• Published 18th Nov 2013
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The Life of a Non-Brony - BronyWriter



TD's life in Equestria after the events of Wanderings of a Non-Brony

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I'm Gonna Emo Out

The ponies gave me some space like I asked, and I was grateful for that. After I woke up, Twilight knocked on my door and asked me if I wanted anything from the market, and I gave her a list of some comfort foods that I felt would help me out a little bit. I wasn't going to eat my freaking vegetables, I was going to splurge. I think she understood where I was coming from, because she got me everything on my list.

Including the Griffonian vodka. I'd pay her back for that one.

It has been two days since then, and the only beings I've had any interactions with are Oswald and Twilight when she comes to bring me my food. I'm sitting against the wall of the guest room, bottle of vodka in one hand and the other curled around a giant tub of cookie dough ice cream. I groan and take a swig of the booze, grateful for the burn that I feel as it goes down. It's the only thing that helps the hangover I have from when I did the exact same thing last night.

So what have I been doing in this room here for two solid days? Uh... well, I read and re-read Wanderings of a Headstrong Human. That's always fun, I guess. Reminding myself of a time when I had a little bit of hope for the future. Didn't matter that it was a slim fool's hope, but I had something to look forward to. Aside from that, I sit there and mumble whatever comes to my mind. Oswald is a patient listener in that regard. I also think about how I'm stuck here for the rest of my life. Heck, in fifteen years I'll have spent more time on this planet than I have on Earth. That's a sobering thought, for sure.

Not literally though.

I groan and run a hand through my hair. It occurs to me that I should shower at some point soon. Eh, I will when I stop moping like I have been for the past few days. I have a plan for some of the things that I'm going to do to get the rest of my life going when I'm done feeling sorry for myself, but for now, I'm going to sit here and... whatever.

I glance down at my tub of ice cream. The thought goes through my mind that I should eat it before it melts, but Twilight put a cold spell on it for that very reason. I'll eat it when I feel like it, which is not right now.

I deeply exhale as I put the bottle up against my head. It’s my only friend. Except for maybe Oswald, he's the only one who understands me. I'm going about this in a bad way, I think, but he doesn't judge me. He's okay with what I'm doing, right? Right.

I hear hoofsteps coming up the stairs, and my mind interprets it as Twilight asking me what I want for lunch.

No... wait. That's not right. Twilight only has three or four legs, and I hear a lot more than that coming up the stairs. A lot more. On that note, its only ten-thirty. I groan when I realize who it is. Twilight has brought her buddies around to see me. I think she's tired of me acting like this under her roof... tree branches... leaves... whatever.

Knock, knock goes the door.

"TD? Are you in there?" Yep. Twilight.

"No. I snuck out while you weren't looking."

I'm lying, of course. The window in this room is too small for me to do that.

"Gracious, he sounds worse than I thought," says Rarity. I don't know if she thought that I could hear her or not, but... eh, I can't bring myself to care too much about the comment. "Er, TD? Can we talk to you for a few moments?"

I sigh and take another swig. They'd come in even if I said no. "Fine."

The door opens, and I look up to see the Twilight and Co. file in. They all gasp when they see me, except for Twilight, whom I think could gather I look like this. I mean, I haven't showered or shaved for two days, I've spent that time nursing a bottle of vodka and eating crappy food... I can't imagine I look like I'm ready to go to the Gala, which I'm never doing again at any rate thank you very much.

Rarity is the first one to speak, her grimace quite clear on her face. "TD, you're looking positively dreadful!"

I scoff and roll my eyes. "And your hair is purple and meticulously styled. What's your point?"

"Uh, TD? Are you drunk or something?" Rainbow Dash asks. She peers down at my bottle. "On second thought, don't answer that. It's kinda obvious."

I look down at the bottle myself. Three-quarters empty. I slowly nod and swish the liquid around. "Yeah, I might be a little drunk. Have been for the past two days, I think."

Rarity frowns and leers at Twilight. "And you bought him that?"

"I didn't think he'd drink it that fast!" Twilight whispers back.

"Well then you clearly weren't thinking," Rarity says stiffly. I sigh and raise the bottle to my lips again, but I find myself hindered when a blue glow engulfs the bottle and tears it out of my hand. "No, I think you've had quite enough, TD. You're really going to damage yourself if you keep drinking like this."

I scoff and wave a hand at her. "Aw what do you know? I'm not going to be doing this forever. Let me have my booze until then."

"Absolutely not, darling." Rarity walks over to the small window and, before I can do anything to stop her, she dumps the rest of the alcohol out. Jerk. Satisfied, Rarity puts the bottle down on my bedside table where Oswald hisses at it. Huh, maybe I was drinking a little too much. Rarity turns back to me. "Now, then, TD, we've come to talk to you about your plans going forwards. You're not going to sit in here for the rest of your life drinking, moping, and eating junk food."

I groan and rub my temples. "Look, I already told you that I wasn't planning on it, okay?" I shrugged. "I had a plan on the next few days even when I started this whole thing."

"What was that?" Fluttershy asks.

I take a deep breath and lift the tub of ice cream into my lap. I stare into it as if it's going to provide answers, but it doesn't. It does look good, though. "My plan was to 'emo out' for three solid days. I was going to sit in here and be completely depressed for three days, then when that was over, I was going to pull it together and get to trying to figure out what to do with my life. I'd go outside, I'd shower, I'd look for a house and see if I could get my old job back..." I shrug again. "Just whatever. It would be a three day cleansing period of all of the worst of my negative emotions."

Rarity raises an eyebrow at that. "And you really think that would work, TD? You don't think that you'd just keep sinking deeper and deeper into your moping until you were worse than the sad mess you are now?"

"I can beat it," I retort. "I beat everything else that got in my way."

"TD, that's not how it works," Rarity says dryly. "Besides, I question why you would want those feelings at all, much less for three solid days."

"I'm gonna feel it anyway, so I might as well get it all out of the way now," I grumble. I look over at the other five. "Well? Do you agree with Rarity on this one?"

Applejack sighs and grimaces. "Well TD, Ah can't say that Ah do, but yer an adult, so you can make yer own choices." She walks over to the middle of the room and sits down. "Having said all of that, Ah think that fer the rest of the day, y'all should get yer mopin' done in front of us. We can help you out, sugarcube, so no need ta be doin' this alone."

I want to retort, but it crosses my mind that she may just be right. Oswald, while he's the best phoenix a guy could ask for as a companion, isn't much for two-sided conversations until I learn to decipher his squawks and chirrups. I slowly nod. "Yeah, I could use the company, I guess."

Applejack smiles at me, and it about to respond when Rarity cuts her off. "After a shower, TD."

Eh, fair enough.

* * * *

I was surprised how much a shower could do to get one thinking again, and I got out of the shower feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Of course, I wasn't so refreshed that I wanted to go out and integrate myself into pony society again. That would have to wait until tomorrow.

At Twilight's insistence, we moved the group down to the basement so as to have a little more room to talk and whatever else we wanted to do. I was a little more sober after the shower, which I guess is good. So here we are now, all sitting in the basement to help me through the last eighteen or so hours of depression before I get on with my life. I'm leaning against a back wall while Twilight has cleared the floor so the rest can sit on it. Oswald is perched on one of her machines, looking down on all of us.

"So... how are you, TD?" Twilight asks, kicking the conversation off. "I mean, I know you're down and all, but any specific thoughts that you want to share now that we're all here?"

I sigh and run my hand through my now clean hair. Truth be told, there were a million thoughts that I had to possibly share, but there was one above all that really stuck out to me. One I had been mulling over since I realized I had failed.

"What was the freaking point?"

I grimace and lightly bang the back of my head against the wall.

"What was the point of everything? What did I get out of my six freaking year journey?" I glance over at Oswald, and a small smile crosses my face despite myself. "Except Oswald, of course. And a cool set of armor and changeling powers in a few places, but..." I shrug. "Except for Oswald, those things I could really do without. If I didn't have a set of armor that I hopefully don't have to use again or changeling powers that... could be useful for a few things down the line, my life wouldn't be worse. If I had to go back, knowing everything that I do now, I would have come back to Ponyville right after I learned to fight from Tycho. Maybe right after I found Oswald."

"You would have missed out on stuff like meeting Mesud and Kathyrine?" Pinkie asks.

I grimace at the question. "Both of them come with getting tangled up in a nasty assassination plot that eventually leads to a bloody military coup. Mesud specifically leads to a lead that gives me too much false hope. Don't get me wrong, I like them, but..."

Grr. That just makes me sound like I'm unappreciative of everything they've done for me, like all of my one-of-a-kind experiences mean absolutely nothing at all. Mesud liked me and Kathyrine was starting to warm up to me a little bit. I met some beings on my travels that I really liked.

And some ones that I didn't so much, but I either killed them or did something that led to their deaths.

"Oh and that's another thing!" I say, speaking my thoughts out loud. "I freaking had to kill things to get by! And I'm not talking rabbits either, though that too. I'm taking actual sapient, or sentient, whatever, creatures that had lives that I just took away." I glare at the floor and cross my arms. "Sure they wanted to kill me, but I don't like the idea that I killed three beings!"

It is three, right? Yeah, Purgle, Chrysalis, and that assassin griffin that Aepnet hired to take me out in my room.

"Well, I can't say that I can relate to what it feels like to kill another being, TD," says Twilight, "but you did what you had to do, right?"

"In Purgle's case, yeah," I grumble. "With those other two? I beat Chrysalis to death because she pissed me off. Sure, I probably wouldn't have gotten out another way, but I attacked because I was mad. Same with that griffin assassin in Mesud's palace. I didn't mean to kill him, but when I hit him in the back of the head that hard I was pissed off." I groan and leaned my head back again. "My kill count is three beings higher than I'd like it to be, but I can't do anything about it. If I had just gone back to Ponyville after finding Oswald, I wouldn't be put in a position where I would have to have killed anybody. I'd prefer that.

"On top of all of that, there's the aspect of me hurting you guys by just walking off into the night like I did. I can't imagine you liked it when I did that very much."

"Oh TD, we know you did what you thought was right," says Fluttershy. She gives me a small smile. "We're not mad at you for that."

Anymore. Twilight was pretty pissed when she saw me again, but I don't think she's mad about that at this point. At least, I hope not.

I instead opt for another shrug instead of saying that out loud. It would only embarrass Twilight.

I'm brought out of that train of thought by Applejack of all ponies. "TD, do you wanna know what Ah think of all of this? Why Ah think it was the best thing for ya ta go on that trip ya did, even though it was real dangerous and ya almost got killed too many times?" I incline my head in a nod. "Closure." Applejack pushes her hat up on her head and gives a knowing nod. "Think about it: if'n y'all hadn't gone on that trip of yours, would ya have ever known without a doubt that you had no way home? No, you wouldn't have. It would have been a nagging question fer the rest of yer life. You would have spent yer time wonderin' if ya had done the right thing by just accepting Princess Celestia's word and not even tryin' ta go home." She snorts and smirks at me. "Ah may be misreadin' you, but that doesn't sound a whole lot like the TD Ah know."

I give an amused scoff and a smirk of my own. It's a fair point, to be sure. I wouldn't have been able to live if I was always wondering if there wasn't some other way home that I had missed. I would have to go out and find it for myself... which is exactly what I did and why I did it. Huh. I'd never thought of it like that.

"Makes sense to me," I say after a few more moments, "and... I think you're right. It was worth it just to know that I tried, that I gave it my all." I scratch the back of my neck and wish that I still had at least a little bit of that booze left. "It still hurts, though.

"Of course it does, TD," says Pinkie, "but that's what we're here for, silly."

"We want to help you, our friend, through this time," Rarity agrees.

"Anything that you need, just let us know and we'll help you," Fluttershy chimes in.

"You don't have to go through this alone, TD," Twilight says with a smile. She puts a hoof on my shoulder. "You never did."

There's that thought again: that these ponies are my friends. It's sappy and ridiculous when you think about my history, but... it's true. It's completely true and I couldn't deny it if I wanted to. Up until a few days ago, I hadn't seen or heard about them in six years, but they still consider me a friend. It's hard not to believe it when that's the case.

For the first time in a while, I start to feel a little better.

* * * *

Well, the third day has passed, so it's time for me to do what I said I would. It's time for me to start moving on with my life. I have purged most of my bad feeling about living in Equestria forever, and I'm going to keep moving forward.

Most of my bad feelings. There's still that pang of emotional hurt that I get every time I really think about home. I mean, I don't think that's ever going to go away. I know I'm still going to be depressed about it for a long time, but I think I've started the recovery process at least a little.

Well, after a shower and a shave, I start off my day helping Twilight and Spike out with the cleaning of the library, particularly my room. Today is the day that I reveal to Ponyville that their old resident human is back, but I'm putting it off a little bit. There's one mare in particular that I want to talk to first, and she's going to be busy until the afternoon.

After helping Twilight clean, Rarity and Fluttershy come by to talk to me about finding me a new house. My old one is currently owned by somebody else, but Rarity put all of my things in storage in the event that I did come back, so I'm good on furniture and that kind of thing. They brought the information of three or four houses in the Ponyville area for me to look at, and I think I actually found one that looked pretty nice, all things considered. It was a little more extravagant than my old house, but it was affordable if I got my old job back.

So yeah, my day is spent doing that kind of thing until the afternoon. Once it rolls by, I know what I have to do. The four of us have just finished working out the details of my new house, so I'm ready. I stand up and stretch, alerting Oswald that I might be on the move. "Well, girls, it's been a pleasure, but I have somebody that I'd like to see today."

"Of course, TD," says Fluttershy with a smile. "You go on ahead. We can get the paperwork for your house going later today."

I incline my head in a nod, grab Reginald, say my goodbyes, and walk out the door. The warm sun washes over me, and I realize just how much I missed being outside. Oswald too is particularly pleased by it, and he spreads his wings contentedly. I smirk at him and make my way over to my destination. I take mostly back ways so that I don't run into anybody. I want to see her first. The rest of them can wait.

Well, given that I'm a master at this whole walking business, I reach my destination after only a few minutes. It looks exactly like I remember it. The simplistic design, the bell tower above it, the immaculate grounds... yep, the Ponyville schoolhouse hasn't changed at all since I've been here. I can only hope that Cheerilee hasn't changed too much either.

As is normal for a warm day, the door of the schoolhouse is propped open to let some air in, thus I can hear the voice that can only have come from Cheerilee quite well as I walk up. She sounds as chipper as ever. Hope she stays that way when she sees me.

I walk up the steps of the Ponyville schoolhouse, and Oswald perches on my shoulder. She sounds like she still has a class going on, so I opt to merely stand in the doorway when I reach it. Yep, she hasn't changed much. I don't see a wedding ring around her neck, so she's still single. Figures. She always said she was married to her job. She's a little older obviously, but it's not totally noticeable unless you really look. She smiling and standing in front of a class of about fifteen kids, none of whom I recognize. Well, the old class would be the Crusaders' age, so she wouldn't be teaching them, would she?

"Now class, I know we have ten minutes left, but I want to get in a few more things before we leave," Cheerilee says. She looks down at a notebook she has open. "Before we do, does anypony have any questions about the other species that live around Equestria?"

One of the foals raises her hoof, and Cheerilee smiles and points to her. "Yes, Ruby Shine?"

"Uh... Ms. Cheerilee..." My stomach clenches and I flinch back when I see the filly point to me. "What's that?"

Cheerilee raises an eyebrow in confusion, but turns her head to see what the foal is pointing to. The second she sees me, her eyes widen to a size I didn't think was possible, and her jaw drops. She doesn't say a word. She just stands there staring at me like she's seen... a human that left randomly who has been gone for six years that just now showed up out of the blue.

I clear my throat and nervously scratch the back of my neck. "Uh... hey, Cheerilee. How's it going?"

Cheerilee blinks once, and she seems to snap out of her stupor. She stutters out a few half-words that I can't understand before slowly turning her head back to the class. "Class is dismissed. Have a good day."

The foals uneasily get out of their seats, and I step inside and lean against a wall to let them file out once they're ready to go. Part of me hopes I'll get to know them in the future. I probably will, seeing as how I'd still love to teach them about my world.

Once they're all gone, I walk up to Cheerilee, who is still staring at me, unblinking. I give her a nervous smile. "Uh... surprise."

Now, I expect a few reactions from her. Happiness, relief that I was okay, you know, stuff like that.

I do not expect her to push herself onto her hind legs and punch me right in the face, knocking me back into some desks and sending me to the floor.

"YOU HAVE GOT SOME NERVE COMING BACK HERE LIKE THAT, BUSTER!!"

Ah. She's not happy, I see.

Well, seeing me attacked like that has Oswald all riled up. He ignites his wings and spreads them out to their limit and hisses at Cheerilee. Rather than intimidating her, she turns her fiery glare to him. "OH YOU CAN JUST SHOVE IT!" Yep, she's really mad. She stomps a few steps closer to me and leans down until her face is right next to mine. "How do you think you can just waltz back here and be all 'hey, Cheerilee' after what you did to those poor foals six years ago?!"

"Well..."

"Do you even care about them, TD?" she snarls. "Do you care about the fact that I had to walk into class one day and explain to my students that I didn't know where you were; that you could be in danger and there was nothing any of us could do about it?! How do you think I felt having to answer the question of 'did TD leave because he doesn't like us' when I didn't know the answer myself?!" She leans forward even further until her snout is touching my nose. "DID YOU CARE ABOUT THOSE FOALS AT ALL?!"

Despite the situation, I can't help but chuckle a little. It isn't helping her mood in the slightest, but it keeps me level-headed. "Well, during my travels, I walked right into the hive of Queen Chrysalis, you know, that bug that attacked Canterlot during the royal wedding, and she threatened the foals here so I beat her to death with my bare hands." I give her a little smirk. "So yes, I really do care about them."

That takes some of the fire out of her. She leans back a little more, allowing me to slide back a bit and sit up. I take a deep breath and touch my cheek where she hit me. Yeah, that will leave a nice little Cheerilee hoof shaped bruise. "Look, I really do care about them, and I really do care about you. I hated how I had to run off like that, but I didn't feel like I had any choice."

"Of course you did, TD," Cheerilee growls. "You may have had to go, but could you have at least told me what you were doing so I could have found a good, gentle way to break it to the foals why you had left? It would have left me with the truthful answer that you still cared about them."

"I know, I know..." I grimace and rub the back of my neck. "I know that I hurt you by leaving like I did, but I thought it was the best option. I knew that you and Twilight and her friends would have spent time trying to talk me out of it, and I didn't want that." Cheerilee's glare hardens, and I raise a defensive hand. "I guess I could have at least left you a note saying that I still liked you guys."

"It would have been the decent thing to do," she says, venom dripping from every word. "What you did was dumb, TD. Do you have any idea how dangerous the outlands are?"

I snort and roll my eyes. "I kinda traveled them and visited every country. Yes, I do. I survived okay, though."

"Anyone try to kill you?"

"Uh-huh." I shrug. "Nothing that I couldn't handle in the end, though. I got out of the Schunie death match and the Griffonian political nightmare okay, though."

Cheerilee's eyes widen and her jaw drops again. "That... that was you?!"

"I take it you heard about them?"

Cheerilee scoffs and rolls her eyes. "TD, I'm a teacher. I make it a point to keep up with big news, even from other countries, in case I learn about something that can help me teach my students. I didn't think the 'strange creature' was you!"

I shrug again. "Well, it was." I take a deep breath and straighten up a little more. "Look, I'm not going to deny that it was a little dumb to travel all over the world hoping somebody would get me home. It was especially dumb to do that and not at least tell you that I appreciated you and everything you did for me."

"More than a little." Huh. There's still some venom in her voice, but it's less pronounced now. I don't think she's going to hit me again at any rate. She takes a deep breath and looks over at Oswald. "So... you got a phoenix."

I nod. "Yep. I wouldn't have made it past the diamond dogs who forced me to work in their mines if it hadn't been for him."

Cheerilee groans and facehooves at that. "Is there any form of trouble that you didn't get into during your travels?"

I chuckle and shake my head. "No. I don't think so. As you can see, though, I got out of it okay. I killed the minotaur I got in the death match with, I killed Chrysalis, I got out of the political nonsense in Griffonia, I'm not working for the diamond dogs anymore..." I tilt my head in a sort of shrug. "I'm fine, Cheerilee."

Cheerilee rolls her eyes, but I can tell that she's a lot less angry at me. She sighs heavily and walks over next to me, sitting down beside me. "So... I guess you're back in Equestria for good now, right?"

"Yep. We're going to be working out the details of my new house later this afternoon."

"Yeah, Featherweight moved into your old one." Cheerilee takes another deep breath and shakes her head. "I'm sorry for punching you in the face."

I snort. "No you're not. Besides, I've done my fair share of it, so it's time I got punched in the face myself."

"Yeah, well, I'm sorry I hit you hard enough to bruise you, then." Cheerilee grimaces and pokes at the floor of the schoolhouse. "I guess you have to tell me where you've been then, right?"

I smile at her and lean back against one of the desks. "I'd love to."

Author's Note:

And here... we... go. Sorry it took so long to get out. I think you're going to like some of the things that I have planned, though. I'm excited to present to you The Life of a Non-Brony.

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