• Published 20th Apr 2015
  • 3,569 Views, 47 Comments

A New Lease on Life - Digital Phoenix

When Kyle feels his life going down the drain, fate gives him a chance on a new world, one teeming with unbridled magic. Worrying that his past will prevent him from finding peace, he finds that settling in might not be as hard as he thought.

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Chapter 8: Release



As soon as Twilight left the room Kyle changed from his makeshift toga to the cloths Twilight's friend so graciously repaired for him. As soon as he was decent Kyle went to leave the hospital room but stopped just short of the doorway when he saw what was waiting for him next to Twilight. “Really? Are you serious?” Kyle asked in a deadpan tone.

“Yes. Yes, I am," Twilight said with the same tone. “I know that it may be inconvenient but it's hospital policy. Now, if you would please sit so that we can get you discharged, that would be great.”

Let out a dry chuckle. “Seems like there are some things that are universal, like pointless hospital policies!” he thought. Kyle sighed and asked, “Okay I’ll play along, but do they at least have a bigger wheelchair? That one looks to be a little too short for me.”

Twilight gave Kyle an apologetic smile. “Sorry, I looked, this is the biggest they have available.”

With a defeated groan Kyle sat in the undersized wheelchair. He felt like he was sitting in a kids seat. At least the chair was wide enough that he wasn't squeezing into the chair.

“Take me home, Colburn,” Kyle joked. When Twilight didn't so much as chuckle Kyle looked back to see Twilight giving Kyle a bemused smile. “Right, you have no idea who Hoke Colburn is, do you?”

Twilight shook her head, "No, I can't say that I have. Who is she... or he?"

"It's not important, just a reference to a movie from the late 20th century," Kyle replied letting out a sigh. "It's a pretty safe bet that most people back home wouldn't get the reference either."

The duo fell into silence as they continued through the hospital. Kyle's mind kept wandering to random thoughts. He wasn't able to keep his mind on a single topic for longer than a few seconds. His thoughts always did this when he didn't get enough sleep. Despite this, there was one thought that kept returning to his mind over and over.

“Hey, Twilight?” Kyle asked unable to keep his curiosity in check.

Twilight looked down at Kyle with a raised eyebrow, "Yes?"

“Earlier, you said something that I wasn't sure I heard correctly. Well, a few things actually. First, did you say that you recently became a princess?" Kyle asked.

Twilight nodded, “Yes, I became a princess a little over a month ago, but at this point, it is more of a formality. I won’t get any real responsibilities for a while yet.”

That was something that made Kyle stop for a second. How does one only recently become a princess? Isn't that something that you are born into? That or you are married into the position but even then isn't it called something else like princess consort or something like that? Though with the way that the nurse was talking earlier it doesn't seem likely that is the case with Twilight.

"So how does someone only recently become a princess? From the way that I understood it you are either born into it or you marry royalty?"

"That is the case in other countries like in Griffonstone or Zebrica," Twilight said. Her entire demeanor changed as she spoke. She lifted her head and her tone of voice took on a more professional quality. It kinda reminded Kyle of his college professors. "Their royalty is born into the position but here in Equestria, it works differently. The princesses are given their titles only when they have proven themselves as fair, just and, kind. Though that isn't to say that somepony won't get the title of prince or princess consort if they marry one of the princesses. And I'm sure that if any of the princesses have a foal they would most likely get the title of prince or princess but that has yet to happen."

When Twilight finished her lecture she smiled and gave a satisfied nod. A small amused smile spread across Kyle's face at the whole thing. It reminded him of when his little sister would go on about what she learned in school when he asked, and that was enough to get a chuckle out of him. At Kyle's chuckle, Twilight looked down at him to see him smiling up at her.

"What?" Twilight asked her cheeks warming up and her ears folding back. "What's so funny?"

"The way you nodded reminded me of my little sister when she would tell me about her day at school, before..." Kyle's smile fell and he turned his eyes down to the ground as darker memories surfaced.

"Before what?" Twilight asked.

“So, Twilight there was a term that I wanted to clarify. Earlier when the nurse had the misunderstanding you said something along the lines of ‘just what I need rumors about my coltfriend.’ Does coltfriend mean that someone is in a relationship with a male, and if so would fillyfriend mean that you are in a relationship with a female?” Kyle asked. Kyle hoped that the sudden shift in the topic was enough of a hint that he didn’t want to talk about it and would leave it at that. That was a whole can of worms that was best left unopened.

There was a second's hesitation before Twilight replied. “Yes, to the first one, no to the second. The correct term is marefriend, why are they called something different from where you're from?”

Kyle let out a small sigh of relief when Twilight didn’t push the topic.

“Yeah, we call females girlfriends and males boyfriends," Kyle replied as they moved past a set of double doors. If this hospital is anything like the one his mom worked at then the reception desk and main entrance should be right around the corner.

"Huh, it’s kinda uncanny how close our languages are, I wonder what-” Twilight stopped cold as soon as the reception desk came into view. Curious as to the cause, Kyle looked toward the desk and found himself in a similar state as Twilight. There sitting behind the desk was the nurse from earlier, doing paperwork.

"Please don't look up please don't look up," Kyle thought. Almost like she heard Kyle's thoughts the nurse looked up from her paperwork. As soon as her eyes landed on the petrified duo a small blush spread across her face accompanied by a smile far too devious for Kyle's liking.

Kyle was about to suggest that they turn back for now, but before he had the chance Twilight squared her stance and walked forward.

When Twilight reached the desk she cleared her throat and asked with a surprising calmness, “Hello, nurse, do you have the release papers ready for Kyle?”

“Oh, yes here they are, Princess," the mare said all the while that not quite innocent smile stayed on the nurses face.

"Thank you," Twilight said, taking the papers from the nurse.

“Um, P-Princess?”

Twilight stopped and turned back around to address the nurse, “Yes?”

The nurse shifted about in her seat for a few seconds before she cleared her throat, “I-I think you two make a cute couple.” Twilight’s entire face flushed a bright red as she sputtered trying and failing to form a coherent word.

“I was in an emotional state that was caused by lack of sleep because I was researching how to help Kyle late last night.” She finally managed to get out. The nurses blush brightened and Kyle winced at the poor word choice.

“Don’t worry, I won’t say anything about your late night research,” the nurse gave them a wink and turned back to her work.

Twilight looked more like a statue now then a pony, that is if statues had bright red faces and mouths that resembled a fish out of the water.

Kyle for his part was trying his best imitation of a tomato. He was positive that had he been standing he would have lost the use of his legs from all the blood going to his head. Wishing to get away from the mare behind the desk Kyle “Twilight… hey Twilight.” Kyle finally snapped her out of her stupor.

“Y-yes Kyle?” she stammered, the blush still filled most of her face but had begun to fade.

“Could we please fill out my discharge papers so we can leave?” Kyle asked hoping to get as far away from here, and all awkward misunderstandings, as possible. Twilight nodded and brought them over to a nearby table and placed the papers down in front of Kyle. She then teleported a quill and inkwell to them as well. Kyle stared at the quill for a moment before asking, “Twilight, do you have a real pen perchance?”

“What do you mean?” She said not understanding what Kyle was saying.

“You know a ball-point pen or at the very least a felt pen?”

“Um… I don’t know what those are…” Twilight said.

“You mean to tell me that you don’t know what a ball-point pen or what a felt pen is?” Kyle asked. “You're joking right?”

“No, I honestly have no idea what you’re talking about. What is a ball-point pen?”

Kyle gave a short description of what he was talking about and when Twilight shook her head he sighed and took the quill in his hand.

“Beggars can’t be choosers, I will just have to make do.” Kyle dipped it into the inkwell. Twilight had to get him a couple new forms to replace the ones he ruined before he got it right. Eventually, Kyle filled out the document and gave it to the nurse. She gave the paper a cursory once-over before nodding and putting the form in a folder and filing them away.

“Thank you, that should be all. You can leave the wheelchair by the doors,” Kyle and Twilight gave the nurse a nod and walked to the exit. “Oh, and Kyle really does need rest so no strenuous activities for at least the next two days, but after that, have at it to your heart's content.” She shouted at them as they reached the door. Both of their blushes came back full force and Twilight picked up her pace to a near run in her haste to leave. She quickly ran out the front entrance of the hospital and forced the doors closed behind them with her magic.

They stopped just outside the door of the hospital to collect their wits. The silence that lingered between them felt like hours, but in reality, it only lasted a few seconds. No longer able to stand the awkward silence Twilight spoke, “So why don’t I show you to bed, I-I mean let me get you to bed. Wait, no, that didn’t come out right, what I–” Kyle cut off Twilight’s increasingly hectic speech by booping her on her nose.

“Twilight it’s fine. I knew what you meant.” Kyle chuckled. “Yes, I would like to rest. I am feeling tired after all of that excitement. I’m sounding like an old man as well.” Kyle let out another chuckle and reached up to his hoodies neck but froze when he felt only fabric. The color drained from Kyle's face as he began to feel through all his pockets.

Where is it? Oh god! Please don’t tell me I lost it! It has to be here somewhere. I have to go back and check–” Kyle was pulled out of his frenzied search by a gentle touch on his shoulder. He looked over to find a lavender hoof he followed the hoof to find Twilight’s concerned eyes.

“Kyle, what’s wrong?” Twilight asked. “You look like you’ve just seen a timberwolf.”

“When you took my clothes over to your friends did you happen to see a small-black-oblong device attached to my hoodie's caller?” Kyle asked, his voice wavering.

“Yes, I remember Rarity asking me about it, I–” Kyle didn't wait for Twilight to finish her explanation before he stood. Though in his hast he didn't pay attention to where his foot was located and Kyle found himself reacquainted with his longtime friends the ground, and pain. Before Kyle had the chance to push himself up, Twilight took him in her telekinetic grasp.

“You’re right, you're right," Kyle said taking deep calming breaths. Once he managed to get his breathing back under control he gave a Twilight a sheepish smile and asked, "Would it be terribly inconvenient to go by this Rarity's and grab my Halo?"

“Of course, Rarity’s place isn’t too far out of the way.”

Kyle let out a relieved sigh and gave Twilight a grateful smile, “Thank you.”

Kyle took this opportunity to take in his new surroundings. The hospital was by far the largest of the buildings on this side of the town. It was a three-story Victorian-style structure that matched the surrounding homes. All of which looked to have been plucked out of an early eighteenth-century town complete with thatched roofing. Kyle could see a few exceptions to the thatched roofing, the hospitable being one. The other two were further into town, one being a three-story building in the center of town and the other was a building with what looked to be a cupcake sitting atop its roof.

Feeling as if he was being watched Kyle turned his attention from the buildings to the people standing in front of them. All of which was staring at him unabashedly, and more than a few Kyle could see the fear behind the stares.

“Um… Twilight we seem to be making a scene…” Kyle whispered, a little unnerved by all the looks he was getting. Twilight looked around at all the onlookers that cleared the middle of the street as they neared.

Twilight let out a disappointed sigh and shook her head, “You would think that they would have learned from the last time not to judge a pony by their looks alone, but it looks like they haven’t learned anything from the time Zecora was ostracized for the same thing.” She looked back to Kyle and saw his unease. “Don’t worry about it. They will warm up to you soon enough,” She finished by giving him a reassuring smile. Kyle nodded, but he wasn’t sure about what Twilight said. They continued down the street towards the Carousel Boutique, and Kyle tried his best to ignore the looks he was receiving. It didn’t take much longer for them to reach their destination, much to Kyle’s relief. “And here is the Carousel Boutique,” Twilight said as a circular building came into view.

Kyle glanced at the business’ exterior, then did a double take, confirming that he saw everything right. The building was designed to resemble a multi-storied carousel. He mentally face-palmed, “I don’t know why I expected this to look like anything else. I mean it is in its name after all.” He couldn’t help but laugh a little in self-deprecation.

Twilight looked over at Kyle when he laughed, a questioning look in her eyes. He shook his head in dismissal. This caused Twilight to raise an eyebrow. “Wait... did she have eyebrows before? I don’t remember her having eyebrows before but was it because I did not notice them?”

“Is there something on my face?” Twilight asked, and Kyle realized that he had been staring. He flushed in embarrassment and quickly looked away.

“Nope, just lost in thought. Sorry, didn’t mean to stare at you like that,” He replied a bit too quickly.

“Well… okay then…” Kyle could tell by her tone that she knew that he was omitting something, but she let it drop and continued to the door of the Carousel Boutique.

“In any case, this is where Rarity lives and works,” Twilight added as they walked through the door. A small bell rang as the door closed behind them.

“I’ll be right there darling! Do make yourself at home,” a sophisticated voice called out from somewhere deeper in the building. Kyle looked around the room as they waited for Rarity to come out and greet them, and the closest word that he could use to describe it was posh. It was a showroom with pony mannequins in various corners of the room displaying high-class dresses and the racks of clothing filled with the same. There was a platform to the right of the entrance with three mirrors facing it to get different angles for showing off the clothes and just behind the mirror was an old western style door that leads to a hallway. On the opposite side of the platform was a set of styling booths and a staircase leading to the second floor where Kyle guessed was the living quarters.

“Oh, no need to rush, Rarity. We aren’t in a hurry,” Twilight said and sat on a nearby couch. Kyle followed her shortly after.

“Nonsense darling, one doesn’t keep guests waiting especially if they are good friends. Who else is wi–” A white unicorn mare with meticulously styled purple mane and tail walked out from the doors behind the platform. She stopped dead in her tracks when she saw Kyle sitting next to Twilight. Her expression changed from shock to barely concealed revulsion as she saw Kyle.

“Rarity, this is Kyle, the pony I transported here from another world,” Twilight said. She didn't seem to notice the destain in Rarity’s expression.

“I am Rarity, it is so nice to meet you, Kyle,” She said giving Kyle another quick look over her eyes lingered on Kyle’s torso, and the disgust in her look intensified.

“I’m not that ugly, am I?” Kyle asked, with a mock look of hurt on his face. He hoped it hid his unease beneath Rarity’s scrutiny. Rarity recoiled at the comment, a faint blush reaching her cheeks.

“Sorry, darling. I didn’t mean to stare and no you are not ugly even if your current attire is most… unpleasant,” She said while she gave Kyle’s hoody an exceptionally disdainful glare. “But at least you are here so that I can correct that issue.”

“Thanks, but maybe some other time. You may be able to help me in another way. Would you happen to have the black oblong device that was on the collar of my sweatshirt here?” Kyle asked a hopeful look in his eyes.

“Black oblong…” she trailed off bringing a hoof up to her chin in thought. Kyle’s hopes began to wane as the seconds ticked by. Suddenly her eyes lit up in recognition. “Oh, you mean the black sapphire! Yes, sorry, I meant to put it in with your clothes but I completely forgot. Let me go get it for you.” Rarity turned and went back through the saloon style door. Moments later Rarity returned with the device in tow. It was a small black oval shaped slab of sapphire with an aluminum backing. It was about one and a half inches wide by three inches tall and about one-fourth of an inch thick. The front was a black sapphire polished to a near mirror finish wrapped around to the back that had a black mat finish. Besides the clip on the back, which Kyle used to attach it to his hoodie, there were no discernible markings or facets. “This is a rather unusual sapphire. Never have I seen one with this coloration or one shaped quite like this one before. Is this common from where you come from?”

Kyle stood and took the ‘gem’ out of her magical grasp before answering, “This isn’t a sapphire as you are you are thinking. It’s a Halo, and no we don’t shape gem sapphires like this.” Kyle swiped a finger across one of the shorter ends of the device and a translucent image of himself popped up above the Halo, he let out a sigh of relief. He repeated the motion, and the image disappeared and he put it away in his pocket.

“I thought you said that you didn’t have magic in your world how did you do that?” Twilight said right next to Kyle. He jumped and let out a half-strangled yelp.

“Don’t sneak up on people like that. You nearly gave me a heart attack!” Kyle put a hand to his chest and took a deep breath trying to get his racing heart under control and noticed that he had balled both of his hands into fists. He quickly unclenched his fists hoping that Twilight hadn’t noticed how close he to punching her. Twilight either didn’t notice or was ignorant of his body language as she didn’t say anything. She gave him an apologetic look before walking forward to sit in front of Kyle next to Rarity. He took a moment to compose himself under before answering Twilight’s question, “This isn’t magic it’s was just a hologram.”

“What is a hologram if it isn’t magic?“ Twilight asked, her curiosity aroused. There was a glimmer in her eye one that reminded him of his little sister when she would ask questions a mile-a-minute. Despite his exhaustion, Kyle couldn't say no to that look even back then.

“A hologram is basically a fancier version of a projector for movies and the like," Kyle paused when it occurred to him that he had no idea where they stood when it came to technology. "Wait, do you know what I mean by movie and projector?”

“Yes, I know what a movie and projector are,” Twilight laughed.

At that Kyle nodded and continued, “Right, just making sure. Anyways a hologram is similar to that. The actual specifics of how it works is a bit beyond me. I never really understood the mechanics behind it.” Kyle covered his mouth as he yawned. “Excuse me I am still feeling quite worn out.”

“I would like to learn some more about this Halo of yours, but that can wait we should get you to the library so you could get some rest,” Twilight said getting up and nodded farewell to Rarity.

“Then don’t let me keep you. If Rainbow Dash is any indicator when she broke her wing, you will be feeling out of it for a few days now yet, Kyle.” Rarity said with a kind smile.

“Yes, it is fairly common for ponies that undergo a healing spell to feel tired for a few days. Again, Rarity, sorry for disturbing you. I know how busy you are during this time of year,” Twilight said, leading Kyle to the door.

“‘Tis nothing dear. You know that you are always welcome anytime, and that goes for you too Kyle.” Rarity replied with a kind smile Kyle nodded as he left the building. Rarity followed them to the door to wave them off.

After the door closed behind them Twilight turned to Kyle and asked, “If you don’t mind me asking, why is that Halo device so important to you?”

Kyle didn't reply for a moment, “It has the last picture I have left of them.”

“Of who?”

Kyle’s hand closed over the Halo a bittersweet smile formed on Kyle’s lips, “My family.”

They walked in silence for a moment before Twilight spoke again uncertainty clear, in her voice, “I don’t want you to feel pressured or anything, but I want you to know that I am more than willing to listen if there is anything that you want to talk about. It’s the least I can do after I stranded you in a strange world.” Kyle looked over at the purple unicorn-pegasus and saw the concern in her eyes. “If I didn’t know any better I would say that she was worried about a friend by the way she was looking at me.”

“I already told you that I don’t blame you, and I’m grateful for what you did, Twilight. And there is no need to worry. I’m fine.” Twilight gave him an uncertain nod. They fell back into silence and continued their walk to the library and Kyle’s temporary home. They rounded a corner and the library came into view. Kyle couldn't help but stop once he saw the building before him. But, to call the sight before him a building would be like calling the Pyramids of Gisa a pile of rocks. While technically it would be true it's a gross misconception.

What stood before him was not so much as a building as it was a tree that someone decided to make into a house in the hardest way one could think of. Instead of doing the smart thing and

Twilight politely coughed into her hoof breaking Kyle’s stupor. She led the way up to the library door and walked in. Kyle followed, lost in thought. ”This world is crazy; talking horses, pegasi, unicorns, libraries built out of living trees. I wonder… you know what I am just not going to complete that thought.”

Kyle was so lost in thought that he didn’t notice that the room he was stepping into was completely dark, but he did notice when all the lights turned on and a large group shouted, “SURPRISE!

Startled Kyle jumped followed by a sharp pain originating from his head hitting the top of the door frame. The next thing he knew was darkness.

Author's Note:

I do apologize for the long wait. I hope to get the next chapter out before another year passes.:twilightblush:

Let me know what you think of it so far.