• Published 24th Apr 2012
  • 4,190 Views, 55 Comments

Duality - RaijingtheClockworkPony



A young man must choose between two worlds, but can he?

  • ...
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Sunday is a Slow Day

Sam's eyes snapped back open. "Applebloom, I blanked there for a second, what were you..."

Sam looked around the room he was in. His bedroom was in the same state of a sorry mess it was when he went to sleep the previous night. He glanced to the empty spot beside him. Jenny was at church now but Sam still checked the time just to put his mind at ease. 11:24. 'Damn I slept in late today.' He stepped out of the bed and started to get dressed. His mind started to drift back to everything that had happened in Equestria. He felt a creeping guilt at two things. First: He had fallen asleep in the middle of Applebloom talking to him. 'That was so rude. I hope she isn't mad at me for that.' Second: Luna considered him a friend. He had saved her from either a boring day of negotiations or normal royal duties. Either way she enjoyed herself because of him. He felt a warm pride at that point, but that’s also meant that if he chose not to stay there he would be forced to abandon her which was something he didn't want to do to her. He found himself feeling pressure. 'This is what Mister wants from me. He wants the choice to be hard for me to make.'

Sam walked into his office and sat down to work. He pulled out some cases that need the last minute fixes and the final bits of paper work but he found himself drifting in his work. His thoughts kept going back to his youth and the show he used to enjoy. He kept shaking the thoughts out of his work and pressed on. By 2:00 he had finished and instead of his normal routine of watching T.V. or reading a book he went to the internet. He was going to do something that he hadn't done in years: Go to Equestria Daily and check up on the bronies, a community that he hadn't been a part of since his high school years. He spent hours just watching episodes and listening to the music that they created. He was lost in his own world that he never noticed his phone vibrating from the constant texts he was receiving from Jenny. It wasn't until about 6:20 that he finally checked his phone and came back to the real world. 'Real world... why do I get the feeling that I need to do something with that phrase? Oh well.' Sam checked his phone only to see the texts were just a curtsey text letting him know that Jenny wouldn't be home until late.

Sam was sitting in the living room. His thoughts had gone very grim. He was thinking on the last thing Mister had told him: His friends and family had secrets and Mister knew them all. He knew that Mister seemed to be the type to cheat at a game when things didn't go his way. He may be planning to force his family and friends to reveal the secrets to make the game harder for him. The choice was already going in the favor of staying on Earth but what would happen if one of the secrets shattered his view for the worse? He couldn't think about that. He had to keep a calm head in this 'game' or else he might not be able to choose. 'What if that's what Mister wants, just make me a mental case to the point that I have some kind of break down? He would probably find that funny.' Sam heard the front door open. He turned to watch Jenny stumble in. 'She's drunk, ironic considering the day.'

"Heey... Whatsh up you?"

She was really, really drunk. "Hey sexy, how'd it go with the girls?"

Jenny closed the door and slouched over to the armchair across from Sam. "It went great... *hic* they were gentle with the booze..."

'Gentle? Right...' Sam walked over to her and picked her up in her arms. She tried to say something but Sam couldn't understand her. He caught the meaning of her mumbles when she turned her head away from him and vomited on the floor. 'At least she hit the tiles instead of the carpet, this time.' He brought her to the bathroom and set her down next to the toilet.

"I'm sorry baby... I didn't mean to- *UUUGGH!*

Sam looked at her for a second with a weary smile. "It's ok. When you feel better just let me know. I'll take you to bed."

Sam spent the next hour cleaning the 'mess' Jenny had made. He had done this before, and sure it stank like hell, but his mind was still drifting from the day he had in Equstria to the taunting words of Mister. He finished up the cleaning when he heard a faint moan from the bathroom. 'I guess she's empty now.' Sam joined her, flushed the toilet, picked her up and brought her to the bed. She passed out within seconds of her head hitting the bed. Sam took a glance at the clock. 9:26. He wasn't tired but he knew that he couldn't leave Jenny in here by herself. She may need him. He lay down next to her in bed and she started to cuddle up with him. 'So much for passed out.' They lay there in each other’s arms for roughly an hour before Sam finally drifted off to sleep. His Sunday had passed quickly but he had a lot on his mind. If he had a dream for that night it would have been a troubling one.

***************************

Sam awoke with a strange pressure on his chest. 'What on earth...' As quickly as he noticed the pressure it disappeared. And then returned and disappeared. Sam opened his eyes to see what it was and was met with the smiling face of Applebloom, who was busy jumping on his chest.

"Mornin'! You'd better get up quickly or you'll miss breakfast."

"Fine but could you stop jumping on me."

Applebloom stopped jumping on him long enough to hope down off the bed. She then proceeded to bounce up and down on the floor. She was excited about the day that was to come. Sam sat up so that he could watch her. The smile she wore only grew as he stood up.

"I'm sorry I fell asleep while you were talking. My day must have been more exasperating than I thought."

"Oh it's no big deal. Ah'm sure you were just tired from walking around with the princess and getting put in a hospital."

He couldn't believe how frank she was being with him. He shrugged and started walking. He reached the stairs before he smelled the food. The warm inviting smell of cinnamon reached his nostrils and made his mouth water. 'Wonder what’s for breakfast.' Sam reached the bottom of the stairs and was about to enter the kitchen when a strong hoof grabbed him on his shoulder. He was forced into the living room by Big Mac. Applebloom followed them into the room.

"Applebloom go get some food. I need to talk to Sam for a second."

"Okay. Just make sure you don't break him this time."

With a mischievous grin on her face she left the room and left the pair alone. Big Mac pointed at the couch and Sam took a seat.

"Ah understand you made a promise to spend the day with Applebloom and her friends today."

"Indeed I did."

"Ah respect ya for keeping that promise but Ah'm not letting you go out there with them alone without you promisin' me that nothing bad will happen to them."

Sam hadn't expected Big Mac to get so forceful with his demand. "I promise, nothing bad will happen to them today. I won't allow it."

Big Mac seemed to lighten up a bit. "Ah'm just letting you know that you’re completely responsible for them. So be on your best with them. They can be a handful at best."

Sam nodded. After that little chat Sam was feeling even hungrier than before. They both walked into the kitchen and saw Applebloom and Apple Jack enjoying a sweet apple strata and some milk. He and Big Mac took a seat at the table that was already prepared for them. He noticed that there was no silverware on the table. Without another thought he just simply started to use his hands. He was halfway through the strata, which was so good it nearly brought him to tears, before he noticed the three ponies watching him. He swallowed the current mouthful before he spoke.

"What?"

"Nothin'. Just fascinatin' to watch a critter eat is all."

"Very funny Applejack. This is delicious by the way. I need to learn this recipe if you would be willing to teach me."

Apple Jack smiled at the complement. "Ah would be more than happy to teach ya. Anypony... uh critter, that would be willing to spend a day keeping Applebloom out of trouble, is more than deserving of this old recipe."

Sam was busy digging into his third helping when a knocking was heard at the front door. A yellow blur was the one to answer it. Delighted squeals soon followed the sound of a closing door. The yellow blur soon returned accompanied by a orange and white one. Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo had joined the Apple family and Sam for breakfast.

"See Ah told ya he was real. Best part is he will be joining us to day!"

"Whoa! You never said anything about how tall he is!"

Sam continued eating his strata, only absently listening to the three of them as they talked about him. He finished with his final helping and turned to Applebloom to silence a nagging voice that had started in his head.

"What exactly are we doing today?"

"Yer gonna help us earn our cutie mark!"

Sam raised his eyebrow at her. He rose from his seat and put his dishes in the sink. "How am I supposed to help you with that?"

All three of the crusaders seemed at a loss for words. None of them had thought this through. 'Maybe if I can keep them from thinking of something that will kill us then this day may just be enjoyable.' Sam walked back over to the table and received a pair of looks from the older of the two Apples in the room. Both read a very simple message: good luck. 'I'm going to need it'

"Well Sam Ah think we should get goin'. We got a lot of things to try to earn our cutie marks."

***********************

Sam was having a rough day. He thought that the CMC had done everything in their power before he showed up but they proved him wrong in a heartbeat. They are undying balls of energy that seemed to never slow down or take a moment to rest. Sam had chased them out of the Everfree forest no less than six times in five hours. He stopped them from bungee jumping, mostly due to the fact they had too much rope. He also had to prevent Scootaloo from falling in the river just north of the farm. After getting them down from a tree, something they said would earn them a 'tree jumper' cutie mark, He brought them into the town and headed for Sugar Cube Corner. He was hoping the presence of some other ponies might calm them down enough for him to catch his breath. They were an odd site as they walked through town. Sam was in the middle of the group. The three fillies were bouncing around him talking animatedly. Sam was also a bit of a wreck due to his ripped cloths and dirt on him.

"Maybe we can try cooking! Baking isn't that hard."

"Ah don't know. Last time Ah baked half of Ponyville got sick."

Scootaloo rolled her eyes at that. "Yeah but you were by yourself that time. Now you have us and Sam to help you. Can you cook Sam?"

Sam looked down into the trio of expectant faces. "Yeah I can cook a little. I used to help my mother during the holidays."

If they made a reply Sam never heard it. He was busy with dealing with yet another impact from a brightly colored blur. This time it was pink. The first thing he knew for certain that had happened was that he was now on his back and a large pink blur was rapidly talking on top of him.

"Wow I heard we had a new thing in town but, man, are you nothing like what everyone was saying. You are defiantly not 7 feet tall you’re more like 5' 10'' at best. OOOO we should measure you just to see how tall you really are. Hey girls have you met this guy yet? Oh wait never mind you were walking with him. So what’s your name big guy? What do you like to do? Got any hobbies?"

"Get off my chest."

"What? Oh right silly me."

Pinkie Pie jumped off his chest and landed with a very cartoon-ish *Poof* next to him. He started to dust himself off as he rose to greet her. "I'm Sam. I would like it if you ponies would stop crashing into me like that. I don't really have time for hobbies. So what brings you around this part of town?"

"Well I was looking for you but now that I found you, I wanted to welcome you to Ponyville."

Sam reached out to keep her mouth shut. If there was something that he didn't miss about the show it was her singing. "Please don't sing. I'm really not in the mood."

"But... I brought the Welcome Wagon along just for this."

Her hair seemed to deflate all of a sudden. 'Crap. If the fics are true about anything then I need to keep her cheerful.' He stood up and removed his hand from her mouth. 'Wait... how could she talk if I hand my hand... I don't want to know.'

"I have had a full day and these three would like to learn how to cook. Would you be willing to help me out here?"

Her eyes brightened up and she started bouncing on her hooves. "I would love to help. I have a super new and secret recipe that I would like to try out. Come on girls! Let’s get cooking!"

With that the four of them ran off leaving Sam sitting there by himself. He looked around and saw that the passerby's were just as shell shocked as he was by the turn of events. He looked around hoping that something would grab his interest or guide him to something new but nothing did. 'I should stay with the crusaders; I promised Big Mac that I wouldn't let them get hurt. But they are with Pinkie. She can handle them for an hour right?' Sam set off into the town to sight see. He reached the town square without incident but when he turned to go visit the library he nearly ran into a very distracted Rarity. Following close behind her were Spike the dragon and Twilight.

"And then they had the gall to say that the seams weren't straight. I swear I have never been more insulted by anypony who claimed to have a since of fashion."

"I understand Rarity. You still didn't have to yell at them like that. Or kick them out of your boutique. Oh hey Sam! What are you doing out of the hospital so soon?"

"You have some really good doctors. What are you three up to?"

Twilight gave him a skeptical look but let it slide, she was just happy that he was walking around instead of being stuck in a bed. "Well we were just getting some things for the boutique. What about you?"

He shrugged. "I was looking after Applebloom, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo but Pinkie kinda came along and high jacked them. I was going to sight see for a bit then go back and collect them."

The whole time that he was talking to Twilight, Rarity was walking around him with a look of pure horror. Sam finally noticed her when she completed her third round about. Sam took a second to look at his refection in a nearby window. His shirt was little more than a rag by this point and his pants were only barely better. Rarity let out a small cry before she turned to look at him in the eyes.

"You will come with me this instant. I will not let someone who is taking care of my sister and her friends wear such rags! I guess a bath will be in order as well."

Sam and Twilight exchanged a confused look. "Is she always this pushy with people?"

"Only if she gets to make a new set of clothes out of it, it seems you’re making friends here rather quickly Sam."

"Lucky me."

They reached the Carousel Boutique within a minute and they entered it swiftly, ushered in by Rarity. "Now Mister Sam I want you to discard those dreadful rags and head up stairs to the bathroom. Take a quick clean please then we can get down to making you something fabulous."

Sam felt self-conscious about stripping in front of the two ponies and the young dragon. "Um... which door is the bathroom when I get up there?"

Rarity was too busy digging for cloth to look at him when she responded. "Third door to your right darling, just throw those rags into that corner, I'll deal with them later."

Sam walked into the bathroom and started the shower up. As he waited for the water to warm up he took a look at the shampoo collection that was sitting near the shower. He inspected them to make sure they had roughly the same ingredients as human shampoo. When he found a bottle that passed his inspection he started to take off his clothes. He finished with his pants and was about to remove his undergarment when he caught himself in the vanity mirror. He was sporting a fine collection of bruises and cuts from his adventures throughout the day. 'This shower is going to hurt, but at least I won't smell bad anymore.'

After ten minutes in the shower he heard a knock on the door. "Come in."

Spike was the one at the door. "Hey Rarity wanted me to check up on you and to tell you she is ready for you."

"Thanks. Hey before you leave could you toss me that towel there?"

Spike tossed him the towel and turned to leave the room. Sam stepped out of the shower and started drying himself off. 'I should probably keep the underwear on at least. No point in going down there naked.' He put the garment on and headed down the stairs. He was greeted with a measuring tape flying up to his waist, taking a measurement. He was then rushed onto the small dais surrounded by mirrors.

"Hmmm... I've done bi-pedals before but none as tall as you. Maybe if I..."

Rarity went on like this for 20 minutes before she finally stopped poking and prodding him. She walked over to a table and went to work. Sam stood there for another minute before he walked over to sit next to Twilight who was buried in a book.

"What you reading?"

"Mercal's Theory on Mass Displacement and Reconstruction. It’s a really good read. Would you like to borrow it sometime?"

"Ahh... no. I would however like to borrow a book on Equestrian law. I would like to see how it compares to human law."

"Mister Sam Would you return to the dais please? I have something for you to try on."

Sam did as he was told. The next ten minutes were a cycle of try something on, Rarity thinks it doesn't work for him, talk to Twilight for a couple of seconds, rinse, and repeat. They found him a three piece suit that both he and Rarity agreed was just perfect for him. He checked his watch, which he had to run back upstairs for, and noticed that he had spent an hour here.

"Well I better go get the girls. Thank you for the suit Rarity."

"Oh now problem at all darling, it was fun. Besides it gives me ideas for next time you visit and you could always use some casual clothes."

Sam left the three of them at the boutique and headed for the bakery. He arrived to see it was still standing. 'Well I guess that means Pinkie can handle the three of them.' He walked in was met with the same mixed reaction from yesterday. Half of them seemed to be worried that he would attack and the others looked like he was just another thing that happened around town. Mrs. Cake walked from around the counter to greet him with a forced smile.

"I take it your here to join the girls?"

"To collect them, is more like. It’s starting to get late and they need to get headed home. They haven't been a problem?"

"Well... no more than normal."

Sam and Mrs. Cake walked toward the kitchen when they heard a large crash from within. They both broke into a sprint to make sure no one was hurt. When Sam entered the room he was met with a war zone of a kitchen. Flour was everywhere along with bits of dough and chocolate chips. A shattered bowl was lying in the epicenter of the mess. Mrs. Cake looked to be on the verge of tears and the guilty looks plastered on the three filly's told Sam who made the mess. Pinkie Pie was busy bouncing in her own little world near the oven waiting for it to finish. 'I was wrong. Pinkie can't handle them at all.' All of them were surprised when it was Sam that spoke sternly to the four guilty members.

"Alright this has gone far enough for one day. I want to see a all four of you clean this place until it shines! After that we are headed to the boutique so that the three of you can learn to behave in someone's home. Mrs. Cake where do you keep the cleaning supplies?"

"In the closet by the second stove."

The three fillies in the room had their heads hung low. They knew that what they did was wrong and now they had to clean up the mess. Sam walked over to the closet and grabbed the broom and mop and handed them to Pinkie.

"You get the mop. Give the broom to the other three. What were you thinking letting them loose in here without thinking?"

"I was thinking we would make super-duper yummy cookies and cupcakes. I guess we just got carried away."

Sam saw stunned at how oblivious she was to the whole mess. He shrugged and walked over to the three crusaders to hand them a pair of sponges and a bucket. "Now I know you girls didn't make this mess on purpose but you did make it. And when you make a mess you better be willing to clean it up, because if you don't want to clean it then nobody else will."

"Ah'm really sorry Sam. We didn't mean to drop the flour like that. We were just trying to earn our cutie marks."

Sam set down the cleaning tools to hug the three flour covered fillies. "I know. I'm not mad at you. I was just worried one of you might have been hurt. I promised you brother I would take care of you and i meant it. Now let’s clean this up."

The next hour was the most intense cleaning that Sam had ever done in his life. Pinkie had somehow managed to even clean the ceiling without the use of a ladder. His suit coat and pants were covered in flour and water and the crusaders were in desperate need of a bath. But as they looked upon their handy work, from the shining floor to the sparkling cabinets, a sense of pride came over them all. Sam put all the cleaning supplies away and herded up the crusaders.

"Alright, now we just need to get you three clean and then it’s off to home with you three."

The trio let out an "Aaaaa" In perfect unison but didn't try to argue with him. Sam was willing to use the shower in the bakery but Mrs. Cake wanted them out. They went to the boutique as it was the nearest place they could take a shower. They arrived and headed inside. Rarity was hysterical when she saw the condition the suit was in. Sam sent the three of them up to the shower and turned to face his certain doom.

"I know it looks bad but it can be cleaned out. I have suits back home that have suffered far worse than this."

"That's not the point. I just finished that an hour ago and you went and ruined it! For shame Sam."

Rarity forced him to take the entire suit off so she could clean it. Between the trio of trouble makers were getting clean and Sam's suit being clean, Sam knew that he had some time to kill. So he struck up a conversation with Rarity about the finer details of their respective professions. From the tailoring aspect to the finer points of how to approach a jury during a big case, they jumped from subject to subject with much relish and enjoyment. It wasn't until the crusaders came down all nice and clean that they realized that time was passing.

"Well I better get Scootaloo and Applebloom home. I'm sure you can handle Sweetie Belle on your own."

"I certainly hope so Sam. I better go make sure they didn't destroy my bathroom."

Sam motioned for the aforementioned two to join him. They were about to exit the building when a shrill scream pierced the air. "GIIIIIIIIIIIIIRLS!!!!"

Sam turned to the two with him. "Run for it!"

**************************

Sam and Applebloom reached the front door of the farmhouse at around 8:00. Sam was disappointed that he didn't get to meet Scootaloo's parents but she said she didn't need someone to guide her home. Sam didn't try to argue with her so he gave her a hug and told her to be safe. He and Applebloom entered the house and set themselves down onto the sofas in the living room. Sam studied Applebloom. Despite the whole time of them walking home of her saying that she wasn't tired she was quickly drifting off to sleep on the sofa. 'She hasn't even had dinner.' He got back to his feet and scooped her up into his arms. 'I hope she doesn't do what Jenny did. I don't think I have the stomach for that.' He reached the top of the stairs when he was met by the sight of Big Mac and Granny Smith. He passed them by without a word but he did catch the looks they both wore. Big Mac had a look of respect, while Granny smith had a motherly smile on her wizened face. He brought her into her room and tucked her into the bed. He then left the room making sure to turn out the light. He walked to his room, took off all but his under garment and lay down in the bed. He drifted off to sleep knowing that he was only making the final choice all the harder the more he spent time with the locals.

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