her as they napped together. She awoke suddenly as she heard the door to her room surprisingly open. She attempted to get up without waking Spike, but failed and they both decided to go see who had made the noise. They looked over the edge of the upstairs nook containing Twi and Spike’s beds to see Doc, soaked to the bone with his drenched shirt still slung over his shoulders, closing the door behind him carefully. He jumped a little as Twi called his name, then turned around bashfully and spoke to the sleepy duet.

“*heh* Hey you guys. Sorry if I woke ya.”

“No problem Doc…*yawn*” Spike replied, “What’cha doin’?”

“Oh not much. Just got back from my walk in the rain.”

Spike looked to Twi inquisitively, followed by a groggy nod from her to answer the question he silently asked.

“I might be going out again later, just a forewarning.” mentioned Doc before he began making his way out of Twi’s room.

“Can I join you for that?” Twi asked, quickly stopping him.

“Oh sure!” he answered after listening with a slightly surprised look on his face, “Maybe I can show you what I do when it rains in this town. I’ll just keep reading until then. Come see me when your ready.”

Later, the rain had begun to slow down from a stormy gale to a gentle drizzle. It was definitely going to return to the previous speed over time, but Twi and Doc at least had that slight tranquility to themselves as they walked the trail, discussing friendly topics. Twi brought along an umbrella and wore a scarf for warmth in the brisk, stormy air. They were both crossing a hill shortly outside the area of town, laughing together and enjoying their conversation.

“*hahahah!* That really happened?!” Twi asked.

“No joke.” responded Doc, “He rounded a corner into an alleyway and BAM!, right into a brick wall!”

She laughed once more at the slapstick comedy of the tale. Doc was telling her the story of a time he chased a purse snatcher in Trottingham, only to have the thief run around a corner into an alleyway and meet nose first with the brick wall of the dead-end space.

“Never knew that Trottingham had such…‘interesting’ characters.” Twi commented.

“Yup!” responded Doc, “One of my favorite places to go in the world, other than here. I’ve never had as many friends in one place as Ponyville.”

He looked over to her out of the corner of his eye and said with a smile.

“And certainly none of them, no matter where I went, was ever quite like you.”

Twi blushed immensely, she had never met such a sweet talker in her whole life. The “semi-romantic” mood of the scene was cut when she was surprised by Doc’s sudden change in tone.

“Ah! Here we are!” he loudly said before running ahead of her and towards a relatively large hill, a single, lonesome tree standing tall at its pinnacle.

“What are you doing and what is this place?” she asked him with a chuckle.

“This is the place I was telling you about!” he shouted to her from halfway up the hill before turning back around and proceeding to take slow, steep steps up the incline of the hillside, “Come on up, you have to see it for yourself!”

She just decided why not? and began heaving herself up the slope as well. As she approached the peak of the hill’s height, Twi looked up to see Doc looking down at her from his side, then, as she began to see over the crest of the hill, the white bulb of sun that shone through distant grey clouds blinded her. Doc held his hoof out in the direction over the hill as he gladly announced his next, oh-so accurate words.

“Ta-da!”

*****

Over the hill, Twi could see a small, beautiful oasis just a short walk from the base of the hill, with lush trees, green grass and multitudes of flora surrounding it. At first glance Twi couldn’t see it, but after scanning the picture for a second longer, she could see the miracle in it. The small lake, fascinatingly alive and full of color, stood independent from the overwhelming darkness of The Everfree Forest that literally surrounded it. The trees of the Everfree seemed to spread miles past the Oasis, ending at the base of a monstrously large mountain, standing behind it all as the large backdrop of this natural, artistic masterpiece. The Mountain stood so tall that right behind its highest peak, the Sun shone through the clouds, streaking the sky and earth with silver brushes of sunlight, the incandescent globe practically perched on the Mountain’s pinnacle. The Oasis, the Forest, the Mountain and the Sun…so much for Twi take in as she finally understood Doc’s enthusiasm of this place.

“Woooowwww…” she whispered loudly as she marveled at the beautiful view.

Doc smiled at her fascination and trotted over to the lone tree, bending his knees for a moment as he lowered himself and spun around to hit his back against the tree bark and sit in a pretzel-legged style.

“Never get tired of that view.”

“It’s…amazing!” she said, swerving her vision around for only a moment to look at Doc, but the gravity of the scenery could not be resisted as it pulled her gaze back in its direction.

“How did you ever find this!” Twi asked.

“I told you, I go places.” Doc casually answered, ‘But this one is truly my favorite out of any place in this country, or the world for that matter.”

Twi laughed at the beauty of the picture, then spun around in joy, enveloping the smell of rain and life as Doc did just earlier that day. She spun around and around until she was nearly dizzy and just plopped down against the tree, sitting right next to Doc as she laughed wholeheartedly. She was having the time of her life and all she was doing was sitting on a hill with a good friend.

After sitting next to Doc and laughing a little bit more, Twi spoke like she was beginning to ask a question.

“Doc…”

She caught his attention before continuing.

“Why does this place and all of our friends mean so much to you?”

Doc looked to the ground for a moment in thought, snickered, then said with a smile.

“I don’t know. Maybe I’m just some old fool that’s seen too much for his own good. I’ve been everywhere, Twi. Any place you can name or think of, I’ve visited at least one time or another. And everywhere I go, there’s always somepony in need of some kind of help…This world we live in, Twilight, is filled with more pain and suffering than you can even imagine. I’ve spent pretty much my entire life trying to make it right. To make ponies everywhere see the error of their selfish ways. But…every time I think I’ve made a difference, that I actually got through to someponies’ heads, I return to that same place, only to find my work forgotten. Its been hard, but even in the darkest tunnel, you’ll always find that one spark, that one bit of goodness that can never be erased, no matter how hard anypony tries. That’s what’s kept me going for so many years, the thought that, maybe someday, ponies will finally learn to get along. And that’s what I love about Ponyville, Twilight. The second I got here, I knew that everypony had already learned that lesson. That they had understood the joy of a carefree and peaceful lifestyle while everypony else in the world was still bickering over money and popularity like spoiled children. Everypony was always happy, nopony was ever too greedy, violent, judgmental or anything! This town, Twi, has been that light, that bit of goodness that has always kept me going. Whenever I thought about giving up, I thought of this place. It reminded me of what I was fighting for. A world where everything was alright and ponies finally got along. *sigh* It really is something magical.”

Twi was practically baffled by what she just heard. She had always thought of Doc to be like any other merchant she’d seen come to town. Come in, sell stuff, market your business and leave. Of course, she always knew he had something special about him, with his friendly nature and bizarre skills…but this, the story of his travels, his love for Ponyville and his noble hopes for the future, was just breathtaking.

“Wow…” Twi simply responded after a short pause.

This, once again, caught Doc’s attention.

“What?” he asked casually.

“You really are amazing…” she answered.

He chuckled once before speaking modestly.

“Aw shucks. Look at you, makin’ me feel all special.”

“You are!” she interjected, “You are easily one of the most interesting ponies I’ve ever met! Your knowledge of medicine, magical abilities with just your hooves and travel experience reaching as far as Zecora’s homeland?! It would be crazy to call you anything but special!”

“*heheheh* Yeah…” he responded quietly while looking to the lower left of his eyes in embarrassment, then sighing before saying with a hint of remembrance in his voice, “…crazy.”

They spent the next couple of minutes just silently staring at the scenery and absorbing every detail of it, even when it changed due to the slow descent of the sun. After a little while, Twi suddenly broke the silence.

“Say Doc…” she said, catching his attention for the third time, “When you said you were just some old fool who’s seen too much for his own good, what do you mean? I mean, I get your point, but you still look quite young to be some ‘old fool’.”

Twi noticed Doc raise his eyebrows a little at the mention of his words. He then chuckled twice, looked back out at the scenery and answered her after another sigh.

“I may seem young Twi, but let’s just say that I certainly feel a whole lot older on the inside. Maybe someday I’ll be able to tell you more than just that…”

He paused, giving a lightly dramatic effect on the scene before he smiled a little and said with a tone of deep, personal importance,

“Maybe someday, I’ll be able to tell you everything...”

Copyright 2012

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